Unlock The Secrets Of Your Mind, Boost Productivity & Reduce Stress! - Yung Pueblo | E255 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Unlock The Secrets Of Your Mind, Boost Productivity & Reduce Stress! - Yung Pueblo | E255".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

People don't understand their capacity. You don't need to hit rock bottom to be the best version of yourself. What you just have to do is-- I love that. Young Puebla, the expert in unlocking your true potential, he's a meditator and best-selling author whose work has impacted the lives of millions. The world is incredibly challenging. The demands are intense. And whether you've experienced serious trauma or not, hard moments get accumulated into the mind. We're trapped in this tight little bubble by our past. It keeps us in a loop. You react very intensely with anger, with sadness, with a lot of anxiety, stress, but healing and letting go are possible. How? The best tool that we don't access is meditation. If there's someone listening to this now and they go, I don't meditate. I've tried it, didn't work. What is the pitch you'd make to them? Steve Jobs, the same ultimate. High-performing people cultivate their minds and meditate. I stay cool under pressure and make more creative decisions. I can do more with less stress. It's essential for your mental health. When I grew up, I didn't want to admit to myself that I didn't feel good. Constantly trying to cope myself in pleasure by drinking as much as possible, doing tons of drugs where I almost lost my life. Everything was going terrible, but when I started meditating, everything changed. Requires this application of self-awareness to really unlock your happiness. You gotta see what you're doing to yourself, meditating in the biggest investment that I've made in my life. In a specific way. How does your meditation look? There's two main things. One is... Before this episode starts, I have a small favor to ask from you. Two months ago, 74% of people that watched this channel didn't subscribe. We're now down to 69%. My goal is 50%. So if you've ever liked any of the videos we've posted, if you liked this channel, can you do me a quick favor and hit the subscribe button? It helps this channel more than you know, and the bigger the channel gets, as you've seen, the bigger the guests get. Thank you and enjoy this episode. Young Pueblo, Diego Perez.

Personal Growth And The Healing Process

What mission are you on? (02:02)

When you look at the body of work you've produced, and you look specifically at the writing, the content that you've put out into the world, what mission are you on? What is it you're trying to do? What effect you try to have on society at large? I think the mission is really hoping to raise self-awareness around the fact that healing and letting go are possible. So I got into this world really early on. I think it was 2011 when I started realizing that healing was even possible. And this was before wellness was even a giant, sort of this giant world that it is today. And to me it was a shock. You know, when I grew up, I thought that if you were sick physically or mentally in some manner, you just had to deal with that for the rest of your life. You couldn't really fix that in any way. And when I started changing my habits, when I started changing what I was eating, when I started reassessing my friend group, and then eventually when I started meditating, the changes were so massive that I was so shocked by them that I wanted to really check in with myself and see that is this real, and it was real. So that just kind of pushed me into writing where I felt this sort of creative pull to share the little bit that I know. And it was interesting because I know that I don't know everything. I'm not fully healed. I'm not fully wise. I have a long way to go. But hopefully some of the things that I'm reflecting on could inspire other people to do this serious work as well. - And why? Why does it matter that we heal? Why does it matter? - I think it's because it's pretty necessary to live a better life. Like I think whether you've experienced serious trauma or not, you've definitely had hard moments in your life. And those hard moments get accumulated into the mind. They literally, you know, the times when you react very intensely with anger, with sadness, with whatever emotion it is, that reaction gets accumulated in your mind and predisposes you to feeling that same thing again. And oftentimes we don't quite realize that we're sort of like trapped in this tight little bubble by our past and we're thinking the same things, saying the same things, making the same actions. And it keeps us in a loop. But if you start healing, you can basically get access to your freedom. - So thinking about what you said there about your own healing journey where you couldn't believe the results were real and true.

Your own healing journey (04:30)

What did you heal from? - I think a lot of it was anxiety and stress and this sort of scarcity mindset. So I was born in Ecuador and the city called Waiakeel. I came to the United States when I was about four years old with my parents. When we got to the United States, it was incredibly difficult. Like we were stuck in the classic American poverty trap. My mom, she worked cleaning houses. My dad, he worked at a supermarket. So there was no upward mobility for us. They didn't know English. We went through a really difficult time. So as I was growing up, I didn't notice how that was affecting me until I got to college where I had so much anxiety and stress about, I would see my parents fight constantly about how they were going to pay the rent, how they were gonna get more groceries. I experienced multiple times where I was eight-year-old child and I'm so hungry 'cause there wasn't enough food in the fridge. And this all got accumulated over time and never really properly processed. I didn't have access to a therapist back then, meditating back then. It was sort of just coping mechanisms. And when I got to university, I hit this breaking point where I didn't want to admit to myself that I didn't feel good. I was constantly trying to cope myself in pleasure by drinking as much as possible, smoking as much as possible, always with friends, never alone. And I ended up just building all these bad habits where I was partying constantly, doing tons of drugs, and eventually hit that breaking point in the summer of 2011 where I almost lost my life. I talked to a doctor afterwards and described to them what happened and they were like, oh yeah, it sounds like a mild heart attack where I had just taken way too many drugs one night, was on the floor crying, basically, praying, begging for my life. 'Cause I didn't want to go out like that. And going through that experience, and then basically taking a different route into the life that I have now, I think I'm really grateful that I had that strength and I want other people to know that they have that strength too. - So, moving on on that moment then, when you go off to college, you find yourself in addictive cycles with drugs and alcohol and cocaine, I believe.

Your first step in healing (06:55)

You have that miniature heart attack. And then at that point, you make a decision that you're not gonna let this thing kill you. What is the next step in your journey towards healing? - Walking, walking. Something, I mean, I was incredibly unhealthy, right? I was definitely overweight at the time, but internally, right? I had an exercise probably in like four years, four or five years. And so I knew I took the drugs through them away. I'm home and I'm like, okay, how do I revamp my life? And I remember seeing some YouTube video or stumble upon, or I saw something back then where it was talking about how important it is to have more nutrition. So I ended up buying a huge tub of barley grass. Back barley grass used to be really hit back then and I needed some type of superfood 'cause I knew, every day I'm just eating rice and meat, rice and meat, just like a very like South American diet. And I was like, okay, let me get some nutrition. Let me get this barley grass stuff. I can put it in my orange juice and just knock it back. And I was like, I gotta do something. Like I have to go outside and I just started walking. And I remember I was so unhealthy, started walking, lightly jogging, that I got the worst shin splints. Like I literally my legs hurt so bad that I was having trouble going up the stairs, but I kept going and I kept going. And like, you know, even this morning, this morning I ran four miles, no problem. And thinking about that time, it's, yeah, I've come a long way. - I was thinking as you were speaking about the catalyst of change in people's lives. Like that moment where they hit rock bottom and they say a knife is enough. And what it takes for them to make a meaningful sustained change in any element of their life whether it's their relationships, their leaving and going, finding a better situation or a job or just life in general, like you're describing where you realize you're on the wrong track and you make the decision to go in a new direction. Two questions there. What do you think it is that from your experience that starts that journey of change for people? And the second thing is when we often speak to people who've changed, the process seems to be really linear and quick. Like I made the decision to change, then I changed. I think people doubt their power. Honestly, man, I've seen that happen time and time again where people don't quite understand their capacity and especially when the situation gets severe. And of course, like, you know, not everybody makes it. Like some people get destroyed by the process of hitting rock bottom. But other people stand up. It's almost like a Phoenix. I remember writing a poem called Phoenix in my first book, "Inward." And I think that, you know, it's pretty personalized. Like I really don't think everybody has to hit rock bottom. And I think I like having that point of view 'cause I think people want to like go to extremes often and kind of dramatize things, but you don't need to hit rock bottom to be the best version of yourself. I think that's kind of the situation that I was personally in. But for me, man, I remember when I was on the floor and I kept thinking about, I was like, man, I feel my life like, you know, it's running out. Like I felt it running out. And I kept thinking about my parents. And I was like, they worked so hard. Like, you know, I wasn't even mad at them. They didn't have time for me because I knew their struggle. Like I understood, like I got it. You, they rolled the dice by coming to the United States because everybody doesn't win here. The other major, major, major thing. Like when I, you know, the few days after where I almost lost my life, I remember sitting in my room at my mom and dad's house. And this was, you know, I had just graduated from college. It was 2011. The economy was, was pretty bad. It was hard to get a job at the time. And I remember sitting in the room and I was like, okay, I was like, what's the problem here? Like, how did this almost happen? And it hit me. It was like, oh, is it because you didn't want to admit that you didn't feel good? Now, if that's what got you here, what can get you out of this? And it's, oh, it's telling yourself the truth. And this was, you know, before I had learned how to meditate or anything, but I would just sit in my bed and I would challenge myself to stay with the feelings that I used to run away from. So like, I like to call it radical honesty with yourself. Like it's not, it's not really about other people, but it's between you and yourself. And when those heavy emotions would come up, normally I would just roll a joint smoke and just, you know, it helped cover whatever was there. But when the anxiety would arise, when the stress would arise, when those feelings of worthlessness would arise, I would just sit with them. And, you know, first it was a few minutes, then 10 minutes, 15 minutes. And I was like, okay, like, and I learned a lot. You know, I learned that these little storms that come up, like they don't need to blow you over. They don't need to totally overwhelm you. They don't even need to govern your actions. If you just sit there and feel them, you realize they're totally temporary and it's gonna be okay. You know, and I didn't know that before until I started challenging myself to just be with that. And I don't really know where that came from. You know, like I hadn't really, I hadn't really read self-improvement books or seen these things online or anything like that. But I think instinctually I was like, okay, if you were lying to yourself before, now tell yourself the truth. And what does that look like a lot of the time? It looks like feeling your emotions and not running from them. - We don't do that, do we?

We need to ask ourselves how we feel more (12:51)

- We distract ourselves. - Constantly, constantly, yeah. - I was just thinking then, how many of us really know how we're feeling? Like, how many of us really know how we ourselves are feeling? Truly, like, when was the last time, I think for most people listening to this, have you really sat there on the end of your bed or wherever and asked yourself how you're actually feeling? All things considered, what side of balance? - It's rare. But I think it's becoming more popular. I'm pretty inspired by what's happening now. I've been watching this whole wellness world brew and grow and develop and obviously it has its downs, it has a lot of consumerism around it, but there are a lot of positives. And there are just millions and millions of people who are seeing therapists now. There's millions and millions of people who are meditating and there are millions and millions more journaling, reflecting, building self awareness, building language around these newer ideas. I mean, actually, old ideas, but that have come back around. - Is that also slightly concerning? - What do you mean? - Because it's a sign that there is a increasing demand, potentially, for, you know what I mean? If there's more fire extinguishers being sold. - Right, right, right, right. - There's more fire is totally concerning. I think it's concerning, but I think to me, it gives me hope, honestly, because, of course, the world is incredibly challenging. You know, the advent of technology, especially with social media, the increases in loneliness, like we know, we know, like the cause and effect, they're very clear, right? But these tools have been around for, like, you know, the Western tools of therapy, what, 100, 150 years, the Eastern tools of different forms of meditation, indigenous healing practices, these things have been around for millennia. And now that the world has globalized, people in major cities, especially, have access to them. Like, you can type in, like, what can I do to deal with my anxiety? And you have, like, you know, things from psychiatrists, like, you know, you can go to your local meditation center. There are tons of things that you can do now. And what you just have to do is find something that meets you where you're at. So you do see these two things rise together where the demand for your attention is through the roof now, from the media, from tech, from everything that's happening around you, family and friends. But at the same time, here are a bunch of tools for you to get your mind right, so that you can not be overwhelmed by these demands. - I am certainly guilty of using screens and other means to distract myself from how I'm feeling. In fact, you know, when I'm feeling tired or, you know, bothered in some way or a little bit agitated and whatever it might be, my way of dealing with that is to pick up a screen. - Yeah. - I was gonna be honest, pick up a screen. And either watch something on YouTube, distract myself from the feeling, maybe watch some football, or something else, you know, something else that's probably not so good for me. And I think that, you know, scrolling on my phone, for example, I think that represents the majority of people. What we use distraction is a way to avoid confronting how we're feeling because confronting how we're feeling is can be uncomfortable. - Absolutely. I mean, confronting how you're feeling for a lot of us, that's the gateway to growth, right? So if you're gonna be there and stand with your emotions, you either see so much that you wanna keep running, or you're like, okay, I'm gonna accept this challenge, and let's see how I should grow next. So it is quite difficult. - Is it called Vipinsana?

Mediation (16:44)

- Vipinsana. - Vipassana. Vipassana, Vipassana, there's a bunch of ways to say it. - What is that? - It's a meditation that's been around, that originated from the Buddhist teaching. So 2,600 years where you basically do your best to see reality as it really is. And it's very different from how we normally see reality, right? You and I are hanging out, we're talking, we're having this conversation. It feels like it's too individual speaking, but let's ask ourselves what's happening at the ultimate level, where while Diego and Steven, we're basically just these bundles of atoms that are changing so incredibly rapidly, trillions of times, and at the same time, it's just mental and physical phenomena interlocking at incredibly high speeds, that makes the illusion that we're here. But in reality, are we real? No, not really. - Why is that an important or valuable exercise? - It's quite valuable. I think the sense of self, when it becomes overgrown, when it becomes highly traumatized, it creates a barrier to happiness. So what I found through Vipassana meditation was that as I was observing the truth of impermanence, literally within the framework of the body, when you start learning that everything that arises ultimately passes away, and you start understanding that change is, it exists within the fabric of every single thing in this universe, you start loosening up your identity. It's not as rigid as it was before. It's not like Diego always reads science fiction, and he always loves blueberries. Actually, it's not true. Sometimes I love watermelon. Sometimes I love reading fiction. So it allows this understanding of change to help you loosen up and really evolve. And I have found that quite beneficial to my personal joy and happiness, and definitely in my relationships, because if you embrace change, you're not gonna be as attached. It's not gonna be like, "I want you to do this this way all the time." In fact, you're gonna understand, oh no, different conditions create different situations. So yes, I can have goals, but if they don't come about, I'm not gonna be crying on the floor. I'm just gonna try again. - How do you think our earliest experiences impact the relationship we have with change?

How do we get people ok with change? (19:04)

Because change, it's funny, 'cause there's this almost duality of being a human where we seem to like things staying the same. There's a certain security in company. Even the idea of self-identity, that's almost like a resistance to change. It allows me to be understood. If I give you my bio, my business card, it will say CEO of marketing company. Then you get me, you know where I fit, I feel like I fit somewhere, and there's a tribe somewhere. But at the same time, the human experience yearns for progress. - Totally, and we're not trying to have people get rid of their identities. What we're trying to do is create a sense of flexibility within that identity, where we don't often see that human beings, we tend to side on the extreme of the apparent reality. That's what I was mentioning before. Like, I am here, you are there, we're speaking to each other, that's apparently happening. But we totally forget the ultimate reality. We totally forget that everything is constantly changing. Even this hard table, it's changing so fast, so fast that you can't even witness it, you can't even see it, unless you profoundly calm down the mind and start developing your awareness, your equanimity, and you do this within the framework of the body. Because when you understand what's happening within the body, you actually understand universal law, you understand what's happening throughout the universe. And missing that undercurrent of change, missing that understanding that your ego is not this permanent thing, it helps you tremendously so that you're not as attached as you're moving through the world, because we're constantly trying to control everything, control ourselves, control the people around us, control whatever situation we can get our hands on. And what happens when you're just trying to constantly control things? Misery, so much misery, so much struggle, so much mental tension. And I think that's why embracing change, like your original question, what is our relationship with change? It's a combative one. It's a situation where we grow up as children and all we're focusing on is building our identity, right? When you're becoming little, you're learning the culture, you're sort of taking it all in, and you develop your sense of self. But when you become older, when you're grounded and you have a good sense of identity, you also need to develop an understanding of what's ultimately happening around here. And I think when you get a real taste of ultimate truth, it helps you tremendously. Because I think if I didn't switch around my relationship with change, like I would have no access to peace. - It's interesting 'cause you're totally right. When I was younger, I grew up hoovering in information that allowed me to survive. And I built my identity around the character that was required to survive in that context. Not the character that would make me happiest in my life or for most fulfilled or best in relationships. So what was formed by the age of 18 was this like insecure, shame ridden kid who would run from relationships 'cause he thought those were prison. And that stood in the way of all of my, so many of my goals. It certainly stood in the way of me being really happy, but it also stood in the way of me finding romantic love. And it was unpacking that identity and becoming aware of it, it's existence. And then unpacking it and trying to unlearn it that allowed me to pursue the things that now make me fulfilled and happy. I'm still not there yet. I haven't really met anybody that is. But I find that really interesting that we build that identity around survival. And then as an adult at some point, we need to review it. - You hit it on the dot. So I think when we, it makes sense evolutionarily. Like you evolution wants you to be able to survive. It does not care about your happiness. It does not care about your sense of thriving. But as you come to fruition and you come into being and you're like, you're here, you have your sense of identity, you realize that there's so much misery wrapped in the sense of self, wrapped in your attachments and to be able to really thrive and to be happy, it requires letting go. I mean, how much stress have you caused yourself? Right? We have to ask ourselves this. Like, of course, you know, sometimes people get offended by this question, but you have to realize that there have definitely been people in your life who've caused you harm. People who've done terrible things. But it's you and yourself in that mind of yours, right? It's just you. And we don't quite understand how many times we replay the past over and over and then those same feelings of tension come up again and again. And we have no way to really process that unless we try to actively find some sort of tool that will help us let go. And I think it's really important to just, you know, you gotta see what you're doing to yourself. How? Self-awareness, time alone, reflecting, have a good teacher, you know, have someone who can point things out to you that you couldn't see before. I think that's ultimately what a lot of therapists are doing is like, have you asked yourself this? Have you been honest about this? And similar with meditation, and it's you developing a, you know, a sense of an ability to observe instead of just judgment. 'Cause constantly when I'm looking out on the world, I'm just evaluating things, giving you this evaluation according to the memory that I have this record inside of my mind. But instead of constantly just evaluating things, why can I just observe? Why does it have to be plus or minus? Let me just watch what's happening right now. - We're all in cycles, aren't we? Every, most facets of my life, I think pretty much every facet of my life is in some kind of cycle. Now some of those cycles are positive. So me working out and going to the gym, that seems to be a positive cycle that I've managed to build. Some people might call that a habit. And then I do have other cycles in my life where I go, that happened, I reacted like that. That was not the reaction that would bring me closer to my goals and fulfillment. I'll try and not to do that again. And then the thing happens. And that kind of cycle repeats itself. And in so many, you know, I think about myself, I think about my friends, I think about, you know, even some of my close sort of mentors, I observe those cycles in their life that they're trying to break out of, but they just seem so stubborn. I've lived through so many of those stubborn cycles where for years and years and years, I've known it's a problem. I've not known how to get out of it. What advice would you give me or someone else in a situation where we know we're in a cycle, whether it's relationships or work, or how we're responding to things. And we feel stuck in that cycle. - Yeah, I think that's what a lot of us are going through is that the past is constantly in a loop, right? A lot of, like we are very largely formed by those first few years of life. You know, a lot of psychologists say, to about the age of seven, I would say it's more. It's like it's every time that you react, it gets accumulated. So those moments of heartbreak, like your first love, your first loss, like all of these things that have really formed your sense of self, they are impacting the way that you're perceiving and the way that you're reacting to the world. And I think for a lot of us, we, probably one of the best tools that we don't access is just the ability to slow down, is just slowing down, literally just pumping the brakes. And what you just talked about, what you just described, being able to spend time observing, okay, this is what I'm feeling. This is how I wanna react. You know, I have this, 'cause initially, our initial reaction is pretty rough. It's like the most defensive one, the most survival oriented one, and it's like, okay, that's actually gonna make a bigger mess of things. What can I do differently? Like what can I do to change this play that's happening around me so that I can put a different input and hopefully get a different output? And I think when we slow down, we see that. And that's one of the gifts that I personally got from meditating was I didn't have that ability before. Like the reaction was lightning fast. You know, someone said something about me, I didn't like immediately, like hate. Like I would be so upset, so like, you know, wanting to control their view of me. And now it's like, let me slow down, let me see how I would have dealt with this before. What's like the actually the most skillful thing that I can do in this moment to like, you know, to just stay in value with myself. And at the same time, just like maneuver out of this. Like, is this even worth my time? - Do you need to know where that reaction's coming from? Do you need to know the root cause? - No, no. I think a lot of people get stuck in like examining the past and like, peeling that like, okay, like my mom said this one thing to me one time and then my dad did this other thing. Like it's totally valuable to understand your past, but healing happens in the present moment. Like those feelings, like if you want to deal with your past, you need to be able to create space for the feelings that are coming up right now. Because often those feelings that are coming up right now are just echoes of the past. You don't need to know a narrative. Like you don't need to give a narrative to every single feeling. You literally just have to be able to hold space for them. And when you do hold space for them, a lot of the unbinding happens so that you're not as knotted up inside. - Honor, you talked about what meditation being critical for you there to kind of slow down and have that space to reflect on how you're responding and so on.

What does mediation look like for you? (28:25)

In a specific way, how does your meditation look? Does it, once a day for five minutes, does it, you go through a retreat? - Yeah, so you learn vipassana, and this is an asanguanga tradition, same tradition that you've all known a Harari also meditates in. We, you learn the technique by going away to one silent 10 day course. So it's a big commitment. It's hard. It's not easy. You know, the first one that I did, it's incredibly difficult. Like I just thought about running away for the first seven days. But you learn a technique that, you know, the first three days, you learn how to observe your respiration and you're given this tool called Anapana where, you know, you're literally observing the natural breath. And then that helps calm down the mind enough where you can start feeling a lot more in your body than what's usual. You know, for some meditators, they can feel like the crispness of the pain that they might feel from sitting long hours a day, where they can like feel it to just like this hyper HD detail. And it's not as overwhelming, right? Because they're there with it. And, or on the other end, you know, some meditators will be able to feel this like flow of, you know, rapid energy moving through the body. And it's almost like, like an atomic river that you're sort of fine-tuned your mind to be able to feel. And you can feel how like, yeah, this is my bicep, but it's actually, it feels like tens of thousands of like changing vibrations that are moving incredibly rapidly. And... - You sit there in silence for 10 days? - Total silence for 10 days. You can talk to the teacher, you can ask questions, but you're like, you're there totally by yourself. You're there with a group of people, but you're like in an environment where it's basically by yourself. - You're not allowed to speak to those other people.

How often do you meditate? (30:26)

- No, no eye contact, no speaking. You're like basically living like a monk. - And what about on a day-to-day basis? What is your like daily? - On a day-to-day basis, I meditate two hours a day. - Two hours a day. - That's right. - Every day. - Every day. I've been doing that for, think about eight years now. And I meditate one hour in the morning, one hour in the evening, or like, you know, late afternoon or something like that. - What does that look like, just sitting on your own or? - Yeah, I mean, this morning, it looked like, you know, came to New York City to come hang out with you, woke up this morning and just like sat up on the bed and put my timer for one hour and started meditating. Yeah, but we also, you know, meditate at home. We have our little meditation room where my wife and I meditate and, and it's honestly, it's amazing. I know to a lot of people like two hours a day, wow, so much time. But I think about it to myself, like, how much time do I waste? Like, I waste tons of time. Like, I get a lot done, but I'm also constantly wasting time every day. And what I've understood is that these two hours a day that I've been meditating for the past eight years, they've been the biggest investment that I've made in my life. Like, by far, 'cause it's one thing, you know, you go away to these retreats and it's incredibly valuable. You know, you can come out totally transformed, but to keep the process going at home, it just adds a deeper element to it that helps you continue evolving, continue evolving. And I think because I've spent that time, my relationship with my wife has flourished because it was rough. Like, before we started meditating, there was a six-year period where we were together and before we started meditating and our relationship was chaos. It was like living in a hurricane, constantly fighting each other, constantly blaming each other. You know, my relationship with my parents was very shallow. My relationships with my brother and sister were even more shallow. You know, same thing with friends, like work, life, everything was going terrible. But when I started meditating, everything changed. Everything opened up. I didn't even know that I should write. You know, like all of this came from cleaning up my mind and then like my intuition started waking up and I was like, oh, you know, try writing. You know, you know that you don't know everything, but share, share the process. If you were to give me instructions then on the meditation you did this morning, what instructions would you give me to replicate what you did?

How to meditate (32:43)

I think, so this is a thing, it's like this style of meditation. You can't pay for it. You can't like get it off of a YouTube video. Like you, you have to go to a 10 day course because it's not, I can tell you the instructions, but do you have enough of the cultivated qualities to be able to actually deeply feel the body? Like that's why it's a step by step. That 10 days is literally like one giant guided meditation. Incredibly simple instructions, but you won't be able to do them unless your mind is like calm enough. Unless it's like going to the gym. It's like if you were to ask me to go run a marathon right now, like I wouldn't be able to do it. You know, I have to train for it. - Okay, so I'm not going to be able to do it just based on your instructions. I get that. - Yeah. - But I'm curious as to the specific like, yeah, the specific instructions. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the two basics are, you know, like what I was describing to you, the first three days you're observing the breath. - I mean this morning. - And this morning, same thing. Well, this morning I was basically observing my body. You know, bringing my attention to my body, you know, started the top of the head and keep feeling my body as I'm moving down. And, you know, it sounds really simple, but when you put time into it, when you like keep going to courses, the amount that you feel it expands pretty incredibly. Yeah. - Do you think the most important answers that we're searching for within us? - Totally, totally. If you spend your whole life looking outside, you could read every book in the world and still be absolutely miserable. I think it requires this application of self-awareness to really unlock your happiness. Like you have to develop what you're missing, like develop like compassion is in your mind, but it's undeveloped. Like self-awareness, it's a capacity you have, totally undeveloped. Like that's what was shocking to me when I went to go meditate was like, my mind could do these things, but my awareness was so meek when I first started because it was like a muscle. Like when I go to these meditation courses, you know, I've gone to courses that are 20, 30, 45 days long, you know, I come out of them and I'm like, I just spent my whole time at the gym. Like it was just a mental gym. I was like literally developing my ability to be aware, my ability to be a quantumist, and my ability to have love for myself and all beings. - That's my favorite ever, quote that I've ever showed on Instagram is what you've just said, which is there's no self-development without self-awareness. You can read as many books as you like, but if you can't read yourself, you'll never learn a thing. - Well, this is why I saw like people listening around. Like this is why I became so interested in you, was when I first came around your work and the algorithm started, you know, I started popping it up. This was like two, two and a half, maybe even three years ago. And I was like, how's like, dude, we're on the same wave. Like, you know, we're not doing the same thing. We live totally different lives, but there's something there that's like, yeah, it's the same wave. - It's a curiosity that I see in your work and in you. And it's funny because the subject matter is not subject matter that is for everybody. And you'll know this from doing the work you do. There's some people that when they read terms like self-love and healing, they're all self-love. - They're all self-love. - You know what I mean? But it's funny, I just wish those people knew that all of their goals start with that. If they wanna be a billionaire or a millionaire for whatever reasons they want, I don't wanna judge you. You wanna Lamborghini, if you wanna be happy, you wanna have beautiful relationship, it all starts with these words that self-love and healing. - It's interesting, man. Like I, you know, I just saw the movie Air. - Oh, I just watched that. - And it was, I loved it. You know, it was incredible. But what was really telling to me was that the guy who owned Nike, he was meditating a lot. - Yeah. - And like it was really helping him. It was helping him stay cool under pressure. You know, it was helping him like make more creative decisions. Like same thing with Steve Jobs. Like he is like, he was a serious meditator. And same thing with Sam Altman, you know, created OpenAI, like he's a serious meditator. You know, just met him the other day. And like he's meditating quite seriously. But like these are people who are high performing people who are make it a point to cultivate their minds. - And these are people that are obsessed with productivity. - Totally. And you know that-- - Time. - That's something that has, that blew my mind experiencing it personally where as I kept going, as I kept going to courses, I realized like, I can just, I can do more. I can do more with less stress. And to me, that's been incredible. Like at first I was a writer, and then I started opening up and going into the venture capital world. And even later I'm thinking about opening a business, but I wouldn't have been able to do anything if it wasn't really for that basic development of self-awareness and, you know, equanimity. And I keep using the word. And equanimity, what I'm talking about is basically your ability to observe something as it really is without craving it or without having any aversion towards it. You're not hating it, you're not loving it and wanting it, you're just observing it as it is. It's a balanced mind. - Why, so when I started the diary of CO, the base premise of it was me to share my diary with complete honesty.

Why should we be meditating? (38:19)

So I feel compelled to do that. I've, for a long time, viewed meditation as a waste of time. Like I think that was my, the thought of sitting there and just, 'cause, you know, what it appears to be on the surface is sitting there and just not thinking about anything. - Yeah, yeah. - But then as you say, all of these incredible people who are obsessed with productivity and efficiency and time and are very, very, very busy, Chamath as well from the "All In Podcasts." So many people that I follow and watch and listen to, they all, and so many of the guests that have come here and that are wildly successful, they all talk about the benefits of meditation. - Right. - If there's someone listening to this now and they go, "I don't meditate," and I, in any way, whatever technique, you know, they might use, I think I've always thought it's a waste of time. I've tried it, didn't work. What is the pitch you'd make to them about why they should persevere and persist? - Well, there's two main things. One is you tried it, it didn't work. Of course, of course it didn't work. Like, you know when starts out being good at meditation. Like, what the mind knows is distraction. It's literally jumping from one thing to another, flying from the past to the future, from the past to the future, just swimming and imagination. So that moment, when you ask your mind to stay in one place, for a few seconds, it'll be gone, totally gone. So, of course, you're bad at it, right? But that's why you try again. You keep trying, you calmly, you know, without getting upset with yourself, you put time into it the same way where you would, you know, use to build your muscles or educate yourself on, you know, if you wanna learn Spanish, you're not just gonna know Spanish, you need to study. You need to spend, you're not gonna know, you know, zero Spanish when you begin. And you put four or five, six years of serious work into it, and you get really good at Spanish. It's the same thing with meditation. So, one thing is accept that it's gonna be extremely hard in the beginning, and it will humble you. 'Cause you're like, "Damn, I suck at this." Good, and you keep going. And the second part of it is, it's an investment. You're making a huge time investment that produces incredible results inside of you in the way that you see the world, in the way that you talk to people, in the way that you create, whatever it is that you wanna give to the world. I think you, but you have to give a time. You have to give a time to really be able to see the results. - Maybe the very crux of this, I was thinking as you were speaking, then, people do what they want to do, and most of the things they want, they do, because they wanna do them, are because they are clear on the reward of doing it. - Totally. - You think about human behavior, like I went to the toilet. I was clear on the results of going to the toilet, and also not going to the toilet, so I went to the toilet. The results of not going for a wee before you came here was I would urinate in my pants, so I did it. I ate breakfast this morning because I was clear on the upside of that, and I also had the urge to do it. When we think about meditation, I think, when I think about the equation of why people do things, the bit that I think a lot of people aren't clear on is that first part, which is like, what is the upside? I can take your word for it. I can take a lot of very credible people's word for it, but I think that's the issue. - It's the issue. - You have to experience it for yourself, and I think a lot of people go into meditation for its initial goals, for liberation, for you to be free from suffering, which is the most important goal. That's why I do it. I don't meditate to be a better writer. I don't meditate to, for anything else other than to take small steps forward on the path of liberation, to truly try to cease the mechanism in my mind that's causing me suffering. And that sort of the externality of that is that you become incredibly creative. Like you don't need to be in film or writing or whatever. You can be in whatever field that it is. You can be an engineer, you can be a doctor or dentist, but you become so much more creative 'cause your mind isn't as stressed as it used to be. And it's able to make connections a lot more quickly 'cause your mind is sharper. And understanding that creativity and understanding how it impacts your relationships that makes them so much more deeper than before, I think it gives you an access to new beauty in life and why not? Why not spend that time on yourself? - So you meditate to avoid suffering?

How to understand suffering (42:50)

- Not avoid, to be able to understand reality so well that I don't cause myself suffering. - What are the main causes of suffering? As far as you're concerned? - It's craving. - Craving. - Craving, yeah, totally. And it's not the same as wanting. I think that there was a big issue when, especially when the Buddhist teaching came over to the West where it was translated as this desire is the cause of suffering. You could look at it that way to some extent, but what seems much more approachable to me and makes more sense is craving. Like craving is not the same thing as wanting something, right? As having a goal. 'Cause there's a difference between having a goal and having a craving. You can have a goal and put your mind to it, put a lot of work in, but then the moment that you don't get what you want and you're like, okay, it's okay. "You know, let me go back to the drawing board. "Let me restrategize. "Let me figure out how to do this better than before." And you do all that without crying, without being super set, without punching the wall. You just, you keep diligently working and moving forward. It's possible. The other side of that is craving. It's doing everything with craving when your energy's all nutted up when your mind is super tense because craving is basically the combination of wanting and tension. Like you're really craving something bad and you're sort of, the mind is rippled with stress in the moment of craving something and in the moment of like even worse when you don't get it, when you don't get what you were really striving for. So I don't wanna live like with a mind that's craving. Like I'm a householder, right? I'm not a monk. Like I have a wife someday we're gonna have kids. Like I have a mother and father that I need to help take care of. Like I have to have goals, right? When I write a new book or when I start a new venture or do something like, yeah, I wanna do my best. But I try to do that as calmly and as balanced as possible without stressing myself out that much in the process. I'm not perfect at it, but to me it seems like a much more effective way to live than just like making myself stressed all the time. - How do I know if I'm craving a goal that I have in my life or if I just, you know, it's just a goal? - It's the moment when you don't get it. It's the moment that, you know, if you don't get what you were craving and you're super stressed out and it just makes you so upset, then you're like crying and you know, you were craving. You can even feel that tension in your mind. You're like, you're wanting that ice cream so bad. - Do you think people that crave achieve more professionally? - I don't, you know, that's a really good question. I think definitely there have been some like incredible high achieving people who were totally driven by craving dominated, but were they happy? Like, were they okay inside? Like what, you know, what is their karmic situation? Like I have no, you know, like gang is con, like people who conquered the world, like it's totally possible to conquer the world with no morality, but I wouldn't wanna live like that. Like to me, it's like I'd rather be super intentional and aware of how I'm moving about in the world so that I don't cause myself harm or other people harm. Like that's my thing now is like, compassion's really powerful. Like you can create businesses in a compassionate manner and still be super successful. Like you can do the work that you wanna do in a compassionate manner and be a high achiever. - That intentionality around your goals, it's something I've, I think I've struggled with for the last 10 years is being clear with myself and why I have certain things as goals. - Yeah. - You know, 'cause I think in the first chapter of my life when I was very shame ridden, my goals were driven by meeting, really like to try to dissolve the shame that I experienced as a kid and like, get the things that I thought would make me love myself or feel like I was enough. I didn't know that though. So I was pursuing these material things or these like superficial things, thinking that they were my ambitions. Upon getting there, the anti-climax, the underwhelm, signaled that I was aiming at the wrong things and there was a big piece of work actually. That's why I resonate so much about what you write about in chapter one of your book about self love. There was a big piece of work for me to figure out that none of this stuff was ever gonna make me worth more. - Yeah. - Inside. And that the place for me to actually build my ambitions from was that place of feeling enoughness. - Can I ask you something? - Sure.

Why do you keep going? (47:21)

- I'm quite curious. Not like I've seen your success, you know, and I really commend you. I think it's quite beautiful and I think you're inspiring so many people. But knowing your background, knowing this shame, coming from a place of not having everything, like now that you do have so much, so much success, all the material things, you can just buy whatever you want. - Why do you keep going? - It's a great question. So it's something I've mulled over because there's still a part of me that wants to accumulate wealth. And I keep asking myself why, you know, because I also, I spoke to someone earlier and I said, I'm at a conscious level aware that there's nothing more that I could buy that would have an impact on my happiness. In fact, it's probably the opposite to some degree. If things were a bit more simple, maybe I'd be more happier. - Why do I keep going? So I'm going to throw out my hypothesis and please then interrogate it because I'd love to chew it over with you. - No, please, I'm so curious. - I believe that for me to be happy, I believe chaos is my stability. And I think it is for most people. I feel like there's a certain type of chaos, which is my stability, and that my stability is chaos. So what I mean by that is when everything in my life is achieved and accomplished, and I have nothing else to strive for. You see this a lot in Olympians or anyone that achieves their goals, they then fall into chaos. So we all need to live in a certain state of worthwhile, meaningful, voluntary chaos, which means like having uncompleted goals. I sometimes ponder whether that's hardwired into the human condition, whether the reason why we're in a skyscraper now in the middle of Manhattan is because our ancestors had that hardwired into them. They had it hardwired that they would build and progress and move forward. I did some research in preparation for my book and they asked people in work, what's the most enjoyable day of your professional career? And everyone points out a day when there was some sense of progress. I think that's hardwired into us. So if I almost feel like if I stopped, I would become disorientated. Professionally, I'm looking for five things. I'm looking to pursue goals that are meaningful and worthwhile. I'm looking to have a high degree of autonomy. I'm looking to have a sufficient amount of challenge. Again, if something's too easy, people lose motivation for some reason, if something's too difficult, they become intimidated and lose motivation. I'm looking for a sense of forward motion. And lastly, to work with people that I love, I think that recipe is the recipe for my professional happiness. So that is what I'm doing. Ever bigger goals with people I love towards worthwhile challenges that I think are worthwhile. And I'm trying to remain as conscious as I can about the dishonest motivations that sit amongst that. Like certain decisions are made called consider are by Rolls Royce. Why did that come into my mind? And where is that from? - Yeah. - Does that answer the question? - It absolutely answers it. And one, what I'm noticing from that trend of what you just described is you realize that these five things that you lined out and the chaos versus stability, that all of that to me sounds like this is essential for your mental health, right? That it's almost like it's giving you reason. That's, you know, to keep staking steps forward and to do so in a way where life doesn't become a mess. So I think that's pretty cool. - Let me challenge myself. - Yeah. - This is maybe the answer I'm scared of giving. I'm still trying to prove to myself that I'm enough. I haven't grown out of that. I'm just doing it with different games now. I'm doing it with podcasts, I'm doing it in business still. - They're just bigger games. - They're just different games, right? They're like different status games. They're not materialistic status games because maybe I've evolved out of that, but they are professional status games that I'm playing. - Yeah. - Now, what I want to point out to you then, and so if you bring that up, one of the most challenging truths to accept is that life is inherently a satisfactory. This was one of the things that the Buddha pointed out. He pointed out, you know, these three major truths that everything's changing, that there's suffering, which can also be translated into dissatisfaction, and there's no self, right? Your ego, not real. But that second one, I think, is it's a difficult one to totally embrace, but once embraced that, you know, you can keep winning, winning, winning, winning, winning, but there's still more. There's still like, you know, there's still something else to want because we live in this situation, you know, the way this universe works where we can continue ideating into infinity. We can continue like developing more knowledge, there's more books to read, there's more to understand. So we're functioning almost on an infinite spectrum, even though we ourselves are very finite. And I think that creates a situation where things can be so, so dissatisfied because you never quite get there. And like, I've been trying to accept that understanding into my life and seeing like, you know, people ask me, like, how did you feel after you became a number one New York Times bestseller? And I'm like, oh, well, you know, it was really nice for like a few minutes. And I was like, yeah, it was cool. And then it was done. Like it was like, well, you know, what happens after that? It was like, well, you just keep living your life, you know? And I could have got wrapped into the sort of the deeper existential dissatisfaction of that of like, oh, like, you know, what happens next. But it was like, okay, let me just be with it as it is. But I think it's tricky. Yeah. - Why do you keep doing what you're doing? 'Cause you're a business-realizer. - I just realized, yeah. - You've done all of these amazing things. Your books, this will smash hits. You're a venture capitalist now. You're an investor in great companies. You're building businesses. Why? - I keep going. Like on a mundane level, like I only write books if I actually have something to say, if there's another topic that I want to cover. So I don't do them for like the big check. Like, you know, I do them to really be able to be of service. And in terms of building companies, like all of the companies that I, you know, have invested in with wisdom ventures, they're all companies that are trying, basically trying to prove that compassion is good business. So to me, that feels really critical. On a deeper level, right? Like why I even put myself out there, I think it's just to have the ability to give, honestly. Like, just to be able to give. I think like I don't gain my self worth from being a number one New York Times bestseller from, you know, like from selling over a million books or, you know, all that stuff. It's like that goes over a million. - How many? - Yeah, a million. Yeah, it's wild. It's wild, but those are just numbers. Like I don't, I can't imagine a million. Like, I don't know what that really is. You know, I can wrap myself around stories. Like, you know, I just, I just talked to someone the other day I was speaking at an event in San Francisco. And this woman was telling me like, you know, how these three books that I wrote, like they saved her life. And I was just, I was like talking to her and I'm like, what? Like, what? I'm like, are you okay now? Like, are you, like, are you good now? And she's like, I'm good. And I was just like, I couldn't, so to me, like a story like that, I can actually feel. But when I see the numbers, like, you know, I can't even pretend to imagine what a million is. But I keep going because, you know, I want to be able to take care of my parents and I want to be able to give to good things. And to me, that feels right for right now. Like, I'll see what that looks like five to 10 years down the line. Quick one. I'm so delighted that we've been us sponsoring this podcast. I've worn a wig for a very, very long time. And there are so many reasons why I became a member, but also now a partner and an investor in the company. But also me and my team are absolutely obsessed with data-driven testing, compounding growth, marginal gains, all the things you've had me talk about on this podcast. And that very much aligns with the values of Woop. Woop provides a level of detail that I've never seen with any other device of this type before. Constantly monitoring, constantly learning and constantly optimizing my routine. For providing me with this feedback, Woop can drive significant positive behavioral change. But I think that's the real thesis of the business. So if you're like me and you are a little bit obsessed or focused on becoming the best version of yourself from a health perspective, you've got to check out Woop. And the team at Woop have kindly given us the opportunity to have a one-month free membership for anyone listening to this podcast. Just go to join.woop.com/CEO to get your Woop 4.0 device and claim your free month. And let me know how you get on. Right now I'm incredibly busy. I'm running my fund where we're investing in slightly later stage companies. I've got my venture business where we invest in early stage companies. I've got a third web out in San Francisco in New York City where we've got a big team of about 40 people and the company's growing very quickly. Flight story here in the UK. I've got the podcast. And I am days away from going up north to film "Dragon's Den" for two months. And if there's ever a point in my life where I want to stay focused on my health but it's challenging to do so, it is right now. And for me, that is exactly where he all comes in. Allowing me to stay healthy and have a nutritionally complete diet even when my professional life descends into chaos. And it's in these moments where heools RTDs become my right-hand man and save my life because when my world descends into professional chaos and I get very, very busy, the first thing that tends to give way is my nutritional choices. So having heeled in my life has been a lifesaver for the last four or so years. And if you haven't tried heeled yet, which is, I'd be shocked. You must be living under a rock if you haven't yet. Give it a shot. Coming into summer, things getting busy. Health matters always. RTD is there to hold your hand.

Relationship Challenges And Dating In Today'S World

What do you look for in a partner? (57:18)

What do you think makes a good partner broadly? I sat here with Simon Sinek and I threw out the idea that, 'cause I think when I was younger and maybe a bit more immature, I had this kind of like superficial list. Yeah. Broonette, this, this size, whatever. And as I matured a little bit, I tried to consolidate that list until I didn't, the non-negotiables. I landed on intellectually stimulating, which I think is kind of what you've described there, where you can have that kind of intellectual conversation. Totally. And building grow intellectually together. This one's a bit of an interesting one. They make me better at what I do, my mission. They support that in whatever way. And I have to say that's something that you have to be willing to reciprocate. And then the third one is sexual attraction. Yeah. I didn't say physical attraction. It was very specific about having to have sexual attraction. Simon Sinek added one. He said it's three plus one. He said the one you need on top of that is timing. So he calls it, we, and concluded it was three plus one. Anything else you would add to that in terms of? I would actually simplify it. I think it comes down to the intuitive click. I think that there are some people, like when my wife and I, when we physically came across each other, she was 18, I was 19, she was a freshman, I was a sophomore, literally from the moment that we met. We both come from very different backgrounds. I grew up in the city, she grew up in the burbs. Our idea, our list of what we wanted in a partner was not each other. But there was just this incredible pull to just discover who's this person. And we spent two and a half months being friends. And then the moment that I saw that other guys were trying to pair up with her and be their boy, get together with her, I was like, oh no. I was like that, and then I realized my deeper feelings. And I was like, no, no, no. I actually have feelings for you, I wanna be with you. And-- - Do you come out to "Friends" on? - Yeah, yeah, yeah, basically came out of "Friends" on it. - It's time to have to make it out of "Friends" on. - Oh man. But I think it's the intuitive click plus the willingness to grow. I think that's what really can make a relationship healthy and productive because like we're all in different starting points, but if you have the willingness to grow, like I'm here, like I wanna learn for myself, I wanna learn from you, like how can we both do this better? I think that you can make real magic from that.

The route cause of challenges in you relationship (59:55)

- When you encountered challenges in your relationship, what was the root cause of that? Or what was missing? - I mean, between the two of us, if you were to add up how much emotional maturity there was, it would be zero, like during that time. Like zero self-awareness, zero emotional maturity. Like if one of us got upset about whatever, you know, whatever it could be, it would immediately be finger pointing. Like this is your fault, you know? Like and this is why you need to change and if you change, then I'll be happy. But when we started meditating, we started realizing it was like, "Oh wait, this isn't about you at all. "This is between me and myself." And I'm actually just taking these dense emotions and allowing narratives to be built around them that somehow just take the blame away from me and so that I take no accountability. And it was rough, man. Like when we first got together, like the connection was there, but there was no willingness to grow. There was no emotional maturity to really hold it. So we were like constantly fighting, we break up, get back together, break up, get back together. And it always felt like we were at square one. Like we were never really like flowering and blossoming together. And when we started meditating, we started noticing like our fights got a little calmer, right? The screams got a little lower. And we started and the switch was very slow where when the fight would happen, it wasn't like, you did this, you did that, it became, how do you feel? Like what's happening? Like what are you seeing? And then I explain what I'm seeing. And it's like we're trying to understand each other's perspectives as opposed to making each other say sorry and like winning the argument. You know, it went from fighting as a thing for victory to like fighting as a moment that we can develop understanding. Like what's happening with you? Let me tell you what's happening with me. You and Hari against the problem. Yeah, yeah. Versus you versus her. Totally, totally. That's really rare. That's so rare. Yeah, no, and yeah, and same thing. Like we're not perfect, you know, we still argue have conflict, but it's way less dramatic than it used to be. The first chapter in your book is about self love. Your new book, your newest book, "Lighter" is about self love. The subtitle here is, "Let go of the past, connect with the present, expand the future." Self love, what does that actually mean? That just means loving myself, right? No, there's a lot more to that, come on, Stephen. I think somebody does have a good idea. Yeah, no, I think when I started asking myself the same question that the whole internet was asking itself back in 2015, 2016, when self love just burst onto the scene. Like, I don't know if you remember that time, but on Instagram, like everybody was trying to explore, like, what does self love really mean? And I asked myself the same question back then. And to me, the way I learned to define it was that it's doing what you need to do to heal in for yourself. And I think of it as an energy. Like it's the energy that you use to evolve. And I wanted to sort of put that definition out there because I'm like, that's how I'm enacting self love in my life. And it's very different from what I was learning from the materialistic sort of consumer side of self love which is just like buy yourself whatever you want, take a bubble bath, like all these external things that I personally think don't, they don't definitely treat yourself well, but that's not gonna add up to that much. Like the problem is like, in your own mind, in your own heart. A lot of that's still distraction, isn't it? It's totally distraction. It's just, you're just sugar coating the situation but you're not really going to the depth, going to the root problem. So I think self love is, you know, using that energy to heal in for yourself to really go deep within yourself and basically discover. Like, you know, you go, you walk through your own inner forest. Like there's so much. Like when you turn that lens inward and you start examining like, what have I gone through? Like what have I overcome? Like where do I struggle? Where are my blocks? And you learn to learn, you know, you learn from that and you accept it simultaneously. It's beautiful the way, you know, the evolution can really flourish from there. - You describe it as going through that forest. - Yeah. - For a lot of people, it's not quite a forest. It's like a big dark canyon that there might be lions and tigers inside. - Yeah. - So who wants to go into the canyon? You know, I've got, I think so much about certain people in my life where they are seeing their behavior doesn't correlate or isn't aligned with who they want to be and how they want to behave. - Yeah. - But the thought of going into the canyon or the forest or however you want to describe it, it's all so scary. It's also really scary. - Absolutely, absolutely. But you're not going to have victory without challenge. Like these two things go hand in hand. Like you're not just going to be given peace. Like no one's going to be like, oh, you're free now. You know, like you have to put in the work and sometimes the work is like pretty scary. You know, to really go in there to like sit there with yourself while all this anxiety or like, you know, panic attack energy or like whatever it is, you know, like this deep stuff starts coming up and you're with yourself and you're calm and you're patient and you're loving yourself through it. Like I think there's really no other way, especially if you're trying to like, you know, just build a new structure in your mind and come out with, you know, peace at the center of it. - What's your view broadly on the current state of, talks about your wife is that going to go, but the current state of like relationships and dating and what are people getting wrong?

The current world of dating (01:05:36)

I think a lot about this because again, I'm at that age now, I'm 30 years old. I'm lucky enough to be in a relationship but I see a lot of people that are struggling because I almost feel like there's a generation trapped between the technological revolution where there's this one generation that are kind of accustomed to social media and dating, dating apps and then there's this other generation that kind of got trapped and then now in their like early 30s. And they don't quite resonate with the culture of dating apps or social media, but when you look at the data, that more than 50% of meeting and now, more than 50% of people are now meeting online. So they're struggling. What's your overview? What's your sort of opinion on dating and where we are in culture? I think there's two main problems, perfection and craving. Oftentimes, we want the person that we're gonna be with to be so incredible. There's never a problem with them, always good times. You know, they know how to support us perfectly when there's a moment of struggle and it's just not gonna be like that. You know, to be able to develop a good rhythm with each other means that your flaws are gonna come up, that you're gonna be such clear mirrors for each other that you're gonna see parts of yourself that you have to face and do something about. So being able to throw out this idea of perfection, especially when like, you know, date one, day two, day three, and then the first disagreement happens, it's like blank, you cut it, you know? The second part of it is craving, where I've seen, you know, with a number of friends and just kind of like what's happening out there is like, you'll have a relationship for an X number of months, but then there's the craving, it's like, oh, there might be something better out there for me, you know? But like, it's always gonna be like that. So how many fantastic relationships have been ruined by this idea that, oh, there might be something else out there that's better for me and then you just throw away a fantastic thing? - I've got a question to ask you. I've got a friend who has been single for a while and she's been on hundreds and hundreds of dates. Hundreds and hundreds of dates. And she asked me for advice the other day and I didn't actually know what to say to her because she's going on the dates. I would assume that in hundreds and hundreds, I literally mean three to four a week. I would assume I should have met someone, yeah. And, you know, I wasn't necessarily sure what to say to her. I almost look at, think about it like a marketing funnel where I think there's different, in marketing, you have at the top of the funnel, you have awareness. And then as the funnel gets thinner, so awareness might be just like impressions on social media. So you might get a million impressions, a million guys or women that you see interact with come across. Then we have the, maybe in the marketing context, then we have the date, then the date might convert into a relationship and then relationship might convert into a marriage. At the top of the funnel seems to be going great. But there's lots of like, you know, impressions, awareness. But then that second stage in the funnel, which is converting that date into something that is a relationship seems to be, I don't know, seems to be a problem. What would you say to someone like that? - That's interesting. - You don't know her, I guess. - No, no, I don't. - You don't have all the context information, but what would she do on the surface? - But if she gets hundreds of dates, like-- - Hundreds. - She, imagine she's beautiful. Like-- - She's beautiful. - Yeah, and I think that there needs to be two things. Like, there needs to be self analysis on her part. Like, what is going on? Right, because I'm sure out of those hundreds, like there's probably a few people who are like, ready to build something. - There must be. - Let's build something together. Just if you're playing the game of numbers, you know? Like, there's definitely someone who's like, "Yeah, let's go on a second date, a third date. Let's go on a trip. Let's, you know, build something together." So I think there has to be a self analysis where like, is there a part of her that's afraid to actually like, bring in that next level of vulnerability where we can like, you know, develop something beautiful together. The other aspect of it, I would say like, the dating, that's fine, but make sure that you are not stuck in a loop. Like, that you're answering questions the same way, that you're asking the same questions over and over, that you're not sort of like, stuck in the system that your mind has created about what dating is. Like, break that habit, like create something new. It's a, make it into a different play between you and the other person. - How? - I think, yeah, if you're always meeting at a bar, don't meet at a bar. Like, go, go out, meet in the park, meet in the, you know, go for, if you're living in New York City, walk 50 blocks together. Just like, just do different things that you can do together. 'Cause if you get stuck in that same mode of doing it the way that you're familiar with, then you're gonna be saying the same things over and over, and your mind's gonna want like similar things so you won't be open to like fully embracing a person as they really are. And the added third thing is just throw away perfection. Like you got it, you're looking for something and like, you might be missing what's the fantastic thing that's right in front of you. - That idea of being stuck in a loop is so interesting to me because you can be stuck in a self sabotaging loop and not even know it. - Totally, man. So I learned this between me and my dad. So like my dad, he is like just hard, hard working individual. Like that's how he shows your love for you. He's gonna break his back so that he can support you by giving you the monetary things that can help you. So my dad has been blessed in his butt, just working, working, working, but I realized that like, I love this man. Like I don't know what it is. Like me and him have a deep connection but our relationship was so stale and it was the same. It was like the same light topics that we would talk about. And I specifically remember this was like in that first year when I started my personal growth journey, I was like my relationship with my dad, it sucks. But like, what can I do to make it better? And you know, the first instinct is like, you need to change. And it was like, none of that. I was like, I need to change. Like I need to switch the game up because we have this play going on between the two of us but I keep doing and saying the same thing. So let me switch it up. And I remember one day he comes home from work, you know, super tired. And I was like, you know what? Like fuck it, let me just give him this huge hug. And I remember hugging him because we weren't that affectionate like that, you know? I remember hugging him and being like, I love you man. And like, dude, let me tell you that totally changed our relationship. And it was, you know, I don't want to give myself too much credit but there were a lot of things happening inside him but he's changed a lot since that. Like he used to be hard like a rock and now he's so open with what he feels. And he wasn't open with his feelings at all before. And that might have been because we were very, very young and now that we're adults and we can like properly hold space with each other. But I remember like that moment being like a clear, like I changed the play, you know? And I was just like hugged him. And it was just like, I love you. And now, you know, we text each other all the time and it's deeper and we're solving problems together. Like we solve family problems together where like that, it wasn't quite like that before. And like he cries, you know, I'll hold space for him and it's a real, real relationship. And before it was just totally surface level. - How'd you not done a lot of work? Would you have been in a situation where you could have given him that how consent those words? - I think with courage, yeah. And I think just with slowing down and being able to observe because like at that time I hadn't done a lot of work. This was like two, three months after I almost died. And I just, you know, was examining, like spending time with my emotions and examining like, you know, what am I doing? Like with my wife, like what's, you know, what's going on? Like why does my relationship with my little sister suck? Like, you know, what more can I do? And then when I came to my dad, I was like, yo, like, you know, her relationship is stale. And I need to, I need to, I want him to know how much I love him. Because this man works so hard, like he should don't, you know? He gave me life and I'm so grateful. - What, why didn't you say that sooner? - I think because my mind was like, my attention was totally consumed on running away from myself. And that's what made me hyper self-centered at that time. Like I was only worried about what I craved, only worried about what I wanted to watch on TV, what I wanted to eat, you know, what party I wanted to go to next. And like I couldn't, like I didn't have the mental space to actually like think about other people well. - It's a lot of distraction, it sounds like. - Totally, totally. A miserable period. - I can, I can, I can relate in a tremendous, tremendous way. This conversation has really made me realize how much I need to create spaces for myself.

We’re all addicted to distraction, here’s how to get out of it (01:14:56)

I think that's one of the big, big takeaways. Just, I'm definitely addicted to distraction. I think most of us are, especially in the modern world where technology has been designed to, to take advantage of our brains. - Yeah. - In a way that will, you know, I was chatting to some of my friends this week and we had our stag do so my six press runs came together. And halfway through the stag do I looked around and saw that we were, a lot of us were on our phones. So I said, let's compare screen time. - Yeah. - And we all whipped out our phones and my one friend who I won't name, you know who you are, had 14 hours a day screen time. He was the record holder. - No. - 14 hours a day. And there was this really interesting moment where we, we never, we don't see each other much because we all live in different parts of the world. - Yeah, yeah. - And we all just started roasting him because he was on his phone the entire time. We'd gone jet skiing, we'd gone this, and it wasn't just him, it was most of us. But the thought that you could be with your best friends on planet Earth and still be spending 10 hours a day on your mobile phone is something. And I remember we went to a restaurant, I looked over at the table behind us and one guy was watching the basketball, we're in a restaurant. - Yeah. - It's nine p.m. at night. One guy's watching the basketball on his phone. There's a date across from us, both of the people on the date were on their phones. They're like, fuck you now, there must be a cost to this, like cultural addiction to distraction. - But do you see the paradox in that, right? Where like I'm not trying to shame your friend or anything like so much love to him. I'm sure he's a homie. But if you spend that much time on your phone, a tool that's supposed to make you connected, you're actually incredibly disconnected. Like totally, because you spend that much time looking here and the whole world, like the whole, your life is happening around you, but you're not plugged into it, you know? So there's no presence there, that's hard. - These apps were sold to us on the basis of connection. And that's the crazy thing, we thought we'd become more connected, we just became a lot more distracted and disconnected. - Yeah. - And the loneliness stats are horrifying. - The suicide rates, how teenagers feel about themselves these days and what's coming out about the impact of social media on like young minds, it's pretty dangerous. And I mean, I've seen it, like it's quite rough. Like I see it in myself and I've seen it in young people around me too, but like the internet that we have now, like it has to be reformed with compassionate design. You know, we have to think about the way that we build our products with the users wellbeing in mind. And I mean, that's why we decided to build wisdom ventures, like myself and five other friends from Silicon Valley who all, you know, worked in different areas of the tech world, we came together and we basically wanted to create a venture capital firm that focuses on funding pre-seed and seed companies, you know, so brand new startups but that are intentionally building their products in a compassionate manner. Like when they're, when whatever is that they're trying to do, you know, whether it's in the wellbeing space or not, they build in a way where they think about the user and they think about the mental wellbeing of the user. Like are they gonna be hurt using this program? Like are they gonna be hurt using this platform? And let's make it in a way where it provides the service that they want, but, you know, keeps them sane and balanced as much as possible. - In a society based on speed and productivity, moving slowly is a radical act.

The importance of moving more slowly (01:18:33)

I love that quote, chapter eight of your book, in the chapter about challenges during healing. In a society based on speed and productivity, moving slowly is a radical act. - Yeah, I think it's something that is so challenging because the demands are intense and they're just, they just keep raising. You know, everyone is trying to reach these incredible levels of productivity and, you know, capitalism is just geared that way where it's just, it's pushing for growth, growth, growth, growth and not internal growth, like material growth. So to be able to look at your life and say, you know what, I just can't answer any more emails right now. I don't feel good. Like I need to go for a long walk. I need to sit down and meditate. Like I need to take some time for myself. It's absolutely a radical act and it's necessary because if you're trying to live a life of thriving, like a good life, then you need to be able to live that life at your own pace. If I'm trying to match your pace, then it's not gonna work for me. You and I are very different people. We can both be productive in different ways, but we have to do it in a way that honors our internal system. And we're just not gonna be the same. - What's the most important thing that we haven't talked about in your view? - I think how healing changes the world.

Why you need to develop self love (01:20:02)

'Cause I think people like, man, I read a review of lighter and it's funny because the feedback that I got from the book from the audience was so like, they loved the last two chapters. And I remember writing that book and I was like, okay, the purpose of this book is for me to put everything together that I believe is important for personal transformation. So I cover the whole thing, self love, letting go, the challenges that you face, emotional maturity, how that change ripples outward. But when I started going outward, that's the whole purpose of my pen name. My pen name is Young Pueblo. Like my real name is Diego Perez, but I wanted to write within a particular frame. And young Pueblo means young people. Like Pueblo is just a Spanish word and it has different definitions all over Latin America, but from where I come from, it refers to the masses of impoverished people. When I started meditating, I realized I'm incredibly immature, but the world is immature too. 'Cause I've always loved studying history and I've seen how the basic things that we were taught as children, right? To clean up after yourself, to share with each other, to tell the truth, to not hit each other, to generally be kind with one another. These things are done on an individual basis by some people. But if you're scaled it up to the human collective, we don't know how to do these things at all, right? We're terrible at sharing with each other. We're constantly hitting each other through all these wars that we're fighting. We're not kind to one another. We're lying to each other like, systemically as one humanity, we have not mastered the fundamentals that we were taught as children. And that's really, you know, I wanted to basically put that frame because I really believe that society emerges from the individual and from our relationships, right? Our society is a reflection of these relationships. So I thought, you know, let me spend a lot of time talking and writing about personal development because hopefully if people do develop self-love, like real self-love, then they're gonna be much less interested in harming each other. - Diego Perez, young Pueblo.

Conclusion And Time Management

A closing message to the world (01:22:28)

You have 30 seconds, 30 seconds left to live. You're laid there on your final bed. Your work is done. You have a conclusive message to send out to the world. Everybody is on the end of the phone or eight billion of us. What'd you say? - If I could speak, I'd probably have everybody meditate with me. I'd have them be aware of their breath and then die peacefully. I was thinking when you first asked, I was like, I'd say nothing. I'd just be meditating. But if there are people waiting for something, then we have to meditate together. - Is there anything else you wanted to talk about? You know, we've kind of known each other from afar for a-- - Yeah. - A long time. Is there anything else you're curious about or before we close out this conversation? - I want to get into the technical aspects of how you manage your time.

how do you manage your time (01:23:33)

'Cause I've been noticing one thing where now that I'm doing multiple things at once, when I go into a new project, I never specify how many hours I'm gonna work on it. What I do specify is what I can do for you, like what I can bring to the table and what I'm going to be able to deliver on, which is very different from saying, I can give you 20 hours of my time, right? Because that doesn't mean anything. Like, sometimes when you create a project, you put things together and they happen like quick, and a bunch of the rest of the time you are not using that time that well. And I found that to be really useful to just say, this is what I can do for you, but not how long I'm gonna work. And also never be in a situation where someone's my boss. Like it's always equal partnerships. I think that makes a ton of sense. - Yeah, is that what you do too? - So, these days I guess I do both. So if I'm going into a new partnership or an investment, I want to be very clear because I know expectations are the root cause of all unhappiness in business and in any form of relationship. I wanna be super clear on the expectations. So, A, what I'll deliver, but also clear deliverables in terms of like time. - Like when? - Yeah, and I know that my time is literally the most scarce asset that I have. Like right now, before you arrived, I'm being hounded by several members of my team for urgent things. They're telling me that if I don't deliver X, Y, and Z on my book today, then we'll have to move the publication day beyond August. At the same time, I said something, I was like, all of these things in my head. And then I have to say the most important thing is just this idea of who, not how. I think a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs, get caught up in trying to figure out how to do stuff, but the big unlock for me after meeting certain entrepreneurs and spending time with Richard Branson and great people is those people default to who, as in who can do this, versus trying to figure it out would do it myself. And I'm very lucky now to have great teams of people where it's meant that I can spend the time I do have on the small thing that I'm good at, and that only I can do. And that's like really my strategy to life. It's like there's a small thing that only I can do that I'm specifically good at. It's trying to spend all 16 waking hours doing that thing, if I can. Yeah, but it's a mess. And that is the most important thing I could probably say. It is a total mess. I hear about all these successful people, business people, and there's like, oh, two, 30 minute routine, and I have this time blocking technique, and blah, blah, blah. - I can't, yeah. - I can't. - Yeah. - I mean, my life is a mess. It's a balanced chaotic mess where each element of my life kind of shrinks and expands in priority and attention as I go through different seasons. Right now I'm in a season of work because I'm filming a TV show, and then I'm doing this. This is my week off, and I'm back to filming the TV show. So where's my partner and all of that? After the TV show's done, I'll be back with my partner and we'll go on holiday. So that will expand. I'm okay with it being a mess. I think one of the things I'm most grateful for is I never believed in what you said, which is perfection. I never believed it. I saw all of my idols, and the way that they're portrayed in interviews and stuff is like these superheroes or whatever. I'm a total mess in so many facets of my life, and I always believed that that was both okay and enough for me to achieve what I wanted to do. That's really helped me. 'Cause perfection creates that sense of inadequacy, doesn't it? - It totally does. That's beautiful to hear, because I've been learning that I can do it my way. It's the same thing that you were just saying. I can do it my way. I don't have to be the people around me. I can learn from them, have role models, but I don't need to be exactly my role models. I can just figure out how to achieve well in the way that works best for me. And I think coming to peace with the fact that there are just some things that I'm good at and other things that I'm not. And when there are some things that you're not good at, I don't need to get an MBA. I need to hire out an MBA. Like I don't like getting my arm. I'm good at marketing, I'm good at vision, and I'm good at writing, and I can meditate, and that's all I can do. - And that is more than enough. And especially if you're good at those and you just focus on those things, you're gonna be in that irreplaceable category of people that can do that. And the world needs that. Some of my best teammates are like fundamental, including myself. Some of the best people that work in some of my companies are fundamentally bad at critical things. They're not good managers, they're unorganized, they're a mess, but they are the most incredible creatives. So instead of trying to fight what might be seen as their deficiency, we've come to learn over time and with experience to nurture their brilliance. And that gets the best out of them. Same with Richard Branson, he can't look at presentations, can't do English, can't do maths, he said, at a high level. But he's built one of the most incredible companies in the world. We have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest asks a question for the next guest, not knowing who they're gonna leave it for.

Listener Questions

The last guest’s question (01:28:56)

And the question left for you is, what is your rich life? My rich life would be being able to meditate as much as I want to do more of these consecutive long courses and still be able to amply support my parents, take super fantastic care of my wife and my children's or if my siblings or my wife's siblings or parents need support that I'm just like, I can just give without any sort of worry. And being able to sit is what we call it, being able to meditate and still be able to give without worry. I think that's the place where I'm trying to get to is, I've had a lot of success, but I've also, I also know that I'm still in a building stage like I'm still growing. Yeah. That's very beautiful. All your work is very beautiful. The way I would describe it is it feels incredibly refreshing to hear someone that has such a, what I feel like is such a pure perspective about the path to becoming our aligned happiest self. Like meeting you makes me feel refreshed. It's almost like I've, you've cleaned out a bunch of stuff in my head that needed to be cleaned out for me to get close to the happiest life that I could live. That's the way that I would viscerally describe it. And that's exactly what your book is. I mean, that's what it's called, "Lighter." After meeting you and after having this conversation, I feel inherently lighter. This is what the book does to people. It makes them feel lighter. What a perfect title. What a perfect title, because that's exactly how I feel right now. It's a pleasure to meet you. It's a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for doing such a necessary work. I'm so excited to follow your journey through entrepreneurship, but also through publications like this one over the next many, many decades. Thank you so much, my friend. It makes me feel so happy that this moment finally came together and that just watching you from afar, like I've been appreciating you all along the way. And I've been supported by the wisdom that you've been putting out there, but to also see you act and create in the world to literally create things that people can benefit from. That's beautiful. And I'm happy to see people doing both. You can grow as an individual and be effective and supportive in this world and give people things they need. Yeah, so thank you. Thank you. Quick one. As you guys know, we're lucky enough to have BlueJeans by Verizon as a sponsor of this podcast. And for anyone that doesn't know, BlueJeans is an online video conferencing tool that allows you to have slick, fast, high quality online meetings without all the glitches you might normally find with online meeting tools. And they have a new feature called BlueJeans Basic. BlueJeans Basic is essentially a free version of their top quality video conferencing tool. That means you get an immersive video experience that is super high quality, super easy and super, basically zero fast, apart from all the incredible features like zero time limits on meeting calls, it also comes with high fidelity audio and video, including Dolby Voice, which is incredibly useful. They also have enterprise-grade security so you can collaborate with confidence. It's so smooth that it's quite literally changing the game for myself and my team without compromising on quality. To find out more, all you have to do is search BlueJeans.com and let me know how you get on.

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