091: LEARN TO LOVE – with Donald “Butch” Williams, Esq.

091: LEARN TO LOVE – with Donald “Butch” Williams, Esq.

091: LEARN TO LOVE – with Donald “Butch” Williams, Esq.

Moto racer, marathoner, former LDS Bishop, current law practice owner, Harley rider and Las Vegas Rescue Mission volunteer Butch Williams joins the Alph Quorum Show and speaks of the profound lessons taught to him by the mature men in his life. He shares experiences about struggles early in his marriage and how he and his wife partnered up to heal and build a beautiful life together. This humorous, wise, and gentle teacher, a man of pure masculine energy, shares some unforgettable stories, passing along bold and very charming bits of ALPHA wisdom. You’re gonna love this conversation. 🔺

Our guest today was born in Las Vegas on February 2nd. 1966 He’s the youngest of five children. His father worked a variety of jobs when Bush was a kid. His father started the Las Vegas Motocross Club and later the Las Vegas Bicycle Motocross Club. Every Saturday and Sunday, he spent at the motocross and bicycle motocross track with his family organizing and running events.

Butch also raced both BMX and motocross himself. When Butch was about 14 years old. The track was no more feasible to run. His dad started a plumbing company, and Butch began to learn the trade of plumbing, which also worked a variety of other jobs and high school, including being a dishwasher at Marie Calendar’s and driving a delivery truck.

When he was 19 years old, he decided to serve in LDS Mission which had joined the church approximately three years earlier. He served in Alaska and had a wonderful time there. Upon returning home, he attended college at UNLV and then received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management from Brigham Young University in 1991. While at BYU, he met and married the magnificent Paula Jones from Woodburn, Oregon.

They have six children, five of whom are married. They are the grandparents of ten grandchildren, which attended law school at the MCGEORGE School of Law in Sacramento, California. He graduated in 1994 and returned to Las Vegas with his family in 1997. He started his own law practice. He mostly represents contractors and subcontractors in construction issues. He also practices in the areas of real estate and business law.

Approximately seven years ago, his son in law, Drew Starbuck, graduated law school and came to work with Butch. Mr. Starbucks practices primarily in real estate planning and probate. They own the firm Williams Starbuck.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00:10 – 00:00:02:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
Risky move. I’m like the heck you are.

00:00:05:06 – 00:00:05:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he did it.

00:00:06:05 – 00:00:18:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
He would walk to my house every night and he would just walk the neighborhood with me every night. He said, how about the plan of going home and learning to love your wife and.

00:00:18:20 – 00:00:22:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
Have her learn to love you? What I garnered from that.

00:00:23:13 – 00:00:27:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
Was this concept of one on one time. He said, Just hold on.

00:00:28:06 – 00:00:31:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
Just hold on. The light will return.

00:00:32:29 – 00:00:35:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
So he turned me in to the Nevada State Bar.

00:00:36:05 – 00:00:39:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wrote a letter on me, said, Mr. Williams told me to go.

00:00:39:20 – 00:00:40:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
F myself.

00:00:42:27 – 00:00:47:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
If I need a car. I got a call from bar counsel. Who is this porch? Williams?

00:00:48:15 – 00:00:49:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yes, sir.

00:00:49:21 – 00:00:52:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Did you tell that lawyer to go F himself.

00:00:52:24 – 00:00:53:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yes, I did.

00:00:54:13 – 00:00:58:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
Can you not do that anymore? No, I won’t. And I’ve never done it again.

00:01:04:05 – 00:01:23:23
Speaker 3
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong. You are a leader. You are a force for good. Gentlemen. This is the Alpha Corps.

00:01:30:21 – 00:01:56:23
Brad Singletary
Our guest today was born in Las Vegas on February 2nd. 1966 He’s the youngest of five children. His father worked a variety of jobs when Bush was a kid. His father started the Las Vegas Motocross Club and later the Las Vegas Bicycle Motocross Club. Every Saturday and Sunday, he spent at the motocross and bicycle motocross track with his family organizing and running events.

00:01:57:08 – 00:02:19:01
Brad Singletary
Butch also raced both BMX and motocross himself. When Butch was about 14 years old. The track was no more feasible to run. His dad started a plumbing company, and Butch began to learn the trade of plumbing, which also worked a variety of other jobs and high school, including being a dishwasher at Marie Calendar’s and driving a delivery truck.

00:02:19:20 – 00:02:47:14
Brad Singletary
When he was 19 years old, he decided to serve in LDS Mission which had joined the church approximately three years earlier. He served in Alaska and had a wonderful time there. Upon returning home, he attended college at UNLV and then received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management from Brigham Young University in 1991. While at BYU, he met and married the magnificent Paula Jones from Woodburn, Oregon.

00:02:48:25 – 00:03:18:22
Brad Singletary
They have six children, five of whom are married. They are the grandparents of ten grandchildren, which attended law school at the MCGEORGE School of Law in Sacramento, California. He graduated in 1994 and returned to Las Vegas with his family in 1997. He started his own law practice. He mostly represents contractors and subcontractors in construction issues. He also practices in the areas of real estate and business law.

00:03:19:08 – 00:03:42:19
Brad Singletary
Approximately seven years ago, his son in law, Drew Starbuck, graduated law school and came to work with Butch. Mr. Starbucks practices primarily in real estate planning and probate. They own the firm Williams Starbuck. But I’m so glad to have you here, man. I have been I’ve had my eye on you since I started this whole thing and thought, That’s it, dude, I want to get in here.

00:03:42:19 – 00:04:02:13
Brad Singletary
So we ran around in some of the same circles here, probably ten or 15 years ago, and I’ve moved to the other side of town, and maybe you’ve moved out of that neighborhood, but I’ve watched you with your family and what you have going on. And I just thought this is the exactly the type of man that I want to highlight once we get around to being able to do that.

00:04:02:13 – 00:04:13:29
Brad Singletary
So welcome here, man. I really appreciate you driving all this way. Drove up to my building today and I see this black Corvette and, and I knew exactly who was here.

00:04:14:21 – 00:04:18:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
It’s an old one. It didn’t cost very much or whatever.

00:04:18:06 – 00:04:46:11
Brad Singletary
It’s super sweet. So again, thank you for being here, man. We’re just we’re just trying to help men level themselves up, whether that be through education or through learning how to have be better in their family or through emotional intelligence, you know, recovering from addictions and just being good men. And so anyone who knows you, I’m sure, would safely say that’s a good dude to be highlighting as a good as a good man.

00:04:46:11 – 00:04:48:05
Brad Singletary
So thank you again for being here.

00:04:48:19 – 00:05:05:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
I’m glad to be here. And I surely don’t deserve any praise. But but I life life has been good to me. Challenging but good. And if there’s ever a time to spend on raising young men to me and it’s now, right?

00:05:05:18 – 00:05:23:22
Brad Singletary
Yes, totally. That’s one of the reasons that we feel good about what we’re doing. We have a smaller audience but I think we’ve had listeners from 39 different countries through this whole thing. And so we’re hoping to just continue to grow this and appreciate you being a part of a part of this here today. So talk more about your family.

00:05:23:22 – 00:05:28:23
Brad Singletary
You’ve got ten grandchildren. Are they are most of your kids here in town or they live in other places or.

00:05:29:06 – 00:05:49:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, so we’ve got my oldest son, Tyson, and his wife live in the San Diego area. They’re in Carlsbad, California, OK? They’ve got three little kids and yeah, he runs a shelter business down there. And as a couple of other things that he’s involved in, we’re trying to get him back to Las Vegas, but he seems to like that surf too much.

00:05:49:11 – 00:05:57:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
I bet. So I’m sure he Sanford coming home. He won’t be back My daughter, Kayla.

00:05:57:21 – 00:06:17:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Kayla Starbuck, she’s married to Drew Starbuck, OK? And she’s wonderful. And a matter of fact, when she met Drew when they were in college, he wasn’t sure where he was going. And so she helped him figure out where he was going. And next thing you know, he was in law school and next thing you know, he’s practicing with me.

00:06:17:16 – 00:06:23:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
So never underestimate the power of a magnificent woman, right?

00:06:23:04 – 00:06:24:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. You can keep.

00:06:24:04 – 00:06:28:02
Brad Singletary
Your eye on in there. If he’s working with that, you can you can always be watching, right?

00:06:28:02 – 00:06:37:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
All the time. He’s great. He’s he was in the Marines, and so he came in with maturity and just just a good guy. Good, humble guy.

00:06:37:25 – 00:06:39:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. Looking for a little girls.

00:06:39:13 – 00:06:45:00
Brad Singletary
I looked him up. I looked up on your website and looked up you and him and saw your pictures and read a little bit about him. It’s impressive.

00:06:45:08 – 00:06:45:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, he’s.

00:06:45:29 – 00:07:00:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
He really is that good. We just love him to death. Then I have a son named Zach. Zach’s married, and he just finished law school. He decided not to come to work for Dad, but he’s working for a big firm. I guess it pays more money. I don’t know.

00:07:01:16 – 00:07:02:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
He’s doing well.

00:07:02:16 – 00:07:26:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I’ve got a daughter named Hailey. She’s up in Utah. She’s married to Vince Miller. We just love this guy. He graduated with a master’s in accounting, but his love is the army is. Well, his father was next in line to be the chaplain for the United States Army. Wow. And decided he didn’t want to quite go that path.

00:07:26:19 – 00:07:38:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
But Vince has followed his father in the military, and he finished Army Ranger training last year. And just now he’s trying to be a Green Beret. So I.

00:07:38:13 – 00:07:40:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
Now yeah, he’s a he’s a fun.

00:07:40:03 – 00:08:09:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Kid. Plus, he likes to go fishing. And I like that so I got a place to fish. Hey, yeah. I have a son named Josh. Josh is married here in Las Vegas. He’s working in the construction industry. And finishing his education at U and LV in my last girl or child, I should say, is Alexa. And Alexa just finished flight attendant school for Breeze Airlines, which is, I guess, a subsidiary of some sort to JetBlue.

00:08:10:08 – 00:08:11:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
OK, so maybe we’ll get some.

00:08:11:19 – 00:08:16:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
Free flights out of all of this. I don’t know how many passes like Buddy passes and I like free.

00:08:18:19 – 00:08:23:04
Brad Singletary
So your wife, you said she’s from Oregon. You met her at school. You met in college, right?

00:08:23:04 – 00:08:36:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. She’s amazing. She is from a little town called Wood or I should say named Woodburn, Oregon. Her father is a veterinarian. I thought I might be marrying into money. I come to find out he’s a farm vet.

00:08:38:06 – 00:08:40:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Right. Like I came to further find out.

00:08:41:09 – 00:08:42:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
If it cost more than the price of the.

00:08:42:29 – 00:08:48:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
Cow. They usually just shoot the cow as the oldest of six kids.

00:08:50:05 – 00:08:51:20
Donald “Butch” Williams
She’s just great, you know?

00:08:53:00 – 00:09:06:05
Brad Singletary
So you we talked a little bit about your career. You have a law practice here. You do like construction stuff. That’s a majority of what you’re doing. It is. And then your son in law.

00:09:07:03 – 00:09:07:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah.

00:09:07:11 – 00:09:08:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Drew Starbuck, yeah.

00:09:08:14 – 00:09:28:27
Brad Singletary
And then your son in law, Drew. He does some other things, real estate and different types of types of practice there. So you started that three years at three years after you graduated. That’s pretty quick. I, I mean, I don’t know much about the practice of law, but it seems like three years after that’s fast doing your own thing.

00:09:29:03 – 00:09:51:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
It was probably too quick. But, you know, I had worked three different jobs in three years out of law school now. I never got fired but I always just felt like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. So I came home one day kind of in a somber mood. And my wife was five months pregnant with our fifth child.

00:09:51:26 – 00:10:09:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I said, Honey, I’m just I just don’t know what it is. And she said, well, start your own practice. I said, I don’t have any clients. I said, Maybe one or two. She said, It’ll work out. I said, But you’re five months pregnant. We don’t have health insurance. It’ll work out so the first call I made was to the baby doctor, I’ll never forget.

00:10:09:24 – 00:10:13:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
Call you. Do you accept a payment plan.

00:10:15:14 – 00:10:18:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he said, We’ll work it out. So I.

00:10:18:21 – 00:10:35:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
I went to the bank, and in those days I’ll never forget the guy. I believe his name was Larry Woodrum. And he was at Bank West of Nevada, and somebody said, You got to go see Larry. He’ll loan you money. So I walk in and I sit down with this guy, and I’m sure my head was hung down low.

00:10:35:25 – 00:10:50:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
I said, Can I borrow $50,000 to start a law practice? 15 minutes later, I had $50,000 in account. Wow. And all magnificent part of that, as I look back of the story, is that two years later I called him. I said.

00:10:50:25 – 00:10:51:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Larry.

00:10:51:16 – 00:10:57:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Can you take your $50,000 back? I never had to use it, and I’m tired of paying interest on it.

00:10:57:13 – 00:10:58:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wow. So.

00:10:59:03 – 00:11:04:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, I don’t think people get loans that easy anymore in Las Vegas. But but that’s how it worked out.

00:11:04:14 – 00:11:15:00
Brad Singletary
And it seems like your wife had all the faith in the beginning. She kind of pushed you toward it and said, don’t you worry, like it’ll work out. And you had the courage to make a big leave. That’s that’s impressive.

00:11:15:13 – 00:11:46:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. I’ve talked to a lot of young men who wanted to start their own practice, and they have asked me over the years how do you do it? And I would ask them a question, how much do you give to charity every month? And if the response was very little, then I would say, you’re not ready yet. Now, the reason I said that is because when I was going to start my own practice, I was actually racing motorcycles again.

00:11:46:17 – 00:12:04:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I was out at the track one night and I was talking to a friend of mine and he asked me a question. He said, How much do you give to charity every month? And I said, I don’t know, 40 or $50. And he told me, You’re not ready to start your own practice. Wow. And I said, Well, how much do you give?

00:12:04:17 – 00:12:23:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he told me. I said, Well, that’s my house payment. He said, Yeah. He said, When you learn that concept, you’ll be fine. And so what we did is I actually went home that night and I was kind of mad at my friend. That is being a little judgmental, but we went home that night and I talked to my wife about it.

00:12:23:27 – 00:12:56:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
I said, Honey, I think there’s something to what he’s saying. If we’re going to start this, we get we got to give more and she said, OK, so we did. We immediately started to give more. And, you know, the phone has always ring. So here I and that was 1997 and now we’re in 2022 and even through the recession the phone rang and so every young person that I have given that counsel to whether it be in the practice of law or other business, their phone is ringing.

00:12:56:08 – 00:13:09:06
Brad Singletary
Well what, what is the principle there like? I mean just that you are you have the kind of maturity, you have the kind of, you know, selfless maturity or something. How does that work? What is the math on that?

00:13:10:08 – 00:13:39:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
I don’t think it’s earthly math. Right. You know, my parents, when I when I decided to join the LDS Church and in the end serve a mission, they were OK with me joining the LDS Church. But when I decided to serve a mission that didn’t go over or as well originally as what I thought it might, but they knew I was dedicated because I, I worked and I saved about 12 or $13,000 and this was back in 1984, 1985.

00:13:39:02 – 00:14:03:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
So it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of savings. When I came home from that mission, my money was still in my bank account. I had no idea that they had paid for it. Wow. And I asked my parents what, what did you do, why they said, well, we just decided to pay for it, but now we’re going to give money every month to a charity because we recognize our business had never done so well so you know, those are things stick in your mind, right.

00:14:04:15 – 00:14:04:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah.

00:14:04:25 – 00:14:27:05
Brad Singletary
That’s great modeling from your parents who didn’t necessarily share the same faith but but respected what you did. And even though they started to show you, you you originally showed them you taught them something that they reinforced you carried that and spread that same message to young professionals out there. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s why you’re here right now, that kind of thing, man.

00:14:27:05 – 00:14:28:29
Brad Singletary
I got goosebumps thinking about this.

00:14:29:15 – 00:14:43:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
And that was pretty powerful. Another thing I did as soon as I made just a little bit of money is I put $1,000 cash in my pocket. In that thousand dollars cash has been there now since 19, I guess 1997. So please don’t mug me.

00:14:44:05 – 00:14:51:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
If I’m black for every black Corvette, that guy’s got money in his pocket. But the concept again, I was a.

00:14:51:25 – 00:15:02:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Little kid and this guy walked into our house on 560 Saint Louis and downtown Las Vegas. His name was John Vann. Who he was a friend of my father’s. And he pulled out.

00:15:02:13 – 00:15:07:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
This wad of cash was a little kid in a in a lower than middle class income.

00:15:07:19 – 00:15:33:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
I’m looking at that thinking I don’t know what he does, but I’m in, you know. Right. I said John, why do you carry that that money? He said, so I can say no to people if I need to. Now, that stuck with me, too. So as a young lawyer, if somebody walked into my office and to this day, even if they’ve got money if something doesn’t feel right, I know I’ve got enough in my pocket to feed my family for a little while.

00:15:33:28 – 00:15:35:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wow. And so that.

00:15:35:00 – 00:15:36:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
Concept, you mean.

00:15:36:22 – 00:15:42:07
Brad Singletary
Carrying $1,000 cash in your pocket, all this your whole your whole life since you were a young, younger man.

00:15:42:07 – 00:15:43:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Since 1987.

00:15:43:13 – 00:15:45:05
Brad Singletary
Oh my. You have it right now. You have.

00:15:45:05 – 00:15:49:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
Right now. Oh, that’s the coolest. Thing I’ve ever heard. I mean.

00:15:49:20 – 00:16:08:21
Brad Singletary
I can think there’s a lot of reasons for that. Like, I don’t know in the world of like, you know, alcohol, I’m in recovery from alcohol. And I would hear people say things like, you know, they want to just keep one beer in their refrigerator just to prove that they don’t need it. It’s there, but they don’t they don’t need it.

00:16:08:21 – 00:16:17:13
Brad Singletary
They’re kind of flooding themselves with some exposure. And so you got money and you could spend it, you could blow it, but you’re you’re just hanging on to it. That’s kind of cool.

00:16:17:13 – 00:16:32:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
That’s why I can spend it. And if I spend it as soon as like the users, they have just a little bit more. But when I get, you know, so there’s a little fluff there. So if I can somebody needs something, I can buy it right? Or get out of a tight situation or however you want to say it, all of that.

00:16:32:04 – 00:16:35:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
But at the end of the day, there better be a thousand.

00:16:35:21 – 00:16:36:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I can say no.

00:16:37:05 – 00:16:42:03
Brad Singletary
I need I’m going to I’m going to steal that trick. No, I got to tell my wife, when I get on the air, open up the safe for me.

00:16:42:03 – 00:16:54:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
We got to get 1000. Just keep it on Venmo. I don’t know how to use Venmo, but my wife sure does. So she knows how to talk to that Amazon guide to ensure comes around a lot. It’s guy I.

00:16:54:18 – 00:16:58:18
Brad Singletary
Thought my wife for a while was having had something going with the UPS driver, you know, like.

00:16:59:07 – 00:17:00:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
All right, I hear you.

00:17:00:29 – 00:17:18:15
Brad Singletary
We didn’t welcome Jimmy Durban. I just want to he’s been on the show before. You guys know him and but he is also another stellar guy. He just wanted to be here tonight. Drove up in a pretty special looking Harley Davidson that was pretty sick man. That was impressive. What do you what are you driving out there?

00:17:19:11 – 00:17:28:10
Jimmy Durbin
It’s a Harley Roadster. Oh, 2019. And it’s full disclosure. And being transparent, it actually belongs to my middle son.

00:17:28:24 – 00:17:31:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I can’t take credit for that.

00:17:31:17 – 00:17:35:19
Jimmy Durbin
Mine’s in 94 heritage soft tail OK or of a cruiser bike.

00:17:35:19 – 00:17:37:17
Brad Singletary
You told me how to get somewhere quick and so you.

00:17:37:22 – 00:17:39:15
Jimmy Durbin
Yeah I had to get here fast keep it.

00:17:39:15 – 00:17:40:06
Brad Singletary
Warm for you.

00:17:40:25 – 00:18:08:16
Jimmy Durbin
I think also just to kind of give the audience a feeling when I when I came in and met Butch you could feel the love I could feel the love speak for myself kind face um sharply dressed and then when you read the intro birthday’s February 2nd mine’s a third oh. Very well meant to you and Elvis as well.

00:18:08:16 – 00:18:37:28
Jimmy Durbin
Right. And so I, I’ve appreciated what you said because I think that’s how men can help men is these little nuggets, these things that there’s this wisdom that you gained along your own path and the things that stuck. And so I really appreciated you sharing those two things because that’s that’s what I want to learn from you. Right?

00:18:37:28 – 00:19:13:01
Jimmy Durbin
Is how have you continued to keep your heart upfront? Right. Oftentimes you talk about having a a soft front and a hard back. No concept from Bernie Brown of being vulnerable as a man, being tender, authentic, transparent, and also having a hard back and being a protector and a leader and a fighter and a mentor for these young men that you talked about, for these young lawyers that you talked about, for your family and your your son in law’s.

00:19:13:01 – 00:19:24:19
Jimmy Durbin
And so what else would you say to your younger self as you gain this wisdom now sitting as a 56 year old man in this chair.

00:19:25:04 – 00:19:51:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, I went through something in 1995 that I haven’t shared with a lot of people, but I was just out of law school starting salary was $36,000 a year, wasn’t necessarily horrible in 1995, but I had $65,000 with a student debt. Wow. And I had three children and my marriage fell apart and so I ended up living with my parents.

00:19:53:01 – 00:20:20:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
My wife’s trying to decide you know, is he going to come home? I’m trying to decide what I’m doing, where I’m going. And I remember just laying up at my parents one night staring at the ceiling thinking to myself, I don’t know where I’m going. I just am so discouraged, so down. And this old guy knocks on my door and he happened to be my LDS bishop.

00:20:22:19 – 00:20:38:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he said, May I speak with you for a few minutes? I said, Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t say no. He’s a nice guy. Even though I had anger in my soul, I just couldn’t say no to him. And he came in and talked to him and he said, But what are your plans? I said, I don’t know.

00:20:38:27 – 00:21:04:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
I guess I guess I’ll get divorced and figure out what to do from here. He said, I guess that’s a plan. He said, How about the plan of going home and learning to love your wife and have her learn to love you? And I said, I don’t know how that’s possible, but he left that evening and it again, it just stuck in my mind.

00:21:04:24 – 00:21:43:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I, I went home and this, this little bishop, about six foot six tall, he would walk over to my house every night after and he had 11 children on a school teacher salary. So big time hero right away he would walk to my house every night and he would just walk the neighborhood with me every night. And he would talk to me from everything about physical intimacy with my wife and how I could improve that to emotional intimacy, to dating, to communication.

00:21:43:17 – 00:22:00:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
The things that I guess I just never learned at home. And I guess why would I have learned them? I mean, my parents had a great relationship, but we didn’t talk about these things. And, you know, my wife and I we always just we always talk about the first five years of our marriage being. We don’t talk about that.

00:22:01:16 – 00:22:20:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
And then we talk about from 1995 on and it’s just been the most magnificent marriage. I mean it’s really, it has been but again what I garnered from that was this concept of one on one time.

00:22:21:28 – 00:22:23:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Well, you know.

00:22:23:18 – 00:22:36:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
He gave me his precious resource of time and so I try to do the same. I, you know, I’m not great at it, but if I see a need, I recognize just a simple text message, probably not enough.

00:22:37:21 – 00:22:54:17
Brad Singletary
You know, he was kind of in this automatic role of mentorship or stewardship with you. But in. So did he push for that contact, you know, or were you, you know, asking him to, hey, come take a walk or you said he just would show up? Yeah. I mean, that’s cool. So I think every man needs a mentor.

00:22:54:17 – 00:23:31:11
Brad Singletary
Every man needs a bigger tribe of, you know, six, eight, whatever number of people. But to have one person at a critical time in your life care for you. He’s busy. He’s got 11 kids at home and he’s leading the congregation and he’s got you that he’s kind of singled out as someone that’s worthy of his time evening, you know, this special time to come and walk and talk with you that is that’s one of the coolest images that have ever been, you know, painted on this show to me is you walking with a man who’s talking about all of the deep things, all of the things that maybe you wouldn’t want to talk about

00:23:31:11 – 00:23:43:08
Brad Singletary
with anyone else. You made it comfortable somehow. You made it comfortable to do that. What what was it about him that made you feel like you could comfortably talk about those personal subjects?

00:23:43:15 – 00:24:11:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, I think just his warmth. I mean, I just felt like I was walking with God in some respects. Right. I knew that he was a confidant. I knew he had wisdom. I mean, even as a I was 28 years old, so still pretty young. Right. But I could just see, you know, just his love for me and I then fast forward what, 20 years?

00:24:11:08 – 00:24:38:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he called me to be a bishop in the LDS Church, last thing I ever expected. But the concepts that he taught me I was able to put into play as people would come to me with marital issues and other issues. And I thought, man, God, I mean I that was a really painful process. In 1995 I got to know God better, I got to know my wife better, I got to know this bishop better.

00:24:39:10 – 00:25:03:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
But then as I fast forward, I think to myself and God, God could see these things play out. You know, he could see in the future that if I listen to this guy, good things would probably happen in my life, you know, if I didn’t, if I went out on my own and did my own thing, then I might pay a different price and have a harder time having a relationship with God, at least for a season.

00:25:03:27 – 00:25:06:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
So it was a painful process, but it was wonderful.

00:25:08:06 – 00:25:45:20
Jimmy Durbin
Brad just put out an episode about reframing and in his thoughts just from a very raw, beautiful authentic place of the Alpha Quorum and what that is and what type of man in his heart that is and how it should project in the world so I appreciate you relating that story because I oftentimes think, as you just indicated, we really don’t talk about before 1995, 1996, right.

00:25:45:20 – 00:26:26:04
Jimmy Durbin
We, we get this idea that well we’ve had this pain and it’s healed and so it’s behind us. But in the end as a result of that we kind of create a silo and those individual silos that happen to us as men, then we don’t allow the healing process and the learning process and the grace that happens. And so would you mind just sharing like what the struggle was like, what, how did you get to that mental place, emotional place, spiritual place like because I’m sure I can relate to it.

00:26:26:04 – 00:26:44:17
Jimmy Durbin
I, I’ve been to that place. There might be someone listening who’s there and I kind of believe that we’re all we’ve either gone through, we’re going through, or we will yet go through that place that you were back in. So do you mind sharing that?

00:26:44:21 – 00:27:13:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
No, not at all. One of the things that he asked me to do was go to the church and listen to a talk from a guy named Jeffrey Ah, Holland that was coming to town. Well, I had so much anger and frustration in my life at that time. I think just being poor for so long, going through law school, I mean, when my wife and I were in law school, I had $1,000 a month scholarship or rent was 550 a month.

00:27:14:20 – 00:27:27:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
We paid our tithing. So now we’re down to 900 a month and we never went on welfare. Well, you know, you live that way for a number of years of just, you know, impoverished, if you.

00:27:27:26 – 00:27:28:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
Were making.

00:27:28:15 – 00:27:28:20
Brad Singletary
It.

00:27:28:20 – 00:27:49:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
Barely by me, you know, and we always made it you know, by the grace of God, we always made it. But, you know, there’s frustrations and I’m spending, you know, 12 and 14 hours a day studying and there’s little kids at the house and all those things are, you know, they’re just going to lead to a tough situation if one doesn’t get it squared up.

00:27:49:20 – 00:28:03:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I didn’t, I didn’t have it squared up. I felt my job was to work and get through law school and make money as fast as I could. So I took that same attitude into the profession that first, and then I got humbled.

00:28:05:05 – 00:28:06:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
Right. But anyways.

00:28:06:14 – 00:28:24:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Jeffrey Holland was coming to town and this old guy, Roy Ford, says just come with me, just come with me. I said, I don’t want to go. But again, I didn’t want to say no to him right there. I just loved him. You love somebody. You don’t want to say no. So I remember I remember sitting in the back of the building that night.

00:28:24:01 – 00:28:46:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
And Jeff, our Jeffrey, our Holland stands up at the pulpit. And this is what he says. I’ll never forget it. He says, If any of you are feeling dark tonight like there’s no light and that you might never feel light again, I just want you to do one thing for me tonight. Well, soon as he started down that path, you could imagine my right eye open to what?

00:28:46:17 – 00:29:17:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
All my left eye open to and then his counsel was so simple, but I’ve used it many times in life. He said, Just hold on, just hold on. The light will return. And it did then, and it has numerous times since. So that’s my encouragement to people. When you’re in a dark spot, try to just hold on. You’ll notice that God will put certain people in your life at that time.

00:29:18:07 – 00:29:25:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
Even if they’re uncomfortable to you a little bit. They might be those those angels that.

00:29:25:27 – 00:29:27:10
Jimmy Durbin
Especially if they’re uncomfortable.

00:29:27:10 – 00:29:34:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
To express you. Yes, especially if they are. So, you know. Yeah.

00:29:35:25 – 00:29:56:22
Brad Singletary
You said something earlier about what the guy said to you when you were in. He said, you know, what is your plan? He said, What about the plan to go and learn to love your wife? And that’s an interesting thought about learning to love, because I guess maybe when we’re younger, we just think, you know, you either love someone or you don’t.

00:29:56:22 – 00:30:17:28
Brad Singletary
And but this is like you have to learn how to love. What did that mean to you back then and what were the kinds of things you needed to learn? Like you you obviously were interested in her. You married her. You have a family. You know, you’re she’s a beautiful to this day, a beautiful woman. I mean, but you had to learn how to love what does that mean?

00:30:19:22 – 00:30:48:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
That’s a great question. And maybe a little more background would be helpful. So I met my wife when when I was at BYU, we fell in love immediately was just instant infatuation. And so we got engaged two weeks later and married three months later. Now, it’s public knowledge now, but it but it wasn’t for years. But my wife had had a child when she was in her senior year of high school.

00:30:49:04 – 00:31:12:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
And this was a by the way, she told me about it immediately when we got we’re starting to get serious and of course, as a young guy, I’m like, oh, no problem. Well, she had given the child up for adoption. And back then, adoptions were were very private. Right. So I guess I always felt this little bit of maybe jealousy.

00:31:12:13 – 00:31:40:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Maybe maybe she didn’t love me as much as she loved her boyfriend. Who she had the child with. So, you know, just inadequacies on my part. Right. And being vulnerable is the right word. But I should add that for many, many years, until we were able to by the grace of God, three years ago, we were able to make contact with this.

00:31:40:17 – 00:31:40:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wow.

00:31:41:09 – 00:31:41:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
And.

00:31:42:01 – 00:32:13:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
Oh, he’s just wonderful. It’s everything we ever dreamed of. That’s maybe a story for another day. But anyways, so I just always felt like, you know, kind of second fiddle just, you know, and I realized one thing this bishop did is he said, you know, the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to fly that guy down from Oregon because he and Paula, your wife, they never had really a chance to to separate.

00:32:14:03 – 00:32:33:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
And then, by the way, there was nothing going on with Paula and her ex boyfriend for for all those years were married, nothing like that at all. But my bishop could tell that there was something holding me and Paula from progressing and one of the it was just a really out of the box thinking, right? Yeah.

00:32:33:03 – 00:32:33:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
We’re going to we’re going to.

00:32:33:28 – 00:32:42:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Fly down her ex-boyfriend so they can walk up and down the strip and say goodbye to each other because they never got a chance to years ago because Paula’s parents.

00:32:42:01 – 00:32:46:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Broke them up. Wow. What a risky move. Yeah. I’m like the heck you are.

00:32:49:11 – 00:32:51:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he did it. He did it, OK.

00:32:51:20 – 00:33:21:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
And it was wonderful because for some reason, it released my heart and and I was able to say, yeah, she she does love me and everything’s OK. And this guy had gone on and married and has a wonderful family and like I said, just a few years ago, by the grace of God in that app, 24 in me, we were able to finally, after all these years, find this this child and man just awesome.

00:33:21:00 – 00:33:21:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wow.

00:33:21:12 – 00:33:22:15
Brad Singletary
That’s super awesome.

00:33:23:26 – 00:33:50:12
Jimmy Durbin
So when Brad asked that question, the way I heard it, the way I heard him ask, that is I choose who I love. And I heard that in your story. And then I love my choice. Right. And so how else in your years of marriage with your sweetheart and under what circumstances and situations have you had to learn to continue to love your choice?

00:33:50:21 – 00:33:52:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, it’s great.

00:33:54:01 – 00:34:10:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
One thing my mom said to my wife and I often in our first number of years of marriage is you’re not dating. You got to keep dating. You got to get out of town a couple of days. I’ll watch the kids. But again, in my stubborn self, you know, I just need to work. I need.

00:34:10:20 – 00:34:11:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
To. Right.

00:34:12:23 – 00:34:38:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Well, you know, after 1995, I took that counsel and so we began to date every Friday night. We don’t miss now I was on a campout or something. We’d go out Saturday night. We then began to take a trip once a year, twice a year for a week away from the kids. But the most important thing, getting back to that old bishop, he said every day do an act of kindness for her every day.

00:34:39:06 – 00:34:46:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he said the same thing to her every day, every day, every day. He said every day. So you know how many candy.

00:34:46:07 – 00:34:50:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
Bars I’ve woken up over the years? She still thinks my greatest joy in life.

00:34:50:26 – 00:34:54:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
Is a is a Hershey’s it’s not Hershey’s a CS.

00:34:54:07 – 00:34:55:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
Sucker. It is a.

00:34:55:24 – 00:34:57:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
Second greatest joy life.

00:34:57:03 – 00:35:03:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
But so I found a lot of those. In the meantime, I’m I watched a lot of dishes.

00:35:03:04 – 00:35:12:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
And, you know, just, hey, I’m going to the kitchen. I’m just you want water? Do you want anything? You know, common sense things, right? We love those. We serve. We we know the contents.

00:35:12:12 – 00:35:13:00
Jimmy Durbin
Of little things.

00:35:13:00 – 00:35:18:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, but but if we’re not serving someone, we it’s really difficult to love them.

00:35:19:01 – 00:35:42:17
Brad Singletary
I notice you’ve done that so much. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t know if it’s a good place to transition, but you’ve done a lot of service throughout your life. So you talked about the charity thing in the beginning. You know, sharing that with young attorneys. You know, if you’re if you’re not paying anything to charity, you may not be ready to start your own practice that represents an attitude of giving and sacrifice.

00:35:42:28 – 00:36:01:29
Brad Singletary
Talk about some of the other things you’ve done. You mentioned camping trip. Was that like scouting type stuff? You’ve done some you’ve done some volunteer teaching. You’ve done the most recently. I think I’ve seen you do a stuff at a like a homeless shelter maybe, or talk about some service opportunities that you’ve taken advantage of.

00:36:02:10 – 00:36:22:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, I’m pretty involved with the Las Vegas rescue mission. You know, I didn’t know anything about the Las Vegas rescue mission. And here I was serving as a bishop in the LDS Church, and somebody called me one day and said, Hey, we’ve got this 18 year old boy here from Colorado. Can you meet with him? Yeah, try to help.

00:36:22:22 – 00:36:43:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
I meet with him and I realize I don’t know what to do. With this boy. You, the way nice kid moved in from Colorado was was not LDS. He just showed up to Vegas wanted to start a new life. So I called my wife. That’s always a good place to start, honey. I got this kid in my office.

00:36:43:04 – 00:36:51:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
I don’t know what to do with him. I mean, what am I going to do? Give him a food order or something? I can’t move them into our house because we’ve got daughters at home still. And she said.

00:36:51:24 – 00:36:52:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
We’ll call.

00:36:53:00 – 00:37:15:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
Heather Gibbons. I said, Oh, I know Heather Gibbons. So I called Heather. And Heather just is well connected in Las Vegas as far as just knowing where the charities are, knowing what resources are available. I said, Heather, can you come see me? She shot right over to my office. She said, OK, but here’s what you do. You take this boy to the Las Vegas rescue mission.

00:37:15:27 – 00:37:39:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
They will put him up for a couple of weeks, no questions asked. They’ll feed him. And during the day, he’s got to leave the premises, go out, try to get a job. Come back at night. I said, Well, I don’t know much about this place, but I like this a lot. So I started to learn about it. And, you know, every night at 5:00 as you may know, they they open their doors and they’ll give anybody a meal, no question asked.

00:37:40:23 – 00:38:15:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
I love that. But I tell you what I love more is that they want to help people with addiction. And somehow, some way, they hope that out of the four and 500 people that they feed one meal a day or two, that a few may come forward and say, I don’t want to fight the addiction anymore. And the first thing they ask for unless something is changed, which I don’t think it has, is they’ll take you in for long term addiction, recovery but you got to give them your phone number.

00:38:16:10 – 00:38:38:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
You got to get rid of your sources. And if you’re not ready to give up the phone, you’re not ready to get help yet. I just fell in love with the organization, so I began to contribute more resources and time to do that organization. There’s many more out there. You know, it’s finding a charitable organization that you connect with shouldn’t be too.

00:38:38:01 – 00:38:39:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Difficult for most of us.

00:38:39:12 – 00:38:48:29
Brad Singletary
So why do you do it? I mean, why you’re busy. You’ve got a law practice, you’ve got five children and grandchildren. You got, I’m guessing, what, season tickets to the Golden Knights?

00:38:48:29 – 00:38:57:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
I do I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s part of that. A motorcycle Corvette. You got to got wife. You got everything.

00:38:57:13 – 00:39:03:05
Brad Singletary
Like, what makes you want to go to the Las Vegas rescue or whatever places to serve? What makes you do that?

00:39:04:07 – 00:39:29:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, I guess I’ve never thought about it that much. It’s just maybe it’s innate, maybe it’s natural. Or maybe it’s because, I mean, how many people have just stepped out over the years and either lended me a hand or I remember one time we were driving back from Sacramento excuse me, from Las Vegas to Sacramento. The year was 1993.

00:39:30:17 – 00:39:55:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
So picture this. I got my wife, I’ve got two kids in the back in this rag down old Hyundai, and we’re heading up to 95 to go through Reno on Memorial Day to get back to Sacramento, to go to law school. And I break down in the sweltering heat this was before cell phones. I look at Paula and I said, what do we do now?

00:39:56:04 – 00:40:24:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Pray. Well, we’ll pray. So we prayed right then this guy pulls up behind me and he’s an older fella. So I got out of the car and I met him and he said it looks like you got a problem. I said, I do, I, I blew the timing belt. He said, and I said, why did you stop? He said, I was in my home up in Yerington, Nevada, up the road a number of miles.

00:40:24:24 – 00:40:31:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I looked to my wife and I said, hey, we need to go. We need to go right now. She’s like, Where are we going? He says, I don’t know, but we’re going somewhere.

00:40:33:27 – 00:40:50:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
And anyways, to make a long story short, we piled my wife, myself, and those two kids into their car. You know, they could have just taken this to Reno and dumped us at a hotel for the evening, but they didn’t do that. They took us all the way to Sacramento that night.

00:40:50:26 – 00:40:51:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wow.

00:40:52:07 – 00:41:11:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so you know, when you have people over the years that reach out to you and just help a little bit, it’s just not hard to give back, right? I feel like I hold my. All right. I owe my whole life try in some way to give back for all the blessings I have. I mean, I just I’ve just been blessed.

00:41:11:22 – 00:41:11:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
I mean.

00:41:12:07 – 00:41:45:21
Brad Singletary
That’s why you’re here when I say, you know what? What makes you do it? You said I didn’t even think of it. I mean, you’re sacrificing. I know that you’re donating. You know, money, time, resources, every, you know, volunteering over there. And I’ve also seen you re try to recruit people. So we’re friends on Facebook. And I’ve seen this, so, hey, they need, you know, we need an extra server or two tonight, you know, like you’re arranging these things and you’re not only going there for yourself, but you’re bringing some folks along with you, like that kind of leadership toward something so selfless.

00:41:45:21 – 00:41:50:05
Brad Singletary
I mean, that’s just, you know, coolest kind of man. Yeah.

00:41:50:20 – 00:42:12:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Well, I like I really like somebody’ll tell me, hey, listen, I’m having problems with my teenage kid. He’s just he or she’s just they’re becoming abstinent or they’re just they’re becoming secluded and they don’t want to help anybody. And they’re back talking. I said, all right, I’ll pick you up at 345. You and the kid so I’ll bring him in the kid to the shelter.

00:42:13:12 – 00:42:29:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
And after a night at the shelter, that kid those eyes are opened up a little bit about about real life. So I think that’s a nice way kind of to give back to you, I guess. Not that I’m, you know, I’m just trying to help a kid. Yeah. Who? Right.

00:42:30:08 – 00:42:39:04
Brad Singletary
Some perspective. He gets to serve. He gets to contribute, but he also takes away something from that, too. Absolutely. And I’m sure you do, too. I’m sure there’s some.

00:42:39:10 – 00:42:40:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
Every time.

00:42:40:07 – 00:42:52:10
Brad Singletary
No gratitude and just some. And I can just picture you’re you’re sitting there, you know, with a prayer in your heart for these people. And, you know, you’re you’re trying to extend love and positive energy while you’re there.

00:42:52:20 – 00:43:13:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. Can you imagine just one person out of the 500 saying, tonight, I’m going to start over and all of a sudden they go through their the program over there and then they go get educated or get into a profession. And ten years down the road, they’re taking people to the rescue mission to get help. Right. That’s the that’s the payback, right?

00:43:13:14 – 00:43:14:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. Pay it forward.

00:43:14:09 – 00:43:15:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. You pay for it.

00:43:15:11 – 00:43:15:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yes.

00:43:16:02 – 00:43:36:28
Brad Singletary
So how did you learn to be a man? You’ve got all these great qualities. I just I really think that there are some men out there and you you guys seem you who are listening. You know what I’m talking about? You just see people in every aspect of their life just seems seriously good. No one’s perfect, but you can just tell that they are bringing a lot to the table.

00:43:36:28 – 00:43:39:28
Brad Singletary
And I think you do that. But who taught you how to be a man?

00:43:40:28 – 00:43:44:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, I don’t know. I think I’m still learning. That’s why they always had me work.

00:43:44:17 – 00:43:46:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
With the youth, because I’m still a kid.

00:43:46:01 – 00:43:48:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
My wife tells me I’m a kid. I don’t really understand it.

00:43:48:22 – 00:43:49:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
She said she raised.

00:43:50:01 – 00:43:51:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
Seven kids, but I’m only.

00:43:51:11 – 00:43:52:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
Counting six.

00:43:53:04 – 00:44:02:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I don’t know. You know, I really do still feel like I’m learning. I do. I mean, I was listening to a grade. I like Joel Osteen. Oh, yeah. People don’t, you know.

00:44:02:26 – 00:44:05:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
But I like him a lot. I like him, man. You know.

00:44:05:10 – 00:44:33:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
He’s positive and just I was just listening to one of his talks the other day about learning like I never get too old that learn. So he went on for 35 minutes about things we can do to learn you know, he said that every year most people spend 300 hours in an automobile. He said, do you realize in 300 hours how much you can learn if you listen to it, talk or listen to something to.

00:44:33:07 – 00:44:34:21
Brad Singletary
Make your video book or something.

00:44:34:21 – 00:44:35:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
To teach us if you’re.

00:44:35:24 – 00:44:53:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
Into sales, how to become a better salesperson and if you’re a lawyer, how to be a writer, you can go on and on, you know, if you’re working in the church as a pastor or whatever. But the concept was, don’t ever quit learning. And so I think I’m still working on this being a man thing. I still like a little bit of risk.

00:44:53:15 – 00:45:15:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
I still like a joke a lot. Sometimes it go over well, sometimes I don’t. But I think it started out with my dad. You know, my dad, he was he’s a big time hero to me. He was raised here in Las Vegas in I guess he was born in 1937 and so other four or 5000 people in Las Vegas then.

00:45:16:08 – 00:45:35:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
And he comes from a pretty troubled background. He was in and out of facilities and he fell in love with my mom when he’s about 14 or 15 years old. But my mom came from a good background and my grandpa had enough of my dad. So my grandpa had the sheriff take my dad on the edge of Las Vegas and say don’t come back.

00:45:36:10 – 00:45:37:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
So my dad.

00:45:38:02 – 00:46:00:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
So my dad ends up working in orange farms in Visalia, California, and then he went to San Francisco. In the meantime, my mom had been married, had a child, and my dad got word that she was going through a divorce. So he hauled back to Vegas and he saw her at one of these like little happy days diners in the fifties.

00:46:00:06 – 00:46:23:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Right. And he her nickname was Shorty. He said, Shorty, you know, we’ve been apart a long time. Don’t you think we should just get married now? And she said, yes. And he became a man. He became a man. And I never saw my parents fight. They never made much money, but they always worked together. They did everything together.

00:46:23:21 – 00:46:41:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
They were just buddies. And, you know, some of his techniques were kind of fun. Like he told us one time, us boys, I don’t think I’m going to ask you again to make your beds he never got angry. Well, we didn’t make our bed. The next day, our beds were on top. The roof.

00:46:42:18 – 00:46:42:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
There was all.

00:46:42:29 – 00:46:46:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Kinds of things on top there. If I’m 56 St.Louis bicycle.

00:46:46:09 – 00:46:54:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
Parts shoes, it didn’t get put away. A bed sits on the roof, but he never got angry.

00:46:55:14 – 00:47:07:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
He anger was not in his makeup, so he would discipline, but never with anger. Oh, my gosh. That sounds like Christ to me. I’m a teacher better way, but I’m not going to get angry. Angry about it.

00:47:08:27 – 00:47:12:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
I love that. Yeah, I’m going to try that. Yeah. No.

00:47:13:22 – 00:47:16:27
Brad Singletary
I’ll have the h.o.h. Getting after me. Like, what is all that stuff.

00:47:16:27 – 00:47:24:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
On your roof? Well, they got tile roofs now, and so i’m not sure how that would go. We had our rocks on our roof. What makes.

00:47:24:15 – 00:47:25:28
Jimmy Durbin
You think it won’t be your stuff on the.

00:47:26:04 – 00:47:26:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
Shelf?

00:47:28:24 – 00:47:32:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
I’d be careful with that one. Right. There might be.

00:47:32:24 – 00:47:51:08
Brad Singletary
So your dad was a great example of that. You said he became a man. That’s a process. That’s a like, you know, that’s it’s not just we don’t age into it. Something has to happen to us. I think. I mean, so what what did you what else did you see from him or other men in your life that demonstrated how you become a man?

00:47:52:01 – 00:47:52:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, I think a.

00:47:52:19 – 00:48:13:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
Lot of hard work and that was one thing is that he he had a tremendous work ethic and and, you know, that concept of like, attract like. Right. It’s just it’s a beautiful, eternal concept. Usually you’re going to attract people that are like you in some ways. Otherwise you just you just bounce off each other, right? And so I got to watch his friends too.

00:48:13:08 – 00:48:41:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
And all of them were just young, trying different businesses, you know, staying out of trouble. My mom and dad both knew they were alcoholics and one day my dad missed work. So he was very functional. But one day he missed work and he never drank again. That was it. And I thought to myself, here’s a guy that comes from nothing that has every excuse in the world because he was abused as a kid.

00:48:41:25 – 00:49:07:20
Donald “Butch” Williams
All these things to not be a man. And he decided he’s going to be a man. He’s going to be a good husband and a good father, and he’s going to work hard and be loyal. And he was all of those things he never had to say. And I watched it right. You know, when we’d go work at the track as a nine year old and an eight year old kid on a Saturday morning, pulling out of bed at four in the morning to get in the back of the truck, to ride.

00:49:07:28 – 00:49:08:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
To to go.

00:49:08:23 – 00:49:17:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
Under the Charleston underpass and on to the I-15, out to Craig Road in the back of the truck. When it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. He didn’t have to say anything. It’s just we’re.

00:49:17:29 – 00:49:20:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Going to work. Let’s go. Right.

00:49:21:05 – 00:49:45:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I’m just blessed. Blessed to have people like that in my life all the way through. My first my first boss coming out of law school, a guy named Norm Kurtzman. Wonderful. Wonderful man, fought in World War Two. He was a boxer he was so ethical. And I remember asking him one day, hey, how many billable hours do you want from me?

00:49:46:03 – 00:49:46:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Right.

00:49:46:12 – 00:49:49:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Lawyers, billable hours. Well, he was a little bit.

00:49:49:06 – 00:49:54:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
Cross-Eyed and he was cantankerous. And so he’s kind of looking at me, but he’s looking over there.

00:49:54:24 – 00:50:00:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, we’ve had these conversations before right I was scared of him. He says.

00:50:00:26 – 00:50:20:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
Don’t you ever talk to me about billable hours. One day in my life. You give me your hours every week. And then I’m going to give the client the fair hours. Clients are not paying for your education. So you go on and you work and you learn to do the product right incorrectly. Don’t you worry about billable hours.

00:50:21:04 – 00:50:33:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yes, sir. Well, again, that concept concept sunk in and so when I hired my son in law and we had the same conversation about how many billable hours a week, because that’s what.

00:50:33:21 – 00:50:35:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
The law firms are telling the.

00:50:35:21 – 00:50:37:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
Well, yeah, I said, don’t.

00:50:37:04 – 00:50:49:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
You ever talk to me about those billable hours. You give your hours to me. And then I would look at the hours. Why did it take so many hours to do that project? I’m dying over here. But after a.

00:50:49:16 – 00:50:57:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
Few years, they get efficient and then they can keep their billable hours and it doesn’t matter. Right. But what a pure concept. Yes. That’s also ethical, right? Yeah.

00:50:58:07 – 00:51:19:11
Jimmy Durbin
So it’s nice to see that that those things weren’t lost on you, that you have paid it forward. That it allows you to be the man that you are and have the heart that you have and and be transparent and share this vulnerable story about the struggle you had in 95 with your wife and that all those things added up.

00:51:20:25 – 00:51:23:25
Jimmy Durbin
So thank you for that. Appreciate it.

00:51:24:13 – 00:51:45:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, no, it’s wonderful. But like I say, you asked the question, well, you know, becoming a man and and I answered it. I was kind of serious that I’m still becoming a man. So I got COVID in December of 20, 20. And it wasn’t the nice version about day 12. I said, I don’t know if I’m going to make it through this or not.

00:51:46:06 – 00:51:51:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
I never went to the hospital, but my oxygen kept getting closer to that 90. Right. That 90.

00:51:51:13 – 00:51:51:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
Mark.

00:51:52:20 – 00:52:10:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I was so miserable. Anyways, I did overcome it. And by the grace of God, I guess I got to stay on earth for a while. Longer, but a couple months after that, I began to have what you professionals refer to, and I didn’t know what they were then. Ruminating thoughts.

00:52:11:10 – 00:52:12:01
Brad Singletary
Rumination.

00:52:12:01 – 00:52:33:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
You’re you’re going to lose everything you everything you’ve worked for, you’re going to lose. You’re going to lose it. And they would not all of a sudden I was up all night sweating, heart palpitations. My wife has suffered from some anxiety and depression in her life. And one day I woke up again. This was only a year ago now and everything was dark.

00:52:34:16 – 00:52:49:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
For the first time in my life, I I’ve always been an optimist other than the 1995 heartache I’ve just been this optimist. You know, everything is going to be OK for everybody else, including myself. And then it hit me. Depression and anxiety.

00:52:50:05 – 00:52:50:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wow.

00:52:50:27 – 00:53:14:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so we got me into counseling and because she said, OK, that’s it, we’re done messing with it again. Power over. Good woman. We’re done with this. You’re going to be OK. But you have to you got to listen to me. I’ll listen to you, honey, because right now I feel so low. And she said, OK, so she got me into counseling, and that was helping and but it wasn’t enough.

00:53:15:17 – 00:53:38:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so finally she got me into a psychiatrist and they put me on Lexapro, and it took about two weeks. And all of a sudden, things started to clear up. And I was like, OK, my gosh, I feel OK. Again, this is I mean, I was just so grateful. So I been open about it. I have not.

00:53:38:29 – 00:53:39:28
Brad Singletary
That is great.

00:53:40:04 – 00:53:47:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
And just telling people this, you can turn this around. Sometimes we can’t, right? Sometimes.

00:53:47:19 – 00:53:59:01
Brad Singletary
Well, but so that’s good to know because I didn’t know that. But I think I might have known that you had COVID, but you were you were just been the epitome of energy. You’ve been one of those guys. I mean, you’re a runner right? You’re still running.

00:53:59:01 – 00:53:59:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
I am still running.

00:53:59:28 – 00:54:05:08
Brad Singletary
You’re a runner. I mean, you’ve done like marathons and. Right. You’ve done all that. You’re like a real runner.

00:54:06:05 – 00:54:12:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
I’m serious. Like, I’m like me and if I run, I’ve got to go to the bathroom, you know, if somebody is chasing me. Yes. Yes.

00:54:13:26 – 00:54:18:12
Brad Singletary
So you so health and energy and that kind of thing. But to talk about.

00:54:18:18 – 00:54:18:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Total.

00:54:18:28 – 00:54:27:28
Brad Singletary
Crashing after this COVID thing, having some thoughts that maybe seem to be out of control, get help. Listen to your wife, start counseling and medication and. Yeah.

00:54:29:02 – 00:54:31:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
That’s why you’re here. Well, she told me, she.

00:54:31:05 – 00:54:42:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
Said, but you never do medication without counseling, ever. Well, how would I have known something like that? Other than that, she’d been down the path. I’m like, OK, I’m listening to you. I’m all ears.

00:54:42:23 – 00:54:58:20
Brad Singletary
Was there any was there any hesitation or I mean, were you it was just that bad that you would do anything bad? What about a year ago? What about in the past? Would you have been the type to I mean, I think it’s clearly that you’re pretty humble, but you also have you got a smart aleck in there.

00:54:58:20 – 00:55:13:28
Brad Singletary
You know, you’ve got you got some you got you have a rowdy sense about you, too, you know? So, like, did that ever have would you always have been OK with that or is there some old school part of you is like, I don’t need that you had to fight through.

00:55:14:14 – 00:55:47:20
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, not at all. And I don’t say that with any false sense of humility, but it was so miserable. I always thought I understood kind of what depression was or anxiety was because I’ve read about it, lived with it, saw other family members with it, but I didn’t understand it until it hit and I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody except for the lessons learned blessings come from it.

00:55:47:28 – 00:56:14:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
And one of the blessings is through counseling. I learned, you know, how to meditate more, how to get myself more in the present. I mean, I just remember going to dinner and looking at my cell phone 25 times thinking there’s an important email that’s going to come or an important text message. And now I go to dinner and I put my phone to the side and I look at my wife’s hair or I say, I can stay totally in this conversation now without thinking of anything else.

00:56:14:06 – 00:56:37:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
But being sitting right here with two wonderful men in the city of Henderson, Nevada, with lights on and air conditioning blowing, counting my blessings and I could never do that before, even though I always felt like I was kind of a humble guy. I could never stay completely present and so I remember talking to the counselor a while back.

00:56:37:24 – 00:56:49:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
He said, What do you worry about? I said, I don’t ever want to feel like I felt a year ago any good counselor just like yourself, Brad. He said, But would you be open to it?

00:56:51:02 – 00:57:07:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
I said, I guess I would be, because right now I’m going to live in the moment. I’m going to live right now. I’m going to consider the lease of the field. I’m not going to take a purse or scrape with me anymore. Yes, I’ll save for the future. Yes, I’ll still plan for the, you know, the things that I can control.

00:57:09:17 – 00:57:10:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
But I’m going to live today.

00:57:11:26 – 00:57:23:22
Brad Singletary
That’s another one of those things that I’ve just been so impressed with, as I’ve kind of just watched you from a distance here the last few years. I mean, you see things like, you know, you’re dancing that at the hockey games.

00:57:24:15 – 00:57:25:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Like a fool.

00:57:25:25 – 00:57:27:26
Brad Singletary
And when I say like a fool, I mean, there is.

00:57:27:26 – 00:57:30:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
Nothing foolish about it. That’s a man who’s alive.

00:57:30:28 – 00:57:34:29
Brad Singletary
You’re not afraid of what you look like. You don’t have much rhythm. Why are you kind of that’s pretty.

00:57:34:29 – 00:57:38:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
Good, you know, rhythm. But that’s not the point you’re feeling.

00:57:38:04 – 00:57:47:11
Brad Singletary
The music, you’re feeling the environment or or there’ll be these like, I forget what you call them, but these are little like, you know, donuts with the granddaughters day or whatever.

00:57:47:11 – 00:57:49:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
And that’s every Friday. Every Friday.

00:57:49:12 – 00:57:53:24
Brad Singletary
OK, so you got some little rituals where the grandkids come over for mourning or what happened?

00:57:53:24 – 00:57:58:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
No, no, no. I get up, I get my exercise in. I hit the donut shop and then I show up at their house.

00:57:58:17 – 00:57:59:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
You go to their house, I.

00:57:59:16 – 00:58:00:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
Go to their house.

00:58:00:23 – 00:58:01:18
Brad Singletary
Like, here’s some.

00:58:01:23 – 00:58:04:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Here’s some big old fries. You go.

00:58:04:09 – 00:58:11:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, that’s right. Yes. And then we we actually send donuts to the ones that live in California because we can’t be there. Right, all the time having delivered there.

00:58:11:17 – 00:58:14:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
So we haven’t delivered. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a pretty.

00:58:14:27 – 00:58:18:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
Cheap way to say, Hey, Grandpa and Grandma, I was thinking about you, right?

00:58:18:20 – 00:58:20:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
I guess so. Yeah. No, we have a good time.

00:58:20:27 – 00:58:41:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, I think ever since I was young, I think it was my dad, too, probably. But trying to make somebody smile, right? You know? I mean, it matters. Maybe that’s the only time they’re going to smile the whole day. Maybe for a week. It’s the only little bit of joy they’ve had. You just never know what is going on in somebody else’s life.

00:58:41:11 – 00:58:51:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so I think that’s kind of an innate gift. I really do. Right? You know, maybe sometimes it’s not a gift at all. Sometimes it goes too far. And I got to answer to the boss, if you know what I mean.

00:58:51:25 – 00:58:57:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
I’m not talking to God. I’m talking to the other boss. My eternal boss. So sometimes I go.

00:58:57:25 – 00:59:00:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
Too far and I kind of back it off a little.

00:59:00:21 – 00:59:05:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Bit. But it’s OK. She’s she’s learned she’s had.

00:59:05:12 – 00:59:06:08
Brad Singletary
To learn how to love.

00:59:06:08 – 00:59:07:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
You, too. Oh, yeah.

00:59:08:08 – 00:59:09:07
Jimmy Durbin
Yeah. That part of you.

00:59:09:17 – 00:59:10:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, right. Yeah.

00:59:10:12 – 00:59:52:18
Jimmy Durbin
Grab nice and talk about you know, today I call myself Jimmy but for 42 years prior to that, it was Jim. And then when I got into recovery realizing the individual, the part of me that crosses the line, that pushes it too far is my ego, is my pride, and it’s being driven because of maybe that my feeling or I’m feeling insecure insignificant or that I don’t matter, I did something wrong or I’m not in control.

00:59:53:23 – 01:00:13:20
Jimmy Durbin
And so I’m trying to my ego’s trying to make up. Jim’s trying to drive the car, so to speak. And I’m just curious as to what you’ve noticed, because I think that’s the other thing about being a man is being able to talk about our weaknesses, about being able to kind of own that piece of it so that we can then apologize, like you said.

01:00:13:20 – 01:00:32:00
Jimmy Durbin
And, and of course. Correct, right. In that part of awareness and being mindfulness. And so how does that show up in your life? How does that manifest when when that ego, when that pride kind of kicks in? And what’s your process for OK, being aware of that and then of course, correcting.

01:00:32:11 – 01:00:32:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah.

01:00:33:28 – 01:00:58:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
In in my business, right. A lawyer, there’s just so much of that and I’m guilty of it as the next person. But I think the man upstairs has been kind to me in that I usually know when I go too far. I remember I remember years ago I had a case with this guy and it was just getting more and more contentious, more and more contentious.

01:00:59:15 – 01:01:05:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
And finally I said something I shouldn’t have said. So he turned me into the Nevada State Bar.

01:01:05:18 – 01:01:07:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
And wrote a letter.

01:01:07:02 – 01:01:10:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
On me, said, Mr. Williams told me to go f myself.

01:01:13:07 – 01:01:21:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I made a call. I got a call from bar counsel. Is this puts Williams? Yes, sir. Now, when bar counsel calls you, you’re.

01:01:21:13 – 01:01:21:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Shaking.

01:01:22:02 – 01:01:26:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
Right did you tell that lawyer to go F himself?

01:01:26:25 – 01:01:27:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yes, I did.

01:01:28:17 – 01:01:35:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
Can you not do that anymore? No, I won’t. And I’ve never done it again. But things have heated up over the years.

01:01:35:11 – 01:02:03:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Another situation that I had with a lawyer that I just love and respect, but it just, you know, our clients are going at it so heavy. And so we start sometimes take upon ourselves the personality of our clients, and it just went too far. And so I just thought about it. After a contentious conversation, shut my door, got on my knees in my office, prayed to God that, you know, hey, listen, we’re only fighting about money here or something, right?

01:02:03:13 – 01:02:25:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
In the big scheme of things. And the impression was send him a cookie basket to his firm right now. So I asked Robin, my assistant, would you send a cookie basket over there? And that healed it just like that one cookie basket. And we were healed and we were fine. We’ve had probably 40 cases with our respective firms over the years, and they’ve all resolved, you know, in a friendly fashion.

01:02:25:29 – 01:02:46:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I think just like you said, we all all of us have egos and they’re going to come through sometimes. And if we just have certain rituals in our lives and things we can we can keep some humility, right? It’s not always going to happen, but we know when it’s gone too far. We know when the red flag comes up, right?

01:02:46:14 – 01:03:05:24
Jimmy Durbin
Yeah. And like, I appreciate that word, ritual finding a series of actions that I can take every day regardless of how I feel. And I to me, that plugs into why you do the service and why you pay for it and why you talk to these men. It’s just having this ritual to keep the ego in check.

01:03:06:14 – 01:03:35:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. And everybody has their own way. I mean, I get up every morning and I’ll read scriptures for 20, 30 minutes and then I’ll exercise and then I’ll get going for the day. And if someone says, well you have to be up at 430 tomorrow, then I guess I get it. I’m getting a bit 3:00 because I’m concerned about ever changing that that, that thing, if you will, for lack of a better word, that I feel has carried me in life.

01:03:35:29 – 01:03:44:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, academically I really, really struggled in high school I graduated deal with Las Vegas High School with a 2.2 GPA.

01:03:44:28 – 01:03:46:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I never thought this guy.

01:03:46:14 – 01:04:03:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
Was going to college. Right. It was I just, you know, I just couldn’t sit in a room without and focus on an academic things very well. And then I went on that mission well, when I was on that mission, they had this little prize you would get if you memorized a hundred scriptures.

01:04:04:15 – 01:04:06:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
Well, I really had to work hard at that.

01:04:06:25 – 01:04:20:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
But I did it took me six months or something, but I memorized every one of them. Well, again, you’re in your younger years, right? And you’re thinking maybe I could go to college but when I came home, by the grace of.

01:04:20:23 – 01:04:28:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
God, you and Elvie would let anybody and even me. It was a long time ago. It’s not that way anymore. I’m sure but they let me.

01:04:28:06 – 01:04:29:05
Brad Singletary
I’ve been a fan for.

01:04:29:05 – 01:04:31:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
Life ever since. Oh, you bet I am.

01:04:31:27 – 01:04:53:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I signed up for college again. Never thought. And none of my family member had ever got family members had ever gone to college that all of a sudden I said, Hey, listen, it’s taking you three and four times to understand complicated concepts when the guy next to you gets it. The first time I recognized that very early in my life.

01:04:54:05 – 01:05:15:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I said, you better learn persistence so I’ve made my mind up very early. You might beat me, you might beat me in the courtroom, you might beat me in a debate. But I’m going to work harder because I know I have to work two or three times harder than you to be able to stay with you in this arena.

01:05:16:21 – 01:05:32:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so I think, again, by the gift of God, you learn your weaknesses. If you if you ask them and if you spend some time at them and then you just work through them, just you know, if brains, natural brains is not your not your thing, well then persistence better be.

01:05:33:23 – 01:05:55:27
Brad Singletary
And that’s so great. You’re just the openness to like, OK, I may have this deficiency in some area, but I still want and deserve and believe that I can reach these other accomplishments. I just have to work harder. I mean, that is one of those traits that’s that’s some of the, you know, traditional masculinity that seems to be missing today is just, oh, OK.

01:05:56:04 – 01:06:15:01
Brad Singletary
Well, guess it means I need to work hard. I guess I need to push harder and I can do this. I just have to it’s going to require more from me and I love that you that you’re saying this right now. Like, OK, I, you know, didn’t even do well in high school. Now you’re an attorney, now you’re balling.

01:06:15:01 – 01:06:29:07
Brad Singletary
Now because of hard work and persistence and that discipline. So you’re talking about a little bit of a morning ritual. You have some you talked about reading scripture exercise. Is that running pretty much mostly or.

01:06:29:07 – 01:06:47:25
Donald “Butch” Williams
I’ll run four or five days a week and go to the gym and lift weights a couple of days a week. Just something to get the blood flow right. It’s getting harder as you get older, but I don’t miss very often. Even this morning before church, I walked six miles. I just I just need to be out breathing air and thinking and focusing.

01:06:47:25 – 01:07:00:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
I usually listen to a talk or something positive or listen to good music. Nothing too crazy on the you know, I might be the only person in the gym that’s listening to a, you know.

01:07:00:05 – 01:07:06:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
A spiritual, spiritual thought or spiritual music. Because I’m trying to get my spirit.

01:07:06:17 – 01:07:08:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
Tuned up before the world takes.

01:07:08:21 – 01:07:10:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
Over at about 8:00 because the.

01:07:10:28 – 01:07:12:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
World’s coming right.

01:07:12:06 – 01:07:12:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
Every day.

01:07:13:10 – 01:07:30:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so I’m just trying to tune upright, and some people don’t have to do that. Mike, my wife, is a very simple faith. I wish I could be more like her. Like her faith in her hope is just so she doesn’t need an hour to do that every day. Well, guess what I do or my ego will take over.

01:07:31:16 – 01:07:33:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I just have to know where you are right now.

01:07:33:16 – 01:07:34:28
Jimmy Durbin
Great awareness. Yeah.

01:07:35:16 – 01:07:55:07
Brad Singletary
I have a couple more questions for you, but one is what major error do you see men making? You’ve been around a lot of guys. You’ve been around a lot of people professionally as a leader. And you talk about as a as a bishop. I know you’ve done some things with the young people in your church. You’ve had like lots of opportunities to serve.

01:07:55:07 – 01:08:18:04
Brad Singletary
Just you’ve been a community man. I mean, you’ve been all around the place. What do you see guys messing up on what? I mean, if our average listener is a 40 year old father, let’s say younger father, you know, maybe has a couple of kids working fairly functional, but what kinds of things do you think average guys are missing out on or not doing well?

01:08:18:04 – 01:08:23:04
Brad Singletary
Not paying enough attention to mistakes they’re making see any patterns.

01:08:25:05 – 01:08:28:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
I think one is just trying to learn to listen.

01:08:29:06 – 01:08:31:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
It brings me back.

01:08:31:09 – 01:08:35:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
To the Bishop days. A couple would come in and be at each other’s throats.

01:08:35:21 – 01:08:39:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, it’s his fault. It’s her fault, it’s his fault, it’s her fault.

01:08:40:00 – 01:08:44:09
Donald “Butch” Williams
And at first I thought I had answers that, well, I this is.

01:08:44:09 – 01:08:49:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
A real easy fix, you know, maybe, maybe you guys should do this. Maybe you should do that. That didn’t seem.

01:08:49:23 – 01:09:04:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
To work very well. And then it hit me one day. Just let him have it out a little bit. Just listen. Just slow down and listen. And once I did that, they would go, boom.

01:09:04:07 – 01:09:15:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
Boom, boom. And then they would look at me like I was a miracle worker. Hey, that was great. Oh, my high five. I didn’t say anything. I just listened so.

01:09:16:27 – 01:09:47:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, it’s the best thing in life. Well, that’s that’s an exaggeration, but one of the wonderful things in life is maybe you are the smartest person in the room, but nobody has to know about it. You know, when you walk into a room and you’re humble and you’re listening, then people want to talk to you, then you know what the issues are, whether it be your wife or your child or somebody you’re trying to mentor, you don’t know the issues.

01:09:47:05 – 01:10:09:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
If you begin to talk to you quick, you just got to listen. And guess what? Listening takes time so that’s to me, it’s I know it sounds so simple, but it’s not simple. But if but if we and I I’m still working on this. Trust me, if we’ll work on the concept of listening, we’re probably going to go pretty far in life.

01:10:11:00 – 01:10:23:23
Brad Singletary
What keeps guys from listening and why don’t they? You’re saying it takes some time to do that and maybe patience, but what else? What other obstacles do men have keep them? Why don’t we listen very well?

01:10:23:23 – 01:10:24:20
Jimmy Durbin
Can I jump in here?

01:10:24:20 – 01:10:26:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, yeah, jump in. Yeah.

01:10:27:15 – 01:10:51:06
Jimmy Durbin
Feedback. I got quite a bit in my late twenties and thirties. Jimmy, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care because it was always about me. I always wanted to impress you. I was coming from a place of, you know, negative beliefs about myself or whatever the situation was. Or I had to prove myself.

01:10:51:06 – 01:11:17:21
Jimmy Durbin
And so I had to be the smart, you know, whatever that was. And so I wasn’t listening. I was talking about me and I just kept hearing this feedback from different people in my life at different times of, like, just shut up and lead with your heart. And I think when I first walked in that same space with you, that’s what hit me was here’s a guy who I can see his heart.

01:11:17:21 – 01:11:24:24
Jimmy Durbin
I can see the love in your eyes. I can it radiates in your face, this countenance, the glow, despite the fact that you’re bald.

01:11:25:03 – 01:11:45:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
You ready? And you see the glow there. You see, I had like five years left at the front and I lifted off and my wife’s like, word your hair go. I said, Honey, somebody took a picture of my bald head two weeks ago and showed it to me. So I just finished the job yeah. I think it’d stay in that way now, but I don’t know.

01:11:45:03 – 01:11:46:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
Looks good. It looks good.

01:11:47:26 – 01:11:49:00
Brad Singletary
Kind of like it myself.

01:11:49:00 – 01:11:52:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah, it’s not bad. But. No, I know.

01:11:52:12 – 01:12:16:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
It’s it. It takes time. It’s a it’s a skill. I’m still working on it sometimes. But you met. You answered your own question. You might not know that, knowing that you did, because we’re moving along, but you said two things. Time and patience to be a listener. It’s going to take some time time’s only measured in men, so we have a limited amount of it.

01:12:16:02 – 01:12:20:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
So that leads into the next thing. A 40 year old guy with three kids at home.

01:12:20:20 – 01:12:21:28
Donald “Butch” Williams
He don’t have a lot of time.

01:12:21:28 – 01:12:35:23
Donald “Butch” Williams
In his mind. He’s like, I got to go here. I got this, I got that, and impatience. And most of us are not born with that one, right? So we have to learn it over time. So time and patience.

01:12:36:09 – 01:12:57:01
Brad Singletary
I think, too, that if you believe that there is something valuable coming from the other person, I mean, to listen also requires that you respect who’s talking and you respect who’s who’s out there. Even if it’s your children, they’ll tell you important things if you just listen. I remember listening to a an audio book or, I don’t know, some influencer of some kind.

01:12:57:01 – 01:13:07:18
Brad Singletary
And he said he was talking about like your wife complaining at you or something. And he said, you want that data, that’s information you want. Don’t act like don’t shut yourself down.

01:13:07:28 – 01:13:08:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
Hear it.

01:13:09:17 – 01:13:16:01
Brad Singletary
Hear it, and then you can do something and then you can minimize it by taking action and listen. But you have to listen first.

01:13:16:08 – 01:13:43:05
Jimmy Durbin
And I think what comes with that time and patience, at least for me, was the realization that no matter who was in front of me, there is value. They have something to offer. But because of my ego and my pride and my judgment, you don’t have you don’t have anything offer. And that is that is the ego. That is my pride of of believing that and instilling that.

01:13:43:05 – 01:13:44:28
Jimmy Durbin
And so I don’t have to listen.

01:13:45:23 – 01:14:09:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
That is so good. Before I came here, I was at a different meeting, and this church leader stood up and he said, I want to show you this picture, and it’s a picture of Christ. And he’s getting ready to heal someone, but you can’t see the person he’s healing. He goes, Do you notice that kids and he’s talking to a group of kids, even this 56 year old kid.

01:14:09:16 – 01:14:43:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I’m like, I know where he’s going with this. He says, Christ can’t see the person when you go serve someone you never want to think that they are less than you or anyone else. In other words, you want to be on the same plane. Everybody’s got a story, and it’s usually a pretty good story. And when you take time to listen to anyone, you’re going to probably get some nuggets that are going to bless your life.

01:14:43:20 – 01:14:55:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
I mean, I’m sitting there listening to you guys today and I’m just thinking, man, I’m just learning from these guys. They think they know I’m learning. I’m sitting here learning from these guys, you know.

01:14:56:05 – 01:14:57:11
Jimmy Durbin
Which is why men need men.

01:14:57:20 – 01:14:59:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
That’s why I’m in me then.

01:14:59:11 – 01:15:17:10
Brad Singletary
That’s right. That is exactly why. So tell me something that you’re still trying to figure out about life. You know, you’re saying you’re 56, you’re still growing, still learning to be a man, but literally something that you want to still maybe begin or still round off in your life.

01:15:17:24 – 01:15:51:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, I saw that question is a precursor. What am I what am I still trying to learn so this is going to sound a little generic, but but I do mean it. I’m still trying to learn more about the nature of God. I’m still trying to understand how you know, his compassion can be there for even a guy like me raised in downtown Las Vegas, maybe I’m still trying to get better at my profession.

01:15:52:06 – 01:16:15:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
I mean, I’ve thought about this concept of retiring and, you know, these types of things and just doesn’t feel right. It just feels like I can still learn and maybe be of some benefit to my clients. If. Right, if they want me to do something that maybe I can help them with it, you know? So I think it’s just this concept of ever learning ever learning whatever’s around us.

01:16:16:11 – 01:16:20:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
I don’t know what tomorrow brings. So we’ll see.

01:16:20:13 – 01:16:45:24
Brad Singletary
So what is the most alpha attribute about you? And we just I just did a podcast before this one that I’m kind of trying to define that because I hate the way the world looks at the alpha male that’s such an ugly caricature. But Alpha being the highest part of you, you know, the best, purest, most, you know, the most, the strongest brightest piece inside you.

01:16:45:24 – 01:16:54:16
Brad Singletary
What is, what is that for you? Something that you can really be proud of and own as a talent or gift. What’s special about you? What is your superpower?

01:16:55:24 – 01:16:56:18
Donald “Butch” Williams
I don’t know.

01:16:57:14 – 01:16:58:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
I saw that.

01:16:58:05 – 01:17:00:27
Donald “Butch” Williams
Question, too, and I wanted to punch that thing down the.

01:17:00:27 – 01:17:03:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
Field. You know, but then I.

01:17:03:22 – 01:17:09:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
When I painted it, I felt like our punter in high school one time, he put it and it went right off his foot into the stands, to the right.

01:17:10:05 – 01:17:13:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I never seen 180 degree punt before. And we.

01:17:13:19 – 01:17:16:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
Saw it. I’m not going to mention his name, Jim Capper.

01:17:16:02 – 01:17:19:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
But if you’re out there, our best punt die or saw in my life.

01:17:20:04 – 01:17:44:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
I don’t you know, this is really a tough one, right? Because it makes you talk about maybe equality. You you have figured out about yourself over the years that maybe you could pass on. Right? I mean, really isn’t that kind of the core of the question I would say just keep working at it. Whatever you’re doing, just keep working at it.

01:17:45:19 – 01:18:10:22
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, if you’re in a tough spot right now, tomorrow’s probably going to get brighter. And if it’s not tomorrow, it’s going to be the next day if you keep working at it. Right. I remember an old, old guy named Jeff NGO Bush gave a little talk one time and the first reminder that he gave himself every day is, I am a child of God.

01:18:11:13 – 01:18:18:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
I am a child of God. My mom used to say to me, hey, Butchie, you know, I don’t like you sometimes.

01:18:18:19 – 01:18:22:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
But I do love you. There’s some days I don’t like you, but I love you.

01:18:23:08 – 01:18:44:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
And so I look at God that way. You know, there’s some days he’s not going to like the decisions I make because they’re my decisions and they’re prideful and they’re, you know, but I know he loves me. And I as I jump into scriptures every day or listen to a talker, I’m reminding you of that love. I, I, I see that love in the eyes of all those at the Las Vegas rescue mission.

01:18:45:12 – 01:18:56:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
I remember walking to church one day as a bishop. This guy was walking right to I’d always walk to church because it was a one mile walk to my church from my house. And with having six kids at home, it gave me a chance just to.

01:18:56:16 – 01:18:58:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
Clear my mind a little bit and go try to be.

01:18:58:19 – 01:19:22:15
Donald “Butch” Williams
A bishop right in. This guy is walking at me and he’s big guy. He’s burly, and he’s tattooed from head to toe, and I’ve never felt like I was a real judgmental person, but I’ve judged and I’ve judged wrongfully, you know, that guy’s walking that me. All of a sudden I went from his tattooed body into his eyes and I could just see the light of Christ in this guy.

01:19:22:27 – 01:19:45:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
And I said, That guy right there is your brother. And things changed that. How I viewed people from that day forward, I just, you know, nobody’s less than you. Nobody’s better than you. If you’re going to compare yourself with someone, if you really find it necessary to compare yourself with someone, go ahead and compare yourself to God. You’ll get yourself humble because you know, he creates worlds without end.

01:19:46:00 – 01:19:46:16
Donald “Butch” Williams
And you’re.

01:19:46:16 – 01:20:01:13
Donald “Butch” Williams
Sitting here just trying to make $10, keep a little money in your pocket to pay the bills next month. Right? Right. So I mean, just keep working, right? Do the best you can, stay humble and keep working. Things will work out. They do.

01:20:02:13 – 01:20:30:01
Brad Singletary
You just have so many stellar qualities, man. When I someone asked me before what what I thought it meant to to be an alpha. And I read this book recently called King Warrior, Magician, Lover and to me, that kind of this book is about archetypes and that we all possess these different archetypes. So that of King Now that would be like the good leader, you know, a benevolent king he’s giving to his kingdom and whatever he’s king.

01:20:30:01 – 01:20:55:07
Brad Singletary
That’s the leadership area. And then warrior is the guy who’s fighting for the good, you know, fighting for the right thing. That’s your profession. You know, maybe you’re you’re a warrior that way. You’re a warrior. We’re talking about that. The Las Vegas rescue mission, helping, helping in good causes. You’ve been involved with a lot of those things. Magician means you have specialized knowledge, not only that, you have specialized knowledge, but that you share it.

01:20:55:13 – 01:21:16:16
Brad Singletary
So unlike a street magician, this kind of magician is someone who would teach their tricks. And you’re doing that with your son in law who’s in your practice and all the young attorneys that you’ve been able to influence. And then lover lover is a guy that’s showing up with donuts at the grandkids every Friday or, you know, dancing in the stands at the the Golden Knights hockey games.

01:21:17:09 – 01:21:35:26
Brad Singletary
You you just you just a grateful person. I’ve just seen some amazing things from you and I really appreciate you being here to to to join with this man. And I and I hope that we can, you know, I don’t know, continue our friendship. I guess we haven’t been super close, but I’ve known you for probably 15 years.

01:21:35:26 – 01:21:57:20
Brad Singletary
And a guy came to me one time to work with me. And you were called as his leader. You were in that period and he said, I believe that God knows who I am because this person was, you know, he’s my pastor, he’s my bishop. And he is a person that I believe is going to help me in my life.

01:21:57:20 – 01:22:16:13
Brad Singletary
And and I remember hearing just how you two this guy was kind of like the man who influenced you way back and that you treated him that way. Maybe you had him in your home and all these kinds of things. And it’s just it’s just great to know that there are men like you around. You’ve got these great polarities.

01:22:16:13 – 01:22:54:21
Brad Singletary
So on one hand, you know, you’re running every morning. You’ve got you’ve drive, you ride a Harley, you have a black Corvette. And yet, you know, your biggest goal is to continue to learn to understand God. Like you don’t see those kinds of things in people, you know, motorcycle, motocross rider back in the day, marathoner Harley Davidson, you know, Corvette driver and highly spiritual talking about tenderness, you know, the love and people that kind of that is the most brilliant, beautiful stuff that I’ve ever seen in guys.

01:22:54:21 – 01:23:05:02
Brad Singletary
And you just you really represent that a lot. So thank you for who you are and for being willing to come and share with us a little bit here. Do they Jimmy, do you have any closing thoughts or questions or.

01:23:05:02 – 01:23:28:13
Jimmy Durbin
No, I just Butch here. I appreciate thank you for showing up in the world you know, thank you for the difference that you make. I still think you punted that that question. You know, I think your superpower, you love your love. You found a way to fall in love with yourself and it it shows up. And so thank you.

01:23:29:01 – 01:23:54:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
Man. You’re welcome. And I and I’m never going to forget the term it was worth driving out here for a lot of reasons. First you see again, Brad. But second of all, I’m never going to forget that terminology. A hard back and a soft front that that just that’s the the the new saying for this week just hard back sometimes your back’s got to be hard that world’s coming at you but you can keep your front soft.

01:23:54:16 – 01:23:55:05
Donald “Butch” Williams
I love it.

01:23:55:05 – 01:23:56:09
Jimmy Durbin
Yeah. Keep your heart open.

01:23:56:10 – 01:23:58:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Oh, so good. So good.

01:23:58:25 – 01:24:00:21
Brad Singletary
I’m just soft everywhere I’m soft in.

01:24:02:11 – 01:24:10:21
Donald “Butch” Williams
I need to harden up a little bit like these two guys. A little myself. Great. Soft. Yeah. What’s that joke from the eighties?

01:24:11:14 – 01:24:13:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
We used to tell each other. You get Dunlap Disease?

01:24:13:24 – 01:24:24:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
Yeah. You know what’s dumb about disease? When you’re barely done, that’s over your male rash. I don’t know where they get these things. The eighties were a great time to be alive. Hey, would.

01:24:25:25 – 01:24:36:01
Brad Singletary
You guys, we just want to highlight some of the best men that we can get our hands on. And I think we’ve scored big time here tonight. This Lou Williams, I meant to ask you how to why the name Butch.

01:24:36:09 – 01:24:41:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
You know, you wonder if you’re going. That’s Alpha from day one when they start calling you. But you’re a.

01:24:41:07 – 01:24:42:21
Brad Singletary
Total stud when they do that.

01:24:43:04 – 01:24:45:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
So that is a story.

01:24:47:16 – 01:24:47:24
Donald “Butch” Williams
When.

01:24:47:24 – 01:25:05:04
Donald “Butch” Williams
I was born, my mom wanted to name me Don because she had an Uncle Don. That was just a talk about a humble guy. I remember him as a kid. He’d come into our home and he he was so humble. Adam Langley was his name. Well, I had another Uncle Don, and.

01:25:06:02 – 01:25:10:14
Donald “Butch” Williams
He was a little rougher. So my my mom my mom.

01:25:10:14 – 01:25:11:29
Donald “Butch” Williams
Wanted to name me after the.

01:25:12:20 – 01:25:15:11
Donald “Butch” Williams
More humble Don. Good. Don. Yeah, yeah.

01:25:15:29 – 01:25:21:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
And my dad said, Well, I’ll tell you how we’re going to solve this problem. I’m just going to call him Butch.

01:25:22:03 – 01:25:25:01
Donald “Butch” Williams
And that was it. I thought I had it.

01:25:25:01 – 01:25:25:26
Donald “Butch” Williams
Shaken in high.

01:25:25:26 – 01:25:27:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
School. Nope.

01:25:28:19 – 01:25:29:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
College? Nope.

01:25:30:24 – 01:25:36:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
Law school? No. Got into the professional world. A few clients call me.

01:25:36:03 – 01:25:37:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
Don, and it’s still Butch.

01:25:37:06 – 01:25:39:07
Donald “Butch” Williams
So I imagine that’s.

01:25:39:07 – 01:25:40:10
Donald “Butch” Williams
Will be on my tombstone.

01:25:40:10 – 01:25:42:03
Donald “Butch” Williams
When I get creamy.

01:25:42:03 – 01:25:46:02
Donald “Butch” Williams
Cremate it off the coast of Hawaii. I heard you can do that for 300 bucks.

01:25:46:02 – 01:25:50:06
Donald “Butch” Williams
I said, Why not? You know, I like the North Shore. Throw you.

01:25:50:06 – 01:25:51:08
Brad Singletary
In a volcano or what.

01:25:51:08 – 01:26:01:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Do they do? It’s a Neptune society. 300 bucks. You know, they sizzle you and put you out on the ocean, man. That way, when I’m resurrected, man, I’m in one cool area. So I’ve got.

01:26:01:17 – 01:26:04:08
Donald “Butch” Williams
That in my trust right now. But my wife says I have to change it.

01:26:06:16 – 01:26:09:04
Jimmy Durbin
Tell her the new thing now is composting. So you just want to be.

01:26:09:18 – 01:26:10:00
Donald “Butch” Williams
Stuffed.

01:26:11:17 – 01:26:12:09
Brad Singletary
Into a tree.

01:26:12:09 – 01:26:13:27
Jimmy Durbin
And then spread the dirt all over.

01:26:15:14 – 01:26:20:17
Donald “Butch” Williams
Oh, that’s a little stuff going on there. Yes, it is. And it’s great to.

01:26:20:17 – 01:26:21:19
Donald “Butch” Williams
Be with you guys. Thank you.

01:26:21:19 – 01:26:22:13
Brad Singletary
Thank you, man.

01:26:22:13 – 01:26:24:02
Jimmy Durbin
Thanks for coming in, you guys.

01:26:24:08 – 01:26:27:10
Brad Singletary
Until next time, no excuses, Alpha.

01:26:29:14 – 01:26:34:16
Speaker 3
Gentlemen, you are the Alpha and this is the Alpha Quorum.

01:26:40:11 – 01:26:41:12
Donald “Butch” Williams
There it is.

 

Click your podcast platform below or listen to the embedded file on this page.

088: LISTEN TO LEARN – Alpha Discernment Part Two with Rockford Wright, MD

088: LISTEN TO LEARN – Alpha Discernment Part Two with Rockford Wright, MD

088: LISTEN TO LEARN – Alpha Discernment Part Two with Rockford Wright, MD

The level of wisdom shared in this episode may have never been reached on this show and this will be difficult to ever be out-smarted. Rockford Wright, MD returns to the show to continue the discussion on discernment.

 

He shares some extremely valuable insights about how a man can make more sense of the ordinary struggles in life through healthy expectations, rational interpretations of triggering stressors, how empathy can shape our judgments, and why listening should be focused on learning and understanding what is being shared. Dr. Wright teaches about habits and understanding what drives behavior, which realizations will help us be certain all of the elements are in place before we attempt to influence change with others or ourselves.

 

Profoundly helpful and very useful information in this episode. Be sure to check out episode 87 which is part one of this two-episode series.

 

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

 

00:00:00:02 – 00:00:06:18
Rockford Wright, MD
Is this kid really crying? More than 97.5% of kids? Probably not.

00:00:06:27 – 00:00:09:12
Mike Olsen
How important is this relationship?

00:00:09:19 – 00:00:38:20
Rockford Wright, MD
What should I be measuring? We need to be self-reflective about our own insecurities, what they are, and how they influence the way that we interpret. We are really going to be rational. Then we need to be intentional about it. If we can take a moment to pause and ponder, then we will give ourselves a chance to not just emotion easily react, but to actually go through the numbering, calculating, reasoning reckoning that takes more than one second sometimes.

00:00:38:29 – 00:00:58:01
Brad Singletary
If the high priest in your head is in charge, if the king is in charge, you’re a man of discernment and you can see things as they are. You can read between the lines. You can read the room. You can understand that what people bring to you is not always what’s really happening. What they say is and what they mean.

00:01:07:07 – 00:01:28:11
Speaker 4
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong. You are a leader. You are a force for good gentlemen. You are the Alpha, and this is the Alpha Quorum.

00:01:31:25 – 00:01:44:02
Mike Olsen
Rocky has has a TV face and a radio voice combo because he’s easy to understand. He enunciates and he kind of like as a Superman kind of look and face.

00:01:44:18 – 00:02:07:12
Brad Singletary
We’re back in the studio here with Dr. Rocky Wright, who is joining us on the conversation about discernment. In the last episode, we talked about self-awareness and looking at ourselves, being aware of our own biases, being aware of our tendencies and habits of perception. We talked about how to sort through a never ending barrage of opinions and things that are laid out as fact.

00:02:08:04 – 00:02:36:25
Brad Singletary
We talked about how to decide what is right and true, how we can make good decisions that way. I want to talk about expectations and how we can keep realistic expected versions of ourselves and other people. When I work with people regarding their mood and their relationships, one of the common things that’s behind almost every negative emotion and every negative reaction that we have is an unrealistic expectation.

00:02:37:28 – 00:03:05:13
Brad Singletary
It’s it’s the demands that we have about ourselves and other people. You know, I must be respected. I must never be questioned. I must be on time that a guy who developed some of this cognitive behavioral stuff used the word masturbation to to describe the musts that we have about life. So we’re just basically walking around demanding for things to go our way and then we get upset when they don’t.

00:03:06:26 – 00:03:33:20
Brad Singletary
Our kids aren’t being obedient, just everyday frustrations. But how can we keep healthy and realistic expectations of ourselves and other people rocky as a leader and a father, a medical professional, there must be some standards. I mean, in the last episode, we talked about good and bad, and the mindfulness argument is that there is no good or bad.

00:03:33:20 – 00:03:56:19
Brad Singletary
Just just observe, just just sit in your life and realize that there’s nothing right nor wrong, nothing good nor bad. It just is what it is. But that doesn’t work when you’re dealing with critical medical situations, surgeries and so forth. How do you maintain standards and also have realistic expectations.

00:03:58:20 – 00:04:28:21
Rockford Wright, MD
So let me get to the medicine stuff in just a little bit and start with expectations. In a setting that began for me even before medicine, and that was marriage. So the short answer about how do you manage expectations or whatever it might be given by my wife, who when she was asked how she stayed happily married to me for six years, she unapologetically said, I lowered my expectations So we joke about it, but it’s not all false.

00:04:28:21 – 00:05:04:04
Rockford Wright, MD
And in this setting, my favorite equation and I bring this up often is satisfaction equals experience minus expectation. Hey, I’ll say it again. Satisfaction equals experience. Minus expectation. And we’re all looking for increased satisfaction, right? So so if our experience is a ten out of ten, but our expectation was a zero out of ten then our overall satisfaction is a ten.

00:05:04:14 – 00:05:39:07
Rockford Wright, MD
Right? And we were surprised and it was awesome. Satisfaction is a ten. Now, let’s say that our our experience was a three out of ten, but our expectation was a five. Well, then our satisfaction is a -2. Hmm. So this applies in others to simplification of a very calm plex thing, which is experience of life. But really, satisfaction does equal experience minus expectation.

00:05:39:26 – 00:06:09:04
Rockford Wright, MD
So a key component of that is setting realistic expectations. So when we’re thinking about expectations for others, we’ll start with that, expectations for others. And I’ll start in the operating room because this is an environment that I’ve kind of grown up in. And I say I’ve grown up and because I have worked in the operating room as a cleaner, someone who cleaned operating rooms, I was an operating nursing operating room nursing assistant.

00:06:09:21 – 00:06:44:13
Rockford Wright, MD
I who someone who helped the nurses in the operating room. I was an anesthesia tech who was a helper of anesthesiologists in the operating room. And now I’m an anesthesiologist, I’m a physician. I’m a leader in the operating room. So this one room, which is a interaction of multiple people, I have seen this this room from lots of positions on the pseudo hierarchy of medicine and being able to see this situation from multiple, multiple perspectives, in part because I have lived them, I have been there.

00:06:44:22 – 00:07:18:02
Rockford Wright, MD
It allows me to empathize with other people because I have been there. If we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes, if we can empathize, then we can much more appropriately set realistic and reasonable expectations. So that’s a key component to be able to we can’t always play the role of everyone in a situation, right? We can’t always do that, but we can try and learn about each of the people in that situation.

00:07:19:04 – 00:07:28:02
Rockford Wright, MD
And so a little phrase that I like is listening to learn, not just listening for our turn to talk who.

00:07:28:04 – 00:07:28:20
Mike Olsen
I like that.

00:07:29:00 – 00:07:58:23
Rockford Wright, MD
So I love to learn. I am a lifelong learner. I have a personal mission statement. I like alliteration, too. So lifelong learning, that’s that’s something that resonates with me. And so when we’re interacting with people, we need to listen to learn. That will help us understand and them and their perspective. That will help us empathize with them. And then that will help us thereby set reasonable expectations for them.

00:07:59:22 – 00:08:30:04
Rockford Wright, MD
All right. So another point about how I approach setting expectations for others is really considering what should I be measuring in terms of their production, in terms of their behavior, in terms of the outcome Well, actually, the question is, should it be the outcome? Should that be what we are measuring? And so if you were to ask my I have two boys and I didn’t tell your boys, if you were to ask them what does dad say all the time or what does he say most?

00:08:30:15 – 00:09:00:21
Rockford Wright, MD
And their answer would be attitude and effort. Attitude and effort. And because that’s what I say to them all the time, it turns out that I am less concerned about the outcome most of the time, which turns out they can’t always control everything about that. But I am much more concerned about what they can control. And what they can control is their attitude and their effort So I say that all the time.

00:09:00:25 – 00:09:09:24
Rockford Wright, MD
Attitude and effort, attitude and effort. That’s what I’m trying to measure now. It’s difficult to measure that because there aren’t the same objective measures. They’re there.

00:09:10:00 – 00:09:11:08
Mike Olsen
They’re moving targets.

00:09:11:14 – 00:09:35:00
Rockford Wright, MD
They they can be, yeah. And they’re very subjective in their evaluation. But for me, at least while I might be, it might be more difficult or subjective to put a number score on, you know, on their attitude and effort. As I invest time in that relationship, I can get a sense for to some degree what their actual attitude and what their actual effort were.

00:09:35:05 – 00:10:02:04
Rockford Wright, MD
Maybe not exact, but if that’s what I care about, then I think I’m going to find a lot more satisfaction and also set expectations much more appropriately for them. So and then the next thing and I’m going to share a couple examples here is we have to communicate clearly our expectations and then be willing to negotiate them. So spousal relationships, our relationships.

00:10:02:06 – 00:10:03:01
Brad Singletary
Oh, here we go.

00:10:03:02 – 00:10:03:14
Rockford Wright, MD
Those are.

00:10:03:23 – 00:10:04:10
Brad Singletary
Real drum.

00:10:04:11 – 00:10:30:14
Rockford Wright, MD
Roll Exactly. So, yeah, these are these are big deals and most of us don’t do them great. Or at least we sometimes feel like we don’t. Or we’re sometimes told by our spouses that we don’t. So whatever the case. But it’s an incredibly important relationship. It’s incredibly important part and aspect of our life. So an example of managing expectations are setting realistic expectations.

00:10:30:24 – 00:10:50:11
Rockford Wright, MD
So my wife likes it when I go shopping with her. And what she will oftentimes say is, will you go to the store with me? And I’m a little bit selfish with my time because I don’t have a lot of it and I’m probably not totally unique like our time is incredibly precious and valuable. And, you know, I have I have weeks where I work 103 hours in a week.

00:10:50:11 – 00:11:04:06
Rockford Wright, MD
And so the free time that I have, that’s not every week, but sometimes I do. So this free time is sometimes precious and not that my wife is not precious, but she she would ask me to go to a store with her and what.

00:11:04:06 – 00:11:16:25
Mike Olsen
Kind of store are we talking in about obligatory shopping? Like, got to go to the grocery store or I would like to look for this. That’s a choice and I would like you to come along with me. Is that the kind of shopping we’re talking about?

00:11:17:00 – 00:11:33:02
Rockford Wright, MD
This is a place all of everything else is kind of generic thing because that happens so, so, so, so often to us. So all the different and we’re getting better at it. But this is, this is the issue that I had. So we would see you say, oh, come to the store with me. And in my mind, my expectation is one store, and I am.

00:11:33:10 – 00:11:35:12
Mike Olsen
So on board with this. I hear you.

00:11:35:12 – 00:11:59:07
Rockford Wright, MD
Keep going and committed to one store and then one store becomes two stores that then become three stores and then becomes four stores and I feel betrayed because you’ve been tricked. I’ve been dragging me along. And again, my time is precious, she said. A store. And so I expected my my expectation was one store. And then I get frustrated because it’s not one store.

00:11:59:07 – 00:12:18:05
Rockford Wright, MD
But then I also get frustrated at myself because I know I should love to be with my wife doing these things, and I’m clearly being selfish with my time and I should just love going along with her. So then I get frustrated with myself for being frustrated that I’m being dragged to all these stores and then I still take it out on her, but it’s now grown a little bit more.

00:12:18:16 – 00:12:41:20
Rockford Wright, MD
So then she gets bothered and she’s disappointed because I’m frustrated and I’m not just super happy just to be with her. And so in her defense and mine, like I said, she and I, we’re both getting better at this, and we both are better at what I would call owning our expectations and what owning our expectation. We got that from a book that we read on our honeymoon.

00:12:41:20 – 00:13:06:16
Rockford Wright, MD
It was specifically talking about physical intimacy and marriage, but it applies to like all of these things. So owning your expectation, which is accepting and then being willing to communicate it to your partner. So we’re much better at it with the shopping thing. Her saying will you come to the store? And I say, How many stores? And we say, before how many stores it’s going to be?

00:13:06:29 – 00:13:22:15
Rockford Wright, MD
And if it’s one, then it is one. If it is two than it is two. But our expectation is now in sync. It’s not just until she feels like she’s done. It’s now been quantified because I needed that quantification. So we own our expectations.

00:13:22:16 – 00:13:24:17
Mike Olsen
Are our wives got to be sisters.

00:13:25:15 – 00:13:46:06
Rockford Wright, MD
So here’s number two example. So with our kids, sometimes my wife now my wife is again amazing at many, many things. She worried that I would say some things that would either embarrass her or patron about picture. And I’m not trying to do that. I’m just trying to show contrast. Right. And again, I we have boys. I am a boy.

00:13:46:06 – 00:14:03:21
Rockford Wright, MD
Maybe there’s some similarities there. She is a girl. And so maybe there could be some some reasons for the disconnect. But so sometimes with our kids, my wife will say that they can’t play with friends until the house is clean, but they hate that because they don’t really understand what that what.

00:14:03:21 – 00:14:04:21
Mike Olsen
The definition is.

00:14:04:21 – 00:14:24:29
Rockford Wright, MD
It’s so subjective. And when when she gets them going in a positive direction and she she wants them to keep moving, I was like, OK, we got we got through this room real fast. Let’s go to the next room. We got momentum and then our boys are like, I thought it was just that room. And there’s no clear finish line and so they get frustrated.

00:14:24:29 – 00:14:41:22
Rockford Wright, MD
And then when the next time comes around, they don’t even want to start because they don’t know when it’s going to end. So I’ve talked to my wife a little bit because I could relate to the boys. Like, I get it right. How many stores are we going to go to today? How many rooms are we going to create?

00:14:41:22 – 00:15:04:05
Rockford Wright, MD
So we’re getting much better at communicating with our boys exactly what you are expected to do. And then sometimes with my, my 12 year old who is a little bit better at communicating and negotiating, I’ll ask him to do something and I will set either a deadline or a clear expectation and then we’ll actually negotiate out a little bit.

00:15:04:15 – 00:15:38:10
Rockford Wright, MD
And I will allow my stance to to be negotiated because I actually value his opinion and sometimes now that he’s 12, he can actually make some valuable arguments or reasons for adjusting the expectation. So clearly we should be willing to negotiate with our with our spouse, but we should definitely also be willing, within reason to negotiate with our kids, not that they push us around, but we need to clearly identify on our expectations.

00:15:39:25 – 00:15:41:15
Brad Singletary
That’s genius. That’s awesome.

00:15:41:22 – 00:16:09:11
Rockford Wright, MD
And then here’s where I really do have to hustle, celebrate my wife. We, we she is in terms of grace and forgiveness and letting go of grudges. She is my exemplar. So we’ll talk more about we may talk a little bit more about emotions. I am not a super emotional person. I’m much more analytical. She is more emotional.

00:16:09:11 – 00:16:31:07
Rockford Wright, MD
But we talked about today before I came over here do you remember our last argument or what it was actually about the last time we like disagreed or you got frustrated with me and neither of us? Well, it happens occasionally. Neither of us could remember the details, in part because I don’t get as emotionally connected to it. And then so I don’t remember the details quite as clearly.

00:16:31:07 – 00:16:55:02
Rockford Wright, MD
And then she forgives so readily that she let us go. So in terms of our managing expectations for other people, I have to credit her as an example of being willing to forgive, to let go to to have some grace. So that’s kind of a few of my thoughts on expectations for other people. Now, we have to get to expectations for ourselves, which is which is critical too.

00:16:55:23 – 00:17:20:17
Rockford Wright, MD
So one, I think we need to focus on what we can control not on what we can’t control. And this is again, where we get back to attitude and effort that I talk to my kids about. I also apply it to myself. What can I control? My attitude, my effort, so like I said, it’s a little bit difficult to measure objectively attitude and effort, but we do have some objective measures like yes or no.

00:17:20:17 – 00:17:43:17
Rockford Wright, MD
Did I yell at my kids today? Yes or no? Did I show up to work on time? Yes or no? Did I exercise today? There are some objective measures that are the application of attitude and effort. So I have to then step to or reference a book that I absolutely love called Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg I’ve read.

00:17:43:18 – 00:17:44:04
Mike Olsen
It’s great.

00:17:44:07 – 00:18:11:07
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah, it is absolutely great and applies here. So it talks about behavior and behavior management. And when we’re making expectations for ourselves, what we are talking about is our behaviors. Typically, you may try and have an expectation about some feeling or emotion, but really the objective measure is the behavior that follows. So this book is incredible at addressing behaviors.

00:18:11:18 – 00:18:30:24
Rockford Wright, MD
And so it’s going to naturally inform us on expectations. So now this book is not your typical behavior book. It’s not it’s not a motivational pep talk they get you feeling pumped to drive yourself, to accomplish, to accomplish something, and then fizzles when you fall short. While those kind of books are useful in their own way, they don’t produce long term change.

00:18:31:05 – 00:19:02:26
Rockford Wright, MD
This book is kind of the opposite, and I love it for that. He is much more calculating and analytical, so I love the calculating approach and he teaches this equation again. I love equations, so behavior equals motivation plus ability plus prompt when all three converge at the same time. So let me say that again. Behavior equals motivation plus ability plus prompt when all three converge at the same time.

00:19:02:26 – 00:19:20:14
Rockford Wright, MD
So we have to have sufficient motivation, we have to have sufficient ability, and then we have to have a prompt that prompts us to do the behavior and they all have to come at the same time. So let me give an example of something simple flossing my teeth. So I have gone through periods I brush. That’s, that’s a that’s a habit, absolute habit.

00:19:20:29 – 00:19:46:04
Rockford Wright, MD
But sadly, flossing is not always a habit for me, in part because I get done brushing and like sometimes I haven’t slept in like forever and I’m exhausted and I just have to go to sleep. So I was like, I have to floss. Like, I got to floss right so something was off in that in that motivation ability, prompt situation.

00:19:46:04 – 00:20:12:08
Rockford Wright, MD
And clearly the prompt would be I’m going to brush my teeth. So that’s when there’s a clear, identifiable prompt to fill your teeth. It’s when you brush right easy the ability to do it to to floss is not difficult. But sometimes I was like, oh, every single tooth, I don’t know, even, even flossing all the teeth. It was just like it was just like almost too much when I was just exhausted.

00:20:12:20 – 00:20:37:28
Rockford Wright, MD
And then my, my motivation was there, but it wasn’t quite enough. So what he talks about doing is adjusting some of those. And so what I did is I, I made the flossing a little bit easier by making it a tinier habit and a tinier habit. Habit is easier to accomplish, so my relative ability is higher. So I went in saying I am just going to floss one tooth that’s all I’m going to do.

00:20:38:13 – 00:20:55:19
Rockford Wright, MD
I’m just going to floss one tooth. And I was like, that’s not too hard. That takes one second. Right? But what happens when you when you shrink the habit, you start tiny and then you can build from there. But what happened for me was after I was already in on that one tooth, I just did the rest, of course.

00:20:55:24 – 00:21:04:28
Rockford Wright, MD
But the psychologic ill effect of making the habit tinier opened the door to accomplishing the task.

00:21:05:01 – 00:21:07:05
Brad Singletary
I’ve heard that like do one pushup a day.

00:21:07:25 – 00:21:08:07
Rockford Wright, MD
Yes, just.

00:21:08:07 – 00:21:08:27
Brad Singletary
Do one pushup.

00:21:09:08 – 00:21:14:11
Rockford Wright, MD
So. So then supply it to something a little bit bigger, which is like getting up to exercise in the morning.

00:21:16:17 – 00:21:39:26
Rockford Wright, MD
Usually the barrier for a lot of people is like, it’s easy to set your alarm. It’s harder to not snooze it. So the behavior or the habit that you’re this works in reverse. That’s what I meant to say. It just works in reverse. Breaking the habit of snoozing the alarm. Right. So go through the the behavior. The behavior is hitting the snooze button.

00:21:41:00 – 00:22:02:06
Rockford Wright, MD
The motivation to hit the snooze button is is high because you want to sleep. The ability to hit the snooze button is is high also because it’s super easy to do. And then the prompt is the alarm goes off so you have all three of those that create a situation where it is incredibly easy to snooze. Motivation to snooze is high.

00:22:02:14 – 00:22:23:04
Rockford Wright, MD
Ability to snooze is high because it’s so easy and then the prompt is right there. So we had to change something. I had to make it just a little bit harder to snooze. And so what I did was I took my alarm to my phone and I just rather than put it on the nightstand right next to my bed, I set it a few feet away.

00:22:23:24 – 00:22:44:03
Rockford Wright, MD
So to turn it off, I had to get out of bed to turn off my alarm. And I made the ability to snooze just a little bit harder. Right. It lowered my ability to snooze just a little bit. And that simple move changed the game because I had to get out of bed. Once I was out of bed, I was like, dang it, I’m out of bed.

00:22:44:06 – 00:22:45:15
Rockford Wright, MD
I might as well just go do it.

00:22:45:16 – 00:22:48:04
Mike Olsen
I was your wife mad at that’s that this part.

00:22:49:01 – 00:22:59:01
Rockford Wright, MD
It’s to her credit. So she is you see her characteristics incredibly full of grace and loving and forgiveness and incredibly good at sleeping. So it worked out well.

00:22:59:01 – 00:23:17:28
Brad Singletary
I did that once with the with the alarm and I would and I found that I could get up basically asleep, go to the other side of the room, turn the alarm off, come back to bed. And so I got this thing, it was called like perfect alarm. And it was an app. And you had to do three or you could set the number three or four math problems before you would turn it off.

00:23:17:28 – 00:23:27:21
Brad Singletary
And so now I’ve stood up. I’m on the other side of the room and I have to do like long division three times in order to snooze. I had to trap myself. I had to get away.

00:23:27:27 – 00:23:49:05
Rockford Wright, MD
So what you did is you made the ability to snooze, you decreased your ability to snooze, you made it harder to snooze. So it played perfectly into this overcoming the behavior. Right? So and then the other things that he talks about is that we need to celebrate our victories. And I am a very critical person. And so sometimes that’s hard for me.

00:23:49:05 – 00:24:11:22
Rockford Wright, MD
But I do think that we need to to truly celebrate when we accomplish and that’s OK. It’s OK to throw ourselves a little party, maybe in our brain, maybe in our mind, whatever. But it’s OK to celebrate. And then this can be applied in our interactions with others. And I’ve done this with my kids, recognizing for my kids what is their motivation, what is their available, what is their ability?

00:24:11:28 – 00:24:38:17
Rockford Wright, MD
And then what is their prompt? And it as as we start to understand that we can while while we don’t necessarily always control their motivation, sometimes we have it, we create incentives. But well, oftentimes we create incentives or punishments, right? When we’re interacting with our kids, we’re basically interacting in this same way we are creating or influencing significantly the motivation, the ability and the prompt.

00:24:38:21 – 00:25:01:26
Rockford Wright, MD
Right? The prompt is us telling them to do something or setting up a schedule for them to do something. But if we approach our children when we want them to do something, focusing in a more organized way, what’s their motivation? What’s their ability? What’s their ability? What is their prompt, then we can be a little bit more strategic in how we try and get them to do something.

00:25:02:07 – 00:25:23:29
Brad Singletary
Something there. That seems to be the biggest problem that I run into in my profession here is just is the ability. So people think that their toddler should know how to keep their things straight and put their toys away and share, or they think that their teenager knows how to be fully responsible and that, you know, they’re only going to need well, I only need 6 hours of sleep.

00:25:23:29 – 00:25:43:12
Brad Singletary
So they should be able to go on 6 hours of sleep and their ability is often misjudged. I think that’s where there’s a lot of upset in families and stuff is mis understanding someone’s ability. And we’re prompting all the time. There’s low motivation and they don’t have the ability. This that’s fascinating. I wonder what was the name of that.

00:25:44:04 – 00:25:52:02
Rockford Wright, MD
Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg. So that gets into the next thing I think we’re going to talk a little bit about. But what what is what is normal, right?

00:25:52:02 – 00:25:52:14
Brad Singletary
Yes.

00:25:52:14 – 00:26:13:07
Rockford Wright, MD
So that kind of parlays a little bit into that. And I think one of the challenges that we have with our kids and I have this with my kid kids, is that they’re still developing, they’re still learning, they’re still growing. You talked about a toddler understanding what a toddler can or can’t do or what is what is normal for a toddler let me first say that sometimes kids get a little bit older.

00:26:13:07 – 00:26:41:21
Rockford Wright, MD
I feel like we see their potential, their best, and then we hope or expect that they will always give their best. Like that becomes the new standard and that’s not fair to them. They’re not always going to be at their best. So let’s jump then to to normal. So normal is a tough question. What is normal? And one definition is statistical definition is that it’s within two standard deviations of the mean or the average, right?

00:26:41:29 – 00:27:04:23
Rockford Wright, MD
So that captures 95% of people with two and a half percent on the top two and a half percent on the bottom. So your normal if you’re within that 95%, that means that there are inevitably are abnormal people or things 5% statistically would be abnormal if you use that definition. So if it’s a crying toddler, you might ask yourself, is this kid crying?

00:27:04:23 – 00:27:14:14
Rockford Wright, MD
So if you’re at the top end of how much do they cry? Is this kid really crying? More than 97.5% of kids? Probably not.

00:27:14:21 – 00:27:15:10
Brad Singletary
Right.

00:27:16:24 – 00:27:31:29
Rockford Wright, MD
Is this kid complaining more than 95, 97.5% of kids probably not. Right. So that’s one way to approach normal like probably that behavior is normal.

00:27:32:06 – 00:27:37:15
Brad Singletary
Doctor, I’m dizzy. I just came out of surgery and I’m a little sleepy. Like, what’s going on? Is this what’s.

00:27:37:15 – 00:27:37:26
Mike Olsen
Wrong?

00:27:38:04 – 00:27:41:28
Rockford Wright, MD
What’s wrong here? This wasn’t me. It wasn’t.

00:27:41:28 – 00:27:43:08
Brad Singletary
Me. My mouth is dry and I.

00:27:43:27 – 00:27:44:15
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah, I want.

00:27:44:15 – 00:27:47:04
Mike Olsen
To throw up. This doesn’t seem normal.

00:27:47:12 – 00:28:12:16
Rockford Wright, MD
So, yeah, it’s with that, I try and manage expectations and talk about, you know, potential risk, but but understanding what is normal, that that’s that’s 11 way to look at it is this person really exceeding 97.5% of of people or things. Another way is like, well, is this normal? Is this acceptable by society? And that’s an unfortunate that’s a difficult one because that’s a moving target.

00:28:12:27 – 00:28:37:22
Rockford Wright, MD
Like now as much as ever, like is this acceptable lot of things if you use that measure, it’s like trying to hit hit a moving target. That’s tough to do. So is this expected would be another way. And so even the definition of normal can be a little bit tough. But that percentage thing is one way to look at it when we’re when we’re approaching realistic expectations and standards and stuff.

00:28:37:22 – 00:28:58:14
Rockford Wright, MD
So where it’s possible, we need to consider what it’s like to be in that person or that that that kids shoes. Now, I know it’s hard to remember ourselves as a toddler, but I’ll give a couple examples here. I do have memories of me as a 12 year old. So we were at a at church meeting and our yesterday and our 12 year old was with sitting in front of us with his friends and there is someone speaking.

00:28:58:14 – 00:29:30:23
Rockford Wright, MD
And so this is kind of a time when you’re paying attention it’s supposed to be respectful and he’s sitting with his friends and he got, he got the giggles and my wife looked at me like that is so disrespectful. And I was like, yeah, it kind of is. But at the same time I had flashbacks to when I got the giggles at it as a 12 year old and like the exact same situation, if we can remember ourselves or again, I’ve said this a few times, put ourselves in people’s situations as I think we’re much more likely to adjust our expectations and then increase our satisfaction.

00:29:31:04 – 00:29:38:10
Rockford Wright, MD
So yeah, there’s a few other things that I could say, but that that’s kind of the gist for, for a lot of those.

00:29:38:16 – 00:29:51:05
Brad Singletary
Well, I love the idea about, you know, reviewing your own history and kind of looking around at the people around you. But some of this takes some reading, some of this take. I mean, I, I tell people all the time, like ask, have you ever Googled that.

00:29:52:05 – 00:29:53:24
Mike Olsen
When you say, take some reading? What do you mean?

00:29:53:24 – 00:30:10:24
Brad Singletary
Well, it just you may not know what pregnancy is like. You’re young, you’re a young married couple and the wife is all bitchy and she’s six months pregnant and it’s 112 degrees in Nevada. And, you know, is this is this normal, you know.

00:30:10:25 – 00:30:12:12
Mike Olsen
For her to be behaving? That’s for her.

00:30:12:12 – 00:30:36:22
Brad Singletary
To. Yes, she’s grouchy and she’s pissy you know, and she’s not sleeping well. And what’s wrong here? And if you realize that all those things are normal, you may not know if you haven’t experienced it. And unless you do some research ask professionals, you know, find a resource that can help you understand what might be expected, what, what what could be the, you know, a common outcome in this situation.

00:30:36:22 – 00:30:50:15
Brad Singletary
So you have to do a little bit of homework on the thing. You know, what what developmental stage is your child in? You’ve got a ten year old what is their what developmental stage are they in? Most people don’t even know what that means. But the psychosocial developmental stages, you know.

00:30:51:03 – 00:30:54:21
Rockford Wright, MD
So, yeah, we have to be willing to learn for a lifetime.

00:30:55:00 – 00:31:01:21
Brad Singletary
Put some work into it. Right. That’s you seem to be do very well with that. Obviously, you’re a medical doctor, so.

00:31:01:21 – 00:31:25:21
Rockford Wright, MD
Let’s talk we’ll talk this a little bit about professionalism then. And you introduce this topic with with with that being a physician. So in terms of expectations of professionalism, so we probably have more guidance or a more clear understanding of what is expected of us and maybe some areas. I mean, we have a Hippocratic Oath that we all take.

00:31:25:21 – 00:31:52:13
Rockford Wright, MD
So in a graduating ceremony, we read read off this card, right? The Hippocratic Oath, which is, I guess, useful. But truthfully, it doesn’t really impact us on a day to day level that often like our personal commitment to being professional far outweighs the experience of reading off this card. This Hippocratic Oath. What we have is after high school, four years of college, four years of medical school, four years, in my case of anesthesia, specific training.

00:31:52:13 – 00:32:26:24
Rockford Wright, MD
And then I have an additional five years in my path. So for me, that was before I got my first job. 17 years of training and experience about how to perform or be what I was going to be. Right. That’s a lot of training to clarify for me the expectation of me so in that process, I also had to engage in a lot of self-reflection and and the consequences of my actions and, and those that self-reflection that informed and educated me to I to think about what I needed to do and was I doing it.

00:32:26:24 – 00:32:55:29
Rockford Wright, MD
And so I’ll give one example of, you know, professionalism or whatever in our training, I was in my intern year. That’s the first year of residency. I do a lot of different rotations and a lot of different things. And you’re in different departments. And the first day of my first rotation with the anesthesia department. So what would become my home for the next few years was in the ICU.

00:32:55:29 – 00:33:11:11
Rockford Wright, MD
That’s what, you know, the really sick people. And it was my first day I had to do my best. I wanted to show up, right? And I wanted to make a good first impression. And then so I set my alarm for super early. I was supposed to get there like 445 and I set it for like 3:00 or something.

00:33:11:11 – 00:33:33:03
Rockford Wright, MD
So I totally get there early. And then some happened to my alarm and it and it didn’t go off and I woke up at like 430 and I was going to be late. And so I raced in and luckily had someone that kind of helped me and, and there were layers of support, but I learned really quickly that, you know, there’s a consequence for being late, like there’s a responsibility and there is a consequence.

00:33:33:07 – 00:33:57:07
Rockford Wright, MD
So that connection between or the cause and the effects, the consequences of our actions helps inform us about what our expectations, what professionalism is and what our standards should be. And then maybe I’ll say lastly, just like in terms of feedback about that, we also now sound sent surveys to all of the patients. So I get feedback from patients about what they think about my services.

00:33:57:13 – 00:34:12:25
Rockford Wright, MD
And then you also get feedback from partners or peers. And all of these things inform you on what the expectation and, and also the consequence of your your actions will or should be. So we have to listen to all of those to learn.

00:34:14:19 – 00:34:35:18
Brad Singletary
I heard a I think it was John Maxwell, he was talking about probably one in one of his leadership books. He was talking about this little he had this little quip principles with clarity, practices with charity, and what he’s saying is the standard has to be crystal clear. There is, you know, be very clear about what it is you expect of people.

00:34:35:26 – 00:34:57:27
Brad Singletary
But when it comes to the in reality, you understand that sometimes it’s not going to sometimes the kid isn’t going to behave themselves the way they should. Sometimes things won’t go as planned. Principles with clarity, practices with charity. That’s something that’s helped me when we talk about standards and needing there to be some. Sometimes expectations are required.

00:34:59:01 – 00:35:32:00
Mike Olsen
I like that. As you guys were talking about expectations, and I think the word frustration got brought up because I struggled with this over time. I think I’ve come up with this for myself most if not all of my frustration has come from unmet expectation. Now, that unmet expectation might be that that person did not give me permission to have that expectation of them.

00:35:32:13 – 00:35:48:04
Mike Olsen
My wife, for example, Rocky’s situation is similar my wife will say, You want to come, go to the store with me. And I learned after the first two times, come, go to the store does not mean singular store it means something different.

00:35:48:04 – 00:35:48:29
Brad Singletary
All day event.

00:35:49:08 – 00:36:16:14
Mike Olsen
It possibly could. And so for my own happiness, you know, I had to kind of say, does this mean this and at first she intended that, but she might have something decided along the way or happened along the way to that first store stop that added to those stops but that was normal for her. So we went through a very similar like then I had a trigger, you know, I’d had a moment where you want to come shopping and oh, no, I would like the plague.

00:36:17:03 – 00:36:48:15
Mike Olsen
But yesterday we had a good one because I had to set myself up for, OK, she wants to go shopping. This is what this means is could possibly be this. You need to be ready to help engage in her world because she often engages in your world. So I understood that. But I think frustration and expectations are tied, and that’s giving someone the right to choose and have permission to either say, yes, I’m going to give you the ability to expect this of me.

00:36:48:21 – 00:37:16:16
Mike Olsen
I agree with what we’re agreeing. Like Rocky mentioned the negotiation. Now when I negotiate with someone, whether it be a an employee or a boss or a spouse or my kids, how well do I trust them to meet that obligation that they willingly committed to? That takes time. The time that Rocky is talking about. You have to invest that time to say how well are you going to meet this?

00:37:16:16 – 00:37:40:18
Mike Olsen
Because with an employee, I might have a very short tolerance for unmet expectation. Whereas with a child or a spouse, I have to say, how important is this relationship? If it’s a very entry level employee, I might have a very short tolerance but I will explain that to them as well. Here’s what our relationship is with a spouse or a boss or a partner.

00:37:40:26 – 00:38:07:06
Mike Olsen
I just went through one of these, for example, I had a business opportunity and this was an Amazon delivery station. I don’t know if you’ve seen this. All the Amazon vans that drive around, either they’re marked Amazon or they’re not. They are all subcontracted to business owners, and those are highly regulated and controlled by Amazon. However, they’re trying to limit their exposure.

00:38:07:20 – 00:38:31:11
Mike Olsen
So I was meeting with this business owner and I could see within the first couple of interactions, I’ve had plenty of positive as well as negative business interactions. And this guy wanted me to come on at a six figure salary with his particular situation. And I had agreed to that even though my inner self said something about this doesn’t seem quite right.

00:38:31:11 – 00:38:57:08
Mike Olsen
And it became very clear within the first three days I knew that this particular person was not going to live up to what they said. And I ended the deal and I basically sent an email saying, I can’t let you introduce me to your group knowing that I have no intention. The things that I’ve been witnessing over the last three days, you have no you’re not accepting your responsibility.

00:38:57:08 – 00:39:15:25
Mike Olsen
You’re blaming other people. Here’s what I think you’re doing. Incorrect. Regarding this, and I’m not going to participate with you anymore. He was not happy at all, even though the Amazon people reported back to me and said, Hey, we appreciate that hope. But that wasn’t too negative an experience. I said, No, not a big deal. And he, you know, ripped me in an email and things like that.

00:39:15:25 – 00:39:29:28
Mike Olsen
But I didn’t care because I could see where this relationship was going. And there was no way that I could enter into a negotiation with this person and have them lived up live up to it. And so I decided to end it immediately.

00:39:30:15 – 00:39:57:16
Brad Singletary
So we’re talking about discernment that has so much to do with understanding insight. It has to do with awareness, it has to do with fair judgment. We’ve just been talking about expectations. And I want to shift gears now toward what happens after this thing has occurred. So expectations really have to do with before this happens, before the trip to the store, before the event with our kids, before the the work or the medical case.

00:39:58:18 – 00:40:23:07
Brad Singletary
But then once things have happened, we have to interpret that. We do that very quickly. This is a very I mean, just it’s underneath the surface. It happens in a very short amount of time, less than one second. We’re usually deciding what things are about and what they mean. It creates some emotional response. Many times our tendency is the personalize and we’re we’re filtering things through this self-evaluation.

00:40:23:14 – 00:40:56:26
Brad Singletary
Not only what does this mean, but what does this mean about me. I spend a lot of my time in my work with people trying to help them basically reinterpret the events of their lives and help them see things for what they are so guys, help me out here. How can we interpret the events of life in a rational, objective way and not personalize and not get ourselves in some emotional mess because of the misinterpretation of the facts that have occurred?

00:40:57:21 – 00:41:20:21
Rockford Wright, MD
So I really like this one because I think this is something I mentioned earlier that I try and do. I’m actively pursuing this, this rational evaluation and approach to things. So the word rational that comes from a Latin word meaning reckoning or reason numbering, calculating. So to be rational, you have to have the ability to reason and to calculate.

00:41:20:29 – 00:41:55:20
Rockford Wright, MD
And again, this is a purposeful thing. This is an intentional thing. If we are really going to be rational, then we need to be intentional about it. So you mentioned sometimes the response is an emotional one that happens almost instantaneously. Like that’s the way where we’re programed planned or built. If we can take a moment to pause and ponder, then we will give ourselves a chance to not just emotionally react but to actually go through the numbering, calculating, reasoning reckoning that takes more than one second sometimes.

00:41:55:27 – 00:42:14:07
Rockford Wright, MD
So we have to pull ourselves back for a second. And and so we are a product of our parents. So I’m going to talk about my parents for a second. My dad is very has been still maybe, but especially growing up, he was, he was very emotional and that was useful for him in many ways. He played football and he played in into college.

00:42:14:16 – 00:42:38:08
Rockford Wright, MD
And so that emotion then was groomed in him on the football field, that aggression, it led to his success as as he fueled that that fire of aggression in that setting in that battle warlike setting, he thrived and it helped him. But it became harder for him later in life when anxiety and depression reared their heads that’s a totally different battle.

00:42:38:15 – 00:43:00:24
Rockford Wright, MD
And there were times where those emotions controlled him rather than him controlling his emotions and his efforts to deal with this have been really a lifelong pursuit for him and a pursuit that I admire him for embarking on my mom. She’s an accountant, much more analytical, much more calculating, and I take after her. So I come by that honestly.

00:43:01:00 – 00:43:22:15
Rockford Wright, MD
Now, she also experienced significant emotions, too, and I didn’t notice them when I was growing up and many she hid from me. My parents end up getting divorced. I didn’t recognize all the emotions that she experienced, but clearly she did have a much more analytical side then than my dad did. So I am much less emotional. So for me, this comes easier.

00:43:22:15 – 00:43:47:22
Rockford Wright, MD
It does not come easy for everyone to be able to pause and ponder, to take a step back, and to actually make some calculations to reason and to reckon that comes easier for me than it will for some. But because of that, I’m much less likely to be triggered or have an emotion be triggered. But when I do have these feelings, they tend to be tempered enough that I can analyze them before they control me.

00:43:48:17 – 00:44:12:00
Rockford Wright, MD
And we have to get to that point where we can pause and ponder. We can evaluate why am I feeling what I am feeling before this? The feeling swallows us up. And so that happens a lot with with our kids. I love my boys immensely, but they also frustrate me more than probably anyone. And so there are moments where they won’t do what I say and I get really frustrated.

00:44:12:28 – 00:44:40:11
Rockford Wright, MD
And there have been times where I get really upset. However, when I pause and I ponder and I calculate, why are these emotions coming? What is it that’s actually triggering or leading to these emotions? It’s usually indirectly their behavior, but it’s more my interpret portion of it. I feel disrespected right now because of.

00:44:40:17 – 00:44:40:27
Brad Singletary
They did.

00:44:41:03 – 00:45:06:22
Rockford Wright, MD
This, actually do what I asked to do and so then I’m like, well, that’s kind of selfish. That’s kind of egotistical. Is this about me or is this about him? And then I’ll say, Well, no, I feel disrespected and I do feel frustrated because I need him to do this thing so that I can we can all get to this place so the goal is not just this thing.

00:45:06:22 – 00:45:25:29
Rockford Wright, MD
The goal is getting to this place, but this thing has to happen. And I start to calculate these are all the calculations going on and so then when I break it down, then I I’m looking at these pieces in parts that are not emotional. There is a task. There’s a child that needs to do the task. This needs to be done before we get to this place timeline.

00:45:25:29 – 00:45:54:20
Rockford Wright, MD
So I have to reevaluate how we get to that end goal. And then I evaluate in that equation, is the emotion a positive contributor to what I’m actually wanting? And usually if it’s anger, frustration it is not a positive contributor to what I actually want. But if it’s just a quick response, emotional response, it’s I am angry he didn’t do what I said but usually it’s much more complicated.

00:45:54:20 – 00:45:58:06
Rockford Wright, MD
It’s more nuanced than that. But we have to take the time to evaluate that.

00:46:00:09 – 00:46:18:10
Brad Singletary
How in the world do you do that, that slowing that down? I mean, that’s just that’s brilliant. That’s exactly what I, I spend lots and lots of time with people trying to help them do that. And it and they just usually fail. And, and they, they’re doing this the day after the event happened or, you know, 7 hours after the fight occurred.

00:46:18:17 – 00:46:38:08
Brad Singletary
And then they’re just shortening that time. And then if they do this long enough, they can catch themselves in the middle of the in the middle of the argument, say, wait, hold on, stop. And then and then they continue to practice that. And then they can go into it. And they’re just kind of imperturbable because they’ve been working that that rational interpretation of things for so long.

00:46:38:08 – 00:46:50:15
Brad Singletary
But for you you have any tricks? I mean, how do you do you do you say anything vocally like, hold on, boys, just a minute. Let me sort this out. How do you slow yourself down OK.

00:46:51:12 – 00:47:12:11
Rockford Wright, MD
So I try. I think that’s a first step. I don’t know that everyone tries. I think some people ride that wave of emotion. So if I’m thinking about it when I’m not upset, maybe this helps me to try the next time I get upset with my son. I’m going to pause. And before I say anything, he’s just disobeyed me.

00:47:12:23 – 00:47:36:09
Rockford Wright, MD
Before I say anything, before I do anything. As I start to feel that frustration before I respond, I’m going to plan my response. I’m going to think about it. Maybe I’m going to give myself two options. Come up with two options before you respond. Maybe that’s one way. Again, it comes a little bit easier for me because I’m able to step back, but I’m also doing it purposely.

00:47:36:09 – 00:48:02:01
Rockford Wright, MD
I’m trying. I know I want to because it happens over and over again. A lot of these interactions that we struggle with, like they happen over and over again. So the next time, as soon as I start to feel this before I respond, before my reaction before the behavior, let’s come up with at least two options. And that at least forces us to pause for a minute, come up with two options and maybe in coming for those two options, we we try and navigate the equation of that situation.

00:48:02:01 – 00:48:21:19
Brad Singletary
Well, yeah. And just to realize that there’s more than one possibility that gives you some power right there, because you recognize that there’s you don’t just have to do what your feelings dictate. The feelings aren’t facts for sure. We talked about fact in opinion before and the feeling. That’s the definition of subjectivity. So is what you feel.

00:48:22:06 – 00:48:39:26
Rockford Wright, MD
So can I also say one other thing about words? Because a lot of times what people get really upset about or what triggers them are words, right? The way that people speak to them. And there’s this, you know, this age old thing that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. And so that was kind of the mantra for a while.

00:48:39:26 – 00:48:59:28
Rockford Wright, MD
And then the pendulum has clearly swung clearly swung away from that. And I think while that hold words will never hurt me, thing isn’t fair. I don’t think that the pendulum swinging totally away from that is fair either, because while words can hurt, the truth is we have much more control of their influence on us directly than sticks and stones.

00:48:59:28 – 00:49:35:02
Rockford Wright, MD
So, like, if I fall fall out of a tree and my arm hits a branch, I don’t really have control whether my bone breaks or not. Right? I can’t mentally think or pause and ponder, do I want this bone to break or not? Like we physically we don’t have the same kind of control, right? So clearly there is a difference in terms of our ability to influence the effect of physical harm versus our ability to affect our response to to verbal harm.

00:49:35:05 – 00:50:02:18
Rockford Wright, MD
Right. So emotions are more complicated. They’re subjective, therefore they are influential. We can’t influence our response to two words we can’t have some control over our emotions. So an example of this are our kids have tried to say, I hate you to me and my wife on a rare occasion right nine and 12 year old. And so in terms of their trying to they have an intent to cause emotional pain.

00:50:03:00 – 00:50:22:08
Rockford Wright, MD
That’s that’s why they say that right that’s their biggest verbal weapon that a kid can comprehend. But it also doesn’t really offend or bother me that much. And here’s why. So I understand that this kid is frustrated oftentimes he’s tired. He’s not getting what he wants from a parent that has so much control over his life. And in their mind, they’re being attacked.

00:50:22:19 – 00:50:42:19
Rockford Wright, MD
So they attack back with their primitive verbal weapon. And so they say, I hate you. But the thing is, I know it’s not true. Mm hmm. So my son, Logan, he says that sometimes he loves his mom more than anything on this earth, but he’ll get into these modes where he’s he’s stubborn, he’s not getting what he’s wanting.

00:50:42:19 – 00:51:02:25
Rockford Wright, MD
And even this this kid who absolutely without question, will say to us, I love Mom more than you, Dad, and I love Mom more than any. And he does. And to to just snuggle with his mom is like his fight. He loves his mom so much. And this kid has even said to his mom, I hate you. So the reason he’s doing is not because he hates her.

00:51:03:10 – 00:51:09:26
Rockford Wright, MD
He loves her more. Than anything. It’s the tool that he’s using in that in that moment to influence the situation.

00:51:10:22 – 00:51:19:29
Mike Olsen
And I would even say that before they’re trying to influence the situation, it’s the only way they know how to express what they’re feeling.

00:51:20:28 – 00:51:25:29
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. So it’s an image. I said a primitive tool because it is immature.

00:51:25:29 – 00:51:27:02
Brad Singletary
Yeah. It’s a power play.

00:51:27:07 – 00:51:40:01
Rockford Wright, MD
But then if I recognize it for for what it is that it’s an immature, primitive tool, well, I’m not going to get offended because he’s using this tool. I’m just going to have to work with it.

00:51:40:01 – 00:51:43:04
Brad Singletary
Well, let me show you. And then you’re and then you escalate the problem.

00:51:43:04 – 00:52:01:16
Mike Olsen
Exactly. If you if you have a child who has an ice cream and they’re kind of just at the walking stage, the ice cream falls off the cone, hits the ground, the immediate thing that you can I don’t even have to say this. You’re probably already thinking they start smacking you and hitting you with their fist. Are they mad at you?

00:52:01:18 – 00:52:26:10
Mike Olsen
No, they’re expressing I just lost my ice cream and I’m mad. And this is the only way I know how to express it. I think it’s a similar thing. And so I don’t think it’s depending on the age now as people mature, I think an adult says things that are hurtful because they’re trying to manipulate control or to influence something but when they’re really young, it’s just an expression of how they’re feeling.

00:52:26:17 – 00:52:39:18
Mike Olsen
And maybe that’s even somewhere when they’re older, they’re just expressing maybe it’s poorly, obviously, but they’re just expressing a feeling inside. That’s a frustration that is coming out because they don’t they haven’t learned differently.

00:52:39:28 – 00:53:05:07
Brad Singletary
What you just described. Both of you guys about that is what a discerning man does. You read between the lines. The the the manifested information is, I hate my mom or I hate you. Let me hit you. But you recognize that there’s more than meets the eye with that. There’s more to the story. This is a child is a child is upset.

00:53:05:07 – 00:53:24:21
Brad Singletary
They have a limited vocabulary. Of course, this isn’t. And that that to me encapsulates this whole topic of what discernment is. It’s knowing what things mean and not not reacting and just it’s about the pause and ponder and slowing your response down. Love this stuff. You guys are great.

00:53:25:06 – 00:53:49:14
Mike Olsen
I loved what you said, Rocky, earlier. You said you have to plan a couple of responses. So I think when you go into certain situations, if you can be slow enough and intentional enough, you almost know with an interaction and the wife and the shopping thing. Now, the second you’re asked the question, would you go shopping with me?

00:53:50:20 – 00:54:16:25
Mike Olsen
It in this year, it’s a certain set of sequences of here’s the conversation that I’m going to have to have. Here’s the way I interpreted it incorrectly before and it starts off with this chain reaction. Now, you know how to slow down to have a conversation in order to allow a certain set of expectations on both sides to be accepted and a certain set of results.

00:54:16:25 – 00:54:35:27
Mike Olsen
And that whole set of interactions just is kind of the beauty of life is so that you can learn how to associate with other people that are different, even if it’s a spouse, so that you can have an interaction that could be different, that can still have a pleasant outcome, even if it’s what you didn’t want.

00:54:37:03 – 00:54:48:16
Rockford Wright, MD
So I’ve seen that with with my own wife. Like sometimes we disagree, right? And she’ll get frustrated with me and she’ll express her frustrations. And sometimes she’ll even like try and take a jab at me and verbally or something.

00:54:49:10 – 00:54:50:00
Brad Singletary
Or something.

00:54:50:21 – 00:54:54:01
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. It was a jab physically. No, see.

00:54:54:10 – 00:54:59:17
Mike Olsen
I’ve had that and my wife hit me and I’m like, Wait a second. What did that just mean?

00:55:00:19 – 00:55:21:22
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. No, she doesn’t she doesn’t abuse me physically. I should clarify so but I don’t take that at face value. Luckily, I have a relationship where I know that she loves me. This is an expression of something else. So as she’s expressing this to me, I am actually thinking, why is she feeling like this? Why is she saying this?

00:55:22:01 – 00:55:42:29
Rockford Wright, MD
And I’m trying to figure it out now in that if I if I do get to the point pretty quickly, like she didn’t like that I was doing something on my phone or something like that, I wasn’t giving her enough attention. If, if I feel like, well, I had to do this, this is a work thing, maybe I’ll try and avoid it later.

00:55:43:08 – 00:56:07:19
Rockford Wright, MD
But in that moment, I felt justified. Maybe I made a mistake. I’ll try and be better I analyze it more that way. And what she is giving me is just data that I’ll input into my decisions about behavior in the future. But I don’t respond in an emotional way. And sometimes she hates that because she sees that she feels like he’s not getting upset, even though I’m upset at him.

00:56:07:19 – 00:56:23:26
Rockford Wright, MD
He must not care. And so sometimes we’ve had to have talks that it’s not that I don’t care. It’s this I’m not going to get worked up emotionally over this. I hear what you’re saying. I appreciate your feedback. You wish I wasn’t on my phone at this time. I will try and do better next time and not do it later.

00:56:24:16 – 00:56:36:11
Rockford Wright, MD
And for me, I have accepted the information that you’ve just given me and I will use it in the future. So again, it’s a little bit cold and calculating, but that’s one way that I approach it.

00:56:36:18 – 00:56:39:28
Mike Olsen
And why is it why do you approach it that way?

00:56:41:07 – 00:57:07:03
Rockford Wright, MD
Why? One part I think that it is in part how I’m programed or how my mind works, but for me it is much more beneficial and functional. So if if I get worked up, then ultimately things escalate and the ultimate outcome is worse than if I just absorb the information she’s given me. Try and interpret it, clarify and I do this.

00:57:07:03 – 00:57:24:22
Rockford Wright, MD
I see that you’re upset. Why exactly are you upset? Let’s clarify that. So I understand and then I input it into, you know, the decisions and I try and do better going forward. So I find that life is better, easier. I don’t get worked up. I don’t have the same emotional stress that I would if I were driven by emotion.

00:57:24:22 – 00:57:41:20
Mike Olsen
OK, so what I what I hear on that is, one, you’re trying to achieve a desired outcome by that, by the logical you’re also trying to avoid an unpleasant emotional outcome. So it’s kind of dual. Yeah.

00:57:41:25 – 00:57:47:21
Rockford Wright, MD
OK, yeah. And mutually beneficial. OK, because if this does escalate that this is not good, it’s.

00:57:47:21 – 00:57:48:10
Mike Olsen
Going to be bad.

00:57:48:16 – 00:58:06:02
Rockford Wright, MD
So this happens at work too. So as an example, we had some new work that we had to take on. We work at night sometimes and we are absorbing another group that had some responsibilities for covering stuff at night. And so we had this discussion about who is going to be responsible for this night work. And no one loves working through the middle of the night, right?

00:58:06:02 – 00:58:23:10
Rockford Wright, MD
So we had this text chain going on and none of us really wanted to do it, and we’re trying to figure out how to divvy it up. And I jokingly say it’s probably a mistake because you probably shouldn’t joke in a text. But I jokingly said, Oh, this guy should do he just she should take all the calls every night.

00:58:23:20 – 00:58:39:22
Rockford Wright, MD
And I jokingly said, that and most of us who are on this text chain know that we’re just we’re very sarcastic. And but this guy happened to be there who is not normally on this text chain. And so the next time I saw him at work, he was so upset and he laid into me and he was swearing at me and yelling at me.

00:58:40:03 – 00:59:01:19
Rockford Wright, MD
And luckily, in a similar way, I could take that information that he’s given me. He’s clearly upset. There must be a reason why is he upset? And rather than yell back because he was not justified, in swearing at me in a hallway of a hospital. Right. He was not. But what I recognized was there must have been some miscommunication.

00:59:01:19 – 00:59:24:22
Rockford Wright, MD
I need to understand better about what he’s thinking. So I my response to him when he’s yelling and swearing at me was very calmly, well, we must have a miscommunication. Let’s work through this and you know that that helped calm things much more quickly. So his emotional outburst, I didn’t see as I didn’t take it as a personal attack or offense, I was like this is information that he’s giving me.

00:59:24:22 – 00:59:27:18
Rockford Wright, MD
He’s upset. Clearly, I need to understand the why behind it.

00:59:28:15 – 00:59:39:27
Mike Olsen
That was that. Right there is genius because you didn’t say you must be mis communicating. There must be some kind of communication. Let’s see where it is. And it made it non-personal.

00:59:40:16 – 01:00:03:26
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. Or also number maybe a little bit non personal, but also that we were mutually responsible, that I wasn’t attacking him alone. I was saying we need to do better we need to work through this. We’re a team on this, like this conversation, whatever it is or whatever the situation. So it was more team forming than divisive nice.

01:00:04:03 – 01:00:39:08
Brad Singletary
I love it. Any other thoughts on interpreting things, understanding the meaning of things? Because if we react based on what we think things mean, since you were doing the formulas earlier, the I think of Viktor Frankl, who talked about suffering and he said suffering doesn’t create despair. Despair comes from suffering without meaning. And so his little formula is D equals X minus M, despair equals suffering minus meaning without meaning.

01:00:39:08 – 01:01:02:19
Brad Singletary
And so we there has to be we have to accurately understand the meaning of things in order for us to not get twisted up emotionally. And I think a discerning man is able to do that. Any final thoughts on that topic about interpreting things, understanding what they mean, slowing that process down, not jumping the gun.

01:01:03:16 – 01:01:24:23
Rockford Wright, MD
And maybe just a few last things. One of those is, as you mentioned in a communication earlier, that it’s not all about you. Right? And in a lot of these interactions that we’re describing, it is multiple people. It’s not a one sided thing, expectations of others, communication. It’s not a it’s not a 11 way street. Right. It’s not all about us.

01:01:25:06 – 01:01:49:12
Rockford Wright, MD
Another thing I would say is that we need to be self-reflective about our own insecurities. We need to be able to take time to recognize our insecurities, what they are and how they influence the way that we interpret things. So we have to be self-reflective and then honest about our insecurities. And then we need to avoid projecting our paradigm onto other people.

01:01:50:29 – 01:02:04:08
Rockford Wright, MD
And then kind of like I’ve mentioned before, that emotions are only a part of the input of information of our of our calculations. They shouldn’t be the only thing that we calculate right? There’s something behind the emotions.

01:02:04:25 – 01:02:36:25
Mike Olsen
The thing that I liked about what Rocky said was he’s constantly learning. It would mean that means constantly one being observing to being willing to ask the question whether it’s about the topic you’re learning or whether it’s about the person you’re communicating with. I want to understand you. If we’re doing that more or even slightly more than, hey, please understand me, I think we get a lot further along.

01:02:36:25 – 01:02:57:05
Mike Olsen
We understand we are able to have an expectation that’s that the other person is willing to meet or give us that expectation. When you’re constantly looking to tell someone what they should do or how they should be, or how we should expect things from them, that’s a more painful way to to come at it than it is from.

01:02:57:16 – 01:03:19:28
Mike Olsen
Let me understand if I can expect this from you. Is this what I’m understanding? Let’s work on this together. There might be a miscommunication here. Let me ask you a question and let me listen to you and then once we ask that question, their response, as we have continued communication with these people, we can know whether we can trust that response or not.

01:03:20:09 – 01:03:42:27
Mike Olsen
Because of how it was previously. We might have to be open to someone setting us up for an incorrect expected patient. Yes, you can expect this from me. And then we live through that experience to say, yeah, they lived up to that because they said they were going to do this and they actually followed through versus they said they were going to do this.

01:03:42:27 – 01:04:08:12
Mike Olsen
And they repeatedly didn’t follow up and follow through with their own admission, their own owning of that expectation. And I think that if we just if we’re more willing to listen and to understand than we are wanting to be understood, it’s hard because as humans, we we feel valued when when we’re when we’re when we feel understood and we want to tell that person.

01:04:08:12 – 01:04:12:23
Mike Olsen
But if we can just do a little bit more of seeking to understand.

01:04:13:12 – 01:04:13:20
Rockford Wright, MD
You.

01:04:13:20 – 01:04:14:27
Mike Olsen
Just a little better. Yeah.

01:04:14:29 – 01:04:35:00
Brad Singletary
Just be curious. You can even play dumb. One of the one of the most brilliant therapists that ever learned from she. And I think her husband developed an entire model of therapy. And she, I believe, was Japanese, which had a very thick accent and she talked about just playing dumb and just not knowing like, wait out, help me understand here.

01:04:35:07 – 01:04:56:07
Brad Singletary
And that was one of her best tools to to kind of play dumb and act like it was her a language barrier as she was trying to understand her her clients. And so asking, am I understanding this right? Is this where you’re coming from? Am I instead of assuming that you even have the right information? So asking that’s one of those I think that’s one of the seven habits, right?

01:04:56:07 – 01:05:07:18
Brad Singletary
Stephen Covey. First to understand then to be understood. So that’s I love our the list that we compiled there about how to interpret things appropriately.

01:05:08:02 – 01:05:36:28
Rockford Wright, MD
And I think I’ll just add, I’ve thought a lot about behavior. And are certain behaviors rational or irrational? Are humans rational or irrational? And again, we can’t simplify super complex things into a simple sentence. Humans are irrational. But I because I’ve thought about it a fair amount, I do believe that if we understand the incentives that other people perceive, their behaviors will seem much more rational.

01:05:37:11 – 01:05:48:14
Rockford Wright, MD
The problem is sometimes discovering what their incentives are. So we do have to make a conscious effort to learn and understand what their perceived incentive incentives are.

01:05:49:04 – 01:06:22:10
Brad Singletary
That that’s a good segue into our next segment here, our next section, which is about cause and effect. I believe that a man who’s living in Alpha Energy, he’s a discerning man. He understands cause and effect. There’s a reason for things. Life is based on law. You put two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen together, and you get water every time you put that at 32 degrees for a certain amount of time, and you’re going to have ice, you put it at 212 degrees if I don’t know if I have those.

01:06:22:10 – 01:06:48:16
Brad Singletary
Right, but it’s going to be boiling pretty much every time so life is based on lot of things. There is there is a cause to every effect in and an effect to every cause. Let’s talk about that. How can we see better cause and effect something’s going on. We don’t like we don’t like how things are happening in our relations ships and our job.

01:06:48:28 – 01:06:58:01
Brad Singletary
We don’t like the way we’re being treated. There was talk earlier about things we can control and things we can’t. What do we do about cause and effect?

01:06:59:25 – 01:07:39:11
Rockford Wright, MD
So I know. Go ahead. I don’t have a whole lot more to say here because I think this parlays into a lot of the other things that we have talked about. Now, I will say that that equation of H2O two hydrogens when oxygen equals water is is it’s true and invalid. It’s also very simple. And the difficulty we have is that the equations that we’re working with in terms of human interaction or our satisfaction we mentioned that that when equation satisfaction equals experience minus expectation, but a lot of the social interactions that we have are very complex.

01:07:40:01 – 01:08:03:12
Rockford Wright, MD
And so the components of the equation, what you, you know, dove down into the depths of them are a little more complex and sometimes figuring out what they are. I mentioned the incentives that people have, that they’re perceived incentives. Right. It takes time and energy to discover those. And it’s not in every science book H2O. It’s not usually even published.

01:08:04:07 – 01:08:10:20
Rockford Wright, MD
And so it takes investment in relationship to discover what the components of their particular equation are.

01:08:11:16 – 01:08:22:00
Brad Singletary
Kit, can I bug you to talk about what do you mean by incentives? Just the person’s goal? What is their goal directed like focus? Their incentive is.

01:08:22:11 – 01:08:56:21
Rockford Wright, MD
I believe that we are incredibly incentive directed whether we recognize the incentive or not. We follow incentives, like whether it is an emotional feeling that is positive and whether it’s a desire to avoid a negative emotion, whether it is the feedback from performance from someone else, whether it is compensation of pay for work done. I think almost every decision we make, we could track to an incentive.

01:08:57:00 – 01:09:31:05
Rockford Wright, MD
We’re doing this for a reason, and sometimes they’re subconscious. We don’t think about them, but I think that we are incredibly incentive driven so understanding what someone’s incentives are is important. So I’ll give an example and we can’t project again, like I mentioned, or we can’t project our own paradigm on someone else. So let me tell you about when I was a missionary in Honduras and when our church sends out missionaries, we work in companion ships or teams of two typically, and there’s a lot of reason for that.

01:09:31:05 – 01:10:01:25
Rockford Wright, MD
So I was sent to to Honduras with marginal competency and Spanish, and I was paired up with a Nicaraguan native Spanish speaker was learning Spanish a little bit, but still learning and he was great. And then I got a second companion also from Nicaragua, and this guy was so mean to me and he would I remember distinctly one time we’re walking down the street and he was just mocking me about my Spanish and just putting me down.

01:10:02:19 – 01:10:20:29
Rockford Wright, MD
And here we are in this environment where we are committed. I felt committed to do good, to help other people, to uplift other people. We’re trying to, you know, really just do good and that’s the focus. And in the context of commitment to do good, my partner in this.

01:10:20:29 – 01:10:22:25
Brad Singletary
Person is positive about your Spanish.

01:10:22:25 – 01:10:54:17
Rockford Wright, MD
You just beat me down. And I’m like, and I hated him. I hated him. And I was like, I don’t know why you’re treating me this way, but being with you is awful. I don’t like you, and you’re treating me unfairly. And I really didn’t try and get to know him because I like you’re not worth it. So that pairing lasted six weeks and it was the most painful six weeks of the two years and months later, I’m somewhere else and I hear about this guy from Nicaragua.

01:10:55:16 – 01:11:28:00
Rockford Wright, MD
He ran away and disappeared, was found later in Nicaragua. I hitchhiked home, and then I find out that he had been going through terrible personal things. His family was falling apart he felt no support. He was going through emotional struggles and in his suffering, what he was trying to do was in an immature way, lift himself up by pushing me down.

01:11:28:00 – 01:11:45:03
Rockford Wright, MD
And we see that a lot with bullying, with all that kind of stuff. A lot of people push other people down to theoretically lift themselves up. And it’s counterproductive. We know it doesn’t work, but people still do it. So in that time, I didn’t take the time to learn why he was treating me the way he was treating me.

01:11:46:04 – 01:11:49:07
Rockford Wright, MD
I just didn’t there was.

01:11:49:07 – 01:11:53:27
Mike Olsen
You didn’t have the experience at that point in your life to understand that’s what was going on, correct?

01:11:54:17 – 01:12:25:15
Rockford Wright, MD
I didn’t think it was an option yet, so I was I didn’t know and maybe I so now because of that, I would be much more inclined if someone were to be treating me poorly, I would get to the why and or try to get to the why. Now, in my defense, maybe my Spanish wasn’t good enough at that time to have the kind of conversation that we would need to pull that out of someone so maybe I was a little handicapped in that process, but the moral is that the yet people are going through things.

01:12:25:24 – 01:12:49:24
Rockford Wright, MD
And his incentive which I didn’t realize was I put him down that that lifts me up. And that was kind of driving him because he felt so beaten up by his own situation. So if I had been able to or could I should have investigated more his incentives the why behind it. And that could have helped us probably work through some things.

01:12:49:24 – 01:12:58:24
Rockford Wright, MD
And I actually maybe have been able to help him a little bit. Now, I can’t you can’t force help on someone, but I would’ve had a lot better chance.

01:12:59:24 – 01:13:21:19
Brad Singletary
So it’s like you attributed what he’s doing to his character, and maybe it did represent something about his character. But you you assigned some meaning to what he was doing, that he was just a jerk. He was just mean to you. He was not caring. He wasn’t committed to the mission. And the goals of that instead of understanding that there was some other cause.

01:13:22:15 – 01:13:25:17
Brad Singletary
So some other stuff beneath the surface that you didn’t know about.

01:13:25:25 – 01:13:49:16
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. My paradigm was he’s mean to me. He’s a jerk. So we’re going to push that on him or the way I’m feel, I’m feeling attacked. So he’s the attacker. Right? I’m the victim. He’s the victimizer. That’s the way it is. So my paradigm, my experience I imposed on him rather than investigating what he was actually going through his incentives, his reasons for doing this.

01:13:49:24 – 01:13:51:05
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. Well.

01:13:52:21 – 01:14:11:04
Brad Singletary
I often teach people what I call the rule of thumb which is whatever you think the reason is, you’re trying to figure out the cause of something. Put it on your thumb. He’s a jerk. Maybe that’s the reason he’s maybe just really a jerk. But give give me four other reasons why that could be the case. He has an illness.

01:14:11:04 – 01:14:25:09
Brad Singletary
It is untreated. He’s uncomfortable. He’s you know, his home sick. He’s got family drama. You know, think of give me four other reasons. In addition to the one you believe is the is the thing that you’ve assigned as as the cause.

01:14:26:27 – 01:14:29:02
Rockford Wright, MD
I wish I would have had that rule of thumb when I was there.

01:14:29:06 – 01:14:46:20
Brad Singletary
Yeah. I mean, because sometimes it is it you know, sometimes she cheated on you because you’re ugly. Sometimes she you know, this thing happens because you’re no good at your job. And the reason you get fired is. Yeah, because you sucked. But sometimes it’s because the company has problems or some other thing you don’t know about. There’s a.

01:14:47:18 – 01:14:48:24
Rockford Wright, MD
You’re just I.

01:14:49:02 – 01:14:50:03
Brad Singletary
Never really know.

01:14:50:03 – 01:15:21:12
Mike Olsen
I think that’s one of the benefits of learning service as early as you possibly can, is because when you’re serving or when you’re attempting to serve others, you are as a byproduct getting to understand true human nature. My personal belief is that all humans have a nature. We all have certain things that are natural to us, and we all have things that we work on.

01:15:21:23 – 01:15:55:21
Mike Olsen
But I think that all humans, human nature is universal. It’s just a matter of understanding where human is in that pattern, in that process, in that path. But I do believe that, you know, and I don’t think that it’s realistic to expect a certain person at a certain age to understand true human nature. But I do believe that humans, based on things that are natural to them and their environs, and meant that they have tuned in to human nature at certain points earlier and that they can learn to discern.

01:15:55:21 – 01:16:20:22
Mike Olsen
Sometimes they don’t even know that they do it. I think that we we can see a youth that is extremely in touch and sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. And is they’re capable of pausing. And this intentionality that Rocky was talking about, they’re capable of being intentionally pausing to listen to another some I there’s just there’s something about it.

01:16:21:09 – 01:16:49:22
Mike Olsen
When you watch a human that can do that at an early age and you can observe that it’s it’s really cool, just as cool as it is for a dude to watch somebody throw a 90 mile an hour fastball or throw a hundred yard pass. I think it’s just as cool to me to be able to watch a human early in their stage of life, be able to be in touch with another human’s feelings and be able to interact with them at a much more mature level than maybe others around them.

01:16:49:22 – 01:16:51:00
Mike Olsen
It’s, it’s cool to watch.

01:16:51:06 – 01:17:16:11
Brad Singletary
Yeah. The thoughts on cause and effect just in general as a maybe that’s self-explanatory. And we’ve given a couple of examples there. Did you have anything else on that? Rocky, I want to wrap this up with basically just a message that we’ve repeated hopefully in every one of our messages, and that is that we need men, we need a tribe of mentors, we need to seek wisdom from others.

01:17:16:11 – 01:17:42:16
Brad Singletary
That’s kind of what I’m doing personally by trying to do this podcast. Every couple of weeks I sit together, sit down with some really smart dudes. As you can see, here, Rocky Ride is just a genius level and a very wise man. So it’s helpful for me to have these conversations. Also for the listeners, they’re kind of by proxy, you know, they kind of have these and it’s not a live conversation for them, but they’re gaining wisdom from others.

01:17:43:13 – 01:17:57:27
Brad Singletary
What about the role of mentors in your life having other men around? You talked about 17 years of training to do your medical work. How how does that work for you? Who are, who is, who are your advisors?

01:17:58:17 – 01:18:31:14
Rockford Wright, MD
So in terms of success and in terms of managing expectations and communicating, I think we’d be remiss if we don’t talk about failure because failure is inevitable. Some failure, not failure and everything, but some failure is inevitable. And I generally have spoken in pretty positive ways, but I, I would be remiss again if I don’t mention that I have failed a lot and I have learned a lot through failure, and I think a lot of us can.

01:18:32:09 – 01:19:01:10
Rockford Wright, MD
And so when we’re we’re dealing with expectations, when we’re dealing with falling short personally, we can beat ourselves up. It can be discouraging. But I think it’s important to learn to use failure as a an educational tool experience, that even the process of failing when we when you were able to use it as a springboard can be a mentoring experience or a teaching experience.

01:19:01:10 – 01:19:19:21
Rockford Wright, MD
So I’ll just mention a couple of things so again, I have failed a fair amount. And I know Mike I appreciate and and respect him. And one of the reasons I respect him or or admire him is he played baseball and he played baseball in college. And not only he played baseball in college, but he has two fingers on his left hand.

01:19:19:21 – 01:19:42:12
Rockford Wright, MD
And so I played baseball growing up. And I maybe wasn’t I definitely wasn’t as committed as I could have been. But then right around in high school, I really got more committed. And and, you know, I was on the freshman team with the team and then it was kind of all in. But I got cut from the varsity team and that’s kind of crushing for a teenager who is at that point has had had committed so much.

01:19:42:12 – 01:19:56:28
Rockford Wright, MD
Right. And maybe there was some politics in it. And this other guy and the other guy’s dad donated more money. Maybe that was it. Maybe I just didn’t maybe I wasn’t good enough. I don’t know. But that’s that’s hard, right? So I had to learn, even as a teenager, what I do with this. This is a big deal to me at the time.

01:19:57:08 – 01:20:25:13
Rockford Wright, MD
And I ended up saying, OK, so it’s not going to be baseball for me sometimes the story as you recommit. Right. But in this case, it was redirect. And so I end up going into to student government stuff and thrived in student government and made friends and had experiences and rather than let that failure beat me down, I used it as a springboard into something else with my wife.

01:20:25:13 – 01:20:35:06
Rockford Wright, MD
So I had decided that I liked her and I wanted to go out with her. And so I asked her out and she said no. And so then I asked her out again.

01:20:35:13 – 01:20:37:09
Mike Olsen
This is your wife you’re currently married to, right?

01:20:37:13 – 01:21:00:13
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. So I guess spoiler alert, we got married, but yeah, it was I’m not alone. I’m not unique in that it took me a couple of tries to get that one going. And so I got rejected from her. I failed with that. But again, another one that’s even more was harder at the time was my desire to become a physician.

01:21:00:20 – 01:21:24:12
Rockford Wright, MD
So I didn’t have a great mentor through college, in part because I transferred Midway and we had a pre-med department, and there were so many of us that wanted to do medicine and they basically said, Well, whatever, these are the requirements, do your best. And so I didn’t really have a mentor, so I tried to wing it, and I’ve done that a lot in my life.

01:21:24:12 – 01:21:54:06
Rockford Wright, MD
And sometimes it works and sometimes it makes it harder for me. So this probably does parlay into the mentorship conversation because in this instance, I didn’t have a mentor and I tried to wing it and I got all the requirements for medical school. I took the MCAT, that’s the test for for entrance, and I got a decent score average for, for not only for those that take it, but average for those accepted with me just kind of studying on my own from some books.

01:21:54:15 – 01:22:25:17
Rockford Wright, MD
And then I applied, I ended up getting waitlisted and then ultimately last minute never got a spot and then I was delayed on the next year. It’s a year long process almost for application. And so then I’m delayed on the next years so that that not getting in the first time cost me two years. And so then I had to I quickly applied and then got rejected a second time because I hadn’t been able to to improve the application a ton and so I got rejected from medical school twice.

01:22:26:03 – 01:22:48:18
Rockford Wright, MD
Wow. And in part because I didn’t have a mentor to kind of guide me and explain to me some of the things and kind of the process and how it how it works. I was kind of going about it on my own. And so then through that failure, I had to really I mean, this it’s two years and feels like a lifetime.

01:22:48:18 – 01:23:08:11
Rockford Wright, MD
I’ve been rejected twice. Am I even good enough for this? You start questioning yourself, right? And and I was fighting an uphill battle. I’m a white male and statistically I have to do I had to do better than average for acceptance was not good enough for me. I had to be much better than average for acceptance, not even average of those applying.

01:23:09:05 – 01:23:27:08
Rockford Wright, MD
I had to be better than average because of the demographic that they were seeking. It was not me. So but I didn’t really realize that going into it. No one really explain that to me. So I had this this moment where I was like, OK, if I really want to do this, I got to commit. I got to do it.

01:23:27:08 – 01:23:51:23
Rockford Wright, MD
I got to go all in and I’m going to redo some things and I took a proprietary class for that MCAT, and I ended up with the extra support, with the extra teaching and scoring in the 98th percentile. Wow, they need the 99th percentile and then was able to get accepted to multiple medical schools with without improvement. I wish I would have known how important that test.

01:23:51:23 – 01:23:54:24
Rockford Wright, MD
Like I knew it was important, but I didn’t realize that I had to be that good.

01:23:57:06 – 01:24:19:25
Rockford Wright, MD
With the renewed commitment I was validated in, at least on that one test for whatever that’s worth, which is not not all encompassing in terms of its evaluation capacity, meaning it doesn’t tell you everything about how good someone is. But in that objective measure, I was nearly the best of the best or close to right. 98, 99th percentile.

01:24:20:18 – 01:24:27:18
Rockford Wright, MD
So and then things my career ended up proceeding from there. So for me, spoiler alert.

01:24:27:22 – 01:24:28:19
Brad Singletary
Medical doctor.

01:24:29:00 – 01:25:06:02
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah. And so things, things have generally speaking worked out right. But that failure was very formative for me in terms at that time it wasn’t redirect. This was recommit. Right. But it also has affected me a lot in terms of humility, in terms of my approach to other people, in terms of lots of things, the way I interact with people I think that that influenced so failure and how you deal with it can be incredibly important and it will happen to everyone sure.

01:25:06:20 – 01:25:17:22
Rockford Wright, MD
So that then it’s a teacher and as a mentor in and of itself, if we let it if we let it be something that it will either positively redirect or allow us to recommit.

01:25:18:02 – 01:25:25:21
Mike Olsen
So was there someone along the way that helped you understand that or was it just through the school of hard knocks that helped you learn that.

01:25:25:27 – 01:25:27:08
Rockford Wright, MD
That was a school of hard knocks.

01:25:27:12 – 01:25:29:03
Brad Singletary
So failure was the mentor.

01:25:29:04 – 01:25:35:14
Rockford Wright, MD
Failure and and my interpretation or use of it. So we can’t say that it’s a passive process.

01:25:35:21 – 01:25:36:29
Brad Singletary
It just happens. And then you learn.

01:25:37:00 – 01:26:01:08
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah, it’s not that way, right? Every failure creates every failure creates a fork in the road. And sometimes it’s too. Yeah, like a fork, a decision between A and B and sometimes it’s like, you know, branches into five or ten different roads. But failure is, is a decision point, right? And it’s a definitive decision point. It in it’s of itself does not teach you unless you let it.

01:26:02:07 – 01:26:21:08
Mike Olsen
So there are some people that will will admit they learn from either the teaching or the experience of others. Would you say you are one that learns from a mentor or would you say that you are one who learns from your experiences? Or is there been a time when either one of those have have been applicable?

01:26:21:14 – 01:26:44:23
Rockford Wright, MD
Yeah, so my dad told me that a smart person learns from their own mistakes and a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes. And so my dad would probably describe himself as someone that’s had to rely on his smarts, like his own mistakes. He would probably admit this, right? A fair amount in his life. But that’s I don’t know if he even remembers telling me this but man, it stuck with me.

01:26:45:03 – 01:27:05:11
Rockford Wright, MD
And so there are definitely times in my life where I’ve had to learn from my own mistakes. But then there have been times where I’ve tried to learn from others. And, you know, even my dad, he’s he’s taught me so much through his own struggles, and he’s helped me to be better and to avoid struggles and to handle my own.

01:27:05:20 – 01:27:28:07
Rockford Wright, MD
So even even in his struggles, he has been a mentor to me but I haven’t I don’t have a single role model. I will mention two of my grandpa’s, I guess. OK, so both my grandfather one, my grandfather, he was born on a farm and you just want to get off that farm as soon as he could. I was like, go on, get off the farm.

01:27:28:07 – 01:27:52:14
Rockford Wright, MD
Right. And then World War Two broke out. Oh, so then he became a fighter pilot in World War Two. He went on to do good things for the allies there. He went on after that to help establish the Utah National Guard and air sorry, Utah Air National Guard. And they ended up naming the base after him. He was also a lawyer and did tons of great things.

01:27:52:23 – 01:28:19:17
Rockford Wright, MD
So he he was given leadership roles in our church in New York and Washington, D.C. I mean, he he did some amazing things. And he’s he’s like an American hero to us. It was. And according to his funeral, there were tons of people there. Apparently, he’s a hero. To a lot of people, too. He’s since passed away. But the stories that he would tell were about people.

01:28:20:10 – 01:28:48:06
Rockford Wright, MD
It was about interaction with people, the people that mattered to him and why they mattered to him. And this is him in his nineties as we’re sitting down and he’s like, you know, getting sicker and he’s telling me about people. It’s about people. And so here’s this guy that has done amazing things. And what he cares about in his last years is people and the relationships that he had that was incredibly impressive to me and helped me prioritize people and relationships.

01:28:48:06 – 01:29:14:18
Rockford Wright, MD
Relationships matter. And my other grandpa he was he was the son of a milkman and he ended up going to law school and then became a lawyer and then a politician and then a real estate developer and was like super successful. And his greatest joy was his family and all these resources that he had acquired. He used to be the relationship in his family.

01:29:15:03 – 01:29:51:00
Rockford Wright, MD
And so he taught me that family relationships matter and so I appreciate both of them. And I mentioned grandpas because it’s the relationship feeds the credibility, the relationship feeds the the impact of what they can mentor. Yeah, I’ve read lots of books that have been helpful and that’s very useful. So mentors indirectly YouTube videos, whatever podcast, those are very helpful relationships are even more powerful when the mentorship comes from a relationship that’s great.

01:29:51:00 – 01:30:13:12
Brad Singletary
I appreciate you sharing that about your family members. I can imagine that that’s the kind of person that you are becoming with your own sons. You’ve talked about your dad today. You’ve talked about your grandfather’s on both sides, and those relationships have shaped you because of the relationship not just the information. You’d read a book, you listened to, a YouTube video.

01:30:14:01 – 01:30:35:27
Brad Singletary
You can get you can get some ideas from many places, but the relationships are what help us the most. Dude, appreciate it, Rocky. This has been seriously one of the most incredible things that we’ve done. I’m telling you this, the show this is high level. I mean, wouldn’t you say, Mike, this is how would you compare this to some of the others that we’ve done?

01:30:36:21 – 01:30:40:04
Mike Olsen
You know, I think that there’s lots of.

01:30:41:12 – 01:30:42:15
Rockford Wright, MD
Uh.

01:30:43:08 – 01:31:05:16
Mike Olsen
Dude talk. We we kind of understand that. But Rocky has a way of intellectually connecting with emotion. You know, you talk about the education that you get from books and from things, but knowing that the relationships and the importance of the relationships that’s why I’ve always liked talking with Rocky and listening to Rocky, because he has that ability.

01:31:05:16 – 01:31:11:16
Mike Olsen
I plan on trying to pull more information out of his head and out of his heart, you know, in the future.

01:31:11:29 – 01:31:17:11
Brad Singletary
But just trying to figure out this shopping thing this Saturday, that’s that’s what you want to get from. Yeah.

01:31:17:17 – 01:31:42:07
Mike Olsen
The fact that we might have wives. We’re actually sisters. And I’m still trying to figure out, wait a second. Is this just how all relationships are with husbands and wives? Do they all try to trap us into shopping experiences? No, but I think those are things that we as we learn, as we have discussion with, they’re they’re all they help us understand.

01:31:42:07 – 01:31:47:20
Mike Olsen
They help us communicate. They help us empathize. I just I love those those connections.

01:31:48:05 – 01:32:14:00
Brad Singletary
We’re talking about this topic, discernment, because if you want to be a strong man, if you want to operate from your highest self, if you want to operate from from the from the highest level frequency within you, if the high priest in your head is in charge, if the king in your head is in charge, and you are a person of discernment, you’re a man of discernment, and you can see things as they are.

01:32:14:09 – 01:32:43:05
Brad Singletary
You can read between the lines, you can read the room you can understand that what people bring to you is not always what’s really happening, what they say is and what they mean. And you’re a person who’s sensitive to that information. Probably my favorite message today, Rocky, is pause and ponder. That’s probably going to be the title of this pause and ponder, because I think that is what a discerning person is able to do.

01:32:43:16 – 01:33:00:20
Brad Singletary
They recognize that they can’t. Just quickly, if you’re in a surgery and something goes wrong, you have to make a decision immediately. But in life in general, we don’t typically have to do that. We can wait a minute and make sure that we’re being fair as we make decisions about what’s going on and what our next steps need to be.

01:33:01:00 – 01:33:08:27
Brad Singletary
Dude, thank you so much. This has been amazing. I’m telling you, I’m going to ask you to do this again. At some point, so I hope you game well.

01:33:08:27 – 01:33:19:10
Rockford Wright, MD
I appreciate so much. I mean, I was a little bit intimidated by the by the topic. And so I’ve taken a lot of time this last night and this morning to pause and ponder the topic. So thanks so much for giving me the opportunity.

01:33:19:10 – 01:33:31:03
Brad Singletary
To talk about intimidation. I’m sitting here listening to you like, oh my gosh, I’m a redneck. I’m just I’m an ignorant, freaking I have to. How old are you? I’ve been, I don’t know, 40, 40 years old.

01:33:31:09 – 01:33:32:02
Rockford Wright, MD
41 races.

01:33:33:11 – 01:33:46:03
Brad Singletary
My dad always says it takes 40 years to make a man. And I think you’ve definitely surpassed that. You’re 40 years old, but just a real man of wisdom. Thank you again for being here. Appreciate it. You guys. Until next time. No excuses.

01:33:46:08 – 01:33:56:09
Speaker 4
Of gentlemen, you are the Alpha, and this is the Alpha Quorum.

 

 

 

 

089: ALL IN – Alpha Distinction with Coco Vinny

089: ALL IN – Alpha Distinction with Coco Vinny

Our guest today is an entrepreneur and inventor with multiple patents. He is the Founder and CEO of COCO TAPS, a Las Vegas company that is the first to ever have been certified as a ZERO-WASTE company. He invented a tap device to turn a raw coconut into a drinkable & resealable container! It has been called the Tesla of coconut water.

His product is sold on cruise ships and theme parks in Miami, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and many other places including over 20 Las Vegas resorts like Aria, Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Wynn, Waldorf Astoria, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, over 60 restaurants, and 40 convenience stores. He was featured on the hit TV shows SHARK TANK and THE PROFIT.

He competed in two Ironmans in Hawaii. He plays the ukulele and the piano, and brings unmistakable energy anywhere he goes. Our topic? DISTINCTION.

Brad and Coco Vinny discuss how to have skills with both things and people, living congruent with your values and beliefs, being respected and trusted, presenting yourself with strength and dignity, and being effective in leadership.

 

COCO TAPS:

https://www.cocotaps.com/

https://www.instagram.com/cocovinny/

https://www.instagram.com/cocotapsforyou/

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

 

00:00:00:01 – 00:00:14:15
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
The biggest time I ever got shook was in front of five billionaires in Shark Tank. I thought I was a failure. I thought it was over. I swear to you, I guess those lights went off, the cameras went off. Even though I sang out of the room, head held high. I went in the back and I was crying.

00:00:14:16 – 00:00:31:03
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
What people need is a smile. People need is a song. They just need somebody to listen. So there was a family that needed help during COVID. I gave him my house and I literally moved out of my own house and moved their whole family into my house. And I gave them a house for two years, and I rented an apartment.

00:00:31:14 – 00:00:57:11
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
They’re just getting on their feet and moving out now. One day I’ll have a million followers. Big deal. You know, it’s better. A million trees planted, communities thriving. Nature sequestering. 80 million tons of carbon a year. That’s power. I don’t care about the followers. I want a million trees. And I ain’t quitting. I’m a six foot five Mexican Jewish coco gorilla. And I tell people.

00:01:06:24 – 00:01:27:28
Speaker 2
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong. You are a leader. You are a force for good, gentlemen. You are the Alpha. And this is the Alpha Quorum.

00:01:31:28 – 00:01:56:16
Brad Singletary:
Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum Show. Brad Singletary here. This one is a treat, you guys. Our guest today is an entrepreneur and inventor. With multiple patents. He’s the founder and CEO of Coco Tap’s, a Las Vegas company, which is the first to ever be certified as a zero waste company. He invented a tap device to turn a raw coconut into a drinkable and resealable container.

00:01:57:02 – 00:02:24:09
Brad Singletary:
His product is sold on cruise ships and theme parks throughout the world, including Miami, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and many places, including over 20 Las Vegas resorts like the Aria the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Wynn Waldorf Astoria, the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas. He’s in over 60 restaurants over 40 convenience stores and he was featured on the hit TV shows Shark Tank and the Prophet.

00:02:25:02 – 00:02:54:23
Brad Singletary:
He competed in two iron mans in Hawaii. He plays the ukulele and the piano, and he brings unmistakable energy anywhere he goes. Gentlemen, a big, powerful welcome to Vincent Zaldivar Coco Henney. Hey, what’s going on, dude? I am just so happy to have you here, man. I’ve been we’ve never met before, but I’m friends with Vinny’s sister. She’s also a therapist here in Las Vegas.

00:02:54:23 – 00:03:16:25
Brad Singletary:
And just through that, I think we connected on one of her posts, maybe. And then it was like, Oh, I’ll follow this guy. Come to find out, this guy is a stud in every sense of the word. So I just, man, I mean, I guess a big part of your focus and identity right now is your business. I want to talk about some other things later, but tell me, tell us about what you’re doing right now.

00:03:16:25 – 00:03:22:15
Brad Singletary:
Your business, your whole crew all over the world doing cool things. So let’s hear about that.

00:03:22:16 – 00:03:51:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Well, so yeah. Coco, Vinny Zaldivar, thanks for having me on the show. I’ve been following you for a while now. We’ve been trying to connect every time I’m in town, but I’m the founder and chief coconut in charge at Coco Taps and Coco Taps is the first Vegas based zero waste company in Las Vegas. So we’re excited to help share our zero waste and circular economic processes and procedures.

00:03:51:20 – 00:04:14:15
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I say that I didn’t really choose the coconut. The Coco life chose me. So we’re growing a really awesome company. We’re in all the resorts in Las Vegas. We just landed the Green Valley grocery chains in town. We’re at the big roadhouse the Terrible’s Big Roadhouse and Jean moving lots of coconuts. We had one of our record months just in March here, and it’s organically grown.

00:04:14:16 – 00:04:43:29
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We haven’t spent a dime on advertising. We have had some great TV exposure through Shark Tank and the profit I’m just really excited to share the Coco Love with the Valley, and it’s expanding. We just opened up Southern Cal. We we have Costa Rica online. Puerto Rico now. Miami’s coming online soon. So our goal is to have this business, this model, this system in every city in the world eventually.

00:04:43:29 – 00:04:45:15
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
But we start with the U.S. of AA.

00:04:46:02 – 00:04:50:26
Brad Singletary:
You just talked about. You bought hundreds of acres in the last year. We’ll talk about that a little bit.

00:04:51:03 – 00:05:21:02
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah. So during COVID, our supply issue amplified. So getting the coconuts here at an affordable price just disappeared. With shipping costs. And we’re boating coconuts all the way from Southeast Asia. So it just became a real problem and a necessity for us to pivot and go go accelerate our program. My whole dream is to plant 1 million coconut trees over the next ten years, and we accelerated that.

00:05:21:02 – 00:05:46:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We just purchased 400 acres, 200 in Costa Rica and 200 in Puerto Rico. And we’re we’re doing a huge campaign through a nonprofit called Roots for Change to plant trees in localized produce and help create jobs in the USA. Healthy agricultural jobs, build community back through through the land and partnering with Mother Nature. So it’s coming together, dude.

00:05:47:01 – 00:06:07:01
Brad Singletary:
So you’re I want to share links to all that stuff. These fundraiser that you talked about in the just your whole company. But this started you were trying to find some decent coconut water and you couldn’t find it. You’re going to the gym, you’re getting this shitty stuff from the convenience store where ever you couldn’t find anything. You’re trying to bust open a coconut.

00:06:07:11 – 00:06:09:22
Brad Singletary:
Yeah. And and you realize hold on a second.

00:06:10:12 – 00:06:32:09
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah. It all started with with thinking that I hated coconuts. Believe it or not, I every coconut water I had in the package tasted like, excuse my language, horse piss it was not good. And so when I had a fresh coconut from the coconut fresh, it was like, no, it was a life changing experience. So I had to go all in change my name, Coco Vinny and go.

00:06:33:25 – 00:06:57:18
Brad Singletary:
Now part of that. So I kind of want to I want to just free flow a little bit here. But we’ve been doing this series on this. What we call the red nine. And these are nine kind of attributes of men who are healthy and strong. And this one I kind of want to focus on distinction. So being a distinct person, you know, having some like showing up, getting attention because you bring value.

00:06:57:28 – 00:07:11:10
Brad Singletary:
So you do really well in the social media game and stuff like that. You’re so good with that stuff. But you got a name Coco. Vani is Coco Love. Everybody’s, you know, is Coco. Coco. So Saturday, whatever. I mean, Coco.

00:07:11:10 – 00:07:12:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Motivated.

00:07:12:00 – 00:07:25:20
Brad Singletary:
Coco you’ll be on there on a live and you’re just kind of talking about your day and Coco love to you, everybody. And he got jingles. You got a player ukulele. I thought you were going to bring that today.

00:07:25:20 – 00:07:31:25
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So I apologize. I didn’t get that on the airplane, but I will. I’ll come and do a second part with you and I’ll bring it.

00:07:31:25 – 00:07:58:11
Brad Singletary:
It’s probably good, though, because they’re doing therapy next anyway. So distinction, man. So you’ve, like, created this whole brand. You know, you have yourself your look, you’ve got a certain way that you dress the way that you talk. And it seems like this is there is nothing pretend about any of that stuff. I think you keep a consistent image consistent language and stuff like that, but that seems like you.

00:07:58:21 – 00:08:12:03
Brad Singletary:
It feels natural. That’s why I think I’ve just liked you so much. Watching this is like this dude is for real and everything. He’s talking about is exactly what he’s thinking and feeling and doing is very congruent, like genuine to who you are.

00:08:12:10 – 00:08:42:10
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah. I mean, it’s like our product. It is 100% real, raw, authentic. It’s there’s nothing there’s nothing fake about it. Even though people look at me like I’m some sort of jingle, like some sort of shtick, but I. I am. It started with a purpose. It started with a reason for being the way I founded Coco Taps as a company is I wanted to sell something that was good for people and good for the planet.

00:08:42:21 – 00:09:01:10
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
No matter what it was, I could sell anything. I can sell airplanes, I can sell real estate, I could sell stocks and bonds, I could sell tennis shoes. But it had to be an alignment. And so once I found the product this coconut, I said, man. And so all the way to the tap, it’s not plastic. It’s made out of corn flour.

00:09:01:23 – 00:09:19:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I mean, I’ve got patents around the formulas that the tap and the caps made out of. I got patents on the actual utility. I went all in, like literally all in just burned down all the ships I mean, if you really want something, you got to go all in. And so I said, you know what? This is who I am.

00:09:19:18 – 00:09:44:15
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I’m Coco, Vinnie. I’m the Chief Coconut. I’m the Colonel Sanders of coconuts. Let’s go. And I mean, I truly believe that in the next 20, 30, 40 years, as I as I continue this, I think we can localize the whole coconut commodity in the United States because we’re not growing any coconuts yet. I mean, we’ll have the first United States industrial coconut farm in Puerto Rico, and we can do it in Hawaii.

00:09:44:15 – 00:09:56:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We can do it, you know, at scale that, you know, be a net exporter instead of a net importer of coconuts. Change the whole GDP around made and grown and tapped in USA. I mean, I feel that.

00:09:56:13 – 00:10:07:18
Brad Singletary:
I noticed that on your website that the taps themselves are made here in the United States. You’re you’re talking about everything zero waste. So that means nothing is we’re not dumping stuff out into the river.

00:10:07:19 – 00:10:31:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Nothing is going into landfill at all. What we’re creating is upcycled repurposed reused, recycled like from everything we reuse the boxes at the coconuts coming right now to our customers. We recycle those after they’re done with them all the everything and we try to eliminate every step. So to be zero waste certified, you have to do that with over 90% of your supply chain.

00:10:31:14 – 00:10:52:26
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We’re at 96% right now so we can get to full zero and especially when it when it comes to planting trees and becoming a carbon positive company, giving more than you take not just being zero. So you know, you talk about carbon neutral, but we can go carbon positive, which means that we’re actually sequestering more and helping more than hurting.

00:10:53:11 – 00:11:14:18
Brad Singletary:
It sounds like you become a bit of a scientist. You know, I’ve heard your I’ve heard you rap in your in your van driving, driving coconuts around. But really, this is a high level of you have this high level like academic scientific knowledge that you’ve had. I’m sure just understand how what you’re doing and what’s happening in the world and how agriculture works.

00:11:14:25 – 00:11:39:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I’m reading a lot and I’m learning a lot on the job. It’s all on the job training, all the amazing people that I’m meeting the mentors, the the people that have been doing this for 30 years. There’s, there’s, you know, regenerative agriculture people that I run into and learn from and, you know, from Matt Powers to there’s so many people like in Hawaii and, and you just, you got to just pay attention if you want it.

00:11:39:14 – 00:11:57:21
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And it’s scary what I’m reading to be honest. Some of the some things going on in the North Pole right now with the in the Arctic ice melting ten x hundred X faster than it’s supposed to. I mean, we’re talking about major stuff going down that we’re not going to be able to stop. You know, Mother Nature is a beast.

00:11:57:21 – 00:12:16:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So like some of the things are scary. That’s why I’m so committed to it. And I want to get people on board to help. We all need to get on the same train and start start giving back because Mother Nature, she’s like I said, you don’t listen to her. She brought us in to take us out. And it’s a real topic.

00:12:16:19 – 00:12:27:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s, it’s it’s food, air and water and more than money, more than Bitcoin more than anything, clean air, clean food and clean water is going to become the real necessity on this planet.

00:12:28:00 – 00:12:48:08
Brad Singletary:
Something that I just really respect in people. And I really see this in you is what I would call kind of polarity. I don’t mean like bipolar. You might be that, too. I’m just kidding. But polarity. So you’re on one hand, you’ve kind of got this entrepreneurial capitalist kind of way and you’re building a business. On the other hand, you’re like this tree hugging, you know, like you’re happy.

00:12:48:08 – 00:13:16:28
Brad Singletary:
You care for the hippie. You’re a hippie rapper capitalist. Like, it’s something funny. I mean, it’s great that you can you can be all of those things. And I think people get locked into their you know, their identity or their political view or their or their whatever. And you’re saying I can be both, you know, friendly to the earth in the production of my of my products and and also, you know, take advantage of those that want to buy what I’m selling.

00:13:17:09 – 00:13:44:03
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Know. Yeah. I mean, and it’s like if you have a product, you know, people look at me and tell me you never shut it off, do you? And I’ve I’ve had people tell me that, you know, you’re always selling and they tell me that as if it’s a bad thing, like it’s a label. And I said, yeah. I said, you know, I see my product as as a cure to a really harsh disease.

00:13:44:13 – 00:14:03:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And it’s my responsibility to make sure that you guys get it. I don’t care about anything else, but making sure that everyone gets the cure, you know? And if you believe in your product that much and you’re obsessed about helping and about moving the needle, yeah, you’re always going to be on because it’s like it’s your duty. I mean, if I’m a doctor, I want to make sure you’re OK.

00:14:04:02 – 00:14:11:04
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I’m a I’m the, the Coco Love doctor, so to speak. I got to make sure that everybody’s healthy and hydrated and tapped in you know.

00:14:11:06 – 00:14:21:07
Brad Singletary:
Talk about that. The water itself, coco coconut water. Like, what made you interested in that to begin with? I mean, you said you didn’t really like it, but what are the health benefits of coconut water?

00:14:21:10 – 00:14:44:06
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah, so it’s I call it from the coconut. It’s God’s Gatorade, OK? And and so when you’re and when I was training for Ironman in Hawaii, I’ve done that twice marathons. You see all these packages along the shore trash. And so I would see all this packaging and then I would taste it. It was awful. I’m like, I’m not doing it.

00:14:44:06 – 00:15:15:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So when I had the fresh coconut, the benefits are unbelievable. Pre and post workout. It’s got all your electrolytes, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron. It is the, it is the, the it’s the sauce. It’s the from the tree of life. And it and it gives your, your inside and out. It helps your body. It’s what we need. It’s, it’s how the Polynesians before the Vikings sailed around the world with a whole boatload of coconuts and they use the stars to navigate.

00:15:15:20 – 00:15:30:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Now, if you go back to that history, it’s like, wow, coconuts got to Hawaii from the Polynesia wins coconuts got over here in Puerto Rico. They got everywhere from from the Polynesians they were rolling it ro and coconuts around the world. Wow. And it kept him alive.

00:15:31:01 – 00:15:48:28
Brad Singletary:
So you’re doing a lot of travel you’re one thing that you’re excellent with I believe I believe that you do this. It’s the only way you can do what you’re doing is to be good at relationships. And I think that’s what an Alpha is. He’s a he’s got good people skills. He can relate to people and he’s good with things.

00:15:48:28 – 00:16:08:20
Brad Singletary:
You’ve got like life skills. But also people talk about how do you get on with people? How do you relate? You can’t sell if you know, if you can’t connect. Yeah. And that’s what I never by the way, I never saw you as some, you know, skanky salesman. I just think you’re a highly enthusiastic person who really believes in what you’re doing.

00:16:08:28 – 00:16:14:21
Brad Singletary:
It doesn’t at all seem to me super salesy. It’s totally cool.

00:16:14:21 – 00:16:42:26
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And I listen to it. Yeah, I have fun with it. So just the passion is what keeps me going every day. You know, I’ve been at this on this mission for seven, eight years now from the idea, and it’s not me. It’s it’s the collective we that’s moving me because I’m really, really focused on helping and growing communities and growing people and so anyways, yeah, I mean, I’m having fun with it.

00:16:43:09 – 00:17:07:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I don’t know what else to do, but to just, you know, I’m blessed. I’m grateful. I’m joyous every day. I mean, I get to I get to get up and, and sell a product that I believe in. That’s that’s the truth. It’s fun. And so, yeah, I’m so excited to share. And, you know, we just got we just got a coconut water this month.

00:17:07:26 – 00:17:30:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
For Drunk Beach at the Encore Beach Club. And, wow, so many fun things and the people that we meet and yeah, it takes it’s emotional intelligence you know, to as an entrepreneur, you have to find the demand and fill it. You know what people what people need is a smile. People need is a song. But people need to feel better somedays when you know life’s tough man.

00:17:30:16 – 00:17:50:21
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
People are dying or whatever’s going on in people’s worlds, you know, sometimes they just need an ear. Sometimes they just need somebody listen. So I do my best to practice the two ears, one mouth rule. Mm hmm. I try not to just over dominate a conversation I want to ask good questions and listen and hear, hear people what they need.

00:17:51:01 – 00:17:57:21
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I know what they need. Even if it’s not a coconut, if they’re allergic and they hate coconuts, what can I do? How can I help you? You know who? Doesn’t matter.

00:17:58:17 – 00:18:27:01
Brad Singletary:
So how do most people receive you? I mean, you show up and you’re in these high level places, you’re in a casino executive’s office, or you’re in I mean, you’ve been on Shark Tank, and you’ve you had to pitch this thing from the from the Las Vegas sign. Yeah, to to big to television shows and whatever. So talk about what it’s like to stand in front of people saying something crazy and taking the risk to to hear what they have to say back.

00:18:27:01 – 00:18:29:13
Brad Singletary:
And how do people how to most people receive you?

00:18:30:27 – 00:18:52:25
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I guess it’s just on a case by case. You know, not everybody’s going to like you and not everybody likes Coco. Vinnie, it’s OK. I’m not I’m not for everybody, but I am for somebody. And so when I’m in meetings and and I can tell that they’re, you know, the vibes not there. The Coco flow is not there.

00:18:53:00 – 00:19:17:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s OK. Some will some won’t. But I’ll catch them. On the flip side around, because I’ve been in meetings before where there’s a we call them Coco COC blockers. OK, so if we got a coco COC blocker in the room and he’s not letting us get the deal or get through, we just get him on the next time around or we just wait it out till he gets fired or till he quits and then we go back in there and we get it again.

00:19:18:03 – 00:19:35:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I’ve had that happen numerous times. I’m still waiting on some people to get fired or some people to quit right now, you know, but they’re on the list and we’ll get them back on the second time around a third time round. The thing is to keep showing up, keep believing in yourself and your product and, and it’s benefits and it’ll happen.

00:19:35:26 – 00:19:46:02
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It just it’s a matter of time. It’s a waiting game. It’s poker. As long as you’re still at the table with a chip and a chair, you can always get dealt the nuts and go all in.

00:19:46:02 – 00:20:06:00
Brad Singletary:
Baby so people people don’t like it. Sometimes they turn it down. You don’t get shook by that. You’re not that that doesn’t do anything to you. There’s got to be a little sting. There’s got to be a little, you know, stride, a little ego. Like, Hey, man, they told me they don’t like my idea or whatever they.

00:20:06:00 – 00:20:24:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Used to at the biggest time I ever got shook was in front of five billionaires and starting. Right. They don’t they all just gave me excuses and I was like, I thought I was a failure. I thought it was over. I swear to you, I got those lights went off. The cameras went off. Even though I sang out of the room, you know, like head held high.

00:20:24:12 – 00:20:47:07
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I went in the back and I was crying and I was pissed off and I wanted to kill somebody. But but, you know, that stuff you get you get you grow, you grow and you get stronger, you get better, and you learn that it’s it’s nothing personal. It’s just business. And you know what? I came to find out that not a lot of deals happen on Shark Tank, period.

00:20:47:21 – 00:20:54:28
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Like, those guys don’t write checks for more than like 50 grand. And a lot of times not even their money. So it’s like they don’t care. It’s all right.

00:20:55:01 – 00:20:57:16
Brad Singletary:
It’s entertainment, good show, it’s good TV. Right? Yeah.

00:20:57:22 – 00:21:02:26
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I sang my way in. I got my kicked in the coconuts and a single way out. It’s nothing wrong with it.

00:21:04:09 – 00:21:18:11
Brad Singletary:
So you’ve got this high energy you know, you got this high energy way. In fact, I asked your sister about you. I got to pull this up for a second. She told me, I said, tell me something about your brother. And this was her this was her response.

00:21:18:12 – 00:21:20:02
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Was this recently or just today?

00:21:20:09 – 00:21:39:09
Brad Singletary:
No way. Hey, your brother’s coming in. Tell me something about him. She said, my brother, larger than life and really doesn’t fit into any box. He could sell water to a fish in the ocean and can turn any dull environment into a place with life and vibrance and laughter. Wow. And that’s what I’ve encountered.

00:21:39:16 – 00:21:41:17
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Wow. That’s nice to hear. Hmm.

00:21:41:18 – 00:22:12:10
Brad Singletary:
So talking about just energy, we did a couple of shows on that and how some people are maybe naturally born with it. You’re extroverted, you’re kind of born with some enthusiasm. You have a little bit of spark in your personality. You got a big smile, but I’m guessing that you have to manufacture that sometimes to get up and go show up and be a positive leader to your team and to and like, how do you create energy in yourself?

00:22:13:06 – 00:22:48:18
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I think it’s a day to day thing. You know, every day is different. You wake up, sometimes you can’t you know, sometimes you jump out before in the morning and sometimes I can’t get out of bed at ten or 11. It just it’s it’s a day to day basis and I’ve been I’ve been through things that sometimes I’ve had to like literally cry in front of in front of, you know, one of my team members or, you know, it ain’t all roses and sunshine all the time, but you bring you bring your you know, you bring your own sunshine you can you can bring your own sunshine even even on the cloudy days and on

00:22:48:18 – 00:22:57:10
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
the dark days and the tough days. You got to bring it. And so it’s a practice. That’s all it is. Here you have a coconut and you smile and do your best.

00:22:58:12 – 00:23:17:25
Brad Singletary:
So you say you have to you have to bring your own. You bring your own sunshine. What is that for you? Is that word is that looking in the mirror? I mean, I feel like I swear I’ve seen some of your lives where you just, you know, you’re talking to you and there could be hundreds of thousands of people watching this, but you’re you’re it’s like, OK, this is your morning message.

00:23:18:16 – 00:23:42:08
Brad Singletary:
And it’s like you’re it’s a pep talk to Coco Vinnie sometimes and to me, I’m finding all of this like, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll feel it, you know? But do you use words? I’m guessing that you have to use words to create the sunshine you talk to yourself, you talk to your people. You talk to the person who said you’ve got somebody you need to lift or you want to bring some light that with words.

00:23:43:07 – 00:24:03:28
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Sometimes for me, no, it’s more motion. Yeah, OK. I got to get into motion. So if I stretch, if I hit the gym, go for a swim, do something good for myself that really feeds that, you know, that the energy and the once you get into motion, then it shakes some of that emotion loose if you’re feeling down, then you can shake it.

00:24:04:15 – 00:24:22:07
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s a physical movement for me. I’m more I’m very physical. I’m a I’m a hands on learner. Words put me to sleep but if I can see something and I can grab it and I can like a Rubik’s Cube and I can play with it and I can figure it out, then that really gets my juices going. So everyone’s different.

00:24:22:13 – 00:24:44:29
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Some people need to listen to a song, you know, I’ll I’ll put music on in the shower or I’ll just some of the cruelest ideas came in the shower and I was like, OK, like, it’s weird. I’ll leave, be sitting in the shower and then boom, like, ding, that’s it. And then I got to jump out of the shower all wet naked and write something down or whatever but like, there’s some really cool things that are that have come through that.

00:24:44:29 – 00:25:09:28
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And I don’t know, I just you got to just keep centered, keep grounded. I call it being tapped in. You got to stay your feet on the ground and and keep moving forward. So it’s it’s not rocket science. For me. I guess I’ve had a little bit of practice and I’ve learned some techniques, you know, morning routines, but, you know, it don’t always go the way as planned, you know.

00:25:10:16 – 00:25:26:08
Brad Singletary:
You seem like you’re a family guy. You know, you seem like, you know, you’re trying to take care of your mom and be there for your siblings and your your grandma, too. I noticed recently you you went and I see that occasion, you go, like, pick her up and take her out on a walk and a stroll and that kind of thing.

00:25:26:08 – 00:25:26:25
Brad Singletary:
How’s she doing?

00:25:26:25 – 00:25:34:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
She’s good. She’s good. She’s 104, man. She’s going to be 105 this year. Wow. She’s a she’s a beast. She’s amazing.

00:25:34:05 – 00:25:36:10
Brad Singletary:
She drinking coconut water. Is that how she does that?

00:25:36:10 – 00:25:43:11
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
That’s hilarious. She hates it. I’ve given her one on like I’ve recorded it. It’s like, what do you think, Grandma? She the guy. This is grown up crap.

00:25:45:14 – 00:25:45:28
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s funny.

00:25:47:12 – 00:26:01:19
Brad Singletary:
So to be respected and trusted, I’m guessing that you can’t get these deals. You can’t get the, you know, the investment that people share with you and stuff like that without being respected and trusted. How do you garner respect and trust?

00:26:03:03 – 00:26:24:24
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
You know, it depends what kind of respect we’re talking about. But they have to respect the hustle. They have to respect the fact that I’ve not given up. They’ve seen me get shot down on two different TV shows. In front of the world and I ain’t quitting. There ain’t no quitting me. So they got to respect that my product is bar none more than whatever I do.

00:26:25:03 – 00:26:43:15
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
They can come at me and make fun of me and clown on me, but they can’t take my product. My product speaks for itself. It’s like a walking billboard it is be a one Rolls Royce of coconut water. It is bar none, freshest, sexiest coconuts on this planet.

00:26:43:23 – 00:27:05:06
Brad Singletary:
So in back to the science on that, too. It seems like you really kind of fine tuned the taste in the different types of coconut and the different like, you know. Exactly the type and the age and the and the conditions. It’s almost like these these wine folks, you know, who they know exactly what type of, you know, what part of the country it’s from and that kind of thing.

00:27:05:07 – 00:27:07:10
Brad Singletary:
You’ve done that with coconuts, too. Yeah.

00:27:07:11 – 00:27:41:25
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I mean, we had coconuts all over the world now. You know, the classic taste is like I said, Southeast Asian and the Thai coconut and stuff. But what I’m finding is there’s better there’s there’s better strains, better coconut and and different different places in the world. So and different different strokes for different folks. I’ve done a lot of market research and a lot of my South American customers don’t care for the, the Southeast Asian sweetness.

00:27:41:25 – 00:28:02:18
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s a little too sweet for them. And so there’s a lot of kinds of cool stuff. I found a coconut that we’re planting that’s actually a hybrid from from the Caribbean and from Asia and, you know, Southeast Asian. So our coconuts, the ones that we’re growing, are going to be so awesome. I mean, I’ve already had them. They’re unbelievable.

00:28:02:18 – 00:28:05:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So I can’t wait to share it with everybody, you know?

00:28:06:26 – 00:28:26:14
Brad Singletary:
So you talked about respect. People see what you’re doing. They respect your product. They know that you’re being consistent you know, you just keep showing up. You just keep getting picking yourself back up. What are the things, I guess, contribute to trust. People are throwing money at you and stuff like that. How do they trust you? What in the world do they.

00:28:27:13 – 00:28:52:01
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I guess from from what I can tell, integrity, purpose, the mission. You know how we’re helping other people. We’ve raised thousands of dollars for other nonprofits. You know, we have a during COVID, we we got out in the streets and we started selling coconuts on the beach in California and here. And we raise a lot of money for new life beginnings.

00:28:52:01 – 00:29:23:01
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Homeless women and children shelter. We’ve done a lot of community stuff where we’re a minority certified organization. So you know, respect is earned and trust is earned. It’s not something you just get. And as we continue to stay true to ourselves, our mission, our product, our passion that will be earned. I don’t even we don’t demand it. We don’t command it.

00:29:23:01 – 00:29:26:06
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We just earn it. Keep on earning that service.

00:29:26:06 – 00:29:36:09
Brad Singletary:
Just keep doing the next great thing. You just keep doing what is right. You talked a lot about nonprofit stuff. And what was this organization you’re saying? The Women and children. What was that called? New Beginnings.

00:29:36:09 – 00:30:06:10
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
New Life Beginnings. It’s a 40 year old organization started by this beautiful lady named Rebecca Younger, and she opened up her own home to the first family that needed help women and children from, you know, domestic violence to human trafficking to all kinds of things that that are out there and you know, I just it’s near and dear to my heart because, you know, a lot of stuff goes on in this world.

00:30:06:10 – 00:30:26:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And people come from tough environments. And when people like that show up and open up their own home to strangers and and give them a hand up, then those are the kind of people I need to get out there and help and so that’s the kind of people I am that’s kind of person I am. And a true story.

00:30:26:13 – 00:30:44:02
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I mean, there was a family that needed help during COVID and I gave them my house. I literally moved out of my own house and moved their whole family into my house. And I gave them a house for two years. They’re just getting on their feet and moving out now. But I literally gave my own house up for two years and I rented an apartment.

00:30:44:28 – 00:30:47:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I mean, that stuff is just real. It happens.

00:30:48:19 – 00:31:03:22
Brad Singletary:
So, wow, that’s crazy, man. Yeah, that’s that’s the kind of stuff that I guess I didn’t know some of that, but those are some of the things that I can tell about you that I can tell that I like this guy and you know, I just want to get to know you better. So that’s cool that you’re here.

00:31:03:22 – 00:31:10:00
Brad Singletary:
But talk about you said minority certified, minority owned business or something. Think about that.

00:31:10:09 – 00:31:50:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So there’s an organization the Southwest Regional Supplier Development Council, and they’re a minority organization where all these big companies have diversity programs and they need to start purchasing and doing more work with minorities, with minority owned companies. And in order to be minority certified you have to have over 51% of your company has to be, you know, either Asian, Hispanic, Native American, you know, African-American, whatever, you know, minority classified as women owned.

00:31:51:02 – 00:32:21:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And so that’s we’re certified. We’ve been certified for going on our like fifth year now for cocoa taps. And so when MGM Mirage I just graduated the MGM supplier Diversity Mentorship Program. So they they’re always looking for ways to help minorities get contracts or do things. So it’s it’s a you know, it is what we are I mean I own over 50% of the company I’m Hispanic and it’s we’re certified.

00:32:22:17 – 00:32:41:10
Brad Singletary:
That was one of the coolest things when I first saw your you know, playing the ukulele and some of that stuff you talked about Mexican Jew. And I forget the the jingle in the rhyme or whatever. But I was like, now that is killer I just love that you just I don’t know. That’s not the kind of stuff you hear people going around kind of bragging about, but you’re like bragging.

00:32:41:10 – 00:32:42:15
Brad Singletary:
You kind of almost like I’m.

00:32:42:15 – 00:33:08:03
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Proud of it. I’m it’s who I am, right? My mom’s Jewish. My dad’s Mexican. And you know what? What are you going to do? You’re where you are, who you are. So I’m proud of it. People sometimes, you know, interpret it wrong. They think I’m being, I don’t know, some sort of racially driven or whatever, but no, it’s I’m it’s a pride of my heritage and who I am and who I’m born.

00:33:08:09 – 00:33:14:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Born in this world. I’m a six foot five Mexican Jewish Coco Gorilla. And I tell people I’m this.

00:33:14:08 – 00:33:24:19
Brad Singletary:
Is a this is a this is quite a large guy here. He’s just towering over me. 65. Holy smokes. Yeah. So you did two Iron Mans were they both in Hawaii?

00:33:24:19 – 00:33:39:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah. So in Kona they had this it’s actually a half Ironman. It’s a 70.3 race. You do a 1.2 mile swim in the ocean, you do a 56 mile bike ride and then a 13.1 mile run.

00:33:39:21 – 00:33:41:03
Brad Singletary:
Oh my goodness.

00:33:41:03 – 00:33:44:11
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I’ve done that twice. So I’ve kind of done a full Ironman, just a little separate.

00:33:45:17 – 00:33:50:06
Brad Singletary:
I don’t even know what that was. I didn’t know what the, what the different events were and the length of that. So yeah, a.

00:33:50:06 – 00:34:11:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Full, like a full Ironman, the Ironman Championship in Hawaii. It’s a lot is a lot. It’s a yeah. 2.4 miles swim, hundred 12 mile bike and full marathon all mine that’ll take you. I mean, some of these guys knock it out and like, I know six, 8 hours, but that would take me three years to finish that last.

00:34:11:08 – 00:34:19:09
Brad Singletary:
Swimming two miles. Oh, my goodness. Yeah, I did a mile swim as a Boy Scout and I thought I was going to die just from that. Really? Yeah, I was in this.

00:34:19:12 – 00:34:22:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Got to train, man. You go drink your coke coconut water and train yeah.

00:34:22:22 – 00:34:28:13
Brad Singletary:
So you’re a cyclist, you’ve got all these different kind of things. You’re still doing that or tell me about your travel.

00:34:28:14 – 00:34:47:03
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Travel’s been tough. You know, I’ve been I do a little jog here and there. But, no, I have not been training for anything at the moment. I’ve got to probably put something on the board soon because I want to cut some weight. I want to start training again when I train, I cut a good £50. So it’s time calling me in.

00:34:47:03 – 00:34:55:28
Brad Singletary:
How often are you in and out? How often are you here? There? I mean, you’re it seems like in one week I’ve seen you in four countries.

00:34:57:00 – 00:35:19:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s been a while. Yeah. No, I’m. I’m in Miami. Next week, Orlando in L.A. And Puerto Rico. So the next 30 days, I’m going be in four different places and fight in places. But, yeah, no, it’s it’s it’s work. I’m a I just go where the go where the the wind blows me. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on everywhere.

00:35:19:15 – 00:35:40:16
Brad Singletary:
Part of this distinction is like, leadership. And so talk about your team, how you do that. I mean, I think you seem like I mean, you’re obviously super capable person. You wouldn’t have been able to do this, but you got some. Yeah, got a team and they’re more and more I’m sure they’re they’re significance to what you’re doing is just more and more like pronounced.

00:35:40:16 – 00:35:45:23
Brad Singletary:
But talk about your team and the things you do and the things you have to let go of and let them do.

00:35:46:14 – 00:36:12:02
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah. So I’ve been, you know, I don’t like to micromanage. I just I love to, you know, empower people to take the ball and run with it, you know, and I, I’ve been so lucky that the right people have been magnetically drawn to, you know, in our team to the company. So Coco Rob he was at Pepsi for 25 years.

00:36:12:28 – 00:36:35:10
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
He saw me on Instagram or on Facebook. He was following me and we were in a, we were in a seminar together. What was it called? I can’t remember the name now. It was something it wasn’t say seminar. It was, gosh, Robin Williams. You know what I’m talking about?

00:36:35:10 – 00:36:35:19
Brad Singletary:
Oh.

00:36:37:15 – 00:37:00:21
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Darn it. It was here and I can’t remember. But anyways, we were in this life thing together and then he started following me and he, he came through. He’s now the president of, you know, operations and everything here in Vegas. And he’s taken the ball and just run with it, you know? So there’s a lot of good things happening with with some, you know, we play to our core values.

00:37:01:20 – 00:37:10:29
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And if if there’s not an alignment with the core values, then, you know, and then they’ll just self-select out. We don’t have to fire anybody either. They’ll just self-select out.

00:37:11:19 – 00:37:38:00
Brad Singletary:
So so the people, the process, whatever’s going on, whatever decisions need to be made, you’ve already made the decision in choosing what you value. And if the person doesn’t work out or the or the idea or the new tool or whatever doesn’t work, it doesn’t follow that. Then then that’s doesn’t work. You’re ready. It’s an easy call. We talked earlier about being trusted, but here this means you have to trust other people so you’re not just trusted.

00:37:38:13 – 00:37:59:22
Brad Singletary:
You’re a trusting person. You turn this over to Rob and you take over the Vegas stuff. And that must I think that that kind of thing will be hard for me, you know, and everything. I’m I’m a little bit obsessive. That’s, I don’t know, maybe excessive. I Grant Cardone, you know, be obsessed or be average. But you’re you’re hustling, you’re passionate, you’re doing this stuff.

00:37:59:22 – 00:38:03:21
Brad Singletary:
But at some point you had to stop doing it all yourself.

00:38:04:01 – 00:38:21:26
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Gallego You got to delegate got to hand the ball, you got to pass the ball. You can’t just be the one doing everything and every position everybody’s got to there’s a everybody’s got a seat on the bus. You know, everybody’s rowing in the boat and you all need to be rowing in the right direction and know where we’re headed.

00:38:21:26 – 00:38:32:17
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
You know, we’re going to you know, I might be a captain but I can’t go anywhere without my team behind me and helping get there, you know? So as I’m just I work for them.

00:38:33:05 – 00:38:36:23
Brad Singletary:
Truthfully, that’s an interesting way to say it. You know, they don’t work for me.

00:38:36:23 – 00:38:45:12
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I work for them. If they have an issue, I have an issue. And so I work for them. If they have a problem, I have to solve it. That’s my job.

00:38:47:29 – 00:39:09:16
Brad Singletary:
That seems to be one of the coolest things about leadership. I heard a talk one time about the difference between leaders and managers and it and it talked about in a typical company like a manager is someone who’s beholden to the higher ups and they’re all loyal to the higher ups and to the system. But a leader is loyal to the people, the people that work for them.

00:39:09:16 – 00:39:16:13
Brad Singletary:
And it sounds like that’s what you’re talking about. They’re the special people to you. You’re taking care of them. You work for them.

00:39:16:20 – 00:39:40:06
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I work for them. I’m working with them, for them, on them, with them. We’re all we’re all here to make money. We’re all here to grow and have fun and do something great. That’s it. I mean, it’s simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I’m not about the titles. I’m not about flex and rank. None of that. That’s stupid.

00:39:40:06 – 00:39:52:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I just like to have fun. I’ll be the goofiest one in the room, probably. It doesn’t matter. But but yeah, I like to. I like to get shit done. Do I work my guts out? So it’s like, you know, got to have fun and get it done.

00:39:53:07 – 00:40:12:18
Brad Singletary:
Talk about your marketing a little bit because that takes you know, getting some exposure or being visible. You’re doing this, you’re just constantly sharing what you’re doing. You’re just kind of walking around, like documenting your life I saw a picture with you and Gary Vee, you know? I mean, you’re, you are you got that stuff figured out. I hope it’s helpful.

00:40:12:18 – 00:40:30:15
Brad Singletary:
I guess I don’t look at your numbers and stuff, but it seems like you you know what you’re doing, and I just love seeing. My favorite thing is when you’re when you’re, you know, you’re with like a customer at the store level and they just bought one of your you know, they’re trying it for the first time. You’re like and I saw it recently.

00:40:30:15 – 00:40:36:16
Brad Singletary:
You’re like, hey, that’s I invented this. You know, this is my product or whatever. And they’re just like, it was just a happy it was cool because it’s.

00:40:36:16 – 00:40:56:09
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Organic because he’s like, I buy two of them this morning. I’m buying more of them. I’m like, man, that just makes me feel good. Like, the product is doing its job. It’s, you know, build a great product and let them come get it right, build something great. That’s it. That’s all we’re trying to do. And as far as marketing and Facebook and all that, honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing.

00:40:56:17 – 00:41:19:27
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I don’t I could be doing it ten X better, you know, all these guys, but I don’t really care to be honest. I know I should probably care a little more, but I just organically raw. I’m documenting what’s going on because I hit record. You know, I hit record all the time and I just let it flow and whatever comes to my mind is what I’m supposed to be saying.

00:41:19:27 – 00:41:50:23
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s just flowing through me and you know, it’s going to come on. I have no doubt. It’s just a matter of time. It’s like the same day you plant the seed. It’s not the same day you’re going to harvest the fruit one day I’ll have a million followers. Big deal. You know, it’s better. A million trees planted. 400 million coconuts growing communities thriving with nature, sequestering 80 million tons of carbon a year.

00:41:50:28 – 00:41:57:12
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
That’s power. I don’t care about the followers. I want a million trees. I don’t want a million followers. I love it, you know.

00:41:57:25 – 00:41:58:27
Brad Singletary:
80 million what?

00:41:58:29 – 00:42:26:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
£80 million of carbon can be sequestered from the air into the soil. And when photosynthesis happens, carbon is taken from the air, sequestered into the soil, and it builds nutrients. That’s what the fruits and everything grows like. It’s a reverse process. When the tree breathes in the carbon dioxide and the carbon, it exhales oxygen. So when we breathe in oxygen, we exhale carbon.

00:42:26:17 – 00:43:05:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s the yin yang balance of life. The plants breathe what we’re exhaling and we breathe what they’re exhaling. It’s the life force that we got to connect back to, and it feeds us in it. It’s like our whole nature connection to Earth, into soil, into grounding is all connected. So like if you walk barefoot on some grass and if you put your feet in the ocean on the sand, you’re grounding, you’re connecting to the you get your recharging your batteries and that’s what we need to start doing more of.

00:43:05:00 – 00:43:33:26
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
When you hold the coconut, it releases negative ions, the same stuff that comes out of the lawn. Your grass, if you walk barefoot on grass and if if you’re at the ocean, the negative ionic flow, when the air, the sea and the land collide, it creates this magical ionic negative ionic flow that actually resets our our system. Our bodies are electromagnetic beings that operate for 80 years with no batteries.

00:43:34:07 – 00:43:52:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We need to plug back in to that, that connection to Earth. That’s what makes us thrive. So if you’re depressed try walking barefoot on some grass, get connected, get grounded, do a little exercise outside, get some sunshine. That’s, that’s really you got to connect back to Mother Nature. We’re so disconnected.

00:43:53:17 – 00:44:18:03
Brad Singletary:
Dude. That’s mind blowing stuff. Just what you’re saying. Number one, the content of what you just shared. But the process of that you are a master teacher. That’s, that’s that’s what I’ve found about the strongest men, the most capable dudes they can teach in whatever it is. They can explain it in this colorful like you can just illustrate a story or an idea.

00:44:18:18 – 00:44:36:07
Brad Singletary:
And when your sister said you could sell water to a fish I’m thinking it’s because you can teach. Like that was profoundly inspirational right there when you said hold the coconut and then you held your hands and I can just picture myself hold a cove like she’s I can connect to the connect to the Earth. I can connect to release negative ions.

00:44:36:07 – 00:44:36:24
Brad Singletary:
What was that?

00:44:37:02 – 00:44:57:12
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah, like like, I mean, negative ions is what’s good for us. It recharges us. And so that’s what comes off of the out of the out of the ground, in the grass and then the ocean and the coconut. It’s connecting you back to source. Wow. Tapping in, baby. When I talk about are you tapped in? It’s are you tapped in?

00:44:57:12 – 00:45:14:07
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Are you are you connected? Are you feeling it? Are you in line with it? We’re all on this giant rock floating around the sun. You know, we got to realize how, you know, I’ve simple it is like we got to just connect to it.

00:45:15:22 – 00:45:34:19
Brad Singletary:
So I read a book a few times, but we did a little series on it probably a year ago called King Warrior, Magician, Lover. When I think about sometimes people ask me about with the name of, you know, Alpha Quorum and all that, they ask me, what do you think an alpha is and to me it’s that. So here’s here’s what that book is about.

00:45:34:19 – 00:45:54:13
Brad Singletary:
It’s about archetypes. And it says, in order to be a strong, healthy man, you’ve got to be all for these king. So that’s like the leadership in you. That’s the benevolent king. You’re the giving like serving king. You’re a leader, you’re a warrior. You know, you’re fight for like what’s right. You speak out against what you should speak out against.

00:45:54:13 – 00:46:18:12
Brad Singletary:
And whatever magician, you have specialized knowledge, you know, think of the old, you know, the magician who would work up some potion or he can read the stars or whatever, a magician and then lover, you’re connected to the sensual, you’re connected to the earth, you’re connected to art and beauty and music and whatever else lover means. Right. But do that to you right now that I just think.

00:46:18:12 – 00:46:40:24
Brad Singletary:
Yeah, that is you’re the most respectable people. It’s just a little more. I like that book if you ever want a good what’s it called? King Warrior, Magician Lover. It’s about it’s about masculine. It’s about the life of men and how we can, you know, live in those live in those like archetypes. King Warrior, magician lovers. So good.

00:46:40:24 – 00:46:55:02
Brad Singletary:
But that’s what you are you’re teaching me. And I’m like, this dude’s a magician. He’s talking about negative ions. And now I have a connection. How, like walking on the and I’m just you’re you’re doing that. You have a magical way about you, and I’m not trying to be a fan.

00:46:55:02 – 00:46:55:23
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Thanks, man.

00:46:55:24 – 00:47:11:28
Brad Singletary:
You know, I do have a little man crush, but anyway, you got some cool attributes. Some of this, I think you you know, you’re I believe people are born with talents and stuff like that, but, like, you’ve honed something like, what were you doing before all this? What was your last, like, job?

00:47:12:25 – 00:47:33:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Well, my last company was called Zen Entertainment, and I was the CEO of this gaming network. People were playing Internet poker online, winning cash and prizes. So I woke up one day and that wasn’t in alignment with who I was or what I wanted to do. Anymore. I just didn’t demand the line. And I said, I’m not doing anymore.

00:47:33:13 – 00:48:07:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And it wasn’t just the job, but it was the woman I was with. There was everything that I was chasing. I was just chasing the money and the superficial or whatever, just trying to get the money. And I was done doing that. And so I just put the brakes on, sold everything, broke up with the girlfriend, hired a CEO, left, and when I went walkabout I had my keyboard and my bike, and I went down to California to live in a little 300 square foot casita on the back of my mom’s property to get connected with my family.

00:48:07:08 – 00:48:29:23
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Again and my mom and my grandma. And and just to say, you know what? I’m going to figure it out. I don’t care. But it ain’t this. You know, I was making great money I had everything I should have had, but I was tired of shooting all over myself and listening to what I thought I should have and chase all these things that just, just bullshit.

00:48:30:25 – 00:48:35:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And so I left and I went figure it out. I found a coconut, and that’s how it all started.

00:48:35:00 – 00:48:44:22
Brad Singletary:
There must have been there must have been. I’m guessing that wasn’t all smooth. And that sounds like this courageous. Oh, wow. He went after his dreams, but I’m sure it was not like a dream. It was.

00:48:44:29 – 00:48:45:07
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It was.

00:48:45:07 – 00:48:48:07
Brad Singletary:
Hard. You’re living in a 300 square foot place, and, you know, your.

00:48:48:07 – 00:48:48:24
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Adjustment.

00:48:49:20 – 00:48:56:29
Brad Singletary:
Probably had to really scale back and, you know, watch the money and, you know, scrimp and save. And I’m guessing there were difficulty to that.

00:48:57:18 – 00:49:21:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah, well, you know, what was most difficult was I had had this whole identity of who I thought I was and what that I needed to be. And it took me two years to shed all of that to get rid of all those things that I thought I should be or that I thought I was and defined my real true purpose, my real reason for being.

00:49:22:01 – 00:49:42:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
That was as hard as I was called. I was I think that was my quarter life. Crisis, you know, and that was really what it was about. It was about figuring out why the hell am I here? What is my why am I here? Start asking myself that. What am I doing here? And why am I why am I missing all this time, energy and money into this?

00:49:43:02 – 00:49:58:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Why is it and it didn’t make sense, right? Soon as I answer that question, I was like, I had I’m done. And then it just started to kind of go from there. And I said, it doesn’t matter what I’m going to be. I’m going to do it in in alignment with myself and health. You know, I started doing Iron Man.

00:49:58:14 – 00:50:24:20
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I lost like £70 doing all that training and it all just flowed. I knew like I did know three things. Whatever I did, I didn’t before I met the coconut had to be good for people, good for planet and fun. If it didn’t have those three, those were my non-negotiables. If I didn’t have those three, I don’t care what it was, what I was doing, I just said, no, no matter how much money, no matter whatever, if it didn’t, it wasn’t good for people it wasn’t good for planet.

00:50:24:20 – 00:50:26:10
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And if it wasn’t fun, it was out.

00:50:27:08 – 00:50:47:12
Brad Singletary:
What’s their connection to the planet? Like have you? Because that’s something I really admire. I’m just, you know, I’m just a redneck and I and I don’t even know some of the words you were talking about earlier about, you know, with the zero waste and some of the things you’re doing. But what connected you to that? What when in your life did did that become important to you to like taking care of the planet and stuff like that?

00:50:47:16 – 00:51:08:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
What’s really weird is that I’ve always been good at figuring out problems and seeing problems. And I can always remember, ever since I was a kid, I would always see trash and I would always like I would I would walk around with my grandma, would take me on these long like two, three, four or five mile walks. She never drove.

00:51:08:14 – 00:51:28:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We walked everywhere. She would take me there. Thrift store. We go to go to different places. The mall, whatever. But I would see trash and I would notice all this trash everywhere, whether I was walking through a desert and I’d seen all this stuff in the ground. I would always notice it, and it never made sense to me.

00:51:28:18 – 00:51:50:17
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So I always wanted to figure out what to do with all that trash. Honestly, since I went from a young age, I remember trying to think about that. And then, you know, I just it’s been something that’s been inside of me. It’s my human, and I think it might come from my Native American background. I have like 26% or more.

00:51:51:12 – 00:52:29:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I think it’s Yaqui Indian, but the Native American cultures are all about Mother Earth and living in harmony with Earth off the Earth, off the land, and that’s just been inside of me. So that’s, that’s my connection to it. And it makes sense because though Mother Nature created this system with no waste, nothing is wasted in nature. The only time you get waste or trash is when you segment certain things away from nature and you start separating things like a lot of manmade systems are segmented.

00:52:29:19 – 00:53:03:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’ll accelerate one part and destroy another so you can get a faster output of certain vegetable by using X chemical or whatever. But in 15 years, now that entire land is just destroyed and a wasteland. So there’s trade offs to acceleration. Are you really getting there faster no. You’re actually killing things long term. So there’s certain ways that when we get connected back to a circular way, then it and then it flows again within within nature.

00:53:03:14 – 00:53:11:09
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So I learn, I’m learning, I’m learning this. I’m just learning about how can I be better, how can I do better and learn better?

00:53:11:15 – 00:53:30:25
Brad Singletary:
I’m sure that sacrifices some profits, you know, like it just seems like the typical manufacturer, they just they don’t care about that as much. And they do what the law requires and what they can get away with. And if they can’t get away with it here, we’ll take it somewhere else. But like that must that must be more expensive.

00:53:31:11 – 00:53:42:16
Brad Singletary:
Or else other people would be more mindful, you know? So to do it in the earth friendly way is probably more expensive, but that that’s not as important to you as good for the earth, good for people and fun.

00:53:42:16 – 00:54:10:11
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Well, actually, no, it’s not. That’s a fallacy. OK, so, you know, I don’t have a a trash bill. I don’t I don’t pay the trash bill because we don’t have any trash. So that’s savings. That’s not losing that’s. So there’s certain things that actually we make more you know, the shipping all the shipping costs have went up. My manufacturers are local.

00:54:10:25 – 00:54:25:03
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I just drive down and it saves me $18,000 a container load on shipping. So being local and being conscious of doing things with less carbon output is actually saving money.

00:54:25:19 – 00:54:26:02
Brad Singletary:
Wow.

00:54:26:14 – 00:54:50:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So when you when you don’t waste anything you save money because if you’re throwing something out that’s throwing money out, period. So it’s a total reverse dichotomy thing. Going on with corporate America that says we can outsource, we can do this, we can go long, you know, we can go overseas. Yeah, they’ll make sense on the short game.

00:54:50:19 – 00:55:11:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Maybe, maybe for your quarter if you want to make your quarterly number right on the stock market and blow it out in a quarter, that’s fine. But see you in five years. You might be out of business because there’s a lot of waste going on and it’s it’s happening. You’re seeing it right before our eyes. We got to localize everything, manufacturing.

00:55:11:14 – 00:55:24:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We got to bring everything back because all this other stuff was a lot of it was subsidized by governments pumping money and artificially deflating costs.

00:55:24:25 – 00:55:27:02
Brad Singletary:
The manufacturing costs overseas, you say?

00:55:27:04 – 00:55:55:11
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah. So like like, you know, China and all these other large manufacturing deals were government subsidized for these fake prices. And now we’re going to pay the piper. It’s coming reverse inflation’s coming. All these things, you know, like hyper inflation. I’m sorry, not reverse. I’d love to reverse inflation right now, but no hyperinflation, you know, I mean, things that have been kicking down the road and can’t do that anymore.

00:55:55:13 – 00:55:57:09
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
You got to get it. We got to do it right here.

00:55:57:23 – 00:56:10:20
Brad Singletary:
Wow. I love how you just you really you have a big picture view of everything from the good that this does to people that know trash bill. I mean, that’s just cool. That’s just cool. You’re recycling your stuff and whatever. You’re right.

00:56:10:26 – 00:56:13:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Eliminating eliminating waste is terrible.

00:56:13:18 – 00:56:18:10
Brad Singletary:
You had to get certified. You have a thing about certified zero, the only or the first in.

00:56:18:10 – 00:56:38:14
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Nevada versus Vegas, we’re the first. And I don’t even know if there’s another company right now, certified zero waste. We were the first in town. And so it took extra audits. It cost me probably ten grand in audits. And you had to fly that third parties in. And then we have to go through our whole supply chain and have to set our zero waste goals and all that stuff.

00:56:38:14 – 00:57:04:15
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I mean, it just takes work. But long game. I’m not here for, you know, a short time. I want to be here for a long time and a good time, you know, so there’s certain foundations that we’re laying here right now and things that we’re putting into place that in 2030, 40, 50 years when I’m gone, these processes and things that we’re laying down are going to be solid and they’re going to help.

00:57:04:27 – 00:57:22:08
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So they’re not going to hurt so it’s and you know, I think the founder of Patagonia is like an 80 year plan. You know, I’m modeling some of this stuff after after that. I just, I love and respect some of these companies that are that committed. I want to be that.

00:57:24:01 – 00:57:45:09
Brad Singletary:
Do you have obviously you know, you have probably accountants and different people that consult with you and they’re paid, you know, but in terms of a personal tribe, people that you can go to not necessarily maybe have maybe business things, but like you’ve got a personal thing going on or you’ve got, you know, you got some conflict somewhere you need to get you know, you need somebody to smack you upside the head.

00:57:45:16 – 00:57:56:15
Brad Singletary:
To get you back to reality. Do you use people? Do you have a little tribe core of people that you talk with or consult with any of them or mastermind type situations?

00:57:57:01 – 00:58:14:07
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
You know, I got a couple a couple of, you know, solid, solid people around mentors and whatnot lately. I haven’t been really I have a couple of different mentors that I that I talk to about things, but not not necessarily you know what?

00:58:14:18 – 00:58:21:17
Brad Singletary:
I’ll call them formalized. I call home you got a buddy. You can pick up the phone and say, hey, I got something going on and they’ll talk with you about it or whatever.

00:58:21:26 – 00:58:35:06
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah, probably. Yeah. I mean, not not really. I can think of offhand. I have a couple of good friends in town, but mostly mostly business partners that we also have good personal relationships, too, that probably share with.

00:58:36:25 – 00:58:55:24
Brad Singletary:
So I’m, I’m all over the place here and we’ll wrap up here in just a few. But talk about funding. Like how did you how in the world did you buy hundreds of acres in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and how did you how are you? How did you go from I have an idea to you got this huge operation going on.

00:58:56:16 – 00:59:26:12
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Well they’re they’re partnerships. You know, you got to you have to recruit and work with people and so I had certain people that wanted to be a part of it in Costa Rica have certain people that are coming to it and Puerto Rico. So they’re just different they’re different partnerships that we were able to put together. And it’s all about relationship building and getting great partners, finding the right people and so that’s that’s really how it’s done.

00:59:26:12 – 00:59:43:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
It’s not I’m not doing all this by myself. It’s not is not for me. So I shouldn’t be doing it all anyways. It’s for everyone. It’s it is such a fun deal that a lot of people should be in it, you know, just like these giant public companies, a lot of people invest in them because they want to be a part of them.

00:59:44:01 – 01:00:02:01
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So this thing is huge. I mean, the coconut water industry alone is in the billions already, and that’s just packaged coconut water, fresh coconut water. We have the ready to drink fresh coconut water. It’s a whole different game. And it’s amazing. It’s fun.

01:00:02:23 – 01:00:15:19
Brad Singletary:
What is it that you’re most proud of with your company and what you’re doing? And is there a particular account that you have or a particular property or like what’s what is your what is the crown jewel of cocoa taps?

01:00:16:00 – 01:00:48:04
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Oh, my God, that’s a tough question. I love all of my customers. I’m so proud of every single one of them. I would say honestly, it’s the team. It’s the the family that we’re growing here. It’s the excitement of the future. Like we have so much coming. Like, it’s just the beginning. It’s is in the infancy. Like, so, you know, when when we’re in a hundred cities, you know, over the next few years, I just am so excited and proud about that.

01:00:48:11 – 01:01:17:05
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
How many people we’re going to employ and how many people we’re going to empower to run those territories to own their own business in those cities. And like I have a territory licensing program, we’re launching. We’re going to every city in the country can can own a Coca Tap’s distribution, you know, just like you see Coca-Cola they have their bottlers and their distributors or whoever, Michelob and all these other brands we’re going to have.

01:01:17:23 – 01:01:30:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
That’s what I’m proud of. Like, I’m proud of the people that we’re going to affect and the change that we’re going to inspire. You know, there’s not a lot of companies that are zero waste that even think about this stuff right now, but everybody’s got to go that way.

01:01:32:17 – 01:01:53:20
Brad Singletary:
All right. Two more questions, man. I’ll let you out of here. I know you’re busy. You got stuff going on. You look like a million bucks. You’re you know, you’re sure you got it? You got a lot of things to take care of. So tell me your area. Tell me an area or some areas of your life that you want to work on that you really would like to you know, buckle up and get a little stronger with.

01:01:55:15 – 01:02:20:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Where I start, man. I mean, honestly, that the two things that I’m that I’ve been working on a bit this last two years during COVID and whatnot is, you know, my personal life, you know, getting that that get some things out of the way there. There’s some challenges, you know, just because I’m so obsessed and driven and working so much.

01:02:20:23 – 01:02:52:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So can some of that going health and Wellness Man, Personal health and wellness. I just had all my physicals done and everything. I’m heavier than I should be, you know? And so that’s a work in progress. I just started a new program there to get back get back on track. You know, COVID messed up my routines. I’m not blaming it at all, but, you know, sitting and eating and working out less just for some reason.

01:02:53:10 – 01:02:57:23
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
I should use this as an opportunity to work out more. But I didn’t want to. I was just like De-motivated.

01:02:57:23 – 01:03:01:13
Brad Singletary:
Yeah, I put on like £40, man. I get you on that one. I totally.

01:03:01:13 – 01:03:11:00
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So those are two things I’m working on and and developing solid quality relationships in every city in the, in the free world so that we can get cocoa daps everywhere.

01:03:11:24 – 01:03:31:02
Brad Singletary:
And then the last thing, brother, what is your gift? What is your what’s the most alpha thing about you? The thing that you’re you just this undeniable talent that you have that makes you feel the way you do and see the way you do. What is your greatest gift.

01:03:33:15 – 01:03:37:04
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So my superpower. Is that what you’re asking me? Yes. Good Lord.

01:03:40:01 – 01:04:12:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
You know, I would say that one of my strengths and superpowers is being able to keep on keeping on and solving problems, finding a problem, and solving it some way somehow, no matter what I think, I think the the undeniable resilience and the warrior inside of me, I think that’s a superpower because I’m ready to fight for my course.

01:04:12:22 – 01:04:31:13
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
And that’s a superpower. I don’t I don’t quit, I don’t stop. I don’t I just keep going. And I got that from a few different people. I think my my pops is one of these resilience cats who just submarine, just keep on trucking no matter what, get blown up, shot, stabbed, put in jail or whatever. My dad has been through it and he just keeps on keeping on.

01:04:31:25 – 01:04:35:19
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
So that’s a perseverance, you know? No, quit.

01:04:37:15 – 01:04:50:19
Brad Singletary:
So if people are interested in what you’re doing, man, how do they get connected? What I I’ll put some links, but just tell us where you would like them to go. Do you want to go to websites, social media? Do you want to look at some of these fundraising things? You know, nonprofit stuff?

01:04:51:02 – 01:05:14:27
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
You know, if they want to coconut, they can they can reach out to at cocoa taps for you if they want to sponsor a tree, they can go to roots number four Change.org for as little as $0.11. You can water a tree in a day. You could plant a tree for 25 years and make sure it’s watered that’s a thousand bucks for 9100 days the tree will be cared for.

01:05:15:06 – 01:05:35:23
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
If you want to sponsor it. And there’s so many cool things they can be a part of or just reach out to at Cocoa Vinnies Cocoa Vine and Y on any of the platforms, whether it be Twitter Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, I’m easy to catch and get a hold of and I’ll return your call no matter what. Even if you’re a bill collector.

01:05:37:06 – 01:05:55:20
Brad Singletary:
Dude, I appreciate you so much. I can just tell you’re always running. You got things going on, you’ve got family, you know, you have responsibilities, you’re taking care of people all around you, your employees, your you talked about having this family move into your home. You’re just a servant. You know, you’re a person who’s taking care of business.

01:05:55:20 – 01:06:17:02
Brad Singletary:
Taking care of people. And that’s something that I just really have noticed about you. It’s just I feel I think you’re I think you’re my favorite guest. This is episode probably like 88, 89, something like that. Wow. And I really think you’re you’re one of my favorites just cause I’ve been able to watch you for the last probably, I don’t know, three or four years or something like that.

01:06:17:02 – 01:06:18:04
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Yeah, it’s been a while, huh?

01:06:18:04 – 01:06:18:22
Brad Singletary:
Been impressive.

01:06:18:22 – 01:06:20:16
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Been talking about doing this for a while now.

01:06:20:16 – 01:06:30:04
Brad Singletary:
We have you able to do it. Appreciate you coming down here to me to, you know, in the future. I’m going to have to go track these busy people down and show up at your place for a short visit.

01:06:30:05 – 01:06:33:22
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
We got to do it. We got to do a field trip, man. We got to come to the farm.

01:06:33:24 – 01:06:34:25
Brad Singletary:
A Rico man come to.

01:06:34:25 – 01:06:41:11
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Puerto Rico, and let’s do some. Let’s do some remote work, man. Do some video and show them what’s up. Plant a tree. Let’s do this.

01:06:41:11 – 01:06:41:24
Brad Singletary:
Awesome.

01:06:42:02 – 01:06:43:24
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
That’s the hands on stuff I like to do.

01:06:43:24 – 01:07:01:11
Brad Singletary:
I swear, I keep thinking about could I have out here in my office a little, little vending machine, not a vending machine. Just like a, you know, honor system, like a bowl. They can drop their eight bucks or whatever it is for have to have a coconut for people to buy. I have to find a way to do something like that.

01:07:01:11 – 01:07:13:07
Brad Singletary:
But do to really appreciate you being here, man. Hey, brother, you’re just a bad ass in every sense of the word. And I really mean that. And I am glad to have spent an hour or so here with you today and hope that we can talk again in the future.

01:07:13:08 – 01:07:16:24
Coco Vinny Zaldivar
Hey, man, and see you soon. I appreciate thank you. Thanks for having me.

01:07:23:29 – 01:07:29:02
Speaker 2
Gentlemen. You are the Alpha, and this is the Alpha Quorum.

 

 

 

 

Click your podcast platform below or listen to the embedded file on this page.

088: LISTEN TO LEARN – Alpha Discernment Part Two with Rockford Wright, MD

085: SQUARED AWAY – Alpha Discipline with RADM Stephen Mehling

085: SQUARED AWAY – Alpha Discipline with RADM Stephen Mehling

This episode is special. With our most distinguished guest ever on this podcast, Brad Singletary and Jimmy Durbin interview a man with high distinction, retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen Mehling. Our topic is discipline and Admiral Mehling presents some surprising elements of discipline that most men surely never consider.

His military experience spans nearly 40 years which included worldwide impact as evidenced by a chest full of medals awarded for exceptional leadership in extremely high-level roles. He shares some exciting stories of both courage and compassion from profound experiences beginning in 1976 at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Admiral Mehling teaches in pure Alpha style: with both boldness and gentleness, with humor and high value, with both energy and reverence. This is a remarkable conversation that all men should hear.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

Stephen Mehling:

In times of crisis. It’s that habit pattern that that is going to carry you through. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and the disciplined individual, they’re going to be willing to stand up and say when things aren’t right and take action to make them right.

Brad Singletary:

Want respect. Be consistent. Boy, that really commands a lot of respect when people know that you can be counted on.

Jimmy Durbin:

There’s a series of actions and I need to take those actions regardless of how I feel. You know, when I ran my life on my feelings it doesn’t work out so well.

Stephen Mehling:

When I was a pilot of a helicopter crew, even though I wasn’t the rescue swimmer in the back of the aircraft, it was going to have to jump out into the water, you know, to pick someone up or the hoist operator. We knew what everyone else was going to do in certain situations because that’s the way it was trained.

Stephen Mehling:

And we really emphasized that you got to practice the way you’re going to play the game. That’s true in the military. It’s true in sports. And it’s true in life.

Intro:

If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong. You are a leader. You are a force for good. Gentlemen, You are the alpha. And this is the Alpha Quorum.

Brad Singletary:

Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum of show. Brad Singletary here. You guys, I’m pretty excited about our guest today who I’m going to introduce here in just a few moments. But our topic tonight is discipline. I’m joined also by Jimmie Durbin, LCSW, w. I don’t think we talked about that in the most recent show where you just recently I don’t know how not recently.

Brad Singletary:

It’s been several months last year, sometimes fully licensed at the highest level in his profession, clinical, social worker.

Jimmy Durbin:

Alcohol and drug clinical, too.

Brad Singletary:

Oh, you got that as well. Okay. So he’s got all kind of letters behind his name and he is working in private practice so would you say.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah.

Jimmy Durbin:

Do mostly trauma, you know, certified with EMDR and most not most just a large chunk just human and sex trafficking victims from that.

Brad Singletary:

Jimmy’s done a lot with the drug courts. He’s done all kinds of different programs. I remember having a talk with him one time asking him to just settle down with all of his little volunteer things that he’s doing. And then I asked him to volunteer for my stuff over here. So I was a little bit hypocrite, I guess So I’m super excited about this guest today.

Brad Singletary:

So this man is the father of one of my friends and a colleague of mine who’s a therapist here in Las Vegas. And he’s a retired Coast Guard rear admiral, currently living in Las Vegas. Prior to his retirement in 2015, he served as the director of Joint Interagency Task Force South and Key West, Florida, where he directed an international, interagency and Multi-Service Coalition effort to combat illicit trafficking throughout a 42 million square mile joint operating area in the Western Hemisphere.

Brad Singletary:

His previous flag assignments included Commander, Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, Director of Operations, Coast Guard, Atlantic Area and Commander Coast Guard, 14th District. He was a career aviator with 17 years of operational flying experience on the East Coast, West Coast and Gulf Coast. He had Air Station command tours in Houston, Texas, and Miami, Florida, where he directed fixed and rotary wing aircraft operations throughout the Southeast.

Brad Singletary:

United States and the Caribbean, including oversight of the Coast Guard Support Detachment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Between aviation assignments he served nine years in program oversight and personnel management duties in Washington, D.C., including service as the Chief of Officer, Personnel Management, Deputy Chief of aviation forces and Shipboard Helicopter Platform Manager. During these assignments, he directed the shipboard testing of the H.H. 60 J Helicopter aboard.

Brad Singletary:

Coast Guard cutters participated in the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces and was presented the DOT Secretary’s Team Award for his leadership of the Aviation Resource Modeling Team. He received his commission in 1980 following graduation from the Coast Guard Academy. His first assignment was as a deck watch officer and as the operations officer aboard CDC sweet gum.

Brad Singletary:

Following his tour afloat he attended flight training in Pensacola Florida in 1982 and was designated as a Coast Guard aviator in 1983. He holds a bachelor of science degree with high honors in mathematics from the United States Coast Guard Academy and a Master of Science degree in management from the University of Maryland He has attended the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum in Kansas.

Brad Singletary:

Earlier. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal to Legions of Merit for Meritorious Service Medals with operational device, two Air Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals with operational device, the nine 11 medal, and numerous other team, unit and individual awards. He and his wife have been married for 41 years and they have two married adult children and three grandchildren.

Brad Singletary:

Gentlemen, I’m so pleased to welcome to the Alpha Quorum Show, retired Rear Admiral Stephen Maler. Dude, I have. I feel so weird to even say dude, admiral, it’s.

Stephen Mehling:

Just this. It’s okay, Brad.

Brad Singletary:

Man, this is so impressive to be here. I’m so thankful for the service.

Stephen Mehling:

Yes.

Brad Singletary:

I. I’m so glad to have you here. Like, I. I don’t think you are the oldest guest that we’ve had. I guess my dad was on the show, and he’s so he’s 30 years older than me. So he’ll be like 77 this year. No, you’re not. You’re nowhere near there. But you’ve been retired since 20, 15. And I was talking to Admiral here about having this show the week before the Super Bowl.

Brad Singletary:

So I was thinking, all right, the playoff game this week, next week is the Super Bowl. So maybe we can do it, you know, this Sunday. And he says, hey Brad, it’s the Pro Bowl.

Stephen Mehling:

And it’s in Vegas.

Brad Singletary:

And I thought, you know what? You’re either enjoying your retirement very well or you’re a huge football fan. That’d be all about the Pro Bowl. So I love that you’re a football fan and and love your service to our country. I’ve done a little research on the Coast Guard, and it’s fascinating. A high school football team mate of mine went to the Coast Guard Academy.

Brad Singletary:

And as far as I know, he’s maybe still a helicopter pilot, so. Coast Guard stuff, man. Just briefly talk about how that’s maybe different or unique in general compared to other branches of the military. I’ve done some research and you have all these. I had to look at what a cutter is.

Stephen Mehling:

Well, a cutter is just a name for a big ship, you know? You know, it could be you know, most of our large cutters are about the size of Navy frigates, you know, and you know, the Coast Guard, the most unique thing about the Coast Guard is that we are not only just military, which we are where we’re a part of the armed forces of the United States at all times, but we’re also law enforcement.

Stephen Mehling:

And that’s really what the big hook is. And the reason that we’re law enforcement is because our roots go back to 1790, and that’s to the revenue cutter service. And it was Alexander Hamilton, who was secretary of the Treasury. So we started off in the Treasury Department, not in the in the War Department, which is now the Defense Department.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah, that’s so fast.

Brad Singletary:

And in 17, 19. I mean, that’s one of the earliest forms of any military type presence. Right? I mean, wasn’t isn’t the one of the longest standing at least that in terms of the maritime stuff.

Stephen Mehling:

We are the longest continuously serving armed force in the United States. Obviously the Marine Corps and the Navy and the Army were around during the revolution. Right. But after the war of Independence, they were all disbanded. You know, there was still there were still militia, which is I guess the the predecessor to the National Guard. But there wasn’t anything.

Stephen Mehling:

And that’s why we were the United States was getting kind of abused by pirates and from other countries And that’s why Alexander Hamilton said, you know, hey, we need something in order to be able to collect their tariffs and protect our goods and do those kinds of things. And so the revenue cutter service was formed.

Brad Singletary:

That’s amazing. So, Rear Admiral, that is as far as that’s like two star general, isn’t that right? Yeah, that’s it. Yeah.

Stephen Mehling:

The equivalent would be a major general. Yes.

Brad Singletary:

I mean, it’s just exciting to me that that part is just very exciting. I, I feel like I missed something I wanted to serve in the military. My uncle was a major in the Marine Corps, and I always, as a kid, probably from like 12 to maybe 14 or 15, I really thought that’s, that’s something that I wanted to do.

Brad Singletary:

I kind of aspired to go into the Naval Academy, but I was, had none of the.

Jimmy Durbin:

Liked the discipline. Yes.

Stephen Mehling:

Exactly. It was my.

Brad Singletary:

Problem. I lacked the discipline. And so when I was looking at guest for this topic, I just thought, here’s someone who since I mean 19 if you were commissioned in 1980.

Stephen Mehling:

1976 I went to the academy.

Brad Singletary:

The United States Coast Guard Academy. That’s what New Jersey.

Stephen Mehling:

No it’s in New London, Connecticut, Connecticut. But you know, ironically you mentioned the Naval Academy. I grew up on the seven river outside of Annapolis, which is the river that the Naval Academy is on. And I had an appointment to the Naval Academy.

Brad Singletary:

Oh wow.

Stephen Mehling:

And then I was an alternate to the Coast Guard Academy. That’s how difficult the Coast Guard Academy was to get into searching that.

Brad Singletary:

Yes.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah. I mean, the only school at the time that I went to the Coast Guard Academy that was more selective than the Coast Guard Academy was the Juilliard School of Music.

Brad Singletary:

Oh, my God.

Stephen Mehling:

That was the only one. And so, yeah, I had a principal appointment to the Naval Academy and was getting ready to go to Annapolis. And then I my alternate status changed to a to a primary appointment. And so I had to turn the Navy down and go to New London. But then I went to flight school with the Navy at Pensacola.

Stephen Mehling:

And, you know, the rest is history.

Brad Singletary:

So there’s a lot of mixing with these other branches. It seems like. So just to be accepted into the Coast Guard Academy, I think I, I researched today. It’s like a 12 or 13% admission rate or something like that compared to the applicants. 13%. And average ordinary ignoramuses like myself aren’t even applying. So high level people are applying to the Coast Guard Academy.

Brad Singletary:

And of those 87% aren’t getting there. I never admitted. I mean that’s pretty cool. And then so your degree, I think it was high honors in mathematics.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah. And, and after graduation, I never used it.

Brad Singletary:

Well, that I’m sure the whole thing just takes a lot of discipline. So as I was looking for looking at guests for this show, I just know that your career uh, you’ve been retired now since 20. 15. So, what, almost seven years now. And the only way that I believe a person can do anything like this is to have a high level of discipline.

Brad Singletary:

So I just wanted to pick your brain. You know, we’re not trying to sell guys on the military or the Coast Guard, but just. I think, you know, some things about discipline, and I think you can help the men who listen to our show. By the way, I want to thank you for your support of of what we’re doing here.

Brad Singletary:

You’ve listened to a number of our shows and have even admiral here has contributed to our Betterment scholarship fund where when men are beginning their careers in some trade or need some tool, we’ve got a little pot of we just have some gift cards. Basically, these are like visa gift card type things. And the admiral here made some a pretty sizable one of the largest contributions to that.

Brad Singletary:

And we bought some things like a saw for a welder. There’s a special saw that you cut metal. We helped a guy get some testing materials for his professional licensing exam and there may be some others. And I can’t remember what those were, but so appreciate your involvement with with this with this group. You know, this we have a Facebook group for those who who are familiar and just really looking forward to what we may learn from you today, sir.

Brad Singletary:

So let’s start with mindset. You know, if a person wants to be discipline lind, what is different about the mindset of the man who wants to be disciplined?

Stephen Mehling:

Well, I think from a for my perspective, discipline is about structure. One of the guys I worked with actually, you know, served I wouldn’t say served under, but Admiral Bill McRaven, he was the commander of Special Ops Command when I was at Joint Interagency Task Force Staff. And he gave a speech He’s a he’s a UT graduate. One of my kids lives in Texas.

Stephen Mehling:

So hook em horns you know he in in 2014 he went to he went to UT and spoke as the commencement speaker. And he he gave a talk that says if you want to change the world, make your bed and it talks about a number of other things. But it basically goes back to when he was going through SEAL training in Coronado.

Stephen Mehling:

And the same thing would apply to most most aspects of the military. But there are certain things that you have to regularly do within the military. And the reason that it’s set up that way is so it provides you some discipline. And you know, sometimes it’s road items, some times it’s, you know, how you wear your uniform, how you shine your shoes, different techniques, tactics, techniques and procedures.

Stephen Mehling:

But there’s certain things that go on, and it provides you a structure that gives you that personal discipline. I would like to like to think that, you know, it’s kind of made up of of four things. And the four things that I think about when I think a discipline is a determination, a compassion and honor and a courage and determination, you know, is, you know, no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress you’re still getting further ahead than most other people that aren’t even trying, you know, and that’s kind of that’s that structure aspect to it.

Stephen Mehling:

Compassion certainly discipline means to me, you know, you got it. You got to take care of not only yourself, but you got to take care of your team members. You got to take care of others as you’re going along. I think you have to have a foundation to where you’re coming from. And I think of that as kind of honor.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, you have a strong moral compass you know, the old the old saying is is, you know, if you’re still you know, if you if you don’t stand for anything, you’ll stand for for everything. You got to have something you know, some kind of a foundation. And the last portion of that is, you know, courage. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy.

Stephen Mehling:

And the disciplined individual, whether it be in sports or whether it be in, you know, in the military or whether it be in life, they’re going to be willing to stand up and say when things aren’t right and take action to make them right. And I think that’s important.

Brad Singletary:

You had determination. What was the second one?

Jimmy Durbin:

Compassion.

Brad Singletary:

Passion. That’s an interesting one. The third was honor, honor. And then courage. And compassion is interesting because when I when I walked into the room tonight, the admiral asked me about how I am doing and that that had to do with, you know, some personal situation that I’m dealing with that’s been a little bit difficult. But here’s a man who’s been all over the world as a commander, as a person in charge of these huge operations.

Brad Singletary:

By the way, this joint task thing I want to maybe hit that again somewhere because that this joint interagency I think that’s a pretty big deal. I want to highlight that a little bit more. But anyway, this guy has been in charge of major major things and has all kinds of awards, medals, all these accolades and accomplishments. And one of the interesting things that I happen to know about this man is his compassion.

Brad Singletary:

And I mentioned earlier that his daughter’s a licensed clinical social worker as well. And maybe she gets some of that from from you, too. So interesting that compassion goes into is connected to discipline. Jimi, what do you think of that compassion being a an element here? The admiral is talking about with discipline, compassion and discipline, how they go together.

Jimmy Durbin:

I mean, he’s we’re all human, right? We all want to be seen and heard and known. And I like that you know, the ingredients for discipline. But the compassion piece it’s at the empathy. You know, as well you can lead from the front or lead from behind. And I think when you have a leader who can meet you where you’re at and can bring you into it, bring me into existence, I’ll talk in first person I’m interested in that.

Jimmy Durbin:

You know, I’m interested in in what you do and how you’re doing it and will want to follow you from that piece. You know, the other if I’m leading from the front and I’m shouting orders and then there’s behavior stuff that I’m trying to do as far as that discipline. But I like that compassion piece that the other is the courage piece for me.

Jimmy Durbin:

I go right to vulnerability. So what underpins courage is vulnerability. And then I thought, well, how does that relate to the military? But if I’m showing up and standing up and I’m leading into battle, whatever that looks like on whatever front, the vulnerability pieces that I’m I’m protecting something that I love and stand for that moral agency. And ultimately they can get hurt various degrees.

Jimmy Durbin:

And so there’s the vulnerability piece for me.

Brad Singletary:

Yeah, the courage is just showing up. I mean, the courage is I’m sure that there have been some dangerous things that you’ve been involved with, Admiral. Some things that I can’t imagine. It’s a little scary to be. I grew up in Florida and I spent a lot of time on boats and men, the water itself, that is a scary element.

Brad Singletary:

In the in this on this earth. I tell you, I’ve on a small, small scale, nothing like what I think you’ve seen, I’m sure. But the water itself is a place that can be scary.

Stephen Mehling:

Our our colleagues in the other services used to joke with us is that we’ll fly when nobody else will. Because, you know, there used to be a saying and, you know, I’m not a proponent of this and the organization isn’t a proponent of this anymore. But when I first started off in the early, you know, in the in the seventies, with the coastguard, there was the saying was, you have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.

Stephen Mehling:

We don’t believe that anymore. If we every we want everybody to come back. So don’t you know, don’t you know, get me wrong in that regard. But, you know, we go out in some especially in the aviation field, you know, try try flying, try flying in hurricanes when everybody else is grounded, you know, but we you know, we go out and we do that.

Stephen Mehling:

We do it on a regular basis.

Brad Singletary:

Well, so determination, compassion.

Stephen Mehling:

Honor, honor, courage.

Brad Singletary:

That’s great. Yeah.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, one other thing I might want to, you know, might want to add with that. Sure. You know, it’s kind of geared toward discipline and it’s repetition. Okay. And I you know, I’m a kind of a fan of Tony Robbins and Tony Robbins, I think, said it best. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.

Stephen Mehling:

And it’s that consistency that turns, processes, professional activities into something that’s rote and just part of your ethos. And to me, that’s discipline as well. It’s like I’m fortunate. I’ve never had, you know, a drug or alcohol problem, but I know that, you know, folks that have, you know, they have you know, their process that they follow every day, you know, in order to, you know, get them through that day and to and to keep them sober, to keep them, you know, drug or alcohol free.

Stephen Mehling:

And one day leads to the next day leads to the next day. And it’s and it’s that repetition that discipline, so to speak, that that gets them to where they need to be and to make the, you know, the extraordinary activity of staying sober or staying drug free. Part of the norm.

Brad Singletary:

I saw an advertisement. I think it may have been like Gold’s Gym or something to talked about want respect, be consistent. And I thought about that in a couple of places, like think about a church or a gym or something like that. You know, people new people show up all the time. Maybe people aren’t that friendly to the guy who’s on his first day in the gym or his first day in the church or his first day in the book club or whatever he belongs to.

Brad Singletary:

But when you are a consistent boy, that really commands a lot of respect when people know that your can be counted on. And Jimmy, you talk a lot about a series of habits and things that you do. I wonder, since the admiral mentioned something like that here.

Jimmy Durbin:

Yeah, that was beautiful. Thank you for that, Admiral, because I I personally believe that I needed to find a series of actions that I could take on a daily basis, regardless of how I felt to get and stay in recovery, spirituality, work on my marriage, you know, be a good husband, be a good father. Like there’s a there’s a series of actions.

Jimmy Durbin:

And I need to take those actions regardless of how I feel. You know, when I ran my life on my feelings, it doesn’t work out so well. So those aside and so I love that because I’ve been thinking about this all week is kind of preparing, like where is the crossover to from military to recovery from from the military you know, into just a normal guy’s life.

Jimmy Durbin:

And so I appreciate it. Yeah. You saying that.

Stephen Mehling:

I think later on, you know, we may talk a little bit more about this, but, you know, when you when you talk about that that day to day activity in your life. But it’s also from my perspective, Dave, important that in times of crisis, it’s it’s that habit pattern that absolutely. That it’s going to carry you through. And in the military, that’s very important.

Jimmy Durbin:

Yeah, that’s yeah, that’s a brilliant point. Same thing in recovery. You know, like I need to do my series of actions and run through that. And whether it means my morning routine and making my bed and brush my teeth and showering and eating and doing those things into just finding the meetings knowing where I’m going, building my try to having community of men, knowing who is a foxhole buddy that can sit with me and work through things with me.

Jimmy Durbin:

But I need to do all that when I’m not in crisis so that when that floor drops off or there’s a a bottom or a blip, I already know what to do. Like it’s just rote.

Brad Singletary:

I was fascinated to as I’m reading a little bit about the Coast Guard, the motto or what do they call that? The little the little Latin slogan.

Stephen Mehling:

Semper Paratus Always ready.

Brad Singletary:

Semper.

Stephen Mehling:

Always.

Brad Singletary:

Prepared, always ready. I mean, that’s cool. That’s cool. What you’re what you’re what you guys are saying that sometimes the preparation and the discipline way ahead of time that’s necessary. When the shit hits the fan, you’re prepared because you’ve done these routines, these consistent things, you’ve been disciplined you know, when you go through the divorce, you’re in recovery.

Brad Singletary:

Now you’re going through a divorce. You can stay sober because you you have this series of actions you get into some, you know, conflict situation or some scary mission or operation, but you can handle that because of all the discipline that you’ve been doing. In all the training thus far. Why is discipline such an important part of the military culture, military, law enforcement, a lot of those types of programs you mentioned Coast Guard is really both of those.

Brad Singletary:

Why is discipline such an important piece?

Stephen Mehling:

Well, I started off, you know, obviously at the Academy and then aboard ship. But the majority of my career I spent being in aviation and in aviation, whether it be military aviation or in commercial aviation, there’s a set of procedures. There’s whether it be emergency procedures or checklists for just normal start or for engine shutdown, you’re going to have these procedures.

Stephen Mehling:

And there and, you know, we used to not joke about it, but we used to say that, you know, quite honestly, especially when it came to emergency procedures, a lot of those things are written in blood the reason those steps are there in those procedures is because someone didn’t have that step in that procedure. And as a result of that, they didn’t get out of it.

Stephen Mehling:

When I was thinking about this, you know, this podcast, I thought a little bit about that and thought about Captain Sullenberger you know, old Sully. Sully, yeah. Sully Sullenberger, the U.S. Air flight that went into the Hudson River when he had that that supposedly impossible goal to have double engine failure he actually broke checklist. And had he not broke checklist, they would not have survived because the first thing he did, you know, in addition to, you know, getting the the first officer trying to, you know, start running through the checklists, turn it, you know, turn in toward where can they where can they get to and realizing they couldn’t get back to LaGuardia, they could make

Stephen Mehling:

it over to Teterboro. They were going to end up having to land in the Hudson. He turned his API on and the APA and aviation in an aircraft is an auxiliary power unit. And what that does is that gives you power to your hydraulics when your engine shut down. And if he hadn’t had power to his hydraulics, he would have never been able to safely land that aircraft.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, so that’s you know, that’s part of that having a process to go through, knowing what systems are, how they work, not just treating it well. The checklist says to do X or the procedure says to do Y, you know, and and and people not even realizing why it is they’re doing what they’re doing. I see that a lot even in, you know, out in out in the community here in Las Vegas, you can go to a store and, you know, people will punch a button on on a cash register or a screen or whatever it might be.

Stephen Mehling:

And they really don’t know what it is. They’re in a why it is they’re doing what they’re doing. They just know that they’ve been told to do it that way. You know, so disciplines important. Absolutely. No question about it. But you also have to know why it is you’re doing what it is you’re doing and what what the impact is of of those actions.

Brad Singletary:

Wow. That’s fascinating to kind of have a big picture view of things. I did some training the author or authors of the book The Oz principal, I think it was called They Came and they did some training on accountability. And they talked about most companies. Most organizations have no idea the the the staff have no idea what they’re doing.

Brad Singletary:

They don’t even know what the goals are and what the objectives are. And and so those are some great points So what kind of routines help military personnel develop, maintain discipline? You talked about, you know, making your bed and there’s a whole series of things. But from the beginning, I mean, maybe go back to your days in the academy or what is the daily?

Brad Singletary:

What are the daily? What are the daily things that matter? Uh, you mentioned even dress and hygiene and all that. What was some specifics?

Stephen Mehling:

Well, the the first thing that’s going to happen in any military structure, we’ve probably all seen movies you know, that have someone that’s, you know, going, going through, you know, whether it be Parris Island with the Marine Corps or some other, you know, some other kind of boot camp, you know, Hacksaw Ridge, you know, showed, you know, showed it during World War Two, you know, boot camp.

Stephen Mehling:

And I think it was a Mississippi. You know, it’s important in the military structure. What they’ll do is they actually break you down. They get rid of all hopefully all your bad habits. They get everybody operating from the same level of activity, the same level of of, you know, of cognizance. You know, they’re all thinking the same way.

Stephen Mehling:

And then they start building, you back up. And the reason they build you back up that way is because they really want to emphasize, you know, that no man is an island. You know, that that you absolute lee in the military depend on your teammates, on your you know, whether it’s here, the members of your squad, the member of your aircraft, you know, your aircraft crew, the member, your ship whatever it might be.

Stephen Mehling:

Everyone plays an integral role, just the same as you know, as you know, Brad, I’m a I’m a big Golden Knights fan. Right. You know, and.

Jimmy Durbin:

The Knights go.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah, you know, hockey is a big thing for me. And there is absolutely no way except for maybe in a shootout when it’s one on one against the goalie that you’re going to win the game by yourself. It’s a team sport. This isn’t golf where, you know, you have the discipline of, you know, hitting hundreds of thousands of golf balls and sinking, you know, probably just as many putts on the practice green, you know, and certainly that takes a lot of discipline, too.

Stephen Mehling:

But in the military, it’s it’s not individual discipline. It’s team discipline. And it’s important to have everybody thinking to some extent. I mean, obviously, we’re not all robots. Right. You know, but but to a certain extent, you know, thinking the same way. I flew both helicopters and airplanes when I was a pilot of a helicopter crew. Even though I wasn’t the rescue swimmer in the back of the aircraft, it was going to have to jump out into the water, you know, to pick someone up or the hoist operator or, you know, whether I was the pilot or the copilot at that at that point in time, we knew what everyone else was going to do in

Stephen Mehling:

certain situations. Because that’s the way it was trained. And we really emphasized that you got to practice the way you’re going to play the game. That’s true in the military. It’s true in sports and it’s true in life.

Jimmy Durbin:

So you mentioned boot camp. So how does boot camp connect to discipline? Right. So it’s a breaking down here because here’s what I’m hearing you say. I got to know my strengths and my weaknesses. Like I need to get down just to the basics. And whether it’s in boot camp, you know, I need to in order to be disciplined, know what my strengths are and know what my weaknesses are so that I can just take an honest inventory and know what what stock is.

Jimmy Durbin:

I imagine that’s the same with boot camp, like breaking a man down and finding out where his strengths weaknesses are.

Stephen Mehling:

I think so. Sure. I think it’s important in a boot camp does a number of things. Certainly it it’s going to get you physically in shape, you know, whether it be, you know, boot camp in the enlisted ranks or whether it be officer candidate school or academy, whatever it might be, you’re essentially your assessing source, but it’s going to get you physically.

Stephen Mehling:

But even more important than that, and you know, I mentioned earlier on in our discussion about Bill McRaven is talk when when you go through buds, which is the early portion of SEAL training and you know, there’s been Coast Guard members that have gone through SEAL training, as well as Navy and Marine Corps members it’s not the biggest, the baddest that it’s going to get through the program because it’s that mental aspect that gets you through the tough times.

Stephen Mehling:

And it’s that mental discipline that the military tries to instill in its members to be able to get them through the tough times. The certainly there’s going to be times where a platoon commander or a company commander is going to have to give an order that’s going to put people in harm’s way. And you have to realize, you know, that somebody, you know, might not come back from that, but it’s important that they will respond because it may ultimately result in the greater good because they’ll be able to successfully accomplish the mission, even though there might be some casualties by taking action X but if they didn’t carry out that action, there might be significantly greater

Stephen Mehling:

a significantly greater number of casualties that go along. Now, the military certainly has one other piece, and it’s a little bit different than some civilian life. And that’s the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the UCMJ is kind of like our law book. It’s it’s the the the rules that we follow, the punishment, so to speak, for not following those rules.

Stephen Mehling:

And it’s much more maybe I should say it’s much less forgiving than the civilian legal system because it carries things all the way down to the level of I give you an order and you fit and I’m in a position of authority and you fail to follow that order. There are direct consequences for that. Or could be direct consequences for that.

Stephen Mehling:

That could range from, you know, limited amount of taking away of your liberty up to and including, you know, in a combat situation, you know, someone runs away, you know, under fire. I mean, that could be a capital offense. It’s so it’s you know, it’s pretty far reaching.

Brad Singletary:

What are some of the failures of the typical man in terms of discipline? And both you guys chime in on this. What are some of the typical failures of the average guy that if he adopted some of the military type of thinking in his world could help him? One of the things that I think I see in myself and the men that I work with is things even like when you wake up in how you go to sleep, I mean, control and discipline is there’s value in everything.

Brad Singletary:

I remember talking to a Navy SEAL one time and he talked about the need to control his bowels. And I thought.

Stephen Mehling:

Or not or not kill that mosquito you know, when you have to keep absolute silence in a. Yeah. Like in an ambush. Yeah.

Brad Singletary:

I mean, and I thought and of course, the my Freudian training kind of came to it like, yeah, you get to control your bowels, you know, he he decides when he goes to the bathroom. And I thought, that makes a lot of sense. You got it. You got to decide if it’s time to if it’s time to poop or get off the pot or else control.

Stephen Mehling:

Yes, the obviously.

Brad Singletary:

But then I remember even from like Stephen Covey, you know, he talked about you want to be disciplined, wake up at the same time every single day.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah.

Brad Singletary:

And I think he actually mentioned or his example was that he gets up at five 55 every day. So from beginning of the day to the end of the day throughout a person’s tenure, I guess you call it in a service type organization or military, what kinds of things we talking about? Uniform grooming, their scheduling, what kinds of routines help these personnel develop discipline?

Stephen Mehling:

You know, when I think about it, I kind of break it down again into into four areas and the four air areas. I think about his personal self-control and structure. Okay. And we talked a little bit about structure earlier on. But and you mentioned with the controlling your battles, with the personal self-control, I think a fiscal discipline.

Brad Singletary:

Okay.

Stephen Mehling:

Sure. And in the civilian world, a lot of times, you know, people will know, for lack of a better term, carpe diem, live for the day. Right. You know, they aren’t really disciplined enough to plan for the future. Emotional discipline. And I describe that as, you know, it’s all about me ism. It’s not about a greater good. And you know, quite honestly, in my opinion, I think we have a bit of a problem with that as a society.

Stephen Mehling:

Yes. You know, because a lot of it is it’s all about me. It’s really not about the, you know, the greater good and sacrificing a little bit. And and I think we all, as men can try to, you know, lead the tribe or lead the family in order to to make them realize, especially our kids and our grandkids, you know, to think a little bit outside themselves.

Stephen Mehling:

And I think think a little bit about the greater good. The last thing I think about is procrastination, you know, in the military doesn’t really let you procrastinate, you know, because there are, you know, especially like in boot camp or the academy or something like that, there are formations, there are, you know, checks that you will be here at this time.

Stephen Mehling:

And you will do this and you will do this other thing. When I was in flight school, there was a kind of a cross between procrastination and fiscal. There was an organization that was talking about trying to make service members a bit more fiscally responsible. And one of the things that people always say is, you know, I will really, would really like to do that, but I never seem to get around to it.

Stephen Mehling:

And so, you know, we went to this this dinner and we got a presentation and then we you know, we actually went off and had the dinner. And when we came back on everyone’s seat, there was a little round circular wood coin and written on it was t o i t so that everybody got around to it. Got around to it.

Brad Singletary:

Oh, that’s awesome. You know, talking about the fiscal discipline, I think I read that one of the there’s a lot of reasons why I like Coast Guard Academy is so difficult, but one of the things they do as different from others may be is they do a credit check. They check like literally that’s you know, that maybe is an indicator of your sense of like discipline.

Brad Singletary:

And, you know, you can at least nowadays I mean I guess you went 45 years ago or whatever.

Stephen Mehling:

Well they they actually do that as part of any kind of a security oh a security clearance back. Oh okay. Yeah. You know they want to make sure that you’re that you’re not in a situation where you could be leveraged, uh, against, uh, classified material or sensitive information. So there’s, you know, you know, just the same reason is if you’ve got a really bad credit score, um, your car insurance might be higher because you’re, you’re statistically you, you are more of a risk and so that’s why they look at those things along with lots of other things.

Brad Singletary:

And when I think about, you know, the uniformity and so forth when it comes to military stuff, think about what it looks like when you see what I see, though, you know, if I have ever seen like those red helicopters or these I guess they’re called cutters you know, if you see the red and white, you know, use or if you in any from any branch, you see someone, any kind of display or any presence of any, you know, military law enforcement is the same.

Brad Singletary:

There is I don’t care who you are. If you see that there is automatic respect because there’s probably some fear because you know that these folks can get you know, they they and I think the reason for some of that respect is, you know, that they are disciplined. You know, that these are highly trained professionals, highly trained warriors, highly trained officers, highly trained technicians, highly trained, and that they are very, very disciplined.

Brad Singletary:

So does that make sense? There’s a respect for that. And I think it’s because of the disciplined it’s all of the equipment is shiny. Everyone is dressed well, everyone is look sharp. They have they understand their equipment there’s so much discipline. I think that’s what makes us in are from little boys. My five my six year old, he’s telling me every day he talks about he’s going to be in the Army is going to be in the Army as well.

Brad Singletary:

He’s terrified of that. But I’m like, oh, my goodness, this is great. Look, he’s got all these little soldiers and he plays with them every single day. And he and he talks about, you know, how old do I have to be just at random times. And I’m proud of this. I’m like, yes, he wants to do he wants to serve.

Brad Singletary:

But I think something that he craves is discipline anyway. I’m just so fascinated by the culture of discipline that shows up in our military. So what kind of discipline might the average guy be lacking? Ordinary dude, our average listener is a 38 to 45 year old dad, you know, and he’s working and he has a decent income and he’s a really solid guy in most ways.

Brad Singletary:

But how’s the average guy lacking in discipline, would you say?

Stephen Mehling:

Well, some guys aren’t okay. Yeah, some you know, I’ve some of some of the most disciplined people I’ve met, you know, not be not people that we’re in the military. I mean, but, you know, just like any other community or like any community, there’s going to be people that are more disciplined and some other people that are a little bit less disciplined.

Stephen Mehling:

By and large, I, I think it comes back to structure. You know, I think it’s, you know, you know, I, I used to say to people, you know, when I was, you know, coming up through the military, you either have a plan or you’re part of somebody else’s home. And if you, if you have a plan and whether that plan be for how are you going to be successful, a business successful in the military, financially successful if it’s your plan, you know, that it’s going to be focused toward your success, whether or not you have a plan or not, you’re going to be part of somebody’s plan.

Stephen Mehling:

And if it’s somebody else’s plan, it may not necessarily be to your best interest. It might not get you where you want to be career wise or financially or emotionally. In a you know, in a marriage, you know, two guys go after the same girl if he’s got a plan. And you don’t just you may never even get off, you know, get a get away from home.

Stephen Mehling:

Plate, you know, before you strike out. You know, meanwhile, he said, you know, he’s you know, he’s he’s on the bases and and and scoring big.

Brad Singletary:

Wow. That’s great. What’s your plan? I mean, that is a good indicator about our level of discipline. Is first, is there even a is or even a plan? Jimi, what do you think? What how do most guys fail at discipline or what do you see the typical guy that once maybe listening to this show where do they have deficiencies when it comes to discipline.

Jimmy Durbin:

Well, I think as we you know, I like the structure piece. I’m a process guy. I think I learned that just growing up emotionally in Alcoholics Anonymous, you know, those those 12 steps. So I think the first thing for me is to know my strengths and weaknesses right that I remove any temptation. So whatever my obstacle is, whatever it is I want to work on, and I need that discipline, I need to know what my strengths are, know what my weaknesses are, remove any obstacles.

Jimmy Durbin:

Um, so whether that’s if I’m trying to not do tobacco or alcohol or some other thing or not drink sodas, you know, it’s I won’t have my home like I set myself up for success.

Jimmy Durbin:

Then I agree. I have clear goals and a plan. And I lived a large chunk of my life not having a plan and just floating and not being reliable, you know, which makes me think about Brené Brown and her breathing acronym Boundaries is ah, is reliability. To me, reliability and, and discipline are connected. If I want to have a be in a meaningful relationship with whoever in my life.

Jimmy Durbin:

Part of that is that I have trust. So if I need to establish trust and the anatomy of trust is these boundaries, liabilities, accountability, the vault, integrity, nonjudgmental and generosity that I need to have, I need to be able to show up and do I have a plan and do I am I reliable and accountable to that plan.

Jimmy Durbin:

Um.

Brad Singletary:

If there’s no plan, you’re going to crash. If there’s no plan, you’re going to get lost. You’re going to, you’re going to fail in some way if you don’t even have a direction.

Jimmy Durbin:

I mean, I’m okay. Even if I’m a part of someone else’s plan, it’s when there is no there is no plan, I, I get myself in trouble.

Brad Singletary:

That’s it. That’s a cool thing. When I think about military stuff, if you see a helicopter or a jet or a boat in the water, they’re going somewhere. This they’re not just running around. This is there is a purpose even if it’s training, hopefully when we see that it’s only just training and not some crazy thing going on, but there’s a reason for there being in the sky.

Brad Singletary:

There’s a reason, right? There’s never not a purpose.

Jimmy Durbin:

What’s the difference between someone who actually makes it through boot camp and someone who doesn’t as it relates to discipline?

Stephen Mehling:

Now, the majority of the time, it’s all all psychological. Yeah. You know, people people that have the will to get to survive, the will to get through will get through people that give up. You know, and quite honestly, a lot of times the different branches of the service and certainly different specialty programs within the services, you know, are looking just for that.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, it’s especially noticeable in, you know, the high, extremely high performing specialties. Aviation is one, something like SEAL training is another, you know, Green Berets in the Army, those kinds of things. The Special Force Force Warriors, they’re looking for people that are going to in SEALs ring the bell. Then they’re and they’re going to tap out. And generally it has to do with the psychological aspect.

Stephen Mehling:

Very rarely is it the physiological. I mean, if you get hurt and you can’t complete the training generally they’ll they’ll retreads. Yeah. They’ll send you back through and you and you can go do it again. But psychologically, you just say, no, I’m not doing that anymore. And you go do something else.

Jimmy Durbin:

When an individual is operating at a high level psychologically.

Stephen Mehling:

Right.

Jimmy Durbin:

The tendency C is to numb or volume down the emotional piece is that true?

Stephen Mehling:

Maybe that’s I don’t I, I don’t know that I would agree with. Okay. I think, you know, if they’re, if they’re operating at a at a high level, you know, they may curb their emotions, but I think their emotions are always there because that’s part of their, their psyche, that’s part of the psychological piece aside, I don’t know that you know, they they they don’t have that that emotional intelligence, so to speak.

Jimmy Durbin:

And and you feel like there’s different tasks to do for the emotional discipline as well as the physical or psychological discipline or is that the same task, same actions across all three?

Stephen Mehling:

I personally think it’s the same. Okay. I don’t I don’t I don’t really I wouldn’t really differentiate it. It, you know, others might, but but for me and that may just be part of, you know, who I am. I mean, it’s always I’ve always been you know, focused. I use I use the analogy that goes all the way back.

Stephen Mehling:

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie White Christmas, you know, with the Bing Crosby, but at the very, you know, early portion of of the movie, they’re talking about the general who’s, you know, been hurt. And he’s he’s going home. And later on in the movie, you know, you see him, they make a comment about we ate, then he ate we slept, then he slept, and then no one slept for four days, you know, and that was kind of the joke is they went through in the movie.

Stephen Mehling:

But the idea being is, you know, part and parcel of leadership is you got to take care of your people. And I think people that have that emotional intelligence as part of their ethos, who they are, I think tend to fare better because, you know, whether it be in the military or whether it be out in business, you know, good leaders are good leaders and good leaders take care of their people.

Stephen Mehling:

Because, you know, I was talking to somebody just the other day that their organization was having significant retention problems, you know, and the truth about, you know, management and leadership and business is people don’t leave bad jobs they leave bad bosses. You know, and and it’s those bad bosses that don’t take care of their people that, you know, that give them no incentive to leave because, you know, people will stick around through the tough times and get those bad jobs to become better jobs if they’ve got a good boss, if they’ve got good leadership, that’s, you know, that’s giving them the knowledge, skills, resources, training, etc. that they need in order to be able to be

Stephen Mehling:

successful in the future.

Jimmy Durbin:

So if some someone’s operating a high level and wants to level up your suggestions that relates to discipline would be to what, how how do we help that guy level up like as far as what he’s doing? Any suggestions or thoughts? I mean, I think about the different levels. Like if I’m in boot camp, but now I want to become a Navy SEAL.

Jimmy Durbin:

Both are going to have some discipline, but it seems like someone’s going to have to level up. And so for the audience that’s out there, that’s pretty disciplined, you know, like they’re how do we how do they level up? Like, what can they grasp from your lived experience and your wisdom of if this is way up, here’s how you level up.

Jimmy Durbin:

And then the other one is someone who doesn’t have any discipline. Where do they start? Like what? What are your suggestions? And I like your framework. You know, those four things. I was just curious as to like, I’m pretty disciplined, you know, I but I can always level up. I there’s mediocre in my life.

Stephen Mehling:

I would think, you know, from my perspective, what what I tend to look at is those four things key among them. Certainly is structure. You know, so how do how do I do things? When do I do things in a in a you know, and I guess maybe it’s the math major in me in a logical reasoned fashion in order to accomplish a certain set of goals that I’m looking for.

Stephen Mehling:

And if you’re completely on, you know, undisciplined and, you know, you start off by, you know, and baby steps, Brad and I have had this you know, had a discussion before, you know, Dave Ramsey fiscal discipline you know, it’s like Dave Ramsey, you know, his whole philosophy is built around the baby steps. And you start step one and you don’t do step two until you’re finished.

Stephen Mehling:

Step one, you don’t do step seven until you’ve done step six. And the reason that that it’s done that way is to provide you that structure. And it forces that discipline upon you in order to ultimately be successful.

Jimmy Durbin:

I love that. That’s I mean, whenever you’re and steps and numbers, I always have a smile on my face. It’s to me, the ultimate and the best example of cognitive behavioral therapy changed my thinking to change my behavior. That structure, you know, that the Dave Ramsey, the 12 Steps, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous of just like, here’s how I, I need to create some discipline you know, for me, it’s at my bottom.

Jimmy Durbin:

I didn’t trust my word I’m not going to use today I would use so there’s this constant implosion of not me not trusting my word. Right. And so I think of Don Miguel and the four agreements and be impeccable with my word and that’s where I need to start. And so at the very beginning for me, it was I’m going to throw trash in the trash can put the shopping cart away and stand in line and and do those three things.

Jimmy Durbin:

And then once I did that over a month, I could start to begin to possibly trust my word that if I said something, I would do it.

Brad Singletary:

That totally makes sense. I think you’re all this is coming together for me. I’m learning from you guys about how to level up. And part of it is do the things that you already know you should do and do them well. Ed Millett, who’s a speaker in a, you know, influencer type, he talks about you got to keep promises to yourself.

Brad Singletary:

And if it’s putting the shopping cart away or waking up at the same time, brush your damn teeth in the morning, whatever thing that there is. Some say how you do anything is how you do everything. Others have argued that that’s not true or that that’s that can create a problem psychologically. But maybe there’s some truth to that.

Brad Singletary:

I have a client who they’re working on this couple. They’re hoarders. I mean, like the TV show. And one of the things that I’ve asked them to do is to clean out their.

Stephen Mehling:

Car.

Brad Singletary:

Because that’s a, you know, that’s 12 square feet compared to their large home that’s filled with things. And so starting small, taking the step by step. I think those things would would help to in just having a an objective or a goal I always you know, I know there’s a whole bunch of definitions of goal, objective strategy, whatever, but to to know where it is you’re headed.

Brad Singletary:

And I think I love what you mentioned earlier, Admiral, about the procedures and some of the checklists and some of those things are written in blood. Meaning meaning we know what doesn’t work. We know where you get into problems. Think about the 12 step program. And the reason I’m in the same I’m in AA myself and nowhere near along the way that like Jimmy has done with it.

Brad Singletary:

But the amount of time he’s had in but I hear people say don’t get ahead of yourself, do the first part and do it well and just take take the steps that are necessary. And that’s one way I think that’s one way to level up and and to get moving. I wanted to go back to what you were saying too about the emotional thing I’m picturing like, I don’t know, a helicopter pilot in a hurricane.

Brad Singletary:

And so, yes, you have your what did you call it, your structure or your, you know, the procedural steps and all those things. But, man, there’s got to be some being tuned in to your emotion. You got to be, I guess, aware of fear. You have to understand your frustration level. That’s a gauge, too. I tell guys all the time, read your gauges.

Brad Singletary:

You know, scale zero to ten. How upset are you right now? And so how does that kind of training go into with pilots or commanding a ship or whatever? Like, how do you how do how do you people with these high level responsibilities do not just procedural tasks, but also check in with how they’re feeling? As a great question you asked Jimmy.

Stephen Mehling:

Well, I think I guess probably the easiest way to answer that is kind of use an example many years ago, I was involved in a a rescue. It was a medevac rescue of someone who had been working in the forests in Oregon. And anyone who knows anything about, you know, forestry, a choker chain had slipped and a huge log had rolled them.

Stephen Mehling:

Oh, boy. And so they were in really bad shape. And the trip by land to get them back to the hospital was going to take hours because of where they were back in the woods by helicopter. If we could get to them, it was going to take less than 15 minutes from the time we actually got them aboard to get them back.

Stephen Mehling:

The only problem was, is the whole side of the mountain was covered in fog but we responded and we found an area near the top, the top of the area where they were logging that was open and you know, I put down one, you know, I put my crewman down and put him in the vehicles, could hear where we were through the fog and got back to you know, they sent one vehicle back to us and I put my my crewman in the vehicle and sent him down to the location of where the mishap had taken place.

Stephen Mehling:

And and he communicated by radio, you know, if we can get there, can we do anything? Can we get him out? And he said, yeah, absolutely. And we knew that, you know, there was a side of a mountain. And we could actually once we got the guy on board, we could actually go up into the fog away from the side of the mountain.

Stephen Mehling:

And it was an open area because we knew that what the terrain looked like, you know, under normal conditions. And so we went there and we got him. And the way we did it was we actually hover taxied following the tail lights of the pickup truck through the fog, through the, you know, the 200 foot fir trees just slightly above them, getting on scene and we eventually picked up the the injured person, got him on board, got him to the hospital, the hop from the hospital back to where our air station was, was probably 5 minutes.

Stephen Mehling:

Once he was at the hospital, we went to the air station, even though we were the crew on duty. I sent my crew home and I walked in to the operations officer and I said to the operations officer, I’ve just sent my crew home. I’m going home. We need to be relieved. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. At the time, as the as the mission was going on, you don’t let those kinds of things, you know, get to, you know, impact the mission because you go on training, you know, this is, you know, how to do X, Y, and Z, and you execute X, Y, and Z in a safe fashion.

Stephen Mehling:

And you kind of compartmentalize that emotion. But once the emotional situation was over, they weren’t going to be any good to the unit for the rest of the day until they got to decompress. I wasn’t going to be any good to the unit for the rest of the day. And so I got to decompress and having good bosses, my boss knew that, you know what?

Stephen Mehling:

He just looked at me and he said, go home. You know, I’ve got it. You know, you know, whether it’s going to be me that flies the next time the you know, the alarm goes off or somebody, you know, I get get another crew. And it was during the daytime at this point. So there were other crews available.

Stephen Mehling:

But he realized and he was a good boss, too. So you know, good leadership skills. And so so we went home. But but yeah, you you do have that emotion that creeps in. But, you know, in, in the in the throes of battle, so to speak, you compartmentalize an awful lot of that. And it’s usually after the fact and you see that a lot.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, even nowadays, as guys who have been, you know, over during Iraqi freedom, Enduring Freedom, the first Gulf War, the second Gulf War, Vietnam, etc., etc., you know, where they’ve you know, they during the throes of battle, executed the mission, did their job. But now a lot of those guys are are and some of them even today, you know, the Vietnam vets, some of them today are still struggling with, you know, PTSD because of things they did and things they, you know, they saw and things they had to do in order to execute the mission.

Stephen Mehling:

But at the time, they they they did their job. They did it well. And they compartmentalize that emotion in order to accomplish the greater good, I guess, for lack of a better time.

Jimmy Durbin:

So in that example, where someone is still struggling with, as you said, the PTSD versus the scenario that you gave with your story and and your realization and sending people home and kind of decompressing. So am I assuming the first example they just didn’t get the time wasn’t created, the system wasn’t there in order to metabolize that energy out of their body versus what you’ve you know, that’s that’s a really healthy system.

Jimmy Durbin:

So where I go is if I’m not in that cycle, if I don’t have that structure in my life, if I hold it in as a man and it’s still compartmentalized, and I don’t have access to all of my emotions because I’m still compartmentalized, how how can self-discipline help that individual?

Stephen Mehling:

Well, we actually formalized it in the Coast Guard. We uh, we took advantage of of some of the systems that the academics had developed. And a lot of it was geared toward fire. Firemen, paramedics, etc. And we use critical incident stress management. And, you know, we would send some of our own members off to system training and we would do debriefings and defuzing us depending upon the level of the critical incident, to make sure that our people did stay healthy.

Stephen Mehling:

Because if you don’t take care of your people who are your greatest resource, you know, when you when you need to accomplish a mission, they’re not going to be there because they’re going to have those kinds of stress induced issues Mm hmm.

Brad Singletary:

A lot of that, from what I understand, to the critical incident, stress debriefings, ah, stress. What was the other system that the critical incident stress management?

Stephen Mehling:

Management.

Brad Singletary:

A lot of that has to do with description of the events. It has to do with talking. Tell me what happened. What were you thinking? How did you feel and coming back to a plan of, like, self-care and, and, and really and that’s in 30 seconds. That’s what I know about that stuff, is that it’s basically I take it out of the compartmentalized place and describe what’s happened to you and how you’ve experienced it.

Brad Singletary:

Put some form to it, put some structure in some words and a description into the thing, and then talk about how it affects you emotionally. And then let’s, you know, bring it back up to the plan. Now, how do you take care of yourself from here? And so I love. That’s great. That’s great. I didn’t know that you did that.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah, a lot. A lot of times a lot of times the individual doesn’t even realize it’s happening. I just recently a friend of mine’s daughter and she’s 18 years old I think now she doesn’t have her driver’s license. She finally got her learner’s permit, but she’s really been hesitant about getting a driver’s license. And it wasn’t until she was in a a college psych class.

Stephen Mehling:

She’s in a psych class now. That one of the questions that the the instructor asks, is anyone ever seen a human brain? And she raised her hand. She was the only person in the class. It raised her hand. Her parents weren’t aware. No one was aware. But the reason that she had seen a human brain is she had witnessed an automobile accident and the person had been severely injured, obviously killed.

Stephen Mehling:

But she had seen parts of human remains. She human brain tissue, you know, on the on the asphalt. And she had so compartmentalized that that she didn’t talk to anyone about it, but it was keeping her from wanting to be a driver because she had she had experienced that or seen what the impact of doing the wrong thing in a car could could result in.

Brad Singletary:

Wow. That’s fascinating. It’s interesting where our discussion has gone a little bit tonight. Talking about some of the feelings. You know, discipline really does have a lot to do with behavior and steps and movements. And procedures, rituals. But we’ve talked a lot about I guess you get to social workers and the father of a social worker.

Stephen Mehling:

We’re going to talk about feeling and feelings here.

Brad Singletary:

So that’s so important. I mean, when you and the discipline, when you talk about the training in these difficult situations, people are able to perform them because of their consistency. So they’re handling the emotion. When you’re on the side of the mountain, in the fog, rescuing a person in need, you’re able to do that because of the continuous training, the consistency, your discipline.

Brad Singletary:

And then afterward we do the self-care and we’re knocking off and we’re going home for the day and whatever we need to do to process those feelings. I wanted to go to some a couple some more specific things. We’ve been kind of talking in generalities, but in our read nine, we talk about the, the the step of discipline or the characteristic discipline.

Brad Singletary:

The idea is that the man lives a life of self-control. And so I want to talk about ways that things that have been helpful for you to master your time, your money, your environment, your mood, your actions and your results. And maybe we may not even need to talk about results because if we handle all those other things, is life.

Jimmy Durbin:

As a result?

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah. The amazing human. Yes, life is the result.

Brad Singletary:

But so in for both of you. But I guess you’ve lived a little longer than both of us here, Admiral. What has helped you to become the master of your time? And if any of these you don’t feel like you are the master of that, that’s okay, too, because you’re human.

Stephen Mehling:

But why don’t know that. I don’t know that anyone has ever the master of any of these things. I mean, we’re all you know, we’re all just doing the best we can to continue to move forward and, you know, continuous improvement. You know, that’s kind of the nature of, you know, when I when I was doing total quality management, you know, that’s, you know, the whole idea was, you know, if if it’s not broke, you might want to break it and make it better.

Stephen Mehling:

You know? But the whole idea of, you know, of, you know, continually improving a process when I was thinking about this because, you know, we got a little bit of a heads up of what you might ask us, you know, and I’ve already used my big bullet for time. And that’s you either have a plan or you’re part of somebody else’s.

Stephen Mehling:

I mean, I think it’s really important that you have a plan of what you’re going to do. You set goals for yourself. You set intermediate steps or goals in order to accomplish that. You know, time management is is a goal. You know, that is you know, that is how you get things done. You don’t you know, you don’t waste, you know, opportunity is and by not wasting opportunities, that certainly is is valuable.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, time. It’s like, you know, you know, we three being here tonight you know, having this discussion, you know, if nothing were ever, ever to come out of it, it really would just be a waste of time. So I, I find it very valuable. And that’s one of the reasons why I was more than willing to come in and, you know, sit here with you guys tonight was, you know, because this will go out and hopefully the the limited insights that I can provide, you know, can prove beneficial to somebody else down the road.

Brad Singletary:

Well, talking about time, you know, the map of your time, I guess, is your calendar or your schedule. I joked earlier about how Admiral Hair was you know, we tried to get him going and says, yep, nope, can’t do it. Then I have we’re cruisin to the Bahamas or.

Stephen Mehling:

We can we can’t do that.

Brad Singletary:

We have we have this trip planned or. Oh, no. And as we look at dates, we’ve been working at this for 90 days. We’ve been trying to do this. And and then he said, Oh, the Pro Bowl. And still that to me is he has a flight plan for his time. He knows what he’s doing pretty much on any given day.

Brad Singletary:

He knows when he plays golf, when he has dinner with his friends, when he’s going on a date with his wife, when the grandkids are in town. And what, you know, he so to be in control, to be the pilot of your time means I guess that you have a schedule. You’re saying we have a plan or otherwise you’re part of someone else’s.

Brad Singletary:

So I love that you go to your phone and you know what’s going on and you put it there. Maybe maybe the missus puts things in there, too.

Stephen Mehling:

We share a calendar okay. But we share.

Brad Singletary:

So there’s communication. There’s write it down. There is compare it to what is going on. If it’s just the if if you it if there isn’t something written down, I just I’m feeling the value of use a calendar use schedule, put something in that block of time. I bet we could ask you what you’re doing on a typical, you know, any day of the week and there’s some structure to it for you.

Brad Singletary:

You work out in the mornings or. Sure. Afternoon.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah I’m a morning workout person.

Brad Singletary:

Work out in the mornings. You know what days you have your you’ve talked about some dinner groups and some friends that you would get together share on certain intervals. And you know when those are and I don’t know if these are like Coast Guard friends or people that, you know from other parts of your life. But there’s a kind of a schedule.

Stephen Mehling:

Sure. Goes back to college days you know at the academy I believe coach Dennis is now long since passed away but he was the swimming coach at the academy but one of the things he also did was he taught the diving class and one of the things that they teach every scuba diver is plan your dove and dove your plan.

Stephen Mehling:

And if you plan your dove and dove your plan, you will never have an issue. But if you don’t plan your dove or if you don’t dove your plan, that’s how people get killed. They end up getting the bends, nitrogen narcosis or something else happens to them. And so I think that’s part of the scheduling and time management.

Stephen Mehling:

And, you know, maybe, yeah, coincidentally, I picked that up from Charlie Dennis. God, you know, God rest his soul, you know, when I was, you know, in in his dove, you know, in a scuba diving class, you know, 50 years ago.

Brad Singletary:

Wow.

Brad Singletary:

I am. I’m just learning so much here, you guys. This is, this is one of my favorite conversations ever. What about money? You know, you’re a retired person. You’re doing well. You’re traveling all over the world. You’re you know, some things about money. And just behaviorally, I don’t know. Jimmy, both of you how can a man being in charge be the master of his money?

Jimmy Durbin:

Oh, go ahead, Admiral.

Stephen Mehling:

Oh, yeah. Well, I mentioned Dave Ramsey earlier. I’ve been a Dave Ramsey fan since probably the early nineties, listening. You know, listening to, you know, recordings of his of his broadcast. I’m a, you know, a true believer, but I’m also a true believer in something. Remember, I mentioned earlier about the round to it. Get around.

Brad Singletary:

To it. Yeah.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, and the story that goes behind the round to it is a story that was told called The Richest Man, The Richest Man in Babylon. And the story of the richest man man in Babylon is if you want to be the richest man in Babylon, remember that a 10th of all you earn is yours to keep him.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, now we you know, we talk about earning things we talk about tithing to churches for those of us that are, you know, associated with, you know, religious organizations, etc. But if you think about a 10th of all you earn, you know, you earn $100, you take $10, you put it put it away, you know, and eventually, you know, whether it be a mutual fund, start off with a savings account, you know, however you want to do it.

Stephen Mehling:

But if you start off early and remember that a 10th of all you earn is yours to keep you will be the richest man in Babylon. Because, you know, as Dave Ramsey likes to say, if you live like no one else, you’ll then be able to live like no one else.

Brad Singletary:

Right. That’s a sizable amount. If you think about whoever you are listening to this show, think about what your monthly income is or your annual salary and what you bring home. Imagine what 10% of that would be compounded over the next 30 years of your life. Yeah, it’s probably going to you’re going to do well for yourself. And I think that’s one of those areas and I’m this is why this topic.

Brad Singletary:

I’m not teaching anything. I’m just asking the questions. But I think this is one of the areas where men struggle the most is I don’t know. I guess some percentage of guys are good with their management of their resources, but so many are just blowing money on things that are just unnecessary to completely just frivolous spending. And it’s, you know, and then they’re in trouble later in life when they really have nothing.

Brad Singletary:

I’ve seen that so many times, even in my own family and, and friends that I know that. And it’s difficult to do but 10% while the richest man about one. That’s a book.

Stephen Mehling:

Yes. I yeah. I think I think it’s a I don’t know whether it’s a book or, you know, a pamphlet or a parable. But but it’s out there in publication. The richest man in Babylon, a 10th of all your own is yours, too, Coop.

Brad Singletary:

How about you, Jimmy? Thoughts on being a master of money. You make it you’re making it big time in the world of social workers.

Stephen Mehling:

Social workers are rolling.

Brad Singletary:

In the dough. I tell you that.

Jimmy Durbin:

Self-discipline means I pay myself first. Um, you know, I. Part of what fueled my addiction for a decade was I just had the financial wherewithal and so I. I blew through that and then stalled to support my habit. And the financial. So it’s the same thing, right? I think Brad, like, whether it’s finances or emotions or psychological, physical emotional, mental, intellectual, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Jimmy Durbin:

And so I think across the board, at least for me, it’s that asking for help a piece is admitting that this is a weakness, that I actually ask another man, you know, can you help me with this? Leveling of my ego and my pride and so I know through recovery and working those steps and having a discipline through that process that, A, it’s all it’s always okay for me to take a self-assessment and just take an inventory and not from a right or wrong, good or bad or shame or anything other than just this is what is is and I needed and wanted to learn more about my finances this year.

Jimmy Durbin:

And so I just got done taking a four week course with my wife to help restructure and just kind of clarify. And I don’t have any emotion today, you know, as a 54 year old man asking for help. But my 30 year old self would have never I got to I’ll figure it out. I’m too much put on me.

Jimmy Durbin:

Yeah I’m just going to ego pride and and it, it works so much better for me whenever I’m willing just to kind of humble myself and ask for help.

Brad Singletary:

You mentioned vulnerability. We talked about courage before. And nowadays are the generations our age, I guess, and younger are. It’s easier for men to talk about their situations, their feelings. I do. Some men’s groups have for men’s groups and people told me that was dumb to start that because men will talk. Well, yes, they will. But when I think about exposure and vulnerability and stuff like that, I picture one of these days, maybe I’m going to do this in my groups or guys who need this kind of thing in particular to say, pull up your pull up your bank statement bring it, you want it, you want to grow, show what you’re doing, you want to

Brad Singletary:

be better, you know you want to lose weight will get on the scale and show it to your trainer. You you want you want to do better financially. You’re not making ends meet. You still live with your mom and dad. You’re 40 years old. Let’s look at what you do with what you do. Have. And boy, I think that would be I think a man would rather stand naked in front of other men than he would to show his show, his financial situation.

Brad Singletary:

But I love what we’re talking about is you have to be willing to, whether it’s Dave Ramsey or Suzy Orman or whoever the hell. I mean, there’s a million programs, but attach yourself to some wisdom somewhere and let people into your situation. I was at a place after my divorce. I was at a point where I was single dad.

Brad Singletary:

I was working two jobs. I had my my kids five days a week. I couldn’t pay my electric bill. And so I went to my I went to my church and I said, hey, I’m in a bad situation. I can’t pay my electric bill. You know, I’ve paid tithes my whole life. Is there something that is there some help I could get?

Brad Singletary:

And they said, well, sure, let’s just go over your budget. Let’s see what you’re spending your money on. And so it was a very humbling process, but it was the most one of the most important things that I’ve ever done is to say, here’s my last 30 days. You know, my bank this is my bank record for the last 30 days.

Brad Singletary:

And this person was actually happened to be worked in accounting and they helped me see where I was really making some dumb decisions with with my money. Let’s talk about environment. I picture that both of your homes are I can just tell I don’t know how I know this, but they’re beautifully maintained. Your vehicles are clean. What is the importance of mains painting being the master of your environment, which to me means your stuff.

Brad Singletary:

Talk about discipline and the power of maintaining your environment. What is a what is the deck of a cutter look like?

Stephen Mehling:

Oh, very squared away.

Brad Singletary:

Yes, squared away.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, and this goes, if you want to change the world, make your bed, you know, and you know, that kind of a thing. But, you know, when I was thinking environment, I was kind of thinking of something a little bit different and maybe environment. Yeah. Maybe it’s, you know, not the physical environment, but, you know, I was thinking that more of the environment of association oh.

Brad Singletary:

And like friendships and things.

Stephen Mehling:

Well, well, you know, and if you go back and you look at a lot of the studies and things, people will tend to turn out to be like the people with whom they associate. So if you want to be successful in business, associate with people who are successful in business. If you want to be sober.

Brad Singletary:

Better know some sober folks.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, associate with sober folks don’t associate with people that are, you know, going to the bar every day. Drug addictions, the same way it applies in sports relationships, just about anything, you know, that you will turn out to be like the people that you associate with. So when you were talking about leveling up level up, your friends that’s great.

Brad Singletary:

I never even so I wrote this read 92 or three years ago and just stayed about to be the master of your environment. And to me, it was the physical. I, we just we just leveled Admiral here, leveled me up right now to help me understand that this is about the energy that you allow into your circle and the and the people, the influences.

Brad Singletary:

That’s, that’s amazing. Yes.

Jimmy Durbin:

We can remove obstacles you know, remove the temptations. So I yeah, I appreciate that because I go to what is my environment you know, I do I work with people that hear voices and there’s a 15 to 20% of the general population of people hear voices and most of us work in concert with our voice. The research is only one to 2% come in contact with psychiatric intervention now whether you call that voice conscience or God or spirit or, you know, whatever label you want to use, I just know that unless I have a series of actions and I have the discipline to think about my intellect, my spiritual ness, my emotional like those environments as

Jimmy Durbin:

well. When I’m not disciplined, it’s because there’s a lot of static and noise upstairs. The committee in my head is really loud and so the what discipline do I have to to address that? So environments, I think of all that intellectual, mental, spiritual all emotional and my physical.

Brad Singletary:

You blow my mind on this because I, I literally maybe I just don’t understand the English language, but what I pictured for me environment was your stuff. You know, if you’re driving around in your vehicle and there’s 16, you know, cheeseburger wrappers and you can’t, you know, you get your clothes are stained up every time you get in your own vehicle or your home is so chaotic that you can’t ever find anything.

Brad Singletary:

That’s what I thought of about environment. But I think it’s so much more than just that the deck is clean and the and everything is squared away. That’s a term that’s it that’s important to you really. Do they really say that?

Stephen Mehling:

Absolutely.

Brad Singletary:

Squared away means.

Stephen Mehling:

Square squared away means there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place okay?

Brad Singletary:

So everything can be squared away, including our, our environment, the atmosphere that we allow, the atmosphere, the places we go, people, places and things. Right. Jimmy?

Jimmy Durbin:

Yeah, very cool. And again, I fall back into what is the, what process, what steps what’s the structure, right? And if for me, it’s not about having a balance in all those areas, it’s creating harmony, right? I’m not going to be I’m not perfect in all those areas, but I have a process as part of my self-discipline to take an inventory of all those areas that we just talked about where my strengths were, my weaknesses, where do I need to level up?

Jimmy Durbin:

How can I play what I’m currently doing, those transferable skills into other areas where I feel like I do need to level up, but that takes having a plan, right? And having daily habits and creating an action series of actions. Regardless of how I feel like it, it’s all connected.

Brad Singletary:

That’s something that I was fascinated by when I got into AA was the some of the ritual, you know, like the on awakening is one of the little readings. It’s about a half a page or a paragraph or two about an awakening you go through and you kind of have this little prayer. And then and then upon retiring, you go through this these steps.

Brad Singletary:

Have I, you know, harmed anyone? Have I said things that I regret or I need to, you know, have a hurt someone or whatever? So there is in all of everything from military operations to the the alcoholic who’s trying to get his life in order, discipline is a core issue here. Just one more, maybe two more here. Things I want to talk about.

Brad Singletary:

What about mood? We could probably have a whole show on how to master your mood. But I’m curious, maybe specifically you hear, Admiral, about gosh, I guess you’ve probably gone through all kinds of things. I mean, you’ve moved around the country.

Stephen Mehling:

19.00

Brad Singletary:

Times, 19 times. You’ve moved you’ve had you’ve got children, grandchildren. You’ve been married for how many years? 41 41 years.

Stephen Mehling:

Three 42.

Brad Singletary:

This summer you’re one of what, a couple dozen of these rear admirals. You know, your, your role is your high level leader. How in the world does a man master his mood?

Stephen Mehling:

Well, I kind of combined, you know, when when we talked about time, money, environment, the other three were mood actions and results, okay. And I kind of combined them when I when I was thinking about.

Brad Singletary:

Them and lead actions and results.

Stephen Mehling:

Mood actions and results. And the first thing I thought about is I’ve always tried to live by the axiom of what some people commonly call the serenity prayer. Oh, yes. You know, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Brad Singletary:

Yes, sir.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, and I’ve found that for me, that kind of gives me inner peace because, you know, there’s going to be some things you just can’t change and you then have to make a decision either to move on or to accept things the way they are, because you’re never going to be out. It’s outside of your ability to control.

Stephen Mehling:

It might be because of a higher power and might be because of the environment whatever it might be. But also along that line, you know that the last piece of it, the wisdom to know the difference. One of the things that I’ve been a very strong proponent of in talking with my subordinates throughout the years and I was in the military, I was in uniform for 39 years on active duty for 35 and during, during that period of time, the difference between knowledge and wisdom, the wisdom to know the difference and the way I think about it is knowledge is what you get from going to school, reading a book and living your life and making

Stephen Mehling:

mistakes you know, and learning from, you know, the school of hard knocks, so to speak. Wisdom is learning from other people’s mistakes. And I want people to be wise. I don’t want them to have to duplicate those, you know, those same lessons that somebody else has already experienced. And that’s why I think, you know, the Alpha Quorum and these podcasts are so important to guys out there is because it gives them an opportunity, whether it be for me, or Jimmy or you or any of your other guests to garner that wisdom so that they don’t then have to go out and make those same mistakes in order to get the knowledge Wow.

Brad Singletary:

That’s great. So mood actions, results, you’re seeing those is connected. It has to do with what you can control, what you don’t control. I think I would say for sure for me, mood and I guess actions often follow feelings for me. I as I work with people in like mental health, I see two things getting in the way of mood.

Brad Singletary:

Sometimes mood is affected by physiology you know, if you’re hungry. I love the Snickers commercial. Remember those. If you’re not, you get hangry. Can be you know, you got to you got to take a dump and or you’re hungry. Sometimes it’s physiological, but sometimes it’s a matter of what you expect, what you’re demanding of the world and of people and of yourself.

Brad Singletary:

And then after the thing happens, after the triggering occurs, it’s how you interpret what happens. What does this mean about me and what does this say about this person or our relationship that gets into trouble? Jimmy Mood, how do you how does a man master his mood and maybe actions and.

Jimmy Durbin:

Yeah, I mean, I like I appreciate what both of you said. I, I love the Serenity Prayer. There’s also some inherent things that are built into that, right? That I have a higher power, some faith, something I lean into in the absence of factual intellectual information. And that’s a that takes work, you know, having spirituality I need to define what spirituality is for me and Brad needs to define what spirituality is for Brad.

Jimmy Durbin:

And the admiral needs to define what spirituality is for him. And I’m of the school that I don’t think anyone should tell anyone what spirituality is, how it’s connected, to how one gets disconnected and how one gets reconnected. And that’s your work. That’s the man’s work. We can guide and we can coach and we can counsel. We can get curious and ask questions and explore and mentor and all those wonderful things, which is why the three of us are here tonight.

Jimmy Durbin:

And so in that mood, in hitting the pause button, you know, in the self evaluation of how I’m feeling, having body awareness sensations, noticing feelings, being able to identify. Like there’s a lot of information just in that construct of you know, finding a series of actions and or God grant me the serenity. And so all of those things take self-discipline, all of those things need to be seen brought into awareness, understood, written down imagery of like, what does an individual, what do you as a man want in your life?

Jimmy Durbin:

And finding those actions, you know, the I love what the admiral said as far as determination compassion, honor, courage and repetition. You know, for me, that’s living in steps ten, 11 and 12 continue to take a personal inventory when I’m wrong, promptly admit it. That encapsulates determination and having compassion right. The empathy piece. Step 11 continue to improve my conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation, seeking for his will and the knowledge to carry that out.

Jimmy Durbin:

That takes honor, it takes courage, it takes termination, you know, and then repetition and repetition. Absolutely. And and and then step 12, having had a spiritual awakening, right? That’s the gift. That’s the promise. And I would even frame it with discipline. That’s that is the promise. That’s what you’re hearing from us tonight, is finding those series of actions, finding what makes you tick, what gets you up, and being dedicated to that.

Jimmy Durbin:

The promises you’ll have, the spiritual awakening, you’ll realize the goal, you’ll overcome the task, you’ll get to the top of the mountain, as a result of the self-discipline, in this case, these 12 steps. And then the second part and share this message with others right and I think that’s where Admiral I just appreciate a one you as a man who’s willing and knows his emotions and can articulate your feelings and structured in the military and being of service to our country.

Jimmy Durbin:

And protecting, I stand on your shoulders, you know, as a younger man, as someone else who wants to teach men, is committed to that. Thank you. It’s it it’s refreshing. Like it brings me hope right in and to see you dedicated and to come down and share your experience and how you connect the dots what a gift and what it gives.

Jimmy Durbin:

So thank you.

Stephen Mehling:

I appreciate that. And I’m a firm believer that we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us and I think it’s very, very important for four guys who have lived their lives or a portion of their lives, you know, to share those experiences. So that, you know, other people can be wise, too.

Jimmy Durbin:

So I have a question for you. If you could write a letter to yourself, 30 years younger so you have you know, you’re 60, you have all this wisdom and knowledge. And if you could write or tell yourself you know, what you’ve learned over the last year at the age of 30 would be what probably relationships.

Stephen Mehling:

Because remember, I was in the military in uniform for 39 years. And one of the big things about the military is there’s a hierarchy and there’s orders and there’s tact, there’s, you know, there’s doctrine, there’s tactics, techniques, procedures, you know, etc. etc. That doesn’t apply when you’re outside the military. So from a relationship standpoint, it’s real important that you know how to separate yourself from the military work environment and you know the relationship environment.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, outside of the military that that’s the biggest thing that that I’ve learned, you know, in the seven years that I’ve been retired is that, you know, there’s there’s there’s a difference. And, you know, anybody who’s ever come home who’s who’s in a relationship and tried to direct their significant other. Right, you know, to do something well, quickly learn that doesn’t work.

Brad Singletary:

Mrs. Bailey probably has some stories for us on that stuff. I remember talking Mike talking about that at one time that, you know, work is always used. Most work situations are pretty binary. I think probably with the military stuff, it’s it is a yes or no on or off black and white. That’s it. And though structure and order and I’m above you and you’re beneath me.

Brad Singletary:

And this is the the order of operations and there’s no questioning.

Jimmy Durbin:

Yeah.

Brad Singletary:

And that you can’t it can’t operate that way when you’re talking about your children or your, you know, your wife, your significant other. That’s great that you’ve you pointed that out because so much of this we’re it’s a tough discipline. We’re talking about toughness in a way. And Jimmy said, what would you do? 30 years, you know, what would you talk about?

Brad Singletary:

And you’re you’re really talking about tenderness. So you got to be tough.

Jimmy Durbin:

Compassion, peace.

Brad Singletary:

Commanding a ship when you’re commanding an operation it’s international stuff going on and you are at home. You can’t be tough that way. It’s not the same kind of tough and the tenderness maybe is what I’m kind of hearing you say.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah, well, even and even at work, you know, even even in a military structure, it is absolutely incumbent on the senior to to solicit feedback and comment from the subordinate because if the best the best leaders will do that you know and another adage I like to use a lot is if everybody’s thinking the same thing, somebody is not thinking, you know, you get into that group, that kind of thing.

Stephen Mehling:

And and it’s very easy to get there if you’re in that insulated environment where everybody you know, oh, yes, sir, oh, yes, ma’am, whatever it might be in the structure because they’re afraid to get feedback or, you know, someone’s not willing to say, you know, and that idea is really stupid.

Brad Singletary:

Stinks.

Stephen Mehling:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s a really dumb idea. But, you know, you do that in a in a collaborative way, but also in the military, you realize that. Okay. And I used to tell this to my to my folks all the time. If you give me good information, I’ll give you a good decision. If you give me a bad information, I’ll give you a bad decision.

Stephen Mehling:

But if a decision needs to be made because of the exigent circumstances of the time, I will give you a decision because that’s the worst thing you can do is the people just out there hanging.

Brad Singletary:

So I want to wrap this up, but I guess I have 11 last question. And as I have worked on my style here, I guess in and in like hosting these shows, what I want to do is look at the opposite side of things at the end and what is the side effect, what are some problems that come with being highly disciplined?

Brad Singletary:

So maybe there’s a man who wants to get himself to the gym and get a structure and get his life in order and manage his money and budget everything and and handle his business and get be squared away in every aspect, even spirituality. That was fascinating, by the way, when you said Jimmy, when you said spirituality requires work, you can’t just be a hippie and feel good.

Brad Singletary:

You got to do some things.

Jimmy Durbin:

That can that can be part of it.

Stephen Mehling:

Jimmy needed to be Jimmy the hippie in the early but.

Brad Singletary:

But all this takes work. What are these side effects? What is the what are the dangers of being too structured to too rigid.

Stephen Mehling:

From my perspective, I think if you’re too structured and too rigid and not willing to accept feedback and input, you miss opportunities now. And that certainly applies in business. It absolutely applies when you’re talking about money and in the military. Yeah. I mean, there’s you know, there’s uh, if you develop a battle plan, you know, there’s the plan and then there’s what they call branches and sequels to the plan.

Stephen Mehling:

You know, all these branches to come off and, you know, the sequel and, and the folks will tell you that, you know, in a, in a combat situation, all plans are valid until the first shots fired, you know, and then, you know, they kind of the original plan a lot of times will go out the window and you’re already into branches and sequels.

Stephen Mehling:

So you have to be disciplined. Yes. But you have to be flexible at the same time as well.

Brad Singletary:

Be able to pivot and change drastically, change your change the course of wherever you’re headed. Maybe that needs to change. So I really appreciate you being here. I just this has been fascinating and we I’ve enjoyed it. You know, I just we want to increase the quality of our of our guests. And, you know, you’re pretty much up there.

Brad Singletary:

You’re helping us level up, just your expertize, your experience, your maturity, what you’ve taught here. And I love when you mentioned this as an opportunity for men to learn from, learn wisdom from others, to hear what some things that work and that don’t work. Appreciate you being here, Jimmy.

Stephen Mehling:

Any words? Yeah.

Jimmy Durbin:

No, just yeah. Just to thank you. It’s been a pleasure. I really appreciate, you know, what I kind of said earlier, so.

Brad Singletary:

Yeah, thank you. Appreciate it. All right, you guys. Until next time. No excuses, Alpha.

Outro:

Gentlemen, you are the Alpha, and this is the Alpha Quorum.

 

Click your podcast platform below or listen to the embedded file on this page.

088: LISTEN TO LEARN – Alpha Discernment Part Two with Rockford Wright, MD

086: INFLUENCE – Alpha Discipline with Ryan Echols

086: INFLUENCE – Alpha Discipline with Ryan Echols

Our guest today has been a counselor in a correctional facility for 21 years. Several years before he started, he was an inmate there, serving 14 months for violent crimes as a juvenile. He paid off $33,000 in restitution by working in the kitchen. He didn’t meet his biological father until he was 15. Three weeks later, his stepfather died by suicide. This led him to years of anger and violence. Once he was locked up, he learned how to deal with his emotions from men he didn’t want to disappoint.

He read spiritual texts, competed in sports, and learned to meditate. He was the first inmate in this prison to later return and work there, continuing the influence he was shown decades before. He is now very close with his father. He and his wife have a blended family of 8 children and he enjoys weightlifting, mixed martial arts and was recently in an episode of the hit show, Yellowstone.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

00:00:00:01 – 00:00:24:04
Brad Singletary
Our guest today has been a counselor in a juvenile correctional facility for 21 years. Several years before he started, he was an inmate there serving 14 months for violent crimes. He paid off $33,000 in restitution by working in the kitchen. He didn’t meet his biological father until he was 15. Three weeks later, his step father died by suicide.

00:00:25:02 – 00:00:45:11
Brad Singletary
This led him to years of anger and violence once he was locked up. He learned how to deal with his emotions from men. He didn’t want to disappoint. He read spiritual texts, competed in sports, and learned to meditate. He was the first inmate in this prison to later return and work there, continuing the influence he was shown decades before.

00:00:46:09 – 00:00:58:07
Brad Singletary
He’s now very close with his father. He and his wife have a blended family of eight children, and he enjoys weightlifting, mixed martial arts and was recently in an episode of the hit show Yellowstone.

00:01:10:01 – 00:01:31:02
Intro
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong. You are a leader. You are a force. For good, gentlemen. You are the Alpha. And this is the Alpha Quorum.

00:01:39:02 – 00:01:59:01
Brad Singletary
Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum Show. Brad Singletary here, you guys. I’m super excited today. Our guest is Ryan Echols, and he’s going to introduce himself here in just a minute. But I’ve been I’ve known this guy for about over 20 years. 20, 21 years. We worked together in a place, and he’s going to talk about that in a little bit.

00:01:59:01 – 00:02:22:11
Brad Singletary
But his upbringing, his his adolescence, his young adult life and his life now all really have some interesting things woven into it. Our topic is discipline. We’ve been doing this series on the Red Nine, and this one is about a man who lives a life of self-control. And we don’t always do that, but sometimes we have to learn by difficult experience.

00:02:22:11 – 00:02:44:10
Brad Singletary
And I’m sure we’ll hear some of those stories today. But so this is a man who lives a life under control. He controls himself. He dominates himself. He’s the master of his time is money, is environment, is mood. His actions. And of course, what follows all those things is results. And here’s a guy who’s just done some really cool things.

00:02:44:10 – 00:03:06:13
Brad Singletary
I’ll let him introduce some of that He seems to be pretty humble in his older age here. So I hope you’ll brag a little bit on yourself, Ryan. Tell us just a little bit about your your life and what all you’ve been through to get to this point, and especially as it relates to discipline and, you know, problems you’ve overcome and things like that.

00:03:06:13 – 00:03:09:03
Brad Singletary
And we’ll just let you go at this for a little while here.

00:03:09:04 – 00:03:38:13
Ryan Echols
All right. We’ll see if I can nail that one. This is good introduction. I appreciate it. So like I said, Ryan Echols live in Plains City, Utah. You and I worked together at Mill Creek at a youth lockup facility. That’s where we met is a that’s one of those situations where I was introduced. I was the first person to be in that place and have been able to go back and work in.

00:03:40:09 – 00:03:44:01
Brad Singletary
So you were a resident as a kid. You were. This is a.

00:03:44:08 – 00:04:01:02
Ryan Echols
Yeah. So, yeah, I was a kid my senior year of high school, beginning my senior year high school. I got in a fight and somebody got injured and I ended up being sent there. I spent my senior year. I spent 14 months in lockup and.

00:04:02:11 – 00:04:07:03
Brad Singletary
That must have been a pretty serious fight to get that kind of you must have done some damage there.

00:04:07:03 – 00:04:25:06
Ryan Echols
It was like, yeah, cost me about 30 grand in restitution. But yeah, it was, oh my gosh. I mean it would, it was a fight. I mean, any time a fight happens, something bad can happen, which is, you know, when we’re talking about discipline that goes back to the exact same thing. I didn’t have discipline at that point in my life.

00:04:25:06 – 00:04:47:11
Ryan Echols
I was a little wild, little crazy time I was crazy. But, you know, as had a single mom raised, you know, a mom was an amazing woman. She, you know, she she worked her, worked her ass off to make sure that we had power, we had food, we had all those things. But it was just, you know, as a young man.

00:04:47:11 – 00:05:08:10
Ryan Echols
And I think why as a man, I do what I do now. And why I’m the father of this, because I didn’t have that. I didn’t have a man to show me how to be the man I should be. Right. And so by the time I was 16, 17, I thought for sure that I was going to be in prison like everybody else that was doing things that I was doing wrong.

00:05:08:10 – 00:05:33:08
Ryan Echols
And then I got sent to prison. I got sent to the place where we were and there were some amazing men there that literally changed my life. I had men that I knew for a fact that I thought going into that place, I was the baddest person walking the planet at 60. I was a big kid at 16, 1700 and £80 or 16, 17 years old, and I thought I was way better than I really was.

00:05:35:13 – 00:05:58:12
Ryan Echols
You know, the guys were like, There’s plenty of guys that you work with that were there when I was there that I had no intentions of upsetting or not. So and those guys took an interest in me in a way that no man had done before. So I had a situation where I met my dad at 15, wasn’t the greatest, wasn’t the greatest situation.

00:05:58:14 – 00:06:16:05
Ryan Echols
Him, he and I now are extremely close. It’s an amazing man now, but at that point in my life I didn’t have that. So I was a little wild for the years leading up to before I went to military. When I got there, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to go in there and just bully my way through.

00:06:16:05 – 00:06:37:04
Ryan Echols
Everything is wasn’t about the staff. They were amazing. They gave me a chance to realize humble myself, basically. That’s the way I mean, that’s the best way to put it. I got humbled they not only humbled me, but then built me up and said, hey, you could do something. You can go to school, you can create a life yourself.

00:06:37:04 – 00:06:47:13
Ryan Echols
Things that I had my mom always encouraged me to do everything. But it’s one thing for your mom to say it, but another man that you respect and say it is completely different. So go.

00:06:48:00 – 00:07:10:04
Brad Singletary
Back. I just want to talk about this this facility. So this is a secure juvenile correctional facility. This isn’t like, you know, Ju Juvie. This isn’t like some day camp. This is a prison basically for kids up to age 21. This is up in northern Utah. This is, you know, razor wire. There’s electronic door locking mechanisms. There’s a control panel.

00:07:10:04 – 00:07:10:14
Brad Singletary
And this is.

00:07:10:14 – 00:07:12:06
Ryan Echols
This is youth prison.

00:07:12:06 – 00:07:33:01
Brad Singletary
Pretty much. It’s a it’s a prison and there weren’t any armed. The only difference probably is that there are no armed or at that time there were no one was armed there. And so also when you said that you were a pretty big kid, you guys, he’s not talking about a chubby kid in this guy’s swole you know, he shows up with some with some muscle and and you and you’d already been in some fights.

00:07:33:01 – 00:07:53:05
Brad Singletary
You felt really confident. And some of that maybe sounds like is coming from a lack of that like fatherly role. And you show up and there’s these men who are the staff there and they connected. They somehow they reached you or you had a desire to like hear what they had to say. Talk a little bit about that, some of that stuff.

00:07:53:06 – 00:08:14:11
Ryan Echols
So for sure, I think I think every every young man who doesn’t have that connection with their father and or any kind of male role model, you’re always looking for it. It doesn’t there’s no doubt that I deal with it every day at work with these young men that are looking and begging for like some kind of connection to some man that will show them how to be a man.

00:08:15:02 – 00:08:33:07
Ryan Echols
And I was not an exception to that. I was like I said, I thought I was the toughest kid that there was at the time, that I was far from it. But the staff absolutely took me. And trust me, you know how it was. Play sports out there. You find out real quick how you play football a little bit.

00:08:33:07 – 00:08:52:14
Ryan Echols
You find out how tough you really are and but then they pick you up. I had guys Ben was one. They took you know, you need to go play ball. You go play football, you need to get out here and do more than this. This isn’t what you’re meant to do to be in lockup or be in prison or be dead by the time be 21.

00:08:54:09 – 00:09:17:04
Ryan Echols
I had no expectations for anything after I had gone through a year before that. I mean, I know if you want to get into that back and get the what led to me going to Milkshake was probably what changed everything. If we wanted to get into that, we can, we can do it right. So I met my dad at 15 and it was just one of those situations where my mom sent me to go live with my dad at 15.

00:09:17:04 – 00:09:38:09
Ryan Echols
I’d never met him. I’d say, He’s amazing, dude. Now we’re super close. We talk every day. At the time he was alcoholic, very, very violent. I got to meet him probably not the greatest number of my life, but I was already a violent kid. Anyways, you know, I started boxing at ten. I was. I’ve always been into physical.

00:09:39:10 – 00:09:40:14
Ryan Echols
I always like to fight that way.

00:09:43:01 – 00:10:02:06
Ryan Echols
I came back, my mom and I had a boyfriend when I was like four or five. That was like a dad to me. And it’s always been on my life even that entire time of school. Every year we go do that very close to me. I got back that that summer after meeting my dad first time, and three weeks after I got back, he killed himself.

00:10:04:08 – 00:10:27:12
Ryan Echols
And so it was a situation where I meet my dad disappointment. The guy that that was my thought daughter as my father commit suicide and I had no it wasn’t really my mom do talk about this. You still love this guy. Yeah. I mean, like she it was rough for her to deal with it. But for me I just shut down.

00:10:28:03 – 00:10:50:09
Ryan Echols
And if anything I became a lot more aggressive and a lot more violent just because I didn’t want to deal with emotions. I didn’t want to open up and tell him to hate this and that’s what led to is a year before I got put in lockup and I was probably fighting every weekend for a long time before I finally got in trouble and got sent there.

00:10:51:08 – 00:11:14:11
Ryan Echols
I’m going back full circle that I meet the staff there, and it’s kind of the same thing. I’ve got men that I respect and men that I know physically I have to. It was just kind of a snapshot of how tough you think you are. And yeah, it was there’s a bunch of great guys there, you know, that you worked with.

00:11:14:12 – 00:11:38:09
Ryan Echols
You worked with them too. And it wasn’t it wasn’t a superficial friendship. It was I guess it was legit. Like, I expect you to be the man I know you can be. And if you do that, I’ll be here for you. And it worked out to the point to where I left that place and was working there six years later because those men said, if you do what you need to do, will vouch for you and you’ll come back.

00:11:38:13 – 00:11:47:09
Ryan Echols
You’ll be the first person to ever be in here. Come and work here. I didn’t believe that at all, because I’ll be honest, like a lot of people told me flat out, you’ll never work here.

00:11:49:10 – 00:11:53:02
Ryan Echols
Because nobody ever had. But I took that as a challenge.

00:11:53:02 – 00:12:11:11
Brad Singletary
So you were a resident. You were a an inmate, basically, at this place. A troubled kid. You’d been in enough trouble. There were probably multiple layers of you know, they have diversion programs and, you know, you got your hand slapped and then a little more and then a little more. And then he got 14 months in basically a prison.

00:12:11:11 – 00:12:12:08
Brad Singletary
And you’re still in high.

00:12:12:08 – 00:12:12:13
Ryan Echols
School, right?

00:12:12:13 – 00:12:36:02
Brad Singletary
Z and and and these and these guys are seeing something in you. They see something because there’s a bunch of knuckleheads in there. There’s a bunch of, you know, idiot kids running around who just don’t have any kind of structure strength to speak of, really. And they saw something in you and you saw something in them and you kind of said, Hey, I want to hear what you have to say.

00:12:36:02 – 00:12:42:07
Brad Singletary
And they shaped you and so you left there after 14 months, and then six years later.

00:12:43:00 – 00:12:43:04
Ryan Echols
You.

00:12:43:13 – 00:12:46:11
Brad Singletary
You got a job there as a, as a youth counselor, right?

00:12:46:12 – 00:13:07:04
Ryan Echols
Yeah. So I left I went to Dixie Dixie College for a little bit. Left Dixie went actually went live with my dad for a year or so. I was going, I wanted to move to Arizona because my dad was a tapes lineman, made good money doing that. And that was my plan was to go he was going to get me a job down there.

00:13:07:04 – 00:13:35:03
Ryan Echols
I was gonna stay in Arizona. I went down there and my great grandmother had talked about it pretty much raised me, started having heart problems so I moved out to Utah to take care of I took care of it for two years until she died and then had met my ex wife. We were dating. I was getting ready to move back to Arizona and she ended up two pregnant and I didn’t want to do it.

00:13:35:03 – 00:13:55:07
Ryan Echols
My dad did and leave. So I stayed and I was doing cement work at the time and I just happened to submit work. Yeah, good. Hard. I’m making this money. But, you know, not so much. I went I happened to stop by to go visit the guys, go visit the counselors that I keep in touch with everybody.

00:13:57:08 – 00:14:20:09
Ryan Echols
Stopped by oh, you ever did can. Oh, yeah. Hey, there’s opening in control, and I want you to come apply for it. And I was like, there’s no way. There’s no way they’re going to hire me, you know, just like you didn’t. I’d never thought it would happen. So he’s like, I don’t care. We think you’re going to come apply for it.

00:14:20:11 – 00:14:42:05
Ryan Echols
So I did apply for control. Got that. Got hard to control. I think I was two months later, I got offered a spot in college to be to be counselor and that and I got to be honest, like, I never at that point in my life, I didn’t think that I was even still worthy of that. Like, you still dealing with all the issues of like, your past and trying to overcome all the things.

00:14:42:08 – 00:15:03:00
Ryan Echols
You know, I was doing good. I was doing very well for myself, you know, financially and everything. But emotionally and dealing with all the things in my past was still kind of hold me back for I didn’t think I was worthy of that yet, but it played out and, you know, I got it and it’s just 21 years later I’m still there.

00:15:03:08 – 00:15:21:10
Brad Singletary
So it’s that’s amazing, dude. I mean, I’ve just seen, I mean, the recidivism rates for the kids at this level. It’s just very that’s one of the best, one of the things that took me out of that career because it was, it’s kind of sad, you know, I mean, most of the kids that show up in those places, they end up in prison every few years.

00:15:21:10 – 00:15:46:01
Brad Singletary
I’ll look up some of the kids I worked with and I see their I see their picture in the in the state prisons and whatever. And I and I and I see, you know, how far things progressed in a worse direction for them, you know, and it’s just it’s just heartbreaking. But you’re someone who someone someone reached you, man, and you you had to reach inside yourself and say, I’m made for something better.

00:15:46:01 – 00:16:03:05
Brad Singletary
Than this, and I know what I need to do something. I just believe there’s something special about a guy who can do that at such a young age. I mean, I didn’t know this until a few years ago that our adult brain isn’t even fully formed until you’re like 25 or 26 years old.

00:16:03:13 – 00:16:04:02
Ryan Echols
I mean.

00:16:04:03 – 00:16:12:14
Brad Singletary
And that’s that was one of the coolest things I ever learned. And I was like, Well, no wonder they wouldn’t let me rent a car when I was, you know, a freshman in college or whatever. But so.

00:16:12:14 – 00:16:14:02
Ryan Echols
You’re way.

00:16:14:02 – 00:16:25:14
Brad Singletary
Ahead of your time in terms of turning things around or you started to in your late teenage years, were you at Mill Creek after you were 18 that were you already an adult and still locked up?

00:16:25:14 – 00:16:26:10
Ryan Echols
Yeah. OK, yeah.

00:16:26:13 – 00:16:31:14
Brad Singletary
See, so they kept they would keep kids until their age. 21. So. So how old were you when you left?

00:16:32:00 – 00:16:53:01
Ryan Echols
I was I was at probably 18 and a half, I think. But just beyond that now they just changed that here now that we’re keeping kids. So 25 which I don’t know that those are kids but yeah we did they just, they just changed that. Yeah. I’ve met something. They’re not a great idea for me in that facility, but I mean it is what it is.

00:16:54:06 – 00:17:07:02
Brad Singletary
Wow. That’s interesting. So you’re so you’re an adult and you’re still in lockup, but pretty much so when you get out there’s some probation or some kind of youth parole stuff where you have to go. And what did you do after you got out of there?

00:17:07:03 – 00:17:26:14
Ryan Echols
So I was on I was actually on parole, so I was like 23 because I had so much restitution so when I got done with that, I was 21. I had to go to adult because I still had restitution. They would lay me off until my restitution was paid, which oh. So then once my restitution was paid off, I could actually get my record expunged.

00:17:28:00 – 00:17:31:05
Brad Singletary
And you’re talking about adult parole, not you didn’t get.

00:17:31:05 – 00:17:37:06
Ryan Echols
No, no, no, no, no, no. Never got locked up again. Never. I’ve never had another charge secured. OK, OK.

00:17:38:10 – 00:17:40:02
Brad Singletary
Well, you just finished out your parole.

00:17:40:02 – 00:17:47:14
Ryan Echols
Yeah, yeah. Because I still have I think I still have a few thousand dollars left in restitution to pay. I mean, I was on my tank a few thousand from.

00:17:48:04 – 00:17:49:04
Brad Singletary
What was a total.

00:17:49:04 – 00:17:54:10
Ryan Echols
33,000, you know, in medical bills. Yeah.

00:17:56:09 – 00:17:58:00
Brad Singletary
Wow. You put a hurt.

00:17:58:01 – 00:18:10:12
Ryan Echols
No, I mean, it’s that is a bad situation, you know, maybe I’m proud of I don’t want to glorify any of it, you know, but quite it’s happened and people think it could happen to me. That’s easy.

00:18:10:12 – 00:18:20:10
Brad Singletary
You did what you had. Absolutely. But you finished that. You paid out 33,000 parole for several years afterward. And where did you where did you pick things up from there?

00:18:20:10 – 00:18:40:12
Ryan Echols
So like I said I went to Dixie College for a little bit. Wasn’t a good fit for me. I’ll be the first to admit to to go from being in lockup to you know, Dixie, when I was a JSI, there was a party school that was a terrible idea for me to go from lockup for a year plus to go to a party school.

00:18:40:14 – 00:19:15:04
Ryan Echols
So I lasted maybe like six, seven months. And I was like, if I don’t if I don’t leave, I’m not I’m not going to do well. So I went to my dad’s in Arizona decided I was just going to work. You know, I was going to work for the AP for eight years, the power company B alignment. And like I said, then things out with my grandma and I came up here, I started doing some work at group homes and I worked at several group homes up here while I was doing other work, got the time in with my schooling up to where they hired me at Mill Creek.

00:19:15:04 – 00:19:17:14
Ryan Echols
So that was it worked out.

00:19:19:13 – 00:19:37:02
Brad Singletary
And that was only a couple months here in the control room. That’s where I started. That’s where I’m talking about you open the doors, you’re looking at cameras and you’re kind of observing the flow of traffic, the control you’re in control of the flow of of all the movement inside. And then only after a couple of months you went and your title is Youth Counselor.

00:19:37:02 – 00:19:40:05
Brad Singletary
One, two, and that must have been a crazy.

00:19:40:05 – 00:19:56:10
Ryan Echols
Yeah. At the time. And the craziest thing about that is that when I got hired as a counselor, I worked in the same party that I was in so I was in the same unit I was excited to see when I was in there. And then I went back and worked in the exact same cottage. And it was it was me.

00:19:56:12 – 00:19:58:12
Brad Singletary
And some of those staff were still food.

00:19:59:01 – 00:20:21:00
Ryan Echols
And I took that to be honest. Like not all of them were super happy that I was working there at the time. There was a lot of negative, a lot of negative talk about me being there, which I understand as a staff. Now, at the time, there was a lot of there were some very good people that were very supportive, but there’s a lot of people that think I should be able to work there because of what I did and that I was in there.

00:20:22:04 – 00:20:25:06
Ryan Echols
But I think by now probably shown that I’m worthy of being there.

00:20:25:06 – 00:20:41:13
Brad Singletary
So well, I I got to admit, man, and I don’t think we ever had any much, you know, exchange or communication or anything but or about that anyway. But I remember feeling a little confused about how would they, you know, how did they let that happen or what’s, you know, is that is that is as good or not.

00:20:42:02 – 00:20:56:08
Brad Singletary
I wasn’t really judging it. I was just it was curious. I was like, this has never happened before. And and, you know, I don’t know. You have you’re this musky, muscled muscle dude, but who used to be there as a resident. I was is this a good, good idea or not?

00:20:56:08 – 00:21:14:04
Ryan Echols
No, I understand. That completely. And I knew that going in. And I think I joke with my wife all the time because I when I left there and I said I wanted to come back and work there, people were like, well, never happen. I guarantee you’ll never work here. And I’ll never forget, like, all right, watch. I’m going to show you that.

00:21:14:04 – 00:21:36:12
Ryan Echols
I could do that. I could do this. I come over. So why couldn’t you you know, I couldn’t be a neurosurgeon or something. Would wouldn’t make me a lot more money. But it it it played out good. You know, I feel like I, I feel like with my life before that and the way that I was, I wasn’t contributing to society the way that anybody said the things I did prior to being locked up.

00:21:37:11 – 00:21:57:04
Ryan Echols
This has been my way for 21 years to give back to the community I live in and do things that I should’ve been doing the whole time. And now that I’m a father, I’m a husband, all these things, and and for the boys I work with, they deserve that effort and the energy I put into them to make up for everything I did.

00:21:58:04 – 00:22:18:00
Ryan Echols
It’s a big deal to me because I feel like I did. I wasn’t the greatest person that, you know, maybe 15, 1415 to, to 18 till I was in there. A lot of things I feel like I need to make up for it. And it’s our being hard on ourselves for sure. But to me, I’m like, this is my way of giving back.

00:22:18:00 – 00:22:39:08
Ryan Echols
I said when I started, if I could help one kid the way I was helped, then I’ve done what I wanted to do. And I actually had a I had a kid that I had probably 15, 16 years ago that named a son after me two years ago. And, and to be honest, this was a little like my wife.

00:22:39:08 – 00:23:01:11
Ryan Echols
We were upstairs and he’d message me out Facebook and like, send me a picture of his baby. I had him for four years at that place. He came in at 13 and left at almost 18. No family, super good kid, just bad situation, good kid. Is doing amazing. Sent the message me say, hey, my baby is born and he sends me the picture.

00:23:01:11 – 00:23:22:03
Ryan Echols
I didn’t notice like the name tag on it and I’m like, I’d like to see the name. And I’m like, I’ll go back and look and my wife’s like, Are you getting emotional? I’m like, Yeah, like literally after you know, at that point, like 17 years of doing this like that is a, it’s a huge deal to impact somebody’s life that much like it was, it was amazing to me.

00:23:22:04 – 00:23:24:04
Brad Singletary
Wow. What an what, what, what an honor.

00:23:24:04 – 00:23:26:08
Ryan Echols
Yeah, well, go ahead.

00:23:28:02 – 00:23:54:04
Brad Singletary
Dwell. I just the, you know, everything that you’re describing from, from kind of what was missing for you in the beginning. That’s why this whole thing exists, man. We have kind of have a smaller, you know, following. We’ve got, you know, I don’t know, two 5300 downloads per episode. We got a little Facebook group and and but the idea is that men are suffering because of what other men are like in their lives.

00:23:54:04 – 00:24:11:09
Brad Singletary
And so if you’re if you didn’t have the best role models and things and you didn’t have the kind of presence that you needed, somebody to, you know, rough you up a little bit and love you at the same time, you ended up finding that. Thank God you ended up finding that in lockup. You know, you’re in it.

00:24:11:09 – 00:24:33:08
Brad Singletary
You’re in a youth prison. And you had some guys who probably roughed up a little bit and loved on you some, too, and kind of gave you some encouragement and gave you some you know, hold up the mirror and show you to yourself and they tell you what you can be. And then and then you you went out there and probably just stubborn enough to to to say you want to prove it and and you did that.

00:24:33:10 – 00:24:52:11
Brad Singletary
And that’s come full circle to where now you’ve got kids who’ve been out of that system for 15 years or whatever length of time and they’re naming their kids after you. That is dude, that’s, that’s success that began out of failure. And now you’re a dad, you’re married and have to talk about your kids and your family situation.

00:24:54:05 – 00:25:05:05
Ryan Echols
So I have total I have six, I have six kids. I have four. When I met my wife, she had two boys. So I’ve got two stepsons. We have two together. So we have eight in total which we.

00:25:06:14 – 00:25:11:13
Brad Singletary
I thought I had a bunch of kids. You do have a y’all got a like a tour over there. How do you.

00:25:12:14 – 00:25:31:04
Ryan Echols
Settle with one? We’ll need it if everybody comes home. That’s the thing. Luckily, enough, as my older kids, I got 22 and a 20 year old daughter out on their own. My wife’s 19 year old’s in Hawaii going to school. So we’re lucky enough right now. We probably have three or four, maybe five at the most on a weekly basis.

00:25:31:04 – 00:25:40:03
Brad Singletary
So if you got a 22, you do to me I, I’m thinking you’re 20 like that’s what I knew. You were.

00:25:40:03 – 00:25:41:05
Ryan Echols
Right. You were pretty.

00:25:41:05 – 00:25:52:00
Brad Singletary
Young like that. So it’s weird to think you got a 22 year old. I have an 18. My my, my oldest is 18. So we’re getting eight kids all together, yours, mine and got York.

00:25:52:02 – 00:26:22:01
Ryan Echols
Right there and I love it I actually like it. I mean it, it’s not the easiest thing to blend families for sure. It’s a lot of work but I think the connection I with my wife, I mean we’ve made it work for sure. It’s like it’s not always easy. It’s definitely not easy. And then like I said, we have our two together, which is it’s funny because we kind of had our own like when I met her, we had a date and she only had boys and she wanted a daughter.

00:26:22:01 – 00:26:47:05
Ryan Echols
Right? Absolutely. I’ll make sure you can have a daughter. And her first baby was a little girl, so she got her daughter there. She’s basically like the miniature version of my wife. They exactly like her. And then she got pregnant about a year later, and we had our son who was literally like exactly like me. It’s funny because I was like a miniature version of each other to finish it out.

00:26:47:05 – 00:26:50:03
Ryan Echols
And so that’s it. I mean, we’re done for sure.

00:26:50:05 – 00:26:51:03
Brad Singletary
Well, it’s got to be me.

00:26:51:05 – 00:26:52:06
Ryan Echols
Yeah. Oh, yeah.

00:26:53:05 – 00:26:57:05
Brad Singletary
Well, I 20 if you got 20 something year old kids, you want to be a great father.

00:26:58:00 – 00:27:07:04
Ryan Echols
A grandfather. Actually, yeah. Oh, oh, grandfather. My, my, my oldest daughter. Maybe Grandpa a year ago in December, so. Yeah, yeah. Wow.

00:27:07:07 – 00:27:15:08
Brad Singletary
Well, congratulations, man. So your kids, your your older kids, good relationships with them. Is that all? Yeah. You know, I mean, I’m sure you went through a lot together.

00:27:15:08 – 00:27:33:00
Ryan Echols
Yeah, I think, I mean, in that situation, I think, like, we’ve always been close. I was always dad first, no matter what. Like, whether I was, whether I was fighting, whether I was, it didn’t matter. I mean, like I said, we didn’t really talk a whole lot, but I’ve never been I don’t go out much. I don’t party a lot.

00:27:33:00 – 00:27:58:11
Ryan Echols
I, I’ve had my, my time for sure. I won’t deny that. But when I had kids, it was like I’ve always felt like I needed to be what I didn’t have. And so that’s always been a priority to me. Being a dad is a big deal. I’ve messed a lot of shit up in my life, but being a dad is something that I’ve tried to be my best at now with my wife now I’ve tried to be a good husband just trying to mature and grow and be better at things.

00:27:59:12 – 00:28:12:03
Ryan Echols
My older kids, yes, we went they they went through a lot more than they should have because the relationship that me and their mom had, but I was always there. I mean, the only thing I could I’m not perfect by the means, but I showed up every day. I was there every day.

00:28:14:11 – 00:28:33:08
Ryan Echols
Yeah. I mean, we’re all close. We’ve always been very close. We talk all the time. My daughter, my oldest daughter is in California with her baby and baby’s dad. All my kids are here all around town. And I still see all of them like my other kids with my ex. I get them every week like it works out.

00:28:34:00 – 00:28:56:10
Ryan Echols
So I’ve got it. Wow. My, my. I got an 11 year old. And it’s funny because when when me and Lindsay, my wife, when we met, she had a three year old that had a two year old and they were eight months apart. Two boys. Yeah. Now now they’re 11 and almost to like my stepson will be 12 next week and my son’s 11 and they’re close as hell but they’re super close.

00:28:56:14 – 00:29:10:08
Ryan Echols
There’s been a lot of battles between those two. Those two are by far the closest because they’re closest in age and it’s worked, Allie said it’s been rough. It’s hard to blend everything lately, but I can’t I can’t complain. It’s been, it’s been good.

00:29:12:09 – 00:29:34:11
Brad Singletary
So this topic about discipline, I mean, you went from a life maybe of no discipline. There didn’t seem like there was a lot of discipline even in your home or not. The right kind of, you know, structure and discipline. And you turn things around. You’re a family man now. You do it. You’re still doing a lot with, you know, fitness and you’ve talked about I want you to talk about, you know, Emma and fighting.

00:29:34:11 – 00:29:56:13
Brad Singletary
You’ve done some, you know, started out maybe just street fighting. Got you. Right. But you but you wanted to harness that into something that was about you know, that’s what I’ve noticed about you over the years is just your commitment to like working out. You’ll have a picture of your, you know, one of your little ones running around like leg there, you know, and there’s my workout partner and you so you continue that.

00:29:57:03 – 00:30:19:04
Brad Singletary
You seem to be a guy who for the most part isn’t one to make a lot of excuses I know we all have our off days and we get off track for a little bit, but you’ve done it enough that you’ve stayed fairly consistent from what I can tell, from what I know about you, and to look to look at you, I can tell that you’ve got a you got a way to grind and I want to come back to discipline.

00:30:19:04 – 00:30:40:10
Brad Singletary
And so you’ve talked about career stuff. What motivates you there, your family, how? Well, talk about fighting, though, because you you took some of that maybe anger or the desire to be physical and fight and, you know, this violent nature and to turn it into something more like an art form. Mm.

00:30:40:11 – 00:30:42:02
Ryan Echols
A Yeah. That’s.

00:30:42:07 – 00:30:43:13
Brad Singletary
You know, that’s that’s an art.

00:30:44:08 – 00:31:04:09
Ryan Echols
It for me. It’s weird how it played out. I’m not sure this is like it’s happened to thousands of people, right? I was a product of a single mom, right? I had I was probably I was only child till I was in my I was just me, too. I was doing I was probably a little not little. I was definitely a little chubby kid for a long time.

00:31:05:00 – 00:31:27:13
Ryan Echols
So I was probably ten to about 13. Yeah. My mom always had me in sports and I wasn’t very great. I wasn’t very great at sports for a very long time. And she married my she met my, my sister’s dad. And they got married. He was, you know, he was he was a good athlete, wasn’t the nicest guy ever, but pushed me.

00:31:27:13 – 00:31:52:08
Ryan Echols
And it kind of motivated me to like they would constantly there’s like comments about not being athletic. And so I probably at 13 really pushed myself to get in shape and not be clumsy and overweight. So working out all the time. At 13 my mom started taking me to the gym at 13 and then I started boxer and I think my grandpa boxing was the boxing.

00:31:52:08 – 00:32:15:14
Ryan Echols
The army you had you had to. Yeah, you had to be able to handle yourself. My, my family they were a little little rough so it was a lot of for me it was proving people wrong even then when I say if you like my stepdad I wanted to fight. You think you’re a good athlete. Watch. I’m going to show you that I can be a good athlete.

00:32:15:14 – 00:32:42:13
Ryan Echols
I went from being 12. I was a senator on my football team and at 13 I was running I was a running back and inside linebacker just based off of the effort I put in and it just always seemed to be for some reason, I would always just choose violence. In that time, I couldn’t handle people saying things or people criticizing me.

00:32:42:13 – 00:33:08:11
Ryan Echols
I’d always be like, I tell you exactly what happened. I was probably 13 years old and there’s kids pick on me every day, walk home from school every day. Always something pushed you spit on each other. And the last week before my end of my sixth grade year, I turned around, punch this kid in the face, dropped him, Illustrator broke his nose, first time I’d ever hit anybody and dropped him.

00:33:08:11 – 00:33:28:09
Ryan Echols
And it was like I became like this little miniature celebrity in my little group, in my own neighborhood is like, wait a minute. If I actually fight back and I’m decent at it, people like me, right? I’d be this nerd that nobody likes anymore. And that’s what started everything. And then it became like and to be honest, at that point, like, I didn’t have a lot of friends.

00:33:28:12 – 00:33:44:12
Ryan Echols
I was chubby kid that like to read books and play like my animals or stuff. I didn’t. I was a single kid, but there are people like, Oh, you beat up so and so. And then a few months later I beat up somebody else and start building this fake persona almost at that time because nobody’s nobody’s guiding me.

00:33:45:08 – 00:34:02:02
Ryan Echols
Nobody’s saying like, Look, this is a this is the way to do things. I definitely defend yourself. Don’t let people, you know, put their hands on you. I didn’t get that. My mom was definitely like, Don’t. If somebody picks on you, don’t come home unless you go you go handle it. You see my wife, it’s definitely my mom.

00:34:02:06 – 00:34:34:08
Ryan Echols
I don’t if you get beat up, you got to go back and fight again so you could kill you do win or don’t come back. But she was at work. You know, she worked a lot. She had to because it was just us. And so for those years, it was just like I got a lot of get rush and adrenaline and what I thought was people liking me for being violent but not fast forward to get to the point from that to when I got locked up I didn’t hear from anybody like all these people that said, all right, you will be there for you.

00:34:35:04 – 00:34:54:00
Ryan Echols
You realize real quick, when you get locked up that nobody really cares. There’s this very few people in life that are going to be there for you when you need them. And it’s always your tribe. It’s your family. A very small circle. I’ve always kept a very small circle for that reason because I learned it at 17 years old, I got locked up.

00:34:54:11 – 00:35:16:05
Ryan Echols
All those people that say they care, they it’s all lip service. That’s all it is, you know? You know, everybody knows that now in our age, like, you start realizing like. And so from that, when I got out of lockup, probably about 90, 95 was when the first UFC started. It’s like, wait a minute, you can fight somebody in jail for do you?

00:35:16:05 – 00:35:43:12
Ryan Echols
Can I get locked up for it? And you know, in, in Arizona at the time, there’s some underground stuff that we make. You get a hundred bucks to go fight, that kind of thing. I did that for a while and it was, I started doing jujitsu and all that and it brought some kind of like normalcy to my passion for that without it being like overly aggressive it’s hard to explain like it was and it was.

00:35:43:12 – 00:36:04:12
Ryan Echols
There’s a lot of it. It was like just rebelling back for everything and everybody just being too much. And now I could do it. And it’s an art form, right? I can do jujitsu, I can do more type, I can do boxing and I can help train kids, and I can do all these things in this physical expression of greatness that doesn’t have to be a crime and it doesn’t have to be violent.

00:36:05:00 – 00:36:27:01
Ryan Echols
And you start realizing, I think that’s where honestly where my fight to self was when I started looking at like an art form, because if I could be that violent person and then I could if if it comes to a street fighter or to protect my family, it’s still there. But the art form of what that is kind of changed a lot of things for me because I had kids when I had kids, it made me a little softer.

00:36:27:01 – 00:36:38:13
Ryan Echols
I’m not going to deny that. But so yeah, it was image issue, all that stuff. It was a big part of helping me, you know, stay on the right track for sure.

00:36:41:08 – 00:37:02:07
Brad Singletary
So talk about discipline, I mean, just in general. And we’ll we’ll get into some specific questions here. But the change for you at some point, you went from just, you know, hellion, street fighter, violent guy who was just, you know, locked up. And at some point what you had to learn or discover, maybe the hard way, maybe it was a choice.

00:37:02:07 – 00:37:26:08
Brad Singletary
Maybe you would lay there at night and think, I got to be a better dude. I mean, what how did you get to be so disciplined? Because you can’t have a successful blended family. You can’t have a pretty, you know, solid body as a 40, 42. You can’t be 46 and have you know, be built like this. You can’t have a successful blended family and a 21 year career and a very stressful job.

00:37:27:04 – 00:37:48:07
Brad Singletary
And you can’t keep all that together if you don’t have a sense of discipline. I can tell from your, from your, from your posts and things like you’ve got a beautiful home, like you got some things figured out. Ryan and I just wonder how like how did discipline create that for you because you were headed, I don’t know the numbers, but it used to be high, high numbers.

00:37:48:07 – 00:37:56:12
Brad Singletary
I mean it’s 70, 80% of those kids in those facilities end up in prison. You’re headed there. You turn it around with discipline. How, how did you do that?

00:37:57:11 – 00:38:17:09
Ryan Echols
Honestly, it was if I’m being honest, before I went to Mill Creek, I thought for sure. I mean, you’re talking about the time like the mid nineties, early nineties, it was crazy, crazy time. I thought for sure I would be in prison. I thought I would probably be dead by the time I was 21. He was like, this is the way I was.

00:38:17:09 – 00:38:34:07
Ryan Echols
I’m not nothing to be proud of at all or anything like that. But it took me about a month of being and being locked up. I was like, Yeah, this is not the life I want. This isn’t what I want. I’m watching everybody around me, the things we’re doing and the life that they’re living, and I don’t want that.

00:38:35:02 – 00:38:53:10
Ryan Echols
I don’t know how to live it at that point. And I talk about this with my kids a lot. I, I started doing meditation. I had my mom bring a lot of books on meditation. I started reading every religious book I could find was the Old Testament, New Testament, the Koran, every Buddhist writing ever the Bhagavad Gita. I read everything I could.

00:38:54:00 – 00:39:20:10
Ryan Echols
All I did is read them. I sleep them in my room the night I locked lockdown. I read, I worked out, I read and worked on my meditation. I started developing a pattern of learning and I talked to my kids a lot about this at work is they think meditation is a chore, right? When in reality, it’s a situation where you’re trying to find that moment between thoughts that lead to the situation that gets you in trouble.

00:39:21:04 – 00:39:39:01
Ryan Echols
And learning to take that break and snapping yourself out of that repetitive habit you have of doing the same shit. They get you in trouble all the time and just taking a break. Stop. Wait a minute. We catch myself and that’s what it was. And it’s a lot of practice. I’m still I’m still practicing that to this day.

00:39:40:01 – 00:39:59:12
Ryan Echols
But that was the original plan was like, All right, I’ve got to get this impulsive, violent streak out of my head. I’ve got to learn to deal with this. And then I got to realize that I’m worthy and capable of a normal life. And it was it’s been a process for sure, but it’s it’s been a great process and a hard process.

00:40:00:05 – 00:40:40:02
Ryan Echols
And when discipline, it’s like we as we get older, especially our my body is beat up. I mean, I’ve had more injuries and surgeries and I want to talk about but I still have to do something every day. I still need to get up and move I still need to try to eat. Well, we have our I mean, me and my wife, you know, that’s one thing that I’m one of the reasons my wife’s Instagram blew up because we did after we had our last baby, we were both overweight and we were at Universal Studios for our honeymoon after our baby is born and I look like Shrek standing next to one of the pictures.

00:40:40:02 – 00:41:00:03
Ryan Echols
And I was 273 at the time. Not in any kind of shape, horrible shape. And she was you know, I won’t say what her weight was that she she’s bigger, too. She just had a baby like you she didn’t like how she got back. And I was like, all right, we’re going to we’re going to diet. But I’m doing the diet.

00:41:00:05 – 00:41:18:01
Ryan Echols
You’re just going to do what I say. And she said, I trust you. And she’s lost. I think she lost like £80. I lost £86. And it’s, it’s been a lifestyle change more so than just are we going to diet? We stopped eating chips and salsa every night while we drank beer on the couch and talk to each other.

00:41:18:01 – 00:41:46:03
Ryan Echols
And it’s just been a complete lifestyle change. And that discipline with it, that was the beginning of this reinvention of myself and almost 40, 42, like where I was like I had my, I don’t know, like my, my 11 year old now was like five at the time. And he’s looking through my phone on Facebook and he’s looking at my pictures and he sees a picture of one of my fight posters and he’s like, Who’s that?

00:41:46:13 – 00:42:05:03
Ryan Echols
And I was like, That’s me. It’s like, No, it’s like that. You’re too fat. That’s not you. It’s like that five year old. Honestly, that five year old. Honestly, that’s not like he wasn’t being mean. Is this reality like yeah. You don’t look anything like that. You’re 185,000 picture you to 70 right now and that. And then I had issues.

00:42:05:04 – 00:42:23:02
Ryan Echols
My blood pressure is in hospital like three times in the year for my blood pressure. It was like one of the last time I was there that my doctor’s like, if you want to see these kids make it to high school, you’ve got to make some changes. You know, stop drinking so much. Stop eating the way you’re eating, start exercising more.

00:42:23:09 – 00:42:43:01
Ryan Echols
You’re like, it’s obvious that you know what to do. So it was it was a wakeup call for sure because you know, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of drama that went on with my divorce leading into my marriage that caused a lot of issues with me and my wife that we’ve battled through and that whole weight loss process made us so much stronger because we did it together.

00:42:43:09 – 00:43:03:11
Ryan Echols
Yeah, we overcame that. Became with the strong I mean, I, I don’t I couldn’t be with anybody better in my life. Like, she’s the best person for me ever. And she’s, you know, I hope that, you know, I think she feels the same way. We’ve done a great job together as a team, but that team has been like the discipline of just devoting myself to her was something I’d never done before.

00:43:04:11 – 00:43:23:10
Ryan Echols
You know, I wasn’t the greatest husband or anything before. I met my wife and I was miserable. And so with this situation, I’m like, I’m going all in. I’m going to devote everything to my family, to my wife. And it has been an amazing eight years we’ve been together. And, you know, the first few were a little rough, but these last four have been amazing.

00:43:23:10 – 00:43:25:14
Ryan Echols
We’ve done some good things together. We still are.

00:43:28:02 – 00:43:45:05
Brad Singletary
I think I was caught. You guys, I must have caught you on Instagram right around that time. And I don’t know if I follow her or if I just see it because you’re tagged in it or whatever. How I how I know, but I see both of your stuff and it looks like, man, it looks like you have a a decent relationship.

00:43:45:05 – 00:44:06:04
Brad Singletary
And I know people talk, you know, right smack about social media is not real and whatever. But I can tell you, man, I’m a I’m a person who can I can I can look in the mirror. This is my job. As a as a therapist. I look at people and I can read what the vibe is. And it seems very good that you have a solid relationship, you know, and you’re doing this stuff together.

00:44:07:07 – 00:44:07:10
Ryan Echols
Yeah.

00:44:08:03 – 00:44:27:01
Brad Singletary
And it’s amazing that you’re talking about that. We can drift. You know, we even when you you’ve known these things in the past, you were all swole and fit before and then we drift a little bit. And then if you make your mind up. So the mindset is it is an important part of this. You got to make your mind up to discipline.

00:44:27:06 – 00:44:47:05
Brad Singletary
And you’ve done that at some pretty pivotal times in your life as a younger person in the in the in lock up. When you decided to come back, you wanted to to prove everybody wrong, that you couldn’t work there. You did that. And then later on, you know, you got your got blood pressure problems and the doctor says you need to change and you did.

00:44:48:06 – 00:45:03:03
Brad Singletary
It’s amazing how how did you how did you talk to yourself? Like, what did you say? So the doctor says you’re not going to make it for these kids to graduate. You need to make change. How did you begin to talk to yourself about the daily discipline you need?

00:45:03:06 – 00:45:22:05
Ryan Echols
Honestly, like it would’ve been so I had my car fixed in 2009, and that was the beginning of like me spiraling down before I met my wife. Like, she taught me bottom spiral for whatever reason. She just still decided to make it work with me. But I was still recovering from that. Like, I couldn’t fight anymore. I couldn’t train the way I wanted to.

00:45:23:14 – 00:45:46:07
Ryan Echols
I kind of given up like I really wasn’t working out. And then we had our we had our babies and I’m like, I’ve given I’d given so much to my older kids that being in the gym with me every day and then seeing me is is not the baddest man on the planet by any means. But my kids, my older kids knew like my dad will take care of me if something happens.

00:45:46:11 – 00:46:05:13
Ryan Echols
My dad is a pretty bad dude, at least if somebody comes out his protectors and now I’m this overweight guy that’s not doing anything. And my younger kids, they have no idea. They can see pictures, but they’ve never seen me that way. And it was a that was a big thing for me is my kids deserve to see me at least the best I could be.

00:46:05:13 – 00:46:23:02
Ryan Echols
Now, I’ll probably never be what I was, but they deserve to see me the best I can be now. Right. And so it was a rough I mean, my body was beat up, you know, the things I’ve done, but it’s like I owe it to my kids and I owe it to myself to be to go out at least on top in their eyes.

00:46:23:02 – 00:46:40:07
Ryan Echols
Right? Like, let them see me be the best I can be at 46. You know, it’s I didn’t want my kids to be embarrassed of me dropping them off at school. Like, Dad dropped me off down the corner because I want my friends to see you thinking that. Like, when I was at my heaviest like, were my kids embarrassed to have me drop them off?

00:46:40:08 – 00:47:05:00
Ryan Echols
Like, it was a big thing. So I’m like, you know what? You know what to do. You’ve done it for your whole life. Like, you’ve done this before. So it’s time to, like, get off your ass and do it. And that was it. Like it. It was a daily thing, like, in my head because I work, like, right now, I work all six of two, so 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. so I’m at 430, give up, do something right, get up and move.

00:47:05:04 – 00:47:20:12
Ryan Echols
And then when I get off work, you get home. I go straight to the gym in the garage, or I go to the gym in town. But usually if the weather’s nice, I work out in the garage. I got an ice cube in my garage when I get home and the kids get there, it’s you’ve seen that. You’ve seen the YouTube, the videos on Instagram, it’s I’m out there working out.

00:47:20:12 – 00:47:35:13
Ryan Echols
My kids are playing. They’re working out with me. I want everybody out doing something. Let’s get out and get physical, get in the sunlight, be active. And if I don’t, I catch myself being lazy like my youngest on my fibro like that. Are we going to go work out? It’s like, all right. There you go. There you go.

00:47:35:13 – 00:47:38:06
Ryan Echols
He’s calling you out. It’s time to get up and get moving. So, yeah.

00:47:40:05 – 00:48:03:05
Brad Singletary
Dude, that’s awesome for them to see you make the changes to be kind of involved with it, to be around that stuff, too. You know, they’re never going to walk into a gym as an adult and write, you know, £45 plates, clink for the first time. I mean, they would have seen it and see what it does for you and see how it affects your mood and your family, your relationship to your wife.

00:48:03:05 – 00:48:16:00
Brad Singletary
I mean, they would have been, you know, an observer of all this growth and all this like discipline here. So why is it so important to you? Why is discipline such an important thing for you?

00:48:18:03 – 00:48:45:12
Ryan Echols
I honestly because if I didn’t create my own discipline, like we talked about the beginning, nobody taught me how to do any of this stuff. I basically I had to kind of fake it till I became who I wanted to be. And that started with me being disciplined in certain things. Exercising and learning to control my temper, learning to control the way I talk to people, learning to fit into environments.

00:48:45:12 – 00:49:02:06
Ryan Echols
I didn’t understand how to be around that’s one thing I forgot to say earlier is like when I went to Dixie after getting out of lockup, I went from being in a situation with murderers and gangsters right. To a situation where all these kids are normal. And I’ve got to pretend like I know how to hang out with them.

00:49:03:04 – 00:49:22:00
Ryan Echols
And honestly, at that point, I really didn’t know how to hang out. I didn’t come from like the greatest situation. You know, we lived in a poor area where I was living. I was always probably only like in two blocks. I come to just to go to college, and it’s like being around people that were normal, which was intriguing.

00:49:22:02 – 00:49:39:14
Ryan Echols
I wanted to do that. I was just like watching and seeing how to fit in. And it’s kind of been a process for me of creating my life that way. Like, I look for people like like to see, like, I want my life to be that way. All right, so how do I do that? I’ve got to make it happen myself, right?

00:49:40:00 – 00:49:55:05
Ryan Echols
I can’t do the things I did before because if I do that, I’m going to get what I got for it. And that discipline, that discipline of like saying I am not going to go back to that person that I was. I’m not going to live that life anymore. And whatever I’ve got to do, how uncomfortable it gets, I’m going to do that.

00:49:58:12 – 00:50:21:07
Brad Singletary
I think for some people and I’ve been for sure been this person people talk about, especially with like diet and fitness routines and stuff like that. They they they feel like they’ve failed if they don’t stick to it. 100%. I had a client here recently, he was talking about, you know, man, I do this for two weeks and then I’m off for two weeks and then I do it for two weeks and I’m like, all right, I see why you’re upset.

00:50:21:07 – 00:50:41:08
Brad Singletary
But dude, you you spent half of the year last year. You know, focused and being intentional about what you eat and what you do with your body. That’s not it’s not that bad. That’s better than most people. Even if you’re on and off of it. Don’t get tripped up about the fact that you you know, you’ve been slipping back up.

00:50:41:08 – 00:51:05:09
Brad Singletary
Tomorrow’s a new day and just get your self back in gear with with whatever thing, whatever thing it might be. What about what about routines? Like, a lot of it seems like discipline has a lot to do with structure. Andrew Stevens, we had this two star general on last, last in the last episode, and he was talking about, you know, discipline so many times has to do with structure.

00:51:05:09 – 00:51:19:13
Brad Singletary
There’s a a term for this. It’s it’s leg day today. It’s, you know, back and biceps or whatever. Like when it comes to routines for you, what’s been helpful from throughout your life? I mean, what kinds of routines have helped you stay focused?

00:51:19:13 – 00:51:41:06
Ryan Echols
All right. So before that, I want to get to the book when with people taking the two weeks on Twitter. Right. That that’s something I want to touch on because when my wife started this process with me, I told her flat out, we’re going 12 weeks no cheating, no glasses, wine, nothing, period. I’m going to hold you 100% accountable after that.

00:51:41:06 – 00:51:56:02
Ryan Echols
12 weeks if you want to have a cheat meal. And so we’re at a point now where we will have a cheat meal Saturday or Sunday. We go on a date. I date my wife every week. We go on a date every week. I make sure that we do that. And she wants to a glass of wine, that glass wine.

00:51:56:06 – 00:52:17:12
Ryan Echols
And if she wants some French fries or pizza, we have it right. You said that doing more than you would do regular is always going to be better than nothing, right? So yeah, getting back to so yeah, when it comes to my routine, it’s I want the hardest thing first, right? So it’s always International Chess Day on Monday.

00:52:18:01 – 00:52:44:03
Ryan Echols
It’s always everybody that’s just a Monday. I do legs on Monday and I do that. I do legs again on Friday. I decided that I needed to do something when I came back and I started working out again. I mean when I was 2324, I was attention 515. I was a oh my, I was a little bit of a freak of nature, you know, 23, 24 years old, squat and seven and seven it beat my body up.

00:52:44:03 – 00:53:06:04
Ryan Echols
So obviously now if I, if I hit 359 because I related with it right without my shoulders, don’t hold it up very much anymore. But I have to do things now harder when I don’t want to do it. So if I take Sunday off I need to legs on Monday and then I’ve gone into a situation where I do like a push pull legs.

00:53:06:10 – 00:53:28:09
Ryan Echols
So I do chest, shoulders, triceps one day back biceps straps and then legs or I’ll do the opposite. So I try to do that biceps straps, sort of triceps weights. Stay off, go. But if I’m really pushing it, I won’t take a day off and I’ll just go out. I might do lighter work, but I’m always making sure I do something.

00:53:28:09 – 00:53:49:04
Ryan Echols
I want to get up and do something every day they happen all the time. No, there’s no doubt. Like I have days where I’m just beat up, my body’s hammered, I need the salt bath and massager and the heating pad, you know, and I’ve kind of learned to. I said I’m 46 at this point. It’s like I can’t beat myself up over missing a day.

00:53:49:11 – 00:54:01:08
Ryan Echols
I definitely like to get out, walk make sure I get my 10,000 steps in every day. Minimum but if my body is really beat up, I probably should take a little bit of a break. So I kind of eased up on that a little bit.

00:54:03:08 – 00:54:20:11
Ryan Echols
I I like to set up like at least like a 12 we decide to do for 12 weeks and I need to hit those goals. I need to say I’m going to hit these workouts every week for these 12 weeks. And then if I need a couple of weeks to scale it back and take a break, so be it, right?

00:54:21:05 – 00:54:32:11
Ryan Echols
That’s how I have to do things. Because if I give myself too much leeway, I’m like, Oh, I can do it tomorrow and I can’t do it. It just hasn’t worked out for me in the past. I have to just hold myself accountable and force it to happen.

00:54:35:00 – 00:54:41:01
Brad Singletary
What’s magic? About 12 weeks? I mean, so three months, three months, I guess. I mean, that’s a lot of 90 days and it’s.

00:54:41:01 – 00:54:57:06
Ryan Echols
Just me mentally. I don’t even I don’t have a reason to honestly just two hour weeks. Yeah, it was worse for me. I honestly, I feel like three or four weeks. I got to like as far as pushing weight, I’ve got to go back a little bit. But the work effort is still there. Like my shoulders won’t hold up.

00:54:57:06 – 00:55:12:02
Ryan Echols
So I’m trying to push heavy for 12 weeks, but the work output has to be there for 12 weeks for me. Then I got to a week, I could say, All right, you might have earned a couple of weeks of scale on back a little bit. And I mean, I’m just trying to stay somewhat average now, but that just always works for me.

00:55:12:02 – 00:55:17:06
Ryan Echols
So that’s what I, that’s what I do so.

00:55:17:13 – 00:55:38:08
Brad Singletary
All right. You’re talking about getting up at 430 in the morning. You work at six. So you’re already you’re already, you’re already, you know, running, you’ve already got something going, some physical activity going before you even go to work early in the morning. That’s when you do that. You talked about having some occasion you’ll have a like a Saturday or Sunday cheat.

00:55:38:09 – 00:56:04:04
Brad Singletary
Yeah. Or whatever. What are there what are the what are the kind of forms of discipline for you? Because this is more than just about I think some of your strengths are fitness and diet and stuff like that. But what other things like let’s talk about like, you know, your environment, your space, your your stuff, maintaining your mood, you know, your your money, your actions, talk about other types of things.

00:56:04:08 – 00:56:28:06
Ryan Echols
You know, it’s I would say like my my environment is for me, it’s controlled chaos because we got all these kids running around. But that is where I find my peace. I couldn’t be any happier or any calmer mentally than seeing my children thrive and be happy and have the things that I didn’t have. So they can come out and say, hey, dad, can we go outside and do something?

00:56:28:06 – 00:56:46:11
Ryan Echols
I never was able to do that. So I find for me that’s like the biggest thing. It was more than money. It’s more than working out for nothing. My boys and my girls can come and say, Dad, can you do this with me? And that’s that’s a huge thing. I mean, for me, that’s one of the big things I’ve done in my life is be a dad.

00:56:48:01 – 00:57:01:04
Ryan Echols
Then I always make sure that I try to explain to them, like, exercise is one thing, but we need to need to read. So I make sure that everybody’s got we read books here. You have to read where I’m going to sit on electronics all day long. There’s limited time on electronics. I do the same thing for myself.

00:57:03:02 – 00:57:06:12
Ryan Echols
Shut everything down. I like to say everything down before bed. It’s an hour or so before bed.

00:57:09:10 – 00:57:16:10
Ryan Echols
Try to read something to get my brain to relax a little bit because, you know, getting older, it’s harder to sleep. But yeah, I.

00:57:18:12 – 00:57:39:03
Brad Singletary
There’s there’s got to be some pushback on that. So, you know, one, so there’s discipline, there’s individual discipline. So that’s you taking care of yourself as you do in your routine. But then as a leader or as a, you know, counselor in your work or as a father, you got to be disciplined because I’m sure you get pushback from the kids.

00:57:39:03 – 00:57:53:03
Brad Singletary
They you want to take their devices, you want them to read. They’re going to give you a hard time or I’m sure maybe in the beginning they did anyway. And you got to be disciplined enough to not buy into the you know, not cave when they when they fuss a little.

00:57:53:03 – 00:58:13:14
Ryan Echols
Bit for sure. I mean, and they still they still do. There’s no question. It’s my my daughter, my seven year old. If you’re watching, I’m she’s kind of she’s definitely the princess of the house. And every day still this is always been a rule. But no candles or anything. A dinner. There’s no electronics, a dinner. You put everything that she still acts every day.

00:58:14:04 – 00:58:25:01
Ryan Echols
She’ll still bring it in every day. What about today? Can I can I watch it today? No, you know, you can’t watch it. And it’s literally the same thing with it. Yes. She was hoping for a kick.

00:58:25:02 – 00:58:25:14
Brad Singletary
In the just a.

00:58:25:14 – 00:58:46:03
Ryan Echols
Possible absolutely. And I don’t blame her. I mean, good for her for trying, but that’s just that’s one of my things. At night before bed, you know, they have their time that they can use it. When it’s time to shut it off, it’s off and is it hard? Absolutely. And like this way on my end, it’s there’s times I would just as soon let him use it so I can relax and go to bed and not fight him.

00:58:46:05 – 00:58:58:07
Ryan Echols
But I’m not benefiting them by doing that. So, yeah, it’s harder to be that to be that person, say, no, we’re shutting everything off right now. We’re not having it on at dinner. Well, yeah, it’s a lot more work for sure.

00:59:00:09 – 00:59:19:13
Brad Singletary
When you were talking about environment, it’s controlled chaos because kids, I don’t believe that. I mean, not any worse than anyone else’s home, but I mean, but how do you how do you look at how do you see the, like, upkeep of your place and stuff like that? I mean, I just everything I’ve seen is always things look pretty for sure.

00:59:20:02 – 00:59:36:04
Ryan Echols
Absolutely. That’s it. That’s a big a big thing for me is everybody has I mean, everybody has stories every day. They have victories they have to do even my five year old chores to do nothing. I mean, that’s scrubbing the floor, things like that. But that we has a part in this House. I tell you, this is our tribe.

00:59:36:06 – 00:59:53:02
Ryan Echols
We don’t take care of this. Nobody will. Right. So everybody has to do their part. And my wife is definitely somebody that doesn’t want to come home. I get off at 2:00 every day. My wife is out at five. So she’s home around 536 so I make dinner. I take care of all that stuff before she gets home.

00:59:53:11 – 01:00:11:11
Ryan Echols
I make sure the kids know your mom doesn’t want them home to me because if she comes home to a mess, then I’m gonna hear about it. And then you’ve got to hear about it. So it’s just get everything done the best you can. I mean, with all the kids we’ve got, it’s not completely perfect. But yes, our house is we try to keep it clean and straighten it as possible, but it’s a lot of work.

01:00:12:03 – 01:00:33:10
Brad Singletary
I like how you’re saying, Whoa, dude, I like how you’re saying that. So you’re you’re up super early. You’re working out before you even go to work at 6 a.m. home by two. You got 3 hours or so with the kids before she gets home, and you’re doing dinner and picking things up and handling kids. Like, there are so many men out there who just they don’t or won’t do that.

01:00:33:10 – 01:00:51:14
Brad Singletary
I know there’s plenty. Right. And hats off to everybody who can do that. But that’s pretty mature of you. That’s being a grown ass man. When you’re up working out of 430, go to work 8 hours, come home, do the dinner, take care of your kids. And looking after mom, too, you know, I mean, that’s that’s pretty awesome that you do that.

01:00:51:14 – 01:00:59:11
Brad Singletary
I’ve picked that up a lot from your your social media, just that you you’re really a team and you definitely pull in your career.

01:00:59:11 – 01:01:18:06
Ryan Echols
Yeah, for sure. I think that’s I mean, I sometimes I work out the kids when they get home. So if the kids want to work at work at 320 when they get home from school, we’re outside. I want if it’s nice, we’re outside at 430, it’s time to feed them, right? Yeah. I just feel like I’m home, right?

01:01:18:07 – 01:01:34:14
Ryan Echols
I’ve already worked my wife still at work. The least I can do is take care of the things I can take care of at home so that when she gets home, we can have dinner together, we can hang out, we can spend time together because then that’s our time together. If I waste that time, just doing nothing, then that ruins our connection.

01:01:35:07 – 01:01:49:00
Ryan Echols
Right? And that’s her husband. The least I can do is help her out while she’s still at work. When I get up and I get up to take a shower in the morning, I’m getting ready for work. I come out and she’s got my coffee ready. She’s got my lunch in my in a bag ready for me. She takes care of me the same way.

01:01:50:03 – 01:02:03:11
Ryan Echols
So at least I can do is do my part like we’re a team. If we don’t work as a team, then this doesn’t really work. I like to cook anyways, so it’s not a big deal to me, you know, and that’s I feel like it’s my responsibility and she’s at work. I’m home. I can do that.

01:02:06:13 – 01:02:22:08
Brad Singletary
You know, we began this talking about your time in lockup and then, you know, your 21 year career. You’ve been working in that system ever since and I wonder if that was a part of your change. You know what you did. I pick up that you were an only child raised by single moms.

01:02:22:09 – 01:02:29:06
Ryan Echols
Yeah, I have a sister here that I was ten when she was born so. Yeah, pretty much.

01:02:30:00 – 01:02:45:11
Brad Singletary
I mean you pretty much. Yeah. So you go from kind of being able to do what you want to do and run around and whatever to this very highly structured this is the wake up time. This is the day you have to say this is when you have your chores. Here’s when we have group. There’s, there’s school time.

01:02:45:11 – 01:03:19:04
Brad Singletary
There’s here’s when we go outside there’s a lot of structure. And I remember working there. That was one of the things that seem these kids who come there, they could thrive because of structure. If they went back home into chaos, you know, they would go back into the same old patterns. But do you think that made a difference in how you see your use of time and your entire way of discipline now that at some point it went from you could do whatever you want, you ran around and did whatever to a highly structured daily some daily kind of ritual?

01:03:19:04 – 01:03:44:10
Ryan Echols
Yeah, for sure. My mom was somebody that like you, you did your chores, you made sure the house was clean. But she worked a lot. So I still have the freedom to do so. But when I went to military, actually back then, I worked in the kitchen every day because the kids could work in the kitchen because I had so much restitution that I worked in the kitchen at 6:00 every morning till 330.

01:03:45:02 – 01:04:02:01
Ryan Echols
And I did that for the entire time. I was there, and I definitely created habits and discipline for me to get up every morning and be ready for work. So it’s always worked out for me that way. When I got out of Mill Creek I just automatically started to get up early and get things done, and I had never done that before that for sure.

01:04:02:09 – 01:04:07:14
Ryan Echols
I’d get up at 20 minutes where I had to be to school and that was it. Yeah.

01:04:09:01 – 01:04:09:12
Brad Singletary
And I’m guessing.

01:04:09:13 – 01:04:10:03
Ryan Echols
Oh, go ahead.

01:04:10:13 – 01:04:29:00
Brad Singletary
I’m guessing when you’re working, I’m guessing when you’re working in the kitchen that was an option. Yeah. I mean they probably offered it, but maybe you didn’t have to do that, but you chose to, to take advantage of. See, I don’t know. I guess what I’m picking up from you, Ryan, man, is that you’re, you’re seeing opportunities all the time.

01:04:29:00 – 01:05:00:11
Brad Singletary
You’re saying, right, here’s an opportunity, here’s an opportunity, my kids, here’s an opportunity. Here’s, here’s what I could work out. Here’s the best time for me to work out for the morning. Here’s an opportunity for me to get things set up for my wife. Here’s an opportunity, and I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity. And that’s what’s making things work for you because you’re noticing, you know, you’re 16, 17, whatever, in, in, in lockup and you’re thinking, I’ve got all of this restitution, and I got a chance to work and let me work a bunch of that off as much as possible.

01:05:00:11 – 01:05:14:13
Brad Singletary
I just love it, man. You’re, you’re seeing that someone is hand in you some time someone is handing you an opportunity. Here’s an experience you can have. Here’s and you take advantage of opportunities absolutely.

01:05:14:13 – 01:05:31:01
Ryan Echols
That was a I mean, I used to say you remember my first day in Mill Creek, my first full day at Mill Creek. I went to school and he came in. He’s like, hey, get your ass up and you’re going to the kitchen. You’re going to work. You got this reservation. We’re going to get it. He’s like, Are you willing to work?

01:05:31:01 – 01:05:50:14
Ryan Echols
I said, Absolutely, I’m going to work. He’s good because you can eat whatever you want in there. And then then when you’re dining, go work out. So I have an opportunity to work off my restitution. We’d have omelets every morning for breakfast. All the kids had cereal. So we’re in the kitchen. There’s two things I’m working my hours off, and I also get to eat more food and I’m working out every day.

01:05:50:14 – 01:06:11:09
Ryan Echols
So it was a win win for me for sure. But I didn’t want to waste time in there. I think you work there, you understand? Like the kids go there and it’s just they they told me, Oh, they don’t want to make any change. And it’s sad. It’s sad to see people just waste time because what happens then?

01:06:11:09 – 01:06:18:01
Ryan Echols
You see them when they’re 30 and they’re just getting out of prison. They’re doing the same thing. When they could have changed everything back then. Yeah.

01:06:21:14 – 01:06:39:12
Brad Singletary
So you talk about you’ve talked a little bit about time. I guess, you know, you’re taking advantage of the time that you do have. You talk about your date nights and was that always the case? Because that’s an opportunity you got, man. I know it’s hard. You got I have some smaller, younger kids like that and it’s hard to break away from them sometimes.

01:06:39:12 – 01:06:40:09
Brad Singletary
But you’ve made it.

01:06:40:14 – 01:06:41:07
Ryan Echols
A.

01:06:41:12 – 01:06:44:13
Brad Singletary
One of you. Maybe she did. She maybe she pushes you.

01:06:45:02 – 01:06:45:10
Ryan Echols
A little bit.

01:06:46:01 – 01:06:52:13
Brad Singletary
What have you made? What have you made the decision that we need to be spending some time together away from this debt?

01:06:53:02 – 01:07:17:03
Ryan Echols
If I’m being honest, there was a we’ve always had a great connection. When we met and started dating my previous marriage, I had been separated from my ex-wife for years. She would not sign a divorce for me. So that went on for three years into my relationship with my wife. That caused a lot of stress like a lot of drama.

01:07:17:03 – 01:07:42:02
Ryan Echols
We had our babies. We were together. Mean we lived together was and there was nothing from that previous marriage. Four years. But she wouldn’t sign a divorce. Caused a lot of issues. We had two babies. I think we were I don’t think I know we were basically done. We were going to be done. And when we decided to lose weight and commit to each other, recommit to each other, it was like we need to to have that time every week.

01:07:42:02 – 01:08:03:04
Ryan Echols
It’s not about the kids. It’s not about controlling this household. It’s about me and you bonding and spending time for each other and with each other. And so that it was both of us honestly, like, I didn’t want to lose her. I’m pretty sure she did want to lose me. But it was something like every Friday, Friday, Saturday night, you’ve got older kids.

01:08:03:07 – 01:08:20:02
Ryan Echols
You guys can watch the kids for an hour or so while we go to dinner. As it’s an hour or two, we’ll hook up some pizza or whatever, you know, whatever you guys want to eat, but you guys can babysit and we go out. And it’s been something that we’ve done for for a while now and it’s paid off for sure.

01:08:20:03 – 01:08:21:10
Ryan Echols
It’s definitely made our relationship better.

01:08:24:05 – 01:08:52:07
Brad Singletary
I’m curious a little bit of a sidebar question, but I’m curious about who which of you is kind of the leader, because I’m I’m picking up some things that, you know, maybe you’re really and I’m sure I don’t know if you both take turns, but when you talked about the decision to lose weight, the decision to make changes in your like lifestyle together, who is one or the other of you more kind of influential like the leader of the.

01:08:53:04 – 01:09:15:10
Ryan Echols
Of the two? You know, it depends on the situation, like when it comes to like fitness diet stuff. I am a hundred when it comes to sports. The kids I am when it comes to like my yeah, works me 100% in her career and everything else. I won’t deny that for a second. She’s amazing in what she does. I love my job.

01:09:16:00 – 01:09:35:06
Ryan Echols
She’s is absolutely cheap. She’s a hard worker. In that sense. And I think that’s why we complement each other so well is I can call her on something and she she has a better idea. I still struggle being called on to fix this. She calls me on, Hey, you could do more this way. You could do it, OK?

01:09:35:11 – 01:09:37:12
Ryan Echols
She’s always right. But it is what it is.

01:09:40:09 – 01:09:52:03
Ryan Echols
So yeah, it depends on the on the situation because she definitely is she wouldn’t say that I’m the leader of much, but when it comes to diet and stuff like that, she falls. What I say for sure.

01:09:55:00 – 01:10:12:06
Brad Singletary
But she respects you enough somewhere. Somewhere she respects you enough to say. I remember earlier on here today, you said, you know, she said, I don’t trust you. Like, tell me what to do. I have to trust you. I’ll follow you. And in even if that’s the only thing, even if she thinks you’re an idiot for everything else, there is enough basic respect there.

01:10:12:06 – 01:10:18:05
Brad Singletary
She has enough respect for you to believe you and to trust you and to kind of like follow.

01:10:18:07 – 01:10:19:00
Ryan Echols
For sure.

01:10:19:13 – 01:10:20:07
Brad Singletary
Some of.

01:10:20:07 – 01:10:37:10
Ryan Echols
Those I mean, honestly, we were we were best friends before we did so. I mean, there was no there was no secrets. All my all my wrongs on my all my mistakes. She knew everything and vice versa. So I mean, there is a trust and a respect that we have for each other because of that friendship we have.

01:10:37:12 – 01:10:59:08
Ryan Echols
And we still have that. Absolutely. I mean, do anything for her. She’d do anything for me. Like I joked around a lot about, you know, for sure we do have that relationship, too. She trusts me. She trusts me, and it’s vice versa because that’s because we were friends before we ever dated. Like, nobody could say, hey, you know, Ryan was this person or this person 20 years ago.

01:10:59:11 – 01:11:08:13
Ryan Echols
Yeah, I know. Because we’ve been friends. And he told me everything so there was no secrets going into our marriage. They had this build a relationship where we trust each other very much.

01:11:11:09 – 01:11:33:08
Brad Singletary
Talking about environment and the conversation last week that I had with the admiral, he was talking about environment also includes, you know, friendships and things like that. I know with a large family you may not have a ton of time to socialize and stuff, but what kind of discipline do you have or talk about discipline in the context of like your social connections?

01:11:33:14 – 01:11:40:14
Brad Singletary
Who do you hanging out with, who you spend time with, who do you, you know, listen to? Who do you trust? Who do you have around and how does that you know.

01:11:41:03 – 01:12:00:11
Ryan Echols
Honestly, like, you know, when you work the mail pieces, like we got a bunch of good, good guys out there. And that’s kind of my my cottage and the guys I work with, that’s my my circle outside of home. And we get together like you remember Rocky Bills mhm.

01:12:01:02 – 01:12:03:05
Brad Singletary
Oh wait. I guess the brother.

01:12:03:07 – 01:12:21:10
Ryan Echols
So yeah. So we get together in his house. We all, you know, we just out there last Saturday hanging out, talking, you know, dealing with stuff from work but you know, playing pool and hanging out. That’s, yeah. That’s, that’s my, my, my crew outside of, outside at home. And lucky enough we work together to.

01:12:24:02 – 01:12:35:05
Brad Singletary
But there’s enough in common, there’s enough, you know, you trust these guys, you, you know, they have your best interests at heart. You know, they would tell you when you’re being an idiot, you could talk honestly with each other. That makes a difference.

01:12:35:05 – 01:12:52:06
Ryan Echols
It does. And especially in that job, you have to trust somebody like I mean, at the end of the day, like something could happen any day at work or somebody gets to get stabbed in the neck. They could. I mean, we’re dealing with kids that are in there for motive. Like we’re we’re responsible for each other’s safety every single day.

01:12:53:02 – 01:13:06:08
Ryan Echols
So it’s definitely that relationship that you can trust somebody if you work with somebody. So, yeah, and we definitely will call each other on if you’re doing something wrong, you’re going to hear about it for sure. You know how it was when you were there. You see how it is.

01:13:09:06 – 01:13:22:14
Brad Singletary
Real quick, I wanted to talk about mood because you’re you were, you know, saying that anger was a big part of this whole thing that got you in trouble in the first place. Anger and violence and so forth. How do you have discipline over your.

01:13:22:14 – 01:13:23:12
Ryan Echols
Mood that.

01:13:24:14 – 01:13:25:11
Brad Singletary
What’s helped you?

01:13:26:06 – 01:14:03:02
Ryan Echols
Like I said, honestly, the biggest thing was when I started meditating and like learning to not let my emotions control me. And another big thing was not letting other people’s responses or words affect me or control me. So I realized I could control my own emotions. I could could self regulate with nobody. So by just catching that little break between thoughts before I react and just build on that and I built on that for 30 years now, it’s in that process.

01:14:03:02 – 01:14:21:14
Ryan Echols
And I talk to my kids at work every day about this, like catch catch force because we all have that moment before we snap. And if you can’t learn to find that moment before you do, you’re never going to change anything. And it is paid off. I mean, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t. So I had issues with anger.

01:14:21:14 – 01:14:38:05
Ryan Echols
I mean, obviously we all still we’re all human and I still have my bad days and moments where I’m probably miserable to be around and far from perfect in that way. But it’s still a process. I’m still working. I have missed it. I’m still working on it every single day.

01:14:40:06 – 01:14:57:07
Brad Singletary
When it comes to meditation, you know, I think a lot of typical guys, you know, they think, oh, that’s what girls do at yoga class or whatever, you know? I mean, they don’t it’s it takes it. I remember I probably the first and and and the the longest period of time I ever did that was when we worked together.

01:14:57:07 – 01:15:15:11
Brad Singletary
There was a program where kids could go and work out. And at the end of that, there was a meditation stabilizing. And that’s where I was introduced to some of that. But it was a, it was a it was an interesting thing to talk about. A meditation, how you do it. Is there a particular type that you do or what’s honestly.

01:15:15:11 – 01:15:37:09
Ryan Echols
Like for me, like, I even would do that with my youngest kids. It’s like it’s a matter of counting your breath, right? Like this. Don’t let thoughts come to count. Count your breath, count to five, take a breath in and out five, five. County start bars. Breathe in, breathe out right now. When the thought comes in, realize that that’s coming into your head right now.

01:15:37:09 – 01:15:55:03
Ryan Echols
Forget about it. Start counting again and you start to learn how to catch a break between each one of those thoughts as they come in and out. I want it to be as basic as possible, especially for my kids. And for my kids at work. That’s the only way it’s going to work. I can’t go in and do like some kind of meditation therapy and expect them to sit for 8 hours a day.

01:15:55:03 – 01:16:15:09
Ryan Echols
This is not going to happen right right. Right. That basic needs, the basic needs of learning to catch yourself between thoughts. And that’s how you do it. For me, that’s what work. If I need to take a minute, then count my breath to get my head straight. That’s what works. That’s it’s always work for me is the most basic, the most basic form possible.

01:16:16:05 – 01:16:34:05
Ryan Echols
I’ve done other things. I’ve done plenty of other types of meditation. I do you do guided meditation with everyone, but when it comes to effectiveness for people who are just starting out, count your breath count your breath and they want to stop, comes in, start over and acknowledge that that document doesn’t mean that that was bad. It just means that it came in.

01:16:34:05 – 01:16:39:08
Ryan Echols
They’ll start over and do it again and do it longer. Before the next that comes in. That was it. That’s all I do.

01:16:39:08 – 01:17:03:05
Brad Singletary
It seems like it seems like that would just slow you down. And if you can know that you’re thinking if I right. I mean, that’s a high that’s a high level of self awareness. Mostly we’re just running around nonstop like animals and we don’t even we’re going to take a minute to think, oh, I’m thinking or thought. But when you’re trying to do something like that, it gives you some control or some like awareness.

01:17:03:05 – 01:17:09:02
Brad Singletary
You’re monitoring the the process that’s happening in your mind, in your body. That’s pretty awesome.

01:17:11:07 – 01:17:27:05
Brad Singletary
So, dude, this has been like this has been amazing to talk to you. It’s been I’ve been down in Vegas for 17 years and, you know, haven’t I think I’ve gone back once. I went back and hung out with really and those guys. One time I caught up with Rob Reeves.

01:17:27:05 – 01:17:31:13
Ryan Echols
I just saw him where I thought, Rob last week the yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:17:32:02 – 01:17:54:14
Brad Singletary
And then I’ve seen Vinnie a couple of times. And so I it’s those were some of the best days of my life that kind of work that kind of spurred me into this into what I’m doing now, working with man and trying to, you know, basically do the same things and, and just bring some stories that can be inspirational to guys just trying to figure it out.

01:17:54:14 – 01:18:23:04
Brad Singletary
So many men don’t have the right role models. They don’t have the right you know, the situation with their dad. One of my friends the other day, what did he call it? A dad deficiency sometimes means he wasn’t there or or he was preoccupied. He was running around. So many guys have have had that happen. And you had some men come along who were strong were tough on you and also showed you enough love at the same time.

01:18:23:04 – 01:18:59:06
Brad Singletary
And you have. Right, man, you’ve got this cool thing. I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of polarity. And basically it’s that you can be both, you know, tender and tough. I’ve seen you write very sweet messages about your wife, for example, and yet you’ve got this, you know, violent inmate excuse me, jujitsu history you can you’ve got this ultra toughness, this this disciplined, laser focused kind of way and also meditate and also like, you know, you’re reading books.

01:18:59:06 – 01:19:20:07
Brad Singletary
You’re not just some muscle head freak, you know, who’s who’s who’s. You’re not just the dumb jock. You really evolved with like all of these. You talking about reading the spiritual books and and learning to meditate and learning to be aware and learning to be OK with some sensitivity before the show here, I asked about is it OK to talk about anything?

01:19:20:07 – 01:19:44:10
Brad Singletary
And he said, I’m an open book. I’ve got note, you know, that’s a part of who I am, and that is maturity. That’s a person who’s not going to let even the worst things about your story bother you because you’re so far beyond it. You’re so far moved past that that you’re secure enough to be OK with the fact that you’ve had some you’ve gone through some tough times, created, you know that you created yourself.

01:19:44:10 – 01:19:57:07
Brad Singletary
I just I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. Also, another cool thing that we didn’t mention much was the you were on a show here recently. You had a pretty talk about that for a all right.

01:19:57:07 – 01:20:23:14
Ryan Echols
So I was a huge fan of Yellowstone at season one. Right. And somehow my wife, somebody follows my wife on Instagram was somebody that was casting. They were looking for casting for season two. And my wife comes home one day. They say, hey, you’re going to go beyond the first episode of Yellowstone. You’re like two weeks. And I’m like, what are you talking about?

01:20:23:14 – 01:20:39:11
Ryan Echols
We got to take some modeling pictures. I’m like, I’ve never taken a modeling picture in my life. Like, I’m far from a model, so I can’t take all these stupid pictures. And I had to go buy some new wranglers and all that stuff for that if I have that.

01:20:40:04 – 01:20:41:11
Brad Singletary
Do you normally? Do you normally? Do you.

01:20:41:11 – 01:21:02:11
Ryan Echols
Normally? No, know, I have. I’m not good. I had I had horses, not that at one point, but it had been a while before that way and only the only victory in that. The funny thing about that is that’s when I had just lost a bunch of weight so I was a size 42 jeans before that. And when I had to get my regulars, they were size 32 and I had won 32 since I, since I was in high school.

01:21:02:11 – 01:21:24:03
Ryan Echols
So I was super hyped about that but yeah. So then I drive down to the Spanish Fork and I sat for God, I want to say was like 16, 17 hours. We filmed for like 2 hours and I probably was in season two, episode one, the bar scene for like 5 seconds. But it was awesome. It was, it was cool to be on the show for sure.

01:21:24:07 – 01:21:29:07
Ryan Echols
And I got to see, I got to be like, yeah, like power shared. And everybody was there. It was cool. It was really cool for sure.

01:21:32:04 – 01:21:35:09
Brad Singletary
So I guess when it aired, you showed that to your kids and you gathered around the.

01:21:35:09 – 01:21:48:07
Ryan Echols
TV that they had back in yeah. I think I’ve got a picture of it on my, on my Instagram, actually, there’s a screenshot of it. So that’s the yeah, it was cool.

01:21:48:07 – 01:22:13:14
Brad Singletary
That’s awesome, man. Dude, I appreciate your your time to spend with us here, man. You’ve, you know, you, you’ve done the you know, some impossible things to just to just no longer follow this path that you were on so many people. Again, that was one of the reasons I kind of got out of that. I didn’t have the heart to watch these kids one after the other just continue and all the work we did and all the stuff we poured into it.

01:22:13:14 – 01:22:29:01
Brad Singletary
And your story is one of hope and one of influence you’re talking about some badass men and I know who some of them are, who who looked you in the eye and gave you some some firmness and some, you know, friendly, fair, like.

01:22:30:04 – 01:22:31:11
Ryan Echols
You know, correction.

01:22:32:07 – 01:22:52:08
Brad Singletary
And I know they changed it to what, juvenile justice, but it used to be called youth it used to be called youth corrections when I started in. And you you made the corrections, you made the changes in your life. And I know things aren’t perfect. You’re just like everybody. I’m sure you get frustrated with your kids and, you know, have good days with your wife.

01:22:52:08 – 01:23:15:13
Brad Singletary
And there’s plenty of ordinary problems like everybody else. But in the big picture, dude, you’ve come a long way and you’re you’re out here influencing other young people to the point of, like, these guys are naming their kids after you and stuff and so, so much respect for you. Appreciate what you’ve, you know, the kind of example that you are out there.

01:23:16:00 – 01:23:36:03
Brad Singletary
I’m going to promote this. And is it OK if I take your Instagram and stuff like that and I don’t know about you, too, you know, you know, you’re kind of punisher and it’s it’s really cool to see how how much you love and respect her. I can just really tell she’s very important to you. And a lot of people.

01:23:36:03 – 01:23:37:11
Brad Singletary
You said you’ve been together eight years.

01:23:38:06 – 01:23:39:06
Ryan Echols
Eight back in November.

01:23:41:04 – 01:24:02:09
Brad Singletary
Oh, man. That’s that’s around, you know, seven, eight years. That’s when a lot of people are are the most checked out. And it seems like you’re you appeared to be crucial never and really moving in a good direction and good on her for finding a good dude and and for you being the kind of guy that you know she deserves so I really appreciate you.

01:24:02:09 – 01:24:14:13
Brad Singletary
I hope to in the future maybe have you back on here. And if you’re ever in Vegas, man, you you know I know you I know you want to spend time doing what you do down here, but I’d love to catch up, have a breakfast with you or maybe.

01:24:14:14 – 01:24:16:05
Ryan Echols
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

01:24:17:01 – 01:24:39:05
Brad Singletary
And catch up with you. Ryan, appreciate it so much, man. You guys, you guys, we’re talking about discipline because if you don’t have a discipline, if you don’t have a practice of discipline in your life and continue to make the decision to do the things that are going to make a difference in your life, you just you just run into pain, frustration, disappointment.

01:24:39:10 – 01:25:10:14
Brad Singletary
It costs you money. It costs you your health. There is no more masculine like property than to have some discipline. That’s how you take control of your life. And this is not about dominating other people. This is about dominating your own selfishness. Dominate and your laziness, dominating your, you know, your inability to make good choices and do the things that are going to create health and and vitality in your life.

01:25:10:14 – 01:25:15:13
Brad Singletary
So thank you again, Ryan, for being with us. You guys. No excuses. Alpha up.

01:25:24:14 – 01:25:30:01
Speaker 2
Gentlemen, you are the Alpha and this is the Alpha Quorum.

087: PAUSE & PONDER – Alpha Discernment with Rockford Wright, MD

087: PAUSE & PONDER – Alpha Discernment with Rockford Wright, MD

This one’s a stunner of a show. Rockford “Rocky” Wright, MD, joins Brad and Mike Olsen in a stellar conversation on discernment. Rocky’s contribution to this topic is loaded with genius illustrations and stories that make some profoundly deep concepts about discernment easy to understand. Guaranteed this is an enlightening and edifying experience as he explains the survival benefit of biases and the protective factors associated with judgment.

 

He details some personal experiences where he learned to see things he had previously not understood in a new way and teaches in PURE ALPHA STYLE what it means to be a fair judge of self and others as a man of discernment. This is Part I of a 2-part series on this topic. Check this one out and stay tuned for an even better second half next week.

 

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Brad Singletary (00:00:00):

 

Brad Singletary
00:00:00:02
With discernment. It’s healthy judgment. You have to judge what is happening and the right moves to make.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:00:07:05
What I typically go to when I have feelings for me personally is I pause and ponder. I take a step back and I try and think, What am I feeling? One, and then why am I feeling it? And I try and break it down so I can understand it. Then I try and put it into words.

Mike Olsen
00:00:23:22
That’s where I put my Northstar and how I might try to lead people at work. I might try to lead my family, and I try to even lead myself.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:00:34:12
And if I can put it into words and I can begin to work with them, and then I can update the inputs that create those those feelings in purposeful ways. So we have to take time to pause and ponder those feelings. Why and if we can put them into words, it helps us use or change or create more positively.

Intro
00:01:05:10
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better, you are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong. You are a leader. You are a force for good, gentlemen. You are the Alpha. And this is the Alpha Quorum.

Brad Singletary
00:01:30:12
Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum Show. Brad Singletary here. You guys, this is going to be a stunner of a show right now. Our guest today was born and raised in Southern California as the oldest of five kids. Since high school, he’s lived in Hawaii, Honduras, Belize, Utah, Ohio, Alabama, and now Las Vegas. He’s been married 16 years and has two boys, ages 12 and nine.

Brad Singletary
00:01:54:21
He received a bachelor’s degree in business from Brigham Young University, medical doctorate from the Ohio State University, and completed his residency training in anesthesiology from the University of Alabama. Birmingham. He’s a practicing anesthesiologist in a busy practice in Las Vegas, taking care of some of the sickest patients in the biggest surgeries that are done in this city. He loves to travel.

Brad Singletary
00:02:20:05
Get outside. He loves to explore and experience new things. And he does that with his family everywhere from Miami to Anchorage and even out of the country. He loves the ocean. He says it is therapy for him. So whether he’s surfing in Hawaii, kayaking in Key Largo or scuba diving in Belize, he has to get into the ocean.

Brad Singletary
00:02:42:17
He’s fascinated with history and war. He spent years reading and studying the world wars and conflicts that have followed. He’s currently addicted to everything in the Russia versus Ukraine conflict. He loves learning and will continue to pursue learning forever. Gentlemen, I am so proud to introduce Dr. RockfordWright.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:06:22
You can call me Rocky.

Brad Singletary
00:03:07:28
Rocky.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:08:28
I’ve been Rocky since since kindergarten, and eventually I’m going to grow into that name.

Brad Singletary
00:03:12:26
But that is the coolest name ever. So your wife married Doctor Wright?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:17:21
Yeah.

Brad Singletary
00:03:17:25
Well, Mr. Right, Doctor. Right.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:20:11
So I was Mr. Right at the time, and she went through through the struggle of being poor. Students, and we’ve come out through, you know, through that tunnel. And now we’re living life in a different way. Similar things, but little bit different. But, yeah, so she’s been with me through the whole time.

Brad Singletary
00:03:37:02
So he anesthesiology. So you put people to sleep. Is that what you do?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:43:10
Well, that’s the easy part, right? So we keep.

Mike Olsen
00:03:46:13
Being barely alive.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:47:20
We get paid to wake him up. Okay. So.

Brad Singletary
00:03:50:20
Yes, please. That will be important.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:03:53:00
Yeah. So as an anesthesiologist, my job is to facilitate a patient safety and then also facilitate a patient’s ability or a surgeon’s ability to perform a surgery. So oftentimes that requires what we call general anesthesia, going off to sleep, waking up when it’s all done. And it’s it’s my job to keep someone safe and comfortable through that process, despite whatever turbulence may come in that process.

Brad Singletary
00:04:19:29
So I just have to explain what is happening here in this room. I feel like us a sports like radio announcer where you can’t see. And they’re describing, you know, the team is moving from right to left and they describe visually what’s going on. So on my left, I have Mike Olson, who’s fresh out of church here in his church clothes.

Brad Singletary
00:04:37:26
And he’s always dapper as always, but he’s got these socks on and he pulls he pulls off the socks and it’s Tupac’s socks.

Mike Olsen
00:04:46:27
They’re my Tupac church socks.

Brad Singletary
00:04:50:13
That’s so awesome. This looks like a a GQ. What is that? Gentlemen’s Quarterly in here. These are some good looking dudes in here. I just I feel I feel special. Just that I get to hang out with these guys. Rocky, you had some connection to Tupac. You had some some people who knew about Tupac.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:05:06:10
Yeah. So it’s a small community here with with medicine in Las Vegas, even though it’s a growing city. But, yeah, I worked with a surgeon that took care of Tupac when he was shot. So firsthand witness told me that he died.

Brad Singletary
00:05:20:24
He did die.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:05:22:00
He is dead, unfortunately, I guess. But so we can we can squash that that rumor.

Brad Singletary
00:05:27:28
So tell us about your. How long have you been in Las Vegas?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:05:32:18
Coming up on six years.

Brad Singletary
00:05:33:17
Six years in Las Vegas. And you’re kind of said I don’t know if you said that in the intro or if I read that on your website somewhere that you’ve kind of settled in. You’re making this your home for now. This is where you plan to be for a while.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:05:46:18
Yeah, we bounced around a lot. I’ve I’ve you mentioned it. I’ve lived in a number of different cities, all the main time zones in the United States. But this is it. Now we’re settling in, so we’re here for the foreseeable future.

Brad Singletary
00:05:57:14
Well, I really appreciate you being here. I’ve tried to I’ve wanted to get you on this show for a long time. And, Sara, to kind of spring this on you yesterday, you had like 24 hours, and Rocky and I were in a meeting probably about a year ago where we both had an assignment to talk. And I I ended up taking the entire time, and he was prepared and ready for his speech and the meeting was over.

Brad Singletary
00:06:25:08
So I have to promise today, Mike and I, we got to keep it, keep a lid on it a little bit today and let dr. Right here, Rocky, take it over. So we’ve been doing this series on the red nine, the red nine or just attribute to that, I believe that represent the best in men. So responsibility, being resourceful, being reverent, maintaining energy being engaged with your life, having a sense of endurance.

Brad Singletary
00:06:52:05
We’ve most recently talked about discipline. Tonight we’re talking about discernment I’ve been excited to talk about this and the more I’ve thought about it in preparation, I realize how deep this entire subject is. So just looking at some definitions of what it means to be discerning, I found a couple of things basically that it means to be able to tell things apart, to make insightful observations about things in mental health.

Brad Singletary
00:07:19:23
That’s my primary employment insight means that you’re basically aware of and accept the fact that you have an illness. So someone, for example, who let’s say they have schizophrenia and they and they don’t recognize that their hallucinations are aren’t reality. We would say they they lack insider, they have low insider, no insight. So maybe discernment in its biggest, broadest term is about awareness.

Brad Singletary
00:07:49:05
It’s about insight. It’s about judging in a way that is healthy. So, Rocky, when I threw this topic at you, what was your what kinds of things came to mind for you as I shared this topic?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:08:01:26
Well, at first I wondered where this was going to go, because discernment can apply to a lot of things. And in a first the first few little blurbs that you sent me, I felt like I really connected with some self-awareness and working through problematic thoughts and feelings. And I was like, Yeah, that resonates with me. This is something I actively do.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:08:21:16
I have been a learner for a long time. I was in school for basically 17 years after high school. And so the learning process is something that I’m deeply connected to. And, you know, part of that was learning about myself as I went through it and in my path as we may get to later, kind of, you know, navigated its way and made some turns and and so I felt like I could, I could resonate with that.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:08:45:28
But then there were some other things that I questioned if I was a good person to to talk about this with, like you mentioned here, noticing the difference between flavors. Like I’m not a foodie. I can’t tell the difference between flavors. Like that’s that’s not my thing. And so, you know, can I discern? And so then I was questioning, well, is this something that I can talk about?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:09:08:18
And I think what I got to was, you know, no one is an expert in all things and no one is going to master all things. But we can focus on things where we do feel comfortable, where we we do need to grow, we do need to progress. And and highlight those. So that’s what I’m going to try to do today.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:09:28:12
I want to highlight things that I have more comfort with. And then the other thing that I thought of is really breaking this down into some of its smaller pieces. Even these smaller pieces are can be incredibly deep things when we’re talking about truth and when we’re talking about bias and when we’re talking about some of these things, we’ll get to you can dove deep into this.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:09:54:15
And there you could have multiple PhDs who have dedicated a career to studying these things and not agree on them. So, you know, in a podcast, we’re not going to cover all of the depth. There’s no way that any of us could talk about all of the things. But I hope that we can get some good things out of this.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:10:12:18
I’m confident that we will. So in some ways, I was intimidated. There’s a lot here. There’s a lot to unpackage, but I think there’s a lot of good here.

Brad Singletary
00:10:22:06
You guys that is a compliment. I mean, this guy’s like top of the food chain in the medical world as an anesthesiologist. Well, I don’t know exactly how that works, but I would consider you a highly esteemed you know, I know some some guys fall at the bottom of that. You know, those I know anesthesiology is up there pretty high.

Brad Singletary
00:10:40:28
So here’s one of the brightest guys that I know. We run in some similar circles and I’ve heard him speak and teach, and it’s just impressive the way he, you know, processes and shares information. So I’m excited about this. Mike, any general thoughts before we get digging down into the details here about discernment overall, what what that is to you?

Mike Olsen
00:11:02:22
For me, discernment, I try to identify where is discernment useful to me in my life or if I’m talking to someone else, where would discernment be useful to them in their life? For example, in my world, in the ecommerce world, and in the fulfillment world, there are still a lot of employees. And we have it’s just the nature of the beast where we use a lot of manual labor.

Mike Olsen
00:11:33:01
It’s not the highest paid labor. We might have some higher paid leads or or additional supervisors, but a lot of times we have to use lower paid wage earners. And I really do enjoy the association with people in general. And then there’s a lot of times where if you have people at the top earning capacity, they’re generally very, very good with people.

Mike Olsen
00:11:59:19
If you have them at the bottom of the of the earning capacity, they’re not as experienced. I don’t want to say that they’re not good with people. They’re not as experienced with people. But there are plenty at that level that are used to just skating by. They’re used to just telling you what you think you want to hear.

Mike Olsen
00:12:17:26
And so that’s really become a useful tool to me to be able to understand. I have a particular goal that I have to reach from a production standpoint, whatever it might be. And I have to rely on people to accomplish that production. And so as I’m talking to these people, asking them, can I rely on you to show up to work?

Mike Olsen
00:12:39:13
Can I rely on you to accomplish these tasks? I try to make it as clear as possible and as as short as possible. Here’s what I need from you. Here’s when I need it. Here’s the quality that I need. Can I rely on you? And there are plenty of times when. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can do that. Yeah, yeah, or they might show up late to work two or three times in a row.

Mike Olsen
00:13:04:01
Oh, yeah, yeah. And they’ll have all kinds of excuses. And so this kind of applies. I might be using this particular experience from a labor standpoint in the work field, but it does apply to, I think, all of our relationships because even at the top, if you want to call it food earners, the top of the food chain in the, in the labor force or even the highest paid people, you get used to trying to discern, is this person telling me a lie?

Mike Olsen
00:13:31:25
Are they really telling me the truth? And you have to kind of say, all right, I’m going to believe you but this trust, if it’s a new relationship and you have to develop this trust, can I believe you? If I really need you to perform and you don’t perform what’s the backup plan that I can create so that you’re falling through and not not doing what you say you’re going to do does not hurt things that I’m going to be paid for, things I would be judged against.

Brad Singletary
00:14:01:19
Yeah. So with discernment, basically, it is it’s healthy judgment. So many times we find ourselves in a place of judgment. You have to you have to judge what is happening and the right moves to make. And I’m sure, Rocky, in the medical world, you’re doing the same before we dove into the things we judge externally, you know, the people and situations around us.

Brad Singletary
00:14:24:18
I want to look at the self-awareness part. You know, I talked about mental health and insight is basically understanding and accepting that you have some problem. What is the importance of understanding our own biases, our tendencies and bad habits and so forth? Because just as an example, to open that question up, if I am a person who jumped the gun often I need to know when I’m walking into a heated situation now look at bread.

Brad Singletary
00:14:52:23
You’ve got a bad habit of jumping the gun. Don’t do that here. And so in order for me to be a fair judge, I have to understand my own strengths and weaknesses. So what’s the importance of self-awareness? Particularly with like biases, your your own personal tendencies? Rocky.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:15:10:28
So honestly, when I first saw this as a potential topic of of discussion, I felt some frustration and really didn’t want to talk about it. And I told my wife, I don’t really want to talk about biases. And and she said, why not? And that was a good question because it had to get me thinking and I really had to put my feelings or transition feelings about frustration with bias into actual words.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:15:34:28
I had to reason through it so I could work with those words. And this is a skill that may come up a few times today because it applies to discernment incredibly. And it’s actually something I actively work on in this case, I was able to take a step back and pause and ponder that frustration and really discover the reason I didn’t even like the discussion or the idea of the discussion of bias.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:15:53:20
So rather than skip talking about it, I’m going to go on a little bit of a rant. Yes, if that’s OK.

Brad Singletary
00:15:59:16
Yeah, you bet.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:16:00:25
So basically, I feel like the discussion of bias too often in kind of our public sphere is is used as a tool of attack. And it seems like it’s discussing bias. And it plays out in kind of two ways. One is if you disagree with me, it’s because you are biased, therefore you are wrong and your opinion is invalid.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:16:20:06
Or number two, it’s presented as you have a bias. So you better feel bad about that and get educated. And usually that means get educated until you agree with them. And that’s so frustrating to me because we all have preconceived ideas with incomplete information. So it seems like it’s a manipulating tool of attack. If they basically say, OK, bias is bad, you have bias, so you are bad, and that discussion is so pervasive right now.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:16:45:09
I mean even my 12 year old son, who really doesn’t have many deep thoughts at all, he saw something in a show that we were watching and the character did something bad and he was like That’s so biased. I mean, he doesn’t even understand that word but believed it was synonymous with bad. So let me dare to, to break the mold and risk being taken out of context, which I hope doesn’t happen.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:17:04:29
But here goes. I don’t think we should feel such damaging guilt or beat ourselves up in unproductive ways. Because of our biases. So there I said it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t or shouldn’t address it. And based on some prefatory notes that you sent me, I see that you you likely agree with me that there can actually be positive discussion with regard to bias.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:17:28:21
No, I tread this direction with the disclaimer that I am not a psychologist so that I have not committed to a career in this study of these things, but I express my opinion on the matter. So I want to start with painting a picture of what I think is the context or background and hopefully we can agree on most of this for this first part, which is that there are survival benefits for us as a species to recognize patterns based on input of information throughout our lives to help us prepare or even predict the future in a way that is productive.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:17:57:24
So let me give you some examples. Let’s say that we have hunters in Africa, thousands of years ago, so they shouldn’t be expected to check with each lion individually to see if the next lion is actually really a threat. Right. It’s beneficial all for the for the hunter to prejudge each lion as a threat or let’s talk about pain.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:18:18:10
So as an anesthesiologist, I deal with pain every day. And pain is a fascinating thing in itself. We could talk about pain for a long time, but for the purposes of this conversation, it serves a survival benefit or purpose that even my 12 year old friends recognized. This weekend when we went camping. So we are camping by some boulders and a group of these kids were climbing all over them.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:18:38:06
And we’re beginning to test the boundaries of their capabilities. And once slipped, eventually no. And then fell, scraped up his hands and rest. And then he comes to me and I’m the doctor dad, right? So he comes to me for help. And as I’m cleaning me, clean him up and bandaging him, he says, I just wish we didn’t feel pain and in my responsible pain actually has a purpose.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:18:59:23
And then he says, without additional prompting, he says, Yeah, I guess it helps us know what we shouldn’t do. It’s like dang deep thoughts from a 12 year old, right? That’s that. It’s protective. That pain can actually be protective sometimes. So we experience pain and situation so that we can learn and then prejudge a similar situation in the future to avoid destructive results.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:19:22:02
So these are examples of how humans can learn patterns to prejudge a situation or risk in order to promote self-preservation. So that same can be said and the opposite with positive reinforcement, allowing for the prejudging of a situation in a favorable direction. So we’re built to prejudge to a degree rather than learn each time a new if something is good or bad, dangerous or helpful.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:19:49:16
So let’s get to the dictionary definition of bias. I to I wanted to look this up, make sure I was being accurate and whatnot. So if you Google, the first result in Google is a prejudice in favor of or against one thing person or group compared with another. So prejudice prejudice has a negative connotation. It’s kind of like bias does has a negative connotation.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:20:12:24
I couldn’t think of another English word that means to prejudge something that doesn’t have a severely negative connotation. Maybe preconception was the most benign, but all the rest of the synonyms that I could find, the rest were pretty clearly negative bigotry, discrimination, xenophobia, so so that’s a fault or flaw in our modern language of definitions, right? Can you guys think of a word that means to prejudge something that isn’t associated with being an awful human being?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:20:42:21
By today’s standards?

Brad Singletary
00:20:44:04
I’m trying to think assess.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:20:46:18
So that’s different. Assess is something you’re doing in real time. Right? This is before you’ve collected the information or all of the information.

Mike Olsen
00:20:55:05
OK.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:20:56:04
So I would agree assess is a positive thing. And so we will talk about that more later.

Brad Singletary
00:20:59:22
I wonder about I wonder about assimilate. Maybe that’s not you know, it’s like filtering what I’m experiencing through what I already know is that is that the right word?

Mike Olsen
00:21:10:01
How about expect?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:21:12:11
OK, so expect. Yeah, that’s kind of predict. Yeah.

Mike Olsen
00:21:16:18
That’s what I had in mind when you mentioned a word that talks about judging I had in mind and I’m looking at the word bias and I guess I had never this is just my own opinion. I’d never really associated bias negatively, which according to the definition that you read Rocky. I agree. That’s that’s what bias or or prejudice might be.

Mike Olsen
00:21:40:25
I had just had in mind it was an expectation or a prediction based upon incomplete information.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:21:50:11
OK, so if that were all, then that wouldn’t be negative.

Mike Olsen
00:21:53:28
Correct? I can see that.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:21:55:09
I only read half the definition. So here’s the other half of the definition. So we’ll start from the beginning. Prejudice, which already has a negative connotation, just using that word has a negative connotation, prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person or group compared with another here’s the rest of it. Usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Mike Olsen
00:22:12:28
Is prejudice a portion of a word prejudge? I don’t know. I’m just I’m just thinking.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:22:17:07
That probably it’s its origin. Right. But but if you look at synonyms and the way that prejudice is used now, it is always negative.

Mike Olsen
00:22:25:22
I can’t think of another way I can’t see it because a prejudice has always seemed from my experience and the feedback that I’m getting from the world to be negative. Yeah.

Brad Singletary
00:22:35:29
Particularly with like racial prejudice.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:22:38:05
So that’s where we hear it and in the public sphere most commonly. So here we have this context of how we need to be able to prejudge for protective purposes, right? We need to be able to learn and recognize patterns. And that comes up a lot in anesthesia, too, and maybe we’ll get to that. But but yeah, so but we but all of our words to describe it, this, this necessary part of how we exist are all negative prejudice is negative.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:23:09:05
Bias is negative based on all of the definitions. And I feel like what is our common usage? So we go into this discussion with the context of this is bad, right? So that unfair part that we have to talk a little bit about. So let’s let’s unpack it’s the unfair part. This is a gray area, right? So what makes someone’s prejudice unfair?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:23:33:19
There’s a ton of subjectivity here. On rare occasions, I have female patients who refuse to let me treat them simply because I am a man before they even see me. Is that fair? A lot of debate could be had about that. Maybe. I don’t know.

Mike Olsen
00:23:49:07
I maybe there’s a difference between fair and accurate.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:23:53:29
Well, the accuracy is that that’s what they require. So this is a subjective thing. They’re subjective. Yeah. So that’s what I’m saying is, is it fair for that person to require that a female take care of them? We could talk about that for. Well, the point is, it’s gray here. Or let’s I mentioned in the in the intro as mentioned that I’m kind of into war stuff and I’ve been sucked into this Russia Ukraine conflict, which so today is Sunday, April 24th so this began February 24th when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:24:29:19
So we’re exactly two months out from the invasion or the beginning of the invasion. So if a Ukrainian sees a Russian soldier coming towards them, it is, is it unfair for that Ukrainian to prejudge that soldier as a threat? No. We say certainly not. Right. But by a lot of the standards that we we say we could we should interact with people.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:24:54:28
We should not prejudge people. Now, I understand that a war, a conflict is not the workplace. I understand that the analogy is not perfect. I’m just talking about principles and how gray this unfair prejudging situation or difficult it may be to to assess the fairness.

Brad Singletary
00:25:18:18
So you’re kind of saying you not only have the right to, but you better you better prejudge. You better be looking ahead. You better be trying to anticipate a threat or something painful.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:25:29:22
I’m saying it is absolutely natural to us.

Mike Olsen
00:25:33:06
Natural, I think especially when you take timing into account. Would it be fair to assess that that is a threat, a Russian soldier coming towards a Ukrainian citizen? We’ll just use that as an example. Now would be absolutely necessary. 20 years ago, probably not 20 years from now, likely not you know, in that situation.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:25:56:26
Yeah, we hope you’re right. So really, we can only deal with our right now. We can’t make right decisions from 20 years ago. We have to make decisions now. And so in a protective way, we recognize patterns to be able to predict threats or predict opportunities that that is in our nature. It’s built into us. So, so this whole intro was basically to get to the summary points of the background that we are built for good reason to prejudge situations including interactions with other people and these patterns we use are guided by our own experience or information input via teaching from someone else.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:26:32:01
And we don’t have a word for prejudging that has any positive connotation. And really applying the definition of prejudgment as it’s being unfair is really a complex thing. So that’s kind of the summary of all the stuff that I’ve been saying. So because of all of that, I don’t think we should immediately jump to destructive guilt because we might have prejudgments that I agree all of that story to get to that point.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:26:58:04
If we beat ourselves up or if we take ourselves down because of our biases, because of our our prejudgments, because of our tendencies, that’s more destructive than good. And part of that probably comes from the way that that we are built. So what I do think now so that’s that’s one point now we have to transition to the positive, productive direction that we need to take this.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:27:29:19
And I do think that we need to recognize that what we need to recognize is that the information we use to prejudge can be updated, it can be altered, it can be changed. And that’s maybe where some of your time comes into, because that time gives more experience, more opportunity, more change.

Mike Olsen
00:27:46:12
It’s live. It’s you’re you’re constantly updating that assessment.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:27:49:21
We should be and we can continually be learning. But it usually takes at least a little effort to make that progress. If we are purposeful in our pursuit of it, then we will definitively be updating our paradigm the way we see people, the way that we see the world, the way that we see things.

Mike Olsen
00:28:09:09
Give me an example, Rocky. What you mean by we should be making an effort to update that, like, give me like a real world example.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:28:20:10
So OK, so an example that came up with my wife and I don’t want to get into like hot topics or politics.

Mike Olsen
00:28:30:00
This is the oven we’re fine with hot topics in here, OK? Because editing works perfectly OK world.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:28:35:28
So so one example that came up, sometimes we do we struggle to have productive conversations about politically charged topics and immigration can be one of those. So my wife and I, we get along really well. But it was interesting because we struggled a little bit to talk about immigration because we were coming at it from very different angles, very different directions.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:29:08:14
She lived in Utah and grew up there. She had traveled a little bit, but South America, but she’d been to Israel once anyway. So her life was primarily in Utah. I served a mission for my church in Central America, in Honduras. If you know anything about caravans coming through Mexico, to the United States, you have probably heard that a lot of them are coming from Honduras.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:29:36:07
These are the people that I lived with for two years. I’m not saying specific individuals, but I’m saying that region. So I, I lived with these people. I was in their homes. I talked to these people. And interesting I recognized I could tell as soon as I walked into someone’s home if they had a relative in the United States, how right off because they lived better they lived better than their neighbor.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:30:02:11
They had better stuff than their neighbor. Life was better for them because they had a relative in the United States. And so then I put myself in the position and usually at that point, 20 years ago, it was history historically and before that was men. The men came to the United States to be able to earn money to.

Mike Olsen
00:30:22:07
Oh, to send back.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:30:23:01
Send back.

Mike Olsen
00:30:23:19
Got it.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:30:24:02
OK, so those families that lived better often times had a husband, father, brother, that lived in the United States. And then I put myself in their position if I was that dad and I knew that if I could find a way to get to this other place, my family would be better off. Would I be willing to take that risk?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:30:46:12
Absolutely. Changed my perspective of immigration to the United States. My wife hadn’t been able to put herself in that position and had the same opportunity. So we can’t seek out I’m not saying you have to go live in a village in Honduras like I did. I’m not saying you have to do that. But it is useful to try and put us put ourselves in other people’s shoes and we have to understand other people better.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:31:15:19
That updates the information we use to make decisions about other people and to evaluate other people.

Mike Olsen
00:31:24:13
So let me ask you this. So you’re saying that was the the contextual conversation between you and your wife. You were for immigration. You understood why they did it and she may have been against it and more protective of not that I’m trying to look at your opinion being right. I’m just trying to understand your judgment of immigration compared to your wife’s, because I’m sure that this is very common you’ll have people in the same family who will have two opposing thoughts on the same topic.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:31:53:29
Yeah. So it wasn’t that I was for or against immigration or that she was for or against immigration. The question was more. We both agreed that a controlled legalized mechanism for immigration is best. We both agreed on that. But what I was able to do was feel a sense of sympathy for the people that circumvent that the current mechanism to enter the country.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:32:22:29
She had trouble sympathizing with that because she could see the rule being broken.

Mike Olsen
00:32:28:15
Understood.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:32:29:01
It was hard for her to connect to a real deep connection with why. And so what I was able to do.

Mike Olsen
00:32:35:20
She saw her side of the border and the application or the breaking of the rule. You saw the other side of the border and the application or the breaking of the rule, and you had two different contextualized experiences. She’s not she’s not coming at it from an experience of I see the benefit of this human being, having a friend or a relative in the United States.

Mike Olsen
00:32:57:09
I can empathize with that, not empathizing with breaking the rule, but you understood the result.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:33:02:11
Yeah. And my my wife is an incredibly caring, loving, generous person. So it’s not that she was cold hearted. There is just a deeper level of connection when you understand more personally what someone else is experiencing.

Brad Singletary
00:33:18:14
I just want to note, take note of something that you’ve done here. You’ve said the word understand about 50 times today. And I think that that’s a big part of what discern it really is understanding. Do you see it? Do you understand? I heard somewhere that the only people that you don’t like are the people that you don’t understand.

Brad Singletary
00:33:36:08
And when you talk about being in those homes in Honduras, there had to be some openness on your part to say, and I don’t know if if you had a very different perspective before. This is a great example, by the way. I love this example because I think our audience will really connect to this, to that particular thing in one way or the other.

Brad Singletary
00:33:55:10
And but there had to be some openness on your part to say, I’m noticing something here. I’m noticing a pattern. I’m noticing there is information here. What can I make of it? And maybe I was wrong before. Maybe there is more to the story than what I previously knew or thought that I knew. That’s a great example to me of someone who’s developing discernment from what were you, 19 years old.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:34:20:25
In 19 to 21?

Mike Olsen
00:34:22:18
And I don’t even think it’s as much of being right or wrong it’s just his circumstance gave him additional insight.

Brad Singletary
00:34:30:17
Don’t you know there’s some other kids from here in the States who were there and had sort of had the same stimulus in front of them and did not perceive it that way.

Mike Olsen
00:34:40:00
Could be. Yeah, they do. I’m sure.

Brad Singletary
00:34:41:12
They, they continued in their, in their belief about that topic or you know.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:34:48:15
I don’t think so. I don’t think we should say that they just continued. Sometimes this takes purposeful pursuits. Learning is we’re used to entertainment in very passive ways. Like we sit there and it’s screen shows us stuff. But really learning really understanding is a purposeful pursuit. It takes energy and effort, not necessarily, you know, lifting bricks kind of effort.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:35:15:07
It’s not muscular, but it’s brain energy. And I guess I’ve been blessed with a little bit of curiosity which made the process more fulfilling. So I was willing to exert that energy.

Mike Olsen
00:35:27:23
And put yourself in their shoes.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:35:30:05
Yeah.

Brad Singletary
00:35:31:16
So much of what happens with discernment or believing that we understand something or trying to understand is we project our own issues onto people. We displace our feelings you know, to the wrong person or the wrong situation. You know, that I guess a dumb example would be, you know, the guy gets yelled at at work and he comes home and yells at his kids.

Brad Singletary
00:35:56:18
He needs to be aware that, hey, I’m walking into my home right now upset. I’m walking into my situation with some vulnerability toward, you know, anger or aggression. And this wouldn’t be fair to my my children and my family. Here. So other thoughts on awareness or the ability to be aware of bias is I don’t know if we finished your thoughts there, Rocky.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:36:22:11
Well, the other thing I was just going to kind of what I started with when even just addressing why I felt frustrated with the idea of talking about bias, what I went to was what I typically go to when I have feelings for me personally is I pause and ponder. So I pause and ponder, and I pursue that often, like I said.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:36:42:14
So and this pause and pondering it, I take a step back and I try and think, why am I feeling what am I feeling one? And then why am I feeling it? And I try and break it down so I can understand it. And then I try and put it into words. And if I can put it into words and I can begin to work with them, and then I can update the inputs that create those those feelings in purposeful ways.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:37:05:27
So the technique that I would say I started with in this this story, and then we could apply in other situations is this pause and ponder. And again, this is the mental energy that I talk about. We have to we have to exert a little bit of it. We got to step back and pause and ponder. So whether it’s how we enter the room when we come home, whether it’s how we tend to respond to different things, we have to take time to pause and ponder those feelings.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:37:34:00
Why? And if we can put them into words, it helps us use or change or create more positively.

Brad Singletary
00:37:42:21
You talked about some politically charged things there, and I just feel like there are so many things out there from from politics to diets to different things. There’s so much information. So everyone is trying to get an audience, look, we’re even doing that ourselves. But there’s just so much so many attempts to gain people’s attention and lead them in one direction or the other.

Brad Singletary
00:38:07:09
How in the world do we make sense of all of the information that we have? All the ideas? There’s a million explanations for everything under the sun. What do we do? How do we find our way with these subjective things that are kind of these these opinions?

Mike Olsen
00:38:25:17
All the options.

Brad Singletary
00:38:26:15
Presented. Yeah, the opinions that are presented as facts.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:38:30:05
Yes. This is a huge there’s a huge bite chunk to take on because we are so overwhelmed with access to information more than any other time in the history of the world. We have information and our difficulty is not Can we get information? It’s how do we decipher it? Right. And so step one for me is recognizing that there is in fact, a difference between fact and opinion, and most of what we hear is opinion.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:38:57:23
So cable news is a perfect example of this. I read a book called Hate Inc as written by a Rolling Stones journalist for 30 years, and he’s a little provocative. I mean, he wrote for Rolling Stone. So he’s little loose with the language and whatnot, but he talks about the progression of the divide in our public sphere, specifically with politics that reached a fever pitch with with Trump.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:39:23:05
And so he talks about a lot about why that happened and the economics behind it, the cultural movement behind anyway. So but there’s the takeaway for one of the takeaways for me was that we as as individual, as people, as a society, we like simple stories or even super complex situations and provocative simple stories get our attention. So but the problem is that truth is almost always more complex.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:39:51:20
So, so, so much more complex. But we’re used to that article title. That’s a blurb that’s provocative and that’s where we’re used to consuming. But the truth is usually so, so much more complex. So second, getting and giving opinion is easy. Getting and giving fact takes work, and it takes a lot of work. And most people aren’t willing to put forth the work what.

Brad Singletary
00:40:21:00
Did you say there? Go back again about the simple explanation, simple explanations.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:40:27:07
We yeah. So what I said was that we like simple stories for even super complex situations.

Brad Singletary
00:40:34:26
Yeah. This was let me just tell you real quick what this was. This was the idea some doctor out there was saying that COVID was King Cobra venom that has been placed in the water by the powers that be and that we’re all drinking cobra venom.

Mike Olsen
00:40:55:10
And this was something you’re you’re not talking hypothetical you’re talking authentic snake venom.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:41:01:24
Yeah.

Brad Singletary
00:41:02:04
Like they’ve, I guess, farmed all these king cobras and they put the venom in the water and that’s why certain zip codes got got it worse because there they wanted to send more their way. Anyway, that’s a simple story. It’s a simple thing. And we love that kind of stuff.

Mike Olsen
00:41:19:19
Sensationalism sells.

Brad Singletary
00:41:21:06
Yes.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:41:22:01
So was that you say that was a doctor that was credited with that. Yes. Of some sort. So yeah. So this that the title of that article is Doctor says Covet is Cobra Venom in eight words. However, I mean, I said we could summarize that it’s provocative, it’s opinion. And that’s what we consume.

Mike Olsen
00:41:42:00
It’s attention grabbing.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:41:43:10
Yeah, that’s provocative part. So so yeah, this is what we’re used to consuming right? And that clickbait, that is not helpful. It’s attractive, but it’s actually not helpful when we’re trying to navigate opinion versus fact. We are used to consuming provocative opinions. All right. So I grew up a little bit in the science world. I’m a physician, right?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:42:04:19
So we get exposure to the sciences. So I have to talk about science because it applies here. Science is the systematic process of gaining knowledge and the scientific but I have to talk about the scientific process because we got in the last two years with COVID, we have gotten a lot of science talk by nonsense, not science, but armchair quarterbacks.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:42:31:19
Yeah. So we have to understand, I understand some things about man’s pursuit of knowledge and how science works, that scientific process. So first, I have to say that science, when it’s pursuing answers to a question, is not definitive. At first. Eventually it becomes definitive or much more so, but it never starts being definitive or it is never definitive at the start, and it rarely progresses in a linear way.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:43:01:16
So let me give you an example from anesthesia. So I do anesthesia for heart surgeries, open heart surgery. So these big surgeries, sometimes they take up to, you know, 12 hours. And it’s a big strain, big stress on the body. We want to make sure that these surgeries go well. It’s my job to keep people safe. And so there’s a lot of study that have gone into anesthesia, what we need to do in anesthesia to keep someone safe.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:43:27:05
So I’m going to use the airplane analogy for anesthesia to help people understand this a little bit. So because we kind of work in the shadows, anesthesia people don’t really understand what we do, which is fine. We basically you go to sleep and you wake up, right? So here the analogy with flight, which we like to use a lot, is which people are much more familiar with, is a plane takes off, gets to cruising altitude and then lands.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:43:50:21
Right. We’re familiar with that. That’s basically what anesthesia is, too, except that rather than take off, it’s go to sleep. Then we get into the surgery and we kind of cruise along at cruising altitude. Occasionally there’s some turbulence. Usually not. And then we land, which is the wakeup. So that’s the analogy for anesthesia. Now that cruising altitude or that cruising experience when we’re at altitude, we use a medicine that people breathe typically to keep people steady on at that cruising altitude.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:44:26:07
That’s the fuel of the airplane for us. That’s the that’s the medicine that keeps people asleep. They’re getting it with every breath. It’s a gas that they breathe. So with cardiac surgery, they started with we’ll call it medicine a and decades ago, they said medicine is the best medicine for the fuel of the plane at cruising altitude or to keep someone asleep.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:44:45:08
For a heart surgery cruising along through the middle of the process. Medicine is the best. And there are some studies that supported that. And then they did more studies and they said well, actually, no medicine B, medicine B is better. So then for a decade or so, we switched over to medicine B as the fuel for cruising altitude.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:45:06:00
And then more studies were done and said, well, actually Medicine A has this additional cardio protective or heart protective property that we weren’t aware of when we did our first studies. But now we’re seeing it now. So now we’re back to medicine A And that’s the path that science took us we went from medicine A to medicine B back to medicine A.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:45:27:25
Hmm. And so we have to understand that sometimes science doesn’t take a linear direction. Sciences is fluid in some ways. So then I want to use one more analogy. So again, science is the collection of knowledge and information. It’s the development of fact. So if we understand that sometimes that development of fact doesn’t come linearly that we sometimes have to work through some things that hopefully will have a little bit more patience and hopefully will also be a little bit more flexible and maybe a little bit less absolute opinionated as we’re still developing or collecting the information.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:46:10:09
So the analogy that I want to give for for science is, is with fluidity is surfing. So I grew up in California and I lived in Hawaii and I love to surf and I served on the North Shore and I am not a professional surfer. I’m not surfing these these huge waves. The biggest waves I surfed were 12 feet tall.

Brad Singletary
00:46:29:02
If you did it once, you’re a bad ass. So. Well, you don’t have to be a professional.

Mike Olsen
00:46:33:29
That’s dangerous for your success. Yes.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:46:36:20
Yes. So to put it in perspective, like a 12 foot waves that’s bigger than a one story house and again is you’re paddling into this or you’re standing at the top, you stand up at the top of this 12 year house, your head is actually, you know, closer to 17 or or 20 feet tall. So you’re looking down from 20 feet down a wall of water.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:46:57:00
And I fell once and I skipped along that wave like someone had like a like an inner tube being pulled by a boat that gets flung out. Like, can you just skip along the water? That happened to me. So anyway, just to describe the, the size force and power of, of these waves, so that’s just for fun, but that’s my credentials.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:47:16:26
I have surf 12 foot waves. All right. So now I can talk about surfing because I have some credentials with it. So surfing is an interesting thing because you are riding on moving water. You talk about fluid it’s dynamic, it is moving, and you cannot predict exactly where that wave is going to go. You have to adapt and you have to be able to sense changes and move with those changes.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:47:47:04
You have to be flexible. Science is somewhat like that. You have to be fluid and somewhat somewhat flexible while you’re still collecting the information. You have to be like a surfer that doesn’t know exactly where that wave is going to get to. And you have to move with it and ride with it as you develop and collect the information that will eventually be fact.

Mike Olsen
00:48:14:15
Interesting.

Brad Singletary
00:48:16:08
So as we have all of this stuff in front of us, what do you recommend? I mean, when we’re just we have all this information we’ve talked about more than ever in the history of the world, we’re just bombarded with mostly opinion earlier in the in the in the section. Before you talk about pause and ponder, what do we do with with all this information?

Rockford Wright, MD
00:48:39:05
So I think I don’t have perfect answers for this. And this is ultimately the the golden nugget is figuring that out. And I don’t know that I brought gold today, but I think that we like I mentioned, we need to be fluid. We need to be at least a little bit flexible. We need to be patient. We shouldn’t attack each other when we don’t have all the information.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:49:04:12
We should diversify our streams so that we can get information from different places and that we need to be there needs to be a somewhat caring, compassionate approach to some of this, that we are hopefully on a team trying to understand and get better. But of course, as that book talks about, that is the exact opposite of the ways that we are pushed.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:49:26:11
So I guess my takeaway would be let’s pursue some patients, let’s try and be civil. But let’s also understand that we are still learning, we are still gaining knowledge, we are still trying to establish many of the facts.

Brad Singletary
00:49:43:17
I think something that some people struggle with is kind of almost paranoia. You know, there’s the system, there’s the man, and there’s the there’s the government who’s controlling everything. You know, this the guy that talked about the cobra venom and whatever, there’s probably millions and millions of people who watch that and half of those probably believe it. So what is the balance between not being naive and also not being paranoid?

Brad Singletary
00:50:10:11
I mean, maybe there are some things that we ought to be cautious about. There are some things in our history. You talked about World Wars and and different things in the history of mankind that have been terrible and tragic. But how do we also not run around paranoid and believing the sky is falling, but be tuned in.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:50:36:02
Yeah. So we have to I again, I don’t know that I have a perfect answer to this. My answer has been to find a balance between the virtual or digital world and the real physical world. So if we live in a Twitter sphere, we are going to be exposed to a nonstop barrage of attacks and potentially, you know, vile things.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:51:01:12
Now, not not that that’s all that Twitter is, but in that in that sphere, that digital sphere, it is built to to attack in many ways and 160 characters, what have you like. And like we talked about earlier, sensationalism, and being provocative sells so that that digital world that’s clamoring for your attention is going to be provocative. It is going to push things that trigger paranoia.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:51:31:20
I worked with a here in Las Vegas. She’s a nurse and her husband is one of the broadcasters for the news here locally. And she said that they would chart the number of people tuning in based on this story that they that they showed and they could see when they went super negative tune in shot up as soon as they started talking about positive things like look at this food bank and what they’re doing locally or whatever attention dropped off.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:52:04:20
They are incentivized to sell negative because and protect potentially. This is a protective mechanism for us as as a species. We need to be aware of threats. So maybe we are keenly attuned to threat and danger. Now, what that does for us now is it provokes anxiety and we live in this world of anxiety. So what I would do when I was kind of swallowed up in some of that digital provocation, I would turn around and look at the physical people that I was actually interacting with.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:52:36:06
When the world was falling, when racial tensions were out of this world, and that I looked at the people that I actually physically interacted with and I didn’t experience that face to face. And it re grounded me in in the reality of my interaction with people. That was not nearly as anxiety provoking. Now, I know that people do go through struggles, and I know that there are tensions but for me personally, the physical actual what I would call even more real connection that you make with people is not nearly as anxiety provoking as the digital sphere.

Rockford Wright, MD
00:53:19:11
So if it’s just a simple matter of balancing time between the two, then I think that would be beneficial.

Brad Singletary
00:53:27:01
So interesting. You’re talking about the digital. What was the phrase you used before that you were in this like this digital negativity or something all that is so abstract. And even if even if what is being described sometimes is really accurately happening or it’s some description of something that is a phenomenon that is actually occurring, if we look at our own world and our own sphere, you’re talking about the real live people, you know, in real life, you didn’t experience that abstract versus reality.

Brad Singletary
00:53:59:19
And Ray Dalio is book principles. I think his first principle or the first bullet point under his first principle was recognize reality. You have to see reality. And some of what we’re being sold is an idea. It’s an emotion. I always say that, you know, these news outlets, you know, they sell Toyotas and potato chips. It’s all just for listeners and for viewers.

Brad Singletary
00:54:22:17
And if they can they’re selling emotion basically is what they’re selling, not information.

Mike Olsen
00:54:29:22
And I think that is one of the key points to remember here what Rocky is talking about, what you just mentioned. Do you know who Ray Dalio is? Mm hmm. Do you know who Ray Dalio is? Rocky Ray Dalio is probably one of the quiet guys behind the scenes who has led up until the last few years and managed the largest hedge fund the world has ever seen.

Mike Olsen
00:54:49:21
Well, at least in America. And I think as Americans, that’s the wonderful thing about it. You mentioned Honduras, and if you lived in America, because it has the structure for capitalism to be maximized above all else, if you want it to, and it can be done in a negative way. And Ray Dalio has managed the largest hedge fund, the most valuable hedge fund that America has ever seen.

Mike Olsen
00:55:16:18
And I think that’s the thing to keep in mind. And that’s when you talk about the Twittersphere and the world of e commerce that I’m in is the fact that negativity sells. And why does negativity sells? It gains eyeballs, negativity gains eyeballs, and through Facebook, through Instagram, through all of these different social media platforms, accessibility to eyeballs, and therefore the value for anyone selling anything on the Internet in e commerce.

Mike Olsen
00:55:46:19
You now have a main line. If you want to talk about medicine and drugs, you have a main line to someone’s wallet. If you can get to their eyeballs showing something to someone through Instagram or through an ad to Taps, later, they can order it and it can be at their house within 24 to 48 hours.

Brad Singletary
00:56:05:19
Sometimes it’s and for it to be emotional, it’s.

Mike Olsen
00:56:08:12
Very it’s very advent pages to someone selling things. Now, also, as a consumer, I actually enjoy that. But discerning the difference between when someone is actually trying to provide you a product or when they don’t care what they’re providing you as long as they make money being able to discern between those two things, I think we have to have some some sort of North Star so that we can strip away we can identify this as negative.

Mike Olsen
00:56:41:13
I don’t need to be part of that. I need to add a little more physical face to face to my world because that that betters my world or hey, this is something that is digital and I do want to participate in that and I can zero in on the things that match up with my North Star. The principles that I feel are most important in my life that are beneficial that I want to keep, and the things that I want to strip away and try to ignore.

Mike Olsen
00:57:08:24
That, I think is where I think a lot of us try to get to. But if we don’t know what our North Star is, if we don’t know what our deep core principles are, it’s easy to get fooled and distracted by all of the other things that are just trying to get at our attention.

Brad Singletary
00:57:27:00
That’s a great segway into the next part, which is about how we can decide what is right or true in the mindfulness literature out there. A very popular thing in the mental health world especially are the self-help world. This is kind of an Eastern philosophy about observing the world. Observing your experience of mindfulness meditation is a popular thing where you basically just observe and allow things to happen without judgment.

Brad Singletary
00:57:55:22
There’s there’s no good or nor bad. And when it comes to like emotional regulation, maybe that’s an important thing to do. But I think you know, Non-judgment has its place, but that doesn’t work in business or in medicine or maybe in families. I mean, are there moral absolutes? How do we know what is right and wrong if discernment is about judgment, maybe we do have to judge.

Brad Singletary
00:58:25:00
Maybe all thinking is judgment. When I think about thinking, I think it is judgment. You’re driving your car and said, am I going to make this late? Should I speed up? You know, am I too close to this car or what’s my you know, when the right speed it’s judgment where we’re constantly judging that maybe as is what thought is.

Mike Olsen
00:58:44:24
I think, differently than when I hear some things. I sometimes have to know, OK, this is not a popular topic or you’re going to really cause some controversy. When I hear people talk, oh, you shouldn’t judge that other person I’m wondering in my own mind, I shouldn’t judge them because and then I try to understand that I shouldn’t try to judge that person because I don’t know if it’s right or wrong.

Mike Olsen
00:59:10:23
I think I absolutely have the not just the right to judge, but I have the obligation to judge if I think that is right or wrong to allow into my life now to judge whether that’s a terrible person or a different topic or if you are on a religious vein. Is that judging whether that person has a right to a heaven or hell?

Mike Olsen
00:59:36:08
Obviously, I’m not the one who who judges that. I certainly shouldn’t judge that for them. I don’t have the right to judge that. For them, I could care less because I’m not involved in their particular judgment. However, do I want that part of my life? Or if I ever come across the same scenario, do I want to behave like that?

Mike Olsen
00:59:58:07
I think that I absolutely have the obligation to judge that. It doesn’t mean that I’m judging that person or that I’m bad, but to judge, is this person right or wrong? This as an absolute. I like what Rocky said, because to judge that as an absolute is a dangerous thing because there are so very few absolutes in our in our world, in my opinion.

Mike Olsen
01:00:23:06
And just like Rocky talked about medicine, a being judged as the right one to use for keeping a human at cruising altitude during a surgery that might be found later to be the a different medicine that is needed only to go back. When you learned that there were unknown, previously unknown benefits, I might have the same thing in my life.

Mike Olsen
01:00:47:09
And so I have to kind of just try to say, according to my Northstar, and if I have an obligation, if I am a husband, a father and I have other people under my stewardship or my leadership or my influence, do I want to be influencing them a certain way or do I want to be explore meaning to them?

Mike Olsen
01:01:07:15
Yeah, I might be influencing you a certain way. I’m human. It probably isn’t what I truly believe, but I might have a tendency to screw up in even my own judgments of right versus wrong. So forgive me.

Rockford Wright, MD
01:01:23:09
Yeah. So I think another way I’ve heard it described as we should not make final judgments. Right. And so I don’t think it’s fair to say this person is bad but I think that it’s fair to say this action, this thing is bad. So I honestly, I’m ill informed with a mindfulness trend that you talked about. But in talking to you about it, one of the questions that I have is if there is no good or bad, it’s just we’re kind of seeing things happen how do you reconcile that with real life consequences?

Rockford Wright, MD
01:01:59:09
So if we’re aliens looking down from space and just observing, then, yeah, that if we’re not stakeholders, then there really isn’t a consequence. So there really wouldn’t be good or bad. And so I think we had talked or you had mentioned or something, there was a an example of traffic or something. If you’re an alien looking down at traffic, then it would just be like congestion of machines carrying humans that usually move faster that are moving slower this time in our little bunched up.

Rockford Wright, MD
01:02:27:19
Right. But the real life consequences are different when there are real life consequences. We can’t just be passive observers. So the example is what if that traffic which to an alien just looks like a congestion of little machines carrying cars or carrying humans? What if that traffic jam causes you because you’re stuck in it to be late for work and you’re fined or penalized or fired?

Rockford Wright, MD
01:02:52:07
Is that traffic jam good or bad? Well, you could very easily say for me, this traffic jam is bad, it has a negative consequence. So or I’m a physician and sometimes I have to respond to emergencies that may be time sensitive. So if I’m needed for a surgery and I have to race in and I’m stuck in traffic and I can’t get to help that person, that person suffers.

Rockford Wright, MD
01:03:20:11
There’s a negative consequence to this thing. Now, traffic is maybe this isn’t the best example, but it’s an example of something that could very easily be described as well. That’s not good or bad. It just is what it is. But for the person experiencing the consequence, it is bad and we experience consequence from stuff. Let me let me add one other thing or I mention a couple of other things.

Rockford Wright, MD
01:03:49:23
So if I’m in a surgery again talking about the mindfulness, there is no good, there is no bad, it’s just stuff, right? So if I’m in a surgery and a patient’s heart stops, which luckily is super and incredibly rare, especially in relatively healthy people, can I look at that and say, well, that’s not good or bad. It just is what it is?

Rockford Wright, MD
01:04:10:12
Of course not. Right. That is bad. There are real consequences. So if you were to say that looking at the world that there is no good and there is no bad I don’t know, again, how you reconcile that with consequences. I talked about Ukraine and Russia because I’ve sucked into that. So try telling a Ukrainian mother weeping over her executed son or a Ukrainian teenager held captive and raped repeatedly that there is no good or bad now, while there may be degrees of difficulty or pain or suffering or bad, to say that that bad doesn’t exist seems like you might be ignoring a huge part of the human existence or experience.

Rockford Wright, MD
01:04:56:16
So how do you how do you reconcile real life consequences with this mindfulness movement? And I don’t know.

Brad Singletary
01:05:04:09
I had a professor who talked about morality and what is moral. You know, we’re talking about morals and ethics. And he said, here’s a good question for morality. If everyone did it, what would be the consequence? I love what you’re saying. The consequence is that that should be what determines or the potential consequence. Is alcohol good or bad?

Brad Singletary
01:05:28:04
I think, you know, we can say the potential consequences of that, you know, are very bad.

Mike Olsen
01:05:33:17
I think all of those topics tie into affecting one’s ability to choose. If I’m doing something to you that affects your ability to choose, then that’s an entirely different topic. Are you someone involved in a war and now, because of the actions of someone or a group affects their ability to choose and I think I think that’s kind of that’s where I put my Northstar and how I might try to lead people at work.

Mike Olsen
01:06:06:02
I might try to lead my family, and I try to even, I guess, lead myself is am I affecting my ability to choose? Am I affecting someone else’s ability to choose in a negative manner? And maybe I’m doing somewhat something to that. Maybe I’m trying to manipulate them and I’m getting them to believe something, something through my own lies.

Mike Olsen
01:06:29:00
Or maybe I just live in a certain way. I know that when let’s let’s use my wife as an example. I know that the women’s movement, the MeToo movement, and I think the general topic of men respecting women, especially because that’s the gist of this entire thing with our podcasts and everything. It’s how we interact with other men and how we interact with women.

Mike Olsen
01:06:54:21
I think the biggest thing that I’ve always tried to take away when my wife will interact with me is am I respecting her? Am I manipulating her? Am I helping her achieve her ability to choose unobstructed the best way that she can? Am I encouraging her? This is your choice. I will love you no matter what you choose.

Mike Olsen
01:07:19:13
If you ask me what color the dress is that you should wear, and you’re just looking for my opinion, I need to understand. Why are you asking me that? Yes, here’s what I think. But no matter what you choose, honey, I love you. I want you to understand I respect you. I love you. No matter what it is that you choose.

Mike Olsen
01:07:40:04
Choose what you like. You be you.

Brad Singletary
01:07:44:04
I love this discussion we’re having we’re going to wrap up this episode right now, you guys, and pick it up again next week with Dr. Rocky right here. We appreciate you being here, man. Thank you so much for what you’ve contributed. I can tell I’m going to want to have you back more and more. It’s a good thing you live close because I’m afraid that I’m going to be I’m going to bug you with this every few months probably.

Brad Singletary
01:08:08:27
So I want to wrap this up. We’re going to in the next episode, we’re going to talk about how we can keep realistic expectations of ourselves and other people, how we can be rational about the meaning of things. We’re going to talk about understanding, cause and effect and see better what is happening and then the value of mentors and using other men to help us make good decisions.

Brad Singletary
01:08:32:08
Thank you for joining us. Until next time.

Outro
01:08:34:12
Alpha gentlemen, you are the Alpha and this is the Alpha Quorum.

 

 

If you’re like most dudes, no one taught you how to be a man. Instead, you’ve probably been taught pretty much the opposite. So many personal influences in our lives. Our parents, our peers and society has conditioned us to be obedient rather than strong. We’ve been taught to be a good boy, follow the rules, not be rude. And these ideas have been forcibly injected in our heads. Since we were able to speak the problem is it doesn’t work and is hardly ever in our best interests. These messages manipulate us into being manageable and compliant. The standards of systems that are about control sometimes giving is not right. Sometimes sacrificing is wrong. Sometimes being nice damages us. Today we’re going to discuss the book No more Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover.

Intro (00:01:06):
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better. You are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong, you are a leader. You are a force for good. Gentlemen, you are the Alpha, and this is the Alpha Quorum.

Brad Singletary (00:01:30):
Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum Show. Brad Singletary here. I’m really excited about this episode. This is episode number 80. I can’t believe that we’ve come this far. It’s been over three years now and it’s just exciting. The feedback that we get from all of you, thank you for what you’ve shared with us in the social media and the messages and emails and so forth that we’ve gotten. Our guest today has been an entrepreneur from his first business owning and operating a car stereo shop 20 years ago until today, right here in Las Vegas. Since then he’s owned a car dealership, a bar, a strip club, and currently owns a Jeep boat and jet ski rental company. A whole bunch of ATM machines as well as a marketing agency that works with tour and rental operators around the country. Steve Edwards is the dad of two boys, one in the air force and one who just recently enlisted in the Navy. Welcome, Steve. Appreciate you being here, brother.

Steve Edwards (00:02:24):
Hey, thank you so much for having me the episode 80. That’s pretty impressive. Yeah.

Brad Singletary (00:02:28):
Yeah. Well, I should mention here too, that you’re a podcaster yourself and you’ve done played with this a little bit and he’s teaching me how to get my mics and stuff dialed in a little bit better tonight. Appreciate that, man.

Steve Edwards (00:02:41):
This is fun. I love this stuff. This is great.

Brad Singletary (00:02:42):
Well, this topic seems to be something that you really are. How are you? How are you so familiar with this information? This is like your hobby horse of…

Steve Edwards (00:02:55):
This is my catalog. This is my book.

Brad Singletary (00:02:59):
So we want to talk about the book No More Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover as I’ve worked with men. And as I’ve figured some of my own out, I’ve realized that far too many of us are just too soft. I did a little survey recently on a private Facebook group, by the way, if you’re listening to us and you’re not a member of the Facebook group, check it out. It’s called the Alpha Quorum. It’s a private group on Facebook. No one can see that you’re there. What you post, unless they’re in the group.

Steve Edwards (00:03:28):
And you’ve got to be a man which helps.

Brad Singletary (00:03:31):
Yes, everyone there is male. We verify that. I guess we’re only looking at pictures and names, but we think we have a pretty good idea.

Steve Edwards (00:03:37):
I said, man, loosely, I guess you need to be a male. Probably a couple of not men, but there’s some definitely, everybody’s a male.

Brad Singletary (00:03:47):
You know, it’s funny. We have, I think 1% of our audience in there, it shows up is female. And I think it’s because you have, there’s a couple of guys who share their their Facebook accounts with their wives and maybe that’s where that comes from. But

Steve Edwards (00:03:59):
I mean, that could be its own podcast on its own. What does it mean when you start sharing your Facebook account with your significant other?

Brad Singletary (00:04:06):
That’s being a little bit too nice. Maybe. Definitely. So No More Mr. Nice guy. What, what led me to this entire thing that I’m doing as I speak to men as I’m working with men in my practice is just noticing that men are either too hard or too soft, too nice or too difficult. And I read this book probably three or four years ago. It was it was recommended to me by Derek Johnson. We kind of started this whole thing together, Derek and I, and he showed me this book and told me that he himself was a nice guy and recovering nice guy. So Robert Glover is a therapist and he recognizes some of the patterns that he talks about in the book, recognize that in himself. And he describes a little bit about how that has harmed his harmed his relationships. And he’s teaching this to other men so that we can get ahold of ourselves and get our balls back basically.

Brad Singletary (00:05:03):
So we want to review a little bit about this content. We’re going to talk about just nice guy syndrome, what it is, how we become this nice guy, learning to please the person who matters most making your own needs a priority, reclaiming your personal power, your masculinity, and more about getting the love and the sex and the life that you want. Those are basically the chapters of his book. Start us off on a high level here. Steve, what, what is this about and what do you recognize in general? We’ll hit some specific bullet points later, but sure. You know, plenty of guys who behave this way, they’ve surrendered their masculinity itself to the system, to their spouse, to their parents or whomever. They’ve given that up to what do you notice?

Steve Edwards (00:05:51):
I even think that this isn’t even something that I need to kick down the road. You know, this is something that I can take full ownership of as I was as nice of a guy as you could possibly meet the nicest guy. And you know, when you start seeing some of the traits that represent being a nice guy, you know, at surface level, they sound like really admirable traits. Like you’re a nice guy. You’re willing to, you know, do things for others. You want to fix problems. You are a giver. You you know, you are seek, you seek the approval of others. When you say these at surface level, these sound like great, wonderful things that you would want out of a guy. Yeah.

Brad Singletary (00:06:33):
This is the dream husband you’re talking about.

Steve Edwards (00:06:35):
Absolutely. But what ends up happening is you end up with a guy with no backbone. You end up with a guy that can’t deliver on his promises because he is incapable of it because he’s living a lie. He’s not happy. Most of this is all self-deprecating behavior because they’re not serving themselves first. They’re not taking care of their own wants and needs. And yeah, they end up in a really tough spot.

Brad Singletary (00:07:03):
Yeah. They, everything they’re doing is really calculated to try to gain approval or avoid disapproval. So we’re always trying to do the right thing so that, you know, nothing is ever hard for anyone. We want to protect everyone. Else’s feelings, repress our own. Of course. Yes. That’s so unhealthy.

Steve Edwards (00:07:23):
I’m healthy because you know, I was like to take this back as if any of you guys have ever did it. And every, every guide knows this, that women love a bad boy. Right. Right. and we see it in media. We see it in everyday life and you never really understood the why. Why do they go after the bad boy? Well, because there’s an edge because they, they appear to be a man. They have this backbone, this, this spark about them that feels alive. And when you start looking at a lot of nice guy behaviors, you know, the, this idea of not being able to stand up on your own feet, it’s almost like codependent in its own way. Totally. But they’re not, they’re not fulfilling their own wants, needs and desires because they’re so busy worrying about everybody. Else’s

Brad Singletary (00:08:14):
And the hope, why, why is that? What is the hope in trying to please everyone? What are they trying to gain from that?

Steve Edwards (00:08:20):
So the term, and I mean, we’re kind of like without jumping too far ahead, but the term is it is a covert contract. Most of everything done as a nice guy is done with the idea that you will receive something in return. The easiest way or the, you know, the dumbest way to explain this in a guide type of mentality is, you know, the time you did the dishes or you did the laundry in order to have sex,

Brad Singletary (00:08:47):
Hey babe, I changed the light bulbs. You think we could have some alone time now, a hundred percent, but this covert. So that means we’re not really, this is, that would be even better. That’s what the bad boy move is like, Hey, I changed the light bulbs. I did the dishes now let’s get naked.

Steve Edwards (00:09:03):
Yeah. But that doesn’t even express that it’s not even said what it, what it’s done is it’s almost like, I think every old person under the sun has always said it, you know, what does assuming mean? It makes an out of you and me. Right. And, and it’s that, it’s a game. It’s mental gymnastics. It’s I’m going to do all these things, right. I’m going to, I’m going to vacuum and I’m going to dump a dishwasher and I’m gonna, you know, I’m going to take care of the kids. Like, and they expect that the sex would be reciprocated. Now this has done in a million other things. This is just the easiest one. And probably the biggest miss for guys is because, you know, as you being a therapist and talking to a lot of men, what do men complain about? Hey, I’m, I’m married and my wife doesn’t put out.

Brad Singletary (00:09:53):
We have a great relationship except we never touch each other.

Steve Edwards (00:09:56):
Yeah. Because I’m, she’s absolutely disgusted by me. Sounds awesome.

Brad Singletary (00:10:00):
Well, she’s probably not disgusted by your beer gut. She’s probably not disgusted by your morning breath. She’s probably disgusted that you’ve emasculated yourself and you’ve given your handed your balls away to someone or to her maybe. And you’re, you’re not making your own needs a priority. I probably used to say this kind of thing about you’re the center of my world. You’re everything to me in that kind of stuff. When I hear that now, or I see that anywhere, I just cringe and I go, oh, please do don’t. Don’t don’t, don’t, don’t be like that because that’s not going to work out very well. And women are not very interested actually in being the center of your world. If you’re the, if they are the center of your world, that means your world isn’t very freaking exciting. I’m going to lose respect for you, man. They just, they’re not going to have much interest in you. And it doesn’t matter how you look or how much money you have. If you’re overly focused on making your partner happy, none of you are going to be happy.

Steve Edwards (00:11:00):
And I think the, as we dig into it here a little bit more, it’s not necessarily the idea of doing a nice thing with, you know, something expected in return. It’s all the other actions that lead up to it. It’s, it’s basically all the steps that have turned you into a nice guy that have made you a disgusting human to your, to your wife, to your significant, other to the female gender, you know, to females in general, you know, in order to be a nice guy in order to protect everybody from everything, you have to be dishonest, you’ve gotta lie. You’ve got to, you know, you can’t be fully transparent because there’s things in life that if you’re totally honest about them, they’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings.

Brad Singletary (00:11:43):
You’re making me think of a, what was that movie? Old School Will Ferrell and they’re in, they go to therapy and they’re like, oh, we’re in the trust tree. We’re in the trust tree. You know, you can say anything, go ahead, open yourself up. And he’s like, oh, I’m imagining what kind of panties you’re wearing to the hot female therapist. And he gets in trouble. And he said, wait a minute. I thought this was, I thought we were in the trust tree. I thought this was safe.

Steve Edwards (00:12:04):
Nope. That’s a great example because guys, guys are so scared to be honest, but you know, because it sounds bad. Nobody wants to be labeled a predator, but guys are certainly more animalistic than women. They definitely think with their wrong head most of the time, and guys are very simple in the fact that like they would trade out a lot of things in order to have sex. I mean, if they could make those contracts, Hey, all dumped a dishwasher for sex. I will run 12 laps around the block for sex. And that’s where it all goes wrong because guys end up running with the wrong brain and they make decisions. And basically the rest of their life is basically decided by these horrible decisions.

Brad Singletary (00:12:54):
Yeah. They’ve got to hide the evidence of their weaknesses. They’ve got to hide their feelings. They’re, they’re loaded with secrets. They’re trying to like be, you’ve mentioned dishonesty. They’re like compartmentalizing, everything.

Steve Edwards (00:13:06):
Manipulation is a big one. You know, again, it’s like using a different term for the same type of thing. But if you’re lying, you’re probably manipulating situations. You’re telling half-truths I was a liar. That was my thing. I like to lie lying was my drug. It was like, you know, if I could just tell a little white lie to protect my own, to, you know, ease the situation. And you know, as everybody’s aware, your lie, catch up to you, your lies bite you in the. And that, that was my, that was my game.

Brad Singletary (00:13:38):
That never, ever, ever plays out well. And it actually causes the thing that we’re trying to avoid. So why do we lie? Why do we manipulate is because we don’t want to lose the other person. We’re just terrified of abandonment, which is a theme that runs throughout this book is we’re so afraid of being abandoned. We’re afraid that if we show any need or have any of our own wants, or we want to go fishing or go on a guys trip or do any of those things that we’re going to be seen as selfish and therefore abandoned. But then we lie in compartmentalize and we’re dishonest. And we have this like covert control, this covert contract stuff that we do. And we ended up losing respect anyway, they become disgusted by that anyway. And we would probably, you know what, man, I’ve heard women here in my office, let’s say, they’re dealing with an affair. The man’s had an affair. Yeah. In 100% of the time she doesn’t obsess about what the, you know, what the girl looked like or how good the sex was or what did he say to her? What she’s hurt by is the dishonesty. And he’s dishonest because he’s afraid of what would happen if she were to find out. So yeah, tons of manipulation and all this is really, there’s a lot passive aggression that goes along with this stuff.

Steve Edwards (00:14:53):
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, there’s a million different little pieces of this that I think every guy to some degree can look in the mirror and start unpacking some of these characteristics, some of these behaviors. I mean, I don’t know a single guy that I know that hasn’t made a covert contract about something or that, you know, is a hundred percent honest all the time. That’s totally transparent. Cause I mean, even now, even even saying that I’m, you know, a recovering nice guy, this idea of like complete transparency and total honesty is frightening as hell. Yeah. It is. I’m not saying that, you know, it isn’t the right direction and it it’s hard. But the, the other side of it is also very, very challenging. This idea of like lying your way out of situations, lying to, you know, controlling the situation.

Steve Edwards (00:15:48):
I’m, I’m, I’m a controlling guy. I’ve been the boss for a long time. Probably, you know, you take those Myers-Briggs tests. It comes back I’m, I’m a manager type. I am the boss type. So to remove controlling feelings and controlling situations and letting situation, you know, letting situations play out. I remember in a previous relationships, you know they, she would have had a disagreement at work or an argument at, with friends or something like that. All I wanted to do was fix it, or I wanted to take the edge off. I wanted to do anything to create less friction and just trying to remove all the friction from everything that, you know, I think every, what else have we always heard? Like, we don’t want you to solve the problem. We just want you to listen to us. Well, I think all the guys are fixers.

Brad Singletary (00:16:44):
It’s kind of in our nature a little bit.

Steve Edwards (00:16:45):
We’re built to fix it.

Brad Singletary (00:16:46):
One of the things he, one of the things he mentions in the book is that a lot of these nice guys are even attracted to people that they can try to fix protracted to the broken person. Codependency was a term that you used before. Maybe this is maybe this guy has made a multi-million dollar fortune right in this book. And he’s really just describing codependency. I don’t know, but it seems like a lot of those things are common things. Another negative about being a nice guys that we’re swinging back and forth for being nice and not nice. So these guys aren’t always necessarily, you know, nice. And the doormats, sometimes we, we, we let all that stuff build up and it turns into like explosive anger and those kinds of things you ever go to a domestic violence class and the room was full of nice guys.

Steve Edwards (00:17:32):
Yeah. I mean, that’s, you know, I had to had a Google it, but you know, it’s like a narcissistic style of behavior and, and it it’s because it’s so self-serving, and it’s really only built for the interest of the nice guy and not the party around it. It’s like this exchange of, of feeling like you’re going to continue to do these things in exchange. I want to feel a certain way. I want a certain reaction. I want a certain amount of touch or whatever it might be that you’re never left fulfilled. There’s never a fulfillment of like, wow, that worked out. I feel great about it. I should continue to do this. In fact, it’s the exact opposite where you’re constantly left disappointed and that disappointment builds up to resentment and resentment as you’re well aware, you know, in therapy is what ruins relationships guys are just begging for any amount of intimacy, any amount of affection from their significant other. And she’s pulling away even harder because all she’s seeing is the. She’s seeing the lying. She’s seeing the controlling manipulative guy that, yeah, maybe he dumped the dishwasher. Maybe he did this, but then he’s also yelling at me about, about not contributing about not helping about not being an equal member of the, of the family. And it’s like this weird tug of war with yourself, the only person you’re fighting with is yourself.

Brad Singletary (00:18:58):
Yeah. So there’s a lot of sexual problems with this guy. He’s usually extremely dissatisfied. There’s some often sexual dysfunction. So like erectile dysfunction, there’s like inability to orgasm. There’s all kinds of different things that go along with that. Maybe they’ve acted out sexually. Maybe they’re addicted. They have some sexual compulsion. There’s a lot of this is focused around sex. And he talks later in the book, he talks about one of the things that nice guys do is that they settle for bad sex. So they’re settling, always perpetually unhappy with that. Either not able to improve it, recognize their role in it, but you know, the bad boy, he’s not getting a lot of bad. He doesn’t have, he doesn’t have that. And it’s like, what is it about why is that?

Steve Edwards (00:19:49):
Well, because I think, again, not to dumb guys down to just three things, but you know, food, sleeping, sex, but you know, guys are hunters by nature and they definitely are seeking. They’re seeking that sexual relationship. Do they want more than that? Absolutely. A hundred percent. There’s certainly far more to guys than just food, sleeping, sex, but guys are certainly more driven to go get sex. And where I think the word falls apart is when you look at like porn of today, you know, porn on its own is like a next level thing where it’s not even like normal porn anymore. Like who even knew that everybody wanted to just have sex with her steps. I mean, who do that was like the hottest,

Brad Singletary (00:20:35):
Is that what they’re talking about now? I guess I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know

Steve Edwards (00:20:40):
No idea, never over what PornHub is like the top fifth or sixth visited the site on the internet. I had no idea. I don’t even know what goes on there. Yes. You know, so the perversion level of like what is even being presented, it’s not even normal consensual sex, like what you’re used to or what normal people, I guess, would be seeking. They’re being exposed to something that isn’t even realistic. So they’re going home or they’re bringing that vibe. If you want to call it to their significant other. And you know, they’re not living up to it. Like everything else in their life, they’re not living up to it. It’s basically a constant feeling of disappointment and the lacking, because you’re not having the sex you want, you don’t have the relationship you want, you know, you’re not getting sex enough or up to the standards that you would want. Your wife has constantly mad at you. It’s this constant letdown. And all it does is build up into a huge, huge fight. And that’s where most of these guys go wrong. And that’s where they end up with domestic violence. That’s where they end up in cheating. That’s where the whole thing starts by alert, spiraling out of control.

Brad Singletary (00:21:50):
Yeah. So like relationship problems, this stuff, you know, goes into careers and people are unfulfilled in their careers and not living up to their potential. But usually when a guy comes to see me here, they’re, they’re coming in talking about their relationship and yes, they may have depression or anxiety. They may have anger or whatever at their core of what I see an 80% of the men that I, that come here, they got nice guy syndrome going on. And by the way, you’ve kind of acknowledged that I got to say that to myself. If you go back to episode one of this show, I talk about that, that in my first marriage, I was a little bit controlling, a little bit pushy and a little bit demanding and so forth. And in my current marriage, I tried to correct that by being super accommodating and turned into the nice guy and that didn’t work either.

Brad Singletary (00:22:37):
So we’ve been going at this 10 or 11 years now, 11 years. And we finally figured some of this out, but it took me. And I guess if she’s listening to this show, maybe she’ll comment in the, in the social media, whether or not this is true, but I feel like I did. And I have a had to just take, get my balls back. Yeah. I want to skip the part about being integrated. I want to come back to that later, but the working paradigm of the nice guys is this, if I can hide my flaws and become what I think others want me to be, then I will be loved. Then I will get my needs met. Then I can have a problem free life. But even when, even though this is effective, they only see one option is to try harder. So we just keep trying. We just keep doing more and more nice things. I hear it all the time, man. I bought her a $12,000 ring for our 12th anniversary. I did all this stuff. I had all these things and made these special trips. And I did all this thing in my I’m just orbiting around her as the center of the universe. It never seems to pay off. I don’t understand it. Why is that?

Steve Edwards (00:23:47):
You know, you’ve got these guys coming into your office and at the point, a lot of the guys are coming into your office. I don’t want to be the cynical guy and say that it’s too late, but you’re definitely, you know, now you’re trying to really fix something that’s broken versus doing a lot of the maintenance work that is required to keep a relationship healthy. And they’re at this point because they’ve basically dropped the ball so far along the way. And you know, not that we, we can’t put any blame on, on women, but when a lot of like the problems that have, I’ve heard, I know you’ve heard that guys are dealing with the blame does come back to the guy because it is such nice guy behavior. So talking about like this idea of like exerting more, being more continuing to you’re going to keep pouring from an empty bucket, into her half full cup.

Steve Edwards (00:24:42):
Right? And you’re trying to fulfill the marriage in ways that are not what she’s asking. So it’s like you even brought up the example of like buy a new car, buy this pay. I can fully admit I’m the guy that always reverts to solve it with money. Well, that doesn’t solve most problems. I mean, it doesn’t solve most relationship problems. You know, your wife has an asking for you to buy her a new bag, to keep her happy. She is asking for you to participate in the relationship, participate in your kids’ lives. Be a good, be a good partner, be a good father, be present, show up. And unfortunately Louis Vuitton doesn’t sell any show up medicine. It’s always a very nice bag, but that doesn’t buy love.

Brad Singletary (00:25:31):
They need you to be a bad-ass that probably has nothing to do with them. You’re not going to wash dishes enough. You’re not going to do these household things enough. It’s not how many diapers you changed. You know, we still need to do those things, but we lose ourselves in the process. When I look at someone who’s divorcing, I ask and I’ve been there before. And so I know that feeling personally, I ask, well, how do you feel about yourself, your own individual kind of walk in life. How are you doing with your own journey? They always say, I’ve lost myself. I don’t even know who I am.

Steve Edwards (00:26:05):
So to touch on that because I got a little left of center of where I wanted to go on this. But you know, the biggest mistake I see is that guys have lost all touch with other guys. Guys don’t have hobbies. They don’t have real male friends. And they don’t. That’s the sort of stuff that keeps you at guy. I don’t want to, you’re not probably needing to go out grunting out in the woods and like burning pallets and stuff like that. And like just screaming from the mountain tops that I am man, but you need male testosterone around you. You need guy friends, you need to, you need have hobbies that are not including of her. You know, you need a life that does not fully encompass her in it. And that’s hard for a lot of guys to hear. You know, that’s hard for a lot of guys that have been in long marriages, 15, 20 years, they’ve lost connections with their wife or I’m sorry with their friends, their only friend is their wife. You know, they’re sitting around saying my best friend is my wife. My, you know, and that’s great. That sounds super sweet, but it’s also kind of scary because if your best friend is your wife, what happens when that don’t work?

Brad Singletary (00:27:18):
Yeah. It seems like the passion fades on, on those kinds of relationships. And that may be a great friendship. That’s good for you, bro. You got a good friend, but are you getting any bl*wjobs?

Steve Edwards (00:27:29):
It’s true. You know, I can already hear the pushback of like, well, don’t you want to be friends with your wife a hundred percent. You definitely want to be friends with your wife. And, but there was a different friendship. I don’t care how close to your wife you are. You have a different conversation with your guy, friends than you do with your wife. And I think that element of, you know, getting out and shooting guns or riding UTVs or going out, being out on the water, going hunting shooting pool, working on cars, any sort of thing that you can do where you get some male testosterone, you have like real male friends and quite honestly open up, start talking like guys are so terrified of like exposing themselves in any sort of weakness. And yet they’re at home just weak as hell, just soft as can be. But God forbid, they let another guy actually know that they’re hurting. That they’re struggling, that they’re going through anything because you know, the machismo is just pouring out of them except at home where it matters.

Brad Singletary (00:28:35):
I asked guys sometimes to draw like a pie chart, draw a circle and divide this pie into the things that you think about the things that you spend your time in time on your concerns in life. And when a guy shows me, you know, it’s, he’s got 70% of his pie chart is his woman. I can already tell. He’s not very happy. He’s not very fulfilled. And, and I just pulled this number out of thin air. But you know, one thing I say is like, what if she was 20% of your life? What if she was a 25% of your life? And maybe the biggest portion, maybe the biggest percentage of that pie of your time and your focus and your energy. But what if you throw some other things in there you need to have beyond the bowling team, you need to go on a golf league. You know, there’s gotta be some kind of connection to life outside of her and your home.

Steve Edwards (00:29:25):
Well, I also, you know, this is a metric that I’ve taken into account is that unless you actually have the five phone numbers to somebody you could call right now and ask them connect, come stay at your house. I need a friend. And maybe that’s even too big of an ask. Do you have five friends that you can call right now and go have a beer with, you know, or go talk to or go stand in their driveway and shoot the. Do you have five people you can do that with? And my guess is it’s like 97% say, no, it sits. They’re being real. It’s, it’s a no,

Brad Singletary (00:29:59):
It’s so wild. That we’re the biggest like consequence of being a nice guys, that you have terrible relationships with women, your romantic relationships are suffering, but the remedy, the cause and the remedy have nothing to do with that woman or that relationship or how you look. It has nothing to do with what’s within the relationship. So much of it has to do with what’s outside of it. There are some dynamics and some interactional things that cause problems. But let’s talk about the making of a nice guy for a minute. What, how do we, how did we become these weak dudes who are just so ultra nice and unhappy?

Steve Edwards (00:30:40):
Fifty, sixty years of being raised by women, your dad went to work. The, you know, the cleavers were the real thing. You know, dad went to work, mom stayed home. Mom raised you. Mom was your first girlfriend. Mom was your first love. Mom was everything. And you know, for a lot of guys is still everything I grew up. I was a mama’s boy. I’m not afraid to admit it. That’s the problem because there hasn’t been, you know, that idea of like being raised by men, going out with men, having that sort of like male testosterone around you, you’ve just, you’ve spent so much time around and being guided by women that you’ve lost a lot of that male edge. You’ve you’ve seen what your mom needs to be happy. You’ve seen like what the male energy looks like, or I’m sorry. The female energy looks like so strongly that it feels like you’re constantly like, man, I should fix this.

Steve Edwards (00:31:37):
I should be a nice guy. I should help out mom more. It’s like all these things that it becomes super unattractive to females. And some of this does go away when you’re dating. You know, when you’re dating, when you’re out hunting for the next girlfriend, there is that edge. You have to be witty. You’ve got to put, put yourself out there. You’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to lead with some testosterone and some masculinity because you’re a tiger and a group of other tigers. If you don’t, if you don’t attack somebody else’s gonna attack. If you don’t have some sort of push in you and that all goes out the window, the second that these guys become in a relationship that they, they find misses, right? They say, I love you immediately. They’re attached it’s codependent. And they’re just pouring themselves into this other person, which feels like the right thing to do, except they’re also pouring all the things that they need into this and not getting it in return.

Brad Singletary (00:32:36):
You mentioned being raised by women. Think about school teachers. So you’re home, mostly with mom, dad’s working late. He’s gone. Now another great example. One of the things that mentioned in the book is that most of these guys were, they either had absent fathers, avoidant, fathers, addicted, fathers, philandering fathers, angry fathers. And so part of it too, is that I want to be anything except like what my dad was. And then mom is trying to program us to like, don’t be that, be a nice boy. She needs you to be kind of her surrogate husband almost. That’s a whole another dynamic. That’s a whole another show. We’ll have to do at some point. But so we’re getting programmed by the schools. We’re getting programmed by in our own homes. Society just kind of wants to water down masculinity. I saw some stuff recently talking about the toxic masculinity idea and that the problem is not masculinity. The problem is the absence of masculinity. Jordan Peterson talks about, if you, if you think a strong man is dangerous, wait till you see what a weak man can do.

Brad Singletary (00:33:38):
If you can’t see that in our society right now, you know, the woke culture, the woke mob cancel culture. The second somebody doesn’t like something they’re, you know, they’re canceling everything and that’s, that’s its own separate topic. But if you don’t think that a correlates, not everybody’s a champion, not everybody can be a winner. Somebody is going to have to lose. Somebody’s going to have to learn a lesson. And I think it’s so prevalent today. I seen that pie chart, you know, where it goes around that circle of like weak man, strong man, you know, like I forget the four quadrants, but how it goes around. And yeah, I think, I feel like we’re in such a weird spot that like, it’s going to be very, very hard for somebody to break the culture of it. But I think at some you can recognize, recognize in your own house with your kids.

Steve Edwards (00:34:28):
I think it’s you, it’s something you can recognize as a man of like tendencies that you’re doing. And I I’ve recommended to everybody to read the book. The book is amazing. The book I feel like is a game changer. And the second, once you start reading it, you’re like, oh my God, I do that. I do that. Look at this. I do that. These are all like things that you can start seeing in yourself that you’re doing that have a huge difference in your overall happiness and wellbeing. And to the idea of like these teachers, these moms, all of this, you know, you can’t blame your mom for raising you the way she, you did. But at a certain point, the accountability of like why your relationships aren’t working. You do have to be able to look at a mirror and say, Hey, these are probably some of the negative traits that I’m presenting in this relationship. And if I can find out how to be a better version of myself, maybe I ended up with a better relationship.

Brad Singletary (00:35:24):
So I want to ask about something personal here. Tell me some of your worst, nice guy. Give me some stories.

Steve Edwards (00:35:33):
Oh man. I just, I was such a nice guy and I mean, I’m sure of my two ex-wives. They would love to chime in and pour into this bucket. But you know, I was, I was manipulative. That was definitely a good one. I was gaslighting king. I could Gaslight the out of a situation, you know, because, cause you don’t want to look in the mirror. You don’t want to take any ownership of it. So it was like, that’s why it’s on you. It’s not me. This is your feelings like this. And you know, I was, I, I think I wrote the chapter on the covert contract. I was the guy of like, oh, let me dump the dishwasher. Let me help with laundry. Oh, I’m going to vacuum. I’m going to do all this that you never asked me to do anyways. But I really expect some sex out of this at the end.

Steve Edwards (00:36:19):
And yes, I never got any sex. It was like, it was like, that was, it’s so dumb looking back on it because it all makes sense. It all makes sense. And now hindsight looking back, you know, this could have all been solved, you know, not happy to say it, but I have two divorces under my belt and the second one hit me pretty hard. The second one was rough. And when I’m looking at them now, I mean, I was as mad as I wanted to be at them. I, I have to take a lot of ownership. I was a pretty weak man. I was definitely not the best version of myself. I had every nice guy tendency that you could write and you know, and already led to resentment. It led to argument after argument about not having sex in our relationship, it led to fights about like, you know, doing stuff together or why isn’t this good enough? Why isn’t that good enough? And it makes for a miserable life

Brad Singletary (00:37:19):
For me, some of those things for sure, but to add to that, my own problems with this in relationships, I was kind of the simp, you know, I was like, I was writing poetry. I literally was just trying to be like, Mr, let me, let me do that for you. Let me do everything for you. Totally. The covert contract, like, man, let me just show you what a stud I am. And, and even, you know, I took pride in my, in my vulnerability. I could talk about my feelings. You know, I’m a sensitive guy and let me show you my sensitivity. Let me be this. Ah, it’s just disgust me now to think about it. And, and I, part of that was just it’s who I am. And I needed to kind of toughen up and get a backbone like you talked about, but also just not trying to show off. I mean, I remember one time I wrote this really long Facebook posts on my wife’s page just to like how wonderful and beautiful she is and all this stuff, bro. She deleted it. I’ve never done that again, man. I’ll I’ll, I’ll, I’ll be the guy who I would get her like I’ll buy a $7 card for Valentine’s day and put love you. He like, I can’t, I won’t even say, I love you. I’ll be saying love you, you know, not hard to draw the heart to heart and that’s it sign my name, you know, I’ll put B instead of Brad.

Steve Edwards (00:38:41):
So my biggest runaway with us, I didn’t actually discover this until I was going through the second divorce. So how mine actually sprung on me was like, it was, you know, we grew apart and I was really not playing the right cards. I was playing the game entirely wrong. And you know, when, when she was ready to call it and she wanted a separation and that’s where it started, all of a sudden I went into my F you know, fight or flight. And I did exactly that. I was like writing, like the longest, most heartfelt texts you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Like literally just total samp, total, oh my that’s disgusting. It’s like gross. I mean, I look back and I’m like, and that was some real pathetic behavior. And you know, all she wanted was space. She was like, Hey, I just need some time could not give her time.

Steve Edwards (00:39:36):
Time was like the most impossible thing. And if you anybody’s like Google, you start, they, they have a thing like 30 days of no contact. We’ll think about that for a second 30 days. Not talking to your significant other when she doesn’t like you and you’re trying to make up with her. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried in my life. But to that, I mean, there’s a lesson to be learned about that. I mean, the lesson is in the time it’s in this idea of like being so insecure in your own skin, that you’re not deserving of love, that you’re not deserving of happiness in your relationship. A lot of this book passes all the blame down to guys, and I’m a strong believer. Like I want to own my. I want to own it all the way through, you know, it’s way too hard to kick the can down the street to somebody else.

Steve Edwards (00:40:27):
But there is an element. It’s two people in a relationship. And if you were strong in your own background or in your own backbone, and you saw how this played out and you were being a man, you would have never dealt with any of the anyways. You know, if she isn’t providing, if she isn’t pulling her into the, you know, end of the deal, you’re being a man you’re helping, you’re contributing. You’re being this good dude without being a nice guy. You’re not going to be in a relationship that fulfills you like that. You know, not every relationship is meant to last forever. Maybe you’re with the wrong person, but if you’re good with you, that don’t matter. And that I think is the hardest thing for people to wrap their head around.

Brad Singletary (00:41:10):
Yeah. So our value, we see our value, our like human value, our value as a man is all wrapped up in how we’re being treated and like sex is that’s the ultimate evidence of being accepted. And when we don’t get that and we don’t get the time or attention or whatever we used to, we get into this like existential panic. You don’t want to talk to me. You don’t want to touch me. You don’t to spend time with me. I am nothing. Well, that is going to just escalate. That’s going to just devolve even more and more and more you’re spiraling down. And this going to end in total heartbreak. That’s what, that’s what happened to me for sure.

Steve Edwards (00:41:48):
No, and I mean, it’s easy to say it from standing, you know, sitting outside of it now and having gone through it. When I was going through it, I was a puddle of goo. I was, you know, I, I was soft as hell. I, there was nothing about me that was man. I felt like I was, you know, being a simp. And that was like the awakening that I needed to do some real self work. Cause I didn’t have, I didn’t have five people in my phone. I could have called to spend the night at their house or to go grab a beer with, I had me and my own depression and my own, my own negative beliefs about myself, not believing that I was good enough. And that’s where it starts and ends is like, you have to believe that you’re worthy of the love and affection that you need to be happy in a relationship. And the hard part, the talking out of both sides of my mouth on this is that you might be in this relationship with somebody that is not fulfilling your needs. And at a certain point, you have to be able to draw a line in the sand and say, I’m not getting what I need out of this relationship and be okay with the outcome because you know, you’re not happy. And that’s hard to say,

Brad Singletary (00:42:59):
I want to talk about this list of habits of highly ineffective men. Number one, looking for the approval of others, trying to conceal our apparent blemishes, you know, our mess up our mistakes, putting other’s needs in front of our own sacrificing our own power. I like this one too. This is what you’re talking about. This associating ourselves from different guys and our own manly energy. We’re totally disconnected. You’re let me say this loud and clear for you guys. Your most unhappy moments in your life have come or will come when you are the most disconnected from other men. Nope. That’s crazy. You’re most unfulfilled, unhappy times in your life will or have come when you are most disconnected from other men. So we make connections with women that aren’t fulfilling. We’re creating the circumstances. Co-Creating the circumstances for bad sex failing to live up to our own potential. So if we’re going to fix this stuff, we got to look at Glover talks about being integrated, being an integrated man. So what does it mean to be integrated?

Steve Edwards (00:44:16):
And integrated man, as somebody who is comfortable in their own skin? One of the biggest mistakes or one of the hugest problems with this nice guy is this belief that they’re not good enough. And this w this need for acceptance by everybody. You know, a lot of people say, I don’t care what other people think, but we all know that that’s a lie and that’s actually became even worse as time’s gone on where our entire culture and civilization is ran by, you know, fake Instagram and, you know, seeing everybody’s life. That seems amazing. Everybody’s beyond happy, but actually everybody’s really sad and depressed and going through a lot. And you know, they’re dealing with things and they have mental health issues. And at a certain point, you have to just believe that you’re okay, that you’re okay as you are. And your people will love you regardless. And that’s hard for people to say,

Brad Singletary (00:45:14):
Yeah, we’ve got to make our own needs important. We need to find people who can meet our needs when you’re integrated, you can live in some, with some confidence.

Steve Edwards (00:45:27):
And I think this all, I think this is the big takeaway for all of this is like, you have to just figure out how to be good with you. Like this idea of masculinity and like, you know, I don’t think you need to be this super machismo Dick. That’s what a lot of people hear is like No More Mr. Nice guy is that they have to turn this around and they’ve got to be this non-caring Dick we’re. In fact, actually, you know, somebody who is an integrated, truly good guy that gets what he’s doing. That’s a good man is caring. He’s probably way more caring, but he also recognize the difference between caring and care taking your job is not to solve everybody’s problems. But that doesn’t mean you don’t care. I have struggled with empathy for a very long portion of my life, of not being a very empathetic person.

Steve Edwards (00:46:23):
And I thought it just actually meant that I didn’t care, but where I got confused in this are where my mistake was made is that I felt empathy was also me having to solve the problem. I always had to have a solution to a problem versus just understanding that there was a problem. Sometimes you just gotta listen, you gotta just be able to hear that, okay, this is what’s wrong. This is what I don’t like. This is what makes me unhappy. Or this is what is making somebody unhappy and be okay in just, Hey, I hear what you’re saying. I hear what your problem is and leave it at that. You’re not in business to solve everybody’s problems.

Brad Singletary (00:47:05):
Yeah. We got to just deal with things in a straightforward way, learn to experience and express our feelings. We need to just find harmony with the, the delicate things of life. And another thing he talks about is that you build significant relationships with men. I always say the womanizer needs men, not women

Steve Edwards (00:47:27):
Or womanizer does need. And you know, the other thing is just being transparent about your wants and needs. He, covert contract will be the death of like, it will be the death of many marriages. And it has up to this point. And you know, because we’ve touched on the sex portion of it, this has to be a clear and present thing of what you’re in need of in this relationship. Maybe you’re not going to go and just say, Hey, I need more sex. I need more intimacy in my relationship and immediately get it. It’s not as if you’re going to go walk to her and be like, Hey, I definitely need more sex. And she’s like, you know what? You’re right. Let’s go, you know, you’re, this is a work in progress. And you’re going to have to work these steps to get to a spot of her trusting that your not going to be this passive aggressive guy, that your going to be the best version of yourself that you’re going to show up, that you’re going to listen. And in return, the end goal is that she will be able to be the best feminine version of herself, which is in return, is going to reflect on a better sex life, a better partner and a better relationship.

Brad Singletary (00:48:39):
Yeah. We got to face our fears. We need to become trustworthy and genuine. We’ve got to set limits. I think an integrated man is able to say, no, that’s something that I’ve struggled with. You talked about empathy, something I’ve struggled with is going along to get along, giving to get. He talks about that a lot in the book, you give something to get something back in return. So when you move come integrated, we’re not afraid. We’re not even afraid of losing the relationship. Think of the things that we do, the bonehead things that we do to try to save a relationship. We’re trying to force someone to let us stay at the party that no one wants us at. And I think if we can get to the point where like, it would be inconvenient, but I’m not, as I’m not scared to be alone,

Steve Edwards (00:49:31):
You know, it’s a, it is that fear of abandonment. It is that major fear of abandonment and whoa, what if nobody ever loves me again, somebody is going to love you again. You know, when you’re the best version of yourself when you’re showing up, when you’re caring, when you’re, when you’re that guy that was outdating, your you’re putting off, it’s a different energy. You care different. You know, you, you see that you’re, you’re in this. What happens when guys start going through breakups or in the gym, they’re working on themselves, they’re eating better. They’re doing basically everything that their spouse asked them to do in the relationship, just after the relationship

Brad Singletary (00:50:12):
That would’ve made everybody a lot happier. If they were just taking care of themselves, he talks a lot about that. And if we want to turn this around, he specifically talks about building muscle and like working out and becoming physical.

Steve Edwards (00:50:26):
Yeah. You know I, I saw it earlier and I, and I love this term as this I, and I’m going to read it. A lot of people say, I love hard instead of saying I’m codependent, lack boundaries, and become borderline obsessed with a person I’m interested in because of my anxious attachment style and fear of abandonment. But yeah, I love hard. Does sound better. I heard that. And I’m like, man, I, I feel that I get it because everybody gets in these relationships and you get in a relationship. And at first it’s like the greatest feeling ever you’re. So in love, you’re ugly. It’s oh my God, I can’t even imagine my life without them. And then like the real life sets in. And like, you have the same problems everybody else does. And relationships are hard when you’re not having sex with each other.

Steve Edwards (00:51:16):
You know, you with work with friends, with relationships, take a lot of work. And then when you add kids in the mix, you had a relationship, you had money. It’s a, it’s an uphill battle. The entire way we all have wants, needs, desires, that sort of thing. But we’re so afraid of just expressing our feelings, expressing how we feel, you know, what we need out of this relationship to be successful. You know, we’re terrified, terrified of the, what if it doesn’t work. And because what if, if it doesn’t work means you’re a failure. It means you’re not worthy of love. It means you’re not, you know, all these things you tell yourself, it means you’re never going to be with somebody else again. So instead you just pour the nice guy on like, it’s, you know, the thickest you’ve ever seen. It just thick country gravy.

Steve Edwards (00:52:07):
And you end up in a situation where you’ve got everything that you didn’t want. You’re not loved. You’re unhappy. You’re not getting, you know, you don’t have the sex. You want it. You don’t have the relationship you want and your partner checked out. And now you’re sitting in front of Brad and you’re wondering like, how does, how the hell did I get here? And how do I get out of this? And the unfortunate part is a lot of times, once you’ve gotten in front of Brad, it’s too late, too little, too late, myself included. Once you’re in front of Brad is too little too late. You can choose to solve it. Today is an overnight fix handle. No, there’s no overnight fix behind this. You’re not going to read this book and go home. And all of a sudden be this well adjusted mail. But if you don’t take some action, if you don’t find a reason to go out with the guys, if you don’t have any guy friends, you got to start somewhere. You’ve got to start. You gotta take that turtle step forward to take some action, to get to a better place, because otherwise it all unravels. And then, then you’re sitting on a podcast three years later talking about being a well adjusted male or so, whatever the hell that means some adjustments in the mail, the integrated mail. I’m sure if you have somebody there’s no well-integrated anything about this, but on, at work in progress,

Brad Singletary (00:53:27):
I think that’s important. We, he talks about you would need to please the person who matters the most. And that sounds a little selfish, but if we’re talking about coming out of nice guy syndrome, we gotta, we got to shift the balance a little bit more that way, because by trying to please everyone, nice guys end up pleasing, no one, including themselves. We see sex as the ultimate form of acceptance. And when our woman gets angry or upset, we think we, we start to panic like, oh, I got to do something quick, quick, quick, quick, how do I fix this? I need a lie. I need to manipulate. I’m going to offer some ideas. Here’s let me appease you in some way. And if we can just learn this, be okay with that little wave, that little emotional wave and just not feel like we’ve got to prevent her from feeling angry or upset. Because when we do that, when we’re rushing to some quick action, some urgency it’s based on, like you said, the fear of abandonment is based on, I am nothing without you. And that’s just. That’s going to lead you to pain.

Steve Edwards (00:54:30):
I always, every time, every single time that is going to lead you to pain. And it’s just not the case. I mean, are you the best version of yourself right now? No. Am I absolutely not. I’m sitting here and I’ve been losing the same 50 pounds for the last 15 years. It’s hard work. It’s hard work. And I think a lot of it all starts in the head. I think it’s the, you know, the embarrassment of mental health. I think it’s the guys being like, oh, well, how am I going to go talk to somebody about my feelings and of all the things you should do of all the places you should put money. Maybe you need to go see a therapist. Maybe you need to go talk to your friends. Maybe you actually have to have an open dialogue about what’s going on in your life. And this is where I think a lot of the mistake has made

Brad Singletary (00:55:19):
When we’re in the nice guy syndrome. We kind of feel like we’ve got to hide any of our shortcomings. Think about hair loss and stuff like that. And now we’re both sitting here now, both sitting here, bald guys who proud and true.

Steve Edwards (00:55:32):
You asked me if I was five foot taller and 50 pounds lighter me and me and the rock, same cap. Same.

Brad Singletary (00:55:41):
So yeah, any mistakes where we think about, you know, we don’t, we don’t wanna, we don’t want anyone to know that we farm. We don’t want to have any perfect imperfection of any kind. And so to be okay with that, stop lying, stop putting up walls. You know, people are not drawn to our perfection. Something that I’ve learned as a therapist is in the textbooks. You know, they say not to self-disclose, don’t tell your own stories to your clients. And I’ve really kind of always been a little patch Adams like with that stuff, I just do whatever works. And for me, what seems to work is in small little doses, I tell people about my into jail, but in a psych hospital, been suicidal, took psych meds, been divorced, got ex-communicated from Metro. I tell all those things. And everybody’s like, dude, I like that about you.

Brad Singletary (00:56:29):
I’m glad that you shared that. And I think the same is true of women. We think we’ve got to be perfect to win their acceptance. That’s probably not very good. I hear some women say sometimes he’s actually the perfect husband. Well, why did you cheat on him? Why are you leaving him? Why are you, why is this so perfect? He’s so perfect. And that’s a lot of pressure and it’s a lot to live up to. And I feel like there’s some inauthentic thing about that. So we don’t have to be perfect. What we have to do is get our needs met and do that with some integrity.

Steve Edwards (00:57:00):
This’ll be Billy put out, I’m sure, but it’s that putting the on the pedestal, it’s raising this belief that women are perfect, that women are without flaw and that your, just this piece of meat that she accepted into her life and you bring her no value. I mean, I think that’s where a lot of this self doubt and this disbelief in yourself that you’re deserving of love. I don’t know. Like I think that this is a lot of this has to start inside. This has to start in your own head. This is your own self-worth. And if you have something about you that you don’t like change it, make the change, do the work. If you’re like, oh my God, I’m such a fat obese sack, a shoes. Well, maybe you go to the gym maybe instead of sitting around. And like, if you don’t believe in yourself, maybe you take these changes. I have a mantra that I live by and I think it’s the greatest piece of advice. You either go after the life you want, or you settle for the life, you get hands down, full stop. The only thing you change everything about yourself. You want to be a billionaire, great. Do the work you want to be, you know, you want abs, you want to be ripped. You want the best life possible. Do the work. And if you don’t do the work, then you have to accept what you got.

Brad Singletary (00:58:20):
Yeah. Sometimes when we’re trying to be appear low maintenance. So like, if I, if I don’t have any needs, if I don’t have any way to grow, if I don’t have any imperfection, no one’s gonna abandon me. I want to dig into that covert contracts again, real quick. So basically that is to say, I will do blank so that you can do blank for me. I will do whatever. I’ll do this thing for you so that you can do this thing for me. But both of you act like no one is aware of the contract.

Steve Edwards (00:58:50):
You know, again, we can’t speak for women. We don’t have any women’s setting hair or anything like that, but it’s every guy does it. I mean, you know, they’re probably doing it and they don’t even know they’re doing it. But the, the most popular is always regarding around sex. You know, they on running joke for as long as everybody’s been alive is like the second you get in a marriage, you know, there goes a sax, right? Well, these guys that are in these relationships, he’s sexless, unhappy relationship. You know, that sex didn’t go away overnight and it didn’t go for a way, for any reason, something happened, something stopped, pushed her away where she stopped having sex with you. And maybe it was your lying. Maybe it was you not paying attention. You know, that phone that you’re sitting in there in your hand or the video game controller in front of you maybe you got to put it down, put a little pay, little attention and you know, I’ve had to drink my own.

Steve Edwards (00:59:41):
Kool-Aid on that. I’m the, I’m the worst. Like I worked all the time. I always was on my phone. I’d be sitting and watching TV and on my phone and just like not paying attention. So when she stopped having sex with you at a certain point, you have pull up in the mirror what happened? And it’s two to the covert contract side. It’s this artificial like made up. If you do this, I’m going to give you this. And for guys that’s sex, like I said, it’s the chores. It’s the date night. It’s the, any, any little gesture that should be commonplace in the relationship. Oh, I went and got your wheel changed in your car. Oh, I did this. And it’s like, you laugh at that. I was like, oh, I went and got your oil change. We should probably have sex without

Brad Singletary (01:00:25):
You mentioned, you mentioned the date night. I heard a guy in, one of my men’s groups recently was talking about how he took his wife out to this fancy dinner. They were all dressed up. They bought a bunch of expensive wine and all these things. And he, his whole thing was like, oh boy, when we get home, it’s going down. And it didn’t go down because she’s half buzzed. It’s midnight 30. You know, she’s been up with the kids since five in the morning and she’s tired. And she wanted to get down the next morning when they woke up. And he was all sorts of butt-hurt because I spent $600 on you on this date. And I didn’t even get any so needs are normal. We’ve got to accept that our needs are normal, but we need to talk about those indirect ways.

Steve Edwards (01:01:10):
I’m I’m done that. I’ve done. I’ve like, that could have been me. I I’m I’m that guy that you just told a story about there. I mean, I I’ve, I’ve done it when I planned a big night and we went out to a show and a fancy dinner and we were staying at the Cosmo and it was, I mean, rolled out the red carpet. And then when we got back to the hotel, she’s like, I’m tired. I’m not feeling this. And like a little bit, I’m just like, what are you going to have sex? You they’re going to have sex. I, you know, and those ruined, and then you’re having guilt sex, which is gotta be worse. It’s almost as bad as no.

Brad Singletary (01:01:45):
Oh, it’s worse. Cause it’s building resentment and they they’re just turned off, checked out. There’s nothing intimate at all about that. Earlier, we talked about the difference between caring and caretaking and there was a cool action step in the book. Here’s one of the things that he suggests, he says, stop giving completely for a week, stop doing any care-taking completely for a week. Don’t do anything that you normally do for a week and notice how you feel and how people react

Steve Edwards (01:02:12):
When you say that out loud. And like, guys are going to hear this. Like, you know how absurd that sounds right.

Brad Singletary (01:02:18):
It sounds absurd. He says, but there’s a followup to it. But he says, all right, notice how you feel and how people react when you give nothing. And then he said, after that, then caretake more than you normally do. So go all aboard, all overboard, caretaking, checking in, making sure they have everything, give them everything they ever wanted and then notice how you feel and how people react. And I think I want to try this. So

Steve Edwards (01:02:41):
Without imploding a relationship, do all of this without imploding your relationship.

Brad Singletary (01:02:47):
I think the idea is it’s really trying to get us out of the habit of the covert contract. And just to sometimes I’m sitting around like, okay, you had a shower. I had a shower I’m guess guests. This means maybe we can do this now. You know? And, and I noticed that most of those times disappointed, but when I got to do and it’s like, oh babe, no, I got, I got something going on. I got it. I gotta go. I gotta meet up with Steve over the office to record a podcast. Like that’s when it’s like, I’m being pulled back in to like, whoa, before you leave. And there’s some crazy goes down in two and a half minutes in the closet, you know what I’m saying?

Steve Edwards (01:03:26):
And how does it like, I mean, isn’t that the way you’ve dreamed about it being isn’t that the like fun that needs to be injected into it. I know a lot of guys, if they even had to go to the idea of like scheduling it, because now when you’re an adult and you got kids in the house, you got all this, let’s be real. That sex is going to go away. It’s not going to be like, when you’re freshly dating, no kids and no adult responsibilities or no, like, like, yeah, that’s amazing. And then it all goes away and guys are like, Hey, what happened? Do what happened when we were 22 and things were amazing. And we had unadulterated I don’t know if you want to call it like young kids, sex, college kids sex. I don’t think that that’s I think

Brad Singletary (01:04:09):
That that’s in the car, like that kind of stuff,

Steve Edwards (01:04:12):
Car sex. Now I just, now that practical dad, adult side of me is like, why would we do that? Like, why don’t we like, you know, we have a fully functioning bed, right? Like, God, what if I get a leg cramp? God, I, I even, we should delete that portion out. Cause we ain’t going to be terrible. Nobody wants to hear about like, why Steve doesn’t want to have car sex too old for this.

Brad Singletary (01:04:38):
My favorite lines in the, in the, in the, I was gonna say the movie, they should probably make a movie about this. But in the, in the book is helpless. Whiny, wimpy, and needy men are not attractive. Not at all. He says, put yourself first. It shows confidence. And that is what attractive you’ll feel anxious and guilty at first. But if you can just put yourself first, do what you want to do and do nothing that you don’t want to do. Now, some guys are going to hear this and go to say, oh, well, when I go to church, they tell me I need to serve and love and sacrifice. Well, yeah, if you’re an ego driven person, who’s only selfish and completely, some, sometimes people need to forget themselves and kind of, there’s two ideas. One guy says the king eats first and the other guy says the king eats last. And which one is it? And I think it’s both depending on which you’ve been typically in the past, if you’re a nice guy, I think the king eats first.

Steve Edwards (01:05:34):
Well, and this isn’t a game of absolutes, right? Like this is not something I think that you can just go full, stop on it tomorrow. And you’re going to just have a happy life. In fact, I think you’re going to end up with a more off life than you have. Now. I think that this is something you have to recognize inside of yourself. A big takeaway for me would be the recognizing of the covert contract. I think that that’s the most easy place for a guy to start recognizing the little things that you’re trading off with the expectation of something in return. Start there, stop doing it, stop expecting anything. And maybe then you’re going to stop volunteering to do some of these tasks that I’m not saying don’t help around the house. Cause I feel like that’s like an implosion waiting to happen too. But I think you’ve got to approach us with a different energy, a different mindset and quit trying to horse trade stuff with

Brad Singletary (01:06:31):
Horse trade. I like that. I like that idea.

Steve Edwards (01:06:33):
Yeah. I, you know, it’s like this, this just, it’s a trade. It’s a trade and guys are w and it would be one thing that even if you said it, like, Hey, I’m going to do all these chores. And in return, I would like to have sex. And she says, yes, sir, do you accept this deal? These terms? And she said, yes, that’d be great, but it’s always happening without being said. And then it’s just leading to disappointment. So I think you got to take baby steps, read the book, read the book again and probably read it two or three, four more times. Cause I’m, I’m a like 10 times deep because it’s a huge mindset thing. This is a mindset change.

Brad Singletary (01:07:11):
Yeah. I think you’ve made a good point about this. This can’t happen overnight. Generally. This is just a general idea about the timeframe for change. I think it takes a month for every year that you’ve been dysfunctional. So w our average listener is about a 40 year old man. And if he’s been doing this since he was a child, you know, since he was a boy, he has been, he’s been a nice, nice guy since he was a boy, because he was trained to be that way. So he’s been doing it for 30 years. Been a nice guy. It may take you 30 months of therapy. Men’s groups talking with dudes about this, really getting control of yourself, getting your balls back. It might take you a month for every, yeah. So think of you’re on a three-year plan to get your balls back and we can help you with that stuff if you reach out to us. But yeah, it’s not going to happen overnight, and don’t go do some sudden crazy things, but in reclaiming your personal power, he talks about considering and accepting your gifts. You got to find some things to be proud of. You got to look in the mirror and see something that you like and be able to acknowledge that with yourself and the people you’re around and project a reality that we,

Speaker 3 (01:08:24):
I, I love this. I love this point. Like this, I think is a, I lead with a lot of self-confidence where it comes from. I’m not totally sure. Maybe it’s all a lie, but I have it. Okay. A lot of the guys I talked to, there’s such this belief, this self belief that they’re not deserving of better. And if you don’t believe you deserve better than what you have, how do you ever get it? How do you, how do you demand that? How do you demand more from others? If you don’t even think you deserve it? And of all the things of all the topics that one hurts me the most, because there’s a lot of guys that are in unhappy relationships and you know, maybe it isn’t a woman may, you know, but they’re, but they’re not taking any action. And all they’re going to do is they’re going to keep going down the same path, because it is the path of least resistance, because it’s easier to be unhappy in a relationship with your wife and you know, your kids than it is to break up, get divorced, you know, have shared custody, lose half your money, or lose your money and, you know, start all over and still be this weak man, because you don’t deserve, you don’t think you deserve better.

Steve Edwards (01:09:40):
In fact, now your self-worth has even less guys really have to do this. Some of the self works, you know, look in the mirror. What do you deserve? Why do you deserve it? What are you doing to be the best possible version of yourself? The way at the exercise? The self appearance is a big portion of it. The idea of like, when you start dating somebody, all of a sudden you become attractive to other females. We’ve all heard that. And when you’re single, all of a sudden, you’re basically chopped liver and nobody wants you. Well, it’s because you pull off that like thirsty vibe when you’re single, you’re needy, you want, you know, you’re wanting of love of others and it comes off as weakness versus masculinity and confidence and self-belief, and when you’re in a relationship and you feel like you’re in a S you know, those first three, six months of a relationship, when you feel like man, I’m on top of the world, I’m in this great relationship. I’ve got this girl by my side, you know, that’s that kind of like, that’s that toxic max masculinity. That’s the stuff that pours out of you that feels like you’re conquering the world. And then you let life kick you in the nuts a little bit. And all of a sudden you become this weak version of yourself again.

Brad Singletary (01:10:52):
Wow. So interesting. So true. We kind of project a reality that we want to see happening on to things. And even if it’s not real. So one of the interesting concepts in the book that, that shocked me a little was it talked about, we are trying to be monogamous to our mothers. And the way I read that was we kind of maybe unconsciously sabotage things so that we can really stay true to our first girlfriend. And that’s a very fruity and in nature, but I think it’s true to some degree. So let me go ruin every relationship so that I can get back to my mom or to this in the archetypical sense. This is the ideal love or whatever. I let me ruin this so that I can be comforted and be, you know, go back to this idealistic thing, whether your mom is alive or not. I want to go back to this ideal of unconditional love. I have a client who complains that his wife, you know, says, oh, we need to have unconditional love. And he tells me, and I believe it. The only unconditional love that exists is from God and from your mom and dad and, and no spouse, you know, because we’ve seen it. We’ve been through these situations where we love you when this is going well, when you start doing that now, I don’t love you anymore. It’s not, can’t be on a conditional only for your children.

Steve Edwards (01:12:08):
Unconditional love is such a weird concept too, of like, I mean, would you expect your parents to still love you if you were Jeffrey Dahmer or, you know, if you’re some crazy serial killer. And I know I don’t feel like I’m deep enough to wrap my head around this whole idea of like being faithful to your mom. I think it comes to this idea that you’re you do, you know, your parents are vital to your mom was in the picture for so long. And a lot of guys are mama’s boys. I was a mama’s boy. I am a mama’s boy. I see my mom a lot. And it’s, you know, you always hear the female saying like, you know, the mom is just too up in our business. You know, they, you can’t stand up to your mom because it’s your mom. You can’t say no to your mom. There’s no ability to push back. And, and over time that that almost feels like it’s how guys end up in relationships too, where they just can’t, they can’t be truthful. They can’t follow through, but you know, this idea of being faithful to your mom, I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a truth to it. I just it’s deeper than me, buddy.

Brad Singletary (01:13:15):
So he’s part of it is he saying that, you know, we are dependent on the approval of women. And so mom is just kind of the archetype of pure love and the, and the love that never goes away and that kind of thing. And so we’re, we become dependent on women. And if we’re talking about trying to take back our power and take back our masculinity, one of the things it talks about in there is we have this belief that we’re different from other men. I’m not the abusive, angry guy. I’m the sensitive, caring, caretaking person. And, and that actually disconnects us from other men, which is part of the problem. I love his definition of masculinity. He says, masculinity is basically what, whatever helps us in survival. So it’s our strength. It’s our ability to strategize. It’s our ability to fight. It’s our ability to protect and those types of things. But since say like the sixties, you know, we’ve kind of distanced ourselves from aggression. And so, but we still noticed that women are attracted to jerks.

Steve Edwards (01:14:16):
It’s like you better off. If everybody just needs to go buy themselves a Fonzie jacket and have a little bit of that. Yeah. I mean, but there is that element girls are attracted because that cause that jerk also spews confidence, whether it’s fake or not. Because I think that there’s a real level of fake confidence that goes with it. But that’s, I think where the attraction comes from is they’re looking for a leader. They’re looking for a guy who can take charge and have a strong backbone and it isn’t going to, or isn’t going to roll over. I think that’s where it comes from is that women are attracted to a bad boy or to this bad guy, because it’s everything they’ve been told that like, they shouldn’t find the nice guy, get the banker, go to go marry the guy. That’s going to raise the kids. Right. And go to work and come home and love you. And it’s like, but everybody’s so unfulfilled by that. Everybody’s so unfulfilled because nobody’s really talking about what they want. Even the woman in this, the woman isn’t saying, this is what I want, need to be happy. She’s just going with the flow too. Because if you don’t talk about it, it’s not really an issue.

Brad Singletary (01:15:27):
Yeah. Most women don’t want a man that who’s trying to please them. They want a man with balls.

Steve Edwards (01:15:32):
Oh yeah. A hundred percent. They want, each woman that could mean different things. That doesn’t mean you actually have to go out and like fight bowls or like jump, jump dirt bikes, or do any of these things, but you’ve gotta be comfortable in your own skin. And that’s hard. I think it’s hard for, you know, for guys to be like, this is who I am. This is the man. I want to be, I like golf. I like cars or dirt bikes or whatever it is. And just having a passion, like, what are you passionate about outside of your wife, outside of your kids? And that’s where I think a lot of guys lose all their happiness. You know, they give it away because it’s like, now I’m an adult. I don’t have any hobbies because I am a dad because I am married. It’s like, well, what were you interested in? You know, you used to maybe ride a skateboard or you used to like play baseball. Maybe you need to be on the softball team. Maybe you need to go play softball once a week. Or, you know, I’m not advocating for you to go on drinking with the boys, but you know that Saturdays are for the boys. Maybe you need a Saturday. Maybe you need, yeah. You’ve got to really find a way to like talk with the guy.

Brad Singletary (01:16:45):
Yeah. So true man. I was so I played college football and the idea of locker room talk and your mama jokes and all that kind of stuff. I was the guy who was offended by all that stuff. And I didn’t even, I never had any comebacks. Literally it took me into well into my adulthood to realize that that’s one of the ways that men bond with each other. And I used to get so offended. My grandfather would always call me like knucklehead, not head, you know, all these things. And I remember crying to my mom. He says, these mean things to me, you know, why does he say that to me? And it took me. I was probably in my twenties before I realized that’s just how guys do and I’ve yeah. That’s ball busting is real. So a Glover talks about, we need to do these four things to reclaim our masculinity, connect with other men, get strong, literally get in the gym, get strong workout, be physically active, have healthy male mentors and connections.

Brad Singletary (01:17:39):
And then look at, look at your relationship with your dad. And that’s something that you might consider doing with the professional, but we’re afraid to upset women because then it means she won’t have sex with us, but he makes a good point that that’s not true with our male friends. We’re not trying to get it on with our homeys. And so we can be real and we can not worry about upsetting them. We can not worry about drama with dudes. You’re less likely to have drama with male friends. And so that’s one of the reasons he says we need to have.

Steve Edwards (01:18:07):
So I know there’s going to be a lot of guys that are thinking like, well, how do I go get guy friends? Well now with the internet, you know, my best friend lives in Florida. Like I talked to him, I talked to him far too often for two males, but he lives in Florida and we talk every day about some, about anything, everything, and anything in between. But nowadays with the internet and Facebook and these different portals, you can find somebody who’s interested in what you’re into. Oh, you’re a weird European stamp collector. Great that guy’s on the internet somewhere. You’re not stuck with this idea that you have to find a friend in your backyard like you used to. But I do think that there is an element of like, you got to get out of the house. You need to find your tribe.

Steve Edwards (01:18:50):
Find those people that you can relate with that are going to check you on your and hold you accountable to your goals. A lot of guys just, they’re not transparent. Transparency being so key to all of this is they’re so afraid to be vulnerable to other men that it’s like when they’re around other men, it’s like a chest beating contest. Like we’re a bunch of gorillas. Have you ever played softball or have you ever hung? So you go to like softball and or whatever you go to hang out with the guys. None of those guys are ever having bad days. None of them are going through divorce. None of their wives are cheating on them or anything like that. Why? Because male, ego is way too high for anybody to ever be vulnerable. You need to find those three to five guys. And maybe it starts with one. Maybe it starts with two, but you need to find people that you can be real open and honest with.

Brad Singletary (01:19:43):
Yeah. Tell him when you’re messing up, tell on yourself, tell him about the problem you haven’t asked for some input. Listen to them.

Steve Edwards (01:19:50):
Find a men’s group. Men’s group is a huge thing. There’s men’s group you can go into and you can be yourself because these are not your friends. They are like-minded individuals, peers that are there to hear your problems and as well as address their problems. And I think that’s a huge step. I think that is such a miss where guys are missing out on is seek some therapy. So you can men’s group be real, like open up and be real about what’s going on in your life.

Brad Singletary (01:20:20):
We want to wrap this up guys. Thank you for being with us, but we’re just going to hit a few points from No More Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover. Some things that he talks about, that what ways we can do to be integrated and to get our strength back, get our mojo back, get our balls back and have more respect in our relationships. Whether professionally or romantically, let’s just hit a few things here. First of all, I think is have some integrity. Be honest in what you’re saying. Be honest about your feelings, your interactions. Tell the truth.

Steve Edwards (01:20:53):
Yeah, that’s a, I think that’s a great one. Another one is quit being afraid of new experiences or what’s what’s around you. What the world has stopped.

Brad Singletary (01:21:02):
Yeah. Don’t be avoidant of new experiences. I love that. Learn to surrender what you can’t change. That’s one of the big things in alcoholics anonymous, the serenity prayer except the things that you cannot change.

Steve Edwards (01:21:18):
I mean, this next one is an interesting one, because again, it’ll, it’ll trigger some people, but do what you want to do quick, constantly trying to always please other people, make sure you’re taking care of yourself for

Brad Singletary (01:21:31):
Learn how to get help. Ask about help for your feelings. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or guilty about something. Talk about that stuff.

Steve Edwards (01:21:40):
Recognize that that people are human, that people are going to make mistakes, that people are flawed in nature.

Brad Singletary (01:21:46):
Stop trying to be perfect.

Steve Edwards (01:21:48):
Stop seeking approval. And like you don’t need the approval and the external validation from everybody.

Brad Singletary (01:21:54):
Yeah. You got to approve of yourself. Treat yourself to the things that you deserve. Take care of your own needs with integrity.

Steve Edwards (01:22:01):
Stop building such huge walls and let people in.

Brad Singletary (01:22:05):
Don’t try to cover up or take attention away from your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid of your shortcomings.

Steve Edwards (01:22:13):
Be aware or cognizant of your childhood events and some of the conditions or influences that led you to where you’re at today.

Brad Singletary (01:22:21):
Set boundaries. No who to let in who to leave out. Don’t allow yourself to be disrespected or taking advantage of.

Steve Edwards (01:22:29):
There’s a big one on the list, but be clear or start expressing your feelings. Be transparent about what you’re feeling about things.

Brad Singletary (01:22:37):
Spend more time with men. And we’ve talked about that quite a bit. You’ve got to develop your masculine energy,

Steve Edwards (01:22:42):
Recognize that women, they reject nice guys. They see that as weak, recognize that

Brad Singletary (01:22:49):
Learn to be more passionate, more assertive, more responsible, take care of business.

Steve Edwards (01:22:55):
I recognize that you don’t have to do everything right, or you’re allowed to be flawed

Brad Singletary (01:23:01):
And don’t let the fear of failure or the fear of success. Some guys, I think fears success don’t let that keep you away from the things that you want and deserve.

Steve Edwards (01:23:11):
The last I think is don’t settle for mediocrity. Go after the life you want, quit settling. You’re not a Pilgrim.

Brad Singletary (01:23:18):
Make your own rules. There’s a lot of rules out there right now. If they make sense. And if you can jive with that, go for it. But also don’t be afraid to be independent. Don’t be afraid to be, non-compliant do your thing. Get your balls back, guys. We really appreciate you being with us tonight. This is such an important topic. Men must be stronger. And that may, I mean, take a look at your upbringing. That might mean take a look at how you interact covert contracts. We’ve got to turn these things around and what I’ve noticed with myself and with men that I’ve worked with over the last 23 years, when we stand up and allow ourselves to be counted and allow our voice to be heard and be real and genuine and authentic about where we’re at, what our needs are. And we do the things that keep us alive in our spirit. Things just turn out so much better for us. Appreciate you being with us. Steve-O thank you

Steve Edwards (01:24:11):
So much for having me. I hope I come back. I got a lot to talk about.

Brad Singletary (01:24:14):
Yeah, dude, this is good. I feel like we got a good vibe. We get a little slow here, man. I appreciate you being here and we’re definitely happy back, brother. Take care. Thank you. You guys know no excuses, alpha up.

Speaker (01:24:29):
Gentlemen, you are the Alpha and this is the Alpha Quorum.

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