Why I Chose to Disappoint My Dad Ep 415



In a candid conversation, the host and their guest discuss life-changing decisions, personal growth, and the pursuit of joy. The guest, once a management consultant, shares their journey of self-discovery, which involved leaving a lucrative job and familial expectations behind to seek genuine happiness. They reflect on the pressure to achieve societal and paternal approval and the realization that most decisions are inconsequential in the grand scheme of life. This epiphany led to a more present-focused, joy-oriented approach, culminating in their decision to abandon a predestined path and start anew in the fitness industry. The discussion also touches on the fleeting nature of legacy and the freedom found in recognizing the impermanence of life, ultimately encouraging listeners to live authentically and joyfully in the present.

Summary Notes

Personal Transformation and Decision Making

  • Speaker A experienced a profound personal transformation, choosing self-actualization over familial expectations.
  • The decision was influenced by the realization that living a life designed by their father was not fulfilling.
  • Speaker A's decision-making process involved contemplating mortality and the limited significance of most decisions.
  • The speaker uses mortality as a tool for clarity in decision-making, removing external influences from the equation.
  • They reference a pattern of subjective well-being across different ages, noting that awareness of mortality can lead to more authentic decisions.

"I can either die to myself or I can die to my father. And at the end of the day, I have to survive."

This quote emphasizes the speaker's internal conflict between their own desires and their father's expectations, leading to a life-changing decision prioritizing their own survival and happiness.

Family Dynamics and Cultural Influence

  • Speaker A was an only child raised by a single father from Iran.
  • Their life was driven by the desire to gain their father's approval and validation.
  • Disappointing their father was equated with a feeling of death, showing the depth of the emotional struggle.
  • Speaker A's cultural background contributed to the pressure of living up to parental expectations.

"So only child raised by a single father, middle Eastern. He was born in Iran, and everything in my life up until that point was really just to make him proud."

This quote provides context on the speaker's upbringing and cultural influences that shaped their drive for parental approval and the subsequent personal crisis they faced.

Subjective Well-Being and Life Satisfaction

  • Speaker A discusses the concept of subjective well-being and its variations across different ages.
  • They describe a 'smiley face' pattern where satisfaction is high in childhood, dips in the 20s and 30s, hits a low around 45, and increases again later in life.
  • The speaker suggests that an awareness of mortality can lead to a more authentic life, as people care less about others' opinions and more about their own satisfaction.

"It looks like a smiley face. So seven year olds think they're killing life, and then it drops dramatically between 20 and 30, and then there's still a little bit more of a dip right around 45."

This quote explains the general trend of subjective well-being throughout the lifespan, highlighting the periods of life where individuals often reassess their happiness and life choices.

Mortality as a Driver for Decision Making

  • Speaker A has used the contemplation of mortality as a significant driver in making life decisions.
  • This approach to decision-making is described as a routine process that provides clarity and helps eliminate the influence of others.
  • Speaker A has applied this 'good decision-making algorithm' to multiple areas of their life after the initial transformative decision.

"Mortality has been the single biggest driver and the biggest decisions that I've made in my life."

The quote reveals that the speaker's major life decisions have been heavily influenced by their awareness of mortality, which has served as a tool for making clear and independent choices.

Developmental Changes and Societal Expectations

  • Speaker B elaborates on the changes in self-perception and societal expectations across different life stages.
  • Childhood is characterized by a lack of concern and freedom to dream, which is often suppressed by societal norms as one grows older.
  • The discussion highlights the pressures that come with adulthood, including financial success and the weight of external opinions.

"And then you get to your twenty s and thirty s, and the rubber hits the road a little bit. And if you've made money, I guess, and if that's your sign of success, then you're okay."

This quote from Speaker B outlines the shift from childhood freedom to the adult realities of societal expectations, particularly around success and financial stability.

Perspectives on Legacy

  • The concept of legacy can be less significant when considering the vastness of time.
  • The importance of legacy varies from person to person; it may not hold the same weight for everyone.
  • Speaker A feels that legacy is less important to them personally.
  • Over time, the significance of one's legacy can diminish to the point of irrelevance.
  • Historical examples demonstrate that legacies can be forgotten or eradicated.

"But if you just look at expanding the time horizon over a much longer period of time, if you look at it in 10,000 years, or 100,000 years or a million years...I don't even remember the man's name, nor do I have any piece of that legacy."

This quote illustrates Speaker A's viewpoint that the concept of legacy loses its importance when examined over a very long time span, as even significant legacies can be forgotten or lost.

"When the revolution happened in Iran...Government just says, those are ours now. That's it. There's your legacy gone."

Speaker A uses the Iranian revolution as an example of how quickly and easily a legacy can be dismantled, emphasizing the fragility of legacies.

Living in the Present

  • Emphasizes the importance of living in the moment and making the best of the present.
  • Recognizes the uncertainty of the future and the futility of worrying about legacies.
  • Discusses the concept of societal and familial pressures and the freedom that comes from disregarding them.

"And I think on a long enough time horizon, we're all screwed. And I think in some ways people find that incredibly disheartening. But an equal opposite is you can't find it both disheartening and also not freeing..."

Speaker A suggests that while the idea that everything is temporary can be disheartening, it also provides freedom from societal expectations and pressures.

"That advice is good because it helps us live in the moment, because even if you believe in something after, that's still in the future, and there's a question mark because no one actually knows with knowledge what happens or if something happens."

Speaker B agrees with Speaker A, noting that focusing on the present is beneficial because the future is uncertain and unknowable.

Contemplating Non-Existence

  • Discusses the experience of not being alive before birth as a way to understand non-existence after death.
  • Suggests that the fear of death may be unfounded based on the lack of experience before life.

"An interesting one that I thought through around that was a lot of us, not a lot of us, all of us have 100% experience not being alive...And so I would imagine that that's the closest experience that we can have to not being alive yet again, which to me is not that frightening."

Speaker A reflects on the concept of non-existence before birth to rationalize the lack of fear toward non-existence after death.

Personal Choices and Consequences

  • Speaker A shares a personal anecdote about choosing their own path over familial expectations.
  • Making a significant life change based on personal passion and enjoyment can lead to estrangement from family.

"And now I contemplated I had to die to my father or die to myself. And I realized that I would rather die to him, which pretty much ended up happening."

Speaker A discusses the difficult choice between following their father's wishes or pursuing their own interests, ultimately choosing the latter and facing the consequences.

"I ended up quitting that job, sold everything I had, packed my car, went to California, because that's where I thought the land of fitness opportunity was, because that was the only thing I really enjoyed."

This quote describes Speaker A's decision to pursue their passion for fitness by moving to California, illustrating a personal commitment to living in the present and following one's joy.

Early Career and Entrepreneurial Decision

  • Speaker A started their first facility at the age of 23 after leaving a traditional career path.
  • They chose entrepreneurship over further education, believing it offered a better learning experience and financial opportunity.
  • Speaker A invested the equivalent economic value of an Ivy League degree into starting their own business.

Started my first facility, slept on the floor for the first nine months, which was a very terrible experience for me.

This quote highlights the challenging beginnings of Speaker A's entrepreneurial journey, emphasizing the sacrifices made during the initial phase of starting their business.

And that was really at the time. And all of this kind of, it was at a splitting point where I had done two years and the kind of career path traditionally is like two to four years of management consulting, and then you go back to an Ivy League for your GMAT, and then from there you can go do investment banking, you can do private equity, you can do some of the bigger white collar jobs.

Speaker A explains their decision to diverge from the traditional career path in consulting and finance, opting instead to start their own venture.

And I figured I would learn more in the first two years and with that money and maybe even have a business by the end of that period of time that made an equivalent amount of money compared to what I would have had as a job offer.

Speaker A rationalizes their choice to pursue entrepreneurship by comparing the potential learning and earnings to what they would have achieved through traditional employment.

Book Promotion and Community Contribution

  • Speaker A has authored a book titled "100 million dollar offers" with positive reviews on Amazon.
  • The book is presented as a valuable resource for the community and a potential basis for future partnerships.

Hey guys, real quick, if you're new to the podcast, I have a book on Amazon. It's called 100 million dollar offers. At over 8005 star reviews, it has almost a perfect score.

Speaker A promotes their book, highlighting its success and positive reception as a way to build rapport with the podcast audience.

You can get it for $0.99 on Kindle. The reason I bring it up is that I put over 1000 hours into writing that book and it's my biggest give to our community.

Speaker A emphasizes the effort put into the book and its affordability, positioning it as a significant contribution to their community.

Motivation and Fear

  • Speaker A's initial motivation was driven by fear of failure, disappointment, and judgment.
  • They faced disapproval from their father, who saw Speaker A's choices as wasteful.

I mean, at first, I was driven by fear, okay? It was all fear. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of other people's judgment.

Speaker A acknowledges that fear was a major factor influencing their early career decisions.

He thought he was stupid. He thought I was wasting my life and wasted a degree that he had spent money on and wasted a good job opportunity that he had set up for me.

Speaker A recounts their father's reaction to their entrepreneurial pursuit, highlighting the generational and cultural clash in attitudes toward career and risk.

Family Background and Privilege

  • Speaker A's father immigrated with limited resources but achieved success, providing a foundation for Speaker A.
  • Speaker A acknowledges the advantages they had, such as language skills and education.

My dad came here with $1,000 and a medical degree. And then built everything. Didn't even speak English.

This quote illustrates the challenges Speaker A's father overcame as an immigrant, setting a backdrop for Speaker A's own journey and the contrast between their starting points.

I mean, I speak English. Just the basics. Like, I speak English. I went to a good school, just all the support, infrastructure, known and unknown that was around me to be successful.

Speaker A recognizes the privileges they had, such as language proficiency and educational opportunities, which contributed to their success.

Emotional Decision-Making

  • Speaker A's decision to leave their career was also emotionally driven by a desire for happiness and autonomy.
  • The fear of a life of unhappiness was a significant factor in their decision calculus.

The biggest thing that made the decision for me, I would say I had the logical decision, and then I had the emotional decision. The emotional decision was, I don't want to do this. This is not the life I want to lead.

Speaker A describes the emotional reasoning behind their career choice, emphasizing the desire for a life aligned with personal happiness and fulfillment.

If I would prefer to not be alive, then that kind of opens up my decision calculus.

Speaker A candidly shares the depth of their unhappiness in their previous career, which profoundly influenced their decision to change paths.

Discovering Personal Happiness

  • Speaker A realizes they are unsure about what brings them happiness.
  • They are aware of what does not make them happy, indicating a process of elimination in finding personal joy.

I didn't know what made me happy. I knew what was not making me happy.

This quote emphasizes the speaker's journey in understanding their own happiness, where they start by identifying what does not bring them joy.

Family Expectations and Self-Discovery

  • There is a common societal pressure to conform to family and societal expectations.
  • Understanding the context of advice is crucial; it may not always apply to one's current life situation.
  • Speaker B suggests that trying different paths is essential to discover what truly fits one's desires and needs.
  • Speaker A acknowledges the importance of giving oneself permission to explore different avenues.

Okay. So I think that's another important lesson, too. If I can just extract them, I'm sure a lot of people watching, they feel the same kind of family pressure.

Speaker B highlights the lesson of navigating through family expectations and the importance of context when considering life choices.

The Role of Education and Contextual Relevance

  • Education played a critical role in Speaker A's father's life, allowing him to leave his country.
  • Speaker A recognizes the deep value of education but also its contextual limitations.
  • There is a mutual understanding reached between Speaker A and their father about the changing relevance of advice over time.

And as a side to what you were saying about my dad, education saved his life.

Speaker A reflects on the significance of education in their father's life, acknowledging its profound impact while also recognizing its different relevance in their own life.

Generational Perspectives on Advice

  • Speaker A's father acknowledges that his advice would have been appropriate in his own time.
  • This recognition shows an understanding of the shifting applicability of guidance across different generations.

And when we did come to terms later, the only time he's ever apologized to me in my life and said, but to be fair, in my time, I would have been right.

The quote captures a moment of reconciliation and understanding between Speaker A and their father, highlighting the generational differences in perspective.

Perception of Others and Self-Awareness

  • Speaker A discusses the evolution of self-perception and concern for others' opinions across different life stages.
  • They suggest that people generally do not spend much time thinking about others, which can be liberating to realize.

I love the saying, in our 20s, we're concerned about what everyone thinks about us. In our 40s, we don't care what anyone thinks about us. And in our 60s, we realize that no one was thinking about us to begin with.

This quote reflects on the changing nature of self-consciousness and the freedom that comes with the realization that others' opinions are not as pervasive as one might think.

Unlearning and Rediscovering Joy

  • Speaker A values the concept of unlearning societal rules and expectations.
  • They emphasize the importance of being present and finding internal joy rather than seeking external validation.
  • Speaker A encourages listeners to identify what brings them joy by first addressing what they dislike in their lives.

And I continue to unlearn rules that I thought existed as I continue to go on this journey.

Speaker A conveys the ongoing process of challenging and discarding preconceived notions and societal expectations in pursuit of personal fulfillment.

Positive Psychology and Inversion

  • Speaker A proposes using inversion to improve one's life by considering what actions would lead to the worst possible outcomes and then doing the opposite.
  • This approach can simplify the process of enhancing one's life and finding joy.

Well, if I wanted to destroy my life, I wanted to have the worst life possible, what would I do?

The quote presents a thought experiment that encourages reversing negative scenarios to find pathways to a more joyful and fulfilling life.

The Innate Creativity of Individuals

  • Speaker B reflects on a quote by Picasso about the inherent artistic nature of individuals.
  • They suggest that societal pressures often suppress this natural creativity, and there is a need to return to one's basic instincts and passions.

I'm remembering this Picasso quote, which is, I think he said, everyone is born an artist.

Speaker B shares Picasso's perspective on the intrinsic creativity in everyone and the challenge of reclaiming that creativity amidst societal influences.

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