In this episode, I talk about when parts of myself are at conflict with each other. I’m the type of person that’s very good at pushing myself to do things, I’ve got a strong inner pusher. But there’s also a part of me that sometimes just want to relax, take it easy and goof off. That in and of itself is fine—we all have those parts in us. The problem arises when these two parts of myself work against each other. If I want to relax, but my inner pusher keeps screaming at me that I better take care of all these things… well, then I’m neither relaxing, nor doing work: I’m fragmented, not fully present. And that’s not how I want to live life: I want to be all-in, fully engaged and present.
[00:00:00] this weekend I was going in and out the bunker where I’m hiding from feelings I don’t want to deal with, but then I have this, I mentioned the.
Car right where I was faced with these three parts of me:
a firefighter, the personal bunker that I go to hide from an attack of emotions that might feel life-threatening
as well as the pusher, the constant grinding, screaming force that tells me to get my shit together and do what I’m supposed to do and how these two are in conflict.
And, what are they both protecting this? Some child that when it gets the feeling of failure, and with that, I think worthlessness. It feels hopeless, It goes to a really bad place. And the pusher is trying to protect that part, that inner child that’s afraid of being worthless by pushing me to succeed and achieve and do the things [00:01:00] necessary for me so that I respect myself and I feel self-worth.
And the bunker part of me when I get close to feeling that feeling is shoving me into the bunker and hiding me from the world and distracting me from my feelings so that I don’t go there. The problem is that these two parts are in intense conflict with each other. When I go to a place of I’m overwhelmed or I’m exhausted, or this, that, and the other, and I’m just going to chill, listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube talk or whatever.
I was never able to actually enjoy the fucking thing. when I binge watch something, I can never enjoy it from the first moment of the last, I have incredible tension in my body. And that’s because there’s the fucking pusher that he’s pounding the door of the bunker is screaming at me to get the fuck out of there.
when I go into hiding, never even a little bit pleasant and maybe it’s for nobody. Because, we all have that inner voice when [00:02:00] we’re hiding from something that knows that we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do. but, I think we all have different bonkers and different levels of pushers and my pusher.
Ain’t like, everybody’s that? I’m pretty sure of otherwise, I wouldn’t be where I am today. the amount of tension that I have when I try to quote unquote, relax and distract myself is insufferable. it just sucks. I also think a lot of people might have a more comfortable bunker than you.
My bunker sucks. I don’t really get to hide from the world because there’s one voice outside the bunker, that’s screaming and begging the fucking door. And so it’s in my neck almost. And I’m sitting here distracting myself, but fuck, can I just, you know what my bunker says about the pusher? It’s just like, can’t I just can’t she just give us just a moment.
Can we just, can you just give us a moment to relax? And then when we [00:03:00] overdo it, could you then start knocking the door and by the pusher says, no, no, no, no bitches, no fucking assholes. Not a second. Right? It’s relentless. It’s ruthless. It’s mercy list. It’s just Nope. No, not one moment when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, I’m going to be in your face, screaming at you.
Now. It isn’t good things for me. Yeah. I mean, it has helped me to never avoid the difficult truth of my life for too long. And it has helped me to never hide from challenges for too long. But you know, there’s this concept in ifs, internal family systems that talks about polarization and polarization is not when you have just two parts in your psyche that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, [00:04:00] right?
You could have a pusher and a bunker or a comforter that are not polarized. Because they’re there at the opposite end. But when you are in the pusher mode, the comforter or bunker in my case is not interfering. And when you’re in the comfort or bunker mode, the pusher is not interfering, right? They are polarized when they’re are actively engaging when one of them is dominant and fighting that part.
And so both of them are pulling in different directions and they have a beautiful metaphor for this, where they say, imagine a sailing boat where you have two sailors on it. And one is leaning. It takes a rope and leans way to the left, outside the boat. And the other is way to the right. And both of them are leaning more and more extreme because they think if they don’t, the boat is going to chip.
And it’s true because they’re both gone to such an extreme place where if one of them goes back a little bit, the boat will kick. The problem is [00:05:00] that They pushed each other. to such an extreme place that there’s nowhere to go other than stay stuck in the most extreme of places.
And so how do you negotiate to make those to slowly but surely trust each other and start walking one step at a time, back into the boat where they’re they start valuing each other and working together, and then eventually you would want the thing that they’re trying to prevent, which is whatever they are trying to protect.
You would want to bring that in and integrate that as well, and make them understand that whatever they are doing. Usually we are building these extreme responses, childhood kind of their overall responses to a situation, in very extreme cases, as a traumatic event that might create this super extreme.
And we’re talking extremes, nothing compared to mine where people, you know the comfort of might be something that leads you to drugs. It’s a really destructive behavior. And that polarization is when those two parts of your psyche [00:06:00] at the most extreme in constantly at battle with the other sites have, whenever one of them is dominantly present in your psyche.
The other one isn’t just like waiting for their turn. The other one is actually interfering with it. Right.
And that makes such sense. I can use that metaphor framework and a bunch of my behavior falls into a beautiful pattern where before it was just chaos, unexplainable, why I am acting the way I’m acting.
And now it’s just like Domino’s, they’re just dah, dah, dah, dah. They all just started like, Oh, of course, that’s right. That explains this moment. This moment, whenever I do this, whenever I feel that, wow, this explains a lot kind of very beautifully neatly.
And I definitely had this weekend a situation where I was trying to hide from a feeling that was super unpleasant, but at the same time, [00:07:00] my pusher was so intense and I was going in and out of feeling both feelings and slightly being aware of it and being like, Oh yeah, I know why I have my jaw is about to explode.
And I know why I don’t want to sit in silence and I’m in my, in my mind it was like, basically. Can you both? Can I just give myself a little break? I’ll do it. She’s just for everybody relax. I’ll get back into our presence mode of feeling and I’ll unpack these things that are going on. Just not ready right now.
And the answer from both parts, they didn’t really answer me in a verbal way, but the experience and sensation was no, there was no back in town or in the land of status. And so I just, I had a shitty weekend, I just had a typical weekend of suffering. The big difference being that I was more [00:08:00] present in the suffering where, in the past, when I would go through these cycles, it would not be as I would have moments where I’d be like, I need to get out of this mode isn’t good.
But. Those would be milliseconds throughout the day and this time around it was, I don’t know, it was much more almost aware of these two parts it’s sitting there and punching me left and right. And I was going okay. Okay. I’ll let them not ready obviously to step up, but I’m about to, I’m going to step out of this in any moment.
And this morning, I mean, last night already, I decided like enough is enough. Like tomorrow morning, I’m gonna go on a long walk and I’m going to do a bunch of things to like figure, figure some shit out. And so I started the morning with actually the very first thing I did was just walking out the balcony and just sitting outside at 6:00 AM and it was just sitting there and listening to the birds.
And I [00:09:00] sat there for half an hour, so 30, 40 minutes. And I could literally tell how it was like all that tension in my body and my face was slowly easing up. And then I sit down and I journaled and I asked myself some questions in the journal and I figured a bunch of shit out. And then I did my five question exercise, and then I stretched.
And then I was in a group and I started thinking more about these two patterns. And one thing that popped up where were some memories of kind of my younger self, when w when there were there some memories that came to me, or when I was doing that, when I was young, when I almost went to start it.
And I think for the longest time when I was a kid growing up, between the ages of, I don’t know, maybe seven, eight and 16, [00:10:00] mostly I had this the bunker part. I mostly had this trying to hide from my real emotions in situations that were tricky. And we had this as a family tradition to some degree, because as I said, the most dominant activity in our family was watching television. Just the TV was on 24 seven. And when we were not eating or saying something to each other, we were all sitting in front of the television. And so that was a big part of just. Let’s sit there and let’s not feel or deal with anything or really interact with the world in large.
And it took till I was 16 till I started to have an outlet for my ambition. Right. I’ve taught, I told the story many times where I had this argument with my brother about success in life. And finally I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I had this huge ambition and self belief that I am going to do great things, but I really didn’t know what, and that led me to buy my first [00:11:00] book.
And that led me down the path of buying books about, business and shares and all that, that story is well-told tell that story a million times in a million different places. Once I started getting an answer for what do I want to do with my life and what are my goals then I think I started having this in a pusher that started showing up as.
Now, finally having something to push me towards. And then the conflict started between the two parts. I think for most of my, for kind of the early ages of my life, the avoiding whatever unpleasant emotions I had was still the most dominant player. But, between 16 to whatever it was, 25, 26 that pusher started growing and becoming more and more dominant.
And eventually it took over and it took over to a degree where, it just didn’t maybe [00:12:00] because out of a, could imagine out of a fear or panic that if I leaped off, if I ease off. We’re going to go back to a Steli to the Steli. That was 12. And I hated myself when I was 12. I felt that I was a total loser.
I really didn’t like myself and I really didn’t have any place in the world and I didn’t have any direction. And I had very little head an unexplainable confidence that one day I’ll do something great. But in the moment I was like, but right now I’m a piece of shit right now. I’m just a total loser.
And I feel horrible all the time. And so that push a part. It’s well, if we know where the story will go, if I let, if I don’t do my job, we’re going to go back to that stellar. Fuck that ship. Now, I think past the 25, 26 year old Mark, when I finally had my last [00:13:00] Epic failure with my first startup. And so Valley, I really started changing.
I think I started becoming much more balanced and approaching things a bit differently. So it was not just that pusher that was dominating. And I started being much smarter, not just try to do everything force function, but that’s okay. Conflict is really, really strong. And when I remember, but I don’t know why.
This is, I think, such a typical thing that people do when you have like a procrastinator of some sort, right. A comforter, I call it like, whatever you want to call it a thing that’s making you not do the thing that you said you should. I remember. And this is a very universal pattern, I think.
But I remember today for the first time in many, many years, I remembered how I felt when I had to study for a test. And because I really, I checked out of school in first grade. In first grade, I decided after a couple of weeks, this isn’t for me. These people hate me. I hate the [00:14:00] system. I hate the school.
And so I’m just going to check out. I’m not going to even try to be good at this. I’m just gonna sit through it until it’s over. I’m just gonna,
I’m going to
just stoically suffer through this without any fight or without any adaptation. And I remember when I would have to study for a test, I remember coming home, I’d come home at 2:00 PM or something. And in my mind I would do a quick run of how many hours do I have to study to sort of pass the test tomorrow.
And usually it’d be something like, I think like four hours or five hours or whatever. And then I would look at the time and I’d go, Ooh. All right, good. It’s 2:00 PM, four hours, 6:00 PM. Let me take two hours to chill in front of the television. And I’ll start studying at four and I’ll finish eight, and then I can watch another movie and go to sleep.
That sounds like a good [00:15:00] plan. And then I would sit in front of the TV and I remember like w one of the ones, the first hour of TV was over. I would look at the time ago. I would have a little anxiety attack. Oh shit. In and out. I have to start studying and I go forget about this. Just keep watching TV. And then, 30 minutes before the time come, I’d be like, again, a little anxiety attack.
Shit. Only 30 more minutes. I’d go push it away and don’t think about it. And then I would look at the time and go, Oh my God, that time two hours have already passed. I’m not ready to start studying. Fuck it. I can start in an hour and I can end at 9:00 PM. That’s so fun. And then an hour later, I would repeat the process and then an hour later go fuck.
Now I really I felt obviously more and more lethargic and unenthusiastic about studying the long I postponed it. And so an hour later I’d be like, well, now I really don’t feel like it. Fuck it. If I do it in an hour, 10:00 PM is not that bad. I can still do it. It’ll be a bit harder, but I can do it.
[00:16:00] And then an hour later I would push for an hour later and then an hour later then later. And I swear to God every single time from great whatever, when you really have to start studying for tests. Third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, till I dropped out of school almost, I would find myself at some point at midnight, trying to decide.
Am I going to study till four and then sleep three hours and go, or should I just go to sleep now for three hours and wake up? And, I won’t study for four hours. I’ll study for some bullshit like that. It was always the same terrible bullshit story. And then I would go to sleep. And then obviously I would not wake up at fucking 4:00 AM in the morning.
I would snooze to five and then six and then seven. And then I would go to school without having studied at all for the test. And this is obviously an insane process. That’s much worse than just deciding at 2:00 PM, fuck this test. I’m not gonna learn for it. Right. And I didn’t do this once in a [00:17:00] while. I did this process, literally every single time, just maximum suffering and stress and zero results.
Absolutely zero results. Yeah, this is the perfect strategy. Like how can I achieve the least with the maximum amount of stress and suffering? Right. I optimize for that was that at age seven or eight already. Instantly, once the test was over, I had instant amnesia about it. So the next test, like having learned nothing, 2:00 PM, I come home on my car shift tomorrow as a test.
How long do you have to learn it? All? I think three or four hours. Oh, fuck. Let’s start it for, I don’t know how is that even possible, but not once I remember thinking, Ooh, I always say that and I never do it. And this is just forgetting about the whole thing, and until it was time again, and then I would just go through the exact same process, as you said, maximum suffering and stress.
And [00:18:00] minimum results. That was kind of my entire, almost my entire school career with the exception of one year. And I have not thought about this shit in a very long time. I’ve never been as bad as I was when I was, during my school years, obviously, because I really hated school and I didn’t care about it and didn’t, I didn’t even have the goal to be good.
And so to me, this is another thing of, I think, highly ambitious people that are a bit fucked up is that for me at a young age already, if I could not be amazing at something, I didn’t care at all about how bad I was. I didn’t have any kind of middle ground, so I didn’t care about school. I hated it. Every.
Kind of class. I didn’t participate at all. Like at all, I told this story many times I would show up at school every day with an empty school bag. And before every class I would borrow a book from somebody, a piece of paper from somebody in a pen and it would just draw doodles and then throw away the [00:19:00] piece of paper, give back the book and the next, and it would just travel very light, to school and from school back.
And then we would have a test. I always had to like two days before borrow somebody’s notebook and make some copies, pay like a couple of bucks and make some copies to have the S the, the notes to study for the fucking thing, which then I didn’t do. It just pure insanity. My whole school experience was pure insanity.
But I haven’t, I thought about this in a long time. And today, as it was sitting out on the balcony was chilling and these two. Th the inner polarization and conflict that I was feeling all week long, calm down a bit, both sides, took a breath and I, my own self present, my present self kind of took over and started mediating.
That memory popped up again. And it was like, wow. Yeah, I, and I, it was not, there was the memory, it was also the feelings I had going through all of this. I thought, wow. Yeah, some of the shit has started in a very young age and it has [00:20:00] morphed and it is changed, but there are still some inner parts of mine that in extreme situations pop up.
And then there’s these polarized opposite parts that fight each other so hard that it creates so much internal discomfort and tension in me. And I just ignored it, for Mo for what, when I was. Young, when you’re young, you can do much more with just brute force and you can, maybe I was more ready to push my mind and body through suffering and not care, but now I feel it so intensely.
And I’m like, no, I don’t want this shit anymore. Like I need we need to become friends here. I want a better culture, within Steli like, we just figure out rules. Like we need to talk to each other. I want teamwork, this shit. I don’t want to deal with this anymore. I’m not ready to keep having this go on inside of me because it sucks.
It was nice. I had a couple of moments [00:21:00] today where,
where I felt okay, these different parts more clearly, and just that being more present for them and feeling them more distinctly. Was helping to feel and respond differently to my sensations and my thought processes and my inner voices. And I had an incredible day, I got a ton of shit done. I was feeling amazing.
And obviously there’s also a, a,
the pendulum swing effect that when you have a really bad day and then you turn it around and you have a good day, it becomes usually a really good day. Yeah. The contrast is really, the contrast is very, very intense. And so I, yeah, I’m happy about my day and I’m also really, I’m really digging and enjoying this new world that I’m playing with of noticing these different.
Parts of my psyche and interacted with them much [00:22:00] more consciously and asking them much more asking better questions and hearing and feeling different answers than I’ve ever before. And that’s for me, exciting and compelling and interesting. And it also so far, at least is fruitful. It generates different results.
Like I could always, or I know how to brute force myself out of some negative States, but for the past year or so, I’m very consciously trying not to use these strategies and just to play a different game and be more flexible and try to broaden my sphere of choices. Of how I think and feel and how I react and who I am and how I understand myself.
And so the shit is today at least the ship was working and it was fun.
Nice. So [00:23:00] just curious, because you said for all of your school is except for one year, what’s up with it one year, one year where it was excellent. And that was the, so in 10th grade in Germany, the German school system, you can then either you usually can either exit the school system and then go and do an apprenticeship, or if your grades are good enough, you could, if you’re in a certain school, there’s three different school paths.
It started in fifth grade, hop to the vowel in gymnasium. And they’re like different. If you’re a gymnasium, you’re on the track to go and study and with your, the other two tracks, you’re basically most likely not going to be able to study. And go do an apprenticeship somewhere. And I wasn’t one of those paths.
And then in ninth grade at the end of the ninth grade, when they give you your grades they tell you what your options are based on your performance. And they gave me only one option. They told me I’m going to have to do an apprenticeship to become an electrical. It’s not an engineer.
Yeah. What, like a, [00:24:00] like an electrician of sorts in, the car supply industry or something. And I remember that I went to the teacher and I was like, I, I’m not somebody that’s interested in, like anything that is engineering related or industrial or mechanical or electrical. I really don’t want to work in a car factory.
And is there any other option? And I remember that teacher telling me for, you know, you better start applying for these apprenticeships because I’m not even sure you’re going to get an apprenticeship for that. And I went back and then researched myself because that was an Oh shit moment. I never thought about anything up until ninth grade.
Right. I was just like ignoring everything in school. And then I had this bullshit moment. I’m like, whatever I’ll do, I cannot do a four years in a car factory becoming an electrician or something like this is just not for me. [00:25:00] The massive panic attack. And I researched what grades do you want? Do you have to have at the end of 10th grade to be able to continue school and go to the gymnasium, right?
And I looked up the grades that it showed you, and it was light years away from anything I’ve ever had. But I decided, well, I have to have these grades next year because I’m not applying for these fucking jobs and the start of the, you know, the entire summer. I could not think of anything else.
Just every day, dude, I had this one piece of paper that had all the criteria. Every day. I looked at the piece of paper every day, every day in the summer, I was like, I have to get good. I have to have this rate. I have to have this grid. After this week, I have to have these grades. And then the 10th grade started and I started not paying attention in school.
And I started learning for the first time in my life. I learned for a test [00:26:00] and I wrote an eight. And I was surprise. I was gunning for a seat and I was like, Oh, Hey, well, Laura, good. And then I learned in Saudi for the next test and I had an a again, and then after I wrote my third eight, then I adjusted my ambition and now I needed to write all test, had to be eights.
And I finished 10th grades with in Germany. You have let, you don’t have ABC. You have like one, two, three, four, five, and six as greats, right? Four, five and six. Basically. You have not passed the class. And a one is an eight and I had an average of 1.7 and I graduated that class as I think I graduated with whatever, I got a price, they had to call me to the front, like the principal’s office.
And I got a price and it was one of the best students that year of the entire school. Almost the same, except I was on the [00:27:00] other side. I was, I was a straight six student. I mean, I was a strict, strict six student up until 10th grade. Right. And I mean, I also repeated one class. I repeated, I think the sixth or seventh grade.
And I remember it when I went to the principal because the principal really hated me. And I went to the principal to get the degree. He did all but spit in my face when he gave me the thing. Right. Like he was just like, you piece of shit. How the fuck did you do this? And then I went into the 11th grade new school.
And I wrote six us everywhere and I felt, you know, 11. So I had to repeat 11th grade. And then after two months of my second way around, I dropped out of school. So it didn’t really last, that motivation was gone once I had, I had avoided certain death by an electrician apprenticeship.
But for one year I wasn’t going to stay [00:28:00] for one year. It was just like, I just killed everybody. And that was, that was amazing for me. I mean, you probably, I don’t know how I felt about all this, but at that time also, honestly, by 10th grade, I think I also started was that the year I was also already a bit in the kind of business in stock thing and I knew that’s what I really want to do.
I just didn’t, I was 17 at the time or something. I didn’t feel quite ready yet. And so I just didn’t want to have to start and electricity a gig. And so by 11th grade I was like, fuck all this fuck school. I’m just going to do, I’m just going to become an entrepreneur. But for one year it just just killed the game.
And it was the craziest thing for me was that I expected that I would have to work incredibly hard all year. Then I would get like a C like C you had to have C plus in four really important courses. And that’s what I was, that was my goal. I was not gunning for ACE or anything, but when I started [00:29:00] studying, I was like, Oh, this shit is easy.
Like these T I didn’t know that I could be that good in a test, you know, never even tried. And that was probably also good to some way, in some way, it made me go, I could do this if I want it. I just don’t want to. But yeah, that was the one kind of. Outlier here that I had.
Yeah. You know, what’s funny, one funny thing about this podcast is that as I share my struggles and even, sometimes it’s past struggles, sometimes it’s current struggles because as I’m sharing more of my struggles, a lot more people that I know. So this is the funny thing about this podcast.
In the past, most of my content, I would get a lot of responses from people. I didn’t know. Because I guess my friends and my family or people that were more friendly with me that knew me also, personally, they didn’t consume that content or when they did, even when they did some of them did, they didn’t have a [00:30:00] need to, like, they just learned how to do a call email.
There’s no need to reach out to me or, or whatever. But with this, because it’s so personal, I have a constant stream of friends, family, or other people that will respond especially strongly when I share struggles or like dark moments, even if it’s really in the past, it really, it makes people reach out in not just like, Oh, this was a nice episode, but they write massive things like lots and lots of, lots of things to me about what they just heard which is really, really interesting or very different dynamic.
And this, honestly, to some degree. Part of those responses are why in the past, I wouldn’t have shared this kind of stuff publicly. So it’d be like, I don’t want everybody to know this shit or this stuff is seven years ago. I don’t eat the pity of anybody. I don’t need good advice right now about it.
It’s fine. But and so I was always very [00:31:00] uncomfortable with sharing my weaknesses because I didn’t want to be perceived as weak. And I don’t feel like we are having like most of the shit we’re discussing, even the darkest shit is art. To me. It’s just I’m grateful. We get to talk about it.
And I’m glad that people listen to the it’s still, it still surprises me that people actually listened to this. But but it is a very new phenomenon. Every time it happens, I go, Oh shit, yeah, people do this to this pocket. What did I say? What did I say this pocket? Because many times we’ll publish a podcast sometimes in the very week we recorded, but oftentimes it could be four weeks later or three months later.
And so then I’m like, wow, I need to relisten to this episode. What did I say? It’s a interesting new, completely new experience. And I love how you put it when you said Oh, this is art to me. even the stuff that’s hard when you’re in the midst of it. And there’s like, no pretty solution and no, bow that ties it all up neatly with the lesson [00:32:00] learned.
And here’s how I do it now. Yeah. Yeah. You know what? This reminds me to some degree, you know, remember I told you this it new years. In new years I got a message from a friend that his son had leukemia. And I remember telling you how, like it, that crushed me that just totally destroyed most crime all morning long. A lot of things came up with like my cousin who had leukemia and stuff in my childhood and everything. And I was really affected by that message of those news. And I remember I, I, when I called my mother, my mom is a super strong person.
And I learned that from her. And so my mom has never seen me cry. It’ll be week. My mom has never seen me as an adult ever asked, like having a problem. And I called her because I wanted to talk to her about it. And I started telling her the news and I started crying. And I remember my mother jumping into kind of a panic mode of going listen to this.
They’re going to be fine. Your cousin was also fine. [00:33:00] Lots of times with children have leukemia. The chance of recovery is really good and we can’t be upset about this. And the tit is not dead yet. You have to move forward and it’s, you know, you have to be grateful for your healthy kids. And I stopped her and I was like, mom, stop.
I know all this I’m okay. I know I’m crying because I’m upset right now, but I’m okay. I don’t need, I don’t need a saving. You don’t need to save him. You don’t need to make me feel better. I’m okay. I really, I really believe that, life, death and sickness is all part of the dance of existence.
Like I, I’m not losing myself in this drama, but I’m feeling a pain right now and I want to feel it. I think it’s fine. Yeah. And I wanted to talk to you because you’re my mother. I love you. And I felt like I wanted to talk to you about this. But you don’t need to do anything for me. Just let’s just talk.
You don’t need I’m. Okay. And then she instantly snapped out of that and started sharing stories of my art, my cousin with [00:34:00] leukemia. And, there was one really big event when it came to my birthday and he was, four times the size, it really ballooned up. And I didn’t recognize him at first.
And then when I recognized that I had not recognized my own cousin, I got really upset. And I remember that, but I didn’t remember which my mother had told me that I went down to the basement in CRI for many hours and course hiding it during my own birthday. And she told me a bunch of stories about my aunt and how they dealt with it.
Things that I didn’t know what a really amazing conversation that really helped me, but it was in the moment where she was not trying to help me anymore. It was just talking and just sharing. And to me. I never like the in, you know, this because I really like, you know, everything. Right. You know, every little thing there’s no, there’s no, any more, there’s no dark corner.
There’s no little unpleasantness in my life. Any dirt in my life, anything that’s not okay. You know? Right. And,
and that was not always that way. Right. There was a time in our friendship where you didn’t know. [00:35:00] Yeah. And the, one of the best things is that you also know that I’m not like suffering. I don’t need saving. Like we’re just having like me sharing. This is us creating stuff, figuring things out, expressing things, creating art, learning.
Right. It’s, it’s jamming. It’s like me with a guitar and you’re on the drums and we’re just doing shit. And most of it sounds terrible and I’m like, ah, this doesn’t sound nice. And then oftentimes at the end of the session, I’m like, well, all this was for nothing. No, we did this all didn’t sound good. But to me, there’s not, I don’t, that doesn’t mean that I’m in need of encouragement necessarily, although I always appreciated or that somebody has to step in tell me, everything’s fine because I wouldn’t be recording this if I was really in a bad place.
All right. If any of this was any of this was consuming me in a way that I could not have perspective and distance from it and see it, experience it from some level of distance where I knew this is the drama of [00:36:00] my life or my emotions right now, my struggle. And it’s part of the dance and I’m trying to figure it out and.
It’s actually exciting that I didn’t have this that I would need, like then I wouldn’t feel comfortable recording. The only reason why I’m recording is because up until now, at least the kind of struggles that I have, even if they’re painful for me, or challenging or uncomfortable or unpleasant are still very obvious to me, part of a beautiful dance of life.
And there’s nothing about it that is wrong. And there’s nothing about it. That scares me to a degree where I’m losing myself and need need saving do it. It’s also the most fascinating, interesting thing in the world. Kind of right. It’s like, Oh, this is, these are like my, my borders, my gray areas.
This is the, this is the edge off. what I know, right? This is kind of the unex unexplored territory. So being able to just work with that. It’s fucking amazing. It’s like stumbling [00:37:00] through unchartered territory and trying to map things out and figure it out. And it’s not pretty, it’s not always exciting.
Right. It’s like pioneers. Sometimes you got to eat grass and the, one of the most powerful things about this is that when I, and this is something unique about this podcast is that I’m so grateful that people are listening and that people are getting something out of it. I mean, that is amazing.
What I get out of this. Nobody can get as much out of this society. Yeah. And when I listen to past episodes that we record it, it is such enlightenment. It is sometimes so incredible because it puts me back in time exactly at who I was and how I felt, and I, and I can feel the experience and think it through.
And I can feel also the [00:38:00] contrast between where I am today and where I was during the exploration six months ago, nine months ago. And that is so incredible. I, I can listen to our old, every old episode that I listened to. I’m like, wow, this shit is crazy. Yes. And exact. I remember I was trying to figure this out and now I know how different I think about this today.
Wow. This is awesome. Even my hat, this just now, when you were talking about your school days where I remembered some of my school days, and then I looked at, 14 year old Rameen and I could look at him with kind of the perspective of women now. And there’s a kind of warmth and understanding and being like, it’s going to be okay, man.
And, and there’s something, amazing to that. Yeah. And this is much more indirect, right? It’s just like a fond memory. And this is a direct recording of, of that. That brings it all up. Yeah. in many ways, we’re all, so alike We are very different, but we’re also pretty fucking similar and universal thing. You know, [00:39:00] the differences are very marginal. Now. Those margins can have significant impact on who we become in our lives, but it’s very small margins. It’s like at the core as humans, we are.
80% overlap, in terms of our psyche, our fears, our motions, our thoughts, our challenges or struggles are so universal, variations on the theme. Yeah. We’re all, we’re all dancing the same song. And of course you can have variation in moves, but there’s 13 patterns of moves this tiniest of variations of transitions.
So execution of these moves, it’s not that much. This is something that always, when I rediscovered re excites and surprises me, there’s only, I dunno how many basic faces there are face shapes, but it’s not unlimited. It’s like 50, 70 or something. How many people look incredibly similar?
There’s a limited amount of facial shapes and outlines. And of course there’s many, many tiny variations. But have you not seen hundreds of [00:40:00] people that looked incredibly similar, although that were not related in your life, And that is because, in some way we are very related. All, obviously we come from a very similar gene pool and that also goes for a psych. It’s not just our faces, And that’s beautiful. I don’t think that that’s a negative thing. Incredibly courageous.
Interesting. But have you, have you ever, in person seen someone where you thought this guy looks like me? No, but I have had many people tell me I’ve seen somebody. Right. But this, this is actually the interesting thing to me because. when I thought about it, I was like, yeah, I’ve met so many people who look like somebody else, but I’ve never met someone who looked like me.
And then I thought the same thing applies to kind of all in the thing where it’s like, I’m the only one who’s like this in the world. Yes. Somehow there’s a phenomenon that is dope. I think that you’re absolutely spot on with this. I think that we can name many people that look similar to almost everybody in our life, if we really think it through.
But there’s certain people where this is more difficult. [00:41:00] For instance, myself, my brothers and my mother. they seem very distinct to me, but everybody else, all my friends, all my coworkers, all everybody. famous people.
Mostly, there are very few people that are very radical faces. Most people aren’t like, there’s a bunch of people that kind of like that in reverse. I’ve never seen somebody where I thought, wow, this person looks exactly like me and the people there’s like, David Blaine. I had at least 20 people in my life, Tommy and look exactly a different thing. Now when I look at them and when I go, fuck, no nothing like me and this is not the flattering. I don’t think he’s a good looking dude, to be honest. But apparently if 20 people fought, this must be something to it.
and so, yeah, I think that that reflects back to kind of, you know, excuse. I think It’s easier for us to see the similarities of the world outside what we experienced. So intimately that it feels completely unique. Yeah. And [00:42:00] also we are to it, the more familiar we are, the more we see the uniqueness.
And then it’s also like, kind of like if you’re European and you go to Asia for the first time, it’s like, everybody looks at you and vice versa. Right. They’re like all white people look the same you will have a harder time. You, the parents are broader. So more faces look very similar than in cultures where you have more distinct pattern recognition of faces.
Right. except in South Korea where it’s actually true because they all have the same 20 kinds of plastic surgery, plastic surgery. Right. Yeah. maybe this is also to, to some degree of The plastic inner surgery, just culturally there’s certain types of, explanations of the psyche that we have that become popular, that then people adopt, in today’s world.
but that’s a, that’s a separate rent. one of the most powerful things at this can only be accomplished. With presence in Schumer in humbleness is
the realization that all of [00:43:00] this is just a fucking ride. All of this is just a beautiful dance. All of this matters so much and not at all at the same time and all our struggles and all our pain is beautiful and significant monumental and completely relevant and not that big of a deal. And that paradox is tricky.
I’ll admit if it doesn’t minimize that, it’s really real for you. Like when you go through shit, it’s real. And just by recognizing that it’s part of a dance, doesn’t make it less painful in that moment. Not necessarily that the pain stays, the suffering goes. That’s really the difference. But whenever you can maintain the presence of mind to realize that the good and the bad and everything between it’s all just a big dance, just, let’s just try to enjoy as much as possible stick, curious where as much as possible stay playful.
Sometimes it’s difficult, and sometimes it’s impossible and we’ll get sucked into the panic, the fear, the terror of the feeling of the moment. And that’s fine too. [00:44:00] That’s okay. Getting lost in the dance is part of the dance as well. but the more of the presence of that we can keep the more beauty we can maintain throughout all the ups and all the downs and all the in-betweens, because life is beautiful.
Like it truly is. It is amazing how incredible life is When you really are present for it, it puts you in awe. You’re just like, I can’t comprehend life. It’s too incredible. but well, just humans, we’re not fucking Buddha or Jesus or Mohammed or whoever enlightened being you believe in.
so we get lost in the dancing. Sometimes we get lost for longer periods and sometimes shorter, but, the more moments of presence we can find, the more even the really difficult times just are maintain a certain beauty in it. It makes very difficult situations that easier, I guess, to deal with.
Yeah. That’s something to Being [00:45:00] really deep into it with all of your heart, but also not being attached to it in some way. Right? No, this wasn’t one of my biggest philosophical struggles, kind of my, of my twenties between 20 and 28. One of my biggest philosophical struggles was that the philosophies of Buddhism made so much sense to me, especially non attachment.
Makes so much sense to me. And at the same time, I truly believe that the greatest changes in the world happened from people and with people that were completely attached to the things that we’re doing. A detached person, couldn’t become Martin Luther King.
Couldn’t become fucking Steve jobs. Couldn’t be whoever you want to call. Like these people that I admired, I was like, these people were not unattached with the problems that we’re tackling or the goals that we’re chasing. And I believe that the world is [00:46:00] enriched for all of us by people that are passionate about the things they’re doing.
So how can I be unattached? And just like, everything is fine. The way it is. The universe is beautiful. All suffering is fine. All pain is part of the blind. I’m just like just going to sit here and be Zen. And I couldn’t make these two things work together. And so it was struggling. I wanted both in my life, but I couldn’t make them work.
And then I remember it. And I think we talked about this a for sure was. Telling everybody who didn’t ask it, wasn’t ready to listen. It’s telling everybody about this for a while, where I was like, now I finally made it, make it clicked in my mind. And I just thought you don’t have to be attached. You can just be dedicated.
And so I thought, if you’re fully dedicated to something, you’re still not losing yourself in the attachment, that brings a non-separation between you and the thing. Right. I can be very dedicated to something that [00:47:00] clearly is not me when I’m fully attached to something. One of the problems is that I lose the boundaries between myself and the thing.
And so when the thing is working, I’m thinking I’m dying. Yes. So I was like, dedication is the name of the game. And that kind of that fixed it for me for a while. And just last year, I made an adjustment to that in my own mind for my own little world, which was.
Maybe even better than dedication. Dedication is great, but engagement is really the name of the game. You want to be fully engaged with something dedicated has pros and cons. Dedicated has a lack of flexibility at times is very directional, right? There’s goals as something you want to go to and you’re fully committed and dedicated to go there, no matter what being fully engaged in a problem has a lot of energy and passion, but it still feels flexible. Right? It feels like I’m stepping in and I’m [00:48:00] fully immersing and engaging myself with this thing, but I’m open enough to adjust to change and disengage, if something calls for it. So. To me now, I feel like a formula for a beautiful life is to live a life that’s fully engaged, like being fully engaged with the things that you’re doing.
and that does not in for me, at least does not contradict realizing that everything is fine and everything is fuck. And I’m, I’m, don’t have to attach to anything. I do. I want to be engaged, like being unengaged in life. What’s the point? What is the fucking point? If I’m bored and I’m just sitting here and going, I don’t have to talk to anybody.
I don’t care about anything. Nothing is nothing and everything is nothing. I’ll just sit until I die. Then why are we alive? That’s pointless. but it doesn’t mean that when you enter the world, you have to lose yourself in it and attach to your goals and the things around you and your motivations. Just be [00:49:00] fully and totally engaged and immersed in the world.
And this goes back to the wild wisdom of Zorba. We’re one of the most beautiful things that I love about Zorba as a character is that he’s not holier than our is not walking around giving big speeches. Although he does give some speeches, but he’s not like preaching to people with words, but he is the most alive Schuman anybody meets.
he is very Buddha, like in the sense that he’s the most present person anybody meets, because he’s always fully immersed and engaged in the right here right now. Yeah. And he’s also very flawed as in humanity at the same time to him in the story, that is the point of being alive. Pet is fine. Like you fuck up some things, you do some awesome things, you know, that’s all part of the dance.
You try your best. But you are a Schumann. but I really loved like when he worked, he worked, when you rested, he rested. When he danced, he danced. When he loved, he [00:50:00] loved, he was always a hundred percent, but he was not a hundred percent in one thing, it was not just work, work, work, work, work, work, work.
It was not just, you know, dance, dance, dance, have fun, have a good time. He was not just, you know, take care of people or be selfish. He was all of humanity. He was all of these things at the appropriate time at different times. Yes. But when he was something, he was it. Yeah. No holding back. No doubting, no second.
Guessing all in. I love that. That’s so rare. Meeting people that live, it don’t just exist. So rare even in fictional characters. So the character of Zorba is the most alive human. Yeah. In the polarity no fuck. You know, he has all the, you know, all the [00:51:00] parts of the human psyche, his family is shoot, right.
He’s either heavily system ginormous. He’s like 50 children, seven, uh, wives, uh, you know, five husbands, grandpa. Like this is massive family and he lives every single character fully when the time has come and there’s no fighting between them. There’s no conflict between them and there’s no polarity.
They’re just, they all accept each other’s existence. Yeah. That’s to me, that’s finding the, the meaning of life. It’s like expanding your inner and outer family accepting and loving all of them and living them to the maximum living this life completely enfolded. That’s it. Game one in game over. That’s it?
You know, what else is there to do? God, I fucking love that character.