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Tony asks the question, are you really looking for advice or validation? Tony reads Hunter S. Thompson's iconic "Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life." Thompson wrote the letter in April of 1958 at the age of 22 to his friend, Hume Logan, in response to Logan's request for life advice. Many believe that Thompson's letter to Logan is some of the most profound and thoughtful advice one can read when attempting to look at the true desire of putting your life decisions in the hands of others.
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[00:00:00] Recently I was approached by somebody that I knew, but I really didn't know him very well. We had circled around each other for the past few years and we would say hi to each other on occasion. And this is one of those people that you just decide that you like because they are likable. You don't really know them, but you like them. So when this person and let's just call him Stan, but that is absolutely not his name. But when Stan approached me and he said that he had started binging on my podcast, what typically comes next is a specific question about an episode, and so I'm already prepping myself to let Stan know that I record the podcast off the cuff, maybe with a note or two, an outline, and I don't necessarily remember specific things that I said or and then Stan hits me with this Jim. He said, I really resonate with what you say about you're not broken, you're human. You're the only version of you with your nature and your nurture, your birth order, your DNA, all of those things. Because he said, I often feel like, yeah, I am broken or what's wrong with me? So he said, I love it and I'm even moving on to aggressively trying to discover my values.
[00:00:55] And he said, You're right. As soon as I start expressing my values to those people around me, I'm starting to be told that I really don't think that or I really don't think this or one friend said, But you've always said that you didn't really care about wanting to sing in public, that you would realize that was just a childhood fantasy. So you you're kind of giving up on that, right? And Stan said that he realized that he's been trying to convince himself that certain things that he'd always wanted to do or the person that he always wanted to be. Well, those things weren't true about him because he wasn't doing them. So, yeah, he was starting to tell everybody around him. Yeah, I guess those things don't really matter. Those are just childhood fantasies or dreams. But then he said in binging on the podcast, he's realized that there were a lot of things that he wanted to do and there was a person who he wanted to be. But he's been so wrapped up in wanting everybody around him, especially the people who depended on him, to tell him that it would be okay for him to explore these different parts of himself or these different areas of his life, but that the only person who really needed to give himself permission to be himself was him.
[00:01:56] So why on earth is that so difficult when he wants to go after certain things in his life, or if he wants to try to be a little bit more of a person that he's always dreamt of being, then why does he get met with validation? Why is he told by people around him that really don't even know where he's coming from that saying, Oh, you don't really want to do that? Or I didn't know you thought that. That seems kind of weird or odd. And he talked about being a successful approaching middle age, whatever that means these days. Man who then could still just go right into a victim mode when somebody said, Oh, I wouldn't do that. And he found himself still saying, Yeah, you're probably right, I wouldn't do that either. So coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch, I'm going to give Stan and the rest of you a little bit of wisdom on what I personally believe is absolutely essential in order to truly find purpose and living a more meaningful life. That and a lot more coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch.
[00:03:06] Come on in. Take a seat.
[00:03:13] Hey, everybody, welcome to episode 317 of the Virtual Couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay I. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified mindful habit coach, writer, speaker, husband, father of four, ultra marathon runner and creator of The Path Back and online pornography recovery program that is helping people just reclaim their lives for good to kind of goes a little bit with the topic that we're going to talk about today of living a much more meaningful and purpose filled life. And if you are interested in turning away from unhealthy coping mechanisms like pornography, quite frankly, the program works with pretty much anything that you turn to as a coping mechanism. Then go to Pathbackrecovery.com and there you'll find a book that describes five common mistakes that people make when turning to pornography as a coping mechanism. Again, that's pathbackrecovery.com, and we are going to just dove right in today. But before I do that, which I guess then technically I'm not diving right in, I want to thank everyone who signed up and took the magnetize your marriage workshop. That was last Thursday night. And I don't know if I've ever felt a connection with a virtual audience in my entire life. They were engaged. There was a lot of comments going on in the chat and we went about 90 minutes and I really did talk about I had billed it as top three things you can do to magnetize your marriage.
[00:04:22] And boy, I went into a lot more than three, that's for sure. So what my buddy Preston, Doug Meyer and I have decided to do is we are going to make that a mini course of sorts and then still keep it at the $19. But you can go to Tony over Baker slash workshop and that is going to be there. So it's a 90 minute workshop that is online, and I really think that you're going to get a lot from that. And because what I talked about leading up to it was we're really going into this just you don't know what you don't know. And I really believe that people just don't have the tools they need to be their best selves in showing up in a relationship. And so we talk about that because I think there's a lot of power and understanding that, hey, it's not your fault. And I know I talk about accountability so much in my podcast, but we're going to give you a little bit of a pass here. And if you didn't see a healthy relationship model growing up, if you haven't necessarily been feeling as fulfilled in your relationship as an adult, number one, you're normal, you're human. Welcome to the club. But number two, then you truly don't know what you don't know. I really feel like you owe it to yourself in a sense, if you don't feel like your marriage is what it could be.
[00:05:30] And I'm not even saying somebody who's on the verge of divorce, but if you feel like your marriage could be a little stronger, a little bit better, then I would highly recommend going to Tony over Baker slash workshop. And and I lay out a lot of the tools that I think will really help you. And there's a money back guarantee. Again, it's one of the first times that I've charged for something like this, $19. And I have full confidence that if you don't get anything out of it, just let me know and I will refund that to you. So let's get to today's topic. It really is about finding a little more purpose, living a meaningful life. And I'm talking about Stan in the intro, and that's an absolutely true story to to start this today, I want to read to you a letter that is from a writer named Hunter Thompson. And you can find this out on the Web. It's Hunter Thompson's letter on finding your purpose and living a meaningful life. And if you're not familiar with Hunter Thompson, he was born in 1937. He died on February 20th of 2005. He was an American journalist and author who founded the Gonzo Journalism Movement. He rose to prominence with the publication of Hell's Angels in 1967, a book for which he spent a year living and writing with the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and wrote a firsthand account of their lives and experiences.
[00:06:41] This is considered the subgenre of what was then considered new journalism that was called Gonzo, a journalistic style which the writer becomes a central figure and participant. And the events of the narrative. There's been a couple of movies based off of one of the things that he wrote, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But then it did lead to a tragic end. Unfortunately, Hunter Thompson died by suicide at age of 67 following a series of health problems in April of 1958. Hunter Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote this letter to his friend HUME Logan, in response to a request that HUME had written Hunter asking for life advice. So Thompson's letter that's found in letters of note offers some of the most thoughtful and profound advice that you can come across. Hunter Thompson starts by saying You ask for advice what a very human and dangerous thing to do for to give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania to presume to point a man to the right and ultimate goal to point with a trembling finger in the right direction is something only a fool would take on himself right out of the gate. What Hunter Thompson is saying is that why are you asking me for advice? Because that's assuming that I have the advice to give or that I can point you in the right direction when in reality this is just the direction that I am telling you about.
[00:07:58] So I don't think there's anything wrong with somebody asking someone else for advice. I do believe that we have to recognize that. And we're asking for advice, then are we just seeking external validation or are we really looking at something with curiosity and we're willing to take information that somebody gives us and synthesize that information into our own experience? Or is it just something where we really want somebody else to tell us what to do? Because then if it doesn't go well, then we get to say, Well, Hunter Thompson gave me that advice, or Tony Overbay gave me that advice. So then Hunter goes on to say, I am not a fool, but I respect your sincerity. And I ask you, though, in listening to what I say, to remember that all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it. What is truth? The one may be disaster to another, Hunter said, I do not see life through your eyes nor you through mine. If I were to attempt to give you specific advice, it would be too much like the blind leading the blind. And I just that one paragraph alone goes back to this concept of You're the only version of you. Much like Stan was saying that he's found from bingeing on the Virtual Couch podcast.
[00:09:04] When we're asking someone for advice, I think it is so important to recognize that we are saying, Hey, I know you don't know all of my nature and my nurture what my birth order and abandonment and DNA and all those things look like. But what are your thoughts? And I really feel like that's what we need to look at when we're asking for advice. Too often I talk about the psychology of the peanut gallery. If we are asking someone for advice, if we ask someone and they really don't know or don't have an opinion, but then we're looking at their own experience where if they're being asked for advice sometimes if we're asked for advice, we feel like, Well, I owe this person something, but I really don't know enough about the situation. I don't know what their life experience is, but I better not let them down. So I need to give some advice, so I'll say some things. But if that person that was asking for the advice really was looking for validation, and now they ask somebody who is just in essence being called on the spot to say, what do you think about this life decision that I've been contemplating for a long time through my own lens? And then the person they ask again what I call the psychology of the peanut gallery, that person says, Well, I don't know, seems pretty risky.
[00:10:06] Then that one thing that someone can say can have a real negative impact on the person asking for advice, when in reality, I really believe that deep in our core we have an idea of what we really want to do or who we want to be. But then we show up emotionally immature just because we all do, because we aren't confident that that is what we want to do. Or even if there's something that we want to do, let's say in Stan situation, if he's always wanted to sing or he's always wanted to sing in public or sing on a stage, and he has wanted to do this for so long, that is absolutely stands experience. But if he's asking me about it, I can't sing at all. I think, what's the pun or cliché? I can't carry a tune in a bucket. I might say, Oh, I don't know. This sounds risky. Why? Because it's risky for me. Because I sound horrible. Because if I get up there, it is nails on a chalkboard. So I have never thought about, well, it's not never. I've dreamt of singing when I'm blaring things out in the car then yeah, it would be amazing to sing up on stage, but that's not even a goal because I'm being pretty realistic about it. So if Stan were coming to me and saying, What do you think? Then my my real answer needs to be, Oh, I don't know.
[00:11:14] Tell me your thoughts. It sounds like that's something you're interested in. Tell me more about that. Instead of saying, Hey, I need some advice, I was thinking about singing it on stage. What do you think? Because my real answer, if I'm being honest, is going to be, Oh, I don't know. I don't know what that would even be like. Tell me more. What Hunter Thompson is saying is, I don't see life through your eyes nor you through mine. So if I was to attempt to give you a specific advice, it would be like the blind leading the blind. Then Hunter Thompson goes on to quote, To be or not to be. That is the question whether it's nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles. Of course, that's William Shakespeare. And indeed, Hunter says that is the question whether to float with the tide or to swim for a goal. Well, that one gets deep, doesn't it? He says it is a choice we must all make, consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people, he said, understand this. Think of any decision that you've ever made, which has a bearing on your future, Hunter says. I may be wrong, but I don't see how it could have been anything but a choice, however indirect, between the two things I've mentioned, the floating or the swimming.
[00:12:18] And I'm going to talk about that a little bit today. Floating or swimming. Oftentimes I feel like we are floating because we're so afraid that we'll swim in the wrong direction. I did in an episode on Analysis Paralysis a few weeks ago that I got far more feedback, far much, that I received a lot more feedback than I had anticipated because that concept of analysis paralysis is something that so many people do almost subconsciously. So are you continuing to float, waiting for a wave to come take you in a certain direction? And and it's interesting if you really even look at that and I just made that example up of this wave taking you somewhere if you're floating, because one of two things. One, then if it doesn't work, you can say, I had no choice. The wave took me here. Or at times we feel like I really don't have direction. So wave, just take me. And at least I'm not just sitting here floating, so. Are you floating or are you swimming? And if your fear is I might be swimming in the wrong direction, then we really need to get to this place of just acceptance. That might be the case, but we know that if you're floating, that you're waiting to be acted upon.
[00:13:20] So Hunter Thompson says, But why not float? If you have no goal, he said that that is another question. He said it is unquestionably better to enjoy the floating than to swim in uncertainty. So how does a man find a goal? And so I think that's interesting because I would question and who am I to question Hunter Thompson? But I feel pretty confident in this concept of where I really believe that the more that we are learning about the way the brain works, the more that we're learning that we have this desire for certainty, that we want to know that we're doing something that really does matter or of meaning, or else we don't want to do it at all. But in reality, it's that not doing something at all that is most likely a little bit more devoid of meaning or purpose. So I really believe that this goes back to that concept of we may be floating there thinking that we need to know exactly what direction I am going to swim and what I'm going to get when I get to the final destination. And that is just going to keep us in the state of well, then I don't know. I don't know. I'm not sure if I can guarantee that or not. And in reality, we just need to start swimming. And if we start heading in one direction and find out that that's not the direction that I thought it would be, then guess what? We get to go a different direction.
[00:14:31] But Hunter Thompson say saying so how does a man find a goal? He said, not a castle in the stars, but a real intangible thing. How can a man be sure he's not after the big rock candy mountain, the enticing sugar candy goal that has little taste and no substance? The answer, Hunter says, and in a sense, the tragedy of life is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of a certain things, and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which cannot be valid, he said. Let me just touch on my thoughts, my reaction to that part right there. As he said, Yeah, this is a the tragedy of life is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. If we can understand the man and I hope that Hunter Thompson was saying he and man and I'm talking about we we're looking at man, woman. Any gender that we're talking about here is that if we can understand the person, let's say that and not the goal that I often feel like when you really understand yourself and start to move in directions that matter to you, well then you'll maybe find your goal. I did an episode with Neal Hooper back around the beginning of the year that I felt so just confident about.
[00:15:38] As Neal and I were talking more about value based goals and how often do we just set a goal because we think we're supposed to, which ironically becomes a socially compliant goal? We're doing it because we think we're supposed to or we're going to let somebody down. But in reality, if we are going after a goal that really doesn't resonate or doesn't matter to us at all, then we're going to find all kinds of things to do. Instead of going after that goal, we're going to turn to our phone. We're going to binge on Netflix series. We're going to eat. We're going to just do anything but work on that goal because it really doesn't have meaning to us. And then if we aren't taking action on that goal now, we get to beat ourselves up and say, what is wrong with me? Which again, is not a very productive or helpful thought. Normal. We say it so often, but nothing's wrong with you. You're going through this life for the very first time, so we just need to give ourselves more grace and recognize, okay, this is what's happening. So if I'm floating or if I'm trying to accomplish a goal that I really don't feel is of significance to me or matters quite frankly at all, then of course, I'm not going to want to go just get after this goal and do everything I can to achieve that goal because it isn't something that really matters.
[00:16:46] So when Hunter Thompson says that this is a tragedy of life, that we seek to understand the goal and not the man, then yeah, we need to understand who we are. Which gets back to what Stan was talking about. He's trying to figure out his values. So if I have a value of curiosity, I have a value of authenticity, I have a value of adventure, I have a value of fitness. Then my goal is better incorporate those things, those values in them, or I'm not going to be as engaged. So he says, we set up a goal which demands of a certain things. And we and we do these things, but we adjust to the demands of a concept which cannot be valid. He said. When You Were Young led us to say that you wanted to be a fireman, he said. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Now, of course, any fireman listening then that is not the case. But Hunter says, Why? Because your perspective has changed, he said. It's not the fireman who has changed but you. He said every person is the sum total of his or her reactions to experiences. And boy, I've been beating that drum for a little while that we are just reacting to the world for the very first time based on all the experiences that we have going into that very moment.
[00:17:48] So instead of sometimes beating ourselves up about why did we do what we did, we just need to recognize that's what we did. We did it because that's the first time we've experienced that moment in our life. So that is what we did. I made a confessional here to make myself. Feel better. I lost my AirPods on a trip to Idaho this last weekend. I was there to watch my son in law, Mitch, graduate from college because my daughter Alex, who was in the accident, couldn't travel. And KFI, Idaho Falls did a really neat story on the news that I have on my social media accounts, but I was up there with my daughter McKinley. We had an amazing time watching Mitch graduate and communicating that with my daughter. Alex and I lost my AirPods. So part of me really is wanting to beat myself up because I've been really good or working on being very present and not losing little things like that because they're pretty expensive. But it wasn't until I got to the airport that I realized I didn't have them. And so I want to still beat myself up and say What's wrong with me? And instead of just saying, okay, for the very first time when I entered the motel that we were at at the age of 52, after attending Mitch's graduation and doing a news story and did a lot of filming on the next round of my marriage course with Preston, Pug Meyer, and showing up exhausted and tired and then hustling out of the hotel a little bit late.
[00:19:05] Then in that situation, guess what happens? I lose my AirPods. That is fascinating. So not trying to beat myself up, but we really do have these reactions to experiences and we just need to note them, give ourselves grace. It's not going to do me any good to beat myself up about it, but I can go back and review the game film and see where. So the next time I really do need to be a little bit more thorough. But what Hunter says is that every man is the sum total of his reactions to experiences. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man and hence your perspective changes. You're just some of your experiences and that happens. You react your normal, you're human. We lose things, we spill things, relate to things. We take chances on things that don't necessarily pay off. And those things happen. And we need to just look at those things with grace and forgiveness. After these experiences, they differ and they multiply and you become a different man and your perspective changes. That's a part of the human process. When I talk about relationships and couples, when they get married and they're enmeshed in this woo woo state of all as well and everything, and we agree on everything.
[00:20:09] That part is really normal. That's how we show up in relationships with our attachment wounds and our abandonment worries and fears. So we show up and we're not necessarily going to talk about something that we don't agree on early in our relationship because, you know, it's not a big deal. We agree on so many things that that's probably not a big deal. But then as you go throughout life and you become this sum total of your reactions to experiences and your experiences differ and multiply and you're two individuals in a relationship, of course you're going to have different reactions to these different things that are going on in your life. Then every reaction is truly a learning process and it does alter your perspective. But then do you have the tools to be able to communicate effectively about it, or do you feel attacked when your spouse or your partner has a completely different experience and now they share their new perspective and you think, Oh my gosh, that's not my perspective? Or You've never said that before, because then we become so afraid that that means the person is going to leave, when in reality they're just having a different experience than you. And what a beautiful gift it is to be able to share your experiences with somebody that you really care about and look at the way that you're changing your perspective as you go through life because that is becoming more emotionally mature.
[00:21:17] That's part of the human experience. So back to Hunter's letter. He says Every reaction is a learning process and every significant experience alters your perspective. So it would seem foolish, would it, not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal that we see from a different angle every day. And that is true because every day we're having different experiences. And so that can absolutely affect the goal that we have or our outlook on something or our perspective. And that is absolutely okay. So as I'm being asked for advice, you can see how adorable that this person wants to say, What do you think I should do? Because I don't know, I'm not you. And I'm having my own experiences and my own goals and perspectives are changing on a daily basis. So I can only imagine that's happening with you as well. And that's part of growing up. It's part of becoming more emotionally mature, Hunter says. So it would seem foolish, would it, not, to adjust our lives the demands of a goal that we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis? He says the answer then must not deal with goals at all or not with tangible goals anyway.
[00:22:26] It would take reams of paper to develop the subject of fulfillment. Hunter said God only knows how many books have been written on the meaning of man and that sort of thing, and how many people have pondered the subject? He said, There's very little sense in my trying to give it up to you in the proverbial nutshell, because I'm the first to admit my absolute lack of qualifications for reducing the meaning of life to one or two paragraphs. He said, I'm going to steer clear of the word existentialism, but you might want to keep it in mind as a key of sorts, he said. To put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. We do not strive to be firemen. We do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen or doctors. We strive to be ourselves. And he said, But don't misunderstand me. I don't mean that we can't be firemen or bankers or doctors, but that we must make the goal to conform to the individual rather than make the individual conform to the goal. Hunter said In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires, including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be meaningful. A man has to be something. He has to matter. And he said, As I see it, then the formula runs something like this A man must choose a path which will let his abilities function at a maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his desires.
[00:23:43] And in doing this, he's fulfilling a need, giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal. And he avoids frustrating his potential, which is choosing a path which puts no limit on his self development. That part is beautiful. In other words, we need to just be we need to do and be and become and let down this part about what do I need to do and am I doing it right or am I doing it wrong? And what do you think? Because we're looking for external validation. Instead, we need to listen to ourselves. We need to realize that we're the only version of us that's ever been on the face of the earth. So we're having experiences and they are definitely shaping who we are and what direction we want to go. And then we're still going to worry about what if I don't go in the right direction? That's not even the question. The question is what direction do I go? And the answer is yes, any direction? Just start going. Now, ideally, point yourself toward a direction that matters more to you, but then know if you're at point A, you're going to be and B is going to take you to point C and C is going to take you to point D.
[00:24:43] I was in the computer software industry for a decade, and when I got out of that industry, I almost made a couple of other career choices. A financial planner. I went and met with a guy that does real estate contracts or something I don't even really remember very well, but I liked him and he made a lot of money, so I thought I would like to be liked and make a lot of money. So there were a couple of things that I almost did that now I think, Oh my gosh, I would not have felt so fulfilled. I had to just keep going back to things that I enjoyed. I love learning about people. I love psychology. Let's go back and get a master's degree. I never thought I would do that and even that. Well, what if it doesn't work? What if I never am able to work in private practice? What if I don't like seeing clients? What if, what if, what if? And all of those were real fears. And thank goodness I didn't say. What do you think to someone else who might have said, Well, I don't think it's a good idea because I worry that I definitely would have said, yeah, you're probably right. Let me go go back to that financial planning opportunity. And again, no offense to financial planners. Matter of fact, I need one.
[00:25:43] But if that isn't something that really speaks to you, then that may not be the thing that works for you. So Hunter Thompson says in doing this, in working toward maximum efficiency, toward the gratification of his desires, he's fulfilling a need or giving himself an identity. By functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal, he avoids frustrating his potential or choosing a path which puts no limit on a self development, and he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it. Rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires and short. He has not dedicated his life to reaching a predefined goal, but he's rather chosen a way of life that he knows he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary, he said. It's the functioning toward the goal, which is important, and it seems almost ridiculous to say that a man must function in a pattern of his own choosing, or to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life the definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. And the part that I think in that paragraph that is so deep, so profound, that one of the things that is just seems silly.
[00:26:53] I don't think he says the word silly, but is letting someone else define your goals that that is giving up. One of the most meaningful aspects of life is this definitive act of will, which makes you an individual. So he said, Let's assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow and they're all predefined paths. And let's assume that you can't see any real purpose in any of the eight paths you need to find a ninth path. And naturally it isn't as easy as it sounds because most of us have lived a relatively narrow life. Vertical rather than horizontal existence. So he said it isn't too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates and is choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance. And that's what that analysis paralysis concept is. If you're just going to float, eventually that wave is going to come and it's going to take you somewhere. So he said, if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are or to seriously seek something else. But be aware of looking for goals. Look for a way of life, decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living within that way of life. But you say, I don't know where to look.
[00:27:58] I don't know what to look for. And he said, There's the crux. Is it worth giving up what? I have to look for something better, he said. I don't know. Is it because who can make that decision but you? But even by deciding to look, you are going a long way toward making the choice, he said. If I don't call this to a halt, I'm going to find myself writing a book. So one, Hunter said, I hope it's not as confusing as it looks at first glance. Keep in mind, of course, that this is my way of looking at things, he said. I happen to think it's a pretty generally applicable, but you may not. Each of us has to create our own credo. This merely happens to be mine. And he said, If any part of this doesn't make sense, then by all means call it to my attention, he said. I'm not trying to send you out on the road in search of Valhalla, merely pointing out what is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it, that there's more to it than that. No one has to do something that he doesn't want to do for the rest of their life. But then again, if that's what you wind up doing, by all means convince yourself that you had to do it because you'll have a lot of company.
[00:28:54] And he said, That's it for now. Until I hear from you again, I remain your friend. Hunter, what a profound letter written by a 22 year old Hunter. A.c. Thompson, back in April of 1958, that's what, 60, 70 years ago. And Hunter Thompson was 22. And he's, in essence, laying out the foundational principles of acceptance and commitment therapy, which that very modality of therapy has changed my whole life as a therapist and is the way I live my life to recognize that this is my life and bless someone's heart if they're going to tell me what they think that I should do, because and that doesn't mean I'm not open for suggestions and I'm sure I'm open for criticism. But in all honesty, criticism is adorable because if I'm not looking for someone else to tell me what to do or to validate what I'm doing, then I would rather have a mature adult conversation with curiosity about what I'm going through and what someone else is going through, because then I'm more likely to pull something from what their experience is if I'm looking to synthesize or implement things from someone else's life, if I'm even looking for that, because once you really figure out that you have a purpose and it's your goal and only yours or your job to find that purpose and then start to take action on it and recognize that that's still going to take you in a lot of different directions.
[00:30:14] And that's part of the joy of the human experience, even though it can feel scary because we're all coming from this place of needing external validation. Remember, from the time that you were born, you don't really have a sense of self. So it is absolutely necessary for us to get external validation in order to even have an idea of who we are. And but the unfortunate part of that is that if our parents or caregivers or those around us, if they're angry or if they're emotionally immature, if they're narcissistic, if they're gaslighting, if they're doing any of those sorts of things, then we're going to feel like something's wrong with us. We're bad. And then on the times that they're good, then we feel like, Oh, we're good. And so unfortunately, until we become more emotionally mature ourselves, then we take that same energy out into the world of trying to figure out how do I show up so that that version of people that seem really happy and joyous are there? Because that means we are programed to think that means that then I'm okay. But in reality we need to come to a place that we're okay, period, and we can be internally validated and know that we're okay. And I know it's cliche, but we need to love ourselves before we go out there and try to love others.
[00:31:20] Because if we are going out there saying, Do you love me? Then we're putting our whole emotional experience and validation into the hands of someone that might be struggling with their own feelings of self worth or their own insecurities or anxieties. But when we can show up internally validated and confident, then we can really be there for other people. Or quite frankly, we can just be and be the best version of ourselves. And we can let our light so shine so that others around us will even feel that radiance. And it's an amazing thing because I really do feel like we we all are here to to help one another go through this existence and this experience, but doing so from a place of curiosity and not criticism. So I to as Hunter Thompson said at the end of his will, wrap this up, because, quite frankly, this is my experience now. I feel very confident about this because the position I'm in getting to work with literally now thousands of people over the last 15, 16, 17 years and. And it really is such a joy to help people find out what really matters to them and then be ready. Here comes the invalidation, but you'll make it through that too. And then you'll stand in this calm, confident, energetic place, really understanding that you're the only version of you, and that that even the questions start to become different.
[00:32:39] Am I okay or did I do that right? Those aren't really the questions to ask. It's, hey, look what I did and check this out and what can I learn from this? And that is going to get you from that point B to C, C to D, and that right there is really the way that we start finding the joy in the journey. All right. Go to Tony Slash workshop if you want to learn more about this marriage workshop that I did, Preston Puglia and I have another round of our magnetic marriage course that's coming soon. I cannot wait. We've added some new tweaks to it. It's going to be amazing. And if you're looking if you're looking for help in the world of therapy, don't forget you can go to Betterhelp.com, slash virtual couch and get 10% off your first month's treatment. In the world of online therapy, they have an amazing assessment tool. That's probably one of the coolest parts about Betterhelp.com Virtual Couch is you can fill out a series of questions and they will match you to a licensed counselor and you can communicate through text or email or phone or video or any of those things. So you owe it to yourself to do that. So don't hesitate there and please continue to send your questions in through the contact form on Tony Macomb and taking us out per usual. And it feels so fitting today. The wonderful, the talented Aurora Florence with her song. It's wonderful. Thanks, everybody. I'll see you next time.
[00:33:55] Compressed emotions flying past our heads and out the other end. The pressures of the daily grind. It's wonderful. And that's the question, Rob. A ghost floating past the midnight hour. They push aside the things that matter most to world. To. News of discount.