Kapil Gupta and Moe Abdou on How Your Mind Hijacks Your Life – The 33voices Dialogue

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Check out The 33voices Dialogue Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Asking, “How do I overcome involuntary thought?‘” is like asking, “How do I hold the entire ocean in an 8 oz. cup?'”
  • ALL constructs, like mental models, fail
    • Mental models are empty prescriptions”
  • The most effective form of self-assessment:
    • Understand the source from which your actions arose 
    • Understand why you did what you did and what specifically it was a reaction to
  • “A leader that truly wants to make something highly unique and artful will treat his business as an autocracy. The STUPIDEST thing you can possibly do, if you have any sense of genius within you, is to make it a democracy”
  • The most important thing you can do to get the best out of others around you – perfect yourself
  • “If someone truly wants to arrive at the ultimate, he will constantly be asking himself what the TRUTH of the situation is, as opposed to what they should/should not do”
  • The best question you could ask yourself –
    “What is it that I do not know?”

Intro

What is it that most fascinates Kapil about the mind?

  • “That the only place to actually live….is in the moment”
    • THIS IS NOT A PRESCRIPTION
    • What does this really mean?
      • “Everything that a life consists of (for 99.9% of people), is essentially stories upon stories upon stories”
      • “Our moods and the things that we succumb to emotionally, are all based upon the complexity of the fabricated stories”
        • BUT none of those stories actually exist…

Involuntary Thought

  • People are searching for prescriptions/hacks for how to stop the chattering mind
  • Kapil says sarcastically – “As if there was a technique or method that one could employ and all of the mind’s chatter would stop”
  • If you ask something like – What are the techniques for stopping involuntary thoughts/mind chatter? – Kapil has some words for you…
    • “It’s insulting to ask that question”
    • “You should be embarrassed and should stand naked in the street for seeking so low as to say, ‘What is the technique to overcome involuntary thought?'”
    • “That’s like asking, ‘How do I hold the entire ocean in an 8 oz. cup?'”

How do you know when you’re getting to the “other side of the mind”?

  • The other side of the mind = the other side of the mountain
    • “Once someone overcomes the mind, then on the other side…is the truth”
  • “In order to even begin to get there, the idea of prescriptions has to be so completely removed and cleansed from your system”
  • “It’s only when once one gets passed the pandemonium, hurricanes, the tornadoes, and the typhoons of stories and identities, and likes and dislikes, and preferences and prejudices, and hopes and dreams and fears and anxieties….and ALL of the complexity and miasma of the mind…only once one overcomes ALL of that, does the possibility of arriving at true freedom even become remotely possible.”
    • You have to get passed trying to fix things 
      • “It really isn’t the fault of human beings that they’re seeking prescriptions; it’s the only loudspeaker that’s been playing in their ear. It’s the only tune that they’ve heard.”

Shifting Away from Prescriptions

  • “That shift happens when one genuinely examines just how futile and how circular the ‘goose chase’ has been, and that by continually not having arrived anywhere, then one naturally begins to seek ulterior means”

Kapil’s Thoughts on the Mental Models That Guide Decision Making

  • “It’s just intellectual gymnastics…. circular arguments and empty prescriptions. Mental models are empty prescriptions.”
    • “They are not the truth. They are just ways to think….they are just constructs. If you get nothing else from this podcast, understand this…all constructs fail.”
      • “No matter how wonderful the idea seems, it fails. It will leave you stranded in the Sahara. EVERY SINGLE TIME.”
  • A great quote
    • “People like to make themselves sound smart. They like to talk about how many books they’ve read, things that they’ve learned, and the opinions of scholars….it’s all a bunch of crap. It’s not real. It isn’t truth. It’s all just the words of others.”
      • “It’s all frameworks. It’s all scaffolding that’s suspended in the sky that gravity will soon demolish into bits. All of these ideas, all of these mental models, are intellectualization of how to approach things. They are NOT based on the sincerity of where things truly come from. They are based on a mode of attack in order to manufacture an approach. Intellectualization is ABSOLUTELY the order of the day, and it is also, frankly, ignorant.”

Why do good people sometimes do stupid shit and make mistakes?

  • The mind
  • People identify with things that are not true 
    • We perceive and pursue things according to ideas that we believe are a certain way, and they are not
    • “Whenever something is pursued in a way that isn’t based upon reality, then mistakes are a natural consequence”
      • BUT – If it’s pursued based upon a true understanding of how things are, then one no longer makes mistakes
  • To avoid mistakes in the future – don’t focus on behavior fixes
    • Instead understand the source from which your actions arose 

How do you self-assess?

  • “It isn’t about being nice to yourself, or critical of yourself…it isn’t about what you did and what you should have done instead, it’s about understanding why you did what you did and what specifically it was a reaction to”

Everyone Regresses Towards the Mean

  • Be careful who you surround yourself with
  • Train in isolation when possible 

Teams and Leadership

  • “If I’m running a business, and I’m the leader of that business, I’m not interested in what anybody says.”
    • “A leader that truly wants to make something highly unique and artful will treat his business as an autocracy. The STUPIDEST thing you can possibly do, if you have any sense of genius within you, is to make it a democracy…to have these board meetings where you ask others to give you feedback.”
      • Society is fearful of being unkind and truthful – how will you ever get honest feedback?
      • “You can run your company that way if you want…but I’ll see you in hell”

As a company leader, how can you influence others and get the best out of them?

  • Kapil wouldn’t focus on that
  • Instead, he’d focus on bringing people on board do the tasks they’re the best in the world at
    • “I would assess that DNA in the hiring process”
  • The most important thing you can do to get the best out of others – perfect yourself
    • “What human beings are most moved by, whether they like it or not…is truth, genuineness, sincerity. They are inspired by uncompromising behavior. They are inspired by seeing in a human being what they wish to see in themselves.”
    • “The perfecting of oneself as a leader is really the best chance that one has to influence another”
      • “But …if he tries to perfect himself in order to influence another, then his act of perfecting himself will be disingenuous, and it will fail”

The Journey to Perfection

  • “It’s all about how deep one’s desire is to arrive at the ultimate”
    • “If someone truly wants to arrive at the ultimate, he will recognize that the truth is the only thing there really is”
    • “If someone truly wants to arrive at the ultimate, he will constantly be asking himself what the TRUTH of the situation is, as opposed to what they should/should not do”
  • “The sincerity of your desire to know if you’ve arrived at the truth, is the arrival”

Positive Self-Talk

  • Isn’t it better than negative self-talk?
    • “I’m not looking for what’s better and what’s worse”
    • It is…but who cares? Why not search for the ultimate instead?
  • What matters most…
    • What the truth of a situation really is…what the reality is, as opposed to how you should think about it…what hack/mental model you should view reality through
      • It’s just a colored lens – OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE THE REALITY

Kapil’s Thoughts on Meditation

  • “It doesn’t work to get one to the ULTIMATE”
    • It’s a false construct
  • Does meditation help and make you feel a little better? – Sure
    • But it doesn’t matter
    • It doesn’t get you to the ULTIMATE (arriving at no involuntary thought…arriving at freedom…conquering all your emotions)

The Best Question You Could Ask Yourself

  • “What is it that I don’t know?”
  • Or – “What is the real truth in this situation that is not yet obvious to me?”

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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