This is Why You’re Stressed… Ep 656

Summary Notes


In this insightful discussion, the host of the podcast, owner of, delves into the psychological aspects of entrepreneurship and personal growth. He emphasizes the importance of understanding one's emotions, particularly sadness and anxiety, which he attributes to a lack of options and lack of priorities, respectively. By defining these terms, he argues, one can tackle sadness with knowledge and anxiety with decisive action. The host reflects on his experiences, including a challenging time determining the future direction of, and shares anecdotes about the personal struggles of business owners, such as balancing family demands with entrepreneurial endeavors. He also offers practical advice on reframing stress as a natural part of life and a sign of being alive, as well as the value of resetting expectations to navigate the inherent uncertainties of life and business. The host underscores the significance of focusing on actions rather than intentions to propel forward movement and decision-making in entrepreneurship.

Summary Notes

Feeling Out of Control

  • The fear of being out of control is considered very frightening.
  • Understanding emotions is crucial to managing them.

"I think one of the scariest things is feeling out of control. That is always, like, the most frightening."

This quote emphasizes the anxiety associated with the loss of control and the importance of understanding one's feelings.

Defining Terms to Understand Emotions

  • Defining terms helps in understanding emotions.
  • Knowing the cause of an emotion is the first step to address it.

"Why I'm feeling a certain way. That's why defining the terms was so important to me, so that I could."

This quote highlights the speaker's approach to dealing with emotions by defining terms to understand their causes.

Business as a Game

  • Wealthy individuals view business as a game.
  • The podcast is aimed at sharing lessons learned in business.

"The wealthiest people in the world see business as a game."

The speaker relates business to a game, suggesting a strategic and perhaps less emotional approach to business endeavors.

Dealing with Sadness and Anxiety

  • Sadness stems from a perceived lack of options.
  • Anxiety arises from having too many options without clear priorities.
  • Knowledge is the solution to sadness, while decisions alleviate anxiety.

"Sadness comes from a lack of options, which is why it feels like hopelessness."

This quote explains that sadness is linked to the feeling of having no options, equating it to hopelessness.

"Anxiety comes from many options, but a lack of priorities, which is why it feels like paralysis looking everywhere but moving nowhere."

The speaker describes anxiety as the result of having many options but no clear priorities, leading to a sense of paralysis.

Problem-Solving Approach

  • Understanding a problem is key to finding a solution.
  • The process involves defining actions and making decisions.

"If I struggle with something, it usually means that I don't understand it well enough."

The speaker suggests that struggling with an issue often means there is a lack of understanding, which impedes problem-solving.

Addressing Sadness and Anxiety in Personal Experience

  • The speaker rarely experiences sadness but seeks the root cause when it occurs.
  • Identifying actions to take is a strategy to overcome sadness.

"Genuinely, I don't experience sadness a ton. And so if I feel it, I'm like, this is weird. Why do I feel this?"

The speaker expresses that experiencing sadness is unusual for them, prompting an investigation into its cause.

Decision-Making in Business

  • Conflicting values can cause indecision in business.
  • The speaker faced a dilemma between consistency and adaptability.
  • Identifying options is the first step to resolve anxiety.

"I was, like, I felt, like, handcuffed in a lot of ways where I'm like, I just don't know what to do."

The speaker shares a personal moment of feeling stuck and uncertain about how to proceed with their business decisions.

Cycle of Sadness and Anxiety

  • People may cycle between sadness and anxiety.
  • Gaining knowledge is the method to discover options and overcome sadness.

"So I think that's why people cycle back and forth between those things."

The speaker theorizes that the cycle between sadness and anxiety is a common experience due to the fluctuation between having no options and having too many.

Acquiring Knowledge

  • Different people have preferred methods for gaining knowledge.
  • Conversations and expert opinions are valuable for processing information.

"Fundamentally, if you're trying to, quote, discover options, then you have to gain knowledge."

This quote stresses the importance of gaining knowledge to discover options and make informed decisions.

Personal and Business Conflicts

  • Business owners may face ultimatums between personal relationships and their business.
  • Ultimatums can lead to a feeling of being trapped without good options.

"And so it was basically like, you have to choose me or you have to choose the business."

The speaker provides an example of a difficult situation where a business owner is forced to choose between personal relationships and their business, illustrating the gravity of such decisions.

Overcoming Depression and Sadness

  • Depression can stem from a perceived lack of good options.
  • Breaking down situations into choices and trade-offs can help.

"Sure. But that's usually why, when people feel like there's no way out, that's why people get depressed."

The speaker acknowledges that feeling trapped without good options can lead to depression, suggesting the need for finding or creating options.

Analyzing Options in Crisis Situations

  • Even in dire situations, there are numerous potential actions.
  • The perception of limited options can be challenged by reframing the situation.

"He's like, there's 147 things you can do in that exact moment."

The speaker references a TV show to illustrate that even in extreme situations, there are numerous potential actions, which challenges the perception of limited options.

Resolving Conflicts with Communication

  • Understanding the true objectives behind threats or ultimatums can lead to better resolutions.
  • Direct communication about fears and desires can clarify the situation and reveal simple solutions.

"Because what does that person really want? They don't actually want the person to end their business."

The speaker suggests that understanding the underlying desires behind an ultimatum can lead to better conflict resolution.

Decision-Making Framework

  • The process involves evaluating fears, desires, and potential changes in behavior.
  • Solutions to anxiety and sadness often involve getting to the heart of the matter and making adjustments.

"And this is the best frame that I can give when it comes to anxiety, sadness, or really, like, any big decision that I have to make is, I think, what am I going to change about what I do?"

The speaker offers a decision-making framework that focuses on understanding core issues and considering changes to resolve anxiety and sadness.

Difficulty in Applying Theories and Concepts

  • People often struggle to translate theories and concepts into actionable behaviors.
  • The focus should be on specific actions that can be taken as a result of a situation or discussion.
  • Clarity in communication can be achieved by specifying desired actions, which removes emotional ambiguity.

"What do you want me to do as a result of this happening?" This quote emphasizes the importance of understanding the practical implications of a situation or discussion, moving beyond abstract ideas to concrete actions.

"And then that just gets it way clearer and it takes all the emotion out of it because you just get to say, what actions do you want." The quote highlights the benefit of focusing on actions rather than emotions or intentions, which simplifies conversations and reduces misunderstandings.

Evaluating Problems and Their Impacts

  • Assessing which problems one would rather face can help prioritize issues and manage stress.
  • It's important to consider how problems will affect one's actions and behaviors, rather than just perspectives or thoughts.
  • Evaluating the real-world implications of problems can lead to more rational decision-making and stress management.

"Which problem would I rather have?" This quote suggests a method of problem-solving that involves choosing between different issues based on their potential impact on one's life.

"If it's going to affect behavior, then you can outline what behavior is." The quote implies that understanding how a problem will affect one's behavior is key to determining the significance of the problem and how to address it.

Stress and Its Role in Human Life

  • Stress is a natural part of the human condition and not inherently negative.
  • The presence of stress indicates life and the capacity to endure challenges.
  • Hormones and stress responses can be viewed as triggers for behavior that have historically contributed to survival.

"Stress means that you are still breathing, which means it's something we can be grateful for, so you have to get used to it." This quote reframes stress as a sign of life and something to be appreciated, rather than solely a negative experience.

"And the flip side is, a lot of people cast judgment on stress itself, and they see stress as a bad thing." The quote discusses the common misperception of stress as something purely negative, suggesting that this judgment can exacerbate stress rather than the stress itself being the primary issue.

Perspective on Life and Stress

  • One's attitude towards life's challenges, including stress, can greatly influence how they are experienced.
  • Comparing potential outcomes to the inevitability of death can provide perspective and reduce the perceived severity of problems.
  • A balanced perspective on stress and life can lead to healthier coping mechanisms and stress management.

"I'm alive, and if I died, I've been dead before, and it wasn't that bad." This quote provides a unique perspective on life and death, suggesting that the fear of death should not overshadow the experience of living.

"And so in both instances, didn't bug me last time." The quote uses the concept of pre-life nonexistence to minimize the fear associated with post-life nonexistence, thereby reducing stress about life's challenges.

The Influence of Early Experiences and Authority Figures

  • Early experiences and the labels given to them by authority figures can have long-lasting effects on how individuals perceive certain behaviors, feelings, or conditions.
  • It's important to reevaluate these early-imposed beliefs as one gains more knowledge and experience.

"Because the first time it was ever introduced to me, it was from an authority figure who was the only source of information that I had at the time around fitness." This quote illustrates how early experiences, especially those involving authority figures, can shape one's beliefs and perceptions for a long time.

"And so I carried that unknowingly until I was made aware of it, when I basically made myself aware of it." The quote reflects on the process of self-awareness and the importance of questioning and updating beliefs that were formed in early life based on new information and experiences.

The Importance of Sharing and Word of Mouth

  • The growth and reach of content, such as podcasts, rely heavily on personal recommendations and sharing through various channels.
  • The speaker encourages listeners to actively participate in spreading the word about the podcast, as a form of support and to generate positive outcomes for others.

"The only way this grows is through word of mouth." This quote highlights the significance of personal recommendations in the expansion of the podcast's audience.

"So if it was a review, if it was a post, if you do that, it would mean the world to me and you'll throw some good karma out there for another entrepreneur." The quote is a call to action for listeners to contribute to the podcast's success by sharing it with others, suggesting that such actions can have beneficial ripple effects.

Investigating Beliefs

  • Investigating one's own beliefs is challenging because they are inherently believed to be true.
  • People often question their beliefs except for those they hold most deeply, which go unquestioned.
  • The quote by Orson Scott Card encapsulates the difficulty in questioning deeply held beliefs.

"We question all of our beliefs except for those that we truly believe and those we never think to question."

This quote highlights the human tendency to critically examine most beliefs while failing to scrutinize those that are most deeply ingrained within us.

Partisanship and Belief Systems

  • Partisanship in politics is a clear example of deeply held beliefs affecting perception and judgment.
  • People can become so attached to their beliefs that they rationalize information to fit their preconceived notions.
  • This attachment to beliefs can become a part of one's identity, influencing reactions and opinions.

"Like you can really short circuit people by having an article written where they read it about the opposing party of all the things that person has done wrong. And then you just swap the title and tell them it's about their candidate, and then watch their brain try and rationalize because it's so deeply ingrained in their identity because they believe it."

This quote illustrates how people's political beliefs can be so strong that they will rationalize information, even when it is contradictory, to align with their preexisting beliefs.

The Nature of Ignorance and Knowledge

  • Acknowledging ignorance is crucial to learning and expanding knowledge.
  • Often, people are unaware of their lack of knowledge in niche areas until confronted with new information.
  • Rationalizing around a belief is a sign that it is deeply held and may be shielding areas of ignorance.

"But this one was so niche that I had never poked at this little hole of ignorance."

This quote emphasizes that ignorance can persist in specialized areas until one actively seeks to address it.

Emotional Reactions and Secondary Judgments

  • People often have secondary emotional reactions to their primary emotions, which can complicate and intensify the situation.
  • Recognizing and questioning the secondary reactions can help in managing emotions more effectively.
  • Understanding why one feels a certain way is more constructive than making judgments about the emotion.

"It's like I am angry. If you then feel guilty about your anger, or feel angry about your anger or feel frustrated or strat, it's the secondary judgment on the primary reaction. That's where people spin out and get in trouble."

This quote explains how secondary reactions to primary emotions can exacerbate problems and create a cycle of emotional turmoil.

Hardship and Expectations

  • Hardship is a part of life, and understanding what it feels like is essential to coping with it.
  • The feeling of hardship can be unexpected, even when one is prepared for challenges.
  • Relabeling experiences and resetting expectations can help in dealing with difficult situations.

"This is what hard feels like, and that's okay. And so I remember there was this moment where this is what hard feels like became real for me."

This quote suggests that recognizing and accepting the nature of hardship is a crucial step in overcoming challenges.

Uncertainty and Success

  • Uncertainty is a significant component of hardship, often because of the lack of guarantees in life.
  • People's expectations can create tension when they seek guarantees that are not possible.
  • Perseverance through uncertainty is what makes success worthwhile.

"A lot of hardness, in my opinion, is actually dealing with uncertainty. And so a lot of us want a guarantee from a world that will never give us one."

This quote reflects on the inherent uncertainty in life and the unrealistic expectation of guarantees, which can lead to feelings of hardship.

The Value of Challenge and Mortality

  • Challenges and the possibility of failure make pursuits worthwhile and exciting.
  • The concept that gods envy mortals because of the unpredictability of mortal life illustrates the value of not having guaranteed outcomes.
  • Recognizing and managing expectations can alleviate frustration and help in resetting goals.

"Their lives were ephemeral. Their lives were, they were mortal. Anything could happen. Whereas the gods outcomes were guaranteed."

This quote draws a parallel between the value of mortal challenges and the desirability of uncertain outcomes in our own lives.

The Nature of Challenges and Expectations

  • People generally seek challenges that are commensurate with their abilities.
  • Challenges can sometimes be too easy or too hard, and it's important to recognize and accept both scenarios.
  • Life doesn't offer perfect challenges but provides experiences that can be endured.
  • Enduring challenges can serve as evidence of one's ability to handle more than previously believed.
  • Overcoming challenges is motivating and can become stories of personal growth.

And most times, it's easier just to reset the expectation. Is worth pursuing that matches their max ability at the time.

This quote highlights the importance of aligning challenges with one's current capabilities and sometimes adjusting expectations to make challenges more attainable.

Something that you can endure. And I think that enduring it itself. Gives you proof that you can endure more than you originally thought.

The speaker suggests that the act of enduring challenges is proof of one's resilience and capacity to handle even greater challenges.

The Concept of Flow and Time Perception

  • Achieving a state of flow occurs when challenges align with one's abilities.
  • Flow is characterized by a deep immersion in an activity where time seems to disappear.
  • People naturally gravitate towards activities that provide the right level of challenge.
  • Video games are an example of an adjustable environment that can match a player's skill level.

And I think that's where it gets difficult, because sometimes it's a little too.

The speaker is acknowledging that finding the right level of difficulty is a challenging task.

Get in the zone, like painting, or.

This quote exemplifies various activities where people can experience flow, indicating the universal nature of this state across different pursuits.

Embracing Human Emotions and Rejecting Misconceptions

  • A range of emotions, including tiredness, stress, and frustration, are normal aspects of the human experience.
  • The idea that unhappiness indicates a personal flaw is rejected.
  • Often, the judgment about one's unhappiness causes more distress than the feeling itself.
  • Understanding the statistical inevitability of bad days helps in managing expectations and reactions.

Like, do you get tired, stressed, sad, hungry, frustrated, unfocused? Do you ever feel misunderstood? Great. You're human. You don't need medication.

This quote emphasizes that experiencing a wide range of emotions is a normal part of being human and not necessarily indicative of a problem requiring medication.

Been told that being unhappy means that there's something wrong with you. And I just wholeheartedly reject that notion.

The speaker is challenging the common misconception that unhappiness is a sign of personal deficiency.

Perspective on Unhappiness and the Law of Large Numbers

  • Unhappiness can be viewed through the lens of the law of large numbers, which suggests that a certain percentage of days will inevitably be bad.
  • Recognizing the regularity of bad days can help in accepting them without the need for drastic changes.
  • Acceptance of the statistical likelihood of bad days can increase tolerance for them.

One of my best frames around this is just thinking law of large numbers, which is like, if I have 365.

The speaker is using the law of large numbers to rationalize the occurrence of bad days throughout the year.

Days look like, feel like bottom 10% days, and I don't need to change anything at all.

This quote reinforces the idea that experiencing bad days is a normal occurrence and does not always necessitate a change in one's approach or strategy.

Entrepreneurship, Decision Making, and Resource Allocation

  • Entrepreneurship is fundamentally about decision-making and resource allocation.
  • Consistency in decision-making is crucial, especially in changing environments.
  • Reframing reality as neutral, rather than good or bad, aids in problem-solving.
  • Problems in business often relate to 'who' rather than 'how', emphasizing the importance of people and their roles.

Entrepreneurship comes down to decision making, it comes to allocation of resources.

The speaker is defining the core elements of entrepreneurship, highlighting the importance of decision-making and resource allocation.

But it still will be your problem. And I love that frame.

The quote suggests that while issues may not be one's fault, they are still one's responsibility to address, emphasizing a proactive approach to problem-solving.

The Importance of Action and Team Dynamics

  • Focusing on action rather than fault or intention simplifies business processes.
  • Team dynamics benefit from a shift away from blame and towards constructive action.
  • Leadership sets the tone for prioritizing actions that move the business forward.

Propel the business forward.

This quote encapsulates the goal of focusing on actions that contribute to business growth and success.

The faster the organization will move.

The speaker implies that a focus on action over blame or intention accelerates organizational progress.

Ignorance, Knowledge, and the Entrepreneurial Journey

  • Ignorance is a significant barrier that entrepreneurs must overcome.
  • Knowledge is seen as the ultimate good, as it leads to better understanding and decision-making.
  • The entrepreneurial journey often begins with a lack of knowledge, which is gradually overcome through experience.

I think paying off ignorance debt is the single greatest thing that everyone can.

The speaker is advocating for the continuous pursuit of knowledge as a means to improve oneself and one's circumstances.

Like, if people have more knowledge, they.

The quote underscores the belief that knowledge empowers people to make better decisions and improve their lives.

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