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In life, we focus on removing the bad behaviors, habits, and actions to become happier. But we never take the time to reflect on good things that are slowly sabotaging our joy. 

Take your phone and money for example. Both of these tools can help you live an easier and happier life. But they can also latch onto you like a parasite and slowly destroy your well-being. 

They’re what I call phoney friends — and they can be much more lethal than your worst addictions because they’re helpful. 

In this episode, I’m sharing how to identify these phoney friends earlier before they ransack your enjoyment of life. 

Show highlights include:

  • Why your smartphone is like a timewarp that makes life speed past you without enjoying it (4:20) 
  • How the 6 inch device in your pocket seizes control of your brain and “zombifies” your life (9:56) 
  • The weird way your phone addiction makes you worry nonstop about money (11:03) 
  • How something genuinely good can hijack your psyche and corrupt your happiness and peace (12:31) 
  • Why making more money causes more headaches and stress (and how to enjoy life to the fullest right now without money) (15:17) 
  • How focusing on your problems multiples your hardships (even if you’re creating solutions) (16:19) 
  • Why getting addicted to helpful things is usually more dangerous than destructive habits (17:24) 

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.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041


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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. [00:27.6]

Bob: Alright, welcome to episode 100 of the Alive and Free podcast. And today I want to share with you one of my hilarious moments. Some time ago, my kids went skiing, up at Brighton resort in Utah, really great snow. I really liked the resorts and some of the runs and stuff. We had a great time there. And while I was there periodically, I'd stop and I'd pull my phone out of my pocket and I would take some pictures and then put my phone back and whatnot. And at one point somewhere along the way, I lost my phone. Now, I wasn't sure if I'd left it in the car during the lunchtime that we'd went back to the car or anything else, we looked all over and I was responding really reasonably well. You know, I was like, okay, whatever, this is a big deal. Maybe this is a good thing. You know, everything happens for a reason, a little bit of a pep talk. [01:21.0]

Now, when you're giving yourself a pep talk, obviously, and I've mentioned this before, it usually means that you don't believe what you're saying, that you actually believe the opposite. And the pep talks is sort of reinforcing that you don't believe it because you need a pep talk. But I was doing my best and I was like, fine, okay, whatever, whatever happens happens. But I was a little downhearted cause I was like, Oh my gosh, this is like a relatively new phone. I don't want to have to get another phone and whatnot. And so, we drove home and I thought, well, maybe it's in the car and we'll find it there. Nope. We didn't find it. I asked Mr. to look for it. Can he find it on my, find my iPhone cloud thing. I go and find it. And I find it on the map and it's on Brighton resort and I'm like, okay, cool. And I zoom in and I get an overlay map. I spent a good long time getting an overlay map, getting them scaled about to the right spot and looking at where it is on the map. Assuming that like all GPS things, the phone is within eight feet of the marker. And as I'm looking there at the phone, I find it, okay, it's within eight feet of this space. This is the spot on the ground. This is the spot where it was going through the trees. And I found the exact run that it looked like it was on. [02:23.4]

I was like, okay, I'm going to do this. And so, I go up the next day and I get on the ski lift without skis. And, my son brought a snowboard because he's like, I'm going to come. And so, he went and snowboarded down one run and I went up and I got off the lift and I started walking down to the ski run. Now, obviously I didn't want to rent skis right, for this. So, the guys on the lift like, Hey, what are you doing? And I was like, Oh no, I'm just going down to get my phone, I lost my phone. I should have asked him, what are you doing? But I didn't. So, I’m walking down the mountain, a-doom ba-doom ba-doom. I walked down to the one spot where it is. And I start searching through all the trees in the, that I know I went in and out of, and this, it had snowed extra. I mean, these are between trees. I don't know how many people have been on these things. It could be buried. It could be smashed down underneath things. Obviously, it's still emitting, a signal. Somebody may find it in the, in the summertime who knows, and if it will be ruined or not. And so there, so there it is, this iPhone that's just sitting there in the middle of the, and I watched some skier snowboarder down and he scoots pass and things. And I just see all of these piles of snow being built up. And I was like, there is no way I'm going to find this phone. [03:40.4]

So, I walked down, I kept walking and I just started walking all the way down the mountain. And then I had to go to the bathroom at one point. So, I snaked off into the trees and did my duty and made some yellow snow, and then worked on further and walked all the way down and my son was at the bottom. And so, then we hiked to the car and then I drove home and I was a little bumming because I was like, man, this is so exciting. I'm going to like; this is an adventure. It's going to be such a cool story, how I lost my phone. But then I use this technology and I found my way. And I went back and I found the phone and it was this beautiful thing. And I didn't have all this massive emotional reaction to it. You know, even though the phone is something I rely heavily on to run my business and other types of things. And what I noticed was as I was going back home and whatnot, and I didn't have a phone for a few days, is that the pace of life slowed down a little bit. And I started kind of thinking about how much the phone really controlled a lot of things. I had relied on it. It had so many positive features. [04:37.5]

You know, there are maps that are used to get me from point A to point B, and there were like, it's stored notes on my phone and photos. And things that I had lost and that I thought were so important to me that I was like, Oh my gosh. But then I lost all the photos. And it was like, okay, well lost all the photos, Oh, there was that one. But then I realized how much importance I'd given to the phone. And I started thinking about how much my life had started to revolve around the phone. How many times I picked it up in the day, how many times I needed to have it on me in order to be able to function. And I started thinking about this in terms of an analogy. Let's imagine that like you move into a new neighborhood and this neighborhood friend comes over. Right. And at first, it's just a friend he's visiting from time to time. You really like him. It's fun. You have fun together. And then over time he starts coming over more and more often. And then he starts like, you know, eating your food and you're fine. And then after a certain point, he's like, you don't have some of this food. He's more familiar, more comfortable in your area. And it demands like you don't have any more of this food. You probably need to go get more of this food. Upgrade, iCloud storage, anyone. Right. [05:42.9]

And can you get more of this, that and the other? And then he's sleeping over from time to time. And sometimes it goes on trips with you and whatnot. And pretty soon he starts to figure into family decisions like, well, what about so-and-so? Is it going to come back over again while we're gone? And how is that going to be taken? And what are we going to do about this, that and the other? And pretty soon your life starts to evolve, my life starts to revolve around this friend that there was nothing bad about him. He had great qualities and then somehow moved in. And because it wasn't aware you, we weren't like making decisions that were from a place of clarity around what life is, we were just kind of coping and tolerating. All of a sudden, there's this big behemoth presence in your life that's sort of taken over. It's not bad. It just sort of took over. Like we have no say in it. And suddenly we feel like we're victims and we're resenting the neighbor couldn’t and wishing he wouldn't come over and driving home and keeping the lights off on the car. So, he doesn't see that we pull into the driveway and then we're like hiding when he knocks on the door and pretending nobody's home. And then we're like running out the back door when he comes to go play with different friends and trying to drive home in different directions, all because of this one presence in our life that wasn't bad at first was beautiful in a certain way, but then took over.

How many times has my phone done that? I remember in college where at Brigham Young University, I was an art student, I didn't have a cell phone. I, I figured there was a reason people leave home, which is so that you can do things. And when I come back, they're sure the phone's there and the messages are there and I'll get the messages when I come back. And so, I didn't get a cell phone. I didn't get a cell phone until well after college. And I, in the process, I would just walk around campus and I would watch all these people on their cell phones. Now this was early 2000’s and so, it wasn't like there was a ton of cell phones. I remember in 1998, when I went out of the country to Brazil, cell phones were pretty much everywhere being talked about like things that could cause cancer. And when I got back, everybody had one. So, I was like, what happened in the last couple of years? Did suddenly cell phone stop causing cancer? No, no. In the state of California, they know that it causes cancer, but of course in the state of California, they know that everything in the state of California causes cancer. So, my question is, is it California that's causing the cancer on these things cause it's only in that state or whereas everybody else oblivious, who knows? And I don't mean that as a bad thing against California. I just think it's funny. [08:05.5]

So, I'm there and everybody's starting to pick up, they have their MP3 players and they're jamming to music. They have their iPhones or there's their other cell phones or their flip phones and everything else and they have them on and they're talking. I think earbuds popped in at some point in time and so it was weird to hear people talking without a phone to their face. You remember that? Yeah. And in the middle of that, I was walking without a phone without earphones or anything because I was enamored of the clouds and the trees and the changing seasons. And I was an art student, you know, I was looking at things, looking at life and loving it. And so, I never, I never had the presence of a phone in my life until it got to a certain point where it was like, yeah, maybe it would be useful to have one. [08:44.6]

Before then I remember leaving home to go to college from Albuquerque telling my parents I'll call you when I get there. And if something happened in the, on the road on way, there was no notifications. There were no emergency calls. There was none of that stuff. I got lost at one point had to stop into a gas station, get a map, figure out where I was, retrace, where I'd gone wrong and find my way back up to college because I thought I knew the way and I didn't. None of that with a phone, all of that with just pure gumption and pure life. But the phone became this like, okay, it could be convenient to call Jasmine and, you know, to check in with people. And so, then I got a flip phone and eventually that upgraded to a smartphone when it was time to do like business stuff. And it could be beneficial to do some business stuff this way. I avoided a smartphone for a long time because of the porn issue. But then I got one because of business things and being able to run the online business from my phone so that I could access things when I was traveling and whatnot. And then from there, it became, okay, that's convenient. What about this? Oh, this phone has a nice camera. Oh, Hey, these Siri maps things, Oh, Hey, what about this, that and the other. And then pretty soon, you know, it's just common that I have a phone. And pretty soon that phone is on all the time. And pretty soon now family decisions are being made around whether or not someone I need a client call or something else like that. [10:06.4]

And all of a sudden, the priorities in my life shifted. And the priorities in my life turned into everything, gets sacrificed to making sure there's food on the table, AKA business and money. And if there's something that comes up like I'm too busy at work, family and solitude and alone time gets sacrificed. And all of these things just go by the wayside. It wasn't a one-off process. The times I had spent as an art student, just sitting and looking and wondering at creation, they gradually slipped away through all of the time and depression and anxiety and all the other struggles and moving and having kids, it just gradually slipped away and slowly got replaced by other things. And these other things were concerns and worries about money, were things like phones and gadgets. I didn't have, I still don't have a ton of gadgets, but some, or, you know, different experiences or places to live and all of that stuff. [11:01.2]

And it just slowly, slowly took over until one day recently, I realized just how much money had become a God, not just to me, but to the entire society. All this time, growing up, I had looked at it like, Oh no, that's what rich people do. You know, they have million-dollar homes or, you know, they go and hang out at the yacht clubs. And if you do that, I, this is not an offense against you. This is just the way that I was thinking as a kid. And you know, the country clubs and they buy expensive food and expensive clothing and they waste their money on things. And even the word waste was in there. And so, I thought I'm not one of them. And so, I'm not governed by money. And so, I don't have to worry about this whole, the love of money is the root of all evil and all that other stuff, because I'm not doing it for money, but I still got bothered when people would say I would run my business just for money. And maybe it's because it was poking some inadvertently in some way, this underlying thing in me that was saying, Hey, yeah, your money is great, it's very useful for survival, but you're worshiping it now. [12:01.7]

Anytime it comes up, everything else gets sacrificed. And if the bank account has enough money, then it's a source of happiness. And if it doesn't, it's a source of sadness and stress. So, the very source of happiness became money and not creation and not life. And all of these decisions were there and to be pulled up short and to look at Holy Cow, money really has become, my God. It was a really sobering moment because all this time I thought, no, no, that's not me. I'm a good person. I try to help people. But then when I step back and look at where my decisions had been made, it was over time that something good in my life had slowly taken over, had moved in and started making demands by itself. And I just capitulated because I was willing and tolerant and not really paying attention to what was most important in my life. The same with the phone, the same with money, they had moved in and slowly inadvertently imperceptibly, they took over to where suddenly I was worshiping them with time and actions and everything else over my own life, my own happiness and well-being my own health sometimes, my sleep, my wife, my kids, and the things that I really cared most about all of that was being sacrificed to the phone, to money, to business decisions and all of these other things. And it really had become a God. And in Western society in general, it is a God think about it. [13:24.1]

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. [13:51.8]

Those of you that are online and seeing a lot of marketing ads. How many of them are like, Oh yeah, I worked from home and get rich quick? And like, you can earn all this money and whatnot. And I, I had somebody post. I saw somebody post on Facebook just a little bit ago, a story that I want to read to you, because I think it's re it's a short one. And I've heard variations on this. Goes like this, the rich industrialist was horrified to find the fishermen lying beside his boats, smoking a pipe. Why aren't you out fishing asked the industrialist. Because it caught enough fish for the day. Why don't you go catch some more? what, would I do with them? Well, you could earn some more money and then you could have a motor fitted to your boat to go into deeper waters and catch more fish. And then you would have enough money to buy nylon nets. Those would bring you more fish and more money. And soon you would have enough money to own two boats, maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me. Well, what would it do then? Well, then you could sit back and enjoy life. What do you think I'm doing right now? That story, I heard a variation on it with cows. And there's probably several variations out there in the world today. All of them and I don't mean to say that English men or rich people and southerners are not, but I've been to the South and there's a different pace of life there in the country and with some of those people, but there's also a different pace of life, everywhere with people who are really a little bit more in tune with what's valuable in life. [15:16.7]

Money takes over when you give it attention, it'll continue to multiply and continue to demand things just like your phone will. Hey, have you upgraded this? Hey, your app needs to be updated. Hey, have you gotten the new iOS? Oh, Hey, this new update on your phone software requires that you get this other thing. Oh, Hey, now we don't, we don't offer plugin earbuds. Now you have to get Bluetooth earbuds. Oh, Hey, we changed the jacks on your phone. Oh, Hey, you need a new case. Oh, Hey, have you gotten this app yet? Oh, Hey, have you played this game yet? Oh, Hey, are you into this new series? If it's Netflix, that is your God at some point, Oh, Hey, have you heard this? Have you heard that? And it's just, it's not that any of these things are bad. Not that any of these things are bad at all. It's just that as soon as you give them any, any amount of attention they'll grow. Because whatever you focus, your attention on will grow. [16:08.4]

So, the caution here is to be careful what you put your attention on. Not careful in a sense of you have to be worried, but be aware of where you place your attention. Are you placing your attention on problems in your life? Guess what those problems will grow. Are you placing your attention on peripherals in your life? Things that are not that important, guess what those will grow? Are you placing your attention on irritations? Guess what those irritations will grow? Are you placing your attention on what you're creating, guess what that will grow. And it does take some training. It does take some practice to change habits. Right now, I am. I developed over the course of my life, 40 plus years, you know, a black belt at criticizing and finding fault and seeing things that wouldn't work out and feeling down. And I'm a black, I'm like a grand master at that, but maybe I'm only a white belt or a yellow belt or a blue belt or a green belt at the other things. And so those skills in those techniques, hmm they don't come as readily as out of pocket, as instinctively as the others. Cool. [17:12.9]

So, it takes some awareness and some attention to catch myself when I'm giving attention to other things. But the key here is to just pay attention to where you are, giving your energy, where you're giving your focus. And one thing that I saw with a phone and with the money and everything else is that they were good things. They were helpful things, but they weren't the ultimate things. And I forgot to pay attention to them because they were good. So, it's not just, Oh, be aware of bad things that enter your life, be aware of anything that enters your life that's taking you away from where you want to go and what you want to experience. And so, as you're doing maybe weekly assessments and sitting back with yourself and going like, how was life this week? Maybe that's one of the questions you can ask yourself. Like, is there anything I'm doing that feels like it's taking me away from where I want to go and what I want to experience and what I want to love. And chances are, if you have some process of reflection, then in the course of your life, it won't be one day all of a sudden it blows up on you or you lose your phone or your bank account depletes. And then you have to deal with Holy cow my whole life has mess, but you'll catch it way earlier on. It's much easier to avoid getting hit by a train when you can hear it three miles off, rather than when you only notice it 10 feet away. And it's even easier than that when you just stop walking on the tracks, because you can see the tracks. At that point in time, you don't even have to worry about getting hit by a train. [18:38.7]

And this all comes from paying attention in the first place and learning to see the telltale signs of when a train might be coming of when things are taking over your life and they're kind of phony friends. So, my phone was a phony friend money, a phony friend. In the end, it didn't provide all the things that it promised, even though I bought the promises hook line and sinker. And on the other side of it, when I lost it, there were, I still survived. I didn't die without it. And more beautiful things I had been missing because I had let this thing move into my life, offer some of it's good and then allow that to just take over because I was just trying to be accommodating instead of being deliberate with how I live my life. My invitation to you this week, be deliberate with how you live. If not now, if you don't change your life now, when are you going to do it? Are you going to wait until you lose it? Are you going to wait until things blow up? If you don't know how many minutes you have left in life, if not now, when will you change? [19:36.5]

And that's a question that I carry with me recently, just to remind myself whenever I'm scared of making a change. Well, if I don't do it now, what am I going to do it? Am I just going to let it continue? Am I going to let it go all the way to the end of my life? Or am I going to change? And if I, when I change all that stuff is going to happen anyway. So, if I don't do it now, when, if not now, when what better time is there than this moment to finally say, you know what, my life is worth living all the way to the fullest. This time is your time to really live your life. You're not going to get it back. And so if not now, when? [20:11.7]

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. [20:29.6]

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