The Human Mind Explained by One of the Great Polymaths – Dr. John Demartini – HPP 54
Mental illness has plagued thousands of Americans over the years without truly addressing its root causes. In today’s very exciting episode, we are joined by a world renowned polymath, Dr. John Demartini, and together we learn, discover, understand and identify what causes this health condition and how we can avoid it.
Join us as we uncover the secrets on how we can live healthier mentally, socially and financially; and through understanding and accepting our individual values can we truly attain an optimal mental health.
Defining a healthy mental state and its polar opposite – 08:05
“Mental health is enhanced but a new stress is built when you’re pursuing things that are deeply and intrinsically meaningful to you, and tend to be hindered and it adds to distress when you’re trying to avoid pain and seek pleasure when nature has a balance of these two”
States of mind: Depression and Anxiety – 13:10
“There’s a lot of chemistry that’s being altered because of stored perceptions that are unrealistic—And if we narrow it down, we find details about what they are depressed about, and what’s happening is that their current reality is not matching what they expect, what it used to be, the fantasy that it’s supposed to be”
Keys to a healthy mental state – 16:58
“And if we set up a fantasy that we’re supposed to be always up, always nice and always one-sided, I think we set ourselves up for bipolar conditions because we’re expecting a one-sided world—I educate people to try to ground them a bit, because I think the people that are grounded are farther along in achievements in their ability to adapt to changing environments, and stress is the inability to adapt”
Empowerment in all areas of life – 19:27
“If we don’t empower ourselves intellectually, we’ll be told what to think. If we don’t empower ourselves in business, we’ll be told what to do. If we don’t empower ourselves in finance, we’ll be told what we’re worth. If we don’t empower ourselves in relationship, we may be trapped in a marriage and subordinate to an ideology and fear of what people will think if all the sudden I’m not inspired”
The impact on patients with an empowered provider – 29:10
“A practitioner, in my view, is that you are here to exemplify. The greatest teacher, as Einstein said, is exemplification. And if you exemplify and empower lives, it’s going to impact your children, the people around you, and your patients”
Accepting our unique limitations – 32:30
“If you honor what you are based on what your values are and put expectations that match that, you thrive. But you may not be empowered in all areas unless you link those areas to that area you’re exceling in”
The Impact of delegation – 35:40
“What are the actual priorities now? Thinking of the spread, thinking of productivity, thinking of the meaning. How do I get the most meaning, the most productivity and allow me the most spread? By Delegating—If I don’t delegate, I’m holding my own life back, and I’m holding back patients from getting care”
The significance of living an inspired life – 42:20
“If you say no to things that aren’t inspiring to you and say yes to things that do, eventually you’re so busy doing what you love doing, you can easily afford to delegate the things that you don’t, that aren’t inspiring”
Understanding the Void: Purpose and Values – 48:20
“Trying to project your values onto them and trying to get them to live in your values instead of them injecting their values into you and you’re trying to live in their values. Both of those are futile. You can’t live in other people’s values long term, they won’t live in your values long term. These are the two most common things that cause chaos and distress, and depression—These are delusional”
Full Episode Transcript
people, life, values, inspired, delegate, empower, live, highest, world, subordinate, perceptions, mental health, expecting, areas, chemistry, set, practitioner, actions, exemplify, meaning
Keith Kurlander, Dr. Will Van Derveer, Dr. John Demartini
Dr John Demartini 00:02
I think Bill Gates says it really nicely by asking himself this question, what is the highest priority actions I can do today that will serve the greatest number of people in the most efficient, effective manner? That would inspire me. That’s a great question to ask.
Keith Kurlander 00:25
Thank you for joining us for The higher practice podcast. I’m Keith Kurlander with Dr. Will Van Derveer. And this is the podcast where we explore what it takes to achieve optimal mental health. Today, we are going to talk to one of my mentors who’s been a personal mentor now for eight to 10 years. And I owe, I feel a lot of gratitude to this man and teacher I’ve learned so much from him and his wisdom and his methods specifically for helping people and myself. He’s one of the greatest polymath on the planet. A polymath is someone who has studied a large amount of disciplines and gone really deep into those disciplines. He’s read more books than anyone I’ve ever met or heard of. He is just a really interesting person to learn from and hear from. We’re going to dialogue about everything in there anything but specifically we will get into what is mental illness? How do we come out of mental illness? How do we optimize the mind and we’re going to talk about values and how understanding values really can help us reach our purpose in life and also the number neuroscience behind it. We’re going to talk about the brain. We’re going to talk about the body and we’re going to talk about some larger, very interesting, existential and spiritual questions. Fr. John Demartini is a world renowned specialist in human behavior, a researcher, author and global educator. He has developed a series of solutions applicable across all markets, sectors and age groups. His education curriculum ranges from corporate empowerment programs, Financial Empowerment strategies, self development programs, relationship solutions and social transformation programs. His teachings start at the core of the issue, addressing the human factor and range out to a multitude of powerful tools that have proven the test of time. He has stayed over 30,000 books across all the defined academic disciplines and has synthesized the wisdom of the ages, which he shares on stage in over 100 countries. His presentations, whether keynotes seminars or workshops, Leave clients with insights into their behavior and keys to their empowerment. Thanks, dr. John Demartini for joining the show.
Dr John Demartini 03:09
Yes, thank you for having me.
Keith Kurlander 03:10
Yeah, it’s really an honor to have you on here. I’ve obviously been staying with you now for a handful of years. And just so appreciate everything you bring, especially the conversation on mental health, which is where, you know, well, and I, as we do a lot of our work in this area, and I think you really bring a you bring something to the conversation that’s not being spoken about enough, or almost at all. So I can’t wait to hear what you have to say around this. And I think a great starting point would just be to, what if we just start really basic here, which is defining what a really well, mentally well person is how does that happen? mental health, mental empowerment and then the opposite of that, which is how does somebody get into it very easily. disordered state mentally What if we start there?
Dr John Demartini 04:03
You know, probably me enough to know that I’ll probably start something to do with human values.
Keith Kurlander 04:09
So I was I was waiting for that.
Dr John Demartini 04:11
Yeah. It’s been my observation, doing what I do for, you know, 47 years is that every human being lives moment by moment, filtering their reality, their perceptions, through a set of values. And these set of values are emerging and changing as they go through life. So it’s not set in stone, there’s gradual changes or cataclysmic changes based on events that can occur. But whatever the set of values are, moment by moment, they’re filtering through, they’re pulling our nuclear have our thalamus, the thalamus sensory data, and with that data with previous existing inputs that they’ve experienced and stored, there, combining that into a perception and then gathering that data Making decisions and then taking actions appropriately to that, when that set of values is fingerprint specific and unique to them. And there is a tendency to have a higher intrinsic nature the value which is more spontaneously pursued in the highest of those values, and tends to be more extrinsic in the lower values, which means that they are spontaneously inspired intrinsically to go and act on the things highest on their values. And they require motivation, extrinsic motivation and a form of reward or punishment or most reward if they do it punishment. They don’t do it, to do the things alone. And I use the classical analogy of a child that loves video games, because that’s the easiest one to relate to them. They spontaneously love to do their video games, I would ask to remind them to do it just intrinsically are called to do that. But they are needing reminding to do their homework, their chores, clean their room, and then they’ll go if you do that, you can play video games, if you don’t, you don’t get to play video games kind of thing. extrinsically. So every human being has this hierarchy of values. It’s changing, it’s filtering their world. And when they live in more in alignment, and congruently, with what is really intrinsically a value to them, they tend to be more spontaneous, they tend to have a greater degree of achievement. They have a greater degree of objective view because the blood glucose noxian goes into the forebrain. And they’re more likely to see both sides of things, a more even minded view. Set were more realistic expectations have a higher probability of achieving it because of discipline reliable and focus there. When they do achieve it, they’ll tend to go on to greater things which raises their confidence and wakes up their natural leadership and allows them to expand their space and time horizons to to achieve ever greater things. But when they are doing something that isn’t Not highest on their value, and they’re pursuing it, either because they’re trying to conform to their surroundings and society, mothers, fathers, preachers, teachers conventions for it, mores, traditions, religions, etc. If they try to filter those in, they sometimes have internal conflict between what they would naturally are yearning to do and what they think they’re supposed to do. And that conformity can constrain their greatness and live make them go into lower subcortical areas of the brain and function, primarily the amygdala. That amygdala is a desire center seeking that which is pleasurable and to try and avoid that which is pain, seeking prey and avoiding predator. And that response There tends to skew and distort as a survival mechanism information, which makes them less adaptable, less resilient, and in a sense, more reactive, emotionally and volatile. Or doubtful about their outcomes because that’s where they procrastinate hesitate and frustrated. So mental health is enhanced. And use stress is built when you’re pursuing things that are deeply intrinsically meaningful to you. And is tend to be hindered and adds to distress when you’re trying to avoid pain and seek pleasure when nature has a balance of those to support and challenge naturally in our environment. So embracing objectively life and setting goals that are pursuant to what’s really meaningful to us, we have a higher probability of, of having a more stable mental health, and less likely to go into the subcortical areas and the glial cells will myelinate nutrify and assist in neurogenesis and the growth and the development of the forebrain when we’re living congruently with what’s valuable and intrinsically, and it tends to de myelinate and de nutrify. do just the opposite when we’re down in our amygdala And we tend to split ourselves apart and disempower ourselves, when we’re highly infatuated or highly resentful to things and highly polarized, and really, you know, fundamentally rigid in our thinking process, we fear the loss of the things we seek, we fear the gain of the things we don’t want. And we live in more of an anxious perception. And we don’t have the confidence and we bring off load and give decisions to other people that we subordinate to, we think that know better than us when in fact, they may not. And that means we’re less productive and less creative and less capacity to be resilient and adaptable to the things that we’d love to do. And I believe that we deserve to do something extraordinary and I think mental health has a lot to do with the degree of congruency between what we pursue and what’s truly intrinsically valuable to us. And that’s why I tried my best to try to give people tools to find out what that really is intrinsically, is calling them to do. I say calling I don’t mean theologically but thing that they just feel that they want to inner their inner most dominant thought wants to create in the world. I believe that there is something like that. But a lot of people don’t even know that’s there because they’re so used to subordinating and conforming, instead of standing on the shoulders of giants. They’re living in people’s shadows, and their end being imitating people, instead of being their authentic self, and the magnificence of who they are is an expression of their most authentic self.
Keith Kurlander 10:23
I’ll pass the mic to you after this question. Well, I’m curious what you’re thinking. So let’s go a little more granular now around what are the conditions from what you’re speaking about, obviously, if there’s an income, currency and values and we’re getting into more disordered states in the mind, what leads someone down the rabbit hole of depression versus anxiety if we just look at the big two first, those being kind of different states and conditions, what is those two different conditions about?
Dr John Demartini 10:53
Well, I’ve certainly presenting the break to experience 1097 times Over 31 years, and working with people clinically, thousands and thousands of I’ve certainly seen people that have been diagnosed with depressive states sometimes are clinically depressed. And many psychiatrists will have them, you know, they’ll look at they know chemistry. And the reductionistic model is the neuro chemistry. And that’s a valid model, in the sense that it’s, it is measuring correlations and chemistry and moods and attitudes and this, but I don’t want to put that as causal, because that’s a really narrow construct. I think that’s limiting people and disempowering people that that construct. There’s definitely correlations are definitely unbalanced chemistry. But that’s doesn’t mean that that’s the cause of it. Even though you can approach it from that perspective and change the chemistry and change the moods and that’s very, something useful. There’s a lot of chemistry that’s being altered because of stored perceptions that are unrealistic. I use the analogy of you know, Bear comes into a room all of a sudden, and you’re unexpected of it. And then all of a sudden a lion comes chasing you. And we get up men in black pen and we freeze somebody right in the middle of a lion attack. If we go and test their cortisol levels and their osteo calcium levels, and we go and test their testosterone levels, and adrenal cortical hormones, and adrenal, or the sympathetic response, it’s gonna be pretty high. And serotonin and dopamine and capital ions are going to be down. So we could say, well, they have about chemical imbalance, but the real truth is they’re perceiving a line about to attack them. And so the chemistry is going to respond within 200 milliseconds of that perception. And so, we can arbitrarily take a sliver out of the stream of consciousness of the individual and take a peek at it, look at the chemistry and say, okay, there’s the cause. But we got to look at the line to and I think that many people in fact, I know for a fact because I’ve transformed thousands and I mean thousands of people with depression. By asking them when they say they’re depressed. Many people want to run the story and just run a story about why they’re depressed. I said, No, stop the story, depressed about what? And we narrowed down we find details about what they’re depressed about. And what’s happening is their current reality is not matching, what they expect, what it used to be, or what it’s supposed to be the fantasy that it’s supposed to be. And right now, you know, anytime you’re comparing what is actually happening to fantasies of the future or fantasy the way it was in the past, you’re not gonna appreciate what’s current. I always say depression is a comparison to current reality to something isn’t what’s happening. And if you don’t stop and ask them accountable, to find out what they’re comparing their life to, it may be a delusion and unrealistic expectation and fantasy and this depression. If we go and find out what they’re comparing it to and find out what are the downsides of it being the way they fantasize it being And then the upsides away it is we balance it out, the whole thing shifts, I’ve seen it happen over and over again. And I’m sure I don’t do the chemical studies on it. But I’m sure the chemistry must have changed because their mood has changed and the moods and chemistry are changing. I explained to people I’ve never seen in 47 years fear of the unknown. I have people say I’m fearing the unknown. No, you have fear of the content that you’re running in your brain, because you don’t know the outcome. But you’re creating the content. And you’re creating the fear because you’re creating the expectation. It’s, you’re ruminating on more drawbacks and benefits about what’s about to occur, and you’re assuming there’s going to be more drawbacks. And so you having a fear, and life is not matching how you expect it to be. So when I go in there, and I find out what they’re comparing their life to and find out the downsides of what they’re comparing it to, and the upsides of what’s going on in their life right now that they’re ignoring. And I bring those back into more of a balanced state. The mood changes there. happens every time I get to see it, not do it. So I don’t want to blame the biochemical imbalance. I think that’s a escape coach, and a dissociation from their own causal perspective. And I want to get people their power back. And I want people to know about it. And I’m not saying that there’s not a place for the chemistry because there may be, I just don’t think that’s the first thing that people need to go to as a first choice, unless they truly have a brain, chemical, reasonable or rational reason for why the chemistry is off. Because I find that most times people are not actually asking the right questions. I’ve tried my best to dig in and find questions that people can ask themselves, or people who are therapists can ask them to help them aware of what they’re comparing your life to and neutralize it. And the fact is, I’ve got a good track record, with people doing it, particularly with things like grief, and depressive states. I’ve seen this God knows how many times I’ve got a very incredible track record with the grief process. As you know, we’ve done 3560 something cases of grief, with 100% result. And that’s unheard of. And they even did a study in Tokyo on that. And they were, they’re blown away by, they just couldn’t believe that this is something that’s doable. But the normal model is not allowing for that type of idea to be there. Because we have this approach that we’re supposed to be happy all the time. And I think that sets people up for a delusion. There’s no such thing as a person that’s happy all the time. That’s delusional. There’s going to be perturbations from perceptions of the environment. It’s going to probably sway you one side or the other, sometimes happy, sad, you’re fluctuating around, it’s a moving target. It’s an aloe stasis instead of homeostasis. And you’re constantly being bombarded by your perceptions. You’re the ones responsible for those perceptions, that those perturbations are going along. And if we set up a fantasy that we’re supposed to To be always up supposed to be always nice, always supposed to be one sided. I think we set ourselves up for bipolar conditions, because we were expecting a one sided world. I don’t think it’s fair to people. I don’t think it grounds them. I don’t think it’s subjective. I don’t think it has any basis in reality. And I think it’s being promulgated. And it’s being used as a marketing mechanism, to mislead people into thinking that life is supposed to be a one sided world and it’s not. And we grew up, it’s already been known in biology and evolutionary theories, that it’s essential to have support and challenge to grow. You need that for her nieces for adapting to environments, even the the COVID virus if we don’t get if we isolate people so much that we don’t even allow their immune systems to get some sort of stimulus, we can actually work against us and the immune response. immune response is designed to be bombarded by things on a daily basis and to be able to respond and keep adapting. And if we sit there and create a pink, you know, glasses and the life supposed to be one thing I think we’re not preparing the world for what’s really involved. I think that’s a disservice to people, I think it’s wise to give them a grounded reality and what objectivity means even mind. Neutral mind. It’s where you’re way more resilient. If you set up a thing, it’s I’m supposed to be more positive than negative, more happy than sad, more kind of cruel, or, you know, peaceful than raffle. Then when the other side comes, you think there’s a mistake, there’s something wrong, when in fact, it’s absolutely perfectly normal and healthy to have those things. So I think that that’s misleading people. And, you know, I educate people to try to ground them a bit. Because I think the people that are grounded and have more of objective views are farther along in the achievements, and then their ability to adapt to changing environments and stresses, inability to adapt.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 18:45
So it sounds like one really important factor in your definition of Mental Health. Dr. demartini is adaptability, flexibility and balance and being able to see both sides.
Dr John Demartini 18:58
You said everything. It took me a thousand words to say 10,000 words to say you said it six.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 19:05
You know, this reminds me of another dimension that, you know, in studying with you for a few years has been incredibly transformative for me, which is the issue of getting empowered in the different areas of life. And I wonder if you could speak about for our audience who maybe isn’t as familiar with your work, as Keith and I are, why you feel that’s important to pursue empowerment and all the areas.
Dr John Demartini 19:26
Digest that and that’s a good question. Well, I have a personal dream in my own life first. So I just want to put it on the narcissist in that respect. I had to, I had to, I had to dream when I was a teenager, to one empower what I categorize the seven areas of life. Now these categories are just arbitrary boundaries and words. People want to be able to have the most fulfillment in life. So I saw myself as I wanted to wake up my mental capacities. I want to have an acute capacity to learn contributed to have innovative ideas to wake up my genius, if you will. My original thing I wanted to create original ideas that serve the world, studying the great minds through history that inspired me. And so I want to do that. I also want to create an international business. I want to have students in every country in the world which I do, I wanted to create financial independence, because I wanted to be able to show that it’s it’s possible to empower all areas I want to make, I want to exemplify that is possible. So I wanted to have money work for me instead of me having to work for it, which meant financial independence, which means saving a portion living within means investing that portion and let it work and put it in the economy and make it work for you. So you’re working not because you have to because you love to. I believe that you’re not going to self actualize your life living in desperation. You’re going to do it by liberating yourself and learning how to manage the wealth component, serving greater numbers of people and contributing innovative ideas for the world. I also felt that I didn’t ever fit into the idea. I guess since I was a young child I’ve traveled, I never felt that I fit in a little sandbox, suburbia, backyard kind of, you know, house, I’ve always thought of myself as a global person. And I wanted to have a global family. And people that were the George Jetsons, I guess you’d say of our time. I saw George Jetson when I was a kid. And I also want to be able to meet amazing people that are doing things that are making a difference in the world and interact with them and learn from them and contribute to them and play in a social leadership role. I wanted to do that. I also want to be physically fit. I’m going on 66 and I work more efficiently than most people. I think for my age, I’m still cranking and I want to be able to demonstrate that you can do a lot more with what you’ve got your body wash, and most people don’t think I’m 66 a month. But then I also want to feel like that I want to live an inspired life. Not necessarily a religious life, not some institution that I support to non anthropomorphic deities of some form, which are disempowering, but actually being inspired individual doing what is really feel called to do, which is really highest of my values and live more self actualized. Life essential and existentially. And so those are the things that I set out to do. And I learned from Zig Ziglar when I was 20. If I help other people get what they want to get in life, I help myself get what I want to get life. So I have the narcissistic component that I want to do that for myself. But I found that my fellow humanity wanted to do the same thing. Most people may put a wall up and say, Well, I don’t know how to do it. And I’ve got a wall and I’ve hit a plateau. But if I show them how they can do it, they’ll take it. They’ll they’ll expand every one of those areas. And I say that if we don’t empower ourselves intellectually, we’ll be told what to think. If we don’t empower ourselves in business, we’ll be told what to do. If we don’t empower ourselves in financially to what we’re worth, if we don’t empower us In relationship, we may be trapped in a marriage, and subordinate to an ideology and fear of what other people think if all of a sudden I’m not inspired. If we don’t empower ourselves socially, we’ll be told the propaganda. And I guarantee there’s propaganda. If you watch CNN, you get a different propaganda than on Fox News. And we go to different countries in Iran. I’ve been to 154 countries, they all have different propagandas about what’s going on in America. So if you don’t, if you don’t even get to travel, you don’t see them. So we will subordinate to the propaganda. We don’t empower ourselves physically. We’ll be told what organs to remove and what drugs to take. And the pharmaceuticals are big companies, and they’re on TV selling billions of dollars of drugs every single year. And most people don’t even know that they’re taking a pill and they don’t read the fine print, listen to the side effects at the very end. And they’re just going around and taking pills with it. And if some people I know and then in my practice, we’re taking 715 20 and up to 50 pills without even thinking about insanity. Then spiritually, pardon me, but I’m just going to be blunt about it. Some of the dogma that’s in spirituality is in the dark ages. It’s not current. It’s not real. It’s promoting fantasies. It’s making people subordinate to antiquated ideologies. And it’s holding people back into a father figures syndrome, that they basically they think there’s something extrinsic thing is going to protect them from their own accountabilities. And so I figured that if you don’t apply yourself that way, you’ll be told what to do, morally and, and with hypocrisy. So I believe that people deserve to be empowered in all areas of life. I’ve spent 47 years doing everything I can to gather data, and research from the greatest minds in each of those areas to try to deliver ways and means and methods and principles that can help person grow as far as they choose to grow. There’s no right if they don’t, there’s no wrong if they do. None of that is not a moral issue. It’s just that it’s the natural yearning for human beings who lives authentically to continue to expand and want to contribute and do something that makes a difference in the world. And so I’m interested in helping people do that. I think that that’s inspiring. And I think that the thousands and thousands of thank you letters that I’ve seen around the world for people that are getting to do that makes me get up in the morning and do it as much as I can.
Keith Kurlander 25:20
Well, thanks for sharing all that. And one place, I take that, especially with this audience, because you your context, a long time ago, was being a medical provider to patients, which is a lot of the people listening to this. And I’m really curious if you just kind of link this now to why is it so relevant that the provider gets empowered in their life, if they’re trying to help a patient? country have a lot to say about that?
Dr John Demartini 25:44
Well, I think Kohlberg in his ideas of moral development said that, you know, we start out putting stuff in our mouth and if it’s sweet and pleasurable, we consume it. And if it’s better, we toss it. And we kind of learn for trial and error and avoid pain. seek pleasure. Then we have our by age 1, we have mommy and daddy, particularly mommy’s saying no, no, no. Yes, yes, yes. And so we start to inculcate some sort of a projected values into our lives about how we’re supposed to do it to begin our socialization. Or father steps in our preacher steps in our teacher steps. And by the time we get to five or six, we get about teenage years 12 to 13, we our core peer pressure of little social groups that we participate in start to influence it. And we gradually move up to ever greater levels of social dynamics, that starts to inculcate the ideals that we’re living by. And we then go through the city, the state, the nation, the world and we try to find our place in it. And most people don’t make it to a transcendent level where they’ve actually found their own identity. Most of them conform. As Ernest Becker says in the denial of death, most people are looking for a collective hero to subordinate to either at a football game or a church or something that is a hero. That They can identify and live vicariously through. I think that the Kardashians is a good example. Like millions of people watch the Kardashians, because it’s, you know, they figured it out. And they live vicariously instead of building a brand around their own life, that they’re living off other people’s brands and paying ridiculous fees for it and getting themselves in debt and paying mortgages and banking and fractional reserves. You know, this whole thing is, is a debt pathway. I’m a firm believer that people deserve to have their autonomy and to be liberated from mediocrity. And I think that that’s inevitable that we want that. I think that’s an inherent nature. I think the healthcare systems, if they exemplify that, as a practitioner, the chameleon effect of the neuro mirror neurons and all the chameleon effect that we learned in the Pygmalion effect and all the little components that they can have, can have a major influence on people. I know when I was in practice, as much an educator as I was a clinician, I lived educating because is the belief and it’s probably a an unfulfilling belief at times, because majority people just want a quick fix. They don’t want to actually have to be accountable a lot, because they don’t know that they could do something more with their life. They don’t even know that it’s available. Sometimes they just kind of go through and they’re just herded like sheep, but I educated them. And I and sometimes I would say that I’m not the guy for you. If you want that quick fix, go down to the guy down the street. I’m here to educate. I’m here to inspire. I’m here to help you have wellness, not just survival, getting acute pain out of the way, I’m not the guy for you. And I used to turn turn people away and say, just go down the street go there. And that’s probably disrespectful to someone, but I would go and find what they’re looking for. And I would have people I could send them to, and they would be glad to take care of them. But that’s not how I want to spend my life. You know, the Buddhist says you’ll teach them the allusion to the ready for truth. I didn’t mind teaching illusions as long as they were making steps forward to finally Get accountable. But if you weren’t going to be accountable, I wasn’t the guy for you. Still to this day in my teaching, if you’re not going to be accountable, this is not a rah rah session with me, this is an accountability growth. I think that a practitioner in my view, and that doesn’t mean I’m right about it, it’s just my views that that you are here to exemplify. The greatest teacher, as Einstein said, is exemplification. And if you exemplify, empower live, you’re gonna it’s gonna impact your children, it’s going to impact the people around you, it’s going to impact your patients. It’s the best medicine you might say, if you want to call it medicine. And so I find it it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. Your actions speak louder than your words. And when I see people that do ridiculous things that psychologically unhealthy, telling people how to take a pill to their solve their psychological problems, and they’re unstable themselves. I just think that that’s a travesty in that respect. But I think that we have the capacity to influence people by our exemplification I’d rather focus on that to the best of my ability, and that nobody’s going to do that 24 hours a day, that’s unrealistic. But when you’re living by what’s your highest value is and it’s your calling that you feel inspired to do. You’re walking the path, you don’t need to be reminded to do you don’t need to be motivated to do it. This is what you love doing. And helping people find that. If you don’t need motivation in life, I don’t need motivation to do what I did you know me for long enough to motivation to do what I do. I’m inspiring, I’m 47 years of track record. So I believe that people deserve to have that life and it is totally obtainable. It is doable. It is a that is an attainable state to be inspired by what you’re doing once. And I think that that you deserve to have that. And so I’m just going to exemplify that and share that and do what I can to to bring that and I think a practitioner that does that is going to have more fulfillment, and is going to have a greater outreach of making a bigger difference if they do.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 30:55
One question that comes up around working with practitioners because I know you’ve coached probably thousands of practitioners is our Do you see themes that emerge in healthcare providers in terms of the areas of disempowerment?
Dr John Demartini 31:10
Yeah, I mean, I think you would expect, based on the heart of their values, strengths, emphasize and areas that they need to delegate. I worked within this morning and yesterday. That’s a health professional. That is a lovely individual that’s in Spain, Madrid. He is not a business guy is no focus on that. He loves learning. He loves clinical work. He loves family. He loves solving problems and getting in there and trying to figure out what’s going on. But he’s not a business guy. He really doesn’t want to put the energy into putting the teams together and managing the teams and focusing on that. So he does incredible work with fewer numbers of people. And that’s his love. But he sometimes over the years has compared himself to others that have bigger practices when we can compare ourselves to others instead of compare own daily highest priority actions for their own values, we run into snags, then we set up unrealistic expectation because we’re not supposed to live in on people that are living our own. And that’s not what we’re here designed to be is trying to be envious or imitating somebody else. Then what happens is if they expect themselves to be somebody other than who they are, and to live, as Einstein said, if you’re a cat expecting to swim like a fish, you’re gonna beat yourself up. No, I’m not a very good swimmer. If you’re a fish expecting to climb a tree like a cat, you’re going to beat up God, I just can’t climb. But if you honor that you’re what you are based on what your values are. And you honor yourself for that and put expectations that match that you thrive. But you may not be empowered in all areas unless you link those areas to that area that you’re excelling in. And there’s a science to that there’s doable, I can show people that but different people have different areas. Some are very, very family oriented, and they run their clinic, their work with people according to their family oriented Some are very, very financial, and they’re just waiting to grow the business and get the wealth. And so there’s a whole spectrum of people with different values in the clinical field. And none of them are wrong number, right? Because everyone contributes something to things we can do or not do, that we’re still learning from them. So I have to first find out what their values are to know what expectations are real, and not to impose some overarching ideal about how it’s supposed to be. Because a fulfillment in life is not based on some arbitrary picture of what success is, it’s based on that individual and their set of values and how they perceive the world through those values. Each practitioner or each health professional, will have those different values and they all participate and contribute according to those values. And just need to learn to expect what they are and not try to be somebody they’re not. And we can’t go and put you know a picture of how they’re spelled Look, I do believe that whatever that is, then you do exemplify that and be true to themselves. But not try to be outside that you stick to your core competence, ism, start with what you know, and let what that is grow as you go, you know, I’m going to do education process. And then where are the 80s, late 70s administration I was involved in. And I was very much running a business and growing practices and having clinicians and things like that. I have no interest in it. Now. I’m interested in research, writing, traveling, teaching and doing what I do. And I have teams around me that do all that other stuff. So I’ve freed myself up to do what I love doing. And that gives me the freedom to do it because I’ve delegated. Now, all areas need to be addressed. So if you’re not going to do it, it needs to be delegated, or it’s going to have a weakness. And I believe that even this gentleman, we could put teams in there and he could excel at the clinical one in Madrid, but he doesn’t want to manage it. We need to get somebody else to manage it. If we do, he can fake and flirt see lots of people and grow his business and things at the same time as just doing his clinical work. It’s just the way you how you structure it. And if you don’t take the time to master those structures, then you’ll probably excel in one area and maybe have some weaknesses and others. But I don’t think there’s any one way it’s supposed to look like I don’t think that’s real. You have to base that individually on their values.
Keith Kurlander 35:22
Can you expand more on? Obviously, delegation is just so important for people to be able to start to be able to concentrate their behaviors into their highest values. And I’m curious if you could expand a little more on the fear of delegation, what’s going on there for people and how they work with that?
Dr John Demartini 35:41
Well, I certainly was one that had fear of delegation when I was 27. I thought that I knew more and by the time I could have trained somebody, I could have just done it. The way they do it. It won’t be as good as mine. I will have to do it over again. You know, all this semester I had every I knew I had a problem with delegation. I knew I was going to work myself to the bone If I didn’t delegate, I went to a bookstore Walden Bookstore at the time that was existing. And I bought a book called The time trap by Ellen McKenzie. And I flipped through it at the bookstore, I went, this looks like the one for me. And I went back to my office and I started devouring it taking notes. And I can tell you that that one book, changed my practice. I went through it, I filtered it, I summarized it. I put a chart together of every single thing that I did in a day, clinically, and I made everything at home, personal at work, every single thing I did in a day down to the actions, not broad generalities marketing, sales, clinical, you know, exams, this the real actual actions that I did every day, and I made a list of them all. As I made that list, I was already sitting there going, Wow, I’m really majoring in minor stuff and minor and major stuff. And the Wonder I’m weighing myself down self depreciating because anytime you do things alone When your values, you devalue yourself. Anytime you do things individually, you value yourself. And if the world, if you’re not valuing yourself, why would the world if you’re devaluing yourself, so I first made that list and that was humbling. Then next to that list, I decided to put down what does it actually produce? Because the productivity is basically what it is, it’s actually serving people enough where they’ll pay you for the people are gonna want to pay for something don’t get a value. So out of all the things I do, what does it produce per hour for doing that action. And that was humbling to me, because I realized I was doing stuff for free. And I was doing stuff that was spending a hell of a lot of time doing things that weren’t making anything, weren’t serving anybody, and what needs to be done, but not by me. And I made that list and then I prioritize that according to what produced the most to least. And believe it or not, even though I went 10 years to college to go and be a clinician, I found out that me getting out and educating people produce the most Because it made the most patience. But then I went I realized that Okay, I got it reprioritized. And then I went to the third thing is how much meaning does it have? Because sometimes I would sacrifice productivity for something that was extremely inspiring and meaningful. Like when I went and spoke to 2000 kids at Paul Revere school, when I was 27 years old, that was incredibly meaningful, because I was talking to my own 17 year old self, trying to help them do what Paul Bragg did for me when I was 17, to inspire me to do something in my life. And so that meant something I didn’t get paid. But I got to speak to 2000 kids and maybe down the line, they might become patients, but it was a deeply meaningful, so I had to then weigh out what was really meaningful versus the thing that really produced. So I got to have something that I can’t wait to go to work for, but I have to do something else. So people can’t wait to want to buy otherwise you’re out of business. The next one was how much would it cost to delegate that to somebody? How much would it cost to delegate I don’t mean just their salaries but every cost the office equipment, the office space, the training, parking, vacations, everything, all the cost. And then what I do is I put the cost down and then I looked at where the spreads were between the cost and the productivity for doing. If somebody else was to do it to do that action, what would it produce for us? What would it cost, and then prioritize it according to sprint. And the last thing or the next thing I did is I put how much time I actually spent on the estimate the best extrapolation on time I could put. And finally, in the last column, sick comment put down what is the actual priorities now? Thinking of the spread, thinking of the productivity, thinking of the meaning, how do I get the most meaning the most productivity and allow me the most spread by delegating. And when I went through that exercise, it gave me enough incentive to realize that if I don’t delegate, I’m holding my own life back. And I’m holding back patients from getting care of holding back economic opportunities for jobs. And I started realizing that I’m in not only my way, but I’m in a lot of people’s way if I don’t manage this wisely. Luckily, I was smart enough to take action on that. And I layered all of the things lower in priority, and I delegated it to hire people. And over a period of time after a few hiring and firing, because I had to learn how to hire people. I shed all those things. And some things I never turned back to, from age 28. I’ve never written a check. I have no idea what my checking business account financial accounts, I’ve never dealt with it. I’ve delegated it, because I figured, why would I pay myself? Why would I do a 20 to $50 an hour job over here, and I should be making thousands of dollars over here. It didn’t make any sense to me. So I’ve shed all those things. I haven’t driven a car in 32 years almost. I haven’t cooked since I was 24. I don’t do things that I can delegate that unless they inspire me. I just don’t do it. I surround myself with People that are inspired to do that. So they get to do what I love what they love, while I get to do what I love, and that helps the economy, it helps me go out serve more people, it makes me more income, everybody wins. So it’s just common sense. uncommonly applied. So if a practitioner understands the math of that, the fulfillment of that the impact on our own health, the impact on the economy, the impact on jobs, the impact of making a difference in more people’s lives, including the people that work with you. It’s not even a question. It’s just a way to live your life. And this can occur at home. Mothers can hire people around them, so they do the most important thing to their children. This is a principle about life and not just health professional, but anybody in life that they learn this to make a difference. This is the same thing I taught people in the government of Toronto, or the people in Japan, or the people in any country I’ve been in and whether they’re practitioners or whether they’re iron workers, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing Low party things, you’re devaluing yourself. If you’re doing high party things, you’re valuing yourself, and you’re opening up the economy and helping people.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 42:07
You know, this conversation about inspiration reminds me of a quote that you shared with us in a recent program that Keith and I were a part of. And it goes like that I can’t remember the attribution I’m sorry for that says, if you’re not spinning, and if you’re not living in it inspired life, you’re killing yourself and the people around you, and wonder if you could elaborate a little more on that.
Dr John Demartini 42:28
Well let’s go back to the brain and the values. When you’re living by your highest values, you’re filling your day with high priority actions and inspire you. You’re more objective, you’re more resilient, you are waking up hormesis because it’s the area that you’re pursuing challenge that inspire you that you have heard me say this, and army says is the just enough stimulus of challenge to actually help your immune system and help your body function. But when you’re not doing that you live by lower values because you’re more likely to They go in and make left for a pleasure and try to avoid pain, which is an impossible, you’re now going to be keeping having distressed because distress is defined as anything you keep trying to avoid we keep running into. And so if you keep pursuing challenges that inspire you, your day doesn’t fill up with challenges that don’t. If you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it doesn’t fill up the low party distractions that don’t. If you say no to things that aren’t inspiring to you, and say yes to things that do, you eventually are so busy doing what you love doing, you can easily afford to delegate the things that you know, that aren’t inspiring. So from a physiological perspective, you have neg entropy as urban shortage, which is the physics of life instead of entropy, which is the physics of death. And I think that he was trying to set Boltzmann try to describe Bucky fuller on topic. Many of the people through the ages, even live next to them. They all knew that if you are going to live an inspired life, you have to walk uphill with higher order. Not down hill You know, kind of the easy path. It’s the person who’s most effective and efficient with the use of their time and their resources that gets the most done and has the most fulfillment and tends to live a longest life. The telomeres, which are involved in, you know, the tips of the genes. It’s interesting, they are definitely designed with telomerase to add to the caps of the jeans to allow us to have more, the hayflick limit is allowed to extend and we’re able to have a little bit more mitotic divisions in the cells, excessively that’s a cancer but normally we need to have those go on because stress, distress, shorten zones, and use dress elongate. And that’s shown. I mean, that’s just Elizabeth Blackburn show that very clearly and others Nobel Prize with them. So when you’re living by your toes, the end in mind, you awaken you’re telling Cephalon, which is the most advanced part of the brain. You add telomerase, which is one of the most advanced enzymes even if In glioblastomas, and gliomas and brain tumors, that’s the number one turret is the number one enzyme and thing that they’re working on for cancer. you activate the telomeres, and you expand the space and time horizons in your consciousness for what you want what you believe you can do because you achieve more. And the telomerase enzyme allows you to live longer to fulfill them. It’s just a common sense really to, to live by priority, and to live, fill your day with things that are meaningful. You know, it was Freud that said, we have the pleasure principle and foolishness that it was a nature that said we have the power principle they’re trying to empower ourselves. And finally, it was Victor Franklin, Aristotle, it said, we have the search for meaning, and ultimate. That’s what distinguishes us from animals is our ability to extract meaning out of things. And the mean is the midpoint, the average between the oscillations and volatilities and perturbations and vicissitudes that we face every day. It’s able to extract the meaning or in fact, To estimate when we are able to find the downsides of a resentful, we find the upsides we’ve extracted meaning out of it, and we’re not run by the external world, because anything we infatuate or resent, it’s going to occupy space and time in our mind and run our lives, until we find meaning out of it in ourselves. And when we do, we are back in governance of our own life instead of run by the external world, our physiology, our psychology, even our sociology in our collective sociology, you know, theology, is trying to get us to authenticity. If we just walk the path of authenticity, we have a lot less distress in life. And we live longer, more fulfilled, more wellness factor. our immune system confirms that the data on the on the cytokines and the inflammatory mediators and the cytokine storms, they’re not there. When you’re doing what’s highest on your value. They are doing exactly what they’re designed to maximize your performance. But when you’re not doing that, your body let you know. I’ve met people. I know a guy named Bill Pollack, who is a 90s you know, he still works 18 hour days doing what he loves doing. He said, I started in 1951 I started I opened up Drake international as a temp service for giving women jobs. And they didn’t turn into one of the biggest businesses were 297,000 major companies using the services. It’s a billionaire today. He says I’ve worked since 1951. But I’ve never felt like I’ve worked in a day since when I found out my calling is and he loves it. And he looks great. And he’s still acting when he’s 19. And the same thing for a guy that just passed away. Finally, in February 96. He loved what he did. He was at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton Freeman Dyson, he loved studying, he loved astrophysics and chemistry and biology. And he was doing what he loved every day. And he not he knocked it out of the ballpark with accomplishments and achievements and longevity. So I just find that that’s just a smarter way of living. That’s overall it’s just smarter, you have less psychological. I really believe that the psychological conditions are feedback mechanisms to get us to live authentically. We see them as diseases, I think they’re really wisely put as feedback mechanisms to try to get us. We need to see them on the way, not in the way and reframe our perspective on them, and use them as a guide on how to live wisely.
Keith Kurlander 48:19
Curious about the calling the purpose, tell us your highest value. You could explain a little bit about how void produce values to extrapolate on this, but I’m curious, is the purpose the calling? Does it come from a place other than avoid that, that highest value?
Dr John Demartini 48:36
You know, there’s different models of, I guess you could say philosophy psychology of this. There are some people that perceive that we live in a random universe. It’s almost contradictory to the idea of science because science is basically looking for order and looking for patterns. And there’s some people believe that it’s all random and it’s probabilistic and there’s no order. There’s definitely no purpose, there’s no meaning there’s no nothing. Stephen Weinberg said he went on to say that the universe is pointless, you know, famous said it’s there’s no universal purpose behind it. And I agree, I agree that I don’t know of any universal purpose that we’re all supposed to follow. But I do believe that each of us, based on our experiences, from the time we’re conceived, through gestation into our birth and life, are accumulating experiences and perceptions that are being judged at that time. And those judgments are crea leaving us with voids. And I like to think of it this way, and I’ll develop it. If you are if you meet somebody and you put them on a pedestal, and you infatuate with them a bit. And you minimize yourself to them and feel a little intimidated by because Wow, they’re really smart while they’re really intelligent, or they’re really achieving or really pretty, or that kind of thing. And I’m in any way minimize yourself to somebody you put on a pedestal. You’ll be too humble. to admit what you see in them inside you. And this can make people literally feel second to them. In sports, if you do that you’ve already lost the game. You’re already the underdog. But if you’re going through life, and you’re walking in a mall, and you see somebody thinks more intelligent, than what you’re gonna do is you’re going to minimize your intelligence reports to them, because you’re expecting, again to be a cap, swimming, because they have a different intelligence in their values. You have an intelligence and your values, but you’re not under yours, you’re honoring them and minimizing yours. If you did that in all seven areas, and you inject all those values from all those people, you cloud, the clarity of what’s important to you, and you lose yourself. Now, whatever that void is, that you’re to minimize to them and to humble to admit what you see in them. That’s a disowned part of yourself. That’s a dismembered part, a deflected part, a disempowered part, and if you go around and you’re now turn around and judge somebody look down on them, and now you’re too proud to admit what you see in them as inside Do you do that do it again. But now you’re disowning the part you’re looking down on. And now you’re trying to project your values onto them and try to get them to live in your values, instead of him injecting their values into you and you’re trying to live in their values. Both of those are futile. You can’t live in other people’s values long term, they won’t live in your values long term. Those are the two most common things that cause chaos and distress and depression is expecting others to live in your van, your fantasy the world and you’re expected to live in other people’s world. These are delusional. But people do it. And anytime that you proud or too humble to admit what they see in others inside themselves, there’s additional parts. And those are some parts are voids, their emptiness is because they’re not honoring the form in which they have these traits in themselves. And those voids are determining the values that we’re trying to fulfill by finally owning all parts of ourselves. And then the positive thinking kind of thing and the moral hypocrisy kind of thing. We’re trying to be more nice than being more trying to create more positive and negative, more up and down more peaceful than raffle. More consider. We’re trying to be one sided people. And then if we have the other side, we feel guilty. We feel shamed. And we end up bipolar almost because we’re striving for that which is unavailable in front avoid that switch is unavoidable. And it’s just insanity. I don’t I gave that up at age 30 when I did a research project on positive thinking and found it delusional. And I realized that I’m a nice person at times, I’m a mean person at times, I’m kind of times I’m cool at times, I’m giving a times I’m stingy at times, and I’m all the above. And all of that is okay. I don’t need to get rid of half of myself to love myself. I don’t need improvement. I need to just understand that. All of that’s okay. At the level of our highest nature, nothing’s missing us. We embrace it all. I’m a hero and a villain. I’m a saint. I’m a sinner. I’m a virtual device. I’m all the above. At the level of bottom we’re trying to get rid of half of ourselves. And we’re trying to get half the rest of the world and half of the people Out of, and we’re putting all these injunctions and more constraints on people that nobody can live by. So, I’m a firm believer in empowering. By embracing all all sides of you all parts of you. I found 4628 traits inside myself going to the Oxford dictionary. There was not one trade, I didn’t have it different times, I quit trying to get rid of it, I just realized all of it. So those voids are what determine our values. And the highest value where we’re most objective. Where we see things most balanced is the one that neutralizes all those judgments. That’s why your highest value is the path that’s most effective and efficient and fulfilling the most amount of voids or the most amount of value. And that’s why it’s so fulfilling, because you’re transcending and loving life instead of sitting there, bogged down judging it and filling in a sense, disgraced, instead of grace by life. And I don’t mean to use that in a theological only because Grace is granted For like Rossi’s, and you’re grateful for life when you have in your when you don’t have to fix something, you don’t have to fix others relative to you or you relative, others, you just grateful. We’re now the way it is. The way life is is matching what you’re expecting. And you’re ready for you see things on the way and you see things as feedback, not success and failure. I don’t like I don’t label myself successful with failure. I don’t put those labels. I’m a man on a mission. And the mission is being perceived by different people’s values, and they’re gonna think whatever I’m doing is successful or failure all they want. But that doesn’t. That’s not what matters is, is fulfilling what’s inspiring, that makes a difference that serves that you’re looking for problems in the life that you can serve that you can fulfill. I think Bill Gates says it really nicely by asking himself this question, what is the highest priority actions I can do today that will serve the greatest number of people in the most efficient, effective manner? That would inspire me that’s a great question to ask every day. That’s a healthy, wise question that we can all benefit by asking. And he gets a lot done because of that. Now, some people may not like what’s getting done, there’s conspiracies against him on that doesn’t matter. He’s getting a lot done and he’s contributed. When I go around the world, I’ve been 154 countries, if I asked how many have ever used Microsoft Windows, every hand goes up. So that means he’s found something that has benefited most every human being on this planet that uses a computer. So that’s why he’s where he is financially because he serves people. I would like to be able to contribute something that if somebody asks, How many have done that, and could be benefited by that everybody would say, yeah, and I’ve contributed to that. And that’s why I try to work in this psychological health field because I have solutions to some of the problems that are simple that people can apply. They can make a difference in their life, and I love providing that and people can use it, and it’s fulfilling. And it’s threads.
Keith Kurlander 55:57
Yeah, that’s, that’s great. So we have to wrap up I guess why don’t we end with one minute here on? JOHN, if you had a billboard up that everyone could see in the world, short little paragraph on there, what would you tell them?
Dr John Demartini 56:10
I would say that the magnificence of who you truly are, is far greater than any fantasies you’ll ever impose on yourself. And don’t live in the shadows of anyone. Identify within yourself what you see in those great individuals around you. And recognize that there’s nothing missing in you. You have whatever you see of greatness in others inside yourself. It’s in your own form according to your own values, live by priority and you will stand on the shoulders, not in anybody shadows, and you will make a bigger difference. How are you going to make a difference fitting in when you’re designed to stand out?
Keith Kurlander 56:47
It’s a great message. Well, thanks so much for being on the show, John.
Dr John Demartini 56:52
Thank you for having me. Thank you for the questions and for the opportunity to reach a group of people that I may not get to reach. So thank you.
Keith Kurlander 57:04
That was such a cool, interesting, fascinating conversation. I’m always deeply intrigued and learning from this person. And I’m guessing you are also wondering about who is this person if you don’t know him. Again, feel free to visit his website at drjohndemartini.com. And if you’re wanting to hear more from us, you’re wanting to get videos and newsletters and all kinds of information and blogs about mental health and how to achieve optimal mental health. Visit email.psychiatryinstitute.com. You can leave your email address there, and we will immediately start sending you more information to empower yourself to either help others if you’re in a provider role or to empower your If you’re an individual who just really wants to take into your own hands, the path of moving into a state of optimal mental health and so you can reach your potential. Again, that’s email. That’s psychiatry Institute Comm. We look forward to connecting with you again on the next episode of The hire practice podcast where we explore what it takes to achieve optimal mental health.