The 33voices Dialogue – Kapil Gupta and Moe Abdou on Making Greatness Routine

Check out The 33voices Dialogue Episode Page

Key Takeaways

  • What does it takes to be great?
    • “A person who has the DNA to completely walk against the grain, because they harbor a deep seeded understanding, that the masses and the majority, and the status quo and the traditions, are always wrong, and that they can only lead to a very limited outcome”
    • “The person who rejects everything, who knows that everything out of everyone’s mouth is a lie – that person has a chance”
  • Greatness arises spontaneously, when the person has no choice, but to “make it”
  • “Belief is the costliness thing in a human being’s life”
    • You need to understand that if you believe the things you are told, and the stories your mind tells you about yourself, you will be massively and enormously limited
  • A great question to constantly be asking yourself – “What is it that I have not yet understood?”
  • “This is the world we live in. It is not filled with highly intelligent people. It is filled with people who follow others. It’s filled with sheep, who do not think deeply, who are reactive, who are filled with conditioning, and they carry out that conditioning in their daily lives, without ever having examined what it is they’re doing.”
  • Anything you do out of fear, will fail”
    • Fear is a great motivator, but that motivation is best spent examining the holes in one’s game, as opposed to trying to improve one’s game
    • If you remove the holes, greatness happens by itself
  • “Greatness is very soft and very deep, and very nuanced. It’s an examination, it is a desire to know, as opposed to a compulsion to do.”
  • On finding solutions
    • “The solution to a problem is hidden. It’s hidden in the most ingenious of places, in the very deep center of the problem. The only person who finds it, is the only person who understands the problem.”

Intro

What does greatness mean?

  • Arriving at some form or fashion of a pinnacle in one’s profession
    • What a pinnacle is, will vary for each of us

What does it take to be the best in the world at something?

  • “A DNA which completely rejects one’s own culture”
    • In regular society, every discipline (sports, business etc.) has it’s own culture
      • The culture is the status quo
    • “A person who has the DNA to completely walk against the grain, because they harbor a deep seeded understanding, that the masses and the majority, and the status quo and the traditions, are always wrong, and that they can only lead to a very limited outcome”
      • That person, has what it takes to be great

Hard Work

  • “I don’t have much respect for hard work”
    • Hard work is more a function of anxiety
    • “Hard work is the idea that, ‘If I put in the hours, if I do the work, If I follow the instruction, if I work day and night, if I make my hands bleed, then that will buy me something,’ and I don’t think it does”
      • There are plenty of people who work hard, and get no where
  • Greatness arises spontaneously, when the person has no choice, but to “make it”
    • This person is certainly “working hard” but it isn’t the reason for their greatness – the hard work is secondary
    • “The possibility of not making it, simply isn’t acceptable”
  • There is no hope, there is no positive thinking
    • “Positive thinking is nonsense. The person who makes it, knows he’s going to make it. He doesn’t positive think think his way into it, because positive thinking relies upon hope. And the person who doesn’t have a choice, has no hope. It’s already done.”
    • That person then does what he needs to do to make it a reality in the real world, after it becomes a reality in his mind

Don’t Make a Commitment 

  • Commitments are forced
  • “The person who’s going to make it, is just going to make it. He knows it. He feels it. Everything is done before it is done.”
  • “I don’t buy anything related to, ‘If I do this then i will get that'”
    • Why? – That’s hope, commitment, and discipline – These are all just unnecessary added extras/baggage
    • “The person who’s sufficiently desiring of it, he will have the discipline, but not the reverse”
  • It’s only when you reach a certain level of desperation, that everything else falls in place for you

Why don’t most achieve greatness? What gets in the way?

  • Belief
    • “You can’t believe your way anywhere” – It’s about knowing
    • Belief is the costliness thing in a human being’s life”
    • You need to understand that if you believe the things you are told, and the stories your mind tells you about yourself, you will be massively and enormously limited
    • “Human beings are quick to believe that what they hear, from others or our own minds, is true”
      • And it’s often not
  • So who do we trust?
    • “Trust the unnamed, non-entity within you, that speaks to you, and upon it’s speaking, you immediately know”
      • It’s an intuitive feeling
      • “It’s not about what is there, it’s about what is there after what needs to be removed, is removed” – It’s about what is left

What kind of questions does Kapil ask himself every day about his own pursuit?

  • “What is it that I have not understood?”
    • This question torments Kapil
    • “There are so many things I just don’t see yet, and because I don’t see them, I am a victim of them, because of not seeing them, and that deeply bothers me”

Epiphanies

  • Epiphanies don’t just come out of no where
    • They come from the constant refining of your understanding, that in aggregrate, results in an epiphany
  • “What matures over time, is not really skill, but sincerity”
    • Your level of understanding matures, and becomes deeper
    • “It is the quality of one’s understanding that matures over time. It isn’t necessarily the quantitative increase in the amount of knowledge that one garners’
  • You can know that what your mind tells you is often a lie – But just knowing this, does nothing – you have to understand it
    • That understanding, comes with time
    • “You can pack any amount of knowledge into someone, but it’s about whether or not that knowledge gets into the blood stream that means anything”

Understanding > Doing

  • “Doing is all reactive. Doing is the camouflage that is carried out to hide the fact that one doesn’t understand.”
  • “The idea of getting somewhere, is less appealing to human beings than the idea of effort”
    • We do, we act, and we show others how hard we work
      • But often, it’s meaningless
  • “Human beings measure themselves by effort. Not by arrival.”
    • This is why certain employers reprimand employees who are efficient – if you get 8 hours of work done in 1 hour, you’ll be considered lazy the other 7 hours
    • The person who takes 8 hours to do 1 hour of work, is viewed as hard working
  • “This is the world we live in. It is not filled with highly intelligent people. It is filled with people who follow others. It’s filled with sheep, who do not think deeply, who are reactive, who are filled with conditioning, and they carry out that conditioning in their daily lives, without ever having examined what it is they’re doing.”

What keeps us stuck?

  • For most, comfort and familiarity is a very big deal
    • Uncertainty causes anxiety
  • “In order to reach a new level of understanding, that requires a relearning of a completely new environment, one has to be comfortable with, or look forward to, that new environment.”
    • “You have to be comfortable leaving home”
    • A new level of understanding is a metaphor for taking your business to the next level, becoming “great”, losing 100 pounds etc.
  • “In order for transformation or a massive change to occur, a level of comfort or looking forward to or enthusiasm of the new environment, which is completely foreign, will require a new self-image, and unless the desire for that is in place, you won’t stray too far”

A Quote that Stuck With Me

  • “The person who rejects everything, who knows that everything out of everyone’s mouth is a lie – that person has a chance”
    • He suddenly becomes immune, and no longer subject, to the “propaganda”
    • Propaganda = societal conditioning, the status quo, the way things are done

Achieve More By Doing Less

  • “A running thread among individuals who become great – they understand how things come to them. They don’t force things, they don’t chase things – they become attracters of things.”
    • They understand how their field works, and they try to achieve more by doing less
    • This is the opposite of our Western culture

What would Kapil say, if someone approached him, asking how to continue their success, growth, and greatness into 2019?

  • They’re asking the wrong question, and looking in the wrong place
  • Anything you do out of fear, will fail”
    • Fear is a great motivator, but that motivation is best spent examining the holes in one’s game, as opposed to trying to improve one’s game
    • If you remove the holes, greatness happens by itself
  • Ask yourself instead: 
    • “What is it that I do not understand?”
    • “Where are the deficiencies in the 360 degree understanding of my business, and how could I understand them better?”
    • “What are the beliefs I have, that are causing me problems?”
  • “Greatness is very soft and very deep, and very nuanced. It’s an examination, it is a desire to know, as opposed to a compulsion to do.”

How does Kapil feel about the phrase “trust the process”?

  • “The idea is valid, the delivery is not”
    • It’s sort of like the “10,000 hour rule”
      • We live in a “how to” society
      • People hear the 10,000 hour rule, and will swallow it has a “how to”, and they’ll start counting down the 10,000 hours
      • “No one who becomes great measures the hours, and once the 10,000 hours are up, says, ‘Now I’m great.’ That’s fantasy.”
  • “Truth is very difficult to capture in words, and the person who’s hearing the truth, must be of a sufficient level of evolution, to be exposed to it”
    • Otherwise they’ll just turn the statement into a “how to”, and not benefit from it at all
    • Telling some to “trust the process” won’t get them anywhere – it may be true, but unless you truly embody it, then it will be fake
      • “Anything that is not genuine or natural, falls flat”

The Correlation Between Self-Understanding and Success

  • “Everything begins and ends with the human mind”
    • All of the problems that exist, and all the paths that exist to greatness, exist within the mind – not within methodology
      • It does not exist within strategy, action, how tos…whatever
      • “It’s about a complete rejection of the idea of status quo” – YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS

Adversity and How to Find Solutions

  • How does Kapil think about adversity?
    • You have to understand the holes in your understanding, and what the situation represents, as opposed to what to do about it
    • “Reflexively jumping to a solution, will create more and more problems”
  • Everyone looks for solutions 
    • “The solution to a problem is hidden. It’s hidden in the most ingenious of places, in the very deep center of the problem. The only person who finds it, is the only person who understands the problem.”
    • “Nobody wants to look at the problem, they want a fix to the problem. When you seek fixes to problems, you go on an endless goose chase for more and more fixes, and thus you get more and more problems.”

Kapil’s Thoughts on Patience

  • “Patience is like compromise. It’s fine to be patient and compromise on the things you don’t really care about, but things that you really want – why would you be patient?”
  • “The problem with human life is that it’s just too long.”
    • If humans only lived to 35, the need to “be patient” for what you want, wouldn’t exist
  • “Patience, compromise, they don’t have any place in things that are significant”
  • “Patience is for things you don’t care about.”
    • The things you really want – you’ll do anything you have to do, you’ll work all night long

A Question Kapil is Always Asking Himself

  • “What is it that I do not understand?”

Some More Great Quotes

  • “Listen for understanding , not for the opportunity to ask how”
  • “There are no business problems, only human problems”

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