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#31: Dr. Michael Gervais, Sports Psychologist

Mike Gervais is a high-performance sports psychologist who works with athletes, most famously as the mindfulness coach for the Seattle Seahawks, on training the mind and body to work together under the intense pressure of competition. Gervais has helped pro-basketball players, golfers, swimmers, snowboarders, volleyball Olympians, hall of famers and a host of other elite athletes find new approaches to reaching peak performance from within. He talks with athletes and entrepreneurs about their experiences on his podcast, "Finding Mastery."
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Before we start. If this is your first time listening to the ten percent happier podcast a welcome and be, if you like, the showed do me a favor, take a second and subscribe rate, the podcast, and if you really want to hug me up Tellson friends about how they too can find us now here's the shop for maybe see this the ten percent have your pod cast my guess is time to somebody work, I followed for a long time, but never met I give I glad I give a lot of speeches and when I give speeches, I always talk indirectly about you, not use a listener, but you, my gas, Dr Michael Gervais, goes by MIKE is a sports psychologist who works with athletes, and you have worked by famously with the Seattle Seahawks and in my speeches I was talking about how the Seattle Seahawks have a meditation guy, and
but I've never actually talk to you. You worked with basketball players, golfers red ball, high performance athletes, extreme athlete, swimmers, snow borders, but but let me just first start with you: how do you get to meditation gray question it was? I was an uncle had grown up and knucklehead a bad way, but a knucklehead no way that I will. I appreciated the off access nature of being a human. It's just like I like the contrary and point of view just a bit. You know I wasn't but I certainly wasn't one that was following the path that everyone else was following: a group: inaction, action, sports, myself, surfing motor cross and I was not but it either? I read a story that you, as you were, like kind of too anxious, even enjoy the servant. Well, that's what
That's cannot set up. This trajectory is that I served a lot like a lot. California, California yeah. I grew up in a farm in Virginia and then am I felt a grab some routes about being a human it that on a farm and like a really remote farm, not not like her of a farm. That is romantic in any sense, but like a hard working farm and my parents can I dropped out if you will- and you have just fall- the kind of hippy path and went into a farm in Virginia and I was still working, but it was very much like a different kind of space and then surfing took place. They move westmere, my that was in corporate Amerika. At that time they move West end. I fell in love with surfing ass, decent out good, look kid, and in our neighbourhood myself they LOS Angeles
as soon as competition took place when people are watching and there was like a girlfriend or parents or friends or whatever on the beach watching. I was a disaster and I knew that there was not my talent. It was not my skill levels, it wasn't my physical body, but I couldn't feel my physical body can feel my feet. I am not making up like. I really was disconnected from myself and my feet, because I was up in my head worrying about how I look and what would happen if it went wrong and all that all that just noise and so that, let me on the path to be curious about this thing. This invisible thing called the mind to see me. Take you out I want to answer you. Oughta meditate, no had nothing to do with meditation that certain non paying a picture that are about fifteen sixteen and that range and so high Highschool still ends there is there is another competitor? He was a grown man and he's competing against and he says Java, you gonna surfer them every day, but we know how other conserve and so on.
I was binding. Any says in the midst of a competition says you re, you gotta, stop worrying about what could go wrong. I thought for a moment like cheese yeah. How does he fell? that's exactly what I'm doing and so on I was a mess and he knew it and so you didn't tell me like a good and powdered. He didn't tell me what to do, but so I just sat there, moment in the water Bob up and down waiting for the next wave, and I was like well, if I'm not supposed to be thinking about what could go wrong, what is the best thing to think about? So I start agent. Just doing this imagination thing about what could go right? I did Without such a thing called performance imagery had no idea sums How, by myself, you know this sixty degree temperature a little bit cold, very anxious, and then I just start imagining how I wanted to experience an Ex wife completely different path, but I had no idea there was this thing called psychology, I'm just literally at that point. What behind the ears I did not know about
science. I didn't know. If I didn't know about thing, my parents like did the battle of them did the best job. They knew how to raise an off access kind of risk. Taking young intelligent enough kids to be able to get himself. Trouble. What do you mean by off access? Just I join seeing things from like the different point of view, then than mainstream. I guess what an offer literally off access inaction sports. As you know, one Olympians go downhill ski jumpers when they go down the hill and they flip in like tripled. Quadruple flips and wrote
visions and it's pure and it's beautiful and its crisp and they land squarely. Ok, then action sports came along and is it cannot? That's that's crazy, but what, if I put a little kink in it and instead of rotating exactly ninety degrees? What if I get off access- and I throw my butt into it and then I throw a court my head around and it just looks totally differently so that off access like it just an honour that that's the I think about offer of access just a little bit of a court in it. I got it so that I didn't know anything even about college at that point in my life was not pursuing that direction. I just knew that the mind was read and I wondered figured out. Egypt become better surfer yeah I mean just because I was Putnam blood, sweat and tears. There's no coaching, but the visuals asian did that help yeah. It did help
and then looking back with hindsight. This is all with hindsight. Could I didn't know what I was doing at the time, but I remember thinking if I think, while I feel better when I think about how it could go well and that thought really did change a lot for me. But don't you need civic bow could go wrong. Well, I'm level excessive, king about look ago on, creates anxiety, okay, so there is a certain amount of stress that is useful distress and you stress or two different concepts, distress and you stress EU, so you stress, meaning good euphoria, yet exactly euphemism a u so so there is a need for me mindfulness, as you wish. I should say that we're doing a devil had her today, so Michael has its own podcast call finding mastery, and so he we just did an interview for MIKE's. Podcast, where where he interviewed Misa, now mentoring him, but in our previous conversation just now in my
office. One of the things I was explained to you is that I think this is a modest resets useful, but mindfulness meditation helps you draw the line between useful stress and useless stress, so I agree with what, saying, but I do, I just suspect that a lot of my time Bay, anxious listeners their response to your story about. Oh, I was worried about what could go wrong. I think a lot of people say: don't you you do some of that and you're just saying you do need to do some, but I was doing too much yes. Successive right, it was excessive than the part that store thing is really Fortunately, I couldn't connect to my body and so certainly couldn't connect to my craft. The thing I wanted to do and to be able to credit. Express like I couldn't do the thing that I knew I could do. That is painful, and it's only because of how much noise. I had my head about what other people think of me now. This is all in hindsight, like it's really clear now, at the time it felt like I was just trying to survive. I just need to play it safe and play at small and I'd be
ok, but that socks like that's no way to live, and I I had so much more to be able and again my do like when I talk about surfing fortune of nose. The best in the world. If we play different sports what they do is take ridiculous, but feeling small and just feeling like this awful. Although I loved it, I loved surfing but the state of mind I was in was awful. That's the expressiveness of thinking too much about what could be wrong and the visualization did break it over. You were here. Improve well yeah. In that moment what happened was. It was just like this disruptive thought that worked that competitive, just talking about disrupted my thinking in a way that gave me away that I could pivot, where I could say and pivot Tis. Well, what's good or I could have said you know what you're talking about could I just kept doing the thing I'm doing so? It just create this nice moment disruptive moment, and then I entertained or
on the other side of it, which was what could go well yet it helped it helped. In that moment the next wave felt right and so that I just got like unless they take the doesn't the network. I just paid attention to what just happened. What happened next? What in your trajectory, I still didn't- I didn't master anything was like. I was still trying to figure out. What did I just do? Why did that work? could I do more of that, meaning the imagery, so the next immediate thing was like while there's something happening here. I don't know what that is, but who to talk to about it. I don't know where to go, read about it, so I just kept trying to figure out myself, but I still not doing school well enough. I was bored not interested and I wanted to surf more
and so it was my senior year and my mom pulled me aside and we're in my kitchen. She said you know, you got two options now: either you're going to need to move out and get a job or go to community college cuz. You didn't take your sats, you didn't take your psats, you didn't barely barely kind of got through school, so you don't have any other options and it's one of those two things and then there's another pause. Cuz, I'm waiting to make it better, and she says you really thought you're going to live here. Answer for the rest of your life that you- and it has like. I don't know like it's pretty good, and so I said to myself quietly I said I know I can go to school and surf a lot so I'll. Try this to me collagen and then there's two community colleges. One was like a one was right by a great surf break and one was kind of it more in the city. If you will, and the one by the great surf break cost some money, it was so private junior college in the one the city was public and I said I need to go to the private one.
Right, but I did not private public. I had no idea what I really had no idea, but I knew was right near good, serve prick and so on. To figure out how to surf and go to school Parents are ok, listen we'll figure this out, but you need to point of grid So that's only way this is gonna work where I can do the same again. So, I remember going to school saying alright. Well, let me just see if I can set up a little bit more and one end up happening. Is that there's three professors who owns a theologian once a philosopher was a psycho and those guys they taught me to fall in love with being fascinated with the invisible, but their arms around me metaphorically and challenged me and I loved it. And no one ever had asked me to read a book again, you know and adjust adjust it just. Let me fire try to figure out. How does his frequent mind thing work and what is the meaning of life like what are these mistakes and spiritual leaders trying to sort out? So you did you cut down on your surfing? Yes, and no, I act
I increase my anxiety and so yeah. I know it's not also go this way, but I was in a relationship with a woman who ended up marrying we dated since high school on and off on and off more on Owsley than off or that relationship doesn't work. Well- and I didn't know this at the time, but I was waking up trying to do too much before breakfast and I was it wasn't doing it was up. I was thinking about what I want to do in school. How is going to serve? How is going to be going to be in a relationship? I was going to have fun what I was going to do tonight. All of the stuff that I was trying to We're not, I guess, high school kids are trying to figure out schedule and had a study I didn't know either those and I wanted surf. I wanted to study and I want to be in a relationship and one have fun,
So I remember looking back now my hands shaking while I was brushing my teeth. So I went up to Dr Kuzio, the psychology professor and we're in the middle of the the college campus and he said he'd be a minute cuz. You know what's up MIKE, and this is like semester two like we don't know each other, but I'm inspired like I'm really inspired by him and I said: hey I'm having a really hard time and goes okay. What's up, and I said Like it's really hard, I'm really anxious right now and my hands or shaking and said, look and I showed up my hands and I'm gonna sweating and kind of anxious, and he just stop me and he looked at me and he interrupted the conversation and he said when your door Bell rings deaf to answer it, and then he walked away ass like these four can psychology people are weird like what I'm sorry I was like agitated, and so I didn't know what he meant. That was just weird ushers odd, like I went home hormonal agitated, I'm still anxious and agitated.
And the next S on gas Doc government Anchorage out without Like- and I said I dont- think I translated this right. I'm kind of a mess right now and he stopped and looked at me again. He said when your phone rings this before cellphones, when your phone rings do have to answer it, the same thing. We walked away. You're smarter than coming? Like? I don't know where you sell size, I everything out so I had Hence the talking about it another time and said: listen just because something is interrupting. Your flow whatever that is, you dont, have to intervene, and the door knocking on the phone ringing was an analogy for your thoughts. You know thoughts that were getting in the way of whatever it is that you're doing great little store a great little thing, and it was disruptive to me disruptive, not enough majority, in a good way in a good way to use that word is yet like being disrupted,
changing your parents exactly and so there I am and some like. Oh, I don't have to answer the door. I don't have to entertain the thoughts, but the thoughts that I was thinking a lot about were all about go wrong, not not doing elegant. What, if analysis, that would be smart, come to find out, as alone can appoint or awestricken this part. The conversation is that science with suggests to us now that what if scenarios are good but less potent than imagery, then performance, success based imagery outcome based image rent, so it's just the meandering and the wandering and the the wildness of those stories. In our own mind, that gets twisted change our physiological state and create a sense of internal civil war. That is not needed, and it's only because my mind was undisciplined and I didn't have a coach. I didn't have someone to teach me about it and I just a knucklehead kid trying to figure it out. How do you discipline the mind
that now we're getting into like the stuff that you- and I are gonna appreciate, I think even more is I didn't know how to discipline it. So I studied it ends. I was becoming more interested in the field of psychology, the science of it, so I graduated from oil amount in an undergraduate degree in psychology. After a year after the junior college ends, I saw what I do next and I asked a mentor at the time of mine like we think, and he said, keep on like disease is good for you lucky gone, so you enrolled in our was accepted enrolled in Pepperdine University and Masters Degree Programme in psychology
but it was the study of dysfunction disorder. It was the study of what was broken about the human mind and on the second semester as like, I can't study the broken this of the human, not God love any one. That does like we need that. We do need that, but it wasn't a good fit for me, and so I dropped out, and my mentor time said Michael this field like its Cotonou, but does this field of psychology that has something to do with sport? Maybe should check that out. So I thought my ego,
so that that trajectory then took place so masters and can use algae in and can he salaries of pig fancy were for the study. Muscles emotion, tat, the, but there's not enough there for me. So I went back and get a phd in psychology with emphasis on sport, and it just so happens that the university had a tibetan psychology programme as well. It was just like convergence of great minds in the field, so I took a shot and it was great I loved, I loved every part of an aid tibetan psychology there, yeah, like a court literally across the hall, was a tibetan psychology programme. So I tell this story- and this is more of a romantic story telling them can actual concreteness, but day, one of course it wasn't. They want, but like day, why? there's all these kind of Jacques Clinical Research based proof. You know budding professionals right
and across the hall or all of these spiritual process based folks that are addressed very differently. You know they ve got lots of orange. You know like these just very, very different, and I remember thinking that you not that's, really. That's really amazing that big dedicate their life to this, but someone's gonna the lunch money and so and saw- and I'm sure they were thinking about us- that you're gonna happen is that those guys are going to get the outcomes that they want but will be lost, but by the end of four years it was like this thing that took place where I'll come in process blended for me at least wherein there I know somewhere in there. You started to meditate How- and why did I said that that's work thus formed into so so the Tibetans psychology programme, while Rutherford was the head of that programme. He would just lead ever class would sit down in a normal. You started taking classes in the battle with a development or heat. He also taught like group psychology- and he taught a couple of
Class and I'd like he was a psychologist. That was a Vietnam that that found Buddhism and so he's a director. The programme out any this. The time, and so we sat with started every class. He says: look everyone closure books, sit back in your chair, put your feet on the ground and just follow me. You start every class method, so I was like it just happened and allows for s open, and then you talk about a few minutes was like six minutes. No big deal we we'd on that for a few minutes and then we get into signs and I was ever class and then so he was the first person that showed me really in a sophisticated, thoughtful formalised. Way how to be a man and express emotion, and so he taught me a lot more than he probably would recognize
and so I was just really attracted to that- he made really difficult. Decisions in war came back, not the same person that he went to and struggled and he struggle with his thoughts, and he struggled with his emotions at least that's why I understood a story and he found Buddhism ends, and but he also had a science appreciation is well. What did what did the six minutes a day of that do for you? Why did you like it and how to grow from there Looking back now what it did, it just closed all the mental files that were open and running. I would just settle in and I could get to the signal whatever. That was whatever that meant for that day and all the noise was just fading away, and so it was moments of peace, and it happened faster than I thought so then,
I just started, doing it more and more and more and more and then I had a surfing accident where I had two hot disk. One popped out: one popped in my spine, my upper neck in dumb. It stopped everything I couldn't move. Basically you I wasn't purple each or quadruple paraplegic. Oh it wasn't that bad, but the burned the chronic burn between my shoulder blades was unbelievable and so I started to turn that meditation into healing imagery, because none of the traditional modalities were working and actually have an interesting pre. Mri imposed, MRI of imagery ends. It was working, was physically changing the structure of my anatomy that pretty big claim but I don't talk about it. Cuz you'll think I'm crazy, like I get that exact response, but you just had like it sounds: Kooky bound talk about often because no surgery, now I didn't need surgery
It was the only thing that that well, so I was high. I was doing everything he I stem acupuncture could get enough massage in soft tissue work. And what I realize after eighteen months as the dock said, he said, ya, think a sign for surgery, cap, murmured or twenty something else like I'm not get next boardroom, two young, like I just gotta figure. This thing out- and so I said, give me another thirty days- is about eighteen months, then and mind you at that time. I was looking for everything outside of maybe he'll me. I mean it was like as soon as someone put their hands on me, I was I can. Maybe I get this relief and I didn't do my own work as a kind of like a phony studying a lot every once in a while doing. You know stuff with with the Doktor Rutherford Walt
and not doing enough of it to really feel the difference, and I saw I said it doc, Gimme thirty thirty days for second Emma Imre, because ok, look at me, look at whatever jury, and so He gave it to me Papa back up and I can talk about what I saw in the imagery got another that's important, but post on the second mri, that little piece a matter that was pushing against my spinal cord was gone, but there was a little calcium build up of were once was so I set out in one some crazy in front of others. Local professional. I said what you think happen you, so I don't know. Sometimes I just move, as I will and then so then I hit the pact, but not as a given it moved upper below that. The picture that we took is not like that, but sometimes a body just eat em up, but that was when I was here That's what I was saying in my mind at ease Mickey mouse hands that were spiritually fuelled, I'm not crazy
the spiritually fuelled too? I don't know where this April, making this than eight other taken up yet kind of making it up and how long it? How much of it were you, was a very fringe research on healing meditation, your healing imagery and sells conall and from some friends science, which is uncomfortable for me to say but so it was seventeen minutes a day. I was like my tolerance, and my wife was here should be like. I was pretty consists of every night seventeen minutes sitting in my little apartment and just seeing these little infused, Mickey Mouse Glove hands a little bit wet and the structure of my body I was seeing like the water was like removing layers of clay on that little piece of matters vote flip, Norma Spinal cord. I get Y know tell a story, it sounds crazy, but I mean that it would it happened. So what do you do when you gonna do well and so for a long time. I didn't talk about because it sounds so
without their whatever and so just a kind of ignored it kept myself and double down on science? I mean that I'll just go back to what I said. That's your experience like it happened, so young age retard argue with, but let me ask you this Walt. Who was teach you how to meditate and class Israel, but what kind invitation was he teaching you? What what were the mechanics of that meditation and were you doing that to yes? Yes, so that was how I was starting. He taught us basic who am I contemplate of work and then a very much single point, focus which is relentless. If all your breath just keep going and did those varieties meditation blossom for you. Did you keep doing those events of two yeah? I did ends just because it felt like I was figuring things out, that's what it felt like, but it's not like all the sudden you're different now it's like, but I feel it's a little bit. The image that comes to mind is
two faker you ve had something like that is of chronic pain or summits, bugging you right now and if you get going with the rest of your life that day and you look back, although I had a toothpick early in the morning, what's gonna gone, it feels as though the long duration of my for this work is has led me to not have that two things that I had as a kid was all that banks and all that anger. That's how I worked it out. I was out pissed off locate, not little kid but adolescent, and that I worked it out, but such as feels like that pain that ache. In that ways this is just not on.
Ten cinema. So would you tells him get back to your visualization store? Would you tell somebody who's got a real back your shoe to visualize. It away, originated work for me, ya, Doin bring it up because it I tried a couple times without fleets, and I've talked a few a little bit with afflux about it, and I throw it out there like a listen, there's some weird that that took place. I can't quite explain it, but I want a story about healing imagery, which is totally on the fringe of science, so I always make sure that I'm anchoring it accordingly. I tell the story to some folks, but then what I realise is that it is so out there that it set up this thing where They weren't sure that they were good enough skilled enough of the mine to get that so it's almost like it was setting up this this was too high now, and so I dont even talk about it really, but if it happens again- and I had this chronic thing thousand percent,
down on using my mind, here's that here's, here's the where work with your but in my body, right now trying to heal that's what it's doing right, stress it all day, long with thinking with doing and it's so sophisticated that is trying to recover as fast as it possibly can. So, if that's the case, and recovery we know on the world stage is equally, if not more important than stress, intelligent stress, smart training and intelligent recovery is the name of the game and So if your bodies trying to recover right now, then, if I just quiet my mind and focus, saw not stressing it even more with noise, internal noise, and I then move my mind's attention to focusing on the thing that I want most inside of my body. I think that that there's something there this work after a quick break
the guy worker, the Seattle, see her, so you walk into a locker room and say Hague famous enormous homo sapiens. You should meditate. How does that go yet didn't like that after this think fast was, the solution for your pain, lighter care, pain patch. Yet the only non water based patch on the market blocks pain for up to eight hours. So it gives me eight. I was a pain, relief and stays dry. That's right! It's patent pending technology, so it really is one of the kind says here: it's sort of free, ultra, flexible dry and, like the light, appear paint batch from the makers Blue EMU, for long lasting relief. You can wear available at CBS Europe studying threescore psychologist. You often I haven't.
Meditate her and then you got the world? These are working as sport psychologist. Then you want introduced meditation to your clients. I didn't you didn't answer my question because you started meditating before school. Is what long time ago ninety ninety nine, ninety, ninety nine so definite before it was cool yeah. How did you start using it with your patients, yeah don't what's return pay ya like that you just picked up on that is that outcome, patients, column athletes, athletes and in I'll even hesitate saying that, because the people you know, and their inspired people that are wanting to change the way the world works, wanted. Where they work and saw it I highly motivated driven, kicking people, and so when you propose meditation to these people a day, if you like your crazy, I don't bring up you didn't know set for saying things I didn't bring up the other stuff like it seems crazy and
I didn't have that ability to say this was the game changer cause. I was doing the traditional clinical training route and there was no, I didn't know of any signs around it. So you know feel like I'm over indexing on the important science, but it so important as a guiding principle for me that, as well as the human spirit which we can't see, we can measure so, I'm always talking back and forth between those two so out. First indexed on wanting. Understand the person in front of me and investing a lot of time on that with high regard just wanting to understand, and then I indexed on me strike that that that the thing that I spent most time was trying to understand the person, and then I thought I was the really smart person that would find just the right tool for the right person at the right time. Use that good sizes. I owe you know what what sounds images right for yours. I, like self talkers, sounds like a cognitive restructuring Ababa. What all that stuff his!
and then I realized, like I'm, giving them a tool, but they didn't necessary. Ask for that? They want it, but maybe I just clunky, so you know then- The movement started like people have their own answers. We ve all been successful at times similar to that we're trying to sort out now but made we're not clear exactly how we got there. What exactly we did so then conversations I was have with people was just really try to help them reveal their wisdom, their insight that practices you use it before we start recording. You said there is a difference between in vice and what you do yeah, though a lot of people so gimme some of us talk- and I am, I think- that how dare I give you advice and I've? Never lived a day in your shoe, so you just try to sell out of them their own answers. It was yet in its working from a framework like it really is working from a marvellous approach, which is we dont go, find wisdom. We reveal it
and so revealing our internal wisdom is the path and challenges and tests and moments of intensity reveal the command we have of ourselves ends there's times which have zero command and we have to, that are really uncomfortable and their times were, were substandard to being able to control and have command of her mind and our craft in your body and that pain, hopefully, is real, so that we invest more deeply and being a whole human so that we can train our mind our body, maybe our spirit and our craft together to do the things that we want to do consistently consistently. Well, so you said initially, you weren't talking about meditation with people, but all We obviously you did so what changed that yet Gregg great question, because there wasn't one thing that unlocked it, but I do think that when I just ran out of like it didn't feel whole trying to help people just have mental tools
skills. Don't get me wrong, like I think they're great, like understand the mechanics of confidence and how much how confidence really works is really important, and my from this won't teach you the marvelous doesn't teach the mechanics of confidence. It doesnt teach the right way to build confidence. It teaches something may be deeper which is except to you are in, by figuring out who you are, who am I, and so that's really rich and deep? That takes a long time and when people need to respond on command, in a hostile rug environment. They also need to, I think, need to have such a committee where they're mine goes it, they can place it right in the right way and Tom I can hear someone, teachers saying, might just help him be fluency along about other thoughts, which is all great. Yes, it's kind of my fulness. Yet that is mindful of sat right, yeah and the other part is like there will. What? What is a good thought to this moment, and then I hear my other some light, each or saying
You said good thought, like that's a judgmental term, you know, and so there's this ebb and flow between judgment, non judgment and ease and fluidity and accuracy, and I think that there is a combination of the two of mindfulness and skills that help people can perform and be in calm moments and rugged moment shows a cocktail of factors in it happened slowly that allowed. You start introducing this practice. That was a benefit to you to the people you with who your work. Yeah so is like this. The cocktail was really me honouring that this was. This was mindfulness made a big difference in my life and I need to share and talk about it more, and it also help that great athletes, their present till and also look for every advantage every advantage. But here's the question you who said before you don't give device. So if you want to propose any like meditation, isn't that advice there? So it sound
will something like this to me. They'll say things like MIKE: how are you so grounded and I'll say why don't know it worked out it? How do you work at it? Okay and so or you know, damn you know x person over there it looks like they got it all together and in so we'll just talk about what they're. Looking for and they'll say you don't just looking to be. Grounded I'm looking up, you know it's okay. What do you think of me by grounded having weight so having weight, means that for MIA conjures up this idea of fullness but just being rooted wear? If, when I'm anxious, it feels like the like a wee bit wobble, but flipped upside down. Right, like my head, is bigger somehow than my my base. So tonight you meet people in
their eyes or floating around. Looking over your shoulder, look at their follow. You don't feel like there with you and that's, not grounded, etc. That would certainly be grounded and then in that's an every Ella parties You gotta go away for a party that yes, I've seen it try not to, but that that's what it feels like, but then even if no one else is around there's an you have it you're grounded. So I would like how did you do it and you know it like? You have wait about you and the knowledge that I was going to talk about is like I don't know The benefits fight two times in my life, somebody's punch me in the face. I don't fight back out on the ground, or do you get knocked out or down? Not now, I actually in neither case it I get knocked, down? Actually, I think I was just stunned and then everybody around intervened yeah. That's right!
Did you know you're gonna get punched now. Ok, so there's a moment right before you're about to get into a fight and not advocating violence by, any means, but it was. It was the way that I knew how to do with my anxiety and so there's weight that comes in that moment, when it's real, and so it's like your hips drop and as a heaviness the comes not moment and that heaviness is- and I don't I dont- encourage violence by any means. I dont think its useful, but moments that are really intense, where you could become really hurt, whether that's the basque country, skiing in heavy environments, or that say something that is authentic, a aboard room or share.
Something, that's intimate but truthful and difficult to say to a loved one. Those moments: either you flutter and kind of move away out of fear or you drop your hips and you own it, and it's that weight that I'm trying to put words and images to catch your eye gotcha. So once you did once it once started to happen, a your ie retired, about meditation with it with appropriate athlete you're working, how they go down because, like you, you're the guy or to the Seattle Seahawks, so you walk into a locker room and say Hague, guys famous enormous homo sapiens. You should meditate. How does that go yet didn't go like that of the way it went is an The culture at the Seattle Seahawks begins and ends with coach girl. He care yet could be, and so parallel have rich conversations about the mind,
how to optimize and put in systems and strategies and language and and he's really good at it and he's got a history of your paying attention to mindfulness as well, and is he meditated well you have to ask, and so I'm grinning when I said I could maybe that's a good conversation field, simply allowed lost yeah so That being said, so we have a really great conversation now. The way that it works, I think most of most eloquently is when it's organic, and so you might have a different approach with us. I don't know but organic conversations that happen where people want. Two, no more and their open and they're already there, rather than like.
Carolyn gravity we're gonna, go through lesson, one. Ninety five percent of rooms like forget about it. Yet so it's not that by any means, and so it's organic its hallway conversations, its small kind of conversations happening off the fields. King, you know walking into locker room walkin out in the field is like really organic and it starts with the coaches and so talking about what do some of the best. In rugged environments and hustle of our
MIKE, what have you learned and so it's a learning environment there, and so what I ve learned and so then we just talk. Then we talk about all the things that they learned. I've learned and then those conversations just kind of spread, but here here something on this thought is that so then, yes being got wind of it. This is probably the article you read and yet the quarterback on the front cover yeah Lotus position, yeah Russell Wilson, rustles an end. We we gotta whiplash from that internally like what it did, The word meditation oleson everyone whipped into that. That was the reason the Seahawks were successful, which is not accurate, that the recent Seahawks Seahawks our successful is because the talent they work there off the great coaches, their strategic and excellent, the head coach, creating a culture that GM creating to finding great talent the scouts work there.
Figure out the right fits into the nutrition programme, the essence of the strengthened conditioning that medical crew, it's so many moving parts that that's, why they're successful not to mention an owner who, like really wants to help and support successful platforms, for the article didn't say, is all meditation, vat and a huge part of it. I think it was. I mean with it that the image on the document, the culture though in the area, yet they did they did, but the athlete was sitting Lotus. You will that's true, so the image, There is over power. The words, certainly, if you look at the article is from ESPN the magazine to doesn't ten. I think yes and I use- the image of Russia Wilson in my powerpoint that when I go of, I use that picture in Russell wasn't a seated in Lotus decision on the front of the magazine very, very powerful age. But if you read that man,
z article by my edged re, read parts of it this morning in preparation to protect Eu Iran, such about the culture of the organization and how it's a very difficult eighteen yeah that that's like that, I'm glad you picked up because that's exactly kind of the right way. I think that feels organic and an honest about what's happening to the athletes are phenomenal. The coaches are amazing, and the culture creates enough space for people to celebrate, who they are, and so that that is not because of meditation. That is because of a bunch of humans that want to figure out how to be the very best and that that part of the conversation start put PETE P caricature Carol, saying, listen as this is how I think it will look to be amazing. For us, you know, there's a particular style to the hawks and that message runs through
Gotta compete to be a very best and that begins and ends with you know his mission so understand a lot of variables. I totally get that for one as it pertains to mindfulness. How do you work with an athlete, and how do you think my fulness practiced meditation wherever you want to call? It helps. So training is important, and so that's why mindfulness training feels like it something different. The meditation but you can replace the set those words will you ye in our prior conversation on your part, we were talking about his eye toggle meditation? You called marvellous training, right, yeah, yeah and mindful a slash meditation, we can use the same words it did they conjure up something different meditation conjures up, granola Birchen stocks. We are going to change that man, a Buddhist India and I want to I support you and changing that, and so do the way that I'm doing it and it's funny business proves conversations.
I use the word mindfulness and training and I put those two things together: that's not unique just the way it works in alpha competitive environment and when they talk about it sometimes day, meeting athletes are coaches, talk about my but often times it just call it. What it is you don't sell it citing time for the Sciences is burgeoning and its exciting to see what's happening ends, people that are cool or talking about it and we end the sides must be useful for you as a parliamentary term sales tactic like not in terms of peddling your, whereas the various things I mean when you're talking to an individual athlete to be able to say, hey, look as there is a significant amount of science here that you does her. You can change your brain, but but but back to my question, will how does it? How did my fullest training view? Europe?
language help an athlete by helping them become more aware and so awareness, so that if there's two pillars as I've come to understand- and I have also come to understand that there is so much to know that I won't begin to pretend like being the person that holds the information here, because I know you ve been deep into this path- that if there's two pillars, there's an awareness and the second pillar being inciting wisdom and maybe com. Three back come to write and so awareness of what thoughts, awareness of emotions, awareness of how your body is experiencing this moment, and then awareness of the unfolding environment, and so if we just stopped their athletes or perform
or people would be better at the aircraft. So that's the first kind of mechanism there there's an a culture athlete doesn't recognizer nod there had expressed on the world stage. It says: oh, I am that the inner the mental game is important, and so was I mean it means that thoughts. Impact performance outnumber thoughts. Well, here's here's a way that there is great risk there's lots of people have been doing it for thousands of years. The samurai warriors were attracted to the Zen traditions and now here's what it looks like when the rubber hits the road. What does it look like? What is a practice that you teach and how is it useful in acute moment If you imagine a heavyweight boxer and Jim Right, large human being and he needs a stand, Toto's another human being and there's no word ago, I've such respect for all martial arts, because there's no where to go right, and so it's? U with another skilled human being,
in a small environment, and they all know that it's heavy bags important to hit the heavy bag is an important part of training and, of course, philosophical dick. When and how much all like itself. But if you were to ask a heavyweight boxer or any boxer for that matter, did you hit the heavy bag and he says gay when I walk out to the car like I'll hit it a few times. The walk out. Less are training like fascist hitting a couple times, so it's like the saying you know, do pay attention to your thoughts, yeah one small yoga I gotta think about it. I saw training so, discipline. Training just feels like there's some sort of commitment and a consistent commitment to either single point or contemplate a kind of wandering meditation or my from this work, and so it's like the discipline is like structuring of particular amount of time, and maybe it's one minute. Maybe it's ten breaths. Maybe it's three minutes. If you can you want you,
three minutes. Maybe it's we double down and get this text for. Research is starting to suggest that about six minutes were starting to see some changes. Maybe you can work your way up to what optimal doses would be. If your phone's going to science route going twenty min, and so it just looks like that. It's a progressive model of sting more spending more time, inequality way connected to one breath at a time it. How do you see you so you work with Russell or he's great athlete? How do you see what what kind of impact as I have on them? What are they reporting, Q but where does for their performance, but once were aware of our thoughts than we can adjust and we can be swift without adjustment ends come back to now. More often so, excellence happens now it happens in the present moment and if there is a string that pulls together a human potential. If this, during that binds human potential. It stringing together moments
And the more moments that we can be fully here now it increases the frequency of us being able to access our craft at a high level. I'm not funding that the best way to say that right now, but the idea is that if I If somebody can increase the amount of time that the spending in the present moment and because of that, they can adjust more eloquently swiftly to whatever the demands are. They're gonna be able to access the craft at a higher rate, more successfully and then, if you get a string, a bunch of those moments together, you might just had get glimpses or in or touch your potential. So let me to see if I can throw a hypothetical situation, I'm Russell Wilson I just got sat and I gotta get up into the next play. You know what I want:
drive down the field and score a touchdown if I'm totally drenched in resentment against my defensive line self laceration about being in the wrong place or not finding somebody to hit the field in order to get rid of the ball before I get tackled exposing us are too so is it about managing the thought and emotions in moments like that he can be maximally resilient. Yet so one played it. I'm right with you here that that thought in sport all the time and in in the spring Your frames, your spiritual communities around my fellows you're here, one thought it one breath it is, I'm there no different. So being aware of wherever your feed are being present with where your feet are.
Is a necessary ingredient for being able to access your craft and do the thing that you've trained to be able to do, and so yes, you sucked somebody sucked something happens if you're going to go to the line of scrimmage with that play in mind in the current play. Football and or any sport is happening too fast to try to manage the past the future, and now oh, it's about letting go of the past literally. That sounds like a spiritual. Think right, like a very much Mobutu's, her mind from this approach and We talk about letting go the last play and so to do what, though, be here now, and so does it there's a requirement in this moment? For you for me, and this requirement for athletes and whatever moment therein so can we be fully here in this moment and the greater awareness we have, that our mind is thinking about what went wrong just a moment ago or what could go wrong a moment ahead head? That's just it just too much noise like you and surf, that's exactly what was,
basically, over and over helping you wanna surfboard, it's unbelievable so back to Wall one more time, because I fully support the many rosier funniest I guess it's according to but you'll be the you'll, be the determinant of funding here, isn't think Atlantis funny? But it's good is that So I was really nervous. I've just graduated, I was kind of dawn and was about to get licensed and I set a wall. He walked down you all this theory and everything as a wall. What do I do if somebody comes into my office and there, like so subtle like I know what I'm the theory suggests, but like really, what do I do? Like that's a good question, because you have anymore, I said a look. What are some comes in and maybe like never dealt with rape scenario like what happens there? Good question. Give me more, I said yeah how about what about severe depression? You're, not sure if they're, suicidal or not- and you see where this is going right and goes yeah, you have any more like endless countless scenarios that could happen our lives. So you just cause
they looked at me said. Just everything you need is already inside you and be there for the other person and everything you needs. Gonna also show in the chair next, you so just potential there's money in that I mean not not money but like that phrase, though Thoughts have just been really important to me that, yes, I'm still working out that fifteen year old kid you know, but I make peace with it that I didn't know how to do them and fortunate, work with some of the brightest minds in the world and in craft with its music or arts, or or sport and entrepreneurs, and their teaching. So much they have so much insight especially those that no the mechanics of risk and to be clear, The I didn't answer I didn't realize you also deal with entrepreneurs and musicians and high performers in every acts in every sphere of life It is one of the tools you warm marvellous training
tools that you write to the table. You gotta you also dealing with people as a psychologist and talking them, but their past and whatever trauma they. Be getting alone. I don't do that. You, don't you that? No, no! no, I mean I'm licensed. You know, and I have one two three clients a month. That's just kind of the weather. The business model works for me and when I sit down the client its it ours, eight hours one day and that we go to work so, but there's no like discuss, like your relationship with your mom, arrange them. Maybe Loretta Context, you know just to get a little bit a context, but if we're always going to solve something that happened way back when when do we focus on like the beauty of the future, when do we focus on you know the the Billy have command now. Would he do over eight hours work,
What does that mean you liked, like you, really want to not yet so I'd, give away your secrets of resources for the others, no secrets by any means so will have you know what is start start with questions like hoary? What's it like Do you know you're one of the most famous people know what's alike, and you know it just on. If I'm trying figure out and he or she has drawn articulate who they are so we're, starting with that that peace I wanted to understand or psychological framework in the back of my mind, are trying to sort out the pessimistic or the optimistic. Are they lovers early letters in I'm just trying to sort out like who is this person, that's the beginning, base work and then, sort out what are their strengths? That's it we're gonna double down on organ index on those and then we're in a figure out together, like what are the right ways to amplify, to train your mind, to celebrate those
strange that you are to come to the world with say, and you too, you may or may not bring up my fulness within the context of the digital. Yet yet this point most people know that you're, the meditation guy Phronsie yeah yeah that usually comes up like that people want that they do one. Oh yeah, that's a big change. I was engine in your practice, yeah yeah because initially was like. How do I talk about this without building a move? we can now it's like the outcome to you for it yak as remember like twenty years ago or whatever that was, it was you know alpha alpha competitor scenarios, whether its business or sport, nothing, soft, really works in those environments, and now the stuff isn't softness the military's Dunham. Yet it's not soft. But if there is flexibility in this like you're, young and young, like dark hardens off whatever are all required to two to build anything beautiful, and so I think that this part of the conversation, because it so challenging
and people know it we're overloaded right now as a society with external stimulus, so creating space people are hungry to create space, to just be still to be here to get to know themselves to reinvent themselves, and I think you appreciate this is that people sure- am I doing better. Am I doing it like I'm focusing on my breathing? What am I doing? The huge question which has happened? Yes, beauty situation, the greatest aunt rare that was David Gallus who's been on the show before it is a group of business Rapporteur for the New York Times, is actually columnist now for the times to a business columnist and really smart, really driven dude and in the world, and I would ask them like what is your meditation practices like a I try to pay attention to my breath and when I get lost, I start again, that's a night. Is it that the view location where you do it right. Are you in that year? Vague legal, that's exactly it so
So you mention me before we were shared, recording that you had done. An interview, you PETE Carroll and John Davidson at wisdom to point own, which is a sort of conclave mindfulness folks that happens on both costs, but the big ones on the West Coast and at John Cabot's issues like one of the father, modern, secular mindfulness had really honed in on the fact that you guys were teaching meditation in the context of what is often described as a very violent sport, On my mind, because I recently had on a major general from the: U S: Army and a neuroscientist who was working with said major general to teach my fulness to troops to make them less reactive in the field and more resilient when they get home against the scourge of PTSD. But but these two people have been beset by critics from from them.
World. Did you know that you are you training, better baby killers? What are you? How do you? How do you deal with this question that you get often from through more traditional meditation community? That, while our Arloeux practices being perverted by providing it to violent people, yeah, that's it great challenge as a great thought and if we really have, if I think, if we orange but ourselves. I have high regard for other people, their choosing a path and that path feels for most people noble and right. I dont know many people that say you know what I'm a bad person, I'm an awful human being that, really ugly things in the world and I'm trying to make the world worse. You know it's like so most people are wanting to love life there wanting to figure out like how to be better.
Summer in our struggle with fame and some start with meeting more money in some struggle, with all the trappings that we have as humans, but the sport of football in or boxing or you have sea or hockey or basketball. In some respects you know, there's physical contact and contacts intense there. There is a brutality to combat sports and there is also something really beautiful, but not in a twisted way, but to see bodies be able to do their able to do and to be present. This, though, that there is a lot to learn from that as well and remember that sport was the first origins of sport were to keep warriors ready. All sports were to keep warriors ready in times of non war. So if you love sport,
you are connected to that. You know some ancient thread of preparing people for violence, and so I don't know how I would say the same thing like the vegan who's wearing leather shoes. You know it's kind of like it. Well, if you watch sports you're connected somehow to the physical form, doing things that are difficult to do, and so I don't I don't. I don't have a challenge with it like. I think that they ve dedicated their life to their art and their craft ends everyone's adults. They signed up for it and it is really frickin hard to do what they do, and this is looking back something we discussed earlier that each often said, or I've heard it said- maybe you're the other guy will know that the difference between a good athlete in it
great athlete is metal. Yeah you that gets thrown around Corbett is a true. You think were, I think, on the world stage. It is in recreation, sports, natural, ok, you're. What I mean good in like no their job of it, for example the guy's a pretty active military. He has said. I have heard that it really about the point in between points knuckle so that citizens again, I am a man. If you listening of act, I want to have you on the show and be observer misquoted. You, but this seems to me that there is something very new trains. Everybody, you know, works out everybody, if you're in, if you are at Wimbledon, you're a great player, but there's something about the mental game? That is the differentiated well yeah. So what's happened is in all draw little timeline to help kind of punctuate. This
But I think the important part of the stories on the world stage everyone's physically skilled, that's how I like how you got through the ranks at recreation and recreation sports. You just needed to be a little bit bigger, faster stronger and you are going to get more exposure and score more. Right, then that changes in high school just a little bit, but still that holds true. You know bigger, faster kids, going to figure it out in college still holds true, but it was really pretty good. But in college you ve got some kids that are trying to go pro and some kids that are trying to get a degree right and so does there's still variance in the pros everybody's good luck. The good there is still some variants, but it's really the variances really small, its marginal, so competitive advantage is certainly honor that. There's only three things ass humans. We can train, we can turn our craft, we can train our body and we can train or mind
so it rained just our body and our craft we're leaving a lot of the chance, because good cognitive psychology will suggest that thoughts proceed action. And so, if that's the case, if that is the case, that thoughts come first. Will it's a great freaking thoughts whatever? That means for you, that's really honor that those thing. Have consequences. Thoughts, have consequences that great, nor electrical and and nor chemical exchange. In the brain and they trigger pattern behaviour. So, let's get Goin on it and it's the competitive mind. That's where sport is fascinating. It's the competitive mine and not in a bad way, not to block compete to step on somebody's throat or work with the sea of a fortune. One
company that said. Competition to me is to hold my computer underwater until there's number bubbles. Yet that is not the kind of competition time on the spirit of competition is like he. We need each other. Let's go. Let's, let's compete together to figure out how good how far we can take. This thing to the limits of the human potential right: let's
but that spirit is really read. So if, if, if we're gonna leave the mine up the chance, we're leaving doors wide open for someone else's swooping with a bit more robust and sturdy mind, so I think sport has been of great amplifier for valuing the need to be present and to be excellent in order to be present in order to get there you go in that order. It now are you constrained, I imagine you are by confidentiality like. Can you talk about some amazing well known client, in how my fullest practice had a training rather has helped them or you? Can you not do that? So that's why fired up the funding mass recast is because, because of that licence, I'm sorry that the the agreement with clients that they were going to work for these four this extent appeared a time that that create such a late, an area of safety that we can talk and explore everything and anything. And then, because of that,
it'll. Give me many athletes have given me permission to tell the story to amplify the store to talk about it, but it's really unbecoming. It does not ever feel good when I'm doing so I've I've follow like my mentor saying, even if they give permission, don't go there, and so some athletes have like the ones that you're familiar with, like gum, Phillips Baumgartner jumped from a hundred thirty thousand feet and rebels Stratus project. You know he talked about his panic attacks and talked about claustrophobia, and he talked about the work we did, but I'm not going to talk about it right and you might think that, while I'm doing it right now, no not getting into the particulars of it, but that's why I fired up the podcast to celebrate bright minds celebrate those that are on the razor edge. While most people are looking to avoid the razors edge where If you want to learn more about you learn from you work, I would go to learn more about you. So there's a couple places one
put like a business had on for a minute coach? Caroline, I fired up business together to try to capture his intelligence, about creating a culture and how to sustain a high performing culture and then my interest in how to train the minds of people that want to be great at being a human for road at whatever that means so mindset, training, culture, training, methodologies, and when forever dot com and ends so go there NGO kind of find out more information. But what we're doing there if you're interested in the past
of mastering those conversations. Its funding mastery dot net in Qatar was actually on their. Not long ago, you'll be on their soon and I M so just conversations with switched on human beings about how they ve become and what they do to accelerate their craft. What do you mean my mastery? It's a pursuit, its path, it's for me it's. What am? I started off with a different idea of what I thought mastery was and now I'm paying attention the master because ask everyone like what it is to them. I think it's exploring the nuances of craft and also, at the same time, having great insight about how you interface with that craft masters of craft
you and I deal with like frame one slash two frame to to frame three. Okay like tossed the ball arm, comes up hit the ball right, people that are really good. They don't have to think about that anymore, but people that are masterful are playing between those frames and they're expanding those frames in such a way that it feels like a whole different universe that therein, where you and I to the novice, mind or the novice, I we don't even see it, and even if we're good at it, not great, not world class, we dont understand it, Sir it's. The mastery comes with playing in the nuances, I think, and then serve the mind, is being having a really sensitive instrument about what is true and what is now so just for You then you're mere mid forties. You have achieved a high level of notoriety as a consequence of your work with these big game athlete
and others? What are you where do you want to go with your meditation racked his word, you wanna go with your career. This is like to people that spend time doing mindfulness worker meditation. I I've evident flowed where times I'm like all in like I'm, really structured with my work and their times or meditation yeah, and in those times when I can, let me see if I could do like two thousand moments a day and it's like us eating, breathing walking everything. You know and I saw I don't know what I'm it with know. You know I'm still gonna spend time in a quiet, recesses of single point focus and contemplative mindfulness. My phone Essen still gonna. Do that for sure
but it's like a thousand little one breaths. A thousand little moments to be present feels really robust me right now and due to what is your formal practice? Look what it's all about Tibet! I start my morning in a particular way. Love people might know about that morning. Mindset training, so it's one breath sheets are still on one breath. Maybe two! Second, if I can be so bold and then one thought her gratitude when attention for the day and then homage has put my feet on the ground and it just be right where I am and then cause, I don't want to start. Like totally chill in an hour to get up and want to fire, and I want to be on- and I want to put the music on. I want to run around my little eight year old and a my wife, and I just want to have like a it's just a fun switched on morning and then, when I get to do with many people that spend time with, is I get with them? Six hundred and twelve twenty minutes with him. So it's almost
can hijack opportunities have and then before I got a better than you with your people, you're working with your teaching them how to meditate net your meditate, I'm gettin it in his well in which is like Cava cheat for the rest of the world. You know, but then at night I spend time and set the told him how long that points my six minutes somewhere. That really do not you, unlike hours and hours a day non, but but you are trying as his hands to infuse it in every moment of the day, I'm trot like a if I'm up sixteen hours a day than
given that the great that everything's is like fully aware fully, mindful saw I'm just trying to pay more attention of taking the mountain top experience of the six minutes. Eight minutes twenty minutes and taking that into the city. That's the way, I'm thinkin about arena and what about professionally? What your girls ass great question. One point: five billion people try to touch an impact, one point: five billion people and there is not an important numbers because we all have our friends and so that we get the seven seven billion. And so it's a ridiculous number. You know, and so those dead there's only couple wasted the amplify into such a ridiculous way. Your closer than I it but being able to help people be more present and to understand that to do so, we need to train our minds and there's lots The ways to do it mindfulness certainly is one of them, and so I'd I'd love to know that somehow impact that are touched, one point: five billion people too,
Natalia by identify what my time routes and rising tide all boats, and so I just think that we could get a a shift in the way that small relationships work between people when people more present so nice place to end it. Unless you think, there's something I should have asked that. I didn't any other point that you want to make that I haven't. I want to say thank you for for being interested and have this conversation of really enjoyed just how authentic the honest and eager you you are to understand and is rare and saw briefly to two felt that some think you are right. There's another edition of the ten percent happier pod cast if you like it, and we need you up for a favor, please thrived, who it review it and read it. I went to also thank the people who produces pike. Ass Josh GO handler in Akron, Sarah AMOS and ahead of ABC New Digital Dan Silver and heavy up a twitter Danby Harris,
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Transcript generated on 2020-05-29.