What a privilege it has been to have featured so many wonderful guests on this show! I have had so much fun connecting with such a wide-ranging group of people, all from different walks of life, and each one bringing their unique knowledge from a different area of expertise to the table. In part 2 of Highlights from Get Over Yourself, I’ll be sharing the standout quotes and moments from previous shows. Here we go!


Toréa Rodriguez is a health coach and life coach and we covered a lot of interesting topics in her episode. She also happens to be a tremendous source of knowledge when it comes to dark chocolate! See the show notes for links to my favorite chocolate companies right now.


Mike Mutzel has some awesome YouTube videos. Some highlights from his episode:

  • “If you’re active, you don’t need to fast as much, or as long.”
  • “When you underdo calories, sometimes that’s just as unhealthy as overdoing them.”


Dr. Wendy Walsh is a 2017 Time magazine co-person of the year and host of the Mating Matters podcast. Here’s one incredible insight she made during her episode: “I actually think kids are not being put first. What I see are parents in their own narcissistic adult lives, and not making the necessary sacrifices for their kids….Stop, grow up, and be an adult for 20 years.”


Joel Jamieson has been shaking up the fitness world for a long time with his radical notion that athletes are training too hard and need to emphasize rest and recovery! Another thing I love about Joel’s fitness regimen is his emphasis on “rebound workouts” as they will actually help you speed up recovery, and are way more effective than just sitting on the couch and doing nothing. He is a true pioneer in his field, so be sure to take a look at his website and listen to his Get Over Yourself episode here.


It was so great to have Rick Mouw, president of Almost Heaven saunas (my absolute favorite brand of sauna) on the show. We talked about the health benefits that come from intense sweating, and he shared his favorite tip for taking the sauna experience to the next level, by incorporating essential oils (he suggests eucalyptus!) into your sauna experience. He also revealed that sweating in a sauna can also help with skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, and even improves skin tone!


My shows with Dr. Tommy Wood (part 1 and the second part here) are full of many helpful insights. Some of the best advice he offers is also the simplest, like “Eat real food” and “Spend less time sitting. Walk more.” He also talks about the book The Myth of Stress, so add that to your reading list!


Dr. John Gray: “There’s nothing more powerful than a great sex life.”

John has a truly special way of fusing the spiritual with the scientific, and it was such a treat to interview him three times. Not only is he an absolute expert in his field, but he has the most phenomenally inquisitive mind, and that makes our conversations so informative and enjoyable. Check out his Get Over Yourself episodes (here, here, and here) because you definitely do not want to miss what he has to say!


Amberly Lago. If you want inspiration, look no further than Amberly, the author of True Grit and Grace: Turning Tragedy into Triumph. Her episode is a master class in mindfulness, and you will be in awe of her resilience and strength when you hear her story. Amberly talks about the terrible car accident she got into; how she refused to let doctors amputate her leg and instead endured 34 surgeries, and then unfortunately contracted Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome. She shares how, after her accident, she created a “toolbox” out of necessity, in order to cope with the reality of dealing with chronic pain daily. One of Amberly’s great pieces of advice is: “It’s okay to rest, just not quit.”


Scott Carney, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength. During Scott’s Get Over Yourself episode, we talked about cold therapy, his fascinating book, and how people are “addicted to the idea of comfort.” Scott points out that, “In the last 150 years, we basically factored out discomfort from our lives. And that has, shock of shocks, made our bodies weaker.”


Ashley Merryman. Ashley is a mega bestselling author and we had a great time getting into a conversation about kids, parenting methods, “effort-based praise,” and pursuing peak performance. Ashley really likes to challenge conventional methods and wisdom, and is more focused on improvement, on making continued effort towards improvement, over anything else.

Enjoy checking out these shows that you may have missed, or may just want a refresher on, and don’t forget to look through the show links if you want to try some of the chocolate brands I recommended for yourself!



Let’s learn about bean to bar dark chocolate. [00:30]

You want to stave off the accumulation of belly fat. It’s more than calorie restriction.  [03:02]

Are children getting enough attention or too much? [07:29]

Joel Jamieson thinks athletes are training too hard and need to emphasize rest and recovery. He uses rebound workouts. [08:51]

Having a home sauna is a wonderful health and social addition to your life. [13:47]

When you call on the flight or fight response, you’re primed for performance, but if you call on it too frequently, the inflammation kicks in. [18:22]

Spend more time walking than sitting. Lift stuff. [24:54]

Recalibrate the way you respond to stress. [27:38]

Put down your phone and socialize. Have sex. [31:09]

Eat real food. Most of the detrimental effects of the Western diet dome from food processing. [34:12]

As men, all we want is to feel we have been successful in making a woman happy. Males, if you feel a negative emotion, it is not a time to speak. [37:04]

Amberly Lago talks about turning tragedy into triumph, turning her pain into gratitude after her horrible accident. [40:17]

The power of our mind can override our wimpy-ness. In the last 150 years, we have factored out discomfort from our lives. [46:59]

Ashley Merryman counters some traditional beliefs about child rearing. Praise the effort. Don’t worry about the result. [54:04]



Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the highlight show. Number two, I hope you enjoyed the first one where we get into some interesting clips and quips from my many great interview guests. Oh, it’s so fun to listen to these excerpts and reflect on the great privilege that we’ve enjoyed to have so many people from different walks of life and areas of expertise, share their message on the show. So let’s get right to it. With health expert Torea Rodriguez. She’s a health coach life coach had a great healing story that she detailed on her interview, but she also has a tremendous interest in expertise in bean to bar dark chocolate. So that is what we’re going to learn about here. Get you excited, pumped up, motivated to become a connoisseur. I’m throwing out a few of my favorite websites for you to hit after you listened to this nice excerpt and go listen to the show.

Brad (00:01:02):
I’d say my favorite. It’s been a while. Now that they’re on the top spot is Lillie Belle farms.com in Oregon. L I L L I E B E L L E. The dark star 80% bar. Don’t think you can beat it. Just found a new one. Thanks to Seth Godin called askinosie.com A S K I N O S I E. I also liked the offerings at coracaoconfections.com. Hukitchen.com H U kitchen.com, Keller Manni chocolate.com. That’s the famous restauranteur Thomas Keller in Napa. So K E L L E R M A N N.I. Ritual chocolate.com. Just found them too. Great stuff and TAZA chocolate.com T A Z aA So there are some websites for you to hit. And here we go with Torea

Torea (00:01:55):
I think I’ve always loved chocolate. Like I was the one going after the special darks at Halloween, trying to pick those out, you know, from all the other stuff. So I’ve always been a chocolate fan, but it really wasn’t until, gosh, probably around 2014 when I was doing my FDN training, did we discover we were still living in Silicon Valley and we discovered a place in Palo Alto called the Chocolate Garage. And so I go to Sunita de Toureil, who is the founder of the Chocolate Garage. I owe her a lot of things for her, educating me on the rest of the story so that I can make better choices on chocolate. Plus she amazed my palate every single time I went in there and it was just a real fun experience to start testing these bars that were made from beans that came from different countries and different farms and different processes from the makers. And it can get into cacao just as intensely as you can get into wine. It’s um, it’s a fun hobby. That’s how I got into it.

Brad (00:03:02):
Hey, let’s hear a nice excerpt from Mike Mutzel of High Intensity Health. He has some of the very best YouTube videos on all manner of healthy living, healthy eating, overhead, his YouTube channel, beautiful high definition resolution. He travels all over the world to interview the leading experts. So he’s got a great thing going at YouTube. One of the early leaders in cranking out awesome content. He’s an expert on diet, ketogenic eating. He wrote a book about belly fat. So he’s going to mention the title and I would go grab that because it’s such a huge health concern. These days. You want to stave off the accumulation of belly fat because adding a little bit begets, adding more because of its inflammatory nature and its ability to interfere with the burning of stored body fat for energy. Let’s listen to more from Mike Mutzel

Mike (00:03:59):
For you because you’re active. You don’t need to fast as much or for as long. Um, just something as simple as like compressing your feeding window to say 10 hours or 12 hours, which is eating eight to eight, you know, something simple like that

Brad (00:04:12):
Because going over that 12 hours, this is Dr. Panda’s becoming prominent with this contention that we want to have this maximum window that doesn’t exceed 12 hours because our digestive systems would turn off. And that was a revelation to me because we’re talking about anything that goes down the pipe. Anything that’s seen abiotic needs to be processed such as herbal tea with no calories starts the clock. And then that little square of dark chocolate I have at 9:30 at night. So my tea at 7:00 AM. I was missing that window quite a bit, even when I was fasting keto, doing this, doing that. So you, uh, you buy into that, does that sound like a good starting point to hit strive for a maximum of 12 hours?

Mike (00:04:53):
So I think, um, a minimum of 12 hours I think is good. Um, but for some of the more overweight people that are not, uh, exercise tolerance and all that they might want to go for longer. Um, but yeah, I mean, it’s, it has to do with, you know, these whole circadian clock system and it’s super, super fasting stuff. Um, yeah. Put that as a big part of the whole belly fat effect book that I wrote in 2014, but, uh, yeah. So, so you could get away someone that’s more physically active like yourself. You may want to hit, you may not want to under eat because performance is one of your metrics, it’s your goal. And so when you under-do calories, that’s just as not unhealthy as overdoing them. You know what I mean? So for you, you might want to maybe have more dietary fat or, um, you know, have more carbohydrates around exercise.

Speaker 3 (00:05:40):
And because we’re you know, again, we’re using these fuels carbs are not always bad. You know, when I lift weights, for example, I like to have like, and this is what I do when I was bike racing is dried avocados. Apricot’s, you know, mangoes and avocados. That would be interesting. Um, but yeah, I’d have, like, in my back pocket, you know, when you ride these jerseys have little pockets, I would always put dried fruit in there, and I would never have a lot of carbs before, but as soon as we started riding, I’ll just have like a dried apricot, um, dried figs were my favorite because you could really suck on them for a long time. And gosh, it tastes so good when you’re about to bonk and you have a dry piece of fruit, it really kind of kicks you back. Um, but yeah, so, so diets do look definitely different for the active versus the people that are very overweight.

Mike (00:06:25):
Um, and again, so it’s not like starving yourself or the calorie deficit totally. But again, you, you know, kind of, I think it’s, you know, some people will say, well know, keto only works, you know, an intermittent fasting works because what you’re just cutting calories, but there’s something different from overt calorie restriction and intentional intermittent fasting, or time restricted feeding, like they’re different. I know it sounds like if you look at the sum total of the calories over a course of a week, they might be similar, but the intentional calorie restriction, it has adverse changes to your metabolism compared to, um, you know, try to compress your feeding window. There. They are different metabolically. And I know that’s hard for people to kind of grapple with. And that’s where a lot of the naysayers say about the keto diet is, Oh, well, of course there’s calorie restricting.

Mike (00:07:11):
Like, that’s why you lose weight, but it’s like, no, no, no, no, it’s a little bit more intentional than just like eating carrots and celery till your belly fills up. You know what people do when they calorie restrict. It’s totally different than that. And there’s a different metabolic phenotype that’s created as a result,

Brad (00:07:29):
Dr. Wendy Walsh, 2017 Time magazine co person of the year host of the Meeting Matters podcast. And, Oh, you get her warmed up. She will start throwing down, coming at you with some spicy content, always entertaining and insightful. And here is a very short excerpt, but one that’s going to be really memorable if you’re a parent where she counters the typical notion that we’re in the age of the helicopter parent and parents are too involved and they do too much. And they to let their kids be free. Wendy says, uh, wait a minute. Let’s look at something a little differently. Here. She goes, going off.

Wendy (00:08:11):
I actually think that kids are not being put first. What I see are parents in their own narcissistic adult lives and not making the necessary sacrifices for their kids. Listen, we’re on the planet for 80 years. If we’re lucky and healthy, we get to give 20 of them to our kids, right? That’s it. And the other 60 go to those parties find new partners have fun, but why are you dragging your kids through all your romantic transgressions? Why are you dragging your kids while you’re trying to grow up and find yourself, stop! Grow up and be an adult for 20 years? That’s it

Brad (00:08:51):
Here comes Joel Jamieson, famed MMA trainer up there in the Seattle area. He has a wonderful website called Eight Weeks out, the number eight weeks out.com. And he’s been shaken up the fighting industry for a long time with his radical notions, that athletes are training too hard and need to emphasize rest and recovery. So he’s come up with these interesting rebound workouts. It’s a concept that going into the gym and doing a specialty design workout can actually help you speed recovery over and above sitting on the couch and eating food and watching TV. And this is such an amazing, a breakthrough insight for me because I have always associated maximum recovery with just stillness and not moving. I mean, how can you beat that? Joel says you can beat that with his rebound workouts, really great commentary. This is cutting edge stuff. You’re going to love it. And he’s been validating these insights for a long time with heart rate variability monitoring. It’s one of the true pioneers in that field of tracking HRV heart rate variability. He’s got an app called Morpheus, check it out and listen to Joel, giving you a glimpse of the cutting edge, the future of athletic training, where recovery is at the forefront, rather than pushing yourself harder and harder to get fitter. Uh, finally some insights that make sense in the fitness world. Here we go with Joel. Thanks

Joel (00:10:20):
Essentially what I started doing since I’ve been using HIV for so long, was I started looking at what are the things that we see that cause people to HRV to kind of go up as, or indication of, you know, putting more energy towards recovery essentially turned on that recovery system we talked about and then seeing them recover well the following day. And then I started trying out different things in the gym and essentially found a combination of breathing exercises that turned on the parasympathetic system, uh, getting blood flow, going through the system, just movement and activity and different patterns by doing it in a lower impact type of way. So things that minimize the ecentric pounding. So medicine ball throws and, uh, low-impact stuff like the bike or VersaClimber or things like that. And then, uh, you know, strength training, but only for limited number of sets.

Joel (00:11:04):
And then going through a really comprehensive cooldowns to bring everything back down. I just kind of started playing around with different workout structures and patterns to see, could we get the body to shift into that recovery state quicker? And essentially that’s kind of where this idea of, of rebound training was born. It was just, can we use exercise as a tool to speed the recovery process up? And the funny thing was, you know, you’d always kind of see when you’re tapering, right? Like you see your recovery start to move, but you start tapering and usually that’s as decreasing volume. The question is, are you, is your recovery going up because you’re suddenly kind of volume back or because you were just doing these shorter, you know, more intensely focused, but less volume based workouts. And part of it, I think is that so essentially the whole thing is is like, can we use exercise by introducing just enough of it to promote what circulation and blood and some get some hormones going and you’ll get our autonomic nervous system shifts into that parasympathetic state without going so much over that.

Joel (00:12:00):
We burned them with energy. That again, now we’re actually taking away from recovery. So again, that’s kind of where this whole idea of rebound training was born. And it was just this light bulb went off as I started to look at some of the HIV data. And I started looking at some of the, uh, the military had done some testing in this area, and we basically just saw that there was actually some patterns to, to what we could do to get the body, to shift more into that recovery state quicker. And that’s where the template or the pattern I put together to rebound train. And the great thing is it’s flexible. You know, it’s not like you have to do X, Y, and Z exercise. Like you have to have 10 different specialized pieces of equipment. I mean, you really don’t, it’s more about just choosing the intensity.

Joel (00:12:37):
That’s appropriate going into some of the breathing and mobility drills that, uh, uh, I worked with Mike Robertson, bill Hartman to, to, you know, go through and practice and implement, and then, you know, doing some strength training, that’s primarily concentric base. So an Olympic lift or deadlift or something primarily where you have less of an ecentric load to it. Cause that’s where more of the damage goes, uh, ended up in, comes into place. So it’s just been a journey of figuring out how do we use exercise as a positive reinforcement of recovery rather than something that takes away from it. And so far it’s been really effective for telling people I, I use it all the time and we’ve, uh, you know, got a couple thousand more PC users that we’re experimenting more and more with than with like some more face gives you your actual recovery zone, right?

Joel (00:13:17):
So you just go into the recovery zone for 20, 30 minutes and go through these exercises and you see recovery score go up and you see the benefits of it. So it’s been really cool to start implementing something I think more and more people should, should do. And I think you’ll, you’ll, you’ll quickly find that, Hey, I come out of the gym feeling way better and you know, it’s also more, more motivating to come out of the gym. Like, wow, I feel good right now. Cause I think that’s part of our problem too, is someone is hardcore and exercise. They don’t care if they feel like shit, they’re still gonna do it.

Brad (00:13:47):
Hey, let’s talk to Rick Mouw, the president of Almost Heaven Saunas. This is a wonderful full length episode where you’re going to get all psyched up to go get yourself. One of his convenient home use barrel sauna kits. Very affordable. They ship it to you, you assemble it and boom, you’re in the sauna business. Uh, I love mine so much. I’m happy to talk about it and uh, get you interested too. Cause it’s a life changer. It’s a great social gathering spot. When you can’t go to the gym, I guess you can do safe social distancing across the sauna these days, 2020. Uh, but Rick kind of does a good job enumerating some of the physical health benefits, but also you can sense his enthusiasm just for the, the whole experience, the intangibles too, of just relaxing, taking a deep breath in there, pouring the water onto the rocks, get in the steam. You deserve it. Listen to the clip, go look up the entire show. If you want to get more excited, look at almostheaven.com and their cool kits that you can get in your backyard. Yeah. Fun times in the sound of Rick Mouw,

Rick (00:15:00):
There’s many benefits I’ve experienced personally, those that use saunas regularly would attest to this. And of course it’s promoted both, you know, on, on the web, but also in many medical studies. Um, first of all, you know, when your, when your heart starts beating faster and that heart high temperature, you’re pushing more blood through your, through your body. And by doing that, your, you know, the blood vessels are expanding. You’re getting improved circulation and that can lead to improvements and just how you feel, of course, but also in, uh, muscle relief and just feeling better about, and more relaxed and so forth. It leads to improved skin tone, everything from just having, you know, darker complexion if you’re using on a regular basis, but also the sweating many studies indicate that it helps with, uh, acne. It helps was, uh, psoriasis, improved, uh, skin tone.

Rick (00:16:01):
Uh, all of these things are side benefits. Of course they vary from individual to individual, but they’re pretty common across the board, uh, joint and muscle relief. You know, people with a sore sore back or sore muscles where, or it’s different than an infrared. Infrared, as I said, it doesn’t get hot, hot, but it also directs the heat just at one direction, one place, whereas a sauna the entire room gets hot. And the higher you get into the sauna, the hotter it is. And then there’s the respiratory aspect. When you sprinkle water on those hot rocks, you get this, just this incredible burst of steam. And if you mix a lot of eucalyptus or one of the other essential oils in the water, you sprinkle that and you get the breathe that in it’s like, uh, you know, in a, in a room with a, uh, delightfully smelling vaporizer.

Rick (00:16:56):
And it, it dissipates quickly because all that moisture gets absorbed in that hot air. And that’s the sauna experience. It’s, it’s continually sprinkling water on the rocks as desired. And then that, that makes it a wet sauna. And once that burns off, it’s a dry sauna and it’s just back and forth. In addition to them stepping out of the sauna and cooling off and in back in, it’s just a, it’s always a back and forth. And you and I already talked about some of the health benefits of the sweating, the intense sweating that grows out in, in those temperatures. Um, as an athlete, you know, you, you are body sweats for really two reasons you sweat to cool off. And that obviously is very, very important. Uh, but you also sweat when you’re, you’re not feeling well when you’re, when you have a fever and what your body’s doing is, is trying to, to, um, detox. It’s trying to bleed out all those or sweat out all those impurities that are, that are making you ill or making you feel the discomfort. And so it’s a very real experience. And by artificially elevating the temperature in your body, by being in this hot room, you, you force your body to sweat and it, it you’ve experienced this, this phenomenon you would get when you work out intensely or when you’re ill and you sweat. But the benefits of sweating, it’s a purification

Brad (00:18:22):
Here. It goes, Dr. Tommy Wood from our wonderful in person visit at his home at the University of Washington, doing great pediatric brain research and also living that healthy athletic lifestyle. You’ve heard him on the show. We had two full episodes, I think three. And then I recorded a full length summary episode with his great insights. And what I like about him is Tommy is very measured and reasonable, sensible. He sees all sides of the, uh, of the debate and the argument, and just tries to dispense advice. That can be simple takeaways for busy people that aren’t living and breathing all this stuff and digging into each research study that comes out and debating who’s right, and who’s wrong. So we kind of cut to the chase with D.r. Tommy and in this clip, we are discussing together the important topic of liquidating your assets tapping into that fight or flight response too frequently, and effing yourself up accordingly.

Speaker 1 (00:19:26):
So you’re going to get a nice boat analogy. Cause I guess the boat was on my mind that day. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a boat? Yeah. Max out your credit cards and go get one tomorrow. You know, you can do it. Okay. We’ll take that analogy into the human body and your decisions about stress and rest and how much you want to pile on. And this is a nice lengthy clip where we finish all the way with Dr. Tommy’s list of five simple things you can do to live a healthier, happier life. We might get a border impersonation in there for a short time and a sneak preview, get rid of junk food, eat real food. That’s Tommy’s marching orders. You’re going to get a ton of benefits from that. Everything else is splitting hairs. Really. So when you’re in this fight or flight hot wired state, that’s an inflammatory state, your, your elevated levels of systemic inflammation overall, you got heart rate respiration, fuel usage. Uh, would you call that an inflammatory state?

Tommy (00:20:33):
In the longterm? Yeah, so, so in, in the short term, uh, potentially not, it depends what, what else might be going on. So if you’re, if you’re doing exercise again, that you know, is that is definitely inflammatory, uh, but with, uh, positive consequences, such as remodeling of the muscle tissues, uh, reducing, um, reducing, uh, basel levels of inflammation, uh, sort of resets the inflammatory processes or the immune system. So, so it kind of depends what else is going on. Uh it’s when, uh, any S but then any stimulus like that can become, uh, chronically inflammatory because of, um, you know, be it a resistance to certain things or an increase in certain mediators over time. So again, it’s not that one thing is necessarily bad. It’s just that continuous exposure.

Brad (00:21:23):
Okay. So I guess you could say when you’re, when you’re in that fight or flight, you are primed for peak performance, which is a thumbs up all the way around, whether it’s the speech, uh, and the workplace or the athletic event, and then calling upon it too frequently, then you, I mean, liquidating your assets is great when it’s time to buy the, the, the new boat, but then when you have to get your bills paid the following week, then you pay the price.

Tommy (00:21:51):

Brad (00:21:52):

Tommy (00:21:52):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Brad (00:21:53):
And I’m glad I went down to the Harbor before the podcast to have this boat analogy. Cause I’m looking at this boat going, man, that’s a nice boat, you know,

Tommy (00:22:02):
But so, so that’s exactly it, you know, we can liquidate some assets that allows us to perform well. However, you can’t keep going back to the, well, eventually, eventually you’re going to run out at some point, you need to start saving again so that you can pay for, you know, pay for the boat payments. Right. So that’s the, it’s a,

Brad (00:22:21):
I paid cash for the boat.

Tommy (00:22:23):
Okay. Well, I’ll tell you that.

Brad (00:22:25):
Now what about my, my rent mortgage food? Yeah.

Tommy (00:22:30):
Yeah. So, so the, um, the, I guess the, the point is that there will always be a time where you need to start building back up or paying, paying things off. Right. And so you can accumulate huge amounts of credit card debt, um, or you can sell very, you can sell everything you have so that you can buy the boat with cash, but then, you know, you, you may have had to sell stuff that you actually needed to use the next week. Um, so, you know, maybe you sold the car to buy the boat and then we can’t get to work. Right.

Brad (00:23:05):
So 20 years later, your, your kids got no money for college.

Tommy (00:23:08):
Yeah, exactly. So, so the, the analogy certainly make, uh, it certainly makes a lot of sense. You think about, uh, all the, it’s all about, um, short term gain at the expense potentially of, of, uh, longterm performance or long term health. And I think, you know, particularly going back, uh, back to the well repeatedly, um, in terms of sports performance or sports training, um, that’s the thing that, that, there’s the, it’s the most tangible way to explain what we see in people in terms of their longterm, uh, health issues. And, and, but it doesn’t need to just be, it doesn’t need to just be exercise. It can be, um, it can be work stress, it can be financial stress, it can be social isolation, you know, all of those things compound one another. Um, and then, you know, again, you end up with a point where you can’t pay the bills, there’s all these things that we’re doing that sabotaging our sleep.

Tommy (00:24:04):
So, you know, exposure to bright light at night, or, um, exercise late at night, or, you know, getting stressed about things late at night, still checking work emails, um, or, you know, not having a dark enough room to sleep in, or, you know, uh, other things like noises that, that are gonna, that are gonna keep you awake and, or a room that’s too hot to sleep. And so, you know, we’re in Seattle, there’s no AC it’s kind of hot in the, in the, in the, in the middle of summer in the nicest, there’s like 80 degrees in the bedroom. So we have like multiple fans kind of blowing just to kind of get it, get it cool in there because that’s a huge part of sleep is his body temperature coming down. So all of these different reasons by sort of external and internal, uh, really seem to be sabotaging our sleep. But again, then not that difficult to fix, it just requires you to, you know, sort of focus on it a little bit.

Brad (00:24:54):
Number one, sleeping, Number two. I like how you grouped all these together in move more lift, walk, sprint, jump climb. So it sounds like we’re talking about workouts and general movement together.

Tommy (00:25:06):
Yeah, definitely. And when I was trying to, a few years ago, I tried to build this, um, build this kind of thought process for how we should structure movement for longevity. And it was kind of, it was the upside down movement pyramid. So basically, and the reason it was upside down and it’s cause you, as you add, you started at the top, which is kind of like the fat bit. And as you added layers, obviously gets more pointed at the bottom, then it becomes more unstable. So that’s why it was upside down. Um, so the first one is just sit less, you know, spend less time setting. So standing or crouching or whatever. So like, you know, I spend most of my times, you know, at a standing desk, but I’ll be in lots of different positions while I worked during the day. So just sit less and then walk more.

Tommy (00:25:54):
So like I talked about the hats, they spend two to three hours a day walking. Um, you know, you might not be able to do that much walking, but regularly just, you know, every hour, a five to 10 minute walk has been shown to have a huge number of benefits and, and lots of studies. So just walk more. Um, and then you should lift stuff like you should go and lift heavy things, and that could be your own body weight. If it’s off, you know, the, the limb of a tree or do some pushups or squats, or, you know, there’s some weights to the gym or rocks, or can be literally anything you want to left. It doesn’t matter what the implement is. And that’s because strength is so important for longterm health. And then, and then sprints, um, if you’re doing brisk walking, then you’ve gotten some low level of aerobic work in there.

Tommy (00:26:32):
And then you’re going to add some short sprints, um, for that, you know, that top end that glycolytic working in the work, the other energy systems again, and you also get cardiovascular benefits from sprinting and they can super easy and they don’t need to be, you can do them on a bike or whatever implement that you have, and they don’t need to be sort of put you any risk of any injury or anything while you, you know, anybody can sprint and this, again, it’s all relative to your current fitness level. And then if you’re doing all of that and you have the time and the capacity and the space and the health to do it, then I add like the chronic cardio, like the long biking and cycling and swimming and running and all that kind of stuff, because once you’ve done all the other stuff, you know, the additional health benefits from that kind of exercise, you know, there is some absolutely, but you know, you don’t need as much of it. So I that’s always like if I was structuring something for just for somebody who wants to be healthy for as long as possible, that’s the final piece of the puzzle. If you’re doing everything else, like eating enough and sleeping enough, and you’re doing your strength training and some sprints and all that kind of stuff,

Brad (00:27:34):
it’s often the first piece instead of the final.

Tommy (00:27:37):

Brad (00:27:38):
Sleep enough, move more. Number three, reduce stress, meditate. Do yoga, nap, spend time outdoors.

Tommy (00:27:46):
Yeah. And so that’s, that’s again, I guess one, one in that description, which I’ve done previously, I guess I don’t expand enough on the fact that stress is subjective. So you are exposed to things that can make you stress be to have to make them stress. So it’s kind of a, um, there’s a book called the Myth of Stress that goes over some of that. So again, it’s, you know, can you recalibrate how you respond to certain things and, you know, there’s definitely, so I just think about conversations that I have with my wife and one of us will get like really stressed about something. And the other will be like, why is this stressing you out? It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. So if you can start to recalibrate the way that you respond to potential stresses, that’s going to be, that’s going to be super important, but then equally finding ways to just, um, you know, focus internally and reduce some of those stresses.

Tommy (00:28:36):
So meditation is great. Yoga is great. Just being outside, like, but barefoot on the grass, you know, there’s just some, some amazing things that happened to have sunlight. You know, there’s, we haven’t mentioned sunset sunshine yet in bright light during the day, which is just super, super important. Again, if it’s circadian rhythm and a sun is really important. I mean, people think about vitamin D but also nitric oxide and you know, all these other great things that come from being exposed to sunlight. So all of that can, can then help reduce our total stress burden.

Brad (00:29:06):
I think when we’re most stressed is when we need these the most and we’re least likely to do it. And I found times in my life where I somehow just had to force myself to get out. It might’ve been, cause the dogs need an outing and you don’t realize that you need the outing too. You’re just like, Oh, I better stop working. Cause these dogs are going crazy, chewing up my couch. I’m going to go take them out. And wow, did I get a positive benefit from that? Even I am not thinking because I’m too stressed to think about how I need to balance my day.

Tommy (00:29:35):
So the dog, or as my favorite health tool, they need, he needs a little show that on the podcast because I’m like, they need to go outside. We need to go outside. You know, they, they need to, you can eat when they, you know, they have, you know, usually healthy eating patterns. And if you’re a good dog owner, they’ll eat an ancestrally, appropriate diet was, should be meat-based. You know, they, they are obligate carnivores in general. Um, and, and they love to play. So I was on another podcast talking about this recently, you know, the importance of play in humans and the way that I make sure that I get my plan is that I play, we wrestle with my dog and I have to, you know, 70 pound dogs, we can get down on the floor and wrestle. And it’s just one of those things that I’m counting as exercise, but stress reduction, movement I’m outside, you know, all that kind of stuff comes into play, uh, just by, just by, uh, having a dog. So, so yeah, they can, they can do all kinds of great stuff.

Brad (00:30:31):
We definitely got some play in before we hit me. When Bowen saw me at the door, I’m like, what’s up player. I mean a white boxer. It’s one of the most beautiful animals of all time and fuck the AKC. If they don’t recognize it, they don’t recognize the white boxer.

Tommy (00:30:47):
That’s crazy. So people don’t, people don’t have a generally have them just because they’re not recognized by the American kennel club, which is crazy. I mean,

Brad (00:30:56):
You know why though? It’s because they would win Westminster every year. It would be unfair to all other breeds. It’d be like best in show. Once again, it’s the white boxer who can compete.

Tommy (00:31:05):
They go, they go to Crufts and wipe the floor with everybody. Yeah, that’s right.

Brad (00:31:09):
Okay. Number four, socialize with an S. Love it. Put down the iPhone, have fun with friends and family. Have sex ever. You sit, I have sex and think this very funny. Okay. Number four.

Tommy (00:31:27):
Yeah. I think we’ve kind of covered a lot of that. Both from, you know, there’s lots.

Brad (00:31:32):
We talked about the different positions.

Tommy (00:31:34):
Oh yeah. We covered that. W uh, uh, Brad took some photos, so he’ll, he’ll, there’ll be on the show notes, um, just in terms of the mental health aspects, and then also the physiology, you know, socializing, uh, human contact, touching other people, hugging people, having sex. Like it’s just this silent, amazing things that come and we can like make it scientific, you know, there’s the studies that exist. I could talk about the studies that do that, but just in reality, we know how much better we feel when somebody gives us a hug. We know how much better we feel usually after we’ve had, you know, had sex or some kind of contact or interaction with another human who, who we love. So that stuff is just in, you know, incredibly important.

Speaker 7 (00:32:17):
And it’s one of those things. It’s often the missing piece, um, when somebody has their diet dialed in and the exercise dial down and their supplements stacked out in and all that kind of stuff. Um, you know, the, the, that’s, that’s the, that’s the missing piece, which is often the case. And that I actually just going to quickly go back. I forgot to mention something in, in the, in the stress, um, the way you approach your work is super important. We may have talked, uh, I’ve had, uh, somebody on our podcast, a friend of mine called James Hewitt, who talks about the cognitive middle gear, which is basically constantly task switching, like, uh, email to Facebook, uh, to doing this other thing. It was doing this other thing. Um, and it’s essentially the same as that gray zone of training around lactate threshold that we talked about, which is like super tough on the guys, super tough to recover from.

Tommy (00:33:06):
But actually the training benefit is also minimal, but that’s where, you know, the, the cognitive effects were also the cognitive load. You can think about it the same. So like the high cognitive load, which is like your sprint training was you want to do in short bursts and that’s like super focused on one task. You get that task done, and then it’s done, whereas like the low cognitive Bose stuff, which is kind of like your aerobic, MAF training. And that’s when you’re kind of, you know, sitting around kind of letting stuff, marinade, kind of, you know, you’re going to be maximally creative, you know, stuff, you know, is going to come to you to sort of like, you know, out for outfit out for a walk, just kind of thinking, we don’t spend very much time doing that. We need to spend more time doing that.

Tommy (00:33:44):
But then we spend all our time in that cognitive middle gear, just constantly switching between tasks, never having stuff, you know, finished on time, constantly worrying about all these things, having to do multiple tabs open on the computer, all this kind of stuff going on at the same time. That’s how we work nowadays. And that’s the kind of, that’s where we get where we are the least productive, but it’s the, it’s the most mentally taxing, just like, you know, that, that really hard threshold training. So restructuring the way you work is a big part of that, the stress piece. So I didn’t mention that. So I want it to,

Brad (00:34:12):
Oh gosh, you’re hurting my feelings, man. That was huge. I mean, I find myself in that, in that crappy middle gear, and I do think it’s more stressful and more exhausting to go back and forth. Yeah. So I’m going to, I’m going to set a commitment right now. What about you guys, listeners? Let’s do this. I mean, forget that cognitive middle gear and shut the email off, work on your peak performance tasks for the day and then go back into multitasking mode. Oh my God. Brilliant insight. Love it. Okay. Yeah. Number five is eat real food.

Tommy (00:34:45):
Yeah. And I mean, it’s as simple as that, I think, um, there there’s so much infighting in all the different spheres of people trying to improve the way, the way we eat. You know, we have the plant based guys. We have the paleo guys, we have the low carb and keto guys, who are you? You know, then the talking about amount of carbs versus fat versus protein. And you know, how all of that is going to make a big difference to our health. And in reality, I think that the benefits of one is really minor compared to just not eating processed foods. Like most of the detrimental effects of, um, the Western diet come from food processing. So that can be the carbohydrates and large insulin spikes. It’s the, the, um, the vegetable oils, like I never saw an oily vegetable like earth. Do you have to do this again to get oil out of that?

Tommy (00:35:36):
You just think about the processing about those fats that we’re not normally exposed to and, you know, a huge number of negative benefits or negative effects associated with that. So once we take out food that required processing to get to where it is, and it’s just like real food. Ninety plus percent of the benefit is going to come from that. And so we talked about, you know, if you go, um, really low fat, you know, the plant based guys are definitely onto something you, you just are. If you’re eating, um, very low fat and it’s real food, you know, mainly, um, you know, mainly vegetables and beans and things like that. And, you know, the, you know, maybe the and potatoes and maybe some rice, and then, you know, the keto guys are, you know, uh, slowly losing the plot as I talk about this, but you’re not, there’s no fat in the diet for you a store.

Tommy (00:36:25):
And you’re also not getting these large insulin spikes because you’re eating normal unprocessed carbohydrates. So when those guys see health benefits and they see weight loss, you know, it makes perfect sense, like, so you can do that. Um, by going, you can do it by going keto and low carb. And that’s great. And we do that a lot, but you can also go the other way. And we’ve done that too. And yeah, there’s, there’s a risk of certain nutrient deficiencies. If you go plant based and that’s, which are easy to calm, if you add back either small amounts of certain animal foods or supplements, um, so you can kind of go, you can go either way, but the most important thing is just eating real food. And if you take that process stuff out of the diet, you know, most of the benefits is going to come from that

Brad (00:37:04):
Dr. John Gray wind him up and he is spewing out and another wonderful insight, high energy all the way through, from start to finish, whether it’s an hour long show or a quick clip, but males get to have that friendly reminder that when you experience a negative emotional charge, you are not to speak. You are not to engage with your woman. Otherwise you’re going to mess up your hormones and things are going to get worse. You’re going to go into a tailspin of declining testosterone, and you’re going to turn into a bitchy boy. That’s my words, not John Gray’s, but we could get him to say that on the next show, love this guy’s action. And he’s a life changer. Please enjoy this clip and then go back and look at our show. Number one, show number two. And my lengthy summary recording of all of John Gray’s insights. Your assignment is to listen to that with your partner, because both of you will get some wonderful takeaways and handle the matter of healthy, loving relationship as a team, rather than as adversaries. John Gray men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Here. He goes.

John (00:38:09):
So again, happy woman made me feel successful. So my testosterone starting to rise my estrogen starting to go down, but still I was feeling a bit angry, a little bit resentful. You know that, Hey, I share it. I listened. She didn’t listen to me. Then that night I’m in bed, ready to go to sleep, turned over. And she goes over to the drawer with a sexy lingerie. And she puts on some sexy lingerie. I’m going to watch a woman who had 50 minutes of complaining about me and her life. How could she want to have sex with me? But I certainly didn’t mind. And she came and got in bad and I kind of felt a little anger, but then somehow she just started reaching down South and touching me. And it’s the, the thing about men is we forget everything is forgotten when the blood flows South.

John (00:38:52):
So then we made love and it was wonderful. I forgot we were upset, but then went to sleep. Then the next morning, she just sort of woke me up and said, John, this might be a good time. If you want to tell me how you feel. I have no complaints at all. Those things were petty. It was nothing. All we want as men is they want to feel that we have been successful in making a woman happy. And there’s nothing more powerful than a greatest sex life.

Brad (00:39:15):
Oh, what a story, man.

John (00:39:17):
It is a good story.

Brad (00:39:19):
So back to a common situation where we’re not supposed to get angry when we’re out of balance and we’re holding on to

John (00:39:28):
Let me, let me back up, you’re going to be angry when you’re, when you get angry and you’re a man, when you’re out of balance, then you will be one of the things that you’ll be anger is a sign that you are out of balance. So what you do is don’t judge the anger, nobody’s wrong for being out of balance, but what you do as a man, as you recognize, don’t speak. If you talk, talking about feelings, increases estrogen, talking about solutions, might create testosterone, if your partner said, Oh, what a good idea, but they’re not going to say that right now. So if you’re angry, you need to take distance, distance creates testosterone and do something that increases testosterone. Now, you know my book, I said a lot of things, but basically exercise meditation, anything you’re good at will build your testosterone levels up.

Brad (00:40:17):
Enjoy this clip from Amberley Lago, author of True Grit and Grace, a story of turning tragedy into triumph. And in our full length interview, she talks about this horrific motorcycle accident that she sustained right there in my hometown of Woodland Hills, California. I know the roads. Well, I used to ride them on my bicycle. Oh man. And a terrible or deal of numerous surgeries, trying to save her leg and leaving her with crippling pain, uh, for very long duration ordeal. That’s still going on as she mentions in the clip. But she talks about how she had to rewire her mind and her beliefs and reactions to pain and deal with it and try to live in gratitude and just fight this battle every single day and incredibly inspirational motivational story. You’re going to love just this quick clip. And I think you’ll be compelled to go back and listen to the entire interview and look at her book to True Grit and Grace from Amberley Lago. She’s a personal trainer mindset, coach, motivational speaker, all around positive human being. Here we go with Amberly.

Amberly (00:41:30):
It’s hard waking up in, not how bad, how bad my pain is going to be. And I have people ask me all the time. Well, you’ve healed from your surgeries and now you feel okay, right? And I’m like, no, I have pain every day. And I just had someone ask me, I just did another interview. And they asked me, um, well, so you’re not in pain anymore. And I know she had just told me she had had dental work and she had a toothache. And I said, well, no, I’m in pain. I said, imagine that tooth ache. I said, but it’s in my foot mostly. And it’s every day. I said, so I’ve had to really practice a healthy, a healthy mindset, uh, really being, uh, you know, it’s mindfulness so much about it is mindfulness and being in a good headspace. And I’ve had to create this whole toolbox of a list of things that I have got to go down to. I wish I could tell people that are in chronic pain. If you do this one thing, you’re going to feel better. It’s a list of things for me. It’s, you know, it is. But mostly it’s a, it’s a physical, mental, and spiritual journey and mindset about being as physically as healthy as I can be spiritually connected and mentally having that healthy mindset.

Brad (00:42:56):
So if you go off track a little bit, like you have an overly stressful day because they forgot to put your daughter in the right class and in elementary school and you had to go meet with the principal and then you got into a traffic jam and then this happened and that happened and you’re off your A game. Um, I imagine you have good days and bad days. And so this toolbox that you created this, you know, just, just hearing these, uh, the terminology that you use is very empowering and you’re onto some that, that’s why I loved your story. It’s like, you’re, you’re hitting these secrets. And, and not saying that it’s super easy and it’s fun and I’m better now like we watch in the movies, but that you’re, you’re into this engagement every single day and using your tools.

Amberly (00:43:43):
Thank you. And you know, I, um, I’m, I’m actually, I’m really excited. I get to go speak to the RSDSA (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association) conference, which is the, um, conference. It’s been it’s annual conference, and it’s an organization that’s been established for 30 years to give support and sometimes grants to people who have CRPS. (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) And I was really like all of a sudden, I’m like, Oh, this is what I’ve always wanted. I’m going to be their keynote speaker. And I was so excited. And then I went to that place of that mind talk. And I went to fear like, Oh my gosh, I’m going to be speaking to these people. What if I don’t say the right thing? And I’m like, you know what? I’m not, I’m not an expert in anything. And I, I’m not an expert in what to do when you’re in pain. I just say, Hey, look, I get it.

Amberly (00:44:38):
I’m in pain every day. Maybe some of these tools will help you. Maybe you have something that will help me. But I think, um, when you build a community of people who are going through similar things and you know what pain can be to look at me, you see my scars and it looks like my leg hurts, but we I’m talking about any kind of pain, whether it’s physical or whether it’s emotional, we all go through our challenges. And if we come together and build a community, that is the key for, I think the start to build resilience. And it’s not something that you do, okay. I’m resilient and let’s start the day. It’s no, I have to wake up every day. And it’s every day deciding that, you know, my day could be good and my pain could be OK. Or like you said, I could find out that my daughter doesn’t have the teacher that, that I wanted her to have, or I did that, you know, step mill, a little too fast, and my leg is on fire.

Amberly (00:45:39):
Well, what can I do next? What can I do? And I’ve learned sometimes, you know, I was never the type of person who would take any rest and I had to learn, it’s okay to rest, just not quit. You know, just, just not quit. Just resting means that you’re recovering. And that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. We’re meant to have this balance in life where we work hard, play hard. Um, we have rest and recovery and that’s just not, that’s something I had to learn because I wasn’t brought up that way. I was brought up as, you know, running track. And my coach was like, in Texas, it was like go big or go home. And if you’re going to throw up on the track, you’re dead meat. So throw up off the track and then keep running, you know, and that was training in the hot Texas sun and a hundred percent humidity. And, um, being a dancer, I was taught to ignore my dog, uh, ignore my pain and just keep dancing. And didn’t matter if your feet were bloody or what was going on. It was like, you just keep going. And so I learned the hard way that it’s very important to have that awareness and listen to your body because, you know, it starts to whisper at first,

Brad (00:46:59):
Enjoy this clip from author Scott Carney, who wrote What Doesn’t Kill Us, how freezing water extreme altitude and environmental conditioning will renew our lost evolutionary strength. And he talks a lot about his experience with Wim Hoff, the Iceman and his initial assignment. He’s known as a investigative journalist specializing in debunking myths and gurus and exposing frauds left. And right. So was really excited to go meet this crazy guy in Poland and expose him as a fraud as well. And instead, he got integrated into the Wim Hof training and a week later found himself climbing to the top of a snowy mountain in the middle of winter in Poland wearing just running shorts and shoes and said he was boiling hot, the entire hike. So he instantly became a believer and he extends the conversation out into the power of the mind to override our wimpy, uh, physiological characteristics that we’ve, uh, atrophied in today’s comfortable, modern life. He also has a new book out called The Wedge. So I look forward to talking to Scott, further subtitle, evolution, consciousness, stress, and the key to human resilience. So picking up that theme of what we can do to get stronger and tougher in comfortable, modern life, starting with that cold plunge. Here we go. Scott Carney.

Scott (00:48:26):
I’m also now open to a variety of other interventions because you know, what’s happening here is not Wim. Hof is channeling the Prada from heaven and getting the ghost light in him and whatever spiritual mumbo jumbo you want to throw at this, what he’s doing is showing that we have these evolutionary leap. Evolutionary abilities that have come down through us through the normal scientific process that we all understand it’s Darwin. Um, and we’re able to access those evolutionary abilities. And the, the issue is not the fact that these are superpowers. It’s the fact that we now live in an environment, which is so controlled all the time. You know, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside. We have air conditioning on the inside. We have synthetic clothing to keep us warm and to keep us in this sort of very comfortable temperature. And we are not allowing our bodies to have the natural variation that we had through all of that course of 300,000 years of human evolution, or what 3 billion years of life on this planet. You know, we were always dealing with the environment throughout the entire time period. And now in, in the last 150 years, we basically factored out discomfort from, from our lives. And that has, you know, shock of shocks made our bodies weaker.

Brad (00:49:46):
Wow. Yeah. So the more comfortable we get the weaker we get, and there’s so many, uh, examples of this such as in the world of shoes. And we talk about this barefoot movement and how that your, your custom orthotics and your $175 Nike shoes with the ultimate cushioning and a reverse pronation control are simply weakening your feet more and more so that you’re more reliant upon whatever it is that’s giving you the comfort.

Scott (00:50:13):
Totally. And do you remember the movie, the Disney? I think it’s Disney advantage Pixar. I mean, it’s the same thing, Wally, do you remember this?

Brad (00:50:21):

Scott (00:50:23):
Oh, wait, wait, is this, I think it’s wildly right? Where then we have people in the space station who are like living in like wheelchairs that go around their space station. They’re all fat. They look like eggs. I think this is Wally. Maybe it’s a different movie, but basically the idea is that that humans will evolve to this point where technology is so good that our bodies are irrelevant and we just become blobs because we’re not using them. And, you know, we get all of the data put in from our, our screens and our, you know, internet and, and, and we we’re, we’re sort of like factoring our bodies out of, out of the world with all of this like really smart technology we have. And, and that does bad things to us.

Brad (00:51:02):
Yeah. I guess there’s that important connection to draw where, okay. I don’t care about this stuff. I do have an air conditioned office and air conditioned vehicle and at the same with my home. So I don’t ever have to worry about exposing myself to cold and dealing with any of this. But if you can make these analogies to your ability to withstand a minor, uh, illness or, um, you know, deal with anxiety or things like that, that we, we do complain about. I think that’s where the, um, the best application is for the average person. That’s not a fitness freak as you described so nicely in the book that, you know, you’re not coming into this, uh, with the, um, the tattoos and the six pack and just trying to gain 3%. So you can go win the CrossFit games,

Scott (00:51:50):
Right? Yeah. I mean, I make no pretenses that I am a super athlete or anything of the sort, I am a guy who’s not like, you know, horribly unfit, but I’m not somebody who is the top competitor at any particular profession. Um, what, what is fascinating and what is most meaningful to me is that you don’t need to be a super athlete to gain the benefits here. You are probably a normal person listening to this podcast, or maybe you’re a little bit more on the athletic side, or maybe you’re a little less than the athletic side, but the truth is, is that we’ve been sort of, sort of sold this bill of goods, our whole lives, that, that the key to human health rests on these two pillars of nutrition and exercise. So the stuff you put into your body and the stuff that you do with your body to use that fuel, you just gave it.

Scott (00:52:43):
And then this is the essential building blocks of every diet and fitness program ever devised what the Wim Hof method and what I’ve sort of learned in my journey, even beyond whims stuff, is that it’s not just these two pillars, but there’s this third pillar that we don’t recognize, which is that the environment that you inhabit, that these passive things that are always interacting with us actually have a really dramatic effect on our life. And, and you know, that feeling of discomfort, whatever that is, um, or, or even, you know, whatever comfort is is, is really our body telling us that it’s not working, but it’s that comfort Is this is the sense that, Hey, cool. The environment taken care of everything for me. So I don’t have to do anything extra. And we are addicted to this idea of comfort. We’re addicted this idea that, Oh, okay, something else has taken care of it. So I don’t have to work. And, and, you know, comfort is, is, is, you know, evolutionarily, it’s not a thing that we always had. It was always the reward at the end of a difficult journey. You know, you climb over that mountain to get to that next food source that made you a little bit more comfortable. It wasn’t something that you always had on hand. And, and now it’s just sort of this addiction that we have to do the easy life,

Brad (00:54:04):
Enjoy my conversation with New York times bestselling author, Ashley Merryman co author with her writing partner, Po Bronson of great books. One of them called Nurture Shock, a must read for any parent wishing to raise their child in a healthy manner. And then her other book, Top Dog, the science of winning and losing. And she is deep into the research with some great references about the best way to pursue peak performance, adopt the mindset and the behaviors, the work habits. Uh, she counters a lot of the conventional notions that we held that can be really harmful, especially when we’re talking about a child rearing and forming those, uh, brave mindsets that are comfortable with competition comfortable with, uh, improving, uh, focusing on the efforts. That’s one of her big takeaways is that, uh, this has become common, common knowledge now that we want to have effort based praised rather than results based, but with a little nuance in some of her recent research, talking about how it’s effort toward improvements, that’s kind of the secret to not only success, but also happiness in life is a continued effort, uh, directed toward improvement and making sure that you’re improving from your efforts, not just making a lame ass effort, uh, for the sake of making an effort. So that’s my recap. Let’s listen to Ashley talk about it in more detail, and hopefully you’ll go back and listen to the full show, fascinating conversation, Ashley Merryman author of Top Dog and Nurture Shock.

Ashley (00:55:36):
I mean, I know that I am not a natural athlete. The fact that I made it up here without tripping in the elevator is an achievement, but I can work with the things that I don’t, that don’t naturally come to me and I can also work better and harder on the things that do come to me. And in both cases, it’s on me to improve. And that’s where the focus needs to be on improvement. It’s not about where I am now. It’s where I want to be been.

New Speaker (00:56:06):
I thought. That’s the key to happiness too, is to, is to focus on the effort and on improvement, regardless of your, you mean focus on the improvement. Yeah.

Ashley (00:56:18):
You said not improvement.

Brad (00:56:20):
Oh, focusing on the effort and on improvement.

Ashley (00:56:22):
on improvement. Um, yeah. Well, I think that, you know, I I’ve been trying to back off an effort just because it’s an example, it’s not the same.. It’s the example, because effort is something in theory I can control, but if you take anything too far, it can become like it’s some innate ability you either have, or you don’t. So in the U S we’re obsessed with smarts. In China, they’re obsessed with effort and effort, effort, effort. You have to, you know, you have to go to school and then you have to go to study school and then you have to do this and you have to do that. And flooring Flory, a couple of, and a couple of researchers studied and, you know, kids in China go, I don’t know. I just can’t work. As hard as that other kid, I got to go sleep. So they’re actually believing that the ability to put out effort is something that they don’t have compared to the other kids who were staying up in for extra study.

Brad (00:57:21):
I like that.

Ashley (00:57:22):
So any, anything taken too far can be almost taught that it’s an innate ability and you either have it, or you don’t, it’s more about focused on what’s on your control and can you improve it over time and not be so worried about the result? And I tell athletes and teams that all the time, which is really funny, especially in professional teams, because they’re all very clear, you know, the owner really doesn’t want to hear that winning isn’t important. And I always laugh at her. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know. I know, but the thing is that’s okay if I just keep rambling. The thing is that the thing is, if you focus on the result, you don’t realize why you were successful. Sometimes you succeed because of dumb luck. Sometimes you succeed because the other guy had a bad day. Well, you can’t count on the other guy having a bad day. Ashley

Ashley (00:58:21):
The next time you compete. Right. And sometimes you’re there just because it’s easy, right? I mean, I know Olympians and professional athletes who will flip out because they, they want, and they knew the competition. They knew the field, they knew they were going to win. They weren’t there for the win. They were there for, to a personal best or to qualify for the next round for the next competition. So the idea that they won mean, do you miss the opportunity to sort of reflect on how you can improve? How did you do better? And I also think it’s really important. Cause you know, they’re all those cliches, you know, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth all right, don’t fix what I’m broken, blah, blah, blah. But it’s, it’s more constructive, but we naturally talk and take apart of disasters. Right? We naturally go, Oh, we got to rethink how we did this.

Ashley (00:59:15):
We don’t want this to happen again. It’s less natural to take apart your win again, for all those reasons. But if the normal course is win, lose or draw, we sit here at the table and we talk about what went right and what went wrong. Then it’s less traumatic to do it for the loss because it’s not like, Oh, well we lost, we better sit down. You, you kid, you did badly on this test. We better talk about what just happened and what went wrong. It’s like, no, that’s just what we do. We always talk about how we can improve no matter what that makes it less of a big deal, less of a big deal. It makes it more empowering, less threatening and more engaging.

Brad (00:59:57):
The great champions do that. Tiger woods wins the masters by 12 strokes and then decides to rebuild his swing and fall off from his peak performance level for two years while he’s honing a better swing, because he knew that he was relying on great timing and that his, his great performance not withstanding, but it’s extremely rare example. Like most people who blow away the field and a Major are not going to go tweak their swing immediately after.

Ashley (01:00:24):
Right. Well, you know, it’s such an extreme thing because I don’t know if you had asked him at the time. I don’t know. Maybe you do, but if you’d asked him yeah, but you’re not going to win for two more years, would he have said, Oh, well maybe there’s a middle ground or maybe there’s a different approach. Or maybe I should just keep going then. I don’t know, um, how it would be really interesting to ask him. We should, we should tweet him, give me answers. But I think that, that, you know, the idea that, you know, are you willing to sacrifice a period of wins or successes when, you know, you could be successful in favor of that development? I think that’s pretty interesting. I know that there’s, some researchers have looked at like the, um, the evolution of high jumping and the flop and going backwards or forwards.

Ashley (01:01:16):
And how do we do that? And be like, Oh, that’s just completely crazy. And it’s never gonna work. But when you actually look at the history of how they were doing it, it seemed more of a natural progression and not some sort of revolutionary thing. It’s just those of us who only watch, you know, I jumped or, um, or you know, those kinds of activities during track and field for the Olympics and the national run-up, didn’t see how it was going for the previous two years of experimentation. But I think that, um, at least a short term willingness to say, is this working or not working? And what am I going to do tomorrow is going to be really important. And it’s also just a way to keep yourself engaged. You know what I mean? I think if you’re just, you know, constantly winning and crushing, isn’t that going to get boring at a certain point, you got to figure out some other way to keep yourself motivated.

Brad (01:02:07):
Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at getoveryourselfpodcast@gmail.com. And we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunesoOr wherever you listen to podcasts, I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to thanks for doing it.



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