James Smith: Become Confident In 100 Minutes | E174 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "James Smith: Become Confident In 100 Minutes | E174".
Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.
I was failing. That was the point for me where I was like, "I need to do things differently." Hard of seeing him ever done. It's James Smith. "Three talking personal trainees helping you get confidence." "Sumsy James is curse-filled, Rance has confrontational." "Look how James come in, Arse's s***." James, good to see you again. Self-esteem and confidence is decaying. When you're at that place of feeling that you don't have enough confidence, it's actually a crossroads. It's left and right, action and inaction. Whatever you're not changing, you'll choose it. Dating is such a big topic because people either don't have the confidence required to meet someone, or they might not have the confidence to leave someone. We're allowed to be ignorant with these things and we're allowed to be wrong. That doesn't mean we shouldn't endeavour to get the best possible outcome. What are you not confident about? I constantly have these battles in my head. Why did I create this fast? Why did I have sweat patches from such a simple interaction of being uncomfortable? I have the same insecurities, the same fears, feelings of inadequacies. Sometimes my biggest fear is losing is not the same as being defeated. You have to be audacious, you have to put your head above the parapet. I'm sure I'm going to be absolutely slammed for saying this. So without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett and this is the Dyer over CEO. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this yourself. James, good to see you again.
Understanding And Building Confidence
Why did you write a book about confidence (01:30)
Thank you very much for having me back. I've got to say, we don't have many guests back, but our conversation was so inspiring and surprising to me. When I messaged you the other day and said, "If you're ever back in London, I'd love to have you back on." And then I learned you'd written a book about confidence. Why did you write a book about confidence? Well, it's kind of interesting that through my entire career, I've learned something personally and then I've taught other people the processes. So the first book, not a diet book, I went through years of fitness industry bullshit that we spoke about before. And by the end of it, through my own journeys, I was like, "I could teach people about this." And I didn't want to write a dietbook system. I was like, "Break down everything, put it into a book." Then the second book offer, I was like, "I can't do another one. If I'd written a second book about fitness, it would have said a lot about the first. You know, when people do sequence things, I'm like, "Oh, you must have done a great job." And I kind of realized by accident that my work/life balance was pretty good and wrote the second book, a lot of the things we spoke about and that last podcast were based off of not a life coach. Now, the kind of strange thing that I say to people is, I'm not a very confident person. I have the same insecurities, the same fears, the same feelings of inadequacies as the majority of people, but I kind of have a set of values and a way that I see these problems where I can break them down and dismantle them. And in the book, in the first chapter, I say, a lot of people sit back and they think other people are confident as if it's a trait like height or people said it's a superpower. But straight away, I actually typed that in the first part of the book. I was like, "Confidence is a superpower." But then, superpowers aren't accomplishable by mortals. It's almost something out of your reach. And I'm a big believer that confidence can be within people's reach. And even chatting to people in the same profession, they have a problem or a fear of judgment of whatever it is. And if I could spend five minutes with that person, I could motivate them to post on social media, to prospect more with their business, whatever it is. And I realized it's not something people are lacking. It's more so the way they perceive and view their reality. What are you not confident about? People, I think, would be surprised to hear that you have insecurities and in antiquacies and those things you're not confident about. Everything, body image, which is why I ended up going down the first huge ten years of my life with not a diet book. I was overweight as a kid. Even now, I constantly have these battles in my head through, "How should I look? What should I be doing? Should I be dieting?" And I think that's why a lot of people resonate with what I say, because a lot of what I say to them is also for myself. A lot of, you know, I say to people that I know this is how you're feeling, so that's how I feel myself. And it's an interesting one. Even with dating, with professional life, some of them I feel like I kind of got lucky, but I'm not a massive believer in luck. And I kind of tripped over some of the steps to becoming confident and even working in door-to-door sales, where working for M-Power, in Clostar, knocking on hundreds of doors a day, it allowed me to perceive issues in front of me as a numbers game. And then at the average, I'm knocking on a hundred doors to make a sale. Suddenly things didn't seem so daunting, and people go, "Oh, you need to be really confident to knock on doors for a living." I was like, "Well, not so much. If you appreciate there's a certain amount of times you need to do something before you experience success. It's not so scary." Email marketing. I knew email marketing would work. I sent emails every day for 10 months. No one bought. In 10 months someone bought finally. So it was an appreciation of the numbers. Social media. Four and a half years I posted near about every day before I made any money from it. Things aren't so much scary or to be feared. It's how you look at those things in front of you that really kind of break down the fear, because we're all capable of doing things, but we like to almost push things further away than we can reach, so that gives us a reason not to do it. One thing that really blew my mind is I had Liverpool on the podcast, right?
How deep are our confidence issues? (05:40)
This is a man for anybody that doesn't know him who is jacked. He walks around with his top off. He's very direct and loud and apparently confident. But at the very end of the conversation, I asked him to tell me something he's never told anyone before. What he said blew my mind. He said, "Coming on this podcast today and speaking in front of people cripples me to the point that I can't sleep." Then he tells me that between the age of 10 and 14 years old, he was bullied horrifically, beaten up every day, had no friends. I was trying to put the pieces together that you kind of allude to it at the start of your book when you start talking about the different types of confidence, that he might be confident in some ways, but the social confidence was literally knocked out of him at 10 years old. In social situations where there's a chance of rejection from the crowd, which is what happened to him in school, he is still crippled to this day. It appears to me that there's a real variance in people's social confidence, which originates from their early self-story. Really that early self-story. I'm trying to understand how much of that determines our confidence today, because there's tricks and tips and the five-second rule and all this stuff. But do we really have to go back and fix that shit that happened to us at 10 years old in the playground? I don't think so. That's kind of the important thing. I don't think it's like a trauma that we need to hold dearly to ourselves. But like you say, for instance, if you were to say James, there's 3000 people out there, I need you to perform a talk with no preparation, I'd be like, "Cool." But if you'd say, "Hey, there's a girl at the bar and I need you to go approach her on a Friday night and try and get a number," that would be like, "That's scary to me." So it's kind of like double standards. You say some situations, everyone has a certain lack of confidence, even the most confident of people. And that could be because when I was 12, the first girl asked out, "No, it could be that." Or it could be because I've done more talks. And I think that at the root core of everything is a form of repetition. And people that aren't confident to do things, they need to find something they have the level of courage to do and get to that point. And for instance, that's something I don't need to work on. And as I'm in a relationship, I probably shouldn't be working on this either. But if I am petrified of talking to a girl or a guy for any women listening, or either either for whoever's listening, maybe I don't have the courage to ask for the number, but I might have the courage to go say, "Hello," or to compliment them, or to do something shivorous. And if people can then do that, then maybe from there they can move on. And I think it is one of those things where everyone has a gaping hole in their confidence. And for Liverpool, it's an interesting one. At first I was actually very anti-him because he is obnoxious. He actually has a very similar approach to what I do, like in your face. This is what I believe in. If you don't believe in it, that's cool. But I can sometimes look at him and appreciate that a lot of people are not being who they are. They're being who they need to be. And I feel I resonate with that side of him, where as I'm sure you realize on social media, so I'm very much like, "Listen mate, do this, Call of Duty, fuck off." Fuck off, all of that. But really, I'm not like that. I portray the person I need to be. It's one of those things where a lot of the time people need to appreciate that maybe everyone around them is fearful of everything like you, but they're more focused about being who they need to be, not worrying about who they are. In the start of this book in chapter one, you investigate the side of pain points as it relates to confidence.
Our pain points in confidence (09:23)
What do you mean by pain points? So we could look at this in a form of sales as well. So I cannot sell to someone when I understand their pain points. And I use the analogy that probably is the one I've had most experience with. With people in the gym, they come and they sit down. "Hi James, I want to get fitter. I want to lose a bit of weight. I want to tone up." And I'm like, "That's not really what you want. That's not a pain point. That is a knee-jerk reaction to what you think I want to hear." I mean, delve a bit deeper. They go, "Oh, my husband's not fucking me." You know, every time I stand up in a meeting, I've got to pull my top down over the layers of flab that I have. I don't feel confident in areas in my life that I should because I'm so crippled by the confidence I have with my physique. I'm not taking seriously. The pain points are deep. And people need to draw on those because the day that you're getting out of bed and you feel like shit and you're tired and you want to give up, I want to be toned isn't going to do it. The fact that your real pain point is that you're lonely and you're getting older and you're worrying about the fact you might not find a compatible companion ever, that is a strong enough pain point for you to change. Being more toned isn't. Interestingly, I know people that are in that exact same situation. I've debated for many a year whether someone's situation you described that, "I'm getting older, I'm lonely, I'm scared I'll be alone forever." I know people in that exact same situation that are exhibiting the fear of the consequences of a lifelong loneliness, but they still don't do anything about it. Is there such thing as wanting to want to be someone? I'm not sure to answer your question, but one of the things I would say to that person is you're in the, and I'm only using this as an example, I think dating is an analogy I love to use. I actually use it when I talk about business talks. I say marketing is like dating, you know, and we won't get down that too much, but you look at the person at the bar, you feel the fear, rather than counting down from 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Oh my God, I've got the confidence, let me go talk to them. They could instead, just for a flash of a moment, just think to themselves, "I'm lonely, I don't want to be lonely." What are these two things that's more uncomfortable for me? The idea of going another week, another month being single, or the idea of talking to a stranger. And surely when you add them, level those two things up, the pain point of being lonely should be much worse than the pain point of talking to a stranger. If you feel undervalued at work, the idea of talking to a boss and expressing how you feel, that's a pain point. You know, that's going to make me feel uncomfortable. But then the pain point of feeling undervalued and not being given the bonus you were promised a year ago, you level them up and you're like, "There's always two directions in which you can go." And you've tweeted a mention this before. You say saying nothing is still saying something. Doing nothing is still doing something. And they also say, "Whatever you're not changing, you're choosing." And these are really important because that person, and again, same analogy, whatever it is, when you're at that place of feeling that you don't have enough confidence, it's actually a crossroads. It's a left and a right. It's a dichotomy of action and inaction. And if you are controlled by fear and you don't muster the courage to do what you need to do, especially by using the pain points to motivate yourself, you are choosing inaction by doing nothing that is a choice. And people just seem to think that, you know, not starting the passion project, not posting or expressing something on social media, they seem to think if they do nothing, that it's a void in our reality, but it's still a choice of inaction. I used to think of like, people ask me about confidence a lot, and it's taken me quite some time to develop my thoughts on it because, you know, when you, I think level one of the confidence, self-help guru is like, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you love yourself.
The base of confidence and how we build it (12:57)
Like, that's like step one. And then eventually, hopefully, you're thinking progresses when you find the holes in that thinking. And then I arrived at the conclusion that confidence, as we kind of like say, talk about it in culture, I know there's multiple definitions and lots of nuance, but confidence as we describe it in culture is really just, um, is based on the evidence you have in yourself. Like, all beliefs are based, are evidence-based, subjective, correct or incorrect evidence. And therefore, if it is evidence-based, the only way to build your confidence is to go and get evidence. Um, and I say this because there's a lot, there's a narrative that you can just kind of like write down in your book, or look yourself in the mirror and say, I'm going to be confident, I'm going to be sexy, I'm going to be a millionaire, which I don't think is factually supported by how other beliefs work. So confidence, so when I started writing the book, I wasn't sat there like, I know everything about confidence. I was sat there going, I couldn't answer if you were to say, James, what is confidence? When I start writing, I go, I don't know. So that's why I was so excited about writing it. But one of the interesting kind of ways that I wrote about it, and one of the points was, if you imagine confidence on a spectrum with anxiety on one end and confidence on the other, anxiety is predicting failure and confidence is predicting success. And that is a really important thing to think about because our expectations massively influence the outcome of things. And like you say there, if people just go into a room and go, I'm amazing, I'm whatever, it's not really going to work. Even as one of your previous guests said about interrogative self-talk, asking yourself questions is a more positive thing. Instead of saying, I can do this podcast today and do well, I ask myself, can you do well in this podcast today? I mean, what? Do you know what? I did all right in the last one. You got a lot of downloads. So it is one of those things that is in so many different spectrums and it has so many different meanings. But a lot of it points towards predicting success and things. And even if you don't have the evidence to predict success, we should be able to be wrong. If there's something I want to accomplish, I can't let my mind and my thoughts take over. I must in some sense be overconfident and predict success. But if I am wrong, that's fine. But what I can't do is just set every single default to being, this isn't going to work because if you don't think something is going to work, you're already tripped at the first hurdle. And there's a guy David Robson who written a book called The Expectation Effect. And in that book, they got a group of people, I can't remember how big the study was, but they lied to them and said, this group have got a gene that is going to hinder their turnover of oxygen and this group over here doesn't. And they got them to perform fitness tests. And the people that were told they had this gene mutation performed a lot better than the other people who didn't. And even just being primed with a lie completely changed their output in a fitness test. So schools don't teach confidence. Society doesn't really breed confidence because although on one hand, confidence is essential for innovation, if we don't have confident people, you know, you don't have to musk, he was confident enough to say, that rocket, we could land it back on Earth. And he would know, you know, you're crazy. But society doesn't care if you're confident or not. Society doesn't care if you talk to that person or not. Society doesn't care if you get a pay rise. No one in the world is going to come along and care about your levels of confidence. It's something we need to do ourselves. In that example of them priming to, you know, there's being two groups and they tell one of them a lie. And then the one that believes that they have a genetic advantage performed better, right? Yeah. So is that not the case then for lying to yourself? So fake it till you make it. I don't particularly like that terminology in the book or write about it because what's your metric of success in that? To fake it until you get recognition for something? I think with that and with the book and with expectations, you've got manifestation and the placebo effect. And they're intertwined, but they're both separate. So manifestation, I think, is a very dangerous thing where people think, oh, I'm just going to think about success. You know, I'm going to meditate about success. I'm going to get it. But then things like the placebo effect is also a powerful thing. Sham surgeries that were performed on people. They would be cut open. They would do nothing. They'd stitch them back up and up to 50% of people reported feeling better. That's crazy. When people take or 30% people that took the vaccine in the trials that were given the no vaccine felt ill afterwards because they thought they were going to feel ill. I've seen as well, I didn't put this one in the book. So I couldn't find the study. The size of the pill you take as a painkiller, even with the placebo can impact the levels of pain that people report disappearing. So although we can't say, you know, I just pretend you're going to be confident and pretend we're this, in the same sense, we do need to instill a level of belief in ourselves that we are able to accomplish stuff. And if we try and we falsify that optimism and it doesn't work out, we create another building block to step on. And behind everyone who's an expert in anything, there's a level of mastery. And failure is put in such a negative light in society, but failure is the most cases, the pathway to development. So even if we do, you know, point the dial towards optimism, if things don't go right, that's fine. We're allowed to be wrong. We're allowed to make mistakes. We're allowed to try that endeavor that you want and for it to all fuck up. I think just thinking about that then, the, I guess the difference is with the placebo effect, you don't know that it's a lie. Whereas if I looked to myself in the mirror and said, you are in fact, Jesus Christ, I would know that that was a lie. And so placebo, I guess, you know, the placebo effect stuff can work. And even in that operation, they didn't know that we're being lied to in that, in those two control groups where one of them believed they had a genetic advantage, they thought it was true. The problem is we can't actually lie to ourselves. And the example I always give sometimes when I speak about confidence on stage is like if I had your mum in a headlock and I was putting a gun at her and I said, you have to believe I'm Jesus or she dies. Everything's on the line and all you could do is pretend. You can actually believe I was Jesus. If everything was on the line, you could only be like, and so that for me was the clearest evidence I needed that I can never really lie to myself about who I am. It doesn't have to be a lie as it could be even just a change in narrative. So I remember so many times throughout my life, just before I was about to go on a date with a stranger, which I found incredibly daunting. It's one of the reasons I drank on dates for the first 25 years of my life. But that voice in your head, you don't have to lie to yourself, but the voice in your head goes, what if this is the worst day I'll ever go on? But all you need to do is change that to say, what if this is the best day I'll ever go on? That's all I'm saying. And that is a change in expectations. It's a different change in thought. It's a different perspective on your reality that's upcoming. I don't think we should ever lie to ourselves, but we should at least turn the dial towards optimism because we are inherently pessimistic with our biases. Audacity, you talk about that being one of the most important things.
What is audacity? A: Airing your opinions (20:19)
You describe it as being at the forefront of any of the successes you've experienced in your life. What is audacity and how do you define that and what role is it played for you? I had a lot of opinions in the fitness industry, but by airing them, you open yourself up to a lot of criticism. Five years ago, I don't think anyone by a couple of my ex-girlfriends hated me. No one. Now there are thousands and thousands of people because you have to be audacious. You have to put your head above the parapet to really put yourself forward, even as we said before, with this podcast. You had to be audacious one day as someone who'd never done a podcast to go, we're going to do a podcast in here. You had to sit there and believe for a second, we're going to make this the UK's leading podcast. In some respects, behind anyone's level of success, there was an audacious endeavor at the beginning, whether it was to do a podcast, whether it was to start a business, whatever it was. I think that that's again something that's not fully bred into people. Someone has an idea. Put that idea out there. Be audacious with it. Don't be afraid to be wrong. Don't be afraid of critics. Ultimately for me, something that I understood was there are going to be a lot of people that are never going to be interested in what you're doing. They're never going to be interested in a book that I release or whatever. I can't take their criticisms to heart. I'm fully understanding that there are people out there that are going to dislike me, but I can't worry too much about that because they're never going to benefit my net equation. They're never going to come to a talk or buy a book or anything like that. Audaciousness is an essential element for progress in this, but you need to be armed with understanding that you're going to be haters. There are going to be people that are going to not like what you say or what you do. There's quite literally no one out there that doesn't get criticized for something. Audaciousness does have that dark side to it, but for people, again, being audacious with your endeavor, what if it's the worst thing you ever do? Then again, what if it's the best thing you ever do?
Happiness recipe (22:30)
Since you came on this podcast last time, I've been asking guests some of the questions, which is about this ingredients list of happiness. Have you ever heard me say this to anybody? I've heard you say it, but... Okay. Just ask that just in case you had a premedity response, but the question I ask people is if happiness was a list of ingredients on a recipe in different weights and quantities, what is missing from your list of ingredients that would make you perfectly happy? I haven't thought about this. I haven't thought about this at all. I don't really look at my life and go, "What's missing?" And even some things I could say are a permanent visa for Australia, but I quite like the fact it's not happened yet. I'm looking forward to it if it does come. And even if I don't get residency in Australia, I kind of relish the challenge of what I would have to do to then get it again. So all of the things that are lacking for my life also seem like little challenges that I'm excited for. But honestly, I know a lot of people have a facade for happiness. I'm progressing in everything that I'm doing. And as I said before, even on the back burner, I love Jiu Jitsu, I'm competing a bit at the moment. I teach classes on a Friday evening. I have that. And so much of my values does revolve around my work, the book doing well, my professional life, but then also at the back burner. I've always said this that I could just get a dog, open a little Jiu Jitsu dojo with my savings, put it near the beach somewhere, hopefully in Australia. And I could just teach people Jiu Jitsu for the rest of my life. And I look at that and I go, "On some days, that's better than my existing life." So it's one of those things where I don't really dwell or use any mental or cognitive ability thinking about what's missing. I don't think that's a productive way to use cognitive effort. I think I sometimes question the balance of things in my life. And sometimes I wonder whether it's society telling me that the balance is wrong, or whether it's your girlfriend telling you the balance is wrong. It happens a lot. Or whether it's something else. But I think more in terms of the balance of things. So for example, I might be going to the gym too much, or I might be working too much, or I might not be working enough. And those are the kind of things that I think I spend some time thinking about, usually upon getting feedback. I foolishly, for a long time, used to say that I was fortunate that I'd never struggled with mental health problems. And in some respects, that's true. Because there is a bit of a throw that dies to me with how our baselines of certain hormones, or whatever in this trauma that can occur in people's lives. But a friend of mine who suffered with depression quite heavily, he said to me, "You are not aware of your habits that protect your mental health." And you need to go away and think about the things you're doing to actually uphold this. Because the way I see mental health down, this could be quite controversial, is like a table, like the one in front of us with many legs. And the legs can be completely subjective. Am I going outside enough? Am I family relationships? Good enough. How's my professional life? How's my bank account? Whatever it is. And you can kick away one of the legs and you'll be okay. But people, if they don't realize that legs from the table are disappearing, it only takes that one final kick before it topless over. For me being comfortable, not working too hard, not traveling too much, not stretching myself too thin is something that is really important to me. And I haven't drank in probably about six weeks at the moment. And as I'm getting older, I'm really losing and diminishing my relationship with alcohol, because when I was younger, my values for happiness didn't sit around productivity. I could play Xbox all day. But as I'm getting older, my values are changing. And productivity is so important to me. The drinking alcohol now inflicts that. And even now, I think to myself sometimes, drinking makes me less happy, because it negates my levels of productivity. And it's only as I'm getting older that I'm starting to realize how important that is to me. And I think that when we're younger, we don't quite see it that way. We kind of look to use alcohol, especially in the context of confidence. People can buy bottled confidence, and they buy it in the version of alcohol, because it breaks down those social struggles that they have. It makes them feel more confident, or more importantly, it makes them care less.
And as long as we have alcohol available to us, people don't need to work on their inadequacies when it comes to social interactions or having the confidence to do things. When you talk about productivity in that context of, you know, you value it more now than ever, do you mean professional productivity? In all sense, whether it's home in the energy on a Sunday morning, you know, I'm going to go, "Do you want to give me tennis?" I'm rubbish at tennis, but you know when you throw a ball for a dog, how happy it is, that's me chasing the tennis ball around the tennis court. I'm awful, but I enjoy just doing that, or productivity with work, where so many times I'll be in the shower and I'll have an idea, and the idea really excites me. And people around me know that when I do have an idea and I want to do it, you have to leave me alone to kind of hash it out, especially if I have a video idea. We could be going for breakfast. If I have a video idea, I can't enjoy breakfast while I've got the idea in my head. When I'm hungover or tired or, you know, on the road with tours and book signings or whatever, if I'm trying to burn the candle too much, I lose that spark to be able to have these creative ideas and four or five days into a stretch of not having anything creative come in. I feel the pressure. I'm posted in a few days, and to me, that's important that I stay on top of those things and, you know, be creative and come up with no ideas. I even have a set of standards that's pretty peculiar where I do look through my comments sometimes, although I know comments are the most poisonous place to go. The weight of one negative comment outweighs 100 positive. But when someone says that's your best video yet, I've accomplished something. That's what I want. So when I do go these long periods of time without being productive in that sense, it starts to drain on me and I'm starting to think, what am I doing that's making me happy, that's taken away happiness from other areas of my life? Professionally, would you consider yourself a workaholic?
Are you a workaholic (28:24)
No, but that could be denial because I like working. And it's a difficult one now where I do have to distinguish things where I can't watch a film on my own because I don't see it as productive. But if I watch a film with my girlfriend, that's fine because it's almost like I blocked out in the calendar professional time. But then at the same time, I do like having downtime to train jits who skateboard to the beach, have a dip. I'm not like on my phone all the time. I do like leaving my phone in my car when I do stuff. But I couldn't think of anything worse than retirement. This is why I kind of feel everyone is not brainwashed because I can't expect everyone to have the same values as me. But when everyone's like, oh, you know, buy a house, pay off the mortgage in 50 years, you can retire with that. And I'm sure that's great. Some people, my dad loves being retired. But me, that's my idea of hell. To wake up with nothing to do or no problems to solve, I think people underestimate the human beings for thousands of years have been problem solvers with much worse problems than what we have today. And the idea of just stopping that point in time just drives me crazy. But then I'm not sure if I'm just potentially wide differently to other people. And you talked about your girlfriend that you've been in a relationship for how long now? Over a year. So, John, I've always been very skeptical of talking about relationships on podcast because by the time they go out with no long relationship. So it's one of those things. But yeah, I'm incredibly happy. And I think that there has to come a point where I actually did a magic mushroom trip probably two years ago. And about eight of us, we sat by the beach. We just thought, shut out. What was crazy was if we went and got trolleyed on our coal and, you know, we're absolute, caused chaos. That's legal. But for eight of us to take some magic mushrooms and sit and think about life and share what we're experiencing in people, that was illegal. And I had time to reflect on, I do see different areas of my life like races. And I like to be in competition with people that don't even know I'm in competition with them. For years, I'd have a list of social media competitors that I've never spoken to. And I'd worked tirelessly to beat them. - Do you know what, Joe? - Yeah, I just know what. And there was an element of envy and bitterness and that fueled me in some respects. But I sat there on the beach and I thought to myself, what if you win the race of having the most money and the most notoriety and the most, you know, fame? But your friends that did the nine to five and worked to retirement got the wife and the kids and the happy life. And also my mom and dad, my family is very, you know, traditional. I thought, what really are they going to prefer? Me coming home in a Ferrari or me coming home with a family? And that was a really big insight in my mind to what's important to you that I impressed my family, yes, because I want them to think that their investment of, you know, even now, 33 years is going to pay off. And I want them to one day sit back and go, we did a good job. So it's very important that I please my parents. And I thought, I've really got to make sure that I don't finish the race of life and have the money and the fame and realize that I was in the wrong race. And that was such a big epiphany for me. And I realized at that point that I was going to have to work harder in relationships.
Your relationships (31:39)
How many relationships did you have? Give me a history of your sort of dating track record. Someone just side in the background over there. No. I never really respected them. I took them seriously because I thought that my young 20s and even my mid 20s were more important to accomplish other things. And it was only as I got to my late 20s, I realized, hold on, maybe these values might be good for professional life, but they won't be good further down the line in 10 years time. In Bondi, there's a lot of wealthy, older men that have got the sports cars and the young girlfriends. I don't envy them at all. I don't have a thing. Oh, I'd love to be 40 with a 25 year old girlfriend. I don't have anything like that. But I think it's just been one of those things where Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset talks about having a fixed mindset and an open mindset. I appreciate that for so many things, you could come in today with so many problems in the business. My mindset is, let's do this, let's do this, we'll turn this up, we'll do better on this. We'll be fine. But with relationships, I was very fixed. Where if something went wrong, I was like, oh, this is your fault and we should stop this right away. And you can appreciate in some people's lives when things get tough, they either take the option of developing and becoming better, or they blame other people and discontinue. And I was fixed. And I only kind of realized that when I was older. And the negatives in your 20s are fucking a relationship on that severe. If anything, I was like, cool, I get to work more. I have more time to myself. How long was your longest relationship? Probably about a year. Okay, so the current relationship is up there with your longest ever. Don't tell that about extra pressure on it. But yeah, it is. And I think that especially, there's some crazy things going on in society where there are more women over 30 without children than under 30. And I think that that's a statistic that Chris Williamson brought up on Jordan Peterson when they had a chat. And I was like, we're all not appreciating family life, like the generation before us. And I don't think it's important that we take their values as our own. But I think it's very easy, like a kind of rip in the sea to get taken out without realizing that there's so much in our lives that we can prioritize that aren't the most important things.
And my friends have got married and had kids and families very early. There are some feed the confirmation by us or don't get married, mate, or, you know, but the majority of them are very happy. And just before we started talking, I was going to mention like the things called the inner citadel. Or if you can imagine that someone for whatever reason is less in response to the question I asked about monogamy. Yeah. Okay. So before we start recording, I asked James if he believed in monogamy. So imagine you've got someone who injures his leg and they have to chop his leg off. I might butcher this from saying it. He then might end up being angry at people that have two legs and make up his own reason. Actually, do you know what two legs is wasteful? You know, you don't need that. You're only one leg. And because something didn't work for him or his surroundings didn't suit what happened to him, he decided to tear everyone else's down. So when we talk about monogamy, where there are people that are in open relationships, I often look at them and, you know, I was going to say without causing offense. Fuck them. Who hurt you? You know, like at what point did ears of societal structure be a monogamous, but it's because there's a huge benefit to doing that. You're talking about sacrifice. You're talking about, you know, primitive urges or whatever it is. But the base of that, you get to support a family better. So I believe monogamy is good for loads of reasons. I do believe in it. And also my mom and dad are still together. They're each other's first girlfriend and boyfriend. But I do find that people that come along and try and tear down your beliefs of monogamy, they're the people that it didn't work for them. So they want to burn the system. Same in the dieting world. We've got plus size models promoting body positivity. I think there's some absolute credit to that. I'm a person trained and set across with you that six pack. But I think they got fucked over so much in the pursuit of trying to get in shape that they decided to tear the system down for everyone else. You know, because it didn't work for them, they have to go around and influence the way you see it. So I think that's one of the kind of ways that I see things like monogamy. I think for the majority of people, it's perfect. But you're still going to get, well, I'm assuming here, but going to get temptations. And you know, when we think about the monogamy discussion, I had this conversation with my friends the other day. There is, I'm going to stitch them all up. I don't care. There's six of them. And it's split down the middle, whether they believe in monogamy or polygamy, or whether they believe, I wouldn't say polygamy is necessarily some of their beliefs. It's more like, is one part of life the right thing is marriage the right thing? Or do you have like a child with somebody maybe and then the future you'll probably going to end up with somebody else? The stats around this are showing, I believe, that people are struggling to stay in marriages as society develops. How do we not, like, are you not scared that you'll lose the thing? How do you not lose the spark? So remember we said about the expectation effect. If you go into a relationship expecting that you're going to cheat or you're going to break up, I don't think that sets a good foundation for it. Again, I would like to go into a relationship and potentially a marriage or whatever, fully believing in it, but being happy to be wrong. And if I get divorced later on in life, as long as I tried my hardest and I committed, I can take that. I can take that as a lost or whatever it is. But somehow in this debate, we've lost the ability to try your hardest at something. And you know what, if 10, 15 years down the line, you do lose it, be amicable about it. Don't destroy someone's life and make them feel like a piece of shit because you cheat them or whatever. Instead, just call a spade a spade and be like, look, we might not be the same people we were when we met. I think people should try the best and try and build a stable home to bring up a child because that's what I've been exposed to. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I also don't think that people should force the marriage at the point that is broken. Because I think that two people under a house that resent each other, trying to bring up a family, probably be better off just having parents in two different households and get more gifts for Christmas or whatever it is. But do you think cheating is a lack of discipline? In some respects, do you know what the majority of it, yes, because we do get urges. And I think, you know, we're fucking monkeys in suits, right? We are chimps at the end of the day. We are organized apes. We have come from a lineage of fucking each other up for so long. You go back 100 years, 1000 years, the wars that we've had, all humans have ever done is get territorial and bits of land and kill each other, right? Savages. You watch Braveheart. You're like, wow, imagine being a soldier back then, or you watch 300 and you're like, wow, these guys would spear in each other and go for lunch. So, you know, we are forcing our DNA and who we are into this kind of preset mold of, you know, do you take you to be a lawful? Of course, there's going to be a lot of people that don't do that. I think at the moment as well, there's so many options. There's so much availability, so many secret places to slide DM, LinkedIn private message, where you're so house up that can be used like Tinder, whatever it is. No idea you could do that on so how's that? Neither did I. Yeah, bullshit. So like, there's so many different places that an avenue people can go. You know, back in the day, if you wanted to take someone for a date, when you've got a wife, you could be seen out, you could be seen, you know, talk into that person. I think the repercussions of being a shit house are probably a lot less severe now. And I think that the way society is going, it is worrying. There are so many options. What was that website? Was it actually Madison? It was a dating site for married people. So if you wanted to be like, look, we need to be hidden away at a bar and have millions of users. So straight away, I think it was brought down by that hacking group, Anonymous or whatever. I could have got that wrong. So there are so many people. It could also be other things like a lack of confidence in your partner. It could be a lack of confidence in your relationship. It could be all these things. But in my mind, I think better that you go for something that feels right. If you're someone that sits here and goes, I do not want to get married. I'm not saying it's going to fit everyone. But I think if you're someone that, importantly, there are sacrifices. And when I look to get married, it's not just about the relationship I have with that person. It's about creating a stable platform to bring up children. But again, we're almost bred in society like we can never be wrong. Ignorance is not a bad thing. We are all ignorant to so much. The majority of people couldn't tell you anything really substantial about history. We don't know that much about so many things. I don't know what the motorways are called in the North. All of these things. So we're allowed to be ignorant of these things and we're allowed to be wrong. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't endeavor to get the best possible outcome. I am my girlfriend said to me one day. You know, when you go for something, you kind of rubbish at the time. You deny it and then later you're thinking about it. It's one of those things. She said to me, she was like, "Do you actually want to be in a relationship? Or are you doing it because you know it's the right thing to do?" That's a very important question. And it's funny because a lot of what you're saying was related to it. You know you should. It's the right thing to do, etc. But deepen your core. You know, you talked a little bit about the fact that we're all monkeys. And what would the monkey want to do? Do you actually want to be, if you could have an alternative option, would you choose the alternative option where you have the upsides of the relationship and also the upsides of being single? Is that what you believe most people would choose? I could be getting this wrong as well. But there's something called the hot, cold empathy gap. I think that's what it's called. When we're angry, it's very hard to imagine being calm. When we're hot, it's very hard to imagine being cold. When you're in one state of consciousness, the opposing state feels very hard to reconcile. So when you're single and you're fucking strangers and you're feeling very numb afterwards and thinking, "Why the fuck did I do that?" post-not clarity. As a lot of people call it, you're thinking, "What I do for a relationship? What I would do to fuck someone and want them to stay?" But then when you're in a relationship, you get the upsides. When you're in a relationship, you're thinking, "Oh, it could be nice to sleep with a stranger or whatever it is." I think that we're always, they say grass is greener, it's very cliché. But we're always looking at that opposing sense of feeling, to how we're feeling now. We're almost curious about it. But I think there are dangers of saying, "You do want to open your relationship." And the door to catastrophic things, should they happen. And I think that there is definitely a hard, hard wiring side of things where, if you want that sense of freedom on your side, cool. But they're going to probably need that sense of freedom on theirs. It might seem like a good idea now, whilst you're in the position of only slept with one person for five years. But then when you experience the polar opposite, realization and reality, what if you realize you made a grave error? You can't undo seeing or knowing or experiencing that. So again, I'm not, I'm not, this guy has been in a relationship, but he's given us some advice. No, I get it. I think I've arrived at the same conclusion. I read the game that Pickup Artist book, and then I read his sequel to it, where he realizes that much of the way he'd chosen to live was wrong. You know, he becomes the best Pickup Artist in the world. He then tries polygamy, realizes polygamy is actually not the right approach and doesn't eat happiness, and then decides to monogamy. And generally, when I think about all the things that are worth it in my life, they come at a sacrifice. There's something else I have to choose instead. If I want a six-pack, I can't choose waffles every day. If I want waffles, I don't get the six-pack. And so the six-pack itself is in fact just a story. It's a story of sacrifice, of discipline. It's a story about who you are, and that's why it's perceived to be valuable. I think, for me, a relationship is valuable because it's a story of commitment and all the other things you said no to to say yes to this. That's part of what actually gives it its intrinsic value. And the six-pack is valuable because it's hard to obtain. That's why we give it value. And the story is the same. Yeah. They're hard to obtain. They're difficult. It requires work. Exactly. And you've got the temptations, whether it's a chocolate cake or a single person, or maybe not even single. But you need to really have a clear set idea on what you want, and again, to lean on your values. And it's interesting to say about the book, the game. You realize in the first the call to action wasn't so much a system, but a belief in a system. And there is every chance that the systems I've put in that book might not actually hold any weight. But if someone believes they will, they could end up working a bit like the game. You tell someone this is how it works. They have full faith in it. And it's an interesting one that some people just need to know that it can happen. And for instance, I talk about the link. We spoke about confidence and anxiety. Confidence and inspiration also sit on a parallel with each other because to get inspired by someone, what we really do is getting confidence from seeing it happen. So you think about someone like Joe Rogan, started off with being audacious. He then inspired us by allowing us to feel more confident about the chance that that could happen. And there are two trails that people go with this. And this was really interesting when I wrote about it. People see your success, this success, the podcast. They go two ways. One, they're bitter and they fucking want to hate you for it. Or two, they're inspired. And you, without knowing it, are projecting confidence into the lives of hundreds of thousands because you're showing them it can be done. I think it was Nelson Mandela that said, no one believes it's possible until it's done. And a good friend of mine, Lucy Lord, she bought me a little card that had it on it and gave it to me and I stuck on my window when I first got to Sydney. And it's so important that people do try their hardest in devil's life relationships because without knowing it, there are going to be friends, even your group of six people in that group, that you're inspiring them without even knowing it. And inspiration doesn't mean you have to be the best relationship in the world, but you're showing people it works. So I think that the buck doesn't just stop at sacrifice. It also, my parents would have inspired me. My dad said the key to a happy marriage is accepting you're wrong even when you're right.
You talk a lot about dating in the book at different times. Chapter six, you talk about dating apps again and your relationship with dating apps and how you've had kind of like an on off relationship with dating apps. What I was thinking about writing my next book, one of the topics I was going to write about was modern dating because it appears to me that there's a generation that have kind of been caught in the technological transition almost. So, you know what I mean? It's really a very big topic. When I was writing the book, I was thinking, "Fuck, this isn't a dating book mate. There's going to be a lot of married people reading this." And I say to them two things, I go, "One, there might be something in there that doesn't change your life, but it could fucking change someone else's." And even if you don't have many friends, you can instill that in your kids or whatever it is. And dating is such a big topic because it is actually an incredibly big pain point because people either don't have the confidence required to meet someone or they might not have the confidence to leave someone. And when I spoke about the sunk cost fallacy, people remaining invested in something purely based off their previous endeavor, whether it's time, energy, resources. There are so many people out there that if you ask them why they're with their partner, they give you the amount of time they've already invested in after them for four years. Yeah, they were through our way. So, you're already given people confidence to leave a relationship. And if you think you've got professional life, home life, and health as three things, a lot of advice we need to give people is around dating and it's been maybe three years since I've touched alcohol on a date because I realized how much alcohol skews the dating scene as well. And even my girlfriend won't mind me saying this, but it got to the point where I would drink to kill nerves before a date and you might meet someone and straight away, "Look at my car, this isn't going to work." But then three drinks in, you go, "Oh, kind of all right." And then before you know it, you shagged a stranger on a weeknight, you hung over at work and you put yourself off dating again because you know that when you first met them, you didn't want that and the next day you did and you're painting, dating in a negative light. And even how I met my girlfriend now, I would say to people, "Let's meet and do something, whether it's going for a swim in the sea, going for a walk, have you got a dog, trying to get a coffee?" And I actually like the idea of moving with someone. The two places I find the most organic conversations are driving and walking. Driving when you're not sun facing each other and it's not quite so interview-esque, people really open up. And they're also in a place that's very relaxing for them. And when you go for a walk and there's movement involved, I feel it feels less interview-esque. You say to me, like, "Let's remove dating out the context. I want you to sit with a stranger and drink alcohol with them with a small chance they'll be compatible." I'm like, "No, imagine, you know, that's ludicrous. I don't want to do that." But when you break it down again, like the fear and the security is whatever, okay, for the date is too much, what about getting an ice cream at the beach? Okay, that's something I can do. And as long as you're not trying to lose weight, doing a swim on a Monday, a nice cream on a Tuesday, a coffee on a Wednesday, people think you're a bit promiscuous. But, you know what I mean? Then you can get more dates in, and again, we're going back into my marketing analogy. Surely seeing five people in a week for 20, 30 minutes each is going to be better for your general building of prospects than it would be getting smashed on a Thursday night and shagging a stranger you're never going to talk to again. So even the way people perceive dating can be hugely changed. And you talk about dating apps. There's one in London. It's called Thursday. Yeah, I know. Where was that when I needed it? Because there's so much small talk on social media where, oh yeah, what are you doing this weekend? I like that idea, but it's giving us one of many walls we can hide behind, because dating is difficult and it removes, sorry, I've got boyfriend, fake numbers, which I must have given my number wrong. People are hiding behind that and confidence isn't like an award. It's not like a trophy that I give you to go on your wall. Well done. See about it. You're confident. It's more like fitness where if you stop training it, you'll lose it. And you'll lose it a lot quicker than you probably would expect. So people don't realize that with so many things they're paying into this bit like fitness, bit like going to the gym or going for a run. And when you put up this massive stop, like I'm going to use dating apps, although some people do find love and meet their forever person on there, without realizing it, they are reducing their ability to train that area of them. A bit like when you maybe don't do work for a week, you go back and sit in front of your laptop, you're like, how does this work again? So there is a negative definitely that goes on with the positive, like Newton's laws, where you've got all this convenience on one side, you're definitely brooding weakness on the other. What is it that you, when you know that someone isn't going to fulfill what they say they want to do, what are the cues of that?
How do I help my friend that isn't changing? (50:07)
Like, I was just thinking, because I'm thinking about a particular friend who continually says they want to go to the gym and they continue to say they want to change their life. But there's just no, there's been no change in like 10 years. And as a friend, I'm getting like exhausted by, you know, sometimes I'm like, I talk about it a lot in the podcast with when I have psychologists and stuff, and I'm like, am I overstepping my mark for even wanting to help them? It's a difficult one. I'm the same where I've actually found myself turning into an asshole. Yeah, I don't want to be an asshole. I'm not really with my friends because I feel like maybe there's that point I'll get to where I finally will click. And then I realize I'm actually ruining the relationship a little bit. I'm like, my friends and I resenting me because I'm trying to help them. And yeah, I had a bit of a, not falling out actually, having a chat with a friend. And he said to me, "It's all right for you." And we were living together at the time. And I said, "Well, I didn't live with someone who had a fucking million followers when I started my business." And I said that to him and I said, "When I was starting out as a PT, I didn't have any friends that I could lean on to do stuff." And I was trying, I said, "I'll do anything you want for you to start this business. I'm here for you." You can have my Instagram for a week and promote your business, whatever it is. But then you say, yeah, the talk and the actions don't always end up. And then you get to a point where you're like, "Do I want my best for them or do I preserve the relationship?" In that situation, what do you think the blocker is? Belief. Belief. And they want it, but they don't really think they can do it. Confidence? Is that similar? Yeah. And they portray confidence in some areas of their life tremendously. But I think the main thing is belief. I think they want to believe they can do it, but they don't truly believe it. And unfortunately, action must come first. And you must actually prove to yourself that it can be done. And that requires a lot of work without any gratification. People don't realize that you say about everyone knowing how to lose weight on the outside. It's almost like a macro cycle, but really the micro cycle is the tiny habits in between. So someone can go, "I need to eat less and move more, but let's say that's nuanced." Really, we dive that down. We go, "Okay, let's go no food till 1 p.m. Let's go two big meals, maybe one snack, whatever." And then we go, "Okay, 10,000 steps a day." Although that does a tribute to the macro, the big thing that's happening, we still must give them the small steps, whether it's with a business where you say, "You know their big macro strategy is to post them on social media." But the micro is one post every day answering someone's questions, doing this, doing that. I think that if people's first stepping stone to where they think the need to go is too big, they'll never take the step. And what I do as a coach in many facets of my life is to make that first stepping stone so small, they have no other option to take it. Super interesting, because what you said there, the start of that was about how, in essence, people want evidence in order to start, but the truth is when you start, you get the evidence. And I see that a lot in people, and people coming up to me saying, "I've got this business idea, they'll come up to me in the gym all the time." And so I've got this business idea, and then you'll hear the next thing they'll say is all the excuses that they've put in front of them starting. And I really mean that. It literally is like, "I've got this great idea, I think it's going to change the world." But, and then they explain all the things they're imperfect about timing, or funding, or "I just need to wait for this, or this, or whatever." And really underpinning all of that is a lack of belief. And like, you're right, like when I started, I'm sure when you started, I didn't have evidence. I didn't have sufficient evidence that I knew what I was doing, but I gained the evidence, which resulted in belief from stumbling forward in a very messy way. For some reason, a lot of people need the evidence first. And we have this as well with imposter syndrome. And some people rebuke imposter syndrome, but we need to realize that every single person is going to feel like an imposter. You get someone macho going, "Ah, not me, but we will." And I like to point out to people that you will at some point be an imposter objectively, even being a parent for the first time. You have no previous experience bringing a child into the world. So the beginning, you need to pretty much lie to yourself and go, "I'm a good parent." And then after three months, and your young baby or child hasn't got any bruises on his head, you're like, "Well, I've got evidence. I'm a good child." You know, he didn't fall over and hit his head on the table or whatever. And the same in any endeavor, your first podcast you did on Diary of CEO, you would have had to say, "I'm a good podcaster with no evidence that you are." But then a hundred episodes in you go, "Oh, fuck." "I'm actually all right. You are very good, by the way, as a podcaster." I think I just acted like one. But then again, you're being the person you need to be. Yeah. And that's a massive part of confidence as well. The first thing that people need to have a real clear vision on is who they need to be. And that was the first thing that projected me from not being an inherently confident person, showing the sweat patches I had from the last episode. And I'm not trying to masquerade that fact. I'm not trying to hide it up or be dishonest with people. Instead, I have so many internal conversations with myself about who I need to be today, because we do need to become a persona in certain situations, like being a father for the first time, like doing your first business sales pitch, like starting your first podcast or your first day as CEO when you get promoted for in a business, you might go from director to manager director. There is an element of you having to be an imposter, but you have to take it upon yourself with beliefs that you can do it, because you can't get the evidence that you're good at it before you start.
Key Concepts To Enhance Confidence
What do you need to work on? (55:40)
If I spoke to your girlfriend and I asked her, I said, "What does James need to work on? What would she say?" Ooh. Oh, yeah, nice, I have patience. Interesting. I have a very active mind. And I'm actually in the process of trying to arrange getting ADHD tests as an adult, because people I know that have been diagnosed in their older life, say it's really benefited them understanding how their mind works. And sometimes I get so excited of doing things that will please me. I have blinkers on to other people, whether other people want to relax right now, or other people, you know, don't want to be in the room while I'm filming content or whatever it is. And I feel that sometimes I need to be more patient and go, "Okay, here's the idea. Write it down and do it tomorrow." That's one of the things that it's only after I've done it where I think I had no consideration for anyone else then, because I created a pain point in my head that I wanted to action that. I always break down our personalities. And this could be a really weird way to think of it like a tribe. You know, whether we've got lefties and, you know, people on the right, whether you've got aggressive, people are calm people. We're part of an ecosystem that we need the audacious people that, you know, are going to be impatient and do things. We need the critical thinkers and people that are more logistic with that. But if you look at the 16 personalities, none of those personalities are confident. Confident isn't a personality trait. You've got to beta, entrepreneur, all of these things. So people need to appreciate that even though it's an ecosystem, we all need to be vastly different. Confidence doesn't sit as a personality trait.
Building confidence with evidence (57:14)
It's almost like a set of values that each and every person can have, because some things that we have are predetermined. Like heights and yes, height can be influenced by the amount of nutrition you get growing up or whatever. But ultimately, it doesn't matter if you're introvert, extrovert, whether you're patient, impatient. Everyone really conflences your almost set of beliefs you have surrounding something based on previous experiences. I could get you the most least confident person ever. I'm a shy timid set here. I go, "What you like a drive in?" 93% of people say they're above average at driving, which doesn't make sense. This is a statistic. Human beings are massively capable of being over-confidence machines. Most exoneration cases are from faulty eyewitnesses. So whenever anyone's exonerated, I think maybe 70% of the reasons why from faulty eyewitnesses. If I said, "Was that guy wearing a red top?" Yeah, it definitely was. So we do have the ability to be over-confident. We're just not utilizing it in all the areas of our lives that we should. That kind of brings me back to that point about evidence. When you said the thing about driving, because if I've never crashed a car, I think I've got evidence of being good at driving, but then another facet of my life, I might not have that evidence. I'm really trying to understand that point about evidence. Is confidence just a result of the evidence? We do subjective evidence, whether it's cracked or incorrect, that we've gained in different areas. If I'd crashed my car every day, I could be really confident on stage and on podcasts and in dates and whatever. If I've had loads of positive reinforcement in terms of evidence there, but really uncomfortable in cars. So in part of the book, I come up with my own theory with this. I say that we must take into account that the history of someone will have an influence on how they perceive the world, but that doesn't mean it's fixed. So you might have asked some people on a date and never got a successful way face-to-face, but that doesn't mean you're doomed forever. You might go, "Oh, my ability to sort someone to get the number. It's just not that good." Or how many people have you asked for number three? It's not something fixed that we can never develop. On the other side of things where people will be overconfident in certain scenarios. It's also the availability bias turns into this as well, where we make decisions based on the information that's available to us. So I had a fun deep dive with this where people have a fear of flying. Much more people have a fear of flying than they do a fear of driving. But driving that same distance as far as fatality is much more dangerous. Your chances of dying, driving, are tremendously higher. Shark attacks again in Australia, from goes, "Oh, you go in the sea. It's really dangerous." I go, "May, just like so many times more likely to drown than you are to get bitten by a shark." But no one's getting in the water being afraid of drowning, and that is the biggest cause of death. I believe on Bondi Beach, where I live. So much of what we perceive the outside world to be is really created and curated by what's available to us. And our friendship circles are massively, you know, influencerable in that as well. Even you having three out of six of your friends that don't believe in monogamy, that's going to influence your availability bias of what you think is capable in a relationship. There's so much more to the topic of confidence than just your history.
Picking your passengers (01:00:20)
It's also your current and who you're with. I guess even that friendship circle or those, you know, that is a form of evidence as well. Like if my friends are telling me that I am a useless scumbag, whether they're saying it directly or just with a facial expression, that is adding somewhat to my self-story, which is this formation of evidence I have about myself. And that could lead me to be pessimistic in my endeavors or optimistic. Are you saying to like the advising people to chop these people out of their circles? The term I use is picking your passengers, where if I said you're going to drive eight hours tomorrow, that's one thing. But if I say I'm putting someone in the car with you, that's something completely different altogether. And for eight hours, you would be so meticulous on who you go with. I'm sure that if it was someone you didn't really get on with, you'd be like, come on, just get in my driver and drive them up. You know, your space in your car is so private to you and important to you. And again, even when you are traveling around or whatever it is, having people with you that are going to drain your energy becomes almost like a cost. And by going on your own or with someone better picked, you're going to be able to improve your productivity or sense of the way you see things. So we do need to appreciate that people we surround ourselves with are either going to be a headwind or a wind in ourselves. They can be the neutral lot, but we must take note of that. And I'm not saying that if anyone calls you any issues, get rid of them, but you need to weigh it up in the long term. Because if you're with someone who's got a pessimistic outlook on life in the world and they're not going to change a respect of how much you help them, they will hinder your net position. So the values of how much your net position is important to you and your family and people around you, you might have to make the decision to let that person go. In the book you referenced Jordan Peterson.
Utility of deprivation concept (01:02:02)
You talk about this utility of deprivation concept, a word, a phrase I've never heard before. Please explain it to me and why you felt it was contextually relevant to this topic. I went down a rabbit hole and Jordan Peterson, you know, I don't agree with everything he says. That's the term of 2020. I mean, you know, you're like, "disclaimer, I do not agree." Yeah, yeah. But I do agree with the majority of things he says. "A masturbation is something that we kind of just, you know, porn and only fans were kind of like, "Oh, you know, let people live." But, you know, there are some only fans models being murdered by their fans, whereas some of us might think, "Oh, it's good for society." We've got porn where men can access more naked women in an hour than a man could ever access in a life 20, 30, 40 years ago. That, again, Newton's laws are opposite reaction. That's going to be doing things to people. And if I'm in a bar and I'm like, you know, I really want to talk to that person again, I'm using a data mask. It could be anything. If I go home and masturbate to some really hot people in porn, I'm going to be like, "Oh, no, I'm just getting another beer with my mates." You know, so having that utility of deprivation, and if you abstain from, and I'm not saying I'm not anti porn or no fat or whatever they call it, I'm just saying to people to consider the implications. If you're someone who's lonely and you're single, could abstaining from masturbation improve your net position? Fuckin' probably. Because you're going to be in a position where you can't just get the gas out, the release valve every now and then that suits your purpose. Because even some people are getting desensitized to sexual intimacy because of the amount of time they're spending much in porn. That's not good for anyone. Imagine you get to 40 and the idea of actually fucking someone doesn't seem as good as the idea of watching porn. And this is something, especially with young people, realize the reality of having sex when you're 16 and what you've watched on porn is vastly different. So we cannot say that this is just a net benefit or a net positive thing for people. So the utility of deprivation is to appreciate that sacrificing some things in your life has a positive effect. To stop drinking, for instance, will have a net positive in other areas of your life. To stop eating junk food or at least reduce the amount or reduce your adiposity of the amount of boy fat you have, there is a utility to depriving yourself. Although porn is great, fast food is great, and all of these things, although that's great, there is a utility and a benefit to depriving yourself of them. Have you deprived yourself of masturbation? Masturbation in general. I'm in a healthy relationship, so I haven't really got the time to do it, as I did before. The urges are there sometimes, don't get me wrong, because it's also a form of escapism. You know, people might fantasize about sleeping with other people, and I think that if any... You haven't got the time to do it, that's bullshit. No, but like, yes, that's bad as bullshit. You're right, that's my... I'm kind of trying to fill the gap there with like some kind of defense. You could probably do it now when I wouldn't notice. No, you said not to make the table make a noise. So it's one of those things where, you know, I'm not saying make it illegal, get rid of porn, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that we need to take note of the conveniences in our life. I completely get that. I'm just asking from a personal perspective. It's the thing that I've been thinking a lot about, because I'm in a relationship as well, and I do believe that my intimate relationship with my partner will not be as good if I masturbate all the time. I, my desire won't be there. So if I masturbated at 9pm, and then I got in bed with my partner at 10pm, I'm going to want to sleep. And especially if they... You've somehow misinterpreted where you're at in the day, and then an arm comes round and goes, "Hey babe." And you're like, "Fuck." Yeah, so there'll be a lot of female listeners that can't appreciate, to the fullest, then, what it's like to be a man once you've ejaculated, and they call it post that clarity and all these things. I'm going to be absolutely slammed for saying this. But it is a change in psychology. Like, instantly, there's no other way that you can experience it. Again, the hot-cold empathy gap. When you're horny, you can't imagine not having a sex drive, and when you've not got a sex drive, you can't imagine being horny. But, you know, it's one of those things where we just need to take it into consideration. And for someone, if I was to sit opposite, someone today and go, "Could your life be better if you stop drinking as much?" They say, "Yeah, you should probably fucking not drink as much. Could your life be better in your dating life, be better if you stop wanking to porn?" Yeah, well, maybe stop wanking to porn, or at least do it less. I think my entire life would be better if I stopped wanking to porn, or do. Because I think I'd have a better relationship. I genuinely do. I think you would look forward to the intimacy way more. If you knew the only way that you were going to get it was with your part, I mean, there's me saying masturbation is intimacy. But you would look forward to it a lot more. If you weren't getting the releasing the valve in your hotel room while you're in London, promoting your book. I agree. What did you have? Cameras. You're right. It's one of those things where it's a complex topic. I'm not coming in from a position of expertise. When you said that, I thought, "I've never heard it put so succinctly that there is a benefit to abstaining from things that you like." And Livicking, exact same philosophy, he goes, "We don't eat liver because we like the toast. We eat it because it's good for us." And he's like, "No one likes training, but we do it because of the toast." I'm like him. He's like he's in the room again. But yeah, so it's one of those things where we must appreciate some things, pure net benefit aren't going to benefit us in the long time. Now, if you're in a relationship and you're masturbating, I would say that maybe isn't as severe as being single and masturbating because being in a relationship and say you masturbate here and there or you have a long shower and enjoy yourself, that's one thing. But if you're single and doing it, you're preventing yourself from going down the path of doing something you need to do, which is to be more proactive in meeting a suitable life partner. And again, as someone said, I'm brainwashed, this guy's not going to be brainwashed or whatever. At least if you're in a relationship, you're not hindering your potential quite to the extent of inaction on the side.
What is your goal? (01:07:46)
What is your goal? Do you have a goal in terms of your life when you think about what you're trying to achieve right now from being here, from what you've done over the last month? What is it you're trying to do? I got to shortage this morning about quarter to seven, couldn't get coffee. So I'm walking down the road to try and find something and I ended up going down the road and a lady just said, thank you. And I said, what for? And she goes, you changed my life. And I was like, thank you. I was talking to her and she started crying and I get very awkward. I get awkward when someone gets me like a birthday present. When people are like, oh, get the cake out of my heart, fuck's sake. Even at Christmas, it feels weird to be given gifts. I just feel very awkward and I feel like me just going, thanks for that. Isn't enough. So now I find myself putting it on like, guys, you didn't have to. That's fake. I just, it weirds me out. So when people compliment me in real life, I get very awkward and my friends laugh about it. They're like, you know, relax, mate. She's just saying, thank you. And then she started crying and I was like, what have I done? And to me, this is still a very, very strange thing that a stranger would cry seeing me when I've never met them, spoken to someone on the phone or messaged them. So from that interaction, it's apparent that there is a net positive effect for what I'm doing. And I do take pleasure in that, even though I do find it incredibly awkward. So for me, that small interaction there kind of pays into this pot that still crusade I'm on of trying to eradicate bullshit and I'm definitely roughing up some people on one side, but on the other side, I'm making people's lives better. I think, fuck, this, it makes me feel good. That's the selfish endeavor. I'm helping people because it makes me feel good. But I'd like to continue that. And at the same time, I live a great life. You know, it sounds really cliché. People go, I have something that other people will never have and that's enough. And that's how I feel all the time. So yeah, it's a bit crazy.
The worst day of your life (01:09:40)
What was the worst day of your life? 13th of March, 2017, I went to, I was in Sydney. I'd been there. And personal training in the UK did well and good money. Lived in my parents, moved out, moved back in for a bit. My mum and dad were heroes for me. When I was doing the long hours and you have to do, I remember someone saying, as a personal trainer, get your first thousand hours on D about because once you've done that, everything else is easy. I just focused on that. And it went really well. My mum and dad helped me. My mum would leave leftover food for breakfast. So I'd literally be eating like Yorkshire Piddin' and most potatoes at nine o'clock in the morning, cold out of the top of where. And then I'd come home from rugby at like nine, thirteen evening. My mum would be like, "You go to bed." So then when I went to Australia, that's what I wanted to do again, just face to face personal training. But I went into a gym with 32 other personal trainers. Dyran, who's listening somewhere here, was the only person that introduced themselves to me at 32 PTs. Whether it was because you saw a struggling or the fact that I was English, he was just a nice guy and he was like, "Hey, mate, you want to get a coffee?" And I pissed off so many of the other personal trainers by prospecting so hard on my first day that one of the trainers said, "If you talk to my client again, I'll take you head off." And I was like, "Wow, this is a competitive gym." And for the first six weeks in that gym that I met Dyran, I was failing. I was not creating a client base. I was doing 25, 30 hours of PT a week in the UK. I moved to paradise and I was struggling to do six hours. And this is a crazy thing now. I'm in Sydney and people go, "Oh, James, I love you stuff." In 2016, no one loved it. I couldn't even get people in for a free session. I would say to people, "Hey, mate, can I give you a couple tips with the exercise you're doing? They're black now." And so I've come from this stage of my life where that was demoralizing because at least if someone told me to fuck off when they're doing a PEC fly, in my old gym I could go into the PT room and have bands with other PTs, we'd pick ourselves up and go, "Oh, don't talk to him. Mr. Grumpy Garts doesn't want any help." Even though I can't contract his chest or whatever. But in this gym I kind of had nowhere to go. So on the 13th of March I sat in an area called Australia Square and my two housemates said, "How's it going?" And I was like, "Not good." I was like, "I was thinking about the fact I might have to move back home to my parents and I've just moved into paradise." The week before I had to borrow about 500 pounds off my dad to buy sofa. I still have that sofa now. And like, being 27 at the time, I'm actually in my dad and I was going to pay palmy 500 quid so I could buy a sofa and some of the IKEA stuff. I was like, "It doesn't feel good because I had everything I wanted in the UK. I was doing well. I went to follow my dreams and then suddenly I was borrowing money from my dad at an age where I shouldn't have to." And that was the point for me where I was like, "I need to do things differently." So there's a street called Pit Street. I walked down it and there was an office works. And I went into office works and I bought a whiteboard and some markers. And it was only 2pm in the afternoon. I was like, "I'm done. I went home 3pm." 3pm in Australia is 6am in the UK. So I set up a tripod, got my iPhone. I didn't have to edit, didn't have to record. I had to do a speech for 3 minutes. I had about 3000 followers live on Facebook with the use of whiteboard. The first one got maybe like 100 likes and I was like, "I've got fucking viral." And I decided that I was going to do my 6 hours of PT, try the best I could, which wasn't even enough to survive at that point. But then I was going to go home and do everything I could to build an online following and to build an online business. And that was in March. By May, I left the gym, slud to pay rent for a year. But I had one remaining client. I made more money staying at home than I did going to the gym. And I had one client and she said to me, "She couldn't afford to go to a festival." So I said, "Instead of paying me $120, which is like 65 pounds." I said, "Just bring me a gift." I like training you. We have funds. So she come in, she was like, "I got you a Lulu Lemon hoodie." So it's sick. Cost less than the PT session. So I'd go in, I'd skateboard in, and I would literally just go in to train this client for free, but she'd have a gift to me. And all the other PTs were like, "Is your birthday?" I was like, "I don't charge money to my clients anymore. I have an online business." But if it wasn't for that day where I literally had the lump in my throat when I was messing with my mates and I was like, "I'm not good at work. I'm failing a PT business, which is the only reason I came to Australia." If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have got the whiteboard. I wouldn't have got the markers. And I wouldn't have gotten home and got live on Facebook, which just so happened to be the beginning of a compounding effect to build a following. It was then 50,000 followers I bought a camera, learned how to edit terribly. My first video that I ever filmed without an iPhone was one that did an aloe vera. I didn't know how to wet the camera. I didn't know how to edit properly. I did one long piece that I put on Facebook. I was like, "Aloe vera? Isn't that fucking sombre? Well, you're drinking it for a time, that's all you're an idiot." And although that was not even that bad, no one died. But in the same respect that all wins feel the same, all losses come through the same. So it's not competition. If you sell a business for $5 million and someone else sells one for $500 million, you don't get a different dopamine and serotonin. You're not on a new berserkage. You're not waking up like, "Oh my God, I feel amazing." But the same with pain. For me to struggle in my business, which is very important to me, someone might go, "Well, yeah, my dog died." And I said, "Well, we're both fucking sad. We're both going to be in a competition." But to me, that was really one of the times I was like, "This is shit." But I'm so grateful to the version of myself back then that took action from that. Because one of my favorite quotes in that book was from one of the most famous martial artists for a time called Hips and Gracie. And he goes, "Losing is not the same as being defeated." And that was massive. He said it on my podcast where he goes, "You can lose, but if you turn up and you go again, you've not been defeated." So if someone competes in jiu-jitsu and they lose a match, that's cool. If you lose and you never compete again, as far as I'm concerned, you were defeated that day. So for me, social strategy, whatever it is, if people can appreciate whether it's asking for a number, asking for a pay rise, start in a business. Losing is one thing being defeated is something completely different. One of the quotes you said in chapter three in the book is the key to confidence is being happy to lose. I thought that was really, really simple way of saying a lot. People seem to correlate confidence with success, but that's completely wrong. Confidence is much more of a relationship to failure. And I stumbled across that by accident with the door knocking. I was completely fine. Someone told me to fuck off knocking on their door to sell Empower. I was like, "Cool. One in 100 is a sell. That's one of the 99." So, you know, it becomes that point on the PT, even on the floor, trying to help the guy with his pec flights, even telling me to fuck off. I was so fine with that because I knew I'd have to talk to finite amount of people to get a sell. So, when people can be truly happy with losing, not being happy with being defeated, very different, then you build a sense of confidence. And if we all imagine our friend that's got the most confidence in the world, that's beaming with it all the time, if something doesn't go right for them and they fail, how much does it affect them? Often not a lot because they're not caught up with failing. They're caught up with what or how many times they would have to fail to accomplish success. But if I've got a self-story based on this, because back to one of the points I raised earlier, based on the fact that when I was eight years old, I did public speaking on stage. And it went so badly that when I got off stage, all the kids on the playground abused me, one of them threw an apple at my head, you know, the girl that I was dating with my little playground relationship dumped me. When I grow up, my self-story around the consequence of public speaking, failure, will be trauma-centric. And so for those individuals, presumably confidence is much harder to attain in, if confidence is evidence, you've got a pretty big mountain of evidence to overcome with positive evidence in order to change your belief. And that's why I'm trying to understand the role of trauma in confidence and belief. So what I would say to this is, if we can try and develop a sense of gratitude towards these inadequacies, because those inadequacies, even from eight years old public speaking, show you the path to progression. Without understanding and really dialing down to where you're inadequate, you can't have a path. And so many people that are kind of lost in life, they're like, "I don't know what I should do in my life." Cool. Well, can you identify something that you're insecure about and can you work on it? Again, I'm insecure about how I look naked. Can you work on it? Yeah, then fucking work on it. Again, I think it was Simon Sinek who sat opposite you and he goes, "Passion comes as a byproduct. Not reason to start something. It's a reason you remain invested in something." And people need to appreciate that passion may not exist in their life right now, and it might not exist for another five years, because you might do another career for two years and you fucking hate it and then you do another for three and you love it. Three is in, you feel passionate about it. So if you're five years away from truly feeling passionate about your work, what can you do today? You can work on your inadequacies. Whatever it is. And it doesn't have to be this huge mountain of, you know, "Oh, I'm going to ask a supermodel on a date." It doesn't have to be that. You don't have to double your salary asking for a pay rise. You usually need to do something that you could do to develop your inadequacy.
Applying Confidence Building Strategies
can someone build confidence today? (01:18:50)
Would that be your tip? Because there's going to be people listening and I can almost know sometimes when I'm recording this podcast, the way that I decide what question to ask the guest is I just go down the lens. I go through the lens into the person that I know is listening and I know that there'll be a Suzanne walking her dog this morning who's got a confidence issue as it relates to just herself and her life generally. Maybe she might characterize it as low self-esteem. She struggles to take action against the things that she calls her ambitions. What is the actionable place for Sue? If there was one actionable thing to take away from this, what would that be? What does Suzanne do today? I'll be taking this one from Tim Ferriss. I'll fully credit him. Fine. We'll cut that out. There's an exercise online which is very popular in asking 10% discount on a coffee. Everyone's really attacked this because they think it's about the discount. It's not. It's about looking fucking stupid. The next time you order a cup of coffee, you're to ask for a 10% discount. Not because you expect to get one, but because it's a really fucking uncomfortable situation. In many cases, you're asking someone who can't give you discounts completely out of your control. There are people around you and it's just a weird thing to ask. I wrote the chapter. I'm in Sydney and I thought, "I'm a fucking hypocrite if I don't do this." There's a little cafe near where I work. I was like, "I'm going to do it." There's no one there. I was like, "Sweet. No one's in the queue." As I get there, it got to the point where I just didn't get served. Then there's two people behind me. I was like, "Fuck, don't do it." I was like, "Well, it's going to feel very difficult right in the next chapters of the book feeling like a fraud." I was like, "Can I get a 10% discount on my coffee, please?" She just looked at me like, "What?" I was like, "I'm such an entitled little prick right now. This is how I must see." She was like, "What do you mean?" I was like, "Can I get a 10% discount?" At this point, I was like, "This is the most uncomfortable I've been." I was like, "I would rather go out 5,000 people in a crowd, no nothing pre-organized. I'd rather do that than do this situation right now." She turned around behind and they had a stamp card where you get your 10th coffee free. She was like, "You buy 10, you can get 10% off." Then I walked away. I was sweating from that. I realized why it was such a great example because it's not about the discount. It's about putting yourself in a situation that makes you feel very uncomfortable. When you leave, you realize, "Why did I create this fast? Why was I sweating? Why did I have adrenaline? Why did I have sweat patches from such a simple interaction of being uncomfortable?" I felt very accomplished. I'm wondering, when I got back to writing, I felt invigorated. I'm never going to use that stamp card. To me, I'd rather not worry about the card and pay the extra for the coffee. I was like, "Wow, what else can I do?" I only did it as an exercise to help me with the book writing process. I was like, "Wow, I get it. I get why people would tell other people to do that because people seem to think people are paying a lot more attention to us than they actually are. Mark Manson, he said as his favorite quote on your podcast, "People wouldn't care what other people thought of them so much if they realized how seldom they do." I had Google seldom. I didn't know what it meant. It is little and not often. I was like, "Fuck, that's a really good point." There's been studies on this where people turn up to class late. They think everyone's looking at them. They are students at the end if anyone came in late. The proportions were much lower. Even people that wear t-shirts with embarrassing characters on it, they think that half the people they interacted with would remember and the percentages are much lower. We seem to think that we're in the Truman Show in every single action we take, that the world cares about us, but they don't even notice we're there half the time. The chances are the people I was petrified of behind me didn't even listen. They were too busy. They were on their phone checking TikTok. The person behind probably just thought as a weirdo and never remembered my face again. Maybe you inspired them. Maybe. Maybe they're going to go do it again. There are little things like that, or at least if you have something in front of you that is really petrifying you, is there some way you could break that down into an actionable step? Say, if someone out there wants to express their opinions on topic, maybe they're a physio, maybe they're a PT, maybe they're an investment bank or a mortgage broker, their petrified have put in their opinion out there because they're worried about what other mortgage brokers or PTs are going to think. They're worried about the people that are never going to give them money. That's the fucking craziest thing. PTs are petrified about what PTs think. How many fucking PTs sat in your consult? How many? Oh, yeah, I'd like to hire you as my PT. Could they post something? Because something is better than nothing. Is there, they don't have to be controversial. Is there one step they can take? People can identify that one small step, if it's too big, break it down. I just don't understand why people can't set themselves that mental exercise. I think the most amazing thing about the coffee example as well is the fact that you actually got, you found a path to getting 10%. It's funny because so many times I reflect on my own story, just asking a question was actually the catalyst. That was the inflection point in my life where everything changed and people don't have the confidence to ask the question. It sounds like such a trivial thing, like when you're just asking for 10% on coffee. But for me, that was so profound that she was like, "What, what?" But then if she turns around and actually opens the door to 10% off, you think about that in your life generally. You talk about it in the book about asking for a pay rise or asking for a promotion or asking for whatever. I think if you zoom out on your life and you are the type of person who develops the habit of asking, your life will have a completely different trajectory the further you zoom out because I can tell you the pivotal moments in mind where I asked a simple question and it seemingly changed everything. You think about how things compounded over time. The compounding moments were these moments of asking for something which most people would have, you talk about personality types in here. You say the need to achieve or the need to avoid failure. I think a lot of that is kind of interlinked with what we're saying here because I've always had the, I feel like the need to achieve has outweighed my need to avoid failure. So I'm much more likely to ask for shit from people, especially when I started out, just email a guy, "Would you invest in my company?" The weird thing, which I don't think I ever talk about, is the first email I sent became my first investor. And I bet your relationship with him saying, "No, it would have been fine." But I had nothing to lose. I was shoplifting pizzas. I was stealing pizzas to feed myself. I'd ask him, "Are you more of this guy?" and asked him for 10 grand and he said, "Yeah." It's crazy you say that. Just when you had before about asking the question, I was visiting in Split. They have these inquiries, so they have these like waterfalls and you go out in like minivans and you go and explore them. Usually, we did yacht weeks, so after we were like dying a little bit, let's go to a waterfall, do something wholesome. There's a guy on our laptop at the back of the minivan. And I was like, "What are you doing?" And he was like, "I have an accountancy business in Miami." I was like, "Okay. But what are you doing here?" He was like, "I'm working." I was like, "What? You're working on a laptop from Miami right now?" Nah. And I was like, "Be an inquisitive." And he goes, "Can I recommend a book?" And he recommended the book for our work week. And I got home and I read through it. And there were some things that just didn't apply to me at all. But then the one sentence summarized exactly every single emotion I'd felt for the last year and it said the opposite of happiness is boredom. And within three weeks I flew to Australia one way. That was my inception moment. A book recommendation from a random guy on a minivan in Croatia sent me to do what is arguably, "No, it is the best single decision I made in my life also." And I don't, I look back now and I'm like, "Whoa, the universe, the butterfly effective." I had picked a different seat on the minivan. I don't know where I would be today. The opposite of happiness is boredom.
The opposite to happiness is boredom (01:26:28)
So sometimes when people experiencing almost like a bit of malaise or they're not experiencing happiness and it's full emotion, they think that, and this is only one spectrum of it, they're not sure of the emotion they're experiencing. And for me I realized, although I was successful in the UK and PT and I was bored, I wondered what this weird emotion was, why I wasn't feeling the same motivation to go to work. I wasn't enjoying the same transactions and I realized that my growth had shunted without realizing because I was comfortable. I was earning good money. I was the highest paid PT in my gym. It was easy to just remain there. Were you lacking a sense of purpose? Probably. Looking back now. But I was meaningful purpose. Like, you've got a purpose, you know, going to the gym is a purpose, but like, meaningful purpose where it really has intrinsic meaning to you. You think it's a worthwhile endeavor. The way I feel now, I didn't think was possible when I was younger. So when I was 27 and made this decision, I didn't know that I could have purpose in that respect. I was very happy just being a PT in the gym. But I never realized, I'd always, up until this point of, I'd gone 26 out of 27 years, never earning enough money to really get by. You know, I'd never really succeeded in business. At 27, this is the first time I've actually accomplished anything. All my jobs and relationships before I'd just been filled out. At 27 years old, I'd done nothing remarkable with my life whatsoever. Rugby career, average, grades, average, job performances, average. At 27, I was actually excelling in something for the first time in my life. So being bored was a very strange emotion. I couldn't decipher. So what is this feeling? Because I'd never succeeded at anything really. I didn't think it was possible to be successful in bored at the same time. And then, flying to Australia, I was never bored again, and I haven't been since. I think a lot of people are successful in board. You know what I mean? Successful in the context of someone else, of the social definition of success, right? You're not truly successful, I think, if you're bored. But you are in the eyes of maybe your parents that wanted you to be a doctor. And now I look at you smashing it as a doctor. But you, you know, but you're. You're bored. Another tough thing to take into account was the fact I was servicing about seven hours a day of PT, which is like seven one to one meetings. And I mean, it's quite hard because at least when we do a podcast now, if it's two hours, we can go hard for these two hours because we know there are going to be millions of hours listened to. But for me, that one hour I spend with a client is just one person. If we were to record this, and only one person would listen to it, you'd be like, "I'm not sure this is really cost efficient." So those seven hours a day, although I had a purpose in those lives, it almost got to the point where I was like, I could be helping more. And that's why I enjoyed doing social media, or that it didn't fail for the first four years. And that's the purpose piece, though. That's the, that's, it would be even more meaningful and worthwhile for you to do, to do more. And people say this now, they go, "Would you PT someone for two thousand pounds an hour?" I go, "It's tempted." But that one hour I could spend making one video that could... I get that all the time. People say to me, "You should be like a life coach, or you should do coaching sessions." And I'm like, "Yeah, but I get to do coaching sessions on here by bringing on like, you know, people like you and Simon Sineck and whoever I bring on. This is the coaching session." And millions can listen versus one on one. And it almost seems like a bit of a bit of a waste, not no disrespect to my clients and before they were the people that enabled me to sit here right now. And I'll be forever grateful for them. But it did get to the point where I was like, I almost take more happiness from helping thousands than I would want. And the financial implications are obviously very different. But it's amazing to see a video where so many people, the video might take me 15 minutes to make an edit and put out. I still, I do my own editing. It's probably the happiest moment of some of my days. I love the creation phase. Like, I've had an idea, it's been born, I've recorded it, run to my room, I'm editing it, getting all perfect. And then I put it out and I checked the next day and I'm like, I can't comprehend the amount of people that might have benefited. And especially when something gets a lot of views. And I'm sure, say you put this podcast out. I'm not sure I did this the other day. I was watching England play rugby. I was in a stadium with 50,000 people. And I was like, there's a lot of people here. And if someone asked me to go into the middle and be like, James, he's a microphone, chat shit. I've lost lots of people. My story views were a quarter of a million the same day. And I was like, how is this real? How is this real? And when you think about the amount of people you can talk to, I can't comprehend it. What would you say to those people that are currently bored in their lives? Sometimes my biggest fear is setting my sights on a mountain where I could reach the summit. And I think some people haven't realized they've reached the summit. And it's very important that you get to that point and you set a new height to accomplish. So again, I was talking about Jiu Jitsu. But for me, that is something that will never be finished. I will never conquer that. And it doesn't have to be martial arts for people with it. There should be something that you move away from your business because someone can take away your business, someone can take away your social media, someone can take away everything, but they can't take away that. And having something where you know you'll never master it, I think now I've discovered that I'll never be bored. And I love that because if I break my leg tomorrow training, I can teach. And if I can't teach, I can study. And if I can study, I can pass on the information to other people. I feel like stagnation is like my biggest fear. And I think a lot of people just haven't realized that they're there. So they just need to set their sights on something, anything. No, it's interesting that everything you've said resonates a lot there because I realized at some point, maybe when I completed the first set of goals I had at 18, that the only goals worth having in this phase in the next chapter of my life were those that are incompletable. So like every facet of my life, the best goals I have the most intrinsically fulfilling are those that I know I can't complete. So I post on my Instagram the other day about the gym every year I wanted to get a six pack for some of that was the goal. You know, it would maybe last four months and then I'd fail. At some point, my goal became consistency, something that I can never really complete. It's something that I can achieve every day, but a goal that can't be completed. And it's the same with this podcast. The reason it's so enjoyable is because there is absolutely no end. There's no conceivable end in sight. It's the journey itself and it's the process that I think is going to be rewarding. And then I tried to change all my businesses at one point when I started reading about Simon Sinek and Infinite Games and Finite Games. So I said, what would I have to do to create a business from top to bottom that was designed to not have these goals of like, let's be number one or let's make a hundred million, but was infinite and it completely changes everything. And then it has a really impact, a strange impact on how you treat people as team members. So you start designing the organization to be sustainable in every way. That is where I'm at in my life now. It's trying to fill my life with these incompletable goals because completed goals let me down. You know, I said about the ANSI climax. Seeking inspiration from people that have done it from our last conversation, I didn't realize how much our conversation had impacted me until I got home and I was like, I'm not producing a good level podcast. I was like, I need to get proper microphones. I need to invest in better cameras. I need to do a better job editing. And then your social strategy as well, just every facet of it, I was like, I was inspired by you doing better than me. And that was something that I, three months later, I went, fuck, sitting down with you. I was like, that really like rub shoulders in a way that benefited me. And I was like, it's one of the first times I really felt the impact of what even just sitting and talking to someone can do if you're in habits. And I found it such a shame that some people won't be inspired by other people's success. I feel like it's a shame that so many people see success and see as a reason to be bitter. And yeah, for me, it was great. I left feeling for a start. I think you forced a lot of people that didn't like me to listen. I know a lot of people would have gone, why the fuck? Steven sat down with him. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And they've grown, probably listened to it. And I got a lot of people message me going, I thought you were a dick.
The last guests question (01:34:33)
We have a closing tradition on this podcast, as you know, of your question, funnily enough, has been left by the living king. Oh, snap. I didn't think about that. When you said he was the last one on, I was like, oh, that's really cool. I was like, I kind of would have liked to have met him and just to be in his order, not because I'm a fanboy, but like, I always look at him and I'm like, I want to know how he smells. He smells bad, but I'm only saying that because he said it. So he walked in and said, by the way, I smell bad because I don't use any geodron. But I don't actually usually tell people who's written the question, but I'll make him exception today. What is the hardest? Mama nervous. It's a question I feel like is, you know, when you're in an interview, like ready to get a job for like the last question, if you want to get the job. What is the hardest thing you've ever done in life? Your right of passage. I'm going to try and answer this. That sounded like a pussy. I'm going to try and get a bit of passage. Hard of seeing him. I've done. All the things that come to mind are like jokes I can make, like putting up with Dyrin's disorganization or something, you know, but I've got a feeling about serious answer. He talked a lot about this concept of your right of passage. So it's hardest moments in life. He sees them all as a right of passage for getting somewhere else. The only real thing that I would say has been hard or even noteworthy would be the ability to fall in love with repetition of dull tasks. It sounds like a really weird thing to say. It's the only really painful thing I've ever done in my life really where there are things you need to do every day consistently for years without any form of, you know, instant gratification and evidently not enough people have that ability. And there have been so many days where I've just not wanted to do anything, but you do it anyway. And you kind of fall in love with these very small minute repetitions. And it's the only thing that I've ever really found hard in my life. And it definitely sounds like I'm coming from a point of privilege. I feel like I've done a disservice. You probably expected a lot more battle harden people. I wish I could say it was a tour of Afghanistan or working in a war during COVID or, you know, saving someone's life, but I probably haven't probably done the UK dirty a little bit there. Those small disciplines you're talking about though, those small things where, you know, we all have them every day. What could be as small as just going to the gym, avoiding eating something that's tempting, whatever those small disciplines end up defining us over the long term as one of my favourite books, The Slight Edge, describes what is driving those small disciplines on a day to day basis. Why are you doing those small things, those small repetitions if there is no instant gratification? I think one thing is difficult to credit yourself with stuff, but I've always been very good at seeing the long time benefit of short term actions. And, you know, for me, even little things, I've got a strange insight on life where so many people are focused on doing things now for a better life later on, where I'm completely inverted. I'm so focused on having a good life now. My life isn't that stressful. I always should buy a house or buy 10 houses. And for me, I'm like, it'd be good financially, but it's stressful. And for me, I know if I turn up and do these little things every day, that future life, future relationships, future family can benefit from it, something that my parents have definitely done. My dad commuted into London for 50 years, the same business every day. It's about an hour and 25 minutes from where we live. They're on back every day. He never pulled sick days. He was never lazy. My mom was also incredibly consistent with the upbringing of me and my sister. And I look back at the amount of sacrifice that they made short little things like putting up with my behavior or my dad going to work on a train every day. And I think he only really ever did these things, not for himself, but for people that didn't exist yet. And it's like confidence is predicting success in the future. We can create success in the future by doing these small things. So I think it's definitely stemmed from that where it's not so much about me because I'm happy now. But if I keep doing these things, I can create happiness for people further down the line. We talk about privilege as well. We could talk about any form of privilege, whether it's racial, economic, whatever. We need to take some ownership that the reason someone like me can take and experience privilege now is the fact that people before me were long-sighted with their goals and ambitions and the people before them were as well. My parents made very smart decisions for me to be able to go to Australia at 27. That's a privilege for some people. They have family members that rely on them. They have professional, if you're a police officer, you work in a hospital. You don't have the luxury of just leaving your precinct to go on a jolly to the side of the world as a PT, I did. So yeah, I think I do the small things now so that in the long term, in the future, someone else can reap the benefits that I did of them. I have to say well done and thank you for writing a book on this topic because it is a topic that so many people. I think I'm right in saying that confidence is the single biggest topic that I'm peppered with in terms of questions. People are trying to figure it out because it is this great inhibitor of all they believe they can be. It is a great inhibitor of so much happiness and health and fulfillment and all of those things. It was also one of the things that I did consider writing a book about one day. But after reading your book and understanding how nuanced and truthful and honest and appreciative of both sides of the coin, it is. I don't feel like I ever have to write a book of confidence again because I think you really covered it. So well done. Thank you. People are going to love this book for sure. Thank you very much. And you know that as well I think because I'm, I'm, you know, I asked that first question at the start about why you wrote about confidence assuming it was because of the, because of the fact you also get peppered in various ways. Even if, even as you say with those pain points, if they're not saying it directly at the heart of it, they are trying to figure out how to, how to achieve their goals ultimately by this word that they believe is, is confident. So well done. Thank you. Thanks for coming back here. I love these conversations. I'll do them over and over again just because half the time I'm doing it just to try and develop my own thinking. And it's also a huge honor that you even listened to this podcast. I find that really awesome. Because you're incredibly smart person. You're incredibly nice guy. And those are the kind of people that I love spending time with. So thanks James. Hope to see you again soon. If you'll ever come back on. And I hope this book tour goes incredibly well. Thank you very much. I am so excited to announce our new sponsor for this podcast. And that is BlueJeans by Verizon. For any of you that aren't already familiar with BlueJeans, they are a video conferencing and collaboration tool who offer an immersive communication experience that drives pretty unparalleled employee and customer engagement experiences. Me and all of my teams across all of my portfolio companies switched over to BlueJeans a couple of months ago. And we have not looked back. The best thing for us has been the totally frictionless experience. No glitching, no sound issues, no delays or any of those things that usually make virtual meetings really, really frustrating. We use BlueJeans anywhere on any device at any time. And it's perfect for my small businesses that just have 10 or 20 people to some of my bigger businesses that have hundreds of people. I'm a big fan, as you can probably tell. So I've been quite excited for some time to announce this partnership. And in the coming weeks, I'll explain the features and really why it's perfect for you if you haven't considered using or switching over to BlueJeans yet. But if you can't wait, head over to BlueJeans.com to learn more. Honestly, it's been one of the real sort of game changes in my business. Quick one. It's so crazy that in the last couple of months, I've had so many people tag me on Instagram, even on Telegram and in my Twitter DMs, in a picture of them starting their heel journey. And it's one of the most amazing things in my life that I get to do a podcast, which of course needs money to fuel. And I have a sponsor like heel who I genuinely believe is going to help every single person who starts their heel journey change their life. Because this podcast, the central intention of this podcast is to help people live better lives. And we get to sit here and I get to promote to you a product which has not only helped me change my life, but is going to help millions of people and is helping millions of people live a nutritionally complete life. It's such an incredible product. And for me, the reason why it's incredible is because it gives me my protein, it gives me my vitamins, minerals, it's plant-based, it's low in sugar, gluten-free. It does all of that in a small drink that tastes good. There are other products. There's foods, there's the hot and savory collection, many other things. But for me, this ready to drink is the absolute saviour of my diet throughout the week where I'm moving at such pace. Look, I don't want to labour the point, but if you haven't tried, you'll give it a try. And if you do, tag me, Instagram, wherever you try it, give me a tag.