Luke busts out of the gate with a hilarious freestyle rap of the rich arrogant entrepreneur buying and sellin’ companies, houses and private jets. After five minutes we catch our breath and get into an incredibly deep conversation that will get you thinking and reflecting on the importance of pursuing the highest expression of your talents and contributing to the community at large.
The funny stuff at the start does set up some moral questions, because things are out of hand these days with the glorification of wealth, celebrity, entrepreneurism, and of course social media. Nothing against sharing the exciting moments of your lives on social media, but it’s critical to remember that, as Luke says, “We don’t post things that are uninspiring.”
Luke is a Renaissance man who has had a long career as a writer in the realms of health and diet, Hollywood, and even fiction. He worked together with his wife, Dr. Cate Shanahan, on the mega-bestselling tome for healthy eating called Deep Nutrition. He has also done some masterful work that no one knows about due to the nature of the ghostwriting profession. Luke offers some reflection on the commonly-cited mission statement to “be in service.” This is easy for people at the top of the mountain to say, and also believe sincerely. For the rest of us, we have to strike a constant balance between serving the community and looking out for our own needs and best interests. Luke strongly believes that being in a perpetual state of service can actually put you at a disadvantage, because you’re not out collecting “the flowers of experience” – which you need to do in order to have balance in your life. As Luke so beautifully puts it: “It is your obligation, on occasion, to be selfish….It is absolutely necessary to the respiration of your own relationship with yourself.”
Yes, Luke’s got mad wisdom to drop and this episode showcases how this supremely deep thinker can effortlessly weave in facts from history and philosophy into a discussion on serious, personal subjects such as relationships, parenting, and values. Listeners of all ages will be able to get something out of this enlightening talk with a truly engaging conversationalist and storyteller, and thanks to Luke’s intelligence and depth, endless curiosity, and unique perspective, it’s a particularly special one. Enjoy!
Luke Shanahan is husband and co-author of Dr. Cate Shanahan. He and Brad, looking at some podcasts, satirize an interview with a bullshitter. [05:17]
More seriously, they analyze the difference between high-minded ideas and reality [13:32]
The people who are happiest have a network of fulfilling relationships where they feel significant and they can give back. [17:27]
If you are always in service to others, you don’t get to collect your own experience. [20:10]
Language is powerful. What is its function? [26:24]
Parents who do everything for their kid, are not necessarily giving the kid a gift. [29:39]
Values are not something you carry around in a satchel since childhood. [31:44]
To improve yourself in an area, competing with someone just slightly better leads to growth–full change. [37:32]
We often test our values because we haven’t exercised them. [38:21]
Throughout this show, they are asking you to ask “what is the function?” [41:43]
Why do we take such big risks? [45:17}
We create icons so we can tear them apart. [46:30]
When Brad was a triathlete, he started out unsophisticated, but then began to take himself seriously. [48:13]
You are not your business. [50:28]
What is the function of ownership? [56:16]
No matter how much you are serving, you do have to remember to serve yourself. [01:02:11]
Luke describes a good example of a subtle power play. [01:07:53]
What do your values do to you? [01:11:08]
When you take it when someone puts you down, or you do something you don’t particularly want to do, you are memorizing that you are not important. [01:14:19]
Live your values. [01:24:53]
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go to get over yourself.
Brad: 00:05:17 Oh people. Get ready for her. One of the wildest wackiest and deepest shows I’ve ever done featuring Luke Shanahan. Oh my gosh, we get started right out of the gate with his hilarious freestyle rap account of a mythical entrepreneurial journey, poking fun at the over glamorizing of the entrepreneur concept. Oh, so be advised that his starting point is a little bit and then finally breaks out of the bit and we get into some really thoughtful and interesting topics. Oh my goodness. This show will spin in your head for a while after you play it. I promise you. Luke is the writing partner, husband of Dr Cate Shanahan. They wrote the best selling book, “Deep Nutrition” “Food Rules”. Oh many other great productions from the Dream Team, and he is quite an accomplished renaissance man. Having interests such as culinary skills. We had his fabulous dinner and he has a background teaching and uh, deep into the, uh, the culinary arts. He’s also taught writing and as a long time writer, including an accomplished career as a ghost writer, which is an interesting concept being that you work hard, you put your blood, sweat and tears onto the page and someone else gets credit for it, Kinda sorta.
Brad: 00:06:55 So he actually talks about that concept is, I would say, the centerpiece of the show, that fine line, that balance that we walk between a, the high minded ideals that we often hear from successful people about. My main goal is just to be in service to the community in the world. And so that’s what drives me with my intentional beliefs and behavior every day. It’s just wonderful. And then what about looking out for yourself and advocating for yourself and being selfish with your time, your energy, and even your career pursuits? Of course, going to either extreme, uh, is unadvisable and Luke talks about some reflections, misgivings, uh, having gone deep into the ghost writing scene and left himself on the sideline accordingly and visions for the future to plot and honor his own, uh, passions and pursuing the highest expression of his talents. So wow, it’s a wild ride.
Brad: 00:07:51 Really interesting, funny guy. And that’s one of my favorite parts about talking with Luke is you always get that humor injection that light-heartedness but deep down a really important message. I don’t know how else I can tee this thing up except for to have you hold on to the bar in front of you on the roller coaster and strap in on the seatbelt. Go into town from his home in Connecticut, Luke Shanahan, title of the show. What is the function of fill in the blank, the assorted thoughts and behaviors that you engage in in everyday life? You can always ask yourself that question and deliver great value in the process. What is the function? What is the function of listening to the show? It’s fricking awesome and funny and hilarious and it will get you thinking and reflecting. So there you go. Enjoy Luke Shanahan, bring in the heat. We’ve been going at it since I arrived here almost 20 hours ago. So I finally said, hey, let’s, let’s push record and get into this and.
Luke: 00:08:54 Let’s get this on some vinyl this on some vinyl.
Brad: 00:08:55 That’s right. That’s right. Picking up our wonderful email exchanges of months ago, talking about, uh, entrepreneur-ism and the glorification of this word and how some of it’s been become a little bit ridiculous, right?
Luke: 00:09:09 Right. Like, well, I’m supposed to be here right now in a typical podcast telling you how it hit me one day, like a lightning bolt that I was gonna do this protein bar that’s different than anyone else’s. It’s sourced from, you know, an an, an indigenous protected source, uh, from a very rare cocoa bean. That’s a, it’s, it’s pink striped cocoa bean that’s, that’s known to have fantastic medicinal and physical properties that are, you know, and it just took off and you have a patent,.
Brad: 00:09:36 you have a patent on that. So no one else can do it. We grabbed, is it available elsewhere or just your website?
Luke: 00:09:41 You know, it started, it started on the website and within four days we were moving $1 million of product a month within four. I mean this is averaging out within four days. We, it crashed the Internet and it’s just, it hit me, you know. Well we got a couple of angel investors on board and if you don’t know yet, we’re totally, we’re just making this are getting to some important points. Okay. Back to.
Brad: 00:10:10 So I was flying on your private jet over to your, uh, reminded plant ID east coast time.
Luke: 00:10:15 Right. I didn’t have, I mean back then and the thing is, it was just a few bodies and we just got together and were like, let’s just do it. And so like I said, so we started the company and then when that took, that took about a week, we grabbed that patent, I hooked up with some distributors, a packager, and then uh, you know, and then source from, from these Guatemalan cocoa beans. And now we’re getting some from Africa. There’s a guy in China who’s growing specifically for us, a new genetic, well within a week, you know, it was just so, it was overnight. And this is my fourth company as you know, you know, the other three I sold a tremendous, I don’t know why, I don’t want to say how much, not important, but yeah, so this is the typical, so.
Brad: 00:10:56 it doesn’t really matter at all what you sold those three companies for.
Luke: 00:10:59 Who Cares? It’s all about the money.
Brad: 00:11:02 Most of that money’s in a blind trust. Right? So it’s just sustaining your, how many homes do you have? Yeah.
Luke: 00:11:08 You know what, I’m simply, I’m pairing down on pairing down. I, you know, I had 22 houses, which is nuts. People like, you know, you know, uh, Johnny Depp’s got like 40 houses and I’m like, what did I know back then? I was like, why would you want 40 and the next thing I know at 22 houses, look at Maine big goof. So I’m parent down, I’ve got maybe 10 house now, let’s see, 10 one’s being sold. So let’s say nine and a half. But, um, yeah. So it’s about living more simply, you know. Yeah. And I’m starting another business and I’ve got some, a, I’ve got a team of guys, um, guys and Gals, wonderful folks who were,.
Brad: 00:11:41 who were starkly MBAs from Ivy League.
Luke: 00:11:44 I don’t always hire right on it. And you know, the Ivy Leagues, you know, we’ve got maybe three Harvard guys that go from Grinnell and, uh, a girl from, uh, Yale who’s just brilliant, probably the best on our team. But, um, you know, a lot of times I got a high school kid, you know, he’s got like a 400 IQ.
Brad: 00:12:02 So, um, he’s your ITexperts. Yeah, he’s my, he does everything. Sounds like you got everything dialed man. And all your companies are green sustainable bio organical decomposable ?
Luke: 00:12:14 say again, sorry.
Brad: 00:12:21 Oh, should I ask that again? Okay. Brian, that’s our first edit here. Four minutes into this, this whirlwind. Um, so all the companies and all the plants are self-generating solar, bioidentical bio-degradable sustainable eco friendly rainforest contributions. Profit.
Luke: 00:12:39 Yeah. Well, Ilan, um, he’s a friend and Oh God, can I say, yeah,
Brad: 00:12:48 sure. When you get in trouble from your, your investors or your stockholders
Luke: 00:12:51 there’s no, they’re laid back. They’re laid back. But uh, yeah, we’re charging it up and you know, and he was like, why? What’s a battery? I mean at its essence, what does a battery do? And he’s like, it’s just a place to put power. But what if we just put it in something that’s not a battery? It’s just a, you know, place. So we’re working on that for an energy.
Luke: 00:13:16 So wait a minute, all right. Enough with the shtick cause okay. That was a step people then.
Brad: 00:13:21 I think it’s getting to a very important point because I know some of you were engaged wondering, wow, did they do this, this guy, this guy thinks 40 houses is too much, but 22 is. Okay. What a bullshitter. Bullshitter.
Luke: 00:13:32 So a lot of times, and this is, you know, when, when you started telling me about your podcast, um, you get over yourself, which I think is fantastic as a concept. You know, I was like, if you, if you’re an avid podcast listener, you’re hearing week after week after week about people who basically fell out of bed and landed in a, in a pile of gold and
Brad: 00:13:57 otherwise they wouldn’t be featured on this show. Right. So there’s a, there was a welcome to the failure podcast for struggling entrepreneurs who are in debt and behind,
Luke: 00:14:07 right. Yeah. For people who went for their dreams and it didn’t work out. It just didn’t work out. Um, yeah, it’s for people, podcasts generally are a very rarefied air, a meeting ground for the Pantheon of, of demigods who seem to be incapable of doing wrong. Except, you know, when they didn’t, they weren’t able to swim, you know, uh, the English Channel on their first attempt,
Brad: 00:14:33 They didn’t make it back. They were going to do a double, they were going to do a double got pulled halfway across the second way due to current.
Luke: 00:14:38 Yeah. I was, I was gonna do, I was gonna climb Maru, but you know, we, we just got slammed by the worst storm in 40 years. Not Our fault, but you know, second attempt, no problem. We did the unclimbable climb and you hear enough of this and the effect I think can be, well, gee, that’s really exciting. They’re able to do that. But I’ve done a bunch of stuff that just didn’t work out. I wrote a book that didn’t sell it very much. I, uh, I wrote, uh, a movie script and, you know, it got made by somebody else, you know, or, or, or just bad luck opening a business that didn’t work or having a relationship that you tried your best to maintain and it just fell apart at the scenes. And I think that we’re not hearing enough of the, of the, of the real stories of, um, you know, people who are, uh, not, uh, being blown by a felicitous winds that seem to be, you know, uh, blessing the, the sales of others.
Brad: 00:15:35 Well, podcasts aside for a moment before that, we were talking about mainstream media. So you had even worse of a segmentation of only bright, shiny success stories. And they were on there for six minutes with their talking points and then they were gone on the Today Show or wherever the, the, the celebrity of the success person appeared. So now at least we can, we’re doing a little better to get real and authentic conversations, but you’re right, when I started the show and named it accordingly with that spicy title, um, it is a little bit of a call to, uh, awareness that maybe we’re just seeing the sunny side of the, uh, the story, especially with social media where, what are you going to post? Exactly. Had another boring day over slept, miss my job interview and now I’m rummaging through the fridge and there was a picture of a disgusting fridge with like beer bottles that froze and broke open inside joke that happened last night. Sorry. My fault.
Luke: 00:16:32 Yeah. Um, the, uh, we’re not going to post things that are uninspiring. And I think that when we, when we do construct these, these, uh, these sort of quasi, um, realities or pseudo realities, we’re doing it for others, but we’re also trying to convince ourselves that, that this, this sort of a panoply of color that were, that were throwing up on their white screen for everyone to see as a representation of our lives is also a self convincing, an attempt to, to, to, to maybe construct in a, in a, in a kind of a, a dreamscape, you know, um, a collage how you’re, how will you would like your life to be. But I think secretly all this stuff when we show, you know, girls showing her her, you know, her perfect butt, uh, you know, uh, guys look, looking, rip people, taking pictures of their food.
Luke: 00:17:27 Here’s me and my kids. A lot of it is good, genuine sharing. Like I, I’m enjoying this and I want you to enjoy it with me. But a lot of it is that we’re, we’re, we’re using all of these things, success, financial success, business success as proxy for when it really should be a propellant, having a successful business, having houses, having a better body, all of this stuff. What’s behind it all? Right. And I think, and research backs this up. This is not just a spiritual claim, but a psychological one. The people who are happiest, however they get there, the people who are happiest have a network of, of fulfilling relationships where they feel significant and they can give back. And however it is you need to get there, you’ve gotten there. But I think that right now we’re, we’re confusing the tools of success.
Luke: 00:18:28 Successes of financial success is like a shovel, right? It’s like, it’s like a shovel that you use to, to hoe a garden and then you grow tomatoes and then you, those tomatoes grow and then you make a sauce. You know, you make a marinara and then you invite friends and family over and you have a big wonderful dinner. And have a little wine and great conversation. Well, the th th the shovel is a tool right now. We’re polishing there. We’re spending a lot of time polishing the shovel. It’s a fetishism of the tool that gets you to where you want to get. So ultimately it’s the dinner with friends that we’re all after. And if you didn’t use a shovel, you could use your bare hands, right? So all of those, all of these encounterments of success that that’s what is represented on the Instagram, the media, and off.
Luke: 00:19:13 Now it’s polluting our conversation where if I’m going on a podcast, I have to tell you how everything worked out perfectly right off the bat. But the fact is, when we’re happiest, think of all your happiest moments in your life. Um, they’re going to involve being around people. They’re gonna be around being valued in a relationship and, and being, and having an opportunity to have enough success to give back. And, and by the way, this is something I’m learning myself the hard way because as a ghost writer for many years,.
Brad: 00:19:41 you’re getting over yourself the hard way. You kind of actual experience.
Luke: 00:19:45 It’s been a tough lesson, you know, in mythology. Um, there’s this, this, this ongoing, you know, Hero’s theme, you know, the Joseph Campbell stuff in, in many, uh, mythological narratives. Um, there’s this idea of the hero going through a trial. Then there’s the, you know, after reluctantly being, you know, chosen by the circumstances of life by fate took to go off into the world and to accomplish something.
Luke: 00:20:10 But that’s not the end of the story. The end of the story is when they returned to the village and, and, and bring the goal of the bet, experience the wisdom of the experience and, and to, and to bring that back, uh, to fertilize the sort of consciousness of the community. That’s the part where, like for me, for example, I’ve been at ghostwriter for years and helped a lot. A lot of people write books and you know, uh, my wife Cate says, you know, when’s the last time you’d done a project is just for you? And I thought, well, you know, that’s not what I do. I had this kind of service mentality that, that I took too far and she’s like, well, you know, I think you really need to do something for you. And I kind of insist that you do. And the reason is because, you know, if you’re always just in service, if you don’t balance it out, you don’t have, you know, you haven’t gone out of the village into that, that, that mythical trial to have new experiences and to do things for yourself and to grow and to do things that are, that are, you know, to use the word selfish, you know, that’s for you.
Luke: 00:21:18 But then you take that experience, then you bring it back. So if you’re always in a, in a perpetual state of service and always doing things for others, you actually don’t, you’re not out anthologizing or collecting these flowers of experience that you can bring that whole bouquet back and say, look what I found. That’s why health, healthy relationships rarely are one sided. You know, in terms of like, you know, this person, uh, you know, works solely for on behalf of another person’s career. That’s a right, that, that’s death, that’s death, that relationship. And like if you’re following, if someone becomes a, you know, a famous motivational speaker and their husband or wife or partner goes all over the country with them setting things up, right? Helping them write their stuff, write their books, and let’s see how long that lasts. And it’s, and you would think, uh, that it could work for a time because you know, if the person’s well, they seem happy enough being playing this role, but that the other, the partner who’s doing the service solely never has the opportunity to go out and collect, you know, these things and bring it back to the relationship.
Luke: 00:22:25 So that’s, that’s been a tough lesson for me. Now I have to break out of this ghost writing mentality and go, you know, it is, in fact, it might seem ironic, but it’s your obligation on occasion to be selfish. And it’s not, it’s not, it’s not a dalliance and it’s not, um, self-serving in any kind of pathological way. It is absolutely necessary to the respiration of the, of your own relationship with yourself.
Brad: 00:22:51 I guess the, you know, the, the, the parents of children could relate cause if you’re completely absorbed in the helicopter parent and then this is all going hand in hand with all of this, this culture right now and the social media and the projecting the uh, the success, um, and then living through your, your kids and having it be all about that. And even like Mia Moore says on her shows, you know, putting the relationship first and the children second. So the children learn growing up that they’re not the center of the universe because then you’re going to raise a little narcissist. Correct. We had some talk about that at lunchtime off the air and how prevalent that is. Right. But if you, if you can do that, that seems to be a win win for everybody, especially the kids seeing that they’re not the center of the universe. But unfortunately we’ve seen the opposite where Carter, the harried a soccer mom who’s, you know, running herself ragged, not putting the mask on her face first. That’s, that’s a common pattern. Then you know, in your career example, I think you want to be on a growth path at all times in your career. You want to be always pursuing the highest expression of your talents, reevaluating that. I was an athlete for nine years, that seemed like a really long time and I was getting stale and also getting my ass kicked. So those two things going together at the end serve to, to mark the end of my career. And then I had to pursue new challenges. So we should always be in that kind of growth mindset.
Luke: 00:24:15 If I, I would add to that that that is one that is one a scheme for uh, a career trajectory, but it does presuppose a hierarchical relationship between the present and the future. So growth meaning there’s something in in philosophy called the, the [inaudible] error. And that is this idea that human beings represent a kind of a pinnacle of the evolutionary narrative. And it’s like, in other words, all nature has been doing for the past, you know, 4 billion years since life’s existence existed on the planet is this, had this dream of humanity. And it took six biologic epochs to finally get it right. And now here we are and now a UN report says that in 2040 of the earth is going to a well fight back in a way. It never has before as a, as a direct consequence of, of, of us being here and doing what we do.
Luke: 00:25:14 But the idea that we’re sort of the end game, um, it’s not to say that it’s, it’s, it’s incorrect to say it’s one of a number of schemas. So if you were going to talk to a Buddhist monk, for example, um, who’s, you know, uh, spiritually doing spiritual work daily and you say, well, what have you done? I mean, like when you, when do you get the gold? Like, like, who’s the best? Who’s the best meditator? I mean, I want to talk to the best one. I, are we wasting time? I’ll pay extra for well, pastor, for one on one with what the best one. I don’t need this, you know, if you’re like number two or three, I want, you know, I’ve got the money, I’ll pay [inaudible]. But it presupposes the hierarchy, right. Of, of, of, of growth. So I wonder, I mean I, I, I mean I love that word growth, but it’s also sort of, um, you could think of,
Brad: 00:26:02 I see where you’re going because you are getting backed into that guy on the private jet with his fifth company. It’s like, is it, is it necessary that you always have to one up? You do you have to transition from ghost writer to prominent James Patterson name above the title to be considered successful, fulfilled, making a contribution, giving back.
Luke: 00:26:21 Exactly. So Co for the,.
Brad: 00:26:23 maybe not
Luke: 00:26:24 if I were in that private jet and I said, you know what I’m getting, I’m donating all my money and I’m moving to Vietnam and I’ve decided to just write about Vietnamese culture and to study the food and become maybe become a, I show the mung beans. Yeah. I want to go on. There you go. I mean at like the end of a Candide right. Voltaire, what does he do? He returns to the garden, to the humility and the, and the, and know to the little literal growth, not growth in terms of of, right. So this is, uh, this is definitely not a condemnation of, of improving one’s career. I think it’s, it’s a wonderful thing. But again, like we were talking about earlier, what is the function? Every time somebody talks to you, you know, and they, we were talking about when people, um, bring certain kinds of terminology in, in language.
Luke: 00:27:11 Like right now, if I was to say to you, uh, you know, Brad, I’m going to kind of need you to, uh, you know, uh, go up and get your suitcase and I’m going to need you to go over here. I’m going to need you to go ahead and do the dishes cause you know, I’m a little busy with this thing over it. You’d be like, are you my boss? What’s going? Did you say it need three times in 12 seconds? I did. So what is the function? The function would be to, to, to kind of make a territorial claim about the, the disparity of a relationship in a power, a power play essentially. And if you didn’t challenge that immediately, you know, you would have given up a couple of feet of ground on that hill. So what is the function? What does the, you know, if I meet somebody and I shake their hand and I say, God, you don’t have really small hands for a man.
Speaker 4: 00:27:54 Do you notice I’m there like a woman’s hands? What’s the function of that? Why didn’t I keep that to myself? Well, it’s pretty obvious, you know, I, I mean to, to, to make a demeaning mark and remarked to you and if you don’t push back with my, what a big nose. Um, then basically I’ve, I’ve seeded that territory and said, I’m going to allow you to talk to me that way. There’s a wonderful movie with Christopher Walken called “In the Company of Strangers”. Takes place in Venice. And a guy is, is, is a touring Christopher Walkin’s house, beautiful house, beautiful house, and the sadness of our place. And, um, and he says it’s kind of the guy Insults Christopher Walken says, no, it’s Kinda like a museum, you know, cause he’s seeing all these old pictures of, here’s mine, you know, this is my granddad. You know, he’s a great guy.
Luke: 00:28:43 And, and he’s, he makes this disparaging remark and Christopher Walken in classic style kind of squints and looks on, because the thousand miles stare and, and Bam punches a guy run right in the solar plexus, brings him to his knees. And the idea there is a wonderful scene. The idea is no, I will not be spoken to in that tone. And to recognize that the function of this guy saying this about his house was to insult Walken himself and walking was like, well, I won’t have that. And here’s my response. Bam. You know, right in the gut. So to bring back to function, right, when we’re talking about function, what is the fun? Everything asks, what is its nature? What is its function in terms of its effect on my life and in my consciousness and my spiritual, you know, I won’t say growth, but spiritual. Uh, let’s say vitality and if, if the answer, if you don’t have an answer, what is the function of, you know, why do I want this jet?
Luke: 00:29:39 Why do I want to grow my, why am I helicoptering my kid like this? What is the function? If you don’t know, you got to stop and ask if it’s, I want my kid to be happy. You say. Okay. Does that, does hat let you, you were mentioning, I think it’s a great example. You brought up the helicopter parent. If, if you say, I want my kid to be happy. Well you’ve seen the documentary, the wonderful documentary about the helicopter parents and in several sports kids there’s a football player, tennis golf, great documentary
Brad: 00:30:10 What’s it called? A, what is it called? Um, the just the overly accelerated overly cute experience trophy kids. It’s by the guy that did the steroid documentary there. Bell Bell brothers. Yes.
Luke: 00:30:22 Yeah. Excellent documentary. You just came up with another. That’s very good. Uh, it seems like a very honest, I think talk about like how to make a documentary based on just not knowing when you go in and being honest and just laying it out. I think it does a great job. And that was a great doc. And if you were asked, if you asked the parents what is the function of doing, is this for you or for your kid? They’ll say, I do everything for my kid. Right? Isn’t that they’re always, oh my God, I give everything to my, and like you were saying, when you give everything, it seems like you’re saying you’re giving a gift. But the reality is if you give everything, it’s not a gift. It’s a Trojan horse. And inside that horse is your ego. Never give everything not because you’ve got to protect yourself, man.
Luke: 00:31:06 Gotta look out for yourself. Look out for number one. You know,.
Brad: 00:31:08 you’ve got to be the person you’re going to be.
Luke: 00:31:10 You gotta be with center a little bit, you know, watch out for your own career, dude. I mean, you know, and it’s okay, that’s good practical advice, isn’t it? But in reality, if you’re really, really giving everything, and I had to look inward myself on this, why am I giving everything and number one, because like cared and love about the people I was helping and was writing for. But if I was to be more honest, that, that there was inside that Trojan horse was my own fear of doing something completely for me on my own terms and just failing miserably.
Brad: 00:31:44 Right. You’re in the comfort zone as, as a prominent ghost writer. Yup. You’re getting highly compensated for it. So in many on many occasions, people can be bought right there. Their dreams can be, you know, um, depressed or what have you, if you want to put that economic consequence in there, which I respect. You know, I’m trying to raise a family and put kids through college. So it’s like, if you want to, if you want to, uh, put a Nike Tattoo on my forehead, I will probably, you know, name a price and I would consider it, I would do it.
Luke: 00:32:18 Right. Right. You know, the old, the old Churchill, uh, apocryphal Churchill story where he says, would you sleep with me for $1 million? And of course not. What do you think I am? And he says, what’d you sleep in with me for? Uh, for a dollar? And she says, I got it exactly backwards. We just thinking for a dollar or do you think I am? How about a million dollars? And he said, we’ve determined, says yes. And he says, well, I guess we’ve determined what you are and now we’re negotiating the price. But you know, th the uh, the uh, yeah, putting the um, the solution on your forehead, you know, it’s like, again, if you do that, what are you trading and in terms of your identity?
Brad: 00:32:59 Yeah, it goes against all my belief systems is what I stand for. And the, the ink is harmful to my, uh, my, my skin, everything else. But if, if we all might want to consider just the hypothetical question, you know, what, what is your price, what price do you have to sell your values or sell whatever. And when it comes even to let’s say relationships and compromises and you have these let’s say, and this is going into some at Mia Moore show content, like we have relationship deal-breakers, like um, I don’t believe in uh, illicit drug use, uh, in my home or in, in, in my presence. Right? And so am I gonna compromise on that? Well I hope not, but it happens all the time where we compromise over and over and over our values, beliefs, morals, things like that in the name of whatever. Sometimes it’s the Nike Tattoo on my forehead cause they’re going to give me, you know, $14 million or something. I’m going to give a lot of it to charity so don’t make fun of me if I have a switch on my full suit. There you go. And I have high minded ideals for this, this check that I’m receiving.
Luke: 00:34:02 I think you bring up something really, really important. And there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s something about values I think when under we need to understand values as far as I understand it, are not something you carry around in a satchel that you had when you were a kid. And then you don’t open that bag and remove it. You can open up that bag and hand over one of the values and then you seal that bag up. You put the lock back on and you handcuff it to your wrist. Values are dynamic. They’re living entity with which we have a relationship and that living entity needs to be fed or it dies. And when you feed it through your actions, for example, if I originally had a value that I, that I would for example, ghost write for other people, but I would, but I would always keep a piece of myself from my own work.
Luke: 00:34:51 But then I found myself, um, taking my passions for whatever it was I was doing and, and shunting that water over to their project so that their big dreams became my dreams, their interests, my interests, their intellectual curiosity became mine often to the point that would supersede their own, you know, because that was my, you’re a better writer. Well, someone’s gotta do it right. And if, if it’s going to be a brilliant book, someone’s gotta be in the zone. And that ultimately boils down to somebody, you know, typing words on a blank page. So here I, I had this original value of my satchel that said, you know, always leave a part of yourself for your own passions, always, you know, follow, you know, this thing for you. But through the action of, you know, writing for others and doing and, and, you know, tossing it over to, to, to projects that were not written originally my own, and then adopting them as a sort of an adopted child and loving it like a child and raising a child and taking on that responsibility. Um, I realized that through those actions and when you open that bag of values up, you haven’t opened it for years, but when you open it up, they’ve changed through your behavior. So there’s a feedback loop. It’s not like you have values you try to live by and sometimes you compromise them or you know, you decide that to make an rationalization. Like you said, it might be given to charity. And so it’s okay that I have a, you know, the, the, the sweatshops swoosh on my
Brad: 00:36:19 better than three stripes going down my forehead. I do that on my abdomen for Adidas though. Like Bruce Lee, that would be cool. In fact, I’ll do the Adidas bid first. The Ford go into your one look at that. But yeah, the three stripes on my abdomen are for sale right now. Well two Adidas is my first prospect and I’ll, I’ll put them in red. Just like Bruce Lee. They’re crazy. If they don’t take you up on the, I’ll sell it for much less than a forehead spot. It’s more affordable for Adidas. Okay.
Luke: 00:36:44 So yeah. So if I think that, that when we think about our values, you know, being this sort of abstract balloon, the floats above us and follows us around in life, it’s, I think that every time we take an action, we’re interrogating that set of values. We’re feeding it different food and we’re, and we’re interacting through our behavior. And that’s a way of, of interrogating our values, of feeding it to see what thrives and what doesn’t. That’s why sometimes people say, I just, you know, I went to a party and I met this guy. I can’t believe I, you know, oh my God, I slept with him. Alright. Or I can’t believe I, you know, I, I, I did this. I really regret, you know, I had the chance to, to, to, to take this job and all my instincts said to do this, but instead I took the one with more money and I look back and I’m like, what was I thinking?
Luke: 00:37:32 What an idiot, you know, why would I make that choice? We make choices that are theirs. In psychology, there’s something called the, these zone of proximal growth. Approximate growth zone. Approximate growth. And the idea is that when you’re teaching someone to play basketball, say you don’t immediately throw them in the court with Kobe Bryant cause I’ll never play again. Right? You’re going to be like, oh well this is no good. No. If you’ve got a five year old, you know kid who’s you know, four foot tall, you’re going to place them, what are you going to do? You’re going to put them on a thing. Exactly. Equivalent player or what
Brad: 00:38:02 if you’ve ever basket peer peer group. Yeah. appropriate challenge.
Luke: 00:38:08 Let’s say tennis for example. When you want to become a better tennis player, what kind of players should you choose to play with? Who’s your partner? Someone’s slightly better than you. Just a little bit better. This zone of proximate, just slightly better growth,
Brad: 00:38:21 right? That’s the Daniel Coyle talent code with the perfect practice or the intense practice, whatever the term was, and that is making, making practice hard enough. Then you’re making frequent mistakes and correcting rather than if you’re on the golf course and you’re hitting a bunch of three foot putts in a row and every time on a street flat green, you’ve got to challenge yourself. You’re going to throw down a $5 bill with your buddy and put stakes on it. That’s Christopher Smith commentary also. Yeah. Make it, make it, um, uh, specific to the competitive challenge. Putting you out of your comfort zone. A little, a little. Yeah, but not for not $5,000 for this practice putt. Cause then it’s, it’s not going to be, it’s not going to foster improvement. You’re going to be nervous as shit and, and you know, turned down, you’re not going to go back to the golf course.
Luke: 00:39:08 Right. Right. And so, you know, so when you play that with that slightly better player, you know, you know, as a golfer, you know, there’s an old saying, you know, practice doesn’t make perfect practice makes permanent. So if you, if you’re, you know, if you’re putting and your hand and yous grip is not sound and you’re practicing that all day, you’re making an error or more permanent, right? And so putting ourselves in a s in that zone approximal growth helps to interact with everything we’re doing so that we don’t make it permanent. Those things that are not ultimately going to serve us right to solidify our faults. But when it comes to, um, values, you know, we don’t often talk about values as a thing that we practice, right? So when we do things that are, that are slightly out of character for ourselves, and we look back and say, why, why did I do that? Well, the reason we stepped out as that to interrogate our values and, and, and ultimately our identity by sort of probing it with a stick to, to understand the parameters of who we are. And, and by knowing objectively a little better, knowing what we want to change.
Brad: 00:40:12 Did you do that stupid shit because your values were tied in a satchel bag for too long and you weren’t exercising them like a muscle? And so you slept with that loser guy at the party on a motorcycle and rode to his house with no helmet and because you haven’t exercised boundaries and decision making where you put yourself yeah, bit of a risk. Right.
Luke: 00:40:35 You said. You’ve been living a little bit too safe and your and your, your, your, you know, your subconsciously, uh, being directed to, to move just outside the border walls of your comfort.
Brad: 00:40:47 Speaking of, uh, helicopter parenting, my friend reports, he took his son over to his college frat house to show him around on a college tour or check it out, the kid’s in high school and he said it was disgraced, it was a pigsty. There’s trash everywhere. There’s a girl puking in the hallway. He almost tripped over her because he was looking at pictures looking for his old hay day at the Frat House. And I’m thinking, okay, so the helicopter parenting, doing everything for the kid, provided they get straight A’s and get into the good college, right. Then everything’s fine. They make all kinds of excuses and coverups for them. So they probably never had to pick up a pizza box in their own home and throw it in the garbage. So you go to the frat house where they’re finally free from that, those constraints and no one’s going to pick up the pizza box for 90 days.,
Luke: 00:41:34 why? What is the, okay, let’s get back to what is the function? What might be, is it accidental?
Brad: 00:41:39 I know this writer is keeping us on track. I love it. We’re tying back to the values in the function instead of going on weird tangents.
Luke: 00:41:45 So when, I mean if, if we look at it in one way, which is entirely correct, the idea that, you know, like you say, is that the kids just never been in the habit of picking up his own pizza box. Cause papa would do it or mom would do it and, and, and to clean his room. And then all these things were just mysterious slves would come in the night and fix it and then they go to college, like I say. And what do you know all these, these spoiled kids that are making a, an an animal house at the place, but could there be a beneficial psychological function for that? Could there be a purpose for it?
Brad: 00:42:15 I, I believe that the, the necessary rebellion from the tight constraints and so they have to figure out for themselves that deep inside that satchel that’s been tied shut. They have a value perhaps of living in a clean environment, but they need discover it through trial and error. Just like you ghost writing one too many books. So now you’re giving me, you’re giving me grief and express that you’re venting that you haven’t advocated for yourself and one guy ripped you off famous health. Yeah. You know, but we’re not going to talk about it.
Luke: 00:42:46 No. Well, you know, I’ve been ripped off a few times then, but by the way, um, you know, what is, what was the function of that? I mean of my, you know, of, let’s put the arrows. Can we title the show? What is the function? It was, it was a beautiful,
Brad: 00:43:02 Well a phrase there too. We were talking about relationships at lunch time, right? And it’s like, this person’s treating me a certain way. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells for one example. What is the function of what they’re doing? What’s the function of what I’m doing? Why am I walking on eggshells? Asking that question about almost any occasion in life. Yes. Give you some more clarity. Right?
Luke: 00:43:25 So, you know, I mean, there’s an old, uh, mythological axiom that, you know, many, many of the people that are brought into our lives are demons bearing gifts. And if you have somebody that’s able to gaslight you, a narcissistic personality that puts you in a position where you are so afraid of abandonment or doing wrong or being chastised or that you do swallow, hook, line and sinker another person’s definition of your own identity. Well, you know, you can take this as a spotlight into the darkest regions of your soul saying there are too many pizza boxes down there. You’ve got to clean your room. You know? So with every interaction that is ongoing like that, where you had, when you had a plot points of decision whether to stay or to leave for example, and you didn’t, you know, there’s, there’s a reason for that.
Luke: 00:44:16 The, the function of the f the Frat guys putting the pizza boxes all over the places so that over a period of time they can go, I don’t like living like this anymore, but I didn’t really know that for sure. You know, um, ask any a snowboarder or skateboarder or a surfer or golfer or athlete of any kind, particularly those, you know, and dealing with like, you know, risky acrobatic maneuvers. Um, they’ll tell you, they, the, you are required to push, you know, uh, an all the impossible or whatever of what was the, you know, uh, I forget when you spin around three times in the air after you go off the lip. Um,
Brad: 00:44:57 Yeah, the, the Tony Hawk, the Tony Hall on the Skateboard, there’s a lot of scars and stitches to get there. Sean White, the same mic twist, 1280 in the Olympics. Look at his, uh, compatriot, the guy that was the second rank snowboarder and hit his head so bad that I didn’t know if he was going to come out of the brain damage coma thing. Amazing. And oh my gosh, yeah.
Luke: 00:45:17 The perfect example of when you say, you know, why do these, why do these guys take such risks? You know, um, that, that, you know, like, like you mentioned could, can wind up in a life changing concussion. But the fact is that the only way to know the limits of what you’re capable of course is to go past those limits. Comedians talk about it all the time when they, when they say something that’s a little off on stage and they get in big trouble and they say, you know, like Jerry Seinfeld this point, it already says you need to know that’s the nature of comedy that we don’t, if you’re examining the territory, you know, is safe, you’re not doing comedy, you what you’re doing is pandering. Now comedy means moving across that line and getting in a little trouble for it. And the funny thing is we go to comics because we want to see how close they get to the line and then walk over it. And then when they do, you know, we, so we, we, we turn them into heroes of exploration of thought, right. To say things that we couldn’t say or couldn’t have thought of because we wouldn’t allow ourselves to go there. And then when they move over that line, the new move now of course is to, is to, after you build your icon, you destroy it, right? You, you give birth to a hero so that you can tie them at the stake
Brad: 00:46:30 Just in comedy. Are you making an all do you think in ?
Luke: 00:46:33 all things. We create icons so that we can tear them apart. Um, this is true of, of the Kardashiansl.
Brad: 00:46:41 Yeah, I was going to ask you that.
Luke: 00:46:42 That’s the prime example. I mean we create this totem and then like a burning man festival. We set it a flame and the, the reason we, we build it in the first place is so that by proxy we can explore those territories that they’re willing to go, which in turn reflects something about who we are. So we’re learning about our own boundaries and our own interests and our own values, which are always changing and by the way are not our own. That satchel that we talked about, that imaginary satchel that has a thousand handles on it. We all carry that satchel together. You know, we have our set of individual values, but certainly like aspen trees look like individual trees burn fat, part of a larger massive organism.
Luke: 00:47:25 The mushrooms that in fact represent that are just the budding particles of, of larger, you know, mushrooms. Our values are like the mushrooms. Those are the persons we can see. But under the ground there is a, a kind of a central nervous system that connects us to wall to wall other people. And we’re always exploring together and individually what, you know, what our values are. Our values are like this, this, this, you know, like I said, it’s a living thing, but probably a better metaphor wouldn’t be that as their own personal pet. It’s more like a zoo and we’re all caretakers of that zoo, you know? So, um, I do think that many of the mistakes that we make are, you know, this, this exploration of the, of the territory of our values and our identity both individually and as a, you know, as a, as a community.
Brad: 00:48:13 And then what is the function is to get me back into, let’s say my, uh, peak, uh, performance state, my center of power. I talk about this in my triathlon story where I was a nobody in my first year of training, having fun, glad to be outdoors and out of my stupid accounting job. And then I had great success at the very end of my first year beating the top rank guys in the world. And I remember how to shift. It was just dumb luck and intuitive training because I was so rudimentary and unsophisticated. No one cared how I did. I had no pressure on me. But as soon as I became a prominent name in the sport, having upset the great racers of this young rookie guy, right? All of a sudden I start to get serious and get more focused and more, more driven and more competitive and more measuring and judging my performance every day. And naturally I struggled. So all the things that serve me so well to succeed wildly beyond my wildest dreams in a very short time because I was just going with my natural abilities and intuitive training schedule, um, things sort of crashed down because I joined the measuring judging forces of the modern world and then I had to learn to get over myself. I mean that’s the inspiration for the podcast title. And when is learning that lesson?
Luke: 00:49:29 Well, when you did, didn’t, didn’t you mention that you were training so hard that you were not really listening to your body? You were breaking
Brad: 00:49:37 Exactly when you got, I have to get serious now because now I’m a prominent guy and I’m getting paid by sponsors and people are inviting me across the world. Here’s a free plane ticket, come to my race because you’re such an important guy. So I said, Gee, I better not take a day off, even know my knee’s sore and I got a little sore throat baking, where in previous times I would be like, oh my body’s not ready to go today. I’m going to lie down and go rent some videos because I’m not hot shit and nobody cares anyway. So I might as well have some fun and rent some videos instead of train. So the mindset change due to the the thousand handles on my, on my values bag as people are, people are starting to measure and judge me now. Now I’m important. So now I better do things differently than what got me to success in the first place.
Luke: 00:50:18 And that Kinda, and so that gets us back to what we were discussing earlier about the difference between being an entrepreneur and being what, what we’re going to coin
Brad: 00:50:27 new word yet. Ready?
Speaker 4: 00:50:28 Amatrpreneur. Ama meaning love, right? And like an amateur, it means love of the game. So a amatrepreneur versus entrepreneur, right? So an entrepreneur is, is the person who is mistaking the shovel for the, for the dinner, right? This is the person polishing their, their trophy from, you know, a tournament they won 20 years ago. Rather than being out on the course with their friends playing another round, even if it’s not going to be, you know, a perfect, you know, 59 like, you know, like Mickelson didn’t quiet. I watched every, every shot. And I can tell you when you hit that night, and Aaron, I could feel the rumble under my feet. He’s a strong dude hitting and hitting it out of six inch Bermuda. But, um, you know, the amatrpreneur. says, you know, um, I’ve won my trophy or I have my jet, I have my successful business.
Luke: 00:51:18 I have these things, but you know, you say I am my business. No you’re not. And if you are, you’re in trouble. You’re in, you’re in the thick. You know, you’re, you’re with the Mickelson and that six inch Bermuda and you need to hit out of there because you know your business, no matter what it is, it’s good that you share an energy with it and an identity with it. But, but that’s, that’s sort of like, you know, being connected to somebody as a, you know, as a conjoined twin, you share blood supply, but it ain’t you, you know, it is so closely linked to you. You can, you can think that it is your identity. But the people who are most successful, you know, and they speak this way, I mean the richest people in the world, you know, the Bill Gates and the, and the, and the, and the Buffets and so on, they get to a place where they say, you know, none of this really is what it’s about. It’s about giving back. It’s about doing good. It’s about being feeling that I am contributing in a significant way.
Brad: 00:52:18 They say that when they’re on top. And then the Google guys are my favorite example where they didn’t go public. They wanted to just build a better search engine, build a better search engine world, whatever, cause like.com.com go public IPO. And then my friend Ray Sydney, who was the fifth employee hired at Google, I have a great show with him and he was a mathematician, educated at Harvard, MIT top level, uh, education and going into this wonderful career opportunity that worked out very well for him. But he said, you know what, I wasn’t about, I wasn’t a guy heading over to Silicon Valley to make money. I was a lifelong curiosity and passion for mathematics. Right? And that’s something that people forget when they see the glorification of wealth. And of course he’s, uh, you know, living the dream life that everyone dreams of. Sure. But he got there because of his passion for mathematics and in his spare time, his hobby time was spent solving math problems with this organization that puts out, you know, math problems to solve.
Brad: 00:53:15 And so if you can’t pull that message out of the dream, like glorification of celebrity, now we’re getting to something. But um, I was, I was kind of locking, knocking the big shot because it’s so easy for them to say. And now what I see is their message is being repurposed by the climbers because they know it sounds good to say, yes, I’m just here to be in service. Right. And so what my business is all about them. I’m a ghost writing service and I look for celebrities to, to pray upon and extract a, a, an economic value to tell their story because I’m such a skilled writer and it’s just all about being in service and I don’t need my name on the book. And it’s sorta like, it seems a little disingenuous even though they’re trying and I give them five points for trying. It’s like how about tell a little bit of the truth, like yeah, that kind of suck that. I didn’t get any credit for that because I was the one that opened up the western region for all the new retail stores. And you know, my boss took credit and he’s a jerk, but I had a good time along the way. And there’s gotta be a little balance.
Luke: 00:54:15 Great point man. Because again, it, it’s, it’s right. Like we were saying, if you’re in a, in a, if you’re operating or claiming to operate fully in the giving mode, that’s a Trojan horse. And inside that horse is an ego, is your own ego. It’s no different.
Brad: 00:54:33 Wait, say that without me breathing. Cause I want that to be the pull quote for that.
Luke: 00:54:36 You find if you are, if you say this about your kids, if you say it about your job, your friendships, I’m a giver. That’s all I just give. It’s all about them. I give, I give, I give. Well that’s it. You’re fooling yourself a little bit. And it’s, it is, by the way, it is the odd verse of the coin of, you know, the self-serving narcissist. Because if you say it’s all about me, okay, well that there’s a lack of balance, but if it’s all about the other, you know, so how are these, how are these distant cousins, right? If you’re always giving then and you and you see going out to get something for yourself purely to feed your own creative, artistic, professional soul. And if you see that as a, as a, as a, you know, a dalliance that you can afford, cause you’re tremendously serving, right?
Luke: 00:55:25 I have to serve my kids, I’ve got to do, I’m in the middle of serving everything. You know, if, if you do that and you think that that’s a selfless act, the reality is you’re not leaving the village to go collect those things that only you can find that’s key to this. So, and this is what people can forget over time. And again, when we talk about values and identity being a dynamic thing, not a thing to carry around in a locked bag, it’s dynamic. So you can’t just think your way out of this problem. You can’t say, Oh, you’re right, I should just, you know what, I am too much in this, this, uh, putative giving mode this a sensible martyr mode. You know, you have to, you, you have to physically go, no, I’m going to do something for me today. And you know, tough.
Luke: 00:56:16 Um, you have to take the action because they’re, uh, values are not abstract thing. They interact with what you’re actually doing physically as a behavior system in the world, right? So you actually have to start to do stuff yourself. On the other end, you’d have the narcissist who never does anything for anybody but himself. And so he’s always out collecting, but he never returns to the village. So he’s essentially exiled outside the wall of the community. You know, he’s still, he’s got a satchels full of mushrooms and flowers. I have a jets, private jets and know homes. It’s all collection collecting. You know the comic used to say you can’t have everything. Where would you put it? Which is a great line, but it’s also true if you have, you know, if you find yourself, if you collect five jets, 10 jets, 80 just a million, guess what?
Luke: 00:57:05 I own all the jets on the earth now. Okay, let’s just say that I’ve really collected them all. Okay, now what? Well, I’m probably gonna say why? There’s just sitting there and I had to pay for the upkeep and that’s not really great actually. It’s kind of a, I wake up at night thinking of all these jets rusting and you know, the maintenance and what am I doing, you know, I’m going to start renting them out, you know, I’m going to rent them out, you know, no stops. I should start selling them. This is nuts. Why do I have this many jets? So you start selling them and selling them, selling until you’re finally, you’re back to your one jet or no jet, you know, and you go, God, I wish I had some, you know what I like is jets and they start buying them again. You know, I interviewed miss my jet. I miss my jets. I want my chest back.
Brad: 00:57:44 Oh jets.
Luke: 00:57:48 I forgot those. Um, the, uh, so it boils back down to what is the function of ownership and it’s, and if someone says, it brings me joy, there are people with massive car collections and if you say to them, you know, does this bring you daily joy? And then they said, yeah, Oh yeah, there’s the function brings you joy. But like you say, these, these guys who once they get there say, oh, it’s really all about giving all about giving. They, the good news is they did put their own mask, to use your metaphor, they put their own mask on first. So that’s good. That was, that’s, that’s functional in that, you know, if you give before you got, you know, what are you really giving? If you try to be in a service mentality for you have fulfilled yourself, you put them, you know, you didn’t put your own mask on first and you ran out of air.
Luke: 00:58:47 So they had the order. Correct. You gotta go get yours, then you got something to give. Right. If so, their collection of, of all this wealth and success did put them in a position that gave them a bigger shovel so that they can, they can, they can dig a bigger garden and feed more people. If they were to do the giving first tried to get to do the giving first, then they would simply have the impulse without the tools to be really effective. So, you know, um, I think people can make the mistake. Of course when they say, I’ll give once I’ve reached, you know, x level of success that way.
Brad: 00:59:25 Like Bill Gates, he never got there. He got, he got pinned on 60 minutes is maybe 20 years ago, maybe 25. I can remember this. Go ahead and a, I don’t know who it was, Baba Wawa or somebody said, uh, okay. So you know, by all accounts you’re the richest man in the world with $21 billion of net worth to your name and you have been called out recently for not giving squat to charity. And he looked at the camera to the nation, the number one rated show on TV for many years. And he says, Oh, you know, I’ll be giving, I’ll be giving all of it away. But right now I’m busy building a software empire and I, I’m not into that right now. And, uh, I think he even maybe got criticized for that, that quip, cause why won’t you just spend $1 million and build a new park? You’re right. Your old neighborhoods, decrepit, whatever. But sure. True to his word, he transitioned to the next phase of his life. And he’s the, the all time generous philanthropists of the planet. Uh, Bill and Melissa and Melinda. Melinda Gates, . Yeah. So I think that was a cool and honest and sincere answer.
Luke: 01:00:29 Yeah. He, yeah, he had the, the order. Correct. And this is not a new concept in the, in the, you know, in the Vidic, uh, mythological, uh, um, uh, stories, uh, you know, Hinduism in India, you know, there are stories of, of the different phases of life, right? And there is the quest phase and there’s the, you know, the exploration phase. And all this. Then the finally is, it’s, it’s the [inaudible] phase. There’ll be the, where you’re, where you’re in the, you know, you were to give back, you know, but they have it in the right order. You know, you gotta, you gotta and this, I think this can get, this can be a back and forth enterprise, right where you can, you can see, you can collect for yourself and you can be, you know, an amatrepreneur at the same time by, by loving what you do and bringing other people into the fold and giving people opportunities for new, you know, for new careers or whatever.
Luke: 01:01:19 There’s things you can do to, to navigate through the world and positive way wider while you’re amassing your, you know, uh, your career trophies. But, but, um, I do think it’s a mistake if anyone else, you know, in the world thinks that they are, you know, 99% in the giving mode. And a lot of times it’s their circumstance that is such that people are holding down three jobs and they have kids and they’re like, you know, I don’t have a choice, you know, but here’s where your soul’s really in, in, you know, in deep water is when you get so used to that you forget that you want to get out of it. You forget that, that, that, that the, the end goal is to, is to do that. It is to have something for yourself. And that those circumstances, you know, have placed you in this, in this kind of a custodial role.
Luke: 01:02:12 Um, you know, you put that coat on for as long as you have to, but if you, you start to identify with it in general in order to rationalize those horrible circumstances, you know, it’s like, you know, I’m working, you know, 18 hours a day on three jobs and the kids and Dah, Dah, Dah. And then you can get to a point where you say, well, I’m just not me anymore. I’m just this service vehicle. You know? And then you’re now what you’ve really lost hope. So, you know, we do have to remind ourselves, I think that, uh, no matter how much we’re serving, um, you do have to get to a place where you’re serving yourself for everyone around you. And that was a tough lesson for me.
Brad: 01:02:54 So is it a matter of striking the healthy balance at all times? Uh, and the followup question would be, is there some individual disparity here where we have some people who are going to be the ones more likely, uh, exploring the, exploring the outer boundaries? Wasn’t Elan Musk given a recent interview in the New York Times saying that he, he had cops to working 20 hours a day and sort of being in despair that his life has, you know, accelerating at that pace. But he’s compelled to do it and he’s having trouble balancing. So he’s like this explorer that might not be returning to the village too often, but maybe we need some of those. We definitely need some Elon Musks and then we need some Mother Theresa type thing. And then you’re going to discover where you land on that spectrum. I mean we need, we need ghost writers, man. And you’re hitting those, those big picture objectives of being significant and giving back. Yeah. I mean the books, the bestseller, it was read and change lives of millions of people. Your name wasn’t, your name wasn’t on the cover, whatever, or in that case it was, but it’s been a little bit, you’ve done great work, right? Does it necessarily, I see. There’s nothing wrong with it until you deem that it’s time to move to a different realm.
Luke: 01:04:10 Yeah. And, and it’s, I mean, ghost writer is a sort of a metaphor for, I’m not, I don’t mean to like I in a way that ghost writing as a strange concept. I mean, how many ghost artists do you know ghost? Uh, performers ghost singers. There are ghost singers. Right.
Brad: 01:04:25 How about, how about James Patterson? Um, my friend works for him, PR and everything. He’s The bestselling author of all times in history on the planet. Right. And one reason is because he puts out 20 books a year and it says James Patterson on the books, but it’s known and not a secret that he didn’t pe. n it on his, uh, electric typewriter looking out his window into the Florida coastline. Right? But it’s okay. It’s a James Patterson branded novel and you’ll even see the person who wrote it and smaller letters, but it’s just part of the part of the branding exercise. And it’s no harm, no foul to anyone,.
Luke: 01:05:01 Right. And we could live in a world where, you know, we see a Jackson Pollock painting and it says Pollock and then in tiny little letters that says, you know,.
Brad: 01:05:09 Pollock Pines, California,.
Luke: 01:05:11 or you know, or, or, uh, uh, uh, Mohammad, you know, [inaudible] something.
Brad: 01:05:17 How about ever Cate? How about the Cate Shanahan, um, cookbook because on Amazon we learn this that legally you can, you can use a pseudonym to write a book. It’s not illegal and you can title a book anything you want, even you can title a book after another book. So I could write the “South Beach Diet” tomorrow by Bob Atkins or whatever. And no one can sue me. And so there was a book, the, the “Deep Nutrition Cookbook” by Cate Shanahan, not the Cate Shanahan who wrote the other book. It was [inaudible] prominent health expert. You can’t even touch them. They can just make money because of your hard work. Let’s get that sounds messed up.
Luke: 01:05:52 Let’s get back to function. What’s the function of that bullshit? Well, I’ll tell you what the function of that is. Okay. If, if, um, if I have a, a painting in a museum and it says, uh, you know, Degas and underneath and tiny little letters that says, you know, Frank Smith, what is the function?
Brad: 01:06:11 Westport Connecticut, October, 2018.
Luke: 01:06:14 if you’ve never seen, if you’ve never seen a work of art before, it’s your first time to the museum. You’re a child. What do you take from seeing that when you say mom, who? Whose paintings that it says Pollock and she says, well, look underneath, right? Oh, is that who really did it? Yeah, he’s a ghost painter. What would be the, what’s the function of that, of having those two names, what does that tell the kid? What does, what, what message is that meant to broadcast that we have two names up there and the big name is a person who didn’t do it.
Brad: 01:06:45 Learn a lesson in branding at a young age? What’s the lesson in branding and marketing?
Luke: 01:06:49 What does it tell you about art?
Brad: 01:06:54 I don’t know. It’s for sale. Okay. It’s fungible. Um,.
Luke: 01:06:59 That’s a commodity. Yeah, it’s for sale. Okay, good. So now we’re talking about like a Thomas Kincaid, right? You pump them out. Okay, great. So does that value the art and the artists or does it devalue it as an intrinsically, it puts a monetary value on them, but what does it say about the production of art?
Brad: 01:07:17 Yeah, it’s a good question. Cause I mean Thomas Kincaid would probably answer that he’s exposing the, the, the beauty of art to a broad audience and any snobby artist who refuses to sell their work or they don’t paint on acrylic, even though it’s the better medium cause they’re, they’re so connected to their art that no one gets to appreciate it. Sure. That’s not know. Maybe not contributing as much as society is Thomas Kincaid blasting those things out to everyone’s living room.
Luke: 01:07:46 Sure. And of course that presumes that Kincaid paintings are a contribution, which, I mean, to many people they are.
Brad: 01:07:53 good point to man. It’s kind of, this is watered down culture. Okay. And I would say my knee jerk response would be, yeah, it is. Cause it’s better than nothing. Even it can’t be, you can’t be sitting in snobbery where, you know, I only play on private golf courses with the greens on a stent meter of 11 or above. That’s a really fast, slick,.
Luke: 01:08:13 well cut grill only on three star Michelin food. We’ll do where we’re, we’re if have a single, you know, uh, um, uh, micro sprouted, you know, radish is misplaced. I have to send it back. Yeah. No one wants to become.
Brad: 01:08:27 JP Sears with is gluten intolerant. [inaudible].
Luke: 01:08:29 exactly right. Yeah. It’s so much fun to send things back. What is the function by the way of sending something back at a restaurant when, when somebody says no, this is no, I mean, let’s say it’s a pretty decent meal, but you know, it’s just a tiny bit off. I, I wanted this a little more well done.
Brad: 01:08:43 So you have small dainty looking hands to Mr Wayne. Yeah. What’s the function of same function as commenting on the baby hands?
Luke: 01:08:51 Yeah. It’s, it’s a power play. Absolutely. It’s a power powerful.
Brad: 01:08:55 And so what’s the objective of the power play? So the function of sending food back to power play of sending the food back on JP Sears with his gluten laden pizza.
Luke: 01:09:09 Great example.
Brad: 01:09:09 I don’t know that. What’s the answer?
Brad: 01:09:11 Yeah, the function is, um, well first of all, when I say to the waiter, excuse me, I don’t mean to be a bother, but okay, everyone at the table, where are their eyes? Where are they looking.
Brad: 01:09:20 at the bother?
Luke: 01:09:21 at the person making the bother. So first of all, all the tensions on me, which is key. Second of all, that’s key to the whole plan. It’s absolutely key. Second of all, I’m taking this person, this waiter, you know, is working. She works hard for the money, right? And, and, and showing them I’m in a position, I’m paying good money, I want to put them in a subservient position to not only bring me food, but to bring it back in and bring it back again.
Brad: 01:09:45 And I’m also saying a little f you to the chef.
Luke: 01:09:47 Now again, there are legitimate reasons to send something back, right? I’m talking about that persnickety and come on people, we all know who we’re talking about. There are people who just want to be this bother and ego. Why do they do that? Well is to give themselves a little more attention and to make them feel, you know, a little more important in the world. Okay, what is the function of that? Why are they in particular doing that? Why do they have the need to do that? Let’s look at that person a little more closely. Well, because they don’t feel very valued and satisfied and significant in the in their world, they don’t feel that they are a person of significance and influence until they are getting served. Then they use that. They grab it where they can and why don’t they have that go back to their childhood and.
Brad: 01:10:29 go back three to five.
Luke: 01:10:31 Let’s go back to three to five where their parents were either helicopter parents who turned them into a fetish of their own egoistic, unfulfilled needs or plainly emotionally abandoned them, which sent the message, had the function of telling the kid that they were secondary to the importance of, of the identity of the parents in any real way. So they’re going to go around for the rest of their life, creating chaos, sending food back, being a bother, and essentially taking all the arrows of attention and, and bending them with the force of a thousand Resis monkeys back toward their own identities. You know, all eyes on me.
Brad: 01:11:08 Those who have just joined us in our live studio audience where our theme seems to be what is the function we keep coming up with that and how you can ask yourself that in so many different occasions in life. Now I want to ask you at the restaurant, uh, as, as my girl, Mia Moore knows I’m like the unlike the opposite character or I just eat the, I, I didn’t, I didn’t, you know, they didn’t put the cheese on and they forgot the Avocados and it’s cool. I’ll just eat it. It’s a, certainly it looks like a good meal, but I don’t want to be a bother to the extent that I really don’t want to be a bother.
Luke: 01:11:37 And so glad you brought it. Yeah. Okay. Remember how we were saying that values are not some a dead load of bricks in a satchel with their a.
Brad: 01:11:45 thousand handles handles.
Luke: 01:11:47 The whole community carries this together and by the way, talking about that thousand handles in there areour values, but if we, if we can join those values, if those values are associated with or resspire with or conspire with our identities, that bag with the cells, a thousand handles also has our identities both individually in our community identities.
Luke: 01:12:10 So in the case of I’ll sit here and eat the food. Remember how we’re, we’re saying that your, your values are not something you just think up in your head, but it interacts and is dependent upon your behavior in the world. When you, I’ll just sit here and eat it specifically us for no cheese. They brought it with cheese. I’ll just scrape it off. I’ll do it. I’ll lead. I said no onions here, onions and so on. I’ll just need it. $40 for the plate, but I’ll just eat it. Okay. What, when we talk about our values and how, what we do feeds back into our values. How will this act? Oh, you eating this meal that you’re not going to enjoy, you’ll pay for it, but you’re not gonna enjoy it. What is that gonna do to your values, your value about who you are, your identity, how will that feed that, the act of eating, what you don’t want to eat, that you’re about to pay for, what will that do to you, to your values regarding yourself?
Brad: 01:13:01 Sprinkling some dust into the bag whereby, uh, I’m, I’m a go with the flow kind of guy and I’m not wanting to make waves. And so I do that, um, 178 more times and then we apply a real, real life important example, like the interactions between my boss and I and taking, taking hate and taking emotionally abusive commentary or in a relationship dynamic where I’m always the one that compromises when we’re trying to decide between Sushi and Italian or what have you.
Luke: 01:13:30 Excellent.
Brad: 01:13:31 And you start, you start mixing that stuff into your bag.
Luke: 01:13:34 Okay. So if you’re going to take a test tomorrow and the test is called Brad, okay There’s a test about you and you’re going to have to study up on you. I want you to memorize you. I want you to memorize all these different aspects of your character as it exists today as a snapshot of Brad and the here and now. And we’re going to take a test tomorrow. As with any test, and we’re taking this test every day, by the way. Or we’re preparing for this test everyday. So how do you memorize, how do you study for a test? Let’s say you’re going to take a Spanish test tomorrow. How do you, how do you study? What do you do?
Brad: 01:14:07 A buscar part of those flashcards. And they don’t, they didn’t know en la noche [speaking Spanish] y practicando con Mia Moore y ecuchando a un podcast en espanol.
Luke: 01:14:19 Yes. Right? right? And you do it in different places, right? And it’s the, you’ll, you’ll study, uh, here in your bedroom, you’ll study living. You’ll go to a park and study because the right research shows them that the, the different places that you study, it actually aids the memory. If you try to memorize it in the same place, in the same circumstances, at the same time of day, it’s not as effective as if you try to memorize the same thing in a variety of environments because you’re creating a more sophisticated network memory channels in your brain. Doesn’t that make sense?
Brad: 01:14:52 Listen up college students. So you listening, that’s a great insight.
Luke: 01:14:55 I never studied in the same room, everybody, of course not because guess what, the test isn’t going to be in your bedroom. So you have to, to train your brain to approach the contextual, uh, interaction. But then you attempt to memorize in a different context.
Brad: 01:15:10 And that’s like the golf example.
Luke: 01:15:11 Exactly.
Brad: 01:15:12 So at the driving range with a clean mat. Yeah. Or you go out and throw a ball in the mud and try to hit that shot.
Luke: 01:15:18 Exactly. Exactly. And, and so what you do is you practice it in order to make it permanent. Right? Okay. So when we go to a restaurant and we eat the thing we don’t want to eat, and then the boss speaks to a way that is, you know, we shouldn’t, and then we and we go through life, do acting out, over and over. What you’re doing is memorizing the fact that you’re not valuable. You’re studying for the test. And the question on the test will be, what is your value and significance? And the correct answer in this case is nothing. I have no value. And you want to make sure you remember and to remember it. Don’t just think about it in your head. Go out there and live that way. Eat that meal. You don’t want to eat. Have that person speak to you in that tone of voice that is absolutely deplorable, that crushes you, but take it and say, I’ve got the bigger shoulders. I don’t need to. You were memorizing just just as with any other, like with mood, it’s, it’s now known that if you’re depressed and depressed and depressed and you don’t do anything to crack out of it, you’re memorizing depression. You’re studying for the test of depression, you’re going to pass with flying colors. So every, this is the interaction with the physical behaviors that we do and our values. This is what makes values a living dynamic creature that you’re feeding. What do you want to feed it? And if you’re feeding it one more meal that you don’t want to eat because you ordered it without cheese and they didn’t listen, you are, you’re sitting down to study for that test of your own devaluement. Stop studying for it.
Brad: 01:16:53 You’re sounding like Jocko now. All we need is the graphics. Jocko,.
Luke: 01:16:58 you’re studying for a test on yourself, you’re going to fail.
Brad: 01:17:04 That’s heavy man. Cause I think we, um, we, we talk our way out of it too much. You know, my stated values are blah, blah, blah, blah blah and blah, blah blah. Yes. And then every day I go through life compromising my values over and over. Yes.
Luke: 01:17:20 And in fact there have been studies that show that if you are going, if you want to make a movie, if you want to write a novel, if you want to start a business, don’t talk about it because it fulfills that part of the brain that is satisfied by the completion of the act.
Brad: 01:17:34 Right. So I’m at Starbucks and what are you doing over there? I’m working on a novel.
Luke: 01:17:39 Oh really? That’s so interesting.
Brad: 01:17:40 Tell me Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then, Oh, let me close my buying laptops. I don’t drain the battery while I, while I talk about the thing I should be doing.
Luke: 01:17:49 In your mind, you were getting a release of of satisfaction that is proximal to the same release you would get if the deed had actually been accomplished.
Brad: 01:17:57 Would Dr Cate. Shanahan say you’re getting that dopamine hit from him from a chemical perspective.? Okay. You’re just talking about your novel gives you the same, a similar approximate, a proxy satisfaction to actually doing it?
Cate: 01:18:10 Yeah, that sounds totally valid. And also what it also does is it alleviates the anxiety of not having, it alleviates anxiety of not having done it right. Like you, you kind of to get anything done. Anxiety plays a positive role in anxiety, right? It helps you motivate you to get stuff done and if you talk too much about something you plan on doing, then you kind of totally lose that positive anxiety that drives you the need. Yeah.
Brad: 01:18:41 What about if you do like a social media posting, does that count to training for my marathon? What do you think?
Cate: 01:18:48 Well, I mean it depends what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re trying to become more socially popular, then you’re actually getting some getting somewhere with that. But if you’re, if you’re trying to like exercise, then obviously it can, you know, cause it’d be question mark.
Luke: 01:19:02 Right, right. Got It. The and that, and I’m glad you brought up social media because I think, okay,.
Brad: 01:19:08 We’re going full circle now when we’re about to, we’re about to wrap it up and this is part one of a 10 part Luke Shanahan podcast series. But just we’re getting deep, man. I appreciate this show. I’m, I’m, I’m bringing a lot of real life examples into play, especially the restaurant one. It’s, you know, are you that persnickety person that sends a meal back twice, right? And you’re so polite and sweet about it, you know, which is a maybe a bullshitter. It may be, it’s a bullshit element to maybe not, I’m sorry, sorry. [inaudible] got a little cool while I was waiting for you to fix the thing. And then what about the other person that’s going to eat whatever they stick in front of you despite paying 40 bucks. That’s something that, that takes some serious reflection here and how that plays out in other areas and, and, and a lot of it boils down to, you know,.
Luke: 01:19:54 when you see the person sending it back, right. Our presumption is often, wow, you know what, uh, you know what? By evolved person, but at least they, man, they really have a healthy ego. They knew who they are and they’re not going to take another cold plate. If they have to send five bottles of wine back, they’ll do it. And Man, if I had, if I had, I don’t want to be like that, but if I had 10% of that in my veins, and the presumption is that that person’s very comfortable with themselves, but I don’t think that’s often the case if there’s.
Brad: 01:20:23 an overreaction or compensation?
Luke: 01:20:25 So compensation and the other person also, then there are, again, we’re back on talking about people being the adverse of the coin, right? The adverse of that as a person who just swallows the meal down thinking that it’s the right thing to do, and this is something Kate’s taught me, is that when you swallow that meal down, I’m not the only one who suffers.
Brad: 01:20:42 See, the restaurant itself suffers because they’re getting away with it.
Luke: 01:20:45 No, Cate suffers because I’m fucking miserable. Oh goodness. Can I swear?
Brad: 01:20:50 Of course you can, this is a podcast.
Brad: 01:20:51 Yeah. No, because yeah, if, oh yeah, yeah. If she wants to go and chase stuff in life, you turned into a passive aggressive, you know, s you know, slippery, slippery slider.
Luke: 01:21:01 At least when you’re passive aggressive, still a little fight in you and you move when you move past passive aggressive and there is no aggressive, just passive, you know, when they say that that depression, you know, is rage turned inwards in a few, you know, if you constantly practice, like we’re saying, if you physically go through the practice of reaffirming to yourself and those around you that you’re worth nothing, that your worth value. Now you’re forcing your fobbing your character onto another person and that character is represent, it represents self-loathing, depression, sadness, and a feeling of no value. And that’s not a gift to anyone,.
Brad: 01:21:37 to anyone, all the people you’re serving helicopter, mom and martyr of the workplace.
Luke: 01:21:43 Right? Yeah. Um, the, we were talking about just to, to uh, get back to the a the ghost painter and the, and the function of that, right? Yeah. Oh yeah.
Brad: 01:21:54 What’s the final answer there?
Luke: 01:21:55 Everything around us has a function to tell us something about who we are. Um, we know that the, the, the so called great architecture of say Washington D C was specifically engineered to strike terror into the hearts of those who would come to visit it. The indigenous folks who would, who would be brought there as a sort of a display of power. There have been a, you know, the Mussolini and other fascist movements who, who deliberately created stark stunning, Monolithic architecture meant to remind the people that they are simply cogs in a wheel fungible, replaceable, valueless. If you were raised say in the inner city, in a, in a, in a deplorable looking, sad, functional building with very little greenery around.
Luke: 01:22:39 That’s a message isn’t it? And you know, a food desert with no interaction with nature, that’s a message. And they hear it loud and clear and the messages you have no value versus a person walks into a beautiful large architectural masterpiece. And if you live there, the message you hear every day what you see is you’re important, you matter. And that that feeds in. So everything around us has a, you know, ultimately does have a function. Even if that function, even if function is an emergent property, if it wasn’t planned out for the beginning, it still becomes, you know, a function in terms of messaging, in terms of the way it makes us feel about ourselves and how we interact with others. So if you had a painting with a, you know, with Pollock and the big letters and in the little letters, the guy who actually painted it, you know, the function.
Luke: 01:23:28 And that’s to say art’s not that important. Anybody can do it. And that’s why, by the way, we have ghost writers, but we don’t have ghost dancers because if you go on a plane, what you know, as a ghost writer, you sit next to a guy who wants to do a novel. What are you here? Tell me, you know, what do you hear? What do they tell you when they strike up a conversation to say, I’m a writer. What do they tell you? A, they talk about their novel, the novel they’re going to write, or the novel they want you to write for them. Oh, I don’t know. It’s never happened. Oh, I’ve had, I have it happen all the time. I’d read it myself. I’m just too busy. I’m a surgeon, I’m an architect, I’m a personality on this and that I run my own business.
Brad: 01:24:05 Even a sit in first class,.
Luke: 01:24:07 I don’t know in the old days, but uh, no, he’s shaking your head no, we do not know. We’re in the lower up in the luggage bin. But uh, yeah, Cate, Cate carries me around in a cat carrier now. But um, saving money. But uh, yeah, what you hear is, you know, you know, you should write it or I want to, the idea is that because everyone can eat, everyone can run a restaurant. So what do you see a lot of people starting restaurants, they shouldn’t. Right. Um, that’s why the failure rate on restaurants is what, 90%? Something like 95 so everyone can speak. So everyone thinks they can write. When in reality, writing is nothing more than thinking on the page. And the thinking represents like, you know, with “Deep nutrition”, Cate and I wrote together, we both were very, you know, scientifically, scientifically minded and all that.
Luke: 01:24:53 So it’s a good collaboration that creates something better than the two of us could have done individually. But it is a weird concept. The idea of, and what it says, the idea of ghostwriting is that this, that, that writing is kind of a profession, but not really. And I’m not saying, and by the way, is this a gripe? No, maybe that’s the case. The marketplace has spoken. Um, but if you don’t believe that in your heart, so you are a ghost writer and you go, I’m not going to swallow that pill anymore. I, I think that writing is more than just something anybody can do. I think I’m better at it than most. I think I’m really good at it. And if you live, if you decide to live that value, and that’s a good phrase to live your values to, to, you know, to, to take those values out of that, that dusty satchel, to take the lock off and to bring them out in the sunlight, you know, and exercise them and feed them and take them out for a walk.
Luke: 01:25:47 You know, um, what you’re doing in this case is saying no. Um, this is w and by the way, again, writing is just a metaphor. People might be thinking, well, I’m not a ghost writer, but my creative energies are being usurped. They are being more to others than to myself and again, on the, on the, on the enterprise, or at least the claim that you want to be giving and giving back and all that. But like we said, uh, that’s a bit of a false relationship with your own identity because if you give and give and give until you’re an empty vessel, you’re not really giving anything where you’re giving as an, as an empty package or like we said, a Trojan horse that’s got nothing in there but your own ego, which has been a tough lesson for me. I don’t, I’m not, you know, I’m not, we’re work in progress,
Brad: 01:26:36 Work in progress. Luke Shanahan, finishing up strong with a lot to think about. For everyone listening. You’re coming back on. We’re gonna, we’re gonna pick up the conversation on, on part two. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you. Live audience for your contributions.
Brad: 01:26:58 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your email@example.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars and it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.