What if your best days were ahead of you not behind you? What if aging was something to look forward to, not resist?
Nathan's guest today is Chip Conley, "Modern Elder" and founder of the first Midlife Wisdom School.
Chip is a hospitality maverick and visionary who founded America’s second-largest boutique hotel company before selling it to Hyatt Hotels and becoming the Strategic Advisor and Global Head of Hospitality for Airbnb. He was instrumental in guiding the founders of this start-up into the unicorn, global hospitality brand it is today. Chip is also the founder of Modern Elder Academy, the first midlife wisdom school dedicated to transforming aging and a New York Times bestselling author. He has another brand new project called Generations over Dinner.
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Chip Conley: You recording there you go.
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Nathan Hurd: Alright chip conley Thank you so much for being here it's really great to see you.
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Chip Conley: honored to join it and.
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Nathan Hurd: So I thought we could start today with a concept that you're the first person i've ever heard articulate this concept and it's become very meaningful to me personally.
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Nathan Hurd: But it strikes me as a concept that really is relevant to anyone at any age, so let me just ask you what is the happiness you curve and.
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Nathan Hurd: How do you.
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Nathan Hurd: feel about it.
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Chip Conley: Well, fortunately I didn't just come up with it on my own, but in fact I did a lot of research and.
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Chip Conley: Social social scientists, for the last number of decades have been looking at what are the ingredients of happiness or life satisfaction in various parts of the world.
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Chip Conley: And one of the things that they've studied is the idea of how does your life satisfaction increase or decrease over the course of time.
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Chip Conley: Now, I think the societal narrative on it on aging, is that you know once your midlife crisis it's all downhill from there.
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Chip Conley: But, in fact, the data is quite the opposite, it shows that actually people do hit a difficult period in their life your.
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Chip Conley: Your mileage may vary Nathan you're not there yet 45 to 50 tends to be the the roughest era in someone's life across almost all cultures.
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Chip Conley: But actually after that that low point with each passing decade people get happier and happier and so 50s happier than 4067 and 5070 separate than 60 s and women in their 80s happier than 70s.
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Chip Conley: And, and so what it looks like is like a big smile you curve big smile where where life satisfaction drops starting at around age 22.
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Chip Conley: And continues on down till for about 25 years and then it actually goes back up for 25 or more years and I was encouraging about this is suggests oh wow you know your best years may not be behind you at age 45 or 50 your best years actually might be, how do you.
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Nathan Hurd: So what would you say I mean what about your right i'm coming into what seemingly that low point Is this something that can be influenced and, if so, what advice would you give to someone that's you know.
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Nathan Hurd: Leading into yes.
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Chip Conley: No point I actually think millennials are helping to flatten the curve, a little bit, which is a good thing, what are the ingredients that lead to that low point.
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Chip Conley: I have a book called emotional equations i'm going to pull out an equation from that book and it's just disappointment equals expectations minus reality.
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Chip Conley: Disappointment equals expectations events reality it is around age your mid 40s you start to realize the expectations, you had of your life.
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Chip Conley: may not pan out, you may not have married your soul Mate, you may not have a million dollars in the bank you don't have the job title, you would have expected and your kids are pain in the neck and not and not as successful as you wanted them to be.
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Chip Conley: And so you end up having to readjust your expectations which is not the end of the world.
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Chip Conley: But it is for some people that's what's going on, so actually adjusting expectations along the way when you're younger is a good thing.
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Chip Conley: Another thing that happens around age 45 to 50 is people realize that they have been reading from a script that was handed to them by their parents or their community.
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Chip Conley: And it's not really their script then they were not the screenwriter of their life.
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Chip Conley: And it is around 45 or 50 that they say hell I don't want to live this way, I want to, I want to live a different way than this.
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Chip Conley: And that's when you know, sometimes the midlife crisis kicks in with like the red sports car or an affair, but if you actually along the way, are checking in.
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Chip Conley: When you're younger about taking a path that feels right for you you're likely to avert that.
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Chip Conley: Another thing that actually happens often in people's 50s and 60s and beyond, is they care a little bit less about what other people think of them, they don't personalize things quite as much.
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Chip Conley: And so, learning how to do that at a younger age where you don't care as much, and now, this is a hard one, a lot of times for younger people, especially in a social media era.
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Chip Conley: where everybody is so worried about likes and you know what's how many followers do I have accepted that all of that works to your disfavor.
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Chip Conley: Because, quite frankly, getting to the place where you're comfortable in your own skin just starts to sag is a good thing, because it actually getting comfortable in your skin is a form of developing life satisfaction.
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Chip Conley: And it means that you sort of take your own time, so I can continue on for a while, but I would say Those are some of the ways that a person who's younger than 45 to 50 credit help to make sure they don't dip isn't as deep as it is for some people um.
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Nathan Hurd: Thank you that's really helpful it's you know it's interesting because I think young entrepreneurs oftentimes they social media is a key part of their business strategy.
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Nathan Hurd: So finding the balance between keeping you know minimizing social media, but using social media for a purpose that can be beneficial, is a is a tightrope to walk.
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Nathan Hurd: yeah um well, let me ask you, most of the people listening probably have heard of you, but for anyone who hasn't i'm sure there are sorry, can you just talk a little bit about what's your background what's you know how do you think about your work and your background up to this point.
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Chip Conley: So I grew up in southern California went up to northern California to Stanford for college and stayed there for Business School I got my MBA there.
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Chip Conley: went to work for real estate to open them at age 26 started a boutique hotel company in the very early era of boutique hotels starting to become a thing in the hotel business and.
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Chip Conley: The name of the makeup it was called you want to be that was based, based in San Francisco and everything the next 24 years as the CEO we created 52 boutique hotels around the state of California.
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Chip Conley: each with its own name and we became the second largest particular in the US sold the business it's now a hyatt brand under the name jd the years you want to be.
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Chip Conley: And then at age 50 I was like what's next and two years later I was approached by the three young founders of airbnb about 10 years ago.
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Chip Conley: It was a tangled tech startup in San Francisco I really didn't know much about it, most people in the world had never heard of it.
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Chip Conley: And, as it turns out, the timing was perfect because I had the time and they had the need and the need was nobody in their company or small company had any background in.
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Chip Conley: hospitality or travel those industries and they were going to disrupt those industries, and so I came in, as what they ultimately call me the modern elder who is curious, as he as wise as they said to me.
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Chip Conley: who helped them take their little company, which was growing fast when I joined but didn't you know they'd never run a business before they were.
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Chip Conley: One of them was a Harvard engineer, the other tour Rhode island school of design designers and I helped them along with some other people who joined us.
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Chip Conley: To build a business into what's today the most valuable hospitality company in the world along the way, while I was doing that I was four years full time with them and then three and a half years as a strategic advisor so seven and a half years very actively involved.
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Chip Conley: Along the way I started to see that this modern other thing was really interesting, why is it that we think of people as being over the hell at age 50 or 52 or when I joined airbnb.
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Chip Conley: And what if you were to create the world's first mid life wisdom school and that's what we did, called the modern elder Academy, our first campus is down here in.
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Chip Conley: On a beach in Mexico and what's known as Baja California swore an hour north of Cabo San Lucas and.
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Chip Conley: It became such a hit that we now have two campuses opening in Santa fe new Mexico and we have an online program called me a line and.
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Chip Conley: it's become a big deal and gotten a lot of attention, you know, and I am thrilled because I, you know mid life can be a period of time and they'd like thinking it, but quite broadly sociologist now consuming like 35 to 75 it's a very long period of time.
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Chip Conley: live life is an era that hasn't gotten a lot of research, the only thing that's gotten as a bad brand when Nathan, when I say the word midlife with with the word you add to it.
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Nathan Hurd: crisis.
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Chip Conley: midlife exactly crisis.
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Chip Conley: And in my opinion, based upon a lot of research that we've done and working with academics it's really like crisis it's more like a Christmas.
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Chip Conley: And if you think of a chrysalis, it is the in between stage between a caterpillar into a butterfly.
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Chip Conley: And if you think about the curve of happiness, the low point of view, for happiness is right there in midlife.
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Chip Conley: And it is when you're sort of in this gooey dark time a lot going on a lot of transition happening and then another metamorphosis potentially happening.
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Chip Conley: On the other side of it is often are your happiest years and and so that's what we what we've done is we've really created a program that allows people to reimagine.
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Chip Conley: themselves and with the average age of people being 54 years old in the program if you're going to live till age 90 and you're 54 you have as many years of adulthood behind you 18 to 2436 years, as you have adulthood ahead of you.
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Chip Conley: Is 36 years and, most of us at age 54 do not think we are halfway through our adult life at age 54 right.
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Nathan Hurd: I love that I really do I love that So do you find that well, first of all I, I will be coming down to to visit you in Baja at some point, but do you find that people really have very different trajectories like someone can go through a midlife crisis literally at 35 or.
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Nathan Hurd: all the way up to 75 and those.
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Nathan Hurd: pressure.
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Chip Conley: And what does that depend on or multiple.
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Chip Conley: yeah I mean this one of the reasons there's so many reasons I mean it's it's some of it could be going through a really difficult time it's just called a difficult time.
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Chip Conley: Getting Bruce filer who are because life is in the transitions called a life quake when you're going through multiple transitions that once i'm there are a lot of reasons why people have challenging times, one is.
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Chip Conley: Often, the primary operating system of their life is changing, and you know, there was it was like up to us what got me here is not going to be what gets me there moving forward and it's hard it's hard to make a transition in the middle of one's life.
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Chip Conley: Sometimes there's things that are thrust on you, you get your surprised by you know your your spouse asking you for a divorce.
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Chip Conley: One of your kids passes away unexpectedly.
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Chip Conley: Empty nest is harder for you than you thought.
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Chip Conley: You have a.
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Chip Conley: an illness or disease this discovered at this age, you know men have Andrew positive and have menopause and you and that.
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Chip Conley: That hormonal transition is hard so there's a lot that goes on what I think is true and it's unfortunate.
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Chip Conley: Is that we as a society understand that there's a lot there's a big mash up of different things going on in their life.
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Chip Conley: And yet we don't really provide anything in the way of societal or social or government support to people in this era.
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Chip Conley: Unlike adolescence now adolescence as a word was coined in 1904 didn't exist before them and so.
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Chip Conley: it's interesting and then prior to that you know if you hit puberty you're an adult that once adolescence as a life stage being thought of their life stage in between childhood and adulthood your teen years was quietly quaint as a concept, it led to child Labor was led to.
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Chip Conley: private and public junior and senior high schools, as we know them today and I mentioned can away.
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Chip Conley: Well there's a new word called nipple essence it's about 20 years old it's not have done, and in the mainstream and it's a word that describes what's happening when you're going through physical hormonal.
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Chip Conley: Identity and emotional transitions and midlife similar to what happens it's like the book end of.
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Chip Conley: adulthood started it is adolescence, just before the end of adulthood before elder hood is middle essence it usually ends at age 60 or 65 and after that you are an.
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Chip Conley: elder in a sense of elderly you're you're, relatively speaking, maybe older than people around you a lot of the time.
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Chip Conley: And yet we don't have much in the way of a society school or schools or tools or rituals to help people to go through all of the transitions that happen in that middle essence period and that's really what we're doing.
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Nathan Hurd: All right, I love that and I want to come back to this, but if we could just for a second you mentioned crystal this before as just a metaphor for periods of change.
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Nathan Hurd: And it just strikes me that that metaphor is, would you say and do you think about it as applying to any period of change, like, for example, right now, you know I think a lot of people are worried about the economy or.
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Nathan Hurd: wondering, you know where we're headed in the next year or two.
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Nathan Hurd: And these periods of crisis.
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Nathan Hurd: Do you how do you think about chrysalis related to any.
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Chip Conley: Money actually rather than using Christmas as a metaphor, and this one one of you to use some scholarly research has shown the following.
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Chip Conley: Is that the effective way to go through any kind of transition is is to consider it as three phases, the first phase is the ending of something it could be ending of a mindset, it could be ending of you know, a job and and moving on to something else, it could be the ending of an expectation.
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Chip Conley: At the end of that and then ritualized that is important because, frankly, if there's something that you're holding on to.
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Chip Conley: Moving forward and it's not going to happen, you know there's a lot of lingering disappointment lot and you may may inhibit you from moving on to what's next.
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Chip Conley: So first stage in any transition is the ending of something the middle stage and for the caterpillar is you know ending being caterpillar the middle stages and what's also called the messy middle it's it's a period of lemon ality.
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Chip Conley: Bruce filer in his book life is in the transitions this research shows that the average length of a transition, it could last for years and now.
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Chip Conley: You know transitions in the economy don't last four years, typically unless something's really serious is going on, but.
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Chip Conley: Our emotional relationships to what happens in the economy, met last four years if there's, if you like, a business, you have went out of business, it might take that long to just sort of get over it.
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Chip Conley: So the messy middle tends to be a period where you it's it's some more emotional period it's like okay and it's also building new skills.
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Chip Conley: Think of it like you know, in the military.
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Chip Conley: If you're going into becoming a recruit there's the ending of your relationship in Kansas abilene Kansas, and your family you go off to.
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Chip Conley: quantico Virginia to become a marine and you go to boot camp, you get your head shaved you're wearing a uniform that's the messy middle you're going through all of the hell week boot camp.
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Chip Conley: And then, on the other side of boot camp is you go back to abilene Kansas to see your family, you have a newly new new a shaved head you're wearing a uniform there's maybe a new gentlemanly enos to you.
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Chip Conley: And you show up as a different person now Joseph Campbell with the hero's journey is the first person is sort of like.
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Chip Conley: popularized this notion, and then George Lucas took his notion and applied it to the Star Wars movies, the idea that this transition of the ending of something.
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Chip Conley: The messy middle and then the beginning of something new, and I think if you if we were better as human as a society to help people understand those are the three stages of a normal transition, we might have people going through the treasure transition more adeptly and more quickly.
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Nathan Hurd: yeah absolutely I you know it's sometimes people are waiting for the end of something to allow themselves to feel.
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Nathan Hurd: Happy intent.
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Nathan Hurd: You know and.
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Nathan Hurd: The reality is that this day is going to happen one time and we'll never have it back, and so what would you say how would you describe a rich and fulfilling life or how would you how do you think about that question.
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Chip Conley: yeah yeah you know, one of the things we talked about an nda JEREMY is we say that we're in the business of long life learning.
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Chip Conley: What is long life learning is that, like lifelong learning well lifelong learning is a big umbrella, and you can be doing it lifelong learning at age 30 or at age 70.
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Chip Conley: But the difference is that at age 30 what you might want to learn how you learn it and why you learn, it may be different than a 70.
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Chip Conley: As you get older long life learning is learning to live a life it's a deep and meaningful, as it is long.
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Chip Conley: And so that is why long life journey is a subset often for people 50 and older and the topics that you might want to learn about our different.
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Chip Conley: So what is what makes for a deep and meaningful life well according to Dr phil pizzo who ran Stanford Medical School for a long time and then started the Stanford distinguished careers Institute.
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Chip Conley: He says three things people need more than anything else, after age 50 our purpose community and wellness and so let's unpack those in the Harvard.
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Chip Conley: longitudinal study done by George valiant.
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Chip Conley: has shown this as well, so often, when someone retires, for example, they often lose the first to purpose and Community because a lot of your purpose comes from your work.
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Chip Conley: and your community is also often the workplace so it's not surprising that, when someone retires then might actually lose that sense of purpose and community.
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Chip Conley: And it's something you needed to actually be more intentional about in terms of how you bring it into life, the part that's always really surprising to me as wellness.
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Chip Conley: Like if you're retiring Why would you necessarily be less well you'd have more time to go exercise.
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Chip Conley: and be healthy, but because you don't have the structure and discipline of work actually you end up spending 47 times 47 hours a week, on average, for the average retiree in the United States in front of the TV.
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Chip Conley: Is that right um yeah and so there's So these are the three things that I think helped to create a longer deeper meaningful life, but a piece today is sort of missing here, and it could be, it could fall under any of these categories purpose wellness or community.
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Chip Conley: Is spirituality and I think.
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Chip Conley: faith and I and there's no doubt that, as we get older in life, on average, we tend to get more curious about these kinds of spiritual matters.
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Chip Conley: In fact, it was the psychologists call young, as well as Christian mystic Richard rohr who actually is very involved in MBA.
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Chip Conley: Who said that the first half of your life your primary operating system is your your ego.
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Chip Conley: And, and the second half of your life adult life, the primary operating system at the soul, but nobody told you this and there's a there's a shift in the operating system around mid life.
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Chip Conley: And yet we do we give no operating manual for people to understand how to make this shift and that's I think a really important part of.
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Chip Conley: The MBA curriculum and a long life learning kind of curriculum anywhere would be, how do you start asking some of the more mysterious questions of life.
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Chip Conley: In in a way that is going to be a North star for you.
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Chip Conley: And we have any we don't have a particular doctrine or dogma that we are behind we are big believers in the idea of mindfulness.
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Chip Conley: Which a you know, is a great way to say between stimulus and response you create a bigger space and mindfulness helps you be less reactive, no matter what you know your religion or spiritual practices that is a good and healthy thing.
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Chip Conley: That we also have you know huge library all kinds of books from all kinds of spiritual and religious baths to people tend to gravitate to be say you know I.
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Chip Conley: I studied philosophy in College and the last time I actually read any interesting book around spirituality was then, and I want to you know now 55 years old, I am curious again so.
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Nathan Hurd: I would say that.
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Nathan Hurd: In my own life experience my bookshelves have shifted.
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Nathan Hurd: As the years of yeah in that direction so so like what are the obstacles.
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Nathan Hurd: You know what do you think are the biggest obstacles to a rich and meaningful life and it's i'm hearing what you're saying, which is the happiness you curve.
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Nathan Hurd: I mean is ego death or eat or just sort of realizing that he goes running your life like what are the obstacles that you say for younger.
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Nathan Hurd: People, I guess, and then for older people.
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Chip Conley: yeah I think an obstacle is.
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Chip Conley: Your ego getting the best of you, so to speak, meaning you're not.
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Chip Conley: you're so self focused that you lose track of what you can do for others, I mean one of my favorite questions to ask myself, and anybody else's and doing whatever they're doing is like, how can I serve.
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Chip Conley: How can I be of service and.
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Chip Conley: You know, big believer in the servant leadership half in organizations as well, so I think the ego is one thing that gets in the way another thing that gets in the way is, as I said earlier, worrying too much what other people think about you.
00:22:39.510 --> 00:22:54.480
Chip Conley: And I and that's partly because, at times, you have no control over that I mean there are times when you can influence it for sure, but you know what i'll never forget in high school there's one in jeannie jeannie said to me, I hate you chip.
00:22:54.900 --> 00:22:59.970
Chip Conley: And I said, why do you hate me what to do, which is, I hate you because everybody else likes you I was like okay what am I gonna do that.
00:23:00.450 --> 00:23:10.590
Chip Conley: Like Okay, the reason you hit me is because everybody else likes me then I there's nothing I can do about that, and it was a beautiful, you know, an age 17 way for me to say.
00:23:10.980 --> 00:23:22.680
Chip Conley: You know it times it doesn't really matter what someone else thinks of me um another thing that gets in the way of a deep or rich and meaningful life is being overly busy.
00:23:24.150 --> 00:23:28.230
Chip Conley: is a natural, especially for those of us who are very Taipei, myself included.
00:23:30.270 --> 00:23:38.880
Chip Conley: If you constantly feel like your sense of self esteem, is a function of how busy your calendar looks to yourself and others.
00:23:39.750 --> 00:23:46.920
Chip Conley: You don't really give space for something to emerge so for for me, let me give a quick example when I sold my company.
00:23:47.610 --> 00:23:53.100
Chip Conley: In the great recession that particular company and I had a couple years and people say what are you gonna do and I.
00:23:53.550 --> 00:24:00.420
Chip Conley: yeah, I was interested in a few things I was reading a book and i'm just doing a bunch of things, but I didn't like jump on one bandwagon.
00:24:01.110 --> 00:24:12.210
Chip Conley: And i'm glad I didn't because, when the the me the airbnb founders approached me I had space in my life now originally was supposed to be 15 hours a week.
00:24:13.860 --> 00:24:16.200
Chip Conley: Within I think three or four weeks and 16 hours a day.
00:24:17.730 --> 00:24:35.940
Chip Conley: But, thank God, I have the space to be able to do that, because what a what a rocket ship I attached myself to and what a journey, I was on and if I kept myself too busy when that opportunity came along and emerged, I would have said no.
00:24:37.080 --> 00:24:42.240
Chip Conley: So learning how to slow down learning how to spend time in nature.
00:24:43.560 --> 00:24:49.080
Chip Conley: Because nature is a beautiful teacher for all kinds of things is another thing that could be helpful.
00:24:49.800 --> 00:24:56.070
Chip Conley: And then I think, finally, I would just say the following this is particularly a this is directed toward men more than women.
00:24:56.730 --> 00:25:09.240
Chip Conley: Because women learn how to socialize and to be vulnerable early in life and and they have a social safety net emotional insurance from friends men are not so good at this and.
00:25:10.560 --> 00:25:16.560
Chip Conley: And it is part of the reason you know I had five friends, all of them in midlife take their own lives through suicide.
00:25:16.980 --> 00:25:36.120
Chip Conley: And during the great recession during two and a half years that was really hard and, and so I would say is learning how to build them my soul of being vulnerable and having friends who are there in your life and you're there for each other is a reciprocity and.
00:25:37.590 --> 00:25:45.660
Chip Conley: That to have a rich and meaningful life is to really understand what's going on with your closest friends it's having deep conversation.
00:25:46.620 --> 00:26:01.140
Chip Conley: there's a beautiful Arthur Aaron is a psychologist and he has 36 questions so if someone were to do a Google search for Arthur Aaron and the classrooms a think it's a R io n that's four letters.
00:26:01.590 --> 00:26:12.210
Chip Conley: 36 questions you'll see them and they're the kind of questions that if you were to sit down with your best friend, or you know someone who cared about a family member that you wanted to get closer to do.
00:26:12.600 --> 00:26:15.750
Chip Conley: it's a beautiful set of questions to actually grit fake.
00:26:15.900 --> 00:26:23.220
Chip Conley: greater vulnerability and intimacy with someone else and once you've opened the door to that as we've learned at MBA.
00:26:23.910 --> 00:26:33.150
Chip Conley: wow you realize that you want all of your relationships to have that deep and meaningful component to and the Harvard study the longitudinal study.
00:26:33.510 --> 00:26:44.700
Chip Conley: Of what makes people live longer happier lives showed, without a doubt the number one ingredient was the quality of the relationships someone who has invested in their lives.
00:26:46.170 --> 00:26:51.120
Nathan Hurd: Thank you for that and yeah we'll link to that in the show notes here that's a really great resource I.
00:26:52.320 --> 00:27:09.900
Nathan Hurd: Have the people that I know who are in midlife and who are feeling frustrated or lost most of them are over waiting their work, and you know, maybe they have a very busy family life, but they're they're not waiting heavily their their relationship so that.
00:27:10.230 --> 00:27:14.760
Nathan Hurd: yeah that's extremely helpful to me and to i'm sure, a lot of people listening so.
00:27:16.350 --> 00:27:26.400
Nathan Hurd: So thank you um so I mean you've you've, of course, been through many ups and downs business, and I know you've learned an awful lot and you've also had a lot of success.
00:27:26.730 --> 00:27:34.710
Nathan Hurd: What have you learned in your life about financial wealth like what's the value of financial wealth, what can I give you and what can it give you.
00:27:36.300 --> 00:27:51.780
Chip Conley: One of the questions we like to ask here at MBA is what would be a growth mindset associated with money, and not in terms of how do you grow your money, but how do you improve your relationship with money, so one of the questions we like to ask our our students here is.
00:27:53.010 --> 00:28:07.290
Chip Conley: If you went to think of money, what if money was a person, and it was your best friend and you and money went to couples Council counseling together or therapy together what would the money say about you and what would you say.
00:28:09.120 --> 00:28:17.610
Chip Conley: And so I think learning to be a little more conscious about our relationship with money is really important, because money actually give you freedom or does it take it away.
00:28:18.450 --> 00:28:33.900
Chip Conley: And I think you know, up to a certain point in someone's life money wise it absolutely gives freedom, it helps there's no doubt the data is pretty conclusive that up to 75,000 or $100,000 a year in annual income more.
00:28:34.560 --> 00:28:36.900
Chip Conley: salary income annually.
00:28:37.230 --> 00:28:51.420
Chip Conley: increases happiness, interestingly, after a certain point, you see 75,000 I think it might be $100,000 now and, of course, it depends on where you are in the United States because the hundred thousand in New York isn't the same as 100,000 in in.
00:28:52.620 --> 00:28:54.750
Chip Conley: You know waco Texas.
00:28:55.980 --> 00:29:07.170
Chip Conley: The fact is that there's no there's no correlation between income and happiness and that's partly because, at a certain point, nobody can take away freedom.
00:29:07.650 --> 00:29:20.340
Chip Conley: in the sense that, when it actually becomes the measuring of your self esteem, or people are greedy or feeling somehow that there's.
00:29:20.880 --> 00:29:33.990
Chip Conley: A bad relationship with money within a family, you know people see money as the thing a scarce resource that you know leads to arguments when in fact it may not be that scarce.
00:29:35.580 --> 00:29:41.190
Chip Conley: So I think financial wealth is you know something we are obviously I think it's worth striving for.
00:29:41.790 --> 00:29:55.800
Chip Conley: In my opinion, it gives you the freedom to make decisions for yourself to your family, as well as your philanthropic life and what you want, how you want to create the currency, so I so Lynn twist is a.
00:29:56.220 --> 00:29:58.710
Chip Conley: Famous me a faculty Member.
00:29:58.980 --> 00:30:06.090
Chip Conley: She wrote a book called the stolen money there you go right there, so the solar money and she's she teaches with me down here in La and.
00:30:06.570 --> 00:30:12.810
Chip Conley: She talks about you know the word currency she says like let's let's remember that money is a currency.
00:30:13.500 --> 00:30:21.750
Chip Conley: And we think of it generally in the financial terms of like okay well, you have you have the US currency, you have a UK currency, the German currency.
00:30:22.260 --> 00:30:32.940
Chip Conley: But she's like no no currency means something that actually goes it's like a conduit and there's something energetic about it, it actually it creates the bonds between things or people.
00:30:33.480 --> 00:30:42.750
Chip Conley: And what she likes to say is that you know how will you use that relationship and currency in such a way toward what, how do you use your money to support.
00:30:43.770 --> 00:30:50.220
Chip Conley: That in the world that you want to see more of what do you want what you appreciate appreciates.
00:30:51.570 --> 00:31:10.890
Chip Conley: And so I like that and it's led me, for example, I made a small fortune and I embarrassed to say it, but I made a small fortune like, not even a small fortune, not that large fortune being one of the largest shareholders of airbnb and.
00:31:13.050 --> 00:31:20.910
Chip Conley: What that allowed me to do is to take that money and create a foundation for myself chip conley foundation.
00:31:21.450 --> 00:31:28.170
Chip Conley: allowed me to create another you know nonprofit called age Association for growth and education that allows me to fund.
00:31:29.160 --> 00:31:40.740
Chip Conley: programs for middle life education for people but it's it's allowed me to grow MBA so that's freedom to go and say I want, I want to use it the right way.
00:31:41.220 --> 00:31:51.480
Chip Conley: Now there are days when I you know get into arguments with financial advice I mean more money you have, the more there are somebody has an idea about how you should be using this money.
00:31:51.900 --> 00:32:01.140
Chip Conley: And that's when it gets a little complicated, especially if you have descendants and people who are looking to you to be the the money bags for their future.
00:32:01.800 --> 00:32:14.160
Chip Conley: So it is not a simple topic, but if we can start with intentionality you know what is, how are we more intentional about our that relationship with money, the better the better our relationship, but then they might be.
00:32:15.600 --> 00:32:26.730
Nathan Hurd: desert desert very, very helpful ideas have you found for you, I know you know yourself, first and foremost, but a lot of other people who have been successful financially, have you seen.
00:32:27.570 --> 00:32:38.280
Nathan Hurd: patterns between them like have you noticed patterns that lead to financial wealth or they need patterns that you look for or use when you're making decisions.
00:32:38.430 --> 00:32:45.300
Chip Conley: Financial so I wish I wish I had my T shirt on here that weren't the T shirt I have one word occasions, he.
00:32:45.570 --> 00:32:51.720
Chip Conley: knows me naked when the when the tide goes goes out and that's still the time we're in right now.
00:32:52.950 --> 00:32:54.540
Chip Conley: Maybe recessionary times.
00:32:56.160 --> 00:32:59.610
Chip Conley: i'm a big believer in you know by when other people.
00:33:00.630 --> 00:33:09.420
Chip Conley: are selling and sell and other people are buying, I mean it's so you know bet bet the bottoms be people have a tendency to.
00:33:10.800 --> 00:33:18.240
Chip Conley: Over estimate how long positive periods, going to be under estimate and overestimate how long a negative three is going to be.
00:33:19.770 --> 00:33:23.790
Chip Conley: And the trend lines of your time are pretty clear, I mean so.
00:33:25.050 --> 00:33:26.280
Chip Conley: i'm a big fan of.
00:33:27.660 --> 00:33:38.280
Chip Conley: Looking for undervalued stocks, because they are, which are the cashier india's right, these days, it was overvalued and that's undervalued and some somewhere in between the right number.
00:33:40.350 --> 00:33:51.990
Chip Conley: I am also a contrarian by nature, in terms of how I start businesses and run them I I you know why run a business where your competitive set you're just trying to be as good as they are.
00:33:52.500 --> 00:34:10.230
Chip Conley: You know why not change the playing field what you're playing on, which is what everybody did, and what we did with the boutique hotel business and exactly what we're doing with MBA as well, and so i'm so i'm generally not somebody who believes in following the Pack.
00:34:11.850 --> 00:34:14.940
Nathan Hurd: yeah I think it's especially important right now we we.
00:34:16.260 --> 00:34:25.800
Nathan Hurd: We also there's a friend of ours that are friend of mine, that is a family family planner you had met you mentioned this earlier your descendants.
00:34:26.250 --> 00:34:35.460
Nathan Hurd: And one of the things they first do when they meet with clients is they bring together if possible three generations as many generations as exist and they bring those generations.
00:34:35.490 --> 00:34:50.160
Nathan Hurd: Together, and they have them go through a process where they come up with a purpose for the money over time and they get them to all agree to this, because I mean you're right to this, I mean how many families have just fallen apart, frankly, when money's.
00:34:50.310 --> 00:34:51.060
Nathan Hurd: Right passed on.
00:34:52.230 --> 00:34:54.420
Nathan Hurd: So Anyway, thank you for that so.
00:34:55.650 --> 00:35:02.370
Nathan Hurd: What what's a belief that you once held back in your hotel your days you you sold your.
00:35:02.430 --> 00:35:03.780
Nathan Hurd: hotel in 2008.
00:35:04.800 --> 00:35:06.450
Chip Conley: No company sold in.
00:35:06.450 --> 00:35:14.820
Nathan Hurd: 2010 2010 what's a belief that you held back then that you have let go of since.
00:35:15.450 --> 00:35:26.490
Chip Conley: I may, I think one for sure is that, back then, I saw my sense of self worth being absolutely almost absolutely correlated with the success or failure of the business.
00:35:27.300 --> 00:35:49.680
Chip Conley: And I look back on that at that now, you know 12 years later, and I laugh at it, you know I think that's a funny thing but, but I also realized that age 26 I ran for 2426 26 to 50 so in many ways that was just where I was at age 26 it just stayed there.
00:35:51.810 --> 00:35:56.130
Chip Conley: what's another belief that is that I had back then that I don't have today.
00:35:56.520 --> 00:36:01.800
Nathan Hurd: Or, one that you still have or one that you had back then that stood the test of time that's still really important.
00:36:03.000 --> 00:36:08.340
Chip Conley: That, I think your your reputation is.
00:36:09.780 --> 00:36:17.130
Chip Conley: The most important and intangible asset, you have in your life, whether that's a brand or whether it's a person.
00:36:19.770 --> 00:36:27.030
Chip Conley: You know, when your reputation is portable you know the cosmic bellhop either delivers it to destination before you get there, people will talk about you.
00:36:29.340 --> 00:36:41.460
Chip Conley: So I would just say that's one that I stands the test of time for sure I don't and I think you know, in the era of social media it's maybe even more important.
00:36:41.850 --> 00:36:51.780
Chip Conley: Because it used to be word of mouth now it's word of mouth that night and word of mouth and nobody uses a mouse but it's like there's an element of like the the digital.
00:36:52.890 --> 00:37:05.790
Chip Conley: bashing of a reputation, it can be really painful because of the fact that it goes so far man in terms of how it how quick and widespread something can be so.
00:37:08.010 --> 00:37:09.870
Chip Conley: I think that's important I.
00:37:11.100 --> 00:37:16.230
Chip Conley: want to I will have a I have a blog called wisdom well, which I think you know.
00:37:17.550 --> 00:37:27.840
Chip Conley: And I had a blog post, a few weeks ago on the 62 pieces of advice i'm 62 this year 62 pieces of advice I wish i'd learned earlier.
00:37:28.380 --> 00:37:49.260
Chip Conley: And there are a bunch of things on there, but one of them on there was assuming best intentions and for me that's one that's that's pretty core yes, there are bad people in the world, yes, there are people who are going to rip you off, but what a more generous and.
00:37:50.280 --> 00:37:51.780
Chip Conley: Beautiful life I live.
00:37:52.980 --> 00:38:04.740
Chip Conley: By being clear that I assume best intentions when it is a decision, I have to make that is a what I call a boat below the waterline decision.
00:38:05.250 --> 00:38:15.750
Chip Conley: Like if a torpedo hits the ship and things that i'm going to come from a perspective of more caution about assuming best intentions, but when I run into people on the street.
00:38:16.920 --> 00:38:29.760
Chip Conley: When I meet people, for the first time in a workshop when I introduced to somebody by an email email I generally assuming best intentions and what I see in return is someone doing the same for a.
00:38:32.610 --> 00:38:41.700
Nathan Hurd: Man yeah their intentions matter, more than anything, I think you're right it's a, it is a really tough way to live your life when you're going around and just assuming.
00:38:42.330 --> 00:38:51.210
Nathan Hurd: assuming the worst and in someone's intentions, I literally had a break, before I call just now, I had someone cut me off and seemed very upset with me.
00:38:51.600 --> 00:38:54.120
Nathan Hurd: And this type of thing used to bother me and.
00:38:54.840 --> 00:38:58.920
Nathan Hurd: i've learned to think about it very much like you described, or at least i'm trying so.
00:39:00.510 --> 00:39:01.500
Nathan Hurd: Anyway, so thank you.
00:39:02.550 --> 00:39:14.190
Nathan Hurd: What is let's let's turn back to me I So what is what's one of the most surprising insights that you've learned, now that you've spent time with all these attendees.
00:39:16.770 --> 00:39:17.910
Chip Conley: Our curriculum has.
00:39:19.200 --> 00:39:26.700
Chip Conley: Five components to the umbrella is where midlife wisdom suit school so it's helping people to cultivate and harvest their wisdom Okay, if the first place.
00:39:27.390 --> 00:39:44.520
Chip Conley: But the four pillars of our program or reframing aging, and I think one lesson there is like how much we talked about ageism, but we are similar ages and ages inside of ourselves, so people you know, like I hate looking at myself in the mirror.
00:39:45.540 --> 00:39:56.880
Chip Conley: I you know it's a senior moment and we say things about ourselves that are you know there's they may be a joke, but in some ways they're there you know it's toxic about thinking about aging and.
00:39:57.330 --> 00:40:06.870
Chip Conley: You know becky led from Yale her work has been fascinating which she's she's shown that, when someone goes from negative to a positive perspective on aging they gain seven and a half years of additional life.
00:40:07.410 --> 00:40:17.400
Chip Conley: that's amazing, and so I think helping people to see how they can shift their mindset on aging, secondly, is mindset projects work at Stanford.
00:40:18.150 --> 00:40:24.870
Chip Conley: on how to popularize at a mindset moving from a fixed term growth mindset, I think, what are the things we've learned it MBA is.
00:40:25.260 --> 00:40:35.430
Chip Conley: When people have a fixed mindset about things they close down their options and it no wonder they're in their 50s or 60s and they're sort of like depressed and cranky and.
00:40:35.910 --> 00:40:45.120
Chip Conley: sort of you know shouting at the world because they've lost the ability to learn how to try something new and become a beginner again.
00:40:46.740 --> 00:41:00.720
Chip Conley: The third curriculum color is navigating the LIFE transitions and we've talked about that earlier in our conversation today, but you know how to understand that transitions have a natural flow to them of ending messy middle beginning.
00:41:02.220 --> 00:41:11.100
Chip Conley: And then regeneration, how do we that's the fourth pillar of our program regenerating ourselves and planet and society in a community.
00:41:12.150 --> 00:41:25.260
Chip Conley: I think that what I would say is that, if there's a number one lesson I learned is how thirsty people are for Community how thirsty they are deep meaningful conversations and.
00:41:26.070 --> 00:41:35.310
Chip Conley: So i'm excited that later this summer we're going to be launching something called generations of for dinner, which will be a global program of people.
00:41:36.090 --> 00:41:50.790
Chip Conley: learning how to have conversations over dinner across generations on topics there you know intriguing whether it's faith and spirituality or its work or it's solving huge vexing societal problems.
00:41:52.530 --> 00:42:11.640
Chip Conley: learning how to have a conversation again because in some ways we shouted each other through social media and there's a almost a generational gap that exists in some ways, so helping to foster really deep meaningful conversations is something we're excited about.
00:42:12.690 --> 00:42:17.970
Nathan Hurd: So where did that, where did that come from where did where did that idea originate what what prompted you to.
00:42:18.270 --> 00:42:24.720
Chip Conley: In originally because we have a guest faculty Member Member named Michael head and he created a program called death over dinner.
00:42:25.320 --> 00:42:26.370
Chip Conley: The idea of.
00:42:26.820 --> 00:42:37.170
Chip Conley: The taboo of talking about death, what if you had six or eight people around the table, and there are three or four different topic sort of pillars, you could go to and say we're going to talk about.
00:42:37.590 --> 00:42:44.070
Chip Conley: grief and somebody we've received in the course of our lifetime and let's go there and here's five questions on that.
00:42:44.370 --> 00:42:54.840
Chip Conley: And so, Michael over a million people did death every dinner around the world, and so, Michael being a guest faculty Member I said, well, what if we turn this into a generations of our conversation.
00:42:55.470 --> 00:43:06.570
Chip Conley: What we're might that girl, and so yeah so that's what led to it is just you know somebody on our faculty who did it very well for death it's up the topic of death.
00:43:07.650 --> 00:43:08.580
Chip Conley: yeah where.
00:43:09.000 --> 00:43:12.240
Nathan Hurd: Is the death over dinner, something that happens at me.
00:43:13.530 --> 00:43:16.110
Chip Conley: And we actually he has a workshop called love.
00:43:17.850 --> 00:43:23.670
Chip Conley: Love death and human connection that's this October, Michael have does.
00:43:25.020 --> 00:43:31.830
Chip Conley: And, but we don't do it in a normal week but it, but it is a program you can you can Google it and find it.
00:43:33.480 --> 00:43:47.310
Chip Conley: But yeah yeah we don't do it over dinner I normally, but what we do do is, we have a conversation about death in our normally you know and about how to how to how happy death is a fascinating organizing principle for life.
00:43:48.510 --> 00:43:58.620
Chip Conley: Which is why that those people are saying we're going to live forever, you know it's like Okay, so what is that there's a real challenge psychologically existentially if you know you can never going to die.
00:44:00.270 --> 00:44:09.810
Chip Conley: I don't know I mean I mean it's fascinating to me what, what are the psychological implications of that and that we have yet to get to that point where anybody's proven that happens.
00:44:10.740 --> 00:44:12.240
Nathan Hurd: Right, but it would certainly affect.
00:44:13.740 --> 00:44:16.110
Nathan Hurd: Well, so for for anyone considering.
00:44:17.070 --> 00:44:22.590
Nathan Hurd: yeah either their mid life or you know getting older and thinking about this concept of being an elder.
00:44:23.310 --> 00:44:37.080
Nathan Hurd: I mean what I love this idea that you, you know if you have two generations that there's curiosity between the two, and one can learn from the other and dance, and the other can learn from the youth and.
00:44:37.980 --> 00:44:44.220
Nathan Hurd: How would you encourage people listening to this or watching it to think about that dichotomy and and the opportunity there.
00:44:45.330 --> 00:44:59.430
Chip Conley: Well, you know, I would just say there's lots you can meet about and then, what do you, you can expose yourself to I mean it will have the generations over dinner program live low low globally, starting at the end of the summer, this summer and.
00:45:01.980 --> 00:45:09.570
Chip Conley: If you want to learn more about what needs to become an elder you can remember wisdom at work and making other modern older I if you wanted to.
00:45:10.650 --> 00:45:22.770
Chip Conley: understand more about Nea and our programs, which are not only here in Baja and there'll be in Santa fe soon, but we also on online programs ap courses on purpose and on transitions.
00:45:23.430 --> 00:45:33.690
Chip Conley: You can find all that modern older academy.com, but I think the number one thing it's really simple for someone to do is just like follow my blog it's it's free it's wisdom well you've enjoyed it.
00:45:34.950 --> 00:45:46.770
Chip Conley: Nathan and it's a great way you know I do ask questions they're sort of big questions in the blog it's a very short blog to get if you subscribe to it's free and you get an email every morning.
00:45:48.210 --> 00:45:55.020
Nathan Hurd: Okay beautiful and the generations generations over dinner program that's act, those are actual physical dinners that are being.
00:45:55.230 --> 00:46:01.980
Chip Conley: made their physical dinners exactly exactly so you know it'll will probably start doing the progress on it in after Labor day.
00:46:02.610 --> 00:46:11.790
Nathan Hurd: Perfect alright well we'll link to all of this um last question before we close here what's something that you secretly wish people would ask you more but they don't.
00:46:13.200 --> 00:46:13.770
Chip Conley: huh.
00:46:15.000 --> 00:46:18.420
Chip Conley: What do I wish people would ask me that they don't.
00:46:20.880 --> 00:46:22.650
Chip Conley: how's my life for you chip.
00:46:24.510 --> 00:46:31.080
Chip Conley: And I gotta say that I had to two sides, the middle life myself one was really bad one was really good and we.
00:46:32.220 --> 00:46:42.210
Chip Conley: We talked about it today, but i've noticed encapsulated here and say between 45 and 50 that bottom of the UK and happiness, I went through a really rough time was really difficult and.
00:46:43.020 --> 00:46:50.550
Chip Conley: So I saw the dark side of midlife crisis and yet, then at age 52 I joined the air b&b.
00:46:51.420 --> 00:47:03.060
Chip Conley: And in my mid life, all of a sudden some upside midlife chrysalis the idea, like you know, on the other side of the Christmas is the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis and.
00:47:03.480 --> 00:47:17.100
Chip Conley: My emergence really was as that modern elder which, if you'd asked me a few years earlier when I was going through my difficult time was that ahead for me, I would have said, of course not, I have no idea what you're talking about what is a modern elder.
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Chip Conley: So, I guess, for me, I would say, you know, sometimes there's an upside symptoms that downside upside around mid life if you can get through the downside, you may be able to find the upside helps you to find it it's the best time of your life.
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Nathan Hurd: Okay Thank you so much that was really, really wonderful and you, you you shared a lot of really important valuable insights resources that was really helpful for me to so personally.
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Chip Conley: Thank you.
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Nathan Hurd: Thank you, as always chip, and I will link to everything that you mentioned here, so people that are anyone who's listening, please find chip at wisdom well, is it wisdom well calm.
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Chip Conley: I mean you can actually just do just put wisdom well and chip conley and in Google and it'll it'll show up.
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Nathan Hurd: As a brand for you okay.
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Chip Conley: yeah thanks so much for your time again.
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Chip Conley: Thanks David great to see you.
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