Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching

Finding Our Purpose... Living an Authentic Life - Gregg Levoy (Episode #140)

November 09, 2020 Gregg Levoy Season 3 Episode 75
Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching
Finding Our Purpose... Living an Authentic Life - Gregg Levoy (Episode #140)
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Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching
Finding Our Purpose... Living an Authentic Life - Gregg Levoy (Episode #140)
Nov 09, 2020 Season 3 Episode 75
Gregg Levoy

Living an authentic life... finding our purpose - that is the mission of Gregg Levoy, well-known author of Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion  and Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life. He is a former "behavioral specialist" at USA Today and a regular blogger for Psychology Today.

Show Notes Transcript

Living an authentic life... finding our purpose - that is the mission of Gregg Levoy, well-known author of Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion  and Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life. He is a former "behavioral specialist" at USA Today and a regular blogger for Psychology Today.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the latest episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast. I'm your host, dr. Bradford Cooper of the catalyst coaching Institute. And today we're going to dig into our calling and our sense of wonder our guest is Greg Levoy , author of two different books, vital signs, the nature and nurture of passion and callings finding and following an authentic life. He is a former behavioral specialist at USA today, and a regular blogger for psychology today. Our final MBA's DWC approved health and wellness coach certification for 2020. Is this coming weekend? So you've probably missed that, but we do have one teed up for January 23rd and 24th. If you're looking for, I don't know, maybe a meaningful Christmas gift for yourself, or a way to start off the year on the right foot details. Of course, at catalyst coaching institute.com or reach out to us anytime [email protected] for everyone else. The coolest thing happened last week. A bunch of people subscribed to this podcast. I haven't mentioned, I don't know, maybe a year, but our download numbers jumped to our biggest day ever. It was a fun surprise, but also reminder that I should probably mention that once in a while. So if you enjoy what you hear, we'd love to have you join the catalyst community as a subscriber. And for those of you who have been sharing this podcast with others, we really, really appreciate it. Now it's time to dial up our calling and tap into our passions with Gregg Levoy on the latest episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast, Greg Levoy . It is a pleasure to have you here today. Thanks for joining us. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. We're getting into some fun stuff today. I rarely get you've written a lot about our calling. It , it seems that that's a word that can bring incredible freedom, but also can create incredible pressure for folks who think we'll ever find mine. What are some of the key discoveries you've made in the years looking into this concept?

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, as for the pressure thing, definitely the quest for a calling can definitely bring that on. Um, and the question will I ever find mine? I'm inclined actually to refer right up front to an idea that Elizabeth Gilbert came up with, remember her? Sure . Eat, pray, love. She says that the command to follow your passion can lead to stress and pressure for a lot of folks. And instead what she suggests people do is follow your curiosity.

Speaker 1:

I love that.

Speaker 2:

She says, don't tie yourself up in knots with this old God to find my passion and trying to live a passion driven life, lead a curiosity driven life. And by doing that, she said, your curiosity is likely to lead you to your passions. So I just liked that right off the bat in terms of addressing this pressure thing. Cause I think it's real. And I think your question is intuitive that way. Um, but I, I also feel like, I mean, we should just like define a term or two here. Sure . That'd be great. I mean, my bag is callings and to me, all a calling is, is the signs and the signals and the urgings and the promptings. And you know, even sometimes the imperatives that come from deep inside your life and that tell you what it's going to take to make your life literally come true. Uh, not necessarily easy, but true. I mean, in the sense that I think Shakespeare meant when he said to die known self be true, that kind of true. Um, but you know, people often think because the notion of callings is brined in religious overtones that a calling means of voice from on high or a vision or something like that. And some people get them that way, but generally I encourage people to just, you know, it's like the Buddhist say when you wonder where you're supposed to be looked down at your feet and the signs and the signals that are in your life day to day to day to day. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yes. So, so much just in that first response. Okay. So you you've touched on my second question a little bit. You make connects between our calling an aunt and authentic life. Can you, again, you've touched on that. Can you broaden that out? How are these two connected? What happens when we're investing our time or energy into something that is not authentic to who we are ,

Speaker 2:

Uh, which happens a lot, I've been through it myself. So I mean, my sense of this is that the, I use these words advisedly, but the soul, the psyche , um, they seem to sort of contain an image or an ideal of the way we're supposed to be. I mean, we, as individuals is the way we're supposed to be. And our ideal self, our deepest integrity, you know, how our lives would look if we were in alignment with our truth , values, and gifts and all. Um, and I think it, the soul works toward this state by sending us these signals, these callings, I think the term you use in your work actually is a good one. Catalysts. I love that idea. And I think callings are kind of catalysts. I mean, isn't that your sense as well?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. W the thing we love about that word is if , if people think back to their chemistry, high school chemistry class, it was that thing that when, when things weren't moving along or they weren't coming together, you threw a catalyst in, and it didn't destroy the catalyst. It just allowed things to happen more effectively. So, yeah, I think that's a great comparison.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I think that's a great working definition of a calling, what you just said right there, where things aren't quite happening, maybe let's call that an inauthentic life or who knows boredom or restlessness or whatnot . Um, a calling is often right there in the wings and a lot of different ways, and that tells us what we're going to need to do to kind of make chemical soup kick in. And frankly, you know, a calling to me is, is half a conversation. It's half a conversation. It's the call of whatever it is that governs growth in the universe, call it what you will evolution God, destiny, soul. And what turns it into a full conversation is your response to the thing. And, you know , really frankly, calls or just requests for response. It's like literally like a phone call. Yeah . It's a request for a response and they won't go away either. This is, you know, maybe the beauty and the curse of callings is the search parties not gonna retire. Even if you do, even if your career does callings are always going to be there. And they're going to find ways of getting through to you. And my own experience has been that they , they have a tendency to increase in both volume and voltage the longer I ignore them. So, you know, I'm just saying one can live in inauthentic life for a really long time. You can live and die that way, frankly, but the callings are always going to be there. And I think we have an intuitive sense that they're , that they're there all along.

Speaker 1:

So w w let's take a step back for a second for the person. Cause we probably have two different camps listening to us . There's one person that's going, I don't even know what these two are talking about. Like calling, like I like, how do I know what a calling is? Don't I just need to pay the bills and, and get the kids through school or whatever. What would you say to that person that, that literally sitting there saying, I'm not sure I've felt that or heard that or recognize that or identified that, is there something wrong with me?

Speaker 2:

Uh, no, no. I don't think there's anything wrong. Sometimes. I think it's just a matter of whether somebody has the receiver turned on or not. And what I mean by that is simply paying attention to the signs and the signals that are in your life, because life is not just about having a job in paying the bills and raising the kids and sending them through college and getting by, you know, it's about , um, giving your gifts to the world. It's about service. It's about, am I in alignment with the gifts that I was given when I came into this game? And , um , I have a hard time imagining that even though the type a folks and I come from a family full of them, you know, th th th they don't have a sense deep down that there are things knocking on the door. And frankly, I mean, here's the beauty of it calls, which, you know, is a term that a lot of people may or may not even, like you said, respond to or understand. They come in in a lot of different forms. And these kinds of forums, people will recognize calls come as intuitions. Uh , an intuition is like clinically, it's a little calling. They come as passions. They as gifts, they come as dreams. I mean, all the religions of the world from the research I've been able to do, seem to agree that dreams are one of the primary , um , channels through which let's call them the gods and the goddesses speak to the mortals and always have. And they tell you what you really know about something. I mean, if you're familiar with the author, Tom Robbins, that name ring a bell, it doesn't know . You know , he wrote , um , even cowgirls, get the blues and another roadside attraction, and a lot of crazy novels back in the seventies and eighties, he said, dreams don't come true. They are true. When we talk about our dreams coming true, we're actually talking about our ambitions. And then I ran across a Johns Hopkins university study that confirmed that idea. They , um , did a study of pregnant women, and they found that of the women who had an intuition about the gender of their baby, they were correct 71%, no coin flip, but right. Here's the punchline. The women who had a dream about the gender of their baby were correct. 100% of the time. Interesting. There's an , and this tells us that we have access to really deep knowledge in there, and we're sleeping through it. Most of the time,

Speaker 1:

When you say dreams, you're talking literal, I'm asleep. I wake up, I go, Oh, wow. That was interesting. You're not talking about the, the daydreaming . I love the quote dream with your eyes wide open. That's kind of one of my sub themes for my life, but you're not talking about that. You're talking about literal, you're asleep. You have these dreams, or are you talking about both?

Speaker 2:

No, I'm talking about the night dreams. Okay . Okay . That those are forms of calls that our unconscious is sending us, telling us how we really feel about a thing or what we really know about a thing. And when you wake up in the morning and you go, Hmm , that was interesting. I would say, dig there, just take a minute before your feet hit the floor, which I think I say that very specifically, because, you know, dreams are just made of, you know, like spider webbing, the second your feet hit the floor, you're going to ground them. And they're just going to go into the ground. You're going to lose it in the day to day to day business of paying the bills and doing the chores and going to work. I'd say stop for a minute. And just think about that response you had to, the dream is like, well, what is , why is that showing up right now? Because all the psyche is trying to do with dreams is to , um , make things, make more sense for you and help you connect some dots. And like you said, be a catalyst for something that wants to awaken ironically. So here's, here's some others calls come in the song , uh , in the, in the , uh , form of song lyrics that you can't get out of your head for a couple of weeks. And , um ,

Speaker 1:

No, I haven't , I've been humming this one. There's, ain't nothing a beer can't fix. Is that okay? Well, you know, maybe that

Speaker 2:

Says something

Speaker 1:

I need to chill out.

Speaker 2:

I'm working too hard. I remember first time I ever noticed this in my own life, I was about to quit a job out of anger and frustration , uh , with an immediate boss and for a week, right around that period of time, I was going to quit my job as a reporter, become a freelance writer and get out of this game. I kept hearing this one line from the wizard of Oz day and night if I only had a brain. And it's like, wow. When I finally stopped and realized how often that was running through my head, I realized, Oh, I'm not thinking this through.

Speaker 1:

So, so we have the dreams piece. Do we have , uh , is that one of like four or five things? Like, is it also go to your friends and ask them what seems to light Maya's up or ponder? When, when do I find a smile on my face? Or when do I feel like I'm having the greatest impact on the people around? Are there kind of some, some steps you take in addition to those dreams or to compliment those dreams?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Those examples you just use are a really good examples is , um, don't even take your own word for it. Go to your friends and say, when do you see me light up like a Christmas tree? You know, where do you see my gifts? Where do you see me being the most effective in the world? Whether this has anything to do with paying them the mortgage or not, it's just give me the data. What do you see? I think that's a great way to do some of the discernment work that's involved in clarifying, what am I supposed to be doing here? Where, where do I feel the most plugged in? So as for what you're supposed to do with all these signs and signals, I think the point is to do something about it. So part of this may be writing it down. Part of it may be talking to friends about a dream theme . Part of it may be trying to find ways of enacting it in the world. And in other words, I think one of the best ways to frankly, discern what your calls are, is take a step toward, you know, let's say you get a , an idea in your head or a dream that comes through or a pattern that shows up or something like that. And you try it out, you take a step toward whatever that thing is. And then you just simply look at what kind of feedback does my life, give me, take a step toward the thing, whatever it happens to be, maybe it's reading an article about it. Um, some new Avenue that it's opened up or a career option or something like that, attend a lecture , um, go get a book at the library and read it, listen to a podcast about it. Uh , have a conversation with a friend , um, sign up for a class, whatever, take a step. And then look at the feedback that you get from your own life. Do you feel, you know, more awake or more asleep, you know, do you feel better or worse? What do your friends tell you? It's like, wow, Brad, I haven't seen you the psyched in years. What's going on. You know, there's a fee , there's a kind of a call and response thing that you set up by taking little, little, small, manageable steps. I'm not talking about quitting your job or leaving your marriage, or, you know, creating the game to go save the whales. I'm talking about small manageable steps that you can kind of document what happens when you take them.

Speaker 1:

And then the document piece, I love that you just threw that in there because I'm thinking the more I'm actively reflecting, it seems like that provides incredible value of understanding. Yeah, this is one of them . So that might be journaling. It might, but a lot of people don't like to journal. So for those, it might be just taking a walk and not looking at the phone, not listening to podcasts. Just thinking, just letting the mind go in any other things or comments about those two .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. Those were great ideas. Um, I would even back up a half a step and say that really one of the best steps that you can take in all this stuff is have a self-reflective practice of some kind, okay. Whatever it is, it works for you. If it's not journaling, maybe it's meditation. Maybe it's doing some artwork. I mean, the kind that's , you know , done in the service of, self-discovery not exhibition. Um , maybe it's a little dream interpretation for some people, a self-reflective practices, counseling or coaching. Right , right,

Speaker 1:

Right, right. Absolutely. Coaches would have a huge impact there. No doubt.

Speaker 2:

Exactly . You know, it's like talk to somebody who's , uh , who helps other people manage change, you know, your participation in any kind of group who who's , you know, members get together for the purpose of waking up. So this could be , um, you know, it could be a spiritual group or a men's group or a women's group, or , uh , what they call a personal board of advisors or hell a 12 step group. So there's, there's lots of ways of turning the receiver on. So that's one piece, but in terms of what you asked, frankly, from what I have found in doing my research for the Colin's book, every spiritual tradition that's come down the pike has, at some point said to its adherence , um, sit down and shut up. You know, I mean like the Bible says it nicer. There's still no . Yeah. But the point is the same as sit down and shut up and listen, right ? Because if you're on the treadmill all the time, you know, calls have a tough time getting through when they get nothing but busy signals and time has space a little bit of time and space for your marching orders to make their way to you. And again, I I'm saying this coming from a long line of workaholics, so I know the , the experts just call it a process addiction instead of a substance addiction. You know, and it's one of the very few addictions you're allowed to put on your resume, right ? It's encouraged. It's very much encouraged. Um, but when you're in , when you're like up to your who ha and the 10,000 things, you're pretty much giving off busy signals to your own self. Wow. And it won't stop knocking on the door, but it's going to be way harder for any of that information to come through. And I understand why people are scared to open the door to this thing, because what if the marching orders you get are in direct opposition to the way you're living your life?

Speaker 1:

Your analogy is, is so powerful. If people are digesting, th the calls have trouble getting through due to busy, C , D , D us are busy newness signals. Um, that's huge

Speaker 2:

As usual, you know, you might appreciate this. I read a story in the new Yorker a couple of years ago that just really laid this out , um, author. What's his name? Uh , uh , Adam Gopnik. Um, he has , uh , he talks about his three-year-old daughter. Who's got an imaginary playmate named Charlie ravioli. And if you want to Google this story just type in Charlie ravioli. But so what he's saying is that there's nothing unusual about a three-year-old having an imaginary playmate, except that this one is always too busy to play with her. So whenever she's calling up Charlie ravioli on her toy cell phone, she's always getting his answering machine and having to leave a message. And then a month later, her dad, the author notices that she's now leaving messages with somebody named Laurie . He says, honey, who's who's Laurie . And in her three-year-old fashion, she explains that this is Charlie ravioli's assistant for crying out loud. This is somebody he's hired to return his phone calls for him. And I, you know, maybe I'm being overly sensitive or something, but when our three-year-olds imaginary, playmates are too busy to play with them and start hiring agents, you know, fend off the F the phone calls of the children who i magined them to begin with e man. It's time to move out of New York. T hat i s hilarious.

Speaker 1:

So, so we , we talked through the , the one side that the group that says, I don't even know, like what this thing is. How about the other side? The , the person that says, Oh, I've got a , I've got a calling. I just keep running into walls, pursuing it. Is that a , a sign that it's the wrong calling? It's misinterpreted, it's being taken the wrong direction. I w w the cause we have a lot of folks that they're dipping their toe into things like health and wellness coaching, and they're hitting some walls and they're maybe feeling a little discouraged. What about that person? That the head and the depth of their heart, they feel like this is it, but this is not working.

Speaker 2:

And if it's not working, it must be the universe telling me it's a false call. Yeah. That's a , that's a really good question. Bad. Um, well, you know, I'm going to defer to one of my heroes in responding to that question, which is Joseph Campbell. Okay . You know, he's the mythologist who gave us the hero's journey , your hero's journey, absolutely bumper sticker, but follow your bliss. He said, phase one of responding to a calling is running from it. And I think that's incredibly universal and inevitable. There's a phase where you just, you're going to hit walls. It's the nature of the beast, because callings by definition call you away from the status quo. And you're going to hit walls both inside and outside yourself, self doubts, other people's doubts , uh , logistical , um, obstacles. Sometimes what it's saying is back to the drawing board, or maybe it's saying you need to collaborate in order to pull this off. Um , maybe it's saying you need more schooling or you need to get your ducks lined up. It could be saying a lot of things, but to assume that it automatically means that it's the wrong call is I think a misapprehension of the whole thing, because it really just means callings will bring you in contact with obstacles. It's just their nature. And , um, you just need to navigate it somehow and keep asking yourself, what is this showing me? What do I need to know? Um , what do I need to learn here? Who do I need to talk to? How can I better prepare? And it also, I mean, here's a heartbreaker for some people, a calling doesn't necessarily mean you're going to pay the rent with it, which is a S for a lot, right ? Cause you know, the ideas, it's a , it's a wonderful idea to make a living from your passion or your passions, but callings were never designed to do that. All the whole point of a call way back in human history is just say, yes, the point of a calling is respond affirmatively to it. It was never about paying the bills with it. We added that on late in the game. And then we judge our callings based on whether they're making us money, whether they're getting us attention, whether they're changing the world. I mean, for God's sakes, I used to have this poster on the wall in my office. It said the trouble with trying to change the world is that weeks can go by. Nothing happens . Just I use myself about my own ambitions, right? But I think it's important to really give yourself the time that some of these big changes especially take to unfold in somebody's life to change tracks. You're not just going to flip a switch and change tracks. There are mindsets that need to be brought online. There are changes of heart. There are new ways of doing things. And I think it's easy to prejudge . If, if anything hits the fan as a result of saying yes to this call, it means it's not the right call. You know, one of the things I suggest to people is, again, just the point of a call is get it in your life to some degree, sooner than later, you have to flip over to doing this whole new thing. It doesn't have to pay the rent, but just say yes to it and then see what begins to unfold over six months or a year. Just give yourself that experimental year and say yes to it in as many ways as you have the energy to do and just see what unfolds you might be amazed at, what unfolds

Speaker 1:

And any thoughts about the I'm just, I'm talking to the rational people out there that are like, Oh , but what if it's a crazy dream? Like, is there a level that you should go? Cause I love what you said about a calling is almost always a calling to something different. It's not a calling to okay, come in and keep doing what you're doing. It's it's calling you out of that into something else. Well, what if it's seemed great ? Like , uh , any tips on some ways to kind of measure that out or way that, or I don't know, do you , you know what I'm asking there?

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And so many calls and I see these people in my workshops all the time. They're they're like, this is crazy. I can't even believe I'm in the class exploring this. You're considering it seriously because to quit my job as an executive at a coffee company, to be an abstract painter, isn't giving one example seems crazy and certainly will to the people who rely on your income for the lifestyle to would like to remain a customer . Yes. But you kind of got to deconstruct crazy because you know, because which is crazier to stay at a job that is toxic and you're giving you what's that, that expression golden handcuffs and is hurting your health, talking about wellness, which is crazy or sticking with that situation or trying something where you're passionate and alive and , and reengaged with the world and out at the edge of the high diving board, which is crazier. So from a purely health and wellness point of view, you kind of got to look at that question of what is crazy here. So there's , there's one piece right there. And of course, a calling, and this is what I mean by the people in my workshops. Um, half of them are in , at the mid-life turning point and whatever they've been doing for 20 or 30 years, some other part of them now wants airtime . And it's usually the flip side of whatever they were doing. So if you were an a , a corporate or a left-brain line of work, the more creative part or the more collaborative part or the part of you that wants love and relationships to take a front and center position, that's usually what's going to come to the fore and to the part of you that's left-brained and rational and practical, that's going to seem crazy. Okay. As will that part of you seem to the right brain , part of you is to just make decisions solely based on practicality and paying the bills. That will seem crazy to the part of you that wants a liveliness and wants creativity and wants a relationship and all that. Um , so I think one of the best things frankly, to do here is pull out your computer and type out a conversation between those two parts of you for a half an hour, don't take your fingers off the keyboard, let them talk to one another. Don't let them retreat to their own rooms, bring them together to talk to one another. And you'd be amazed at what comes out of the conversation between the two. They start to negotiate. They start to say, well, Oh , do this. If you'll do that or tell me why you feel so strongly about this or that or anything you it's just like letting them interview each other, let them talk to each other. And it's truly, the dialogue thing is a really powerful tool to moving through obstacles.

Speaker 1:

That's a great exercise. I love that concept. All right , we've talked mainly about the calling and our career. Can it be in our hobbies? Are they interrelated in some way? Does one provide clues about the other or are these distinct aspects?

Speaker 2:

We think of the word vocation as related to work, but actually the original definition of the word [inaudible] in Latin is just simply to be called that's all the word means to be called it. Doesn't refer specifically to work again. That's an add on, yeah, there, there are work calls, but there are also relationship calls. There are health calls. As you know, there are service calls. There are moral calls, the ones you got when you were 20, assuming you got a sense of calling it that age, they're really different than the ones you get in at 50 and 75. You know , uh , ever since my last book came out, the , the vital signs book, I'd been invited to all these, what are called successful aging conference . I never knew this existed, but you just Google it. And there's a ton of them successful aging, positive aging, activate aging, aging to saging conferences. And so I'm now standing in front of audiences of hundreds of people, sixties to nineties. And these are people who are like waiting for the next calling. They're not retiring and moving to Florida and playing golf. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with any of those three things. Sure . I'm just saying, these are the people who are waiting for the next engagement next killer app. Uh, and , um , and it's , and me, I'm in my early sixties. Now, this is helping me reframe what it means to grow older. I'm just saying that there's a developmental aspect to calls as well, but they're definitely not just in the career department.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Now your expertise originally came to my attention from an article you wrote for psychology today about the concept of wondering, and I just want to read a little section from what you wrote the sense of wonder, speaks of our hunger to be moved, to be engaged and impassioned with the world and take pleasure in it, attuned to it and fascinated by it, grateful for it. Wow. Wow. My friend, there is so much in there. Can you unpack that for us just a little bit? I mean, we just, this idea of wondering, I think it's a missed, lost art, if you will. W we've talked about it a little bit here on a couple of previous podcasts, but I just think there's so much value to this concept. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, my sense of, of the sense of wonder is that w frankly, it was bundled into us by evolution because really what it is, is a subset of the urge to explore and scan the environment and to not only be open to, but, but , um, responsive to curiosity and surprise. And I think the people who were the most responsive to curiosity and surprise probably tended to be selected for by evolution and survival and wonder as frankly, on the other end of the spectrum wonder is at the heart of the religious and the spiritual impulses. You know, I mean, in the sense of awe and reverence and a feel for mystery and all of those of course are a big part of spiritual life, but, you know, frankly, this is a wellness issue in my humble opinion, wonder, and, and the passion that it can lead you toward, or the passion that, that , uh, activates the sense of wonder and curiosity. This is a wellness issue, because my sense is that our attachment to life kind of depends on our interest in it, you know, our sense of wonder and reverence and enthusiasm and gratitude, and , and of course, participation, you know, it's, it's our desire to feel alive rather than bored and disinterested. And frankly, speaking of evolution to follow the primary calling of pretty much all creatures, which is maximum , uh lifeness and I think the sense of wonder is , um, something that can lead us toward that. If we let it off the leash and quit associating with something that little kids do, you know, asking a million questions and wondering why, and it's like, well, that that's a luxury. I don't think it is. I think it's a corrective for boredom and habit and routine, and as important to the brain as habit is, you know, because it's always trying to turn novelty and quickly into habit , um, boredom and habit and routine, or some of the things that Rob us of a liveliness. Also, they're great to have their forms of security, but it can easily tip over into too much of that. And so have a conversation between boredom and wonder dialogue , you know , have a conversation between security and passion , uh , and see what comes out of that.

Speaker 1:

And I like it in that phrase maximum , uh , liveliness, if that's not a keeper, all right. In that same article, you lay out seven ways. You can cultivate our sense of wonder. Can you w we're not going to go through all seven, but could you give us two or three that you just started like, Oh man, Brad, these are the , these are the ones that people are going to pick a few of them. These are the ones.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Okay. Well, the first one that pops into my mind is something I've spent this entire summer doing. I made a promise to myself at the top of the summer, I'm going to knock off, I'm going to take the summer and go on road trips and see friends and visit national parks and be in my body and be in the wilderness. I I'm hungry for big nature. I'm sick of being at the desk. So my first suggestion for cultivating, the sense of wonder is get the hell away from the desks and the habits and the routines and the responsibilities and the roles that define your everyday life. Again, nothing wrong inherently with any of those. But it's really easy for some of us, especially type a folks , um, to tip over into that being the default mode, right? Get out of town, give yourself the chance to encounter, wonder and trigger your natural curiosity about the world. So that's one is get up step away from the desk and give yourself some time out. And I almost mean literally outside, go out and play. You know, another one is one of my favorites is look for displays of mastery and genius, like read Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning authors. When you enter like big lobbies and atriums and churches in such look up, you know, get a season pass to the art museum, right? I've got this astronomy picture of the day website on the toolbar, my computer , um , go listen to Ted talks, you know, but just like expose yourself to , um, experiences of mastery and genius because they always fill me with awe and wonder the stuff that , um , my fellow human beings are up to. And the third one I would suggest is something I took to doing years ago. And I, I go on hikes, carry a magnifying glass in your pocket when you're out in nature. I mean, it just suddenly ordinary things that you would never even think to look twice at like the bark of a tree or an insect or a flower are become a whole other universe. When you look at them through a magnifying glass, simple stuff, simple stuff that you can just expand your amazement about the world by looking at every day stuff through a magnifying glass or a telescope or a microscope or something.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. We had an episode just few weeks ago. It's interesting timing. You mentioned that of the difference between going for a hike and going for a hike with a camera in your hand, because all of a sudden you open your eyes. You're , you're looking for that. What did you say? Greatness. Mastery genius. Um, yeah, powerful, powerful. I'd never thought about a magnifying glass. So ,

Speaker 2:

Or go, go on a hike with a kid in your hand, because really what I'm talking about is what the Buddhist called beginner's mind. Yes, yes. And that's a great, that's a bullet train to a liveliness in my opinion.

Speaker 1:

Love it. All right. Let , let's flip it around here a little bit. Is the guy known for his guidance on topics about following your passion and living out your calling? Do you ever struggle in this area? Do you ever find yourself going through the motions? It sounds like this summer, you you're very purposeful, but have you had periods in the last decade where you say, you know what, I'm writing a book about this and I'm not even doing it

Speaker 2:

Well, I've certainly had my struggles with all of this. I mean, that's part of the reason I've written books about it is, you know, in the sense I've been there and done that. And , um , and I've taken copious field notes. And so, yeah. Um, there have been times when I've been in the doldrums. Um, the beginning of this summer, there were times when I was like , uh , pandemic or no pandemic. I was in workaholic mode , uh, partly as a function of trying to figure out how to make my way and make an income when all of my work up conferences, business of public gathering . Right, right. You know, my calling, my calling has changed over the course of the decades. They've always pretty much been in the journalism and writing and teaching arenas, but they've changed a lot over the years and I've had to adapt and, and there have been periods of just terrific boredom and restlessness. And I've spent months trying to get to the bottom of what is going on to the point when I've literally taken myself on a couple of vision quests. You've heard of this notion where native tribes have pretty much every tradition throughout human history have come up with this idea that you've taken individual. You send them out into the wilderness for four days or six days, or in one case in death Valley 12. And you go on a vision quest up half of which is a fast alone in the wilderness to try to cry for a vision. That's the way black elk puts it crying for a vision, and then trying to bring it back to the tribe. But I've been so desperate and restless and confused that I've taken myself on this kind of frankly, scary trip to try to bust through and step outside and look back in through the shop window at my life. And , um , so the answer to your question is hell yes,

Speaker 1:

That's what we all want to hear . I love it. Love it right before the last question. What's the best way for folks to keep up with you to follow what you're doing? Are you on Twitter? Do you have a website you'd like them to go to what what's, what's the best way to keep track of what you're up to

Speaker 2:

World headquarters nowadays is my website, which is just Gregg levoy.com . It's G R E G G L E V O y.com. Okay , perfect. And it's pretty much all on there. And I've got a Facebook page as well on a blog on psychology today. So between those that should give people good entry points. Okay .

Speaker 1:

Excellent. All right. Last question. So I don't know if you're on Twitter or not, but regardless Twitter is all about the short and sweet kind of two to three sentences, 140 characters. Technically, if you had an opportunity to tweet out your most important life wisdom to the world in that brief form , and we're not going to count the character so freely , feel free to take some license with this, but short and sweet, what would be your advice to the world that you'd love to have get out there to everyone?

Speaker 2:

So this is what pops into my head. I'm just going to go with it. I remember having to study a guy in college, a theologian named Paul Tillich. And I remember him saying that the first duty of love is to listen. And so I figure to the degree you love your life to the degree you love your work or your loved ones or your health. You listen, that would be it.

Speaker 1:

That's powerful, based on everything you told us the last 45 minutes, 40, 40 minutes or so. That's super powerful. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. I love that. Love that

Speaker 2:

Anybody can tell me how many characters that came in.

Speaker 1:

I bet it was 139 . I bet that little red circle is starting to change over on including space . Exactly. But Greg, thank you so much. This was fantastic. Really appreciate taking the time with us.

Speaker 2:

You're most welcome. And thanks for the engaging questions .

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Well , we'll be in touch and , uh , appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

All right . Thanks again. And thanks for your good work in the world. Living an authentic life, powerful stuff.

Speaker 1:

Thanks again to Greg Levoy for joining us this week and thanks to you for tuning to the number one podcast for health and wellness coaching. Next week's guest might be the most important interview we've had in a very long it's with Harvard biostatistician and epidemiologist , dr. Martin colder , he's sharing a different perspective on the COVID 19 lockdown strategy and folks, we have no zero personal agenda in this, but I will tell you our conversation definitely changed the way I'm now seeing things related to COVID. For those of you who are subscribers over at youtube.com/coaching channel, you know, we already released an unedited video version of dr. [inaudible] interview there. You can see that one. Now, if you don't want to wait until next week's edited version here on the podcast, along with almost a hundred other videos, covering everything from motivation and mental toughness to guidance building your coaching career or business. If applicable, most of them are three to 12 minutes long, and we put together a playlist. So you don't have to go through the entire library, define the ones that are most beneficial to you. With that. Let's close the door on this episode and open our eyes to pursuing our true calling and a life of authenticity. This is dr. Bradford Cooper of the catalyst coaching Institute. Make it a great rest of your week. And I'll speak with you soon on the next episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast, or maybe over on the YouTube coaching channel.