Resolutions, discipline, & mentorship - in that order? For this episode of >Lead.exe_ yes - or at least that's the direction taken when co-hosts Brian Comerford & Nick Lozano pontificate on those topics. Resolutions, discipline, & mentorship - in that order? For this episode of >Lead.exe_ yes - or at least that's the direction taken when co-hosts Brian Comerford & Nick Lozano pontificate on those topics. Given that end-of-year is often a time of resolutions, the duo discuss how the critical leadership skill of self-awareness can extend throughout the year with personal strategies for self-development. Met with the discipline of action, gaining enough mastery of these behavioral or habitual life changes contribute strongly to furthering mentorship with those you may lead. And with so many 'virtual-mentorship' opportunities now available online, even via podcasts like this one, there is no time for self-improvement like the present.

Show Transcript:

Nick Lozano  0:00
How're you doing today? Brian, it is just man, you flying solo. We are recording this literally right before we release it. And John is enjoying himself probably getting ready to smoke a big old turkey. So we're looking forward to have him on and a couple more episodes once he gets back from vacation. But today we talked about all kinds of stuff from, you know, mentorship from an individual, you know, content from individuals that have an impact on you. You brought up a book that's had a huge influence on you that discipline equals freedom. And Jocko like specifically, a show what are people going to find in this episode today?

Brian Comerford  0:44
So we got to predicated on this theme that as we embark on this recording, the week before Thanksgiving, and enter into this period of the holidays, we also find that it's a time where a lot of folks tend to set up things like New Year's resolutions, right, you've got the turn of the year. And it's just seems like a good sort of time stamp for a lot of folks to start invoking goal setting for themselves. And so a lot of the topics that we covered today, I think are some of our own techniques of how we use goal setting, and the importance of self awareness and leadership that really help drive you forward, not only for your own self development, which is important, but for your own outlook and perspective on things, and how that can also help create compromise in challenging situations that you may face in your role as a leader.

Nick Lozano  1:44
You know, I don't think I could have said that any better, Brian. So with that, let's just let everybody get on with the show. Love it.

Brian Comerford  1:51
Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for joining us for another edition of lead dot exe. I'm Brian comer forward in Denver, Colorado.

Nick Lozano  2:07
And I'm Nick Lozano in Washington, DC.

Brian Comerford  2:09
And today, we are reflecting on this time of season that we're recording this episode, which is embarking onto the holidays. And something that's common among the holidays is for people to start coming up with some of their goals for the next year, including the seemingly ever elusive New Year's resolution.

Nick Lozano  2:38
Like how you say it, Lisa. And you know, you and I were kind of chatting before we got on this. And we're talking about New Year's resolutions. And for you specifically, there was one book that you brought up that had a big impact on you, as you're thinking about this topic. So why don't you just dive into that a little bit? And what we'll go from there.

Brian Comerford  3:02
Yeah, absolutely. So Jocko Willink who I can thank you, Nick, for turning me on to his book discipline equals freedom, which I think the title says it all right. And being that he's got the Navy SEAL background, of course, he calls the field manual, which, you know, I think is probably a good characterization for what it is because the the chapters are incredibly short. It's really intended to be an instruction guide. And it lays it all out on the table. I mean, there's not a lot of fluff to the book, you know, it's incredibly short read, and an even shorter audio book.

Nick Lozano  3:46
I think you're right, and that's a book. He did that, like you said, it's a short read. And it's not one, I wouldn't say that you necessarily sit down generally and read cover to cover in one session. At least I didn't when I first found it, it was more of one that, you know, I'd see a topic or something. And, you know, something would just hit me and like you're saying the audio book, right? The audio book is where it's at for that one. But having that physical book still pretty cool, too. And I think I digress. I'm, I kicked you off your train of thought there. No,

Brian Comerford  4:21
no, it's okay. You know, I mean, as a as a, as an artifact that's easy to get into the hands of people. And I think it's worthwhile for anyone who is interested in their own personal development. I think it's even freely available as a PDF on the web. I mean, it's, it's a very short read. It's, I don't know, maybe 50 pages, something like that. Something that's that's easy enough to sit down, read in a couple hours. But, you know, as we think about one of the categories in book sales, that's always in the top three is self help or personal development. So there's a reason for that. There's a, there's a huge demand for that. And you and I have talked extensively on this program and just with each other about self awareness being one of those top leadership traits that we recognize and value, and that, you know, part of self awareness is not only being capable of recognizing your strengths and playing to them, but recognizing your deficiencies, and rather than playing to your deficiencies, recognizing the areas that you can change, and taking it beyond just goal setting into action. Right. And so, you know, we were recently interviewing retired Major General Brett Williams, and he talked about the P bed acronym, you know, with with planning execution. Or, sorry, is that right? planning, planning, brief execution and debrief? And yes, and so that, you know, in the planning phase, right, it's great to kind of recognize, you know, here's some goals that I want to set for myself. And that's why reference the ever elusive, you know, New Year's resolution, because it seems like the goal that gets set every year by everyone that's adhered to for maybe two weeks, or two months, or not long enough to really effectively become part of behavior change. I mean, do you find that to be true, Nick?

Nick Lozano  6:36
I mean, I find it to be true, I used to be a big New Year's resolution person, right. And I think as time went on, I gave up New Year's resolutions and just turned them into personal goals. Because I feel like, at least for me, you know, I would set a resolution I would stick for with it for a while. And it would never go back to review where I was, right. At least that's what would happen with me. And I find now that I do more of like personal goals, as you know, I set a goal and then a certain point and review and say, hey, where am I? Right? It's just like, if we got on a on a map, and we're driving, you know, from Denver to DC, you know, between our two locations, if I don't ever stop to look at the map, how do I ever know I'm going the right direction. So I've taken that approach for goal setting. And you know, that that discipline equals freedom book is, is a good example. That's kind of how we wound up starting this podcast, right? We had talked about for a while, that, you know, you and I were going to start this podcast conversations talking about leadership. And we're always kind of waiting for that perfect moment, right. And I opened a chapter of that book, and I don't remember specifically, how it goes, but it says something about creating, right, it's like, just just start doing don't wait for things to be perfect. It's something along the lines, I'm sure I'm completely butchering it. I'll get an email from somebody here soon, corrected me. But it's something along that lines. And the great thing about, you know, the modern day is that, you know, with the internet and the ability to listen to podcasts and consume social media, you can have a relationship with somebody almost like they're a mentor without actually knowing who they are. And for me know, Jocko Willink has had a big impact on me as an individual. Ever since I found him randomly on. Maybe he was on Joe Rogan first draft on him on some other podcast before he before I noticed he was on Joe Rogan. And he's like, Oh, I don't even have social media. Really. He's like Tim, Tim Ferriss told me to get on this thing called Twitter, and I don't even know what I'm doing. But just like you he's had a big impact on me. And I would say, the same goes for some someone like Simon Sinek, as well, too. He's pretty well known figure that the Start With Why book kind of blew him up. But he's got a lot of concepts that I really jive with.

Brian Comerford  9:10
Yeah, well, and part of what I love is, you know, you and I have talked about, we've got a couple of different constraints that, you know, have sort of forever changed the working landscape, there are a lot of folks who find themselves find themselves now in permanent remote work situations, whereas that may not have been, you know, the case previously. And so, consequently, having that direct interaction with someone in a working environment, it may become something that's more challenging for certain folks. And, you know, that's where a lot of mentorship tends to kind of formulate, right? It's, it's in a work environment. It's where you've got someone who may be, you know, senior to you, perhaps in another department, and you don't necessarily have a direct working relationship with them. But you know, you have a connection through the work environment. And, you know, suddenly there's some some kind of rapport that helps develop into, you know, a natural, you know, path towards having a mentor mentee relationship. And kind of a lot of that gets lost in a remote work environment. But the great thing is that the door is open with all of this content that's out there on the web, and a lot of it on, you know, YouTube on on podcast networks, I mean, there's, there's just so much of it that can be immediately available to you, as well, as, you know, Google Books, I mean, there's, you know, are good reads, there's, there's all of these online resources as well, where you can actually get chapters, if not the entire book, to well established publications that are also made freely on the web. So in terms of, you know, the opportunities for positive influence, they may not be equal to proportionately the opportunities for negative influence that we've seen in rampant droves in recent years, but, but they're there. And particularly if you seek them out.

Nick Lozano  11:21
Yeah, I think you're 100%, right. Everything's there, whether it's positive, or negative, it just depends on what what you're looking for. And I guess the other unfortunate part about everything being open to us, you can wind up in an echo chamber, right? Or you can just be confirming your own biases. And before we were recording, we were talking about being self aware, too. And I think that's really important when you start looking at things and looking at ideas, and I believe was at Pina margaritas had that great line where he's like, are you listening to this to somebody else to understand or are you listening to them to respond? So at least I know, for me, every now and then I search out few points that are different than my own, just because I want to, you know, check my own things. In just because someone changes their mind doesn't mean anything. Like, I'm making decisions now based off the information I know now. Not the information I know, tomorrow. So so our ideas and our beliefs can change over time and be an open to listen to someone else to understand what they're saying. To understand their perspectives. Without trust, trying to respond is a difficult task. So self awareness, like you brought up earlier before we hit recording, that, to me is a is a big thing, especially when you're looking for the kind of like mentee relationship. Right? When it's not directly. Connection, like we work together.

Brian Comerford  12:47
Yeah, yeah. You know, your, your comments there about sort of operating from the best of the information that we've got today. It reminds me, I think it was the poet Walt Whitman, and Leaves of Grass, who wrote, I contradict myself, you know, asking us a question. And that affirming, I contradict myself, I'm large, I contain multitudes. Right? So So I think affirming the possibility that you can always evolve, you can always change, you can always add to your perspective. In most cases, hopefully, that means, you know, you enlarge your capacity for tolerance versus narrowing it. But, you know, having, I think, going back to your earlier point about rather than just having a, an annual, you know, New Year's resolution, actually formulating a life strategy for yourself. And, you know, coming from an agile background, you know, making that an iterative process, to me is something that's important. And so for my life strategy, I have different categories of goals. And I map them onto a timeline so that I actually time bind, you know, those those things, so that they're not just elusively sitting out there. Like one day, I'm going to get to that there's actually steps that have to be taken to undertake action, right. But also being flexible enough that you can shift things, you know, knowing if there's a real estate investment deal that comes up. And maybe that wasn't my goal until q2 of next year, but it's available to me now, that may now supersede something else that I had planned right now, it's not gonna mean that it's off the list, but now I have the ability to flexibly move those things around. As long as I maintain the self discipline to continue moving forward on the path of all those things that I've set up as goals for myself. Do you use a similar structure?

Nick Lozano  14:51
I mean, I do something similar. I'm not quite as specific. I haven't applied. Like I'm fairly familiar with Agile Scrum and everything and sprints, epics stories. You know, we can all the terms, and I love doing things like that when it comes to processes at work, but when it comes to my own personal things, for me simple is better, right? If I just take the same mentality and methodologies, methodologies that we we do when we do Agile development. And, you know, just like the cyclical pattern, just go back and take a look, are you heading in the right direction? You know, is this even a goal worth even doing anymore? Right? A lot of times, at least I know, for me in the past, I would get stuck on a goal. And I'm heading the wrong direction, because I just wasn't evaluating I was evaluating if I was going the right direction. But I never stopped to think sometimes if this was still a direction I want it to go. So for me, it's important as well, to evaluate the goal itself. Maybe it's not a goal that I want to do anymore. And I'm okay, just cutting it off and focusing my attention more to one of the ones, the other ones that I have just depending on what's going on. Do you ever reevaluate your goals and decide, you know, since you have such a defined process? Are you constantly re evaluating them?

Brian Comerford  16:22
Yeah, you know, part of what you just commented on there leads me to ask you another question, too, but I'll answer yours first. So, yes, yes, I do tend to reevaluate and, you know, part of part of a technique that I learned, I'm not even sure where I may have learned it. But you know, I saw it reaffirmed in a documentary, or I think a self help movie maybe is better way to characterize it called a secret years ago. And that was the idea of constructing vision boards. And, again, I forget the first place that I learned about doing that, but it seemed like a really simple technique. So kind of following on your, you know, simple is more effective for you. The idea of putting together just a poster board sized, you know, panel, that contained images, that were direct associations with things, you know, that I aspired to, you know, I made, you know, multiple versions of these over the years, right. And part of what I recognized, you know, in answering your question is that, from the first vision board, which is kind of all over the map, to, you know, further iterations of it, there started to be more of a narrowing and focusing of certain things, until I got, you know, for me kind of, to be structured around four key themes. And those areas have continued to be the areas that I concentrate my focus in. And so, and it's not exclusive. I mean, obviously, there's always little objectives that come up now and again, but, but by and large, it has ended up kind of being my, my true north, for my own personal strategy. So I wanted to ask you, you know, sort of similarly, how many times have you gone back to maybe a list that you've created of goals, you know, that you wanted to pursue? And even though you hadn't been actively sort of tracking any one of them in particular, you looked at the list and realize that you've already accomplished several of them.

Nick Lozano  18:39
I would say that's happened more more times, than I care to admit. I think we, we, we all do that, right. It's, it's, with this goal setting, looking back and writing, there was times where I wasn't writing things down. And I'll give this example. For me, it was doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, right. In the beginning of doing it, I wasn't keeping a notebook of what I was doing, what progress and what, what goals, I was trying to attain each session. And I was kind of spinning my wheels at a certain point of time. So then the very first time, I decided I was going to write this down, like, okay, training, you know, I want to hit XYZ, I want to, you know, establish this, I want to be able to do this move. And after I wrote that down, and I stopped and reflected on it the next day, like, well, heck, I've already done like, you know, 25% of these. It's just the process of that. I didn't, you know, commit it to memory and write it down and reflect on it. It wasn't as apparent to me that was further along than I already was. And I'm not saying that people need to journal. I know journaling, not for some people. But even if you just write something on a post it note or put it in an Evernote note or OneNote or notion or whatever you do, just somewhere where you can go back and reflect on it. And for me, since we're talking about reflection, too, I didn't get into journaling, until somebody said something to me, they're like, uh, you know, I said to them, I'm like, you know, journaling is not for me. And she's how she remember this conversation with. But they were like, you know, journaling, it's just about writing your thoughts out, don't worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation, just when you put that pen in your hands, or your fingers on the keyboard, just write whatever's in your mind doesn't even matter if it's coherent. It's more of just allowing your brain to dump and think about what's on your mind. So, in hindsight, yes, I've totally missed goals by not writing them down. And for me, and I know, it's not everybody. But for me, you know, writing them down, and reflecting has been been a huge way for me to see where I am. And to even notice that I've accomplished things that I didn't think I had accomplished already.

Brian Comerford  20:57
Yeah, you know, I think it's really critical. I'm with you on that. I think it's really critical to actually memorialize those things for yourself in some way. And, you know, being as specific as possible, is also I think, very helpful. So, you know, a good example, that's, I think, a common goal, a lot of people have lose some weight. Well, you know, how much I mean, five pounds, seven pounds, 10 pounds? Like put a, you know, quantify it somehow. And then maybe you can take it a step further and quantify it by time binding it, right, I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Okay, well, that gives you a, you know, a really clear set of objectives there. And you can then, you know, work backwards and start measuring it pretty, pretty consistently, to see whether or not you're on track with that. But then you can get even more specific with something like, I want to lose 10 pounds of fat and gain two pounds of lean muscle tissue. Right. But the point being, until you've actually committed in that in some way, I really do think that there's something that happens in the mind, where, just by the act of creating that message in some way. Right, like the unconscious mind is dumb. It just believes whatever we tell it. And so if you tell it, that this is something that's important to you, and that we're, you know, on track with making this a clear goal, and you know, then that I think takes it a step closer to actually manifesting the reality of that taking place. I think there's a great quote from Tony Robbins, that goes something to the effect of, you know, a lot of people are in the these affirmations, right? Well, affirmations without action, are the first step to delusion. So, putting it down, I think is important. It does, I think, cause some type of brain change. But then there actually has to be some work behind it. And I think that's part of why, you know, going back to Jocko willings book discipline equals freedom. That's part of why that resonates so well with me, because it's, he's just very cut and dried, you know, about the work component of it.

Nick Lozano  23:28
Yeah, I mean, that books had a big impact on me too. And specifically, the audio book ins we were discussing, that's like, whenever you hear him, you know, in the audiobook, you just feel like, Yes, I need to do this. Because this person's telling me he just has that, that tone when he reads and I know he's not everybody's cup of tea, right. Like, I'll just get that out there right away, right. I know, he's not everybody's cup of tea. Some people find him, you know, brash, I've read somewhere where somebody called him a knuckle dragger. So I understand he's his cup of tea, but I, I know that that books had a big impact on on me and his podcast specifically had a pretty big impact on me. You know, I've been in the leadership for a long time, even since, you know, before I found him, or I found, you know, any of the number like Simon Sinek. Just, you know, from reading those books and consuming his content. I'm like, Well, you know, I've got something to say about this. In my master at this topic, no, but I've at least got something to say something to share something that might help somebody.

Brian Comerford  24:37
Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, we've talked about sort of that force multiplier. I think that Timothy Ferriss that originally talked about, right, you don't, you don't need the masses to embrace what you're doing. You just need, you know, a selective cult following. Right. That's all you need to be successful, right? It's something like 2000 people is all it takes to be, you know, full 2000 followers is all it takes to be a success, something, something like that in this equation?

Nick Lozano  25:07
Yeah, it's, I believe so Tim Ferriss, I think it's a Kevin Connolly article. It's like 1000 true fans or something like that, where he goes through not to put the show notes, I'll go, I'll see if I can go find it. Or if you just type in Google 1000 true fans, I'm sure it's probably the first result that comes up. But basically, he goes through this whole process that, you know, to, to have a following at anything, all you need is 1000. True fans, you don't need to have the masses, the millions of followers. You know, the 1000 true fans are the ones who would, you know, buy any book you put out there, buy a cup, if you released a cup that was $8 You know, anything that you do, they're your true fans who show up for book signings. listen to podcast show up for live streams. So as you're looking for goals, if you're thinking we've talked about it before, but if you're thinking about producing any content or doing any kind of writing, just just do it and get your voice out there, share, share your feelings, and then your thoughts. I don't know how we got onto that.

Brian Comerford  26:11
Well, you know, one of the things that you touched on earlier that I think comes from there's there's a section and discipline equals freedom called overcoming procrastination, right and it's when and where to start. It's one of those things that I just I love from Jocko willing because he this is part of the brashness. Right. I mean, he, he does have a very terse, intense, serious tone. There's nothing like fun or playful at all have anything to say. But, you know, when it comes to a topic like this, I think it's just about, you know, the best representation of what this lesson is that I've ever heard from any mentor, you know, overcoming procrastination, okay. I want to get physically fit. How do I do it? When do I start? You do it by practicing exercises every day. You start now? Yeah, and you do it every day. I want to quit smoking. You know, how can I quit smoking? Quit smoking.

Nick Lozano  27:28
Yeah, I mean, I mean, that's, that's exactly what you're talking about. Right? It is. It is very direct. And, and to the point, and sometimes that's what you need to hear. Right? Yeah. Like, at least for me, sometimes I just need that, you know, that Powell kick in the face where it's like, oh, yeah, you know, I just, you know, need to commit to actually doing this. I'm failing on the execution. Right.

Brian Comerford  27:51
Well, and that's, I also like in that book that he points out and he says, Look, you know, people are weak. I myself, I you know, he says, You know, I Jocko Willink am weakness. And every day, that's the battle that I have to confront. What do I allow to be the winner in this battle? Is it my discipline? Or is it my weakness, because it's very easy to get into weakness. But it's still a choice, no different than taking the path of discipline, they, they're all predicated on a choice. And so he refers to that, you know, in the book is mind control. And so of course, we've we've heard this same theme over and over again, from all sorts of different, you know, online or on, you know, author mentors. In a Robert Anton Wilson is one of my favorites when it comes to the subject of brain change. But I think Tony Robbins is, you know, probably one of the most popular in the mainstream. And that's exactly what he talks about. And he has many different facets of how you can evoke that type of brain change to be transformative. So, you know, either one of those two authors that I just mentioned, you got to kind of get deep into their work, you know, I mean, there's, there's little nuggets in every chapter of every book. But again, with Jocko willing, I think you've got kind of a two minute audio book chapter where he covers that topic, and then you're moving on, on to the next topic. So if you want to cut to the chase, I think it's a good place to start.

Nick Lozano  29:31
It's a great place to start, at least was for me, and he has another book called leadership strategies and tactics, which is pretty similar and it's leadership based where it's like, you know, it's kind of like a field manual again, do I have it up here? I don't have it up on my bookshelf. It's the same kind of deal where it's like, okay, what do I do if I have a bad leader? I'll just go to this page here and you can see everything that you know Jocko his beliefs. Learn it Whether you agree with them or not, I mean, I just like the way that his writing style and the way he lays out his books where it's kind of like, definitely just straight and to the point and you can kind of tell he has that military background because everything's just like ballpoint a bullet point B, bullet point C, and we're moving on. Yeah. Give me the facts and only the facts.

Brian Comerford  30:20
Well, I think that's part of what appeals to us, as technologists as well is we tend to be very framework oriented, in the same way that I think the military tends to be very framework oriented. And so when it comes to having a structure, you know, in technology, that structure often means that if you deviate from it, things don't work. Right, they're only designed to work within that structure. Similarly, you know, when we were talking with Major General Williams, he, you know, he talks about, there's that routine aspect, where you, you continue to practice and practice and practice until something becomes so routine, that you find yourself in the heat of battle. And there's, you know, things can be falling apart all around you. And yet, you're still pursuing along a trajectory that has been ingrained into you through the repetition of that training. And so there's, there's a purpose for those frameworks, you know, in either of those domains. And I think, you know, there are certain, you know, mentors, leadership, advisors, teachers, they have their own sort of prescribed framework, you know, Brene, brown, I think, is another one, you know, she talks about braving, and, you know, the acronym of braving, essentially can be broken out into each of those letters representing a concept within her framework. So I think there's a lot of strength in frameworks, especially as it you know, helps to ingrain a repetition of a certain type of behavior and in your own, you know, your own patterns of action.

Nick Lozano  32:05
I completely agree with you all, all very valid points. So, we've talked a lot about Jocko Willink, and Simon Sinek. But is there any one other author or like, even social media content creator or somebody in the that's had a big impact on you that cut since we're talking about that mentee relationship without directly knowing that Mr. Anyone else that's kind of had that impact on you? And like, what have you learned from them?

Brian Comerford  32:35
Yeah, you know, there's, I mean, in terms of social media, one that you see all the time on LinkedIn is Gary Gary Vee, right? Gary Vaynerchuk, I think is his last name. Vaynerchuk Vaynerchuk. And, you know, and that's great, because there's just all always these little tidbits that are kind of worth reflecting on, right. And then there's some, some lesser known ones, you know, there, there's one that we actually had on our podcast as a guest named Mike Lee. And he's taken these principles of yoga and mindfulness, and has really, you know, made that part of his routine of helping to be a mentor, to other executive leaders. And I think that there's a real need for that kind of work. And, you know, it sounds kind of like, fluffy or something. Because, you know, people are like, Oh, mindfulness, you know, and here we are talking about Jocko Willink. And it's like, Nah, man, I'm gonna go lift some weights, you know, and that's right. Like that, I don't need mindfulness. But for me, mindfulness is, is a very critical component of my own daily routine. And I say that being a daily meditator, and by daily, I mean, most days. I really do try to maintain it as a routine discipline. And I meditate regularly with my family. And, you know, part of what that behavior starts to evoke for me, is that I find myself using it as a tool more and more at times when I need it most. And I'm, I may not consciously recognize when I need it most. But say I'm going in for a big presentation with the client. I need to be calm. I need to be mentally receptive. I need to be very organized and articulate. And usually, in order to get there, the best place for me to start is not flying in from another meeting, where I took a zoom call right up to you know, 1259 Before my one o'clock meeting, that's not the way to be, you know, mentally prepared. That's not the way to be 100% laser focused on it. Know who you're trying to communicate with. And so for me, a lot of times what that means is 10 minutes of sitting meditation before, you know going into a, an important call like that. And by sitting meditation, I'm not talking about, you know, like Shinra, Suzuki's zozen, where you have to sit, you know, with your, your back straight, like, like an arrow and a, you know, a bow, I'm just talking about getting relaxed, you can sit in an office chair, you know, put your hands on your knees, you don't even have to close your eyes, but just take your eyes to a focal point. So that you can concentrate on your breaths as very simple, you just inhale. And that's a count of one, yeah, exhale, that's a count of two, you do that up to 10. And then you go back to one. And every time you find your mind wandering, you don't beat yourself up over there, I lost my focus again, you just kindly dismiss it as thinking and return to counting the breaths. And once you've done this for a period of time, it becomes you know, much easier to do because it is difficult at the beginning. And that's why practitioners of meditation call it practice. Because you never achieved mastery with it. But what you start to realize is, it starts to settle a lot of this chaotic chatterbox mental energy that can get in the way of focus or getting in the way of, you know, authentic attentiveness. And at times where it's most critical. So I know that was a really long winded answer to your question, but props to Mike, Mike Lee, for what he's doing. Online is mindfulness teaching.

Nick Lozano  36:52
And we'll be sure to link his episode interview with us in the show notes. It was, it was sometime in 2020, I think. So we'll put the link in there. I don't remember what episode number it is. But, you know, I, mindfulness is one of those things that I feel like is super important. I didn't really understand it for a long time. And it's one of those things about being present, right, and just acknowledging your thoughts and, and having that practice that, that alone time where we're constantly pinged by social media, or phones buzz with, with email, text messages, and then you know, we're here on a podcast, that's that can be noise, too. All right. And I found, at least for me, doing breath work has been my my type of thing where I just sit down, and I just focus on the breath in and out, has been really helpful from a mindfulness perspective. And, for me, practicing my martial arts, because when somebody is trying to attack me, I don't have time to think about anything, I just have to execute. So it's, that's my form of meditation to where, you know, all my thoughts, at the end of the day, just get flushed out. And I'm just purely in the moment, I'm nowhere else, I'm just in that moment in that interaction. Experiencing that 100% without any distraction, or anything, you know, pulling my attention away. So I love that you brought up mindfulness, and it's been something big on my radar lately, and you know, I have to give you credit, because you're, you've pulled me back into that turn direction, I got stuck on, you know, consuming content about leadership and just like different things and interests me like astrophysics and Tyson, Neil deGrasse. And just, I had to, at times forgot to take care of myself. So I had to give you a big thanks for that.

Brian Comerford  38:47
That's awesome to hear. I'm so glad. Thank you. Well, it's, you know, it's something that I came to in my early 20s. And, you know, I was just kind of curious about it. And it was reinforced for me through the core co worker, when I was actually doing some, some very stressful work, working as a nurse aide in an Alzheimer's clinic. And and, you know, there was a lot of baggage that I was carrying home with me every night, just because of the intensity and the emotionalism of that, that type of work. And one of the, one of the people that came in to visit those patients on a routine basis was a Buddhist nun. And she was the one who introduced me to the book called Zen Mind, beginner's mind by shinners. Suzuki, also a very short read, and one that's, you know, it's probably a little more formal than, you know, there's probably a lot of meditation books out there quick things online, you know, that you can get to I've even seen, you know, like, on how There's, there's a great entry on several different styles of meditation, but that particular book, you know, it was that I think I received that probably right around the time that the web started. So it's not like, there's a lot of content online, I could Google. So books, books were where it was at. And that was one that that helped introduce me to a lot of those concepts. About your neck insight. You know why I've rattled off a few different influences are some of the ones that kind of come to mind for you.

Nick Lozano  40:33
So for me, just from you know, obviously, we talked about one Jocko Willink, and we talked about him, you know, at length, so I don't need to go into that one anymore. Gary Vee as well, too, as Gary Vee or Gary Vaynerchuk. At first, when I found him, he was he, he put me off, right, because he is really brash, he says the F word probably more than any individual I ever know. He, you know, like, when he says the F word, you're like, oh, man am I like and Goodfellas? How many times he says the F word. But then he always has these little like nuggets, either about leadership or about, you know, doing something or, you know, creating something where you're just like, wow, you just take that back. He's had a big impact on me. And the other one, I would say, is probably Peter Lynch, right? I, you know, just his ideas, and his thoughts about his human centered leadership really struck a chord with me. And I guess what I really like about it, too, is that it's simple, right? I'm not a huge fan of things that are very complicated, where I need a book, and I got to follow some method, because nine times out of 10, I'm not going to remember, if it's the super crazy method, I'm not gonna remember step, you know, 17. A, to get to to, you know, to be, you know, 12,000, I'm not gonna remember those things. So I would say those two, and when it comes to different, like, just podcast I've really picked up again, listening to something called 20,000 Hertz. And it's just, you know, the sound studio guys in Dallas. They're their sound designers, I guess they call them. And they just do different things for movies and TV shows, and they just talk about how sound affects the world. And they had this great episode recently about people you know, who are blind, and they go to movies, or they watch TV shows, they don't understand what's going on. And it was this whole thing about how PBS in Boston did dictation first, like in the early 90s, they would get people to watch the shows, and they would just dictate. And it's one of the things when you stopped to think you don't realize how different things like that have an impact on to another individual until you sit down. And you hear somebody talk about it. So I enjoy stuff like that as to well.

Brian Comerford  42:55
Yeah, that's great. And there's, you know, I think part of what you touch on is just the, you know, breadth of content that is out there that is available to us, that's really about good news, and really about things that can benefit us. And it's easy, I think, to get swept into just this ocean of negativity, or, as you mentioned earlier, the echo chamber of, you know, how these things can, you know, continue to just, you know, create sort of a lot of this additional noise in our minds. So, I think, you know, from a self awareness perspective, and a leadership perspective, you know, a rule that came out of you probably remember this from, from ROTC, you know, no different than when I learned it, but, you know, complaints, they go up, right? You, you don't you don't share a lot of, you know, negativity going down the chain of command, and there's, there's a very good reason for that you want to maintain the morale of those who are around you. And it feels like, you know, morale has been worsened to some degree, just with a lot of the psychic energy that that gets caused by a lot of this social media echo chamber kind of stuff that has created truly deep seated conflicts, you know, of like, so I'll I'll just I'll tie that back to one more thing that I love in that Jocko willing book discipline equals freedom, where he talks about leadership, true leadership is about compromise. And that you can recognize leadership because it is all about finding the common ground between opposing forces opposing ideas and opposing voices, and that you as a leader have to find a path to creating harmony, where there's disharmony because that's how you hold it. everything together. And, and, you know, part of that responsibility starts with us as individuals in recognizing that, you know, unless we're, you know about to embark on a civil war, we're at a point where we've gotten, you know, potentially neighbors across the street who may have, you know, completely opposing ideas to our own because of the type of information that they're consuming. But it's still up to us individually as leaders to be the first ones on that path to creating harmony, through finding a way to compromise. And I'll just put the little asterisk next to that, that one of the things I do love that Jocko shares is that doesn't mean that you have to change your own ideas or your own opinions or feelings about things. It means that you recognize that you have to change this particular relationship in the work habits around it in order to create that harmony.

Nick Lozano  45:59
Ben scrape point. And there's there's one thing about too, and I was just thinking about this, when you're saying that I you know, I was live streaming a lot last year, and I had this guest, Troy, Richie, who, you know, he had come on, and he he gave this quote, I think it was from six Sickler, I'm not 100% Sure. But it was like, if you go looking for dirt, you're going to find dirt. If you go looking for gold, you're going to find gold. So make sure when you're looking out and you're looking for people go looking for the good. Not necessarily the bad. So I thought that was a really powerful quote, a slick panda is such a simple thought out when you think about it, right? If you think the world's bad, and you go out looking at the world with that lens of you, you're just gonna find everything that's bad, instead of the stuff that's good in life, you know, pretty similar to your thing, right? It's about the compromise, right? It's not, it's not that this person's bad because of this idea. It's just an idea. We're talking about an idea. We're not talking about who that person isn't as an individual. And I will leave it at that.

Brian Comerford  47:05
I'll just add one more thing to that and say that Robert Anton Wilson, you know, you hear me reference frequently. He was asked, in one of the many interviews that I've read with him, you claim to be an optimist, that that's like one of the labels that you always put on yourself. Why is that? So? And how can that be true when you look around the world, and there's so many negative things happening? And he said, but that just said something about the way that you look at the world, I look at the world and I see all the good things that are happening. We're at a point of innovation that's unprecedented in human history. Every day, we are seeing a change in something that is going to help humankind. We're seeing advances in technology, we're seeing people helping each other we're seeing all of these things that are huge positive outcomes. And you have to start by putting that lens on. And the bottom line is being an optimist. Why not? Because look at look at the alternative.

Nick Lozano  48:08
Right. I guess with that, Brian, that is a good spot to wrap. If you enjoyed this episode, if you could just leave us a review. You know, whatever, stars, thumbs up, like, subscribe, but whatever it is, if you just leave us a review and do that we'd greatly appreciate it would help us. You know what our reach and if you enjoyed this episode, and you think there's somebody else who you think would enjoy our content, be sure to share it with them. And do you have anything to add to that, Brian?

Brian Comerford  48:43
No, I think I think it's the right. It's a good place to leave it. So Thanks for Thanks for exploring like this broad reach of jabbering away about content today.

Nick Lozano  48:58
Appreciate it. Thanks, everybody. We'll see you on the next one.