The Hidden Dimensions of Sustained Performance – Moe Abdou Interviews Kapil Gupta on The 33voices Dialogue

Key Takeaways

  • The two most important questions to ask oneself:
    • “What is it that I have not yet realized?”
    • “What is a chase that I am going on that I have not recognized is a fruitless chase?”
  • The thing preventing most people from reaching their full potential: A lack of sufficient examination into what’s preventing them
    • (Read that twice)
  • Quotes from Kapil to ponder:
    • “Where there’s desire, there must be fear” 
    • “Performance is a side effect. If you try to perform, you will not perform. All great things come from effortlessness, not from effort.”
    • “All the problems that you have —anxiety, fear, pain, failure, all of that —did you work to get those? … If you didn’t work to get them, why would you have to work to get rid of them?” 

Intro

How does Kapil prepare for a new year?

  • As you might expect: “It’s all the same”
  • Does he ever take a step back to reflect and think about the future?
    • “That’s a 365 thing, that isn’t a new year thing. To evaluate the essence of things, it isn’t according to some calendar year made by man. That’s my whole life.” – Kapil Gupta
      • “The future is created by the present. The more definitively you can discover things now, then that takes care of the future.”

On Self-Improvement

  • (1:30) “Improvement and betterment—it’s a falsehood that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s just circles. I have no interest in improving or getting better at anything. There’s only an arrival; either you’re there, or you’re not… There’s no intermediary or middle ground. There’s no progress chart.” – Kapil Gupta
    • “There’s no plan; it’s just a full-force, deep dive into the truth about things.”

How do you know when you’ve discovered the truth?

  • It’s an indescribable feeling
  • “The truth isn’t a fact or nugget that you go out to find. Everyone is suffering through various things, everyone is pursuing various things in their life—the things that mean most to them, whatever they may be, be it their profession, or be it in their personal life… Each of those things has a truth. It has a truth that’s indivisible, incontrovertible, hard rock basement truth.” – Kapil Gupta
    • “Truth isn’t about discovering a bunch of facts or knowledge. It is a wholehearted pursuit of the essence and the true cause of the effect that one seeks.”

🎧 The Two Most Important Questions to Ask Oneself

  • 1) “What is it that I have not realized?”
  • 2) “What is a chase that I am going on that I have not recognized is a fruitless chase?”
  • On the above:
    • 99.99% of people aren’t asking questions like this, and are instead asking: “What is the 5-step plan to X? How can I achieve X? What is a good methodology for X? How do I stop my mind from racing?”

How does one achieve a state of “no-mind”?

  • It’s a natural side effect, not something one can aim to achieve
    • Most people want to experience “no mind” because they desire the mental experience that comes along with it — in this way, it’s a chase
  • “I hesitate about any person who comes and asks me, ‘How do I get to no-mind?’ That’s like asking me, ‘How do I make a million dollars?'” – Kapil Gupta
  • Shouldn’t one aim to minimize their spontaneous thoughts?
    • “Minimizing is useless. Either you’re going to get there, or you’re not. I’m not interested in ‘help’ or ‘betterment’ … I have no interest in self-help. I view things as either the ultimate or nothing. If I can’t have it permanently, I don’t want it.” – Kapil Gupta
  • (14:30) “You have to understand what makes the mind go in the circles that it does. You have to understand why the mind speaks. You have to know how the mind reacts in particular situations, what excites it, and what subdues it. To understand these things, you have to be of the DNA to devote yourself to truly learning about them so you can arrive in those places on-demand.” Kapil Gupta

On Bettering Performance

  • “Performance isn’t about helping someone perform. That’s a fundamental falsehood. That’s where everyone goes wrong —they try to help someone perform better. That isn’t the point. That’s just Band-Aids. It isn’t about helping someone perform better. It’s about understanding the source of performance and patterns of the mind. It’s a deep dive into the truth about where these things arrive from. It isn’t about what things you can manipulate, or what thoughts I can place into your head, that might boost your performance.” – Kapil Gupta
  • 🎧 “Performance is a side effect. If you try to perform, you will not perform. All great things come from effortlessness, not from effort.” Kapil Gupta

On Becoming the Best in the World

  • First off, make sure to ask: “What’s preventing me from becoming the best in the world?”
    • Not: “How do I become the best in the world?
  • What’s preventing most people: A lack of sufficient examination into what’s preventing them
    • “Truth isn’t found in the direction of ‘how,’ it’s found in the direction of, ‘Why am I not?’ … It’s not found in the direction of, ‘How do I?” – Kapil Gupta
  • (17:30) “In looking for the method, one becomes blind to the way. One becomes blind to the way because, in looking for the method, he becomes blind to the things standing in his way. What prevents someone in going from here to there isn’t that he doesn’t know how, it’s that he’s being blocked from getting there. So, it’s about removing the blockages, not creating a technique.” Kapil Gupta
    • To see the blockages, one actually has to be looking for them

What makes one a legend?

  • A deep, genuine desire to become a legend
    • “Where one goes is a function of how deeply he longs to get there and how serious he is about getting there. Everything else is secondary.” Kapil Gupta

The Truth Hurts

  • (20) “A person has to be ready to hear a certain level of truth. Otherwise, it’ll short-circuit your brain.” Kapil Gupta
    • How so? – Simply, on a biological level, there can be an adverse effect to knowing a truth you’re not ready to hear
      • (Partly because something within them recognizes what they just heard might be true, but their mind isn’t prepared to believe it, resulting in an internal war)

Why do so many people not know what they truly want?

  • Think about it: If someone is locked in their cubicle for 8 hours a day and watches TV/browses social media for the rest of their waking hours… 
    • “If your total attention is towards everything except looking into what it is you want out of life, why would you know what you want out of life?” – Kapil Gupta
      • How could one know anything besides the current state of affairs?
  • Kapil explains: “If you are preoccupied in a certain mode, in a certain way of looking at the world, in a certain pattern of thinking, in a certain pattern of belief, why would you be expected to know something way over there?” 

The Root of All Fear

  • “Where there’s desire, there must be fear”Kapil Gupta
  • And how do you abandon desire/attachment?
    • (26) “It isn’t about detaching. It’s about learning the perils of attachment on a very, very personal level. Once someone becomes so overwhelmed and indescribably stricken by something to the point of not being able to take it anymore, then the possibility of going a different way arises. Until that point is reached, it’s all philosophical.” – Kapil Gupta

Why do most personal transformations start with a crisis?

  • “Human beings do not change unless they’re standing at the edge of a cliff with a knife to their throat and a tiger standing in front of them” – Kapil Gupta

Don’t Listen to the Mind

  • Truths are found in feelings
    • “Feelings are a direct communication from something deep. Whatever the mind tells you is a lie, and therefore truth doesn’t exist within those conversations.” – Kapil Gupta
      • “The mind means very little to me. It’s the voice of someone I don’t want to hear.”  
  • So: “Freedom from the mind is the ultimate freedom” – Kapil Gupta

Let’s Close with This

  • 🎧 “All the problems that you have —anxiety, fear, pain, failure, all of that —did you work to get those? … If you didn’t work to get them, why would you have to work to get rid of them?” Kapil Gupta

Additional Quotes to Ponder

  • “I’m convinced that the person who’s Hell-bent on transforming will not need to wait for me to say it’s possible or not” – Kapil Gupta
  • “I don’t do any work on myself… It’s a direct examination of the truth about things… I have no rituals. I have no meditation. I have no mindfulness. There’s no practice.” – Kapil Gupta
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