66: Triggers - Creating Behaviour That Lasts


00:00:00   The screws aren't evenly done on my soundproofing thing here. That's annoying.

00:00:03   I recommend not touching it.

00:00:05   Right now. Please.

00:00:07   Let's not touch it.

00:00:09   You don't want me to touch the soundproofing?

00:00:11   I don't want you to touch the soundproofing.

00:00:13   I don't see why I shouldn't touch the soundproofing stuff.

00:00:15   Please don't touch the soundproofing.

00:00:17   Oh, the hook just came undone at the top of the soundproofing.

00:00:19   Did you touch it? Hold on.

00:00:21   See? I f***ing told you. Don't touch it.

00:00:23   I just saw the hook undo from the top. Hold on a second.

00:00:26   Ok, the hook's back in.

00:00:28   in. That thing only weighs like 300 pounds if it falls on me it's no problem.

00:00:32   Why does it weigh 300 pounds? What is it?

00:00:35   It's a mobile recording booth panel thing. You're supposed to have four of them. I don't

00:00:41   know who thinks this is mobile because when the guys delivered it, it weighed so much.

00:00:46   Why do you have to like, I don't understand why you have to construct a room inside of

00:00:51   your office.

00:00:52   Look, I'm basically building like a little black monolith in which I will reside to record

00:00:56   the podcasts and I don't see what's wrong with that or why you would disapprove of that.

00:01:01   Gray it is merch time.

00:01:03   Merch!

00:01:04   We have Cortex merchandise, we have new t-shirts and a hoodie for the first time.

00:01:09   We have a whole selection.

00:01:10   It's the first time we've ever done this.

00:01:12   We have four different styles of product for you to go and buy, Cortex listeners.

00:01:18   I want to give people a very brief rundown of what we've got.

00:01:22   You can go to cortexmerch.com to check out the range.

00:01:25   I love that URL by the way, Myke. I love that.

00:01:27   I figure you got to make it easy for people. I realized this in the past. It's always been

00:01:32   like, "Oh, go to here, find the link." No. Cortexmerch.com. That's where you go to buy

00:01:37   our merchandise.

00:01:38   Boom. Very professional.

00:01:40   We are partnering with our friends at Cotton Bureau. Cotton Bureau make the best quality

00:01:45   t-shirts that I've ever worn. They do worldwide shipping. They have great pricing for Europe

00:01:50   and places like that too. We have three t-shirts available and a hoodie. For the first time

00:01:54   ever we are selling merchandise with our logo on it.

00:01:58   A little behind the scenes here, listeners, because Myke is very excited about these t-shirts.

00:02:03   Very excited!

00:02:04   As I'm sure you can hear in his voice, he's very excited.

00:02:08   He's been working on this for a long time, sending me updates, images to approve.

00:02:12   That's my job, to give a little tap back reply, thumbs up on things.

00:02:17   But Myke has been, for literally years now, holding back merchandise with the brain logo

00:02:26   on it.

00:02:27   I wouldn't say holding back.

00:02:28   Holding back is maybe a harsher term.

00:02:31   Just waiting for the right time would be what I would say.

00:02:35   Alright, alright.

00:02:37   Myke has been waiting for the right time to do merchandise with the brain and I have to

00:02:44   agree with him.

00:02:46   This is the right time.

00:02:47   The stuff he's been sending me looks amazing.

00:02:50   But if you've been thinking, "Why don't they sell a t-shirt or a hoodie with that amazing

00:02:55   brand logo on it?"

00:02:56   Well, today is the day.

00:02:57   Today is the day.

00:02:58   Today is your day to buy some brand logo merchandise.

00:03:01   We have the original, which is the logo as you know it in the nice blue color that it

00:03:05   has.

00:03:06   And we have two special editions.

00:03:08   Now these two special editions, this may be the only time we ever sell these two.

00:03:12   One is the Kortek, which is a green brain, which is glow in the dark.

00:03:19   I love that.

00:03:20   I totally love that.

00:03:22   And then we have Kortek's Aversary.

00:03:24   It was the gold logo for our 50th episode, and we're coming up to like three years doing

00:03:29   this show, so it's about the right time that we do this.

00:03:32   So the Kortek's Aversary is super special gold foil.

00:03:36   The brain is made of gold foil on the t-shirt.

00:03:41   So you know, it's pretty special.

00:03:44   And obviously, as you can imagine, t-shirt prices change as you would expect them to

00:03:48   through that range.

00:03:49   And then we also have...

00:03:51   I think this might be my favorite part.

00:03:54   We have a hoodie.

00:03:55   So we have a hoodie that you can buy with the brain logo on it, but it's not printed.

00:04:00   It is embroidered.

00:04:02   And it looks awesome.

00:04:04   It looks so good.

00:04:05   I have to say, Myke sent me the images,

00:04:07   some of the pre-production images of the hoodie,

00:04:11   and my response was, "Give me 10 of those."

00:04:13   - Yeah. - They look really cozy.

00:04:16   I want them.

00:04:17   I wonder if you can put in the show notes

00:04:19   that close-up photo that you sent me

00:04:22   where you can really see the embossed-ness

00:04:25   of the Cortex logo on that hoodie,

00:04:28   because I think it looks really sweet.

00:04:29   - It looks really great.

00:04:30   So here's the deal.

00:04:32   For the time being, this will be a limited run.

00:04:35   So the hope is that we might be able to find a way

00:04:38   to sell these again in the future,

00:04:40   hopefully on a more permanent basis.

00:04:42   But for the time being,

00:04:43   all of this merch is available for three weeks.

00:04:46   It is available until April the 10th, 2018.

00:04:50   So if you want it, and trust me, you do,

00:04:53   go to cortexmerch.com, check out the range,

00:04:56   and buy everything that you like.

00:04:58   And maybe in the future,

00:04:59   we might be able to sell some of these items,

00:05:01   But I'll tell you the glow in the dark and the foil, this is the only time you're gonna get these.

00:05:06   So bear that in mind.

00:05:07   Yeah, those are the limited editions.

00:05:10   The Cortexiversary, it doesn't come around all the time.

00:05:13   It does not.

00:05:13   It happened.

00:05:14   We had that episode with the gold and, you know, that was it.

00:05:18   There won't be another Cortexepisode with the gold logo.

00:05:21   There won't be another Cortexiversary gold t-shirt.

00:05:24   Gotta get it now.

00:05:26   Especially, you only have three weeks to get this stuff.

00:05:28   Maybe if you want to look really cool at an upcoming conference this summer, this seems

00:05:34   like particularly good stuff to get.

00:05:35   I don't know.

00:05:36   I don't know if there's any conferences or cool events coming up this summer, but if

00:05:40   there were, I certainly would want to get one of these shirts for said cool person conference.

00:05:46   Especially, you know, if me or you are maybe at cool person conferences and, you know,

00:05:51   I like high fives.

00:05:53   So, you know, there are lots of high fives that could be given to people wearing the

00:05:56   cortex brain.

00:05:57   So, cortexmerch.com, go and buy some awesome merchandise.

00:06:02   B: Yeah, just to be really clear though, grey high fives not included with cortex merchandise.

00:06:06   N,o I was very careful about that.

00:06:10   Like high five only.

00:06:12   This little asterisk.

00:06:13   Grey high fives cannot be given.

00:06:14   You must check the purchase.

00:06:15   Yeah, we have a whole little thing.

00:06:17   B Yeah, no.

00:06:18   I don't even want to think about travel.

00:06:19   I have no idea what I'm doing.

00:06:20   But I'm just saying, summertime, conference time, you want to look cool.

00:06:25   What could be cooler than a glow in the dark brain t-shirt?

00:06:28   I don't know anything.

00:06:29   Or a gold one.

00:06:31   Can you imagine a gold foil with the hoodie?

00:06:34   You want to double up?

00:06:38   I mean I feel like you have to, right?

00:06:41   That's a pretty sweet situation you've got going on.

00:06:43   Be the bling master.

00:06:44   I want to talk about one of those events in a minute but should we do some yearly theme

00:06:48   updates?

00:06:50   So I've been, uh, I've not decided where my journal fits into my yearly theme yet.

00:06:56   I know it's in one of them.

00:06:58   I just haven't worked out which one.

00:07:00   Can you remind the listeners and me in this moment what your two themes are?

00:07:04   I feel like because you went with two, I can't remember either of them.

00:07:07   They've flown right out of my head.

00:07:09   The year of adulting.

00:07:10   Uh, okay, right.

00:07:11   Year of adulting.

00:07:12   And the year of branching out.

00:07:14   Year of branching out.

00:07:15   I feel like the journal is much more branching out than year of adulting.

00:07:18   The year of adulting is like for some very specific events, right?

00:07:25   The big theme for me this year is the year of branching out.

00:07:27   And this is one of those things in a way because it is a little bit different to any… it's

00:07:31   a little bit outside of my usual comfort zone to like sit and write a journal every day.

00:07:35   But I've been doing it every day.

00:07:37   I don't do it on weekends is what I've come to… it's just a thing that I don't

00:07:42   really feel like I need to because as well a lot of what goes in my journal is very work-focused.

00:07:46   focused, so I tend not to write on the weekends unless I'm having a working day on the weekend.

00:07:53   But yeah, I've been keeping it up. I added in one of your suggestions after the last episode

00:07:59   of the "What's on my mind?" heading. And I found that to be really helpful because sometimes I want

00:08:05   to write some stuff down that doesn't fit in something good, something bad, or priorities,

00:08:11   or something like that and a lot of the time it is just how I'm feeling and that has been a nice

00:08:17   edition which I don't use every day but it's good to have it there when I want it.

00:08:21   - I'm glad that's working for you. I'm still very impressed with your...

00:08:27   Now that we're... How long have you been doing this now? Must be what, a month? Is that about right?

00:08:32   Since you started? - I can tell you actually because I wrote the date down. I've been doing this

00:08:37   since the 20th of February.

00:08:40   - Yeah, okay, so yeah, it's just about a month.

00:08:41   I'm very impressed with that,

00:08:43   because when we discussed journaling,

00:08:47   and it got a little touchy-feely last episode.

00:08:51   - Sorry about that, by the way.

00:08:53   - Yeah, yeah, I don't know how that happens.

00:08:56   This is uncomfortable.

00:08:57   I need to discuss my feelings.

00:09:00   - This is one of those things I have to tell you, right?

00:09:03   Every now and then, just like you record something

00:09:06   it's done and like you put it out there and that's it. But sometimes you get people reaching out.

00:09:13   I had some friends like, "Are you okay?" I was like, "Yeah, I'm fine! I'm all good!"

00:09:17   I had a few of those messages like, "You doing all right?" I'm like, "Yeah, no, I'm fine,

00:09:22   I'm fine." Or like I've had people ask me things and then they're like, "I'm sorry to give you more

00:09:27   work." No, no, no, we're good, we're good, we're good. Oh yeah, yeah. It's like that time I put

00:09:31   out a video about death. I got a lot of messages from people and they're like, "Are you okay?"

00:09:35   I was like, "It's just an interesting topic."

00:09:38   It's just some kind of existential crisis going on.

00:09:40   I was like, "No, it's fine.

00:09:41   Like, if I ever put out a video about death again, people, you don't need to send me messages

00:09:44   about like, are you okay, right?

00:09:46   It's just an interesting topic."

00:09:47   Yeah, but I could see that on a show, if you start talking about your feelings, people

00:09:50   are like, "Oh, God, are you on the edge?"

00:09:52   Doing all right.

00:09:53   Some kind of breakdown, Myke?

00:09:54   You doing okay?

00:09:55   Yeah, so yeah, it got a bit emotional, but no, it's all good.

00:10:00   I'm pleased.

00:10:01   I'm enjoying it.

00:10:04   I may be thinking about doing some different stuff in it after having read Triggers, which

00:10:08   we're going to talk about today, but I haven't yet worked out how I would maybe add these

00:10:14   things in.

00:10:15   So that might, that's one of the things that I want to go over when we talk about the book

00:10:18   in a little bit to check in and get your thoughts on it, especially because I know that it influenced

00:10:24   your stuff when you do any journaling.

00:10:27   It was the case that after the last episode I was thinking, oh, I should really, I should

00:10:30   really make a real effort about trying to do the journaling again.

00:10:35   And then I immediately used the homework that I had assigned ourselves about

00:10:40   reading that book as an excuse to not do it. Like, well,

00:10:42   I can't do it until I've reread this book.

00:10:45   And I finished my reread of the book this morning.

00:10:49   So I have not, I have not done any journaling since the last episode. Again,

00:10:54   I find this a really hard habit to keep up outside.

00:10:56   So that's why I'm doubly impressed with your ability to do that.

00:11:01   So I think, I think that's, but I think it's good.

00:11:02   I think that's a good addition to the year of the year of branching out. It will,

00:11:07   it will help you explore your ideas about branching out. Like,

00:11:11   like what are you going to do? What does that mean for this upcoming year?

00:11:14   Year of adulting?

00:11:15   That's kind of a thing that the external world just pushes upon you. Yeah,

00:11:20   exactly. It's like here, carry this boulder,

00:11:23   this boulder labeled "Being an adult". But! Year of branching out, that's you looking

00:11:28   towards the horizon, figuring out which way are you and the boulder going to go.

00:11:32   I really wish you wouldn't describe it that way. I don't like the thought of the...

00:11:38   You don't like the mental pictures that I paint? You didn't like my forest fire last

00:11:42   time, although I'm still absolutely convinced that was the proper metaphor. I don't know

00:11:47   if you saw, but people were sending you pictures of what forest fires look like when they're

00:11:50   making a forest nice and clean by getting rid of all the underbrush. Did you find any

00:11:55   of these actual images of forests burning down helpful in understanding the visual picture

00:12:01   that I was trying to paint?

00:12:02   No, it just reinforced my original feeling of why this shouldn't be the metaphor that

00:12:07   we use.

00:12:08   No, I think it's great. And I think you should also just think of the year of adulting

00:12:12   as like a boulder that is being harnessed to your back that you carry around. Not a

00:12:16   thing that you choose, but a thing that is added on to you. And then the year of branching

00:12:19   out is you deciding where to walk with the boulder.

00:12:22   Oh, so like I put the boulder on top of the hill and then like drag it around.

00:12:27   Yeah, you haven't chosen it. It gets attached to you. That's what happens. That's Year

00:12:32   of Adulting. And then Year of Branching Out is where am I going to go now that I have

00:12:37   this attached to me? That's how I if I were you, that's how I would like to think about

00:12:41   it.

00:12:42   That sounds very encouraging. I'll try and keep that one in mind.

00:12:48   I think that's a healthy mental picture.

00:12:49   You want me to talk about another thing I'm doing to branch out? Is that what you want

00:12:52   me to do?

00:12:53   Yeah, that's where I'm leading. So where are you and the boulder going this year, Myke?

00:12:56   So WWDC is coming. This is Apple's conference where they announce all of their stuff for

00:13:02   the next year. It's happening in San Jose again from the 4th to the 8th of June. And

00:13:09   we're doing a live show. So last year we did not do a live show because we moved place.

00:13:15   there is going to be a Relay FM live show at WWDC on Wednesday June the 6th. This is branching out

00:13:22   because there is an audience of 900 people available in the room. The biggest live show

00:13:29   that I've ever done had 230 people, so 900 is a step to make.

00:13:36   B: It's quite an increase.

00:13:37   S: It is quite an increase, but I'm very excited about it. So you can go and get tickets. We're

00:13:43   We're doing this in partnership with a conference called AltConf, which is happening next door

00:13:48   to where Apple holds their conference.

00:13:50   I'll put links in the show notes, but you can go to altconf.com and they have tickets

00:13:54   there for Relay FM live on June the 6th.

00:13:57   You should come see us if you're going to be in town.

00:13:59   It's going to be a really good show.

00:14:01   We're planning out some fun stuff to do and yeah, I'm really excited about it.

00:14:06   Yeah.

00:14:07   And just to be clear, you don't have to be a developer who's gotten a ticket to go to

00:14:10   WWDC to be part of AltConf.

00:14:12   That's the whole point of AltConf.

00:14:15   Right, is that it's next door,

00:14:17   it's the alternative conference.

00:14:19   - And it's free.

00:14:19   - Yeah, if like me, you are not a developer,

00:14:22   you're not one of these gods who makes the apps for us,

00:14:26   you can go to AltConf and it's cool.

00:14:27   You check out things that are going on there

00:14:29   and really live show, AltConf.

00:14:31   - Tickets for our live show are $5

00:14:33   and all of that money goes towards supporting

00:14:35   what AltConf does, providing free content

00:14:38   for people that are gonna be in town.

00:14:39   So if you wanna come and see a great night

00:14:41   of podcast fun. Get on over to Relay FM Live at Alt Conf on June 6th.

00:14:46   So it's going to be awesome. And go get tickets at altconf.com to see the Relay FM Live show.

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00:16:59   How is the year of order going?

00:17:03   Sorry, I had something in my throat there.

00:17:05   Is it going okay? You sound ridiculous when you do that. Yeah, of course.

00:17:08   Of course. Nobody says order like that. That's crazy. Why would you? Yeah.

00:17:12   Why would you? That's ridiculous. But, um,

00:17:15   yeah. So year of order, year of order is,

00:17:21   is going well, but there's a thing.

00:17:23   I feel like I want to get it on the record now just to put this,

00:17:26   to put this at the beginning.

00:17:27   I have a very strong feeling that this is going to be much more like

00:17:33   the years of order. Like I think I have a feeling this is a theme that is not going to be done.

00:17:40   It is a regime.

00:17:41   Yeah, yes. You know what, that's even better. Yeah, it's like the regime of order. Yeah,

00:17:47   I like that. I don't have any specifics that I want to really talk about on the show,

00:17:52   but I can just say like, it's a thing that I'm being very deliberate and also very

00:17:57   slow about. Like, I'm trying not to rush a bunch of things. And also, we'll make it into a bit

00:18:05   later, but there are some things where I feel like the year of redirection/chaos didn't really end

00:18:13   until like mid-February. There were some projects that kind of lingered over and I'm just being very

00:18:19   deliberate with it. But I want to get it on the record now because future me might look like he

00:18:25   he just couldn't think of a new theme for the year when we have our next

00:18:30   discussion about like, what are the themes for the year? I want it.

00:18:33   I want current me to save him and get it on the record that if that guy thinks

00:18:38   it's,

00:18:38   we just need to have another year of order to lead into the regime of order that

00:18:42   he was already thinking about it way back at the beginning of the year.

00:18:47   It just, this feels like the more I think about it and the more I do it,

00:18:52   It just feels like a much bigger thing than actually a single year because I really do

00:18:57   feel like this is touching on lots of different aspects of my life.

00:19:01   So I feel like this may be the years of order.

00:19:04   That might be as well.

00:19:05   I might be able to help you here.

00:19:06   I've opened up the thesaurus.

00:19:08   What about the year of procedure or the year of structure?

00:19:13   The year of codification?

00:19:15   You could just keep doing that, right?

00:19:16   So it's like it's the same thing but you give it a different name every year.

00:19:19   No, that's dumb.

00:19:20   That's dumb.

00:19:21   of symmetry. That doesn't even make any sense there, Myke.

00:19:25   Ooh, Year of Harmony, I like that one. I could do some fun things talking about that.

00:19:31   Year of Harmony, though, that feels like a very different kind of year than the Year

00:19:34   of Order. Year of Order is not the same as Harmony. Year of Thesaurus is broken and it

00:19:39   needs to be better at thesaurizing. But no, I'm not going to try to pull one over on the

00:19:46   audience by giving the same thing a different name. I just wanted to get it on the record.

00:19:51   And this is also again why I like to speak in terms of seasons and even this idea of

00:19:55   the year of order, like, but when did, when does the year start?

00:19:58   Like who knows whenever, uh, years to me, they can be two years, they can be one year,

00:20:04   who knows?

00:20:05   But I just have a feeling like this is going to be a much, a much larger project and I

00:20:10   want to get it on record now for future me that that's, that's what's going to happen.

00:20:14   Also, I don't really have any specific thoughts about this, but I can already see what is

00:20:19   was going to be the first really major obstacle towards the year of order,

00:20:23   which is yesterday.

00:20:25   I was finishing up my travel schedule for the next couple months.

00:20:29   And you know how we've discussed, you have that feeling of overwhelmedness.

00:20:34   I definitely,

00:20:36   I was looking at the things that I have booked myself for for the next several

00:20:40   months. And I just thought, Oh God,

00:20:44   like I got that real tightness in much. And I had this feeling of like,

00:20:48   like travel sick without even going.

00:20:52   This is so awkward for me because I'm, I feel I'm, I'm so sorry.

00:20:56   I feel like I'm to blame for all of this.

00:21:01   But here's the thing, Myke, you're not to blame for all of this.

00:21:04   You are but a part of this, right? And of course you are part of it,

00:21:08   but not remotely all of it. But, but it was,

00:21:11   it was just a funny thing to be looking at the travel schedule and like,

00:21:15   Oh my God. And recognizing that this was really one of the things that,

00:21:19   that started me thinking about the year of order was doing all the travel last

00:21:22   year and feeling like, Oh, it threw my life into chaos.

00:21:25   And so I have like,

00:21:27   I'm just aware of trying to think about this in advance and I've been thinking

00:21:32   about some strategies that I'm just toying with right now about how to try to

00:21:35   maintain order in my life throughout a chaotic schedule.

00:21:38   But when I was running over the dates and plans and things with my assistant,

00:21:42   She threw out an idea which was the idea that made me feel sick because I thought, "Oh,

00:21:47   she's not wrong." But her suggestion was, "Well, why don't you just fly to America

00:21:52   in April and not come back until the end of June?" I was like, "No, that's crazy."

00:22:01   Oh, actually, it's not that crazy. It's not the craziest idea I've ever had.

00:22:06   It's a crazy idea. It is. It might make sense in your situation. It doesn't mean it's

00:22:11   That's crazy. It's a crazy idea. That is a wild thing to do.

00:22:13   Because like at that point, like if you were like, you have a special situation.

00:22:18   But if you were me, like I'd be pushing up against visa regulations.

00:22:21   Like that's when it's a problem. Right.

00:22:25   You overstayed your welcome in this country.

00:22:28   I have a question for you on this, right?

00:22:30   Yeah. Because you are a man who cannot be made to do things.

00:22:37   Right? Like if you don't want to do something, you won't do it.

00:22:41   And it kind of doesn't matter what it is. Like if you don't want to do it,

00:22:45   you won't do it.

00:22:46   Like people cannot pressure you into doing things because you're very strong

00:22:51   willed like that.

00:22:52   So considering you know how much of a stress this

00:22:57   travel might be to you, why are you doing it all?

00:23:00   I mean, why do we do anything, Myke? Because it seems...

00:23:02   Well that's not a good answer to that question, Greg.

00:23:03   No, no.

00:23:04   But you do a thing because it makes sense to do.

00:23:09   And this is one of the cases where I don't want to get into too many of the particulars right now,

00:23:14   because it's just like a long story, but part of it just is that at this stage in my life,

00:23:19   it makes way more sense and there's way more reasons to do traveling than there was before.

00:23:24   And that's why I feel like I'm willing to suck up a bunch of jet lag and disruption to my calendar.

00:23:33   And once I'm able to make that decision,

00:23:38   I always feel like if I'm traveling,

00:23:41   if I'm going to be flying to America anyway,

00:23:45   I might as well try to double or triple up

00:23:49   on what the trip actually is.

00:23:51   So there's a number of times where it's like,

00:23:54   oh, I'm flying into America for, I don't know,

00:23:57   maybe a thing on the West Coast.

00:23:59   And then immediately I start thinking about like,

00:24:02   well, is there something I can do on the East Coast on my way in and also on the East Coast

00:24:07   on my way out? And then I start planning things like that. So there are ways in which I am

00:24:13   sort of the the source of my own problem. But I don't I don't view it as a problem.

00:24:18   I view it as like, if I'm going to go through this anyway, how can I try to maximize this

00:24:22   time, either in like a business way or either in a family or a personal way. So that's partly

00:24:28   why my travel schedule does look a little crazy is I'm also taking things and expanding

00:24:34   them a little bit in either direction to say like if I'm going to be there anyway what's

00:24:38   nearby or can I combine this with another trip so that's why trips to America very quickly

00:24:43   become at least two trips to America for me.

00:24:46   Yeah see I'm still interested to see how this plays out though because that amount of travel

00:24:51   was part of a big contributing factor to what made last year a year of chaos but now you're

00:24:57   doing basically the same amount of travel but claiming it's going to be in order. So

00:25:01   I'm keen to see where that goes.

00:25:03   Just to be clear here, I'm not claiming it's going to be in order.

00:25:07   Oh, I demand.

00:25:09   I would demand, but this is a situation where you can't make demands of your future self

00:25:14   because that guy doesn't listen. I'm not saying that it's going to be

00:25:19   orderful. I fully expect there's going to be a lot of stumbling over the year of order during

00:25:25   a summer of busy travel, but I'm just, because I'm thinking of, like this is the benefit of the year

00:25:30   themes, it's like what do I want this year to be like? I want it to be more oracle than last year.

00:25:34   Then it naturally starts me thinking ideas about if I am going to be traveling and I know from

00:25:41   experience that it was kind of a chaotic disaster last year, what can I try to do to minimize that

00:25:48   while I'm traveling? So that's all. I'm going to have some ideas about ways I could try to make

00:25:54   it better. But no, there's the ideal of how I would want the travel to go and there's

00:25:59   the reality of how it actually will go, but maybe there are some strategies I can try

00:26:05   to implement to at least make it more like the way I want it to be than it was last year.

00:26:11   I think we've got some really interesting themes going on this year and I think it's

00:26:14   clear in the fact that we keep talking about them. There is like the two main things that

00:26:20   we have going on, they seem to be moving way more than last year's themes. You know, like

00:26:26   there seems to be more kind of like ongoing development with them. It's interesting. I

00:26:31   think we both really, I mean, I know I have at least really latched on to my theme idea

00:26:36   this year because it's branching out could mean so many things. So I may be putting too

00:26:42   much on myself because I want to keep like going by the theme, but I will say that right

00:26:49   now is pretty exciting.

00:26:50   Yeah, I think it is.

00:26:51   I feel like we both have particularly good useful themes this year.

00:26:57   From some of our private discussions as well, I feel like they are particularly relevant

00:27:01   themes related to like what has happened in the past year and what we expect to happen

00:27:04   in the upcoming year.

00:27:05   Like I think that they are good themes and it's nice to have the theme to orient your

00:27:12   life and your mind around to just like keep focused on this idea as opposed to goals,

00:27:17   which as we all know, goals are dumb.

00:27:20   - Gray, I want to return to the real kind of temp poll item

00:27:24   in the history of our show, email.

00:27:27   I wanna talk about email a little bit.

00:27:30   - Oh, the wheel, uh-huh, yeah.

00:27:32   - Because I hate email apps again.

00:27:36   - Oh, Myke.

00:27:37   (laughs)

00:27:38   - So--

00:27:38   - You're going through email

00:27:39   what I went through with task managers.

00:27:41   - Yep, I hate email,

00:27:42   well, I'm going through it with task managers as well.

00:27:45   I did, a couple of days ago,

00:27:46   I kind of looked at my iPad and I was like,

00:27:48   "I'm not happy with anything right now."

00:27:51   (laughing)

00:27:52   All systems that I have, I am unhappy with all of them.

00:27:56   I don't know why this is going on.

00:27:58   - I have this very clear mental image of you,

00:28:00   like a little child just with your arms crossed

00:28:02   and frowning at your iPad, like, "None of this is good."

00:28:05   - Kind of wagging my finger at it.

00:28:06   (laughing)

00:28:08   - So what's going on with your email?

00:28:10   'Cause you've been using what, Air Mail?

00:28:12   - Air Mail is what, I've used Air Mail for a long time.

00:28:15   despite its many problems.

00:28:18   - Right, you have always been very upfront about that.

00:28:21   - Yeah, AirMail is a buggy app

00:28:23   and there are two problems that I have.

00:28:27   One has been persistent, which has been nagging away at me

00:28:29   in that when I have an email application

00:28:33   and I send an email,

00:28:35   what I don't want my email app to do

00:28:37   is to completely lock up, which is what it does.

00:28:41   - Yeah, that would seem bad, yes.

00:28:43   So every time I send an email with AirMail,

00:28:46   the app completely freezes for a period of time.

00:28:49   - Well, it's busy sending the email, that's what it's doing.

00:28:51   - I guess it is.

00:28:52   So like I'd send an email,

00:28:53   and then if I open another application into SplitView

00:28:56   whilst the email's sending, everything crashes.

00:28:58   And sometimes I can just leave it there

00:29:01   and the app will just crash.

00:29:02   What I will say for AirMail is they have a

00:29:06   no error rate of like not sending that email.

00:29:10   So like if the app crashes,

00:29:12   They will always send it when the app is opened again.

00:29:16   But I still just, I get frustrated every time

00:29:19   I use my email application to send an email

00:29:21   and my email application becomes unresponsive.

00:29:24   It just feels like something that shouldn't be happening

00:29:27   and this has been annoying me.

00:29:29   - It's concerning.

00:29:30   - Yeah, it is concerning.

00:29:32   And then a couple of days ago I opened airmail

00:29:34   and it sent every email in my inbox to the archive.

00:29:38   - Okay, all right now.

00:29:40   - I don't know why it did that.

00:29:41   And I don't know why it did it. I couldn't stop it.

00:29:44   And that was just the situation that I was in.

00:29:47   Okay. I just need to pause here for a little bit of clarification because

00:29:51   my understanding of your system is that you'll only ever have like seven

00:29:57   emails in your inbox. Is that right? Yep. So it's, it's not,

00:30:00   for other people, this, this is a huge disaster for you.

00:30:04   It's obviously no bueno,

00:30:06   but so you're losing like seven to 10 messages.

00:30:10   here's the problem. Oh, I know what the problem is. I just wanted to clarify.

00:30:14   I trust me. I'm not like, oh, you just lost seven messages.

00:30:19   No, no, I understand. These are messages that require a response.

00:30:23   Yep. They're all, they're the most important emails.

00:30:25   Yeah. They're the most important.

00:30:26   And they're over a period of time, which is not linear. Right.

00:30:31   So when they are gone, they, they're just gone. Right.

00:30:35   Like that's it now.

00:30:37   and I had to reconstruct them from memory

00:30:39   as to what was what I thought was in my inbox.

00:30:42   So this is one of those, this is the worst kind of,

00:30:44   for me, like data loss type problem.

00:30:47   - Yeah.

00:30:48   - When you know something's gone,

00:30:50   but you don't know what it was.

00:30:52   - Yeah, I 100% agree.

00:30:54   That is definitely the worst kind of data loss problem.

00:30:57   That's like a known unknown.

00:31:00   Like, you know for sure there were seven to 10.

00:31:04   Exactly how many?

00:31:05   Did I get all of them?

00:31:06   Did I forget one?

00:31:07   Now, now you just live in a cloud of

00:31:10   uncertainty.

00:31:11   And also, that is the kind of thing

00:31:13   that that for me.

00:31:14   When an app does that kind of thing,

00:31:17   you suddenly feel like I can't trust

00:31:18   you to do anything.

00:31:19   I don't trust it anymore.

00:31:20   It doesn't matter if it's been

00:31:21   working perfectly for that kind

00:31:23   of error is the like, nope, I'm

00:31:25   gone.

00:31:26   I need to just say like I am on

00:31:28   the beta of M.A.

00:31:29   Right. Look, I am on a beta version,

00:31:31   but some of the problems

00:31:33   that it has, basically all of the

00:31:35   problems that it has still exist in the stable version. Maybe if I was on a regular version

00:31:40   it wouldn't have archived everything, but honestly that was just the straw that broke

00:31:45   the camel's back. I was already getting more and more frustrated with it. The reason I've

00:31:50   never switched from AirMail is because I have never found any email application that works

00:31:55   for me as good as that one does, like how my system works. So I've been trying to think

00:32:01   do I need from an email application? So I have a few things I want to list. I need a

00:32:07   unified inbox for multiple services, not just Gmail. It has to have great iOS apps, which

00:32:12   include things like drag and drop on the iPad or even split view. There's an app called

00:32:17   Edison mail that I thought was really nice, but they broke something and now it won't

00:32:22   do split view and they're not 100% sure when that's coming back to the application. Well,

00:32:26   that means I can't use it because now I don't trust them either.

00:32:30   - Oh yeah, but I would be like,

00:32:32   "Oh Myke, you can live without drag and drop."

00:32:34   But if it's Split View, forget it.

00:32:36   - Yeah, drag and drop I can live without,

00:32:38   even though it's like, it's really important to me.

00:32:39   If like, if it was the only feature that an app didn't have,

00:32:42   I would get used to it,

00:32:44   but I can't have an email application

00:32:46   that doesn't work in Split View on my iPad,

00:32:47   because that's how I use email applications.

00:32:49   - Email application has to be next to Safari,

00:32:51   otherwise it's 25% as useful.

00:32:54   - Ideally, it would have a Mac app,

00:32:58   but if it didn't,

00:32:59   it would play nicely with other applications.

00:33:01   Like I don't want an email app that like takes all of my email and does something to it,

00:33:06   right? Like I don't want that.

00:33:08   Asking for the Mac app has already set the bar quite high.

00:33:11   As long as it plays nicely with air mail or mail on the Mac, I'm fine with that, right?

00:33:15   Like that will do for me.

00:33:17   Yeah. And by play nicely, you mean it's not making special custom folders to do whatever it does.

00:33:23   But yeah, I agree.

00:33:25   At some point I did try a couple of email clients that did that kind of thing.

00:33:29   and immediately like, no, no, no, no,

00:33:31   you don't mess with the folder structure of my email.

00:33:34   Like, I don't care how good of an app you are.

00:33:37   Like, you're gonna use straight up IMAP with my folders

00:33:40   and you're gonna like it.

00:33:41   Like, that's what's gonna happen, email app.

00:33:44   None of these special folders and moving things around,

00:33:46   because that also feels like,

00:33:49   it's like the Evernote problem.

00:33:50   Like, how do I ever get out of this system, right?

00:33:52   Like, I'm gonna need to move at some point.

00:33:53   So yeah, that's a total deal breaker.

00:33:55   - Yep.

00:33:56   So I will say, I do use SaneBox right now,

00:33:58   which does some of this stuff, like filtering into folders.

00:34:01   But SaneBox can in theory work with any application,

00:34:03   'cause all it's doing is applying Gmail labels to things.

00:34:06   Right, so I like that, it works for me.

00:34:07   But using SaneBox has introduced another requirement

00:34:11   for an email application,

00:34:13   that there has to be quick and easy access

00:34:15   to labels or folders, however it calls them,

00:34:17   and in a sidebar, which is customizable.

00:34:20   So I've used a bunch of apps

00:34:21   which shows me every folder or every label, that's no good.

00:34:24   Because I only ever wanna see two of them,

00:34:26   I don't need the rest.

00:34:28   And so there are some apps that will do this,

00:34:30   some that won't, any push notifications,

00:34:33   and a big one for me is a clear business model.

00:34:35   If I am gonna start using an email application,

00:34:40   I wanna be confident it's gonna be around next week,

00:34:42   and if there is no,

00:34:43   I don't care what the business model is to a point,

00:34:46   I just need to be able to trace

00:34:48   where the money's coming from,

00:34:49   and if I can't do that, I don't wanna use it.

00:34:51   - Don't you just want it to be free though, Myke?

00:34:54   Isn't free great?

00:34:55   No, I mean, I don't care.

00:34:58   I mean, so like I will pay.

00:34:59   I have no problem paying.

00:35:00   I'll pay a subscription.

00:35:01   I have no problem paying.

00:35:03   And I don't care if it's free, if it makes sense.

00:35:05   Right. So like Microsoft Outlook, I know why that's free.

00:35:08   Oh, that's a good comparison.

00:35:10   Yeah, that's that's a really good.

00:35:12   That is a free app that I could feel good about, too.

00:35:14   Most free apps, I feel like, oh, this is garbage.

00:35:17   Because what they want me to do is become an Office 365 customer.

00:35:21   Like that's the business model. Right.

00:35:23   Get me into the Microsoft ecosystem.

00:35:25   like I'm fine with that or like Gmail, I'm fine with Gmail being free.

00:35:29   You know, like I'm good with it as long as there's a reason for it.

00:35:32   If it's just like, hey, we're a start up and our email that's free.

00:35:35   It's like, yeah, but where's the money?

00:35:36   Because businesses need that.

00:35:39   And so, you know, and there are things right that I'm willing to accept.

00:35:42   So like Gmail being free, I know it's because they use it to serve ads to me

00:35:46   and I'm fine with that.

00:35:48   So I just want something, you know, I need to know where the money's coming from.

00:35:51   So I'm out in the email app wilderness once again.

00:35:55   nothing is making me happy right now to move away from airmail, but I also don't want to be on airmail.

00:36:01   So, I don't know, expect to hear more from me about this,

00:36:05   but I'm out in the wilderness and everyone's gonna have suggestions and I appreciate them.

00:36:09   Like if you think you have an app that can give me what I'm looking for, like I want to know in the Reddit,

00:36:15   but my cursory searching has told me that nothing, nothing exists.

00:36:20   - I assume that Gmail is free because the business model

00:36:24   is actually, there's an AI that is slowly improving itself

00:36:27   and it just needs access to more and more data.

00:36:29   That's what the actual business model is?

00:36:32   It's like, oh, the computer sent to you

00:36:33   and it wants to know everything about humans.

00:36:35   That's why Gmail is free.

00:36:36   - That's a business model, you know?

00:36:39   I don't care, as long as it's clear.

00:36:42   - Are you a sentient AI looking to take over the world?

00:36:44   That's good, at least I know what you're doing.

00:36:46   You're not some fly by night startup.

00:36:48   - I can accept it, right?

00:36:49   Like the AI needs its brain juice and if you know any way it is going to get it, I suppose.

00:36:55   That's a long list, Myke.

00:36:56   I wish you the best of luck with this.

00:37:00   But all I can ever think when I look at lists like this is just this fact of life that with

00:37:06   anything, if you're trying to make a decision or you're trying to find something, do you

00:37:11   have one requirement?

00:37:13   Okay, you're probably going to be pretty happy.

00:37:16   Do you have two requirements?

00:37:18   You can probably find something, two requirements, that's still like a market.

00:37:22   The instant you get to three or more requirements, I'm astounded about the non-linear descent

00:37:29   of options.

00:37:31   If you're looking for something that has three or four things, your options decrease to nothing

00:37:37   almost immediately.

00:37:38   I'm looking at this, I'm looking at Myke has six bullet points, and he's like, "No, the

00:37:42   universe is not large enough that anywhere has sentient life created an app that would

00:37:47   meet all of these requirements for you. I think that's the situation.

00:37:51   I'm willing to bend some of these. I don't know which ones, right? I think it depends

00:37:56   on what the application can do for me because there are always changes I can make to my

00:38:01   system. Like my requirements right now are built upon what I've learned in using air

00:38:05   mail for multiple years, right? So honestly, the application that does the most of these

00:38:10   is air mail and I am aware of that. But the plan is to try and move away from air mail.

00:38:15   So I will make compromise, but I don't know what those compromises will be yet, right?

00:38:21   Right, right, okay.

00:38:22   Because I need to find an application where I'm like, "Okay, I like this app.

00:38:26   It doesn't do this one thing, but I'm willing to look past that."

00:38:30   Now, Edison was the closest that kind of did a lot of it,

00:38:34   but its failing point might be the most important,

00:38:38   which is, has to feel like a really good iPad app,

00:38:42   because that's where I'm doing the vast majority of my email.

00:38:46   So, you know, maybe I'll look at it again, but I'm not so sure.

00:38:50   It looked like a good app.

00:38:52   But if you do something to your application that breaks split view

00:38:55   and you're not sure how long it's going to take to fix it.

00:38:57   Puts you at a warning for me, right?

00:39:00   Like, will this happen again?

00:39:03   So I'm out in the wilderness.

00:39:05   That's where I feel like I'm at right now.

00:39:07   Like just there's emails, there's envelopes and paper planes all around me.

00:39:11   That's what I was thinking.

00:39:12   That's all.

00:39:13   Those are the two that it's going to be, right?

00:39:15   Because I've installed a bunch of apps onto my iPad, right?

00:39:19   And I just have two rows of icons that are paper planes or envelopes.

00:39:23   Email is neither of those things.

00:39:26   There is no paper involved in email.

00:39:29   But the paper...

00:39:30   This is like the icon of the paper plane has just so become an email to me.

00:39:34   Like, what do you mean the paper plane is an email?

00:39:36   Obviously that's email.

00:39:38   you send it off with a little cute animation where it swirls over as it goes.

00:39:42   Like this is how we end up with a floppy disk icon as save.

00:39:46   Yeah, of course.

00:39:48   And we're in this world now where people don't actually send letters anymore, they send emails,

00:39:54   that's how you communicate with each other, but now emails is somehow synonymous with

00:39:58   paper from a design perspective.

00:40:01   It doesn't make any sense.

00:40:03   So like, I wonder the thing that replaces email, like what will its icon be?

00:40:07   Like what will the eventual icon for email be?

00:40:11   And then we're just going to keep going down that route forever.

00:40:13   But as I was thinking a lot about email, it brought me back to something that you had

00:40:18   mentioned last episode, that you were going to try and do something about your email

00:40:24   backlog. And you'd mentioned you hadn't opened email for months.

00:40:30   So my thought was kind of like, is it even worth it?

00:40:33   Like, how do you go through that?

00:40:35   Like, is it even worth going through it?

00:40:38   Or surely all of the questions asked have been answered by the fact

00:40:42   that you never replied.

00:40:43   So like, isn't it worth just like command A and archive?

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00:42:12   of this show. I got a lot of comments from the last show people were like, "Hey dude,

00:42:17   have you heard of email bankruptcy?" I was like, "Yeah, I've heard of email bankruptcy."

00:42:23   I think maybe for some people that can work, but that would not work for me.

00:42:29   I will say personally, I think email bankruptcy is a terrible idea in basically every situation.

00:42:35   I just don't think that's the right way. I don't know what the right way is to deal with

00:42:39   20,000 emails, but I think it's not good because I feel like if you've done that once,

00:42:45   you'll be doing it forever. Yeah, I don't know. I can see situations where it makes sense.

00:42:50   I mentioned before, but like when I used to be a teacher and I'd, you know, be away for

00:42:54   being sick or something and come back and there were just like thousands of emails in

00:42:57   my inbox.

00:42:58   And that to me was like, oh, you're all, all of this is going away.

00:43:02   And it struck me as I think the optimal case for email bankruptcy, which is important things

00:43:08   will come back.

00:43:10   And that was my experience that like in a working environment, email bankruptcy is,

00:43:14   is in many ways much easier to do.

00:43:16   Yeah.

00:43:17   to do an element of this at the bank, but not all of it though. And I would look at

00:43:22   it, right?

00:43:23   Yeah, I don't think that it's a totally useless idea. I just, I feel like, I don't know, maybe

00:43:30   you need to be, as I was, a very strategic slacker if you're going to properly implement

00:43:37   the email bank. Like you need to be at just the right position and you need to be able

00:43:41   to have the expectation that other people will put in the effort to re-reach you about

00:43:44   whatever it is that you need.

00:43:46   But the reason that I'm not doing it now is a couple of fold.

00:43:54   One of the things is I know that I will just never sleep well at night if I just archive

00:44:01   a year's worth of emails and never look at them.

00:44:04   I will not get the feeling that I want to get which is I have successfully dealt with

00:44:08   this thing that I've avoided for a really long time because if I just archive it, I

00:44:13   I will forever wonder about like,

00:44:16   is the tax man gonna show up at my door with the policeman

00:44:19   'cause I forgot to fill out some form

00:44:21   that some accountant sent to me ages ago, right?

00:44:24   Or like, is there just something important in there

00:44:27   that I missed?

00:44:28   Like I just, I would not get the sense of relief.

00:44:32   - Yeah, 'cause a lot of those things that are super risky,

00:44:35   those people won't care enough to contact you again.

00:44:38   Like it's on you.

00:44:40   - That's exactly it, right?

00:44:41   And this is again, the difference about like the school scenario where email bankruptcy

00:44:45   is possible is being a strategic slacker there, it's like, ah, whatever.

00:44:50   Most of this stuff is not really my problem.

00:44:52   Like I know the nature of this work is all of this is somebody else's problem and they'll

00:44:56   they'll contact me again.

00:44:58   I'm reminded of this every time the account that I pay every single month to do all of

00:45:05   my tax stuff because I can't do it on my own when they send me an email and say, can you

00:45:11   confirm this is all right before we submit it." And I think to myself, "Why are we playing

00:45:16   this game? You know I don't know this, right? Like, you sending me this to be submitted

00:45:21   for the tax, man. What is the point in me looking at it, right? This is when I'm reminded

00:45:25   of this stuff. That drives me crazy. I hate that so much." I would do it on my own if

00:45:31   I knew what this was.

00:45:32   Yeah, I completely agree. That always strikes me as fraud. And especially in my situation

00:45:38   where it's like there's hundreds of pages going to two different countries and several

00:45:45   different legal structures.

00:45:48   It's just so complicated.

00:45:50   I was like, yeah, because also with three different citizenships, like it's crazy.

00:45:54   And I always feel the same thing.

00:45:56   Like, like my accountants arrange a signing day where I have come in and there is just

00:46:01   a table full of stacks of paper and they're like, well, you have to sign all of this.

00:46:07   Right.

00:46:08   you have to agree we did it correctly.

00:46:10   - Yeah, and we play the game where they're like,

00:46:12   do you want some time to read these 300 pages of,

00:46:15   (laughing)

00:46:17   - Go put a coffee on, it's time to go.

00:46:20   - And they're like, oh, we sent this to you

00:46:21   in PDF form yesterday,

00:46:24   and you agree that all of this is correct?

00:46:26   It's like, dude, I always feel the same thing,

00:46:28   like, I would never hire you if I could just do this.

00:46:31   Like, why would we even be doing this?

00:46:32   But anyway.

00:46:33   - I pay you a lot of money for this.

00:46:36   Yeah, it's always a strange, crazy making,

00:46:40   but there is that balance of who needs who more

00:46:45   in the email exchange.

00:46:46   And the other thing that's different here is,

00:46:51   I think the nature of being self-employed

00:46:58   is that you wanna make sure you've at least reviewed

00:47:00   all of the messages,

00:47:01   even if it's something from like six months ago,

00:47:04   there is a way in which I wouldn't feel good

00:47:06   about declaring email bankruptcy, being self-employed,

00:47:11   without having looked through those things.

00:47:13   And the other thing, which is not really,

00:47:18   it's not really broadly applicable,

00:47:19   but I just do sort of wanna say

00:47:21   so people understand the situation is that,

00:47:24   like when you're a person in the public view,

00:47:30   sometimes you get sent interesting emails

00:47:33   that are like, like the kind of thing that will happen

00:47:35   is someone will say like, oh hey, I listen to the show

00:47:38   and I work at Interesting Place X.

00:47:41   Next time you're in city Y, if you ever want to see

00:47:43   the behind the scenes, like let me know.

00:47:45   And that's the kind of thing where

00:47:49   if someone sent that email six months ago,

00:47:51   it doesn't exactly demand a reply

00:47:56   and it's a useful thing to kind of archive

00:47:58   for future reference of like, oh, when I'm in place Y,

00:48:03   someone sent me an email about this thing

00:48:05   and maybe it's cool to do, right?

00:48:07   Or people just contact you because they're like,

00:48:10   oh, hey, I'm interesting person Z and I like your work.

00:48:13   If you're ever in city, maybe we eat up for coffee.

00:48:16   So that's also part of the like,

00:48:18   why am I going through this?

00:48:21   Because I think of emails like that as like infrequent

00:48:25   and not even always accessible,

00:48:29   but like infrequent little gems.

00:48:32   And I do do my best to try to keep a record

00:48:35   of all of those kinds of things so that when I'm in a place,

00:48:38   I can try to search and be like,

00:48:39   oh, has anyone in this locale ever contacted me

00:48:42   about whatever?

00:48:44   And so that's also why I'm not gonna declare

00:48:48   email bankruptcy because almost certainly

00:48:50   there are messages like that that don't require a reply,

00:48:54   but are just like open doors in the future.

00:48:58   So it's a combination of all of these things,

00:49:00   like worrying about extreme negative downsides where the person sending a message doesn't

00:49:05   really care about me following up like eventually it'll just be a big problem and then also

00:49:10   like these very rare upsides. So that's why I am very slowly working my way through

00:49:19   this and yeah going through email. I actually only just started this morning a little bit

00:49:27   of trying to go through the email. Opened up the old email. Thought, let me do this.

00:49:32   Let me start digging.

00:49:33   How many are in there?

00:49:35   Is not as terrible as people are probably thinking. I have in like the high hundreds

00:49:40   of emails to go through. It's not thousands of messages.

00:49:44   How is it only that many? I mean, I'm a little bit confused about that because I'm assuming

00:49:47   that you also just get a lot of just like people contacting you for things, right? Like

00:49:52   viewers and stuff like that.

00:49:54   One of the things that is great is that years ago I took down my public contact email off

00:50:01   of the web and I don't think I've ever mentioned it but I've been really pleased that over

00:50:07   the years there's been like a half-life of random people sending messages to that address

00:50:14   that has gone down.

00:50:15   S: Because they come to you in other places right?

00:50:18   On Twitter and on Reddit and things like that I guess instead where you welcome it and engage

00:50:22   and want it to be.

00:50:23   I think that is partly the factor like I'm reasonably active on Twitter and fairly active on Reddit

00:50:29   Especially when shows or videos go up so people know that they can contact me there

00:50:33   I was just like I was just about to say a thing which is like oh

00:50:40   I'm I'm very likely to see messages on Reddit

00:50:43   But then I was thinking like do I want to say that out loud because then people will try to contact me on Reddit

00:50:47   Well, I don't know whatever but like that is the case

00:50:49   that people send me a lot of messages through Reddit and it's actually not a bad medium

00:50:55   because I often don't feel any real obligation to reply and still things are sometimes interesting

00:51:00   that come through there. So I think there is a side effect of like accessibility in

00:51:04   other areas plus like the internet and people kind of forgetting what my actual email address

00:51:12   is or just like not bothering to send stuff through there. So over the years the amount

00:51:18   of messages that I would get via email from people who just listen to the podcast or watch

00:51:23   the videos has dramatically decreased in this like half-life kind of way, which is quite

00:51:29   frankly fantastic.

00:51:31   It's really great.

00:51:32   And then the other main factors are the things that we talked about on earlier shows just

00:51:35   that again much to my astonishment, Slack has absorbed, I mean literally thousands of

00:51:43   messages and communications that would have been emails before.

00:51:47   Like it's just uncountable how many emails Slack has avoided.

00:51:52   So the real important communication happens through Slack.

00:51:58   And then the other bit of a contributing factor is,

00:52:02   which I do feel kind of bad about,

00:52:03   but like people who need to reach me for something important

00:52:08   have learned over the years, don't contact me directly.

00:52:12   They just contact my assistant directly.

00:52:14   and they know that she will get a reply back to them a million times faster than if they

00:52:22   try to contact me directly.

00:52:24   And in no small part often because she can just get the answer or like she knows what

00:52:28   the procedure is.

00:52:29   And so like there are a lot of messages that go to her that I don't even see.

00:52:34   So that's the only reason why my my situation of having not looked at email hardly at all

00:52:41   last year has not resulted in like 20,000 messages.

00:52:46   It's resulted in like a big number and there is a thing that like the messages that are

00:52:50   left there are all a little bit looking at things this morning like idiosyncratic or

00:52:56   difficult to deal with so they're not easy messages.

00:53:00   But it's not like a crazy pile that's going to take me an infinity of time to dig through.

00:53:09   just like a bunch of messages that I will hopefully clear eventually and that I do want

00:53:14   to clear eventually because I know that there is some stuff in there that I wouldn't want

00:53:17   to miss and I also want to be able to sleep well at night.

00:53:20   Is the plan though that you will continue to look at your email past the point of putting

00:53:28   it all into order again?

00:53:29   Yeah, I think I think what will happen or what I would like to happen for the year of

00:53:36   order is that I figure out where in my schedule I should put a clearing of the email.

00:53:47   And the problem is like as time has gone on, I have really found this interesting thing

00:53:52   with my brain that has changed where my brain just really hates and is repelled by what

00:53:58   I think of as administrative work in a way that it didn't used to be.

00:54:02   Like I used to be much better at dealing with administrative work and I have definitely

00:54:06   gotten way worse at that over the years. I mean my expectation would be it's because

00:54:10   you have an assistant who handles a lot of that stuff for you now.

00:54:14   Exactly like that like no doubt about it that's one of the main reasons is that it's like

00:54:19   oh there's a ton of this stuff that I don't have to do and then suddenly it switches to

00:54:24   like oh I have to do this administrative task like oh that's terrible like how annoying.

00:54:30   So I have definitely gotten way worse at that but I need to as part of the year of order

00:54:34   or kind of sit down and figure out

00:54:35   when is it that I'm going to clear through my email?

00:54:40   And it doesn't need to be on like a very frequent basis,

00:54:42   obviously, because I was able to get away

00:54:44   with barely looking at it last year.

00:54:46   But I need to do this so that I don't have

00:54:51   the nagging feeling in the back of my head of like,

00:54:53   oh God, is there something in email

00:54:55   that I need to deal with?

00:54:56   That's the main reason why I want to do it.

00:54:58   But I am very much aware that the email feels a bit now

00:55:01   like the physical mail that comes to my house,

00:55:05   where it's like, oh, this is a thing that I just,

00:55:07   I have to deal with, but it is in no way

00:55:11   my primary method of communication,

00:55:15   or do I feel like it's a useful thing.

00:55:17   Like email has really become a kind of janitorial task

00:55:22   for me over time in a way that I find interesting,

00:55:27   as opposed to being what it used to be,

00:55:29   which was like a much more primary communication method.

00:55:33   Well, I wish you luck in finding that app, Myke.

00:55:36   I think of the two of us,

00:55:41   one of us is going to have an easier time

00:55:43   with his future of email.

00:55:46   - Yeah.

00:55:46   - I don't think it's gonna be you in a way.

00:55:48   - No.

00:55:49   - You're not gonna find that app.

00:55:50   - No, I don't think I am either.

00:55:53   - I'll let you know when I get to the bottom of my email

00:55:55   and we'll see if you found an app before then.

00:55:58   Ready, set, go.

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00:58:18   So it's Cortex Book Club time and we're gonna talk about triggers.

00:58:22   Anybody should need to get out of the way.

00:58:24   We're gonna talk about triggers a lot and there's multiple meanings for the word triggers.

00:58:28   But triggers are a specific thing which are in this book which don't really have any meaning

00:58:36   on the other word other meanings of trigger but like this is kind of where we are I guess.

00:58:40   The funny thing is the book really isn't even about triggers very much.

00:58:44   Like I find the title very funny in a whole bunch of ways and one of which is

00:58:47   It's like they picked a word that's not actually mentioned a ton in the book.

00:58:52   Triggers are one part of many more parts to the systems and ideas that Goldsmith is trying

00:59:00   to put across.

00:59:01   So I don't know why they chose triggers.

00:59:04   Triggers are a big part of it, but the daily questions and the questions that he talks

00:59:08   about, active questioning, is also as important.

00:59:12   It's very peculiar.

00:59:13   There's a whole bunch of other things and I'm absolutely convinced there was just a

00:59:17   meeting at the publisher somewhere where they were just trying to think of what the title

00:59:21   should be and just pick it and like "let's go for a thing that's a single word" and you

00:59:27   know "the book is published a few years ago before the word became slightly ridiculous"

00:59:30   and I think like "oh that's a good word let's go with that" and like "oh no years later

00:59:34   it makes readers snicker" but it was just I'm sure that's what happened they were just

00:59:40   trying to pick a bold word to be the title of the book and yeah I don't think it's a

00:59:46   a title that really suits the book very well. And it's kind of funny.

00:59:52   You want to hear my kind of overall meta comments about this book?

00:59:55   I'd, I, I, yeah, I am, I'm interested to know your general impression of this book.

01:00:01   So I liked that it wasn't too long, six hours, which is, you know, for a business book, that

01:00:07   is short. Yeah, that is rapid fire.

01:00:10   This was in part because for whatever reason, they decided to not fill this book with unnecessary

01:00:16   lists. There's not a lot of that in this book and that was a nice break to not have them

01:00:22   list 25,000 things for every one thing. And every time that there was a list, I felt like

01:00:29   that he was going somewhere with it, right? And he's actually only doing it to add context

01:00:34   as opposed to filling pages. It was read by the author, which is always a concern for

01:00:38   me, but I think he did a pretty good job.

01:00:41   That's interesting, I didn't realize it was read by the author.

01:00:45   Yeah, and that's always a red flag, but this guy actually did a good job.

01:00:50   It felt pretty genuine and he was actually pretty good at it and he didn't have any

01:00:55   really peculiar tics or anything that sometimes many people do, right?

01:01:00   But that's why there are professional audiobook readers.

01:01:08   I liked that it was modern, actually, because this is the first business-advicey-focused

01:01:15   book that has clearly been written in the modern era.

01:01:20   He very frequently mentions Facebook and Twitter and apps.

01:01:24   It's going to date this book horrifically, but I liked that it was modern because I felt

01:01:30   like these ideas have come at a time which is now, as opposed to these ideas were come

01:01:38   to 20 years ago and now they're just trying to make sure that they still apply.

01:01:43   Yeah, I am so used to these books being one of two things.

01:01:50   Old or how to put it, written by someone who feels really old.

01:01:56   Yeah.

01:01:57   Right, like someone who has a mind that feels old and it was almost surprising every time

01:02:02   there's a mention of like, "Oh, that's a book from a few years ago this guy read."

01:02:06   Like, oh, right, that was that was a modern thing or talking about apps and things like

01:02:12   that. It's almost surprising.

01:02:13   He made a "there's an app for that" joke at one point, which I thought was kind of funny.

01:02:18   Yeah, I was like, all right, like, this isn't a very good joke, but I appreciate it anyway.

01:02:23   You know, so it was it was good in that sense. Right. And I will say, actually, I liked this

01:02:29   book. I actually liked it quite a lot. I was not annoyed at this book like I usually am

01:02:34   of these books. So I think for that reason that you were right to recommend this one

01:02:39   because it didn't drive me up a wall. So that was good. There was one there is one thing

01:02:43   that was really, really funny to me is like how very proud he is of his air miles. There's

01:02:49   like a whole section of this book where he keeps talking about his air miles, right?

01:02:54   Like air miles come up a bunch, then like he just throws in at one point that he has

01:02:59   the American Airlines like super mega amazing club thing like in that George Clooney movie,

01:03:05   which he even references the George Clooney movie up in the air.

01:03:09   Oh to explain it right.

01:03:11   He builds it into a story about talking to people in service industries and seeing how

01:03:15   they react and if they're engaged or not. But like it's all based around his super special

01:03:20   air miles thing. It was just it was really funny to me. But yeah, I thought it was good.

01:03:25   I thought it was good. I have some quite I want to dive into some of like the the theories

01:03:30   that put forward in the book, but I had a couple of questions for you. I was wondering

01:03:35   like why specifically you recommended this book for me like what parts in this book did

01:03:42   you think would be good for me in my current situation? And what did you learn from it

01:03:48   as well? I assume they're pretty similar things, but I'm keen to understand that.

01:03:52   Well, I wanted to get your overall impressions first because I felt after the last recording

01:03:59   that I had suddenly put myself on the hook a little bit and I feel like I had put myself

01:04:04   on the hook a little bit with the listeners because when we've done most of these book

01:04:09   clubs in the past, it's very much a, "Hey, we're going to read a book that's probably

01:04:14   intolerable."

01:04:15   Yeah, you took a risk, right?

01:04:17   That's a real easy thing to say, right?

01:04:20   Because you save most people from reading it and if someone reads it and it is intolerable,

01:04:26   like Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it's like, well, Grey warned me, right?

01:04:31   Like it's my own dumb fault for reading this crazy book and if the reader reads the book

01:04:38   and they do like it, well, then they can just think, oh, he's wrong, but I didn't waste

01:04:42   my time.

01:04:43   Like I like this book, I got something out of it.

01:04:45   And I was just, I've suddenly felt very aware of like, oh, I actually recommended the book

01:04:49   and now I feel like, oh God, I'm on the hook, right?

01:04:52   If the readers don't like it and if Myke doesn't like it.

01:04:55   Recommended to me at a time when I really could do with not using six hours on something.

01:05:00   Yeah, I know, right?

01:05:02   That was like, I think you heard me in the show, like I was trying to back off because

01:05:06   I know like, oh, Myke's really busy already.

01:05:08   Somehow I felt like we got sucked into this vortex of I'm now going to steal six hours

01:05:12   of your life away with this audiobook. So yes, I felt very on the hook this time. So

01:05:19   I'm not gonna lie, I'm more than a bit relieved that you didn't start with a fiery tirade

01:05:26   about how much you hated this book and how it was not worth your time and how you didn't

01:05:31   need this nonsense right now in your life. So I'm feeling quite relieved.

01:05:35   I will say, with the exception of Creativity Inc, which is not really a business book,

01:05:40   right, of the books that we've done. It had some ideas in it, but it was mostly a biography.

01:05:44   B: I feel like it's an outlier.

01:05:46   S; Yeah. I would say that this is the best one. Just from an entertainment perspective,

01:05:52   and from a lessons perspective, I think it had the clearest ideas that were, in a lot of ways,

01:06:00   new to me, where a lot of these books feel like that they're kind of just telling you something

01:06:03   you already know but giving you a different way of thinking about it. I thought that this one was

01:06:08   was really smart and I liked it a lot.

01:06:10   - So that's why I felt like I could recommend it

01:06:13   at the end of the last show is,

01:06:15   this one was recommended to me by someone who said,

01:06:19   oh yeah, this is pretty good as these things go.

01:06:21   And I really think that if someone's generally thinking

01:06:25   about ideas about how to be productive

01:06:30   or how to improve their situation in life,

01:06:34   I think this is a pretty good recommendation

01:06:36   because it's partly like what I was joking about before

01:06:40   that the title triggers kind of makes no sense

01:06:43   because the book talks about so much.

01:06:45   I feel like it's relatively short,

01:06:47   but it also covers a lot of ground

01:06:49   and that almost certainly there are going to be

01:06:53   very different things in here that will resonate

01:06:57   with people at different stages

01:06:59   or needing something different in their life.

01:07:02   And so part of the reason why I mentioned it to you

01:07:04   was because we were talking about the journaling last time

01:07:07   and I was thinking about how, oh yeah,

01:07:08   there was this whole section that's like,

01:07:09   it's not exactly journaling,

01:07:11   but it's very journaling adjacent.

01:07:13   And that's the part that had stuck with me

01:07:16   and kind of made me want to read the book again.

01:07:19   But I also think for someone

01:07:23   who has read fewer of these books

01:07:26   or maybe someone who is more in the stage

01:07:30   of just like trying to become a more effective

01:07:32   or productive person, I feel like the first part of this book has a lot of great stuff

01:07:37   in it as well of like, here's a way of thinking about stuff you just might not have thought

01:07:42   about before.

01:07:44   And that's the stuff that it'll be no surprise to listeners of the show that I really love,

01:07:49   like trying to talk to and convince the reader like, hey, you're less in control of your

01:07:57   choices than you may think you are.

01:07:59   But there's also a lot that you can do to try to increase your autonomy or to make better

01:08:04   decisions in different circumstances.

01:08:06   And I think that's a good thing for people to hear.

01:08:09   I feel like he does a pretty good job talking through that idea in a bunch of different

01:08:14   ways.

01:08:16   And then there's just a lot of other ideas in the book, which I think are good even if

01:08:21   they're not applicable.

01:08:22   So I feel like in the middle third, there's a bunch of stuff about like working with employees,

01:08:26   I sort of skimmed over the first time and skimmed over again the second time. But this

01:08:32   is the same thing where it's like, "That section is not really for me. It's not super relevant

01:08:35   for me and it doesn't matter and it also doesn't feel like I'm slogging through 200 pages of

01:08:41   management theory."

01:08:42   That section included the air miles thing.

01:08:45   Oh, okay. So that's why it didn't register in my mind.

01:08:48   Because it's about employee engagement.

01:08:50   Right. And even there, it's just like, "Oh, okay. This is not for me, but I can still

01:08:55   see he has some interesting ideas about like, here's four different ways to think about

01:09:01   how your employees may respond to your feedback.

01:09:07   And from talking with other people who actually work in big like that seems to be a useful

01:09:12   section if you're in the right situation.

01:09:14   But it's like, I can just blow past this and it doesn't matter.

01:09:16   So I just felt like there's a lot in it.

01:09:19   I think most of it's good and I really deeply appreciated, like you said, that it is not

01:09:27   bogged down in a lot of the usual business book craziness.

01:09:31   I don't think I have a single note about crazy stuff.

01:09:34   One of the things that many business books do is to use examples of people, which we

01:09:39   talk about all the time because they sound so ridiculous.

01:09:42   And this book uses examples heavily, but I believe them because two reasons.

01:09:48   One, they feel like real people, and the other, sometimes they are real identifiable people

01:09:53   that he's talking about.

01:09:54   Like he has a whole section talking about Alan Mulally, the ex-CEO of Ford, right?

01:10:00   So like, it's legit.

01:10:02   The guy actually does do things and help with like really important executives.

01:10:09   And so if he's going to tell one story that I can see is true, then I'm willing to believe

01:10:14   the rest as well.

01:10:15   if I probably did some digging, I could probably work out who the people are, because he seems

01:10:20   to be interesting in that way and works with some interesting people, but they're real

01:10:24   people and that makes me respect the book way more if I believe that the person can

01:10:30   actually do what they're saying they can do because they have a track record, which you

01:10:35   can see exists if they've actually helped real successful people.

01:10:39   Yeah, the examples of the people in the book, they're not Sarah's.

01:10:46   Stories where they're just wowed with how amazing the author is, like in E-Myth Revisited,

01:10:52   and view the author as some kind of savior figure who is passing on amazing knowledge

01:10:59   and their entire life exists just to be a perfect parable of whatever the author wants.

01:11:03   They really do feel like actual people.

01:11:06   And like you said, he has named actual people.

01:11:08   Did you happen to look at, in the beginning, the section where, before the book starts,

01:11:13   but it's like people giving blurbs for the book?

01:11:15   Did you take a look at that?

01:11:16   It's not in the audiobook.

01:11:17   Oh, of course it's not in the audiobook.

01:11:21   This book has maybe the most impressive list of people I have ever seen giving blurbs for

01:11:29   the book and working with the author.

01:11:32   Give me some names.

01:11:33   Jim Kim, 12th president of the World Bank.

01:11:37   Holy moly.

01:11:38   All right.

01:11:39   It's not for the big guns.

01:11:40   Right.

01:11:41   It's like, I've had the great fortune of working with Marshall for several years and he has

01:11:45   helped me in so many ways, right?

01:11:47   It's like just glowing praise.

01:11:49   So then it's like CEO of the New York City public library system, CEO of the Harvard

01:11:56   Business Review.

01:11:57   I'm just like, there's so many, I'm trying to pick out the ones that are more recognizable,

01:12:01   but they're all, they're all just crazy.

01:12:04   CEO and managing partner at Goldman Sachs. CEO of Rothschild's Group. Founder and chairman

01:12:12   of Getty Images. CEO of Del Monte Foods, Inc. Managing partner at the Blackstone Group. CEO

01:12:20   of Herman Miller. I have gone through 25% of the "thanks for

01:12:30   working with me section at the beginning of this book. I have never seen anything like

01:12:36   it. It is just crazy. So I didn't notice that until after having read it, but going back

01:12:44   it was like, holy moly. This is no joke. And I think it's, I was astounded by the author's

01:12:51   business model where his business model is he will work with these high powered people

01:12:58   and he will not get paid unless people in the client's life agree that he has been effective

01:13:08   at implementing change two years after they start working together.

01:13:14   It's like, whoa, that is a man who has set himself up in a situation where he is going

01:13:20   to figure out what is actually effective and what is not.

01:13:25   And it is just remarkable that it's not even that the client gets to say, "Oh yes, I think

01:13:32   he was effective."

01:13:33   It's like, no, no, the client's spouse gets to determine whether or not he should get

01:13:38   paid.

01:13:39   And that is a much higher bar.

01:13:40   That is a way higher bar.

01:13:43   So yeah, the author is totally not messing around.

01:13:47   And I think that is why the examples in the book feel real.

01:13:52   They don't feel forced or imaginary.

01:13:55   He's just thinking about the clients he's worked with and people who are good examples

01:14:00   of whatever he happens to be talking about.

01:14:02   So let's go through a couple of the things that are focused on.

01:14:05   We won't go through everything because, as you said, I don't think that it's necessarily

01:14:08   all applicable for everyone.

01:14:10   And there are some parts of this book where I've heard things like this before.

01:14:14   The beginning section is about triggers and the triggers go hand in hand with behavioral

01:14:19   change.

01:14:20   That's kind of what the book is about, it's like changing your behavior.

01:14:24   And I love that it basically starts off with being like, look, adult behavioral change

01:14:29   is a really, really hard thing to do.

01:14:31   It's really hard to change your behavior as an adult.

01:14:35   I love this as the start of the book and I feel like it's something that really sold

01:14:38   me on it is because, and I haven't highlighted, his section, this is like literally page two,

01:14:48   is he's like, I'm going to tell you the truth.

01:14:49   And the truth is that meaningful behavioral change is very hard to do.

01:14:53   And it's a quote, "I'd go so far as to say that adult behavioral change is the most difficult

01:14:58   thing for sentient human beings to accomplish."

01:15:01   I love that quote so much.

01:15:03   It's great.

01:15:05   And what I love about it is I really think it's true.

01:15:08   And he spends the next couple of pages kind of forcing you to think about it.

01:15:14   And he's like, when was the last time you changed some behavior in your life?

01:15:18   and he kind of knocks down the things that people are going to mention where they just discuss

01:15:24   something that's actually different in there, like something that has happened to have changed,

01:15:29   but he's trying to find a case where like you have decided to do something differently

01:15:34   and you were successful in maintaining that change over a long period of time.

01:15:37   And it kind of makes me think of why I like to talk about the time tracking so much because

01:15:43   I think he does do a pretty good job of making you take a brutal look in the mirror

01:15:47   and see how horrifically ineffective you have actually been at deciding to change something

01:15:53   in your life. And he's like, and I think that's a great setup. It's like, this is going to be

01:15:58   really hard. What you need to do to change your behavior is simple, but simple doesn't mean that

01:16:03   it is easy. And almost everybody fails at this almost all of the time. And I just think that

01:16:07   is such a refreshing start to a book like this. Because he even uses smoking as an example of not

01:16:12   being enough because there are so many reasons that you might want to quit smoking that it's

01:16:18   not really a behavioral change. Like you're doing it because your health is at risk or you're doing

01:16:22   it because the people around you don't want you to do it anymore and so like it doesn't really

01:16:26   count as changing a behavior, you've just quit smoking. And it's like wow okay you're messing

01:16:32   around here Goldsmith, all right. Yeah that's exactly it. You're like don't tell me about your

01:16:36   quitting smoking, I'm not interested. So we should talk about the triggers and there's a couple of

01:16:41   different things that he talks about with the triggers but the real meaty one, the one that

01:16:46   I find really interesting, is what is referred to as environmental triggers. So how, and this is what

01:16:52   really hit me, your environment can make you react to things in certain ways. So like for example,

01:17:02   if somebody speaks to you softly, you will speak back to them softly. That is an environmental

01:17:09   trigger because something that you have no control over is making you react in a

01:17:16   way that you wouldn't normally react if you had complete control of the situation.

01:17:19   So somebody being softly spoken will make you do that too and there are these

01:17:24   types of things that happen in our lives constantly. These different situations

01:17:29   that we're in, different groups that we're a part of, that affect the way that

01:17:34   we react to certain situations and an individual throughout a day can go through a myriad of these

01:17:41   things in what may make somebody appear to do something that is in direct conflict of something

01:17:48   they did earlier in the day because they're in a different situation. And he uses a great example

01:17:53   of like a mother who is an executive. And at home in the morning getting the children ready for

01:18:00   school, that is your environment and in that environment you are top of the tree.

01:18:04   The kids will listen to you and you get them ready and you send them off. But

01:18:08   where you're like a mid-level executive at a company, you don't tell everyone

01:18:11   what to do anymore. You're in an organization and you may do something

01:18:16   for somebody that you wouldn't do at home and it's like wow like okay I get it

01:18:22   right? The environment that you're in can change the way that you react to

01:18:26   certain requests and certain actions.

01:18:28   - Yeah, I love this idea, and I feel like this really goes

01:18:31   to the core of some of my beliefs about how people act.

01:18:36   And just again, in this idea that you are,

01:18:41   in different circumstances, a different person.

01:18:45   I don't know, when I talk to people,

01:18:46   I find a lot of people have a weird resistance

01:18:49   to this idea, or they think of other people as like,

01:18:54   "Oh, this person should be totally consistent all the time."

01:18:57   But nobody is, people act differently

01:19:01   in different environments.

01:19:03   But I think he does do a very good job of trying to

01:19:05   not just discuss that idea that you are different

01:19:10   in different situations, but trying to bring it

01:19:13   to your attention about when are you acting

01:19:17   like a better self or a worse self,

01:19:20   and trying to identify what is it in this environment

01:19:24   is making me act better?" or really the thing that he's mostly focusing on is "What is the

01:19:30   thing in this environment that is making you act worse?" And he has a little detail which I really

01:19:36   like which is thinking about the human environment not just the physical environment. So he talks

01:19:42   about people as an environment. Like you know if someone is not getting along with a colleague like

01:19:47   he uses an example like a guy called Simon who's like causing problems for you with the office

01:19:52   that you need to think about it as like you are now in the Simon environment and recognize that

01:19:58   you have a history of acting poorly in this environment and like what can you do like step

01:20:05   one acknowledging that and then step two trying to think about how to react in those circumstances

01:20:12   but I just I really like that idea of people and combinations of people as a kind of environment

01:20:19   that they're not just like... it's not like what I normally think of as like the physical space is

01:20:25   the environment and the humans are like props inside that environment. It's like no no,

01:20:28   the environment is the combination of all of these things. I think that's a nice addition into how to

01:20:35   think about the way you are acting or reacting to what's going on. And this is where the triggers

01:20:40   come in. So you have the environment, right? So use the Simon environment, the person you don't

01:20:44   get on with while at work. That environment triggers you to react in a certain way. And that

01:20:50   might be that you become very short-tempered when you're around that person because they frustrate

01:20:56   you. And that's what you need to change. You need to change the trigger. You can't change

01:21:02   the environment. The environment is what it is, but you have to try and change the way that you

01:21:08   react in those environments and that's what the triggers are. The trigger is how you react.

01:21:14   So like there is a thing that happens and different people react to that thing differently

01:21:21   and every single person however they react that is the way that they are triggered. Some

01:21:25   people can deal with certain things that other people can't etc etc. The triggers are different

01:21:30   for different people depending on the environment that they're in and the triggered response

01:21:35   is the thing that you have to try and change if you want to make behavioral change. So like some

01:21:39   examples of ways that people have been able to deal with this stuff is like, here's an example

01:21:44   of a guy who writes things down on an index card to remind him how to react in a certain way,

01:21:49   or there's somebody who's taking friends out in a city and he's doing this a bunch and he's getting

01:21:55   bored of like showing people the same tourist things, so he has a reminder go off on his phone

01:22:00   to remind him like, "Don't be an idiot about this," right? Because his usual trigger would be to get

01:22:05   grumpy. Or if you're around Simon, your usual trigger is to get like really snappy with Simon,

01:22:11   but your trigger needs to be not that, right? The way that you react in that situation

01:22:16   needs to be not that, and you have to try and change the way that you react in those

01:22:20   instances in those environments. Yeah, like I think the practical example of the guy getting

01:22:25   board showing visitors around the same events in the city. Like what he's trying to suggest there

01:22:31   is you have a little reminder pop up on your phone because phones exist in this modern business world

01:22:35   right? I did note, I thought like this is so simple but it's a great idea of having your phone pop up

01:22:42   a reminder every 45 minutes asking are you enjoying the time with your friends right to

01:22:49   to change the mental framing from like,

01:22:52   "I'm at this statue of liberty for the 40th time."

01:22:56   That you change the framing to like,

01:22:58   "My environment is that I'm with my friends."

01:23:04   And the question is like,

01:23:05   "Am I enjoying this time with them?"

01:23:07   Like don't focus on like,

01:23:08   "Oh, I'm at the statue of liberty again."

01:23:10   That's not the relevant thing here.

01:23:13   And that like, that's actually a pretty great idea

01:23:15   to just have a little thing pop up

01:23:17   to constantly remind you.

01:23:18   It's like, yeah, it's simple.

01:23:19   And it's dumb, but I could totally see that being an effective thing to do.

01:23:24   And I've actually in a couple of scenarios used something like that, whereas like just

01:23:29   poke a little reminder to kind of ask me a question about the situation that I'm into,

01:23:33   like reframe it mentally.

01:23:35   And I think it's I think it's actually quite effective.

01:23:37   So you used an example there of what are called active or engaging questions as a way to change

01:23:44   the triggers.

01:23:45   this is an idea of having a question that you ask yourself,

01:23:49   which is like an open question that you have to react to.

01:23:53   And this is how Goldsmith recommends

01:23:56   that we change our triggers,

01:23:58   is by having these ways of checking in with ourselves

01:24:01   on a frequent and regular basis,

01:24:03   usually with some method of accountability

01:24:05   from another individual,

01:24:06   as a way to try and enforce a change in us.

01:24:09   So for example, I'm gonna give some,

01:24:11   like a short list of questions

01:24:14   that are given in the book as engaging questions.

01:24:16   So like, did I do my best to set clear goals today?

01:24:20   Did I do my best to be happy today?

01:24:22   Did I do my best to be engaged today?

01:24:24   And these are like questions that you have to give

01:24:26   some kind of answer to.

01:24:28   Like you have to like score them in some ways,

01:24:31   the way that he recommends it.

01:24:32   So like you give yourself a score out of 10 or something

01:24:36   for like how well did I do in each of these areas?

01:24:39   And this is one of the ways that you will change

01:24:41   your triggers, the way that you react to things,

01:24:43   because you start to frame your life slightly differently.

01:24:45   Yeah, and this was really the core of the section that I was thinking of when you were

01:24:50   discussing journaling last time because reading this book and sort of going through stuff

01:24:55   and this to me feels like prime journaling material and I think this to me was the part

01:25:02   of the book that stuck with me the most.

01:25:05   I noticed it, like as soon as I got to this section I could see why you recommended the

01:25:10   book to me.

01:25:11   Yeah, and there's a few things that I really like about this.

01:25:16   And, okay, so one of the things is, he has these questions that he asks himself every day.

01:25:23   And they all start with, "Did you try your best to?"

01:25:29   And when I first start reading this stuff, I kind of like roll my eyes a little bit.

01:25:34   But then he immediately addresses exactly what's going on.

01:25:38   And I thought like this is, this is actually a great linguistic change that he makes, he

01:25:43   makes the point that we totally treat effort as, as what he calls like a second class citizen.

01:25:49   And that what matters in behavior change is like, it's not actually the absolute record

01:26:00   of, of success or failure.

01:26:03   that what matters is you are keeping it in your mind as this is a thing that you are trying to do.

01:26:12   And so in with that framing like it's perfectly okay to fail to achieve behavior change on

01:26:20   particular days because that's not what the question is asking. It's asking like did you

01:26:25   try, I feel like this book really changed my mind on that kind of framing around

01:26:32   trying versus succeeding. That like effort really does count in this field in a way that in other

01:26:41   fields it totally doesn't count. Like there's many places where it's like A for effort means F for

01:26:47   achievement and I'm so used to that as being the default but I just I really like this this

01:26:53   different framing of things and that is the part that has stuck with me the most is thinking

01:27:00   about trying to rework a journal into my regular life with a series of these questions about

01:27:09   like did you try your best to whatever and I don't know I just I that that was the part

01:27:16   that really really struck me and I thought it I thought it's just it makes something

01:27:21   in my mind clear about these questions and when I've thought about the kinds of things

01:27:25   that I would want to change in my own life, I'm very aware that the trying framework

01:27:30   is different because it's like, you know, I often go on stretches where I'm stricter

01:27:36   or looser with say limiting the carbohydrates in my diet and when I've thought about that

01:27:42   for like, oh, I'm trying to reduce carbohydrates in my diet, there's something very different

01:27:47   about the decision moments in life,

01:27:51   where it's like, oh, maybe I could eat a pizza, right?

01:27:54   And there's something different about thinking like,

01:27:56   oh, I have failed today to do this thing,

01:28:01   versus it feels way worse to think like,

01:28:04   if I press a button and a pizza comes to my house,

01:28:06   I didn't even try, right?

01:28:09   And it's like, oh, that makes me kind of reframe this

01:28:14   in a very different way, where it's like,

01:28:16   It's somehow weird. It's almost more acceptable to just fail, right?

01:28:20   The difference is having a slice of toast is like,

01:28:23   "Okay, I didn't do the best I could have done today.

01:28:26   Maybe I scored a 7 out of 10."

01:28:29   As compared to if it was a binary yes or no,

01:28:33   you could eat an entire baguette.

01:28:35   Right, right.

01:28:36   And it wouldn't matter because you've already failed today,

01:28:39   so you may as well fail spectacularly.

01:28:41   Yeah, exactly.

01:28:42   As opposed to grading yourself on how well did I do

01:28:46   "Well, okay, I had a piece of toast, but I only have one piece."

01:28:49   Yeah.

01:28:50   As opposed to like, "Well, I just ate the entire loaf because why not?"

01:28:53   Right? Like, "I've already failed."

01:28:54   Yeah, like, yeah, it avoids a kind of cascade of failures where you feel like,

01:28:57   "I haven't done the thing at all, so I might as well really not do it."

01:29:01   And so like one of the, just a very, very, like if you're struggling to like conceptualize this,

01:29:08   Godsworth gives an example of a very simple question.

01:29:12   So, "Did you have a good day?"

01:29:14   Right?

01:29:15   And that is like a yes or a no. Right? Did I have a good day today? No, I didn't have a good day

01:29:19   today. This is very different to what he thinks is a better question, which is what did you do today

01:29:25   to make a positive impact? That is very different as a question because you may not have had a good

01:29:31   day, but you might have done one thing that was good. So now the day wasn't a complete failure.

01:29:37   Yeah, or even just a more simple rephrasing of "did I try to have a good day today?"

01:29:43   Immediately changes moments in your life where you feel like you were being grumpy just to be grumpy.

01:29:49   You weren't even trying to have a good day. Whereas it's way easier to score it as like,

01:29:55   "no, I didn't have a good day at all. I was super grumpy." And I think it really is just a

01:30:01   super great reframing of this. But he does suggest, and this is where the journaling

01:30:08   comes in, that you're keeping a record over time and that you're checking in at a particular

01:30:13   time and seeing how these things are going. And of course, I totally love that just like

01:30:19   the section in the beginning, he also acknowledges this is really hard to do. And if you are

01:30:25   scoring yourself honestly, he talks again about it's really hard to, at the beginning,

01:30:31   the reality that like you claim these things are important, but you're not even trying

01:30:35   if you're being honest with the scoring a lot of the times.

01:30:39   And again, I just think that's great.

01:30:41   And it again, it makes me think of the time tracking where it's like, it's just so brutal

01:30:44   to look at when you first begin, but that's kind of the point.

01:30:49   And so when you're trying to come up with a list of questions about behavioral changes

01:30:52   that you want, like you should totally expect that you're going to have a real brutal list

01:30:58   of numbers to look at sometimes.

01:31:00   and that's to force you to think about,

01:31:02   are you really trying?

01:31:03   Is this a thing that you actually want to do right now?

01:31:06   Or is this a thing that like,

01:31:07   is not really a priority in your life?

01:31:10   One of his little anecdotes is he's talking about

01:31:12   a discussion with Atul Gawande,

01:31:14   who is the author of "The Checklist Manifesto,"

01:31:17   which is a book I've talked about before as really liking.

01:31:20   The details of the anecdote--

01:31:21   - This is hilarious to me.

01:31:23   - Like, here's a guy who has written a book on checklists,

01:31:27   who is unable to do a simple thing in his life.

01:31:31   - It was to sign up for life insurance.

01:31:33   - Yeah, that's what it was.

01:31:34   Like just to sign up for life insurance.

01:31:36   And he just, his question then at the end of the day

01:31:40   is like, did you try to set up any kind of life insurance

01:31:44   for your family today?

01:31:46   And it's like an incredibly successful guy

01:31:49   who's a doctor who is a multiple New York Times

01:31:52   bestselling author who wrote a book on literal checklists.

01:31:56   Like even this guy has things on his mind that he feels like, "Oh, this is super important

01:32:01   and I should do," and has to face the grim reality of, "You didn't even try today

01:32:06   to do this thing that you claim is so important."

01:32:10   And eventually, like he guilt trips himself into doing it.

01:32:13   But I just always like to see that kind of thing that it's like even people who are

01:32:17   very successful have these kinds of problems.

01:32:20   So Atul Gawande says, like there was a quote from him in the book that like, "This system

01:32:25   changed his life, right? The thing is, I believe it because he named him, right? Because this

01:32:33   is an example of when in other books you would roll your eyes to be like, "Oh, someone who

01:32:38   wrote the book on checklists needed your question for his checklist to be able to actually do

01:32:42   a thing, but I will believe it because you named the guy, because he can say you were

01:32:48   lying." Right? So it's like, this is an example of why I'm willing to like, I'm more willing

01:32:53   to believe that this system works because the examples are believable. Because the examples

01:32:58   are supposed to show me the system works. So if I believe the examples, I believe that

01:33:02   there's value in the system. Now, I really, really liked this engaging questions thing,

01:33:09   and I have a problem for it. So I created a small list of questions for myself, but

01:33:12   I'm not sure how to integrate them into my journal. It wouldn't work. Like, I don't want

01:33:18   to write seven questions out every single day and then score them. So like, I'm trying

01:33:23   of find a way to make it make sense for me like maybe I have like a different part of

01:33:28   the book where I kind of keep a score maybe in the back or something I haven't worked

01:33:32   this out yet but I'm I'm gonna try and I'm willing to share the questions if you were

01:33:36   interested to hear them.

01:33:37   I am interested to hear them although I'm just I'm curious like if you use some sort

01:33:40   of digital paper system you could just I don't want to know template over and over.

01:33:44   So this is something I didn't mention earlier you know when you said to me that you were

01:33:46   you were really impressed that I kept the journal going like so easily. Part of it is

01:33:51   is because I love using my pens and paper.

01:33:54   - Right, of course.

01:33:55   - Right, so getting to do that every day

01:33:57   brings joy to me that doing it on my iPad wouldn't.

01:34:01   And so if I want to integrate this into my system,

01:34:04   I need to find a practical way of doing it.

01:34:05   And I just haven't worked out what that is yet.

01:34:08   - No, I understand, I'm just teasing you.

01:34:09   - I know you are, I know you are.

01:34:11   So let me, I have seven questions so far.

01:34:12   - Great copy and pastes.

01:34:14   All right, tell me what your questions are.

01:34:16   - Okay, did I do my best to be creative today?

01:34:20   Did I do my best to advance new ideas today?

01:34:24   Did I do my best to make sure revenue is being generated?

01:34:27   Did I do my best to make my colleagues feel valued?

01:34:31   Did I do my best to do something good for Edina?

01:34:35   Did I do my best to engage with my audience?

01:34:38   And did I do my best to improve my health?

01:34:42   They are my questions so far.

01:34:44   Yeah, those are good.

01:34:45   Those are good.

01:34:46   And I tried to keep them open.

01:34:48   I tried to keep them like vague, like the one, did I do my best to make sure

01:34:52   revenue is being generated?

01:34:53   There are like a bunch of different ways that I can answer that question.

01:34:57   And I could have said, did I do my best to make a sale today?

01:35:01   That's very different.

01:35:03   Yeah.

01:35:04   The revenue one is a way better question.

01:35:06   So I thought hard about that one because I wanted to have something in there,

01:35:08   right?

01:35:09   Cause I sell podcast sponsorships, but it's not the only way my company can

01:35:13   generate revenue.

01:35:13   And there are other things that I can do

01:35:16   to try and set a basis for doing this

01:35:20   as opposed to actually making a sale.

01:35:22   And I figured that that would be,

01:35:24   for my personal mental health, more important.

01:35:27   Because the sales don't happen every day,

01:35:29   because they don't need to.

01:35:31   They happen, if they happen every week,

01:35:33   then we're doing great, right?

01:35:35   You could get one sale a week and it's fine.

01:35:37   Because they happen in chunks of time.

01:35:41   So I wouldn't want to be every single day

01:35:43   beating myself up over not signing a contract.

01:35:49   The little detail that I like here in the book as well is, while it starts out with

01:35:54   that tough love of "guess what, this is going to be really hard" and "guess what,

01:35:58   you're going to say things that are important to you, you're going to not even try for

01:36:01   a week every day to do them", he immediately goes to this example of like "and guess

01:36:08   what, your questions aren't going to be that different from everybody else's questions".

01:36:12   "Oh, I loved that!" It's like, "You're going to be a cliché, but there's a reason!"

01:36:16   Yeah, he totally says, "You're going to be just like everybody else." To paraphrase

01:36:22   it slightly, he says, "Your goals will be plucked from a classic self-improvement menu,

01:36:27   the menu we all feast on. Lose weight, get fit, get organised, learn something new, quit

01:36:33   a bad habit, save more money, help others, spend more time with family, travel to new

01:36:38   fall in love and be less stressed. What's great is he finishes with, because you feel a bit like,

01:36:43   oh I guess I'm just like another sheep in this system, but I love that he acknowledges like

01:36:48   the fact that other people have similar goals doesn't make those goals less worthy and I feel

01:36:55   like that really does free you up to be able to have just like boring anodyne goals and that's

01:37:02   fine, right? This is the same goals everybody has and there is nothing wrong with that and I just,

01:37:07   I really like that he took a moment to explicitly call that out of like,

01:37:12   "Hey, you don't need to be super creative with these questions."

01:37:15   Like these are the things that as a human race we have agreed upon will make us happy.

01:37:19   Yeah, this is the stuff that everybody wants to do and there's a reason for it.

01:37:22   So I just, but I really like that little moment just to be like,

01:37:25   "Don't worry, you don't need to be super fancy with your 'did I generate revenue today' right?"

01:37:30   It's like, whatever, you want to lose weight?

01:37:32   Welcome to the Western world.

01:37:34   It's fine, it's perfectly fine to have as a goal.

01:37:37   There was one last part I wanted to touch on with this book, which happens before the

01:37:41   questions. So the questions are about creating a system of accountability, right? That's

01:37:46   what you do. You create these questions and then if you want to make your change, you

01:37:49   have to answer the questions and you're accountable to the questions, right? But before that,

01:37:54   he talks about like why we need this type of system and it's because as humans, we

01:38:00   are superior planners and inferior doers. So like saying that each individual is both

01:38:06   a leader and a follower. In the morning, at the beginning of our day, the leader is ready

01:38:11   for action, setting out our tasks and believing, "This is the stuff I want to do today, and

01:38:17   I'm going to achieve all of it." Then you hand over to the follower part of yourself,

01:38:22   who has to then execute on the leader's plan. And that doesn't work out, because we get

01:38:28   tired or we get distracted. It is in the same way that if you have anybody work for you,

01:38:34   You may ask them to do a task, but it doesn't get completed.

01:38:38   You do that to yourself every single day.

01:38:43   And this was like one of the most genius things I've ever heard in business training is the

01:38:48   systems of leadership and motivation that we learn to try and motivate and lead other

01:38:53   people, you have to do to yourself.

01:38:57   And this opened my mind.

01:39:01   That is genius, right?

01:39:03   learn all of these things about leadership styles and mentorship styles and like how

01:39:09   to motivate and engage people but we never think about the fact that you also have to

01:39:14   do it to yourself because you rely on yourself to do work every day and I was like oh my

01:39:20   god that is genius. I loved it.

01:39:24   Yeah it's a really great part of the book and it also goes to that idea of like not

01:39:29   being a consistent self that you react differently in these different environments, but also

01:39:35   the again, I love how he points out like, how many times have you successfully implemented

01:39:41   the plan the morning you had? It's like, wow, I can count those numbers of days like on

01:39:45   one hand, because morning you is always way optimistic about what can actually occur.

01:39:52   And it's like, oh, 2 p.m. you is real sleepy.

01:39:54   (laughs)

01:39:56   I just, I think it is a great framing.

01:39:59   It's a great way to be aware of things.

01:40:03   And I like it on both ends where he's trying to tamp down

01:40:06   planning you's desires and trying to do the thing.

01:40:12   Like you set up things for the you

01:40:17   who is going to be lazier in the future.

01:40:20   Right, and you try to make it easy for that guy

01:40:23   and that guy's gonna need some serious management help.

01:40:26   And for morning you, he has a hard time recognizing that.

01:40:31   And I do like that he just really calls out

01:40:33   that part of your plan about any kind of behavior change

01:40:36   has to include the easy to forget fact

01:40:40   that in the future, you will not be as motivated

01:40:43   as you currently are.

01:40:45   And you have to take that into account.

01:40:49   And I just, I think it's such, it's such an obvious,

01:40:51   like so many of these points,

01:40:52   like some of them are, they're very obvious,

01:40:55   but it's great to draw that in, to be like,

01:40:58   you need to explicitly think about this.

01:41:01   - All business book stuff is obvious once you hear it,

01:41:04   but it's about the way they codify it.

01:41:07   Like that's what's, so like another great example

01:41:09   is saying about weather forecasting.

01:41:13   Like people that care about the weather,

01:41:15   check the weather constantly and adjust their days to match.

01:41:19   It's like, why don't we do that for ourselves

01:41:22   in our tasks and motivations for the day?

01:41:24   Like, you set out with an idea in the daytime,

01:41:27   but you're keeping track of what is going on

01:41:29   and adjusting on the fly to deal with that.

01:41:32   And it's like, all of this stuff is just like,

01:41:34   this is a really good book.

01:41:36   This is a very good book.

01:41:38   I like it a lot.

01:41:40   - There's many, many more points in the book we could cover,

01:41:43   but I really think that this is a book

01:41:44   This is a book that has a lot in it and there's like a bunch of things that I would,

01:41:47   I highlighted because I feel like, Ooh, this really,

01:41:49   this really speaks to me in my particular situation,

01:41:52   but might not be interesting in a general conversation.

01:41:55   But he made one point that again is so obvious,

01:42:00   but to hear someone just talk about it in a clear way is like, you know,

01:42:04   it's an excellent point.

01:42:05   And one of the things he talks about is activities that have a certain kind of

01:42:10   inertia.

01:42:11   And he just talked about being aware that whatever you're doing,

01:42:14   it's often very hard to stop doing that thing.

01:42:18   And so it's like, Oh, hey, you sit down to watch a little bit of Netflix.

01:42:23   And nobody watches a little bit of Netflix. Right.

01:42:27   And it just,

01:42:28   it made me think about like one of these pieces of productivity advice that I've

01:42:31   always thought, like, is there a human on earth who can do this?

01:42:34   Because it's not me. You'll hear people say things like,

01:42:36   why don't you work for a little while? And then you give yourself a break,

01:42:39   a nice reward and you spend 10 minutes on social media and then you go right back to

01:42:44   work and you know it's a reward for having to like does anybody do that is there anybody

01:42:49   on the face of the earth who's like i'll just boot up mario kart for 10 minutes just play

01:42:53   a couple races and then i'll get right back into that important work i was doing like

01:42:57   nobody does that and so he talked about this this idea of inertia and there's something

01:43:06   that's been creeping up in my mind, which he doesn't talk about, but like, I've

01:43:13   started to think about the flip side of that because I was thinking like, wait a

01:43:16   minute, there are a bunch of activities that aren't this way.

01:43:19   Things like exercise, right?

01:43:23   Or things like writing a script or certain kinds of very intense work.

01:43:31   I feel like I've come to recognize this category of things that I'm thinking of

01:43:35   as self terminating activities.

01:43:38   I really think that there's an importance in recognizing

01:43:44   that there are a lot of things

01:43:45   that are self terminating activities

01:43:48   versus the stuff that he's talking about,

01:43:51   like inertial activities.

01:43:54   And I feel like this is,

01:43:56   I haven't quite settled my thoughts on this entirely,

01:44:00   but there's something here about gaining an understanding

01:44:04   of the distinction between these two things.

01:44:06   And that in general, self-terminating activities

01:44:10   are things that you'd rather spend your time on

01:44:14   than inertial activities where you can just do them forever.

01:44:18   That there's, I don't know,

01:44:20   I wish I could explain this better in my head,

01:44:25   but it's just something that has been on my mind

01:44:27   since I first read the book is this thought of like,

01:44:30   things worth doing are self-terminating.

01:44:34   and things that are enjoyable, but maybe less worthy in a way,

01:44:39   have this inertial quality that he talks about

01:44:42   that you just want to keep doing them for forever.

01:44:45   And it's just a thing that struck me,

01:44:47   and I'm gonna again recommend the book pretty highly

01:44:51   'cause I feel like there's a lot in here

01:44:54   that even if some of it doesn't seem to resonate at all,

01:44:56   I think that almost everybody will find something

01:44:59   that you feel like sticks with you

01:45:02   after you've read the book.

01:45:03   Yeah, I recommend it. I really do recommend it. This is a good pick. There's a lot of

01:45:08   interesting stuff in there, as we've said. It's not a big book. I recommend going to

01:45:13   it. There's a bunch of still really practical things we've not even touched on.

01:45:18   Yeah, there's a lot we haven't touched on.

01:45:21   I think people could get a lot from this, so I recommend it. So again, it's Triggers

01:45:24   by Marshall Goldsmith. It's a very, very good book. Before we go, cortexmerch.com. Cortexmerch.com.

01:45:31   there buy merch at cortexmerch.com.