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ORIGINALLY AIRED 04.17.2015
Note: Designing Yourself is produced as an audio podcast. We encourage you to keep in mind that emotion and emphasis may be lost in the written word. Transcripts may contain errors.
Paul McAleer: Hi. This is Designing Yourself. I’m Paul McAleer.
Whitney Hess: And I’m Whitney Hess. And, as usual, Paul and I have already been talking about the topic that we want to talk about today. We get to a point in our conversation where we’re noodling on what we’re going to talk about, and then we start talking about it, and then we’re like, damn it, why haven’t we been recording this?
Paul: Yeah, we don’t - you know, the jumping off point is always a hard thing, right, because we start talking about various things, and then Whitney - usually it’s Whitney who just says, yeah, we should start recording.
Whitney: Because everything is so good. So, what we have been talking about already today, and what we want to keep talking about, is the topic of striving. Now, for me this is something that I have been turning over in my mind for a very long time. In fact, ironically enough, I have been striving to not strive for a very long time.
My kind of whole upbringing was centered on my parents engraining in me a really strong work ethic that I carried through school and college and grad school and when I started my career. I always felt like the intention behind everything I was doing was to make a great effort to achieve something that was bigger than what I already had or that was somehow an indicator of greater success, to constantly be on this trajectory of more and more and more success, however you want to define success.
And for a long time I defined success as how much money you make, and then over time came to realize that there was really never enough. It was never enough. It never felt satisfying. And that was a very challenging feeling, in fact, more challenging than the pride or whatever in having achieved something.
So, I guess the last few years that I have been on a sort of spiritual journey, a lot of the messages that I’ve been receiving, especially from the Buddhist tradition, is that striving is one of the causes of suffering. And so now I’m in this place where I’m trying to figure out how to not strive, but yet my striving tendencies are still coming into play. So, I’m trying really, really hard to not try so hard. It’s kind of ridiculous.
So, are you a striver, Paul?
Paul: So, that’s a great question. I had a slightly different upbringing than you in that I was fortified with this idea that I am super smart and talented and things should come easy to me, which is a very different place to be than work hard and success will come. And, for me, looking at it from my perspective now, that was a very difficult road to go down, especially given I’m a white male and I already have a shit-ton of privilege already.
Whitney: What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Paul: No, not at all. So, that being out there, though, that kind of, though, set me up for this scenario where I occasionally started to think about, and really think about in context of career, this idea that, yes, I should strive for something greater, in part because I deserve it, right?
So, there was that “I deserve it” type of mentality, too, like I deserve to be a UX director because I’ve done this and that and the other, and that’s the other I should have now. I’ve been in my career for X years. And I would justify it in so many ways.
But, what I’ve found recently is that that hasn’t really been as satisfying as I wanted it to be, right? It’s kind of - it reminds me of this whole idea of packing and moving, which I’ll get to in a minute. It’s very similar to that.
Am I a striver? So, here’s the thing. I always want to do a good job at something, right? I always want to do a very good job and put my best effort into it. And I don’t know if that is a little different than - is that a little different than striving?
Whitney: Maybe. I think there’s shades of grey here, so to speak. I think that wanting to do your best and wanting to give your best has a lot of different intentions behind it. I guess the question is, why do you want to do your best?
Paul: That’s a great question. So, I want to do it - so, I’d like to do my best because I feel that will best benefit the situation, right, because if I’m not fully present in what’s going on, I’m not really giving all of myself, then what am I doing? What’s distracting me or taking me away from what I should be doing in that moment or with that project or with that situation or whatever it is, right?
That, to me - I guess another thing to add is that, to me, is that matter of being present. And it always comes back to that, right? So, if I’m fully present, then I am giving my best.
Whitney: See, I think that’s very different from striving, at least in my definition of it, where you’re always trying to give your best because of the benefit that you will receive in return, because it will make you look good with your coworkers, because you’ll get that raise or that promotion, because your ego requires the praise rather than what it sounds like is innate to you, which is doing your best because it’s right for the greater good, it benefits everyone else.
And I think that’s very different from striving. At least, I’ve never really thought about striving in the sense of putting a tremendous amount of effort into benefiting other people. I don’t know if I’d call that striving as much, and maybe therefore there is some kind of egocentric aspect of the striving, at least as I relate to it.
Paul: And, I want to make something clear, too. It’s not like every situation I go into I’m always thinking about the non-egocentric situation. I mean, there are absolutely times when I go into something and I think about how it’s going to benefit me first. That absolutely happens. I am human.
I do not go into every single situation and say, well, I’m doing this just because it’s good for everybody else, right? There are definitely times when the ego drives or comes in first and is like, oh, this is going to be awesome because you will get blank. You will get recognized. You will get money. You will get a promotion. You will get something, right? That happens, too. That is there, too.
I think the hard part for me is, as it always is for me, is being in the grey area for me, right, where sometimes, yes, my ego will want to drive these things and does. And then there are other times when my ego does not want to drive, or rather my sense of self ends up being so very strong that I’m able to access that first in lieu of accessing my ego first, which is really easy to tap into. My ego is super easy to tap into.
Whitney: But what you’re describing, I’m sure, has taken quite a bit of practice in order to cultivate. I don’t think that that’s something that many of us have a choice in. It’s like there is the ego in full force, rearing its ugly head, totally taking over the situation. And rarely do we have the presence of mind. And I’m speaking for myself, so I don’t want to speak for anybody else out there.
Rarely do I have the presence of mind to say, oh, look at that. My ego is out of control. I have a choice in this matter. Let me act in a certain way. That’s something that I would love to have more of, and it’s something that I have worked very hard to try to cultivate. But it certainly isn’t where I would like it to be, thus the striving for the non-striving comes in again.
And I think, honestly, even when you have practiced a lot, as you said, we’re human. So, those things do pop up. And maybe there are certain triggers when the ego is in more command than others. Do you find that to be the case?
Paul: I think so. I mean, one of the things that I come back to is this example of writing a book, right? So, I had put out and really entertained this idea of writing a book probably only last year. And I’ve started some work on it. And it’s tough for me to say that because there’s a part of me that wants to be very noncommittal to it in the event that it doesn’t happen.
But then my ego is also totally present. It’s like, yes, I’m writing this book for me because this is something I want to do. And it’s going to get me - you know, actually, I don’t know what it’s going to get me. Fame, maybe. Notoriety, maybe. Respect, possibly. But there’s also the part of me that’s very interested in knowing what the audience looks like and who they are and what they need and saying, oh, I need to deliver on what they want and need in order to write something that’s really good.
So, really, it’s kind of a hard place to be. And I think it really does matter - it does vary, excuse me - on a day-to-day basis. There are days when I wake up and I’m like, hell yeah. My ego is going to drive all day today. And I’m going to do everything for me - me, me, me - and it’s great. And my ego loves it.
But then there are other days when it’s totally not in that direction at all. And that varies even within those days, too. And what it’s really come down to for me is just having - first of all just having the awareness that it’s not me making those choices. It’s my ego, right? Yes, it’s a part of me, absolutely. It’s multiple parts of me, maybe.
But it’s not myself just saying, you know, yes, this is going to be the way it goes. It is a part of me. And if I acknowledge that, then that’s kind of the first step, right? It’s knowing, OK, cool. Now I can make an informed decision about it or at least go with it if I want to or steer away from it if I want to do that as well and not just kind of give in all the time to the ego.
Whitney: Absolutely. And yet at the same time when I hear you say that you underneath it all really want what you offer to the audience to be driven by what they need, I don’t know if it’s your personality to do this. But the way that I hear it is there’s a striving in that, too, like I really want to deliver on what they need. I’m going to be fiercely determined to figure out who my audience is, what their problems are and how I can solve for them.
And I’m going to make sure that I communicate that as clearly as possible, and I’m going to organize the book in a way that’s the easiest for them to absorb, and it’s going to have the right flow. And there’s just a lot of wanting in that. There’s a lot of - I don’t really know what the right word is, but a lot of hope, a lot of needing it to be right, needing it to work out well, needing it to be successful.
And I have the type of personality where I often don’t do things in the first place unless I’m sure I can be successful at them. I have a really hard time doing stuff that I have no - I have, like, total lack of confidence that it will succeed or that I have no need for it to succeed or not.
And so, there’s like a grasping. And I guess I associate that word, grasping, with striving. It’s an attachment. It’s like a holding on where I am going to do this, and I’m holding on so desperately that I need it to be successful. I need it to work. I need it to land with other people. I need other people to appreciate it. I need it to be talked about or to be shared or whatever those outcomes are, whatever those measures of success are. There’s for me such a strong grasping in having it work out the way I want it to or the way I envisioned it would.
And that’s very tied into the striving for me because it’s an attachment to how things are going to work out. It’s an attachment to a future state. And I often find that when I let go of that, when I just allow it to be whatever it’s going to be, when I’m not trying to have something or acquire something that I don’t already have, but I’m just expressing myself, I find that most of the time, if not all of the time, the final result is far beyond what I ever could have anticipated, whatever I could have imagined, and that maybe the forcefulness around making it into this future state that I imagine can turn it into that future state.
I have a good success rate. But maybe it could have been so much more. It could have been so much more meaningful. And I would have enjoyed the process of creating it so much more because I would have been focused on the moment when I was creating it rather than hopelessly focusing on what would come of it in the future. And I think that gets back to your comment on presence.
I actually have an Eckhart Tolle calendar at home. Frederick and I put it up at home. And it’s a monthly calendar, and so we get a different photo and quote from him every month. It sounds so cheesy now that I’m saying it out loud. But we’re big, big fans of Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now really started us on a big journey a few years ago. And so, anyway -
Paul: Yeah, same here. Not a few years ago, though - I’m still reading it.
Whitney: We bought an Eckhart Tolle calendar. And, last month’s quote, and I’m going to get it wrong despite the fact that I looked at it for 31 days in a row, is something to the effect of do not focus on the fruits of your labor. Focus simply on the act of doing, and the fruit will come of its own accord.
And I associate striving with that. Striving is a pre - what’s the word? An obsession almost, a preoccupation was the word I was thinking of, with what will come of the act, what the results will be, how it’s going to impact people, what I’m going to get out of it, how it’s going to be accepted into the universe, rather than focusing on the act itself.
And so, I’m wondering, in the case of your book, because you care so much about presents and cultivating presence as a big part of your life, how are you keeping yourself focused on the work that you have to do today and just being there with the work rather than allowing your mind go off into what’s going to come of it? Or are you?
Paul: So, the short answer is sometimes I don’t do the work because it’s so scary. So, that’s part one, and that’s an admission. The other is, the other part of it, though, is the old “getting things done” saw, right? So, if people have heard my talk or read anything I’ve written within the past probably year or two, I’ve talked about the old “getting things done” method by David Allen. And it was even on the podcast probably about umpteen times. I know with Gina Trapani it was.
But the whole idea with that is just breaking something down into smaller chunks, right? So, it’s a matter of, you know, I don’t necessarily have a project for write a book. But I might have a project, which is kind of just a couple of steps in a row, of write a first draft outline of your book. And, what does that look like? Well, first of all it’s go into Google Docs and write down a paragraph.
And I give myself just a ton of leeway with that, right, because right now I’m not under any time pressure. I don’t have any publisher. I’ll probably publish it myself. I don’t even know. That’s not something I’ve thought about yet, right? But it’s a matter of understanding what is next in that process.
And even a small-seeming thing could get me progress towards that because now I know that I’ve started to do some initial research on audiences. And I’ve written an outline, and I’ve written kind of a description of the book. And those are things that I’ve actually completed. And, frankly, I feel pretty good about that versus just kind of wishing, wow, I wish I could write a book, you know? So, for me it’s being able to do something in a small chunk because those things add up significantly over time.
So, one other thing, though - I have to go back to this. Eckhart Tolle calendar, why would that not be just a single sheet of paper that says “Now” on it? Come on. I’m sorry. I could not resist. I’m sorry.
Whitney: Well, have you seen Thich Nhat Hanh’s watch?
Paul: No, but I bet it’s really good.
Whitney: Thich Nhat Hanh’s watch where every hand on the watch says “Now”?
Paul: That’s great.
Whitney: Yeah. Now, you know, it is ironic, I suppose, to have an Eckhart Tolle calendar where you’re actually counting down the days or watching the days go by, and his whole notion is that’s really just a human construct, and the only time that exists is right now. There is no such thing as the past. There is no such thing as the future. It no longer exists. It’s just right now.
But isn’t it interesting how something that supposedly doesn’t exist occupies so much of our waking and dreaming thought?
Paul: Oh, goodness, yes. Oh, goodness. And, you know, one of the things that you mentioned, too, another parallel I can draw is to write. I’m sure you can, too, because when it comes to writing there’s the idea of putting something out there and having an audience. And I’m not even thinking in terms of a book here but a blog post or a talk or what have you.
But you just kind of get into it, and there’s that whole idea of, you know this is what it’s going to be when it’s done. And then you do your first edit and it’s crap. And you’re just - well, sometimes my first edits are really good. But usually it’s not that good.
And then it’s a matter of that disconnect between something you’ve put out there or are starting to put out there. And you’re like, wow, this is not what I expected it to be. Or you start writing on a topic and then something else comes up altogether and you find that is the richer and more interesting thing to you. And you’re like, oh, I can write for an hour on this instead, and that’s really fascinating.
And that is what is basically something that can come our way if we’re more open to what we’re doing in that moment, you know? It’s that ballyhooed and overused word like being a craftsperson or something like that, right, where you’re just putting a lot of effort and attention and care into what you’re doing in that moment in the service of making something bigger, right?
And, sure, you know, I would imagine that if you’re a carpenter and you want to build a bookshelf, it might be weird to build a sofa instead if that’s what the plan is, right? But, like, if that is your plan to build a bookshelf, etc. and then a sofa comes out, well, that might be a little strange. But then you made a sofa.
But there’s still that experience of going through that process and that journey. And it’s very different than taking an order and selling it. I kid just a little bit. But I think part of it, though, is really just this notion of once you’re in something you can get into a zone of flow and working on it and be open to what could happen next and be inspired by just what's happening now versus the plan of I’m going to have a ten-slide PowerPoint deck to present on Friday or what have you.
What if it ends up being 12 slides? Is that going to be the end of the world? Probably not. Or, I gave a presentation on a findings report last week. And originally my understanding was going to be I was going to have 20 minutes of time. I ended up having five. It was like, well, OK. I mean, I just had to improvise and cut it down to the bone and say this is what you need to know. I have five minutes. Here is everything you need to know. And there’s nothing else. There’s no filler.
So, if I had prepared for 20 and envisioned always it was going to be 20 without that ability to just know that stuff to a degree where I could improvise, well, shoot. I’d be striving for something that wasn’t there anymore.
Whitney: Absolutely. And I think what you’re getting at, that when you’re in a state of flow, when you’re truly focused on the present moment, there is no need to strive because there is nothing better you could possibly attain than what you’re attaining right now.
That’s at least my experience with writing. Writing is the thing for me, and it always has been the thing, that when I am there in the zone with the page in front of me and things are just coming out onto the page, there is nowhere else I’d rather be. There is nothing else I need in life. I don’t need any more money. I don’t need any more things. I don’t need any more space. I don’t need any more friends, clients. I need nothing. I’m not hungry. I am not anything but perfect. I feel perfect.
And there’s an aspect to striving which is indicating to yourself you’re less than perfect. You need something else in order to feel whole. And when I’m writing, when I’m really in the zone, I feel whole. I feel like I could do this forever and never, ever stop because everything I need in life is being given to me in this very moment because it’s a lot less about having than it is about being. I am truly being in those moments that I’m writing.
However, in the time leading up to when I begin writing, I am in major striving mode. And in many ways it gets in my way. It doesn’t let me get to the page as soon as I should have. It keeps me away from writing. I get all these ideas in my head about what the writing is going to turn into, who’s going to see it, what it’s going to mean to them, what it’s going to mean for me, what it’s going to change in my life, all these really impossible notions, constructs, hopes, fears.
Everything is swirling in me in the time leading up to the writing and in the first moments of writing as well. It probably takes some time for it to get out of me. It’s like toxins that I have to somehow get rid of. Then I’m in perfection, happiness, contentment, all of the wonderful things in life wrapped up into one.
And then I come to a point of completion. And it could be in that same session, or it could be that I’ve come back to it ten times. But at some point I’m at a point of completion. Now that striving rears its ugly head again. It’s like, OK, well now what’s going to happen with this, and who’s going to see it, and what is it going to mean, and is this only for me or is this for other people, and if it’s for other people, is it going to meet their needs, and how is it going to impact them and blah-blah-blah? I go into a crazy space.
And, as I was mentioning earlier about kind of when you don’t strive things have a way of having an even greater impact or greater success than you would have had had you been aiming for something, with my writing when I publish something with the hope of it having a particular outcome, like I want this to really make people think, I want to start a conversation, I want to challenge something that someone else is talking about, I want to really agitate people, whatever it is that my intention is or my aim at the point of publishing it, almost 100% of the time the post falls totally flat. No one cares. No one reads it. It means nothing to no one.
And I’m like, damn. I really thought that was good, you know? I really thought that was good. I really thought that had something to it. The things that I’ve written where I have no idea what I’m going to write before I sit down, I have no care in the world about what it’s going to result in, and I write it in one fell swoop, I hardly reread it, maybe just for misspellings and punctuation. But in terms of content I’m like I’m not trying to achieve anything, so it doesn’t matter if I change anything here because there is no better or worse.
And then I publish it with no intention of any kind and kind of not even caring if anybody sees it because the act of publishing it was just the bow around the gift that I gave myself for writing it in the first place, just for being in the writing. Those things, whether they’re blog posts or articles or essays or whatever, those things have, I’ve found, significantly more impact.
And so, that’s when I come to this realization is when I get to the place of striving to not strive, because now I’m like, ooh, if I really want to have big impact I need to not strive. But then that’s defeating the purpose. I’m still striving. So, it’s almost like a non-attachment to any outcome whatsoever. And I wonder, is that possible? Do you think that’s possible?
Paul: It’s possible. I’m not sure because I can’t think about that outcome. Wah-wah. So, it is possible, but then it’s a matter of what kind of stuff are you focusing on, right? So, if you go, gosh, I’m going to think in work most first for a minute here, and think about if you are working on something with other people in one space, like you’re doing true, honest-to-goodness, capital-C collaboration, right? You might have an end goal in mind that you have to meet. Or you might just say, you know what? We’re going to get some smart people together and figure this shit out.
And, I mean, commonly the old adage is when you’re working in client services, too, people come to you and say, well, we need a website. And then you think about it for a little while and you do your research and you’re like, actually, you know what? You don’t need a website. And even that is a very basic example of somebody coming in with a predetermined outcome and then coming to you and saying, you know what? Actually, you need to maybe not focus on your website right now. You need to do this, this and this and this first. And then we can figure out about the website because that make the most sense for you, right?
So, not necessarily going in and saying, like, oh, I’m always going to say there’s an opportunity to change the outcome or being totally mindful and say that whatever outcome happens, it’ll happen. I think there are times when that is a little more realistic. And there are times when, well, you have to do something on a certain date, generally deadline-driven stuff, right, then you kind of have to.
But I guess there’s always the possibility of being flexible with yourself. One of the things that I want to touch on quickly here is this idea of striving and stuff, right, because we started our discussion talking a little about careers and titles. And I’m going through a move now. And anybody who’s gone through a move knows that it ends up being like you have all this stuff in boxes. And you’re like, what am I doing with this stuff?
And you start to question why you have it in the first place, and it comes down to questioning just about everything. There are some things that are more essential than others, right? Do I need to have a copy of my high school yearbook from 1993? Realistically, probably not. It’s from a high school that I don’t enjoy revisiting very much. So, it’s like do I really need to hold onto that and just carry it around and keep it in a box in the attic for another five, ten, 20, 40 years? Probably not.
But then I also think about this idea when it comes to clothing, right, because odds are pretty high almost all of us, including myself, have some things in our closet that actually don’t fit us at all, either too big or too small. And we’re like, you know, we’ll just hold onto it because I might be bigger or I might be smaller someday, right?
And then, when we go in our closets, well, what kind of emotions do those things bring up, right? And, for me I found that if I had something in my closet that made me feel bad to wear it, well, that was bad for me in part because of body stuff that I’d been working on for the past 20 years or so. But, it was not a good situation to be like, wow, I actually can’t wear that. And I see it every day when I go in my closet.
So, for me that was almost striving for something that was not real and did not exist anymore or might not exist in the future because I don’t know. I mean, for clothing it’s a matter of, like, hey, this is stuff that fits me now. It looks good or at least looks really good, maybe, if I’m feeling really good about it. But it’s stuff that I can wear now. And it’s just kind of being realistic and editing that stuff down, too. It’s all stuff.
Whitney: It’s all stuff. And what you’re touching on is this idea that striving is a cause of suffering, that when we tell ourselves there is this item that I have that if I just try hard enough I will eventually fit into it or it will eventually look good on me or I need to keep this until I achieve something, every single time you see it you are causing yourself suffering.
And we stay in a state of suffering when we’re striving. And I think that there’s a fear in not striving that we’ll become lazy or complacent or wasteful or detached. Yeah, what’s the opposite of attachment? Detached. And in our society that’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable to be aloof and to be non-contributing. That’s the message that we get.
And I think there is a deep-seated fear that if we just stop trying, that we will simply cease to exist. Like, just throw out the clothes that don’t fit. Stop trying to get into those clothes because it’s just causing you more suffering, and you’re not really ever going to achieve it anyway. Throw it out. And if you happen to get to a different weight, good for you. You can go out and buy new clothes. You’re not going to want that old thing anyway because it will forever represent a time when you couldn’t fit into it.
So, I love that you’re bringing that up in terms of striving. And I’m also reminded because you used the phrase “to be flexible with ourselves,” I am currently taking an eight-week course on self-compassion, mindful self-compassion, actually. And this is a topic and a conversation for another time. I’m sure we’ll delve into it at some point.
But the part of it that I was just reminded of is that many people, myself included, go into a course on mindful self-compassion determined to be self-compassionate by the end of it.
Paul: Yes. Yes.
Whitney: It’s like I’m going to take this eight-week course. I paid a few hundred bucks. I am going to do all the homework. I’m going to do all the readings. I’m going to do all the meditations. I’m going to be early to class. And by hell or high water I will be self-compassionate by the end of this class.
And one of the things that the instructors shared with us last week was to let go of that because obviously, maybe to some, and less obviously to others, it gets in the way of actually achieving self-compassion is to be so determined to be self-compassionate.
And one of the instructors said there are three stages to this class, and perhaps three stages to any kind of learning or change. The first is striving where we have an intention of why we got ourselves there in the first place. What did we want to learn? What do we want to change in our lives? How do we want things to be different?
The second stage is disillusionment. When we’ve been grasping at something and not getting the outcomes that we expected, we then just say, well, this is obviously not going to work. This is stupid. This is just woo-woo. Whoever said this was going to work was wrong. They were lying to me. False advertising. I’m not capable of this - all the different things that we tell ourselves that are indicators of total disillusionment.
But then there’s a third stage. And they actually said around this time, because we’re halfway through the course, they’re like we want to see that you’re experiencing disillusionment. Why? Because it means that you’re past the striving stage. So that’s a good sign. So, noticing yourself the disillusionment and keep going forward. Keep practicing every day because that’s a good sign, because what comes after disillusionment is stage three - true acceptance.
And I love that, and it gives me chills right now even thinking about it, that once you give up striving there’s a grieving period, essentially, of the not making an effort anymore and not being - you know, trying to exert our control over the outcome. And there’s a real loss, a sense of loss. And I associate that with the disillusionment.
But once we go through that loss and we allow ourselves to process it, on the other side, just like on the other side of the grieving process, is acceptance. And things just are the way they are. There’s no need to try to make them any different. There’s no stake in anything being different. It just, this is who I am. This is who you are. This is the world as it is. This is my life as it is.
And there’s something so freeing about that, and I see that as kind of the opposite of suffering. It’s just a matter of practicing presence every day, as you put it, so that you can allow yourself to go through the stages. But that, for me, is something that I find to be a real challenge. And it’s still something that I need to practice every day and will very likely be something I’ll have to practice for the rest of my life.
Paul: Oh yeah, this is hard stuff. And it’s not instantly done. And I think one thing that’s worth noting there with that beautiful idea of that process - I mean, I love that as well - is that when you get to the other side where you’re in acceptance, that’s not necessarily a place of sadness nor happiness, right? It is what it is, right?
And, really, that grieving process, that letting go of what could be, is a grieving process. That tends to be pretty sad. When you have this idea of how things are going to be or what you envision them to be and they are not that way, that, in me at least, that leads to sadness. And sometimes it’s small. Sometimes it’s big. And sometimes it takes, in some cases, years to get over. And other times it’s like two minutes.
But, on the other side of it, it really is a matter of, OK, this is what is actually the reality that I’m in at this moment. And this is the situation. And how can I apply myself right now to what’s going on versus pretending and - not pretending. That’s a little harsh. But hanging onto this idea of something that is not going to be. Love it.
Whitney: And what you just said made me realize something that I don’t know that I’ve considered before which is acceptance is a place where you don’t need to strive because everything’s already all right.
Paul: Yeah. Everything’s OK. Everything’s good right now.
Whitney: Everything’s exactly as it’s supposed to be. You don’t need anything else to fill the void. There is no void. Everything is right. And you don’t have to make it right. It just is right.
Paul: That’s right.
Whitney: And you get to roll around in that. So, yeah, I think I’m going to let go. I’m going to try, keep trying.
Paul: All right. I love it. Well, Whitney, this has been another fantastic conversation. Thanks for speaking with me. And we will, of course, talk again very soon.
Whitney: I always love chatting with you, Paul. Thank you for always helping me see another side of things that I’m struggling with or considering. I really appreciate your perspective all the time.
Paul: Same to you. Thank you so much.