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Humans think about life like it’s a war. So we try to conquer all our problems by going to war with them.

But there’s a glaring problem with this:

War is a miserable way to live a life. It deprives you of the boundless joy life was meant to be experienced with.

In this episode, I’m sharing how we create these war-like scenarios in our minds and how to stop seeing life as a war so you can experience pure joy again.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • The rarely talked about (and super easy) way to conquer your toughest mental hangups (6:58)
  • Why living a healthy and happy life is much easier than you’ve been making it (10:07)
  • How to instantly and effortlessly replace every problem in your life with throbbing joy (16:10)
  • Why “digging deep” to solve your problems creates more problems instead of solving them (17:58)
  • The “Obstacle Course Secret” for triumphing over your troubles with ease (18:56)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.9]

Bob: Alright, welcome back guys. Today, it's the ‘Alive and Free podcast’, we get to skip the psychodrama. Yup, that's right. I'm super excited to talk about this today because it's something I see going on a lot out there, psychodrama a lot of drama, a lot of war and war is no way to live a life. People are busy trying to have breakthroughs. Why are we trying to break stuff? Why not live through or why not dance through or why not play through? Why are we making deadlines instead of lifelines? There's so much psychodrama created in trying to help people live a better life that I wanted to take one whole episode and just talk about how we can skip this psychodrama. You see the name of this podcast is ‘Alive and Free.’ And I named it that because like that, to me, those are the things that I, I prize most, obviously they're like my biggest priorities. [01:25.3]

But it's also because I didn't want to focus it solely on just some of the stuff that I work with my, with my clients, but all of the areas of life where freedom can be found and where people can experience life to a greater and greater degrees. So that by the end of the life, my life, I can say that I lived fully. Not that I did everything on the planet, not that I experimented with everything, but that I touched the deepest dimensions of life within me and that this life got its fullest expression, it really blossomed. That to me is real freedom. And it's real happiness and it's real power. But what happens is that some things happened in our life, either events happen when we're younger or older or, or traumas things we call traumas happen and you know, relationships break up, addiction, we, we ended up being in addictions. We lose a job. We have kids, there's a death in the family, things happen. And because of our tendency to make meanings out of it, we make a huge deal out of it. And it becomes something that we're carrying with us. [02:24.8]

It's like, well, I've collected this and we ended up collecting all these events. And then our brain busy is busy. Like stringing them together with all these threads, all these little sutras, that's the Sanskrit term for a thread. But what's interesting is our word for suture is that way. So we're busy, stitching it up together to try and make a fabric of our life out of it. We're literally, we're literally quilting with our memories. And the problem is that the threads go back and listen to the episode called ‘The Hippo What.’ The threads that hold the quilt together, cause that episode talks about memory. Those are made up, those are not real. And those things don't really have much meaning if you think about a dot-to-dot picture, you know, we, we, we had these, did you have these as a kid? Maybe they don't do them as much anymore. Our kids still have them, but you know, they have numbers next to them. And so you get a page and on that page is all these dots. And then you pick a doc and you go, okay, well one and then where's number two and three. And there's a bunch of these, even for adults where you can do like the Eiffel tower and architecture from all over the world. And it's not unlike coloring books and things that help soothe the mind and open up possibilities for creativity and stuff like that. [03:36.8]

And so we get these pages and then there's dot-to-dot and we connect all these dots. And then all of a sudden the picture appears, and it has a certain meaning to us. We recognize the picture for what it is, but look closer. What's actually there on the page? The Eiffel tower is not there on the page. It's literally a bunch of dots and a bunch of pencil or ink lines. That's it. And depending on which way you turn the page, they'll look a little bit different. The only thing that's making you think you see the Eiffel tower is your decision about what it means. And guess what you decided that you had to connect the dots in the order that the numbers showed. But those aren't actually numbers. Those are just smatterings of ink on it on paper and you, what if you connected them in a different order, would you see something different? Oh my gosh. And so people are, we have all these key life events. We can call them landmarks in our life. These dots scattered throughout our life that we tend to make meaning out of in a certain way. And it's a way that other people have told us to make meaning out of them. [04:32.0]

You see the dot-to-dot Pictures, there's numbers put there and they tell us, no, no, you have to connect the dots this way cause that's what that means. And so you grow up in these patterns of meaning making and you're kind of stuck in this rigid way of seeing life and seeing the world. And you know what the reality is, there is no requirement that you connect the dots in your life any other way. Yes, I get it some people might think you're crazy or weird or too positive or too upbeat or too happy. Is that too big, a price to pay to experience happiness in your life? Is that too big a price to pay, to be the being that you were born to be? And so we get these into these rigid patterns of thought. And then all of a sudden, in order to break those up, we feel like so much effort has to be done. We feel like we have to make the church say something different doctorally, or we have to make the country have a new policy that makes things work differently. Or we feel like we have to have the justice system and put laws in order to protect us, so this thing kind of thing won't happen again. And all of those things are beautiful ideas and I'm not saying that they're good or bad, but that's a lot of work, isn't it? [05:34.7]

And if you've had anything happen in your past, like a trauma, or if you've had events where you've been bullied or abused, or if you've got a lot of depression or anxiety, a lot of times people go to events like events that I hold on and they go through these simulations where we pretend we're in a boat and you know, we only have this much time to live and we're going to go through the simulation and they're powerful emotional experiences. If you really give a hundred percent to them, they're really powerful experiences. I've been through a lot. And some of them helped me a lot and a lot of them were needless exercise. And yet I at least I think till now, but maybe at the time, that's what helped me. But it's a lot of energy, a lot of effort to create this fantasy around where you're at and what you have to accomplish. And there are people doing warrior weeks where they're taking people through pseudo, like combative training and army boot camps and they're crawling on their arms up rocky slopes and they're blindfolded and they're in the surf and the waves. And it's calling forth this thing in them so that they can really discover just how powerful they are. And they're holding their family picture in front of them and telling them this is who you're fighting for. [06:37.1]

And these people are going through all of these psychodramas and I call them psychodramas cause it's psychological because you know, they're not fighting for anybody. They're literally just out on a beach doing this voluntarily, but it feels like it. And so because they're in a war in their mind, people make the war out on stage or out in these environments so that a person can finally win the war. I think that's so beautiful and it's so powerful to take something that's in your mind and make it into something physical so that you can conquer it. But see, my mentality changed over the years. At first, I was all about the war and the big accomplishments and the, and the cathartic experiences and making it through difficult things. And I walked on fire and I broke boards and arrows over my throat. I think I've talked about this before. I did all kinds of stuff like this, but I didn't, it didn't help me any more than doing the simple things. [07:29.3]

At a certain point, I got tired of having to do all that effort and all that energy and all that money spent going through the psychodrama in order to have a breakthrough, which was just me like saying, look because of this, then that, but nothing really on the inside had changed that much. And when I realized that I thought, you know what? There has to be a simpler, easier, more direct way to just skip all of this extra psychodrama and just get to the heart of things and release it and let it go. I remembered in my old healing training, how, you know, the osteopathic phrase that ‘nature builds without the sound of hammers.’ The plants are growing; you don't really hear them growing, but all this beautiful stuff is happening. Babies are growing incredible, doing amazing things in their life and changing and it's really unnoticeable if you're with it day to day. And I wanted that level of ease; I was tired of doing all this big stuff in order to be able to have something happen. And in the back of my mind, having that worry, like I hope that worked. I didn't want that. I wanted something simple and straightforward that I could do on my own. And I wanted something that would allow my skepticism, natural skepticism to show up and be like, well, did it work? Not because I was trying to make it not work, but because I just wanted to know if it worked. [08:39.0]

And so I stepped aside from all of that stuff. And I started looking at, what does it take to skip all of the psychodrama? What does it take to stop making everything into a war that needs to be won in order for me to live my life? Because war is a really miserable way to live life. Think about your immune system. Your immune system is built in such a way that we talk about it, going to war. And I think I've done the David Attenborough voice, you know, “There is the fox struggling for life out that in the Arctic Tundra.” And we are documentaries have built around this, all this drama, right? And everything's like war. But if you think about the immune system, that's not what happens. It isn't war. There's just white blood cells that go next to them, other ones and things happen. But we talk about it as if our body's waging war. In fact, if your body is waging war on a disease, your quality of life goes down. In fact, when the economy of the United States is busy helping wage war on things, the quality of life starts to go down, it's terrible on an economy, it's not a way to run a country. [09:40.0]

And yet, for some reason, we've decided that the way to run our human life is at war. It's not, sometimes war is necessary, but it should always be undertaken with the idea of getting rid of it as quickly as possible. That's how your body functions in terms of illness and that's how I feel. We need to function in terms of helping ourselves get out of our ruts and move into another area of life. And so if we can skip the psychodrama couple of weeks ago, we talked about exaggeration. If we can skip all the exaggeration and turning everything into a drama, if we can eliminate making things into more traumatic things than they really are, if we can stop making more meaning than necessary out of stuff, then all of a sudden we'll find that life is really quite simple. There's not much that is required of us. There's not much that we have to do in order to be able to live a fully healthy, happy life. But we turn a lot of it into a really, really dramatic endeavor. And that's something that I want to give you permission to skip today, to skip the psychodrama. [10:39.2]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [11:06.9]

Now, how do we do that? Well, when it comes down to problem solving, right , because we see something as a problem here. And so when it comes down to problem solving, a lot of people think, okay, first order of business, well, how do you solve problems? Because people solve it in various ways. If you've ever taken the KOLBE assessment, K O L B E, that kolbe.com, you can go and find it. It's like 50 bucks and you take this assessment and the assessment is 30 ish questions that help kind of indicate your natural strengths and in the way that you approach solving problems. Now it's not a personality test per se. I generally want to shoot most personality tests with a shotgun because they end up making people stuck in that rut, instead of helping them see through all the gum. Really your personality is the original you plus all the gunk that's been laid on top. And most people, the personality tests you're taking are showing you both of those things and what that does is that sometimes makes you forget that, you know, well, there's some gunk that can be gotten rid of. And what has your personality changed over time? [12:12.0]

Mine has in several ways. And that's something that you can recognize that your personality is a hodgepodge of a lot of different things, and it can be changed at any time. The word persona literally means mask. And you're an introvert except when you're not. And you're an extrovert except when you're not. And you're funny except when you're not. And you're intelligent, except when you're not like it just it's, your personality is always malleable and always changing depending on context and circumstance. So this assessment is about problem solving and it says, basically it says, look, we're going to look at your life. And we're going to look at everything that you're trying to do. And we're going to try and assess what are your natural go to strengths in terms of how you solve problems. Now I've studied this assessment for a good while. I've reverse, engineered it in a number of different ways and tried to really get inside my head. I use this inside of my company to help me understand the way that people think when they're trying to solve problems. So is this the way that they think all the time? No. Is this, they act in very different ways when they're not trying to solve a problem. So only when you're trying to solve a problem, what is your natural instinctive way of doing it? [13:14.3]

My natural instinctive way of doing it is to wing it. A little bit like MacGyver, right? To go wing it, you know, to just get resourceful and to test and try and experiment with things, try things out. My wife's natural way of doing it is to schedule it out and plan it out into a system or a routine that can get done consistently. My particular approach to that is to destroy all routines and get rid of all distances, you can see we're a match made in heaven. When it comes to winging it and experiment, that's how you, I'm dealing with risk. You know, it's kind of risky. My wife will avoid that like the plague, she's not going to experiment unless you, it's very, very clear that it's a really good idea, right? And at that point, she was going to do it in a very systematic fashion. Some people, when they're trying to solve a problem, they're going to go out and they're going to get hands on with things. And they're going to look at well, let me see what I have to work with first and what are the physical spaces involved of the objects and the resources. [14:11.8]

Other people they're going to do what is mostly taught in schools, which is, let me go research this and once I can see what other people have done in the past and whatnot. Now my father-in-law's that way. He's really good at research And one of my partners, Tucker he's, he's this way too. When there's a decision that has to be made or a problem to be solved, he's going to go research. Me I'm already going to be winging it. And he's going to bring the research to me and I'm going to whittle it down to the most critical parts. And so each of us have our strengths and our way of going about problem solving. And while that's beautiful and that's a wonderful assessment and I love it. It's the best one that I've found for me and other people love other assessments better so I'm not right. It's just the one that I liked the most and makes the most sense to me. That's not actually the first step of problem solving. [14:56.5]

So when I asked you, how do you solve a problem? What are your thoughts? Do you go research it? Do you go like schedule it out and make a system for it? Do you wait for other people to bring the problem to you? Do you go like wing it and try different things? Do you go check on what you have to work with first and what your resources are? Do you do a combination of them do eliminate data? Do you like cut away consistency? Do you try and make sure that there's no risk involved first? Well, how, what is your way of, of handling problems? Those would be your natural strengths. And if you're interested in taking that assessment, I recommend it. I think it's really amazing, but it is, you know, it's, it's 50 bucks to take it and I think it's worth it. It gave me some really good insight into how I operated in a long time and recognize that I operate differently than a lot of people want me to operate. And I used to think there was something wrong with me when I realized, Oh no, that's just one way to operate. So it can be insightful, but that's not the first step of problem solving. The first time of problem solving is not to go wing it or is not to go research. Even though it seems like that's the first step. [15:55.5]

There's one step before that and I want you to really get this in your head today because it'll help you skip all of the psychodrama. The step to problem solving is not to go try and solve the problem. That's why it takes so much effort, that's why we have to break through stuff. The step that first step to problem solving is to get into a state of being where it's no longer a problem in the first place. Now, I think we've talked about this before, but I want to reiterate it because it's a really important point. If you see something as a problem already, it's going to take a lot of effort to fix it. Your first order of business is to eliminate the state of mind that you're in, that is making it a problem in the first place. Now there are quotes about this. You know, ‘you can't solve a problem at the level of thinking that you were at when you created it.’ Supposedly that was an Einstein thing. There's all kinds of different, supposedly really smart people that have made statements to this nature. But ultimately what it comes down to is problems don't exist until you create life as one, meaning you look at your circumstances and then you decide it's a problem. [16:56.4]

Well doing that means that you're going to interact with it as if it's a problem, instead of interacting with it as simply as if it's part of the scenery. When you're driving down the road and there happens to be like a tire in the middle of the road, if you sit there and you treat it like it's a problem. Oh no, it's a big problem. Do you notice that your hands get tighter on the wheel? That it's a little harder to just be here. You're a little jerkier on the, and your weight, you start to act differently versus if you see it on the road and you're simply like, just, you know, move out of the way he changed lanes, whatever and you're a defensive driver, meaning you're looking well in advance of where you're at. And then all of a sudden you're fine like you just adjust and it's not a big deal. And it's part of the scenery and you don't think about it anymore. If you saw it as a problem, then that's when you get home and then you tell everyone else about the tire that almost you almost crashed into it. Oh my gosh. I can't believe that that was there and what an eventful trip. And you missed most of the trip because the only thing you remember is the problem. So if you want to solve something as a problem, your first order of business is to cease to see it as a problem. And that involves dissolving them in the ideas that you have around it. [17:56.4]

Beautiful part about this is you don't have to go digging for deep, deep stuff in your life and create all these psychodramas to overcome past childhood traumas. You don't have to focus on any of that. You don't have to focus on healing. Go listen to the episode on ‘Healing’, if you want to listen deeper about that, but you don't have to focus on 'healing at all. Your life is just helping you get rid of all the stuff that's in the way. Anything that you think of as a problem already, BOOM! That is the thing that do work on. You don't have to go digging it up or anything. You just simply have to have the skills to be able to be like, Oh, sweet. I thought of that as a problem. And then you alter your way, you shift your way of thinking about it and feeling about it. We're talking about your instinctive sense of it. You alter your instinct about it, not your thoughts. Your thoughts are part of that, but you also, your instinct about it. When you do that, your emotional reflexes change. When you do that, your, your thought process change changed. And then you start to see opportunities and solutions because it isn't a problem there. It's just part of the scenery, it's part of life. [18:56.6]

When you're running an obstacle course, I said this a couple of weeks ago, when you're running an obstacle course, you don't look at them all as obstacles. You look at them all as like just things you're doing right? And you're working your way around them. You're not busy running into the wall, like complaining about it and telling other people about in the same way. Same here why, why call it an obstacle course? Just call it a course, right? It's the same here. As soon as you find yourself in a position where you no longer see the thing as a problem, then your natural instinctive strengths will come to the front in a much more powerful way. And you will find yourself avoiding all the psychodrama, all the struggle, all the complaining, all the conversations that you and I are still used to having were like if we took stock of our conversations, how much of those conversations are, are rooted in complaint? In moaning about the way things are and the way things should be. That alone is an indicator of how much you see the world as problems and the first order of business, the first thing to do to get out of that mentality and to cease to have problems in your life is to cease making problems in your life by getting out of the mindset that sees it as a problem. [20:01.3]

Now some of you might be going, but Bob, like it is a problem. And I'm going to tell you, yep, you're right. As long as you see it, that way it is. But Bob that's irresponsible, like people are being hurt or people are dying or, or there's injustice in the world. Yep. As long as you see it, that way, you're right. And as long as they see it, that way, they're right. As long as they see it as a problem, then their solutions are really, really limited to seeing that as a problem. But as soon as you cease to see it as a problem, and you start simply to see it as, Oh, this is happening in the world, what do I want to do with this? Now you can care more because you're no longer concerned about your own emotions about it. You can actually do more to solve the things that you used to see as problems. And instead you can use the, you can just see them as, Oh, this is the landscape. This is what's going on. Hmm. Let me work around it in this way. [20:55.4]

And then I can continue in the direction that I want, instead of the direction that seems like, well, I've got to look at this as a problem the whole way. And you'll be able to enjoy your life much more. So I'm not advocating irresponsibility or ignoring, or being an ostrich and sticking your head in the sand, even though ostriches don't do that apparently. Or, or spiritual bypassing or anything else to try and ignore the circumstances of life. What I am advocating is that you stop taking those circumstances and first making them into a problem that you then have to overcome. That is a whole lot of wasted time, effort, energy, and money that could be used in simply navigating what life is giving you, and then creating a whole lot of other awesomeness alongside. [21:37.9]

And I hope that that's something that's helped you this week as you've considered it. I want you to be able to skip the psychodrama. I want you to be able to end your war with life because life is something that is so beautiful. And in any given moment, doing just about anything on the planet, there is so much joy that can be throbbing inside of your system. The moment that you let go of seeing things as problems and looking for things that need to be fixed, you'll naturally do that anyway. You don't need to spend any extra effort on it, let it come up instead of searching for it. That is my wish for you, that you can find a life of joy. [22:14.4]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [22:32.3]

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