The Second Mix Podcast - Reflect, Revise, and Remix Your Life
Feb. 13, 2023

What Is An Authentic Life? Reflection, Mindfulness, and Self-Kindness with Coach Eric Teplitz

What Is An Authentic Life? Reflection, Mindfulness, and Self-Kindness with Coach Eric Teplitz

Eric is an enthusiastic and engaging storyteller who genuinely loves deep conversations about human beings: especially in regard to topics like motivation, happiness, and self-actualization. He has an abundance of life experiences to draw upon including things as varied as pursuing a music career in Nashville, backpacking over 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail, volunteering in a hospital, completing an Ironman triathlon (after three attempts), and finally meeting and marrying the love of his life, Samantha.

Eric offers one-on-one coaching for those wishing to get "unstuck" in some area of their lives, or who simply want to experience a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Brand new: Eric's online course "Opening to Greater Possibilities" is now available! For info:

(Second Mix Podcast Episode 83)
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This is the Second Mix Podcast - a dose of personal development leading to personal growth. My philosophy is that personal development is business development and that mindset, especially a success mindset, is the primary factor that leads to self-improvement and successful entrepreneurs. I like to talk about things that matter with people who care as well as bring you some old-school motivation and valuable information from the original masters of inspiration Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and more. These guys helped me turn my life around in just a couple years, I've 5Xed my income, improved my relationships with my wife and kids, and I've completely changed my entire network - and so much more! I use this podcast to tell you how I did it, the thinking behind it, and as a way to get to meet great new people who are all moving forward by helping people become more than they are.

Don't wish things were easier, wish you were better - Jim Rohn

#reflection #mindfulness #kindness

#meaningoflife #purposeoflife #manssearchformeaning


Eric: "it's that much more important, I think, to take a moment on a regular basis and just check in and go, I wanna be conscious about how I'm choosing to spend my time and what I'm choosing to do, and who I'm choosing to cultivate relationships with, and what my goals are and all of these things.

And if we're just on autopilot, it's very, very easy to not even be aware. A year could go by five years, 10 years can go by before we even realize that we're not doing what is important to us.

Matt: Welcome to the show, everybody that was from my interview earlier this year with Eric Teplitz. Eric is a coach and he is a self-described life enthusiast, and this guy really is enthusiastic about life. I had a great time. He has hiked over 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail. He has pursued a music career in Nashville.

He's been a volunteer at a hospital. He's. A lot of things. I'm actually probably gonna be asking him to come back on this show to ask him about some of the more of the amazing stuff that he's done. But for now, in this conversation that's coming up, Eric walks us through a lot about techniques and thoughts about self-reflection, mindfulness, and self-kindness.

Hang out with us, reflect, revise Remix today with Eric Tez in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Eric, , if you were to party and someone asked you what you do, what would you tell them?

This is a funny question because it's a question. Honestly, I hate . But I, I heard someone give an answer to this.

And his answer is, was, when, what do I do when, in other words, I'm a multifaceted guy, and, and. Implied within the question, at least as it is in our culture, right? It's like, how do you justify your existence making a living?

That's really what the question is. Not who are you, what are you about? What do you like? What turns you on? What, what are your interests? What sorts of, what are your favorite things to do in life? That's not what people mean. So usually I, depending on my mood, I'll answer that question.

I do all kinds of things. Usually is I say some variation of that, which is true. But if you're asking from the point of view of what do I do for a living, I am a professional coach and I, and I basically do a lot of content creation as well in the form of writing i e blog posts.

And, uh, I have a podcast of my own actually. 

Eric: I just started it this year and it's called The Person You Want to Be and it, it goes really well hand in hand with my coaching and a lot of the content that I create, articles and such, because it really is all about self-actualization.

Hearing people tell their stories of who it is that they have, that they currently are aspiring to be, but also tracing their history and seeing how that question has evolved over the course of their lives. Because usually it does evolve and it does change, and the person we wanna be when we're 20 usually looks a lot different from the person we want to be when we're 40.

Matt: That's really what people need to be thinking about all the time anyways, is, is, is this who I want to be and who do I want to be, and how do I get to be who I say I want to be?

Um, and, and at some point maybe. . Like, is that really who you want to be? Or is that just who you think you want to be? 

Eric: That that's, that's a huge point because we are getting messages from really from birth on, uh, that have, uh, an enormous influence on us. And I think that just being able to tune in and figure out the difference between those things, well, well, what is it that I actually really want and who do I wanna be versus who do I think I wanna be?

Or who, who have I just, you know, sort of defaulted to being, or you know, what story have I told myself about this? Um, but really, I think one of the big challenges of this life is to live authentically, to really get in touch with who we are and not what other people maybe expect of us or expect us to be.

And it's, it's really hard, by the way, to, to make these distinctions, you know? Um, but I think it's vital to really, the more we can be in touch with, um, who we actually are and what we actually care about, then that allows us to then take steps consciously and deliberately in that direction and live more authentically, which translates to living a more fulfilling life.

Matt: I really liked your answer to the question, what do you do from the party, right? Because you say, when, when do I do what I like, what are you talking about? And yeah, the multifaceted aspect of a life, um, just reminds, reminds me you can't organize a life. You can't like, just take everything that you are and organize it and put it in a one piece.

I don't know if you know who Robert Fulghum is. He wrote the book. Sure. All I needed to know. I learned in kindergarten. Kindergarten . Um, in that book, he, he has an essay and he is talking about his business card. And he's had several business cards through the years, but one of his business cards says that he is a breather.

Yes. . I like it. Yeah. And that is how he explained himself. I'm a breather. I walk around breathing and, uh, it's another 

Eric: way, thing of saying I'm a human, you know, . 

Matt: Yes, exactly. Exactly. And, uh, so I mean, that is a fascinating answer and it, because how do you, you can't narrow down.


Eric: it's indicative of, of our culture really. That, that question and, and, and the way the implications of that question, because I, I was sort of being a little harsh when I said, you know, how do you justify your existence on this planet by, you know, earning a living, doing something. Um, but that kind of is the message in there.

It's sort of like, so what do you do? How do you contribute? What makes you worth taking up? You know, what makes you worth being a breather, . And, and it's, and I don't like that personally, that, that angle on it because I think that, I like to start from a place of we are worthwhile by, just by, the fact that we're here.

The fact that we are alive, we're here, and without having to do anything, we are inherently worthwhile. I like to start from there. , I like to start with from that sort of presumption, and then I, I personally am a, like yourself. I'm a very curious person and I, and I'm really interested in getting to understand people and know them , finding out what makes them tick.

And I really kind of cut to the chase quickly, not in so far as like, what do you do, but who are you? Like, I really am interested in learning about specifically what really matters to people. I think that's a more interesting question than what do you do? Like, it would be an interesting default question to the cocktail party.

So, you know, tell me, Matt, what, what really matters to you? Yes. 

Matt: Yes. I, I kind of wish that society was like that right now, . 

Eric: Right. Well, maybe, maybe we can, you know, start a movement . 

Matt: Yes. I, I don't mind asking questions like that at cocktail parties. Yeah. Or I don't know that I've actually ever been to a cocktail party,

Right. I'm trying to think back, like, was I ever to party? There were cocktails like, um, I don't know. But anyway, to not say, how can you be valuable to me? , but to get out there and say, Hey, what, what do you find the most valuable in this life? What, yeah. That's what turns 

Eric: you on.

What do you like? And I think what that does also, not only does it make people feel less defensive and more open, let's face it, some people might enjoy that being asked that question. If, if you happen to love what you do for a living and, and you're a professional identity, and a lot of people, by the way, they identify so much with that, that they don't even know who they are without that, that title that's.

To me, that's sort of a red flag. I, granted some people might have no problem with that question and might even be proud of their answer to it and Great. Um, but I just think that it, it puts people's guard down a bit if you just express curiosity in, in who they are, what they're interested in, because it's easier, I think, also to find common ground that way

Matt: I, you know, I think that society is pushing us more and more toward that kind of thing too, because, how many lines do you have on Facebook to describe who you are? How many lines do you have on LinkedIn to describe who you are? You know, I wanna say I breathe, I look at the sky 

Eric: right. Yeah. Well, peop some people get creative about how they answer the question and, there is a presumptuous to the question, I think.


Matt: It starts a lot of conversations like the one we're having now, so it's actually a good question to ask. But you were talking about helping people find their authentic life. Mm-hmm. , how do I know if I'm living an authentic life right now, to know that I would need to change some directions? What does that look like? 

Eric: That's a great question. I mean, I think a lot of it is tuning into.

How you feel about your life? Are you enjoying what you're doing? Do you feel good about how you're spending your time? Do you feel like you are living your. Your real values and ideals in life, or do you feel like you are sort of deferring them and you're, you're saying, oh, well I'll get to that when these kinds of things are, are in indications that maybe, you know, you're not, and honestly, I I do.

I think that it's, it's a lifelong journey. I don't think you ever arrive. I am now fully authentic. I am living completely, authentically in every way, and I am now embodying my true heartfelt values and ideals. I think that it's an aspiration and I think that we can move in that direction, but because we are always changing and because the world around us is always changing, it's not a static thing.

 I guess I would, encourage people to examine even the, the practice that I really, I'm a huge proponent of journaling. Okay. And one of the things I love about journaling is that it's an opportunity to take a moment and check in with yourself. And you can do this in any way that feels right, 

even just for, several times a day to just take a moment where you disconnect from everything else, and you just check in with yourself and say, how am I doing? How am I feeling? How do I feel about what I'm doing? ? And get to know yourself and get to listen and get to really like, because we are, we're often suppressing those things.

We're often consumed by tasks and to-do lists and we don't usually take the time to check in. And, and the way that I like to put it to people, if it feels, if it's, if it's like a new, uh, practice for them, I ask them to consider their closest personal relationships.

Okay. Whether that's with a spouse, whether it's with a best friend, and , I posed the question, if you had a relationship with this person where you never asked them how they were doing, And you never checked in with them to see how they were doing and showed any interest in how they were doing, or vice versa, they never checked in with you and asked how you were doing and sincerely wanted to know what, how would the quality of that relationship, likely be, would likely be.

Terrible, maybe untenable, right? Yeah. Yeah. And yet, if you think about cultivating a relationship with yourself, Which is really the primary. I mean, that's, it's really important , if you want to, if you wanna cultivate good relationships with other people, your relationship with yourself I think is paramount and, determines the quality of those other relationships.

And you can even think of it as practice, uh, relating to other people by relating to yourself and taking an interest in yourself and, and showing, you know, checking in with yourself and, and showing compassion toward yourself if you're, if you're not doing so great. Because these are the kinds of things that are immensely valuable in our relationships with others.

So, you know, this is a long answer to a question about how do people know if they're living authentically. But I think that it's, I think that having some method of, privately and quietly taking a moment during the course of each day, and you have to do it regularly. You can't just ask your spouse once a week, uh, how you doing?

And then behalf listening and then move on to the other. Like, I mean, maybe you can, but I don't imagine it's gonna be a very satisfying, fulfilling, close relationship. Now. This 

Matt: is, this is actually really good stuff. I mean, it, it is beautiful because, you know what, I, I just had this thought

if I walked in a room and saw my wife looking kind of sad, I'd say, are you okay? Is there anything that I can do to help? And I, but I wouldn't ask that question of myself, right? But I could just be like, oh my gosh, I need a break from this work. I'm driving crazy if things don't feel right. I just don't like this.

But I never say, what can I do to help ? Like, am I okay? 

Eric: What can I need? What, what do I need? What do I need now? Yes. 

Matt: Yes. Um, and there are so it, it is so valuable. I, I think from what you're saying, and it, I've seen it in other places too, it's so valuable to step back from yourself and treat yourself as if it, you are somebody that you're treating, if one of my clients or friends were having this same problem that I'm experiencing, what would I tell them?

Because that's the same thing that I need to tell myself. I'm not less valuable than they are. I should be telling myself the same stuff. 

Eric: Another example of this is, you know, I think most people would say they value honesty in their relationships with other people like that they, that, that's, most people would probably say that that's important to them.

And yet it can be really, really tricky and difficult to be honest with ourselves. And, but if we're not honest with ourselves, how can we ever hope to be truly honest with other people if we're not even honest with ourselves about what we want, what we need, what's important to us? I see it as really fundamentally important.

And also to understand that we by nature default to habits. We're creatures of habit by nature, and that's not all bad. That actually helps us accomplish a lot of things. We don't have to relearn how to drive each time we get into a car, we do things. We're on autopilot a lot of the time, and it serves us well.

But, but it's that, it's because of that, that it's that much more important, I think, to take a moment on a regular basis and just check in and go, I wanna be conscious about how I'm choosing to spend my time and what I'm choosing to do, and who I'm choosing to cultivate relationships with, and what my goals are and all of these things.

And if we're just on autopilot, it's very, very easy to not even be aware. A year could go by five years, 10 years can go by before we even realize that we're not doing what is important to us. So it's a, it's a skill and it takes practice. It's a practice and it really requires, maintenance. It requires, like any relationship, it requires, an investment and a commitment.

Matt: A lot of what we're talking about and what's gonna make your life satisfying to you? Yeah. Is. Based on going after the things you value 

Eric: I think yeah, it's a, it's a really good point.

Like I think that what gives us the greatest sense of satisfaction is knowing that we are being the person we want to be, so to speak. That we are, we're being true to what we believe in and we're doing our part. And the reason I keep emphasizing this aspect of it is because most of life is not in our control.

We don't control what happens in the world. We don't control other people's opinions about us or other people's behaviors or actions. But we can, we do have agency when it comes to how we behave and how we show up in the world. And I think the best that any of us can do is to make ourselves proud by the way that we.

That we show up in the world, that we're, we are modeling and living our values as closely as we can. And when we do that, that is where I think the juices and the satisfaction is. Of course, we're trying to create results in the world. We're trying to accomplish things, we're trying to reach goals.

But the only thing that we can control is our effort in those directions, right? And if we can do ourselves proud and do right by ourselves and know that we're living by those values, which we have to even become clear about to begin with, that's how we can live authentically. And that's how we can create meaningful and satisfying lives for ourselves.

Matt: You, you touched on something really important. How do I know, or how can I find out what I value? How, how do, great question. 

Eric: How do I figure? I love that question. I love that question. Yeah. And, and it's, it might, the answer could be terrifying, by the way, . But um, if you really wanna know, What you value.

The way I like to put it is, imagine that your, let's say an an alien from outer space, and this alien is going to observe you, Matt, for the next seven days, 24 hours a day, and the alien is gonna just re the alien is purely reporting objectively by what they're, what they notice. How is Matt, what is he doing each day?

How is he spending his time? Like, not with any judgment attached to any of it, but just observationally. And you can actually do this with yourself. You can track your own behavior. How do you, like account for your own time, let's say for the course of a week. And you have to be honest and you can do it in however much detail you care to.

I would suggest at the very least, like on an hourly basis, like make a, make some kind of chart that records hour by hour. You can get more specific than that if you want, but just where it, where how is your time being spent? And what are you doing? That will show you what you value, not what you think you value, not what you purportedly value, not what you say you value, but what you actually value.

Another way, of course, to gauge it is, where you spend your money, what you spend your money on, but also, just as meaningfully where you put your time and attention, where you spend those things. So if you claim, for instance, to value your health, but you're not doing anything during the course of a week that, that demonstrates that, then it's a value that you say you value.

But you're, if you're not actually backing that up with action, then I would question how much do you really value that? 

If you don't like the results of this report that you get from the Alien or a k a yourself, then you can make some choices and say, uh, you know, I wanna make some changes here.

I wanna make this more aligned with what I want my values to be, not what I claim they are. I love it. And I also think there's a, there's a distinction by the way, between values and ideals. And this may sound like semantics, but it's a helpful distinction for me, which is that our values are demonstrated by how we're actually spending our lives.

, that actually indicates our values, our ideals are the values that we aspire to. So like when someone asks, what are your values? You tell them what you're really answering are your ideals? Like these are the things that, these are the things that matter to me the most that you're claiming matter to you the most.

But your behavior may not be completely in sync with that. And by the way, this isn't a judgment. We all, I think it's, it's aspirational for all of us and it's. It's not like we have to be perfect. The idea is to move in the direction to be conscious of how do I w what values do I want to embody, right?

And what actions can I take today, this week, this month, this year? How can I structure my life in such a way that I am embodying the values that I want, that are actually like my ideals and aspirations that I want to embody and not succumb to habit or defaults, or even just unconscious behavior.

We do so many things unconsciously, and the more that we can pause and reflect and then say, I would rather be this way, and it can even be with cultivating certain traits in ourselves. Like for instance, if you want to become a more patient person, Right. Yeah. This is a difficult thing, by the way,

Um, but if you want to cultivate more patience, that's something that you can consciously work on because it's very easy to be reactive. Something provokes us and we, or irritated, and we react. But the way to become more patient is to practice when we feel triggered by something, to pause and take a moment, take a breath, maybe leave the room, whatever we need to do, and then say, all right, how do I want to respond to this?

What would be a productive way to respond to this rather than just simply a reactive way to respond? This is, by the way, this is like advanced level stuff. Um, this, this is something that's an aspiration of mine and I am certainly far from perfect, but what, what feels victorious to me any moment where I can.

Take that pause and actually respond from a place that's intentional and thoughtful as opposed to reactive. If I, anytime that I do that, it's a win. Right? It's, it's, it's a win. And the, and the goal course is to increase the, those experiences, to make them more frequent. 

. And, and I just wanna reiterate, this is hard work. It's an ongoing practice and an ongoing challenge but it's, you can see how important it is, right?

And it all starts with being honest with yourself. And we don't wanna disappoint ourselves. We like to think of ourselves as, , just wonderful, perfect beings, . It can be difficult to take in information that, that suggests that we're not perfect. It's really important, like for instance, if you say, I value, being courageous and you notice that your behavior doesn't line up with that, that your behavior indicates, well, actually you value security.

Right. By the way, that's not bad. Right? Security is a, and I think that we all have needs for, to varying degrees. We all have security needs and we all have needs for adventure in our lives, like we all want predictability and we all want novelty. Maybe some of those proportions look different from one person to another, but they seem contradictory, but they're not.

And that's why I think of it as, I wanna be more patient, or I wanna be more courageous, or I wanna be more adventurous, or I wanna be more whatever. And then that allows for, it's not black and white, it's not either or, you can then channel your energy into that direction and lean into that and take baby steps in that direction.

And it's, it's not all or nothing. It's not like you either are courageous or you're not. Most of us are courageous in some respects, and maybe not in others, and that's why I say this living authentically thing, Is an aspiration that we want to try to do our best with.

It's not about being perfect, I think it's really like a check-in with your gut. And the more you can even just ask yourself during the course of the day, randomly set a, you know, set a reminder on your phone or do whatever to check in and just say, how am I feeling right now?

And the more you record your answers to those and, and maybe what the context is, you can get to know yourself better and realize, you know, during the day, I'm suppressing how I feel at work all the time. I'm not, I don't feel able to express how I actually feel. Well, how does that feel? Probably not good.

Right? So as, this is just an example, but it's a way to, to, to figure out. . And then you might also have a moment during the course of a day where you check in with yourself and you feel fantastic. That is good information. Why? What is it? What I, what is it? Did you have a pleasant interaction with someone?

Did you do something that made you feel good about yourself? Were you, um, exercising? And so you just have an endorphin, rush that, that feels great. What? And pay attention to those things because, we're all, we all as, as similar as we all are to each other. We also are unique and different things make us happy.

And it really is a, it's a lifelong process of getting to know yourself. But the better, the more in touch you are with yourself, the easier it is to make decisions. Clearly. If someone asks you for, for a favor, let's say, um, you can much more clearly set boundaries if you feel you need to.

Like, if you know, Hey, I really need to rest tonight. I have, I'm exhausted. And then someone asks a favor of you. You know, you might say, I can't do it tonight. Whereas the older version of you might have been, afraid to say no or turn a person down or whatever. The clearer you are about your own needs then the easier it is to set boundaries that are healthy and that, that, uh, are attending to yourself as well as just to others.

I try to be not too prescriptive about what, what someone should do or how they should do it. Right? Because what's really important is what works for you. And so with journaling, now I am a huge believer in journaling, a huge proponent of it. I know it's not necessarily for everyone, right? I, I certainly encourage it, but even within the people who say, okay, I'm willing to try this journaling thing, where do I start?

Or how do I do it? I really personally believe there's no one way or right way to do it. I think do whatever works, right? Whatever gets you to dur journal. Some people find prompts extremely helpful. And if they know I'm gonna journal on these three questions, for instance, each morning, what do I wanna accomplish today?

What do I want to focus on today? Something along those lines. And then like reporting at the end of the day, how did it go? What was a big win today? What could I have done better? Like if they have specific questions to think about for some people that is immensely helpful and productive. And if that is, if you find that that works for you, fantastic.

If not, find what does work for you and what does get you. And some people, like myself for instance, I kind of like the freedom of being completely open. I'm fine with just like letting it all out on the page and, I can't say enough about this practice because.

You know, sometimes you aren't even aware of what you think or how you feel about something until you take the time to actually start writing it down. It can be revelatory and you can be like, huh, I didn't realize that was bothering me so much because we're, we're, we're used to ignoring ourselves, or, or suppressing uncomfortable feelings or what have you.

Um, but it's just information. And the more in touch with that information we are, then the more we can be thoughtful about responding to it. 

Writing it down is great because it will help you remember. Yes. Um, and, and it also is a record, it's a documentation that you can look back on and, and track. So I, I think that in that sense it is, it is really important. I think also that when you're starting a new activity of any kind, like if you're new, for instance, to journaling, the more structured probably the better until it becomes more of a habit, until you kind of get your bearings with it and it feels more natural.

And then when it does, then you can kind of take liberties and, and tweak it to, to your liking. But when you're trying anything new, if you think about it, like if you're trying a new workout or trying anything new, the more structure that's in place for you to follow the better because it's, you're, you're getting, you know, you're building a new muscle, literally in the case of a war.

Yes. You know, and, and so you wanna, um, you know, you wanna do, you don't wanna overdo it, you don't wanna overstress yourself. Uh, you wanna ease into it usually. And so, um, . I think that that applies with journaling as well. 

Matt: I think so too. And you, you actually said, you know, you're comfortable with the open, free writing.

Mm-hmm. , that could have been a muscle that you developed. Oh, sure. Like, like you, you at structure when you're not an expert at journaling. Yeah. You might need some prompts to write. Absolutely. And then you've done it for three or four years. Yeah. In my case, decades, or decades I wish I tried for decades.

That was one of my accomplishments in 2019 was I'm on journal B four now. And starting with a one, A two, A three, A four, I want journal B four, B four, and after B four and after, I love it. Uh, since I play or Hammond organ and I play keyboards, B3 was my favorite 

Eric: journal. Yes. That's excellent by the way.

I'm really impressed, Matt, and I think that your example is a great one because it sounds, from what I've learned about you thus far, you really like made an intentional pivot in your life just only three years ago with kind of delving into this self-development, personal development and orientation.

And it's remarkable, right? In such a short span of time, how, how much you can change your life. Yes. How, how like, and how profound those changes can be. I think that that's a huge lesson. Like someone might hear me say, I've been journaling for decades, and go, oh, well, you know, I'm I, I'm way behind the curve.

You can make an intentional choice at any given moment in time that that can really change your life radically. I mean, it may, it might not be instantaneous, but just by pivoting in a certain direction, moving toward an aspiration, whatever that happens to be, you know, you can, you can surprise yourself with the, with the transformation that, that, that can occur.

Matt: You know, one of the, one of the things that, uh, I listened to in, I listened to Jim Roan, he was the second guy I started listening to after Zig Ziglar. And, uh, Jim Rohn started talking about, uh, the thing, the thing that probably changed my life the most is when I realized, he said, here is failure.

Failure is a series of errors repeated every day. , a series of tiny, small errors that you repeat every day, and success is a series. Of tiny wins, tiny disciplines. . Yeah. Just tiny disciplines. Repeat it every day. And that changed my life. Cause I'm like, 

Eric: Hmm. And it makes it, it makes it manageable too, right?

Yes. You don't have to like, you don't have to make this radical, you know, overwhelming, all-encompassing change in every way. Like no, like introduce one positive habit gradually on a daily basis. And man, like it, the, the interest compounds, so to speak, to use the, the financial metaphor. I mean, it really, yeah, I agree with that a lot.

And, and I also think that that's how change, and that's how anything meaningful really typically occurs is, you know, a little bit at a time. But, but in. Um, consistent way over time. That's how you really change who you are. Uh, the person that you are. I is these gradual shifts, um, done consistently and consciously and repeatedly.

You know, they say, you know, repetition is the mother of skill, right? Yes. And any musician knows that. 

Matt: Do you find any similar problems with your clients?

Like, and I don't mean they're all trying to lose weight and they're all doing it the wrong way. I, I just mean any common denominators that you said if they were to just do this. And you could say it to like six, six of your clients outta 10 right now. Uh, do you see anything like that? 

Eric: Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is self-compassion.

In other words, treating yourself the way you would, the people you care most about outside of you. You know, your loved ones, your, the people that are dear to you. I don't, I don't know exactly why this is so difficult, but for most people this is very, very difficult. And there are things you can actually do to cultivate this, by the way, to cultivate self-compassion.

And this is not my area of expertise. I have some experience with it. There is an entire, um, Program called Mindful Self-Compassion that was created by two psychologists. One who's a researcher and one who's a clinical psychologist, a therapist. Okay. Um, the researcher's name is Kristen Neff and the clinical psychologist is Christopher Germer.

And you can google this mindful self-compassion. And they have some evidence-based research backed practices and um, and programs that can help people with this. I honestly think kind of everyone needs. Um, to some extent, and it's, um, basically it's connected to building a positive relationship with yourself.

It's not about letting yourself off the hook. A lot of people where they, I think a lot, a common problem I see is, is this, you know, in a word you could call it perfectionism, but people feel like they have to crack the whip and be their own task master in order to get good results out of themselves.

They have to be extremely self-disciplined and they have to be, you know, more or less perfect. And while the intention behind that is good, like you're trying to get the best out of yourself, usually it doesn't work. Usually it becomes more self-harming than self-help. Okay. Um, and so the ability to, to not beat yourself up about stuff, you know, to be self-compassionate, to show, um, love and compassion toward yourself.

You still wanna do the best that you can each given day, but you don't ride yourself and beat yourself up when you fail to meet your highest standards because it actually is unhelpful. . And if it were helpful, maybe, you know, okay, do it , but it's not, that's the thing. It like, it's, it's not, and I think, I know this is something I personally struggled with for quite a long time.

I've made a lot of progress at it. I'm not perfect. And I still, I still, you know, need reminders and, and reinforcements, um, to do this. But I've definitely seen a, a, a big change and I'm a, a much overall, happier person as a result for not, you know, for, for not being so relentless on myself. 

Matt: That's just one of the biggest changes I think that happens to me. Hmm. Uh, is that I would stop yelling at myself. I would stop calling myself stupid. I would, right. When those thoughts came in, like, you must be an idiot to have done that. Right. Like, I just have to stop it. You know, I wouldn't say it to my wife, I wouldn't say it to my best friend.

I'm not gonna say it to myself anymore. 

Eric: We hold ourselves to just really ridiculously unreasonable standards compared to the standards we have for, we tend to be, most of us much more forgiving and accepting of others than we are of ourselves. So that's a common theme that I see. And, um, you know, I think that it's, you know, most of us can, um, can use some work with that and, and, and make some improvements on that.

And then what you'll see is that when you're kinder to yourself, You like yourself more, and it's easier to like be with yourself and you know, and if you think about it, you're the only person that you're in a lifelong relationship with from birth to death. Like it's, you're always with you, you're always stuck with yourself , right?

So, so you might as well learn to, um, uh, be kind and appreciate and like, and cultivate a good relationship with this, this person you're stuck with for, for life, right? And then from there, um, so many positive things can happen, you know? So I, I see that as a foundational thing. 

Matt: It's been a pleasure having you on the show. 

Eric: Thank you so much. I love doing this, so I love these conversations. So it's been a pleasure. Participating. 

Matt: If you had the entire world on the line for 43 seconds, what would you tell 

Eric: them? Be kind, be kind to yourself.

Be kind to others. We're all doing the best we can. We all have challenges. No one, I am convinced. Now, I don't know this for a fact, , I can't verify it cuz I don't, I, I don't, I'm not in touch with all seven plus billion people on the planet, but I believe that no one on this earth is without challenges.

Certainly certain people have. You know, an incredible amount of privilege compared to others. But the, the, the thing that connects us all is this fact that we're all human. And so we all are subject to the what that means and, and all of the vulnerabilities that come with being human. We all have access to the same range of spectrum of emotions that human beings experience, and we all.

We all have, you know, the, uh, similar fears and concerns to deal with. Um, no matter how wealthy you are, health is a universal thing, right? Like all the money in the world won't necessarily, um, I mean, it might give you access to better healthcare, but it doesn't make you immune to disease, to, to death, to injury, to losing loved ones, to, you know, um, so I guess I, I, I'm emphasizing the common humanity that we all share, and with the understanding that everyone suffers in some way.

Try your best. And I say this to myself as well, try your best to keep that in mind and to cultivate compassion and kindness as much as possible to yourself and to others, because you never know what someone else is going through. And the, the smallest act of kindness can really mean the world to someone.

 Cut that to 43 seconds.

Matt: I'll try. Or I'll just speed it up really fast. So how can people find you if they want to get ahold of you?

Eric: The easiest way is to just visit my website, which is just my name, And on there, there is a wealth of free material. I mean, I've got, A ton of articles on my blog, um, 100 plus well over a hundred. And they're not, you know, Mo they tend to be pretty, like, I don't just publish, um, for the sake of quantity.

I only publish when I feel like I have something worth sharing. And I, I really put a lot of care and thought into those. And in fact, there is a, a blog post that I, you made me think of called Kind Sight, which is all about this idea of, um, uh, self-compassion. So I, I would encourage people to check that out.

But yeah, there's a, there's a ton of free content. There's, uh, also some videos as well. I have a YouTube channel and I have a podcast that I started that I'm really excited about, called The Person You Wanna Be so people can, can check that out and they can access all this stuff from the website. One final thing that I will plug is I, I developed an online course, That I'm super, super proud of.

It's called opening to Greater Possibilities. Okay. And essentially, it, it covers all the, all kinds of strategies, both in terms of mindset and in terms of practices that can help you, uh, if you feel stuck in some area of your life or maybe multiple areas that can help you break out of that stuckness.

Things that I know from test, you know, from like True World testing myself over the last 25 years, uh, things, the way that this course came about was when I was in my mid twenties. I was at a really, really, really low point. I was an extremely depressed, really felt terrible about myself and my life. And I've made like extraordinary progress, like I'm a, you know, practically a different person now, and I asked myself what were the, like, sometimes you get lucky in life.

Sometimes things happen in good fortune strikes, but I asked myself what were the things that I did. To help facilitate these positive changes in my experience of life, what role did I play? And I kind of like reverse engineered the course by examining those things. Um, okay. And people can preview the course for free.

And the first module that comes with the free preview is all about journaling. Actually. It's called the Power Tool of Journaling. Okay. So anyway, is where you can find all that stuff. The course 

Matt: is on there too. You can link to the course from there. Beautiful. Beautiful. Well, I will put those links in the description.

Well, thank you again. This has been a pleasure. It's been enlightening.

I learned a lot just sitting here talking, and I'm pretty happy with that, . 

Eric: Thanks so much, Matt. I really enjoyed it. 

Matt: Thanks for listening to the Second Mix podcast. Please subscribe, leave a review where you can, and visit second for more content like this. If you want to get in touch with me, you can email or go to the website and leave me a voicemail. Make it an amazing week and I'll see you soon.