Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or watch on YouTube

In this episode, we discuss what it means to live richly.  How do you DO it? A few key themes become the focus: 

  • Getting clear on your values
  • Identifying what actually enriches your life, and what takes away your sense of vitality and energy
  • Connecting with your heart, mind, spirit, and body
  • Building the rituals and practices that will shape your life. 
You can watch the videos of all of the Living Richly Podcast episodes on the Living Richly YouTube Channel.

Show Notes for Episode 7

Here are a few of the tools, resources and links we discussed in this episode:

  • We agreed that there needs to be a wide-spread movement in support of Rob! So use #MoreRob whenever you can!
  • Trefor shared his love for listening to Detroit Tigers baseball games – not watching but listening. (Go Tigers!)

Take a look and be sure to let us know what you think!

Episode 7: Creating Your Best Life

Your personal “Living Richly” blueprint is … about building a life you don’t need to escape from.  

Rob Dale, Eric Deschamps, Trefor Munn-Venn


Hi, I’m Rob Dale and welcome to the Living Richly Podcast. I’m here with Trefor Munn-Venn and Eric Deschamps and uh, we have been talking about living your best life. Uh, we have been exploring a little bit of the ideas around what that means. We’ve had an opportunity to share our stories, uh, and if you haven’t had a chance to, to go back and listen to those, I do encourage you, it’ll give you a little bit of a sense of why two X preachers and a farmer are even having these conversations and, and what brought us to this point that we are really o on a journey together.

And, and thank you for joining us and being a part of the journey. Um, we’re calling this episode Creating Your Best Life. Um, very, very ambitious title. Huge. When you think about Words Matter, right, Trevor And, and, uh, there’s a lot to unpack when you call both the creating. Best life, all of those things. Uh, some thoughts that come to mind as to where we want to go in our conversations today.

Yeah. With it, with this title, the our risk of, uh, underdelivering has gone on , right? , the pressure to deliver is on. Yeah. Well, we’ve, we’ve talked about basically the notion like, Is this the life you wanna live? Right? And, and so there, there’s a part where we need to look and go. So if this is your life, if this is your trajectory going forward, are you good?

Right. Right. And I think for most people the answer is actually no. Right? Um, most of the people we’ve, we run into We Chat with, I mean, there’s enough. I think there’s enough evidence about that. We can be pretty confident. We can be pretty confident. So then the question is, well, what do you do about it?

Right. And. We’ve shared our stories about what we have been doing about it and what that’s looked like and that work’s. Never. It’s never done, but there’s things that keep revealing itself to us along the way. And I think today we wanna talk a little bit about what some of those things are, but, but that word create really does matter.

Yeah. Yeah. Right. It, it , it doesn’t just arrive. It’s, it’s a pro, it’s a process. It’s a deliberate choice. Yeah. The choosing that happens in it. Yeah. It’s a, there’s, it’s not a waiting exercise. It’s a choosing exercise. And I think a lot of us, me, I know for sure, for me for a long time waiting stuck. Afraid resistant, like all of that stuff would show up, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I think there’s a point where we really can create what we want to have. But we actually have to get clear on what, what do you wanna have, right. As part of that as well. Well, and even I, you know, go back to episode one and we, I think those were good days. Those were good days. Really. Those are so much, so much out.

I changed, I felt, I felt so much closer to you back then. . Um, we, uh, we, we even used the language of. Uh, when, when, if, if somebody was to ask you the question, uh, are you living your best life? Does that haunt you? Right? Uh, and, and there really does come a, a almost at the starting of this journey is a recognition or an admission, uh, that maybe I’m not.

And, and I don’t feel like I am. And, and part of what spurred this whole conversation and this journey for us, uh, was the fact that so many of the people that we interact with who are incredibly successful in their industries and their crafts, right, uh, doing great, not about success, right? And yet, Are feeling a sense of I’m not living my best life.

And a lot of those kind of conversations, uh, was what started it not just our own journeys, but the conversations we had with others. A absolutely. I mean, I think it’s this notion of, uh, we’ve used this language before, uh, of winners who are losing, uh, this concept of I’m succeeding in certain, uh, parts of my.

But there are other parts of my life that are undeveloped, that are untapped, that are dormant or perhaps even just numbed out. Um, it’s quite common with leaders, right? Where do we put, uh, we put all our eggs in the success basket. We put all of our eggs in the career basket, and there’s so much. There’s so little that’s then left over, uh, for other parts of our lives.

I just, this week alone, I had three different leaders, uh, from three very different contexts. Talk to me about they’re unhappy with their state of being in terms of where their health is at. Uh, one said, you know, uh, my social life is non-existent. I don’t have anything outside of work. Um, there’s this growing conversation around people saying, there’s got to be more than this.

And I think, uh, part of. Uh, contributing factor is the, the part of the covid hangover is, uh, that folks, I think throughout the pandemic with all the time alone that they had in lockdown and being, uh, limited in what they could do. Some of the, I think some of the normal distractions that we used to keep that question at bay.

Uh, cause I know I certainly kept it at bay for a long time. Uh, some of the, uh, strategies we use to keep them at bay, keep ourselves, if I keep myself busy enough. I don’t have to answer that question. I, I can sort of, uh, I, I, I can, I, I can hide from it. I can run from it. And, and during Covid, uh, uh, the ability to run went away.

So I think a lot of folks, uh, during that period time, a lot of folks reflecting, a lot of folks asking themselves some tough questions and emerging on the other side saying, I need to redefine my life. There’s gotta be more than what I’m living there. Or what they were doing was during that time, they were distracting themselves with, with other things.

Right. And, well, L CBOs, stock share certainly went through the roof. L CBO went up, but, but we saw, of course, you know, now, Most people interact through tweets, through short little, uh, whatever, uh, reels, uh, whatever kind of clips that they have, and, and, and the depth of conversation, you know, binging the next show and now there’s another show to binge.

And suddenly we don’t have to talk to people. We have the conversations. And after a couple of years of that as being the distraction, there are a lot of people that are sitting back going, is this it? Is this it? Right? It’s gotta. There’s gotta be more. The challenge is, and Trev maybe, uh, to jump in on this, uh, the challenge is, is that when we ask somebody, okay, are you living your rich, your, your, your kind of your best life?

Are you living the most richest, uh, living experience for you? Uh, no, I’m not. You. Okay? That’s haunting me. All right, well, how do I get there? And there are probably a gazillion different, uh, gurus out there saying, here’s how to live your best. Yeah. Yeah. You go to the bookstore, right? It’s a math, like, so that’s a place where you buy books, the, uh,

But if you go to a bookstore, right? Like that section. Hey, to be fair, Amazon started as a bookstore. Did it not? It’s a good point. Yeah. , it’s a good point. Can take a real dark turn. Apparently. The, uh, no, the, uh, you know, that section keeps growing and growing around. Self-help. Right? Self-help. Right. And the, there’s, there’s no shortage of content there.

And I don’t have issues with that. Honestly. I, I hope we have some stuff that shows up on, on that shelf one day. But the, the, the challenge is when it becomes too formulaic, right? It becomes oversimplified where we think a quick program or a short challenge or Right. Everybody knows about all the fad diet things, uh, but people keep trying.

Because I think there’s an instinctive pull to say, I can’t keep doing this. And so we look around and say, what’s working? Is there anything out there? And then there’s just enough marketing and messaging and examples and good reference points to go, I don’t know. I’ll try that. Right? And, and, but it has no staying power in, in the same way that the, uh, the feelings that we think are going to come from our success.

Have about the same amount of staying power as the solutions we’re pursuing to try and offset the fact that those successes don’t, don’t give us what we want. Right, right. And, and uh, when I told my story a few episodes back, I talked about feeling like I was at the wheel of a, a boat and a speedboat and trying to run from my.

Uh, my demons and, and trying to, uh, uh, uh, you know, be successful and do the things that other people would point to and say he’s a good guy. Uh, but the boat was leaking , right? And I think that’s where a lot of us, uh, uh, when we talk about winners who are losing, uh, it’s not that there aren’t moment. Of, of celebration moments, of great joy, moments of, uh, uh, serenity moments of, uh, outright of, of breakthrough moments in terms of, uh, their thinking and their behavior.

But because they’re leaking, they haven’t addressed that. It’s hard to sustain you. You don’t, uh, you don’t live in that place. You experience it from time to time. And I, I think for us, when we talk about living your best life, living richly, it’s moving from a place where feeling grounded, feeling seren.

Feeling happy is a, from time to time experience to becoming more the, the, the, the ruling principle of your life where more elevated emotions like gratitude and kindness and joy and love, that’s showing up more, um, all the time. Uh, for me, when I think of living richly, you know, being fully alive, uh, right, uh, uh, fully awake cuz I was asleep at the wheel of my own life for, for far too long and being fully available to show up as I am.

Uh, wherever I am to be present, to be in the moment and not checked out. Cuz my, my head is somewhere else. My heart is somewhere else. It’s, it’s the difference between surviving and thriving. Uh Right. Which is a, I think a lot of, a lot of folks out there that are listening. Um, uh, and that we speak to on a daily basis.

Uh, it it it’s more of a survival mentality than it is a thriving mentality. Yeah. And we’re gonna talk a little bit, uh, in our, our, our conversation today around the notion of kinda some of the things that we have been using, uh, uh, to, to help us in this journey. Uh, we have found that while again, we recognize that every journey is.

Our journeys are, are different. And yet there were some similar themes and some, some, uh, similar practices that have helped us, uh, to get there. But maybe, uh, a quick question for the two of you to, to, uh, maybe share a little bit about kind of what’s been some of the meaningful. Things for you. You mentioned, and I, I, I resonate so well with the, when you talk about fully awake and I, I, if there’s one thing that I have found for myself that has been by taking, by making the decision, and it’s a decision to start to explore living richly to explore, uh, and deciding to do what I need to do in order to get to that point of living my best life for my, my, my richest life.

Um, one of the things that, is it. It is caused for me as this awakening. Awakening and I do feel love that word awakening. I absolutely, I do feel fully awake. I come into each year’s you show up so different. Like Right. Think back, what? A year or two years anyway? Yeah. Like how you show like you’re still you, but there’re like more you.

Yeah. That is a scary, we’re still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or not. The script is, it’s a hashtag more rob, more hashtag more Rob. Let’s get it trending right now on social media. Come on. Um, but this all my follower. Oh, your follower will be, yeah. Uh, that’s been a benefit. Elon Musk is gonna want a piece of that.

Oh no. Yeah, that’s right. Uh, that has been a benefit for me is, is by taking this journey, I have come to a place where I truly feel. Fully alive in my relationships and my, uh, my own curiosity and the, in the discoveries, every part of my journey is I’m seeing it differently. It’s like, uh, there’s color now, it’s a, you know, wizard of Oz.

It’s gone from black, white color. Great description. Yeah. Uh, and what about for you guys? What have been some of the benefits of making the decision to take this. Ugh. That’s a great question. Loaded question. Trevor, over to you. Dear. , well made, well beat me to it. The, uh, for me, stepping out of a life and into a life like the, it was not as I, I thought I was gonna want that so bad.

Right. And there’s some part of me that does, and then I, I met myself with a host of resistance , right? But I, but I found as, as you know, as you put a toe in and then maybe a foot and start waiting a little bit, there is, uh, there is a richness and a vibrancy. That has been missing through, I think, most of my life.

Um, you know, you mentioned the, the, that notion of color as well for me, like I’ve been a black and white guy for a long Right. Long time, right or wrong. Rule-based judgy logic. Yeah, yeah. Binary. The logical, often binary. Yeah, for sure. Like, I wanna make the case and I want clarity and I want certainty and I want all that stuff.

You know, for me the big leap was like gray. Right, right. . Now I’m like, maybe, maybe color maybe more. That’s right. It’s, uh, my monitor has a larger range of colors that, uh, that I had the, uh, but I, I’m working on it, but, but as you do that, like, it truly is moving from low res to high res, from black and white to, to realizing that this is way more beautiful than maybe I’ve been.

See, and, and so it really is like seeing differently, experiencing things differently. It’s not that the, all of the context has changed and become fixed and better and problems have gone away, right? It’s about what I see when I look at it, and also what I choose to see when I look at it. I think that has been absolutely transformative.

And I feel like, you know, the resolution is still pretty low. Like, I so, like it’s not 4K yet. It’s not, it’s, we’re not quite there yet. We’re moving our way there. For me it’s been, uh, you know, there’s a lot, so much talk about mindfulness and being present, right. Um, and, uh, I think, I think of where I was at before, uh, this journey and I was mindful, I had a mindful of negative thinking, and, uh, right, uh, wrong beliefs.

And, uh, I was. Uh, you know, talk about being present. I was present to all the mistakes of my past. Like, for me to show up in the moment was difficult and, uh, I could do it, uh, but it was very difficult because I was obsessing a lot, overpass mistakes, things that I wish I could get a mulligan on and get a redo, right?

Um, or, or fearful of making a mistake in the future. So I was living. Anywhere but here. Um, and again, I’d have moments where I could do that, but it was difficult to, to show up fully as my authentic self because I was stressing out about the past or stressing out about the future. And, and that’s what’s really changed my ability to show up and be where I am paying attention.

To what I’m doing while I’m doing it. Uh, that has been the most significant, uh, shift for me. Uh, and the other would be this whole notion we’ve talked about. We’re always waiting for something. We’re mm-hmm. , often waiting for something outside of ourselves, uh, to change our state. Uh, if only. , I had a better job.

I’d be happy. If only I was in a better relationship, I’d be happy. If only I won the lottery, I’d be happy. Right? Like we, we have all these if only, uh, and that’s very cause and effect, right? We’re waiting, waiting for something to cause an effect in our lives. And I think when you begin to choose your best life and create it deliberately, you move from cause and effect waiting for something external to happen and you start causing effect, you begin to shift your reality.

because you begin to build on a blueprint of your own making, um, and, and take deliberate steps toward that. Nobody can do this for you. Uh, you’ve gotta do it for yourself. But I will say this, doing it alone sucks. Uh, , right? It’s very difficult, uh, to do this on your own because, uh, uh, and we’ll talk more about that in future episodes.

But the, the need for a supportive community of friends, and here are my two best friends on the whole planet. The, this is three best friends. Who have been journeying walking their own path. Cuz you could only, you can walk your path. But we’ve been walking it together and it’s, we’ve had some highs and we’ve had some lows and it’s in the course of doing this that asking ourselves that question, summer of 2021 at John’s cottage, right as we were John doing some business planning that Thank you John Tribute to him beautiful cottage in Constance Bay, um, uh, where we asked ourselves, what does it mean to live more richly?

And that question. Uh, literally sat with us, uh, and began to literally, uh, uh, uh, our wrestling with the question began to affect some pretty powerful changes for all of us. So we’re using the language of creating, uh, your best life. Uh, we, it is deliberate. It is very specific. Um, we know that that’s what it’s about is, is doing something.

So we clearly have a very defined model that is the only one. We have your formula. We have, we don’t have the fix, we have the quick fix formula, the blue to our website. Right now. You use the word blueprint, get your credit card. Ignore richly me and download the blueprint. No. Uh, one of the things that we have, we don’t have that now.

We also don’t have nothing . Right. And, and this is where we’ve been wrestling so. We are, the goal over the next number of podcasts is going to be to talk about the things that have worked for us, uh, our blueprint. And there have been some similarities, some themes that we have found emerging that we all seem to resonate with.

Uh, maybe let’s just kind of, let’s just, uh, in a way kind of put our toes in the water a bit. Let’s just kind of test this out and, and at a high level, let’s talk about. Those commonalities, those themes that have worked for us, we think that they will work for others. Uh, and we do encourage, this is the why we want people on this journey with us, is we want you to explore.

We want you to share your own comments, uh, around the things that have are working for you. And if some of these things resonate and you can, you can use them, then great. That’s the goal, uh, here is to, let’s learn this, uh, this, uh, this method or this model or this journey. Let’s take this journey together.

But what are some of those common, uh, themes? Where, where, what’s the starting point for, or what was the starting point for us? Uh, well, I think, uh, uh, one of the, uh, essentials, uh, uh, that is so important for someone to figure out if they’re going to craft their best life is to. Crystal clear on what their values are, their personal core values.

Um, this is language that is, uh, you know, for anybody, uh, who’s a leader in business. You’ve probably heard, uh, the language of mission, vision and values, uh, probably at nauseum. And to be honest, uh, the, that was the craze there for a while in the world of. Business. And, uh, a lot of organizations would pay, uh, consultants a lot of money to come up with some pithy words that would make up a, you know, a vision statement or a value statement.

And in reality, all it ended up being is, uh, material for the website. It was more marketing material than guiding material. Uh, and, and, and yet organizations that did it right, organizations. Uh, uh, identified what was core to them in terms of their identity, in terms of their culture, in terms of what they were trying to build.

Moved more intentionally in that direction. And, uh, people that were part of the company, people who interacted with the company said, yes, I recognized that. I can see that. in my interactions with them. Well, if this is true at the business level, uh, uh, right? Like, uh, so many organizations again, that the, the, the, the emphasis on mission, vision, and values we’re focusing here on values so important at the business level.

And yet we’re not asking ourselves that question. Uh, we’re, we’re, you know, how many of us as individuals have defined. For ourselves. Yeah. It, it’s, you know, if you wanna be an organization to succeed in the long term, so sustainable, meaningful success, you say, what do we care about? Where are we going? What is this thing?

How are we going to do it? And those values become almost non-negotiable in terms of how you live it out. Right. How you live it out. And I think, um, this isn’t a case of saying, how do we take business practices and apply it to people? These are broad. Kind of models and truths that that lives. Say, if you don’t have a picture of where you’re going really hard to get there, right?

Right. If you don’t know what you value, then you don’t really value anything. Everything is circumstantial. And so to be able to tune into what do, what do we genuinely value individually, right? On our own terms, not because someone else thinks we should or that we must, or that’s the way you ought to do it, but you just value it like it is so central and core to how you live.

Right, and I, I think there’s a piece where sometimes people will confuse a little bit the what you value and, and the how of values, right? There’s lots of things we value in life, and I think it’s important to get clear on those. Those will show up for sure. But, but that notion of, you know, the values that are going to determine how you navigate your life, they become your compass to say, that’s my true.

That’s gonna help guide me in my decisions because good values are functional. They’re like organizationally, we say they’re operational, like they play out well when you’re using them to make decisions in real time about what matters and what doesn’t, and how am I going to do this, and how am I not going to do this?

Well, and isn’t it true though, you know, The when, when we don’t define those. And I think when we define our values, what we’re really doing is we’re defining what truly matters to us. In a way we’re defining who we are, right? Or the, how we express ourselves revealing or how we reveal, uh, how we, how yeah, exactly.

How we reveal is, is, comes out of our values and when we. Don’t take the time to identify them, to define them, to be clear on what they are. We get, I love the, the idea of a compass or even an anchor. We get, well, all of a sudden we get shifted around, we’re bouncing around following social, whatever the, you know, society’s.

Says you should value, uh, a lot of shoulds, a lot of shoulds, right? A lot of shoulds around what should be important to you, what would matter to you. Uh, you, you all of a sudden you’re, you’re, you’re, uh, you’re following your parents’ values or you’ll always live a set of values. You will always, right? It’s either yours for someone else’s.

Uh, when you define your own core values, like if you fail to, if you don’t do that, then rather than living in alignment to your true self, you’re gonna live out of obligation to what somebody else values. Um, and that’s where the shoulds show up. And when we live according to somebody else’s values, if they align with who we are, it, it sort of works.

Uh, we’re lucky. We’re lucky, but most times it doesn’t. And so we, we, we are. We’re not living our truest self, we’re living a version of it, or we’re a version that somebody else, uh, has defined. Uh, so getting clear on how I want to show up in those in, in the world. How do I wanna show up in my relationships?

How do I wanna show up in the roles and responsibilities that I have? Uh, how, what do I want to be guiding my results? Like what kind of person do I want to be? Values help you define that. Yep. Without a doubt. Without a doubt. So what would be a core value for you guys? Like what, what’s one for you? What’s one for you?

Well, for me, I know one of the ones that has, has come out very clear for me in the last, um, um, probably even just the last few weeks, uh, maybe the last. Month or so, a couple of months. Uh, it has been this value of, of collaboration and collaborator and, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I, in the past I was defining it as community or connection.

And, and I’m actually finding that, and this is an interesting, uh, thing about values is a. As you start to move down that take that journey of discovering what they are, they become clearer, more defined, or the expression of them. What I have found that in my relationships when I am in relations, one of the things that I value the most about the friendship and the connection I have with the two of you is the opportunity to take.

A journey with you to collaborate, to learn to grow. You guys know, this is when I’m tasked to do something where I need to just kind of come up with it or create it on my own. That’s the biggest frustration for me. And I often know, oh yeah, yeah, I’ll get to that. And uh, when are you gonna get to that?

Right? , when I’m collaborating on something, I’m all in and I’ve really noticed it is in the significant relationship that I’m in with my girlfriend is, and that’s where it’s being expressed so often. One of the thing I can’t get over how much I enjoy the deep, rich conversations that Wendy and I will have together.

Often at the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing. You know, it’s this whole idea that in the past you would, you know, oh, I, I, I need to have these conversations with my significant other. And so you would, but there wasn’t any true. To it. Whereas now we have these incredible conversations around what are you learning?

And then we are talking through truths and exploring it together, and this whole collaborating on life and on experiences, just again, that fully awake and fully alive comes out of that expression of that value. That’s awesome. It’s amazing. That’s awesome. It’s amazing. I’ve, I’ve got one that’s similar and it’s connection, uh, is an important one for me.

And it’s interesting because, uh, for so long, uh, um, I longed for connection, but I didn’t ha I, I, I struggled to have it again because I was, uh, because I, I didn’t, uh, uh, like I said in my story, because I didn’t love myself, it was hard for me to show up fully Right. Uh, in any relationship. So I really, really struggled there.

And whenever I would sense any, Tension in the relationship. I would withdraw, I would, I would pull away, I would isolate because I figured that was how I would protect myself. So for the longest time, uh, connection was more aspirational than core , right? I long to learn how to stay connected even when things get tough and, and, and through the work now, uh, uh, I would say that it, it is core to who I am now.

Now when I’m going through tough times, and I think this is the power. Of true core values, like when you really get clear on what matters to you, they help you. Uh, in terms of, it’s like a compass. Uh, if a pilot is flying and taking off from Ottawa to Vancouver, uh, well the winds blowing against that plane as they’re flying across the country is constantly knocking them off course and they’re constantly have to make micro corrections to stay true.

Well that’s cuz they’ve got the instrumentation to do it right. Uh, and so your values act like that instrumentation that help you stay on course. When you’re experiencing tough stuff in lime. Uh, so I find myself on, on the connection piece for me and, and, uh, uh, uh, connection for me means I see you as you are.

I hear you as you are. I value you as you are. I I’m not seeing something I want to see. I’m not hearing what I want to hear. I’m not valuing you in some future state. It’s about connecting with who you are right now, even if it’s hard. Um, and so in moments where I’m feeling. Tension in my relationships, whether it’s with my significant other Kate, or, or with you guys.

We’ve had our moments, right? Uh, uh, usually the

oh, don’t let that go to your heads guys. Uh, no, too late , but where, where I’m tempted to withdraw. I’m asking myself the question, what does connection look like here? How would this value, how would my value of connection, uh, uh, influence my decisions, my actions, my reactions to this particular situation?

Yeah. And it helps me get back on this. And, and let me ask and, and for you to. To share one of your values, but let me just say first, if, you know, encourage, uh, our listeners, uh, if you haven’t heard, uh, or taken the time to listen to Eric’s story, I really do encourage you a, a great example. You were certainly somebody from the external, from the, you know, o Others would look at you and say, there’s a guy living his richest life.

There’s a guy who’s got it all together. I love the look on your face right now, brother. Appearances can be dec deceiving. Exactly. Such a powerful story of how, uh, be careful that you don’t get caught up with what you see because it may not be truly what’s happening on the inside. And there was so much of that, such a powerful story and I, I just don’t wanna lose that moment to be able to say that.

Trav, what about you? What’s a value? Uh, privacy . Okay. . Mind your own business. Humor. I didn’t see that. Nope, nope, nope. Don’t, definitely not humor. No, definitely not Humor. You had collaboration, you had connection. The, uh, all mine has in come with that is, it also starts with C Alright. But it, it’s, uh, curiosity.

Oh yeah, that’s what I’m mine too. And, and it’s, I think it’s all of ours. And it’s interesting because that’s something I’ve had my entire life. But the nature of my experience with it has changed. And so I, I think for a long time, curiosity for me was about I need to know stuff so I can be safe in my world to bring certainty to it, to, I needed to have the right answers.

I needed to know how to solve the right problems, like all of the, all of those kinds of things. But it’s, its tone has changed, its nature has changed for me over the last few years and now, , it’s more deeply about truly understanding what is that, where’d that come from? How else could I look at it? So instead of, instead of it trying to bring that black and white view about what’s happening in my world, it’s really about trying to know it as as it is.

Uh, and then to start to based on, uh, uh, far. I dunno, far more flexibility as I’m experiencing things, right? I can make way better decisions about what’s actually happening here, right? As opposed to trying to get to an answer or a pretty a, a judgmental answer, or a very black and white or an overly simplified answer.

It, it’s accepting that. There is, you know, there’s not much I understand and so why don’t I engage with it, accepting that reality and bring a different level of openness to it as well. Yeah, I, I love that because I think for, for a long time, uh, when I looked at myself with curiosity, old Eric, it was more about criticism.

Yeah. Right. Condemnation. Uh, right. The other cs, the other, all the other, all those negative ones, . Um, and, and now it’s, it’s, it’s, uh, cuz curiosity is one of mine as well. And, uh, it starts with being curious about oneself and rather than beating myself up when I’m, uh, you know, getting curious about why I do certain things or.

Why I respond certain ways to certain situations. It used to be, see, there’s more evidence that you’re, you’re fucked up like you, right? There’s more evidence to the, to to build the case that you’re fatally flawed. And now it’s more approaching things with a curious compassion. I was just gonna say compassion.

It’s hair. It’s really nicely. I said, oh, that’s interesting. I wonder what’s behind that for me. I wonder why I’m responding like that. So again, uh, uh, when I find myself, uh, wrestling, Uh, self-doubt or wrestling with perhaps a, a, a painful memory or painful situation. And I’m, I’m, I’ve got mixed, uh, emotions about what’s going on and I’m following myself, getting a little bit, uh, uh, all tied up inside, you know, to be able to get curious, but in a compassion way.

But what’s, what’s behind that for me? What’s going on for me? So again, this, this, this notion of values helping. Self-regulate, uh, kind of get back, uh, get back into your sweet spot faster because you have decided ahead of time. You’ve identified ahead of time. What are the things that matter most. All right?

So we know, we know values are important. Values. We know that they are going to be a, a key piece to being able to understand that. And I know that all of our listeners are, are. Asking the question. Okay, so how do we, how do we figure out what our values are? And I, I think it’s a great question. It’s a great reason why people should subscribe from our podcast.

Exactly. Uh, because we are going to see I did that. That’s good. Uh, we will be talking about that in a, in a very shortly in another episode coming up, we want to begin to talk about how we came to discover what our values are, what are some, uh, some questions, questions, tools, all of that stuff that you can use.

So we will, uh, help people to, uh, really come up with the answer. Do I value? Right? Uh, in a, in a future episode, uh, what’s next? We’ve, we figured out our values. We know what our values are. We’re sitting here going, okay, this is what I value. Um, I’m still not fully living my best life. Right? I think that was one of the first questions that emerged from our first conversation around this, uh, that summer of 2021, uh, soon after that initial conversation was this notion of, well, if we’re gonna live richly, what are the things.

That enrich my life versus the things that impoverished me. And, and I get that impoverished may sound strong, but in other words, what are the things that fill my cup? What are the things that make me leak? What are the things that give me energy? Take my energy. What are the deposits? What are the withdrawals?

And, uh, beginning to wrestle with that and think about, okay, well, What are the things that give me energy? What are the things that make me happy and, uh, uh, uh, you know, begin to, I began to reflect on that personally, um, uh, around both in my work and outside of work. Uh, you know, personally, what are all the things that that make me happy?

What are the things that. Bring me great joy, uh, when I’m working with clients and, and in the business, um, and began to, to document that list. And then I’m, I started to make a, uh, uh, at the same time, what are the things personally, uh, and professionally that diminish me or impoverished me? And it was amazing as I began to.

To, to, to, to answer that question. And I sat with it for, for quite some time, like several weeks, even in into months where I would go back and add to it. I would change it, I would edit, I would um, write, uh, uh, do some more thinking. And what began to emerge was some key themes, some very clear themes, that there were certain things that formed.

I call it a blueprint. I don’t want it to sound like it’s a blueprint for everybody. It became my blueprint, right? My personal, personal, very personal one, right? My very personal blueprint for living richly. Uh, and it, and it fell neatly into these, uh, into four specific themes. And all of a sudden, when you begin to get clear on the things that make you happy, uh, versus the things that impoverish you, we understand that you can’t possibly live in this world and eliminate every, uh, uh, uh, item on your, uh, impoverished list.

You’re gonna run into stuff that takes from you, that takes energy, uh, that, that, uh, robs you in some cases. Rob, you, Rob? Not that rob’s a bad thing, not that rob’s a bad thing, , uh, right. But it’s, it’s, how do I do, how do I do more of the good stuff? How do I do more of the stuff that, that, that brings me joy and how do I actually start to design my life more deliberately around doing more of that so that my cup.

Is full more of the time as opposed to running on fumes or running your empty. Yeah. Otherwise we’re doing it accidentally. Right, right. Like sometimes we’ll, we’ll find, we bump into it. Yeah. Right, right. And I know people who will say, no, I ha I go to this place every year cuz it feels good. And if I don’t go, I’m not good.

I’m like that. I, I now hear that as, uh, they know what it’s enriches them because we reco to your point. The life is life like stuff’s gonna happen. So none of this is to say, you know, bad stuff won’t happen, difficult things won’t happen, challenging things won’t happen. But our, what do we meet it with, right?

And if, if we’ve met it with a series of choices where we are enriching our lives, we are living in alignment with things that we care about and value. Than where, you know, it changes everything, right? Changes everything. We’ve got so much more to draw on instead of, uh, you know, when you’re running on fumes and people say, okay, now you need to do the monumental task.

you can’t. Yeah. And, and the things that, that we, that enrich us. Again, they don’t have to be monumental. No, no. That, that’s the beauty of this is as we start to define ’em, right. I mean, we both, uh, have experienced in the last little bit, uh, being out kayaking. Right. Uh, I know you, uh, with fly fishing. Yeah.

Uh, there are, there are so many different things that, that we can do. Uh, one of the ones that I discovered even in, uh, uh, you know, I talk about this in, in the relationship that I’m in, is, is reading together. And, and, uh, as, as Wendy and I began to go through this exercise, uh, Uh, well, what does it mean to live richly as a couple?

One of the things, well, what enriches us as a couple and, and to the point that we have made a commitment to each other to spend time reading together. And our, I remember yesterday, uh, we had very busy schedules and, uh, Wendy made the comment, I don’t know if, you know, go ahead and do your reading. I don’t know when I’ll, I’ll have to do mine.

And we may or may not be able to get a chance to do it together, cuz normally, most days we take time, usually after dinner, where we will sit on a couch. She’s reading whatever she’s reading, I’m reading. We’re not necessarily reading the same thing. And then just having conversations, Hey, what did you learn in that, uh, last 10 pages or LA last chapter?

And having those that enriches me. And, and so, but they’re such simple actions. They don’t have to be these high complicated, take a journey to some spiritual retreat once a year. That can be one. Yeah. But it doesn’t have to be that deep. Well, you know, uh, the fly fishing one is interesting cuz I, I, I came to that very late in.

And I feel so good when I’m standing in the river, in the water with the fish, trying to figure, trying to figure it all out. There’s, you know, it’s an out there casting and casting, casting. The thing is, if I don’t catch, I, I’ve had days where, you know, people say, uh, skunked, you know, came home no fish. I’m like, no, no, no.

For me it’s about the fishing. Cuz it, if it’s all about the fish, um, the, uh, like 99% of your time you’re gonna be unhappy. Or if it’s about the fishing, 99%. Well, a hundred percent of the time you’re gonna be happy. What what was interesting was after I started doing, going, I feel really good when I do this.

Yeah, this feels really good. It was a while later, I remembered as a kid playing in the river, be behind Christine Chaplin’s house. Christine, if you’re out there, the, uh, and we would, we would spend hours and hours with like, there were a bunch of, bunch of us kids in the river turnover rock. Standing in the river for hours, right?

Enjoying the stuff that was going going on. And so I think there’s also clues and cues from our past in different moments of our life where we real, where that will kind of say what would be a current day version of that. I’m not just gonna go to a river now and flip over rocks and look for crayfish, but I’ll tell you, the fly fishing thing has been great.

And the first thing you do when you get to the river is you flip over a rock to see what bugs are under. Because that’s what the fish are eating. So that’s how you decide what fly to put on on it. So it’s literally the exact same thing. I usually, this all of a sudden became an outdoorsman. . First thing I do when I get through a river is I crack open a be.

Yeah, no, I, yeah, yeah. Beer. You enough need to feed, right. There’s so many, there’s so many signals that we can see through our lives about things that have enriched us, even if they’re long ago. And that one, I had totally forgotten. And, and, and we’re gonna, again, we’re going to talk, we’re gonna spend a whole episode talking about, again, how do you find those things that enrich us?

One of the things that I love, uh, they, you don’t, you almost, they, they should be unapologetically just embracing them. You know? Another one that you’ve shared, uh, uh, with me is, uh, you love listening to, uh, Detroit Tiger’s Baseball. On the radio, right? And I’m like, who the fuck enjoys watch listening to det like Trevor does?

Trevor does. Listen. A three hour baseball to watch a three hour baseball game is, is painful enough, right? Oh, to listen to it for three hours, right? Don’t, don’t touch me in all the baseball fans just unsubscribe. Sending me down both of them. Tweet. I’m just getting nasty Tweets. . No, but you’ll, you talk about how you’ll walk the vineyard here.

Yeah. And you’ll be listening to, uh, Tiger’s game. And I remember, uh, one time you were talking about, Hey guys, you wanna go to spring training? And and at first our reaction went, no. And then I was like, well, why would you wanna do that? And you told the story of why that matters. Yeah. Which you’ll tell in the Living Richly podcast, uh, in the, in the, uh, episode around, uh, uh, finding these and, and discovering what enriches you.

Um, but when you started to tell that story to me, I, I. I’d like to go to a game with you. Just experience. Just experience it. Yeah. Right. Well, this notion, it’s, it’s, uh, you know, I just, I was talking to a client this week. They had just come back from a two week vacation in Costa Rica feeling really, really refreshed.

But here he is back in the reins two, three days later, and he’s just as stressed as before he left. Uh, I think most of the time we, we are trying to escape our life momentarily to find joy. Uh, when we’re talking about figuring out whatever your personal living richly blueprint is, what are those things that really enrich your life and how do you do Mo mo more of them.

It’s about building a life you don’t need to escape from. It’s building a life that actually brings you great joy. You feel like you’re on vacation every day. Exactly. Yeah. In, in some respect, right? Absolutely. Okay. So we’ve got our values. We’ve figured out what, uh, enriches us. Um, Are we living richly? Are we, have we created it?

Are we done? Well, here’s another, uh, we’re closer dimension right there. There’s another, uh, third dimension to this, and I kind of stumbled on this, uh, just in my own personal work around this. One of the themes that emerged for me from my living, uh, richly blueprint was being well, like investing in my ongoing growth and evolution.

You’re looking great. Thank you, brother. . You look so, you look so young. Thank you. You look so great. Thank you. 52. In March, I’ll be 50. , right? I don’t look a day over 52 , 51 and a half. Depends. Yeah. But as I was, uh, uh, focusing on, uh, being that best version of me and investing in me, and, and again, that, uh, was a, a real transformation because as I told my story, investing in me wasn’t even on the radar before.

Cause I didn’t think I deserved it. Uh, but that’s really changed. But as I began to, to to, to, uh, uh, just reflect on what the best version of me looks like, I was reminded of the four elements, uh, right, uh, age old symbols that have been around for so long. Uh, you know, we’re talking about the natural forces, fire, uh, water, uh, wind or air, uh, and Earth.

And traditionally, uh, even in the world of magic, these refer to Earth refers to body. Uh, fire refers to heart, uh, water refers to mind, and wind refers to spirit. And I began to, uh, just kind of go with that analogy. Uh, uh, if I was to expose myself to the elements, if I was to lean into being my best self, can we have a mug with that?

We do. We should put that on a mug and you can buy it on our store. . Uh, once we have that shameless product placement, shameless product placement. Um, Uh, but if we could expose our, if I, what, what would the best version of my mind, what would my, the question was, what would my mind fully alive look like?

What would my heart, uh, fully alive look like? Uh, my spirit, my body? Um, I’d already been engaging in a lot of mindset work. That was really the foundation that led me to the breakthrough I had earlier this year. Um, and I’d been engaging in lots of physical activities, so I would. Of, of the two, uh, elements, uh, mind and earth, uh, uh, water and earth would’ve been the ones where I was investing the most.

But I began then to really wrestle with the fact that it’s one thing to, uh, have a more positive mindset, to be more disciplined in my thinking, uh, to challenge, uh, unhealthy scripts and replace them with positive ones. But if I, if my heart is still carrying toxic emotions from my past, and unforgiveness and resentment, or if I’m struggling to really relate.

Uh, properly or, or even express my emotions properly. That’s the, the heart piece. Uh, then I got some work to, to do there. And what was a really interesting one was, uh, reopening the door to spirit. Uh, because after my background when I left the church, I would describe myself as no longer religious but spiritual, but in some ways that was a total crock in fabrication.

Cause I was doing nothing to lean into. And to actually reopen the door to spirituality and what that means, and we’ll talk about that in a future episode. It just opened up a whole other dimension. And it was, uh, just through doing that work and exploring and meditating on that, reflecting on that, and then leaning into even what I was reading to help fuel, uh, uh, those dimensions that I felt.

I needed to focus on right now. Um, that led me to the, the, the, this, this conviction that a, a real big part of living richly is having full access to the power of your mind, your heart, your spirit, and your body, uh, to experience life to its fullest. Uh, and so it, it came, uh, down to this little. Uh, sort of meditation that I used.

You right, may, may my mind be clear, uh, may my heart be clean, may my spirit be connected and my body charged. And, and I lean into that on a regular basis. And it, it, it just leads to some interesting awakening. So I think the four dimensions is a great way to approach perhaps revisioning, uh, what your life looks like.

E even in a simple way, it, it almost allows you to have bite size. Uh, You know, areas or pieces that you can now express the things that enrich you, right? How do I, how do I express these values and these things that enrich me in through my body, through my mind? All of these, I, I just love the approach and I know for me, it’s, it’s certainly helped me get much clearer on, um, on, on how I’m going to do those things, by being able to look and say, am I, am I making sure that these, these pieces matter?

And, you know, and I focused in on certain. Body for me was the one that I really started focusing on. Yeah. You’re looking pretty best. And well, you know, like we’re trying , um, I, I have a, I have a, we, we have a, that was we, that was the collector. Yeah. Um, the, but the, you know, the, the, the spiritual one. I remember at first I was like, even when you mentioned Spirit, I was like, ah, I don’t want to even touch that.

That’s bad, bad, bad. All kinds of, all these scripts came up. Right? Right. Uh, and that’s okay. We, it, it, you may not be. We, we don’t have to be ready to, to go at all four in order to start with one. A hundred percent start with one and then just see where that takes you. Eventually you may come, and that’s where I’m at now, where I’m now very comfortable considering that there is a spiritual part or an element that I need to know and I need to understand because it’s going to be what allows me to live my fullest life, uh, that wouldn’t have been there six months ago.

Maybe not even three months ago. Uh, I remember you sent a note one time saying, Hey, I said a prayer this morning. And I went, oh, fuck . Oh, we lost him. Oh, here we go, man down, man down. , right? And, and, and then of course my re you know, shift that response. Well, how excited we for you. Right? Exactly. Exactly. How beautiful that is to, to be there.

Um, I love the notion of exposing yourself to the elements and what that means, and we’re gonna look at that. Um, finally, uh, the, the, it, it’s now taking all of that stuff right, and then creating some kind of, now we get into the action we call them rituals. Rituals or practices. Yeah. Or practices. Talk to me a little bit about, uh, about that.

What’s been the experience for you as you’ve started to develop and formula? Rituals and practices. Yeah. I mean, rituals have been around for a long time. Right. They show up everywhere and I think it’s cuz there’s some real truths that are baked into it. Anything we do over and over becomes part of us.

Anything we think over and over becomes part of us. Anything we say over and over becomes part of us practice. Practice becomes permanent. Right? Practice becomes permanent. That’s right. But we can. We can remake and reshape any of those. And so this idea of being able to deliberately craft these and then say, how am I gonna live this out to reinforce it, it’s incredible, right?

And it flows so well outta those four elements, right? I think at any given time, some of those elements are speaking more loudly in terms of what we need and, and only, only we know what we need and what season we’re in. Um, for me, the farm has been very much a, a ritual. Right. It’s been about tending the, this farm, like the vineyard’s been useful that way.

Uh, not cuz not you guys know, like I, I’m not the guy who drinks heavily. I’m not the guy who, uh, but there’s something about being out there. Pruning working your way through it. The patience, the fact that you can’t rush it, you just have to keep going. Right. And for me, mindset wise as well, was I, so I don’t enter the vineyard until I know what it is I’m going to repeat every time I take an action.

Like what thought. So if I’m pruning, I. I don’t start pruning till I know what thought I’m gonna repeat. And every time I cut I’ll repeat the thought, I’ll repeat it, repeat it. And so that’s a, that’s a reprogramming of me, but to say, whether it’s, you know, uh, you know, I’m fully present, whole and complete, or I’m good, just.

The way I am, or you know what, whatever that is, or I choose my thoughts, right? Uh, the, these are rituals repeated over and over to anchor us into, you know, these other pieces so that it’s not just a one time exercise. Like, you know, you could probably do most of these things in a weekend, but you can’t do the rituals.

Right. The rituals are a life, right? So it’s about how you craft your life, but you want it to flow from a good source, and that source is you not anybody else. Like you need to be your own source in the same way you’re describing earlier. You need to be your own hero in your own story. Nobody else can come in and do this.

You can have people around you supporting you, cheering for you, encouraging you, holding you accountable, all of those things as well. But you, you have to have that agency and that action. Right. And so this is the piece where the action starts to play out. Absolutely. And I think a lot of folks, when they’re thinking of making changes to their lives, right?

Uh, w uh, let’s face it, uh, we, we did a, an episode not long ago on, uh, uh, re, re resolutions or versus revolutions. , uh, and we talked at length about that. Um, but the reason that does stuff doesn’t work is cuz people go to this action step, the ritual step, the practices step too quickly without really figuring out one, what is, what do I value?

What’s really important to me? What does a rich life look like for me? What are the things that enrich me personally and professionally? Uh, what area of. Perhaps needs attention that’s been either shut down or neglected or not tapped into exposing ourselves to the elements. All of a sudden, when you start to get clear on that stuff, the practices then that you need to put in place to support that kind of life become clear.

And not only do they become clear, They’re highly charged with momentum because you’ve gotten clear on why they matter to you. This isn’t just about, well, I’m a little pound, a few pounds heavy, I need to get to the gym. Uh, no. Like, right, like for me, one of my rituals is, is rigorous exercise. That is one of my core practices.

Uh, but there’s so much more to it than that. Uh, and, and we’ll get into it when we dive in more deeply, but this notion of getting deep before you take a step. Yeah. And, and sometimes you do those things in tandem, you. , you, you start getting deep as you start doing them. It’s, they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive, but I think if you fail to do the work of diving deep into why you want to do it, why it matters.

Any attempt at behavior modification without actually, uh, going to the belief level, uh, the motivation level Yeah. Is gonna be short-lived at best. We, we can’t behave any length of time in contr, contrary to our core beliefs. So we have gotta work on the belief stuff. Yeah. We, we, uh, we, I think. Sequence matters and, and the reason I and Sequence really matters.

Well, it does totally sequence matters, but, but the reason I, I’m, I’m emphasizing that I think part is because I, again, and we want to, I, I we’ve say, been saying this since the very first podcast, we are not trying to come with a bunch of answers, right? We are coming with, here’s the journey we’re on, here’s what we’re discovering.

That’s what we’ve learned, and we’re inviting you onto that. Uh, with us to be able to explore this and to, and, and we love, we love the comments, we love the input, we love to hear from people. Uh, and we do want to encourage you, you were a bit earlier, I was, uh, you know, kind of being a bit playful with the notion of, hey, subscribe, uh, to the podcast so that you can stay on this journey with us.

But I, I do mean it. I really do wanna encourage you to do so to subs to subscribe to our podcast. If you’re watching it on the YouTube channel, make a point of not only subscribing to the channel, but liking. The podcast as well, liking the video. Uh, that helps us, it helps support us in being able to get a bit more notice on YouTube and on Apple, uh, as we share these podcasts.

So really do encourage you to do that, uh, and be able to participate and be part of the journey with us. Uh, comment on the YouTube channel. Yeah, I comment. People have. Some of these things, what are their values, rituals, all of that stuff would be a great starting point, uh, to being a part of this journey with us.

And we’d ask you also, if you’re benefiting from these conversations, you’re enjoying the message. It’s, it’s resonating with you. Uh, we’d love, uh, for you to help us get the word out by sharing it, uh, with folks that, you know, sharing it out on social media, uh, uh, sharing it within in your circle of influence.

Let’s get the word out there and get more people listening. We’ve got lots of stuff on the website for you. Uh, the, it’s living Slash act a c t. And actually, Eric, one of the things I thought is, I’d love to put that little mantra that you had about kind of your body, your mind, your spirit, your mind.

Like, if you’re okay with it, I, I’d love to put that up there as well, cuz I think it’s useful for each of us to kind of find our own expression of that. And that might be a great example as well. Absolutely. So we’ll share that in other resources as well. Go take a look. Here’s what I’m convinced. You can create your best life.

Uh, it’s not gonna happen overnight. Uh, it can begin at a. It can begin with a conversation, uh, but you can do it and we invite you to do it along with us. Thanks so much for listening in on the Living Richly podcast, and we hope you join us for the next episode.