CC 046: Practicing Presence and Permission with Austin Current

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Cured Collective CBD Podcast with Austin Current
 
Presence and permission. Two words that, when practiced, can bring incredible breakthroughs to our lives. It is our intention that this episode gives you permission to think and act in alignment with your truest self. To help you bring your thoughts to the present moment and realize that this is all we are truly given. Host Joe and repeat guest Austin Current discuss how whether you are building a business, building relationships or anything in between you can do so from a more empowered position through this mantra of presence and permission.
 

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Austin: [00:03] So Joe, welcome to Life Beyond Fitness.

Joe: [00:07] Thanks, brother.

Austin: [00:08] Absolutely. So, I was on your podcast, The Cured – is it still called The Cured Collective?

Joe: [00:13] That is, yes, the Cured podcast, yes.

Austin: [00:15] The Cured podcast. Ok. So, I was on that, and we had a great conversation. If you guys want to have – that’s more of my story. I know I don’t talk about my story too much on this one. If you guys want to hear my story, go listen to that one on the Cured podcast. But today’s all about Joe, and someone who is very intriguing; someone who’s become a very good friend of mine over the last couple years, really – year and a half or so?

Joe: [00:47] It’s been quick, man. It’s been a year.

Austin: [00:49] Yeah.

Joe: [00:50] It’s been a year. Because Lo and I started dating in July of last year, but it was either August/September where we ran into each other in Boulder, and I was fucking preoccupied on the phone on a phone call, and I’m like, “Dude, nice to meet you but I’m so sorry I’m on this phone call.”

Austin: [01:09] Yeah! I remember because I saw Lo, because I was like – yeah, because we were in Boulder. I think we went – I had to get my haircut or… working at a coffee shop or something with my wife, and I thought I saw Lo, because I’d never met Lo in person; I had followed her, you know, we followed each other for a few years up to that point. I think she had just gotten her hair kind of chopped off, and I was just like I think that’s Lo, which would mean that’s Joe. And so, I was just like – because, obviously, I knew what you looked like – but I was trying to connect the dots. Then, we ran into you guys, and yeah, you were on the phone. It’s just kind of like “Sorry to bother you!” Because I’m super nonconfrontational and I don’t want to bother someone at all. Like, I just don’t want to bother you. That goes with anyone. We sat next to you. So, Mumford & Sons is our favorite band, which we actually together went to go see a Mumford concert in Ireland, which was so dope. But we were sitting next to their bassist – is that how you would say that – on the train in London. Like, I could’ve reached out and touched his hand, that’s how close we were to Teddy. I was just like, say hi, say hi, and I’m like, nah, nah, nah, nah, I don’t want to bother him. It was just like, no, no, no, I don’t want to bother him.

Joe: [02:42] I’m in his presence, and that’s enough.

Austin: [02:43] I was like, dude, I’m just appreciating this moment. Like, I can hear him talking because he’s having a conversation with, I would assume, an agent or something, on the way back from somewhere; because, obviously, he was taking the train from the airport into London city. It was just like I don’t want to bother the dude. So yeah, that was kind of the situation, was I don’t want to bother this dude. He seems super busy, I know he owns his company, and that company is Cured. For the listeners who aren’t familiar with Cured, kind of debrief us a little bit.

Joe: [03:16] Yeah, man. Cured is… always evolving. That’s the first thing that I’ll say. As anybody in the walls and that has supported Cured has noticed is it’s continually evolving. And that’s because we are continually learning what Cured is and what Cured is to us, and how Cured, as a company, shows up in other peoples’ lives to enhance and elevate their life. And that really started in the cannabinoid sector, specifically CBD, which is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Great anti-inflammatory, great for calming purposes, and a plethora of other health benefits. Something that I started using years ago and saw, wow, there’s something here, and nobody’s talking about it, and probably because there’s this massive stigma – one, maybe people don’t know what CBD is compared to THC. Then two, if they do, there’s this stigma around it coming from the cannabis plant and this Cheech & Chong stoner mentality that-

Austin: [04:23] Cha’, man.

Joe: [04:24] Yeah, man. It is true in some cases but is very wrong in a lot of other cases. So, I’ve started talking to people in the health and fitness industry about what is your cannabis use and what cannabinoids, what things do you use that are stigmatized and you don’t talk about. One after another, people were like I do that but I don’t talk about it, I do that but I don’t talk about it, and I’m like, well, ok, but why? So, Cured was born out of the desire to help shift the stigma around cannabis, and it’s continually evolving. What we super excited about right now is mushrooms, and potential mushrooms, and the combination of those with cannabinoids, and our –

Austin: [05:06] Your Rise and Zen products are really good. The profiles are really good.

Joe: [05:09] Those are like, that’s where we hold a lot of our IP. Those are the things that we’re trademarking. Those are the things that nobody else has. It’s been an evolution to get there, but it’s all been born out of the desire to take my life – this is a selfish piece of it – but take my life and live it to its ultimate potential. If I can focus, if I can calm myself down, and if I can sleep, then I can show up as the best human being that I am and I deserve to be. Now, what’s also important outside of that is what we do is we sell supplements. And they are exactly that, they are supplemental to a life, and they are supplemental to a life, a way of living, and that’s the big message that we put out there as Cured. If you don’t have your shit in check, if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not meditating, if you’re not – this looks different for everybody – but if you’re not taking care of yourself in the way that you know you need to take care of yourself, through movement, through introspection, through all of those things, then taking these supplements is not going to Cure you. Let’s wake up to what we actually need to do and let’s live the lifestyle of Cured through the understanding that it’s a whole plethora of things that we need to do to be our best self. And once we get to that place in taking care of ourselves, we’re always going to need to supplement in some way. We’re all humans, right? Sometimes it’s hard to focus. We all have anxious times, like you’re human, right? And we all have inflammation. There’s good and bad inflammation, of course, but there are things that need to be understood there. The products that we sell are to supplement and help with those aspects of your life, and of course, sleep and recover. So, becoming your best self through products that are rooted in nature and really misunderstood. It’s been super evolutional. We started off with some cooking spices, and now we sell a whole array of food products and supplements, and functional mushroom cannabinoid profile things. It’s just been a passion project that has continued to evolve with the desire to become my best and truest self. I think that everybody that works within the walls and works with Cured sees the same thing, that’s what Cured is trying to do. It’s a project, man, and it’s a beautiful movement through what life is for me and the people that are closest to me, and it’s never ending.

Austin: [07:50] Ever evolving. I think, I mean, even I’ve seen it evolve in the last year plus that I’ve known you and gotten closer. As we sit at Cured right now and record this podcast, like, I was here yesterday with my wife. She works for you guys, or consults for you guys, contract work I guess we’ll call it? I don’t fucking know.

Joe: [08:16] She helps us.

Austin: [08:17] She helps you guys.

Joe: [08:18] She helps us do things.

Austin: [08:19] Anyway, she helps you guys.

Joe: [08:20] She’s our creative mind.

Austin: [08:22] Creative mind, there you go. But yeah, seeing thing evolve has been really cool. So, that’s Cured. I had not – I’ve heard you kind of dive into that before, but I like the way you approached that. That was good. One thing you mentioned was introspection during the process. Introspection is something that I’ve talked about on previous episodes of this podcast, and then myself on other podcasts, and introspection playing such a large role in my life over the last couple of years, trying to really figure some shit out. So, I’ve spoken on introspection a little bit as playing this pivotal role, but what has introspection, I guess, been for you, and what does that look like for you, and what light can you shine on that process?

Joe: [09:22] Man, so I’m reading a book right now called Awareness by Anthony de Mello. It’s really good. I’m only about 40 pages into it, but the beginning pieces of the book talk about how most people walk through their lives asleep, and they’re not aware to it. They’re not conscious of walking through lives asleep, reacting in a certain way, being triggered and falling back into the same exact patterns, whether it be people pleasing, whether it be getting really agitated because you are people pleasing but you’re not listening to yourself, whether it be literally just not having conversations and communicating in a way that you need to for yourself and for your partner, for business partners, whatever it may be. The big thing for me is I have been doing WORK, like deep work on myself for years now. Seven years ago, I found myself on the other side of a guard rail coming out of a blackout, ready to jump off the rail and kill myself. That night after getting pulled back over the guard rail, took more Xanax than I even knew somebody could take and still live, and waking up the next day and being in the hospital and telling my parents all the substances that I had been taking. The way I’d been living my life it was like, whoa, dude, you are doing something wrong and you are asleep. So, that happened, and I had for years prior to that been going to therapy. I always struggled with anxiety. I’ve always had a voice in my head and I didn’t know where it was coming from, so it’s been an exploration of what is that and who am I, and why am I living – I was living so far out of integrity at that point – and I woke up to it. Then, that was when I got involved in the fitness industry. But the big thing is like, I search for answers externally, which a lot of people do, whether it be through competing, whether it be through having a physique that is a beautiful façade that people want to double tap on on social media and I’m going to get filled up with hits of dopamine and get that external validation. Great, ok cool, so I can walk through life and I’m confident and like, that’s who I am. So, I did that, and then I worked really hard to get an aerospace engineering degree, and worked for NASA for a while, and was like, ok, that’s really cool, and I tell people about that and they’re like that’s so cool. Still not filled up. Still not filled up through bodybuilding. Getting into being an entrepreneur, finally quitting my job, and finding success quickly with Cured, but still feeling something’s off. Still feeling pieces of me… feeling that there’s – feeling that I’m not stepping, I’m not fully into who I think Joe is – and the answer is, I hadn’t gone fully inside and talked to myself and understood who I was to its fullest. It’s something that I’m working on very heavily right now, actually, in therapy. I’ve been through years of therapy, and it – I used to be super embarrassed to say that – but that more than anything is so fucking powerful for me because it allows me to show up in my relationship, in business, life and everything, and understanding of who I am and the way I react, and the way that I get agitated, the way that I shut down, the way that I don’t communicate. All of that’s to say is I’ve got to the point where I realized it’s not the external. You can put – you can stack the fucking dollars, you can have the house, you can have the car – like, I’m sitting in a place where years ago, when I was sitting in a cubicle designing parts for a spacecraft, was like oh fuck, why do I hate this so much? Now, I’m to the place where I have a beautiful fiancée, I have a business that’s flourishing, I have everything that I “thought” I ever wanted. But still, something feels off, and it’s because, I don’t… I don’t love Joseph the way that he deserves to be loved. And it has nothing to do with anybody outside of me besides myself and the way that I show up for myself, and that’s what I’ve started to realize is, you can look, look, look, look, look and never, you’re never going to find that answer. What you have to do is you have to look in the mirror and you have to go in. You have to have that introspection, and you have to start recognizing your patterns. Thankfully, I have some people in my life that when I have fallen into a depression, when I have been reactive, when I have done things, they’ve called me on my shit. I think a lot of people have experienced that, have been called on their shit, but do they hear it? Do they wake up to it, or are they conscious to it?

Austin: [14:47] I think often there’s an ego in the way of hearing. So, I think there’s an ego in the way of listening. I don’t think the ego gets in the way of hearing. Obviously hearing and listening are two different things.

Joe: [15:01] Yeah.

Austin: [15:02] We’re chronically distracted. We hear a lot of things, but we listen to very few things. Imagine like – and this starts to really make sense as I’m thinking about it right now – is imagine how many things are sent to you throughout the day… really from really important people in your life, most likely, that you are just hearing. You aren’t listening to that. So, imagine how little you listen to others, so you can imagine how little you listen to yourself. How little are you listening to that internal chatter? I ask you now, like – so I’m not a huge fan of affirmations or speaking to yourself in the mirror, or like, shouting aloud, “I am great!” But I do believe in internal chatter. I do believe in the internal voice and how it’s speaking to you. Whether it’s your conscious or subconscious speaking to each other, it’s – if you’ve read Mark Manson’s latest book – it’s the feeling brain and the thinking brain. It’s the person driving the car and the passenger within that car, and it’s the internal communication between the two, and you gotta be listening. You gotta have feedback, and you gotta be skeptical of things, and you have to start listening to both sides. I saw this Abraham Lincoln, the famous Abraham Lincoln quote of a house divided cannot stand, and it’s like well shit, man, isn’t that the truth in many facets, but especially when looking at your internal communication. If you have a house that is divided, if your internal self is so divided, how can you expect it to stand-

Joe: [17:07] Right. 100%.

Austin: [17:08] And be… sturdy, have a good foundation to it, and for you to be strong within that. So, I guess, what is your take, what is your look on that internal chatter that you experience. Is that something you’re constantly working on? Is that something that you’ve seen affect you greatly? Because I know, it affects me greatly.

Joe: [17:32] Oh yeah. Dude, it affects me massively, and it’s driven a lot of… it’s driven the way I make a lot of decisions my entire life. The big thing I’ve woken up to is that I am not those thoughts. Those thoughts are not me. I’m actually the observer of those thoughts. I’m observing myself thinking that way. I’m observing myself thinking that, well, somebody just reached out to me, they’re asking me if I can do this or that, and I’m instantly going and pleasing. If I step back, and even last night, I texted you; I was like, dude, I can’t make it until 8:30. Myself of a year ago would’ve rushed to do things this morning to get there at 8 and not actually just protect myself. It was a half hour difference, you were receptive to it, but that can compile so, so much if you’re not actually conscious and observing the way that your internal dialogue is working. For me, what I have realized is that that is how I have lived my entire life. I have lived out of a place of ok, if I show up for this person or I please in this way, then I am enough and I am loved, and I feel like I’m ok. And I’ve done that since a very, very young age and I’m starting to realize that, but the only way that I’ve realized that is through getting still and meditating and see how I have the same thought pattern over and over and over again. And as somebody that’s an achiever, a 3 on the enneagram – ok, when I first started meditating, I’d be like I just am laying out every single thing that I need to be doing today.

Austin: [19:23] It’s more of like a silence of an itinerary.

Joe: [19:26] Yeah, and like, I’m not fucking present. I’m there answering emails when I’m trying to meditate. So, for me, it was: one, reading the book The Untethered Soul and understanding that I am the observer of those thoughts, and we have – I don’t know what the fucking number of thoughts is we have per day.

Austin: [19:42] I have heard it’s 60-80 thousand or something.

Joe: [19:44] Yeah, something crazy like that, and how attached we can get to some of those, and how we can actually make up an entire story in our head that is so false.

Austin: [19:54] We’ve both done that too.

Joe: [19:55] Dude, yes. 100%. Because if you don’t have, well, one, if you’re not having communication with the person, whatever it may be, or something is triggering to you when you start to say, “Well, this happened, she’s going to leave me.”

Austin: [20:10] It’s over. Like, it’s gone.

Joe: [20:11] “I’m going to get abandoned.” I’ve had times – and this is something that Lo and I practice – is if we have something like that going on, we’ll sit there and say this is the story that I’m telling myself, and she’ll sit there or I’ll sit there and like, whoa, that story that you’re telling yourself is so far off from reality, but we can get so attached to that. Being able to step back and stop and say, ok, I’m observing that – well, Joe’s doing that because he thinks that he needs to show up for that person because if he doesn’t, then they’re no longer going to be his friend and they’re not going to love him, and well, how could he do that, so he needs to go do whatever those other people are asking from him, and then just continually abandon yourself. I’ve done that for a very, very long time. That can become very dangerous. Without being conscious to that, you can lose yourself, and you can just mold to every single person around you. You can be a little piece of every single person in your life, which depending on how you do that can be done very correctly if you’re surrounding yourself with the right people, but abandoning yourself to be enough for other people-

Austin: [21:27] To appease the situation. You’re showing up for the situation, not for the people you’re with or yourself. Like, just showing up to be who you need to be in that moment, and you do that how many times per day over how many weeks at a time, how many years, and it’s like no wonder you’re losing yourself. You don’t recognize who you see in the mirror any longer because there isn’t necessarily a strong foundation of a person in there that you can recognize. I kind of compare – this is a little off topic – but I kind of compare it to almost a parental relationship, in a way where… your parents knew you during your very, obviously, your early life through teenage years, most likely, and then you most likely, the standard go off to college or you move away, get a job, whatever you do. Then, you visit home periodically and you’re going through all these formative years, especially like me being about to turn 26. So, moving away from home at 18-19 and now going on 26, like how many – the formative years that have happened there that I’ve been distant, separated from my parents – now, I’m not saying we don’t have great conversations, but they’re very sparing, they’re very limited. And I don’t expect anything else from that because I think it’s unfair to expect anything more from your parents, or from my parents, to know – because I don’t inform them of every little realization I have, every little self-growth thing that I have, all this rollercoaster that has become life of emotion and self-reflection, introspection, and realization. They don’t know all those things. They don’t know all the experiences that I’ve grown through over the last 8 years. So, who am I to expect them to know, and to expect to have a conversation like you and I would have that’s deeply vulnerable? But we know a lot of details that are kind of needed for that conversation, so your parents don’t really know that. What I’m trying to get at here is this is almost what’s happening with yourself. If you keep showing up for a situation, and not for yourself or not for those people who you’re with, in a way that you can show up for them, you’re basically becoming that communication with your parents over time. You’re losing how to actually have a fucking conversation with yourself, and you’re losing who you are as a person.

Joe: [24:18] That’s what I was going to say. You are losing, you don’t know who you are. You don’t know who you are, and let’s be real, none of us come to this world knowing who we are. That’s what we’re trying to discover. But you have to wake up and you have to be aware. There is – it’s really interesting – so, Mike Bledsoe, I’m not sure if you know who he is, but used to host the Barbell Shrugged podcast.

Austin: [24:43] Yeah, absolutely.

Joe: [24:44] He had this post not too long ago where he said there’s a difference between being aware and growing the fuck up. And that’s the truth. I could sit here, and I have a very good memory, I could regurgitate every book that I’ve read. That’s great, and I could fool a lot of people doing that.

Austin: [25:09] That’s like listening to, that’s what – sorry to interrupt – but that is the problem that I see with getting too deep into self-help, getting too deep into… like the Eric Thomases of the world, Grant Cardones, even to a level of like Gary Vee, you’re just hearing shit. You’re just hearing it and you’re kind of implementing it in a way where you start to see a cause and effect, and if you’re not having… so, this self-help without introspection is little to nothing of worth because you – and you know these people when you meet them – so, they listened to the last 200 episodes of Impact Theory, and so they’re all jacked up on, you know, Tom, which who isn’t? That’s great, and Tom’s a guy that – I do like Tom, he hosts a great podcast and all of that – but he’s someone that, again, recites these lines of motivation and these quotes, these soundbites, almost from a biblical sense without being religious, and it’s like – or from a biblical sense – does that make sense?

Joe: [26:35] 100%.

Austin: [26:36] It’s like reciting scripture or biblical verses of motivation, and it’s like but you… let’s, instead of having 30 of those soundbites you live your life by, let’s choose 2 that you go deep on. Like, find 2 that mean something to you. Because I’m someone that loves quotes. I got a huge start on changing my life through these self-help e-books, or what would now be podcasts, or whatever, and that fired me up to the point where I started to see the cause and effect and that change in consistent action over time. Like, how does this index? If I do this, what happens? I saw that domino effect start to happen with the cause and effect, and those self-help things came into my life at a very formative age of like 18, 19, 20 years old. But, I don’t attribute, necessarily, that – I attribute that to kind of being the nudge or the punch in the face of like wake the fuck up – but the guidance in the right direction. A punch in the face sends you nowhere. You need someone to guide you from that point. It may wake you to fuck up, but if you have no guidance, you’re not going anywhere. So, you’re there getting punched in the fucking face repeatedly.

Joe: [28:08] Dude, and that’s honestly one of the biggest things that I appreciate about you and our relationship, and several other men that I have in life. Fucking just being vulnerable and calling each other out, and not in the most direct way sometimes, but like asking a question that’s, hmm, ok, I need to think about that. I don’t think that there’s a lot of men specifically that have people in their life to be able to do that, and if they do, do they actually listen? Because the thing is is that how society has built up the man is that you can’t be weak, you’ve got to be a man, you gotta grow some balls, you can’t cry, you can’t have emotion, you can’t express your emotion, you can’t – all these things that have built up the fact that, ok, so what you don’t have any divine or feminine piece to you. You can’t cry. You have to stoic all the time. You have to always be to protector. Well, how fucked is that? We want to talk about how we need to be a whole person. Well, you have a masculine side to you and you have a feminine side to you, and if you’re not feeling both sides of that, whether you’re male or a female, you’ve never going to be a whole person. And if you don’t have the people in your life that are going to sit there and be like, ok, great, but what about this and ask you the difficult questions, and you’re going to listen to them – I think that the world is waking up and I think that males are actually getting what they need more and more now, but I think we have a long way to go, man.

Austin: [29:44] I agree. And I just want to end that, this segment, because I want to transition a bit, but in this segment with… one thing that I’m really glad I did early on was not surround myself with yes people. This, again, I can attribute this to that self-help phase I was in 18, 19. 20 years old, when I was hearing these guys who have experienced all these different things and are spewing this motivational stuff, but that was something I definitely got of value from that phase, was don’t surround yourself with yes people. If you have people in your life that are just saying yes to everything you fucking say, run. Run. They don’t need to be near you. Because that… I have now realized through introspection and observation, that is the definitive tell of a transactional relationship. I am going to tell you yes because I want something. Whether it’s now, later, whenever I need it, I’m going to be that yes person until I need to have that ask. That transaction of, oh hey, by the way, since I’ve been so supportive, now I need this. That could surface in many different forms, but as a whole, I’ve observed, at least in my life, those yes people are the people that come out to be that transactional, surface-level relationship over time. If you want to know who to surround yourself with, it’s not the people who just say yes, it’s the people asking questions based off shit you’re saying, you know, like our conversations go. We try to meet for coffee once a week and it’s mainly us asking each other fucking questions the whole time.

Joe: [31:51] How are you doing? Yeah.

Austin: [31:52] Yeah.

Joe: [31:53] How are you actually doing?

Austin: [31:54] How are you actually doing? And based off of, even before we hopped on this podcast, it’s like… how are you doing, but based off what you’re saying, I’m not just going – don’t go in with – we don’t go in with a series of questions of like, this is the 5 questions we always cover at coffee, and we just get in the thing. It’s like, it’s ever evolving of, ok, based of the last few times we met for coffee, this is where we’ve been at. Let’s check in, let’s progress, let’s be vulnerable, but let’s ask each other some hard questions. Like, I’m not just going to agree with you all the time, and we haven’t. But it’s in a safe space where [inaudible] and understanding.

Joe: [32:34] Yeah, and it’s in a loving way. 100%.

Austin: [32:38] In a loving way. Yeah, there’s an understanding, there’s this… yeah, I think that’s just a great word. There’s an understanding going in of like, this is where we’re at.

Joe: [32:49] And I love you. Like, this is why I’m here, for you and vice versa. Which yeah, man, it’s like I have a handful of those relationships. They’re very important to me. Then, there are a lot of other relationships that I have that have been built over the years that… I’m just waiting for the time. I’m not asking for something upfront, they’re not asking for something upfront, but-

Austin: [33:20] It’s coming though.

Joe: [33:21] Yeah.

Austin: [33:22] And that’s like, it doesn’t mean that that’s necessarily a wrong way to… see, that’s where I can’t even sugarcoat that one, because that’s – because fuck me for even trying to say that – because that’s Immanuel Kant when he said don’t use a person as a means to an end. Just use them as they’re the end. They’re not the means to an end, they are the end. So, in our relationship, for example, a healthy male relationship where we’re able to be vulnerable, we trust each other, we can talk about shit, we can get uncomfortable without feeling uncomfortable, if that makes sense. And there’s nothing I need from you, other than for you to listen to me and try and help if I need help. But that’s out of pure emotional help not like hey man, I could use this or that, from a materialistic standpoint.

Joe: [34:32] Dude, let’s be honest, before we ever really knew each other, I was like, “Hey, dude, do you want to rep Cured?” Like, that’s the truth. Then, we hung out and got to know each other, and I’m like, fuck, don’t do that, I just want to be your friend, dude.

Austin: [34:45] I told you no. I was like, fuck that, no.

Joe: [34:47] I just wanted to be your friend. Because I’ve had – well, one, I’ve seen that go very south over the last couple of years because I said, hey – that I had some people in my life that I was becoming really good friends with and I said, hey, I want to do this. Basically, how this is working out is like I am signing up and agreeing to paying you thousands and thousands of dollars a month to help rep Cured. Let’s have that understanding, let’s put that in place so we can fucking put that aside and just be friends. Because when you try and mix the two, it gets very fucking messy if there’s not expectations, and happiness equals reality minus expectations. You can have very, very high expectations, but the reality is those people aren’t showing up for the way they need – they’re not showing up for you in the way that you expect them to or need them to, so you’re not going to fucking be happy in that relationship. That, yeah man, it’s what are your expectations or your asks, and are we very clear on what that looks like. I think that that’s been one of my big learnings over the years with just relationships and networking and meeting people, it’s like, what are we looking for out of this.

Austin: [34:53] Yeah, and that’s a great transition. So, just wrapping that segment up… don’t use people – if you go into a relationship already thinking how this person can serve you, you’ve fucked it up. It’s done.

Joe: [36:09] And I’ve done that. I’ve done that, and I failed.

Austin: [36:12] Yeah yeah yeah. Like, we all have, fuck. And that’s part of being – and so, this is a part, this was a chapter in Mark Manson’s recent book that I thought was very, very insightful, and he did such a great job at articulating this – this was the same chapter that he gave, also the Immanuel Kant reference I just gave, of not using people as a means to an end. So, this was a huge part of growing up, maturing. As we develop, whether it’s through childhood, adolescence, or “adulthood”, or kind of growing towards a certain threshold of, would it maturation, maturity, I guess?

Joe: [37:03] Becoming more present.

Austin: [37:04] Becoming more present, but as a kid, obviously, you’re seeing what you can get away with. As a child, you’re seeing what you can get away with. Like, can I do this, will I get in trouble? You test your boundaries. Then, as a teenager, as an adolescent, as someone growing up and starting to mature, think high school/early college, or middle school into high school and early college, some people, as they’re full grown adults are still in this phase – this is not a chronological thing, by the way – this is a biological thing. I mean, once you turn 25, it’s not like renting a car. Once you turn 25, you don’t hit full emotional maturity. That’s something you have to earn and deserve, and you work towards. So, the child’s always trying to test boundaries – what can I get away with – and everything’s very self-serving, very selfish, which makes sense. Then, as you move through your teenage years, it’s very transactional, using people as means to an end. Like, what can you give me, and that’s most of your high school relationships. And most relationships, unfortunately, with just people in general. But once you know, once you kind of start to hit that maturity threshold, then relationships just become the end. They’re just relationship. That’s it. I don’t expect anything from you, you don’t expect anything from me, nor should we.

Joe: [38:43] I just know you’re there.

Austin: [38:46] We just know each other are here. That’s with like – people in your life – that’s, I’m trying to get to a point where you guys have to start to understand this is what you should search for in a relationship, a healthy relationship, whether it’s with a partner or with friends, people you call your friends in real life. I have a distinctive line, and this is something I’ve been very strict with, is who I call a friend and who I call an acquaintance. Because a friend to me is how someone would normally say, “Oh, they’re one of my friends.” To me, that just means friend. They’re a friend. That’s how I define friend for me. If someone’s like they’re a friend, that to me is just like an acquaintance. That’s not a negative thing. It’s just you’re an acquaintance to me. If you need me, I’d like to help, but I can’t say that I’m guaranteed. Because I have deeper friendships, relationships that also may need me. That’s going to take precedent because I can’t be everywhere. So, really get definitive, and start being introspective, and, I guess, observant to the fact of these relationships in your life and how they’re defined. To move on, you mentioned how important this was to building your relationships, and networking in the business world, and just life in general. So, specific to – because there’s coaches and business owners that listen to this podcast, or coaches who are trying to build businesses, and just quality relationships as a whole. You’re someone who has really built a very successful business heavily on human connection and networking. I want to get a little bit into that, so I guess, what’s the most important thing you see in terms of that networking and human connection?

Joe: [40:49] I mean, the biggest thing for me is when you do make that connection or that acquaintance, is following through on your word, and following through on your gut feeling. If it feels good, and you feel like you can actually have an extended relationship with this person, like not waiting for them. Like, if you feel that, get their phone number, reach out to them the week after, reach out to them the day after, even if it’s just to say hey dude, it was great to connect with you, looking forward to the next time we speak again, or whatever, and then having zero expectations. That’s something that Jay Ferruggia has told me and described very well. I was just texting him the other day, but I hadn’t talked to him in 7-8 months. That’s most of the people that have stuck with Cured and have been with Cured from the very beginning. Em Dunc, for example, I had her on my very first podcast, Committed Physiques Radio, in 2016. I had a list of people on my podcast with that I sat down and had an hour-long conversation, and I asked them very, very vulnerable questions, and I held space for them. I said, hey, cool, I see you and well, I don’t really know what is going to come from this, but I’m allowing you to share your story and your voice, and I know that we felt comfortable in this situation, so I know down the road I can reach out to you and send you a message. When I was starting Cured, there were a bunch of people that I had made those connections with specifically in the fitness industry that said sure, send me some product. And yes, there was a self-interest in that because I was building a business, but the fact is that we had made a connection, and there was a piece in that where there was the inherent trust and the understanding that we’re here for the good of each other, and there are going to be times where I ask for something, and when you ask for something in the future, I’m going to be here. That’s really important, and that’s been a massive driver of building this business; and the fact that if there is a situation that I feel uncomfortable around or I feel like I’m a little bit nervous to go to this event, or I’m a little bit nervous to sit down or get on this phone call or any of those things, running fucking straight towards that and getting uncomfortable, and showing up as best as I can possibly can, and becoming present, and making that connection and saying this is me, and this is what I’m building, and this is what I’m trying to do, and thank you for just listening to me, and seeing where that goes. Not having expectations, but just having the understanding that this is a connection. I’m very passionate about what I’m doing and what I’m trying to build from a community sense, and there are going to be times when you ask for something, and then there are going to be times when I ask for something, and it’s always going to be mutually beneficial, and that’s something that’s been really hard as a company that does affiliate marketing.

[43:47] That’s where some of the dangerous pieces of that are, is that… well, having a social media following, having a community through a podcast, any of those things, they are of value and that person has worked really hard to build that platform. Then, there needs to be an understanding between that person and the brand or whoever they’re working with – hey, we need to meet somewhere in the center to make this mutually beneficial. That’s something that, over the years, we’ve – it’s been tough to figure out – but the thing is, is the only thing that feels good is building that long-term relationship, and keeping that open communication path, and saying how is this feeling for you, how is this feeling for me, and ok, cool, do we see each other and let’s try and figure out how to do this going forward rather than shutting down and having, again, those expectations and measuring them compared to your reality and then becoming unhappy again. Man, I would’ve never in a million years thought I would have the phone numbers of some of the people that I have. How I use them is very, very sparingly, because they have worked very hard to get somewhere in their life, and I look up to a lot of them, and I don’t necessarily have a lot to provide for them quite yet. Not saying that I have to, but saying I want to feel that, I want to be able to pour into somebody else, and then they are pouring into me just by having a connection. So, if some of those people – I mean, even Jay, for example – he’ll hit us up very randomly and say, “I’d love to connect you to this person.” I could have, a year ago, when I met him for the first time, said, hey, can you connect me to this person, this person, that person. It’s the long game. What some people are looking for through relationship and connection is some instant gratification feedback of, well, this going to happen, I’m going to get to this person, and I’m either going to be able to make a lot more money, I’m going to be able to do this, I’m going to be able to do that, and it’s very of self-interest. I’ve had that blow up in my face, and I’ve learned that that’s not good. So, for me, it’s constantly analyzing the relationships that I’ve built and saying, am I getting out of it what I deserve? And if you are, do I feel like I’m giving that other person what they also deserve? Then, if the answer is yes to both, just sitting there and letting the relationship evolve in the way that it’s meant without crazy expectations.

Austin: [46:41] Quick means to a profitable end is what I think in terms of-

Joe: [46:45] 100%.

Austin: [46:46] People, again, going back to transactional relationships and very shallow intention is a quick means, using people for a quick means for a profitable ending. You can feel it happening when it happens. If you’ve ever felt it, like don’t do that to someone else. I want to highlight, because I was recently on Em Dunc’s podcast, Emily Duncan’s podcast, which is EmBody Radio. For you guys listening, if you want to go listen to that, it’s an hour and 45-minute episode that was fantastic. Definitely take the crown for the longest episode recorded yet, I think.

Joe: [47:29] That doesn’t surprise me.

Austin: [47:30] It doesn’t surprise me at all. But it was such a good conversation, and in that, we highlight and go over managing expectations, and I think that is so big. You touched on that multiple times within what you just said about human connection and networking, is what are the expectations going in, and how these successful relationships with successful people – again, like you know there’s different relationships you’re going to have. You gotta realize that every relationship isn’t going to be a deep, vulnerable connection. This is like a – if anyone listening watches Seinfeld – one of Seinfeld’s jokes is, or one of his bits, is basically going over like, I’m not taking anymore interviews for friends. Like, we’re good, we’re not hiring. And it’s like, everyone isn’t always hiring. I’m not always looking for new friends. I’d love to connect, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to go any further than hey, can I help you with something, let’s stay in touch. Maybe down the road, things change. Maybe we’ll start hiring. I don’t mean that to be in a conceited way, but that’s reciprocal, right?

Joe: [48:59] And it’s a boundary for yourself.

Austin: [49:01] It’s a boundary for yourself. Going back to, you need enough energy to give to those people who you are deep and vulnerable and really close to, those people that I would call “friends.” Which really starts to separate friends from acquaintances for me. But it’s managing expectations because – what was that formula you said earlier?

Joe: [49:21] Happiness equals reality minus expectations.

Austin: [49:33] There you go. So, in that equation, I’ve lost a lot of happiness in what I was telling myself about what I was supposed to be expecting. These irrational expectations that I just cooked up in my mind or was told by someone else – hey, this is going to happen, x, y, and z is going to happen. You’re taken care of. Bro, we’re great. It’s like, cool, now I’m telling myself this narrative, and the reality is not matching the expectation; therefore, my happiness, as a result, is taking a huge downturn.

Joe: [50:15] And then, where in that is it on us to have the introspection to, well, do I need to communicate better around my expectations, or are my expectations valid and is that person not showing up. It’s like, the seesaw of that equation. There’s a lot to study there, really.

Austin: [50:34] Yeah, and that’s, again, it all goes back to just being introspective and whatever you need to do to be introspective. Like, I’m not a religious person by nature, but I think praying is valuable because it puts you in a meditative state in which you’re talking to yourself. You’re being introspective. You’re able to speak out into the world, into the universe, and depending on your beliefs, you get an answer, whether that’s from yourself or a higher power. So, I think prayer, whether that’s prayer through going to safe space, a church, just through meditate, or just kneeling beside your bed, or just standing up straight like a weirdo staring at a brick wall, whatever you want to do, whatever your praying is, whatever your meditation looks like, be introspective, sit down without distraction. Again, that’s why I think it’s so powerful, because you’re sitting down, if you’re doing it from religious place out of respect for that higher power, no phone, no distraction. We’re just talkin’. You’re able to open up. You’re starting to get this stuff out, and you’re starting to think about these things, and for the first time maybe, or for a very limited time, you are finally listening to yourself, your subconscious is listening to your conscious, or vice versa. That’s where I see, if you’re someone who struggles with I don’t understand how to start doing this, how to start listening to myself, how to start speaking to myself, and how to evaluate and get introspective, like, if you’re someone who prays, listen. Listen to what you’re saying, listen to what you’re asking, listen to what you’re putting out into the world, or to this higher power in which you believe in. Or you’re going through meditation. Listen. Observe the thoughts that come up. What do those mean?

Joe: [52:40] Yeah, 100%, man. And the words that I was thinking about when you were saying that is fucking show up. Like, just show up. Show up for yourself and show up for the people around you and do it in a way that is authentic. That’s coming back to the connection piece and the networking piece, is show up with clear and valid attainable expectations, true expectations, and stand in your authentic and present self, and understand that things are going to come your way that are meant to come your way. That was one of the big things I was thinking about from Cured’s standpoint, and networking for me and making connection, is the reason that we have these events that we do here in Colorado is to get off our fucking phones, and to come in to human to human connection and just sit in that presence and understand that, wow, fuck, we need that as human beings.

Austin: [53:49] The feedback you guys get on that, like, because I’ve been to every, I think, every event but one. That first one – going back to showing up for yourself – that first one, I was super anxious. It would’ve been the first event as a whole, I think.

Joe: [54:06] Back in October.

Austin: [54:07] Back in October. I remember you invited us and I was like we gotta go, we had just gotten back from a trip and… that’s when I had to listen to myself, take care of myself. Because I had the keys in hand, Kas had her hand on the door turning the knob, I could hear the traffic as she opened up the door, and felt the breeze, and it was like, I can’t go. She was like, “What do you mean?” I’m like, “I can’t go. We can’t go.” And, you know, it was just like, ok, we’ll stay. We’ll stay home. We won’t go. That was the first time that I’d ever done that. Like your example of last night, I got a text, in which I answered you at 2:30 in the morning this morning. We won’t talk about my irregular sleep schedule. But you showed up for yourself. You listened. And you realized that you weren’t going to put your best self forward until 8:30.

Joe: [55:08] Yeah. Gave myself another half hour.

Austin: [55:10] You needed – and a change of location, right? So instead of meeting for coffee somewhere, I came to your office, which makes it much better, and you’re going to show up better. Doesn’t make me a difference. Now, we’re in a better place. You showed up for yourself and that’s what I did not going to that event, is nothing in me felt like I was going to put forth me. I was going to put forth anxious energy, a presence in which I didn’t want people to meet for the first time.

Joe: [55:44] You were going to go please people.

Austin: [55:46] Yeah, and it just wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t the right place, it wasn’t the right energy I was putting off. That wasn’t the self, that wasn’t the person I wanted to put into the world because that wasn’t me. I was still trying to recognize who this person was and come to terms and kind of just sit in it for a bit. Sorry to interrupt, but that was – I hope you didn’t lose your place – but that was a place where I had to show up for myself, similar to what you showing up for yourself, even last night. And how we continuously do it with each other is like, we try to meet for coffee once a week, right, and some weeks it’s like, hey man, it’s not going to work. It’s like, ok cool, thanks.

Joe: [56:31] Yeah, dude. Going back to the event piece of that and creating connection, at this last event that we had, there were people there, I met people there, that I have been so interested to connect with for so long, and we didn’t even invite them to the event. I invited the people from the Archipelago Project here in Denver, and there are people that are part of the Archipelago Project that came to the event that didn’t really even know what Cured really was, but they showed up and I met them. And I was like, whoa, but all it was was just, like, that’s what I’ve been calling in. I’ve been calling in connection, but only by saying, hey, this is what we’re doing, this is our movement, this is our company, this is our brand, this is why we are holding these events to come together and just spend some time and hold space for each other, and have a immersive experience. Time and time again, people show up that I would’ve never thought, that I didn’t even know followed Cured, or they didn’t know what Cured was, and they got invited by somebody else because of the need or the actual availability or existence of connection with that person to somebody that knows Cured. And there’s no ask in there. It’s a hey, I’m on this journey, this might be cool for you, do you want to come? Then, that’s how – that’s honestly how a massive piece of my network has been built – is just saying hey, I don’t know what’s going to come of this, but I’m going to show up and we’ll see who I run into. For example, the men’s group that I’m in, I couldn’t ever in a million years – I’m the youngest in that group by 12 years, I feel like a child in it – but there are things that I say and talk about with them that I get text messages from them and they’re like, damn, I’m learning so much from you.

Austin: [58:34] Maturity and experience is not chronological, it’s biological. I keep saying that because it’s so fucking true.

Joe: [58:40] And it’s wisdom, man. You can be 23 years old, and you could’ve experienced fucking hell and trauma and everything for those 23 years, and if you have worked through it and you’re in recovery or whatever’s going on, you have a wisdom because you’ve been through those experiences. Your age doesn’t fucking matter. From an experience standpoint, you’ve lived a lot and you have a wisdom around that. That’s – the people that I have in that men’s group – I was at a lululemon event. I’m sponsored by lululemon, which is really cool. I never would’ve thought that’d happen.

Austin: [59:23] Yeah, that’s dope.

Joe: [59:24] And I need to be better at representing them! But anyways-

Austin: [59:28] It’s a quality thread.

Joe: [59:29] Yeah. So, I was there at a lululemon event. It was a men’s community event, and I was sitting there and I was discussing some of the difficulties of the last year… and understanding how I can be codependent. Everybody’s codependent, but some people in more extremes than others. For me, I was losing myself in a way that was really… I didn’t know who I was. I was losing myself because I was showing up in the wrong way in a relationship. There was a lot going on in the relationship, but at the end of the day, I should’ve been taking care of myself and I wasn’t taking care of myself in the way that I should have. I shared that in this circle of men, and my now really good friend Trayver (?) was looking at me across the circle – because every other person was just talking. They’re like, I’m doing this with my business, I’m achieving that, and I could’ve been like yeah, we just did this much in sales with Cured. I could’ve said so many things, but I said, well, I just read this book called Codependency No More and I woke up to the fact that I need to show up better as a man in a relationship, and I’m trying to understand what that’s looked like my entire life. Trayver was looking at me and he’s like, we need to connect after this.

Austin: [01:00:56] You’re special.

Joe: [01:00:58] So, a lot of that connection and a lot of that network has been built off of me just being vulnerable, and growing up – growing the fuck up, man – because if I look at the course of the last 6-7 years, man, I had a lot of maturing to do, and I’ve experienced a lot and I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I can look back on them and I can say, well that’s true and I’m sorry. I’m sorry to myself, I’m sorry to the people around me. And the way that people hold me when I’m in that authentic state and that vulnerable state creates the most deep connection that I might not talk to that person again for 5-6 months, but I know that when I do, if they reach out to me or vice versa, they’re going to show up.

Austin: [01:01:48] Yeah, and that’s… so, how I see age – most my friends, most my wife and I’s friends are older, at least some 5+ years old than we are. I always get, “Oh, for real? You’re only that old? You’re super young, dude. Like what the fuck?” So, we were just in Cape Cod with our friends, and buddy Jimmy, for example, is 40. Like, his joke is 40 year old dad. He always says that. Also, the running joke is, he introduced me – so my wife shot their wedding – she’s Irish and he’s Puerto Rican, so it’s a super cool dynamic and they’re just a super cool couple and cool people. They’re both in the Coast Guard, or she had just got out of the Coast Guard, so just badasses as a whole, but just great people. It’s like – oh, he introduced me to his family as like, “This is Austin. We went to high school together.” Clearly not. He’s 40, I’m 25. He’s from Puerto Rico. Let’s do the math. It doesn’t add up. But he introduced me, it’s just the running joke-

Joe: [01:03:08] I wasn’t even born yet, dude.

Austin: [01:03:10] You’re right, yeah. Which is the funny thing. But the coolest thing is that relationship doesn’t skip a beat. It’s essentially like we’re the same age. Obviously, we have different stories. Where age comes into play and where I’m getting at with this story is, where age comes into play for me and how I see age is time to experience. So, I’ve had 25 years to experience x-amount of things. Jimmy, for example, 40 years to experience a certain amount of things. There isn’t a number of things you have to experience. There’s no minimum or maximum to that number, but yet how you live life, the choices you make and how you interpret those choices and experiences index into experience and overall wisdom of biological age. maturity. So, the better you are at introspection and serving and listening, and you take the chance to experience life, the more wisdom you can have at a younger age. I think… and this is why I don’t ever really ask anyone their age and why when someone really asks me my age, I just ask them how old do you think I am. And whatever they say, I just say sure. Because I don’t – and my wife will troll and, “he’s so young, he’s 25” – but I don’t like the question because then there’s all this shit that basically comes up of like, now there’s just these superficial barriers that have now been – “Oh, you’re 25? I have 15 years on you!” Blah blah blah – and this is not what he said, but that’s just an example of what and why I don’t ask the age question. Because I don’t give a fuck how you are. It’s can we have a conversation, and can we go deep, can we have true, genuine interaction, and can I trust you, can I rely on you, are you here, do you listen when I fucking talk or are you on your phone. There’s all these different things. Whether you’re talking to a fucking 15 year old or 40 year old, the respect and expectation of are you listening is the same. Or someone your own age, are you listening? Unfortunately, that’s just not always true.

Joe: [01:05:51] Yeah. 100%. That’s one of my favorite parts of podcasting, man. Sitting there and being like – whether I’m interviewing or being the interviewee – it’s fun to be like, I don’t know where the hell this conversation is going next, but I’m going to sit here and listen. Especially when I’m interviewing too, it’s like you feel like you have to have the next question to guide the conversation, and then you can get stuck in that question and then not actually listen. It’s so funny because I’ve done that so many times and I think podcasting has been on of the biggest catalysts for me to becoming a better listener.

Austin: [01:06:28] Absolutely. You have to listen because – and same. I am very introverted. I used to be very shy and introverted, and I think now I’m just introverted. I’m not very shy anymore, because they are different things. The difference from my understanding is, I don’t have social anxiety of being in front of someone or having to speak to someone, I just choose to not do it, or I prefer not to put myself in a situation where I’m going to have to show up too much.

Joe: [01:07:05] Or in an unauthentic way.

Austin: [01:07:07] Yeah, and I’m very – so, I’m very sensitive to sensory. I don’t know what that means from a perspective of self or whatever, but that’s just the reality. I’m very sensory sensitive. I can get overwhelmed easily depending on what’s going on in my life. Sometimes I have – and this is me checking in and listening to myself – sometimes I have a very large reserve. It’s like a reserve tank in your boat, or a 4-wheeler or something. Like, if you run out of gas, you always have a reserve tank to at least get to your destination or get back home so you can fill it with gas.

Joe: [01:07:47] Which if you know that it’s there and you go to the empty all the time, you’re living on the fucking edge, man.

Austin: [01:07:50] Right. You know you’re on the reserve, basically, and you know what that feels like. Hopefully you do, or if you’re listening to this and you’re like, fuck, that’s me right now, then take some time, make your way back home, but realize you can take some time to fill that gas tank back up. For example, to regress back to the point of me not going to that first event for Cured that you invited me to, I was on reserve, man. And I’d already eaten into my reserve. I had nothing left, in terms of energy, to give to anyone else. I barely had energy to give to myself. So, for me, that was taking a step back and realizing and listening to myself that that’s just who I am. I am introverted, and that’s ok. And I have to respect that, and I have to respect the fact that I am very sensitive to sensory and stimuli. I’m very sensitive to input coming in, and if I get too overwhelmed, then energy levels get low, and I have to go into the reserve; and as soon as I dip into that reserve, I can now feel that. I’m intuitive to that, and I don’t feel the same. I know I’m not going to show up the same. But where I get to that is I am… I was very shy and introverted, and therefore, growing up, I wasn’t the greatest at conversations because I didn’t really have them.

Joe: [01:09:32] Right. You never practice it…

Austin: [01:09:33] I never practiced it. Outside of sports, outside of coaches yelling at me, essentially, I didn’t know what a true, genuine, vulnerable conversation, or even a fucking conversation in general, really looked like. There was definitely a – the genesis of everything was kind of like when I started to become less shy. That was in college. Then, I was almost – and this is why I think, I talked about this on the latest podcast I released with Lacey Dunn – we were basically talking about our experiences with higher education, experiences with university.

Joe: [01:10:08] I haven’t heard that name in a while!

Austin: [01:10:10] Yeah.

Joe: [01:10:11] Lacey! Hope she’s doing well.

Austin: [01:10:13] Yeah. She seemed to be well. But this is something I experienced at a level of higher education and university was like, putting myself in these situations where I was finding more out about myself. I was learning more about myself. I was breaking down those barriers of being shy, yet I stayed introverted. I’d kind of just rather be reserved, stay home, study, play video games, kind of hang out with 1 or 2 people in the dorm room instead of going out and being part of this huge thing. But as I got less shy, I started to have more conversations, and that evolved into this year, of starting a podcast. Over the years, I just became and better and better listener, which made me better at conversations because I wasn’t – I can’t say I’m ever really searching for something to say – because if you’re truly listening to someone, there’s always something you can say.

Joe: [01:11:16] 100%.

Austin: [01:11:17] Or as long as… also, as long as they know you’re listening, you don’t fucking have to always have something to say.

Joe: [01:11:26] That’s what holding space is. Like, there have been so many times where we’ve gotten together and it’s like, well, today I’m just going to hold space, or today you’re just going to hold space, and we’re just going to let it come out. I had a good dinner with Alex McMahon the other night and that’s all I did, I just say there and said, dude, give me the full download. I’m just sitting here. And there’d be times I’d be like, fuck man, like I would interject and say I feel you, like I’m sorry and I’m here. But all he needed was me to sit there and listen. That’s really important, and most of the time, that’s all somebody needs when they’re struggling with something or they’re working through something. We have so many fucking thoughts in our head. We can get so trapped in those thoughts. We can spin stories like we saying earlier, and they become our reality in our head and in our external when we don’t actually put them into words and vocalize them and see how they come out, how we feel when they come out, and allow there to be somebody that’s just going to hold the space and listen and say, well, I agree with this; I think you should think about the way that this came out of your mouth; I think that you’re correct here. You know, whatever it may be, but just sitting and listening and being like, ok. Even if you’re saying 10 words in a whole conversation, you are in conversation and you are being a piece of that puzzle that that person needs at that time. That’s like, all humans need that so deeply.

Austin: [01:13:00] Yeah, so deeply. I think that feeling that is something that we need too. That’s where our conversations, our meetups, really podcasts a lot of times too allow for that, almost that feeling to be had, because in a world where we now have most our conversations over a screen, a lot gets lost in translation. There’s so much happening from nonverbal communication and just intuition and energy that I’m feeling. So, with just us sitting here in a room, like our energy, we’re vibing off each other, we’re vibing off an energy, we’re sharing a wavelength, if you will, of energy. Through a screen, through DMs, through texts, it’s so fucking – it’s impossible to have the same conversation. You can’t.

Joe: [01:13:51] How many times have you react in a certain way because you didn’t get an emoji or there wasn’t an exclamation point, or it was a short answer vs. a long answer.

Austin: [01:13:59] But you had no context. Right, so that’s where expectation comes in. Expectation of the reality of what is about to happen. So, for us to have a conversation in person, I have a much different expectation of what that conversation’s going to be vs. a text or DM conversation between us. People who can have the deepest level of conversation that could be had in person, but I have much different expectations. That’s what I expect in person, but I expect something much different through text or DM. Much different.

Joe: [01:14:35] That’s really good.

Austin: [01:14:36] Where things get lost is when you don’t. Or when you start having conversations – this is something I think is a huge issue – when you start having in-person conversations like DM conversations or text message conversation. That is where I see a big problem, because they’re not the same thing. I don’t need you to have an answer. I just need you to listen and show up and just be there, and for us to share a space and share an energy. That’s what I need. I need to feel heard. I need to feel like you’re taking this information in, at least to a point you’re understanding. That’s where I think things get lost because we start having these conversations, in-person conversations, like we’re just texting. There’s always those 3 dots happening, like if you have an iPhone. There’s always those 3 dots happening in this conversation, of like once he stops talking I gotta come up with something. So, it’s a mix of listening, I may be distracted by my phone, and I gotta be sure those 3 dots are lighting up.

Joe: [01:15:49] Have you ever had those 3 dots pop up and then go away and never get a text message, and be like, huh, ok.

Austin: [01:15:54] Yeah!

Joe: [01:15:55] But that can happen in person, and I think that when you have uncomfortable situations, that’s exactly what’s happening. You know that those 3 dots are there, you know that that other person wants to say something else, but they actually just don’t even get to it, and that can be very… that can be tough. I’ve done that in my relationship, I’ve had that happen in other relationships. That is – it could be a sweeping under the rug of something – but the more and more you have those 3 dots and let them go away in human to human interaction, you’re putting stuff under the rug and you’re building a very instable foundation that you’re standing on, and that can get pulled out from under you at any time. All that it is, is that you’ve done a disservice to yourself because you’re not showing up for yourself and speaking truly and saying what you need. That is one of my biggest lessons over the last couple of years as an entrepreneur, man. I used to read every fucking entrepreneur book there was out there, 6-7 years ago, 5 years ago. I’ve used a little bit of it, but the most powerful thing for me is going to therapy, getting a mentor, and going really, really deep in conversation with a couple people close around me. It’s where I can just get my thoughts out and see how that sits with other people. Then, go from that and go reflect on it and be introspective, man, and see what is actually going on here and how do I need to show up better as a human being. Because if I’m not showing up better as a human being, then I’m not showing up for the people around me, I’m not showing up for my company, I’m not showing up for my own existence in this world, and I’m going back to walking in this world asleep, and that’s a very sad place to be. And I think a lot of people are stuck in that.

Austin: [01:17:58] Yeah. So, if sleep doesn’t register with you, think of autopilot. Being asleep and being on autopilot, generally broken down, would be the same thing when talking about how you go through your day. I think, as we start wrapping this up, I think it’s a really good place to, again, just highlight or say, I guess – we haven’t touched on this – but… past the point of being a good person, doing the right thing, being ethical, not using people as a means to an end, there’s no real rules in terms of how you’re going to get – let’s say there’s 10 steps – for each and every person, whether you’re in a relationship, or a business, or whatever you’re doing, those steps, really like 2-10 are going to be super different; or let’s say 2-100. Obviously, it’s a lot of steps, but they’re going to be super different. There’s not a definitive – like, we’re not opening up a bank account. One, go to bank. Two, tell person you want to open up account. Three, account is now opened. It’s like, that’s not how relationships work, that’s not how businesses work, that’s not how any of this shit works past the point of, again, what I just said of being a good person and not using people as a means to an end, and being ethical, and whatever else. Don’t get trapped, and I think that’s – I bring this up because you and I have both read enough self-help books and entrepreneurial books to make ourselves go crazy – and we both have taken away maybe a few things that we can build upon from those books. But as a whole, we both know that’s taking a step back, and instead of trying to figure out the thing, we’re trying to figure out our thing, we’re trying to figure out ourselves. This is something I talked about on the podcast that I recently did with Nsima, that you have more answers than you think, and you have to stop going external for those answers. That’s what you really touched on in the beginning. I was super glad to hear that because you were trying to – whether it was for self-validation or searching for answers – you were trying to go external. You were trying to go for a physique, you were trying to go for a reward, an award, money, house, car, whatever. Job status, you know, so you could go back home and tell your friends “this is what I do”, and we all do that. I do that. I’ve done that, and I still struggle with some of those things. But I think once you stop – something I’ve learned, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned – is to stop searching within the external and really start to go internal. Listen to yourself. Again, get your introspective and understand that you have more answers than you think you have.

Joe: [01:21:07] And you have everything that you need. You really do, you just have to trust in that. That’s a very simple way to summarize it, is that you have everything that you need. But it’s the truth, because you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. From an attachment standpoint, if you’re attached to all these external things, and you can lose any one of them tomorrow, if you don’t recognize that you have everything that you need internally, any one of those things happening will be crippling. And of course, shit happens, things go wrong, there are mistakes, there are break-ups, there are unexpected – and it’s valid that it’s going to hurt. You’re going to be scared. There’s going to be a lot around that that you have to own, is yes, it’s a feeling. You gotta feel it, you gotta work through it, you gotta understand it, you have to grieve if it’s a loss… and understand that you’re going to be ok because you have everything that you need. That’s something that, man, I can say that, but do I actually live that and know that that’s me? I’m fucking working on that hard, man.

Austin: [01:22:24] Same.

Joe: [01:22:25] Really hard.

Austin: [01:22:26] Because that’s – where I find a lot of peace, and where I’ve been able to find some peace over the last year or so is doing just that – trying to go internal, as we’ve been talking about this entire time, but going internal to a point where understanding that – I kind of always put myself like worse-case scenario, what if everything right now fails, other than my marriage. In all of these equations, I still, at least, have my marriage, which is everything to me. As long as I still have that intact, you know, even barring the most horrific thing that could happen, like me losing my wife or something tragic, being able to be at peace with what if all of this shit happens, I’m ok. I have connections I’ve made in the past, I have intelligence that I can call upon, I emotional maturity in which I can put forth, I have a support system in which I can lean on. Like, I’m good, truthfully. If every materialistic thing gets taken from me, that’s true. I’m fine. I can restart. Things may become – a few things may be better, who fucking knows.

Joe: [01:23:54] A lot of things are going to suck, but yeah.

Austin: [01:23:56] Right? There’s gotta be something positive in there. As a whole, I found a lot of peace in being able to at least think through that. Like, what if the worst possible things could happen and all of this gets taken away? I’m fine. Like, it’s going to fucking suck and I don’t know for how long, maybe years and years, whatever. All in all, I’m going to be fine. That’s why I found a lot of peace in, I don’t get as – I think it’s easy to be frustrated with some of the current landscape with the fitness industry, for example, or the coaching industry. It’s just like, you roll your eyes and it’s easy to kind of poke holes in it, or I guess, make the holes bigger that are already poked in it. But it’s easier for me to deal with and handle these things because I’ve been able to internalize it. Someone that I look up to a lot in Ryan Doris, who is Episode 1 of my podcast, he mentioned on my buddy Matt’s podcast, More Than Fitness podcast, that – and I heavily relate to this, and this is kind of what I’m getting at – was finding peace within. I’m not attached necessarily to the fitness industry or what I do. I’d love for it to work out because I’ve spent almost my entire adult life, pretty much my entire adult life – from the age I was 18 until now – studying this, experiencing this, researching this, you know, all the things. Building a business and a life around it. So, I’d love for it to work out; but if it doesn’t, I’m good.

Joe: [01:25:40] Yeah. I mean, we just spent an hour and a half talking about nothing but-

Austin: [01:25:44] Everything but fitness. Outside, the life beyond fitness.

Joe: [01:25:48] That’s the whole point, right?

Austin: [01:25:49] The whole point of the podcast. And it’s finding ease. Ryan said in that episode, like if I had to learn – if the fitness industry crumbled tomorrow – because he had such an interesting perspective, and I think you both would have such a good, aligned conversation with each other, but he has such a healthy relationship with this. He’s like, honestly, if there’s any industry that’s unneeded, it’s fitness. People know how to fucking move. People can walk, people can run, they can do push-ups and pull-ups. They’re resourceful, they’ll fucking figure it out. We’re not needed. We’re disposable. Are we useful? Sure. Can we help safer practices and more efficient practices, more effective practices? Absolutely. That’s what we dedicate our lives to. But as a whole, we’re quite unneeded… to the human construct as a whole. So, what if that all crumbles? I’m good. And he gave a good example of, if I need to learn how to become a commercial airline pilot tomorrow, I’ll start learning. I’ll start learning how to become a pilot. Once you know – and that’s where we’ve both kind of talked about this in the past – but once you learn how to learn, you understand and come more into and mature with your intelligence, your own abilities. Things become more peaceful because you understand that if things of which you now have are kind of taken away or you have to take a detour, you understand that it’s fine. You can learn something else. You can learn something new. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. And you’re going to be fine.

Joe: [01:27:34] Dude, 100%. I look at my life, I look at being a competitor, I look at being an engineer, and then I look at starting a company in the cannabis/fitness industry, and especially the engineering to my current role, the polar opposites and looking at, I mean, like there’s really no connection between the two of those but I figured it out; and I can do it again. That’s me having a trust in myself that I didn’t necessarily know was there from a long time ago, and I think that that’s why I was so stuck in engineering for so long, because I was like, I don’t know if I can figure this out. But then I started to realize that I can, and I just needed to believe in myself. I was looking for people on the outside to believe in me, and I’ve said this on several podcasts, but I was getting extremely depressed right before I quit my job to dive fully into Cured. I was in a therapy session, and the therapist turns and hands me something and says, “I’m going to give you something, but you don’t really need this from me. You need to give this to yourself.” And it’s that card that sits on my desk that says permission on it. I just need to give myself permission to go do it and trust in myself and understand that I can figure it out. I was like, oh, that’s what I needed? I didn’t need anything from anybody else. I needed it from internal. I needed to give myself permission. I needed to show up for myself and that’s what we’re talking about here, man. If we can show up in that way every single day, you can do anything.

Austin: [01:29:12] That’s an excellent place to wrap this up, and thank you.

Joe: [01:29:16] Thank you, brother.

Austin: [01:29:17] Thank you for letting me use your equipment, come to your office, and borrow this piece of equipment to go podcast with my wife. Very appreciative of your time, and your friendship, and everything. I want to end it with a question that I ask everyone. But… to preface that question, this could be anything, whatever comes to mind. If you don’t have anything that comes to mind, that’s ok too. What is one thing that you’re working on personally?

Joe: [01:29:51] Presence.

Austin: [01:29:52] Presence.

Joe: [01:29:53] Every single day, showing up in the present moment and… that can sound really simple, but I’m terrible at it because-

Austin: [01:30:05] I think as a whole, we’re all pretty terrible.

Joe: [01:30:08] Yeah, because I’m always on to the next thing, and being an entrepreneur, bright shiny object syndrome is terrible if you’re an – you know that. But opportunities come up left and right all the time, and I can have a worry of what happens tomorrow if I lose this, if I lose that. Well, fuck all of that. If I can just sit here and be present and enjoy this conversation with you, and realize that, well, I just have 5 missed calls and 6 missed text messages and a bunch of emails to catch up on, that shit can wait. Does it drive me crazy? Yes, but what I need is I need to be here, and I need to be present. and I need to enjoy this conversation, and I need to know that life goes on whether I answer those or don’t answer those, and I have to enjoy this because, like we were saying earlier, it can all be gone tomorrow. But if I’m not enjoying it in the moment and recognizing that I’m in a place where years and years ago I said I always wanted to be in, if I’m not actually recognizing that and becoming present, I’m never going to get to the place of where I think I – this never ending grasp for a new destination. So, for me, it’s coming into the present moment. It’s something I practice a lot. I have this rock on my desk that I just like, whenever I’m anxious, I just rub it because it’s like, it brings me into the present moment. I feel it, I have some sensory around it, and I’m like, ok, well, that’s there and I can go step outside, and – I actually did this the other day – took off my shoes and just walked barefoot. I became really present to what the earth felt like under my feet and what the sun felt like on my face, and why I was thinking the way I was, and coming into that present moment is the understanding and the recognition that I’m ok. It’s funny because I was asking Charlie that works in our fulfillment department yesterday, what’s the word, dude? Like, what’s going on today, and he goes, “I don’t know what the word is. What’s the word for you?” And I said, “Presence.” So, that’s what I’m practicing right now.

Austin: [01:32:09] Nice. I like that, man. Show up. Do what you say you’re going to do. Be present. Give yourself permission.

Joe: [01:32:21] Yeah.

Austin: [01:32:23] And do your best to not let others affect who you are and how you react. That’s, I’d say other than presence, other than permission, other than all these things we talked about, introspection, all these things we talked about in this podcast today, one thing that’s near and dear to me is – and something I remember when my wife asked me back in 2015 – this question. She has a collection of quotes from people around the world that she’s met, because we’re both quite big world travelers. And she asks similar questions to each person, like life advice questions, what’s your piece of life advice. I remember back in 2015, the first thing that came to my mind, the first thing that came to my mouth was never let someone else’s actions represent or influence yours. So, don’t let them make you become someone you’re not. If they’re being very disrespectful, selfish, irrational, all the things that you know you’re not, do not let your actions match or reciprocate theirs. Stay who you are in that moment. Just be present. Give yourself permission to be who you are and stay who you are. That’s like, I think one of the most… something I try to practice a lot. Today, for example, I gotta have a phone call with the IRS for the 3rd fucking time.

Joe: [01:34:12] Wonderful.

Austin: [01:34:13] Wonderful. But – and this is really, I gotta keep this in mind the whole time I’m on the phone with people, with the IRS for example – is do not… don’t let this become something that changes who I am. I’m patient, I’m understanding, and I’m someone who realizes that there’s a bigger picture here, and this is something that most likely doesn’t – English isn’t their first language, and they have a lot of things they have to deal with – it’s like, they have their whole other life, like I’m trying to see the bigger picture. I think it’s easy for us to start yelling at these people and be super impatient. We become these people we don’t recognize. If you’ve ever seen one of your friends, or maybe even a partner, become this person that you’ve never seen before when they’re on the phone with a customer service representative, and they just start shouting – they’re like, if something’s wrong with their room or something’s wrong with something that happened – and yelling at the person that you knowingly know this isn’t their fault.

Joe: [01:35:17] Yeah, do they want to be on the other side of that conversation?

Austin: [01:35:18] Yeah, fuck, did I deserve this? I didn’t do that. So, that’s what I mean by that.

Joe: [01:35:27] Hell yeah, man. Appreciate you.

Austin: [01:35:28] This has been great.

Joe: [01:35:30] Yeah, dude.

Austin: [01:35:32] That’s it. Oh! You gotta plug your social. We gotta wrap it up, but you gotta plug your social, all that stuff.

Joe: [01:35:38] I’m not the best at that.

Austin: [01:35:40] Well, where can people find you or Cured.

Joe: [01:35:44] Josephsheehey on Instagram. CuredNutrition on Instagram. curednutrition.com. The Cured Collective podcast, and then Lo and I run a podcast called the JoeLo Show, where we talk about a lot of this stuff that we talked about here, but really, really deeply from a relationship standpoint, because we’ve gone through some fucking hurdles over the last year. I’m getting really bad at social media and, actually, that’s a choice. I just don’t want to be on social media that much, but people are interested in reaching out to me and connecting with me on any of the stuff that we talked about, I’m more than happy to talk to people via DMs or whatever.

Austin: [01:36:24] Hit him up. He may answer, he may not. Or he will answer, it just may take some time.

Joe: [01:36:29] May take some time.

Austin: [01:36:31] That’s ok. This has been the Life Beyond Fitness podcast.

Joe: [01:36:34] Thanks, brother.

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