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192: Where Are We Going – The Goals Episode (Sort Of)
Welcome to Recovery (Sort Of), the podcast where we explore the winding paths of mental health recovery. Join us on a journey of self-discovery and growth, as we navigate the highs, lows, and unexpected detours of the recovery process. From managing anxiety and depression to coping with trauma and grief, each episode delves into real-life experiences, insights, and practical strategies for finding balance and healing.
We are talking about goals on this episode of the Recovery (Sort Of) Podcast. Billy and Jason explore their history with goals, what setting and attempting to attain goals felt like, and where they are with goals in their current lives. Is choosing to set intentions instead of goals a more useful way to strive? Listen in as we talk about goals and then share your thoughts with us.
In this episode:
How to find us and join the conversation:
Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recoverysortof/message
We are talking about goals on this episode of the Recovery (Sort Of) Podcast. Billy and Jason explore their history with goals, what setting and attempting to attain goals felt like, and where they are with goals in their current lives. Is choosing to set intentions instead of goals a more useful way to strive? Listen in as we talk about goals and then share your thoughts with us.
In this episode:
How to find us and join the conversation:
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
[Music] welcome back it’s recovery sort of I am Jason a guy that probably doesn’t have very good goals and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery and we’re talking about setting goals today and and what goals are in the future and holy [ ] yeah this is going to be interesting because I feel like a lot of where I’m moving towards in my life is more I don’t like to say buddhisty in nature but more mindful more present more let’s be here in the moment and not worry as much about the past in the future because those things [ ] me up a lot and make me feel bad um but that doesn’t really exist in a vacuum either as you know Dave always reminds us when he’s here right if I’m driving down the street I need to worry about that tree um yeah and just you know thinking of like my family like my daughters now or like graduating and just the concept of like oh they’re getting ready to start new chapters in their lives whatever that may be right you know whether that’s them going and starting careers or getting their own families or doing whatever but they’re now like I guess I would say full-fledged adults and so it’s like wow like these are that’s a whole new chapter in my life getting ready to open up and there has something there has been something very beautiful about going back and looking at a lot of their childhood stuff we pulled out old pictures we were telling stories and just talking about all the good times we have together and just looking at some of that stuff man my heart just like it’s so uh makes me happy you know what I mean it’s so there is some past reflection that can be good you know and like healthy and us all together as a family like I don’t know what you call that reinforcing like our love and commitment and connection with each other um but I know that can be unhealthy too you know when it gets into some weird Nostalgia remembering yeah yeah well and and I think you know what was the word re-committing no what’d you just say oh we’re gonna reaffirming yeah I don’t know what I don’t think any of them but anyway all those ideas and like I don’t think there’s necessarily anything bad about the past or the future it’s more just for me in particular and I’m sure other people like me it tends to come with a story right and my stories in my head don’t usually spout roses and butterflies at the ends right there they’re usually really bad um and just trying to stay out of that has been useful for me so it’s interesting to try to have this conversation around goals because I know as I’m moving forward I also want to achieve certain things I mean maybe not you know wealth or or anything like that but like I have some goals about what I’d like my life to look like or even preferences of where I’d prefer to end up over some other place that could probably still be okay with but if I don’t get to putting any thought or intentions or actions into those goals I’m not going to end up there so how do I think about these and it’s funny so that whole premise of you know living just for today and all that that we learned about you know when we got into recovery like I never struggled with that at all because that is how I lived most of my life right um and on purpose like I was just like oh [ ] I don’t know where I’m gonna be tomorrow I don’t know what I’m gonna be doing I didn’t like to commit to [ ] I was like this is just what I’m doing for now and it might change late and I was completely fine living that way uh the downside to that is all the stuff you were kind of just talking about it’s like when it came to school it’s like I’m in school so I’m doing this now but I don’t give a [ ] about my future so I’m not you know maybe investing in areas that I should be or maybe looking at things that might be important a couple of years down the road I wasn’t using any kind of foresight it was just I’m just doing whatever I feel like doing at this moment and I’ll worry about later later um and then of course that came with various legal issues you know getting later in my life being like oh [ ] if I would have went to college maybe things would be different you know and uh even as a you know young man married with kids in a family getting into a career there was just never much thought you know it’s like when a job came up I’m like well yeah I’ll take that job like it’s an opportunity so whatever there was never any thought of like well what’s this job gonna look like in five years or 10 years or 20 years or do I want to spend the rest of my life here or do I want to do something different it’s always just been well this is just what I’m doing because this is what’s in front of me and I’m not gonna look any further than that it’s been a point of contention with my wife and I actually she’s been like it’s really hard with you because you don’t set goals you know even when we bought this house it’s like well we don’t want to stay here forever and she’s like well what’s that mean like how many years is not forever it’s like well not a hundred right but you know what is that five is it ten is it right you know when the kids move out like what is like I don’t know it’s just now right and so that vagueness and that inability to you know set goals has caused issues for me in my life and I think part of it is to me goals are commitments they’re not something that’ll work a striving you know right moving towards it’s like that’s a [ __ ] commitment now that I’m gonna do that and the thought of falling short or failing at that goal has been too overwhelming you know to make it to make it feasible to set realistic well I will only set goals that I know are easily attainable I won’t challenge myself or set goals that might seem hard right
just thinking about that idea like one the way you described it was different than my experience of of that which is interesting and I do want to get into that but just this this idea of like the vagueness protecting me and I feel like it kind of protects me in an opposite way like I don’t think
you phrase it differently we’re probably saying the same [ ] but you’re saying like oh God I I don’t want to fail at meeting a goal but it was very like separate almost like the milk spilled you know what I mean like and mine is like oh that’s just a [ ] ton of work I have to do and I’m not doing all that like setting a goal and you’re like oh commitment I’m like yeah commitment perseverance all these spiritual principles we talked about and they all sound like work because it’s hard and that’s just too much um well that’s because I’m an egomatic I feel like I can do anything so everything’s achievable it’s just do I want to do it or I’m always like I’m competent enough to do anything but the work yeah I probably can’t count on myself for that portion of it yeah but just just thinking through that idea of like um you lived in today right and I don’t know how this works out scientifically or if they measured your brain and my brain and saw what was active and which points but I just read research recently that was talking about this idea that we aren’t always present only when we’re living right so basically in order to take in the information that’s going on and what they did they had people watch movies and in order to take in any particular scene from a movie into the entire context of the entire movie they had to relate it to parts of their life at different times when they had been through similar things or this that and the other so while they were watching movies what was happening is our memory store Banks of like old situations are playing at the same time basically which is giving a feel of the past experience which if it was not good or dangerous or traumatic or whatever that’s what’s also being re-experienced during the present experience of that same familiar thing and so it’s like that’s what I feel it makes a lot of sense to me now I’m like yeah yeah I feel Doom and Gloom every time anything happens right that’s right um but I feel like that has has jaded me from wanting to look at the future of the past because they all lead to that same story of every time I fail failed and all the energy I don’t have to do the things because of depression or whatever we want to call it and like so my story every time I think about goals or is generally move the [ __ ] away from thinking about goals because that’s taking you to how you’re going to fail in the future and you don’t want to think of that huh it’s taking you to where life’s not going to work out just like it hasn’t worked out all along so far and and all those stories that keep going in my head and like so that’s just a dangerous place for me and it’s funny because I get to the failure Point too but for a different in a different path right but it leads to failure that’s right and me hating myself right right that’s fascinating yeah I don’t know if this ties in or not but it feels interesting and it’s so my brain so I’m gonna bring it in um another article I read recently was talking about this idea that people they showed people this collage of like I guess what you would call a nostalgic or a memorable like you know photo collage that would bring up things for you little video clips inspirational music all that wonderful stuff some people at the end of that just generally don’t feel lonelier from it right and they kind of measured all those people in the fmri again and all the parts of their brains that are feeling that not lonely feeling light up alike in all those people but then all the people who came out of that experience and said they did feel some loneliness afterwards they all get in the fmri and all of them are lonely differently so now the people who have this experience maybe of having more loneliness in the world we can’t even go find other lonely people because that makes us feel even lonelier
yeah and that’s just like such a [ ] up isolating yes and I was like wow so lonely people are all uniquely lonely basically and that’s like that’s a [ ] up thing but it made me think I mean it makes sense for the way I feel that’s for sure I’m like Christ I meet these people who feel like outcasts and then I talk to them long enough and I’m like yeah [ ] I’m weirder than you too even outcast weirdos that’s no but I I don’t know how much that feeling has played into this past and future story too or if it does I don’t know I’m probably just getting this off topic yeah not for me so I mean I I don’t know I yeah the lonely is a whole weird thing because I’m a person that likes to be around other people now I probably could be alone with myself more than ever but yeah there was a time in my life where I didn’t I had to be around people but that more had to do with I hated myself well and it’s weird because I feel like my experience of loneliness has nothing to do with the amount of people around and I think we’ve talked about yeah this show at different times but like I’m cool with being alone nobody’s asking me to do anything then I’m like oh man all the pressure’s off I can do what the [ ] I want being alone is great being lonely which is a feeling that hits me whenever the [ ] it doesn’t matter how many people in fact it seems to hit a lot more often when there is large groups of people because then it’s like in my face oh I don’t have nothing to say to these people this is so weird you know I don’t know but anyway back to goals um so yeah so recently I have been more uh attuned to setting goals looking at goals and and as you know I’m getting older I’m like so you know I am getting probably halfway through my life if not further past midlife and like what do I want to do now I have some freedom to do what the [ ] I want to do I feel like and uh yeah so I’ve been looking at setting some goals and you know one of them being like I want to be retired by the time I’m 60 I don’t want to work for another 20 years of my life I don’t want to work for another 15 years of my life you know it’s and that isn’t against anyone or anything it’s just I have values in my life that I think are important one of those is being out and around nature uh one of those is living a more sustainable type lifestyle a little more minimalist a little more like self supporting self-sustaining um and in my current state of life I can’t do those things or not to the level that I would like and so I’m like all right well if I really want to do those things I feel like they call to my heart you know what do I need to do to get in position for that and so it’s been interesting because it’s uh motivating in a way that I’ve never experienced before um to actually because I’m not bad at setting really short term goals like I’m pretty good at saying like oh we’re gonna redo the [ ] living room and I want to have it done in two weeks or a month or like that shit’s easy um yeah it’s the more long-term more uh life-oriented type of goals you know looking at like my mayor what are my marriage goals what are my family goals be in a marriage like not get divorced like that’s the goal you know but that doesn’t go ever so well with my wife she doesn’t always like that approach like she has more specific goals that she would like us to see in our marriage just uh just a little outside feedback for you and and maybe other listeners would think the same thing like that statement of that’s easy really could be said you’re really good at that because there’s not a lot of people who are really good at saying I want to get this thing done in my house in the next two weeks and I’m committed and I’m going to or like those that you’re calling short-term goals are easy that’s really really [ ] hard billion like you’re good at it well some of it’s obsessive compulsive okay but some of it’s not I mean I’ve gotten better at that stuff too yeah I don’t think yeah we’re just talking about this idea of like long-term goals and thinking it through I think one of the things that just came up when you said this is that most long-term goals in my mind that I can think of involve needing money you know well one of the goals that it would be mean a lot to me would be if I could have a little bit of land somewhere that had some tiny homes on it for me my loved ones if they wanted to live there whatever that’s a lot of money yeah and I live in a I live in a system where like that’s not everybody’s goal in my system that’s for sure I don’t even know if it’s my wife’s goal it might be but like I don’t have the ability to just say hey we have this goal let’s cut back on our spending so we can save and actually reach it and attain it and move towards it because my entire adult life has not felt like there’s been the ability to save because of I want to say the environment around me the environment I helped to create like whether that’s the fact that I have five kids and they call still out or whether that’s the person I chose to marry or or whatever it is it feels like we don’t generally we spend what we make whatever level we’re at we seem to have done that since we started together and it’s like such a hard I guess thinking about goals I ended up getting frustrated and so I just say never mind like that’s going to lead to divorce never mind the goal is to stay married right yeah
but that does that does leave me feeling like a level of
what’s that word I’m looking for a lack of self-efficacy to work towards the things I want in my life right and I get it like we’re we’re a family and we’ve got to give some give and take there and some compromise but yeah I think that’s one of the things that maybe this is my journey towards being able to do the goals like you’re talking about in your life like right now it’s being able to speak up more more and say hey this is something I’m kind of interested in and like these behaviors I see in our household prevent us from ever even taking that on and can we just look at that can we start there that’s interesting you know so we had uh was peed on about the financial management stuff and so that is a newer Concept in my life of like actually having what I would call discretionary income not sort of live in paycheck to paycheck and again it’s it’s always hard because she calls so much well and I could look back at my life and say look over the years we splurged money here here and here we could have taken that money and put it away instead of taking ex-vacation or do an X thing or whatever um and that’s at the time you know my wife would make the arguments like look we can’t just [ ] work our life away and then try to save money and Hope that later down the road that that’s going to pay off for us and then we get 15 years down the road and somebody’s sick or whatever we never use that money or and I hate to say we say [ ] it because it’s not [ ] it but you just say we’re going to live our life now and do what we need to do now and we used to fight about that because I didn’t want to take any vacations or do anything I wanted to take all our money and put it away because I felt so financially stressed right and so maybe that’s why I wasn’t able to think about long-term goals because everything led to failure because we weren’t really putting any money away and everything takes money and now you know we’re at a point 20 years later into our careers that we’ve invested in our lives that you know money’s not as big of an issue for us anymore and our kids are getting older and we probably won’t have to support them for the rest of their lives maybe maybe not but you know either way I’ve been able to start putting a lot more money into their like retirement and some you know we’re like getting in position to talk to like tax people and we did like wills and like all this adult [ ] that’s like planning for the future and I’m like oh my God this is like such weird adult planning [ ] but I’ve never like so in the past when we’ve talked about a will I’m like what do I need a will if I’m gonna leave somebody on my debt like they’re gonna get that [ ] anyway you don’t need a wheel for that and [ ] people you owe the money to are gonna go after something right you know they’re going after something um right now I’m starting to acquire things stuff but Christ has taken 48 years to get there yeah it’s uh money’s a tricky one you know I I think part of my my money issues is just how expensive everything has gotten for one I mean that that puts a damper in anybody trying to save anything and you know the the yeah there’s a lot of environmental problems in our society that keep people from being able to to get enough money to even meet their needs much less do any more than that um but then there’s also you know kind of what we talked about in our last episode like this advertising this this Unity of purpose and capitalism to make money um which requires a lot of people to spend it and and like just the little things along the way you know oh this thing that we could probably use in our house or God we we need a oven toaster toaster oven air fryer and something else microwave too right like holy [ ] do we really it’s gonna make things easier save us time we’re gonna be able to eat healthier yeah except the time it takes to mount all those things and put them in and replace them when they break and clean them and upkeep them and it’s like yeah a lot of these these modern conveniences don’t seem as time saving and that’s where I’m just kind of moving away from doing as much um that’s what has felt like it is an attainable goal for me to some respect like I have the ability to set goals for my own personal internal landscape and environment which is where I’ve been putting most of my energy lately I think um like what do I want this to be first like let me get the house in order right and then the World falls into place I guess um and that’s felt really useful like okay uh a goal of mine was I don’t want anyone else to be responsible for my feelings that’s my job and that goal has paid off [ ] very well for me because I have like shown up and taken on the responsibility and what it leads to is I walk away from a lot of situations that I’m dealing with people in my family that I love and I feel [ ] good about it I didn’t yell at them I didn’t belittle them I didn’t tell them they were less than human or not doing something well I just said hey this thing doesn’t feel good can can we work on doing something different that feels good for all of us does it like and it’s just so much nicer and like that side of goal setting has been much nicer for me lately like the internal part to you do you feel like you said internal goals or is that I feel like that’s something I don’t necessarily think about I wasn’t thinking about before this episode [Music] I guess not specifically in the way that you’re talking about and what I tripped in my head of course while you were talking was like yeah like 12-step Fellowship stuff is terrible for goal setting you know go get through the 12 Steps right get through the 12 Steps don’t use this commitment like but there’s no real long-term goal setting and it’s not even a premise that’s yeah you know talked about like it it’s in fact it’s almost frowned upon you know and so I would say yes I’ve had some like personal goals I and it it’s more not enough I would call them goals as much as it’s been identification of issues you know Character defects or shortcomings whatever you want to call them that are causing harm in my life and then finding alternatives to that you know so it wasn’t paraphrased as much in goal setting but it’s like hey this is a problem I don’t like the way that I act when I’m doing this let’s look at some other ways to do something different you know you know and that stuff’s always come fairly easily it’s for me it’s always been more the external stuff you know like well where do you want to live in five years 10 years 20 years what do you want your marriage to look like in five years 10 years 20 years you know what do you want your uh financial situation to look like and you know well of course I want to live somewhere beautiful and be rich and be happily married like who doesn’t want that you know but it’s like well that’s I mean that’s not goal setting you know what I mean just doing that and saying I just want to be married isn’t setting marriage goals no but I think that’s what we’re doing in our society through subliminal messaging and not not I’m look I am not the one saying there’s people behind closed doors writing out the scripts or none of that I’m not talking about the Illuminati but I’m talking about if I own a company and I want to sell something or if I’m a Believer in Christianity and I want to you know put those morals out into the world very similarly to how we do with the podcast like we have a belief in a way of being and we want to put it out there in the world right but I think we’re a little more overt about it and we’ll tell you that’s a that’s what we’re doing um but yeah I mean you just think of like Disney movies and stuff right like they had messaging subliminally in them I don’t know that it was malicious it was trying to tell a story but I mean a lot of us got that message of yeah you know you need a partner to feel good and you grow up and you have kids and you get the white picket fence in the house and the job and all the and like that’s what you do and I think we’re all have just been kind of subconsciously just working towards that what job can I get that pays the most right oh this one pays two dollars more I’ll jump over there I’ll jump to this one that’s five dollars more whatever and then where can I fit with that amount it’s not really like the conscious what do I need to get by what parts of this do I want or not it’s just I’ll make as much as I can and then from there I’ll figure out my place in society and I’ll own the stuff those people own and they’re like I’m like all right that’s terrible goals we’re all doing the same [ ] and miserable yeah just follow the path someone else laid out and that’s your goals yeah right and I kind of feel like that’s how we’re living um you said you were talking about the goals and and in the program and that’s interesting I’m thinking almost like where I don’t want to say Goals would be poo pooed on but I guess a little bit right you start talking about something you want to achieve and like the difficulty and the process of getting there and maybe maybe even the confusion from the starting point of like I don’t know which way to start on this path and you might be met with a man that’s too much it’s just for today relax take it easy tonight you know what I mean you know and there’s some truth to that but at the same time that doesn’t give you any sense of direction for how to move forward yeah well and I think it’s like most of these [ ] Concepts we learn about even that premise of living just for today isn’t intended to be like an All or Nothing every moment every situation always live just for today you know what I mean it’s like that’s like a good like there’s a middle path there of like don’t stress and worry and try to figure everything out for the whole rest of your life like that’s bad but like never thinking about your future or planning for anything is just as bad you know like if I just be like I don’t [ ] I don’t know if I’m eating tomorrow or not I’m just gonna get up and see what’s in the fridge and well you got a [ ] plan to go to the store and get food at some point like you can’t just do what you you know wake up each day and take it like tomorrow doesn’t matter 100 right I was picturing like Saturday evening being in the meeting and being like I haven’t eaten today because I got paid yesterday and I lived just for today yesterday and spent it all right today could somebody help and that was an argument I would actually make with my wife sometimes about stuff I’m like you know if we make all these you know plans and do all this stuff you know how do we stay like just for today you know how do we be just in the now you know playing and theorizing what our future is going to look like limits what we’re doing right this moment I feel like if we could all just like kind of wake up and open our eyes we would see that marriages are the perfect compliment to send us down the middle path if we could just do it like I’m always on one end my wife’s always on the other and if we could just realize we’re always just supposed to come in the middle like there’s something good about what you’re saying and there’s something good about what I’m saying we just got to do them in the right proportions like I’m trying to do it 100 of the time you’re trying to do yours 100 of time and if we just did each of them a little less we’d probably meet in a nice place that was good for all of us and it’s just like long-term goals you know long-term goals like that’s it’s like a like a bullseye to shoot for and it’s taken my wife to explain this to me a lot it’s like that’s a bullseye that you’re shooting for but if you come close like that’s good enough and maybe you Veer off along that path and that’s good too it just gives you like Direction and purpose as to you know where you’re going um and it’s super helpful for that and I’ve always just been like man I don’t know you know and maybe that should be the title of this episode where are we going right because like not so much in the goal setting format but I feel like that’s that’s the place I’ve been at in my life lately is this reevaluation of like what the [ ] have I been doing basically what have I been living what have I been living by like what kind of code am I been following what and and it’s not working out I don’t I haven’t felt that great historically so like what else do I need to do and what kind of things do I need to switch up and just living a more like mindful or intentional existence I feel like has opened me up to what you’re talking about this idea of like maybe more self-reflection and and more looking at some of these things I’ve been so staunchly in support of my whole life and like why maybe I can back away from them and find some other [ ] that works feels better afterwards you know yeah and like we’ve been talking you know my wife and I recently about like we have we know a lot of things that we like and we like to do you know being out in nature and all that stuff we’re like well how do we we need to build that into our life instead of just like waiting for it to happen or waiting for free time like let’s make that a goal is that at least you know once a month or twice a month we go on Hikes or we set a destination or you know whatever or um you know the idea of like having a a date night in the week is like really it’s not necessarily the date night per se it’s like that’s setting a goal of like we’re gonna try to connect as a couple and put our relationship you know some somewhere into this life thing because if you don’t you just live by default it’s like well we see each other every night you know in bed at nine o’clock when we’re tired and ready to go to sleep so that’s good enough you know let’s see each other all the time you know we wake up next to each other we live together God damn I don’t see anybody more than you right but it’s like so much of the interactions just become uh transactional or become you know practical [ ] who’s getting the kids who’s making dinner how are we taking care of this what about that bill and then you know all of a sudden we’re like our marriage you know isn’t great yeah and if that happens with our careers and everything you know it’s like we don’t have any kind of goal or a direction or a purpose that we’re shooting for so we just fall into a I don’t know what you call it a mundane routines well and and this came up for me when I was trying to figure out you were talking about goals and I was like what the [ ] were my goals early in recovery what was I missing there and and like what I think was my goal was the same as it was when I was using avoid pain that’s it that was the only goal avoid pain right and and what I’m picturing as you’re talking about this marriage thing is I’m walking through the world and my only goal is like just not be in pain right so there’s going to be places and people and situations in the world that ask things of me right my my job is going to do that people at meetings are telling me to be of service all these places are saying yeah Jason we need you to do this and and I don’t want to be in pain and pain to me is people looking at me negatively or telling me I didn’t do enough or I didn’t do what I was supposed to do so [ ] I better do all those things people are asking of me but then at home where I I have a more comfortable level of acceptance right these people aren’t going to shun me they love me right then I’m more willing to push back against when they’re asking for all the things because I’m already doing all the goddamn things I ain’t got no time for these things at home right so it’s like in the in the goal of avoiding pain what I actually created was a [ ] ton of disconnection in my own family and a lot more pain overall trying to avoid these little pain spots where people might judge me or look at me or I might feel yucky about saying no to somebody about and like that’s where my reevaluation has come in so maybe this is a gold thing for me too right to move away at least from the goal of avoiding pain I’ll I’ll I’m leaning into pain right that’s what my meditation tells me you feel something [ ] lean into it see what happens and that has allowed me to come up with different goals of like what is it that really matters to me how do I want to treat these people in my house what do I want to say yes I know to right and I say no to a lot now because I like being at home with the people in my house man it’s nice yeah and you know there is something that uh like the nervous system stuff you know we’ve talked a lot about like when our nervous systems are excited and we’re under all this anxiety and everything else there is something to like I can’t even begin to think or look at like the future or deal with any of that [ ] when my anxieties at like 11 all the time like and that’s probably for me most of what my issues have been around like anxiety and always feeling on edge and always feeling like everything is about to fall apart you know and that’s including in recovery with years clean you know long time clean still feeling like even though like I had a job and we were living it’s like any moment all this is gonna [ ] fall apart at any moment you know something bad’s gonna happen and we’re gonna have to be able to adjust and that idea of like setting goals was like felt like useless you know what I mean because something will happen and I’ll have to react to that and I can’t be you know stuck but now I think I’ve finally got into a place in my life where I’ve been able to develop some faith that yeah things are gonna happen and it’s gonna be okay we’ll figure it out you know and um figuring out some tools to like deal with like anxiety you know and bring my nervous system down to be like huh yeah wouldn’t be bad to like have something that I’m shooting for in the future whether I get there or not is okay but when I’m always living at that place where my anxiety is super high or my nervous system is ramped up like that feels like a useless waste of [ ] energy yeah yeah no and I I’m I’m on board with this idea like this is what I’ve been thinking and has been happening to me too right this this nervous system dysregulation has kept me in this state and like dude I’m telling you when they teach you this they’re like oh yeah you get this regulated half an hour later you calm down whatever and I’m like this is my life this is 24 hours a day I’m always dooming everything is regulated I mean I’m always disrupted right right and so you know thinking about that example I was talking about earlier where the the member of a program might say to live just for today when we’re trying to figure out a path to go on there was so much pressure on me because every path felt like a losing path every path had a direction where somebody was going to be upset or disappointed or I was going to fail or fall short and like that never left me feeling like I had a ability to chase any goals much less do anything I just felt stuck all the goddamn time miserable and so like yeah this idea of just being able to to lean into things or calm my nervous system down through breathing and relax that and it’s not always this rigid black or white this is how it’s got to be kind of like you were talking about the arguments in my marriage right like yeah we can’t spend any money and my wife’s over here but we gotta live and like I’m like no it’s black and white we save every [ ] penny right like that’s never gonna produce at least in my mind I don’t believe that black and white space is ever going to produce happiness or anything that feels free or open or peaceful or calm or content to me and like that’s what I’ve been trying to move away from and the more I move away from it the more peace and common content I feel it’s like ever it’s funny you say you said something there that reminded me like for me the issues around like setting goals so many times have to do with I’m gonna pick the wrong goal and there is a right goal that I should have that I just don’t know what it is yet as soon as I figure out the rightest of right goals because I don’t want to waste my energy on the wrong [ ] goal I mean then it’s a wasted energy and then figuring out like there’s not a brightest of right go like right you know what I mean it’s just a direction like it’s just like a path it’s not the end-all be-all of my existence so I don’t I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of that version but my version says that it doesn’t matter what goal I set because I’m gonna make a decision somewhere that’s the wrong decision for five or ten years from now and then it’s gonna all be [ ] yeah because I can’t get all the decisions right so yeah mine’s like I’m gonna invest all this time and energy to get that goal only to realize it’s fun it’s the wrong one I found it kind of fascinating when you when we started the episode you were talking about you know your kids graduating and then that that sort of had led you to lead more or think more about your own goals and I found that fascinating thinking about like our children or our loved ones coming to this age where maybe they’re gonna start setting more of their life intentions or goals I like the idea of intentions better maybe we should do intentions over goals that sounds nicer um but that that like spurred that up in you too and I I was like is that there’s more room for it and it was kind of going back to what you were just saying how we were so anxious and there wasn’t space for anything and I’m wondering you know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs if we’re in a survival headset of anxiety and depression there’s not much room to think about anything else except surviving those emotions right that’s a survival space and then once we can calm that nervous system there’s more space like oh I can move up to higher level needs like self-actualization or whatever the [ ] that means right like being able to be who I want to be and I was curious if that was the same idea like oh now I can stop worrying about that initial parenting portion of these two kids and they’re gonna go do their thing and now I have more space to kind of not be so busy day in and day out just getting all the things done and now I have space to think about what do I want in my life and yeah I think that is a lot of it um a lot of my life I’m trying to think how to say this most of my life I’ve wanted kids I’ve wanted to be a parent probably for the wrong reasons although I still think I’m a good parent but you know just always wanting to have kids and then getting on at me like [ ] this is a lot of work you know we were joking looking through pictures we’re like you know there’s tons of pictures of like our first daughter and then not near as many of our second daughter right and or it’s a lot of them like together and it’s like yeah because you’re taking care of two small [ ] kids like it’s hard to be able to like oh get the camera you know like you’re [ ] now you’re like one person with two little things running around and you know taking pictures and all that [ ] like you’re going into survival mode you don’t think of pictures as much and you don’t feel like you need to capture every moment as much because it doesn’t feel quite as authentic the second time around
and what I was thinking when you just were talking about that is this idea that like we have all these pictures right The Smiling picture in front of the monument and the running around in the backyard and the board game night right but like all the [ ] work we do along the way we don’t ever get pictures of diaper changes and feedings and like tendon to Bruises like the amount of hours we’ve spent tending to these little people is incredible yeah so yeah I think that’s part of it is like now they’re adults and they’ve been pretty adulting you know the last couple years of their lives I mean they’ve been driving they do a lot for the family you know they help a lot but it’s just the sense maybe more just uh eye-opening realization that like holy [ ] I’m not really responsible for them anymore I mean I have a little bit of influence and a little bit of input right you know but all in all they’re [ ] their own people doing their own thing like that shit’s not up to me anymore yeah even if I wanted to be right right how do you feel like it it feels if we were to never set a goal again but talk about intentions would that feel I feel like that feels initially just way better for my body as soon as I say intentions I’m like oh that feels nice yeah I mean it sounds better yeah I don’t know I guess for me to the idea of goal is more rigid than an intention yeah like goal feels a little more uh tangible yeah you know and something that’s measurable well and I think a goal in my mind assumes like some work that I maybe don’t want to do like some hard stuff to get there whereas an intention is more like I’m just gonna try to do something I like that way better from that description I I guess I felt like when I say intention I feel more of what you’ve been describing that Jen’s been trying to tell you like this idea of like hey we can set this and not make it there like intention feels like yeah totally I can set that and not get there and that’s fine probably a better word yeah for those things I wonder goals is a capitalism word I bet we need goals bottom lines that’s what we need for sports people yeah more production huh yeah but if you’re overly competitive or overly perfectionistic like me it’s a like a trigger word yeah so so if we were to use intentions as our word instead does that feel like it changes any of the things you’ve set up in your mind as goals right lately like does that make it open more just on feeling yes so if I said my intention is to retire by the time I’m 60. that’s just like meh but if I say my goal is to retire by the time I’m 60 like that’s it’s it feels more like a hard line you know what I mean right and if I don’t get there I’m I can still be okay with that but it definitely feels like a bigger commitment yeah and I guess I’m almost feeling like maybe not that our understanding of intention is wishy-washy but not just like we’ve kind of taken a colloquial mine is wishy-washy we’ve taken it colloquially to mean like oh yeah I have a vague idea of a thing yes as opposed to like okay I set the intention that I want to be a more loving father and for me that means that throughout my day I am more intentionally paying paying attention to what I’m doing and trying to do that so like it involves a level of commitment to living intentionally you know what I mean and kind of showing up in situations and stopping and saying what like kind of like what you’ve told me all this time like stopping and saying what do I want to practice here how do I want this scenario to run like who is this person across from me wait a minute that’s my son why the [ ] am I yelling right like those kind of things like to me setting an intention means I’m setting up a life that is going to be intentional so I guess that feels like it’s not as wishy-washy for me or not as vague or just this idea of like oh yeah I got an intention I I don’t think of intention as a thought anymore whereas I used to for me it’s more about the practice of like being Mindful and present yeah and I simulate goal with like drive or like pushing you know maybe this is where I get hung up with it it’s like you think of like the football player and there’s the goal and he’s got the ball and he’s gonna plow through you know six other 300 pound men to try to get away right you know he’s gonna run into adversity an obstacle but he’s going to push through he is but was he being intentional about avoiding injury when he made those collisions was he like making sure to bend his body in the right way to be able to do that for a longer period like there’s so much more to being intentional than there is to just the goal I feel like the goal ignores a guy with intention gets tackled at the one and he lives to 80 because he doesn’t have brain damage at 50 right like that’s what I’m saying like maybe that act maybe I don’t think you’re wrong I actually think you’re spot on and that’s possibly where because right is that goals are these things that we say [ __ ] anything that gets in our way of getting there including animal life the world human life our own life right it’s all about reaching this thing in spite of the consequences and like maybe that’s where I like the intentional living better right think through the cooking consequences what am I doing or looking at like the way we were using that we’re yeah it’s interesting to think of the ways I assimilate there’s in the differences between intentions and gold I feel like our world gives a lot of uh
I don’t know the word I want to use here but it just talks like the idea of goals or success it’s all this very masculine dominate takeover or power kind of concept and like that is not what I’m feeling like since this whole thing has happened in my life like it is in yours right now maybe it’s just because we’re in our 40s I don’t know but yeah I don’t feel like need to be any of that to be a man like none of that really calls to what I think of as like the things that make me I don’t want to say special but like like the reason people like being around me I don’t think it’s because any of those power or goal driven or like things well and there are it’s almost like we learn about Character defects it’s like you know Character defects being assets that have run amok that’s what I’ve come to understand is this you know toxic masculinity which I try to avoid using those ideas because they have so much weird cultural [ __ ] affiliated with them right at the moment but the idea is like it’s it shouldn’t be bad that like men are typically like strong and that they’re you know can persevere and those kind of things it becomes that toxic masculinity when it’s like transfers over to like the harmful you know what I mean transfers over to the like sports and being competitive and all that’s fine but not when you’re like cheating and trying to hurt your opponents or trying to do any of that you know so it’s like our society is almost celebrated like the bad parts of masculinity instead of the good parts you know yeah I I haven’t thought through this entire concept yet but just uh like on the base value I really don’t know that competition is good for us in any way shape or form it celebrates the few near the top and diminishes the rest and that doesn’t feel very good for anybody I don’t think I’m not sure competing is good [Music] everything
[Music] I don’t know I would I had to say I love sports and I’ll go out and play and like it’s not it’s definitely not good when it’s unhealthy but it’s you do learn Concepts about like failing and falling short and you’re not gonna be the winner every time and and so that’s where like I think you know things in competition get lost it’s like winning at all cost is terrible too you know like like that’s the bad side of it isn’t in here it should be done in a spirit of like enjoyment of the sport or fun or whatever I don’t know that there is enjoyment if there’s competition yeah I don’t know I I’m saying I’m going to lean in because people like when we argue so we’re actually disagreeing we’re gonna argue that um I guess I’m just picturing like what what positive is born out of wanting to
succeed over another right to succeed alongside another sure but to succeed over another feels like it breeds negativity and also goes away from what we were just talking about in our last episode the importance of anonymity is that it has this ability to create equality and level the playing field and all competition destroys equality there’s no more equality after you’ve competed one person is Superior or one team is superior that’s probably somewhat true I don’t think that feels good in our bodies personally well what’s interesting at least and you can go into all kinds of different sports but what’s interesting at least is in that moment on that day they were Superior you can have the same Guys box each other four times and one guy wins twice and one guy the other guy wins twice you know and so who’s Superior there or maybe one guy wins three times but then the other guy wins the fourth time you know after they’ve competed a couple of times so I to me it’s more about like challenging yourself to be your best at any skill or practice or whatever it is that you want to do if it’s a team sport it’s are you able to function well with others are you developing skills that allow you all to be at your best how do you pick up the guys that aren’t maybe being at their best what do you do when you’re not at your best um you know so there’s a lot of that that goes into it the other thing is what do you do when you lose you know what I mean what kind of team person are you when you fall short maybe you have put everything a hundred [ __ ] percent of what you have everything in your being has went into that competition and you lost that other guy was better than you on that day or the refs yeah yeah or somebody cheated
yeah but like how do you process that like there’s a healthy way like as a kid I never process any of that in a healthy way and like with my kids though in sports I’ve always pushed them to be in sports and you know encourage them to be a competitive because I think there is some healthy aspects of it to be like hey man we fell short there’s they were just better than us today and that’s fine it doesn’t that doesn’t devalue you as a human being because someone else threw the ball harder than you or hit the ball farther than you or you made a mistake and they got some runs like you made a mistake hey happens to everybody you know and I think all those are like healthy lessons that we can learn in a what I’ll call a play environment that then hopefully we take out into the world at our job where it’s like oh we need to you know be a part of this whatever sales team but our sales team sucked and our business went under you know is that a reflection on you as a human being or did you just go and do the best that you can and maybe make some mistakes and do you learn and grow from you know hmm okay so there’s a lot in there um one you mentioned early on and this is just kind of a technicality that It prepares people for losing you get more used to it you know what to do you’re better able to adjust to losing but in a world without competition we wouldn’t need to learn how to lose because you wouldn’t it wouldn’t happen so just a caveat there like we wouldn’t need to learn how to lose in a world where there was no losses because there’s no competition um and then I was picturing like say I I flew a plane to a mysterious island that just appeared and like Billy and his family and some other local community members are living there and Billy comes up to me and he’s like dude I can bounce this ball on my foot 10 times it’s [ ] amazing I run this whole island everybody loves me right and then I’m like dude people are like where I’m from do that like 3 000 times and then you feel like [ ] about yourself so like you felt fine until there was a competition or comparison like there didn’t need to be you could have just felt good about the fact that you competed against yourself and got more than you already did before you know what I mean like that competition against others could change the way we view ourself in our life just from the information of having it when we didn’t have to do it to begin with does that make sense did I lose you there I’m seeing your eyes yeah well I’m just trying to follow like I don’t I mean
that’s weird to try to measure like
yeah so two well two things one I’ll caveat your caveat by saying we could change that to just instead of losing being like falling short of goals everybody you know we’re always gonna fall short none of us is going to be perfect we’re always going to try to do things that we don’t achieve or can’t achieve or can’t get to so maybe the losing winning affiliated with competition could be changed to be we’re going to fall short of goals or not be able to achieve something we set out to do or not be able to get something I feel like we could do that without the competition though because basically what you laid out was the story of you were young and in sports and didn’t get any of the things you think Sports give and then your kids are in sports and they did get the things you think Sports give and it’s only because of what you gave them anyway so I was kind of like I don’t know that it was actually the competition that gave you any of that [ ] or didn’t give you that [ ] yeah and I’m trying to remember in in sports um when I was a kid I had not the greatest parenting so it’s hard to remember what messaging came from specifically from parents and what you know came from so I mean I definitely think that the issues around Sports specifically there’s a lot of stuff to do with coaching and parental you know information and all that and if you’re one of those people that tells your kids like losers you know second place is the first loser and [ __ ] like that right there’s a lot of negativity in there but anyway it ain’t first or last yeah but I just think that you know ing where you rank there’s a level of humility there like there’s a level of uh
you know understanding that like no one’s the best at everything you know and a lot of people aren’t great at anything and that’s fine like that doesn’t lessen your value as a human being or certainly not you dear listener yeah no you guys are great you know you picked an awesome podcast so you’re obviously succeeding at something yeah and that you know through these different competitions you know that’s it’s just a understanding of who you are as a human being comparing yourself to other people having an assessment of you know I don’t want to understand who I am through comparing other people though yeah I think so this is this is where I’m coming from and and maybe this can help our conversation my my main take about the inequality thing is that I personally don’t think our bodies and our DNA are equipped to come into a world where some people have a [ ] ton more than we do I don’t think that’s okay for any of us I think we’re all angry about it at some level I don’t know that we’re connected to that that that’s why we’re angry but I think that’s a thing I don’t think I can exist in a world where for no good reason some dudes or ladies or anybody can afford to give their kids way [ ] better experiences than I can I will never feel good about that or like that is okay and so from that there’s always a feeling of I must be less than them because that’s what the world is [ ] telling me every day you’re less than them rich people buddy you can’t do the things they can do you’re not cool like them you can’t go and fly to space like they can do recreationally you can’t take the trips they can take you can’t afford the education they give their children and the opportunities and like that doesn’t feel [ ] good to me for no arbitrary reason except I was born where I was born by my parents who were middle class and that’s where I’m at right so I don’t think there’s any place in our world where it actually feels good to our body and our DNA and our cellular structure says oh yeah it’s fine for other people to be better than me I therefore I don’t think the competition thing works out well for our body either I get it our brains all say it’s fine but I don’t know that we actually feel good walking away and I don’t know that we’re because of the society we live in where we’re inundated with you know champion and competition and all this [ ] I don’t know that we have any idea what it would feel like or how much better it would feel without any of the unequal parts to say oh yeah this is really [ ] us up or not I mean I get it it’s all a theory I made up in my head but yeah well and I I guess where I would go with that is so I assume like there’s something in us like naturally that aspires to competition like if you look at take sports teams like how many people watch the [ ] Ravens and are just totally on board with like that’s that’s their identity of with that team because they want to see them compete and I’m just saying like that’s I mean I’m just picking one sports team and you look at how much you know money there is in sports like that it just seems like there’s too much there that that’s not um or like the Olympics for example like how many people just watch and enjoy and are like driven to to want to do that like it feels it seems very natural it seems like they all got a trauma story is what it seems like honestly if you watch the Olympics like all the stories are like oh my god look they came from this terrible terrible beginnings and look how hard they’ve worked and got here like they’re all stories of traumatic beginnings and like what that led people to do and the commitment they’ve had because of like how I don’t know in my mind how awful they feel about themselves or like I don’t know like I okay so I used to be a guy who who was much more into the Ravens I still like football still watch the Ravens um but my week would depend on how their game went Sunday it would take me to Thursday or Friday if they lost to get over it and feel better and like that’s the guy I think you’re describing and I don’t think that was good and I don’t think it was natural either yeah I don’t know that that’s necessarily specifically the guy I’m describing I guess I it was more the point of how many you know thousands to millions of people engage in that idea of that competition and not all of that is almost like just a net there’s like a natural pool or a natural draw or a natural inclination to to wanna like jump on a team and win and compete against these other people and like that all that whole process just seems really natural I feel like we should get for human beings I gotcha I feel like we should get like a uh somebody who teaches women’s studies or feminists feminism or something on here right because like I remember this idea being expressed to me and I’m not gonna do it justice trying to give it to you and if you like argue it I have nothing else so just letting you know ahead of time um but we were talking about sports and like you know how generally sports are male dominated and the female leagues don’t get much you know money or or people watching or anything and this idea that we’ve created the events that are interesting to US based on what we have created as important in our society right you don’t see any [ ] nurturing competitions or you know competitions for teachers or like we’re not watching broadcasts of like ESPN analysts analyzing you know people in social work treating people nice or nothing you know what I mean like we don’t we haven’t given feminine so-called feminine values any priority in our society it’s all about power and dominance and male type things and that’s carried over into what we celebrate in our entertainment industry with sports and so like it’s more of a byproduct of the world we’ve created than actually what we would do naturally if we were just free to do naturally things without all this inundation we get I don’t know it’s an interesting Theory yeah you know we celebrate all the things men are better at basically is what we do that’s all of our our Industries it’s things men are better maybe I don’t know that’s where all the money is that’s where the millions go right the female athletes don’t get paid but what if we had yeah but you can go back to the Indian times or even before that and that stuff all existed those were all patriarchies too for the most part yeah I don’t know I and and I don’t know Billy I don’t know to me like I said in my mind there’s nothing in our body that feels okay with being unequal and so I don’t know that it’s ever good for us to be there like I think humility is understanding that I’m equal personally yeah so I don’t know if I want to be humbled by knowing my right times I’m at Native American times when the Native Americans were here feeling all bad about that now uh but yeah I mean it definitely doesn’t feel good to lose you know like that always like feels bad you know losing yeah but is feeling good all the time what we’re going for I don’t think so I think we need to feel bad I think we need to move away from good and bad for what yeah because that’s a yeah we definitely in our society say you’re never supposed to feel bad or negative emotions right um and I don’t think that’s the case but I also don’t know that we need extra reasons to feel bad like there’s plenty of times when I fall short of what I’m trying to do in my life it has nothing to do with competition I just I intended today to be nice to my kids and I yelled at them in two hours when they got frustrating for a minute and I got dysregulated okay I still have to learn to deal with that feeling I just don’t need to add extra by competing with people and falling short all the time yeah I disagree I mean and not yeah I I guess I just feel like there is some benefits or Assets in being challenged and knowing you know I don’t know that that has to be a competition though like I agree I think we should be challenged we should be challenging ourselves right but I don’t know that it’s got to be compared to anybody I think so here’s and this and this is just what I think about and I probably can let it go but so I was doing MMA or not MMA uh Jiu Jitsu I’m not doing it anymore at the moment things have just got too busy in my life but I was doing Jiu Jitsu for a little bit and we’ll go to class and do all that and a guy said something to me one time he’s like do you want to compete and I said no I have no interest in competing and he said well the only good thing about competing is by going and competing it lets you know like whether you’re really picking up these skills whether you’re actually you know what you’re doing actually means anything or if you’re getting anything right in comparison to like somebody else at your same level and I was like huh and that was the only point of me wanting to compete at all was like I don’t care if I [ ] win I’m not you know 50 years old I’m not trying to win medals or be the next [ ] champion of anything but it would be nice to see like hey how like are these like am I learning any of this [ ] does this mean anything what I’m doing it it was some measure to see where I was or Where I Stood and that felt useful like in that context but I wasn’t placing it on the I’m trying to compare myself to the next guy to decide how I feel it was more about am I getting this am I learning something is this getting me what I’m think that I’m trying to get out of it so yeah that’s weird like competition for the purpose of self-evaluation but not I don’t know it takes me back to a brene Brown’s work and she talks about how what she has found in her research is that comparison is the opposite end of the spectrum of creativity and so like I just think of all the I am a not creative person um super competitive well and that’s what makes me wonder like and not to say that one side of that thing is better than the other maybe again we’re coming back to the middle of the balance of both of those things but I think it’s important to understand at least for me like comparison and competition don’t tend to bring me much joy in my life on either side of it like it doesn’t matter if I’m better than somebody else I’m generally feeling bad for them but they’re not better at it and then when I’m not as good as somebody else I’m feeling worse and thinking all the ways I need to get better and like neither of those make me happier yeah well that gets into the whole areas of are there good motivation like I am a person that doesn’t say a lot of like I don’t want to say negative self-talk because it’s not negative self-talk but I do a lot of like definitely pushing myself you know what I mean like don’t quit you can do more keep going like that kind of [ ] and like try I do try to word it better now than I ever used to but it’s like trying to push harder to be better picture I am a person that motivates myself in that way picture all of those pictures you were looking at of your kids yesterday and a day before and leading up to this right now all this Nostalgia and like as long as you know that when you’re saying that and you’re pushing yourself there’s like a little four-year-old you in there that you’re talking to long as you know that and you’re okay with that I Think You’re Gold but I say that to people and then I hear how they talk to their kids and I’m like oh [ ] maybe I shouldn’t well I was gonna say some of that stuff I say to my kids I mean that some of the like language is probably a little softer but the intention is the same yeah maybe softer language for you would be nicer yeah I don’t know but you know that’s what I guess it more is like if I know that I’m still talking to that little kid inside of me what I’m saying that I’m not talking to adult me because it’s adult me that same right I’m talking to little kid me and he’s the one hearing it and like how is a four-year-old taking what I’m saying that’s what I need to think more of right how am I really receiving this message I’m giving to myself is it nice is it kind is it supporting and encouraging cool and I’ll do it you know just [ ] do it that that’s not working for me anymore I’m not just gonna [ __ ] do it
but yeah man I don’t know so I think what I’ve learned today is that like I I kind of am on this path but it’s not necessarily for goals it’s for intentions yeah and I want to be a more intentional being all around and I’m happy with that learn to have very rigid ideas of goals and intentions and maybe need to tweak those words in my head a little bit so set your intentions make sure you’re listening to this podcast when you do that is on there and we’ll see you next week [Music] did you like this episode share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoverysortup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on Facebook Twitter Instagram Reddit YouTube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us [Music]
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