Real Mind Control: Trying The 21 Day No Complaint Experiment Endorsed by Tim Ferriss

Topics: Brain, Brain Priming, Challenge, Donations, Essentialism, Future, Happiness, Health, Investing, Life, Minimalism, Motivation, Nature, Perspective, Philosophy, Positivity, Purpose, School of Thought, Stoicism, Videos/Movies, Visualizing

Real Mind Control: Trying The 21 Day No Complaint Experiment Endorsed by Tim Ferriss

Note* If you need to find something in the video you missed or remembered, you can search for key terms down below by: Control + F Windows and Command + F Mac.

When commenting* Collaborating is amazing. Critical feedback is welcome. I am keeping it Good Vibes Only anything else will be deleted. Share The Love. No spam or personal branding!!!! Thank you. Let’s make some new ideas and have fun:)]

00:00
in the long run your brain is rewired to
00:02
think negatively you find it way easy to
00:04
be negative then positive you regardless
00:06
of what’s happening around you I have
00:09
wanted to do this challenge for the
00:11
longest time but for some reason I have
00:13
been avoiding it as if it’s a negative
00:15
thing for me to do or something bad
00:16
might happen but the reality is that
00:18
there’s absolutely no downside to doing
00:20
a 21-day of no complaining like that’s
00:22
crazy that I’ve been protecting it so I
00:24
think it’s just because I’m scared I’m
00:26
nervous about the idea that I’m gonna
00:27
catch myself about complaining so many
00:29
times but I also understand the positive
00:31
impact this is gonna have on my life
00:33
because recently for some freaking
00:35
reason I have gone into like a bit of a
00:37
complaining marathon and even though my
00:40
life is great I have a house I have food
00:42
on the table I still find so many things
00:45
to complain about and I am sick and
00:46
tired of it I know I’m complaining I
00:48
don’t want to do it I’m aware of it like
00:50
I’m looking at myself from the outside
00:51
been like okay this is crazy
00:53
what the hell are you doing but I crew
00:55
stuff myself then I read this article
00:56
when you repeated behavior such as
00:57
complaining your neurons branch out to
00:59
each other to ease the flow of
01:00
information this makes it easier to
01:02
repeat the behavior in the future so
01:04
easy a fact that you might not even
01:06
realize you’re doing it dr. Bradbury
01:08
right on that make things easy for you
01:10
thanks Bree but this can also work
01:12
negatively for you as is in the case of
01:14
complaining and a negative might sit in
01:16
the long run the brain is rewired to
01:19
think negatively you find it way easy to
01:21
be negative than positive you regardless
01:23
of what’s happening around you when I
01:24
read that that kind of really blew my
01:26
mind because that’s exactly what’s going
01:27
on in my life I don’t want to be that
01:29
person furthermore a research from
01:30
Stanford University has shown that if
01:32
you complain it shrinks your hyper
01:34
campus an area of the brain that is
01:35
critical to problem Stroeve shows a
01:38
pretty problem-solving and intelligent
01:40
thought the hippocampus is the primary
01:42
area that gets destroyed by Alzheimer’s
01:43
which scares the shit out of me because
01:45
my grandpa had Alzheimer’s and I sure as
01:47
hell don’t want that and then when you
01:49
complain the body releases a stress
01:51
hormone called cortisol meaning that
01:53
you’re basically stuffing up your immune
01:54
system and you’re opening yourself up to
01:56
a lot of diseases such as heart disease
01:58
oh and I just read diabetes and stroke
02:00
as well which is funny because that also
02:02
runs in my fan
02:03
that’s so they would to any one day
02:04
complaint challenge studs today I am
02:06
actually so excited because if I have
02:07
the chance to rewire my brain that is
02:09
awesome
02:09
but the reason I’m making this video now
02:10
and not after the challenge is because I
02:12
figured out how much cooler it would be
02:14
if I got you guys involved in this
02:16
because I’m not here just to change my
02:17
life I also want you guys to have like
02:19
an epic life and doing something like
02:20
this is not negative like I don’t have
02:23
to be like learning doctor’s orders make
02:25
sure you check with your doctor know
02:27
stop complaining with me it’s gonna be
02:29
21 days it’s gonna be tough because I
02:31
think it’s being approximately like 20
02:33
minutes and then me and Leona I’ve
02:34
already complained and that sucks he’s
02:38
gonna be very very hard we’re gonna be
02:40
stuffing at the lot but it’s worth a try
02:42
if it means your health and your life is
02:44
gonna get better like why not so if
02:46
you’re gonna join me on this journey why
02:48
don’t you just tag me in your instant
02:49
story so I can follow along with your
02:51
journey as well they’re coming out cross
02:52
like changes in your body like you’re
02:54
like whoa I just noticed that this about
02:55
me has changed over this journey at
02:57
surreal amour and then I can check out
02:59
what’s going on and also having someone
03:00
accountable like me all your friends do
03:02
it with a friend of yours it means that
03:04
we’re gonna make sure we stick to this
03:05
so my accountability buddy is obviously
03:07
Leon to the side of the 21 days of no
03:09
complaints right now and also at the end
03:12
of this challenge if we happen to
03:13
complain we’re going to count that as
03:15
one euro every single time and then
03:17
whatever money that ends up being we’re
03:19
going to donate it to charity I’m
03:20
thinking goats
03:21
Aniki because it’s cute or the
03:23
conservation of Iceland oh boy
03:25
it’s not too much complaining okay so if
03:28
you’re still here that means that you’re
03:30
kind of considering this challenge and I
03:31
like it I’m gonna assume that yes you’re
03:33
going ahead and here are some extra
03:34
steps that are gonna help us all succeed
03:36
when you feel like a complaint is coming
03:38
on be in the attitude of gratitude
03:40
because when you shift your attention
03:42
from complaining to a positive aspect of
03:44
what’s going on in your life if it’s
03:46
raining it’s raining trees have water
03:49
that’s great I can breathe
03:51
you could be able to find something to
03:53
be grateful for and it’s gonna reduce
03:54
the stress hormone cortisol but 23
03:57
percentage of instance so if there is
04:00
something genuinely that means
04:01
complaining like if someone’s very rude
04:03
towards you add a shop or whatever first
04:05
consider it’s just the problem that may
04:07
be having a really bad day too if you
04:09
feel it’s unexcusable go into this
04:11
situation with a problem-solving
04:13
attitude
04:14
so have a clear outcome of what you want
04:16
to actually changed if you don’t have a
04:17
clear outcome maybe you’re just feeling
04:19
like complaining so catch is so fat on
04:22
that if you have a complaint against a
04:24
person make sure you go into this with
04:25
first a positive statement because no
04:28
one likes to be told this shit give them
04:29
a compliment first and then give them
04:31
what you would like to be changed and
04:33
then end it with a compliment it is like
04:35
the sandwich solution it gets all of us
04:37
over there live and lastly make sure you
04:39
check out who you’re hanging out with
04:40
because naturally humans have a tendency
04:43
to mirror each other because there is
04:45
how we empathize with one another little
04:47
connections and so forth if you’re in
04:48
the presence of some of that complaints
04:49
a hell of a lot mm-hmm
04:52
all of us have that friend you just need
04:53
to tell them my friend is Cameron are
04:56
you complaining so that’s it for me make
04:59
sure you tag me on your incest or e if
05:01
you are in I really hope you are let’s
05:03
do this guys let’s do this
05:04
check out my Instagram for more and I
05:06
look forward to seeing you next time and
05:07
as always thank you very much for
05:09
listening

21 Day No Complaint Challenge Review | Summary | Tim Ferriss – Real Mind Control: The 21-Day No-Complaint Experiment

Topics: Brain, Brain Priming, Challenge, Future, Happiness, Health, Investing, Life, Love, Motivation, Nature, Perspective, Philosophy, Positivity, Purpose, School of Thought, Stoicism, Visualizing

“Don’t be overheard complaining…Not even to yourself.”
– Marcus Aurelius

“When we blather about trivial things, we ourselves become trivial, for our attention gets taken up with trivialities. You become what you give your attention to.”
– Epictetus

“Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable… then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well. Just remember: you can endure anything your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so. In your interest, or in your nature.”

– Marcus Aurelius

“But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
– Tim Ferriss

My Review

  After hearing about The No Complaint Challenge from Tim and after testing with no complaining, I have found my ability to be self-aware increased exponentially. Sometimes we fall into patterns or habits that are not beneficial for us and we do them because they are easy. Our brain chooses the path of least resistance. This challenge is effective because it creates a little annoying task that makes you think twice before complaining. I now put a bracelet on my foot because I don’t like things on my wrist. Overall this is a net positive challenge and has continued to be a part of my life and makes me more self-aware. I highly recommend this challenge because complaining is worthless and doesn’t accomplish anything also no one wants to hear it haha.

Enjoy:)

Much Love Tim

Real Mind Control: Trying The 21 Day No Complaint Experiment Endorsed by Tim Ferriss

[Note: Do Not comment on this blog about this video. If you want to collab and create a discussion regarding this video please do it in the link here with the video. All comments are for this blog in general. Thank you:) Also you can search for almost anything that was in the video in these links if you have to go back to something.

https://cjlewis.blog/2019/05/06/real-mind-control-trying-the-21-day-no-complaint-experiment-endorsed-by-tim-ferriss/

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Enter Tim

The thought-awareness bracelet and the latest straw that broke the camel’s back.

“This $@#&ing Mac will be the death of me. Intuitive, my ass.”

It just slipped out, and I don’t think I can be blamed. I was ready to leave the PC behind and take my mac overseas for the first time when I couldn’t figure out how to resize photos. On a friggin’ mac? I felt swindled. I also now had to move the bracelet.

For the last four months, I’ve been experimenting with a few types of thought experiments. The two most notable are Radical Honesty, which is 100% guaranteed to get you slapped or worse, and anti-complaining, which I’ll explain here. The latter started in my book agent’s office, where I spotted a pile of purple bracelets on his desk…

“What are these?” I grabbed one and it was inscribed with ‘acomplaintfreeworld.org.’

“Another author of mine. Interesting story, actually.”

And it was. The author was Will Bowen, a Kansas City minister who had recognized — as I have in a previous post — that word choice determines thought choice, which determines emotions and actions. It’s not enough to just decide you’ll stop using certain words, though. It requires conditioning.

Will designed a solution in the form of a simple purple bracelet, which he offered to his congregation with a challenge: go 21 days without complaining. Each time one of them complained, they had to switch the bracelet to their other wrist and start again from day 0. It was simple but effective metacognitive awareness training.

The effects were immediate and life-changing.

The bracelets spread like wildfire as others observed these transformations, and, to date, more than 5,900,000 people have requested the little devices.

“Can I have one?” I asked my agent.

It all made perfect sense. Fix the words and you fix the thoughts. I’m not a negative person, but I wanted to cut out the commiserating most of us use for 30-40% of all conversation (if you don’t believe me, keep track of how many people start conversations with you in the next 24 hours that center on a complaint or criticism).

I made it 11 days on the first attempt, then I slipped. Back to zero. Then it was two or three days at a time for about a month. Once I cleared 21 days at around month 3, I no longer needed the bracelet. I’m using the bracelet again now because I’m preparing for some large projects I expect to be challenging enough for Cornholio-style meltdowns.

But what is a complaint?

This is where I disagree with some of the rules set by Will. He asks you to switch wrists whenever you gossip, criticize, or complain, and the definitions can be a bit vague. He also requires you to switch wrists if you inform someone else they are complaining. I think this is counterproductive, as I’m big on constructive criticism.

I defined “complaining” for myself as follows: describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem. I later added the usual 4-letter words and other common profanity as complaint qualifiers, which forced me to reword, thus forcing awareness and more precise thinking.

Following the above definition, both of the following would require a wrist switch:

“Man, I went into the post office and had to stand behind this rude jerk for 30 minutes. What a waste of time.”

or

“John can be such an a**hole. Totally uncalled for.”

The following variations would not:

“Man, I went into the post office and had to stand behind this rude guy for 30 minutes. It was a waste of time. From now on, I’ll go in the mornings before 10am to avoid the crowd.”

“John was a bit of muppet in there, wasn’t he? I suppose I’ll just send the e-mails directly to Mary in engineering for the next two weeks to get buy-in, then he’ll have to agree.”

Here are a few of the changes I noticed then and am noticing again now:

1) My lazier thinking evolved from counterproductive commiserating to reflexive systems thinking. Each description of a problem forced me to ask and answer: What policy can I create to avoid this in the future?

2) I was able to turn off negative events because the tentative solution had been offered instead of giving them indefinite mental shelf-life (and “open loop” in GTD parlance), resulting in better sleep and more pleasant conversations with both friends and business partners.

3) People want to be around action-oriented problem solvers. Training yourself to offer solutions on-the-spot attracts people and resources.

###

For those interested in the more sophisticated applications and results of the the no-complaint thought experiment, I recommend you order a copy of A Complaint-Free World. I received an advanced copy and finished it in one afternoon, ending up with two pages of notes.

Want to take the 21-day no-complaint challenge for a test drive now?

Last a friend checked, the bracelets had a 3-5-month waiting period, but a rubber band or other bracelet will suffice. If you want the real deal, I have four bracelets that I will mail (might take a bit, as I’m leaving the country Friday) to the best four commenters below who answer the question:

What other behavior, besides complaining, do you think people should stop? How could train themselves to stop?

Greg McKeown — How to Master Essentialism | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast)

Topics: Books, Brain, Brain Priming, Essentialism, Future, Happiness, Health, Investing, Life, Love, Minimalism, Motivation, Perspective, Philosophy, Podcasts, Positivity, Purpose, School of Thought, Stoicism, Videos/Movies

Greg McKeown — How to Master Essentialism | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast)

Note* If you need to find something in the video you missed or remembered, you can search for key terms down below by: Control + F Windows and Command + F Mac.

When commenting* Collaborating is amazing. Critical feedback is welcome. I am keeping it Good Vibes Only anything else will be deleted. Share The Love. No spam or personal branding!!!! Thank you. Let’s make some new ideas and have fun:)]

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hello boys and girls ladies and germs
05:09
this is Tim Ferriss and welcome to
05:11
another episode of the Tim Ferriss show
05:13
my guest today is Greg McEwan that is
05:16
spelled MC ke o WN Greg is the author of
05:21
The New York Times bestseller
05:21
essentialism subtitle the disciplined
05:24
pursuit of less and the founder of
05:26
McEwen Inc a company with a mission to
05:28
teach essentialism to millions of people
05:30
around the world their clients include
05:32
Adobe Apple Airbnb Cisco Google Facebook
05:35
you may have recognized a few of these
05:37
picks our Salesforce calm semantic
05:39
Twitter VMware Yahoo and many others
05:43
MacEwan is an accomplished public
05:44
speaker and has spoken to hundreds of
05:46
audiences around the world and in 2012
05:48
he was named a young global leader by
05:50
the World Economic Forum originally from
05:53
London England McEwen now lives in
05:55
Silicon Valley with his wife and their
05:57
four children he could be found at
05:59
Gregory McEwen on Twitter and at Greg
06:02
McEwen dot-com Greg welcome to the show
06:05
it’s so great to be with you Tim and I’m
06:08
looking here at a table in front of me
06:11
with many many pieces of paper spread
06:13
out and they consist of printed out
06:17
highlights from your book your book is
06:20
one of the most highlighted books that I
06:22
have on my Kindle and I wanted to first
06:26
and foremost thank you for writing it
06:28
because I found it tremendously helpful
06:31
personally and it has become one of the
06:34
few books that I revisit on a regular
06:36
basis so first off I just want to
06:39
express gratitude for you
06:41
written the book well that’s that’s
06:43
awfully nice of you to do that today
06:45
there that’s a very humbling here I was
06:47
thinking we’re going to have a bad
06:48
conversation and now now I feel no I
06:52
feel like we might go somewhere you know
06:54
the secret to happiness low expectations
06:58
so it’s nowhere to go but from here and
07:02
I it’s it’s also a a book I mentioned in
07:07
that way because I don’t want to create
07:11
the illusion that I have some type of
07:15
set it and forget it solution where the
07:19
setting of priority or priorities is not
07:22
an ongoing project at all times or at
07:25
least very frequently something that
07:27
needs to be revisited so I’m looking
07:30
forward to digging into a number of
07:33
different topics and portions of the
07:35
book and as well as many things that are
07:37
not in the book but perhaps for those
07:39
people who don’t know could you just
07:41
tell a little bit about the the genesis
07:43
of essentialism whether that is sort of
07:47
the concept or the focus itself or the
07:50
book well I mean one of the initiating
07:53
moments was when I received an email
07:55
from my you know colleague at the time
07:58
saying look Friday between one or two
08:01
would be a very bad time for your wife
08:03
to have a baby because you know I need
08:07
you to be at this client meeting and you
08:10
know especially in hindsight I’m sure
08:12
they were joking or at least half joking
08:14
about that but somehow I was enough
08:18
stressed in that moment or at that time
08:21
between all the different competing
08:23
expectations responsibilities that as we
08:26
go into the hospital it’s Thursday night
08:28
we’re in the middle of you know the
08:29
daughters born in the middle of the
08:31
night Friday comes along and I am still
08:33
feeling torn and I’m still feeling like
08:36
I probably ought to go how can i go how
08:38
can i keep everybody happy how can i how
08:40
can i do both and and and so you know to
08:44
my shame I I went to the meeting
08:48
remember afterwards being told you know
08:53
look the client
08:55
respect you for the choice you just made
08:57
and I don’t know that they did I didn’t
09:02
know that they did feel that the look on
09:04
their faces didn’t events that sort of
09:07
confidence to me but but even if they
09:10
had you know it’s obvious to you to me
09:13
is everybody listening that I made a
09:14
fool’s bargain yeah I violated something
09:18
more important more essential for
09:20
something less important but less
09:21
essential and what I learned from that
09:23
was the simplest of lessons which is if
09:25
you don’t prioritize your life someone
09:29
else will and and so that gave me fire
09:33
for the deed to to really dig into the
09:36
subject to try and understand better why
09:38
it is that we we make these kinds of
09:40
prioritization decisions and what we can
09:43
do to be perhaps better at it and to
09:46
actually live our life according to the
09:49
things that we’ve identified as
09:50
mattering most and at that time on that
09:53
Friday when you took that meeting what
09:55
type of what type of work were you doing
09:57
what was your profession
09:59
I’ve spent you know 20 years in this
10:03
field generally so that’s leadership
10:05
development it’s it’s writing it’s
10:08
research it’s it’s I was working with
10:11
Silicon Valley companies at the time and
10:13
so so there was a secondary part to this
10:16
story which is that that I was already
10:19
working with these companies and noticed
10:23
a predictable pattern there at a
10:25
professional level which is that these
10:28
companies in the early days would be
10:31
very focused on you know this is what
10:33
we’re trying to do sort of a phase of
10:34
clarity and their clarity would lead to
10:39
success there was real alignment between
10:41
if you knew exactly what you were trying
10:43
to do at the right time then you could
10:45
generate success and then I noticed that
10:47
success breeds lots of options and
10:50
opportunities for these companies well
10:52
that sounds like the right problem to
10:54
have but it does in fact turn out to be
10:56
a problem if it leads to what Jim cons
10:58
is called the undisciplined pursuit of
11:00
more if these companies are they often
11:03
would fall into the undisciplined
11:05
pursuit of more it would lead them to
11:08
make this
11:08
in such a way that they would plateau in
11:10
their progress or even start to fail
11:12
altogether so I named that the success
11:16
paradox and so it was absolutely the
11:20
combination of observing this phenomenon
11:23
inside of these organizations and then
11:25
suddenly observing it in my own life
11:26
that I realized oh this isn’t a business
11:28
phenomenon it’s a human phenomenon and
11:30
there’s a pattern here that I think I’ve
11:34
been able put the pieces together I can
11:36
see that it’s highly relevant for people
11:39
who are otherwise successful people
11:42
because the very nature of success is
11:45
that you will have this basic problem
11:47
you’ll be stretched too thin
11:49
at work at home both and beyond you
11:53
you’ll feel often busy but not
11:55
productive you will feel many different
11:58
pursuits hijacking your agenda each day
12:01
and and you just have more that you want
12:05
to do then you can do so that’s in fact
12:08
a normal scenario for successful people
12:11
and so you know but but I felt like it
12:14
was an underserved problem because most
12:17
of the literature on success is how to
12:19
become successful in the first place but
12:22
for many many people
12:23
the real problem is what to do once you
12:26
are even if you don’t feel very
12:28
successful you as soon as you have more
12:30
options and opportunity you know that
12:32
you can pursue you need a new way of
12:34
handling it than being a Saria where you
12:37
have no options at all so so this is
12:39
where I see the book you know came into
12:41
its own is is it’s really one of the few
12:44
books connected to the subject of
12:46
success that’s about what to do once you
12:49
are successful and underscore at least
12:55
my interpretation of that which is by
12:58
saying successful you don’t necessarily
13:01
mean someone who’s making a million
13:02
dollars a year or a company that’s
13:04
generating a billion dollars in turnover
13:06
a year but in the simplest terms it’s
13:09
someone who has more options than they
13:12
can execute on in their totality right
13:16
and if we think about power on some
13:19
level being having options
13:22
the there comes a point when you have
13:26
more options than you can possibly
13:29
metabolize and and use across the board
13:32
so then you start to have to winnow that
13:34
down and in that case this is where
13:36
principles of say essentialism are very
13:39
helpful and I thought that we might
13:42
explore a little bit one of the reframes
13:47
that I think is very clever and very
13:50
effective which relates to the endowment
13:54
effect could you talk and I can
13:58
certainly I have it right in front of me
13:59
if you’d like me to to jump in as a
14:02
reminder just in case yeah right it’s a
14:11
reason apasa bility I fight I write very
14:13
long-winded books and I’ve done them
14:15
over a pretty long period of time so
14:16
every once in a while I get quoted and I
14:19
feel lost so if let me know I have
14:22
everything in front of me but the could
14:23
you talk about the endowment effect and
14:25
how you turn around questions people
14:28
might ask themselves about certain
14:30
things whether that is something they
14:31
own or an opportunity that gets
14:33
presented to them so I think this is
14:35
really important well let’s use a
14:37
metaphor to get to the endowment effect
14:39
the the the you know our closet is a
14:44
pretty good metaphor for the for the
14:46
problem and what to do about it
14:48
so for a lot of people listening yeah
14:52
even as you say they don’t feel as
14:55
incredibly successful financially
14:57
incredibly successful in all the things
14:58
in their life right they they probably
15:00
still have more things in their closet
15:02
than than they could they actually can
15:04
use usefully that it’s a bit cluttered
15:07
maybe it’s a lot more than a bit
15:09
cluttered I mean I talked to somebody
15:12
not so long ago and they said Greg my
15:15
closet that’s it they said you’ve
15:17
identified the pain point they said I
15:18
have my closet organized by decade so
15:23
they organized it but it is sort of you
15:26
know they said you don’t have a closet
15:28
you have a museum ma’am and you know
15:32
they have the 70s and the 80s let’s
15:33
she’s not using any of these things
15:35
you just has them and that’s an
15:37
organized version of the problem which
15:39
is that we just have so much stuff now
15:42
that is true in the physical stuff it’s
15:44
literally true in the closet but in the
15:46
closet of our lives it is equally true
15:48
now just staying with this metaphor for
15:51
a moment almost everybody has had a
15:53
moment where they say I’ve had enough
15:55
I’m going to organize my closet and they
15:58
you know they begin the process and they
15:59
take an item off the shelf off the floor
16:02
and they say you know I think it’s time
16:04
to just get rid of this item and in the
16:07
moment of picking it up and reflecting
16:10
on it as if to give it away something
16:12
mysterious almost magical seems to
16:15
happen to many of us which is the moment
16:17
we’re looking at we think well you know
16:20
yeah but I I you know I sure I want to
16:25
get rid of it right and I could use it
16:27
sometime in the future you know and
16:29
so-and-so gave it to me in there so I
16:31
and there’s something is somehow in the
16:35
act of giving it away it’s harder to
16:37
give it away than it was before we
16:39
picked it up to give it away so what’s
16:41
going on and as it turns out there’s a
16:43
heuristic a brain here a predisposition
16:46
that we have to all physical objects in
16:52
our life and also in fact all the the
16:54
opportunities that we have in our life –
16:56
and and it is this it’s that we value
16:59
things more because we have them and
17:03
that means that’s a good thing in
17:05
certain situations I mean that’s why you
17:07
essentially yeah owning a home is
17:09
generally a good thing because people
17:11
look after the home better explains the
17:14
phenomenon why nobody in the history in
17:16
the whole world has washed their own
17:18
rental car you know it’s a positive
17:22
phenomenon until and unless we over
17:26
value something that we really ought not
17:28
to have in the closet at all they ought
17:31
to go it is actually not useful to is
17:34
it’s not valuable to us but we are over
17:36
valuing it and therefore keeping it so
17:38
it’s over valuing because we own it or
17:41
it’s endowed to us so in our life that
17:45
is an incredibly real problem we
17:49
we have them you know I’ll give you an
17:51
illustration it’s not in the book but
17:52
it’s something that happened to me that
17:55
really hits a chord and it it happened
17:57
when I was staring at myself in the
18:01
mirror dressed from head to toe in a
18:07
stormtrooper outfit we’re all good
18:12
epiphany start right and I look at
18:16
myself I realize two things I realize
18:21
that I have been thinking of this moment
18:23
in some small degree for 13 years this
18:29
is true I realize I’m standing there
18:31
staring I’m I’m in you know I’m in the
18:34
Halloween store yeah this is not a cheap
18:37
suit that I’m trying on and I remember
18:41
that this is goes back to like when I’m
18:43
10 years old and maybe Return of the
18:47
Jedi would come out of one of those Star
18:48
Wars movies and my older brother one of
18:50
my older brothers and said to me in
18:51
passing but with quite a lot of
18:54
enthusiasm wouldn’t it be great to own
18:57
you know a stormtrooper just like from
19:00
the movies like really that the real
19:02
thing and somehow that got lodged in me
19:05
well that’s an idea see that’s something
19:08
you should pursue yeah that’s what would
19:10
be so cool but all the brother thinks oh
19:13
it must be so and and somehow in the
19:15
back of my mind there it lives
19:17
unquestioned for 30 years and finally
19:20
I’m in the store yo thinking about where
19:23
the diplomas and in that moment I
19:25
actually have a sort of did have a
19:27
Eureka moment is there is no part of me
19:29
that wants this it stayed with me but I
19:32
don’t it might forward your own self
19:34
does not need this one visits this is
19:36
ridiculous what I why you in this suit
19:38
right now and and and so I was able to
19:42
sort of separate myself from from at the
19:47
moment that’s exactly what I’m
19:48
advocating here I’m saying that for a
19:49
lot of us we have a lot of became a
19:52
shortcut phrase my wife will said
19:54
sometimes to me now it is it is that a
19:56
stormtrooper that you’re pursuing is
19:58
that strong stormtrooper opportunity
20:00
that you you used to think
20:03
was the thing but you’re pursuing it
20:06
because you just sort of have it you
20:08
caught on to it you you feel a sense of
20:10
this endowment effect the sense of it’s
20:12
my opportunites my thing it’s my gods
20:15
and it’s not-it’s not serving me anymore
20:17
I think a lot of people have a lot of
20:20
stormtroopers in their life and so it’s
20:24
not about the closet it’s not about the
20:26
stormtrooper rather it’s about the stuff
20:28
that really we need to get past and let
20:31
go so that we can pursue the right
20:33
things now not just the things that we
20:36
are pursuing because at one time we
20:39
wanted to pursue them or one time they
20:41
came into our life and it seems like
20:43
there are a number of ways to identify
20:46
these whether there’s stormtroopers or
20:49
items opportunities that we are endowing
20:53
with a greater value because we have
20:55
them because we’re either own them or
20:58
being presented with them right so you
20:59
could take let’s just say that’s sweater
21:02
from Aunt Mildred or whatever it is and
21:03
rather than asking how much do I value
21:05
this item you turn it around and ask if
21:07
I did not own this item how much would I
21:09
pay to obtain it right that turn around
21:11
seems really important to me or in the
21:13
case of opportunities and I’m quoting
21:15
directly from you here but you know how
21:17
will I feel if I miss out on this
21:18
opportunity instead of that if I did not
21:20
have this opportunity how much would I
21:22
be willing to sacrifice in order to
21:24
obtain it right that strikes me as a
21:27
very powerful reframe and is certainly
21:30
also I think it was Andy Grove at Intel
21:33
who also used this for you and there are
21:35
many other business examples but if we
21:37
were not already in this line of
21:39
business how much would be pay to pursue
21:43
it or would we pursue it in the first
21:44
place right as a way of pruning
21:48
activities and conserving resources so
21:50
they could be applied to the most
21:51
important things yes and the idea is to
21:56
trick your brain into putting it in the
21:59
position where you don’t own the thing
22:01
where you don’t have the opportunity so
22:03
you have to reflect on it afresh you
22:06
have to say okay starting now
22:08
do I want this thing now do I how hard
22:12
would I go after this now if I didn’t
22:14
own it if I didn’t have it and
22:16
helps us to evaluate things more without
22:19
this this inflation of the fact that we
22:25
own it the it is of course the amount of
22:27
it you co-created as I understand it a
22:32
class at Stanford GSB at the business
22:35
school yeah did that could you describe
22:38
that class and the the curriculum I know
22:44
nothing about this it was just mentioned
22:46
very briefly in passing in some of the
22:48
reading that I was doing in preparation
22:50
for this but could could you describe
22:52
the class and the intent and the
22:54
curriculum of that class yeah it was it
22:57
was co-created at the design school at
23:00
Stanford and the I mean the intent of it
23:04
was look could you you know but would
23:08
people be interested in really coming
23:11
together to design their life not just
23:13
using design principles which Design
23:17
Thinking has enormous application of
23:20
value to to our lives
23:22
but particularly the design thinking
23:25
with an essentialist lens so if you had
23:29
to come together and you had to design
23:32
your life and we we did it in design
23:35
pairs or even in design threes where you
23:38
would be designing for each other a life
23:43
around the most important thing the
23:46
essential things and and and if we
23:49
haven’t made it clear it ought to be
23:51
made clear that this the this is what
23:53
essentialism is it’s – its to figure out
23:57
what is essential it is to eliminate
24:00
what is not essential and it is to then
24:04
build a system that makes execution as
24:06
effortless as possible and that’s
24:09
exactly what we were doing in that class
24:11
so people would come and they would work
24:13
together to to get greater clarity about
24:17
what really mattered versus what was
24:19
just good in their life you know what
24:21
those very few highest values are
24:23
highest value projects you know most
24:26
important contributions and and then
24:29
together to work
24:30
how can you start to trade off the
24:33
things that your of least value that
24:35
still play a role in your life that is
24:38
still the stormtroopers still still
24:40
taking up energy resources attention
24:43
that aren’t really the right things and
24:45
and so this is this is what we were
24:48
doing we had a variety of exercises for
24:50
trying to get about could you walk us
24:54
through any of those exercises or
24:56
describe them because one of the one of
24:59
the topics I was going to get to of
25:00
course is how to answer the question you
25:04
know am i investing in the right
25:05
activities or how to determine that
25:07
because there are cases let’s just say
25:08
in a sales organization where you have
25:10
very clear measurables very clear
25:12
deliverables and it’s it’s perhaps
25:14
rather straightforward that you have
25:16
just say solopreneurs or early-stage
25:20
entrepreneurs where they’re wearing
25:21
seventeen different hats at a given time
25:24
and they they might actually have some
25:26
trouble identifying the answer to this
25:29
so could you walk us through any
25:30
exercises that you use with the students
25:33
yes I would love to do that and I’d love
25:35
to do it in a in a different way rather
25:37
than to talk about the abstract or even
25:39
just her to tell a story about someone
25:42
let’s do it like if you’re game I’ll go
25:46
through an exercise that grew out of
25:48
those experiences but with you right now
25:50
you game let’s do it okay it’s this at
25:54
the risk of embarrassing myself I want
25:58
you and anybody who doesn’t doesn’t have
26:02
to overthink any of these questions this
26:04
is this is really simple but but it cuts
26:06
away all that the concepts you just gets
26:08
moving so okay so Tim just in your life
26:11
right now for real something think of
26:14
something tell me something that is
26:16
essential to you very important to you
26:21
that you feel you’re under investing in
26:23
right now it’s really matters but you
26:26
know you’re not really putting the
26:27
resources you wished you were behind it
26:29
go okay I would say I’m investing in it
26:37
pretty well but probably not as much as
26:38
I should or feel that I that I should it
26:42
would be
26:43
experimenting with and researching
26:46
different modalities for addressing
26:51
psycho emotional trauma things that I
26:54
have not addressed in previous books so
26:58
the the the emotional component of life
27:02
that subconsciously very often drives so
27:05
many of our behaviors and patterns it
27:07
would be doing personal experiments
27:09
related to that and I’ve already done
27:12
that over the last four or five years
27:13
but really investing in organizing all
27:16
of that mm-hmm okay so so is clarifying
27:20
you sounded to me like there’s a future
27:23
book here potentially potentially it’s
27:25
it’s something I didn’t think I was
27:27
going to write for probably a few
27:28
decades but yes it’s I’ve put it on a
27:31
closer burner it’s not on the back
27:33
burner it’s still on a burner but it’s
27:35
it’s been pushed from the back burner to
27:37
a front burner
27:38
yeah it’s just a you you you you can see
27:42
that if you could identify the tools the
27:47
concrete ways of handling this kind of
27:51
deeper trauma I’m reading into this now
27:55
but that you’ve experienced that you
27:56
know other people have experienced that
27:59
that that could be incredibly valuable
28:02
to people because because it’s actually
28:06
so much more Universal than is obvious
28:08
or it’s not talked about a lot but it’s
28:10
really universal challenge that we’ve
28:13
gone through traumas and we don’t know
28:14
we don’t have the skills and the tools
28:17
to know what to do with that that’s
28:20
right so it is so it produces suffering
28:22
that’s right that’s right and in fact
28:24
many of the books that I’ve written
28:27
while I think very effective for helping
28:32
people to build businesses focus on
28:36
physical performance or improve physical
28:37
performance and appearance and so on can
28:41
those same objectives can be used as
28:45
salves or numbing agents to avoid the
28:49
root psychological or emotional traumas
28:53
that are causing self-destructive
28:55
behaviors
28:56
if that makes any sense so yeah yeah it
28:59
makes total it makes total sense and we
29:01
should go there for a moment because is
29:02
a friend of mine once said to me you
29:05
know success traps are often harder to
29:08
get out of them failure traps yeah
29:11
agree hands and so and so what you’re
29:14
saying makes perfect sense to me that
29:15
that even a deliberate intense pursuit
29:18
of good objectives to be successful to
29:25
could could in fact be as you’re saying
29:28
they could be just a form of being stuck
29:32
in a different more positive looking
29:35
coping mechanism yep
29:37
yeah and I should say also I’ll let you
29:40
pick where we want to go that would be
29:42
one that would be one area I’m not
29:44
investing enough in potentially the
29:46
other would be rehabilitation of a
29:51
sacroiliac injury that I have in my hip
29:54
so be those are those are two options we
29:56
can go whichever direction you want I I
30:00
don’t know yeah I kind of I’m looking to
30:03
you for it which which one’s the most
30:04
important but I the first the first one
30:07
I think the most stay with that then
30:09
because because you know what what I’m
30:12
exploring a little with you here just to
30:14
be sort of transparent and the process
30:16
is why does it matter so much to you
30:17
right you said it’s essentially you said
30:19
this thing matters and and we ought to
30:21
identify then really you know why and
30:25
maybe we’re as far as we need to go on
30:27
that but I sensing you it’s it’s a
30:30
pretty deep why for you you know whether
30:32
we have words for or not it’s like know
30:34
that you know I maybe it’s like this
30:37
it’s all of the books I’ve done before
30:41
are really preparing for this you know
30:44
that those have all given a platform you
30:47
know this is millions of people
30:49
literally right and and and you know and
30:51
well done you you built you built this
30:53
extraordinary platform to be out of
30:55
reach people make a difference and and
30:59
now what what what what is the what is
31:02
that the highest or deepest contribution
31:05
that can then be made and as you’re
31:06
doing it I feel like there’s a sort of
31:08
you know is that
31:10
quote that which is most personal is
31:12
most universal hmm and there’s something
31:14
about that here which is which is okay
31:17
if we get really honest and and raw we
31:20
find that there’s a lot of unresolved a
31:23
lot of unresolved trauma and now we’re
31:26
riffing here a little bit beyond the
31:28
process but but I mean this is something
31:30
that’s very like yeah this is important
31:34
to me the subject over on to yeah and it
31:37
so I can relate to it in this way one of
31:39
the things I’ve begun doing research
31:41
about is is intergenerational trauma and
31:45
how and how even if in our own lives we
31:49
go hi I think my life has been pretty
31:51
good in life has worked out and so on
31:53
what you find is that there can be that
31:57
there can be multiple generations of an
32:00
of unresolved issues that a manifest
32:04
wordlessly in our own lives because no
32:09
one talked about them so the
32:13
ramifications are real but we don’t have
32:16
language that’s the worst scenario to be
32:18
in yeah is to have is they have the
32:20
problem without any ability to even talk
32:23
about it to address it to to even know
32:25
that it’s really there until we have
32:27
language things they’re not even that
32:28
real okay or or the ability to feel that
32:33
something is off and an inability to
32:35
identify what it is even exactly in the
32:38
absence of words so the what I would put
32:42
together would be a from my perspective
32:45
or from my experience a comprehensive
32:49
description of my personal journey but
32:51
also the tools that I’ve found to be
32:55
most effective not only for myself but
32:57
for other people yeah so yes that’s very
33:01
very important to me okay so so let me
33:03
ask you another question about this the
33:05
the which is what would what is success
33:08
for you and I don’t mean success like
33:10
the okay the book is this or that you
33:12
know that’s not even that’s not even
33:14
necessarily the thing at this point it’s
33:16
it’s the yeah you could go down this
33:19
journey and conclude okay no this isn’t
33:21
the right time for it and so on but but
33:23
what is your
33:24
daily amount of time that you would need
33:28
to invest in this for you to say to me I
33:31
now feel like I’m not under investing
33:34
anymore you know I I now feel so what’s
33:37
the Delta between where you are right
33:39
now in a daily amount and where you say
33:42
no I’m not perfect it’s not like I feel
33:44
amazing about how much time time and
33:45
something but I feel good about it’s not
33:47
under invested anymore this this is a
33:49
really good question and I want to
33:51
explain why I struggle perhaps a bit to
33:56
answer it and I think this will also be
33:58
a struggle that applies to other people
34:01
this this is a this is a project where I
34:05
don’t yet feel I have gathered enough
34:09
research to proceed to the writing and
34:14
synthesis phase even though I’ve
34:16
collected notes for almost five years
34:18
and so there’s the question of am I
34:23
ready or am I not ready or am I simply
34:26
putting off the next step because I am
34:31
fearful of something I would say once I
34:35
get into synthesis phase and I am doing
34:39
a lot of experiments and have for the
34:40
last four or five years I would be
34:43
putting in four to five hours a day
34:45
minimum on this to feel fully vested I
34:49
can’t I find it very difficult to put
34:53
together pros in any fashion or attempt
34:55
to put it together for more than three
34:57
or four hours a day so probably probably
35:00
yeah 3 to 3 to 5 hours per day but I
35:03
would be thinking about it all day every
35:07
day it would be running in the
35:08
background right yes Seinfeld was asked
35:11
recently how many hours did he spend
35:13
working on his the the recent one our
35:16
specially done fit for Netflix how long
35:19
how many hours did it take for him to do
35:20
it and he said he said he’s the best
35:22
like asking God how long it takes for
35:26
him to grow an oak tree he’s like but
35:29
all the time that’s what he’s doing all
35:30
the time he’s just growing trees in the
35:33
world and everything is it he said that
35:34
that’s what I’m doing it’s not five
35:36
hours of 10 hours my whole
35:37
that’s what I’m doing so I understand
35:40
that from what you’re saying okay so
35:42
that that’s interesting so so of the two
35:45
you just said two interesting things so
35:47
you said you said I don’t know what it
35:49
is that’s really keeping me back from
35:52
doing it you know so you don’t there’s
35:55
that there’s a question mark here around
35:56
do I spend time on more research per day
36:03
yep or do I spend do I shift you know
36:06
you’ve got a gathering of research phase
36:08
and then there’s a I’m gonna consciously
36:10
be applying it and writing about my
36:13
applications there’s sort of a two-phase
36:15
process that you’re following
36:16
overlapping but still distinct and to
36:20
answer my question about how much time
36:22
you need to spend you have to know which
36:24
phase you’re in right right I would also
36:27
say if this is something that’s useful
36:30
for that the the fear may be as simple
36:32
as it up because I’ve built this
36:34
book up in my mind for the last five
36:36
years is as almost certainly the most
36:40
important book I will have written today
36:43
and may ever write and there is a
36:46
there’s a there’s a very clear fear of
36:51
fumbling the ball when I’ve been given a
36:54
fantastic opportunity to do some good so
36:57
I think there’s that as well there’s a
36:58
fear of it up oh absolutely
37:00
i I could relate to that I just barely
37:05
begun in this very early process of
37:07
working on it and on a book and and and
37:10
my manager to myself for quite a while
37:13
with this has been don’t write a rubbish
37:15
book yeah and and actually just recently
37:20
I think I say tearing that with my wife
37:21
and she’s like yeah you might want to
37:23
come up with another mantra it’s not
37:34
cute inside it’s real fear I mean you
37:37
don’t you and you when something’s
37:38
important it way and and frankly when
37:41
from my point of view it’s the easiest
37:45
thing in the world to write a bad book
37:47
pray that dad’s dense like that’s what
37:49
happens in fact and often
37:51
after a book that’s been successful the
37:53
next books very hard for people to write
37:55
so so that alone is a fear but then
37:59
you’ve got this double whammy fear
38:00
because you’re going it matters so much
38:02
I cannot get this wrong I cannot mess
38:06
this up yeah and and and and I think you
38:10
can sense but I’m pretty much in your
38:11
mouth but I think you can sense that
38:13
that may be just an obstacle that’s
38:18
that’s that’s keeping you back but it
38:21
isn’t really real like you’re not gonna
38:24
write a rubbish book but you but you you
38:26
worry that you are and that worries
38:28
holding you back does that sound right
38:30
were your thoughts that sounds right to
38:31
me
38:32
it’s helpful just to talk through
38:33
frankly so this is this is valuable for
38:36
me and your your mention of the the
38:40
mantra replacement that your wife
38:42
suggested made me think of something I
38:43
was told and I can’t recall the
38:45
attribution so someone can find this
38:47
certainly but that worrying is like
38:50
praying for what you don’t want so in a
38:53
sense that’s brilliant I have the wrong
38:55
the antecedent framing that I have right
39:00
now is is preventing me from from taking
39:03
the the most essential next actions okay
39:08
so I can see III I accept and I agree
39:12
that it that’s probably a phantom worry
39:14
like I’m not even if I wrote a book that
39:16
I felt was rubbish I also wouldn’t
39:17
publish it right so you wouldn’t publish
39:19
it there really isn’t that fear isn’t
39:22
real yeah what’s the best mantra’ for
39:25
you well the first thing that came to
39:27
mind was good now is better than perfect
39:29
later since there’s a lot of suffering
39:32
in the world and not that I’m playing
39:35
Savior or anything like that but I’ve
39:36
experienced a lot of pain myself and
39:38
found things that work so there’s an
39:39
argument to be made that the sort of
39:42
compounding of suffering over time would
39:46
mean that if I put out a book that is
39:49
80% of what it could be in ten years
39:52
it’s still better than I put it out now
39:55
that may not be the the right mantra but
39:58
just to say enabling belief that could
40:00
be one or assumption
40:02
yeah yeah I like I like that um it I’m
40:07
one I’m curious about whether it’s
40:10
perfectionism that is the barrier yes I
40:14
think that’s absolutely think it is I
40:16
won’t lie I cut short your multiple
40:19
choice second element is is is it is it
40:27
just the very subject itself yes that is
40:32
a form of perfectionism still isn’t it
40:34
it’s just it masses so much it can
40:36
really make a difference but if I don’t
40:38
get it right what what if you don’t get
40:41
it right what what happens then let’s
40:43
let’s say you didn’t get it right what
40:45
what’s what’s the fear really what’s the
40:48
fear really oh that I let people down
40:53
then I receive wide-spread criticism
40:57
because I didn’t do enough due diligence
40:59
to cover all the bases and to test the
41:03
different modalities that I should part
41:05
of the big challenge in this particular
41:07
arena for me the subject matter which is
41:10
so broad is that unlike physical
41:14
performance where you have many
41:16
measurables unlike in the realm of
41:20
startups where you have key metrics and
41:25
so on which are measurables a lot of
41:27
this emotional terrain is very squishy
41:32
there’s a lot of and a lot of
41:34
charlatans and a lot of I would say
41:38
imprecise thinking and faulty logic that
41:43
needs to be sifted through so it’s it’s
41:45
it’s been a very challenging realm in
41:49
which to do testing and research if that
41:52
makes sense
41:52
oh yes we’ve got we’re like in the germ
41:57
theory era yeah exactly
41:59
most notes formers yeah we’re just just
42:02
you know it’s a wild wild west in
42:04
comparison to what eventually we’ll know
42:06
and we’ll learn about the subject ok so
42:10
so so let’s say let’s say you you are
42:16
it’s too bombastic way of saying it but
42:18
let’s say you’ve kind of been a little
42:19
bit hiding behind this concern this this
42:22
fear and and and we’re gonna now shift
42:24
towards phase two of the project right
42:27
where it’s where okay I don’t have it
42:29
all of course I don’t have it all there
42:31
is no such thing as that you know eighty
42:33
percent is going to be good enough my
42:35
manager at 80 percent if it’s 80 percent
42:38
good I’m gonna be able to move forward
42:40
so let’s say you do move to the second
42:43
thing you said you identify three to
42:45
five hours is that additional three to
42:49
five hours of from where you’ve been
42:51
before is that you spending some time on
42:54
a now so now you have to add another two
42:56
hours what what’s the I’m spending the
42:59
way I’ve been working on it and my
43:03
apologies for folks if this is if this
43:04
is does not immediately seemingly apply
43:07
to what you’re doing but hopefully this
43:08
is helpful just to hear people or to
43:11
hear the two of us work through this
43:13
process wise the research phase for me
43:16
is very chunky if that makes sense
43:19
it’s two weeks of 24/7 and then four
43:23
weeks of trying to figure out what the
43:24
just happened and it’s it’s not a
43:28
daily slow and steady process whereas
43:33
the if I were to say enough is enough
43:36
Tim you could always do more research
43:38
this is a defense mechanism you’re using
43:40
to put off starting the composition of
43:43
the book start the composition of the
43:45
book then I would get it into a phase
43:48
where I’m looking at that three to five
43:50
hours a day on a regular consistent
43:53
basis so I would say I’m effectively
43:56
starting at zero because I’m in Phase
43:58
one where for instance ending about a
44:02
week ago I was two weeks off the grid
44:05
doing pure experimentation and research
44:07
and gathering notes so I have that but
44:11
then for the last week I have
44:13
effectively spent zero time on it
44:16
because I am in the down the downshifted
44:22
phase mm-hm
44:23
without an active experiment okay so so
44:27
before we can move on this is all
44:29
everything
44:30
we’ve done is really covering the first
44:31
phase they’re not equally they’re not
44:33
equal phases but phase one of applying
44:36
essentialism is what is essential and
44:38
that includes why does it matter what
44:40
does success look like and what’s the
44:42
the thing you want to shift to and so on
44:44
so it’s it’s you know and and I always
44:46
want to emphasize this small side point
44:48
which is that sometimes when people even
44:50
when they read essentialism or certainly
44:52
if they’ve record about just the
44:54
peripheral level they think I’ve written
44:55
a book about sort of saying no and that
44:58
is part of it but I didn’t write a book
45:00
called you know called no ism it’s it’s
45:04
about essentialism and so that’s why the
45:06
the thrust of this conversation has to
45:08
be there because we’ve got to get clear
45:11
what’s essential what do we actually
45:13
need to make a change if that’s in that
45:15
that is highly important to us and
45:17
that’s what gives drive to everything
45:18
else so just before moving on to the
45:22
trade off phase I think I can identify
45:24
my my core question before with the
45:27
multiple choice I don’t feel like I gave
45:28
the multiple choice properly it’s it is
45:31
the primary thing the the perfectionism
45:34
or is the primary thing just a personal
45:39
pain not not of writing a book that’s
45:43
its own kind of pain heavy lifting right
45:48
for sure there’s that but there’s just
45:50
this particular subject the very nature
45:53
of it is riskier you know riskier to put
45:57
it out there riskier to be vulnerable
45:59
riskier to to explore these things that
46:02
kind of a level riskier to be criticized
46:05
when it’s something that’s so personally
46:09
so personally vulnerable I go there’s a
46:13
very fair question I think it’s I think
46:15
it’s perfectionism
46:16
I’ve except spent the last handful of
46:19
years coming to terms with the risks
46:21
inherent in writing a book like this and
46:24
the inescapable barrage of criticism
46:28
that I will get and so I’m really trying
46:30
to in gathering the notes focus on or
46:35
have the base assumption that it’s not
46:39
how many people don’t get it that
46:41
matters it’s how many people do get it
46:43
and yeah focusing I mean there are and I
46:46
heard recently in this actually a
46:48
documentary which is very entertaining
46:49
called the price of everything
46:51
paraphrasing here but there are three
46:53
categories of people those who see those
46:57
who can see when shown and those who
46:59
will never see and I’m really in the
47:02
context of a book like this trying to
47:04
focus on the first two categories so
47:07
I’ve accepted the the risks I think come
47:10
to terms with most of them it’s it’s
47:13
perfectionism I think yes that is that
47:16
is the hurdle I’m not clearing at the
47:19
moment yeah at least one yeah and it
47:24
just I mean I just still want to be on
47:25
this just for a moment I mean I I just
47:28
want to support you in the process I
47:30
mean that this the idea of a kind of
47:34
tools the Titans but applied to this
47:39
pain point
47:40
mmm-hmm just seems totally relevant
47:43
it just seems you know as anxiety has
47:46
become the number one you know diagnosed
47:50
condition
47:51
beating out depression now right does it
47:53
is there’s stuff going on and there’s
47:56
stuff going on there’s more traumas
47:58
going on in a variety of ways I think
48:00
that’s fair to say but also there’s more
48:03
openness to talking about traumas so all
48:05
these backlog of things not discuss to
48:08
suddenly be you know being able to be
48:12
discussed and and there’s just so much
48:15
going on in the cloud of noise out there
48:18
in social media and a variety of ways
48:20
you know that that I think people feel
48:23
unsettled inside and we’ve always known
48:26
that there were things out there that
48:27
could hurt as writers that we had the
48:29
Cold War we had there’s always risks in
48:32
the world but recently I feel like the
48:34
risks feel more within people than they
48:38
used to and so I just think it’s so
48:40
relevant and and and I think I think the
48:44
way that you would approach in you know
48:47
there’s there are obviously people that
48:49
will need it just the way you do it
48:51
weaknesses and all you know yeah what’s
48:54
and all that there so I
48:57
okay so that’s it there’s the case one
48:59
okay so so so let’s let’s move down to
49:02
Phase two which is what what are you
49:04
willing to give up to do this you know
49:06
what let me ask it slightly differently
49:07
which is what is something non-essential
49:10
that you’re over investing in currently
49:13
yeah that’s a great question
49:16
I’ve already categorically in the last
49:19
six months cut out certain things say
49:24
certainly any type of book blurbs which
49:27
necessitate reading books those are all
49:28
gone yeah speaking engagements all gone
49:31
with very rare exception unless they
49:33
happen to be within a 15 minute walk of
49:36
where I live which doesn’t doesn’t
49:38
happen very often and so is just like
49:45
classic there’s ever a your email
49:52
bounce-back has a word attachment to it
49:56
am I making this up I think this is what
49:57
I seem to recall it might it might it is
50:01
evolved over time but it’s it’s very
50:03
it’s very clear on the things that I do
50:05
not do one after another after another
50:09
like none of this stuff you ever eaten
50:12
had to be for any of this stuff there is
50:15
no point and I do I do when possible try
50:21
to point people to other helpful
50:22
resources would you which for whatever
50:24
for whatever reason people really don’t
50:27
want to read they want me to regurgitate
50:28
it in a half-assed manner to them one on
50:31
one rather than just pointing to them to
50:33
resource but that’s a whole separate
50:34
conversation so there are there are
50:36
things that have categorically decided
50:39
to say no to because I do not do
50:41
moderation well with those those items
50:46
right I don’t do moderation well nobody
50:49
does moderation well that’s my is my
50:52
opinion about this Soviet people don’t
50:54
do moderation well I decided go out
50:56
sugar a year ago and almost a year ago
50:59
New Year’s Eve talking to somebody I’ve
51:02
been thinking about doing it for a while
51:03
they’ve been on sugar for 12 years and
51:05
I’m like okay you know 12 years I can do
51:06
a year I’m going to make this decision
51:08
if I’ve gone 95 percent off
51:11
oh no I’m out before I begin
51:14
everything’s an exception well that’s
51:16
you know that’s amazing cake I’ve gotta
51:18
eat that I mean that’s oh this is a
51:20
holiday I’m gonna eat that it’s the
51:21
weekend I’m going how’s my wife I got it
51:24
now she’s into that guy everything’s an
51:27
exception so I think there’s a variety
51:29
of things in life that it’s a much much
51:32
easier to go a hundred percent than it
51:35
is to go 95 percent because what you’re
51:38
doing is you’re taking out the decision
51:39
process it’s done we are not doing sugar
51:43
now I don’t have to think every time and
51:45
by the way there’s crazy amounts of
51:47
sugar in this world yeah I don’t have to
51:50
think about it every time the decisions
51:51
already made so anyway I guess it’s oh
51:53
there’s a lot of things you’ve cut out
51:54
what not so I have one so the first I
51:59
want to just mention that one of the one
52:02
of the concepts in essentials and that I
52:04
really appreciated is trying to find the
52:06
one decision that removes a thousand
52:08
decisions such as the the elimination of
52:11
sugar that you mentioned as just one
52:14
example I will tell you where I struggle
52:18
and I think I’m better than maybe
52:22
average Joe or Jane at saying no to
52:25
things I’m quite good but one of the
52:27
great ironies of writing a book called
52:30
say essentialism or the 4-hour workweek
52:32
is that if those concepts hit and the
52:35
books do well you suddenly have a flood
52:37
a torrent of inbound requests and all
52:41
sorts of new categories of things to
52:43
contend with and I find myself
52:48
struggling to say no to people who
52:52
probably land on the spectrum of good
52:56
acquaintances to reasonably good friend
52:59
who asked for help with various things
53:03
and there are certain things that I feel
53:07
very comfortable saying no to like the
53:09
book blurbs but I have hundreds of
53:14
requests those aren’t all from friends
53:16
but dozens certainly for promotion of
53:20
their books on social it’s usually book
53:22
related because people want their books
53:23
to sell being on the podcast you name it
53:26
and I have I feel like friends who do
53:31
not fully think of the ramifications of
53:35
their request often times when it’s
53:37
last-minute where they wouldn’t ever go
53:39
to the New York Times the day before
53:41
they have something come out and ask for
53:42
everything to be reshuffled for their
53:43
benefit that is what ends up happening
53:46
to me on a fairly regular basis so I
53:48
think I allocate too much time to trying
53:51
to explain myself to those people or
53:54
placate those people in some way and I
53:58
would love to hear your thoughts on best
54:04
practices or heuristics related to that
54:07
specifically because I don’t view myself
54:09
as a people pleaser but nonetheless with
54:12
this particular subset of people I do
54:15
find it really challenging and there are
54:17
times when people I would like to
54:19
maintain a good relationship with who
54:21
come to me last-minute for help that I
54:22
cannot deliver without massively
54:25
inconveniencing my entire team and
54:27
reshuffling get very pissed in a way or
54:31
they take it very personally and maybe
54:34
that’s okay I think I tend to think that
54:36
it is and I’m going a little long here
54:38
but it’s I think a challenge that a lot
54:40
of people face what are your thoughts
54:42
well let’s let’s just agree on the
54:46
problem first of all because as a CEO
54:51
friend of mine once told me he said is
54:52
that I take every time and resource
54:57
estimate that’s given to me now and I
55:00
multiply it by PI so he’s saying I
55:06
thought he was exaggerating at first but
55:08
he’s saying he’s saying that people so
55:11
massively underestimate everything and
55:13
there is another heuristic for this
55:15
right it’s called the planning fallacy
55:16
the final fallacy is saying these things
55:20
take we as humans underestimate almost
55:23
all the time how long things will take
55:26
and we do that even with things we have
55:28
done ourselves before driving from point
55:30
A to point B takes us 15 minutes but if
55:33
we
55:33
in the middle of writing an email we
55:34
will convince ourselves we can do it in
55:37
five minutes this time well get there
55:39
all green lights everything’s gonna work
55:41
somehow it’ll be done in five minutes of
55:42
course we do it doesn’t take that long
55:44
it takes 50 minutes so we’re late for
55:45
the meeting right but we want Connor
55:47
selves into it what you’re describing I
55:49
think as two pieces to it the first is
55:52
this piece and the second is the
55:53
relationship impact of how to handle
55:57
this but what you’re describing is a
55:59
problem where somebody is really under
56:01
estimating what their request is they’re
56:06
saying in their head they’re going this
56:08
is a two-minute favor Tim it’s not hard
56:13
all you have to do is put out a tweet
56:15
how hard can it be or whatever and so in
56:19
their head they’re asked is very small
56:21
but the reality is that their ask is
56:24
much bigger right they don’t link them
56:26
they also don’t think about the
56:27
reputational risk or anything like that
56:29
of endorsing something that I don’t have
56:30
time to read a for instance well that’s
56:33
exactly so you know so so I think that
56:37
there is something around this again
56:40
before we get to the relationship impact
56:41
of and maybe it’s maybe you already did
56:44
it but of actually creating one page
56:48
you’ve got the email bounce-back
56:50
document having a page that says look
56:53
this is the real cost the total cost of
56:56
ownership of me saying yes to this so so
57:00
that and maybe because even once it’s
57:03
created it could be used in a variety of
57:04
ways one is reactively right when the
57:06
request comes in okay I needed to read
57:08
this first I need to understand but
57:10
maybe there’s a proactive approach which
57:12
is like look this is I’m just putting
57:14
this out there this is what this
57:16
actually costs because even what you
57:19
just said reputational costs not that
57:20
people aren’t thinking about that you
57:22
know they’re just thinking about getting
57:23
their thing achieved and and so being
57:26
able to try and calculate all of that
57:28
the total cost of ownership I mean
57:29
that’s what you have to do with the
57:30
planning fallacy is we have to consider
57:32
the total cost so that we don’t start
57:34
projects so we don’t complete in fact
57:36
there’s a New York Times just ran a
57:38
piece about exactly this that I’m aware
57:41
of because of because it’s quoting
57:43
essentialism you know in in trying to
57:45
address the problem but of
57:47
all these projects can start we don’t
57:48
finish this is just a version of that
57:51
problem that they’re coming they’re not
57:53
sure they’re not being the maybe are
57:54
being thoughtless maybe they don’t think
57:57
they’re being thoughtless they just
57:58
think it’s not a big deal for you and
58:00
they don’t understand the full range of
58:02
impact so I think writing this out live
58:04
almost like it’s a recipe this is the
58:06
cost and in that I think in the helpful
58:09
side of it you could say so in the
58:11
future if you want to be considered this
58:15
is the process you would need to go
58:17
through you know so that so again what’s
58:21
what’s happening is that you’ve got to
58:22
help other people’s problems be their
58:25
problem right and and there’s a story I
58:29
came across with a book that I really
58:30
like on this this principle which is I
58:32
think it’s a true story
58:34
I said quite remember now but it’s a dr.
58:37
cloud he’s talking about meeting with a
58:41
couple or husband why their parents and
58:43
they come to see him and they say they
58:46
say look you know our son we have so
58:48
many problems with our son and you know
58:51
he says I’m drugs he’s he’s drinking all
58:53
the time it’s living back at home with
58:54
us now I mean he’s just not got a job
58:56
everything is just such a mess for this
58:59
is so concerning he says okay well I
59:01
understand where is he though where you
59:03
have an appointment here to deal with
59:05
this where is your son they said they
59:08
said well you know he’s he doesn’t
59:10
really see that he has a problem and and
59:13
and that’s a person’s well I think I
59:17
think he’s right and they’re shocked at
59:22
that what do you mean that he’s right
59:24
you know just described all the problems
59:27
he said no he says he says listen he
59:29
says if if you look outside your window
59:32
in the morning and your sprinkler head
59:35
on your lawn is faulty and it’s spraying
59:40
on your neighbor’s grass and your
59:43
neighbor’s grass is green and your grass
59:46
is dying who has the problem you’ve got
59:50
the problem right because your grass is
59:52
dying your neighbor doesn’t have a
59:53
problem their grass is fine either your
59:55
son doesn’t have a problem because he’s
59:58
comfortable at home with you he has to
60:00
do whatever
60:00
she’s looked after life is fine he
60:03
doesn’t have a problem you have a
60:04
problem and your job now is to help your
60:07
son to have a problem your son have his
60:16
problem in a well-intended you’d be well
60:19
intended to truck but you’ve got it all
60:22
wrong you’ve got to let him own it if he
60:25
doesn’t have a problem if he if
60:27
everything’s taken care of for him he
60:29
can’t move forward he can’t get better
60:31
and and so now obviously it’s a bit
60:34
strong to use that example with the
60:36
example that you’ve you’ve led this
60:37
conversation with but but it is a
60:40
similar principle is that there has to
60:42
be a boundary and there has to be an
60:44
education of going you know you’ve made
60:46
this from my problem right now let me
60:48
just lay this out so that you can own
60:50
the problem so in the future we can do
60:53
this
60:53
perhaps in a better way yeah it’s it
60:56
makes perfect sense I I was told
60:58
something not not too terribly long ago
61:00
maybe two years ago it’s just along the
61:02
lines of a line you could use with such
61:05
people although you’d probably have to
61:07
dress it up a little bit which is you
61:09
know your lack of planning does not
61:10
constitute my emergency right right and
61:14
which is just I suppose in theory makes
61:17
a lot of sense but it sometimes falls by
61:20
the wayside and practice due to fear of
61:23
social repercussions which we can get to
61:26
and in a second I mean I’ve had some
61:28
awful experiences and I don’t to turn
61:29
this into a 100 percent Tim Ferriss
61:32
therapy session but just so people know
61:35
for those people out there who may be
61:37
like oh yeah that Tim Ferriss you never
61:38
agreed to X or whatever it is I’ve had
61:41
instances where journalists from
61:43
mainstream publications have reached out
61:45
for book blurbs or help with their own
61:47
projects I have Paul very politely
61:50
declined because I’ve been unable to
61:51
help them in the capacity they required
61:54
and they’ve gone on to write like hit
61:56
pieces or hatchet pieces or slammed
61:58
pieces about me out of spite and it’s
62:01
like that kind of happens so I
62:03
think I’m a little once bitten twice shy
62:07
from a lot of those experiences but
62:09
ultimately does any of that prevent me
62:11
from doing the
62:14
essential project that we discussed not
62:17
really so well that well that that right
62:21
there is of course is is exactly the
62:24
point if you know one can say let’s take
62:27
the let’s take the the opposite argument
62:29
for a moment and and I’ll just play
62:32
non-essential astir the conversation
62:34
which is yes Tim you’re getting it wrong
62:37
you’re thinking about yourself too much
62:40
and you every single request that
62:44
someone from from from media or any
62:47
friend or any acquaintance that anything
62:51
that they want from you you should be
62:53
saying yes there’s what you know you got
62:55
helped by lots of people therefore
62:57
you’re under total obligation to do it
62:59
for everybody else and and and you got
63:01
this wrong so is that argument right is
63:04
it really right it could be right is it
63:06
right it’s it’s I don’t think it’s right
63:09
and even if it were right it’s not
63:11
sustainable right it can’t be right or
63:24
will not continue it cannot continue
63:27
right so what you just said which is
63:28
awesome is like is like well it’s
63:32
correct other than it’s impossible yeah
63:35
right you helped us to to understand the
63:43
basic foundational error with
63:45
non-essential ISM like the problem with
63:48
non-essential ISM is that it happens it
63:51
was the only from happens to be a lie
63:54
it’s just got that inconvenience
63:56
associated with it you you can’t
63:59
actually do everything you can’t
64:03
actually get this next book that we’ve
64:07
just identified what it is why it
64:09
matters deeply why it matters launched
64:13
living and and out into the universe and
64:16
also do everything that people think is
64:21
reasonable for you to do you cannot do
64:24
both of those things
64:28
as soon as you come to terms with that
64:30
you say okay well good okay that’s not a
64:32
solution I can have that actually isn’t
64:35
it’s not you say not sustainable that
64:37
means it can’t be done you can pretend
64:39
you can be doing it for a little while
64:41
and then the book doesn’t get written so
64:44
all those people that the ones that
64:46
aren’t probably asking anything from you
64:48
but they’re still in pain and you could
64:50
still do something to be useful to them
64:52
provide them some helpful insights that
64:54
you’ve gained you know you can do that
64:56
or you can you can keep helping the
65:00
people that are asking for the things
65:01
that that really you know disrupts that
65:04
whole process so which do you want you
65:08
know which problem Tim do you want
65:11
yeah the former the former right mm-hmm
65:14
okay now you’re right it doesn’t make
65:15
the problem go away that you suddenly
65:17
feel bad and there could be other hit
65:20
jobs and there could be other
65:20
misunderstandings increases and that’s
65:22
true now so what we do is separate the
65:26
decision from the relationship you’ve
65:28
got to think of the decisions in two
65:30
separate buckets we’ve just done that
65:33
you know you’ve made the decision you
65:35
understand the decision and then of
65:36
course you say well there is still gonna
65:38
be relationship impact and that is true
65:40
and I don’t think you should pretend
65:41
that that isn’t true you know somehow in
65:44
some area fairy essentialist land oh you
65:46
can edit you know because that would be
65:50
violating the whole idea which is that
65:52
essentialists embrace the reality of
65:54
trade-offs of course there are
65:56
trade-offs you know of course there will
65:58
be people that are frustrated right
65:59
there they want the peace but just think
66:01
about think about you know think about
66:04
somebody Oprah how many requests are
66:09
going that she can’t possibly ask how
66:12
many people send her books can you
66:13
imagine how many books were being sent
66:16
to Oprah and the height of her the the
66:18
Oprah Show and everything I mean it’s
66:20
insane you’re number of well warehouses
66:23
for had to be warehouses for going that
66:26
way and she had to get somehow we
66:29
assumed that she appeared to to be to
66:31
get to a level of peace we don’t look
66:33
this is no way I can even touch any of
66:35
that stuff I’ve got to find to be truer
66:38
to this to this voice within me
66:40
clarity about what my mission is and my
66:44
essential mission and not all of this
66:47
other stuff it’s not being unhelpful to
66:49
the world for you to say no to something
66:53
that’s less important is not being
66:57
unhelpful or selfish in the world today
67:00
I don’t buy that your application is to
67:04
this to the highest point of
67:06
contribution you can make and but what I
67:07
think happens a lot is that people get
67:09
caught up in the idea that can I do this
67:14
thing and they it’s like they they
67:16
pretend there’s nothing left nothing
67:18
else going on in their life the request
67:19
comes in and they go can I do this
67:21
well yes I can do this I know how to do
67:24
is I can make this happen
67:25
and and and that’s not life that’s non
67:28
essentialist junk that’s just rubbish
67:30
the question is if I do this thing what
67:33
doesn’t get done what else gets pushed
67:36
out now I’m not saying don’t be help the
67:38
people to come requesting things that
67:40
can be absolutely ways of helping people
67:42
I want to help people but but if it’s at
67:45
the cost of something that’s actually
67:47
more important that makes a higher
67:49
contribution we have a obligation not to
67:52
do it now there’s one more piece here
67:54
which is important which is that you
67:55
don’t want to hurt these relationships
67:57
and that’s where the concern really
67:58
comes from so the question is is how can
68:00
you deal with this in a way that
68:02
minimizes the damage to you through some
68:05
media outlet stuff doing some hit peace
68:08
or help people to understand the context
68:11
behind it and I think that still comes
68:13
back to at least for yourself writing
68:16
this all out you know this is what I am
68:20
trying to do and why it matters I mean
68:22
in a way it’s having the conversation
68:24
we’ve just had mm-hmm but written out so
68:27
that it can be expressed again and again
68:30
and again the why behind this answer the
68:33
why it’s the thing that we miss out on
68:36
so let’s in fact move to step three so
68:38
step one was what is essential step two
68:40
is what is non-essential in step three
68:42
is how do you create a system that makes
68:44
executing what’s essential as effortless
68:46
as possible and it’s a perfect way to
68:49
get there at this point because because
68:51
having this this written out document
68:54
and
68:54
how you’ll use it is not sure yet about
68:57
that in my own head but if you have it
68:59
clearly written out this is what I’m
69:01
doing this is why this is the cost of
69:04
disrupting that this is what it does
69:06
this is who will lose out if I don’t
69:10
stay focused on this now all of that
69:12
becomes like a core a communication core
69:16
for yourself at a pivot but place to
69:18
pivot to when the request comes in you
69:20
know I maybe I can change it you know
69:23
everything today to make that possible
69:24
and you go hold on let’s go back to the
69:27
document my system was was away from
69:31
look a while a couple of weeks and and
69:35
the amount of damage I managed to do in
69:36
those couple of weeks we predicted us
69:38
you know the number of things I managed
69:41
to commit to pay attention but actually
69:43
she was gone for a month I’m remembering
69:44
now it’s for a honeymoon and and when
69:47
she she comes back and I I was very
69:50
positive
69:50
I wasn’t saying I’ve messed everything
69:52
up I said let me tell you all the things
69:54
that happened in the month you’ve gone
69:55
and it was just had a little silence at
69:57
the end of it all because she’s like if
70:00
she didn’t say it but this is this is
70:01
what’s in the silence it’s like you know
70:03
what’s wrong with you
70:05
you know how are you thinking that you
70:07
can take on all of those projects and
70:10
all of those ideas like that’s you you
70:14
aren’t you aren’t thinking fully about
70:16
the cost of doing all those things that
70:17
she was dead right and what grew out of
70:19
that is we came up with three rules of
70:21
things that I would and wouldn’t do and
70:25
I’ll give one of the rules was no
70:29
personalization and ending any
70:32
personalization so if I’m if I’m doing
70:35
keynotes workshops whatever I’ll listen
70:37
I’ll understand what the you know what
70:38
the company or the client at the
70:40
conference needs but but I’m not going
70:43
to redo rethink re-change I’m not
70:46
changing the slide and I’ll change it
70:48
that you know the subtle things you can
70:49
do in the moment but I’m not redoing
70:51
stuff because if you refuse personalize
70:54
everything as I as I want to do you it’s
70:59
like you’re rewriting a book every time
71:01
I mean you have to rethink everything
71:02
and that was one rule and we had to of
71:05
the world there are those are so helpful
71:07
and when I’m
71:08
you willing to share the other two rules
71:09
I’m trying to I should I should know
71:12
what they are right if I say those three
71:13
rules and they were really useful to me
71:17
if they come up they come up you can
71:19
also walk wait for them to surface yeah
71:23
so actually one was one was don’t over
71:27
over over correct based on based on a
71:33
negative feedback and that’s a little
71:36
more volatile to share that one but I
71:37
think everybody suffers with that vets
71:38
that’s why you know which is most
71:40
persons most universal I you know so
71:43
some so we do an event do a keynote
71:45
conference gets good feedback one of the
71:48
people you know in the comments says X
71:51
and I think Jesus elute right that isn’t
71:54
that is a valid criticism let’s change
71:56
it let’s redo how we’re doing this to
71:59
address that concern it’s the same sort
72:01
of thing it’s overreacting to it and
72:04
frankly when you overreact to this kind
72:06
of feedback you really cause a problem
72:10
for other people giving feedback and I
72:12
in hindsight can see how that’s been in
72:14
my life right somebody who’s trying to
72:15
be helpful they’re trying to be honest
72:17
they’re giving the feedback and I’m
72:18
multiplying the effect of it and then it
72:21
so that was number two and I think
72:28
number three might have been something
72:29
like you know it was like either no new
72:34
projects like beyond what we’d
72:36
identified like we very identified a
72:38
couple of really big things I want to go
72:40
after it was like no no no new projects
72:43
outside of that it might have been it
72:47
might have been specifically no workshop
72:49
business which is there’s always a
72:52
demand for it with essentialism there’s
72:54
always been interest in it I always feel
72:56
an obligation because one there’s a need
72:59
people are interested and to you know
73:02
just just I think there’s a full
73:04
business here and it could it could
73:06
easily be or have been successful
73:09
business and those things have keep
73:11
pulling me into it and and I just might
73:14
whenever I start working on it I’m like
73:17
you know you see those kids in a
73:20
Superman you see a kid
73:22
on the floor not throwing a tantrum they
73:24
just lying on the floor like legs spread
73:27
out I’m spread out just like that they
73:32
have no energy to even get up off the
73:34
floor this is this is how much passion
73:37
they feel too for being in the
73:39
supermarket on this day just like
73:40
nothing here is interesting not one part
73:44
of me wants to be getting up and doing
73:46
this that’s how I feel in that business
73:57
say that in one way or another so many
74:00
times okay should do I know I should do
74:04
this okay let’s do it we make it happen
74:07
and finally she’s just like look there’s
74:10
no part of you that wants to do this why
74:13
are you doing this it’s so weak most I
74:14
think those are the truth we got there
74:16
so instead of storm trooper you could
74:18
use floor angel as a shorthand for that
74:21
we’re doing floor angels what you can of
74:32
building a system for you and I don’t
74:34
want to I don’t want a short changes too
74:36
much we needed a little more which is
74:37
sure you’ve identified now something
74:39
that you is essential to you you’ve
74:41
identified something that’s
74:42
non-essential but all quit for you that
74:45
that’s risky for you that you you could
74:47
give up so there’s a trade-off now so we
74:49
have an essential trade-off and but
74:52
that’s not enough because as soon as you
74:54
know we’ve finished this conversation
74:55
all of those dynamics that have been
74:57
there before still are there there is a
74:59
system in place that keeps you away from
75:03
getting on with this next book it keeps
75:06
you saying yes to requests and feeling
75:09
really fearful about about pushing back
75:11
we’ve identified one thing so far you
75:13
can do to build a system which is
75:15
writing this all out so that you have it
75:16
there so that you can either say in
75:19
person or put in email or express
75:22
clearly the why in of why this cannot
75:27
simply be an easy yes why this is a
75:29
costly yes and and this makes me just
75:32
think for a moment just about this
75:33
simple idea which is that too
75:35
every request whether there are quest
75:37
comes from somebody else or from within
75:38
ourselves which is where a lot of the
75:40
non-essential stuff comes from there’s
75:42
only three options right you can say yes
75:44
you can say no or you can negotiate and
75:47
that’s it and and I think what happens
75:51
is that people default yes because
75:52
they’re so fearful of a rude no and its
75:54
effects and so they forget that there is
75:59
a negotiate part of this there is a
76:02
educate part of this and that’s what I
76:04
think this is this document can help
76:06
with is is reminding yourself at Edo
76:09
getting yourself clear and then you can
76:11
educate other people too because they
76:13
just don’t know they don’t understand
76:14
what their request really means and what
76:16
the cost really is so so that’s one
76:20
thing but there’s got to be more and we
76:21
ought to do something else that will
76:23
actually help you make the shift let me
76:27
just ask one more time do you want to
76:29
make this shift
76:30
do you want to make this trade-off yes I
76:32
do okay so so what would help do it I
76:37
mean you’ve got masses and ideas
76:39
yourself already of hats and tools and
76:42
tricks to be able to help people to
76:44
execute when they otherwise wouldn’t so
76:46
you could definitely help to co.design
76:48
this right that’s how we began right the
76:50
design school at Stanford to help
76:52
actually design a system that’s weighted
76:55
in your favor and we know when we’ll get
76:57
there we’ll know when we’ve achieved it
76:59
because on a day you don’t want to make
77:02
the trade-off you’ll still make it right
77:05
on a day that you don’t want to make the
77:08
trade-offs you’ll still make it that’s
77:09
when you’ve got a system working on your
77:11
side yeah which is I should just also
77:14
note for people listening applies to
77:16
diet applies to exercise applies to just
77:21
about anything where a system can be
77:23
designed that is weighted in your favor
77:27
in such a way that it’s it’s unlikely to
77:31
fail right so one question / topic that
77:36
would be very helpful just to hear you
77:39
talk about I’ve thought about it quite a
77:40
lot but I’d love to hear your thoughts
77:41
and it’ll give me also an excuse to read
77:44
something from your book that I that I
77:46
enjoy is
77:49
determining what a fair well reasoned
77:55
polite decline looks like and
78:00
recognizing that I only have control
78:03
over the delivery of that message not
78:05
how people emotionally respond to it and
78:09
really just leaving it at that like I
78:11
have delivered my message in a fair
78:13
even-handed manner and it’s up to the
78:18
recipient as to how they want to respond
78:20
and if they if they over react in some
78:23
negative way that is their problem not
78:26
my problem and I bring it up on a meta
78:29
level I just want to mention one line
78:31
that I highlighted in your book actually
78:34
I mentioned to the first is make your
78:37
peace with the fact that saying no often
78:38
requires trading popularity for respect
78:40
and I’ll just read this part here yes
78:45
saying no respectfully reasonably in
78:46
gracefully can come in a short-term
78:47
social cost but part of living the way
78:49
of the essentialist is realizing respect
78:51
is far more valuable than popularity in
78:52
the long run this gives me an excuse to
78:55
just read I don’t think I would use this
78:57
exact text but Peter Drucker who is one
79:03
of my favorite authors his extremely
79:06
boring lis titled book the effective
79:09
executive is he remains one of my my my
79:12
repeat reads but his response and you
79:15
may have to help me with the last name
79:17
here but I think it’s is it check sent
79:19
me hi is that the professor is replying
79:22
to you but he’s replying to a request
79:24
and his polite decline goes as follows
79:26
quote I am greatly honored and flattered
79:28
by your kind letter in February 14th for
79:30
I’ve admired you in your work for many
79:31
years and I’ve learned much from it but
79:33
my dear professor C I’ll just abbreviate
79:35
I’m afraid I have to disappoint you I
79:37
could not possibly answer your questions
79:39
I am told I am creative I don’t know
79:41
what that means I just keep plotting I
79:43
hope you will not think me presumptuous
79:45
or rude if I say that one of the secrets
79:46
of productivity
79:47
whereas I do not believe in creativity
79:50
is to have a very big all caps very big
79:52
waste paper basket to take care of all
79:55
all caps invitations such as yours
79:57
productivity in my experience consists
79:59
of not all caps doing anything that
80:01
helps the work
80:02
people but to spend all one’s time on
80:04
the work and the good Lord has fitted
80:05
one to do and to do it well end quote
80:09
that’s that’s very clear and very direct
80:14
ha do you have any suggestions for
80:17
templates or favorite ways of saying no
80:22
to requests from people you know that
80:25
you simply cannot or do not want to
80:27
comply with let’s just pause for a
80:29
second on that story how do we have the
80:32
text why do we know that that’s how he
80:35
responded well we know because we know
80:39
because it got published in the book on
80:43
creativity positively saying this is one
80:48
of the keys to creativity is you know I
80:51
reached out to him and he showed me this
80:53
and I learned something in the process
80:54
which is that highly creative people are
80:57
willing to block out space to do the
80:59
work that they are built to do and want
81:01
to do and aren’t just doing everything
81:03
that everybody else is doing what
81:05
everybody asks of them so it what it
81:08
helps us to identify is that there is
81:10
such a situation as being able to push
81:14
back say no and there to be a positive
81:16
result come from it you know I liked you
81:19
I liked your email bounce back this was
81:21
positive to me I learned things from it
81:23
myself this is you know there is such a
81:26
thing and often with such novices at no
81:30
we just are so fearful of it we don’t
81:33
learn how to do it and we don’t do it so
81:35
we just assume that bad things are going
81:38
to come sometimes they do but I think
81:41
that we are we have to do like reverse
81:43
pilots sometimes where we try not doing
81:46
something and saying no to something or
81:48
just not doing it at all and seeing what
81:50
the effects are and learning from it in
81:53
our way you know in terms of a template
81:56
I’ve explored lots of templates and lots
81:58
of things as an example that came up
82:01
recently I really liked which is the
82:03
illustrates one way to do this is from
82:05
is from Warren Buffett Warren Buffett
82:09
right respected yes right quoted all the
82:14
time
82:14
arguably the most
82:16
did investor ever you know he’s
82:19
constructed a system in his life that
82:21
allows him to communicate and give back
82:23
to people you know through his through
82:26
his annual conference for example but
82:28
that doesn’t mean that he’s saying yes
82:30
that every quest along the way so in
82:33
fact there’s an interesting story Tony
82:34
Robbins tells a story in his in his book
82:37
on finance about Warren Buffett in which
82:39
he basically failed to get Warren
82:42
Buffett to ever be interviewed for his
82:44
book he’s getting all the big top
82:47
investors that he’s priding himself from
82:49
being able to access these people and
82:50
he’s he’s using all of those named
82:53
people and those relationships excuse me
82:55
to go after warren buffett to keep
82:57
tapping him for an interview and and and
83:01
still he’s not getting anything so then
83:03
they’re at some meteor event together
83:04
they’re about to you know one’s bet he’s
83:07
leaving and tell he’s going on to be
83:09
interviewed and he catches him for
83:10
saying he says oh i’m doing this book
83:12
and so-and-so is reaching out to you and
83:14
i’d love to have you in this and and his
83:16
response was was uh you know i just
83:19
don’t i think i just said everything i
83:21
could say on that subject I just don’t
83:23
think there’s you know there’s anything
83:25
else I could I could I could add to
83:27
what’s what’s already out there well
83:29
that’s that’s his polite though and the
83:33
people that are best that I don’t think
83:34
are saying no and I don’t even think
83:36
they have to be as Peter Drucker was
83:37
kind of I mean a particularly explicit
83:43
necessary either I think you could just
83:46
be very quiet
83:47
happily gently you know I’m I just don’t
83:50
think I could add anything to that
83:52
projects a thanks for thinking of me I
83:54
just don’t think I’m I’d be the right
83:55
person for that I just think you know
83:57
I’ve done everything I can do on that
83:59
and and it’s so important I mean Peter
84:02
Drucker’s not director and Warren
84:04
Buffett I cannot find the original
84:07
citation of this that it’s him but he’s
84:09
quoted as having said that the
84:12
difference between successful people and
84:14
very successful people is that very
84:16
successful people say no to almost
84:17
everything mm-hmm and that’s what he’s
84:21
doing so I think what I’m trying to say
84:23
sometimes you can simply say no I mean
84:26
it it does depend on the relationship
84:28
and the request
84:29
but also I think sometimes it’s just the
84:32
best no is a yes it’s saying it’s saying
84:34
look yes I can I can do you know I’m
84:36
doing this so I just couldn’t do
84:40
anything beyond this you know I I’m your
84:44
request to be interviewed with something
84:46
hi you know I’ve I’m working on this
84:48
book this this really important project
84:51
it’s high-risk for me I think it can
84:53
make a huge difference but it’s
84:54
consuming all of my energies and
84:57
creativity right now to do this right
84:59
and I just can’t get this wrong that’s
85:02
that’s that’s you know that’s what I’ve
85:04
that’s what I can do I think it’s it’s
85:09
starting with the yes in some ways I
85:11
think the best knows are really really
85:13
saying the yes that we’re committed to
85:15
saying what we’re what we’re doing and
85:18
you’re right sometimes people they’ll
85:20
react badly but that if we’ve been
85:22
respectful if we’ve been thoughtful if
85:25
we’ve been useful within the parameters
85:29
that we’ve identified for example if you
85:31
can actually do a favor for someone in
85:33
five minutes if you really have a system
85:35
that allows it to be five minutes fine
85:37
five minute favor I’m a big I can be a
85:40
believer in that discipline giving I’m a
85:42
believer in that but if within that
85:45
context you’ve made if then somebody is
85:47
upset takes the victim approach is
85:50
basically throwing a tantrum yeah that’s
85:53
that’s no fun for anybody but that’s not
85:55
good enough reason to have said yes to
85:57
it as every great leader who’s ever
86:00
dealt with and every great parent has
86:02
dealt with almost of the daily basis
86:04
every great parent is dealing with a
86:06
situation where a child wants something
86:08
and they may throw some sort of tension
86:10
if it is not a major tantrum because
86:13
they didn’t get the thing they wanted of
86:14
course and we just have to be adults
86:16
about it and mature about it and and
86:21
recognize yeah you know I’m gonna keep
86:23
everybody happy all the time what’s a
86:25
calm definitely you you have is it for
86:30
kids Yeah right so not not very
86:34
essentially something but you’ve had a
86:38
fair amount of practice
86:40
with the the tantrum mitigating or at
86:42
least accepting of those possible
86:45
consequences I’d love to chat for a
86:47
second if if we if we can and this just
86:52
gives me an option to to read also
86:54
something that that’s stuck with me from
86:57
your book which was and I’ll just read
87:00
the excerpts so this is a case study or
87:03
a story of a gentleman named Jeff GE o
87:07
FF and talks about his progressive
87:11
burnout effectively but he he ultimately
87:15
quote paid a high price to learn a
87:17
simple yet essential lesson and that is
87:19
protect the asset and then I I thought
87:23
this was worth mentioning for people who
87:25
are type-a personalities achievers who
87:27
are very good at getting things done or
87:30
pride themselves on that and the quote
87:34
is as follows in the many hours Jeff
87:37
spent resting he came to see an
87:38
interesting paradox resting after he
87:40
burned out interesting paradox in his
87:42
addiction to achievement for type-a
87:43
personality it is not hard to push
87:45
oneself hard pushing oneself to the
87:47
limit is easy the real challenge for the
87:49
person who thrives on challenges is not
87:51
to work hard he explains to any
87:53
overachievers quote if you think you are
87:55
so tough you can do anything I have a
87:56
challenge for you if you really want to
87:58
do something hard say no to an
87:59
opportunity so you can take a nap and I
88:03
thought this might be a good place to
88:05
explore the quarterly off-site which I
88:08
don’t recall is being explored very much
88:10
in the book but I’ve heard it mentioned
88:12
in some interviews that you’ve done
88:13
could you perhaps elaborate on what the
88:19
personal quarterly off-site is it’s it’s
88:24
creating space for you to actually think
88:28
long term about what really matters in
88:33
the great you know in the greater scheme
88:36
of things I mean it’s the same as any
88:38
executive team they have a quarterly
88:40
off-site and annual off-site why do they
88:42
do it because they know if they don’t
88:43
they’re going to get buried in reacting
88:45
to to the proximate issues instead of
88:52
seeing strategically where they want to
88:53
be
88:53
headed and what trade-offs they need to
88:55
make in order to get there and if it’s
88:57
just the same for it’s the same for at
89:00
the individual level we my wife and I
89:06
started doing the quarterly off sites
89:08
two or three years ago and and that that
89:14
in fact in fact one of the things I did
89:15
to try and describe the system to make
89:18
sure we followed through is I did it
89:19
where we had a few people come together
89:21
and and I was sort of leading the the
89:25
process but but underneath one of the
89:28
important intents of it was so that Ana
89:30
and I could actually have a full day
89:33
once every quarter you know way from
89:36
everything else and to think about the
89:38
the long-term calls and and out of that
89:41
process for us and what what are you
89:44
doing on that in that process you you’re
89:46
saying okay what’s happened over the
89:49
last you know that big picture you could
89:52
say okay what’s happened to my life
89:53
well what’s the long-term perspective
89:55
here we’re about where where am i where
89:58
whatever bid what’s been going on you
90:02
see you’re trying to get a clear view of
90:05
of your life what’s been going on with
90:07
it and then you say okay going forward
90:09
long-term perspective what what would I
90:12
like to be achieved
90:13
what what what feels important again
90:15
it’s not just success says it’s not just
90:18
goal setting you know set the wrong
90:20
goals
90:21
it’s what’s essential to me what it
90:23
feels like my mission to pursue and and
90:27
I remember in that very first official
90:29
session that we did and as she was going
90:32
through the process had identified a
90:34
couple of things that were really
90:36
important and I could tell they were
90:38
they had been within her but they just
90:40
have came to us the surface one of them
90:45
one of them was a Hello might sound
90:48
funny to people but but it was like
90:50
horses horses right that’s a weird thing
90:52
to say isn’t there horses there’s
90:53
nothing we expect me to say she said I
90:56
just had this vision of having a place
91:00
with horses and it’s not necessarily
91:03
even that we were in the horses it
91:05
wasn’t even necessarily that
91:07
and we don’t have any horse background
91:09
it’s not a horse people I mean nothing
91:13
like that but but it was a sense of if
91:16
we if we were to achieve what that means
91:21
our children would grow up in a certain
91:24
kind of environment it was like a symbol
91:26
of a certain type of childhood and our
91:30
children were at the time was sort of in
91:33
in the golden years which means which
91:36
means the years before they’re driving
91:38
and after they’re out of diapers and so
91:42
it’s like a magical period because you
91:44
can do things you can make memories
91:45
together you can do it and we weren’t
91:47
living in a place at the time we were in
91:49
the middle of Silicon Valley which is
91:50
terrific in lots of ways but it’s not
91:51
it’s not you know you’re not gonna end
91:53
up with horses right you have to think
91:56
differently and that single insight in
92:00
that core to the off-site shifted a
92:02
whole sense of intent and we realized if
92:05
we want to do this while our children
92:07
are still in this golden years we’re
92:08
gonna have to move sooner rather than
92:12
later to be able to achieve this dream
92:14
otherwise we’re going to achieve it
92:16
after at least the Elvis is out of the
92:18
house and then well as the point and so
92:21
it was an insight a strategic insight
92:23
that has had profound influence on a you
92:26
know it’s a one decision that makes a
92:28
thousand there’s a whole series of
92:30
things we had to do to put in process to
92:32
be prepared to organize it to find such
92:34
a place and so on and it took a while to
92:36
do it but it took a couple of years
92:39
maybe maybe as much as that and and and
92:45
out now we live in a community that
92:47
you’re required to have space for horse
92:49
that you don’t have to have them but you
92:51
have to have space for them and and that
92:53
single criteria again makes a lot of
92:56
other influences change right you’re
92:58
going to be around a lot of nature
93:00
you’re going to be even the kind of
93:01
people in some ways that you’re around a
93:03
certain certain value system that they
93:06
care about all those kinds of things
93:08
and so and so that’s the that’s sort of
93:11
a personal example of why to hold
93:16
personal quarterly off sites it shifts
93:20
whole direction you’re going in it gives
93:22
you it tilts and bends your your you
93:25
know your narrative as you go forward do
93:28
you have any recommendations for other
93:32
format best practices or any best
93:35
practices for personal offsites is that
93:37
it is it an afternoon is it a day is it
93:39
two days is it in your living room is it
93:44
off-site okay here’s what I think I
93:48
think I think it’s off-site it’s in
93:51
nature or thereabout you know it’s it’s
93:54
somewhere that’s that’s quiet
93:56
uninterrupted I know if some people I’ve
94:00
never done this but I know some if
94:03
someone who has a second phone and their
94:05
second phone is a it’s like one of these
94:07
little credit card sized phones and
94:10
there’s only two people in the world
94:12
that have the number to this phone and
94:13
so when they go it means they can be
94:15
reached for emergency but that’s it and
94:17
so they are just gone so that they can
94:19
have an under trip to space which is
94:21
very hard to have these days so you want
94:23
to be in an uninterrupted environment
94:26
you want to not have tags that email and
94:29
all of that available
94:30
you know III recommend you either to on
94:33
your own or maybe with one other person
94:36
you know a design partner that you can
94:38
you can really go through the process I
94:40
think that the longer the perspective is
94:43
the better you know the one I was
94:45
referring to we actually started prior
94:47
to our life you know it’s back to those
94:51
who started great-grandparents in fact
94:55
great-grandparents parents your own life
94:57
and then going forward to the end of
95:00
your life to your kids grandkids
95:01
great-grandchildren or if you have
95:03
children it’s just the people that you
95:04
would influence generations from now and
95:06
it’s that kind of huge vision that kind
95:09
of level of perspective that helps to to
95:12
draw up within you an unexpected insight
95:15
something that you already know but
95:17
somehow is being buried because you’re
95:19
you’re thinking about life in in in just
95:22
sort of reactive ways what questions do
95:24
you ask related to you or might you ask
95:26
related to say your grandparents or
95:28
great-grandparents it portion of the
95:31
of the session things that include well
95:37
first of all write down anything you
95:40
know about them it won’t take long
95:44
it’s its own kind of lesson actually
95:47
what what what do you know about them
95:50
most people I think less than 5% of
95:54
people not scientifically but based on
95:56
thousands of people many thousands
95:59
people I’ve asked this question to now
96:01
cannot name the first and last names of
96:04
each of their great-grandparents right
96:06
eight great-grandparents they cannot
96:08
name the first and last name of all
96:10
eight we cannot even name the the first
96:15
and last names of the people that male
96:16
is everything we I it’s extraordinary
96:18
it’s its own lesson then we they that’s
96:22
where where we live at the country we
96:23
live the the language we speak that
96:25
everything was in with either determined
96:28
by them or largely influenced by these
96:30
people we don’t even know their names
96:31
amazing but we know something about them
96:34
if we know anything about we should
96:35
gather it what has lasted what decisions
96:40
have they made that still affect us even
96:42
if we don’t know anything about them
96:43
what to see you know they we know know
96:45
their names we know that well they move
96:46
to this country they move to this place
96:48
they did anything that we know they’ve
96:50
impacted us so what what lasted for good
96:52
or ill what has lasted here two
96:55
grandparents so people know a lot more
96:56
about their grandparents in general
96:58
you’re asking okay what positive things
97:00
that they do that they’re still with you
97:02
how did they JQ that in ways that you
97:05
would want to pass on to others what
97:09
challenges did they bring into the table
97:11
meaning to almost always not meaning to
97:13
if you you’ve been impacted by decisions
97:16
they made it’s true for almost everybody
97:19
I mean great very rare you have all
97:21
positives from your ancestors right
97:24
every that would be fantastic
97:25
sometimes people do get pretty close to
97:27
that but but but moat for most of us
97:31
it’s pretty dysfunctional family history
97:33
once you get back a little ways and it’s
97:36
same for parents so you you’re really
97:38
trying to understand what is their
97:41
impact what have their decisions been
97:43
impact on me positively
97:45
negatively now what am i grateful for I
97:49
mean I’m a big believer in the idea that
97:51
if we’re going to blame people we got to
97:54
blame them intelligently I watch
98:00
somebody talking about this one’s had an
98:02
impact on me which is if you go to blame
98:03
your parents or your grandparents or
98:04
something you can blame him for
98:05
everything meaning yeah yeah I blame you
98:08
for this bad decision but I also blame
98:11
you for giving me my life you know I
98:14
also blame I blame you for having you
98:17
know mess this thing up that’s always
98:19
made this particular thing hard for me
98:21
or for my for my brother father but I
98:23
also blame you for the fact that they
98:26
turned that around and became strong and
98:28
I’ve always always benefited from that
98:30
strength so you blame intelligently you
98:32
see the good and the bad you blame and
98:34
tells you that you’re looking at the
98:35
whole picture so that you can see a life
98:37
with some sort of perspective mm-hmm and
98:42
this is something I learned that the
98:43
design school it Stanford I didn’t know
98:45
it then I was still thinking birth till
98:49
death thinking I thought that’s pretty
98:52
long-term perspective if you’re getting
98:53
people to think about their whole life
98:55
from birth till death you are doing a
98:56
good thing and I think it probably was a
98:58
good thing and it’s certainly far more
99:00
long-term than most people think on a
99:04
daily basis but it’s so insufficient
99:06
it’s necessary but insufficient we kind
99:09
of what a self-centered perspective I
99:11
couldn’t believe it actually when I
99:13
really realized how blind of a
99:15
perspective I was suggesting I mean but
99:19
like like like my story begins like like
99:24
the story of my life is really about me
99:26
what a weird thing to think that I it’s
99:31
about my birth my death and what’s
99:33
happened in between
99:33
the narrative is so much richer than
99:36
that and I’ve got to tap into that so
99:39
that as I then move into the future I’m
99:41
also doing the same thing so in these
99:43
personal quarters off sites it’s pushing
99:44
yourself beyond that you’re saying okay
99:45
what what do I want my children
99:48
grandchildren generations especially
99:51
this idea what do I want my the
99:55
generation that has forgotten me
99:59
what impact do I want to have on them
100:01
yeah if it’s true that we can’t even
100:04
name my great-grandparents then it’s
100:06
gonna be true that our
100:07
great-grandchildren can’t won’t name up
100:09
there than a month or it might be true I
100:12
know the true might be true but the
100:14
impact doesn’t change just the memory
100:17
changes its its impact outlast memory
100:20
and so and so this perspective this
100:23
helps to reveal for us the difference
100:27
between good things and essential things
100:31
and that’s the whole shift you know the
100:34
the essentialism is different to every
100:36
other productivity system that I’m
100:38
familiar with in this primary way it’s
100:41
not about getting more stuff done it’s
100:43
about getting more of the right things
100:45
done and it’s not about efficiently
100:48
doing what’s on the to-do list it’s
100:51
realizing but the most important thing
100:53
isn’t even on the to-do list that’s the
100:57
insight and that’s what the personal
100:59
course the off-site can do could you
101:02
chat a little bit this is very helpful
101:05
about the what makes a good design
101:10
partner and what that might look like
101:12
how you help each other because Design
101:16
Thinking came up a little bit earlier
101:18
maybe you could just define that for
101:20
folks since it came in the context of
101:22
the d.school at Stanford but you know
101:25
what what is design thinking and what
101:26
makes a good design partner and what
101:30
might they ask you or do in a quarterly
101:34
off-site okay well let’s start with what
101:37
makes a bad design partner perfect yeah
101:41
a bad design partner a bad friend but
101:44
you know relationship is one that they
101:48
eats their heart out if you’re
101:50
successful and has some sort of pleasure
101:53
if you’re unsuccessful right I guess
101:56
that’s that’s what’s that that’s that’s
102:00
like a bad relationship and and and
102:03
unfortunately I think because of our
102:05
human weakness that that is often what
102:08
we’re offering you know that’s often
102:10
what we’re offered
102:12
and so you got to find that person who
102:14
is celebrating your success who wants
102:17
your success when you’re successful they
102:19
don’t they don’t go genius I’m now
102:21
jealous of that huh what’s wrong with me
102:23
T Chester delighted and I I say this not
102:28
in a small way I mean that’s I am
102:30
fortunate they might design partly right
102:32
that’s my wife
102:33
and it is is this and she has been the
102:35
whole time I’ve ever known and it’s been
102:37
really amazing and I think often about
102:40
how different my life would have been
102:41
without her being that design partner
102:44
I’m not making some I don’t know some
102:47
cheap comment or cheap praise me without
102:51
her is is not to have written
102:53
essentialism no way I most wanted to I
102:57
might have thought about it but the idea
102:58
of executing that the idea of completing
103:00
it the idea of the the key breakthrough
103:04
moments it’s it’s not that she’s done it
103:06
is that she’s believed in me as I’ve
103:09
tried to do these things I mean I read
103:12
somewhere that all you need is one
103:13
person to believe in you for the rest of
103:16
your life to have somebody believe in
103:18
you affirm you just not and the weaker
103:23
version of that is like don’t talk them
103:25
down but don’t you know why are you
103:28
doing that man since we’re why would you
103:31
want to achieve that there any of that
103:32
kind of stuff just to have somebody that
103:35
isn’t doing that is something but but
103:38
that’s that is dad has been incredible
103:40
useful to me with Emma and so with the
103:44
design partner you know that’s that’s
103:46
what you’re trying to at least
103:47
approximate and so it could it could be
103:50
doesn’t have to be a spouse of course it
103:51
could be it can be a friend it can be it
103:53
could be a colleague it could be you
103:55
know some it could be a parent it could
103:56
be you know anybody but as long as these
103:59
are the rules of the road I I think I
104:04
think the only other thing I want to say
104:06
about the design part is is that one
104:09
shouldn’t expect the conversations to
104:12
all be easy especially if you’re
104:15
choosing someone who knows you well
104:17
because they’re a support review doesn’t
104:20
mean that they’re going to say easy
104:22
things to you I mean I don’t
104:26
I mean the idea of having a close
104:28
relationship with someone I mean I’m
104:30
talking marriage there for some reason
104:31
and you reflecting on that the idea that
104:37
you can have relationship without having
104:40
conflict is absurd there is conflict in
104:43
all of life and so having conflict about
104:48
what is important it is really to be
104:54
expected and to figure out together to
104:58
have even what is sometimes painful
105:01
conversations Oh what is most important
105:05
to us is it this thing or that thing
105:06
which is the trade-off how much of this
105:09
are we really going to have in our life
105:11
this is hard work and it’s not one more
105:15
thing to do it’s like the very work of
105:17
life and so with the design partner you
105:20
you’re engaging you’re willing to engage
105:21
now in something over time that could be
105:24
quite quite tough especially as I say if
105:27
you’re living together with this look
105:29
the output of the decisions you know
105:33
those those are some of the things I’ve
105:35
learned that I’ve thought about but I do
105:38
think having a design partner or two is
105:40
it can be a good idea there may be maybe
105:43
one of the comment about is that maybe
105:46
I’ve been a little idealistic to say it
105:47
this way but but having people who can
105:50
powerfully listen is got to be a key
105:54
element of success with a design partner
105:57
to be a powerful listener is is is also
106:01
pretty rare there are people that aren’t
106:05
the second you say well I’ve been
106:07
thinking about this jumping in with
106:08
their opinion reading their
106:10
autobiography into your life telling you
106:13
what you know you got to have space and
106:16
and I think it would be better to go on
106:18
a personal course with offset on your
106:19
own then it would be to go with somebody
106:23
who’s just going to jump in immediately
106:25
and interrupt your thinking and tell
106:27
them about what you think and the whole
106:30
idea is to create space to be able to
106:34
discern that voice we will have lots of
106:39
names
106:40
right but we’re just the voice your own
106:43
conscience your own sense of direction
106:46
and to be able to listen to that so that
106:49
you can discern again between all these
106:52
good things all these different tools
106:54
and so on and really what it is that you
106:57
feel even you you know what you came
106:59
here to do and that’s the point of it if
107:02
there’s no one who can help with that
107:04
process
107:05
go on your own but if you’ve got
107:08
somebody who can do it together with and
107:10
you’re doing it for them too so it’s not
107:11
one way you you’re being listener for
107:14
them and not just what they’re saying
107:16
but to try and get deeper and to hear
107:20
what they’re not saying in pursuit of
107:23
and if the Quakers have a process it’s
107:26
very powerful if you even put a link to
107:28
this possibly I don’t know if I’d get
107:30
some notes or whatever but but a process
107:32
that they follow called the clarity it’s
107:37
not the clarity Council but it’s
107:38
something like that the clarity and it’s
107:41
they they they have rules these two
107:43
rules which is that you’re not allowed
107:45
to make give any opinion and you’re not
107:48
allowed to give any advice and advise
107:52
any opinion you can only ask honest
107:56
questions in pursuit of helping someone
108:00
to find clarity and so your goal is not
108:04
to persuade them to do something or
108:06
persuade them not to do something it is
108:08
to ask questions so that they can feel
108:11
and get clear on what is they feel right
108:16
to do mm-hmm
108:18
that is that’s again I know I’m talking
108:20
high standards I know this is
108:22
aspirational things but that’s really
108:26
what you’re trying to get to you’re
108:28
trying to create an environment I mean I
108:30
one of the things I’ll do and I
108:31
certainly meditate I mean I I pray and
108:34
so I pray when I’m on these off sites so
108:37
that I can feel that sense of direction
108:40
you know I’ll read I bring literature
108:44
with me that gets me centered what type
108:47
of literature any examples yeah I mean
108:50
beyond beyond Scripture which I do bring
108:53
it to
108:53
read it can be it can be you know it’s
108:57
classic literature it’s it’s you know
109:00
what it’s not as as important as what it
109:02
is it’s not rubbish it’s not just
109:06
thoughts of the day latest reactive
109:09
thing it’s you know it’s as far away
109:12
from the latest news update as I can get
109:15
so I just finished reading John Adams
109:20
autobiography not automatically
109:23
biography by by David McCullough and I
109:27
loved that that’s a long biography and
109:29
by the end of it I just loved John Adams
109:32
and loved what he was trying to do and
109:34
it inspired me no end to what I want to
109:38
be able to do with my you know with my
109:40
son I have a son and actually he’s a
109:42
namesake just like John Adams has John
109:44
Quincy Adams and it’s just inspiring of
109:46
each other Adams reads he was reading
109:49
Latin Greek all of these not these
109:53
classic texts not just classic texts in
109:55
English in their original Greek and
109:57
Latin I mean that’s amazing it puts me
110:00
without excuse something I think okay I
110:02
need to give up this kind of junk
110:04
gossipy news that that is so easy to get
110:09
dragged into multiple times a day
110:11
berating everything’s breaking news now
110:13
everything’s breaking breaking news
110:15
there’s it the most important thing
110:17
that’s ever happened and it’s and when
110:19
you you click on the bait what you find
110:22
is that somebody is now talking about
110:25
someone who was tweeting about somebody
110:29
else who was tweeting and that’s the
110:31
breaking news this is gossip this is
110:35
just gossip this is just nonsense
110:37
well at least that’s how I feel about it
110:39
and and and so so that’s an example of a
110:43
kind of book I would that I would want
110:45
to be reading something something that
110:47
can that can ground me in principles
110:50
that longer-term then hopefully than my
110:54
own life I mean that’s what I want to be
110:56
connected to let’s come back to if
110:59
you’re willing to prayer for just a
111:01
second do you have any prayers or types
111:05
of prayers that you
111:07
I return to more often than others you
111:12
know so so prayer for me is what it is
111:17
characterized by is not being wrote not
111:22
saying I’m sorry
111:23
ungodly wrote wrote so so when it’s when
111:28
it’s great it has a single a single test
111:35
point which is already kind of mentioned
111:38
which is that you can feel that voice of
111:44
clarity you can actually send a center
111:47
yourself in it okay I can now feel the
111:49
difference between all of these voices
111:53
around me there’s a in my office I have
111:55
a picture of by James Christensen has
112:00
called the listener and in in the
112:02
picture you have the listeners in the
112:04
middle is a young man and and around him
112:07
he’s got all these people it’s very
112:09
colourful picture he’s sitting there
112:11
almost did it almost in a sort of
112:13
Buddhist seated positions eyes closed to
112:16
represent that he’s trying to listen to
112:18
his voice of conscience instead of all
112:20
these other people around him some of
112:22
them are laughing some of them are
112:23
yelling them shakespeare’s in there I
112:25
think his mother-in-law was painted in
112:27
there you know he’s got all these
112:28
different people and he’s trying to
112:30
listen not to all of that but to the
112:33
voice within it that’s when I know the
112:35
prayers working so to speak is that it’s
112:38
not just sort of one way I’m not just
112:40
going through it not going through the
112:41
motions if I go through the motions but
112:43
when it over the motions then it’s not
112:45
it’s not changing I don’t feel different
112:47
afterwards you just yeah you’re having a
112:50
I mean if you if you and I got on the
112:52
phone and every time I got on the phone
112:54
with you I said exactly the same things
112:56
thoughtlessly our relationship would not
112:58
be very real you know this would get
112:59
very irritating and so so for me you
113:05
know it’s about the realness I mean I
113:07
certainly subscribe to to the idea to
113:10
the principle that the state of my heart
113:14
before God that matters at any given
113:18
moment it’s not what I did yesterday
113:19
it’s not what I did 10 you
113:21
good or bad it is this moment and it’s
113:24
course that’s true in every moment this
113:26
moment you’re conditioned am I am I
113:29
willing to admit my vulnerabilities and
113:31
that’s that’s what I’m trying to do in
113:33
prayer is look this is what’s going on
113:35
this is what’s a struggle for me this is
113:37
what’s a trouble and I’m really willing
113:39
to do whatever I’m I can hear the voice
113:43
of clarity I commit right now I’m doing
113:44
it I will do it and if I’m in that state
113:47
then it becomes clear what to do and
113:52
what not to do and especially important
113:54
on something like a personal portly
113:55
off-site but also true a course in in
113:58
this you know this ongoing journey of
114:01
trying to discern not between not just
114:05
between us as you could frame it yeah
114:09
good and evil maybe is that still it in
114:15
some way but really for me I don’t think
114:16
about it like that I’m trying to discern
114:18
between essential and good I’m trying to
114:22
say look it’s all good I got got a long
114:26
list of things I can do today and
114:28
there’s nothing on it that there’s
114:29
nothing on this list that’s like bad
114:31
there’s nothing in me I don’t personally
114:35
struggle with like oh I want to do
114:37
something bad in my life I don’t feel
114:39
that but I want to know between the
114:42
essential and the good I want to know
114:45
what that is because I don’t have time
114:47
to get all the good and all the
114:49
essential thing that’s done I don’t have
114:51
that time I don’t think actually any of
114:53
us do I think really we have enough
114:56
essential things to fill the rest of our
114:58
life and that is precisely why I must go
115:01
it’s look so so jugular Lee important to
115:04
me to to figure it out is because every
115:09
time I’m not doing what’s essential I am
115:11
giving up something that is essential
115:14
hmm that’s a great way to put it and we
115:17
could talk for many many hours we I may
115:20
have to at some point ask for a round to
115:23
this is incredibly enjoyable and helpful
115:26
and I and I thought I would start to
115:29
wrap up just by reading a few other
115:32
highlights on these many pages in front
115:34
of me
115:35
and and then we can we can start to put
115:40
a close to things but the first is quote
115:42
to embrace the essence of essentialism
115:44
requires we replace these false
115:46
assumptions which previously come up in
115:49
the book with three core truths number
115:52
one I choose to number two only a few
115:55
things really matter and three I can do
115:57
anything but not everything and then the
116:01
culinary two highlights later on are
116:04
quote the ability to choose cannot be
116:06
taken away or even given away it can
116:08
only be forgotten I think that’s really
116:10
important and then to become an
116:12
essentialist requires a heightened
116:14
awareness of our ability to choose and
116:18
so I wanted to open the door if you
116:20
wanted to to elaborate on that at all
116:22
but then also to ask you metaphorically
116:25
speaking if you could put you know one
116:27
question one line word quote whatever it
116:30
might be on a on a gigantic billboard to
116:33
reach billions of people what that might
116:35
be but that that’ll be probably my last
116:37
question but the the ability to choose
116:40
and how often we forget that we do have
116:43
choices we may not love our choices but
116:45
nonetheless we do have choices why is it
116:51
that we so often feel we do not have
116:54
choices or forget that we have choices
116:56
well we’re creatures of habit and so we
117:00
get pulled into into a whole set of
117:03
things as if and eventually those habits
117:07
are acting on us and so we just really
117:09
start to believe I I don’t I don’t have
117:12
a choice I and we say it that way we say
117:14
I have to well what we’re saying what we
117:17
say we have to is there isn’t there
117:18
isn’t there is nothing else that could
117:20
be done we I have to means there is no
117:22
agency involved there’s no choice
117:24
involved and I had a great little
117:26
experience with this where we had them a
117:28
son through it through a funny and and
117:31
and welcomed sort of wager that I did
117:34
justice friendly silly wager with it
117:36
with it with a friend of mine he said we
117:41
had this to see if I won the wager then
117:43
he would take my son to baseball for the
117:46
whole season
117:48
and every and and and if I lost I had to
117:51
take him to baseball the whole season
117:53
which seemed like that was a wager in my
117:55
favor but really unlikely that I was
117:58
gonna win the weight and at least at
118:01
least he thought so and so as it turns
118:03
out he lost the wager so he’s now doing
118:07
this and and so this is all just fun and
118:09
games but then as the season began we
118:12
realized that we of course had been
118:13
conned in our own thinking planning
118:16
fallacy of course there’s still
118:17
requirements for us
118:19
it’s got like to get him all the
118:20
equipment and we’re still gonna get him
118:22
ready every single time and we still got
118:23
to go take him to this still it’s not
118:25
gonna literally be zero impact
118:27
just because someone else is taking them
118:29
to the practices and so on and so right
118:32
as it came there was so enough going on
118:35
in our life it just felt like definitely
118:37
one more thing and quite a big one more
118:39
thing but here we are we could have said
118:43
look we have to do it we don’t want to
118:44
but we have to and we almost didn’t make
118:46
that mistake and then we changed the
118:48
language you said and this is important
118:49
I choose to have a son in baseball
118:52
because and we had to fill in the blank
118:54
because if we don’t he’s gonna be really
118:57
disappointed by Framing it like that if
119:00
you say I have to it just that it’s the
119:02
end of your reasoning end of your
119:03
thinking you can’t prosecute the
119:05
hypothesis you can’t do anything there’s
119:07
no hypothesis you just send a story by
119:10
saying I’ve chosen do this because he’ll
119:12
be upset now we could test it now it
119:14
could have been upset we didn’t know so
119:16
we can test it Jack came in here comes
119:19
in some we’re thinking about this
119:21
baseball season we’re thinking it might
119:24
just be you know one more thing and and
119:27
we’re just wondering you know what what
119:28
are your thoughts about this about you
119:30
know if we did it didn’t do it what are
119:31
your thoughts it instant reaction oh god
119:34
be fine that was easy
119:39
I saved months of work he was no love
119:42
loss from at all that’s why we get
119:45
caught into this we think we have to do
119:46
we don’t take responsibility it’s a
119:48
choice it’s a choice because I don’t
119:50
want this output now let’s go and find
119:51
out if that output really is what would
119:53
happen so I think that that’s kind of
119:55
where we get into it and in some ways
119:58
you could say well that’s not what’s the
119:59
big deal
120:00
but it’s the it’s a huge deal
120:02
because at the core of it what we what
120:04
we are is our ability to choose that’s
120:06
who we are
120:07
that’s what makes us human and so when
120:10
we when we remove that when we forget
120:12
about it we’re removing what makes us
120:15
most human and and so that’s when we
120:18
start living in kind of non-human ways
120:22
machine ways robotic ways disconnected
120:26
ways disconnected relationships we’re
120:28
not choosing anymore we are but we’re
120:31
not doing it very consciously we’re
120:33
doing it compulsively and that’s exactly
120:36
the shift did I’d be advocating for I I
120:38
rarely advocate explicitly for what I
120:41
think is essential or non-essential like
120:43
I there’s almost there is a there’s some
120:45
for those that are paying attention in
120:47
the book you know some of my values I
120:49
think are in there but it’s not explicit
120:51
I’m not saying how you should value this
120:53
thing over that thing but I am
120:55
advocating that that people should be
121:00
conscious about the value that they are
121:04
choosing not compulsive compulsive this
121:07
is this is the environment which we
121:09
don’t know we’re choosing we don’t we’re
121:12
not conscious of it and we just become a
121:14
function of everybody else’s choices and
121:16
what everyone else is doing and whatever
121:17
we just last thought in our heads kind
121:20
of a thing which is a choice in of
121:22
itself right if you think you’re not
121:24
making a choice or you abdicate yourself
121:27
from making a choice that is in fact a
121:29
choice right you are just putting fate
121:32
in the hand of you’re in the hands of
121:34
other people other forces or
121:36
subconscious and so on as opposed to
121:39
exerting agency over your set of
121:42
circumstances and it’s easier to do that
121:44
in the short term it feels easier I
121:48
don’t have a choice see I’m not
121:50
responsible I’m not I’m not I’m not on
121:52
the hook for this I mean I’m the victim
121:53
of everything I mean of course in that
121:56
in a sense we don’t have to worry as
121:57