« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#155: Strauss Zelnick, Becoming Ageless

2018-10-03
At just 32 years old Strauss Zelnick became the president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox. He was young, successful and appeared to have it all, but internally he was struggling. Zelnick says he was unhappy, anxious all the time and drinking every night. Now, nearly 30 years later, Zelnick remains super successful and thanks to his daily physical and spiritual practice he's become the picture of health. Zelnick reveals his secrets in his new book Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever and discusses them with Dan in this interview.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see the ten percent happier vodka than her on the show this week the individual, who has I'd be single largest impact on my personal health in recent years and he's going to talk about the connection between spirituality and health. Stress sound, like is coming up first one piece of business and then your calls and then we'll get the stress of the business is cool new feature on the ten percent happier app. You can have set up a shortcut, be a SIRI if you ve got if you're, using an apple device where you can just tell your phone or you're home pod that you want to play a part. Meditation like the meditation of the day or meditation out. You sleep, animal, just pop right up its awesome. It's great use of a before the robots take over and kill. All of us are: let's get your phone calls.
Number one. Damn J and Charlotte North Carolina, my questions related to comments made in the past about health. I was residing and we achieved? the level of success at work line of our practice. when you start learning about not clean words. Like passion was now ten renunciation, it seems that any level of anxiety or stress related to achieving that work is a form of suffering and I love to hear you talk more about that. Thank you, but I hears my taken out of the great question. I spent a lot of them. Ruminating on this. My take is that a certain amount of stress makes sense. A certain amount of suffering is
It is part of the deal when you're trying to do something great or important or just a feeder family, but we tend to make that worse than it needs to be and mindfulness great weight to have an inner telescope that tells you that gives use, hence of when you ve crossed the line between, this rumination organ. Rather when you do when you ve crossed into useless remedy, reuse, useless, rumination from a territory that I often like to refer to his constructive anguish. So this certain amount of constructive anguish out there, but you gotta know when, when it doesn't make any sense anymore and Joseph those in the eminent meditation teacher, often encouraged what do use a little mantra of. Is this useful, so You know on the ninety seven time, you're worried about something related to work. Maybe ask yourself: is this useful have If I played out the string on this particular anxiety loop, do I didn't you know I
I've thought about enough. I have a plan here is where we are now going to bring my attention to something else. Maybe it's my child. Maybe it's the food, a meeting, maybe it's my spouse and I think I think in many ways I found in my experience. Having mechanism in inner mechanism to to notice what I've taken? The stress too far has really been Did my resiliency in my focus and my ability to you know be b right there for people? I wanna be therefore. So yeah it's a huge issue. I don't think there is some silver bullet. I don't think there's some way to magically know when, when you press line between good stress and bad stress- but I think that it takes is a really good way to to have a sense of when you when you've done that and it as it pertains to clinging, you're. The concept I really like is: is this idea of nuns non attachment to results just to know as your working really hard on something and I'm not going. Hey I'm an ace of this, but I do my best we
turkey really hard at something. He then makes it a lot of sense to invest your time and energy in intellect he into a project but the success. is really not in your hands. You can't control all the variables in a universe that is controlled by that is, is characterized by entropy and impermanence, there are so many with exaggerated factors that can swim. Been and and topple or apple? If I, whatever plan you're working on so I take it as read that were not being on attached to the results starts to make sense, so we do your best at whatever you working on, but you know that
not the for better or worse. The king or queen of the universe, are those are my thoughts on that question, but super important. Here's number to pay damages Luke from Shelly. I really love what you're doing and appreciate the hard work that you put in. I do a lot of exercise specifically running, and I think you ve got tennis before that exercise, isn't necessarily meditation or can't really substitute for it, but I was wondering if you had any tips on how to be more mindful dipping it
and other nurse. I got very lost in thought. I know if you have any tat to make it that it more mindful experience would be great thanks as it happens. I do my new producer. The new producer of the show rain Kessler is clearly a genius because he chose this voicemail, which was built which will take up our guest this week perfectly. But to your question my friend, yes, you can run mindfully. I've noticed that its harder, but is actually worth doing so. It involves, in my view taking out the earbuds and not listening to Linkin Park or whatever it is you listen to when you're running. By the way I don't listen to or endorse Linkin Park hits came to my head out of nowhere came into my head or why I came. I had anyway you're not listening to music. You are, running. I would do a noting practice I have done in my in my experiences. Mindfully.
running a noting practice so you're running and you're, just making soft mental notes of whatever it is, is most sale, Whatever is most salient in your experience at that moment might be the feeling of pressure from your heat feet hitting the ground. It might be a sense of movement in your legs. It might be a coolness of wind hitting your face, it might be noticing you ve become distracted in the end. Making us off note of thinking thinking. So you be running along taking pressure pressure, hearing, hearing, thanking thinking, seeing being and then you're gonna. U distracted a million times and you start again answers knock knock complicated, but it will bring you in a truly meditative way to the experience of run, it's ok, I've done it before I do it. When I'm on. When I exercise out when I'm on meditation retreated, I don't wanna totally cheap by listening to us too
bread, Eldridge or whatever damages matching Brett, because he was on the show recently then that I will do a noting practice when I'm running and it is. I have noticed harder because with your lesson in music, you yet this sort of adrenalin that you you won't at least I haven't gotten from just doing unloading practice, but it is, in my view that truly a way to make running meditative so go for it, give it a shot, don't listen, Lincoln Park I'm getting if I r, R r guess this week extra zanuck, who is a personal friend. I warn you of front. He is a personal friend, as sometimes happens on the show
before I get into. I want to talk a little bit about this. I mentioned it before we did this survey with podcast listeners, and I was- and I said this before, but I any is worth repeating, bowled over by the magnitude of the response and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people took time to fill out the survey. I am incredibly grateful to people who did that because it's been super useful. We were there you're gonna start. Seeing of annex months and coming year, some real changes to the show in part because of the survey we didn't, but also because of the aforementioned rank ass. Her we have new producer, so there's gonna be there can be some changes and I think they're gonna be really great and one of the things people told us. What is that?
really like to stay within the bounds of meditation mindfulness Buddhism, psychology, people weren't so interested in doing getting. You know fitness advice from me, which is probably why? Because, if you take a look at me, a person I'm anyway, you even wanna have fitness. yes, because their plenty of other part guests that do that. So basically, what were we ve arrived? Is that we're gonna do certain nine out of ten podcast, we'll be right in the wheel house that that are listeners are telling us they want to be in, but one at a time, maybe one out of twenty. It's gotta be dealers, choice, I'm just gonna, do what I want to do and this one, balls in that category Strauss is not some. lifelong meditation practitioner, although, as you can hear ye
as a better job. In my view of talking about the connection between a spiritual practice and am an exercise practice than most but up a brain Ahmad, because he's had a huge impact on me. He is sixty one years old and Jack I mean just ripped and also the sea of one of the largest videogame companies on earth he's got his take two entertainment owns. The grand doctors are one of the biggest video games. Jesus there is here, The entertainment industry was as a movie mogul music mobile and is now in the video game industry and takes the time to be incredibly fit with a busy professional life, with a huge mentoring practice that we're gonna talk about he's incredibly generous with his time two people who need and want it with a family of three beautiful children and wife, a beautiful wife, so he's here
Guy was in the world, but taking the time to be engaged in in these in this kind of physical upkeep upkeep in a way that I have found as his friend incredibly inspiring and Israel. We changed the way I approach my physical fitness so give me a chance. I think you're gonna find a lot here of value. even though it may fall slightly outside the centre. The bulls I fought for what listeners have been looking for, but I promise, if you give this chats like it so here, straw zadig, I had supposed to be here this morning. We had a talk all about the book in physical fitness and the fact that, oh, what a huge impact you ve had on my physical fitness and my attitudes above his confidence, but I won't talk a little bit but serve your interior journey cause. It's been
I mean everything grave for you now. The pictures are awesome of you and how rich you are, and you ve got this big job it take to in new, get up another company, easy, I'm see where you invest in media companies, but you ve had some ups and downs in your life. Can you talk a little bit of other while, like all of us have had plenty of ups and downs, had a pretty tough childhood, although I don't know what one wants to be careful about I'm blaming subsequent ups and downs are on your background, but I had a. I had a hard childhood and I sort of I didn't one of the reasons that life is unfolded for me. The way that it has is that who is working really are to overcome the challenges of my child. Like many of you tell us a little when I lost my mother when I was a quite young answered worse when I was young went to live with another family, my aunt and uncle, and I a lot of upset before his ten years old, as did my siblings, and that that
that created some sense of motive. nation and not necessarily all good motivation to create a perfect picture of life, see You can trace your ambition in some way. Back to that that feeling of rupture, I think I was probably born with some sense of ambition, and, yes, I think the countries more of that. Maybe the negative parts of the drive to the rupture, maybe the positive parts of the drive to something that was inherent you were and still are, but that particular what I know about your younger days really ambitious and successfully so yeah. I think that's right and I think I spent a lot of time coaching and mentoring people now. I don't think there is anything wrong with ambition to the contracting. Knowing what you want is is probably the first
the most highly correlated with getting what you want, and so ambition is a good thing, and I think I was also used to being impatient and my view is it impatience, and action is probably good thing in patients with regard to how comes How much are good thing when I was younger? Maybe I confuse the two more than I do now. Can you break that down? I think being ambitious is great and I think you know I think people who are young being told will wait. You know your turn will come Is its frustrating was frustrating when I was young, I would find it equally frustrating now. I think, though, understanding what we can and can't control is pretty powerful in life and when you're starting from nowhere- and I started from nowhere the way you did with nothing- no connections- you after you have to work really hard to begin to create track
there's nothing wrong with having great ambition and if you don't work card, nothing will come from it. Perhaps I would have benefited from being little more patient in the outcomes, understanding that no matter how hard at work, the matter, how hard I tried, no matter how well things when certain things you're just gonna, take time so he's we're tired of your career of me be worth to. You were the youngest studio chief I'm not sure, I'd suit first, while dining out on being the youngest anything when you're old is his horrifying to me. But I don't know if that's true in any yes, but I was thirty. Two when I became president and chief operating officer, 20th Century Fox did pretty pretty big job. I'm forty seven! I would be stressed out to have that job now,
ah, you know stresses not has never really been my issue at plenty of concerns. The stress is actually not one of them. They also say, there's good stress and bad stress when when, when you feel like you're in control of the situation, you experience stress very differently than when you feel you're, not in control of the situation. You feel like you're in control. When you took over that job, there were days I did and many days I did not and I, after all a great title notwithstanding, I was not the most senior guy in the organization I reported to the chairmen of Twentyth Century Fox and he reported to the CEO Fox Outfoxing. How did that job over? You ultimately went great. It was hard at first because I I showed up in president president of the than to independent phone company, and so I I was pretty convinced I had it all sorted out. I knew it needed to
done. What I fail to understand was it. While I saw the motion picture business as one business, the there is an enormous divide between the independent motion picture, business, which is where I was well now and respected and successful as president of the largest company and the major motion picture business, where I had no reputation and my only experience had been so near relatively junior executive at Columbia, pictures previously so I shop in California, you know thinking I have it all figured out and and Fox was a turnaround. I did have a plan Owen. Incidentally, I wasn't really wrong about what needed to be done. What the point is not that I was wrong. What I fail to pay attention to is how to go about it, and I eyes I spend a little too much time talking, not enough time listening, that is it turns out slow down. My progress haven't actually getting anything done. The good news is, I learn, learn I learned from my mistakes
and, while I entered poorly, I was able, with the help and support of ultimately my colleagues and my boss to turn around, and I did a successful under my three euros really in the animals these days, and we talk a lot about hippos with big mouths and tiny ears and I'm guilty. I was, I was ever so Oh then, you went on to get into the music industry from there. Actually I left Fox to do my first start up in the video game business. I was nineteen anything and I went to Silicon Valley, which was an unusual thing to do. Then Anna had. the view that video games would be the next huge entertainment business and that the economics of the video game business would be a lot more. Beneficial. Then the economics of what was a very mature and today's and even more mature motion picture business out of accurate well, Just that. There are many attributes of the motion picture business and make it a challenging ass, a class and did then- and I I do ten seat
as they are, and I was actually right about that too much much longer for the business to develop than I had expected and eyes was very early days, but is turns out. I called it right that business in those days would probably one thousand nine hundred and ninety three honor no under a hundred million dollar business. Today, it's a hundred and forty billion dollar worldwide industry, much larger than the motion picture business or the music business. But none the less you got into me. How did that transition happen from your first horse race, video games? Is it going at the music to where you write to Hurley? I may have been right too early. certainly was right too early for my own taste, I missed running a big business. I don't think I've gotten out of my system yet, and I was recruited by the energy which was another turn around it was.
Five out of six and music companies that was the peak of the music business. So there's a lot of excitement about of this was one thousand nine hundred and ninety five and they recruited me and I'm crystal dynamics, wasn't a very good footing. At that point there was great leadership step into my role. So, even though, is only a couple years later I felt comfortable moving on. I was still a very large shareholder and I move The Biagi where I started, among other things, a video game, business Biagi Interactive and we as a team, turned around the music business and we had record years for the company in terms of revenue, profits, market share and Grammy winds. By the time I laughed. Six years later, we were number two in the business.
Okay, so resume resume, going them part of it. But just looking at your resume to go to Harvard LAW, school you'd went on yet always be front of my calls them Bb Jays, big big jobs and beautiful wife, who is a friend of mine and biogas and wonderful, chill friend, but it was. There was some inner sort of health and spiritual term. Well, can you talk a little bit about that? Well, I was more than a little like you. I think I was anxious all the time. I think a price myself on being the calm, the sky in the entertainment business and I certainly did come across our very little could rattle me and, if you're doing turnarounds all the time we have to be in a position, but my entire life was was really spiky and I take everything personally. Mine was all about me. So any interactions about me cuz I come across. How do I look? How do I do you know? What did I did? I do that correct
incorrectly and whatever whatever I did well, was just prelude to the next challenge and whenever I did badly, you know that was an opportunity really be myself up and I served describe myself as it is. I can carry you know my child, along with me I was, I was like a guy walking up a hill with a backpack full rocks, if Iraq helping to fall out, I'd, I'd, stop and pick up another one, and if I came across Europe, grab your rocks to when I got to the top of the hill. The only thing I experience was there was another hill in front of me. So if, if I had a win, then I am, I had a lot of stuff. There were really well above personally and professionally. You know I would experience it a sort of, as
as momentary- and I didn't want to- I Didn'T- want to ever take credit for it. Not truly, I mean I might come across as someone who took that approach isn't a very appealing attribute, and I hope I don't come across that way now, but I didn't really inside it's where the worst of both worlds. Look. I look like I was super proud of myself, but I feel that all that way today. I hope that I come across with some measure of humility and- and I can take at least a small amount of pride and how things have gone. How did it manifests itself this anxiety? Well, I think that the ultimate you it manifests itself. As I wasn't. I was an incredibly happy day to day. I was an unhappy. I was really grateful for the life ahead
never fail to be grateful every day for the opportunities that I've had for the things that have come my way, so I had gratitude, but it didn't have a lot of basic happiness, and I think I I started that behind you know enthusiasm. I always snoozy asked the canopy, but inside was- and I was very happy- and I would reiterate that by working out hard- or you know, tat
king on ridiculous challenges at work. I am wondering at deterrence because they were too so hard. There wasn't enough that I would do a good job running a business, how to turn around and impossible an impossible situation, and then I drank and unite and drink and the squire. But I drank every night and was just wrecking yeah was just drinking mostly mostly here. Yes, I have my moments right and have added get we'll, never get bad in every about in terms of quantity, and I was always in my own bed at night and I was got up early in the morning to go to the gym. but you know, is not optional. I was in a come home and have a couple of big drinks every night and then didn't appeal to my wife among other things, but it was the point, is I couldn't take it or leave it in the process of stopping with that harder? Was it just like it
you know I got to stop to it. Let's just do this, no is real. Well, it was hard in that I would stop for a while and then I'd find a reason to Then you end up again because I didn't have any m apparent issues. No, I I was encouraged by people around me. Oh come on, you know, have a drink with me, which one is until finally got to the point of saying: look. I don't want to be this person and I want to find myself this way. I am I wanted to find myself differently or said another way. You know a million a b. You know, and I fully and a person in my very best or migrant, be drinker, and I decided I decided couldn't do all those together. You talk about at the talk about ethics. A couple times were here stenzel because of your you book, which is about the fact that we can all be athletes, although really just a quarter of the book, but
Yeah, yes right, absolute or when there were the rest is how we can treat ourselves like athletes, important ways and and even mental athletes for sure and will break that down the second. But you were not always Emmi you're, pretty jacked right now, but as I understand it, you were not always this way. No, I am occasionally. People are yet accused of being having great genetics and or being a natural athlete which I you know I find amusing in the extreme near Gretchen X. I come from a long line of insurance, executives and rabbis. and I know no professional athletes among them years. I can tell you and now shall last weekend I really do not sports. When I was a kid, I was a student and I love being student,
and I m really love being active and I was skinny. So it wasn't like that. I wasn't carrying relaxed or extra weight. I didn't empty outside imperative to lose weight to the contrary, I can really keep weight on so I did lift waits when I was a teenager just cause. I was so skinny, it didn't seem to have much of an impact on shore. I wasn't doing your correctly unawares and correctly, and I ran because of light, so I could run a plate. Some squash, not particularly well, which are now picked up again, but that was it. I was primarily student. Had you end up getting so into a cause? You're still, be you organize twice a day now? Well, you know, I think it was
it was. It was a process of letting go of fear and embracing something that could be fun that I'd never thought would be fun. So I think one of the reasons that I wasn't so into sports is that I was I wasn't in actual athlete, I wasn't gifted and I thought I look goofy and if I did things that you know I was good at like studying or working later I wouldn't look goofy, unlike goofy studying I was good at it. I certainly look if he working weeks now, the tankers and we're pretty well but athletics. I was afraid of how I was gonna come across and dumb
and ass I get more healthy, spiritually, healthy and emotionally healthy. I let go the fear. It's not like. I looked better than you understand these, not initially I just let go the fear and dumb that was as a process into you took a long time. The process took a long time. So, as I let go, the fear I suddenly thought was this fund this fun and embraced Maya embrace Maya Intergroup Venus, you know hey, I remember I started running on. Fears got picked up running because I I really was such a bad runner that I thought well. This is standing in the way, the rest of the sporting and only on alike, running much so I am. I hired a running coach
and I went out with our our morning- fitness crude IRAN and one of my buddy said you actually look like a wounded animal and I- and I did- and you know what I also found a funny to- but when I was it in a dry, wouldn't have found that funding right. Let's, let's talk over the book and then I'll get the million other sort of The question is that of swirling random ahead in the book you sure you have, there are four pillars to your plan for how we can all you know, sort of get ourselves together, lizard prevent a break those down and now ask a bunch of questions based on that. So, what's the what's the first pillar while the before yet the pillars that the starting point is: what are you trying to achieve? Because if you don't owe you want, there is absolutely no point in pursuing anything and life. In my opinion, the books called becoming ageless, but none of us ageless were all
aging, of course, and the book does not imply you're gonna live forever to the contrary, in fact, being fit pride is uneven, extend your life span. The application in the book is, let's not to find ourselves through the lens of age, and I spent a long time been young. We talked about this earlier being told you're too young to do a long list of things. I was turns out that wasn't true actually and you know it it it. It seem very quickly to switch to now you're too old. To do too many things. I can't tell you how often people say to me: well, you know, aren't you slowing down. When are you thinking about retiring? That's not! You know that is not based on the fact that I'm bent over hobbling around and coffin, because my not that's based on the fact that I'm sixty one and people have a point of view about what it means when you're sixty one so
starting point. Is you don't have to define yourself through islands lens and then the book dives in and says and here's a programme? That's gonna, keep you looking as good as you can feeling as good as you can. being mentally, clear and living your best life at any age and the four pillars of that are taking care of your health. Make sure you go to the doctor having some kind of exercise program and pretty flexible about what that looks like pursuing a healthy diet, not not a crazy diet but healthy diet. Having an in inner spiritual life, which I know is the thing that most important to you Dan as we talk this morning and I think it's a crucial element in in being your best self Phyllis break those down one by one. The first one taken care of your health. First, I have you for me said it before, and I probably for said it. This conversation that just seeing you, member being in your sixty eight birthday and thinking on like this,
and we worked out together, millions have before, but somehow on your sixtyth birthday really hit me of how fit you are in and I'm thinking are these guys. but years older than me, but I can up my game Now, even in my late forties, I can be the best of my life and that I found to be a really for lack of a less trite word. Inspiring thing. So the four things why that IFOR and I've been pursuing these subsequent to our many many conversations about it, one of them is go see the dough. price, which is Saturday's. You're shouldn't have to tell people this, but people don't do it. That's exact
right and there are certain screenings that will detect illnesses that otherwise are going to kill you there completely curable. So if, if you don't have a collar rectal screening, you run the risk of developing cancer. That is completely curable if appropriately detected. If your woman, you should be having mammograms regularly out for the same reason, the most breast cancer can be effectively treated. Not all badly but most if detected early. Ah you how many people do you know who so I never know the doktor yeah. I know I should, but I never go to the doktor. Well, that's not gonna lead, good thing. We should an annual check up. You should go to your dentist and get a cleaning every six months and you should do with the doktor, and the dentist says. Second, the second pillar, some form of exercise, and we talk a lot about than the book because there's no,
picture of me with my shirt off and exercise is so important to me look really isn't a wash more jobs in three weeks kind of book. You can, you can buy a book like that and was I can help you because it doesn't work, it's great for marketing It doesn't work, but my advice is start moving. If you don't move and if you start moving- and if your gentle with yourself in a few pursue a very gentle induct, program. You can slowly add fitness to your regime and then you can decide just how intense you want that to be in my case I really enjoy it. I want to look my best and may not be my finest attribute, but I do and I love twenty with my phone. and I love sports on the main up. Everyone's liking, but to ask people, you know, as I do. Can you go? Take a walk for half an hour three times a week ultimate,
Susan tell you start and can you do some weight? Bearing exercise may be twice a week for half an hour? If you just do that now, much and less than our government recommends. Incidentally, that will get you and in a very good place, are compared to being sedentary. Now, if you do it or governor recommends, which has get about five hours of exercise a week at a lot for most people You really have an opportunity to live like a middle aged person until you're no longer alive which to me is your sounds pretty good deal. Yes, definitely if ski backing you said that isn't maybe it's not your finest attribute to care. Wanna look your best! Maybe it's not my finest attribute either, but I feel that way- and I am constantly I mean I I know I know mike- This is kind of an unhealthy dialogue about the fact that I have a little bit of belly even on overall skinny, but I've, the fact that the picture of you did looking Jackson
in the book. I find that inspirational and annoying farewell. My you're, my worst more just finds an annoying side in one of the windows so look. I'd depends on the person most of most people using the gym, whether they will admit in another their partially cause. I want to look at, and I know there is anything wrong with a healthy amount of vanity and unhealthy. Mount probably is debilitating and those those in our dialogues can be destructive and I too engage in them or said another. I don't know too many people hers intense about fitness, as I am who don't a body this morphia of some sort of her mother. How do you he'd, then Jack, but probably dont frankly- and I think I don't think that's my my finest attribute, but it began its really typical of peace. the train, a lot and so again and no one talks about no one wants to talk about. Particularly men is funny, because I have a nutritionist right now I went as you know, I stopped eating animal products when this answer
and sugar, so that you share my error. My idle gives you we should say will get it is in the eating. Apart soon you you, we need a little bit of sugar and nuts, I think comforting to people, zoos There was but a year ago and about a half a year ago I stopped eating animal products and I get it incorrectly and really heads of negative health ramifications, and I found this nutritionist, whose recommended to be by friend whose extremely fit and also a vacant and disguise of embody builder- and I really like him- and he is very interesting that. He will we'll talk about you. Don't say you know, how do you feel you're looking right now and I'll, was given might be Oliver like two Bellini and he'll say: do you think this is unhealthy, or do you think it's motivating because
people in my line of work in his letter work as he's a bodybuilder fall into body does morphia and it becomes unhealthy. He's like I just want to put on a flag that for you, because you need to keep an eye on that network, which I find laudable because, as you said, most people especially guys we're not talking about a true it's. It's really does not discuss women talk about it all the time. men down so you don't want to hold yourself up as a model for keeping isn't What I would I would recommend, or what I try to do in Myself- is my fulness. Just if you have some
visibility into your own mental processes, and you see that you're just stuck in a loop of self recrimination about whatever physical attribute it is your per separating over. Then you might just noticed. Oh this is happening. Maybe I can focus on something else, exactly exactly that's right and an obviously have other things in your life. If you find that I will run and people who will go to extremes on all four pillars in the book narrow way too much exercise way too much focus on diet and much for this way too much focus on spirituality, but I suppose you know their candy, and there can be. I mean there are people who you start to get up and go to work s after all and even way too much folks
health areas, spending all day, long scouring the internet, you know getting tests and yet a soldier is for sure yeah. So there I think you can overdue. Absolutely anything in the question is, as you said, can you be mindful and in the making a choice about when you know where you fall. One of the choices I made it a try, really hard, not step on a scale I found out, and this was recommended to meet by Sean praying to tomb. The book has dedicated, unfortunately past, where young of lung cancer- I, who was editor in chief of muslim finnish cigar, was incredible shape, at the age of fifty and a he's never way myself. Because what's the point, I all, if do, is look in the mirror and see how doing- and I thought the up that's probably the right thing and I would weigh myself and I'm in my mind, to target weight and fight. seated at I'd feel bad about myself without regard to how I looked or foul turd had performed that day,
and of and the worst part as if I were at or under the weight than I I I think I gave myself permission to eat things that I really shouldn't be here, as I am sure is a good result either way and I've tried, therefore, to stay off the scale. But obviously we talk about of bodies, Morpheus and produce. Do you you work out at on and you ve you ve got to huge jobs, not notwithstanding the fact. You are also a husband and father three beautiful children here you see of Interactive also, is it c of the empty or DMZ doesn't have title strong and I'm a partner for Europe, name on Z, XL neck, media with what is hitting. It is allocated capital. Ok, your investing in media company, so you ve got these two. You just and you work out minimum six days a week, some of those days twice, so it you think, there's compulsory, there's any compulsion in that. Yes, absolutely, and you know I think
I am loath use. A word is not a very pretty word, but so there's a thin line between motivation and compulsion and there's another thin line between you know, performance and compulsion. I suppose when we work really really hard, and you didn't find yourself in this career position without working really hard. without working in a way that most people would find unimaginable, and I worked hard to and dumb is act, compulsion or that ambition, or is it just plain appropriate? So there we have to be, as you said earlier, you know we have to be mindful of these things But does does this amount of exercise feel compulsive to me? No, it doesn't feel compulsory to me because it's my recreation and it's my release yet. As you have said to me before,
there are other finds a recreation you might enjoy, but you just don't do them because you're making time for this, like you know what a lot of tv or move that's right, I don't and that's that nothing can, by the way it does not prescription not to watch television movies to the contrary and- and I make television show so deftly- why you to watch them, but but I heard you have to choose and I think you can have three or four priorities in your life and my priorities are my family my friends, my work, my fitness and the charitable work and mentoring and coaching. Those are my four and it's not that I don't watch television ever do times when my wife that's important to her and I love movie. So I don't see as many as I'd like, but it's just not on the top list of priorities. It can't be an end. I mean I would add to the list. Michaelmas is really important. I think use stated quite beautifully visit in line between motivation in camps ocean. I'm writing that line all the time and lots of areas in my life, including fitness, and I think I crossed it at times
no question is so do I owe painted it when I was at that to you? Yes, I shall we both open about that, and I think my fulness is important, but also in their both of us have is strong, vocal wives and really good friends in your life, and I would throw win for those who are interested. Also psychotherapy, all really good ways to know how you're doing in writing that line. It's ok, we're gonna mess up, you don't wanna firmly be in the land of compulsion forever. That's right enough! Yet I think that the phrase I use most commonly both personally and professionally, is what am I missing and I want to know the answer. I'm actually interested in the answer to that question
it isn't rhetorical and on and on your right, I'm blast and that I have had a lot of people around me who were strongly opined Anne and vocal, and not just my wife and yes, also, therapist and also coaches and friends and colleagues, and I surround myself a work with people who are challenging difficult, tough and opinionated. I would have completely allergic to flattery and dumb and people who say yes when they really mean Now- and I don't have people like that around me-.
So, let's move on now to the third pillar, which is another area where people can get compulsive myself included, is food right, a watch you're prescription in the book, while the the prescription is pretty straightforward, witches, Doktor, Peter or to use the leading or one of the leading researchers in nutrition and longevity puts it simply. There are three things: are price shouldn't putting your body at all. Alcohol should her added sugar and refined carbohydrates, and he said now that said, I've I've eaten with Peter Peter will have a glass.
So I'm a dinner elite dessert, although you might have to twist his arm a little bit and he will eat some refined carbohydrates. But the fact remains. Those three things really are good for you and there's just no argument that their good for you and I used to know some sugar to an item. Refined carbohydrates. But if you took as a guide just to define, refined carbs would be like behest, Evan, Breton Pasta and bread, for example, Manifest Fredericks manufactured food that are their carbs processed food, because it could It's an higher and slim response and cause you to store fats bad for you, so you should beating whole carbohydrates and that that is an important part of any diatribe, rice Tal grains of higher salary, lotta, grains but whole grains? potatoes, yams and the like a beauty,
how many carbohydrates, in your diet, it is, you know, there's a whole lot of talk about ketogenic diet and you can lose weight very quickly. If you remove carbohydrates from your diet, you can also lose weight by removing anyone. Food group, from your diet, in a remove all the fat from your diet and keep it high car fuel is white as well. I would argue that any diet that doesn't include fats, proteins and carbohydrates is not healthy diet, so the prescription really. Is you don't don't put added sugar to the extent that you can avoid it into your diet and you can find out of children a lot of places weathered catch up, fruit, juice, soda or the like? Secondly, limit strictly refined guard: hydrates, the ones we discussed and to make it easier anything that you find in a bag or in a box and strictly limit to the extent that you were able to alcohol because it stalks him, and it's not good for you.
The book goes into much more detail. It has recipes release it cook that are healthy, but those are the basic put the basic concepts, our knowledge of them. Because again I suspect there. Some people can be listen to us and taking out these guys are annoying because they are so disciplined and no and yes, you pointed out that I don't eat shiver. I do a little bit of refined carbs, I don't drink alcohol, but I struggled mightily to get to this point. Giving up sugar was because it was becoming an addiction, and I have many and I realized tat I had this run Very boring, destructive dialogue in my head of might have deserved tonight when we're gonna have blah blah, while all day long and then I would eat some, I couldn't have a cookie. I would have seventeen cookies, then I feel awful the next day
so about a year ago, I just said I can't I was inspired by my friend and a woman has been on the show budgetary Gretchen Reuben, just who she went through a similar thing. She just went cold turkey, something I thought I could never do, but on the one thousandth time that I woke up, I crap from overeating sugar and was in a bad mood all day. I just said I get that I'm done and you know I went through a similar struggle around animal products because I just couldn't abide eating them anymore, but but I don't want to pretend that this is easy. This is foods, food, Our really tough furnishes are hard because, with regard to alcohol, you can decide not drinking alcohol period, but we were food were silly. We had eight, and so you it's it's very difficult, and you know I I put myself in that category to sugar
five carbohydrates are bad for you. I just said it and yet I deserve now. I try not to eat endless quantities and I and I am not obsessing about sweets all day long, thankfully, but I'm not prepared to give it up that that isn't by way of saying and therefore its healthy, it isn't healthy, but one choice about how you want to live and not we can all be perfect all the time, so it takes discipline to do what you do and to take some discipline for me to maintain the diet I might even though reasonably flexible diet Biltmore. Interestingly, it would actually take more disciplined for me to do what you do than to do what I'm doing right. So it's easier for me to do absent rather than muttering. Will you know yourself yet this way you want your wired. That way, and certainly with regard to alcohol, I find abstinence is the only correct approach for me, but with regard to food
I'm not area, maybe I should be there or maybe I will get their over time. I think I just I want to encourage people to see themselves as they are. You see yourself for her, you aren't you make an appropriate choice for yourself. That leads you to better health and me happiness. Actually, I think I see myself who, for who I am and I'm tailoring my approach to that and for other p, this isn't a worthwhile at all, although their point not listening to us to the hilt, Let me just give up over second, because I quit not because, had a problem with alcohol, but because I just develop an allergy to him. It just makes me feel awful, so I just stopped. I I quit other stuff with cocaine, because I was I was heading and I was giving me panic attacks Witcher inconvenient, if you're in the business of talking on television, but on alcohol. I thought the received wisdom was all of this,
the french or so healthy because they have a glass of wine a day. Didn't some doctors recommend stuff, but here you Our saying no, no, actually, no alcohol Godfrey more interesting. You know that there are also, as I recall on before my time, but there were doctors recommending met all cigarettes and nineteen fifty because they soothed your throat and settle promoted certain brands. There's. Recent research just came out with the last couple weeks that I wasn't surprisingly by There- was a massive study. Hundreds of thousands of people were in the study, which basically said any amount of alcohol is not good for you. My point is God, therefore everyone should abstain, though, in the same way that any
out of added sugar, probably isn't good for you, and yet I have dessert. You should be mindful of it. Not kid yourself about what what's going on our calls a toxin in the fullness of time. I'm certain it's gonna, be proven to be bad for you, even in small quantities. But if you want to have some some alcohol than I don't, there's anything wrong with it in the fullness of time, if you're moderate in any number of otherwise, if your immoderate there's a whole lot wrong with it. So let's talk about the fourth pillar, which is something that doesn't show up and fitness books that often which spirituality and and and something I know that is nearing dear to your heart and and and the reason for chatting today and this was a part of my life that really only came and focus when, when I stopped drinking bitches you I think I needed something else to supply the relief but I'll call a given me from all that
idea and stress and spiking us, and I founded in in developing a spiritual life, and what I would I have observed is it it can take any number of different forms for some people, its meditation. It is for you for other people's traditional religion, no going to church mosque or synagogue regularly, and- dissipating an organised religion, and for me it's a little it it's it's it's not those things, although as characteristics of all them, it's morning, prayer and it so you know it's a secular religious secular, mean meaning that you're not trying to God. Well, I pray to God, but I dont define God and I'm not I'm not committed to any particular definition. It's like the unitarian church. I think I think You know the line is at its not important to believe in God. It's just important to believe that you're, not God. I think I think I'd define
What is everything? That's not me. Everything around me whether it's the people let the universe or the environment, but it's it's at which is outside of me and I think in developing a spiritual life. For me it is as simple as understanding the difference between actions now comes understanding. What would what's. What I can do is pretty narrower ya. Sat around my my the span of my arms: that's what I could actually do what what occurs the interaction between the span of my arms and everything outside of it, and so when I, when I'm praying, when I'm really trying to do, is opposed to having the world align itself to me and my desire earth having listened, listen to the world and align my desires and me with it, what does it look like? Are you you're sitting?
chair comfortably, I'm actually on actual reaches a posture of prayer. That is typical for many typical for many for many. But for me it it's a posture of humility and but it's that's where I want to start, and how long will you do this for every day? A few minutes not not not not as long as, for example, you will meditate on all looks very meditative for me, but what it does is it sets off my day- and I am absolutely committed to this. My day starts this way, whether I feel like it or not to be clear, I don't feel like it much of the time you know look. This is not about. You know, constantly being theatricals us enough, you're gonna, the general attire now, and certainly some of my work as are really not feel like doing. I feel better when their over, but I really don't feel like doing them, I'm so it's quite his child. gene is worked out, but there are times- and I really don't feel like being meditative in and mindful, but I do it every morning.
And so what are you doing in your mind in those few minutes, I have actually repair practice its flexible, but it centres around. You know gratitude thinking about other people and setting an intention for the day he you break those downsides gratitude thing of other people and setting an intention for the dead
Might just get it to reset your head feel getting little bit more granular on those. Yes, I will gratitude II list all the things in my life and I'm you know I'm actually sort of speaking softly. This is not all in my head. I list all things in my life, for which I'm grateful for a long list of things. You know plenty of material blessings and lots of emotional blessings tonight and I happily married for a long time have kids. So I love I have loads of friends and colleagues. I care about him and so I've alive long list of things to be grateful for them and then move on to you know asking for blessings for all the people I care about, and if there is someone I'm annoyed where there are resentful of pray for them as well:
nothing like her forgiveness to heal and that's part of my prayer practice. I don't usually carry around many resentments, and this to my skirt annoyance was almost no one on earth I don't like, but you know There is someone that goes on the list. Cuz, it's pretty releases releases you and releases your your commitment to being connected to negativity, and then I set an intention for the day which is asking and listening for what the world has in store for me is supposed to have what I have in store for the world and trying to be trying to give a knock at trying to be a trying to enter my day with a posture of service, and and a focus on others, not just on myself, JIVE one response to that and then at Sunday the responses that you said earlier
Recently interviewing an expert in granting a scientist trained at Harvard who did positive psychology at Harvard Sketch Sean, a core s, h, H, W and thus name ach. Oh, are you wrote a book called the happiness advantage and he one other thing stuff What about his gratitude turns out his because I've been doing this thing whereby every time red is I'm going to bed, I just list all the things. I am grateful for. He said that one tweak you would put on that is to list three things in your grateful for today is things that happen. And to day, because his argument is that teaches the brain to scan all the time for great things, which is a great way to overcome the negativity bias that's baked into us by evolution where we're always looking around for threat.
I think it's great peaceful rice having heard that before just one thing, the other thing is- and I don't have my stick together on the subjects gonna free associate recycling. You talked about pray God thinkin about God is everything that's outside of you. I like that, but I have one little kind of reservation that came up, which is that. It may reinforce the idea that were somehow separate from the universe. We have this primordial illusion of supper of separation that we it's us locked in our ego locked behind our eyes, peering fretfully out at the world when in fact it's actually the borders and much more poorest and assembly
said something recently that I can think of once in a while. I'm meditating, which is like you are nature, were all a part of the same thing. We look in an animal think, that's nature, but you are nature and you are integrated into this whole thing. So it seems to me that God is. touch more complex than what you're describing, but again I just gotta. I dont have a month dogmatic about this edge. Gonna get your response. I think it's great observation and I think, as I let go of try to lack of self in my morning, prayer the there's a much greater likelihood that I'll feel at one with what's outside of me. The starting point is is simply to say,
this: this shell is may in all these burning desires inside our me, and everything else. Is God and then- and I won't let go of what's inside me and listen to what's that side of me and I think you're right, a higher expression that would then feel being integrated into its outside, and I think it's a path that I hope to beyond. I'm probably not there. Yet I'm not sure if whenever gets her, but I'm probably not area. I see exactly as you do these all. This is an illusion, but we ve created in pretty much everything that we do all day. Long is completely flies in the face of reality, should we enter this world with nothing and we will all leave with nothing. Oh by the way, will all leave an uneven That's something as simple as that. Most people are denial about most people. It will cry.
Looking across the table. You now most people like me. I know you're gonna die. May, however, now I'm no live forever. You know that is a fantasy that we we all can can live in a foreigner careful and when you see, people endlessly amassing power, money here, possessions or spouses, for example, or anything. I think it's it's it's grasping at immortality as opposed to recognising and are we all have an arc too limited arc? We get to do, this once you know, do you make of it, and so will you say ageless you are not referring to define the laws of nature. Certainly not, and I have friends
You know if there's gotTa Silicon Valley, current people literally believe that there are no it forever it. How about the the escape philosophy, which is a few can every year? If you can push out your death by more than a year, then you ve reached escape velocity and her gonna die made, and you can actually find literature on this topic. Kurzweil, among other things, believes this, and he still alive where you no medical science is, can is continuing to increase. My life span ever Europe for more than a year, you do the math, so I dont believe that that's realising those paradox which implies you can't move across the room, because each movement that you need to make has to be a shorter than the movement you anticipate, but it turns out you Zenos paradox that notwithstanding we can actually move across the room so and in the same way you know you can you can determine the medical sides is making headway and you can still get hit by a truck, and I figure we all will more form another or yourself driving a car crash, the exact
so that being said, it I use at an interesting thing to me recently we're talking about the fact your sixty one now and you actually think it possible you can be in better shape at seventy one, and you are now I do, but what, if I'm wrong but a whole still be so I'm trying and there s a little bit more aspirational then serve dogmatic. It certainly not dogmatic. First of all kinds of things can happen that are unexpected. I hope they don't, but they certainly could and you're. My my wife and I were kidding about dying and she said see that you really can't die now because a marginal, embarrassing, a bit publisher, boycott, becoming aids us and then to die. But of course I could, I hope not to My point, though, is in the absence of an illness or an accident. Theirs it I'm not an olympic athlete, I'm not not training at that level, and not
appears as training that they were all really really good, casual athletes who have day jobs and relationships and lives. And if you are true in that level. Now, there's no limitation and sixty one seventy one or probably eighty one. There reaches a point where you will likely be infirm, I'm hoping that'll be pretty close to a point at which him I'm no longer walkin around on the face of the earth, and that's really the point, but no one should mistake. My prescription for fitness says: yes, you can be um, you know your professional job, rested at eighteen years. Old and you're gonna be the same quality professional gymnast sixty want no you're, not going to be what about one of the beef that you you and I were tightened beforehand. You said that one of the the critiques here during their with the book, has been very warmly received. One of the critique you here is a well of This guy has time,
energy and money to spend on his personal health, cuz he's rich and but I am not rich. Therefore I can't do it. How do you respond to that? The first response am incredibly grateful for all the resources. I have. You know incredibly grateful and of course they allow me to do things with some people. Do. I would then also observe that, without regard to our own limitations, we can make healthy choices, and you know you can decide. Look instead of watching television, I'm gonna get exercise and you can join a gem like planet no sore blank for less than twenty dollars a month arches. Guessing most people, not everyone can divert twenty dollars a month from other expenditures. If fitness as a priority- and if and if you really cat is plenty stuff, you can do body weight in get outside
walk or if you want, you can run their numerous activities. A truly are free, so both are true. I am blessed and I am grateful for those blessings and it does allow me, for example, to join On two different jams and train, where I won and go on, fund cycling, trips and end, but it is not true that you can't eat healthily. Did food that is most recommended is very inexpensive. Certainly near as you do, you know, you don't need animal products, that's way less. Spencer Food than a diet that includes you, know bags and boxes and cakes in the like you're you're eating. You know whole grains and vegetables and fruit, it's about as inexpensive a diet as you can have
so let's make sure that we're not engaging in none in limitations as excuses that doesn't mean I dont have lessons I do during TAT. I should have asked of it in awe Well, you ve been pretty good about asking questions, but I guess I would probably ask okay. So given all of this, what you do and the life you have and where you're right now, are you happy. Are you yeah, I'm really happy. I'm really I'm really blast, I'm really happy jack. I've seen you little annoyed before I get irritated, but it's rare yeah. trying to think when you would have seen me how I just was coming to mine. Is you the four of us were sitting down for dinner? What night? You were actually a pretty good mood, but you use an expression of somebody took my sweater our administrator. Yes, my wife's expression, which we
it's a long story, but basically so a way of saying people are kind of pushing the limits with me. A lot of Europe were asking low too much. You sometimes feel like gum. When you re at yourself to giving and not getting and and then there are times when I think in this is this- is my fault. This is no one else's fault that their times and I can feel like I sort of man I want to give an account, but what I really wanted to get maybe you saw me in a moment where I wasn't my most spiritually healthy. It was not what I would call unhealthy. We were going around the table talking about how we were getting its level of accuracy idea, because I don't think we spent enough time in this. This service peace is you take this really serious is one of the first things we were talking about you, an open door policy, do a ton of coaching and mentoring for people. Will you do that? You're, three thousand two hundred and forty two? Or was it something that I have started to happen later and let you know I was always doing this, and this came from a place. I wanted to be in the entertainment business and I have no connections whatsoever. My dad my dad was a little
and not in the entertainment business inside, and I ve tried to get connected to people and go see them and I know, wrote over the transom letters ass his days before and calls and calls unknown would see me, and it was really hard to break into the entertainment business. So I made a commitment to myself when I got my first object, which was a Columbia pictures that if someone wanted to talk about business, I'd always have an open door, so it's purely about career stuff in entertainment, and I did and because I had an open door. People came to see me not because I have much to offer. I don't think I did and I wasn't senior in the beginning. Of course, it has a junior executive at Columbia Pictures, but I started I'm talking to people, and so word got around at the business schools and colleges that, if you want to, entertainment. This guy known also see it, but this guy well and so people came Amy and then that turned into a coaching and mentoring practice that I developed
a long of time, and that became really important to me because I looked at you know I looked at life and said you know: what do I do for a living? I buy provide people with light entertainment, I'm proud of what I do don't get me wrong and I love it. by not curing cancer and what I do will never be remembered after I'm gone. If, on the other hand, I can actually make difference even in a small number of people's lives, but a material difference that could reach actually be meaningful and um. I don't know how many people you truly affected, but I now that I I work with a couple hundred people a year year in year out- and in certain instances I there have been in a really significant changes. Are you be time for that, because I wish everyone I got it. I feel guilty because I knew some mentoring, but New ABC This has an official mentor programmes. Every year I get a new men t and I stand us were the ones the previous ones, but a hundred-
people, I mean I I say no to a lot of stuff just because I need to protect time to actually get my work done. manage that, while I have to say now as well, although not really good at that, I'm I've always been very efficient and some people could call that impatient our or crisp, and I will people will occasionally say what we and I went to a meeting with the iron last like fifteen minutes. So I will I if, if something is unproductive from my point of view, I am loath to engage. that does free up time for things that I find more important. Ah, I also combine mentoring and coaching with things like exercise. So if someone wants to talk to me for an hour and eyes Look? There's really only one place running at me for an hour and that's in the gem, otherwise gonna be shorter than so Not everyone wants to go to the gym, but if someone does and don't come to the gym with me- and you could you do this thing to the program which is
that's the programme sort of came out of that which is a group of people who trained together in the mornings, although I certainly am not standing round coaching people about telling people their forms is no good and third sang it to me, too, fortunately, is might hasn't minors. Knowledge got all the time, but the that did sort of come out of those those colourless but what I am talking about, typically more one on one, so someone want to sit down. Man I'll say: look in your choice. You have had a cup of coffee or we can go to the gym and I never at unit for someone and co exercise who has an interest in it, and we ve done it now lunchtime- sampling, yes before, Let's just plug the book again where I was called we're gonna we get it it's it's called becoming ageless and it's available on Amazon and barns and noble, pretty much anywhere that you can find books for sale
done- and I am hopeful that we will help- you Know- become your best self and let go over them. The limitations that you perceive are related to aging and I wanna see Strauss schooling me in a jam. You prefer, Google, it, I guess you're probably anew to set its own. It's a utopia. I think if you, Google, on Zanuck Age
The sixty one year old. It comes out really of maybe wouldn't hurt, but good morning America in their because this was a good morning in their battle, come up to yeah. Ok, yeah was pretty embarrassing, not for you great gray. Job really push it thanks to him. Ok, that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us also. If you wanna suggests topics, you think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this podcast Lauren Efron just go ahead and the rest of the folks here at ABC who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other broadcasts. You can check them out at ABC I cast dotcom I'll talk to you next Wednesday, there's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way the corona virus pandemic, but every community there are pockets of people who are up
every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of proteins for one of our ten, and these are America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new plants from Ebay, see news you going from damaged and even worse, I she went back to my office inside crying because it's not fair hearing here, making sorry that our community smiled faintly moraine. This is essentially inside the from the urgency by the police cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves No one's way, there's always a risk that I could breathe is home to my kids. Are my husband or my parents? Listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast revision, podcast him.