Jason Hartman interviews Dr. Bob Wright, co-author of Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living and Beyond Time Management: Business with a Purpose, to talk about the science and positive results in personal transformation and finding purpose. Dr. Wright discusses identifying inner yearnings, becoming more engaged, and becoming more aware of our programming (limitations) and changing them. He explains the difference between learning and growing and how to transform our lives by rebuilding neuro pathways in the brain. He also defines the three types of happiness – hedonic, engaged and meaningful – and how to create an intimate relationship with our fears in order to transform. Dr. Wright then talks with Jason about finding deeper purpose in business, creating a more meaningful, more fulfilling experience. Listen at: www.HolisticSurvival.com.
Dr. Robert Wright is a highly successful entrepreneur, world-class executive coach, and dynamic corporate consultant. An internationally recognized author, Dr. Wright is considered a visionary and cutting-edge thinker, speaker, and program developer in the areas of human potential and human emergence technologies. Called a top executive coach by Crain’s Chicago Business, Dr. Wright specializes in helping corporate leaders and entrepreneurs across the country not
only to build and grow their businesses, but also to thrive with purpose, mission, and robust, high-performing cultures.
After selling his top-ranked managed care and employee assistance firm in 1994, Dr. Wright co-founded the Wright Business Institute and Wright in Chicago to help leaders, entrepreneurs, families, individuals, and organizations realize their fullest potential in all areas of life. In his most recent venture, he co-founded and serves as CEO and faculty of the Wright Graduate Institute for the Realization of Human Potential, a graduate school offering masters and doctoral degrees in human development. Look for Dr. Wright’s work at http://wrightliving.com/.
Narrator: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary for you to survive and prosper? The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, to understand threats and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to today’s show. This is Jason Hartman, your host. And as you may or may not know, every 10th show we kind of do a special tradition here that originated with my Creating Wealth Show where we do a topic that is actually off topic on purpose, something just to do with general life and more successful living and that’s exactly what we’re going to do today with our special guest. Again, 10th show is off topic and it is very much intentional, just for personal enrichment. And I hope you enjoy today’s show. And we will be back with our guest in just a moment.
Narrator: Now, you can get Jason’s Creating Wealth in Today’s Economy Home Study Course, all the knowledge and education revealed in a 9 hour day of the Creating Wealth Bootcamp, created in a home study course for you to dive into at your convenience. For more details, go to JasonHartman.com.
Start of Interview with Robert Wright
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Robert Wright to the show. He is the author of a couple of books that I think you’ll find very interesting. One is Transformed: The Science of Spectacular Living. And we recently had his lovely wife, Judith Wright, on the show and we touched on that book a little bit. But also today I want to talk about his other book which is Beyond Time Management: Business with a Purpose. Bob, welcome. How are you?
Dr. Bob Wright: Great, Jason. Thank you very much.
Jason Hartman: Well, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show. And I always like to say where our guests are coming from and you’re coming to us from Chicago today, right?
Dr. Bob Wright: Looking at Lake Michigan as we talk.
Jason Hartman: Well, let’s start where you like. Maybe since the individual is really the foundation of their business and I just want to kind of make the point that even if someone is not in business for themselves, technically we’re all in business for ourselves. We have a job, we’re basically selling our services to our employer, so certainly time management and transformational living can be valuable in either case. But maybe let’s delve into Transformed a little bit, because it all starts with the individual, doesn’t it?
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, sure. And we worked with a lot of entrepreneurs and they’re forced into transformation. Very few entrepreneurs when they started out in business planned on being salespeople. And some of them continued to deny the fact that they’re salespeople. And that’s one transformation that pulls things out of us that we never dreamt we would have to encounter. Then there’s the leadership transformation where I have to get my work done through others. So business is the coolest tool of transformation.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, it forces people into transformation just because of the pressure of the marketplace. That’s an interesting perspective. But what is Transformed? What is the science of spectacular living.
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, Transformed comes off of our study of people who actually transformed. And one of the key characteristics of transformation is you’re doing something you never dreamt that you would do. And we love watching people stretch and go from being shy accountants to becoming national policy leaders. It’s a great joy to work with an executive coming fresh out of their MBA and then becoming a C level executive in a public company.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so you study these people and watch their path as they were going through this transformation. But what can the individual do? I mean, what are some of the take homes as to what they can do to move forward in their business or career?
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, for starters, we’re all scanning the environment to know what we need to do to take our business to the next level whether we’re employees or entrepreneurs. What we don’t know how to do is to scan our inner life and take the one tool over which we have the most control, which is ourselves, and develop it. So, the key element is to begin to notice my inner world while I’m noticing the outer world. We call it identifying your deeper yearnings, and then to learn to engage more and more in your life in a way that causes you to learn and to grow and to actually strategically develop yourself as you would your business.
Jason Hartman: So, taking this on from really a business-like perspective then, I guess, is what you’re saying. But what are some of these steps in this transformation that occurs? I mean, the biggest obstacle we all have is overcoming ourselves, isn’t it?
Dr. Bob Wright: Yeah, absolutely. Let me give you a story and then I’ll identify the steps that went into the story. So, an employee of one of the largest human resources consulting firms in the world came in to see me and said that he wanted to become an outward bound instructor, because we all have these magical solutions. If I can find this thing or that thing, it’s gonna make me happy which is total hogwash. It’s really about me engaging fully in whatever I’m doing.
Jason Hartman: Sure, sure. And I just want you to explain, Bob. Most people know what outward bound is but just briefly what is that?
Dr. Bob Wright: Oh, he was going to go to the wilderness and teach people about wilderness survival as opposed to doing human resources consulting.
Jason Hartman: Right, quite a difference.
Dr. Bob Wright: 180 degrees. And when I dug into it, I found out that he had just gone over $100,000 over on a $100,000 job. And the partners were unamused and they told him that he was no longer on the partnership track because they considered that $100,000 out of their pocket. And as I dug into it, I found that he wasn’t really winning at work. Not only was he not winning at work, but his wife had found another apartment. She was going to move out and divorce him, telling him that she did not want to bear his children.
So, his wife was really a mess and he wasn’t really addressing it. So, the first thing that we did is we taught him to start identifying his inner world with his primary emotions which awakens your deeper yearning. So fear, hurt, anger, sadness and joy are very important elements of business that most people don’t know how to identify and tap. Well, he started noticing his emotions, engaging more fully in meetings at work. He became what they call a net giver in the firm. He had been criticized as not really helping other executives, became a net giver, learned how to sell. As we worked with him, he was back on the partnership track. He was recruited by the elite firm in his field to teach that firm how to sell and he went from being an MBA/CPA mousy kind of accountant to the point where today he is a national policy leader in his expertise. He is back together with the woman who was going to divorce him, and their daughter is studying overseas right now.
So, he’s written defining books in his field and is just looking at ways to take his field to the next level beyond what most people are even considering possible. That’s a significant transformation that began with him becoming conversant with his inner world. So, that’s the first step is to recognize your deeper yearnings to then engage more. As we engage, we become aware. The third step is we become aware that we’re all programmed and our limitations, and we all have them, are programmed in. Then we begin to assault that program and we begin changing.
The thing that most entrepreneurs face is learning to be salespeople. There’s all kinds of programming against asking for things that are required of effective salespeople. And so when we begin to assault that program and we begin to actually reprogram, we call it rematrixing, and then we’ve really begun changing and then we have to dedicate to maintain those changes.
Jason Hartman: Rematrixing, can you dive into that a little bit more? I mean, everyone thinks of the movie of course, probably, but what is the matrix? I guess there’s one that one has now, that program, a lot of times it’s a hidden program, and then one that one says they want to have, so what are the differences like? Because you’ve got some diagrams in the book. And can you give an example? Is there a before and after matrix?
Dr. Bob Wright: Let’s go back to the very beginning. When we’re born, we have billions of neurons in our brain that are not connected. This is potential. As we have an experience, we begin having those neurons fire together and wired together with repeated patterns. Let’s say our mother is chronically afraid and mom and dad believe that life is a struggle and that there is not enough money to go around, not enough love to go around, whatever it is. They’re communicating that to us in their attitudes and way of being.
And so our neurons are firing together the depths and nature of reality. It’s the nature of who I am and what I can expect from the world. So imagine that some of these fire together and they become like a path. Well, now imagine that the patterns repeat themselves more as we go to school and we live our lives, that path becomes a road. The road becomes a highway. Our neural energy, our impulses flow along those highways and define what we call who we are and who we’re not. So the matrix is that pattern of highways. So imagine a 3-dimensional road highway map in our skull that is determining the patterns, where the energy flows, determines what we do, what we don’t do, what we think, what we feel.
So then rematrixing is identifying the places those don’t go that we would like to go and then developing new pathways to go to the places we want those roads to go, starting with two firing together, then developing the path to the road and the highway, the superhighway and that’s the rematrixing. And often times it requires going against unconscious beliefs that we’ve built into our system.
Jason Hartman: Very good points. I guess it’s like the old concept of context versus content, isn’t it, where we all have this belief system really, this context in which we all live. We fool around, changing the content of our lives but a lot of times it doesn’t really change much because that overall belief system is still the limiting force. It’s the backdrop, it’s the context with which everything is derived, right?
Dr. Bob Wright: It’s actually even worse than that because we have the illusion that life is getting better – it’s called the hedonic treadmill. But the fact of the matter is if you win the lottery or become a paraplegic, within 12 months your enjoyment of life is exactly the same as your matrix has determined. Now, this is no bell prize winning research. This isn’t me making this up. And so the real trick is changing the context as you’re putting it is changing my capacity to enjoy life.
Jason Hartman: Changing capacity, yeah. The context has a certain size to it and it can only hold so much, but yet I love that hedonic treadmill point you make because we talk a lot about economics on my various shows and the consumer price index, how they use the hedonic adjustment. So, it seems like things are getting better and that can really cause, with the hedonic treadmill, cause a lot of time wasting, can’t it? Because people are constantly gravitating towards the wrong thing, the wrong end. They think, oh yeah, this is going to make it work, this is going to make it work, and then months later they realize, well, things didn’t change too much, did they?
Dr. Bob Wright: Yeah. If you imagine a horizontal line, and then we have a curve that goes up above the line and then it goes down below the line equally, above the line, below the line. The flat line is our enjoyment of life. The way we fool ourselves is we remember the times that it went up and we forget the times that it went down. And that causes us to make up stories about things getting better when in fact they haven’t changed at all. In terms of our capacity to enjoy life, you may even be making a fortune in dollars and cents but your enjoyment of that fortune is a fixed entity or a fixed amount such as the context. The context determines what you’re doing there.
To change that context is personal transformation. Personal transformation requires that I can take the up curve and extend it as far as possible and clip the bottom curve so I eventually can change the slope of that line up. And for people to understand that, I ask them how fast they’ve driven. And most people in most rooms haven’t gone above 150 miles an hour. But no matter how fast you’ve driven, there was a point at which your fear caused you to take your foot off the gas. And if you really want to change that slope, you have to keep the foot on the gas faster and slow down less.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, very good point. We’re masters of deceiving ourselves, aren’t we Bob?
Dr. Bob Wright: Absolutely. And that’s the nature of our unconscious mind because kids believe that sameness is desirable. I’m alive today. It could be worse. So, your unconscious mind is planning to deep 6 any of the good plans that you have.
Jason Hartman: Okay, what else? What’s next?
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, entrepreneurs and careers, so work is a wonderful place for us if we awaken to that inner world to identify where we’re afraid in meetings and to step into that fear to learn to do the things we’re afraid of. And fear is part of how the unconscious mind saves our life in dangerous situations, but it’s trying to save our life in situations of minimal danger.
So, one of the key things is we need to develop an intimate relationship with our fear so that we can stretch beyond what we would normally doo. If you fold your hands and you have one thumb on top and refold your hands with the other thumb on top, it’s mildly uncomfortable. Well, transformers learn to live with that level of discomfort. It’s the same thing in deliberate practice studies that Anders Ericsson, I think was his name, has demonstrated that deliberate practice is necessary. We have to put both time in and we need to continually challenge ourselves. The same thing is proof in my leadership, in my relationship at home, in my relationship in a meeting. Do I engage at that next level of discomfort where I’m facing my fear and changing the slope of that hypnotic enjoyment?
Jason Hartman: Yeah, great points. So, business is a great place for transformation. But you titled the book Beyond Time Management: Business with Purpose. What are you getting to there?
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, the people that have a deeper why, so I think a purpose is why we do what we do. Most of the world focuses on what rather than how and why. Why I do what I do gives meaning, gives fullness. And it’s the why that causes me to go beyond myself. There was the boxing movie with Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man. He was a failed boxer when he was single. He gets married and has kids and he’s desperate and he suddenly becomes a championship boxer and they’re interviewing him. And they said “Why do you box? Why are you boxing better?” He says “Milk.” “What do you mean milk?” He says “I want milk for my kids”.
Jason Hartman: Okay. That could be a milk commercial.
Dr. Bob Wright: Yeah. But the point is he had a why that he hadn’t had before. Now, we look for an even bigger why for society and for our world. The business people that tend to transform have bigger whys. They have a why for themselves which is to learn, to grow, to love more, to be loved more, whatever that is. That’s the deeper yearning in transformed. And then they also have a bigger why with the rest of the world.
In our book Transformed, we talk about the transformational engagement continuum because if you really want to have a great career, a great marriage, great parenting, you have to learn to engage with meaning. And when you have that greater why, then each interaction takes on a new level of vitality and possibility for everyone in the interaction. So, that’s transformative engagement.
Jason Hartman: It sure is. The why is more important than the how and I couldn’t agree with you more on that because the why is what’ll keep getting you through the hard times versus the how. And that really reminds me, Bob, I was interviewing Denis Waitley about 150 episodes ago on one of my shows and I was a big fan of his and still am. And what struck me is that years ago, it seems like in the area of we’ll call it motivational speaking, we used to have the big names, Jim Rohn, the Zig Ziglar, Denis Waitley, etcetera, and they were generalists, they were motivators. And it seems like now everything is very specific, very how to. And I think we’ve kind of come away from the why a bit in the past couple of decades, at least that’s my sense of it.
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, people are getting more and more obsessed with the how as technologies are improving. The interesting thing in our study is we’re studying people over a period of 20 and plus years so that we’ve actually gotten to work with people from before their time their children were born to the time that their children were in college and actually becoming leaders in our programs. So, most of those guys are inspirational speakers. They get you excited about why or how, whatever it is. What we really think is important is the follow through. It’s practicing day by day, moment by moment. It’s learning the skills. It’s because transformers not only have the why in place but they have a how that is moment by moment strategically aimed at their rematrixing, so they’re constantly stretching into their potential.
So transformers invariably have a strong why and their how is much more specific and strategic. It’s not just about getting excited, but it’s really about durability. It’s realizing that life is a serious marathon, not a sprint.
Jason Hartman: It most definitely is. Well, what else do you want people to know about your work? I mean, you have just a lot of depth to your work. You have courses and programs on so many topics, really every area of human development it would seem. I mean, you’ve been doing this a long time. There’s a lot of depth here. Kind of freeform, tell people what you want them to know and just any other takeaways you can share. This has been very valuable.
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, we started developing our methodology with consumer research back in the early 80s. I had a 2 year waiting list. And so we had to develop curriculum to empower people to be able to operate on their own and put together a system. And so transformed is first of all a study of people that used our system way more effectively than others to do things they never could have imagined doing such as the one story I told you.
And so what’s really important is people understand that no seminar is going to do it, no coach is going to do it, it’s you that’s going to do it. And you need great seminars that help you strategize. You need great coaching to help you on your day to day application. And just like any Olympic athlete, you need to be working out with other athletes that are doing it with you. That’s why we have all those different disciplines, because if we have singles they want to be working with other singles who are working on singlehood for transformation or parenting or entrepreneurs or sales. So all of our curriculum developed out of our desire to help people transform in all areas of their life.
Jason Hartman: Right, yeah, excellent point. I just want to ask you one other area that you might cover before we wrap up here, and that is the area of emotional intelligence. I’m not sure if Daniel Goldman coined that phrase or not, but certainly became a popular phrase. And you talk about it and address it quite a bit, too. First of all, maybe for the listeners, just define it. What does it mean? And how can it be used?
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, it’s generally referred to as social-emotional intelligence nowadays. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to know what’s going on inside of me emotionally, to regulate my emotions up or to regulate them down, in other words to get more excited and engaged or more calm and more peaceful. Social intelligence is the capacity to read the emotions of those outside of me and to help them get more excited and engaged or relaxed, these very important leadership skills. It’s proving to be the most important leadership skill and by some accounts 85% of big time CEO’s success is social-emotional intelligence.
And so Transformed by its very nature teaches you to recognize your emotions and those of others because that’s the first step in tapping your deeper yearnings. It’s about your own journey. It’s not about my journey or somebody else’s journey. Mine might be inspirational, useful to you, but it’s your capacity to follow your inner urges which goes right along with your emotional intelligence that causes you to challenge yourself, to learn, to grow, to discover aspects of yourself that you have felt were not you. So emotional intelligence is central to this game. You can’t be a transformer by our definition without some degree of emotional intelligence.
Jason Hartman: So that’s just an incredibly important thing, isn’t it?
Dr. Bob Wright: Right now, Harvard Business Review says in tough economic times, soft skills go away. The most frequently accessed article that they have now is the ’98 article by Goldman on emotional intelligence. And that is a blow away fact to them.
Jason Hartman: Explain that. You’re saying that Harvard is saying that the soft skills aren’t that important. Is that what they’re saying?
Dr. Bob Wright: No, they go away. People stop accessing those articles in tough economic times.
Jason Hartman: Oh, and they look for the technical stuff.
Dr. Bob Wright: Right, they look for the how.
Jason Hartman: I got it, okay. Yeah.
Dr. Bob Wright: They looked for the what. This is the first time that there’s been an economic hard time that a how or what is not the most accessed article. In fact, it’s an old article in ’98 by Goldman.
Jason Hartman: Excellent, yeah. That’s good. Good point. Give out your website and tell people where they can learn more and where they can get your books.
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, BobWright.com. They can get a couple of free chapters and they can get the book at Amazon, they can get it at Barnes & Noble online and in the stores if it’s still there, and we would love to have them come and join us for our introductory weekend where we do our fantastic in depth guide to social-emotional intelligence, so in depth that national and state leaders in social-emotional intelligence have chosen to take our course thinking it’s the strongest one they found.
Jason Hartman: Excellent stuff. Well, Dr. Bob Wright, thank you so much for joining us today. And some very good advice for successful living both personally and professionally and we really appreciate you joining the show.
Dr. Bob Wright: Well, thank you, Jason.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show, protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own, and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Transcribed by Ralph
Guest: Dr. Bob Wright
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