Brené Brown — Striving versus Self-Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Brené Brown — Striving versus Self-Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show".


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Start (00:00)

Hello boys and girls, this is Tim Ferriss and welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferriss Show where does my job to interview world-class performers and world-class experts of different types from all different fields. My guest today is Dr. Brené Brown. Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation, Brené Brown and down chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy and is the author of five, count them five, number one, New York Times bestsellers. The gifts have been perfection, daring greatly, rising strong, braving the wilderness and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership. Her TED Talk, the power of vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED Talks in the world with more than 35 million views. Let that sink in, 35 million views. My goodness. She is also the first researcher to have a film talk on Netflix. The call to courage, special debuted on the streaming service in April of 2019. She lived in Houston, Texas with her husband Steve, they have two children, Ellen and Charlie. She also has a brand new podcast, Justin, should be launching right about now, called Unlocking Us, coming out March 2020. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Brené, welcome back to the show.

Insights And Experiences From Brené Brown

Why women love Brené (01:31)

I'm excited to be here. It's so good to see you. I love your digs. Thank you very much. Beautiful, Austin Tejas. Yeah. Although you can't see much of it right now at the cloud cover, but I wanted to start with two things that happen today. Okay. Number one, talking to my girlfriend this morning, and she says, "Oh, who are you interviewing today?" And I say, "Brené Brown," she goes, "Gah, I love how casually you say that." And then a woman downstairs, I won't mention my name, who works in the building, similar story, similar reaction. And I have met so many women who are otherwise very tightly composed, who start gushing at the mere mention of your name. And what I would love to hear you comment on is, "What cord do you think you have struck or what archetype are you providing that gets that response?" Because it's not a common response. I know a lot of very successful or very famous women who do not elicit that kind of response from people. How do you explain that? No idea. No idea. No idea. I don't know. Yeah. Do you know? I have perhaps a theory. I mean, the only other person I've heard elicits similar responses is Esther Pearl. So I... Love her. I have to imagine she's great that it has something to do with vulnerability, but is it just that? I mean, what does the feedback that people give you? Okay. So I do have a theory. And I don't know if this is the driver of that reaction, because it's still shocking to me. Normally, if I walk up and someone goes, "I still look behind me, like, what's happening?" Or, "Mostly, I'm looking for danger because I'm wired." But here's what my new theory is. My new theory is that it's not that people... I mean, people, I think, appreciate the research. They appreciate the work. But I think what really connects to people, and kind of across gender, is what they really like is watching me struggle with my own work. So rather than being someone that's like, "Here's what we should all be doing." I've got it all figured out. I've got it all figured out. I'm like, "This shit sucks." Like, and if I didn't think we had to do it, I'd be like, "No way in hell am I doing this." And so I think it's a combination of giving people language for experiences that we all have, and then being really forthright about how much... How hard it is for me and how much I hate it sometimes. Do you know what I mean? I think watching the struggle. In the description of your new podcast, which will be launching shortly, and is already dominating the charts with the preview. Congratulations. I'm excited. One of the phrases that stuck out to me, and I might butcher this slightly, but it was something like the magic and messiness of relationships or the human condition, but the magic and the messiness. So maybe what you're speaking to is not providing the highlight reel, which I think is common, but also giving people the lowlights, which are part of everyone's experience. Yes. I'm like not a fan. It's like the ESPN play of the day. They're like 5,694 popflies missed. And then that means there's like 300 out filters. They're in a shame shitstorm. And to me, that's much more interesting than the play of the day. I like the play of the day. I watch the play of the day. I'm a big sports person, but I don't often make the play of the day. Yeah, which is precisely why when everyone said, "Well, I'll talk to someone involved in the media." And they're like, "Can we shadow you for a day?" And I'm like, "Absolutely not." No. Because it's 99 percent, just like missing the pop ball and having hit me square in the face. That's 99 percent of the day. And I'm like, "That's not going to make for compelling media coverage." No. And I get asked that sometimes too. And I'm just like, "Well, first of all, no." Because like, "Okay, I'm making a lunch for school for my kid going to school. I'm unloading the dishwasher." And yeah, this goes into a whole different topic, but I also have like, there's a line like, "This is my life." The people I love can't follow me. So strangers are definitely not following me. I don't like anybody enough. How did you, and I know we spoke about using a certain format for this conversation, we'll get to those.

On setting boundaries (06:10)

But I'm curious, as someone who, as best I can tell, was not trying to become famous, you gave your TED talk that now has 35 plus million views. It's one of the top talks of all time. So it seems from the outside looking in that you're sort of thrust into becoming a public figure, how did you navigate determining where to draw lines and boundaries? Well, I don't know. It's still a daily practice. I'm still drawing them every day, and I'm readjusting them every day. But I'm so grateful that this didn't happen to me when I was younger. Because I don't know. There's like this working theory that a friend of mine Jennifer shared with me that she said, "I don't know that anyone who is trying primarily to be famous has anything interesting to say." And I think that's true. I don't know that I'm famous, but I didn't want to be a public person because I'm too self-conscious for that, really, to be honest with you. And I'm a tough person, but I get my feelings hurt. And so when people make fun of what I look like or what I say or if I use the wrong word or mispronounce something, it can take me down. Less than it used to be able to. Less than it did, I guess. So I didn't really want the public part. So when that first started happening after the TED talk, I already had a team together because I wanted to get my skill, my work. I wanted to get to as many people as I could with my work. I just wanted to stand down and push my work into the world and not be. There's a lot of people whose work is in the world, but we don't know who they are.

Chasing the extraordinary vs. embracing the ordinary (08:09)

But again, going back to your first question, I don't think it's my work. I think it's me as a vessel for the work that resonates with people because I think I am. It's like a terrible paradox. It is a terrible paradox. I'm having a moment that it's my ordinariness that makes me relatable. And it's also my ordinariness that makes me where I take all the hits. Do you know what I'm saying? I do. And I also think, I mean, I'm not going to, I would over, over drinks maybe debate the ordinariness, but I do understand what you're saying. And I think that in your displaying of your fully imperfect self, which we all are, in that ordinariness, doing what you do and putting your work into the world as you have is extraordinary. And so I think that may be a piece of why people connect and find its own spiring, right? As opposed to seeing like a LeBron James, whoever doesn't go, well, that's that guy is a mutant. Yeah. There is that that is a separate planet. There's no, there's no room for me to aspire to emulate that because it's so out of reach. Does that make sense? It totally makes sense. Whereas when you are very vulnerable and discuss the struggle, people go, Oh, shit. That's how I feel. I didn't know people who do things like put work into the world in a TED talk and this, that and five best-selling books and so on could also feel that way and do the work that they do. Yeah. So yes, I definitely, I definitely feel that way. I mean, I think, and I think the people who follow my work for a long time were kind of just growing up together and learning together. I mean, when I started, I didn't understand that I could be brave and afraid at the same time. And now I kind of live in that. I'm like, I feel brave right now because I'm with you here doing this, but I'm also afraid. And I'm like, I'm literally thinking how much longer can I hold in my stomach and talk to him. And at some point, I'm just going to have to like breathe. These are the things I think about, you know, and I'm like, I shouldn't have worn the clingy, like a Rolling Stone shirt. I should have worn something like puffier so I could breathe. Like, like, I'm just a normal person, but, but yeah, I'm just a normal. I have a really, I think we're all kind of ordinary people. I get to do extraordinary things, but I think we're all ordinary people. But I think sometimes this world is tough because we shame and diminish ordinary, ordinary lives or small lives, you know, ordinary moments are, you know, we chase extraordinary moments instead of like being grateful for ordinary moments until, until hard shit happens. Yeah. And then in the face of really hard stuff, illness, death, loss, the only thing we're begging for is a normal moment. Like, oh my God, could I please have that ordinary moment back? You know, can I please hear this him come through the screen porch door? Can I please get a call from my mom or crazy? Like, then we want the ordinary moments, but in them, with all the noise, it's about the extraordinary right now. And I'll tell you a true story. I'm debating right now whether I should tell it or not because it's so fresh, but I just had to do a photo shoot for the podcast, like the image for Apple and everyone to use.

Brené’s confronting photo session (11:43)

And I was, the photographer was great. Randolph Ford. And it was, it was fine. It was the hotel station. So you hear an Austin, which was a really fun place to do it. So it's, and I'm like, uncomfortable, like, you know, doing that, like how much, how much is too, too, too, see, you know, that whole thing. And I said, well, come and look at the monitor. They're great. And then I stepped around to look at the monitor. And it was such shock to me because this was the thing playing in my mind. Like, I'm 54. I know who I am. I really like who I am. But then I'm looking in this monitor and I'm like, oh, my God, because my training for 54 years has been, why are you taking pictures and having all these fancy people here when you're not perfect looking like this is, this is the realm of perfect people, like models do this and stuff, you know, like, but to see on these big screens with all these professional people against a white backdrop, like me, I'm like, oh, my God, this is, this is not what we normally see in a photo shoot behind the scenes, right? And it was just this moment that it was such a metaphor for life. It's like, I earned every single one of these effing wrinkles and stretch marks, like, and this is the body, you know, that frays my kids and, you know, like, but that ordinariness can almost be for those of us who haven't found a way to love it in ourselves, repulsive, you know, like, the realness, the realness, like, this is me. And so like, when they were when they were doing the photos, like getting ready, you know, photoshopping the photos, I was like, you know, make sure that you make that I look my age because I don't like that, like, shock and all how when I show up someplace and they're like, damn, was that an old photo, you know, like, it's true, but it's like, but really grappling with, and I'm just going to say these things out loud. Do you know, like, because, and maybe that's why people are like, oh, thank God, someone's saying about loud, because they're normally relegated to our secret shame lives, you know, and we all have them. Yeah, oh, for sure. Right. Yeah. Well, I'm glad that you are, that's odd to put it this way, but showcasing that, right? I mean, I think it's, I think it's, it provides a sigh of relief to a lot of people who feel like they have to keep all this things relegated or to do it or feel like they have to divorce those parts of themselves in, in so on. Yes. Yeah. And I think it's, I think it's, there is a divorcing, there's an orphaning event, I would say that, you know, of these parts of ourselves, and it's not like, you know, it's weird too, because people always say, this is an interesting question. I should ask you this question. Fire away. People always say, where's the line between embracing imperfection and vulnerability and kind of our humanity and striving for excellence?

Self-acceptance vs. complacency (14:58)

Yeah. Do you know what I mean? Absolutely. And I'm a striver. Like I'm a, like, you know, like, we're serious about our brand and my work and attributions and I work out all the time and, you know, you asked me to move where we started. We were checking like, what do you have for breakfast? I'm like, I'm intermittent fasting. I'm like, damn it, we just need 10 seconds of audio. What do you fantasize about eating for lunch? Yeah. Keto bar. Keto bar. So it's not like, you know, it's not like embracing your imperfection is giving up. Yeah. But what, how do you answer that question? If I said, Tim, where's the line between being our best selves or striving for excellence and embracing who we are? Funny you should ask, because we're recording this in January 2020. And I thought a lot about this on New Year's Eve and in the few days after the passing of the New Year when I was going through notes and photographs and everything from the past year. And I'm actually still doing that review. I mean, we're well through the midpoint of January and I'm still doing my last year review. And one of the conversations with my girlfriend with some of my best friends was this topic exactly. And I can tell you where I landed because I wanted to try to get the right phrasing for me of the question. So I talked about the line, right? Like, and there were a number of different versions of the question. One was, how can you be self accepting without becoming complacent? Oh, God, that's right. That's right. That's right. That was one. And then that's good. You know, how can you conversely, like, how can you be high achieving without being self-flagellating or self abusing? And I thought about another good one. I thought about the line, as you phrased it, I thought about the line. And I realized that I had trouble answering that question, like where the line is. So the question that I started to ask myself, which was informed by a book I've been reading for the last month or so called Already Free, which is written by a boulder based psychotherapist who also is a Buddhist contemplative. And he would be the first to say, these two do not mesh. They actually contradict each other in some ways, but you can make room for and use both. So informed by this book, which I was reading during the passing of the New Year, I thought to myself, maybe the question is, how can I make room for both striving and self acceptance? And so this might seem really clinical and boring, but I just schedule blocks of time for both. And practices for both. So for instance, there's a journal called the Five Minute Journal. And part of that is what I'm grateful for, three abollets, what made today great three bullets. And those are generally small things. Sometimes they're big things, but I try to include at least one small thing so that I don't become myopically fixated on the extraordinary. Right. Right. And because I think one of the risks of being heavily achievement focused is that you only give yourself a pat on the back when you've done something that is the equivalent of a home run talk or a massive project launch or setting a world record, some type in your mind. And you can become really miserable that way. So in my personal life, driving and achievement and being in Gear 6 is and has been forever the default. Right. And I think that's a coping mechanism for a lot of things that happen when I was younger, but nonetheless, that is the default. So the self acceptance is putting things in the calendar as practices that will ensure I take time for that. Because my experience is that if I don't put them in the calendar, they just get squeezed out by everything else. How do you think about it? Well, I'm changing in real time because I love to make room for both. But I think the only place that I have come to around using my question about the line, where's the line between complaint? I love that complacency. And what'd you say complacency and self acceptance and complacency? And for me, I always think where's the line between I'll just take it to my to our organization. And my role as a leader in that organization, we believe in excellence and beauty and all things. And we are not jacking around like, like, if a font's wrong, I will notice it. So where is the line between excellence and beauty and all things and perfectionism that is paralyzing, no work gets out. So there's always, you know, where's the line between my perfectionism and my being my best self? The only thing I've come to so far that has been the shift for me between it's a midlife shift. I think it's a midlife shift for everyone. And it's taken me a good five years in midlife. I will determine the line, you will not determine the line for me. So I know, I know that for me, it doesn't matter what I'm achieving or accomplishing. If I'm not eating in a way that makes sense for me, working out and sleeping, that it doesn't matter. So like, for whether you're saying, boy, you need to, you know, lose 30 pounds or you're on the side where you're like, healthy at every, you know, whatever it doesn't matter, I don't care what you think on either side. What I think is, I know, I need to work out five days a week. I know that I need to eat this way. I know I need to write down what I'm eating. I need because otherwise I'm like, I can be a stress card person. So for me, the day I reclaimed that line as internally set, not externally set was a huge changer for me. But I do think I need to make room for both. I'm going to look into that like, I, it is very Buddhist. It is not the competition conflict thing. Yeah. And what this author, I'm blanking on his name, but we'll put it in the show notes. What he uses his labels are on the on the Western psychotherapy side, he talks about the developmental view. So you look back at the the outdated strategies that have become patterns in your life that are no longer applicable or are being overused. And then you take steps to improve or change your behaviors. And that would include your thought patterns. And then the on the Buddhist side, I would just say, if Buddhist as a word bothers you, you could just on the awareness side, he would call it the frictional view, which is being effectively becoming, incultivating the ability to be okay with whatever is. And so another aspect of this that I've been thinking about a lot is there is there is there are different types of self-acceptance. I think this is really important. It's only something I've thought very closely about in the last handful of years, because I spent most of my life hating myself at best tolerating myself for moments. But there was a lot of self-loathing driving performance. And I for a long time viewed any type of self-acceptance as complacency, just self-acceptance equals complacency period. And you need to be your own devil whipping yourself in the back to try harder. What I've realized, and this is informed by a lot of reading, of course, is that there is complacent self-acceptance, where you say, everything I'm doing is just fine. I don't need to change anything. And I shouldn't change anything. I want to, you need to stop there for a second. You can edit it, but I'm a buzzer. I have to think. There is such thing as what? And I can modify. But what I want you to say, what you just said first? So what I said is, I do think there are multiple types of self-acceptance. And that term self-acceptance could be used to excuse complacency in the sense that you could say, I am practicing self-acceptance, which means everything is great, everything is as it should be, la la la. I don't need to change anything. But then, I'll just add one more piece. There is a self-acceptance, which says, for instance, as an example, I'm making this up like this. But right now, I am nervous, and I'm frustrated, and I'm angry because A/B/C is happening in my life, and we're doing this podcast, and I'm bald now, and like in 2007, and oh my God, it's my head, just a shiny cue ball on camera, right now, blah, blah, blah. And I could accept all of those things as true, because they are. Those are my experience. And then for some of them, I could resolve to take steps to improve upon those things, right? So there's a situation I need to fix. Great. Let me go fix it, because that's making me or agitating me in some way. So I think that there are, there's a self-acceptance, which is a macro. I don't need to change anything. And then there's a self-acceptance, which is really just truthfully accepting whatever you're experiencing at the moment as what is happening, as opposed to saying, I don't want to feel angry. I don't want to feel angry and like fighting and fighting and fighting and tugging yourself in multiple directions. So that might sound kind of esoteric, but for me, it's been very profound in that you can be forgiving of whatever you are experiencing in your body, in your psyche, in the moment, while still putting in place steps to improve whatever it is you're hoping to improve. I think it's possible to do both. I think it's possible to do both too. I do because I think I live both. And I go back to the Union belief that the paradox is the only real thing that has enough tension to capture human experience. So I think you can have self-love and self-acceptance and want to be better in other ways. I think, in fact, I don't think you can change without. Okay, so here are the things I want to unwind. I don't think you can truly change for the better in a lasting, meaningful way unless it is driven by self-acceptance. I agree with that. So I think being a shit out of yourself for performance, which I work with a lot of sports people now, it works. And if all you have to do is pay someone for one season, or all you do is one game or one whatever, you're okay. But lasting meaningful change has to be driven by self-acceptance. The other thing that is just so shocking to me about complacency and self-acceptance is as I think back, and I would really have to go into the data, but just sitting here, I don't think I have ever come across a single person who I, not a single person that I can think of who was complacent, driven by self-acceptance. Like, I don't think, I don't know, I don't know that that is not an oxymoron. I gotta tell you that self-aware complacency doesn't work for me as a construct. Self-aware, no. I don't... Our self-accepted complacency. I don't know that I believe that. Yeah, I mean, I'll push a little bit. I mean, you're going to get a look on your face. Yeah, I would say... I hope you contact the camera. And I think that I'm struggling for the right terminology, but I think we all know people who are alcoholics at various issues, and they are in denial of having problems. Yes. It doesn't mean stop you there. Yeah. And say that is neither self-awareness nor self-acceptance. Definitely not self-awareness. But not self-acceptance either. Well, I would... And maybe there's a better word, but I would just say that there are people who are delusional to the extent that they either believe they don't have a problem that they have, or they have a problem and refuse to accept it as a problem. For sure. Right. So... And we can go a lot of directions to this, but I would say that I think we can agree there are complacent people. There are complacent people. And among those complacent people, I think there are those who hate themselves. There are those who love themselves and are narcissistic, and I know a number of these. And then there's a lot in between. And I think that there are complacent, in some respects, complacent narcissists who, almost by definition, being a narcissist, love themselves. So is that self-acceptance? Maybe yes, maybe no. I would say that it is, but it's a disabling self-acceptance, whereas, to your point about lasting behavioral change, I think that at least psychologically, if you are divorcing parts of yourself, if you hate parts of yourself, aspects of yourself that have been informed by your history, that... And I'm borrowing this phrase from somewhere else, but what you resist persists. And that you are going to carry that unproductive. And in some ways, self-defeating tension within you, even if someone is forcing you to change your behavior or incentivizing you to change your external behavior. And so even if, technically, you're changing a behavior, if you carry self-loathing, even partial self-loathing with you, hating an aspect of yourself or a certain emotion within yourself, I view that as a loss. I agree. Yeah. So, this is getting out there a bit, but this is the type of stuff that sometimes I worry that I've lost my audience. Could I make a confession? Yeah. Because for a long time, I was thinking about writing a blog post about this, but for a very long time, if you look at all the books that I've written, it's like book on entrepreneurship, book on physical performance, book on cognitive performance and learning for our chef, etc., etc., it's mostly developmental.

Worries about losing my audience (29:22)

It's about improving performance in one or more areas. And now what I've spent more and more time on, like we're spending time on it right now, is the inner game. For sure. And the importance of developing a keen level of self-awareness so that you can examine the contents of your, this is going to get super wooive for a second. We're just going to set up the contents of your consciousness, right? Like, wherever you go, you're carrying your mind with you. And so to develop a familiarity with that, I think is the crux skill that underlies everything else. And you and I both know plenty of achievers who are miserable, who are for sure high performing, well known people who are utterly miserable. And to me, the question of why is that, how can that be the case, is the question that I'm extremely interested in these days? And, but I worry that having built an audience who is largely, not entirely kind of go, go, go, rah, rah, rah, win, win, win, there's nothing wrong with that, but people who are trying to develop skills and competitive advantages and so on that, that I may lose a large portion of those people in shifting into talking about more of these things. We'll see where it goes, but that's something that has occurred to me. And I think I'm willing to make that trade. I think I'm willing to take that, if that's a cost of doing business. I don't know. So a couple of things. One, the go, go, go audience that you've built, this may scare them, but I mean, as someone who works with elite athletes and professional folks and CEOs and those things, what I can tell you is, this is the hardest challenge you've issued. Like, and it's not about the conceptual complexity of what we're talking about. It's about unlocking performance is one thing, unlocking people way harder, way scarier and unlocking ourselves and creating self-awareness. To me, it, to me, you would be remiss not to go here. Because, you know, I don't know, I think, like something you said, when you were talking about, we all know a lot of narcissists and they love themselves.

Narcissism (32:05)

But that's actually not true. Do you know that narcissism is the most shame-based of all the personality disorders? Narcissism is not about self-love at all. It's about grandiosity, driven by high performance and self-hatred. It's, you know, I define it as the shame-based fear of being ordinary. And so you have, to me, you have this audience that, and I'm one of them, I mean, like, and I'm probably an outlier, I guess, and it's like maybe an Irish fan, like, who is always outliers. But the audience is like 40, 40 to 50 percent female, but I appreciate it. Yeah, it is. It's, it's, it's shifted a lot in the last handful of years. Yeah. But I think, you know, when I get invited in by a Fortune 50 CEO and, you know, and here she says, look, we need help, we need help with the team. We need, they're not asking me to help with time productivity. They're not helping me to set up a scrum or agile process for software development. They're saying, you know, we're at each other's throats. We hate each other. It's a shame-based finger pointing, like, it's all about self-awareness and changing those behaviors. And to me, you know, to me, the hard thing about this, this area in your work is a lot of what I've learned from you that has changed my life has been not only effectiveness base, but efficiency-based. And so where you can lose people with this conversation is this is not an efficient process. Yeah, right. Do you know what I mean? There's no, I don't think there's a four-hour self-awareness. It's like- Yeah, I have no plans to write that. Yeah, but I mean, but I, but people would love it if you could, if you could unlock that fast. But to me, this is the capstone conversation for you. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? Like, I do. Because what's it all in for? Yeah. You know, like, I'm fit, I'm winning. I'm smart, I'm successful, and I'm on my third marriage, and I don't speak to any of my children. Yeah. Like- Which you see a lot, or I mean, I see all the time. Yeah. Right, because I'm going to tell you, not to dismiss the importance of that work, that's easier. Yeah. Yeah, it is easier. It is easier, you know, because the thing about these conversations that you and I end up having every time we sit down, or this is a second time, but both times we've sat down is what differentiates us as a social species is the need to be seen and known and loved, and the need to see and know and love others. And no one rides for free. Like, we all come into this adulthood with hard stuff. And what I would say is true about complacency.

Shedding our pathological armor for our superpower (34:36)

And 95% of what I see that people call pathology is its armor. Yeah. It's not its armor. It's how it's behaviors and ways of thinking that I've developed to protect myself from being hurt. So I have a question for you about that. I'm just going to reach in. There we go. Right. So you're good. You're good. So my question related to armor is I'll get to through a segue, which is a quote that I want to say, Terabrock, the well-known meditation teacher, also writer, radical acceptance is a fantastic book, shared with me, which I'm going to paraphrase. And it's along the lines of, you know, a great sage once said, there's only one real question that matters. And that is, what are you unwilling to feel? I've thought about that a lot. And not to say I have any concise answers to that, but I think it's, I think it's, I think it's an anecdote really worth meditating on. I've thought about it. What do you say to the people you meet who are on the third marriage? Their kids don't talk to them. And there are certain things that they have convinced themselves subconsciously or otherwise, maybe through an abusive upbringing or trauma, whatever it might be, that it is unsafe to feel certain things. And you come in, they've asked for help, but they do not want to open Pandora's box. Right. They do not want someone to drag them into the deep waters of emotions that they've kept under lock and key for so long. How do you help someone like that? What do you suggest to them? Because it does get messy. It's going to get messy before it gets clean. At least in my experience, it's like, oh, you're going to do spring cleaning? Guess what? You got to take all the things that are up on the shelves, all the things in the drawers, all the things that are hanging on coat hangers, and you're going to put them in the middle of the room. And it's going to be a mess. It's going to be a fucking mess. Yeah, it's going to be a pest that you did it. And that is, and that is, but you can't really get past go without that type of steps. So for someone who's listening to this and says, you know what, I buy it. Like, I get it. And yet, what do I do? Because I've been, I've had on this armor for so long. So I would say a couple of things. I mean, the first thing I always feel like is really important to say is that I'm a researcher. And so I'm not a therapist. That would be differentiate me with Esther. Like, I don't see clients. If I go in and I'm working with CEOs and this question comes up all the time. What I would say to people is Pandora's Box is closed right now. But are you under the impression that you're living outside of the box or in the box? Like, yeah, I like that. Yeah, I mean, like, you don't want to open Pandora's Box because that's strange to me because you're living inside Pandora's Box. And what I feel like you've asked me to come here to open it up. Like, we're not going to do this process without walking through some deep shit, there's going to be deep swift water. And if the water is super deep and swift, you need to go through that with a therapist and get that that settled before we work in the organizational way. But what I would say to people that I always say is the same for me. And I'm sure the same for you that we all grew up and experienced at varying degrees, trauma, disappointment, how, you know, hard stuff, we armored up. And at some point, that armor no longer serves us. And so what I think I would say to that person is how is not talking about this serving you? Like, I've been sober for 23 years. So someone in AA would be like, how's that shit working for you? You know, like, but I probably would put a softer spin on it than that. Over black coffee, you know, but I would say that it's not serving anymore. And now the weight of the armor is too heavy. And it's not protecting you, it's keeping you from being seen and known by others. And so this is, I mean, just how you quintessentially, this is the developmental milestone of midlife. From late 30s to, you know, through probably your 60s, this is the question. Yeah, this is when the universe comes down and puts your hands on your shoulders and pulls you close and whispers in your ear, I'm not fucking around. You're halfway to dead. The armor is keeping you from growing into the gifts I've given you. That is not without penalty. Time is up. So this is what you see happen to people in midlife. And it's not a crisis. It's a slow, brutal unraveling. And this is where everything that we thought protected us keeps us from being the partners, the parents, the professionals, the people that we want to be. And there are only, I've only seen this is a fork in the road. I've only seen two responses to this visit from the universe. Well, there's, I guess there's, there was my response, which I was like, screw you, bring it. Like you think you can, you think you can best me? And then it was just one nightmare situation after another until, you know, you're not going to win that fight. I think if you say, you know what, I'm not, I'm not going to do it. Then you've got to double down. These are the people that walk through the world, double down on their own shit, and denial, you know, cheek squeezed as they walk and cause so much pain in the world. Yeah. To themselves as well. I mean, yes, because it is so much easier to offload pain than to feel pain. Yeah. And so you really have a choice in midlife, whether you're going to be, you're going to, you know, identify the first step of it, the whole process is what armor. And I'm not saying like, I'm not saying just pull off all the armor and streak through Austin, because I think you can replace the armor with something. I think it's curiosity is what you replace. You just become very curious about yourself about the world. Why did I react that way? When Tim asked me that question, I wanted to like hit him over the head with a topo chica model. You know, what was going on there? Do you know what I mean? Like, what is my obsession about this? You just become very curious is curiosity is really the superpower for the second half of our lives, because it keeps us learning. It keeps us asking questions and it increases our self awareness. But when you see, and I think it's really hard, because, you know, I'll walk into a situation and they'll be the person who invited me, is usually the CEO. And then you'll have like the cross armed pissed off clenched cheek, like FU looking person, usually in operations or technology, you know, and then they're like, what's the business case for you being here? Yeah, right. Like, because, you know, here's our stock price, here's what's going on, here's our valuation, like, what do you need? And then, you know, the CEO usually say, fucking hate each other. And this can only last for so long. Like, you know, it's the end of every great band, right? Like, this is going to come to an end and it's going to be terrible. And so, I don't know, I think you can't pull it all off at once. You have to, there's for a lot of people, for all of us, there's trauma. And people are like, no, there's not trauma for all of us, there's trauma for, you know, people who have been abused physically, sexually, emotionally, there's trauma for people of color and people who have been on the margins. There's trauma for all of us, it's just different levels of trauma. Yeah. You know, I mean, escape childhood with nothing is, I haven't met that person yet. No, I have any other. Right. So the trauma stuff, literally the trauma message in our body is, you take this armor off, we die. So you protect us at all costs and leave this on. A lot of that work has to be done with a therapist. Yeah. Yeah. There's some really good books. I mean, there are a lot of terrible books on this type of topic, but the thing is the body knows the score or the body keeps the score about that. Bessel van der Kart. Yeah. Bessel van der Kart is very interesting in terms of tying the physiology and somatic experience into these past emotional experiences. And what you were saying about Pandora's Box and the question which I liked of, do you think you're living outside of Pandora's Box or are you just locked inside Pandora's Box?

The control self-awareness brings (44:17)

Is a really insightful question and also reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine who had a very, very tough time, multiple divorces, fortunately in good terms with his kids, but a lot of interpersonal strife. And he said, what, no doubt you've heard a lot, which is like, yeah, I'm just not sure I want to go there. I'm not sure I'm ready to sort of open that. I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with it. And what occurred to me as I was listening, because I experienced this for a long time is, oh, you're dealing with it. I was good at it. Yeah. Your choice is, do you want to deal with it head on in the sunlight? Or do you want to have it come oozing out of the corners in the darkness where you can't contend with it in a direct or systematic way? So you're dealing with it, no matter what, the question is, how are you dealing with it? And great, youngie and saying, keep your shadows in front of you. They can only take you down from behind. Oh, I like that. I like that. Yeah, you're dealing with it. Like, like, here's the thing, emotion and cognition, undefined and unexplored drive every decision you make. I mean, you either develop self-awareness, or these things control you. I mean, it's, but it's really, I have to say that it can, as someone who chooses affect or affect words carefully, it can be terrifying for people. But rarely does anyone around them who knows them, like you with your friend say, oh my God, I'm shocked to hear this when the reveal comes out. Yeah. You're like, your whole life has been defined by this. Yeah, and I would, I would also like to say, and this is, this has just been my experience and my experience observing a pretty decent sized group of close friends who have had this realization in the last, say, 10 years, that the process of becoming curious about your subconscious programming and the old scripts and the armor can feel messy, and it probably will be messy and it'll feel terrifying.

Accelerated self-awareness (46:22)

But not all changes need to take 20 or 30 years, like some changes can, in my personal experience, at least, I had some terrible things happen to me as a kid. And in the last, say, five years with the right tools and the right prompts and the right books and the right accountability partners, like my girlfriend, who's a very well-developed empath and a very clean fighter, which is really important. Huge, huge. And one thing that she does really well that has been instrumental for me, she's been the clearest mirror maybe I've ever had in the sense that I have my stuff, she has her stuff, I have my scripts and my sensitivities, many of which are out of date. And we set time to do what we call batching. So rather than having lots of interspersed criticisms or constructive pieces of feedback that may not be taken the best way by me, especially at 3 p.m. on a weekday, we'll set time aside to sit down and we will take turns. And this is a format, it may not be the best format, but it's something we came up with that works for us where we'll tell the other person what they're doing well, like what they're really doing well, what we think we are doing well. And then we'll ask for what we would like more of. And in that format, you can start to spot patterns, right? And so if you do that once a week or every two weeks, certain things come up, I'm like, oh, well, the first time you said that, I thought it was just an exception. But now I realize that is a pattern that I have. All right, when X, Y, and Z happens, I go, like, let's talk about it later, don't want to deal with it now. And I sort of shove off certain types of topics or questions. And then you can begin to experiment with working on alternatives. And the reason I'm saying all this is just because I don't want people to feel like the curiosity, if you're willing to take that first step about your patterns, your programming, these added eight strategies in armor, does not necessarily lead to you trying to run an ultra marathon with a blindfold on like there are there are actually tools and resources and books and methods that can be really, really, really helpful in short order.

Marriage hacks (48:55)

And you'll be surprised. I mean, it's really like, it's like putting off the mammogram or, you know, prostate check or whatever it is that you have to do, putting it off, putting it off, all the shit you make up about it, all the scary stories, you collect as many horrible things as you can, and then you go and you're like, wow, the fear leading up to this was so much greater. So much worse. I mean, I'm not saying it's not going to hurt. It's going to hurt. But I do think, I mean, the two hacks that we have, Steve and I have been together for 32 years, date off and on for seven years and married for whatever the delta is there, 25 or whatever, we're married now, hardest thing I've ever done. Hands down, hardest thing I've ever done. Y'all hear me out there? Hardest thing. He and I both come from our parents, marriages on both sides divorce, remarried several times, shit shows, we had no idea what it was supposed to look like, right? We just were willing to keep showing up. And the conversations like you and your girlfriend have, we do that too. It's uncanny how similar it is. Yeah. Especially what we want more of, what's really working. I really appreciated this this week. We try not to, unless it needs to be done in real time, we'll usually wait until we're in a good place to do it. I don't know, I don't think that he saw dirty fighting, but all I saw was dirty fighting. I'm like, shame, humiliation, put downs, stuff that leaves marks, stuff that you can't apply. And I can default there when I'm in a powerless corner, I can come out like mean. Yeah. It's hard to believe, but no, it's really not. Throwing elbows and headbuds. Yeah, for sure. I can come out and verbal ones that really are way more serious than a physical headbutt. The other two hacks that I think have saved our marriage, besides just showing up and kind of using some of these things, like what's working, what was hard, is the 80/20. So everyone says marriage should be 50/50. It's the biggest crack of bullshit I've ever heard. It's never 50/50. Ever. And so what we do is we quantify where we are. So if Steve comes home and he'll be like, I got 20. Just in terms of energy. Just energy, investment, kindness, patience, I'm out of 20. And I'll be like, I'll cover you. I got you brother. Like, I'll pull the 80. Sometimes we come home, which we have done a lot. My mom has been sick. And I'll say, I've got 10. And Steve, you know, Steve, like two days ago said, I'm riding a solid 25. So we know that we have to sit down at the table anytime we have less than 100 combined and figure out a plan of kindness toward each other. I love that. Yeah, because the thing is marriage is not something that's 50/50. A partnership works when you can carry their 20 or they can carry your 20. And that when you both just have 20, you have a plan where you don't hurt each other. Yeah, because you're a thread bear, right? Yeah. And so what we'll say is I'm like, I've got 10. And he'll be like, I got maybe 25. We're like, put all the groceries that are supposed to be great and healthy in the freezer. We're ordering out, get the housekeeper here an extra day. And we're canceling anything with people that we really actually don't like. So how can we create some buffer in the system? No, we do that. So like, and then, you know, then we'll like a day or two later, I'm like, he'll be like, I'm riding a 60. I'm like, Oh my God, work is kicking my ass. I'm still at a 20. He's like, I got you, but we're a spare 20. So, you know, let's ask Charlie if he wants to skip water polar practice today. And let's all turn in at eight o'clock. Like huge. The other thing I would say too, that now I'm thinking about that is we made a determination very early. There's kid focus families, parent focus families, and family focus families. We're a family focus family. So that means that if you want to do water polo, Eagle Scouts, tennis, and ski shooting, and then that comes to the family. And the family agrees what will keep the family healthy. Like, we can we, you know, I've got a book launch. I've got this. Steve's got patience. He's taking on others. You know, he's a pediatrician. He's doing this. So what works for our family right now is, you can do two extracurriculars. And I'm going to have a two week tour, not a four week tour, but we put the family as the system that we serve. It's not the kids at the parents cost or the parents at the kids cost. It's the family. And it is, it is remarkable. How do you weigh, if you do it all the voting system, so to speak, right?

Family decision-making at Brené’s house (54:02)

So if you all come to the table, does everyone have equal vote in the decision making process with respect? No, no, there's a dictatorship. Yeah. Yeah. I fixed my mind. Oh, no, yeah. No, like we don't even bullshit around that. It's like when my kids like, if I say like, Oh, shit, my kids are like, oh, you can't say that. I'm like, I say anything I want. You can't say that. And when you're old enough, you can do whatever you want. You get your cursing license. Yeah, we yeah, you but right now I can totally do that. Watch me. But it's so we have very, we talked to our kids about everything. We're super open. Steve and I both have veto power. And we rarely use it. I bet I've, I bet I've pulled out my veto card once in the last five years. Vito meaning kids says, I want to do acts and you say cat to or Steve or Steve. Yeah. I'm like, I have to veto that. I cannot do that. And then we really respect the veto because we don't overuse it. So our thing with our kids, this is my theory on parenting.

Brené'S Perspectives On Personal Life And Habits

Brené’s approach to parenting (55:03)

My my theory on parenting is the best we can do is a loving course from compliance to commitment that your kids need to do what you're asking them to do out of compliance. So don't run into the street. Don't do this. That's that's, you know, you're not allowed to watch that kind of TV. You're not allowed to play that kind of video game. You need to comply. Otherwise, there's some natural consequences. At some point, I've got a 14 year old now. He's at other people's house doing video. Right. And so if all I teach him is compliance and don't give him the why about why you can't do that. If I don't say yes every time I can and explain the nose, then when he's there, and I can tell you that like we got a call from a parent maybe a month ago and said the boys were having to sleep over if they wanted to watch. I know some R rated violent thing and Charlie said, can we watch something else? You know, my parents are not cool with us. And he could he didn't have to do that. But he's moved to a commitment to our family values because we say yes every time we can. We don't do any of that stuff that my parents did because I said no. We explain. So in the voting process, we'll sit down and say, here's the fall semester. Charlie's like, I've got guitar. I've got this. I've got this and I've got this and I'd really love to do this. And he's got here's what my fall looks like. You know, we still keep time in semesters. Here's what my time looks like. We're going to be able to do two curriculars. You can choose. Why not? A lot of my friends are doing those five totally understand. Different families have different ways of operating. And it was like my daughter when she went to high school, she's a junior now in college. But we sat down with her and said the number of AP courses that you'll take will be limited by your time. You won't go to bed past 10. You will not miss a single dance. You will do something every weekend with friends. We will not participate in the race to nowhere. Like you don't need to graduate with four and she's a super academic kid. She's like, what? You know, I'm like, she's like, but I need to take this and then you take this and like, it's not going to work that way. And then when she got to college, we were like, we're not paying for it. If you already know what you want to be, you're 18. So what does that say more? I'd like to hear more on that. So does that mean that you wanted her to? Well, actually, I'm not even going to speculate. So could you elaborate on that? Take every class that's interesting to you. Learn who you are. Because if I had a dollar for every interview I did with a late 20 early 30 year old that got on the engineer, lawyer, doctor path, because that was the moving escalator for smart people who was depressed, hated what they did, never even knew that you could be a shoe designer or casting director or a microphone builder. If I had a dollar for every one of those, like, set for life. Yeah. And I said, you need to explore. But you know, she's like, that's so cringy, mom is so, so cringy. Like everyone that freshman orientation knows exactly what they're going to be, where they're going to go to grad school. I'm like, that's great. That's not the way we work. Yeah. So, you know, I'm like, what are you taking? She's like, taking a class on black power movements, Germany in the 20th century, statistics and multivariate analysis and like, great. I mean, granted that's about graduate school, but she's like, as it turns out, I don't think I want to do this and I don't want to do that. And I'm like, super valuable. And she's like, no, are you sure it says valuable is knowing what you do want to do? And like, oh, yeah. Yeah. Knowing what you don't want to do, you get to save all the part in your 30s and 40s, where you hate work, you're drinking heavily, you know, like you get to save a lot of that, like, figure it out. Nothing's wasted. Yeah. Yeah. I graduated from college when I was 29.

Take service jobs when you’re young (59:09)

I was like, go see the world. Get a job, wait tables. Everyone I know is better at whose weighted tables, a human being. Yeah. Yeah. I think everybody, everyone should have to work at least one, preferably two service jobs. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. You really learn a lot. Yes. Yes. I mean, like that. And like, that's what I tell you, I tell Ellen, you get one job where you're serving the public and you not ever do not ever date a guy who's a dicto waiter. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm going to suggest we could talk for hours and hours and hours because I know we have a finite amount of time today that we, we switched to the format that was anticipated. Yes. And I did this previously with my friend Dr. Peter Tia and it was fun. So I want to try it again.

Five things Brené has changed her mind about (59:55)

And it is talking about things you're excited about or thinking about, things you've changed your mind on and then silly absurd stupid anything that you love. Okay. Doing and I got my homework. I'm so glad we're going to do this because I did, I prepped. I know. I know. I like my gold star. I'm somewhere person, but I still like my gold star. I got my gold stars in my wallet. And so why don't we start and we'll go one from each bucket. Is that okay? Or we could do it the other way. How would you like to do it? Oh, no. I want to do it batched. You want to batch it? Yeah. Okay. Let's batch it. Is that me like being like, starting myself into your process? I'm all for it. Okay. Great. I'm good at it. Sorry. Which category would you like to start with? Oh, okay. Tim, let's take five things I've changed my mind about in the last few years. Wonderful. Let's do it. Okay. And this is like a rapid fire. You can, you can take as much or as little time on it as you'd like. I'll, I'll, I will probably ask some follow up questions, but fire away. Five things I've changed my mind about in the last few years. Further faster. Okay. What is it? Always my motto. How can we go further faster? How can we go further faster? And then investors started coming about five years ago and saying, can we invest in your business? I'm like, you know, when you're a thought leader, like, what does that look like? And I'm like, no, I don't want to do that. So we kind of self-funded, learning platforms and ways to scale the business further faster. I've learned through painstaking, weirdly, have you ever heard this painstaking success? I have it. Like I'm the only person that like shut down businesses that were doing really well. Because I hated it. Yeah. So what I've, the one thing I've changed my mind about is I'm a slower, closer kind of a person. I'm not a further, faster person. So we've changed our Jim Collins hedgehog to scaling our own work, to creating world class research and content and partnering with people who scale, as opposed to scaling. Like, I just like, we were hiring all these people and getting new desks. And I was like, what's happening? What's happening here? Yeah, it's like scale. The magic word. Yeah. I'm not a further, faster person. The further, faster I go, the crazier I get, and the slower, closer I am to my real life and grocery shopping and letting the dishwasher and loving on people, the better I am. So I'm a slower, closer person. Thank you. Number two, sobriety is a superpower. Yes. I thought it was like a, I never thought I was a pain in the ass. To be honest with you, I have never missed drinking. I, no, I missed drinking five or six times in the 23 years I've been sober. And I can't explain it to you, except it's when my anxiety, which I can struggle with, is so high that I feel like the only thing that will put it out is something that I shouldn't be using. So, and I've never wanted to drink when I'm in my food zone. When you're in your food zone. Yeah. So my food zone is pretty, like my normal, and I text you about this all the time, so I always watch your advice. But, my food zone is my food zone, not because it's a thing, but because it's my food zone is kind of keto-y. Yeah. So like, I'm probably insulin resistant from a lot of yo-yo dieting my whole life. And so just that kind of macro of kind of high fat, moderate protein, low carb is my jam. And I just feel good. So I think of my keto prick at, and it's binary, which I learned from you. It's like, when I text you, like, should I go slow carb or what are you thinking about this? And you're like, the thing about keto that you need to be careful about is the binary nature of it. You're on it or often. Yeah. You're either in ketosis or not. Right. And so for me, that helps me with my, with kind of the food addiction stuff. Because I'm not a, I'm not a, I'm an abstainer. I'm not a moderator. Yeah. You know what I mean? I totally understand. I'm the same. I'm very binary. Yeah. And so for me, it's great. I just don't eat that stuff. It's not like I negotiate the bread basket. I just don't eat the bread basket. And in the big book, they talk about when you work a program. Can you describe what people with the big book is? Because I had never even heard this term until yesterday. Really? Yeah. Alcoholics anonymous big book. And I'm not a big, I worked to A for the first year. And then for the last 22 years, I worked my own program. It's like got it components of A, but it's also got some Buddhist stuff in it and some kind of daily examine Catholic stuff in my own thing. I won my own program with some like serious accountability partners. Like, but in the A big book, they write one of the promises of sobriety. If you stay in fit spiritual condition and do your work is the prompt is the gift of neutrality, where you're neither running as fast as you can away from the booze or the food, nor are you running away running for it or away from it. It's neutral. And so for me, like the bread basket now is neutral, the wine. But my sobriety is really a superpower. I would attribute including my marriage and the fact that I'm proud of how I've raised my kids and my career to the fact that I'm sober, that when shit gets hard, I stay in it. You know, I mean, As opposed to trying to numb it out or numb. Yeah, work it out, work it out, work out it out, drink it out, eat it out. So I really changed my mind of looking at it from an albatross to it's kind of a superpower. Yeah, I like that. Bangs. I just got bang. You're just so cute. You got a really big curtain bang. Just banks. I'm gonna get implants, just banks. I just, what are their names? Like just forehead curtains. What is that? Like the three students. I changed my mind about bangs. Usually I only got bangs in my 20s. After I broke up some asshole. So I would be like cigarettes, wine, coolers, and bangs. It was the always the answer to that. That could be an ex memoir. Yeah. And every woman in the world would be like, oh my god, cigarettes, bangs, and a wine cooler. I'm in. Some asshole just broke up with her. Yeah. About 10 copies. Yeah. Because of my last one, I've got six, but I'm gonna just share four or five. Okay. One thing I've changed my mind about, this is what our goes back to our earlier conversation. If you can't do it 100%, don't bother. Yeah. I was like, I'm not going to cook every meal at night until I can do this class. I really want to do it at the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America. And now I'm like, you know what, my pretty good fish tacos is still a family meal where we're sitting down saying grace together. And it's good enough. Yeah. Okay. I see. So it used to be the mantra used to be 100% or not at all. Yeah. I'm not going to work out until my schedule opens up for me to work out every day at five o'clock. Right. But my schedule will never do that. We'll never do that. Yeah. So like, I'm doing like my little bands and my stuff on my phone at my house or whatever. Like, yeah, the how to perfectionism is not only a defense mechanism, it's the worst procrastination tool in the whole world. Yeah. It's a great avoidance tool. It's avoidance. Just real quickly, I will say sleep, I've changed my mind about sleep. Like, why exercise eat well any of that stuff if you're not sleeping? Yeah. Yeah. Sleep is like the best, isn't it? Yeah. But no one in no one in your thirties or twenties will believe you. And functional medicine, I've changed my mind about that. Okay. Five of thirds stupid things. Let's do it. Do you want to do that last? I'd say, no, let's let's do the let's do the absurd, stupid stuff. And then we'll go to exciting. Okay. So this is so interesting for me because I as a qualitative researcher really found a thematic analysis here. I've got some kind of unprocessed problem with the British. The British? Yeah. Okay. But okay. So five of sorts of stupid, fun things I do.

Five absurd, stupid things Brené does (01:08:06)

I want on maybe night, I get myself a movie night because I love movies. Yeah, me too. I only watch movie trailers. Huh? Yeah. Wow. I watch like 20 movie trailers. I don't. Do you do it? You do it on YouTube or how do you find the trailers? Oh, wow. Yeah. And it's like the happiest place ever. It's my it's my it's like, I probably imminent light. Okay. So I watch movie trailers and movie night. It's so it's you get the whole emotional rush. Yeah. A narrative. Without an idea. Yeah. I this is a stupid thing. I do. I really am a bad trash talker and super competitive. So whether it's like ping pong or we play a lot of family four square. Yeah. Car. I play a lot of cards. I'm like a shit talker. Wow. Yeah. Terrible shit talker. You know, I can see it. I can see it. Oh my God. Yes. You can see it. Yeah. I can see it. Yeah. Okay. This is a confession. Okay. So I'm obsessed with Rick Biotdo videos on YouTube. Wait, who's this? Rick Biotdo. I don't know who that is. He's a music producer. And so he does like the best countdowns. He does these great countdowns. So the 20 best acoustical intros to rock songs. And he's my age. And so like, yeah, the 20 best vocal. Like I really took a problem with it. Like it took a like he's a Beatles fan. So there's a lot of shit ton of Beatles in there. But so like let's just do this. Three best vocal. I'm a big music person and a big rock and roll person and Texas music person. I'm about to get very much. You're going to get. Yeah. I'm going to get schools here. Okay. So I thought there would be only one song that could be the number one vocal introduction to a song. What would your guess would be? She's thinking about harmony. Harmony. I'm already out of my depth here. Kansas. Kansas. Okay. Carry on. Wait. Yeah. I was thinking Whitney Houston from the bodyguard soundtrack, but Lord have mercy. I know. I know. I know. Okay. We're going to. I love you Whitney. I love you Whitney too, but this is Austin, Texas. I know. And I'm going to take you out one night and we're going to watch some Rick Biotteau. I'm ready. Okay. Yeah. So it was he did Queen Bohemian Rhapsody, which I think good. Kansas was three paperback writer from the Beatles was two. I just take exception. So I watch all those. A best acoustical guitar intro. All that's all of like the 70s. Yeah. Like Jim crochet and stuff. Best electric guitar. I still have some issues with some of his, but I walk watch a lot of rock, Brianna, Brick Biotte videos. Okay. Oh, wow. Paper goes down. I'm your age. Change your life. I'm ready. Okay. I watch a lot of British crime procedurals. All right. Okay. Like, yeah. Crime procedural. Like, you know, like, you know, like law and order, but British. Uh-huh. Yes. I watch like a ton. A ton. Yes. Gogglebox. Goggle. Have you watched this? No, I never heard of it. Okay. It's I think it's all over like a different countries now, but I watched UK Gogglebox. It's where you watch people watching television. Oh, it's like response videos. So you get to see how they respond. Yes. And they, and you, you fall in love with these families. Someone's obsessed with British time crime procedurals and Gogglebox. Gogglebox. Yes. Also sounds like a near future dystopian technological like Terminator kind of thriller. It does, but it's better. There's no action at all. It's just like these like kind of normally normal ordinary British families going, oh, boy. I mean, and you're like, I just laugh really hard. And then TikTok. I've spent a lot of time watching TikTok. Really? Yeah. I do get sent. I TikTok for me. I, it's kind of like, I feel like someone's peeking around a corner late at night going, yeah, heroin, $10. No, yes. And I'm just like, I can't, I'm afraid to go on TikTok because I I can understand why I'll get hooked. You have to on my Instagram, I just put my favorite TikTok. All right. All right. Let me do it with you. Okay. Let me ask this question. Would you rather eat a baby goat or a madder, baby or a matter, baby, matter, baby? What's a matter, baby? Nothing's matter. What's wrong with you? Oh my God. Is that from TikTok? That is good. I get it. That is good. All right. Okay. So my kids say that, um, you got me hook line to say. Yeah. That was easy. Please promise me, like pinky swear right now, what's your pinky that you will put a link to this specific matter, baby from TikTok on my, on my episode confirmed matter, baby. Because this is like this Irish guy and his dad. Oh, he's like, Matt, did I be like, yeah. Okay. So that's Fox. Say, baby. Oh, fuck sake. That a baby. They say that more than I do. Oh, yes. They're good. The Irish are good. Undervalued phrase. Okay. That was excellent. So excited about. Okay. Excited about two big things for 2020.

Five things Brené is excited about (01:13:09)

One is that I am taking a visiting professorship at Texas McCombs at UT. Whoa. University of Texas Austin. Yeah. How come? I have five. That's amazing. So I'm going to be there for a year and I'm bringing dear to lead to UT Texas McCombs. And so we're going to do our training data at the University of Texas. More research, develop some cloud based tools for organizations to use. It's really exciting. Yeah. Go ATX. Go ATX and UT. I know. Amazing. Um, podcast, the new podcast is starting. I'm really excited. Um, what is the name of your podcast? Unlocking us. Great. Talk about that. Thank you very much. What we were talking about, right? Super excited about less travel because I feel like the podcast may be a way for me to do that. Um, that will eat you up. Travel. Yeah. Yeah. I'm so excited to be parking here in Austin for a few months straight. I'm thrilled about it. It's a good deal. And I look back at, say my 20s, when all I wanted to do was travel. Me too. And after all, you're like, oh, I feel like George Clooney in that movie. Up in the air. Yes. I'm beginning to feel like I'm never quite unpacking. And I don't like this feeling. Yeah. And there's a lot to be said for seeing new places and so on, but man, do I love the sort of energetic conservation of just having a nice routine. But don't you think routine will set you free? I do. Absolutely. I do too. Like, yeah. So, I'm excited about a new work thing that we're doing where 30% is leading my team and my organization. 70% is white space creative time. Wow. We'll see if we can make it happen, but we're. That's great. It's a big percentage. Yeah. What are you hoping to do with that 70%? Or do you have any idea what types of? Working on new research, big research. And so it's hard research on human experience. And so I love that. My happy place is like alone with my data. Like that's. Just curled up watching, curled up with your data. Yeah. Like watching movie trailers. Yeah. Yeah. And take a talk on the side. Yeah. I'm going to do one more. Yeah. Talk to you. Oh, I'm ready. I'm ready for it. Okay. I'm going to work on a new book. I'm going to write more. I'm going to think about the podcast is going to take a lot of creative white space for me because I want to be really thoughtful. Yeah. I feel like you're really thoughtful. Like you think through what you want to talk to people about. And I want to do like we have our discernment lens for the podcast for success for us is contribution. And so if at any point I feel like a book will not make a contribution, I pull it back. Yeah. At any point I feel like this is just contributing to all the bullshit and the noise I'm going to pull it back. So I think in order to meet that discernment goal of contribution, I have to be really thoughtful. And I say, I think that's going to take creative space. Yeah. I think I think you'll do great. I also think you have a, you have an attunement to other people's emotional states that elicits a lot of very vulnerable truths. And I think if you have that, you're set as far as contribution. I think that checks the box. There's some of that. Certainly there are a million plus podcasts. So there's some of that out there. But to get it consistently, I think is still quite difficult. I think it's hard as an audio listener. If you're looking for those raw moments of truth and messiness within which you can find and learn so much, I think you are very gifted at doing that. So if you do that consistently, I think you're in good shape. Thanks. I'll come to you for mentoring. I will. I will make no claims to have good answers, but I can certainly make up some answers and do my best. Okay. One last for TikTok. Let's do it. Okay. I have to put this down. You can hold that. Okay. I'll hold this. Okay. Oh, wow. It's a graphic TikTok. Okay. What is this? What is that? Looks like to me, looks like a butterfly. Okay. What are these? Wings. Okay. And what is one called? A wing. Okay. Put your microphone down. And then give me two thumbs up. You have to get closer to me. Okay. Now I want you to say the word that you just said to me 10 times fast. Hello? Wow. All right. TikTok. First one's on us. That was good. That was good. I can't even do a group without you. No, I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. Debaris. Wing wing wing. Please tell me there's an ed and like an elmer fud somewhere in that TikTok. There should be an animated remix with that. That's probably all right. We might be too. Like, but this is my hashtag wholesome TikTok. I'm so happy that you're going to be spending more time here in Austin.


Parting thoughts. (01:18:37)

Yes. How exciting. Yeah. And where can people learn all about your latest interests, including TikTok, your latest projects? Where can people best find you? All of the things. Bernay So nice to see you again. So nice to see you too. So fun. Yeah. So it's a be continued. Yeah. Oh, yes. To be continued. And for everybody who's watching or listening, you can find show notes, links to everything we've talked about, including the promised TikTok videos in the show notes at

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