287 – Interview with Constatin Morun of Unleash Thyself Podcast

Episode Transcript:

Erick: Hello friends, my name is Erick Cloward and welcome to the Stoic Coffee Break. Stoic Coffee Break is a weekly podcast where I take aspects of Stoicism and do my best to break them down to the most important points. I share my experiences, both my successes and my failures, and hope that you can learn something from them all within the space of a coffee break.

So this week's episode is an interview with Constantin Morin, and Constantin has a podcast called Unleash Thyself. And Constantin and I had a great conversation a couple of weeks ago and he's just a really warm and very insightful guy and I really enjoyed the conversation with him. We had talked before that as well and I really appreciated his insights into developing the type of person that you want to become and getting over those internal blocks that keep you from.

From reaching your full potential. So his podcast again is, is called Unleash Thyself and I highly recommend it. Like I said, Constantin was, is a great guy and we just had such a wonderful conversation. So I hope that you enjoy this conversation with him and we'll see you at the end of the podcast.

Constantin: Hello. Hello everyone. We have with us today Constantin Morun from the Unleash Thyself podcast.

We're about to have a beautiful conversation around many, many amazing topics that are important in today's day and age and one that's very dear to my heart and for those that are able to see this in video format, I have a sign to my right here that says follow your heart. And what it really means to me is essentially not just following what's in your heart, but starting with knowing what's in there and allowing it to come up.

And I also equal that to finding your why, finding your purpose, finding what it is that you want to be doing and then pursuing it. Like that's the last thing you'll do in your life so that you can ideally find joy, fulfillment, success, abundance, and whatnot. And I know Erick, you and I had a beautiful conversation last week on this topic and so many others.

So I thought, why not start there? Maybe we'll, we'll start with you and say, well, how has your journey led to this point and how are you seeing this idea of potentially following your heart further down? whatever paths you decide to go on.

Erick: Yeah. So the last, uh, year for me has been, wow. I mean, actually, yeah, basically the last two years, but especially this last year has been, uh, massive amounts of changes.

So I'm currently in Florida right now and I don't have a house and I don't have a car and I got rid of most of my possessions. I have some things in my brother's place. Uh, Bicycle, keyboard, guitar, some clothes, old yearbooks, pictures, those kinds of things, but just a few bins over there and. What I have with me is a, a checked baggage, a carry on bag, and my backpack, and that's all that I have, and it feels very freeing to be in this situation.

One of the things that I did find interesting was that even though I've gotten rid of all of this stuff, My level of happiness, levels of anxiety that are part of everyday life haven't changed much from when I did own a house and I did have all of these things. And so I was talking the other day with, uh, so I'm staying with my friend Shana here in Florida, and we're talking to a good friend of hers who is just Went through a really, really nasty divorce and her ex was talking about, she was telling me about how he is always looking for things outside of himself to find his happiness, you know, he bought this new big truck, you know, that he was hoping, you know, so we could be like, I'm, you know, this big manly man kind of thing and all of these things that he does and he's so miserable and he, he tries so hard to have all of these things outside of him to make him happy.

And, you know, he's always, You know, he goes out of his way to make other people unhappy, thinking that by diminishing their happiness, it will make him somehow happier and have control over them. And it was just fascinating because I, you know, as I was talking to this gal and I just mentioned how, you know, the external doesn't necessarily change the internal.

It can be helpful for sure. If you're in a really bad situation, like if you're in a war zone and you get out of a war zone, that can be incredibly healing for sure. But for the most part, so much of our external doesn't change our internal. So I'm just as happy as I was before, I have just as much anxiety about what I'm going to do with my life as I did before, but I definitely feel a bit freer because I don't have all of these things that I have to worry about, and that right there has been, been really, really good for me and very healthy for me, um, but I still, like I said, I still worry about what I'm going to do with my future and where I'm going to go, so I'm.

Yeah. I'll be flying out to Amsterdam next week, which will be very interesting and very exciting. So I'm really looking forward to that. I'm going to move this mic here so I, uh, so I'm really looking forward to that. Um, but I think on, for the most part, uh, yeah, this next few months are going to be very much about discovery and trying to figure out what I can do and what I want to do with my life.

Constantin: Yeah. That's a beautiful spot to be in. If you can be there. And the story you shared from your friend and. the discussion you had that resonated so deeply with me because honestly, that described me a few years back before I really made a decision and said, well, I need to understand why this brings me joy, happiness, fulfillment, because like the person described, I tried all the external things, shiny toys.

Hanging out with the wrong people, doing the wrong activities. And I say wrong because they're wrong for me, not necessarily because they weren't good activities. And the putting down of other people. And what I have found that's very interesting that in all that process, Erick, is that it's usually like what you do to others and how you perceive others.

It's a big reflection of who you are internally. And perhaps in his case was about putting people down so he can feel better about himself. But that also can tell me, and based on what I know now, is that likely he was putting himself down internally. Because I was doing the same thing and I come from a place where like, oh yeah, that makes sense.

That's what I was doing. I was putting myself down. And I thought that's normal, which meant that why would I be doing anything else to other people? To me, that's normal. I'll put you down. I'll make you small because I make myself small all the time. And for me, the biggest catalyst, the biggest change was realizing that I was living a life that pretty much everyone else Painted for me in a way.

They're like, this is what you should do. This is what's gonna bring you, happiness's gonna bring you money. This is what's gonna bring you success, blah blah, blah. Fill in the blanks. And it wasn't until I was like, oh yeah, you know what? That's what happened. I lived someone else's life. Let's actually take a step back.

I want this constant in one. And that process took a while for me. 'cause I wanted it myself. with my own knowledge, following books, following podcasts. And eventually I came to the other side and I said, Oh shit, this is my, this is my passion. This is my, why this is my purpose. And since that day, everything became more clear.

Like in your case, nothing changed overnight. It's still a process. It took me in fact, six months to really do something about it. But then once I took that action, so I went from like awareness, I became aware of what it is because I did the work to action. That's when everything changed. That's when my, I came out of depression and moved on the other side.

That's when I, my anxiety reduced to the point where it's mostly gone now. That's where burnout pretty much. And all of these things start to happen in, in our lives when we align ourselves more with who we are. And that's what I found from my own life, the people I'm fortunate enough to, to coach and mentor and other people in my life that, that I've seen go on similar paths.

And it sounds like you're on the path, Erick, right now where you have left behind the things that you don't need anymore, that don't serve you anymore. And now you get to pave a new path and finding out. What really makes you tick?

Erick: Yeah, for sure. And yeah, it's, it's going to be an interesting path for sure.

There's so many roads and, and things I can take. Uh, as most of you know, I've been in tech for at least my listeners. I've been in tech for 24 years and that was something that I fell into. It wasn't necessarily what I wanted to go into. It just more of, I was just stumbled into it, found I was good at it.

And as people kept paying me more and more money to do it, it was like, okay, I'll, I'll keep doing this. And, um, you know, not the worst thing in the world, but by realizing that. It's probably not ever really been my passion. So I wasn't one of these people who came home from work or finished up work and then jumped on a, you know, my own project.

So I jumped on an open source project to work on it. You know, it's just like, I would find it interesting and I would read up on new technologies and I would find those things, but I found that. That it just wasn't, I just wasn't one of those super geeks that loved, you know, sitting down and programming all day.

I mean, I, I did it for work and what I found, yeah, what I found was that I love creating and that was really important. Uh, so having, uh, having a job where I was creative and I always need to be creative with everything I do is really important to me. I need to create things for other people, whether that's podcasts, whether that's writing a screenplay, which I did one time, uh, about 25 years ago.

For competition. I thought I wanted to be a screen player, screenwriter at one time. Uh, I've written music. So in fact, the, the theme for my podcast, if you listen to that piano theme, I wrote that it's actually a much longer composition and I took a piece out of that. So for me, it's, it's all about creating things and what I'm going to create next.

I'm not sure. And, you know, I, I definitely have lots of ideas, which makes it challenging to winnow those down and to, to really pick on those things. And I wish, I guess I don't wish, but for me, it's, it's a place of discovery. And so that's, that's always exciting. I like to explore as I like to discover things.

So I don't have a problem with getting out there trying to discover these things. I know a lot of people want all the answers now and they want to know exactly what they should be doing. And I. Over the last few weeks, I've been struggling with that. I have these moments of, of kind of almost panic or a little bit of anxiety of like, crap, what am I supposed to be doing?

Am I supposed to be working on music? Am I supposed to focus more on my podcast? Am I supposed to write a book? What is it that I need to be doing? And because I don't have an answer for that right now, there's, there's quite a bit of anxiety. And, you know, like text my friends, I'm like, ah, am I making the, making the right choices?

And they're just like, you're on a good path. Just follow this path out and see. Where you can go and where you can get to. And so I sat down last week, I think it was, and read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. That's something I like to do every now and then because it reminds me of remembering that you need to follow the path through and do your best in every situation.

And what was, there was something I was reading where, uh, no, it was actually, uh, uh, what's his name? Uh, Josh Terry on, uh, Instagram. I don't know if you've ever seen him. It says his Instagram thing is Josh Terry plays or something like that, but he, he gives inspirational videos. And I really liked one the other day where he said there are two different ways of following a path in this world or of… of finding your purpose in this world. One of them is to have a clear vision of where it is, and then you, you create a plan and you work relentlessly towards that vision. And plenty of people do this, and they, they mold their circumstances themselves around to try and reach that goal. And then there's the other side, which is, excuse me, which is where you live in each moment the very, very best you can, and you make a choice in that moment.

Do I want to go this way, or do I want to go that way? You try one of those, and you see how it fits, you do your best in that situation, and if it works for you, you continue on down that path, if not, you take some steps back, and then you change your path a little bit, and then you try the next thing. And again, but each moment you are trying to live that moment most excellently as possible.

And you said, either one is fine, but knowing how you work with things might be a better thing. It might suit you better. And for me, I recognize that I'm definitely more of the latter. I'm more of that person who gets in, experiences it, tries it, and then see if I like it, see if it works for me. If it doesn't, then take some steps back.

I've never had this grand vision of what my life should be. And I've been a much more of a, an experiencer of life, but it's hard sometimes to recognize that. It's okay to be an experiencer of life. I don't have to have the grand plan, especially in a world where they're always telling you, Oh, you have to plan your goals.

You have to have these big plans to do all of these things. And you have, you know, in order for you to reach your goals, you have to, you know, make smart goals and all of these different things with that. And I think that's true, but I think that not everybody works that way. And I, I, I oftentimes feel like I'm very disorganized in my life because I don't, you know, I'm not a project manager.

I don't plan things out in a big old project, uh, per se. But I'm able to manage things pretty well and get things done. I mean, I, my friend Lisa pointed out that I cleared a six bedroom, 3, 800 square foot house in just a few months when I was selling my house and got rid of all of this stuff that I accumulated for over 13 years.

So it was. You know, it was definitely doable and I'm definitely recently good at planning like that. But I don't feel like I'm a good planner like that because I don't have like a long term vision of like, in five years I'm going to be here, in 10 years I'm going to be doing this. You know, I don't even know what I'm going to be doing in three months.

Constantin: So here's the funny thing though, right? The definition of a planner that you might be using is someone else's definition. And that's what I have found on this journey as well is that we tend to jump on definitions that other people make for things. That's fine, right? Because you got to start somewhere.

But at one point we have to take control and say, well, what's my definition? Do I feel like I am a planner? And like you said, you give good example as to why you are one, maybe you're not one by the standard definition of the definition of those that you have had in your life as people to follow. And that's always interesting to look at because everything can be looked at the same way.

And you talked about this as well, about being okay with the unknown. And one of the biggest fears, if you talk from a psychology point of view, one of the biggest fears that people have in life is the fear of the unknown. And there's a good reason behind it when you look at how we evolved as human beings, right?

Unknown is what could kill you and in many cases it did back in a hundred years plus. So fear of the unknown is something that most people innately afraid of and then that gets built up with our society and whatnot. So it's beautiful to see that when we can be a bit more liberated and say, you know what?

I've been okay till now. I've made it to here. Let's allow some unknown to pour in. It's like, I know I want to. Like in your case, for example, explore music or in my case, explore public speaking, not be so rigid on how that's going to happen because that's when you miss out on opportunities. And that's how I was by the way, because I'm a project manager at heart.

I have the certifications. I had to like, Oh, I want to public speak. This is exactly how it's going to happen. And when you do that, you're essentially, it's almost like you're swimming upstream or you're swimming against a tide. You may get there because you're working really hard, but it's going to cost you.

Meaning your health, your mental health, your emotional health, all those things may come into play and some will not make it. Or you can allow a bit of the unknown to come in and they will show you a path. It's like, oh, if you go left here a bit. It's going to be less current than if you go right, it's going to be even less, right?

So all of a sudden you see opportunities, you see new experiences, new people come into your life to guide you. And then the end goal is like so much more beautiful and that's been very, very hard for me to do. And it sounds like maybe a bit for you also, but for me as someone with a mathematics degree, being analytical.

Trusting in anything other than my brain has been difficult, but once I start doing it, it's so much more liberating and so much more powerful.

Erick: Mm hmm. What's been the most interesting surprise that is, that's come about or opportunity that's come about when you've been less analytical?

Oh, that's a, that's

Constantin: A, that's an amazing question.

And so one of the things that I've come to learn, this is the last six months maybe, is that I've always had an intuitive sense. What it's like, it's not coming from here. It's coming from somewhere below, right from your heart, from your gut. People call it gut feeling, intuition, inspiration. And the more I get out of my head, meaning that I don't jump on a conclusion or use my analytical mind through meditation, through other practices, I have these, I want to call them voices, but inspiration coming up.

And when I listen to it, it seems to be guiding me on a good path. When I don't listen to it, I'm reminded, well, you probably should have listened. And I'll give you a silly example. Over the holidays, I wanted to buy some new couches off of Facebook marketplace. I find some I liked, go to buy. I have a chat with the person, everything seems all right.

And in the past, if I didn't jump on a sale on my Facebook marketplace, they would sell pretty quickly. So we arranged to do a deposit of 50. So not a huge amount. As I sit down at the computer to do the transfer, to put a deposit so I can pick the market the next day, I literally have this gut feeling that something is not right.

Literally, I'm like, this, this seems off. I look at their profile a bit. I see that they have some items listed in literally in Canada and one in the US. And one across from what I was in Canada. I'm like, that's odd. But instead of asking them any questions, I continued to look. I saw a couple more fees that seemed off, but I'm like, you know what?

I really want this couch. I'm just going to send the money. But the entire time I had the feeling that this was off. This is not good. As soon as I send the money and this is the way you, when you send the money, you cannot get it back. You're pretty much. Then I get up. I remember going upstairs. Telling my, my parents, my partner, it's like, you know what, I feel like this was a mistake, but let's sit with it.

And of course the next day comes up, I get ghosted and you know, I never see the coaches. And that's a great prime example where like, I'm just using, I wouldn't even say my analytical mind cause even my analytical mind could have seen this coming, but more like letting emotions to get the best of it.

Cause it's like, Oh, I really want this. Yeah. And not listening to the voice. And I've had that happen a lot more, but now because I'm getting out of my head, meaning that I'm not allowing my head to jump in as much, finding that balance, I get to hear that voice a lot more often. And it may show up as a feeling, it may show up as a something, you know, like a hormonal imbalance maybe.

I don't even know. It's very hard for me to explain, even though I look at it from a psychological and from a, I don't know, let's say science background.

Erick: Yeah. I've had that same thing happen to me before. So I get you. And as soon as I sent the money, it was like, wait a second. That was, ah, yeah, that was a bad idea.

And I knew that I knew that I didn't want it, but I was so excited about the thing that I didn't take that moment to pause and go, how does this feel? Does this feel right? No. Yeah. And that's the

Constantin: thing that people talk about. And it took me a while to really grasp, which they say, you can look at life as things happening to you.

Right? My car broke down. This person broke up with me. This experience was not good or good, whatever you want to label it. Or there's the other side, we can say, this is happening for me, meaning that, okay, I gave the money where I lost it. I could play the victim and be like, Oh, I can't believe I got swindled.

I can't believe these people did this to me. Blah, blah, blah. Right. And you become the victim and you beat yourself up. And there are other things happen there. Or you can say, this happens for me. Meaning it's like, okay, what lessons can I take out of this? What can I learn and why did this happen to me?

And for me, looking back at that, it's like, well, perhaps that lesson in my life came because It reminded me that, hey, you have another way to not just use your analytical mind or your emotions to make decisions. You have another way. It was shown to you. You didn't want to respect that. Well, here's what happens.

So that's a piece of a lesson. The other lesson could be is I don't trust people so easily. Do your due diligence at the very least ask them some questions. Hey, why do you have, you know, three listings all in different places in the world type stuff, right? So that's a big, a big, big, big lesson for me in the last few years.

It's like how you look at life. Are you the victim? So you look on the negative side or are you, is this happening for you and you look on the positive side?

Erick: Absolutely. Yeah. Think of it as a 50 lesson that you learned. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And that was the price you had to pay to learn that lesson.

Yeah. I think that's a much better way to look at it is, yep. I had to pay a price for this, but if I don't learn that lesson, then I wasted my money. Whereas now you, you had that 50 and you gave it away and you learned a good lesson from that. It's like, okay, I can learn something from this. Yeah, that's very, very true.

Yeah, the Stoics are, are very big on making sure that we were able to take that step back and look at things in the, and be able to analyze them that way. But it takes that self awareness, which I think is, is very, very challenging. It takes a lot of work. It also takes a bunch of humility because. It's, it's much easier to play the victim.

It's much easier to be like, Oh, like you said, you know, the world happens. Things happen to you. And I actually did a podcast episode called that to you or for you a while back. And it was all about that. It's like, is life happening to you or is it happening for you? And the thing is, is that life just happens.

And your choice on that, whether it's you decide is good or bad, it's, that's your choice. You can say this was the worst thing that ever happened to me, or you can say this is the best thing that ever happened to me. You can have no opinion on it. You can just be like, this is what's happening to me. And you have to accept it because it is what is happening to you.

But your judgment on that, and how you perceive it, and how you let it affect you, that's always your choice. You know, when something happens Yeah, and that's really hard for a lot of people because they'll be like, Oh, this horrible thing happened to me. That's why I feel this way. And it's like, no, this thing happened to you.

You made a decision that it's a horrible thing. And so you are acting like a horrible thing happened to you. And maybe it was something that was hard. Maybe you were in a car accident and you're in a lot of pain. But the more that you, your perspective on it adds. Even another layer of misery onto it if you do it that way, because I mean, there are plenty of people who have good things happen to them and they're still miserable about it.

I was listening to Tim Ferriss's podcast with Morgan Housel, who's a financial guy. He wrote, he writes about the psychology of finance and stuff like that. And he was talking about, um, back in the 60s, there was an interview with like the richest man at the time. I cannot remember his name at all, uh, cause I'd never heard it before this point, but he saw this documentary on this guy and it, they showed him and he was like the richest man of the world at the time.

And he was one of the most unhappy people that this guy had seen. And, and they asked him, they said, you know, what? You have, you can get anything that you want in life. What, what do you want most in life? It's like, I want to be someone who's happier than me. And he didn't know how to do that. Like he had all of this money, all of these things, but he had this perspective on things that even with all of this money, he was still miserable like that.

Because of his perspective, because of the way he was viewing the world. And it was really, it was really interesting to see that. You know, cause like they say, money simply magnifies who you are. And so if you're a miserable person to begin with, you just often will make you more miserable. Yeah. So you're circumstantial.


Constantin: love that. I'll give you an example. I mean, it's happened over the weekend. I'm still pondering over it and I'm curious to see your take on it with a stoic background and what you've gone through life. And this is pretty much on theme right here with like life happening for me, to me, and also reminds me of how it would have reacted in the past.

So, I have a fairly new vehicle, a 2023 GMC Yukon, and in Canada where I live right now, it's been literally snowing in the morning, freezing in the afternoon, raining in the evening. On this particular day, which was this past weekend, I get in the car to go to some, a friend's house and I get in the car and as I begin to drive down the road, I hear some water pouring in the background.

And I'm like, man, I hope that's not inside. And I hope that's on the outside. I didn't pay much attention to it. All of a sudden I stop at a stoplight and water starts pouring through the main console of the car. Inside, all over the dashboard, everything else. Then I see water pouring all over my leather seats in the back and I'm like, wow, I can't believe this is, this is a one year old car.

I have like 10, 000 miles on it. And I remember in the moment I had this biggest aha moment and I'm like, huh? I did the old things that I would normally do is like, I was like, why does it happen to me now? Like I have such a busy week coming up. I don't have time to deal with this. It's the weekend. All those old narratives.

But because I've done a bit of work and I, by a bit of, I mean, quite a bit of work lately, I was like, huh, you know what? Those thoughts are not going to be conducive because I know the path they're going to take me down on. I was able to interrupt them. I was able to put our thoughts in and say, you know what?

It's Saturday. This happened. There's a reason. We'll figure it out later. I have a night, a night with friends coming up. I don't want to ruin that. So all I did is I got to my destination, right? I wasn't thrilled about it, but I was like, whatever. I got out, messaged my friends and said, Hey, I'm going to be 10 minutes late.

I had some paper towel in the car, cleaned up the car. And between walking between what I part and their apartment building, I practiced my tools on how to essentially interrupt those thought patterns and replace them with good ones. And for the rest of the night, I was able to ignore the situation completely, which my old me, I would have turned around and I would have tried to deal with the issue on a Saturday night, been pissed off, called everyone I know to complain about, Look, poor me.

This happened to me. How can this happen? You know, I paid this much money for this card issue. Anyway, down the path. I had a conversation, I had, you know, five hours with my friends, got back down, left, more water was pouring. I'm like, okay, I'll deal with this on Monday. It's not a big deal. Practice my things.

Another moment of realization came up. I was like, Oh, let me call my parents or let me call a couple of friends and tell them what happened. Right? So we can all sulk in the misery and be like, ah, you know, bad GMC or bad this and bad that. And then I realized, you know what? I'm not. Because there's no point in focusing on the negativity.

There's no point in doing that. I'll take care of the problem. Like I always do, right? Looking back, I've taken care of everything I had come up in my life. And then it's going to be a fun story. And the beautiful part for me was that as I started meditating on this and when I got home, right? And the next day I was like, okay, so why did this happen for me?

And then it poured in. It's like, well, it becomes a great story to tell on a podcast like we're doing now. It's the first time I shared this. It can become a great story when I go and public speak about how my old self would react. and lead life and how my new self is doing it. There could be many other reasons that I haven't figured out yet, but we can always look at the positive.

And of course, Monday came, I went to the dealership. They're like, yeah, that's a pretty big issue. We'll take care of it. Come back in a few days. We'll get you in right away and we'll get it fixed. Right. And it took an, what, an hour of my time to get the dealership and back. They'll give me a rental car when I take the car in.

It'll be fine. It's not a big deal. It's just a car. And like you talked earlier about, like, they're just things. They're not gonna really do much other than amplify your situation. And that's been my experience. And when I sat with that, and I still sit with it every day in meditation, the more I do that, the more I realize, wow, if this was five years ago, I don't even know how ballistic I would have went.

Right. Like I would have been aggressive with the people at the dealership, maybe. And I would have been crying at everyone that would listen and it would derail my entire week. Right. Cause then you're in that negative mindset that it's not going to lead you to anything positive because you and I talked about last week, how your thoughts lead to your feelings, lead to your actions, lead to your results.

So my thoughts, all negative, negative feelings, which amplify more negative thoughts. Then my actions are not going to be positive and then my results are going to be exactly what you'd expect.

Erick: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. No, that's a great story. I, uh, and obviously a great learning example for sure. And one thing you mentioned in there, which I really, uh, I hadn't quite thought about it this way, but that.

You talked about how you didn't want to complain because you didn't want to suck people into the misery and you'd all feel crappy about that. And I'd never quite thought of it that way because oftentimes, you know, you feel like, you know, I need, I need to get this out. I just need to vent about this thing.

And I think that in some cases that is important. You know, when something crappy does happen, you want to be able to just want to go and let that out. Um, But I think that even then you need to be very careful about that. And the Stoics, you know, Marcus Aurelius, he talks in there, it's like, don't ever hear yourself complaining out loud.

Not even, not even in private, you know, and it's that same thing. But I was, but I hadn't, I hadn't quite thought about it yet. It's that whole thing of misery loves company. And a lot of times people will talk about all the miserable things that are happening to them because they want to pull people in.

They want to have that. People would feel sorry for them and they get that attention and stuff like that. And I've known, I've had plenty of friends and relatives and who've done that and it gets exhausting. And I hadn't realized that I hadn't really thought about it like that. So clearly the way you said that, you know, suck them into the misery.

And I was like, Oh, that's really, that's very, very poignant. But I mean, for

Constantin: me, that was a, that was a fairly new realization. I'll be honest, I haven't considered it like that. And then I asked, okay, what would the purpose of me calling be? Other than to perpetuate misery, if it's like you said, if it's to get a second opinion, be like, Hey, what should I do about this?

What happened? There's a different purpose. But I knew in my, in my mind and my heart and my body, that the only reason I would call is to complain and be like, Oh, how could this happen to me? Because I already knew what I was going to do. I mean, I had to take it to the dealership. It's on the warranty.

There's not really like I have 10 choices. I knew what had to be done, which meant I'm not going to call about opinions. I'm not going to call about anything else other than to complain. But there will be situations in which you find yourself or like something bad happens, like you said, and you do need those people in your corner.

But then I guess we have to check ourselves and see, are we calling to really complain or are we calling to say, Hey, this is what happened for me. It's not great. What is your opinion? What can I do? And then you kind of brainstorm back and forth. Yeah.

Erick: And I think that, I think that you can, in some instances with the right person, vent.

Because sometimes you just need to let that frustration out. And, and sometimes I've done that where I'm just like, Ah, this is the thing that's going on. This and this and this and this and this. And, okay, whew, all done. And it's just like, it's letting that energy out. But letting that person know, hey, I need a second to vent here.

This has nothing to do with you. This is not me dragging you down into the suck. This is me just, I need to let this energy out because it's spinning around in my head and once I say it out loud, I get that out. I think that's a very, very different approach because you're not necessarily complaining there.

It's more of like you're almost factually explaining the situation out loud just so you can put your story together in your own mind. And I think that there's, I think that there's a big difference between that, between complaining and venting. And I think that. I think they can be very interesting. I had something similar like that happened to me a while back, not nearly as, as epic as that, but, uh, I, I had scheduled to get my booster vaccine and my flu vaccine for this year and had it all scheduled out.

And before I was going to it, I had a doctor's appointment and then I had an hour in between the doctor's appointment. And when I was supposed to get my vaccine, the vaccine was on the far. It was the only one I could get, and I just wanted to get it done and out of the way. And so I finished up my doctor's appointment, walked to my car, and I couldn't find my car keys.

And I was like, what is going on here? And I look inside and they're sitting on my chair, like great. So I had to call an Uber to come pick me up, take me home, get my spare car key, bring me back. I drove all the way out there. I mean, just barely made it in the nick of time and it was at one o'clock and I said, okay, I'm here for my appointment.

They said, Oh, I'm sorry. The software double booked to you. Somebody's already taken that slot. We don't have vaccine for you today. And like, I was like, and I was so mad. I'm like, what? You expect me to suffer because your system screwed up. This is, and I just stopped right there. Cause I could feel myself getting so heated and I was like,

I'm sorry. I'm, I'm acting out of line. I'm really sorry about that. I know there's nothing you can do about it and I know it's not your fault. Have a good day. And I turned around, I was walking down the aisle and I was just like, and you know, one of the other people at the place was like, Hey, is there anything I can help you with?

And I was like, well, no, because this is what happened. I explained the situation really quick. And she was like, Oh, I'm really sorry about that. That kind of, that sucks that you drove all the way out here for that. And I said, yeah, but I'll just get some chocolate and go home. So I, I got some chocolate, went across the street, grabbed some lunch.

Cause I could tell I was getting really hungry, which makes me a little bit moody and angry. So I was like, okay, and went and did that. But I was. I was very proud of myself because like you said, you know, five years ago, I'd have been snapping out a pull to Karen. I would have been like, let me talk to your manager.

This isn't fair. You know, and I would have tried that and nothing would have happened. And I would have just been angry and pissy and moody that whole day, uh, you know, and it would have ruined my day when I just caught myself and was like, yep, there's nothing you can do about this. You're not doing this to be malicious.

You're not doing this to be mean at all. You're simply doing your job and there's simply the way the cards fall that day. It was like, okay. And so I just let it go and that for me was like, when I reflect on that later that day, I was like, yes, yes. And you know, pat myself on the back because before, because before, like I said, a few years ago, I would have just been, the claws would have come out.

And so it was, but I mean, I was still slightly disappointed with myself because I still did get heated right at first, but I was glad that I was able to pull back quickly enough and be like, Hey, I know this isn't your fault. Have a nice day. I love

Constantin: the story, Erick, and what I like about that is your realization there that you are aware that that's not who you are.

And looking back at myself doing that in the past, even though I realized I'd be like, I'll continue through with it. And you realize you stopped yourself and that's the power of what we're talking about here because with all the work I've done, with what I work with my clients as well on essentially reprogramming.

their mind so you can do stuff like we just said on a consistent basis. It's not that negative thoughts will not come up. I mean, you still live in an environment that has a lot of negative stuff happening. They will come up, but now you have the tools. So first awareness and then the second, the tools to stop that from getting anywhere big, right?

So as you work through this, you know, there was a few months ago now. You, because you celebrate, because you reinforce it with your mind, likely if it happens again, you might not even get to the point where you blurt anything out. You might catch yourself before you even say anything else and you walk away and say, thank you.

You know, it happens. And that's the power of repeating something that you want to instill within you because all those negative reactions like you and I had in the past, I mean, those are not just there all of a sudden. They were things that we repeated all our life or we were shown by others in our life.

So that means that the opposite is true too, which means that if you have a reaction, that means you likely repeat it often, either to yourself or to others, and you can overcome that and put something better in its place.

Erick: Yeah. And it's taken a lot of work because my example was my father and my father was highly reactive and he was very quick tempered and not all the time, but a good portion of the time.

So when something happened in a way that he was unhappy with, it was just. Bam, that temper come out really, really fast and it took, it took a lot, it's taken a lot of work to be very, very cognizant of that. And part of that, I think also is that because we often feel like if we have a good excuse for why we act a certain way, then it excuses that behavior.

And, and so one of the things that stoicism has really helped me with a lot is to actually take responsibility for those things that I do that I, rather than coming up with an excuse for it and being, Oh, it was okay that I acted that way because of X, Y, or Z, I take responsibility for it, which that was the other thing I tried to do here was I said, I'm sorry, I'm, it.

I'm acting out of line, and I shouldn't, you know, I shouldn't be acting this way, and I apologize, and I hope that you have a nice day. I didn't say, oh, you, you screwed up, I can't believe you did this, and, you know, and, and, because I did, I could have used that as an excuse of why I'm allowed to be angry.

But I didn't. I recognized that I needed to take responsibility for my behavior and the way that I was acting and what I was doing. And stoicism has really helped me with that, like I said, because I used to always have excuses. If I had a good excuse, a good rationalization for it, I then I was, I was totally justified.

And that's our ego talking, because what it does is it makes it so that we We feel okay with our behavior. We justify our behavior. And I think the more that we can look at those things and take responsibility for them, then we can, it makes it much easier to improve our behavior. Because if we're actually taking responsibility for it, we want to be sure that we don't continue that behavior.

We want to show that we don't repeat that behavior. And so when we actually step up and take responsibility and say, yep, I, I did that, I don't like that I did that, but I did that because it's, it's reality. It's what actually happened. And so. You know, in this case, yeah, I got heated. I got, I got started a little bit, get a little bit angry and I took responsibility for that.

I got angry and that wasn't very cool of me and I don't want to be that kind of person. So I own that responsibility. I own that, or I, I own that behavior and I'm responsible for my behavior. And so it helps to, it helps to take that away from our egos because we're not trying to soothe our egos and say, Oh, I'm okay.

I was justified in being upset. Yeah,

Constantin: beautiful, beautifully said that. And if you look at both of our stories there, right, something negative happens and everyone has a different definition of negative, right? Both of these situations are cool because they're negative across the board. And then we looked at it and said, okay, what's the lesson in this?

That's the positive side of it, because it doesn't remove the fact that you still had to go somewhere else and spend more time and energy and do that. It doesn't take away the fact that I have to now deal with this issue. We don't know the damages inside. It doesn't take away any of that. It's not about negating the negatives.

It's about not focusing on them, which is what you emphasize so beautifully here as well, because we, I guess, because of culture and how we learned in school, but also our human physiology and evolution, We are prone to focusing on the negative. You and I talked about the negativity bias, which is the idea that anything negative makes it to your brain, to your conscious mind, a lot quicker, either from your memories or from what happens in the environment, because it was a defense mechanism as we evolved to keep you alive.

So you knew about all of this, which is something that we have to work against. That's why it's so hard to actually get a hold of it. And then once you become aware of that, then the next part is you have a choice. Do you want to do something about it because you have the knowledge? Or do you continue to be the way you are?

And I don't believe there's a wrong or a right answer. Some people choose to continue even though they know better. And some say, like you and I in this case, is like, you know what? We know better. Let's take an action. And the action is to, well, feel our feelings as we both, you know, I was angry as well in the moment I felt those feelings, but then I chose to let them go, let go the negative thoughts and move on to the lesson piece.

It's like it happens for me. What's the purpose and the reason they happen in your case? I'll give you like my two cents. It may have happened to teach you, not to teach you, to reinforce the lesson you just knew you learned. How can you learn something if you don't practice it over and over? So if this keeps showing up in your life, it's not that the universe doesn't like it.

It's like, well, let's get you better at dealing with the situation. So in your case, Erick, it could be like, well, you might not even have the outburst. It's going to get to a point where it could be like, you'll be frustrated. You might let. My event, when you get back to the car or in a private space, be like, okay, you know, that's unfortunate.

What can we do about it? So that's, that's, that's beautiful to see.

Erick: So do you think that most people fall into a negativity trap like that or fall into things being negative because they assume that these things shouldn't happen to them as if life should be great all the time. And so when bad things happen, they feel like, like the universe is out to get them, if you will.

That's a

Constantin: great question. I love the question. I'll say a few people might be like that, right? Because, uh, I can only give myself an example because I know myself really well. I've been like that many times in my life because I'll be like, I have a good stretch and then something negative happens like this.

I'm like, but I've been doing everything right. Why, why is this negative thing happening? Like, why is this being thrown my way? Why is this happening to me? Why, you know, like, and we get into that. And some people unfortunately have lives that are a bit tougher and then negative things keep piling up. But here's what I've come to realize.

Once you get yourself into a negative state, you're much more likely to attract more negativity into your life because if you can't appreciate the positives, then why would those be reflected back to you? Is if you look at just from a psychology point of view or from a physiology point of view or anything that's, let's say science based more, right?

Look at what happens. You and I both know the example, I think we talked about this. If you think about a red car, cause you want to buy a red car, when you go out on the street, that's all you're going to see. You're going to see a red car here, a red car here, a red car there. And that's the power of your focus where you put your focus.

That's where your subconscious mind will and with your conscious material will try to make that a reality for you. So if you focus on the negativity and say, I can't believe this is happening to me. I can't believe life is so unfair. I can't believe this, this, and that. You're telling your brain to bring more of that because that's what you're asking.

That's what you're talking about. But if you focus on the positive, that's more of what's going to come back into your life. So to answer your question That's part of it for sure. I have seen it show up in many different ways, right? People have had bad luck their entire life. And then that keeps building up because that's all they can focus on.

Other people have been mistreated and they take the mistreatment as a reflection on who they are versus on who the person doing the mistreatment was. And that was me earlier in my life because I was bullied and then I became the bully a bit. And I'm like, It was never about me to begin with, about what the person was going through.

And then when I was a bully to, let's say, my younger brother for, for a few months before I learned better, it was also because what I was going through, it was nothing else. Yeah, yeah,

Erick: I do find, yeah, and I do find that though, that often when people do get stuck in that negativity, that it seems like their life continues to be negative.

And I don't know if it's that they necessarily have more negative things actually happening or if it's just that they draw attention to those negative things far more than your average person does.

Constantin: Great, great point. And I can see, I can see it's both because So there was, there were studies and there's this paper coming up on this, but I'll tell you a couple that fascinated me.

So there, I don't know which part in the States, there is this beautiful road in the middle of nowhere, simple road. And it has like telephone poles every a hundred or so yards or meters and no trees or anything else. And then there was this stretch of road where there were a lot of accidents and like 80 percent of accidents.

The people that essentially just by on their own, they were hitting the telephone pole, but there's like a hundred yards between them. So like, they were wondering like, how can you hit a telephone pole when like literally you have so much space to like, just not hit anything. And what they've realized is that the people that got in those accidents, they would be like, you know, the car was swerved.

And then we're like, Oh, don't hit the pole. Don't hit the pole. All your mind gets there is like pole, pole, pole. And then that's the direction you're going to go into. And if you think about that, like take an abstract back and say, okay, how do I apply that in our life? If your focus is on the negative, Oh, I hope I'm not going to catch all the red lights on my way to work.

I hope. My manager is not going to be pissed off at me today. Like all those negative focuses that we have, well, that's what you're asking your mind to bring into your existence. And we're not talking about spiritual stuff here. We're talking about how our body works. And obviously if you take it to the spiritual side, that's how manifestation and law of attraction technically works because you put your focus on something and that's what you attract into your life.

And that's what I see when I go to your question or some people will technically have more negative stuff happen because their focus is so much in the negativity that that's all they can see because I, I'm not sure about you, but I have friends in my life that essentially I go to any party, I go to any gathering, all they can talk about is, Oh, this bad thing happened to me and this bad thing happened to me.

And this happened to my mom and this happened to my father. And you're like, wow, that person must have a really unlucky life. And then you realize, wait a second, maybe it's not that, because you know what? I've also had a lot of these things happen in my life, but I chose to focus on the positives. And then there were less of those things happening in my life.

Huh, I wonder if there's something there. Yeah, yeah,

Erick: I can see that very much happening. Yeah. Yeah, well, kind of back to what you said about the telephone poles. Uh, so I actually got my motorcycle license a number of years ago, and mostly because I'm terrified of riding motorcycles, and so I was like, okay, I want to, I want to, I want to do this to get over that fear.

Um, but what I found, what was interesting is they teach you in, in this, like if you're riding on your motorcycle and you see a pothole, you focus on away from the pothole. You don't focus on it, you focus where you want to go because where you're is like where your focus goes, that's where you go. And so that is one of the things that they, they specifically teach, you know, especially on a motorcycle because you, you are carrying.

In a car, it's, you can turn a lot quicker and with a motorcycle, so much of it is momentum so that you stay upright. So you can't turn nearly as fast, otherwise you lay the bike down. And so it's like, look where you want to go. And that was really a very important lesson like that. And I think, yeah, so basically you hit it right on.

Yeah. So people will, when they're sliding off the road, don't hit the telephone pole, don't hit the telephone pole. Bam.

Constantin: Well, there was another study. I don't remember where, this was in Europe somewhere, where they took a class of kids and they told them to run around the class, but avoid hitting any other kids.

And then they took another class and they told them, just run around the class, have fun, do whatever you want. Well, which group do you think had the most collisions?

Erick: Probably the first one.

Constantin: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Because people are like, Oh, I want to make sure I don't hit this, this. Like you said, your focus is on like what to avoid.

And then that's what's going to come into your life. It reminds me of school sometimes, right? I was an A plus student up to the university, then I didn't care as much for school. I still graduated with a math degree. I still did well, but I remember when I was going in and I was afraid of, I cannot fail this test.

I don't want to fail this. Let it not be this, this, and this negative questions, and then they would be on the test. I'll be like, did I manifest that? What happened? Looking back now, I was just focusing on the negatives. Right. And I couldn't allow anything else to show up in my life.

Erick: Exactly. Okay. So we had talked earlier about kind of making the theme about this of, of finding your path, what advice or what are some experiences you want to share along that?

Cause I know that your podcast is about Unleash Thyself, which is very much driven with helping others find their path. So for you, what. I guess what are the top three things that you can put out there that you find are the most helpful for people trying to figure out their path and, and, and to head the direction of that their life should go or that they want their life to go?

Constantin: I love that question, Erick. And um, the way I look at it right now is I looked at how I've done mine and I did a lot of research. I did a lot of studies. It took me months to uncover it. Now the process I've streamlined it and it came down to like three big categories really, which is the uncovering. What it is that your why is your purpose doing a quick inventory where it shows up in your life.

And then for most of us, it doesn't show up much for me. It was like less than 10%, meaning that pretty much one in 10 actions I was taking was not driven. By this why, by this purpose, which meant, of course, I wasn't really happy because that's my why in the end is what drives that happiness, joy, fulfillment, abundance, all of it.

And then once you have that inventory taking action, because we talked all after doing this entire interview and conversation about the importance of action and putting your focus on something, right? But you can't do the last two steps unless you do the first one. So the first one, let's break it down a bit.

The way I see it when it comes to uncovering. your why, your purpose. It starts with who you are after the day, meaning that what I do with my clients and what I do myself as well is I look back at stories of my life. I, I will tell you, Hey, if you came to do this with me, it's like, Hey Erick, bring 10 stories.

Don't think too much about that. Think about stories that are important to you. Maybe the first time you got your first job, maybe summer camp when you were 12 and some cool stuff happened. Maybe, uh, uh, you know, the incident you had that, uh, with the vaccine, right? And the flu shot, that could be a good story.

And the idea is that then you have someone else, a coach, a mentor, a friend that doesn't even know you intimately to really influence you to, to negatively. You, you tell the story and as you go through the story, You allow the other person to ask you questions, not why questions. Why did you do this, Erick?

But more around what questions and how questions to try to get the feelings, to try to get to the bottom of it and showing who Erick actually is or who this person actually is. And what you will see come up from, it's actually phenomenal. For me, when I do this with my clients, it takes about three hours to go through 10 stories because you want to go deep.

You'll see patterns form up and most people will have anywhere between three to seven different patterns to form up. And that will lead you to seeing which one shows up more in these stories because you'll have stories that have nothing to do with each other. In fact, some are. Five years apart, decades apart, one is a school, one is a family.

And all of a sudden you see, whoa, there's a pattern there, there's a pattern here. So that might mean that that's more who I am. And from there you start to work with the person that was helping you do this, facilitate, you find out honing on a statement. Like for me, my statement that I came to, and by the way, this is always evolving because you evolve as a person.

But mine right now is, so actually before I even share mine, there's two pieces to it is what you do and the impact you have with what you do essentially. So mine is to inspire, empower, guide and support individuals. So that's what I do. So that they, so they too can find joy, fulfillment, success, abundance.

in life and their world becomes a better place, right? So that's the impact I'm having on their life specifically. So once I found my why, there's a second element to it. So that's the first part, right? The best, the biggest theme is usually your why. And the idea here is you don't want to be spending too much time on the words.

It's whatever sounds well for you, right? Mine, that's what sounded good to me. To you, it might sound different if that's your theme as well. But keep in mind, that's very genErick, right? You could take that, Erick, someone else can take it. And it's, it doesn't really tell you how you're going to do it, what type of, um, work you're going to do to fulfill that.

You then go to the next part, which is the how. So the other themes, because as I mentioned, there's like usually three to nine teams coming up. The other ones usually become your how, like how you're going to actually execute on this. So if I'm talking about inspiring, that's one of the things I want to do.

It's not that, Oh, I'm going to do a podcast. That's the, what the, how is, what actions do you take on a daily basis or want to, or rather. are taking on a regular basis to execute on your why, right? So maybe it's the way you talk. Maybe it's the way you listen. Maybe it's the way you reach out to people. It could be a million different things.

And you find those themes. It could be anywhere from three to five themes from what I have seen. So three hows. And now what do you have? You have a why, you have a how, or multiple hows. And the last piece is how do you actually, or the what rather, which is. What do you do with that? Meaning how does it show up in your personal life?

How does it show up in your professional life? So for me, it was, Oh, okay. The one of the Watts is the podcast. A second one is social media posts. A third one is how I show up in my personal life. A fourth one is how I show up in my coaching and mentorship practice. A fifth one is how I show up in my corporate life.

I don't know why or how I execute on my, on my, why in my

Erick: house. Can you explain the house a little bit more? I'm, I'm not quite catching that. So, yes. So

Constantin: let's, uh, let me actually, I have a, give me one second. Okay.

I have, uh, one of my journals here in which I, I work on on my own ideas. Other things. So I'll give you some examples from how I brought this down with a couple of clients recently. And, uh, when it comes to the house, let me, let me get to it and we can cut this out from the episode. Um,

because I want to be giving you a great example.

Okay, perfect. So your house, uh, here are a great question. Couple of things. Your house are essentially your strengths. What are you graded and how does it match with your why? Because it's part of your themes. Now this is a big one for me was that this is not necessarily how you want to be, but rather how you show up because we looked at little stories from your past.

So how did you show up in those, in the stories? So how you actually behave is from the themes we discussed. Now, let me give you an example. Um, and I have, I have a few here that we can go into. So let's say a theme comes up that you had that. You know, you are optimistic, right? I'm someone that's always optimistic.

That's one of mine, right? What does optimistic mean for someone? Optimistic means that you're someone that always looks at the glass half full versus half empty. You're someone that always looks at the positive versus a negative, and there's other definitions you can use. Okay. Now that's one of my hows, but it's not really a statement now, is it?

So you want to actually look at it and go a bit deeper into it. So looking at my notes here, where's my optimistic one is about finding the positive in everything. So what does it mean that I make a statement that says, okay, I'm optimistic. How do people see me? Well, I find the positive in everything.

When something is wrong, I look for what's right. That's actually part of mine. Okay. So what does it mean? So now I have an interaction with you or like this, what happened this past weekend, right? Or I have an interaction at work, a project might be derailed. Might be not going well, I could become pessimistic.

Oh, we're going to lose this contract or this is not going to happen. Well, I could look at it and say, you know, I acknowledge that there's negatives, but what's right, what's going well, what's positive in this, why is this happening for me? It's kind of the same thing we were discussing earlier, right? The, another one that I had done with a client early, um, yeah, this was earlier this month.

They, a theme for them that came up is that they, uh, are someone that want to make others feel safe. Okay. Right. And well, then the, the how becomes the idea that you are making others feel safe, secure and heard. So what do you do? You extend trust to others. This is breaking it down further, right? You let people know you have their back.

You allow them to know you're there to support them. You make them aware of the fact that, hey, you're here for their benefit. So if that's me, let's say that's one of my house, that means that every interaction I, I come up with, it could potentially show up in that. I have a conversation with you and I say, Hey, Erick, it doesn't matter.

You know how this conversation go. I have your back. We'll go to the bottom of this. It could be a stranger on the street, right? And it's, it, it frames it a bit. But so what you do then is you have your why, then you have your hows, and then you look at, okay, so how many, how does, how does this how show up in my life?

Am I making others feel safe, seen and heard in my interactions? If that was mine, for example, and I look back at my life. I wasn't doing that. Let's look at the optimistic one because that's mine, so I can speak to it a bit more. So if it's about finding positive in everything. Erick, I was doing quite the opposite.

I was exactly the person that we were talking about earlier. I could not find the positive in anything because, oh my God, this happened again and this happened again. Now, I, I'm excited if I say anything, you know, like let's say 90, 10%, 90 negative, 10 positive. Yup. And here's someone, you know, AmErickan dream, beautiful home, cars, loving dogs, partner, family, great job, yet I'm always miserable.

It doesn't make sense. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And when I found that and one that became the, wait a second. In my earlier years, I was able to find the positive in everything. I was always able to be optimistic. And that came up as a theme in my stories. Why did I unlearn that? Why did I stop doing it?

Because you see the idea of the stories that we look at is that they, it's not about. What happened in the story in the sense of like, Oh, this was the outcome, you got a job, or you lost a big game. It's actually how you acted throughout it. So who you are actually shows up even if you don't realize it.

Yeah. So a comment I have from a client of mine recently when we did Herds, she was like, Wow, I couldn't believe. how much I actually learned about myself in the process of going through the stories because she thought she knew everything about the stories because they're her stories, not mine. Yeah. It's just about like, when you go deeper, you realize, wow, the power of reflection and introspection.

Erick: Yeah. And for, yes, absolutely. I think it's more of the, uh, yeah, so it's like the attributes or the process of, of the thing. It's all

Constantin: the strengths. I call them the strengths. And this is what Simon Sinek is. A lot of this, some of, I mean, a lot of this, a lot of what we talked about comes from Simon Sinek as well.

He talks about, uh, finding your why or start with why rather, and then he has a book on working through it. And that one, parts of it came from that, parts came from my own personal experience and other books I've read. But it's really about. Understanding at the core of who you are, what motivates you, what are your strengths and doing more of that into your life?

Yeah. Okay,

Erick: good. Yeah, that was helpful. I'll

Constantin: give you another one that's, that's mine that maybe will ring more true for you or for the audience to, to connect here. So I told you my why it's about inspiring, empowering, all that stuff. This one is growth mindset. That was the theme that came up for me because you see growth mindset means that you're always willing and open to learn from every situation.

to grow, to, to, to realize that, wait a second, what you know is not the end all be all. You have opportunity to grow. And now when I say growth mindset, that's not really a how, right? I have to convert it into a action. What do I do? And mine was like, I learn from everything and everyone. So that's my how I learn from everything and everyone.

What does it mean that I am open to the ideas and points of views of others? Or everyone I interact with, it doesn't matter if it's the janitor in the office or the CEO of a company, they all have something to teach me. It doesn't matter if I'm driving to a friend's house or I'm having a party, there's something that I can learn from it, right?

Or we have a podcast episode. And that, that was a big one for me when I realized that was the case. So what does, what did it do to me? Well, you see, even though that there was something that I always did, it didn't mean that I was doing it all the time. I was doing it some percentage of the time. This allowed me to have clarity.

And now literally I approach every situation, this conversation with you, Erick, now, now it's like, before I start, I have my own mantras and things I go through. And one of the things is I am open to learning new things. In fact, I can even read it from my mantra here, but. If I can get to my screen up, but essentially it's all about being open to learning, right?

Learning and growing and growing. And that's, those are two of five I have, right? Some people have three, some people have four. I've seen some have six, but usually three to five is. enough to put you on a path and then your life can be guided a bit better. It's not about being rigid and saying, Oh, this needs to happen because realistically you'll have things you need to do in your environment.

They have no control over. So you can do all of these, but you can do some of it. Like in the example, like if let's say optimistic was yours, Erick, and you had the situation come up with your vaccine and you knew that that's who you are. Not just who you want to be, but who you are, then you can approach the situation a bit differently.

Erick: Yeah. And I think that optimism is definitely one that I try to incorporate better. Um, I did actually did a podcast episode a couple of months on that because, because of the background that I have, uh, growing up in a very strict religion and a very dysfunctional family with a lot of trauma. My, my natural tendency as a kid was, was very optimistic.

I was a very happy kid in many ways. So very, you know, And I remember that. I remember feeling like life is wonderful, except when my dad would, you know, lose his shed and, and smack us with his belt. But otherwise life was full of a lot of joy for a lot of time. Then as I got older and got to be a teenager, it was much, it was much harder.

Um, and I remember specifically making a choice when I was younger that I knew people who were truly happy. And I'm like, if they can be happy, I can figure out how to be happy because I'm not happy. And I, I, I can tell that they're not faking it. I'm not, they're not walking around going, yeah, I'm so happy.

Life is great. You know, but they, they honestly were just genuinely happy people. And because they came from good homes, they had good parents who loved them. Their families were strong and supportive. And so for me, I have always had a lifelong quest to get to that point. So because of that goal. I've had to actively choose optimism and it's hard sometimes because my, my history makes it so that I tend to want to be a little bit more on the downside and find that negative and worry about the thing.

What's, when's the other shoe going to drop and that type of situation or that type of outlook. And so I've actively tried to. Make sure that I don't do that or at least move towards a different direction. And oftentimes I do what I call nudging, which is the idea that if you wake up and you're in a bad mood or you're having a tough time about something and you're upset, that I don't try to immediately change my mood.

I don't go, ah, you know, try and, try and will myself into a better mood because that's really challenging to do that. But it's just more of like taking a step back. And kind of nudging my mood into a different direction. It's kind of like if you're on a boat. I mean, it's, it takes a lot of work to turn a boat around when you're sitting on, on a lake.

But it doesn't take a lot of work just to nudge it the right way and keep it going and then slowly turn it the direction you want to go. And it's just micro, and it's just like micro nudges. I mean, you can just micro thing and, you know, yes, it takes long. It's a longer arc to get there. It's not as sudden.

But it's much, much easier and it's a lot less effort and it's, the idea is I don't want to change my mood right now, but I want to make sure that my mood in an hour is a little bit better. And so you slowly kind of nudge it that way and you think, okay, I can choose to be a little bit happier about this.

I can choose to let go of this. I can choose to take a deep breath and let some of this out. I choose to focus on something that's a little bit better. But it's not like an immediate, like, you know, flip a switch because that, that almost seems, uh, you know, sociopathic or something like, Oh, I can just turn my emotion off and there we go.

Constantin: But, Well, yeah, that's, that's funny you mention that because to some of those things it can be like that, but there is also a thing where you want to let your emotions happen and then feel your feelings and then be able to let them go. And you touched on something very important there, which is the power of knowing who you are.

And you said, you know, you're someone that's optimistic. So let's say you go to this exercise, you found, find your why, find those house of strengths. Well, that's the power of knowing who you are. Most of us go through our life without knowing who we really are below the surface, below all this negativity.

So then at least you have the awareness, but can you imagine how you can navigate your life? If you know this, cause you're living, you're living proof, you at least know some of it and you choose the optimist side. Is it not, is it going to happen every time? Not yet, but through practice you can get there.

Because guess what? That negativity that you're talking about, so the reverse, the pessimism and when the shoe, the other shoe is going to drop, that's also a learned behavior. So that means that you can unlearn it and bring something else, something called brain plasticity that some people may be familiar with, right, from psychology.

And this is actually funny enough from a science point of view, it's only fairly recent that they've realized that, wait a second, your brain. Not only can adapt to new situations, but can also change old patterns and beliefs and whatnot. Because in the past, they believed that once you're a certain age, that's it, it's game over.

What you know, you know, and nothing changes. But now science is catching up and saying, you know what, no, you have the power. You have the power to change everything and anything about your situation. It's up to you.

Erick: It takes a lot of work to do that, for sure. Oh, it does. And I think they

Constantin: I guess, for the interest of your, uh listeners.

Some of my listeners may have seen this already or not. But let's talk a bit about the process of interrupting thoughts, right? Because I feel that that's a powerful tool that people can use right now. And as I tell people in my life, as I tell my clients, as I tell people on shows, the feedback I get all the time is like, I can't believe this actually works and it works as fast as it does.

And for that, Erick, let's preface with this. There are five stages, right? So you have the environment. Which is anything outside of you that causes something within you. So like, let's take my example, my car, right? My car is my environment. The negative stuff happens, then what's going to happen? A thought or a belief is going to pop into my mind.

Ah, not this again. Why does this always happen to me? AmErickan cars are useless. You can name it. You can be, that's a belief, right? Or a thought. Yeah. That could be in my mind. That's negative, right? That's going to then go to what? Emotions and feelings. I'm going to start to feel a certain way again, like that.

Why is it always me? The victim is going to come up. You allow that to happen, which is what we, most of us do, then your actions will get impacted. So the actions that night was I'll drive to my friends. I'm going to have a good time. So there's a couple of things that happens in impacts in all me would be like, turn around, cancel the party.

I disappoint my friends. I disappoint myself. I'm going to sit in misery. That's pretty bad action. Right? And then from that action, a result comes, but what would the result be if I turned around and I settled my misery and called people up? I mean, it's not going to be good at all, right? Probably not what I would want.

So that means that in the process, there are five stages. Look at what we can control a hundred percent. My actions, we try really hard, but really they're influenced by. Everything out. Sorry, not my actions, what we have in life is influenced by our actions, right? You can't control your actions fully, you have some control, but if your feelings, emotions are a certain way, then you can't really control that.

Because I remember when I was depressed and suicidal, I wanted to get better. I wanted to do more, but I couldn't, I couldn't take the actions. I couldn't bring myself to, nor could I touch my emotions and feelings. I mean, sometimes you can change it, right? Some external force can come in and can make you happy temporarily.

For example, I always look for escape in food, sex, gambling, gaming. It brought temporary satisfaction or buying a new shiny toy. But again, temporarily, then I'm going to jump the thoughts for a second. We'll go to the environment. What can you control in your environment? You have control over who you choose to hang out with, maybe what job you have, but a lot of stuff in your environment, you have no control over.

Like I'm going to jump in my car and drive. I have no idea what anyone else is going to do on the road. I'm at the mercy of anyone there as a quick example. So then it leaves us with a thought and beliefs, which we know from brain plasticity, we have a hundred percent control over. So that's what we should be focusing.

Yeah. So let's talk about that really quick, but I'll pause to see if you have any questions or you want to add anything in there.

Erick: No, that's exactly the same pattern that I, that I follow and I use. So, um, and that's very much informed by Stoicism because it talks about really the main thing you can control is how you think about something that the misery that you feel in a situation isn't the event itself, but your perspective on that event.

It's how you think about it. So yeah, so I find that to be very true. Um. That if you can focus on how you think about something, not just, and I think there's kind of multiple parts to that. I think that there are the things, the actual subject of your thoughts. So the stuff that you're focusing on is very, very important, but there's also the perspective that you hold about those thoughts, kind of your attitude about those thoughts.

If you want to, for lack of a better term, that if you always, you can look at the same, you can have two people looking at the exact same situation, the exact same facts. If one has more positive outlook on it, they're going to describe it very differently than somebody who has a negative outlook on it, even though it can be the exact same situation.

So your circumstances, your facts, everything can be the same. Their thoughts could be similar, but their attitude, I guess, would be the best way. Like their attitude and their thinking. Can be very important and it's interesting for me when I find people who are extremely negative like that is just that there, it's that perspective on everything.

It's just that they have this dark filter over everything. And so anything that comes in when it could be taken as possibly positive, they find the negative in it. You know, it's, you know, it's kind of like, wow, here's a sunny day, but it's so hot out there. Well, yeah.

Constantin: Okay. I mean, you're right. I mean, like I said, the environment influences all of that.

So if you grew up in a house like that, or some negative things happened to you in your childhood, and all of us have had negative stuff. Some traumas are deeper than others. That's going to shape up your life. So of course. You may have more negative thoughts for you that, like you said, half of those may be positive to me, but for you, that will be negative, which will trigger the entire chain again.

So that's beautiful. Absolutely. A hundred percent.

Erick: And for me, one of the things that was the biggest shift for me, um, was about, I a year and a half, two years ago, um, I had a podcast episode that I'd taken a break from the podcast and I came back and this was kind of my kickoff again for this last stretch for the last two years.

And it was really important for me because what it was about was recognizing that in order to In order to be happy, I had to learn acceptance and there's Stoics talk about that a lot. They have a term called amor fati, which means accept your fate, meaning accept everything that happens to you because it happens and you can either love it or hate it.

Universe doesn't care. It's still going to happen. So acceptance is a big part of them. And I had a situation where I. Somebody that, that I really cared about hurt me very deeply, and I was very, very angry, and I was just, I was absolutely furious at this person, and I recognized that the reason why I was so angry was because their opinion of me mattered so much to me.

That if they, you know, whatever that opinion was, that influenced so heavily on how I thought of myself. And I was like, this is ridiculous. Why do I base my own self esteem on somebody else? Because then it's not self esteem, it's other esteem. And I'm like, this is, this is really interesting. So I did a really deep dive into this whole thought and this whole area because I was like, how do I take that back?

How do I take back my self worth, my self esteem? I've outsourced it, I've outsourced it to somebody else, and it was making me incredibly miserable because anytime this person would be upset with me, I thought I was a horrible person. And so I, I did a lot of reading on different things. I, I studied some young and some Freud, you know, thinking about maybe identity and roles in life and, you know, just trying to.

Trying to figure out how I could take this thing back and why, why it was this way anyway and what I, what I realized was that my opinion of myself was so bad that I needed that validation from somebody else that I thought I was not a very good person and so if I needed somebody to tell me and reassure me that I wasn't a bad person and obviously somebody is.

You can't outsource that to somebody else because sometimes they're going to be mad at you. They're going to be frustrated with you. They're going to be annoyed with you. And so I was like, okay, well, what is it about myself that is so awful that I have to be validated by somebody else? What is so bad?

What is it that I, that is terrible about me that I think I'm such an awful person? And I was like, I really don't know. And so I sat down and I wrote a list of all the things I didn't like about myself. And it's funny because I'll tell that to some people and they'll be like, what, why would you do that?

Why wouldn't you write down all the nice things about you? And I'm like, no, if I'm going to practice self acceptance, I need to go down there and figure out what are all the crappy things about me. And I went through this list and I realized that. It kind of fell into two categories and there were the things that I truly didn't like about myself that attributes and things that I just, I thought were weren't great.

You know that I could be a bit selfish at times, you know, but the other things fell into things that I thought other people didn't like about me. So there weren't even things that I didn't like about me. These were projections that I was putting on other people. Now they're important because that often tells you when you're projecting these things onto other people, that that's really how you feel about yourself.

But I had to, but some of those I could look at and go, Oh, okay, that's just an insecurity. I can, that's something I can dismiss. But by going through that exercise of just writing down everything that I didn't like about myself or that I thought was awful about myself, I realized that most of those things, that all of those things were things that were completely acceptable.

They were problems that everybody else had, they were problems that, that weren't really that far out there and I was not as awful as I thought I was. And that for me was a giant pivot point in my life where I went, okay, I can just, I don't have to love everything about myself. But I can at least accept everything about myself.

I can accept that I can be selfish sometimes. I can accept that, that I get annoyed and frustrated at people. I can get, I can accept that I lose my temper at times, and that I get a bit overheated, and that I'll start yelling because I'm just so frustrated. I can accept those things. Do I like them? No, but they're part of me.

So I'm just accepting reality. And from that point on, it made it a lot easier to work on my thinking and those kind of things because I could take responsibility for. My selfish thoughts. I could take responsibility for my angry thoughts. I could take responsibility for all of those things that our egos like to push off and go, Oh, you're, you're not a bad person.

You're, it tries to protect us from that. But if you can recognize, yeah, it can be selfish sometimes. Okay, when you do something selfish, you can go up to it and go, yeah, I was being selfish there. I can be angry sometimes. I can be jealous. I can be all of these things. If you own that, then it's much easier to take responsibility and accept that.

So it's easier to actually deal with that. You're like, wow, I was kind of, I was being really self centered here and I was being kind of a jerk to mom that day or whoever. And I wasn't, you know, I wasn't acting the best that I could have. But you can own that a lot better and that allows you to deal with those thoughts much, much better.

So for me, that's, that self awareness was a really big turning point in my life.

Constantin: Ah, thank you for sharing that powerful, vulnerable story. I couldn't agree more. And as you were sharing that, you, you came up with two things, like you said, self awareness and acceptance. And it's funny when I talk about integrating your why into your life.

I use a framework I came up with and awareness and acceptance are the first step. If you cannot do that, there's no way you can go to implement anything else. Because now look at what you did. Let's say you discover that you could be a bit selfish. Let's take that one as an example. And selfish has a negative connotation in life, but really it's not because is it selfish for me to take some of my money and invest it in myself, give myself a coach, give myself a course.

Some people will see it as selfish because I could be giving that money to someone else. I could be buying my partner something. It's selfish because it's for you. So there's a definition there. But now, at least, what do you have? Awareness. You can make a choice and say, well, do I agree with this part of me?

You can say, you know what? It's not that bad. You accepted it. You healed it. You allow it to keep. But if you say no, then guess what? You have the power to change. And say, you know what? I'm going to keep an eye out for this. When it comes up, I will interrupt this thought, this belief, replace it with something else.

And maybe in six months, maybe in three weeks, maybe in a year, I won't be selfish anymore. Or whatever the negative aspect of yourself you want to change. And that's, I believe, the biggest power that essentially you're talking about because that allowed you to not be on this path. We will now have choice, but before you may have felt like you didn't have choice because like you, and the example you used is so powerful because I was also seeking validation externally because I was feeling so bad about myself internally without realizing beating myself up that I was just looking externally for all the validation and what does external validation do?

Like it feels great in the moment, right? It makes you feel so good, but it doesn't stick because you don't have self validation. Yeah. If you don't have self validation, then it doesn't matter. Like, I could think that you're the most amazing human being on this planet, Erick. And that's going to stroke your ego.

That's going to make you feel good. But if you don't have the same feeling, tomorrow you'll forget. And I do something that maybe you interpret as me not being happy with you. And like you said, then you go down the spiral where like, Oh, you know, but why does Constantin not like me anymore? What, what, what's going on?

And I've been there myself so many times. Yeah.

Erick: Yeah. It's amazing how, how much we twist and turn and try to become something that we're not because we want that external validation. And I noticed that for me, a lot of that, that That unwillingness to look at myself and to look at the things I didn't like about myself for so long was because I wanted to believe that I was a good person.

And so, I thought that if I looked at these things, it would show me that I was wrong. And so, and So there was an unwillingness to look at that, and when I would do things that I wasn't necessarily happy about, or I would do things that were not in line with who I thought I should be, I could come up with all kinds of rationalizations internally about why I did that thing.

Oh, well, you know, she really upset me, and so she deserved for me to yell at her, all of these things. And we, we rationalize these things to ourself. Because we don't want to believe that we're not a good person. So everybody thinks, I mean, I think most people think they're a pretty good person, but they're afraid that they're not.

And which is where a lot of insecurity comes from. Which, if somebody truly believes that they are a good person and that they are, Then they are comfortable with themselves, then anybody can say anything about them and they just, they can just be like, okay, that's your opinion about that. And okay, it doesn't, it doesn't have that much of an impact.

It's, it's a way of just being able to, it's not even bulletproofing yourself. It's just because you recognize that who you are, your self image can't be moved by what other people think of you. Yes. And that is an incredibly powerful and powerful place to be. And I've worked really hard to get there. And so like sometimes I'll get negative comments on my, you know, Instagram or whatever like that.

And it used to kind of set me off a little bit. And now it's just like, I look at him like, Oh, okay. Interesting opinion. You know, next, next, yeah, next. It's like, I don't have time to deal with and, you know, to spend on. That type of negativity and it's really surprising to me because, you know, my podcast is about stoicism.

It's about, you know, you taking control of your life and being responsible, being compassionate, being kind to other people. And so when I get people who throw trashy things on there, it's just like, are you, are you actually understanding stoicism? Plus you're wasting all of this time throwing this negative energy at me.

Why? You know, it's like,

Constantin: you mentioned it really well earlier, it's like, it's a reflection of who we are inside. Right? So that person might be going through something tough. They have a poor opinion of themselves and they take it out on others. And I know I speak from firsthand experience because I've been there myself in the past.

Not necessarily comments on social media, but comments in relationships and in friendships and even work sometimes, right? Because you're so frustrated at yourself without realizing it and because you have no awareness, right? And especially you don't have acceptance, it's hard to fix anything. Yeah. And before we, we jump off of this topic or um, go anywhere else, let's, let's go back for a second to the thoughts, um, to share this tool with people that they may find beneficial.

And this is why I mentioned to you that I'm using it every day. I'm using all my clients. My mentor is the one that taught me this. I'm using it in my professional life, my personal life, and I've shared it in my podcast as well. So it's like this. You have a thought come up and because like you were saying Erick, you can become aware of these things.

The first step is awareness. So you have a thought come up or a belief. It's about catching yourself and saying, Oh, do I really believe that I'm a procrastinator or I'm stupid? I'm fat? Whatever the case may be. You're like, you know what? That's not something I agree with. I want to interrupt the thoughts so it doesn't come up again or it doesn't turn into a much bigger problem than it impacts my emotions and then my actions and whatnot.

So what I do in that is simply the following. And before I share this, I will ask you a question. I know I asked you this question last week, but play along with me. Okay. Every human being has this scenario where they'll be working on something or they'll be doing something. And then they have a thought come up and they say, Oh, I need to go pick up something from the kitchen.

They get up. They physically move themselves from where they were, maybe on the couch, maybe on the chair and they go to the kitchen and by the time they get there, they forget why they got there to begin with. I'm assuming that happens to you. Yeah. Happens to everyone. That's, and the funny thing is if you look from a physiological point of view, that's a natural reset that we have built into us as humans.

So what happens essentially. Because you physically removed yourself from the place, you interrupted whatever thought patterns you're, you're having, a vacuum got created called the scotoma. And like anything else in nature, when there's a vacuum, it has to get filled up and it got filled up with different thoughts and beliefs.

So by the time you got to where you wanted to go, you forgot where you got there because that was on top of mind. Now if that's automatic, that means we can harness it and make it or put it on manual control. So coming back, I have a thought, let's say I'm ugly. Let's use one that I used in the past. Okay, that's a thought I don't agree with because I already became aware of this in the past.

I accepted the fact that, you know, that's not true. I don't allow, I don't want to entertain this thought or belief, really, because it's a belief. I then want to do, the first step is do something physical. Remove yourself from whatever you're doing. If you're sitting down, just stand up. If you're in with a group of people, And a thought comes up or you're in a meeting, excuse them and say, hey, I need to go use the washroom.

My apologies, I'll be back in 30 seconds, a minute, whatever. You remove yourself. That creates a scatoma. Now, as soon as you do that, what I do is, and for those that are not watching, is essentially I'll be taking a deep breath while putting a big smile on my face.

Big, big smile on my face. And I'll explain in a second what it does. And the next step to that is to celebrate, and you talked about this too. You celebrate that you caught yourself, that I caught the negative thought. So you're celebrating something that actually happened. You're not making stuff up.

You're celebrating the fact that you caught yourself. And the way I do it is I. hit my chest and I say, yes, Constantin, we caught it. While I have a big smile on my face because I just took a deep breath. And what am I doing with all of that? So the deep breath continues to reset, but it also brings in fresh oxygen into your body.

The big smile moves you instantly into a state of happiness, even though you might go back to negativity in a few seconds, doesn't matter. It brings you there. Celebration also enhances the happiness and guess what? It starts to release Dopamine and other good feel hormones in your brain, your brain is gonna go like, what just happened?

Why are we happy? And it's gonna look to find clues. And, and then the next step is to replace the thought with whatever, you know, it's like, Oh, I'm not ugly. I'm beautiful. And here's the proof for it. Right? So what you've done there is interrupted the thought, brought in joy and happiness and all that with it and the good hormones and then replace it with a positive thought.

You do this once, it's not going to have much of an effect other than pull you out of that. potential negative scenario you're about to go in. But you do this multiple times, you start training yourself. There's exercises you can expand from here where you do it on purpose, where you start thinking about negative stuff on purpose and interrupt it.

You're going to see that after a few days, after a few weeks, it's going to become more and more on autopilot to the point where the idea is that It's not like you're not going to have negative thoughts come up. We talked about that. They will come up because your environment is your environment, but you're going to train your brain to be like, nah, that's not what I want to entertain.

I want to go through a good thought and belief. And then that says a train. And for me, what has it done? It allows me to literally, when something bad happens, yes, I can see the negative side of it, but I'm not going to spend hours and days and weeks in it. It's going to be momentary. And I'm like, you to spend time there.

I go here. And that's a strategy that I've seen work with pretty much everyone that's willing to try it. I haven't seen it fail yet. Now, sample size, obviously, it's always a question, but I've seen 100 plus people use this within my own circle and from my mentor as well. It's working. Yeah.

Erick: No, I can definitely see that.

That's, it's very much, it's, it's a bit more intense than what I was talking about with my nudge, which is, you know, just like, Hey, be aware of that. But basically it's, it's, it's a nudge. It's a, it's just a short little exercise to interrupt that, that pattern and, and just move it up in a much more positive light.

So yeah, I can see how that would be very, I can take

Constantin: a whole lot, 10 seconds. That's it. Right. Yeah. It doesn't have to take a long time. Now, obviously if you're at home working from home and you, you have the luxury of taking a bit more time, sure you can, but there's no need for that, right? Just interrupt every time it comes up.

And I was talking to a nurse friend of mine the other weekend, we're having dinner and she's having a harder time because it's winter here in Canada, the winter blues, she's from a warmer country. And she was talking, he's like, what, what do you do? What, how can you overcome this? And I gave her the exercise.

This was in the evening of our dinner. And then the next day she messages me cause she was a skeptic before. He's like, you know what? I've tried it and it actually really works. I have no idea why, but it works. And I'm like, okay, try it and see. And I'm always of the opinion, don't take my word for it. Or don't take Erick's word for it or any expert in the world.

Try it. Do your own research. If it works for you, keep it. If it doesn't, toss it away. Now, of course, don't try it. You know, don't do it halfway there and then toss it out. Try it maybe for a week. Because like I said, it takes you 10 seconds, 15 seconds, right? And it doesn't do anything negative to you. Yep.

Erick: And then on the other side, how you mentioned that there's a, you know, How you often do negative visualization, the Stoics have a term for that is called premeditatio malorum, which means premeditated malice. And so it's, but yeah, it's the idea that, um, if you, if you put yourself in a safe space, you sit down and you think about what's the worst things that can happen, then it makes it much easier to face those things because you've already faced them in your mind, which is incredibly powerful.

And that's a tool that I've used and I stumbled on it accidentally. Um, After my divorce back in 2006, where I was divorced, I was getting divorced. I was working for a startup and they bounced a whole bunch of my checks. And I reached a point where I basically had 17 to last me for a week. So it was really, really tough.

I was riding my bike into work every day. I cycle a lot. So that was fine. So I didn't have to pay for gas, but I was just kind of panicking because I'm like, okay, what happens if I run out of money? And. I went through this whole exercise of like, okay, well, if I wasn't able to get another job, I guess I could move back to Salt Lake, move in with my mom or move back to Minnesota, move in with my mom for a bit, but then I wouldn't be able to see my kids for a while.

That would really suck. But, you know, then I could look for jobs, you know, There were just all kinds of things that I went through of like, how would I handle that situation? And for me, it was really, really helpful because I was like, well, if I needed to, I could live in my car for a bit. You know, I mean, that wouldn't be fun, but I have a gym membership that I can go to the gym and I can, you know, I can take a shower there and you know, I can do all the things that I need to do.

I go into work. Okay, yeah, this, uh, I'll figure this out, but it really took that power of money away from me. That power of that fear of not having enough, it was just like, oh, well, it's just a, it's just a resource. And if I don't have enough of it, okay, I'll have to figure something out, but I can do this.

But it, it changed my attitude towards money, which was helpful. And it took away a lot of fear because it was like, yeah, I could survive even if things got really, really crappy. They didn't get that crappy, but, but it was, it was just a thing that I kind of went through. And I was in a way, I was kind of forced because like I said, the company I was working for was bouncing some checks, found out later on that the president of the company had been, um, embezzling money.

So that's why they were bouncing checks because he was, he was basically pulling money from the coffers. And so, yeah, that turned into a whole messy scenario, but for me, it was, it was, it was very powerful. And I was really glad that happened at that time because it made it so that I was less worried about money overall in my life.

And I was like, I can live on so much less. I can live off of little, I'll be able to, I'll be able to make things happen. And I'm luckily I've never had to since then. And uh, I'm doing okay as far as things go, but uh, yeah, it was, it was a really powerful lesson for me. Exactly.

Constantin: And it's really what, if I understand you correctly, what you did in the scenario as well as essentially realize that nothing holds power over you.

It's your perspective that does, it's your beliefs that do. So if you believe that if you don't get money now, you're going to be broken out on the street, you're going to have that because you're not allowing any other opportunities to show up in your life. What you did is realize, yeah, I mean, I'll always be okay.

Yeah, it's not going to be ideal, but that's temporary. If, if we allow it to be temporary, because what happens in the case, if you don't do what you did or other, because there's many other exercises one can do. You end up in a situation and then you're going to play the victim and not say that you're not a victim, right?

Because, you know, you could be the victim of something, but I'm saying playing it to yourself, meaning that you over emphasize it and all of a sudden it becomes a chain effect where you can't pull yourself out of it. And that's what I was with my depression for the longest time. It's like until I really hit the rock bottom, I couldn't get up because even though certain things were bad, I was so over emphasizing them.

And I wasn't allowing the positivity to shine through.

Erick: Yeah, yeah, that can definitely happen. So I'm glad you were able to pull that out. So

Constantin: yeah, absolutely. And I, funny enough, I had that reflection on that too, a while back now. And I'm like, with the knowledge I have now and the tools I have now, can I see myself?

And I couldn't visualize, I couldn't see a scenario in which I would, not because I'm someone that cannot get depressed because I still have days when I'm not as happy or you know, I still have some thoughts that are not the best in the terms of like, let's say depressive thoughts. But now I have tools where I can get to feel my emotions, which is the one thing I didn't know before, like you actually can feel your emotions, I can feel your feelings.

And then I have tools to pull myself out and say, well, once that happens, there's no point in wallowing in it. How do we change those thoughts and beliefs and move myself over? So that's why one of my mentors says, knowledge is power, right? Then you hear people say, ah, you know, that's not great. It's not true because knowledge is, doesn't give you anything.

And technically it's true because knowledge gives you a choice. So meaning if I have the knowledge now, I still have a choice. I'll do, I use the knowledge. Or do I actually decide to go against the knowledge and that's a choice that anyone can make and you know what's right and wrong. And we talked about that at length.

Erick: Yeah, for sure. All right. Well, we're coming up on an hour, a little over an hour and a half here. Um, is there anything else that you want to bring up before we close out this conversation? Well, I think

Constantin: we touched on so many important points here, Erick. So I want to thank you for your time and energy and everything else that we've shared, the space we've shared.

I think I'm good. How about yourself?

Erick: Yeah, this has been a really great conversation. I've enjoyed what we've talked on. So we're going to cross post this on each of our different podcasts. So if you're listening to it on Constantin's, then you'll be able to find me at stoic. coffee. That's my website is, yes, stoic.

coffee. And go ahead and give a shout out on yours. Yeah,

Constantin: absolutely. And if you guys are watching this on Erick's show, then you can find me at unleashthyself. com. Or you can find us on social media, on YouTube at Unleash Thyself, me personally on LinkedIn under Constantin Morun. And we'll both have these in the show notes as well, respectively.

But yeah, come check out our work. I mean, Erick is doing a fantastic work for those listening on my show and definitely go check out his stuff. All right.

Erick: All right. This has been a great conversation, Constantin. Likewise, Erick.

Constantin: Thank you so much.

Erick: Thank you.

And that's the end of this week's episode. I hope you enjoyed this conversation that I had with Constantin, and I hope that you check out his podcast. Again, that's Unleash Thyself podcast, and I think you could really learn a lot from it. Like I said, Constantin is a very insightful, very thoughtful, very warm person, and I think you could get a lot from that.

As always, be good to yourself, be good to others, and thanks for listening.

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