In this episode, Rob, Eric & Trefor dive deep into the element of water — the world of our mind.
The look at how we assign meaning to — literally — everything, typically without even being aware that we’re doing it. The look at how our thoughts are shaping our reality and the role they play in helping us navigate pain, tragedy, and betrayal.
The guys discuss how they’ve made changes personally and how that’s affected their lives, and then share some actions you can take to take more control of your own thoughts.
Show Notes for Episode 12
Here are a few of the tools, resources, and links we discussed in this episode:
We love Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. It’s got so much research and insight on how to take control of your thought life.
- Rob also made reference to David Goggins’ book Never Finished to describe how he finds space between his thoughts and himself.
Some things you can do to get more clarity into your thought life:
Ask yourself, What are the beliefs that are really holding me back? (Be sure to ask this with curiosity, gentleness, and compassion. The goal is to understand, not condemn yourself.)
- Try to get present with your thoughts. To identify them as they fly through your mind so you can get a more accurate picture of what’s driving your choices.
- Listen for the critical voice. When you make a mistake, what you say next will likely be a script.
- Journal. Reflection is the key. Experience without reflection will not teach you anything.
- Meditate. Taking time to calm your mind and to observe your thoughts is deeply powerful.
- Work with others. Doing this alone is extraordinarily difficult. Trusted advisors, counsellors and friends make all the difference.
Episode 12: Water – The Power of Mind
How do we identify the beliefs that are maybe causing damage or hurt or holding us back? And then how do we go about rewiring our thinking?
Rob Dale, Eric Deschamps, Trefor Munn-Venn
Hey there. Welcome to the Living Richly podcast. My name is Rob Dale and I’m here with my great friends Eric Deschamps. And Trefor Munn-Venn. Hey there. He still refers to us as great, even though we’ve recorded so many of these. This part is pre-recorded and no longer reflects, uh, reality, the of the participants.
Uh, we do wanna welcome you and thank you so much for taking the time to, uh, to just participate on this journey. Uh, by listening to the podcast, by sharing it, and really becoming a part of the Living Richly community. Last, uh, episode, uh, we talked about, and if you haven’t had a chance to listen to the one right before this episode, encourage you to do that first because, or the 11 before that, or the 11 before that you can listen to them all, but certainly episode, uh, 11.
Is around, uh, uh, just an overview of what we’re going to be talking about today and over the next number of, uh, episodes as well. Uh, as we look at the four elements. Uh, and we are gonna be talking about each element in a bit more depth. Uh, I’m sure we’ll have many conversations around these elements, but we really wanna just take some time to.
Uh, explain what we mean by them, how we understand them, how each element has influenced our journeys, right? Uh, and perhaps provide some insight and some thoughts that others can take as they are applying for themselves, uh, into their, what does it mean to live their richest life, uh, how they apply these.
What I love about this journey right from the beginning, we. Saying this is that, uh, this, there’s no, there’s no program or, or product that you could, or easy button, that you just press that this really is about doing it in community and learning together. Uh, and, and even these elements, uh, we’re gonna give our.
View of them people can take in and, and really apply them directly for themselves as well. Absolutely. I can’t wait to read people’s thoughts in the comments about their views. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s gonna make us, you know, I, I think it’s gonna be one, make us better, harder . It really, it really will. It really will.
So today we’re talking about the mind. Mm. We are gonna be looking at, uh, and so maybe let’s take in one simple episode, in one simple episode. All this explained, come on the mystery of the mind. Uh, uh. Maybe let’s start out, uh, before we get into, uh, uh, really how we’ve been living this out, how we’ve been experiencing it.
Maybe let’s start with just a, a simple definition again of what we mean by the element of mind. Uh, how we kind of, what we think of that, how it ties into the four elements we talked about, what those four elements are, water, wind, uh, fire, and uh, and earth. Uh, the mind represe is represented by the element of water.
Yeah. What do we mean when we talk about the mind? Uh, what do we not. When we talk about the mind, I think in it’s, it’s very essence. I mean, it’s most basic format. Easiest way to explain is think of your thought life. Yeah. The quality of your thought life. Um, and how many of us have wrestled with, uh, a, a thought life that is very, um, conflicted, uh, where in some moments that’s generous, conflicted, conflicted, uh, uh, a thought life that in some moments is very positive and happy and thinking great thoughts.
Uh, when the research, uh, is consulted, like what 90% of our thinking of the average human being, their thinking is negative. Uh, so what we’re thinking of your thought life, we’re thinking of mindset. Uh, I think it also speaks to learning and, and, and challenging your mind to keep evolving, but in its essence, I think that’s how I would define it.
What about you, TRF? Yeah. That thought life and actually taking control of our own thinking. Right? Right. So many people are so confident that their thinking is sound, me included, the, and it’s not, it’s not it, it’s mostly pattern. Right. And, and we need to go back and go, where’d that pattern come from? And, and frankly, actually, we don’t even need to do that.
We just need to look and say, how’s that pattern serving me? Right. Right. What a great question. And do I wanna continue with that? If you want to crack the source, go ahead. But it, it’s actually almost irrelevant in terms of saying, is this serving me my. How I want to express myself in this one existence that I’ve got.
And if it’s not, how do I want to change that? What would, what would be a more constructive, more productive, more meaningful and aligned thought I could carry? Uh, because these things shape everything. How we see everything, every belief we have, beliefs are just, I’ll bet we’ll get comments from this statement.
Beliefs, , our thoughts we have over and over. Right? Right. That. That’s it. And they become true because we keep saying them. Yeah. And if we hang out with other people who also say them, we go see, they think it too, right? And so then that makes it easier for us to think it, and it just kind of spirals that way where we do need to challenge those to say, , is that actually true, right?
Mm-hmm. , is that actually true? Right? And and that’s the moment where we step into really exercising our thinking. That capacity to critically look at our own thoughts, gently, lovingly, compassionately, but actually look at our own thoughts it go. Is that true? Right? You got evidence to back that. Or is this just something you’ve said for a long time and maybe there’s something better we could say.
Yeah, and I think like as we get into thought life, this is potent, potent stuff, a hundred percent. And when you think of, uh, the beliefs that we have, they typically form around three broad categories. There’s the beliefs that we form about ourselves. What do we, what do you believe fundamentally about yourself?
Right? Uh, and again, a lot of that for most people is very, very negative. I shared in. Previous episodes how for most of my adult life, I believed that I was the exception to the rule. I believed that I was fatally flawed, that something was terribly wrong with me. Yeah, and as you can imagine, that belief played out, uh, played havoc, wreaked havoc in so many areas of my life.
there is the beliefs and we also have about others, um, right. About, uh, others who we’re in relationship with and, and our belief about humankind in general. Yeah. And our, just our belief then around how the world works. Mm-hmm. . Um, and it’s those beliefs again that shape our reality. Uh, and, and I think this has probably been the most fundamental shift for me in my thinking, is, uh, this notion that we do create, Our reality with our thinking, uh, problem is most of us are creating a reality we don’t like.
We’re creating a life we don’t like because our thinking on all three of those fronts, or two, or one of them, is skewed. And until we begin to remake meaning, Uh, and, and, and, and to your point, Trav ch challenge dispute some of the beliefs that we hold onto without question that aren’t serving us, then our life will continue to, uh, be an expression of those beliefs and those thoughts.
Yeah. Um, and so, uh, I think of how many years I spent training my mind. I mean, I, this is one of the most powerful moments is I came to realize, and this is actually pretty recent, the last couple weeks I came to realize, . I’m actually really good at this whole mind thing because I spent most of my life training
Yeah. To think a certain way, and all I had to do is begin to shift. The thinking, but the pattern, the, the behavior was already in place. It began, it was a, a matter of shifting my beliefs, challenging my beliefs, and replacing them with better ones. That led to a completely new experience, a completely new reality.
If you haven’t, uh, listened to episode three where Eric tells us, uh, his story, I encourage you to do it. It’s, it’s such a powerful. Powerful example of somebody who has really gone from one, uh, belief system and being able to grow and to become the individual that you are, uh, sitting here today. Which, uh, which I just celebrate so much for me, and we don’t, when we look at these four elements, Um, at, at the risk of prioritizing them in an in importance, uh, because they really are connected to one another and they influence one another and all of that, uh, there is something about the mind and our mindset and how we think that affects the other ones in such an.
Tense way. Mm-hmm. , uh, it, it, I, I would almost want to make the argument that you can’t fully embrace the other elements without embracing a, a change of thinking and, and, and starting with the mind, uh, that this is often for many people. One of the starting points, uh, on this journey of living richly is to change their thinking and to change their belief.
It’s funny you said that, and I can see both Eric and I were starting to process to think and see, do we, do we, my belief totally destroy him here on this one? I, I don’t know what I think about that, but, but I, I know this. We have beliefs about all three of those other things, right? And we have beliefs about our.
And if we want to shift Yep. Our belief about our spiritual belief, our beliefs about our emotions and our feelings and our relationships, our beliefs about our body, our and, and what its purpose is and who we are, and whether it’s good or bad, uh, and even our beliefs about what we think about other people.
Really like it, it does flow from that. I, I need to spend more time with that though, Rob, up, like that’s so big. I, I don’t know what, I think it’s a big statement. It’s big. I know what I think. I, I, I might even, my, my response is similar to yours. Tra i, I, I think, and I reserve the right to, uh, retract this statement,
I think most of the pain that we feel short of someone who’s living with chronic illness or disease, Uh, where they’re feeling, uh, pain at the physical level C constantly. I think, uh, uh, aside from that, which is, you know, uh, and I’m not downplaying that, that’s a horrible thing No, of course, to, to be living with, very challenging thing to be living with.
Mm-hmm. . Uh, but I think most of the pain that we carry around in life, I know for me, so I can only speak to my journey, would’ve been in my mind. and in my heart it was related to my beliefs. And then all the emotional baggage tied, tied up to that. Uh, and until that, for me, until some of that got cleared up, um, uh, it made it difficult to explore the others.
The only one that I found easy to explore was getting healthy, cuz I’ve always had that. That’s been a, a part of a kind of a theme in my life for a long time. Um, and yet that wasn’t satisfying. That, that, yes, it was great to get some, uh, leave some energy on the floor at the gym, like leave some stress on the floor and the, the feeling good and, and, and feeling stronger and all of that.
But that didn’t help me with the mental and physical, uh, emotional pain that I was in. Well, and even that. Right? And, and again, we. Yes. Let’s, we may take another pod, another episode to discuss this at some point because I it will be the Refuting Rob episode. Well, and I just threw it out there having not really even, I don’t know whether I believe the statement I made , uh, you’re so, you’re just throwing shit around now?
Is that what we’re, I’m just throwing shit around. See what sticks. No. Uh, but even, even when it comes to, I so love the language you use there, when it came to body and it was about getting healthy, what I often experience when I’m having conversations with people is, is they focus on, again, the what? The exp I need to lose 20 pounds.
I need to do this. Right? The doing pieces. Uh, and, and oftentimes until you change the thinking is no, it’s not about doing this or doing that. It’s about becoming a healthy person, believing and thinking as a healthy person. When I think therefore, then I behave out of that thinking. And so that’s where my suggestion is, uh, and where my thought process is around some of these areas, even though the emotion, when you said about your emotions in the heart.
We all know this. We’ve all heard this through our own, you know, experiences and you know, you have never had a feeling you didn’t create in your mind, right? So remember when Sherry, Dr. Well, yout just drop that man. That’s big. No. So that’s so thing. , I remember when Dr. Sherry first introduced that statement.
Thanks Sherry. Uh, and it was actually, that was a group session. We were all in with her. So we were all in together when she first drop. Uh, when she stated that you have never had a feeling that you did not create, I think it, it, it had a similar impact, but even more so than your question. Just, just now.
Sure. Where we’re all like, I don’t know if I believe that. And yet as you lean into it, you realize, actually my emotional response to anything that happens in my life, anything that happens in your life is a choice of the mind. What do we believe about what’s happening? Right? What does that mean? And then that what’s.
What creates the emotional response? Uh, it’s, uh, I know for me, a, a, a, um, a concept that’s been transformational, and this is attributed to the Dai Lama, but in the ages of the internet, who knows who said what, right, right. Yeah. Um, but it’s attributed to the Dai Lama. This whole notion that pain is inevitable, but suffering.
Mm-hmm. is option. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. And I read elsewhere, and I’m gonna forget which book I read this from, but the statement, pretty sure it was me. It was your book. Yeah, your book that hasn’t been written. I don’t have a book, don’t have a book. working. Uh, but this, the author wrote a business journal.
The, exactly, exactly. Harvard Business Journal. The, um, the concept was, uh, um, suffering is what I feel about what I. This notion that, again, most of the stress Wow. And the suffering that we experience, we’re not talking about pain that happens. Pain is gonna show up on our front doorstep, right? On a regular basis from multiple.
And so is blessing, by the way. Blessing is also gonna show up on your doorstep. But part of the human experience is we’re going to experience pain. It’s gonna show up, uh, and it’s how we respond to. That determines whether we’re going to suffer. And I, uh, came to the realization that much of the suffering, most of the suffering that I experienced, uh, in my life was because of what I believed about it, how I, what meaning I attached to it.
When something bad would show up, see, there’s more proof that I’m a bad person. There is more evidence I deserve that. Uh, and so my thinking was so negative that when pain showed up, I was attaching. to something that that, like who says in the universe, where is it written in the universe that when pain shows up on my door, it means that I’m a bad person?
Right? And yet how many people make that connection or a similar one? And so if we want to begin to shift it, , uh, the, the, I believe the, the point of leverage is, again, challenging. The meaning creating. We, we talk about scripts and superscripts, these, these beliefs that we have embraced or have formed over time because we haven’t challenged, we haven’t disputed, uh, some of the thinking in our mind.
And it’s led us to, uh, in many ways a very unhappy existence. Mm-hmm. and, uh, uh, for me, I, I, I read recently and Joe dispenses his book Becoming Supernatural. He writes, how much of your creative. He’s, he’s comparing how much of our energy goes. This kind of thing. Creating our own suffering, creating our own stress, creating, uh, what the, uh, the Buddhist refer to the principle of the second arrow, right?
The first arrow being the pain that shows up on your front door. But the second, third, and fourth arrow is the meaning you attach to it. How much more suffering we create or pain we create, again, by our response to it. And dispenser rights. How much of your creative energy could you be using to create a new destiny?
And that blew my mind. I thought if I’ve got the. To create, uh, negative emotion and suffering. Then I also possess the power, the creative power through the power of my mind. Belief, the power of my, my thinking and my mindset to create a positive reality, a positive experience. You, you mentioned dispense and, and, uh, and we’ll put some, uh, uh, links, certainly to, uh, to some of his books.
Another one of his books that was, was absolutely, uh, transformational for me was a book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. Right. Just that title. Can fuck you up, , right? The notion of break breaking, the habit of being myself. Uh, and he talks in there about the notion of, uh, rewiring the brain. Uh, and, and we talk about pain.
We can rewire the brain to even overcome pain. Right. Uh, physical pain I’m talking about, right? I, my, my sister’s a an ultra-marathoner and you talk to any air ultra-marathoner and they will talk, we hear all the time or any just a marathon or we’ll talk about you hit the wall and then you get past that and all of a sudden you have your second wind.
All of that, all of that is in the mind. Right. It’s, it’s not like all of a sudden it’s, it’s in the mind and the mind recreates for you, the, the pain and it can act and, and when we create, so that’s the, the power of the mind is the ability to transform, whether it’s the body, the emotions, all of this, it starts with our thinking.
Uh, it’s such a critical piece for us to be able to learn. Now, I will say this, and maybe it’s become a bit fashionable to talk. Yeah. It’s become almost, it’s one of those things right now where, well, it’s just, you know, think differently or think positive and, and all of that. That I, I don’t think that’s, I don’t believe that’s what we’re talking about.
This isn’t about positive thinking. Well, it isn’t, it isn’t. And even, even, even an element of it. But it’s not that what we’re seeing right now with some of the fancy, just, you know, you know, feel good, think good, and, and it’s more, it’s deeper than that, I guess, is what I’m trying to suggest. Absolutely. But even trends, like when trends are show up, it’s because it’s something that’s being highlighted.
I think the universe is trying to nudge something. Yeah. And we can choose to just accept it sort of at a surface value or we can dive in a bit more deeply. and, and, and, and try to wrestle with the true meaning of what, what, uh, what, uh, is being, uh, what is being said. Yeah. So I, I think the trend that we’re seeing is, is a good one.
Uh, and this, the surface value here will not get you where you want to go. Right. Cause you’ve already done that. Right. Right. Mo most of our thinking patterns is because we’ve grabbed surface things and then we’ve assigned meaning to them. And not constructive meaning. And I think, I think it’s the notion of the constructive thinking rather than positive thinking would serve us better.
I like that. Yeah. Uh, so it’s not just think happy thoughts if think Terry meaningful thoughts, you think meaningful thoughts, creative thoughts. That’s right. Yeah. But you can, you can choose to assign the thought so, Uh, listen, like tragic things happen to people every day. Real pain, real hurt, real betrayal, real, you know, uh, we’ve got stories around this table going.
We got our stories and everybody’s got them. And I, I think there’s this g there’s this great story I heard where I, if you’re sitting with a group of people and you could all put your pain on the table in front of each. and you could choose to take anyone else’s rather than your own. Most of us would reach back out for our own and just take that back.
Yeah. Wow. Because there’s so much, there’s so much real, real pain, real suffering, real betrayal, real hurt out there. Yeah. The, the challenge then is, as you said, with the second arrow, which is, how are we going to think about that? What are, are we going to use it to say, see, I’m a bad person, or I can’t trust, or people are evil, or, you know what, whatever the case may be.
And I think this is, that’s the moment of truth. Yeah. When, when, because we define our truth going forward to say, what is going to be true for me? And if we. because I was betrayed in this way and hurt by this person who said they would never hurt me. I can’t be in relationships because other people are going to hurt me.
Right? And, and what’s tricky with that is, Yes, some other people will hurt you, right? But that doesn’t mean all people will, will hurt you. And so now how do we wanna navigate our way through lives? Is it trying to avoid the hurt or starting to realize no matter what’s happened to you, that you’ll be okay that you can get through this.
And that’s using that example just. Think of that example. So again, shifting your thinking, right? That, uh, yes, I may, uh, put myself out there. I may take that risk again and get hurt yet, and instinct that’s that’s a possibility. Uh, and actually in a world that we live in a probability. Right? Right. Very likely.
Uh, and yet, So far my track record says I have survived a hundred percent of my toughest moments. Yeah. And so I have a track record of overcoming even betrayal and rejection, and if that shows up on my doorstep, it’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna sting, but I am going to make it through and I’m gonna learn and I’m gonna grow again.
Our thinking is so powerful. In even shaping, uh, in difficult moments and changing them. I remember a, a study I read about years ago, and this is part of, uh, my challenge is sometimes I read too much and I can’t remember where I read something, , this, this, so I won’t be, we won’t be able to post this one in the show notes.
I’ve been desperately trying to find it. Um, but it was a, um, if I recall correctly, the details, it was a 10 year study where they followed people that had been through significant trauma. Uh, we’re talking like, really? Right, right. Major loss or disease, or like, major trauma. And they, they followed them for 10 years.
At the, at the end of the 10 years, they fell, the people fell into three categories. The vast majority, which was like, I think around 80 to 85% of people. It was pretty, it was really high. Never found their footing again, the trauma. , uh, uh, impacted them so negatively, uh, that they never kind of got their, their, their balance back.
They never got back in the game. They were impacted negatively, sort of, uh, on an, on like a long-term basis. The second group, which was about 10% of people, Sort of got their footing back. They got back in the game, they got back to where they were before they managed to find their place back in life, even after the trauma.
But it was the remaining percentage and it was somewhere three to 5%. I remember it being so small. Right. Um, is, uh, for, again, we’re talking people that have been through similar things, most of them never finding their way again, never kinda getting back in the game. Uh, uh, a smaller percentage, around 10% finding their way back or finding their, their mojo.
The, the remaining that that last. Uh, that that trauma became a stepping stone to them becoming the better version of themselves. Mm-hmm. , they would look back and describe that they wouldn’t want to live through the trauma again, but they looked back and saw how it had a transformative effect on their lives and that they could have not become who they were.
Uh, had they not gone through it well, what’s the difference there? Uh, right. I’d have to believe that a lot of that is how they approach those, those that trauma. Absolutely. Mentally from a mindset perspective. Yeah. What they chose to believe created a very different reality. And remember what, when I read that, I also, I said, I don’t care what happens in my life, and this was.
Part of the journey of me beginning to shift a mindset and beginning to do the work, uh, is I wanna be part of that three to 5%. I, I, I want to be in that group. I don’t want to be in the other two. Right? I’m, I’m convinced that, uh, someone who is listening to the podcast is going to find, uh, that article.
And, uh, if you do, uh, please encourage you to, uh, leave a comment. Uh, leave a comment, share it with us so that, uh, we can certainly, uh, credit the, uh, the source for it. But there, there is so much out there, the research, uh, so, so many of the theories in psychology, uh, that, that teach and talk about the power of the mind to change all of this, but let’s talk.
Very practically. Yeah. And maybe share, uh, before we get into how, maybe some things that people can do to start to make that shift in their thinking. Uh, let’s talk about some personal examples. How has this been an area that has influenced you? In what ways has, uh, a shift in mindset, uh, affected you? I know we’ve already shared some examples, but maybe just in a little bit more depth, uh, a little bit of nuggets of stuff that might be in our episodes that our stories are in.
What about for you guys? How, how is, uh, this one, the mind, uh, focusing in on this element? How has this affected you living richly. Over to you Trav, boy, , the how hasn’t it? Uh, right. It is so potent. So I’m just trying to think, uh, uh, of kind of the best example. The first one that came to mind, actually, I’m gonna say for a, a different episode, cuz it, it, it’s more about the relationship between thinking and feeling.
Mm-hmm. And, and I, I, I think I’m actually gonna take that one for the feeling one. So when we, I’m not gonna ask the question. Question in the feeling one. Yeah. I’m just gonna bring it up. the, uh, Well, I, I think there’s a, there’s a core element for me around, uh, so long about how I looked at me and who I was.
And, uh, you know, I tell that story in a, in a previous episode, but the, you know, it, it was that notion about, do I think about me as a whole and complete in. Uh, or as somehow incomplete or, uh, with so much pain or ashamed that the essence of who I am was kind of stained and irreparable, right? So, so then it became a case where if something goes wrong, uh, it, it.
You know, is that difference between, oh, I made a mistake, or I am a mistake. Right, right, right. And so what a difference. Yeah. Right, because, because you know, this, this perfectionist in me for so long was, In some ways, almost a necessary response to the threat of that line of thinking, because if I got it wrong, all it did was reinforce that.
Mm-hmm. , there was something so fundamentally flawed with who I, right, right. Who I was. That, you know, it just, it was so, so painful to have to live that over and over again. So to shift that thinking about, so who am I really? What is my nature? Am I whole or not? Mm. And it’s like, well, how am I broken or not?
I’m like, well, there’s a big difference between hurt and broken, uh, and, and hurt. Again, being that human condition that that thing we all go through in some way, shape, or form, right? To say, what, what is this thing and what, what am I experiencing through it? And realizing I can be hurt without it being a commentary on my identity.
It’s cuz shit happens. Yeah. Right? Mm-hmm. and bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It’s very confusing. Confusing as fuck the whole thing, right? Yeah. You see good people doing bad things. You see bad people doing good things. Then you realize, I don’t know, maybe there’s no bad people or good people.
Right? There’s just people doing the best they can with what they got in the moment. And maybe it’s okay for me to be that too. Right. Right, right. And, and I think for me that was, that unlocked so much about. You know, it made it okay to be wrong. It made it okay to make a mistake. It made, it made it okay to uh, and easier to get back up going.
It made a mistake. Was it a big one? Yeah, that was a big one. But tomorrow’s new. Now is new. I don’t have to wait till tomorrow. Now is new. Right This moment, right now, I can say, well, that was that and it’s done. Yeah. And I’m gonna now work my way through that, but from an entirely different place. Yeah. Mm.
Yeah. That’s so good. That’s good. What about for you? Uh, I think for me, uh, and I shared bits of this in, in when I told my story, but this, this notion of constantly trying. Uh, balance the ledger. Um, that because I believe fundamentally, uh, you know, through life experiences and the meaning that I attached to different things, uh, significant people moving on from my life.
So therefore, I’m not lovable. Everybody who gets close to me leaves me, uh, feeling again that no matter what I did, there was always bit parts of my personality that were, uh, hurting or in pain. I couldn’t quite crack it. And, uh, you know, living in a religious environment that added tons of fear, guilt, and shame to the entire mix, uh, is that I spent most of my life, uh, where the, uh, something that was true to my nature, which is being a giver, being a, uh, someone who, uh, genuinely loves to help people.
Where that became tainted, uh, I was helping and I was doing, and I was serving in an effort to literally, uh, have more, more on the good side of the ledger than that right , because fundamentally I believe the people were better off without me. Uh, and so serving and helping in many ways, uh, became an escape.
Uh, it became a way for me to, uh, uh, soothe the pain or escape the pain, or even ignore the pain of what I fundamentally believed about myself, because although I didn’t. I was good. I could at least point to things and said, well, there, there I did a good thing. The problem is there’s also times where I, in an effort to do a good thing, did a bad thing and I hurt people and I made a bad choice or I made a bad decision.
Uh, and that would just send me spiraling into more, see, just more evidence that truly. , uh, although grace and forgiveness and second chances and compassion that that’s available to everybody else, Eric, it’s just not true for you. Right? Uh, so do the best you can, uh, keep to yourself, uh, right. Uh, don’t let people too close because once they get to know the real you, they’re going to leave you and you’re probably gonna hurt them in the process, uh, and undoing.
That lie, that cognitive distortion, that massive cognitive distortion, um, has led to, uh, a completely new experience, uh, in my life. Uh, and, and, and it all started again cracking, like tear, tearing apart those false beliefs that are, um, literally eroding your joy, eroding your happiness. Talk about, no matter if happiness showed up on my front door, and there were a lot of happy moments.
You’re leaking constantly. And I refer to that by story. So no matter how much good is happening, it’s like you can’t contain it, you can’t steward it, you can’t hang onto it, uh, because you’ve got gaping holes in the boat. Uh, right. Uh, and, and I think that work of mindset is plugging those holes. By challenging the beliefs that are causing the leakage in the first place.
Yeah. And when we talk about, uh, the notion of mind when we defined it, both in the introduction episode as well as at the beginning of, of today’s episode, when we talk about mind, there’s so many pieces to that about being present and, you know, curiosity. There’s a whole. A number of, of, of, uh, descriptors or elements that we can use for that.
It’s interesting that both of you, when you share these personal examples, and for me this would be true as well, is that the, the starting point when it came to living richly and the element of. Of, uh, mind, uh, uh, is around beliefs, right? And I, I know for me, it started the real, where it, it landed in a very significant way was, was just earlier, uh, you know, in, in 2022, uh, where, uh, and as actually while I was doing a challenge, one of these, you know, we’ve talked about that you’re 40 day challenges are 50, but they work for you.
You’re one of the few that. For, well, well, they do and they don’t. They do and they don’t. Right To the point of they work in the moment when you stop doing the work, you can fall back into other habits if you’re not careful. And I certainly saw that happen to me to a degree. Mm-hmm. Uh, but when I was in one of those challenges, uh, that was when the notion of.
Uh, I needed to change beliefs and beha my mind, my thinking around certain things in order to just be successful at the challenge or I would’ve given up. And I remember, uh, through some of the reading I did, through some of the conversations I had, there were a number of things where I had to change, uh, so many of the beliefs that had held such a strong part of my life.
Um, why I caused, you know, hurt in relationships, why I would react and re and behave the way I did in, in relationships and in, in, in, uh, you know, the idea of giving up on things or quitting at something or being okay with just mediocrity in other areas was all stemmed out of these beliefs. Uh, and when I started to shift that there be, it, it was, it was tangible.
You guys would even comment on, holy shit, who’s this guy? and I could feel it. And I, and I really saw it play out in the relationship that I’m in with Wendy. It, it began to be, all of a sudden I was like a different human being in this relationship, right? And, and all of that started with beliefs. Now, mind, this element of mind is more than just our beliefs.
It starts there, right? A hundred percent. So how do we get. We got listeners, we got people that are, uh, at different places on this journey. They’re saying, damn, I want that. Uh, how do we identify the beliefs that are maybe causing damage or hurt or holding us back? And then how do we go about rewiring our thinking?
I think the first very important element is getting curious Oh yeah. Getting curious about what are the beliefs that I’ve carried around, uh, that have been most damaging to my happiness, my fulfillment, my joy that have held me back. What are the, if I was to list the top three beliefs I have about myself that are negative, what would they be getting?
Curious but curious with compassion, again, the Buddhist talk. Compassionate curiosity. Often when we do work of self-reflection, uh, again, if our, and, and I, this was my experience, uh, for so many years when I would do the work of reflection, try to do the work of growth and engage in a lot of it, it’s been part of, when I look back on my story, regardless of where I was at, there was always this desire to become more and to grow.
Push through it. Uh, even though I, I often struggled with how to execute on that, but part of it, uh, that was true for so many years is when I would do the reflection work. I would use that information in many ways. Uh, my inner critic would use that information as ammunition, right, to beat the shit out of myself with, as opposed to fuel for transformation and growth.
So rather than approaching it, I approached it with curiosity, but it was a very condescending curiosity. It was a very critical, uh, curiosity. It’s only when I began to. Apply compassion. I wonder why that is. I wonder why, what’s behind me believing that? I wonder what an option or an alternative to that would be to, uh, approach it in the same way that if, if one of you came to me and shared a struggle that you’re having, uh, I wouldn’t.
You know, start beating you up with that information. I would try to help and support and be understanding and compassionate how to turn that same energy, you know, on myself. You mentioned about the, the questions about what are those three scripts, and for some people I’m struggling to even figure that out.
One of the things that I’ve been doing and, and it’s, I, I do it on a regular basis. To this day is when a thought comes in, oh, that person is, uh, mad at me, or that person is doing that because they, they’re trying to get even with me or, or whatever it is. The, the curiosity, the question that I always find myself asking is, oh, that’s an interesting thought.
And then being able to take that step back now and, and go, I wonder where that thought’s coming from. And so you might not be able to identify your top three scripts that you’ve had since childhood or whatever. You can identify the last thought you just had. Right. You can start becoming present. Yeah. I think to your self-talk.
Yeah. Just get present to the thoughts that run through your mind and as opposed to just letting them flow over your mind as a settled fact, as a, as a definite reality. Beginning to step back and ask yourself, I wonder if that’s true. Well, that’s interesting. I wonder where that’s coming from. I wonder what that’s about And, and I think ge, ge getting.
To your self-talk. It won’t take you long, especially if you engage in some form of reflective practice. And I think journaling is really, really useful here, where you can even begin to jot down some of that negative self-talk that is showing up for you. You’re going to begin to see the themes. I think those, those major scripts that are influencing.
Uh, what you believe about yourself, what you believe about others, what you believe about the world that we live in will begin to just show up. Uh, I remember listening to one, uh, uh, football coach talked to his team, uh, and he said, listen, we’re always talking to ourselves and everybody in the crowd’s like, yeah, he goes, Why not make it positive?
Right. , I thought, isn’t that really brilliant? So getting present to our self-talk, I think is another important element, uh, to unpacking that and to, and to getting, uh, really present to what are the scripts that are influencing you. Our thoughts are so powerful, but they’re just thoughts. God, they just show up in your brain like it’s like, We hang on to them desperately.
Yeah. We’re like, oh, I had a thought as though they’re a definition of who we are. Are we? Yeah. It’s just a thought. Like your brain will come up with all kinds of crazy thoughts, like snake wearing a vest, rolling a donut. Right? Like, it’s like random thought, but the, it doesn’t have to mean with Wait, what?
What? doesn’t have to beat anything. I’m not sure I’ve ever had that thought. No, but everybody’s having a No, you’re having it now. You’re welcome. the uh, right. We can, but we, we can attach so much. It’s just a thought. It’s just. It’s just a thought and you are not your thoughts. Right, exactly. You are not your thoughts.
You’re the one thinking your thoughts or observing your thoughts. You are not even your feelings. Exactly. There’s another one. Exactly. You are the one experiencing your feelings, and it’s when you begin to sit into that observer. Position as opposed to my thoughts or who I am, my feelings are tied to my sense of worth.
So if I feel bad about something, then I must be bad. If I’m having bad thoughts, it’s an expression of who I am. No, these are just your subconscious minds. Just thoughts, uh, right? Uh, uh, uh, processing stuff and churning stuff out, and sitting back in that observer position, and then choosing which thoughts to hang onto, right?
And which ones to just let flow through you, right? Because thoughts and emotion, Flow. They show up and then they go and we get to decide which ones we want to hang on to. Right? I and, and, and if we’re not exercising the choice around that, if we’re saying No, every thought is important and matters, good luck.
Good luck. That’s gonna be a very crazy, or it’s gonna be a tough one, a tough experience. And talk about conscious, right? When we talk about the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, right? When you, the easiest way to describe it is your subconscious mind regulates things like your sympathetic nervous system.
Mm-hmm. , this is your fight or flight response. This is, it’s on automatic. You don’t want to have to. Think about what to do when you’re in crisis. The, the, the para, the, the sympathetic nervous system faster than you two. Well, right. It’s . Yeah. How do you survive? A bar attack runs faster than the guy beside.
You want that to be on automatic. Yeah. Your parasympathetic, uh, nervous system. This controls your rest and digest, uh, uh, part of your, your system. These are, again, all automatic. Your, your, your subconscious mind moves at about a, moves about 11 million bits of information per second, whereas your conscious mind, this is what you’re putting your attention on, what you’re focusing on, what you’re thinking about in any given moment, it moves from 11 million bits per second at the subconscious level.
To about 40 to 50 bits per second at the conscious level. So slow. So the con, we think we’re so smart, right? So you think about speed, right? When you think about speed, it means that our conscious mind is moving along at about a hundred to 150 miles per hour, while our subconscious mind is zipping along at about a hundred thousand miles per hour.
The problem is the subconscious serves us very well because we set up programs in the subconscious that just execute automatically. But the research is showing that for the average individual, 95% of what you do on a say, do and think on a daily basis is program. Oh yeah. How about this? How are you? Fine, fine.
It’s a subconscious response. It’s a sub. It’s you didn’t stop and go, how am. Right. It’s, that’s why I wanna, it’s a subconscious sub-routine that you have set up that, uh, when certain stim or certain situations show up, your brain takes shortcuts. Your subconscious is trying to help you. But think about that for a second.
We are only choosing 5% of the time on average. And when I share this stat with some of my clients, they’re like, what? Yeah. Yeah. Like, that’s pretty sad, I think. No kidding. We are only accessing cuz the power of the mind is in the c. Mind signaling the subconscious mind what matters. Yeah. And actually beginning to literally challenge some of the old programming and overwrite it.
Right. Uh, talk about format, the hard drive and start over. Yeah. Beginning to introduce new subroutines, new thinking patterns. And the thoughts that fire together wire together. These begin to form new neural pathways in the brain where your your, where your mind is used to going a certain. You’re now directing it to go a different way, and it’s not that those old neural pathways disappear, but they become, imagine a trail in the woods that no one’s using anymore.
Yeah. Over time it starts to just get more and more overgrown as we carve this new way of thinking. This work is not done overnight. You’re not gonna change your thinking in a heartbeat, but the more you lean into it, the more you re recognize the power of the conscious mind to change your reality, to change those subconscious subroutines.
Well, all of a sudden now, you’re experiencing a lot more joy, a lot more fulfillment. When things show up on your door, you’re interpreting them radically different, which impacts the way you feel, the way you respond, the way you act. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , uh, again, the power, the, the, the research that they’re doing.
Recently, I get pretty excited about this stuff. Go on, go on, go on. What notice? Yeah. Hey, so how many people that are listening would believe, like, and, and, and to you guys as well that, uh, believe that with our thinking that stress and things like that can cause sickness? Well, we all think that, we all believe that that’s kind of accepted in society now.
There’s so much research that shows that bad thinking, stress and all these things can, can lead to literally, you know, illness and disease. And so , if the mind can create disease, If the mind can create suffering, imagine what it can do. And there’s an entire field of study now about using the mind to heal your body.
Yeah. Uh uh, we think about how much of our mind is triggering our sympathetic nervous system because we’re thinking. Uh, uh, we’re acting out of fear. We’re acting out of anxiety. We’re believing that the worst case scenario is, is, is about to happen. We are triggering at the subconscious level, our sympathetic nervous system, our fight or flight response, and we’re living in fight or flight most of the time.
Through the power of the brain, we can begin to actually activate more of the. Parasympathetic nervous system and the rest and the digest and the, the ease. Uh, again, this is the, the studies that are out there are phenomenal on the power. And, and I think it, it, you know, one, one thing I would encourage mentioned it already was the, the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.
There’s an entire section in the book where he just lists. Study after study, after study. So it’s, it’s almost like a, here’s a condensed library of all the studies that, uh, prove exactly what you just said. And it keeps growing and it keeps growing. Growing keeps growing cuz more and more people are studying that.
To your point, you said the word library. Yes. Uh, here’s another one that, uh, and, and this is from Dispenza’s book on Becoming Supernatural, where they say the average human being only accesses 1.5%, 1.5. So five is a low number in terms of how much we’re consciously choosing. We only access about 1.5% of our dna.
The rest is considered junk dna. Now, what’s interesting is there’s a scientific principle in nature that what is not. gets evolved out of us if we don’t need it. Right. It’s basically use it or lose it. And yet this junk DNA continues to remain. Mm-hmm. It doesn’t go away. It hasn’t, it hasn’t diminished. Uh uh, dispense refers to it as a library of potential.
Mm-hmm. , think of, think of how much potential is being left on the table. Now, whether you believe this stuff or not, imagine if you could dial up. 5%, 10%. If you could dial up your more, uh, positive thinking, more positive experience, even by a percentage, I, I wish you would dial up passion, right? I know passion.
I I’m working on it. I’m working on it. But if you could dial that up. Yeah. Yeah. 10%, 15%, 20%. What difference would that make in your day-to-day experience? How much of how much? How much, how different Okay. Would your life be? So, so I want to go back to where I was just started to go. There was, let’s get until I rudely interrupted you.
Be before you cut me. With your passion, uh, uh, there’s a script. It was a passionate color. There’s a script. Uh, no. Here’s this again. Uh, so in a very practical way. Mm. How does one start? You mentioned about journaling. Uh, there are some, you know, certainly, uh, uh, in, in breaking the habit, he talks about meditation as a, as a, a model.
Uh, listen for the critical voice, listen for the critical voice, I think is, is so true. Uh, what would that sound like? Truck? The, uh, every other thought I have, Eric? No, no. . Maybe every third. Now it’s getting better. Right? Right. The ratio. But I think like, part of it is when we go, uh, uh, when so gray, when you’ve made a mistake mm-hmm.
what you say to yourself next will be a script. Yeah, yeah. Right. Oh, you’re so slow. Oh, you’re so dumb. Oh, you’re always late. Oh, you are. Like, listen, that, like that, that voice is incredibly important. And the thing is, as you said with the subconscious, the subconscious is so wicked fast, and these voices are so familiar.
right? You have to try and catch ’em. So at the beginning it’s like all you need to go, oh, there’s. That’s it. Don’t do anything else. Right? Just go, there’s what? Learn to recognize. Maybe write that down. Go, oh, I saw one. Yeah. Right. That like , that’s it. It’s like seeing wildlife, right? So some people would like look and they’ll be driving by, they don’t see anything.
And over time you go, oh, there’s another gopher. Right? Gover or rabbit or a what? Whatever, right? Like you start to spot things that weren’t as visible to you before. Mm-hmm. . So it’s that observing your own thinking, your own. Is, uh, or those thoughts that are going through is step one. I, I’m reading. So second, I think I, I, I’m reading, uh, David Goggin’s, uh, newest book right now, uh, called Never Finished.
And, and he, he, one of the things he talks about in there is when, oh, you done it? Uh, I’ve never finished it. , uh, I, he talks about I That was, that was, sorry. Your dad apologize everyone. Sorry. Uh, but one he, he talks about in, in the chapter that I, that I just finished, uh, he, he, uh, he re references that idea of that, that inter, that voice, he doesn’t call it the inner critic because sometimes he, he sees it actually as, as a little boy, uh, that, that, that same, so he’s, he’s, he’s given a name.
So that’s David. And then his savage, his, his, his, you know, thinking that is, I’m in control and everything like that is Goggins, right? So that’s how he’s kind of, you know, and, and so whenever he hears one of those statements, oh, there’s one. He goes, oh, there’s David. Right? Mm-hmm. Right. And he’s starting to identify because for that, that works for him.
Whether that’s the way, uh, I, it’s a great way to separate from your thoughts about Right, to be able to separate out and say, no, no, that’s, that’s not me. That thought is, is isn’t me. That thought is is something I’m experiencing. Uh, and so that’s the model that he’s used to be able to identify however you do it.
The idea is you need to recognize them. You gotta see it. Yeah. You gotta see it first. And it, and it’s, it’s there. The other thing is if, uh, you know, if, if you, if you were to write down saying, how do I think other people see me? It is probably a great way to start tapping into some of those beliefs as well.
And again, these are like those beliefs, those thought patterns, often, not always, but often are strategies we developed. Right? Right. They’re, they’re not always working against us. That’s they’re coping, trying to cope with what life was serving up. They were the on our best tools we could come up with at the time.
Right. And the challenges were usually not in those circumstances, but we’re still using the same tools and strategies, so they’re not working for us anymore. Right, right. You know what you described, Eric, was so beautiful because you, you basically said if you want to change your life, change your mind.
Right. And, and you change your mind by changing your thoughts and, and your language And well, language that thought, that thought language intersection is, is so core, right? Inner s So in terms of your self talk Yeah. And actually the words you use to describe yourselves. And we do it with each other. We catch each other.
Right. We kind of go, dude, and like, you know, and I, it’s helpful because it keeps it in the foreground for us. And that’s where I wanted to go next is the next probably practical step if we’re gonna call them those. Uh, Doing it in community. This goes back to this notion of s I know for me some of those, uh, core scripts that I held to, I didn’t challenge myself on them because they were so, they’re so subconscious.
They were so just there until in most cases, because of the relationship I have with the two of you. Yeah. One of you had point in and go, oh, interesting thought. Interesting what you just said there, and when someone else catches, That you trust and you respect and that you’re in community with all of a sudden now.
Oh, you’re right. I hadn’t thought that. You know, uh, so I think that’s the, another important element of this, is that you can do this exercise probably to some degree on your own through reflection and meditation and all of this. But damn, is it ever a lot easier? Well, no one can. No one can do the work for you.
No is the issue. Each of us has to engage in this process meaningfully and deliberately. Uh, step by step slowly, by slowly, little by little, right? Whatever that looks like for you. No one can do the work for you, but doing it alone is a very difficult journey. Um, and I mean, I still recall one of the first early conversations I had long time ago, uh, with Jim Harrington when I went down, when I was in real.
Rough shape in 2011. And I tell the story, uh, in that epi episode of my story. Um, I remember him looking at me at one point and I was sharing something positive about myself, which was very uncommon back then. And he paused and he said, Eric, you know, you’re a really good man. . And I remember looking back across the table without a, without hesitation, no, I’m not.
Right. Right. He says, no, you are, you are a really good man. No, I’m not. And we went back and forth five or six times and he would just gently, no, Eric, you are. And I was getting angry because the resistance internally, uh, to what he was saying was so strong. And I remember him saying to me in that moment, he realized, This was a losing battle
There was no way he was gonna dislodge that, that that false belief in me, that I was a bad person. He wasn’t gonna dislodge it in that conversation. Yeah. So after the last time, I restate it very, very clearly, no, I am not. And I was getting angry. He said, it’s okay, Eric. I know you don’t believe that right now.
I’m just gonna keep reminding you until you do. Wow. That’s the power of community. That’s the power of having. Along the journey with you who can help you challenge some of the lies that you tell yourself on a daily basis that are robbing you of that rich life that, yeah, that is available to all of us.
Well, and there’s so two beautiful, beautiful things really jump out when you describe that. Um, the first is around, there are times, uh, so often I’m encouraging people. You gotta listen to yourself. You gotta listen to what’s. There’s also points of time where you need to trust somebody else, right? Yeah.
When you need to trust someone else’s view of you to say, maybe how I’m looking at me isn’t who I really am. Right? And, and Jim basically said, listen, I’ll hold this till you’re ready. Right. A and and created a space where there was a moment there for you to, to have a leap of. Which you got to. Yeah, right.
It took some time. But you got to, to, I’m a slow learner. To . No, you’re not. No you’re not. Get rid of that. Script’s, the script. Get rid of that script, the uh, right. But to have a leap of faith that sometimes. , and, and this is where you need to choose very, very carefully. There are times when there are people around us who can see truths about us, reality, about us, possibility in us that we cannot currently see.
Right. And sometimes we need to trust that, right. So yeah. So true. We’re, we’re coming up on an hour. Okay. And, uh, I recognize there are so much that we could talk about. We’ll, never finished. Well, we, we, and, and we. Uh, come back to talking more about the mine. I think we’re gonna be looking at these elements.
The, the goal over the, the, the next four episodes is to take each episode and, and to talk about each of the elements. Uh, give some tea, we’ll see if that actually happens. Check the titles. We’ll see if we are able to continue in sequence with them. There is so much more that we could talk about when it comes to the mind and maybe we can explore this next concept cuz it actually ties into, it can be in the mind episode, it can be in the next episode where we explore the heart.
But the power of affirmations. Yeah, the power of intentions. And I would add a third one. The power of associations. . Um, love that. I think that’ll be a, a real important part of this. I, I think that will fit really well into, uh, the next episode. So we just finished talking a bit about community. Uh, let me encourage you, uh, to, with this episode, share this with some of the people that are in community with you.
Uh, maybe add some comments to it. If you’ve heard some things that, uh, you know, resonated with you during this e uh, episode where someone else has been the gym to you, uh, or has. You are the Jim to someone else. Maybe even add that to them as you share it to them and just, uh, express that appreciation or that thankfulness for having, uh, those individuals in your life.
That’s one of the things we want to encourage you to do as we wrap up the episode today. On the website, if you go to living richly.me/act, cuz we’re all about acting, let’s take some action, uh, all kinds of resources from today’s episode. The, uh, we got books on there. We’ve got, I gotta find, we gotta find that quote of that 10 year study here.
We’re gonna find it. I, I, I did a little search, I was hoping I could find, I couldn’t find it. The uh, um, but we’ll include all of that on the website. It’s there, it’s available to you. It’s available to share, it’s available to consume it, to discover it. So take advantage. And we encourage you, of course, hit the subscribe button if you’re not subscribed already.
Uh, that way you’ll know when new episodes come out. You can track with us on this journey. We we’re so happy you’ve been doing that. We want you to continue. Uh, so make sure you subscribe. Yeah. So thank you for taking the time to, uh, listen, to be part of the Living Richly community. We so deeply appreciate each and every one of you, and we look forward to, uh, the next time we’re together.