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#167: Ben Feder, Making Every Day a Sabbatical

Ben Feder was the CEO of a tremendously successful company, but it was coming at great personal cost. Returning home from his worldwide business travels, he greeted his family, only to realize how disconnected he felt from them. For years he had sacrificed time with his family to focus on his work, but at this moment he decided something needed to change. He embarked on a year-long sabbatical, in a very big way. He gave up his job, pulled his kids out of school and moved his family from New York to Bali. He explains how that journey changed all of their lives. Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail at 646-883-8326. The Plug Zone Website: https://benfederauthor.com/ Author: Take Off Your Shoes https://benfederauthor.com/product/take-off-your-shoes Twitter: @BenFederAuthor Facebook: @BenFederAuthor
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see the ten percent happier vodka than had ever had the fantasy I've had his fancy many times of just like quitting everything, and running away, leaving out running away but kind of running away. Just absolute, the changing your life leaving behind, your job and a lot of your daily. responsibilities to completely switch it up, your body here. The story of somebody who did that who walked away from an a really I've our job he was Ben Ben Fetter is his name and he was, the ceo of a huge video game company take two entertainment: did they ve done huge video seems like grand theft auto. He was a sea of this thing and he realised that he
didn't, have the relationship with its children that he really wanted that was really taken a toll on his family as for kids, and he decided he was, can take the kids and his wife. Obviously, this wasn't just him deciding he consulted his wife and children before doing this, but they all signed on to go to Bali for a year and it's a really interesting story has written a book about it and you're gonna hear him tell it And you'll hear of talk about the role of meditation in all this, is that became a big thing that he was doing in Bali and what it meant for his life when he came back- and I push him on this because I suspect some view already thinking this hour. Will this guy was a sea of some big companies? He's got a ton of money, he can take off a year ago to Bali, but he has a lot of interesting things to say about the fact that taking us article in your life is actually doable that if you take a hard look at the stories, you're telling me
about why you can't make a change like this that they were. His argument is that your inner opposition to this idea will often fall apart under close scrutiny, and he It talks about ways in which you can actually do this and there is a way to have this kind of perspective shift In your own life, without being as radical geographically as he got so Ben fetters coming up, it's a really interesting interviewer. You got me thinking a lot about how we organise my own. That's coming up. Let's get your voice mail here number one page in what I'm here The problem with is focusing solely on my breath. It simply is difficult for me to have open awareness, because I've been very caving in focusing solely on my breakfast
learn that when you gotta medication directs me to something else, such a sound or feeling or light. I have a hard time focusing on that one Express comes up. I'm wondering what I can do not solely focus on the Brad Pitt the more aware of other things going on during a time which led me and my second question when you're sick or have a called or a cough, how can you meditate effectively when you can't breathe effectively? This is Jeff from Detroit. Thank you. Thank you Jeff. I will give you my opinion here, but I should say, though, in the future were we're going to
be bringing in actual meditation teachers to answer some of these questions because we did a survey not long ago, and that was one of the requests from you, the listeners. So where were we listened and we're gonna we're gonna were working on that and in fact, net week, we're doing all voicemail edition of the past and will bring it in one of my all time. Favorite teachers in one of my dear friends, Jeff Warren who's, gonna, be with me to answer your questions, but all the hull whole episode. so all that being said, I'm gonna I'm going to give you my opinion, somebody's. not a teacher but does quite a bit of meditation, which is so what so? What? If you, if you, you can't do other kinds of metal, asian open awareness focusing on noise that the breath can take you all the way all the way to where I don't know, but like it just say if the rest of your meditation career is focused on the breath great and you know it.
using app org using some other app or whatever, to do guided meditations just stick to the breath ones. To me, I don't hear a huge prob, with that in. It also seems to me the fact that you're so good at being focused, Rest seems to me that you have a good powers of concentration, so yeah, unless you feel that somehow you're missing out on some key part of the meditative experienced by not doing these other practices, I wouldn't get to hung up on it. Just do do go there. for while men also I've just noticed in my own brief meditation career that that each to go through phases where you're on one practice in a really dogged way or an ardent way, and then some other practice, because some for some reason becomes more attractive use which, from the breath, open awareness or to matter loving, kindness, slash, friendliness, meditation
all fine and in these may be just a phase or maybe the thing you do the rest of your meditation life and that that also would be fine, so sure, that's the advice you were looking for, but that's that that's I've been thinking about your question since it was? It was submitted to me now ongoing and that's that's the answer that that keeps that I keep coming back to and then when we have a cold, I know you got it, you get stuffy, but you still breathing. Oh I'm a little confused there. So you can just here. I would focus on the breath as it sounds. Maybe your focusing on the breath as it comes into the nose and so that that's that's it frustrating, because you, you may be ready for you, out there whatever, but maybe you can switch your focus to the admin there, because for as I know that that that shouldn't change much even when you have a cold, even though the whole thing is annoying so yeah, that's that's
That's that's my response in and for anybody else who has a cold, and you know it doesn't have the the D. The issue Jeff has where You know they are having trouble switching away from the breath to other forms of meditation. If you have a cold- and you are really used to focusing on the breath as it comes through the nostrils, I think having during that period might be actually- I'm just which other forms of meditation, such as open awareness or sounder, loving kindness, art Jeff. Thank you appreciate that, let's do it I can. This is an calling from LOS Angeles love. Your show and my question- is there I have recently started when a meditate involuntary movement time, I'm mediately pulled into movement Am I one. I know you're a perspective on if I should
A decade and still less, I don't really want to do this because I'm I'm a mover. I've been prattle, thing, give him very believe me, practices which is very much into the movement and I'm going you motivated me to go on to retreat at Spirit Rock in about five weeks and ivory. Tat to them too, because I'm really struggling innovation, stop this movement sang ah or meditate, on saying to start moving if I can just gonna go with that- and you know be there but anyway. So if you can Gimme perspective on this, because again the researcher done on the web, a kind of seems like the buddhist effective, is to practise the beast still
so anyway. I really appreciate your your work. Keep it up. Thanks so much by. Thank you. I've been thinking about this. I've been struggling with this one too, because I have so many follow ups I'd like to ask what you I'm glad you're, going on a retreat at Spirit Rock, which is an incredible retreat centre north of San Francisco. I'm glad you're going there, because all the teachers there are deeply qualified and I think sitting with a teacher may be on day to where you are three, where you'll get some one on one time with a teacher, I think they're gonna really really be able to give you good advice on this, but I just from up a high level
what about this recently in a pike S one of the recent episodes. It's not uncommon to have involuntary movement during meditation it, and I don't think it's that big a deal as as I believe I said recently Joseph Goldstein. My teacher o once pointed out both that it's it's normal and that there may be some ways. and which you're subtly feeding artificially kind of feeding the movement. And you can kind of look for that and may be slow that down a little bit. It is true that, generally speaking, buddhist meditation or mindfulness meditation is focused on stillness unless of course were explicitly doing a moving meditation, but when you're seated we were not moving much if at all, but involuntary movement is something that's that is super common, but again it gets a little tricky because of the issue that
Joseph raised around there may be ways in which your kind of actually voluntarily moving that you're, not quite aware of on some level. So look looking at that can can be interesting. But I noticed from myself that the when I get really concentrated in certain manner of rocking back and forth- and so I just play with the instruction that Joseph gave that there may be a certain amount of involuntary movement, the you can't do anything about that's the nature of involuntary movement, but to the extent that is voluntary, you may want to look at that and see if if your feeding it our good luck and ends, I'm really sorry to hear that you going on retreat. I think that's a great idea. Ben Fetter, our guest this week
He is currently an executive at a senior executives at a company called ten cent, which is a chinese global conglomerate that dominates according to his bio, the internet, related media and technology industries over in China. They do a lot of stuff here in North America as well and Ben is the President of International partnership for ten cent he used to. As I said before, the ceo of take to interactive, which Is a massive videogame accompany Ben left? Take too in order to go to Bali with his Bork kids and his wife and erode about it in a book, a new book called take off your shoes
and his story is super interesting and, as we said before, lots of questions about whether this is doable for the rest of us and I found his push back to be super interesting. So here we go here is Ben Feder all right, so I will start with the same question, which is how did you get interested meditation? I gotta get interested imitation an airport one day, and I came across a book by a guy named younger men ran pusher, yes, monsieur Young gave mingle. Rinpoche has not yet he's been on this buck s. Tat! Yes, he's back. And walk about further, while visitors barriers that rears enormous died. He came and told the whole story. I don't know extraordinary nationalist or its grey. Actually, it's worth listening to you, the fascinating guy. He is a fascinating, so I mean he, you know so you know story kind of your rights should become joyful was then, when I read about it in so historians, you know
but our listeners might not like no head until it. So he grows up in Nepal which, with what he described, a severe anxiety disorder in a world where there is lost to be anxious about right, eliminate, a house on the side of man in other, could get blown off at any time and has go down to get water and any grows up really anxious about this, and so I find them self is, I think, is father. Was a monk also finds himself in a modest what kind of the ends of making his way to the west, and he sees the shining cars and the malls anything's. While everybody here must be so happy, and then he kind of realized what's going on in the driving to the mall, but their shoulders are up at their ears, and so it goes about on the sanctuary of what's really happening in people's minds and offers a solution which is mindful meditation. I found the whole thing really compelling and it was really interesting and at the time I was really hard charging real
to win at all costs. And what were you doing? I wasn't seo public company could take to interactive which, because it will, which creates games like grand theft, auto read that redemption and be a uk- and you know really great titles, so and even if it was a big company and was a turnaround, troubled company, massively competitive industry, massively, yes and a lot of very colorful personalities and and the truth is I was really enjoying it. I really love, might what I was doing so I mean it have appealed to me, but building that went on at the time was that, because of the turnaround, I was circling the glow multiple times a year and as the years when I I kind of realised that I really didn't know my children anymore, how many and kids and when I started my youngest was three years old and she was turning seven. She didn't really have much to do with me
And I remember walking from us, but not in the moment I walked home, walking my apartment from school one day, sorry for work one day, and I saw my knock on the door of my son's room and said he SAM mechanic, run to something intelligible and then at dinner. He just wanted some more and I realized that while I've been circling, the globe he's been sequestered in his room, doing his work because you sorry student and he could go to a competitive high school and then it really be barricaded in there, and I realize it's like ok go to high school and these after college is gone And meanwhile, I'm just like run around doing my enjoy it but still realised that there was a cost everything I was doing
and I had this moment- it was benign, but have this moment like this is where it happens. This is where our fathers and husbands become the men. They never intended to be right, but nobody goes into these situations. Kind of thinking. Oh I'm just gonna, abandoned them and focus on Monday, and I was just an ambitious guy. Wasn't like it was a superheroes just an ambitious guy. It was kind of pushing pushing, pushing and so between. You know that kind of. baseline anxiety do have by running a company like that shareholders and they caught stakeholders everywhere and And realising what was going on at home, I to serve, have realized. I needed a break and I went to my board one day and I said what are you ve? I've done everything you asked me to do. We ve taken the company from death's door to one of the best position, companies and industry in an exciting industry. I owe my families in time and often when people step
something in say, I'm doing its assent, spend more time is just the line they got fired right. The lawyer was in the board at the time when you can talk to me after I just like you, I fired as like. No actually, I just made a decision for me and for my family, in fact, I told the boys I want to take some out. If I don't want to come back and I couldn't blame the company of been a lot of trouble.
I'll, be back in the earth like no that's not happening you don't see, it doesn't get to leave us is to goofy alike. I totally understood them, but I was prepared to sort of like what they can do, what they can do it and I'd do what I have always done. My current figure something out and start again those fine. It wasn't like you just want to take a year off. You actually had the plan was significantly more ambitious than that. Not much has effectual really because you end up going for it. I did but discuss who I am right, icy as so I go to Chicago, so we so weep. I pulled my four kids out of school and the whole family. Decamped Bali, Indonesia, with that's what I meant by ambitious. Oh, I see, I thought your way. You know, on the other end of a blood sabbatical. No, no! No! I meant I met sorry, I meant the plan. It wasn't like that
I want to take a year off to you know, make sure I held my cave, my home his homework and in an hour apartment in York City. You went to Bali right so, for some reason had to be at the farthest ends of the earth from his cut really get away his funny. My wife had read a Europe problems which could of an older book. Feminist, took us about a cobbler went from London to France, and you know realise just wasn't far enough: Cosette six months, toasting all reference and sweet side. We just need to go someplace far away. We want to be some, do something creative and something really interesting and have our kids have a cultural experience We talk of conduct is traveling the world honestly and I'm glad we can do that and we did a little better. On the back end of it and realize you get tired of being a tourist pretty quickly, and I thought it was important for them to really learned a culture and get themselves out of their needs, Might I totally had that New Yorker view of the world of prisoners?
Manhattan, and everything else is somewhere else and and is its apparent. You know you know, and so it was wonderful sea, especially my older kids kind of this awakening that they had when they forget the meditation kind of awakening, but just even up political awakening owing to an amazing school in Bali, the Green school, which has the spoke at environmental curriculum, really tries to teach kids to be. all citizens and it's so not. The attitude in New York of this just gettin took a college and in a loose I opening for them in a way that lasted for many many years later. The environmental aspect of it the global citizen aspect of it the sense of having a joy of learning. Instead of this getting the grades and getting into good colleges in the achievement orientation of oliver- and that's totally stayed with all of us, but to watch that awakening for first
For children and sort of see how they re oriented their values in the priorities was, was a gift to them and is a gift to to me. My life, I can hear this little voice of gesture annulling a listener there, whose thinking this is some first world problems that you have. you and la luxury that you had? The most people won't ever get? Ok, I get this and I believe I push back a little bit go because- and I shouldn't Russia just accepted because everybody believes it now, but but pushed back a little
oh yeah so turns our Bali is a bit of a mecca for people going on about e pray, love and I ran into all sorts. People are most of the people. There were not people of great means, door, nurses and teachers and farmers and photographers- and God knows what right it wasn't: bankers and lawyers and consultants. There were some of those two, but it wasn't for those the book that I read prepare myself for the sabbatical with was something called escape, went to one huddled gone sabbatical without losing your money or your mind, and it was not written for guys with means. It was written for people dying in their cube and wanted to do something with their lives and and the prescription was look. Have a plan have a mindset of doing us and I don't care if it's one year, three years of five years from now have a plan don't go to the movies over the weekend, save the money so that you can have that amazing experience in five years from now, and so when I
poor people that I was going on about Nicholas? I wish I could do that women do it and then you her the litany of responses and why they can't do it, and you know I'd made this liberating decision for myself. and I just realized it- was all nonsense and you think about what goes on in people's minds and the excuses they make about- why they can't do something, and you realize it's all nonsense is very concerned as sitting here thinking. I could never do and I feel like it's totally not nonsense for Hake too. He is, I mean it depends what you fight like. I know plenty peoples or look. I've got clients, I've got a business, I've got partners, I've got all this stuff and I mean it's levels of different. yeah, I suppose and em. If you really really really were desperate to do it, I'm sure you'd find a way right, I'm not desperate to do right so under saying its part at partly mindset. Having said that, yeah I mean I
I guess it was a privilege thing to do. On the one hand, on the other hand, I walked away from a lot now, it's a pretty it's a pretty good push back, not the walking away from a lot, although that, that's that's, not nothing, but you have to have. You have to be pretty privilege to walk away from a lot it's more than that First part of that argument that I think it's true you go to Bali or any of the other enter any of these other mecca's for seekers. You will find all sorts of people. Very means- and I think Bali in particular, because Elizabeth Gilbert wrote you pray. Love has become of us a bit its partly that in its partly Bali, actually is a special magical place. I've been there and I agree it seemed cry. I played with baby tigers there once it's a phenomenal place, no and it also has an unimpeachable spiritual pedigree for sure. So there's a lot lot to recommended
so so you, your point, is well taken. I'm glad you didn't just accepted and push back. I I suspect there are still some people out there who are really really struggling economically. Who did this will be far fetched for them or if they have little kid special with special needs there, a lot of people who can't pull this off, but the larger point that actually, if you take a hard look at your life, many people, including many people who would immediate, who would otherwise or serve reflexively, reject the idea of being able to do something like this. They are
they can. I think so. I also think that one question I get asked but get asked, was asked one centre. That was really interesting like what recommendations you have for people who want to take sabbatical, betancur can't take their can take the time or don't can't afford it, and so, regardless of that, push back rents, I think the question comes back to mindful meditation, which is how do you take us a battle in your mind. Had he take us battle in your life without having to throw it all up in the air and sea where the pieces land and I think it is possible- and I think that kind of brings us back to a world of mindful meditation and how Europe is to organize your life and organize your mind so that your life becomes a sabbatical instead of you know having to escape for a little bit in order to discover something new, I escaped to discover meditation, but I certainly could have discovered meditation before that, and I have the time and the inclination and
takes about coal in your mind instead of having to physically leave, unless I do think that's possible. So I wanna, I wanna, hear much more about your experiences with meditation. Your family's experiences in Bali, but but just save more, but what you just have exerting is a really interesting idea. Make your life a sabbatical had so there's a moment in the book where I go on a by scored a friend of mine whose but I don't quite out its garments. Xanadu he's been on his own journey around all the stuff and at some point I say casually, you know it you ever consider sabbatical. He responds you know. My life is a sabbatical, which was one of the guys at work with color was
The booking text mean an overnight inserts a and all I said, was, if somebody told me lifeless about equal I'd, be really pissed off. So I guess it was kind of a little bit of a competitive in a nudge. But but you know, but it's an interesting. It isn't interesting thought actually, and can you do it? Can you organ your life so that you're not carried away by the currents of whatever it is that Where's your mind away into some place of stress and anxiety and ache and organize your life. Can you organize your day? Can you organize your family? Can you organize your time so that you have the time to you, no sense of yourself and breathe and ground yourself. And a lot of a lot of the book is about finding your own wholly ground. The title of the book comes-
from a poem by a potent in David White who doesn't sell, but I've heard and build a kind of like the corporate poet, because he speaks a lot about what some people, the condition of a lot of you corporations, and he wrote a poem called fire in the earth in which heat invokes the image of Moses at the burning bush and it's about kind of Moses, realizing that he has been on holy ground, his entire life and he reaches pony talks about how one day he read this poem in a public setting, and somebody comes over to him and says you know the hebrew word for the that the Bible uses to take off and doesn't take off your shoes. The hebrew word for that is the same word that the Bible uses for an animal shedding
and I thought there was such a wonderful metaphor for what I was trying to accomplish right too, in order to shed something old in order to become come to emerge into something fresher, potentially stronger and better, and some combination of the search for your own wholly ground on the one hand, and through that emerging into something that is greater than yourself is something that you can do without having to leave Europe your ear, your current ground, but can you take your current ground and find your wholly ground and there was a lot that I didn't Balint into taking up issues where you're, either in a minute
cushion or yoga man in your barefoot- and you know you sense the ground that IRAN and you imagine yourself being on your own wholly ground and realizing the love that come from that ground and the love that comes from finding her own centre and that to me is the magic was the magic of my sabbatical and I think it's a magic than anybody can tap into without having to get on an airplane and travel for twenty four hours. Brightest. It, sir. It's about seeing your life in a different way. Its perspective shift, not necessarily a geographical relocation right right and but it requires there's that kind of witnessing that meditate is straightforward. Seeing herself from the outside watching your thoughts, yes requires that shift. Yeah, I mean anything that could help. I think there are a couple of ways. Marvellous meditation helps a lot.
would be one avenue out. Take gratitude would be another. Is, I think, a lot of us her in great. We tell us you and me us too, but a lot of us by which I am referring to homo sapiens, dough you'll, take stuff regretted, that's that's! Where were kind of wire for threat detection, you know we're not wired for the counting of blessings. I think training and compassion could be another way to shift the way you see things any. There are a lot of ways in here. Yes, stay tuned, moreover, rotation is on the way after this. So you just woke up your phone is lighting up with headlines and push noticing patients and a text from your mom saying? How do I click this? Ok, maybe that's just me, but if you want to get up to speed, check out the new podcast from ABC News start here, literally the ground was shaking I'm bride milking and every morning we're gonna take you to the stories that matter with fast
fresh in Silo Robin Mother, Michael Cohen, calling only twenty minutes start here: listen for free and apple podcast or your favorite podcast app. Avonlea when I go on a meditation retreat? It's like a plain that has lost his landing gear and it's a foamed runway. You know it's it's just like a fool. I mean it's not dangerous because there's farm there, but it's jarring. So, I think about your transition from ceo of a huge and hugely profit. oh company, in as we discussed a incredibly, was when I took an could. Always yes, but it is now. I say the stock price this year or or recently was that's been extraordinary. Yes, But in this really exciting growing industry to go from Being in the maelstrom in that way to what is on
itinerary everyday in Bali. To talk to me about that, I was so. This was the topic of conversation at the kitchen table before we left is, like you know what, with my wife like what what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? What am I mean? There's when you when You'Re- not position. There stimulate coming out from all directions, and sometimes it too but it's a ton of stimulation and you can imagine what that does to your brain is crackling all the time, and I had this notion of what am I going to do what I'm going to do, and you know I find you to find that that the time to stop- and I did- and I'm not you know, despite my wanted to take sabbatical, I can't help it being kind of achievement. Oregon in a way. The book is about kind of knocking achievement, oriented and just being instead of doing all the time, and if you are any of it, of course, I had to turn it into a book and publish it was going to do something with it
when I got there. I am, I didn't know what I was going to do and I like to read and I started reading. I came across a book those written thirty years ago. by a woman named and forgetting her first name last names Edwards and was drawing on the right side of the brain, and its summit was perfectly related to neuro plasticity. China was in meditation and our posterity, which was not really interested in reading about, and she had this notion of, like look, everybody can learn to draw. The trick is learning how to see and the impediment learning how to say so. We all-
with our website is on the right side on the left side of our brains, which is kind of words in numbers and that's kind of how retrained all day, long and somehow, after after kindergarten, we forget to think about, are the other side of the brain which thinks in terms of shapes and sizes and shadow, and all of that, and she had a series of excise where she figured out how to quiet, quiet down, left side of the brain. In order for the right side to be coaxed out. I thought this is nonsense.
And but I'll, try it because at the time- and I am my level of artistic skill- was zero- I could maybe drastic vigour, and so the first exercise she had is like. Well, here's a here's, facsimile of picassos line, drawing of instruments ye see if you can copy that on a piece of paper, so take a pencil and peace papering to try to communist disaster can do you know she is now. What I want you to do is come to turn the page upside down. and draw that way draw upside down, and if you can't even cover up pieces at a time, so you don't really see the nose in the eyes and ears and instead, you just focus on I'm in the angle and what touches what and where? And so I did this exercise and I turned a wretched up again. I looked at it and it was almost inexact replica and it blew me away and she went on these exercise after exercise and a kind of those was really just cure,
what was going on my in my head in my brain and how this is possible? and then also curious about how it was possible for a man, my age, that I was learning a new skill like this. How old were you at the one thousand and forty seven and I M about to turn forty seven, it's what I have got the Christmas gift for you. So so. I went about doing this and because the Bali's, where it has ended up joining an artist group in Bali and maybe like models ass, none and I just go and I started, and I went around a night if I had trouble, I gotta artisans ask the questions. I just soaked up as much information as it could do. You have any when you're saying they're getting what if my board could see me now.
no you didn't, you were able to show that a well. What I didn't shut out was gonna like how far can I take this kind of craziness and and the father I took the craziness, the more joy out document. and because, because nobody back home would understand any of us- and you know it still to this day on a wire wrote the book. But the book in many ways is trying to make sense of all of this. For me- and one thing lead to another, and I taught myself to be an artist, and today I am. I still do it that went from pencil and paper to charcoal and a fight and now its oil painting really and you and George W Bush will actually George W Bush stop here,
much is how things are much more sympathetic, human being a net now than it was back. Then, when he was running the country because of this, and he will say that artists change this life and I know exactly what he's talking about he's really good for where it comes from, and I feel this you know for myself: it's totally changed my life. And its meditative in the way of a cat pronounces guy's name but Michael, I think it has. A lottery budget knows not another's long kind of what this hungarian, maybe I would like now wrote the book focus note on flow flows, Yes, yes, I was sorry focus. I dare you to browse. No, I I know a lot of people who can, but I can't it's something like I want to say Challis casually ass, his exile right. It's not that I read sorry Mr Cashman high or something like the first one of the things. I know I think. Actually I think it's. The second one is something like chicken It's something in there anyway, and work is called flow
own it, but I've never read it, and but it describes I or from than we have done, because it is a truism, but he describes what I experienced in terms of just shutting down the chatter of mind getting so involved and what you're doing that that it shuts down all the chatter. and that is more than that ready. I mean it's almost unacquainted scribe. It but it's, but time falls away space falls away. I mean there's like nothing between you and the universe and and it's the most peaceful place to be right. It's kind of, I guess, we'll people describers Nirvana, I'm sure it's not, but but its but you're kind of an indifferent world you're in a totally different world that I'd I'd never ever experienced that before It's really never experienced before I've never experienced flow before I never been so involved in a task like that, where everything fell away. I was just alone in the world and.
and every now and then, when I get there. So I can experience that and but if my wife for one of my kids can have interrupted me at that one of those things I found it so jarring you know I just I was startled by it and I had no patience for it How much do you think that's what my report so vivid, they're kind of the dead end while his lot of artists and visit other artists, and what kind of I just turn myself into a total left brain kind of personnel as a break from being a right, bring kind of person or the other way round. We were also meditating have meditate and I was doing yoga, which I, if you, if you don't
exercise is not great, but if you doing it with the breathing, I find its meditated meditation plus movement. I agree that, but you have to be, you have to be focused on the breath and I describe a lot of situations. In fact, I took them inspiration from your book to cause. I can't find it. I found one of the great things about your book. Is it so hard to describe? What's in your head when you're meditating? I think you did a really good job with it. Thanks and so I can. They really tried to describe sometimes what's in my head, either doing yoga or meditating wanted to without their one or two moments which are You know my opinion really vulnerable and you sort of ask about liquid. Would anybody in New York understand any of us when you're in Bali doing Us- and I you know I'd just for whatever reason decided to expose the book so Sitteth to tell him about those vulnerable,
vulnerable moments. So those one. What I'll give you some vulnerability? I kind of I do protect people in the Balkans to protect myself. also a little, but I guess you know I remember once being to overcome by this wave of rage I'm out of. Nowhere else can do my thing breathing and like why I'm happy like us, an army, yogurt meditation, used to happen twice actually once once in the open once in meditation and I was so curious about just like this important moment. We're gonna be feel the rage on the one hand, and these from the cloud with that come from and
and I do not understand the rage and what I decided to do at that moment was to experience it as fully as I could. That's the move and take it all in and and focus your attention on in Britain and eventually animals away, as all emotions do. But it was so powerful and I don't know that I would have been able to experience that had not been focused on meditation, yogi and breathing, somehow it just so that those experiences come along. And then
in general. I think I feel like a walk around the world, that much lighter touch. I thought the title. Your book was really good cause like a thought, not promising. You bless. Ten percent up here is where you are, and we say and pounds annually like you- can get better at this house. Ticket represent compounded when I talking financed language, you're talking to me yeah. This is your language, so I saw it. It has an amazing. It does have an amazing the majority of going to people. So you you, you set off with this kind of pre big Grand goal of shedding your skin and and seeing life. You know as wholly grounded, Where are you now? I may have a kind of impact is but a little bit about it just a few sentences ago, but where are you now? How is your life you for another? your home and back in the mix in what are you doing now, etc, etc, while I'm devil
economics and end, but I am but I'm in the mix in very different way, and I've maintained the three practices that are developed in Bali, meditation, yoga and painting, and those are those our kind of my centering activities and where I kind of discover wholly ground. So those activities help me pursue the kind of life that, wherever days a sabbatical and then I also I find that I you'll have this matrix move right. Slow things down in my mind, and I can turn the quantity the dark and respond to the world in a much more measured way than reacting all the time
and it s what I M doing now, as I work for ten cent, which is basically to giant internet companies in China ones, TAT Cynthia, there's only Bob and Bear concept is the world's largest videogame company and I can other guy in the U S and so helping helping the Miller business and developing partnerships and traffic at how to grow the business and there it amazing organization, the maize in peace, Poland really really enjoying it and I was a little concerned when the book came out, so I can see what am I my new boss, and I think you know that, and it was just one moment we're like somebody said to me. I was at a business lunch and there's a lot of the conversation and then- and somebody says me, go see you then I had such a shock the other day.
tell me about your shock. He said. Well, I was reading my candle at night and I just turned it on, and there was an out for a book by guy this very same name that you have set a bit. You know the truth is that they ve already they ve passed it around and they love it. That's great that really happy infective asked me a tv, elegant China, which I think is about and some kind of incorporating it all in there- and I you know No ten percent happier may bigger twelve Adamo ignominy. Orca have to beat the index that force or worse Do you think, there's a lot of people fear when a car to all the things you ve done yoga meditation art- sort of life enhancement. Didn't it escapes, the world for a year all of those people, people look at those, especially in the hard charging professions and think will
that erode my effectiveness back in the mix ear. So you I. This is an interesting case. That able are you better now than you were or you know now. I think I think I I think it's it's a superpower. I think it's a tool that I bring to the table, but I know plenty of people think that, without kind of having to beat themselves up every day, all day long, they wouldn't pursue their goals, or they wouldn't be successful or anything. I don't know it's hard to know right. I don't really know, I don't think I'm any less successful. I think in many ways I'm achieving more than I've ever achieved and and doing it with a smile on my face. Instead of just you know tense all the time. So I don't think you loser, I think of some ways. It's getting older. You lose your edge, although I mention this to an exact ran into an executive, coach and I was running take to and
since it running leading- and I bumped into recently- and I sort of mention too like well and she had read the book and she thought it was. I open, I really enjoyed it, and I said you know it's possible that all, but you know you know the eucharist happiness. Look at the fifty you can make it. People are getting happier if, like maybe all that happens, I just got older. I think I've discovered something. Maybe all that happens is getting older and she looked at me. She goes No. I got a lot of people. Trust me lucky people after fifty that have dont have any of the insight that you haven't to kind of what it means to live a good life. I think these things are multi factory or at a mean that I always I want my case. I can only speak from my own personal experience, but my case: it's like marriage, maturation. Meditation are the three things that would help me would explain from my One of you why I'm significantly less of a jerk to myself and others that I was in my twenty thirty.
what sort of three aims: marriage, meditation and maturation. Modulation is getting a letter, I press on the U curve and Mary. I married well, and I meditate, and I think those three things are predominantly responsible, but it's hard for me to pick. One of them and say is only this. I try to think of myself as not ever really being a jerk except to myself, and if we count that being a jerk myself, I I'm yes kinder to my of a more optimistic than I have ever been, and I am much more sympathetic to other people's human conditions as opposed to come.
feeling like I'm in competition with everybody around me. I feel much more cooperative and compassionate people around me and I don't feel like I need to when every argument I dont, like some weeks, had four times like you're, going to catch up with them and he'd when and I don't feel that way at all, they were apparently you yeah so or at least try to another. We would one, but I try to go in and I dont and I and I run into people. I got all the time and in China to I kind of Eid Mentor, some of the other guys and gals, which are really enjoy doing, and I run into this baseline inside. He and you know this cover whatever the opposite of awakened is limited, deluded or whatever. It is, and I see it. I can see myself in that in that person, and I wish I could impart some was there
try to and sometimes difficult look we talk about that voice inside your head and they look at me and they say what do you know it's going outside my hand, please, because everybody said, and you know what work on ways of quieting that and its also It's also entirely possible. They ve had my successes and I just you know, I'm I'm happy with what I've got and I'm not striving as much, because you know I've had some success in my past and its possible, it's possible that it just come off right, I don't think so. I argue with my wife about its back just last night. You know kind of pushing you don't push myself harder until, like you know why you why you push yourself so hard. I just that's in my nature,. I am sensitive to something about your condition, which is you have a meeting soon so before we go. Let's plug everything. Give us getting reminders of the name of the book work and we find
a social mediocre anything you want listeners turn to tune into. You know the odd thing by the way is that all throughout the publication and the writing of this book it was always gonna be, the point. You don't you like. You know. Why do I care about writing a book? What do I care about? Publishing a wet, ok but be successful, and I can't get out myself so, even though the plugging it s like by the book down by the book doesn't matter, but if you want to buy the buck, people have said it's a really good red and it's really quick reed. It's just a return to pages and people's eighty fly through. It cause this lot attention in the book or something or the writings gutter, something the whale boat where we can get a book take off your shoes, authors, Ben Fetter, it's an Amazon and bars and noble and independent bookstores, and I'm on Ben fetters.
Third dot com and thus also my twitter handle and my facebook cattle awesome threat. Job with this went. Thank you. Thank you really really. Likewise, 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 suggest topics you think we should cover our 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 new broadcasts, dot com, I'll talk to you ex ones that there's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way the corona virus pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people who are sitting up.
every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of proteins for one of our time in these or 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.