You basically grew up in a cult, and following your own path as an adult was seen as an act of “rebellion” in the eyes of your dad, from whom you’ve been estranged ever since. He’s even forbidden you from setting foot on his property until you “repent, return, and remain.” Now, years have passed and it doesn’t sit well with you that your relationship is so strained. Should you try to reconnect with your cult father, or is it even worth the bother? We’ll try to find answers to 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:
- After “rebelling” against the cult in which you were raised, should you try to reconnect with your estranged father, or is it even worth the bother? [Thanks to cult expert Steven Hassan for helping us with this one!]
- You fell behind on paperwork your job legally requires, and even though you provided it to the inspectors before the pandemic lockdowns began, you’ve yet to hear back from them. Now your wife says if it causes you to lose your job, she’ll never forgive you. Is she overreacting? How do you handle this?
- You’ve got a new, cushy job that pays handsomely, but you’re unfulfilled because it’s not the work you signed up for. Quitting now means you’d have to pay off thousands in sign-on bonuses, but you feel like you’re doing your career a disservice by sticking with it. Should you just shut up and be grateful, or cut your losses and find something that better suits you?
- Over the past year, you’ve become obsessed with learning. You read books, consume newsletters, and listen to hours of podcasts every day. The bad news: you can’t seem to retain any of it. Are you just overloading your brain circuitry, or is there a trick to getting all this new info to stick?
- 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.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss our conversation with accidental international poker champion and human motivation expert Maria Konnikova? Catch up with episode 371: Maria Konnikova | Pulling Off the Biggest Bluff here!
Like true crime tales? The Court Junkie podcast shines a light on the injustices of the judicial system by delving into court documents, attending trials, and interviewing those close to these trials to root out the whole truth. Check out the Court Junkie podcast on PodcastOne here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Leah Remini | Surviving Hollywood and Scientology | Jordan Harbinger
- Nina Schick | Deepfakes and the Coming Infocalypse | Jordan Harbinger
- Deep Nostalgia | MyHeritage
- TikTok Tom Cruise Deepfake Creator: Public Shouldn’t Worry About ‘One-Click Fakes’ | The Verge
- How to Design the Perfect Morning Routine (and Avoid a Bad One) | Jordan Harbinger
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt | Netflix
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Hassan | The #iGotOut Guide to Quitting QAnon | Jordan Harbinger
- Megan Phelps-Roper | Unfollowing Westboro Baptist Church Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Megan Phelps-Roper | Unfollowing Westboro Baptist Church Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs by Steven Hassan
- Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults
- Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Connect with Cult Father, or Don’t Even Bother? | Feedback Friday (Episode 487)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my co-pilot in consultation, if you will, 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 amazing people think and behave. And our mission on the whole 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.
[00:00:37] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you and 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. If you're joining us for the first time, or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the show, we've got episodes starter packs, jordanharbinger.com/start. It's a collection of your favorite episodes, organized by topic. That'll help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Think of it as a variety pack when you buy a hot sauce and you're not sure what kind you want. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started. That's how that works.
[00:01:13] This week, Leah Remeni, talking on her escape from the cult, I mean, Church of Scientology and Nina Schick, discussing deepfakes and how humans won't be able to tell if what we're seeing with our own eyes is even real in the very near future and what this means for humanity. Super interesting stuff this week, y'all.
[00:01:31] Gabriel, have you seen a deepfake before?
[00:01:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Not only have I seen it, I just put a few of my, I think, great grandfather, great grandparents or great great-grandparents photos into that deep nostalgia thing.
[00:01:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that's weird. Right?
[00:01:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a little buggy and it doesn't work perfectly, but it is so cool. It just brings these photos to life. It's bananas.
[00:01:50] Jordan Harbinger: So for people that don't know what deepfakes are, if you haven't seen like Tom Cruise doing a coin trick, and it's not really Tom Cruise, and they tell you that it's not, but it looks exactly like Tom Cruise doing coin trick. You know what? By the way, this just occurred to me, Gabriel, Tom Cruise is the greatest person to use in a deepfake, because if you have AI and it makes a mistake, like it stops in the middle of a sentence and just starts laughing maniacally. It just looks like Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise. Right? It doesn't look like AI being like, "Whoa, that was weird."
[00:02:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:02:17] Jordan Harbinger: It's like, well, Tom Cruise does stop in the middle of random sentences and start cackling maniacally about nothing. But these are essentially AI, they'll lay the face over someone else's body and make it look like somebody is doing something that they're not, e.g. Tom Cruise doing a contract, but what you're talking about right now — what is it called again? Where you put your grand—?
[00:02:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think it's called Deep Nostalgia.
[00:02:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So you put old photos into this.
[00:02:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:02:41] Jordan Harbinger: And it will animate your dead great-grandparents in like really creepy buggy ways.
[00:02:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I think it's on the myheritage.com website and you can just upload a photo and it takes 20, 30 seconds. And then it basically plays with the eyes and it makes them smile. It's a little like Madame Tussauds' or something. It doesn't quite look right. But you know, if you only have old faded photographs of people long gone, it's really cool because there's no video of these people. There are no home videos or iPhones or anything. So you really don't really know what they would look like if they were glancing around your living room and laughing at a joke or something. So it just so happened that we did it with my family. It was pretty dope.
[00:03:17] Jordan Harbinger: You know what's going to be even super creepy is if they get enough, like say they get 17 million old photos, they're going to go, "Hey, we don't know what your great grandmother would look like in that dress turned to the right and dancing and doing the Charleston or whatever, or the pre whatever thing was a hundred years before that. But we have all these other photos of other people from that time wearing similar clothing with similar sizes that are doing different things. We're just going to use elements of those people in the animation." You'll never know because you don't know what your great-grandmother's hands look like.
[00:03:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I think that's actually where they're trying to go. I was already imagining the creepiest users of all these photographs that they're trying to put into the database, but the tool is clearly still in development, but what they really need to do is be able to take 10 photos of the same person and then get every aspect of the face. And then it'll start to look really good. It's a little simple right now, but it's still pretty dope. I mean, it's cool — look, it's terrifying for the world, deepfakes, but pretty cool for the family tree.
[00:04:15] Jordan Harbinger: It'll be cool when they can read your great, great-grandparents and everyone else ahead of you and your stuff, and they'll go, "You have their eyes and that person's nose and this person's skin tone and this person's hair," just based on all the data that they have. That'll be really, really cool.
[00:04:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wild.
[00:04:29] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, aside from that creepy aside. So Nina Schick, talking about deepfakes, usually about how they're going to destroy our democracy and make fake porn of people that were never in porn, but, you know, you can also make it animate your relatives and make them dance.
[00:04:42] I also write every so often on the blog. The latest post is about morning routines. I know what you're thinking, but I'm saying they're overrated as a productivity tool and they might actually be working against you. And I kind of hate them. So you might kind of dig that piece. We're also talking about the right way to create a morning routine that really serves your unique interests and needs, drawing on the latest science all around this and my interviews here on the show and my own experience, designing a routine that actually worked for me.
[00:05:08] So make sure you've had a look and listen to everything we created for you here this week. For Feedback Friday, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to include a descriptive subject line that does make our job a lot easier. If there's something you're going through a big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. Whether to break up with your maid of honor over her political beliefs, whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help. We keep you anonymous. Don't worry about that.
[00:05:39] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:05:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I grew up in a conservative household and my family belong to a homeschool organization that was essentially a cult. The most seriously impactful teaching of that call was a mindset of extreme patriarchy that poisoned an actually healthy dynamic among us and encouraged a performance-based way of living that was pretty damaging. My dad due to a troubled background and his own choices has never made crucial loving connections with people, especially with women. This plus the cult teachings was compounded by his narcissistic and patriarchal mindset. My mother, she was never valued for who she is and her role in the family was undermined by my dad's authoritarian decisions. When I was four years old, my dad suffered a brain injury from a military accident that left him handicapped but high functioning. I grew up with both parents in the house, 24/7, which was a blessing and a curse because that gave my dad nothing better to do than hover, constantly and live vicariously through his children. I'm the fourth of 10 children. And I grew up pretty quickly because I had to be a contributing member of our big family from a very young age. Long story short, I was forbidden to go to college, get the job I wanted, buy my own car. Finally, a year ago, well, into my adult years, I had a come to Jesus moment. I took a deep breath and against my dad's wishes, I got the job I wanted, bought my own car and moved out because my decisions were an act of quote-unquote rebellion against his authority. My dad has forbidden me to step foot on his property until I "repent return, and remain—"
[00:07:06] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, creepy, creepy.
[00:07:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: —his words. This made holidays and family gatherings difficult. When I speak with him now, he's polite, but we talk like two strangers and not like a father-daughter with a lifetime of history. I invite him to join anything we do as a family outside of his house, of course, but he never accepts if he knows that I'll be there. I know that if I never tried to contact him again, our relationship would just die. My faith and my determination, however, won't let me be okay with that. Do you have any advice on how I can navigate communication with my dad now? How do I stand firm in my conviction and encourage a healthy relationship with him at the same time? Sincerely, Shunned But Unashamed.
[00:07:42] Jordan Harbinger: This is a — what a story, Gave, you know, it's so wild to me—
[00:07:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:07:46] Jordan Harbinger: —that groups like this exist in so many parts of the country. There are loads of cults or cult-like organizations that we've never even heard of because they're just three, five, 10, even 50 or a hundred families. They do a ton of damage. Sometimes they don't even look like cults. They're just woven into people's families and communities and people don't even realize it. It's just insane.
[00:08:06] Anyway, listen, I can only begin to imagine how tough your childhood was, how painful it must have been to be controlled by your family in this way. I have to say though, and I think everyone listening right now is having the same reaction. I'm incredibly proud of you for what you've done here. You know, you looked around, you saw your situation more clearly than anyone else. You realized what you had to do to be a true individual, as corny as that might sound. And you left so you could learn and grow and form an identity of your own. That is huge.
[00:08:35] That could not have been easy. It must've taken so much courage to do that. Your confidence in yourself, your conviction, it's incredible. It's almost like all the things you are supposed to be learning in a church. You took those in and then you applied them and now your church/family is using it against you.
[00:08:51] But anyway, I just want to say that I really admire you for that. I think it's incredible. It's just not, it could not have been an easy thing to do. Even for people who grow up in so-called normal families, much for somebody who grew up under the thumb of a military authoritarian dad with a brain injury in a freaking homeschooling cult that kept women down and only valued you for what you could provide and the family. So kudos to you. You should be really proud of yourself for that, seriously.
[00:09:17] Now, look, I know that it's escaping a group like this is only the beginning of a much larger journey. I've seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I get it. But truthfully, I do get letters from people that have escaped cults and they're like, "I found your show to try and get some semblance of normality," because we cover so many diverse topics here on the show. And a lot of people we'll listen to an episode about how to get a job and then they'll stay for all of this advice and things that we do here. I'm sure there's still a lot of processing that still has to take place a lot of healing. And now you have to figure out what your relationship with your dad is even going to be like how to stay connected to him without losing yourself.
[00:09:53] And just so you know, we consulted on your question with the one and only Dr. Steven Hassan. Steven is a mental health counselor, who's been writing and teaching about mind control and destructive cults, for over 40 years. We did a great two-part interview on combating cult mind control a while back. That was episode 237 and 238. And we just had him back on to talk about QAnon and how to escape those dangerous ideologies. That was episode 471. And between that he became Dr. Steven Hassan, which is pretty cool. So good on him for that. I highly recommend checking out those interviews. Steven has some of the greatest insights I've ever heard into cults, family, his group think, all of that.
[00:10:30] So to answer your question, how can you communicate with your dad now? How do you stay and firm in your conviction and encourage a healthy relationship with him at the same time? Well, I think the first step is acknowledging that you might not be able to do both of those things all the time, maybe even ever. I hope you can, but based on what you've shared, your dad is deeply entrenched in this organization and you're committed to being free. You guys are speaking different languages. You're communicating across an ideological abyss. You might even be able to have a respectful relationship within a peaceful relationship, but I'm not sure you'll ever have a completely open, intimate two-way relationship if he's not willing to acknowledge that your way of life is legitimate.
[00:11:13] So I get what you're trying to do here. You're trying to thread that needle. I think it's worth trying, but I also think you need to temper your expectations for what's possible here with your dad, at least in the short term. As far as standing firm in your conviction, that's where your values and boundaries are really going to come into play. Because if you call your dad and he starts guilting you about turning your back on the family or he starts belittling your job and mocking your friends and attacking your new lifestyle, that's where you have to be prepared to protect yourself. And part of that protection is developing good inner boundaries.
[00:11:46] That means doing the work internally to not let your dad's toxic feelings or frankly, backwards ass opinions to not let them infect the healthy choice that you've made in your life. So if you call him up and he says something like, "Well, mom, it was just a mess now that you're gone. I hope one day you realize how badly you've hurt this family." You can remind yourself that, that's his stuff. That's a tactic he's using to pull you back in. You got to realize your dad's feelings about your choices, they do not determine whether those choices are valid or good or whatever. He has his experience. You have your experience and the more you can stay rooted in your own experience, the more you can draw that inner line between what you need and what he needs. And the easier it's going to be to talk to your dad and stay firm in your conviction.
[00:12:33] And look, you might not succeed every time you might get a little rattled sometimes, or feel a pang of guilt or a wave of sadness when you talk to your family, but then you can hang up, talk to a friend, talk to a counselor, maybe do some journaling if that's your thing. And you can remind you wherever that inner boundary exists, you don't need to be a perfect soldier every time you and your dad talk. Just keep an eye on those old feelings that crop up and know that, that's probably old programming that you're still learning to undo. And then do the work afterwards to separate his stuff from your stuff.
[00:13:07] The other part of this is of course developing good outer boundaries. And this might be more obvious, right? But it might be necessary sometimes if your dad is making it impossible to talk, or if what he says is super hurtful or compromising. Steven had some good advice here. He said: if you find yourself talking to him and he's guilting you or shunning you or something like that, you could say something like, "Listen, dad, you're my father. I love you. I respect you. But I feel that I need to do what's necessary for me right now. I'm sorry. If you can only be upset with me, but I'm your daughter and we can still be close, even if we disagree. And when you're ready to talk about all this, I like to have that conversation. But until then, I need you to accept that this is my choice."
[00:13:51] Now he might just fly off the handle or blow a gasket or be like, "You don't respect me because you're not obeying me, and something, something Revelations 4:12." I don't even know if that's a real thing, but you know what I mean? I can see it going that way potentially, something like that could work nicely. Just one example of how you can draw that boundary out loud when you need to. What I like about that script is that it gives you a way to assert yourself without pouring fuel on the fire. You're not trying to debate your dad. You're not trying to provoke him or get one over on him. You're literally just asking him to accept your decision. If he can't even do that, there's only so much to say, but at least you are not escalating things as you stay firm.
[00:14:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely. I think she'll probably have to have those inner and those outer boundaries. Although the inner stuff, that's probably going to be the most important for her. Because the hardest part of calling her dad or going home to visit I'm sure is hanging up afterward or getting on the plane home and just feeling awful because he can't even wrap his head around the fact that she had pretty good reasons for doing what she did or just legitimate reasons that are personal to her. He doesn't even have to endorse them, but just understand that that's what she wants to do with her life. And that is when she's going to have to remember that. Dad can feel however he feels and that's his right. And she can feel however she feels, and that's her right too.
[00:15:05] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Separating their two identities, their two experiences.
[00:15:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly. Not something you typically learn in a cult, from what I understand. That's something she's learning how to do later on in life and that might take a little time. As far as having that bigger conversation with your family, the one that Steven kind of wrote into that script, that could be really helpful too, if they're willing to have that conversation as well. They might not be. And honestly, that's okay. You don't need to convince your whole family that you are correct here in order to live your life. But if they are willing to have that chat, Steven also recommended finding a mediator to facilitate that could be a family therapist, a minister, you know, someone, your dad would trust, maybe somebody he respects. Anybody who understands the issue and can help your family talk without taking sides. Steven did point out that, that conversation it's a pretty big deal. The way he put it was it's definitely going to be a project. It might take a long time to get there with them, but if you ever sense an opening with your dad, I do think it's worth a shot. You guys might not ever have the perfect relationship, but if you can get to a point where you just accept each other, that would be a win.
[00:16:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I agree. I'm just trying to imagine who they get to facilitate for them because you know, Papa's Schmidt isn't about to take advice from some MFT named Nev on the lower East side of Manhattan, telling him, "We just really want you to hear what your daughter is saying right now," while they try and do freaking family therapy over Zoom, if they even have zoom. Zoom might be too worldly, for all I know.
[00:16:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, you're right. This is going to be a little tricky. It obviously can't be somebody in the homeschooling cult, right? There'll be totally biased. And her parents are probably only close with other people in the group. I imagine. So I don't know, maybe a therapist in their state or an unaffiliated clergyman of some kind, someone like that would be good. Someone who's as neutral as possible given the circumstances.
[00:16:48] Jordan Harbinger: You basically have to have your dad sort of pick and then make sure that they're not a psycho too, cult member also, which that's going to be the hardest part of the whole thing. It's like picking a mediator in a litigation. You're like, "I want this guy who always agrees with me," and they're like, "I want this guy who always agrees with me," and you're like, "Crap, we're back to square one." I do hope they can find someone like that. As long as that person, isn't trying to suck her back in and it's like not a trick or a trap.
[00:17:11] Anyway, Steve's other advice was this model for your family, that life is better outside of the group. Rather than trying to convince them that you're right. I would focus your energy on building a happy, healthy, productive life of your own. And then when you guys talk or when you visit, they'll start to see for themselves, what's possible outside of the family, they'll notice that you're freer, you're clearer, you're accomplishing things. You've got more energy, more drive you're happier. Right? Some of them might resent it at first, but it would make sense because then they're confronting the fact that the one person who managed to escape is actually doing better than they are. Plus she has a car and a job and an Instagram account, so exciting. And who knows maybe down the line, that'll make you dad more willing to accept your new life since he can see that it's possible to thrive outside the group. He sounds like a man is just driven by fear, frankly.
[00:18:02] Maybe one of your siblings, a cousin, a niece, someone like that, maybe pull you aside at Thanksgiving one year and tell you, they're thinking of leaving too. They'll see that you were able to do it and maybe you help them do that. I bet part of what was hard for you growing up was not having any examples of people who actually left the group and succeeded. But you can be that example for your family now. Just by focusing on building an awesome life and staying connected to your siblings.
[00:18:27] By the way, Gabe, this reminds me of Megan Phelps-Roper who escaped Westboro Baptist Church. She came on the show. I can't remember what episode that was, but she came on the show and she had siblings who had left. And they were like, "Oh my God. I never thought I would see you again." Right? But then after she left, other sisters I think had left because they were like, "Well, okay, if so-and-so did it, and then Megan did it and they're not gripped by satanic panic or whatever it was, you know, they—
[00:18:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:18:54] Jordan Harbinger: They haven't spontaneously burst into flames. Then maybe we can get out of this crazy town and we don't have to spend weekends outside protesting funerals. Those episodes 302 and 303. Is that right, Gabriel?
[00:19:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, those are the ones. That's it.
[00:19:09] Jordan Harbinger: One of my favorites from the past few years, by the way.
[00:19:12] Also regarding your father's brain injury, Steven pointed out that you could try to connect him with the VA. See if you can make some contacts there, get some advice on how to help him, maybe even get him some therapy. Again, it's hard to say if he'd be open to that. VA, by the way, Veterans Administration, I know not everyone's from the US. It's basically a medical system for veterans. It's hard to say if he'd be open to that, but there are some good resources for veterans out there. He might just need a little encouragement. He may be set in his ways, but he might also be thinking, "What is wrong with me, man? You know, I am not together. And I'm just living by this crazy set of rules because I'm barely hanging on." You just don't know what's going on inside someone's head.
[00:19:53] One last thing here, I do recommend reading a few books that might help. I definitely start with Steven Hassan's two books, Dr. Steven Hassan's two books on this topic, Freedom of mind and Combating Cult Mind Control. They're both fantastic reads, especially for people leaving or trying to leave any kind of coercive organization. Steven also recommended a book called Educated by Tara Westover. It's a memoir written by a woman who escaped her survivalist family in Idaho, and ended up studying at Harvard and Cambridge. This one's supposed to be pretty incredible. We'll link to all of those in the show notes for you.
[00:20:25] More than anything, I hope you know that you've made a brave choice, the healthy choice, even though it's probably been pretty difficult sometimes. You're absolutely on the right path. You're living a life that's truly your own. You're developing your own identity, your own values, your own experiences. That is key. And on top of all that, you're still being a good daughter. I know he might not say that to you or think that sometimes, but you're trying to find a way to stay connected to your family despite everything that went down. That says a lot about you. And I do hope you manage to stay close with them. As long as being close to them doesn't compromise the incredible work that you have done in your life. The best thing you can do is keep on trucking. Keep on building the best life possible for your sake and for theirs. So thanks for writing it. We're thinking about you. We're wishing you the best over here.
[00:21:10] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:23:19] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:23:24] All right, what's next?
[00:23:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi Jordan and Gabe. I work as a pharmacist and early last year, one of my colleagues was off for a prolonged period of time, I fell behind with my paperwork. As luck would have it, we had an inspection by the pharmacy board, which noticed that I had not been writing up the register of controlled drugs among other things. The board contacted me in the days after the inspection, and I immediately provided them with all the additional information they requested. I asked for a timeframe for their report and they told me a couple of months, then COVID hit and nearly a year later, I haven't heard anything. The whole situation has created a series disagreement between my wife and me. One of her previous jobs was as an auditor inspector and ever since the inspection, we have clashed on my approach to the report. She's confronted me several times to say that I'm not taking the inspection seriously, to which I reply that I've fully and promptly cooperated with the board's requests. She also told me that if I lose my job, she will never forgive me —
[00:24:17] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:24:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: —as we have two children. And if I lose this job, then I won't get another one. I know this is just the language that she used, but that really rocked me. I work hard at my job and I accept 100 percent responsibility for my mistake, but I just can't get over my wife saying that she will never forgive me for this. Am I missing something? Here is my wife, right? Not to forgive me. What do you make of all this? Signed, Inspected, Corrected, and Dejected.
[00:24:42] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Well, geez man, look, I'm sorry. This is happening to you. That does not. That sounds like a hell of a brow beating. You're right. It's definitely your fault for falling behind on your paperwork. This is your job. This is why the pharmacy board exists, probably. They want to stop shady breaking bad characters from filing phony scripts or stealing bottles of Oxy to sell on the street. But the way you've handled this since then complying with the investigation, getting your documents to the board immediately, all of that, I'm not sure what more anyone could ask for. That's the whole idea. You messed up in a pretty big way, but you've taken it seriously since then, as you should, besides I bet this kind of thing happens all the time. And as long as it's corrected, it's probably not a big deal. That's my speculation. But I can't imagine a licensing board being like, "No, we love making it impossible for people in our profession to do their job after they make a simple mistake." That just seems highly unlikely.
[00:25:34] So is your wife right to be angry or is she overreacting here? Well, let's try and imagine this whole thing from her perspective. You come home one day and tell her you got written up for not doing your paperwork properly. She used to be an inspector/auditor, so she knows what ball busters these people can be. So she's imagining the worst-case scenario, where they come back in a few months and sanction you and maybe suspend your license, or they revoke it entirely. And then what? You guys have two kids, your pharmacy career is probably a huge source of income. Maybe it's the only source of income. And suddenly you guys would have to scramble to make ends meet. And how are you going to get another job? When you have to tell employers that you didn't inventory the Vicodin properly? To say nothing of the fact that having your license revoked, she'd probably feel pretty ashamed about that.
[00:26:19] Like how do we explain what happened to our family, to our friends? What will the neighbors think? Right. Blah, blah, blah. I'm not saying all of this makes perfect sense. I'm just trying to appreciate why your wife is reacting/overreacting the way that she is. The point is, it sounds like your wife is scared. And to be fair, she probably has some reason to be scared. She's scared about what this inspection means for you as a family. She probably feels helpless like you do sitting around just waiting for the hammer to fall. But instead of expressing that fear and finding some healthy ways to process it, she's getting angry instead. Angry at you because after all this is your fault, but my guess is that it's easier for your wife to project her anxieties and fears onto you to make you hold them. It's easier for her to do that than to find a way to process them on her own or resolve them together.
[00:27:08] So is your wife justified here? I say yes, but only up to a point. Being disappointed in you, being angry, being scared. That's fair. And I think you know that, but holding it against you saying that you're not taking the inspection seriously, when you definitely are blaming you for losing it, that you have not lost yet. Saying that you'll need never be able to get another job again, which is hyperbolic at the least. I mean, that part feels really unfair. She's essentially punishing you in advance, even the freaking inspector pharmacy board is not doing that. Right? So for all, you know, the board is going to come back and say, "Hey man, you messed up. Not cool, but you fully cooperated. Great job. All your paperwork checks out. Just be careful and don't do it again." This is like getting a tax audit. Right? "Hey, will you think there might be a problem here?" "Oh, okay. You owe a $2,000 penalty." "Oh, phew. Fine. Okay. I'll live." Or getting pulled over for speeding and you know, your wife's smacking you around in the car and the cop comes back and says, "Just a warning this time," right? It's just an overreaction. It almost feels like she wants you to get in trouble just to prove that she's right. And she's justified in being this upset. That's kind of the vibe I'm getting from the letter, Gabe. I don't know. What about you?
[00:28:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm kind of getting that vibe too. And I agree, she definitely has a reason to be upset, but there's a much healthier way to process those feelings. Because look, if this guy is really about to lose his job and the family is truly, truly being put at risk, then she could be using her fear to manage that risk in some way. She could be helping her husband write a letter to the board. I don't know. Reassuring them that he's a solid guy who's on top of his paperwork right now, which he is. She could be encouraging him to look for another job in advance, just in case this one falls apart or think through other career options if — and I hope this doesn't happen, but if his license ever did get suspended. Or she could be looking for a job herself to pick up some of the slack there. There's so many helpful things she could be doing here to put all of that anger and that fear towards some productive use. But instead she's just sort of stewing in those feelings and projecting them onto him probably like you said, Jordan, because they're just so overwhelming and he's the obvious target. She's not wrong to have those feelings. They make sense, but what she does with those feelings, how she's using them to make the situation worse rather than better, that does seem to be on her.
[00:29:17] Jordan Harbinger: I totally agree. That's where his part ends and her part begins. So if you want to work on this situation, I would try talking all of this out with your wife. I would tell her once again, you own your mistake, a hundred percent. You understand why she's angry, why she's scared, and remind her that you're doing everything in your power to comply with this investigation. And if you're not, ask her to help you see what else you could be doing. Invite her to respond. Let her talk about what this whole thing is brought up for her. And rather than downplaying or dismissing her concerns, I would just listen and validate them. Then I would tell her where you feel at her response has been unfair, where you feel it's adding to your problems rather than fixing them, and try to come up with some ways to improve this situation together.
[00:30:03] Maybe you can talk about some of the solutions Gabe just suggested, or maybe you point out that how she responds also affects your kids. I mean, after all, they're the ones she's concerned the most about, right? Maybe you can ask her if it's healthy for them to grow up in a house where mom and dad are in a constant cold war over something, dad can't do anything about right now. At the very least, I would try to find some healthier ways of discussing all of this rather than just raging at each other because the situation is just so damn stressful. And who knows, maybe you and your wife have other things you need to talk about and this inspection, it's just the straw that broke the camel's back.
[00:30:38] And this is the beginning of a bigger conversation. That's possible too. It would definitely explain why she's reacting so strongly to all of this. There might be a where there's smoke, there's fire kind of scenario. So I'd be ready and willing to dig into all of that with her.
[00:30:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm. Good point. Cause if everything else were perfect and their relationship, maybe she would be able to accept this pharmacy hiccup. But if there are deeper issues going on between them, then the inspection would be bringing up a lot of other stuff. You know, we're not saying your whole marriage is in trouble or anything like that, but there are layers to everything, right?
[00:31:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's rarely just about the thing. It's usually about the thing beneath the thing, the thing under the thing, right? My only other advice is to make sure you're on top of your stuff from here on out. I'm assuming you're all over the paperwork now. I'm sure this inspection scared you straight, but it is worth asking if there are other areas of your life where you might be cutting corners, maybe slacking a little bit. And I say this all the time because it's true. In many ways, it's true. How you do one thing is how you do everything. If you've got sloppy with your paperwork at the pharmacy, I wouldn't be surprised if you're maybe a little sloppy in other ways sometimes too, like doing your taxes or paying your bills or answering messages or whatever it is. I'm not accusing you of that. I'm just saying it's very common, bad habits sort of run through things. I'm not trying to find more things for you to worry about. Believe me. I'm just encouraging you to look around and make sure that this mistake at the pharmacy isn't becoming a larger pattern. In your life. And maybe it isn't, maybe this is like an isolated thing, just because you were really busy at work. And you're really great about not doing work after working hours. So this is the one thing that fell through the cracks totally possible.
[00:32:12] I hope the report comes back in your favor, man. I really do. You seem like a good dude who's just made a mistake and is doing everything he can to make it right. You don't really deserve this, but it is happening. And ultimately, it's here to teach you something. I'd find out what that something is by communicating openly with your wife and taking a good look at other parts of your life. And I really hope that her worst fears don't come to pass. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't, but in the meantime, take care of yourself, take care of your family, do everything you can to help yourself in the investigation and just trust that this will all play out the way it's going to play out, as long as you use it to — and I know this sounds corny — become a better person.
[00:32:51] All right, what's next?
[00:32:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. Last year I interned for a company where I got to build an application that could save them over two million dollars annually. They gave me the initial idea and complete creative control. I knocked it out of the park and they asked me to come back full-time after graduation to finish the app. Once I joined the company, though, my new manager didn't know which team he wanted me to be a part of. I spent the next month in limbo doing job shadows, basically twiddling my thumbs while the decision was made. He finally put me on a team overseeing a twelve-year-old legacy internal application with an offshore team with an 11 and a half hour time difference. I've been brutally honest with my manager about my dissatisfaction, but he insists that the business needs me in this position to maintain quote-unquote balance with the offshore team. I don't have the guidance that I was hoping for in my first job, I have zero motivation to do my best work, and it has had a huge impact on my overall outlook on life lately. My dilemma is that this is a cushy job that pays handsomely. I just moved to an expensive area and I'm knocking out my student loans. At the same time, I really feel like I'm doing my career to service by sticking with it. I don't know when I'd be able to switch roles. And I don't even know if I could put this on my resume if I quit early, not to mention that if I do quit within two years, I'd have to pay off about seven and a half thousand dollars worth of sign-on bonuses. And I wouldn't get the company match for my 401k. Nowadays in IT, if you're not learning the latest and greatest, then you're falling behind. And that gives me anxiety. I started college late. I'm already 28 years old. So the thought of wasting more time haunts me as ageism is a real thing in IT. What are your thoughts on this? Am I just unaware of what being in the real world means outside of college? Will I fall behind if I'm learning outdated technologies? Should I shut up, be grateful, and just do the work I've been told to do? Signed, Languishing in Legacy.
[00:34:39] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I'm sorry. This is happening to you, but it is super frustrating after you just did amazing work on the app over the summer. And by the way, well done there. That's really awesome. Honestly, this sounds like typical corporate bullsh*t where they're hanging onto some crusty ass API that they don't even need. And your manager is more interested in plugging a hole in the ship. So he can just stop thinking about it than he isn't capitalizing on your unique talents, which is fair enough. That's their prerogative. A company has to do what's right for itself before it does what's right for you. That's why you're being paid so well, but this, this is why companies end up losing great people that, and the fact that they use meaningless corporate buzzwords, like balance, which makes me just roll my eyes all the way in the back of my head here. Anyway, you're not the first person in IT who's been dealt this dehydrated cat turd of a hand, although I totally understand why you're frustrated and wondering if you should just jump ship.
[00:35:32] So you're in my thoughts. And by the way, this applies to anyone in any situation who's dissatisfied with their role, their compensation, whatever it is. This isn't unique to IT. To make this decision. I think you need to get super clear on what matters most to you in this equation. Part of the reason you're struggling to decide how you feel here is that you have a bunch of variables and they all seem to hold equal weight. You've got your age. You're a little older than the typical entry-level person. You don't want to fall behind. You've got your salary. That sounds pretty great. It's really helping you out right now. You've got the role. You hate it, but you don't know if you can change teams anytime soon. And then you've got your larger career path, whether you're really learning here, whether you want to be able to say you worked at this place where you're heading.
[00:36:15] So here's what I would do. I would take some time to write all of these factors down, put pen to paper, make this real for yourself and rank them in order of their importance to you. Talk to your friends, talk to your family, talk to any mentors or colleagues you trust. Get their perspective here, too. You need to figure out which trade-offs are worth making. For example, right now you're trading job satisfaction for money, but you also need that money to pay off your student loans. That's important too. Plus the bonus and the 401k matching is nice. So is having that money for a couple of years, more important than learning skills that will advance your career, or would you be willing to forfeit that cash if it meant you could up your game and move faster? If you did forfeit the money, would you be putting yourself in a dangerous financial spot or would you be able to move to a cheaper apartment, maybe renegotiate your loans, set yourself up to take a lower paying job that actually serves you better?
[00:37:09] These are all questions you got to ask yourself. I know the same thing applies to your larger career. What's most important getting ahead faster, because you're a little bit older or adding to your retirement fund. Would you rather be financially secure right now, or would you rather be growing and excited? And these things don't always have to be trade offs, but they often are, especially at the beginning of your career. Also, I'm not presupposing the answer to any of these questions. I'm genuinely asking. Only you can really answer these questions for yourself, but once you do, I think this big messy decision will start to come into focus for you a little bit.
[00:37:43] And just to be clear, I don't think that staying put and collecting a great paycheck for 18 months is the worst idea in the world. Especially if it's helping you get out from under that student loan debt during a pandemic. I also don't think that jumping to another company that actually excites you, but pays less is a bad idea, either as long as you're doing it responsibly and it's setting you up for more success later on.
[00:38:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree. It's hard to know what the right move is when you don't have a good grasp of what you truly care about. What's tough is that all of these things matter to some degree, he just doesn't know which ones matter the most. So in addition to everything Jordan just said, here are a couple other things you can play with. First up, I wonder if there's a way to make this job more interesting, more useful to you, even if you're stuck on a team, you don't really like. For example, you could look at other parts of the business. You could maybe offer a few hours of your time every week to another team or another product that you like more. I bet they would be pretty pumped to have the extra help, especially from somebody smart like you. And you're the summer guy. You're the rockstar guy. You built that cool app. Like they would be stoked to have that guy working on their team. It could even be the app that you've worked on over the summer. I mean, that would be nice, right? To create some continuity there. And then you'd be able to put that role on your resume as if it were actually part of your job. And you can brag about it in job interviews, which would help with your concern about falling behind here.
[00:38:56] The bigger idea though, is really this resist the tendency to think of your job as fixed because there are always ways to get creative. There are always ways to get a little entrepreneurial to make your job more useful than it is on its own. You just have to be more deliberate about contributing the way you want to contribute, not just the way that your company is asking you to. And by the way, if you do this, if you do a great job here, it'll also be an amazing way to build relationships with other people at the company. I would not be surprised if somebody across the company tried to pull you into their team down the road. That could be the juice that you need to get around this manager, who doesn't really want to put you where you want to be, who knows, maybe you'll end up creating the role you actually wanted from the very start.
[00:39:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, great point. I meant to mention that. I think it's likely that he makes himself so useful to another team that those managers lobby for him to leave the BS night shift, babysitting and move to their team instead. And that's actually a perfect example of how relationship building can create the opportunity that you want within a company, not the other way around. And I love that.
[00:39:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: And on a related note, I wouldn't look to your company to meet 100% of your needs. If they're determined to keep you stuck on this dumb API, and you really feel like you're stagnating, there's so many ways to keep growing. You could spend your evenings hacking together. Another cool piece of software. You clearly are able to do that, do it on your own. You could work on getting a couple of certifications, which would be great for your resume. You could write an article about, I don't know, building in house apps and send it around to your supervisors, to your colleagues, IT managers at other companies. Just like, "Hey FYI, I worked on this thing. Here's an article about how to do it. Hope it helps." You know, that kind of thing. There are tons of ways to keep investing in yourself, even if your literal job description isn't allowing you to. And if you look into those things, you might end up finding that this job. Even though you don't really love it, it's actually subsidizing your education and that might help you cope with it for a couple of years. Maybe even appreciate it on some level while you take your professional development into your own hands.
[00:40:46] Jordan Harbinger: And that's so true. That's kinda how I felt at the end of my big law days. I really hated some slash most of the work I was doing, but I was building my company during my lunch breaks and in evenings and on weekends. And my salary was making it possible for me to do that. So it wasn't like I could be totally bitter. In fact, I was pretty damn grateful that I had this job that was basically funding my transition to my own thing. And I think this guy could learn to feel that way too. If he figures out how to use this position to fund the stuff that he actually cares about.
[00:41:15] So to answer your questions, are you just unaware of what being in the real world means outside of college? Maybe, but you're starting to get it now, companies don't ultimately care about what you want, unless you have the power to make them care, either by being a rockstar employee or having super strong relationships or getting a competing offer. And they don't always give you the perfect role, but that doesn't mean that you can't make it better or try to transition or create a new role for yourself. Will you fall behind if you're learning outdated technologies? Maybe, maybe not. Outdated technologies can really be useful to understand as well. But if you're worried about that, I definitely follow game's advice and seek out the experiences that you need. That stuff is really in your hands, so get after it.
[00:41:58] And finally, should you shut up, be grateful and just do the work you've been told to do? Well, I don't think you need to shut up, but I definitely do your job well while you seek out other experiences. And if you do that, I think you'll start to feel more grateful automatically. And if nothing changes and in a year you're still freaking miserable and you realize that growth is more important to you than money. Then start talking to other companies, go see what's out there. There's no harm in that. And I think that's always a good policy to just be open to other opportunities. But if you do all of these things at once, I'm pretty confident you're going to be golden. So good luck, man. Keep up the great work and start getting excited about the career that you're building, not just the one that you're stuck with right now.
[00:42:41] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
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[00:45:13] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, I wanted to do a brief interlude here and talk a little bit about Better Help. They're a sponsor of the show. Of course, I talk about them all the time, but I think it's especially important to be real instead of just doing a straight up ad read all the time. I get a lot of nice notes from you guys about how you've tried Better Help about how it's helpful and all human beings struggle from time to time. Right? We talk about this on Feedback Friday, all of the time. We're always changing. We go through the ups and downs of life, depending on where we are in our life, current circumstances, there's a lot of variables to this. And I personally think that therapy is a great place to learn about yourself. You can understand your past, you can understand how your past impacts your current life, your decisions. You can set goals. You know, we exercise to stay physically fit and to keep our bodies on the right path. But a lot of people do pretty much nothing for their minds. And I think that successful individuals that I know when, whenever we kind of get down to real talk, when we're on these little mastermind calls or their trips or you get to know someone really well, it turns out that most of the people I know that are really kicking butt in life, top athletes, psychologists, scientists, entrepreneurs, these folks are all in therapy now, or they have been, or they count on it to stay sane.
[00:46:26] And I know what you're thinking. I mentioned this before that you don't need a therapist because you talk to your friends and I'm on board with that. And good friends are great for bouncing things off of, but there are people in my life that I mostly hear from when they need a therapist. And that is exhausting for me. And I find myself not necessarily trained to handle their stuff, not necessarily in the right place to hear from them. I might even avoid their calls sometimes if I'm having a tough day. Your therapist won't do that for you. And also they are trained to deal with this. They can compartmentalize. Their relationship with you isn't complicated because they're your therapist. So if you've been avoiding therapy, because you think your friends can be your therapist, I highly recommend making a real appointment with a better help therapist, because you're probably pissing off your friends.
[00:47:12] And I say that with love. I know a lot of friends love to help people. I love to help people. Hell I do a show — we're helping you guys every single week here, but you can't just rely on people's kindness. Often you need a little bit more heavy lifting, and I know that therapy can freak people out as well. Therapy is not just for people who are struggling with mental illness. It's not just for people who can't get out of bed. It's not just for people who are having a breakdown. It's beneficial for anyone who is experiencing some stress or intense emotions or life transitions, or is feeling too up or too down for that matter. Talk therapy is a non-judgemental place. It's a safe place. You can vent about your experiences. You can get real help. It's not just a sounding board. Okay. It's totally different. It's like coaching, but instead of a random person who woke up on their mom's couch and decided to be a coach, you're getting somebody with actual certification and training.
[00:48:05] And lastly therapy is not just for crazy or weak people. It's crazy to me that people don't seem to think twice to seek medical help for health-related problems, but to consider seeking help for emotional problems is somehow a sign of weakness that you're broken, that you don't know how to handle your life. Honestly, how much easier is it to just grab the closest pint of ice cream, drink your sorrows away. We see that a lot in the Feedback Friday inbox. We want to pretend like our problems don't exist. It takes a hell of a lot of strength to face a problem and then ask for help from somebody else.
[00:48:36] Better Help online counseling makes this really easy. I've said this before, during the ad reads, you fill out a questionnaire. The thing takes almost no time at all. They'll match you up really quick. Everything can be done on the phone. You don't have to drive. You don't have to park. You can use video if you want to kind of FaceTime with your therapist. You can exchange unlimited texting and chat with your therapist. They're not nickel-and-dimed me. Obviously, everything you share is confidential. And if you're not happy with your counselor, request a new one at any time, there's no additional charge for it. I really am a fan of this. A lot of you have written in and said, how helpful Better Help really has been for you. And I love that by the way, Jordan Harbinger Show listeners do get 10 percent off the first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. Better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan and join over a million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced Better Help professional, and stop annoying your friends and your family for that matter. All right.
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[00:49:45] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:49:49] All right, last but not least.
[00:49:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe. Over the past year, I've become obsessed with learning. I read books, I consume newsletters, and I listen to hours of podcasts every single day. The issue is that I'm hardly retaining any information. I try to read slower and underline certain sentences that stick out to me. I try to rewind to podcasts, to relisten when my mind wanders off. It's almost as if my brain is on autopilot. It seems like I'm not learning anything. Even though my brain feels totally overwhelmed most of the time, I'm not sure what to do here. I don't want to cut out certain podcasts or books since the content pertains to my interests. So do I step away for a while? Should I meditate more often to try to clear my mind? Should I consider a vacation or a weekend getaway for a change of scenery? Signed, Fretful, Forgetful, and a Little Regretful.
[00:50:35] Jordan Harbinger: Well, as a slightly ADD-ish hyper-consumer of content, I can definitely relate to this one. This is also my fear as a host, that all of the takeaways from my interviews will go in one ear and out the other. And that's actually one of the reasons we create worksheets for every episode, which by the way, you can find those on the website. They're totally free. They're all yours to fill out and build on what you learned here on the show. But I know that most podcasts don't have worksheets. In fact, I think we're the only one that does the only one I know of. So how can you retain all this great information that you're learning? Just stop listening to other podcasts besides this one. All right, Gabe, what's next?
[00:51:10] No, of course I'm kidding. But the key is to change the way that you're engaging with this content. If you're listening to dozens of podcasts every week, and you're just sort of passively consuming them while you drive or type or do errands or whatever, then it makes sense your mind's going to wander. Everyone's mind wanders. Sometimes at times, even people with great attention spans. I wouldn't beat yourself up too much for that. Although if you think you have a severe attention problem in every area of your life, You could always book an appointment with a psychiatrist or a psychologist or neurologist and see if there is something else going on.
[00:51:41] But I definitely think there are ways to get better at this on your own. It's kind of like having a conversation. If you're just listening to somebody drone on your mind's going to wander, and you won't remember much of what was said, but if you're participating in the conversation, if you're building on what the other person is saying and arriving at new points together, you're probably going to remember that conversation pretty well.
[00:52:02] So here's what I recommend. And by the way, I recommend doing this, even if you don't have trouble focusing. The next time you listen to podcasts, break them into 10, 15-minute chunks, set a timer. If you have to, that'll prevent your brain from getting fatigued and it'll make these podcasts feel more like brief conversations. Then as you listen, try to act definitely process what you're learning, not just hearing it, not just buying into it, but actually challenging and understanding and building on what's being said. If you hear an interesting argument, take a moment to critique it. If you're enjoying a certain exchange, ask yourself why it's resonating with you.
[00:52:36] If you hear a piece of wisdom, ask yourself how it might apply in your life. Then when you're done, if you're 10 to 15 minutes, grab a journal or create a file on your phone or your computer that works too. And just jot down a couple of bullet points about what you just heard. Be specific enough that if you looked back at those bullets in a few months, you could remember what you've learned. Don't make it so long that it becomes a whole exercise. Then after that, take one more moment and ask yourself if you know, anyone who could benefit from what you just learned, a friend, a colleague, family member, mentor, whatever. Then right there, and then don't wait till you get home email or text them a link to the episode, along with a timestamp of the segment that you think they'd appreciate.
[00:53:16] Again, I recommend this for everyone. This is one of the easiest ways to build networking into your everyday life and capitalize on the information you consume each and every day.
[00:53:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. I love that idea. I've actually been doing that more and more Jordan, and it really makes listening to podcasts a lot more fun when you're not just doing it for yourself. So, yes, I agree if he does all of that, his focus and his retention, they're probably going to improve pretty dramatically.
[00:53:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yep. Everything will start to take on more, meaning it'll stick a little better because you're engaging with it. You're actually making it meaningful for yourself and other people. If you do that with an episode of this show, for example, you won't be like, "Oh, I kind of remember that interview. It was sort of interesting." You'll be like, "Oh, that was the episode with the FBI guy about how to get people to tell the truth. I remember that because I used one of his techniques on a date and that's the one I sent over to Brandon in sales and he used it to close a new customer." You know what I mean? So more context, more utility. It's not just words. It's actually becoming a part of your life.
[00:54:10] So to answer your questions. No, I don't think you need to cut out certain podcasts or books, especially if they pertain to your interests. You might want to make sure you're not overdoing it on the content or bingeing stuff, just to keep yourself distracted or just being OCD and being like, "I have to listen to these 20 podcasts because otherwise, I'll fall behind." Really what you want to do is change your relationship to what you're consuming. And if you have a lot of mental chatter, then yeah, I'm a big fan of things like going for a long walk and or meditation, that stuff can be a game-changer. I'm a walker myself. And I'm not sure if you need a vacation to fix your attention span — although we could probably all use one by now, but getting away now and again, it's so important and I would recommend not listening to self-help books or personal growth stuff during that time.
[00:54:57] The stuff that makes you feel like you get homework at the end of it. You need a vacation from that too. It's important to check in with yourself. You don't have to be learning every single second of the day, that stuff always be waiting for you when you come back. And honestly, that's one of the reasons why I do some of the story episodes. I interview like a mafia guy on this show, because I know a lot of you listen to every single episode and I want every episode to be like, "Oh no, now I've got to do this system that I learned." Sometimes you just want to hear about people, assassinating the Pope or counterfeiting a bunch of money or holding a bank heist or whatever, right? I mean, you just need to let go sometimes. And I'm happy to be a part of those conversations as well.
[00:55:35] So I hope that this helps, man. Just break it up a little bit, click in more, make it personal, make it meaningful, make it relevant to you and the people around you. I remember stuff that I share far more than I remember stuff that I just sort of passively consumed. I think it's going to make a huge difference in how much you retain.
[00:55:52] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out Leah Remeni and Nina Schick interviews if you haven't yet.
[00:55:59] And if you want to know how I managed to book all these guests or even find out they exist in the first place, my network is — that's what I do. I use my network to find amazing people for this show. You may need your own network to find jobs, find relationships that will help you in business or your personal life. I'm teaching you how to do that for free. The course is on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty. The course is free. It takes a couple minutes a day. Jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:56:28] A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. That's where the worksheets are. Transcripts also in the show notes. There's a video of this Feedback Friday on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can hit me on LinkedIn as well. I'd love connecting with you there. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:56:52] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My amazing team includes Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabriel Mizrahi. Keeps sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please 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 time.
[00:57:32] I've got some thoughts on this episode, of course, but before I get into that, here's a sample of my interview with Maria Konnikova, who went from being someone who had no interest whatsoever in poker to raking in big bucks as an international poker champion. Here's a quick look inside.
[00:57:47] Maria Konnikova: Poker is actually the perfect game for human decision-making because it's a game of incomplete information. No one cares where the hell you went to school. No one cares what you look like. No one cares what you did or didn't do. If you can afford the buy-in, great. So there are people sitting at the table, some of whom have Ivy League education, others of whom dropped out of high school and had to wrestle with homelessness and built up their bankroll from $10 and took that $10 and are now millionaires.
[00:58:17] We make decisions and incorporate things that really shouldn't matter all the time. Like the weather. We don't realize that we're depressed because it's raining outside. And instead we're like, "Oh, life sucks, everything sucks." But it's so cool that if you draw someone's attention to the reason why they're feeling this way, they're totally capable of discounting it and saying, "Oh, okay. Yeah, I'm depressed right now, but it's because of the weather."
[00:58:41] Can you figure out not just your own triggers, but the other person's triggers. Some people when they lose a lot, they're going to become really cautious because they don't want to lose ever more. Some people, when they lose a lot, are going to become extra reckless because they want to gain it back very, very quickly. Same event, totally different reactions. Can I try to figure out what the psychological dynamic for this person is? How did they react to loss? Some people, when they win a lot, they're going to become extra cautious because if now they don't want to lose us. They go, "I have all these chips. I want to guard them." Other people when they went a lot, they're like, "Yeah, let's push my advantage. Let's go."
[00:59:15] If you can start to figure out and pull apart things like that. All of a sudden you have a really good psychological picture of the person and you can take advantage of it. This really intrigued, man. I thought, let me read more about this good day and decided, "Hey, you know what? This is my book. Why don't I learn poker? Why don't I actually see how far I can go?" And I ended up becoming good and winning a major international title and getting a sponsorship from Poker Stars and joining Team Pro and somehow found myself as a professional poker player.
[00:59:47] Jordan Harbinger: For more including how people make decisions and what poker can tell us about reading human motivation, how to spot real physical tells at the poker table and in real-life, and how we can control and prevent emotional thinking aka going on tilt, check out episode 371 of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Maria Konnikova.
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