Kapil Gupta & Moe Abdou: The Game Within the Game (The Ultimate CEO, Why Effort is a Trap, Thoughts on Stoicism, and More) – The 33voices Dialogue

Check out The 33voices Dialogue Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Instead of chasing something, make yourself attractive to that which you seek to achieve – in this way, the “thing” chases you
  • With a genuine desire for arrival, the idea of “progress” is meaningless
    • “Wherever there is genuineness, a way develops. Wherever there is not, a prescription is sought.” – Kapil Gupta
  • “If you ‘deal’ with something, you’re trying to get rid of it. And if you try to get rid of something, it only worsens. Everything is about understanding. Nothing is about fixing. If you want to perpetuate all your problems, and live in misery and ignorance, spend your life fixing things.” – Kapil Gupta
  • Life has no purpose (how can something with an expiration date have a purpose?) 
  • The ultimate leader is the one who deeply understands his mind
    • “That person will be able to handle every problem because he will have surpassed and conquered the need to be liked. Having surpassed and conquered that, he won’t suffer from internal conflict. What a leader suffers from most, and the thing that leads to the downfall of companies, is internal conflict.” – Kapil Gupta

Intro

Winning Without Trying

  • How? – By allowing things to come to you
  • Society places too much emphasis on the idea of effort
    • “Effort is actually interference. Effort, when it comes to trying to achieve wisdom or peace in one’s life, or effort in trying to become masterful at a craft… I think effort is a very ineffective path.” – Kapil Gupta
  • A lack of effort = without chase
    • “All chases lead to a circle of more chases… That which you chase runs from you.”Kapil Gupta
    • “If you chase wins, you lose. Anything you chase runs from you.” – Kapil Gupta
  • Instead of chasing, make yourself attractive to that which you seek to achieve – in this way, the “thing” chases you

Genuine Desire (Forget the Idea of Progress)

  • “If you’re truly trying to learn the truth about something, in many ways you’ve already arrived by the genuineness of your search” – Kapil Gupta
    • “You only need to worry about ‘progress’ when your desire isn’t genuine because then you’re looking to get somewhere”
    • “If you’re not genuine, and doing X to achieve Y, or to put a feather in your cap, or to say you’re enlightened… then you’ll always be looking for progress”
  • “When you’re not seeing the truth, you’re seeking progress” – Kapil Gupta
  • “Wherever there is genuineness, a way develops. Wherever there is not, a prescription is sought.”Kapil Gupta

Do you have to overcome your insecurities to experience success?

  • Nope, not at all – there is no “should” or “shouldn’t” 
    • “If people had to get past their insecurities, wouldn’t they be working on that day and night? No one is. What does that tell you?” – Kapil Gupta
  • All that matters: Is the desire there, or is it not?
    • If the desire is there, the person is already on their way (but MANY don’t have the desire)

When is Kapil most at peace with himself?

  • “When I’m not with myself” – Kapil Gupta
    • “That’s the case with any human being. When you’re free of yourself, either for a moment or an extended period, that’s when you’re most free and at peace.”
  • How do you get rid of the self?
    • “It’s a continual dissection into its superfluousness. As that dissection continues, expands, and grows deeper, the desire to free one’s self arises.” – Kapil Gupta

How do you “deal” with suffering?

  • You don’t
  • “If you deal with something, you’re trying to get rid of it. And if you try to get rid of something, it only worsens. Everything is about understanding. Nothing is about fixing. If you want to perpetuate all your problems, and live in misery and ignorance, spend your life fixing things.”Kapil Gupta

Don’t Turn Anything Kapil Says Into a Prescription

  • “Society has created prescription mongers. Society is such a disguising, worm-infested sewer, that is has destroyed all of humanity... I can’t write one thing without someone prescriptionizing it.” – Kapil Gupta
    • “Transformation comes from understanding, not that you should understand, and not that you should transform. I have to put disclaimers on every sentence because whatever I say, the mind of the reader or listeners turns it into, ‘Now I must do that.'”
  • So how do you then take what Kapil says, internalize it, and use it to shift your life in a different direction?
    • “Those things will happen independently of you. If I throw water on you, you won’t have to make a decision to see whether you get wet or not. It’s an internal alchemy which either occurs or doesn’t occur… Between the words and the reader of those words, something internal either does or doesn’t happen. If it does, it doesn’t happen by way of permission from the reader… You getting involved can only mess things up.” – Kapil Gupta

There is No Purpose

  • “Nothing has a purpose, and the reason nothing has a purpose is because we’re going to die. If something is short-lived, and it’s here for figuratively a minute, and then it goes away, there’s no purpose.”Kapil Gupta
  • If you’re asking, “What’s my purpose?” – there’s something much deeper going on
    • You’re really asking: “What is the significance of me being here because I don’t really feel like I’m doing anything worthwhile? I feel empty.”   
    • This builds off the fact that: “No one says what they mean. No one is honest. Everyone is a liar. Everyone comes to project a certain self-image. The understanding of that allows one to move deathly through the verbiage to arrive at the truth.” – Kapil Gupta

While putting out so much content, how does Kapil stay “fresh” and “renewed”?

  • “I would only need to stay fresh and renewed if it was an act. It just comes. How does a river keep having enough water to send downstream?… It’s just like a flood that keeps coming.” – Kapil Gupta

A Little Backstory

  • “I’ve always been a contrarian… If the world was going to go one way, I was going to go the other” – Kapil Gupta
    • “Society, the masses, and the traditions have always been the Antichrist to me… That deep level of distaste, and bordering on obsessive hatred, of the status quo, and the way things and people are, has always been at the core of my DNA.”

Kapil’s Thoughts on Stoicism

  • “Once again, it’s another example of disingenuousness. Stoicism is a natural effect of understanding that what goes up must come down, and therefore, there really is no reason to get upset or excited by anything because all things return to zero.” – Kapil Gupta
  • “The following of Stoicism is a complete failure” – Kapil Gupta
    • Why? – It’s turned into a “rule” or “guideline”
      • “Society has a way of turning all effects into causes. It turns all that is a natural effect into a goal. That is one of it’s biggest downfalls.”
      • “If one says, ‘I am going to follow the guidelines and try to be Stoic,’ then you’re a fraud… You are following a rule. It did not come by way of understanding. It came by way of self-image.”

Realize This

  • “If I count the number of smiles in your life, they will pale in comparison to the number of frowns”Kapil Gupta
    • Once you truly understand this by examining your past, your life will change

Everyone’s a Fraud

  • “Everyone’s a fraud. Everyone talks about how many books they’ve read. ‘Did you read the latest on so and so? Do you read the latest scientific study that shows X? 14.6 minutes of meditation a day leads to an elevation in consciousness.’ You’re all frauds. The only reason those things are done is to show others how much you know, and how cultured you are, and that you can steal some mojo from the Greek philosophers… Everyone is fraudulent.”Kapil Gupta
    • (UNLESS someone is genuinely not trying to show how much they know, and they instead sincerely desire to seek and understand)

How would Kapil go about running a company?

  • “I’d rule it with an iron fist and an extreme level of uncompromise” – Kapil Gupta
  • Why?
    • “Human beings give you what you allow them. If you run a company to be liked or to create a nice morale, then the humans who are working underneath you will lose sight of what the precise goal is.” – Kapil Gupta
  • “The ultimate leader is the one who deeply understands his mind. The person who understands that is the person who devotes his life to learning about their mind. That person will be able to handle every problem because he will have surpassed and conquered the need to be liked. Having surpassed and conquered that, he won’t suffer from internal conflict. What a leader suffers from most, and the thing that leads to the downfall of companies, is internal conflict.” Kapil Gupta
    • “Companies lose money because of self-conflict in the leader… McKinsey doesn’t tell you that.”

A Rant on the Typical CEO

  • “It’s laughable. It’s worse than kindergarten, these conferences, and this whole structure of business society. They call themselves serious businessmen and CEOs on top of these multi-billion dollar companies, and yet they don’t even know what their own mind is doing? They’re trying to ‘be happy’ and ‘self-improve’ and ‘be vulnerable.’ Are you serious? It’s so laughable… This is like kindergarten. No one’s even in the game. They’re so far from the truth, not because they lack intelligence, but because they have no desire for it. They’re so interested in their certifications and hiring some guy wearing a suit and tie with mousse in his hair to come teach them about some 5-step plan. It’s so laughable.” – Kapil Gupta

Additional Notes & Quotes to Ponder

  • “If you chase one pleasurable experience over an unpleasurable experience, you’ll be followed by both of them… If you sit back and see the game and the experiences for what they are, it is only then you can rise above them both.” Kapil Gupta
  • “Society is a cult. The root word of ‘culture’ is ‘cult.'” – Kapil Gupta
  • On writing:
    • “It’s the medium through which I can speak most honestly. It’s the medium through which I can allow my internal-most feelings to be brought out… That is my art; it’s always appealed to me.” – Kapil Gupta
  • “Everyone is absolutely a mule, being lead around by the nose by people who have no interest in the truth. It’s the blind leading the blind.” – Kapil Gupta
  • “We live in a society where everyone walks around with a mask, and everyone tries to out-mask the other” – Kapil Gupta
  • Kapil has never had a drop of alcohol (or tried any psychoactive substance)
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