Dr. Drew on Why Disgust Is the Best Motivation | Impact Theory | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Dr. Drew on Why Disgust Is the Best Motivation | Impact Theory".

1970-01-02T04:21:24.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Everybody, welcome to Impact Theory. You are here, my friends, because you believe that human potential is nearly limitless, but you know that having potential is not the same as actually doing something with it. Our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that are going to help you actually execute on your dreams. All right. Today's guest is not only a double board certified doctor, he plays one on TV. Over an insanely long and illustrious career, he's become one of the most recognizable names in medicine as a whole and arguably the most recognizable name in the treatment of addiction. The marriage of his medical and media careers began in the '80s when he realized someone needed to be talking about sex, especially to young people during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Viewing himself as a civil servant using media to reach a broad audience, he served as the host of Love Line for over 30 years, including a four year run on MTV with co-host Adam Carolla touching millions of lives in the process. That is just the tip of a very large iceberg. His positive effect on people is so far reaching that the inner main belt asteroid number 4536 is named after him. I'm not kidding. This self-identified recovering workaholic has hosted countless TV shows and podcasts, including everything from rehab and celebrity rehab to this life, the Adam and Dr. Drew show, Dr. Drew on Call, and about a dozen other shows in between. What continues to make him the go-to guy for nationally syndicated advice is his deep desire to help people and the fact that he's kept his skills razor sharp by maintaining a thriving medical practice. He's been called the Dr. Ruth for Gen X, but given his continued relevance, I think it's fair to say that he's the soothing voice of reason and sexual and medical advice for millennials and Gen Z as well. So please, help me in welcoming the man who debated whether he should become a doctor or an opera singer, the New York Times best selling author of The Mirror Effect and Cracked, Living Broken Lives Back Together Again, Dr. Drew Penske. We have triplets. I think you met a couple of them when you were at our house.


Personal Experiences And Perspectives On Addiction And Happiness

You having triplets (02:32)

I didn't meet them, but I've heard about them. That first year, boom, your hair turned red. Oh, no, it's funny, but it isn't. And the workaholism, between the workaholism and the triplets, that pretty much did it. You said you were getting up at 5 a.m. and struggling to get home at 10 p.m. for years. Yeah, for years, years. After years and years and years of doing that, I experienced dread at my work. I thought, "Oh, this is good." And this is a long story there, I mean, the Love Line went to five nights a week and then I had to change my schedule and that actually was good for me, except I was still out till midnight because of that. I wondered about that when I was watching the show or listening to the show. So I moved to LA as a transplant when I was 18, discovered K-Rock immediately because that was my kind of music, found Love Line, and I thought, "How do they record this live and this guy runs a practice?" Yeah, it was crazy. It's just don't sleep. That's basically how you do that. That's how you do it.


Love Line was an outlet (03:30)

And going out late at night, my kids were in bed, the beeper sort of settled down, a beeper in those days, and the pagers settled down and I could just do it. What pushed you enough to want to do that? That's an insane amount of work. To be a workaholic or to do Love Line every night? Because Love Line was sort of an outlet. It was like creative, kind of different, fun thing I could do where I could make a difference without some of the same sweat and liability and misery of running a medical practice. Medicine is not fun today. I've been thinking a lot about that lately, how I remember my peers, my older peers, guys my age when I was at the age we're talking about, which is like 20, 30 years ago, they're always like, "Oh, it's not fun anymore. It's not fun anymore." Now it can be miserable just trying to help people. Because you have to see so many people? Because there's so much paperwork, there's so much liability, there's so little reimbursement, there's so much nonsense you have to go through, so much other than just what you want to do is take care of the patient. So much other.


What doytors are on the App Heal (04:31)

So, heal is something that got put on my radar. I know that you're involved with those guys. How on earth are they making that work financially? It's like 90 bucks all in or something? $99 all in. You have a doctor. If you called for the doctor right now, they'd be here within two hours. We carefully select each of these people. They're all board certified in family practice or pediatrics or medicine. You don't understand how little doctors make in primary care. It costs about $150 an hour to run a practice. You get $38 from Medicare for every 15 minutes. That's how you ... So if you can go and get $100 for 30 minutes in someone's home and give 20% to heal and you get the rest, that's a deal. You have no infrastructure. You have just your malpractice. I mean, that's a big deal for doctors. Most doctors, the one you see every day, are struggling to make a living. Wow. Well, that's bad. No, it's bad or not. Whatever it is, it is. It certainly keeps us all in it for the right reason, which is to help people. All right, so talk to me about that, the concept of living a good life.


Living a good life (05:31)

You said that, one, I'm utterly fascinated by how into philosophy you are, so feel free to go deep on that here. You're one of the few people that I research that are quoting Aristotle and talking about all this stuff. Yeah. What made you start thinking about that and what's the answer? I'm not sure if I can articulate in a way that's cohesive except to say that there's limits to meaning, meaning making when you're trying to help people in a medical context. At a certain point, you have to get philosophical, like why are we doing this and what's our goal in doing this and what's our purpose in doing this. Inevitably, that comes up.


Work with drug addicts (06:13)

For instance, when you're dealing with the end of life, what is our goal? To make life as long as possible or to give these people a good life? Particularly working with drug addicts, you get very philosophical very fast because you got to start asking yourself, "What are you doing here? Why are we doing this?" We have now begun to think about different kinds of happiness. There's pleasure, which is as bad things go, it's a pretty good deal. You certainly can't have a flourishing life if you're in misery or you're in hunger or you're sick. You have to have a certain amount of well-being in order to live a flourishing life. We now distinguish between pleasure, which is all my heroin addicts get tons of pleasure. They certainly aren't living a flourishing existence. That's how I started thinking about this. I'm like, "Jesus Christ, my heroin addicts, they're happy when they get that first hit. That's happy." No, that's pleasure. Eudaimonic happiness turns out is much better for our bodies and our immune system. It's a certain kind of flourishing happiness. You can conceive of it as a nurturing state or as a well-being state or as a state of satisfaction. When you look at humans in that state, there's certain sort of requisites you have to have in order to achieve that. Aristotle had two versions of what eudaimonic happiness was.


Happiness (07:35)

One was a contemplative life, which I actually don't think was his main point. I think his main point was that real happiness, and this is all the literature confirms, certainly my clinical experience bears this out, is about purpose, leading a good life, thinking of a certain kind of life, engaged life, in the world. How I got into philosophy, when you start talking about in the world, that's a philosopher called Heidegger who starts talking about what is being and being in the world. You can go down a huge rabbit hole. We'll stay with happiness. In order to be able to meaningfully give back to the point where it really feels good, it really is satisfying, Aristotle said, "Yeah, I'd have a couple things." You had to have, amongst other things, you had to have a certain amount of technical skill. He called that technique. You had to have a certain amount of experiential learning. We call that wisdom. He called that phronesis. In my humble opinion, those two things have been completely left out of teaching people what it is to have a good life. There's a lot of, "Hey, man, just give back, give back, give back." I have lots of friends that have done lots of cool things and are still not feeling it. The reason they're not feeling it, they didn't go back and do the hard work of developing an individual skill that can allow them to change the trajectory of another human's life. It's the interpersonal piece of one to one, brain to brain transmission that really results in magic, in my humble opinion. It's humans and humans together and then us as a large consciousness, whatever that is, that really, I think, is what gives life purpose and gives you that satisfaction that I would call eudaimonic happiness. Tom Bilyeu, Jr. You're on one of the most important things, I think, in the world for people out there right now to understand how to cultivate this, how to cultivate happiness, what happiness means to your point. I think the people are hopelessly vague. They want to change the world. They want to have impact, but they never take the time. Tom Bilyeu, Jr. All good, right? All good, but you've got to really dig in to define your terms, what is happiness and then what is making a difference. What do you really want to do? Tom Bilyeu, Jr. How do we, as individuals, figure out that mind-body connection? Tom Bilyeu, Jr. That's my other big thing. I'm sighing because it's such a gigantic topic and there's so many ways into it. Let me just say that I'm increasingly thinking that the brain is less the seed of emotion as much as it is a region of the central nervous system that accesses and expresses emotion or regulates emotion. Tom Bilyeu, Jr.


Happiness (41:16)

They didn't have a sponsor. There's no chance. We didn't even talk about happiness. Tom Bilyeu, MD I know. In fact, we just can't wrap without talking about it. Tom Bilyeu, MD Okay. I think they got the word wrong. I think they don't know what the hell they're talking about. I think people measure happiness. They're measuring some subjective experience that everyone has a modicum above. Our brains naturally put us into a median state. They keep showing that every time somebody has a horrific experience, they're quadriplegic or something, their subjective happiness scale returns essentially to normal, most people. If they win the lottery, their happiness scale returns to normal. I don't think they're asking about the right thing. I think happiness is more about leading a certain kind of life and we have to really think about what that means. Leading a good life may not feel good. Tom Bilyeu, MD Really? Tom Bilyeu, MD May not. That's interesting. Tom Bilyeu, MD Did Jesus lead a good life? Did Socrates lead a good life? Tom Bilyeu, MD Sure. Would you say though that- Tom Bilyeu, MD ... it feels so good most of the time. Tom Bilyeu, MD Do you think though or was it just the end? Tom Bilyeu, MD I wouldn't want to live those. That wouldn't be my good life. Tom Bilyeu, MD Right. Tom Bilyeu, MD That wouldn't be my good life, but- Tom Bilyeu, MD That wouldn't be your good life or it wouldn't be your pleasurable life? Tom Bilyeu, MD Neither for me. I wouldn't want that.


Brainstem (10:23)

This is really interesting. I'm obsessed with the brain and you're the first person I've heard say the people are overlooking at the brain. Tom Bilyeu, Jr. I'm very deep in the ... Believe me, when it comes to person to person connection, I'm way into the brain. I'm particularly into the right side of the brain and holistic kinds of ... By holistic, I mean integrative holistic experiences of the self and other. We can talk about that, but the brain is embedded. The brain is embedded in a body and the body is embedded in a interpersonal context, in a social context, in a cultural context, in a socio historical context. The embeddedness of that brain is what's missing. The embeddedness is what's so interesting because that's why I'm fascinated by person to person stuff because brains heal and change other brains phenomenally. I'm increasingly convinced that a large part of that is body to body transmission of some sort of attunement that goes on between and amongst humans. It's something that I'm certain came out of the environment of evolutionary adaptedness and would probably be our hunting or before we had language, our ability to sort of move as a group and forms cohesive units that could survive that's still in us. There's a guy named Steven Porges who I ... You might want to interview him someday. He's a great guy. He has really located a lot of this connection in the vagus nerve. When I was in medical school, we just learned that the vagus nerve was something that slowed the heart down. That's it. Maybe it's messed with the stomach acid secretion a little bit. That's it. It turns out 70, 80% of the vagus nerve is afferent, meaning coming up out of the body. Oh, by the way, we have these three giant knots of nerves of the parasympathetic nervous system. They're almost like peripheral brains in our pelvis, our abdomen, and our chest that that nerve is bringing tons of information back and also sending information back down, a myelated and an unmyelinated, early developing, late developing, and it turns out just like we have a homunculus for our motor and sensory system in the cortex, you have a little homunculus in the brain stem that's the nucleus that receives all the afferent information from the vagus nerve. By homunculus, I mean sort of a map of the body that's the body's autonomic or sort of visceral kinds of experiences, and I think that may be the seed of emotion myself, I believe. Tom Bilyeu in the brain stem? Dr. Drew: In the brain stem because then we don't even know what the hell the periaqueductal gray matter does. I've never heard those words put together. Dr. Drew: Oh, no. That's where pain is modulated, but right near the periaqueductal gray at the level of the pons is this nucleus tractus solitarius which takes all this visceral information and sends it to the amygdala and the insular cortex, and I'm fighting a lot in people with trauma and over something going wrong. When you use absolute terms of the brain, it's never the right term, but there's something going on in the insular cortex in patients that have been traumatized. They don't regulate their bodily-based experiences coming out of their body, and they're all felt as painful, misery, sort of the affective charge of everything is overwhelming, and guess how you change that? Other bodies in proximity. Tom Bilyeu Talk to me about that. One of the notes that I took researching you was it was like everything is about the other. It was a very big statement about how much other people impact you.


Where does the self emerge from? (13:40)

Is that something you've learned through the addiction, working with addicts? Tom Bilyeu It's being the object as a patient. I did therapy for many, many, many years and through working with patients, but then it also ... I've done lots and lots of reading about ideas about these things, and you've got to think about it this way. Where does yourself emerge? How does a self develop? How does that happen? Tom Bilyeu You really want me to answer? Tom Bilyeu Yeah. Tom Bilyeu So- Tom Bilyeu From its inception. Tom Bilyeu Yeah. Tom Bilyeu I'm going to give you a really bad answer, and this is why I love doing the show because you've planted a seed now that is, I think, going to fundamentally shift the way that I think about this. Prior to researching you, here's how I thought about it. Certainly the genetics plays a role. Certainly early environment plays a huge role, attachment style of the mother. Tom Bilyeu Okay. What about that early environment? I'm going to jump to this chase. The first thing ... We know for sure the first thing the child is able to do is focus, external and externally, and it tends to be focused on partially contingent phenomenologies, so things like pushing a mobile, pulling the cat's tail, but we have giant areas of our brain dedicated to the face, right? The fusiform gyrus, we look at faces. We can analyze micro movements of our musculature in our face, and that happens early. The first thing we're doing is mother comes into focus, and it's in the relationship with mom and dad that the self, the experiences of the self emerge. It's first other. That's the first thing, and then these spontaneous whatever we're having, these bodily based spontaneous experiences we call emotions that wash over us when we're little, mom is focusing on us, and what the research shows reflects on her face through micro movements of her face and appreciation of our bodily based experiences. We learn that that's our experience. Yes, that's me. I'm seeing it reflected on your face, and not only that, mom offers soothing affects alongside of those identified second order representations. She allows, attunes to us and gives us the interpersonal capacity for regulation, so those feelings that even when we're a baby just wash over us, it's that attunement of the other body. I mean, literally the hippos or the pupils of mom and child start moving together. Pupillary hippos. Our heart rates go the same. Our blood pressures team up. That's just what happens in proximity. How the hell does blood pressure ... I can sort of get a heartbeat because it's like there's something really happening, but blood pressure, that's constriction of ... It's essentially ... I don't know that that's ... I can tell you for certain that there's exact blood pressure because adults and children are very, very different, but it's to say that the internal physiological milieu matches. That's so weird. Tom Bilyeu, I mean, it's so weird. That's not this part of our nervous system. That's this part, right? We ignored it. We largely ignored it. Now, you asked me how do you get the mind-body connection. Before you answer that, is this part of why you started working out? I've always found that fascinating about you. No, I think I have a little body dysmorphia and that kind of stuff. That's fine. It's the usual reasons. Now it's become my meditation. Now I get uncomfortable when I don't do it. I listen to lectures and I listen to programs like this. Now I'm fighting the clock. I'm fighting aging too. I'm happy that I have that compulsion. Going back to your question about how the self emerges is maybe less interesting to me than how do you take control of the self as an adult who's self-aware that has things like mindfulness and mind-body connection and all that to be able to sculpt and change your vision of yourself, which then I believe ... Now, I'll talk about that in terms of identity and then how identity drives behavior. My whole thing to people is if you want to change your behavior, change your identity, which I believe as an adult you can do. I agree. I don't disagree with any of that. That's the angle that I'm coming at this from. How do we begin to construct our sense of self in a directed, meaningful way through things like the mind-body connection? Yeah. A couple things occur to me. One is we have a saying in recovery. Lead a certain kind of life. Start being rigorously honest. Start being helpful. Start to get things contrary. Whatever your idea is, do the contrary. These sort of things. Guess what? When you start behaving a certain way, you'll start feeling a different way and you'll start thinking of yourself in a different way and you'll start internalizing some of these things. One of the things is behavior. Start really looking at your behavior. You can make choices about your behavior. That's hard. That's the other thing that people don't understand. Change is really hard. Change is like, "Oh, yeah. Just get inspired and change. Oh, no, no, no." I mean, there are fields of study looking at change. Change has a pre-contemplative, contemplative execution and maintenance. The maintenance of change is what most people leave out.


A recurring theme in the stories of addicts that change (18:48)

Most people are not able to maintain change. Even something simple like stopping cigarettes, exercise more, get your diet, take these pills every day. I can't get somebody to take pills every day. fascinated. There are moments of change. People that really change usually have a moment. They can tell you the moment they change. Sometimes it feels like that's where it's sort of a spiritual piece fits into this. People feel like something stepped in from the outside and made them change or opened them to the possibility of change. I've looked at this a little bit and what I have found is in every case I've looked at I find these people and obviously I've seen a lot of addicts that first of all they feel they're going to die. If they believe they're going to die they're like, "Okay, what do I need to do?" Tom Bilyeu Is that pretty universal? I can't universalize it, but drug addicts for sure when they really ... Sometimes they have near death experiences that don't believe they're going to die, but when they believe they're going to die they change. That doesn't interest me. That's an easy one. The one that interests me is the following, when people all of a sudden go, "Oh my God," and they change. What I found with those people is they usually were hanging around with somebody having an intimate conversation and time with somebody who's different than what they would normally hang with. From my perspective it's literally they're using the other to see themselves through a new pair of glasses. They're experiencing themselves differently because normally we are attracted to people that fit our models of what we like and how our attachments work and whatever our traumatic reenactments are we just go for that. That's what we do as humans.


Attraction (20:18)

Not enough is made of how fucked up attractions are. Attractions we're attracted to usually often comes from a not so great place in our childhood. Tom Bilyeu I definitely want to talk about that, but I wanted to finish this. Jay Samit Okay. These people I found were usually sort of hanging out with somebody and spending time and time and time. All of a sudden they actually didn't make the connection with the hanging out with a different person. I'd start asking them about it. I usually would find that there. All of a sudden they would see themselves. All of a sudden. One woman was hugely obese and she was walking by. She told me the exact window she was walking by. I think it was in Pasadena at a Macy's and there was a mirror. She walked by and she said, "I saw myself." I'm like, "Oh my God. I'm disgusting. I got to change." Disgust is the motivator. I have another patient who was ... She was a nurse. She was in denial. I've been trying for years to get her sober. She was in an IVs and in hospitals and getting surgery. I needed to get the opiates. She said one day she would walk into the hospital bathroom with her IV and looked in the mirror and saw herself. In that moment. She broke through all the denial. They experienced that. Tom Bilyeu: We started this by saying it's the other, but that's two stories of people seeing in the mirror. What is it about that externalization? Jay Samit: No, no, no, no. They were able to see themselves differently because they had been hanging out with somebody different. They were seeing themselves- Tom Bilyeu. What was in those relationships do you think that- Jay Samit; Just a different fittedness, a new pair of glasses. I think of it like somebody new, a novel perception of who they were, not the usual patterns that they engaged in. Tom Bilyeu; Let me say this another way just to make sure I understand it. Hanging out with somebody new is literally ... You're syncing up in a way that's now causing you to write. Jay Samit; Novel. To see yourself differently or experience yourself differently. We know that happens. That's what therapy is. Therapy is taking you into a new relationship, a new kind of relationship. Each little step in that therapy you experience yourself differently in that context. Tom Bilyeu; Do you buy into the notion that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Jay Samit; I don't know. I would more argue that you would choose to spend time around those five people because of some preexisting pattern. We have maps in our brain. We have maps and patterns and things that we tend to reenact.


Disgust (22:35)

Tom Bilyeu; Talk about that with the attraction. Why is ... Jay Samit; Again, I get to see extreme examples of that. Many of these people when they see themselves as they are, they feel disgust and disgust is a powerful motivator. Disgust is something that sustains. Then they change. They lose the weight. They do ... Have you ever noticed when you're in a diet when you find you get disgusted with yourself you're like, "Oh, all of a sudden I can diet better." Tom Bilyeu; Can we just burn the comments down and talk about self-loathing for a second? Jay Samit; Well, self-loathing is different. Tom Bilyeu; Then disgust. Jay Samit; I think it's different. Tom Bilyeu; Really? You're so good at defining terms. I'm scared to challenge you, but tell me how they're ... Jay Samit; Self-loathing is closer to hate, right? Disgust is a very primitive ... It's a yucky feeling. It doesn't motivate the way disgust is. Tom Bilyeu; You don't think. Jay Samit; Well, it doesn't ... Hate gets ... Again, I'm following my thinking here. Hate gets connected to shame. I'm bad. Shame is a deflating emotion. It takes you down. It's not a ... Tom Bilyeu; Wow, this is interesting. Jay Samit; I'm going to die and I'm disgusting. It's like I fucking got to change this. I got to do something about this. But I'm bad? Why would you change? I'm bad. I'm shameful. I want to be not seen. You want to shrink? It was shame. Tom Bilyeu; It's interesting. I guess because I don't think of ... I think of humans as so malleable and that your past is not necessary to defining who you can become. That now, admittedly, that's sort of my own belief system. But I get what you're saying now about disgust and that is incredibly, incredibly powerful. When you said, by the way, that the woman walked by the mirror and said, "I'm disgusting," I like literally internally cringed. I was like, "Oh my God, I can't believe you're not like caveating that story. Like, no, it's okay to be overweight." Jay Samit; No, no. I got to do something. I'm changing. Tom Bilyeu; You talked about addiction and said one of the number one questions I get asked is if there's a genetic component to this, then there must be some conferred advantage.


Genetic component of addiction (24:11)

Your explanation of that was so breathtaking? Jay Samit; Right. There had to be, right? I mean, this is a gene that's been persistent in the genome essentially throughout human history. There's got to be some adaptive advantage to it. When you look at people with addiction, it's why I have zero moral feelings about addiction. Addiction makes people do some morally reprehensible things, but the use of the substance and the disease is not moral. In fact, these people are extraordinary. They make great fighter pilots. They make great extreme athletes. They make great short stops. They're phenomenal survivors in extreme adversity. Doesn't it make sense that in isolated populations that are distressed, like they're assaulted for multiple generations, that would be the population that survives? That's what we find. If you look on the globe where there's a highest concentration of alcoholism and it's the most intense genetically, Scotland, Ireland, North American Indian, isolated population, military genocidal assaults typically, survivors, alcoholics. Tom Bilyeu; That is fascinating. Is there a similar evolutionary glimpse into why we try to recreate or why we do recreate these attractions to- Jay Seifried; To the past.


Self-Development And Perspectives On Human Experience

Jays Theory on Repetition (25:26)

Tom Bilyeu; Yeah. Jay Seifried; I think it might have some sort of ... I've been thinking a lot about this. I think it has some sort of offload memory function. In other words, why do people of Jewish heritage practice Passover every year? Why do they do that? I believe that ritual is an offloaded traumatic memory. If we were going to remember the blood of the lamb and the Passover and all that stuff, no way you'd remember. The generation after generation, it would get telephoned into God knows what. It would turn into some myth and something about a dragon. Who the hell knows? When we do the same behavior every year and we eat the same things the way they did, they went through this. We're experiencing the same thing. Every year, we do it as a ritual. That's an offloaded traumatic memory. I think repetition compulsion is a similar thing. You would think it's gone bad in some way. In other words, we're repeating a trauma that we should be avoiding. Maybe the people that are repeating traumatic experiences are the canary in the coal mine for everybody else, possibly. I think what we're ultimately going to find is whatever that mechanism is, is probably the same mechanism that allows for intense deep emotional attachments in a healthy way that just gets sick, just goes off. about people who are highly dramatic. I get enough glimpse of it in myself to know what that looks like where merely having a strong emotion in any direction, there's an intoxication of that. There's a sense of- Tom Bilyeu They get high.


Addicts and Early Recovery (26:58)

Tom Bilyeu Yeah, you're heightened like you're alive. Even though it's bad, it's at least elevated. Tom Bilyeu Yes. That's a complex landscape. Some people do get high from it. My addicts get high from drama for sure. In their early recovery, they are the most dramatic people on earth. They are dramatic as hell. They love creating drama and conflict because they get off on it. They get high on it. I've been thinking a lot now about exactly what you're asking about the evolution of the self. How do we take control of the self? The human gathering thing I did that you probably saw, Wes Chapman has this little theory that I really got under my skin that there's so much victim in our culture that if we could flip it into a hero archetype, we would help people mobilize exactly what you're talking about. There's something about that. There's something happening. I almost believe that I was never young and I never found any use for that, but all of a sudden I started thinking, "This country had a hero archetype until the '60s and it became the anti-hero and the anti-social. We're still in that mode and it's resulted in a bunch of victims. We need to mobilize hero, magician or something, something a little more substantial in people again as our myth. We need myth because myth attaches us back to the bodily based holistic experience that our rational brain ... Just the way mom ... I was thinking about it this way. The way mom can reflect back with her face emotional experiences that defy words. It's communicating to a different part of the brain.


Impact Theory (28:34)

I have a feeling myth communicates a holistic social connectedness that we can't get any other way. Does that fit? Tom Bilyeu, my friend, do you know why we founded Impact Theory? No, no. Tell me. I thought ... Literally because of that. I read the book The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and he talked about how, "Hey, you want to know what happens to a society when they no longer believe in the mythology because for millennia you told these stories, rites of passage, all of that and you actually believed that they were real." Now, what happens when ritual is robbed of its power? Mythology is a story. It's just entertainment. It doesn't connote anything anymore that you're supposed to take into your life to connect bodily, which I've never thought of it that way. For me it's about the creation of identity. Literally, I promise you, I did not set this up. This is not why you came on the show. I had no idea that you thought like that. No, but what I find fascinating is we're all going to that same place. We're all trying to help people and we're all going, "Something's missing here." Dude, you just gave me the chills. Pure rationality is great, but pure rationality absent everything else, not good. I believe as an entrepreneur you have to ask the question, "No bullshit. What would it take?" That's a rational question. Right? When we started Quest, it was no bullshit. What would it take to help people be happy ... Okay, that was my question. When they have a negative self body image. The woman walks by the mirror and she feels disgusting. How do you help her with that? Because she actually turns back to ice cream most of the time. Because for a moment it cheers up. It's like a drug and she just gets in a really bad cycle. Yeah. She looks at the mirror usually and feels bad. I don't feel bad. I feel disgusting. I got to get away from it. You have to discuss something that you have to get away from. You have to move away from disgust. Now imagine- You would go to Quest. Right. That's certainly the hope. Imagine that a drug addict, "Hey, the cure for your addiction is to do heroin." All the things about it and finally you're thriving at the end of it. That was literally the idea behind Quest. People could choose food that they ... Or they were choosing food based on taste, but we had done the hard work of making it good for you. With impact theory, I already know, because my whole thing is leverage behavior, don't try to change it. I already know people are going to read books, read comic books, watch movies, watch TV shows and play video games. I know that. I also know that the way that humans assimilate truly disruptive information is through narrative mythology, passing that stuff on. I agree with you. I would not have agreed with you six months ago, but I agree.


Old Love: Scripted Content (30:55)

You had said something to me when I was at on your show where you said, "I'm actually working on scripted stuff." Is that why? Yes. It has ended up why. It wasn't why I started. I was just fascinated by it. I always like to try new and different things. Then once I got into it, I'm like, "Holy shit, this is where I need to be. I need to cultivate this." This is what gets through to people. That's amazing. Amazing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Isn't that wild? I don't know if you feel like you're there with it. I'm not there with it yet. With the concept or the ability to execute? The there of it, because I believe with everything holistic, it's co-created. See, I think we all create this. Here we are co-creating this. You're pushing me forward in new and different ways. You're changing my brain as you say these things. I think we got to get a little army together and that army is going to create something new and different in its own myth or whatever. I want to be humbled and in awe of it. That's where I need to be. Why should I create them? I don't want to be that. I want it to be something that speaks to the circumstance, the history, the time. You ready? I can tell you how to do it. Please. It is literally what we're doing. We're ... I am ... The following facts make me question whether or not we're actually living in the matrix, which I don't believe by the way. Every now and then, so many things line up that it just, "Oh, it's too perfect." The sort of Goldilocks moment. Like this we're having right now. Right, exactly. I just think we're all in this together. We're more connected than we know. More connected than we know. Technology is moving in a direction where we can connect more. I think you have ambivalent feelings about social media. Yes. I don't think it's purely bad. I think it needs to be dealt with with care and it does get in the way of some of the stuff I've been talking about. It can do some ... Yeah. It can't replace it, but it can add to it. Yes. Perfect. Totally agree with that. The way I think the modern myths are going to be created, one, we have to accept that people know that they're stories, but if they're stories that we reach out. Build an army of people around ideology. That's why I do the show. It gives me a chance to bring on people who I think think in phenomenal ways. They can watch me changing in real time. They can hear my world view and what it's built around and all of that and watch it change, but ultimately it's around empowerment, whether that's freeing yourself from past traumas, whether that's just understanding neuroplasticity and myelination and all of that. All the same. Bringing it all together. All the same. Then going out to them and saying, "Hey, within this universe that we have created, dear community, submit ideas around these things. Here are stories that we're trying to tell, but we want you to bring us the specific storylines, the mythology around that, if you will." That way, then you have the crowd say, "These are the ones that we care about," because I'm never going to guess accurately. Tom Bilyeu: No, not only that, but I feel like my mythological landscape, whatever we ultimately decide what that is, is a little impoverished. I like it to be nourished. That's going to come from others. Others. Others. Tom Bilyeu. Let's talk more about the others. Your concept of being embedded, that like, "You want to talk about changing my brain in real time," that is one of those immediately true lightning rod moments. How do we leverage other people to make change in our own life consciously? I'll give you an idea. I'm now going to stalk the shit out of you. I'm going to spend more time with you. It is just the way that it has to be because of the way that you think. I just want to be around that one. Tom Bilyeu. That's the way you do it. I think that's the way is one brain at a time. That's one way of doing it. I think information and media, I think media is tremendously impactful. That's why I do it. I think this is part of the deal here.


Define the Human Experience (34:39)

I'm just deeply fascinated by the human experience. Talk to me about that. Define the human experience. What do you mean by that? Anything to do with the human, whether it's how your intestine functions or how the founding fathers wrote the constitution. All fascinates. That's a span. All fascinates. Why? I don't know. I love people, I guess. I just love them. That's interesting. Walk me through that because- I have no interest in geology. I have no interest in trees because it informs about us. It's not a narcissism. That's different than being fascinated. Yeah. It's not a narcissism. It's literally a ... I don't know. Were you always that way? I suspect, but I would not have identified. Something about my medical training got me all the way in. Yeah. Okay.


Becoming an opera singer ! (35:26)

Walk us through that because this is still astonishing. Okay. I'm just going to ask. Would you sing for us? Even just a couple notes? I literally ... I can't ... An opera singer? At first when you first said it, I was like- Music is part of the human experience. What? Massively. Okay. What am I going to sing? That is incredible. Thank you for that. I debated whether to actually ask you to do that or not. Please, like- It's the only thing I can sing with that. It's not the only thing I can sing without a piano. Because in the opera, he's sort of just ... I think it's Iago, if I remember right, so talk about it. That is crazy. You have this moment where you're debating whether to go into medicine like your dad and sort of assume that that's what you do, but you- Yeah. How do you find your path through that? How did you do it? It wasn't easy because the tasks were so humongous and the expectations were high. The task of becoming a doctor? It looked too much for me. Part of it was, I'll tell you what, in retrospect, a big part of it was just the male brain. I swear to Christ, I was just not ready to do it. My first year of college, I was in a big high powered, Ivy League-ish sort of environment and getting my ass handed to me, but doing well. At the end of that first semester, I was like, "Well, this is not worth it. I am miserable. I got to get away from this." Even though I did fine, it was like, "Screw this. This isn't mine. I didn't want to do this. Everybody wanted me to do it." That's when I just went and just started doing other things. I left school for a while and I was more miserable, but different miserable. I was depressed and lost. Because you didn't have a purpose, didn't know where you were going. I needed structure. Yeah, no purpose, no structure. I need all that. I like all that. I didn't know it at the time, but I know it now. When I started thinking, when I allowed myself, which is another year and a half later, I started thinking, "Maybe that medicine thing, maybe that would be something to think about." Just the thought relieved my depression. Just letting it cross my mind that maybe I could do that. I was like, "Oh, that feels way better. Stop fighting. Stop fighting it." Now, I went back and I was like, two years later, I'm like 19, 20. I was 17 when I went to college. I was young. I was like, "Oh, I can do this. Not only did I want to do it, I can do it." I had to do a lot of it because now I was behind the eight ball. I was now a junior and I'd only done one semester of my pre-med stuff. I had to get my crap together. Then when I got to medical school, I was elated all the time. I loved it. I loved every minute of it. Tom Bilyeu: Talk to me about some of the things that you've experienced. You said listening to addicts, you'll sometimes even hear things. Jay Samit: Yeah.


Addictions, Happiness, And Life Goals

Listening to addictions (38:19)

I hear things, feel things, all kinds of things. I literally will go like, "You know, I'm feeling like my back suddenly hurts right here. I don't normally feel pain there." The patient will go, "Oh, well, that's where dad used to kick me when I was little." What's weird about it, whenever you're in a close connection, they'll always say it matter of fact, like, "Of course, that's where dad kicked me." Anyway, as I was saying, they'll just go right on. Not like, "How did you know?" They never say that. It's so weird because you're in it together. You're in it. Tom Bilyeu; How do you explain that? As a man of science, and I've seen you be very careful with answers. There is a guy named Alan Shore, another guy you should interview if you can. He has worked out a lot of the what's called right brain to right brain holistic interaction between and amongst people. There is a holism of our experience of emotional attunement with another that we're not experiencing consciously minute to minute. We're sending tons of information back and forth. Is it merely some sort of state thing or is it pheromones or is it tiny micro movements of my face? I don't know what it is, but I know it's back in the myth zone. It's in the holistic subconscious back with that Vegas embedded sort of something. Maybe it's these three things. These are like little brains. Maybe these brains are doing something that we just haven't figured out yet. Why not? They're gigantic nervous people. It's what certain philosophies call the chakras. They're actually gigantic. People say, "What do you say when you've been emotionally hurt?" "My heart hurts." You know what? Turns out your Vegas is feeling what's going on in your heart. There are all these hormones and emotional ... Your heart does hurt. That's what's happening. We've been always thinking, "Oh, it's just the brain reflecting something." I don't think so. I think your heart hurts. I think you're experiencing something out of your body. Maybe this heart to heart ... I'm feeling something right now from you just as I sit here. It feels more open. You're feeling that? Just sitting here with you talking about my heart, I feel like that has meaning to you. I don't know why I think that, but that's the kind of stuff that comes out of me when I'm sitting in close contact with somebody else. I can always trust that stuff because I don't know what it is, where it comes from, but I know it has meaning. Tom Bilyeu, how many addicts have you, or anybody for that matter, have you sat with really in an intense get locked in kind of way? Tom Bilyeu, MD Well, thousands. Because I believed my job was to model closeness. Addicts are disconnected. They're disconnected from the self. They're disconnected from ... They don't trust anything. I always thought amongst getting them medically situated and getting into the program and blah, blah, blah, I always thought that one of my jobs was to show them that they can tolerate closeness because then they could go do that with a peer in recovery. We called that a sponsor. To me, that was always the essential ingredient to getting them well.


Happiness (07:35)

One was a contemplative life, which I actually don't think was his main point. I think his main point was that real happiness, and this is all the literature confirms, certainly my clinical experience bears this out, is about purpose, leading a good life, thinking of a certain kind of life, engaged life, in the world. How I got into philosophy, when you start talking about in the world, that's a philosopher called Heidegger who starts talking about what is being and being in the world. You can go down a huge rabbit hole. We'll stay with happiness. In order to be able to meaningfully give back to the point where it really feels good, it really is satisfying, Aristotle said, "Yeah, I'd have a couple things." You had to have, amongst other things, you had to have a certain amount of technical skill. He called that technique. You had to have a certain amount of experiential learning. We call that wisdom. He called that phronesis. In my humble opinion, those two things have been completely left out of teaching people what it is to have a good life. There's a lot of, "Hey, man, just give back, give back, give back." I have lots of friends that have done lots of cool things and are still not feeling it. The reason they're not feeling it, they didn't go back and do the hard work of developing an individual skill that can allow them to change the trajectory of another human's life. It's the interpersonal piece of one to one, brain to brain transmission that really results in magic, in my humble opinion. It's humans and humans together and then us as a large consciousness, whatever that is, that really, I think, is what gives life purpose and gives you that satisfaction that I would call eudaimonic happiness. Tom Bilyeu, Jr. You're on one of the most important things, I think, in the world for people out there right now to understand how to cultivate this, how to cultivate happiness, what happiness means to your point. I think the people are hopelessly vague. They want to change the world. They want to have impact, but they never take the time. Tom Bilyeu, Jr. All good, right? All good, but you've got to really dig in to define your terms, what is happiness and then what is making a difference. What do you really want to do? Tom Bilyeu, Jr. How do we, as individuals, figure out that mind-body connection? Tom Bilyeu, Jr. That's my other big thing. I'm sighing because it's such a gigantic topic and there's so many ways into it. Let me just say that I'm increasingly thinking that the brain is less the seed of emotion as much as it is a region of the central nervous system that accesses and expresses emotion or regulates emotion. Tom Bilyeu, Jr.


Happiness (41:16)

They didn't have a sponsor. There's no chance. We didn't even talk about happiness. Tom Bilyeu, MD I know. In fact, we just can't wrap without talking about it. Tom Bilyeu, MD Okay. I think they got the word wrong. I think they don't know what the hell they're talking about. I think people measure happiness. They're measuring some subjective experience that everyone has a modicum above. Our brains naturally put us into a median state. They keep showing that every time somebody has a horrific experience, they're quadriplegic or something, their subjective happiness scale returns essentially to normal, most people. If they win the lottery, their happiness scale returns to normal. I don't think they're asking about the right thing. I think happiness is more about leading a certain kind of life and we have to really think about what that means. Leading a good life may not feel good. Tom Bilyeu, MD Really? Tom Bilyeu, MD May not. That's interesting. Tom Bilyeu, MD Did Jesus lead a good life? Did Socrates lead a good life? Tom Bilyeu, MD Sure. Would you say though that- Tom Bilyeu, MD ... it feels so good most of the time. Tom Bilyeu, MD Do you think though or was it just the end? Tom Bilyeu, MD I wouldn't want to live those. That wouldn't be my good life. Tom Bilyeu, MD Right. Tom Bilyeu, MD That wouldn't be my good life, but- Tom Bilyeu, MD That wouldn't be your good life or it wouldn't be your pleasurable life? Tom Bilyeu, MD Neither for me. I wouldn't want that.


Technia and Phronesis (42:29)

I couldn't tolerate that. It's too much for me. I'm not up to that. I can't even aspire to that kind of stuff, but I do think I could lead a life that would be eudaimonic for me, that would be flourishing for me. I sort of have that part because I have all these great wonderful skills I've been trained in and so I always have something to offer. My thing is I'm more worrying about money to hand over to my kids and support them in graduate school. That's where my stresses lie in terms of finding meaning and being able to make a difference. I always can go do it. I got something to offer all the time. That's sort of where my good life is. I feel fortunate in being able to ... This, what we're doing here is sort of beyond for me. This is like, "Oh, this is beyond the good life. This is something I didn't even expect, but I'm all about it." Tom Bilyeu: There were two things in that that you said earlier. Technia, which you just talked about, and then phronesis. Dr. Drew: Wisdom. This is the part that most of the millennials are missing right now. I've got a bunch of male interns. You guys have all this information, all this stuff, but you don't have any experience. Experiential learning to me, that's the most important part of my learning. Inside knowledge, experiential clinical experience, experiences with other people and stuff, that's where your mind really ... It's a different wiring. It's a different wiring. They've always got their Google and they have unlimited information. They do know a lot. They know a lot, but they have tons of knowledge, but very little wisdom, very little experience. That is necessary for the good life. Phronesis is necessary. Then technia, again, isn't really information, isn't knowledge. It's some sort of skill set that you can then apply, that you can bring for other people. Think about every great myth, whether it's Candide, how's Candide in? Il faut coutiver nos jardins. It's just take care of our garden, take care of ourself, take care of our family, take care of our community. Gilgamesh, the oldest myth in existence. After all his things with Inkydoo and his crazy trips and adventures, go back and serve my community. Really, pretty much all great myths end with that. That's really where the meaning lies. You've got to do all these things. You've got to have your life course and you've got to identify with certain archetypes, but ultimately go back to your community. Make a difference. What advice do you have for people that want to get more technia or phronesis? Learn. I think it takes a long time. Think about it. You may already have it. Maybe somebody, you have these skills or maybe you have skills you haven't thought about how you could apply them in ways that could make a difference. Most of us do. Maybe that's part of it is to think about using your skills in new and different ways. Don't be afraid to go back. I was thinking about a guy the other day who was very successful in business and he still had that feeling like I didn't make a difference. He went back to nursing school. You know what? It's fantastic. It's fantastic. He now always has something to offer. He always has something he knows he can do for people. For that person in that moment, he can make a difference. He has a ton of skills. You don't think about that. That to me was like, "He's got it. That was it."


Jay's Goal for Impact (Roundedness) on the World (45:38)

Tom Bilyeu: Is there anything in your life that you're trying to add now to round out? From the outside, it seems like you live an amazing life of giving to people and helping. Jay Samitouris-Sanchez, Jr. I feel super grateful. I think gratitude is the number one sign that you're happy. People ask me, "How do you know if you're happy?" I feel gratitude two or three times a day. I'm in. I know I'm in the right ... I'm where I need to be. Tom Bilyeu, Jr. Wow. All right. Where can these guys find you online? Jay Samitouris-Sanchez, Jr. Please go to www.drue.com. We've got a bunch of ... My wife, you very kindly came on the podcast. She does This Life and Weekly Infusion. These are fun podcasts. One I do with Bob Forrest, the guy with the hat and the glasses from Celebrity Rehab. Also if anybody are Corolla fans, you want to come on the Corolla podcast. That's a whole other interesting person. Adam and I do a podcast every day. It's all at www.drue.com. Dr. Spaz, Dr. Bruce and I do a podcast there. If any Corolla fans are in the mix here, they will know him as Dr. Spaz. We actually do really interesting ... We take very ... I guess we call them on the margin medical topics and really make them come to life. Very interesting stuff. A guy that was blind his whole life and suddenly gets his vision. What is the neurobiological experience of seeing? You'd be amazed that he just experiences visual input as just a bunch of sensory information. He can't make sense of. He literally one day mistook a large woman in a Costco for a forklift. He just couldn't quite ... He couldn't process the ... Because your brain is making sense of all this light. Your brain is doing that. If you haven't built that machinery, it's almost like trying to learn a language. You can't quite do it. Isn't that interesting? Very, very interesting. All right. Last question.


Outro: Jay Meditation Hack, Who Inspires Jay & Where to Find Him Online (47:27)

What is the impact you want to have on the world? I've always said that if on my tombstone it said he made a difference, that I'd be grateful, happy. I'd be fine. I don't know what the difference is. I don't know what difference I have to make. That's kind of not up to me. You know what I mean? It's not up to me. I just would be happy if I made a difference. Of course, I'm not a negative. It's a positive difference.


Conclusion

Tom outro (47:52)

Awesome. Dr. Drew, thank you so much for coming on the show. That was amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Definitely. I'm going to say this. This is somebody who I really am not sure that I've ever had as much fun researching someone as I've had researching him. You guys know me. I'm always trying to get people out of their loop, but before you can get them out of it, you have to define it. Trying to define this man's loop truly proved impossible because he has an entire ... All these separate universes- It's a moving target, too. It's changing every day. I got news for you. Yes. It changes today sitting here. I love that. I think that you guys will really, really enjoy that. I went on his podcast. It was a lot of fun. He speaks deeply about a lot of topics, is very open-minded. Like he said, it's always changing because he's willing to go in and be changed by the information. I cannot encourage you guys enough to dive deeply into his world, listen to his podcast. They are incredible. They are educating. They are eye-opening. I think he's had an influence on multiple generations. For that, I will truly be eternally grateful. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. Until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it. That was so good. Hey, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us for another episode of Impact Theory. If this content is adding value to your life, our one ask is that you go to iTunes and Stitcher and rate and review. Not only does that help us build this community, which at the end of the day is all we care about, but it also helps us get even more amazing guests on here to show their knowledge with all of us. Thank you guys so much for being a part of this community, and until next time, be legendary, my friends.


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