Here are the notes for the introduction I read for this episode:
This episode covers a few big experiences that led to my dedication and intensity, starting from sports, my relationship with my father, acting lessons, and various highs and lows. The intriguing stuff about drugs comes about two-thirds through. Since recording this episode, I’ve asked a bunch of people their thoughts on sharing about taking them. I guess I’m behind the times that I still think sharing doing something illegal was a problem, but everyone talks about how normal it is to talk about, citing Michael Pollan, Joe Rogan, Sam Harris, Snoop Dogg, and so on. What’s wrong with our laws that they’re this out of touch with society?
Dov starts asking me about my childhood, when I always felt on the outside looking in, wanting to hear from others what to like. Early sports teammates led to a couple experiences that led to my dedication to sport and life, learning not to skip games or practice. Not getting playing time in a big game led me to taking competition seriously. eventually evolving to top of some fields but still never developed killer instinct.
We covered my relationship with my father guiding my leadership direction to compassion, empathy, making someone feel understood, and support. I share why I love teaching and coaching leadership, at least some reasons.
Anyway, the experience of connection from ecstasy predicated and enabled my leadership of connection, empathy, understanding, and other social and emotional skills. Dov nailed at the end how important feeling understood and making others feel understood is to me, as rarely feeling understood.
We covered how meaningful in my coaching practice I find it that clients regularly tell me that people they lead cry tears of gratitude, saying no one has listened to them so much and made them feel so understood so that they could at last devote themselves without inhibition to act with passion. I reiterate that despite the hundreds of people I’ve taught to lead this way, no one has devoted themselves to lead me this way or to make me feel understood, despite my telling them that simply doing the exercises in my book verbatim will do it. I’m sad to say, not my family, friends, managers, girlfriends, . . . no one. I don’t know what’s wrong.
Anyway, back to this episode, I finally started entering the inside crowd in New York City clubs, though also playing ultimate. After decades, I started replacing insecurity and tentativeness with security and confidence. Ultimately, my experience with ecstasy revealed to me emotional intensity I from then on knew I could recreate if I tried, as could anyone.
But all of what I shared so far, what I felt until this point of speaking with Dov made me fear opening up. It all just allowed me to surface the real source of my fear — being a victim of what could only be called sexual assault, knowing other men who were victims of sexual assault, and the fear of mainstream society. To clarify, I’m not afraid of the truth, but I’m afraid of hashtag movements that, well . . . I asked Dov for another episode, so you’ll have to wait for it to find out my greater fears.