Time and how to spend it

with our guest: James Wallman

OVERVIEW

Hello my friends today, my guest is James Wallman. James is the author of Stuffocation: Why we’ve had enough of stuff and need experience more than ever, which he published in 2013 and in this conversation we explore ideas in his new book, Time and How to Spend itThe Seven Rules for Richer, Happier Days, which was published this year in 2019. 

I think this is a very timely book because as James asserts, we have more free time than ever – and he quantifies that. There’s some scientific research, quite a lot of it in this book actually, but he shows how even though we have more free time than ever before, we feel greater time scarcity than ever before. And he talks about why that is and how important it is to use our time, especially our free time.

SHOW NOTES

00:02:43 – What’s life about?
00:12:42 – Free time is harder to enjoy than work.
00:31:33 – Reframing our life stories.
00:37:52 – Smartphone during sex.
00:55:39  – Lightning round.
01:11:06 – How to connect with James.
01:14:07 – Writing advice.

Bryan:              00:02:34 James, welcome to The School For Good Living.

 

James:            00:02:37 Bryan, thank you very much. It’s a real pleasure to have been asked onto your podcast School For Good Living.

 

Bryan:              00:02:43 Yeah. It’s a privilege to have you here. So James, tell me please. What’s life about?

 

James:            00:02:50 Huh? Well I’ve just come from seeing my kids in a then, then the musical Oliver. So it was food, glorious food and got to pick a pocket or two and pop, pop, pop, pop. That’s how, do you know the song?

 

Bryan:              00:03:04 I am not familiar.

 

James:            00:03:06 Oh Wow. It’s an amazing movie, maybe it’s a British movie with a guy, Oliver Reed. Remember Oliver Reed?

 

Bryan:              00:03:11 No.

 

James:            00:03:12 Oh, what a fantastic opportunity for you. Uh, he was the guy in Gladiator, uh, who played the kind of, um, the guy in North Africa.

 

Bryan:              00:03:21 Okay.

 

James:            00:03:22 I know this is really spitting in a direction you are not expecting now.

 

Bryan:              00:03:25 Well I know gladiator. You’ve got me there. I know that one.

 

James:            00:03:29 You know, life is like, what about um, you know, seeing my children and that play was, um, well I mean boring cause at school play isn’t it? It’s kind of dull. But it was also seeing my children. And that was awesome. Actually my dad came over, we had lunch in my garden, uh, first of all, um, and then we walked over, we saw the kids in the, in the play. And that was really fun and you know, and then I did some work today that was really enjoyable for a design firm called Ideo. Uh, you know, global based, originally out of for Palo Alto I think. Um, and I’ve had a really good day. Now I’m talking to you. So, uh, life is a combination of um, you know, family and friends and connections and doing things that are hard cause I’m probably a bit dum, and, and you know, but doing things that hard and enjoyable and meaningful and being outside and um, yeah, looking at the trees. Yeah, you know, life is short, but it’s kind of beautiful isn’t it? It’s fun.

 

Bryan:              00:04:26 Well then that’s one of the, I love that you use this to open one of the chapters in your, in your book about life is long if we know how to use it since Seneca. Right? And so speaking of your book, this book Time and How to Spend It, um, I love this book. I read this book, most of it while sitting in a tent in the desert in New Mexico. And it was glorious. And I read in there that you came to Utah where I’m based to ride horses and have an experience with a cowboy, which I want to ask. But before we get to that, I love your statement that knowing how to spend time is arguably the most important skill in life, right? So I might’ve just stolen your thunder in response to the question, why did you write this book? But that’s where I want to go for, from my, why did you, who did you write this book for and what did you want it to do for them?

 

James:              00:05:10 You didn’t steal my thunder but I love the idea of you reading my book in a tent in New Mexico, thank you. That’s a gift in itself. Um, and that idea that knowing how to spend time as the most important thing there is, is simply because, you know, you think about all the resources that we have, you know, the money ,the real estate. Um, you know, the connections of it. You know, you think about, um, you know, our connection being through Chris through this entrepreneur school that I went to Cambridge. Um, you know, you think about when you’re, when you’re pulling together a business or you’re trying to achieve a project, you pull together your resources and those are all really important here, but you can always go out and get more of those resources. So whatever those resources are, your connections, your money, whatever, you get more of that stuff, right, that, that comes, it goes, you can get more and you can eat your timeout a bit more. You know, as you run more. That’s why we all go jogging. You know, if you get, you know, high, you know, high impact and get your heart pumping and you, you can make life last a bit longer, but it is finite. There is a, there’s a lovely idea at the time bank, um, that every day you can go to the bank and you get your, you know, your 24 hours, uh, and, and, but at the end of that day, it’s gone. It’s not, you can’t, like, you can get an overdraft with the bank. You don’t get an overdraft with your time in life. There will be one day where you will go to the time bank and there won’t be any more time left for you. And so knowing how to use that time, um, strikes me as this. Yes, that’s really important. So I wrote the book, it came from another book I’d written called Stuffocation. Stuffocation was the, um, two things. It was one, it was, I’m a trend forecast. It comes from a belief that we’re moving from materialism to experientialism. So instead of looking for happiness, identity and status and meaning in material goods, which was the dominant value system, the 20th century, um, or the later 20th century, we’re moving to a time of experience as I’m expecting to find happiness, identity and status and experiences. And, um, people, but it was, it was not just that. It was also, um, because when I was researching, I came across the data that showed that if you want to be happy, you should spend less on stuff, more experiences. Now everybody knows this nowadays, Bryan, you know, this is, this is common currency, but when I was first working on this and the book first came out, nobody knew this stuff and I would like to think I’ve, I’ve done my bit and helping spread that message. I mean, it’s not just me. Other people have done it too, but I’ve helped, helped spread that message. But once you know that instead of spending, and it’s more about money, spending money on stuff and you should spend money on experiences, the natural next question is, okay, so what kind of experiences do I spend it on. Right? And the thing is, once you move to spending on experiences, you’re not just spending money. You’re spending time. Because if anyone’s ever given you, you know, when you get an experience gift from somebody through Christmas or birthday and it’s just not something you want to do, all right. If you get a material gift, someone gives you I know scarf or um, you know, a tennis racket or something, there’s a material gift that you don’t really want. They’ve wasted their money. But if somebody gives you an experience gift and you do it, you’ve wasted your time.

 

Bryan:              00:08:25 And they wasted their money.

 

James:            00:08:28 Well, or maybe not because they’re wasting your time. So maybe that’s pleasurable for them because they’re like, maybe, I don’t know, maybe they’re good way. So just, you know, we all know nowadays that there are some foods that are good for us. You know, there’s kale, broccoli, there’s um, blueberries. You know, there’s acasi and hey, so you know, acasi are berries, but you know, you know, chocolate, we know, you know, the good chocolate, the well made chocolate is good for us. You can say that however you want to because you’re British. I’ll just assume you actually know how to say it. I’m not, I’m the one who’s wrong.

 

James:            00:08:58 Okay. Acai berries, how’s that?

 

Bryan:              00:09:02 But yeah, there’s definitely these superfoods, right?

 

James:            00:09:04 Yeah, exactly. As it was. There’s also just like basically good foods, you know, vegetables, you know, look at Michael Poland’s, right, right. You know, eat more simple, right? There’s also, we all know there are foods that are not good for us. So you know, a superside, you know, thinking about the movie Supersize me, you know, great big soda with um, way too much sugar or just eating too much. But we know that that’s not good for us. And it’s the same with experiences. Some experiences are essentially high processed corn syrup, rich, just stuff that, yeah, sure you’ll carry on surviving, but you’ll end up with bad skin. You’ll end up with more stress. Maybe even it’ll lower your libido. Right. You know, some foods are bad for you, some experiences are bad, some are really good.

 

Bryan:              00:09:49 The McGretz that was what I took away from supersize me both of the McSweats and the McGretz. Morgan Spurlock when he, when he conducted that experiment. So yes, this totally resonates with me. Just like food. You can, oh, why did I put that in my body? Why did I do that to myself? That experiences have a similar sort of empty calorie quality. Some, yeah.

 

James:            00:10:11 That’s really interesting. Um, because you’ve hit on something that’s really one of the, one of the magical things about experiences and one that material goods are making us happy is even experiences that go wrong. It’s hard to what we tend to regret what we haven’t done rather than what we have done that said you spend three hours on Facebook, you come home drunk or you come home late at night and you check your email and you check your Facebook and you check your Twitter, you check you Instagram and you find yourself an hour and a half later than thinking and feeling you know, that maybe you don’t get it, but, but if it’s just me, but I think there are a lot of other people that do that. You end up with that kind of like sunken feeling cause you haven’t have kind of likes that you wanted. You know, there’s, you know, there’s a chemical thing that makes us kind of need of this stuff is designed to kind of hook us. Um, but to answer your question, sorry, like roundabout the book is for anyone that thinks, you know, how should I spend my time? Anyone who’s, who’s, you know, you said to me, if all this is for conscious achievers, right? And if your, if you, if you want to get a bit more out of your time, if you want to get 3% more happiness out of your weekends or your holidays or your Thursday evening or your Tuesday morning or life in general. Yeah. Then knowing that not just as knowing the right kind of foods to eat will make you healthier and enable you to get on and really live a good life. Knowing the right kind of experiences to spend your time on will mean that when you come to the, you know, the time that your time bank has gone and you go to cash it and it says, sorry, your time is come. You can at least sit there and think, wow, it was a ride. You know, that was worth it. I did something that was okay. And you can feel that on a, you know, on a Sunday evening before you, you know, start work again. Or you can feel that at the end of a vacation or let’s say, you know, you take a sabbatical or whatever you can, you know, at the beginning you can get the most out of your time. You know that during it you’re not going to get fomo. You know, this fear of missing out thing cause your, you know, that of course there are other things, you know, of course you’ve got a friend who’s currently skiing in Argentina. Of course you’ve got a friend who’s, you know, climbing in Chamonix. Of course you’ve got a friend who’s having lunch with some, a list or in Canne or you know. Yeah.

 

Bryan:              00:12:22 And their teeth are all perfect. It’s like when their kids are all they are all clean. It’s like the house is so organized.

 

James:            00:12:29 Cause you’re American. But the thing is, I’ve got great British friends and you know, obviously Brits that live in England as opposed to Brits who live in the US as you know, they have bad teeth so that they make me feel good they’re okay.

 

Bryan:              00:12:42 Yeah, I definitely had that experience of you know, spending time online or on a video game or you know, whatever. And then afterwards, it’s like, you know, the, our family owns movie theaters here in Utah and it, there was a time when I worked at the theater and I could see every film at no cost. And prior to that, you know, if I saw a film I didn’t like, sometimes I’d want my money back, but when I could see them free and I didn’t pay, I just wanted my time back. So that totally resonates. Totally resonate. And I suspect everybody listening has had that experience. And I love this point you make in your book that I think is actually really profound if we stop to appreciate it that free time, I mean, research shows this in our experience I think validates this is that free time is actually harder to enjoy than work.

 

James:            00:13:26 Yeah, I mean that’s, that’s, it’s funny saying it and if I repeat it back to you, we’re going to sound like a couple of guys on a podcast, but that comes from me. As, you know, having looked at this comes from me high cheek, sent me high, and this is, you know, this is robust data is, you know, this is hundreds of thousands of pieces of data that just, um, shows that. Yeah. You know, th th th th the incredible learning I think from that is that, you know, and I’m, I am starting from may high cheek sent me high here. And I think that’s a, that comes out clearly in the book. That’s all evidence-based, you know, um, you know, everything that’s in the book, uh, puff a one little theory about transformation is based on robust data conducted by people that will actually, you know, Brigham Young University, Julia Hoaglandstat for example and Daniel Conomans work over at Princeton, et cetera. Um, one of the funny things that, you know, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi says is that we, we have this fantasy of the good life and the fantasy of the good life is, um, let’s say the owner, um, you know, movie theaters and you can go and sit and you put your feet up or you know, it’s when you’re going to be on holiday and you’ve got your sitting on a sun lounger with a Margarita in one hand and you’re just sat there. And of course, what people nowadays do, and they kind of really make this worse, is when they sit on a sun lounger they’ve got their smart phone with them, they’re checking it, checking Facebook and telling their friends what a great time they’re having. And then what they’re doing is taking selfies to make everyone knows what a great time they’re having. And actually that kills the whole point of it. And what his work shows is that doing something that’s really hard and challenging and kind of pushing it something this, um, you know, pushes our own personal envelope is, um, is a much better way to achieve happiness. And you’re much more likely to be happy by doing something as hard and challenging that puts you into this, you know, into flow in, in the present, Eckhart Tolle would say, or in the zone as an athlete would say. Um, and for me, that’s one of the ideas from the book that just kind of really liberating and makes you think, okay, so when I take my vacation, I’m not just gonna sit there by the pool. I’m not just gonna sit on the beach, I’m gonna okay, I’ll do a little bit that cause we only need to rest, you know, we need to manage our energy. I’m going to do that once I’ve earned it, I’m going to do that when I’m, you know, I’ve gone out there and got hold of life and grabbed it by the horns and done something, you know, like I go, um, I go, um, bouldering, indoor climbing. I live in London so we don’t have mountains here. Um, sometimes I get to go with generally, this is basically where like I, you know, climbing bouldering. And the magic is I can be three feet up off the floor and I’m scared cause I’m gonna fall and I’m trying to figure out how to get up so my mind is involved, my body’s involved, you know, it’s kind of stretching my muscles. I, I’m, you know, I’m fully focused on the task in hand. Um, you know, it’s a bit like surfing or snowboarding or whatever, you know, but something that’s hard.

 

Bryan:              00:16:21 No, that that makes sense to me in this aspect of challenge and the challenge matching our skills and just, you know, like Mihály Csíkszentmihályi research shows about inducing the flow state and really enjoying that, the gift that that is and how we can consciously create that. I think that’s part of it. As I looked at this and reflected on what she wrote, I tended to think that there’s a part of it as well that’s about structure. That in some way we crave structure and, and the, the research that you cite about, we have more free time than ever before that Americans on average have five hours and 14 minutes of free time. British have five hours and 49 minutes of free time. But if you asked anybody like it wouldn’t feel that way. Like this paradox of having more free time available to us but feeling less fulfilled, feeling more stress than ever before. It’s like a total mind twist. Yeah. You know, and, and so that’s where then to come back to this thing about challenge filling our time and we enjoy, it’s easier to enjoy work then free time. Part of it is I thought is structure and how challenging it can be, how much we crave structure, but how challenging it can be to create it for ourselves. I don’t know if that’s a part of your experience or if you came up across that kind of thing in the, in the research as well.

 

James:              00:17:34 You know, it’s really interesting. I, you know, since the books come out, I’ve had quite a long pretty interesting conversations with people and I was with um, a, it’s called the nudge, you know, it’s known as the nudge units they call it. The Behavioral Insights Team and it was, you know, inspired by Richard Fade as well. He’s one of the advisors set up post his work and advises governments around the world. Now, as I was saying, those guys, you know, they announce some smart questions, but no one’s put that point to me. I think it’s really interesting, Bryan. And what it makes me think of is one of the things that you think about sports is there’s a really specific structure, right? You can’t go outside the lines. This is the goal. You got to get the, um, we were into football over here, which you would call soccer even though of course football, the whole thing about football. Anyway, let’s not get into that. But you know.

 

Bryan:              00:18:23 And then, and then, and then anyone listening, we’ve just edited 15 minutes of conversation about football versus soccer, a little bit of rugby in their discussion for cricket. Yeah. Yeah.

 

James:              00:18:32 We can get into equality and whether the, um, the women’s football teams can get soccer team is the same as the men’s one. Like it makes sense the way, you know, cause you’ll guys, your women have just won the World Cup.

 

Bryan:              00:18:44 For the second time.

 

James:              00:18:47 In a row or something. Yeah. Yeah. It’s kind of amazing. It was great football too. But if you imagine if you put them up against the men, and this is no disrespect to the women, but, um, the game is not at the same standard at the moment. So it would make no sense in this country for it to be that. And that’s not disrespectful. It’s just observing something that is the case. It’s catching up fast. And some of them, yeah, I mean some of the goals exceptional. Anyway, sorry, I’m, I’m a Brit. I’m a, I love the game.

 

Bryan:              00:19:13 So the game has it has lines, it has rules.

 

James:              00:19:15 And I’ve been thinking about this actually about the importance of ritual in our lives. I think ritual is, is something that provides structure. And actually I’m toying with this for the next book actually Bryan. Um, and, and then think about, okay, so let’s say the opposite of a game. Um, you know, as a sports game is, um, checking Instagram or Facebook, right? Cause there’s that endless, um, uh, Jake, uh, is he John Serasky and Jake Knapp in their book, um, whose name I can’t think of right now. Um, in that book about time and managing your time. They talk, they call them infinity pools. I think one of the reasons why, um, let me grab it, cause it’s interesting. Do you know, do you know this book?

 

Bryan:              00:20:03 I do. I have not. I think I did see that title in your book, but I, I was not familiar with it prior.

 

James:              00:20:10 If he wants to, I can connect you to these guys. You want to talk to them.

 

Bryan:              00:20:13 Yeah. But if you’d be willing to introduce me, I’d be very grateful. Yeah.

 

James:              00:20:17 Pretty happy. Great. Really. I mean, very smart, nice people. And um, yeah, I think that term infinity pools is really lovely because.

 

Bryan:              00:20:26 And I know this is what Simon Sinek is talking about now and there was another book written in the 70s about infinite versus finite games and the nuances between them. I don’t know if you’ve seen that, but Sinek has transitioned from Start with Why, to Leaders Eat Last, to now Infinite Games.

 

James:              00:20:41 Interesting. I didn’t know that.

 

Bryan:              00:20:42 So there’s kind of this current, I think that’s flowing as well.

 

James:              00:20:45 Yeah. Yeah. But it, but it’s your point exactly about structure. Actually Bryan, you know, um, the, the magic of something is, I mean it’s a bit like, you know, that the finite nature of human existence, the fact that we’re not a mortal and we are mortal because the problem with mortality, immortality, whichever, um, it’s like different. But the problem with either of those is that there’s no point in getting out of bed because you can go tomorrow. What’s the hurry, you know, someone says to you, hey, let’s go to, let’s make it you and I were going to meet in Uganda. Okay. And we’re going to go see a, we’ve got up skewed that in the north that the south Sudanese border, which is pretty wonderful of that. But let’s say we were going to go do that. Okay. And were like, well there’s no rush. I know it is good because it gives a structure, I guess you think about the structure of a person is like, you know, you’re born, you learned stuff thing. You get old you have children. You know, that kind of, um, that structure, which is also a game actually from a certain guy.

 

Bryan:              00:21:47 Yeah, I think so. And it’s something that I’ve been, um, I’ve been exploring and, and in my coaching with people especially because I think almost universally we feel this sense of time scarcity. Yeah. And it’s, we often experience as distress, as anxiety, as frustration or disappointment, a sense. And, and so what I’ve been inviting some of my, you know, coaching clients to consider, not to say that it’s true, but to consider the possibility that the purpose of time is to maximize our enjoyment of life. Because ultimately if we really take responsibility for our lives, it truly responsible, responsible for what’s on our calendar, where we go, what we do, where we often feel like we’re at the effect I have to, I’ve got to pay. Then we use these excuses for not really being at the center of our lives. And if you say instead time as a framework, yes, it can feel very daunting. It can feel very, um, kind of stultifying, there’s a $5 word, but if you’re the one that’s going, look, I’m putting this on my calendar and I am going to do this. And by default I’m not going to do everything else. But that’s another level of ownership I think and all the things that it brings up, which are legitimate. But to me the interesting question is, are we willing to take that level of responsibility for our lives no matter what the consequences might be, who might not approve? You know what else we might miss out on? You have like all this kind of thing. Yeah, but I didn’t, yeah, I didn’t mean to go on my own theory. I just enjoying, you know, those exploration so much.

 

James:              00:23:15 Like you said, yeah, you think about those times in life where you’ve got a deadline for something and you need to pull together your resources and you have to get really organized and you’re kind of like, right, um, I’m going to work this hard. I’m going to do this in the morning, but that means I don’t have to get up earlier. Okay, fine, let’s do sport or exercise or something then. I may see my children, otherwise I’m going to burn out. Cause that’s a stupid idea, right? I need to manage this and needs to be ongoing. So I need to stop at a certain time cause I want to spend some time with my children or you know, my partner or my friends. And you kind of, when you organize your life like then have structure and you need some space, you know, serendipity and spontaneity to happen too I think is a really good way to exist. And I think one of the problems it’s going to sound silly but because we don’t know when we’re going to die. We therefore have happens kind of like, especially when you’re, you know, when you’re young you have this, ah, I’ll go on forever. There’s no hurry. You know, that is why you smoke pot when you’re a kid, you know, cause you think you got a lot of time and you’re like, sorry I’m making it up. But you know, you could, once you, once you get to a certain age, there’s no point in smoking pot cause it just robes you or energy. You want to go on and do something with your time. Right. Um, actually pot is legal for you guys, isn’t it?

 

Bryan:              00:24:24 In most many places here in the US.

 

James:              00:24:26 Uh, is, I mean it’s not over here. Um, we’ll catch up. I hope. Um, but um, having a structure that says that there’s a definite end, it is you kind of take hold of it cause it’s that thing you’ve got to get hold of, haven’t you? And I think one of the problems in our society is that, and this is why you know, I wanted to write a book is that we, if you think about times being this incredibly precious resource that is the, you know, the final thing is it’s going to come to it and you remember that it is going to be over soon. You think, hold on, it’s going to be over soon. I bet to get a hold of this. I’m going to make this work because if you’re married and you don’t know how long it’s going to go on. Your wife’s annoying you or your husband’s annoying. That’s kind of annoying. But if you think, okay, we’ve only got 15 years anyway, well you might as well enjoy it and get something from it because this is your only go around. I mean, you know, however your religion works, this is only your only go around in this format, you know, what, whatever next door, whatever. Um, so yeah, I like, I like that. And control, if you look at Amartya Sen’s work, the um, the economists at Cambridge, uh, he looks at control, um, social participation and capabilities as being the three keys for human flourishing on its own. It’s very connected with status actually. But you think about the idea of control being really good for people. And when you know people, when they lose control of their lives and have less control of their lives, they, they kind of get upset. Whereas when, even when things are going wrong, you know when things are going really wrong, but you write down how things are going wrong and you start to, especially if you’re a coach and you coach people, when people start to get hold of it, however bad it is, at least you’re kind of playing a game that you’re kind of in some kind of control of.

 

Bryan:              00:26:14 Absolutely and, and this is one thing I wanted to ask you about as well, because you pointed, you brought something to my awareness that I thought was really lovely, the, the way you succinctly articulated it in the power that it has for me and I, I think for many people, so this idea of things going wrong and the narratives we live and this idea that there’s really only two narratives that every life takes. And this is of course a broad generalization, but this idea of the, the one that’s either, um, a contamination story or redemption story and the man, the story of how you got in the hole you’re in, or how you got out of the hole, you were in, will you talk a little bit about that? Because I’d never heard it said that way and I just thought that that was really potentially transformational for people to get, how are you telling the story of the life you’re living and then the effect or the quality it has on everyday for you?

 

James:              00:27:04 I’m really happy that resonated fully. My wife’s thinks that that whole of that first chapter should be a book on its own on its own. And I give talks and I’ve started to, um, skip everything in the book and really focus on that for some people, particularly for leadership. Actually, I’m going to Nairobi, in a couple of months to give some talks based around that, that hero’s journey and how we think about ourselves. Um, but what I think is really interesting that you’ve picked up on is, is that difference between the, um, the contamination story where things go wrong. And, you know, we all got those friends who could perceive things in that negative way. You know, when you have a conversation with a friend and they’re telling you about something that happened and you find yourself saying, hey, but it turned out okay, didn’t it? Or, oh, but you learned something and there’s that friend of yours who probably tends to drink. I think I’ve taken a friend of mine, he drinks too much. There’s those friends who just go, oh, no, no, no. You know, who won’t accept your positive spin on what happened? And then that’s a, I mean, just explain, you know, make it clear to the listeners. You know, this is the contamination version where things start in a certain way and they get worse. And there’s those people that tell these kind of negative stories and you find yourself always trying to pick them up. And there’s the other people who tell the story of saying, well, you know what, you know our, um, our investible down and things we did not know that we’re going to do, but you know what, we bootstrapped it and we made it work. Or you know, as the people who, you know, the 10 fellow or you know, or willing to cave in and everything went wrong in the boat fell over, but they made it through, you know, there’s those three look who turn whatever situations. Wow. It all went wrong. But we learned some, you know, they’re super positive but they could be a bit annoying during too. But what’s really interesting, I taught them this is from you know, psychologists and they call us narrative psychology where they examine the stories that people tell about their lives. For me, what was really interesting about that is that they, the people who tell the contamination story, as you would imagine, you know, where things go wrong, they tend to be much less happy that they don’t feel like they’re contributing. Of course, the importance contributions is, is it’s been shown many times. And that story of the um, redemption story, the things getting better are much happier. So once you know that, okay, this is partly my take on it is like, okay, so life is a choice. Also things are good choices in life. So which of those stories do I want to be my story? Cause that’s a choice as well. And then you could, I mean you can put together and you put them into this, this hero’s journey where things go wrong. This is from [inaudible] go with the, you know, the man hole and we come out the other side. What’s kind of interesting for me is to see if that’s the kind of story that you should tell to be happier. Get a hold of, I mean get hold of your stories and tell stories in that way. And, and if you can try and perceive things even when they go badly and go, okay, that that really isn’t working out. That wasn’t, that was not good. I did the wrong thing or the wrong thing happens to me. You think, okay, so what’s the learning I need to get from this? You know? And once, if you can take that positive, I mean we coming back to control again and structure, you can take the positive from any situation. You’re actually getting a hold of it. And then the magic of that in terms of, you know, happiness, there’s lots of data that shows that you will be happy if you follow that. But then you’ll start to see yourself on this hero’s journey. You know, this kind of person who has struggles and comes out, and I’m going to be straight with you. I think that as an American and if you know, if most of the people that you work with are Americans, you guys have that hard wired in. I mean, we all, you know, it’s the story of Jesus too right. And you know, it’s the story of, you know, lots of, um, kind of, you know, great stories. It’s for all of us, but the story of America where they kind of, you know, turned up. But I mean, thanksgiving, yeah. Here all these people from Europe turned up and Oh, they ran out of food, but oh, come on. These people with a Turkey. Oh. And you know, and then they, and they make it through. That is a classic story of things got better. And um, you know, most cultures have these stories, but if you kind of think in that kind of like, ah, things went wrong, things get better. It gives you that kind of resilient response, more resilient response to when things go wrong. And what happens in all of our lives is things go wrong. That is a given. But if things are gonna go wrong and you’re already thinking, okay, how can we put that into a positive, you’ll come out of it the other way and that’s more positive.

 

Bryan:              00:31:33 Yeah. I mean, to me that was the thing that was so remarkable to see it graphed out. Like you literally put these, you know, as you know, you know these illustrations in the book of Sing, you can tell this same story in either format, you know? Right. It doesn’t depend on how it turned out. It just depends on what you choose to focus on and how you choose to talk about it. And I think if people, while this can sound like a concept right now, uh, you know, my hope is that people will start to see how they can reframe, you know, maybe their entire life or stories within their life, things that have happened to them and be happier as a result.

 

James:              00:32:09 Can I, can I jump in Bryan, if you want, I can, you know, provide, you know, that that hero’s journeys I’ve have joined out as a simplified version because some of it can get very complicated about the mother and the father and all this kind of like, you know, you have to kill them, kill the father. And you know, it’s, you know, some of these stories, you know, they’re mythical stories as well. But one of the, I find that hero’s journey, one of the most, the most inspiring positive book because, because what it provides for any person as they, as you know, as we through life and we come across a certain point, we might get stuck. We might find our boss annoying, we might find our partner annoying. We might find our lack of money annoying. You know, there’s all these things, but the magic of that hero’s journey is you can use it to think, okay, where am I, where am I? Where am I around the loop at the moment? Where are things, am I, am I refusing the call to adventure? Have I heard the call that says James, um, you know, you should go write a book or you should, um, you know, learn to climb or you should take the next step. I failed at start up a couple of years ago and I’m still not licking my wounds. I’m just trying to figure it out. So to have a better goal next time around, um, you know, okay. So it, am I just saying no because I’m a bit scared in which case I should, you know, this is coming back to what you were saying about structure and control and getting happy. Should I get hold of my friend and go for it and take on the adventure? Is that where I am or if you’re on the pluses, my favorite part of that is the road of trials, the road of trials or that tests and the allies and the enemies. And, and what I love about the road of trials is it’s an essential part of the hero’s journey and it’s therefore the essential part of your story. And my story and everybody’s story. And the, the great thing is, is once you realize that in order to be a hero of any sort, you need to solve problems. So if you think about Independence, I don’t know if you remember the movie Independence. They got to kill the big alien to save the humans. You know, you think about Luke Skywalker, okay. It Luke Skywalker gone to Darth Vader and said, hey Darth, I’ve got a great idea. You come to the good side. We will rule the galaxy, but we’re going to do it in a really nice way to make everybody happy. And Darth Vader would said smart thinking Luke, let’s do it. It wouldn’t have been a movie. It wouldn’t have been a movie, right. Luke had to like take on the first body and then the bigger body and he had to, you know, eventually it goes through that and he also to do that, he needed, um, you know, tests on the way to discover who he was. He needed analyze cause he needed Han solo and Chewy in the. Hope you don’t mind going into Star Wars on this. Yeah. He needed the mentor. Yeah. So the thing is, um, you know, think about the rank court. We had to beat the Ranko when he was in, um, the big slimy slept. There goes his name, the Java, Java the Hut. Thank you. Yeah. Um, shame on me for not thinking to remember it. Okay. I watched it maybe a month ago, with my daughter. Anyway, so the thing is, in order for him to be the big hero, he had to beat the big baddy and solve the big problems. And through that we got to understand who he was and he got to learn and grow and become in exactly the way Bryan, for you and for me and for anybody listening. Um, if we want to have the big victory and if we want to perceive ourselves as somebody worth being as someone who’s achieved something, we’ve got to take the shit. You know what I mean? We don’t have the enemies the most. So what the way I found that really inspiring was, you know, um, it meant I could reframe things that happened in the past for me, but in the present and as I go through my life now, now I’ve come across that idea. I know that when something gets in my way, when somebody, you know, if somebody really annoys me when someone says no, you know, when I, you know, I pitch things to people, you know, make monies, pay the mortgage and you know, take family holiday and stuff. And you know, when someone says no or somebody stops me or gets in my way and they really annoy me, I don’t need to be annoyed with them anymore. I need to thank them cause that’s my opportunity to kind of go, well yeah, you said I can learn something from this. You are part of my essential journey to become a bigger, better, stronger man, you know, to grow into who I have the potential to become. Um, and that’s just, I mean, I, I don’t know how you find it, but I find that so liberating. It’s like, wow, when bad stuff happens that’s on my side that’s helping, oh, it’s just so good to like, at least I can stop being a really moany Brit.

 

Bryan:              00:36:45 No, I love that too. And that idea of looking at the map of the hero’s journey and asking, where am I on this as a useful way of figuring out what do I need to do or stop doing? And even to the point, you know, I, I’ve been using a line from your book with people that I’m speaking with. I love about how, you know, yes, we are all snowflakes. We are all unique. We all have our own version of the hero’s journey, but in some way we’re all snow. You know, I thought that was such a great way. And so I do think this can be very useful. You know, if people are willing to look at it.

 

James:              00:37:15 Can I just tell you I got that from my life coach.

 

Bryan:              00:37:17 Oh, you did. It comes full circle. There’s the circle again.

 

James:              00:37:21 I go to mention her name because she can be awnry sometimes. She just said it to me. She, she’s also teaches actors, uh, including those she’ll never quite say it in public, um, cannot think of his name now he was in Doctor Who. He’s very famous guy. Anyway, whatever. Comedy was nine. I’m not very good with actors, but she, and her name is Ava [inaudible] and she said it to me so I stole it from ever or I borrowed it.

 

Bryan:              00:37:44 Right. Well, and now you’ve acknowledged so, so you’re even, you’re even.

 

James:              00:37:48 I’m playing nicely. It’s appropriate nicely, right?

 

Bryan:              00:37:52 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I want to turn our discussion for a moment before we go to the enlightening lightning round. The last thing that I want to ask you about that you talk about in this book is how common it is for people to pick up their smartphone while they’re having sex. What? Like I had, I mean, okay, I’m going. Yeah, I think we all do. We’re like, do I do that? Have I done that? Right. That kind of thing. But we’ll you, I mean, okay. I just want to see, I want to look at this real quick cause you cite some other facts before you quite dropped that one. But I was like that really freaking happens, doesn’t it?

 

James:              00:38:31 That research conducted, I think it was Northwestern, I can’t remember, but it was definitely a university in the, in the US.

 

Bryan:              00:38:37 Yeah, I think it was Virginia and then it was published in the Economist. You cite that and you talk about, you know, most people pick up their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning. Yeah. Average person picks up their phone 150 times a day. Yeah. Many people do 300 times a day, which is about once every three minutes you’re awake and that there’s a number of people, one in 10 research shows pick up their phone, like check their phone while they’re having sex. Right. What I mean when you discovered that, like what, what did you think? I mean, what, what’s going on

 

James:              00:39:11 Well my first thought was I got to try this, you know, so I, I, you know, I kind of.

 

Bryan:              00:39:16 Like any true researcher.

 

James:              00:39:17 Exactly. You know, so there I was with Mrs Wallerman and, uh, you know, I got to have a couple drinks, no. Um, those stats, by the way, come from Adam Elta who’s NYU, um, at the Stern School of Business and his book Irresistible, fantastic guy. Um, be really happy to connect you to him. He’s a real, uh, I mean, he’s a great researcher. Um, Irresistible looks at, you know, the lure of our phones. These devices, and, and this is from Natasha Dow Shell, who I think is at NYU now. She was at MIT. She wrote a fantastic book called, um, the Design of Addiction.

 

Bryan:              00:39:59 Addiction of Design, Machine Gambling in Las Vegas by. And what’s her name again?

 

James:              00:40:04 Natasha Dow Shall. Okay. She’s very smart woman. She researched how they made these machine gambling. You know, these gambling machines and they are the most addictive thing or that they’ve been called lightly, you know, lazy term, but you know, the crack, cocaine of gambling, etc. And um, basically exactly the same tricks that they used in those is what’s in our mobile phones. So it’s, um, there’s, have you heard something called classical conditioning, you know, from Pavlov’s dogs. Yeah, for sure. Everybody knows that one. And this one is called something called operant conditioning, which is, you know, how scientists, sometimes have fancy words for things that kind of makes sense. So if you have a dog and your dog comes to you, give it a, you know, something to eat right so that it knows it gets a reward. And you know, if you think that we weren’t like that in the relationships too. So, you know, if your partner is nice, you, you buy flowers or you know, you know what I mean, you and you smile. And that’s what our devices do. And the thing is this, um, research shows that basic operating and conditioning works on pigeons and rats and humans. So the way our devices work, as you check Facebook and, this is the thing and it’s called an intermittent variable rewards. This is like the, one of the key things about operant conditioning. Okay. So if every time your you do something, you get, let’s think about the rats. If every time the rat pressors a lever it gets something to eat. Yeah, it goes there and it gets something to eat, it’s fine. But if it doesn’t know what it’s going to get each time it presses the lever and it doesn’t, and then sometimes you only have to press the leavers for something to happen. It goes back again and again and again. Not knowing is really exciting, which is one of the reasons why watching sports, you know, watching a soccer match, for example, watching England against the USA in that semi-final is so exciting because you don’t know how many points are going to be scored. I mean, or any game, you know, the Super Bowl, whatever. Um, you don’t know how many points are going to get scored. You don’t know if your team’s going to win or lose. It’s one of the reasons why soccer is generally such good games. It’s low scoring game. So even the small teams beat the big teams which is brilliant. Um, and so when you check Facebook or email or Instagram or whatever, you don’t know if you’re going to have a message from your mom saying, uh, hey, come home this weekend already want to see you, or a message from, uh, you know, that hot girl at work that you really shouldn’t be talking to but you can’t help it. Or, um, you know, some kind of spam or your boss or someone that you don’t really like contacting you or nothing at all.

 

Bryan:              00:42:45 Or some major calamity, again, which obviously, and thankfully they’re very rare, but like a 9/11 did that happen in the world today? Right. You never know what you’re going to get.

 

James:              00:42:53 I mean, the thing is about news is news is also incredibly entertaining. Yeah, I know that’s a really negative thing saying it’s probably inappropriate, but at the same time, you know what I mean? This is why Donald Trump is so great. Sorry, I love Donald Trump. Everyone that thinks I’m pretty crazy for that, but he’s such a crazy show. And sorry if you’re not a Trump fan, I don’t mean it’s, you know, either positive or negative. He’s such a crazy show in the, um, it’s just, he’s, he’s just worth watching. He’s future, future, historians will just wish they’d been alive when Donald Trump was empowered because he’s just so much fun. He’s so crazy. Um anyway enough about him. Um, so it was, I, okay, this intimate variables is exactly as you said. You know, if it’s going to be in the news or it’s good news or bad news or whatever. And so the thing is we keep checking and we keep checking and we check this before you go to bed, just in case something interesting is coming. You check when you wake up in the morning. And just to throw in this thing about how we check our phones first thing in the morning. Um, and actually anybody listening, if you take out nothing from this and you’ve ever listened this far and you take out one thing because most people charge their phones in their bedrooms, don’t charge your phone in the bedroom, you will sleep better. And there’s some researchers suggest that you’ll have more sex.

 

Bryan:              00:44:12 Just by charging your phone outside the bedroom.

 

James:              00:44:14 Because you know, because it’s not there and the things that you’ve got yours in there and your partner’s got theirs in there, you’ve got that device that your, you know, your parents, your boss, your coworkers, your children, everybody can contact you. So you’re bringing maybe echoes they can contact you. Yeah. Um, you know, I have my notifications turned off. My phone is always on silent so that I choose when I, you know, want to talk to people, you know? Yeah. Kind of manage that time. You know, time is precious. Our time is short. We need to, I need to get work done so that when it comes to, I’m a real believer in Saturdays and Sunday should not be workdays. This kind of blaring of work and leisure I think is one of the problems that we have today. The fact, you know what used to be a place we went to and you would work Monday and you know, I love work. I love working hard. It’s fun, it’s hard, it’s meaningful, but put it down so that you can spend real quality time with you. You know, I often go out without my telephone, which kind of freaks people out. So I phoned you, well, why aren’t you answering? I’m like, oh, we said we’d meet. And what I did was that place we said we were going to meet. I went there, look, here I am.

 

Bryan:              00:45:25 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like people text you, I’m here. You’re like, yeah, I know.

 

James:              00:45:31 I hate text, I am here. Yeah. It’s crazy. It’s then when they phone you and say, where are you? All right. Use your eyes.

 

Bryan:              00:45:37 Yeah. Seriously. No, I love that. And by the way, I just want to call out to people listening this idea as well. That again is a paradox for, for many of us or maybe counterintuitive is that we think, you know, working harder, working more is, is the answer. And I often quote this Reed Hoffman thing about hard work is never enough and more work is never the real answer, right? So this idea that we’re seeing in James’s life here where you’ve published two books, uh, really good books that people enjoy are making a difference. They’re on bestseller lists. You’re being invited to speak around the world. You’re, you’re consulting, you know, for the world’s biggest companies and you’ve written for more than 50 major publications and that while every life is its own life and we all get to find our own styles and preferences, they hear you’re saying, look, I’m taking weekends off. You know, more often than not, and you’re still achieving at a very high level where I think a lot of people listening are giving up sleep or they’re, you know, they’re letting their phone interrupt them, their boss called them anytime where you don’t have to live that way. If even if you want to achieve at a high level, they’re not mutually exclusive.

 

James:              00:46:44 Yeah. Let’s just want to throw in there that when, when I hear that list I’m like, wow, that’s that guy. That guy sounds good. I guess, you know, lots of us have the imposter syndrome. Maybe that’s a British thing too much, but you know, that kind of like, well, I mean it’s true. Um, that, that, that those things you said about me, you know, and what I’ve achieved. But I think it’s about success is a choice. You know, I don’t know if you’ve read The New Earth by Eckhart Tolee. I think it, sure it confused the hell out of me. When I first read it, I was like, what is this guy saying? But there’s stuff that he says in there about success is nothing other than an enjoyable present moment. And that stuff about being a, it might have been put clever than that, but um, you know, the present moment being the only thing that exists is really important. I personally also think we just think about the remembering self, anticipating. I mean, there’s lots to be said for this stuff, but, um, you know, six yeah. And that quote you said about that working on it, that thing is, is if you, what you do is really work hard. And you, you know, in the US you have a very work hard culture. Um, you know, it comes from, I think it’s the Protestant thing from, from the 19th century in particular. Um, you work and work and work and what, yeah. You might enjoy what, but why are you missing out? So you don’t think about your time there. They’re, uh, they’re a, you know, in Utah I think about, you know, the trails you can go walking on or running on or skiing on or you know, um, hanging out with people that you love. I mean that, that, that’s the Daniel Karnam and quote in the book, right, that, um, happiness is, it’s only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is spending time with people you love and who love you. And that’s like, okay, so we should do more of that. And it’s, you know, once you know that you’re like, okay, but I should also, I should enjoy my work. I should find stuff that’s hard, I should do stuff that’s hard in my free time. I should spend time with people. And then that’s one of the reasons why the checklist in the book and if you, you know, this story’s thing was that you can’t do all of it all the time. You know, I’ll be honest with you, I’m going on vacation in the summer and we’re going to be on a beach with my children and I won’t be living a full power hero’s journey of kind of like doing something incredibly hard. I’ll be, I will be on the beach with my children playing on the blowup pink flamingo that we have on the lie low. Um, and you know, messing around with my kids. I’ll be ticking the box about hanging out and making really important relationships. You know, you know, there are times when I want to be inside and watch a movie. I’m a big fan of the US Office. I’ve just got to the point where, um, you know, Michael, the boss has left on season nine, I think now and I love the US Office so much. It’s, it’s my like guilty pleasure. I don’t watch TV. I find TV really annoying. I mean, there’s those days that says you watch too much TV, you will erode your happiness sure as, you know, getting sand paper and scrubbing it down on something. Um, I’ll give myself a window to watch US Office, as you know. Anyway, so, you know, we can’t take all the, you know, it’s like gratitude. I remember talking, um, Tom Gilovich at Cornell University who is one of the drivers. In fact, if not the guy who’s really done the research, one of the people that drove in the fact that we now know the material goods is not as good as experience and making us happy. And when I was talking to Tom About my book, um, he liked the checklist to be taught this idea of gratitude. We all know that gratitude makes us feel happier. Sometimes you know what? Who feels grateful. I don’t know. You know, I wish I was that perfect human being even woke up every day and was like, ah, look at the, you know, the climbing frame in the garden. Aren’t we lucky to have that. Isn’t this nice? I’ve got this, you know, this terris house in London, which is nice. But sometimes I’m like, I wish I had a bigger house. I wish that I wasn’t working so hard. I wish the money was flowing a bit easier.

 

Bryan:              00:50:25 You’re human.

 

James:              00:50:26 You know, and if you don’t feel grateful, okay. So what other box can you tick to get something out of your time.

 

Bryan:              00:50:32 Yeah, no, that’s that, that resonates for sure. Well, let me, let me turn our discussion now to. I just, I just want to get this in here too because you pointed this, I love you, just call attention to things and articulate them in a way that I find very valuable. And this one that you touched on earlier, but didn’t present this way of in the history of humanity, we’ve reimagined, reinterpreted to success, right. From survival for millions of years. Perhaps it was survival was successful, then materialism for 150 years or so. And then we realized that that wasn’t not fulfilling. Okay. So now we’re in this year of happiness is success. So we’ve taken the steps and I just thought that was actually a really brilliant kind of call out. I wanted to get that in the recording. So thank you for pointing that out.

 

James:              00:51:22 Thank you. Can I just thank, thank you. Um, I want to flag up that it’s not that the message isn’t anti money. Um, I get caught in this conversation with my wife sometimes cause you know what money, it’s an enabler, you know, it means you can go to, uh, I went to a great Mexican place in, um, in Salt Lake City when I was there last time and you know, we have to pay for dinner. And then the waiter was amazing guy who is tattooed. He was really fun but we wouldn’t have had that fun experience. And my buddies from Utah, if we hadn’t been able to afford dinner, you know, these things are important. It’s that trifecta of um, happiness, resilience and success. Those three things feel to me so, you know, together, you need to be resilient because things will go wrong. You need happiness and success is both a financial thing. But I think it kind of wraps up this idea anyway, but I’ll just whenever, but thank you. Yeah. Lucky us that success is more than just survival. Happiness is a luxury good. Right?

 

Bryan:              00:52:25 Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and I happen to think in Maslow as you know, later revised his pyramid from self actualization, being at the top to transcendence. And, you know, with Joseph Pine in his book, The Experience Economy where he talks about commodities, you know, good services and then transformation and this idea. And I think we’re moving there that even we’ll find happiness and even experiences are not inherently fulfilling any more than goods or materialism was. But what we’re really seeking is a sense of oneness, right? Like a communion with the divine or with all things. I think, but, but maybe that’s easier for me to explore because I’m fortunate to be born in a family where I don’t have to work for a living and I get to or have to, depending on how you frame it, think about these kinds of existential questions. While it’s a bit of a mind twist, while there’s nearly 2 billion people on the planet without access to clean water sanitation. And here I am going, why am I here? Right.

 

James:              00:53:22 You know, I think we’ve all got our challenge. We’ve got our challenges, you know, um, cause you think about that stuff from me, how Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, you know, free time being, you’ve got to have a challenge. One of the problems with being born in a situation where you’re wealthy is we’ve got to find it. You’ve got to get off, you’ve got to go find that challenge. So it doesn’t matter what it is, cause if you don’t have that, you know, you only get stopped. Right. Interesting. You mentioned Joe Pine and his work because, um, I’m in contact with Joe fairly regularly, actually. I’ve just got to take me a little bit the um, uh, for the British government advising on the experience economy. Wow. Um, which um, yeah, I try to bring that into every conversation and I’m so proud and so happy about it. It’s really cool. Set to specialist experience in culinary arts is really cool. Um, and you know, Joe was, you know, the first ones to really identify the experience economy. Um, obviously with that, with United, with those articles and the book. Um, and that idea that we’ll move from experiences that transformations to me is really interesting. Um, I also, I think, you know, you see the of stories is about transformation, but not every experience is going to be transformative, but it still take him, guy went to six flags years ago and if you still have Six Flags. Is Six Flags still going?

 

Bryan:              00:54:37 I think they’re still around, yeah.

 

James:              00:54:39 I went to Six Flags in LA when my brother moved there quite a few years ago. And um, roller coasters are not transformative, but they are fun, they are fun. So I think there’s, there’s a, there’s a place for non-transformative things. Sure. But there is also, you know, if you think about that hero’s journey, you think about the more meaningful experiences, well transformations at the heart of those, you know. I’m really just a bit about that whole oneness. Definitely about connecting with others and connecting the other things feels more meaningful

 

Bryan:              00:55:13 Whether we’re aware of it or not. I think that’s it. What we’re all ultimately searching for is, you know, as some have called the numinous.

 

James:              00:55:21 Yeah. I’ve heard that if you read this new Michael Pollan book, the a.

 

Bryan:              00:55:25 How to Change Your Mind. Yeah. Amazing.

 

James:              00:55:28 Super interesting and it’s inspired me to, you know, play a little in that area recently. And I, that’s, I find that kind of very interesting.

 

Bryan:              00:55:39 Very much, well in the interest. I would love to, and maybe we’ll do a part two maybe and maybe with your next book or maybe we could actually go back and do Stiffication or something, but, so maybe, um, but let me, let me turn our conversation now to the enlightening lightning round. Are you ready?

 

James:              00:55:59 I’m ready. So you want to be quick with these answers correct?

 

Bryan:              00:56:03 Well, you don’t need to be quick, but I’m going to, I’m going to say the question and for the most part I’ll then be quiet like the other term you used in the book. I love that the [inaudible]. We should probably say that more Spanish than French, but okay. Please complete the following sentence with something other than a box of chocolates. Life is like a?

 

James:              00:56:26 Who can beat Forrest Gump? A life is like a, but I use that phrase. I use it in stuff. I don’t. Okay. Sorry. You want to answer?

 

Bryan:              00:56:37 That’s fine.

 

James:              00:56:39 Um, an opportunity to do something that’s fun and meaningful. Sorry. I, I, yeah, I think it is like a box of chocolates. I think we’re really, you know, it’s about choice. It’s about, you might have the strawberry flavor. We want to be ah god that’s awful. But that’s the journey to find the, the, the chocolates that you like. Um, you know, I quote that genuinely alongside Ferris Bueller, you know, the wisdom of Ferris Bueller?

 

Bryan:              00:57:10 Oh, it’s ripe with wisdom. What, what’s the Ferris Bueller? He’ll keep calling. What’s the one you say?

 

James:              00:57:17 No, but the, life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop looking around once in a while. You could miss it. Yeah. Those Hollywood writers are good. I mean, that’s why Gladiator is such an incredible movie and that, you know, what we do in life echoes in eternity. And that guy David Franzoni, you know, took Marco’s words, made them better. You know, there are some good writers in the world and yeah. Uh, happily steal their good stuff.

 

Bryan:              00:57:48 Okay, fair enough. Okay, next question. What’s something at which you wish you were better?

 

James:              00:57:54 Climbing?

 

Bryan:              00:57:56 Next question.

 

James:              00:57:57 Answering questions like this.

 

Bryan:              00:58:00 You’re doing great. You’re doing great. If you were required every day for the rest of your life to wear a tee shirt with a slogan on it or a phrase or saying or quote or clip, what would the shirt say?

 

James:              00:58:11 I’m thinking of a Ferris Bueller thing but all my on the day my granddad died. I’m trying to think of what he wrote to me in the note and the things I think I’ve thrown the note away now cause it stopped the case. And I mean, you know, my grandad existed. It’s as though I don’t, what did he say? Said here’s a five pounds. Go buy yourself something nice. Now it, um, memories live longer than dreams.

 

Bryan:              00:58:34 Wow. Okay. Next question. What book other than one of your own, have you gifted or recommended? Most often?

 

James:              00:58:42 The, I think it’s called the Cloudspotter’s Guide.

 

Bryan:              00:58:46 I saw you’re part of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

 

James:              00:58:49 Cloud Appreciation Society. Yeah, Gavin Vinnies. And the thing about the this cloud guide is that you get the gift of looking up and you give the gift of kind of like, look at that, all that stuff. Okay, fine. And clouds that are always changing, especially in the UK. But you know, when you cross the Atlantic, have you ever seen those virga clouds on falling away? I think just when I crossed the Atlantic. Um, and they’re beautiful and let, let’s bring this back to the book here slightly or, and they see, I say bring it back, bring it back to what psychologists discovered makes us happy or which is actually coming back to your idea of, you know, transcendence and getting outside of ourselves and realizing there’s something more than just us. It’s really good for our happiness and our wellbeing. So if you, you know, if you encourage people to look at clouds, cause the thing is, you know, we will sit on planes sometimes we will sit on our own sometimes and if you look up you’ll be happy.

 

Bryan:              00:59:50 Yeah. That’s beautiful. Tell, will you please tell me the name of the book again?

 

James:              00:59:53 Yeah, keep getting, let me find it.

 

Bryan:              00:59:57 The Cloudspotter’s Guide? Yeah, The Cloudspotter’s Guide.

 

James:              01:00:00 Yeah, The Cloudspotter’s Guide. I think there’d be just a, let me just.

 

Bryan:              01:00:04 Gavin Pretor-Pinney Yeah. Hold on. Originally turned down by 28 publishers. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, The Cloudspotter’s Guide has gone on to be an international bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages. In addition to serving as a guide to cloud types and how they formed this book explores how the clouds above our heads have played the backdrop, to the entirety of human existence.

 

James:              01:00:27 Because it’s boring.

 

Bryan:              01:00:30 But that’s the book, right?

 

James:              01:00:34 It’s that if you get The Cloud Collector’s handbook, you don’t have to read all that stuff about clouds. You can just look at clouds.

 

Bryan:              01:00:40 The cloud collector’s handbook. I love it. Okay.

 

James:              01:00:43 Yeah, I mean I just haven’t read the other one. I’m sure it’s lovely, but like who? I don’t want to read that much about clouds.

 

Bryan:              01:00:48 No well thank you. Yeah, that’s beautiful. Okay, so the next question. So you travel a ton, even more than most of my guests. What’s one travel hack, meaning something you do or something that you take with you when you travel to make your travel less painful or more enjoyable?

 

James:              01:01:08 Okay. Um, probably a book that made me sound, I mean, I like to take, you know, have different elements of reading, but I find that especially if I’m working, if I’ve got a novel to read, I prefer fiction to really relax. Although you read David Simon’s, Homicide?

 

Bryan:              01:01:30 No.

 

James:              01:01:30 Uhmm ah, it’s incredible. Um, I’m kind of rereading it at the moment. Uh, I think probably, I mean, I take an eye mask, you know, um, I traveled first class. You’d probably do it a lot Bryan. Uh, I traveled first class once in my life. Okay. And they gave me this really nice eye mask. And um, what is it with hotel rooms? There’s always, you know, some kind of, even when all the lights are off there will be like a flashing light on the TV or flashing light on one of those stupid alarm clocks they have in there or something. I don’t want, I like dark. Sorry. Is that helpful?

 

Bryan:              01:02:07 No, that’s helpful. My wife and I, by the way, so my wife and I actually started traveling with a roll of electrical tape, just the black electrical tape to put over the television light and we just, you know, so in addition to an eye mask solves all that. But that’s one thing that’s been helpful, so that’s fine. Okay. Thanks for that. Okay. What’s one thing you’ve started or stopped doing in order to live or age well.

 

James:              01:02:33 Um, yeah, the stuff in the book as see, you know, I’ve, I’ve made a point, you know, that Harvard study from 1939 makes the point, you know, basically the, the flip side to Julio Holt Lundestad BYU is research like loneliness as a killer. The people that live the longest, you know, the clearest indicators of people with relationships. Good relationships mean you’ll live longer, happier, healthier life. And it has made me, um, reconnect with some friends and when I’m too busy, cause I’ve got two young children, my wife, um, is studying to be an actress at the moment. So, you know, there’s only one person bringing in money for the four of us. Um, I don’t have a lot of time. Um, you know, I put a lot to, I put a lot of value in spending time with my children. Uh, so I’m not, I don’t have a lot of spare time to spend with friends. And there was a long period where I was like, I don’t really have friends who I don’t have the time for and I don’t nearly have nearly as many friends I used to have, but I really, it gives me an excuse because I know it’s going to be good for my well being to say, yeah, okay, I will go see that friend. And, and I really liked one on one time. I, I really, you know, I’m lucky enough to know some people who are really good, funny, silly, idiot people and there is, you know, who put up with me. So I, I’ve made a point since I wrote the book of making a bigger point of seeing people that matter to me.

 

Bryan:              01:04:05 Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah, that’s great. Okay.

 

James:              01:04:08 We don’t have a TV and I’m going to throw in this one as well. We don’t have normal TV. Our TV is not connected to normal TV. It’s, you know, it’s IP. So we do have Netflix, we do have Amazon. Um, but that, and I just watched the US Office. I mentioned that. Right. You got to see this program. You can do that. I just wait a minute and go. Thanks. No, I won’t be watching that program. Cause the problem is if I enjoy it, House of Cards I watched five minutes, I was blown away and I had to just watch it like a maniac. So I don’t even let these things get near to me.

 

Bryan:              01:04:45 Wow. That’s great. Okay. Just a few more questions in the lightning round and then I know we’re at a time, um, if we, if we finish these four, four more questions and then one or two questions about the creative process, you okay with that?

 

James:              01:04:57 You’re fine, I’m enjoying the, your questions are great and I’m really enjoying connecting with you and yeah. Yeah. It’s, I’m fine. Yeah.

 

Bryan:              01:05:03 Okay. Okay, so next question. What’s one thing you wish every American knew?

 

James:              01:05:10 Is stories checklists, and how to spend your time. I, you know, um, people now know that experience is about material goods. Once you know this stuff in the stories checklist, especially that hero’s journey makes you happier because you get more out of you the short time you have on the planet. Um, yeah, be awesome. Uh, I mean I, I’m working on getting more people to know about it and you Bryan, you’re helping me do that, so thanks.

 

Bryan:              01:05:37 Yeah, my pleasure. Okay. What’s the most important relationship advice you’ve ever heard and successfully applied?

 

James:              01:05:48 Um, I’m still trying to figure out how marriage works and I mean that in a, you know, we’ve gone through some tough times, but we’re really together and she’s lovely my wife. Um, but you know, she’s also annoying and so am I and I’m trying to figure out how marriage. I can’t quite figure out the ones that work and the ones that don’t work. I keep trying to, because I look at diff, people that I know that have split up will stay together and it doesn’t seem to be, I wish there was a really easy formula. And I think the hero’s journey and I, I it feels like I’m just kind of coming back to it, you know, float the ideas in my book. But the magic in the hero’s journey means that when my wife and I’ve gone through some tough times and me giving up my job, this was, you know, reasonably well paid to write my book destroyed us financially because Stuffication was self published at first. Right. Nobody would take the book. So I self published and then it got some coverage places like Fast Company and the Financial Times and then it got picked up by Penguin and you know, lucky me, it took off. Um, but it’s, it’s been a journey with shifting my perspective from somebody stopping me doing from what I want to do to understanding the road of trials and that, that means I need tests and allies and enemies for me to grow as a person and develop. Yeah. It’s so liberating. Even recently something happened. I was, I was pretty annoyed and I was like, why are they doing that? Couldn’t as soon as you take that you lose control. As soon as you say they are doing that, what can I learn here? I mean it took me a couple of days of being really annoyed to get around in my head, you know, if only I was like.

 

Bryan:              01:07:31 But you did. Yeah, but you got there.

 

James:              01:07:33 It makes life easier. So I went up so I guess I like knowing like my wife, when my perception of my wife has been that she is in my way and she is trying to stop me and she’s my enemy. When I realized that’s part of my hero’s journey, boom, life feels a bit better.

 

Bryan:              01:07:48 That’s beautiful. Just by the way, may I offer you one thing about the relationship thing? Yeah. You might’ve seen his work already is very well known, but John Gottman, are you familiar with this guy’s work?

 

James:              01:07:59 I know the name.

 

Bryan:              01:07:59 Seven principles for making marriage work. He’s got anyway, I think you would like his work. It might be useful in your professional life, but also your personal life, like the guy’s thinking and research has totally changed the quality of my marriage. It’s profound. Yeah. So John Gottman, it’s two T’s, G O T T M A N , and um, one of his books is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. And I think it in a way, it just breaks it down and simplifies it to the point that you’re like, no, it can’t be that easy. But I think, I think it actually is, it’s not that it’s easy. It’s never easy.

 

James:              01:08:39 Yes, Darling.

 

Bryan:              01:08:41 Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Okay. Thanks for letting me interject that there. Um, okay, last question of the enlightening lightning round. Aside from compound interest, what’s the most important or useful thing you’ve ever learned about money or something you do or don’t do with it?

 

James:              01:09:00 Oh, bloody compound interest. I wish I could operate it, but I do get it. I get it. What’s something I learned about money? Have some. And that sounds really silly, but you know, I never cared about money. And the problem was, was that, uh, you know, I grew up and we had enough, um, we didn’t have lots of ways, but I mean, you know, at one point my dad completely, his company fell apart and he had zero. He had nothing. I went to the, what we called the double office, but we, you know, he was unemployment benefit. He would drive there in this Porche she had at the time, but he, you know, he was like, he had worked for like 40, 45 years and always paid his taxes. So, you know, so he was like, well, I’m out of work. I can take my unemployment benefit, I’m going to do this. And he was, I mean, he was, you know, I made that he was on his knees. We were as a family, we were on our knees for a period, but I was kept safe from it, I think. But I left university and didn’t care about money. And I had this friend, I saw his friend recently and she said, Oh, James it’s so good, she was a bit drunk. She said, ah, she didn’t usually say this is James he doesn’t care about monies. I love you James. I said, no, that was till I wanted to have children. You know, once, you know, it tends to my wife quite a few years ago and said, so let’s have kids. And she literally laughed at me. She said, you don’t earn any money. That’s not going to work. And I love being a dad. I love my children and things that he wants to have children. You need some money. And um, if I had known that a bit earlier in my journey, I might have made some different decisions that have led, you know, led to having some more money. Yeah.

 

Bryan:              01:10:44 Children require money.

 

James:              01:10:47 Well, it’s a life requires two. He said, oh, I don’t care about money. Well, happy days for you. If you don’t care about money, that if you’ve got, if you’ve got enough, you don’t need to worry about it. But you do need to have that. And there’s, we live in a lucky time of having a lifestyle. As you said, it’s not just staying alive. We want a bit more than that, you know?

 

Bryan:              01:11:06 Yeah, for sure. Okay. So this isn’t quite at the end. Nope. I want to put this then, not try to squeeze it into the end. If people want to learn more from you or connect with you, what would you have them do?

 

James:              01:11:20 This is going to sound horrible. I’m just trying to sell my book, but that Time and How to Spend It. And I think in the US because there’s not been published yet, you’re better off to get it on Kindle. Um, but I’ve been told it’s like, you know, sitting across from me, hearing from me. The other thing, I guess listening to this and you can decide if I’ve talked too much and you don’t want to hear it from me ever again now, it would feel so fine. Um, you can go to the website Timeandhowtospendit.com, uh, which I don’t update often. Uh, follow me on Twitter and I’ll post stuff about stuff that interests, I don’t know.

 

Bryan:              01:11:54 Instagram? You have an Instagram account too?

 

James:              01:11:57 Oh, I do. I don’t post much on that, but I’m just James Wallerman there and on Twitter. Um, I mean I, you know, to be frank, I would come off boat, I’d come off all that stuff, but I just feel I ought to do it because of the book. Um, cause the problem with Twitter is you have to try and sound interesting. And the problem with Instagram is you got to go, wow, look, I can take great pictures and I’m, I don’t have an interesting life. And that’s kind of annoying because I have a pleasant life and that, but I don’t, you know, I mean anyway. Yeah. Um, I think the book is probably the best way or, or, or depending on how wealthy there get me to come on over and give a keynote talk for your company or something. Yeah. I’d love to. And I, you know, I’m, yeah, we go climbing.

 

Bryan:              01:12:38 Awesome. Sounds good. Okay. And I also will say this here is that as a way of expressing my gratitude to you for making the time and sharing of your experience and your wisdom. Um, I’ve gone on kiva.org and I’ve made a hundred dollar micro loan on your behalf to a female entrepreneur in Thailand named Mito who will use this money to help buy organic hans and organic feed so she can improve the quality of her own life or family’s life, people in her community. So just want to say thank you with that.

 

James:              01:13:10 Thank you. It’s Nice Cocoon Cup. Hey, it’s just a thought. Um, I’m doing some what was called the TTC, the Transformational Travel Council and with a firm called a think it’s Explorer X or something. And I am going to be running like a 10 day vacation in Utah I think next spring. And I’m also talking to travel firm called Intrepid who were kind of global Australia based, but around the world and I’m going to be doing something with them as well. That’s going to be a Morocco. Um, those will be things but they’re there. They’re in, they’re being worked out at the moment. Yeah.

 

Bryan:              01:13:49 Amazing. Well, if it’s, if it’s worthwhile to you to share the details of those with me, I would be glad to share them with people on my list and in my community. Hey, and if space allows them, yeah, I might even come. Sounds awesome. Awesome.

 

James:              01:14:04 Yeah, that would be fun. Yeah, that’s great.

 

Bryan:              01:14:07 Okay, so really the, I know we’re, we’re a little longer than I’d intended and I do want to go ahead and wrap up soon, but seeing is how we’re here together. I just want, I want to invite you to share something with people listening who as I said at the outset, are they, they want to do what you’re doing, they want to take their ideas, they want to organize them, put them between two covers, share them with others in ways that make a difference and that is not draining, but is in fact enjoyable and energizing. So I don’t know exactly what my question is except for maybe what I guess what advice, I’m not big on advice, but what would you say to somebody who’s, who’s on this journey but hasn’t arrived yet?

 

James:              01:14:50 It’s the basic starting point. Understanding the structure of story. So if someone wants, wants to be an author, do you mean like a nonfiction writer of some sort?

 

Bryan:              01:14:59 Yeah, in fiction, nonfiction they want to write, they want people to read it. All right. So they want to enjoy the process.

 

James:              01:15:04 Yeah. I mean the, the first thing is to realize that you’re not gonna make any money. But I don’t mean that negatively. You’ve got to do it because you love it. Because seeing as, uh, as a route to money, it’s, most people don’t make it. And I don’t mean this negative, it’s because everybody tells me it wouldn’t work for me and yeah, fine, but that doesn’t stop me in restaurants, you know, um, you know, we’ll see. Enjoy it. I think that’s really to enjoy that. I believe this for anything and, and my wife’s becoming an actress at the moment and, um, what she has to do, I think is not thinks she’s going to end up necessarily in a big Hollywood feature film anyway. Again, not negatively. That may well happen for enjoying the process. You know, the journey that you enjoy that boom, that’s happiness anyway. You’re doing the right thing. Um, On Writing by Stephen King is gold.

 

Bryan:              01:15:55 I love that book.

 

James:              01:15:56 But really easy to get through, you know, phrases like you’ve just got to turn up and you know, so you should be where the muse will find you rather than think it’s going to come to you. And sometimes it feels like you’re shoving shit from a sitting position, you know, that kind of as, and then the two phases, writing with the door closed, the door open. I think it’s just pure gold, I love that. Whether you writing, you know, fiction or nonfiction, Kurt Vonnegut’s Shape of Stories I think is great. Which of course I’ve used in chapter one of, you know, the book about story. I wouldn’t bother with Robert McKee story because yeah. That Kurt Vonnegut and I would say if you’re doing nonfiction, there’s this book called [inaudible] bird by bird. Oh yeah. Uh, and an American recommended it to me. I’ll be honest. I mean it’s beautiful, but it’s a little bit to pat. It’s a bit of is too good. It’s just a bit, don’t know what it is about it. That kind of just kind of, it’s, it’s nice. I didn’t find it that funny, but maybe that’s because I’m a Brit. I don’t know that but the ones I love for nonfiction, I read these in the hope that I could become a decent writer and I’ll say in case you can’t see, this is one is called um Telling True Stories, which is by uh, or edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Cornates from, it’s a nonfiction writers guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and it’s got like Gata Elise in it who wrote, um, what’s supposed to be the best, um, you, John is master of all time called Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, you can find it online on Esquire and it’s a beautiful piece of work, but it’s also got Malcolm Gladwell’s course, um, and other great and Tom Wolf, you know, awesome writers. Um, but it’s as you can say, I’ve got a, I bet you can see those, you know, notes and then the New New Journalism, it says conversation that America’s best non, nonfiction writers on that craft and that’s got um, Michael Lewis, and um, who is the greatest hit him in Gladwell and David Simon is nonfiction’s amazing. Um, well I found those really powerful for giving me some great direction in terms of how to go about putting together a nonfiction book. Um, I’m lucky and I come from a sort of literature background in that my first few was classic, so I started Aristotle, um, and, you know, Homer and stuff. Um, but those, those things I found those really useful about, you know, finding a writer that you really respect, breaking their code, understanding how they went about it, um, and then playing with those ideas. And then of course, and I think it’s Michael Lewis who says this in the New New Journalism, and then throw that all away because you write like you, I write like me as soon as we try and be someone that, you know, you can’t make the noises on a page that Tom Wolf does. You can’t and you shouldn’t want to. You should like your noises. You know that. Yeah.

 

Bryan:              01:18:55 Yeah. I bet that’s beautiful. And I suspect someone listening is can they’re getting this, but I just want to call it out is, you know, there’s a tremendous amount of craft here and, and diligence and commitment, right? I mean this is not like you just had a whim one day. Like, Oh, this one I’m gonna do with my life. Like you have actually made a commitment, you’ve made an investment and, and whatever motivated that passion or you know, wherever, yeah. Inspiration, anything, desperation, desperation, inspiration, desperation. It’s a fine line sometimes, but that, but that you’ve done that and, and that, you know, the, there somebody once said there are no shortcuts, you know, as much as I love to think that spontaneous, right action, this effortless, this non doing, you know, how much has that been a principle that you’ve, that you’ve seen and how much really is that, you know, 1% inspiration and 99 perspiration.

 

James:              01:19:48 This is why flow is so important. And if you look at, um, what’s the woman’s name? Who’s done that book about grit?

 

Bryan:              01:19:55 Angela Duckworth.

 

James:              01:19:56 Yeah, exactly. Um, I’ve got a real issue with that book and her message, um, because, and she deals with flow at one point in it. Um, interestingly, but I think flow is the way, not grit. Grit is, it strikes me as kind of like, you know, some of the interviews about, you know, where these people that became great swimmers are saying and say, did you enjoy your practice? I’m like, no, it was really hard. Okay. Well if he’s, I mean don’t do that. And if you look at the rise of Superman, you know, Steven Kotler’s work on and the rise of Superman, he absolutely nails what flow is about. Um, but I think you need to have a sense of this thing that you’re going towards. Cause it’s definitely made sacrifices, not in a bad way, but you know, you make your choices. I wanted to, you know, I want to get good at climbing at the moment and so I don’t do other sports. I’ve got this friend who does lots of different things. I’m like, well, I, you know, I have a window sort of probably three windows a week to go do some sport and that works for me. That’s, you know, that’s okay for me. Um, I want to do, that’s the sport I want to do. Um, you know, with writing, you know, there were, there were times when I would work weekends, we didn’t have four kids. Um, you know, I’d work weekends or I would, you know, uh, I gave up pot to be honest, years ago, you know, friends would be there and they’d be doing their thing. I’d be like, no, I’ve got to do this. I’m going to do this stuff. And that’s kind of driving. Yeah. It’s finding something you think I want to do this thing. And then the way that I discovered the, the writing, you know, and the journalism was, I went to to night’s school and if you’re prepared to put your own time into something, if you prepare to do something for free, then you should try it and you can make some money from it too. That’s one of the challenges, right? You know, you need to work to, um, yeah, I, but then the known doing, I find writing hard, writing something in the moment for this, for this ido from, and I find it hard, but I also enjoy that. So that’s okay.

 

Bryan:              01:22:01 Yeah, that’s, that’s great. That totally resonates. I have this theory that writing never really gets easier as a practice. We get better, you know. But the act of putting your butt in a chair and, and doing the work.

 

James:              01:22:14 Well you learn the tricks that enable you to get it more to enjoy it kind of thing? I mean, definitely. My second book was, I, you know, once you’ve really lost it, and I remember my first book getting to a point after a sort of night, I use to do like double dates. I needed to get it done in super quick time. Um, my wife and child would stay with, um, she had one child at a time when stay with her mother and I would get up at like four in the morning and work through till lunchtime and then stop, eat, have a half asleep and then go out again and work again. So I could get like 14 hour days and this is not the best way to do it. I got like nine days in and said I just couldn’t do anything. And it was, I was deeply scared that I’d lost it. I hit writer’s block and that was it. And it took me about three days, um, and eating a lot of like pizza on the sofa, watching The Office and drinking booze to kind of break that. But once I broke it, I was like, oh, I can do this. And I know that if I get to the point where I just got that, you know, my tank is empty, take a break. It’s not clever. Yeah, it’s okay.

 

Bryan:              01:23:24 That makes sense. Okay. So my last two questions, one is Time and How to Spend It. Did it have a soundtrack? Meaning did you listen to music while you were writing? And if so, what was it?

 

James:              01:23:36 I can’t listen to music when I write. Um, because I used to be into hip hop when I was a boy and the problem is I listened to the, I listened to the words and like can’t have words going through my mind whilst also, I mean I’m in some old school hip hop, so you know, somebody, you know, they picked Daddy Kane or something, you know, if he, if he’s telling me he’s young, gifted and black. I can’t be, I can’t be thinking about a word. So when I work in a public place, I put Spotify on and put the kind of focus, um, classical music on types of stuff. Um, I can’t even listen to beats particularly I need to, um, it’s more I hop up and cafes can work for me, but yeah, sorry.

 

Bryan:              01:24:17 No, that’s, yeah, it’s more of a curiosity for me and part of recognizing we all have our own styles and preferences and when we find something, what I find is, you know, it works for awhile maybe, but in any way, it just is experimentation that I think every creative has and sometimes inspiration from others. So. Okay. So last question. So sometimes my experience is when we’re involved in the creative process, there’s the inner critic who can be really loud. And what I’m wondering is if you have a phrase or a mantra or a saying or something that’s maybe short, snappy that people listening could choose maybe to write on an index card or a post it note, put it by the writing space so that when that inner critic speaks up, they can choose your words instead, something related to the creative process or that little you can do it kind of thing. Is there something like that that you might offer our listeners?

 

James:              01:25:15 How about this, don’t worry, it will all be over soon anyway.

 

Bryan:              01:25:20 I like it. I like it. Don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon anyways

 

James:              01:25:27 Because it’s the unbearable lightness of being actually the incredible liberating aspects of the fact that we’re dust, we’re a couple of monkeys jumping around on a tiny planet in the furthest reaches of who knows what in the galaxy, there’s nothing going on here. And we’ve been around for a few seconds. We will all be dead in seconds to, um, you know, you think about the earth, it’s a big place. And we are on the surface with just on the says every day and we jump up like flies in these planes to go somewhere to do nothing. Human Culture, human culture is this blip, you know, is the foster cultures comedy. Um, although that, you know, obviously your children, my children, they matter deeply to you. And to me, none of it really matters.

 

Bryan:              01:26:16 Yeah. I’m so present to how that can both be how, again, this is kind of the framing we choose on the mat, you know, the story and the whole getting out of the hole that we can choose to take that insight and find despair about it or liberation from it though, you know?

 

James:              01:26:32 Yeah. It’s the choice because we’ll just sparing is like, there’s no meaning. So why get out of bed and you know, existential act is fine. I get it. But then what are you going to do? And I think this is what nature drove nature kind of crazy, isn’t it? Right. And you know, arguably smarter that way. Certainly smarter than me. I don’t want to say he’s smarter than you, but you know, um, you know, the whole nailism thing. Well, what are you going to say? Go out with some friends. Go have some fun. Oh

 

Bryan:              01:27:03 Yeah. Well, I have, I’ve really enjoyed this and I’m really grateful to you for going longer than, than we planned and making time. Thank you.

 

James:          01:27:11 Really great question. Is there any fun.