Mike: Hello and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I am your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another interview with my buddy David Nurse, who just released a new book called Do It, where he talks about the many creative ways in which us humans stifle our own progress and hold ourselves back from getting what we really want.
And in this book and in this interview, which is based on material in the book, David talks specifically about what he calls. Action archetypes and why we should try to understand which of these archetypes best fit us and how we can use these archetypes to better achieve whatever we want to achieve in our life, whether it is health and fitness goals, or career goals, or relationship goals, or anything else.
And in case you are not familiar with David, he is a former professional basketball player as well as a bestselling author and acclaimed keynote speaker. And David also helps coach a lot of professional basketball players on the mind required to win and continue winning at the highest level of performance and competition.
And so if you are looking for some interesting and unique insights into what might be holding you back in various areas of your life, and if you’d like some effective strategies for overcoming those obstacles, I think you’re gonna like this interview. David.
Mike: what’s going on? Man? It’s been a bit since I’ve seen your face.
I’ve seen text messages from you, but
David: bromance, we have a bromance, ladies and gentlemen. It’s official. It’s official.
Mike: Well, thanks for taking the time to do this. Of course. I appreciate it. And so we’re gonna talk about your new book and the material in it. So why don’t we start with the title of the book, and then I’m curious, why did you write this book?
I’d like to ask that as a writer who’s written a number of books, you’re always working on the next book. I have my own kind of little process of choosing what book to write next. But I’m curious what that was like for you, because if you’re anything like me, you have a list of literally 20 different books that you could write, and you’re actually kind of interested in all of these ideas.
But which are you doing next and why?
David: That’s so funny you say that, cuz I do have in my notes on my phone, like the next 20 books and I have all these different concepts, but the way that I select them is if it continues to come up, if I continue to see issues with people in society struggling from this, and I continue to really feel like it’s a tug on my heart and call to do this, that’s when it say, okay, this has to be done.
So about three years ago, and it’s kind of been my whole life really of like not really understanding why people make excuses and why people say, Hey, I wanna do this, but yet they don’t actually do it. Or even take a step forward to it. And maybe it is my, I don’t have that much of an empathetic bone to an extent.
My wife will always tell me like, you have to be more like more empathetic to people. But I don’t think so. I just think people make excuses. They stop themselves. They get in their own way. So three years ago I started on this journey of I was gonna research, do a lot of research. Do studies, do my own personal survey, send outs of what holds people back from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow.
And in that gap is literally taking action and the different roadblocks that hold you back from taking action. Everything is based in fear. That’s kind of the all-encompassing fear and uncertainty of the results that will happen if you take action. So through doing this research, doing these studies, I came up with nine main reasons.
Now, there’s probably other little smaller reasons of why people hold themselves back from taking action, but there’s nine main reasons why people don’t do what they say they wanna do. What is holding essentially their future in a death grip? And we can go through those nine. I’ll read ’em off so everybody knows.
And the point of this too, Mike, is I want people to be able to understand what they’re, what I call an action archetype is. And the easiest way to. To kind of conceptualize this is if people have been familiar with the Enneagram where it’s a self-awareness personality test. Now this is not that, this is a self-awareness action test and, and continually change at some point.
You can be one archetype, you can be a different one, or probably predominantly
Mike: one, but maybe mixed with some elements of others.
David: Totally. And I know in my life, I’ve all of these that I’m about read at point.
And there’s the burn, the inopportune, meaning you think you’re too young or too old. The blamer, it’s always somebody else’s fault. The test believer where you do have your Enneagram or the one that I love the most when people say, well, I, I can’t go out in public and talk to people because I’m an introvert.
No, that’s just because you’re telling yourself the, you are the perfectionist where it all has to be spot on perfect before you take action. The scariest where you literally think there’s only one size of the pie and you cannot step outside of that, you’re holding onto it for dear life. The people holding onto the toilet paper during covid time.
That distracted. Yeah. As we know during this time and day and age of life, the distracted is huge and the underestimate, oh, I came from this town. I was born to this family, and you don’t think that you can be somebody great. That’s not for me, it’s for somebody else. So those are the nine main action archetypes of why people hold themselves back.
And why don’t we talk
Mike: a bit more about at least a few of those, maybe if you want to choose a few that are the most common that you’ve come across. Most commonly working with people and speaking with people over the years.
David: Yeah. Let’s start off with the aoac phobic, the fear of other people’s opinions.
This hampers a lot of people now think about this. When somebody. Says something about you or you think they’re thinking a certain thing about you. Do you know how long they’re actually thinking about you? Average is about 10 seconds. So they’ll say something and then they’ll be on to caring about the most important person in the world, in the world to them themselves, or thinking about what they’re having for dinner.
They literally don’t care about what you’re doing, but yet in those 86,400 seconds in the day, as they think about you for 10 seconds, you spend the rest 86,390 seconds thinking about what they said, and you will not take action because you are worried about what they think. It’s basically validation seeking.
We are seeking other people’s approval so that we can feel good about ourselves, but. There’s studies done and the number is 19%. That’s the generally accepted number and term in different studies, the average 19% of people will not like you, like will not approve you.
Mike: Yeah. I’ve seen that research. Yeah.
And they decide that rather quickly too. It’s often based just on a first impression. I don’t like this person. Yeah,
David: exactly. And it could be for no reason, don’t like your shirt, don’t like his curl in his hair. Understanding that is very freeing, that you’re never going to please everyone. Even in the presidential election, the biggest land in presidential history was Richard Nixon and I think it was 1972 he beat, uh, McGovern and it was 60.7%.
That’s what Nixon had, 60.7%, meaning that 39.3% of people did not vote for him. So when. It’s supposed to be the most important vote. 39.3% of people. That’s the biggest landslide there’s ever been. So understanding that people are like, they’re genuinely not going to like you. Not saying that they won’t like you, but not everybody is ever going to like you.
There’s tools to be able to work through each of these archetypes. To say, Hey, this fear of other people’s opinions, it’s not going to hold me back, or whatever the archetype is. And the tool that I use for this one in particular is what I call be the comedian. So think about your favorite comedy show.
Mine is the Office. And the office was Michael Scott. He was uh, worked the Dunder Mifflin regional manager and he was always saying something that would get him in trouble. He put his foot in his mouth and it was hilarious watching the comedy from the viewer’s perspective. But if you are Michael Scott, you’re going through stress, anxiety, which most people are because he was fearing what other people would think of him.
So when you are in these situations, I know it’s easy to say, harder to do, but that’s the whole self-awareness piece of it, that you’re in these stressful situations. Stop, take a step back and look at it as like, okay, I’m watching myself in this comedic TV show now I am able to laugh at myself like I would be if I was watching a Michael Scott.
And it takes the pressure. Off you. It’s not as like, oh my gosh, everything that I do is so important. Cause I think a lot of people put so much importance on what they’re doing right now in this time and in their work, and just care so much about what other people think. But those other people that they think care about them actually don’t give two shits about ’em.
Mike: I wonder if some of that also stems from self-important. At least I’m just thinking in my experiences of people I’m thinking over the last 10 years or so, if I think of some people who cared a lot about what other people think, and at least several of the cases I’m thinking of these also were people who took themselves rather seriously.
They just considered themselves important. People. I don’t know if there’s a connection there, but I think that’s bad as an individual characteristic. That’s something that like, personally, I have consciously tried to avoid is not taking myself seriously, not building up my ego, not telling myself I’m so important.
Not necessarily self-deprecating, not criticizing myself and putting myself down, but purposely trying to cultivate. Maybe it’s humility or, you know, some people they might say, oh, it’s, it’s cosmic insignificance therapy. Like, okay, how, how significant am I really? You know, like a hundred years from now I’m gonna be dead and gone.
Nobody’s gonna remember me or care. So how much does
David: it really matter? So, so I really like that Mike. And there’s a few things around that, and I’ll have to give you a story. I, I, for one struggle with that, of thinking like, oh, I have to stay relevant. Oh, I gotta, you know, I gotta make sure I post something.
I gotta put this out there. So me and my wife go on Alaskan cruise, and on this Alaskan cruise, I know there’s going to be zero service on the cruise for at least three days when we’re at on scene. And I’m like, I’m kind of fearing it. I’m like, well, what if I don’t put anything out there? What will people think?
And after those three days, I had like six emails, couple notifications, like not much at all is thinking like, whoa, wait. Did nobody really care that it wasn’t around? Wait, wait. Do I not matter as much as I thought I did? That’s what it was, Mike. Well, think about it like who is waking up? There is zero people waking up in this world thinking, man, when’s David gonna out that next post?
Yeah, come on. You know how many times I’ve missed the Thursday? Every Thursday my podcast releases, how many times I’ve missed that date? I don’t think one person has said, yo man, where’s your podcast at? And maybe that’s like a, Hey David, you’re not doing a whole lot. But actually I think it’s pretty freeing to understand like no one really cares.
And I tell people this too, once they like get so caught up in themselves and this thinking that they’re so relevant. Search the top cricket player, the number one cricket player in the world. Just go search. Do a Google search for that. Find out who that is, and then go look how many followers that person, that cricket player has on Instagram.
It’s. And you have never heard of this guy before in your life. Yeah, I don’t really matter that much. And it’s not in a bad way, but it’s in a take the pressure off you type of way. I
Mike: like that. Which archetype should we talk about next? Which one is, is most interesting to you or most relevant to you personally?
Or, you know, like something that we should definitely get to, and you can let me know where this fits in, is fear of failure and then taking that further where people then internalize failure as something that relates to them as a person, their identity, rather than it’s something outside of them, it was, uh, a failure to do something and they could do it again.
David: Yes. Just like fear encompasses all, it’s such a great point. Failure is in there as well. Fear of failure. Each one of these is a basically a fear of failure type thing. If you don’t take action, you are fearing the results. You’re fearing failing, so I’m gonna touch on the burn. I think that’s one that holds a lot of people back because it’s the past.
When something happens to you in the past, use that as a, well, you know what, like I, I tried love, like I, I dated this girl and she dumps me, so why would I ever put my heart out there again, like you’re using past situations to actually affect the future situations, which isn’t fair because they’re totally different.
You learned from the past, but you don’t stay locked and burned in the past. There’s actually term called traumatic association age regression, which is if you don’t release this traumatic experience that happens in. You literally stay frozen in that point. So it’s why if you didn’t have a good childhood and you go back to your childhood home, you automatically shrink into this person that you were.
You feel less of yourself cause you haven’t been able to accept this happening in the past and being able to get free from it. This is the traumatic association age regression. So the burn also has, and I’m not well-versed enough to be able to say, Hey, here’s the pressure points that you touch. Here’s what releases.
But there’s AMS pressure points and different spots in your body. Hold. Different, and you probably know a lot more than I do on this whole different areas of pressure, like happiness in your chest, anger throughout your whole entire body. Different feelings are held in different spots and there’s ways to, I mean, go research this, the AMS as pressure points of how to release those type of feelings that you are holding on.
It’s also why like when you go get a massage and you’ve had a super stressful month and it’s all up in your shoulders, that’s where a lot of this stress is held, that they’re releasing this tension. I think that’s a really important one for people to understand that what has happened to you in the past is not necessarily something that has to affect your future.
Yeah. It’s either one or two ways. You either look at it as a detriment and an excuse, and you can always make this excuse that you were burned by the past, so you’re not gonna take action in the future. Or you look at it as like it’s something that will actually help me make smarter decisions about the future to come.
When I worked with my NBA players, I would always tell them, don’t worry if you miss a shot. That’s totally gonna happen. That’s okay. Just don’t miss the same way. Like learn from why you missed, make it basically a puzzle or a challenge of, okay, I missed it. That’s all right. I’m not gonna get so down about it, get burnt about it, that I’m not, that I’m gonna hesitate and not shoot the next one.
Just learn how to do it the correct way the next time. And
Mike: some people might say, though, that’s easier said than done. Like, yes. You know, intellectually understand that if I could just figure out a way to get some sort of lesson or to use some traumatic experience to my advantage and use it, To help me survive better going forward.
But I’m guessing that, I mean, even if we just think about, I haven’t experienced trauma in the way that many people have, but we’ve all gone through difficult experiences. If I speak personally, I totally agree with what you’re saying, and I, and I think that’s a, a sane and irrational way to live, is how you can use a negative experience to make your future more positive, whatever that might be, depending on the circumstances.
But of course, what gets in the way is probably emotions. And you know, it, it can be difficult in the same way as doing a, a workout when you’ve slept two hours, like, you know, you have to push yourself. It doesn’t necessarily feel good. In fact, what can feel good in the moment is to wallow in the misery.
It does not necessarily feel good to. Push yourself to move on. It can feel like even the wrong thing to do because it just makes you feel
David: even worse. Yeah, and I completely agree. And the wallowing, this is a part of it that is needed and I don’t know if there’s an exact time and of how long you should and how long.
You should just sit in that and feel it. But then there’s always going to be a choice to be made. There’s always, it seems like there’s always an every situation, there’s two sides of the coin that you either use it as the reason why you can’t do something, or you flip the coin and look at it, well, how am I gonna use this for my good?
It’s also the same type of thing, and there’s either, it’s either upward counterfactual thinking, which means you look back. At a situation and you think about the what ifs. Well, what if I would’ve done it differently? What if I could’ve done this? What if I, well, what if this would’ve happened? And then you feel this immense regret that stays with you like a cloud, or there’s the downward counterfactual thinking and you think, well, oh, it could’ve been worse like I got in this fender bender.
But you know what? Like I could have been totaled and dead. I’m feeling great. I know it’s an easy cop out way to say, oh, it’s all about perception and it’s how you perceive it and it’s your choice. But ultimately, really it’s, and it’s kind of like we were talking too before we hopped on here of there’s either two ways of every day.
You either are living in. On the left side, let’s say this is the zero marker of the scale. This is ego. This is completely for myself on the right side. This is full alignment with God. This is who I was created to be living in, in full step with my potential. There’s two sides. That’s it. Every day when we wake up, it is a gravity is taken us closer to the ego, the self.
That’s what society’s saying, Hey, do you do it your way? But it’s a constant battle to get to the right, to the full alignment. And when you get to the right, to the full alignment, that’s when you’re in your rhythm and you realize life is bigger than you. You have a bigger purpose. And that’s like at the core, I think it all comes down to that, but it’s a similar situation that we’re talking about.
It’s perception. It’s you can really look at anything with one side of the coin. Or the other side of the coin. The funny thing is with that ego one, the, the guy who told me that this is a, a really crazy story, was the mental coach from Metallica. There’s a fascinating documentary, the Metallica documentary, I can’t remember what it’s called right now, but it was basically on when they were, they were on top of the world and they’re the number one band, millions.
Like everything that they put out was just automatically gold. And they were gonna come out with another album. They hadn’t done one for a while, and they put these guys in the same room. These band members of Metallica, now remember, they’re the top number one in the world. But somebody would say something to another band member like, Hey, you know what?
I don’t know if that lyric works. Or like, Ooh, you’re kind offkey. And they would just heads and they’d have to get out there for the next week and sometimes even a month. Was to feel like they were appreciated and loved these guys at the top of the world where everybody would be like, man, I wish I was Metallica.
All that they wanted and cared about was to be loved. And this guy, Phil Toley was his name. He comes in, he’s brought in to help them figure out like, Hey, you have to let your ego aside. If we wanna make an album, we have to come together in full alignment. It doesn’t really necessarily kind go in line with being burned, but it is the, everything can be looked at.
Either side of the coin, just depending on how you choose it. Something
Mike: that has worked for me is, I guess you’d call it like radical responsibility or to use the title of the popular book, extreme Ownership, which I liked. I thought it was a good book, good message. And it was more written, more geared toward business people in groups.
But the messages I think apply equally to us individually. And so what has helped me during difficult times and has particularly helped me not become a victim, which we can talk about, I know that was, that’s on the list of, or blaming other people or things for my problems to look at a problem that I’m experiencing or something that has happened that was bad, that I did not want to happen, and force myself to find something that I could have done differently.
How did I contribute to that? And every single time I can always find something and I can look back through my entire lifetime and I could do that little exercise for every. Single. Well, okay, let’s say that’s the rule. An exception might be one time somebody sideswiped my car just randomly like, we’re just driving and they didn’t see me there and they came over.
I guess we might even be able to look at that in a more karmic sense or, or some sort of spiritual element, which I would be open to exploring. Uh, if I bring it down to especially interpersonal things, which is most of our problems that we encounter in our lives, most of the difficulties we experience are going to be with other people in one way or another.
And so if I look at those situations and if I look also at, I could include probably things that include things in my work or just, just personal goals that I had wanted to achieve and the difficulties that I’ve experienced there again, every single time I could explain to you. Here’s how I contributed to this problem.
Here’s what I could have done differently. That could be a way to contribute to it where I didn’t do something. It’s either I maybe did something that contributed to it, or I didn’t do something. And by not doing something, by not addressing something appropriately or at the right time or whatever, I contributed to a situation that festered or eventually turned into this problem.
And so first, by accepting that, then I didn’t feel the compulsion to blame anybody else, even if the other person was factually far more responsible for it than I was. But just by recognizing that I had 5% responsibility in it, and then it helped me move to the next step, which is, all right, what can I learn from this?
And I can’t change what happened, but how can I prevent this from occurring again? How can I get a little bit better? From this, but first I had to accept I have a responsibility here. It’s not just the other person’s fault. No,
David: dude, that is it. This is everything we’re talking about. That’s it right there.
What you just went through and how you rationalize, like to the main point that being the blamer where you’re like, okay, even if it was somebody, a hundred percent somebody else’s fault, like well, I was driving today, like I was out there. I mean, that’s kinda, I put myself in that situation. That’s a super freeing way to look at things.
So here’s my question. This could be fun and I’ll do it from my perspective and then maybe you could think of one from yours as well. Like, is there anything that any of these nine. That you feel are holding you back from where you are now to where you wanna be in the future? Or is there anyone that really stands out to you that has held you back in the past now knowing you, Mike, and like how big of an impact and how much you do?
How, how important
Mike: I am, you know?
David: Yeah. But you’re like, you’re having best sellers and you got a company. So from the outside and just having this virtual bromance since we haven’t been able to spend time, and that’s on me for staying out in this godforsaken country called California in the epicenter
Mike: at the hellmouth of Los Angeles,
Actually, honestly, like when you drive into West Hollywood, You feel that?
Mike: Oh yeah. It’s my least favorite place I’ve ever been to, period. I would rather throw a dart at the map and just move to wherever I have blindfolded. I just throw it and I have to move there. I would rather do that than live in Los Angeles as long as it doesn’t land in Los Angeles.
David: Grew up in the cornfield, Iowa and I went to school in middle of nowhere, Illinois. So hopefully the DART lands there. Los Angeles. I gotcha. Alright, so do any of these resonate with you as something like, well I need to be able to overcome this a little bit better of other people’s opinions? No, I don’t. I can’t see that as you at all burn.
Nope. Burned by the past. Nope. Thinking you’re too young or too old. No, no, the blamer, you just very well elegantly spoke through that one. The test believer, do you label yourself, if you take some kinda test or some kinda word that even just a label in a sense like, this is who I have to be because this is my label, the perfectionist.
Do you have to have things perfect or close to perfect before you take action on it? The scariest thinking, well, there’s only one pie. There’s not more that I can add in there. I need to hold onto to what I have. And that, and that’s kind of like the, like if you, let’s say for example, you have a book deal and somebody’s asking you, Hey, can you introduce me to your publishers or to your speaking agents?
Like I get a lot. Like if I just hold that onto me, I’m living in like, well, that means I don’t think I’m that good because if I give it to somebody else, then they’re gonna take them and they’re gonna be way better than me. Like I’ll always openly give those. So that’s the scarced. And this is what I think I am mostly of.
There’s so many good opportunities. I know where I want to be and what my mission is, but yet there’s a lot of times that I’ll find myself, oh, that’s really cool. I could go down this, and it’s probably keeping me from my ultimate goal or ultimate mission of where I should be. Or the underestimate where you think, well, these other people, it’s for them.
It’s not for me. So, let’s see. Um,
Mike: I would say that, so if I look also at, um, over the last 10 years or so of my kind of journey in the fitness space, although maybe in the day-to-day I, I’ve not been a distracted person, I don’t spend much time on social media. Well, I’ll go for long periods of time where if I watch anything on any streaming service, it’s like a little bit of time with my wife.
I’m not really into it. I don’t care that much. It’s more just something we can do together to unwind for a little bit. And so, however, if, if we look at the distracted archetype through the lens of lots of opportunity, and this is something I’ve had to get better at, is saying no, and it’s a bit counter.
Intuitive because as you achieve more success, you inevitably have more opportunities and you have more very attractive opportunities, things that sound fun, things that can make you a lot of money, things that can help you better achieve your mission, whatever that is. And so then it can be tricky to prioritize things and decide what should I be doing next?
And to avoid the mistake of trying to do everything. And I’ve made that mistake and I got away with it for some time because I was willing to work a lot like six days a week, probably on average, 10 to 12 hours per day. And then on Sundays, Sundays would be the seventh day, I probably would’ve, uh, I was working, this was years I did this with exceptions, but this is the rule.
I would work probably about three or four hours on Sunday as well. So I’d really kind of just take off Sunday afternoons. Maybe Saturdays are more like eight hours of work. And then Monday through Thursday, certainly 10 to 12 hours. Friday, maybe the evenings are off. And so. Yes, because I was willing to do that and it didn’t completely burn me out, which, I mean, maybe something could talk about, but I could take on more than I still should have and, and I was able to take enough progress on all these different fronts to at least maintain motivation and to see things through.
But I would’ve had a better overall experience in so many ways. And actually my results, at least the results that matter the most, would’ve been even better if I would have, instead of having 10 for an arbitrary number, but 10, kind of like larger projects underway at any given time, whittle that down to three and then make faster progress on those things and do even better work on those things because no matter who we are, we only have so much.
Mental and emotional and just psychological bandwidth to give to our work. And even if you look at it in terms of time, like whatever we work on earlier in the day is probably going to be a bit better than what we work on. At least if we cut again a longer day in half our first six hours, probably a bit more productive.
The quality of work is a bit more higher than the final six hours. And then so how are you structuring that time? What are you doing during that time? And so I’ve improved in that regard partly because I’ve forced myself to improve, partly by forcing myself to not work as much. By forcing myself to take other commitments, like coaching my son’s flag football team.
That’s something that, it’s kinda like a forcing function. Like I said, I’m gonna do it and I’m not the person who’s like, you know, sorry other coach. I can’t make it to today’s practice because I have to do some work that I don’t really have to do. I’m just compelled to do it. No, I’m gonna show up and now it also is something I can do with my son.
It means something to him. So I’ll stop there because that’s an answer to some
David: degree. No, I think it’s a great answer, man. And I think it’s a, in its answer that everybody struggles with and it comes back to the talk of, of relevancy and we feel like we have to continue. Yeah, we we’re blessed, very blessed to be doing something that we love and are very passionate about and we know are, is helping people.
And ultimately that’s what everybody wants to have is that purpose. But when it comes at the expense for what actually is the most important to you and that, and I see that in you, it’s your wife, it’s your kids, it is your family. Basically, if we turn into the person and we’ve both seen this, that is that person that is on for everybody else and just seems like this great person who’s serving and pouring into others.
But then when you see the way they treat their spouse and their kids and they’re yelling at ’em, don’t have time for them. All of this work that you put in is just negated now because I can’t believe the person that you are if you’re gonna say this stuff and then go act a different way. Yeah, and I, I, I also think, like, I try to look at it as like, sure, I’m gonna plant a lot of seeds.
I’m gonna throw a lot out there. I’m gonna take a lot of shots, plant a lot of seeds, but all of those trees are not gonna grow. And the ones that are growing that are most important to me, that’s where I wanna put the most water on ’em. So I’ll keep throwing seeds out there, but ultimately it’s gonna come back to those main three, like you were saying, trees that are gonna grow.
And usually, usually there’s about 10 to 20% of what we do over the course of the year that can probably be narrowed down into the hyperfocused time that we spend working. I call it my Hawaii Airlines time, where I’ll just put my phone on airplane mode. And I joke with my wife whenever Hawaii, Hawaii back.
Done undistracted, there’s no notifications whatsoever. Cause Hawaii Airlines hasn’t figured out how to get wifi yet. So I don’t feel the pressure like, cause on other airplanes, they now have wifi. Almost all of them, except for Hawaii, somehow doesn’t. And I always feel the pressure like, well, if they have it, I have to be connected to the world because it’s so important to know what’s going on in the world at all times.
I mean, it’s a, I think it’s one of the biggest like fascinating lies that we are told. And if we, I mean, even if we dig into more of like what the world is telling us, like even think about when we were growing up, Mike, all we knew was the people in our town. Playing basketball. All I could look at was the stats of the other people that was in the newspaper.
In my school’s district. Now, these basketball players, they have to see this seven three unicorn player from France who’s 16 years old and could be the number one draft pick. And you see that, you’re like, shit, I’m screwed. And it’s very deflating, or this one really drives me nuts of, well, oh my gosh, you, Josh, you don’t know everything that’s going on in Ukraine.
And, and that new, that, that Stan standoff that we have going, you don’t know what, what you, you should not be in like, are you kidding me? We can’t know all of this kind of stuff.
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I think this is probably a touch on the test. Taking archetype. The one related to that. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on that. And then also the underestimation probably plays into this as well, where people are underestimating what they could do if they tried and if they worked hard at it. And then also ideas that they get about themselves according to you really probably could just say according to expert analysis, which is how these tests are often perceived.
And, and that even would apply to an IQ test. This isn’t an area that I’ve looked enough into to have a strong opinion. However, I think that, uh, it makes sense to me. And I know that you could say that research shows that IQ and conscientiousness are the two best predictors for life’s success. And fundamentally, that makes sense to me.
But the question is, how smart do we really need to be to achieve the goals that we need to achieve? And if we. Could improve our intelligence. And that’s also kind of controversial. But, and this is me just kind of rambling, cuz just recently I was reading about this and thinking about it, but it is kinda interesting that you can improve your IQ if you break it down into different domains like verbal iq, you can improve that, you can work on that and improve that.
You can improve your vocabulary, you can improve your literacy, you can improve your ability to understand information. And all of those things translate into improved abilities in your life if you use them. For sure. Even if you look at, okay, pattern recognition, right? You. Can get better at those little IQ puzzles.
Like if you do enough of them and you understand how they’re created, you can get better. Now is that going to make you more effective in life though because you’ve practiced getting better at recognizing patterns and puzzles and you can score better on a test? I’m not so sure, but you can also improve your mathematical abilities, your ability to think rationally, critical thinking and those, at least the, the critical thinking, I think is something that certainly can improve our abilities in life.
So my point with saying all that is it’s just in my experience, I haven’t had too many discussions about this with people, but I think that in discussions I’ve, I have had people tend to see their. Fluid intelligence, which is what IQ would measure as rather fixed, they’ve heard that it’s fixed and that it just kind of declines over time.
Like, you know, basically if you’re over 20 x years old, you’re as smart as you’re ever gonna be in your life. You’re just gonna get dumber and things are just gonna get worse. And then, so you could take that and maybe add some personality testing into it, and theoretically you might, uh, what was that?
What’s that famous fairytale? The little Ians where they tie down the giant with the little ropes and they convince him that he can’t get up. Or Gill, was it Gilligan’s? Or, or something like, but my point is, you’ve created false. You, you’ve put false constraints on yourself that are actually not true, or that could be otherwise, but maybe you just don’t realize that because of the stories you’ve told yourself or the things you’ve heard and the amount of importance you’ve put on certain things related against specifically to quantifying who we are and what our abilities are.
David: So in all the podcasts that I’ve done for this new book, that is the best question that I have ever had so far. So lemme just set that cuz there’s a lot of stuff going on here. I mean, of course,
Mike: I’m, I’m Mike Matthews, so that’s natural, you know,
David: in Mike. All right. So when you talk about iq, it is definitely not fixed, and it’s not fixed in your brain’s capacity to continue to learn. There’s hundred billion neurons in your brain, and we’ve heard this hot term of neuroplasticity, but it really is that like there’s such a difference between maturing, which your brain ultimately matures in your late twenties, is when it’s done maturing.
But maturing and learning growing are completely different things. There’s a reason why this lady, NOLA Oaks, at 85 years old, can go to college, start college, and get a college degree. It’s not fixed. You might hear that, oh, well, when you’re seven and eight years old, you can learn a language quicker than when you’re 70.
But it’s just like you would say for lifting weights. If you have never lifted weights in your life and you’re a newbie, you’re gonna see those gains very quickly. But if it’s like me and you, and you like how it just threw me in with you as the same weightlifting protocol, we’ve been doing it for years, it’s harder to see those gains.
So the maturing and learning are different things now. The IQ growth and I would be interested to hear more and I, I need to do more research myself in like the different sectors of iq. But I do know in the scarcity mindset when somebody lives in a scarcity mindset, it can lower your IQ up to 14 points.
Understanding IQ 14 points can go from a proficient score to a very subpar score. Like literally like, Hey, this guy is very smart to, this guy is not so smart. Just based on a scarcity mindset alone, there’s been studies in that. So in the self-belief sector of this, this part is so important and I like, it’s always tough to talk about these kind of things and like there’s always the media.
Or the, I guess the best better term is like the social influencer who will say, think good thoughts and good things will happen. Just speak it into existence. That’s a bunch of s it’s kinda like what you would struggle with in terms of seeing, oh, this guy knows all the, the science on building muscle and he is ripped, but he is actually liver king and he is writing out of his mind.
Like stuff like this, the battle that you fight. But if you are unable to see. The future you where you want to be, then you won’t be able to get there because that you doesn’t exist. Now people will hear about self-esteem. Self-esteem, meaning how you feel about yourself, the self-love you give yourself.
Important, yes, self-confidence. The next step up, very important, how like you can step on a stage and you can step in a room and, and you don’t feel confident in who you are in the present moment. But the most important thing is self-efficacy. And self-efficacy literally means are you acting in the way today?
Are you acting in the way of who you are going to be in the future? That’s the key point. But most people don’t get to that third level because they’re just going through the motions, the hamster wheel, the survival, the can I get to the weekend? And then they’re looking to make different types of, well, here’s why.
And I mean, we’ve talked about a lot of the excuses and in terms of seeing yourself vision, let’s just bring it back to like a financial state. People will say, yeah, of course I wanna make a lot of money. Oh, but, oh man, you know, all those millionaires, they inherited that money. Generational, whatever. Or, or they just got lucky or got lucky.
But you know, this 80%, this 80% of millionaires are first generation millionaires. So all those people that are making all this money, they’re not just getting handed down by parents. Some might, but usually that second generation ends up blowing it anyways.
Mike: Yeah. Generational wealth also. Yeah, I was gonna say, there’s a statistic, I forget the exact number, but by the second or third generation it’s all gone usually.
That’s usually how it goes.
David: Yeah. And we could go on a whole, like, I feel like I could in now, you, you’ll probably be like now you can’t until you actually have kids. But I feel like I could generally give away a, a whole lesson on how to not f your kids up and how to make your kids actually earn it and become very driven people in society based on whether you have a lot of money or you don’t.
Anyways, I digress. I hope I hit on those points of the make your kids do chores. At least you can start there. Like, that’s what I want. Like, isn’t that why you have kids? So when they’re older, they can do the chores for you. Like, that’s why you say, Hey, I can time you, how long it takes you to do the dishes go,
Mike: wow, wow.
A, a new pr. It’s like, it’s amazing every week. You just said a new pr. Let’s keep going. So talking about some of these personality tests, I actually haven’t done, let’s see, I did Jordan Peterson’s psychological tests some time ago, and I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve done the Enneagram, I haven’t done the, what is it, Meyers Brigg or Briggs.
I, I really, I haven’t read much about them, so I don’t have much of a, of an opinion, but it Do you have an opinion on, do you, not even, you are.
David: Oh my goodness. I’m just messing. No, it’s, it’s funny cause the tool that I give for the test believer one I literally outlined, I put this whole list of all these different types of things that you could be like ambitious or a leader or a creative.
And the point of it is I want you to make a check by the ones that apply to you. And so do you do it. It’s kind of like any other personality test, but at the end of it you see that it’s every single one of these outcomes from the Enneagram, Myers Briggs, from horoscope. So it’s all there and then you see like, oh, well actually I have a few different ones from different like, oh, oh, I don’t exactly fit in a box.
I’m a little bit of everything. And it’s supposed to make you realize, like none of these personality tests can actually tell you who. It can give you an awareness point of it, but it’s then you’re beholden to, well you know, I just got a bad month cuz Mercury is in retrograde and you know what that means?
I always have bad months because I’m a Scorpio. What are we doing? It’s kind of like when I, the aura ring or those whoop bands that have your scores, like those might be better closer scientifically, but I’ll wake up and I’ll have to give a keynote talk and I’ll say, yeah, 48 on recovery or H R V sucks.
You better sleep the whole day. No, I’m not gonna listen to that. Or hey, I’ll use it for a great thing. If it is, it says 92 and you up total optimize on your sleep. You got three hours of deep sleep. So I think you can re like, it’s a double-edged sword. You can use these things. As your detriment, or you can use these things as a bonus and a positive, or you just say, screw the detriment.
I’m gonna flip that coin to be the two-headed coin. If you want the one
Mike: that Jordan Peterson won, I thought it was fairly accurate. A a few of the things, so it was, what was it, A big five, I think they call it. You have five major psychological traits, then you have sub traits. And a few of them were not accurate, but it was mostly accurate.
And I was like, yeah, yeah, that’s mostly accurate. Cause I guess I, I most, I answered the questions as honestly as I could and it’s set up, uh, obviously in a, in a way that works. But that was it. It’s like I’m using that to calibrate. Anything in my life. I just thought it was mildly interesting. I guess like, yes, I’m a very disagreeable person.
Yes, that’s correct. I know that, yes, I’m an extremely conscientious person. Yes. Maybe to a fault even. I know that,
David: here’s why I have everybody listening. A bromance with Mike Maths is he does not take things at face value, and he asks questions, and that’s probably what that was telling you. Like, Hey, you say you’re a disagreeable person, but it’s more of a, I’m gonna actually look underneath the surface and not just take it at face value.
I mean, really
Mike: what is, is I don’t just play along to get along. I’m not a, an abrasive person by nature. I can be abrasive, I think, if it’s appropriate. I like people. I’m not a rude person, but I don’t just play along to get along. I don’t care to have a. A harmonious to, to have all relationships and experiences be harmonious if I don’t agree with things or if I’m skeptical or if I think unharmonious relations are actually more appropriate.
And so that’s reflected in, in that psychological trait, like, yeah. Yeah, that’s me going back to that 20% of people just aren’t gonna like you depending on, you know, if it’s just like social bullshit. If I’m just at some little get together and it’s just blah, blah fine, whatever. When people really get to know me, and I’m okay with this, some people I know do not like me, they just, I am not their kind of person.
I do not say the things that they like to hear. I do not ask the questions they like to be asked. And that’s totally fine. I have no problem with that.
David: Do you think it’s because you’re not massaging egos when you meet people, like most people wanna hear how good they are and the questions that they get, or like, They want to feel like, oh man, Mike thinks so much about me, but it’s more like, because I could see you and saying this as we haven’t hung out in person yet.
Like, I’m trying to pull Mike to the evil side of California. He’s trying to pull me to probably the promised land in Florida. But I could see you in conversation and, and meeting people and not giving two shits about what their business title says, and they start telling you about all their accolades and stuff, and you’re like, cool.
Don’t care. Like, is that what you’re like? Cause I could see that,
Mike: I would say yes, but not in a, not in a way that’s meant to put them down, but in, in almost like a, a subtle kind of left-handed where it’s like, oh yeah, cool. Good for you, dude. Whatever. You know what I mean? But no, I mean, I like people who are interesting tho those are the people I don’t.
Care. And sometimes that relates to what they do, but sometimes that does not relate to what they do at all. Like some, you know, friends of mine, I’m thinking of people who I, I find interesting. I like to talk to, like to hang out with. They have good jobs and they do well, but that has nothing to do with what I find interesting.
And so I’m not impressed by money. I’m not impressed by status. I’m not impressed by, I guess those things together would be what most people consider success. I respect what it takes to make money and achieve status. I think those require admirable traits, but that alone is not enough for me to really care.
And in my experience dealing with many people, I think a lot of people. They do care a lot more just about those two things alone, you know? So I can just think of different social circles where, okay, one guy I’m thinking of, so he is a billionaire heir, basically, so he’s part of a very wealthy family and a lot of people are very deferential to him, and everybody knows him and wants to talk to him.
And everyone, whenever they see him a mile, hi. I was like, you know what I mean? And I don’t care at all. I think he’s a nice guy, but I don’t care at all that. He’s a billionaire heir that does not motivate my interactions with him. I do not feel any desire to get in closer with him because maybe that’s going to benefit me in some way or because that just reflects positively on me.
That elevates my status because, oh, I, yeah, I hang out with billionaires. Okay. Who do you hang out with again? So anyway, whatever. I’m just, I’m just rambling,
David: but No, no, no, no, no. I love that so much. Like there’s, and I’ll be real brief and quick on this, but it is the most attractive trait of somebody when they’re in a room and we’ve both been in these rooms with these high level people and we see like other people flock to these guys with like flies on just getting in there.
Like they have to be around them because what’s it gonna elevate them? But it ultimately, that will never fill you at all. The most attractive people are the ones that are in the room. They’re like, nobody in this room can do anything for me. I’m not in it to get anything out from anybody. I’m in it because I love the people in the room.
I love relationships and I love being able to serve if I can serve, but it’s not about what can I elevate myself and my status to be Nothing like those are the people that are like, they don’t have to tell you how cool they are. And then you go find out later like, oh dang, that dude is the real deal.
Those are the best people. Totally
Mike: agree. Totally agree. It can be hard to find, but they’re out there for sure. Not everybody’s an asshole.
David: Yeah, I know. But most are, no, I’m just kidding. I would say it’s a real
Mike: test of somebody’s character. You give them money, you give them status, you give them celebrity, and then you’ll see who they really are.
I think that’s true, and we were talking before we started that is it that people change Is, is it the money and the status and celebrity that changed them or did it just enable them to be. Who they really are before the money and the status and the celebrity. They couldn’t really feasibly behave maybe the way that they wanted to.
And with that comes a lot of self importance and making everything about them, not caring much about other people and how you affect other people and, and really just looking what you can get and how that can further elevate you. That doesn’t work if you don’t have money status or celebrity or some combination of those things.
Cause if you have no money, no status, no celebrity, you behave like that, you’re gonna have no friends, no interact. You’re not gonna be able to keep a job. So you’re just gonna be by yourself miserable. But if you get some money, if you get some status, you get some celebrity, you can act like a cunt and still have a lot of people offering themselves to you to be exploited.
David: the way it is. I mean, you couldn’t have said it any better than that. Right there. The money in the will bring out more of who you truly are. I
Mike: think that’s true. I mean, or it’s at least a bit of both. Maybe depend. Yeah, I mean, I guess you could also say, I think the more destructive you are to yourself and to others, the more it warps you.
For sure. There’s probably a point where the behavior starts to drive even more derangement initially. I think there’s like an enabling effect, at least that’s based on my experiences. Last question and then we’ll wrap up. I wanted to hear your thoughts on this point of self-confidence, self-esteem. What are your thoughts on building that?
So let’s start from the assumption that you can’t make somebody, it could be you, me, whatever, can’t make a rational argument for why we should have self-confidence, which could be like, if you were to ask me, okay, Mike, I would say that I’m a confident, I’m not an arrogant, but I’m a confident person. Why?
What does that literally mean? The word self-belief? What is that belief based on? I would say, well, It’s based on my experiences. It’s based on. The things that I’ve been able to achieve, of course, it hasn’t just been me. I’ve been helped by a lot of people along the way. I don’t get all the credit, but I can name, you know, different things that I’ve decided I wanna do this.
And I’ve went and done that and I’ve decided I wanted to do this, and then I’ve went and done that. And so far I’ve had a pretty good run of it. And so therefore, I’m fairly confident in myself, and if I think about what do I want to do, you know, I have other work interests even, and like I’m interested in writing fiction, for example.
So that was actually my original interest in, in writing. I almost didn’t become Mike Matthews, the fitness guy, because I wanted to write fiction and I wanted to write actually in different genres of non-fiction and kind of flip flop back and forth. I almost did that. I almost didn’t do the fitness thing.
I was gonna start a, a publishing company as well, and I was gonna publish my own work, but also publish other people’s work because this is after I had published Bigger Than or Stronger and maybe one other book. And I saw opportunities, particularly in digital marketing to sell books and do things in ways that traditional publishers were simply not doing.
And those opportunities are actually still there. And so I actually, I started to go in that direction and then I decided to pivot away from it, um, because I saw. Some unique opportunities in fitness, and it is something that I enjoy, but I still have an interest in these other things, and so am I confident that I can achieve success in writing fiction?
Yeah. Yeah. I think that the probability is high. I wouldn’t maybe put it at a, part of me wants to put it at a hundred percent. If I had to bet a lot of money, I’d put it fairly high probability, but that’s also based on the things I’ve already done, so it’s fairly easy for me to have that confidence. The issue I see with people I’ve spoken with is that they lack self-confidence and they haven’t proven it to themselves enough.
They can’t make an argument like that, per se, where they might even say there’s a point where having self-confidence beyond a certain threshold would almost become like they would feel like it’s delusion based on what? Based on what evidence. What are your thoughts on all that? Dude,
David: I love that so much.
And we’re gonna have to have a separate conversation on the fiction writing cause I like, it’s been on what I’ve wanted to do for four or five years of write a allegorical aspirational type book like the Life of Pies and those kinds. Let’s talk on that. Man, that’s, I, I think there’s a huge avenue for that on how you can tie the two together.
But yes, so self-confidence, there’s a lot to this. Alright. And I think it’s formulaic kind. You have to hit a few things to make it really, really hone in. And absolutely those ones being you’ve the results. You can’t really tell somebody like, Hey, like, be confident when you go out there in the NBA game and you’ve never one time scored a basket in the nba.
It’s hard to do. So once you see the results, that’s what sparks the momentum and the belief in it. It’s, it’s in here in California, in Los Angeles, near Hollywood. If I want to be in a TV show or a movie, I, I think I could do it. I know I could make the right connections with the right people and stick with it long enough.
Then I probably could get in something. I’m not saying I’d be like a big movie star at all, but I think I could do it and I think that pretty much hurt anything because I’ve changed and, and started new things many times and been very successful at it because, okay, it’s the self. Efficacy, belief of acting who you want to be on a daily basis.
So you have to actually take those actions toward that. You have to have some type of success and you can lean on that success on that past in different areas of life, like I’m talking about for Okay. But when they’re acting, I would say, Hey, well I may, I literally created a video where I’d never given a keynote talk in my life, putting on different outfits, saying one-liners.
My wife’s acting coach filmed it. We had three friends in there. So it looked like the place was packed. And I sent it to all these companies and I booked a massive keynote talk for my first talk. Like I’ve seen myself bs my way into it before I can do it again. But I also think it is in, in the self-awareness being more the self-esteem part of the, of the, not dealing with the allo phobic.
Like I don’t care what other people think. I ultimately don’t, I want you to like me. Yes, totally want you to like me, but am I gonna go home and like, think about that for the rest of the day. No, I’m not. And for me, knowing that like. It is not about my accolades or results, but I’m comfortable in my own skin and I’ll just speak from my own experience and what has worked for me.
But I know in my soul my whole is filled. It’s filled with Jesus, and I truly, fully, I’m all in. I believe that Jesus is the Savior. That God like I believe all that. And for me, it gives me a lot of peace to know that hey, ultimately, like it’s not on me. All the pressure in the world to perform. It’s not it.
It’s not on my acts, it’s not on my work. So that gives me a lot of confidence alone to know I’m not doing it alone. Now listen, and you don’t have to agree with that. I’m just telling you what, what I feel, what’s worked for me. So I think it’s that the self-esteem, the self-awareness, the confidence in that you’ve done it before.
And then also ultimately man, it’s confidence in the preparation. Like I tell people, make tallies every single day. The next morning, if you did something to take a step forward, just 1% step forward to where you wanna be in the future. Make a tally cause you’ll look back on that. A year from now, and you’ll see 297 tallies, like you put in preparation.
It’s not gonna be every day, but you gained a lot of confidence in that preparation. If in high school, if you took the a c t 2000 times before you stepped into the room to take the actual a CT or S a t, you’d feel a lot more confident because you prepared. So I think it’s a huge cumulation of this, of these different areas of how you can gain this unwavering self-confidence.
And even that being said, it’s never always going to be just, man, I can get on stage and man, I don’t feel anything. I’m so conf. No, it’s just natural human nature that there’s going to be some type of self-doubt. But can you go back and can you squash that self-doubt? Tell yourself that’s this is a lie, or at least just do
Mike: it anyway.
David: do it anyway. There’s that book. There’s coming out May, it’s called Do It Read That. Just Do it.
Mike: I love the segue because you haven’t given the title of the book until now.
David: Oh yeah. Forgot all that. Do it. Yeah. It’s the life changing power of taking action and I’m a firm believer seen in my own life and just all these stories and and survey and here’s the 40,000 foot view as is.
As we wrap up here, I promise I won’t keep too long as I tell people it’s, it’s atomic habits. Cause there’s actionable habits and people know, everybody knows Atomic Habits mixed with the Enneagram, which is a self-awareness type test and coupled with crazy cool Malcolm Gladwell esque type stories of historical figures in the past that change the world.
So there’s these people in these stories that go through these same struggles. They come to this crux moment of where they could take the safe route and be like, oh, well I won’t do it. Or they take a risk on themselves, overcome this action archetype and end up changing the world. And there’s fascinating stories in there.
So basically like obviously get the book, I mean, this is not a shameless plug, but your life will be so much better if you do. Pre-order. If you could pre-order, if this comes out before May 4th, buy it. And you know what the, you know what it is? Like, I love when people say, Hey, I bought five on Amazon. Cool, thank you.
But actually have five friends buy it from their own Amazon account. Cause Amazon is a juggernaut and they’re a system and it’s hard to beat the system. And we’re all about beating systems, so it counts one by one individually. There’s a
Mike: trick. I didn’t know that actually. Is that, is that really true? If one individual buys five copies, that just counts as one copy sold in Amazon’s algorithm.
Huh? Did not know that. Interesting.
David: That’s point from the whole podcast right there. Yeah. Well,
Mike: I think that’s where we wrap up, right? Where else can people find you? Obviously they can get your book, but they can find you on social media. Anything else you want them to know about?
David: Uh, if you wanna learn more about this type of stuff or just, I teach Success Habits course really in depth three months for people who are, want to really transform their lives or a whole year process of 1% steps daily.
So you can get that kinda [email protected] But yeah, I think we just like, you know what? I think we just make a petition and just continually message Mike Matthews to tell him that he’s gotta come to LA and just hang out. Stay with me. I think that’s the next big goal.
Mike: I’ll end up out there probably maybe for something at some point.
I basically travel as little outside of just traveling with my family. I just. Don’t travel, basically, I guess I’m just a, a creature of habit. I have my little routine and I generally kind of just stick to it. And that’s partly though because now, you know, with kids, you have a life set up that, and I’m building a house, horse farm, other things are going into it, but, and so my wife is pretty consumed with that.
So I’m needed on a regular basis to take the kids to school, pick the kids up from school, take ’em to this or whatever. I, I try not to even travel to Orlando or Tampa if I don’t have to. I just sit in my
David: little cave here, Hey, do what you love, man. I’m envious of that. But, uh, yeah, we’ll get you out here for some way and we’ll get you on the podcast.
I think we got that scheduled doing it real soon. So anybody who wants to listen to Mike on my podcast and us go back and forth grilling each other, that will come out soon as well. Awesome.
Mike: Well, I know you gotta run through your next interview, so I’ll let you go. But, um, thanks again, David. This was a lot of fun.
Good, Mike, man. Thanks brother. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.