Episode #90 – Alan Cahn – In the Mood!

“There is loss. If you resist loss you get morose. When you accept the loss, when you experience the sadness, then you take the next breath, good. Now, what is the opportunity in front of me.” – Alan Cahn  

  • Show Notes
  • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next guest, four-time special guest Alan Cahn.
  • [04:00] Going for best in show with a quadruple TEDM appearance – Alan and Patrick get underway with another great conversation.
  • [06:05] Alan shares his perspective and feelings through the current reality we face globally. Nothing is certain and he cannot control what is external to him, he can only impact how he relates to it. Alan accepts it as another in many challenges to navigate in life and works with how can he help people who are dealing with it in a non-productive way.
  • [08:37] Alan and Patrick talk about the way in which this incident brings about a full spectrum of feelings for people and how we are perceiving one another. Be it struggling, suffering, insensitive, arrogant, joyful or stoic. The only thing we can truly do is stay present and grounded in today.
  • [12:15] Alan explains how our mood can affect our acceptance of what is so, acceptance of the facts.
  • [15:30] Accepting our mood, mastering it, to get beyond that state and its effects. Experience it, embrace it, explore it. Look for the fundamental care of what’s underneath the mood. Alan uses anxiety to provide an example of working through it.
  • [19:32] Navigating moods to explore the ways we feel. It is likely not the surface stuff that is affecting mood! Patrick and Alan provide resources and best practices to help us dig deeper to collapse and shift the non-productive moods to productive moods.
  • [22:11] Alan and Patrick go deep into self-observation: obstacles, what is changing, the Marshmallow Experiment, short term gain for long term loss, short term loss for long term gain and circling it back to mood.
  • [30:20] Reflecting on the Money Clinic on which he collaborated with REIN, Alan recalls a key fundamental to keeping a reserve fund. Alan also explains the “era work” he is currently doing with businesses. This context can also be found in examining incompletions.
  • [33:27] Learnings from COVID-19. What do you feel the future holds? Alan reflects on how he feels about it and sees it unfolding within the general population, plus ideas for productive approaches to the slow down.
  • [37:56] Circle back to the mood! Consider the outcomes from resisting the notion “anything is possible” to embracing it. We need to find a structure and useful practices to help us transcend our mood towards achieving a goal – big or small – and truly elevate. Alan provides three ways to access these.
  • [47:05] Working with clients who are top performers in business, Alan shares the patterns he sees in them during a time of challenge such as this. No surprise that looking for ways to be of more service and contribution for those around them, is a big one.
  • [51:10] Let go and develop our resilience muscle. When we resist loss, we get morose. When we embrace and accept loss, feel it and experience it, we can then take a breath and move beyond to look for opportunity in the loss. The next secret ingredient is, detach from the outcome and leave room for magic.
  • [55:41] Recognize the difference between contribution and sacrifice. Alan and Patrick riff on this critical distinction because if we don’t take care of ourselves first, we cannot put forth our best selves as leaders of our families, our teams or our community with the energy and compassion we need to be of contribution.
  • [60:20] So you realize you have been operating in sacrifice vs. contribution; what can you do now? Alan provides guidance to work with your mood of sacrifice. Go back to the three “E’s”: experience it, embrace it, explore it. Let exploration lead to action.
  • [63:25] When we work through this process and commit to make changes, we may bump up against the ripple effect of what people have come to expect from us and the change they experience being around us. Alan expands the three E’s to the next step – clear communication and making decisions.
  • [70:31] Put structures and practices in place to have our intention produce a desired result. Alan comments that recognizing where and when we need those aids is important! We are where we are.
  • [74:37] Alan’s three principles for being an extraordinary parent. This circles back to the sacrifice conversation but perhaps not in the expected way.
  • [77:59] Considering that this global pause may be a time of recovery both for our planet and ourselves, Alan guides us through four areas to look after: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. A practice that will take discipline but will also support our need for action towards our well-being.
  • [82:41] Patrick and Alan talk about ways we can support ourselves in wellness with the simplest physical activities.
  • [86:00] So what is Alan reading these days?
  • [87:02] “He not busy being born is busy dying” – Bob Dylan. With this favourite lyric in mind, Alan shares why, at the young age of 70, he keeps growing and showing up to stay true to his purpose.
  • [88:15] Another book recommendation from Alan (great for couples to do together!), his favourite inspirational quote and favourite streaming series.
  • [91:17] Alan’s gratitude.

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