21 Aug August 21, 2019 – TV Star James Murr, Play for Real David Wood and Smart Break Lawrence Smith
I wanted to create a creature that is smarter than humans, has
millions more years of evolution than humans and more abilities
than humans. An actual apex predator.
James Murr is a creator, producer, and star of truTV’s hit series, Impractical Jokers. He and his costars form The Tenderloins, a four man, travelling comedy group based in New York. On Impractical Jokers, the team aims to embarrass each other and perform hilarious pranks for their viewers. Together, they’ve created a feature film. They’re also going to debut a new TV series, The Misery Index, on TBS in Fall of 2019. James Murr is also an author of multiple books: Impractical Jokers: The Book, Awakened: A Novel, and The Brink: An Awakened Novel.
David Wood – CEO at Play for Real, Author of Get Paid For Who You Are – Read interview highlights here
I’m not promising you comfort. I’m actually promising you discomfort,
if you’re going to try to step outside of what you are doing and
create the dream that you want.
David Wood created the company Play for Real to offer individual and business coaching, presentations, and workshops to help people reach their fullest potential in business and in life. As a former Consulting Actuary to Fortune 100 companies, David offers uniquely valuable insight that can get your company to the top, and your life into shape. For 20 years in 12 different countries, David has been helping people implement the principles of Real Truth, Real Daring, and Real Caring to create a compelling vision and a practical plan, to implement that plan, and to become the people and team they desire. He is also the author of Get Paid for Who You Are, a book that teaches people how to turn their unique passions and interests into profitable businesses.
Lawrence Smith – Vice President of Smart Break USA
We don’t want to tell people what to do, we want to say,
‘Hey, this will benefit you, and it will only take 3 minutes.’
Lawrence Smith is the Vice President of Smart Break USA, a cloud-based wellness solution for offices of any size. Smart Break helps offices integrate movement variety with smart activity breaks. By encouraging workers to get up and move during specified, three minute breaks, employees become energized and more productive, and their health problems from continually sitting at work are greatly reduced. This will increase productivity, leading to more profits. It also improves the health culture of your office while bringing your workers together, increasing your team’s effectiveness and your company’s bottom line.
Highlights from David’s Interview
I think a lot of us are a little bit dazed. We’re creatures of habit. And that’s fine, but we need to realize that we’re creatures of habit. We’re kinda like rats in a luxurious maze, and some of us have been fortunate enough to have a wake up call. I actually had a wake up call a year ago in Colombia, when my parachute collapsed, my paragliding collapsed, and I fractured my spine and went to hospital in an ambulance. I think that’s helped me realize I may not get another go at this life. And so the tests that I use, and I invite everyone to use when you’re lying on your deathbed, if you imagine that, are you going to look back and say I gave it everything? Or are you going to say I regret getting more deeply connected?I regret giving more. I regret expressing myself more. And I regret doing the things that I really wanted to do.
If I do something, and it doesn’t work out, okay, maybe that wasn’t pleasant, but I got new information. I got to find out. I just broke up with an amazing woman. And someone said to me, “You flew too close to the sun.” I said, “No, I flew exactly the right distance.” I would have regretted not fully going for it for the rest of my life, because then I’d always wonder. But now I know. I really went for it, and it wasn’t right for me. I got new information.
We can be in tears and still feel like we made the right decision. Part of playing for real is feeling more. I learned to shut down my feelings very early in life. I had a tragedy where I watched a family member die when I was seven years old, and I learned to bottle up those feelings. But during the last 20 years, I’ve been reclaiming that. I like to feel everything, including the tears.
Yeah, well, I think the play is so important because we can get so serious about life. And even if something really bad is happening, we can still actually be playing. I take the viewpoint that life is a game. All of it is a game. And some people say, “Well, David, how can you say that? I just lost somebody cancer. That’s not a game.” And I would say, “Well, it’s a game with very high stakes, but we get to make the moves we want to make.” I think if we can view it as playing, we can sometimes get into more of a flow state, and enjoy what’s happening instead of tensing up and screwing up the situation.
But it’s not just about play. I’m not saying frolic through the tulips with butterflies floating around you. I’m not saying that nothing matters. Let’s play the game, but let’s play it like it matters. Let’s play it like this is the last life you’ll get, like you may not be reincarnated, and let’s play for real.
How do you know if you’re playing for real? One test would be if you imagine lying on your deathbed; imagine it comes tomorrow, and you’re looking back, and you’re looking at your current life and going, “Did I really give it my all? Is this something that I could do? What would help me live life more fully?” It might be that you tell someone how much they mean to you. It might be that you make a confession, say you’re sorry for something, and try and make it right. It might be a new business venture. Or it could be calling a celebrity, and asking them to sponsor your venture. Who knows? Grab a piece of paper, grab a pen, and just write down what you’re feeling. What if you were fully living life? What might that look like? It doesn’t mean you have to commit to it. It doesn’t mean you have to do it. But let’s just start playing, and looking at what playing for real could look like for you.
Firstly, if you notice that your life isn’t everything you want it to be, that’s huge. Many of us can go through 5, 10, 15 or 20 years without waking up and going, “Hey, this is not what I want.” More is possible. The next step, once you’ve acknowledged the things going to be better, is to start dreaming. What occurs next is journaling. I like to practice by taking a computer or a piece of paper, and writing for three pages without stopping. Even if it’s to say, “Blah, blah, blah, I don’t know what to write. This is a stupid exercise some guy I heard on the radio talked about.” You just keep on writing. Stop the dream, and just imagine what it could be like. This is one of the things that separates us some other animals, I think is that we can actually imagine what could be. That’s step two.
Step three is you want to plan. All right, I imagined that I want to really amazing partnership. What would that look like with my current wife and 26 years? We’re just feels kind of dead? What would you love? What could she do? That would be great. What would you be doing? What would be great? What would you be doing together? That would be great. Start to dream it in step two, then you want to plan. How can I make my relationship better? How can I make my job better? Do I go to my boss? I don’t know. Do you start putting out your resume to other places? Maybe. Do you start looking for other partners, or do you make your relationship better? That’s where you’re getting to the planning phase and create a real plan.
When people make excuses to avoid playing for real, what I hear is resignation. Like, “Oh, it’s all too hard, and I can’t do it!” And some things definitely can seem that way. I think dreaming can help you get to, “All right, that could be really cool.” Let’s suppose we, at least three nights a week, were talking together in our relationship and just sharing a day. That might be a beginning. Let’s suppose we’re experimenting with sex to find something that really turns us on. You start to dream. And that makes it possible. That’s when you create a plan. Let’s take the marriage, for example. The plan might be that first you go and talk to your partner, and see if they want the same thing, if they want more. If they didn’t want more, I’d probably leave. I don’t want to try and make something work with someone else who doesn’t want to try with me. But let’s suppose you get it. Now you can say, “What are we going to do?” Maybe you partner’s got ideas, maybe you’ve got ideas, maybe you go to a therapist, and the therapist has got ideas, and you see a therapist once a week. Maybe you create a date night twice a week, and one night, you get to choose what you guys want to do, and your partner gets to choose on the other night. You just saw me make this up in the space of 60 seconds, right off the top of my head. If I can do this in 60 seconds, you can create some options for your life, whether it’s a new job, a new partner, a new body… whatever it is.
Next there has to be some action, right? You’ve actually got to put it into action. The good news is, you don’t have to do all those actions at the same time. In fact, it’s impossible. The good news is, how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time, take one thing that moves you forward. And then if you get a good result that’s going to motivate you, do another action. If you don’t get a result, dust yourself off and try the next thing on your list. It’s not that complicated. It can feel hard because you’re used to your present. We’re all used to what is real now, so it seems scary. And it can be uncomfortable. I’m not promising you comfort. I’m promising you discomfort, if you’re going to try to step outside what you’ve been doing and create the dream that you want. But if you’re willing to be uncomfortable, and you’re willing to take action one step at a time, I think a lot a lot is possible. At the least, you’re going to feel good about yourself, and you’re going to be able to say on your deathbed, “I tried; I went for it.”
I think changing four categories at once is maybe setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve got the energy and the time and you’re the kind of person that can move four projects at once, great. Otherwise, some people could use that as another reason not to do anything. “It’s just too much! I have all these things I want to change.” Well, we eat an elephant one bite at a time. Right now, I’d like to be working on my health and finding a partner and getting a new house and building my business all at the same time. It just doesn’t work that way. I’ve got one thing that’s most important. And then as I get time and attention, I work on project two.
We’ve been too long in the dynamic of having to have the answers. And it’s ironic, it’s you being the hero that’s probably gotten your business to where it is. It’s probably what’s had you be successful. You think, “I’m going to lead, this is where we’re going.” But that dynamic seems to be changing in corporate land, from, “I’m going to be the hero, I’m going to be the king,” to “I’m going to be the king makeup.” The first thing comes to me is how much are you asking your staff for their ideas? Wouldn’t it be fun to put a person in the spot of CEO for half an hour, and ask, “What would you change? What do you think this business needs?” That’s my first input to find out if you’re playing your best game. And you might find that everyone says, “No, we’re rockin’, everything’s thriving, we’re tripling every year, this is great, it can’t be better.” That’s possible. I think it’s unlikely. You might find that there’s a whole bunch of things that people are going to tell you if you create the safe space. To be honest, that’s rare. It’s rare in the business world, and it’s rare in the personal world for humans to create a safe space for another human to actually tell you what they’re thinking.
There’s a great quote in the book Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. I’m loving this book; I’m reading it right now. There’s an example in it where a CEO sits people down and says, “Let’s have an honest conversation about what’s not working and about what could be better. But before we even have that conversation, I want everybody to write down one thing they would need to feel safe enough to really be honest. And one thing that might get in the way.” And so they create a context for how a safe space can be generated, and they take time, 10 or 20 minutes to go through that. And now that it’s a safe space, you can find out what people actually want, you can find out where they feel the company is playing for real, and where they feel the company is not.
This might be in the dreaming pot. Okay, this is step one, acknowledging what’s not working and what could be better. Then there’s the dreaming part about what we really need, and whether other stuff is really connecting. Are we really working as a team? Do we support each other? Do we feel like we scored when someone else kicks a goal, or are we operating as individuals? Have that conversation, and then next would be the plan. Here we ask, What are we going to do? Who’s going to be accountable for each thing? When are we going to circle back and report on this? I mean, this is not rocket science, right? But it doesn’t always happen.
What I’m really enjoying right now is doing one on one discovery sessions with people who want to up level in business, but also they want to up level their life. If you’re interested in that, go to PlayForReal.life and click on the big button that says “request a session.” It’s a great process. You’ll be asked a bunch of questions about your life, and then you can actually book something on my calendar. I don’t charge for these sessions, because it’s how I find who are the right people for me to work with long term.