You’re a veteran who’s been lucky enough to return home from war in one piece only to fight a new battle on two fronts: heroin and PTSD. How are you going to fight your way free of this doubly dangerous burden? We’ll try to help with this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- You’re a veteran who’s been lucky enough to return home from war in one piece only to fight a new battle on two fronts: heroin and PTSD. How are you going to fight your way free of this doubly dangerous burden? [Many thanks to Dr. Rubin Khoddam of COPE Psychological Center and Dr. Jennifer Mitchell, Deputy Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, for help with this one!]
- Your long-term partner has recently made it clear that he never wants to get married, which is at odds with your own expectations. It’s an otherwise ideal, supportive relationship, but disagreeing on this subject casts a shadow over your future together. What should you do?
- You’re a teenager attending a boarding school with peers you’ve known your whole life, but their toxic jockeying for position in the social hierarchy goes against your positive, perhaps more mature nature. Is there anything you can do to lift them up without being brought down in the process?
- You come from a family in which expressing feelings is forbidden, and problems are ridiculed or ignored rather than talked through. After 15 years of living abroad, you just can’t deal with them like you used to. Now that you’re visiting for the first time since the pandemic, you want to keep the trip shorter than they were expecting. Should you feel guilty?
- Your aunt makes a good living from her small business and wants you to take over when she retires in the next couple of years. But you have very little experience with running a business and you’re not positive she’s been on the level with her tax obligations — which you don’t want to get stuck dealing with down the line. How do you minimize your risk should you choose to go through with it?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Resources from This Episode:
- Bob Arno | Schooled by the Professor of Pickpocketry Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Bob Arno | Schooled by the Professor of Pickpocketry Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Prioritizing Mental Health Care | COPE Psychological Center
- Mental Health Programs | VA.org
- Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program | VA.org
- MDMA-Assisted Therapy Successful In PTSD Patients | EPR
- MDMA for PTSD: Apply for Clinical Trials | MAPS
- Trip of Compassion Documentary | Vimeo On Demand
- Inside Ibogaine: A Promising and Perilous Drug for Addiction | Time
- What Is Ayahuasca? Experience, Benefits, and Side Effects | Healthline
- Psychedelic Recovery Meetings | Psychedelic Society of San Francisco
- Michael Pollan | A Renaissance in the Forbidden Science of Psychedelics | Jordan Harbinger
- Rick Doblin — The Psychedelic Domino That Tips All Others | The Tim Ferriss Show #440
- Nick Norris — Navy SEAL and Athlete on Training, Post-Traumatic Growth, and Healing | The Tim Ferriss Show #378
- What Should You Do If Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Get Married? | Bustle
- Bob Sutton | The A-hole Survival Guide | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Deal with Family Members that Stress You Out or Drive You Crazy | LifeHacker
- Opinion: Quit Stressing over Filing Your Taxes — Here’s Why Your Worst Fears Won’t Come True | MarketWatch
A Veteran Fights to Be Free from Smack and PTSD | Feedback Friday (Episode 532)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, my pal in prescription, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:36] Now, if you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you and we answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, performers. So if you're joining us for the first time, or you're trying to get your friends interested in the show, we have episode starter packs. These are collections of favorite episodes, organized by topic. That'll help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started.
[00:01:07] And this week we had master pickpocket, Bob Arno. It's a two-part episode. This guy is amazing. So he started off as a stage magician, you know, taking off people's watches and belts and whatever. And then he decided to test his skills in the streets. So he goes and meets master pickpocket overseas and wants to learn their tricks of the trade. And so he really does a deep dive with us into the mindset of pickpocketry and how it works and what we can do to avoid becoming victims. Just kind of an interesting look at both pickpocketing as magic and pickpocketing as crime. So just a fascinating double episode there. So definitely have a listen and let me know what you think if you haven't checked that out yet.
[00:01:44] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe, I'm a military veteran. And after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, I became hooked on opioids. I've dealt with PTSD for years and the only thing that helps kill the pain or what I've seen and felt overseas now is heroin. I've tried many times to get off, but it's a cycle. I get off and do well for a short period of time. And then my PTSD kicks up and becomes so unbearable. I don't know what to do. No matter how hard I fight it. I always end up back on heroin. And it's not the withdrawal that keeps me from stopping. It's the PTSD. It's hard to explain, but true PTSD is so crippling. It's life stopping. It's being unable to walk through life normally. I'm scared that if I keep pushing it, I'll end up taking my own life from the pain. I've been to rehab five times and wholeheartedly gave my all to staying clean. I want it so bad, but my PTSD ramps up, makes me nothing and bends me to its will. But here's the thing, no one knows I'm on heroin. I hold down a six figure job. I work 70 hours a week. I pay my bills and I make sure my family comes first. They are my top priority. If I'm off of it, I can't function. I can't hold down a job and I put my family at grave risk. I look at heroin as medicine. I don't get high and out of control. I do just enough to keep my PTSD at bay and that's it. The downsides are the cost. I could really do so much more for my family, with the money I'm spending on it. And the risk of getting that one bad batch and not being here anymore, but at the same time, that's how I feel most of the time when I'm off of it. At this point, I don't even know how I would take the time off of work to get clean and risk my job just to fail again. So what should I do? Do I push harder to get off and live with the pain of my PTSD? Or do I keep maintaining as responsibly as I can and still function. Thank you for all you do and who you are. You have helped me more than you will ever know with so much. Please help me save me from myself. Signed, Stuck in a Loop..
[00:03:35] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, this is an intense letter game. I'm glad that you wrote in, man. You sound like an extraordinary person. You've served the country. You've obviously been through some very intense experiences and now you're performing at what sounds to be a pretty high level. You know, you're taking care of your family, but you're doing it in a way that is obviously very dangerous, clearly unsustainable. Gabe, do you know any old heroin addicts? Not really, right?
[00:03:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can't think of any.
[00:03:59] Jordan Harbinger: Not really. And I hear how much pain you're in. I can tell that treating your PTSD and your addiction feels pretty hopeless. And I get it. You're not the only veteran to feel that way before they get better. And by the way, for anyone who is listening, who's like, "Oh, I know this stuff is hard, but heroin, really? Come on." Let me explain. PTSD is brutal. It is really a constellation of symptoms that look different for different people, but it often means having recurrent unwanted, distressing memories of a traumatic event, having super vivid flashbacks, experiencing severe emotional distress or physical reactions to anything that reminds you of what you've been through. Trouble sleeping, being easily frightened, irritability, negative thoughts, hopelessness, memory problems, numbness, difficulty connecting, and staying close to people — the list goes on and on. And it's truly heavy and complicated stuff. I just want to acknowledge that. And if you're wrestling with PTSD and you haven't found a treatment that works then turning to substances, especially a drug like heroin. That might feel like the only solution. It's not, but it can feel that way, but I know that there's a way forward for you. Let's get into it. You know, I've lost friends to PTSD that have opted out, I guess, you would say, to put a euphemism on it. And it's just always so tragic. So let's try as hard as we can to avoid this.
[00:05:13] So the first person we consulted with on your letter was Dr. Rubin Khoddam, clinical psychologist, founder of COPE Psychological Center and psychologist in the west LA VA healthcare system. So that's veterans affairs for anyone listening from outside of the US. It's the agency that serves military veterans over here. And when he heard your story, his first response was that what you're describing is a very common experience in people with any type of addiction. It's often said that drugs are not the problem, but the solution and the true work is figuring out what the problem is and then finding a different solution.
[00:05:48] So in this case, it sounds like you know what your problem is, it's PTSD, it's your military experience, whatever concepts and experiences you're working with to process it. The problem with going off the heroin and just pushing through, Dr. Khoddam explained, is that what you're going through, it'll inevitably catch up with you and the cycle will continue. So we have to find a different solution in order to get you out of the cycle.
[00:06:12] So what options do you have? Well, let's start with the addiction piece. For opioid use, there are a lot of medications like methadone, Suboxone, that'll help manage the opioid/heroin withdrawal so that you can be relatively functional. Now, this might be a crucial stepping stone to managing these withdrawals. I know you said they weren't that bad, but maybe you just meant relatively. I've heard withdrawals are brutal. I've seen many accounts of this online, just the withdrawals are horrible. For the PTSD, there are a ton of great treatments out there that can help you recover. And Dr. Khoddam emphasized that last piece, that's the important part to understand. PTSD can be treated and the impact of it can significantly go away.
[00:06:52] There are several evidence-based treatments that can help, including cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure. Research has even shown that even doing these treatments during early recovery is possible, but it's important to be in a safe place while you do that. The VA, they have a lot of amazing resources that can help you get the substance use and the PTSD treatment simultaneously, including something called the domiciliary residential rehabilitation treatment program, outpatient substance use treatment program, and trauma recovery services. I highly, highly recommend you seek these departments and resources out. They are literally designed for people just like you and they work. It's not a bunch of fluff.
[00:07:33] Dr. Khoddam also explained that you probably won't be able to get off the opioids unless you treat your PTSD. No surprise there, right? I know that kicking the addiction and opening up these memories, it's probably pretty daunting. It certainly sounds daunting. I'm sure it's going to be physically and mentally taxing. But Dr. Khoddam pointed out that you have a lot of important reasons to stop using. Saving money, okay. Staying alive, that's kind of a big deal. Maintaining your job, protecting your relationships, especially with your family. Man, you got kids, you got a wife and kids. These are the stakes for you, and these can be your north star and as hard as it is, they can help you handle the difficulty. Dr. Khoddam was very clear on this point. There is a world where you can be drug-free and manage your PTSD. It's just going to take a commitment to some pretty intensive weekly therapy for three or four months. As one of his favorite quotes goes, "The truth will set you free, but you have to endure the labor pains of birthing it." And I really hope you get to do that.
[00:08:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: So do I, so do I. You need this help right now, and you are not the only person to have gone through what you're going through, man. There are experts out there, doctors, professionals who understand exactly what you've been through, exactly what you're going through now. There are resources and people that can help you immediately. And speaking of PTSD treatments, the second person we consulted with was Dr. Jennifer Mitchell. She's the deputy associate chief of staff for research and development at the San Francisco VA medical. And Dr. Mitchell explained that there are some very interesting new experimental treatments for PTSD that are definitely worth exploring. For starters, it's possible that you could be screened for the current MDMA for PTSD study. You would obviously need to abstain from heroin use while you were enrolled to take MDMA to treat the PTSD. So you'll probably have to go through the treatment that Jordan just talked about. But this is definitely worth exploring. Now we're not addiction specialists by any means obviously, but the early results from these studies are so promising.
[00:09:29] Dr. Mitchell mentioned that there are other treatments available as well, but they're a little more unorthodox, namely Ibogaine and Ayahuasca. Now, according to her, both compounds have demonstrated efficacy but they should not be attempted in the absence of a well-trained therapy team. So you would have to travel to a country where either of them are approved for use in treating addiction, which I know might be a challenge. It's also possible that maybe they're doing some of these studies in the states, but we aren't exactly clear on that. But Dr. Mitchell did say that these treatments they're very rapid compared to most traditional therapeutics. Most programs actually only last between one and five days, which could be great given your work situation.
[00:10:05] Now, her advice here, look into joining a psychedelic recovery group to get some advice on where other people have had the most success. Psychedelic recovery, it's basically a community of peers in recovery who believe that psychedelics and/or plant medicine can help people recover from addiction. They provide a safe space for people to heal, to talk about what they're going through, meet other people they can relate to in a supportive community, all of that. There is a local group in San Francisco, but their meetings are online right now. They're internationally attended. We'll link to all of that in the show notes.
[00:10:36] Now, I just want to be super clear here. I'm sure Jordan would a hundred percent agree. We're not just saying hop on the next flight to Peru down some peyote in the jungle and you'll be good to go. Not at all.
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:10:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that's not what Dr. Mitchell is saying either. These compounds they're very intense. They're very complicated. They're just barely starting to be studied scientifically. They shouldn't be self-administered or done with some shady shaman who, you know, quote-unquote studied with some guy on the Internet for a few weeks and has a certificate hanging on the wall.
[00:11:03] Jordan Harbinger: Stockbroker last week and now he's a shaman.
[00:11:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: And now, he's selling this stuff to any Yankee who wanders into his yard, right? This is not going to happen. This is heavy stuff. It can be highly therapeutic, according to many studies and many accounts, life-changing according to some people, but it needs to be done with qualified people with well-trained practice, ideally people who understand addiction and PTSD and have experience treating them. So the MDMA for PTSD study that Jordan just mentioned, for example, that one is being done by proper scientists, as part of a clinical trial, under the guidance of the FDA, the DEA. It's totally confidential, it's legit, but there are far less rigorous resources out there. So obviously do your own research, be very careful about any programs you sign up for. But honestly, the fact that Dr. Mitchell who works at the VA, the fact that she's recommending. That does say a lot. It gives me a lot more confidence that this is an option worth exploring.
[00:11:56] Jordan Harbinger: I agree. Plant medicine is so promising. It's potentially life-changing, it's helped tons of people that I know, but you're right. You can't just, as you said, anybody who wanders into his ear, you know, grab one of these guys off the Internet and go for it. It's definitely intense. It's something you only want to do with a trained professional, under the guidance of your doctors and the VA, and in conjunction with therapy so that you can process everything that it brings up. Otherwise, it might even make things worse if you do it the wrong way. So that's our advice. The road to recovery, it'll be intense. Sometimes it might be rocky, but it is absolutely doable and it cannot be worse than living with PTSD and being hooked on heroin every day. It just can't.
[00:12:35] And a lot of veterans, they don't have the support you have. You have a family, you have a career, you have income, you have an entire agency dedicated to helping you. And on top of that, you obviously have a ton of strength and resourcefulness, you don't live with PTSD and addiction to heroin without being insanely resilient. And you've done that. And you kept your career together and you kept your family together so far, which is pretty impressive.
[00:12:57] So my invitation for you, my hope for you is that you apply those skills, talents, characteristics to your recovery now. Seek those resources out immediately. Don't wait, throw yourself into your treatment, do the hard work, process this stuff. And if your job won't give you time off, I mean, freaking just take it. You know what I mean? Do the hard work, man. Just don't let anything stop you from getting help. I know it's hard to see right now, but there is a very different life on the other side of all of these. You can be free from addiction and function even better and be there for yourself and your family without these giant monkeys on your back. And I know you can do it. We're here to help along the way. Good luck, my man. You have all my faith in all of our confidence. I know that you can overcome this. I know plenty of people that have, I just know it's not easy, but there are a ton of resources. Take advantage of these.
[00:13:46] By the way, you all can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line. That makes our job a lot easier. And if you can include the state and country that you live in, that usually helps us give you even more detailed advice. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or if you just need it, a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:14:16] Gabe. I'm just surprised we didn't have a sociopath, psychopath squirreling mailbox question for Q1. I see we're branching out.
[00:14:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: I thought we needed a little detox from the dead squirrels.
[00:14:25] Jordan Harbinger: A little detox from the dead squirrels, going into the heroin and the PTSD.
[00:14:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, got a new substance in here.
[00:14:31]Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:15:51] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. As we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, a lot of people are still feeling down, still feeling a little emotionally out of sorts. You may not feel depressed or at a total loss, good. But if you're feeling a little bit off or your relationships are suffering, that could be a sign that you should talk to somebody. I would take it as such. Whether you're feeling anxious or you're struggling in your career, or you're having trouble sleeping — join the club by the way — online therapy can help. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan. Fill out a questionnaire, help Better Help assess your needs and match you with a professional licensed therapists. They are awesome. A lot of you have said how much you like Better Help. You can get hooked up in under 48 hours. You can do video phone, chat sessions with your therapist from anywhere in the world. They're great at this. This is what they do and Better Help is more affordable and more convenient than in-person.
[00:16:41] Jen Harbinger: And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month of online therapy at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:16:49] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:16:54] Next up.
[00:16:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I'm in my early thirties. I've been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for just over four years. And we've been living together for two. When we moved in together, we started talking about our future and only then did it come up for the first time that he never wants to get married. This revelation has been hard for me. Marriage is more than just a big party. It's a lifelong commitment. This conversation also isn't easy. It feels like we're having the same conversation over and over again with no solution. Now, it's almost like an elephant in the room we try to avoid. We both agree that we want to have kids and buy a house one day, but I also don't want to be someone's girlfriend forever. To me, marriage is a commitment and a sense of security. It's a dedication to the person you love that you will work through whatever life throws your way together. I think the fear for him is more of the potential to get divorced, but either way, if we're married or not, and we break up, it would completely suck. I've been seeing a therapist for years and working on whether marriage is something I absolutely need. My partner has also been seeing a therapist to work through his own stuff. His parents went through a challenging divorce, and I think that really affected his outlook, which is completely understandable, but he doesn't seem to be prioritizing the marriage question. I love my partner dearly and our life day to day is great. We have so much fun together. He's very supportive. He's kind. He has a wonderful family and I really do see our future together, but the marriage situation makes me question if he does. So what should I? Signed, Saying I Do When He's Saying I Don't Know.
[00:18:19] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really interesting conflict and it's pretty tricky marriage, even though this is a very conventional institution, it means very different things to different people. So to some people, it's a profound expression of love and commitment and to other people, it's just a piece of paper that lowers your tax rate. The real significance of marriage at the end of the day, that ultimately comes from the people who are doing it.
[00:18:41] So my first piece of advice is to just get very clear on why being married is so important to you. Like you said, marriage is a dedication to the person you love that you will work through whatever life throws your way together, but then you also said it's a sense of security, which to me sounds like it's speaking more to your needs, maybe even your fears versus celebrating this really special partnership you have. And then you said that you don't want to be someone's girlfriend forever, which also gets into the whole question of labels and language. And whether these things actually mean anything in and of themselves, or if we just attach a bunch of significance to these ideas in our minds, because we want, whatever it is, security, peace of mind, or just the ability to say my husband instead of my boyfriend, when you're 50 with three kids. So people don't think your relationship is less than what it is, and I understand all of those things.
[00:19:29] So here's how I think of it: if marrying your boyfriend would elevate your relationship, deepen your love, give you and your boyfriend a more profound bond, bring your friends and family deeper into your life, then those are pretty good reasons for wanting to get married. But if getting married is more about convincing yourself that this relationship is real or tempering your fear of losing him. I would explore that a little bit more because you're saying I do in front of a bunch of people will definitely make it harder for you guys to leave each other. Just from an administrative standpoint, a legal standpoint, a social pressure standpoint. But it's not going to resolve any deeper fears or conflicts that you have around commitment, loneliness, or most importantly, your boyfriend's feelings about you and your feelings about him. If those issues are present for you now, I can almost guarantee that they will be there after you get married, too. Marriage is not a Band-Aid or an eraser for that matter.
[00:20:25] And while you explore that, I would also try as much as possible to understand your boyfriend's position. It's not that I don't agree with you or that I agree with him or anything like that. I'm not saying he's right, you're wrong. None of that. I'm just encouraging you to appreciate where he is coming from. Because his aversion to getting married, it could be from his parents. It could be coming from his wiring. It could just be his beliefs. She mentioned, Gabriel, earlier that he'd been through this crazy divorce as a kid. I mean, there's something there.
[00:20:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Something's there.
[00:20:53] Jordan Harbinger: But in any case, it sounds to me like when your boyfriend says, "I don't want to get married." What you're hearing is, "I'm not sure about our relationship for the long-term, which is scary." So my question is, is that true? Maybe, maybe not. I obviously can't know for sure, but it doesn't sound like it. It sounds to me like when he says, "I don't want to get married." What he's saying is, "I don't put a lot of stock in the institution. I don't need a piece of paper to know that I want a future with you," which if you think about it, that could actually be communicating that he loves you and believes in a future with you outside of the ceremonial stuff. And if that's true and depending on how you interpret that, that is arguably the most reassuring thing he could be saying to you right now, but that comes down to what's really going on beneath the surface for him. So I would get super clear on all of that. If you find that you want to get married for the right reasons, and I'm leaving it up to you to decide what the right reasons are, of course, then that's a fair need on your part. At that point, it's really about how you and your boyfriend communicate about that need.
[00:21:52] I'm glad to hear he's doing his own work in therapy, especially given his childhood stuff. I would definitely encourage him to talk about the marriage a little more with his therapist without overstepping, of course. I mean, it's his therapy. And if you guys are having trouble talking about this, which it sounds like you are, like you said, "It's the elephant in the room," then I would definitely, I think about going to couples counseling. Not because you guys have huge problems or can't get along, but because carving out a space to dig into this question and to do it with a professional who can help you guys navigate conflicts and listen to each other better, that would be really helpful right now. Probably better than like busting out in the middle of Netflix, pausing for popcorn and being like, "So why don't you want to get married? Let's talk about this." You know, like everyone's sort of mentally prepared for it. It doesn't invade the space. You can say this conversation isn't easy. You say you're having the same conversation over and over. Not getting anywhere. That's just a good reason to talk to somebody else who knows what they're doing. Who knows? It might even be the reason that you end up getting married and make the marriage work for long-term.
[00:22:54] But here's the other good news. You sound like a great couple. You love each other. You admire each other. You have fun together, your families are compatible. You want the same things. That sounds wonderful to me. If you guys have a future together, it will be because of all of that stuff. Not because you have a piece of paper from the guy government that says that you are stuck together and there's all this crap you got to unravel if you decided to undo that. I'm not saying the paper isn't meaningful. I'm married and I appreciate it. But I am saying it will not solve all of your problems and it won't be the thing that makes your marriage successful. Just like not getting married isn't going to remove any anxieties your boyfriend might have about commitment in the first place. That stuff begins with you guys and it ends with you guys. So get clear on why this is important to you. Decide if this is an experience you really need. And if you guys communicate with each other openly and fully about this, I know you're going to find an answer that honors the special bond that you already have. So good luck.
[00:23:51] All right. What's next?
[00:23:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 16-year-old guy attending a private co-ed boarding school in the United Kingdom. And I've been struggling with the social hierarchy of friend groups for a while. I've been very fortunate and would describe myself as someone modest, but I can't say the same for my peers. I don't know if it's because of the money they were born into their egos or just testosterone, but they often talk about me behind my back and when I'm with them, they talk horribly about others. Whenever I call it out and try to be positive, I get ridiculed and attacked. These are lifelong friends of mine. And I fear that I'll turn into an introvert if I stopped hanging out with them because my school is very small. I love playing chess and I love playing pool in pool halls. So I have many friends outside of school, but all of them are in their thirties. I'm also okay with spending time with my school friends in smaller groups outside of school, as there seems to be less toxic behavior that way. Still I'm really struggling with how to deal with them when they're all together. I've tried getting big at the gym to boost my confidence and make them respect me, but this hasn't really worked as well as I hoped and it feels like quite a toxic mindset. How do I change my friends' mindsets to try and stop them from forming a social hierarchy like it was a few years ago? How do I claim some respect and create equality amongst a group of friends? Signed, A Young Chap, Trying to Clap Back at These Toxic Lads Crap.
[00:25:06] Jordan Harbinger: Well, this guy is clearly too old for his age, Gabe, if you know what I'm saying.
[00:25:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, totally.
[00:25:11] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this man as somebody who was also a bit of a misfit growing up, although I wasn't playing chess with 30-year-olds, not that there's anything wrong with that. I just wasn't that mature. I really identify with what you're experiencing in other ways. And I know how hard it can be to struggle with the social hierarchy, which seems arbitrary, makes no sense, and is toxic. Especially a social hierarchy as rigid and toxic as a private boarding school in the UK where I can imagine you just have blue blazers and socks and narcissism and money and social pressure on top of the usual teenage high school crap. And you sound like a special dude. I mean that. You sound smart, curious, sensitive. You're interested in people and hobbies that most people, your age are obviously not into. And right now that feels like a liability, but it won't be for very long. I think it's a huge strength in my opinion.
[00:25:59] First of all, you're not wrong to be upset by all of this. What you're describing, it just sounds like some gross boarding school bullsh*t. And I'm sure it's compounded by the British thing where you're making fun of other people, taking the piss, having a laugh, which is usually pretty innocent, but also sometimes not. And the fact that you're calling it out, which I think is commendable, by the way, you could just easily give into the social pressure and laugh along when they talk shit about you or other people. I think it says a lot about you that you don't. And when you're working at a company or becoming a leader or starting a family down the line, that willingness to be like, "Hang on. I don't like what I'm seeing here. It's wrong. It's hurtful. There's a better way of doing things." That quality is going to be a superpower. So just know that and whatever you do, don't lose that conviction.
[00:26:42] As far as changing these friends' minds, stopping them from forming a social hierarchy, I'm not sure you're going to be able to do that, not entirely anyway. Most people, your age, they're overly concerned about where they fit in the pecking order. They want to be cool. They want to be respected, but deep down, they fear being ostracized. It's all an illusion. It means nothing once you graduate, but it still exists right now. And one person is not going to make that go away on their own. The best thing you can do is model the behavior that you want to see. If you wish your peers were kinder, be good to everybody you meet. If you wish they were more accepting, shout out some classmates who are having a tough time. If you wish they talked about more important things, bring them up in conversation. See if you can steer the conversation in discussion to more meaningful topics. If you ever see something bad happening, definitely speak up, do the right thing, but it's not on you alone to change these people who don't want to change. Over time, your peers, the good ones, anyway, they might notice you're on a different frequency, a better frequency for that matter. They might join you there or they won't. And those people just don't share your values, and that's fine. It's absolutely their loss.
[00:27:51] Beyond that, let me give you a little perspective here as an older dude. If these guys are talking about you behind your back and then attacking you when you call it out, they're not really your real friends, man. I get it. They're your peers, your classmates. If they won't change, just find better friends. I know it's easier said than done, but in the meantime, I like your idea of hanging out in smaller groups. I find that these one-on-one experiences, They're usually a lot richer and they're less annoying than group hangs even as an adult. And this problem you're facing, again it's very, very temporary. In a couple of years, you're going to be at university or whatever, being smart, being emotionally intelligent, playing chess, relating to people who are much older than you. These are going to be extremely valuable skills. So be patient.
[00:28:32] I know it's hard. You're almost there. Forget about getting swollen at the gym to get respect from others. I tried that too. Like you said, not a healthy mindset. It's not working anyway. Keep investing in your interests, seek out the people you admire, and the people who get you. And know that if you feel excluded from the pack of D bags right now, that's a good sign. Everything that makes you an outsider right now, those are the same things that are going to make you, or that do make you an awesome individual. So focus on that and I think you're going to be great and you're going to — again, it all changes and this whole crap is going to be a distant memory.
[00:29:04] All right, next up.
[00:29:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hello, Jordan and Gabe, I was born and raised in a small French town and I moved to the US by myself over 15 years ago. I come from a family where expressing feelings is forbidden growing up. We never talked about relationships, boyfriends, mental health issues, or anything like that. I've had eating disorders and other health issues over the years. And my parents don't want to talk about it. They laugh my problems away. They say that they aren't real. I'm also a longtime vegetarian and stopped drinking several years ago. And my parents make fun of me when that comes up, telling me I'm stupid for having made those life choices.
[00:29:37] Man, what a family huh?
[00:29:38] Jordan Harbinger: So weird. Like what? You're not talking about anything like that, what?
[00:29:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Intense.
[00:29:43] Jordan Harbinger: Bizarre.
[00:29:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Probably pretty hard.
[00:29:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: I imagine.
[00:29:46] I've been flying back to visit my family every year. At first I would go back for 10 days, but I reduced that to about seven days because it's impossible for me to live with my parents for that long at 40 years old. We don't do anything and we run out of things to talk about during the car ride back from the airport.
[00:30:01] Oh, that's hard.
[00:30:02] Jordan Harbinger: Man, like 20 minutes later, you're like, "Oh, when's my flight back?"
[00:30:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know that's so rough, man. A few days in maybe, but the ride from the airport, that's painful.
[00:30:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:30:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: My parents have given me a great education and supported me financially when I needed it. I love them. And I know that they won't be around forever. I FaceTime them twice a week. I email. I send cards, books, presents for their birthdays, holidays, wedding anniversaries. I don't do it to be praised, but rather because I know how good it feels to know that someone is thinking of you. Meanwhile, they and my sister have never sent me anything. Now that my travel is resuming. I need to visit them, but I just can't fathom staying even a short week at my parents anymore. I know my mother will be sad and say, "You used to stay longer." And my sister will make me feel like an ungrateful daughter who doesn't care about her parents as she likes to put it as she has done several times in the past. Sadly, it has worked. I don't think I'm a bad daughter, but I do feel guilty because I'm not with them very often.
[00:30:57] Jordan Harbinger: Do you need to visit them though? Like, that's the thing. I need to visit them. Do you? I don't know.
[00:31:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. She obviously feels torn about it. I think that's what she's getting at. So she asks—
[00:31:06] How do I talk to my parents so that they understand, I love them, but I just can't visit them for as long as I used to? And how do I handle my sister's judgemental comments? Or should I just suck it up and go back to visit for as long as I used to? Signed, A Black Sheep Trying Not to Get In Too Deep.
[00:31:22] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, I got to say, you're walking a very tricky line here with your parents and you're doing it really well — better than I would. This is not an easy family to grow up in. The parents, they clearly don't know how to communicate. It sounds like — can I say emotionally retarded? Like in the literal sense, there's just nothing there. There's like no development there.
[00:31:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Stunted for sure.
[00:31:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It just sounds like there's a lot of shame and judgment in your family. You and your sister have a complicated relationship. None of them are very respectful or curious about your choices. And in general it sounds like there's just no chemistry as a family, right? There's nothing. Not that every family has to be laughs all the time, but like running out of stuff to do, talk about it in the car ride on the way home from the airport is weird. It's not that quiet comfort. It's just quiet awkwardness. So I get why it's hard for you to spend a lot of time with them. That's what I'm saying, but you're still a part of their lives. You're still loving and respect actual, even when they don't do the same for you. So you sound like a pretty great daughter to me.
[00:32:15] I'm hearing all this. And my gut reaction is you're doing great. You're still a part of the family, but you're maintaining appropriate boundaries. You're still kind, but you're protecting yourself when they become hurtful. I understand that there's still some friction around the visits, but I just want to point out the way that you're handling this whole. It sounds pretty damn good to me. As for talking to your parents, the key is to find a way to express your love for them, reassure them that you really do care, but also still honor this boundary that feels crucial to you. If you really can't spend a full two weeks for them. And I don't just mean that it would be a little tedious to spend a few extra days. I mean, like spending those few extra days is crushing your soul, exposing you to a bunch of toxic bullsh*t that really hurts you. I would just say something like "I know you wish I could stay for longer. And I understand that I really do, but I have a very full life back home. I need some vacation time for myself too. And I'm trying to balance all of that while living far away from you guys. Just because I'm not staying here for three weeks doesn't mean I don't love you. I do love you. It just means that we have to make the most of the time that we do have together." Something along those lines.
[00:33:17] Then I would maybe find a way to make your time with them more meaningful. Maybe you plan a few activities. Maybe you make an extra effort to engage with them. Maybe you work a little harder to be kind and present while you're there. I know I'm throwing a lot of stuff on you, and I'm not saying you're not already doing that, but with a family like that, I can easily imagine you sitting at a table in silence, pushing your food around your plate, replaying memories of when they were mean to you as a kid, counting down the hours until you can fly home. And maybe that's what makes them feel like they're not getting enough time with you. I don't know, Gabe. I almost feel like a family that's like this doesn't even care. They're just using it as guilt, but we'll get to that in a second. I'm not pointing fingers here. I'm just saying as the more evolved one in this family, you can try to make things a little better and maybe that'll make them feel like their time with you is more valuable.
[00:34:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Good point, Jordan. I mean, she can't assert her boundary and give her parents more of her time and love while she is there. Because if she is kind of checking out and like resenting them, which I do not blame her for—
[00:34:12] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:34:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: I could see them feeling like she's giving them the short end of the stick and then she has to spend more time. And what they're really saying is, "We want you here for a month of this torture, not just a week of this torture." And she's like, "I can't win."
[00:34:23] Jordan Harbinger: Hard pass.
[00:34:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, I think there's a way to make that a little bit more meaningful while you're there. At the same time, I do wonder if it's worth trying to work on this dynamic with your parents, just a little bit. Maybe they're too set in their ways to consider a different way of relating to you. Maybe they don't have the capacity to consider your feelings at all. But the next time they make fun of you for, I don't know, turning down a glass of Pinot at the dinner table or passing on the beef bourguignon, you could sit there and take it, which probably feels not great. I would imagine. Or you could speak up and you could say, "Listen, I know that you guys feel differently about the drinking and the meat thing, and that's okay. I respect your choices, but it would mean a lot to me if you guys did the same for me, right? I just don't want to have it. Don't make fun of me for that." you know, you can sort of like gently assert that boundary. And then when your parents give you a hard time for not staying longer, you could point to that moment as an example, like, "I know you guys want me to spend more time here, but do you see how that might be hard for me to do when you and dad make fun of me for taking care of myself for living my life, the way I want to live it." Again, your parents might not be able to acknowledge that, but if they can, even if they can a little bit. Then maybe something will shift between you. Maybe you guys will get along a little bit better. Or they'll just wave you off and laugh like they always do and then you'll know for sure that limiting contact really is the right move, but I bet that you would feel a lot less conflicted about that, knowing that you really tried.
[00:35:42] And the same goes for your sister, it sounds like she's more allied with your parents than she is with you and her emo is to make you feel guilty basically. So you can take it on the chin when that happens or you could sit down with your sister, maybe you do this on your next visit, and share a little bit what it's been like for you to come home. Maybe you can tell her that being around your parents is pretty hard for you. Maybe you tell her that her shaming you for protecting your time, protecting your energy doesn't make it any easier. Again, she might double down on her position, but maybe she'll realize that you have a much trickier relationship with your parents and she'll ease up a little bit. Maybe she'll have a little compassion. Again, definitely worth trying, but this guilt thing, this is really interesting, Jordan. I mean, that's the overriding feeling that's jumping out at me in this letter.
[00:36:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I agree. It sounds like guilt is the language this family speaks. It's like a currency they use to just make her do what they want.
[00:36:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. But here's the thing. If you're 40 years old and you've built a great life in another country and your family has basically neglected you and dismissed you and mock you since you were a kid and you still FaceTime them and you still send them presents and you remember their birthdays and take care of them, even when they don't return the favor and you still feel guilty about not being a good daughter, then something is not right here. It's just not making sense.
[00:36:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Either she's doing something wrong and not realizing it, or in my opinion more likely, nothing she does will ever be good enough for this family.
[00:37:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. That's my feeling too. And my guess is that yeah, it's more of the latter. It sounds to me like she's taking all of this anger she has against her family, this justifiable anger, frankly, and she's taking it on herself and then her family reinforces that probably because it's easier than admitting that they haven't been very good to her all these years. And then she experiences that anger as guilt, like by defending herself, she's done something wrong to them.
[00:37:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's super sad, but it makes sense. So if I were you, I would explore the guilt, figure out where it's coming from. See, if you can release some of it, a therapist would be hugely helpful to you. I don't think you're doing anything wrong by keeping the visits brief, but it is possible that you, it could be doing more to make them less tedious, maybe a little bit more meaningful. I wouldn't just suck it up and go back for as long as they want, if that feels like you're compromising yourself, but I would definitely try to find some new ways of communicating with your family so that you can relate to them in a different way. And hopefully, they'll follow your lead. I'm not super hopeful on that one, but if they don't then you'll know that you're handling this one the right way and you can do it with a lot less conflict. Good luck.
[00:38:08] Gabe, I'm just imagining this sort of like stuffy, French family that lives in a giant Manor in the countryside with vineyards around it. And they're like, "Oh, hello, darling." And then like in a car, they're like, "So—" I guess they have a British accent because I can't get a French one, but they're like, "So how's work? Are you still single?" You know, with that like little bit of stank on the end of it, like no grandchildren—
[00:38:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:38:30] Jordan Harbinger: And then like silence for 25 minutes, but it's like a three-hour ride back to the countryside from the airport. And it's just super, super cringe. And a lot of like looking out the window and being like, "Hmm, windmills," you know, like just so weird. I can't imagine growing up in a family like that, but I totally get why she moved to another country and she's like, "I'm free." And they're like, "Come back for Christmas and New Year and the first week of January." And she's just like, "Oh my God."
[00:38:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, there was no space for her.
[00:38:59] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:38:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: There was no space for her and now she's dealing with it. And honestly, they're not great communicators. That probably means that she did not inherit great communication skills. I'm not saying she's a bad communicator, but it probably does not come natural to handle this stuff with her family. It's probably a lot of like, let's just stay quiet and get through this. And then it just compounds.
[00:39:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: So it's like, how do you break that cycle?
[00:39:18] Jordan Harbinger: The thing that's super weird is like never talking about relationships, feelings, or eating disorders. Like I get it. Okay. Maybe your dad doesn't want to hear all about your love life, bad but not horrible. But then, it's like, "Oh, my daughter has an eating disorder," and they're laughing it off. It's like that's literally like the worst way to handle this particular problem.
[00:39:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: You can imagine what kind of damage that does to somebody from a young age who's dealing with something that's serious. Like, "Mom, I have an eating disorder." "Oh darling, deadweight, just eat a little bit. You might be starving."
[00:39:44] Jordan Harbinger: "You must be some kind of weirdo if you think that — I mean, it's just so weird. Oh, you're vegan now. What a loser?" I mean, this is the level of communication of like a small child, emotionally.
[00:39:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: In a family like this, if they won't change, sometimes the biggest victory is realizing that you did not become them.
[00:40:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, good point.
[00:40:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sometimes that's just the win that you have to take because you know that you're not going to get changed from them. But at least you rose above it and you got out and you're your own person, which is huge.
[00:40:10] Jordan Harbinger: Like when I talked to my partner, we talk about all kinds of stuff. When I have a kid, I'm going to talk about all kinds of stuff. I'm not going to be grossed out by their eating disorder or the fact that they have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, whatever. Yeah, you're right. Not becoming them is kind of like the epic win in the book.
[00:40:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the victory. Yeah.
[00:40:25] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
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[00:43:38] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:43:42] All right, next up.
[00:43:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my aunt owns a small business in another state and makes a good living doing it. She asked me to take it over when she retires sometime within the next two years. She and her husband run it, but have more inquiries than they are able to take on. And they can't wait to head it off to a younger couple who can handle the workload. If I took it, my goal would be to do more marketing. She does very little of that now, and eventually hire people to run the business for me but I have a few concerns. I know my aunt has done a few sketchy things with the company's taxes and I'm worried it could affect me at a later time. I also have very little experience in a small business setting. Most of my job experience is in customer service or sales and some marketing. I'm 21 and I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing half the time. How do I decide if it's a good idea to take over this business? And if I do, what would you recommend doing for the highest chance of success? Signed, Kicking the Tires.
[00:44:34] Jordan Harbinger: Great question. I'm glad you're thinking this through so far. So based on what you've shared, I would think twice about getting involved in the business at all. One, where do I even start? The tax thing alone is reason enough to be concerned. Who knows what liabilities you might inherit if you took over. But what's even more concerning here is if your aunt and uncle are playing fast and loose with their taxes, what else are they doing? They could possibly be keeping shady books or at least sloppy books. They probably are not super on top of their legal, their quality control, their cash flow. There may actually be more problems that they're sweeping under the rug or future problems that haven't quite caught up to them yet. It's just not a good indicator. Taxes are extremely important in a business. That stuff can bite you in the ass for like a decade later. But the more important question is, do you even want to take over this business? It doesn't sound to me like you're especially passionate about the company or the industry, whatever it is. You haven't even mentioned if you could see yourself living in this other state. You don't have experience in this type of setting. You don't have any career experience at all at age 21. Not really anyway. And you're just so young and figuring out what you're good at and what you really enjoy doing.
[00:45:42] None of that is going to automatically stop you from being successful, okay, but it makes it hard to know if you really care about this business. And it's actually very telling to me that your game plan is basically, "Do more marketing and then hire people to run it for me." Great. It sounds like a good idea on its face, but it does signal to me that you're already trying to get out of the day-to-day of the business, which probably means you don't really care about it that much. It's also a little bit unrealistic. If you don't really care about something, it's really hard to make it successful. And frankly, there's no such thing as hire people to run the business for me, at least not until you've got years, several years in the trenches doing everybody's job, knowing how everything works. And even then the idea that a business can run itself, it's kind of one of those bullsh*t pipe dreams that sketchy online marketers try to sell people when real business is a lot of work, even and especially if you're at the top of the pyramid with a great team underneath you. And eventually any business, you don't have a certain amount of passion and respect for will become an albatross around your neck. That's a lesson Gabe and I both learned the hard way a few times.
[00:46:49] So I would take some time to explore all of that. Make sure you're truly excited about the move and not just giving into your aunt's wishes or chasing easy cash. If you decide that you do care enough to make it successful, then I would do some serious due diligence on the business. Put up the books, hire a qualified, possibly even a forensic accountant to look at the books, check out their products, check out their customer history, check out their reputation online. Look for negative reviews, contact some of the old customers, et cetera. If you do find any shenanigans, make sure they are 100 percent squared away and make sure that whatever policies allowed them to happen in the first place are fixed. So that they don't happen again. I would definitely hire a lawyer to look over everything as well, make sure that you're not inheriting any serious liabilities, like back taxes, an IRS audit, a lawsuit, a legal complaint, anything like that. But then if you have to go that far in making sure that a business is kosher, that's a bit of a red flag.
[00:47:46] I mean, I'll be honest, do this for any business you're going to buy, but if you feel like you need to do this with your family business too, it is kind of a red flag. And I feel like you need to do it. And the money you'd be making, better be huge because otherwise it's not going to be worth all this trouble. Then again, who knows this might turn out to be an awesome opportunity with some tax stuff that you can be easily remedied. The truth will come out in the wash, as they say. You might like what you see when you get into the details. And it might even be fun for you if you're not about to get smacked with an audit or some kind of massive bill.
[00:48:17] But if you decide that you aren't into this business, then I would keep following your excitement, develop your skills, get some more experience. You're still super young. I mean, 21 years old, find a role that fires you up. Give yourself that gift before weighing yourself down with a questionable opportunity like this. There are so many ways to make a decent living in this world. You don't need to take over in a shady family business just because it's there.
[00:48:41] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Thank you for that. And check out the Bob Arno, two parter we did for you this week. Have a listen to that, and I'd love to hear what you think about that one.
[00:48:51] If you want to learn how we manage the book all the amazing guests on the show, it's always about my network. It's always about those software, systems, tiny habits that I use to maintain connections with hundreds of people every single month. Check out our six-minute networking course, which is free. It's on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. That's where I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty and create and maintain those relationships in a few minutes a day. There's no upsells, there's no fluff. This stuff has helped me out a ton in my own life. It will do the same for you. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it.
[00:49:24] A link to the show notes for the episode can be email@example.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of Feedback Friday on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:49:45] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert , Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabriel Mizrahi. Our opinions and advice, those are our own. I'm a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this. And remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please do share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next.
[00:50:20] I wanted to give you a quick bite of a recent episode I did with Simon Sinek. He's been on the show a couple of times. Simon is one of the most sought after speakers and mentors in the corporate world, but he's no stuffed shirt. Well, here are some of his wisdom from the elite levels of public speaking, as well as his organizational skills that keep him at the top of the game.
[00:50:38] Simon Sinek: I have a vision of the world that does not yet exist. I'm trying to build it and whatever it takes for me to advance that vision, speaking, writing, teaching, whatever it is, I'll do it. I remember when cell phones were just starting to show up, you know, there was this great promise that we could leave the office because of this device. And in reality, it backfired. We don't leave the office, the office comes with us. We were always at the office, you know, because of the device. One of the things that happens when we take the office with us is if we're not constantly engaging and checking in, we actually feel guilty that we're not.
[00:51:09] You know, you're walking to the subway, you're on the device. If you're off the subway, going to the office, you're on the device. We take the phone with us to the bathroom. You hold it in and look for the phone. You know that? There's something unhealthy about that.
[00:51:21] Jordan Harbinger: So true!
[00:51:21] Simon Sinek: You know, when we're not connected, we actually feel guilty. And the reality is, is that ideas don't happen when we're connected. Ideas happen when our minds have an opportunity to wander. And this is why we have our great ideas in the shower, when we're driving, when we're out for a run, when we're just going for a walk, because the brainstorming session actually isn't the time to solve the problem. The brainstorming session is the time to ask the question. Allowing ourselves disengaged time is absolutely essential for innovation. It's absolutely essential for problem solving. It's absolutely essential for creativity to disengage with the device. The problem is, I don't know when it's going to happen.
[00:51:55] When I was writing Leaders Eat Last, I would have many ideas in the shower and I would forget them as quickly as I had them that I kept a dry erase marker in my bathroom and I wrote on the tiles. And so as soon as I got out of the shower while I was brushing my teeth, I'd write an idea on the tile. And so when I was standing there the next day, brushing my teeth, I'd be staring at my writing on the tile and I'd sometimes have another idea. So you say it looked like a beautiful mind. It was ridiculous. All the tiles had these little chicken scratches all over it, and I didn't want to erase any of them because I didn't know what ideas were going to be sparked.
[00:52:23] But my point is, it’s like if you figure out what works for you, do that, keep a notebook by your bed. If you go for a run, take a notebook with you. I usually carry a notebook in the back of my pocket at all times because I don't know when I'm going to have an idea. And like I said, I lose them as quickly as I have them.
[00:52:37] Jordan Harbinger: For more from Simon Sinek, including why it's important to have a worthy rival to stay sharp, check out episode 300 right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:52:48] Hey, show fans. Are you ready for a podcast that doesn't hold back? Check out The Adam Carolla Show, the number one daily downloaded podcast in the world, five days a week and completely uncensored. Join Adam as he shares his thoughts on current events, relationships, politics, and so much. Adam welcomes a wide range of special guests to join him in studio for in-depth interviews and a front-row seat to his freewheeling point of view. Download, subscribe, and tune in to The Adam Carolla Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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