James Smith: How To Create The Life You’ve Always Wanted | E120 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "James Smith: How To Create The Life You’ve Always Wanted | E120".
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I've spoken about quite a few things today that I've never really spoken about. James Smith, the world's fastest growing online personal trainer. But he's much more than that. Like a driving instructor, I should not exist in your life in six months. Why is it so acceptable for people to invest money into fitness professionals and still be there three years later? So if you do your job well enough, your client leaves. If people were truly happy, I would have been shut the hell up then. And I wouldn't have experienced so much growth from pointing out the inadequacies. I don't like people that presents a solution without education. It breaks me to think of the tens of thousands of people who gave up on their ambitions because they went the wrong way for advice. And when they fell the plan or don't finish it, they blame themselves. Where the hell have you come to the conclusion that you would not succeed following your passion? I just wish that maybe early on someone had said to be, "Okay, you're not doing well here, but this doesn't mean you're not intelligent." There is something else that you could do very well on. Quick one. Can you do me a favor if you're listening to this? And hit the subscribe button, the follow button, wherever you're listening to this podcast. Thank you so much. James Smith. The world's fastest growing online personal trainer. But he's much more than that. He's an author of three books, his third one's about to come out. He's unapologetic. He is outspoken. And he says it how it is. And that's meant that he now reaches millions of people online every single week. I had an expectation on James. I've seen him on social media. I've seen the types of things he says when he's on tele. But the guy I met today deeply self-aware, unbelievably humble, and so incredibly wise. And because he's so honest and straight talking, I walk away with some lessons that I genuinely believe will stay with me for a lifetime. You are going to love this one. Trust me when I say that. Without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett. And this is the Diaper CEO. I hope nobody's listening. But if you are, then please keep this to yourself. James, you've listened to this podcast before.
Personal Growth And Career Evolution
Your early years (02:07)
So you probably know that I tend to start this in place. I tend to ask my guests about their early years. But when I was reading about comments you'd made about your early years, one of the things you said is it's not much very interesting happened. Yeah, I mean, it's one of those things where I was like, there's so many things to talk about. Let's not go there. As a young child in school, didn't have a huge amount of friends. And I think that primary and secondary school, if you had to pick five people that are never going to accomplish anything in life, I would have been in that group of people. I was diagnosed with learning difficulties, which kind of been disputed. I remember Jimmy Carter talking about getting that laptop. And it's true, he had to see an educational psychologist. And at the end, they were like, James is reading and writing speed is very quick. We think he's just lazy. And throughout school, I was in the cloakroom. And they give you extra time and exams, which I didn't need because I was so bored. I'd be done in the exam 20 minutes before everyone else. And just sat there, not through being intelligent, but like I can't be bothered with this. And a lot of behavioral issues at school. If I look back at that, I almost feel like my brain was only functioning at 20% throughout the whole education system, probably up until college and dropping out of university in my first year. And you were adopted? Yes. This is an open topic. And even before this podcast, I was like, I wonder if any other high achievers are adopted. Found Steve Jobs, Jamie Fox, Marilyn Monroe was in the list. And I was trying to figure out if I could draw any, you know, relations to other people that have done it. I've even read books where someone on Instagrams like, oh, if you're adopted, you should read this, because it resonated with me. And I bought these books and talks about abandonment and senses of, you know, unfulfillment. I didn't really relate with any of those topics. So I think that as far as kind of dream adoption story, I ended up in the Smith family, you know, blonde hair, blue eyes, mum and dad still together now, each other's first girlfriend and boyfriend. So I was incredibly fortunate with that. Having come all this way in your life and learn a ton from the books you've written. And I know that's such an introspective process, but all the people you've spoken to, all the DMs you must get. Are there any sort of dots you've connected now that have made you realize that being adopted was in any way consequential to who you were to become? It's difficult. I'm still discovering it. You know, with relationships, I think it's a very interesting one. I've had conversations with other adopted people and they say to you, like, you become very attached to people very quickly, because, you know, it's a very strange thing, never seeing a blood relative before. So you might look at your parents and other people, look at their parents and, you know, uncalled. They see features. I've never had that. And you never feel like your parents aren't your parents, because I'm a strong believer there who bring you up. But then sometimes in relationships, maybe I'm a bit cold, maybe I'm a bit too intense. I'm always judging that and over-analyzing it. And people ask me as well, they're like, how do you think you're this way? Because you're adopted and suddenly you're overthinking a lot. And you're like, is it? Is it not? Is it something that's a big part or a small part? And it's very difficult to get answers for that. When you go through school and you go through, like, early, the early teen years, and then you've got people telling you, you've got a learning issue, and then they're giving you special treatment and all these things. At that part in your life, having, like, bounced around a little bit and not really fit anywhere in terms of the system, do you think in hindsight you were learning that you were like, not good enough? 100%. And I think that I definitely wore that for the next four or five years. But I thought the only place I'm going to be accepted is a bottom position in a corporate gig, 20k a year. I started off on 18 sales department. I'm going to have to cold call people and kind of work my way up slowly. So that's what I did for my early 20s. Worked in a sales department, 18k basic, then jumped to another one for 20k basic. I thought, well, I'll do this for five to 10 years, get to a management role, do that for five to 10 years, maybe get near a direct-to-ship role. And I think that's what a lot of people who have failed the education system think, that's what people do. Oh, I might try recruitment, which I also did for a year. And everyone said, oh, you learned good money, but you hate it. I'm on 22, I'm like, how can you earn good money and hate it? I did recruitment, it was good money and I hated it. So it was one of those things where definitely I do feel that if we paint people, when we see people get bad grades at school, we should have a more open conversation about, OK, you're not doing well at this. What do you think you'd be good at? And I mean, even in the last 10 years, don't play video games, there's no future in that. No, there is. Don't spend all day on your computer, there's no future in that. No, there is. So I just wish that maybe early on someone had said to be, OK, you're not doing well here, but this doesn't mean you're not intelligent. There is something else in a lateral pathway that you could do very well at.
What would you say to people that are climbing in a job they hate? (07:24)
What would you say to someone? And I imagine there's a lot of people listening to this now who are driving in their cars now in the motorway, because I see them upload the podcast and they're like driving, they're on the treadmill on Monday morning, etc. And they're in that job where, but there's that voice inside them that saying, you know what, you could have done more and you've got so much more potential. But they believe the narrative, the like corporate, just climb your way up some shit ladder. I have two answers to that. The first, so many people are hitting quotas, working for someone else's goal. So in recruitment, people got, I just don't think, you know, I'd be able to accomplish much on my own. OK, but you're doing something you don't enjoy and you're exceeding at it. You're excelling at it. You've hit quota for three years in something you're not passionate about. Where the hell have you come to the conclusion that you would not succeed following your passion? How have you come to that conclusion? That's ridiculous. Now, the second thing is, although this has been disputed, I'm a big believer and I'm sure you will too, in income, society that after you earn a certain amount of money, there's a tapering off effect. And it's very difficult to say that because straight away, people's defences, well, it's OK for you because you've gone past that, that curve. I'm still on the way up and I say to them, you're probably working your career for another 10 years because you think in 10 years time, you're going to have enough money to eventually be happy with your situation. What if that bet is wrong? What if you've just lost 10 years and you're not happy? What if I think the two people, there's two ways of thinking. Some people think it's an exponential return where they'll go through misery for long enough and then boom, they're just happy. I said to them, how do you think million years ago, you wake up out of bed like, "Oh my God, life is so good." It's the exact same as you or I can't wait to have a cup of coffee. And then the other one, it's more of a linear scale, where they go, "OK, 30K this much happiness, 40K this much, 50K this much." I say to them, what if in 10 years time you're wrong? 10 years is a lot more than 10 years between 30 and 40. 10 years is a lot more than 10 years between 20 and 30. Imagine always thinking the back of your mind that that bet is going to be wrong. And if you could fast forward to 10 years time and see that you made the wrong bet, how would you feel? Now think about that before you make a decision. Yeah, that's so true. You know, I linked up TV to publish a video with me the day and they put the title as like, "Money won't make you happy," which is not what I said, but I understand why they're doing it. We've got to get them clicks. And I saw the comments that said very similar thing. It was like, "Oh, it's easy for you to say." I'm like, "Well, it would take someone that's made a million to tell you that a million isn't it." I couldn't have told you when I was broke. And I also have no incentive to put you off getting rich. I'm just telling you, I'm letting you know that up here my happiness didn't scale proportionate to my wealth. To a point, so as you say, 75K per household, apparently it starts to plateau. Just letting you know. I always say to people, it's very important they understand this. All wins feel the same. All wins. Yes, true. You don't get a new berserk charge on dopamine. The way our brain chemistry works, you know, OK, pleasure serotonin dopamine. You don't get a 1.7 surcharge because you're wealthy. So, you know, when you secure a deal at a middle level, high level, or, you know, stock exchange level, it's the same dopamine response. And it's one of those things where people go, "Oh my God." OK, yeah. And buying a car, whether it's a Lamborghini or a brand new golf, people cannot comprehend that that win feels the same. And I love to tell them, I'm like, no, it exactly is. And when people set goals and I don't like the conversation, I need to fit this. But they say, "I want to lose 10 kg." I'm like, "Lose 1 kg, damn it." And then celebrate that because that feeling of stepping on the scale and accomplishing something is the same at 1 kg as it is at 10. You've just denied yourself a long way before you're allowed to be happy, which I think is what human beings are really bad at. We won't let ourselves celebrate wins at the level we choose. Not only do they feel the same, we get to determine where those wins are. - Did you find that success wasn't what you thought it would be?
Did you find success wasn't what you thought it would be? (11:24)
- Well, this is interesting because, and people don't believe me when I say this, I never intended for this. I never had dreams of being, what I would consider it wealthy. And people will watch this and they'll go, no, no, no, the other guy's wealthy. And I'll say, no, no, no. And from a subjective standpoint, I've been able to buy my friends and my family dinner without having to check my bank account for like four years. That's something that I didn't have for the 28 before it. That's wealthy, right? And it's one of those things that I never really wanted. If I'm completely honest, my goal as a personal trainer was 10 clients, three sessions a week, pay me well. I don't want 30 clients doing 30 hours, I want 10 that see me three times a week. I'll be in London or I'll be in Sydney. If they skip a session, it's 150 pounds an hour, they won't mind because they're good high level clients. That was it, that was the goal. What happened? I became process orientated probably 2015, where on social media, for the first time, investments don't really interest me that much. And this is another crazy thing people hate me about. The social media investment did. I will post something useful every day here for years, 10 years I've bought. And in 10 years time, hey guys, here's a book. Ching, make 20 grand, whatever. And as I was posting into that email marketing, I wrote email marketing emails for 10 months before I made a sale. If you'd met me nine months in, you would have thought I was fucking insane. Hey James, where you doing? I'm writing emails to who? 300 people. What about my online PT program? How many of them buying it? I'm done so far. Social media, three years in. What are you doing? I'm posting every day. How much money have you made? None. I'm your fucking mental. Nowadays they go, okay, fair play. But the momentum that I wanted, I just wanted a life where I didn't have to see clients that had seen me. I just wanted a life where I could post about a book and money would appear in my account. And after doing that for three, four years, I feel like the table's hot and I enjoy being at the hot table. I'm rather than looking at an exit strategy. I've created a life that I love where I send a marketing email, market my brand so I can get people to email, manage my academy, promote books and write them. I have everything I need. I'm on a wave that just never seems to end. That to me, I mean, Coldwell, one of my favourite authors, becoming is better than being. I never wanted to be anything in particular. So there's no gold medal depression at the end. Remember that from your point? That's not there for me because I've never set a never-est peak. I've never set that. So this wave that's moving for me, I'm just happy. Do you know what? I joke around all the time. I'm like, if this ends tomorrow, what a ride. And I don't think enough people see it that way where I know you've had the pleasure of taking friends on private jet. I did that once and I was like, wow, if I die tomorrow, they'll be like, rest in peace though, hopefully they'll cry. He took me on a jet to work for one night. And if this all came crashing down, I'd be happy with that because I never set it. There are so many boxes who wanted to be heavyweight while champion, they never made it. They've got to go to the grave with that. I almost feel like there's a element of being unbeatable when I never set a precipice to reach. Yeah. I mean, Mo Gouda, which is one of my favourite podcasts I've ever done here, talks a lot about that, that, you know, unhappiness is in essence when our expectations of how life is supposed to be going go unmet. And he's there, they call him a happiness expert, genius on the topic. And even billionaires, they have expectations of their steak tasting like Japanese wagyu perfection 10 out of 10. So if it comes and it's a nine out of 10 steak, they are often furious. The fuck is this? Medium rare I said, right? Whereas you take that exact same steak, you give it to, you know, someone else that's on 18K a year, they'll be like that, because their expectations are lower and they're all over all standards, they will be over the fucking moon. Same steak, two different people with two different sets of expectations. It's interesting as well, wow. Next time you're at a table with people that are very accomplished, I noticed that the people that have experienced the steak that much, there's so much more involved in conversations, because that's the only thing that can interest them on that night. They've had tenor, and this is something that petrifies me, where sometimes I feel like, I want to be successful, but not too much. Because once you've eaten at every five star restaurant in London, like you say, you're standard to been set. Once you've dated 10 models, you're standard to been set. And I almost do feel sorry for sometimes the Bezos, the Bilzerians, you know, I think, wow, I'm like, what are you doing each day to excite you? And this is why, not to hijack the conversation, but Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for me, is like a nucleus of my focus, my attention, what I care about on a daily basis, because nothing can really impact that. And I will never be able to get to a status where, no matter who I am, what I do or what I accomplish, when I step on the mats, we get in belt order. For years at my old gym, we all wipe down the sweat after the mats, like, you know, black belts, get a geeze off when we do it. And it's so important to me that I know that for the rest of my life, when I can still train, I will never be too big for that. And I think that there are so many high achievers that love that connection to it. And I feel sometimes for people that are super successful, they're not getting beatings enough. They're not, for me, I can, I remember, did a business to business event. I flexed when I was there, I was like, hey guys, I was wearing a gold Rolex, which I actually just sold this morning. And I was there, I was like, hey, you know, here's what it's like flying first class, wearing no beastie, oh, you know, I was flexing on a business tour. Next day, went to compete, lost in the first round. You know, turned up, I was like, wow. It's like, thank you for that. Thank you, my weekend, I would have been taking off as far as you go, if it wasn't for getting beaten up on the Sunday. You know what, so many people have told me about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and the way they speak about it isn't like it's a sport or a martial art. It's more like a, like a philosophy for life, almost. It teaches you life lessons, and so many people have told me that in a row that I thought, you know, I fucking need to give this a shot. And I really enjoyed it, even though it was one, a one-on-one session, and I was in Indonesia for two hours, I was like, I need to do this more often. - You know, like marketing, social media, email marketing, you are gonna be awful for the first six months. You are. - But if people persevere through that, and again, I remember why I learned a lot of my business now, so I was in Victoria, I was in a double tree Hilton, I was in a room with 200 personal trainers. We all learned the same thing that day, and I remember the faces of the people in there, and I never saw them again. I've never seen them on socials, I've never seen them on Instagram or TikTok, anywhere like that. And I think to myself, we all learned the same thing, just not all of us stuck with it, through the painful times, where, in email marketing, you spend six months, you don't make money, in Jiu Jitsu, you spend six months, you don't beat anyone. You have to say to yourself, right, I'm happy to endure this, because I know come the other side, I can reap the rewards. And it's very difficult in this day and age to say to someone, let's do, we're gonna get you to do something where you physically are gonna be powerless for six months. - It doesn't sell well that narrative. - But then when you get through it, if similar to people, I love the email marketing analogy. Now, so many people in the new rich can send an email, and that's their days work done, because they persevere, they built the relationship, they managed to cultivate an audience who are ready for it, same with Jiu Jitsu, if people just commit to it, and let you say, when people talk about it, you're like, this isn't a coincidence. I drink less, I party less, you know, I have now ambitions of teaching my future kids, I have ambitions of teaching white belts, I'm gonna go back to Sydney, I'll say to my gym, hey, that no one wants the fundamentals class. So I'll have 'em, I'll have 'em, same with PT world. I never wanted to train athletes. I like just first time showering you as a housewife, and she has to make sure the kids are at school on time, teach her to deadlift, I was like, that's what brings me pleasure. And I think that I'll really enjoy teaching the white belts, and for so many people, they have so much that they are kind of working for in life, but nothing that's such a slow, gradual progression, like a martial art in the middle. - You've highlighted there one of the things that evidently made you successful was that commitment to consistency.
Why did you get successful? (19:44)
And like, I mean, you would have seen it in your social channels, because every successful person I've seen, and I speak to says the same thing, first couple of years, fuck all, then, I mean, that's the laws of compounding, it goes slow, then it goes really fast. You would have seen that. So that's clearly one of the things. But what else made you, 'cause there's a lot of people on Instagram giving advice, and there's a lot of fitness people and whatever else, why you, of all of them? - It's interesting where I think that having a conversation with me now, you'd probably assume, or you'd come to the conclusion, I'm different to my socials. I've always seen social media as a crowded room, where, you know, a podcast is where we sat together, driving somewhere for three hours. It's talk, just relax, let the conversation wander. But on Instagram, TikTok, whatever, I have 10 seconds to capture your attention. And I love the idea of polarizing people. I said in my first book that, imagine you invite me to a barbecue in Shoreditch, and someone talks about Formula One, like a fucking hate Formula One. Someone goes, "Well, I'll go." And like, "It just doesn't interest me." And someone's like, "You've bought him the first time, "and he's shitting on Formula One." 10 people at the barbecue, three of them, be like, "Do you know what? "I also agree with you. "I think it's shit." And they'll remember me for saying something controversial, rather than, "Oh, yes, good, isn't it? "Oh, no, something, yeah." So, you know, so many people want to get in line with an opinion that they're no longer remembered. So I took it upon myself, and it was almost by accident. I do my lives every day, I do videos. Then something would piss me off. And I'm not a violent person, so I would just channel it into a video. And it would get a lot more likes and shares, and I was like, "Oh, Dom, what's going on here?" So again, I would post 10 videos, and it would be the one where I was a bit more aggressive. And over time, I learned that there were certain things people wanted in a certain way. And it wasn't the six packs, the chicken and broccoli, the food prep. It was being passionate without compromise about different topics. And I do swear as a person, I am crass, I am vulgar, and I do make very inappropriate analogies for things. I put that out. Like I said, I only ever wanted 10 clients. I only ever wanted 10 clients. So if half the people that see a video hate me for it, that's fine, because as long as the other half is 10 people that would do business with me, again, I'm invincible. And I've always had that mentality that only need 10 people like me to make a living. And if I do those 30 hours at 150 pounds an hour, six hours between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., I can live a dream life and be wealthy, even though it's barely breaking 100 to 200 k a year, as long as I can buy dinner from my friends and family. I can be wealthy with 10 people. And people completely misconstrued social media for that. They got, "I need everyone to like me. "I need a million people to like me." You know, I first flew first class with 28,000 followers, and you don't need that many people to like you to do well. And I wish people could understand that because social media has become a popularity contest. It's not a popularity contest. This is a means of you getting people over the line to like you enough to do business with you. - It's so true. I did a lot of talking on stage where I was looking at people like Piers Morgan and Kanye West and Katie Hopkins. And what you've described there is what I've always said, which is you don't have to like these people, but the conversation orbits around them. Now your barbecue analogy there, by you saying, "Oh, the formula on his shit." Everyone then comes over to you. And the conversation is centered around James' opinion. And that brings attention to you. I said to my friends last night, 'cause I did a tweet and it's got 20,000 likes and it's like going fucking crazy. And everyone's talking about it. I said, "Listen, you're not gonna be able "to build a personal brand in 2022. "I said to my friends last night in a WhatsApp group, "if you're not prepared for someone to call you a CUNT. "If you're not willing to accept someone calling you a CUNT, "it's gonna be incredibly hard to get the attention you need "for the algorithms to turn in your favor." And that means in your case, and as I've seen from many, just being yourself, but there's a cost. - There is, but you can be selective with this as well. So if I have an argument against the keto diet, I don't advocate the keto diet. So if a load of people that is in the realm of the keto diet hate me, that's fine. I'm starting fire on someone else's property. Then I support vegan from an ethical standpoint, but I don't like this self-righteous, sanctimonious element of veganism, it's been hijacked. I've often said feminism, what a fantastic cause, hijacked by a few to give it a bad, sometimes bad rap. Veganism's the same, but then I can have a little bit of a cheap shot and joke, you know, satire content with a vegan. And suddenly, the vegan's rapping, "I'm sharing this, this is unacceptable." Again, I've started fire on someone else's property, and the people you've cultivated to like you, "Oh, that's actually really funny." Or, you know, so you can be very selective with who you pick arguments with. I did one about bodybuilding, where I said, "Hey, if you wanna, you know, "diet down for six months to show off your insecurities "versus someone else's, "cover yourself in fake tan and call it a sport, "you do you, all right?" Their bodybuilder community went mental, and everyone was like, "Is this guy stupid? He's a personal trainer? "I don't coach bodybuilders." Yeah, thousands of them shared my post. My following went up, and little did they realize it was their followers that maybe invested in them, but don't agree with their values. They went, "Hold on, I'm supposed to hate this guy, "but I agree with them." And now they're either on me, not someone else. Being selectively hated is brilliant, and now I even look to the comments section for new content. Someone goes, "James, well, when are you gonna "start training chest?" I'm like, "Hey man, when are you gonna start, "you know, stop going on people's profiles, "you don't follow to make content." You know, there are so many arguments now that I can see from the negative comments that I can then turn into content. So, again, it's one of those things where people need to appreciate there is a power in being disliked. And if I turn up an event that's supposed to be fully booked and it's not got bombs in every seat, I'm like, "Oh, I might need to reign it in "and really reconsider what I do for a living." But as long as the talks I do have people in them, as long as I'm still getting support for what I'm doing, I feel like I must be tiptoeing the line. And now, like I say, it's passion without compromise. I'm gonna say what I feel, and I don't care. I think it was Seneca, if you don't wish to be criticized, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. And, no, that's how I feel. - And are you being yourself or are you playing a character? - It's always caffeinated, James. You know, me when I've had three coffees, that's who people get. Behind the scenes, I'm a bit more relaxed. I'm quite happy to disagree with people because there isn't an interest in it for me. Someone walks past me on the street saying, "I love Formula One." I'm like, "Hey mate, come back here." - "You're fat and I hit Formula One." - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And the same again where, you know, I'm not argumentative away from social media. If I see people, you know, chatting hate about me, I don't get involved in it. I'm not really that person.
Joe Wicks rivalry - Fitness plans you disagree with (27:04)
- What about Joe Wicks? What about that beef? - Do you know what? - Studd, sturd the pot there a little bit. You said some comments to him about. He said there's some dishonesty there, regarding what he does. - So, this is something where I haven't gone back on my word, but that six months ago, I took the podcast I did about my flying. Not, I just felt like I'd been a bit harsh, you know. At the time, I've got 10,000 followers about my first taste of growth on social media. And like beefing rappers, you need an arch enemy, you know? You need someone to be able to go out so you can kind of go back and forth. I actually emailed Joe about four years ago, five years, seven years ago. And I emailed him and I found out that he'd seen one of my videos and I thought, "Oh shit, I never expect him to see it ever." I was posting content, I was like, "Oh my God, I might have heard some of those feelings." So I emailed him, I said, "Hey Joe, just let you know." One, I will be coming for you a bit, but two, you never get put down by people above you. That's all I said. And he emailed me back ages ago. And I continued the endeavor and there were still things that-- - What did he say? - Joe, coming back, I think he said something in the lines of he hadn't had an email like that before. It didn't stop me though. So there were a few things that frustrated me. One, I don't like people blanket prescribing solutions to people. I don't. And there's, I don't like anyone that presents a solution without education, you know, the teacher man to fish, analogy. So I had clients that were paying me, but also bought his plant. So straight away, there was a bit of a conflict. And I remember looking through the supplements that. And I was like, "Rashini, no acids, Lucy." And I was like, "Well, I don't know why you're popping these Lucy in pills for my protein, they're massive." Like a pelican trying to swallow each one. I was like, "In the short vegetarian or vegan, you don't really need this." Then the branch gene immuno acids. And I was like, "You don't really need to be consuming another six pills with this." And then I was like, "From an ethical standpoint, these people are very over-supplemented for jumping around the front room." Then there was the one size fits all plan. One of my clients was a type one diabetic who got sent it. And I was like, "Don't need that. This is not specialized for you." And the amount of volume that was being given to people is very easy to make people tired. This is what frustrates me as a trainer. I actually want to stimulate people in the gym, get them moving. And if there was ever a boundary of the maximum they can do, I want to come under that every day. A lot of people are stressed under slept, thundernourished, smashing people in their front room every day, I don't think is the solution out of this. So I picked some holes in the programming, picked some holes in the supplement issue there. But the main problem is this. People would have gone there, seen him on TV, GMTV, seen the book sales and gone, "This is my savior." And when they fell the plan or don't finish it, which I think a lot of people do, I think, I'd not say them objectively, they blame themselves. And this is what kills me. So many people, maybe hundreds of thousands of people, would have done a one size fits all plan, all doing the same exercise regime. I could not sustain hip training at 32 every day in my front room. It would break me. When they do eventually fall off that in the meal plan, cooking everything from scratch, which can't, I mean, we sit next to Hugh, that's a market that's come off the back of people not wanting to cook from scratch. When they fell that plan, they're gonna blame themselves. And the voices in their head are gonna say, I didn't want it enough, I'm not motivated, I'm not committed, I'm not cut out for this. I can hear my voice now, this is something I'm passionate about. It breaks me to think of the tens of thousands of people who gave up on their ambitions because they went the wrong way for advice. If people love it and they love cooking from scratch, this guy is probably the guy for you joining his plan, not mine, but it almost felt like physics. So many people went to something, it created gravity that other people went. And it's my feeling that they let a lot of people down. And if it didn't, I wouldn't have experienced so much growth from pointing out the inadequacies. If people were truly happy, I would have been shut the hell up then, and I would have just gone away and not existed on social media. So what's your plan? How does it differ? Imagine we have you the consumer, I'm selling you the consumer, the principal fat loss is a calorie deficit. The fact that we need to create an injury deficit. Just for anybody that doesn't understand, that means burning more calories than you're consuming. And it doesn't make it a simple science, but let's just say to people, like money in the bank analogy, if you earn too much, then you spend, you're gonna recruit money in the bank. That is what fat is, it's not from toxins, it's not from whatever you're led to believe. Now, everything in between those two, how it works in the person is a method. Keto, five, two, intermittent fasting, all of these are methods that dress up the principal for the consumer. It's almost packaging something for the person. With me, rather than giving them the method first, I put them straight in bed with the principal, and I say, look, this is how many calories I think you burn on a daily basis. I think you should try eating 15% less than that. Here's a protein target go away. If it works, we've hit it. If it doesn't, we're still too high. If you're getting away, we've really missed the market. This is how it works. Really educate people to all the things they need to go. Like a driving instructor, I should not exist in your life in six months, apart from the guy that taught you to drive. Why is it so acceptable for people to invest money into fitness professionals, and then still be there three years later? The PT model is almost flawed in some respects. If you do your job well enough, your client leaves. So, for me, even when my clients that I had faced a face for years, I was on gym for four years, I said, look, you're gonna pay me more than the rate that you pay anyone else, but in three months time, if you can't do this on your own, I'll give you your money back, because I should be, people arrive at fitness, like getting in the car for the first time, they're like, what the hell is this third pedal? That's a clutch, a clutch. Dad, what the hell's a clutch? I remember learning to drive. I thought there was a go and stop. And rather than just getting in the car and driving, I need to explain to them, we need this to change gears. The indicator must be done before we start to break. This is your merits. And the fitness world doesn't have that anymore. There needs to be some ruthlessness with this where I say to people, look, this is the education you need. You need to learn how to do this yourself. It's one of those things where I have a big problem with people monetizing and not giving that solution. You know, I think it's so important that we teach people these fundamentally so they understand, and I'm not an extremist. You look at me now, I'm just before downstairs, we were talking before the podcast, about have you been on the front cover of men's health? I was like, no, no, no, I don't agree with that. I don't think these are physiques that were obtainable to most men in our country. I think, you know, that's like saying, hey, you can't be happy to get a quarter of a million pounds. Yes, that's great, but most men won't get there. So how about we set the goal something more realistic? And Middleton, another one of your guests, a friend of mine, he got criticized for not being lean enough for the men's health cover. We got a guy climbed Mount Everest. You know, like, oh, sorry mate, you're not lean enough. You haven't shaved your chest, you know, recently enough. So it's one of those things where I think there's a lot of work to be done with not only teaching people how things work, but also in setting the finish line. So from entrepreneurship, the new rich, I think, is great because we have such subjectivity between how much money your business can make. But once you get the freedom to work remote and live your life, well done, you've done it. And I think that if someone, especially men, can get to the point where they're happy to go for a jog topless, you've done it. They don't have to be absent. If you can go for a jog topless or you can, you know, wear a pair of speedos on holiday, well done mate, you've done it. And I think we need to have that approach with fitness. - 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 gonna 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 gonna 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 savior of my diet throughout the week where I'm moving at such pace. Look, I don't wanna label the point, but if you haven't tried, he'll give it a try. And if you do, tag me, Instagram, wherever you try it, give me a tag. Anyway, back to the podcast. You're in the business of helping people change their lives.
Identifying traits of people that change themselves over just saying they will (35:52)
Hopefully, I guess that's, I'm guessing that's part of the goal is to help them become a better version of themselves. And a lot of people listening to this will have a friend, or they'll have a, I don't know, a family member, or someone that they wanna help change their life. What have you learned about those that actually do take the steps, commit, change their lives? And those that just kind of say it. And how do you, are you able to identify them super early and say this person's got no chance? Is there like a warning sign where you go, this person's just all talk? And do you give up at some point on people? - Face to face, I had to, because there was a finite amount of energy in which I could give people, and I had to sack clients. And I'm sorry, someone could take your slot, pay me the same amount of money, but I can make progress with them. And sometimes they come back a different person. The main thing I learned, the first book, not a diet book, and then I realized there was a precursor. And my theory is that, in my videos, in my content, I say fat people, I say obese, and I use the CUNT word, openly, but I don't think people are gluttonous and greedy. I think that, yeah, from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that if we're surrounded by copious amounts of adonic food, that we should be consuming it, because we have done hundreds of thousands of years, but people don't want to be this way. So I came to realize that so many people, before we look at calorie deficit, we need to look at other pressing issues. Do you like your work life? Do you like your relationships? Because if you come home from a work you're not passionate about, from a job you're not passionate about, and you walk straight in through the door to a relationship you're not passionate about, me telling you to eat less means doing less of the only thing you might enjoy every day. So there's a big life constructionist issue that comes up and actually I find as a PTR was asking this. I was like, you always moaning about your boyfriend. Why don't you break up? Oh, we've been together five years. And since now, I now know that's the sunk cost fallacy, whether making a decision based off the previous investment, not the actual reason if they want to be in a relationship. So with the second book, I was like, well, before we even get into this commitment, wanting it, do I give up on this person? I'm like, right, we've got Steve, repetitive, yo-yo dieter, sticks to the deficit through weeks, then he falls off. Okay, Steve, mate, do you like your job? You know, do you like it? Now, I've been up in there eight years. Do you like your relationship, Steve? Well, now I'm a Mr. Madder, and all the other way around. Sabrina's like, my boyfriend's a wanker, whatever it is. And I've come to realize that if we can help change those things in those people's lives, suddenly everything else seems a lot easier. There's a lot less boundaries, a lot less effort. So in a cheesy way, we almost need to address the foundations that people are building on, because if you haven't got this, and again, imagine you're in a job you hate on 50K, and you take a pay cart and start a venture with your best mate for 30K, you're gonna have less pleasure in your life, less expensive trainers, less private jets, whatever. But suddenly you have a job you enjoy, and if you're getting enough satisfaction between seven when you wake up and four when you come home, you won't need to get it from food. And then they drop a bit of weight, and then they start feeling better, and then they go, "Oh, you know what? "I could do a bit of muscle on this arm." So then they start going to the gym, and then they make friends there. So this whole conversation surrounding motivation, I don't think it's a positive charge of motivation. I think that too many people are carrying a negatively charged career, and a negatively charged relationship status. - So you view like a poor relationship with your diet or food as more of a symptom of negativity or lack of fulfillment or lack of satisfaction in other areas of your life. - 'Cause I've actually been there, when I worked in sales, and I ate phone calls. So it was the wrong job for me. I don't, even now when people call me, I'm like, "What'd you want?" "What'd you mean?" "You're right, I'm fine, too, you called me." So, and I used to get to work on stuff, peanut-teller sandwiches, two slices of toast, I wasn't even hungry, peanut butter and wine, and the teller and the other, putting them together, I'm having a 500 calorie, just a bit of toast, just to kill time from my mundane existence at my office. Again, there are so many people doing this, and in my time in corporate, I realized people are doing the absolute bare minimum to get by, and I always say to people, the second you join a big corporate business, they're gonna pay you the least amount of money for the most amount of your life. And if you don't construct how you want your life to look, they're gonna do it. And a lot of people don't like how that construction looks like, and then they wonder why they're feeling malays or depressed or disheartened, and it's because you let someone else build your life for you. And it's very important for people to unattach from that. And then, if they can, this is another thing where, I'm sure you'll be able to relate to this. Some of the best things that have ever happened in my life have come off the back of opportunities not going my way, and my back's been against the wall. I'll probably get a shot saying this, doing an event later on this year, at Sydney Opera House, which is mad, massive, which for me is an incredible, incredible feat because four years ago, I remember being so skinned in Sydney, living in a hostel, that I went to Opera Bar to apply for a job behind the bar. And they said, you have to have a qualification, so I have alcohol, I'm not doing this. I remember reading Tim Ferriss's "Talls of the Titans" on the ferry back to where I lived, and it goes, if someone put a gun to your head, would you work harder? I was like, oh shit. Yeah, I would. I would call up all my existing clients, I'd get referrals, then I'd call those referrals, and I'd close them for sales. I'd give them money back guarantees. I would quite literally just do a lot more. And then I came to realize, okay, I'm gonna go home and do that. And within five months, I joined fitness first, and then bought my way out of it. It's crazy that people are so afraid of being in this position where they leave a career that they're unfilled with, that they're gonna be stuck and lost. But anything, when you're back against the wall, you find another version of yourself that works harder and does more and puts itself into uncomfortable situations. And my favorite thing to say to someone is like, how many times have you let yourself down, really, in your life? How many times have you really woken up and gone, oh, I've really let myself down? And even if you have, you got out of it. And most people, they haven't. I know why the hell do you think you're gonna let yourself down now? Where does that come from? Where does that bullshit assumption come from? Probably the people you hang around with, probably the naysayers in your life that may be saying it because they wanna protect you. And so many people in that kind of world of just not fulfillment. And I always say, again, please do not mistake passion with being good at something. 'Cause if I get you to do anything for three years, you're gonna be good at it. Don't call that passion. You do recruitment for three years and you can close people, oh, yeah, straight air, FTSE 100, I'll get them top four, whatever. Doesn't mean you're passionate about it, it means you're good at it. And people really need to distinguish that. There's gonna be a ton of people listening to this now that are in that situation.
What do you say to people that are stuck in their job? (42:45)
They're on their way to a job this morning, that they don't particularly like. And but they're gonna say, James, I've got a mortgage to pay and I've got a couple of kids. And you know, you'll get this a lot of time 'cause I get it all, I get it every day. Got a couple of kids and it's easy for you guys to say 'cause you're single and you've got all this money now but I can't just leave this call center, James. I've got Timmy that needs to go to school and I need to buy his books for his book bag and what do you say to those people that are feeling like they've kind of built a wall too big to climb over? - It's a very difficult one. And again, I can never say or just do this because when I'm talking now, I'm talking to James of 22, similarly to how you would talk to yourself at 18. I can't talk to every age group listening to this podcast so I'll try to talk to the one I know best. But there's two kind of ways out. There's one where some people do need to make a risk because they may see no options now but where are they gonna be in five years? A lot of the time things get worse with time, not better in these situations. Unfulfillment, passionate existence, all of these things get worse. If your relationship is on the rocks, you don't just give it four years. Something needs to be done. Sometimes you do need to rip the cord. But to people who are genuinely past it because people did read my second book and go, "Largest can't do this." I said to them, "Well, okay, make sure your kids know this. "Make sure if there's one valiant thing you do, "it's full on the sword." And say, "Right, for me, I will sit out the next 10 years "but those kids every time I talk to them, "every day they're at the dinner table, "every step they make in life and steal that into them. "My dad said to me like my whole life, "he's just always said, 'You're a long time dead. "You always just draw it into me my whole life. "Every time I've wanted to do something, "it's gonna be a long time dead son.' And it helps me understand there is no time to dwell, to wait to see things out. And I think that again, that's one of the things that people don't think about enough. You know, we're all slowly dying. Such a weird thing to think about. People are, "I just give it a few more years." Don't have that. Time isn't on our side. Our existence as a human being is, if the universe could talk, it would laugh at the amount of time we have to live. And some people, again, what's the worst that could truly happen? You've got a mortgage call. Have you got enough to survive two months? Two months. And if you can't give everything to something for two months, maybe don't do it at all. Personal trainers as well, they say this all the time at my business talks. Oh, you know, they're doing minimum wage hours, six, seven pounds an hour, wiping down machines between trying to run a legitimate business and they're afraid to go alone. If I gave you seven pounds for that hour and put you on a gym floor and gun to the head mentality, you need to make a business where you're gonna wipe down machines for your whole life, the course they're gonna do it, the intensity, the audacity, everything they could give to people is gonna be incredible. I think it's baffling that people write themselves off before they even make the decision. And in some respects, them going, I've got kids, I've got a mortgage, I appreciate all of those things, but is this a bullshit hurdle you're putting in front of making change in your life? I could be wrong. I don't know, but it could be. They need to ask themselves that. I can't ask them that. One of the things you said that was really interesting, you said, "I don't feel deserving of my success."
imposter syndrome (46:05)
And I've heard you talk a little bit about imposter syndrome. Do you suffer with imposter syndrome? I kind of back out of it very quickly every time I feel the emotion, everything to me is just weird. It's just weird. People are myself like, "Yeah, "I'm like, this is a weird part of my day. "Let's embrace it." This is something that up until 27, no one ever stopped me for a photo or acknowledged my work. 32 now, give or take, 15% of my life. So for 85% of my life, that never happened. So everything to me, it's just, I joke around at the speaking events. I go, "Hey, I'm gonna get found out soon. "Until then, I'm gonna milk this for everything I can." I do feel it a lot. It's a strange one, especially at home. Like I got up my mum and dad, someone would say, "Oh, James, can I get a picture?" I now shop on my dad when he goes into London. We went to Twickenham a few weeks ago. And I don't particularly like going to watch sporting events anymore. It's cold, trains are so crammed, all of this. But if my dad's going out loud, I'll come with you. I'll make sure no one barges into you. Especially when people are exiting Twickenham, I'm like, fuck off. And then-- - Purple belt. - Yeah, yeah, watch out, mate. Here you go. And even I see it on my dad's face. He's like, but he doesn't, my parents don't have social media. They don't exist in that world, but I can tell they're kind of proud of it. And I was like, "Do you know what? "If my parents are proud of this weirdness, "I'll embrace it. "And I'll be happy to embrace it." But yes, it's just incredibly strange. It's again why I need someone else to negotiate or rate some what I get paid and speaking appearances, because whenever I even get in the invite for this podcast, I was like, fuck, you know. I was like, I hope I can keep up the conversation for an hour. It seemed like I have the biggest fear whenever I have guests on my podcast. I'm like, what if I run out of things to ask after half an hour? - When does that come from? That's sort of like that almost self-down and almost insecurity. I think that a lot of my confidence, not all of it, but a big chunk of it is a facade, an essential facade. I need to play the character. Confidence to me isn't about who you are, it's about who you need to be, it's about how I need to talk in this interview, how I need to present myself, the things I need to get passionate about. In some respects, when that fades, you know, I'm just a PT on a gym floor in Bracknell. I worked on a trading estate for three, four years and the craziest thing is I was happy. I was happy then. I wouldn't, you come meet me four, five years ago. Hey James, how's your life? I wouldn't go, you know, if I could do with a bit more money, no, I could do with, you know, an expensive watch. I was never like that. I used to ridicule my clients for flying business and buying Rolexes. I was like, what a waste of money now to my other friends, all night you should retry business. And yeah, I've definitely had a complete flip on that. I don't know where it comes from, to be fair, but to be honest, it's probably a fan. I spend a lot of time with my family and my friends. I don't really have any mega successful influencer friends. Everyone's pretty grounded and we all think that we're getting away with murder, charging money for things. So I think it probably comes from that. - But from what you've said as well, you spent the first at least 15 years of your life being indirectly told that you shouldn't aim so high and not much is gonna happen in your life, right? - It was when I first became a PT that has changed where I remember listening to podcasts, reading books, studying topics, and one day it clicked, I was like, I'm never gonna be in the best shape. I'm never gonna be the most muscular, never gonna be the most experienced. And I was like, I could be a good communicator because these podcasts I'm listening to are dull as fuck. I listened to a 56 minute podcast on caffeine. I managed to turn it into an academy module that was two and a half minutes, right? That's all they needed. And I thought, there's a gap in the market here and it becomes a snowballing effect where maybe even the same with yourself or at the beginning you were like, I understand the operational part of the business, I understand the investment. And when you see the returns on your efforts, you're like, oh, I'm actually quite good at this. And you get all these confirmations that occur along the way. And I think it's more that if I'm honest. I still struggle to communicate with myself that I'm an authority on things. I actually need external validation still quite a lot, which I've never really told anyone before. We've spoken about quite a few things today that I've never really spoken about. And even there are always little battles that can be won and lost. And some days I'm like, I do lose belief in who I need to be. And do you know what? Actually content creation for me really helps me with that. Because whenever I'm having a day where I'm like, fuck, do I really know what I'm talking about? I will just express something I feel wholeheartedly about and see how it goes. And when it fucking blows up, I go, oh, maybe I do know what I'm gonna about. Carry on. - That's a dangerous game to play because on the other end, if your external validation is moving you up, it's like impossible for it not to move you the other way. So if someone DM's doing goes, you are, you're a fuck. You don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Vegans are, you know, this and keto. A keto vegan is the best way to be. Surely that means you too, no? - It does. And sometimes if I do get a really harsh criticism, I don't take it from an emotional level. I take it from an objective level. I actually do this a lot. If someone criticizes me on something, I go, before I think he's a dickhead, he could be right. So I give him the benefit, the doubt, and I'll go to someone smarter than me. I'm like, just to double check. I'm right on this topic. And I think that's a good way to protect myself from it. Every time someone says, you're wrong on this subject, I don't go, "Hey, fuck you. "I've got more followers than you." I'm like, "Oh, fuck, I best go away and research this." And I actually use the little troll attack sometimes to reconfirm my position on something. If someone goes, you know, you swear too much in your content, I'm like, "I'll reflect on it. "Am I swearing too much? "Is this how I got here?" - Dangerous game to play that. Like, we all play it. I'm not pretending. I'm just playing devil's advocate to ask good questions here, but that, yeah, if you're relying on other people to validate you, then their words can also invalidate you theoretically. So do you struggle with that being? - Then I would just remove myself from the situation on the social media side of things. And I'd say it with my thoughts. And again, do you know what? I remember you saying this word just before we went live. Psychedelics really helped me with this. But psychedelics also got in my head a couple times. For people that don't know too much about psychedelics, I've always said to people, it's like therapy with yourself. You're not always the guy that holds all the answers, but you're at least the person that has the questions. I remember doing a magic mushroom trip. And one of the questions I was poised with was, "Do people like you for who you are or what you do?" I was like, "Oh, I'm in need a few weeks." - It's hard. - I'm in need a bit of time for this. Because I was like, "How many of my followers "actually know who I am?" It's my first offense when someone criticized me. I'm like, "You don't know me." I'm like, "Oh, if they don't know me, "what do they like me for?" I'm like, "Fuck." I'm still figuring it out. So I think that there's definitely a lot of conversations and internal dialogues in which I'm still breaking down. And that's another thing that people can't understand about psychedelics. Some of the things you're poised with in question can take months, sometimes years to unravel. It's one of the things with building an identity, isn't it? You then it's easy to start to believe you are your identity. And that's not always a helpful thing 'cause it can take you further and further away from who you actually are. And I think all the mental health researchers clear that when we abandon ourselves, because we built up a persona, then it can be very costly for the person we truly are. And I actually think that continual faking, from what I've learned from my guests, is really, really harmful. So it must be somewhat difficult, right? Like creating the separation. 'Cause you are not, the guy that I've met today is not the guy that I've seen on Instagram telling me that I'm a fat prick. Like it's not, these aren't the same individual. So how do you kind of disassociate from that? - I think Jim Kerry said something about taking the mask off. He goes, "depression is when you have to take the mask off and say, 'I don't want to do this anymore.' And for me, fortunately, it's three minutes a day on this person. So I was on TV, so I'm front of loads of people. But then sometimes what I do like is, I purposely, I call it a can't sieve. I do a post that catches all the can'ts in a sieve. And I sometimes purposely, as hard as I can, try and get people to unfollow me. With, I just say something brutefully honest, I go in as hard as I can, but the objective of losing a few thousand followers. 'Cause then I can kind of tighten the area, the remit of people which I talk to. And I remember in middle of summer, I was like, "This is shit." Just honestly, I was like, we're kind of out of lockdown, but we're not, still got to do tests to go travel. We're pretending it's the new normal, but it's not the new normal. And I just expressed my emotions without the facade. And no one barely even noticed. And I was like, "That's good. That means there's not this big transient period between. I am just in, it's not a different person. It's more enthusiasm, which I think again is a very important thing. Because like, I always say that my talks are between a Ted Talk and stand up. I need to ensure that I can tip toe the line of retaining the audience, keeping them in, entertaining the audience at the same time. So there is a requirement. Jimmy Carr, when you met him, you wouldn't, if you listened to that podcast the first half an hour, you wouldn't go, "Well, he's a funny fucker." You'd go, "This is a very intelligent person." So I completely appreciate where he comes from as well. For me, I don't think there's too much separation. I think you wouldn't sit with me now and go, "That's a completely different person." You would go, "Okay, this isn't Instagram James." - Yeah, it's a caffeinated, yeah.
Your experience with anxiety (55:45)
You said the word depression. There weren't other things you wrote about in your book as anxiety as well. And your own experience with anxiety. Tell me about that. That's something that... - Well, you sleep with people and they can say anything. That's one that creeps up when you're over time. Well, you can have, I remember once, waking up to a message saying, "Relax, this is fine, it's all being dealt with." But one of your ex-girlfriends in a Facebook group, community for months, has said, "Do you think it's okay if I make up a story about my ex? "I will take the money from the story and give it to my son." So we had that screenshot. We had that lockdown. So if it did go to the press, straight away we could have it taken down. And I was like, "Wow, I thought we were on good terms "ten years ago," or whatever it was. And that then gets your mind working. You go, "What if I rub someone the wrong way? "What if someone changes their stance on you? "What if I have a joking altercation with someone in a bar, "which they then misconstrued? "What if I genuinely want to be ignorant on a subject? "And someone construes that as a facetious attempt "to insult someone?" So there's a lot of anxiety that I carry because not everyone watching is watching you succeed. A lot of people watching you wanna see you fall and they're waiting at that very opportunity. And that is quite tough because there are gonna be a lot of people that are out to just not see me be happy. So that's where their anxiety stems from a lot of the time. You have the general life anxiety like, "Oh, I hope I don't get cancer this year." You know, one of those things. I've had friends that never made it to 30. So my rugby teammates that find a lump in the testicle on a Friday, both off by Sunday, dead within 10 months. And I think about that a lot. So I think it's important to have that anxiety as well. I'm not guaranteed to live to 60. You know, I'm not guaranteed to see my book release. So for the publisher's sake, I get it finished. So there are anxieties, but I work proactively to override them. Mark Twain. I've had many worries in my life, most of which never happened. So I think that I've got the wisdom, especially of Stoics, that these anxious traits are not new. They've existed for a lot longer than we could imagine. So you do carry that around. I get drunk, you know, or did I put something on the story? You know, I know that drunk James can say things, but I know he'd never do things. He's not inappropriate. He's not a groper. He's not disrespectful to women or any of those things. So I'm fine with that. But then I do carry this small amount of anxiety because the higher you climb, the further you fall. And when you feel like your life is a fairy tale, you hope it has the fairy tale ending. And you're like, I hope I'm not the one that, you know, this is going too well. So you're a gambling table. You keep winning on red. Eventually I'm gonna lose everything. I think about that a lot. So I think that's what keeps me straight. - How do you defend yourself from being canceled? What's your sort of philosophy for that? For me, my thing, and at Middleton, I think Riffham, this for me, Jordan Peterson, Riffham, this for me as well is, if I never can try to convince anybody that I'm something I'm not, if I never try and convince them that I'm like a really good guy, or that I'm like morally perfect, they'll never be able to call out contradiction. And really a lot of the time, people getting canceled, is because they try to pull the wool over your eyes about their like moral compass. And it explains why Jimmy Carkin sit here and go, I mean, this is slightly different because it's comedy, but Jimmy Carkin sit there and go, oh fuck, the over 70s, the Delta Verum wiped them out. Or rappers can talk about all the misogynistic things they talk about, whatever. No one's gonna leave any hate on their videos. Or in the, because they never gave us the expectation of other, otherwise. It's usually the people that, quite often it's the people that are our prime ministers or our politicians, or have inherited this moral high ground, that we go, oh, you had a Christmas party. - It's, I stand with very controversial opinions as well surrounding, I'm very pro-drug utilization. I think that, you know, I've got family members in the police force, I wish they were dealing with real crime. And I think that we could abolish a lot of drug related crimes by legalization, I think we should tax and we should quality control. I don't think it's gonna be a net positive society, but I don't think exactly right now it is any better. So with standpoints like that, and people go, "James, have you done cocaine?" I go, "Yes, have you done MDMA?" Yeah, last weekend, you know. I'll always be honest with people, and that does give you a drop off of followers, but, I can't say, I've got, I've got them out early so that they can come in, they can go, and that's not to be sexist, or to talk about female genitalia, that is to use another polarizing word. So I'll be transparent with that. Similar to Danny Dyer got caught in CCTV doing a line, and I was like, "Oh, it's just Danny." You know, that's what I mean. - That's what I mean. - So there is the anti-cancelable effect of that, you know, even when single, being very transparent with needs and wants through messages. So that if someone was to look through, you know, a trail of it, you'd be like, "Well, we've made it very clear." That was the position he was in. So I'm always trying to maintain an anti-cancelable thing. I haven't got TV, I haven't got radio. I've actually probably had 12 minutes of TV time in four or five years, I think, because a lot of TV networks, I want to get canceled. So if you were to pull the plug on all my media tomorrow, I'd probably see a 1% drop off and engagement. And, you know, I'm very honest with all my clientele, the people that really matter to me that book buyers, academy members and talk attendees, I don't believe that any of my actions would ever deter them from their interest in me, which kind of makes me uncancelable, you know? Yeah, and I'm not too worried about that.
Mental imprisonment (01:01:31)
- I've been thinking a lot lately about, like, there's a few types of imprisonment in life. There's physical imprisonment, you can put me in a jail. And the other type of imprisonment, which I think is probably even worse, is like the mental imprisonment, which is we're going to decide what you can think and say, and who you are. And like, I really don't want that. So how do I have to design my life to make sure that I never get mentally imprisoned, I never go to mental jail? And one of them is building enough resources so that even if you turned off my revenue streams, the ones you could turn off, I'm still good. The other is things like this, which is, this is my own show, don't select a Spotify or someone else, because then there is a guy that could pull the plug. And I've really started to think about this idea of like designing an uncancelable life so that you could be mentally free. In a world where we're all fucking virtue signaling and trying to fit in and be correct. - You know, in a little jail, I like that. - Like it is. - I'll turn that in book three. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - I'll have to roll up some race. We'll see if you can get it in the book first. - I think, yeah, you're incredibly correct. And I think that, you know, I don't have a huge amount in savings, but I think I could live three years on that. You know, I went to Asia for six months when I was younger. And in six months, I spent three and a half thousand pounds. - Yeah. - I wasn't staying in the nicest places, but I spent time there. So sometimes I'm like, "Hey, the world goes to shit. I got 10 years in Thailand. Let's go." I just changed a jitsu. My cosmene is in laundry, whatever. So I always do that. And actually, I wrote about this one in my book. So I remember, I ate in a steak restaurant in Sydney once on the beach and the waiter that served us a really nice guy, a young guy. And I looked at him and I went, "Oh, I could have your life, you know." You probably serve steak in the restaurant, probably get good tips for your Sydney. If I work six p.m. to 11 most nights, maybe five, six nights a week. I could surf during the day and get a dog and train jitsu. If I was to do that every day for the next 30 years, I would have a better life than 99% of people on the planet. So with the cancelable thing, I almost think like, if I was to get canceled, I wouldn't have to use my phone as much. You know, as long as I can get into a country that I genuinely love, I always say to myself, I'll open a jitsu dojo in a small town in Australia. I've got doorknock an experience. I used to doorknock for MPa. I used to have to knock on a hundred doors to sell gas and electric to people that already had gas and electric. How much easier would it be to sell jitsu membership? Hey, come down first, week's free, whatever. I in the same way, not only like to have the uncanceable life, I like to have a get-out plan that can sometimes be better than my current existence. So it's one of those things where I was like, yeah, I do think about that a lot and that's why your family trusts, isn't it? - No, exactly. - Fine. But no, I think it is one of those things where especially with dragons then, you go out on BBC, there is a expectation of who you are. And the mentor job you talk about, I experienced in the corporate world where I was in recruitment, high-end recruitment, and then said, what'd you get up to at the weekend? The truth was, I was an on a way bus to exit her plane rugby. And I got a dick of the day. So we had to do Edward Siderhans, where they duct tape bottles of cider to my hands. And I had to drink about three litres of cider, pretty much to break myself free. They put a bin bag around me and I puked in it for the most of the way back. I was at the edge without for dinner, my friends. And then having that same conversation there, and good weekend, little lovely things without for dinner, my friends, I couldn't even express myself, which is, you do feel like you're behind bars. And I used to have to wear shirt and tie, clean shaven. I wasn't even client facing most time and I'd get shit for not shaving. And where I just wanted to go, why do I need to fucking shave? I'd be like, okay, yeah, of course, I'll get the big hat tomorrow. - Yeah. - And that builds up. That angst builds up and for a lot of people that do suffer mental jail, I think that's another reason martial arts saves them. They can save that angst, they can save that frustration and channel it later in the day. I have big worries over people that don't have an outlet for breaking out of jail. - Oh, yes. - And they probably then turn to alcohol and violence and getting punch ups or whatever it is. So I feel that human beings, I believe, we're quite combative. I think that you watch kids who play fights, they're not trying to hurt each other, sometimes they're, give them a set of rules, get them into it, let them express that. But yeah, the two things. One, if people are in that mental jail, they need a way out to express them. And if they are in a mental jail, they need to create long-term solutions to not be in there because, and you're not expressing yourself in life. Like you say, I've never thought of it like, I think that's really profound. Mental jail where, in some sense, being mentally behind bars must be harder than-- - Even worse. - Yeah. - You see it in what are the examples I've given on this podcast, a number of times is in their LGBTQ community where, because they are, when people are unable to express even their sexuality, the suicide rates go up, you know, before they've, quote unquote, I don't like the time, but come out the closet. And when you look at the things that are prescribed in the more holistic mental health treatments as being good for mental health, it's things like creating music or doing art, or even like dancing and like things like yoga. And expression for me is something that I learned later in life is actually writing books or doing a podcast. I mean, that's therapy, right? That's when people go to therapy, they express themselves, they let it out. Look at men that don't express themselves. It's the single biggest killer of suicide. So let's think, so we know mental prison is a real thing and we know the consequences are severe. The question becomes, how much are you imprisoning yourself mentally? How much are you doing that in your day-to-day life? How much, like, and you're completely right. And I'm so glad that's where you went with it, which is like, you need to find a way in your life where you get a chance to express yourself. That the cell walls are closing in on that jail. You've got to find a way, whether it's fucking, this is why I've got a bit of a problem with the nature of social media and the... And you're marked on how correct you are, not how true to yourself you are. It's all about correctness, typically. It's funny because it's actually not, but it feels like it is. We've seen it. I mean, the reason, part of the reason why you identified yourself as winning was because you weren't correct. But it feels like the rewards are reserved for those that are correct. Piers Morgan's the same. The most uncorrect person you'll meet in our... Look at the fucking numbers. He's this guy, you know? So I don't... I'm very passionate about that topic of... It's interesting you say that because today, if people go back and actually listen to me talking about adoption, they'll see that I'm struggling to talk about it because I've never... I've spoken about it maybe 10 times in my life, to that extent, ever. Online offline, whatever. Yeah, we've never met before, but the medium in which we've decided to communicate being podcasting has allowed us to both express our true, deep emotions surrounding situations, which is this dynamic in which has been created with the listening world of people that are interested and two people colliding. I think it's great. And like you say, it's incredibly therapeutic. And it's so difficult now to create a medium of distractions conversation where, you know, it's almost a dying breed, but at the same time, being re-energized by people looking to sit down and do it. Conversations dying two years ago, went away to Melbourne with two friends. I said, "I'm fucking sick to death of social media. "We're going away with no electronic devices." And I couldn't believe how deep our conversations were at dinner, no phones. And we get to Melbourne, and my friend comes around the corner, he just said, "Hey, he goes mate. "This looks like a comedy sketch. "I'm there with a Sudoku book." He thought, he was like, "Mate, "I thought you were taking the piss. "I thought you were trying to make me laugh "as I came around the corner. "You're genuinely in the Sudoku book." I was like, "Yeah, mate, what am I gonna do for us today?" We went to the cinema without our phones, we went out for dinner without our phones, and the conversations we were having were so much more in depth. I was uncovering problems that my friends were having. I was like, "I live with you, and you've not told me this." And yeah, it's one of those things where I'm very grateful to podcast him because it allows me to get a lot of my chest as well. - Yeah. - And like you say, there aren't the mediums for people to get things off their chest, whether physical or verbal. And I just hope that the way the world's moving becomes more like that. And again, if you want to express yourself on social media for me, doing that was the win, not the followers that I was occurring from it, that was a bonus, that was like salt and pepper on top of the meal. Just putting something I felt strongly out every day made me feel good. That's why I got addicted to it. Same way email. Right in the email is just what made me feel good. The, what happens after that from a business perspective is erroneous, irrelevant, it doesn't really matter. So for so many people out there, even if you do a podcast and 10 people are listening, mate, you've won the battle before they've downloaded it. I think that the more people that can understand that, the better. Quick one. This is maybe a good segue to talk about a little bit of an announcement I have to make, which is we have a brand new sponsor for the podcast. And some of you who've seen my social media posts will know that I often wear a lot of jewelry. And the brand that I'm wearing when you see the chains on is a brand called Crafted. As you can see on the table in front of me if you're watching this on YouTube, Crafted are brands that sell really meaningful, affordable men's jewelry. So I reached out to the founders of Crafted, Alex and Danny and asked them if they wanted to sponsor the podcast and they said they did. They listened to the podcast, they like what we do here. The podcast is a place of meaning and their jewelry is all about meaning. And so we forged a new partnership. The piece of jewelry I wear the most, I wanna introduce you to the pieces and why I wear them, is this sand timer, unsurprised. Think for me about sand timers, it's probably the most clear reminder that our time here on Earth is finite. So as the episodes go on, I'll introduce a piece of jewelry and I'll tell you the meaning it has for me and why I wear it. Let's talk about love then. You mentioned love a couple of times, you referenced that you weren't so good at it by what you were saying there in terms of romantic relationships and love. What's your, what's James like when it comes to that department?
Romantic relationships (01:11:02)
- This is interesting because I feel already, do you have a criticise yourself before someone's criticised you? I get in there early, people who I always think about, what are they gonna say? - Yes, okay, so yeah. So then they go, well, in the last 10 years you haven't had a relationship the last over a year, correct. Does that make me bad at relationships or good? Because I will not, I will not, and this could be an idealistic utopian desire that I made, I could be completely wrong on this, but whenever I have the feeling that this ain't it, I'm out. I could either be a genius or I could have a fixed mindset when it comes to relationships. This is what I'm figuring out. Business, something goes bad, I might leave it with me. Give me a laptop, prep the get and a coffee, let's do this. Give me my phone, I'll sort it out. Relationships, I'm like, no, there's no hope, there's no hope. Sorry, I've also, I've got shit before for breaking up my text. Sometimes I'm like, I should need to deal with this now. I'm like, oh, I'll meet you tomorrow, I'm like, no, I can't sleep until I deal with this. Sorry, this isn't working out. We can meet tomorrow if you want, but I'm ending it now. So, it's a two-sided sword where, one, I think that I have these utopian standards that one day I'll be able to turn around and go, I was correct, this is what I wanted, and the other side, the other part of my conscious is like, maybe you're not willing to do the work like you would in other areas of your life. Do you value the, I guess the idea, but would you value a romantic relationship in your life? Yeah, I would very much like, so psychedelic experience I had in the last year was really helped me decide I want to have kids. You do want to have kids? I do want to have kids. One, because when I have a child, it would be the only biological relative I've ever met, which is a powerful thing. I think that that's going to be incredible for me. Like, to see my features in another human, it blows my mind, and it gets me very excited. So, there's that, and I remember me and my friend, and some people straight away will be angry that I'm talking about legal drug use, but me and my friend put our phones down for 10 hours, went to a park with a picnic, had a speaker, and we sat opposite a lake, and we just talked shit out, and I remember this dad coming by with his kid, and they had bread to give the ducks, and I was like, I was kind of watching, not in a creepy way, and I thought to myself, like, this is what life is. The dad, at some point, gives it over to the sun, the sun then gives it over to the duck, and I was like, what shame would it be if the kid refused to give the bread to the duck? I was like, what a sad end to the story that would be, and I went off in my mind thinking about life and thinking about the opportunity, and my parents sacrificed a lot for me. You know, they had to go to the adoption home, it spent years, they had to, you know, my mum was in first, I was, she couldn't have kids, they went through so much trauma to get day one with me, and I thought, fuck, and then from day one to now, the school runs, the me being a dickhead as a teenager, puberty, I was bad, like, all of these things, and I think everything I have now that I love is because of the sacrifices they made, and with life, I think soon my time will come to make that same sacrifice. I have to pay this forward. I think that I'll be hard-wired to want to, so sometimes when I'm 32 and I'm thinking shit, I need to start focusing on love more, because I don't want to be 40, but the most money, the most followers, and have no one around me, when all my friends settle down and had families, and I'm the creepy fucking uncle who's banging on 22-year-olds every weekend. I don't want that, so I need to make sure that I don't arrive at the wrong finish line. That's a very, very important thing. That would be the worst thing in the world. Why? Because I think ultimately, the only way we can really enjoy things is to share them with people. And this is my favorite thing I've ever done. My money is buy people ludicrous things. You know, with my friends, I lied to them. I say to them, "I'm banging a girl who works for BA, "give me a flight details. "I'll get you upgraded." And then I'll upgrade them, and they'll hate me for it. They'll like, "You fucking prick, you shouldn't have done that." But then, when they've a land wherever they go, and they're like, "Mate, that was the best flight of my life." I love doing that, and I'd love to do that in a family setting as well. They look on a kid's face when they go on holiday, or whatever it is. And for me, that's an integral part. Spending money on yourself is a short-term fix. I think if you buy something for yourself, it's a pleasure. If you buy something, someone else, it's happiness. If I buy myself a Lamborghini, I'll be excited for three months. If I buy someone else a Lamborghini, I'll be excited for the whole time they drive it. So the prospect of family to me is not only a long-term investment into their lives, but the long-term investment into my own happiness. And it's like an ultimate project for me that I'm really excited about. And I think that one of the most important and integral things I value about financial freedom and working on you a few hours a day is, my dad said this to me once, so I never forget him saying it. He goes, "I wish I'd spent more time with you when you were growing up, to me and my sister." I was like, "Fuck now." It's like, "Dad." Like, you know, he commuted to the city every day for 50 years, worked in the same company in King William Street for 50 years. And so he would leave the house at 6.30 and get back at 7.00 pm. And when I heard that, I was like, "One, I never felt that way, but two, I won't make that same mistake." So for me, it's going to be a big part of my life in time to then set someone else up to experience everything of experience. Because if I do that right, dying might be such a big problem. Like, now my biggest problem is that if I did, you know, and hate to say it, don't want to change myself, but to get counseling next year, my biggest regret would not be having kids. I hate to talk about tragic illnesses or whatever. But one of my very good friends, his name is Paula Lima. He was very badly affected by COVID and he had to be hospitalized, he was in hospital bed, which is funny because he's quite literally a fitness model. If you look at the Maximusle tubs of protein, he was the six pack on the front, really. So incredible shape, all of that. And I said to him, "What was it like?" And he goes, "I'm just so happy I had my kids." And then they'll be looked after. He was like, "Dad, he almost had a... "You won't mind me saying this, "a sense of accomplishment "on quite literally what could have been his deathbed." I thought, "Fuck, I could do with some of that." It's a remarkable how you see people's lives and priorities switch when they have kids. And you just, you know it's coming because all of my friends that have had kids, they always said, "Oh, I wish I'd done it sooner." Or, "You really wish you... "You know, that kind of narrative of like, "there's this profound sense of meaning "that we're yet to discover." Have you ever thought about, so let's say human beings, as we know them have existed for hundreds of thousands of years, the lineage, the amount of grandparents, great, great, great, great, great, how many times has a baby been produced in that lineage? Thousands. All it took, all it would ever take through hundreds of thousands of years of lineage was one person to not want to do it. Or, you know, they obviously didn't have quite the choice back then, but all it would have taken was one person to break that chain and so many of us wouldn't exist now. I think about this all the time. Like, my biological mother who gave me up for adoption, she could have ended the chain there. If anything, you know, I'm still very much pro-choice and I feel like I have a voice to say that because if my biological mother had chosen to have bought me, then I wouldn't have a life. All it would take is one break in that chain of lineage for me not to exist and I'm like, "That's too much hard work that's gone on before me." You think the majority of the human race has existed in poverty and the cold and famine and all of these things, I'm like, "I can't stop the buck here for what? A selfish life, you know, for leons and to get a full night's sleep." I once asked my followers on Instagram whether they've regretted having kids and the poll substantially was more in favor of people regretting it. But I think that it was quite literally, if you could go back and not have kids, would you? And it was like a 49-51, but it's circumstantial. I can imagine they're like, "Yeah, you know what, the grass is always greener, right? You have kids who keep you awake, the little shits, all of this, stop having sex with your wife, whatever it is." And it's all too easy to just go, "Oh fuck yeah, you know, I wish I had my own life yet." But I've never truly met a rich, successful, single person without kids with the life that I envy. I mean, even Dambosarian, right? So I don't idealize him, I've just listened to him in his podcast. He's like, "Yeah, you know, I have multiple girlfriends, I'm the only guy they've never been lied to by." I sometimes look, and I go, "I feel sorry for you a little bit. I feel sorry for you." I even write jokes with my friends. I'm like, "I have the perfect amount of success." I almost, I'm worried they have too much more, too many temptations, too easy. You know, when things become, we live in an age where our devices are too replaceable. You know, no iPhone comes out. Suddenly the old ones obviously see you later, whatever it is. I never want that to be the same with people. And that's where I feel that successful wealthy men go when they don't, you're falling on the sword-tail family. It's sacrificed. It isn't always a net positive decision for your lifestyle. There's more meaning to it than people allude to. And I think when faced with the decision myself of whether or not I want to do it, I need to say, "Well, what's the opposite?" "Well, what else am I going to do?" You know, there's pleasure and happiness, again, so different. I say to people that everyone has access to happiness. Some don't know it, but they do. All have access to happiness. Not everyone has access to pleasure. And you can live a life of happiness without pleasure, but you cannot live a life of pleasure without happiness. And the second you try and fill your quota of happiness with pleasure, you end up going down dark holes, drugs, alcohol, sex, whatever it is. And people being unaware of that decision to be proactive in the pleasure pursuit, when really they get awoken up by the kids, they're taking the kids to school, your kid going through puberty, giving you shit, there's really the happiness under your nose the whole time that you never really know about. So I don't have an anecdote to unhappiness, but I think I have a good clue on what would bring me a life of happiness. I've had enough pleasure so far. I'm tired. So what work would you have to do then in terms of getting yourself into a romantic relationship? When I think about myself, I think, "Well, if I'm going to be the kind of guy that could offer what I imagine my wife would want me to offer, I'm probably going to have to change this or be a bit more like this. I have to work on this thing that I do because I'm a bit of a dick." There. What are those things for you? So this is an interesting one. I think I need to start working on myself and being a better human. I don't think I've been a great human in a lot of my relationships. I think that I've been selfish and I think that I've made bad decisions and then I've blamed the other person for it because I haven't accepted that it was me being a bad person that caused that emotion. Certainly something I've been reading some books like I read attached and came to terms with my avoidant relationship style. There's something I really want to work on and I think that moving forward, I need to respect my partner, but I need to respect myself and hold myself to higher standards. I think that if I can hold myself to higher standards, I will quite simply be a better human. And I think that I need to start taking more responsibility for things because so many things in life you can work your way out of and you can change and develop and build to it. I need to put that attitude into relationships. It's not saying it's easy, but I'm saying it's needed to be done. So I think that I've worked to be done. I think I actually need to communicate that with the other one with and just say, "Look, if you look at my books, I'm great. If you look at my academy, I'm great. Live talks. Give me sell out the O2. I'll be great. Relationships, I've got some fucking work. I'm coming with baggage." So as long as someone is open and accepting of that, I think that's the first hurdle. I don't think I've ever sat that down before. I think that whenever I've arrived at relationships before, I'm like, "Well, babe, I'm going to be a lot more interested than anyone else. You fucking dated." And that has to go. You say you need to be a better human. Give me just a couple of specifics when you say a better human because that's quite broad. You get quite a lot of options being well known, having an Instagram inbox, you have a lot of temptations. You have... They were quite frankly women that have even met on nights out and say, "Hey, I've got a girlfriend." They go, "I don't care." And they say, "I'm not going to tell her." And having that means that you have to raise the level of who you are. You are no longer just a 32-year-old, warm-blooded male. You have options in front of you. These are more difficult to say no to because one of the biggest issues I believe men have with the dating scene is they need to win a woman's trust. When you are well known, they already have the trust. It's danger lurking at the door. It's opportunities. It's so many of these things to rise to that challenge. It's no easy feat. And that's why I believe so many men have fallen. It's a self-destructive pattern as well because so many men have amazing families, beautiful wives and great kids. And they just lost that ability to be a strong man for one hour. And it's gone. It's a tough ask. It's a tough challenge. But then everything has been so far. None of this has particularly been easy. It's been enjoyable, but it's not been easy. So that's something that I'm going to have to work on. But I want to revel in that because my mum and dad are still together. That's something that I'm grateful for. And it's something that they still argue, they still have bickers. My dad made my mum cry the other day saying she's going to shop in too much because of the COVID rates. And I was like, it's crazy to see my dad can't even watch the gory part of a film, but fuck, he's a strong human. He stayed in the same business for 50 years. He stayed in the same relationship for 50 years. I think it's about time that I took inspiration from them on things outside of business. Lastly, is you're writing a book about confidence? I let you say that first, just in case I was letting the cat at the bag.
Writing a book about confidence (01:25:21)
But you're writing a book about confidence. Why are you doing that? And what have you learned from starting that process? It's something that really, I wouldn't come at it from a place of, hey, my name's James Smith. I know everything about confidence. My sweat patches wouldn't say that. But it's something so inquisitive. It's a tool in which I've used. When I was writing the first chapter, I called it superpower, then I deleted that because superpowers are unobtainable. This is obtainable. And I've come to realize that during the writing, I'm learning a lot as well. I'm like, is confidence genetics? I go into heritability, and then I go into, you know, what different types of confidence are there? How does it affect us? You had Mel Robbins on recently. So I started listening to a book, 54321. So I 54321, and I'm still shitting my pants, asking this girl for a fucking number. So like, I like to get into these systems. I go, that might work for someone, but that doesn't work for me. And during this process, I'm not releasing it until January next year. I'm going on these journeys. I'm asking myself these questions. I'm very happy to go to external experts in that field. There's quite a bit of nonsense out there, I feel. And similar to the world of fitness, I'm not the most fit guy, but I took the field and I provided clarity. I'm not the expert in life design, but I went out and created a book on clarity. I wouldn't want to come into a place of confidence, go, hey, I'm the most confident person on the planet. Because so many of us that are very confident in certain realms have gaping holes in our confidence, every one of us. You and I, right, you're doing a Ota Arena, 16,000 people in there, do your thing, we'd be like, let's go. You're in sorry house on a Friday night. I was giving them a sco-asker friend on the phone, no, no, no, no, no, I'm too scared. If we can help people identify their gaping holes, give them understanding for it, is it merely a perception of our external reality? Is it something that's nature? Is it nurture? It's, I wish I had more for you right now, but I'm still learning. And again, someone goes, why should I buy your book in confidence? I go, it took me a year and a half. It's 12 quid, don't fucking buy it then. So yeah, it's one of those things that's very exciting project for me. And even now, I enjoy talking to people I admire about it, because they'll say something and I'll be like, I can't wait to research that and go down the rabbit hole and have 20 browsers open on my laptop. It's an exciting process that I really enjoy. Well, listen, James, you know, we've got one more thing to do, which is a tradition of the Diavasio, which you might have seen before, if you've watched a podcast before, which is the previous guest asks the next guest a question and they never know who they're writing it for. And also, I never know what the question is until I read it.
The last guests question (01:27:54)
So what is your definition of luck? When preparation meets opportunity, I disregard luck when people talk about it. People say, I got lucky. I said, fuck you. I'm not needed. And I hate the way people connect people's dots. I hate it. For yourself, someone goes, I write H, write time, write time, write H, get fuck you. You know, I hate it. No one's lucky. And I think that although there are certain privileges people can have, please never underestimate someone's work. Because connecting the dots is a primitive thing that we do. And, you know, the better people can suppress the notion that they're lucky, they can be fortunate in some respects. But this luck, I don't, let's not undo people's work. I completely agree. And I also think that, um, to add to that, when you start to believe in this religion of luck, what you're actually doing is disempowering yourself. You're handing over the reins of your life to this force outside of your control. And you're just sitting there, aimlessly hoping that it falls in your favor. And I, so when people, when I post things, that sometimes I'd like to wind people up on my stories. And the things I'll post are like, honestly, the easiest way to wind people up is just to talk about personal responsibility. Okay. You weren't to blame for what happened, but you are now responsible. One of my guests, who was it? Um, Mark Manson, he said, okay, someone leaves the baby and you're doorstep, not your fault. But it is immediately your responsibility. And people just, and Mogar said, it's not people just fucking hate the idea of like taking responsibility for your life. Um, but I think that any other choice, pointing at luck, pointing at privilege too much, despairing that the Tory government are in power. So that's why you're poor, is a way to hand, to choose your puppet master as this invisible force that gets to call the shots. Thank you so much. You were nervous, you said, to, to come and do this today. You know what, I actually about two, three hours ago, I stood up and I said, I'm not nervous. I really care about this podcast. Yeah. Because for me, when I got the invitation, it got me excited, the opportunity to talk. I know this platform. I know I think I have a good idea of where this podcast is going as well. Yeah. And for me to have an opportunity to not be Instagram James meant a lot to me. So it's more of a fact that this was important to me. I wasn't scared for it. Yeah, yeah. That's amazing. And you know what, I personally just took a screenshot of you after seeing you say something online and sent it to my team. I think about two weeks ago and said, and I never did this. Right. What happened? The way that the podcast typically works is the team will come up with people that they know that I would like and they'll send them to me to approve or not. But it worked the opposite way around with you. I saw something you said. I thought this guy is truthful. He's honest. He has, he's smart, really smart. Probably way smarter than I think people give you credit for. Because honestly, this is one of my favorite conversations ever. Thank you. And it's not because you have a, you know, just because you have a great story. It's because you have the wisdom to point at the lessons you've learned. And you have the humidity also to point at them with impartiality. So I was like, can you reach out to this dude and please ask him if he wants to come here? And that doesn't always happen. So again, it's for me, when you say you're, this was important for you. And I saw you did an Instagram post saying I'm going on a podcast. That's really, you know, for me, that is like the most, it's the greatest thing that we hear. I just want to say thank you because, honestly, it's one of my favorite conversations ever on this podcast. And I mean that. Thanks. I don't have to say that. I don't gas people up if I don't have to. I just say, oh, thank you. Goodbye. But no, I genuinely mean that. It's really, really, really amazing conversation. I also now understand why you've been so successful. So thank you for your time. Thank you for blessing us with your wisdom and yeah, going to keep watching you grow and grow. Cheers. Thank you very much. Thank you.