Jay Shetty: 8 Rules For Perfect Love & Amazing Sex! | E217 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Jay Shetty: 8 Rules For Perfect Love & Amazing Sex! | E217".

1970-01-14T04:54:07.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Most of us only do one thing with our partners. And it's watching TV. To me, it comes back down to... Jay, Shady! There's a former monk whose wisdom has truly gone viral. On purpose, the number one health and wellness podcast... It's sold like a million and a half books. Jay, you know how much I love you. I think we live in a world where we think sacrificing our purpose makes us a better partner. When actually it makes us more resentful, guilty, more upset. So I believe that there are four important decisions that we all get to make in life. If you can do that, everything else is going to work. The first one is... Let's talk about sex. The truth is most people are not getting any. We've lost intimacy in relationships. Great sex is a byproduct of great connection and intimacy. It's not a replacement for or a source of. I promise you, that relationship is not growing. It's actually falling apart slowly and you have no idea. The only thing that makes you feel close to someone... Is venue... What have you struggled with this year? Big question. A lot of the time when I come up against any resistance, it's like, no, Jay, you used to be a monk. If you do anything else, you're false and you're lying and you're not allowed to be anything else. Every time I'd do an interview, I'd feel like people wanted me to fail. I was just waking up feeling sick and I just had to be alone. I didn't think I'd shared this with anyone. I'm at a point where... I just want to start this episode with a message of thanks. I thank you to everybody that tuned in to listen to this podcast. By doing so, you've enabled me to live out my dream, but also for many members of our team to live out their dreams too. It's one of the greatest privileges I could never have dreamed of or imagined in my life to get to do this, to get to learn from these people, to get to have these conversations, to get to interrogate them from a very selfish perspective, trying to solve problems I have in my life. I feel like I owe you a huge thank you for being here and for listening to these episodes and for making this platform what it is. Can I ask you a favor? I can't tell you how much you can change the course of this podcast, the course of the guests we're able to invite to the show, and to the course of everything that we do here just by doing one simple thing. That simple thing is hitting that subscribe button, helps this channel more than I could ever explain. The guests on this platform are incredible because so many of you have hit that button. I know when we think about what we want to do together over the next year on this show, a lot of it is going to be fueled by the amount of you that are subscribed and that tune into this show every week. Thank you. Let's keep doing this and I can't wait to see what this year brings for this show for us as a community and for this platform. James.


Personal Reflections And Conversations

How are you doing? (02:46)

What's up, Stephen? It's good to see you. This is a question that people are so flippantly, right? Because that's just the way society is and the way we all are. But I mean this question in the most deep possible way, which is how are you? Big question. I'd say that I'm at a point and I don't give this answer to you. I don't think I've shared this with anyone publicly at least right now. I'm at a point where I'm really reflecting, reviewing and reassessing where I want to be and what I want to do, how I want to give my energy. And so I'm in this really evolutionary stage of my journey, which I probably haven't felt like this for six years, which is when this all kind of started externally. And so it's been a really interesting six year cycle. And I feel like I'm back to where I started. I definitely feel like this year I pushed myself to limits that I never thought I could when it came to work, productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, like the quality of the impact this year was higher because everything else was booming higher. And at the same time, there's this natural sense of wanting to renew, wanting to reinvest in myself and grow again. It's almost like I feel like I did a lot of growing and I poured it all out. And now I'm ready to grow again and pour that out again. But I've got to go and refill that cup, got to go and rediscover what that is and what that next thing is that excites me, that drives me, that moves me to that level that brought us here today. So when you ask me how I am really or how I am deeply, I'm in that regeneration stage. But what's beautiful about it is that when you've been there before, it's a familiar feeling. Whereas when you were there for the first time, it was scary. Now I'm like, I've been here before. I know what this feels like. I know how to find the tools and skills that I need. So what are the symptoms of that? How do you know you're there? I know I'm there because... What have you been feeling? Yeah, I've been feeling like I want to know where I want to be in five years. Or which direction I want to move in five years. And I've been looking at that question and I've been trying to answer and I was speaking at a conference recently in Mexico. And one of the answers was, Jay, what's your goal for what you want to do in the next five years? And I was like, my goal right now is to figure out what I want to do and what I want to put my mind to for the next five years. And so I'm feeling a sense of accomplishment. I'm feeling a sense of arrival. I'm feeling a sense of satisfaction. And then I'm feeling a sense of hunger. And I'm feeling a sense of... A search for clarity. And almost like I can see the next few steps. But then there's a bit of fog and haze. And that excites me. So there's a feeling of excitement that comes with that search for clarity, if that helps. So in the short time you can kind of see how things look. But then as you look at the maybe the North Star that you're aiming at, that's a little bit less clear. Yes, yes, that's exactly it. But it's coming at it from a point of that's what I need to do right now. Not what I have to. I think if I felt clear about it all, I don't think I would actually achieve what I want to achieve. I think I'd waste time, waste effort. I think we'd spend time being doing stuff that didn't really excite me or move me. I think you get to a point where you know you can do something well and you don't just want to keep repeating that because that doesn't fuel your soul or that doesn't make you into the person who you want to become. And so while I know that I can do that, that's just not who I set out to be and that's not how we got here. And so I don't want to repeat a cycle that I know I know how to repeat just because I can when that isn't why I set out to do this. What is that cycle? Let's get really specific on what is that cycle that you've mastered that you think, that will no longer give me that same. You know, I'm probably different to a lot of people who set out and say I believed I would achieve this or I had a certain set of goals and I did that. I didn't come from that. I came from this raw passion to want to serve and hopefully uplift the world by sharing ideas that people would listen to that and go, "Oh, I have that conversation with my friend, but I never thought it was okay to say it out loud." Or, "I was just thinking about that last night, but Jay just put that into words, and now I feel comfortable sharing that with my partner." And so I came at this whole thing from the approach of how do I help the individual and the micro and then all of a sudden it took off and became this thing that was far bigger than I ever imagined and far greater than I could have ever dreamt off or built. And so what I mean by the specifics is you've now learned how to create value for people in a certain way, whether that's with an algorithm, whether it's a pattern, whether it's the ability to communicate an idea. And then you go, "Yeah, I can either get lost in that cycle and keep delivering because it delivers." But no, that actually came from a raw desire to serve. That actually came from a place of abundant creativity. That actually came from a place of genuinely listening and genuinely compassionately giving. It didn't come from a place of patterns, algorithms, studying and research. That's not why the impact happened, if that makes sense. Do you ever feel like you've lost yourself in the algorithms? I don't. People know you as a master of social media, delivering ideas via social media, value thoughts, thinking. People see this across their lives. They become exceptionally good at something, whether it's being a lawyer or whatever, and they end up climbing and climbing and then they kind of reinforce to continue to do that thing, publishers give them money and say, "Do that thing you did?" Yeah. And then they can get so far down that path that they go, "Wait a minute. How did I get here?" It's a great place. Yeah. I think I want to give myself credit, and I don't do that often, but I will for this. I think I'm going to give myself credit, and it was something you actually raised to me last time we sat down, which by the way, I got so much phenomenal feedback from that conversation. So thank you for letting me go there. But you said something to me last time, and you said, "Jay, you're really good at knowing when to quit." And you said that I was a serial quitter, and I'd never thought about it that way. And so you actually planted that seed in my head. And so I think what I've been good at doing every time that that's happened is I've chosen to break the cycle. So when I first started out, I was the number one page, a number one creator on Facebook, and we literally left Facebook. And when I said left Facebook, what I mean is I stopped creating the content that Facebook was encouraging me to create. So we used to create these sketch-like videos where we had actors and we would cast them, and there would be this scenario. And when I first came up with that idea, it actually came from me watching comedians who were creating sketch comedy. And I was like, "Wait a minute, if we applied that to inspiration and motivation, that would be phenomenal." So when I came up with that idea, it fueled me. I was excited. I remember we made this video where this couple was arguing and I gave them advice, and it went super viral, and I was so excited by it. And then after doing that for a couple of years and seeing this incredible growth on Facebook, that format didn't fuel me anymore. So we left it and I said, "I don't want to be known for that format anymore." Because the format was owning me. I was being owned by having to be a specific creator, giving specific four-minute pieces of advice and thought. And I didn't want to be that. I wanted to dive into building a podcast and writing a book because I wanted long form. I wanted quality. I just felt like there was only so much I could say. There's two angles to this. There's two sides to this. One is... Can I just stop there? Yeah, of course. The reason I'm asking one is because I'm thinking of Jenny, who is in a similar role in her job. He's listening to this. And it's got like she's just lost the love of the thing, which she once loved. So I'm trying to answer this for her. Yeah, yeah. I love the question. I think that... So anytime you discover something, anytime something is new, it's attractive, you fall in love with it. And as it gets old, we only keep doing it because there's some part of it that becomes performative. So what was raw passion becomes performance. And I think performance is what drains us. Because performance now isn't a natural injection of the soul into whatever you're creating. It's this false acting version of that same thing. And so I find that when I feel like I'm performing, I worry and get scared and then I scale back. And so I think at that point, I got to a point where I was like, if I keep feeding the algorithm and feeding this, it's performance. And the quality of what I want to give people has changed. The four minutes videos were a great window into all of the wisdom that I'd learned and all the studying I did as a monk and all the ideas that I'd gained. But I was like, if I can't give that to people in a way that they can practice it. Like a four minute video can give you motivation and inspiration, but a four minute video can't help you build a habit. A four minute video doesn't practically change your life. A four minute video is the injection, the spark, the buzz, but it doesn't transform someone's being, whereas a program can do that. A book can do that, a podcast that people listen to religiously and build a habit can rewire parts of themselves. And so to me, I was like, I'm more interested in habit change and transformation than I am in ideas and information. I was just thinking about why I quit Facebook as well. I mean, you quit Facebook, I think, later, but I understand why your success on Facebook was you're getting billions and billions of views a month, right? I was making some money, but the point, the thing that I've realized from what you just said there is, when I was making those Facebook videos, I actually think they might have been doing something for someone else. It's not the same as a podcast, which has the depth, but I think it might have been doing something for someone else. But I tell you why I quit, because it was doing nothing for me. Yes. And you think about what you were doing. So at the start, maybe it was doing something for you, but then as you do it a thousand times, it feels like work. And I was just thinking about that then, because I was reflecting on a study I read, that when they pay people to do something they loved, they lose the love of it. The minute the motivations become extrinsic, cash, or punishment, or reward, they people lose the love of the thing they once considered a hobby. And do you know why I was thinking that? Because I've not been able to get bored of doing the podcast. And I thought, well, why? Because it does something for me. I get to meet you. So if it was just this podcast was going out to the masses and it required three hours or six hours of my time every week, but I didn't get to have the conversation, I didn't get to be privy to it, maybe oddly is the love for it. Yeah. And I think it comes back to a part of the definition of success, which for me is doing something that gives me joy and makes me happy. That as a byproduct gives other people joy and makes them happy. Exactly. If I can do that every day, then that's phenomenal. But I don't want to keep doing something, as you said, that has the diminishing returns for me only to live off the validation and attention that comes from the other. And I think too many people have gotten caught in that cycle for too many decades. And I would like to say we've redefined what we do every two years. Part of why I dived into love as a fascination and a subject matter, a lot of people said to me, they were like, "Hey, why are you going from meditation and mindfulness and think like a monk to talk about love? Like why would you even do that?" And I was like, because that's where I'm at. Like that's something that I mean, there's lots more reasons to it that I can share more philosophically, but on a very raw emotional level, this is what I'm fascinated about right now. And I trust that my audience, my community, the people that are following and listening and sharing and observing, can trust that the journey I'm going on is one of true fascination. One of the reasons why I fought to have the cover I wanted, the fonts that I wanted to not have my face on the cover of the book, was all of these reasons. I know if I put my face on the cover of the book that my publishers are going to be happier, they believe it's going to sell more, they believe that the less artistic it is, the more on the nose it is, the more people are going to buy the book. My take is I want everything I do to be art. I want everything I do to be an extension of my heart, and this is that. And so I think I'm just at a place now where I've learned that I can trust my intuition every single time, and I want to keep doing that. I don't want to now become more scared of trusting my intuition. Someone said to me, they said, "Jai, like, haven't you got to a point now where you can't take any risks?" And I was like, "No, that's completely the opposite of how I see it. I've worked this hard by taking tons of risks. This is not the point to stop taking risks. This is the point to continue to take risk because that's what creates joy, happiness, abundance, success, and everything else I'm looking for." What have you struggled with this year?


What have you struggled with this year? (16:44)

What have I struggled with this year? Like over and over again, like, "Fucking, why can't I change that?" So it's a bit of an oxymoron, and I kind of love paradoxes and kind of feel like it's always this way. It's kind of like, at one point, you know that reinvention and rediscovery is constantly needed. And then there's the other side that I've probably, back my head against the wall a few times on, is accepting that I can't always be scrappy as I was in the beginning all the time. And I'm intrigued at how you feel about this, especially having built something so huge, and now I know you're building something again. I can't, you know, a few years ago when I was starting out and we were building lots of things, we built things in a really scrappy, quick, fast way. We made really quick decisions. Some of them were great, some of them were terrible, things went wrong, things went awesome. Obviously, you know, the rest of it is history and all of that. But there's a part of me as much as I need to be reconnecting with that scrappiness, there's a part of me that needs to accept that we're not that small anymore and that things do have impact and influence. And I think that that paradox is something that I find myself constantly going back and forth on, because I want to be able to be scrappy. I want to be able to start things at the drop of a hat because I feel like I can. And at the same time, I realize, well, no, now I need to think about a lot more people and a lot more things are affected and this could negatively impact this, and someone here could do this and all of that kind of stuff. And so I think that's something that I struggle with is the balance between saying, I want to be the J that I was six years ago when it comes to starting new things, but I have to accept that we're not there as well. How many people are in your team, total? Globally, full-time 50 people. So it's not huge. But when you look at the people that work with us and the number of people it impacts, and then the scale of all the content we create and everything, and there are billions of people every month still in some capacity. And so there's a sense of, you know, you become a target. Like, you weren't a target six years ago. Like, no one cared. I mean, people took shots day one. Like, that wasn't the hard part. It's just you become more and more vulnerable in some areas in some capacities because now people are not looking at it as if you're starting out. They see what you have and what they can pick apart. So you're observing and aware of that vulnerability in a way you never were before. That doesn't make me more scared or more fearful. It just means I can't ignore it. And I think that's the balance that I'm always going on. It's like, how much do you want to operate from a place of ignorance versus awareness and proactivity? Well, it's your biggest fears and interesting word, but I'm going to use it. What's your biggest fear as it relates to being a target? Like, what have you, because I mean, I've seen this similar thing in my life. Obviously, the big change in my life was when I became a dragon on Dragon's Day. Because then you're like a press target before the newspapers wouldn't write about Stephen in his podcast or Stephen on social media. But now it's Dragon's Den, Star sneezes on Sunday. You know what I mean? It's like, because there's a show there which everybody knows and recognizes there's a way to write the headline. So that I became much more of a target, you know? And that's kept me up at night. I've got emails from reporters and I fucking shit myself about things that, you know, they said they're going to say about me or whatever, but just being honest. Yeah. So, you know, I think my life has just changed so much in the sense of, literally, I was thinking about this, ten years ago, I left the monastery. And when I look at my life over the last ten years, and then if I look at it thirteen years, including the three years I spent in the monastery, I live like a completely polar opposite life today. I went from having no money, no idea of the business, no relationship, two sets of clothes, robes, and living and sleeping on the floor, and having nothing and thinking that was the rest of my life, to now being in the complete opposite point of view where we have multiple businesses, I'm married, I enjoy fashion in my wardrobe, I really enjoy building teams. I love the world I'm in. And I've grown and embraced all of that transformation because I realized that I could only give myself, or I had to be the only person in the world who could give myself the permission to be all of these things all at the same time. So I see myself as much as a monk, as a manager, as a marketer, as a mindfulness coach. I'm all of those things and I'm very happy being all of those things, but I think that a lot of the time when I come up against any resistance, it's like, "No, Jay, you used to be a monk. You should be a monk for the rest of your life, and you can never be anything else." And if you do anything else outside of that circle, you're false and you're lying, and you're not the same person anymore. And I'm like, "Well, no, I get where you're..." And by the way, I actually don't disagree with that. I get where that's coming from, and I can appreciate where that sentiment comes from because we've all been forced to be like, "I'm an accountant. I'm a lawyer. I'm a dad. I'm a mum." We've been forced to be one thing. And I think for me, I've been on the journey of accepting all of my complexity and all of my interests and passions, and I think that that takes a long time for a lot of people to get their head around. I'm not saying that my community or my audience feels that way, and I don't want to alienate them. I think there's a lot of people who don't even care about that, but I think when I think about the idea of being a target or being, it's a lot of that where it's like, "Well, you used to be this. Just be this. Like, you're not allowed to be anything else." "Oh, why?" And it's like, "Well, no, but my life's changed. That was a part of my journey. I'm telling you a part of my story. Why can't I tell you the story that I'm at? Why do I have to be the story that I was 10 years ago?"


Living like a Monk and having a social media presence (23:03)

Does that... And this... There's several ways to answer this question, but I just want the most honest answer, which is, "Does that... Has that ever bothered you? Have you ever received that kind of critical feedback, and it's bothered you?" Yeah. There was definitely a couple of weeks where I woke up every day in the morning feeling sick, and I've never experienced deep bouts of anxiety or... I've definitely experienced depression when I left the monastery, and that whole period was a depressive moment in my life for sure. But post that, I was just waking up feeling sick, and for a week, I just had to be alone. And I just had to be alone and not see my friends and not see anyone. My wife was in London at the time, so I wasn't with her. And I literally just sat alone for seven days, making sense of how I felt about myself. What happened? It wasn't anything specific. It was just feeling that there was a lot of... Because I wrote a book called Think Like A Monk, which I still stand by, the title, I still stand by, the whole book. The reason I wrote the book called Think Like A Monk is because I didn't want everyone to have to live like a monk. And my whole point was that when you learn to think like a monk, you don't have to live like a monk, and that you can adopt the same mindsets and practices that monks have in your daily life, which is what I believe I took with me. But I found that when I would do an interview, the interview would be, "Oh, Jay Shetty tells you to think like a monk, but he's selling millions of books or whatever it is." Or like, "Oh, yeah, Jay Shetty made X amount of money through ad revenue on Facebook and YouTube, but he's talking about being a monk." And so there was this constant comparison that those two things weren't allowed. And you were getting that straight away every day. Correct. And I was just like, "Why is it that I feel like when someone's sitting down with me, I constantly feel like they want me to fail. They want me to not be who I truly am." And they want to find that angle on me constantly because they don't want to accept that someone who is trying to be good at heart, is doing good in the work and winning is okay. That's not a story, there isn't. That's not a story exactly. And I think that was hard for me because I'd always believe that people would feel you're genuinely and they'd respect that. I think me and you have not, we've had deep time together even though we haven't had a lot like, we wouldn't say we've had the amount of time together. But I felt very early on that I could just be myself around you, hence why I've never talked about any of what I've just said to you anywhere else anywhere. You have, even on my own podcast. Because I don't like meeting people thinking they want me to fail. And if anything, I close off to that because... It's defense from day one. And I realize I don't defend myself very well because I don't want to. I just want to be who I am and I'm comfortable with that. But that seven days was me doing all that work to process it. Bring me into this. God man, Steven. Only Steven. Only with you man. Only with you. Literally.


The 7 days that changed my life (26:21)

Bring me into those seven days and what it was like. If I was a flower on the wall in your world, what would I have seen? The seven days for me weren't mapped out in being seven days. Like it wasn't like, "I'm going to take seven days and this is the program I'm going to go on." It just happened to be seven days. And for me, I'd say the first day I spent reading everything that... Was making me feel that way. So you're reading all the comments, you're reading the tweets, you're reading the articles, you're seeing articles come in that you've just interviewed for and you're like, "Wait a minute. That's been completely misconstrued. You're feeling this way." And I'd say a lot of this was UK based, not really international, to be honest at all. And you're feeling that way. And I was just reading all of it. I was completely immersed in it for a day and I gave myself a day. I said, "I'm going to let myself do it today because I want to be informed. I want to be aware." And you just said this to me. You were like, "J, I didn't see any of this. I didn't even know about this and we've talked about this before." And that's what's really fascinating. For me, that day felt like the worst day because it felt like that's all there is. That's all I'm seeing even though there's everything else going on. So I'd say the first day I spent just reading everything and you feel terrible and horrific and there's a part of you that feels defensive and you're like, "But I'm not like that. Oh, I wish they could just understand this." And, "Oh, well, they just read that differently and I wish I could talk to this person who feels this way and hold their hands and look into their eyes and for them to feel my real energy. I wish they could give me a chance. I wish I could actually talk to each one of these people. Maybe I should actually book a room and just line up everyone who feels this way about me and actually sit down with each of them and talk to them about what my passion is and what I really am as a human being. Maybe that's what I need to do." And you're kind of doing this whole defensive and explaining and that, all of that was day one, maybe even day two. And I think day three and four were really the hardest because you start to believe some of the criticism. So there's a part of you and I think this is a good part of me. I'm happy that this part of me exists where I have the ability to be really critical and harsh of myself to the point that I kind of embodied some of those ideas and I was like, maybe I am. Maybe I am not fully genuine. Maybe I do have that part inside of me like, "God, maybe I am wrong." Like, maybe I do need to take a look at myself. Maybe I'm not doing that enough. And so I said that was day three and four and that was the hardest because you're now taking someone else's words to be your worth and you're taking someone's writing to be who you are. And so I think day three and four were just kind of processing like, "Do I really agree with that? Am I that? What part of that is me? I can't just shut." I've never wanted to be someone who doesn't take something as feedback or doesn't look at something or try and understand it more deeply. And anxiety. How do you feel on these days? You talked about... I feel like throwing up in the morning. Really? Like, waking up and feeling physically sick and wanting to throw up but trying not to. And that feeling last all day was it just when you woke up? I think it was mainly when I woke up. Like, it was a strong feeling when I woke up and I'd have to work through that over the next couple of hours and then get over that and then try and progress the day. And I think day five and six were making sense of what was feedback, what was shots fired, and what I believed about myself. Rem me through those three. So the way I... And even deeper than all three of those, and I'll talk about those three, but even deeper than those three of those was this idea of compassion, of why do people feel the need to do this? Like what role does it play in their life, in our world? And why does someone feel the need to without never having spent genuinely quality time with me to feel anyway about me? Also not knowing anyone in my universe either. And so trying to have compassion and developing a sense of perspective of what role does this play in our society? That's the most difficult point to understand, which is... I remember someone tweeted something at me the other day and they just like... You know, because it's funny because we get so much of wonderful feedback and then some guy at 3M, he's just like... He just took a shot at me. He was like, "I wish Steve was more authentic. His PR team write all of his posts and script his podcast and he's da da da da da da." And the challenge of trying to make sense of this, this statement, where it's coming from, why they felt they needed to tweet it at 3M. What I've done to them is an impossible challenge to try and solve. It's a riddle that doesn't make sense. But the only way that I've come to understand it is by looking at my own imperfection, looking at my own jealousy, looking at my own envy and my inadequacies and how sometimes I'm ugly. And then I go, "I understand. We will have it in us probably somewhere in the right context because if we've got a bad day and the wife or the husband is giving us a hard... And then I go, "I understand. I'm ugly too." But going to those three stages, what feedback did you... I think the feedback that I've taken on is that I definitely have changed externally. In the sense of, it is true that my life is very different externally, very quickly. That's true. To me, it's not quick because it's 10 years since I left and 13 years since I was a monk and everything. It is quick and it is a lot to... It's been a crazy journey for me internally. Let alone everyone else who's just watching. And the feedback that maybe I should explain and probably why I feel so open today doing this with you and comfortable going, though, is maybe I do need to explain my intentions more and not just do the work. Maybe I do need to spend more time giving context. Do you think, though, because there's so many people that do the content, the helping people, the genius stuff you do, there's so many people that do that and they don't get the same criticism. It's the monk piece, isn't it? It's the monk piece and it's the monk piece and it's also the scale. There's people at scale. I'm thinking of the biggest in the world in that game. You're the biggest in the world, I guess, in what you, in the specific thing that you do, I guess. But is it the apparent contradiction of two labels that the society have given you, where they go, successful, rich, nice stuff? But then, yeah, because it's the same with me, no one's ever going to do it for me because they think of me as business man. So if I was balling around in private jets and helicopters, people are going to go, "Man, man." Yeah, and I'm not doing private jets and helicopters. Either of mine, by the way. But yeah, no, I think that is a big part of it. I recognize that that's a massive paradox. And by the way, I'm living that paradox, which is even crazier because there's so much of that self-gilt and transformation that I've had to go through. I've had to rewire my deeper relationships with every aspect. And I've realized that the monk teachings actually hold true. They're just misunderstood or misconstrued. It's kind of like when we keep having everyone who keeps saying, "Oh, money doesn't buy happiness. Money doesn't buy happiness. You've..." That statement's just lasted for so long. And you and I know that that's not... When it comes to the monk's philosophy, the monk's philosophy was very much that everything in the world was simply energy and it could be used for something higher or could be abused. Pretty much anything in the world could be put into that way of thinking. But the perception is monks don't have money, therefore it's bad. But that's a simplistic version of a far deeper idea. There's a beautiful story that I love that we would often be shared in the monastery where the teacher asks a student, "If you could give one person a hundred pounds or give a hundred people one pound each, which would you do?" And the student says, "I'd give a hundred pounds to one person because it would be really impactful." And the teacher says, "Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that answer and that's totally fair. Another way of looking at it is I'd give one pound each to a hundred people because it helps me learn how to become better at giving and it gives a hundred people an opportunity to grow." And so the idea is that the answer isn't whether money is good or bad. The answer some people say, "Well, they shouldn't give any money out of the world." I think the idea that something is bad or evil or something is wrong is a far more simplistic idea than the depth of the idea that anything can be used for good or for worse. I remember that we've been able to do so many beautiful things, whether it's things privately or even publicly when my wife and I did this fundraiser for COVID for India. And I remember it took a lot of money to just organize the fundraiser. And we wouldn't have been able to do that if we didn't have what we had. And I was thinking to myself, I was like, "This is a perfect example of how you can't, sometimes you need the resource to pull off something that's even more powerful and big. But if I didn't have the resource and I didn't have the community and I didn't have my audience and my fans and the people that helped us do that, it just wouldn't have been possible." And so it's kind of like this all comes in and of itself, it comes together. I remember when we met in New York and you took me to meet the... Rather than it's from me, yeah. I could not say that. Yeah. That's why I paused. Yeah, you met my monk teacher. Yeah, Swami is the like the Pope title, like the equivalent of that. Do you remember the question I asked him? I don't actually tell me. It was exactly what you've just said. So I said to him, there's a part of me that has always had this sort of internal conflict where if what I'm doing, what I consider to be selfishly, like building businesses, enriching myself is good or bad. And I've always, since I was 18, I remember being sat in my room and thinking, you know, instead of building this business, if I just went to Africa and saved one life, would that be more of a worthy cause than building a business that would enrich myself? And your teacher said to me, he said, I never forget it, I talk about it all the time on stage, probably every month on stage. He said to me, you can't pour out for others that which you don't have in your own bottle. I always remembered that because it's entirely true. The impact that I would be able to have now in many areas, whether it's the donations we've done for children's cancer societies or all of the things that we've done this year, the money we've donated from giveaway, all of the money from our life tour, none of those things, even like this podcast, wouldn't have been possible if I didn't fill my bottle. And my bottle isn't just financial. It's skills, resources, knowledge, it's network, it's reputation. And that full bottle allows you to do so much for so many others. I do want to zoom in on something you said.


What is your ugly side? (38:28)

You said that you had to confront your ugliest side. Now, this is an uncomfortable thing to do because for all of us, it's a quite uncomfortable place to go to actually consider fault in ourselves. What is your ugly side? In your view. I think whenever anyone does this activity, you have to be. It's again that balance of being highly self-reflective and open to feedback, but not getting into the harsh, like killing yourself basically. And it's a really interesting balance I find because you can easily do either. You can easily defend yourself and be like, "No, no, I'm good. I'm a good person. I'm great." Or you can do the opposite, where you're just like, "I'm the worst at having a student." And that's why as you ask that question, I'm like, "Let me really look at it." My ugliest side is that any... And I believe this is true of most people is that you're truly capable of anything. Anything. And I think my practice and my daily habit is... And as always being to try and feed the good dog inside me. And so I don't think I associate that deeply with my ugly side because I've just not fed it for a long time. And so I don't feel very close to it in the sense of, "That doesn't mean it can't take effect on me." So my teachers would always say that if you feel like you're unaffected by Maya, Maya's the Sanskrit word for illusion, an illusion is considered ignorance and that which leads to the dark side or the ugly side, if you feel that you're unaffected by Maya, you're in Maya. If you feel unaffected by illusion or the dark side, you're in the dark side, right? Yeah, that makes sense. And it's the idea as well of like if someone says they humble or practicing humility, it's like they're in ego right now. It's not possible to think to yourself, "Oh, I'm humble at the same time as feeling ego-less." And so the idea that I feel like I just don't associate with my dark side often, but I think my dark side exists within this capacity of the comparison, the envy, the jealousy, the ego, that that's the kind of stuff that I would say that mainly I would grapple with. And I grapple with it on a daily basis and I choose to grapple with it on a daily basis. We in the monastery often talked about relishing the battle. That there was always going to be a battle. The battle was never won or lost. It was a constant relishing the battle. You just had to re-pick up the sword and have the fight every day. And so I've learned to relish the battle and the battle is accepting that there is both inside of me. And it's a battle I have to have every day and the avoidance or ignorance that I don't have one of the sides isn't healthy. Right? In my case, it's just not healthy. I can't accept that I have only pure intentions. Do you believe you'll get to a point where you've won the battle? I don't think so. I don't think that's the goal. I think the moment you think you've won the battle is when you lose. There's that brilliant clip on social that's always going viral. And it's literally like, I forget what the line is, but I think the caption is something like, "It's never over until it's over." And it's all the moments in sports where someone's felt that the ball's gone across the line or a hazard or the person's running thinking they're about to cross the finish line, they look over, and they lose every single time. And I think that that's a great image and metaphor for the idea that as soon as you think you've won, that's when you're most likely to lose. Because that's when you put your guard down. And I think putting your guard down to your own envy and to your own comparison to your own ego is unhealthy. And I think sometimes when we see the craziest things that happen in the world, it's not because someone was made that way or built that way. It's that they let their guard down to those things. And so when I'm saying that I sat for seven days with my demons and my dark side and my unhealthiness and checked myself, I'm glad I did that. And I shouldn't avoid that. I shouldn't sit here and say, "No, no, no. I know I'm an amazing human being and I'm a good intention. I know all this thing. I am good intentioned. I am someone who cares about people. I am deeply compassionate. I have only ever tried my best to serve and love. Those are all true. I'm very confident in that. But at the same time, I have a propensity to be egoistic, to be envious, to be jealous, to be comparative, to be competitive in unhealthy sense. And if I'm more vigilant of that, that won't ruin it. And that's the perfect analogy that was given to us in the monastery was we all had to plant a seed and tend to it every day because you'd see weeds grow around it every day. And this was the exact concept that was taught to us that when you plant a seed, weeds are going to grow around it. And the weeds often look like the plant. They often look perfect and you can keep watering the weeds or water the seed and pluck the weeds. And that's the daily practice that each and every one of us does. So I think every day I sit with myself in my meditation and I try and pluck out the weeds. And sometimes it's not plucking. Sometimes it's ripping, gripping, destroying, uprooting. Like the weeds have gone deep. Some of these weeds are not no longer little seedlings and little plants. Some of them have been around for years. And so there's that work that has to happen. Are you thinking about a particular weed? That you've really had to like work on and unplug. I mean, I've got loads in my life that I know that you see the, it continues to rear, it continues to show up in the moments where you're maybe complacent. Yeah. About, you know, you think you've got it all figured out and then fuck it. Yeah, I think the biggest one that I probably monitor, I mean, I monitor all of them regularly, but I think it's the weed that we all have that the way we live life is the right way to live it. Like the belief that my perspective, my opinion, my priorities, my values should be everyone's. And that somehow because of that, we should all align. And I think you see that your partner the most. Like for example, my wife really values her, my value, my wife really values her mental and physical health. And so her number one priority day in the day is making sure she's meditated and making sure she's gone to the gym. Like those are like massive priorities for her. And sometimes there will two workouts and more meditation. And I'm coming back off of a slog day of like working podcast, meeting schedules, all this other stuff. And I've meditated, but I haven't worked out today and I'm running around. And I think at the end of the day that I've achieved more, like that is a weed because I'm saying that what I prioritize is more important than what she prioritizes when it isn't, it's just different. She herself worked is based on very different things than myself worked is based on. Do you ever find, you know, when you're saying all of this, you're describing exactly me and my partner. I love them. She wakes up at seven or eight in the morning. She's built like a temple and she goes to the temple. And if I walk up past two hours later, she's just stretching in the temple. I'm like zooming past with like, you know, late for some shit. And she, I just, she's just stretching in a temple. She flows. That's why she just flows nice and slowly through life at her own pace, a pace that I know nothing about. Yeah. A pace I cannot relate to. Same, same. So I was going to ask you about this. Have you ever found yourself making the mistake of exerting your, your ambition onto that flow, you know, that pace because I have, yeah, I think, I think, and I write about this in the book, but by the time I was, by the time I was with my wife and we moved in and got married and like started really investing in our relationship, I think I'd seen a lot of people do it to other people. So my wife would always get people around her. She's a phenomenal chef and cook and, you know, really, really talented when it comes to food and health and nutrition. So the one thing she'd hear from everyone was, you should start a restaurant. Like that's all she'd ever hear is, you should start a restaurant. You should start a restaurant. And whenever I'd, I'd see the like sometimes fear, confusion, uncertainty on her face when people would say that this is like, you know, I'm talking about like seven years ago, maybe eight years ago. And I would always sit with her with them and be like, how do you feel when people say that? Like, what does that excite you? Does that, you know, if someone told me that and I had her skills, I'd be like, oh, that's amazing people believe in me, right? Which is something I never really had. And she was like, no, I just, I don't know if I want a restaurant. Like, I don't know if that's what I want to do with my skills. Like I, she always wanted to be in pediatrics and she wanted to help people with their nutrition and diet and she wanted to work with individuals and work with, and now she's working with people online and she does making love making recipes, but does she want to build a restaurant? And so we'd always go through that cycle and I started to realize and we'd have this conversation often that just because someone says something, that's a good idea, it doesn't need to be your idea and you don't need to chase it. And so I'd say that I don't think I've ever pushed my pace on her because I think part of being a coach and this is why I value coaching so deeply is because a coach is never meant to dictate the pace of the person they work with. And so there's a chapter in the book called, "Your Partner is Your Guru." And that's a really tough statement to handle, but actually a guru likened to a coach never dictates the pace of the student. So my monk teacher who you met wouldn't that day in New York would never, ever say to me, "J, you've been meditating for 17 years now. Why are you not a pure perfect meditator?" They would never say that to me because they don't think that that's the pace at which it works. They know that I'm on my journey on my timeline. Now at the same time, I think opening up conversations, like I will have the conversation with my wife and be like, "Are you thinking about setting goals or intentions for 2023 and do you want to talk about it?" Because I'm going to be doing that myself. You're talking about that in here. Yeah. And I've seen that she's done that. Like where my wife has opened up to some of my ideas and my ways of working because I open up it as a conversation, not as a, oh, by the way, these are my goals for 2023. What are yours? Which where it's like a pressure and that's like an insecure amateur version of trying to be a coach. It's like, "Well, look what I've achieved. What did you achieve this year?" Or, "By the way, let's look at our 2022 goals and what we achieved." Like, it becomes an ego thing again. So I think for me, I've really tried my best to embody being a coach in my partnership because I see it just being healthier. And we've allowed each other's good qualities to rub off. And by the way, she's done the same back to me. So if I've coached her in finding her drive and her passion and her purpose and coached her in the sense of not like meticulously, but as a friend, she's done the same for me. Like when I met my wife, I was someone who's really focused on mental mastery, but I hadn't really figured out what I did for my body. I'd done a lot for my mind and my heart and my emotions, but not for my body. And when I met my wife, she inculcated the belly for me, working out more regularly and eating more healthily. And when I met my wife, I was addicted to sugar. I still love fried food. I still love sodas. And my wife was just like, "This ain't happening." But again, she didn't call it out. It wasn't like, "Oh, you're so unhealthy. You just sit around and drink." It wasn't like that. It was educating me. And it was enlightening me. And it was helping me change my habits. And so, yeah, inspiring me. And it's setting the example. Right? Setting the example is far more a beautiful, there's a quote I use of St. Francis in the book which says, "You should always preach wherever you are in everything you do and if you need to use words." Right? The idea that your example, your practice is what inspires people. If you're working really hard and you're a wonderful human being, that far more makes someone want to work hard than you working hard and being a miserable human being. Quick one.


Ads (51:04)

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How to deal with a partner not taking care of themselves (52:52)

I'm going to ask you a really tough question here. If your partner got to a state where you no longer found them attractive at all, you know, I'm going to let the viewer decide what that might look like, right? If your partner got to that state, what would you do? I think because they weren't taking care of themselves. Yeah. I think my honest answer would be I would like to approach that. And I believe I would because I think I've shown it in different areas of my relationship, not in the physical sense, have been the compassion of, are you happy with where you are right now with that person? Are you happy in the direction that you're moving in? Is this the life you want? Has this been created out of pain or stress or pressure or has this been created out of choice and out of action? Right? Getting to understand that person's journey to that point sets you up to understand where this is going. If that person then turns around and goes, this is exactly where I want to be. And this is the person I want to be. And this is how I choose to live my life. I'm your partner. Yeah. What do you say to me? Yeah. So I'm going down the angle of trying to get to understand, right? Like that's what I'm trying to do in this scenario. And if they are completely cool with everything. Correct. Because it's your, your the one that's just attraction. Yeah. What I want to do in that scenario genuinely is to understand where the person's at, why they're in that position and how long they think that's going to last. And so my next question would be like, that sounds awesome. That sounds like a lot of fun. How long do you feel like that's where you want to be? Now your answer may be, I feel like that's how I want to live forever. Right? Like that's, that's the direction it's going in. I have very little control over that. So what do you do? I would then if, if I'd explored that conversation, try to understand first. Yes. That pattern for long enough, because by the way, that pattern could last a week and it could be over next week. Yeah. And that person's now guilty and shameful of, and they're dealing with something far deeper. So I don't think this can ever be, oh, wow, that person for a month has gone in this direct. It's never that quick, right? Yeah. If you're seeing over months and years that someone's just going on a downward spiral, they're not opening up to you. They're not opening up to a therapist. They're not opening up to their mom, their parents, their sister. They're not opening up to their, a coach. They're not opening up to their friends. Like if you're seeing no sign of this person doesn't feel they're going in, they're doing anything wrong by their account, now you're out of options of controlling that. So I think there's many more layers before, I don't think this person's right for me anymore. But I think those layers and levels are time. How long has this lasted? I think it's, who are they honest and open with? Because sometimes they may not be honest and open with you because they're embarrassed, but they're being open and honest with someone else. They're family, they're friends, whoever else it may be. Are you aware of that? Do you even know the conversations they're having? And then if you're not attracted to someone, I mean, you're well within your rights to move on and get on with your life. I mean, how are you going to force yourself? If that's an important value for you, someone would say, but physical attraction isn't my number one value. That's totally fine too. So you would stay with that person, right? Like if that's not your number one value. Is there a point where you express how you feel? Absolutely. Absolutely. I think after understand, I think the biggest mistake that happens, so I talk about this in the book where I talk about things that you find intolerable about your partner, right? This comes under that category that you find it intolerable that they don't take care of themselves and now you're not attracted to them. I talk about going on this journey. If you love someone enough, if you care about someone enough, you will want to go on the journey from intolerable to understanding to acceptance to potentially even admiring them for who they are and where they've gone. That's the journey if you want this relationship to last. So if I find something intolerable, the next step isn't telling them how I feel. The next step is understanding why they're there, how they got there, what their reasoning is and that takes time. That person isn't going to on day one. They're going to give you answers like you just gave me. On day 73, chances are someone's going to say, "I'm feeling really bad about how I am," right? When you tell them. I'm interested in how you communicate, how you're feeling. I would say, and I want to use a real life scenario with my wife because I think it's easier to talk about a real conversation we've had. If I felt emotionally disconnected from my wife because we've both been traveling separately, we've both had a lot of work on, we haven't really found time to connect or be without the deep, be with each other deeply. I often say to her, and I've said this throughout our whole relationship, I'll say to her, "Is this relationship going in the direction you wanted to go in?" That's a really open and broad question. She could say, "Yes," she could say, "No." My second question is, if it is going in the direction you wanted to go in, what's going well? Then I'd say, "If it isn't going in the direction you're going in, what do you need and what are you willing to do?" I'd follow that up with, "Do you mind if I share mine? Do you mind if I share with you if I feel this relationship's going in the right direction or how I feel?" Once I've heard her out and seen where she's at, I'm now going to tell her exactly how I feel. My way of saying would be, "I've got to a place where I'm feeling emotionally disconnected. I'm feeling like I don't feel like you're present with me. I don't feel like you're connected. I don't feel like you want to." Is that true? I'm checking if my emotional instinct is real. In this case, it's me saying, "I honestly feel that over the last three years, I haven't been able to understand. I haven't really been able to gain context of why you've made the choices you've made. I really want to understand and deeply and therefore you to understand if these choices are aligned with your values. If they are, those are not the values that attract me. Those are not the values that make me feel good about being in a relationship because what I'm saying is, if you've found someone physically attractive and now you find them physically unattractive, I promise you it's also based on their values and choices. It's not simply based on how they look. That's too simplistic for a modern day. It's true. Powerful relationship. So to me, I'm communicating my disconnect with that person's choices and values. I'm not simplifying it to just how they look in the mirror. Because that, to me, isn't the truth. Because the truth is that because they can change how they look in the mirror. But they don't want to is my issue with it. They don't want to be better in all the ways. I think they can be better. I don't feel like they want to improve. I was coaching someone whose partner was addicted to porn. They're addicted to porn. They're partner-founds pictures and videos and all that kind of stuff on their laptop and phone and all the rest of it. And we were working with them and it was if that person didn't see a problem with their addiction, that's where you were at. But the person's problem wasn't that they were just addicted to porn. It was the lack of transparency, it was the lack of honesty, it was the lack of emotional connection. The issue wasn't that they were watching porn. Their issue was, don't you trust me enough to tell me that there's a disconnect here that we don't have enough of a relationship where you can share this with me. That was the issue that they were having. So to me, I'm always trying to communicate. Empathy is communicating at the root of the issue, not with the symptom of what you're experiencing. And if someone empathetically said to you, "Steven, I feel and this is my projection on you and you're allowed to edit this, I just feel that you're worth so much more and I feel that you can make so many better choices for yourself and I think you have the ability to get there. But I don't know if you want that. And if you don't want that, that's totally fine. But that's the kind of partner I want to be with. Would you never mention that process that you're not attracted to them anymore? I wouldn't never not mention the direct thing. I just think that I'm more interested in excavating. You're going around. It's not going around. It's going under. It's going deeper. Going deeper then. It's going deeper. It's not going around. It's saying like, "Oh, you know, I'm just not working out anymore." Like, "Oh, you know, I'm just seeing other people now." Going around it is like, you know, going around it is just saying, I mean, even one sense of going around it is just like, "Yeah, I'm finding other people to track whatever." You're going to the roots of the person that leaves. Correct. Because I think that not only helps the other person, but it helps me understand how to actually be there for the person I love. Because I think that if you go to the root, that person has the opportunity to say, "Thank you. That's how I feel." But I just don't know how to say it. So I want to give the person the opportunity to feel so heard when they can't even hear their own voice, but they can hear it through my reflection on them where they can say, "You know what? You're right. That is exactly how I feel. I know I can be so much better." And if I can't find that in them, then we're not meant to be. But I want to be that voice for someone because they can't find that voice within themselves. It's so interesting because I imagine almost everybody listening to this has those gripes with their partner. 100%. I've been there for five minutes or five years where you go, "I just wish you would be more like me," or, "I just wish you would do it like me. I wish you would love what I love." And I've been there with my partner as well where I suspect she wants me to be a bit more interested in the things she's interested in. And maybe vice versa. But then also we have a different style of communication and all of these things. And going back a couple of years, we had a problem with sex, which we had to confront where one day she turned around to me and said that she wasn't interested in sex. We've talked about this publicly before. And the journey I went on to understand all of that. The question I'm trying to ask is like, Dave or Rebecca, who's listening to this right now, who wants to change something about fucking... Rebecca wants to change something about Dave. He's always... He doesn't care about me. He doesn't give me the quality time. All of those things. What's the path that Rebecca should take to deliver that to Dave? And at what point should she go, "Fuck, Dave." You know what I mean? Because it's a success as a team sport in this regard, right? Yeah. First thing I'm going to say is stop trying to change anyone because people don't change for people. They change for themselves. Like, stop trying to change anyone. People do not change for you. They don't change for me. They change for themselves. And if they don't want to change, they're not changing. And if you want to change your partner, chances are they're not the right person for you. And by the way, anyone you date, you'll always want to change because somehow, deep inside of you, you believe that the values you were brought up with and what you think is right is what everyone in the world should do. And so the core issue, again, going to the root, is us and our projection. Like, is my wife any less of an amazing human being because she lives differently to me? No. And I think that relationships are so much more about learning to respect other people's values than they are to make them value what we value. I think the biggest issue we're having in relationships right now is we're saying, well, I like this. Why don't you like it? Relationships are saying, I love that you love that and I love this. You go do your thing. I'll go do mine. Why do I want to force my partner to come watch a football game with me if they hate football? I'd rather go watch it with someone that loves football. And why am I she going to force me to go do something that I don't want to do? I don't think that that's compromise or connection. I think that's ruining relationships quite frankly. So I think going to the core of the answer, and I'll coach through Dave and Rebecca, but I think going to the root of it, it's just the issue of stop trying to change people. If you're trying to change them, then you don't love them. You love their potential. You love a version of them that you think they can become. That's not them. And stop trying to make them that version because if you're in love with who someone could be, then you're not in love with them and accept that. And I don't think we want to accept that. We want to think that we're better, greater human beings because we see something better for someone. And they're a project. And they're a project. And I talk about that in the book, the idea that the project or there are three roles we play in relationships. One is the fixer. We want to find someone to fix. And the other is we play the role of the project. So we want to be fixed by someone else. So we're looking for that person. And really the right thing we want to be is the support of the partner, the true equal, the true person who adds value to the other person, sometimes takes on the role of the fixer, sometimes is the project. But overall, it's coming at it from a point of working on this together. As you said, a team sport. And so when it comes to Rebecca and Dave, ultimately the deepest, most beautiful question your partner can ask you is, where do you want to be? And do you want my help getting there? And if the answer to that question is something you don't like, then it comes to the end of it because you're not going to change them by manipulating them, by controlling them, by forcing them, by coming up with a magic trick. It's just not going to happen. Like I think so many people say to me, "Jade, just, you know, my partner just won't read your book. I really want them to read your book." And I'm like, "Please don't do that to them. You're about to push that person over the edge." And guess what? Not only are they not going to read my book, they're not going to be interested in personal development or growth because now you've given it a bad taste. If the atheists in the world exist because religion failed them, it wasn't that they became an atheist out of choice because they were like, "Oh, I'm just going to be an atheist." It's because they saw someone as part of a religion that failed them. And so whether it's personal growth, whether it's health, whether it's mindfulness, whether it's yoga, whatever your latest trend is that you're into, forcing your partner to get into it is going to push them away far more than it's going to excite them and entice them. And there's a message underlying there, which I felt in my own life where someone's pushing you to do something or to check something out and they're doing it very aggressively. I'm trying to read between the lines. I'm saying, "Steve, please read this book." I go, "Oh, this is where I'll read that as he's presenting me with a flaw that I have because the book is about, I don't know, how to be great in bed." And she's like, "Babe, please read this book." I'm thinking, "Well, what you're actually saying to me is I'm not good in bed." Yeah, totally, totally. So there's always that's the problem when you're dealing with love again, isn't it? And you're not, love means to understand why someone makes the choices they make. And most of us don't even know why they make those choices and we want them to make our choices. That's as simple as it is. You said something so amazing, which I thought was that question that Rebecca should be asking Dave, which I've never really thought about before, which is the first question you should ask them is like, "Where do they want their life to go? Where do they see this relationship going?" And then instead of trying to interfere with that and design it yourself and muddle with it, just see if it matches up to your vision of the relationship. I imagine most people listening to this now haven't done that exercise with their partner, where they haven't asked their partner, by the way, like, "What is your vision for this relationship in us?" Yeah. And even your own life. Yeah. It'd be interesting. Yeah, I think also just trying to, I think the reason why we haven't had that conversation is most of us don't even know our vision. So the reason why we haven't done that with a partner is because we don't know the answer to our own question. And so before you ask that question, you should have your own idea. I know what I want. My vision of a relationship is we wake up excited to see each other every day. We go to bed feeling accomplished and fulfilled throughout the day. We make time to connect on understanding where each other's lives are going, where they intertwine and where they separate. And we support each other in the goals. I break it down into three things in the book. I talk about liking each other's personality. And the way I define, that's the first one of the three. What I mean by that is there's an amazing study that was done that said that in order for someone to be considered a casual friend, you have to spend 40 hours with them. In order for someone to be considered a friend, you have to spend 100 hours with them. And for someone to be considered a good friend, a great friend, you have to spend 200 hours with them. What are we? So we're nothing right now, Steven. We're not doing very well on that. Now, having said that, we've always had very deep time to... Like, we're always opening our entire souls and hearts to each other. So it's a different type of relationship. But the point is, liking someone's personality is, do I want to spend 200 hours with them? That's how I like to break it down is, do I see myself spending 200 hours with this person trying to understand them? The second is, do I respect their values? You will only know their values if you ask them, if you're aware, if you can see how they spend their time and money. Most people don't like the way their partner spends their time and money, which means you don't like their values. But you're still with them because you like something else about them. But the values of the core of who that person is is a human being. And then the third is, do you want to help them achieve their goals? That's love. Love means that you want to help them get to where they want to get to. But most of us don't even know where our partners want to go, or where we want to go. So we're struggling with like three fundamental things that define love. And we'll never know because we're trying to patch it up with all the other stickers that come up in making us feel good. You said point number one there, which was waking up to them every day. Now when you said that, I thought, fuck, every day, like... Well, not every day, but I'm saying whenever you're in the same seat. But that's what my brain did, what? Every day? And then that brought my mind to this point about the role of distance in your relationships.


Distance in a relationship (01:10:39)

I've tested this law big time both ways. OK, tell me what you've learned. So my wife and I have been together for 10 years, so it's not long and it's not short. It's like, you know, it's been a good amount of time. And we've spent up to six months apart a year sometimes. And we've spent as little as two months apart a year. So we've varied in those 10 years anywhere from two months to six months a year of not seeing each other based on work, schedules, priorities, et cetera. And I was always someone who believed that distance was really good for relationships. I think it's healthy to miss each other. I think it's healthier if you have a plan of how you're going to be apart. And I think it's even healthier if you have a plan of how to reconnect after the time apart. And I think that's where relationships and distance go wrong. Most relationships and distance are either by default or with no consciousness. So we just ended up not seeing each other for X amount of time, whether that's one week, one month or whatever it may be. That unconscious time of not being with each other is not healthy for a relationship. You don't know why you're disconnected. You don't know for how long. You don't know how you're reconnecting. And you don't know how you're staying in touch. That's not good quality time away. So that's how to make time work for you. Six months is too long. Six months doesn't work. I've tried and tested it. It's really bad. It took six months after six months to reconnect. And I'm not, I literally felt like it was like a rule that for every day I was apart, I had to spend a day of quality time with that person to refine and rediscover and to sustain and to evolve and grow a relationship. And I literally felt that six months apart took me six months with my wife to get back to where we were before those six months, especially because some of those six months happened unconsciously. And so unconscious time apart isn't healthy and unconscious reconnection isn't healthy. And that was six months of conscious reconnection after six months of unconscious disconnectedness that helped us connect again. And I'd never want to do that again. It was, it was too painful to look at someone and someone you love and someone you feel you've really achieved something with to kind of feel like you had to rebuild it all again. It was, it was too much. And I don't want to do that again. And so I'm changing the way I feel about distance. I'm always going to make it conscious. It's always communicated. And some of the habits I've set up that have been really helpful is I also set up not even just disconnection physically, but time poverty and emotional. So I'm going on tour this year. And when I go on tour this year, I'm going to be on the road in the US for three weeks in total, which is quite normal for me and my wife to be apart for three weeks. So, but it's communicated. It's in the calendar. And then I come back to LA for a month and I've kept that whole schedule free because I want to plan a few trips with my wife. We may even go on a vacation, whatever it may be. And then after that, I go on my world tour, which is another four weeks or five weeks of cities all across Europe, India, Asia and Australia. And my wife will pop into a couple of cities, but she's not going to come on the whole tour with me. And so again, I'm like, okay, which city is you going to be in? Which weekends am I going to take off? Which nights am I going to be with you? And then what are we going to do when I reconnect after the world tour? It's now coming from a completely conscious, organized space, just as I would organize work, just as I would deal with a business partner. You just can't take a relationship for granted. It just will break. It will wilt away. Paul Brunson taught me something. He was on the podcast and he said that him and his wife had to make a rule. He's from America. He's had to fly all over the world to do these TV shows, etc. He said, we have a rule where if an opportunity invites us to be apart for more than two weeks, we either go together or I don't go. And he's obviously got kids and things like that. And I really thought that was really amazing. Difficult. That's difficult. Difficult. Yeah, I don't disagree with it. I just think that... So he posted on his Instagram, he was amazing. I've just been given an opportunity of a lifetime. But for practical reasons, me and my partner can't go together, so I turned it down. And I think everyone needs to come up with their own version of that rule because that's such a... It's a great rule and if him and his partner have committed to that. And that's my hope with the book, with the rules. It's like, come up with your own relationship rules. Like, one of ours is every 30 days, we spend three days together without our phones and we drive somewhere three hours away from our home in LA and spend that time together. And that's been a healthy habit for us every month because I don't think I want to wait for our annual vacation to spend quality time together. And so whether you're spending one hour together every week, undisturbed without your phones, I also think that one of the things I talk about is the levels of connection. So I had a friend who just got back from vacation with her partner and straight after that, she was like, but I didn't feel like we spent any time together. And when she told him that, he said, well, we just spent three days together. What do you mean? And when I asked her, well, if you spent three days together, what do you mean? She said, well, he was on his iPad or he was on his phone or he was on his laptop. He went actually together and I said, well, you're not asking for time. You're asking for presence and you're asking for energy. So often our vocabulary is wrong. You know, we're saying, I want you to come home from work on time. That's not what you're saying. What you're saying is I want to spend time where we share energy and interact together, but we're using the wrong language. And so A, we're not communicating what we want. But more interestingly, I found that and everyone can do this. And I really want people to take this in and really let it sit. Most of us only do one thing with our partners and it's watching TV. And that is the lowest form of intimacy that you could possibly ask for with any human being. If you and I watch TV together for 200 hours a year, we would potentially be no closer than we were before. Yet with our partners, all we do is stay glued to a box for hours every day, waste minutes searching for what to watch and then maybe having a quick little chat about it and switching it off. So I have this pyramid of intimacy and entertainment on the lowest rung of the ladder, but that's what the majority of couples are doing. So if we're only watching TV together, I promise you that relationship is not growing. It's actually falling apart slowly and you have no idea. And I know that's a painful truth to accept, but it is an inconvenient truth. So what's the opposite of TV? So higher than that. And that's why it's a ladder. There's other steps. Instead of entertainment, I'm really interested in people doing experiences together, something new, something fresh and experiment together. What I mean by that is how can you both do something that you both are not experts at? Often what we do in relationships is we say, oh, well, I love football, come watch football with me or I love this, come what's this, I love this band, come and experience this band with me. What we're doing is we're creating an expert and student mentality. I'm going to teach you what the offside rule is. I'm going to teach you about this music and this, whatever else it may be, right? We're kind of creating that idea that I know something you don't. And what that does in a relationship is it doesn't create a shared experience. A shared experience is when we both go somewhere, where we both don't have a lot of experience and now we get to discover new things about our partner. Now we get to see them in a new scenario. Now we get to make ourselves both feel vulnerable. TV is not vulnerable. So when we're talking about creating vulnerability, it's not just in conversation. It's in us both doing an escape room that we've never done before. Now we're vulnerable without even trying, right? We're both going to go and be part of an experiment experience that we've never done before because it helps us be vulnerable. Maybe we're going to try a new sport that we never played together. Me and my wife tried surfing last year, never done it before. This year we tried wakeboarding, never done it before. We both look like fools. Both can't do it to save our lives. Actually, she's much better than me. So I'll give it a credit. But the point is that the more you put yourself in uncomfortable new experiences and experiments, and by the way, I've given a range of examples, it could literally be going to an art class together or going to pottery together or whatever it may be. It can be the most basic thing. Do something when neither of you know anything about it, your vulnerability skyrockets without having to have a heart-to-heart conversation. Higher than that level is education. Go and learn together. Maybe there is a book that you can both read together. Maybe there is a podcast you can listen together. Maybe there is a retreat that you both want to go on. Maybe there is a course that you both really want to do or alternatively, you both commit to doing separate things, but you report back and talk about it. One of you is learning an art. One of you is learning self-development. Now you're sharing your exclusive learning journeys with each other. You're both growing together. And then the highest thing is serving together. Go to a soup kitchen. Go to a home in a shelter. Go somewhere that inspires you both, that affects you both. Go and help. Go and serve. Go and improve the world together. If you think about any of those three out of the four, yes, they take a bit more planning. Yes, they take a bit more time than watching TV. Actually, maybe no, I'd argue that takes the same amount of time. The quality of your relationship will skyrocket immensely by doing any of those three out of the four than just switching on the telly. And I think too many of us are losing our partners, losing ourselves and losing our relationships because we're expecting a TV show made by people who don't really care about your relationship to entertain us. It brings me to chapter five of your book where you say purpose comes first.


What drives us forward in life? (01:20:42)

And there's a quote I wrote down, which is, "For any of us to bring the best version of ourselves to our relationship, we have to pursue our own purpose." In Hinduism, it's called our Dharma. What is our Dharma? And what are the four? You talk about these four fundamental pursuits that drive us forward in life. So the Vedas talk about these four pursuits in life. Who's Vedas? The Vedas, V-E-D-A-S are the kind of umbrella scriptures, the umbrella spiritual texts that have all of this life advice and wisdom that I share from that context. So the Vedas are the particular texts and they have these four pursuits of life. And they are Dharma, Arthur, Karma and Moksha. And I'll describe each word because those all Sanskrit words. So Dharma is purpose. We'll dive into that one more deeply. Arthur, and all of my work is pretty much dedicated to this. And I'll break it down to my own language to make it simpler for everyone. I believe that there are four important decisions that we all get to make in life. The first one is how I feel about myself. The second one is what do I do to make money? We only need money. What do we do for it? The third is who do I decide to love and receive love from? And the fourth is how do I choose to serve the world? How do I choose to impact the world? And so these are the four main pursuits that the Vedas espouse. Dharma is your purpose and who you are. Arthur is economic development. Karma is relationships and connection and Moksha is liberation or service or like ultimate giving. And so those are the four pursuits and it's really interesting to me that Dharma is placed as the first pursuit, not love. And it's really interesting because you look at people, they did a study on people graduating from college and they asked them that if you were to get married in the next five years or stay single, what would be your happiness prediction? The majority of people predicted that if they got married, their happiness would be at an eight, but if they remain single, their happiness would be at a three. That perception is mind-blowing to me. They believe that if they were in a relationship, their happiness would go to an eight. If they were single, it would be at a three. The reality is if they stayed single and they did, their happiness stayed at a seven. And so their perception of loneliness, their perception of being alone was far greater. And so a lot of us skip purpose because we find connection is an easier solve to our internal unhealing. So we feel that if I'm with someone, I'm going to feel better about myself than if I have to do that work myself. And is this in order? Yes, that's in order. Dharma, art, to come amongst you. Okay, so karma is essentially pleasure and connection. Correct. This is your relationship with others. People prioritize that as being number one. Number one. Exactly. And that's what I'm saying is the mistake that you're hoping that someone is going to come and heal your wounds without doing it yourself, which is why we're living in a world where the right person could come into your life and reduce drama. And the wrong person comes into your life and increases trauma. And that's the experience that we're having that we're coming from these unhealed places, but we don't know our purpose. We don't know our values. We don't know our goals. We mess with someone else who doesn't know their purpose, doesn't know their values and doesn't know their goals. And it leads to confusion. It leads to broken hearts. It leads to abuse. It leads to manipulation and control. And so I do this very simply and I ask couples that I work with and I've been coaching a lot of couples over the last few years, especially while writing this book. And I ask couples that I'm working with to rate their top three priorities in order, including themselves. And I remember doing this with a lot of couples and one particular couple and the man said, you, the kids, me. And the woman said, me, the kids, you. And when we had this discussion, he was heartbroken. He said, how could you put yourself above the kids? He goes, I'm not mad that I'm number three. I'll take that all day. But how did you put yourself above the kids? How could you even do that? Sounds like he's mad at being in a but three. Just using the kids. It's about me. Yeah. And it was really interesting because she gave the answer that I think me and you would, you know, validate and agree with that. She was like, but if I don't fill my own bottle, if I don't fill my own cup, if I'm not my best self, what am I giving to you guys? I'm giving you leftovers. And she's saying that it's not that the kids are second on my list because I don't care about them. And if they needed me, they're going to be second. It's more that I know that I have to invest in myself. And so I think we live in a world where we think sacrificing our purpose makes us a better partner. We think the self sacrifice and the self sabotage of our own goals and our own pursuits makes us a better person when actually it doesn't, it makes us more resentful, more guilty, more upset. And I'm saying that because I've seen people who gave up their dreams for decades, only in their fifties and sixties to look back and go when the kids left to go, I wish I never gave up on my dreams. So I'm not saying this as theory. I'm saying this is sitting down with people, working with people and seeing people throw away their own purpose in the pursuit of, I think that sacrificing it makes me a better human being. It really reminded me then of my best performing quote ever. Okay. I want to hear it. This is the best performing quote I've ever had. So much so that actually when I googled it, it's attributed to someone else, which is really crazy. Oh man. It's crazy. It's crazy. I just googled it, right? And this person has tweeted the exact same thing, which I actually wrote about my ex-girlfriend. And it's got 150,000 likes on Twitter and 75,000 retweets. It did better than when I posted it. It's crazy, isn't it? That's amazing. But the quote is I'm actually just going to read this because I'll read mine. Yeah. It's the exact same thing, word for word. If we're dating, I want to be your second priority. I want your first priority to be you, your ambitions, your life and your future because my priority right now is me and mine. And finding happiness and security alone is crucial to us finding it together. And I wrote that actually in response to my ex-girlfriend who made me really realize that that we're going to have no relationship. We're going to have no security. We're not going to have any happiness if we haven't first found that to some extent together. And I've always almost criticized that perspective of mine. I thought, Steve, is that because you're selfish and you're ambitious and you just want to be or is there truth in that? And this is in during question I have, which is what role is your partner meant to play? And we've kind of talked about it a little bit, but in fixing you. Do you have to be completely happy before you meet them? Or can you rely on them to make you happy? Yeah. And by the way, it's only not unselfish. So yes, what you just said in self reflection, it is a completely selfish idea if you don't afford your partner the same flexibility and openness to live that way. So it is selfish if you say, I'm going to go achieve this, I want to go build this life. And by the way, you've got to come with me. You've got to be, if I was saying this hypothetically to my wife, you've got to be on every flight I take next year. My work's really important. I'm saving the world. I'm doing a world tour. You come with me. If you have that belief, that is completely selfish and ego based. But if my belief is, yes, this is my calling. This is what I'm meant to do on this planet. And I'm really moved by that. But my wife's got an amazing calling herself. And I get so much more attracted to her watching her live her calling. My wife becomes more attractive to me. Amen. The more she lives her purpose. Not your wife. I'm talking about mine. Yeah. My wife doesn't become attractive to me because she's helping me and my purpose by just following and tagging along. Do you know how she'll become even more attractive if she opens that restaurant? Yeah, I know. That would like, you know, put it right up there. But yeah, the idea that, you know, and so I think there is a selfishness, right? And I wanted to caveat that. So I'm not saying you need to be perfectly happy. I'm saying you need to know who you are. Yeah. You need to know your values currently. And you need to know your goals currently. All those things will change and evolve as you grow and evolve. But if you've done the practice of understanding that at this point, you're going to be better at communicating, articulating and evolving and sharing it again when it changes. What if I'm really hurt? I was cheated on. I was in a seven year relationship. I'm thinking about one of my friends. I was in a seven year relationship. I was cheated on. Now I'm insecure. You know, I've a low self esteem. Is it relationship time? No, not at all. Not one bit. Because that's the point that we're talking about where you skip step one. You skip Dharma and you've leaned into karma because you don't want to sort Dharma. Dharma is making sense of who you are and who you want to be and what your role in this world is. And I feel that when you walk into a relationship with that insecurity, it now ruins potentially the safest secure person that you could have been with. And so I'll go on. I was just going to say, you know, this is, this is who am I to judge? I had all of my own BS to deal with and overcome and understand about myself. Much of which I've talked about many times before. But if I, if I was to take a cross section of the people in my life that are struggling relationships, almost every single one of them has skipped the first stage, which is the hard stage.


What’s your advice for people struggling to find love (01:30:27)

And you know, the thing about that, that first stage is a lot of people just don't feel like they have the time. Yes. Especially we're all getting a little bit older, you know, things have changed in society, which mean people are getting in less relationships and they're getting in them later in life. So some people feel that they have a clock. And that means that when they think, look, Jay, I'm X years old today and you're telling me to do this Dharma and this Arthur, I need to get to karma. I need to find this guy. And what we don't realize is that the work that you skip in step one and two, you're going to have to do with another person. Yeah. And that work doing it with them is going to slow the quality of that relationship down, actually ruin a great thing and push someone away. Amen. And actually make a mess of the situation. And so it's kind of like a game where it's like you could have the cheat code that skips you to 10, but the skills of levels one to nine help you win at 10. Yeah. But if you skip the game because you had the cheat code or you tried to rush it or you got a pirate version or whatever it is, you now can't win at level number 10. And I think we don't realize that what the game of life does is it pushes you back to learn the lessons you haven't learned yet. So you get into a relationship out of insecurity. That person breaks up with you. You're back to being insecure again. Then you get into another relationship to solve your insecurity. That person breaks up with you and then you get insecure again. You're constantly being pushed into saying deal with this insecurity alone. Fix it, figure it out, learn about it, get curious about it. And by the way, when you do that next time you walk into a relationship, a you'll know or have more chance of knowing whether that person's going to be right or wrong. But if it's right, you're going to be able to make it work and you're not going to push away something that's powerful. And to summarize these steps, so Dharma is, as written here in the book, purpose clarifies your values and priorities to yourself and your partner. That's really working on yourself. Step two, Arthur is working towards stability in terms of your finances, health, self development and personal growth. And once you're there, you're ready for some karma, which is pleasure and connection, which is basically relationships with others. It's so interesting. One of the questions I did want to ask you today before we even got here was exactly this. I actually had a conversation an hour before you arrived with a friend of mine who is in her mid 30s and is really struggling with relationships and I was having a conversation with her about it. And it's all the things we just talked about, which is like she feels like she's running out of time. She feels like there's the world is changed and it's now all digital and like she's not meeting enough people. She thinks maybe if I go get my hair done and this done and I get that done or if I get a membership to say her house, maybe then I'll fucking meet a guy. And like what you must encounter these people in your DMs over and over again that are saying that I'm nearly 40 years old. I'm single. It's not working for me. What's your advice to those people? Well, I think the first thing I'd say is it is hard. It is a really tough time to be single right now compared to what it was like a few years ago. It is much harder with the landscape and how it's changed like 25, 50 years ago, you'd meet someone who lived in a one to five mile radius from your home. You wouldn't even be thinking about having a long distance relationship in the same way. Whereas today you're meeting anyone and everyone all across the world. You have an app that connects you to anyone in that location and area wherever you just got off a plane. So there is complexity. There's more choice now. There's the paradox of choice of well, there's plenty of fish in the sea. And if this doesn't work out, there's so many more people and other people that are thinking about you and you're worried about that. So it is much harder. And so I don't want to get away from that. Like I don't want to negate the fact that dating today and finding love is hard. It's why I wrote the book. I think that what I'm encouraging for people to understand is that A, having all those insecurities around relationships doesn't put you in the best decision making profile to make the right decision. So all of that stress and all of that insecurity and all of that anxiety is more likely to push you into a relationship that is unhealthy and toxic than it is to help you move in the right direction. So first of all, I just want you to accept that making a decision from your current mindset is not going to help you make a good one. It's just not going to work. You're more likely to settle for someone. You're more likely to give in for something less than you deserve because right now you're just happy with anything. You're just happy with someone who texts you back. And that's not the relationship you want to be in. So first I would accept that this mindset is not going to help you. The mindset that is going to help you is, okay, if I figure out three simple things, just what I like and what I don't like about myself and in life, not about a person. I'm not asking you to even think about a person. What do I like and not like as me? What are my values personally right now? Like what's valuable to me? Not about this person. What's valuable to me? And what are my goals? If you figure out those three things, you're more likely to meet people. How? If you know what you like and dislike, you're going to spend time in places that you like and dislike where you're more likely to meet people that have similar likes and dislikes or that at least you can connect with. Second, if you know your values, you're more likely to know who to ask for an introduction to someone because you know who knows who. You know that that friend of yours is more likely to know someone who has a similar value because they're of that value. And then goals make it easier to figure out whether it's going to go somewhere. So you actually speed up and simplify a really tough selection process because our whole society has set us up to say, right, list of what you want in a person. Right, list of what you want in yourself, like just write a list of like, who are you? What are my values and what are my goals? And you figured that out. It becomes so much more easier to weed it out. And so I would encourage you to say, this isn't a, you don't have to become a monk for three years. You don't have to go and like live in a mountain top. You don't have to go in a yoga retreat. Like I'm not telling you to do this for like decades. You could do this in three months if you wanted to. Like this isn't like a decade long process. There's something really interesting here about like delaying gratification just generally I was actually reading yesterday about the people that delay gratification in their lives and those that don't and why from a physiological standpoint, some people don't delay gratification. I was reading about the marshmallow test, which I'm sure you've heard about. And some of the factors that are at play there is when people are stressed, you know, in the case of a marshmallow, it creates a dopamine hit, which is a feel good, you know, chemical for the reward center in your brain. So one can understand why you would reach for the marshmallow. If you were feeling stressed and you needed that dopamine hit, one of them is also self-esteem. Yeah. Which is if your self-esteem is low and you're looking for the same kind of dopamine hit you get from having a fucking bad one night stand with the wrong person, it's much harder to delay your gratification and make good long term decisions in line with your values if your self-esteem is low. So all of these things point to this like fundamental, which I think people miss in our society because we live in a society where I'd rather have it now, I'd rather go to a surgeon and get it fixed. I'd rather, you know, do it on Photoshop than actually do the work. It's like doing the work, you don't see, but who the fuck wants to do the work? Totally. It's like doing that, the foundational stuff is the answer to all of the stuff you see on the outside. And you know what you're saying with that example is that you also, you also attract what you use to impress. So if you use something specific to impress someone, that's the quality and vibration of energy you're attracting. So if I use money, money like I did. To attract someone which works perfectly well, you're attracting someone who values that about you. Yes. If you use your only your physical appearance, obviously we're all attracted to you and that's fine. But if you only use your physical appearance and you believe that's your only asset and you're playing the game of just showing off that, guess what you're going to attract? That's a really important question because that solves something for one of the people I'm thinking about in my head, this person, she's not, I wouldn't say she's a friend, she's not somebody that I know. And she's using her outstanding beauty to attract people. Yeah. And it's failed to over and over again because she's attracting the wrong type of person with the wrong type of values in her own words. And in my, to bring this back to myself, there was this phase between 18 and 23, I'm going to say, where all I used to attract girls with bottles of Dom Perion in a club, I would buy five bottles of Dom Perion a night, you know, and I'd like bring the sparklers and it was like a mouse trap. Yeah. And it was attracting the wrong type of values. Yes. Because I was the wrong type of values. Correct. And you don't think that and the worst part about that for your friend is that it's not just an issue that the guy she attracts value only that about her. The biggest issue is she's setting herself to only value that about her. Amen. Which means when someone leaves her for that reason, it just plays into the belief of I'm not good enough. It's a beautiful, uh, fable story that I love to share. And it's about a kid who finds like a gem in his house, like a stone. And he goes up to his dad and he says, how much is this stone worth dad? What's the value of this stone? And the dad says, I want you to go out to the baker. And when you go out to the baker, say that you're selling the stone. And when they ask you how much it is, hold up two fingers. And so the kid said, okay, I'll do that. The kid ran out, went to the baker. The baker said, oh, that looks nice. How much are you selling it for? Kid held up two fingers. The baker said, oh, two dollars. I'll take it. So the kid ran back. And the kids said, dad, they're a baker off of two dollars. The dad said, okay, now I want you to go to an antique shop. And I want you to show them the jewel, uh, the stone. When you show them the stone, I want you to hold up two fingers again. So the boy runs off and the antique person says, oh, that's a nice stone. How much is it? And the boy holds up two fingers. And he says, oh, 200, 200 dollars. Okay. Yeah, I'll take it. And the boy runs back. And then the, and then dad says, okay, now I want you to go to this jeweler and this restore of gems and stones and jewels and go up and do the same thing. The boy runs back, goes to this, shows the stone, holds up two fingers. And the jeweler says, oh, $2,000. I'll take it. And you know, that story to me is really the story that we're all going through where we're letting someone else define our worth by what we showed them and how all those people are going to rate you based on their own knowledge and their own experience. So if you're a person of low vibration and insecurity and anxiety and you're letting someone define you at $2 worth, that's what you're getting. Whereas if you've already priced yourself at this is my worth, this is who I am, this is my value, you'll never let someone undervalue you. And that's the challenge today is that because we don't value ourselves and we're letting someone else value us, we are being undervalued by every person we date and meet. And that's how everyone feels. Everyone feels like that stone that is undervalued because you're not being perceived by the right people for the right things. So true. And I wasn't going to ask this question, but it tees up because I always think about, you know, Sophia, who's listening to this and it's just heard you say that and she's going, I completely agree Jay. The next question is, how do I genuinely, not bullshit, how do I genuinely value myself more? Not just saying it in the mirror and writing it down. How do I genuinely value myself more so that I can get better from the world? So this is, and I love what you just said, I don't believe that value comes from a journal or a conversation with yourself in a mirror. Please buy the diary. And I love journaling and I love affirmations, but that's what- Cut that out, Jack. No, keep it in there. No, no, no, no. What's really interesting is self value, real self worth comes from doing hard things. We keep talking about self love. We keep talking about loving yourself, believing in yourself. That happens naturally when you go through something difficult. Everyone who's listening right now, I guarantee you has been through something difficult. Maybe they lost a friend. Maybe they've been through cancer. Maybe they lost their job and had to rebuild. Maybe they completely got destroyed during the pandemic and had to figure everything out with their health. The point is we've all done hard things and self worth and self value comes from recognizing the hardship you've been through and the growth that you made during that time. Now, if you're someone who's listening and saying, "J, well, I'm not sure I've been through anything that challenging, well, that's your challenge." Go and figure out what it is that you want to do that's hard. Is it developing a new skill? Is it getting a qualification? Is it starting that business or dream that you've always wanted to do? That's that difficult thing you're going to do on your own with your friends, with the support of whoever's around you, but not with the crutch or the handicap of a partner. What are you going to build as a skill, as a tool, as a value yourself that's going to make you say, "I've done something." That's the beginning of it. The beginning is, "I've done something and I did that and I can do that." When you do that, yes, there's going to be, you're going to validate the wrong things. You're going to give yourself praise for the wrong things. You're going to go through ego. You're going to do all of that, but there's still a belief of, "I can do hard things. I can do hard things by myself and I know what value I bring to a relationship."


Sex (01:44:32)

You were just talking about doing hard things. Let's talk about sex. Sex is a huge part of relationships. One of the really interesting things I want to talk to you about is, again, if I look at my friendship group, my small friendship group of maybe six guys, my best friends, I'd say three of them are currently having a really, really hard time as it relates to sex with their partner for a variety of reasons. Reason number one that I've heard. My partner doesn't like having sex. We have sex once every three months. Reason number two I've heard. My partner doesn't like the way that I have sex. On those first two points, I'm horrified, surprised that so many people I speak to are struggling in that department. Yeah. With sex. Yeah. And there's not the conversation around sex is either nonexistent or poor and influenced. What's your take on sex and what's going on in the world? Yeah, I'm so glad you brought it up because of social media, there's this image that everyone else is having sex and I'm not. Like I feel like that's a very big feeling that a lot of people have. And all the stats show that people are having less and less sex. There are more and more sexless relationships and marriages every single year and it's so much more common yet in our groups and online everyone feels like, "Oh, they're getting some and they're getting some and they're getting some but I'm not." And the truth is most people are not getting any and that's just I don't have the stats offhand right now but whenever I've looked at the trends, that's what the trends show. To me, it comes back down to everything we've just been talking about. Social chemistry and attraction and connection is all based on a how someone feels about themselves. If someone themselves is not feeling taken care of by themselves, attractive, investing in themselves, growing, feeling like they're becoming more and better, it's very unlikely that they're going to want to share their body, mind, emotions and heart with anyone else in the most physically intimate way, which is sex. It's just unlikely and chances are if you don't think you're having those conversations, you want to have with your partner where you are being open, where they are working on their values, where we do see each other striving, chances are that you're not going to want to have sex with them either. And so what we're seeing is that the challenge we're having in sex is actually coming from everything else that's going on, that there isn't a sense of growth, joy, purpose. But great sex is a byproduct of great connection and intimacy. It's not a replacement for or a source of. If I asked everyone who's listening right now, put your hand up if you've had amazing sex but no connection in a relationship, right? Like that's been real. We've all used sex as a crutch. We've had relationships where every time we argued we had sex, it solved the problem. Every time something was going wrong, we had sex, it was figured out somehow. The studies show that the chemicals released during sex make you feel like you're getting closer even though you're not actually emotionally closer. So when you look at all of the stats, when you look at all the research, when you look at everything we've just described, sex is a byproduct of a healthy individual and a healthy individual and a growing individual and a growing individual coming together, sorting out their differences, having the fights they need to have, having the conversations they do that naturally creates vulnerability which leads to being able to expose ourselves at the deepest, most physical way that we possibly can. How can you expose yourself that vulnerably if you can't even have a vulnerable conversation with your partner because you just switch on the TV every night and avoid that difficult conversation? It becomes like a transaction. It becomes a transaction and then sex becomes in the best case a crutch and a hopeful aspiration on a special night or whatever it may be or something we wait for and plan for and it never works out. As opposed to in the worst case, it just becomes something we're both not talking about, comfortable about or even doing. Or an obligation. Or an obligation. Yeah, yeah, like an obligation. Someone's just sitting there like, you know, come on three minutes. Literally. Yeah. All right, let's get it over and done with like that mindset and I'm like, well, like there isn't because we've lost intimacy in relationships, there is no intimacy and so you can't force it physically. There's no intimacy in porn. There's no intimacy in porn for sure. They don't like do the small talk. I don't pay for that. Exactly. There's no intimacy in porn. There's no and the problem is and this is, you know, the book starts with this quote, but it solves this problem very, very neatly and carefully and it's this idea that the Buddha was once approached and asked, what's the difference between I like you and I love you? Which is a brilliant question. And the Buddha replied, when you like a flower, you simply pluck it, but when you love a flower, you water it every day. And to me, the one night stand, the porn, the dopamine hit, the release of chemical is the plucking, right? That's what we're all plucking all day long because that's all we can do. The watering, the intimacy, developing intimacy, growing from entertainment to experiments, to experiences, to education, to engaging in service together, all of this creates so much intimacy that physical intimacy is a natural byproduct. It's not something you have to manage or engineer or manufacture. Like, it's not this separate thing. It's based on how close I feel to you. And the point is when don't feel close to our partners because we don't do anything that makes us close for every day, sleeping in the same bed as someone does not make you close to someone. Living in the same house as someone does not make you close to someone. The only thing that makes you feel close to someone is when you feel you can be open and when you feel seen, heard and understood in your most vulnerable, darkest and open times. If you can do that, everything else is going to work. But if you can't do that, you can't just make it happen in a moment because you're meant to be together. You're meant to be in love. What about masturbation? Do you think masturbation to porn helps or hurts relationships? I think in the long term it hurts. I think it's unhealthy because it's an avoidance and an escape, right? That's the point. It's like, what is it being used as? It's not being used as self-connection or self-understanding. It's been used as escape and avoidance of the actual topic. All that's doing is rewiring your brain for false expectations, diminishing returns as well. All the studies that I did look at showed that porn is making you work harder. You're going to have to find something more extreme. All the stats that I saw showed that you had to watch more extreme porn to get the same feeling. The most searched porn and the most watched porn was abusive, sometimes violent, sometimes rough, hardcore. All the searched terms were more extreme to get the same feeling because of the diminishing returns of the chemicals that are being released. So now you're rewiring your brain to not feel as much pleasure from normal sex or more traditional conventional sex. You're now saying that I'm only going to feel pleasure from sex when it's potentially abusive, violent, somewhat rough, hardcore, whatever else it may be. So I think that's massively unhealthy. There's something it does to your expectations as well. That's what we're saying. Your expectations of sex become completely unrealistic. Your expectations of intimacy are just thrown out the window. There must be so many people listening to this. Both men and women because both sexes do watch porn. It's quite naive of one to assume it's just men that are jacking off in their bedrooms or whatever. But I bet there's people listening to this who have a partner that's constantly watching it and they know they watch it potentially. Maybe they've caught them a few times and they really want them to stop. They think it's maybe killing their desire in a relationship. It's a difficult conversation to... Oh, God. Yeah. It's really tough. And like I said, when I was... You know, I think it'd be interesting to look at this and I would be fascinated to see whether the people that are watching porn, and I need to talk to more people than I have about it, the people that I know that watch porn and that's why I'm only speaking for my experience, don't feel good about it. They internally, deeply at the root when we're in a coaching session and we get to the core of it, they feel guilty, they feel shameful, they feel embarrassed about it. It doesn't make them feel good. And they wouldn't openly admit it in a community of people. Now, I'm speaking about a very specific group of people that have come to me for help or support in their relationships. They don't feel good about it. That doesn't mean they don't feel good when they're watching it. I'm saying they don't feel good afterwards. When they think about it, when they reflect on it, they're like, "That's not what I imagined would be my sex life. That's not where I thought I'd turn to for satisfaction and enjoyment." So to me, that's, again, comes back to down the same approach. And that's why the approach is always the same. We're always approaching the problem or the challenge from empathy and compassion. We're not approaching it from judgment and accusation of like, "Are you such a waste? You're such a lazy..." That mindset doesn't ever make someone want to open up. If you run up to your partner and said, "God, you just watch porn all the time. You're just one of the worst guys. Like, having seen all my mates, they're doing this and they get this from their partners. And what are you doing?" That person's never going to tell you. And they watch porn or what their challenge with it is or how embarrassed they feel or whatever it may be. Was if you went up to them and said, "Hey, I know that you watch porn and I wanted to know when it started. When did you get into it? Like, allow yourself to be an interviewer about it, not an interrogator. And I feel like one of the biggest mistakes we make in our relationships is we interrogate our partners, not interview them. Let's be curious. Let's actually try and understand it. Let's look at it because it's human. It's natural. Like we said, 99% of people are doing it anyway. So why are we pretending like it's only in our relationship? Why are we pretending that, "Oh, no one else does this, but only my partner does this." That's not true. So it's that widespread and it's that common. And there's this huge industry that's been built off of it. Why are we judging our partner and why are we making them feel less than? Do you watch porn? I don't. I mean, when you, you know, I mean, three years have been a sell-of-it monk with no access to the internet or phone gives you some good training. I feel like, so I grew up and I like to play Y2. I feel like I started having sex early. And so early in the sense for me, so I felt that when were the years where most of my friends were watching porn, I was having sex. And so I didn't get into it as a habit early on in life, which is where I found it formed for most of my friends. And then by the time they were having real sex, I became a monk. And so it was a really weird order of stuff. Does that make sense? Yeah, it makes perfect sense. Yes. For me, it was that idea of like, yeah, it was just, I think I had the real thing when my friends were watching porn and then by the time they were having the real thing, I was on such a different path. Three years of celibacy. Three years of celibacy would do it to you. It was one of the hardest. No, thanks. It was one of the hardest and best things though, because one of the things we don't realize, and I want to address this, and celibacy is really interesting thing to address. I would love to see more people, and this may be not a popular concept, and I'm good with that. I would love to see more people, date people, without having sex for a committed number of months. So committing with the new person that you're dating to not make sex a connection point. So one of my good friends did this recently as well, and he found that it gave him the ability to make better decisions as to whether there was real intimacy, whether there was real connection, and whether there was something real here that could be built upon with sex. As opposed to, God, I'm just so attracted to her, and she's so attracted to me, and we just have the best sex ever, or we don't, and then that's what it's all hanging on. And so I actually would go down that route and say that celibacy doesn't have to be practiced how I practiced it as a monk. Celibacy can be practiced in small doses, not because you're trying to be celibate and you're trying to repress yourself. That's not what I'm encouraging. What I'm encouraging is why not use it as a way of making healthier decisions, because studies show we don't make good decisions after we have sex. And studies show that we don't make good decisions when we've had sex with someone for a long time, because that's completely rewiring how we feel about them. So that's one way of looking at it. And the other way I'd say even going even more extreme is being celibate as a monk allowed me to redirect all that energy and the word for monk in the tradition I stayed in is brahmacharya or brahmacharya. And what that means technically is proper use of that energy. So celibacy is not a repression or a suppression or a closing off. It's reutilizing that vital energy in a different direction. If you think about how much money, time and energy you've spent chasing someone that you liked, the amount of time in your head, the amount of time on your phone, text messages, dating apps, the amount of money you spent, I would have been so rich if I never took anyone out on a date before 21. Like think about all the money I wasted on showing off to women before I was 21. Right, that Dom Perions. Yeah, exactly. Take all of that energy. Think about what you could achieve creatively. If you used all that energy used to pursue another person, if you use that energy to create, because it's creative energy. So to me celibacy was far more about I got to use three years of creative energy in doing a lot of self work that I otherwise could have taken years to do because of so many distractions and pursuits that kind of spread that energy across. We have a closing tradition on this podcast.


Final Audience Questions

The last guest question (01:59:07)

I know. I like it. I like it. It's interesting. I've never done this before. I don't usually tell people who the person's been left by, but I know you're a Manchester United fan. Huge. That's all I'm going to say. Huge. Gary. Yeah. Is there a time in your childhood when you could look back and think this is the reason why I'm sitting here today? Plus why? It's beautiful. I'd have to say it's, I'd have to say it's getting to meet the monks because I was 18 when I first met a monk, which I talk about in think like a monk. I just don't think I've ever visibly experienced or emotionally experienced humility and compassion. Like I say these words and we use them as a society, but I think there's very few people in the world that you could actually say display boundless compassion and extreme humility and sincere empathy. And I'm really lucky because I saw that all in real life. Like I've seen it. Why does that make you emotional? I can see it in your face because it's, I feel, I feel that that's the biggest lack in the world today that the reason why we struggle with living these ideas is because we don't have enough role models that live these. We don't have people that we could point to in our immediate accessible life that we would say are boundlessly compassionate or that we, we would say are extremely empathetic or that we would say are genuinely humble to the core. Like that's so rare. And I think if I hadn't experienced it, I wouldn't believe it was possible to achieve it and to access it and for us to see the benefits of it. But because I got to do that at 18 and continue to do so now when I spend time with those individuals, I really believe in the greatness and the genuineness of humanity. Like I believe it's there. Like I believe that that spark exists within each and every single person who's listening. And I believe that it fully is who we truly are deepest in our spirit. That's who we are. And I just want to be able to help people uncover that part of themselves. And I'm here because I've seen it and I'm here because I've experienced it. I'm here because I've lived with it. And so even if I don't have it to that capacity, I know it exists. And I would like other people to have access to it. And so that's why I'm here today. That's a brilliant question. Well done, Rhea. Or whoever it is. Or Cristiano Ronaldo. If you did that one, I would flip out. Former Manchester. Yeah. Yeah, Cristiano is dead to me. Yeah. Jay, thank you. Thank you once again. Every time we spend time together, it's such an honor and a privilege. This time, it's funny because I never think we can, it's always, there's always a risk that we might not be able to top it at per se. Did you know what I mean? But it's not really about that, is it? It's about like, it's exactly what this is, which is the variety. It's the depth, it's the honesty, it's the openness, which I feel like I can only do with someone like you who is willing to reciprocate, but also has done a lot of work to kind of find those answers. So thank you for always for doing this. Thank you for breaking your little month long sort of time out, your holiday to come and do this as well. It means a lot to me. Thank you for writing a great book on a topic. Your book is so good that I've decided not to write one on this topic. I think that we talked about this in LA when we went for lunch. Like, it's such a great book and it's so hard to write interesting, unique things on a topic like love, which has been written a lot about. But you've managed to do that with this book. I read things in this book that I've never heard before that allowed me to understand something that I've been struggling with or struggled to articulate from a brand new perspective. And also I have to say, I'm exceptionally excited to come and see your world tour, which is on sale now. Me and my partner are going to come and watch it in London. Yeah. Extremely excited. I'm just generally more excited to see what you do live because I think there's huge, huge potential in your message delivered in that medium on stage. I know you've done lots of live things before, but I'm particularly excited by this. And I implore everybody to come and join me on the tour because I know if you do it, then it's going to be significant, important and valuable. So I'm super excited to come watch you on the tour. Everyone can go by tickets now. And the book is necessary. So if anyone's looking, if anyone's had any struggles with some of the topics you've discussed today, all of them are explaining more detail in this wonderful book, which really is another pioneering book of our time. And I say that on the back of it. I'm actually so happy I'm on the back of it. That's amazing. So everybody go check out the book. Jay, thank you. Stephen, thank you so much, man. And I do want to say this and I do mean it. And I messaged you, can't remember, maybe it was a week ago or whatever. And I said to you, like, let's just have the conversation that we can have. Like, I don't need you to, you know, I don't want to have a conversation that ever with you or with anyone, but especially with someone that I know and I feel comfortable with. And I had no idea where today was going to go. And I honestly, like, these are probably things we would have talked about if they weren't microphones. And so I think that, and I do feel, I definitely feel like I was because of our relationship and as our relationship is weird too, but, you know, in the sense of how open I do feel with you sometimes, but I would say that in my eyes, I feel we did something different to last time in an evolved version where there was even more vulnerability from me because of our relationship. And I think that that's, you know, I hope everyone who's listening, like, receives that in that I was that open because I was with you and there was something that I feel trusted by. It's also feel someone that I feel understands me, even though we haven't spent the time to understand me in a different way and sees me and hears me differently. And so I can allow myself to be that vulnerable. Huge compliment. Thank you, Jake. Appreciate you, bro. Thank you so much. See you again soon. Absolutely, man. Bye.


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