Episode Description

Eric Schleien, the founder of Transformational Leadership Associates, sits down with Abram Rivers to distinguish the epistemological domain from the ontological domain.

About Eric Schleien

Over the past decade, Eric Schleien has trained thousands of individuals, including board members of public companies and several Fortune 500 CEOs. Eric specializes in organizational culture and has become a leading authority on corporate culture in the investment industry.

Eric Schleien has been investing for 15 years and has been using breakthrough coaching methodologies for over a decade. Eric had the insight to combine proven coaching methodologies with shareholder activism techniques to create an entirely new model for shareholder activism that was more reliable and created greater sustainable results in a short period. On average, Tribal Leadership produces a 3-5x increase in profits of culturally troubled companies within an average of 24 months or less. Eric currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

About Abram Rivers

Abram Siegel-Rivers grew up in a multicultural home in the San Francisco Bay area. In high school, he discovered a passion for music as a creative outlet for his self-expression. He eventually started a band in college, The Voodoo Fix, and toured with them across the US and Europe for over 13 years. His varied experiences as a touring musician opened Abram up to a path of self-discovery.

After years of touring and recording, he journeyed through an existential inquiry, asking himself, “Who am I?,” “Why am I,” and “Why bother?”. It was at the end of 2019 when he discovered his calling, and the One Day vision and nonprofit was born. One Day is based in Nashville, TN and after launching in early 2020 it has opened up offices in Saskatchewan, Canada and Chennai, India.

Abram is committed to empowering individuals and connecting, inspiring, and amplifying  communities through music, art, culture, and events. His values of love, laughter and wonder have bolstered his commitment to peace and community for all and has resulted in him being the source of the #OneDayIsToday movement and the One Day global holiday. Abram is the founder and executive director of the One Day nonprofit where he has hosted over 100 virtual stages and has interviewed more than 200 guests including top authors (Jill Lublin , Elinor Stutz, Patrick Long , Colleen Biggs) , musicians (Paul Lloyd Warner), Olympic athletes (Sherry Winn) , poets (Stephen Wing) , actors (Kevin E.West, Ronald Fox) , inspirational entrepreneurs (Tom Kearin) , artists, storytellers, and many many more.

Abram is an accomplished performer, singer and songwriter and has recently completed an anthem for One Day due to be released in late 2021. Abram resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he enjoys creating new music, collaborative projects, gardening, serving the will of his three cats, and feeding his recent addiction to swing dancing.

Connect with Eric Schleien

Transformational Leadership Associates

This episode is sponsored by Transformational Leadership Associates (TLA) started by Eric Schleien. TLA is an ontological coaching firm that will help transform your culture of your organization within 2 days of training. Over the next 24 months, performance (whether it be profits or fundraising) go up on average of 3-5x. Of course, I am biased since I run the damn thing, but give me a call, and happy to see if I can help you and/or your organization.

Episode Transcript

 Eric: Hey, what's up everyone. It's Eric. Schlein way the garish land podcast. And we have Abraham rivers back out. What's up April.

Eric: Yeah, for sure, man. So I wanted to talk today about the difference between understanding something intellectually versus actually getting it and thinking about things of seeing what's there, trying something on and then discovering what and then either impact your life or it doesn't, this being an ontological podcast where I like to say that personal development platitudes need not apply.

Eric: It's there really isn't many podcasts like this on the internet at all. And generally it's like people listen to these personal growth shows and. It's interesting. And just a slick, most of the seminars, right? It's like this guy or this gal, it'll be like, okay, here's some interesting principles and here's what to do.

Eric: And of course, no one actually does them. And then you'd know a lot of interesting principles, but it's for your listening, it's think about how many people, who like read all these self-help books and do all these seminars and they know a bunch of stuff, but the actual quality of life has not changed that much.

Eric: And that's actually the norm, not the exception. 

Abram: We have a fantasies about having a better day having a better life, but we don't want us to, it's the idea, it's the fantasy and what you're driving. And what you're talking about is an idea versus an experience. And, an idea. It's something I could say, Hey, or can I have this idea?

Abram: And I'll tell you my idea. And you're like, when you think it, and you'll tell me what you think we'll play ping pong and an experience like something, an idea, something you, or I will have, but an experience with. It's you don't have an experience. 

Eric: So it's so true. One of the things I've been looking at recently, we were talking about this she was last night we were talking about this was just being able to let things unfold, like in a very natural way.

Eric: And it's interesting because I think if you ask the average person do you think it's important to force relationships? Or do you think it's important to allow things to unfold? Like everyone would say the latter, but right. So it's one of the things I've been looking at recently is where in my life do I not let things unfold and what I saw out of that.

Eric: So let's think I've known about this for years. I'm pretty good already at, not forcing things. However, Kelly myself, I'm pretty good at not forcing things. It's not going to have me look at where I'm fortunate things, it's there's always new places to look. So recently I got an inquiry of, okay, where am I forcing things?

Eric: Where am I not letting things unfold? And what I discovered is where I was not letting things unfold is where I'm not having fun in certain connections. So it's Abraham, let's say I think you're awesome. What's your new thing. You're awesome. And I'm like, oh, I could totally see, Abraham becoming like one of my like close friends.

Eric: Which I can, if I was to now force my friendship with you because now I'm, I can become dissatisfied that we're not better friends than we are, or we get in the way of being friends. And I, of course like Doug, everyone knows that like everyone listening, that was not a revelation. What I just said, but it's the discovery of okay.

Eric: I have this thing that I wanted to go there. I can solve the intention that I wanted to go there. But then if it's naturally going to go there, then let me look at areas where I'm not having fun. And I literally have seen a hundred percent of the time when I'm forcing things. It was when I get to satisfied and I'm not having fun.

Eric: So to fix my dissatisfaction, I try to force things. And in the fourth thing I experienced a dopamine hit. So there's actually some fun in the forcing,

Eric: even though. And then of course the upset when it doesn't go the way that I want it to go. And what I am, what I've discovered recently is that in those moments where I feel like I want to force something, I take a look and I go is there a merit to this relationship now? Usually there is, right.

Eric: I don't typically want to force things. So there's no merit. Which is interesting. Now I'm not saying everyone's like that, but that's, for me how it is. Like I don't typically want to force a friendship with someone that I can't see myself being friends with or that I can't see their, like a real friendship potentially blossoming, however or a, business.

Eric: I see this a lot right. Where it's oh, this guy could be an investor for me in a project, and it's just if I don't see them as an investor, I've no even interest in forcing. I get not, everyone's like that. Some people have the opposite, but for me, it's actually where there's merit as well.

Eric: I'll force it if I do force it. And what I'll see is, okay, I have this dissatisfaction. I'm not having fun. So therefore, if I just, we go out for dinner more, I take you for golf or whatever it would be in those moments, I'm having fun and it's covered, but really what it is, it's covering up the dissatisfaction.

Eric: So when I can actually just genuinely have fun. Like for instance, tonight there's someone potential romantic relationship that I didn't per se and letting those, letting that unfold and it's unfolding the way it's meant to unfold. And when I stepped back and okay there's a lot of merit there.

Eric: So like tonight, actually after this podcast, like we're going to be playing like a board game online tonight. Like totally has nothing to do with dating, nothing to do with romance, nothing to do with sex. It's just a fun way to connect. And I can be okay with that because they know there's merit to our connection.

Eric: I would not be okay with that. If there was no merit to the connection, it would just be like, why am I playing a board game with this girl where, but like my natural instinct, if I was dissatisfied, because we're not technically dating yet it would be like let's, I should just, hop on an airplane.

Eric: Even though that's not actually the action that there's for me to take. 

Abram: Or I think that's, there's a lot, there's a lot of depth in what you're saying. And, ultimately we can't, we control is an illusion and when we try to force an outcome, it's, 

Eric: I don't know. Hold on.

Eric: Let's take a let's actually take a look at that. See control control for me is more of just changing the input volume. Okay. It was very soft. If I'm for if I look right, if I'm forcing something, I lack control. So anytime where I feel like I need to control is where I don't have control, but like at the flip side, You know if I'm have you been like whitewater rafting before 

Abram: I've been rafting and not end rapids like that?

Abram: Okay. 

Eric: So when you, so not in a rapid, so if you go on rapid, sometimes depending on how intense the rapids are, you can actually go out of the boat and of your kind of go free falling down the river. It's a lot of fun actually. And there's always this natural pole to want to move your body a certain way to control yourself, but the rapids will take you pretty quickly and the way you have the most control in the rapids is actually allow the rapid to take you.

Eric: And when you allow the rapids to take you, you can actually find yourself to be able to move your body quite easily. Like you have ultimate control through. Letting go of control. Now the thing that's the the caveat here is you need that river to flow you down, right? If there was no river, you'd just be sitting there.

Eric: So I see this in the context of relationships. If I was just playing a board game with a random girl off the street who I had nothing in common with, it would just there'd be no point. It would just be like, why am I playing on boarding with a random stranger? It wouldn't lead to anything.

Eric: But if there's something, if there's a merit to a connection and deepening a connection, allowing it to unfold, the, I see that it's like the merit of the relationship is the stream. And I can allow myself to be pulled by the stream, pulled by the merit of the relationship. And then tonight, what there was for me to do is, oh, I think it'd be fun to play a board game with.

Abram: Yeah. Yeah. I think there's so much, I love it. I love this. I could dive deep in here, but no pun intended, but I think

Eric: that's where the river takes you. 

Abram: And it's I think the ceasing of that control is. There's a power in that, but I guess I'm talking about ultimate controllers, internal there's responding, there's internal control, but then there's external control. Like we could, and I would say just for the, I'm going to talk like big and little picture, but a little picture just with the interaction with a straight, like having started playing a board game with a stranger, say the world was about to end and you're about to play a game.

Abram: Like how would, if you had time to it is the space of that lack of control that allows the connection to happen. You maybe you will fall in love. Maybe you won't, but it's like the control ultimately the world. Do the first game and checkers, and then they'll get hit back comment, and it's like that. So the control, it's like, it's when we know we don't have control of the cosmos and we're just ants floating on a rock. The more we can actually see that there's power in powerlessness as you're describing, there's when we actually let go of, you can go with the momentum. 

Eric: Yeah.

Eric: And to take it back to the theme of this episode, like I think in personal development circles everyone knows that. So it's, so I think like the practice isn't knowing that and speaking about that, but the practices, where am I forcing things? Where am I not letting things unfold? Where am I trying to control things that I actually have no control over?

Eric: Where am I feeling drained? Every time I put an energy into something. And when I look from that place and I discover what I see. Now there's something that can do about it. And then it'll actually pull me into action. 

Abram: And I, I love that also, just going down that rabbit hole and this is what I was, what I originally liked.

Abram: Why don't you talk about ideas versus experiences? Yeah, this is what like, we're like religion and belief come in, when someone, when, so I guess there's two sides of it for me. More than. In this context, I, when somebody asks, do you believe in God? What do you mean by believe?

Abram: What do you mean by God and what he makes you think that we're using? We pointed to the same things. When we say those workers and like in an Eastern philosophy, belief would be what you're doing, not what you, it's not just a checklist. It's I believe in this. And I believe in that, and this it's like an overdose, like a belief in an Eastern context is very different.

Abram: And I think this points to the greater point of, we do this in self-help. We do this in religion, do this in science is like this dogmas of beliefs of what we say. And it's you can use the Bible as a brick and throw it at people and to make them wrong. Or you can use the Bible as a way to love your neighbor.

Abram: And it's and there's 

Eric: this it's funny apron winos. The funny thing is that the more you dwell in like these ontological domain and keep looking and looking. And acquire wisdom. You'll start to understand the Bible. Like I'm not even Christian, but I don't know what your religion is if you're even religious, but like you'll actually get the Bible better than most Christians who believe in the Bible.

Abram: This is exactly it. And it's this is I've discovered I was reading scripture for the first time, a couple of years ago, like before I got into ontology and after I had my own transformation experiences, I really saw, I read it. I was like, huh, like this is pointing to something. This is more than just like a literal truth.

Abram: This is pointing to something that I'm trying to get. And it's and then I would watch and observe like maybe a pastor talking about a passage from the Bible and they'll read it. And every word they're saying is true, but it would be like a pilot describing how to fly a plane 

Eric: or how to land the plane.

Eric: I know, dude, I'm telling you there was when I used to live in New Hampshire, there was a lot of these just like religious. Total fucking nutjobs. And they were like, I knew this one kid named Josh and he was like, his dad was like a pastor. He'd go to church every Sunday, like hardcore, like into the Bible, which was like fine.

Eric: And he would read the Bible every morning and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you could tell, or this, I don't know anyone, but like I could tell he was literally like a guy talking about landing a plane who had never fucking landed a plane. And one day he was like, I was like, Josh, what are you reading?

Eric: He's oh, I'm reading the Bible. I'm like, whoa, cool. What part? It'd be nice to the kid. It was like, he was like what part? And I don't remember what it was and I'm just like, oh wow. What I got is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He looks at me. He's like, how did you see H w how did you pick that?

Eric: You're not even you're Jewish. You're not even, that's like a high level, like pastor stuff. Dude. That's just like what I got from it. Cause, but it's and I'm not by any means like this theologian, but it's really interesting where like when you stop believing in the truth and you actually start looking at discover something for yourself, you can start I've discovered a lot of these religious packs do come from original insight.

Abram: Yes. And it's on that, when people wrote the Bible, they weren't saying writing a scientific dissertation, they were writing how with what was, how they knew how to be in the west, where they knew how to light it was the ritual. And it's and that's like an example of scripture I point to is Ecclesiastics.

Abram: And that's something that is I highly recommend reading it because it's like kind of the nihilist I'm always over. Generally. I hope I don't get hate letters, but if it's 

Eric: It'd be honestly like the more hate letters you got, the better you're doing. That's how I, what, if I can only pray to God tonight, I'm going to pray.

Eric: God, I'm going to pray for hate letters tonight. Jesus. I love you. Amen. Bring on the hate, my friends. Okay, go ahead. I love it. I actually do love, hate.

Eric: I love to talk. 

Abram: I love to talk to people that I disagree with, but I'm not saying I know truth, but I'm saying what

Eric: he 

Abram: assays is like the nihilist chapter in the Bible, that a lot of Christians and Jews as well.

Abram: There's a lot of free descriptions, but they're basically the story. I think it was Solomon wrote this, the son of David, the Solomon wrote. And he basically, this is like an older man who was, king for a long time, had lived life, with great wealth, like bit more wealth than anyone ever had, had multiple women and had ever had that.

Abram: Every had every type of tried it it's like an old man reflecting on how he tried to find happiness in every region. And it was like having wealth, having land, having women and like how it all came back to. And I use this phrase meeting was meaningless, 

Eric: meaningless. Okay. I know what you're talking about.

Abram: Yeah. And it's, so it seems so dreadful and it's central, but if if you read it in Hebrew, meaning the word that they're pointing to is way more nuanced than just the English word meeting list, but 

Eric: in the context.

Abram: I, I was watching something about it. I forget the words described, but it's very much like vapor. It's like mist, it's like vapor. That's the more literal translation. It's like misleading paper. And, but when I, after I had my own, my own, day on the mountain, my, my big Damascus experience where I discovered myself for who I am, I let go of my identity, had this real ego death.

Abram: I, spiritual awakening is what I've called it. But I really saw when I read that chapter, it made it, it's like, it's the story of the small self and an uppercase. And the post meeting list is the world from the small SL. And it's and it doesn't make sense from an idea. It's only an experience that you'll get that, but 

Eric: it's you lived their entire life based on their identity.

Eric: They'll never actually get. They can understand it, but they'll never get it. And that's 

Abram: what I highly recommend reading the chapter in that context I have, but it's that's it's the most beautiful thing. Cause it's it sounds so like 

Eric: it's beautiful to us because we've actually are connected to that.

Eric: Like we can look and get that experientially. Yeah. Have you talked to a lot of modern day Christians and you say if you believe in the truth, it'll actually get in the way of you experiencing the truth. Most Christians will go, I disagree. It's so threatening. And they think that you know what I've discovered and I've coached a lot of people who are very religious now too, is that a lot of people who are religious the way that religion is learned in our culture.

Eric: So I think I have nothing inherently against religion at all. If you actually look at the original intent of religion, it was to discover truth

Abram: where it's become about tribalism and seats. 

Eric: Actually, you could say that religion was to discover truth. Science was to deepen our understanding, but never get to the truth. Right? Science, you could actually say science is always hot disease knows good scientists goes, this is the truth. It's always, this is the hypothesis.

Eric: This is our theory. Until it's not theory. But with religion, it's looking for these truths. But what it's devolved into beliefs, I believe in God. I believe that it's and the problem is that. You have a lot of these, almost like Christians, but are there any religion?

Eric: And the way they interact with their religion is very immature. It's like they're a six year old, talking. And so yeah, 

Abram: like it's all about tribalism and ego lives in the crowd. It's all the voicemails. 

Eric: You could say, their ego, their identity, their smallest self is someone of a religious individual.

Eric: And the whole joke about that is that will actually get in the way of you experiencing what you would call Dodd. 

Abram: And I think a scientist is as capable of that is as a dogmatic religion, 

Eric: we're all like, there's, it's not a surprise that people who are like quantum physicists tend to be religious.

Eric: No, not at all. Not a coincidence. 

Abram: Yeah. I want to share with you something. So this is something that I want to make to the point of the ideas versus experiences. I want to just like something that I've really profoundly in the experiences, I would I would title this as like caterpillars, but don't speak butterfly.

Abram: When night when I was like in college, when I was thought I knew myself, I was starting to play music and girls were starting to notice me and I was starting to get yeah, I'm cool. I'm this I'm that, even though that my identity was in his prime, in college and I feel like most people reach that point in college, but it was this 

Eric: Bob Dylan poll

Eric: on a daily basis. 

Abram: Fair enough. My I'll say my smallest identity 

Eric: got really hard. It doesn't get sore 

Abram: well. So I read this poem by Bob Dylan, last thoughts on what he got three and it rocked my world. It made me feel, it made me feel things that I didn't know, words could make me feel. It made me realize that there was like Socrates.

Abram: Like, all I knew is that I don't know. There's something way bigger in this cosmos and this infinite, vast universe that I can't even describe with words that I had. And it was like this, it cracked, open the door for me to look and say, all I know is that I don't know. So I'm going to look and listen to people that I don't understand that I don't agree with this.

Abram: Cause I don't know and it was like this new north star and like it, Bob Dylan had wrote a song or a poem that was just like, you need to find God, you need to find yourself. Thank you. Like, why, w it's what do I do with that? It's just because you tell someone, you need to check this, it doesn't mean that it's and it is.

Abram: And I think this is 

Eric: where I'm sorry. I just have the image of my head right now. Bob Dylan singing about,

Abram: I th I think maybe that song is written 

Eric: actually. That is my impression of Eric Cartman from south park, doing a Bob Dylan impression. I can see that. 

Abram: It would like a Bob wrote a song. Like I never would've. It was the questions he asked. It was the inquiries he was in that made me go there's something way bigger.

Abram: And I think that's, what's true about an experience. Like the idea of religion is the idea of Jesus is not. The same thing as the lessons he's pointing to. And 

Eric: Yeah,

Abram: I think that's because, anger and fear are a lot louder than like I've met a lot of peaceful, amazing Christians, but they're not, it's not like there, there's no such thing as I'm the most humble person. I'm the most humble Christian. Like they don't, they're not lack.

Abram: Kindness is not loud. So I've met some amazing people. It's just there's a lot of squeaky wheels. 

Eric: That's really? 

Abram: Yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely. No, you could go to go to Walmart or the bar and I meet some interesting characters or anywhere go down the street and meet some, or maybe you're yourself.

Abram: And then tomorrow in the meeting.

Abram: But this it's the I, the experience though, is what, what I, it, wasn't a new piece of knowledge. 

Eric: And then the thing is when you just, when you actually allow yourself to experience, what's there, there's nothing you have to do with the truth. You can just you can allow it to use you. Like, when, like, when I notice, the proverbial river, the stream, whether, whether it's in a relationship or in business or whatever, and I get to see, oh, this is the thing that's moving me.

Eric: I immediately let go. I don't have to I actually wanted the telltale signs that I haven't done. The inner work is when I have to go out of my way to let go and be unattached. Does that make sense to you, right? Yeah. If I have to think about being on attached, I'm actually attack. So instead of focusing, okay.

Eric: I shouldn't be attached to the result. I need to let things be because I know all that. Or no, all that doing that will always be, it's like the whole whipped cream on shit thing. It's just putting whipped cream on stuff. So it's okay. What's there. What am I not let me actually notice.

Eric: Okay. What conversations do I have about, oh I'll give you an example, right? Like the girl I was talking about earlier, it's if I was to actually look what conversations do I have? She's far she's going to lose interest. Maybe she's not going to be interested if I wait too long.

Eric: But then if I'm too forceful, then I'll freak her out. So I gotta be passive with it. If I do passive, then I'm not going to be man enough. There's all those conversations. If I was to interact with those conversations, I'd be a total mess. Every day right now I'm a mess. I'm a mess for a few minutes.

Eric: As opposed to like just a mess all the time, but it's just how I am with love and romance. Because at the end of the day I am, I'm a hopeless, like I'm hopeful for romantic. Cause I like to say I love early Taylor, swift music videos. I fucking cry till like early teller stuff. Musicals. I'm a sucker for that.

Eric: And I love those fairytale row. I love fairytale romance. I'm Shea. I'm actually shameless that I love fairytale romance. So when I see the potential for that, like I just get so moved and inspired. I really do. And then I'll listen to music and like occasional Alex and tears in the car. Cause I'm like, so Ooh, this is awesome.

Eric: And then I feel like amazing. And I feel like a man and I can have all those experiences on my own. So then I'm like, oh, it'd be and then I was like, oh, now I wish she was here with me and blah, blah, blah. And of course, because this girl is halfway across the country, it's for me of oh, what do I do about it?

Eric: What do I do about it? It's wait, so it's like the noticing is. Okay. Those are the conversations I have now. What's there, what's the what's, where's the actual stream flowing me and it's okay, there's Paul, there's tons of merit and there's attraction and chemistry. And there's lots of just getting along and it's fun.

Eric: And then like, when I can notice that I'm inside, I instantly feel relaxed instantly, and then it's so like tonight I'm like driving, I'm like literally in the car, I'm driving or driving to the supermarket, nothing significant or interesting about the supermarkets. They happened to be driving to the supermarket tonight and I'm in the car and I'm like, I'm going to say her name, but it's I sent her like a little note in the car Hey, you want to play as board game for that?

Eric: Over the phone? We have like a, an app. And she's yes, So that was the action there was for me to take. I didn't have to go out of my way to let go and not be attached. And I should just, take a plane tonight or take a road trip tonight and go see her and force my way through there's there was no even need I didn't even have the compulsion to do that, but on occasion I do.

Eric: And when I do have the compulsion, it's just noticing and just taking a look at what's there, because for me, it is a very distinct difference between having the compulsion and feeling the tension. Like I shouldn't be doing this versus I am pulled into action. This is completely a lot on my heart.

Eric: And I'm only committed to taking actions where there's alignment for me. I can take, and this goes with anything, romance and business, or, I'd say two things that I'm good at right. Strong suit. I'm good at those things, which is somewhat of a problem, because if I'm good at those things, I can get away half fasting things.

Eric: And then I ended up not getting what they want, really. I like, if I want an investor, I could do some fancy investor presentation, butter them up and take them out to golf. And I could get their money if I really wanted to. But when I just allow myself to enjoy who I'm being around, allow the merit of the relationship to develop.

Eric: I know in my head, my average turnaround time is around two to three years. So when I meet someone, it takes typically two to three years before they'll ever invest. And I don't know who will be the people who invest and that's 25 investors, but none of them came because I was like, trying to get them to give me money literally.

Eric: Yeah. And it look my last, every single girl I've ever seriously dated and been in relationship with it, wasn't like. I allowed myself to just love the courting process. That quite frankly, if I don't love the courting process, she's not the girl for me. 

Abram: I think that's beautifully said, and I think that kind of points back to what this, what we've been talking about.

Abram: It's like the chase and the experience is not, it's not the destination, it's the idea has destination, it chases the experience. 

Eric: Totally. And I think that like Walmart attached to something that really isn't good for us, that's where we get screwed up about it. Because when you actually allow yourself to look at the stream, you see the stream isn't going towards that individual or that circumstance.

Abram: And that's the thing is when we were attached, like we won't see some, we won't even see someone who's actually better for us. 

Eric: If you're unwilling to look at. 

Abram: Exactly. So I'm saying, so when you're like, you're going against the stream, it's like naturally heading over here to something even better than you even imagined.

Abram: And you're just like, no, I'm going this way. I'm going this way. I'm going this way. It's, you're going to find what you're never going to be real with yourself and you're never gonna reach, 

Eric: dude. I will tell you, it's interesting. I'm saying how, like how we're, I'm really good at something can, could screw me up where I'm really bad at something has been beneficial, because if I'm really bad at something, I can't get away, high fascinated.

Eric: Like I'm really bad at doing jobs that I hate. So I was forced into entrepreneurship very easily because I just couldn't even take a job. I hate it. There was no part of my identity that was attached to a job. I hated to make more money it's and I remember I was remember feeling like a freak for that.

Eric: And I. It really hit me when I read the four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss. And he talks about how, like the only real job he ever had, it was like, run a lemonade stand. Cause he like, couldn't he like would get like two, like overwhelmed having an actual job right now. I'm like, oh, that's me. That's totally me.

Eric: And then I saw oh, this is actually a gift that I have that I can't handle this. I really wish, I'll say I really wish you'd be like, there's a part of me that like wishes. I was like terrible with people. Cause then like I couldn't force them. You know what I mean? Like I know dudes for instance, like I'm a little envious.

Eric: Like I know dudes were like really awkward and like just like really shy and horrible with people and they complain about it, but I'm like, dude, you have your complaint is like the opposite of my complaint where it's yeah, you might be like shy, like a little awkward and like weird. The business relationships you end up with are going to be like perfect for you without you having to like, try the, if, if you, the boyfriend or the girlfriend that you find is going to be amazing for you, because they were forced to like who you really were, because you couldn't be another way you could even, you couldn't force it to make it work.

Eric: So it's like I always tell people, like not, I, I have actually a lot of friends that are just girls too. And I've had a few of like my like platonic female friends who are like, oh, I'm like so awkward and shy, like blah, blah. And they would complain about it. And I'm like, dude, like that, that like weakness is also your gift.

Eric: Like the fact that you can't be another way. Any guy that wants to ask you out is asking you out because he's into who you are. Not for some persona you put on you, you actually aren't able to manipulate it. Fortunately. We're like, I know some women who are like very spicy and fun and you meet them and it's intoxicating, but they're putting on an act.

Eric: And a lot of those women who I've known personally have a really hard time actually like locking down a serious relationship because the foundation they're walking into is all from this like attachment neediness oh, please date me. So they find someone to date them, but it's on a stupid foundation.

Eric: So does the number last? 

Abram: Yeah. It's based on a projected insecurity is a reflection of that. It's like a reflection of their insecurities on the other side. And it's you're going to, you're going to attract, the opposite of your insecurity. The perfect puzzle piece of your insecurity is it's like a relationship it's you're gonna, you're gonna get with how you are when you're with yourself is what you're going to get in your life.

Abram: It's not like you're a relationship and solve anything it's like in, this is what you bring to your. Yeah. You're time 

Eric: when you're bored. That song songwriting is actually like that. For me, I'm a really good songwriter because I'm such a bad musician. If I was a good musician, I would, I'm sure it'd be aware songwriter because I can just cover up bad songs with like amazing guitar licks.

Eric: I'm so bad at it, but it's so funny. People like, people think I'm so good at guitar. I'm sure you wouldn't think I was good at guitar, but like people who don't play guitar think I'm really good at guitar and I'll be like, no, I'm terrible. I'm just a really good songwriter. So you think I'm good at guitar?

Abram: That, that's what it's about is saying something and that's, and I think that 

Eric: I feel like if I was, if I feel like if I was really good at guitar, it would be much harder for me to write good songs. Cause every time I had writer's block, I'd be like, okay, fancy guitar lick. And then I like get attached and I force it through, I can't force through a good song.

Eric: If I like force through a song it's four chords. 

Abram: And I think that this is a, for me, this is like a philosophy in playing music is, less, it's like less is more and, or, it's I'd rather have three notes that transcend my experience of being human than have a million notes that are just a bunch of just a bunch of masturbating, which is there's plant into just there's some guitarists that are amazing technically, but it's I want them to stay something with what they use.

Abram: Every note that they add has a purpose. And I think for me, that's what it's like everything in life is it's just having that. Everything isn't has an intention or serves a function in the greater, grants, cosmic grand symphony. And there's, I could go back to the scripture about, We're always capturing it, catching up with our ideal.

Eric: I'll just wrap this up by saying to put this full circle, that, to find that intention. And this is actually something that I feel like landmark does a really bad job at is, how they go in landmark, like after you did the farm, it's oh, create what you want to make your life about.

Eric: And like all of that to create your future. And I see so many people in those circles and just personal development circles, like in general, they call here's my purpose. Here's what I'm creating. And it's who's doing the creating. Is this just more of your like identity stuff? Or is this what you're pulled to create?

Eric: And landmark does not really distinguish that. And there's a huge difference between oh, like you ever, have you ever had. I know for me, like writing music, the best songs I've ever written came to me. And then I just wrote them out, like some of the best songs I've ever written or like it didn't 10 minutes or there were songs I worked on for three years and were like, just terrible.

Eric: So if I'm forcing myself to create something, it's who's the one actually creating, is this like me just trying to push something through? Or is this really like coming through from my heart, from my soul, whatever you want to call it from source energy and that as a deductive conversation, it looked less as the more so it's like when you don't want to be attached to an outcome, looking at strategies to not be attached or like telling yourself not be attached or let me let go. That actually doesn't work. It just becomes whipped cream on shit, but it's like notice, okay, where's that stream?

Eric: Where's the natural flow. Where am I? What's in the way of that? What actions am I taking in the way? What concerns do I underlie have that are having me take those actions? Oh, I have a thing called if I don't talk to her tomorrow, then she might lose interest. Like I used to have that concern when I was like in college and then I would text the girl every day until it suffocated her.

Eric: But it's there's nothing inherently wrong with texting someone every day, but where's it coming from? Is it coming because you want to keep them around or is it coming? Cause you have something you want to share with 

Abram: them, right? Is it coming from neediness or is it coming from a fun adventure?

Abram: It just flourishes. 

Eric: But the difference is, let's say, it's coming from neediness, which like you would always feeling that you're being needy. So then be like, okay, I'm not going to take action. Not going to take action, not to take action. And they don't want to be needy. Neediness is still running.

Eric: You, you haven't actually got to the source, the neediness because it's not because the source of the neediness is loneliness. It's usually oh, I have this thought called. If I don't text her today, she may lose it. Oh, I'm the one that created that thought that's not even inherently true. And now the neediness disappears.

Eric: You don't have to do anything, 

Abram: right? Yeah, no, it's the, it's true. And it's we do this a lot where we get caught up in the symptoms and actually don't even acknowledge, look at the source. And I feel like it's this is very, oh, this is where I would distinguish between east and west is like west.

Abram: We're very good at having, identifying with our disorders out here. We've very 

Eric: good at, oh God don't even get me started on that. That's a whole, that's a whole other episode. I want to do an episode on that. Actually, at some point, I'm going to write that down. Cause that's, there's so much to unpack around that.

Eric: And then of course I'm going to be ridiculed for shaming people with mental illness or something like that. Yeah. That's good. The next attack that I have on me, but that's okay. 

Abram: I feel like everybody, like we can discover, we all can find, do you know what our inquiry to what our calling is?

Abram: And I think no matter where you find it, it's like you have to have the courage to do it yourself and to actually be 

Eric: real with you. Yeah. I would encourage people assigned to this who like, feel like they want to give me like a threat or an insult is, and please, by the way, if you want to insult me or comment publicly negatively about me, please do you're more than welcome to do it.

Eric: It's the internet. You can throw it to the hell you want about me. However, I will say with, if you are listening to this, you probably want to grow too in your life. So like wherever you feel like you want to attack me for something. Like notice, like where you're being triggered. Cause that's actually the place to look.

Eric: So you can still attack me it's fine. If you want to say like I'm fat shaming or I hate people who are depressed or I'm I was, I'm sure someone's going to think that what I said was misogynistic and some weird twisted away. That's fine. But then you want to look at what triggered you?

Eric: Like what set you off? Because when I know for me, like when I'm complete with things and I'm really just settled about whatever I'm settled about, like I'm not getting triggered by something by the, by that if someone like Abraham, if you were like, yeah, I think it's great to kill people.

Eric: I'd be like, all I don't think it's great to kill people and I don't want to associate with you, but I wouldn't be like all triggered. 

Abram: I actually, I have a personal story that, about what, like the, what just talking about fat shaming specifically, I saw I was triggered in my life.

Abram: This is really relevant. So like, when I was younger, I was overweight when I was younger, between fourth and fifth grade, I gained some weight and I remember my grant, I lived in north Northern California. My grandparents lived in Southern California, but I was visiting my grandparents and I, know, I was staying at their house in Culver city and, had my, I think I went swimming or something, but I had my shirt off.

Abram: And my grandpa just it's like a really sweet, old Jewish guy who just stayed kinda read love. And they say, Hey, putting on some pounds there, buddy, like the nuns wait there. And I heard it as like I'm fat and I'm in a bad. And I like, but it was like where I was like victimized by it to something.

Abram: And it was like, I felt so bad later. It like. He was just being fun and loving and the old man just say it was like he did in his day. And it's but it's that's like a trigger is I, my, my emotions were real that I was upset, but I made it up that he was foul in tense. 

Eric: Yeah, totally. And I think one of the places that really creates toxicity in our culture is when though that behavior not only it gets tolerated, but then you start blaming the person that made you trigger.

Eric: Let's say you, we were in the workplace. And you got all like, all upset by that. And then I like suspended the guy that said that to you. So all that. And like the impact on that is now it makes people afraid to say anything, because if you will offend somebody, which assumes intent, right?

Eric: Like he might've just been pointing out. But you assumed like the victimization tent, the moment you go from dealing with what's actually happening to assuming negative intent you instantly create a toxic environment. And then that's the whole political correctness culture that, that we deal with.

Eric: And it's really sad. And it's like a very, just like a low level of self-awareness. And the more you make that, try to control having the safe space, the more unsafe it actually becomes for people to share. 

Abram: That's the irony and like the kind of the unintended, collateral harm of, cause it's all in the name of making, protecting people.

Eric: I, and it actually applies people on the process, like the whole joke. 

Abram: Yeah. Yeah. It's like it's and There's definitely. It's funny. I don't take any affiliation to either one side of any political argument, but I see this as a very much owned by the left, the political correct.

Eric: It generally is a generally is right. I would say it would be more like people on the right who would be upset about some of the religious stuff that we've talked about, but in terms of like the political correctness, who's offending each other and victim culture, that, that is generally the left.

Abram: Yeah. I think it's a blind spot, but it's also an opportunity 

Eric: which just shows the tribalism. It's what does like leftist ideas? Actually, maybe there is some correlation, but like the fact that let's say even you're socially more progressive, right? Like what does thinking that two gay people being okay.

Eric: Getting married, had anything to do with. Being offended right there. Like they shouldn't have anything to do with each other. 

Abram: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. 

Eric: I know. And it's this there's the tribalism aspect. 

Abram: And it, but it's like the political correctness is overlooking taking responsibility for where we are triggered.

Abram: And I, that's something I discovered for me in my whole identity story of, where I don't belong. I was collecting evidence that I don't belong. And it's everything people would say was something against me. And it's oh, maybe they just said it because they said it, maybe no, this is like an old adage is a little bit hurt.

Abram: People hurt people. And it's everyone is saying things that they're saying, and maybe they intended harm. Maybe they didn't. But like, why are you getting, why are you letting them harm? You? 

Eric: It's who the fuck can. 

Abram: Yeah. Like it's you're letting them, you it's like the same thing with resentment is resent.

Abram: This is the, one of the best definitions of resentment I've ever heard is you drinking the poison and waiting for the other person to die. And it's it's true. It's something that we, a toxicity that we have not distinguished collectively and 

Eric: it's collectively absolutely not. And the impact not distinguishing that is we create these very toxic workplaces and they start, it gives people, an HR departments, more power, but it doesn't really forwards society.

Eric: I would actually say it, it it holds things back because it prevents conversations from getting worked out. We like, it would be white. It would be way more progressive. If I was to say Hey, you gained a few pounds. And you were like, you got triggered. I don't know, actually you're at a dead.

Eric: And then in that moment you can like, actually I wasn't like, oh man, I'm a thought fuck. And that's fine. Or I can do something about it, but you're not actually. And then if you meant that as an insult or not, even if you meant that as an insult, you've removed that power, so you can't be inside it.

Eric: And it didn't mean it as an insult, which they might not. And then it might just be saying you're fat. Then you can do something about it, but yeah. You know what, I should probably get in shape and take care of my life. And then you can say, yeah, you don't like, I totally got triggered by that. And then I actually saw it.

Eric: I had this whole thing about being fat and it came from when I was little and people that liked me and they made fun of me and I'm just not being responsible for my health. And like now I see that. So thanks for pointing that out and then like clean and like you move from. 

Abram: Yeah. But 

Eric: instead, Hey, gain a few pounds, then you get a call from HR.

Eric: Yeah. You were harassing people. We need to fire you or have a restraining order. It's so insane. 

Abram: And I think like just tying back to the truth and experiences, like we, we will ascribe truth to our labels and I think that's a lot of where the trap is and it's we, nobody owns truth.

Abram: It's true. And I think it's true. I think nobody owns it. And I think that's, you're entitled to your own thoughts, your own time and your own feelings and you're, and I agree everyone should have their own values. You don't. Oh, it's you don't own truth. It's like you, you can't have anything over under anybody else because you it's, you're just an ant on this word, flying rock here.

Eric: Yeah. Yeah. I have way more respect for someone who's an idiot and an asshole. Who's just going to be like, open with like their shit than some like weak man. Who's like passive aggressive and politically correct. Who is wearing a man button and a vegan. And those people actually are way more dangerous versus site.

Abram: I RONIC, but yeah, we're going to save a man better. Not if you're ascribing you get what I'm coming away to be. Yeah, I know. I get it. There's any of us can't be obnoxious. 

Eric: There is a

Abram: there's a line between a man bun that works 

Eric: and doesn't I get it.

Abram: I'm just kidding. But 

Eric: but I told him that all the listeners with man bonds, why offended? Fuck you

Abram: C see a hashtag fuck man buns. 

Eric: Yeah. Yeah. I think your man buttons look disgusting, and I still want to honor your right to where am I bond? And I'm gonna, Mr. 

Abram: Wright, you're entitled 

Eric: to your man bun and it's some girls think that's sexy and good for them. Yeah,

Abram: I think it's, I think it's awesome to like, to look at the conversation of, our ideas and that no matter what our ideas are of the world and our world view, that we ascribe what we believe on somebody else we've already lost. We're already creating toxic. We're just exactly. That's the wrong question to ask.

Eric: That's the real, that's the real, yeah. It's like the people who talk about toxicity, I'm like, oh, you're being so toxic. You're being so toxic. I'm like, dude, you're offended by every fucking thing. Like I don't go around telling people how offended and how toxic people are being like the people who actually are talking about it.

Eric: And the ones that like are the issue. 

Abram: There's a lot, 

Eric: there's a psychological term for that called self project. 

Abram: We, and we look for in the world, what we see in our, 

Eric: I guarantee you that Nelson Mandela, wasn't walking around being like, Hey, I think you're, you're a racist, you're a racist, you're a racist, or Martin Luther king. I'm sure wasn't doing that either. And as opposed to yes, it's important to like distinguish conversations we have around race and understanding historical roots and where people have been disempowered, but then it devolves. Yeah. You're a racist, the way you said that when he asked you do you remember?

Eric: It's dude, you're the most judgmental motherfucker on the planet. Stop it. That is not forward anything. I know. So if they don't like you calling people like the idea that you're assuming intent is who's the one being doing the judging. 

Abram: W we, and that's our smallest self being judged jury executioner.

Abram: And it's no, we don't. And it's funny. We're very quick to not give compassion and to say we do the same thing to ourselves. And it's w what we're still, but we're what a noise. And here's a funny thing in our call, irony or funny or whatever. But the things that we're most triggered by are usually something that we do, that, and that's like the, where you really something to look at and we don't even want to, and I don't blame you for not wanting to look at it, but at least take responsibility for the impact 

Eric: that you're giving on others in every situation.

Eric: There's the aphorism. If you spot it, you got it. You ever heard that term. 

Abram: Oh, I've heard that. Like a Henry Ford has a saying, it says, whether you believe it to be, whether you think you can do it, or you think you can't you're right. Either way. And it's say the same thing. It's whatever you believe.

Abram: You're going to look for and you're going to see 

Eric: my whole thing is I can always see how judgemental people are being. Cause I'm a judgmental motherfucker, like my smallest self super judgy. So it I'm like, oh, that person is judging me. That person. I was like, I'm the one judging mental actually, because there's lots of people who go around the world.

Eric: Like they go into rooms like you have the most judgmental people. Because there is like loving people and not judging people where I'm like, literally, like he's so judgemental that girl's so judgmental he's so yeah. He's he's the way he's talking to that person that he's totally it's wait, I'm the one judging them about intent.

Eric: Like for all I know they didn't mention having a conversation 

Abram: and I think that's the practice. And I think that's really, you've created a structure for yourself as we're very good at we're all experts at singing in others, but not in ourselves. And it's that's where it takes is really looking in the mirror.

Abram: Like maybe I'm not taking responsibility for my actions and my thoughts and my feelings and 

Eric: oh dude, it's like that alone would make such an impact for our society. It's if it's if you said that to me and I was like, oh, you're overwhelming me right now. It's no, I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Eric: And then I'm blaming you. It's like you said what you said, and that left me feeling overwhelmed. So there's something for me to look at that, that, cause you could say that same shit to someone else and they don't feel. No, I hate, I, I th the fact that people don't realize that emotional states are, you have nothing to do with other people is and to me, that's common sense.

Eric: So that would just raise like that really sticks and stones may break. My bones hurt me, like other than when I was like five kind of forgot that's the culture. But I see 

Abram: it. I think I just had a thought for another episode in the future, swallowing your pride. I have a story, a really good story about that.

Eric: It's better to swallow it and spit it out. 

Abram: It's I love that. That's awesome. Lesson, lesson in forgiveness, I really had to swallow my pride. It was like, and it was also like alleviating all the suffering that. 

Eric: Yeah. All right that's a good thing. That's a good place to, to end it for tonight.

Eric: Cause we could go on I'm sure. Yeah. Yeah, this is good. This is good conversation. 

Abram: Absolutely. I appreciate 

Eric: the conversation. Yeah. Likewise man. Yeah. It's so refreshing having you on and being able to actually explore actual ideas. I've you know, when I first started this podcast, like some, I'm not going to say which ones, but some of my earlier episodes, it's just I'm going to keep, I keep them up because I don't, some podcasters they're like, they only want to put up the things they like and like I'll put up my garbage too.

Eric: I'm not gonna take it down if I don't like it, but and it's an evolving process, right? Amy, like what do we want to start by investing in products? Like podcasts? Like my earlier episodes, I was like, eh, and this isn't really what I'm going for, but I had to do that to adjust.

Eric: And I feel like tonight I really this is kinda going forward, guys. This is like the nature of the show and less of the pretense and bring someone on and just talk about how awesome they are about everything. Because we've had some of that. I had a guy on, I, we don't, I will name names here because it's just so stupid.

Eric: There's a, there's an episode was one of those recent episodes that did this. Guy's on talking about like neurochemistry, which like isn't even an actual thing. Like he made up the word and then I was like, what? What books can I read, like to like, learn about, they couldn't give me any books. It's like being totally vague about the whole thing.

Eric: Put in answer any of my questions. And I published it. And the guy is such an idiot that like, he thought it would be up. He like thought the interview was great. And I'm like, you realize you make yourself look like a dumb ass, but I published it. And the reason I publish. Was, I don't know. I don't want to take bullshit on my show, like I'm but you know what I'm saying?

Eric: I questioned things like, if it's what do you mean by that? And he can't answer that, like filling out about that. You're like, oh, if you're like, yeah, I have a strategy or what's your strategy? It's an interesting strategy. I think strategies are, and still talk about strategies and not if you were doing that, I'd be like, dude, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about, but some people hide behind that shit.

Eric: So it exposed themselves, it's fun having you on because you're actually like doing shit and at the source of stuff and not just like your head's in the clouds too, but it's not just in the clouds so we can actually like, be proud of it in something. 

Abram: I think, oh, I think that's the beauty of partnership, I think McCartney wouldn't be able to go as far without 

Eric: taking the, oh hell no, I didn't have a car.

Eric: I'll be honest. I think McCartney sucks by. I think Lennon I left. I actually think McCartney is the worst beetle. Like I think Ringo's just you can't hate Ringo. Like 

Abram: just to be honest. I think the sum of Lennon and McCartney is better than either one of them. And just and that's what I'm saying is it needed John Lennon went out in the clouds and Paul McCartney grounded him.

Abram: And I think that's what it's like. I think you need to go in the crowd. Somebody 

Eric: has to, but I will say Lennon's still pretty damn good on his own 

Abram: too. Oh, he's awesome. Yeah, he's awesome. I just think that partnership is I'm actually really excited about the Beatles. There's a new documentary, 

Eric: all excited for that.

Eric: You saw that 

Abram: trailer. Like I never did that footage existed. 

Eric: I L I saw the trailer and I started crying. I might be the only trailer I've ever. I like, I hate, she started crying, watching the trailer. I was like, yes. 

Abram: Yeah. I had no idea. I had no idea, but but I think that will accentuate a lot of people's theory because that's priceless to be a fly on the wall while the Beatles are writing and collaborating and it's it's insane.

Abram: But did you ever 

Eric: watch the the Beatles anthology DVDs that came out like 

Abram: 15? No, 

Eric: it's eight hours. It was really good. You'll watch it once. It was really good. I have a feeling this is going to be better. 

Abram: Oh, I, me too. I am shocked and I'd never knew this footage existed. 

Eric: Where did it come from?

Eric: How was it just 

Abram: it was in a big, it was literally in a vault, in a documentary when they shot, they had the rooftop sessions, but I think it was also the album. I don't know. I think it was the last album they did, but they had three weeks to do an album. And like they had a documentary being shot and I don't know who own the footage, but they put it away and never like, how does, of course that happens to the Beatles, the most like mysterious like band, like with the writing process and, it's 

Eric: all like a legend.

Eric: Maybe we'll find out that Paul really did die. 

Abram: I, I, this is the documentary that it'll be in and it's just 

Eric: right. Like the new Paul's so guys, so I'm the old bull.

Eric: I met him in Kauffman or hanging out on an island somewhere. 

Abram: Totally. I could see it, 

Eric: but I, that would be like a twist for the world. 

Abram: It would piss everybody off here. 

Eric: I honestly, if we find out that old Paul exist. And it's still alive now. He didn't even die. He just was like, didn't get along with a band that like kill them off somehow.

Eric: And the biggest conspiracy about it to move people away. And then Andy Kaufman goes to hang with like best friends with him. So he has to fake his death to hang out with him. And then we find out that it's true at that point. The world should actually just add I think that's a great way for the world.

Abram: It reminds me of the SNL sketch with, was it what's his name? Chris Farley, as far as was fake interviewing Paul McCartney. He's like a TV house was like really nervous and he's are you really dead? I was like, Nope. He's Nope. I'm alive.

Abram: Exactly. 

Eric: I feel it all. I feel like all the Beals will ask that question differently 

Abram: to oh, totally. And I I bet like what they were saying, 

Eric: George has answered. I'd be like what does being mean dead? 

Abram: What does being dead? Are we really living? Yeah. 

Eric: And then John would better.

Eric: think people are walking corpses to my, maybe you've got a punch in the face and find walking dead and find out and then Ringo did. That would be the different responses, 

Abram: I think. I think 

Eric: two there, and then Pete bass would be in his apartment and be like, guys, why aren't. I'm alive. I'm 

Abram: here. I'm alive everybody. I think that's to that point of the beetles that partnership with linen hernia, Paul grounded Lennon, and they were both, and we're all better off for it.

Eric: Yeah. This is going to be like the after hours and you'd be like, I'm going to clearly stop this before, but I'm going to publish I'm going to publish like my podcast after hours and it's just going to be this conversation afterwards. Totally shit. Cool. All right, man. Have a good night.

Eric: This is fun. We'll talk soon. All right. See 

Abram: you, man.

eric schleien

Eric Schleien

Value Investor | Podcaster | Tribal Leader

Eric Schleien is a leading authority on ontological coaching and specializes in elevating organizational cultures leading to a natural increase in profits, productivity, and general effectiveness.