Rich Life Lab

Tony Schwartz: Overcoming Regret, Self-Acceptance and Managing Energy to Live a Full Life #18

April 27, 2023 Nathan Hurd Season 1 Episode 18
Tony Schwartz: Overcoming Regret, Self-Acceptance and Managing Energy to Live a Full Life #18
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Rich Life Lab
Tony Schwartz: Overcoming Regret, Self-Acceptance and Managing Energy to Live a Full Life #18
Apr 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 18
Nathan Hurd

Today's conversation is with Tony Schwartz. He's the New York Times best-selling author who's written 6 books and the Founder and CEO of The Energy Project. A firm that helps individuals and companies skillfully manage their energy in a world of relentlessly rising demand and complexity. 

Tony started his career as a journalist, and the first book he wrote was "The Art of the Deal" which he co-authored with Donald Trump. The decision to  write that book is something that Tony went on to deeply regret. That experience prompted him to take an entirely different path in his life.

It led to a lifelong investigation of the factors that shape our beliefs and identity, the influence of our early caregivers and the ways that we can heal and grow by accepting and acknowledging both the best and worst in ourselves. 

Tony has a an amazing body of work that we talk about at great length. including how energy relates to our own transformation, how, by understanding the different sources and types of energy inside us, we can better manage our relationships and how much we accomplish in life. 

We talk about the danger of looking for value from the outside world rather than inside ourselves.

We talk about how his childhood and upbringing led to so much of what he came to discover about the human condition. But ultimately what he came to describe as defenders that develop inside each of us and are on aspect of the parts of ourselves we tend not to like. 

We also talk about the three different selves that make up our personality and why understanding Those different parts of our personality is a path to a very rich life indeed.

This was one of my all-time favorite conversations. It is exceedingly rare to find someone as insightful about the human condition as Tony Schwartz.

Don't forget to hit subscribe so you never miss a new episode!
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify


Episode Website:

Show Notes Transcript

Today's conversation is with Tony Schwartz. He's the New York Times best-selling author who's written 6 books and the Founder and CEO of The Energy Project. A firm that helps individuals and companies skillfully manage their energy in a world of relentlessly rising demand and complexity. 

Tony started his career as a journalist, and the first book he wrote was "The Art of the Deal" which he co-authored with Donald Trump. The decision to  write that book is something that Tony went on to deeply regret. That experience prompted him to take an entirely different path in his life.

It led to a lifelong investigation of the factors that shape our beliefs and identity, the influence of our early caregivers and the ways that we can heal and grow by accepting and acknowledging both the best and worst in ourselves. 

Tony has a an amazing body of work that we talk about at great length. including how energy relates to our own transformation, how, by understanding the different sources and types of energy inside us, we can better manage our relationships and how much we accomplish in life. 

We talk about the danger of looking for value from the outside world rather than inside ourselves.

We talk about how his childhood and upbringing led to so much of what he came to discover about the human condition. But ultimately what he came to describe as defenders that develop inside each of us and are on aspect of the parts of ourselves we tend not to like. 

We also talk about the three different selves that make up our personality and why understanding Those different parts of our personality is a path to a very rich life indeed.

This was one of my all-time favorite conversations. It is exceedingly rare to find someone as insightful about the human condition as Tony Schwartz.

Don't forget to hit subscribe so you never miss a new episode!
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify


Episode Website:

[00:00:00] Tony Schwartz: And then there's a third self, and this is the self that most of us barely ever experience, and I've already referred to it. It's the core self. It's the inborn self. It's the self that is born, that is, that exists, that is never, that never has a feeling that it's value or its worthiness is at risk. It has an intrinsic sense of worthiness.

It also has an intrinsic goodness. The defenders can act in ways that society would call bad. Yeah. But the self, the core self never does. Why? Because the core self is basically agenda free. 

[00:00:43] Nathan Hurd: Today's conversation is with Tony Schwartz. He is a bestselling author who's written six different books. He's also the c e o and Founder of The Energy Project, which is a firm that helps individuals and companies manage their energy skillfully.

In a world of relentlessly rising demand and [00:01:00] complexity, Tony started as a journalist and the first book he ever wrote was a, when he co-authored The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump. And that decision of writing that book is something that Tony went on to regret deeply. And what's so incredible about Tony and he is an incredibly insightful, curious, reflective, compassionate man, is that his, this decision prompted him to take an entirely different path in his life.

It led to a lifelong investigation of the factors that shape our beliefs and identity, the influence of our early caregivers, and the ways that we can heal and grow by accepting and acknowledging both the best. And worst in ourselves. Tony has an amazing body of work that we talk about at great length in this conversation, including how energy relates to our own transformation, the states of energy in, in our body, [00:02:00] and how by understanding the different sources of energy and types of energy we have inside us, we can better manage our relationships and how much we accomplish in life.

We talk about the danger of looking for value from the outside world rather than inside ourselves. We talk about how his childhood and upbringing led to so much of what he came to discover about the human condition, but ultimately what he came to describe as defenders. These defenders develop inside each of us and are one aspect of the parts of ourselves.

We tend not to like so much. We also talk about the three different selves that make up our personality and why understanding those different parts of our personality is a path to a very rich life. Indeed, this is one of my very favorite conversations. There aren't many who are as insightful about the human condition as Tony 

[00:02:58] Tony Schwartz: Schwartz.[00:03:00] 

[00:03:08] Nathan Hurd: Tony Schwartz, it is so wonderful to have you here. I really appreciate you coming by to spend time here on the podcast. 

[00:03:16] Tony Schwartz: Thank you for having me. 

[00:03:17] Nathan Hurd: I was introduced to your work a number of years ago, and I have to admit, I am, I, I actually was first introduced to the Energy Project, which I know started later in your, in your life.

But then I've, I've gone on to, to, uh, enjoy a lot of your work since then. And when I first. Heard of the energy project. I have a financial back background in finance, and so I initially thought of energy, you know, like finance energy, and then I realized, no, it was actually much, much more insightful and much deeper than that.

So I suppose maybe at the top here, um, could you just describe what is the energy project and what, what is that [00:04:00] work that you're doing in the world today? And then I'd love to go back and, and learn a bit more about how 

[00:04:04] Tony Schwartz: you got there. The, I founded the Energy Project in 2003, so it's our 20th anniversary this year.

Um, congratulations. I founded it after spending five years with a partner doing work around the concept of managing your own energy. Uh, his entry point was through sports. He was a sports psychologist. He worked with professional athletes who would come to him when their performance had broken down and the ordinary solutions that had worked for them in the past with their traditional coaches weren't working.

And he, and later we would interpret what was going on for them in their performance through the lens of energy. So I gotta say something about what energy is [00:05:00] because there are many ways people understand energy. Uh, there is, uh, you know, there's subtle energy, there's energy as in fuel for running things.

Um, and then there is energy in its physics definition, which is basically the capacity to do work. Mm-hmm. So more energy equals more capacity. So if you begin to deconstruct energy in the human system, you discover pretty quickly. That unlike a stove or a computer that needs only one source of energy to operate, human beings need multiple sources.

Hmm. So actually the way we came to define it, we thought of that as four dimensions of energy. Mm-hmm. The first one is physical, which is the quantity of your energy. And it's influenced, and it's the most concrete of the four kinds of energy. It's influenced by four [00:06:00] primary factors. Uh, the fundamental factor is sleep, because absent sufficient sleep, and particularly with deep sleep deprivation, nothing else is possible.

So it's a, it's a starting point. Um, fitness, which is the ability to transport oxygen through your body in an efficient way. Nutrition, which for us is really about this stabilizing of blood sugar. So that in effect, you're never too hungry and you're never too full because that's either one of those extremes or preoccupying and, uh, therefore not good for your overall energy reservoir and mental energy, which is the ability to control the placement of your attention.

It's the ability to focus in an absorbed way on one thing at a time for a sustained period of time. Very tough, we know. Mm-hmm. World we live in. Mm-hmm. And then finally, the fourth source of energy we call [00:07:00] spiritual energy. We let people call it other things if they're uncomfortable with the word spiritual, the energy of the human spirit or the energy of purpose, the energy you derive from the experience that what you're doing is serving something larger than yourself.

Hmm. And it really matters because when we feel something really matters, is there any question that we bring more energy to it? And of course the answer is no, there's no question. Mm-hmm. So if you've got those four sources of energy and you're regularly fueling those four reservoirs, none of them is sufficient by itself.

All of them are critical. All of them influence one another. And if that's happening in an optimal way, if you've got what we now call the free flow of energy, yeah, you're good to go. Now, what we know as a practical matter is [00:08:00] very few people are managing those four reservoirs of energy very well. Mm-hmm.

Why? Because energy I described a moment ago is the capacity to do work capacity. Is essentially the fuel in your tank. Your capacity is what you use to bring your skill and talent to life. And so long as you've got enough capacity, why would you think about capacity? And for many years, from an energy perspective, we sort of did, you know, I'm talking about the pre-digital era, for example.

So you left work, at the end of the day, you headed home and you didn't have a continuing connection to the rest of your work life. You know, you automatically had time to renew and recover in a world in which, you know, an old traditional [00:09:00] world in which men went to work and women were handling the home life.

You didn't have people with dual responsibilities the way you do almost universally now. What happened in the digital world is that in effect, we were always on or we are always on. And so this issue of capacity gets a lot more front and center when you begin to have a mismatch between demand and capacity.

So demand goes up in people's lives. And then if I ask people generally over the last couple of years, has the demand in your life increased significantly? 95% of people will say yes. And if I ask, do you expect it to continue to increase in the coming years? They say yes. And if I say, and do you expect your capacity to meet that demand [00:10:00] to rise at the same level that the demand does?

You get a big pregnant silence. So we have a capacity crisis and we began to, my ex-partner and I began to recognize this in the late 1990s, which is when the digital world really started to accelerate and it had very practical application. And the practical application was that people were starting to feel overwhelmed and burned out and struggling to get stuff done or to get everything done.

And the primary tool, external tool that they used to get more done wasn't working anymore. And that was time. So, you know, so long as you have time available, If you have more to [00:11:00] do, you just spend more time doing it and then you'll get more done. Yeah. But what happened of course, is that people's dance cards got very, very full.

And you actually got to a point, which we're in now and have been for some time, where if you actually try to invest more hours at this point, you're more likely to get collateral damage than you are to get increased productivity. All of that nets out basically Nathan too. What's the alternative then?

Because the demand is not going anywhere but up. Right. And our solution was energy and I, the reason is that where time is finite, you got 168 hours in a week, you're never gonna have another hour. Energy is something that can be expanded. Now you think of building a bicep, you push against resistance, you build in some time for it, the muscles broken down to recover, and then you [00:12:00] actually get bigger muscles and you can do more, you have more capacity.

It can be renewed, so you can refuel your energy. You can't refuel your time. Mm-hmm. And it can be used more efficiently, so can time. But it's another advantage of energy that if you understand how to manage it, you can get more done in less time at a higher level of focus and engagement in a more sustainable way.

Mm-hmm. Who wouldn't want that? Yeah. That was what we launched the energy project in 2003, around. Yeah, 

[00:12:40] Nathan Hurd: this is what I, I mean, energy really is life. At some level, the quality of your life is the quality of your energy. And so I so appreciate the emphasis on this so important thing that, you know, honestly before your work, I really hadn't ever heard anyone else articulated that way.

[00:13:00] And of course, I mean it, you know, I, I mean for my, in my own life, my a good day and a bad day, an effective day, and a, a, you know, something far from that has everything to do with the way my energy is managed and used. So I, I really, really appreciate that. And, alright, so there's a lot to discuss there and I'm, I'm really looking forward to that.

And before we do, I'd love to understand. A little bit about your background, which ultimately led you to this realization, which I know has been, I know a lot of people who have been very impacted by this work that you're, that you've done. So, could we go back a little bit and start, um, you know, what was your, what were some of your early experiences in your life and in your professional career that ultimately, you know, step-by-step sort of led you this direction?

[00:13:51] Tony Schwartz: So I'm gonna go straight to the heart of it here, Nathan, please. And maybe slightly unexpected. The, the really [00:14:00] most profound influence on the direction my life and career took was my mother. Um, and it was a mixed bag in terms of her influence, but I would say, The, the drive that it created in me was a function of the fact that she was pretty crazy.

Hmm. Um, and I say that in a light way, but it wasn't light. Um, she was a, a person of tremendous unpredictability, a lot of rage that was hard to understand and that she probably couldn't have explained. And then the contradiction of the way she was in our family as a parent and the way she was in the world, because in our family, she was scary and chaotic.[00:15:00] 

Mm-hmm. And in a, in the world. She was an extremely effective, widely admired social activist. Huh. And it was very hard for me to reconcile what I was watching out in the world and what I was experiencing inside. And if you're a little kid, and this is true in different measures for every human being I've ever met, when you're very young, you are helpless and you are 100% dependent on your caretakers for to survive and to feel safe and to have a life.

So to the extent that, my sense was the world was a dangerous place because she was a dangerous person. Mm-hmm. I became really, really focused on understanding A, what's going on inside this [00:16:00] person that I have to be aware of and attuned to. To be, to feel safe or to at least survive. Yeah. And, um, and what, what is it that determines why people do what they do?

Because one of the things I could see with her is it's not very often why they say they do what they do. Mm-hmm. There's usually a disparity. And the reason is because so much of what we feel and how we're oriented is invisible to us. So we develop these fixed beliefs about how the world should work.

We're, you know, influenced by what our parents tell us, but we're also influenced by the society we grow up in. We're influenced by our biases, by [00:17:00] our fears, by our, um, by our habits. Uh, all of these things are influencing how we feel and they're affecting how we show up in the world. But for the most part, and this is especially true in the corporate world, they don't get that much attention and they're not considered to be a place where you should turn your attention.

And so this really became the driving force of my life, was to understand what's going on inside me. Yeah. And inside other people for what were probably very personal reasons at the time. And over time became, I began to ask this same question that I was asking myself about others because I discovered that whether they knew it or not, they were struggling with the [00:18:00] same questions.

Hmm. So that was really, that really set the stage Nathan, for, for what I did and what, what it turned out that it translated into, for the first 20 years of my adult life, so from college till my early forties, mid forties was I became a writer. I became a journalist. Mm-hmm. The New York Times reporter, I was a news Newsweek correspondent.

I worked for a bunch of well-known magazines. I wrote books. And the draw to doing that was the per, I mean, this is again, how personal it gets. Yeah. The draw to doing that was, I loved having permission to ask people whatever I wanted to ask them. Mm-hmm. And journalism provided that. Mm-hmm. And my favorite thing as a journalist, I.

Was probably to write profiles of people to go and spend [00:19:00] days, weeks, sometimes months. Really deeply investigating who a given person was. Often someone I admired, cuz those were the people I was drawn to write about. Yeah. Um, and often I was somewhat disillusioned by the reality of what was going on inside, despite what I thought by watching on the outside.

Um, but that was my life for, for, uh, the first 20 years of, uh, between 20 and, and my early forties. Now, 

[00:19:32] Nathan Hurd: did you, at that time, in, in those years of your life, did you make the connection to the personal experience that you had as a child and how that was showing up at work? Or were you just driven by that force and you came to connect the dots later in life?

[00:19:52] Tony Schwartz: No, I'd say by the time I was 19, I had the odd gift of a lot of unhappiness. I was, I was, you know, [00:20:00] I was a struggling kid and I, I, I was blessed actually. Uh, and this is a legacy from, from my mother, secondarily from my father, but, uh, with an enormous amount of energy. So the question was, how was I gonna use that energy?

Because, you know, energy is value free. Yeah. You can use energy to build a bridge or blow one up, right? So the question in my life was, you know, am I going to do something really meaningful and positive in the world, or am I gonna end up in prison? And I, I say that it sounds like a joke, but that was a question my mother thought was central for me.

Something significants gonna happen for this young man. But I don't know if it's gonna be awful or really good. Right, right, right. Which 

[00:20:47] Nathan Hurd: direction is it gonna go in? Now? Did so did she, do you feel like you developed values or got values through your upbringing, or did they come along as you matured [00:21:00] and, you know, lived your adult life?

[00:21:02] Tony Schwartz: Well, like, like most kids, I was, my values were profoundly influenced by my parents. Um, now one of the things I've learned is that if you grow, I'm a, I'm a white man who grew up in an educated, affluent family with a, with a lot of privilege. And one of the things I've learned is that it's almost a privilege to have your primary influences be from your parents and not from oppressive forces in society if you're from a marginalized group.

Um, but my values. Were influenced both in two different ways. By the childhood experience I had, they were very influenced by my mother's role in the world, cuz she's so deeply believed in justice and in, [00:22:00] um, fighting for the underdog and in making your, devoting your life to making others, helping others or making the world a better place.

And that became very central. But I also had a deep desire for separateness, for individuality. So I also rebelled very, very often against the very values that today I would say I've re-embraced. Um, so for example, um, It was a central driving force for me to stand out. Hmm. That was really important. Hmm.

And it was a also a central driving force not to be in my mother's shadow, cuz she cast a big shadow. And [00:23:00] the most consequential rebellion I did, which I know you're aware of, is that when I was 32 years old, I was working as a journalist. I was a writer for New York Magazine and I was always looking for the next hot story.

And I went out, heard about a young real estate developer who was uh, bought up an apartment on Central Park South in New York City. Very luxurious location overlooking Central Park and with systematically clearing out. By harassing the, the, the low income rent control tenants who occupied the apartments.

And I thought this was a really interesting story. Yeah. And that young developer was named Donald Trump. And I wrote a piece about Donald Trump, actually a cover story, uh, of New York called the Cold War on a hundred [00:24:00] Central Parts South. And it couldn't have been more critical. Hmm. It couldn't have put him in a more, less flattering or more negative light than I did.

And I thought it was fair and I thought it was true. And I assumed, which happens often if you're a journalist, that I, that's not a guy I'd ever talk to again. And I published the article and there was a picture of me on the cover looking like a thug. It was an illustration. And he called me almost immediately after I got under the newsstand and said, I love this piece.

Really, he wanted to be seen as a thug and he wanted to be seen as a tough guy. And he wanted to be on the cover of magazines cuz he was not that well known yet. And that, that was a fateful Paul, because what happened is I got an assignment to go and do what was then called the Playboy [00:25:00] interview. Oh, that's a, that's a piece of history, but uh, I'm sure most of your listeners know what Playboy is and was.

But it, among other things, ran every month, a very long q and a interview with somebody you know well known. And I was assigned to go do the Playboy interview with Donald Trump. And I went to his office and I sat down and I started to do it because though I really was offended by who he. Was in my experience writing the first piece, I was also kind of fascinated by him.

I wasn't the first person. I won't be the last, but I went and sat down there and we started doing the interview and he was not responding in any interesting way. And I said to him, Donald, this is just a q and a. So if your As, if your answers aren't interesting, we ain't got a piece buddy. So [00:26:00] I need you to be more responsive.

So he said, well, I've signed up to do a book and I don't want to give away the really good stuff. And I said, really? What's the book? And he said, well, it's my autobiography. And I said, well, you don't have an autobiography to speak of. You're 35 years old. Why? Why? Why would you do that? I said, if I were you and you really want to do a book at this age, he was 37, I 30, 37, I guess not 35.

I said I'd do a book called The Art of the Deal. Because I think people are interested in the deals you've made. Mm-hmm. And he said, and this was the second big turning point. Yeah. I like that. You want to do it, you want to write it. Hmm. And that was a crucible moment in my life, um, that ended up having a enormous influence on my life, and I'm sorry to say, on a lot of other lives.

Um, [00:27:00] so I went back and forth in my mind about whether I wanted to do this, and the back and forth was the back was, or the fourth was, you know, one side of it was this is an opportunity to make five times the amount of money I've ever earned in my life in a, in a year. Um, And to set myself up for a lot of freedom that I don't have now going forward.

Mm-hmm. That was the plus. Mm-hmm. Plus the second issue was, hey, I have two young, very young kids and you know, I'm living close to the bone in terms of what I'm earning. And this was a way of supporting my family. On the other side was, I don't like this guy. I don't, I, I don't admire him, I don't share his values.

Um, and the rationalization I ultimately came up with was, okay, so I don't like him. It's a year out of my life. [00:28:00] And who cares? He's a New York real estate developer. He is never gonna be anything more than that. So what's the big deal? And so I went and did that book. I think you already probably are picking up that I.

I really, uh, I had grave doubts even as I was writing it about whether I should be writing it. Hmm. And I, I, I didn't become more admiring of them during the period I wrote it, I became less, and I really felt, I would say, I'm not sure I put this into words at the time, but I would say I felt like I was dealing with a psychopath with a sociopath.

Mm-hmm. Those were sort of interchangeable, but somebody with no conscience. Hmm. Um, and then what happened, and, you know, a lot of people are aware of this, is that book became a huge success. He had split the, the profits with me. So I'm sitting in the house that that book bought. [00:29:00] Um, and it gave me the freedom to make any choice.

I really wanted to about what to do next. Mm-hmm. I had that financial cushion at that point. Yeah. And the thing I wanted to do most next was something as far from what I'd just done as I could possibly get. Hmm. And it was then, and this'll connect me to the rest of my life. And then you can turn your attention to it.

The, the, the thing I decided to do was to write a book about people who had chosen in effect the opposite path of Donald Trump. Not a, not a life about money and s and external success and status and prestige and material possessions, but people who had found some kind of meaning and wisdom that wasn't dependent on external things that they had in their life.

And I wrote that book in [00:30:00] 1995 called What Really Matters, searching for Wisdom in America. And it was a wonderful five year journey across America looking for people who had, in one way or another, experienced what I would call wisdom or had some wisdom to share. And one of those people was the sports psychologist I ended up going into business with that led to the energy project.


[00:30:26] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. 

[00:30:27] Tony Schwartz: Yeah. What, you know, I 

[00:30:28] Nathan Hurd: really, I really admire that this the way, the way that you tell this story, because it's, there are plenty of stories that don't end or, or that don't take the turn that yours took after that experience and then just continue down that path and get seduced, become seduced by, you know, the, the, the path that's not in alignment.

And one of the reasons that I was asking about values is because I have personally become very interested in this idea of [00:31:00] values. And I think in the last several years I've been really reflective on what are, if I, if I stripped away all of my conditioning and society and all the expectations, like what are the values that lie underneath of all that?

And so it's interesting to hear that your values have been, you know, you know, they're, they're, we all get them, as you say, early on from our parents. But then it's the contrast, I suppose, in some ways, right? It's the, it's the, it's the parts of our lives that, 

[00:31:31] Tony Schwartz: that, that are what 

[00:31:33] Nathan Hurd: we, what we don't want to do and what we don't wanna be, and then the parts of the lives that, that pull us towards, uh, towards them.


[00:31:41] Tony Schwartz: anyways, what did you discover? What, what values showed up when you stripped away all that stuff. 

[00:31:47] Nathan Hurd: So it has, it's actually not there, there are similarities to some of what you described. So for me, um, some of the values are things like [00:32:00] curiosity, like always remaining curious. And this the idea that everyone that I ever meet, there's something that I should and can learn from them.

Um, or the idea of compassion. Like having compassion for everyone, everyone, even people that I disagree with, even people that rub me the wrong way, finding compassion. Um, and another one was, um, creating whatever I create in my life. This podcast, my work, my family conversations from a place of love. Not fear, you know, not fear about how am I gonna look or what are people gonna think, but from a place of how can I serve.

Um, and the, the, the one, I'll just do one more, which was, um, Something I've, I've thought a lot about in this last year especially, which is experiencing abundance. It's one thing to have a wonderful life, to have great things in life, to have great experiences. For me, it's another thing [00:33:00] to connect with that every single day throughout the day, right?

And really experience that. So, um, so anyway, that's, that's some, those are, those 

[00:33:09] Tony Schwartz: are, I'm glad I asked you the, I didn't wanna mean to switch roles on this, but you know, it's a conversation then of course. And those are, those are beautiful values. I also think that they are what I would call the values of the self or the values of the core self.

And this leads me into another piece of my work, but please. Um, but I think it's so relevant that I, I, this is the moment to do it. Um, those qualities, curiosity, compassion, creativity, um, the. Recognition of abundance versus scarcity, I believe are inborn. I believe we're born with those. [00:34:00] You could call them capacities or you could call them, well call them what you will.

You are born with those things in your earliest years. Of course, it's like an acorn being born, I mean an acorn, you know, before it becomes a tree. So it's only possibility, but it's there. It's in the d n N. Um, and I think I have been tremendously influenced. So one of the things that has happened with the energy project, um, is that we would go out for many, many years into large organizations who typically would bring us in because.

Their people were feeling in one way or another, overwhelmed or disengaged or frustrated or unhappy. Mm-hmm. And we would share [00:35:00] this framework around energy and you know, we put it in a language. And you know, I think in many ways my core gift was words. Mm-hmm. So I built it into a language that I think was very accessible, even to people who hadn't done this kind of work.

Mm-hmm. And people would go through that process for a day or two days, sometimes three, four days, and they would emerge from it. This work on energy, feeling enormously hopeful about their futures. Because they have felt, oh, I kind of get now what's been going on inside me, what levers I actually need to pull to change this.

And you've given me a kind of strategy or a, a route [00:36:00] to making those changes. Mm-hmm. Thank you so much. This was great. And we would walk away and say, aren't we wonderful? And then years and years went by and I started finally, and I, you know, embarrassingly too many years past before I did this. But to go back to the clients that we had originally shared this work with and kind of get a sense of how did it turn, how did it all turn out?

Right. And I'm sorry to tell you that the answer was not much different than most change efforts. Like not much difference than the average New Year's resolution. Mm-hmm. So there was a diminishing return. The there, all the things in their everyday lives, they went back into, took back, you know, took their energy and [00:37:00] their, uh, focus and their attention and, you know, the best hopes they had didn't get realized.

And that killed me. And, and it killed my daughter. I don't wanna say killed. That was very discouraging to me and to my younger daughter, Emily, who has been my partner in this work for 15 years now. Oh, amazing. We did, we created this content together and we said to ourselves, we need to understand why is this happening?

Why is it that you can give people a great experience? Really clear information. They can embrace it. They can tell you that they're committed to acting on it, and they can have an actual step by step route to doing that. That seems doable. And they won't do it nine out of 10 times, eight out of 10 times.

Hmm. [00:38:00] Or if they do do it, they'll do it only a little. Mm-hmm. And what they would remember is they'd remember the work. If you asked them, how was that thing you did, they'd say, oh, that was one of the great trainings I ever did, which I then got seduced into believing men. It was really effective. Right. No, it was just really interesting.

And they remembered, right. So we set out, Emily and I set out to understand what is maybe one of the great questions that we need to ask ourselves. Why is it that we can't change? Mm-hmm. Even when we want to. Mm-hmm. And. The most influential person in answering that question was a guy named Dick Schwartz.

No relation to me. Total coincidence. And Dick Schwartz developed something called Internal Family Systems or Internal Family Systems Therapy. [00:39:00] Mm-hmm. And it's a little misleading because most people, when you say that, think, oh, it's about, you know, family dynamics. It is about family dynamics, but it's about your own internal family.

So the Dick Schwartz theory is that we actually have a family of selves inside us. We are not a single self. We actually have three primary selves that operate in us and are fighting for, um, control.

Unbeknownst to us most of the time. Hmm. So what are those? So the ba, the first one is the child's self. That's the self you're born into. And that's the self I was talking about earlier when I said, as children, we are helpless and dependent. Yeah. We're also, by the way, full [00:40:00] of natural joy, spontaneity, curiosity, not a lot of compassion necessarily.

Right, right, right. You're pretty self-centered, but, but you know, there's a lot of wonderful innocent qualities that a child has, but there's also a lot of fear. And that fear is what happens if I don't get fed? What happens if I don't get my diaper changed? What happens if that child, if that parent turns against me?

Mm-hmm. And so over time, what happens is we develop something that we call. Our version of Dick Schwartz's work, we call the defender or defenders. These are separate selves that rise into existence to protect our child. So you feel vulnerable, you feel hurt by something that someone does, and one of your [00:41:00] defenders is an angry part.

An aggressive part. Yeah. And when you feel hurt, that defender goes and smacks the other person or fights on your behalf. Or maybe you have a defender that pulls back, that disappears and that actually does an end around maybe with something passive aggressive and sticks it in the person's back. Mm-hmm.

But does it very quietly and stealthily, or you have a defender that's makes a joke out of it. But one way or another, you have a series of defenders that are protecting that very vulnerable child that continues to exist forever within you. Mm-hmm. And you think that's who you are. That's the problem. Now, by the way, you could also have a defender who does things that are very pro-social, that seem like society would admire them.

Like you could be an achiever. An achiever could be a [00:42:00] defender. It's a defender. Your achiever is a defender. If you derive your value. Only if you achieve. Yeah. So if you have an achiever that just is looking out into the world to try to prove your value, Hmm. That's actually a defender. Mm-hmm. It's defending your value.

So you have all these defenders and we think that they are, um, we think they're just who we are. And then there's a third self, and this is the self that most of us barely ever experience, and I've already referred to it. It's the core self. It's the inborn self. It's the self that is born, that is, that exists, that is never, that never has a feeling that it's value or its worthiness is at risk.

It has an intrinsic sense of worthiness. It also has an intrinsic goodness. The [00:43:00] defenders can act in ways that society would call bad. Yeah. But the self, the core self never does. Why? Because the core self is basically agenda free. The only aim of the core self is healing. And the qualities, I was very struck when you start to say your values.

Mm-hmm. Dick talks about eight Cs, eight qualities that are most characteristic of the core self. Mm-hmm. Curiosity, compassion. Mm. And then six others, you know, clarity and a a bunch of others. And if you just Google the eight Cs, you can see what the eight Cs are. Yeah. We'll link to it as well. Yeah. But this is an as.

This is probably the most astonishing experience I've had in my life. The most transformative [00:44:00] experience has been to discover the actual felt in my body experience of what I would call self-energy. Hmm. Of an energy that is a healing energy, that is a positive energy that doesn't have an agenda, and that were we able to help people see it, experience it, it would change the world in profound ways.

[00:44:36] Nathan Hurd: I have, yeah, I, I have a, I have a bunch of questions about this, but I, I would, I would love to ask, um, maybe to start the child self that you referred to, so is in your own experience, maybe we could give an example here. So, um, like, like a personal example. So you described your mother was like, unpredictable, very [00:45:00] unpredictable.

What was your personal experience with, you know, a defender that came to bear on that, you know, that that experience as a child, like. And, and, and, and any others that, that were true for you? 

[00:45:14] Tony Schwartz: Yeah. Well, most of my defenders are built around that sense are, are built in response or appeared in response to that feeling of deep vulnerability, uncertainty, um, threat, danger.

Mm-hmm. And the predominant defender in me, um, on the negi, on the more explicitly, um, destructive side has been anger. Hmm. And aggressiveness. So if I have the experience from you that you are something you've done or said has made me feel [00:46:00] devalued or less than that defender. It is very likely going to rise up.

Now, I do wanna say, in some sense, in my own defense, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Um, I've seen a lot of this, I've grappled with it. I, I am vastly more able to have the experience of that aggression inside me and have a part of myself, my core self that can say, you're gonna be okay. Let me handle this. And, you know, there you go again.

But I'm gonna protect you. I'm going to take care of you and you don't need to go and go like this because, you know, you're a bull in a China shop when you do that because, The defenders are not grownups. Yeah. The defenders in you, like the child. If you imagine the child when you're feeling child energy mm-hmm.

[00:47:00] You'll imagine four or seven or maybe nine at the, you know, at the most, the defenders generally when you start to feel your way into them mm-hmm. Are more like 10 or 11 or 13. And what they are is their children in adults clothing. Clothing, they're posing. It's like, imagine a big brother who goes out because you're the younger brother and somebody's bullied you.

And your 13 year old, you're eight and your 13 year old brother goes out and you know, smacks the kid. Mm-hmm. 12 who came after you. Mm-hmm. That 13 year old has not acted in from self and has not brought the best resources possible to that situation. Mm-hmm. But they've done some kind of defending. So for me, anger is, is a primary one.

And it's been modulated to a great degree by the fact that I have some separation from it. Like I can [00:48:00] literally say, oh, there goes my anger, or there goes my, that defend. I need to. So as soon as you have some separation from it, as soon as you can see it, yes. As soon as you're not overly identified with it, then you have the potential to make a choice.

Okay, I have that, but I can sit with that. And that's not all of who I am. That's part of who I am. Another defender, just to give you a, you know, a, a fuller picture of this. Another defender of mine that's more pro, you know, that looks better in the world. Is the communicator, the writer in me. Hmm. The part that can make it all pretty with words and can, uh, you know, can, can tie it in a bow and, um, make it all appear to be fine.

Um, but does that in the service of [00:49:00] trying to protect my value, yeah. That's different than when I write from a place energized by the core self. That's from my values and my passion and my desire to add value in the world with no agenda about myself. So I've just given you an example of a defender that looks like it's fine.

Mm-hmm. And a defender that is explicitly, uh, Problematic and destructive. Mm-hmm. 

[00:49:35] Nathan Hurd: That's really useful. That's really helpful. Yeah, and it, I mean, it, this does make sense now, the, the more you've talked about it, so there's a child, that child is at some level, at, at literally as children, we're seeking to be valued enough to be taken care of and protected that, that part of us remains for the rest of our lives.

The defenders that we end up experiencing are [00:50:00] called forth to protect that child, particularly when that inner child feels undervalued. And then this core self, I, it's, you know, I had this experience last year where I was do, I was doing a series of, I was kind of meditating. I was in reflection. I went away for a week and I was, I was able to create a lot of stillness and I experienced a, what felt like a 12 year old inside me that was lashing out and just trying to protect me, but really was in most cases, I'm very unhelpful.

And so I like this idea that you're suggesting, which is if you can create some space there, that's, that's how I, at the time, I thought of it as like an, a teenager inside, like, you know, it's an ally trying to do something good, but in most cases it's not actually supportive of the circumstance. And so it's kind of like, thank you.

I appreciate you. You know, you're, you know, you, you don't need to, [00:51:00] you can stand down. We've, you know, we've got, well, you know, 

[00:51:02] Tony Schwartz: that, that, that's a tremendous intuitive insight that you've just shared because that could come right out of, uh, if f s work. Um, you haven't been introduced to it before, have you?

No, I know. I've never heard of it. I mean, you, you've described exactly what happens, including what you were just describing was the recognition of another part of you that, that defender is not your enemy. That defender was actually trying to help you. Mm-hmm. It just was being asked to do a job. It's not equipped to do.

And if you can contact the self that is capable of doing that job, then you can, and you use the perfect words, get that defender to stand down. Mm-hmm. Because think about this, when we can embrace all of who we are, worse than best, good and bad, [00:52:00] all of it, we have nothing left to defend. Hmm. Uh, 

[00:52:05] Nathan Hurd: I I, that I have heard you say that once, one other time.

And that, that really, really resonated with me. So, so, so how do we do that? Is that, is the, is the idea with that? I guess maybe let's, maybe we could take a second and for anyone listening or watching this, If they haven't really danced with this very much, or maybe they've danced with it in different ways, like what's, what's your path into this for people?

What are some te some steps that they might attempt to take or some, some exercises they might try that could give them better clarity here. Do you have any thoughts? Yeah, 

[00:52:42] Tony Schwartz: so the word, you used it yourself, but I, so did I. Um, the word space is very critical here, so when you get angry or frustrated or impatient or anxious or fearful, [00:53:00] those are parts you don't have to do any deep thinking about whether or not you're in a part because the core self doesn't have negative emotions.

And so you've got a defender up whenever you feel. Negative emotions. Um, it's not to say you, you quote shouldn't feel negative emotions. That's not true at all. In fact, to the contrary, it's your ability to sit with negative emotions when they arise. Mm-hmm. Made vastly easier when you feel like there's a self, you know, that's, that role of the self is, is held by the parent when you're really young.

Mm-hmm. Because you don't yet, you haven't developed a adult version of the self yet. [00:54:00] So the parent, if you think about, you know, if you're some, if you're a parent listening to this and your child, you know, falls off a jungle gym and you know, gets a cut and you are there, you are acting the role of the self.

Which is you're the holder of that child. You're the the person who can reassure, who can create a sense of it's going to be all right. Mm-hmm. So when these feelings arise, I mean, it starts with awareness, Nathan. Mm-hmm. It starts with, you know, we say, you heard me say this in another instance too. The core challenge for human beings is to see more and feel more.

Mm-hmm. Is to see what you're not seeing, because you can't change what you [00:55:00] don't notice, but when you notice it, you introduce choice. So when you go, when you, and I do this in literal terms, I get it this morning in a difficult situation, up came anger in a con, in a difficult dialogue. And I thought, oh, okay.

I said this, this phrase earlier. There you go again. There you are. Okay. That's a part. And you can tolerate it. You don't have to act on it. You don't have to express that anger. You don't have to win this argument because that's what it was. Yeah. All you have to do is sit with it. And if it's really tough to sit with it in the dialogue, step out of the dialogue gracefully.[00:56:00] 

So in other words, I will say to myself, and I did this this morning, you know what, this is bringing up a child part that really is upset. I can't resolve this situation right now. Mm-hmm. But I can step away. And I can step away without making it. I'm never coming back. It's not step away like I'd had it with you.

It's, look, I can't, I just can't manage this situation right now. I'll come back to you. So I'm saying step one is notice when something compulsive, when a compulsive feeling arises. And whatever you're compelled to do. Don't. Don't. Yeah, 

[00:56:53] Nathan Hurd: yeah, yeah. You know, and the other thing I've really appreciated about this model, if you will, is that [00:57:00] there, at least in my own experience, the parts of myself, that in the past at least, I have least liked, the ones that I have felt most shameful of, for example, are actually defenders in this context.

And. By feeling ashamed about them or by disliking them or by, you know, wanting to, not wanting to see them or acknowledge them as, as some of my frailties, right. Um, I was just avoiding the ability to understand that they're actually there to attempt to do something useful in maybe a less productive way.

And so what I love about this model, I, I guess what I'm saying is it is, and it goes back to the, that incredible quote, which is, once we accept all of these parts of ourselves, even the ones that are hardest to accept and acknowledge, you know, and then, then, then we're able [00:58:00] to, um, then we have nothing left to, to defend, as you said.

Was there a, was this the model that allowed you to have that breakthrough in your own life? Like, was, was 

[00:58:10] Tony Schwartz: there two things? Allowed me to have the breakthrough in my own life. So lemme just frame that for a moment. Um, So I'm a guy, given this difficult story I shared earlier about my early life who has been, you know, in a form of one form of therapy or another for more decades than I care to acknowledge, and I was loaded up by the time I was in my, let's say, fifties, with insight.

I could tell you from every angle why I was the way I was and why I felt the way I did, right? But something fundamental hadn't changed, and I now know what that something was, which is I carried with me all the way into my fifties, [00:59:00] the core feeling that I was bad, and that meant. In spending an enormous amount of energy trying to demonstrate that I wasn't bad, because to feel bad felt so bad.

Mm-hmm. And the first breakthrough moment for me was the moment we've talked about, which is I literally woke up one morning again, I think I said this story, uh, in, in when you were, when I le when I first met you. But, um, I literally woke up one morning and I had like a, a flash of insight. And the insight was all of the worst things that people have ever said about me are not only true or that I've said about myself are not only true, they're truer than I can bear [01:00:00] to imagine.

Mm-hmm. But they're only part of what's true. Hmm. And. That breakthrough, which was at that point mostly cognitive. It wasn't a felt experience. It was an insight. Yeah. That was a turning point in my early sixties. I'm now 70. Um, little bit, sorry to say that, but it's what it's, um, in my sixties I began working with a therapist who was trained in what we've been talking about this whole time in if f s.

Mm-hmm. And I think that was an enormous influence on a shift, which I'll describe in a moment. But the other one, and the first one was a shift from thinking about why I was the [01:01:00] way I was, what you do in traditional talk therapy, in counseling. To going into my body and being able to feel what was going on in my body and to notice when my body got physiologically aroused, moved toward a trigger, felt those survival feelings had those parts come up.

And to learn through work with this person I did the work with, to be able to sit with those feelings while they were happening progressively more deeply. So that I got to the point where it wasn't like I was trying to think, well, what was that? What was I supposed to think in that moment to calm myself down?

It was a nonverbal experience of, oh, where am I feeling that? Yeah, so I'm gonna say this to your audience. So if you're [01:02:00] sitting there right now listening to this, think about, don't think about notice. A place in your body where you feel some kind of tension. And it's probably gonna be a place that's very familiar for tension.

You know, for me it would tend to be in the chest. For some people it's, you know, right here and, you know, in your temples, another person, it could be, you know, uh, tightness in your, you know, I don't know, the million ways your sweat. Um, so yeah, true. Imagine that feeling, and I'm gonna assume that most of you can find that feeling pretty quickly cuz we all walk around with a good deal of it.

Some of you won't be able to because it's too painful and you've learned ways to avoid it or numb it or deny it. [01:03:00] Which is not a criticism, it's just that's where you are right now. Mm-hmm. Most of you are gonna be able to feel that. Now, I want you to think of a place where you are not feeling that tension at all.

In other words, a different place in your body that feels very relaxed, chill is fine.

That is a powerful way to experience the fact that you are not the worst feelings you're having there only part of what you're feeling. Mm. And you yourself started using the word part, Nathan. Mm-hmm. Just naturally. Mm-hmm. And so do most people. Yeah. That [01:04:00] part of me feels like I don't want to go to that party, you know?

Yeah. Um, so that's a liberation of sorts. What, what? So that the, to come full circle back to your question, the work of getting down into my body and being able to feel things and not just think things was a key part of the transformation. And then the framework of the three cells and the ability to eventually do what you did in five minutes today.

Um, because one of the fabulous things about the, if f s work is it's really accessible and it is a self-healing tool. It doesn't pathologize, it doesn't say this is some, you know, complex disease. It says, you know, There's a part that is feeling endangered and so it's acting [01:05:00] the way parts do, the way defenders do.

Yeah. So those two things are the most transformative things that I've experienced. The uh, one other way of characterizing those is that, and this brings us all the way back to the beginning of our conversation, just as we have four sources of energy, four energy dimensions, physical quantity, emotional quality of your energy.

Mental focus of your energy and spiritual, the energy you get from a sense of purpose or higher purpose. Mm-hmm. You also have those four energy reservoirs, feed and fuel. Four centers of intelligence. Mm. And we tend to think of ourselves, [01:06:00] particularly in the corporate world, more so with men, but generally the highest value gets accorded the cognitive source of intelligence.

So if you say somebody's smart, you mean it has, and God knows what that word means. But if you say somebody smart, you're thinking like there's something intellectually that works in that. That's right. That's right. Right. But there's also the intelligence of the body, and that's what I was just talking about.

Mm-hmm. That's the part of you that says, here's where it shows up for me. I get, I'm, I'm interviewing somebody to hire and the person has a great resume. And I say, oh, they check that box. They check that box, they check that box. And then they leave. And then I say, Ooh, that doesn't feel good. So somewhere in my body, [01:07:00] it doesn't feel right.

Yeah, the intuition is telling me that isn't right. Right now. Most of us will tend to override that feeling using the cognitive part of our, of our brain. So that's a second form of intelligence. The intelligence of the body, the intelligence of intuition, and the self. The core self resides in the body. In the body.

The core self resides in the body. Core self doesn't have a language. The core self isn't heady. Core self is a series of feelings and sensations, instincts and intuitions. Mm. The third source of intelligence is the intelligence of the heart. So I'm gonna say something that's gonna sound a little. Sexier than I want it to, but I'm just warning you.

But I still think it's true that love is the lubricant that makes it possible to reduce the [01:08:00] friction in your body. Love is the, it's, it's, it's what fuels the free flow of energy. And so when the heart is open,

the possibilities expand. And when the heart is closed, the possibilities narrow. So the, the heart is the third source of intelligence, and then there's the intelligence of the spirit, which is the intelligence of the part of you that can look beyond your self-interest to the greater whole or the greater good, and is informed by how will that, what impact will that have on the commons?

What, what effect will that have beyond just me? Mm-hmm. And we need, just as we need four sources of energy, we need to learn to [01:09:00] access or tap all four sources of intelligence. Because in the end, the challenge of all human beings is to grow, is to see more and feel more. So you can be more, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

[01:09:19] Nathan Hurd: This, that's some, that's, I really, really love that you went there. And those four sources of intelligence resonate with me very strongly. In fact, I, in the, I have recently become very, very interested in how to listen to different parts of myself, listen to something other than my mind. Listen to that intuition, that inner wisdom, you know, you, you even, you know, invited the US just a moment ago into stillness for just a few seconds, which allows for the, for space there sometimes.

But I, I appreciate you connecting these, the, the body [01:10:00] and the core self, because that has definitely been my experience increasingly. But I do have a, a specific question on the heart intelligence. So I love this idea of the, an open heart creates expansion and possibility. What have you found effects or can create, uh, or compel the heart to open in, you know, in a more consistent way?

What if someone's listening here and they hear that and it feels right and it sounds good? How might they Yeah. Dance with that a little bit. 

[01:10:37] Tony Schwartz: Yeah. And you've asked, you know, some questions like that about other things I've said during this time. So I wanna just say broadly speaking, that um, this is a journey and anybody including me, who tells you this is [01:11:00] the way to do it and just understand it well enough and you'll do it ain't telling you the truth.

Yeah. So, you know, a lot of, a lot of this is about reps. A lot of this is about. You know, the, the magical first step in any of this is awareness is noticing what you don't notice. You know, 95% of the, of our behaviors in any given day happen automatically, or in reaction to an external stimulus. Only 5% of our choices, I'm sorry, only 5% of our behaviors are consciously self-selected.

Mm. We're numb a lot of the time. We're out of connection with what's really going on. We're especially out of connection, for example, what's, what's going on in our body. Mm-hmm. And we're often, this depends on the [01:12:00] person, you know, some people are more naturally heart-centered, some people are more naturally cognitively centered.

Mm-hmm. But we're often out of touch with our heart. Or we've closed it off or it's closed off in response to, cuz of course, what does the heart close because of fear. Heart closes because it fears it'll be heard and the heart is so vulnerable, you know? Um, so the starting place on this, and I want to, and I want to acknowledge that of the four centers, the one that has come hardest to me and that is least fully developed is the heart.

Um, like I over relied on my mind for many, many years. Yeah, sure. I had some access to spirit, which I give my mother credit for. Um, I had, um, [01:13:00] some access to the body because I did recognize a very strong intuition. And I did, I was aware of my intuition. I was always aware of what my body said. So when I wanted to hire that person, and then I forget if I told this whole story, but the, the, I said, you know, my brain is making up a series of reasons to hire this person.

And I'm looking at their resume and all those things. And then I have this, I did say this, but then I have this feeling that's saying no. And now you've got polarized parts. Mm-hmm. One part is saying do it. And the other part is saying don't do it. And as I said, you usually end up choosing the one that feels more rational.

But every time I've done that in my career, virtually without exception, I've chosen the person because the resume looked right, because the credentials look good. Even though the feeling was wrong, [01:14:00] it didn't work out. Yeah. So, The starting place for the heart is noticing, like doing it right now. Again, I'm gonna invite everybody notice, is your heart open or is your heart more closed?

Do you feel, can you tap into an experience of love or can you not? Do you feel like you are protecting your heart, or do you feel like you're capable of sharing your heart? That's a starting place. Yeah, and I have found that just that level of awareness changes the game. Yeah. Yeah. 

[01:14:54] Nathan Hurd: Yeah. And you know it as you talk, it actually ties directly back to a [01:15:00] lot of what we said before, what you, what you shared about the core self in particular, which is, um, this is certainly something that I've been thinking a lot about in recent years in particular, but the, the possibility that it is actually, it is actually possible to love people without conditions to love them unconditionally.

And so when I hear the core self and when I hear the defenders, it's actually really helpful because to separate the two of them and love someone's core self or love someone's child self, frankly, but love the, a part of them without any conditions and still maybe not always love how their defenders are showing up exactly and agree with everything that they're doing, but, but still love them at some level without conditions.

For me, I feel like that, you know, I, it's partly in this conversation too. I, when you ask that question just now, I feel very open and I think part of it is because I have that frame in my mind and I'm, I'm referencing it, [01:16:00] you know? 

[01:16:00] Tony Schwartz: Yeah, yeah. I had, just a couple weeks ago, I had an experience where a person I'd met pretty recently, so I, I'd maybe had either two or three conversations with this person, um, you know, a half hour, 40 minutes.

And this person wrote me a note and at the end of the note after the call said, I love you. And you know, like I just found it astonishing. And I thought, my first thought honestly was, what the fuck is this? You know? Yeah. But I like checked it out in terms of how it made me feel, and a, it felt. That was an authentic expression.

You know, Anna can't tell you exactly what he meant by that love, but it, the feeling was real. And then the second thing was, [01:17:00] whoa, does that feel good? Whoa. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. 

[01:17:07] Nathan Hurd: So, so there's a, a level of, of just allowance, allowing that to sink in. Um, well Tony, this has been such a pleasure and I know, you know, I wanna be respectful of your time.

Is there, you know, in terms of people getting started with exploring their energy and a lot of the work that you've done, you know, is there anything you wanna say about either maybe the reckoning, I know you mentioned that before, or just how people could find out more about you, about your 

[01:17:34] Tony Schwartz: work? Sure, sure.

If I was going to like, just choose one sentence from. What we've been talking about. While I'm thinking about, I would say something like, we all are living in a world. Most of the folks that are listening to this come from the world of finance and money, and [01:18:00] probably very used to working very hard. Um, and the mantra, the 200 year old mantra of the of, of the capitalist marketplace is more bigger, faster is better.

And what I would leave your folks with is any strength, any virtue you overuse becomes a liability. Eventually, you know, candor overused becomes cruelty. Mm, and confidence becomes arrogance and what you actually need in an integrated world, what you need in a world in which you are taking in everything and not choosing upsides.[01:19:00] 

What you actually need is balanced virtues. So the balance to more, bigger, faster is less smaller, slower and less smaller. Slower is the mantra that allows you to begin an internal or an inner exploration. You can't run at a hundred miles an hour across a landscape and at simultaneously go down deep.

You have to slow down. You have to stop. And in the slowing down. And in the stopping, that's time you get for reflection. But it's also time you get for refueling. You actually wanna live your life not as a marathoner, which is probably the way you live right now, meaning you're in this long race and there's no finish line in sight.

So you learn, even if you don't think you're doing it, to conserve your energy along the way. [01:20:00] Yeah. To instead operating like a sprinter, which sounds insane if you're already kind of overburdened. But what does a sprinter do? A sprinter get, comes up to the starting line, looks a sprinter, comes, comes up to the starting line, looks down the track, a hundred yards, 200 yards at most, 400 yards.

You can't sprint it your top speed for more than 400 yards. And says, can I fully engage all of me in this entire race? And the sprinter says, yes, I can. Why? Because the Sprinter has a stopping place. The sprinter has a finish line. The sprinter has boundaries. So that's really what my message, I think at the core would be to folks, is when you're engaged, be fully engaged, and when you are [01:21:00] resting and renewing and reflecting, truly rest and renew and reflect.

Stop living in the murky zone between the two because that means taking back your life and your life belongs for you. But that's my message to leave people with. If you wanna know more about the Energy project mm-hmm. Go to the energy There's a ton of stuff about our energy work. If you want to know more about the Reckoning, you can get to it through the Energy Project website, but you can also go on to the reckoning website.

That's the Um, so those are two easy ways to, you know, learn more about what we do. 

[01:21:45] Nathan Hurd: Thank you, Tony. There's, there's, uh, there's so much we didn't get to also, so, uh, there's a lot more where that comes from and, and this has been a really rich conversation, so I so appreciate your time and your insight and your wisdom and your [01:22:00] conversation.

It was, it was a lot of fun. 

[01:22:02] Tony Schwartz: Likewise. Thank you. 

[01:22:03] Nathan Hurd: Thanks for checking out this video. Make sure you hit subscribe. I'm Nathan Herd, also known as the Rich Life Guy. You can follow me at The Rich Life Guy. Also, check out Rich Life Lab, which is the podcast available everywhere. And leave a comment and let me know if this video landed for you or what else you'd like to hear from me in the future.

Thank you so much.