Your wife refuses to stand up to her mother about her failing health, instead leaving it up to you to hound her about blood sugar levels, smoking, etc. How can you get your wife more involved in your mother-in-law’s health? We’ll tackle this and much 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:
- Some food for thought from Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Dad newsletter.
- Your wife refuses to stand up to her mother about her failing health, instead leaving it up to you to hound her about blood sugar levels, smoking, etc. How can you get your wife more involved in your mother-in-law’s health?
- You excel at your job and the rate of upward mobility has been excellent, but you’re experiencing burnout. At the point of desperation and without clear direction, what can you do to find a healthy balance?
- You need an external opinion on how to communicate with a good friend of yours who’s in the middle of a massive manic episode. Here’s what we suggest.
- You’re a 70-year-old great aunt, and your grand nephew who just graduated from high school is coming to visit you for a week. What can you do to make it memorable and useful to his development as a young man?
- Feedback from essays you’ve written indicates your writing can change lives, but you’ve promised yourself to focus on a side hustle to eventually expand into a business. So which route should you take: the path of passion or the path of profitability?
- Recommendation of the Week: Lenox Hill
- 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.
- And if you want to keep in touch with former co-host and JHS family Jason, find him on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
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Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss the show we did with the late and sorely missed Kobe Bryant — basketball legend, family man, and multimedia mogul? Catch up here with episode 249: Kobe Bryant | Dissecting the Mamba Mentality!
Resources from This Episode:
- Maria Konnikova | Pulling Off the Biggest Bluff | TJHS 371
- Bob Saget | How Comedy Continually Changes His Life | TJHS 372
- The Daily Dad
- 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody | The New York Times
- Sandra Bland: Video Released Nearly Four Years after Death Shows Her View of Arrest | The Guardian
- Why Aren’t We All Talking About Breonna Taylor? | The New York Times
- Detained Children at ‘Grave Risk’ of Contracting COVID-19 – UNICEF Chief | UN News
- All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People of Multiple Backgrounds? | Code Switch, NPR
- Forget Finding Your Purpose — Do This Instead | Deep Dive | TJHS 138
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist | TJHS 246
- Bipolar Disorder: 14 Signs to Look For | Healthline
- An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
- Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Wanted to Know About Bipolar But Were Too Freaked Out to Ask by Hillary T. Smith
- Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher
- Lenox Hill | Netflix
Transcript for How Do I Keep My Mother-in-Law Alive? | Feedback Friday (Episode 373)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always. I'm here with my Feedback Friday co-pilot Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant 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 better informed, more critical thinkers. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what is really happening.
[00:00:33] Now, if you're new to the show on Fridays -- that's today -- we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-format interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers, and performers. This week, we had my friend Maria Konnikova. She became a professional poker player because she wanted to learn decision making. She's a PhD in psychology. She's an amazing author, but she decided to learn poker and then became a professional poker player and is killing it. Like, she is one of the top five ranked female players and plays in the World Series of Poker. Unbelievable. We also had Bob Saget and if you don't know who he is, then you must not remember Full House, Entourage, and America's Funniest Videos. So if you grew up in the nineties, well, then you know exactly who Bob Saget is. Or do you? He's also kind of a super dirty comic, but we tried to balance that a little bit on this show and get down to having a real conversation and we manage surprisingly to do that with a guy who was always on. So I hope you enjoy those episodes from this week.
[00:01:33] Of course, our primary mission here on The Jordan Harbinger Show is to pass along our guests and our own experiences in insights along to you. So the real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you. That's what we're going to do today and every Friday here on Feedback Friday. I want to place a brick and the structure that makes up your life. Just one -- I'm satisfied with that. That's what the show's about.
[00:01:52] On a more serious note though, I do want to speak about something serious here. My friend, Ryan Holiday -- he sent out his Daily Dad newsletter, which I read every morning and I borrowed this with permission. He said, "There is so much on your plate so much. You have to worry about as a parent -- keeping your kids safe, getting them to school on time, getting ahead at the office so you can pay to send them to college. And that's a lot. So it's understandable if you've been distracted and you've missed an opportunity here or there to make certain causes certain longstanding societal injustices, your top priority but that doesn't excuse it. Your busy-ness doesn't exempt you from the moral imperative to be and do good in this world. We've talked before about how great fathers don't just think about their kids, but of our kids. How did you feel when you watched George Floyd breathe his last breath and that horrifying video? What did you think when you read his story? George Floyd was a father. Did that register with you? He had five children, including a six-year-old daughter. How old are your kids? She had five kids who will never see their father again. What's the longest you've gone without seeing yours? These innocent promising young people, promising like your kids who had their loving father stolen from them, now have a permanent answer to that question, the rest of their lives. How do you feel about your kids? That's how George Floyd felt about his kids. That's how Sandra Bland's and Brianna Taylor's parents felt about them. But this discussion is so much bigger than race. How do you think those immigrant parents felt as their kids were torn from their grasp and put in cages? How do you think I felt for parents separated from their children during this senseless preventable pandemic? How do you think it's felt to attend a Zoom funeral for a niece or nephew? It's wrong to ignore what you know is wrong. We're all in this together. And as fathers, we are bound up in the fate of other fathers and mothers. We cannot close our eyes and hearts to others just because we're busy or we have more immediate priorities, or we simply believe it doesn't affect us. It does affect us, our kids, their kids, our world depends on us understanding that."
[00:04:04] Again, not my words.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:05] Not your words. Ryan's right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:06] Ryan Holiday.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:07] Really nicely said, really nicely said.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:11] There's a reason he's a writer, man.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:12] Yeah. He's a good writer.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:13] Puts the feeds in there.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:15] It's also interesting like being a dad. I imagine that that does make all of this heavier.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:19] It does.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:19] I mean, there's so it's so important already for obvious reasons. But on top of that, I think as a parent, you can identify with that in a different way for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:28] Especially me, I think I probably feel it a little bit more than I normally would one being a new dad, but also my kid is mixed. He's mixed, which by the way, I heard you can't say that in the UK. But in America, you say mixed and it's polite.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:41] Oh really.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:42] Yeah. Isn't that --
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:43] Interesting?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:43] Yeah. Same with Australia. You just don't say that it's like uncouth. It's like not the woke way to say that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:48] What do they say biracial?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:49] I think they say half, which to me sounds much worse because how do you know if the person's half or a quarter? You don't, you just don't worry about it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:57] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:58] So I thought that was interesting.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:59] Interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:59] Mixed apparently is pejorative. I don't know. I don't get it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:01] No, I know it's wild, man. And when you have a new kid who just came into the world, it's hard not to look at the news with a different lens.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:08] Yeah, absolutely. Because now it's like, you're not just taking care of yourself or going like, "Screw it. I was fine when I was younger, I'll be fine now." You're like, no, I got to send my kid to these schools. They have to get along with everybody. People have to treat them fairly. I don't want them getting harassed, bullied, beat up by state authorities. None of that. I don't need any of that. By the way, a lot of people like you here on Feedback Friday, it's been fun so far.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:30] Oh, that's awesome. Thank you guys for the notes and Instagram comments and Twitter comments and all that stuff. I'm so happy to be doing this with you, man. It is really the highlight of my --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:38] Good. You better be.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:41] Yeah, I would not say the other, I would not say otherwise. No, it's a -- dude, I've literally been listening to the show for the longest time. This is the highlight of my week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:49] I appreciated that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:50] And I love the questions that we get. The questions we get from listeners are not only so important and relevant, but they're thoughtful and funny and interesting. And I just -- I want to thank you guys for sharing so much of your lives with us because it makes, it makes this a lot more interesting and a lot more -- it makes it doable when you guys share so much. So thank you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:07] Gabriel, by the way, is not new to the company he's been here three, four years, part-time. I mean, I don't even, is that right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:13] Something like that, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:14] So when you're not writing amazing movies and articles from media outlets, you're trying to figure out where that damn drilling is coming from, so we can record an episode of Feedback Friday. But thanks to everyone that wrote him with kind words and emails, social media, and that's why they go, "Wow, you have a really good rapport with that guy that I haven't heard before." And it's like, "Oh, the deep-dive guy, right, Gabriel. Okay. He's been there for a while." So if you're wondering how that's happened, it's practice, we've known each other for over 10 years now, which is crazy. Well, this intro has gone on much longer than usual. If you're new to the show, we don't do this every week. I promise Gabe what's the first thing out of the mailbag.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:47]Hey, team. My wife refuses to stand up to her mother who lives with us about her failing health. It's almost as if she wants her mother to pass away. My wife is a self-starter, a very motivated person, and nothing like her mother. I feel like I have to play the part of the caring child by making sure her blood sugar is right, constantly hounding her on how much he smokes, and things like that. Is it normal for my wife to behave this way? I've tried approaching my wife about saying something to her mom, but she always replies with, "You can't tell her anything." Is there anything I can do or do I just need to keep taking care of my mother-in-law, myself? Thank you, Putting the Ah in Mother-in-Law.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:23] I have to say, I can just imagine somebody being like, "Nah, you can't tell her anything." Like, "She's going to die if you don't --" "Eh, don't worry about it." Like, this is a woman, Gabriel, who is sick of her mother's crap. Just over it. Knows that she is stubborn and just has tapped out.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:41] Yeah. There's a lifetime of dynamic and conflict there somewhere, but yeah, yeah, yeah,
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:46] Definitely, when it's a life-and-death situation and it's like, "You can't tell her anything," and that's the end of the story. That's the end. That's somebody who's got decades of, "You can't tell her anything," practice behind her belt. I think it's really sweet this guy cares so much about his mother-in-law. It says a lot about you when you care that much about your mother-in-law. Honestly, man, you sound like a caring, thoughtful person who wants everyone in the family to be healthy, happy. It does seem like your wife is totally fine. I'm not trying to laugh at you, but it does seem like your wife is totally fine letting you deal with this because she's so sick of it. It's not fair. But I also kind of understand her perspective, I think because I have family members like that. I just kind of get it. You were fed up in 84.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:28] She's either fed up since 84 or she's outsourced it unconsciously to him because he's doing it. So she's like, "That's fine. If you want to do it, that's your call, man, but I'm not doing it anymore." Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:38] You got to ask her what she wants and what you should be expected to do, because there's probably a part of her that's like, "I know it's unfair, but I just can't deal with it." Or, "I know it's unfair, but if he needed my help, he would ask me." And I feel like if this were my mother-in-law and she didn't want to listen to her own daughter, then you don't really have to step in and parent your mother-in-law. I mean, you can, but I don't think you necessarily owe it to this person unless she's being mistreated. But we have very limited info here. I wonder if there's a part of this guy, Gabriel, the writer that feels maybe routinely responsible for other people. And like him getting stuck with mom duty is maybe just one as many examples of him caretaking.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:18] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you're saying like, if this is happening with the mother-in-law, then could it be part of a larger pattern with other people or other people in the family is it's just kind of a role he assumes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:26] Yeah. I secretly suspect this may be a pattern in his life and it's just, "Oh, well, my husband's doing it. He's comfortable with it. He does the same thing with his nephew." Like this might be something that this person does. It just so happens that since the mother-in-law lives with them.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:42] That's part of what makes this hard, by the way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:44] Right, well, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:45] It's hard to ignore when someone's in your house, not taking care of themselves. If she lived in a home or she lived in her own house, that would be different. Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:52] So at what point are you required to parent? Somebody who doesn't give a crap about their own health too. Your wife might be saying, you can't tell her anything. If her mother's, your mother-in-law's health is failing and she's smoking and eating poorly, maybe she just wants to go. That sounds horrible. But maybe for her, change is worse than just letting it play out.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:10:14] Yeah. And even if she doesn't want to actually go, it just means that this is the way she wants to live her life. I mean, it's not like she just decided in the last six months to do this, if she's smoking and not taking care of herself, I'm guessing that there it's probably been going on for decades. If she's been doing that for years, then she chose this lifestyle long before you came into the picture. So yes, it would be very nice to have someone looking out for her. It'd be super nice if she listened to that help, but it isn't at the end of the day, your job. You already have a job. In fact, I believe the original email, which we had to pare down a little bit for readability. I think you mentioned holding down a job right now, and you said it's pretty stressful in this environment to be worrying about your career and then to come home and have to take care of your mother-in-law on top of all of that. So presumably you also have your own parents to worry about, your family. So my question for you is why do you feel compelled to take on a whole other one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:59] Yeah. That might be worth exploring either with yourself, friends, wife, therapists. There's possibly something else going on there.
Peter Oldring: [00:11:09] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show and it is feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:15] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. Your dream is an idea until you take action. And the best action you can take for your business is to start a website using HostGator. HostGator makes starting websites simple and affordable, and a website legitimizes you to your customers and sometimes to yourself. What do you think Peter?
Peter Oldring: [00:11:31] I got to do it. I've got to do it. I mean, I'm huffing and puffing at me right now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:35] You're sighing your own inaction.
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Peter Oldring: [00:12:20] That was a masterful, a bit of wordplay involving numbers. I liked that very much, most importantly, building a website has never been as quick and as easy, and The Jordan Harbinger Show listeners can save up to 62 percent off their hosting plan on their first term by going to hostgator.com/jordan, why not take the first step towards the business of your dreams? Go to hostgator.com/jordan. Select a plan and start building your website right away.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:48] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online counseling. We're extraordinary times. A lot of people are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, and you are not alone. Trust me. I know that we joke around a lot on our ads, but if you'd rather listen to podcasts, than deal with actual people, you're in good company. That's all I'm saying. That's all I'm saying. The world might seem awful lately. And the only contact you can handle is petting a stranger's dog while just hoping they don't try to start a conversation with you. And on social media looks like everyone else is happy, except for you. You turn on the news, we're all going to die. So here's a better solution. Talk to someone and Better Help counselors specialize in many areas, including relationship, conflict, anxiety, depression, loss, trauma, and more. It's all secure. It's all safe. It's not going to get recorded and put up on BitTorrent, fill out the questionnaire, get a counselor in under two days. Schedule secure phone or video sessions. You can text, you can chat. If you're unhappy with your counselor, switch at any time. No charge for that. Get professional. When you want wherever you are. Peter.
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[00:14:13] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:19] All right, Gabe, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:21] Hey, Jordan, to start off, I want to thank you for providing me with invaluable information for the past four years, from the old show to The Jordan Harbinger Show. The personal growth and mindset I've been able to instill in myself is nothing short of extraordinary. Thank you. I'm 25 years old, working for a construction management firm for the past four years. And I've worked my way up to leading a small division. From an outsider's perspective, I am in an incredible position for my age experience and future growth. And I feel extremely grateful for where I am and I don't take it for granted. However, the pace at which I'm working is incredibly fast and I've experienced burnout a handful of times already to the point of having medical issues. Initially, I thought it was the way I processed the stress, but the more I introspect and analyze also with the help of a therapist, the more I realized that it truly is not a sustainable role. The underlying cause I believe is that I do not have a passion for the work. I'm great at my job and I have incredible colleagues and support, but I just don't find it truly aligning with who I am or what impact I would like to leave on the world. I'm now at the point of desperation of really not having any idea about what to pursue or where. I've recently hired a career coach to assist with some of the mental thinking and opening up my reality to other career pathways. Thanks to some advice I've heard from you regarding coaching. I realize what I'm asking of you is very vague, but any advice or next steps would be greatly appreciated. Best, Jumping from a Great Ship.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:41] I actually think a lot of high performing young people feel like this since a lot of people in your position -- look, they're good at their job. The job pays well. They have upward mobility and they think, "Oh, all right, this is what my parents were talking about. This is like the Holy grail of career." Upward mobility can buy a house, can afford stuff that I need, et cetera, paint off my debts, get experience, make money, buy a house, and they're not totally wrong. There's some truth to that. You can build skills, you can get experience, you can make money, but at some point, you've got opportunity cost of not actually doing what you want. There's burnout potential. There are health issues, et cetera. I think we can strike a balance where you stay long enough to make yourself competitive elsewhere. You save a bunch of money. That way you can coast you can land on your feet. You can afford to take six months or even a year off and live frugally and find out what else you want to do or switch jobs if there's not a smooth transition. You get enough real-world experience to make your next endeavor a success as well. Gabe, what do you think? You've transitioned careers before as well.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:16:40] I think you're hitting a point that everyone hits at some point or another, where you have to confront whether you really want to pursue the thing that makes you materially successful right now or find something that is actually fulfilling in the long term. That's actually super common at 25. Like that's the quarter-life crisis everyone talks about, but it's also just a cycle. I think that ends up roughly three years after college-ish. I don't know if you went to college, but you said you've been doing the job for like four years. So that makes perfect sense. I also hit that right at 25 and I asked myself the exact same question and it was an important question. It makes sense that you're asking it. Honestly, it sounds like you're doing all the right stuff already. Trying to look at yourself at the therapist, hiring a career coach, listening to different kinds of advice. I think it's awesome. The only advice I can really add on top of that is to be patient with yourself because finding your purpose -- which by the way, super annoying phrase, kind of hackneyed. They are way too many blog posts on the Internet about this topic. So I'm not going to lay it on too thick. But finding your purpose is not something that happens in a day or even a month, it's something that sort of reveals itself to you slowly and grows in proportion to how much you invest into it. So you will find it if you keep searching. And it sounds like you will, but it might not be tomorrow or next week or next month. So consider giving yourself a little bit of time to explore opportunities while you have this financial stability.
[00:17:54] That's a huge gift. You don't have to love your job. Every second for it to be a useful place to be right now. I know you're burning out and that's something to consider, but if you can take your foot off the gas just a little bit or make it work for you, then you can allow your current job to sort of fund your search for something more fulfilling. And I will not give you super stock advice on how to find your purpose. God knows there's enough of that out there already, but I do recommend checking out an article and a deep dive we did on this exact topic, which we will link to in the show notes. Both of them I think pull some of the greatest advice and wisdom on this topic that I've seen around. And, hopefully, that'll give you some stuff to work with. But just to reiterate, this will take some time, but that is okay. It's actually what makes it worthwhile. So in the meantime, try to take care of yourself at work, notice ways in which you're making your job, maybe a little bit more intense than it actually has to be, which is, you know, kind of high performer problems. And give yourself some space and time to play and check out those resources. And if you keep going, I think you'll find
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:45] Great answer, Gabe. All right. What's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:48] Ola, J squad. I need an external opinion on how to communicate with a good friend of mine who's in the middle of a massive manic episode. He's been like this for years. When he's down, nobody will hear from him for months at a time. He locks himself into a room with video games and won't answer any communications. When he's up though, he's ranting like a meth head on a bender, talking about business ideas and networking and probably not sleeping at all. I've asked around and I don't believe he's doing any drugs, but he does seem to be drinking and partying a lot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:17] Yeah. That sounds like -- and again, I have no clinical authority, but that sounds like textbook bipolar. And again, we can't diagnose this guy, but there are certain symptoms you hear about all the time and these are them. That's really tough.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:29] Yep. Yeah, totally.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:30] Go on.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:31] So I'll continue with the letter now.
[00:19:32] To give a little background, we've been friends for about 20 years and I've considered him family for much of that time. He had an extremely successful DJ company and made tons of money and had all the trappings. But about seven years ago, things changed around the time his father died. A lot of these behaviors were there before that time, but the death seemed to amplify them. In the last seven years, he went from a successful businessman with a gorgeous house, boat, six cars, and lots of travel to a person who is probably homeless and networking to get free meals. And listening to your episode with Wendy Buhary -- by the way, that's episode 246 if you guys want to check it out -- my jaw was on the ground, listening to the traits of a narcissist and it pretty much fits my friend to a T. Anytime we tried to talk to him, I can see the panic set in that we are seeing through his facade and he either blows us off or gets angry because we are "hating". I'm scared for him. And I don't know how to proceed. I miss my best friend and brother, but with a new relationship, outlook, and baby on the way, I'm not sure it's healthy to have him in my life. What would you do? From Friends to Frenzied.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:32] So, as I mentioned before, the extreme ups and downs, there are just as many people who have those that are clinically bipolar and there's a lot of people that or not and it's something else. Unfortunately, these types of ups and downs are uncomfortable for everyone, not just for the outside observer -- I mean the person experiencing them. So they do lots of folks who suffer from that to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which is not good, obviously, that can lead to addiction. And it's interesting that you say, "The death of his father amplified his mood swings and other behavior." That's normal. Grief does that, stress does that -- acute stress especially does that. I had somebody I used to work with whose father passed away. And while the guy was a bit of a boozehound before that and a partier, he just got so much worse afterwards. Lost most of his friends. He really went off the deep end with a lot of stuff. Drove his business downwards. I mean, it was bad news and it didn't fix itself. It lasted for years. So people thought, "But his dad died in 2010." And it's like, I don't know if it's as fresh, but he's just as far off the rails as he was the months after it happened. I hear you on the narcissism thing. And that can happen with a lot of folks that said I'm more inclined to think that what looks like narcissism here is maybe a hopefully temporary side effect of somebody who's manic. In other words, maybe he's not a clinical narcissist, but he's suffering from manic, depression, bipolar. We don't know the effect can be similar though. And that he's impossible to deal with. He's an unhealthy addition, his presence is unhealthy in the lives of somebody who have healthy relationships and a new baby on the way.
[00:22:07] I would be very cautious about that. You can't stress out your pregnant wife or significant other. You can't stress out your infant. You can't be stressed out around him or her. You can't do that. You shouldn't do that. It's not even worth doing that. And I get that. I understand what it's like to be locked in the cage with the creeps, you know, so to speak. You don't want to be there willingly. So certainly you should try and separate yourself from him. And to be clear, you can't separate yourself from other people's drama like this, as long as they're in your life, it's always going to seep into your life -- always, always, always, always. There's always that family that thinks, "Well, we just disowned this person." Or, "We want this person outside of us." I mean, you really have to cut off all contact in order for that to happen. It will always seep into your life, always. People think they can isolate this stuff or this person and their life, or they're going to compartmentalize it. I only hang out with them like once a month. It doesn't matter. It really does not matter. Keep that in mind. As you welcome an addition to your family and you build a life for yourself, you're going to want to set and keep boundaries between him and between you and your family.
[00:23:10] And I'm not saying you have to cut them out completely. That's probably what I would do, but he needs treatment and like actual medical treatment from a doctor, specifically a psychologist and/or psychiatrist, so he can get medicated if that's what's needed. Certainly not to armchair podcast guys, but we're just trying to point you in the right direction. I just want you to know if you take something from my answer here, don't think you can just quarantine to use our current day buzzwords. Don't think you can just quarantine this problem in your life. You can't just keep him at arm's length and not have his stuff seep into your life. If you keep it really far away, maybe you'll do a little bit better, but I've never been able to successfully have somebody in my life at any steady measure who's a mess and not have that mess affect me somehow. I can't think of a single example where I've known someone that was a bit of a mess that was close to me. That didn't cause a mess in my life, or that was just a full-time job, keeping their mess out of my life. Gabe, what do think?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:06] Well, certainly, if he continues on this path, that's probably what is going to happen. It will become a liability. But my question for this person is, do you really want this guy in your life? And I'm not saying because he's been your friend for 20 years. I mean, right now, do you want this guy in your life? Without presupposing the answer, just think about this. If you do, if there's a friendship there that is deeper than what he's wrestling with right now and would you feel your life would benefit from keeping him in it? Then I think there might be a way for you to encourage him to get help when he can hear it. And I say when he can hear it because when he's up when he's manic is probably not the greatest time --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:39] Yeah, good point.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:40] -- to approach that topic, but you could sit down with him and say something like, "Look, man, I love you. We've been friends for 20 years. You've been in my life for a long time, but it's going to be hard for me to continue being close with you if you don't get some help. And here are the reasons why I think you need that help. It really hurts me to see you going through this. I can only imagine how hard it is for you." Empathize with him, explain what you're seeing, and then explain what you think he needs to do to take care of himself and what you think he needs to do for you to be able to stay friends with him. Those are the boundaries I think Jordan was just talking about not just about contact and how much time you spend, but about what the terms of your friendship are. So you might say something like, "Yo. I'll be in your life if you seek help, if you take your medication, if you stay healthy, but I will not be there, if you go off your meds or invite me to Starbucks, so you can get a free bacon and Gouda breakfast sandwich or whatever. If you start pitching me on opening a bar in our hometown tomorrow, I'm out," like that sort of thing, right? The classic bipolar behaviors that don't make sense and become a problem that might be kind of painful for you and you might worry about him and he might take it hard actually, but you can't compromise your health and sanity trying to fix somebody who doesn't want to be fixed. That's just -- it just never works.
[00:25:48] If you don't want to be friends, this person anymore, which I think is sort of where Jordan is leaning and I'm inclined to agree, then it's just time to end the friendship and, you know, history holds weight, but you get to decide who gets to stay in your life. Plus you have a family and a ton of other commitments, and those are more important. If it helps you, my man, there are a few books I would check out. They came highly recommended from a psychologist friend. One of them is called An Unquiet Mind and others called Welcome to the Jungle. There's another one called Madness, a Bipolar Life -- All of them we will link to in the show notes. Just know that those books are more about the experience of dealing with the disorder and not dealing with someone else who's bipolar. But it might help you appreciate what your friend is going through and hopefully give you a little bit of insight to help you make that choice.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:27] Mania is a weird beast, man. I know some guys that definitely had this kind of thing in college. We didn't really know what the hell was going on, but he'd be super depressed for a long period of time. Video games only. We had AOL instant messenger. He would never return IMS or anything. And you could tell that he was manic. I installed spyware on his computer so we could see if he was okay.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:49] Did you really?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:49] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:50] What did you find out?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:52] Just screwing around sleeping until like 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. and then playing video games until three and then passing out. It was bad news. Ordering a lot of delivery. You know, not working on school, like not showing up to class. But then when he was up, the mania part was even more weird because he would want to go out and he would want to go places and like -- we didn't have any money. So there wasn't a whole lot of spending money, but I remember one time, very weirdly. He was like, "Dude, I bought two--" This isn't a rich guy. This is a normal guy. He bought two Mercedes sedans that were both white. And he was like, "Look," and we were like, "What? Whose are those?" He's like, "I got both of them." And we're like, "What do you mean you got both of them?" Like, we didn't want anything to do with it because we weren't sure if they were stolen or what. And then he had to go in somehow return them. He had leased them from the dealer. It was because he was manic. He was going into it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:42] Yeah, very classic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:43] I guess the luck is that they were just leases and not purchases. Also, how do you lease a car when you're that young? Like so much was wrong with it. I think 25 to rent a car, maybe you don't have to be that old to lease a car?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:54] I don't think you know, actually. Yeah, but it is curious to know how he pulled that off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:58] I almost think -- It's possible also he forged a co-signer signature who knows, man, this is the '90s.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:03] What you're describing is -- it's scary, man. Like it's destabilizing to be around somebody like that. And somebody you love, it's harder. When you're in the presence of someone like that -- and I say this with total empathy, for what they're going through without judgment. I mean, everybody's chemistry is different. Everybody has their own stuff. If it's hard for you, which it sounds like it is, it is super hard for him, even if he won't admit it. And that's what makes this hard is that you want to be, you want to help your friend out and you want to be there for him, but you also have to look out for yourself. And so weighing those two things is always difficult, but at the end of the day, and it's kind of like, we were just talking about with the mother-in-law, your life is your life and his life is his life and you have to respect that boundary at the end of the day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:39] Look, if you can get him to treatment and he wants to go.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:42] Great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:42] Great. If he doesn't, you can't be there to catch him when he falls every single time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:46] That's right.
Peter Oldring: [00:28:49] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and it is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:54] This episode is sponsored in part by Progressive Insurance.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:53] Hey, stay tuned after the show, we have a trailer of our interview with the late great Kobe Bryant. Let me know what you think. Again, that's coming up after the close of the show.
Peter Oldring: [00:30:02] Thank you for listening and supporting this show. Your support of our advertisers is what keeps us going. To learn more and to get links to all the great discounts you just heard so that you can check out those amazing sponsors for yourself, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And don't forget that worksheet for today's episode. The link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. And now for the conclusion of feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:30] All right, what's next.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:31] Hi, Jordan. I just found out that my grand-nephew wants to fly across the country to visit me for a week as his high school graduation gift. I am delighted this young man finished his senior year online while continuing to work in a grocery store during the pandemic. He was raised by a mother of questionable character, along with a crabby grandmother--my sister and his great grandmother. He's been henpecked enough. And to his credit, he has remained a good-natured kid through all of this. I see this visit as a great opportunity for him to get some distance from home, [00:31:00] to have some space, to get ready for the next chapter in his life. What can a 70-year-old great aunt do to make this visit a valuable and memorable experience for him? I will ask him what he'd like to do while here and I also plan to offer him some goal setting resources along with my personal 17-year experience with it. Am I on the right track? What else may be the best way I can contribute to him and the man he is becoming? Signed, I'm Not a Regular Great Aunt, I'm a Cool, Great Aunt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:26] You know, look, the goal-setting thing is probably a really good idea and I definitely think you should do it, but I can also imagine being like, "Hey, so glad you're here. I have this really cool goal-setting exercise that we're going to do tonight."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:38] That was the plan. "I'm so happy. So congrats. This is going to be an awesome week."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:42] Let's hit Macaroni Grill takeout, and do a goal-setting exercise like, "Oh God, how many days left I have?"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:47] "What do you see yourself in five years? Let's break that down."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:52] But again, you should totally do it because it is a really good idea. It's going to be all in the delivery here. First of all, so sweet of you. I think many, a great aunt would just grit their teeth through this and not worry about somebody else's kid. And you're such a good person for trying to make this memorable and fun and educational for him. It's really hard to say what you should do, but I think over-planning, this might just feel like a lot of pressure for him. When I was a senior, I was working, I think, I assume so -- oh, that was when I was a junior. When I was a senior, I was overseas in Germany, but everything seemed like stress. I was just trying to go through this transitional period of my life. If he just got out of high school, he's entering a pretty scary world right now and is ill-prepared, not because of him, but because high school doesn't prepare you for squat. And it's a scary world right now. When I graduated from high school in '99, 2000. Nothing was scary at all. It's pre-9/11. The world was our oyster. Everything was safe and fun and easy and cool and on the upswing. And we were sheltered from anything that wasn't. So you got to be kind of cognizant of that, no matter how deep into video games or whatever kids are, they got to know we're in there, a recession, a pandemic, and it's a crazy time period. They still see stuff on social media. He's probably not sure what to expect because nobody is.
[00:33:05] So I would say this is a good opportunity for you to build up a relationship that is strong and trusting. So he feels comfortable coming to you for advice, for guidance moving forward. And that's probably more valuable than any short-term experience might get during the week with you. Like you go to Disneyland every day, but what's going to be better is he has somebody who's not crazy crabby, whatever to bounce stuff off of, because you said he's henpecked, but it depends how much he was mothered. Right? And I mean that in a positive sense. You can have three women in the house and you might have zero quality mother figures. You described your sister as crabby. That to me, signals, that's pretty severe. I would imagine. And then the mother of questionable character. I'm getting an accurate picture of the household where this kid grew up. And it's kind of a miracle in a lot of ways that he's not just totally retreated inside.
[00:33:57] I'd say, if you set yourself up to have good rapport and you're able to stay in touch and guide him gently as he needs you to do throughout the next few years, then the visit was a success. So keep it light, listen to him, see what he wants to do. Not only during the week but in his life. Something tells me he's probably grown up with a lot of unsolicited advice coming at him from all angles, 24/7, zero percent of which have taken his desires and wishes in mind. And a lot of what are probably designed to avoid making the same mistakes as we did. Best to be the person who listens and does not do that. So I encourage that relationship between you. I don't think you can really screw it up unless you start browbeating him. And I'm not worried about that. So do the goal setting, maybe do it on day two. Let them show the first night, go get some Macaroni Grill takeout. Gabe, you got anything to add?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:46] Yeah, I totally agree, Jordan. I love that you want to give your nephew life advice, but I would say ask him what he would like to do while he's there. By planning a bunch of activities and advice, you might actually be recreating that henpecked vibe he's getting at home. Don't let your agenda for the week get in the way of just enjoying some organic conversation and experience together. I would ask him how he's feeling, what he's thinking about, how he sees the future. Let him tell you what he's interested in and get curious about that because you can always jump on the phone next week or next month or in a year and offer some of that advice. It will mean so much more if you've built the relationship now. So I'd make the focus of your week getting closer together and not passing along wisdom you can do anytime down the road, it'll mean a lot more if you tour our closer, then.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:24] All right next step.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:26] Hey Jordan, I want to first say that I've been a follower and fan of your work for about eight years now and have been thrilled to watch you strike out on your own and continue to up your game. I'm torn between two potential business ideas and hoping to get your advice. I'm a mid-30s professional with a stable corporate career at a large technology company. I enjoy my work there, but my goal has long been to create a side hustle that I can eventually parlay into a business that will allow me to strike out on my own. During the quarantine, I've buckled down and started to give the side hustle thing a genuine shot. I've come up with what I think is a solid online business idea with the potential to be profitable and to genuinely improve people's lives. Here's the catch, I recently wrote an article-length post on Facebook, offering my commentary on the current events going on in America and the post caught like wildfire. The commentary I received about how deeply my post emotionally resonated with people and caused many of them to look at the world in a different way, really took me aback. I also had multiple friends tell me that I should pursue that type of writing and some sort of professional capacity. This has actually happened to me before, when I've written in-depth social commentary on Facebook. So it doesn't seem to be a fluke. I feel like this is something that I could continue to pursue and even be more passionate about than my original business idea, but it's not obvious to me how I can turn this into a profitable business. I feel like I would be spreading myself too thin if I tried to do both at the same time. So now I'm stuck with the question of which route I should take -- the path of passion or the path or profitability.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:47] Well, I'm obviously going to hand this one off to you, Gabriel, given that you were working at a corporate gig and you left to write and it turned into a series of successes overnight after about 15 years.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:59] Yeah. It was not overnight whatsoever. All right, well, look, my experience is not exactly like yours. I will say that your question is basically a question of money versus passion. Basically, I think you have to decide which one is more important to you since you can't do both. Although if you can do both if you can find a way to make it a little money and still enjoy writing, do it. And you might be surprised by how much you can do both but I understand you can't do everything. You can't do everything well. You can either spend your free time creating something that will make you a little extra money, or you can spend your time doing something that fulfills you. Both are legit options, but it's up to you to decide which one matters more. You said that your goal was to create a side hustle that will allow you to strike out on your own. So it sounds to me like money and freedom are the bigger priority for you here. Although I should probably point out, that there is much less freedom in entrepreneurship than people often think. It's actually just a different set of problems that you are more in control of. So keep that in mind. The wrinkle though is this. If you don't actually care about that profitable side hustle you're developing, it's going to become miserable for you. I can almost guarantee you that. So I spent a year working on something profitable that you do not care about. You better be really focused on that cash because the love will not sustain you. And then you'll have spent a year on that abandoned thing with little to show for it when you could have been writing that whole time, which would have made you happier anyway. So I would tell that to you, even if you weren't debating whether to write instead, it's just a good thing to keep in mind.
[00:38:20] As for writing -- and this is maybe where I can offer a little bit of my own experience. It's probably true that you won't be able to make much money from it if what you're doing is sort of like journalism, which it sounds like it is not a great time for journalism, very hard to break in, even harder to make money at it, unless it's extraordinary or in a very valuable niche. Or if you have a really unique voice, which you totally might have, it sounds like people really dig your writing. And if that's the case, there could actually be a future for you, but you have to be willing to spend -- and I'm not exaggerating. I just want you to know where you're getting into -- years to see the return on that. So if you're cool with writing things on Facebook, then yeah, it's probably a hobby. If you have some super unique voice and you can create a following, there might be something there. Just know that writing is no picnic either. And that even as a hobby, it can be pretty maddening. So if you try to pursue it more seriously, you will eventually run into some of the same questions you have about your for-profit-side hustle too. So money or fulfillment -- that's your choice right now.
[00:39:15] Look, Jordan talks about this thing a lot with me about how wanting to turn your passion into your job as a very tempting thing to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:22] Definitely, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:23] And it's not always the wisest thing to do because the joy that you are getting from writing right now might be partly because it is not your job and you're not even trying to make it a side hustle. You're doing it because you actually love it. So yes, that could totally be the direction your life should go, but that doesn't necessarily mean it should be your job or that you need to make it the centerpiece of your life. Like you might be able to maintain that by doing one post a week and enjoying the connection you get with people and sharing some of your thoughts. And that might be it. That might be the place that it should occupy in your life. And that's hard for us to come in and tell you what it should be. But I think that's up to you to decide. I would try and play with it a little bit and see how it feels after six months. And then you'll get a better taste of whether that's something you'd want to do for real, even as a side hustle
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:05] All right, again, great answer. I feel like you participated a lot this week. I think I'll get used to this frankly.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:11] Did I? Well, you punted the writing question to me, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:13] That's true.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:14] You're just like, "Oh, that's your thing. You do."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:16] Yeah, your thing. What's your recommendation? You even did the recommendation this week.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:20] Oh dude, have you seen Lennox Hill on Netflix?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:22] No, what is this?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:23] Okay. I did not expect it to be as good as it was. I didn't even know really what it was. I just watched it for some reason. Okay, so Lennox Hill is a docu-series on Netflix. I think it's like six or eight episodes and it follows four of the greatest doctors at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. And it's the coolest balance of like clinical stuff. Like you actually get to see brain surgeries taking place and people delivering babies. Like you get very intimate in the operating room.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:51] I used to love that stuff. So this isn't like a reality show. It's a freaking --
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:55] It's a docu-series.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:55] -- docu-series.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:57] Yeah, but it's not like --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:57] Okay, there's a difference. It's a fine line, but one is drama and the other one is --
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:01] Correct
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:02] -- a documentary that has --
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:03] It's not like, sort of -- no, exactly. It's not annoying. It's like real, but the cool thing is when they get into the lives of the doctors and then they get into the lives of the patients and I won't spoil anything, but like it is so devastating and also so uplifting at the same time. You just get this incredible portrait of people in this docu-series highly, highly, right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:22] Netflix. All right. We'll link to it in the show notes. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week, a link to the show notes always found at jordanharbinger.com. Go back and check out the guests from this week.
[00:41:33] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people on the show, I've got a lot of relationships through my network. I'm teaching you how to create a network for yourself. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over there on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Now, this is for business, personal, whatever. Don't delay. The number one mistake that I made, frankly, and that a lot of people make is not digging the well before you get thirsty. Once you need relationships, it could be too late to make them. So ignore this at your own peril. Again, it's free. There's no upsell. You don't have to enter your freaking credit card. Go to jordanharbinger.com/course I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. You can also add me on LinkedIn. It's a great way to engage with the show and with me personally. Videos of our interviews, including this Feedback Friday, unless we did something seriously wrong here, that'll be at jordanharbinger.com/youtube.
[00:42:22] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. Thanks, Gabriel, Mizrahi for your sage advice and your question curation today. The episode itself produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes for the episode by Robert Fogarty, additional voiceover by Peter Oldring, music by Evan Viola. Keep sending in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests and Gabriel's opinions as well -- these are our own opinions. I'm not a psychologist, I'm not a therapist. I have no clinical authority -- neither do you Gabe and we readily admit this. We can't give specific treatment recommendations. I can only share what I've learned on my own and with my team. And I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. So share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody who I can use the advice that we gave here today. We've got a lot more in store for you. And 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.
Kobe Bryant: [00:43:29] I love the game. I love it. I didn't want to be away from it. I wanted to play all the time. I was 18, 21 years old, I wanted to play basketball. I was consumed with this quest of trying to be the best. I knew I wanted to win five, six, seven championships. For me to come out and say that people would think I was a lunatic. Negotiate with yourself. Know what happens inside up here. Are you able to negotiate your way out of that little voice telling you it's not that important or does that little voice get the best of you? Remove the ego from this process. Just focus on the act. And when you do that, now you can look at actions and then you can truly improve. How can you lock-in and get into that mental space where nothing else matters? The noise of the crowd doesn't matter, whether they're cheering or booing doesn't matter, you're just completely locked in. How do you do that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:21] How do you not let demons of uncertainty get inside your head? Like when you tore your Achilles, are you not thinking like, "Oh-oh, how am I going to come back from this?
Kobe Bryant: [00:44:27] Oh God, yeah. If you're nervous or scared about a situation instead of being like, "Nah, there's nothing to be scared about, nothing to be scared -- oh shit, there is." And that's fine. That's okay like you own it. You give it a hug, embrace it. And now what are you going to do about it?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:43] To learn more from Kobe Bryant, subscribe to The Jordan Harbinger Show and check out episode 249 in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you're listening right now.
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