Dave Rossi is a motivational speaker, retreat leader, and personal, business, and achievement coach.
I spoke at one of Dave’s leadership retreats and saw something special in his message and the passion and intensity with which he delivered it, so I caught up with Dave at the swanky panky Courtside Athletic Club in San Jose, CA.
Dave brings his A-game to the podcast with some fabulous insights on leadership, peak performance, and overcoming fear and anxiety: “Fear is like a giant App on your phone, running in the background and using up battery life.” Don’t live like this any longer! Dave will help you address and process your issues, reprogram self-limiting beliefs, and understand that stress, pressure, fear, anxiety and the like are choices that you have the power to change. Even though the recording session got busted up a few times at the noisy health club, Dave kept bringing the heat and delivering valuable insights. Take some notes, take this stuff to heart, and execute the objectives. Learn more about Dave and his amazing journey of personal transformation that led him to this calling at DaveRossiGlobal.com.
When you experience fear and anxiety, you can acknowledge it and redirect your focus. How do you do that? [00:04:07]
If you need fear as a motivator to live, something is wrong. [00:12:38]
Enjoying something is the recipe for longevity. [00:14:46]
Fear is a multi-layered issue. A lot of people derive a lot of personal value from winning, [00:17:25]
What about the job interview or college application where you come in second? [00:24:14]
The reason why we end up suffering is because we think we shouldn’t suffer. [00:26:06]
These fearful emotions arise from two places: Your beliefs or your ego. [00:28:04]
We have the power to choose how to react in different circumstances and control how we deal with our feelings. [00:31:16]
People are in their peak performances when they don’t think about it. When they just love what they do. [00:35:14]
Beliefs are another source of fear. If you really want to change your beliefs, you can change them. [00:37:00]
Low self-esteem comes from the way you were raised because you compare yourself to others. [00:43:25]
People use life and death situations as a means to actually appreciate value of life. [00:48:29]
How do we ascend to the next level? [00:49:12]
People can says things that are different from how we perceive ourselves. You don’t have to believe them. [00:54:11]
What is the definition of vulnerability? In a weak moment, it takes an incredible amount of strength. [00:58:13]
He helps people learn from the information they already have. [01:01:10]
It is not what happens to you but it is what you think about what happens to you. [01:02:42]
How are these ideas related to marriage or relationship? [01:03:42]
When you are gracious and humble, you don’t have to be right. [01:10:31]
“Complaining is a way of comparing ourselves to a situation we thought we should have had.”
“The reason why we end up suffering is because we think we shouldn’t suffer.”
“Fear is like fog on your windshield blurring your vision. You make decision based on fear.”
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Speakers: Brad Kearns and Dave Rossi
Brad Kearns: Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.
Dave Rossi: “The reason why we ended up suffering is because we think we shouldn’t suffer. And in fact, when we complain about not having things, complaining is a form of comparing ourselves to a situation we thought we should have had.”
“People are at their peak performances when they don’t think about it, when they’re in the zone and they just love what they’re doing.”
Brad Kearns: Here’s a quick thank you to our sponsors. They make this show possible and the tremendous production behind it – online and in audio.
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And now, onto our show.
Hi listeners, I’m excited to bring you this deep discussion and fast-moving discussion. This is definitely not a 1.5 speed podcast. We are going to go deep with Dave Rossi of Dave Rossi Global Leadership Training.
He’s got this wonderful kind of a new operation for him. He’s not one of these seasoned slick guys that have been doing leadership training and doing their DVDs and CDs for 20 years and spouting their talking points. He’s very real and authentic, just getting going with this career change.
But the guy has a gift for this stuff. It just comes out as soon as you meet him and engage with him. And I had the privilege of participating in a leadership retreat that he conducted over in the Santa Cruz Mountains of the San Francisco Bay area recently. I talked about diet and fitness and he was doing the leadership training with some other presenters and presenting this beautiful weekend experience, where we integrated yoga into the classroom, lecturing and discussion.
Some of the stuff he said just stuck with me. And I started thinking about it day after day after day after I left the weekend retreat. And I thought it was really powerful and profound, and that’s why I wanted to get him on the podcast and talk about some of these basic concepts that he presented that I have shared with so many people since that day.
Just really quickly, because we’re going to talk about it in the show too, but when you experience fear and anxiety, which we do constantly in daily life because of the way that daily life is structured, and the social media experience making us feel inferior and not enough, and that we need to step it up because we’re looking at the person toasting us from the camera on the beach in Hawaii. “Wish you were here, sorry you’re not.” That kind of thing. When you experience fear and anxiety in your life, you can acknowledge it and then redirect your focus. Redirect your thoughts back to your values and your vision.
So, we’re going to get deeper into that. I’m going to ask him more of what he means by that. But this guy can take a concept like that and go off and spout these beautiful quotes from Henry Ford and the knowledge base that he has and the effortlessness in which he can process people.
He did a great job processing me at the leadership retreat and a little bit on the show where I played devil’s advocate and said, “Wait a second, what if fears are things that motivate you to perform well in your job and meet your sales quota every quarter?”
So, I think you’re going to get some great value out of this. Slow down and listen carefully to Dave Rossi. It’s wonderful stuff. Something that we can all benefit from. Thank you very much. Enjoy.
Dave Rossi Global here in our global headquarters of the fabulous health club here in the Silicon Valley. This seems like your hang out. You have some classes here. You’re doing your thing. And I wanted to catch up with you. We had an incredible leadership retreat that you organized and presented at, over at the 1440 multiversity.
So, if you google this incredible facility in the Santa Cruz mountains, but our mutual friend Angelic had me out there. I was going to talk about diet and do this leadership thing. What’s this all about and I got drawn in. It was captivating the message that you had on this subject and these things. This was, I don’t know, a couple months ago and I keep coming up and thinking of these insights that you provided to the group.
So, I thought we should dig into some of this stuff and welcome to the show, man. Thanks for coming.
Dave Rossi: Brad, thanks for having me. I think the first thing that comes to mind is what’s going on with you that these things keep on looping into your mind? Whether you loved it or you’re lacking something. What’s the root of that? That would be my first thought.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, the big one that I’ve shared with so many people is when you experience fear and anxiety, which is basically our day-to-day existence with whatever’s going on, whatever’s bugging you and whatever’s on your mind. Fear and anxiety come up over and over about what’s going to happen in the future, right? And so, whenever you get into that state, I think the training at the leadership retreat was you, first acknowledge it, and then you control your thoughts because we have control over our thoughts and you redirect toward your vision and your purpose. Did I pick up that okay?
Dave Rossi: You did. I think you got the abridge version, I guess kind of at our retreat, because it was a pretty fast-paced retreat. It was on leadership and a bunch of other stuff. But one thing that all leaders do, and I consider athletes and people who have peak performance, whether it’s music or art or whatever, they have fear and they also love what they’re doing – and that’s leadership. Leadership is controlling fear, leadership is exceeding and excelling at a high performance rate or a high peak rate.
The thing with fear is that our brains have this tremendous mechanism in our head for fear. So, if you consider your brain a computer, right? So, how many hundreds of thousands of years have humans evolved? And our fear mechanism was really used for running away from giant animals, animals with big teeth, what foods to eat or what foods not to eat. And so, our fear mechanism was really created and needed for our survival.
But now, what is this giant fear mechanism used for? “Hey, this guy cut me off. Hey, I want to become the first place with this next race. Hey, why did this person call me a name?” So, this fear mechanism gets triggered with kind of trifle things, but yet it’s real. We still feel the emotion and we still react to it. So, you got the short version, which is, yes, you have to acknowledge it. “Okay. I’m feeling fear.” And what is fear. It’s fear of something that hasn’t happened yet. What is anxiety? The fear of a possible future that hasn’t happened yet.
So, we end up making decisions in our life. We ended up acting in real time at the moment and making decisions based on a possible future. It doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge the fear, it means that you say, “Okay, so I am feeling this emotion of fear, I need to process this. What is it? Where is it coming from? And what do I want to do with it?”
If there is a fear of the future, like, “Hey, this is a tough course, I may not do so well. I’m feeling some fear with this.” Okay, let’s get rid of the emotion and let’s focus on the types of things we can do to solve the problem. “Well, maybe I need to wear a different pair of shoes. Maybe I need to study the course more. Maybe I need to change my strategy.” Whatever it is. You have to acknowledge it. You have to process it and then you need to decide what to do.
Brad Kearns: So, the fear is this, getting you into this fight or flight state. We’re chronically overstimulating the fight or flight state, which was designed and it’s hardwired in our genetics to save our lives in that short duration, episode of the common example of running from the big cat or even if it’s a week-long rainstorm when we’re fighting for our lives and trying to survive and moving 20 miles a day to get away from trouble in that primal example. And today, it’s like everyday we wake up and we get to trigger fear and anxiety and the stress hormones. And so, we’re in this kind of, I guess disturbed emotional state where our higher thinking and reasoning is suppressed and we’re not being rational. We’re just being emotional and reactive.
Dave Rossi: Exactly. So, fear is a form of suffering. Okay? Stress is a form of fear. Stress is, “Oh, I can’t finish this at the allotted time. Oh, it’s not going to turn out the way that I want it to turn out. Oh my God, I have five deadlines by tomorrow and I can’t finish them all.” All of these things – stress, fear, anxiety, they’re all forms of suffering.
So, sometimes when we use the word fear, people are thinking of someone with a hockey mask and Jason with the axe, right? We’re not talking about that kind of fear. We’re talking about the psychological fear that occupies our energy. I always refer to this as turning some applications on in your cell phone. And the fear app is a big app. It takes a lot of memory. It takes lot of RAM. All of a sudden, you’re like, “Hey, I can’t send pictures, do videos, and look at Instagram all at the same time. What’s going on? I have too many apps going on.”
Brad Kearns: All the Silicon Valley analogies, now that we’re here in the headquarters, yeah.
Dave Rossi: So, fear is a giant app that turns on. And what it does, is it begins to direct our energy and direct our focus towards somewhere else.
Brad Kearns: Somewhere else other than the actual problem, and doing some problem solving.
Dave Rossi: Somewhere other than what we’re trying to accomplish. For example, let’s say you’re driving your car somewhere in Santa Cruz or Auburn. You’re driving the freeway and you’re looking at the road and you’re watching cars pass you by or trees or whatever it is, mountains. And all of a sudden, going the other direction, you see a car that looks like your wife or your girlfriend or whatever. Or a teacher or something. And you look behind and say, “Was that so and so, I think? Wait a minute, I just saw … could that be them?” And so, you’re driving, “What is she doing over here? She’s supposed to be – what?” And then an hour later, you call her. You can’t get a hold of her. “I can’t get ahold of her. Wait a minute. Was that her?” The next morning, was she supposed to be …”
Your mind’s occupied with this thought, right? This thought of fear. You might even connect the dots and say, “Oh, maybe she’s somewhere she shouldn’t be. That had to have been her.” And your whole attention is diverted from driving for how long? A day, two days, until you get an answer. Maybe you got an answer that you didn’t like. So, now, you turn on another set of, “That was kind of a weird answer. Not the answer I was looking for.”
So, now you’re diverting more energy and more attention to other things that aren’t even real. We call that crossing into the world of truths through the world of falsehoods. So, when we dedicate emotions like fear to situations or instances that aren’t necessarily real, we think they’re real. Because we think something’s real, it doesn’t mean it’s actually real. Because we feel fear, it doesn’t mean there’s actual fear, right?
Brad Kearns: Almost never is.
Dave Rossi: Almost never is, right. I mean, fear’s a delusion. Doesn’t mean it’s not real, because it is real. You feel it. But the actual thing that you are afraid of is possibly a delusion, because it hasn’t happened yet. In that moment, it’s a delusion. If you’re afraid of losing the race and then you lose it, okay, you were afraid of losing the race and then you lost the race.
But Henry Ford was famous for a very great quote that said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” So, you were afraid of the race and you lost because you were afraid of losing, and you fulfilled your destiny. I don’t know, it’s hard to say. But the point is, nothing good is going to come from running the emotion of fear as well as actually just focusing on what you can do to solve it.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, I remember getting hit with these insights and going for hours on it in the leadership retreat. And then there’s some counter punching back saying, “Well, wait a second, Dave, the fear is what motivates me to get up in the morning and work really hard, so I can keep my position at the top of the salesforce or something like that. And that I need these kind of things. Otherwise I’d be relaxing and sitting on the lounge chair reading a novel all day.”
Dave Rossi: Well, yeah, that was kind of fun interaction. If you need fear to live, I think there’s something wrong. If you need fear to do what you’re doing every day, then you’re probably doing the wrong thing. If you need to fear as a motivator … there actually was one woman who – actually, it was a different retreat. She said, “I have so much stress, my hair’s falling out, but I need this to succeed. I need that drive.”
Now, it’s kind of the extreme, right? But even if you cross over into that realm that I need fear to actually do what I’m doing, you’re doing the wrong thing. You should be doing things because you love it. You should be motivated because you love it. What type of motivation is more pure and more powerful? Fear or love? For a lot of people it’s fear because it’s more prevalent. But love is just love of doing something.
I think one of the reasons why we hit it off so well is your story connected so well to what I teach, and you didn’t even know it. I’m not sure how many of your listeners know your story, but it’s phenomenal. And I’ll tell you the tidbits that I found incredible, was that you quit your job in an accounting firm because of the love of something. And then you did it purely for the love of it and your success was found because of the love of it. Where your competitors failed because they competed for the reward of the race, not because of the race itself. They were focused on winning, not on racing. And they diverted their attention for the fear of losing or the excessive desire for winning, which is the same thing.
The obsessive desire to win is the same thing as the obsessive desire not to fail, right? And so, you did it for the love of it. And that was an incredible story and it fits so well into this.
So, loving something, enjoying something is the recipe for longevity and the true recipe for success. Not that you can’t be successful with fear. That’s not the point. The point is it’s not the recipe for longevity. It’s not the recipe for prolonged success or prolonged enjoyment, and you’re going to have a lot more fun doing it.
Brad Kearns: Or the recipe for healthy, balanced lifestyle even if you are successful. And I think we see so many examples of the world of celebrity and the top athletes doing train wreck lifestyle behavior because they’re poorly adjusted human beings, because all they’ve done is had this maniacal drive to succeed driven and motivated by fears or someone who told them they weren’t good enough and unresolved issues and all this stuff floating around.
Geez, I was even so sad to read about After the Masters, this guy Patrick Reed, who won the Masters Tournament, Golf Tournament, first time, a young guy, great breakthrough. And then he’s estranged from his family. And there was all this noise going on and these in-fightings and an article about the poor golfer who’s just trying to make birdies.
But this thing that comes to be this monster drive to succeed and conquer the world, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee happiness. And we have over and over examples of, so what if you’re successful? Are you a nice person? Are you cutting people off in the parking lot because you have a better car or what have you?
Dave Rossi: Well, fear to me, is a multilayered issue. So, number one, I call this the “scroll nut theory”. Did I go over this in the retreat?
Brad Kearns: I think so.
Dave Rossi: So, for a lot of people, they derive a lot of personal value from winning or they derive a lot of personal value from having trophies or medals or money or fancy cars. And they value themselves based on what they have or what they do, or they value themselves based on what others think of them.
So, when they win and people think highly of them, then they feel good. And when they lose and they start getting the press, they think badly of themselves. They no longer get this boost in personal valuation. If you value yourself based on those things, you can’t necessarily control those things.
Let’s say I value myself as a runner, and I go to this race and I win. And everyone’s like, “Oh my God, you’re so great.” Okay, I won, I feel great. So, I feel really valuable. Now, I have another race to do. Oh my legs kind of hurt. I kind of hurt myself, overtrained or I tripped, or someone bumped into me. I don’t know, I hurt myself from some random reason. So, then I lose the race.
Okay. So, if I value myself based on winning and now I lost because of an injury, I’m pretty low and I had nothing to do with it. So, now my valuation of who I am as a person is based on other things other than what I can do as an individual.
So, when we value ourselves based on these winnings or the reward rather than the journey, we feel horrible about ourselves when we don’t win any longer. And so, what does it take to value ourselves based on something else? It’s vulnerability. We have to be vulnerable. We have to accept that we’re not always going to be the best. We have to accept that we’re not always going to have the nicest car, and value ourselves based on something else other than winning. Value ourselves based on lots of other things, but predominantly not the reward.
Brad Kearns: And we’re talking about this big picture example. Let’s say in my story, I was a racer and I went to do the triathlon circuit. I quit my job and there was a big race and I won. And then I got too stuck on myself and I struggled because I push and forced things to happen that weren’t naturally meant to be, because I got consumed by my success. Then I had to recalibrate and get over myself. That’s why I named my podcast that term. That we’re constantly working hard on getting over ourselves and just doing things with that pure motivation to enjoy the experience and not attach your self-esteem to the results.
So, I feel like these come out in micro examples throughout the day and it’s like a pinball machine where our self-esteem is constantly – we’re one inch away or one bumper pin away from getting thrown off our wonderful mood that we started the morning with. Then something comes up in the office like, “Oh, nice of you to show up,” says the boss. And then you make a defensive comment back and then you get into an unhealthy exchange and you’re deflated and all that positive energy is gone. And it’s a tough way to live because it is so fragile. Instead of having something that’s more intrinsic, where you know you’re doing the best you can, you don’t make excuses, you don’t have any stories.
Gosh, you think about teenagers sitting in the circle and they’re all trying to find themselves and identify themselves and be part of a group or fit in. And you make the wrong comment and someone says, “Lame,” and everyone laughs. And just like that, your day’s ruined. And it’s tough for a teenager. But then when we’re 47-years-old and we’re having a little spit spat with our 49-year-old older brother because he’s always treating me like the kid, doesn’t think I can do anything or whatever. This stuff carries out and you can see the writing on the wall. It’s like I got to get over myself, I have to recalibrate.
And especially, the thing that came up for me because we can express fears about so many things. You could just come up with 10 right away, off the top of your head. If you’re listening now, pause the tape and write down your 10 biggest fears.
Dave Rossi: So, listening to you talk, it kind of reminds me of Tiger Woods a bit. Not that I know all of his story, but certainly the press has spoken a lot of it. And the impressions that come out is that when he loved the sport and just loved to play, he won. And when he lost, because of his personal problems, all he wants to do is win again and he can’t win for the life of him. I’m sure his injuries has something to do with it, but certainly the way he looks, acts and feels, is that he just wants to win rather than just loving the game.
I think when you think about fear, it’s one of those things that inside of our minds, we think things are what they are when they’re really not. And we can control what we think about. I mean, when we hear and think and see things, our eyes actually don’t really see the things that we see. Our eyes just take the information in, the light, and then our brain interprets what it is. Same thing with our ears. Our ears don’t actually hear anything. They get vibrations and then our brain decides what to turn those are patients into.
Same thing with our mind. Things that we hear or think. For most of us, fear is, “If I lose this, it’s bad, right? If I don’t become successful, it’s bad.” And we’re the ones determining whether those things are good or bad. And we have the power to say, “Hey, if I don’t win, it’s okay.”
There needs to be a really, really clear distinction between wanting to win and having fear of not winning. Because you can want to win. That’s an entirely different thing. When it becomes obsessive, where it’s going to make you feel emotionally different or alter and turn those applications on of fear, right? That’s when it becomes the distincting point or the line so to speak, or the margin. You can want to win and you can want to do well and you can want to excel-
Brad Kearns: Very badly.
Dave Rossi: Very badly.
Brad Kearns: You can be a killer out there.
Dave Rossi: And then if you don’t, why would you be upset? If you love the sport and you wanted to win and you love it so much that you did all the things you needed to do to win, like Brad Kearns did in all of his races, did all the things you needed to do to win – you listen to your body, you had fun doing it, you love training, you love running, you love swimming, you love all these things about it. You love the grit. You love getting hurt, you love feeling tired, right? You love doing all the things. You love playing chess with your body, and then you come in second. “Okay, great. Let’s go train for the next one. I love this sport. Let’s go do it again.”
Brad Kearns: Right. That’s the ideal peak performance mindset. Now, let’s apply that to this job interview that you so desperately want and you come in second or you’re applying to graduate school and you’ve gone through all the processes and take the test and you find out that it didn’t work out.
I’m making up a counterexample because we so often hear these empowering thoughts, and then we go right back into our little hole. “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have the bills piling up and I am afraid of losing my job.” And then they go right back into that fixed in struggling mindset.
But you did a good job. I mean, not that these examples came up with that dynamic group we had, but you did a good job kind of taking us further down that road to show us that in fact, it is okay to not reach all these lofty goals that you have, but just the fact that you’re doing your best and you’ve overcome your fears, you’ve redirected your thoughts towards something more empowering, which is what we call the values and the vision, right?
Dave Rossi: Right. Well, I mean, to take on your first question, I think let’s relate it to a job interview. So, let’s say you have this great interview with somebody. You want this job, you really, really want it, and you just nail it out of the park. And then the guy you’re interviewing with takes your resume. He takes it in the back room and they’re going to talk about who to hire. And some big belligerent person comes in, and they spill coffee on your resume. Or they say, “I don’t like this person’s name. They remind me of my jerky nephew.” Who knows what discussion is happening in that room. Maybe somebody wants their brother to get the job instead of you.
There are so many things that are out of our control that happen. So, you come out, and you don’t get the job. Why would you be upset about that? You did your best, you tried your hardest-
Brad Kearns: Because life’s not fair and I get super upset if I don’t get something I deserve.
Dave Rossi: I love that because … I read this in a book. The reason why we end up suffering is because we think we shouldn’t suffer. We think we’re special, right? We think we’re special-
Brad Kearns: There’s our pull quote Brian. He’s the audio master. We got one for the picture and everything, right there.
Dave Rossi: We think we’re special. We think we deserve all these things. We think that all these things are geared for us. And in fact, when we complain about not having things, complaining is a form of superiority. It’s a form comparing ourselves to a situation we thought we should have had. “I’m supposed to have this. I didn’t have that, so I’m upset. And now because I’m upset, I’m going to complain about it.”
This is the mechanism of our fear and our brain taking over and telling us how we should feel. We should feel devalued because we didn’t get the job. We should feel like, “Hey, we have the right to complain. Nepotism didn’t give me this job.” Well, it’s allowed to. Security does not exist in nature. Just because you feel like you should feel secure, it doesn’t mean it actually exist. It’s a false sense of security even thinking about feeling secure.
The most wealthy, most powerful man or woman in the country gets cancer, their level of security changes very, very quickly.
Brad Kearns: Their priorities.
Dave Rossi: Yeah, I mean, look at Steve Jobs. I mean, he gave this … there was kind of a quote going around on Facebook or something about his dying words, and it was all about loving what you do. I encourage anyone to go look that up – Steve Jobs’ last words before he dies. The guy had accomplished everything he’d ever want to accomplish in business. Incredibly creative guy, influential guy, modern day Thomas Edison, so to speak. And his whole message on his deathbed was, “Love what you do.” So it’s not just my ideas, I’m just here to promote them.
Brad Kearns: Well, another thing, speaking of fear that we got in the course was that these fearful emotions arise from two places; your beliefs or your ego.
Dave Rossi: So, your ego or your false version of yourself – I think when we use ego, people think, “Oh, I don’t have any ego. So, that’s not me.” Ego is just another word for a false version of yourself, okay? And so, I don’t want to people to run with that word “ego” and all of sudden, think about, “Oh, I don’t have an ego problem. I don’t drive a convertible and I’m not having a crisis.” I mean, a false version of yourself.
A false version of yourself is when you feel something, when you say something, when you act in a certain way that you’re not choosing, then you’re not yourself. If you feel fear, like I said, stop and process that. Just because you feel it, it doesn’t mean it’s real. So, if you run with that, that’s not really you. You’re running and living in falsehoods. You’re not processing where this fear came from.
It’s just something that’s running you off down the river and you’re saying, “Oh my God, I’m afraid. Oh my God, I have to do this.” You’re not really planning out your next move. If you’re not in control of what you feel and what you say, if you can’t control exactly what you want to say, then somebody else is. And that somebody else is your fear mechanism. This big part of your brain that reacts for you.
Brad Kearns: So, an example would be getting into argument on the basketball court and almost coming to blows because you couldn’t control your ego or your-
Dave Rossi: I’ll give you a great example. This weekend, my son had a Water Polo tournament and their team was winning and the goalie became more and more frustrated. And you saw him begin to unravel. You saw the goalie of the other team throwing the ball, “Come on guys, get it together!” And I’m thinking this guy isn’t in control, and he’s going to play worse and worse and worse the more he begins to blame his teammates for more shots being taken on him. He’s not in control of his emotions if he thinks being upset and emotional is going to make him a better player or make his team a better team. Yelling at them isn’t necessarily going to motivate them, and unraveling and yelling and getting frustrated and displaying all this emotion, isn’t going to help him be a better goalie.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, it might be a band aid in certain ways. And we see this in relationships where you’re trying to navigate a conflict and you do it with sheer force, like as a parent or in a partnership.
McEnroe on the tennis court was famous for bearing down and you can look at his records. And he really did play better when he started to have his temper tantrums. But it seems to me, kind of a superficial band aid for the unaddressed core problems that keep coming out as manifestations of fear. Such as the parent screaming at the unruly kid or any example you can put forth.
Dave Rossi: Well, I think the real response is are we doing something that’s going to make our performance better or worse? And do we have the power to choose that?
Now, if McEnroe thinks yelling at the umpire is going to get him a better result and it works, and that’s calculating and he’s choosing that, and that’s being used for effect, great. I don’t know what’s going through his mind.
Brad Kearns: But playing a lot of tennis matches year round, it’s hard to get rallied every point and get that high intensity. So, that was probably his gateway to the next level of focus and concentration, just because it is hard to summon day after day after day.
It’s like I remember not feeling like going out on a workout. And so, I’d crank up some heavy metal music into my Walkman. That’s how old I am. Is we had Walkmans with cassettes going out there. But it was something that sort of an artificial way to jack you up into a different emotional state. And I suppose it’s allowed, it’s better than taking an artificial substance.
But the underlying idea there was like, you need to have your tunes to enable you to go pedal the bike. You can’t just pedal the bike and go, “Oh, here I am doing what I love and going out in nature.”
So, sometimes we have to navigate things and use tips and tricks and techniques. But when you use those negative motivators and things like that, that’s what I want to uncover. Is like, is there a better way?
I think we were off the clock at dinner and you were kind of processing me and I was saying, “Yeah, I do have some fear about starting this new direction in my career, and starting this new podcast. And what if no one likes it and no one listens to it? And we were going further and further down the line and it’s like if I can come back to my values and my vision – and my values and my vision is that I want to get people to tell their stories, to extract interesting information that’s helpful to me. And that’s my starting point. That’s all I can control. And I sure hope and I cross my fingers that it’ll be helpful to other people.
But if I’m in that pure motivation space just for doing the show, is like I enjoy talking with you and I get value from it. And if that’s all that happens and everyone else hates the show, I’ve still had the best way to spend my day and hopefully you too. Because you like talking about this stuff. This is your passion. And if we don’t have to focus on anything beyond that, if we don’t have to worry about our numbers and the spike in listenership from minute 30 to minute 40, and analyze and break that down … and I think we waste a lot of time measuring and judging everything we do rather than just staying with that vision and the values that are driving us deep down.
Dave Rossi: It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m only going to do this podcast if a thousand people listened to it. Because if I don’t get a thousand people, I’m not doing it.” That’s absurd. I mean, we don’t do things because we have to have some level of success to do them. Now, clearly we need money and we need to live and all those things. Don’t get me wrong.
Okay. So, let’s say you do this because you love it. And obviously you’re in line with all of this, but you’re not doing it because you have x number of listeners. You do it because you love it. You want to help people. You like it, you get value from it and you do it because you love it. And let’s say it’s not paying the bills. That just is a motivation to say, “I need to tweak this a little bit to tweak what I love, but also make it work within the monetary boundaries that I have.”
That’s not fear, that’s calculating, that’s planning. You can still do what you love and find ways to make money at it and find ways to live. So, maybe you lower your means of living because you love it so much. Like what if someone loves to be a teacher and they don’t make a lot of money, but they love it. Like why would we judge they don’t have a lot of money when we do? Society judges others the way we judge ourselves, right? “I’m special because I have money.”
But we don’t value ourselves based on, “I’m special because I’m happy. Or I’m special because I love what I do.” We evaluate people based on what they have or what others think of them. The point is you can plan.
You were right. You were at the workshop when people did raise their hand and say, “Hey, I do need money and I need fear to motivate me.” But there’s a division between when fear is like fog on a windshield and blurs your vision. You make decisions based on fear rather than planning to make sure the things that we’re fearful of can’t be managed. Really disciplined investors, people in business do this. They’re so disciplined. They call it discipline. They manage risk, okay?
They don’t let their emotions get away from them with the deal because it costs lots of money. You always heard the phrase, “Don’t chase a deal. Don’t get emotional over buying a property.” Because they’re disciplined. They know that emotions cost you money.
So, this same type of philosophy in business, it’s the same thing in business and in sports and in music and in art. People are at their peak performances when they don’t think about it, when they’re in the zone and they just love what they’re doing.
A friend of mine played for the Dallas Cowboys, and he would say, “There were these moments when everything just clicked and I didn’t think about what I was doing, and I played my best and I had my best games when I wasn’t overthinking.” And this is the same thing that we see with other peak performance industries like business. We don’t need to have the emotion. We need to register it, we need to think about it, we need to process it, and then we need to decide what to do with it. But don’t let fear be the fog over the windshield that obscures your vision of what you actually really need to do.
Brad Kearns: So, we talked about the ego part of that, and how it’s pretty natural connection to realize how the protecting of our ego can elicit fears. And then the other part was that your beliefs are also another source of fear. How does that-?
Dave Rossi: Well, I mean, ego could be a discussion for hours and we kind of just scratched the surface, but I think you kind of understand it. Your belief structure, for example, there’s a thing called a placebo effect. I’m sure everyone’s aware of. 18% of people believe that a pill with sugar cures cholesterol, high cholesterol. They literally become cured of high cholesterol. And why is that? They believe it. They believe that it works.
Now, the other 82% don’t believe it. And so, we don’t know exactly why certain people believe certain things – they just do. It’s the way they are raised. It’s the observations that they had. And so, these belief structures that become part of us affect the way we live life.
You can take two people and put them in the same situation in the military in maybe a posttraumatic stress situation, and one will have PTSD and one will not. And the reason is that one of them has a belief structure that doesn’t cause them to look at the events the same way that somebody else does. Who maybe was raised in a different environment, who saw these events as being very traumatic.
So, these beliefs that we have cause fear in us. And I use the example of these two kids jumping off of a bridge. You’ve all been on vacation and you’ve a bunch of people standing over a bridge or over a rock and people are jumping off into water. Some people are afraid, some are not, right?
So, what is the corresponding thought that drives the emotion? Well, typically in a situation like this, people are standing on top of a rock and they have the thought that the jump is dangerous. And there are other people that have a thought that it’s not dangerous. So, the person who thinks it’s dangerous has a corresponding emotion of fear. And the person who has a thought that it’s fun, does not.
The person with a thought of fun, jumps, and the person with a thought of danger does not. So, what makes those two people think of those thoughts differently? It’s their underlying belief structure that says, “Hey, these types of things are dangerous.” And the other person says, “Hey, I’ve been around jumping off of rocks a lot. And these types of things look fun.
So, beliefs can affect our thoughts, and our thoughts affect our emotions. And so, we have the ability to change our beliefs and change our thoughts. So, we change those thoughts by reprogramming or we change those thoughts by evidence. So, if we’re on top of a rock and we see nine-year-old kids jumping off, it’s pretty substantial evidence that it’s not dangerous and I too can jump, granted it’s deep enough. But the point is evidence can allow us to change our beliefs and change our thoughts.
So, if we’re afraid and it’s tied to danger, get some information, whether it’s dangerous or not.
Brad Kearns: That’s nice that you attach those because it’s a big difference from just speaking into the microphone and saying, “Don’t be afraid or change your beliefs.” And so, the evidence factor puts it back in our control. Hold on a second. Okay.
Dave Rossi: It’s just like jumping off that rock or that bridge, is the same thing as the placebo effect. Right? Certain evidence will allow us to accept that jumping off the rock is not dangerous.
Brad Kearns: Watching the other kid go flying.
Dave Rossi: Right, but other people still won’t jump. It’s not compelling enough evidence. Just like a placebo effect. Someone comes in with a white coat with a pill, “This is going to cure cholesterol.” “Okay” They believe it. They accept it. Just like they see a nine-year-old jumping off the rock, they too feel that’s suitable evidence. Other people say, “I don’t buy the cholesterol pill. I want to see my cholesterol go down before I accept this pill.” Right?
So, same thing with jumping off the rock. “I don’t trust that the nine-year-old is safe because maybe the water is more shallow, and I’m going to go deeper.” And their mind goes to all these places. So, evidence isn’t the only panacea for overcoming and changing these beliefs.
But who holds those beliefs? We do. If we really want to change these beliefs, we can change them. We can look at them, we can think about them, we can process them. And we can decide if this belief is suitable for what we want to achieve or not.
Brad Kearns: Examples every day. And it’s interesting because a lot of us don’t even realize that what these things floating around are in fact beliefs. They just think that same sex marriage is wrong, period. Why? Because the Bible says so, or whatever their argument is, but they don’t realize it’s their own personal belief. Or the argument for pro-choice versus pro-life. Well, you guys are wrong on the other side. I’m not even going to share which side I’m on. It’s just the other side is totally wrong. It’s ridiculous and terrible and awful. But that’s a belief until you even … I’ve had arguments with people where they couldn’t even acknowledge that it was a belief rather than an absolutism of the planet earth.
Like the sun comes up and goes down every day or the earth’s round. The earth’s round is pretty much a belief because we can’t see it round until we get that evidence of going in a spaceship or something. But just to get the conversation back on that level, sometimes it takes a stretch. And okay, that was an easy example that yeah, you have beliefs about same sex marriage for or against. Or maybe a belief that you shouldn’t butt into other people’s business and you don’t even have a belief on either side
So, you say you can have these beliefs, but then that’s sort of an awakening at the first level, and then you can start wondering if these beliefs are no longer serving you. For example, the ones you’ve held near and dear for part of your life and you want to progress to the next level or something.
Dave Rossi: Well, I’ll give you a couple of examples. So, one of the beliefs that plague a lot of us is low self-esteem. And I use this phrase a lot when I talk to people. You can change any belief anytime about anything as often as you want. We hold the key to all of these beliefs. And the one reason why we don’t, and this person I was talking to said they have low self-esteem, which is not uncommon. A lot of people I talk to say they have low self-esteem. And they even said, “I don’t even know where I got it or why I have it,” which most people say also.
They get it from the way they were raised. They get it because they compare themselves to somebody else. They set some imaginary standard of what they think they should have compared to somebody else and they don’t have it. And then they feel lower about themselves. Or as a kid, a coach said, “Hey, you’re not that good at this.” And you’re, “Okay, I’m not that good at this.” And then the next coach, “Well, the coach in the last team said I wasn’t that good at this, so I don’t think I’m that good at this.” And then you’re back to Henry Ford’s quote, “If you think you can, and you think you can’t, you can’t.”
So, you’re back into breeding this pattern or this path, kind of like the shortcut on the grass that no longer has grass. It becomes the dirt path. You’re wearing in a path of low self-esteem.
Brad Kearns: Right. I mean, those are real nervous system wiring. We’re not talking about … this is not an analogy to the dirt path. It’s talking about your brain is getting hardwired that you suck at singing and therefore, whoa!
Dave Rossi: Well, the opposite. I actually have this in my book. The American Idol syndrome, the singers are told they’re great. And then they go in front of a judge and they say they stink, and then these people are all angry. “But I have been told I’m great my whole life. Of course, I’m great.”
But the point is, the reason why it’s hard for us to change the belief of low self-esteem, is because it requires a lot of vulnerability, right? So, I said to this person, “Well, a lot of people who have this issue choose to have a high self-esteem.” “What do you mean?” “Well, you’ve chosen to accept low self-esteem. You don’t even know where you got it from. So, why don’t you choose high self-esteem?” “What do you mean?” “Well, is low self-esteem serving you well?” “What do you mean?” “Is that helping you to have low self-esteem?” “Well, not really.” “Then choose high self-esteem.”
Now, it sounds easy and it actually is. It is easy if you can do one thing, and that is plunge into the world of vulnerability and accept rejection. And because when you value yourself based on something other than the tenants of ego, right? When you value yourself on the fact that you’re valuable and that you have life and that you have meaning, and that you have purpose as a living human being – which a lot of other people don’t have. People who are sick and people who are dying. But when you really rely on that as your evaluation system – and the word “rejection” doesn’t exist because you don’t devalue yourself based on rejection. Rejection is just a thing. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a thing.
You don’t devalue yourself if you try to have high self-esteem and you get knocked down, it doesn’t become something that knocks you down. It says, “Oh, okay. It just is what it is. I’m still valuable.” Do you see what I’m saying?
Brad Kearns: Mm-hmm. You’re over it. You’re above the fray.
Dave Rossi: Well, you’re not valuing yourself based on what someone else thinks of you. How much success have you had controlling what other people think of you?
Brad Kearns: Right, yeah. And so, ask me how I am as a singer? I don’t know. I’ve never made any money as a singer. But if I enjoy it, then I’m a great singer because I enjoy it. I might just be in the shower – is just such a common example of people say, “I’m such a terrible singer or I’m a terrible golfer. Bear with me as we played together for the first time. I’m, going to hold you back. I know it. I haven’t played in so long. These aren’t even my clubs. My shoes are too tight, whatever.” But it’s like a great golfer is the person that goes out there and celebrates other people’s good shots and comments on the scenery and the wonderful golf and that person’s a great golfer. It’s not the score.
Because I’ve played with a lot of people that can score low golf scores, but they’re lousy to play with, because they have a temper or they like to cheat here and there – all those other examples.
Dave Rossi: I’ll tell another example. It’s like saying, “Hey, I tried to have high self-esteem but I got rejected, and so I feel worse about myself. And while I was walking across the street, I got hit by a car and I’m on life support system. But because I feel badly about myself and I wasn’t successful at my efforts to have high self-esteem, I’m not going to try so hard to live because I think lower of myself.”
I mean, that’s an absurd scenario. Of course, you’re going to fight for life. Of course, you love life. Life is life. Whether or not you were successful in tennis or golf or whether you’re not, just because you think you’re bad at something, doesn’t mean your life has less value. And yet people value their success as the value of their life when it doesn’t value. It values your situation but it shouldn’t devalue you.
So, you can imagine telling the doctor, “Doc, I only came in second in this race-”
Brad Kearns: Go work on that patient first. They’re more important.
Dave Rossi: “Yeah, I came in second and I know these injuries are life threatening, but I’m really not that important because I came in second or third or fourth or whatever. And so, my life has less value. So, maybe you should work on them first.” How many people do you think have ever done that in the emergency room?
But people use life and death situations to actually appreciate the value of life. Right? And we should appreciate the value of life. I know it sounds super cliché and I teach a lot of tips on how to believe this and how to walk through life with this, but we don’t need a near death experience or a near death event to appreciate the value of life. Is back to that worn in grass. You can make the worn in grass pattern that life is enough, that I’m good enough because I’m here. I’m good enough because I have life, and I don’t need to make myself feel better or worse because I come in second place or third place or fourth place or first place. It doesn’t matter. My value is the same. I want to come in first, but I’m not devalued if I don’t. I mean, I think you understand that distinction.
Brad Kearns: And applied to anything. You’re giving the race analogy, but it could go toward being a parent, being in the workplace. So, now if we’re going to accept this new paradigm, how do we reconcile with that idea that what got us here today was that competitive intensity and that work ethic and that little voice inside in the back of my head that says, “You’re not good enough unless you get out there and outwork your competitors by 10%.” Or all these notions that we share.
A lot of times, we even celebrate. Like, “I got to the top because I worked harder than anybody else. I got up an hour earlier and I took my magic potion drink and then I just kick some butt and I took on all challengers,” and all these great things where we’re forgetting about the happiness element and what the repercussions are of just being motivated by fear our whole life. So, how do we kind of ascend to the next level?
Dave Rossi: Well, I think all these tips and tricks you talk about, like listening to music isn’t necessarily driven by fear, they’re actually driven by desire, and they’re driven by the love of wanting to excel at something. The love of the sport. Fatigue is real. We do have a mind, body connection, mind, body and spirit and these things are real. I mean, there is a physical aspect to us and a nonphysical aspect to us. These things working in balance and in tandem provide and produce a better whole than if they are not in balance. If they’re all excelling.
So, working out harder because you are motivated to beat somebody else and you make a game out of it, maybe you cut their picture out, you put it on a wall, “There is my competitor, I want to beat him.” That’s all fun. The difference is when you add the emotion to it, that you devalue yourself if you don’t beat that person.
I mean, using things for motivation is fun. That’s the fun of the sport. I mean, trash talking or all these things. It’s when you cross that line and you turn the application of fear on that distracts your performance, rather than enhances your performance.
This can be in any life situation. If you’re going into a business meeting, trying to close a deal. A business is one of those situations where people sense and they can smell fear. And you respond to fear, you respond to being heard. You respond to being defensive, you respond to the outcome. Most people are in jobs they don’t necessarily like. And so, they’re always fear-based driven jobs. And you don’t always have to respond to the things you don’t like about your job. Usually, you don’t like them because they trigger some fear in you that makes it unpleasurable.
But that again, is just the light of the vision or the vibration of what you’re hearing. You’re interpreting these words as being bad when in fact they can just be words. They don’t have to be bad words.
Brad Kearns: Yeah. I was at like a retreat seminar thing, intensive weekend retreat for 12 hours every day. And I remember this skit where the presenter had someone stand up and he charged over to this guy and got six inches from his face and he said, “Do you know something, Bob?” You’re a green frog. And he screamed at the guy and a spit came out. And the guy started laughing and everybody in the room started laughing. And he’s like, “Wait a second, why are you laughing?” And he broke it down, broke it down. And it’s because, “Well, because I’m not a green frog.” Exactly, you’re not a green frog. So, when someone comes up and does the same thing and says, “You’re an asshole, why are you getting so bent out of shape?”
Dave Rossi: Ego tells us we know ourselves by how we think we know ourselves and we define ourselves. So, if I said, “Hey, Brad, you’re a horrible pastry chef,” you’re going to go, “Okay.” But if I go, “Hey, Brad, you’re a horrible podcaster.” “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute.” If you actually don’t care about whether or not I view you as being good or bad, you can actually listen to what I’m saying. “Really, Dave, I understand you think I’m a bad podcaster. Why is that? I’d like to learn from that.”
Brad Kearns: If my fingers are crossed behind my back, at first, that’s okay too. And I know I’ve like you suggest, fake it till you make it sometimes. And I know I can recall situations where I’m receiving critical feedback and I don’t like it. And I think the person’s full of shit, whatever it might’ve been, in a work situation or something. But I kept those fingers crossed behind my back and I was smiling and nodding my head and listening. And by just the mere act of doing so, by faking it until I made it, rather than getting defensive and bloating out exactly what was on my mind at that time, like, “Well, at least I’m … how dare you criticize my writing skills when you’re not even a writer?” But wait a second, “Is there something of value to be heard here?”
Dave Rossi: Or what difference does it make? I can be off my rocker. Who am I to judge anything? The point is that when we … There’s a book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. Have you heard of that book?
Brad Kearns: Fantastic – Mark Manson.
Dave Rossi: When you actually don’t give a fuck, is when you can actually learn and listen and grow.
Brad Kearns: That’s when you’re the most powerful.
Dave Rossi: Why would we get upset? An insult is when someone calls us or tells us something that’s different from how we perceive ourselves. Am I allowed to think that you’re a horrible podcaster, right? Am I allowed to be stupid, right? Am I allowed to not know what I’m talking about? Yes. It doesn’t really matter. It shouldn’t devalue you. You’re not doing this podcast because you’re concerned about what I think. And yet, we get insulted when people call us something that hits near and dear to our heart.
Brad Kearns: Okay, so why is it near and dear to our heart? Does that mean my ego and my self-esteem is wrapped up in what you think of me? I suppose.
Dave Rossi: Well, the five tenants of ego are we feel value by what we have. We find value in ourselves based on what we do. We find value in ourselves based on what others think of us, and we find value in ourselves based on how we know ourselves. And the fifth one is we find value in the fact that we’re special and unique in this world.
That doesn’t mean you’re not great. It means you’re not special and unique in this world. We’re not. All of our values of life are the same. If we were locked in an elevator and only one of us could get out, it’d be an interesting debate to say who’s more important? I mean, the value of our lives are all the same. Certainly, there’s arguments that young kids have futures ahead of them, but ultimately life is life.
The point is that we get upset when we know ourself as something, and why do we know ourselves as these things? We attach to them. We were taught these things. We like these things about ourselves.
So, Eckhart Tolle has this great quote that says, “The less of you become, the more of you are.” So, when you begin to shed who you are or who you think you are, the real you comes out. So, if you forget that you’re this fantastic triathlete and you just wipe that belief off the face of the earth, just completely obliterate it. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to remember anything about triathlons or training. It means that you don’t feel any propensity to defend yourself if someone says, “Hey, you’re X, Y, and Z, or you sucked at this race and you should have done this in that race.”
You can say, “Oh, cool. I wonder why you think that. I’d like to understand why. What’s your background? Why do you think that? What information do you have? Maybe I can learn something from it.” Because you’re no longer lining it up with how you know yourself. It just is what it is. Does that make sense?
Brad Kearns: Absolutely.
Dave Rossi: It’s an important thing to forget who you are.
Brad Kearns: You’re rising above again.
Dave Rossi: In layman’s terms, yes. But when you forget who you are and you erase that, you don’t forget your memories or what you know, you just no longer know yourself as anything. And when someone asks you a question, the real you comes out, not the you who you think you are. “I’m Brad Kearns and I have to be funny because I know myself as funny, so I have to respond funny.”
When you forget anything about yourself, you’re just going to respond the way that feels natural. You’re just going to respond the way you want to respond. And if it’s funny, it’s funny. If it’s poignant, it’s poignant. It just is what it is. You don’t think about it. You respond with feeling, not with thinking.
So, Einstein said, the highest form of intelligence is intuition. So, when you begin to be who you are through your essence, without knowing who you are, without layering pretense or layering how you know yourself, that makes you feel good about yourself at night. So, when you sleep, you can say, “Hey, I’m good at this.” When you get rid of those things, your intuition takes over.
Brad Kearns: What’s left?
Dave Rossi: Your intuition, the essence of you, the real you. When you remove the false parts of you, the real you is there. And then all of your responses are going to be authentic and real. You’re not going to feel vulnerability because you don’t value yourself based on what people think. So, you’re allowed to be vulnerable. You’re allowed to be raw, you’re allowed to be authentic. You’re allowed to open yourself up, because you’re really not afraid of being called a bad triathlete, because it really doesn’t matter to you. You did it because you love it. That makes sense?
Brad Kearns: Yeah. So, regarding the vulnerability, because a lot of times we misinterpret what that means, and I think the first basic definition that’s been bantered about is lack of protection or something. We’re vulnerable to an attack in the alley because it’s dark and our cell phone battery died or whatever. But really we’re trying to get a more nuanced definition. Brené Brown does great work here to talk about-
Dave Rossi: Yeah, I think vulnerability is really key. I think vulnerability is opening yourself up for observation and for judgment and for ridicule and those things. And vulnerability is being at a week time in our life, a weak moment. Doing something bad and coughing up to it and say, ’”Hey I did this.”
A lot of times people obfuscate and they just can’t quite get there. They can’t quite accept those weak moments in themselves. And me too. I’ve had weak moments. There were situations I did something that I wasn’t proud of. I had reasons why I did it. My ego kicked in. And then once I did it, “Hey, I’m going to open my chest and be all vulnerable. And hey, I did this and I’m sorry, and it was wrong and this is kind of how it happened. There’s no excuse for it, but these are how the stars lined up and I owe you an apology.”
Being vulnerable is being at a weak moment. And what does it take to be at a weak moment? An incredible amount of strength, which is such a paradox, actually. And then once we’re vulnerable, what happens to us? We become stronger. It takes strength to be weak and the byproduct is strength.
So, we all have a hard time being vulnerable because we think it devalues us and think that it’s a sign of rejection or it’s a sign of lower valuation of our lives. But when we’re on a different currency, when the currency for valuation of life is life, and I use Viktor Frankl a lot. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. The meaning of life is a life has meaning based on his research as an Auschwitz survivor.
The difference between what made prisoners live and die was their belief that their lives had meaning, meaning and purpose. And when we use that currency rather than the currency of I have to win, to be meaningful, then you’re allowed to be vulnerable. You’re allowed to race harder, you’re allowed to train harder. You’re allowed to train harder because you’re not concerned about rejection. You’re just going to do it because you love it.
Brad Kearns: You have no fears to hold you back. And also that fear, I think going back to that argument that it was really working well for McEnroe and the idea that these emotions charge us up and bring us to a higher level of performance or get us through the day and grinding through a difficult career track. They literally require energy. So, they take energy away from your ultimate peak performance goal, your vision and your purpose and your values and things.
Dave Rossi: Right. But if someone came to me and said, “I need fear to survive, great, okay. That works for you. Great.” Theoretically it doesn’t work. Theoretically, it’s not the way it works.
Brad Kearns: It’s just a dispersion of energy into the fear category.
Dave Rossi: I’m not going to tell anybody what they’re doing is wrong. To me, everyone’s way of doing things is right. I may not agree with it, and I can cite examples why I think it’s wrong (I shouldn’t use the word “wrong”). I can set examples why I think it’s not sustainable.
Brad Kearns: Less effective than something else or whatever.
Dave Rossi: But if it works for them and they want to hold onto it and that’s what their vision is, great. I don’t have any power to change people’s minds. Only they can change their own mind. I’m not in the business of changing people’s minds. I’m in the business of helping people connect dots of information they already have. People know that when they lie at bed at night that they have value as a person.
When the voices in their head or the chatter in their head, the quiet, calm, shy ones, the one that gets overtaken by everything else, by our mind and our fears, that voice knows that we are happy to be alive. And when we have near death experiences or near death scares, right? That voice becomes a little louder, and we’re happy to be alive. And that voice doesn’t come up very often unless it’s tickled or triggered or asked to come to light.
But we all have that underlying feeling inside of us. It just gets trampled on by this giant mechanism in our head, which is the brain and our mind and our fears and all these mechanisms that run full time, 24 hours a day.
Brad Kearns: Our thoughts are the source of all our pain, Carrie Sisson likes to repeat that line in spite of her spiritual psychology practice. And if you realize, it’s not what happens to you, but it’s what you think about what happens to you. It’s the ultimate pain and suffering. And then these wonderful examples of people in a concentration camp who’re keeping their spirits alive and wow. Yeah, whatever it’s taking to wake us up.
I really have a goal of waking myself up without having to be that guy in the car accident or that got burned or lost at sea for 827 days. I just want to read that story and go, “Wow.”
Dave Rossi: I’m so happy.
Brad Kearns: I’m glad to be on land myself right now, but not as glad as that guy. But we got to pull inspiration from these places. Otherwise, we’re just going to get distracted and go into a tailspin, really.
Dave Rossi: Or change currencies.
Brad Kearns: Change currencies.
Dave Rossi: Change the currency that life is enough. And when you believe that, your life will change. And there’s a famous philosopher named Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who said, “It’s not events that make you unhappy, it’s your belief in them that do.”
When you believe that philosophy or that quote, it is true. “I lost, I didn’t come in first. I lost the interview. I lost the job. My spouse left the towel on the floor. I’m so mad that the towel is on the floor.” It’s not the event of the towel that made you upset. It’s your belief that the towel shouldn’t be there. It’s the belief that your spouse should have removed it at your request.
Brad Kearns: Or that that represents a complete lack of consideration for who I am as a person who I’m a neat freak. And it’s not about the towel, but it’s about you’re disrespect of me represented by the towel.
Dave Rossi: And ego would cause you to say, “Hey, gosh, John, why is this towel here. What’s wrong with you? You can’t get it straight? What’s wrong with you?” And I was working with this couple in a similar situation and she’s like, “He’s got papers all over the house. He leaves them here and he leaves them there.”
I said, “Well, did you apologize to him and give him compassion?” “What do you mean? He’s leaving things all over the place.” I said, “Well, do you think he’s doing it on purpose?” “Well, of course he’s not doing it on purpose, but it doesn’t clean it up.” “Well, have you ever said, ‘I’m so sorry your mind is so full. How can I help you? Because you get distracted by leaving things around?’ This is your spouse.” Have compassion for the fact that his brain is so busy, he’s leaving things lying around.
Brad Kearns: That reminds me of John Gottman, the relationship therapist. And he says that in every occasion, as a couple, as a partnership, you’re either a team or you’re not a team. And you can solve anything and address anything as a team, even if it is, “Hey, you’re being a real jerk right now. So, let’s solve this issue as a team.” The ultimate thing that you would be opponents or adversaries, one person’s being unfair, unreasonable, ridiculous, emotional. But you can just, like you described, “Hey, let’s, let’s solve this problem of you being a major asshole right now together as a team.” And it’s possible.
Dave Rossi: I mean, not to say, I’ve been called an asshole many times in my marriage, probably rightfully so. But the point is she’s right. I can disagree and she can be right.
Brad Kearns: She’s right because she thinks so.
Dave Rossi: So, when you value on different currency, I’m not devalued because she called me a name. I’m not devalued because she’s upset at me, the only emotion left is love and compassion. So, it’s, “I see that you think I’m an asshole, I’m really sorry. It wasn’t my intention. How could I help the situation going forward? Because I really don’t want you to think that. It wasn’t my intention.” “But you did X, Y and Z.” “Well, I didn’t do it to hurt you. I understand how it did.” “You’re right. I don’t agree with you, but I’m happy to solve your problem with this.”
If you look at your relationship that the other person is never wrong, you’re allowed to disagree. But if they’re never wrong and you respect their view, then you get into a situation where you’re working together, like you said, as a team. When you disagree so much so that it becomes a format to change their mind or a format to show that they’re wrong, then disagreeing has gone too far. It’s a simple, “I don’t agree, but I’m happy to help you.”
Most of us can’t do that because our ego wants to be right. The ego or the false self finds comfort in being right. It finds value in being right. It finds value in the way others look at us, and one of the three tenants or the five tenants is we know ourselves by how others view us. So, if others view us as being wrong, we’re viewed less valuable, so we have to be right.
“No, no, no, no. I said 3:00.” “No, you said 4:00.” “I said 3:00.” “No, no, no, no. I said three.” “You always make a mistake and you always do this. You weren’t listening.” I was listening fine,” and now and an argument ensues. The right discussion is, “I understand that you feel I said 3:00. I thought I said four. I’m really sorry for how this happened. How can I make up for it?”
Brad Kearns: Gee, we have a problem. How can we solve it?
Dave Rossi: There’s no value in arguing who’s right and who’s wrong. One person might hook up to a lie detector and believe they said three and the other person might hook up to a lie detector and believe they heard four. It’s entirely possible.
Brad Kearns: Of course.
Dave Rossi: So, why are we arguing?
Brad Kearns: Or they just have different beliefs about pro-choice, same sex marriage, you name it, you name it, right? “I’m right and oh you’re right too? Oh, we’re both right. Oh, what are we going to do?”
Dave Rossi: Yeah, we both lie to be right. We don’t need to actually convince the other person that we’re right. There’s no value served in that. And I always tell people-
Brad Kearns: Well, then there’s no value served in that, but we do it all the freaking time and we feel like high fiving ourselves after we win an argument. So, that’s the part that’s really disturbing. And I look back over my own life and see those times where you revel in conflict or in something that came out in your favor and you were right and the other person had to profusely apologize, whether in the workplace or wherever it is.
So, I think it’s harder to see the problem there, because you can say, “Yeah, this guy bailed on me. He didn’t write down the time and I was right.” And so, you don’t see your contribution, which is that that worked up victorious gloating when really you’re not operating as a team accordingly, if that’s how it’s going down.
Dave Rossi: It depends what your goal is.
Brad Kearns: Yeah, that’s right. It depends what your goal is. You want to win every argument or not get into an argument.
Dave Rossi: If you’re a lawyer and your goal is to win the argument, okay, you did your job, right? But if your goal is to have a healthy relationship with this person or coworker, then beating them to submission to make them admit that they were wrong, how are they going to feel about you? Ultimately, you’re going to create a wall or build a wall between both of you.
Even when we do beat people into submission and get them to admit they’re wrong, we always do kind of have an underlying feeling of guilt that we shouldn’t have done that. And that other person takes the high road, we say, “Oh shoot, I should’ve taken the high road first. Oh, I know I should have said …” Right? I mean, you’re not creating peace and harmony in the universe by just making somebody submit. This is not the UFC, right?
Brad Kearns: Well, a lot of times the workplace is because the currency is that power and that wielding that power and being able to behave in a manner that’s not showing that you’re a team player just because you’re the boss.
Dave Rossi: And I understand that fact, and I think what it comes down to, and this is a very difficult thing to grasp, and it’s something that has to be grasped through actually living and seeing it. When you do act gracious, when you are gracious … let me back up. When someone told me to have more humility, I didn’t even know what that word meant. And I would say things like, “Oh, I have to pretend that I’m not very good at my job, when I know I’m good at my job. Like what are you talking about? I have to be more humble?” “You need to be a little more gracious.” “What does that mean? I have to act like I’m thankful? I worked hard for this.” Right?
But when you go through some of the transformations that I’ve been through and you actually are thankful, and you actually are humble, and you actually don’t need to argue and be right, and you come from a place of love and compassion and cooperation and connection, so many more doors open up for you. You’re so much more successful when you are those things.
So, again, it’s kind of a paradox where being vulnerable and weak takes strength and the byproduct is strength again. People feel like they have to fight for every inch. There was a movie I think exemplify this great – was called “Molly’s Game”. Ever watched that movie? She was that card game and she just believed in something and she went to the judge and she said, “I did it.” I don’t remember all the specifics. And the judge said, “You know what? I appreciate your honesty.” And he gave her like the lightest sentence ever.
This happens when we do stick up for what we believe in; kindness, compassion, graciousness, humility, helping others, it doesn’t serve us to beat people up and make them say that they’re wrong. Even if the goal is to fight for a job and compete for the next job and make the other person look bad, we don’t necessarily have to do that. Our success isn’t going to rely on being conniving or cutting corners or making the other person look bad. Because you’re going to be looked at better, you’re going to be rewarded by actually being authentic and actually having these connections and actually exuding love and compassion and kindness, while being good at your job at the same time. You’re going to be rewarded for that.
Brad Kearns: Hey, that’s a beautiful summary. I like that Dave. Thank you.
Dave Rossi: You’re welcome. It was a great podcast.
Brad Kearns: Tell me about this Dave Rossi Global thing you got going on. How do we learn more about you and connect with what you’re doing?
Dave Rossi: Well, we’re doing lots of things. We’re doing workshops overseas. We have a workshop in Italy in September. We have a second one in South Africa in March. These end up being like vacation type retreats. We do teach a couple of classes at the Bay Club Courtside in Los Gatos. One of them is called “Body by Belief”.
A lot of the things you can find about what we’re doing is on daverossiglobal.com. Also on Facebook at @daverossiglobal. I put quotes up on Monday, usually, inspiring-
Brad Kearns: Quotes are great. Worth signing up just for that. Go hit the like button. It’s cool.
Dave Rossi: It took me a while to do these things because I definitely practice what I preach. But you write these things and you go, “Is this any good? Are people going to like this?” But you know what, at the end of the day, it’s what I believe in. It’s things that have inspired me and helped me change my life. And I don’t get a lot of feedback and then I do, and the feedback’s amazing. So, I don’t do it for the feedback, but it’s great to hear that … my goal now is to help people. And as much as I can do that and feel that humility and graciousness, I’m there, I’m in.
Brad Kearns: Dave Rossi Global, check it out. Thanks for joining us. We’ve got to get your back, man. We got way more to talk about in my notes and my pull outs from the seminar. So, we’ll check back in. Keep doing what you’re doing. I love it.
Dave Rossi: Happy to do it. Thanks Brad.
Brad Kearns: Oh, by, I get to talk about my Almost Heaven Sauna. This has been a life changing acquisition that gives me easy and constant access to one of the most health boosting therapeutic treatments imaginable. The sauna, yes, of course, it’s been a cultural tradition in Scandinavia and other cold weather countries for hundreds of years. Maybe it’s your favorite part of your health club visit or your ski trip vacation resort. But what about if you had a personal sauna in your own home, in your garage or your backyard?
Check out almostheaven.com. They make these super attractive barrel-shaped saunas made of thick, solid wood. None of this fake stuff. It’s super easy to assemble. They ship it in a kit to your door, you watch the video, you put it together, and get an electrician to wire it, and you’re good to go. Turn the timer on and 30 minutes later, you are in the hot, hot, dry up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. And that is the magic zone to get the vaunted health benefits of sauna exposure.
You may have heard of these highly lauded heat shock proteins. They deliver profound benefits at the cellular level to boost immune function, cognitive function, cardiovascular function, improve muscular response to exercise and recovery from intense exercise, and of course longevity. Go to foundmyfitness.com, Rhonda Patrick, and download her report for the extreme scientific details of how beneficial sauna is.
I have this classic outdoor pinnacle model. It’s six foot by six foot, fits four adults sitting comfortably or two adults reclining and instantly going into napping mode. I know man, when you get in there, no matter what kind of day you had or what mood you’re in, you will instantly feel chill. And this is called a hormetic stressor. A positive natural stressor that creates an adaptive response. So, with regular sauna use, you become more resilient to all forms of stress that you experience in daily life.
Same with my cold plunge into the cold freezer. It delivers these similar health and hormonal benefits that will make it an absolutely essential part of a relaxing stress balanced day. Please, go check them out. It will change your life. And you can get these beautiful six by six or a larger model or even smaller for a surprisingly affordable price due to the direct relationship. You order it on almostheaven.com, they ship it to your door. I can’t say enough about it. I’m so excited. This sounds like a commercial – okay, it is a commercial.
But let me tell you, beyond the health benefits, this is a social centerpiece. It’s a place to relax and chill and splash the water on the rocks and get a burst of steam. So, go pay a quick visit to almostheaven.com. Warning, you’re going to be tempted.
Hi, it’s Brad to talk about Ancestral Supplements. Question for you, how is it going with the critically important health objective of consuming some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet? Namely bone marrow, collagen and nose to tail organ meats like liver, heart, kidney, and more? Yeah, how is it going? Pretty poorly? How did I guess?
I have to admit the same. I’m sorry, folks. I’ve known for a long time since Dr. Cate Shanahan in her wonderful book “Deep Nutrition”, emphasized that this is a sorely missing element of the modern diet, but a huge part of the ancestral diet that made humans the healthy creatures that they are today.
Now, we have a fantastic and convenient solution from Ancestral Supplements, because they make New Zealand-sourced bone marrow and nose to tail organ meats, liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, spleen, and more, delivered in simple convenient gelatin capsules. Oh my gosh, I love this product and I love what this company is all about. Go on their website, ancestralsupplements.com. Read one of the most impactful and inspiring mission statements you’ll ever see from a company.
Listen to how they describe their product. “Traditional peoples, native Americans and early ancestral healers believe that eating the organs from a healthy animal would strengthen and support the health of the corresponding organ in the individual. The traditional way of treating a person with a weak heart was to feed the person the heart of a healthy animal.”
Sound hokey to you? I’m sorry, but this is extremely well supported with scientific evidence confirming that these are the foods that are DNA-evolved with and are sorely missing from the modern food supply. That’s why Ancestral Supplements says that they’re putting back in what the modern world has left out to return people back to strength, health and happiness. And hey, if you’re a clean-living person that kind of doesn’t like the idea of popping a bunch of synthetic vitamins in the name of health, going over to GNC and buying 12 bottles, this is an entirely different story.
This is real food packaged conveniently so that you don’t have to worry about your liver making skills or how to best cook a kidney. Just swallow the pills, man. I throw them in my smoothie every morning. So, I’m taking about four or five capsules of the various Ancestral Supplement products. I’m throwing down the beef organs, the beef liver, the bone marrow. There are so many other ones on their absolutely fabulous and educational website. Thanks for trying it. Ancestralsupplements.com, you will love it.