Preston Pugmire is the host of the Next Level Life podcast, an award-winning life coach, and co-creator of The Magnetic Marriage couples communication course. Preston joins Tony to discuss the importance of discovering and living by your values. Preston shares his story of spending many years and tens of thousands of dollars taking in information from various courses, attending seminars, reading books, and meeting with experts to create his M.V.P. or "Mission, Values, Purpose" masterclass. In the class, you will learn your unique MISSION. Your chosen VALUES. Your identified PURPOSE. Your articulated SUPERPOWERS and GIFTS. And you will create your CUSTOMIZED plan for how to make decisions and be confident in any situation. Preston's MVP Contract Masterclass is available now, but space is limited. To learn more, visit http://tonyoverbay.com/contract

If you are interested in being coached in Tony's upcoming "Magnetic Marriage Podcast," please email him for more information. You will receive free marriage coaching and remain anonymous when the episode airs. 

Go to http://tonyoverbay.com/workshop to sign up for Tony's "Magnetize Your Marriage" virtual workshop. The cost is only $19, and you'll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage. 

You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript, click here https://descript.com?lmref=bSWcEQ

Transcript

Tony: Preston Pugmire, welcome to the Virtual Couch. I think what's fun about this is we've recorded several episodes where we're talking about the magnetic marriage, and that is still the greatest marriage course known to man that you and I created. But today we are. Well, allow me to, well it's story time.

Preston, let me take my listeners on a train of thought. So, you and I talk often. We talk a lot and I love that. And we bounce ideas off each other. And, I've told Preston many times, I feel like, this is where you build this relationship with trust and Preston can say, Hey, wait, tell me more about what you're saying old man, and he doesn't always say old man. And I feel like I don't take offense. I trust Preston. I feel like he's very good at what he does. And so, I feel like, man, I want to understand or tell me more. Preston, I feel very safe and will explore these different things. Any virtual couch listener knows as I talk so often about the values.

And when I changed over from being this cognitive behavioral therapist, this acceptance and commitment therapy therapist, and hey, you're the only version of you and you're not broken, you're human. And now the next part of this is you're going to find your values and you're going to start taking action on things that matter and value-based goals.

And I get so passionate about that and then I tell people, Hey, email in and I've got the list of values you can work from, which is literally Preston, just a list of words. And so, then I feel like why can't people figure out what their values are? And so, Preston's telling me about this program he's been working on and he gets so excited about it and he's telling me about it, and I'm like, man, Preston, this is a great way to figure out your values.

And I think you were like, yeah, it is. And then suddenly it hits me, oh so, I just tell people, go find those values. It's so key, it's so important. Here's a list of words. And then I realized, oh my gosh, literally the guy that I talk to on a weekly basis that helped me create the world's greatest marriage course and literally has the keys to the values kingdom.

And so, that's what we're going to talk about today. So, I'm so excited.

Preston: Me too, man. The, the idea of like, oh, value-based goals, cool. What does that mean? And then, go find your values. How do I do that? It’s easy to get a Google search, but then okay, what do I do with this list? And what I've found is that you must have an intentional process to be able to figure out not only what your values are, but why those are your values. And, even more important, what order the values go in, because the hierarchy of how you approach those in your life will determine how you react to events, how you approach events, how you approach other people, what you're going to do, and we'll talk about that in just a minute, but it's not just go find your values, there's more. There's so much more to it because they align with your mission, your personal purpose, mission, values, and purpose. And then also what your gifts, talents, and abilities are that you bring to the table in your life. So, it just rolls together with who you are, what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you're going to do it so that you can feel fulfilled.

Tony: And what I love about that is one of the stories that I run into people fusing to so often is the man, I still need to work on my values, or I haven't figured out my values yet, or I'm not sure where to start with my values. And it's funny because I would sit in my office and think, Okay, well, at least they're saying the word values.

So, I mean, they're on the right path, but then your own brain will get you stuck in that I still need to figure out my values story because then I don't have to take action on them because once I figure them out, I need to do something. And so, when we were talking about it, I like that it isn't just, I identify them, but then it is what do I do with them and not just what do I do? But I appreciate it when you are saying it really helps you understand who you are as a person, which puts you in a direction. So, I want to step back here. And I just want you to drive because I do trust you driving the car. You have the keys to my car. So, I would love for you to just take us on your train of thought and what this whole process looks like and maybe, how you came up with it and what do you do?

Preston: So, thanks so much, man. Working with you as you know, as a therapist and as a business partner, and just as a friend, all these different things, I've learned so much from you, and what I've done is I've taken what a lot of different people have taught me; you, Tony Robbins, James Wedmore, Garrett Whites, just like a lot of different teachers, just lively.

People that I've worked with personally, one on one, people that I've taken their courses, people that I've done their seminars, and books that I've read, and I've just searched, searched, searched, searched. And then I've created kind of like this Frankenstein's monster of what everything kind of builds towards, and I call it a personal MVP contract.

What I mean by that is MVP, mission, values, purpose, mission, values, purpose, and your contract. And it's like for me, it's my contract with my life, with my creator, with the world, with my relationships, with everything that I am. It's who I am. What I want, how I'm going to do it, why I'm going to do it, and my gifts and powers, my superpowers that I bring to the table and all of it together is this personal MVP contract.

And I was thinking about this. Honestly, it took me about three years to create because I was putting little pieces of it together, like my mission statement, my purpose of life, my values, the order of them. Another, like a primary question that I'm always asking myself. I call it a foundational filter.

We'll get into that. But I was thinking about it like all this stuff is out there. It's all out there. All you must do is go to six different seminars and hire four different personal coaches and do 10,000 hours of Google research and 40 hours of meditation. And you must fill up six journals and stuff like that.

It's all out there. You can just go do it

Tony: now that I have that info, yeah.

Preston: I mean, uh, it's all fair. But why do people hire personal trainers? Why do people buy like a workout program, right? Because every single fitness routine, every single workout program, every single nutrition plan or supplement plan or everything like that, it's on YouTube, it just is. Or at bodybuilding.com or something like that. It's just, it's all there. So why do people buy a program? I'll ask you why you think people buy a program?

Tony: Oh, okay. Well, it's funny because this is one of those things when we were putting our program together, and we would go over this, over and over cause I would just want to spout off this knowledge. And then, you would talk about, I mean, people buy a program because there's some accountability there. It's somebody that they trust. It's what the person is saying. Look, I've taken all this data and do you want these things? Because I can give you a very specific set of things and it's a kit. I want those things. And I like that a lot.

Preston: That's why I initially started working with you. You had basically a kit that you had all this experience and it was just really, cool. And that's why I work with other coaches and other people.

Tony: On that note, Preston, you're being too humble, and I feel like this is going to make your point even better. I had a kit. I was holding like a bunch of scraps of paper together and saying, Preston, here's the way. This is the key to marriage, right here. You know, and what Preston has a good ability to do is then put that into these tangible action steps. And I was pulling a very, very haughty therapist card and saying, oh no, they must find this journey on themselves. And here's these things that they could take along with them. And you were saying, no, we need to understand how to do it. And I fought on that for how long? I mean, it was a while, right?

It was just like a year. It was, right. And then, the best part though is now what do I talk about, the four pillars, the connected conversation scripts, the magnetic agreement plans, the tools, the steps, the acronyms, and they resonate, and they give you a framework to operate from.

Preston: That’s the cool part. It's a framework. And so, one of the things that I realized as I went through this whole process you're talking about. What I'm able to do. I had, man, I had a huge epiphany about one of the things that I'm honestly, that I'm really good at. And what it allowed me to do is it allowed me to really see how good other people are at specific things that are just, they're effortless to them, and so they just seem invisible. But I'm like, oh my gosh, you're so freaking good at that. An example of this is my brother. My brother is a wizard at Excel. Just the things he can whip up are just, it'll take me, you know, three days to figure all this out and how does this formula work on Excel? I can create this spreadsheet and my brother can just do it in five minutes. It's nothing to him. And. Another one of my friends, I talked to him about how I can structure this, like maybe this coaching program or this business. And I'm thinking about, okay, how should I do this? And I feel like I'm too close to it, right? But then he can just be like, oh, just do boom, boom, boom, boom. That right there. I can see that. And I was like, wow, how do you do that? And then I realized that one of the things that I'm really good at is I call it being a synthesizer.

I can connect the dots that other people can't connect. I can see things and combine things into a coherent hole. I'm a really agile decision maker and I can easily find solutions, strategy, scrutinize, assess, exam, and evaluate people, processes and plans and systems. I can do all that stuff effortlessly, and I used to not think that it was valuable because it came easily to me. And then I realized that my unique skills are valuable to other people who don't have them, and vice versa. There are people that I will pay a lot of money to help me out with something that will take them one hour to do. I'm like, dude I could never even figure that out. But it's just so easy for them.

And this is the thing that I help people discover, is once you know, like really who you are, your personal contract, your IM statement, your mission. Your purpose, your values, the hierarchy that they go in, and then your natural gift and superpowers, your talent, and abilities that you bring to the table, that are natural to you, and everybody has them. If you're listening to this right now and you think, oh man, I don't know if I'm good at anything, it's BS. The reason you don't see them is because they're invisible to you, and I can help people really understand how or why these things are invisible to them, what they're good at. And then the coolest part is you take it, and you say, okay, now what do I do with this? Then you take it, and you apply it to your goals and everything is just aligned. Rocket fuel. I started thinking like, what would it look like in my life if I knew what the purpose of my life was? Like I could just spout it off at any time if I really knew who I was as a human, as a soul, as a spirit. If I really knew that and I knew what was important to me, what was not important to me, why it was important to me, if I really understood what I was good at, so that I could lean into that, like double down on the things, like use leverage. Leverage the things that I'm really good at, and then take all of that and apply it to my specific goals.

Things become significantly easier when you have all those pieces, like literally written out in a document.

Tony: Yeah. And Preston, there's a couple things I think are so. You and I both had previous careers and we both love what we do now, and I feel like this is part of that when you start acting in alignment with your values and you take action on them and you find the things that you really feel passionate about, you're so right where you didn't know what you didn't know.

When I was in the computer industry, I didn't even realize how much I didn’t care about it or didn't like it until I found the thing that I actually like and enjoy. And then I wanted to read about it, watch shows about it, see YouTube videos about it, talk about it, talk to other people about it. And that raises your whole what? Energy and baseline. So, you just want more of that. So, I love what you're saying, and you said something smart there a minute ago where you said, I didn't value it because it came easy to me. And I'm telling you, and I was sitting in my office a couple years ago and somebody said, you know, well I don't want to do something that I really enjoy because then it will become a labor.

And I was like, yeah, that's right. And I sat there thinking, wait a minute, that's literally what I do every day for a living. And it just gets better and better. And I feel like those are stories that our brains try to hook us to. Well, if I just start doing the thing I like all the time, then all of a sudden, I probably won't like it.

Oh no let's kind of reel that back in. So, yeah, keep going.

Preston: Is that a story that people tell themselves?

Tony: I remember a guy that would say, I love fishing, you know, and I said, well, what would that look like if you, because he thought about it, I would love to maybe shoot a video or two about it or here's how I bait a hook, or whatever. But I don't want to start doing that, because then it won't be fun anymore. It'll be a job. That's the version that I get. Or if I'm doing this thing that I'm passionate about all the time, then it will become work and then it will no longer interest me and says the person who has never taken that leap or taken action on that thing.

Preston: I mean, that's a belief. That's just a belief. And I don't think that that belief serves you, but I don't care if you have it, honestly. Like if you don't want to do something, that's fine. But give it a go. I mean, you can always stop shooting videos about fishing. I did it all last month. I didn't make a single video about fishing. Like, seriously, it was so simple. No, I was just trying to make a joke. You can always stop doing that. I understand what you're saying, but one of the things that's important to understand about this is it's all kind of abstract. Cool. My mission, my values, my purpose, my gifts, all these things.

But how do you apply it? I'll tell you specifically how I apply it. I have a mission statement, a personal contract, and it's my “I am” statement. And I don't walk around with massive confidence 24 hours a day. Spoiler alert, I'm a human. But when I need to summon that, which is often, I do speaking engagements, I do coaching, I do performances, I will have sales calls, I'll have business meetings. I just, things that I need to be like, you know, I need to be in a good state right now. I used to just be like, okay, maybe I'll listen to some music, or I'll do this. It was just kind of a hodgepodge and now I have a very, very intentional, specific thing that I do.

I go to a room or a place where I'm by myself. I've done it in closets in the back of the performance halls. I've done it in a bathroom, I've done it in my office, I've done it in my car. I go somewhere where I'm by myself, take a couple breaths, center myself, and then I ask myself, who am I?

Because when I get into alignment with who I am and really tap into that, it gives me a sense of power and connection to my creator, to all the things around me, to the energy that is around me, to the energy in myself, like it gives me this confidence that really carries me into the situation. And so, here's mine. I say, who am I? I center myself. I say, I am a powerful, kind, joyful man of light. I body inspiration and creativity, and the purpose of my life is to be a magnetic light, to live an authentic, fulfilled life, and to inspire and guide others to do the same. And so, it is. So, I say that to myself and for me that resonates.

Because I took a long time to really come up with that. Specific words that meant a lot to me. Specific phrases, I'll say a phrase and it embodies a whole host of things that makes sense to me in my life with my kids, with my job, with my passions and stuff like that. I understand that, and it brings me back to, instead of saying, oh, can I do this? Should I do this? Is it okay if I try this? It's like, uh, no. Centered. This is who I am. Go and do it. And it completely changes the energy of how I approach things. And before I had this tool, I would just try to pump myself up. But it wasn't like something that was a protocol, right? And now it's so intentional.

Tony: And I know you'll get to this, but I think the depth of work that you've put in to get to that place, I don't think people understand that every word you're talking about, every phrase is intentional.

And so, the more that you say that, I can only imagine, I can watch you do it, if anybody's watching the video, but you feel you could almost watch you just start to fill your chest, right? And you can just feel that. Because I feel like maybe there's been many of us that have said, okay, I'm going to just tell myself, give some positive affirmations and go do this.

But, if it isn't who I am or doesn't resonate with me, or doesn't speak directly to my soul.

Preston: So, that’s the thing is I have a whole process that I take people. I've done this in big groups of people like with, a hundred people in the room, like a big coaching presentation. I've done it in small groups where it's just me and one person that's one on one. I've done it in business sessions and corporate, like I've gone into corporations and said, Okay, let's take your whole leadership team and we're going to say, let's get back to bare bones. We're going to talk about marketing later, but right now who are you? Why are you here? What's going on? Because each of you are individuals, and when you have this intentional way to approach the way that you live, it changes what you're doing. Because then instead of just drifting, you're following a specific path that you create. And that's the brilliant part about it.

Tony: What are some of the I don’t know, what are the biggest challenges, roadblocks, that sort of thing that you see when you're starting to help people dig into their values?

Preston: So yeah, we’ll move to values. One of the biggest roadblocks I see is people second guess themselves about what should I choose as a value.

Okay, here's a list of a hundred things, and I, again, I have a process that I take people through that makes it very, very simple. And the way that you approach it makes it obvious. And then it creates certainty around what you're doing and how you're doing it. So, the number one problem that I see that people have when they're trying to create their values is overwhelm around, should I put this one on my list?

What, if I want, you know, growth is my value, but I also want courage is my value and like, ah, should I just. And what they need as their number one value is to fricking relax. I have a whole process that includes comparing the different values to each other, creating a hierarchy of them, and then identifying and naming the value, instead of just saying, courage.

Okay, cool. What does courage mean? Courage means something different to you than it does to me, and so if you not only name it, but then I meant to say identify or define is a better word, define what that is. For me, courage means I am willing to face discomfort and lean into situations that stretch me.

Okay. That's what it means. So, when I come up against it, I want to make this sales call, but I'm feeling a little bit like anxiety or hesitation around it, I go back to who am I? Look at my list of values. Boom. Courage is number two on my list of values. I am willing to face discomfort, okay?

If I'm going to live in alignment. Or if I'm going to live on contract, I call it living on contract means I am going to face this discomfort. I'm not going to pretend that it's comfortable. I'm not going to say to myself, I can do hard things. No, it's not about that. I'm willing to face discomfort and I've defined that for me.

Another one of my values is allowance. Allowing, and for me, this is really important. I let go of control and other people might not have this as like a need, but for me, I let go of control and, this is going to sound really, prideful, but this is something I'm working on. I allow others to have their own ideas without controlling how they think and act for other people.

Tony: Oh yes, Preston. Yeah, go.

Preston: Yeah. They might be like, uh, why would you even need to put that on there? Because it's me. Okay, so maybe a value that you have on your list is something that I don't even have on my list, because it's my natural way of operating. It just is.

Tony: I would say what I like about that so much is when you were talking about, yeah, people need to relax, and I feel like people do this constantly, then I know I shouldn't care about this, or I should, should I have this value or am I supposed to do this one? And then that shows the tool that you're using gets the depth of something like giving up control. Because I feel like that's a whole other layer, you know, you must get to, to get to that realization of how much we do. We are trying to control others around us, bless our hearts, because it's scary sometimes when people have their own thoughts and opinions, because we immediately go to, oh my gosh, that means they think I'm bad or crazy. So that takes a lot, to get to that place of acceptance of having a value like that. Because that one can be scary.

Preston: And for me to define that and then put it on my list, I was like, oh shoot. If I put this on my list, I'm going to be held to it. And that's scary because it's something that I struggle with. Okay. That means that I need to put it on my list because it's going to guide me toward what I actually want to live, which is a fulfilled life. My wife does not need to put that on her values list. She's really good at just letting other people have their own ideas and not trying to control. She's so good at that. It's one of, it's one of her natural gifts and talents and superpowers that she brings to the table is this, genuine acceptance, and compassion for people.

And it's really inspiring to me, but I need to put it on my list because it's not something that comes innately to me. These are things that I'm being intentional about and that I want to use. So, when I find that people are like, oh what should I put? How should I put them? And then what order should I put them in? And the hesitation is based around, I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I'm going to be held to this. What if I mess up? What if I, all this stuff. And again, like maybe you need to put forgiveness on your values list. Because you're going to mess up at it.

This is a map. This whole contract is a map and you're not always going be always on course. It's a way for you to redirect. It's kind of like a rumble strip when you're driving down the road and you hit the rumble strip. And then that doesn't mean that you're a bad driver, it just means, oh, I need to pull back onto the middle of the lane because this is where I'm headed. And so, people don't know exactly where they're going. I remember one time I was hiking down in the Grand Canyon at Havasupai. Have you ever been down there? No. No. Havasu Falls, I think. Beautiful. And when you hike back out, it's oh, like 10, 12-mile hike or something like that.

There's a specific part where you must turn and then you have to go up these switchbacks. And if you don't know where to turn, then you miss it and it's not marked because it's just in the Grand Canyon. And me and my wife and my stepbrother, we were walking together. We got separated from the group a little bit. We were just kind of walking. We didn't really know. Oh, we kind of want to go to the top of the rim. But we didn't have a specific plan. We didn't have a specific map. We were just walking and we're just one foot in front of the other. Cool, cool, cool.

Doing our thing. And then we looked up. And it started, it was starting to get dark. We looked up and we're like, none of this looks familiar. And we look up and, oh wait. Oh my gosh. The top is kind of behind us. I can see some lights up there in the parking lot, like, oh, where are we at? And we had just been walking and we passed the turnoff and we had gone three or four miles without even thinking. And then we had to end up turning around, walking all the way back to it, and we passed it a second time. Oh dang. Okay. Another mile down the road. So, we're walking an additional, six, eight miles than we should have been walking. Running out of water. We have no food. It's getting dark. We had passed another group of people a couple hours earlier who had seen a bobcat. It was not a good situation. Now I'm here today. We made it out. Made it, okay. Because my dad and the people that were with us on the crew, they hiked back down the whole freaking canyon down the switchbacks and they ended up finding us down below the turnoff.

But what I took away from that was if you're just walking and you're just walking, how many people just drift? Like, why are you doing the things that you're doing today? Are they just because they're the same things that you did yesterday? Are you living with intention? Are you being intentional? Are you being honest with who you are, what you are, what you're doing and why you're doing it? Do you have a personal, a roadmap? And if you don't, don't judge yourself. Just be intentional about doing that or else, five years down the road you're going to just realize, oh, I've just been walking.

Tony: I think what you're saying, is such an important part, I think, of becoming the best version of you that you can be is that I think a lot of people will even hear this and say, okay, no, great point. But right now, it's a busy time of life. Or I’m going to wait until the kids are older, or wait till the job is better, or wait till I, and it's that proverbial kicking that can down the road. And I think what you're saying is so true. This is a big old, you don't know what you don't know of what it feels like to know what those values are and to live with purpose and intention.

And then when people finally do it, and the joke I'm making in my office is where they may be a couple years into working with me, and all of a sudden, they say, why didn't you tell me this in the beginning? Now I did. I begged you to do this and which is why again, I'm so grateful that you have a program because I feel like it needs to be a part of if somebody's starting anything, therapy, or a new job, or a marriage or whatever, it would be ideal to go into it having an idea of who you are.

Preston: Dude, the time is never going to be ideal. It just never is. Like, when's the last time that you said, oh, I'll start that when and then something else comes up? Life. Here's the thing I know about life. Life is going to life at you. It's going to life all over you. It's just going to life. And you get to be either a reactor, or a creator. In your life, are you acting or are you being acted upon? Are you being intentional or are you being a victim? Here's the thing. The job, the kids, the crazy time. The stuff, all the things; It's happening. Do you really think that things are going to get easier or calm down six months from now?

Tony: Right. No, that's adorable.

Preston: I mean, in rare exceptions. Yeah, sure. But I'm not talking to you. Like maybe you're in the middle of your PhD, Dissertation. What's that called? Something like that? Maybe in the middle of that. Okay, cool. Yeah, things will slow down when you're done with that.

Not very many people are in the middle of that. So how about this? Would it be helpful for you to have a specific guide that you can look at as you're approaching your job, as you're approaching your kids, as you're growing up, as you're approaching your relationship, as you're approaching your new health and fitness goals, or a new move, a new relationship. As you're approaching these things, would it help you to have your own guide about who I am, what's important to me? What do I want? What am I good at? What do I want to avoid? What questions can I ask myself daily that will really serve me? So, I talked earlier about how I use my contract, my mission statement, before I go on stage or all those different things. But let's talk about how I use values.

Okay? Because say if like, this is why I'm talking about the energy of, or not the energy. This is the reason the hierarchy of values is really important because if somebody has adventure on their list, right? And then that same person has friendship on their list, and then that same person has health and safety on their list.

The order that they're going to get put in is going to determine how they're going to react to certain situations. Because what if adventure is at the top? One of the most important things to me. And what if friendship is at the bottom? Okay? And then, somebody says, hey, we're all going to go skydiving, and then everybody backs out and then they're going to go do something else. But you've already signed up for skydiving. If adventure is your number one goal and friendship is down here, where are you going to go? You're going to go skydiving, you're not going to go with your friends.

Now, that's not good or bad. It's neither, it's just, this is going to dictate what you do. Then take this, what if you have security and safety and health in your top, but then you also want to be adventurous. So, you put that down there seventh or something like that. Hey, we're all going skydiving. What are you going to do?

Tony: You are not going skydiving. Why not? Because that might not be safe Preston.

Preston: Because one of them is more important than another one. Yeah. Yeah. And so, you must figure out. Some of your values can be contradictory. Like I want to have love and connection with people, but I also want to have, that's not a very good example. Let's just take the adventure versus safety, those two things can be important. Those things are both important to me. I love those things. For me, adventure is a little bit higher on the list, and so it is going to beat safety. For my wife, she's also very adventurous. She also wants that security and safety, so for her it's going to beat the adventure. So, it's just going to determine how you react to things. And so, you must decide what are the things that I'm moving toward and what are the things that I'm moving away from. Because sometimes people will do anything to not experience, it's called an away value for me. Shame. Shame is one of my just away values. I will do almost anything to not experience shame or humiliation. And it will even beat out some of my toward values of courage. Because if I have this courage, like I'm willing to face discomfort, but then if I'm not being intentional about this, all of this is like things that we fall into when we're not intentional.

If I want to be courageous about something, but I also don't want to experience shame or humiliation, this courageous thing that I want to do has a pretty high potential of making me experience shame or humiliation. If I'm not being intentional and reading my contract and saying my mission statement and moving toward these things, then my away value is going to beat that out.

And then, I'm going to shrink. I'm going to shrink and I'm not going to do it. And so, we need to be aware of what our away values are, what our toward values are, and how they interact with our mission, how they interact with our purpose and how they interact with each other in the hierarchy.

And all of this can be overwhelming. That's why I created a process to take people through it. So that dude, it takes all the cloudiness of your life about why I am how I am, why I act this way, what's going on. And it just clears everything up and it just puts all the pieces into place, and it makes everything clear so that you can take the action that you want to take and understand the action that you have taken and be intentional instead of just drifting.

Tony: Preston every single, I mean, I dig this stuff so much and why? I just felt like, I can't believe, I didn't realize that the answers were literally with my friend Preston here. But also, and I know we've talked about this, what I think is amazing and I love that you're talking about being very intentional about this and I think we were talking as well, once you're aware of these, and let's say that you're just feeling disconnected or you're feeling down, and then it's like, what do I do? And, that can come into play here too. Okay. I'm going to take action on anything of value. So if I have that value of adventure, I'm going to go do something adventurous at that moment. You know, even if my brain's telling me I'd rather not. And I love that concept as well. Again, another reason why this is so important to just figure out, because it's not just when I get into this choice point of what to do and how to line them up, but if I don't even know what to do or I'm feeling down or I just don't want to get out of bed at times, this is where I say, okay, what are your values? And you do something of value. And it is going to be something that is going to be far more doable than when somebody's just saying, well, you just need to get up and just be happy or just take action or you got to know what to do in those scenarios.

Preston: And when you have a goal, like an intentional goal, all these things are easy to put together when you do have a goal, like some specific things that you're trying to accomplish and that leads me to the next point talking about natural superpowers, your gifts and talents and abilities. I'll call them your superpowers because it's fun to talk about it in that way. But the things that you uniquely bring to the table, your strengths, there's a way to approach this.

There's, some personality tests you can take. When I did this, I took these tests and I understood okay, this is how I can have somebody help me and walk through them like what they meant. And I put them into different hierarchies and how they related to stuff. It was really, really eye opening for me.

And then one of the cool things that I did is I sent a letter to, or an email or a text, whatever, to probably 25 people that are, clients. I think I probably sent one to you, family members, and friends, and people, and it was vulnerable. I asked them how they perceive me because we have this idea of how we are perceived and it's interesting to have that either confirmed or completely blown out of the water. And so, when I took these personality tests and then when I understood how these things worked together and then got feedback from people that I know and put them all together, I started to notice patterns. Patterns emerged and it was so clear. And again, I had coaches to help me work through this and kind of parse it so that I could understand and put it all together. But then I also recognized that I am a synthesizer. But for me, I found my top five. Number one, I'm an entertainer. I just am. I have always been since day one. I am a magnetic light. I bring joy to situations, and I'm a star, and I'm a leader. I love being in that role and it's so fun. It lights me up. I'm also an expander and a seeker. I'm relentless in my pursuit of growth and expansion.

I just, I love learning. I'm also an elite coach and I can explain complex concepts in concise and succinct ways, and that's again, one of my gifts and I didn't know that other people weren't able to do that, but then I take an hour to say something sometimes. So, maybe I'm not as good at that as I thought I was, but again, I'm a synthesizer.

I'm also a creator. I can activate things and when I line myself with all these things that I'm talking about, I can create things at will. It's nuts, like line everything up and just things happen and it's brilliant to understand this is what I bring to the table. And when I've helped other people create this. And then peers that I've gone through programs with, their lists are completely different. And you see it in them. I'm like, oh my gosh, you're so good at that. Can I pay you for that? Because you're so good at that. And I'm not good at that.

Tony: Well Preston, I had to tell you when that whole thing you just explained, when I first came out there and we hung out in your office for I think two, three days straight. And we mapped out the whole magnetic marriage course that was, I still look back on that as one of the most exhaustingly, wonderful moments of my life where I had no idea what we were doing and that dry erase board and the energy that you would bring and we'd go out and go on the electric skateboard for a minute, then we would get the amazing food and come back and it's like you're back on task and putting these pieces together and it was electric. And so, I know that you know what you can do and then you just do that, and you bring that energy. I was grinning when you were talking about who you are because it’s like, oh I have seen that.

Preston: And it's so fun. Here's a cool thing when people feel stuck. When you feel stuck, it is because you are not living in alignment with your mission, purpose, values, and your gifts. And it might just be because you don't know what they are because you haven't examined them. But that's what I call an MVP contract. Like your mission, values, purpose, your contract, your gifts, the things that you really just are and bring to the table and how you operate. Things can't just, seriously, things can become significantly easier when you have all this knowledge and then when you operate on it. And kind of the last little part of this that's so, so important is it's called a foundational filter. And what I mean by that is think about a filter. When you do a search, right? If you're doing a search for something inside of some data and then you say, exclude this word. Okay, I'm going to exclude this word.

That's a filter. And everything that has that word will not show up in the search, right? Everybody's had that experience. When you go through data, the foundation of how your mind operates moment to moment to moment. Tony Robbins calls it a primary question. It's the number one question that you're always asking.

And I call it a foundational filter because it filters your entire life through this. And for me it used to be because everybody has one and it's like a question. Mine used to be, how do I make this better? And I didn't even know that I was asking it because it was, I was asking it so often. In my mind subconsciously that it was the same thing as, what language are we speaking right now? Tony? English. Have you ever thought in the last 45 minutes about the fact that we're speaking English? I have not. No. Not once, because it's just what we're doing. So, what I realize is that I have this question that's always run into my mind. I walk into a room, look in the room, and the first thing that I don't even have to think about it, it just is. It's the water I'm swimming in. It's the language I'm speaking. How do I make this better? And that serves me a great deal when I walk into an event that I'm running. And then I can be like, oh, put the chairs here, put the speaker there, move that over here, do boom, boom. And then everything has a great experience.

How do I do it when I'm performing? How do I do it when I'm speaking? How do I do it when I'm putting together a business plan or a coaching program? Like how do I make this better? It's just, it makes everything amazing. When I get in, I get into my friend's car and he has a little graphic equalizer on his car, and I know a lot about sound and he has it set in a way that doesn't make the music sound very good.

And so, without thinking, without even asking him, I start messing with his graphic equalizer and changing the settings on it. So, this primary question, this foundational filter, it also gets me into trouble. Because we go back to one of my values is allowing. Okay, allowing people to have their own. I'm using the word allow. It seems, I understand that there's so much hubris involved in this. Like I have the ability to allow.

Tony: You’re stepping into a healthy ego.

Preston: What I mean is I need to chill out and just not try to control you, even though I think I can make it better. Okay, but what is “it”? So, I decided that I was going to not try to control things by trying to make them better, because it was always my idea of what was better, which is not necessarily their idea of what is better, which is so judgmental. And so, what I did is I went through this process that I take people through where they identify their old foundational filter and their old primary question.

And for some they'll walk into a room and they'll, without thinking, they'll be like, am I safe? What are the things that are not safe about this? They're always thinking that. Another one is to walk in and be like, how do I make other people happy? Another one is a walk in, say, what are people thinking about me?

So, it's a question that you're always asking that you get to the point. You don't even think about it. And if you can't ask that question, it really, really makes you uncomfortable.

Tony: Preston, can I tell you it makes so much sense too. When I think back, I remember when you talked about primary questions for me, and I really feel like I have such a value of curiosity and knowledge.

And so, I have this primary question constantly of what's this person about? Or what makes this person tick. And so, then when we would get in the room to then create a course and you're going to make this thing better, and I don't even know what it is. And so, I'm wanting to understand more about how this works?

And I remember we would have those conversations around, what we're selling and how we sell it and the way that we're going to connect and communicate. And I realized that I was kind of doing the, okay, I need to try to make sense of this, or I want to understand where you're coming from or how does this work? Or how do you tick and you're just making it better, man, you know.

Preston: But that question, if left unchecked will go and go and go and damage relationships. For me, I have one of my best friends. My best friend's primary question was, how do I make other people happy? Awesome. Lot of benefit to that question.

Also, when you take it to its natural conclusion, what happens? You lose yourself. Because you're always doing things for other people and you're selling out on what you want. And he experienced that. So, what I did is I created an intentionally new, foundational filter. My new primary question, and it is this, what else is going well for me right now?

Okay. That's what I ask when I'm intentional. So, what's the presupposition? So, what is the presupposition in the first question? How do I make this better?

Tony: That something's wrong.

Preston: That something is wrong, and we need to find out what's wrong with it. So, I'm always looking for problems. What's the presupposition in, “What else is going well for me?”

Tony: That something may not be going according to plan? No.

Preston: The presupposition that is, that something is already going well. What else is going well for me? I start by saying something's got to be going right.

Let's look for what else is going well for me. When I do that, here's the thing. I live, when I say my contract. I live in alignment with my mission, my values, and my purpose, my hierarchy. I'm intentionally acting on my natural gifts, talents, and superpowers. And then I'm asking my foundational filter question.

When I am conscious about these things, I'm on fricking fire. Because it's me. I'm in alignment and it's a completely different thing. Yours is different from mine. Your values are different. Mine, the hierarchy is different. The question is different. Your mission, your purpose, your contract, your gifts, all of them are completely different and they are unique.

And what I've done is I've put together a very specific process of helping people extract these things from their soul, from their experience, from their relationships, from their life, from their mind, from tests that you take. Just all these different things and it put them all together in your M V P contract, so you know your mission, your values, your purpose, and how you can go about creating a fulfilled life.

Tony: Man, Preston, and what we were saying earlier if your brain right now is like, that sounds amazing and I'll get to it later. I don't think you understand what it would feel like to live in alignment with your values now to deal with the things that are coming up later.

I feel, I feel it, man. I do. So where can people find you?

Preston: This is what we're going to do, okay? We're going to set up, so go to Tonyoverbay.com/contract. Okay? Cause this is your contract, Tonyoverbay.com/contract and it'll take you to a link. Because what I'm doing right now is I'm running a six week program.

We do it every single week. We're going to have coaching calls, there's going to be homework, it's a fun process. It's a fun process and you will be required to do some things. This is not going to be, it's very interactive and you're going to do some things in between the calls and take you like, you know, a couple hours a week.

But at the end of it, you come away with a specific document and right now I'm running a promotion. Like the price is going to, I'm going to, this is the only time it's ever, marketing, scarcity, whatever, whatever. Honestly, this is the only time it's ever going to be at this price because I'm running it right now and I'm going to limit it because I want to have a specific like small group of people.

Yeah, so only 20 spots in this, and it'll be double the price later on when I keep running this program. But right now, only 20 spots. And if you're feeling called to this, like, okay, I'll tell you right now. Right now, you're in one of three camps. You're like, dude, I'm a yes. I need this. I'm a yes.

Cool. In that case, go, just go to the thing. Go sign up. If you are a no, if you're like, you know what, this sounds great. Not for me. Trust yourself. That sounds freaking awesome to just know that this is not for you right now, cool. But maybe you're in the third camp, which is you're a yes, but. Like, yeah, I would love to have this.

I think it would be so valuable in my life, but I don't know if I have the time, but I don't know if I have the money, but I don't know all these different things. And I'll tell you this right now, how much longer are you going to use that excuse. Because if you're using that excuse here and you're like called to it, then you're using that excuse in other areas of your life as well.

I have put so many things off that I knew I needed to do. It’s ridiculous, and when I started proving to myself that I was willing to actually invest in myself, things changed. So if you're a “yes but”, then just allow yourself to get rid of that excuse and step into making a new decision and getting clear on who you are and what you're doing, because it changes how you approach everything.

Tony: Preston, I love it. I do. And again, what, this will be 340 something episodes of the Virtual Couch. I've only talked about values about 900,000 times, and this is the first time that it's saying, hey, and actually here's how you go figure that out. I'm grateful to you, my friend. I couldn't trust anybody else more with the keys to the car.

I mean, you, even if you're going to mess with the equalizer, I actually trust you there too. Cause I don't know enough about that.

Preston: Well, I don't do that anymore because I say, what else is going well for me, and I allow other people to have their own sound equalizing systems and I don’t need to, I don’t need to change things anymore for other people.

Tony: No, you're very kind. All right. So please go to Tonyoverbay.com/contract. And, then if you have questions, you can reach out through my website for Preston, or I'm sure you can go to Preston.

Preston: You can hit me up at Preston.Pugmire on Instagram. Or Preston Pugmire on Facebook. Like DM me. If you're listening to this episode, screenshot it and tag me and I'll send you a voice message. I send voice messages to everybody that tags me, that listens to these podcasts and tags me on those things.

And then if you have questions about it, yeah. Like if you have questions about it, send me a question, I'll talk to you about what's going on. You can email me.

Tony: Please talk to Preston if you want to feel good about yourself. Talk to Preston, please.

Preston: Tony's got too much going on. Don't email him.

Tony: That's right. Preston is my man. That's right. Okay. Preston Pugmire.

Preston: Thank you so much. Preston Pugmire. It's P U G M I R E.

Tony: Okay, Preston thank you for coming on. I want you to come back on and then talk about all the changes that the first 20 that run through this have had. And then, man, you're changing lives.

Preston: And we need to have you on my podcast. Next level life. Let's do this, a podcast called Next Level Life. And let's do an episode next week with you on it.

Tony: I would love it. Okay, Preston Pugmire, we'll talk to you later. Okay. Thanks for going on the Virtual Couch.

Preston: Bye.

Tony shares why values are so important, and how a thought truly is simply a thought...thoughts do not always lead to action. He also describes the most effective thing to do when you're feeling down, lonely, anxious, depressed, or any other feeling. You can find Russ Harris' values worksheet here https://psychwire.com/harris/resources

--------------- TRANSCRIPT ---------------

[00:00:22] Hey, everybody, welcome to take, I don't know, 300, 400 of this morning's episode of The Virtual Couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I am very calm and being very present now as I have continued to ruin and take after take of simply trying to say hi, how are you doing? As I have been distracted or had a coughing fit or had to clear my throat or literally then forgot what to say. So this time I am determined to stay the course. So welcome aboard. Welcome to this episode of The Virtual Couch. And today we're going to talk about values. I talk about values so much that if I look at there was my throat again, I swear to you, I could I could stop right now and start over again. But instead, watch this. I'm going to pause. Well, that was a good one. I just cleared my throat like nobody's business. But I talk often about values. And probably now the most consistent email I receive is can you give me a link to this values worksheet that I talk about often? That is by my favorite author, Ross Harris, who is author of The Happiness Trap and the Confidence Gap and Act, made simple all of these amazing acceptance and commitment therapy books. And I have a little copy and paste there. So if you if you want to, you can reach out contacted Tony Overbay dot com or go through the website and I'll send you a link.

[00:01:31] But you can also find the link on site Wired.com. You can find it in under additional resources. But I talk so often about values and the importance of finding your values, determining your values, that that really guides you in the direction that you need to be. That I really wanted to go through and take a look at what that looks like when you're trying to find or figure out what your values are because they're significant. Let me let me kind of go over that again. So when you find out or determine what your values are, those start to point you in a direction, a new direction of where you want to go with your behaviors, where you want to go with your thoughts, and even just trying to figure out what your values are or what's important to you is a pretty mind blowing experience. Here's why. It may sound like you already kind of know what matters to me, but do you when I have clients in my office one on one, one of the first things I like to do is go over this values checklist, because so often our values that we think are important to us are really things that are carried over from our parents or from our teachers at school or from a neighbor or from our siblings or from our religious community. And they're those things that we feel like we are supposed to care about are supposed to do.

[00:02:38] And what I think is fascinating, when you do a deep dove on your own personal values is that they're very unique and personable, personable, personal to you because of all of the experiences that you've gone through in life. And I've probably said this so many times that it gets old for somebody that's listening to a lot of my episodes. But let's just take a look at honesty. For example, if you grew up in a home where your parents, one or both were brutally honest to the point of where they said, you absolutely look horrific and what you're wearing, or today when you gave a talk in church, I can't even believe that I call you my kid, which those are very real examples that I hear on a fairly regular basis of people growing up saying, well, you know, at least I knew where they stood, that my parents were honest, but oftentimes it came with a cost of that person's self-esteem or their confidence. So if you grew up in a home where people had this brutal honesty, then you may not have a value of that absolute brutal honesty. You may have more of a value of compassion, or if you have a value of connection with others, then you may say, I think you look pretty good, or I think that not that talk was was great.

[00:03:47] I love this part where you said this one thing, this story that you told that was fantastic because it might not be in your nature. It may not be a value of yours to then tell somebody really what you think, what you think deep down in your soul about what they look like right now or what they're wearing. And I'm not saying there's any good or bad or any right or wrong value. That's the fascinating thing about values. They just are they're there because of all the experiences that you've gone through as a kid. You know, if somebody has some deep abandonment or attachment issues in their life, then they may really have this value of connection. They desperately want to connect with people, but they may not know how. So sometimes just identifying and accepting that you have this deep value of connection with others, that that becomes a really important direction to guide your life. So if you have this value of connection, but then you are afraid that you may not know what to say in a particular moment, then that I'm worried. I may not know what to say in a particular moment becomes this story that your brain is telling you and you then hook to this story. If used this story, you believe this story, even though it's just a story, it's just a thought in your head, and then that keeps you from trying to connect with others.

[00:04:56] So it's so important to determine what your values are. So in that scenario, let's say that you really have this deep core value of connection with others. But again, you're afraid you're afraid that you might say something silly, that you might stumble on your words, that they might not think that you're smart. And so let's say that you are. Going into a new environment, you were starting a new job or you're heading off to school and now you have this opportunity to talk to people or connect with people, that's at your core. That is your deepest desire and value in life is to connect with others. So you think I'm going to go talk to those people then? And that gives you a little bit of a bump of dopamine. You get pretty excited about it, but then just take a pause and watch all those stories that your brain tells you. Your brain starts to say, I don't. They're going to like you, you know, or you haven't had a lot of success with this in the past. So why is this going to be any different? So if you believe or buy into any of those stories, then guess what? You don't have to go try and connect with that person. And if we just take a step back again, your brain is kind of wired for survival and survival at a real primitive level.

[00:05:57] Your brain wants the path of least resistance. It knows what the current situation looks like. It knows what it looks like or feels like to say, I'll try to talk to somebody later. It knows what it feels like to say, I'll sit this one out. But what it is afraid of is this fear of if I go over there and make a fool out of myself, then things might actually be worse. And that's going to that's going to require a lot of emotional calories and energy. And I might not get a payoff for it. So your brain saying, hey, how about we sit this one out again? Is this concept of experiential avoidance? I'll find other things to do right now. You know, I'm going to I want to do my laundry. I'm going to I'm going to just watch a few more videos on YouTube or open up the Tick Tock app or something like that. And tomorrow tomorrow I'm going to connect with those people. I mean, how many times do you say that to yourself? That I'm to do it later or even in the grand scheme of things? I'm going to do it when the kids are out of the home. I'm going to do it when we're in a better financial situation. I'm going to do it when I have lost a little bit of weight or any of those type of things.

[00:06:56] So we're designed to just kick that can down the road to put things off. So as soon as we identify what our values are now, we start to take action toward our values or activities based on our values. And your brain is still going to try to talk you out of it. But at least now we have a direction to go and that's where we can really do some good work. So if I'm going to start moving toward a connection with somebody but my brain says you may not know what to say or they might not think that you are very smart at this point, then we're not even trying to argue that. We're saying, OK, all right. I appreciate your warning brain. You mean well, but that isn't a very workable or that isn't a very productive thought toward my Value-Based Goal of connection. That's why the identifying of values becomes so important. So I wanted to walk you through what that looks like when you pull up this values list. So this values list from the sites like Wired.com says, a quick look at your values. And right in front of me, I have the 60 value version. And the reason I picked that one, they have a 60 value version and a 40 value version. Alfonsin clients the 40 value version, but the 60 value version has a really nice explanation. At the top, it says, values are your heart's deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being.

[00:08:06] Values are not about what you want to get or achieve. They're about how you would want to behave or act on an ongoing basis, how you want to treat yourself or others or the world around you. And I feel like there's some real significance there. The significance in that values are not about how they're not what you want to get or achieve. They're about how you want to behave or act. And I was doing a little bit of a values exercise or values workshop that I found. And I found this through a training that I was doing. And I'll have a link to this, but I am drawing a blank. You can see me stumble here on trying to figure out or remember who the author was that provided this worksheet. And I will find that I feel so bad. But she said that values clarification worksheet. She said, before you begin to identify your values, remember that they're unique to each one of us and you get to choose them. And you may have learned your values, like we said earlier, from your family, your community culture, your country, your religious or spiritual traditions or your friends. However, you are not required to share values with them. And I think that's so important and is so is so simply and easily and wonderfully stated that just because your parents value something or your religious community values something, that doesn't mean that you have to value that thing.

[00:09:22] You value what you value again because of your experiences. And so when she says, however, you're not required to share values with them, values are typically going to elicit one or more of these following feelings, a sense of purpose or vitality or connection or contentment, fulfillment, warmth or meaning. And if you don't feel at least one of those things, it's most likely not a core value of yours. And she says, include all aspects of what's important to you, all shades of you, values that are similar and values that are in contrast to one another. And I think that's important. You can have a value of compassion, but you could also have a value of authenticity or you could have a value of justice, even though you also have a value of connection. And some of those can seem like they are conflicting values. And we'll talk about that here in a little bit. Values, and this is why I brought this up. She talks about values being like directions that they can't be achieved. So if you can get it or you can have it. And it's not likely a value, so if we're talking about money, if my if people want to say I have a value of getting rich, then that that really isn't a value.

[00:10:20] That might be a goal. That might be a direction to go, but it's not a core value if you can get it. If I become rich, you know, whatever that looks like, then it's not really a value I could have a value of being authentic, a value of cooperation, a value of courage, value of fairness, a value of fitness or flexibility. And we'll talk about those. But really ask, what about this particular value or what about this thing is important to me. And here was the part that I thought was so brilliant. She talked about no core values, that values don't necessarily exist in a hierarchy of most important to least important, that it really boils down to the context of the moment. And in that context or moment, that will really determine what value is the most workable for you to focus on or the most productive for you to focus on. And we'll talk about that will give some examples here. So I want to I want to challenge you if you right now have no idea what your values are. Of course, I would like for you to get this worksheet or that I'm talking about and have a link to it in the show notes so you can email me and I'll look for you even to start to think about what really matters most to you, what really gives you this sense of meaning or purpose or connection or fulfillment.

[00:11:26] And then watch your brain immediately say, but yeah, but here's why this wouldn't work for me or here's why. And those are all just your brain. Bless its little pink, squishy heart, trying to protect you or trying to just keep you safe or trying to make sure that you don't make a fool out of yourself or you don't embarrass yourself because the brain is again, this this just stay alive, don't get killed device. And I think it's so brilliant when you think about that concept of your brain. It really is working off of some faulty information, which sounds crazy because it's your brain. I have one. You have one. We all have one. But the brain is saying that if I can just work less, if I can just conserve my energy, then I've got a good shot of living forever because your brain wants to live forever. It's this organ that if it dies, it dies. I mean, we can talk about soul and we can talk about the afterlife. We can talk about all those things. But your poor brain is saying, I got one shot at this, you know, and then and then I am then I am done. So I want to hold on for dear life, literally. So what your brain is doing is that saying if we don't have to put ourselves out there too much, then we have a better chance at living.

[00:12:28] But again, that's a false premise. So and this goes into that whole concept of why we develop habits. If you think about tying your shoes, as soon as you learn to tie your shoe, you don't think about tying your shoes at all or you don't think about backing the car out of the driveway or you don't think about buttoning up a shirt. Those become habitual, those become habits, and they're put into a little part of your brain called the basal ganglia. It's the habit center of your brain. And if you were to look at how much electrical activity your brain uses when pulling from that habit center, it's it's minuit. It's infinitesimal. So in that scenario, your brain wants to do whatever it can to make something habitual, whether it's a thought or behavior, whatever that is, put it into that habit center. And then when your brain sees cues coming, then it says, load up this habit because this whole process is going to use less electrical activity and therefore we're going to be able to live forever. So let's try to get as many things as we can as habitual. And the way it's going to do that is even to to kind of trick you into these things of saying, hey, we'll do that thing later, because that thing sounds pretty scary. But for right now, let's just focus on something that we know. Let's focus on the known.

[00:13:34] We know tick tock. We know YouTube, we know sleeping. We know watching episodes of the office. So let's do that today. And then I promise you tomorrow we'll take a look at whatever that new thing is that you want to do. And then we believe our brain. We trust our brain and we say, OK, brain sounds like a good idea. That's right. We'll tackle that tomorrow or you're right. I think I do deserve a little bit of tick tock time right now and I'm going to spend some time there. So when you look at it that way, I think that will often help us understand that there's nothing wrong with us. This is just the way that we're presenting. This is a survival mechanism. This is how we're wired. This is our brain thing. And it's doing us a favor. It thinks it's doing us a solid. So let's get back to this quick look at your values. Oh, where I was going when I was talking about that is if you aren't sure what they are, I want you to get this worksheet out or when you start thinking about things that really matter to you or what really you feel a meaning or sense of purpose around and then watch your brain, bless his heart, try to talk you out of those things that. Well, yeah, but this doesn't really matter. Or you shouldn't think that even your own brain is going to shoot on you.

[00:14:37] Nobody likes to be shown on. And so as you develop these or even want to start testing to see if these things are your values or not, this is why I love this point that she said in this worksheet that there aren't there isn't really a hierarchy of values most important to least important. We just need to start doing. And we spend so much of our time thinking and we try to think, think, think, think our way through things. We try to think our way out of thinking problems. We ruminate, we fortuneteller, we worry. And all of that is a lot of thinking. And we get to the point where we feel like I just have to figure this out. But in reality, we spend far too much time in that. And not enough time and doing but here's the caveat to that is it really does help. I was going to say it matters. It matters. It really does help if you know what to do. So you can start thinking and get yourself anxious and you can practice mindfulness and you can bring yourself right back to the present moment. You can notice that you're thinking you can turn to your breath, you can get yourself right back into the moment. But now what? Because when you let your foot off the gas of trying to be present, you're still in that same situation often.

[00:15:43] And so your brain says, hey, how'd that work, champ? You know, it didn't. So let's get back to worrying. Let's get back to ruminating when in reality, if you can bring yourself back to the present moment and now take action on a value of value based goal or value based activity, you're starting to create this nice new neural pathway in your brain that when I start to worry, when I start to fear, when I start to doubt, when I start to get anxious, when I start to feel depressed, when I start to do any of those feelings or those those thoughts come into my mind that I'm going to notice them. I'm not going to judge I'm not going to try to push them away. I'm not going to try to change them magically. I'm going to recognize them. I'm going to acknowledge that thought. And then I'm going to just gently set the rope down to the tug of war with that thought of why am I thinking this? I shouldn't be thinking this. Don't think this thinks something else. Instead, all of those are just that's that's that same pattern that's kind of kept us stuck. Where we are. Where we're going to do is we're going to acknowledge the thought, recognize the thought, drop the rope of the tug of war with that thought and then gently move towards some value based action.

[00:16:45] Let me give you an example of this. This happened over the weekend. I was in Vegas, Las Vegas, with my wife and my oldest daughter, Alex, and my son in law, Mitch. And we were at the NBA Summer League games, which are so much fun. So you're in this arena and you're just watching game after game and it's these future NBA professionals. And so they're young and they're exciting. And you get to sit really close to the court and it's game after game after game. So if you're a basketball fanatic, which I am, it's just it's such a fun time, but we're all human. So after about the second or third game and you're sitting there and maybe you're your butt starts to fall asleep a little bit, you are starting to think, OK, I'm kind of getting a little tired of of eating the concessions from the the arena. And and so there was a moment that came over me where I just felt a little bit flat because I'm human, even though I love what I'm doing, I love the people around me. But I just noticed I was kind of feeling flat. So here's what that looks like. I notice that I'm feeling flat. And when did I notice that? I noticed that this is going to sound silly, but I noticed it when I noticed it. So I was sitting there and I was just not really communicating with those around me.

[00:17:52] And I was watching this game, but I really wasn't into the game. I wasn't participating actively watching the game. So I recognized it, noticed that that came to my attention. I didn't say, man, what's wrong with me? You know, you're here. You've got your family around you. This incredible you should be more excited about this. You should be more grateful because that's too often what we do. And that then starts to put a lot of pressure on us. It starts to lower our emotional baseline. It starts to raise our stress level. We start to think, I mean, I can't even come to Vegas on a vacation and be present. What is wrong with me? Nothing. You're human. We have a bunch of thoughts and emotions and feelings all throughout the day, all throughout the hour, even at times, all throughout the minute. So when I recognized that I was feeling a little bit flat, then I noticed it. I acknowledged it. Oh, I'm noticing that. I'm feeling a little bit flat. That's interesting. And so then I turned to a value of curiosity, a value of knowledge. These are two of my my main values, say one of the his core values, even though I just told you that this one author says there aren't any core values, but these are values that really are important to me, especially in that moment and in that context.

[00:18:58] So when I noticed that I am feeling flat, I acknowledged it. I didn't push it away. I made room for it. It's right there. It's right beside me. This feeling of being flat. I didn't judge it. I didn't try to say what's wrong with me? You shouldn't feel this way. You should think something different there. It's just a thought. So when I noticed that thought, I pulled out my phone and this this value of curiosity or knowledge kicks in and I love nothing more, then all of a sudden I start picking out players and I just start to Google them and I start to read about them and I start to learn about where they're from, how many years they played in college, how how tall they are, how many how many years have they been trying to make it into the NBA? I remember at one point I was pointing out something to my son in law where I noticed, OK, this particular guy, he missed a few games of his college career because he fled the scene of a of an accident. And I thought that's that's interesting that I'm clicking on the news article about it and I'm reading more about it. And it's just something that's fascinating. Or you or I see another player and he it was kind of funny. He had a very, very deep look, like a fake tan and some bleached hair.

[00:19:57] And we said, OK, let's find out that guy's story. Find out that he's a thirty year old from Russia who's tried to make it into the NBA several times. And so then that becomes a fascinating story. Then I Googled him. Last name's Tima. He was a 2014 Lithuanian dunk contest at. Champion, so how fun is that? Then he hits a couple of shots, the crowd gets excited and all of a sudden I feel like I have this this not a connection, but I, I just have this awareness or this knowledge more about this particular player. So I want to go back to that then. So when I'm noticing that I'm feeling flat, I don't judge it. I don't I don't try to change the thought. I don't try to push the thought away. And why is that significant? Because if I try to say why, why am I thinking this, then that's a negative. That's given some negative energy that's going to lower my emotional baseline. Why am I thinking it? I don't know. Because I'm thinking it. Because my brain said, here's a thought. Our brains do that constantly. Our brains do that all day long. Here is a thought that thought can lead to an emotion, but that does not have to lead to a behavior. And that's one of the things that I think is so amazing about acceptance and commitment therapy. Our brains, it's not this mechanistic model.

[00:21:01] We can't just simply change a thought and have it lead to a different emotion or different behavior. That's one of the things that we read often. I even have a chapter of a book called Act Made Simple, and it has a piece. This is by Russ Harris, where he says, Shattering the illusion that our thoughts control us. He said one of the key insights that we want our clients to get is that our thoughts do not control our actions, that thoughts have a lot of influence on our actions when we fuze with them, when we give them too much meaning, he said. They have less influence when we diffuse, he said. Once a client understands this, it enables us to do brief interventions like these. If a client says, I don't think I can do it, the therapist said, Can you have that thought and do it anyway? Or the client says, Well, I just know this is going to turn out badly. The therapist says, well, if that's what your mind's going to tell you, can you tell your mind? Can you let your mind tell you that and still go ahead and do whatever it is that you want to do? And so he gives a couple of examples. He said, if our thoughts and feelings actually controlled our actions, where would we be? He said, think of all those angry or resentful or vengeful thoughts and feelings that we've had just because we're human.

[00:22:05] When we thought negative things about people, he said, remember all those nasty things that you thought about saying or doing to people that you were angry with me, with a guy that cut you off somebody and that's rude in front of you in line. But imagine if those thoughts and feelings had control their actions. What if you really had gone and done all those things that you've thought where we all be of our thoughts and feelings control our actions. And he says, you know, wait for your client to answer. A lot of times they'll say in prison or in the hospital or dead. And so then you often as a therapist, want to bring up have you ever had thoughts and feelings that you didn't act on? For example, have you ever had the thought, I can't do this, but you want to and did it anyway? Right. Or do you have those thoughts about yelling at somebody or leaving your spouse or quitting your job or, you know, getting angry with your kids or calling in sick, but then you don't act on them? Do you ever feel angry but on the inside of you act calmly on the outside, or do we feel frightened but you act confidently? I mean, I had that example even just over the weekend when we were traveling and going to the airport. We run a little bit late later than I would like to.

[00:23:06] So in my mind, I saying, oh, my gosh, I'm going to miss the plane. I can't believe I to do this. I need to speed and all those are just thoughts. What did I do? Stayed present, stayed calm, had a great conversation with my wife on the way to the airport and we made it. I completely forgot about all those thoughts, those fears, those worries, that anger. So Russ Ariston says, Did you ever feel like running away from an awkward or stressful situation, but you stayed. So what does that show you? Do your thoughts and feelings truly control your actions, or do you have a choice on how you act? And I remember one of the first things I learned, and he touches on this when I was learning about act, is this it's called the I can't lift my arm metaphor. The therapist says, and I could do this for all of you right now. I would like you to silently repeat to yourself, I can't lift my arm and say it over and over in your head. And as you're saying it, lift up your arm. And if I'm if you're doing this in my office, usually I wait a little bit and there may be a slight pause for a second or two. And so then you do mention so you you can lift your arm up, even though your mind says you can say, did you notice how you hesitated, though? We are so used to believing whatever our minds tell us that for a second there we kind of maybe even actually believe it.

[00:24:12] But now repeat yourself. All right. I have to stand up and as you say it, stay seated. So your thoughts do not mechanically control your actions, your thoughts have they have influence on your actions? But I will. I love that concept of just because we think it doesn't mean that we have to do it. And and once we understand that concept, then oftentimes you say, well, what do we what do we do then? And this is where I love that we're going to find something that matters to us and we're going to start to take action and do it. And our brain will even say, what if that's not the right thing? And then that's. And now I hope that you have a context from what we were saying earlier that, oh, bless my brain's heart. Yeah, it might not be the right thing. Not even arguing if that's a true or false statement, is that a productive thought toward taking action on something that matters to me? So I really believe that when you start to figure out what matters to you and that can be fluid and what matters to you can change. And so the key is just to start taking action.

[00:25:10] And once you start taking action on something that matters to you, you'll see if that really matters to you. So go back to this example that I have of I love nothing more than just Googling things. I love information. I have such a value of curiosity that it can almost be overwhelming at times. I could be in a session with somebody and you add that value of curiosity to attention deficit disorder. That could be trouble. And I will tell clients often, OK, I love what you just said to me, but I'm dying to Google it right now and find out more about it. And I love that some of the clients that I work with are saying, oh, I'm thinking the same thing, so let's let's Google it. You know, they pull out their phone. I've got my iPad. We have this value of curiosity or value of knowledge. But if you are sitting there in an arena and you start to feel flat and then you say, oh, well, Tony has this value, curiosity or knowledge, I think I'll pull out my phone and see if that works for me. And if you just don't care, you don't have interest in that, then note it. There you go. You have some some data to work with. OK, maybe that's not my value. If you have a value of just connection with another human, then when you notice in a moment that you're feeling down or flat or blue and you have this value of just connecting with another individual, then turned to that individual and start asking them questions, they.

[00:26:20] Are you enjoying the game or what do you like about this in particular, or have you ever done this before? Did you ever think about playing basketball or what must it be like to be a basketball player and have access to this money? Or, you know, what would it look like to be seven feet tall and have to duck under doorways or so? But I'm asking those questions because I have this value of a connection. And then if you're hearing me say that and now you say, OK, I'm in a similar situation and I don't really want to Google anything on my phone or I start asking people questions, and that isn't very satisfying either. Maybe you really just have a value of a presence and you just want to be there. And so when you notice you're feeling blue now, pay particular attention to the sounds around. You hear the ball bouncing on the court, hear the shoes squeaking on the floor, hear the buzzer, hear the people buzzing around, listen for conversations around you, because that might be something that really matters to you. And the cool part about it is we are all different. We're all going to have different things that matter more to to you than they do to me and and you.

[00:27:19] It's your goal to start really figuring out what those values are so that when you are in your head, when you are anxious, when you are depressed, when you are flat, when you are feeling any of those feelings, instead of saying, what's wrong with me, nothing, you're human. Instead of saying, OK, I need to think something else, here comes psychological reactance. That instant negative reaction of of being told what to do if you tell your brain, do not think about being blue right now, I should be more happy. Your brain is going to say, oh, I'll be blue, I'll do whatever I want. It's that whole thought suppression, peace that don't think about chocolate ice cream right now. You all just thought about chocolate ice cream and don't don't put sprinkles on it, whatever you do. OK, there you go. Some sprinkles on your chocolate ice cream. Your brain is so wired for this reactance that it is going to do whatever you tell it not to do. So instead, we recognize a thought. I notice I'm feeling blue. OK, that's that's it. It's a thought. It's a feeling. You can label it. You can notice that I'm feeling blue and I can label that is OK thinking that's what I'm doing. I don't have to judge it. I don't have to push it away. I don't have to change it. I don't have to say it man.

[00:28:27] OK, whenever I feel blue then I need to think, OK, no, you're happy to be here because you can do that and you can drill that drill into your head as many times as you want. And then if you then notice you are feeling blue and then think, OK, I need to be grateful, I'm here. But if that doesn't shift your energy, then guess what? Now you get to do. I can't even do the tool you need to say to yourself, I can't even do the tool right. What's wrong with me? Nothing. You are human. We're using the wrong tool. We're using this tool of trying to figure things out. We're using this tool of trying to think our way out of a thinking problem when the real tool to use is noticing the thought and noticing the feeling, noticing the emotion. There it is. And then just gently move away from it and take action, take action on something that matters to you. And if you realize, OK, I thought that I really cared about friendliness, you know, that's one of the values on this worksheet, friendliness to be friendly, companionable or agreeable towards others. But if you found that man, I really find that I'm not as friendly as I once thought I was. There is nothing wrong with you. Noticed, there are a lot of values. We all have a different connection to these values based on all the experiences that we've been through.

[00:29:32] If you have been continually burned and trying to be friendly to people throughout your lives or if you grew up with parents that said do not talk to strangers, whatever you do, don't do it. It's scary. It's a scary world, then that value of friendliness may not be intrinsic. It may not be something that is deeply rooted within your core. And that's OK. I have on this list there's one fairness and justice, to be fair. And just to myself or others. I love when you get to process this values list with other people because that's one where it is. OK, if you don't feel this deep compassion of fairness or equality, it's hard to say that out loud because we feel like we're doing something wrong. But if you have more of a feeling of empathy or compassion, then you may not feel like that is not fair and it needs to be fair, whatever that is. If you're if you're one who sits back and says, well, I mean, it's OK, I a lot of things aren't fair, I accept that, then that's OK. That's how you feel. And if you also feel like, OK, it's not fair, I got to do something about it, even though it's not about me. That is one of your values. That's OK. I have a tremendous value of humor. I love being funny.

[00:30:40] I love cracking jokes. I love trying to see the humor in a situation. And I talked about this on a podcast a few weeks ago, but I was working with a client who has a value of humor. But they realize that in their profession and in their home right now, they they aren't able to exercise that value of humor. They're worried their brain has them hooked on this thought that if they are funny in their job, that people won't take them as seriously and therefore people will not respect them and won't want to come see them. And that's a hard place to be, because if at your core you are stuffing down your your humor and your fun and this value of humor as part of your connection, then be funny, because that is how you are going to be more of yourself and for being more of yourself. Your emotional baseline is going to raise and you're going to present as more competent. And if you present as more confident people around, you are going to feel that energy and you are going to be around people that want to be with you and you are going to want to be with those people. If somebody says I can't go to you as a professional because you are too humorous, then that's OK. Bless their heart. This is where that concept of differentiation comes into play, where differentiation again is where one person ends and the other person begins.

[00:31:52] We are all different, unique individuals. And so when we recognize that we can be interdependent, not codependent, we can we can realize that my best self is to be me. Even if there are people that disagree or even if there are people that are going to invalidate my experience. I mean, I've heard often and this is funny, I remember early on when I started putting out my podcast and somebody would hear it and they would come to me as a client and I had more than one person say, and I didn't know if I could deal with your energy. And I remember a couple of times feeling like, oh, I should not be as energetic. And I thought, oh, no, that's who I am. And then I would often say, OK, I appreciate you sharing that. And if you feel you can't deal with my energy, then no problem. I understand. And let me try to get your referral, because I want you to find a connection with a therapist that you can connect with. And I might not be everybody's cup of tea. I really might. And guess what? That's OK. And in that vein, how often do we spend our lives really trying to figure out who do I need to be and these particular situations to be liked and how difficult is that? But if we're finding our values with this whole episode is about today, we find out really what matters to us and then we act on those values and we take action and we start to move toward those values instead of worrying about what really other people are thinking while we take action on our values or we notice that we're worrying about what other people are thinking and we think our brain for that worry and we drop the rope of that tug of war of trying to really determine, oh, man, should I think should I be this way, should I not be this way? And we start taking action on our values.

[00:33:21] We are going to start to thrive. And that is a whole different relationship with yourself and with others that I worry that people don't even know what that's like. And I recognize now when people are coming into my office and I'm drilling them with this, you know, learn your values, take action on your values, invite your thoughts and emotions to come along, that to me, it just makes so much sense because it makes sense because that's what I've been doing for so long. But to somebody new there, they're still worried about how they say something or what they say or what have they say, the wrong thing. And man, bless your heart, that is a hard place to be because that that alone takes up a lot of emotional energy and calories.

[00:33:59] And too often I feel like that's why your brain says I'll do it tomorrow, because it's scary and it's new. But ironically, when you get to that point where you are living more of an authentic life based on your values and your learning, that the more you turn toward those things that matter to you, the more confident that you become and the more confident you become, the more you're running in circles with people and ideas and things that matter to you, then it's a lot easier to sit with that and validation. If somebody is going to tell me that they disagree with one of my podcasts or one of my. He's one of those things, no problem. I'm grateful that they that they're thinking about whatever the topic is that I'm talking about. That's wonderful. Thank you. But if they're saying I think you are wrong, then, OK, that's great. Like, tell me more. But at the end of the day, I'm the only one driving my ship. And so in that scenario, I can take the information and I can do with it whatever it really whatever I want to do with that. And if I want to take a look at it and say, man, maybe, maybe they've got a good point, I think I'll take a look at that. That's awesome. But I don't have to feel like I should change what I'm saying. I shouldn't say these things because what if what if that makes me look bad? No, this is how I present.

[00:35:09] So I know I don't want this to go too long. I didn't get into a lot of the other. I didn't get into a lot of values. Maybe we'll carry this to a part two. Or maybe you've got enough information now that if you go get that values worksheet, that you'll see some of these other values, you know, a value of engagement to be fully engaged in what I'm doing, a value of fitness. I love this one. I do push ups now between every set that I can throughout the day. And because I have a value of fitness, you know, instead of saying I got to do two hundred pushups a day, I have a value of fitness in the vehicle that I use is push ups during the day. So then some days I might do 100, some days I might do 400. It doesn't it just I take action on my value or their values of, like I say, kindness. There's a value of order to be orderly and organized. I do not possess that value. And that's OK. When people have a value of order to be orderly and organized, that they may they may want to have a more clean work environment or more clean home. And if their spouse doesn't share that value, that's OK. But if it matters to you, take action on it.

[00:36:12] If you have a value of responsibility to be responsible and accountable for my actions, a value of supportiveness, to be supportive and helpful to others, I mean, there's so many of these values. None are wrong. None are right. They just are. And as you find out, the ones that matter to you and take action on them, it is going to raise your emotional baseline and you are going to start to have this energy in this connection with yourself, with your universe, with God, with other people. And that is going to then rub off, you know, that is going to let your light so shine again. Back to this Marianne Williamson poem. Who are you to to to shrink so that you will not so that others won't feel uncomfortable around you. You know, we're all children of God and we're meant to to shine so that then those around us will be lifted. And so find out what matters to you and take action and repeat that process. And on the road to taking action, remember, you are at point A or C or F or G, and we don't know what point Z looks like yet to get dizzy. He had to go from H to I and I to J and JDK, and that's a fantastic and an amazing experience to go along that journey and figure yourself out, even at the cost of feeling a bit invalidated by those around you.

[00:37:24] Bless their heart, they mean well, even when they're saying things that feel like they don't meanwell. But you are the ultimate ultimately the captain of your own ship and the one who is in charge of your life. And as you find out what matters to you and take action, I promise you that you will start to just radiate or eliminate this energy in this, you know, raising the waters around you. And I have said so many cliches right now. So I will end by saying find that values worksheet, reach out to me, I'll put the link in the show notes or go to Wired.com and find out in the additional resources, the values worksheet. I am so grateful for every one of you that that listens where the downloads are millions and millions of downloads. That blows my mind every time across every country and every land. And it just it just makes me giddy. The feedback that I see, the emails that people send are phenomenal. I'm trying my best to get back to them. And I just think you spread the word share this episode. If if you really felt something here, if it mattered to you, follow me on Instagram, trying to do a few more quotes there. My magnetic marriage course, the next round is coming soon and it is amazing. And there are so many good things to come. And I'm grateful for each one of you. And taking us out, as per usual, is the wonderful, the talented Aurora Florence with her song.

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