#557 – Alan Stein

Sevan Matossian (00:00):

Like when I was working at this NBA game, then Caleb pulls up the picture and, and we look cool.

Alan Stein (00:06):

Awesome. Well, I appreciate that, Caleb. Thanks for your service and thanks for your help on the podcast.

Sevan Matossian (00:11):

Bam. We’re live.

Sevan Matossian (00:15):

I am a better person for reading your book. No, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Listening to your book. My friend says I need to be accurate precise in my, um, honesty. I’m a better person for listening to your book. I listen to all of it in the last, probably four days, except for the last 22 minutes of sustain your game. And, uh, every podcast I did leading up to, uh, meeting you today, I told the people who, uh, the listeners of this podcast, my friends, uh, Hey, you gotta listen to this book. Cause, cause it, it is, it’s not every day that you come across something that like, if you consume it, you’ll be better. Like I like breaking bad. But if I, if I, I’m not a better person for watching it, I might be worse.

Alan Stein (01:02):

Well, let, let me say how much that means to me and I, I, I thank you tremendously. Um, and I say in full humility, I’m a better person for writing it. I mean the, the, the reason I write books, um, is to help me improve in the exact material that I’m writing about. I, I write the book that I need to be reading myself. Uh, so, um, I’ve struggled with stress, stagnation and burnout at different times throughout my entire life and career. And I, I find it both liberating and somewhat therapeutic to kind of meet that head on and write about and, and speak about from stage the things that I’m still working on. So I’m not coming from a place of mastery in any of this stuff, but I’m starting to figure some things out that I believe are putting me on the right path. And then I always wanna share that with others. And anytime I hear feedback that, that, that work is helpful. Um, you have no idea how much that means to me. So thank you for making the time investment to listen to my voice for almost eight hours.

Sevan Matossian (01:57):

It’s like, um, I, I, uh, I made a post the other day on Instagram of me working out and I’m a 50 year old dude and I’m surrounded by the greatest, uh, a athletes in the world. And so I never post pictures of, I never post videos of myself working out. Why would I, when you could just, it would be like you posting videos of you taking jump shots, right? <laugh> it’s like, dude, why wouldn’t you just take a picture of one of your clients taking jump shots or video. But dude, when people saw me this fucking 50 year old schlep working out it like it, it meant something to people. Yes,

Alan Stein (02:29):

It’s, it’s connective when, when you can show those sides of yourself. Yeah. When in essence you can show some level of vulnerability when you can show that you have confidence and pride in who you are as a man at 50 years old, there’s something very magnetic and attractive about that. And, and we both should probably do that more. Um, it’s been my experience that, you know, some of the players I’ve had an opportunity to work with people, put them on, on such an iconic pedestal that they don’t seem real. They don’t seem like they’re human beings. They, they

Sevan Matossian (02:58):


Alan Stein (03:00):

Yes. And I think everyone knows you and I are very much human beings, right? I don’t think anyone looks at either one of us as if we’re a mortal. So when we can show folks that, Hey, this is what we’re doing on a daily basis. This is what we’re doing to try to work towards self-actualization and improvement. I think it’s a beautiful connective tissue. And it’s, I, I, I really admire you for doing that.

Sevan Matossian (03:19):

A and, and, and my sentiment was exactly like what you told me. People have no idea when they, when someone sends back to me, Hey, you did those hundred burpees. Um, and you did it in, you know, 10 minutes. I want you to know I did it in nine minutes and 54 seconds. They have no idea how happy I am that I was part of that. Cangen like, it it’s like, oh, you caught, you caught that disease. Like I’m. And, and that’s how I feel about your book. Like, it, it, um, it spread it spread the, it it’s spreading a good disease.

Alan Stein (03:49):

Well, well, I appreciate that, that, uh, yeah, I mean, ultimately, uh, a quote that I’ve Al always lived by, but that has started to gain some traction, cuz I’ve been saying it a little more frequently now is that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. And, and that’s something that I really hold dear to my heart. And um, my, ultimately if someone asks what I do, I’m in the business of lighting people’s candles. I mean, in theory, I’m a keynote speaker, I’m an author, uh, I’m a performance coach, but, but those are just different forms of the same thing. I’m trying to light people’s candle. And that’s why, uh, I love meeting people like you who are doing the same thing. I love having conversations like this because I’m confident that what we chat about today will help light someone else’s candle. And then I hope that they want to be a steward to pay that forward and, and light others. So when you make a post that says, I just did a hundred burpees in 10 minutes, um, you’re inspiring. You’re motivating, you’re encouraging others to do the same. And that’s, that’s ultimately what lighting other people’s candle is all about. So again, man, I, I really commend you and admire you and appreciate the work you do.

Sevan Matossian (04:53):

You, your book comes at an interesting time and I have to tell you that I’m really, um, do, do you have kids by any chance yet, Alan? I

Alan Stein (05:00):

Most certainly do. So I’m very amicably, divorced, uh, been divorced for seven years and my ex-wife and I get along great. We’re we’re good friends. We make great co-parents and we have 12 year old twin sons and a 10 year old daughter.

Sevan Matossian (05:11):

Oh shit. You, you know, I have twins.

Alan Stein (05:14):

Oh, do you really? How old are

Sevan Matossian (05:15):

Yours? Yeah, I have twin five year old boys. I’m the flip of yours. I have twin five year old boys and then a older seven year old

Alan Stein (05:21):

Boy. Oh my goodness. That is so awesome.

Sevan Matossian (05:23):

Crazy. Uh, why do you think you’re amicably, uh, amicably divorced? That means that amicably means, uh, you guys are cool, right?

Alan Stein (05:32):

It, it most certainly does. And it’s,

Sevan Matossian (05:33):

It’s like you have Thanksgiving together and shit

Alan Stein (05:35):

We do. And it’s rare that you hear those two words in the same sentence because usually amicable and divorce, usually don’t don’t collide. Um, and well, the reason we do that is because we’ve both made the effort to do that, that we both realized that, um, the relationship that we thought we would have as a marriage didn’t quite pan out and we accept full responsibility for that, but we will always be linked because of our children and that, that, you know, I will always treat her with respect and civility, uh, and compassion. Um, and she’s made the decision to do the same and that’s been a game changer. And, you know, on the, on the broad spectrum of divorces, I do think ours was kind of on the easier end, um, because we just realized we weren’t a good fit for each other. Uh, there was no abuse.

Alan Stein (06:19):

There was no infidelity there wasn’t, you know, one of us wasn’t the other one’s love of their life. We got into something and realized we just weren’t the right fit. So I think that took some of the, the weight off of it, but it was still, it was still painful. It was still, there was, it was still tough. I mean, anytime, something doesn’t quite work out the way that you would hope, you know, there’s, there’s a grieving period. So, you know, I don’t mean to, to make it sound like it’s always been super easy. We had our points of tension, but we always broke through that by saying, look, we chose to bring three human lives into this world and the way that we can work together and collaborate and the way we treat each other is going to model that behavior for our children. And that’s what’s most important. So we’ve both done a pretty good job of even when we were feeling tension and frustrated, putting our feelings aside, taking the higher road, uh, and always being respectful and civil and, and now that’s worked itself out where I, I consider her one of my closest friends.

Sevan Matossian (07:14):

That’s awesome. I wanna show you guys a, a picture of the book before I go any further, cuz I know this 90 minutes is, uh, is gonna blow by, this is the book. This is, um, and correct me if I’m wrong, Al this is his second book, uh, sustain your game. The first one was, um, get your fucking game together or wait, what was it called?

Alan Stein (07:30):

Raise your game. But I, I actually

Sevan Matossian (07:31):

Like raise your game. I knew it. I knew, I knew I had an, that was my only criticism, the title of the first book. Maybe

Alan Stein (07:36):

That’ll be my third book.

Sevan Matossian (07:38):

<laugh> right. Raise your game sustain. Are these your first two books ever?

Alan Stein (07:43):

They are, yes they’re. Okay. And, um, I’ve enjoyed the process so much and, and as I mentioned, it’s so integral in my own growth and development that, that I, I will never put something on page or out in the world, unless I believe I have something worthy to say and that it will add value. I don’t want to be one of those kind of formulaic machines that every two years I put out a book, regardless of whether it’s going to be quality. Um, but along those same lines, I believe that if I’m continuing to grow and to stretch and push myself at the rate that I believe that I should be then about every two to three years, I think I should have enough to say, to warrant putting in a book and whether the, the next one will complete the series and make it a trilogy or will go in a different direction. I don’t know. But as long as I’m learning and growing and evolving, and I’m taking that material and finding ways to pay that forward and share that with others, then, then they’ll absolutely be a third, fourth and fifth book at some point.

Sevan Matossian (08:37):

Caleb, can I bring you up for a second? Is that okay? No. Okay. Uh, no Caleb, but he’s back there. I promise you, um, so many doors opening. Why do you think that you have the skills to, um, uh, uh, what do you think the skills are to get along with, um, your, uh, the, the mother of your kids? Who do you think you learned those skills from and, and to prioritize what’s best? I, I I’m perseverating on this a little bit because my parents are divorced and they get along. We did all the Christmases and Thanksgivings together and, and the, the, the other spouses were, were, it was all all welcome. And I feel like it’s taught me how to, um, I learned a lot from that.

Alan Stein (09:22):


Sevan Matossian (09:24):

How did you, how did you learn positive stuff? Of course. Yeah. How did you, how did you, do you, do you know where that comes from that? I mean, I

Alan Stein (09:32):

Absolutely do

Sevan Matossian (09:34):

Maturity, I guess, or, or, or a lack of self to put something else ahead of

Alan Stein (09:38):

You. That that’s part of it, you know, see we are the reverse. So my parents have been married for almost 50 years still to this day and her parents have been married for 50 years. So divorce was very foreign to both of us. And that’s probably why it took a little longer for us to pull the trigger on the divorce because we didn’t even really consciously think it was an option, uh, because that hadn’t been modeled for us. But the absolute game changer for me, um, was when we started going in for some couples therapy, um, and, and used our therapist as someone that could help kind of take some of the tension out of the air. I mean, a as you can imagine in the early stages of a breakup or separation or divorce, uh, there’s a lot of, of pointer pointing fingers and blaming.

Alan Stein (10:18):

And, you know, I, I remember, you know, uh, very self righteously going in there and saying, well, if, if she would do this, or if she would stop doing this, then our marriage would be better. Uh, and thankfully the therapist, I mean, she put me on blast and said, you don’t need to worry about what she’s doing or not doing. You got enough stuff on your side of the fence that you can focus on. And I’m very thankful that I had the humility to listen to her because there were previous times in my life that I would’ve, I would’ve not gone that path. I mean, uh, uh, I say this with full affection because I’ve, I’ve reconciled with my previous self, you know, but in my younger years I was, uh, I was very unaware. I was very selfish. Uh, I very much lived a scarcity mentality.

Alan Stein (10:56):

Uh, I very much blamed complain and made excuses when things didn’t go my way. So many of the, the principles I live by now and perspectives that I use to guide my life philosophy are somewhat newfound over the last few years. They, they haven’t, I haven’t always been this way. And at the time I was doing the best I could with the tools I had, right. I have very many tools or very good tools. So the therapist was the one that said, look, you two got into this marriage. And, and now you two need to navigate a way out of this marriage and you need to do so in a way, that’s, that’s going to be, um, setting the example for your children. I mean, that’s, that was really the, the, the big impetus was making sure that we were still providing through a co-parenting relationship and, and unconditional love and that yeah.

Alan Stein (11:41):

For our, for our children. So the therapist really got me straight. I mean, I, I went every week for a couple of years and she served me plenty of pieces of humble pie, uh, and, and got me to realize that, um, I could con I had a major role as did my ex on, on how this was going to play out and that if we decided to be selfish and we decided to blame and complain and make excuses that this could be very tenuous and could have a very negative effect on our children, or we could take the high road. And, um, so I’m, I’m a huge fan of therapy. I still see a therapist regularly now, um, because I, I believe it, it helps me. Um,

Sevan Matossian (12:17):

Oh dude, don’t you?

Alan Stein (12:19):


Sevan Matossian (12:20):

I would struggle to see a therapist cuz I would just be thinking about the money.

Alan Stein (12:25):

I, I consider it the best investment I make and that’s how that’s literally how I look at it. I mean, it’s

Sevan Matossian (12:29):

I, the

Alan Stein (12:31):

World, I look at the world to the lens of coaching. So it, it’s funny because even though this person is a trained psychotherapist, I just kind of consider her my life coach because she’s coaching me on this game of life. And I have a speaking coach, I have a writing coach, you know, my financial advisor. I call him my money coach. So I look at everything through the lens of coaching and I’ve always been a big believer in coaching. Um, and I, I I’m okay with making the investment in these areas to these experts that can help me level up, um, my own game.

Sevan Matossian (13:02):

Uh, Sean, uh, does this guy even lift bro? Come on, look at, look at that physique look at, are you kidding me? Yes. Yes. Oh

Alan Stein (13:10):

No, come on. That’s get outta here,

Sevan Matossian (13:13):

Sean. Hey, I, I worked with, with the CrossFit community for 15 years and I hate it when I fucking go somewhere. Someone’s like, do you CrossFit? I’m like what the

Alan Stein (13:20):


Sevan Matossian (13:22):


Alan Stein (13:23):

What, oh, that’s too funny. I

Sevan Matossian (13:24):

Love it. How dare you? How dare you. Yeah. Um, there, are there are, would, would you call sustain your game? Uh, uh, self-help book.

Alan Stein (13:34):

I think it can be categorized as that. Um, it, it’s interesting because

Sevan Matossian (13:39):

I, what are the other categories before you, before you go down that road? Well,

Alan Stein (13:42):

It’s often listed in like leadership and business because

Sevan Matossian (13:45):

Okay. Yes. It

Alan Stein (13:46):

All needs to deal with, with stress, stagnation and burnout is incredibly helpful in leadership and business, but I always believe that everything starts at that self-help level. You know, that the first thing you can do to improve your team is improve yourself. You know, the, the first thing you can do to be a more influential and impactful leader is to work on this traits that you’d like to model for those that you lead. So yes, I think it’s, it’s a self-help book, but it’s one that, that leaders in every organization should embrace because it will help them be more impactful and influential.

Sevan Matossian (14:16):

There is a line in there that you say that, um, I say a lot and I don’t hear anyone else say, uh, at least I, I mean, fuck, I must have been some book I read in my twenties on Buddhism, but I, I see it everywhere I go. And I can’t tell people how true it is that we’re all mirrors here. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think people see it on some superficial level and they don’t realize really what’s going on. For instance, if I’m talking to you and I take a sip of coffee, I’m not, I’m telling you it, it’s contagious. I’m telling you Alan, pick up your cup of coffee and drink. Yeah. When I, when I tell you, when I light up a cigarette, I’m screaming to the whole world, it’s okay to smoke smoke. When I put on my COVID 19 mask, I’m screaming to the world, be terrified.

Sevan Matossian (15:05):

There’s something here to get you. And the lack of awareness of that mirroring that’s going on. That actually there is no, I take it to an extreme, there is no Tian. There is no alanine. These are signifiers that we spend our from the second we’re born trying to maintain and hold together. It’s like owning an RV or a boat it’s just in constant fucking flux. It’s, it’s almost ridiculous that we try to hold our identities together till we die. Um, that mirror idea, when you brought that up, I was like, I mean, you can unpack that into your next book.

Alan Stein (15:40):

Absolutely. Well, I’m so glad you went in that direction and you’re, you’re so right. I mean, you you’re going really, really deep there, but I mean, we are, we’re always broadcasting and we’re always communicating. Um, people make the mistake of thinking that, that our communication is simply spoken word. That’s obviously a portion of it. Um, and then yes, we have our nonverbals where our facial expressions, our body language, our posture, our, you know, physicality and, and, and volume, all of these things that, that we can manipulate to communicate a different message, but we are always broadcasting something out in the world and, and you just hit it right on the head. Um, the key is to be aware of what it is that we’re broadcasting, uh, awareness is always the first step to improvement because you’ll never fix something you’re oblivious to, and you’ll never improve something you’re unaware of. So we have to be aware of the messages that we’re putting out in the world, and

Sevan Matossian (16:29):

You’ll never fix something you’re unaware of.

Alan Stein (16:33):

Yeah. And you’ll never improve something you’re oblivious to. So awareness is always the key. So we have to know in those examples that you just gave, this is the message that I’m broadcasting out in the world, and then you just have to own that and be okay with that. And it, it’s not for me to judge what other people’s messages are, that’s for them to put out in the world, but I just wanna make sure that, that I’m aware of, and, and I’m doing the best I can to control the messages that I’m putting out, cuz we don’t wanna send those mixed signals, you know, um, you know, going back to parenting, you know, I don’t, I don’t really lecture my children. What I do is I model the behavior that I believe would be in their best interest to emulate. You know, I, I don’t give my kids a PowerPoint presentation on the importance of being respectful. I simply navigate the world being as respectful to as many people consistently as I possibly can. And, and along those lines, I, you know, I’m fallible, I’m flawed. I’m a human being. I, I’m not batting a thousand and I’ll never be perfect. So

Sevan Matossian (17:26):

When I, you do lecture them, sometimes I knew it.

Alan Stein (17:28):

But when I do make a mistake, when I do make a mistake, I lean into that and I let my kids know I messed up here. I should have done this differently. I could have said this differently, but I own it. I’m not blaming complaining, making excuses or deflecting. Um, this is an opportunity for me to grow. It’s a repetition for me to learn from this and to move forward. So none of this is about perfection. To me, it’s all about incremental progress. And can, can, you know, can we stop worrying about where we are in the moment and focus more on the direction at which we’re headed? So, as I said before, I’m not coming from a place of mastery with anything that I share on page or on stage, but I’m slowly getting better in each of these areas more consistently. And for that, I’m, I’m very, very grateful.

Sevan Matossian (18:11):

That is the hard part. Um, uh, I, I had someone on recently, so I, I, I have a, I have a strong stance on, uh, added sugar, very strong stance on added sugar. I, I think that added sugar is at the core, the, the, the added sugar and, uh, um, both parents not being involved in kids’ lives, I think is the strongest correlate for everything going to prison, getting cancer, being overweight, not knowing how to read, um, anything, all, all of it type two diabetes. Alzheimer’s those are the correlates. There, there there’s no skin color. There’s no, that shit’s all bullshit. Like anyway, uh, and yet I would feed my kids sugar, but I wouldn’t show the world. So, so yesterday I took my kids to I’m in Newport beach and there’s a playground. And my kids said, Hey, how many times do I have to circle this playground to get some ice cream? And I said, uh, um, five times, and it was like, it’s like a mile and a fucking half. And they all did it. <laugh> and I’m like, wow. And, uh, and so I bought them my, but I would never show that on my Instagram. A matter of fact, I might take the time and some people would say this would be a hypocrite to make a post about why you shouldn’t do that. And yet some of my friends will call me out and be like, Hey, you’re being fake.

Alan Stein (19:27):


Sevan Matossian (19:28):

And it’s an interesting, it’s, it’s an interesting place to be, to try to juggle. But, but now you are writing a book on basically there’s tools in here into how to become enlightened. And what do I mean enlightened to, to live a fulfilled and powerful life where energy just passes through you in abundance. Um, and yet people wanna project onto you that you, uh, Alan Stein must also, you, you must know this. If you’re writing about it, do you ever get yourself caught? Like you’re trying to be this person, maybe you’re not like you’re skipping ahead and faking being enlightened before maybe you went through the steps because you wrote the book. Like you feel this pressure.

Alan Stein (20:06):

I do feel a pressure. I feel an immense pressure to live my life in alignment with what I share in my books and what I share in my keynotes and right, because I don’t think what you just did is hypocritical. And we can unpack that. I do think if I was saying something on stage, and then two hours later, someone saw me behaving in a way that was the exact opposite of that. That would be hypocritical, hypocritical. That would be me saying, this is the way that you all need to behave, but I’m gonna behave differently. So I, I think those are actually two different scenarios. So that’s one of the reasons I love the work that I get a chance to do is it holds me to the highest level of accountability, um, because one of my biggest fears in life, and this is, is more from a 30,000 foot view.

Alan Stein (20:49):

I don’t mean fear. Like it keeps me up at night. Uh, but along the lines of someone will see me behaving in a way that is not congruent with what they read in my book, or someone will see me behaving in a way that is not in alignment with what I just shared during a keynote. So I use these things to hold myself to a very high level of accountability, but every opportunity I get, whether it’s in an awesome conversation like this, or it’s on stage or on page, I let people know I’m not claiming to be an expert. I’m not claiming to be a guru. I have not mastered this stuff, but I’m on the path. And I figured some things out, you know, over the course of my life that are, are working, they’re moving me in the right direction. They’re moving me closer towards fulfillment and self actualization.

Alan Stein (21:31):

So all I’m doing is sharing those things. I’m not here to tell anyone how to live their lives. I’m simply sharing and providing a mirror for the things that I’m doing that have been, that have been working. And, and to me, that’s, that’s all I can do. I mean, I plan on being on this journey for the rest of my life. I don’t think I’m ever gonna reach that, that summit. You know, I actually love the fact that I will be a work in progress and under construction for the rest of my life, because I’m really enjoying the pursuit. I’m enjoying the process. I’m not too concerned with the yeah, me too. And, and I’m gonna make plenty of mistakes. Um, but can I learn from them? Uh, can I make amends when appropriate and then can I move to the next place? So I also don’t wanna keep living in the past. Um, I wanna make sure that I’m, I’m constantly going in the direction that I’m, I’m aiming for.

Sevan Matossian (22:17):

Wh where were you born?

Alan Stein (22:19):

Uh, here, uh, right outside of, uh, Washington DC in a suburb of Maryland, which is where I currently reside.

Sevan Matossian (22:25):

And your parents were school teachers.

Alan Stein (22:26):

They were, yeah, my mom was a first grade teacher for 30 years. My father started as a teacher and then became an administrator and a middle school principal. But, but they both did that for 30 years. Uh, they retired 20 years ago and moved down to Myrtle beach, South Carolina.

Sevan Matossian (22:40):

Interesting. Um, and how, how old, how old are you?

Alan Stein (22:43):

Uh, I’m 46. I’ll be 47 in January.

Sevan Matossian (22:46):

And, and, um, uh, how are your, um, how are your parents processing, uh, the, um, state of the world now, especially being school teachers? Are they, do they, are they tripping or are they just like, yeah, fuck. I, we went through Vietnam. Like, this is just the, world’s a chaotic place.

Alan Stein (23:03):

Yeah. I mean, they, they can certainly recognize, I mean, my parents are both in their mid seventies and they can recognize just the unbelievable CATA cosm of change that we’ve experienced over the last, you know, couple of years in particular, but, you know, over the last few decades and how much the world has changed. I mean, they’ve, they’ve been retired for 20 years. So, you know, when they were in the throes of being teachers, that there wasn’t the internet, there wasn’t social media, there’s so many things that have changed with young people. Um, you know, and, and so they have, and as do I, a tremendous amount of empathy and compassion for teachers, you know, they, they understood that when certain areas in our area, our area here in DC was incredibly strict and rigid during the pandemic. I mean, mean my kids did virtual schooling for a year and a half, almost two years.

Alan Stein (23:49):

I’m sorry. Yeah, we, but we had empathy and compassion for the teachers. We understood that wasn’t their decision. That was what someone was telling them they had to do. And, you know, it’s hard enough to keep the attention of 30 young people when you’re in person in a classroom. Imagine trying to do that via technology and screens and virtual. I mean, it was, it was really hard. So it, you know, the pandemic when, when they decided to, to do things virtually, it was really hard for the teachers. It was really hard for the kids themselves. You know, it was really hard for the parents, especially working parents who now have young kids that have to stay home to do school. I mean, the whole thing was, was a mess. And, you know, when you can step aside and view it that way, hopefully it levels up your empathy and compassion that everybody’s kind of struggling with this, that this is no one’s preference. And, uh, I, I think that was kind of their, their view on it.

Sevan Matossian (24:43):

Someone, someone said this to me, uh, recently, I, I wish I could remember who, but was a guest I had on the show that we have to remember each person’s on their own journey. And even if they’re like way, way off from, from our perspective, and they’re just like plowing in the wrong direction, uh, even if it’s to self hurt, um, it’s, it’s their, it’s their journey it’s oh, you know who it was, it was Sean Zimmer. Do you know who that is?

Alan Stein (25:06):

I don’t, no,

Sevan Matossian (25:07):

He’s a freedom fighter out of, uh, Canada. Okay. He’s, he’s basically one of these guys in Canada. Who’s like, Hey, I’m not gonna wear the mask. I’m gonna, I’m going hold the workouts in my backyard. Fuck you. Yep. And he, and, and when he started, when the pandemic started, he was like the, the hyper masculine man, um, like let’s, let’s fight, fight the government. And he’s in this time he’s transformed to a, um, he has a different approach. Now he has a more, uh, you know, a Dolly Lama, uh, approach. His is more, you know what I mean? Like, or, or a Dallas approach sit in the center and let those who are on their own path, you know, do, as they do, you it’s kind like what you’re saying, set, be the example you wanna be. And don’t Le stop lecturing people.

Alan Stein (25:52):

Yeah. Well, and you know, to that point, I’m so glad you brought that up. I, I look forward to learning more about him and, and, and his approach and, and some of the, the changes he’s made,

Sevan Matossian (25:59):

But it was it’s so polar right before was all beat the fuck outta you. Now it’s like, brother, be blessed on your journey, you know?

Alan Stein (26:04):

Yeah. Well, well, similar to that, mine, you know, I, I used to very easily fall to the temptation of making judgements about others, even though I had very limited information and then making assumptions about others, uh, based on those judgements and what I’ve

Sevan Matossian (26:20):

Tried to, like how I feel about LeBron, we’ll get to,

Alan Stein (26:22):

<laugh> like how I, what I’ve tried to rewire myself to do now. And, and some people think this is naive, but it’s actually been a construct that I’ve found very helpful. I make the assumption that every single human being walking the planet is doing the best they can with their level of awareness and the tools that they have. And when I see someone doing something that, that maybe I consider foolish or, or ridiculous they’re doing it because they just, they don’t have the awareness and they don’t have the tools, they’re still doing the best they can. And that’s all that I’m trying to do in this life. I don’t have all of the answers either. I’m trying to do the best I can with what I have, where I am, and that’s what everybody else is doing. And it’s not my place, uh, uh, to judge or make assumptions or criticize other people on their path.

Alan Stein (27:04):

As I just said, in the spirit of vulnerability, you know, I was very different 10 years ago at 36, 20 years ago at 26. Mm. Certainly different at 16. So even me now can look back on my previous self and could easily make S about some of the, the, you know, poor decisions I made or, or foolish ways I was looking at life. Um, but at that time I was doing the best I could. And that’s all I’m doing now. And if, if I come back five or 10 years later and join you again on this podcast, and we have another conversation, I’m hoping I will have evolved even further then. And I’ll be able to look at some of the things that I’m doing presently, um, as kind of Oura, and that I’ve leveled up from there. So I, I, I wanna make sure that I’m giving people the benefit of the doubt that they’re doing the best that they can.

Alan Stein (27:47):

And, and, and I also recognize that I see the world through a very tainted, you know, and biased lens based on where I grew up based on, you know, I mean, just think of you and I are, are approximately the same age, but, but just think how different we are, that if we grew up on different coasts, and you said you were raised by amicably divorced parents, I was raised by two married parents. Um, we, we probably have a variety of different beliefs that were taught to us when we were young. We have different friends, you and I may consume different content on social media. There’s a lot of things. Imagine

Sevan Matossian (28:19):

People born Armenian was my first language. I didn’t even speak English so that my whole reality was different.

Alan Stein (28:24):

So we have a massive cultural difference. So with all of that being said, why would I be surprised if you and I view a specific issue differently? In fact, it’d be more surprising if you and I were in perfect alignment with everything that we thought, considering that we came from very different vantage points. So what I try to do now, instead of judging or criticizing, what other people think or do I try to lean in with fascination and curiosity and say, man, I wanna learn more about why you believe what you believe. I wanna learn, why that’s, how you feel. Things should be done and, and do it without a lens of judgment and just do it to learn. So, uh, I found that in this very divisive world that we live in, if you give people the benefit of the doubt and believe they’re doing their best, even if their best, isn’t very good, it’s still their best.

Alan Stein (29:09):

And you get curious and fascinated by why people do the things that they do. So instead of being judgemental or critical, get curious and, and fascinated, um, it, it’s a great connective tissue. And then if you add that with a level of vulnerability that says, you know, um, if I grew up the exact way that you grew up in the Armenian culture, I grew up on the west coast. I had to learn a new language. My parents were divorced. If I had gone through everything that you’ve gone through, I would probably see the world exactly the way that you see it right now. Yeah. It it’s very arrogant or self, self righteous to think, well, everyone should view the world the way I do given they have different information. So to me, learning to let go of those things over these last few years in particular, ha has been really helpful in my ability to hopefully make better connections with people

Sevan Matossian (29:57):

There, there I’ve read that in some book too, you know, it.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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