The 5 Things BROKE People Do That The Rich DON’T DO | Tom Bilyeu | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "The 5 Things BROKE People Do That The Rich DON’T DO | Tom Bilyeu".
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In this episode of Impact Theory, I explore mindset with four guests who have achieved amazing things by gaining further insight into themselves. Tylopest- Grinding and working hard and hustling is not what you optimize for. It's pain. Jay Williams. My game had to change and I had to be open enough and vulnerable enough to accept the fact that my game had to be different in order for me to be effective. David Bayer. Don't let not knowing how prevent you from spending time getting additional clarity or imagining because that's actually what's required to happen in order for you to know how. Tim Grover. Think about the times where everything was going wrong. What kept you going? That was your dark energy. The biggest thing I've learned, if I could be 18 again, I wish somebody had told me basically nobody knows what they're doing. Even the adults you think, everybody's lost and the world's a blind leading the blind. So the ultimate adventure to me is not just like bungee jumping or something like that or going to the Amish. It's trying to get insight and see life as a puzzle and your goal in life is to seek the adventures that piece the puzzle together so that at the end of your life, you like kind of get it. I feel like most people don't get what life is. Think about it. What is life? Why do are we driven with some basic instincts? What's the purpose? I like evolutionary psychology. So all these things have led me down this bizarre place and here I am with you.
Components And Pursuit Of A Balanced Life
The Four Pillars (Health, Wealth, Love, Happiness) of the Good Life (01:36)
I know that you actually have a definition of the good life around the four pillars. What are the four pillars and how does it play in everything? I always say health, wealth, love, happiness, kind of in that order. If you're not healthy, you won't care about anything. So I figured health is the trump card and then the reason I put money second over love, it doesn't mean you should try to get rich before love. If you look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a classic kind of way to be happy. There's five levels to Maslow's. The bottom one is physiological or physical needs have to be met. Food, shelter, water. The second one is safety. You have to feel safe. The third one is love. Because if you don't have physical and safety right, you don't care about love. And if you don't believe me, look up the number one reason people get divorced. It's financial issues. So I just figured money doesn't bring happiness, but the absence of money brings unhappiness. This has been proven all over and over. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner, he said, you know, if you make less than 72 grand in America, he's found your happiness suffers because your stress goes up. So I figure you don't have to be wealthy. When I say wealth, it doesn't necessarily mean like forbless. It means you have to have your physical needs met and you have to have a margin of safety. Some money in the bank account. If every paycheck you're freaked out, your love life is going to suffer. And then the top two of Maslow's hierarchy of needs then become, you know, respect. And then the last one, the highest pinnacle is like a higher purpose or people called spiritual. So health, wealth, and then love. And then if you get those three, that's how you get happiness. Like happiness, there's so many books now about happiness. There's a good one called Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Eit. But at the core thing to me, happiness is like soup. It's like if you make chicken noodle soup, but you forget the chicken, it's not chicken noodle soup. If you forget to put the broth in, it's just chicken and noodles. If you forget the noodle. So that's what I mean. Like happiness is a compilation of a whole bunch of stuff you do right. So I think I haven't found a better way to think about it. So how do you go about like give us some tactics. How do you tactically optimize for them? Do you attack them sequentially? Do you make real-time calls about like, oh, I'm a little low on happiness or love or whatever. Like how do you play that?
The most optimal way to achieve happiness (04:13)
Yeah, well, like I said, I don't optimize for the last one. I try to get the first three right. Steve Jobs said he didn't want to be the richest man in the graveyard. You know, do you want to be the richest man in the graveyard? I want to be the happiest man on the way to the graveyard. And some of that is you have to postpone pleasure. A good investor is somebody who postponed present pleasure for future gain. And you can do that. You work hard in the day. Some stuff's the pain in the butt. So I built lots of, you know, businesses. I know what it is to be an entrepreneur. I'm saying I know that chess move and what I'm telling you is two chess moves past that chess move. Optimizing your life for hustling and grinding is like optimizing your life around going P. No, P is something you have to do. It's not the goal. You don't go, woo! You know, my goal is hit the toilet seven times a day. But you have to do it to survive. So grinding and working hard and hustling is not what you optimize for. It's pain. Why would you optimize for pain? But as a, it is a necessity. And if you look at actual scientific explanation of what makes you successful, it is not just hard work. If that's true construction workers would be the wealthiest people in the world. Waiters and bus boys, they work harder than the owner. The most scientific psychometric personality test is called Hexaco. It's more accurate than Big Five, which used to be. It's much more accurate than Myers Briggs, INFJ, ENTP, all that stuff.
So Hexaco tests you on 26 facets of your personality. And one of them is called conscientiousness. And it's been proven over and over by scientists, conscientiousness is the most correlated with business success. Defying conscientiousness. So then it divides into four sub facets. Organization, perfectionism, diligence, and prudence. So the real truth is hard work is 25% of the formula. Because diligence is known in the common language as hard work. Okay? So if you just think diligence alone will get you success, you're like a basketball player that thinks you'll play in the NBA because you can shoot free throws. Ah, you ever seen the best free throw shoes in the world? They're old 70 year old men who shoot underhanded. But they don't play in the NBA because the NBA is not all about free throws. So NBA is scoring, defense, free throws, maybe is one component, rebounding, assists is a lot of components. So the other three you have to get good at. The first one is perfectionism. People, you have to know how to double check your work. It's that simple. It doesn't mean you're always a perfectionist. But it means when it's important, when you're a pilot of an airplane, double check before you go. If you get on a plane, you hear the pilots double checking the co-pilot going, you know, hydraulics. And the guy goes hydraulics. And that's why planes don't crash. And it's called Six Sigma. It's three defects per million. Your goal in business and in life on the important things is to make three mistakes per million transactions. And the only way you do that is by being a perfectionist in terms of double checking. So that's 25%. The next one is organization. I can't tell you how much better my life is than anybody watching this will be if you wake up every single day. And you take 10 minutes. I have yellow notepads sitting all around my house. I got that from Bill Gates. Bill Gates, Bill Microsoft at 17 by locking himself in a hotel room with six yellow notepads. And he rode out the whole basic code for DOS and things like Bill Microsoft. He became the richest man in the world 18 years straight because he was organized enough to lock himself in a room and think through his day. And so what I try to do, and whenever I do this, I have a great day. Whenever I don't, I notice it. Be organized a little bit, 10 minutes. I actually have this little couch thing outside of my shower. And I put a notepad by it. I take a shower when I wake up. I walk over to that. I kind of sit there. And I just write out. I mean, it can be as little as three main projects you want to get done that day. So organization is the other 25%. So now, and then you have diligence, which is hardware, costal and perseverance. But the last one is the kicker. And this is what I was talking about.
The Rewiring That Has To Happen (08:31)
The rewiring that has to happen. The last one is something called prudence. Scientists call this prudence. Prudence is the ability to make the right decision. And I can't tell you how many entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, even me at times, too. I'm not special. I'm lumping all of us in this. Because of our upbringing society, our goal is, let's say our goal is like that camera right there. So let's assume that's north. So I have this compass in my brain. And my goal is to go right there. Let's say it's a mile away. So north. What happens if society, my upbringing in school wired my compass exactly backwards? So I think, let's say I can't see that camera, but I know I want to go north. So I pull out my compass and it points that way. So I just take off walking. And I do it in an organized fashion. I do it in a perfectionist manner. I'm perfecting my steps and my posture. I'm also working on hard work and hustle. Keep walking towards your goal. Well, the truth is, if you go south when you should go north, you could have gone one mile, but the earth is about 24,000 miles in circumference. So you get to walk 24,000 miles and you'll come up on the backside and you will get your goal. That's most entrepreneurs. The average person takes 20 years to become a millionaire. 90% of businesses fail within the first five years. 80 to 90, depending on what statistic. Most people, I did the math once. The average American has $60,000 saved by the time they're about 60 years. So my answer, I did the math, you can do this with a simple financial calculator. Everybody in America, your parents, everybody you know will be a millionaire if they lived a 160. At 160 years old, you take 60 grand at age 60 and you give it a decent return on investment, 8% to percent, you'll be a millionaire at 160. But the problem is, the great philosopher, I think it was Aristotle Socrates said, the problem is, art is long, but life is short. The art of living and getting to your objective is long, but it doesn't have to be. It's long if your compass is backwards. So the whole point of what I was saying about adventure at the beginning is, I'm trying to take myself and point it to the true north. And you have to learn that from books and mentors and life experience and listening and finding in-person mentors and all those things, they help adjust your compass. And most people are going to get what they want just about 40 years longer. And I live in Beverly Hills, trust me, you go downtown Beverly Hills. There's other people, like I like to collect cars. It's not so much. I've always liked cars. It's not a materialistic show off thing, like a lot of people think. My grandma said, I love cars when I was one. I used to try to turn the car on in the garage. You go to downtown Beverly Hills, full of Ferraris. The most Ferraris per capita in anywhere in the world. Every one of the guys is 80 or 90. Why do you want a Ferrari at 80 or 90? You want a Walker? You've got to walk you into your... And then you're going to get in a Ferrari. You know how dumb you look? To me at 90, you want to be playing with your grandkids. And I've wondered why the heck is everybody 90 in this town, excluding people who inherit their money from their dad. And I realized, we're set up for failure because we think we're going north, but we're going south. That's why 50% of people who get married are divorced. 80% of businesses fail. That's why 30% of Americans are on some form of antidepressant medication. That's why 60, 70% of people are overweight. I mean, in a way, we're kind of fucked. Are there like key principles though that you can use to turn that compass so north actually points north? Yes. First one is just like alcoholics and onomice. Admit your lost. And that one's hard for people. You tell people, even for me, sometimes I want to think I'm smart and I got it all figured out. Sometimes I'm like, wait a second, I'm still lost. And that the acquiescence, the admittance of the fact that you're still lost, it gets you on track a lot faster. So if you're watching this and you feel lost, it's better to just sit down and be like, I'm lost. Because the day you admit you're lost is the day you allow yourself to be found by people who can give you a tip. But what's the equivalent of that? Because obviously if you're an entrepreneur, nobody's looking for you. So that's the one question. They are though. Who is? They are dirt. You go to Barnes & Noble. People sell in their books. They're looking for you as a customer. So read. Read. I mean, the fact that people argue with me on this reading thing. And people argue with me about mentors. No, just use your own gut feeling. Is that how you learn English?
When you were two years old, you used your gut feeling to start conjugating verbs? No, you learn from other people. You learn manners, you learn language, you learn all things valuable. You learn to drive from another person. So it doesn't make sense. You learn life. So books are just the mentors who maybe are dead now. You want to learn about Steve Jobs? He ain't alive to teach you. But you can learn through accumulated wisdom. And that's what, trust me, I meet very few powerful businessmen I've ever met. Don't read a lot. Warren Buffett, who I think is the best businessman by far in the world, has done so. He has 75 companies that he pretty much runs. 200 billion in revenue. He reads eight hours a day. He reads 600. He said he slowed down in his old age. He only reads 500 pages a day. Bill Gates goes on reading vacations. Mark Zuckerberg just started a reading once a week book club on Facebook. It already got a couple million followers. And now with audio books, there's no excuse. You got YouTube videos. Let this thing run in the background. And it's better if you can find it. I mean, better than books is in person. That's why I do a podcast. Tom is on my podcast. You're a smart dude. I learn from you. Like I learned from you today. I liked your angle on how to get in physical locations. If you launch a physical product, you want to get it in stores? Don't be thirsty. Like I said, Casanova said, "Be the flame. Not the moth. Let them come to you." And that's what you did with Quest. And now you sell 1.5 million bars a day. That's good. So if you can pick up one gold nugget, whether it's from an in-person mentor, whether it's from a book, you become very wealthy in knowledge very quickly. One nugget a day. One nugget a day. It's like Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's business partner said, "Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you have to prepare for the fast spurts by learning step by step." So when the day comes and I launch a physical product, I will hopefully be smart enough and humble enough to be like, "I got to sit down. I've never launched a company that did 1.5 million bars." I can download in one conversation with you. Like you want to become like a supercomputer. You just download Smartcrap from SmartPeople and you pick and choose. Like some people are like, "Tie, I don't agree with everything you say. I'm like, good. I don't agree with everything I said." Like a year later, I'm like, "Wait, I was wrong." I actually saw a very intriguing piece of content that you did where somebody was trolling you on Twitter. And in a move that confused the shit out of me, you decided to call him on Skype or whatever. "Let's debate live right now." And you did. And you kept asking him a question that I thought was so spot on, which he kept refusing to answer, but it was, "Hey, you're engaging with me. I'm creating all this content about how I've done what I've done." And instead of going, "Huh, you actually have done something that's pretty interesting, you're heckling me instead of being intrigued by my results." And that to me was very interesting. And that switch in people's minds, it's either on or off. Either they look at somebody else and they go, "Whoa, this guy is doing something right, like, holy hell." Or they try to find a reason to shut you down, not listen to you, discredit you, whatever the case may be. I thought that was pretty interesting. Talk to us a little bit about that. How often do you see that in people? Do you ever see that mentality in people who are successful?
When the day comes (16:50)
Like Drake says, "If you don't have hate or joy in popping." "So welcome to the world. Are you going to pop? You're going to get hate." It's interesting. This is fascinating to me. The more successful, beyond my wildest dreams of my success, the more they ask me questions. The last time I saw Elon Musk, I've had some very interesting conversations with this guy. He's one of the smartest guys I've ever met. Elon Musk, we've talked, I'm not a close friend of his by any means, but we've talked, he goes to the same things. He loves Hollywood. He's always at red carpet things I go to. So we're in the bathroom and I said, "Hey, Elon, we talked about books last time." He goes, "Oh yeah, I remember you. You're the social media." He goes, "I got a question for you, man. Do you think I should use Snapchat to grow Tesla?" So I was like, "Okay." He goes, "I know you know about Snapchat. Tell me." So I start talking to him. Twenty minutes later, it was a Game of Thrones premiere six and I go, "What do you think?" After I gave my long diet drive, he goes, "I think you're wrong, but thank you." And then he walked off. I was like, "This guy is so smart. I realize you talk about checkmate. I was an idiot because I should have flipped the conversation to get him to teach me for twenty minutes." He walked in the room knowing what he knew. I knew what I knew. But I gave him all my jewels and he walked away with them like a smart guy.
Michelle Obama (18:22)
I see people making fun of the Kardashians. I'm like, "You're going to make fun of the Kardashians?" Look, Kylie Jenner, the youngest Kardashian in the last eighteen months, has done $400 million in revenue on lipstick kits and various makeup things with Kylie Cosmetics. Put that in perspective. Loria, Maybelline, massive brands. It took them fifty years as an organization with thousands of employees to do what Kylie Jenner did by herself at twenty at eighteen. You're going to laugh at the Kardashians? Do you have to agree with everything that Kardashians? No. But like Abraham Lincoln said, "I learn from everybody, even if sometimes it's what not to do."
How did that advection of you have to be great find its way intoyour mind (19:05)
How did that notion of you have to be crazy to be great, find its way into your mind? First, I've seen it on a multitude of levels. It was really funny. My rookie year, you get so damn excited because you're playing against these guys that you've been dreaming of fucking playing against your entire life. You actually cross over Jordan, right? Well, yeah, I did, even though he dropped multiple buckets on me and then told me how he was going to do it, which was impressive because he was forty years old. It still pisses me off to this day. I don't know if you can tell. But I remember we were playing against the Lakers, Tom, and we were out here in LA. I always try to outwork people. That's just how I made my mark. The game was at seven. I was like, "You know what? I'm going to come to the Staples Center because we're playing. This one, Lakers had Kobe in Shaq." This is the championship Lakers. I was like, "No, I'm going to get there at three o'clock. I want to make sure I make 400 made shots before I go back into the room." Then I said it and so on and I get ready for the game. So, you know, get in the car, get to the gym, get there, and as I'm walking onto the court, who do I see? I see Kobe Bryant already working out. I'm like, "Okay, it's kind of cool. It's Kobe. What's up, Kobe?" You know? So I put my sneakers on and do you ever get lost in what you do where you end up like, "Wait, it's been an hour and a half?" I'm like, "I'm here. I'm in it." So once I set my foot across that line, I started working out. So I worked out for a good hour, hour and a half. And when I came off after I was done, I sat down and of course I still heard the ball bouncing. I looked down, I'm like, "This guy's still working out. He was working out for like... It looks like he was in a dead sweat when I got here and he's still going." It's not like his moves are nonchalant or lazy. He's doing like game moves. I sit there and I lace my shoes. I'm like, "I want to see how long this goes." I sit there and watch. I'm under 25 minutes. And he got done. I was like, "Okay." I was like, "I think I've seen enough. Go play. Come back. Get in the sun and get ready for the game. That game, he drops 40 on us." And after the game is over, I'm like, "I have to ask this guy. I have to understand why he works like that." So after the game I was like, "Hey, Kobe, why were you into Jim for so long?" He's like, "Because I saw you come in and I wanted you to know that it doesn't matter how hard you work, that I'm willing to work harder than you." And he's like, "Don't hold. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not saying I dislike you as a person. You inspire me to be better." And it was the first time I started to see this level of competitiveness where I said, "I need to start doing more. Wow." And everybody that I've been around my life who's been over successful and I'm talking monetarily, even talking spiritually, my girlfriend said something to me that really inspires me. Because I think as I got lost into my career and I want to jump to the story, but as I get lost into my TV career, I had a tendency to put all my energy and my time into that almost to make up for what I felt like I lost before. And she said, "If you were to allocate a percentage of the energy that you put into your career, into yourself, and learning more about yourself, and learning more about yourself in relationships, you'll be successful." And it was the first time I had to sit back and say, "Wow, that's really powerful." Because I think a lot of people, when you get to start addressing other things, you get mentally tired. When I address TV, I don't get mentally tired. This is what I do.
Addressother things you get mentally tired when youonow (22:42)
But when there's an unknown, something that you haven't felt like you mastered, I'm unsure about it. When it gets frustrating, I go, "Who are you going to be? Are you going to be that person that wowls in their self-pity? Are you going to be that person that says, "I did this wrong? I did that wrong. But how can I be better?" And I think that's what I talk about, that relentless mentality, to want to be better at just life in general. What is up, my friend, Tom Billie here. And I have a big question to ask you, how would you rate your level of personal discipline on a scale of one to ten, if your answer is anything less than a ten? I've got something cool for you. And let me tell you right now, discipline, by its very nature, means compelling yourself to do difficult things that are stressful, boring, which is what kills most people, or possibly scary or even painful. Now, here is the thing, achieving huge goals and stretching to reach your potential requires you to do those challenging, stressful things, and to stick with them even when it gets boring, will get boring. Building your level of personal discipline is not easy, but let me tell you, it pays off. In fact, I will tell you, you're never going to achieve anything meaningful unless you develop discipline. I've just released a class from Impact Theory University called, "How to Build Ironclad Discipline that teaches you the process of building yourself up in this area so that you can push yourself to do the hard things that greatness is going to require of you." Right, click the link on the screen, register for this class right now, and let's get to work. I will see you inside this workshop from Impact Theory University. Until then, my friends, be legendary. Peace out. How hilarious that you would use the word relentless, so you and I have a mutual, a deep friend for you, I'm sure, and a very strong acquaintance for me in Tim Grover, somebody who's had a massive impact on my life, but obviously pales in comparison to what he's done for you. Talk to me about Tim, his notion of being relentless, what that means to you, and your own willingness to endure an ungodly amount of suffering. That would be an understatement with Tim. First off, he is brilliant. He's beyond brilliant. It wasn't the physical part that was arduous. It was the mental. Just to set the stage for people, he was the guy that trained you post-injury when it's like, "I'm really serious about this. I'm going to go all the way. I go to the best of the best, Tim Grover."
Being Open, Being Vulnerable (25:00)
Yeah, and Tim had trained Michael Jordan. He trained Kobe Bryant. But I think a lot of people get lost in the fact that he trained them physically. He trained these guys mentally, too. And I know for me, my leg, I have atrophy on the outside of my left leg. This muscle here, since I lost my nerve, it's gone away. And I have dropped foot. So my game had to change. And very much like life, you're used to doing one thing at 21. It's different than when you're 35 years old. And I had to be open enough and vulnerable enough to accept the fact that my game had to be different in order for me to be effective. But like I said earlier, it's so hard when my brain sees things and my body before, I guess this is a gift of being an athlete to that caliber. I see it's gone. If I bring the ball down the court and there's a screen coming to your right, and you glance over, if I see your eye glance, within that split second, I'm gone. Because I see you take your eye off of me. So now some of my games changed at 21 years old. Now, some of that first step is like it's molasses. It's nonexistent. So now am I willing to say I'm not that fast anymore? I have to work you into the screen. I have to take my time. I have to actually come off shoulder to shoulder. I have to use my body more to create separation. Hey, my jump shot wasn't the best. I have to be a better shooter because I don't have that explosion anymore. And a lot of people say, hey, that seems pretty easy. But to mentally accept that I'm a different person now and to help other people see I'm a different person was challenging. And the major part that was the most difficult was seeing myself. So as an athlete, I was used to people looking at me in a state of awe. And it was something you kind of thrive for you working your entire life for.
The First Step in Rebuilding Who I Am as a Person (26:57)
So when the kid or when somebody will come up to me, they're like, oh my god, Tom, your show is amazing. And you're used to that affirmation of what you do. You're like, alright, it's worth me putting the time. Whereas that look for me changed and it really made me depressed too because it was a look from, oh my god, you're amazing to look of, oh my god, I'm so sorry. Or what happened or used to be that guy before you messed up. And people don't say things maliciously. They say things more so because they're, it's awkward and they want to start a conversation. And those things would drive me insane. And Tim forced me to talk to him about those things. It was the first time I started having conversations. I'm like, on the court. I mean, on the court doing a drill. And he's like, you have dropped foot. And also now I would attack the drill a little bit more. And next drill, he was like, you know, I used to be a guy you were good. And I would get up more shots. So he started to find ways to motivate me and started to take the anger out of the equation for me too. And that was a hell of a first step in the process of me rebuilding who I was as a person. So I'm wearing this shirt in particular for you because there are people that know how to leverage the darkness. There are people that know how to leverage the anger. Tim is definitely one of them. You've said that you've always played better angry. What was your mental talk in those times where the level of pain which you go into great detail in the book. The level of pain was like, I was squeamish just reading about it. I mean, it's just crazy. I can't imagine. I guess what are you just talking about? I'm sure. I mean, you have to do years of that kind of painful stuff. It's nuts. So what are you doing like self talk? How are you harnessing like the dark side? Like, how did you tap into that? Did you and Tim work on that? Was that something that was part of the game plan? Well, we had conversations about different things which obviously, you know, for me at that time I was 23 years old, right? So first time I was even out of conversations. And to a degree, I think this comes from being at a school like Duke when you're always in the face of the media. You learn how to say the right thing. You don't give people your honest feedback. You kind of give them the rhetoric. And I think even when I started going through therapy, I had a lot of rhetoric. Because I didn't want to face it. Have you had a bad dream and you wake up and you're married, right? Yes. And you see your wife and you're like, "Okay, that was a dream." Right? I think for a long time, for two or three years, I thought I was living a fuck up dream. And I kept waiting to wake up. Tim was the first person that forced me to talk. To talk. Just to talk. And it's amazing when you just open your mouth and you start saying how you really feel about stuff. I mean, think about how many people really say how they feel virtually nobody. Exactly. And I think Tim was the first person I actually started to have full transparent conversations with. I was like, "I don't like the person I was." He was like, "What do you mean?" I was like, "I cheated a lot. My girlfriend, I lied a ton. I was consumed by money. I used to gamble. I never gambled. I would say things just because it was the right thing to say. Not that I was maliciously a bad person. Right. I just never even thought about what my actions were. I was too busy moving. And Tim forced me to stop. And I still stop myself to this day.
Find Balance in Life (30:40)
And you stop yourself from focusing on who you don't want to be and focus on who you do want to be. I just, I press pause in life sometimes. And I think it helps. I recalibrate. To try to get out of an obsessive thought. Yes. Or just to, you know, even to get out of funks. Whatever. Whatever. Maybe, you know, I'm a firm believer in that. You have to find balance in life. Right. So there are going to be times where your journey is going to be down here. And it's going to be tough. And the same when things get high. You sign a new deal or you have to be able to keep things in perspective. And I think sometimes when I stop, I force myself to assess. Okay. Where are the benefits? Where are the negatives? How can I turn this negative into a positive? All right. Let me make sure that I don't get too high. And I continue to keep my head down and work harder because I want to achieve more. If it's not for me, for the people that work for me or for my girlfriend or my mom, these are better. So I try to find that one thing because I'm very goal oriented that I need to work towards. And once I achieve that, it's another goal. And I don't want it to ever stop because that's what life should be.
Power Of Beliefs And Experiences
Young or old (31:48)
Agreed. Do you think of yourself as young or old? I'm old. Interesting. I live the life that has been different. Not for better or for worse. I feel like a mold soul. It's interesting. I ask because I'm intrigued to I think what your story is and I'm going to reveal myself and my worldview in this. So I'm reading your story. You want to make the comeback. And because the way the book is told, I didn't know if you make the comeback or not. So I don't follow sports. So I didn't know. Like does this guy go back to the NBA and crush it? Like he's like super famous now? Or do you not? And there's no hints of it in the beginning of the book. So it's like unfolding for me in real time. And then when you don't make it and there's the second attempt at suicide, but I know that I have the framework of what you do post basketball. So I didn't know if it was basketball injury, basketball and then post or just basketball injury and then post. But I know what you do post. So I'm like, okay, this works out somewhere. Like at some point he gets back on track. And I am utterly convinced that and I don't believe things happen for a reason, by the way, which I know you and I are diametrically opposed on that. So yeah, I don't believe, but I believe that there's so much meaning and power to be taken from anything that happens. So to me, looking at like, okay, I watched this kid, nobody gives him enough accolades for how good he's getting. And he actually understands the nature of getting good. It's about practicing. It's about showing up. It's about putting in the work. It's about doing more than other people are willing to do. He goes to college at Duke, not impressed with himself in his first season. But oh dear God, kills himself over the summer to really get spectacular. Comes back, crushes it, could have gone direct to the NBA, feels a sense of obligation, which I think is beautiful. And even though there's no question you could have made more money by going into the NBA financially. Maybe that was a better decision, but I'm imagining you at the podium and everyone's like begging you for another year and you give it to him. And I think this fucking beautiful man. I think that was a gift to that town. It's why your jersey now hangs in the rafters. Like you did something beautiful for that organization. I think it's incredible. You do that. You go into the NBA. It's all turning to shit. People are smoking weed like before games. It's like a total mess. You're becoming somebody you don't want to be. But by the end of the season, you figured out and crush the last 19 games if I'm not mistaken. And everybody's like, whoa, the person you're becoming, you're about to become an all-star. And then like it's a fucking movie. That's the moment that you have the accident. You have to rebuild. We've already talked about that. But your mind has been consistent through everything. The vast majority of humanity, if I take your life and I just take a million people and I crush them through that. Like the percentage of people that come out the other side is virtually none. So for you, it's the way that I think of the inner cities. The inner cities consume most of the people that it touches and they either literally die young or they just go on to do nothing. But every now and then you get Jay-Z. And you go, God, for the right person, like this pressure cooker is the pressure that makes the diamond, right? So because A, I think that I'm going to live forever, truly. And I understand a lot of things have to happen for that to be true. But I extend that to you. You're even younger than I am. So you're going to live forever. It's going to be amazing. So now I want to see, okay, I know what this guy's been through. I know the diamond that his mind has become. Like what awaits all of us on the other side of that? So that's why I was freaking out reading the book when you literally try to cut through the word "believe" and "can't", by the way. Do you set huge goals for yourself now? Yes, every day. And let me address one other thing that you said that I find fascinating because I think it's an epidemic within our culture. You know, in the American culture, it's so funny. Like the comeback, right? When I was, when I wanted to write my book, I got turned down by multiple publishing agencies. And if you're like, well, like you didn't come back. Right. You know? And I think that's like the American, like through the American scope of how we look at things like that. Did it come back and crush it? And that's a comeback story. And I'm like, shit. No, like I came back mentally. Right. Like that's a story. Like that's a story that should be cherished for younger kids out there, for older people out there, it doesn't matter. You don't have to come back and do what you did before and do it exponentially better. You have to come back better as a person and really value that process. Like that's a comeback. Like that's, that should be an American story. So yeah, I think my goals are a little bit outlandish for myself. I want to own my own media network one day. That's where I, so that's, you know, I came out. I was like, hey, this is like God's in, right? Like, you know, I have a two bedroom apartment in New York. I, you know, my mom comes in. Unfortunately, there's a, there's a big camera in the room and there's lights and she's like, she's like, are you filming me while I sleep? And I was like, no, but now I may because it may be interesting content. But like I think about, hey, how can I, how can I be bigger and better? And I think about now, how can I break outside this mold of just being a college basketball analyst? That's how I got my foot in the door of TV. But I'm in fact with the process of TV. Because as you know, it's amazing when you have to be vulnerable to talk about issues that a lot of people aren't willing to talk about on TV. Like there's a, there's something special about that. So if that's me having conversations with, you know, somebody I'm interviewing or me being lost in, you know, telling dialogue, I love it. Like I'm, it's my passion. It's my new basketball court.
What do you believe in (37:42)
I've heard you talk a lot about the idea that basically whatever happens is what is meant to happen. And in terms of the leverage of coaching somebody like me, that would never work because I don't believe in an omniscient God. So I'm like, there are just too many things where the outcome is just that. It's, it was all bad. But I think that you're very right that you can always reframe it and find something good out of it. So you can find something good out of terminal childhood cancer, right? But I would say objectively that one falls into my human suffering bucket. I'm going to say, no, that's just pretty bad. You can learn something from it. No question. You can reframe it. Absolutely. Sure. So how are you able to have a breakthrough with somebody who is an adult, who like me, doesn't believe that everything happens for a reason? Like, is it just reframing? Are there other tools? Like what do you lean on? Yeah. So what do you believe in? In other words, in your context, in the container that you've created, because you're creating it, right? Like, we don't know if there's a God. We assume that the universe were sort of in it. I mean, we call it the universe, but that's just language, right? We're just making up names for shit. So the question would be, now I go back to Einstein, if he actually said it, which I think he did, which is, you know, the most important decision you make is whether you live in a friendly or hostile universe. So that perspective is a belief in how the human being technology works. In other words, whatever you believe, because of the way this whole structure and system works and how meaning then creates emotion and neurobiological chemical cascades in your body, right? Like all this stuff, like, in that sense, without even getting really woo, you're creating your reality, right? Agreed. So then the question would be, what do you believe in drives everything? Because, you know, for me, I look at more of it as a mathematics. I don't, I use the word God. But what I believe is that intelligence itself, right, unbound intelligence is all there is, and that unbound intelligence. When you say is all there is, what do you mean? Like the very fabric of space time is intelligent?
What Do You Believe? (39:39)
Sure. Like if you talk about space time or the ether or the Hindus call it the Akasha or the fifth element or in the beginning, there was a thing, right? For me, it's intelligence and it's mathematical and it's expression. And so I believe in math, right? If you go back to, like, Euclidean geometry, right? There's a very, like, kind of spiritual concept around all of these things and looking at things like sacred geometry and how something is expressing itself and there's really deep, sophisticatedly intelligent patterns, right? Which one could suggest is just chaotic? Like it's the way that this all unfolded. It had to unfold this way because it was the only way it could all work or it's supremely intelligent. So the first thing I would want to do is understand what do you believe so that then we can have this conversation within that context. So what do you believe? I believe purely in evolution. So whether that is divinely started or not, because I will be the first to admit there's something that I don't understand and it's something big and it leaves me in awe and wonderment. And so I am deeply moved by the mysteries of the cosmos. Like that shit to me is so beautiful. And so the states of awe or compassion or connectedness, or like you don't have to pitch me on that, I'm in, man. It's just I don't think that what makes this experience beautiful or even useful is that it is all happening exactly as it was meant to happen. I feel like, hey, something put the expansion of the universe, the expansion of species started and it all has to obey the laws of physics. Okay, cool. So now operating within that, I find so much power in going, how does the mind work? So what is it that I can grab hold of? What are the levers? What are the dials? I don't need them to be divinely inspired and they certainly can be. Either way is fine by me. Like I don't have a dog in that fight. It is simply I just need to know the truth. And so what I have experienced thus far tells me that people in some pretty beautiful ways grapple with spiritual concepts is a way to like make sense of everything. Sure. So love and respect it, don't have any beef with it. The concepts that have an equal amount of beauty for me come down to biological truth. And so once I understand the biological truth and I can understand the way that synapses exist and work in the brain and the way connections are made, the way connections atrophy so that I can make something atrophy sort of at will, I can make new connections at will by doing things, practicing something with eating it. And so once I understand those levers, then I can start pulling. So a lot of the things you talk about, I feel like, yeah, that's super powerful. We agree on the thing without agreeing why the thing exists. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. So that's sort of the framework with which I operate. Yeah, so we're going back to this question, right? I think you're alluding to this idea where I believe that life is working in infinitely intelligent ways for our greatest growth, our greatest prosperity, our greatest evolution, that at any moment it's a moment of perfection, right? That it is supposed to happen. And so in that we can live with acceptance, we can live with surrender. We may not actually see it in the moment, how it's working for us, but we can choose to trust that it is if we want to. Looking back. Last statement you made, I agree with, like, totally. You can decide to view this as something that is working for me, right? How the Tony Robbins question, I love this. How's the worst thing that ever happened to you actually the best thing? And that reframe, just asking a different question changes everything. So I'm with you on that, it's a choice. Yeah, I think it's important for us to take a forensics approach to our own lives, to observe deeply, to discover what we believe is true for ourselves. So far in my life, when I look back over every single experience that I thought was a tragic experience at the time, of course because of cause and effect, it's been the same part of the journey of the things that I cherish most of my life. So we get to create those frames, right? And what I would suggest is those frames do become our reality. They do become our experience because of the way the technology works, right? I mean, at any moment in time I read something recently and the numbers always change, but they were talking about the part of the brain that pays attention, right? The particular activating system. And something like 88% of what's going on in any given moment you're not paying attention to. Like, I'm not paying attention to your wrist right now. It's still in my awareness. Right, it's a beautiful wrist. But that which we tend to pay attention to is aligned with what we believe and so that's all we get. So if you want more happiness, if you want more wealth, if you want deeper relationships, if you want to have more joy, you want to have more fun, you want to achieve your full potential and really make an impact in the world, then what's really important is to get clear on what that could look like for you. And to make sure that what you believe is congruent with that outcome, because if what you believe is not congruent with that outcome, just neurophysiologically you're working against yourself, right? Yeah, talk to me about the power of clarity. One of the few people that I hear talk about this and I think it's so fucking important. Yeah, so like where to start with the power of clarity. We talk about a number of things, right? The power of decision, the power of clarity, the power of gratitude, the power of questions. Most people know what they don't want, but they don't know what they do want. If you say to somebody, what do you want? They'll spend maybe 10 seconds sifting around and then start telling you exactly all the stuff that they don't. And so it's important to have clarity on what you want to create, to have clarity on the type of partner you want to have in your life, to have clarity on the things that you want to learn. Because I believe that clarity is intimately connected to imagination. So as we're getting clear on something, we're beginning to see what that thing is, right? That we're getting more clarity on. And we now know there was a study done in 2009 at Harvard where they brought in piano players to play the piano and they studied what parts of their brains lit up. And then they just had them imagine playing the piano in the same parts of the brains lit up. And there's a study after study after study that shows that the brain doesn't know the difference between imagination and reality. So as you're getting clear around something, you're actually building neural networks as if that image or that experience had already occurred. I mean, this is really powerful because so often people don't know how to achieve something. And because they don't know how, they don't spend a lot of time getting additional clarity. They don't spend time imagining what the future would look like with that thing or being that thing or creating that thing because it gets stuck on the how. And what I would suggest is that if you're willing to invest time in getting clear around something or imagining, you build neural networks that represent the memory of an experience that has not happened yet. That's fucking powerful. I mean, we're talking about like next level mental technology because if you had experienced the thing already, would you know how to do it? So what I would suggest is that it's that change in the neural networks of your brain that you can achieve through clarity, which is part of this kind of imagination category. I mean, to spend a talks about it with meditation and visualization, other great teachers talk about it in this way, you're able to start building neural networks of experience that have not happened yet that I believe then give you access to the thoughts, the ideas, the perceptions. And if you want to talk about like creating the synchronicities that actually close the gap between that future and the present moment. All right, say that in like a real basic bitch way, like give it to people in like fucking grounded ground. Don't let not knowing how prevent you from spending time getting additional clarity or imagining because that's actually what's required to happen in order for you to know how. Yeah, that I like your whole notion of getting don't let the indecision right be born out of the fact that you're not sure how this is all going to play out. Right. So I thought that was so powerful like to start moving and in the moving in getting the clarity, some of it will come to you and moving forward some more. We talk about fog, right? It's like people get stuck because they're not clear. So, but getting more clarity, people get paralyzed by not knowing some kind of never attainable omniscience around the topic. And so they stop, right? They move into indecision, they move into some form of procrastination. And the way you get more clarity is the same way you drive in fog. You've got 10 feet of clarity, the way you get 10 feet more is to move forward, 10 feet, right? You're never going to know, right? We're all looking for this sort of, I heard one of your guests recently talk about how fear is wanting to have a predictable outcome around an experience that you've never had before, right? And that's what we're all looking for, but that's not the way that it works. You get as clear as you can, then you take action and more clarity unfolds for you. How do you help people unwind the fears around that? Is it all attacking the beliefs like, what are you really worried about? I'm worried I'm not good enough, that kind of thing?
What Is the Thinking That's Causing the Emotional Response Which Is Fear? (48:43)
Yeah, for us, it's really looking at what is the thinking that's causing the emotional response, which is fear, and knowing that what's actually happening. And again, this is just what we're suggesting. What's actually happening is you've activated neural networks that represent a dissonant concept, and your nervous system is experiencing that dissonance's fear. Your nervous system is telling you it's not true. It's not true that you're not good enough. It's not true that you need to get it all done. It's not true that you're going to end up living under the bridge. It's not true. Any of those things aren't true. Walk me through the journey to discovering all of this stuff. So, ten years ago, we're in addiction, but you rock it. I mean, look, I only know this sort of external side of your story, so I wasn't there, so I'm sure it wasn't as easy as one would believe seeing how far out of that you've come. But what were some key points on that journey? A few moments that felt like, "Whoa, this is a lightning rod moment.
Reprogramming From Weed (49:37)
Were there those?" Or was it just sort of a gradual stacking of mild insights? What did that process look like? And how did you keep yourself going? So, I was in the depths of my addiction. I remember about three weeks before I realized I had a problem, which is amazing to see that I had these experiences and didn't realize I had a problem until three weeks later. It was the last time I was ever going to buy pot. Bought it from my pot dealer. Smoked it on my back porch. Had still had a bag left after rolling a joint. Filled the bag up with water so that I wouldn't smoke it. Took it the whole foods and dumped it in the garbage can. And three hours later was back a whole foods pulling out of the garbage can and drying it out of my back porch. That's addiction. It's addiction. And so, in the beginning, it was just about trying to figure out how to untether myself from these addictive patterns of behavior. And I started working on a 12 step program. And about three or four weeks after I started working on a 12 step program, I go to the airport. You have those book moments. A book decides it's developing a relationship with you. And I go over, I grab this book off the shelf and it's said, "Awaking the Buddha within." On the back of the book, it had the four noble truths of Buddhism. It said, "Life is full of suffering. The suffering will happen to you. There's a way out of the suffering. And the way out of the suffering is the eightfold path of virtue." And I don't know what the eightfold path of virtue is. I'm like, but it's more efficient than 12 steps. They only have eight. So, I read this book and I'm like, "Wow, the things Bill W was talking about in 12 steps are very similar to what Buddha was talking about. And then an employee left a book on my desk called "Kingdom Principles" by Miles Monroe. And I was like, "Christ is saying the same thing. Then I went to Barnes & Noble and I kid you not on the second floor of the Barnes & Noble. I walk over to a section that I didn't know existed called self-help. And Thinking Grow Rich was sitting on the floor. And I just happened to pick it up. I read the back of the book. So, my journey began, right? And yeah, it was a gradual progression. It was picking up these individual distinctions. It was realizing that we're always in sympathetic or parasympathetic. It was realizing that my emotional responses were being dictated by my thoughts, not by the actual experiences. It was starting to become more self-aware through the work that we did. I mean, Carol and I went to India three times. Did really deep intensive work there. What does that mean? When you go to India, we're in an ashram? Yeah, we're at an ashram. More like a university. It was like a five-star ashram. And so, are we taking classes? Yeah, taking classes doing a breath work, meditation. Some of the breath work we did there was really, really, really deep. And it allows you to get into the parasympathetic. What are the being wholly unfamiliar with this kind of training? Oh, you've never done breath work? I have, but like through Sam Harris or... So, listen. This is... I'm aware of when I get into Tom's uncomfortable world at this point now. So, like my... I don't know what... I can give you my theory about what happens with the breath work that we did. But, you know, I experienced what it was like to be a turtle. I had a conversation with Krishna. Are we talking like true, like DMT-induced kind of things? Yes, but just breath, right? I'm assuming this is in meditation. Yeah. Breath. It's in breath. Okay. Is the breath work different? Because I know you've done a lot of meditation. Is there a different experience to breath work versus meditation? Is it actually like a... where you're getting hypoxic or something that's causing that? Yes. It's a very active breath work, right? Do you know Wim Hof's method? I've done Wim Hof's method. Is it something intense like that? We are really agreeing. Yes, but for an extended period of time. Okay. And at that point, what I think happens is we begin to detach from the mind.
The Power of Experiences (53:26)
And then these other experiences show up, right? I mean, I had never really contemplated what it was like to be my mom's tortoise. But for whatever reason, that's what I experienced, right? And as you begin to experience these things, you know, experiences change the brain, right? In fact, the only way you change the brain is through experience, right? Like moment by moment by moment, we're recording, right? What's going on? And we're either reiterating the neural networks that are there. We're building new neural networks or printing out old ones. And so these are experiences. So, you know, to what extent there's a value to experiencing being a turtle? I don't know, but I've had the experience. So it's in here now. And so, you know, a lot of people use plant medicine for that, right? Exploring different experiences or DMT. So, yeah, we've been on a journey of personal exploration. And the one thing that we started to see, consistently, as we were working with people around their beliefs, is that we believe create the quality of their life moving forward in every area. Like, I can sit with someone and hear what they believe and tell them what their life looks like. I could get real creepy and follow someone around for three days without them knowing. I could sit down and pretty much tell them what they believe, right? Your belief stick to your destiny. And that's not some, you know, quotable, right? It's the fact that it's at the core of behavioral psychology, right? And so, we used to take your thoughts, take your emotions, take your actions, take your results, which reinforce your beliefs. And what we consistently saw was that as we first started giving people permission to change their beliefs by realizing their decisions, right? The beliefs are just decisions and that you could just decide something different. And the whole machine would start recalibrating around it and reorienting around it. If you were willing to give yourself permission to make a new decision about life or money or relationships or whatever it is. But then after that, we consistently started seeing that the quality of the belief was that as we actually worked with people, they would say, "Oh, it's actually not true. Oh, I see that it's not true for me. It doesn't need to be not true for me. But as we worked with them with our methodology, they would go, "Wow, it's not even true." And it was never true back then. My dad was just well-meaning and wanted to help me build a better mission saying "Well, in Capistrano." He didn't tell me I didn't know how to do it, right? And so as we saw that, then we started finding even faster ways, right? Now, you got to be open to it. You got to be open to the idea that anytime you're moving into a primal state, it's only being caused by your thinking and the quality of the thinking is that it's not true, even though in the moment, it's really true for you. How to bounce back from failure. This is one of my favorite topics on the planet because this is really how you're going to separate yourself from everybody else. The people that can leverage that failure to learn from that, to improve their skill set and go on to be successful are the ones that ultimately build the life that they want to lead. The ones that are emotionally devastated by failure are the ones that end up in a death loop and they never go anywhere. So without further ado, let us dive into your questions.
Bouncing Back From Failure And Developing Resilience
Overcoming failure (56:31)
Number one, I feel like I've always been able to bounce back pretty easily from setbacks and even pretty big failures. Then in September, within a short span, I lost almost everything. The woman I planned on marrying left me for what seemed to be no reason at all. The company I had worked for all year for 11 plus hours a day doing sales, found a loophole in my contract and didn't pay me for the work I had done all year, leaving me broke and nearly homeless. Several close friends showed their true colors and betrayed me and I had sacrificed my faith in the pursuit of these goals. I sat there after the hardest year of my life, completely empty-handed feeling broken. I had never been depressed before, but I felt it very keenly then. I held on to the thought that I would get through it. I always do. As I look back months later, the depression is basically gone, but I feel a profound sense of negativity. I have a feeling of deep-set failure that I'm trying to overcome, almost like the childlike enthusiasm was lost and now I'm a grumpy old man at the age of 23. People talk about overcoming failure in the short term, could you please talk about overcoming it in the long term and going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm? Okay, this is amazing. So, I want to talk about Jaco Willing's idea of no matter what life throws at you, the reaction is good. I lost my job, good. My woman left me for no reason, good. People took money from me, good. All of it, good. Once you flip that switch in your mind, like even now, that gave me the chills, just thinking how powerful the reaction to the world's most negative news to say good. Yeah, good. Now, you have to come up with a reason why it's good. And the reason that it's good is because you know that the only way to think about failure, quote unquote, failure, is like AI, artificial intelligence. Okay, and AI, it's not called failure, it's called a sample. Okay, you try something. So if you've ever seen the video of AI learning to play the video game breakthrough, the old Atari game, it is hilarious. You see this paddle squiggling around like crazy, obviously the AI has no idea what it's supposed to do. So, all it's programmed to do is get a high score, but it doesn't know what gives it a score. It doesn't know what am I supposed to move the paddle? I'm supposed to hit the ball. Is the ball supposed to break through the blocks at the top? And so it just like does these random ass movements. And then finally, it'll hit the ball. And then finally, the ball breaks a break. And then finally, it finds the most efficient path to break all of it. Now, let me tell you, in my 20s, I don't know about you, but in my 20s, I was a mess. In my early 20s, I was so lost, frustrated, afraid, insecure, over the past. I was so overwhelmed, paralyzed. I mean, it was a dark period in my life. That's the nature of your 20s. Now, in my 20s, as old as this is going to make me sound, in my 20s, the internet barely existed. So, we certainly didn't have YouTube. There wasn't people putting out content that would allow me to recontextualize my world. The fact that you already know the quote that success is going from failure to failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm, you are so much farther ahead than where I was. Now, I'm going to use an analogy of love, if I may. One of the things I find most interesting about love is that in love, you are opening yourself up to being far more easily hurt. When you are in love, it's a very vulnerable state. You have opened yourself to somebody. You've given yourself over, in a way, to that person. And now you are far more easily hurt. They know you're insecurities. They could weaponize them against you. And when heartbreak comes along, it's very tempting to turtle up and to protect yourself. But then you're closed off from the things that make love valuable in the first place. The very thing that makes love worthwhile is being able to be open like that to somebody, to be vulnerable to somebody. And the thing that makes love so extraordinary is that even when you get hurt, the people that can open themselves up again and approach somebody without the baggage of previous relationships are the ones that end up finding that beautiful relationship that ends up being worth the vulnerability and worth the sacrifice. And speaking from experience ends up being the single greatest thing in your life. Now, if you learned nothing from the heartbreak, I understand why it's scary to go into the next thing. But the idea here, the very way that we bounce back from failure is by looking exclusively at what we can do differently. And when you look exclusively, I'm not saying other people didn't do something that maybe it's... Maybe any rational person would say it's all their fault. Maybe the list of things you gave us is literally you were just the world's unluckiest human being. But the reason that we're going to say good, the reason that we're going to look at this like AI and samples, the reason we're going to remind ourselves that success is going from failure to failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm, the reason that we're going to think of that love analogy and be willing to open ourselves back up is because we're going to figure out what we could have done differently. We're going to see what can I improve in my skill set? What did this catastrophe reveal about my strategy and whenever a strategy yields a result different than the desired result, then you know the strategy is by definition wrong. And I want you to own that. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, okay? But it does mean that your strategy wasn't working. Go back to AI, right? It's wiggling around. It finally realizes, "Oh, I need to hit the ball. Okay, cool." So now I'm going to track the movement of the ball and I'm going to adjust my paddle to be there. Okay, cool. I got it. Oh, I actually see that hitting it on the sides is far more advantageous than hitting it in the middle because once I clear a path on the side, then the ball can bounce around on the top and destroy bricks far faster than any of the strategy. Okay, amazing. But you had to first have the reaction that that failure was good. Good. Because it revealed the flaw in my strategy. And because I'm playing the long-term game, I'm going to open myself back up again. I'm going to allow myself to be vulnerable again. I'm going to let the wound hurt as much as it needs to for me to learn the lesson. No more. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm not going to end up in a death spiral of shame. But I am going to recognize that I could do something different the next time and get a different result. That to run the same strategy and expect the result to change is, as Einstein said, the definition of insanity. So that's what you have to do here. You have to recognize that this thing that you consider the worst thing that ever happened to you with the change of framing is actually the best thing that ever happened to you. And if you change the question that you ask about this and say, "How did this help me? What did I learn from this or what could I learn from this? And how can this improve my strategy moving forward?" Then all of a sudden the frame of reference changes, the emotion, the way you feel about it, the dark energy that's around it begins to change because you're stoked, right? This is good. All right, I'm going to learn something from this and it's going to be XYZ. And maybe you only get incrementally better and you try again. And maybe you fail again and you get incrementally better. And all of a sudden, if your life is anything like mine, your 20s were getting kicked in the face over and over and over. Be getting a little bit better at blocking, a little bit better at avoiding. And then finally in your 30s, you begin to find your footing and then you turn into beast mode, late 30s, early 40s. And now you feel like you can really move the world. It's exactly what it feels like when you understand how your own mind works, how the minds of others work, and just sort of the nature of the world. It's really incredible. But the only way to get there is to flounder around to make horrendous mistakes and say good. All right, next question.
How to stay resilient and avoid disappointment (01:05:24)
"Every time I face a challenge and feel like it is no longer possible to overcome it, so like I already failed, I completely break down.
Failure & the human mind; CBT (01:05:32)
I cry about it and then I'm stuck with a feeling of disappointment in myself for at least a week. Afterwards, I slowly but surely regain my resilience. How can I shift the limiting belief that failure is bad and therefore avoid such an intense reaction? And how can I stop putting so much pressure on myself to do everything perfectly?" Okay, so what's wonderful here is we're now dealing with the physics of the human mind. And my obsession is to give people to understand that you are having a biological experience. Now, why do I want you to understand that you're having a biological experience? Because I want you to understand that the brain reacts a certain way and you can actually insert yourself into that and change your approach, framing the way that you react, and in changing those things, you will change not only the way you feel, but the outcomes that you're able to get. And so I want to introduce you to Victor Frankl and cognitive behavioral therapy. So Victor Frankl said, "Between stimulus and response is a gap and how we choose to react in that gap will determine the rest of our lives." Now, if you don't know Victor Frankl, you wrote a book called "Man's Search for Meaning." He wrote that book after getting released from Auschwitz. Okay? This is a guy that survived multiple concentration camps. And he was a neuroscientist and his ability to explain what is happening inside the mind of a human during something that catastrophic is breathtaking. And when you realize that a guy that went through something that just seems unimaginable for a human being to endure says the way that you endure it is to one fine meaning in your suffering. So why am I going through all of this? What do I expect to see on the other side of, in your case, shortening the window? Okay? This was a big thing in my life. Learning to emotionally soothe. Whoever emotionally soothe themselves the fastest is going to win because you don't waste the week spiraling out of control, right? So if for me it takes three seconds to emotionally soothe and it takes you a week, you can imagine how much more progress I'm going to make in a year than you're going to make. Okay? So Victor Frankl says, "We've got that gap. For you, that gap may be very, very small. And now what we're trying to do is widen that gap. Now, how are we going to widen that gap? We're going to widen that gap with cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is beyond the scope of this video to go into all the sort of details about it. But I will say one of the most important things that's talked about in CBT is pattern interrupting. So you know that these patterns aren't serving you. You know that spending a week derailed, not feeling resilient is a waste of your time. So now when you feel that lack of resilience, the emotional distress, you're going to interrupt that pattern. Now I'll give you an example in my own life. So for me, I don't allow myself to feel overwhelmed. And as dumb as that sounds, it works extraordinarily well. So as I can feel that, you know that sense of like agitation, like you can feel your brain like speeding up and you can sort of feel yourself like escalating and moving towards panic. In that moment, I say to, first of all, I bring my chin down and I furrow my eyebrows and I say, "I don't do overwhelm." And by saying that phrase, it interrupts the pattern and the reason I know that works goes back to this idea of you're having a biological experience. And I know that there is nothing either good or bad. It is thinking that makes it so, right? Shout out to Mr. Shakespeare. There's nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. It isn't what's happening to you. It's what you think about what's happening to you. So I'm not overwhelmed with the fucker because I don't do overwhelm. And now all of a sudden by reminding myself, I don't do overwhelm. Now I may take things off my plate. I may decide no matter what's going on. Right now I'm going to sit and meditate. I may remind myself that breathing from my diaphragm will physiologically, whether I want it to or not, if I do it long enough, it will move me out of the sympathetic nervous system, fight or flight, into the parasympathetic nervous system, rest and digest. That is physiological. And so I'm going to do those things. Now, that doesn't mean that I'm wired differently than anybody or that I'm doing anything particularly special, but it interrupts the pattern of escalation that I've gotten into because I'm thinking that this is bad. I'm thinking, "Oh my God, I've got all these things going on. I'm never going to be able to handle them. There's so much pressure. What the fuck am I going to do?" And in that moment, what I do is remind myself, "I don't do overwhelm." So for you, it may be reminding yourself, "I don't spiral out of control for a week. I don't allow that in myself." What I do is I meditate. What I do is I remember failure as part of the process. What I do is remind myself that like artificial intelligence, I need these samples. I need these moments of failure. This is exactly why I need an anti-fragile personality. My very identity is tied up in learning. That's a huge thing. When you tie your ego to being the learner, now all of a sudden the pattern interrupt becomes, "I'm the learner." I don't mind that I failed. Nothing to spiral out of control about. I'm going to learn from this and I'm going to keep going. In fact, I want to know, what can I learn from this? What's the lesson here? And when you change your framing and you look at that and you take advantage of Victor Frankl's gap and you fill that gap with, "I'm the learner. I'm going to get better from this. What can I learn?"
Entrepreneurial skills in the job market (01:11:21)
Everything else is going to take care of itself. All right. Question three. Hi, Tom. I took the plunge and dove straight into entrepreneurship after completing my junior college at the age of 18 without any job experience. I'm 25 this year and none of my ventures have taken off or succeeded. I've started looking for a job this year and was rejected even for entry-level positions. As a founder, I did not acquire many hard skills, how to use specific software program, etc., as I had to work on the higher-level strategy and management while running my own startups. I'm stuck and unsure of how I can translate my failed startup experience while I seek out new employment opportunities. I'm terrified that I've wasted seven years bumping into walls with no results to show and it's too late to start from scratch. Okay. So, first of all, there are many things that we're going to want to do here. Much of it is going to be reframing. So, I don't know. Maybe you really didn't develop skills and maybe you were floundering for seven years and maybe you really did waste that time. Probably not true, but the most terrifying way for you to approach this question is as if that is true, that you really did "waste" those years because that's never how I would think about it. But we certainly found things that didn't work, right? So, Thomas Edison talks about, "I didn't fail 10,000 times which supposedly is how many filaments he tried when trying to invent the light bulb." He said, "I didn't fail 10,000 times. I simply found 10,000 ways that didn't work. And every attempt discarded is another step forward." Okay. So, you just spent seven years putting things to the side that you know aren't going to work. A bunch of attempts discarded. Cool. You're now seven years ahead of everybody else. Now, you may be approaching the job market in the wrong way. You may be applying for jobs that require hard skills, but I'm telling you, look, if an entry-level position, depending on what you're trying to go into, if it's an entry-level position, like, "I'm trying to be an entry-level doctor with my seven years of startup experience." It's never going to work. Or, "I'm trying to be an entry-level coder." That's never going to work, right? There are certain things that have really hard skills and you're going to need those hard skills. Go learn them, right?
How To Make $$$ (01:13:30)
So, learning this stuff takes time and energy, but that's all it takes. Time and energy. Okay? It's what I call the only belief that matters. If you put time and energy into learning a skill and to getting better, you will actually get better at that skill. Okay? I'm not saying it's not hard, but who the fuck cares? Like, it drives me crazy that people focus on it's hard. Yes, it's hard. Getting good at shit is hard. Outperforming other people is hard, but if you want to win, you've got to do hard shit. So, you're going to have to lean into this. You're going to have to get good. So, anyway, the fact that people get weird that learn to code has become like some sort of weird thing. I don't understand. If you want a job at something that requires a set of skills, go get that set of skills. That's just that fucking simple. So, your seven years may have been a total waste of time in the acquisition of skills towards the job that you want now. But unless you've just spent the last seven years staring at a wall, you have a treasure trove of learnings that you'll be able to pull from. So, now this is a question about how you're approaching the job market, not a question about whether you wasted those seven years. So, we have to frame this in such a way that we understand what the value of those seven years was, how we can articulate that value to somebody as we begin approaching the job market, and getting good at pitching yourself is a skill. And it's not necessarily going to come easy, but I have a gut instinct that the real problem that you have is just how to interview for a job, how to explain to people what it is that you're good at, because the hard knock life of an entrepreneur is the amount that you're learning is so crazy, leadership, working with people, how to create momentum, starting from scratch and getting your first customer. I mean, it's really an extraordinary skill set. So, find the right thing to approach from a job perspective, practice articulating what that is, walk into the interview, armed to the teeth with how you can help their company, do way more work than anybody else applying for that job, and you will get a job. This is where you can learn on your entrepreneurial skills harder than you've ever done in your life to show people the kind of value that you can bring. So, the last thing I'm going to give you on that is this idea of starting from scratch. I want you to use the brain in a VAT thought exercise. I do this to myself all the time. Every time I can feel I'm about to get stuck in this loop of like, you know, have I learned the right things? Am I pointed in the right direction? Do we just spend a year pursuing something that was stupid? I'm never going to get that year back. I remind myself, it's entirely possible. In fact, I actually am a brain in a VAT. It just so happens that the VAT is my skull. And my brain is creating an artificial reality. I'm not saying we live in a VR world, but I am saying your brain never light never touches your brain sound never touches your brain. And yet, you have this sense of sound and sight and touch and feel and all that stuff as if it were outside of you when a reality is being created in this virtual environment your brain. So, what if I were just a brain in a VAT somewhere and all of my memories are fake and that I actually just came online seven seconds ago? That thought experiment is so powerful to me because it reminds me, oh, my memories can work for me or against me. They're just a background that I need to give me the context to move forward. So, if this is really just about context, right, which is all memories are, it's just context, then while I can't change the memories, I can change how I think about the memories. And so, I'm going to recontextualize those seven years as being my 10,000 hours of getting good at something. And now it's like, cool, they weren't failures, they were lessons. And now what I do with those lessons is up to me.
How To Move On After Being Rejected (01:17:33)
I'm a television presenter and got two offers to host those shows. Both producers were impressed and gave me offers on the same day, both unknowing that I applied elsewhere. I picked one and respectfully turned the other down, where I turned them down, they moved on with a new presenter. I was told to come sign a contract with the production team, the following day, upon arrival, they postponed until they went silent on me. I have been extremely demoralized by this. I am now struggling to find work. It's depressing and frustrating all at the same time. How do I move on? Okay, this is like one of the key insights of my life. You should only ever do and believe that which moves you towards your goal. So, will feeling badly about making what may have been a legitimate mistake? Maybe you handled that poorly. Maybe you should have taken the other job? Or maybe you should have waited to tell the other people no until you'd actually signed on the dotted line, right? Super powerful lessons. You're probably going to handle this differently in the future. But will beating yourself up over it, holding on to it, kicking yourself, thinking what a dummy you are, is that going to move you towards your goal? If it does, then do it. But my gut instinct is, it will only serve you as much as it will give you the impetus that you need to ask yourself, what should I do differently the next time? That is powerful. Spiraling out of control because you made a mistake is not powerful. In fact, you need to be decisive in life. You made a fucking decision. It didn't work out, such as life. It just goes like it goes. So, now we need to find a way. I am constantly asking myself, how can I get control in my hands so that I'm not waiting on somebody else, right? You could go right now, start a YouTube channel. You don't have to wait for legacy media to give you the thumbs up. You have a phone, get on your phone, record yourself. If you can add value to people, then you can build an ecosystem. So, two things. We are going to reframe, right? It is a key part of bouncing back from failure. We are going to reframe that failure. There are powerful lessons to be learned. Looking forward, we are only going to do and believe about ourselves, that which moves us towards our goal. So, we are not going to sit there and think what an idiot we are because it is only going to slow us down. It is negative energy psychologically. It is not putting you in the best place. Okay? And then, we are going to realize, hey, we can keep applying. Cool, go do it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, become the best interviewer ever, get more jobs, keep going. It is a numbers game. And we always have the other option, which is to build a following for ourselves. But we retain that control. We are always looking for what we could do differently. We are not putting the power in somebody else's hands. Word.
Handling Rejection And Skill Improvement
What To Do When Your Plans Fail (01:20:05)
Next. I always thought the moment I would fail. I would trust the process I am in and just keep going until I win. But, the moment I failed, everything crashed for me. I failed an important exam that would get me into medical school and now I am doubting my chances of ever getting in. It is so easy to have faith in yourself when you haven't failed how it is like to fail and failing hard on the ground. My question is, is the pain that comes with failing worth it if your chances of getting the victory are only a few percentage? Oh my God! Pate! Pate! Where do you find these? This is so good. Okay, so here is a concept. This is a really hard reality to face. When we are young, we can become anything. But as we age, we become something specific. And there is a death in that. There is something that really bothers me about that. That legitimately, I have the chills right now. That shit haunts me. And so I understand what you are saying. I get, go through the darkness with me here for a minute and I am going to pull you back out on the other side. I promise. That does suck. And I have a friend who failed to get into the college of his choice, which would have moved him to a different city. And the thing that kept him from going, I mean it is a whole story, it is too heartbreaking for words. Stupid. And he ended up not moving. And because he didn't move, the course of his life, in my opinion, changed forever. And I remember thinking, why didn't he, if that is what he really wanted, why didn't he try what Alex Benayan calls the third door? You didn't get in the first door, fair enough, right? They just sort of knock, knock, knock anybody there. You didn't get in the window, right? Or the second door. But there is always the third option of going so ham, whatever it takes, by Hook or Crook, to get in. When you read Alex's book, and the things that he did to get an interview with Larry King, Warren Buffett one is a great example. He wanted to ask a question at the Warren Buffett every year, holds the conference where shareholders get a come and they get asked questions. He worked so hard to figure out, because they do it in an arena. There are different microphones all over the arena. And he figured out that certain places get called on more frequently than others. He got like five or six friends that all had, or maybe even bought shares so that they could go do this. And each of them had the same question. Each of them went to the five or six most likely microphones to get picked. And he went and one of them ended up getting to ask the question. And that's the third door. Like doing things that nobody would believe that somebody would do to think that hard about the problem, to understand it that deeply. And this is the thing about magic. So I've studied magic at the Magic Castle. I'm obsessed with magic. Now, why am I obsessed with magic for one reason? What makes magic work is far more impressive than it being true like Harry Potter style magic. It is that somebody has worked so hard on something, thought so far in advance on something, gone so far out of their way to plant something. That when they pull it off, it's easier to believe that it's magic than it is to believe that they went through all of that rigamarole. So for instance, I have seen, I think it was David Blaine, have somebody pick a card. And then there's a, it was basketball players, famous NBA players. And overall on the side, there's basketballs. And he has them pick a card, any card they want, and they pick the card. And then, you know, he does the things, I'm going to find your card and all that. And he's like, you know, is this your card? No, it's not. And then, of course, that's a plant. And in the end, he says, Oh, actually, I know where your card is. Go grab one of those basketballs. He doesn't even tell them which basketball to grab. Just go grab one of those basketballs. They grab a basketball. This motherfucker stabs the basketball with a knife, pops it right there and pulls out a card. Now, it just seems impossible to think that he went to a basketball manufacturer and had them make basketballs with a card in it that he could get you to choose. It's called a force in magic, where you lead somebody to pick a given card. You force them to pick the card that you want them to pick. You put that and he may have picked two or three different cards and maybe he had them in different places in the gym. And depending on which card they picked, he'd send them to whichever grouping of basketballs he wanted them to pick. And he knows, okay, you know, that's the Ace of Spades. It's a king of hearts, like Queen of Hearts. Things that are like most likely for people to pick. And then when you cut it, you just, you can't imagine. Your brain doesn't even go to that place. But that's what you have to do. When you've had a tremendous failure to recognize that you've got to get so hard core that people would sooner believe that it's magic than that you just worked that hard. But that if you do that, you really can achieve whatever you want in life. So this thing has kicked you in the teeth. It's made you believe that maybe the thing that you wanted just isn't possible. And because of that, when you failed, it feels like your whole worldview has crumbled. But in reality, there are many things that you could point yourself at, that you could learn to love as much or more than that other thing. And I say learn to love on purpose. Everything is a process. Love, passion, skills, all of it is a process. But also, there's still that opportunity to get into the third door. So you didn't get in the obvious way. But there is a way. And if you believe that medical school is the right answer for you, now we need to find out what's that path. So I did this with film school. I didn't get into film school the first time that I tried. And all the teachers, or sorry, the counselors, when you go see them, USC film school, you are more likely to get into Harvard law statistically. It's not about intelligence. Just the number of people that apply versus what gets accepted. You're statistically more likely to get into Harvard law than you are to get into USC film school. And so every counselor was like, "Hey, you're not going to get in." And this is one of the, they didn't say words like that. They said the exact word. "You are not going to get in. Stop taking classes like you're going to get in. Just the odds are so stacked against you, there's no way." And I just thought, "Hmm, I'm going to get in." Because everything in my life is pointed at that. And so I found out who was on the admissions committee. And I found out that he offered, you could join him for lunch because he was also a teacher. He joined him for lunch if you were a student in his class. So I took his class and I went to his lunch. And I was the only person there, which I still to this day cannot believe that more people didn't take him up on it. And I joined him for lunch and I said, "Look, I have one question. I didn't, my SAT scores are really low. I got a 990.
I Didn't Get into Film School at First (01:27:57)
They wanted a 1,300 scores are all different now, but you get the gap. It was fucking huge." And I said, "What do I need to do with SAT scores this low?" And he said, "Oh, SAT scores just tell us how well you're supposed to do in college. You've already missed the window to get in as a freshman. You have another opportunity as an incoming junior. Just get really good grades. If your grades are higher enough, then you can get into film school." When I say that I, nothing else in my life existed for two years. I didn't drink. I didn't go to parties. I didn't even date. I didn't do anything but study because I knew that I needed to get good grades. And I ended up getting like a 3, 9, 5 or some crazy shit. And so when I reapplied, I got in just like he said I would. Okay, that's the third door. Finding out. Who's the gatekeeper? What do they actually want? There are other ways to get into medical school. Let me tell you. Now it's just a question of, "Do you want it bad enough to work so hard that when you pull it off, people would rather believe it was magic than just really hard work?" Because if you do and you do those things, then my friend, you will get in. Failure is only permanent. If that's what you choose to believe. Reframe it. Recognize you have power. Recognize you have control over what you do and recognize that if you leave people in awe, and that my friends is your job. The only way to really have mind-blowing success in life is to set the bar ridiculously high and then surpass all expectations. And that's when it looks like magic. And that's when you'll get what you want. That's simple. Don't buy into failure. It's just a lesson. All right.
How Do I Bounce Back When I Find Out My Mom Doesn"t Believe in Me (01:29:37)
Last. My question to you is, "How do I bounce back when I find out that my mom doesn't believe in me? Oh my God, I can already tell you how to answer this one. I'm emotional when it concerns my mom. I can deal with relatives or friends, but I'm struggling because it's my family who I love very much. And she is the center of my universe. It's a knockout punch. And I know and I don't know how to deal with this. And this has created a very toxic environment in my home. P.S. I lost my father almost a couple years ago and it's just been me and my mom ever since. Also, moving out isn't an option because she is completely dependent on me. Please help. Oh my God. My life was tailor-made to answer your question. Okay. So first of all, when I left for college, my mother quietly assumed I was going to fail. Now, she admittedly did not say you're going to fail, but she assumed I was going to fail. My father-in-law, once I'd already graduated, but I wanted his blessing to marry his daughter. He said no because he didn't believe that I was going to become anything. Now, somebody telling you that they don't want you to marry their daughter because they don't know that you're going to be able to take care of them. That is a pretty direct way of saying, "Hey, kid, I don't believe in you." I've often said, "The greatest gift anyone can ever give you is doubt. It isn't belief. Your mom is working for you. Your mom is giving you the best thing that she can give you." Here's the thing. The reason you- I have the chills. The reason that you need her to believe in you is because you don't believe in yourself. The reason you don't believe in yourself is because you actually aren't good enough yet. Now, your obsession, your mission should you choose to accept it, is to become good enough to get so good that nobody can stop you. You can't be denied, that booze can't block your dunks. Let that be the driving force when in your darkest moments you have that reminder that there are people who don't believe that you can pull this off. 80% of your time should be spent in the light. The beautiful things you want to do, your self-belief, focusing on your improving over time, spend the vast majority of your time there. But there are going to be times. Dark moments are coming for you. And ironically, when you feel broken, when you feel like you couldn't possibly go another step, it's proving them wrong, not letting them be right, which is dark energy, man. It's the dark side, right? But the dark side is powerful. That's why it's so seductive. We're not going to spend a lot of time there, but we're going to recognize its power.
Its okay to not be good enough (01:32:22)
And you can love your mom and still want to show her. And maybe one way you can think about it, if you want to put this into the beautiful side, that that's your mom who doesn't believe in herself, which is why she can't believe in you. She can't see it for herself, so she can't see it for you. And so showing her just how much is possible by just day after day, focusing on getting better. It's okay to not be good enough yet. You're the average human, right? Don't believe that you're special. I don't believe I'm special. I think I'm hopelessly average. Now, when people look at me as an after picture, they think I'm being falsely humble, but they didn't see me in my 20s. I was a mess. The reason my mom quietly assumed I was going to fail is because I was on a trajectory to fail. The reason my best friend assumed I was going to marshmallow my way through life, that's a quote, is because I was marshmallowing my way through life. The reason my father-in-law didn't think I was going to succeed is because I didn't have to drive to see my ambition through. These people had not misidentified me. I just wasn't good enough yet. And so I took that on and said, "Cool. I love my father-in-law. He's an amazing human being. He was always very kind to me. He was very transparent that he didn't think I was on the right path. My mom, my friends, my father-in-law, they were right. But I could change. I could get better." And so I just became obsessed with getting better. So we don't need to convince mom. We don't need mom to cheer us on. We know it is a fact of the human existence that if you put time and energy into getting better, you will get better. Now, it is true you cannot make a racehorse out of a pig, but you can make a really fast pig. So maybe this thing that you're pursuing, you're never going to be the greatest in the world at. But even tenfolding your life would make your life unrecognizable. And I will say that somebody who shows up every day for years and years and years and years sincerely pursuing improvement won't ten X their life. You'll 100 X your life. By improving your skills. It's that simple. You're just going to be improving your skills. And suddenly you turn that lack of belief. You turn that failure into being a guiding light for other people. Right? When I said I wanted to become an entrepreneur, my family thought it was crazy. They thought I was risking everything. What was I doing? And there were times I wondered about that. Had I just made my wife's life miserable, right? That her father was right and I really was going to make my wife's life hard. And I did quite frankly for years. Being married to me in the beginning meant poverty. It meant clipping coupons. It meant having to track a $2.99 rental of a movie back when that was a thing. And in my dark moments, I worried that they were right. But in my dark moments, I just focused on I'm not going to let them be right.
Improving Your Skillset (01:35:36)
And I only need one belief. And that is that if I put consistent time and energy into improving my skillset, if I'm honest with myself about where I am, what I need to do to improve, I actually will improve. And so I started saying the following phrase to myself. Don't judge yourself through the lens of a moment. Judge yourself through the lens of a lifetime. And maybe a more practical way to think about it is look at your life in three to ten year tranches. In any one day, you still feel like a loser, right? But when you look back over three years and you think, hmm, I'm a lot better than I was three years ago. When you think about who you were ten years ago, like if you're one of the earlier questions was asked by somebody who was 23, ten years ago, they were thirteen. Were they capable at thirteen of what they are now? Not by a long shot. I mean, the radical nature of the change would be staggering from thirteen to twenty-three. When I think about who I was at thirty-four, right, forty-four now, if I think about who I was at thirty-four, oh my God, like the amount that I'm able to do now that I couldn't do then is truly staggering. And even looking back three years ago, it's staggering. So recognizing that you don't need people to believe in you, you need only believe in a simple fact about the human brain. Time and energy put into getting better will yield improved skill set. Skills have utility, they allow you to do things in the world. Whether your mom believes in you or not, whether anybody believes in you or not, if you get good enough, you will win. It's that simple. The way when I was reading your book, the idea that seemed self-evident to me is that you can't opt out of playing the game. So life, the human experience, and I suppose the only way to truly opt out would be suicide. So let's set that aside. You can't opt out of it. So you're going to play. And so now it's just a question of if I'm right that the human mind has a subconscious process that's running that rewards you for pursuing getting better at something and punishes you for not having purpose, not pursuing anything. And you can't opt out of the game. Now you're either going to feel good or bad based on whether you pursue something. And when I introduce people to you, there's sort of two camps. There's people that read you, watch you, listen to you, listen to you, see the things that you've done, the people that you've helped. And they are transformed by it. And it gives them the chills the way that it gives me the chills. And then there's other people that are like, "Ah, I focus on the dark side. It's dark energy. Like, oh, this is crazy." And honestly, there's an ache in my heart for people that discount that, that have not sort of looked in the mirror and embraced the reality of the human experience as far as I can tell, which is you will be subconsciously rewarded for going after this, including every tool you have, including the dark side, which seems just so obviously real, even if it's just taking a cold shower. It's what you said. Every tool you have, and most people will not use every single tool they have. Why is that? Because they're afraid they don't know how to control it. They don't want to acknowledge it. They're afraid of being judged. They want to stand out. They want to be different. They want women to acknowledge them. But they have so much doubt of what greatness and the unforgiving race actually requires to win over and over again. We all have fear. We all have fear that these individuals have so much doubt. Before we started this, you were talking about, oh, I was watching one of your past interviews that was on TV. People, they were like, oh man, you come out on, you come here and you're never nervous. You've been doing this for so long and you have no fear. And you're like, no, every time I come out here, I don't care. How many shows have you done now over the years? Hundreds. Hundreds. There's always a fear to sit in here, but you never have any doubt. Do you never have any doubt of what the outcome is going to be? Those individuals that won't tap into everything that they have. And there's them. So the dark side is, just because of the way I phrase it, they think it's this evil and it's this bad thing and it's not. It's not. Think about the times where everything was going long. Nothing was going like. What kept you going? What kept you going? When there was no friends around, there was no family, you were in that place. What kept you going? All right. That was your dark energy. That was your dark side. And think about this. When does a new day start? At midnight. Is it light or dark out? Dark. So if you know, if a new day starts in the dark, why are you afraid to have, use your dark side for your new beginnings? Whoa. Whoa. It's not an evil thing. It's an evil thing if you don't recognize it. It's an evil thing if you allow it to become destructive. If it's an evil thing, if you use it for excuses. But if you harness it, it takes you to places that you couldn't even imagine. And every single winner in all folks, in all forms of life, they may not talk about it, but they've all tapped into that energy. The light energy, the dark energy, the subconscious energy, the conscious energy, they use all, they use everything. They use everything. And in order to have winning, winning requires you to do and use everything because you don't know one day if winning, not even a day. You don't know from minute to minute if winning is going to wear a halo or it's going to meet you with fangs. And if you can't deal with the halo, you definitely can't deal with the fangs. You can't deal with the fangs. You can't deal with the halo. And they may require different energy. They may require different energy. Yeah, the thing that I'm obsessed with is getting people to understand that nature has given you tools. I won't say whether they're good or bad tools, but rage is a tool. Anger exists for a reason. Aggression exists for a reason. And it feels different. And so I understand how the words light energy, dark energy come to be Star Wars has always been such a cool take on that where there's a seduction to the dark side.
There's A Seduction to the Dark Side (01:43:29)
And there are moments of time where that's going to be the thing that you need in that moment to get you through. I try to spend 80% of my time in the light and think of the beautiful things that I'm trying to create in the world. And that keeps me going until it doesn't. And then when it's dark and I'm scared and I'm broken and just exhausted, in those moments, it's thinking about the people that actively want me to fail. It's shifting over into an aggressive energy. It's shifting over into rage. And if you think about how you would react, if somebody attacked the ones that you love, it wouldn't be with diplomacy. It would be with ferocity. And to me, it's like acknowledging that millions of years of evolution have led to the moment where in a moment of crisis, what presents itself to you is aggression, is dominance, is rage, is attack. And if in those moments people view that as a thing to not be touched, a tool not to be used, that to me is a mistake. It's a huge mistake. People say you got to attack your goals. All right. But you got to control your feelings. They label us with all these different things that when it's to get what we want, it's always got to be in a positive light, a positive light, a positive light. But when you have individuals, like you said, they're trying to attack you. That attack you personally. That attack your work ethic. That attack your success.
Emotions And Relationships
Controlled Rage (01:45:12)
That are trying to take away everything that you've worked so hard to get to get. Are you only going to use the light or are you going to use your aggression? Are you going to use your controlled rage? Are you going to use those things to protect you? And if you haven't acknowledged your dark side and you haven't tapped into it and realized what it is and acknowledged it, just like winning has no loyalty and winning doesn't know your name, it's going to say, "Hey, I don't know who you are." To me, anger is a reaction to what somebody else said to you. It creates an emotion. All right. The dark side turns your anger into controlled rage. Now you're in control. You're in control. Now, how long can you stay in control? That's the difference. Are you going to burn out right away? All of a sudden you just let out all this rage? Or do you know how to control it and place it into the right places? Not only to win the battle, but to win that war. And we literally have a war going on every single moment. It may not be out in here, but there's a war that goes on in here all the time with ourselves. All the time. And you can't win that war with only light. You can't. Man, I agree so ferociously that it's one of those things. Whenever I talk about it, people get super weird. There is a high level of discomfort that people have around that idea. But I think that it's so powerful that failing to use it is sort of an acknowledgement of sort of lowering what is possible. And the people that get uncomfortable usually have the darkest size. They just never had, they feel like they're getting caught. They're like, they're trying to hide it. They're like, now all of a sudden they're like, whoa. Somebody just, he's just talking. I didn't know anybody else was like this. There's a lot of people out there like this. And we only, people only get acknowledged for it for all the destructive behavior that happens. They don't really get acknowledged for all the good that happens with it. And the people that have the ability to tap into that and get to not only help themselves but help everybody around you.
The Pursuit of Glory (01:47:54)
So to me, it's really a question of meaning and purpose. When I think about, so Lisa and I obviously paused for a very brief second and said, okay, we've now had the kind of financial success. And we said, we'd never work again on something that we didn't love if we hit this sort of dollar amount. And luckily before that I had realized that this is really just a game of neurochemistry. It really, like life, full stop is just how you feel about yourself and your life when you're by yourself. And so I knew I needed to engage in something that mattered. And this is why talking to you is always so powerful to me is you've got this setup where meaning and purpose matters. Without it, there will be not just something missing in your life. It will be a sucking wound of a void. Like with everything you have, you must address it. And if you look at the opioid, opioid, endemic pandemic, basically that is what happens when people have no meaning, no purpose in their life. They fill it with something. Neuro-neuro cocktail, right? So I knew that I needed to re-engage. But when I think about engaging in a way that gives me the neurochemical cocktail that I want, it really is going really, really hard for something. And I can acknowledge that does not seem completely universal. Some people don't have sort of the level that I have to take it to and I'm obsessed in. But if people look at me and they're sad, right, at how hard I work and how much I've given up for what I love, I will flip that and say the reason they think that is because they don't know what it feels like to pursue something that hard. And even though I know winning doesn't know my name, doesn't care about me, there's no loyalty. The pursuit of real glory, like just the pursuit of it is in and of itself un-intoxicate and is thoroughly joyful. Most people don't want to even get in the race because once you just explain to them, they're afraid of it. They're afraid of success. They're afraid of how good that's going to feel because it's something unique to them. It's something different. It's something they want. It's something they want to pursue. But in order to get in this unforgiving race, you're going to have to leave a lot of things behind. You have to leave a lot of people behind. You have to leave a lot of feelings behind. You can leave a lot of emotions behind. So the best way to describe those individuals is, and this is why you have a hard time. I won't say relating to them, but just understanding their thinking. Sometimes we relate to people in different ways all the time. As those individuals, their feelings are stronger than their mind. And for us, our minds are stronger than our feelings. So you think about the success that you had previously. Your feelings could have said, "You don't need to get out of bed anymore." If you chose every single day, you're like, "Your feelings could have said, "Why do you have to work more?" "Stay in bed." Your mind got you out of bed every single day because your mind was stronger than your feelings because you knew what your real purpose was, where your real win was. Even though you won previously, that may have not been your actual pursuit of the win that you wanted. You won that one and you're like, "What's next?" There's always a next. So your mind was stronger than your feelings. Your mind allowed you to make that decision. Feelings make people overthink over it. "Should I do this? Should I not get in the race?" It's going to be too hard. So they already talk themselves out of it. Most individuals, your mind will make a decision. So we're going to do this. Your feelings always make suggestions. They're always giving a suggestion. They're always kind of analyzing things. They're trying to see what's happening, what's going to go on. When you fail, your feelings give you excuses. Your mind makes you more resilient. You've given up a lot personally to play this game, to strive for winning.
Something I haven't heard from you before (01:53:13)
You told a story in the book that I hadn't heard before, which really hit me, which is you were packing to go. Yes. And your daughter walked in. Tell us that story. This is Tim Grover in a nutshell to me. The unflinching, "Here's the truth of it. Don't have to play if you don't want to, but here's what it costs if you want to play." Yeah. And, yeah. So when I was working with my professional athletes, it required me to do a lot of traveling, a lot of leaving it short notice. And this story gets me every time. So when people say, "It didn't hurt. It still hurts." I was packing for a trip. My daughter walks into her room. She says, "Dad, why do you travel so much?" I said, "Sweetheart, this is our provider for the family. This is how I take care of you and Mom. This is how I put food on the table." She looks at me and says, "Daddy, if I eat less, will you stay home more?" Now, people would think, in a fairy tale, or most people would say, "I unpack my suitcase. I'm not going to take this trip. I mean, let's go grab some ice cream or let's go out." I kept packing. I kept packing. Why? I had to set an example for her early of what it meant to win and what you have to leave behind sometimes in order to pursue what's unique to you.
She wanted to be reminded that I love her (01:55:32)
And I wanted her to understand that this is who I am. I can't be anybody else. I always want you to see the real dad, the real person. And I want to set an example for you. And I was fortunate enough that those sacrifices that I did make early, I had a conversation with her later on to tell her why I did all those things. And in a middle of a conversation, she stopped me. She goes, "I get it. I understand." She saw the results. She saw how it brought us closer together. She understood my dedication to my craft and what it took to excel and what it took to be different. And what it took to stand by unpopular decisions of others, knowing that every successful person that I've met, every successful person that I know had to make those decisions over and over again, that affect other individuals that are so close and so dear to them. All I'm trying to do is remind you that you are never, ever, ever, ever a victim unless you choose to be.
Empowerment And Self-Perception
You're never a victim (01:57:09)
Everything in your life will change. You're always in control, even if that's a lie. And I don't care if it is. Because the second I give away my power to somebody else, I'm no longer in control. And I refuse to do that.