Marshall Goldsmith: Live the Earned Life | E171
Marshall Goldsmith: Live the Earned Life | E171
Are you a goal-oriented overachiever? Do you believe that once you accomplish X, Y, and Z goals you will be happy? Or perhaps you feel like you’re drowning in regret for opportunities you’ve missed. Today’s guest, leading executive coach, and best-selling author, Marshall Goldsmith reminds us about the importance of living in the present. In this episode, Marshall joins Hala to discuss his new book, The Earned Life: Loose Regret, Choose Fulfillment.
– Marshall’s childhood and early years
– Hitchhiking and why Buddhism is Marshall’s life philosophy
– Marshall’s interpretation of Buddhism
– How Buddhism philosophies play into Marshall’s favorite sayings
– How he uses his Buddhist philosophies in coaching
– His book, The Earned Life: Loose Regret, Choose Fulfillment
– The marshmallow research and the benefit and drawback of delayed gratification
– Coaching moment and the power of “I am”
– Impermanence and the every breath paradigm
– Letting go of past successes
– Two exercises to earn your life every day
– Definition of an earned life
– Why not worry about the outcome
– The parable of the golfer and the beer can
– How regret and fulfillment are opposites
– The three demands when it comes to living an earned life
– Demand #1: Live your own life, not someone else’s version of it
– How vicarious living prevents us from living our own life
– Demand #2: commit yourself to earn every day, make it a habit
– Demand #3: attach your earning moments to something greater than mere personal ambition
– What is the agency of no choice and why is their freedom in limiting choices
– Marshall’s actionable advice
– Marshall’s secret to profiting in life
– And other topics…
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is recognized as the leading expert on leadership and coaching for behavioral change. He has been named one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World and the top-rated executive coach at the Thinkers50 ceremony in London since 2011.
Marshall is the author of several Wall Street Journal and New York Times #1 bestsellers including Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, which is also the winner of the Harold Longman Award as Best Business Book of the Year. His newest book, The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment was released in May 2022.
Jordan Harbinger – Check out jordanharbinger.com/start for some episode recommendations
Credit Karma Personal Loans – Go to creditkarma.com/loanoffers to find the loan for you
Shopify – Go to shopify.com/profiting, for a FREE fourteen-day trial and get full access to Shopify’s entire suite of features
Thrive Market – Go to thrivemarket.com/yap to get 40% off your first order and a FREE gift worth over $50!
The Earned Life by Marshall Goldsmith: https://marshallgoldsmith.com/book-page-the-earned-life/
YAP Episode #42: Become a Better Leader with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith https://youngandprofiting.com/42-become-a-better-leader-with-dr-marshall-goldsmith/
“The Better Boss” Marshall’s New Yorker Profile: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/04/22/the-better-boss
Marshall’s Email: [email protected]
Marshall’s Website: https://marshallgoldsmith.com/
Marshall’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marshallgoldsmith/
Marshall’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachgoldsmith/
Marshall’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/coachgoldsmith
Marshall’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marshall.Goldsmith.Library
Marshall’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtvlM6xRUC_ErV_q1FgUgiA
Connect with Young and Profiting:
YAP’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youngandprofiting/
Hala’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/htaha/
Hala’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yapwithhala/
Hala’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/yapwithhala
Text Hala: https://youngandprofiting.co/TextHala or text “YAP” to 28046
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hala Taha: [00:00:00] You're listening to YAP, Young and Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host, Hala Taha. And on Young and Profiting Podcast we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life, no matter your age, profession, or industry.
There's no fluff on this podcast and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests. By doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex-FBI agents, real estate moguls, self-made billionaires, CEOs, and bestselling authors.
Our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain influence, the arch of entrepreneurship and more. If you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button because you'll [00:01:00] love it here at Young and Profiting Podcast.
YAP fam, do you want my digits? All you gotta do is text yap 2 8 0 4 6 to join our awesome text community powered by SlickText. If you have a question for me about social media or podcasting, or if you have a question for one of our guests, all you gotta do is join the community and you can text me anytime. I check my text messages every single night. Just text yap to 2 8 0 4 6, or find the link in the show notes.
This week on YAP we're chatting with world renowned business coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. Marshall has over four decades of experience and is the number one leadership coach and highest paid executive coach in the world. He's the author of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, number one bestselling books Triggers and What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
Marshall's newest book, The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment was just released this month. Now, if you're a regular YAP listener, [00:02:00] you probably know who Marshall is. He joined us back on episode number 42 and we've replayed that episode a bunch of times because it was just that good. In this episode, we discussed Marshall's key to living what he calls the earned life, where your achievements are based on a higher aspiration.
You're unbound by regret, and you've detached yourself from the isolated achievements of career. We'll learn about the every breath paradigm. We'll discover why regret and fulfillment are polar opposites. And lastly, we'll get into Marshall's actionable advice on how to let go of the past and truly live in the present.
If you're an overachiever, like many of our Young and Profiting listeners are who overvalues accomplishment, or if you find yourself troubled by regret and you're seeking a higher purpose, I think you've come to the right place. Now, here's my episode with the Living legend himself, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.
Welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast, Marshall.
Marshall Goldsmith: Hello, so happy to be here.
Hala Taha: [00:03:00] Yes, I'm super excited for you joining us today. You've been recognized as one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world, and you are the number one executive coach in the world and the number one leadership thinker in the world.
And on top of all that, you've penned the super famous leadership books. What Got You Here Won't Get You There, as well as Triggers. And this is actually the second time you've been on my show. You first joined us back in October, 2019 for episode number 42. In that episode, we talked about the habits that hold people back from the top, how to change bad behavior, as well as the power of using your magic move.
So everybody loved that episode so much for anyone tuning in right now, if those topics resonated with you, be sure to go back and check out my first conversation with Marshall. That was episode number 42, and so Marshall, this time around, you're coming back and we are much closer friends. My team at YAP Media is running your social media and we're also gearing up for the launch of your podcast.
So super happy to have you here, Marshall.
Marshall Goldsmith: Oh, you guys do a wonderful job and I am happy to be here.
Hala Taha: Yeah, it's been a pleasure [00:04:00] working with you because I personally see that you truly practice what you preach in everything that you do. Last time, like I said, we focused on leadership more generally, and today I wanna focus on the concept of The Earned Life and get a deeper understanding of how Buddhism plays into your leadership approach.
But before we get into your newest book, let's rewind to your early childhood. You were born in Valley Station, Kentucky. You grew up in a low income and low educated area, and your mom was actually a huge influence on your educational upbringing. Can you tell us about your early years Marshall?
Marshall Goldsmith: Again, brought up in Valley Station. We had an outhouse the first four years I was in school, so I wasn't brought up in Yapiland. And my mother went to college two years, which is very unusual for our neighborhood, and was a first grade school teacher, but then got married and my father had this idiot idea. Women shouldn't work, so we got to be poor.
But the good news is all of my mother's first grade school teacher energy was devoted to one student. That would be me, . I knew how to add, subtract, multiply, and [00:05:00] divide before I went to school. So I go to the first grade and the teacher goes one plus one is two. I go, Yeah, I look around, no one knows it but me.
So I go, Oh my. I told my mother I must be the smartest person that ever lived.
Hala Taha: That's so funny. And I know that another pivotal point in your life was when you went hitchhiking, I think you were about 19 years old, or in your early twenties. You spent three months on the road and there you found Buddhism.
Tell us about that and why you chose Buddhism as your philosophy of life.
Marshall Goldsmith: That was 1969, lovingly referred to as the summer of love. I did spend three entire months living on the road. I told my parents I was going to college for the weekend and was gone three months and it was just an amazing experience in those era of that time.
And I learned a lot about life because when you travel, you have time to reflect and I didn't, I'd wake up, I wouldn't know where I was. Your life is really random. You don't know who's gonna pick you up. I could write a whole book about my adventures as a hitchhiker and so yeah, and [00:06:00] all kinds of wonderful adventures.
But I think it gave me a good appreciation of life and Buddhism and also in term, in the impermanence of life, how everything is constantly changing. And one funny story about that, I was just doing a program oh, two or three weeks ago, and a woman in the class was from Rifle, Colorado. So I said, I've been to Rifle Colorado before.
I spent the night there. She said, Where'd you stay? I said, The laundromat. She thought I was kidding. I described the laundromat. She said, Oh my God, you did stay in the laundromat. I spent the night there, and then a couple of nice people brought me his sandwich too. They were so nice when I was a kid staying in the laundromat of Rifle Colorado.
Hala Taha: That's so funny. And I guess I'm just curious of how Buddhism is something that you discovered on that trip, or how did you first get inspired to learn more about it?
Marshall Goldsmith: I like to read. So I read a book called Siddhartha, which got me started thinking about Buddhism. Now there are many schools of Buddhism.
So I'm a philosophical, not a religious Buddhist. So let me just share my school, [00:07:00] a short version of it. And by the way, Buddhist said, Only do what I teach if it works for you. So there's so many different schools of Buddhism that are almost the opposite of each other. It doesn't mean they're wrong, they just have different interpretations.
My interpretation is pretty simple. Buddha was brought up very rich. His father was a king, and he was protected from life. And he was able to sneak out of his little bubble three times. And the first time, you know what he learned? People get old. Second time you learn, you get sick the third time, learn you die.
He said, Old, sick and die. That's not so good. And he really believed this, I'll be happy after I get more things not gonna work. So then he went out in the woods, starved himself, and he tried to really find peace by having less, know, when he found out I didn't work either. And then one night he finally realized something, I can never be happy with more.
I can never be happy with less. There's only one thing I can ever find. Peace with what I have. There's only one place I can ever find peace here. There's only one time I can ever find peace. Now be happy now. So at my school of Buddhism, what is Nirvana? Nirvana is talking to some old [00:08:00] bald guy on a podcast .This is it. This is heaven. This is hell. Here we are.
Hala Taha: That's so interesting. I can't wait to dig deeper on some of those philosophies with you in a bit. But before we do that, as I've been getting to know you better, I always notice that you say a lot of the same sayings over and over. You sign off all your emails and even your text messages to me with life is good, right?
And doing some more digging. I found that you have two other favorite sayings. Be happy and let it go. So what are these sayings? Life is good. Be happy now and let it go mean to you. And how does Buddhism philosophies underlie all these sayings?
Marshall Goldsmith: To me, the great Western disease is, I'll be happy when I get the money status BMW, the condominium. I will be happy when one of the most powerful parts of the book is I talk about the fallacy of confusing achievement and happiness, achievement and wellbeing, achievement and peace.
Everyone I work with is a ridiculously high achiever. Ridiculously high achiever. [00:09:00] And one of the guys in my group was Safi Bahcall. And Safi said, I've learned something. He's a scientist. Now Safi has a PhD from Physics in Physics from Stanford. He's worked tens of millions of dollars. He started companies.
He wrote a book called Loonshots. He's consulted to presidents, blah, blah, blah. Safi said, I finally realized something. I used to think that happiness was depended upon. They said no. Happiness and achievement are independent variables. You can achieve all kinds of stuff and be happy. You can achieve nothing and be happy.
You can achieve all kinds of stuff and be miserable and you achieve nothing and be miserable. He said happiness and achievement are independent variables. The great Western disease is, I'll be happy when you might have seen the great art form of the West before. I don't know if you've seen it. It sounds like this.
There's a person. Person is sad. Oh, they spend money, they buy a product and they become happy. This is called a commercial. So I don't know if you've ever seen one of those, but we are bombarded with this message thousands of times over and over, and the message is, happiness is out there [00:10:00] somewhere else.
Be happy now. That's now. Life is good, is be grateful for everything you have and let it go is quit carrying around all that garbage that we all tend to carry around. Learn to forgive yourself. Forgive other people and let go of the past and be willing to start over.
Hala Taha: And how do you use those sort of philosophies? Like life is good, be happy now, let it go In your coaching with your coaching clients.
Marshall Goldsmith: Actually my coaching has changed in a way. The last time you interviewed me, my whole focus was helping successful leaders achieve positive long term change in their behavior.
I still do that and help people become more effective leaders only now, I also try to help 'em have better lives. Why half the people like coach are billionaires. One guy coach, his word $4 billion is, what am I supposed to do? Get you up to 4.1 billion . Does it matter anyway?
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: Most of the people like coach have, they've achieved so much, they don't need me to help 'em achieve more.
And one of the things I help them do is make peace with life, be happy and just try to have a good life. And so I've changed. I didn't used to do that, but now I do. [00:11:00] Cuz a lot of people I coach are family people. They're running family businesses. They've got a lot of money, they've got a lot of status and success.
So I say, Look, I'm not gonna make you successful. You're already ridiculously successful. I'm not gonna make you rich. You're already ridiculously rich. I just want you to have a little better life.
Hala Taha: I love that. So speaking of a better life, you wrote this new book called The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose to Fulfillment.
It comes out May 3rd. We're gonna stick all the links in the show notes so everybody can go find it after they're done with this interview. And you've written and edited over 30 books, and you wrote this book during Covid. And based on my research, I know that you believe that any good book solves a universal challenge.
So I'd love to understand what inspired you to put out one more book and what universal challenge are you trying to solve with The Earned Life?
Marshall Goldsmith: This one is basically choosing fulfillment and losing regret. That's the challenge I'm thinking about. And this is a much more it's much more a book about life than just changing leadership.
Hala Taha: Yeah, and I personally loved this book. I read like a book a week, [00:12:00] Marshall, and I was just like, There's so much meat and potatoes in this book. A lot. Some books are very fluffy. Yours was not. This was really meaningful and had a lot of unique insight that I haven't heard before. So I highly recommend everybody go check out The Earned Life.
I loved it. But you wrote it during Covid, right? And I'm wondering like did something trigger you personally to write this book?
Marshall Goldsmith: Yes. During Covid, a lot of this book is what I learned during Covid. Now during Covid, I had no idea what the world would end up being like. And my friend Mark Thompson and I, we spent, oh, I think four or 500 hours every weekend.
We spend six hours with these phenomenally successful people. And every weekend they would talk about their lives, what went well, what could have done better, their challenge. Week after week, hour after hour, we did this. And, I learned so much about life and I can mention the names of the people there.
It's incredible people. Pau Gasol, the famous basketball star was in our group and Curtis Martin, the NFL Hall of Fame. And then we had a [00:13:00] Telly Leung broadway star. And we had head of the Olympic committee, head of The Rockefeller Foundation, President of the World Bank, on and on. Just a phenomenal, very diverse group of people from all around the world.
We had people from India, from Indonesia, from Paris, all different places. And they all talked about their lives and they just loved it. And you know why? One, there's an old saying it's lonely at the top. Used to be lonely at the top. It is lonely at the top today. It's lonely. They have no one to talk to.
They're you know about social media. They can get killed in an instant in social media. They have to be very careful and they just like the idea of they're accountable talking about their lives. Yet nobody's being judged. Nobody's putting you down, nobody's evaluating you. One person said, it's nice. One hour a week. I just get to act like a human.
This is basically what I learned from all of that. 99% of humans, you know what they're trying to be. They're trying to be them. They're trying to be like those people I was with. These people, if you look at their bios, they look like Gods , [00:14:00] but you know what you learn?
They got kids with drug problems, parents with Alzheimer's, they get sick. They're just humans like everybody else.
Hala Taha: Hey, Young and Profiteers, as you guys know, we've got some amazing sponsors of the show and if you guys wanna get all the deals of the month directly to your phone, just text deals, D E A L S to 2 8 0 4 6, and we'll text you all the deals directly to your phone.
There's a common misconception that rich people don't borrow money, but rich people do borrow money. The difference is most wealthy people follow a few simple rules when it comes to borrowing money to make sure that their loans improve their financial position rather than leaving them worse off while enriching their creditors.
Unfortunately, a lot of us out there have done the whole borrowing money thing in the total wrong way. In fact, 59% of millennials feel overwhelmed by the amount of debt they currently have, and another 59% feel hopeless when it comes to paying down their debt. But there are some smart ways to get out of this, and that's why [00:15:00] I'm excited to tell you about the sponsor of today's episode Credit Karma.
A personal loan can be a potential avenue out of credit card debt, especially if your loan terms allow you to consolidate your debt, get a lower interest rate, and then pay off the debt sooner. A personal loan could also be a smart option if you're looking for ways to pay for a big purchase, since it might be less expensive than putting it on a higher interest rate credit card.
Credit Karma can help you look for a low interest personal loan that can save you money while you pay off your debt or help you save money on that big purchase you've been looking to make. Credit Karma uses your credit data to find loan offers that are personalized to you so you can have a better idea of what loan amount you can get approved for.
Comparing loans on Credit Karma is a hundred percent free. It won't impact your credit score and could save you money down the line. If you're ready to apply, head to creditkarma.com/loanoffers to see your personalized offers. Again, that's [00:16:00] creditkarma.com/loanoffers to find the right loan for you.
That's creditkarma.com/loanoffers, or simply text credit to 2 8 0 4 6 to get the link sent directly to your phone. That's credit to 2 8 0 4 6.
So let's talk about this topic of regrets and choosing to live the earned life. How would you define an earned life?
Marshall Goldsmith: An earned life occurs when you really have alignment between three things. One is your aspiration, your higher sense of purpose. The second is you're achieving something meaningful, and the third is your day-to-day actions when the actions are aligned with those things, that's how I define the earned life.
And it's interesting because most humans in the history of the world were lost in the action phase. They just show up. They go from day to day. They're not bad people, but they just do whatever's in front of 'em and they just live. Some people are really lost in aspiration, a higher purpose.
They don't achieve much, but they live in [00:17:00] their heads. The people that I work with, pretty much, if they're not careful or lost in achievement, they achieve so much that they're almost achievement junkies. And sometimes if we're not careful, we get so lost in achievement. We forget to ask the question, Why am I working 90 hours a week?
Or number two, we forget to enjoy the process of life itself, the day to day actions of life. So with these people, really getting them to focus on, don't become an achieve aholic. Oh, and the other thing I think is very important in this is. Never make your identity or your values a human being based on achievement or the results of achievement for two reasons.
One, you don't control the results. The results are impacted by many things you don't control. And number two, even if you achieve the results, how long does that bring? Any kind of peace or happiness?
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: A week, not much. Then you have, what do you have to do? More. One of my favorite parts of the book is the story about the marshmallow research.
I love that story. So in the [00:18:00] marshmallow research, you take this kids and you give 'em marshmallow, so to say, The kid kid, if you eat the marshmallow, you get one. If you wait. Oh. Then the kid that waits eats two. Now allegedly they have this research to show the kid that eats one marshal marshmallow becomes a drug addict, and ones that eat two go to Harvard and get, PhDs or something.
It seems a little overblown, but the point of the research is very clear. Delayed gratification is good. Delayed gratification. Almost every self-help book, delayed gratification is good. Here's how you can work out more. Here's how you can go on a better diet. Delayed gratification is good. Here's the problem with the research.
They didn't take the kid that ate two marshmallows and said, kid, wait a bit. Three, oh, don't eat those. Wait a little bit more. 4, 5, 10, a thousand. Where do you end? An old man sitting in a room waiting to die surrounded with uneaten marshmallows.
Hala Taha: It's so true.
Marshall Goldsmith: Sometimes you have to eat marshmallows.
Hala Taha: I feel like this is why the book resonated with me so much because I feel like I'm like one of those [00:19:00] overachievers who can't stop achieving, and it's sometimes it's okay to slow down and think about what is my ultimate goal here? And just be happy with what you have. And not always be thinking about what's next. What's next?
Marshall Goldsmith: Okay. Breathing. Are you ready for some free coaching for you? It's a coaching moment. Are you ready?
Hala Taha: Yes.
Marshall Goldsmith: Raise your right hand.
Hala Taha: Okay.
Marshall Goldsmith: I used to be one of those compulsive overachievers.
Hala Taha: I used to be one of those compulsive overachievers.
Marshall Goldsmith: I do not have an incurable genetic defect.
Hala Taha: I do not have an incurable genetic defect.
Marshall Goldsmith: I can change if I want to.
Hala Taha: I can change if I want to.
Marshall Goldsmith: Now see what you said before you said, I am this. As long as you say I am, guess what? You're programming yourself. That's who you're going to be. Nothing wrong with that. If you don't want to change, if you don't wanna change, don't talk that way. Here's the problem.
If you say, I am anything, then you try to do something else. Even if you succeed, you'll feel like a phony. Mm. What if this is me and I'm doing this? [00:20:00] This must not be me. And the real me is a compulsive overachiever. Anything other than that is not the real me. That would be a phony. So be careful. Don't program yourself if you want to change.
Hala Taha: That's really good advice. . Let's talk about regret. In the book, you say that regret is a feeling that you wouldn't wish on any human being. Why do you believe that regret is one of the most empty and desolate feelings that a human can have?
Marshall Goldsmith: The point about regret is going back to letting go. It can be something we carry around for years or even decades.
And a big part of the book is just learning to let go of that. And one thing I love is the idea of every time I take a breath, it's a new me. Ah, knew me, new me. Everything that was done before was done by an infinite set of people. Those names, those people called the previous mes and learning to say they did what they did and learning to forgive the previous versions of you for being humans.
And then the future versions of you they're gonna be who they are. So I, a couple of [00:21:00] exercise I love what is writing a letter to the past versions of yourself. Just thanking them for thanking him or her for something good they did. And as write a letter to the future version yourself saying, Here's an investment I'm making in you and here's what I expect back.
So the concept is a really useful concept. Think of yourself, breathe. Think of all those previous versions of you.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: They worked hard. They gave the, you. That's talking to me. A lot of stuff nice people. Did they make some mistakes? How about those previous yous? few mistakes. Let it go. Let it go. If any group of women did that many nice things, what should you say to those nice women? Thank you.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: Just say thank you. Yeah. Forgive yourself.
Hala Taha: Yeah. I think I'd like to really dig deep on this because I think this is really important what you're saying. So Buddha once said, with every breath is a new me. And he meant that literally. And a core pillar of Buddhism is something called Impermanence. And that's the notion that the emotions, thoughts, and material possessions we hold do not last. They're fleeting. So can you help us understand the [00:22:00] concept of impermanence and this every breath paradigm? I really want you to go deep on this, Marshall.
Marshall Goldsmith: This is very hard for Western people to understand because it's so different. The Western paradox is, I will get there and it's gonna be okay, that there is this place I'm gonna go and therefore everything is gonna be different after I do X, and that will be permanent. Now, there's a book that exemplifies this.
You probably read several of these. They had the same ending, it's called, and they lived happily ever after. That type of book is a fairytale. That's not life. Life is not a place you get to and then stop. Life is a place that keeps changing all the time. The you I'm talking to now is not gonna be the you that was there before we started talking.
We're always changing and we're all impermanent. Life itself doesn't last. So as you go through life, looking at it as a series of infinite change and always starting over, every time I take a breath, it's a new me. What that means is [00:23:00] let's take a concept like happiness that doesn't come from the past or the future.
It comes from now taking a breath and saying it's I'm a new me and. Really looking at our life and creating meaning, creating happiness, and always starting over. Bob Dylan had a good quote. He who is not busy being born as busy dying. It's the essence of the book is we're constantly being reborn.
We're constantly being reborn. We're different people, and the idea is looking at that as an opportunity to start over. We get lots of restarts here. Restart. We get a lot of chances to start over and it's a, it's to me, a very healthy way to look at life.
Hala Taha: Yeah. It's a very unique approach of looking at life because oftentimes even when it comes to our relationships or our own self development, we think Oh, my significant other did this, and so I'm gonna hold this resentment against them for a long time.
When in reality, what your significant other did 10 years ago has nothing to do with who they are today. And same [00:24:00] thing with yourself. If you bombed a test 10 years ago, doesn't mean that you're gonna do it again. And so you get to start over with other people and even with yourself.
Marshall Goldsmith: I love it. There's a story in the book about that, which I love, and it's a story of a friend of mine and basically his wife starts in on him.
They had a really great weekend. Then his wife starts in on you could have been a better father. And the guy said, basically, You're right. That was 10 years ago. And you're right, I did a lot wrong 10 years ago. I'm not the same person. I was 10 years ago, and you're criticizing that 10 year ago person.
He's not here right now. And it was very good cuz she instantly said, You're right, you're not the same person. I said, What am I gaining by bashing somebody who's not here?
Hala Taha: Yeah, I feel like it's a super mature way to think of things when it comes to your relationships and when it comes to yourself. So I think this is one of the most important and kind of impactful things that I read in your book, was this concept of the every breath paradigm.
So a lot of us can't seem to let go of past rejections, past failures, [00:25:00] but then some people also have the problem of not being able to let go of their past successes and they obsess over that. Can you talk to us about that?
Marshall Goldsmith: Oh, I certainly can. I've done nine programs at my house with retiring CEOs. This is a huge issue. It is so hard to let go of that past success and realized that's no longer you. One of my good coaching clients was Mike Duke. Mike was the seal of Walmart. He had a great story. He said, When I was a seal of Walmart, I told this joke and obviously Walmart very sensitive. It was a clean joke, not offend anyone.
People love the joke, always laughing. I love my little joke. Then he said, I retired and I was in this group of people and I told a joke and he said, No one left. Then he said I thought they must be grumpy. Another group, tells a joke. No one left. He said, Finally my wife came to me and said, Mike, you idiot. You actually thought that joke was funny.
Hala Taha: Oh my gosh.
Marshall Goldsmith: When he was a CEO at Walmart, that joke was real funny. Ho, ho, ho. How about when he is not the CEO? Not funny anymore. It is hard to let [00:26:00] go. One of the people that endorsed my book is Pau Gasol passed, 41 years old, and he is just retiring as a basketball star.
It's hard. The former CEO, it's tough. The Olympic champ, Michael Phelps, a sad story after winning that final medal, thought about killing himself. Why? If your measure of value is I have to achieve more than last year, you're never gonna get there. And you do get older and you're may not do what you did last year.
And it's hard. Telly the Broadway star he's 40 now. He's not gonna play Aladdin anymore. That role's over. It's a constant reinvention of life, but not comparing yourself to what you used to be. And not living. Not being the ex-athlete who's sitting there getting drunk talking about Super Bowl. That was 40 years ago.
That's not you. That was some other person. Did that 40 years ago. Move on.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: Live your own life now. By the way, in the book, we have a great case study. Curtis Martin, I dunno if you've met Curtis yet. I love Curtis.
Hala Taha: Not yet.
Marshall Goldsmith: Curtis National Football League Hall of Fame. Just a [00:27:00] wonderful person brought up in a terrible environment, saw a lot of murder and death when he was growing up as a kid and so happy.
And he's one of these people. He's helping others. He's happy, he's very successful, He's making money. And one of the reasons he didn't get stuck in the past, as opposed to a lot of unfortunately, NFL stars, bankrupt, divorced, sad white. They're living in that other era. They're living in the past. A lot of them.
Curtis taught me this, you know how they lose their money? A lot of 'em, they give it. They literally give their money away because they're trying to buy love doesn't work. There's a good song about that money. You got a lot of friends hanging around your door when it's gone and spending ends, they don't come around no more. That doesn't work.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So it's very difficult to do this. It's easy to talk of it, talk about it at a high level, but when it comes to putting it into practice, how can we make this more like muscle memory and make this more like in any situation, we can just realize, okay, like it's time to [00:28:00] be fresh.
I'm a new person. I'm not my past. How can we make this muscle memory?
Marshall Goldsmith: There's two suggestions. I'm gonna give you one involving some questions and one involving one question. The first thing I do is called the daily question process. So every day I write down a series of questions that represent what's most important to my life.
And many of them begin with the phrase, Did you do your best too? For example, did I do my best to be happy every day? Did I do my best to find meaning every day? Did I do my best to build positive relationships? Did you do your best to every day? And then there's a little scale, and you yes, no, or a number, and then at the end of the week, you get a little report card?
I've been doing this for about 25 years, and I have to have someone call me every day for almost 25 years. Almost every day someone calls me on the phone to make sure I do this. Why? My name is Marshall Goldsmith. Like I ranked number one leadership thinker and coach in the whole world. Have someone call me on the phone every day to make sure I do this stuff well I'm too cowardly to do this stuff by myself.
I'm too indisciplined to do this stuff by myself. I need help and it's okay. Hey, one thing I'm [00:29:00] proud of in this book, I you saw the people endorse the book, just amazing people, and for the people endorse the book who ranked the best leader in America for at least one year. And so this pretty impressive group.
And one thing I'm so proud of is they all stand up and admit they need help.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: 30 years ago, none of these people would've said they had a coach. None of them would've said they needed help. They would've been ashamed to have had a coach. They would've been ashamed to need help. One thing I'm very proud of is, hey, these are big people.
And let's see. President of the World Bank, CEO of the year in the United States, CEO of Pfizer, winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, offer Business review. Best CEO in the world, head of St. Jude's Children's, on and on. These are big people, wonderful people, and I'm so proud that they're, they have the courage to stand up and say, Look, hey, I might be a big deal. Guess what? I'm a human.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: I need help. I'm not above everything. I need help. We all do.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And you mentioned there was a second exercise.
Marshall Goldsmith: Yeah. The second [00:30:00] exercise is that when you write that letter to the future , and an interesting thing about that exercise is, and I'm gonna give you a not so happy story, one of the guys at my group said of retiring as CEO and he said.
I worked 80 hours a week for the last 40 years with one goal, so my children would never have to do this. Then he said, that's the worst thing I could have ever done for myself, for my wife, or for my children. His kids are trust fund babies. Spoiled. Ungrateful, doesn't have a close relationship with them.
What he did is he gave his children a gift. When you give somebody a gift, there's no strings attached. Guess what? They do, what they want? Basically they're bums. They're rich bums. They're just trust fund bums. What he should have made as an investment. What he should have said is, Look, I'm willing to work very hard to help you.
Here's what I expect back. I expect you to try to have a meaningful life. I expect to use this as an opportunity to do something special. I expect you to learn. I expect you to be grateful, not I expect you to be a bum who just sits there and smokes pot and [00:31:00] watches TV all day.
Hala Taha: Yeah. Let's talk about that a little bit more. Why is it so much more powerful to earn something rather than be handed it?
Marshall Goldsmith: When we earn something, we feel a sense of worthwhile, I got this because I did something and I feel I deserve it when somebody's giving us something. What does that mean about you? Nothing. It means someone else earned something.
Doesn't mean you earned anything. You just stood there and your hand happened to be out and you got a break. Someone else did something of value that was given to you as opposed to you did something of value that was given to yourself. And again, the reality is it's pretty hard to be proud of the fact that someone gave you a handout.
Hala Taha: We'll be right back after a quick break from our sponsors.
Oh, Young and Profiteers. That sound is music to my ears. That's what you hear whenever you make a sale on Shopify. Our sponsor for today's episode. I know so many of my listeners [00:32:00] are thinking about or are in the process of starting the side hustle that they've always dreamed of. If that's you, Shopify is the perfect thing to kickstart your entrepreneurship journey.
Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform to start, run and grow your business. It's honestly one of the most helpful tools that any business, regardless of size can use from helping you design your online store to providing key analytics to even handling online payments information. Shopify makes it incredibly easy to run an online store.
Shopify gives entrepreneurs the resources that were once reserved only for big businesses. Now, startups can sell things just like the big dogs. Synchronize online and in-person sales and effortlessly stay informed. With Shopify, you can reach customers online and across every major social network, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more.
And the best part is the data that Shopify provides. Gain insights as you grow. With detailed reporting on conversion rates, profit margins beyond Shopify powers [00:33:00] over 1.7 million businesses from first sale to full scale. In fact, everybody who I know has an e-commerce platform uses Shopify to power their business.
Go ahead and start that business you've always dreamed of. Start that side hustle. Launch your product, get going, and use Shopify to fuel your dream. Go to shopify.com/profiting all lowercase for a free 14 day trial and get full access to Shopify's entire suite of features. Again, you can grow your business with Shopify today.
Go to shopify.com/profiting. It's shopify.com/profiting.
This episode of YAP is brought to you by the Jordan Harbinger Show. You may know that Jordan Harbinger is my all-time favorite podcaster in the world. So much so that I've willed him to become my podcast mentor, and we literally talk every single day.
He's in my SlackChannel. The Jordan Harbinger show is the perfect show for Young and Profiteers to add to their rotation. The Jordan Harbinger Show was named Best of Apple [00:34:00] 2018 and is aimed at making you a better informed, more critical thinker. And in each episode he unpacks his guests wisdom into practical nuggets that you can use to impact your work, your life, and your relationships.
It's pretty similar to YAP in terms that there's no fluff. You always walk away learning something new. And his show has a bit of humor too, which is a nice touch. Jordan being the OG that he is always snags the best guests like Mark Cuban to Rapper T.I. to athletes like the late great Kobe Bryant. And he's really super picky with his guests like me, so they're always extremely interesting.
Jordan has great research. He's a natural interviewer, and his topics are always on point. It's no wonder Jordan is one of the biggest podcasters in the world. You guys know that I'm definitely a fan, a major fan, and if that's not worth checking out, I'm not sure what is. You guys can find the Jordan Harbinger Show on your favorite podcast platform, or you can check out Jordan harbinger.com/start for some episode [00:35:00] recommendations.
That's the Jordan Harbinger show. H a r b as in boy, i n as in Nancy, g e r on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen, a podcast.
So this reminds me of something that you said in your book was actually the definition of an earned life. You said, We are living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort that we make in each moment align with an overarching purpose in our lives, regardless of the eventual outcome. And this really stuck out to me because like we were saying before, I'm a goal oriented person.
And so for me that seems counterintuitive that you don't need to worry about the outcome and you need to let go of the outcome or the earned rewards. So I'm just curious, in your opinion, why is it that we don't need to worry about the outcome with all of this?
Marshall Goldsmith: Let me give you an example. The parable of the golfer and the beer can, okay?
The golfer and the beer can. Now here is a golfer and there's a chance to win the club championship. There's a [00:36:00] big chance and never had a chance before last Holt, and he's getting their tip and people in front of him, foursome drinking beer, noisy, very distracting. But he think he sort hits the shot, looks perfect.
All of a sudden something happens. It bounces into a terrible position. He's walking toward the ball. What happens? He sees a beer can. Can the idiots in front of him have left a beer can on the fairway? Now his ball is in a bad straight. He's angry. Oh, those idiots. What does this golfer need to do? Stop, breathe.
Forget about the drive. Forget about the people. Forget about the beer can. Forget about winning the championship. You come up with a strategy, you walk to that ball and you hit the shot in front of you. See, in life, all you can ever do is hit the shot in front of you. You hit the shot in front of you. And when you're thinking about the results, you're living in the past, you're dreaming of the future.
You're not focusing on hitting the shot. The key is hit the [00:37:00] shot. And the thing about achievement is the greatest college basketball coach in history was John Wooden. I was at UCLA when he was there and he said, Look, do your best. That's it. Be proud. You do your best and lose fine. You do your best and win fine.
It doesn't matter.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: That's all you could do. Harry Kraemer's, CEO Baxter was an I'm my hundred coach group and Harry. Somebody said, How do you sleep at night? You've had to fire people, lay people off. You had to do very hard things to people. He said, I only asked two questions. One, did I do what I thought was right and did I do my best?
But the answer is, I did what I thought was right, and I did my best. He said, I can sleep. That's all any of us can ever do. You just do what you think is right. You do your best and make peace. To me, that's it. You don't get lost in the past, and you don't get lost in the future, and you never place your values as a human being based on results.
The most famous poem in history is called the Bhagavadgita, and this is the essence of the Bhagavadgita. You have a person with two choices in the poem the Bhagavadgita. One choice is very bad, the other choice is [00:38:00] worse. And he's going on and on about how bad these choices are, and the message is pretty simple from Christian.
The message is, do what you think is right, Do your best, and make peace. And sometimes in life we do have two choices, bad and worse. Okay. Pick the one is the least bad. Make the best of it.
Hala Taha: Yeah, I love that. I think that's super powerful. So I'd love to talk about regret and fulfillment in terms of the fact that it's a spectrum, right?
So I also thought this was pretty enlightening in your book. You say that regret and fulfillment are like opposite sides of the spectrum, polar opposites, right? And everybody slams on one part of the spectrum no matter how successful they are. So you could be super successful and still have a lot of regret because you may have focused on your career, not your family or something like that.
So I'd love for you to walk us through how regret and fulfillment are total opposites and maybe some examples of people that you've met where they surprised you in terms of the regret that they felt.
Marshall Goldsmith: Yeah, very surprised. Cuz the people I deal with, they're all on paper. Amazingly successful.[00:39:00]
Yet some of them, like the one I mentioned, if you look at CEO, huge company, multi, multi multimillionaire, highly educated. You'd fulfillment the guy's off the charts. Not really in his own mind, not really too happy with life. And basically said, I blew it. I blew it here. And the problem with that regret and fulfillment thing is other people don't fill out the scorecard.
You do, and you may fool somebody else, but at the end of the day, you gotta live with yourself. And you've gotta look at that and say, What do I feel? Am I proud of this? Am I ashamed of this? Do I have regret? Am I sitting there saying I wish I would have? And we, the book begins with a story of a guy, the interesting story.
A guy filled with regret because he wanted to go out with some woman and he basically chickened out. He got afraid and then he's carried it around. This sense of existential regret if I would have things, could have turned out better for me. Maybe not. He still carried it around. It's very hard to forgive ourselves and forgive others and just let go.[00:40:00]
And say, All right, that was then, this is now, that was then this is now. And I coach people that haven't forgiven mom and dad for being who they were.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: 30, 40 years or carrying around this anger. And the problem with all that is you're not hurting the other person as much as you're hurting yourself.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And I feel like the other kind of lesson in all of this, and just an insight that I had from your book or what you're trying to solve is there's no one size fits all when it comes to regret. There's small regrets that don't really matter. And then there's these big existential regrets.
You call them like not having children or not taking a big job. And this is the purpose of your book, is to make sure that you know what you want in life so that you don't make these big regrets that are super hard to let go. Is that right?
Marshall Goldsmith: And it's interesting cuz we seldom regret the risk we take and fail.
We often regret the risk we failed to take. So it's a question of, I talk about risk and opportunity. When do I take the risk? When do I not take the risk? [00:41:00] And I point out examples of when risk taking is very important and when it's not. And I give some example in my own life of stupid risk, and I was like 27, and we're going out and writing boogie board.
I don't know, not that much of an athlete anyway. And then I get macho and I start riding a few waves. Oh, you can do it. Then I go out there like an idiot and try to ride a nine foot wave and flips over and breaks my neck in two places. I'm lucky I'm even here. And I talk about that from like these. Is that part of my aspiration in life to be a surfer?
No. Am I any good at it? No. Am I ever gonna achieve anything? No. Why am I doing that? I got lost in this macho, ridiculous show off thing. That's an example of. Not really thinking. On the other hand, when you take a chance on something, maybe you don't succeed, but you tried. Then you can look back on life and say, Hey, I gave it a shot.
I look, I'm my home now is here in Nashville. God bless a lot of these kids. They're all waiting on tables, but hey, they're giving it a shot. They're gonna try to [00:42:00] be the music star. And reality is most of 'em aren't.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: Yeah. It's still, I respect them. They're trying and giving it a shot, and at the end of the day they'll probably be okay. Just do something else.
Hala Taha: Yeah. It's so true and I love the connection that you made with taking the appropriate risks, , and not making mistakes, like taking a big risk on something you don't even really want. So I wanna close this out, or with some three demands that you talk about when it comes to living an earned life.
I thought this was a great way to just summarize some of the key points in your book. And I'll tee you up for each demand and maybe ask some follow up questions. Sure. So the first demand was live your own life, not someone else's version of it. Can you tell us your 2 cents on that one?
Marshall Goldsmith: Yeah, and I mentioned, I can't mention his name.
It was my friend Mark Tercek, who was a, he was a managing partner of Goldman Sachs. They did the IPO. He makes a ton of money and he's thinking about being the CEO of the Nature Conservancy and we're walking around. He says I don't know. What will they think of me? I'm sitting there going, [00:43:00] What do you care?
It's not their life, it's your life. Part of this, that first thing is live your own life. It's pretty hard to live a fulfilling life if you're not living your own life. And you gotta say, What does real life mean to me, not somebody else. And get over that. I have to impress so and so cuz so and so doesn't care anyway really.
And just not trying to waste your life on that and being willing to take or not take a risk to live your own life. Which sounds pretty simple but an amazing number of people don't and they end up dying thinking, I wish I would have, I wish I'd have gone for this. Gone for that, going for something.
It's not somebody else's life. This is your life. Yeah. So part of it, and it's not as simple as it sounds cuz we're so focused on and not in a negative way. As human beings we've been brought, if you have to impress people, you have to gain approval. That's just part of our history. It's hard not to do that all the time.
Hala Taha: Yeah. I think a lot of people have this problem where they let other things and people stop them from going for [00:44:00] their dreams. And so in your book you actually list off a couple reason why people don't live their own life. Two of them that really stuck out to me was inertia and obligations. Can you tell us your perspective on inertia and
Marshall Goldsmith: obligations?
Inertia is the greatest predictor of anything we're gonna do. The biggest predictor of what are you gonna do five minutes from now is what are you doing now? And so we all tend to be where we've been, go where we've gone and in my other book I talk about this too, it's hard for successful people to change why any human or animal will replicate behavior that's followed by positive reinforcement.
Now the more successful we become, the more positive reinforcement we get and we fall into a trap. I do this, I am successful, therefore this makes me successful. I'll just keep doing this over and over again as opposed to saying, maybe I can do something different. Or maybe this doesn't always work all the time.
So that's kinda inertia then obligation is what we talked about though. The feeling that somehow I'm supposed to do this. And Mark's case, he's a managing partner of Goldman Sachs. It's it's not like they're all gonna sit there and go through, Oh my good, he left us, I'm gonna die. No they'll do fine without [00:45:00] you.
Jim Kim, greatest story. Jim Kim was president of Dartmouth College and. Jim Kim's a great guy. He was partners in health, literally saved tens of millions of lives. He's president of Dartmouth College. He's a great guy. Not necessarily the best job for him. This food in the student cafeteria and raising money all the time.
So he gets offered the job as President World Bank. I don't know. I've only been at Dartmouth College two and a half years. Should I take the job? I said, Take the job. So then I said, obligation. He ended up taking the job, but I called him three months after he had the job and said, Jim, I'm at Dartmouth College. Guess what? It's still here. And now they're all complaining about the new President. Life goes on.
Hala Taha: It's so funny. We all make these decisions as if people care that much about us. And at the end of the day, people only care about themselves. Nobody cares.
Marshall Goldsmith: Primarily. And I also, if you ask him, most of 'em would probably say, just do whatever you feel like.
Hala Taha: It's so true. Okay, so let's, Oh, another one that's really interesting in terms of why we [00:46:00] don't live our own life, vicarious living, and I think this is super interesting, given everybody's addiction to social media. How does vicarious living really prevent us from living our own life?
Marshall Goldsmith: Vicarious living is huge. I don't have to tell you, more about this than I do, but the average kid that's flunky outta school is spending, I forget, 55 hours a week on some sort of media, tv, movies, social media. It's an addiction. And we have to be very careful cuz when you're living vicariously, you're living through someone.
It's not your life. You're not one of the Kardashians, you're not the movie star. That's not you. And you're reading this drama of them. What happens is vicariously we start living through them, or the football team or whatever. And my son brought up a great example. I use video games as pretending to be in a battle.
It's really not. It's a pretense. Oh, my son said no, you missed the point. People spend thousands of hours, millions of hours watching other people play video games. PewDiePie. How many hours? Billions of people watching [00:47:00] this guy play video games, making sarcastic comments. Hour after hour, they're watching this nonsense. He's some Swedish guy. I'm not blaming him, by the way. He's making millions of dollars. He's doing okay.
Hala Taha: He's living not . Not everybody else isn't .
Marshall Goldsmith: He's living his life. But why are you watching this Swedish guy making sarcastic comments, playing video games for hours? You're living someone else's life.
You're not living your own life, and you can never find happiness living somebody else's life. The other thing is they don't care about you.
They don't care about you. They're living their life. You're never gonna find satisfaction living someone else's life.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: By the way, physiologically, my friend Martin Lindstrom has studied the brain. When the football player scores a touchdown, the fan experiences almost the same reaction as a football player in the brain. It's like they scored the touchdown, they're jumping up and down, they're screaming. They didn't score the [00:48:00] touchdown, they watched someone else score the touchdown.
Hala Taha: This is so interesting. I feel like part of the reason why I've been very successful, especially in the last five years, is cuz I literally don't watch tv. I don't even know how to turn on my TV in my apartment. I don't ever wa, I don't do that and even on social media, I'm focused on my content and my clients and what, and my friends make fun of me.
They call it Hala TV. They're like, Oh, she's on Hala TV again. Cuz all she cares about is her stuff because I'm not worried about what everybody else is doing. Because like you said, I feel like that's wasting your own life when you're trying to live. When you're paying attention to somebody else's life, just live your own life.
Marshall Goldsmith: Yeah. Live your own life. Because look, you live your own life. At least it's your life.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
Marshall Goldsmith: It's your life. And I had a fun experience that with a New Yorker magazine. Many, and this changed my life many years ago, The New Yorker magazine, I think it was 2012, wrote the story of my life. It was called The Better Boss. Wonderful story written by a woman named Larissa MacFarquhar. And in this [00:49:00] story, I'm, she is gonna, in New Yorker profiles a big deal. They spend hours on this thing, right? They spend an average of $60,000 per profile, just doing the research a lot. This is serious thing. She followed me around for two months.
Now half of the New Yorker stories are just rip. They just, rip into people and almost all of 'em have at least three paragraphs of Andy's a jerk . But I talked to my wife and I thought about it, and I thought, Peter Drucker taught me, who's the customer? And I thought first I thought it's the people that send me money.
But then I said, No. The customers by unborn great grandchildren, And this brilliant woman is gonna write a story about me. And if I don't act like me, they won't know me. They're just gonna know some fictitious character. They won't know me. So I told my wife, I'm gonna act like me. And I said, We're probably gonna lose about 150,000 bucks or 200,000 bucks.
Cause I'm sure we're gonna annoy people, but I'm just gonna act like myself. What's turned out was the best thing I could have possibly done. Number one, she's got an IQ of bazillion. Anyway, she went to Harvard. One of the odds, I'm gonna fool her for two months, zero. , if I did try to fool her, she'd probably just [00:50:00] justifiably crucify me for acting like an ass.
So I said, Just be yourself. Be yourself. You may lose, but at least it's you that loses.
Hala Taha: I love this conversation. Let's move on to demand number two, it's commit yourself to earning every day. Make it a habit. Why do we need to do this?
Marshall Goldsmith: That goes back to also my daily questions. It needs to be something you restart every day.
Because if we don't, we just get lost. And it is so easy to get lost on little things. And one of the guys in our group was Pau Gasol the basketball star. One of his areas was he wanted to be better at being present around his wife, present. Not just sitting there, but actually being in the room in his mind.
So he tells a story, he comes home and he says, I, How'd you do? He's in our little garage. Oh, not so good. My wife's very upset with me. She said I wasn't really present too much and is checked out. He said, But I was tired. How? How hard were you? Oh, so tired. I was working out all day. Very tired training for the Olympics.
I said, it's interesting. I paid a thousand bucks for a seat and my son Brian paid a thousand bucks. And we went to [00:51:00] watch you play the Boston Celtics in the World Championship there and you guys won that game. It's probably the biggest game of your life. And you're running up and down the court like a banche. Now, coats here.
Phil Jackson called time out with two minutes to go. Did you say, Phil, I'm tired. I'm tired, Phil. And I said, No, I never in my career told coach I was tired. Never. So I said, Do you think your wife is impressed.
Well, it's often harder at home because when we're working, like you, when you work, you're on. , you're very on your professional. When we're not on and we're not in that professional mode, it's actually easier to lose it and realize, those people at home are important and every day you need to.
Jim Kim, another guy, my friend, the World Bank guy, said Every day I re-earn my legacy. That's the way life is. The person that did that stuff yesterday was that person from yesterday. They're not here today. And the thing we don't think about is the fact that we need to really focus on earning all kinds of things.
Happiness, meaning, purpose. And if we don't, inertia [00:52:00] kicks in. You watch the game, you go to the tv, like you said, you're like a zombie and your life's over.
Hala Taha: And it's because the things that make us fulfilled like happiness, like you were saying, those things are fleeting, right? They come and they go super quickly. And so to your point, we need to learn how to earn them over and over again because they can be gone just as fast as we get them.
Marshall Goldsmith: Which again is the great Western disease. I will be happy when once this happens, everything is gonna be okay. It's all gonna be okay once I get money status, BMW car date something.
No. Once you get that, it's nice.
That doesn't last very long.
Totally agree. Okay, so demand number three, Attach your earning moments to something greater than mere personal ambition.
And I think that's why you need to answer that question of your attribution in life. Your aspiration in life.
Why am I doing this? Why? Because the people I know work their butts off. They're all phenomenally hardworking [00:53:00] achievement. Or they don't need me to teach them about delayed gratification. They live delayed gratification. They're highly educated. They're successful. They work their butts off well, you've gotta have an answer to this question.
Why am I doing this? And if there's not some higher purpose as to why, then why are you sitting there killing yourself to achieve all this stuff? Unless there's some higher reason to do it. And it doesn't just be religious reason. Just some reason there needs to be something. It could be I want to have great kids that have good lives, or I want to, I don't know.
I want to help as many people as I can, or I wanna help the people I'm with have a little better life. It needs to be something though. That's not just a goal line. Because the problem with the finish line is after you cross the finish line, you are finished by definition. And there's part of the book is a good phrase, My wife came up with after the victory lap.
What? What happens? Yeah. All people cheering and Yay. What happens after the victory lap? If that's the end, you're finished.
Hala Taha: This is super inspirational. So there's one more [00:54:00] question I wanna ask before you start to really wrap this up, and it's related. We'll figure out how it's related, and it's the fact that you wear the same outfit, all the time.
You wear a green polo shirt and khakis. I meet with you once a week. I see you every week. And it's true, you wear the same thing every time. No matter, if you're on a podcast interview with me to 50,000 people or if you know it's me, us and four people, you're wearing the same thing. Talk to us about this freedom in limiting your choices and how that relates to an earn life.
Marshall Goldsmith: There's a chapter in the book called The Agency of No Choice, which talks about the value of not having to make choices. Back to the New Yorker story. Ironically, this connects in the New Yorker story. The woman said, I always wear green T-shirt and khaki pants. I actually didn't, but she said I did.
So after that, people expected it and I thought, What the heck? This makes my life easier. I don't have to think anymore. So literally every day I wear the same clothes, green T-shirt, khaki pants. It makes life easier. [00:55:00] One more decision. I don't have to make. Decisions are tiring and the more we can eliminate decisions, the better.
Barack Obama, he basically said he has a gray suit and a blue suit and a white shirt and a blue shirt and his wife fix out the ties and that's it. And he just kinda stumbles around why he doesn't wanna think about that. It's nice. I don't have to think about what I wear. And the more we can look at choices that are not that critical to us, it makes our life simpler.
Makes it easy to pack. And the nice thing is people expect me to wear a green shirt and khaki pants so I can go work in City Corp with Everybody else has a coat and tie and they're all dressed up. I don't have to wear coat and tie why people don't expect me to.
Hala Taha: Yeah, you've just made it iconic.
You're just an icon style icon. . Awesome. This was such a great conversation. So I always wrap up the interview with two of the same questions to all of my guests, and then we do something fun at the end of the year with them. So the first question is, what is one actionable thing my Young and Profiteers can do today to become more profiting tomorrow?
Marshall Goldsmith: I'm gonna define [00:56:00] profiting in a different way. I'm gonna define profiting as profiting, as achieving a meaningful and successful life for you, which is not necessarily money, and that is breathe. And imagine you're 95 years old and you're skin ready to die before you take the last breath or give it a beautiful gift.
The ability to go back in time and talk to the person who's listening to me now, what advice would that old person facing death have for you? That's listening to me right now? Whatever that advice is, do that.
Hala Taha: Ooh.
Marshall Goldsmith: That is the definition of a profitable life.
Hala Taha: This might tie into the next question, but we'll see.
What is your secret to profiting in life?
Marshall Goldsmith: Secret to profiting in life is what we talked about. Breathe and start over and say profiting in life is not accumulating something. Profiting life is living now. Living now a life that's meaningful for you. Not coasting on what I did last week or what my net worth is.
It's living now making the biggest difference you can make now. And let's finish by, Why do I do this? Basically, as I've [00:57:00] grown older, in some ways, my level of aspiration has gone down and down. My level of impact's going up and up. Why we're worried about what I'm not gonna change.
What's my goal on this podcast is very simple. I hope someone listening has a little better life. If one person listening to this podcast has a little better life. Just one. This is good.
Hala Taha: I love that. Thank you so much, Marshall. Before we go, where can everybody find The Earned Life?
Marshall Goldsmith: Number one, they gave me a million dollar advance.
So it's . It's probably gonna be almost everywhere. So it'll be in Barnes and Noble and it'll be in all kinds of bookstores in Amazon, wherever you can find books. And it's available in the audio version, which I recorded myself. The audio version's available and the Kendall version. And they're all, And if you're in New York City, fifth Avenue is basically gonna be papered with this book
They're gonna, they're huge. And the window of the Fifth Avenue, Barnes and Noble, it's gonna be nothing but this book.
Hala Taha: Oh, amazing.
Marshall Goldsmith: Yeah. So the, it's gonna be pretty easy to find. Or send me an email [email protected]. Ah, if you send me [00:58:00] an email, I'll make you a deal. I trust everybody. So if you say, I preordered the book, I'm going to order the book, It doesn't matter. You don't have to prove it. Send me an email. I'm gonna send you a copy of The Earned Life documentary. It's basically a movie about my life, and you get to see my closet and see actually how many green t-shirts are in that closet.
Hala Taha: I love that. This is awesome. The Earned Life is wherever you guys buy your books, it's gonna be everywhere. You can find out on Amazon. I'll stick the link in the show notes. Again, thank you so much, Dr. Marshall for coming on this show. This conversation was amazing.
Marshall Goldsmith: Thank you so much. You're wonderful.
Hala Taha: What an incredible conversation.
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is one of my favorite people. He's one of my favorite clients. He's such a nice guy, like a genuinely nice guy. What you just heard on the podcast is exactly what he's like in real life and in day to day, and he is just such a great person, man. He has the best energy. You can see why CEOs and athletes are attracted to working with him.
He's a genius [00:59:00] in this space, and I'm so thankful he took the time to talk to us. As we're wrapping up, there's one topic from this episode that I really wanna highlight before we go, and that's especially because most of the people who listen to this podcast are overachievers, and I really think you guys need to hear this more than once.
And that's the fact that happiness and achievement are two independent variables, meaning you can achieve every single one of your goals, and that doesn't mean you're ever gonna be happy. And on the other end, you can have happiness without achieving any of your goals. This is such a key point that we don't talk about enough on this podcast.
And like I said, I think a lot of you guys like me are goal oriented and overachiever. And that means that we generally think that once we accomplish our goals, we'll finally have everything we wanted. And until then, we tend to delay gratification. Now, self-discipline is a great trait to have, especially if you're an entrepreneur.
And I have to say, I do find value in the temporary grind. So for example, for four straight [01:00:00] years, I worked a corporate job and I had this podcast as a side hustle. And then eventually I launched my business as a side hustle. And for four straight years I worked really hard and I delayed gratification. I worked every morning, every night, pretty much every single weekend for four years.
And it was tough. I probably shouldn't have done that, but I wouldn't change that. Looking back, even after this conversation with Marshall, I think everything he said is a super solid point, but I wouldn't change what I did because I feel like I literally accelerated my life like 10 years by doing that.
And now I'm an entrepreneur and I literally do whatever I want. Like I work super hard, but I can go get a facial in the middle of the day if I want to, and I can just relax and take a bath in the middle of the day if I want to. And I do, and it's great and I love it, but it's only because I was in that grind mode and I always knew it was gonna be temporary.
So that's the key. You just can't do [01:01:00] that forever. If you're always waiting for like the next year or postponing your vacations until you've achieved X goal, you're gonna be, as Marshall puts it, an old man in a room with a thousand marshmallows. It's okay to eat one or two marshmallows every once in a while.
And you've gotta appreciate the journey. And like I said, there's value in grinding. There really is we can't deny that, but you can get burnt out really easily. And if you feel yourself getting burnt out or feeling uninspired or lacking creativity, chances are you need a break. So make sure you take little breaks throughout the day.
Make sure you go on vacation. Make sure you take time to do the things that you love. Life is fleeting and the present is all you truly have. You've gotta enjoy the day to day. And to that point, Marshall talks about the every breath paradigm. With each new breath, you become a new you. Now, this is actually something I never heard before this book and The Earned Life is an excellent book, I have to say.[01:02:00]
What a great book. A lot of these self-improvement books say the same thing. Now, I don't really bring on guests on YAP who say the same thing, but I read a lot of books and they often have the same stuff, just said in a slightly different way. And Marshall's book was nothing like that. He is a real solid author.
This guy has a lot of wisdom to share, and he put it all in this book, and I loved every bit of it. I ate this book up, so I highly recommend you guys go get the Earned life. And I'm not just saying this because he's my client, I promise it's a really freaking good book. And the every breath paradigm is pretty interesting because basically what it means is that with each new breath, you become a new you.
You're not who you were 10 years ago and you're not who you were five seconds ago. So there's no use in dwelling in the past or procrastinating for the. If you're struggling with past regrets, Marshall's actionable advice is to write yourself a letter where you forgive the previous versions of yourself and you thank them for what they've done to help [01:03:00] you get to this point.
Then move on and let bygones be bygones. I think this is so powerful. It's so true. It's like with every breath, you're a new person, and I feel like self-compassion and self-love is so important, and I feel like with this kind of mindset, you're always gonna be in a positive mindset because you've forgiven yourself for all your past flaws and failures, and you can just move on knowing that in this moment, you're the best you that you can be.
And if you find yourself always waiting for the future, remember the only time you're guaranteed is right now. So take action. Please, for all of you guys who are addicted to social media and TV and movies, please, I beg of you. Try not to live vicariously through others and don't let obligation inertia become the driving forces in your life's journey.
So please, if you're obsessed with celebrities, take a step back. Celebrities, don't move your life forward. Live the [01:04:00] life you want and get started today. Young and Profiteers. As Dr. Marshall Goldsmith says, even in real life when I'm with him all the time, he always says, Life is good. Be happy and let it go.
Let's take he to that. And if you have a moment, please drop us a five star review on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Castbox, or wherever you listen to the show. We actually got like almost a hundred reviews in the last month, which is a lot. It's very difficult to get reviews. And reviews, especially on Apple podcasts mean a ton to us. So if you listen all the way to the end of this episode, chances are you love YAP and you wanna support YAP in any way that you can. And even if you listen on Castbox, I have over 200,000 subscribers on Castbox. I have 60,000 subscribers on Player FM. I've got thousands of subscribers on Overcast and Podcast Republic, and those apps are great.
But sponsors look at Apple Podcasts and they don't realize that I've got this, really unique following across all these apps. So if you guys love the show and you wanna support me, the best way to do it is to [01:05:00] subscribe and drop us a review on Apple Podcasts. And by the way, be careful because some of you guys are dropping us great reviews and accidentally clicking one star.
Somebody did that recently. I was like, Jesus, that doesn't help. So make sure you're clicking Five Star and then giving us a review. And let me know your favorite takeaways from this episode. You guys can find me on Twitter or Instagram, at YAP with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name. It's Hala Taha. Thanks so much for listening and thanks to my amazing YAP team for all their support.
This is your host, Hala Taha, signing off.
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.