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“Stop being such a weirdo.”

I’m gonna make a prediction: at some point, probably while at recess, someone said this to you—or they said something very much like it.

We are trained from birth to conform with the expectations of others. We are precision-engineered to please those around us. And let’s be clear: there’s enormous value in being able to get along with our fellow human beings!

But if what you want out of life is not the same thing as your parents want, as your friends want, as what society keeps telling you you should want…

You’re going to have to walk an uncomfortable road.

You’re going to have to be… some kind of weirdo.

It’s true. If you want something different from what other people get… you have to do things that other people do not—or will not—do.

For some of us, this comes more easily than for others. But don’t kid yourself: the odds are stacked against you. Forces within and without will try to convince you to “just be normal”. Just try to fit in. Just go along with everyone else. Same clothes. Same job. Same hobbies. Same life. Why isn’t that enough for you?

If it’s not enough, don’t worry, weirdo. You’re not alone. Today we’re going to give you—no. We’re going to get you to give yourself permission to be as weird as you need to be.

Links and Resources Mentioned
Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

Dan: [00:00:00] If there’s anything you want that isn’t what everyone else gets. If you want to be way healthier in way better shape than everyone, if you want to run a business instead of having a job, Ben, frankly, if you want to have a really big family, you’re going to have to be weird.

Ben: [00:00:13] I wouldn’t recommend it.

Good morning, Dan,

Dan: [00:00:34] Good morning, Ben. How’s it going?

Ben: [00:00:37] how are you doing today? Oh, you go first.

Dan: [00:00:40] I got no, but I got, I got there first with the question. Amazing. Do you believe this guy? I’m doing great. How are you doing?

Ben: [00:00:48] I’m doing fantastic. I was just trying to give you, I was trying to give you the floor, but

Dan: [00:00:52] Oh, I appreciate that. I got to get better at taking the floor by force if necessary.

Ben: [00:00:58] I was, I was maybe just a tad inpatient. I apologize.

Dan: [00:01:02] Well, I forgive you.

Ben: [00:01:04] Well, this show is already starting out. Kind of weird, isn’t it?

Dan: [00:01:08] Yeah, it is.  and for once that’s completely appropriate, Ben, because today, today we’re going to give people permission to be weird.

Ben: [00:01:17] Oh, are we?

Dan: [00:01:18] We are, yes.

Ben: [00:01:20] Well, I gotta say I’m a big fan of that because, so I, I don’t know, I don’t know if anybody else feels this way, but when I think about like my truest self, like those, those moments when. I really, truly just am not thinking at all about what other people might think of me. Mmm. I, I feel pretty weird.

Like I feel like if I took that and I put that out into the public, that would be weird.

Dan: [00:01:54] It would be weird.

Ben: [00:01:55] It would, it would be weird. You made it weird, Ben. Um, no, but like,

Dan: [00:02:00] Why’d you have to? Yeah.

Ben: [00:02:01] why did she have to make it weird. But you know, you know what I mean? Like so, so I kind of, I kind of curate myself. I have this version of myself that I put out that doesn’t include some of those things, but, but I think for many of us who kind of do that same thing, it might be missing out.

And that’s what this show is about. This is what we’re going to explore in today’s topic.

Dan: [00:02:32] Yeah, that’s right. Well, it’s always funny when you to start something with like, I don’t, I, maybe I’m the only one who feels this way because I feel like I could pretty much always reassure you you’re not,

you’re not the only one who, everybody does this, right? We, we, we talk about having, like, even just, you know, you have like a work persona and then you have a different persona around your family and then you have a different persona around your friends.

Everybody’s like, this. What we really want to talk about is how you, there is a persona that you internalize and then you start to behave in a certain way and how a lot of the time that doesn’t necessarily serve you, especially when we talk in the context of starting a business, having a creative passion that you want to carry out.

To get to get the things you want, and we’re going to talk a lot more about this. You’re probably going to have to do different things from everyone else. In other words, you’re going to have to be kind of weird.

Ben: [00:03:36] Yeah, and I guess, I guess there are maybe a couple of different . Kinds of weird that we might be talking about where, uh, there’s, there’s kind of a weirdness that’s more unconventional. Uh, or you might use the word unreasonable. Like, it’s unreasonable to sit down and write for three hours a day to create content for your, a social media channels or, you know, like it’s unreasonable.

So, so that kind of weirdness. Versus, um, the kind of weirdness that you express through your personality and kind of your, your quirks, things like your, your brand of humor, things that you tend to focus on and talk about. And, um, and so I think, I think we can cover both of those as we talk about this. I like that you brought up personas.

Mmm. And, and I’m going to get there the first I want to, I want to kind of talk about why we have this tendency to build certain personas and that really we do, we do it without even thinking about it. It’s not really something that we do on purpose. Mmm. We have a primal need to be accepted. And that is linked directly to our survival.

If we can be accepted and a specific group, we tend to have more support and therefore more resources for survival. And so those things that help us to, to survive tend to reward us, um, in ways that influence our behavior. So if. If I was to be my truest self, you know, my, my normal persona and that was going to put me in danger of being disconnected from a group that that provided the resources I needed.

And then you can stack however many layers on top of that you want to like going into business. You’re talking about resources in terms of having connections and getting leads and attracting new clients and that kind of thing. Or, uh, if it’s, if it’s with friends and, and you’re trying to develop a social network, a social group to meet your needs for companionship and friendship and that kind of thing.

And so. I think all of those things tend to, uh, make us behave in a certain way, really without thinking about it. And when we become conscious of our weirdness in those situations that, you know, it, it pings our insecurities, like we can, we can feel that in ourselves. And so we shrink back from, we tend to shrink back from that.

And this is something that everybody does to S to some level. Some people are less inhibited than others, but we all have this mechanism that causes us to create  to build different personas based on the situation that we’re in. Now, none of those are like necessarily fake. They’re just curated versions of.

What we might consider our truest selves. Would you agree with that?

Dan: [00:07:33] I would, and I think, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having these different personas. You know, some, some people, some people might, when I say some people, I’m mostly mean teenagers probably, but some people might think that. It’s not, it’s not good to act different ways around different people because you’re somehow being inauthentic, right?

There’s this concept that there’s your true self, how you feel and how you think and how you want to behave, and an extreme point of view would be that if you ever moderate that at all for the benefit of other people, that’s bad because you’re somehow being, let’s say, inauthentic. That isn’t really what I’m worried about.

What I’m worried about is more. How those external personas actually get absorbed and they start to warp your internal sense of who you are. Because let like, let’s be honest, if you, you know, if you curse and make lots of crude remarks around your group of friends, that’s how you get along with your group of friends and that’s fine.

But like you don’t act the same way around your grandmother because in order to get along with your grandmother. You have to act in a different way.

Ben: [00:08:51] You haven’t met my grandmother.

Dan: [00:08:52] Well, yeah. Ben, not your grandma, not your grandmother. Um, Oh, I apologize to Ben’s grandmother. Um, there’s nothing wrong with this. Like this is just about meeting other people where they are and that’s a, that’s a, that’s a totally, like, that’s a good thing to do.

That’s a generous thing to do. You know, not demanding of everyone around you that they either meet you on your own terms or. F off, you know, I’m talking more about the way that you end up. You internalize this stuff and then you hold yourself back and what that prevents you from doing. And a lot of the time it prevents you from

it.

PR, it prevents you from pursuing certain courses of action. It prevents you from taking, I said, I want to see T taking risks, but, uh, going even beyond that, it. It makes you perceive things as risky when they really aren’t, you know, out of things like fear of rejection. If I do this, then what will everyone think?

You know, that kind of thing. And

we, we hold ourselves back. And something that I want to dig up over the course of this conversation is trying to like explore the ways that we’re holding ourselves back. Realizing. That a lot of the time, those ways are not necessarily reflected in the external reality and trying to figure out how to overcome them.

Ben: [00:10:20] Shell and the chat was talking about, uh, how she’s someone who’s been labeled, labeled weird her whole life. And, um, and, and kind of got into how there’s some shame associated with that, that it, that it carries this negative connotation. And that’s something that with this episode, I really want to try to reframe that word so that it doesn’t create that.

Sense of shame, um, when, when you talk about it keeping you from certain courses of action, uh, and, and I hope, I hope Michelle doesn’t mind me sharing this, but she was, she was sharing a specific example about, uh, wanting to get into taxidermy and asking a friend if he could get some dead rodents, uh, from where he works.

And that’s, you know, like if you think about what society deems as normal or like, like, try to try to put that in whatever frame you want to. They’re the reasons somebody might say, that’s weird, a really arbitrary, they’re, they’re just made up. Um, the reason that, the same, the same way. The reason. Certain things are normal and other things are not.

Is it really just made up now, some of it is based in like, okay, we, we do things the certain way because it’s safer or we do things a certain way because it’s more efficient. Or we don’t do certain things because it’s dangerous. Or we don’t do certain things because it’s, it’s inefficient. But, but most of, most of how we define what’s normal and what’s weird really is just arbitrary and made up so.

For somebody who’s interested in taxidermy. That’s not a weird request, but even even given that label, I think it’s important for us to figure out a way to get rid of those feelings of, of insecurity, you know, like that, that fear of rejection and those feelings of shame associated around something being labeled as weird or unusual.

Dan: [00:12:45] I want to come back and talk about shame in a minute, but actually, first I just want to want to say. It’s not just that, like the things that that provoke a response of that’s weird or arbitrary. Arbitrary. Well, in my mind it kind of implies random, but it’s not the things that provoke people to say, that’s weird or your a weirdo are relatively consistent.

They are whatever is unusual to that person. So you know, you, you sort of alluded to this. That they are, they’re arbitrary. They are constructs and they’re not consistent. Right. So do you know what base jumping is, Ben?

So base jumping involves jumping off of objects like cliffs and buildings and things like that.

Usually with light, some sort of low low altitude parachute or something. Jumping off of high places is weird. And it’s weird because there’s, there are very excellent reasons to not jump off of high places, and this is relatively universal across the human experience. If you go back thousands of years, if you go to the other side of the world, you will find that most people will agree that it’s weird to jump off of a high place.

However, in America it’s weird to eat certain types of foods in other parts of the world. It isn’t weird to eat. The same type of food and vice versa. Right? So that’s an example of, you know, here’s something weird that isn’t universal. In fact, it doesn’t even escape the confines of one’s country. So yes, the, these things are arbitrary.

This is the place to start, right? Is realizing that what people think is weird. It’s just whatever they are not used to. And, and that’s going to be different from person to person. So you know someone, someone might think that a lot of the foods you get in, say Southeast Asia is weird, and if you eat that food, you’re a weirdo.

But if you’re hanging out with someone with an Asian background, they’d probably be like, yeah, of course, this is what you need.

Ben: [00:14:51] So when I was in college. Uh, I was, I was on the meal plan and they had, they served food in the cafeteria and you could get whatever the meal was they serve that day. But they also had places where you could build yourself a hamburger. And they also had a pizza buffet. And this was for, uh, this was for lunch and dinner, I think for breakfast they had breakfast tacos, but for lunch and dinner every day for, for an entire school year.

I had pizza. Is that weird?

Dan: [00:15:24] I probably not in Texas.

Ben: [00:15:26] Well, I went to, I went to to college in Florida.

Dan: [00:15:30] Oh, I see. I’m sorry. Well, if there’s one place weirder than Texas, it’s Florida. Right? So.

Ben: [00:15:36] Yeah. And

Dan: [00:15:37] I’m getting you. I’m getting you back for the Canadian comments you made in the, uh, in the pre show.

Ben: [00:15:42] no, I appreciate that you say that though. And, um, and, and in my head I’m like, yeah, Florida is weird. But, but why, you know?

Dan: [00:15:53] Well, why? Because, because there are things there that are not, that are not what you’re used to. Right? Like, the people in Florida probably don’t find the people in Florida born and raised. On a playground is where they spent most of their days. I couldn’t help myself like to them, the things in Florida are not weird.

Ben: [00:16:10] right.

Dan: [00:16:12] The alligators and the orange juice everywhere and Disney world.

Ben: [00:16:17] Disneyworld’s not weird. It’s awesome and magical.

Dan: [00:16:19] Well, no. See, I am going to take that and turn it. It is weird and it’s awesome and magical. A lot of the time. Things that thing that they’re, there is something wonderful about things that are weird. You know the things that actually like, even though we say that’s weird, I don’t know about this dad Roden thing, Michelle.

At the same time, we, a lot of the time, we love things that subvert our expectations.

Ben: [00:16:43] Yeah. Like I would, I would actually honestly be interested in seeing a, a, an exhibition of taxidermied rodents as like an artistic display. And, and that’s, you know, it’s, it’s kind of fascinating, like in a, in a comma said in a weird way, but you know what I mean? Like these, these things that we, we have a tendency to, to shy away from for ourselves.

We actually sometimes end up celebrating when other people do it.

Dan: [00:17:23] Oh, 100% right. Well, and I think it also it among other things, it leads to when people will look at something like a taxidermied rodent and go, wow, it’s amazing that you made that. I could never do something like that. And part of the, I could never do it is. Having no idea what goes into doing it. But I think another part of it is going, I can’t imagine myself being a person who like, feels free to express myself this way.

Ben: [00:17:48] Right?

Dan: [00:17:50] And that’s sort of unfortunate.

Ben: [00:17:52] So I’m, I’m, I wanna bring a question into this discussion

Dan: [00:17:58] This is a safe place for questions. Okay.

Ben: [00:18:02] because I’ve had, like, I’ve been in situations before, and this is maybe a really specific example, but I’ve been in situations before where, you know, I’m maybe. Um, my wife and I meet another couple and we’re just starting to get to know them. Or, um, I get a coworker and just starting to get to know them.

And I’ve had it, I’ve had it happen before where I just kind of, instead of putting that filter on myself instead of moderating myself, I do just kind of like, I’m more myself and have seen the . I, I’ve, I’ve sensed how that was off putting, um, almost

Dan: [00:18:51] get, do you get a lot of people backing away from you slowly with their hands up like this?

Ben: [00:18:55] not necessarily, and I don’t know, maybe it’s me projecting, but the kind of, kind of, the sense of like, that was a little bit too much too soon. Ben, you know, like, you kinda, you gotta ease, you got to ease me into this.

Dan: [00:19:11] Yeah.

Ben: [00:19:11] Mmm. And so, and I, I think there’s, you know, there’s, there’s definitely this like there their social rules that you’re supposed to follow.

Um, and, you know, as my, as my oldest son who has autism, um, the, the more time I kind of spend with him and seeing how he interacts with other people, you know, he doesn’t really. Built her himself. Um, mostly because he doesn’t really have the tools to do that. Well. He has a difficult time reading other people and he, he really just has a difficult time being, um, a modified or moderated or curated version of himself.

Dan: [00:20:03] Mmm

Ben: [00:20:04] And, and so we, because of that, we . We worry for him in and his ability to build relationships. And some of that worry comes from my own personal experience of having seen that sort of dynamic at play.

Dan: [00:20:19] You’re saying when you toss someone into the deep end of Ben Tulsan and instead of letting them kind of slide like into a warm bath, you got to just slowly lower yourself in.

Ben: [00:20:29] That just got weird. So.

Dan: [00:20:34] What do you call me? A weirdo.

Ben: [00:20:36] No, I’m saying what, what you were saying was weird. Mmm.

Dan: [00:20:40] See. And then I took it and personalized it.

Ben: [00:20:42] Yeah. So now I’m just kidding.

Dan: [00:20:44] He’s not kidding.

Ben: [00:20:46] So the choice seems to be like I either just put myself out there and risk some, some people are going to be fine with that, but maybe most people are not. And. How many shots do I get? It actually building connections and developing relationships, you know, uh, or, um, I’m cautious and I’m slow and I just kind of ease people into it.

And, um, I know I don’t really know the answer to that questions, why I’m kind of putting it out there because it feels kind of inefficient. And what I. What I know from experience is, and when you reach that level of comfort with someone else where you’re, you both feel comfortable being yourself, like in any, you kind of feed off of each other in that sense.

Like you, you bring more of yourself into the interaction and they feel permission to do the same and that that’s kind of where the good stuff is. And so like I hate, I hate all the in between where it’s like. Is it, is it okay for me to go there? You know, like, and I, can I say, say it this way, or can I do this thing or can I make that noise?

Or can I make that face, you know, can I tell that joke?  and just having to, having to ask all those questions. Mmm. So anyways, I’m, I’m just kind of, I’m kind of rambling with

Dan: [00:22:22] Well, let, let me, let me, let me, let me jump on it because a bunch, I think there’s a bunch of ways to take what you said. And the first one is, I’m always on the lookout for. False dichotomy might be too strong a phrase, but I’m always on the lookout for when we have kind of all or nothing thinking. Right.

And, and if it felt like you were to a certain extent, going to a place where it’s like I’m either totally my true self from the moment I meet somebody or I have to very carefully and slowly, you know, slowly reveal, right? Like slowly peek over the fence of Ben’s acceptable social persona. And I think there’s a bunch of different ways to go with this.

Like I’ve, you know, I’ve, I’ve heard a fairly compelling argument that you mostly should just be whoever you are up front because, but, but it depends on the context, right? Like, if, if what you’re trying to do is interact with someone at the department of motor vehicles, it probably makes sense to just kind of meet them on whatever their level is.

Because all you’re trying to get out of this relationship is a transaction right? So, you know, make polite, small talk or whatever. But if you’re worried that they’re not going to get the joke, don’t make the joke cause who cares. It isn’t important. You’re only going to deal with this person for five minutes and then probably never see them again.

But in a different context like dating or trying to make friends for example,

you’re probably better off showing your true self. As quick as soon as possible. Because if the person on the other side of that interaction isn’t going to like your true self, then there’s no relationship to be had there.

Right. And, uh, a problem that we can fall into is feeling like someone only accepts us for the persona that we put on when we meet them and then feeling obliged to use this persona that doesn’t suit us in some way, just to maintain that relationship. Right. And I think that’s when this starts to get.

Problematic like you may or may not feel put upon by the need to not swear around your grandmother, but if you feel like you can never show your true self to a friend or a an intimate partner, that’s a real problem because the reason you have relationships like that is to have a space where you can express your true self.

Ben: [00:24:42] Well, I wonder if it’s also one of those things where like it, it becomes kind of am not, not an insult, but like to the, to the other person, if you almost like you were being dishonest, like you put forth a certain version of yourself and then. You, you slowly get more and more comfortable around them and start to be more yourself.

They think that you’re acting like a different person, or you’re acting like someone that you didn’t really put yourself out there to be in the first place. And, and I think that can kind of be unfair. Laura says, Dan, are you saying we shouldn’t trick people into liking us? And the thing is, I think that we, when we’re not, when we’re not being purposeful, we just.

Kind of do that automatically.

Dan: [00:25:38] Yeah, I, Laura, Laura might’ve been kidding cause she used three question marks in a row. But frankly, a lot of the time, if we’re not careful, we can manipulate other people. Because we are, if we are not secure in who we are, we end up trying to project like we end up trying to carefully control how people perceive us.

And that’s a problem for a variety of reasons, one of which is it’s brittle. It requires a lot of energy to constantly pretend to be something you’re not around other people. And for that reason, it’s likely to slip. And now you’ve got like a relation. Yeah. This is the kind of thing you were talking about band.

If you have a relationship built on false pretenses, and then SA, you know, someone goes, ah, who’s this person that’s suddenly here? This isn’t the person I met. You would have been a lot better off showing them, you know, the, the true, the true face of Ben Tulson from the get go, like, but then again, that’s not to say that you, you know, if you have some off color joke that you love to make, that you just walk up to everyone and that’s the first thing you say to them.

Right? That’s. Like there, there is a period of people when you meet new people, you kind of have to dance around each other a little bit. You know what I mean? You ha you, you, you find like low risk ways to see if the person gets it. I, my personality being what it is. I find that sarcasm plays this role a lot of the time.

Like if I can make a sarcastic remark where, you know, sarcasm is saying something where what you mean is not what the words mean.

Ben: [00:27:10] Is that what it is?

Dan: [00:27:11] That’s what sarcasm has been. I know you’re just finding this out at the tender age of 37 but it’s about time.

Ben: [00:27:17] Oh wow. Okay.

Dan: [00:27:18] So that’s what sarcasm is. And I’ve found that like if I can make a sarcastic remark and the other person gets it immediately, or vice versa, I have at least one data point that says this person would probably get me.

You know what I

Ben: [00:27:32] Yeah. So, so there you kind of test. Test things a little bit. I am, I don’t dance around other people. Uh,

Dan: [00:27:41] I mean, you dance like you literally dance, but you don’t figure it ugly dance around.

Ben: [00:27:47] no. I, I don’t literally dance around other people, but at home I w you know, we actually have dance parties as a family. We’ll turn on, we’ll turn on the music and they’re in our living room. Just go for it. And, uh, but yeah, I don’t, I don’t do that around other people. Not even at events where like dancing is like weddings or,

Dan: [00:28:14] What about at craft and commerce last year at the after party, did you get out on that dance floor? I can’t remember.

Ben: [00:28:20] no, I didn’t. I think I would have.

Dan: [00:28:22] Like a, a bunch of us did though and it, and it felt like it felt real good, you know? And I also think that was a way of like showing people who you really are. Cause I mean, I had people that I met at the conference there were like, Hey, you’re cool or whatever. But then like I w I was out there dancing like the ridiculous white man that I am.

And. And afterwards they were like, wow. You’re like, this is like, you’re fun. You’re having a good time. Like they  they got to see another side of me.

Ben: [00:28:50] Yeah. And, and to be honest. I actually would dance around other people under the right circumstances. I’ve done, I’ve danced on this show. You’ve seen, I had, there’s a GIF.

Dan: [00:29:00] actually, that’s true. I’m, I’m, I’m falling. Uh, I’m falling down on my job here. Come on chat room. Help me out. Get Ben dancing in there.

Ben: [00:29:12] Yeah. So in this, in this Jif that I’m pronouncing correctly, right.

Dan: [00:29:16] Oh God, I hope so.

Ben: [00:29:17] I hate this so much. Um.

Dan: [00:29:20] I’m going to cut all this out.

Ben: [00:29:24] In this moving picture. Uh, this was back when we were streaming video. I got up and just in the middle of a show, I did the Bernie. If you don’t know what the Bernie is a go watch weekend at Bernie’s, don’t watch that movie. It’s terrible. And um,

Dan: [00:29:40] It’s an eighties classic though.

Ben: [00:29:42] yeah, there’s a dance move where you just, you kind of like, you lean your upper, the upper part of your body back.

You let your arms kind of hang down behind you and then you just shake your body and your and your arms. Um, anyways, my, am I describing this?

Dan: [00:30:00] I don’t know. I’m desperately trying to stay off Mike, because I’m just laughing. Um, look, Ben talking about dancing. I, have you ever seen the lip sync battle.

Ben: [00:30:11] Oh my gosh, Tom Holland.

Dan: [00:30:14] I S I dunno if I’ve seen that one.

Ben: [00:30:16] Oh, what are you? Are you kidding me? Nope. Just stop right

Dan: [00:30:21] No, I’m not depend. We’re doing Ben, we’re doing a podcast. We

Ben: [00:30:24] But I’m just, I’m just telling you, you’ve got to watch the one with Tom Holland. It will change. It will change your life.

Dan: [00:30:31] I’m putting it in the show notes right now. Tom Holland lip sync battle. I mean, my favorite one is Joseph Gordon Levitt, doing a super bass. That’s always been the classic

Ben: [00:30:41] good. He’s good.

Dan: [00:30:42] he nails that. But where I’m going with this, Ben, is when I’m at home by myself, I will do the lip sync battle in the mirror.

Like I’ll, I’ll drop some lady Gaga or something on Apple music and I’ll just go to town.

Ben: [00:30:55] I’m imagining that.

Dan: [00:30:57] You should, you should imagine it.

Ben: [00:30:59] Okay, I’m, I’m done.

Dan: [00:31:01] But fortunately we, we don’t have an animated gifs slash Jeff of that, which is good, but this is, you know, this is a thing where like, but I don’t do that out of doors generally. I don’t know if I would get up on a stage and do that.

So I want to draw us back to what Michelle was saying earlier about shame, feeling shame. And briefly, I want to, I want to talk like, I want to ask you for your perspective on this. Ben. What? What is shame? Shame as opposed to other types of bad feelings? What is shame and why is that what we feel when we’re perceived as weird?

Why is it, why shame.

Ben: [00:31:38] Yeah. So I like to think about shame the same way I think about. Guilt and anger and other emotions like that where we will tend to label them as bad, but really they’re not. They’re not in good or bad. They, we, we feel them and they, they have an origination point and they serve a purpose. And in many cases it’s a positive purpose.

So from, from my best understanding, the function of shame is to prevent us from repeating certain behaviors that lead us to being disconnected from a community or from a group of people that we depend on. And there, you know, like it can. It can come from something very simple to something very complex there.

There are a lot of different pathways to shame, but ultimately, like that’s, that’s the function of it. Now, when it comes to any emotion, we feel it’s important to consider the validity of the origination point, not the validity of the emotion itself, but. Like, is it valid for this behavior or this experience to produce the emotion of shame?

Should I? Should I fear being disconnected? And that’s, that’s really what it is. So it, when you feel shame, it’s, that’s, it’s really just the, the fear of being disconnected. Should I fear being disconnected. Just because I chose to do X, Y, Z. And I think that’s, I think that’s a really good question to ask.

And that’s also a great reason to get better and better at being able to identify and understand your own emotions.

Dan: [00:33:57] I like going to the dictionary definition of a word and I th I think your definition of this was great, but. Um, I’m gonna, I’m gonna put this there down there. The number one definition of shame in the dictionary is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

So the question that we got to ask right, is why do we perceive a given behavior is foolish or wrong? And I have a suspicion that because.

You know, shame. Shame is this social tool, right? Like if we were the only person, if, if we were born in the wilderness and there were no other people around, it is possible that we would never experience shame.

Maybe it’s built in dark genetics. I don’t know. But it is, it is very clearly this, this.

Ben: [00:34:51] Yeah. I would totally agree with you. I like, I don’t, I don’t think shame is something that you experience outside of a social interaction.

Dan: [00:35:02] But, but it’s, it’s a learned behavior. And this is what I’m fascinated by and this is why I kind of keep coming back here as we’re talking about this, is that because I wasn’t raised by wolves, I was raised by people. If you put me in the wilderness now without people around. I will still feel pressure to moderate my behavior even without the attendant consequences.

Like I might still do something and then feel shame, even though technically I don’t have any reason to like no one is gonna find out about this. You know what I mean? So,

Ben: [00:35:34] I mean, do you really ever know for sure that no one’s

Dan: [00:35:37] well, especially not now in the, in the age of the internet, there’s probably someone posting what I’m doing on Instagram no matter where I am. But. You no shame. It’s, it fulfills a useful function of preventing the, like, like legitimately harmful behaviors from affecting people like yourself and others.

Like when your parents teach you to, to feel bad when you hit another kid like that is. That is teaching a lesson that that appears to be, you know, broadly useful for society because it’s good that in general, outside my window right now, people aren’t just walking around punching each other, but that’s, but that’s not the kind of thing we’re talking about.

Like Michelle’s desire to practice taxidermy is not a, is not wrong or foolish behavior. However. Because like, like, because shame is what’s been used to teach you what’s wrong or bad behavior. Now, whenever anyone expresses any kind of, like, whenever you do something that people find unusual, that’s been tied to shame.

And so even though what you want to do is fine, you’re not hurting anybody, the rodents are already dead. Like you still feel ashamed as though you were doing something wrong. Just because you’ve. Maybe it’s just because you’ve learned to recognize that response in other people that as soon as someone, as soon as you do something that makes someone like cock an eyebrow, you go, Oh, that was bad.

I shouldn’t have done that. Even though all you’re really doing is you just did something unexpected. It’s not wrong or bad or foolish. It’s just not what they expected.

Ben: [00:37:18] Yeah. So, and, and this is, this is getting back to what I was saying about like shame truly being a neutral idea until you, until you put around it, you know, what were, what were the actions that led to that feeling of shame or w what were the, what were the actions and the beliefs that led to that feeling of shame.

And so, you know, like you said. If, if one of my, and this happens, this happens all the time in my house, one of my boys will do something or, or hurt their brothers, say something they didn’t mean to  and they’ll see their brother feel hurt and upset and we’ll, we’ll recognize that what they did was wrong.

And they’ll feel shame and, and in that sense, shame is a positive emotion because I mean, it’s, it’s part of positive in the sense that it trains them because they don’t want to experience

Dan: [00:38:35] I mean, it’s, yeah, it’s positive in the same sense that when you, when, when, similarly, when you’re a kid, when you touch a, a, a clothes iron that’s sitting on, uh, the ironing. Board without first testing to see if it’s hot, which is something I did when I was about six years old and I still remember it.

The fact that you receive a pain response is, is a good thing because it trains you to not. You know, indiscriminately touch things that might be hot and burn you and, and you’re absolutely right. I mean, there are behavioral disorders that, among other things, STEM from an inability to feel shame, right? I mean, there are people where when, when they’re a kid and they hit another kid and the kid gets upset, there’s nothing inside them that goes, Ooh, I did something wrong.

Like that can lead to some really serious problems. So, so I agree with you that like it’s not that shame is a bad thing, it serves a useful function, but like the same way that if you burn yourself on the stove, that’s not a good reason to avoid stoves in every context for the rest of your life, that you’re going to find that extremely limiting if, if, if you, if you flee from any feeling of shame as opposed to.

Being able to take a step back and ask yourself, huh, I, I felt kind of ashamed when I admitted that I’m into taxidermy. I’m just going to keep using Michelle’s example cause it’s a fine example.

Step back and critically ask yourself, okay, I’m experiencing shame. Is that because I’m doing something wrong?

And if you realize, no, I’m not doing something wrong. Okay, now you know that that’s a feeling of shame. You can. Ignore or set aside the same way that there are situations in which you set physical discomfort aside because you know that what you’re doing is something you want to be doing.

Ben: [00:40:32] Yeah. I was thinking about the, you know, like the oven or I’m sorry, the stove top thing you said was a great example. Like. You don’t, if you, if you burn yourself on the, on the stove, and then just to just like flat out, I’m going to avoid stoves for the rest of my life because I never want to feel burned again.

Um, but I think, I think some, in some cases, we even take it to the extreme of like, let’s say, let’s say it was one of those, you know, like flat top stoves with the burner underneath and the, I forget, like the. Whatever the material is on the top, but it’s like,

Dan: [00:41:14] it’s glass usually, I think. Yeah.

Ben: [00:41:16] yeah, that smooth black surface and, and to say, Oh, when I, when I touched that stove top, I burned my hand.

I’m never going to touch another smooth black surface again.

Dan: [00:41:29] Right? I’m going to avoid glass from now on.

Ben: [00:41:32] Yeah. I’m going to avoid, I’m going to avoid glass all together and, and I think that we out of a, a desire to be. Not a desire. It’s just, it’s really out of our own tendency to be as efficient as possible. Like it’s a lot of work too. Make a distinction mentally between a stove top and some other surface.

Now, using that as an example, you’d say, well, no, Ben, it’s not. Yeah, because we, okay, that makes sense. But I’m saying in in more complex scenarios. Where it’s not as easy to see the distinctions between one scenario and another scenario. It’s just more efficient mentally for us to categorize everything a certain way.

And then when you do that collectively and you create rules or expectations or ideas about what is acceptable and right and what is unacceptable and wrong based on how. Somebody might’ve gotten hurt in some way at at, at one point. That’s when that’s when you start to assign shame to things that it shouldn’t.

It shouldn’t be assigned to you. Does that make sense?

Dan: [00:42:52] Yeah. And you’re, you’re taking it from the societal level. And I think you can look at it from the individual level, which is that you, you know, you experience shame when you do things that are wrong. And you don’t like that. So now every time you experience shame in any context, you avoid whatever the behavior is instead of critically evaluating which behaviors you should in which behaviors the shame is appropriate, like punching your brother and in which behaviors, the shame is not appropriate.

Like singing to your like singing lip sinking songs in the mirror.

Ben: [00:43:25] I think you got those backwards.

Dan: [00:43:26] No, I don’t think I

Ben: [00:43:27] It’s not appropriate to hit your brother.

Dan: [00:43:30] Yeah, that’s, that’s what I said, Ben.

Ben: [00:43:32] Oh, sorry. Yeah,

Dan: [00:43:33] it’s not appropriate to not listen during the podcast.

Ben: [00:43:37] correct.

Dan: [00:43:38] Okay. At least we’re, we’re on the same, we’re on the same page. You know, we talk about efficiency and we always bring it back to habits on this show. But, eh, but so much stuff comes down to it. Like this, this thing where you sensor, where.

You feel bad based on other’s reactions, but then even more deeply, you censor yourself. This is a habit. So, so this is the thing, like I, I get it that when you ask someone for dead rodents and they’re like, you’re a weirdo, you feel bad. That’s one thing. But I, I want, I want you, Ben, and you, the listener, to think about this.

When you’re all by yourself, do you ever have a thought or do you do something or do you talk out loud? And then. And then stop because you feel ashamed.

It’s kind of a rhetorical question cause I know the answer’s yes. Like I’m pretty sure this is something we all experience. But think about how crazy that is.

You’re policing your own behavior, even your own thoughts when it’s perfectly safe to just do whatever you want.

Like I experience a degree of shame when I lip sync lady Gaga songs in my bathroom mirror, even though. There will be no consequences for doing this

Ben: [00:44:54] Well, at least not until you shared it with everyone.

Dan: [00:44:57] on a podcast. Right, exactly. There’s an important reason I’m doing that and we’ll get to that later. But that’s the thing is that this, this shame response is habitual. Like it’s built in. So it just manifests itself even in situations where it doesn’t make any sense. But like every habit, you can practice your way out of it.

And so this is kind of where I want to go, uh, for, for the next part of the show is talk about like. Ways that we get past this, and I’ve got examples of people that I look up to who seemed to be very good at behaving in unconventional ways and for whom that has paid off. So before I go into those examples, Ben, do you have, what’s your version of this like?

Like what’s a thing. Cause. Cause you’ve done a lot of performative stuff. Like, uh, you know, you’re a musician and you’re a podcaster and you make videos. You put, you put yourself out there a lot in a way that I could see as provoking these feelings.

Ben: [00:46:01] Yeah. So I’ve definitely, just over the years through putting myself out there, over and over, I’ve, I’ve kind of. Um, increased my, my threshold for either that feeling or like I’ve diminished the amount of, of shame or fear that I have putting myself out there, you know, so like, somewhere, somewhere in there, just over, over the years, through repetition, um, it’s just gotten easier to where.

And, and yet, like I also know my limits. I know, I know. They’re like, I won’t, I still won’t just live stream on my own channel one because I’m not really sure what I, what I want to say. And there, there are other things that are holding me back, but I also like, I don’t, I don’t feel completely comfortable putting my whole self out there.

When I made, when I was blogging regularly. There were certain things that I either wouldn’t capture or I would edit out, you know, so like, I still curate myself. I’m working, working for Podio. One of the things I experienced, because, uh, you know, we, part of my job is to make these videos that are really geared toward helping creators either make.

Um, learn that, learn the tools to make things.

Dan: [00:47:40] Yeah. You w you want to tell them that they’ve got to make something and then ask them what are they gonna make.

Ben: [00:47:46] Exactly. So, so like that in and of itself, it’s, it’s valuable information, but, but I thought, well, you know, I think when, when I looked at other brands and stuff, I, I knew. The ones that I enjoy the most, the ones that I’ll stick around for are the ones that actually have some personality, you know? And as I was writing the script and stuff, I, I was thinking actually, so this kind of, it’s, it’s a little bit funny the way that it happened.

So I was writing a script one night and it was, it was late. And so I was kind of sleep deprived. And, um. I was, I was running a little bit behind. And so I was kind of doing some, some catch up work. And so when, you know, when you’re sleepy, you’re, you’re less inhibited and stuff like that. And so I was writing the script and something would pop into my head that, you know, either normally wouldn’t, because I’ve, I’ve said to my brain, don’t give me that kind of stuff.

Or, Mmm. You know, like. Um, my inhibitions are, are intact when I’m fully awakened, but, but I was tired and something popped into my head and I was like, sure, I’ll put that in the script. Some, some cheesy joke or some cheesy phrase or some like, and it’s just me. I’m putting myself into it. Which is something that I, I wanted to do.

Like I didn’t, I didn’t want, I didn’t want it just to be like, here’s this information and I hope it’s helpful. Like, that’s valuable, but if I can put some personality into it that makes it more engaging. So I’ve, I’ve all these compelling reasons to be more myself, let my weirdness come through, but I still didn’t feel like I had permission.

Um, and, and part of it was like. It’s a pretty big responsibility, like I’m the guy to make these videos for this brand, and I may have, you know, I’m basically kind of a visual representation of this brand and the creators that it serves. If that feels like a pretty big responsibility, I know want to, I don’t want to like do you something completely off the wall and mess it up.

So, so I put these scripts together, and this is still. When I’m getting on board and so I’m, I’m submitting them for review and stuff and I put a note next to one of the lines that I put in and I said, this is kind of cheesy. If you want to take it out, it’s not going to hurt my feelings.  something like that.

Dan: [00:50:31] What was their response?

Ben: [00:50:33] They, they said, they just said she’s it up.

Dan: [00:50:38] Jeez, it up. Set phasers on maximum cheese.

Ben: [00:50:43] Exactly. So and, and I’ll, I’ll never forget that because in that moment I felt like I had permission, you know, like I, I felt like, okay. And even, even still after that, like I would push a little bit more. Like I put a little bit more personality into it. And, and, and feel a little bit like, Oh, they’re gonna, you know, they’re going to come back and they’re going to be like, yeah, that’s, that’s probably crossing a line.

Mmm. Up to, up to the point to where this really just like five months into working for this company, I made a mockumentary is we came out with a new feature that was live chat, so that, so that creators can. Actually live chat from their storefront with their customers and stuff. And so they wanted to come up with a notification sound that, you know, like, like if you, if you get a text message or you get a notification from a social media app that you have open in your browser, like it might, it might make a little noise or something.

So that’s all this was. And I thought it’d be a fun way just to promote this, to make a mockumentary about, uh. A Foley artist, someone who like captures sounds for, you know, for video or for apps or whatever, and their process for coming up with that sound and it was just, it was this, that was it.

Dan: [00:52:24] You want to run that by me one more time?

Ben: [00:52:28] There you go. You only, you only get two for free.

Dan: [00:52:31] Hmm. Well, it’s worth, it’s worth subscribing.

Ben: [00:52:35] So this was, I think of, of all of the projects that I’ve done, this was probably the most like me, it was very, very dry. Mockumentary um, kind of like, I don’t know if you ever saw, saw this as spinal tap.

Dan: [00:52:51] Oh, yes, I love, this is spinal tap.

Ben: [00:52:54] It’s a very much that kind of approach to the humor side of it.

Dan: [00:53:00] This goes to 11 et cetera.

Ben: [00:53:03] Yeah. And so like I’m, I conduct a fake interview. I set the camera up on myself and I’m talking to a fake interviewer about my process of coming up with sounds. And I have, you know, Jaden follow up me with, follow me out with a camera and I’ve got like headphones on in this microphone on a boom. And I’m like going around doing all kinds of stuff coming up with, and I’m explaining this process and I’m in front of my microphone and them.

Trying to like, vocalize different noises to see what, what’s going to be the perfect. And so like, it’s, it’s weird and it was kind of risky and I was like, I was like, okay, I’m gonna, I’m going to send this to them. And like, at the very least, I think somebody on somebody on the team is going to appreciate that and think, okay, that’s, that’s funny, Ben.

Thanks for sharing that. Um, this is not really what we pay you for, but.

Dan: [00:53:58] Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. This is a good one, Ben, but you’re fired.

Ben: [00:54:03] Yeah. Not, not like, okay, but, but I thought at least, at least it’s that. But like certainly there, and I even talking to the, the, the director of marketing, I was, I was even like, I mean, we’re not going to share this publicly, but you know, we can make it a hidden maybe Easter egg kind of thing.

Dan: [00:54:23] You were, you were pulling your punches already.

Ben: [00:54:26] Yeah. I totally was. And they, and they pushed it. They were like, share it publicly on social media. They sent it in the email, they sent it in an announcement for the, the feature itself, and it was just like, okay, I, I can, at some point maybe I’ll find the line that even if I do, like what I fear is going to happen is so far from the reality of what’s actually going to happen.

You know? Because they, they want me to take those risks.

Dan: [00:55:02] Right.

Ben: [00:55:03] They want me to, they want me to put myself out there. They want me to put myself into it because that’s what people actually respond to you and admire and feel inspired by.

Dan: [00:55:16] Well, and, and here’s the thing, there might be another company out there called . Who has a very different sensibility, but the fact is, I, I’m gonna, I don’t know your employer’s Ben, but I’m going to go ahead and make an assumption, which is that the, the folks at podia aren’t stupid. And when they hired you, one of the reasons they hired you was not just because you can operate a digital video camera.

It’s because they looked at, they got an impression of who you are and what kind of stuff you’re into. And they went, this guy gets it. We here at podia have a certain, you know, way that we want to present ourselves and this guy gets it. So the thing is they hired you to be Ben Tulson, like they didn’t hire you to be some other more boring video creator.

Like they, they hired this guy to make these weird cheesy nonsense videos because. You make them like it’s, it’s just, it’s a fascinating pattern. I’m noticing where like you feel like you’ve gone off the deep end and you, and you go to them and you’re already hedging. You’re already pulling back. You’re like, guys, I know, I know.

This is like, this is not going to be, uh, this isn’t what we want. But you know, maybe we could consider, and they’re like, this is exactly what we hired you to do.

Right? So this is a great jumping off point for something that Michelle asked in the chat. How does it benefit slash enhance ourselves? Those around us and the world.

If we give ourselves permission to be weird, why be weird? And this is part of it. Part of it is like someone out there wants your weirdness. They don’t want another person who’s just trying to be the same as everyone else. They want you, where’s my camera? I’m pointing them in the wrong direction. No one can see this anyway, you bam, they want you.

They want you, Michelle.

Ben: [00:57:11] Poking the camera in the eye.

Dan: [00:57:13] I am poking the camera in the eye. They want, they want Michelle and not the person Michelle is pretending to be. That’s one reason. That’s the way it didn’t benefits and enhances other people. The way it benefits and enhances you is

I’m going to go hyperbolic because I think that’s my strong suit.

It will strangle part of your soul. If you spend your entire life denying these things about yourself, like Ben, if you got a job making videos and you felt like you weren’t allowed to be cheesy, so every time you got some cool cheesy idea for a cheesy video, you pushed it away and instead made some other thing that would not be fulfilling for you.

Ben: [00:57:56] No, no, it wouldn’t end. I would probably seek some other outlet, which would interfere with my ability to do my job well. So, yeah, I mean, yeah, it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t go great.

Dan: [00:58:12] So, so I mean, part of the way I want to answer that question, like why be weird? You don’t really have a choice like you. You are who you are. And. There’s a great book I’m going to recommend, because like I said, I want to talk about some people that I feel like really nail this thing about being themselves.

There’s a writer named David LeDuc, and I’ll put a link to this in the show notes. This guy started writing books when he was 65 years old and published like 20 bucks in 20 years or something like that, which is nuts, but.

Ben: [00:58:49] Yeah, that’s a lot.

Dan: [00:58:51] But before that for many, many years, he ran creative at a gigantic advertising agency like he, he was, he was like the mad men guy for real.

He, he was also, uh, like, uh, a gay man who was open about it in the 1960s. And as Steven Pressfield puts it in the intro to the book that David wrote to one of these books that David wrote like that, that was serious business. The deal with David LeDuc that is fascinating, is that he, he is so completely himself, and that’s.

Clear from everything that like people say about him and from this book. So the book that I’m referring to is called, I’m not for everyone, neither are you.

Ben: [00:59:37] I like that.

Dan: [00:59:38] Isn’t that, I mean, just the title, right? But it’s it, and it’s a book of sort of aphorisms. So like every chapter is just like a little saying and then like a little paragraph about it.

And that’s it. And I love this book because like this guy. A, this dude is so cool. You know, like especially for a guy in his eighties he is just like so cool and so obviously like does not give a damn what people think. Like he is just himself. And the title makes the point. Like whoever you are, a large proportion of the other people in the world are not going to be into it.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop being who you are. Pretend to be someone else. Right? Like Ben, probably a lot of people are not into your cheesy sense of humor,

but it doesn’t matter cause there’s a cause. Among other reasons, it doesn’t matter. But also there’s a heap of people who are right, like the company you work for and the audience that company is trying to reach.

Ben: [01:00:40] I think most people are just saying. I think, I love what you’re saying though, because I think especially now, unlike no other point in human history, we have such ease of access to people who will get us. And so it kind of like, it makes sense that we would have such a strong, powerful mechanism or curating and, and hedging and, and not really fully being ourselves, given that for most of our history, we only had access to the people we had access to.

And. Like, so now, uh, you really can find people who are weird in the same way that you are,

Dan: [01:01:41] Yes.

Ben: [01:01:42] um, much easier than you ever were before.

Dan: [01:01:48] Oh yeah. If, if you used to be, you know, it used to be, you know, you, if you were growing up in a small town and no one else was into Dungeons and dragons, you know, you were, you were out of luck. I just watched season one of stranger things. This is why I’m thinking about Dungeons and dragons and small towns, but now, you know, you can go online and find the people and, and, and that’s, and it’s true for every, every kind of thing.

Right? So like, this is part of it. Is that. You know, if, if you’re surrounded by people that don’t get you, you might be experiencing these shameful feelings a lot. Well, you can go out of your way to surround yourself with people who do get you, and it doesn’t necessarily require you to move halfway across the country either.

You know, you can find these little communities and join them. I’d argue that the Shawn West community is an example of this, like the people that are in here. We spend a lot more time talking about topics like this and, and other things, creativity in business and all that. Uh, I think we’re, I think we’re a lot more obsessed with that stuff than other people are.

And so like, this is a place where we can productively be weird in this way.

Ben: [01:02:56] Yeah, and that’s kind of the fun thing too, is like the, the taxidermy thing is a really specific example. Like it’s a, it’s a connection point. And I think that’s, that that might be the key. That might be the way that you need to redefine it is it’s, it’s weird. Around the wrong people, around the right people.

It’s actually a connection point. And you have, you have several of those and, and some of those may actually like work together. So it might be weird around your family, for example, that you want to be an entrepreneur and do your own thing because everybody else in your family has. Always, you know, just worked a regular nine to five job  so, you know, like this, this online community ends up being a place where you get to express that weirdness.

But maybe you have friends who are entrepreneurs and they all run, you know, like physical based businesses. Um, and, and they don’t do creative work. And so, like, you’re weird in that way around that group of people. But here in this community, your creativity is a connection point.

Dan: [01:04:21] Yeah. Or I mean, you know, we’re big on sabbaticals. It’s Sean. Wes. Which is this idea DIA of investing in rest. And I think that is, you know, that is still kind of a weird idea inside the entrepreneurship community, which tends to emphasize working really hard all of the time. You know, so, so, but like I said, this is the thing is that what’s weird is not necessarily something foolish or wrong, which is in that definition of shame, you feel shame when you do a thing that you perceive as being foolish or wrong.

But the things we’re describing, they’re not foolish. And they’re not wrong necessarily. They are just. Unusual and things which are unusual are only unusual to, to a certain group of people. Right. And like you’re saying, you can find the people to whom to whom they are not unusual. And, and I would say that one of the best ways to overcome, to over overcome this thing, uh, to overcome your aversion to maybe being perceived as weird.

Is surround yourself by people who get it. And if you can’t do that, literally you can do it by, for example, you know, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching shows, finding the people that are into these things. And I have some examples of those, which I, which I figured this is the right time in the show to drop some, some examples.

So in terms of finances. Okay. There’s, there’s a guy named remeet Satie who wrote a book called, I will teach you to be rich. And there’s another guy who’s kind of on a different part of the financial spectrum named Dave Ramsey, which some people might have heard of. And these guys are both big on teaching you how to manage money and to be honest, managing your money sensibly is, and this is unfortunate, kind of unusual because frankly, most people in our society don’t do it.

Like we don’t put that much emphasis on it. We don’t teach people how to do it. So being really interested in like the right way to manage your money is a bit unusual. There’s a great quote from Dave Ramsey. He says, if you will live like no one else later, you can live like no one else.

And. He’s talking in particular about if you’re willing to like curtail your lifestyle early on, like don’t buy lots of fancy things.

Don’t move into a bigger house when you get a raise, stuff like that and instead save and invest a lot of your money someday  and doing what I just said is living like no one else. Right? Because most people live right at the very edge of their means or beyond their means. So you’re a weirdo. If you don’t do that, you’re a weirdo.

If you decide you’re going to save 50% of your income and live in a tiny apartment,

Ben: [01:07:09] Well, and, and I’ll make it, I’ll make it more tangible too, so,

Dan: [01:07:13] let, let, so let me, but let me finish the other side of the thing first. The other side of the thing is later on you can live like no one else. In other words, you can be the kind of weirdo who doesn’t have to work when they’re in their forties because they’ve built, they’ve already built a savings engine that can support them.

Ben: [01:07:30] Yeah. So, so the ways. The ways we experience that weirdness. Because you know, like nobody’s walking around asking, Hey, how do you handle your finances? But like it might be in subtle things, like you show up to a party with friends and you’re not wearing a new outfit, you know, and there’s a part of you  and depending on how into fashion you are.

There’s a part of you that might be feeling like, if I’m, if I don’t come to this party, like dressed up nice, or if I’m wearing something that people have seen me in before, like that, that might feel kind of embarrassing. Or like, what if, you know, what if somebody notices that like, this is the same outfit I wore two parties ago, or you know, something, something like that and that.

For some people, like that’s, that’s a bad example. Like that’s, well, that’s dumb. Okay, fine. Um, what about your friends going out to eat and inviting you along? Like they’re going to go out to a restaurant and you’re trying to manage your budget.

it’s not just maybe weird for you not to say yes, it might be perceived as. Impolite, and then it kind of gives you, it pushes you into this territory of having to explain, well, I’m trying to, trying to manage my budget, so I’ve spent all of my going out to eat money this month and I’m gonna . And then your friends might be like, Oh, come on.

Just, you know.

Dan: [01:09:11] Well. Yeah, I mean. And then people can start speaking from their own insecurities because this is the thing with being weird is, is you’re, a lot of the times it’s not just you’re doing something like taxidermy that other people don’t understand why you’d want to do once we start talking about money, the crazy thing is like people, people get it right?

People get that they should probably save money. They just don’t do it. And so when you actually start doing it, when you are weird in that way, you might start to get blow back from people who are projecting their own insecurities, who are like, Oh, what do you, why do you feel the need to, you know, be different internally?

They know that they should probably be different also, but they’re not. And so this goes back to Michelle’s, I think, uh, you know, question, which is that really at the heart of the show. How does it benefit us, those around us in the world? If we give ourselves permission to be weird, why should we be weird that that thing I said before about like retiring in your forties if you talk to basically anybody, they would agree with you that retiring in your forties is a highly desirable thing, but I got some bad news for you and them and all of, and everybody.

There is absolutely no way that you will retire in your forties if you behave around money the way that almost literally everyone does. The only way you can get that extremely desirable result is to be weird. So I think one of the big reasons to be weird is if there’s anything you want that isn’t what everyone else gets, like, if you want to be way healthier in way better shape than everyone, if you want to run a business instead of having a job, if you want to, if you want to, Ben, frankly, if you want to have a really big family.

You’re going to have to be weird.

Ben: [01:10:56] I wouldn’t recommend it.

Dan: [01:10:57] Well, but you know,

Ben: [01:10:59] I’m just kidding. I’m kidding. Halfway kidding

Dan: [01:11:02] one of these days is kids are going to watch this episode and they’ll be like, ah, come on dad.

Ben: [01:11:07] That’s the good thing is they don’t, they don’t watch any of my stuff or listen to my podcasts or anything.

Dan: [01:11:12] That is probably for the best. In fact.

Ben: [01:11:14] Yeah. The, some of the greatest, and, and it’s, I don’t know if it’s one of those like risk to reward sort of things, because I think in most cases the risk is overblown anyway. Like we, like we’ve been saying, Mmm. But that’s, that is where the good stuff is. Like the, the weirdness and feeling, the freedom to explore that most of, most of the things that you derive a lot of, um, excitement and pleasure and joy and things that you find extraordinary and fascinating and odd inspiring come from.

And in some ways come from weirdness like Disney, like you were saying, it’s weird. Uh, I th I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was something like he put a second mortgage on his home, uh, Walt Disney, but a second mortgage on his home to finance the building of a theme park. In a time when theme parks were failing.

Like they were, they were a terrible investment.

Dan: [01:12:32] Yeah.

Ben: [01:12:33] That was weird.

Dan: [01:12:34] Bringing up investment is a perfect way to do it because there’s a concept in investment where you, you want to look for assets which are under priced, which basically means. You want to find stuff where you believe that it has potential, but everyone else believes it doesn’t have potential. This is a very hard to do because it requires you to act in a way that’s contrary to conventions.

And there are few ways harder to do that than when money is on the table. And frankly, this is why there are not a lot of people that are massively successful investors, but it’s the same kind of thing where it’s like, like Walt Disney doubled down. You know when everyone else would have been like, w what are you doing?

You know you’re going to be on the bread line in a couple months because theme parks are done and here you are remortgaging your house and

you know, similarly, even outside of things like financial risk, there are, there are, there are lots of other circumstances where people are going to be like, you know, what are you doing still driving that crappy old car?

You can afford a better one, but the game you’re playing is a much longer game.

Ben: [01:13:43] And, and just outside of outside of the benefits, I think. What ends up happening is one, I think you, you get an opportunity. Anytime you step out like that, you get an opportunity to prove to yourself that you’re not going to die. Not, you know, everybody’s not going to completely disown you. Um, you’re going to, you’re going to find something remarkable and, and you’re going to have maybe just a little bit more.

Courage to go even further the next time. And that, that’s kind of been consistent with my experience. You know, putting, putting these videos out for podia is that like, I feel like my, my weirdness and my creativity has just a little bit more freedom every time. Um, and, and so that’s, that’s a huge benefit because the rewards of putting myself out there have been.

Pretty great. And the downsides that I imagined might be there have been practically nonexistent in addition to that. And this is, this is kind of where it gets a little bit altruistic, but you think about how, like, so we, uh, my wife and I played music together for a long time, and we would. Lead the music for like church events and stuff like that.

And so one of the things that we would always try to do, especially with, with younger people, is to try to get them, like into the music and, and to, to loosen up to, you know, so they weren’t like thinking about themselves and self-conscious and, and that kind of thing. So we’d always start our set with something that they could like, dance and move to.

And, uh, and, and even. This past weekend we did a much smaller event, but I remember like saying this thing that I’ve said over and over again, like, uh, for, for one of the songs where everybody can, they like, they can show off their dance moves. And I said, if everybody dances, no one feels silly. If everyone dances, nobody feels silly.

And nine times out of 10. That does it like that. We’ll get most of the people because they, they start looking around and they see like, Oh, well, so-and-so over there. Like they, they went ahead and started dancing. Well, that person had like the, the least concern over what other people thought of them, but, but they’re doing it.

So I guess like, I can move a little bit and then I start moving a little bit and somebody sees me and they’re dancing and, and so like. The whole room gets into it. And, and so there’s kind of this contagious effect of when you put your weirdness out there, you’re, you, other people feel permission to do the same thing.

And that, and that benefits you too, because especially like if you’re kind of connected to them in some way, where you get to experience their weirdness, then you feel a little bit more freedom, you know? So. Um, so I think, I think that’s a really powerful effect of putting your weirdness out there is just giving other people permission and seeing how that permission kind of spreads and overcomes that feeling of like looking around the room like, who’s going to dance first.

Dan: [01:17:23] You can use that in both directions too, because on the one hand. You know, when you’re the first person on the dance floor, you make it okay for everybody else to get out there. But at the same time, if you’re still like struggling with this, this is again, the benefit of, of finding the people that are weird the way you want to be weird, because watching them will help give you.

We’ll help you give yourself permission. Right? So like on the one hand, when you get, when you’re the first one on the dance floor, it lets everyone else come out there too. But also when you see other people get on the dance floor, it makes you feel like you can get on the dance floor. It works both ways.

Ben: [01:18:04] Yeah. And, and sometimes, you know, like everybody’s got that friend who like, you know, they’re going to get on the dance floor. Of course. Of course Susie’s going to like get out on the dance floor and.

Dan: [01:18:17] Oh, Suzy.

Ben: [01:18:19] And nobody, and nobody thinks Susie’s silly for new, but, but that’s Suzy. Like, that’s just, that’s, that’s Susie’s personality.

Dan: [01:18:26] though. How about this? You just told yourself, and nobody thinks Susie’s silly, but how  but I think what’s more realistic is some people probably do think Susie is silly. Some people don’t. What matters is Susie doesn’t care that some people think she’s silly.

Ben: [01:18:43] Susie doesn’t care.

Dan: [01:18:44] Susie doesn’t care. What’s your takeaway from this episode?

Ben: [01:18:48] I’m going to write a song.

Dan: [01:18:49] You should write a song called Susie doesn’t care. We had, uh, so we, we covered a couple of questions during the show. There was another question here from Laura from earlier. She says, given that everyone is weird by nature of being a human being with a personality, which is a good insight, what are some ways to foster the weirdness when it’s atrophied?

And I think we’ve touched on some of this during the show, but my main answer to this is to start changing things up. And w, you know, what sort of things can you change up? Rearrange a room in your house, you know, get, get a new hairstyle, try some different clothes, things like that. Just like, but here, here’s one that’s even easier to change up your sensory inputs,

you know?

So we, we have these  we’ve got sight hearing, smell, taste, touch. There might be a couple other ones. I can’t remember. You get used to always kind of seeing the same things and hearing the same things and eat it. You know, you eat the same things and you listen to the same music and you watch the same television and you go to the same places.

Find little ways to change those. So for example, like go to someplace you haven’t been, and that doesn’t mean you have to take a trip to Africa or to America. If you already live in Africa. You can just like take the bus to a different neighborhood in your city that you don’t visit that often. You know, take a day trip, especially good is like get yourself out in nature.

So that’s, that’s one way to do it. You know, something, something I’ve been getting into is scent, in fact. And, and here’s another way that I’m kind of weird because especially for men, for some. Completely arbitrary reason. You don’t generally pay too much attention to how things smell. That tends to be marketed towards women, right?

But like, I’ve got a scented candle going right now.

Ben: [01:20:42] Yes. You do.

Dan: [01:20:43] It’s kind of cool. It just, it just kinda changes, changes the mood. Like it just affects my mood in a certain way. You can experiment with things like that, you know, try different foods. Try changing up the music or watching a movie that you don’t think you’ll like.

And an especially good way to do this. Is to ask for recommendations. So like we were saying, because you kind of have access to all the weirdos in the world through the internet, it’s great to just, you can go online if you, if you want to get into different kinds of movies, you’d go online and just find recommendations.

Like what’s a list of what are generally considered the top 10 you know, black and white dramas from the forties or something. I’m going to go watch one of those. You can ask people. You know, I’ve never, I’ve never had a scented candle before and this seems kind of weird. What should I, what should I look for?

What are, what are good sense for men that, you know, stuff like that, right? You can just, you can just ask people that already know this stuff. If you want trying a cuisine you’ve never tried, ask the server what’s good.

Ben: [01:21:46] So I’m, I’m going to go kind of a different direction to answer this question.

Dan: [01:21:51] That’s kind of weird, but I’ll allow it.

Ben: [01:21:53] I want to, yeah. So I, and I, and I want to start with the asking for recommendations thing and push back on that in, in a certain way. So I think that one of the things that we’re lacking, uh, in this, in this digital age. Is the authentic first take.

One of the things that, like I as the, as the news, you know, most recent star Wars movie was coming out. I could not help but see people giving their hot take on it and that there were reviews out there

Dan: [01:22:32] And it makes it hard to make up your own mind about

Ben: [01:22:35] and then, and then like going to see it. I experienced it, but like almost immediately I went to, uh, I went to rotten tomatoes and I, I looked at reviews and, um, eh, almost like I’m looking for permission to feel a certain way about the movie or trying to validate what my experience was.

And I think what we, what we have not done a good job of is protecting the spaces for ourselves. Where we get to experience something and develop our own thoughts and feelings about those experiences without having input from somewhere else. And so I think, I think that’s one side of it. And I think the other side of it is just a general lack of solitude where we.

We have enough time to ourselves to, to just, to be with ourselves. Um, I think, you know, like you, you talked about getting out in nature and how like you could be by yourself out in the wilderness and still feel that sense of inhibition. And I think what’s true is eventually, like over time, that would actually.

Start to fade and, and perhaps even eventually go away. I think it’s, you know, like it’s good for us to have connection with other human beings, obviously, but, um, but most of us don’t have regular solitude enough that we, um, we’ve forgotten what it feels like to not have eyes on us. And, and to not feel that sense of, of inhibition, like, and so going out in the wilderness and being yourself, uh, it feels difficult.

It feels unnatural because you’re not practiced at it because you don’t have enough of that time set aside.

Dan: [01:24:49] I love the, I love this point you’re making. Uh, Laura just said in the chat, something I’ve been doing more purposely lately has been doing stuff without having to tell someone else. It’s so weird how often the need to get a response to validate an experience. Gets in the way. And I know, I know exactly what she’s talking about.

The way I conceptualize this for myself as needing head pats,

because I sometimes feel this way, that I’ll do something and I’ll want to like immediately text a friend of mine to tell them that I did it and there’s a part of me that goes like, you shouldn’t need a Pat on the head.

Just like, just cause you did this.

And like there’s nothing wrong with getting a Pat on the head. It’s very pleasant to be patted on the head. In general, but like, it’s, it’s, it’s like I, I’m, I’m afraid of training myself, you know, to, as Laura is saying, like, I don’t think it’s good to be unable to do anything without getting everybody else’s approval.

You know, this is, this is the same as the, like the classic like putting pictures of your food on Instagram before you can eat kind of phenomenon where it’s like sometimes it’s okay to just enjoy this thing by yourself and just have your own feelings about it. And have your own opinions.

Ben: [01:26:02] So you’re saying I shouldn’t make a video of me making, uh, a grilled, uh, Vardy and pastrami sandwich and send it to my friend Dan.

Dan: [01:26:12] No, you definitely shouldn’t do that because it will make him hungry and it’s a cruel thing to do.

Ben: [01:26:18] Okay. I apologize.

Dan: [01:26:19] Yeah, you should be. You should. You should apologize. I appreciate that. But, but no, it’s, um, the interesting thing is if you. If you can’t get out in the country, if you don’t live by herself, maybe it’s harder to spend this alone time, but it, it’s not just about physical space.

Like something that I do is I keep a journal. I have an app on my phone and the app is encrypted and it’s locked. Behind passwords and stuff. And there, there is no reasonable expectation that anyone else should ever be able to look at it. And I have no intention of showing it to anyone. But there are times when I’m writing in there that I will start dancing around what I really want to say as though I’m worried that some day like a Senate investigation or a girlfriend or something is going to read this and judge me for it.

And I have to remind myself, this is just for you. There’s no need to hold back here.

Ben: [01:27:18] Yeah. I love that because it’s, it’s not just physical spaces, but it’s like, it’s those, even even those kind of intellectual spaces, I mean, can you even in your mind right now, be that free, you know.

Dan: [01:27:32] Yeah. This is a real question, like, like are there, do you have thoughts? And then immediately in your head feel ashamed about them.

Ben’s Ben singing a very long time to

Ben: [01:27:42] I’m just, yeah, no, I’m, I, I treated it like a rhetorical question, but I just, I was just soaking it in.

Dan: [01:27:49] I F I threw, I threw you under the bus there under the rhetorical bus look. But I want everyone to ask themselves that question and, and, and consider, consider what’s going on there. This, this effect of censoring oneself is real. And I’m not saying that everyone should just go around saying and doing everything they feel like at every single moment in time.

That’s a bad idea. But. There. There’s this idea that if you, especially when it comes to creativity, when it comes to what you want out of your life, if you want different results than the vast proportion of other people, you’re going to have to become comfortable with doing things, saying things, thinking things that other people, at least some other people are gonna think are weird.

You’re going to have to get comfy with it. And, and hopefully we’ve gone over some ways. Of getting more comfortable. A big part, as you alluded to before, talking about music and performance, a big part of it is practice. So one thing you can do is find safe ways to do this. So for example, you know, uh, in terms of a social thing, if you feel inhibited about like cracking jokes around your coworkers, for example, go try like an improv class one night.

Because the nice thing about an improv class is. The reason you’re there is to just say whatever silly thing pops into your head, and that’s true for everyone else who’s there. That’s a safe place to be weird in that kind of way.

Ben: [01:29:18] Yeah. I should. That would be fun actually. I would find that very enjoyable.

Dan: [01:29:24] I think I would too, but it always makes me think of the, uh, the office episode where, uh, Michael Scott goes to an improv class and he just interrupts every bit by jumping in and going, like, Michael Scott FBI or something like that.

Ben: [01:29:37] I can’t remember that one.

Dan: [01:29:39] I’m PR, I’m pretty sure I’m not, I’m pretty sure I’m not making that up.

Ben: [01:29:42] I think of, um, I think of whose line is it any way. So I was thinking, I was thinking of it from like a comedic standpoint. Mmm.

Dan: [01:29:51] Greg Proops, Colin mockery

and Ryan styles.

Ben: [01:29:56] All right. Uh, so let me check something real quick cause I wanna I want to make sure, Oh, I did want to, I didn’t want to bring in this last point.

Dan: [01:30:05] Yes.

Ben: [01:30:06] Um, and I, I just want to say something real quick about haters as a preface to.

Dan: [01:30:12] They make you famous. That’s what I’ve heard.

Ben: [01:30:14] Last point. Yeah. Haters make you famous. My thinking is that when someone is faced with the insecurity of seeing someone else put themselves out there in a way that they feel afraid to, they can, they can only relieve that insecurity in one of two ways.

Um, one way is to face it and overcome it. Or at least base it and accept it. And the other way is to attack the person who is, uh, causing. It’s the person’s not causing, their insecurity is caught, but the person who triggered that sense of insecurity. So it’s, it is definitely a conscious process to troll somebody or to say something hateful or to attack someone else.

That’s a conscious process. What is a subconscious process or what is, what is kind of just happening automatically is that people are trying to relieve there negative feeling and they don’t know too. Do it some other way. A third option doesn’t create relief. It actually creates other more serious issues, I think, which is just like not dealing with it at all, stuffing it down, you know?

But like if somebody’s really trying to find a relief, they’re going to, they’re going to face it and overcome it or accept it, or they’re going to troll. And so in that sense. Trolling is not some attempt necessarily. Uh, it’s, it’s not some organized, well thought out attempt to get someone to stop doing something or to not  like it’s really someone’s attempt to relieve the sense of insecurity.

They feel it seeing someone take action that they, we’re too afraid to take. Or, you know, like some, some version of that. And because of, because of the infrastructure we have in the internet and our ability to communicate with one another, trolls and haters are a feature. It’s just what it is. It’s human nature acting itself out with without.

Conscious effort or thought it’s, it’s just something that happens and it’s important to realize that because I think that, and, and we’ve, we have a whole episode that talks about haters,

Dan: [01:32:57] It’s . It’s episode four 18 how to deal with haters.

Ben: [01:33:01] but I, I really like to, I like to frame it that way. Now that doesn’t make, that doesn’t make it any less harmful or hurtful when people say things because. People are really good. Some people can be really good at saying like, just pushing the right button.

Dan: [01:33:22] So what, what do we do with this fact, Ben? Like what? What are, what are we trying to, what are we trying to arm the people with?

Ben: [01:33:29] So, so I want, I want us to understand that it’s not something that’s going away, but I also want us to understand that like. There’s not, there’s not some end game for trolls. The end game for trolls is their own relief and it’s only temporary for them. Their end game is not to get you off of the platform.

And so  not to, it’s not to take you out of the game or to take you out of the equation. You, you are not the subject of their pain. Their insecurity is the subject of their pain. And so. The reason I say that is because I think sometimes we adopt this mentality of like, well, if I don’t put myself out there, or if I, if I decide not to post something because I don’t want to deal with the haters this week, the haters win, and I think that’s, I think that’s a false idea.

I think that’s giving the idea of haters and trolls too much credit as if they’re playing a game that they. Can win because they’re, they’re not playing a game.

Dan: [01:34:37] Well, it’s . How about looking at it this way because yeah, it’s, it’s setting it up as being this adversarial thing of you versus people who have a negative reaction to what you do. But it’s probably more accurate to say that, you know, trolls, haters. What are people reacting negatively is more like the stove that you burned yourself on, like opting out of that and being like, now I stay away from stoves because there’s a chance I might get burned is a, is a.

Ben: [01:35:03] I guess actually it’s to the point I’m trying to make is a little bit different.

Dan: [01:35:06] Okay.

Ben: [01:35:07] I think, I think sometimes because  some people do think like, I don’t want to experience that again. I’m not going to put myself out there. And that’s a shame, you know, like I never want, I never want anybody to feel like they, they can’t put themselves out there.

But I think on the other side of that, there are people who refuse not to, uh, not put themselves out there. They refused to. Keep from, from putting them them true their true selves out there because they don’t want the haters to win. And I think there’s a, there’s a time and a place to take care of yourself to realize that maybe maybe this week it’s going to be a little bit too much for you to handle.

It’s, it’s going to the end. Like I think there can be even even for the person who has framed it the right way in their mind, who has healthy practices. All of us. We, we have those times every once in awhile when it just gets to us. And so if you need to take a break to take care of yourself, that’s not letting the haters win.

That’s you protecting your ability to put yourself out there the next time. And only you can say whether that’s you, you know, taking the easy way out or you truly protecting yourself and protecting. Your ability to continue doing it. Like I’m not talking about just like cutting yourself off completely, but I’m saying like, you know yourself, you know your limitations and don’t let, don’t let this idea that like if you don’t post something, the haters when keep you from taking care of yourself.

Does that make sense?

Dan: [01:36:52] It does. Uh, I think, I think where I was going with the stove thing, I want to, I want to try to put that a slightly different way. I think it is useful. To conceptualize of other people’s reactions the same way you conceptualize as, as any other force of nature as being inanimate and non malicious. So that, you know, there’s a more general thing there where when people are, are throwing hate at you, you know, when they’re leaving negative comments on, on Instagram or YouTube or wherever.

That isn’t about you, it’s about them. And more generally, I w my opinion is that almost every interaction anyone ever has with you is mostly about them and not how about you and vice versa. Because we are self centered beings, you know, like not self centered in a judgemental way. We are fundamentally self-centered.

We spend 99.99% of our time thinking about and experiencing our own. The world and a tiny little amount of the rest of our time thinking about other people and how they might experience the world. That’s just how, that’s just how it goes. And so the thing is,

Ben: [01:38:03] Do other people really exist.

Dan: [01:38:06] we’re not going there, at least not until the after, after show.

Ben: [01:38:09] All right.

Dan: [01:38:09] So put a pin in that. But you know, it’s, it’s just, it’s incredible the degree to which if you put a lot of thought into, let’s say, wearing clothes that you really like to wear and you feel really good, you could be walking down the street and another human being who is spending 99.999999% of their conscious waking life thinking only about their own experience could just like randomly see you and say.

You, you know, you’re, you look dumb. Like that sweater looks dumb on you or something. And that could like, do you have all these negative effects on you, make you feel bad about yourself, make you feel foolish, make you run home and change your clothes? That person wasn’t thinking about you at all. Like the way that I try to try, try to conceptualize these sorts of things is, well, the simple way to put it is you’re worried what other people think.

People don’t care. That’s part of it. Like you, you brought up the example before that it’s like a cliche of I can’t wear the same thing that I wore to the last party. Everyone’s going to notice I got some good and bad news for you. No one is going to notice like no one is paying this much attention to you only you are.

So when you start to recognize that that restriction is coming from within and not from everybody else, I think that can help. And the other way I like to. Conceptualize this is thinking of these things as more of a force of nature. Like when it’s raining outside and you get a bunch of rain drops fall on you, you don’t think those raindrops are attacking you.

You know, you don’t think that those raindrops made a decision to mess with you. And frankly, a lot of the time when a human being. Operates their vocal chords in the production of sound waves that then imprint themselves on your brain in a way that is processed as speech. The fact that another person made some noises at you, there’s not a signal that you need to rearrange your life.

It’s just a thing that happened and it probably has very little to do with you.

Ben: [01:40:12] Yeah, and I totally agree with everything you just said, and, and I think it’s important for us to arm ourselves with these tools of framing things a certain way, and, and trying to train ourselves to experience things a certain way. You know, th th th the raindrop thing is, that’s a great analogy. Like.

It’s just human beings making noises. That happened to be that your ears happened to hear, you know, like, and yet there’ve been times, there have been days like that. I’ve just had those days when there was just something about the rain falling on me that felt like a personal attack.

Dan: [01:40:59] Well, and, and some to take the analogy all the way, some, some days you’re not in the mood to go out in the rain.

Ben: [01:41:05] Yeah. And, and so I like this. I like where this is going. The rain’s not trying to keep you from going outside. The rain just rains  most days you, it doesn’t bother you and you can go out and it’s not a big deal. And every once in awhile. He just, you don’t, you don’t want to have, you just do not want to experience the feeling of rain falling on your head and, and that’s okay.

And that was, that was the point that I was trying to make. That’s a great analogy though. I love that.

Dan: [01:41:46] Solid. I think we’re going to go back to that, to that analogy.

Ben, do you want to wrap the show up?

Ben: [01:41:54] Dan, where can people go to find us online?

Dan: [01:41:56] You can go to reign dot. No, I’m sorry. You can go to Shawn west.com. You can go to Shawn west.com check out what we’ve got over there. We got courses and we have membership are two of the things we have and the membership. Well, you know what, it’s, it’s funny. I’m always like, maybe I’ll talk about the membership today.

Maybe I won’t know. You know what the membership is the thing to talk about, because a, it gives you access to all of our courses. $7,500 worth, which is a good time. We have courses on writing, value based pricing. We got courses on. Uh, selling your first digital product. I’m really excited about that one.

But we also have this community and the conversation in the community today has been really, really good. Like an awful lot of the value of this show comes out of the people that are in the chat, sharing thoughts, feelings, and questions. It’s so good. I can’t go on enough about the community. And I was talking to Sean yesterday about some stuff that, uh, that I want to do in the community this year.

uh, is gonna make it. It’s gonna make it even better. So go to Shawn west.com check things out. We’d love to see you here.

Ben, where can people find you online?

Ben: [01:43:09] You can find me@bentilson.com and I’m at Ben Tolson on all of the things. And what about you, Dan?

Dan: [01:43:16] You can find my stuff@djjacobson.com and I am at DJ Jacobson, author on some of the things I really need to get that name on the rest of the things.

Ben: [01:43:27] Yeah, you do.

Dan: [01:43:27] Yeah, I do. So that I can feel like, yeah,

Ben: [01:43:31] Well, good show, sir.

Dan: [01:43:32] I need to be as ubiquitous as Ben is.

Good show, sir.

Ben, you try to keep me down by just starting the outro music whenever you want, but I won’t be denied.

Ben: [01:44:25] I’m sorry man. My so honestly my hand was arresting over it. Just that I. Was prepared to like cue it up.

Dan: [01:44:33] Yeah. Do you need? What you need is one of those red plastic, like a, like a switch guard, like they have in rocket silos where you have to flip the guard up first and then, and then you can turn on the true music.

Ben: [01:44:46] Yeah. Yeah. And it just, Oh look, it just did it again. It’s so sensitive. Fade it back out.

Dan: [01:44:53] Oh my God.

Ben: [01:44:54] Nobody sees, nobody knows.

Dan: [01:44:56] Kinda edit all this out.

Ben: [01:44:57] So Laura said you had something for the after show and I did. I’ll go ahead and I’ll go ahead and bring this in because I find it, well, what occurred to me, and you actually, you ended up alluding to this a little bit, Dan,

um, when we were talking about how nowadays more than any other time in human history, we’ve got so much access to one another.

And it’s so much easier to find people who share your weirdness. And I think that, I think that there’s still like even, Oh, and this, and this kind of goes back to part of human nature is we find the more efficient way to do things right. So, um, not, not on purpose, but for example. If you live in a rural community or a small town and you have the internet, but you, you know, like you do spend a lot of time around other people and stuff like that.

Uh, even, even if you, like if you were raised in a small town, this is definitely more true. You, you have this built in sense of community and identity based on the people that you. Grew up with in your physical locality in a city, there’s a lot more diversity of thought and um, and weirdness for that matter.

And so it’s easier  there’s less resistance to finding people who share your weirdness. But even in a small town, even if you have the internet, like what’s, what’s the least amount of work. Two feel that sense of belonging. So I would argue in that case, like some, for someone to go out of their way to search the internet and to try to find community with people that way and to feel a sense of belonging that way based on their weirdness.

For them to do that, they have to F they have to really feel a deep sense of disconnection. On some level with the people who are in their regional area. And so I just, I F I find that really fascinating and I wonder if in some ways, that speaks to what I perceive as kind of this growing division.

Between, I dunno if, I don’t know if it’s really even a growing division, like it’s probably are always been a feature. It’s just more pronounced because it’s more visible. But this, this kind of sense of division between city folks and country folks, or, you know, people from the big city and people from a small town, you know, like, it’s easier in some ways, uh, because people, people talk about being in a big city and feeling.

Isolated. Like they, they just,

Dan: [01:48:06] Yeah.

Ben: [01:48:07] it’s almost, it’s almost like there are too many choices here.

Dan: [01:48:12] But in terms of values though, they tend to be similar, right? I, the thing you’re alluding to I think is like a self selection, uh, problem. Where. You know the, if people, the, the cliche at least is that people in urban areas tend to have more liberal values and people in rural areas tend to have more conservative values.

And part of the reason is that like attracts like, which is if you’re in a rural area and you have, you find yourself being a person who has more liberal values, you’ll probably leave.

You know, like the, the kind of cliche in the 20th century when you didn’t have the internet was if you were a bit of a weirdo in your small town, what you wanted to do was move to New York or San Francisco or the non American equivalents of same,

you know, cause the big city was where you would find the people who were like you, which was probably true.

And now you can find those communities online. But if I understand the point you’re making, you’re not necessarily going to. Because the tendency is to just like be like the people around you.

Ben: [01:49:11] Yeah. So even I think it’s just by virtue of the fact that there are more people in the same amount of physical space. You’re going to have an easier time finding connection points with, with people in a city that you might not otherwise find in a small town because you’re not necessarily going to go out of your way.

It’s, it’s the efficiency thing. It’s not, and so like what we don’t do on purpose as human beings is not out of laziness. It’s out of efficiency. And you always have to think about like, I always have to. Remind myself of that. So, so four for somebody to, I dunno, I’m just, I’m thinking out loud on all

Dan: [01:50:00] Well, you’re, you’re saying this is the idea that like your, your brain evolved to minimize caloric expenditure because a 300,000 years ago, that was the only way to keep you alive. But what that, what that means today is that it’s easy to procrastinate and it’s easy to avoid developing connections with other people, and it’s much easier to sit on your couch with a bag of potato chips because in a sense, your biology is driving you to do that.

Ben: [01:50:23] And it’s, it’s easier for, it’s easier for you to be. It’s easier to conform. It’s easier for you to,

Dan: [01:50:31] Fit in.

Ben: [01:50:32] yeah. Um, it’s, it’s easier for you to take on values and ideas that maybe you wouldn’t take on. It’s easier for you to suppress your weirdness. And so there is kind of, you know, like you have to be purposeful about it, but I just, I F I found it really fascinating when it just, it kind of dawned on me this idea of like.

It’s, it’s easier now than it’s ever been, and it’s still harder than just been the normal mode of being a human

Dan: [01:51:07] Yeah. Right. Like it’s easier than it’s ever been, but it’s not easy.

Ben: [01:51:10] right.

Dan: [01:51:11] Yeah.

Ben: [01:51:12] I don’t know. I don’t know that that’s a helpful thought for anyone, but I F I found it intriguing, so,

Dan: [01:51:18] Yeah. And ending the show on a real downer, Ben. Wow. No, it’s

Ben: [01:51:22] We’re just a bunch of. Lazy human being. No, I’m just kidding. That’s not all right. I’m going to start the music now

Dan: [01:51:29] start the music.

Ben: [01:51:30] to the after. After show we go.