(Breather) Can you truly change others? And what is the price you pay for trying to do so? What if there was an easier way of dealing with that desire we all have to change the behavior, habits, or beliefs of those around us? In this episode, I’ll share the most useful and insightful tips I’ve gathered from various experts and invite you to expand your perspective on the topic of changing others.

Best-selling author Mark Manson remarked during his Get Over Yourself show appearance that instead of trying to change others, “You must decide what you are willing to tolerate and not willing to tolerate in your relationships.” Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a “lose-lose situation” if you continue to try to change someone, or if you yourself end up changing for someone else.  Another one of my favorite insights from Mark was his argument that self worth is an “illusion” and that you should best view your life as a series of decisions and actions. Instead, work on cultivating self discipline, because self discipline is the real key to happiness. I also love Mark’s stance on never using other people as a means to an end. Don’t think about what others can do for you, but rather, what you can do to be of service to others. 

I’m also a fan of the actor Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert and share a story from one episode about how he handled an issue he was having with his wife, actress Kristen Bell. Annoyed with her habit of reading and responding to emails at night in bed, Dax remarked something along the lines of, ‘Can’t you schedule your time better during the day so you don’t do this at night?’ Well, unsurprisingly, that did not go over well. What did, however, was a different approach, with Dax simply telling her that he needed her full attention. The heart of the issue changed: it was no longer about what he wanted her to do, but instead about what he needed from her, and that made all the difference. 

I wrap up the show with some great insights from Dave Rossi, who says that, “Attachments in relationships set you up for pain and suffering” and advises us to, “Accept others as they are, and don’t try to change them.” 

Thanks for listening, and check back for part 3 of this series which will cover insights from experts on how to optimize your health!

TIMESTAMPS:

Don’t try to change other people. [01:28]

Self-worth is an illusion. [02:15]

If someone is trying to change you, then you are stuck in a lose-lose situation. [03:37]

Learn to express your own needs by doing it in a way where you are not trying to change the other person. [05:06]

The conditioned self responds to situations that supersede our power to make choices. [08:48]

The highest level of human consciousness would be to never use others as a means to an end. [11:56]

Don’t judge people. Don’t try to change people. Accept them for who they are. [14:20]

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad (1m 28s): Quick insights from the experts breather show. This is number two. Remember we had a first breather show on parenting and relationships and the topic of this show is changing other people. Don’t do it. Spoiler alert. So yes, here we go with a few different commentators. One of them is the wonderful Mark Manson bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and his recent book, Everything is Fucked: a book about hope. I think he’s one of the great philosophers of modern times. If you listened to our show, you’ll get some life-changing insights. And I love pulling out as many excerpts and sound bites as I can from him, reviewing them, rereading them. Brad (2m 15s): One of them that I think about all the time and share with others is his argument that self-worth is an illusion and you should best view your life as merely a series of decisions and actions. And that self-discipline is the true key to happiness rather than pursuing self-worth and self-esteem and attaching your self-esteem to the outcome of the things that you do in life. That’s kind of the theme of my show to get over yourself and just go hard, make good decisions and take action. And when you have that self-discipline to make good decisions and avoid the decisions that are going to cause you pain and suffering. That is your path to happiness. Brad (2m 55s): Amazing a way to look at it rather than this battle that we constantly fight for self-worth and self-esteem and trying to be relevant and important and experiencing a lot of pain and suffering accordingly. So this is Mark’s comments on changing others. If someone in your life is trying to change you, that is they are punishing you emotionally for not conforming to their desires or values. Hey, isn’t that a different way to say it then I’m just trying to help you be more motivated with your exercise program or your diet. No, you’re punishing them emotionally for not conforming to desires or values that you hold in high esteem. Brad (3m 37s): And you think that everyone else should too, because of course you’re right all the time. So if someone in your life is trying to change you, then you are stuck in a lose lose situation. If you do try and change for them, you’re essentially betraying your own values and self worth to make someone else happy. This can work in minor cases, but in the long run, it’s a self destructive strategy. You’re essentially making them happy by making yourself miserable. Except no one wants to be with a miserable person so you will eventually make them miserable as well. Both of these steps are equally important. First, you must decide on what you are willing to tolerate and not willing to tolerate in your relationship. Brad (4m 20s): You get what he’s saying. So instead of trying to change someone, decide on what you’re willing to tolerate and not tolerate. And if there’s deal breakers, that’s fine. If you don’t want to be with someone who abuses substances or spends weekends partying with the bowling team, instead of looking after the, the family needs, then that’s okay. But making that struggling and making that effort to try to change somebody, ah, we see those kinds of scenes all the time in movies where it doesn’t really end well ever. Okay. So you must decide on what you’re willing to tolerate and not willing to tolerate in a relationship. And if you can’t do that, then you are simply at a loss of control and will always feel reactive to the other person. Brad (5m 2s): This is bad end quote from Mark Manson, Dax Shepard had an interesting tidbit to offer on this subject. You may have heard of him as an actor with a long line of movie credits. I especially loved his role in Idiocracy, but in recent times he has become a sensation in the podcast scene with his podcast titled Armchair Expert, where he interviews a ton of Hollywood celebrities and leading figures. And it’s become one of the most prominent podcasts in the world since its inception in 2018. He does a great job, very bright and an insightful inquisitive guy. But the title Armchair Expert implies that he spouts off a lot of statistics and supposed truths. Brad (5m 46s): And then what they do in the last 10, 15 minutes of the show with his sidekick, Monica, is they go actually and dig up the true facts of all the topics that were briefly discussed during the podcast. So that’s kind of fun, a show format. And he talks about a lesson that he learned that took two years. So hopefully if you can take this message and execute it immediately, you will save yourself some pain and suffering, emotional pain and suffering over the two years of time that it occurred for decks. And he was talking about his wife, the noted actress, Kristen Bell, where she had a penchant for doing her emails on her mobile device in bed as they were approaching bedtime. Brad (6m 32s): So he shared with the listeners how this caused him a little bit of internal suffering. He wasn’t a big fan of that. I think he wanted to get to sleep without the, the interference of the screen. Maybe have some time for conversation and intimacy rather than her cranking out on the digital device. So he brought it up and he says, gee, you’re doing email now? Is there a way to manage your time better during the day? And that one didn’t really go over well with his wife. Imagine that. So he took his chances again. Probably some time had passed since this whole thing took two years, right? But then he was helpful enough to share with her, the research on how blue light exposure in the evening can suppress melatonin and interfere with complete restoration, a good night’s sleep. Brad (7m 21s): And she wasn’t interested to hear that either. So finally, and I guess this is two years after she’s been doing this habit that mildly annoyed him and he took his shots and, and swung swung for strikeout he’s time. He got up the courage as he describes, he got up the courage to say, I need your full attention. And immediately she dropped the device. And that initiated a relationship transformation where the evening times were a time where they could connect and she could prefer her husband to her screen habit. But only when it came from that different direction of the, the partner expressing their needs with honesty and vulnerability. I just did a show with Dr. Brad (8m 2s): Wendy Walsh, where she referenced the, the same attribute that a winning relationship goals in both directions. So sometimes we see people get stuck on the giving side, the martyr, they don’t have the courage or the vulnerability to express their own needs. And so they get into these dysfunctional patterns where the relationship is not as rewarding and authentic as it possibly can be. So being comfortable, expressing your own needs and doing them in a way where you’re not trying to change the other person. So in other words, with that exchange, that Dax relates instead of trying to correct her behavior, he just expressed his needs. Brad (8m 42s): And that was the key to open the door. Okay. So a great little tidbit there. Then we’re going to cover some material from Dave Rossi’s book, The Imperative Habit, and is on the topic of changing others. Don’t don’t even try it. Don’t do it. Attachment in relationships, sets you up for pain and suffering, accept others as they are. And don’t try to change them. This is so counter to a lot of relationship dynamics where we’re keeping score. We’re keeping score in our head and we’re trying to change people in subtle ways. Obviously the sledgehammer can oftentimes turn into a quick and obvious conflict, but when you’re trying to chip away with the ice pick, rather than the sledgehammer and mold and shape people to your behavior preferences or your values and beliefs WHEW! Brad (9m 32s): That can be an insidious relationship killer. .Okay? So into the book, Dave says, quote, we, as humans are beyond the need to make choices based on Darwinian, biological and evolutionary impulses. Imagine the difference in choices you might make for a mate once you’re able to observe or set aside this Darwinian mechanism. In fact, the conditioned self reactive behavior and programmed responses are Darwinian biological responses that we let supersede our power to make active choices. I’m going to talk a little slower here because this stuff is deep and we have to process it carefully. If you haven’t heard that term conditioned self Dave uses it a lot in the book. Brad (10m 17s): And it just means a program responses, reactive behavior, and creating this conditioned self where you just react. And a lot of this is based on a subconscious programming that occurred from ages zero to seven, referenced my breather show with Bruce Lipton, talking about the insights in Biology of Belief, where he argues that we’re 93 to 98% of the time walking around in his subconscious, in a trance where we’re controlled by subconscious reactive behavior, rather than making conscious choices at all times. And that’s what being mindful is all about is processing your thoughts, emotions before you respond, things like that. So we’re letting these conditioned responses supersede our power to make active choices, our beliefs structure and our programming create the baseline for the Darwinian view of what we think will help us survive as animals, right? Brad (11m 7s): That reptilian brain consciousness, where we’re anxious, fearful. We’re just trying to survive. And we’re in a relationship conflict where we can’t be mindful and make conscious choices, ah, time to extricate from that nonsense, right? That baseline that operating from primitive brain function, fight or flight becomes the comparison point of emotions and evolutionary impulses that lead to poor choices. When you can set aside these biological impulses, the proof of your ability would be making choices based, not on needing someone to fill a gap of loneliness, but on getting to know a potential partner for themselves, valuing them for who they are and not basing your relationship on what they may potentially do for you. Brad (11m 56s): The biological logic factor of your brain is turned off and your more intelligent, intuitive side turns on your choices will improve. This echoes something that Mark Manson said in his books, or maybe in our interview where he argues that the highest level of human consciousness, human evolution ,would be to never use others as a means to an end, what can they do for you? That’s kind of our default reactive programming, and we want to get away from that and be mindful and just connect with other people and perhaps see how we can be of service to the world as our primary driving force. Being your real self. Brad (12m 36s): (this is back to Dave, quoting Imperative Habit) Being your real self allows you to get to know others as themselves and not falsely attached to them for the wrong or unclear reasons. Ironically, this makes dating easier and more difficult. It makes it easier as you’ll want to get to know people for who they really are without pretenses. However, you will also have the perceptibility of knowing when their conditioned self is responding for them. When people respond from fear or from a state of the condition self, you will be able to see it. These types of responses by others will be viewed by you as inauthentic and difficult to connect with when you have reached a state of consciousness beyond theirs. Brad (13m 22s): Ah, okay, we don’t want this to sound a little haughty. But I think what Dave is trying to say is once you evolve, you’re going to see things a little more black and white than when you’re stuck in the muck and kind of operating from that same reactive positioning. And so that is kind of a breath of fresh air for your life. And I think if you can operate from a higher standard, a higher state of being, you will also have that influence upon others around you. So in his example where he’s talking about dating, maybe if the date starts out as a, a reparte of a bragging and trying to impress the other person superficially, you can cut through that with a few well chosen lines where you can kind of get real. Brad (14m 5s): Not just dating, but I think interacting or conversing with anyone in your life where you can just bring the conversation to a better level than the superficial ego-driven exchanges that we often traffic in. Back to a final quote from Dave’s book. Again, just accept them for who they are. Don’t judge their reactions and allow their opinions. Likely an unconscious person will not be a good match for a conscious person, nor will an unconscious person reacting in their conditioned self. No, if they are doing so, okay. Floating up high, that is the end of a breather show. Don’t try to change other people, accept them for who they are. Brad (14m 48s): More tidbit from Dave Rossi’s book, don’t judge defend or criticize. Accept them for who they are. Don’t judge their reactions and allow their opinions so easy. So simple. Let’s go out there and do it this week. This month, this year, thank you for listening to the breather show. Hey, if you want to share this with someone else, please do. That’s a great way for the show to get traction and build new listening audience. Rise up the ranking so other people can see it just with random searches. And I would really appreciate it. If you could take that short time and push the share button when you’re playing the podcast and whatever app you’re using. And of course leaving a review also helps very much as well. Brad (15m 30s): So if that’s in Apple podcasts, you can now do it right from your mobile device. My recorded description tells you, you have to go to desktop, but now it’s much easier than ever to leave a review. So maybe you could try it, just find that button ratings and reviews push it. And you are often running, sharing your opinion with the world. Thank you so much for being a devoted listener to the, get over yourself podcast and as always email us with your feedback, questions, comments, get over yourself podcast@gmail.com. Thanks. Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at getoveryourselfpodcast@gmail.com. Brad (16m 11s): And we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or 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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(Breather) Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.

Brené’s TED talk ― The Power of Vulnerability ― is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views. Today, I’ll be sharing the most eye-opening revelations and life-altering lessons I’ve gained from Brené’s fascinating research and work.

Empathy

Developing empathy requires that you look into someone’s eyes and reflect their story back to them. But, “empathy is not the default human response.” Brené points out how hard it can be to “understand and accept other people, particularly when they behave disgracefully. You still have to work hard to tell them, ‘I get it.’

No one reaches out to you so that they can be taught how to behave better! They reach out because they believe in your capacity to know your darkness well enough so that you can sit in their darkness with them ― to have empathy for them.”

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to flip on the lights. We say, “Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal. Everyone makes mistakes.” However, this is not empathetic. Neither is lecturing them about how lame they are (a good reminder for parents out there). Brené stresses that, we cannot feel empathy for others beyond the love and compassion we have for ourselves.”

Everyone runs into a moment (or two or three or fifty) of having screwed up something in their lives. And when this happens to someone you know and they come to you, Brené advises that, instead of reacting to the situation from a judgemental perspective or making light of it, the most helpful, effective, and empathetic response you can give them is to say, “You can do this. You can take this on.” Brené says you can “climb into the hole with them” but you also need to be sure that you don’t get trapped in that hole with them – you need to be able to get out. Of course you’re going to want to give your love, energy, kindness, and support, but you don’t want to get dragged down by other people’s issues. This is because doing so signifies that you are over-identifying, codependent, etc.

Look at it this way: Sympathy is, “I feel bad for you,” not, “I feel with you.”

Vulnerability

What even is vulnerability? It is:

  • Asking for help, saying, ‘I don’t know”
  • Facing up to difficult situations and decisions
  • Getting promoted and feeling like you’re not sure you’re up for it
  • Getting fired
  • Initiating sex with your partner
  • It is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure
  • It is loving someone and knowing that you cannot control if they love you back

Vulnerability is actually our most accurate measure of courage. It is not weakness ― that is the biggest myth. Brené says: “In the face of contention, don’t shrink, don’t puff up ― just stand your sacred ground: whole-hearted and empathetic. This is the goal for evolving to your highest self.”

Brené then references studies of whole-hearted people, and highlights how they cultivate rest and play. She shares that these whole-hearted people actually “piddle around and waste time a lot.” And around 1/4 of whole-hearted, empathetic people are raised that way with optimal parenting. For the rest, empathy and whole-heartedness is a skill to cultivate.

But, modern, messed up cultural dynamics have led us to regard exhaustion as a status symbol, and productivity as a measurement of self-worth (think of triathlete culture, workaholics that we all know or are personally, harried supermoms trying to do everything they can for everyone, helicopter parenting, etc.). Brené’s insights prompt you to rethink the ideas we all have and reprioritize being whole-hearted and taking care of yourself. 

Another important part of vulnerability is accountability. Brené frames accountability asauthenticity, action, and amends.” A good example is saying, and acknowledging, ‘This is what I did, this is how I’m going to fix it.’

Shame

Brené reveals that we always judge in the areas where we ourselves are most vulnerable to shame. Further, we always pick people who are doing worse than we are doing, because we are seeking validation, through the idea that, Well, at least I’m better than this person I am judging.

The reason why shame feels bad is because it’s about your character. No wonder shame is strongly correlated with depression and addiction! Contrastingly, guilt can actually be productive and adaptive, because it’s rooted in your behavior. “The shame triggers are your prerequisites for worthiness,” Brené reveals, and these are usually handed down from our upbringing. As my show covering Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief, explains, most of us are still carting around emotional baggage from early childhood programming and this has a serious effect on our bodies, precisely because of how strongly and directly our thoughts affect our cellular function.

Brené says that shame “has one purpose only: to discharge pain. It serves no other use.”

Here are some highlights from Brené’s Netflix special, Call to Courage:

  • Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness.

Despite what some may think, Brené says, “Vulnerability is our most accurate way to measure courage, and we literally do that as researchers.”

Vulnerability actually allows them to assess fearlessness: “We can measure how brave you are by how vulnerable you’re willing to be.”

  • There are numerous benefits that come with opening up.

Brené says vulnerability is the “birthplace” of things like love and joy. Pointing out the risks that come with love, Brené asked her audience: “Are you 100% sure that person will always love you back, will never leave, will never get sick? How many of you have every buried someone you love? How many of you have lost someone you love?

To love is to be vulnerable, to give someone your heart and say, ‘I know this could hurt so bad, but I’m willing to do it; I’m willing to be vulnerable and love you.’ When we lose our capacity for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding. It becomes scary to let ourselves feel it.”

  • Being vulnerable has advantages even at work.

Brené’s advice to a company with a huge creativity and innovation problem was…you guessed it: vulnerability.

“No vulnerability, no creativity. No tolerance for failure, no innovation. It is that simple,” she said, adding: “if you’re not willing to fail, you can’t innovate. If you’re not willing to build a vulnerable culture, you can’t create.”

  • Vulnerability is inescapable.

Here’s the thing: even if you think you are avoiding being vulnerable, you are still, in fact experiencing the emotion. Brené says: “You do vulnerability knowingly, or vulnerability does you.”

Highlighting the importance of openness, she said: “It is so much easier to cause pain than feel pain, and people are taking their pain and they’re working it out on other people. And when you don’t acknowledge your vulnerability, you work your shit out on other people. Stop working your shit out on other people!”

  • The choice to embrace exposure is easier in the end.

“Vulnerability is hard, and it’s scary, and it feels dangerous, but it’s not as hard, scary or dangerous as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask ourselves, ‘What if I would’ve shown up?’ ‘What if I would’ve said, I love you?’ Show up, be seen, answer the call to courage…‘cause you’re worth it. You’re worth being brave.”

TIMESTAMPS:

To develop empathy, you must look into the other person’s eyes and reflect their story back to them. [05:29]

We cannot feel empathy for others beyond the love and compassion that we have for ourselves. [07:20]

Vulnerability is not a weakness.  It is being powerful. [08:24]

Accountability is authenticity, action, and amends. [10:42]

Shame is destructive because it’s about your character. [10:55]

We can measure how brave you are by how vulnerable you’re willing to be. [12:26]

There are many benefits to opening up. [13:23]

Being vulnerable at work has advantages. [14:17]

Vulnerability is inescapable. [15:00]

Show up. Be seen. Answer the call to courage because you’re worth it.  [15:40]

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad (04:10):
Hey, you probably heard of number one, bestselling author. Berne Brown. The researcher from Texas who writes about topics like vulnerability, empathy, and shame and overcoming these things. She’s written five. Number one, New York times bestsellers. The titles are the Gifts of Imperfection. Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness and Dare to Lead.

Brad (04:38):
And I really love her work. I listened to a great audio book called The Power of Vulnerability. And I wanted to share with you some notes and tips and insights. I think it’s going to give you some good, basic exposure to the kind of work that Berne Brown does. You can also go turn on her Ted talk. One of the most viewed Ted talks of all time, the title is the Power of Vulnerability, 35 million views. And I think that’s what launched her into prominence years ago, probably a decade ago when she first got on that Ted stage and laid it all out there. And boy, Oh boy, she really does walk your talk. Well, she talks about her own personal struggles and her journey to get to this point today, how she’s pulled out her insight. She’s deep into the research. She’s an authentic researcher, uh, before she became an author.

Brad (05:29):
So everything she says is really well steeped in science. And I think you’re going to dig some of these quick insights. Maybe it will inspire you to go get one or more of her books. So this is from the Power of Vulnerability and on the topic of empathy. Here’s what she say to develop empathy you must look into the other person’s eyes and reflect their story back to them. Empathy is not the default human response. It’s very difficult to understand and accept other people particularly when they behave disgracefully, you still have to work hard to tell them I get it. I get, yeah. Realize that no one reaches out to you so they can be taught how to behave. They’ve better. They reach out because they believe in your capacity to know your darkness well enough so that you can sit in their darkness with them and have empathy for them.

Brad (06:28):
Unfortunately, we have a tendency to flip on the light and say, Hey, don’t worry. It’s not a big deal. Everyone makes mistakes. This is not empathetic. That’s a huge mistake. I can see that happening in parenting a lot where here trying to be supportive, super thumbs up positive parent, but you’re not really getting into their darkness with them. You’re being flippant. As she says, flipping on the lights. I made that up, but Oh, very interesting to kind of check your responses, especially I can relate to this toning down my positivity at times, and just listening, not necessarily trying to put a sugar coat on everything that comes your way when people are reaching out to you. So it’s not empathetic to flip on the lights and say, don’t worry. It’s not a big deal. Everyone makes mistakes nor is it empathetic to lecture them about how lame they are.

Brad (07:20):
Hey, another parenting insight right there. Huh? Certainly when a kid makes a mistake, they don’t need to be told just the specific, uh, damage of the mistake they made. Usually the consequences are very evident. So Berne Brown. Continuing. Also, we can not feel empathy for others beyond the love and compassion that we have for ourselves. When people have really screwed up their lives rather than passing judgment or making light of it, the most empathetic response is to say, you can do this. You can take this on. You will climb into the hole with them, but make sure that you don’t get trapped in the hole. Be sure that you can get out. So you’re giving out your energy, love, kindness, and support, but you don’t want to be dragged down into other people’s issues. Otherwise back to Berne Brown, quoting you’re overidentifying, codependent or whatever else you want to call it. So sympathy is I feel bad for you. Not, I feel with you.

Brad (08:24):
Now, some comments on vulnerability. Vulnerability is asking for help, saying “I don’t know,” facing up with difficult situations and decisions, getting promoted and not sure you’re up for it., getting fired, initiating sex with your partner. It is uncertainty risk and emotional exposure. It’s loving someone and knowing that you can not control whether they love you back. It is our most accurate measure of courage. It is not weakness. That’s the biggest myth that being vulnerable is being weak. Vulnerability is being powerful in the face of contention, don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Just stand your sacred ground, be wholehearted empathetic. And this is the goal for evolving to your highest self. Wow, that’s pretty cool. Think about that in the face of contention conflict, whenever you want to call it, don’t shrink and don’t puff up.

Brad (09:20):
Just stand your sacred ground. Love that. Uh, she’s referencing studies of wholehearted people and how they act. They cultivate rest. They cultivate playtime. Quote. They piddle around and waste time alot. Around one quarter of wholehearted empathetic people are raised that way with optimal parenting for the rest empathy and wholeheartedness is a skill that they have cultivated. Modern, messed up cultural dynamics. We kind of think exhaustion to be a status. Symbol productivity is a measurement of self-worth. Oh my gosh. I’m thinking of the triathlete culture. The workaholics that we all know or identify with in some way, we have the harried supermom as a prominent cultural dynamic, trying to be all things to all people and be right in there, helicoptering your kids all the way to adulthood. Uh, so Berne Brown’s helping us to rethink some of these things reprioritize and being wholehearted, entailing, uh, taking good care of yourself. I love that insight, right? And some people are naturally wholehearted and empathetic. Raised that way with optimal parenting, uh, for others, time to work hard and bring these things into the forefront rather than just working yourself to exhaustion.

Brad (10:42):
Accountability is three things: Authenticity, action, and amends. For example, a quote, this is what I did. This is how I’m going to fix it. That’s accountability.

Brad (10:55):
Now we go onto the topic of shame. We always judge in areas where we are most vulnerable to shame. We always pick people who are doing worse than we are doing. We’re looking for validation that we’re at least better than those whom we judge. Shame is destructive because it’s about your character. It’s strongly correlated with depression and addiction. Guilt, on the other hand, according to Berne, can be productive and adapted because it’s about the behavior. The shame triggers are your prerequisites for worthiness.

Brad (11:28):
And these are typically handed down from our upbringing. Listen to my show about Bruce Lipton, Biology of Belief and his contention validated by science. That we’re pretty much walking around as a result of our childhood programming from ages zero to seven. A lot of it negative because those are the stored emotional memories that really cause the most harm and come back and rear their ugly heads again and again. So we develop this lack of self worth, uh, associations with shame and things like that. And then we carry with them. The rest of our lives there’s triggers that happen every day, one way or another, an offhanded comment by somebody. And boy, it’s so difficult to be vulnerable and work through that. So the shame triggers are your prerequisites for worthiness. These are typically handed down from our upbringing. Blame has one purpose only: to discharge pain. t serves no other use.

Brad (12:26):
Hey, Berne also has a Netflix special called Call to Courage. So check it out more good stuff. She’s a great live presenter. You’re going to love her Ted talk to a article in the USA today by Erin Jensen offers five summary takeaways from the comments about vulnerability she made in the Netflix special. So let’s get to those and then you’ll have your marching orders to go dig into the more great work from Berne Brown. So insights about vulnerability, uh, from Call to Courage, the presentation. Number one, it’s not a sign of weakness. Quote, vulnerability is our most accurate way to measure courage. And we literally do that as researchers end quote vulnerability allows them to assess fearlessness, allows researchers to assess fearlessness. We can measure how brave you are by how vulnerable you’re willing to be.

Brad (13:23):
Number two, there are many benefits to opening up. Brown asserts that vulnerability is the birth place of things like love and joy. Highlighting the risks of love. Brown polled, the audience quote, are you a hundred percent sure that a person will always love you back? Never leave, never get sick. How many of you have ever buried someone you love? How many of you have lost someone you love? To love is to be vulnerable, to give someone your heart and say, I know this could hurt so bad, but I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to be vulnerable and love you. She added, and when we lose our capacity for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding. It becomes scary to let ourselves feel it. Great connections there. Huh? If you’re incapable of being vulnerable, you’re also closing you’re off. Closing yourself off from the potential for joy. Okay.

Brad (14:17):
Number three, being vulnerable at work has advantages as well. Vulnerability was Brown’s recommendation for a company with a huge creativity and innovation problem that wanted to hire her to speak. Quote, no vulnerability, no creativity, no tolerance for failure, no innovation. It’s that simple. She said, if you’re not willing to fail, you can’t innovate. And if you’re not willing to build a vulnerable culture, you can’t create. Are you listening, corporate leaders? All right. Probably a lot of places could use a little bit of freedom and flexibility to fail, to be vulnerable, to be more creative as a consequence.

Brad (15:00):
Okay. Number four, vulnerability is inescapable. Brown said even those who think they’re avoiding being vulnerable are in fact experiencing the emotion. You do, vulnerability knowingly or vulnerability does you. She said, and she explained the importance of openness. Quote. It’s so much easier to cause pain than to feel pain. And people are taking their pain and working it out on other people. And when you don’t acknowledge your vulnerability, you work your shit out on other people. Stop working your shit out on other people., People.

Brad (15:40):
Number five, the choice to embrace exposure is easier in the end. Quote, vulnerability is hard. It’s scary. It feels dangerous, but it’s not as hard, scary or dangerous as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask ourselves what if I would have shown up? What if I would have said, I love you. Show up. Be seen. Answer the call to courage because you’re worth it. You’re worth being brave and quote, great stuff.

Brad (16:12):
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 iTunes or wherever you listen to podcast, 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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(Breather) “Mindless positivity isn’t practical or helpful for most people,” Mark Manson writes in his first book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. He is, as usual, right on with this observation. Realizing that, “our modern, and maddening, urge to always find happiness only serves to make us unhappier,” Manson communicates clearly and concisely throughout his books about why we need to change the way we look at things like personal identity, hope, shame, and happiness.

The reason why Manson’s message works so well is not just the power of the message itself, but the fact that, instead of trying to push the power of positivity onto his readers, he offers an entirely new perspective ― what if everything you thought you knew about happiness and success and yourself was wrong? And what if that was actually a good thing?

Here’s the thing: as humans, we are all naturally inclined to feel attached to various parts of ourselves, especially the parts of ourselves that receive praise. Whether you’re a standout student or worker, an amazing athlete, a math genius, or a truly great dancer, it’s important to not fixate on the things about ourselves that we identify with the most. Why? Because Manson argues that identity is an arbitrary facade. He suggests looking at your life as a series of decisions and actions and try to maintain an identity that is defined by as little as possible.

Our emotional feeling brain actually rules over our rational, thinking brain. Yet we think, or pretend, that the opposite is true! According to Manson, emotions drive our consciousness, and it is emotion only that can motivate us into action. “Emotions convince your thinking brain that you’re right,” Manson says. When emotions rule over the thinking brain, it can lead to narcissism, addiction, compulsion, self-righteous anger, and so on. This is because a person ruled by their emotions has no independent thought, so they only pursue things that bring them instant gratification. Ultimately the goal is not to suppress your emotional brain, but to get your thinking brain connected to your emotional brain. Manson says do not try to suppress your emotions, but instead, try to convince your feeling brain that you will benefit from whatever decision that you are asking yourself about. A good example of this is when people often fail to succeed with lifestyle changes ― this is because our “feeling brain” feels like we don’t deserve the success.

Which leads us to self-worth. “Our self-worth is the sum of our emotions over time. If we can’t equalize, we accept inferiority, shame, and low self-worth,” Manson writes. Interestingly, both high and low self-worth are narcissistic, and self-worth is also an illusion. I know a thing or two about tying your accomplishments and/or abilities to your self-worth, so here’s a funny story from my college days: One day, the lockers got totally looted, so I had no choice but to jog home down a busy boulevard, for a mile and a half….in nothing but a Speedo and swimming goggles (and no shoes!). This was only one day after being the champion of a big tournament ― talk about being taken down a peg!

“Your identity will stay your identity until an event changes it,” Manson writes. “It’s a network of value-based narratives that determines our identity.” There are two ways to heal from this:

  • Examine the narratives of your life, and reposition them.
  • Visualize the future you want for yourself, and make that your new identity.

Let the feeling brain “try on” your new identity so it can become accustomed to it. This can be difficult, because it signifies that you’re really ready to change. “The stories of our future define our hopes, and the stories of our past define our identity” Manson notes, and he advises we take a look at both of those, so we can straighten them out, and get them right! Catch up with my recent interview with man himself, Mark Manson, here and if you haven’t yet read his books, check out The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope.

TIMESTAMPS:

It doesn’t work to try to be constantly happy. [04:11]

Carefully choose what you give a fuck about and then reject the social pressures.  [07:06]

Identity doesn’t exist.  It is arbitrary. It is a façade. [08:14]

Some of the chapter titles of this book are intriguing: Don’t Try, Happiness is a Problem, You are Not Special, etc. [10:37]

If you don’t have hope, you are basically headed toward depression and anxiety. [11:14]

A quick history of the 20th century gives an idea of what many people have lived through and helps put things in perspective. [13:37]

When life gets too comfortable, we have to pick a cause to worry about to give us meaning. [16:18]

Our emotional feeling brain actually rules over the rational thinking brain. [17:42]

The history of humanity features a major effort to conquer the emotional feeling brain with self-control. [19:50]

There’s a common notion in spiritual psychology that the affluence and love we achieve in life equates to our level of self -worth. [24:04]

Every emotional reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. [25:11]

Both high and low self-worth are narcissistic because they imagine themselves as something special. [27:25]

Your identity will stay your identity until an event changes it. [29:52]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Struggle gives richness to life.” – Roger Bannister
  • “Our modern and maddening urge to always find happiness only serves to make us unhappier.” – Mark Manson

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad (04:11):
Hey listeners. I hope you love. Love. Love my show with the super cool dude. Mark Manson, mega bestselling author of the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and his sequel book, Everything is Fucked. A book about hope and look at all the people that copied his spicy title from several years ago when, uh, the first book launched and now, Oh my gosh, we’re all about the getting unfucked, being confident is fucked. Uh, but he started it all. And I wanted to share some summary insights from the content of the book that will give you some practical advice right away, but also inspire you to dig in and read, uh, this great work from this young author that’s gone into extreme popularity. And I think he’s one of the great philosophers of modern times putting a lot of, uh, history and, uh, referencing the great minds of the past, into the unique circumstances of daily life. So the first book, the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is kind of a reaction to the self help industry. And what Manson saw is a culture of mindless positivity that isn’t practical or helpful for most people. This is a quote from a book description, and then my own insights will be sprinkled in throughout this breather show. Manson uses many of his own personal experiences to illustrate how life’s struggles often give it more meaning, which he argues is a better approach than constantly trying to be happy.

Brad (05:42):
So we have that distinction that other philosophers have shared with us as well, uh, between being trying to constantly be happy and positive and carry through this disposition that might not as valid or authentic as, uh, persevering through struggle and appreciating struggle, uh, as one of the great areas of richness in life. Uh, I like to quote Roger Banister, the first sub four minute miler the late Sir Roger Bannister. Um, and he, uh, wrote a wonderful book about his running career that was published back in the fifties when he was still a young man and had retired and pursue into a pursuit of a career in medicine. And he said, struggle gives meaning and richness to life. And of course he was talking about his, uh, athletic pursuits and striving to break the magical sub four minute mile barrier and compete in the Olympics world, world level events. sut to have that compelling goal of trying to be his best in the athletic realm, and then applying that mindset, that mentality to all other goals that you face in life, whether it’s relationship goals, being a parent, uh, staying fit and healthy, uh, controlling the wayward, uh, negative thoughts and ruminations and FOMO that we suffer from in today’s culture.

Brad (07:06):
You know, finding something that’s meaningful to struggle for is a great insight that came out of, Manson’s book. And then of course the title of the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck really means this subtle art of choosing very carefully to choose what you give a fuck about. And then kind of rejecting a lot of the, uh, societal pressures and forces that, uh, measure and judge us and kind of draw us into those, uh, horrible disease states like FOMO. So back to the written description. Manson’s approach and writing style had been categorized by some as contrarian to the general self help industry using blunt honesty and profanity to illustrate his ideas, our modern and maddening urge to always find happiness only serves to make us unhappier. Instead, The Subtle Art, uh, turned out. It turns out to be a bold challenge to choose your struggles and to narrow and focus and find the pain that you want to sustain the positive aspects of having a life of rich, meaningful struggles.

Brad (08:14):
Okay. A few more details about the theme in the book, a Manson argues that identity doesn’t exist. It’s arbitrary, it’s a facade quote, maintain an identity that is defined by as little as possible instead see your life as a series of decisions and actions. And he gives the example of someone wishing they could be better about their commitment to fitness, working out, going to the gym and the shift from being a person who’s lazy and non committed to becoming a fitness enthusiast is more difficult because you’re attaching your identity to various things in life. And by doing so, the stakes are higher.

Brad (09:05):
You get discouraged, you get negative, and then you tail spin away from your, uh, best intentions to, uh, become a different person, become a better person. Now, if you instead just saw your life as a series of decisions and actions, and weren’t wedded to the outcome in the way that you are, when you form your identity around being a lawyer or being a school teacher or being the president of the, uh, neighborhood, uh, society, all these things that we, uh, get our egos involved with and then are less effective and set ourselves up for more pain, suffering, disappointment, and failure to achieve, uh, tangible goals instead see your life as a series of decisions and actions. So you wake up one day and you say, ah, I’m going to decide to go to the gym. Uh, the stakes are more reasonable and you can, uh, just take action and kind of cruise along without the emotional baggage that often comes when our identity is attached to, uh, the things that we do. So this is kind of in line with his, uh, overarching theme of, uh, choosing what to give a fuck about, and then, uh, not worrying about the rest, being precise on what you choose to give a fuck about. Uh, here’s some chapter titles to intrigue you to grab this, uh, mega bestselling book that was just off the charts with, uh, record-breaking numbers of sales and translations around the world.

Brad (10:37):
So chapter One is called Don’t Try. Chapter Two is Happiness is a Problem. Three: You Are Not Special. Four: The Value of Suffering. Five: You are Always Choosing. Six: You are Wrong About Everything, (but so am I). Seven: Failure is the Way Forward. Eight: The Importance of Saying No. Nine: And Then You Die. So I thought I would recite the chapter titles because they’re clever and they give you a little bit of insight, hopefully with my description, helping as well, uh, as to what the book’s all about and the message they’re conveying.

Brad (11:14):
Okay. So then the, uh, the most recent book, Everything is Fucked. A Book about Hope, uh, took a little bit more notes cause I wanted to share that one, cause it’s probably less, uh, less popular at this point than the crazy first book. But if you love the first book definitely grabbed the second book and it really drew me in, I refer to these concepts often to help navigate the wild times of modern life. I want my kids to read it, good stuff. So in this book, Manson looks at our relationships with money entertainment and the internet, how too much of a good thing can eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom, and even hope itself. So the idea of this book, a book about hope is that you want to create a quote string of hope narratives as your defining purpose in life.

Brad (12:13):
If you don’t have hope, you are basically headed toward depression and anxiety. So all the things that we do, all the things that we care about sort of emanate from hope is the wonderful point that he makes persuasively in the book. And here’s the thing about today’s world, uh, by many, uh, practical measurements, uh, life is better today than any other time in the history of humanity. We have a more sustained period of peace. There’s no world Wars. There’s not a ton of minor conflicts. Of course there’s always something going on, but by comparison today’s world is better than ever, uh, compared to the middle ages compared to the, our, our grandparents and great grandparents generations. Mark Bell put this incredible, uh, post up on Instagram. And I’m going to read some of that too. Uh, just to give you a little bit of context when the argument that Manson advances that today’s better than ever, uh, falls flat because you don’t like our president or you think that North Korea is going to launch the bombs any moment, all those things might be relevant, but whew, compared to a generations ago, yeah, we’ve really managed to progress as a, as a global society, despite all the things that still have a needs to improve Mark by them.

Brad (13:37):
So go look at the great Instagram site of Mark Smelly Bell. Uh, my main man, the meathead millionaire, a leader in the fitness community. He’s got a lot of great posts on there. And in this one, he’s, uh, posting a picture of some really distressed looking, uh, refugees, all young children emaciated, starving, dressed in tatters. And, uh, the title of the post is perspective. Imagine you were an American born in 1900. That’s the exact year my grandfather was born. And so this was his life. Uh, that’s me talking. And then back to Mark Bell’s post, when you’re 14 World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday, 22 million people killed later in the year of Spanish flu pandemic hits the planet and runs until you’re age 20. 50 million people die in two years. Then when you’re 29, the great depression begins.

Brad (14:32):
Unemployment hits 25%. global GDP drops 27%. And this runs until you’re age 33, the country nearly collapses along with the world economy. Then when you turn 39 World War II starts. When you’re 41, the United States is fully involved in World War II. And between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perished in the war. The Holocaust kills 6 million. At age 52, the Korean war starts and 5 million people perish when you’re 64 years old, the Vietnam war begins. It doesn’t end for many years, 4 million people die in that conflict. Then at your 62nd birthday, you have the Cuban missile crisis, a tipping point in the cold war life on the planet. As we know it could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. Then when you’re 75, the Vietnam war finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that?

Brad (15:31):
A kid in 1985, didn’t think their 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was yet. Those grandparents and great grandparents survived through everything listed above perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try to keep things in perspective. This was written during the time of the quarantine, social isolation, the economy struggling accordingly. But if we can keep things in perspective, let’s be smart. Try to help each other out. And we’ll get through all this in the history of the world. There has never been a storm that lasted and this too shall pass. That’s Mark Bell on Instagram. And back to Mark Manson’s argument that this is a better time in the world than ever before. Here’s the thing. We have something called a paradox of progress.

Brad (16:18):
Life gets too easy, too comfortable. And when that happens, we have to pick a cause to worry about, to give us meaning. John Gray mentioned this in my show with him. He said that affluent couples have a higher rate of marital conflict because they have the time and energy to worry about nitpicky relationship issues rather than just, you know, fighting the battle together to make ends meet and to pay the rent at their apartment. So, yeah, interesting perspective that we kind of trend toward drama conflict in our lives when things get easy. So to create a string of hope narratives, this goal, to become our defining purpose in life, what do we need for hope? First, a sense of control. Second, believing in and valuing something. And third, a sense of community. So think about that and apply that to the things that you care about. Your sense of community is a huge one. Believing in caring about something, valuing something. I’m thinking of like fitness goals and people that are members of CrossFit community, or endurance training teams, and have that amazing connection of people, uh, working toward a common goal that’s challenging, involves struggle and giving meaning and richness to life like Roger Banister said.

Brad (17:42):
So then Manson gets into this really interesting argument that our emotional feeling brain actually rules over the rational thinking brain. But because we have this rational thinking brain, the thinking brain concludes that it’s the one in charge of the show. We pretend that the rational thinking brain rules over the emotional brain, but it’s actually not true. We’re taught to suppress our emotions, but this too is a fallacy. When you suppress your emotions, that’s getting a lobotomy. So the emotions are always there. And Manson argues that emotions drive our consciousness. Only emotion motivates us to action, not rational conclusions of which car we’re going to buy because it got better ratings on consumer reports. That is the illusion. It’s the emotions that trigger these purchasing decisions and a good example, or also summoning, the motivation to get off the couch and get into the gym and get in shape.

Brad (18:46):
So since only emotion motivates us to action, we need to get buy in from our emotional brain in order to take action toward a goal emotions, convince your thinking brain that you’re right. This is the essence of self-serving bias or confirmation bias right here. Emotions convincing your thinking brain that you’re right, this kind of behavior where the emotions are ruling over the thinking brain leads to huh? Not so many good things, huh? Can you guess it leads to narcissism, addiction, compulsion, self righteous anger, and so on a person ruled by emotions has no independent thought and only pursues instant gratification. So the idea, the goal here is to get your thinking brain connected with your emotional brain, not to suppress your emotions or steam, roll them with your powerful intellect that knows everything, what to do. And you don’t have to listen to your emotions.

Brad (19:50):
No. The history of humanity features a major effort to conquer the emotional feeling brain with self-control. So we’ve known this for a long time that we have to not let our emotions rule our behavior, right? Otherwise we get narcissism addiction, compulsion, self righteous anger. And so how have we tried this throughout the history of humanity? Yes. Religion is the big one, right? Suppress your emotions, suppress your instincts. Follow the rules, go to confession if you stray a little bit. He also references cultism as an extreme example of trying to conquer the emotional feeling brain that’s actually in control with self-controlling guidelines. Okay. So what happened in the 20th century was this awakening occurred and people rebelled against the long time centuries, old self control mechanisms in society like religious doctrine. And they began to express their emotions and passions. We had the rebellious decades of the sixties and the freedom of the seventies, right?

Brad (20:57):
Uh, here’s Manson making the argument that, uh, when you swing the pendulum too far in the other direction, the emotional feeling brain starts to run amok again. Right? So on the two edges of the continuum, we have the emotionally driven human delving into narcissism addiction, compulsive, and self righteous anger. And then on the other end of the spectrum, we have the, uh, controlled, suppressed think about the gender roles that John Gray talked about a little bit, where we have the male breadwinner who comes home, pops open a beer and gets waited on by the dutiful female partner. Who’s supposed to be a barefoot in the kitchen, making food and making babies, right? All that kind of nonsense that we’ve had to grow through, uh, in recent decades. Geez. How about the suppression of one’s sexuality? He can’t get any deeper of a suppression than that.

Brad (21:53):
And the great giant religious bodies and political bodies trying to strong arm people into that deep of a emotional suppression hole. So we have that end of the spectrum. And then we have a today’s common problem since the pendulum has swung away from all that nonsense. But then we get today’s stereotypical, affluent entitled, spoiled millennial or spoiled adult. And let’s not pick on the millennials, right? Uh, these kind of the narcissism that’s running amok. So this solution get your thinking brain connected with your feeling brain when pondering logical life decisions, ask your feeling brain to weigh in. Weigh all logical decisions by asking yourself how you feel about whatever consequence quitting your job, moving to a new city, getting involved in a relationship, severing a relationship, and assess the emotional answer without judgment. Don’t try to suppress your emotions. You need to convince your feeling brain, that you’ll benefit from whatever decision you’re asking yourself about you need buy in from the feeling brain.

Brad (23:07):
The reason we don’t succeed with lifestyle change is our feeling brain feels like we don’t deserve the success. And we get stuck in a repeating pattern of suffering that comes from past programming. I got into this a little bit with Luke Story in that great, uh, discussion near the end of our interview when he was talking about the, uh, manifestation of a wealth of your dreams and how we commonly misinterpret that to think that, uh, we try to manifest wealth so that we can be happy. And he says, no, you have to come from a position of gratitude and then see yourself into with great specificity the life that you dream about. So that’s kind of convincing your feeling brain that it will benefit from rather than deep down feeling undeserving of happiness, wealth, peace of mind, contentment, a life well lived.

Brad (24:04):
Don’t pass this stuff off as silly. There’s a common notion in spiritual psychology that the affluence and love we achieve in life equates to our level of self worth. In his book, The Big Leap, psychologist, Gay Hendricks advances, the compelling argument that we bump up against what he calls an upper limit in life. And this is described in Hendrick’s words as quote, it’s an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love success and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. The thermostat setting usually gets programmed in early childhood. Once programmed our upper limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance and creativity. That’s rightfully ours end quote. Whew! Okay. So get that feeling brain to buy in, right? Just like the scenes in the movies. Yeah, I deserve it. That sounds good. All right, let’s do this. Okay. So otherwise you get stuck in patterns of past programming and suffering.

Brad (25:11):
So Manson has a clever device where he’s talking about, uh, Isaac Newton’s laws of gravity. And then because we’re talking about the emotional brain, he talks a lot about the amazing life of Isaac Newton. And, um, he draws in this new idea of Newton’s laws of emotion, of course, that he made up to kind of counterbalance the, uh, the rational brain, the thinking brain and all the great work that Newton did, but he had a rough life. And it was very interesting story, but he’d come up with this concept of Newton’s laws of emotion. Here’s the first one, every emotional reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. If it doesn’t, we develop what’s called a moral gap. So if you can think about being bullied as a child in middle school and, uh, suffering these intense, painful emotions, but not able to fight back or lash back at the bullies, that’s the nature of bullying, right?

Brad (26:09):
Then the equal and opposite emotional reaction is going to be a suppression, uh, that leads to low self esteem and continued pain and suffering throughout life. Okay. So when you have a chance to equalize an emotional reaction with a corresponding emotional reaction, then you don’t have that moral gap. And this could be another example could be a passive aggressive dynamic where there’s a conflict and then the equal and opposite emotional reaction comes in the form of passive rather than going toe to toe in a more, a classic example of a conflict. The next law of emotion is our self worth is the sum of our emotions over time. If we can’t equalize, like I discussed with the bully example, we accept inferiority shame and low self worth. I’m thinking of the great work of Berne Brown, talking about the sources of shame and how to get through that kind of challenge here, where we’re you know, adding up the, some of our emotional experiences and then forming a negative self image because of the moral gap, because we didn’t, uh, you know, fully processed these emotions.

Brad (27:25):
Oh, guess what? The flip side is diluted high self worth. Both high and low self worth are narcissistic because they imagine themselves as something special, something separate from the world. So I remember going back to the first book of identities and illusion, self worth is also an illusion. And if you Harbor self-worth, if you cultivate self worth self worth, then you should get a dog. Woof, woof, okay. Self worth. If you are trafficking in self worth, this is a form of persistent low level narcissism, right? Make sense? Hey, I was an athlete. I was pretty caught up and, uh, the importance of my pursuits as a competitive triathlete. And at times making it very easy to attach self worth to what place I got in the most recent race, right? You’re on a winning streak, you get some diluted high self worth, and then you’re on a losing streak and you get delusional, low self worth, both are narcissistic because they imagine themselves as something special, something separate from the world.

Brad (28:43):
And one of my favorite examples of getting recalibrated from a potentially diluted high self worth was the day after I won this big race on the professional triathlon circuit. And then I jogged over to the swimming pool to do a workout feeling pretty good about myself, getting a little stretch in for the muscles after the great performance the previous day. And I got out of the pool and went to my locker at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California. And everything was stolen. The, the locker was looted. So my shoes, my clothes, my expensive sunglasses, thankfully sponsor gave them to me. Remember, I just want a big race. And so I had to jog home about a mile and a half on a busy Boulevard wearing a Speedo. And of course my goggles barefoot. And so that was getting taken down from being the champ the day before and give it a nice victory speech to the adoring crowd at the triathlon gathering. Whoever stole the stuff out of my locker, didn’t give a crap about who won the race the day before and there I was getting looked at by passing cars jogging along in a Speedo.

Brad (29:52):
Oh yeah. Okay. so that was the second law of emotion. Our self worth is a sum of our emotions over time. And if we can’t equalize, we accept inferiority shame and low self worth. Finally, the third one, your identity will stay your identity until an event changes. It’s a network of value based narratives that determines our identity. So there’s two ways to heal. First, examine the narratives of your life and reposition them. Second, visualize the future that you want for yourself and make that your new identity. Okay. That’s pretty awesome. Pretty simple. The first one, right? Go back and process things and realize just because you were bullied in middle school, doesn’t mean you have to accept inferiority, shame and low self worth today. Second, visualize the future that you want for yourself. Single people visualize the ideal relationship. My recent podcast guest Dude Spellings did an exercise with his girlfriend to write out their view of an ideal partner and then share it with each other what great stuff.

Brad (31:03):
So visualize the future you want and make that your new identity. Let the feeling brain, try it on and become accustomed to it. Hey, you know what? This could be a difficult exercise, Manson says, because if you’re going to do it, that means you really are ready to change. And the stories of our future define our hopes, the stories of our past define our identity. And let’s take a look at both of those and get them right. Get them straight. It’s a book about hope after all. I hope you enjoyed this little summary and will intrigue you to go get the audio book narrated by the author himself or the written book. Great stuff. Thank you so much, Mark Manson for taking the time to join me on the podcast and get that great interview out there. So please go listen to the interview if you haven’t already. Thanks for listening to the breather show. Yeah, you can find Mark Manson on Instagram. He published his great quotes every day and all over the place. Of course the books are everywhere and they have a two book package you can get on. Amazon of Everything is Fucked. A book about hope and the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. So go grab it. Have a great day. Thanks for listening. Bye.

Brad (32:15):
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 iTunes or 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 cause they need to thanks for doing it.

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Bee The Wellness founders Vanessa and Adam Lambert are here to talk about all things related to health and wellness today, with a focus on relationships. This power couple truly knows their stuff, as Bee The Wellness is a health and wellness consulting company that specializes primarily in retreats held around the world. People experience full-on lifestyle transformations during these programs and Vanessa and Adam’s warm energy and enthusiastic personalities bring a really special sense of camaraderie to the whole experience.

Vanessa and Adam also host a “Bee The Wellness” podcast that allows them to further connect with their audience and also bring in some fun guests. You’re probably thinking now that that’s a lot of time for two people to spend together – collaborating daily for their company and their retreats, weekly for their podcast, and also just being in a committed partnership! Vanessa shares that, “One of the biggest things for us as we’ve grown in our relationship is actually to have permission to argue…to actually make space for that.” This was quite a discovery for Vanessa, as she grew up hearing her mother, who was divorced, press upon the importance of never arguing with your partner. However, Vanessa realized that if you’re always living in fear of not “getting along” with your spouse, that will do you both a great disservice. And as their relationship grew with time, she realized that she and Adam were able to communicate in a much healthier manner when they were getting stuff off their chests and expressing what was on their mind to each other. “You can’t just shove it away in a corner. It’s actually been awesome for us to learn how to fight!” Vanessa comments, laughing. Adam quickly clarifies that their fights are not “screaming and yelling sessions” but rather a way for them to simply have a rational conversation about information that just has to be let out into the open. And as they both explain, not taking things personally makes a huge difference, which is why they’re both so committed to letting the small stuff go. They understand that the other person might say something without thinking, or be running on little sleep, and something insensitive or unnecessary slips out…it happens, we’re all human. And not being nit-picky or overly sensitive to those very real, human moments, to simple mistakes, makes a huge difference in the dynamic of their relationship. Vanessa notes that often, a lot of people will “latch onto” one bad moment in their relationship and “become a victim of that moment,” but that kind of behavior will never help you move forward. Clearly, getting over yourself goes a long way, especially when you find yourself in a petty argument with your spouse and can’t even remember how you got there! Vanessa reminds us that no one will be perfect “every second of the day” and to just remember this when you find yourself in a challenging moment. “80/20 it!” Adam suggests. Yes, you can totally apply the 80/20 healthy eating rule to your behavior within your relationship – strive for your best most of the time, but don’t beat yourself up when a small mistake slips in. Recognize what happened, acknowledge the mistake and the part you played, learn from it, and move on. Next!

More than anything, taking personal responsibility for the way you are in all areas of life is one of the major lessons people learn to integrate from Adam and Vanessa. They compare its importance to managing money to illustrate how much care people will pour into one area of their lives if they think it’s important. Well, if you don’t put the same kind of thought and responsibility into managing your emotions, then how can you be surprised when you realize you have no control over them? One big question Adam pushes people to ask themself is: “Where do I suffer more if I’m not the person I need to be?” Almost always, the answer to this question is work, as that’s where your income and reputation come from, not to mention how often it involves your ego.

One of the best takeaways from this show is how deeply beneficial it is to work on your relationship because working on your relationships forces you to work deeply on yourself. This is because the simple act of being in a committed partnership will make anyone expand internally in a way that they wouldn’t have been prompted to, had that other person not been there for you to react to. As Vanessa notes, working through issues in a relationship is often the catalyst for you to say, “Wait, why do I react like that?” which allows you to really go deep and examine why you react to things in a specific way. Discovering where certain deep-rooted behavior comes from – “sifting through your files together” as Vanessa has coined it – is the “magic” that keeps them together – through doing the deep work. Adam and Vanessa have been together a long time (since they were “kids,” Adam notes) and fortunately, they’ve been able to grow together, and not grow away from each other.

A huge part of that growth is thanks to their Bee The Wellness coaching program. One of the reasons why their retreats are so life changing is because Vanessa and Adam are constantly taking it to the next level and asking themselves the right (and sometimes hard) questions in order to deepen their emotional intelligence. One thing they point out is how everyone is always so focused on being healthy, but for what? “You’re not going to get a blue ribbon for being healthy….The real prize is in how you use it,” Vanessa says. She makes a great point – if simply being healthy, fit, and capable is the prize, then what do you really want to use it for?  These retreats are often centered around physically challenging exercises, like hiking Machu Picchu and white water rafting in Costa Rica, but as Vanessa and Adam explain, the physical fitness aspect is merely a conduit that leads people to develop a deeper and clearer understanding of what they’d like to devote their time to, and how to best utilize their strengths, both physical and mental. And more than anything, the camaraderie that develops between the other retreat members is truly invaluable: “It makes these once in a lifetime experiences even more special because you’re sharing them with people who are your friends, but who feel like family.”

That’s all for today, but stay tuned for an upcoming show where we’ll discuss plant medicine and the role ayahuasca plays in their life-changing retreats.

TIMESTAMPS:

Adam and Vanessa balance the yin and the yang on their podcasts. [06:32]

Their solid marriage is based on the ability to converse in an adult manner and not take things personally. [12:02]

Adam points out the difficult adjustment people in powerful jobs have to go through when they get home. [17:27]

Surveys show a surprising difference in what women and men really want from a partner. [23:37]

You have to take creativity and understand how to create structure around your life. [30:25]

How does it work with Vanessa and Adam to spend every waking hour together? [36:15]

When the couple spends a great deal of time apart, there tends to be a lack of intimacy. [41:24]

If your partner doesn’t want to hear about your day, you will withdraw from them. [44:39]

Vanessa and Adam began in the primal paleo scene many years ago in Chico, CA. [47:13]

The community aspect of their training fosters their wellness program. [50:56]

It’s much easier to eat primally when you are out of the States. [55:58]

The battle to be healthy here in the U.S. is not a joke.  There is constant infiltration of crap. [58:37]

You have to take a lot of personal responsibility to try psychedelics. One needs to be very cautious. [01:00:29]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

“There has to be structure and commitment around the way you do your day.”

“Create your life in a way so you have things you’re committed to, that you follow through with.”

“It’s much easier to eat primally when you are out of the States.”

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balance that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad (00:04:05):
Hey, I get to talk to a super duper power couple of the universe. Vanessa and Adam Lambert. They operate a health and wellness consulting company called Bee The Wellness, BEE The Wellness, specializing in retreats, adventurous destination retreats where they go for big time lifestyle transformation with this total immersion experience. The camaraderie part and the free spirited part is the centerpiece. Vanessa is a real free spirit. She has an alternate ego by the name of Nesta Ray, where she’s a singer, songwriter, performer, a. These guys are a lot of fun and we were going to talk about the retreats and their career and the health and fitness space, but we ended up on this show getting into relationship dynamics because these guys are fascinating. They live together, work together, travel together, their lives are interwoven and completely on the same parallel track.

Brad (00:05:06):
Adam used to be a firefighter when he was gone for long stretches of time during the relationship and now they’ve gone into chapter two where they’re side by side or actually face to face at their dueling standup desks where they spend a lot of their day planning the retreats and running the business coaching people. And so we just get into a lot of that about what it’s like to have sort of a long distance relationship where you’re lonely and a lot of times and now when you’re in each other’s face all the times. And I love their perspective and their insights. So we get into that with a lot of content here. And then we’re going to have a second show with them where we focus on am the plant medicine world and specifically the all inclusive AyahuascaRetreats that they host an organized, and this is new territory to me, so that’s going to be show number two. But here let’s hear from a couple who’s really making it work, change in other people’s lives and live in the dream with their priorities in the right place.

Brad (00:06:04):
Adam and Vanessa Lambert of Bee The Wellness.com Adam and Vanessa here in this fabulous white standup studio in beautiful Venice beach, California.

Vanessa (00:06:17):
Welcome.

Brad (00:06:18):
I got you warmed up. I want you to get right into that again cause I was asking you about the fabulous be the wellness podcast and what’s your, what’s your vision for how it’s clarified recent times? Tell us about that.

Vanessa (00:06:32):
Yeah, well I think when we first started it we, it was mostly Adam and I just supporting our programs and supporting the offerings that we had out there, giving coaching advice and connecting with our audience. And then we got really inspired to bring in guests that we were interested in that we thought would bring interesting conversation or you know, just further exploration to the podcast. And then I was saying that I started to get a little lazy and then I started letting people sort of pitch me on their ideas and started, you know, Oh okay, that might be cool that that might be a cool interview. And what I realized is that it really makes a difference that I, that we select the people we want to have on the podcast that the listeners can feel the difference between us being pitched and having someone on as opposed to us selecting someone and inviting them on.

Adam (00:07:23):
Yeah, yeah, 100% and it’s like there is, there is a percentage obviously that people that pitch and we’re like, well this sounds super cool. I’ve never heard of this person. So it’s like it’s awesome that that happens. But there’s definitely a difference in like the overall vibe of what goes down in the podcast. And I think how it lands for the people listening. If it’s like somebody that’s on a book tour that’s just looking for podcasts to get on and they come on ours and even if it’s super interesting, there’s just something about that dynamic that’s like less authentic.

Vanessa (00:07:53):
Yeah.

Brad (00:07:54):
You guys are those universe energy people I first met. Yeah. The people were gravitating towards your strength training sessions at the Primalcon retreat. It was just magic over there. You hear the giggling and the laughing someones in some other groups on boring presentations, 30 meters away at the beach. What are those guys doing over there? What do they do with that PVC pipe? How did, how did dead lift proper properly using a PVC pipe? That’s no joke. I mean yeah. Yeah and um, I think that was awakening for me cause I tweaked my back a few times and I had to get deep into that form and that perfect mechanics with a lower weight of course. And watching Layla over and over, we filmed her doing it, doing a video. It’s on YouTube and I just like kept repeating it in slow motion and Brian McAndrew and someone who knows what they’re doing. But now I’ve got the hex bar, which I think is made it a lot more protective and yeah. So go order one. This show is sponsored by hex bar unlimited bar.com. Yeah. Have you read the uh, like the, the, the data suggesting that um, the male female host dynamic is like super interesting. Like people like that better?

Vanessa (00:09:07):
No, but you were telling me this.

Brad (00:09:09):
Yeah. Yeah. Bill Simmons grabbed like a female, you know, Bill Simmons, the sports guys got all the sports stuff and he talks about TV shows and the Boston Celtics and like from a very male bent of, you know, uh, crazy commentary going off track and all that. And now like this female’s on there all the time. They probably probably read the same thing, like just works on a certain level.

Vanessa (00:09:31):
You know, everyone naturally likes going back to the energy. They like thinking in the yang. They like the masculine and the feminine. I think that all of us, no matter who we are as listeners, we, there’s something in each side of it that you can relate to. And that pulls out a different perspective for you. So I think that we just, you know, luckily happened to do it and happened to just be a male and a female who decided to do a podcast. And luckily that’s correct.

Adam (00:09:55):
Yeah. Yeah. Well it’s, it’s interesting to think about though, but I mean that is a lot of the feedback that we get. Like for a lot of our longtime listeners are like, we just like listening to you guys banter back and forth about stuff, you know, which is, which is cool. I mean, hopefully it’s actually imparting some level of, I don’t know, information or something, but Hey man, I’ll take it if you just want to listen to us, you know, dynamics.

Brad (00:10:21):
You listen to Casey Neistat’s podcast with his wife? No, the YouTube sensation. So he’s a very prominent YouTube personality and his wife’s an anonymous, you know, she’s been in a few of his videos and so now they have their own podcasts, Couples Therapy. It’s called. And those guys go at it, man. I mean, it’s like unplugged all the way. They’re like arguing and like, you know, I should, because I didn’t want to do this podcast because you’re being such an asshole this week and it’s entertaining. And it’s also, um, they’re, they’re, you know, his whole thing is the daily villa started that and you know, he, he just exposes his life to the camera and it’s, you know, it’s the difference between the manufactured media that we grew up with and had until just a few years ago. And now it’s like, you know, it’s extremely enlightening to hear a real couple talk it out without the sugarcoating. Oh, totally. Not that you guys need to get into that relationship dynamic stuff, but you know, just therapy to come through. Yeah, it comes through. [inaudible]

Vanessa (00:11:18):
well, it’s been, actually, it’s been, one of the biggest things for Adam as we’ve grown in our relationship is actually to have permission to argue, to just have permission to make space for that.

Brad (00:11:27):
Are you saying on, on, on the, on the, on the mic or in general? Just in general. Nice. Here we go. Here we go. Listeners. Ready?

Vanessa (00:11:36):
I grew up with, um, so my mom was divorced and part of the dogma of, of her mindset was that you shouldn’t fight as a couple. So I heard a lot of this like, well, if you don’t get along then maybe you shouldn’t be in the relationship. There was all this stuff. And as we got older and our relationship got older, I was like, dude, you have to fight. You have to get this stuff out. You can’t just shove it away in a corner. So it’s been awesome for us to learn how to fight.

Adam (00:12:02):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s not like screaming and yelling and carrying on, but it’s like, it’s just that it takes like, I think at the end of the day, if it’s, if you have the Ram or like the energy to, to be able to have a, you know, rational and like adult tone conversation about things, that’s probably better, you know? But like, if you don’t have it, like in the moment, you just still gotta get the information out like [inaudible] or the other, you know. So even if you can’t quite control your, your shits, so to speak, it’s like, it’s, I don’t know, we’ve found anyway for us that it’s just better to get it out there and get it over with.

Vanessa (00:12:42):
Yeah. And not take it so personally in the heat of the moment, you know, it’s like, okay, maybe someone says something in a tone or in a way in the heat of the moment that if they were feeling more rational and maybe had more energy or more sleep or whatever, they wouldn’t have said it that way. But we don’t latch onto it like, and become a victim around this moment. It’s like, okay, well that was a moment. How many other moments are we rational? Are we loving? Are we able to sit down and work through it? So it’s like you just kind of have to leave some space for it though, because you’re not going to be perfect. And every month,

Adam (00:13:11):
yeah, 80 20th yeah. Well, I mean,

Brad (00:13:14):
that’s my followup going on in my head. It’s like, Hey, 80 20th that’s cool. And if it’s 2080 yeah. Honestly, when that’s a moment and there’s another moment and there’s another moment and I’m sorry I called you an effing bitch. I really didn’t mean it sweetie, come here, let’s have some makeup, sex. You know that kind of stuff is like we have, we have to have that openness to free an exchange of dialogue and emotions, but also some kind of parameters where this is how we operate.

Vanessa (00:13:39):
Agree. Totally. That’s a really good point because actually people could hear that and think, Oh well if they do it, maybe it’s not that big of a deal. Yeah,

Brad (00:13:47):
there go Vanessa going off again [inaudible] in the kitchen,

Vanessa (00:13:53):
but it is because I think the majority of the time is really thoughtful and really calm and and communicative and we do a lot of work on ourselves and we do a lot of work on our relationship and so I think for when it is that 20% and I doubt it’s even 20% it’s probably more like five or 10% it’s like we just don’t take it personally. We don’t latch onto it as some big defining thing in our relationship because so much of it is the opposite.

Brad (00:14:20):
Yeah. You have that healthy foundation, which counts for so much. John Gottman relationship expert, one of the best guys out there for a long time, and he says, hell, a healthy longterm successful couples have a 20 to one ratio of positive to negative comments in ordinary life and a five to one ratio during an argument.

Vanessa (00:14:43):
Wow, that’s amazing.

Brad (00:14:44):
Yeah.

Vanessa (00:14:45):
I’m going to have start and I’ll start keeping track.

Brad (00:14:49):
I mean, you can envision a exchange. Where’s the contentious issues being being saying,

Vanessa (00:14:54):
yeah,

Brad (00:14:55):
I totally want to support your, your dream to go sky diving and you’ve worked so hard and you’re a great provider and you’re so good at saving money and I see that you have the money to go pay for it. Um, and I know you’re safe and you’re fit and you’re all this and I don’t want you to fucking skydive. So there’s five or seven, then we dropped the one in there. It makes for a better discussion then over my, yeah, over my dead parachute. Yeah.

Adam (00:15:22):
Yeah. Here’s the 10 reasons you suck and I’m going to throw parachuting right in there with it.

Vanessa (00:15:27):
Well, I think that, you know, it just takes a certain level of emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence as related to general intelligence. Like how you are about life, how you notice the way that you react to life that you interact with life. And I think that that’s something that, you know, you just have to take personal responsibility at some point with the way you are about things and your relationship is no different. And so, you know, if you are only great at work and you only have, you know, you’re intelligent within the your career path, but nowhere else at some point you have to just expand out that learning scale, escape and start to create some new tools and, and the other parts of your life.

Brad (00:16:10):
Yeah. Freaking hope. So. But there’s so many peak performers that just nail it in one area of life, but they don’t have the Ram as Adam says. Yeah. Perhaps as an as a a excuse, they’re, they’re so focused on their important super-duper career, they don’t have time for, um, partner family. But it seems like if you have all those things in place, you should be able to just turn that dial over into, into another realm.

Vanessa (00:16:35):
Yeah. Well, I mean I think the, the funny thing about it is if you don’t take the time for it, you’re only going to make it more complex because if you don’t make the time for your family, you’re only gonna create more animosity, more negativity, more distance, all these things that are going to be bigger to overcome later on in life. And so it’s almost like, it’s crazy to think you don’t have the Ram because it’s going to require the least amount now on the front end compared to the backend. And I think that’s just what, that’s where the intelligence comes in, right? That’s where like just looking at it intelligently to say, Oh, okay, how can I be wise about this? It’s just like an investment strategy with your money. It’s the same with your energy. Like if I don’t do this right now, it’s only going to be harder later.

Brad (00:17:22):
Faster. Yeah. Same with speaking up. Like you talk about the start of this, you can’t have that happening.

Adam (00:17:27):
Yeah, yeah. That’s an interesting one because, so in my previous life, you know, there were, there were times where to, to perform at that level of a firefighting. Yeah, exactly. And to perform at that level, like there’s, you’re certainly not encouraged to, to go about things diplomatically. You know, it’s not, it’s not a democracy whatsoever. You know, it’s like who’s in charge is who and who’s in charge. And hopefully they take some level of input from the people around them, like the good ones do. But there’s like a, so I’m imagining a person who’s crushing it in that world, you know, and they’re, every decision that they make is their decision to make. And everybody just falls in line with what it is. And they get a lot of positive feedback for it because fundamentally they’re nailing that aspect of their life to be able to flip the switch and come into their family dynamic and not have that level of sort of autonomy to operate and the way that they work can be really challenging. You know what I mean?

Adam (00:18:28):
There’s a reason that the divorce rate in the fire services, well over 50 probably into the 75% range. And this is for multiple divorces. You know, it’s like I worked with so many guys who were on their third there, maybe sometimes their fourth, which at some point you’re like, dude, how about why do you keep doing this? And what part of this is like just have a girlfriend, you know, just just call it, you know, but it’s a, it’s a real thing, you know? And I think you see the similar situation kind of in the high power executive world as well, where they’re the masters of their domain and functioning at that level becomes like the it, it’s just the, it’s like the, the, the measure that the rest of their life is, is held up against. You know, it’s like I crush it here and the reason that I crushed it here is because I don’t allow for any of this bullshit that’s going on.

Adam (00:19:14):
You know, everybody knows exactly what’s expected of them. They perform, you know, and that doesn’t work at home.

Vanessa (00:19:20):
Not for a long with that mindset, maybe not as effective.

Adam (00:19:24):
Yeah. Not as effective. But then it just creates this like this dissonance for the person, you know, and they’re like, wow, okay, so now I have to be this person when I’m at work and I have to be this person when I’m at home. And that’s really challenging to do. So, which of the two things, like where do I suffer more if I’m not the person that I need to be? And almost always it’s at work because that’s where the places is, that’s where you’re earning your income. That’s where your reputation and all of these things get. Your ego gets wrapped up in, you know, so you see people trending towards like, well, if I’m going to prioritize a way to be, I gotta be this way and the person who loves me most, she’s not going to leave me cause she loves me.

Adam (00:20:02):
You know, so she’s going to take the beating on this. You know, and I’m sure it goes both ways. Like, I’m sure there’s, you know, um, high powered women executives out there that are out there that come home and beat their husbands, you know,

Brad (00:20:14):
Figuratively speaking figuratively. Yeah. Well I just had an amazing podcast with John Gray. The uh, the author of men are from Mars. Women are from Venus number one best selling relationship author of all time. And his insights were, were pretty amazing and along these lines. And one of the things is like, this is all new stuff because we had these traditional gender roles that were for centuries, eons back to a hunter gatherer times. We know the women got most of the food that the females and the men were doing, the physical hunting of the animals. And so we come into industrial revolution and it was the man’s workplace world and the women was nurturing, caretaking. And so he talks his new book, uh, Beyond Mars and Venus talks about the hormonal underpinnings of relationship dynamics and what works and what, when things get out of balance. And one of them is like the females in the workplace. It’s a wonderful progress for society, but the workplace is a testosterone dominant.

Brad (00:21:07):
He calls it male dominant, not not to offend a female in the workplace, but it’s a testosterone dominant, competitive, focus driven, solve problems, all these things. So a female in the workplace is going against her estrogen, testosterone, hormonal balance. So she needs to unwind when she gets home, which means she needs to vent to her partner with her partner sitting there and listening quietly, not offering a solution. All those old time Mars and Venus insights and the man needs to constantly nurture and rebuild testosterone. So he can’t be in a relationship where there’s bickering and complaining because the man wants to feel like a super powerful problem solver, crushing it at work, crushing it at home. And so the couple can set these dynamics up where you’re playing to his strengths and you’re playing to her strengths and everything can be wonderful, but we have to recognize, wow, we’re fighting a battle against the gender balance in modern culture.

Vanessa (00:22:01):
Right. Yeah. Again, this comes back to just intelligence, emotional intelligence, right? Because many people wouldn’t even know to think about that. They wouldn’t even think, well, Oh, I’m, you know, I’m going against the cultural or gender norms. Like this is what it takes these days I think is to really look at what’s there for each couple individually and to zoom out and say, okay, what’s our dynamic? What are the things that we’re battling with and what are the tools that we can implement to overcome it or to master this, this piece of our life. Yeah.

Adam (00:22:33):
I wonder how that’s going for him with the, you know, there’s, there’s so much, there’s just so much sort of outrage just ready to be unleashed upon anything. Anybody that says gender and associated with something like we were just talking about right there. You know, I wonder, I wonder how he’s doing with that.

Brad (00:22:51):
because same with like the PC stuff. Yeah. You know, my son’s like, he’s pretty sensitive and into that stuff and you know, he’ll give me a hard time for, for rapping at the start of the podcast cause I’m impersonating or I’m appropriating. Oh. Someone else’s culture. And you know, when I was, um, when, when I was younger, um, there were some different acceptance levels of stuff and everybody would imitate Jimmy Walker dynamite, JJ on the show, um, as a, as a funky black dude with a floppy hat. Right. And he was so funny, he was the funniest guy in America. It’s like, well that’s not that funny now cause you know, it’s an indoctrinated, prejudicial thinking and stuff. You have to be, you have to be more careful extra. But I like when people like that hit hard.

Brad (00:23:37):
Wendy Walsh was on my show, the relationship therapist. And so that’s why we’re sticking on this subject. But she’s saying like, um, Oh the, the top three things a male and a female look for in a relationship, no matter what you say, come out of your mouth. Like number one is sense of humor. Nope, not really because your genetic drives aren’t looking for something else. For female. It’s, um, number one resources. Number two, intelligence. And number three, kindness. So the females want the Ferrari more than anything else. It doesn’t matter if he’s funny or sweet with polite, no resources. Intelligence to go get more resources if he loses his resources. And then kindness is cool to land in there and the man wants number one, youth and beauty. Number two, loyalty. Because fertility is concealed by by humans. So you don’t know if you’re uh, if you’re the father, so to speak, that’s your main genetic drive in life. So you want a female who’s loyal rather than going out and uh, maybe getting impregnated by six other random people. Yeah. And then number three is kindness. Yeah. So yeah, so we, we cut to, we cut to, you know, today’s balancing all this stuff and um, you know, saying everything you got to say in a relationship with loving kindness would be like a goal. Using that emotional intelligence and knowing this is where I think you guys got into some magic there. Like you, you express that you have this baseline level of respect, this foundation. So anything that’s said, even if it’s a little charged, you’re going to back it up a little bit and maybe you’ve figured out like your words, wisdom of strategies going. Okay, I hear ya. I hear ya. Let’s, let’s sit down and talk about this further rather than calm the F down, like things that you should never ever say to a female who’s estrogen imbalance. Right? Yeah. But man, to unwind some of this stuff and realize like my goal, you know, was it had, and with producing a podcast and listening to podcasts, it’s like we want to continue to progress, man. We don’t want to repeat these same mistakes. Otherwise we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re stupid instead of intelligent, literally. Right.

Vanessa (00:25:43):
Well, and I think it’s, you know, it’s actually goes deeper for all of us than we tend to think. And I think that’s what’s been really helpful for Adam and I, is that we really taken our relationship work has taken on a sense where we work deeply on ourselves. Looking at what was the thing that started this behavior way back when, when we were kids. What’s the thing that we’re arguing right now? But where did this start for one of us individually or together? What was the, you know, thing that happened to us in third grade that made this first wall go up or this first reaction and it goes deep. You know, and oftentimes what you’re arguing about in the moment is literally something that was created decades ago. And so I think it just really takes time to, to sift through the files of your life together and go, you know, why do I react that way? Why am I self conscious about that thing? Like where does it come from? And I think that that’s really where the magic has been for us is going and doing that really deep, deep work.

Adam (00:26:44):
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And then, and then we’ve been together forever. That’s some point, you know, and I, I’d, it’d be interesting to know what the statistic is on, on marriages based on like when, how old the people were when they got married. You know what I mean? It was like our, do our young marriages more apt to fail than people who get married later in life or what that number is. But cause I could kinda like, I could probably argue either way. I mean, I’ve no idea what it is, but I know for us it’s like we were kids fundamentally when we got married, and fortunately the way that we progressed through it was by kind of growing up together, not growing away from each other, which you could 100% see that would have that. How that would happen. I mean, I’m a completely different person now, 42 than I was a 25 like no doubt. And so it was Vanessa, you know? And then fortunately,

Brad (00:27:34):
shit, how old are you, Vanessa?

Vanessa (00:27:35):
I’m 40 I just,

Brad (00:27:36):
Oh my God. Yeah, I mean you were like 20 something when I, when I, when I saw you at primal, I was like 2009 maybe it was 10 years ago. Oh my gosh. It’s crazy. We’re all grown. Okay. All right. Yeah, you guys look good. Let’s say you look the same as when I saw,

Adam (00:27:57):
yeah, we just keep clicking away. You know, like a year after year. It’s like,

Vanessa (00:28:01):
Whoa, there’s one more and.

Adam (00:28:03):
they go faster too, for whatever reason. But yeah, I mean if you, if you can find it within yourself to grow along with and in support of your partner, it’s a, you know, that, that’s what we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to cultivate is like literally we both recognize we’re turning into different people. And I think it was who’s the guy that wrote the prophet? No, no, no. The Prophet. The Prophet. Yeah. So there was a, there was a passage in that book or like short list of insights or whatever that, whatever you want to call that, where he talked about marriage and how the marriage should be looked, should look, be looked at like a house where there’s two columns supporting the house, you know, the husband and the wife. And then the closer together the columns are, the less stable the house is. And so you need the separation and distance between each other and you both have to be able to stand on your own for it to, to stand up. And I read that probably as part of my required reading or early on in our relationship and that, that piece really stuck with me.

Brad (00:29:05):
Cause I was any joke, Adam, is that everybody recommended reading?

Vanessa (00:29:13):
There was a list. Yeah,

Adam (00:29:15):
we just had the James Redfield who wrote the Celestin prophecy on the pod.

Brad (00:29:19):
Oh nice. Right on. Yeah.

Adam (00:29:21):
And that in that book was another one to kind of in that, that, that same time frame. And you know, I’ve been really fortunate in our relationship, the Vanessa is just, you know, she doesn’t put up with a lot for very long, but it’s not just criticism, it’s like, look, here’s some things that I think would help, you know, you see things my way this great. Like I’m, I’m a lifelong learner and I read like a lot, you know, so it’s like you want to give me a book about something that you think is going to be helpful. I’m definitely gonna read it. You know? And so The Prophet and self esteem prophecy were two of those things. I was like, Oh, okay. Just kind of opens up my, you know, or opened up my thought process on like how the shifts of energy and interaction between people and all of this stuff plays out.

Brad (00:30:06):
And the third book was, uh, shut the fuck up, one of the best seller list now. Oh unfuck yourself. There you go. Merry Christmas. My love prophecy and I’m fuck yourself. And here’s another one. Make your fucking bed cause I always have a C in there.

Adam (00:30:26):
Well isn’t that a Jordan Peterson’s new book? The 12 rules. Really? Yeah. Basically like rule one, make your bed. You can’t make your bed every day like you need to do. Don’t worry about what else was going on with the world.

Brad (00:30:36):
Yeah, I call that one out and challenge it right there. Just like all the, you know, all the hype or subjected to now and all the, all the gurus telling us how to live and how you can be almost as good as me but not quite if you do everything I say and it gets to be too much. It’s like so much content coming in and like you can easily feel diminished. Like when you look at social media and there’s people on the beach with their glass and your, you know, raking leaves or whatever. Um, so like making your bed is this magical life changing thing. And then in many European countries the custom is to leave the bed unmade all day and they’ve done scientific studies showing that the microbes escape and allow the gases to circulate and make it more healthy rather than trapping all those mini farts under the covers every morning by making your bed. So Brad Kearns is saying, I mean there may be a lot of good insights in the bestselling book of that title. I don’t know about it. I want to trash that ball. It might be a gateway to saying be responsible and set goals like physically the physical act of making your bed, eh, you know, if you want or if you don’t want, you can still be a tidy person that’s productive all day.

Vanessa (00:31:45):
It’s just about creating systems that you’re willing to stick to. Because I do think that from chaos, obviously some creativity can spring forth, but you can’t be in that space all the time if you actually want to be effective. Like there does have to be structure and commitment around the way you do your day. And so maybe that’s what people are talking about with the bed is just, you know, creating your life in a way where you have goals or you have things that you’re committed to that you follow through.

Brad (00:32:12):
With Vanessa is staring right at me, my eyes are darting around cause she’s talking, she’s coming right into my heart, pulling it out of my chest and speaking to it and in an emphatic voice. But you’re, you’re talking to me. I’m listening cause that’s big one. I mean, um, you can, you can get that creativity run wild. I mean, yeah.

Vanessa (00:32:31):
Yeah, I know cause I’m, I’ve been that person. I mean I am. Yeah. I’m that creative person. And so, but with, if you stay within that creative space all the time, all you do is just create more chaos at some point. You have to take that creativity and you have to understand how to, how to create structure around it in order to make something possible with it. This has been the biggest challenge for me and I think I’m getting better and better out of it. But the reason I am is because I’ve learned how to commit to systems. And if you just don’t, if you don’t have any systems, any structure in your life, then eventually you’re just going to feel the chaotic energy of all that creativity. And it just, it’s beautiful. We need it, we need that part of us and we want to nurture it. But at some point you have to put the container around it to actually make it into something beautiful that people can relate to and that they can experience from you.

Brad (00:33:26):
What’s an example where you applied a systematic approach to a creative idea?

Vanessa (00:33:31):
Well, you know, I am so Adam and I kind of have different seats in our business and I, I’m the, um, what’s the visionary is, is really what it comes down to, which is just a way of saying like, I’m the idea person because that’s what I love. I love coming up with ideas. And so the retreats and all the events that we run is a really good example of that because I come up with these awesome concepts. Wouldn’t it be amazing to take a group to Peru and hike, you know, do the Salkantay trail and hike to Machu Picchu and you know, it’s all this great creative fodder, but how do you actually put that into action? And so it turns out that you have to create the systems, like what is the actual, what, what are the dates? What are the actual requirements for this?

Vanessa (00:34:16):
How do you know, how much does it cost? How many people can we take? What, you know, what kind of training do we need to be able to accomplish that? And Adam’s really helpful with me and has helped me get more structured in this because you know, he’s more of the engineer mind. So he’s very helpful in getting me kind of laid out or lined out on things so that then I can take action. But you know, I can sit around and think about all the amazing trips that would, that there could be to take people on. But at some point I have to take action and create structure to make it happen.

Adam (00:34:48):
Yeah. Lots of spreadsheets,

Vanessa (00:34:49):
lots of spreadsheets.

Brad (00:34:51):
Right. And methodically tracking things, which I identify as one of my weakness. Like, um, you know, I’ve now done 50 podcasts and how, how do they compare? What’s the download, what are the trends, what are the main topics? I don’t know. But some of my favorites were Vanessa and Adam, John Gray, Mia Moore show right up there. Anyway, so I totally liked that blend. I liked that point. And then you guys have two people so you can get in yang net all day long.

Vanessa (00:35:19):
Yeah. And you know, I think it’s important for people to find that counterbalance. So if that doesn’t all exist within you, maybe you have a business partner or maybe you have a business coach or maybe you have someone that helps to create that structure because that’s not your default setting. And so I don’t think that necessarily, if it’s not your strong suit, you should force yourself into mastering it to the point where you’re sick about it, but maybe get masterful enough where you find someone who can help you get organized or you find a system that works well enough to get you organized. But if you just let that stuff run rampant, then you actually end up being more dissatisfied about your creativity because it’s always disappointing. You have all these great ideas and all this great energy and it looks so beautiful in your mind, but it never is created in reality that way. And then you get disappointed. And that’s just like a point of diminishing returns, you know, a negative feedback loop.

Brad (00:36:15):
I love it. It’s time for a deep breath. So also, there’s maybe a maybe more commonplace than it was in the past, but you have this dynamic duo here. So you’re, you’re working and living life together. And I wonder, uh, pros and cons. Like what are you, what are your observations?

Adam (00:36:39):
Well, so it’s actually kind of an interesting study for us because like I said before, when I worked for the fire department, I was gone almost like if we totaled it up over the 22 years, I was probably gone 50% of that time. Like not, not in the home, not spending the night there.

Brad (00:36:55):
Get the complete spectrum here. Yeah.

Adam (00:36:57):
And then and, and often not really reachable. You know what I mean? So it’s like, not like I’m out on off on a business trip.

Brad (00:37:03):
We’re going to Skype tonight. I didn’t know what kind of my, exactly. a firebreak number 14 yeah, exactly. On the past,

Adam (00:37:14):
literally all the cell towers burned down.

Brad (00:37:17):
What kind of excuse is that, but this is like, come on, get it together. I’ll do for

Adam (00:37:24):
that. But, so we’ve, we’ve gone from that world where like literally gone all the time too and worked together in that world as well for the last four, five years realistically to now since July. I’m home full time. Like we haven’t spent more than two days apart I think since July, which is like, we’ve never done that in the 15 years that we’ve been married, you know? And so it’s an interesting study actually to see. And it was, it was one of the things that both of us were kind of most concerned about with me leaving that job and, and coming into the business full time and you’re like, well, we’ve never been together this, this often, you know, for this long. But it’s actually, it’s been working really well, like a, so much of the, um, I don’t know, I guess the lack of it or the loss of momentum in what we’re doing, both with our relationship and with the business and all of the things going on that would happen when I left and went to work, you know, necessarily happened when I left and went to work. It doesn’t exist anymore. So it’s like now that time that I was gone fundamentally that space is, and time is eaten up in us getting to do stuff together, you know, so like we’re

Adam (00:38:36):
still working on the business the same amount of time, but now we have time to just kinda be together and chill, which didn’t exist before. It was like I was at work and then I was home and when I was home it was work. Work, work, work, work until I left, you know, and now there’s some room to breathe, you know, which is nice.

Vanessa (00:38:51):
Yeah. And it’s like, for me, uh, I was a sort of probably opposite in terms of like when he would leave, it’s almost like I would turn off the emotional switch because you only can miss someone for so long. For so many years of your life, you’re just like, it’s not a fun place to live. It’s not a fun place to be. Like, Oh, he’s leaving again for half the week. It’s like I would tend after a while. I just tend to just kind of turn the emotions off like, okay, he’s, he’s gone. Yeah. Like they just don’t think about it because otherwise you’re just in like suck land about it. Him being gone all the time. So in a way it would be really difficult because then he would come home and I, it’s like, Oh yeah, I have to turn my emotions back on and now you’re in my space and I have my whole life without you.

Vanessa (00:39:35):
But now you’re here and it’s, it was actually way more awkward than it was like a pressure release. So now it’s just so much better because we’re together and then we can choose like, Oh, I want a little space by myself. Cool. I can go do something and then be excited that you’re home when I get home. And so I think it was just, it’s a lot more healthy. And I think it’s actually one of the reasons that so many, um, people within the fire department, the relationships are strained because so many women do do this. They have their own life, they have their own sort of system and circuit, and then the husband shows up and it’s like, Oh, you’re here, but how long are you going to be here for? And you know, it’s, it’s a very awkward thing. So I think for us it’s just been like, it’s allowed us to be even more loving and more connected.

Brad (00:40:21):
Good answer.

Vanessa (00:40:24):
So, cause we were worried because a kid could go the other way. Yeah. I hope this works out well.

Brad (00:40:30):
You seem to have made it work for those years. When you had the realities of a, of a first responder career and so forth. Um, so possibly there’s some good attitudes behind the surface. Cause I, I, I feel like, um, there’s times when it doesn’t work in both directions. Yeah. You know, uh, commonly the person retires from the workplace and the man’s around the house all day and the wife is going crazy and tell him to go get another job. But they’d be looking forward to this day for so long and, yeah. Yeah, yeah. That’s tough.

Adam (00:41:02):
It’s, yeah. And it’s real. It’s real man. I mean, we see it all the time, you know, just getting, like later on in my career, guys that I’ve been working with start to retire, you know, a couple of people that are a little bit older than me, you know, and they, they’re gone for maybe six months and then they’re back and you’re like, what happened? I’m like, I just couldn’t do it. You know, I can’t spend this much time at home. You’re like, wow, okay.

Vanessa (00:41:24):
Oh and I have like a lot around this because it’s, I think that a lot of times, you know, intimacy, there’s almost a lack of intimacy in a way in a lot of these relationships because they’ve started out with being separate a lot of the times. And oftentimes men choose these jobs because they’re uncomfortable being very intimate. Like the intimacy is difficult for them. So a lot of times they choose these careers where they’re separate because it’s uncomfortable for them to really dig into those pieces of themselves. And you know, I’m sure there’s a lot of firemen and police officers and whatever, that’s not the case, but it’s something that I’ve seen and I was a firefighter, so like I’ve been within it. I understand you could see these, you know, almost this level of discomfort for these men to be deeply embedded in their families and in their relationships. It’s more comfortable for them to be with their boys

Brad (00:42:16):
Uncomfortable. Yeah. Yeah. Well, actually, I mean it doesn’t have to be firefighter, police to be the lawyer or long working hours person who then goes to the card games on Tuesday in the gym on Wednesday and the golf course and all that. Just avoidance. Yeah,

Vanessa (00:42:34):
avoidance. And it takes a certain, again, it comes back to that emotional intelligence like are you, does it make you uncomfortable in those, in, in the intimacy of your relationship and you know, and it’s not about just sex, it’s about like the deeply intimate connection in your life. And so I think that’s something that a lot of men have to learn. They have to cultivate or else it’s just easier to go. I’m just going to know, push that aside.

Adam (00:42:59):
Yeah. Well it’s hard to, it’s hard to separate, you know, and this is, this is something I know it happens in within the first responder world and obviously it happens in the military, but there’s, there’s levels of stresses and things that you go through like life events that you experience with your work family. Like with the people that, whether it’s your platoon, whether it’s your fire station, whether it’s your partner, if you’re a cop, however that works out, you go through shit with those people that you do not go with through with your family, hopefully. You know what I mean? Cause uh, you know, and there’s also this tendency in that, in that environment. And I think it cuts both ways. Like sometimes it’s the person who is in the job and sometimes it’s the significant other at home who shuts down that level of that communication.

Adam (00:43:45):
But if you don’t have the ability to talk to your significant other about the kinds of things that are happening and you’re experiencing at work, like if that gets shut down anywhere along the line, then all of the sudden the only place that that person feels comfortable is with the people that they’ve experienced this with. You know? And, and that happens a lot. And the same thing happens for the person at home because they’ve got experiences happening in their, in their day to day world. You know, it’s like, uh, and you know, not to like demean it or whatever, but it’s like, yeah, we were on our way to soccer practice and you know, John, Johnny got hit by a car and you know, lost a skateboard and this thing and there’s this like, thing that happened that the other person wasn’t part of, you know. And so now if that dynamic of communication about what this kind of stuff is like doesn’t exist, then you put up another barrier between, you know, for that kind of stuff.

Adam (00:44:39):
And it’s, it’s, it’s a tricky one, you know. And I mean, like I, I worked with a lot of people who never talked about anything that happened at work at home because, and then like, this is verbatim from guys mouth. Like, yeah, well when I first started dating my wife, I’d come home and tell her about stuff and she’s like, I don’t want to hear about that. That’s terrible. I don’t want to hear about that. So he, one time she said that, and 20 years go by and he never says anything ever again. And she’s like, I don’t understand why you’re so distant from me. And he’s like, well, you told me when you were 19 you told me you didn’t want it to hear about this terrible traffic accident I was at. And he’s like, well shit man, you know your life. Yeah. It’s like you gotta you don’t want to hear about my life then.

Adam (00:45:18):
Right. And that’s how, and that’s just kind of how it gets embedded and you’re like, okay, well I guess you know, and especially not to like harp on this stuff too much, but there’s often a feeling of shame around having these things impact you. So like in the, in the fire service especially, and it’s getting better now, but it’s like suck it up, buttercup. People die all the time. Like, why is this? Why is this impacting you? You know? And when you’re brand new and all the guys you’re working with have been doing it for 15 or 20 years, they’re salty and crusty and like, they don’t even remember what that, what just happened on that call. But it was the first time you ever did CPR and had a person die and you’re having a very different experience than those guys are. You know, and the feedback you get is whatever, man, go to sleep, tomorrow’s another day, we’re going to do it again, you know, and then to go home and kind of get the same thing or like I don’t want to hear about that, can really close that stuff down. You know, it’s tough to tough to get out of that spiral, you know?

Vanessa (00:46:13):
And these, I mean the, like you said, this is you know, kind of acute circumstances, but this happens in every everyday life and all careers, all of this stuff happens in relationships all the time. And so yeah, it all just comes back to that like being keenly aware about how you are about things, you know, do I make space for my partner to, to share with me who he is, what his day’s about and or do I just, am I so self absorbed and you know, we’re all so busy. I don’t even mean that as an insult. We’re just, we’re so busy dealing with what we have at hand that it’s often hard to make that extra space because we don’t even feel like we have enough space to get done what we need to get done.

Adam (00:46:54):
Right.

Vanessa (00:46:55):
And so it just, it takes a lot of presence in your life to be aware of these little moments that turn into big ways of being.

Brad (00:47:05):
So to get that space and rebalance that life, we really should go on retreat.

Adam (00:47:12):
Yes. Actually.

Brad (00:47:13):
So you guys have had this interesting journey in the primal paleo scene, dating back to kind of the very beginnings of the hotbed of Chico, California. So I want to hear about that and how all the kind of emanated out of there and went on to long careers spreading the word and how it’s gone for you guys.

Adam (00:47:36):
Yeah. So, yeah. So we started, we started training with Rob Wolf at Nor Cal Strength and Conditioning prior to it being CrossFit Norco. So whenever that was that I had to be like 2005 or six, something like that. And, um, it was, it’s funny because when we first started training, they’re like, he didn’t even mention like paleo wasn’t really a thing. Like I think our detainees book was out. Um, but it wasn’t like a word that you were familiar with in a 2000 perspective. Yeah, there was, yeah. It wasn’t.

Brad (00:48:06):
Loren Cordain’s book was out in 2002,

Adam (00:48:08):
but yeah,

Brad (00:48:09):
the movement was nowhere.

Adam (00:48:10):
Yeah. It just, it just wasn’t really happening. So you go and start training and Rob would just sort of like start to incrementally introduce concepts like, yeah.

Adam (00:48:20):
Like w. hat you’re eating might actually be influencing how you’re performing. You know, it’s like what, what is this madness?

Brad (00:48:25):
You know, gels here. Sorry.

Adam (00:48:28):
No, yeah. Is there any, is there anything that’s gonna make me really strong and, uh, I can, you know, recover better and I don’t have to change anything about the way I eat. No. But, um, he was really kinda obviously instrumental in shifting our focus on that stuff. And Vanessa actually, um, when we were training there, she said Chico is a agricultural hotbed, right? And so if you suffer from seasonal allergies, like Chicos probably going to be brutal for you. And that was exactly the situation with Vanessa when she moved there, it was like, it was terrible. And actually her aunt said, Hey, you know what, you should try cutting gluten and dairy from your diet and this will help with your seasonal allergies. And I was like, that’s bullshit. You know, which doctor, what could this have to do with anything? And she, she actually came home from training one day at the gym and she’s like, Rob says, cutting gluten and dairy. Like exactly what’s up.

Vanessa (00:49:19):
Yeah. He said, my diet’s legit. Yeah. I know Adam was really sad about that moment and I was like, you know, feeling so teacher’s pet at that point. Yeah.

Adam (00:49:32):
Like at the end of the day, that was really the introduction to it. And then it was, you know, Rob started doing seminars and stuff for CrossFit and um, I got to participate in sort of the betas of some of those at the gym and really started to get into this. And it was like, man, this really makes a lot of sense. You know, like everything that you’re saying here makes a tremendous amount of sense. And we started making these changes in our, in our life. And then as the gym grew and people started coming in, when we started working there and training there, you, you could just see it immediately when people would come in and they’d be training for maybe a month or so and they’re getting some level of results and then all of a sudden they make the switch in their diet and it’s like the, it’s an, you know, panacea so to speak.

Adam (00:50:13):
And it, um, so that really just got kind of ingrained in us and I started taking what we were doing at NorCal and trying to apply it to work well for my guys at the fire station, I was a captain at the time, so I had a station of dudes that I was, you know, responsible for keeping healthy and staying fit enough to do the job. And we just started massaging this stuff out and it was like, yeah, this is, this is the jam. You know, like, this is what, this is kind of what you need to be doing. You know, you need to eat meat and you need to eat vegetables and you need to not eat these other things at least for a period of time and a train responsibly. And that ethos just spiraled into our business fundamentally. You know? I mean, there’s a lot of steps along along the way.

Vanessa (00:50:56):
Yeah. And it just permeated the culture of the gym and you know, that that time in our lives was so important because we were CrossFitting for one, which basically means suffering. We were suffering deeply in our workouts and doing really hard things physically, but we were doing ’em with people in our gym who became great friends because, you know, it’s just like anything that you do that is hard, when you do it together, it bonds you. And so we had this group of friends who was eating the same way we were eating training the same way we were, and we were having these really intense experiences together. And from that culture just sprouted out a lot of amazing business opportunities and ideas. And you know, Sarah Cordoza came out of that time and Glen Cordoza who’s written all the books and Katie Cordoza and you know, just our whole group started to kind of figure out how we could take this information and the success that we’d had with each other and with the, our experience with Rob and kind of mold it into our own offering into the world. And that, that was when we moved to LA when Rob introduced us to Mark. And that’s how we met you and you know, just kind of continued to spiral into, you know, how can we make a difference? How can we take this energy and this success that we’ve had and, and turn it around and pay it forward and what can be our unique contribution in that sense.

Adam (00:52:20):
Yeah. Yeah. And a big piece of it is the community aspect. I mean, it was, I think for both of us, it was the, the only time in our lives that we had fundamentally stuck to a consistent strength and conditioning regimen and a consistent nutrition plan for years on end without it seeming like it was a thing. You know, it’s like all of a sudden this is just how we are, you know? And a big piece of that was the community. Just like Vanessa said, it’s like these people, we train together, we eat together, we’re doing all of this stuff together. And so fostering that community was a big part of the, the impetus for be the wellness and how our coaching programs work, which are fundamentally community coaching. I mean we work with individuals but it’s everybody together in the same experience. And that makes a really big difference for folks who are remote and isolated. And you’re out there and you’re the only one who’s like, I want to give this a shot. And you’re surrounded by people who just don’t support it. You know, you need something to kind of to, to foster that. And then with the retreats, it was really just an extension of that community. Now we’ve built this community and now let’s bring everybody in person to meet each other and really do this.

Vanessa (00:53:30):
Yeah. And use that health and fitness and, and you know, motor skill or whatever it is that we’re cultivating within the strength and conditioning and the programming, like how can we come, come together and use it in a fun and unique way? And that’s really where the retreats of blossom from is just, you know, we always say like, what mountain do you want to climb? Or what river do you want to raft? What do you want to do with the health? Because you’re not going to get a blue ribbon for like, Oh you, you are healthy, good for you. The real prize is in the how you use it. And so that’s always been an important piece of our business and our offering is how can we get people out using this physical ability that they’ve been working so hard to cultivate in these life changing amazing experiences.

Brad (00:54:13):
So are you doing some adventures, some physical adventures on the retreat and blending that with lectures, workshops for different stuff? What is is like?

Vanessa (00:54:23):
Yeah, we, I mean, honestly we have so many various offerings, but um, you know, for instance, we’re taking a group and doing a 10 day hike to Machu Picchu in Peru. So we’re on the trail for seven days. We do Salkantay trail, we crest up over 15,000 feet. You know, it’s, uh, it’s a, it’s a pretty intense, rigorous, um, you know, seven day hike that we do. And so that’s one of our offerings. We do a retreat in Costa Rica every year where we take people surfing, whitewater rafting, hiking. We kinda just combine all these different, uh, things that are accessible in Costa Rica cause it’s just like an adult playground. And then, um, you know, on the flip side of it, we were just in Africa and we did an African Safari, which wasn’t necessarily as physically demanding, but was more just about going out and connecting with our tribe and doing just something incredible and having an experience of a lifetime together.

Vanessa (00:55:15):
So we kind of run the gamut, but it’s all about having that community. If you’re going to go to Africa and you’re going to be on Safari, why not be with the people that you’re are in your online community, where you’re doing your training, you’re talking about health and fitness, you know that these are your people. And you know, having these awesome paleo meals and knowing that you’re going to be fed really well and taking really good care of, it’s like, it just makes these once in a lifetime experiences even more special because you’re sharing them with these people that are your friends, they feel like family.

Brad (00:55:48):
So you’re bringing the food along, you’re setting them up with healthy meals, whether it’s Africa or Costa Rica or Peru. Yeah, yeah. It’s pretty much a chicken, a lot of bags or something.

Vanessa (00:55:58):
Yeah. So oftentimes there’s in house chefs wherever we go, and we just make sure that the menus are created in a way that supports the dietary agreements that we have. And um, or we have a private chef that we work with a lot and we’ll bring her along to our events as well. So it just depends on where we’re going and what the situation is.

Adam (00:56:17):
Yeah. And maybe not surprisingly, once you get outside the States, it’s actually a lot easier to eat paleo and primal, you know what I mean? Like what’s their food, you know,

Brad (00:56:28):
That was our pull quote for the show. Yeah. Note to Dan audio engineer. I mean how trippy is that? Yeah, yeah. It’s so much easier when you get out of the States.

Adam (00:56:38):
Yeah, and to like really sort of seal that that point to some degree in Peru we had set the, the dietary restrictions and we’d set all of this stuff up and when we got there it was like looking through the menus and all of this. We’re like, wait a second, what is this like why is, why do we have gluten free pasta on the menu? Like what is going on here when in reality like what’s available to be eaten here is meat and vegetables and some and 700 varieties of potato, which is kind of handy. And what they were doing was trying to meet our requirements by shifting their natural normal diet, which actually met the requirements right here come to the Americans.

Adam (00:57:16):
The Americans were going to, you know, we’re going to create some stuff. Yeah they don’t. Yeah, they don’t, they don’t eat gluten so we’re going to have to use gluten free pasta. And we were like, wait a second, what are those guys eating? Like, that’s what we want, like this, this is what we meant by this. You know, and obviously they were, it was a simple problem to solve and get that sorted out. But it’s an interesting thing to think about in the, in the grand scheme, these sort of more traditional cultures are often eating so much closer to what, you know, what we’re striving for and paying arguably twice as much to do in the States that you would be to shop at 7/11.

Brad (00:57:51):
If corporate forces have not descended upon these poor countries and slammed the stuff home. I go to Sayulita, Mexico and now it’s coming up in popularity, but sleepy surfing village outside of Puerto Vallarta. And you go to the restaurants there and have some of the most incredible food and delicious, nutritious. There’s a breakfast buffet with where they have the pumpkin and the other vegetables and the meat all together. And then you go around the corner and there’s a frickin might as well be 7/11. It’s a convenience store with the bright light contrast with the, the village feel. And it’s just so it’s disgraceful what we’ve done.

Vanessa (00:58:30):
Yeah, yeah, it’s

Brad (00:58:31):
leave them alone. They’d be fantastic. But instead we’re modernizing their experience and getting them, getting them sick.

Vanessa (00:58:37):
Yeah. It gives us so much compassion and just so much love for the American struggle for diet and health because we really, we aren’t just being lazy, we aren’t just being all of those things like we have to fight extra hard to be healthy here. And it really is, it’s really tough because you can say no to 90% of stuff and still be infiltrated with crap. You know, like it, it’s literally like you’re fighting a constant battle against everything that’s coming at you, whether it’s, you know, in the water, in your cosmetics or in your food or whatever it is. There’s just this constant onslaught of things that are not natural for us. And so even you’re trying to be hyper vigilant, there’s still like 20% of the stuff that’s getting through and it’s, it’s really tough. The battle is no joke here in America.

Adam (00:59:30):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s really true. And in fact, it’s a big part of one of the coaching programs that we just launched with the body mind roadmap is helping people navigate even paleo and primal now. Because even even being in that category, you know, and being like, well, I’m primal or I’m paleo and not that there’s a paleo aisle yet in most stores, but we’re getting close to that chock full of processed products that check the box because they’re lacking specific ingredients, you know? And so now we’re checking all these paleo primal boxes and now it’s not the case. Now all of a sudden this requiring a sort of deeper level of education and understanding around nutrition that for the individual to really Wade their way through paleo and primal now in order to be, you know, still kind of meeting the same intent that was there before all the products were created to backfill, you know, the lack of gluten free donuts.

Brad (01:00:29):
You tend to model ancestral diet is being washed away in packaging. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Guys, now you’ve got to tell me about this subject. I know nothing about, but it seems to becoming very popular in progressive health circles and elsewhere. Uh, but the, um, the, the, the Ayahuasca Retreat, the, the spiritual journey, right. I get them smile. They’re all into this. Yeah, I understand you’re leading a retreat with that specific, uh, centerpiece coming up. So what’s the scoop here?

Vanessa (01:01:01):
You know, it’s interesting cause Adam and I are both from Northern California. You’re from Northern Cal.

Brad (01:01:05):
I’m from LA, right here. Oh you actually, you are, but you’ve been living there a long time.

Vanessa (01:01:08):
Yeah, you’ve been there awhile. Um, and we’re, you know, from even a little deeper Mendocino and Lake County, which is just, you know, it’s a little bit more Bohemian a little more hippie. And so we kinda grew up in a culture where a lot of people grew marijuana, a lot of people did psychedelics. It was kind of somewhat of a cultural norm. And so, you know, I started doing psychedelics that are really young age. You know, probably 14. I did my first, I ate mushrooms for the first time. And it’s not that I’m,

Brad (01:01:39):
that was for one of your finals in middle school. They said, okay, kids, we’re going to do the mushrooms tomorrow. Now it wasn’t that bad in Mendocino, but for those of you unfamiliar, this coastal County in Northern California has been the, the marijuana growing capital for many years prior to legality, but way out in the forest it was a big deal and still is now. You know, I guess there’s more.

Vanessa (01:02:00):
Yeah. With that comes sort of a culture and a lot of that culture is around, you know, other, other substances. And so, you know, I’m not recommending that kids do it that young. It’s like, obviously that worked out for me. Okay. But it just was one of those things where we had access and a lot of people were doing it. And so, um, I just remember the first time that I did psychedelic mushrooms, I had a real clear vision that all of the things that seemed so important to me and like such a big deal in my 13, 14 year old mind were suddenly so minimal. And there was such a bigger vision of what it meant to be human and what was important in life. And a lot of that had to do with just being loving, being grounded, being centered and being, um, available in your life for the magic that is there.

Vanessa (01:02:51):
And this is a pretty profound experience for a young person to have. But I’m so grateful because it model, it molded a lot of the way that I created my life as I got older. And I actually stayed in touch with psychedelics through my years and you know, tried various things growing up and kind of took a break in my adult years because just busy and working and just kinda got away from it. But um, it seems as though psychedelics and Ayahuasca and magic mushrooms and all of these things are sort of making a comeback in terms of people realizing the tremendous emotional and cognitive benefits that can come from trying them from, from having facilitated experiences. And so Ayahuascawas, it’s kind of the mothership of psychedelics. It’s definitely like the big whamajama. It’s it, you know, you want to be in a guided, safe place.

Speaker 7 (01:03:46):
You want to have a shaman or someone who’s very familiar with the medicine. And we’ve been lucky enough to have those experiences. And this last year we went to Costa Rica to a place called Rhythmia where they lead, um, guided Ayahuasca retreats and had an incredible life changing experience and just felt even more dedicated to fall in alignment with helping people find their way to these tools. And again, back to that emotional intelligence. It really helps you to understand your mindscape and understand where you’re coming from emotionally and sort of weed through the things that are getting in the way of the person that you really want to be. And um, heal some of the broken places in your heart and soul so that you can move forward as a more whole person. And so for me, that’s been, I won’t speak for Adam all let him, you know, kind of speak his own, his own side of the story. But it’s been such a wonderful benefit to my heart and soul. And I just love being in alignment with helping people to discover that.

Adam (01:04:47):
Ma’am. So I think like one of the things.

Brad (01:04:50):
that it’s really dangerous. Don’t do it. Yeah, exactly.

Adam (01:04:53):
Yeah. But, but it’s probably not for you, so don’t, don’t try. Um, but I mean it is, it is important to say though, that’s like, you know, and it seems like it should go without saying, but unfortunately it doesn’t that like ultimately sharing your own experiences about something should have no bearing on how you go about living your life, you know? But how else do you talk about this stuff? You know? So we certainly don’t recommend like that people go and do it. You know, it’s like this isn’t something that I say everybody should do, but there’s no doubt that there’s some benefit to be had for the people who are called by it, for lack of a better term and are interested in doing it. And, and the most important thing in all of that is to be experimenting with this stuff in a safe place that’s reputable, that has a good track record and medical support.

Adam (01:05:49):
And it’s in a country where it’s legal and the, you know what I mean? You gotta just check all of these boxes of, of safety and sort of just, you know, I don’t know what, what the right word is, but you just have to get it put in the right container, you know? And from my perspective, and I think the, the Rythmia is like the place that has really nailed that. I mean, I’m sure that there are many more, but that’s the one that we’re familiar with. And like, from my perspective with this stuff, it’s like, you know, my, I’m super analytical, like I overthink almost everything, you know, to, to the nth degree. And it has served me well in a lot of ways, but it’s a, it’s not a very good way to get to know your own mind, you know, it has been my experience, like analyzing your own thoughts just leads to.

Brad (01:06:33):
rumination, health consequences of modern times.

Adam (01:06:37):
Yeah, exactly. You’re just, you’re just chasing this stuff around and around and, and without any real way to sort of step back and view that process, um, you’re, you’re just going to be chasing your tail. You know what, at least that was certainly my experience with it. And I will say that Ayahuasca was one thing that allowed me to step back and see what’s going on. And so like when you’re going through this loop in your head and you’re like, yeah, but this is how it is, but this is how it is. But this is how it is. You don’t, it’s very difficult to say, but what if it’s not? And I’ll ask a very says it very clearly, like I’m like, but no, this is it. This is it. And it’s like, but what if it isn’t? And you’re like, Oh shit, what if it isn’t?

Adam (01:07:13):
And then all of the sudden there’s this entire other world of possibility of how you think about things, how things from your past affect you, how, how you want to move forward with the way that you process the information around you. And the things that you’re worried about just opens up and you get to pick what parts of it you want to keep. But it’s like, it just shakes up the snowglobe so to speak to a point where you know, you, you have access to a perspective that wasn’t there before, you know? And that’s, yeah, that’s my experience with it and.

Brad (01:07:45):
Trip out on that stuff. Yeah.

Vanessa (01:07:47):
Yeah. And I mean, and again, it isn’t for everybody and well, I mean,

Brad (01:07:52):
I mean we want, we want you to be safe. All that stuff. It’s [inaudible], it’s hallucinogenic, whatever. But, um, why are you couching an ad? Is there a reason?

Vanessa (01:08:01):
Well, if you actually do have, um, history of mental health issues in your family, like particularly males between the age, I think of like 16 and 22, if you have schizophrenia or anything that runs in your family, you need to be aware of that. So there are some actual um, you know, some things. Yeah, some contraindications if you’re, if you’ve been on antidepressants it’s definitely, especially SSRI there’s a huge contraindication especially with um, with Ayahuasca. So there are some real things to consider and to weigh out. And the best thing you can do is really do the research for what you think you might want to try. Um, some of the safeties or you know, some of the, like for instance, nobody’s ever overdosed on mushrooms. So for all intents and purposes it’s a pretty safe thing to try. But you would want to go and do research and read about it.

Vanessa (01:08:55):
And if you have, if you’re on any medications or if you’ve had any depression issues, if you’ve had any of that kind of stuff in your life, you would want to really take a fine tooth comb through the data out there and see if something like that is a good idea for you. And again, like Adam said, you know, or find a safe place or it’s legal. Um, this is one of the things that we love about Rhythmia is that there’s a fully licensed medical staff and it’s completely legal and in the country of Costa Rica. So you, you know, you, they get your medical history, they find out what exactly is going on with you to see if it is a right fit for you. So you know, I think it’s just one of those things where you have to take a lot of personal responsibility, but if you are called to it and there is like this intuitive thing that happens where people just are like, this sounds interesting to me, I’m curious what’s there for me, then I think it can be a wonderful tool to explore.

Brad (01:09:49):
Descriptions may make anyone courious. You could have been talking about reading the self esteem prophecy, but you’re talking about tripping out Peru. Uh, but so if I, if I checked all those boxes and pass my physical and it was at the safe place, would you strongly recommend it to me or would would you see certain, certain people, their sticks too far up there but, and they’re not going to get a positive experience out of it? Or is it like universally positive experience for people that are, you know, healthy to going in?

Vanessa (01:10:19):
I think the biggest thing is about how you process the experience, whether you consider it positive or not, because it may be difficult in the sense that you learn some, you have some difficult insights or you learn some things about yourself that maybe aren’t the best you see, you know, ways that you are or you see things you’ve done in the past that might be painful and might be hard to look at. So if you’re the kind of person who looks at that and says, Oh, I don’t ever want to do that again because that sucked. This was horrible. I had a horrible trip. Oftentimes it may not be that it was a horrible trip, but it may be that you’re looking at stuff that’s difficult to look at. And that’s part of the process. So we always say it’s not a party drug, like these aren’t party drugs.

Vanessa (01:11:02):
You know, that you can have beautiful experiences and see pretty lights and some cool psychedelic things. But oftentimes you’re digging through the archives of your life and finding the tough spots that need some love and care and some, um, some healing around. So I think that’s really the thing about it is that you can’t go in expecting that you’re going to have this party or this awesome, you know, Oh, this is so rad. Like it was, it’s not like getting drunk and partying with your friends. You’re doing hard work around the things that are there for you. And that if you’re ready to do that, and if you’re prepared for that and you’re willing to look at that stuff, it can be tremendously beneficial and healing.

Adam (01:11:41):
Yeah. Yeah. 100%. And I think that they, so fortunately there’s siliciden, MTMA and Ayahuasca are all getting studied pretty heavily right now. The kids, it’s, it’s bubbling up and mostly because of the anecdotal evidence originally. And then now some of the early studies with dealing with treatment treatment resistant PTSD, which has been uncrackable from like a normal pharmaceutical perspective. And now you’re seeing guys that are coming out of some of these initial trials. It’s like a 87% success rate, right. With, with treatment resistant PTSD.

Brad (01:12:16):
So there’s all the drugs. Yeah. And that’s still the trip. They’re still in pain and suffering yet.

Adam (01:12:21):
and they’re still stuck, you know, and now they’re, you’re seeing this, this, this just done. It’s fixed, you know, and depending on the different processes, but maps has done a handful of studies with this stuff. And so if that’s, if that’s you out there listening, you know, if you, if you suffer from PTSD or you have this stuff going on, 100% go to MAPS and MAPS.org and look at the studies that these guys are doing. It’s the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. And this is what they’re looking at you. There’s trials to get in on. There’s all of this stuff to do. And it’s like, if that’s you and you’re suffering, this is a leaf, I would turn over, you know, and do the research and figure out if it’s the right thing. Because why, why fuck around, you know, if you can just be over.

Vanessa (01:13:09):
And honestly, I mean I love to kind of like tail onto that, that most people are suffering in their own unique way. We’ve all had traumas, we’ve all had things that have happened to us in our lives and you know, maybe you’ve developed really great tools around how to do self healing and if that’s the case, great.

Brad (01:13:27):
Yes, I’m, I’m usually right at all times. I’m one of the few people I know that has no past trauma and right. Never wrong. So I don’t know if I should do it or not, but maybe skip it. Maybe I’d be like the best candidate ever. Welcome. Everyone’s like rolling out the red carpet. Here he comes. The most perfect person in the world is now going welcome to the gates. Okay. Sorry, go ahead.

Vanessa (01:13:52):
Yeah, and I, I just think that it’s important because we all should be taking time to heal. You know, we should all be taking time and space even if it’s just healing the stress of life, the stress of work, the stress of, you know, our food systems and everything that’s coming at us. And maybe that works for you with just having meditation every day or maybe you have other tools where you’re able to work that stuff out. But I would say that most of us come up against repeating issues in our life. The same thing kind of happens in a different way.

Brad (01:14:24):
That must suck. I can’t imagine people

Vanessa (01:14:27):
and we feel like, why does this thing keep happening to us? Or maybe we don’t even realize we don’t have the ability to see that it’s the same thing in a different [inaudible]

Brad (01:14:35):
what? Repeating issue? Brand new first day. Every, I mean I’m always late today. It was raining and there was traffic so it doesn’t count

Vanessa (01:14:44):
all the other people who drive like assholes. Nothing.

Brad (01:14:49):
They got in another accident today, another jerk coming off the snow, the third accident of the month

Vanessa (01:14:54):
Or you’re always fighting with your family members or there’s, you know, there’s just all these repeating patterns where it may, maybe instead of digging in your heels and being more right about it, maybe there’s a place that you can see, like Adam said, you can zoom out and see this from a new perspective and it offers you a lot of space to navigate life in a new way that maybe wasn’t available before.

Brad (01:15:15):
You guys going to do a show on this or have you already on be the woman?

Vanessa (01:15:18):
Yeah, we, we’ve done actually, um, we’ve done one with Jerry who’s the founder of Rhythmia and so you can find that on our podcast. Um, Jerry, uh, Jerry Powell. Yeah. Okay. Jerry Powell. I’m like, why is this not coming to me? Jerry Powell. And then we’ve also done a wrap up after we had our experience just talking about our experience in great detail so people can check that out.

Adam (01:15:43):
Yeah. And uh, Dennis McKenna.

Vanessa (01:15:46):
Yeah. We’ve had Dennis McKenna on whose Terrence McKenna’s brother who they were, uh, my, mycologists right.

Adam (01:15:55):
Ethnobotanist.

Vanessa (01:15:56):
ethnobotanist thank you. And did a lot of um, exploratory work around psilocybin, let’s say. Yeah. So they were kind of the psychonautic pioneers in the 70s and spent a bunch of time in the Amazon, uh, you know, basically taking various mushrooms and reporting on their experiences, but have, you know, since then written several books and sort of been the pioneers in this, in this field.

Adam (01:16:24):
Yeah. Yeah. And Dennis now is, he’s on the board of the Heffter Institute, which is they, they study similar to MAPS. They’re studying psilocybin specifically for all of this, this kind of stuff. And he speaks, actually we, we caught him at paleo effects. He was speaking at paleo facts about entheogens and all of this stuff and we caught him there and pinned him down for a podcast. And so it’s just a good one to get some sort of the history of how long this has been present in the States. And like what the history of legalization slash studying slash schedule one slash not studying and kind of how all of this stuff went. Because while it seems new, it’s been going on here for a really long time

Vanessa (01:17:05):
and Michael Pollan recently wrote a book to How to Change Your Mind, About Psychedelics, which is a really great resource for people. And what I love about it is that it’s written for regular people. You know, it’s like people who really don’t have a, a dog in the game so to speak, and are really looking for the science and the evidence of what’s actually there to be [inaudible]

Adam (01:17:25):
the analytical types. Yeah, yeah. Word in the mushrooms at 14

Vanessa (01:17:31):
because Adam and I are really on the separate ends of the spectrum with that. Like he didn’t do any of this stuff till well into adulthood and I did it earlier on. And it’s like there’s all kinds of people out there and you know, it doesn’t mean that you have to be a little hippy child like me growing up in the redwoods to have to necessarily do this stuff because there’s, I would say there’s something for most people in it, but you have to decide for yourself,

Brad (01:17:56):
whew. Yeah. BEE the wellness.com. Right? Yep. We can learn about these different retreats. So it sounds like a very retreat experience. Yes. This Ayahuascaone is distinct going to this facility where that’s the centerpiece. The other stuff is about mountain biking, surfing and stand up paddling. And if you sign up for both, you get a discount want at the end. For sure. Brad said that if it didn’t exist now exist, just enter the code. Brad Kearns [inaudible]

Vanessa (01:18:31):
add that. Um, I do offer a program called Authentic Self, which is a coaching program around the Rhythmia retreat. So you’ll get actually coaching and, and preparation for it for about six months. And then, yeah. And then integration, um, coaching on the other side of it because it’s a profound experience. And so I love being able to help prepare people emotionally and give you some spiritual and cognitive tools to go into that experience. And then on the other side, how to really integrate what you learned, what came out of that experience without just being thrown back into regular life going, okay, I had this life changing experience, but how do I integrate this into reality? So, um, so it’s called authentic self and it’s an option that you can add on with the retreat

Brad (01:19:14):
Just click the box. That’s all you have to do. I mean, I feel like if you’re going to go to the trouble to do this, you should also do the Authentic Self.

Vanessa (01:19:24):
Yeah. Especially if you’re, you know, if you’re nervous about the experience and you want a little extra support and well

Brad (01:19:29):
You’ve always been right your whole life,

Vanessa (01:19:33):
why would I start now?

Brad (01:19:35):
It can happen at this retreat, I’m really nervous about this before and after

Vanessa (01:19:39):
Yeah. Well, and, and I just think that, you know, um, anytime you have like more tools to pull from and we do a lot of breathwork. We do a lot of meditation. We do a lot of things to give you tools so that within the experience when, if you’re having a rough time, you’d be amazed how happy you are to know, Oh yeah, what about that breath work we did? Or what about that meditation or it really makes a difference in navigating these more difficult pieces of the experience.

Brad (01:20:06):
Can, can you give that as a gift to someone you can that really deserves it?

Vanessa (01:20:10):
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

Brad (01:20:12):
That’d be trippy to put under the Christmas tree, huh?

Vanessa (01:20:15):
Well, you know, there have been people, we were actually talking to folks there that came with friends that didn’t know what the retreat was. Just, Oh, I’m going to do a retreat, show up. And then they’re like, wait, what? We’re doing what?

Brad (01:20:28):
Wow.

Vanessa (01:20:29):
So yeah. Could happen. You could surprise somebody.

Adam (01:20:32):
Yes, it could happen

Speaker 6 (01:20:33):
Adam and Vanessa Lambert, great show. Thanks. Great to catch up. Oh my gosh. Why is, couldn’t have the record for the widest ranging show. I mean, like it or not, we’ll check our downloads, but we got down, we got the low down on the download. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you everybody. Thanks for listening.

Vanessa (01:20:52):
Thanks for having us.

Adam (01:20:53):
Thanks for having us, man.

Brad (01:20:57):
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 iTunes or 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 cause they need to. Thanks for doing it.

SaveSave

(Breather) This show will help you understand the importance of perseverance (aka grit) and illuminate how easily youth are getting off track today due to the addictive nature of dopamine triggers (reference my breather show about Dr. Lustig’s new book, The Hacking Of The American Mind, for details).

Some great parenting and personal reflections come through in this episode, one being just how important it is to let your kid get angry, frustrated and so forth, but never discouraged. I share the story of a life-changing conversation I had with my son when he was in 7th grade and feeling completely burnt out from basketball. After he abruptly quit the team, he felt terrible and just totally down on himself. Even though I didn’t have all the parenting tips I have now, then, I knew that it was crucial that I communicate one lesson to him: do not be discouraged. We have to let our kids feel out all their feelings, but we cannot let them spiral into a web of self-doubt, which is easy when you’re feeling emotional. But that’s what you’re there for – to help them see what works and what doesn’t, and to show them where to draw the line with certain behaviors.

Since dopamine overdose downregulates serotonin, constant praise actually creates a terrible cycle for your children. According to studies, people who are on the receiving end of way too much praise are the types who “quit when the going gets tough.” This is a problem because it causes one to miss out on the intermittent reinforcement that comes with failure – that is what teaches the brain that frustrating spells can be worked through. But children who are complimented too much don’t develop persistence – no wonder, since they’re told how fabulous they are all the time, they have nothing to work towards! In fact, in college-aged kids, esteem-building praise has been linked with a noticeable drop in their grades! So watch what you say to your kids, and when you do praise them, make a point to praise the effort, not the result.

Consider cooling off a bit and placing less importance on your kid’s everyday doings and struggles. Perhaps tone down efforts to boost your kid’s self esteem and let it happen naturally. Maybe do the same for yourself, getting over yourself and being mindful to deliver maximum effort and be a good person. Land the helicopter, praise the effort, don’t comment on everything, and place the emphasis on being a good person and other important character attributes. Yes, it’s a bit different from old-school ideas about effective parenting, but guess what? That’s why it works! This episode will alter your communication with your children for the better, open your mind to alternative methods of parenting, and change the way you look at praise. Maybe your kids are all grown up now, but remember that it is never too late to change your methods. Or maybe you’re not a parent yet, but these lessons are still applicable to your own feelings about yourself and your childhood. Ask yourself, what generation of parenting was I raised in? Research what kind of parenting was thought to be “superior” back then, and try to identify how that has affected you. Maybe there are some things so deeply programmed in your psyche from your childhood that you don’t even know how far those roots reach. You might also find my show with Anat Peri, who hosts personal transformation retreats, very helpful, as she focuses on healing patients by going as deep as possible into their flawed childhood programming. Just remember: no one is perfect, and no one is a perfect parent or child. But we can all work on the ways we approach failure and success, and a huge part of that is simply getting over yourself.

TIMESTAMPS:

You must never get discouraged and get down on yourself.  [03:54]

It’s okay to quit. [06:31]

Research suggests overpraised kids’ primary concern becomes their image.  [07:21]

We become dopamine addicts and can learn to respond to failure with grit. [08:59]

Young people, especially males, become addicted to porn and video games. [13:54]

Parents do not need to make the kid’s life their life! Parents can be supportive and caring without giving up their own lives. [15:27]

The wise parent can learn to redirect, not fix, the child after a disappointment. [18:01]

High self-esteem is not necessarily the winning ticket that we think it is. [20:11]

Athletes who are doing well struggle with getting over yourself concept. [24:37]

Offering praise has become a sort of panacea for the anxieties of modern parenting. [28:34]

We want the kids to call the shots. {30:23]

The most important thing in life is to be a good person. [33:23]

LINKS:  

QUOTES:

  • “The parents’ idea quite often becomes a bad idea. And the kid’s idea almost always becomes a good idea and comes out well.”
  • “The most important thing in life is to be a good person.”

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad: 03:24 Here we go. people. Thanks. Hey, it’s surprising parenting tips. Part two, starting with don’t let your kids listen to hip hop has bad words in it. Oh yeah. That’ll keep them clean and protected from the bad influences of modern life, won’t it? Or is it just art to appreciate? I don’t know. It’s up to you. Actually. It’s up to your kid.

Brad: 03:54 Where did we leave off with that wonderful part one talking about the inverse power of praise. Ah, yes. I was going on about the basketball experience of my son. My reference points. So picking that up, uh, and talking about, uh, redirecting the, uh, praise based on effort that’s a meaningful and productive rather than on results. Uh, I remember a turning point in my son’s basketball career. He, uh, was playing in the AAU the tournament, uh, programs that are really a high level on these poor young kids. It’s very intense and competitive, but it’s kind of the track that, uh, you want to choose if you want to excel at the high school level. Uh, and after a summer of just seventh grade, he’s still in middle school and this kid who loved basketball his whole life, uh, decided to quit and he wouldn’t say why. He wouldn’t go out and shoot, didn’t do anything. Uh, for maybe a month in the summer. He just rested after this intense, uh, tournament schedule of, uh, crazy weekends where you play three or four games and you’re in the gym all day long. Uh, finally he coughed up that he was feeling discouraged and it was the, uh, he intense feedback, the criticism and the highly competitive environment that had gotten to him. I mean, just the little kid sensitive little kid and it was thrown into the wolves, uh, thrown into the fire. So we had a life changing talk at that time. And I explained, I just came up with this, I guess, uh, out of nowhere, but I said, you know what?

Brad: 05:32 You must never ever get discouraged. You can get a lot of other things. You can get angry, you can get upset, you can get frustrated. Uh, you can have all these negative emotions. It’s going to happen in the athletic arena, but you can’t allow yourself to get discouraged and get down on yourself. And I think he took that to heart and understood the distinction from that point on, from having a struggle and facing that struggle, leaning into the struggle as they say, versus getting those self-limiting beliefs and negative self talk going like, I’ll never make it. I don’t belong here in law school. I’m not smart enough. Uh, these guys are going to blow me off the court. Whatever those things that we work through in our minds that serve no positive purpose whatsoever, as opposed to, I mentioned this a little bit in the previous show, uh, maybe your kid feels like, uh, he or she deserves to be in the starting lineup and they’re not.

Brad: 06:31 All right, we’ll take that energy, take that frustration and go out there and practice more, dive for loose balls and practice like I mentioned. So that’s a great spot for a parent to step in and say, Hey, look, uh, you know, you seem discouraged and that’s absolutely unacceptable. It’s okay to quit, says Brad Kearns. I don’t know about all parents thinking that, but if something’s not flowing for you, it’s not working life short, man. It’s okay. And I’m going to put that out there for parents that think that persevering is the end all solution to anything. Uh, it’s up to the kid really to decide whether they want to persevere or whether it’s something that’s not worth pursuing that’s not giving them the joy and the happiness. And, uh, you know, for my son there, he, he quit or he pushed back for a month. But you know, the deep love of basketball that he had, you knew he was going to continue on.

Brad: 07:22 Okay. So never ever get discouraged. That’s a big point you can convey to your kid. Uh, and then going back to Carol Dweck research, uh, you know, what happens, why does a kid get discouraged? Could it be too much early success and too much praise of that success? Too easy of a route, and then all of a sudden you hit a roadblock, uh, namely kids a head taller than you and the same grade or whatever it is when the, when the going gets tough and the funnel narrows and you don’t have the coping skills. And so you’re going to default over to a self limiting beliefs and discouraging thoughts. Uh, Carol Dweck research on overpraised. kids suggest that image maintenance becomes their primary concern. Hm. And one of the, uh, indications of that is, uh, tearing others down, engaging in that gossip and that negative social behavior that’s so common, especially, uh, in females of those school aged adolescent age. A great movie, Eighth Grade, I think it was nominated for Academy awards and stuff. It was a spoken from the point of view of an eighth grade girl and she was trying to build her YouTube channel and not getting enough likes, not getting enough views and you could just feel that pain of the desperate need to be popular and how important that is. Possibly a contributory factor of parents praising results and emphasizing the wrong stuff. Okay, so that image maintenance, you want to definitely get your kid out of any indication that that mode is kicking into gear. Uh, the studies are very alarming, the negative effects of them.

Brad: 08:59 So let’s go to, um, uh, the next topic here in part two. Uh, leveraging all the talk we had in part one and that would be, uh, the success attribute of persistence. Uh, we also call this grit, a very popular term and the purveyors on their Ted talks with millions of views. That grit is what it’s all about. The ability to repeatedly, repeatedly respond to failure, uh, with continuing on exerting more effort instead of giving up a highly studied trade in psychology. And this is believed to be the number one success factor to getting a lot of popularity, uh, for good reason. Right. Um, now, uh, the author of this article, I’m sorry, I, I don’t have the title. Just the notes, um, is talking about some research, uh, supporting the concept of grit and talking about the work of dr Robert conjure at Washington university in st Louis. He’s located a circuit in the brain called the orbital and medial pre frontal cortex that monitors the reward center of the brain and intervenes when there’s a lack of immediate reward when there’s a lack of a dopamine hit. When it switches on the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex, it tells the rest of the brain to keep going, to persevere, to apply that grit, uh, reminding the, the human that there’s a dopamine reward around the corner.

Brad: 10:28 And this goes back to, uh, the, uh, show about Dr Robert Lustig’s book, the Hacking of the American Mind, how we become a dopamine addicts, uh, and finding all assorted ways to get immediate short term gratification. Pleasure, get that dopamine hit that’s so important to human behavior. That’s our primary motivational force is that instant gratification. Now, as I talked about in detail on the other show, we’ve disgracefully abused these dopamine pathways with modern cultural and economic forces. Uh, trying to pull us into, uh, an addictive sort of lifestyle where we’re just going hit after hit after hit, whether it’s social media, whether it’s porn, whether it’s addictions to sugar, alcohol, street drugs, prescription drugs, we’re all about the hit the rush and continuing down that pathway at the expense of things like grit and perseverance and the longterm happiness and fulfillment that these, those types of behaviors, uh, convey.

Brad: 11:31 In other words, exhibiting grit and persistence and perseverance gets you to that point eventually where, uh, you persevere through a difficult challenge and you feel good about yourself. You feel happiness, contentment, fulfillment. Um, so the people that have grit and the people that don’t, uh, distinct in research, you can identify this. Uh, Dr. Coniger says, um, when he puts people through MRI scans, this, uh, trigger happens in certain people regularly and in others it doesn’t light up at all. So the orbital medial prefrontal cortexes are dulled out, uh, possibly as Dr Lustig argues, because the dopamine pathways have become flooded and when those dopamine pathways become flooded, they down regulate serotonin. Serotonin is the happiness, contentment, a neurotransmitter that comes from a persevering through challenge, right? If you’re following me, okay, so a dopamine overdose, down-regulates serotonin. So your pursuit of instant gratification, your pursuit in this context, uh, with the, the parenting discussion, uh, getting praised constantly, constantly, constantly, and then you don’t get it. You fall off the rails. Conan jurors, research confirms this. People who get too much praise quit when it gets tough. His quote, the key is intermittent reinforcement. The brain has to learn that frustrating spells can be worked through. A person who grows up getting to frequent resorts will not have persistence because they’ll quit when the rewards disappear. Okay? So now it’s starting to make sense. You know how some people just light it up in life? They just get up off the mat, as Johnny G would say, and keep going no matter what. And then others will struggle through a pattern of one failed career or one failed relationship after another, uh, getting into their stories with their blames and their excuses. Could it be possibly because those dopamine pathways are flooded out and serotonin is suppressed accordingly so that there’s no aptitude for perseverance? There’s no possibility for grit because, uh, I guess you could use the word spoiled when you’re talking about a parent child relationships, right?

Brad: 13:54 Yeah. It’s getting pretty scary now, huh parents? All right, let’s continue listening and learning from the experts, huh? Doctor Lustig conveying the frightful insight that there’s a trend among modern young males to become addicted to porn and video games because they get this incredible instant payoff. The video game is all about mastering one’s environment and in the multiplayer online games, uh, about winning, about, uh, achieving, uh, instant success, killing all the people and being the last survivor. And of course, the porn is the way to hijack one of the most profound dopamine pathways for sexual pleasure. So, so the coming of age male who’s optimized with the hormones, the motivation, the physical strength, the drive, the desire, when they’re in that prime of life going out there to conquer the world, they can easily get their pleasure, their needs, their most powerful needs met through these hijacks, these hacks, a porn and video games. Whew. How’d they get that way? Ooh, did the parenting contribute to that? That they’re all about praise and instant gratification because that’s what they’ve been socialized to their whole life. That’s pretty scary. And if that’s not enough motivation to redirect your parenting efforts into a meaningful effort-based praise, specific, meaningful effort-based praise, rather than a emphasis on the results, I don’t know what is, man.

Brad: 15:27 Here’s a pro tip on that topic. Coming from someone who’s out of those, uh, adolescent, uh, heavy parenting years. Maybe you don’t have to make your kids’ shit the end all in your own life and in your family life. Uh, this insight comes from the behaviors of previous generations. Our parents and our grandparents did not live and breathe, uh, their children’s day to day efforts. It wasn’t such a big ass deal. Right. Um, my parents were wonderfully supportive to my athletic endeavors and all the other things that I pursued in my life. And I remember, uh, the great achievement of my high school crowning achievement of my high school running career was that I qualified for the state finals. I had an incredible race in the qualifying. I wasn’t predicted to make it all the way to the finals. And I did it. And, uh, my dad sent a telegram from LA to congratulations on making the finals.

Brad: 16:21 Good luck. And it, uh, it was a wonderful, I have it cut out in the scrapbook. I don’t know how he could still figure out a way to send a telegram that was pretty old school. Uh, but I was thinking of the compare and contrast. Like if my son had qualified for the state finals, I would have jumped on a plane from any spot on the planet Earth and, uh, you know, forded great rivers and climb snowy mountains, uh, to watch him in the crowning achievement of his high school career. But my dad was, uh, supporting me in a different way and he didn’t necessarily need to break his back and reschedule his weekend plans. Uh, just to watch me run four laps around the track. He could hear me relate about it after and continue to be the, uh, the support and the unconditional love that he gave me that made me, uh, be the best I could be.

Brad: 17:06 Hey, my mom was there, she came up to Sacramento to watch the race with their sister and, uh, my surprise qualification for the finals caused her to, uh, change her return flight cause we were so sure that I wasn’t going to make it that I said, yeah, you can go home on June 4th, but instead she had to extend her trip. So there you go. And this stuff can apply to all manner of goals big and small. So, uh, your wonderful top student kid, uh, doesn’t get into law school or had a worst score on the MCAT than expected. Right. Okay. Uh, what do you want to have for dinner? Uh, want to go to the movies tonight? I want to go on a hike, so what time to move on. But if the parent is showing signs of devastation and all that kind of thing, wow, that is going to have a potentially adverse psychological impact on the poor kid.

Brad: 18:01 Remember we talked about uh, being a show pony in the first show where you’re telling your kid his whole life, I’m so proud of you, you did such a great job in the play. I’m so proud of you. You qualified for the state finals. That’s a lot of pressure man. And there’s a lot of ways to diffuse that pressure and one of them is to engage in dopamine triggering behaviors and not take on life like you could and so on and so forth. I have another anecdote on this topic and that was my son’s tragic moment in his life when he was denied admission to the only college that he applied to because he had his heart set on attending UCLA since he was 11 years old. And he did everything that society asked of him throughout high school, getting his A grades and excelling in athletics and turning in a wonderful application.

Brad: 18:49 And then they send you an email basically saying, fuck you, we don’t want you, and we’re not telling you why. And the poor kid was like almost in a catatonic state. He was so devastated staring at his screen. He waited the entire spring break to open up the, uh, the, the admission letter so he wouldn’t ruin his spring break. Uh, but the father stepped in at that point and said, okay, let’s go to plan B, which is to attend junior college and transfer into the school of your dreams. And it was about a five minute delay from this devastating, the most devastating news he’d ever received in his life. And pretty soon we were on the website navigating the path, uh, the alternative path to get there to your goals. Okay. So, uh, I’ll give myself a little parenting credit for thinking on the fly and redirecting quickly. But it’s also should be said that there’s alternative paths and there’s things that are meant to be and not meant to be. And so trying to, uh, force your kid through a perfect life or projecting your beliefs and values and priorities onto them. Boy, that is a recipe for, uh, not just, uh, you know, failure, but true disaster and rebellion and all those things. I have a great one liner from Dr. William Hughes. I’m gonna end the show with on that topic. So we’ll come back to them.

Brad: 20:11 So then we get to the topic of self esteem and it gets a little confusing because we’re coming from the old days in the 70s where the self esteem movement, uh, was, was a big deal, has now been pretty much trashed. And the idea of just boosting your kid’s self esteem as an end all goal, uh, is being reconsidered. The every kid gets a trophy is a common example, uh I criticizing that rather than that rather than praising it, which I’m sure they did when they started these trends. So, uh, the constant praising of results has been a rightfully trashed and rethought. Uh, there’s a scientist named Bauermeister who’s quoted in the article I read suggesting that or revealing that high self esteem is not such the winning ticket that we think it is. I’ve read some other commentary on this subject and they draw the reader in with this uh, paragraph of a clever colorful prose, uh, describing a young lad who was a great leader and excelled in a military school and went on to motivate, uh, troops and succeed. And of course they were talking about Hitler. And so like it was all positive attributes that culture, values, society values. And then the punchline was a pretty funny that this guy had tremendously high self esteem.

Brad: 21:35 He was good at uh, motivating, influencing others, blah, blah, blah. So high self esteem according to the researcher, Baumeister is not the winning ticket. We think it is high self esteem is not associated with higher grades, career success, or protection against getting in trouble. In fact, esteem building praise has been shown to cause college kids’ grade to sink lower. It’s also been shown that highly aggressive violent people tend to think highly of themselves. Uh, debunking the a this is the wives’ tale or what have you, that uh, people who are overly aggressive, uh, are trying to make up for low self esteem. Not so, so this breaking down of the, the prior movement that self esteem was the centerpiece, um, the researcher Bauermeister suggests that maybe, just maybe where’s this coming from? It’s coming from the idea that when parents praise their kids, they kind of able to praise themselves in the process.

Brad: 22:48 That kinda hurts. But I think that possibly could hit home. Right. And we get talking. I mean, almost everybody’s favorite topic, uh, if you pepper them is to talk about their kids and their kids’ exploits. And it’s easy to draw people in and they will go to town and talk about how their kids, the lead investigator and they got another award. And we very freely speak highly of our children, a much more so than being able to just go on and on about your own exploits. It’s kind of a joke where the grandma can’t stop praising all my little granddaughter, she’s so wonderful. Yeah. So when praising their kids, it’s not that far from praising themselves end quote. So maybe we just forget it and let a child build their self esteem naturally and also convey this, get over yourself message that self esteem might even just take a back burner these days.

Brad: 23:41 It’s not that big a deal. Huh? So where do we go with that? Let self esteem go on the back burner and let your ego go on the back burner and just be mindful and present and try to be a good person and do your best through life. I feel like, personally, this is one of the great gifts of getting older. I feel like I’ve made a shift in my personality and my priorities where I go out there, I do what I do, I do my very best, I compete, I’m intense, I’m passionate. I enjoy the heck out of my, my career and my athletic pursuits, but I’m really trying and I feel like I’m succeeding to some measure. Maybe I’m fooling myself. I don’t know, uh, in getting over myself now. Uh, just to be a clear and honest here, I absolutely don’t mind, uh, self promotion and being a goofy intentioned seeker in order to inspire and motivate others and draw more listeners to my podcast or more readers to my books.

Brad: 24:37 I’m playing the game. I don’t mind it. I think it’s, uh, it’s fun and I’m not thinking twice. However, I also feel like, uh, there’s a little bit of, um, distance or perspective that I’m not immersed into myself like an idiot. There’s a critical distinction there that I might compare to the triathlete of my younger days where I was still fighting that battle. I still had some awareness that I didn’t want to be all caught up on myself when I was succeeding nor super duper down on myself when I was losing. Uh, but it was a difficult battle for a young person in such an intense competitive environment where it’s very, very easy to get caught up as an athlete. So today. Huh? Speaking of that, I read my athletic bio, my triathlon bio, like it was someone else. It was so long ago. I have really little connection and relevance to that person.

Brad: 25:32 It’s hard to remember what I was all about at that time. Uh, but again, to, uh, face this issue directly and let’s talk about my recent a Guinness world record performance in my sport of speed golf. And honestly, I felt a huge burst of joy and pride when I broke that world record and didn’t mind in the slightest, uh, promoting the crap out of it and talking about it incessantly, doing an entire hour long podcast on my pursuit of the Guinness world record for the fastest hole of golf ever played. Uh, but I also realized, and I tried to convey this in the show and in the long blog posts that I wrote about it, that the real joy here, the real, uh, relevance and value was in the journey. And the ability that I had to prepare for an attempt to record that whole entire journey, whether or not the result came true or not, it was putting myself on the starting line in the competitive arena.

Brad: 26:29 It was so wonderful to share the experience with friends and family and that that’s the true beauty of life rather than just knocking off a resume, accomplishments. And the same could go for anything doing at work or even as a parent. And my fondest reflections, uh, of being a parent and raising my kids was just being there along the way for the journey. Uh, win or lose a success or failure is just a wonderful gift every single year. What were the funnest years? Uh, every year was fun because the kid was getting older and growing and developing. So that’s my answer is just so amazing. And now to see, uh, to relate to kids, uh, as adults rather than these little kids that you raised up. And I love reminding them, Hey, remember when we ran around the house pretending we were chickens? We did it every night. No, I don’t remember that.

Brad: 27:25 What? That’s pretty funny to realize that there’s not much, uh, recollection of the first what, four or five years I think in most cases. So anyway, that healthy perspective that you can get, and I’m sharing my own story to convey that. I have a little bit of perspective about the speed golfer who broke the world record. You know, I might as well be talking about my twin brother when I’m promoting the crap out of it. I’m not entirely immersed. Okay. And so if you can kind of get there as a parent too, I feel like that would be a really powerful and effective position to parent from, and that means that, you know, it’s still allowed. It’s still cool to celebrate your kid’s success. I’m sure it’s going to be a great day to celebrate my son and my daughter when they graduate from college or achieve life goals. It’s certainly better and more fun than dealing with failure. But if there is a failure or a struggle or a challenge or something serious to deal with, you have to face that in a graceful way and not overdramatize it not overdramatize the failure or the success.

Brad: 28:34 Ah, how about that for a ramble. And here’s another one from Poe Bronson, the author of the magnificent article, the inverse power of praise and the coauthor with Ashley Merryman, my former podcast, guest of nurture shock and Top Dog. And this is some pretty heavy stuff. So listen up, he’s talking about these revelations of studying Carol Dweck research and applying that to his parenting. And he’s got a five year old kid. So luckily he caught on early. Obviously the articles written a long time ago. Uh, but here he goes. So Poe Bronson saying offering praise has become a sort of panacea for the anxieties of modern parenting. Out of our children’s lives.from breakfast to dinner, we turn it up a notch when we get home in those few hours together, we want them to hear the things we can’t say during the day. We’re in your corner. We’re here for you. We believe in you in a similar way. We put our children in high pressure environments seeking out the best schools and the best sports teams and all that stuff that we can possibly find, and then we use the constant praise to soften the intensity of those environments. We expect so much of them, but we hide our expectations behind constant glowing praise. The duplicity became glaring to me. Eventually in my final stage of praise withdrawal, I realized that not telling my son he was smart meant I was leaving it up to him to make his own conclusions about his intelligence. Jumping in with praise is like jumping in too soon with the answer to a homework problem. It robs him of the chance to make the deduction himself.

Brad: 30:23 Oh, okay. In summary, first and foremost, get over yourself. You have less influence on your kids’ success and life path than you realize. There are many innate influences and many peer influences that take over for parental influence. For example, lousy parents can motivate a kid to kick butt in life and be a good person and great parents can raise train wreck kids that don’t model their character values. If kids can be raised in the same household and be called to different paths, ah, it’s out of your hands. Just do the best you can. Now that said, I do believe it’s possible to screw kids up. That’s why these two shows should be taken to heart. And you also might want to read Carol Dweck book N, Ashley Merryman and Poe Bronson’s book Nurture Shock, and also books called Positive Discipline and Your Child’s Growing Mind by Jane Healy were very helpful to me. Uh, when I was bringing the kids through the early years. Another great book, I had an opportunity to meet this guy in person. He’s got a great angle. Uh, he wrote a book called Raising Winning Kids without a fight by Dr. William Hughes. And he uttered that great quote that I teased at the start of the show. Uh, something like, uh, anything that’s the parents’ idea quite often becomes a bad idea. And anything that’s the kid’s idea almost always becomes a good idea, almost comes out well. So we want the kids to be the ones calling the shots. Dad, mom, I wanna take more piano lessons. I love it so much. Once a week is not enough. Dad, mom, I wanna join the competitive travel soccer team because I’m so passionate about the sport as opposed to, Hey, wouldn’t it be great if you blank, blank, blank.

Brad: 32:19 Okay. So the quick takeaways, going back to both shows, first one, land the copter man. Land the helicopter. Let your kids live life. Let them fail and struggle and figure shit out for themselves. Even stuff like you’re smart, you’re pretty, you’re a good athlete. Let them figure it out themselves. Praise effort made toward improvement effort that’s contributing toward improvement. Deemphasize the results and reject the attachment of self esteem to results. Don’t allow them to get discouraged. That’s simply not allowed. Make sure that your praise is specific and authentic and realize that not everything deserves comment. For example, many failures are obvious. Your kid comes home with a huge dent in the bumper of their car. They made a mistake and got into a car crash. Do you really need to comment and offer, uh, some helpful driving insights at that time? I think the car crash is enough.

Brad: 33:23 Even a huge success doesn’t necessarily deserve comment. So when your kid hits the winning three at the buzzer of the basketball game, maybe the best thing to do is greet them with a smile and ask them, uh, which ice cream store do they want to go to? As a parent, emphasize the most valuable pursuits of life, like being a good person, a good citizen, exhibiting good sportsmanship, controlling one’s emotions, and realize, Hmm, this is interesting. Guess what? The world has enough freaking anesthesiologists and corporate lawyers and politicians and CEOs, there are enough of those. We have enough high income earning .com kids vacationing in Cabo with bottle service right now too. We have enough of all of them. So your kid can carve their own path in life and do things that are meaningful to them without having to ascribe and adhere to the conventions. And measuring, judging forces of society, especially first and foremost their parents.

Brad: 34:30 Dang people. This reminds me of Eddie boy, my good friend, where I got the name of the bloody show from. That’s right. Get over yourself. Was this profound advice that his father dispensed to him in the middle of the night. One night he was a star high school quarterback and he threw a pick six for his team to lose the game. He was getting heckled in the parking lot after the game. He was so frustrated. He couldn’t sleep. So he got up in the middle of the night and started throwing the ball through the tire, hanging from the tree into the canvas hanging against his house, you know, trying to get his reps and work through his frustrations. And so when you throw the ball through the tire hitting the canvas, it makes a thud. So over and over in the middle of the night, this thud is happening in the front of his house pump pump, right? So it wakes up his father who was also a football coach and a man of few words, but very profound advice. In this case. So his father went out to see what the ruckus was, opens up the front door, sees Eddie boy doing his thing and he says, Ed, get over yourself. He closes the door, goes in, goes back to bed. What better way to handle that incident than what Dr Rashan did to his son? Fantastic advice right there on the spot. No, not it’s going to be okay. Don’t worry. You’re a great quarterback. You’ll get them in the next game. No, no, no, no, no. Just get over yourself. Okay. So that’s how I got the name of the show and, and a similar insight from Eddie boy and his dad, uh, came from Eddie’s speech on his 40th birthday to a packed house and a wonderful restaurant gathering. And he said, you know, my dad said something to me that I remembered when I was young and he said, the most important thing in life is to be a good person. That’s it. Thanks for listening to the show.

Brad: 36:38 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 iTunes or 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 cause they need to. Thanks for doing it.

(Breather) The Get Over Yourself podcast is branching out into the topic of parenting tips, whoopee!

In 2007, I read a landmark article in New York magazine called, “The Inverse Power of Praise—How Not To Talk To Your Kids.” It forever changed my perspective about parenting and I referenced the insights on a daily basis for years after. You might be surprised to learn that you actually have less of an influence on your kid’s success than you think, considering there are so many other influences, like their peers, along with their own innate qualities, that factor in much more than you do!

Some of these suggestions will be shocking and deeply thought-provoking. Your mind may be blown to realize that lavishing effusive praise might do your kid more harm than good; that innocent comments like, “You’re a great athlete,” or, “You’re so smart,” can make your kid become averse to challenge and progress. It sounds crazy, but when you try too hard to set your child up for success, you’re kind of doing the opposite, and instead setting them up for failure. Of course, we all want our kids to know that we see their best qualities, but acknowledging those things too much and focusing only on what it is that is “remarkable” about them will never do them any favors. Instead of praising the end result, praise the effort that went into the process – your child will respond and react to that kind of positive reinforcement in a way that’s much more productive for their growth.

This episode will give you some great tools and tips to improve your parenting skills and emphasize the research-proven effective strategies like praising effort that leads to improvement over end results. Also, check out my previous show with New York Times bestselling author Ashley Merryman for related details.

TIMESTAMPS:

You have less influence on your kid’s success than you realize. [03:00]

Sometimes we don’t realize the damage our good intentions cause. [04:44]

Should every kid get a trophy? [08:30]

The kids often attach their self-esteem to a compliment you’ve given. [09:33]

Kids are smart.  They learn early on what attributes they have. [12:18]

Allow your kids to fail and encourage them to keep trying. [15:53]

When so say, “I’m proud of you” to your kid, you are taking the accomplishment away from him or her and turning it on to yourself. [16:37]

Make your praise specific and sincere because general praise often has the opposite of the intended effect. [18:30]

Sometimes it’s best to be silent until the kid wants to talk. [23:00]

Comparing one kid to another is probably the worst thing you can do. [26:15]

Overpraised elementary school kids who equate success with innate ability instead of effort, struggle. [28:31]

Experiencing failure is a good learning experience because it builds resilience. [34:41]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Not only praise the effort, but praise effort that leads to improvement.”

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad: 03:00 From the description. Brad Kearns covers, health, fitness, peak performance, personal growth, relationships, happiness and longevity. Slow down. Take a deep breath, take a cold plunge and get over the high stress. I just said that on the recording, didn’t I? Well, it appears that we have diverse subject matter with all roads leading to happiness, longevity. So why don’t we branch out a little bit and cover one of my favorite topics. Parenting. He, yes. Parenting tips. Who am I to give out? Parenting tips. Well, I have a couple of kids. They’re ages 22 and 20. Um, and I’m going to skip to the very end. One of the summary points is get over yourself because you have less influence on your kid’s success than you realize.

Brad: 03:52 There are a lot of innate influences and lots of peer influences that take over and it’s supersede parental influence that would also be relating to a landing the copter. One of my quick takeaways for the very end of this two part show. So I wanted to skip to that because if you’re thinking, who is this guy to give out parenting tips, I guess you’d call me a professional parent because I have a kids that are now adult and have some good reflections. But I really want to go back to this incredible, uh, article in the New York times magazine that appeared in 2007 referencing the great work of Stanford professor Carol Dweck, uh, known for her book mindset. Uh, and also, uh, led me to the great work of PO Bronson and Ashley Merryman, the author team that has written numerous bestselling books. And I had Ashley on the show.

Brad: 04:44 So go listen to that show about her book Nurture Shock and her other book, Top Dog about competition, the science of winning and losing and testosterone. A nurture shock was about parenting. Uh, so this article, the inverse power of praise, how not to talk to your kids, uh, was absolutely life changing for me as a father. And I reflected upon it pretty much every single day for years and years afterward when I was faced with, uh, communication decisions and parenting decisions. Uh, it basically changed my entire philosophy about many aspects of being a parent, being a supportive parent and being Mr. Positive Guy and transferring that over to raising my kids. Uh, it called into question a lot of it right on the spot. Uh, so you get this article on the New York times website and you have to click to go to the next page, click to go to the next page about seven times.

Brad: 05:40 And every time I clicked on that next page, uh, I uttered out an exclamation like Holy fuck. And realizing, uh, possible damage that I had been doing. Uh, and many other parents around me of course, when was engaging in the typical cultural norms of obsessively praising your child and trying to boost their self esteem by making them feel like they’re the center of the universe. And a superstar no matter what and all that kind of stuff. We’re guilty of, especially in the modern generation, which can be accurately described as the age of the helicopter parent. In contrast to perhaps previous generations where there wasn’t so much hands on, obsessive parenting, largely to the detriment of today’s, uh, sheltered youth to make generalizations. And speaking of my kids, my son hates when I do that or say any sort of comment about millennials and I totally accepted his point.

Brad: 06:39 One time he called me out on it and I’m like, you’re right. I can’t make a broad generalization. There are a lot of millennials who are, uh, this is coming from my son mostly, uh, busting their ass, working really hard, not entitled, not privileged, none. Any of that nonsense. And having a difficult time, uh, finding job, career, uh, making ends meet in high economic places, uh, much more difficult than perhaps a couple generations ago. I remember when I was graduating college, uh, the accounting firms swarmed the campus to conduct interviews. And lure you there with, uh, excellent job opportunities so you would have multiple job opportunities if all you did was pass your classes in the accounting track at my school. Uh, and I think, uh, in many ways it’s a little more difficult, a little more complex now, uh, but there’s also some of those generalizations can hit home when you’re talking about, uh, the entitled kid whose parents attend the job, interview with them or argue with the professor over a grade, the parent doing this, uh, which actually happens.

Brad: 07:38 And there’s a entire books about the subject, uh, pretty alarming. So I was always trying to maintain open mind, uh, and be receptive to new information and new techniques as my kids were going through the years. And I thought I would highlight this article and of course take it and run with it, uh, from the centerpiece of the article, which I urge you to read. Uh, but the basic premise of the article is that we’re screwing up our kids and probably screwing up ourselves by over-parenting them valuing results over effort and trying to shield them from failure. So these are the fundamentals of the helicopter parenting age where we think that orchestrating our kids’ success, setting them up for success. So much so to the extent that we’re crafting everything and curating and cultivating everything.

Brad: 08:30 Ashley Merryman brings up the antidote frequently about every kid getting a trophy, which is so commonplace in all the sports leagues, especially the ones I participated in with my kids. I was the coach. So I was the guy that had to order the trophies. And of course we’re ordering a trophy or a medal for every single kid. Now, some of this can be taken out of context to make the point. And I am not too concerned about every kid get or getting a trophy after completing a competitive season cause we don’t know what these kids are bringing to the table or to the field. And just making it through a season could be a wonderful accomplishment deserving of a trophy for many kids. And then there’s also the, uh, MVP award and things like that, which I think are perfectly acceptable, uh, for the kids to distinguish themselves. And, uh, I think the important point that Ashley makes is like trying to, uh, boost kids’ self esteem by making everyone feel like they’re exceptional. Uh, can have some real trouble down the line.

Brad: 09:33 When you face the reality of a competitive, uh, world, competitive workplace, uh, whenever you get to the point where the going gets tough, uh, sometimes the resiliency is not there because of this massive effort to shield kids from failure. So the article posts these wild ideas that if you were for example, to tell your kid “You’re really smart”, “you’re a great athlete,” “you’re a great musician,” “you’re really beautiful,” it is possible for the kid to attach their self esteem to these characteristics such that they may withdraw from higher challenges in the future in order to protect those characterizations. And even in the, uh, example of praising their physical beauty, this may cause, especially on the female side, it may cause a female to trade on those attributes rather than build up other areas of her personality. You get what I’m saying? Uh, especially relevant when you’re talking about athletics and telling your little superstar on the eight year old soccer field that just scored two goals, that you’re a fantastic soccer player.

Brad: 10:45 You’re amazing. You’re a great athlete. The kid will try to protect these attributes and not want to take on the more intense challenges that may make him feel like a failure someday because he’s so wedded to the idea that he is the great superstar champion soccer player. So then you throw them into a challenging league, right? Escalating the sporting experience when appropriate and that could lend to real trouble. So Ashley’s quick insight that she centerpieced on her book and talked about in the podcast that we did, was that you want to praise effort over results. And then years after she wrote that in Nurture Shock number one bestselling New York Times book, uh, she qualified it or enhance the description to say, you must not only praise effort but praise or look to praise effort that leads to improvement. So it’s not just about making an effort. You go to go to a work or school every day and make an effort in the wrong direction and effort that’s ill-advised. Or you know, let’s say a little kids trying to become a good golfer and they have a crappy swing because haven’t gotten lessons yet because their parent has taught them cause their parent knows everything and you praise the effort every single day, but it’s misdirected. That is going to miss the mark as well. So, uh, when you’re praising these innate characteristics, rather than having all the praise focused on effort, the kids may overvalue these things and this will prevent them from growing and improving.

Brad: 12:18 Uh, another important point that the article made was that very, very early on, kids are pretty smart. Kids on the playground. The playground collectively is pretty smart. So guess what? Those kids that are exceptional athletes, they learn this really early on from the world around them. The people who are physically attractive learn that very early on. They don’t need any more validation or reinforcement of that, that you’re going to have to probably work through, uh, making an effort to not trade on physical beauty. And build other areas of their personality less that really screwed them up. And we know so many examples of that pointing all the way up to, uh, the elite of the culture, the celebrities, the fashion, the supermodels where there’s a lot of prevalence of, um, destructive lifestyle behaviors, self esteem struggles even with people who by all accounts, uh, would be valued in society for their attractiveness, let’s say. Uh, so, uh, the innocent idea of a parent telling their daughter that “you’re pretty” can lead to negative consequences. Imagine that or telling your child “you’re a great athlete” or “you’re really smart”. There were studies detailed in the article, the Inverse Power of Praise where they would give these kids a test and then afterward, uh, scoring the test or whatever, they’d have the kid in there and they’d tell a certain control group.

Brad: 13:51 “You’re really smart.” And then the other control group, “you made a great effort on the test” and then they’d make the tests harder and harder. And the kids who were told they were smart, uh, wilted from further challenge. I think they were asked, do you want to try even harder tests? And they said, no thanks. I’m good. I’m just going to keep my smart card and, and head out, uh, to the, uh, to the playground for recess where, uh, I’ll, I’ll know that I’m a great athlete because of my, uh, natural, uh, peer interactions. Yeah. Um, what happens when you, uh, lock in on these patterns and keep them to adulthood? I’ll volunteer my hand right now and say, you know what, uh, I grew to think of myself as a triathlete because I spent nine years living and breathing the sport of triathlon and racing on the professional circuit and achieving these great successes that I dreamed about since I was a little kid.

Brad: 14:41 I always wanted to be a professional athlete when I was a little guy. First it was in the NFL, then I realized that I wasn’t going to be, um, even big enough to survive one day on the high school football practice field. I wanted to be a basketball player. I wanted to be this. I wanted to be that I had these dreams. I love playing sports. And then I found myself living out my dream life as a professional athlete. And so it was very easy, especially when I succeeded at an early age, early into my career. It was very easy to attach my self esteem and my identity to being a professional triathlete. And that works out really well until the day that you start to struggle. And then when your attachment, when your mindset, when your ego is tied into what place you cross the finish line, you have to unwind all that to be the best that you can be and live a well adjusted happy life. Okay, so here’s the, and this is just a brief overview of uh, the, the, the comments in the, in the article and the premise that we want to have effort based praise rather than results-based praise. And then we can get into some, uh, tips to make this transition.

Brad: 15:53 So one of them is allowing your kids to fail and encouraging them to keep trying. Uh, the writer even pushed back and said, I know this sounds so cliche to keep saying try, try again, try harder. But when you encourage them to keep trying. So when you allow them to fail and encourage them to keep trying rather than rescuing, you were giving them more responsibility, accountability, less handholding and less intervening into tough sticky situations in life. Any parents raise your hand right now if you’re driving a car, raise one of your hands if you’d know what I’m talking bout.

Brad: 16:37 Okay, next bullet point. Uh, besides allowing them to fail, encourage them to keep trying. Next. Praise the effort toward improvement. This is the clarification from Ashley Merryman and avoid character based praise. This is one of the mind blowing insights that I talk about that I kept thinking about over and over for years afterward. A routine parenting comment such as I’m proud of you can mess a kid up. So you go to the school play and your kid got the lead role as Abraham Lincoln and you’re driving home in the car, hopefully stopping for ice cream to celebrate the success of the uh, the, the, the theater performance. And you say, I’m very proud of you. You did a great job in the play. Guess what? All of a sudden you turned it from a kid’s performance to the kid being a show pony for the parents’ amusement.

Brad: 17:32 Are you with me? This has been the one that really turned the corner for me and I’ve caught myself so many times and I simply do not utter those words to my kids. I’m proud of you. Instead, guess what I do every single time I have that urge? You should be very proud of yourself, right? My son’s about to graduate UCLA. You must be a proud father. Not really. Cause I didn’t set foot on the damn campus or open a book. It was all about him and his journey and his hard work to become a college graduate. So should I say I’m proud of you that you perform for my amusement cause I like UCLA. I was born there. Whoop. Damn. Do you want to keep it in the kid’s court and have him own his accomplishments, him or her and also own their struggles and failures. So this is a big one for me. You can argue it if you want. Write in and say that you should say I’m proud of you. Nah, I love it. I love the concept of switching it over to “You should be proud of yourself”.

Brad: 18:30 Next one, make your praise specific and sincere because general praise often has the opposite of the intended effect. The kid thinks that general praise arrives because he actually sucks and you’re just trying to cover for him, right? Oh my gosh, you’re an amazing artist. When you give some piece of crap, a dinosaur drawing to your parent, the kids get smart and they realize that this general fluffy praise is not really on point perhaps because in the poor kid’s mind, they’re forming self limiting beliefs. Because as we know from my highlight show about Bruce Lipton’s work, this is what our minds are busy doing from ages zero to six. We’re forming judgements and self limiting beliefs that we have to work hard to unwind the rest of our lives. So when you float out that general praise every single day, Oh my gosh. And I’ve, uh, experienced this, uh, with teenagers where they just throw it back in your face like, no, you don’t really mean it. And sometimes they have a point. Okay. So, uh, the science shows, the research shows that kids can start to smell insincere praise starting at age seven. So since I read this in 2007 when my kids were seven and nine, I’ve always tried to praise the effort and minimize the importance of results over external measurements and judgments and also get whatever praise comes forth to be very specific and sincere. So adult listeners, if you little kid listening, teenager listening, Hey, hi, it’s Brad Kearns. How you doing? Thanks for listening. Hope this stuff doesn’t mess with your head.Hope you have some value out of it. But for the parents listening, the language is very, very important. So we want to work really hard and understand that huge distinction between I’m proud of you and you should be proud of yourself and extending this theme and picking the right language and being specific with your praise. You can start to pepper your commentary with comments like “great effort.” Uh, “clearly you worked really hard on that painting. You should be proud of yourself”. Uh, things like that.

Brad: 20:48 And since we’re still in this, uh, over-sexualized, uh, misogynistic culture, look no further than the headlines in the Harvey Weinstein trial. We want to be careful with the little ones to not set them up to buy into this, uh, these flawed cultural notions of, for example, a male conquest, uh, a female, a sex object, all that nonsense that we need to, uh, work to eradicate from society. So instead of, uh, talking to the middle schoolers or the, the elementary kids and saying, wow, you’re going to be you a real lady killer when you get older or you’re going to be a real heartbreaker boy, are you beautiful? Uh, that kind of stuff could be transitioned into that, um, specific insincere praise. So I might say something to, um, a daughter like, wow, your hair looks really great today. Oh, what a beautiful outfit you’re wearing. Things like that. Okay. Um, and then when you’re, uh, uh, have a chance to deliver feedback, you can come up with some thoughtful questions and commentary rather than that fluffy, fluffy stuff. So, “wow, the birds on that drawing are really realistic”. Or after a basketball game, I might say, “you know, I noticed how you did a good job passing the ball quickly back to the post when you were out there on the wing.”

Brad: 22:07 “Uh, I also noticed you were really hustling, uh, in the last few minutes of the game when everyone was tired and you made a great impact with your hustle. Uh, so great job. How did you feel about it?” And get into an engagement and back and forth? Uh, one of my favorite stories, uh, with my son playing in intense high school basketball environment, you know, it wasn’t easy. There’s a lot of emotions running with the parents, the kids, the coaches, a high stakes in the case of my son’s team, cause these guys, uh, went on a beautiful run for two years and made it to the second round of the state tournament. Not bad for a little suburban school in, uh, Northern California. And, uh, at times, you know, it was a, it was a challenge to navigate it. And I was trying to do a really great job as a parent and you know, get that engagement rather than being yet another person who gets to next year, my player, besides all the coaches and the rest of the world.

Brad: 23:00 So I would, uh, make a practice after games of, uh, letting my son talk when he was ready rather than dispense. All my incredible, uh, observant feedback as a, you ha in the stands who never played the game at the high school level. Uh, and one time he was particularly frustrated after the team lost in a championship tournament game. We had a long drive, three hour drive home and I said, ah, I’m going to let him chill until, you know, if he wants to talk it out. He had some definite things that was a working through and that car was silent for 90 minutes from Redding, California to Chico, California. And I was not gonna break the code, man. I was not going to be the first one to talk. Then we pulled Chipotle lay, uh, inhaled some burritos and his case, and then the rest of the drive home, another 90 minutes was nonstop banter.

Brad: 23:53 And hopefully I made a positive contribution to allow him to work through some of his frustrations and insights that he was having. But guess what? If I had started out that drive, you know, with the insights that were bursting forth that I was ready to spew out of my mouth, it could have gone entirely in a negative direction. Okay, so speaking for a moment specifically to the segment, an audience of the highly competitive former athletic parent, remember that this is the kid’s journey. You had your chance back in middle school, high school, college ball, a cup of coffee in the minors, wherever you’ve made it to, you did your thing, man, you’ve been there and done that. So let the kid be the player and you can be the caddy. A great golf analogy applies here because the caddy carries the bag, you know, opens doors, gives the kid opportunity. You’re going to get the kid, the shoes, you’re going to drive him to the gym or to the golf course. Uh, but the caddy does not hit the shot for the kid and the kid hits a bad shot. There’s nothing you can do as a caddy except to help him find the right club to hit the next shot, get it, got it? Good and tone down things as they get older and older. So I was the coach from day one cause I wanted that experience to be positive and supportive and emphasizing fun and including everyone and making everyone feel like a team and deemphasizing all that overly competitive, uh, the excess competitive intensity that you see so often in huge sports. I fought that battle really hard. The kids and the parents wanted to be on my team cause I always made it fun.

Brad: 25:30 But then at a certain point, uh, when the escalation occurs to where, uh, the things start to get serious, particularly in high school, uh, where you have professional coaches that do this for a living, the best place for the parent is to go sit in the stands and cheer for the team, support everyone, uh, be a voice of reason and listening sounding board when the kids ready to talk. But step back from that role as the end all/know it all that you actually were when your kids were little make sense out. Right. Thanks for, um, thanks for listening to Brad. Here I was, I’ve been there. Okay. Trying to tone things down is a really great goal no matter how competitive or how awesome you were back in yo day. Okay.

Brad: 26:15 So if you’re getting a little bit chapped, a little bit offended, uh, with the admonition to not say, I’m proud of you to your kid or you’re beautiful or any of those things, let’s make sure that unconditional love is the centerpiece of the parenting journey. But just be really careful with your language. So to express your unconditional love. Of course with your actions, even more important than your words. But of course you’re allowed to say you’re a beautiful person inside and out. That’s a whole shitload different than telling some little wise ass seventh grader that he’s “going to be a lady killer in high school.” Huge difference. Get it. Thank you. Uh, you can say things like, you’re a great kid, you have a kind heart. But then possibly combining those insights with something that’s specific, that really hits home. So you could say something like, “You have a kind heart. That was really nice how you listened to great grandma’s entire story so attentively.” Okay. Now compare and contrast with these fluffy throw away sentiments that can cause attachment of self esteem to character attributes. When you say “you’re so pretty”, “you’re so smart” “you’re the best athlete in the whole school,” which is probably the worst thing to convey to a kid is that comparative aspect.

Brad: 27:32 So if you, if you, uh, your kid’s on the bench too much and you tell him, yeah, I mean, I can’t believe you’re third string quarterback. You are so much better, uh, than, than Tommy, the four-star recruit who threw for 37 touchdowns. Okay. Or you deserve to be homecoming queen instead of her that has a lasting negative effects and generating negative energy to the world at large. All right? So none of that. If you think your kids should be in the starting lineup instead of the person in front of him. Oh, what could you say? How about, well, “I’ll bet you putting in some extra work on your dribbling over the weekend might make a huge impact.” Or “Hey, uh, if you’re not starting, that means practice is like the NBA finals for you. So I suggest you dive on some loose balls and practice and see how long it is that you’re going to ride the pine when you’re diving for loose balls.” That’s a great comeback rather than, yeah, that guy, uh, missed so many shots at the last game. I couldn’t believe it. Oh, huge difference. Okay, thank you, people.

Brad: 28:31 A little more on praise and then we’ll end this part one of the show. So it’s not all bad. Praise can be a motivator. Right? But it has to be specific and sincere. As we discussed before. Remember the third bullet point of the transition from fluffy helicopter parenting. Uh, you want to allow them to fail, encourage them to keep trying, praise the effort toward improvement and avoid character-based praise. And finally make your praise specific and sincere. Uh, this article talks about a psychologist Wolf Meyer, uh, in his studies suggesting that by age 12, children think that earning praise from a teacher is not a sign that you did well, but that the teacher thinks you need extra encouragement because you’ve may have reached the limits of your innate ability.

Brad: 29:21 Whew. So praised students tend to become risk averse and lacked perceived autonomy. The scholars found consistent correlations between a liberal use of praise and students’ shorter task persistence, more eye checking with the teacher and infected speech such that answers have the intonation of questions. They’re getting insecure from all the praise. Overpraised elementary school kids who equate success with innate ability instead of effort get to middle school and struggle, they make the assumption that they’ve been dumb all along and they’ve hit their upper limit. Oftentimes the research shows that they resort to cheating. So the little smarty pants from elementary school, or maybe it was elementary school and middle school, they get to high school, it gets tough. They don’t have the proper coping skills because they’ve never been allowed to fail. They’ve been praised all the way through. What the heck are they going to do?

Brad: 30:19 They’re going to cheat to get that A because it’s all about the A it’s all about the bumper sticker, international listeners. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about, but here in America we have these obnoxious bumper stickers that say my child is an A student at River Edge Elementary School or what have you. I don’t know. Do they have those in other countries? It’s like, why do we need to brag to the world? And, and so now a wonderfully, there are a whole bunch of, uh, piss take, uh, bumper stickers, uh, modeling that ridiculous trend that maybe is going away. Now. I don’t see too many of those anymore, probably because those parents have seen, um, the, uh, the, the counter bumper stickers that says, uh, “my dog is smarter than your A student”, and so on and so forth. Hey, I’m sorry to come off, a little harsh on the bumper sticker thing, but let’s wake up a little bit.

Brad: 31:11 Let’s reflect a little bit. Rather than just a falling in line with cultural norms that may be destructive overall and let the kid own his straight A’s himself. Don’t brag about it and let him brag about it if he wants and then get his ass kicked in a hard class in high school. I think all of us can go back and reference, uh, some of our favorite teachers or instructors or coaches, uh, that really challenged us. And, uh, we’re so far from that, uh, effusive, uh, general fluffy praise. The absolute opposite was what woke us up and allowed us to be the best we could be and learn and grow as people from, uh, people that gave it to us with the straight scoop. Oh my gosh. Uh, one of my favorite Heath coaches, uh, Ken G who runs the YBA youth basketball Academy here in the Sacramento area.

Brad: 32:02 He was a straight shooter at all times with all his players. Everyone knew where they stood. Uh, if a kid wasn’t starting, they knew why knew what they needed to work on and it was not sugarcoated in any way. And it was a, I think, a tougher journey than the typical, uh, recreational leagues where every kid gets a trophy. Every kid has fun. We know most of you all aren’t headed toward the high school experience cause there’s only 14 kids on the bench for the varsity team. Uh, and that’s okay. But if you want to be good and you have a kid who is showing those signs of wanting to excel, whether it’s in violin or in sports, and want to place them in an environment which, uh, might position them to succeed and to be challenged, that’s great. But again, the kid really has to direct that and it has to be sort of a, uh, a default or a destiny rather than forcing that or orchestrating that. And I see that so many times where kids are thrust into an over pressurized competitive experience of some kind, uh, because the parent thinks it’s in the kids’ best interest. Um, so in my case, uh, I remember watching my kid play basketball on the recreational leagues and scoring a lot of points and having a lot of fun and building his passion for the sport. And I realized when the season was over and he still wanted to play, I said, okay, this is the step. We’re going to drive down the hill to the, uh, larger urban population center and go find a team that is going to give you an elevated competitive experience from the, uh, easy, uh, lower caliber, uh, recreational league. And Oh my gosh. When we took him to the first practice in fifth grade and he went into this gym filled with giant kids who were in the same grade as him, he didn’t even realize it on the way home.

Brad: 33:45 He goes, what grade were those guys? They were really good. I’m like, they’re all fifth grade dude. That’s the fifth grade all star team. So those wake up calls are really wonderful learning experience going hand in hand with the great success that you have at a certain level that, uh, builds your interest and your self esteem. So I think, uh, in general, uh, having the little guys go on a run and the under 10 soccer team goes 12 and 0 and goes all the way into the final championship and wins. And every kid gets a trophy and celebrates and they think they’re God’s gift to the, uh, the game of soccer. That’s cool man. That’s success is cool. And then, uh, going Oh and 12, and believe me, I’ve been on both sides of the coin as a coach where we ran the table and had great success and everybody’s happy and smiling and then, uh, getting our butts kicked over and over and over and being the worst team by far, not even close to the level of competition of the other teams.

Brad: 34:41 Somehow that was also a positive learning experience because it builds resilience and it builds, uh, you know, further desire to, to continue to work hard and, and persevere through struggle. So it’s all good. When it’s out there in sports, unless you overemphasize the importance of that 10 to 0 championship record or overemphasize the importance of being 0 and 12 and thinking that it’s all sad and it’s an occasion that you should skip the uh, the, uh, the ice cream store after the game. It’s all good. Go with the flow. Everyone get over themselves and uh, continue working hard. But to end the show with a great quote from coach Ken one time I was particularly frustrated, uh, with the back and forth and where the emphasis was placed on, uh, my kid’s sporting experience trying to look out for him. And I was kind of exasperated and I said, Hey, isn’t it supposed to be all about having fun being the number one priority? And coach Ken said, no, that’s not the number one priority. He goes, you know why? He goes, kids can go to the park and have fun. They can roll a ball out onto the grass field and have a lot of fun and then throw water balloons after. And that’s all kinds of fun. He goes, the number one priority of organized youth sports is to give a kid a positive experience, which is different than having fun. A positive experience can be getting your ass kicked, getting benched when you think you’re the hot shot going 0 and 12 for the season instead of going 0 and 12. And Oh, those are all positive experiences, opportunities for personal growth. So that stopped me in my tracks right there and I realized that the uh, the disparate goals of fun and positive experience, uh, should be distinguished. Thank you so much for listening to the parenting tips on the get over yourself podcast. More coming.

Brad: 36:38 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at getoveryourselfpodcastat@gmail.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or 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 cause they need to. Thanks for doing it.

(Breather) I hit the record button and hit Mia Moore with a surprise question: why are you so chill?

As we know from the mechanizations of the three components of the stress response (stimulus-perception-response), it’s not what we are faced with as much as how we respond to it that determines our ability to cope with hectic daily life. Mia is asked if she was born chill or can it be a cultivated skill? The discussion will get you thinking…Do you have a tendency to be reactive? Can you consider some ways in which you might benefit from regulating your emotions and responses to every day life stressors?

Mia admits that even while growing up, she was always pretty mellow and even-keeled. However, that’s not to say she hasn’t had her moments – because some relationships unfortunately cause both parties to bring out the worst in each other. With the resolve to learn and grow from all manner of past experiences (especially stuff she resolves to not repeat!), Mia has managed to stay pretty much consistently chill. While it helps to have an innately mellow disposition, it’s also a conscious decision that Mia makes every single day to not react or behave in a negative way. Mia talks about the work ethic and cheerful disposition she learned from her dad, who worked as a tax preparer in the evenings after coming home from his regular 8 to 5 work day

Office environments can certainly be stressful, but since Mia learned long ago the importance of not being reactive, she has been able to help her colleagues foster effective communication and coping skills by empowering them to see things through a new perspective and think through their plan for action before they actually act. As Mia explains,  

“I was so drawn to the book The 4 Agreements…because it is kind of how I live my life already, and maybe that’s why I am so chill. I don’t take things personally – that’s one of the things that people do that causes them become reactive and stressed….” 

How does Mia suggest other people cultivate and maintain their chill? By, “not taking it personally, not making assumptions, and knowing that other people are always doing their best. I’m not going to be like, ‘oh this person should have done this, or this person…’ I can’t do that, because they are doing their best with the tools they’ve been given.” 

Do yourself a favor and see how your life changes when you are able to both cultivate and maintain a chill attitude. Don’t let yourself get too stressed about the inevitable distractions of daily life. Don’t take things personally. Make an effort to form true connections with people, and disconnect yourself from all the unimportant stuff. Do the best you can. We’re all trying to do the same, every day. But you can make it easier for yourself to do the best you can by adopting a non-reactive, chill mindset.  

TIMESTAMPS: 

Brad and Mia discuss her level of “chill”.  [03:02] 

It is important in relationship or workplace to listen before you react. [08:59] 

One of the things people do is take things personally and that causes them not to be chill. [11:21] 

If you can’t do anything about a situation, just chill! [13:00} 

Try not to get too stressed about the inevitable distractions of daily life. [14:52] 

LINKS:

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

 

Get Over Yourself Podcast

 

Mia Moore returns to the show after a long absence to discuss relationship insights with her fiancée.

We get John Gray’s marching orders: males: don’t speak if you have a negative emotional charge; females: frame everything as requests instead of complaints. We reflect on Dr. Wendy Walsh’s insight that conflict is healthy for a relationship, wondering if we really need to go there, or is it possible to be more chill. Mia says it is, and we do a whole Breather show on how to be more chill in life and relationships. In working toward healthier communication patterns, we mention insights from John Gottman about achieving a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative comments, even during times of conflict (20:1 during routine daily life!). We relate Harville Hendrick’s suggestions for effective communication: emphasize safety, establish a zero communication policy, and deliver chronic affirmations.  

Mia mentions how Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements can help you be the best you can be, and bring out the best in your partner. Proper loading of the dishwater becomes an interesting central theme and metaphor for healthy relationship dynamics, including Mia Moore’s pure genius move of putting a new soap packet into the box right after unloading clean dishes, and how being told something once and executing every time is a winning relationship dynamic.  

We present an interesting philosophical question about relationship dynamics: Do you want a mature, authentic, dynamic adult relationship with conflict, frank discussion, negotiation-compromise-resolution, or do you just want a cheerleader to stand by and cheer you on?  When we reflect upon how difficult daily life is—work, school, kids, hectic, high-stress daily routines—the answer might very well be “cheerleader.” Mia and I reflect on this big question and also make an effort to refine the definition of cheerleader: not a meek, submissive partner of old-time stereotypes. Rather, a partner who delivers support and encouragement, especially when you might be a little discouraged and need it most. With this explanation, Mia argues that you can have both a cheerleader and an authentic partner. She says there’s nothing wrong with mature, authentic communication, including negotiation-compromise-resolution, but perhaps we do without conflict and negativity.  

Sounds reasonable, but Mia points out that some people get off on conflict for assorted reasons. It could be that conflict behavior delivers a payoff in the form of a hormonal burst and gets wired into an unconscious habit, or it could be replaying a familiar pattern from childhood. Witness how Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of Biology of Beliefstates that we operating from subconscious programming 95-99 percent of the time. Mia Moore states that if you don’t stuff this about yourself, call the habitual patterns into your awareness, resolve to be more mindful about your communication, and Mia says, make a conscious choice for how to operate in a relationship.  

Reflect upon Mia show #1 where she reveals that decades ago, she made a conscious choice to never again engage in yelling in a relationship. Done deal. And what happens if stuff like this drifts into the picture again? We need to reflect on what are, or what should be, your relationship deal breakers. This will be the topic of an entire future show. 

When you are deserving of some honest feedback that’s not “rah rah” in nature, the feedback can be delivered with sensitivity and loving kindness. Recall noted author and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman’s data from the study of healthy, long-lasting romantic relationships: Even in times of conflict, healthy couples maintain a 5-to-1 ratio of positive comments to critical comments. During routine everyday life, the ratio looks more like 20-to-1! Gottman also says that arguments that come out of nowhere or seem to be about nothing merely represent a failed attempt to connect.  

Some tips for how to be a cheerleader:  

  • Don’t keep score, just go all in. This means maybe second-guessing a concept like “50/50 share on housework” and the like.  
  • Mars&Venus: Recall the great work of therapist and bestselling author John Gray: Males must learn to just listen when females are venting, instead of trying to solve their problems. Females must learn to give males their “cave time,” and they will return to the relationship and intimacy with fresh enthusiasm.  

 Relationship communication tips from Harville Hendricks: 

  • Safety: you know you can speak your truth.
  • Zero negativity policy: otherwise defenses go up. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. you could bring up issues just say them gently. use a respectful tone of voice and eye contact instead of entitlement. 
  • Chronic affirmations: helps support objective #1—safety. Permanent damage can be caused by relationship dynamics that generate fears and insecurities. 

Unfortunately, people today instead have a relationship baseline of power struggle and conflict, distraction, not much cheerleading. Are people afraid to be cheerleaders? Why?  Perhaps giving up your “side,” your self-sufficiency, tees you up for rejection and pain. In today’s high tech world, people may be averse to hitching their wagon to someone when they can slide or click to a new relationship opportunity at any time. Furthermore, economic opportunity for both males and females in modern life have altered the long-standing relationship dynamics to the extent the people may be more picky and choosy and, over time, more set in their ways and less willing to compromise.  

TIMESTAMPS: 

Brad and Mia discuss some of John Gray’s theory of how to balance a relationship by looking towards the bedroom. [06:33] 

What is important is that couples be on the same page. [08:31] 

The man doesn’t have to be a knight in shining armor. [10:37] 

It’s important to tune into your partner to figure out what they need. [11:59]

The emotional self-sufficiency of the individual is the number one attribute for a successful relationship. [14:17]

Every time we allow someone to move us with anger, we teach them to be angry. [17:14] 

If you have the baseline level of friendship and respect and both parties can give 100 percent that’s the real deal! [19:10]

Do you want a mature, authentic adult relationship where you have give and take, conflict, and conflict resolution? Or do you just want a f****ng cheerleader? [20:48]

Why do we tend to cut people down that we are close to? [22:47] 

Communication needs to be there in order to work well together. [30:29] 

When a person needs to address an issue with their partner, it is important to acknowledge appreciation of what they have done to your liking. [32:10] 

A couple of examples demonstrate a more positive way to get your needs met. [33:19] 

Back to the main advice:  LISTEN! [36:30] 

If a relationship is stuck at a certain level, it is probably missing love and respect. [40:06] 

Demonstrating how you want something done works well, even in the bedroom. [44:08] 

Safety in communication is essential. [46:15] 

Zero negativity is a good policy otherwise the defenses go up.  [47:47] 

LINKS: 

QUOTES: 
  • “Every time we allow someone to move us with anger, we teach them to be angry.” 
  • “Permanent damage can be caused by relationship dynamics that generate fears and insecurities.” 

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:08 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high stress modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balance that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go:

Mia: 03:41 Testing. One two, three testing.

Brad: 03:44 That would be Mia Moore. Welcome back to the show.

Mia: 03:49 Thanks for having me back, Bradley.

Brad: 03:51 It’s been a long time. Have you been listening? What do you think?

Mia: 03:56 Of course I’ve been listening.

Brad: 03:59 You’re busy, but you’re, you’re squeezing it in just like everybody on podcasts, Huh?

Mia: 04:03 Well I’ve loved the, I love that relationship shows that you’ve had, you know it Doctor Wendy Walsh and John Gray.

Brad: 04:14 That’s becoming a favorite topic of mine. I think there, um, you’re a big part of that cause we’re enjoying this relationship. And uh, since the last recording, uh, let’s see, we got engaged.

Mia: 04:27 We did. That was a surprise. It was unexpected. I mean not, I shouldn’t say an expected cause we’ve talked about it but not at that moment. That’s what the surprise. But it was

Brad: 04:42 Was that because it was at baggage claim or no?

Mia: 04:46 I mean, but no, that was very, that’s what I was saying. It’s very cute cause there was pretty much the scene of where we met Kinda. I don’t if the listeners know that we met on the plane, on a plane, Southwest Airlines flying from SMF to be, you are,

Brad: 05:02 thank you Southwest.

Mia: 05:04 And uh, you proposed at a Burbank baggage claim. It’s interesting when you picked me up. So, uh, yeah.

Brad: 05:14 Okay. Let me ask you. Oh, you can speaking for all, uh, people who have been proposed to it doesn’t have to be male, female. Usually it is for some reason I was waiting for you to propose to me. Just kidding. Um, was, was a surprise, uh, did that like, uh, enhance it? Is that important or would you think, oh, we’re going out to Valentine’s Day on this really fancy restaurant? That’s my favorite. I think I’m going to get proposed to. And is that just a special, I don’t know.

Mia: 05:42 No. I mean maybe young women in their 20s think like that. Like when they feel that moment should be coming and they plan it, but a woman my age probably doesn’t think that way. I would say I don’t, but I don’t know.

Brad: 05:59 But we were laughing afterwards because we didn’t have like the, you know, perfected staged event. Like I did put a hidden camera out there and my friends could not even watch through the video because they were laughing so hard that the, the pole, the structure of the building was in the way of your face. So we couldn’t see your reaction. Yeah. That’s, and then you said later, oh, I should have said a thousand times. Yes. Like in the movies, but uh,

Mia: 06:26 that I should’ve scripted my response,

Brad: 06:28 right.

Mia: 06:30 Nope. But it has to be natural. 11. Okay.

Brad: 06:33 So we have all these notes and great things to talk about. Um, but we also decided that we didn’t want to be too, um, you know, uh, scripted here and make it sound stiff. We just wanted to get rolling. And so the first thing I wanted to mention was the listener feedback about the first Mia Moore show. And I read you those emales and little, little bits in here and they’re like, hey, love that show. That was cool. So that’s, you know, we get that good support feedback. But one listener, uh, took the time to write in and say that he was talking, it was a male listeners. So he was talking to a female friend who was really stressed and they’re having a pretty serious relationship impasse about a major thing. And he says, well, I listened to on a podcast where this advice from Mia Moore was maybe some of those matters can be settled in your bedroom, what happens? And then he reported back that she, she, she came back to the, the listener and said went very well. The thing has been resolved. Thanks to your suggestion through, through the, uh, through the show. So positive feedback from listeners,

Mia: 07:36 Rght? I mean, I think it’s important because it helps sometimes when couples are in disagreement, they forget about or they get away from why they’re together. When you take it to the bedroom, you forget. Everything else is kind of, you know, immaterial.

Brad: 07:54 Well, after my John Gray show with beyond Mars and Venus insights where he was talking about the hormonal underpinnings of relationship, success and conflict, I’m now appreciating that kind of commentary further because this, you know, this genetic drive, these need to balance our hormones. And Wendy Walsh talked about the driving factors, the top three relationship attributes a woman’s looking for in a man, even though she says otherwise she can’t help it because her biological drive and all those kinds of things. So maybe we should pay more, more respect and attention to that.

Mia: 08:32 I think what matters is that the couple is on the same page. So not so much that you know, whether you have to have sex as a, you know, 80 year old or, or whether it’s bad not to. I think you just have to be on the same page. I’ve seen many happy couples that are, you know, older in their eighties, nineties holding hands in a loving each other and stuff. But you know, these are people I know, but they may not be intimate anymore, but they don’t need that. I mean, they still have that intimacy of years and years of experiences and memories with each other. Right. But they’ve been through, and then you’ve got other couples where sex is important. But what’s difficult is when you’re on different sides of the fence, you’ve got, uh, you know, one of the partners wants to have sex more frequently than the other, then that, that’s where, that’s, that’s a tough time.

Brad: 09:28 That part seems like it’s, we’re, we’re talking about symptoms and not addressing the cause.

Mia: 09:35 Right.

Brad: 09:35 Like who doesn’t want to be the best they can be and have the maximum potential of relationship. But then I see in, in, um, people that are, let’s say healthy specimens that are capable of, um, you know, intimacy, but they’ve formed up walls and blocks and the stresses of the day prevent them from being the best couple of that they can be. And then it comes out that, oh, one one person wants sex more than the other, but I’m like, wait a second.

Mia: 10:04 Right. It’s usually they’re not, there’s something not right in the relationship in those situations is always, yeah. Like just like you said, yeah, there’s always a cause or there’s something going on.

Brad: 10:20 Yeah. Like some thick headed dude that’s only in one, you know, at level three of existence thinking that, um, his female partner is just there for, you know, um, for, for his selfish needs or something and not paying attention to, again, the John Gray insight, like,

Mia: 10:37 which I love because I so agree with what he was saying. Remember we’ve had our discussions when the female just wants to be heard, right? Or, you know, just listen, you don’t have to tell me what to do. You don’t have to be my knight in shining armor coming to my rescue. Just hear what I have to say, let me vent and then, you know, I’ll figure it out. Right. But I just, sometimes you just need to, to vent and then just hear yourself speak. I can sometimes solve my own problem in a issues. Right?

Brad: 11:12 Well, apparently solving the issue at hand is to rebalance your hormones after a tough male hormone, dominant testosterone, dominant workday where it’s competitive and you’re solving problems and seeking a objectives and all that. And then the, the female side wants to connect and, and, and talk. And so if you didn’t listen to the show, go back and listen to the show. But the male’s job at that point is to sit there and listen intently and validate instead of, you know, contrary to the males primary drivers to be the knight in shining armor to solve all the problems and go, what you should say to your boss is blah blah, blah. That’s going to, that’s going to dig a deeper hole. And the cause of disconnect with the couple pretty simple stuff. But we have trouble executing I guess,

Mia: 11:59 right? I guess that’s where it comes up. People talk about, you know, relationships are hard and I’d always um, with scratch my head is like, well, why? Because I didn’t feel it. Relationships should be hard. Like if you’re on the right page, if they have the same goal in mind. And I mean, I just don’t see that. But I think what people mean by that is you’re always having to be attentive to your partner. Right? And someone may, your partner may need something from you that you just have to be a, what’s the word in tuned to your partner? I guess in that respect. It’s just not like every day you wake up in the sun is shining and you’re, you know, holding hands and skipping along. I mean, that would be nice, but it really isn’t. But I still don’t think it should be hard. I mean, I think it should be hard, but not conflict there. I don’t think there needs to be conflict and they relationship because they need, you know, um, you need to be able to resolve things if you’re both, and that same level of, I’ll call it emotional maturity, I don’t know what you, or relationship maturity, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know if there’s a word. If you’re at that same level, there’s shouldn’t be conflict.

Brad: 13:28 It shouldn’t be hard.

Mia: 13:30 No it could be hard. To me, there’s a difference between hard and close work battling it out

Brad: 13:37 for sure.

Mia: 13:39 Hard. It’s just the issues that come up and the day that you need to, you know, overcome. And they may not be relationship issues. Right, right. You know, the, the man and the woman, they may just be relationships of the family or of you know, life in general. But um, but as far as conflict, yeah, I don’t, I feel like a relationship if you’re an emotionally, you know, uh, mature or how do you want to comment a couple that shouldn’t be an issue.

Brad: 14:17 Hey, you’re, you’re, you’re squinting when you say that. But that’s, that’s beautiful because, and then Chris Gauge on the medium writes this all the time. That emotional self sufficiency of the individual is the number one attribute for a successful relationship. And there is no number two until the, to each part of the couple has emotional self sufficiency and emotional stability. Without that, the relationship is bound to crumble because the individual who is not stable and they’re going to below and compromise the relationship values.

Mia: 14:50 That’s correct.

Brad: 14:52 So if you, what’s the read that definition?

Mia: 14:58 Well, for me, emotional maturity is the ability to handle a situation without escalating it, without being angry, without blaming the other person, right? For our own behavior. Because people do that all the time. They’ll blame someone else for our behavior. Our reaction. Right? That’s to me, that’s emotional maturity. Um, you fixed, he tried to fix the problem, right?

Brad: 15:26 Um, emotional maturity. Again, John Gray summarizing his book and what he talked about in the show is males, your assignment is to never speak if you have an emotional charge, do not speak, shut the F up, go away, go into your cave as he calls it and only speak to the female when you’re in a, uh, a positive state where you can express your appreciation because females want to be appreciated. The female in a counter, cause I don’t want to just,

Mia: 15:57 This is what I was just going to say that. What about the female who’s always nagging on the right?

Brad: 16:02 The female assignment……..

Mia: 16:04 When she’s angry and raises her voice because he didn’t do this, that or the other.

Brad: 16:08 Um, never use a complaining tone of voice. The man wants to be the knight in shining armor. He wants to know that you count on him and all those things. So even minor things. Again, this is John Gray insight. Even minor things will bug the shit out of him because he wants to be seen as, you know, the, that someone you can trust and count on. So those are two signs of emotional maturity, emotional self sufficiency that I have the, the presence of mind to walk away when I sense a negative emotional charge. And then on the female side, um, you’re allowed to state your preferences. We’re not talking about hey be a doormat and let you tell your man he’s a hero when he’s watching Monday night football and, and you know, the, the, the, the pizza boxes of spilled out onto the new carpet.

Mia: 16:57 It’s not just Monday night football. I could also be Sunday afternoon golf.

Brad: 17:02 Oh, causing us to run late for our dinner appointment because Justin Thomas had a key Putney, he missed it and that was it, man. That was a tournament.

Mia: 17:14 Going back to what you were saying, I was immature. I was at the airport or somewhere, I read this thing, it was on a car that said, every time we allow someone to move us with anger, we teach them to be angry. That’s something that interesting?

Brad: 17:31 To move us?

Mia: 17:33 Right? So when you react, someone’s angry at you and you react back, you have, are you responding to whatever you’re teaching them to be angry. But instead if you just retreat and just walk away with just, isn’t that what John Gray was saying? If they won’t do that.

Brad: 17:49 Yeah, he said listen up to the point that you feel yourself getting defensive. And this probably goes in both directions, but he was speaking to the male like the male needs to listen and hear the female, the female is supposed to express her preferences in short sentences, in a positive tone. So I was talking about the Monday night football and the pizza boxes or me watching one more put on the golf tournament and making us late. So you express your preferences at a certain point and then there’s a chance of them being absorbed and accepted and having the relationship grow. But as soon as we get defensive, so as soon as the male senses defensiveness coming up and the assignment is to say, I hear you. And then the proceed to walk away, not to be chased by the female that wants to continue to, uh, nag and nitpick while the male’s not in a, uh, you know, supportive place,

Mia: 18:41 right? Those two situations, right? They’re usually you, um, no one’s listening to the other person, you know, the, the, the man watching Monday night football or the golf, that last putt on the, you know, the 18 pole. There are so in tuned to what that moment is, here’s the woman nagging at them. They don’t hear it. Then that listening and then here’s the woman getting more and more upset, right? Because they’re not being acknowledged.

Brad: 19:10 Okay. So unwinding this stuff, I feel like we might’ve mentioned this in the first show, but if we have that baseline level of friendship especially and respect, regardless of what our scoreboard is on our relationship, like, and when I hear people say 50, 50, I mean, I remember this got, uh, refuted aggressively in a seminar I went to, like I goes, 50 50 is a bunch of bullshit. You give 100%. The relationship, the other person gives 100% and whatever the scoreboard is, you know, if someone’s bed ridden with an illness or whatever’s going on, um, it’s not 50 50 anymore and you’ve got a problem with that, then you’re not in, you’re not all in with 100% and you’re going to, you’re going to struggle and suffer if you ever go to that scoreboard. And I was like, wow, that’s pretty heavy. Cause usually we’re socialized to think it’s 50, 50 in the house and I am, I do the same amount of housework and the same amount of is my wife, I’m an evolved husband.

Mia: 20:10 Well I don’t even know. Um, it’s really 100% by both parties all the time. They’re going to be times when one individual is giving 125% because the other individual is just giving 75% for whatever reason, when you’re not feeling well or you’re too stressed and have too much going on at the office, there’s always going to be, I think one person doing more than the other. And that’s okay. As long as it’s not always the same person doing more. Right. So,

Brad: 20:48 Well, we had some other, uh, hot items to talk about. One of them was this cheerleader concept, brought it up briefly in the first show, but this was a, uh, insight presented to me. I think going back to what you said about do we have to have conflict, is it a necessary element of a relationship? And the question posed to me was, work, do you want a mature, authentic adult relationship where you have give and take and conflict and conflict resolution? Or do you just want to f….ng cheerleader to stand to the side and clap for you? And I know it’s like, uh, we both, we both

Mia: 21:25 Cheerleader and I said, why not a cheerleader? Right? Yeah. Because, yeah, I don’t, I don’t, I sure don’t want to be in a relationship, like I said earlier, that’s just conflict driven. I mean, who wants that?

Brad: 21:39 Right. And back to that example of, uh, you need to vent to your partner without the partner offering solutions and advice and unsolicited, all that kind of stuff. Um, you know, the cheerleaders, like I support you, I love you how you are or you can do it. I believe in you. Let me know how I can support you. I can support you in any way. But that’s a whole lot different than going down that other path. Like, uh, well, you know, if you just were not so lazy on the weekend, you wouldn’t have these complaints and all those kinds of things that chip away at it. They open heart and the relationship

Mia: 22:16 Right? Our studies show that only 2% of folks, uh, succeed in whatever thing you’re trying to do. Right. Instead of saying, you know, go for it. I’m here for you. You know, and, and, and I’m cheering you on.

Brad: 22:32 Oh Man. So that this, you know, this is getting, this is getting heavy because I need to ask you like, why do we do that to the people closest to us? Why do we cut them down a little bit?

Mia: 22:47 I Dunno. Does it go back to I mean, even growing up? I mean, we tend to be tougher with our siblings, with our parents or with our kids because we know the love is there and will never, um, you know, you love someone regardless, especially when you’re related. Right? And then when you’re in a loving relationship, you the same thing. You feel like they’re there regardless, they’re not going anywhere. Right. And I think people have to, and not that you should be running around tippy toeing around your relationships at any point in time. I think it’s good that you feel like the relationship is there and you have a solid foundation. But we also have to remember to be, you know, caring to, you know, um, say loving, be loving and caring to our significant others.

Brad: 23:44 How about kid example? What comes up for me when I see the classic and Little League parent who’s, you know, dispensing criticism to their kid. And so many people are carrying this with them their whole entire lives and they’re, they’re carrying psychological traumas. Wendy Walsh said, we’re playing out childhood traumas. That’s why we choose the bad boy over and over. And then you go, like on Harry met Sally, the classic scene where the lady’s complaining about, um, the, the, the, the, the man she’s having an affair with that. He’s, he hasn’t left her, his wife and then they were friends say, you know, he’s never going to leave her. She goes, I know, I know, but she just complains over and over. And so we repeat these patterns or we go and take the punishment dating back to, um, you know, unhealed childhood traumas.

Mia: 24:31 That’s true.

Brad: 24:33 So how do we, uh, how do we get to that, uh, that, that default cheerleader mode and avoid the pattern behavior that turns into conflict? Like, oh, only 2% of writers actually make money selling a book. So why are you wasting your time on that? 2% of podcasters, right? There’s 450,000 podcasts on, on iTunes now. Something like that. And you know, a few years ago, there was 80,000 and a few years before that there was 82 or whatever. But, um, there was some stat that was encouraging to, to podcasters out there that like some huge percent, like 70% are dormant. In other words, there’s this many podcasts and this one had eight episodes published in 2015 and they’re just sitting there. So it’s like, hey, welcome to our first relationship podcast. It’s Brad and Mia. How are you guys doing out there? And then you do four shows and then you go on with your life. So it’s not, it’s not as crowded as we think.

Mia: 25:34 That’s good news. That’s why we’re cranking out no matter what, even on vacation, we’re, we’re sitting in front of the mic.

Mia: 25:41 That’s right. Here we are in beautiful. The sun’s out. Scottsdale, Arizona. Although I thought it was going to be warmer, but come back in the summer as the lady said in the parking lot, you don’t want to be here in July and August. Otherwise it’s beautiful. I love it. I’m from Connecticut,

Mia: 25:59 Right, right. So,

Brad: 26:03 The question comes, how do we extricate if we’re, uh, you know, if some of these things are hitting home, like we’re keeping score instead of just going 100%. All in. I was thinking of the word resentment coming up and that’s why we repeat these patterns and that’s why, uh, the person says, Eh, only 2% of novelists make money. So what the WHO, who do you think you are? Those kinds of things are coming from a place of pain,

Mia: 26:29 Right? Right. With that member. What caused all that? I mean, you can’t analyze every single relationship out there, but there’s always basically it’s some kind of disappointment and that one person, they’re disappointed about something. Either the man they married isn’t the man they thought they were marrying or, or vice versa, or the woman they married, you know, isn’t who they thought that person is going to be. And that’s when that’s somewhat, we’re projecting onto someone else what we shouldn’t, you know, we shouldn’t be projecting our own little, uh, beliefs onto other people that, that, uh, the wife or the husband that’s been projected right onto, they have no idea. They’re innocent little bystanders, really think about it. Right?

Brad: 27:22 Um, sometimes it might be more clear than other times, like your, your father was mean to you and criticize you and now you’re taking it out on me. Like sometimes that comes up and it’s probably an accurate insight, but again, it’s not the ideal way to dispense the message. So the message is not heard and the person is defensive and says, you’re, you’re crazy. You don’t know. You’re talking about, I’m over that. Now. I’m not, I’m not projecting that into my treatment of view at all. And then we’re not, we’re not having a productive conversation anymore.

Mia: 27:54 Well, that’s where I think, um, therapy helps out. I mentioned that in the other show. I really believe in, you know, the power of speaking to someone, a professional or maybe it’s not a professional. Maybe it’s just, uh, a friend of the couple that can hear and bring a different perspective. Um, I think that’s very valuable.

Brad: 28:20 So then you have a fresh perspective. You have, uh, uh, some inspiration to make things better.

Mia: 28:25 Right? Cause it has to come from someone else, not your partner. Right.?You’re ready not agreeing with their partner. So regardless of what, why is anecdotes your partner’s telling you you are reading to from the internet or what have you, that’s not going to work. It has to be someone else.

Brad: 28:43 Okay. So let’s say the person returns, uh, from there, uh, three day business trip with plenty of time for soul searching and comes back and says, I want things to be better between us and let’s have a conversation about it. You said communication is key i. The first show, right? So how do we go about disagree with me on now it’s important.

Brad: 29:03 Who disagrees with you or just people in general.

Mia: 29:06 Yeah. I thought you said when one of your, one of the folks I think was it doctor Wendy Walsh. It doesn’t agree in that.

Brad: 29:13 Oh, she said that, um, conflict is a necessary and healthy component of relationship that helps the couple grow. And we can argue semantics here. Um, but I do think that you have a point there, like there’s, there’s some personal preferences involved and let me know what we define as conflict is like, um, raising voice, yelling, using, um, critical, uh, attacking commentary I feel like has no place in a relationship and knew you agree also and maybe the next people down the line, you know, the feisty couple that likes to make up sex and then come here, baby. I love you. I know you can do your novel. I believe in you now even though I ripped on you yesterday and that kind of crap is, um, maybe some people are okay with it. I don’t know. And maybe, maybe it serves, you know, I’ve seen high conflict couples and action and you could see there was some magic in there where they weren’t taking that stuff personally. They were able to weather and absorb it and they maybe knew it was coming from a supportive place. But nevertheless, I don’t like it. I don’t want it in my life. So that’s my preference.

Mia: 30:19 Right.

Brad: 30:20 For example, what works for you? Like what works well when a partner is coming to you with a relationship discussion.

Mia: 30:29 Yeah, that’s difficult because I think I can get defensive as well. I mean, if, if you were going to approach me and say, you know, I need to talk to you about something well right away cause right away I know something’s coming right. Maybe we are just so funny. No, it’s truth. Exactly what I need. You know, I have something to say

Brad: 30:56 says would come to me and my various career tribulations. It would always be like, hey got a sec. Right? Sure. I have a sec for your boss. And I’d be like, Oh crap. You know?

Mia: 31:07 Oh that sounds like the spouse, right? The husband or the wife spring cleaning after the husband. Do you have a minute? You know, and then the brings into the kitchen, right? To show how you, um, you loaded the dishwasher wrong or something. Oh yeah. So you say, you know what works for me, why I think this works. You tell me like that’s, I think one of our little pet peeves does that. And that’s just not ours I’ve been talking to, you know, my friends and colleagues and they all will agree their pet peeve is loading the dishwasher and how, I dunno why it’s always, it’s mainly the women who have a certain way of loading the dishwasher that’s consistent with every load of dishes, you know,

Brad: 31:56 Vastly superior spatial talents to the male.

Mia: 31:59 Oh, now thank you for saying that.

Brad: 32:02 The interior design. We’ll walk into an empty room. You know what furniture you have, your brain is locking in. Okay. And I’m like this big enough to fit a couch, you know?

Mia: 32:10 Right. Yeah. The guy would just throw dishes then and you know, we should be thankful that he did throw it.

Brad: 32:18 Oh, thanks for mentioning that. Right.

Mia: 32:21 So what I do is I think, I think once, maybe I mentioned it to you, but that’s it. After that I would just rearrange the dishes because you know, I’ll open the dishwasher not and to put in an extra load. And then I’ll see that you had, you were, I’m happy that you helped me by loading the dishes previously. Um, but there’s no more room from my, the rest of the dishes because they were loaded haphazardly so I just rearrange them. And then the nice, neat, orderly manner that I need them to be in second, throw in more dishes in and I closed it. Then hopefully you’ll be the one unloading the dishes and this thing and you’ll see

Brad: 33:05 The frontal lobe will engage and go, Jeez, I can put all the dishes, all the uh, the, the cereal bowls away at the same time cause they’re all in the same row. Amazing how that happened. I wonder if it’s like

Mia: 33:16 a random top on the bottom on the side. Yeah.

Brad: 33:19 You know what, this little exchange, to me, I think you said some really profound things and I appreciate it because first of all, you acknowledge that you appreciate me just loading stuff in the dishwasher. And then the other thing I thought about what this exact example it was, that example was that insight of pure genius that you taught me where you put the, the soap thing into the dispenser immediately after the dishes are clean. So you load a new soap as soon as the dishes are clean and we empty them. So an empty dishwasher always has fully loaded soap. My mom similarly efficient, has the sign on the counter that says clean on one side and dirty on one side. And I always forget to twist it around to the right side. But your thing, like I have so much trust that you know what you’re doing and you mean business and there’s a reason instead of just a, what do you call it, like random, uh, it, you know, unbridled energy that’s a frenetic and you’re, you’re OCD about things and it’s like, no, she likes the dishwasher loaded this way. She puts the soap in this way and it makes so much sense. And so, you know, I feel like I can take your feedback so well baseline because we have great friendship and trust and respect for each other. And I know you appreciate me and I know I’m, I’m slobbing out at times on the dishwasher.

Brad: 34:38 So that’s the only chance that you’re going to get me to evolve as a person is to come from that place that you’re describing. Right. And then me being myself, but also I’m speaking for millions of men out there who are both head and thinking. She should just be appreciative that I threw a dish there anyway, or whatever nonsense depending. Yes.

Mia: 34:58 And we are appreciative. We just want it. We want them rinsed first and then put it away and we want them put away in a certain order. So like you said on them, I’m glad to notice that so that they’re easier to unload. Right.

Brad: 35:14 And this is like a metaphoric for everything, man. It’s for borrowing the car and parking it, uh, at an angle on the driveway. Remember that Wendy Walsh, a anecdote where she said, you know, the, the man parks the car crooked four times in a row and so the woman comes home, can’t get her car in the garage. And her comment was maybe, and I don’t, I’m not going to position her like don’t have to agree or disagree. It was just an interesting insight. Like maybe the woman should be appreciative that she has a fricking garage to park in. And I’m like, wow, you know, and maybe the man should park his car straight after being asked four times. But if, if both of them have like the, the man has a desire hopefully to not block his wife out. And so the wife comes in and says, hi honey, how are you doing? Hold on. Before I talk, let me grab your keys and straighten your car out so I can go in the garage. And it’s, it’s dispense in this loving, you know, a peaceful thing. I’m going to bet on the man that he’s gonna park straighter. And I’m going to bet on the woman that when she goes in with that tone of voice and that sort of appreciation that maybe something was on his mind and he was, he was spacing out again cause he’s a, uh, a rocket scientist and he, he’s very linear and so he wasn’t thinking about it but you know, well here on the fifth time is someone crack?

Mia: 36:30 That’s right. But you know what’s interesting is that was he really, did he hear her? All five times. I’m curious now, was he busy thinking about the, you know, the, the score of the game during the, the first time she said something and then the second time his mind was thinking about, you know, something at the office. So he heard her talking but he wasn’t listening right now may school just so they could be, that’s what’s been happening all along and that he didn’t intentionally park forgetfully.. Just not really saying to her or it’s either that or the opposite, that there’s some resentment going on in that relationship that he don’t care and he’s going to keep parking crooked cause these mad about something. And that’s where you need to have that communication, I feel like.

Brad: 37:25 Yeah. And you know what I’m going to say like you, you got me good on this sort of topic. And it was, I’ll never forget it because it was about the, the loading the soap and the dishwasher again. And I forgot that. I said, that’s great. That’s pure genius. I love that. And then a week later I forgot and it was like, hey, are these dirty or clean? Oh shoot, I forgot. And you said something like, well, um, you know, I told you. And so if you tell me something once, and I remember it, so I would appreciate if you did the same. And then I, and I thought for a second, I’m like, shit, she’s right. I tell you something once and you remember it without fail. And so I think I have a unique partner. That’s why I love you. Like you’re, you’re, you’re, you have a high, high score on relationships, you’re the best partner.

Brad: 38:12 And it’s, it’s no joke. If you tell me something once and I’m going 100% in and I’m walking my talk, why would I forget it? That means I don’t care. It means I don’t care enough. It means I don’t respect, you know, the importance of, uh, of an orderly dishwasher enough for, for whatever reason. Maybe there’s resentment like you just described. Um, and I’m gonna say it like I was saying in my defense, like, Oh yeah, I’m, I’m really busy and I was multitasking and look how many dishes I did. But you know what, that’s, I realize that’s not good enough. And when I tell that story to whomever, my boss, my coworkers like, oh, sorry, it’s, the draft is almost done and it’s almost on time. Here it is. It’s pretty awesome. Check it out. No, that’s not good enough.

Mia: 39:02 But it’s not just me. I think most women are that way. You only tell them something once and they generally remember.

Brad: 39:12 Really.

Mia: 39:12 My, and I don’t know, I shouldn’t be stereotyping in men versus women, but I mean I think there is some validity, validity to that. And men in general, you have to tell them more than once.

Brad: 39:27 Let’s let that float out there and see what the listener’s think. Email us with your, your comments, GetOverYourselfPodcast@gmail.com we’ll, we’ll, we’ll tally it up. Okay. So we’re, we’re making progress now. We’ve mentioned how if you, if you have that baseline level of respect and I appreciate your, um, efficiency and the, the, the genius of doing the dishwasher the right way. So I’m open to feedback and I sincerely appreciate it. And then we, we extend that out into whatever the topic is.

Mia: 40:03 All right. Um,

Brad: 40:06 Why is that so difficult to go from, from level one to level two to level three? Why do we keep getting pushed back?

Mia: 40:14 What I describe, I don’t know what you mean by level two. Level three.

Brad: 40:18 Well, I’m just making that up. Like the relationship is at the highest possible level or it’s kind of like, oh, how’s Jerry? Eh, he’s alright. He still plays too much golf on the weekend, is messy in the kitchen. And I’ve asked him a few times and I’m about to give up and just get resentful to the rest of my life.

Mia: 40:34 Okay. So I think the reason it’s difficult is because that relationship that can’t get to the next level is probably missing love and respect. Cause when you have love and respect, that’s how you get to the level two, level three. But those other relationships may just be, you know, they like each other. You know, it’s, it’s passing time, you know, if, but it’s not, um, uh, I mean even with married couples, you know, there could be people that are married but they didn’t marry for the right reasons and they’re just kind of living the life, but not so much with, they’re not all in.

Brad: 41:23 Hmm. Yeah. I feel that we have so much distraction and so much stress and so much adverse health that maybe we physically don’t have the energy to bring that all in. Uh, you know, ideal relationship partner, high, high value relationship partner, which maybe you did for, um, the first, uh, 24 months when the dopamine levels were through the roof. And so you were always at your best and buying flowers every time you saw the, the partner, and then you settle back down into a really stressful job and a lot of distraction nowadays so that we’ve never had before in the history of the planet where we can have our minds disengaged from, from the physical room that we’re in.

Mia: 42:10 Right. with an Iphone or a Samsung. Yeah. Yeah. But I still think that a couple that has, uh, has emotional maturity regardless of the stresses in life, um, can still be that loving, respectful with each other regardless of what’s happening at the workplace or, or with their children. It’s just have to, you know, make that conscious decision or, or effort.

Brad: 42:44 Oh, you set the word conscious and I’m thinking of Bruce Lipton Biology Belief, researching this for the book about longevity that Mark Sisson and I are working on. And he’s the guy who, uh, pioneers this concept that your thoughts can manifest your reality and affect your cells at the [inaudible] cells and end genetic functions just by your thoughts. So if you think of yourself as old and worn out, then you’re going to manifest that with your cellular function. And alternatively you can form new beliefs about life and noticeable and will manifest as well. And he says that 95 to 95% of our existence is subconscious. Just tapes playing out a lot of it dating back to ages zero to six when our programming was at a high level. And then we’re just, we’re just operating on autopilot our whole lives. So in this relationship where you walk in the door and you know that your partner’s going to start nitpicking and you know that you’re going to head to the TV and tune the partner out. Or I’m going to be loading the dishwasher and a mindless manner cause I’m thinking or listening to something else now that I can be distracted at all times. So bring it into your consciousness and saying, I’m going to make a conscious effort, drive my car in the garage, close the door, take a deep breath and bring my, bring my best to the partnership.

Mia: 44:08 Right.

Brad: 44:09 That’s all I’m thinking of. John Gottman, a great relationship expert talking about the, the study of healthy couples that maintain a romantic spark for decades and they’re reporting that everything’s great and he observes them in routine daily interactions with a ratio of 20 to one positive comments to negative comments.

Mia: 44:38 20 to one wow.

Brad: 44:41 Yeah, Iin times of conflict. So when they are getting into something and there’s a contentious issue to discuss, it’s five to one. It’s till five to one.

Mia: 44:51 Wow. Yeah.

Brad: 44:53 So talk about if someone’s complaining about not being heard and the advice from John Gray females don’t dispense if things in a critical manner state, everything is a preference and couch that sandwich that, that request. I wish you, you know, I love it when you do the dishes, you do them one day out of every 27. I love when you come in and surprise me in the kitchen and do the dishes. Just the way I love that you paint the house, fix the pipes, uh, mow the lawn that has a chance to land.

Mia: 45:27 Right. And do we stayed our preference at the same time. I prefer that you love them this way though. That I don’t know if that’s where it came from.

Brad: 45:36 Oh, it’s, I mean that makes a good example. Like, Hey, I love when you’re in the kitchen cleaning up. That’s so awesome. Um, it’s, you know, it’s a treat to see you helping and with the dishwasher, this is what I prefer. I like that.

Mia: 45:54 I think maybe just, hey, let’s do the dishes together and then you can, they can, you know, you can see me loading the dishes.

Brad: 46:02 I like that cause it’s not, you know, hey, you’re going to show me your preference, right. Oh, that could work in the bedroom too. Oh yeah. Yeah, that does actually.

Mia: 46:12 Right. I’d say so.

Brad: 46:15 It means instead of a complaint. Okay. Um, here’s some from Harville Hendrix now that we trying to get to this conclusion of turning things around maybe and, and getting, getting back to a higher level. Right. So he says that the, the three essentials for communication in a relationship, number one is safety. Knowing that you can speak your truth.

Mia: 46:45 I like that. That’s, I believe in

Brad: 46:48 What would be the opposite?

Mia: 46:52 Being criticized when you speak your truth, it’d been diminished, right? Made Fun of.

Brad: 47:01 Right. Um, speaking of, made fun of, we’ve talked about this offline before too. Like you can observe around how these cute little funny jokes are tinge to it. There’s always, you know, it’s not really a joke when you are teasing somebody. Some truth.

Mia: 47:19 Yeah. Masked in there, right? Yeah.

Brad: 47:23 We both, I don’t think we’ve, I don’t know if we’ve had an occasion where we had to address it, but we both like have it or talk about it. It’s like, yeah, you know, when they, uh, or just, you know, when people have teased me throughout my life about this, that, or the other thing, there was some charge behind it and I picked it up and I had that sensitivity to it. And you are, you relate the same thing.

Mia: 47:45 Yeah.

Brad: 47:47 Okay. Number two from Harville Hendrix is a zero negativity policy because otherwise the defenses go up. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. You can bring up issues, but just say them gently use a respectful tone of voice and eye contact instead of a sense of entitlement.

Mia: 48:07 Ooh, no, I agree with that. I agree with that.

Brad: 48:11 What does he mean by sense of entitlement?

Mia: 48:16 Like you feel like because you’re the, the spouse, you should be able to say whatever you feel like saying. I think that’s what they’re saying. Or because you’re the parent, right? They should be able to say whatever, you know, criticize the child. Right? I think that’s what he’s talking about. I don’t know.

Brad: 48:35 Taking things for granted. Yeah. For Real.

Mia: 48:40 MMM.

Brad: 48:42 Number three, chronic affirmations. While these things all flow together, like did the same thing John Grace didn’t said in different words. And same with, um, uh, Gottman. So chronic inflammations helps support the number one objective of safety, right? Yeah. Um, permanent damage can be caused by relationship dynamics that generate fears and insecurities,

Mia: 49:08 Right? It’s, I guess by not doing the things they talked about earlier, that’s how you can get into that kind of relationship.

Brad: 49:15 The safety of safety, zero negativity policy and chronic inflammation.

Mia: 49:20 Right?

Brad: 49:20 So do them. In summary, we’ve dispensed a lotta a lot of insights. It’s possible to be a cheerleader, right? Oh, males do not speak with an emotional charge. Shut the F up. Go Away. Wait until you can come back and state your preferences and it calm state. Females don’t use a complaining tone of voice. Don’t Nag or nitpicked state. Everything has a preference. And then, uh, the communication piece is key. So when we, when we’re working through these things, um, wouldn’t hurt to have a 20 to one positive to negative comments and in general life and then even when something is going down five to one, right? Uh, and then back down to um, the safety, zero negativity policy and chronic affirmations.

Mia: 50:15 But the most important is taking it to the bedroom.

Brad: 50:21 Thank you for listening to the Mia Moore show.

Brad: 50:26 Thank 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 iTunes or 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.

SaveSave

I visit with my old friend Dave Kobrine (whom I have known for a long time, too!) to discuss his remarkable athletic journey, lifelong commitment to fitness, the amazing athletic exploits of the Kobrine family, and how to nurture two kids to become national-caliber high school athletes in two sports and NCAA Division I scholarship volleyball players for UCLA (hint: don’t do much, let them explore their passions naturally.)

Dave is an understated guy and you won’t pull much down if you Google him, but his morning routine will inspire the most hardcore peak performer. Up at 6 AM and into some gentle basic movements and calisthenics. Then it’s time for a 24-ounce water with lemon and salt. Then into the chest freezer cold plunge for a 3-4 minutes at 36-40F, then preparing a nutritious smoothie for consumption later that day (Dave usually fasts till noon or beyond. He was sharp for this late afternoon show despite not eating all day!) Then it’s off on a gentle aerobic run of two miles, mainly for the “sun and air”. Then it’s off to the gym for a 20-minute sauna and cold shower. At this point, he feels fantastically ready for a busy day at the office, where he runs an actuarial consulting firm with his hard working brothers. That’s just his morning “habit.” His actual workouts, like evening strength sessions in the gym (heavy lifting and mobility stuff), along with endurance runs and faster runs are thrown into the mix as well.

Many Kobrine’s get a cameo, including my high school teammate Dr. Steven, who does running vacations of 100 miles in a week (including a double Grand Canyon crossing where he fried his beloved Apple AirPods with excessive sweating); mysterious brother Rob as the “maybe the family’s best all-around athlete;” father Ron who ran 30 consecutive Boston marathons, many under 3 hours despite starting the streak in his 40s and carrying on into his 70s (read more in the last chapter of Primal Endurance); brother Eric who is carrying the Boston torch with 23 consecutive finishes and counting; and sister Joni the queen of hot yoga.

Modesty aside, know this about Dave: At Los Angeles Taft High School, his team was runner-up in the LA city championships, played in front of 10,000 fans at UCLA Pauley Pavilion. In the quarterfinal qualification game for the big dance, his favored Taft team was down big with time running out. On his home court, Dave went on an epic binge, scoring 7 points in 10 seconds (bucket; steal off the dribble for dunk; steal inbounds for a basket and free throw). He blew the roof off that high school gym! I remember it as one of the greatest athletic spectacles I’ve ever seen in person, next to Seb Coe winning the Olympic 1500 meters in 1984 LA Games, and the LA Kings Miracle on Manchester in 1982.

As a UCLA sophomore, Dave bravely knocked on coach Larry Brown’s door and informed him he was ready for varsity basketball after a stellar season on the UCLA JV team. From there, this decent high school guard of 6’2” found himself on the practice court daily with the number-one ranked team in the nation, including seven future NBA players. Dave remembers, “I was the 13th man on a 12-man team…” But still! After a season with the Bruins and some cameo appearances on the hallowed Pauley Pavillion court where he watched the Bruin dynasty throughout his childhood, he realized that his basketball career had reached a pinnacle. After watching the epic 1982 Hawaii Ironman broadcast with the crawling Julie Moss crawling across the finish line, Dave whimsically decided to redirect his athletic focus and enter the race despite zero experience. Sure enough, he completed the 1983 Hawaii Ironman World Championships as a college junior. Dave is the only known human in the history of humanity to play on the #1-ranked NCAA basketball team and finish the Hawaii Ironman the following year.

Dave talks about pursuing a variety of competitive goals throughout life, how his high school basketball teammates have maintained strong lifelong bonds, getting together frequently over the years for fun and games, and his relaxed approach to guiding his boys Sam (UCLA ’20) and Kevin (UCLA ’22) through the highest levels of elite youth basketball and volleyball. “I wish I’d made them read more, that’s about it,” Dave reflects. In the age of helicopter parents and overly competitive and overly accelerated youth sports, it’s refreshing to realize how little parents have to do with a kid’s success, besides being positive and encouraging at all times.

 

TIME STAMPS:

Guest Dave Kobrine was the guy who inspired Brad to do Triathlon. [00:02:42]

Besides stretching and cold therapy, Dave’s morning routine includes a big drink of water. It is important to add salt to the water you drink in the morning. [00:04:51]

After that comes the run with fresh air and sunshine. [00:13:39]

Off to the gym for sauna. [00:16:33]

Back forty years to high school with Brad. [00:19:26]

Dabbling in UCLA basketball. [00:24:01]

What was the Ironman like in the early 80s? [00:40:21]

Dad Ron ran 30 consecutive Boston Marathons. [00:43:04]

Sam and Kevin, sons of Dave Kobrine, are super athletes as well. [00:54:11]

When you have early success, are you gaining over other kids? How does the coach encourage? [00:59:13]

Brad talks about his experience being cut from the team and how it turned positive. [01:03:39]

As the Kobrine boys got into high school sports their abilities continued to grow. [01:05:30]

What is the father’s role in these boys’ success in sports? [01:09:40]

 LINKS:

Brad Kearns Cold Therapy

Brian Goodell – One of the great American Swimmers

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

[vc_tta_accordion style=”flat” shape=”square” active_section=”2″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”COMPLETE WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODE” tab_id=”1537804290528-70f55232-6bc6″][vc_column_text]

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Speakers: Brad Kearns and Dave Kobrine

Brad Kearns: Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.

Dave Kobrine: “So, it’s a matter of, they enjoy it. So, when you enjoy it and you have a little success, you do more of it and it kind of breeds on itself.” “Then finally, I told him that, ‘You know what? If you start playing volleyball, you’re going to be dunking earlier,’ and his eyes lit up. And he said, ‘Do you think I could dunk in ninth grade?’ I said, ‘I know you’ll dunk in ninth grade.’ And so, next year he joined volleyball, and he did dunk in ninth grade.”

Brad Kearns: Here’s a quick thank you to our sponsors. They make this show possible and the tremendous production behind it – online and in audio. Thank you wildideabuffalo.com. Grass-fed, locally raised on the great plains for the last 130,000 years. Quit eating that junk food feedlot cattle and get some quality meat into your life.
And thank you DNAFit.com. Cutting edge genetic testing, delivering customized diet and exercise recommendations for your peak performance. Use the discount code – GOY30, get over yourself. Entegro Probiotics make this fabulous liquid probiotic, high potency. It’s called Flourish, so your microbiome can flourish. Gut health is everything. Get started. Visit Entegrohealth.com. And Tribali Foods, pre-made creatively flavored hamburger and chicken patties. When you’re in a rush, drop one down, fry it up. It’s delicious, T-R-I-B-A-L-I. And Almost Heaven – that’s the name of my sauna. These are beautiful home-use saunas made of real wood, shipped to your door, easy to assemble, and then you are rocking. That’s right, I’m going from chest freezer cold therapy into the hot barrel sauna. Check them out at almostheaven.com. And the Primal Blueprint online multimedia educational courses. To go primal, go keto. Get a stand-up desk going, master the challenge of endurance training. Go to Bradkearns.com and click on the links to learn more about these courses. If you’re sick of my voice on the podcast, you can now get sick of my face too on the videos. And Ancestral Supplements. This is grass-fed, liver, organ meat and bone marrow delivered in a convenient gelatin capsule. Don’t stress about cooking liver anymore. Just pop some pills or throw capsules into a smoothie every day like me. And Tribali Foods – organic beef and chicken patties and sliders with super creative flavors like Mediterranean chipotle and Umami, drop it onto the pan and cook it up in minutes. And now, onto our show.

Hi Friends. I’m excited to introduce my guest; Dave Kobrine. Haven’t heard of him? Haven’t googled him? He’s an old friend of mine, kind of an understated ordinary guy doing his thing. When I asked him to be on the show, he said, “Well, I’m not sure if your listeners will find anything interesting.” But I think you can be the judge and wow, we had some great stuff coming out.

The reason I wanted to get him on the show, is because he is living the dream, man. He has the incredible commitment to a healthy fit lifestyle. His morning routine is going to blow you away and get you inspired to do something similar yourself.
Dave was a huge inspiration to me over the course of my life, particularly to start doing triathlons back in the early ‘80s. He was one of the early Hawaii Ironman guys. While he was still in college, he was a high school basketball star who had an unlikely journey all the way onto a walk on spot at UCLA – the number one team in the nation back at that time. And all kinds of fun stuff come out.

The amazing Kobrine Family whom I wrote about in the final chapter of the book, “Primal Endurance”. You’ll hear some name drops from the appropriate siblings and father and also, his kids who both found their way into the very highest level of elite high school sports in both basketball and volleyball. And Dave will talk about how he navigated that sometimes arduous journey these days. So, I think you’re going to get some great stuff out of this. Dave was also the guy that got me all the way deep into cold therapy, when I walked into his master bathroom one day a couple of years ago, and there it was wedged against the wall in his beautiful marble sunken tub; a chest freezer. I’m like, “What the heck is that?” And he showed me about how he’s making giant ice cubes with plastic bins. Dumping them in the bathtub, doing his cold plunge every morning.Then we sort of together navigated the opportunities for a more sophisticated experience and finally, going all in with the chest freezer cold therapy that you see on my YouTube video. Dave follows suit and enjoys that every morning.
Great show. I really hope you get some good stuff out of it. Enjoy Dave Kobrine down in Orange County, California.
Here we are, Orange County, California. I’m with my very old friend Dave Kobrine, dating back to high school days. How are you doing Dave?

Dave Kobrine: Great, thanks Brad. A lot of fun to be here with you.

Brad Kearns: Yes, when your agent pitched me for the show, you said, “I don’t know if anyone will be really interested.” And I said, “You know what? There are so many cool things about your story and your athletic background. Your incredible kids athletic background now.” But I want to start like with your morning routine. Because it’s so simple and inspiring and I just think that it’s a really important part of life to kind of have that competitive edge and that focus getting going everyday, where fitness is a big part of your life and you have these patterns that work for you. And it inspired me. You were the guy that got me in to cold therapy, which is now so famous and has gone viral. My YouTube video has over 2,000 views, maybe more, after the time of this recording. But when I walked into your master bedroom, I was just odd and inspired. So, tell me about how you got into the cold thing and what you do every morning.

Dave Kobrine: Right. Well, that was my stage one. I’ve evolved quite a bit since then. Thanks to you, actually. But starting out the morning routine, what I like to do is wake up and basically start moving. First thing I do is I get up, I actually do five to 10 minutes of stretching and movements, pushups, squats, some stretching. You actually motivated me with your seven-minute video. I don’t do that in my bed, but I actually get out of bed and do my little thing.

Brad Kearns: You just made it up yourself basically?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, yeah.

Brad Kearns: Joni Kobrine, yoga instructor, help out with any of that?

Dave Kobrine: I do have some yoga moves in there that she taught me.

Brad Kearns: We’re going to drop in every Kobrine name by the end of the recording. It’s going to be nice and smooth and natural. So, we got Joni first. Dad’s coming up soon. We’re going to drop that bomb. That 30 for 30 because that’s a – wait, did they name that ESPN documentary after your dad? We’ll check in later. So, you do the stretching and it’s-

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. You get up and start moving and do some stretching. And then like a lot of people do, I drink a lot of water in the morning.

Brad Kearns: Oh really?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. I drink a big huge container of water that I put by my bed while I do my stretching.

Brad Kearns: Where did you get that? Was that Laird Hamilton telling you that or?

Dave Kobrine: I’m not sure where I picked up each of these things. I think a variety of people throughout the past few years as I learned-

Brad Kearns: Dang, I’m going to add that, man. I don’t really make a big point.

Dave Kobrine: I like that. I like it.

Brad Kearns: It’s getting hydrated after a night’s sleep where-

Dave Kobrine: Right, because I’ve heard that you get dehydrated during the evening and while you’re sleeping. So, I actually, do a big mug of water. I don’t know how many, 23, 24 ounces. Add some salt to it and some lemon.

Brad Kearns: So, like a pinch or two of salt, a little bit of lemon.

Dave Kobrine: A little bit of lemon. Three grams roughly.

Brad Kearns: So, let’s pause there. And the reason for adding that salt?

Dave Kobrine: Well, it replaces minerals. I mean, it replaces minerals, is the reason I do that.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, Kelly Starrett says that if you just slam yourself of water, you’re going to pee it out because you’re overloading the system and it needs that constant sodium balance, which we always work hard to do with our kidneys dropping in exactly the amount of sodium. So, if you have, I guess it equates to like a pinch per eight ounces. So, if you’re drinking 24 ounces, you’re throwing in a fair amount of salt and then you’re going to be more easily absorbing those into the tissues throughout your body. That’s his message.

Dave Kobrine: Right. And I seem to like it. I actually, feel much better in the morning after I drink that big mug of water. And then I actually make a big huge smoothie after that. I don’t drink it then, but I go downstairs, make this big huge smoothie that I bring to work. And then right after that, I jump into the cold water.

Brad Kearns: And it started backwoods cowboy style with the bathtub. Tell us about the old regimen and how long that-

Dave Kobrine: I’ve evolved, I’m in stage three right now. Primitive mode was I had a big ice chest in my bathroom.

Brad Kearns: Excuse me, in your bathroom, you had an ice chest?

Dave Kobrine: I had a big ice chest in my bathroom. I don’t know, maybe it was about a 10-cubic foot ice chest. And I had to devise ways to get ice in there. I mean, I tried baggies. I was very primitive and couldn’t figure out the best way to do it. I finally, just got these big plastic containers from Home Depot or somewhere and filled them up and filled the water up and dumped in the ice. And it seemed to work.

Brad Kearns: So, you filled the containers and then put them in the freezer-

Dave Kobrine: Overnight.

Brad Kearns: And then so, in the morning, you can just dump them out.

Dave Kobrine: Exactly.

Brad Kearns: Right. They’re big chunks of ice.

Dave Kobrine: Big huge chunks of ice, threw them in my bathtub. Two issues with that were that, one, it took a long time for it to get cold. So, I would have to wait 25, 30 minutes before it got to a good temperature. And two, it never really got that cold. At the time it was cold, it was 55 degrees and I thought, “Wow, that’s really cold.” Again, this is stage one.
Eventually (thanks to you Brad), I moved to the hundred-gallon tub that I threw in my backyard. So, I didn’t have to fill my bathtub every morning.

Brad Kearns: This is like a stock tank you see on the farm, on your Newport Coast farm.

Dave Kobrine: Yes, big horse water container. It’s 100 gallons and had the same ice chest, just moved it into my backyard and always had it filled with ice and threw it in there. And again, it was the same issue of taking 20, 25, 30 minutes before it got cold enough. And still would never get cold with that. That actually would get to maybe 58, 59, 60 because there was so much more water in there.

Brad Kearns: Yeah. So, if you dumped the ice in and then it’s going to melt by the evening everyday in Orange County or what?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah.

Brad Kearns: It’s not going to stay cold.

Dave Kobrine: No, no. It would melt while I was in it. And the next day, after I was done, I would fill up the containers with big buckets this time, big buckets, filled of water, put it back in the chest and by morning was ready for me. It was still not perfect. Then current state is what you brought me to. I finally got the 15-cubic foot freezer, filled it with water and got a cold. And it’s always there for me whenever I want it. So, now I go in there for about three to four minutes, between 35 to 40 degrees. And always, when I get out of that, I always feel great. I mean, I know sometimes in the morning gets hard. You don’t want to go in. But I always tell myself, “You know you’re going to feel great when you’re done.” And I always do. So, now I don’t even think about it. It’s just automatic. I make the smoothie, put it away for when you get to work later and get in the ice chest.

Brad Kearns: That’s a great comparison there. You make the smoothie and you jump in the freezer. And I was talking to our resident psychologist, Dr. Lindsey Taylor, behavioral psychologist, co-author of the Keto Reset cookbooks and the queen of the Facebook groups of Primal Endurance and Keto Reset. And she’s talking about how we have this concept of willpower and how you have to summon willpower and you’re so strong-minded and you’re so disciplined to go do this and go do that. But it’s like a depleting asset. And if you summon willpower so many times a day, by the end of the day, you’re going to go, “Fucking, I’m going to have some Ben and Jerry’s now and again, go off my diet.” So, like getting into that tub has now become an automatic behavior, which has such a profound impact on all the other things you do in life, because you don’t require any willpower to jump in. And you mentioned how you used to at the start, like, “Oh shit, okay. I got to go. I’m committed to this. I’m going to go jump in that water again.” But I feel that same sensation where it’s a little unpleasant. The best part is like bringing your friends over and they stick their hand in. Which is the worst thing to stick in. They’re like, “Oh my God, dude, you’re crazy.” But after building up that momentum, I feel like it’s improving my life in many ways because here’s something that I can do that requires zero willpower, zero thought. It’s an automatic behavior, but it’s beneficial for my health. And so, then apply that to, “Hey, do you clear your email inbox every day at work? Are you too lazy?” And so, you kind of become a more focused and centered person just from jumping in the water.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, exactly. Really what it is, is a habit. It’s not using willpower, it’s a habit. And habits you just do automatically. And that’s what I found that I don’t even think about it, you just go and you do it. And I totally agree with the willpower, the more you use, the more you deplete it. I’m very familiar with that. So, after I get out of the ice bath, sometimes I might do some quick exercises like 50 to 100 pushups to warm up or-

Brad Kearns: So, the stuff in the morning was just kind of stretching, not a big operation. Just getting movement.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, I might do 20 pushups and about 20 or 30 squats and then some stretching just to start moving. Then, after the ice bath, I basically get my running shoes on and I go up to a trail by my house and this is good. It’s very therapeutical. I do a really easy, Maffetone-type run.

Brad Kearns: 180 minus age.

Dave Kobrine: Well, I’m getting a little too old for that.

Brad Kearns: How old is this guy now? You got to be over 50-years-old by now.

Dave Kobrine: 57.

Brad Kearns: Oh, my goodness. Dave was a few years ahead of me at Taft High School in Los Angeles, and we’re going to talk about the days of basketball stardom and all that. So, 180 minus age is getting to be a pretty long number. In fact, for those listeners who are familiar with this whole thing, we talk about it a lot on the Primal Endurance Podcast, but you can start to get back a few beats if you’re maintaining fitness as you get into those older decades. So, maybe 180 minus age plus five or plus 10 is appropriate for you because your heart rate is not declining at that one beat per year as a formula might … your maximum heart rate.

Hi, Dave Kobrine’s office. He’s on a podcast now.

Dave Kobrine: So, yeah.

Brad Kearns: So, you’re running somewhere around there. Are you actually strapping on a watch or you’re just taking it easy?

Dave Kobrine: No, no, no. I keep my watch and my heart strap on. I keep it under 130. This is the number I use as my basis. Probably a little high on the Maffetone scale, but I still feel comfortable with that. And I do it really easy running the trail and about half-mile away is this beautiful ocean view. So, I’m seeing that every morning. And I’m getting air and sun. That’s the first thing you do in the morning, is to get air and sun. I like to get the sun on me. It’s a two-mile course I do. And again, it’s not a workout per se, but it’s just more of just getting going. Getting moving, getting air, getting sun.
In the last mile, I might do some easy strides. I don’t keep my heart above 130, so I might do 10 to 20 yards of strides just to loosen up. But I always feel better when I do that as opposed to just going at a steady pace.
Then I go directly to the gym.

Brad Kearns: Wow. Wait a second, how much time has elapsed now if we’re counting at home from the time you woke up and went into the sequence?

Dave Kobrine: Well, I get up at six and so, usually about seven or so, I’m on the trail and my goal is to get to work by nine. That’s my goal. A lot of times I get distracted. There’re days I get distracted, but I go to the gym and all I do at the gym in the morning is I take a 20 to 25-minute sauna. So, I come out of the sauna, take a cold shower and I’m golden. I’m ready to work for the rest of the day.

Brad Kearns: Pretty nice. What do you think about the sauna? You looked into that? I know you listen to a ton of podcasts. That’s why we were so glad to get you on. The podcast aficionado. We talk about them all the time.

Dave Kobrine Especially yours Brad.

Brad Kearns: Of course, right. Dr. Rhonda Patrick stuff – we talked about that and seems like some amazing benefits to accrue from sitting in that sauna.

Dave Kobrine: Well, truthfully, I try a lot of different things and I evolved to this. This is where I’m at right now. I’m sure it will change over the years or over the months even. But I experiment a lot of things and I find what works for me. I may not know the science behind it or why it’s doing what, but I know when I do that every morning, and I get to work at nine-ish, I feel super good. And I’m wide-awake, plenty of energy and very sharp. And so, that works.

Brad Kearns: That’s everyday. And then you’re also hitting the gym as well. How often and what are you doing for the actual gym workout?

Dave Kobrine: I like to go to the gym in the evening, somewhere between four to six, depending on what I got going on that night. I found that trying to do it in the morning, I wouldn’t get as good as workout and then I’d be sitting and going home and not moving in the evening. And so, I like to split it up. So, I’m doing something in the morning and then the evening, I get better workouts because I’m more warmed up. I hadn’t had like two hours of stuff going on before with the run and the ice bath and all that. And I find I’m recharging myself in the evening. And I’m going to the gym probably four to five days a week. And then maybe, one or two days a week, I might actually do a hard run or some kind of interval training, type of thing.

Brad Kearns: And so, what are you doing in the gym? Like body weight or pulling the machines?

Dave Kobrine: I really limited my gym workouts to a handful of exercises everyday. I like to do squats, deadlifts, pullups, military presses and some dumbbell bench presses. I also do a lot of pushups and that’s primarily what I’m doing in the gym. And actually, the first half hour of the gym is strictly stretching and mobility exercises.

Brad Kearns: Wow. And where did you get those?

Dave Kobrine: I got them from various places. No specific spot.

Brad Kearns: And you’re going through the same routine every time?

Dave Kobrine: Pretty much, I do. I do.

Brad Kearns: A routine guy here.

Dave Kobrine: Some people have said a creature of habit. I’ve heard that more than once.

Brad Kearns: Whatever works. And so, what keeps you going these days in terms of going for certain goals? Like a mud run or obstacle course. That’s the last time we checked in. I know you’ve done a bunch of other stuff we’re going to talk about.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, right now, I’m not really competitive anymore. I mean, not that I was ever competitive, I wasn’t a pro triathlete or anything.

Brad Kearns: We’ll be the judge of that when we hear about this UCLA stuff.

Dave Kobrine: No, no. I was never a competitive athlete. I was more of a participant. I participated in a lot in Taft, some things like that. But now I’m headed more towards the Spartan-type obstacle courses. I did one in Chino in January. It was a ton of fun. I’d like to do more. Right now, I’m kind of nursing a couple of bad elbows that I messed up by jumping out of the ice bath and doing like 100 pullups in a row really fast.

Brad Kearns: To warm up.

Dave Kobrine: I got all this energy and did like a ton of pullups as hard and fast as I can when I got out of the ice bath. And so, I’m now nursing those elbows back. But once those are back, I want to do some more Spartan runs.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, those pullups are tough. I believe I picked up tennis elbow from a combination of that and hitting too many golf balls. And then if you get that tennis elbow, it takes a long time to heal. It’s crazy.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, it’s been awhile.

Brad Kearns: We got to watch out. Take some more collagen protein in your smoothie.

Dave Kobrine: I do, I do.

Brad Kearns: So, that’s where you are today, 57. Now, we’re going to wind back the clock. Oh my gosh, that’s like probably 40 years to 17. And you were out there at Taft High. And this is a large Los Angeles city high school with big population there and turned out you and your gang was pretty competitive in basketball. And I’ll tell the listeners that what’s amazing is like you guys still hang out all the time and this basketball team from 40 years ago has kept that social connection all this time. But tell us about your high school days and how you got into that big time LA competition. Because you guys went to city finals and played in front of a sold-out sports arena. 12,000 people or a Pauley or whatever. It was big time playing. Not some kid from the farm lands that got third in the state in Iowa. But this was the real deal out there.

Dave Kobrine: Well, I don’t know about that. High school basketball in 1979 … one thing you did mention is very true is that we’re still, the entire team is still very close. We talk all the time. We get together all the time. We don’t play sports anymore all the time, unfortunately. We tried for years, but one by one, we all dropped out of competition.

Brad Kearns: But we had these, what was it? The 8 Foot?

Dave Kobrine: 9 Foot.

Brad Kearns: So, the 9 Foot World Basketball Championships and this stuff. I went nowhere near that because I was doing triathlons and I knew if I showed up at that park, I was recruited by a few teams, but this was like pretty serious competition, going for those. The 9 Foot title was the name of the title?

Dave Kobrine: We call it the “Speed Tournament” of course, because that was the name of our team. We did that for about 10 years out of high school. Our high school team would get together and play in 9 Foot baskets and have a competition and was even more competitive than the City Championship game, because it meant more to us.

Brad Kearns: So, back on that Taft team, you got in there. I guess you were a youth player and played at a good level in the San Fernando Valley, and then when you got to high school, where you pretty much focused on making basketball your sport and knew what you were in for.

Dave Kobrine: This sport, I concentrate on in high school. I didn’t play multiple sports. The other sports didn’t interest me at the time.

Brad Kearns: They weren’t interested in you either, I guess, maybe not.

Dave Kobrine: The volleyball coach tried to get me out to play quite a bit. I don’t know if you remember Mr. Morey.

Brad Kearns: Imagine that, the volleyball coach. We’re going to pick up that sport a little later.

Dave Kobrine: I look back and I was so disappointed I didn’t play that sport back then. Because when I got out of college, that’s all I did, is play beach volleyball. And a big advantage if you had played in high school. But, no, it was just strictly basketball. The best thing about it is like you mentioned, is that we have lifelong friends from that team. And yeah, we were competitive. We got second in the city and we did play in front of like 10,000 people at Pauley Pavilion, which is a thrill when your 17-years-old and especially when you went to every UCLA game since you were like 10-years-old in the Pauley Pavilion, to go there and play was just a big thrill.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, that’s a culmination of the high school dream. Fantastic. But then you ended up at UCLA and decided to dabble in a little bit of basketball. So, tell me how that whole thing went.

Dave Kobrine: Well, it was a lot easier to get in back then. Okay? Because I wouldn’t be getting in right now.

Brad Kearns: First of all, let me state that same with me at UC Santa Barbara, I floated in the back door. We have kids the same age that are now just in college and the rigorous requirements to get in either as an athlete, which is a nice way in and that’s really hard work or as a student. But back in our day, my dad’s like, “So, dad what was your GPA when you went to UC Santa Barbara?” Like, “Oh, it was like a two-eight in high school. Much better in college.”

Dave Kobrine: I just said, “Yeah, I got in.”

Brad Kearns: That’s all you need to say.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, I got in, I got in. Did what it took to get in back then, which is nothing like today. The first year there, I played on the JV team and did pretty well and had a lot of fun with that. And then in the second year, I was a pretty quiet kid and I knocked on the door and Larry Brown answered the door. And I walked up to the athletic office, I knocked on Larry Brown’s door and I said, “Hi, I’d like to play on the varsity this year.” And he said to me, “Sure, come on out.”
He knew me. He actually, back then, for whatever reason, my nickname was “All World” and I don’t think he knew my real name. The JV coach called me “All World” all the time. So, he said, “All World, come on in. Yeah, sure you could play.” So, he was very nice and let me play.

Brad Kearns: So, Larry Brown, a noted NBA and college coach, probably a Hall of Fame level coach who did so many things, including take Allen Iverson and the 6ers to the finals, one of the worst teams to ever make it to the NBA finals besides Allen.

Dave Kobrine: At one point he had the Clippers best record ever as the coach.

Brad Kearns: Wow. Yeah, he was known for like jumping in and turning places around and then leaving soon after. He was very peripatetic, right? So, you had a spot on the varsity and were they pretty good at that time?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, I think we were number one ranked at the time. But let’s be honest about that, I was really the 13th man in a 12-man team.

Brad Kearns: That’s going to be a pull quote for the podcast. Listen to how understated this guy is. I mean, this kid from the valley, San Fernando Valley who liked basketball, made it work in high school.
The cool thing about that Taft team, it was so well oiled because you guys were buddies and you just go. And it was poetry to watch, especially the city quarter final game, which he’s turning red now if you’re not watching. Because I tease them about this all the time. But you tore that house down, like it was one of the greatest athletic performances I’ve ever seen. Because this is a do or die game. And like you expressed that dream of playing in front of the 10,000 fans in the city finals. You’ve got to get through the qualifying-

Dave Kobrine: Qualifying Pauley.

Brad Kearns: At Pauley Pavilion, the UCLA home, John Wooden’s home. I mean, Wooden was just leaving at that point. He was still fresh, he had fresh footprints. His rolled-up program was still on the floor.

Dave Kobrine: Still at every game.

Brad Kearns: Right, he’s still watching every game, of course. So, this quarter final game and I think you guys were favored, but you were struggling. And then you went on this binge which reportedly was filmed on Beta by Ron Kobrine, number one sports fan. We haven’t located it yet. I have a bounty on that video because I want to see it. Because it was just one of the greatest things. But you want me to describe it and you can correct me if I’m wrong or I want to hear it from you?

Dave Kobrine: You could describe it because you probably know it better than I do.

Brad Kearns: Yeah. So, the team’s down by a lot and their time’s running out in the game and you put a bucket in, right? And then we come down the court and you get a steal. So, you got a steal and went in for another bucket.

Dave Kobrine: Dunk.

Brad Kearns: And went in for the dunk. And then what was the third thing?

Dave Kobrine: I stole the inbound pass and got fouled.

Brad Kearns: So, here we have a basket by Kobrine, a steal picked off the dribble, like, yeah, picked off the dribble at midcourt, in for a dunk. The crowd’s going crazy. We realize we’re back in the game and then you steal the inbound pass and go in for an AND1. So, for counting at home, that’s two, four, six. And then did you drop the free throw? So, seven points, how much time off the clock?

Dave Kobrine: Well, according to you, it was 15 seconds.

Brad Kearns: Seven points in 15 seconds. I think it was less than that. But that pretty much, if you can imagine a high school gym of kids screaming like crazy and then we flooded the court afterward. And so, here’s this guy up on peoples’ shoulders and then had the balls to knock on Larry Brown’s door. I love that.

Dave Kobrine: Well, that story, to be honest, I think only two people remember that; me and you.

Brad Kearns: What about your dad?

Dave Kobrine: He might too.

Brad Kearns: He was probably like my dad when my dad filmed my comeback on the last lap of the city finals when I was in the last place and passed a bunch of people and dove for the tape to make the last spot to the state meet. And my dad diligently filmed all these track meets, and he’d go home and turn on the projector, the reel to reel, the old-time stuff. And then on the last lap, it was like he got on a rollercoaster, the whole film was like totally jumbled because he was getting excited and screaming because he’s watching me come back. So, whatever we got, yeah.

Dave Kobrine: And actually, the game was filmed by the coach. And my father didn’t film that game. And it was filmed by the coach and I actually did see it and I contacted the coach. I’m still friends with him actually to this day. And he moved and he could not find it. And I wanted that tape and he could not find it. So, it’s gone.

Brad Kearns: Heartbreaking. Yeah. And you know what? Like that age where nothing was filmed and now, it’s like everything is obsessively filmed and tracked, and some of your kids’ videos on YouTube probably have thousands or tens of thousands of views.

Dave Kobrine: Actually, one of them has 2 million.

Brad Kearns: Is it the face plant one that has 2 million? Oh boy, I guess we’ll have to jump to your kids now. But I want to pick up with the UCLA basketball career.

Dave Kobrine: What we talked about is pretty much it.

Brad Kearns: Okay, we’re going to put the kids on hold for a second. So, you told me something very interesting about your UCLA experience there, and going up and practice against these – a lot of people call them the best guard tandem in the nation, and they called them the quickest and fastest guys; Rocket Rod Foster, Michael Holton. They were just top, top guys. And so, this is, like you said, it was such an intense experience that you really didn’t need … you could say goodbye to basketball because you’d accomplished more than you’d ever thought you could.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. It was really a neat experience. And in fact, I don’t know how many, I think six or seven guys on our team that year played in the NBA. So, it was a very powerful team.

Brad Kearns: Is that all? Six or seven?

Dave Kobrine: Something like that, including Mark Eaton.

Brad Kearns: Oh, sure.

Dave Kobrine: Tenure career.

Brad Kearns: Mark Eaton, seven-foot four center. I think they found him fixing cars, and they said, “You should go to JC and play …” He was like 24-years-old, right? And he ended up going all the way to the NBA. Had a great career blocking shots for the Jazz.

Dave Kobrine: Right, and he didn’t play on our team. He played in the UCLA, but when he got to UCLA, they found a role for him. But yeah, everyday in practice, I’d either be chasing … Rocket Rod Foster was probably one of the fastest guys in-

Brad Kearns: Probably, one of the fastest guys ever to play in the NBA. If you don’t believe us, look on YouTube or something. I mean, this guy was unbelievable. His career was cut short with a terrible car wreck, but he had a good time in the Phoenix Suns and elsewhere.

Dave Kobrine: He messed up his legs. He was fine physically after that, except he just couldn’t play basketball. And then the other guy, Michael Holton, he was a monster guy. He was like probably six-four, 200 and some odd pounds. So, their games were completely opposite. One was a big, strong athletic kid. The other was just a rocket. So, it was fun everyday. But yeah, that’s true. After that season, I was done. I mean, I was burnt out. And coach Brown left as well. So, the whole thing or the team changed after Larry Brown came in.

Brad Kearns: Were you a senior or you had more time at UCLA?

Dave Kobrine: No, that was my sophomore year.

Brad Kearns: Oh, so only your sophomore year. Did you get on the court? Did you get a stat line like Mark Titus? A trillion.

Dave Kobrine: Bill Walton, Lew Alcindor, Marcus Johnson and me. We were all on scoring list. Different places but we were all there.

Brad Kearns: He’s played at Pauley. Okay, let me ask you a serious question. Like, did that distinction that you actually played for the number one team in the nation, you were on that team, did that-

Dave Kobrine: At that time, we never win. We lost in the playoffs.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, but you had that credit. Like you had a cup of coffee at the highest, highest level. Did that like affect you the rest of your life? Did it open doors for you or any of that stuff?

Dave Kobrine: No, not really, because quite honestly, like I said, I was the 13th man in a 12-man team. So, I didn’t really promote it too much. In fact, I’m kind of embarrassed by it. If I was out there actually playing everyday, then yeah, it’d be more … but I played a few games. So, it’s nothing to promote.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, but it’s so far beyond possibly that you dreamed even in high school.

Dave Kobrine: Well, actually when I was a 10, the assistant coach at UCLA was a father of one of the kids on my team and apparently, when I was 10, I went up to him and asked him – so, Denny Crum-

Brad Kearns: He won a title at Louisville.

Dave Kobrine: I went up to him and said, “Mr. Crum, so, I when I get to UCLA, where do I pick up my uniform? I’m kind of worried?” Apparently, I did that.

Brad Kearns: Wow. I mean, just as a kid, some of those visions though are pretty powerful and you kind of, I guess you imagined it or envisioned it. What about knocking on Brown’s door? I mean, you were buoyed by a great season on the JV where you were one of the leading scorers and the JV team would play against other schools and so forth. So, it was pretty serious.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, we played a variety of types of schools. I don’t even remember. I mean, I think we played like, some of the junior colleges and … I don’t remember who we played.

Brad Kearns: Take on all comers, whoever wants piece of that. So, the interesting thing for me back at that time was we were just absolutely marveling that my running buddy Steve – your younger brother who I was very close with, and we ran together. But like his older brother was on UCLA Basketball. And it was just mind-blowing. Because remember, this is like sold out every game.
John Wooden’s legacy, it’s getting a little dusty. It was four years after the last title or six years after the last title. But that place still rocked and you’d go and get your program at the door and it’d say, “FYI, UCLA’s record at Pauley Pavilion is 88 and 3.” For a while, it was so impressive. I don’t know if they talk about it anymore.
But it was like they never lost there. It was just amazing. And here you are, this guy from the neighborhood. Once in a while, you’d come in and out of the house and we’d be like, “Hey Dave, how’s basketball at UCLA?” You’re like, “Pretty good. What are you watching?” “Surf Punks. Yeah, Surf Punks on people’s car, come and watch.” We’d watch this tape over and over. Oh my gosh.
There’s another missing video. Those are my three missing videos that I’d kill anything. I actually, called the KTLA Channel 9 or 11 or whatever, and I said, “I want to buy this video. I’ll pay any price. Just find it in your archives.” “Oh, no, we’re not allowed to.” So, it just stays in the memory banks.
But what was cool at that time was like soon after, we catch wind that you’re training for this other crazy athletic event. You’ve transitioned entirely off the basketball court and into some fun new challenge back then.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, I burnt out from basketball. I was not planning to play anymore after that, at least competitively at school. And I watched the – I think it was February 1982 Ironman and saw Julie Moss crawling across the finish line. And I said, “That sounds interesting.” And I had remembered reading the article in Sports Illustrated, I think it was about Tom Warren. I don’t know what year that was, about ‘80, ‘81. And so, I had put it in my mind. And so, I said, “You know what? I’m going to do the Ironman.” And I had no experience in any of those sports whatsoever.

Brad Kearns: You were running up and down the basketball court, I guess.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, but mainly the pool.

Brad Kearns: That’s okay. It’s only 2.4 miles.

Dave Kobrine: And so, I think what I did was, … that was February, and I think I did a few easy triathlons or shorter triathlons in that fall. And I remember getting a pool. I think I went up down the pool once for 50 or 100 yards and I was done. I go, “Oh my God.” It was crazy. Then I got injured in that, but I applied for the Ironman of ’83, and I got in. And so, I go, “Okay. Now, I better start training.” And I remember the very first time-

Brad Kearns: It’s kind of like our college story of I applied to the school and I got in, because now like you ain’t applying to the Ironman getting in, you got to get your ass all over the world and do some Ironman qualifiers. Now, I think the only qualifiers are full distance. You used to be able to do a half. I think you can still buy your way in like this charitable thing for like 10 grand. So, I assume the entry fee was less for you in ‘83.

Dave Kobrine: I don’t remember that. But what I do remember, it was October 23rd and I had done no training-

Brad Kearns: That’s your brother’s birthday. Steve’s got his name dropped. We took care of him. Okay.

Dave Kobrine: Well, you mentioned him earlier.

Brad Kearns: Oh, that’s right. Yeah. We didn’t mention who some people call the best athlete in the whole family; Rob Kobrine, but now we did.

Dave Kobrine: Very good athlete.

Brad Kearns: He’s like Cooper Manning though. He’s the unsung. Cooper Manning, they said he was the best athlete in the Manning Family, like by a large margin. He was an incredible wide receiver and then he couldn’t play. He had a spinal issue, so we never got to see him. He was the NFL prospect wide receiver.

Dave Kobrine: His brothers did all right, though.

Brad Kearns: Brothers did okay. They’re covering for him.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, true. Rob is probably the best all-around athlete. I had to start training and I remember May 1st was my first training day. I went to Drake Stadium and ran one lap. And I go, “Oh boy.”

Brad Kearns: Wait, you got in before you started training?

Dave Kobrine: Well yeah, I had some sort of injury that I was trying to get over. And so, I did no training whatsoever for at least four or five months.

Brad Kearns: You’re just sitting on that entry?

Dave Kobrine: Well, no, the entry came in right around then.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, yeah. Oh my gosh.

Dave Kobrine: So, I got there. I went to Drake Stadium and ran one lap. And I got in the pool, I may have swum maybe 100 yards.

Brad Kearns: Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, watch out, make way in lane 12. Here comes an Ironman entrant. Probably the only kid at UCLA that was destined for the Ironman at that point.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, people didn’t know about it back then, but they do now.

Brad Kearns: They would have made a lane for you now. But back then, you’re probably like watching out for kickboards.

Dave Kobrine: Well, I do remember being at the pool and I was struggling with swimming because I had no formal training. I saw some guy in the pool going back and forth, back and forth. I go, “Yeah, it looks so easy.” I would just try to watch that guy. Turned out it was Brian Goodell.

Brad Kearns: Time for Google. I think he had the World Record in distance-free, possibly an Olympic gold or an Olympic medal.

Dave Kobrine: I think he got Olympic gold.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, one of the great all-time American swimmers. He was out of UCLA, which had a dynasty team until they canceled the program. But they had some good swimmers coming out of that pool. Did you get any tips from him?

Dave Kobrine: No, I didn’t know at the time that was Brian Goodell. I found out later. “This guy really knows how to swim.” He made it look so easy. Anyway, I spent the whole summer just biking, swimming and running and went out and did it.

Brad Kearns: Yeah. And so, then you were in and out of the house a lot and we’d just get these reports like, “What did you do today Dave?” “Well, I rode to the beach, rode down the coast, rode to Brentwood, rode back over the hill. It was 54 miles.” “54 miles? Wow.” But that was my first exposure to someone who was actually doing this crazy Ironman thing. And I had a great impression and I guess I followed a couple few years later … or actually, no, the year is ‘84. You did the Ironman in ‘83.

Dave Kobrine: ’83, yeah.

Brad Kearns: So, I got totally captivated by the sport in ‘84. And it was just like, I give you credit for that, and also the cold-water plunge. You were the predecessor.

Dave Kobrine: Well, you took it to a different level.

Brad Kearns: So, the ‘83 is coming up, you had a year to prepare, in other words.

Dave Kobrine: Well, I had May 1st to October.

Brad Kearns: Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

Dave Kobrine: 1st October is when I did it.

Brad Kearns: Oh, that’s plenty of time, right?

Dave Kobrine: I only worked four hours a day, so I had all afternoon. I’d go to work, take a nap and then train.

Brad Kearns: So, that was the summertime?

Dave Kobrine: That was the summertime.

Brad Kearns: What was your job?

Dave Kobrine: I actually worked at an actuarial consulting firm in the morning.

Brad Kearns: Oh, they were one of those sponsors that gave you that perfunctory role like Robby Benson work in the automatic sprinklers on the movie One on One?

Dave Kobrine: No, it wasn’t quite like that.

Brad Kearns: They pushed you pretty hard at the workplace. So, you went over there. What did you think of it? I mean, today it’s the scene of unsurpassed with the branding and the massive crowds and all that. But I think it was kind of more low-key back then.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. I don’t remember a whole lot about it. I forget how many years ago that was, a lot.

Brad Kearns: 30 something years.

Dave Kobrine: 30 something years ago. But I remember the core experience. Extremely windy and I have visions of guys in front of me been thrown off the bike. That’s what I remember.

Brad Kearns: For real?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah.

Brad Kearns: They get thrown off the bike.

Dave Kobrine: They get thrown off the bike. They were on the ground going out to [Havi 00:41:19], I remember that.

Brad Kearns: No one talks about that enough. Like you hear just as an offhanded thing, but people to this day, especially the small females in their aero position, they’ll just get blown right off their bike and into the lava.

Dave Kobrine: I saw several people get … they didn’t get thrown to the lava, but they were on the ground by wind gusts. The other thing I really remember is, thankfully remembering is waking up the night after doing it, waking up and feeling tired, thinking to myself, “Oh my God, how am I going to do that race? I’m so tired right now.” And I had forgotten that I had already done it.

Brad Kearns: It’s like a dream state. Wow. That’s incredible. Then you get to full consciousness and that was probably your most celebratory moment, even better than the finish line. “I did it. Wow.” So, you’re still a college student at this time?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah.

Brad Kearns: That’s incredible.

Dave Kobrine: It was like my second year, third year.

Brad Kearns: I mean, was there any other young guys there?

Dave Kobrine: No, not that I knew of. I actually trained and got some of my high school friends, convinced them to come out there and do some triathlons. So, I did a lot of training with some of my high school friends. Bike with Mark Leonard quite a bit and ran with Tim Everett. [Inaudible 00:42:39] out there doing triathlons.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, these were guys that were just all basketball and then they were broadening their horizons.

Dave Kobrine: Stu Heilsberg, went out there, did some big races.

Brad Kearns: All these guys are getting plugged. This show is going to be like – it’s going to have a spike in the listener downloads because you’re going to go, “Listen to your show, you might hear your name.” Oh my God, Stu, he was my neighbor and that guy shot more baskets than maybe the entire team put together. So, I would give that guy a plug. I mean, he was out there shooting day and night. Like you’d never not see him shooting. If you did you, there was something wrong. And you get to go ring on the doors to see if he was okay.
Okay. So, you finished the Ironman. You got that off your bucket list. Varsity basketball for the NCAA, number one ranked team – got that on your list. And then as you plunged into adult life, what was your fitness commitment like over the years?

Dave Kobrine: It’s evolved a lot. For a long period of time, I had this routine schedule that I did every year. In the spring, I would play 9 Foot basketball with my high school friends. We’d meet every Sunday at the, I think it was Brentwood Elementary School and play from like March till June.

Brad Kearns: What about Goodstein? Was he out there? I wanted to drop his name in there because I don’t know if he’ll get a mentioned otherwise.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. Glenn was out there playing basketball every Sunday. He didn’t do any triathlons, but he did do a marathon.

Brad Kearns: A marathon, congratulations to him, wow.

Dave Kobrine: Another basketball friend.

Brad Kearns: When’s your next marathon, Glenn? Thanks for listening. Oh, he’s back on the golf course. He’s away from his phone. Very good golfer, very naturally talented golfer that should practice more and get lessons. But he’s got the athleticism.
You guys were a really special team and a special group of guys that went a long way and even though it was a long time ago, it was very, very competitive and possibly I wonder how you guys would stack up against today’s good high school team. It’d be interesting.

Dave Kobrine: I could tell you. I mean, I look at the way high school basketball is now and my kids and the way we played, and you see evolution in front of you. I mean it’s a totally different … These guys play like the colleges played 30 years ago.

Brad Kearns: Because it’s just so much more sophisticated, starting in fifth grade.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, athleticism is so much better now. But I won’t tell my kids this.

Brad Kearns: You’ll just keep dropping little hints about-

Dave Kobrine: We could have beat you guys.

Brad Kearns: Would have been at overtime, but … So, the 9 Foot Tournament came around once a year.

Dave Kobrine: Once a year, we’d play from the spring, played the big 9 Foot Tournament. And as soon as that was over, I went directly to beach volleyball. I played beach volleyball all summer.

Brad Kearns: And was that like pickup or was there-?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, two and two beach volleyball.

Brad Kearns: Just show up and play. Oh, and tournament’s as well?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, we played tournaments.

Brad Kearns: Who was your partner?

Dave Kobrine: I actually played with Rob a couple of times, my brother, Rob. And I had another partner that I played with, a guy named Chris Barney. And we used to play tournaments all the time.

Brad Kearns: So, what’s cool is like you had these dates on the calendar and I’m seeing now at my age and trying to calibrate my goals toward longevity and health and balancing in my busy life, right? Instead of just training all day like I had for that certain phase of my life. But I think it’s really healthy to have something up there on the wall, knowing that it’s coming up and you can point toward it and it’ll sort of keep you honest and focused to stay in shape even though it’s five months prior.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. This is not really about staying in shape. This is enjoying sports, competing, having fun. And so, one of the things that’s clear is I like variety. And so, I had the basketball in the spring and then the summer was volleyball. And then as soon as Thanksgiving came, I would start training for the marathon. Training back then is not like what it is now. And I would run the LA Marathon every year with my father.

Brad Kearns: Oh really? How many times did you do that?

Dave Kobrine: We did it quite a few years. I mean, I don’t know, maybe six, seven, eight, nine years.

Brad Kearns: Oh, so your father, Ron, his nickname is “Run Like Ron”, your nickname’s “All World”. This guy was quietly in the background. He was one of the most inspirational guys for my running career, because this guy was so tough and he was just out there plugging away no matter what. And he’d had this group of his buddies in the morning that ran at 5:30 AM every single morning in the [inaudible 00:47:01]. And he dragged Steve along and Steve would drag me along and we’d get out there with these guys.
They just had such a great time. It’d be so social and cracking jokes. And meanwhile, they’re actually quite accomplished runners. Unlike a lot of people today are out there just plotting along. But these guys, while they were having fun and being low-key and not serious, your dad went out to Boston, the pinnacle for any marathoner, over the past several decades and he ran 30 in a row?

Dave Kobrine: 30 consecutive, yes.

Brad Kearns: Only starting when he was in his mid-40s.

Dave Kobrine: I think he started when he was about 40.

Brad Kearns: Right, and he was routinely under three hours, going-

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, he wasn’t just running. I mean, he ran them fast. He ran them really fast.

Brad Kearns: And I interview him in my book, “Primal Endurance”. And it’s a great finish to the book in the back chapter there. Because he says, “There wasn’t any of this attention-grabbing obsession of like today’s recreational athlete or amateur athlete. Where they’re hanging the medals all over their walls and tweeting up there their workout times. Or putting it on the …” What’s the GPS? The Strava website.
All that was a complete notion, and to be able to be healthy and on the starting line, 30 years in a row is an amazing achievement in itself. And it designates that he didn’t get into that overtraining spiral, which is so common now when people are so driven and focused on results or going for the podium or whatever crazy notions they have that are causing them to break from a healthy approach.
So, I think what your dad did was an amazing athletic accomplishment, but he did it the right way. Where it was part of a healthy life and he wasn’t too … he got over himself basically and just went out there and was having fun. But at the same time, being able to drop in that tremendous competitive intensity, because this is no funny business to go try to run a sub three-hour year after year after year.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. There’s truth to some of that. But the other quite frankly, his body is able to take a lot more than a normal body. As you would call him, he’s a mule. I mean, he can just go and go and go and not really know that he’s not supposed to be able to go.

Brad Kearns: Don’t try this at home for real. I don’t know, I’ll ask you, like do you think certain people have that genetics or it’s possibly, I’m not talking about their long limbs and their genetics for basketball, but like the genetics of the mind to be able to handle that type of regimen and actually thrive on it and appreciate it. Whereas many people just couldn’t imagine it.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, I don’t know if it’s the mind or the body. But I definitely think that people are different in that way. And he and I are very different that way. I mean, I couldn’t do what he did. I’d break down. My body will break down. That’s why I don’t run marathons as much as he did. I don’t know how many, 100 and something on marathons and 50-mile runs and all these races. His mind or body or both were built for that.

Brad Kearns: Oh, this guy, I got two stories that just blow your mind. One of them was in the valley on a very, very hot smoggy day. It was like 111. No kidding, not exaggerating. Used to get up that high. And we had a real smog problem back then in the ‘80s and which has gotten so nicely cleared up by the approved emissions in the LA basin, right? But he was running home from work which is over there on the west side of Los Angeles, over 20 miles. And he was like a couple of miles from home, but he had that giant steep hill to climb on Winnetka.
So, he was like several hundred feet below his house, and it was so hot and smoggy. I was like, I didn’t even want to go out in the car that day. And he’s running along and we see him and he’s just drenched in sweat. He does not look great. He’s just suffering and I’m like, “Let me give you a ride.” He’s like, “No way, I don’t want it.” I’m like, “Please, it’s to smoggy.” It was like a Smog Alert Day which happened all the time back then.

Dave Kobrine: He probably said, “What smog?” He was just like powering through.

Brad Kearns: Didn’t even notice it. And then the other one was when he ran the Way Too Cool 50K up where I was living. I was living on the course at that time. So, I was kind of like helping these guys out, get to the race start and had his clothing or gear in my car because he was finishing the 50K trail run, a very difficult trail run. And then immediately going in his rental car to the Oakland Airport, flying home so that he could run the LA Marathon the following day. Probably one of those days when you were joining him. I don’t know what you did on the Saturday before that LA Marathon. Probably, sauna and an ice bath or whatever.
But he had no time to go over to my house and shower because he was worried about catching the flight. And so, we’re standing by the car and he’s like, “Do you have anything like a towel in your car?” And I’m like, “Let me check,” and there was nothing in there except for the check oil rag. And his eyes lit up, when I reach for this thing and I had it in my hand. It hadn’t checked too many oil, so it was a fairly clean rag, but it was still a rag. He just started beaming, like full of joy that I had this thing and he wiped down there in the parking lot and was off to the Oakland Airport.
I don’t know who sat next to him on that flight, but what an incredible dedication. It was like nothing to him.

Dave Kobrine: One more quick story on that same note. Is that we used to run the LA Marathon every year. But one year I couldn’t do it because I had to be out of town. And he says, “Well, there’s a marathon where you’re going to be on Saturday, the same LA Marathon week. Why don’t we go to …” It was in Dallas or somewhere around there. “And why don’t we run the marathon that day instead of the LA Marathon on Saturday, instead of the Sunday LA Marathon?” And I said, “Sure.”
So, we went and did the marathon. We were going a pretty good pace. It was like 90 degrees that day. It was in Texas, Dallas. And we’re going at a seven-minute pace and I was feeling great. And then at mile 20, I fell apart. I got heat stroke, and I had to struggle home and barely made it in and I don’t know what time I did 3:20 or 3:30 or something like that.
So, that I would spend the whole night recovering and recovering the whole next week. He got on the plane, flew home, made it in time for the LA Marathon and ran a 3:10 the next day.

Brad Kearns: Out of a 90-degree heat, steamy marathon somewhere.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, and by the way, he was like 56 or 57 or 55.

Brad Kearns: Oh, mercy. Oh my gosh.

Dave Kobrine: He’s that little different.

Brad Kearns: That’s off the chart. I mean, the only other person I referenced like that was [inaudible 00:53:26], the Western States runner, who was my neighbor and these people would cross the finish line, trying to break 24 hours or maybe a little slower, but it was everything they had. And they’d come in, and you’d see these people that were just broken humans that had somehow cross the Sierra in one day on foot. And this dude would like finish the race. He won six times down 17, 18, 19 hours, whatever the weather was and stuff.
He was known for coming back in the middle of the night and welcoming the finishers, and they’d be so excited to see, here was the winner who finished five hours prior and he’s high fiving you and all that. And then the next afternoon, he would be at the Kiddie Pool, the community pool with his kids. And my kids are out there, and he’d just be reading the paper and listening to the Giants game. And I’d be like, “Oh, how did it go?” He goes, “It was pretty good. I got a blister on my toe that kind of hurts.” Besides the blister, you would not know that this guy … he might’ve done an aid station or something. Instead of racing 100 miles late into the night, charging up the canyon. So, yeah, something different going on there, man.

Dave Kobrine: Definitely.

Brad Kearns: So, I think it’s time to talk about those kids. They had a cameo. Two sons; Sam and Kevin.

Dave Kobrine: Sam and Kevin, right.

Brad Kearns: I met them when they were zero years old because they’re almost the same age as my two kids and your brother’s two kids, and we met out at the park in Calabasas one day. I think Sam was probably two and my son was two and so, they shook hands and then maybe they’ll cross paths at UCLA where they’re both at now. But it’s such a popular topic, especially with the athletic-minded folks like us who had our day and now we have kids. And we’re in a whole different generation. And I was really involved in coaching and trying to learn about what it was to be a coach and a supportive coach, but also one that promotes competitiveness and gets the best out of them.
You go on Positive Coaching Alliance and they have all these tips and videos, and it’s a big industry, this youth sports thing. And it seems like it’s gotten crazy and gotten so sophisticated that now high school athletics is like college.
So, you have these two kids that have navigated this thing beautifully and have achieved a high level in basketball and volleyball. So, I want to hear about them.

Dave Kobrine: Well that’s true. Both Sam and Kevin, they’re very fortunate they have some athletic ability and they both really enjoy playing basketball and volleyball. So, it’s a matter of they enjoy it. And so, when you enjoy it and you have a little success, you do more of it and it kind of breeds on itself. And so, yeah, they were always pretty good athletes in the Newport Beach area growing up.

Brad Kearns: So, when they were little guys, one of your goals as a parent is to introduce them to sports, I imagine.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, well, Sam, I didn’t have to. I mean, I have a video of Sam when he was like 10-months-old, 11-months-old shooting baskets. He would shoot baskets every single day, all day. And he never made one. [Inaudible 00:56:24] that we’ve put up against the cupboard was probably about five-feet high. He spent his whole day shooting the basket. It’s all he did.
When he was growing up, he had a ball in his hand at all times. I have pictures of him at graduation, he’s got a basketball in his hand. I mean, it was just attached to him no matter where he is. There’s a little picture, videos of him where he was like two-years-old dribbling a basketball. That’s all he did. So, he just had something in him that wanted to do it.

Brad Kearns: Right, so you’re saying at that young of an age, it can’t be this wonderful environment where you’re putting up posters of the basketball players or putting in videos while he’s trying to fall asleep in his crib. It was just something that was kind of innate.

Dave Kobrine: It really was. It really was. And Kevin-

Brad Kearns: So, Sam’s older.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, Sam’s two years older.

Brad Kearns: So, I’m imagining by the time he’s four, he’s doing behind the back drills or whatever and he’s going to influence his younger brother when the younger brother gets to two and follows along.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah. Like I said, he had a ball in his hand wherever he went. Kevin would always be looking at him and watching him and always had an eye on him and paid attention to everything he did. And so, he kind of followed the same path.

Brad Kearns: So, how did you get them into sports in their first organized experience and how did that whole thing go?

Dave Kobrine: I think his first … I mean, again, this is small time Newport Beach Boys Club, I think was his first thing. He was in third grade. I didn’t know anything about it, we just signed him up. And it was kind of fun because his very first quarter of basketball-

Brad Kearns: This is what grade? Like third graders is when he started?

Dave Kobrine: Third grade, yeah. For the very first quarter, I had no idea what to expect. And I didn’t coach that team. It was before I started coaching. For the first quarter, I think the team was up 10-nothing and Sam had 10 points. Every time the kid got the ball, he’d steal it, drove it down and it was like a five-minute quarter. And it was really because he was so far more experienced than these kids, because he played every day, all day, and he was just so much more aware of what to do. And so, that’s where he started.

Brad Kearns: So, you started coaching a little bit after that?

Dave Kobrine: I started when he was in fourth grade. And I basically coached their basketball teams; fourth through eighth grade; both kids.

Brad Kearns: Interesting. Stepping off at eighth grade, that was my strategy too. Because I feel like by the time they’re in high school, you turn it over to professionals who do that for a living and have done it for years and decades, and just sit in the stands and clap.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, and I was very fortunate to be able to coach the middle school teams at their high school. And so, that was just a great experience, being involved in the school teams. Although a lot of people didn’t want to do it because of the politics. And you had to cut people. And so, you had to cut some of their best friends’ kids. Often the team, their parents are like your friends. But that was part of the job.

Brad Kearns: So how did that go for you?

Dave Kobrine: It was a ton of fun. And those teams were … for whatever reason, we had so much talent and we never lost a game in any of them. I think the closest game we had was like maybe 20 points.

Brad Kearns: So, I guess by this third grader coming out there and having his first game and scoring the points and realizing that this success is going to feed on more success and more work ethic, does it really make a big difference to come in sort of with that starting point where you have an advantage and you’re going to be able to leverage that the rest of your high school career?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, I think it helps. He got it mainly because of the experience he had before then. And I think obviously, that success breeds more success, no doubt about it. Because it encourages them to keep playing and keep doing it.

Brad Kearns: So, I guess if you held the kid back like two years … we’re laughing because I want to bring up, this is like this moral dilemma. I’m taking a survey to see how everybody feels about this. But it does feel, to me, like when you have that early success, it could be in third grade or it could be, like, in my case, I ran a couple of track meets in middle school. And I was this little shrimpy guy that was nothing to be reporting home on the major sports, but I was able to win these races. And something came into my experience where it’s like, wow, that was a profound impact even though at some insignificant moment was able to take that and build some confidence naturally-

Dave Kobrine: That’s your self-esteem.

Brad Kearns: Right, right. Yeah. So, now with all this competitiveness and this strong desire to have a kid become a college athlete, we’re seeing routinely kids being held back so they can be older than … starting kindergarten late or whatever they’re doing. Homeschooling in ninth grade and then entering high school as a 16-year-old player. And an extreme case has been a Southern California news story that a kid was held back twice and turns out he was a very high-level basketball player that went off to an Ivy League basketball opportunity.
So, a life changing, winning ticket, lottery ticket. If you get into one of those Ivy League schools and you’re an athlete, it’s something that’s esteemed by all parents who would want nothing more for their kid to be a basketball star and then off to the most elite institutions in the world. But if you’re two years older than your class, it feels like there’s a moral question here because are you gaming all the kids that are following the rules in terms of age appropriate grades?

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, that’s definitely a dilemma. And it’s certainly prevalent these days, especially out here in Orange County. All the top high schools, most of the kids are hold backs. And that particular kid, yeah, he’s a good high school player. Two years ago, he was … no, that’s a great high school player. But it worked for them.

Brad Kearns: Very political reply there. In your kids’ case, so the coaching, did you have some intentions going in? I mean, you have a lot of background of how you and your buddies were the ultimate teammates becoming lifelong friends. You want to get away from those politics and those evil influences that we see here and there -watch on YouTube or read about these tragic stories of the father pushing the kid too hard. So, what were you armed with going in?

Dave Kobrine: Well, I had very good models. I always visited John Wooden discipline … I always followed John Wooden and my high school coach John Furlong was a very, very good coach and taught how to play and how to behave and how to everything … great modeling. And I just continued to apply that and tried to treat every kid fairly and try to promote and I was always positive. The whole idea was try to be positive and supportive to the kids.

Brad Kearns: Positive Coaching Alliance. Love that.

Dave Kobrine: That’s all I was trying to do.

Brad Kearns: Did you have any issues or fireworks or problems with cutting kids and disputes or meddling parents or things like that?

Dave Kobrine: Not really. I mean, I had one. It was always a very sensitive subject when you had to cut some of your friends’ kids, their kids’ friends. And I did have a couple. But I try to choose to remember the ones that some of the parents came up to me and hugged me and said, “I’m so happy, you did the right thing. I understand how hard that was for you.” Those are the ones that I trying to remember. Some of the parents that understood the situation and realized how hard it was for me. And then consoled me for doing it, cutting their kid.

Brad Kearns: Yeah. It seems like in the workplace when you have to terminate someone and you see the writing on the wall a thousand times, if you’re the employee and you know things aren’t clicking. Or if you don’t know and you’re oblivious, that’s another story. But when it comes down to it, it’s like, in my case, I got cut from the Taft team and it opened up this incredible door to … from the basketball team, which-

Dave Kobrine: Who cut you?

Brad Kearns: Oh, Goodstein says it was him. But I think it was Drucker and Goodstein was the assistant coach. And it was a traumatic moment in my life, so much so that I decided to protest it and come back and demand a meeting. And I dug up a newspaper clipping from the Park League Basketball Championship where my crappy team got destroyed by the Woodland Hills Park team. But I was the leading scorer in the game, because all I did was shoot because we couldn’t do anything else. And I presented this clipping to the coach and said, “Give me another chance.” And the coach said, “Okay, well, you can practice with us, but you’re not on the team.” I was like, what kind of kid gets into a situation like that? So, I did one more practice-

Dave Kobrine: Wait a second, that wasn’t too much different than my UCLA experience.

Brad Kearns: The 13th man on a 12-man team. Yeah, you can have a uniform if someone loses one. But I did one more practice and then I went straight to the cross-country course and I won the first varsity race. And so, that competitive intensity turned in a healthy, positive direction. So, I appreciate all those people.
Same with my college running coach actually who presided over the program that got me broken down and destroyed and sick season after season, five seasons in a row. I give him tremendous credit toward inspiring me to become a professional triathlete because if the running wasn’t such a disaster, I would’ve been a mediocre college runner.

Dave Kobrine: You had to morph into something else as things progressed.

Brad Kearns: So, now these guys are getting into high school, the Kobrine brothers, and it’s getting pretty serious. We’re talking about CIF titles and recruiting and deciding which sport and this volleyball thing which went absolutely crazy, because this is the national hotbed for youth volleyball, Southern California, Orange County. And so, it started to get heated up. Tell me about the journey through high school.

Dave Kobrine: Well, they both competed in both high school volleyball and basketball, and did pretty well. Sam, his senior season, made first team CIF in both sports, which is a pretty good accomplishment.

Brad Kearns: Both sports.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, pretty good accomplishment. He was first team, all county in volleyball, which is pretty good. He was actually, I mean, if I’m going to sit here and brag about him – he was the third number three ranked player in the country as far as the recruiting thing that Volleyball Magazine had number three. Which is pretty exciting for him.
He went on a few recruiting trips and we got to stand on the sidelines of the 50-yard line of the Michigan, Ohio State football game in Ohio state, and what a great feeling. 16-years-old, and he’s standing right next to Archie Griffin and the whole place is filled with 110,000 people. So, some pretty neat experiences. But he always was going to go to UCLA. That’s what he wanted. And you saw they made an offer and he took that to play volleyball. He really didn’t have as many offers in basketball because he was such known as a volleyball player.
Then Kevin, he actually rejected playing volleyball. He did not want to play. Sam managed to play all the time in the house and Kevin would say, “No, I’m not playing. I’m not playing.” We’re hitting the ball, he would just let it fall in front of him. And then finally, I told him that, “You know what? If you start playing volleyball, you’re going to be dunking earlier.”

Brad Kearns: Famous one liner. There’s another quote for the show, I love it.

Dave Kobrine: And his eyes lit up. And he said, “Do you think I could dunk in ninth grade?” I said, “I know you’ll dunk in ninth grade.” And so, next year he joined volleyball. And he did dunk in ninth grade.

Brad Kearns: I think that’s the title of the YouTube video “Kevin Ninth Grade Dunk”. When was the 360-dunk of this young kid going up?

Dave Kobrine: I know he did one 360 when he was in 10th grade.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, he’s like on slow motion and the whole thing. So, he went right there to Corona del Mar and just picked up the momentum from his older brother and sailed through incredible seasons for both basketball and volleyball.

Dave Kobrine: Right, right. And they both played club volleyball and that’s where you get all the exposure. And when Kevin, after his sophomore season, he won the MVP of the National Championship Tournament and got a lot of exposure there, and UCLA was calling him. And when John Speraw calls you, he’s the head coach at the Olympic team – it means a lot.
So, he called Kevin a couple times and I told Kevin, “Hey, you should go around and visit other schools. See what’s out there.”

Brad Kearns: Didn’t Sam get a car from Ohio State even though he didn’t go there? Oh no, it’s just a rumor? Okay.

Dave Kobrine: None, of that stuff happened. Yeah. I was waiting for it, but it never came. And I told Kevin, “Go to all these other schools and see …” The SC coach had called a couple times and then Sam called him and said, “Kevin, what school do you want to go to? I mean, you’re not going to go to Harvard, you’re not going to go to Princeton, you’re not going to go to Stanford, UCLA is the best school. Why would you go anywhere else?” And Kevin said, “You’re right.”

Brad Kearns: Wow, his brother recruited him, beautiful. So, Kevin just graduated. So, he’s locked up to go to UCLA and start as a freshman.

Dave Kobrine: No, he’s going to be going to UCLA. He’s not starting as a freshman.

Brad Kearns: Oh, I mean start school as a freshman.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, yeah.

Brad Kearns: No, they don’t give away starting spots. Some of the other schools, yes, but never at UCLA. Didn’t Wooden … was famous for recruiting and saying, “I’ll give you a fair shot.” Didn’t he tell Lew Alcindor, “You’ll have a fair shot at getting some playing time if you come to my school,” instead of, “I’ll give you a house, a car and whatever else.” And I think a lot of the players respect that, yeah.

Dave Kobrine: Absolutely.

Brad Kearns: So, at home, going through these years where it’s starting to get pretty serious and consuming for these young kids’ lives, what was your role and what did you do … you think you did well, and what would you do differently?

Dave Kobrine: Differently? I think, I would probably put a little more balance in our lives. It was just the three of us in the house and my sister lived there as well. And we were just always focused on three of us on sports, whatever sport it was. And we probably didn’t get – not that they got bad grades, but I could have focused more on their grades and their schooling and focus more on reading. Reading is very important. And we didn’t focus enough on stuff like that. So, that’s probably what I would’ve done differently. That’s for sure.

Brad Kearns: You think it would’ve made a difference? I mean, pounding them to do the schoolwork or whatever that wasn’t-

Dave Kobrine: You have to try to find a way to make it interesting to them, and we didn’t do that as well.

Brad Kearns: Did you have any leverage at points where they couldn’t drive to the gym if they didn’t finish their homework or any of that nonsense?

Dave Kobrine: No, I don’t think I did too much of that.

Brad Kearns: Yeah. And so, I imagine in sports, you basically just had to kind of keep them healthy, make sure they’re not overdoing it perhaps or just making good decisions with what teams they’re going to join and how much they’re going to take on or whatever.

Dave Kobrine: There’s some of that, yeah. You do help them through a little bit of that. I let Kevin self-manage himself and he was very good at it. He said to me, he goes, “I’m not going to play club volleyball in the fall, because I really want to focus on my basketball.” Sam, on the other hand, I’m not missing a single game or single practice or anything.”
I mean, when he was 14, he won the gold medal in the junior Olympics, which is the biggest tournament of the year in volleyball. And he was like on cloud nine. And it was like midnight, we were flying home and we’re in the car and he was barely awake and I said, “Oh by the way, Sam, I just got a text and you have your ninth-grade basketball game tomorrow morning at eight in the morning.” It was like midnight and we’re leaving Dallas. I think he says, his response was, “Love it.”

Brad Kearns: Love it. Wow. It sounds like there was what you might call a hands-off approach, especially in comparison to the influences we see around us.

Dave Kobrine: Well, I didn’t have to. I mean, they were self-motivated. So, I didn’t have to push it. They were just doing it themselves. There were a couple of things, minor things I might’ve done. It’s like I had to make sure they were on the right club team because club team in volleyball is very, very important. And he was 14, Sam was a setter, and it was a good position for him. He was a very good setter. And I saw a future in that for him, because I went over and watched the 18-year-old kids play when he was 14. Those are big strong kids that were just pounding the ball. Sam’s not going to be that tall. These guys are six-seven, six-six. He’s not going to be a hitter.
Then the club that he was at, put him as a hitter at 15. And he was a good hitter for a 15-year-old, I thought. And I understand the coach did the right thing for the team and he’s perfect for that team. But I looked at the 18-year-olds and I said, “I know Sam, he’s going to want to play at the highest level.” And when he turns 18, he wants to be on court A1 which is the top players. I’m not sure he’s going to have the size and physicality to play at that level.
So, we moved to a … I called the club and I said, “You know my son …” “We know Sam.” He goes, “We want to maybe move over but if he wants to be a setter, we’ll put him as a setter. In fact, we’ll put him in a position where he could hit and set” And so, we put him over there and then fast forward to when he was 18 and how much I knew about volleyball, is UCLA recruited him as a hitter. So, he actually became a hitter in college.

Brad Kearns: Oh my gosh. It’s kind of like in the AAU basketball, where it’s so competitive so early that the kid who’s six-one in eighth grade is playing posts all the way along. And then he’s six-two in 11th grade. And the kids who were five-four, that were playing point guard, now, they’re six-one. And you wish that you may be focused more on development instead of winning. Did you run into that at all? I mean, these guys are playing on the best teams? And that’s kind of my big grand observation is they focus too much on winning rather than player development.

Dave Kobrine: Absolutely. I tell everybody because people ask me what my thoughts are.

Brad Kearns: What’s your secret? How do you get two kids to have a division one scholarship?

Dave Kobrine: Very lucky. They’re just very lucky. They have the desire and they have some skills in athleticism.

Brad Kearns: Can you share that racist comment you fielded in the stands one day when Sam was performing on the basketball court?

Dave Kobrine: People ask me all the time, “Is their mother a good athlete?” I’m like, “Thanks.” Some of the people are joking and some people, I’m not so sure.

Brad Kearns: What were you going to say after that?

Dave Kobrine: The thing I tell people is that … you talk about the high focus on winning is that these clubs, you really have to be your kid’s advocate in these clubs. You have to look out for your kids in these clubs. Because they’re there to win and they’re there to promote the club. I mean, they want to help the kids, and they do help the kids. But you got to be your kid’s advocate.

Brad Kearns: Nice. Dave, we’ve covered a lot here. We’ve gotten shouted out to just about everybody. Did we shout out to Eric down the hall? I told him to burst in and crash the podcast with his profound insights about following in his father’s footsteps. He gets credit. He’s now at 25 or something.

Dave Kobrine: 23.

Brad Kearns: So, he’s run 23 consecutive Boston Marathons overlapping from Ron. And so, I guess if you put it together, now we’re at 40 something where there’s been a Kobrine finishing that race.

Dave Kobrine: When my father first started, Eric was 10 and he went to every single race my father did. There was a trip that Eric and my father would do every year and my father was accumulating a sturdier streak and one year, Eric showed up and decided to run it also. And now, the roles are switched. My father goes with Eric every year, and watches Eric run it.

Brad Kearns: Oh, beautiful. Oh my gosh. I was talking to your dad a couple of years ago and asked him what his running’s like now? And he goes, “I just walk now.” And it’s like the most graceful transition from that that period of life where it was a really important thing to get on the starting line and go break three hours and have that fun and that competitiveness. And now, just still enjoying the nature, the Nisene Marks trails.
Speaking of enjoying the trails, we didn’t really plug Dr. Stephen a lot. But this guy, I mean, we’re high school teammates. I’m trying to sprint and see if I can do a couple more 200s, and he’s running 100-mile weeks, still. Like vacation from his doctoring job, and he’ll go off and put up on Instagram. What’s on Instagram? Ewildlife photo or something. You could see him running on trails and then there’s a picture of a grizzly bear and then there’s more trails. And oh, it’s going to go viral after this podcast, I think. So, good plug there.

Dave Kobrine: It should be.

Brad Kearns: Yeah, Dave, thanks for spending time here. That was a great show. So glad to catch up and hear about everything.

Dave Kobrine: Yeah, it’s my pleasure. I always enjoy listening to your other shows. So, hey.

Brad Kearns: You can’t beat that morning routine. That’s rock solid, rock solid. We’re going to come film you for a viral YouTube video. Thanks for listening, everyone. Have a great day.

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Hey, let’s talk about Tribali Foods. If you’re super busy and you want a convenient meal to make in a short time, but you don’t want to compromise great taste – gosh, doesn’t that sound like a commercial? It is a commercial, but it’s for something super awesome. And these are frozen organic beef and chicken patties and sliders, with awesome creative flavors like Mediterranean chipotle, Umami with the mushroom mixed in. And also, these sliders, chicken, apple, and pork sage.
What you do, is you take this frozen box, cut with the scissors, the beautiful little pre-made patty. Drop it on the pan, cook it up and it’s ready in a few minutes. And this company is a real, live, authentic girl power entrepreneur small business success story, home kitchen inspired. Welcome everyone to the new world where the big multinational beasts that make garbage food are getting knocked off by people who care about what they eat and about their health.
Tribali was started by my friend Angela Mavridis in Southern California – lifelong family restaurant business member. She was a vegetarian for 35 years and one day she had a steak, felt great, and started on this path of experimenting with creative ground beef recipes and flavorings in her kitchen. All her friends loved it. She was buying tons of ground meat from Whole Foods and they’re like, “Hey, what are you doing with this?”
So, she brought them in a little sample. They loved it. They flew her to Texas to meet with the national buyer and they said, literally, “Start a business and we will place a large order.”
So, this is a wonderful small business success story with love and attention to everything that goes into this product. Delicious, totally keto-friendly. Go, look at the pork mini sliders. We’re talking one gram of carbs, 11 grams of protein, 17 grams of fat, and you get 15% off.
Just visit tribalifoods.com and enter “Get Over Yourself” in the coupon field and you are good to go. Shipped directly to your door, cold-packed, frozen stuff, thought out in a day, and you have quick dinner, quick lunch. And also, available at finer stores like Whole Foods, Whole Dude’s, Nugget, Natural Grocers, Super Targets and launching into Walmart as well. Good job, go girl! Tribalifoods.com.

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I start talking about the life changing insights from the great Deepak Chopra, and end up going off on numerous tangents, crossing over the Breather show barrier and into a full length show.

I mention the benefits of maintaining passionate competitive  goals throughout life. Of course there are periods in life where you are totally consumed with athletics, your heavy metal band, or building your business. These are  healthy phases to strive for your absolute potential, but when life moves into other phases it’s essential to adjust your goals based upon your life circumstances and your advancing age. I mention how today, on the other side of the big 5-0, I want my athletic goals to promote health and longevity, rather than compromise them as my professional triathlon career most certainly did.

I cover highlights from a wonderful podcast with Dr. Chopra on the MindBodyGreen channel. Chopra, the most peaceful of humans, manages to get in some choice digs about the current US President. Deepak observes that  we are living in “collective insanity,” best characterized  by the fact that a “dysfunctional narcissist” is able to win the Presidential election. Deepak speculates we are in an age of excessive violence at all levels: from global conflicts to emotional violence in interpersonal relationships. It’s interesting to think of violence in this perspective, since we usually associate violence with the narrow definition of physical violence (guns, war, police brutality, etc.) Deepak says humanity is on a time clock to extinction if we continue at our current pace of dysfunction. However, he sees potential if the “collective consciousness” progresses as we see signs of today (especially people who are listening to cool podcasts, you know?).

Deepak mentions how he starts every day by reaffirming his “4 Daily Intentions.” This stuff is solid gold – please consider integrating it  into your consciousness. Follow Deepak on social media and check out the MindBodyGreen podcast too. Here  are Deepak’s four daily intentions:

1. Joyful Energetic Body: No toxic people, jobs, or substances.

2. Loving Compassionate Heart: People want attention and acceptance as they are. Even Trump, Deepak says, speculating that Trump  didn’t get that necessary attention as a kid.

3. Reflective Quiet, Alert Mind: Deepak says this is how you access intuition  and the creative flow. This is different than forcing positive thoughts, which can be merely another form of stress.

4. Lightness of Being: Appreciate the present; no anticipation, no regrets.

TIME STAMPS:

We are a swirling mass of atoms according to Dr. Deepak Chopra mind/body expert. [00:01:47]

Everyone should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep. Our sleep patterns can and should fluctuate over the course of the year according to the sun rising and setting.  [00:08:42]

After going to be before 10 at night, Deepak meditates starting at 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. [00:12:53]

He says he has not been stressed in thirty five years!  Deepak talks about “collective insanity” regarding the state of things across the globe. [00:14:36]

The four daily intentions are things Dr. Chopra reminds himself of every single day. [00:18:30]

Joyful energetic body means no toxic people, substances, jobs….get rid of negativity in your environment. [00:18:56]

Have a loving compassionate heart. People generally want to be accepted just as they are. [00:19:22]

Reflective quiet alert mind is how you access intuition and creativity. [00:20:47]

Lightness of being means not having resistance, no anticipation, or regrets.(Going with the flow.) [00:25:33]

The most profound longevity markers are not vegan diet or strenuous exercise but rather a youthful spirit. [00:27:15]

Usually we think of ourselves when someone asks our age, we think of chronological, but we have three ages, not just one [00:29:57]

Psychological age is how you feel. [00:35:00]

The less sugar you consume over a lifetime will correlate with longevity. [00:36:59]

Orthoexia is getting to be a problem and is counterproductive to our idea of healthy lifestyle. [00:38:53]

LINKS:
Deepak Chopra: Mind/Body expert
Peter Attia: Longevity expert
Orthoexia

BOOKS:
Ageless Body/Timeless Mind
Lights Out: Sleep Sugar and Survival
The Blue Zones

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Speaker: Brad Kearns
Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.
“This concept that the most profound longevity marker was not a vegan diet or a strenuous exercise everyday or any of this stuff, but instead, it was a youthful spirit.”
Hi, it’s Brad. I was going to record a short breather show about one of my favorite authors; Deepak Chopra – mind, body, spiritual, medical guru, best-selling author times ‘87. And he just did a great podcast on the Mindbodygreen Channel. I was furiously taking notes and so inspired, remembering these great insights that I continue to hold with me from reading his book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind”. Now, it’s around 30 years ago when that first came out.
But the show went off on numerous tangents, including getting into some commentary about Tiger Woods, including talking about my high jump career as a high school student and into adulthood, and trying to have that bar standard, the delaying of the aging process or that goal. Also, talking about the longevity work of Dr. Peter Attia and blending it with Deepak’s insight, that youthful spirit, psychological youth is the number one most profound longevity attribute among centenarians across the globe.
So, it’s a wide-ranging show with many tangents. I could call it the “Tangent Show” maybe. But it’s going to be centered around the insights from the wonderful author; Dr. Deepak Chopra. So, enjoy. Thank you.
Hey, it’s Brad. I want to do a little breather show about one of my favorite authors; Deepak Chopra. Now, world renowned as the mind, body expert. One of the first guys to really bring mainstream, the blending of Western medicine where he’s classically trained as a physician, longtime practicing physician. And the deep experience of Eastern philosophy that he also brings. I think his first book was “Perfect Health”. He wrote it and it sat around for awhile back in the ‘80s. And then somehow, he got himself on Oprah, and he was talking on a recent podcast how after that Oprah appearance, he sold 1 million copies of his book in the next month. So, the guy went big time really quickly.
It’s now been over 30 years. I know, I was exposed to his incredible book, “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind” back in the late ‘80s. So, that would be 30 years ago. And it was just a page turner with these profound insights that you could call them woo-woo and spiritual, but everything was blended with a scientific reference. So, it was a really rhythmic read where he would propose something like, “Did you know that your cells are constantly turning over, such that you manufacture a new stomach literally every two weeks and a new pair of lungs every six months, and a new skeleton every two years?”
I’m not sure those stats are exactly right, but he was talking about how we are literally just a swirling mass of atoms. We’re not separate from the world around us. These are pretty simple insights from Bradley. Not sure how they line up with the proper syntax from the scientific perspective. But you can kind of get what I’m getting at, and definitely pick up one of his books. He’s written, I think he said 87 books or some crazy number when he was on the Mindbodygreen Podcast. I would highly recommend “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind”. And just going into that for a few pages and getting these amazing insights that kind of change your perspective.
I remember back in the ‘80s or early ‘90s, my friend Janey was into him too and she urged me to go to a public event in Sacramento where he was speaking. And she says, “You got to see this guy in person. There’s nothing like it. He actually glows. He has an aura around him and it’s phenomenal and it’s amazing.” And so, I went to this event with all the woo-woo people. There was a couple thousand people in this giant hotel ballroom. And then afterward, we went up front to kind of get a look at him. Not trying to get a picture or get an autograph because he was swarmed with people. Kind of an informal swarm after his formal talk was over. And I have to admit he really was glowing.
This guy had the biggest smile and you could just feel this positive energy around him, and giving out that love as he gave during his talk, captivating the crowd. So, it really was something else to get up close and see this guy in person. The only other time I’ve experienced anything like that, was going to watch Tiger Woods play golf in person during his heyday back in 2005, somewhere around there. And I urged my friends to come with me the following year because it’s just something else to see this guy with the crowd surrounding him, just come out there and with the energy and the magnificent swing that he puts on the ball and the stuff he can do on a golf course. TV does not do it justice.
Generally speaking, it’s great to watch a golf tournament on TV because they’re covered so well. And now, you have the shot track where you can see the actual shape of the ball as it’s going live off the club face and all the different cameras showing everybody trying to catch up to each other. But if you have a chance, and now that Tiger’s back, this is especially important, get yourself out to a golf course to watch this guy play. There’s nothing like it. I’m going to call him the greatest athlete of all time in any sport for what he’s done at such a high level for so long. And yeah, the crashing and burning and the drama kind of distracts people from the athletic exploits that this guy has shown. And I’m not worried about who he is or what he’s doing off the course. I’m just entertained by his golfing skill and applying those insights to improve my life.
You know, I wrote a book about him called “How Tiger Does It”. This was before he crashed and burned. But most everything in there still is highly relevant to anyone interested in peak performance, and some of the insights that I gather from watching him and put into the book.
So, yeah, it’s tough making it through real life unscathed, especially when you’re in the high-profile celebrity scene. It’s just tough. I can imagine. Not that I’ve been there with my own boat trying to fight off the Paparazzi and so forth. But you can imagine how difficult it is to be in that celebrity spotlight all the time.
In his case, Tiger’s case, oh my gosh, the new biography that came out, the most comprehensive exhaustive biography and talking to everybody involved in every step of the way from childhood, paints a really … it’s a little bit of a disturbing picture of how isolated and strange his upbringing was, where he was programmed to be this golf champion. And everybody thought that was cool and thought his dad was so cool for mentoring him all the way and making him tough and competitively resilient.
But the dad doesn’t come out very well in this biography. Kind of a strange character that contributed to a dysfunctional childhood upbringing. And consequently, very likely, I don’t know, we’ll talk to a psychologist about that, but very likely contributing him to engaging in that train wreck behavior as an adult.
But, by some account, it seems like he’s maturing, moving on, growing as a person. You can see him more friendly with the media and fans and back enjoying the game. Especially with all those health problems. He’s probably appreciating just the chance to hit a ball without that pain and suffering that he had with his numerous surgeries, especially the back and the knees and things like that. So, I guess I was going to make this about Deepak, but I’ll also call it the “Deepak and Tiger Rumblings Ruminations”.
But anyway, back to Deepak and some of the stuff he covered in the recent podcast. Just given you some great highlights. You can go and listen to it at Mindbodygreen Podcast. So, nice plug for them for sitting down, Jason Wachob, sitting down with Deepak and getting into it.
I like his daily routine – one of the things he mentioned. He says he’s in bed before 10 without fail, oftentimes in bed before nine. How about that? And then I reference all my research and passion for the subject of sleep and the incredible book “Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival”. Where the authors – Formby and Wiley talk about our genetic expectations to sleep when it gets dark. So, we’re programmed for two and a half million years. Our genes are programmed to flood the bloodstream with melatonin on cue, soon after it gets dark in our environment. And for millions of years, that meant when the sun set.
So, we’re highly, highly calibrated with all our genetic and hormonal functions to operate on this sleep and wake cycle that is closely aligned with the rising and setting of the sun. We’re programmed to wake up when the sun rises and get a burst of energy and inspiration and cognitive clarity in conjunction with the rising of the sun and the consequent lowering of melatonin and increasing of serotonin into the bloodstream. The feel-good hormone that gives us that energy and alertness as well as the prominent stress hormone, cortisol. Which is often discussed in a disparaging manner as in producing too much cortisol chronically and causing breakdown illness, immune burnout.
But cortisol is supposed to spike first thing in the morning, and that’s what gives us the energy to go about our busy day. So, we wildly screw that up by introducing artificial light and digital stimulation after dark. And so, right now, as the authors say in the book, it’s not when it gets dark, it’s when we make it dark. So, we flip the switch and only then is our body experiencing the darkness that it was supposed to experience hours before.
So, one interesting insight out of the book was that our sleep patterns can and should fluctuate based on the amount of sunlight in our environment over the course of the year. So, unless you live at the equator where the days don’t change very much from summer to winter, it gets dark at seven in the summer and six in the winter, when you’re down in the tropics. But for most of us, let’s say in Europe, North America, Asia, other areas where we’re up above the tropics, we’re going to have some significant variation between the length of the day in the winter and the length of the day in the summer.
So, in lights out, they propose that everyone should be getting at least eight hours a night. Per medical expertise as often, that’s shown as the optimal baseline. So, in the wintertime, you should be getting possibly up to nine and a half hours of sleep. And in the summer, you can probably get away with eight. But that level of fluctuation, that’s a big generality because it strongly depends on how far above the equator you are, what latitude you live at. And if you live in Scandinavia, Alaska, areas like that, you’re going to have even more fluctuation between your summer sleeping hours and your winter sleeping hours.
So, maybe going up to 10, 10 and a half hours a night if you’re living in those dark climates where you get seasonal effective disorder and all those things. Your body is just simply meant to be hibernating, not operating anywhere near your summer functionality.
For those of us in a more reasonable latitude where we have that, getting dark at five in the winter and getting dark at nine in the summer, like me here in northern California, we’re going to strive to increase those hours of sleep during the winter. Tone down the exercise ambitions just because it’s colder, darker. Your body’s not meant to be pushing at peak condition like you might be trying to do in the summer. A lot of times for athletes, that aligns with the competitive schedule, so that’s cool. But just being respectful of that fluctuation between your summer and winter patterns, especially when it comes to hours of sleep.
Another aside, but back to Deepak’s daily routine. So, he’s often in bed before 9:00 PM, definitely before 10. Of course, watch out coming on the flip side, rising at 4:00 AM and meditating from four to six. Wow, that’s a big chunk of time and that’s why he’s a healthy guy, leading the charge for mind, body wellness and health. But wow, what a huge commitment. Not saying we are all advocated to model that. I know I’m not going to meditate from 4:00 to 6:00 AM anytime soon. But oh boy, wouldn’t it be nice to somehow get in bed often before 9 and for sure before 10. I really, really would love to do that. And boy, you just seem to run out of time a lot, don’t you?
But I’m really trying to say that 10 is my goal. And then when I see that 11, oh my gosh, that’s when I really do exert some discipline and I just flip that lid closed. If I happen to have a screen in front of me and I’m engaging in entertainment or catching up on work or doing something, that is the absolute drop-dead deadline to jump into bed.
So, I hate when it’s 11 and I’ve missed my goal of 10 and my secondary goal of 10:30, which is my realistic usual lights out time, 10:30. I always say 10, usually 10:30. And when it’s 11, I feel a little bit disgusted that I broke my promise. And that’s what really gets me fired up, motivated to just slam the door, slam the light switch, slam the computer close.
Also, Deepak is going to yoga class seven days a week. So, he’s got that down, he’s got the meditation down. He makes sure that he gets his 10,000 steps everyday. And he eats what he calls mostly plant-based, mostly vegetarian style diet. So, good for him. Pretty healthy and all those things contributing to his comment that he literally has not been stressed in 35 years. He reflects back to his early days as a physician and in residency, overworking, and he was smoking and drinking too much back then. Imagine that, Deepak Chopra. But he says, “Yeah, it’s been about 35 years since I’ve been really stressed.” Oh my gosh, I love that comment. Hilarious.
He goes, “Now, I experience flickers of stress.” And one of the things that really stressed him recently was the presidential election. He has a lot of juicy stuff to say, peppered in throughout the show about Trump. And I really appreciate the way he expressed his opinion on that. He’s always coming from a kind, gentle, loving place, but talking about how the collective insanity (that’s a quote) of today’s world is deeply concerning him. And he actually put a time clock on it. He says, we’re on a clock right now. The way we’re behaving and operating with our abuse of the natural environment and our attempt to solve problems through violence at all levels. Talking about the national level, the world global level of course with our concerns about North Korea and the violence in these countries in the Middle East.
But also, trying to solve problems through violence at the personal, interpersonal relationship level. Not Physical violence necessarily, but emotional violence, emotional abuse, things like that. Really profound things to think about right now.
He’s also looking at radical poverty as another one of these things that are indicative of collective insanity on the globe. And pointing out that the ability for someone like Trump to get elected is also another indication that we’re engaging in collective insanity. The news cycle where we’re constantly fed 24 hours a day, this fear-based programming – another example. So, he predicts that if we continue on our wayward ways, our collective insanity, we’re looking at extinction of the human race in 30 years.
Now, in the next breath, he has that hope and that positive inspiration for the future that we are building a critical mass of collective consciousness to pursue a more joyful and peaceful world. And that if we can keep heading down this road, then massive change is possible. But it does take that awakening of the collective consciousness. I love that.
Oh, one more thing for his daily routine is that every morning he does one Instagram post and one Facebook live post. And then he goes off social media and goes about his busy day. He does a lot of work at the Chopra Institute in La Jolla, California where people can come for a retreat-type experience, and who knows what else he’s doing with his incredibly busy schedule and great communication to the large following in the world.
So, I like that idea where he’s taking his day off of engagement in that constant hyperconnectivity stimulation of social media. But again, in the evening he’ll spend 30 minutes getting his news and scanning the social media, if necessary, wherever he wants to obtain his news from. But again, trying really hard to filter out what he calls the militant skeptics. So, he doesn’t give a hoot about those folks. And also, filtering out that collective insanity and focusing on the interesting stuff. Trying to stay hopeful, right?
One really cool thing that he talked about was the four daily intentions. And these are the four things that he reminds himself every single day of how he wishes to live his life. So, it’s kind of that, the morning affirmation during the meditation or finishing the meditation, I would assume.
The first one, he says, is joyful, energetic body. So, this means no toxic people, no toxic substances, no toxic jobs. Get rid of toxicity and negativity in your environment and preserve that joyful, energetic body. Eating healthy foods, healthy situations. So, pretty simple to understand that one. I love that; joyful, energetic body.

The next one, he reminds himself, the next intention is to have a loving, compassionate heart. And he explains that people are looking for attention and acceptance. Acceptance as they are. He says even Trump. So, that’s interesting to think about. Where it’s not often that people come to you looking for critical feedback, right? They’re sometimes hopefully open and receptive to it. Especially in those situations where you’re sitting down with your boss at a performance review, you’re going to make yourself open to possibly critical or constructive feedback. But generally speaking, people want to be accepted even as they are, or just as they are. And they also want the attention.
So, how about that? You go with a loving, compassionate heart throughout your day. You give people the attention they crave and the acceptance they deserve without trying to change them, fix them, lecture. Especially someone like me in the health and fitness realm where I’m working hard, trying to spread a message, create programming and then realizing sometimes the hard way over the years, that you have to wait until people are ready to receive, to even bother with trying to dispense a message or effect their mindset, change their mind. It’s not going to work. So, instead, come to it with a loving, compassionate heart.

The third daily intention is reflective, quiet, alert mind. This is how you access intuition, creativity, vision, and imagination, and are able to live life in a state of flow and have those peak experience as we talk about so much and strive to accomplish, trying to get into that flow state. And if you’re starting to bristle at his sort of breezy, woo-woo statements that he’s famous for, again, he details so very well in his books how these concepts are scientifically validated. That if you can create the situation of a reflective, quiet, alert mind, if you can strive for that position, you will get into this flow state and be at your peak cognitive function.
The great researcher on the concept of flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, has books on this topic and brain science and brain research telling us that when we have fears and anxieties, and all these modern afflictions that are so epidemic, we get into this overactive, monkey mind state where we’re just constantly processing thoughts, often negative thoughts. We are consequently producing stress hormones and inhibiting the flow-like state where our brains work the best. What’s actually happening is reducing oxygen delivery to the brain, increasing inflammation in the brain due to the nature of our thoughts, stress, anxiety, fear, things like that.

So, one thing on this note that Deepak was talking about, the reflective quiet, alert mind that really spoke to me was he said, don’t force yourself to be positive. Don’t force those positive thoughts through. Because I’ve tried really hard to be a positive person and navigate stress and navigate difficulties with this unfailingly positive, optimistic approach. And I feel like that has served me pretty well. You could have worse problems, but a lot of times it’s not helping the situation. It’s sort of a fake way or an inauthentic way to maybe avoid pain, suffering, hard conversations that need to be had. But instead, you’re just smiling your way through it or saying, “Hey, things could be worse.”
I know in my case, things like necessary career transitions or financial difficulties or things like that, where I was always looking on the bright side rather than getting into the heart of my problems and facing them like a grownup. I just kind of tried to smile my way through it and doesn’t work too well.
So, what Deepak said about that was being exasperatingly positive is just another form of stress and can actually cause for a turbulent mind. I feel like I also lose touch with my real emotions when I’m unfailingly positive, and I’m not really examining my present situation very well. Especially looking at my weaknesses and things like that. A quick example, let’s say, I’m going to a race and I get my ass kicked and I come home smiling because, “Hey, at least I got seventh place and I got a check. If I had gotten ninth, I wouldn’t have got anything. And I’ll do better next time. Just think on the bright side.”
But maybe if I look deeper and realize that perhaps, I was goofing around in my training prior to the race or I had overtrained because I made mistakes and wasn’t as disciplined with my thought processes and my commitment to be intuitive rather than regimented. My ego, my insecurities got in the way of my trading decisions. And none of that stuff came out because I was talking myself into how fortunate I was to be seventh place.
That’s a pretty simple example and this stuff also plays out when it comes to relationships or career decisions. Where you can say, “Hey, at least I got a job right now.” Instead of looking deeper and saying, “I’m drifting away from my passions and my highest expressions of my talents and I have to do something about it, immediately. I have to go get my resume back onto the website and be aggressive and proactive about keeping aligned with my mission and my highest talents. Okay. So, reflective, quiet, alert mind instead of that exasperatingly positive mindset. Love that one.
Finally, the fourth one, the fourth daily intention is lightness of being. And in this situation, he’s talking about not having resistance, not having any anticipations, and not having any regrets. Operate with this standing conclusion that there is no explanation for anything. Okay, that’s getting a little deep for Deepak. Love that one though. A lightness of being, just going with the flow is how I would define that for the layman’s purposes, right? Just a lightness of being. No anticipation. How about that one? Think about that for a second.
You’re anticipating how this is going to go, how that’s going to go. You’re going to the speed dating night at the eight-minute table and you’re wondering and thought processing and playing out scenarios in your busy, active monkey mind rather than a reflective, quiet, alert mind. So, great stuff and notice how they tie together so well.
So, again, a review, the joyful, energetic body. Get rid of toxic substances, circumstances, people, jobs, great stuff.
Next, the loving, compassionate heart. Knowing that people crave attention and acceptance as they are.
Next, a reflective, quiet, alert mind. This is how you access intuition, creativity, vision and imagination, and get into that flow state. Don’t force those positive thoughts or be exasperatingly positive just for the sake of being positive. That’s merely another form of stress.
Finally, a lightness of being, without resistance, anticipation or regrets.
I want to get a little deeper into his concepts that he presented about longevity that have stuck with me for 30 years, just absolutely mind-blowing. And this was content in the book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind”. And the lasting memory I have from that is that he’s talking about the most profound longevity markers for humanity, and how studies of pockets of centenarians around the globe have come up with this concept that the most profound longevity marker was not a vegan diet or a strenuous exercise every day or any of this stuff. But instead, it was a youthful spirit that was the most common longevity attribute, the most profound longevity attribute shared by disparate pockets of centenarians around the globe.
I think there was an anecdote from a 113-year-old lady in one of those longevity pockets in the Caucasus mountains, Russia. And she was working in her garden on her hands and knees. And the interviewer said, “Why don’t you get someone to help you? You’re 113, you’re still digging a hole for your tomatoes.” And her answer was, “Well, this is my garden.”
Now we have books called “The Blue Zones”, a popular best-selling book, where the guy is traveling around the world and examining the lifestyle practices of these folks that live in the blue zones. One of them is the Island of Sicily and the traditional lifestyle that’s there. How the people engage in these nurturing social occasions. And that was a profound one for him. And also, they get plenty of exercise. They’re eating this healthy Mediterranean diet. He talks about the Okinawans and how some of their social practices, their social customs are really supportive of longevity as well as the healthy dietary patterns. And it goes on and on. So, some of this stuff is now 30 years later being a promoted and further studied by the great book, “The Blue Zones”.
Oh, another pocket was the Seventh Day Adventist in Loma Linda, California, random. But these Seventh Day Adventists who were abstaining from toxic substance and also have this great social network. Most people look at them as a little bit off the beaten path, a little unusual with their deep religious practices. But a lot of good longevity benefits for those folks.
Here’s another one that’s just stuck in my mind for so long where Deepak is detailing how usually we think of ourselves when we ask how old we are. We just think in terms of chronological age. But literally, scientifically validated fact that we actually have three ages, not just one. Chronological age, the year you were born is the least important of the three. The other two ages are first, your physical age. And this thing has been leveraged in the fitness world into a business model.
I remember the website, it used to be called realage.com. I don’t know if it’s still there. There’s many others like this where you take a questionnaire and it spits out what your real age is or your physical age. So, hopefully you get a score at or below your chronological age. But the concept of physical age. Let’s take Jack LaLanne, when he was 90-years-old and he was able to do 100 pull ups. He would be in the 99.99 percentile for the 21-year-old males walking around the college campuses, even the athletic types. So, he literally had the body of a 21-year-old when he was 90 because he was able to perform these incredible feats. And there’s no other metric that’s necessary to talk about.
I jump over a high jump bar that’s higher than it was when I was in high school. In high school, I was a skinny, little distance running geek with no power and I loved high jump. I just loved the fascinating physics aspects of it and the challenge of transferring energy from a curved run up over to jumping over the bar, spitting out of that vortex and trying to launch yourself over the bar. And I also, had no really natural physical aptitude for it. I was built to be an endurance athlete, which is not explosive power, but more of just the carrying on and being able to suffer. So, the high jump was sort of my passion to go and practice after I finished the brutal workouts of the long-distance running crew.
So, when I was this little high school guy, I could only jump five feet, which is not bad. It shows that I have some competency. I knew how to bend over the bar, but as I picked up the sport again, when I got older, finished with my endurance career, my triathlon racing, looking for something fun to do and coaching the middle school kids in the various track events.
So, I was drawn back to the high jump and I got pretty serious about it and trained a lot and do a lot of jumping sessions and was able to improve my personal record over the years. Starting at age 40, when I returned to it, I cleared five feet again. So, back to where I was in high school. And then over the ensuing years, I got up to a personal best of five-foot six, also clearing five-foot five at the age of 51. Which if I looked at the rankings for USA masters, the senior track and field competitors, that was equivalent to a top 10 performance.
Of course, I didn’t do it in a meet because I don’t care enough to go sign up and pay for going to a meet and waiting around for my turn to jump. I just like to do it in an empty high school stadium when no one’s there. But it was a great achievement for me because it also represents that I’m doing everything I can to delay the aging process. If I’m able to do an explosive, powerful effort, which requires a lot of flexibility, fitness, all those explosiveness, all those attributes that you’re supposed to lose when you age, I can say that I’m in the similar physical condition at age 50 plus as I was when I was a 17-year-old high school in many measures, by many measures. Okay?
Of course, I can’t do a one hour 46-minute Olympic distance triathlon anymore. I’d probably need an extra hour to get across the finish line of those same race courses that I used to slam. But in many ways, those capabilities that I displayed when I was a professional competitor are not aligned with longevity. So, I was very fast and very narrowly suited for the challenge of Olympic distance triathlon. But that training, to get to that point, came at expense to my health and arguably accelerated aging during those 10 years when I was training at that extreme level.
So, now, with my goals being weighted toward, of course, having fun, continuing to have passionate competitive goals, but also golf that promote longevity. It feels a lot better. So, my physical age, whatever it is, I don’t think you have to put a number on it, but it’s just to keep that concept that you’re challenging your body to perform physical feats of fitness and competency that delay the aging process.
Then finally, the most important according to Deepak, is your psychological age. The most profound promoter of longevity is your psychological age, and that’s how old do you feel. Now, this is strongly correlated with your physical age. When I clear the high jump bar at five-five when I’m 51-years-old, I feel young and excited and exuberant and boy, it’s really nicely aligned. And if I was hobbling over with a cane to watch a track meet of young kids jumping over the high jump bar, I wouldn’t have that same psychological sense of youthfulness.
So, keeping fit, keeping active, keeping healthy, engaging in hobbies, nurturing a dynamic social community, not getting stuck in toxic situations, toxic jobs, toxic relationships. Not narrowing your social circle as we commonly see in the aging process where people get out less and less, they have fewer and fewer friends. You got to do something about that and preserve that youthful spirit and that young psychological age.
What’s really cool is all this stuff is, what would you call it? Sort of in the esoteric category, but you can nicely blend this stuff with the modern, medical and scientific work on longevity from folks like Dr. Peter Attia – the longevity expert who’s known for his endurance exploits and testing the human limits of the body and performing these intense self-experiments. Where he’s injecting himself with insulin and seeing how he can handle it or peddling on a bicycle and measuring his output and his ratio of energy burned when he changes his diet. Showing that he can become fat-adapted to a profound effect where he’s burning mostly fat instead of mostly sugar just from a short period of dietary modification.
Great stuff. And Dr. Peter Attia’s insight that he floored Mark and I with when we were interviewing him for the Keto Reset Diet book, was that his favorite all time longevity marker is Insulin AUC – Insulin Area Under the Curve. Meaning that the less amount of insulin you can produce over your lifetime is going to be directly correlated with how long you live. It could also be characterized as the less sugar you consume over a lifetime is going to correlate directly with longevity.

It is known that across all species, the individuals who produce the least amount of insulin tend to live the longest. And we can’t test this with humans. We can’t starve humans and see that the more they fast and the more meals they skip, the longer they live. But there’s been some good science to support this. And actually, there has been some experiments, the famous experiments by Dr. George Cahill at Harvard in the ‘60s that Peter has studied intently. Where he was able to actually starve these folks for 40 days, wilfully and notice their blood ketone levels, their glucose levels, blood glucose levels and blood insulin levels, and how those things sort of adjusted to the lengthy period of caloric restriction. And how many health benefits came out of that.

So, it’s undisputed in the scientific community that fasting and calorie restriction is strongly correlated with longevity. Not a lot of us are interested in starving ourselves for years and decades, just so we can live a little bit longer. But the idea of transitioning over into a low-insulin producing diet is very interesting and strongly correlated with longevity.
Now, here’s the missing piece that I’m going to close the show with when we talk about Deepak and the youthful spirit and enjoying life. And then we talk about the nuts and bolts and the logistics of minimizing your insulin production. We kind of want to wed those two together so that you’re enjoying yourself in the process of optimizing your diet and your exercise program. Because what we’re seeing now, especially in the ancestral health community, the people on the cutting edge and trying new stuff and willing and disciplined to do whatever it takes to be healthier and clean up their diet even further, is this concept or this condition of Orthorexia that’s an excessive obsession with the perfect or with the correct, to the extent that it brings stress into your life.
So, when we get too worked up about eating a perfect diet or avoiding unhealthy foods like the plague, it tends to increase basic stress level. Because you’re going around, seeing that your choices are minimized. You’re passing on the celebratory events of life because you absolutely can’t let a bite of cheese cake cross your lips. And if you have a few sweet potato fries, you feel guilty and you feel bad about yourself. And these negative emotions come into the picture.

So, we want to carefully blend this commitment to health with the idea that we want to have those four intentions everyday, right? Joyful, energetic body. Loving, compassionate heart. Reflective, quiet, alert, mind and lightness of being. And when we talk about joyful, energetic body, so we definitely don’t want to get too worked up about our commitment to healthy eating, such that it brings negative energy and stress into the picture. But we also don’t want to drift too far over onto the rationalization side where we’re saying, “Hey, everything in moderation seven times a day,” as we shovel junk food down our throats at every opportunity.
So, it’s a difficult balance, a difficult tight rope to walk. I’m really in favor of enjoying life and being mindful and celebratory at times, where you can really, really enjoy yourself and have really well chosen, exquisitely crafted treats. If they’re going to enter into your mouth, make sure it’s the absolute best homemade celebration time, treat of whatever you choose. Whether it’s alcoholic beverage or a delicious dessert or something like that. But the mindless consumption of junk food, followed by the rationalization that everything in moderation is the way to go. That stuff I’m going to challenge.
So, we put that altogether, that insulin area under the curve objective for longevity and then the youthful spirit. And then we have some fun stuff. Thank you for listening to this show. Talk to you soon. Let me know what you think.
Hey, let’s talk about Tribali Foods. If you’re super busy and you want a convenient meal to make in a short time, but you don’t want to compromise great taste – gosh, doesn’t that sound like a commercial? It is a commercial, but it’s for something super awesome. And these are frozen organic beef and chicken patties and sliders, with awesome creative flavors like Mediterranean chipotle, Umami with the mushroom mixed in. And also, these sliders, chicken, apple, and pork sage.
What you do, is you take this frozen box, cut with the scissors, the beautiful little premade patty. Drop it on the pan, cook it up and it’s ready in a few minutes. And this company is a real, live, authentic girl power entrepreneur small business success story, home kitchen inspired. Welcome everyone to the new world where the big multinational beasts that make garbage food are getting knocked off by people who care about what they eat and about their health.
Tribali was started by my friend Angela Mavridis in Southern California – lifelong family restaurant business member. She was a vegetarian for 35 years and one day she had a steak, felt great, and started on this path of experimenting with creative ground beef recipes and flavorings in her kitchen. All her friends loved it. She was buying tons of ground meat from Whole Foods and they’re like, “Hey, what are you doing with this?”
So, she brought them in a little sample. They loved it. They flew her to Texas to meet with the national buyer and they said, literally, “Start a business and we will place a large order.”
So, this is a wonderful small business success story with love and attention to everything that goes into this product. Delicious, totally keto-friendly. Go, look at the pork mini sliders. We’re talking one gram of carbs, 11 grams of protein, 17 grams of fat, and you get 15% off.
Just visit tribalifoods.com and enter “Get Over Yourself” in the coupon field and you are good to go. Shipped directly to your door, cold-packed, frozen stuff, thought out in a day, and you have quick dinner, quick lunch. And also, available at finer stores like Whole Foods, Whole Dude’s, Nugget, Natural Grocers, Super Targets and launching into Walmart as well. Good job, go girl! Tribalifoods.com.

 

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