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#83 Mimetic Theory Debrief | Weeding Your Wants and Defining Wealth for Yourself

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Ryan and Terry debrief the Jonathan Bi interview and discuss how they’re using mimetic theory to better understand life’s most important decisions.

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Ryan: Good day. Good day. Welcome back to The Passive Income Project, Terry. Absolute ripper episode, in my opinion with Jonathan B. Last one, another great interview. Well done mate. What a well spoken fellow.

Terry: Yeah, we had that conversation actually. I was like, well, you kind of need a bit of a dictionary to talk to him. So you might have heard me at a few times in that episode by myself some time to process what he was saying.

You do spend a bit of time making sense of what he is saying as well as then going, all right, let’s think through the depth of the actual idea itself that he’s covering on the content. think that it’s probably indicative of, where he’s coming from. and you see this in a lot of philosophers, they’re less concerned about whether you understand what they’re saying at the first cut and more concerned that they’re saying the right thing.

And that’s probably the trade off that you make when you’re talking to that level of intellect.

Ryan: Yeah.

Terry: And yeah, so it was kind of intimidating. I’m sitting there like, well, I hope I’m understanding what you’re saying here, but uh, is this it?

Ryan: we definitely want to spend a bit of time thinking about the actual conversation, the content, but you can’t help but kind of observe the way he was explaining things and the way he was able to go at ideas with such precision that he’s obviously got a level of mastery.

Around that school of thought that you can’t help but admire to think, he knows it that well and has explored it from so many different angles to understand it first and to challenge it and to share it, teach it. Yeah, I was inspired by it.

Terry: The only regret I have about that interview was that I didn’t get more time to dig into some of the specifics of what he disagreed with around Gerard’s stuff cuz it is such a compelling theory. But I do agree with him. Like, I think it’s so important to internalize ideas, really understand them, be open to them, and then decide what do you think for

Ryan: Yeah.

Terry: Because there’s so much, there that you go this actually makes so much sense. But when you actually go through the whole theory and you look at the whole thing, there’s a lot of stuff that’s in there that I agree with. Like it doesn’t allow enough, human agency, human reason to sort of, come into it.

I think it’s a little bit cynical in the sense that you’re just like this, so just fucking deal

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. I think that him calling out the agency part struck on him with me. Cause I definitely look at it and go, I think there is the ability to choose who you wrap your mimetic desire around. Who has the associations

Terry: A

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Before we kind of go deep on unbundling or unpacking everything that you guys discussed and putting, you know, making sure we kind of wrap this tie this in with personal finance why are we doing this now?

Terry: Yeah, look, ideally we would’ve loved to have Jonathan’s episode come through in the Hacking Money Habit series. Scheduling-wise, it just, didn’t permit and I didn’t wanna sit on this episode for another three to six months until it sort of made sense. I just wanted to get it out into the hands of people to to give, the expert opinion.

Cuz we definitely spoke about it, in depth on the series, but we were hoping to give that like a high level introduction. So hopefully, If you listen to that episode and you kind of know what we’re talking about when we talk about medic theory now, we hopefully broke it down in a way that’s accessible.

Whereas Jonathan’s obviously, as you’ve picked up on another level but I wanted to know what the expert thinks, and it was so good to be able to look at how things play out because the impact of decisions. On your life is so big, we talk about this all the time, right? The word decision, what does it mean?

It means to cut away. That means you are choosing one path of possibilities, but at the same time, you’re killing off another path. So there’s like one future that you kill off, and there’s another future that you create every time you make a decision. And if you’re decisions overly influenced by others in this way, then it’s easy to find yourself working hard to climb a ladder that’s leaning against the wrong wall.

And when it comes to personal finance, This is one of the biggest mistakes, right? We talked about the rat race, getting outta one rat race, getting into another rat

Ryan: Mm

Terry: So I think, how does it all tie into personal finance, understanding the impact and the influence of your decisions? So critical.

There’s a couple of big ones you want to get really correct, don’t you?

Ryan: Yeah. If I was to think about the really big ones, what would they be? The choosing of career, the work that you do. It’s easy to get stuck on that track. Very hard to change it. The partner you choose.

Terry: They’re two of the biggest, I reckon. I also think. Your friends who you’re spending your time around, like if you think about, so cuz you know that they’re gonna influence your rights. If and you accept now that we are social beings, then who are you investing your time with and how are they influencing you?

Like, if you think about that’s really important. And the, probably the relationship you have with your own family, you know as well is probably pretty big.

Ryan: Yeah. So your tribe, so careers tribe partner, which is probably part of the tribe, family part of the tribe. those are the big decisions, right? But it’s also the little decisions that happen more regularly and you can probably think about them influencing you in different ways.

We talk about. Mood repair when spending, you know when things aren’t going your way, you feel like you want a little pep up. we spend and we buy for mood repair. And you think about, how often that mood repair is things like fashion, which. Jonathan B talked about like, it’s looking at, quite often symbolic items that create associations that give you a boost in terms of how you see yourself said the metaphysical, which is you know very much about status, right?

Terry: Yeah. It’s all identity. Everything’s identity. And like if you think about the superpower of behavior, it’s like if you understand. Are very deliberate about constructing your identity and who you actually are. Then most of your actions are gonna align with that. But if you’re not at all deliberate about your identity, understanding it, constructing it, and making sure that it is authentic to you, then it’s so easy to get dragged around by the throat, by these desires that just take you to a place that you

hate. So what we wanna cover in this conversation then is just, I guess, big, take homes, maybe a bit of interpretation from your point of view, and then a little bit more around how we see this playing out and what we might do with this information.

so let’s start with the take homes. Like what was biggest thing that hit you from that conversation?

Ryan: The biggest thing that hit me would be that you can’t escape it. I think it’s something that I already thought to be true but very much validated and John be kind of hit home that it’s anti-emetic. It kind of speaks to ignorance around mimesis itself and the understanding of being influenced by others.

And I think that is good validation cuz you all of a sudden you stop that pursuit of trying to be the one that doesn’t get pulled in the direction of desires. And we see a lot of it where we live. Particularly around the coast here. So many people trying hard I know you know a lot of people as well we’ve kind of talked about that.

Try hard not to look like they’re trying.

Terry: Real

Ryan: So almost fight and reject, the, status kind of thing. And in itself creates, a bit of virtue signaling and it’s kinda the same thing, right? Which is all about how you see yourself, the identity standing

Terry: Yeah.

Ryan: So I think that in terms of just kind of recognizing it, that it’s gonna exist no matter what and that you’re always gonna be pulled by it.

But then also, his challenge around it, which like we talked about before, which is you can choose the people who influence you in that way.

Terry: I thought it was really generous of him as well, and. I know he’s talked about it in the past and he talked about it in his series, but him being able to take us into his story about how he went both ways in terms of esis, positive esis, I’m gonna be Mark Zuckerberg, drop outta university.

I’m gonna be the billion dollar guy. Everyone’s gonna love me. Tell this sexy story about being some tech founder. Right? So that’s the positive

ESIS going down in flames because it was memetically driven and passionate and not sober in his thinking. It was all about this story he was trying to create and then going the other direction, becoming a fucking Buddhist, rejecting it all completely saying, capitalism’s a joke, And now coming back to this middle place, like I don’t think there’s anyone on planet Earth better to speak to it because he understands the theory really well, but he has the actual, that example, that’s an extreme example, but it’s a really pertinent one, isn’t it?

Ryan: Yeah, I think the fact that he called it sober. Him being sober in his pursuit now, which is like you said, he said, yep, I just wanna make a lot of money to afford the freedoms that comes along with that. And he’s said that he’s feeling sober in that pursuit. Which obviously the opposite is intoxicated, which is he felt like he was intoxicated in these other pursuits, being like, I think I wanna get away from it or to it in those different ways.

And now he’s just recognized that both are true regardless, and he just needs to kind of be sober with it and accept it.

Terry: How did it hit you when he said that? Because in the interview when he said, I’m just here to make money, I was like, that’s the most honest, I think a lot of people would be like, well, you don’t say that, do you? But it hit me like just how frank it was and how honest it was.

There was no bullshit about it.

Ryan: Yeah. Refreshing. Very refreshing. Yeah.

Terry: I reflected a lot on it since that conversation because it was just, you talk to a lot of people. You hear yourself saying this sort of stuff and you’re like, where am I diluting myself around some of these pursuits?

Where am I telling myself these stories that I’m not honest about? And it was just really, as you said, refreshing for me to hear. And when you look at it, you go, oh, that just sounds really transactional. I don’t think it is. I think it’s. As he said, it’s completely honest, right?

He goes, I almost don’t trust founders now that tell me that they want to change the world and this sort of stuff because I know that there’s a, some kind of a medic thing going on. I know that they’re, as you’ve said, more intoxicated and they’re not looking at it in the real, even for us, like we talk about, and we said this in the first season of the podcast.

and it lines up really well. We believe that the way to get what you want is to help other people get what they want, which is essentially what we were talking about when it comes to

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah

Terry: and so you can strip away all the other stuff and go, yeah, look, we’re a business. We wanna make money.

Of course we do. There’s, I’m not gonna apologize for that. But the only way we make money is by serving you

Ryan: yeah. Yeah.

Terry: Which is the cool thing about that part of the series of his is really interesting where he starts talking about capitalism and money and he talks about gift giving and how that kind of started.

Really interesting stuff.

Ryan: he talked about how it’s almost becomes parasitic. For those guys that become very wealthy because then it’s that feeling of the need to give money or to gift which actually serves the betterment of others.

And so it kind of pushes it back in the other direction and becomes a I guess a torture of those guys at the

Terry: Yeah. like that whole channeling of aggression.

 Jordan Peterson talks about this as well, like, capitalism is a way for you to channel aggression and competition and all those kind of energies that If not harnessed and any repressed can be expressed in unhealthy ways. And that’s why he was saying it’s the miracle of capitalism that you’ve got these people that would’ve otherwise led

Ryan: Yeah.

Terry: Assembling their teams and actually creating better services, better products for other people.

I found that to be when I heard it in the series, and it was good that we were able to go back over it. Another really interesting view of capitalism.

Ryan: Yeah. I love that positive frame. Cause it’s so, it is very true. And then to throw back to you, what was your big takeaway? If there was one thing that really kind of landed for you or became clear for you, what would that be?

Terry: Well, I think it was that point around, Really just being sober in your approach. But you know, so we’ve just discussed that. But you know, if I was to look at the next part of it, I think the discussion we had around career is really interesting as well. Because, we’ve talked about this.

we’re updating our modules now in the program around investing and the whole concept of retirement. And you need to retire. Is almost inversely correlated to how much fulfillment and meaning you find from your work. So if you find a lot of meaning in your work, you have a low need to retire.

 If you have no meaning in your work, then of course you wanna retire tomorrow. Like, I wanna get outta this sort of situation. And so if you wanna solve the problem of retirement, maybe it’s not all about saving a shit ton of money. Trying to invest and find the best return. Maybe a lot of it is about investing back in yourself to find more meaning in your work, to go in a direction where that need has shifted and changed.

I love to sort of teasing that out with him around understanding. I guess how intrinsic something is, and that example that he gave of his friend who you know is obviously very well credentialed in the finance space, but also has this love of art. And the love of art is sticky. The love of art just endures and there’s no social goods.

There’s no social capital, there’s no social reward. For doing it. So it was just kind of interesting to kind of look at that, but then it’s not an either or, right? Like let go of that and just pursue of what you love. Because think about the way he’s approaching his career now. He’s like, listen, I’ve got these gifts.

I’m really good at this. Here’s how I can make my biggest contribution. And if I make that contribution, then I’ll have everything that I want from my life. I wanna live this life of philosophy and freedom and exploring and traveling and that sort of stuff. And the way I’m gonna do that. Is I’m gonna become a king first.

I’m gonna become a philosopher king. So you can be a philosopher on the street with nothing but better to be a philosopher who actually has the means to put yourself in that sort of position. So I don’t think it’s like either or, but it’s just an interesting discussion around how is your time spent?

Who are you spending your time with? Cuz think about that impact on your wellbeing,

So I reckon his example is an interesting one. So he comes back in. He’s now building this fund, but he would be a lot more deliberate I think, around the people he works with, the people he works for. Cuz you’re understanding that their influence on you, your influence on them, and then the impact on you and your wealth and wellbeing longer term.

So it’s not a sort of like throw caution to the win and follow your passion type thing. But it’s a really important consideration, isn’t it?

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And I think the fact that he sees that purely as the means and accepts that and sees that as he kind of questions whether or not just philosophy itself is gonna be the thing that creates the level of wealth and freedom that he desires for him and his family to then go, well, I need to do something else as a means for creating that so that I can have more of that.

And you guys talked about Andre Agassi his story as well. and I thought it was good that you guys added nuance to that discussion around how there’s almost this. ESIS that builds around finding work that you love and passion in the work that you do, and that, becomes almost the, metaphysical desire that pulls people into or create suffering for those that don’t have it.

So then to kind of add more weight to the people that do find. That work isn’t something that they love, but it’s creating a lot of freedom and meaning. And you know what it, platform does and creates in other areas of your life is really powerful. And sometimes about how you find the combination of different things that work together to make what you want, as opposed to being like, I’d actually, because now it becomes like, financial independence, this idea of fire, it’s the.

 when then thinking, which is when I reach that financial number, I can quit my work, and then everything becomes easy and better and free and whatnot. It’s the same thing there, which is like I won’t be able to get it until I find the work that I love, and then all of a sudden you push that when then thinking into finding work that you love.

And so you can’t actually find meaning in what you’re doing now before you get there. it’s a lot of that starting to pop up that when then thinking, isn’t it.

Terry: I think that’s a really pertinent point. The difference between work you love versus meaningful work, it’s so misunderstood. I think like the work that we do now is the most meaningful work of my life. Do I love every day shit? No. Not even close. There’s parts of what we do that are just, sucky.

Like we spent like hours this morning going through the pipeline and sort of figuring out, like doing all this bloody admin stuff that on the back end I’m like, I’d rather do literally anything. And I think about my old job, my dream job, and I was like, oh, this time of day I would’ve been kicking the footy around a noble somewhere with an athlete.

 But that work wasn’t meaningful to me. And this work

Ryan: Yeah. I do remember the other night I think it was Tuesday night, we were on a call with Kate doing some design work and I was kind of just in the background. I was watching your face as you were making the notes around, kind of guiding her through how to create a couple of module visuals and you looked like you’re in pain.

Yeah, it was some pain on that face.

Terry: I like, this is just, I wanna be doing anything else here. No, Kate, it’s not about you. Promise. Promise. It’s not about you. Love what you’re doing,

Ryan: it is true, right? it’s the willingness to be there at 10 o’clock at night knowing that the results of doing that work will have a huge impact on people, and it’s the work that’s worth doing. As you said, it’s meaningful. you don’t feel the need to love it every minute of the day.

The struggle is worthwhile.

Terry: You know what? I think it’s, I wanna speak to this from a place of, I’ve had this illness, we have this illness, we all have this illness, but I feel like it’s a very immature approach to life to say, I want all good and no bad.

I want it all to be roses, and I never want to deal with any storms. And if it’s not that, then I don’t want to do it. I dunno if I’ve said this before, but I feel like there’s a part of immaturity that comes with fire too.

I never really have to want to obligate myself to do anything at all, for anyone ever again.

That’s like going back to a childlike state,

I don’t want any responsibility. I don’t wanna have to make any of these. Choices. And I look, again, this is not me pointing the finger at everybody else. This is me kind of pointing the finger at this idea because I had that feeling I felt like that.

 I don’t know how meaningful that life is where you just wake up and flip around and do whatever you want. Like I did that for six months when I left sport. I can tell you the worst my mental health has ever been was in that six

Ryan: Yeah. and it depends how you kind of look at work, cuz you, do look at work as service to others. Yeah. Yes, to create wealth, but also in, service of others. And so it’s kind of looking at and going, well, the idea of fire is to say, I don’t want to be in service of others. I don’t want to contribute to society, basically.

Terry: and I always found meaning like in the common thread for me, coming from coaching and doing what we’re doing now, is I always got.

More fulfillment from being a part of somebody else’s success. And that made me feel successful. Like I loved when, like for example, I’d spent like months and months with this athlete and we’d get ’em back onto the field and they got back to the top level and they started performing.

We’d been on that journey

together and I loved being a part of that journey for someone That was my success. And the more I invested in that, the more successful I felt and the more successful I became. And it’s the exact same here now, it’s just that we do this in a different

Ryan: Mm

Terry: The way we’re investing in you, the person who’s listening, the way we’re investing in the people that we work with in the program, it’s all the same thing.

You’re a part, you’re playing a part, but now you’ve gotta take the ego out of it cuz like you’re not there every step of the way or every day. So it’s a bit

Ryan: Yeah. definitely, it shines a spotlight on the work that you do, and I completely see this to be true is near the biggest decision you’ll ever make. Often people say partner, but I feel like it’s the biggest because it impacts that sense of meaning, that sense of fulfillment so much and maybe it is the partner that you choose and then it’s like, all right, the willingness to do and endure more pain for the sake of somebody else and creating a life for them, maybe that is greater.

Not that they need to even be contrasted really. I guess they’re both important,

Terry: I haven’t really thought about ranking those.

Ryan: Yeah I don’t know why I did, to be honest.

Terry: I’d have to think about

Ryan: I’m probably more thinking about it from a financial standpoint and how people perceive retirement.

 I’ve been deep in this thinking around retirement itself and what it means and so that’s probably why I’ve said that.

Terry: It’s interesting too, like the title of our podcast, passive Income. It really does speak to that, sort of like that side of things. And people have said this to me in the past and I’m like, yeah, it speaks to the surface level.

Ryan: Yeah.

Terry: I guess it’s a bit of a Trojan horse. But hopefully you appreciate that.

 for me personally, you start at that kind of level of thinking. But I think if you continue to think and you continue to really think through the problem, you’ll realize the problem isn’t, I don’t have enough passive income. It’s a little bit more multifaceted than

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And often it is, I don’t have enough meaning you’d probably suggest, right?

Terry: I don’t have enough agency. I don’t have enough flexibility in my day to day. I don’t have enough control, I don’t have enough support, all those things. And we kind of projected onto this idea of passive

Ryan: yeah, Yeah. Which is what money and passive income will do for you. It’s kind of that next level that, that uncovering of the real driver beneath it. Yeah.

Terry: And I think that’s why like, it’s so important. The first part of what we do we spend so much time asking that question, like, what is important to you? It’s harder thinking for you to actually sit down and answer those questions. And that’s why it’s facilitated and that’s why we’re sitting there.

dragging the answers out of you. But it’s so valuable because you actually start to understand that so much of this is available to you. Separate to

money. so much. You’d see that a lot, right? But people go, actually, this is so much simpler than I thought. I thought it was all about hitting this mythical magical number, but actually 80% of this I can reconfigure the way I’m choosing to spend my time, money, all that sort of stuff to get it.

Ryan: I had a great session with a fella named Jack last night, and it was the realization that everything that he thought he was working towards felt so distant. And then he kind of sat down, mapped it all out, did it with Avril, did a great job by the sounds in terms of kind of bringing that together, seeing what is actually a real want.

And he was just like, it blows me away to think that all of that is attainable in the next five years.

Without a doubt, every single part of that is attainable in the next five years. But it was only because I hadn’t taken the time to figure out what it was. That it felt distant and it felt daunting ultimately.

Terry: This is what I find interesting too, is We’re drawn to the things we can see and that are more concrete. So like plugging numbers into an online calculator to come up with your fire number. It’s more

concrete. It’s easier to get to a level of specificity with that. And the specificity kind of lulls you into a sense of simplicity,

Ryan: Yep.

Terry: But it’s harder to actually define what am I doing with that day? Like if I own the day, what am I doing with it?

Where am I going? Who am I doing it

with? It appears to be more fuzzy, but if you don’t do it, then you dunno when you’ve arrived. And so what you always do is chase that mirage of more.

And I’ll give you an example of this, A day that I knew that journey that I’ve been on has been well worthwhile happened earlier on this year, and it happened. On a day that we went camping and we wanted to head down to the coast get away for a couple of days and everything was booked out cause it was all public holidays.

And I was like, oh, we can’t go. And then I had the realization, I’m like we absolutely can go. We can go on the day that everybody’s coming back from a public holiday. We can go on that day. And when we drove in to go camping on that day, Had the full place to ourselves right on the beach and took that next couple of days.

So we ended, just pulled our work forward and I said to Elise, I’m like, that’s what this is all about. That kind of choice. my kids’ first day on kinder, it starts at 11:00 AM I don’t wanna have to ask an employer if I can go and be there for that moment. And our same thing. We walk down, I’m like, this is what it’s about.

Those are the moments. So if you don’t define what those moments are before you start to optimize for more money, then you’ll always just be looking for

Ryan: And that’s a memetic nature, right? And so it’s really taking that time to figure out what is true for you. What is it actually about? What is wealth? Define it for yourself. And then you start to cut away. The wants of others more so. Right. Less about the associations with other people and more about the things you’ve validated for yourself.

Terry: For yourself. Yeah. Be self-driven and be self-directed in that way.


Terry: What about the investing side of it? . I would’ve liked to spend a little bit more time on it just to understand how, the crowd influences our behavior. I think it was an interesting example to talk to the games stock one because it was very much a very crowd driven, hurting type behavior.

But it wasn’t all about money. It was all about a message that we’re sending to Wall Street. And so it shows you what people really care about,

Ryan: was probably also the comment he made around when the masses basically got, The ability to trade on their iPhones and their smartphones, the ability to quickly make changes in their decisions and how the volatility of the market

quite radical at that point. That’s quite an interesting one cause it, it kind of shows that the emotions of the masses move.

And it’s a quite a good pulse that signals to way people are feeling. And that’s what people call the market sentiment, which is, people positive or negative? And how’s that reflected in the price of things, in the price of assets? That’s quite an interesting one to consider.

Terry: John Maynard Keens calls it the Animal Spirits.

you can’t explain a lot of these movements. He’s like, Newton, he lost all his money in the stock market. And he said, I can calculate the mass and the shape of all these bodies the sky and in the universe. But he goes, but I can’t figure out. How this crowd works. This is weird. It’s really famous cuz he lost all his money in the stock market and everyone’s like, you’re the smartest guy on the planet.

What the hell’s going on? And he’s like This here, over there. That’s weird. But it’s interesting when it comes to investing, just understanding that like, when you do start getting invested, you’re actually entering that crowd and you’re entering almost like a form of hypnosis.

And you’ve just got to be really careful. We’ve talked about this in the past where you do all your thinking. Your best thinking beforehand, and then you wanna create controls and you wanna create constraints around your decisions. And the more you can slow your decisions down, once you’re invested, the better because technology like Robinhood technology, like even these investing platforms, they’re actually tapping into that, right?

There’s platforms now that you can get on where you can look at other investors and go, oh, Warren Buffett’s doing this. I’m gonna copy those investors, just copy that portfolio, or copy this person’s portfolio, copy this, and. That’s about the level of thinking most people

Ryan: Mm

Terry: It. There’s no forethought before it.

It’s like, I need to get invested. I’ll just copy what this person does. So then you’re at the whims of those animal

Ryan: Mm. Mm-hmm. And it magnifies the influence of one player in the market, doesn’t it? it’s interesting to kind of think about, like you said, you step into the animal spirit of the market, the people that are investing and the people in that community. they influence you about what you think is important to pay attention to.

so we get a lot of this where guys come into the mentorship in particular where there’s certain things around how they should be approaching, their strategy or their asset allocation, whatever that might be, that they think is a big thing, that it’s become something that feels major because the people in them, those communities, spend so much time talking about it, going back and forth over it.

Terry: Oh

Ryan: And it becomes something that feels major in the scheme of things. And when you put it into context, They’re very minor. In fact, conversation I had with somebody yesterday was around I’m trying to think what it was, to do with the ownership of assets in my name or the higher income earner’s name, or in joint names and kind of how, there’s a very specific way of doing things, but it actually moves based off the cost of debt, based off the income that’s being earned based off Frankie credits been all these things.

And so it actually didn’t matter. In that person’s scenario, but because it was talked about so much, it becomes something that people see that as important or that they should pay more attention to it. perfect example, but

Terry: I know where you’re going with it though. Like I had a conversation similar where I got a long message from one of our guys the other day and she was like, oh, I’m seeing like a lot of wealthy people use credit cards and should I be using a credit card to, manage my expenses and things like that.

And I’m like, we are not even doing the basics here. Like, let’s get the basics right. Let’s get a, B and C in place and actually have that solidified before we worry about doing anything cute.

Ryan: Yeah. And they’re probably examples of, majoring in the minors, but there’s also like, in bigger decisions that get made they’re choosing for you looking around to see what, how people are assessing the situation instead of looking at like how you should assess that situation. Whether or not that is, choice of work or partner, potentially, whatever that might be.

It’s, instead of going inward, it’s looking outward for the signals.

Terry: I think outward for information,

Inward for

Ryan: Mm-hmm. I like that.

Terry: information should help you make your decisions. but you really need insight to understand whether you’re even playing on the right sandbox, or even in the right realm here.

And like I would suggest. That’s the 80 20 of those decisions is how much insight have you got into yourself and what you actually wanna accomplish from this thing. A great question we always ask is, what would that do for you? So you think you want this, but what would that do for you? And when you answer that question, you’ll actually understand that there’s a shit ton of ways that you can get that done.

It’s not just the one way that you’ve locked into, and particularly when it comes to money, we get so myopic, and there’s a bunch of research on this too actually, and it shows that when we’re primed to think about money, we get something called myopic loss

Ryan: Mm-hmm.

Terry: And so we narrow our thinking and we focus on not losing fear of missing out.

Fear of losing out becomes a driver. And we were discussing this the other day as a driver for action. Now, that’s what you’re up against, you can sort of start to put some controls in place and sort of say, look, this is probably gonna push me in these directions. So I think yeah, like knowing what you, what it has to accomplish for you is everything.

And if I think back, one of the things I’m proudest of in my relationship with Elise was when we got married we. Started planning for the wedding. And the first thing we said, I was like, no I want to just step back for a second and go like, what does this whole thing look like?

What does it feel like? Like, well, who’s there? What’s it smell like? What’s the food? All that sort of stuff. And she said to me, she’s like, it’s just not a business plan, Terry. You’re not gonna plan this out like a wedding, you know? and so she begrudgingly did it, and then she got into the activity. She, we really enjoyed it.

We put it all down on paper and we were like, oh, we’ve really defined what a good wedding day looks like. And that saved our wedding, honestly. Because what happened from there was we then got pulled by Mimesis, pulled by social gravity towards planning somebody else’s

wedding. And we found that like three, four months down the line, we’re like begrudgingly going through this process.

I’m hating it, she’s hating it, we’re fighting. I’m like, this is shit. Like this is not fun. And then we got, we went back to our original document and I was like, none of what we’re doing here lines up with any of that. So why are we doing

that? What pulled us over there? What was

that? And then on that day, we made this decision.

I was like, we’re not getting married there, we’re not doing this. We’re gonna go and get married in Bley. And we worked out that on our honeymoon, we were going to New York, coming back through Bali, and the place that we were coming back through actually did weddings and did like really nice weddings.

And so we just rang them. We’re like, Hey, could you do this on these dates? And they’re like, oh yeah, we’ve got an opening da, da da. And so within that day, the wedding was

planned. That was it. And everybody says like, it’s a big thing. And I was like, it doesn’t have to be. It does not have to be. And that was a huge unlock for us to just go back, do the heavy lifting, do the deep thinking first.

So everything else is so much easier

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Powerful. I love it. Coming back to the conversation with Jonathan B, was there anything you disagreed with?

Terry: Yeah, good point. Not really. would’ve loved to get more nuance on the last part where we actually went through some of the key points he

disagreed with. Because there might have been stuff there where I think we could have teased out and gone back and

But in terms of the way he’s interpreted it the way he’s internalized it it’s good now to be talking about this because when you first learn it, it just does become this, lens you can’t stop looking through.

But over time I think you assimilate. You start to just add a little bit. I was sort of moving that direction. I was like, yeah this is a powerful insight into human nature. But it’s not a fix all and it’s not a panacea. There’s parts where this is null and void. There’s parts where there’s other influences that come into play.

So it’s not so much Jonathan that I disagreed with. But more so like the concept itself and giving it better context.

Ryan: There was something there you said around kind of harnessing it. It as an extreme, saying, I wanna become highly memetically driven to make money right now for the next five years, for example. And it was kind of saying, using it as a tool to kind of, charge himself in a certain direction or for a certain motivation which I thought was.

Interesting. And I kind of agree with using as a tool, and like we said before about choosing the people that you associate status or, symbolic in some way that you kind of wanna work towards being more like I feel like you probably push that to an extreme a little bit in the sense that it’s not something you can kind of turn off and on.

Or you can’t necessarily, push it up and push it down. Probably think you can sway it in some direction. or probably less able to manipulate it to that degree. is something that I was probably thinking about as he said that.

Terry: I’m glad you brought that up cause I forgot about that. That was a really interesting part of it where he was sort of saying like, I’m thinking about how I. Dial this up. And like in his series he talks about pride as the thing. So if you wanna become more memetic, then you wanna dial up your pride.

And if you wanna become less memetic, then you wanna dial up your humility and decrease your pride. And that to me is pretty interesting. Right. Cuz you think about his journey, right? He becomes like a Buddhist and that’s like dialing right up the humility and dialing right down the desire at the same time.

Because you don’t want to need anything cuz desire is


And so choosing to desire something I get the feeling that, and I don’t know, I’ll see what your take is on this. I get the, my sense was for him, he was saying, so if I know I’m like this and I choose to lean into it in order to get this result, does that mean I need to give myself over to it?

Or does it mean that I’m actually just channeling this almost like, we use that analogy in that series of like, get in the wind window put the sail right there and then just then you can kind of go with the flow. But know that like at any point you can get outta this slipstream or you can sort of switch, shift or change directions.

Don’t get caught up by it. Like, you’ve used the word before intoxicated. You can go into that situation sober and understand everything that’s influencing you.

Ryan: Yeah, I suppose it’s a question of, maybe he’s got a skillset that we don’t have. Having done those Buddhist practice, but also, going probably into a. A level of status games from a schooling perspective or a college perspective as well as a finance and industry perspective to be able to kind of ratchet up and or ratchet it down.

And maybe there’s practices that he has that allow him to prac, incr dial up his humility or at other times dial up his pride or down and. We kind of talk this out from a perspective of being able to find a balance between enjoying yourself right now by showing a lot of gratitude, dialing up gratitudes around current state of life things that you have now, versus also being able to ratchet up.

A want to build something for the future, something that’s worth working towards. And there’s practices that you do around future pacing and so there’s ways you kind of do shift that within yourself, some of those dials. And I kind of see it maybe similar for him in that he probably knows how to move those levers a little bit better than most.


Terry: It’s interesting to think about right now cuz I’m updating that locating North Star module in the program talking about the push-pull theory of

motivation and, we talk about pride and I think about my situation and, I talk about stepping into the room of people who are making decisions on my behalf. it’s definitely an element of pride there where you go, I’m not letting this happen again. This doesn’t happen to me. I’m not the kind of person this is ever gonna happen to again, so I’m gonna fix this, so now I’ve got this like away from motivation that’s driven by pride. And then I’ve got this toward motivation, which is pulling me towards the life that I live now.

I think understanding how to tap into that, that’s essentially what we’re doing. We’ve got this really tough question that we ask in that life by design, which actually gets you to tap into that. It’s kind of a dark side of motivation nobody wants to talk about, but it’s fricking powerful and all of the highest performers use it.

 think about Michael Jordan. I’m never gonna not get picked again, so I’ll become the greatest player ever. You think about Oprah wintry. Gets abused when she was a young girl. I never wanna feel that powerless against, I wanna become the most powerful woman ever. You don’t do that unless you’re got a lot of pride.

And if you can point that pride towards a worthy end and know when you’ve succeeded, then is that bad? I don’t know. Like I think it’s better than that, than like let those situations. dictate your future and let them determine your identity and, post-traumatic stress versus post-traumatic

Ryan: Mm

Terry: I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud here, but I think that might be what he’s getting at. He’s like, dial up the pride, but know what you’re doing it for so that you know what enough is.

if you dunno what enough is, then you’ll just be always chasing more.

You don’t even know why you’re doing it.

Ryan: I think the key to it is potentially just seeing them as levers that you can pull and then figuring out how to pull on those levers. Cause it’s the awareness first of it that allows you to see when it’s pushing or pulling you, and then being able to decide whether or not you want it to or not, and then having the choice and some power over it rather than just submitting to it.

No doubt there’s a lot of people that are just submitting to those things that they’re unaware to and that kind of, drifting through and getting pulled in different directions with it. It’d be interesting to kind of look at how you would pull those levers maybe in a future episode.

Like what practices you could do to, kind of ratchet up. I think The time spent thinking about who you would want to be more like is a really powerful. Exercise, really powerful practice where you idolize some people for certain traits, things that you want to be more like.

And, there’s definitely times in my life, you know, especially from a sporting nature, it’s a very competitive thing, in football where you’re always kind of looking at someone that’s doing really well and getting put on a pedestal and kind of observing how are they playing?

And you do, you start to almost imitate them. In a bunch of different ways. Even to the level of running styles, you notice these things start to come into play kinesthetically. And so that, looking at who and why is I think a really powerful thing to spend some time with. you know, And something that I’ve found very valuable for myself is like choosing the people or spending the time thinking about the people that are celebrating the wins of others.

Extremely well. The people that are just like, they get around people even for the little things and they celebrate, those successes greater than they’d probably celebrate their own.

And that’s a trait that you start to admire and then you start to go, all right, that person, I put them in that place because of this trait.

And that’s something that I wanna mimetic pull towards cuz I wanna be able to do more of that for other people around me.

Terry: Yeah, It absolutely works if you do that and you’re deliberate about it. Like, people tell me that one of my greatest strengths is my ability to network with people and keep in touch with people. I think one of our coaches, Helen said to me, he’s like, she asked my wife, she’s like, is Terry for real?

Cuz he’s always ringing to see how things are going and what’s going on, that sort. And she’s like, that’s for real. he’s like interested in everybody and sort of what they’re up to and. That is actually not something that was natural to me. I picked that up from a manager that I worked with, and I just saw the impact that had, and I made this decision at some point where I was like, that’s something that I think is a good thing.

didn’t say to myself, you’re gonna do that for the rest of your life. I just was like, well, I’m gonna actually pay attention to that as a skill and then it rubs off. So get around people who you want their stuff to rub off on you. You work with other people who have got different tolerances.

We probably rub off on each other a little bit. Around risk, adventure, that sort of stuff. The guy I used to work with in consulting, he’s a, Guinness World record holding free diver. The deepest man to dive under ice. Now, the way he thinks about risk and the way he pursues adventure.

All that sort of stuff, it does rub off. So yeah, I agree. I think that’s a really good point. Like really audit the people around you and see if they’re pulling you in that direction. And if they’re not, find people who are where you wanna be. And get around them.

Get around ’em as much as possible. Pay to spend time with them. Do it like. It’s totally worth it. I think that probably is a good part for us to kind of almost finish up on here is what are we doing with this information and how do we use it? So for me, what you just said there is critical, like look around the people at you.

Look around the people around you. And there’s two parts that I wanted to add to it as well. Cause I think that’s like a audit your environment. But the next part I think is more about the insight and understanding from inside yourself how you can use this information. I think you should look at where your efforts.

A fruitless. So when you’re striving for something but you’re never arriving and it feels like you’re never getting anywhere, if it feels like that, then there’s probably some element of ESIS to it and you should strip it back, and then look at your life and say, where are the things that I’m doing anyway?

this is the easiest one for me that you wanna look at is like, pull up your YouTube search history. Just what are the topics you keep going to? What are the things you keep wanting to learn about? What are the conversations you keep having with people?

 It tells you something about yourself. what do you keep getting drawn to? What are sticky desires? And then ask yourself that question that Jonathan said, like, is there any social reward from this?

Or am I just pursuing this cuz there’s an intrinsic or award and. That’s a signal. And it’s a strong one, and it’s something you should pay more attention to, and it’s a thread that you should keep pulling on because there’s probably a lot of meaning there that you’re not tapping isn’t, that you’re not getting from your

Ryan: Mm I think what you said there around pursuits that feel fruitless, like you’re never arriving that in itself Right, is basically saying there’s an if, then thought that exists, which is, there’s a point in time where it unlocks, it changes things for you opposed to doing it for its sake.

Terry: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Like, even just the way I’m thinking about what we are doing now, the way I thought about investing before, so we’re investing every day in our business. We’re investing time, talent, money every day. And it’s actually the growth it becomes, Rewarding in and of itself just to see the growth of the organization, to see the growth of the people in the organization, what they’re doing, how they’re succeeding.

And all that for me is it’s addictive. Like I love it. Whereas, the investing in the stock market and all those kind of things has become just kind of like a consequence, a byproduct of everything we’re doing here with this. Very different feeling. Before it was a sort of, ah, fuck when I’ve got this and now I’m like, well, I’d be doing this.

I’d sort of wanna be doing something like this anyway. So what am I trying to escape

Ryan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The last thing I wanted to touch on too is like, so we just talked about like, audit your environment, look at the people around you and like where are they pulling you?

Terry: Then the next one was like, where’s your effort fruitless, but then where is your attention timeless? And just like, keep words to keep going. The last one for me is what we just talked to there. what are the negative energies? what’s the stuff you’re numbing yourself from? The feelings that you’re, you just keep trying to look over because that’s where you could potentially be dialing up your pride.

That’s where you could be tapping into that and using that power. It’s like a nuclear power. It’s so strong if you know how to control it and harness it. It’s absolutely what helped me. It’s probably not popular to talk about, but like honestly, all the highest performers I worked with knew what drove them, knew exactly what drove them.

They weren’t just clear on their direction where they wanted to be. They were clear on the

Ryan: Mm.

Terry: And if you are not clear on the purpose, it’s probably because you’re numbing yourself and you don’t believe you can do it or whatever. So if you can stop numbing yourself for long enough to feel that negative feeling that’s driving you, now you can tap into it.

Ryan: It’s where you place that pride to, isn’t it? Because the pride can keep you stuck in the sense that you don’t wanna put yourself out there to look silly by doing something different, something that maybe you’re now you’re an office, office at, where your attention is timeless. But it’s the placement of pride to say. Like in your example, I’m not gonna settle for this. I’m not gonna accept the status quo, that there’s this part of my life that sucks the life out of me.

Terry: mm.

Ryan: having the pride to say, yep, I’m not settling for that. I’m gonna do something different. I’m gonna get myself out of my seat to create a change that will eventuate in some direction.

Terry: Yeah. And you know what’s interesting? I wrote something about this the other day, is that you think you need the courage to do the thing, but you do the thing to get the courage.

Ryan: Yeah.

Terry: And it’s actually in pursuit of what you want. That you start taking actions that build a new identity. So I guarantee I got questioned, I got ridiculed.

People are going, what are you talking about? You know? And then you stepping into this different place. People just wanna put you in a box. But if your pride and your vision is bigger, then that criticism, it doesn’t have to stop you. And look, the thing that I always remind myself is none of these people are gonna be at my funeral, not one.

Ryan: True. That’s good.

Terry: Why would I give a about what they say?

Why would I live my life based on somebody else’s perception of me? Because I’m the only person I have to look in the mirror every night, and I’m the only person who I’m gonna be with at the

Ryan: Mm Powerful. Well, I think we leave it at that. It’s a good place.

Terry: Heavy.

Ryan: Hopefully we’ve got a really cheery out outro that exists at the end of this episode.

Terry: Yeah, but look, hey, you get one life, use it.

Ryan: yeah, Yeah. Absolutely. Don’t settle, use pride the right way. Don’t settle. Love it. Good stuff. Well guys, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this discussion on the outro. Be and cheer. Happy and sharing the vibes, lifting it back up.

But yeah, if you enjoyed this discussion, we’d love to hear your thoughts jump in the community. Terry will share up the episode as soon as it goes live. Wanna see some comments, wanna see how this is influencing you and Yeah, always rate and review the show if you can, helps us reach more people.

So we’d love to be able to do that. and then before we go, what’s coming up next, Terry?

Terry: Mate, we’ve got a series, series I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. It’s a series on love and money, so, And I would never have considered that we would be doing a series on this when we started, but it turns out that we’ve become pretty damn experienced when it comes to love and money.

We’ve learned a lot about what impacts couples, how couples can work better together with their money because of the work we’ve done over the last few years and Unwillingly become sort of experts in this area because of like what we’ve seen, what we’ve heard, what we’ve understood and how we’ve, used those lessons to, to help folks.

So I’m gonna be jumping on with Helen, one of our coaches and got gave you the sack mate. Cause I thought I don’t wanna talk to Ryan about love and money. So I’m gonna be talking to Helen, much better looking host. we’ve sort of went deep on it. we’ve kind of talked about, how do you know that you need to be working on this?

How do you know that this is a blocker for you, and what are the opportunities on the other side of it? Why do we fight about money? What’s in the way? What are the obstacles? How do we overcome those obstacles? And then what have we learned? About the couples that have really taken, I guess, the practice, the process and mastered it and what can we share from that.

So I’m really looking forward to sharing this series


Ryan: Huge. It’s one of the biggest things that impacts people’s experience with money. Absolutely. How well you work with the partner on it. Good stuff, mate. Well, it sounds like I’ll see you in a few.

Terry: yeah. See you then, mate.