Let’s take a breather and talk quotes.
Some topics and quotes that I offer color commentary on:
Mark Manson, author of Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, offers great one-liners relating to the clever title of his runaway bestselling book. This guy has really delivered a masterpiece and you should check it out. Mark, come on the podcast man: email email@example.com.
Tim Ferriss shares about having objectives and measurements for everything, and also on the dangers of email. Man, I feel that one, ouch! What would we do without email? Uh, be more productive a lot of the time? Ferriss is big on batching, which is a tough challenge at times, possibly due to humans being wired for that addictive hit of dopamine we get whenever we are exposed to fresh and novel stimulation in our environment. In primal times, it was a rustling in the bushes requiring our acuity. Today, each text message or new inbox arrival gives us that same hit of dopamine. We are drawn to novel stimulation as a hard-wired survival attribute.
More commentary shared on quotes from Sam Harris and Dan Millman, on the topic of separating who you are from your thoughts.
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Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.
“Indiscriminate, constant action. It’s one of the most destructive forms of laziness because it’s socially reinforced. That’s right – busy, busy, busy. ‘Oh, congratulations. You must be an important and highly productive person.”
Hey, it’s time for a breather show. I don’t know, that’s what I’m calling them. Taking a little breather from the longer duration podcasts. I don’t know about you, but I like to pick and choose my episodes from numerous favorite channels. Maybe I’ll do a show on my favorite show some day. But let’s say, I have 20 that I’m following and I’ll review their recent shows and download the ones I want. And so, I have this big line-up of downloaded shows, knowing I can play those anytime, including when I’m not with a good connection.
But sometimes, it gets a little intimidating when you see the length when you’re looking at the Joe Rogan Podcast and it says “180”, number of minutes. Oops, okay. “Do I have three spare hours for that?” A lot of times I make the time to do it, especially when I play shows at 1.5 speed or 1.7 speed on my fun app; Podbean, which allows you to set the speed. And when you play those shows quickly, you don’t really miss much if the people are talking normal speed. But sometimes when they talk highspeed like me, you have to slow down or when they’re saying something really important, slow down to normal speed.
Anyway, I’m trying to consume a lot of podcast probably like you. And once in a while, you want to have some short ones where you can just hit the play button and not have that intimidation factor of knowing, “Yes, this is a good show and someday I’ll listen to it, but maybe not right now.”
As you read from the iTunes description of the Get Over Yourself Podcast, you’ll find a lively mix of show formats. Long form interviews with super interesting guests, oh, peak performance presentations on diet, exercise, sleep, recovery and productivity. Some of those start out as breather shows and then if I’m talking for an hour on the benefits and how to get started with chest freezer, cold therapy, it doesn’t count as a breather show anymore, so it goes into the other category. Then finally, back to the iTunes description; brief breather shows where Brad gets you laughing, smiling and inspired to get over yourself and enjoy your life.
So, one thing I like to do is collect quotes, people throw them at me. I find them on people’s email signatures or I’m reading something really cool and extract a short concise statement that kind of encapsulates what I was reading about very nicely, highlighting some of my favorite people. So, I’m going to just read some quotes and do some color commentary on them, and it’ll make for a nice little show. Hopefully, you enjoy it.
First one is Mark Manson, the best-selling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. Wow, I love this guy’s game, man. If you haven’t heard of that book, go grab it. It’s on the best seller list nonstop, right up there at the top for a couple years now. It’s still going strong. I assume as people are spreading the word of mouth, that this guy’s take on life is really, really cool. And as you might discern from the title, he’s a little bit off the beaten path. I love the back-cover description, so I’m going to read that from the book.
It says, Manson makes the argument, that human beings are flawed and limited. And he writes, “Not everybody can be extraordinary. There are winners and losers in society and some of it is not fair and not your fault.” So, he advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. This he says, is the real source of empowerment. Once we embrace our fears, faults and uncertainties, once we stop running from and avoiding, and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage and confidence we desperately seek. And the title of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is really about deciding what things to give a fuck about, and then letting the rest of the stuff go. Especially, worrying and anxiety over what people are going to think about you. Oh my gosh, such a refreshing read. Very spicy, coming from the heart.
I listened to the audio book and heard him narrating it for extra bonus points, super fun. He talks a lot about relationships and his circuitous arduous route to his present-day status as happily married with a little child. But he was out there playing the game for a long time. And here’s a quote on that. “It feels good to win at games, but it feels better not to play any games.” Mark Manson, more from him. “Dark areas of the mind never go away, they just start to exert less influence.” First, you have to examine it in therapy, meditation, whatever. And then as soon as you identify it, that’s when you’re on the path to healing. That’s a little bit of me ad-libbing, but he mentioned that in a podcast. That the dark areas of the mind never go away.
I think the addicts know that and they speak carefully to say that they’re a recovering alcoholic rather than a healed alcoholic. You never hear him say that. So, it’s wonderful to acknowledge that you have your weaknesses, you have your predispositions to crash and burn and tailspin in your life, and you just have to manage those rather than think that you’re going to erase a lot of your basic nature just because you’re tired of it.
Good stuff. Next step is Tim Ferriss, the Tim Ferriss show, record breaking podcasts. I’m starting to like this guy more and more, especially his devoted efforts to help others. Putting up videos and self-help tools and tricks and techniques. Some of it’s a little over the top for me at times, but just like he says himself, “If you take this 500-page book or 600-page book, The 4-Hour Body …” he goes, “Pick and choose whatever you want and discard the rest.” I love that authentic stance when he’s putting out something.
Here’s his quote. This was one that really hit me hard. I’ll read it to you and let’s see if it hits home for you. “Indiscriminate, constant action is a form of laziness because you fail to do advanced planning and strategic thinking. It’s one of the most destructive forms of laziness because it’s socially reinforced.” That’s right – busy, busy, busy. Oh, congratulations. You must be an important and highly productive person. Not so. What happens if you engage in this indiscriminate, constant action is you will become an expert in trivial things. This is a travesty and a waste of life.
I also ad-libbed in the middle of that quote. Anyway, he says – this is coming from a podcast commentary extracted. “Work hard but apply it to the right things. Do everything with measurement and objectives.”
So, the thing that hit me hard was I’m maybe not a big guy on the regimented path and the measuring and objective of things that I’m doing. I like to go with the flow, be free-flowing. After all, I’m a writer. I have to tap into that creative process. I can’t be keeping a spreadsheet on my writing performance every day. That’s just not how it works for a lot of writers or a lot of people in the creative arts, musicians, even athletes. You got to kind of get into that flow state and see what happens and tap into that magic. However, there’s that other side where we’re engaging in a highly stressful, competitive, measuring and judging forces of the modern world, and it necessitates measuring and objecting, and it necessitates setting objectives, measuring, testing.
He talks all about his AB testing where he’s testing different headlines and different book titles and sending them to a focus group, and seeing what resonates best and coming up with his final message through that trial and error process. And I feel like I’m weak in this area and I really want to strive to do better. So, that was a really powerful quote, especially when it comes to … any guesses? Email, man.
Oh my gosh, can you raise your hand if you’re capable of spending every day, all day just engaging in email. I know it’s very important. It’s very wonderful. I do a huge chunk of my communication and my work through email and interacting with a remote team especially. But you know what, it can eat up your time, it can distract your focus. I find my brain very stressed out by the constant back and forth and the constant reaction that’s required when you’re navigating through your inbox. And then you end your day and realize that you didn’t generate anything unique and creative yourself. And especially in my role, I know some people, maybe, their job is to only be customer service and answer emails all day.
But generally speaking, just about everyone can have a hypothetical and hopefully a literal actual, prioritize to-do list sitting on their desk, coming in and taking top precedence. It’s a sacred scroll that you can have there in order of priority, what you intend to accomplish each day. We’re talking about a work day, a work situation. And if email’s on there, maybe it’s the most important people to email, respond to or to compose an original email for something on the outgoing side where you’re the creator.
So, I do pretty well with this sometimes and other times I get sucked into the vortex, that is email. And here’s Ferriss’ quote about email. “Email is everyone else’s agenda for your time.”
All right, how about some discussion about mindfulness with Sam Harris on his podcast with Joe Rogan. It was Joe Rogan, episode number 543. And if you want to jump in about the 35-minute mark, he gives you some really powerful, memorable quotes. He says, “Distinguish between who you are and your thoughts. Your thoughts are the stories about your pain. Notice them coming and going, but your thoughts are not you. You must separate yourself from your thoughts. You are merely the observer of your thoughts.”
So, if you have negative thoughts, anxiety, fears – relax, lean away and let them pass, or the energy of these negative thoughts will drag you down. Joe Rogan offered a little choice comment in there and he says that getting these empowering thoughts is all about momentum. So, you force yourself into positive habits and keep going from there, and it gets easier. Rather than psyching yourself out or being overcome with fear and anxiety so that you don’t act.
Geez, Dan Millman talked about this so many years ago, and I keep needing to reinforce it and hear people like Sam Harris express it that way. One great insight that Dan Millman had from one of his books was to pretend or to envision yourself living your life like you’re watching a great movie. And when you’re watching a great movie, you become totally engrossed in the story. You’re there, feeling the intensity of the character’s emotions. You’re all in with the movie. You forget about time passing. You’re in a cool theater and it’s just the most incredible experience. Maybe you’re shedding tears of joy or sadness regarding what’s happening in the story, but when the movie’s over, the lights come on, you get up out of the theater, walk out and go on with your life. And the same thing is a great resolve to do with what’s actually happening in your life.
It’s just like a great movie. Maybe there’s some sadness, you have a terrible day, a terrible tragedy. Maybe you have a great day, great celebration, but then you get up the next day and you’d go on with your life. You don’t get stuck in the past and ruminating on your thoughts. And Millman had another great add on for that. Of all people, to talk about being careful not to get too mindful about your life, he says, “Yeah, don’t get too caught up in your thoughts or being mindful, just get out there and do it.
Good stuff. All right, how’s that for the length? Do we have time? I think we’re at a nice little 12-minute mark and we’ll get more breather shows coming into the channel in the future. Thanks, let me know what you think – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thank you for listening.