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Greg McKeown and Diana Chapman — The Tim Ferriss Show

Greg McKeown and Diana Chapman — The Tim Ferriss Show

Start (00:00:00)

  • Greg McKeown and Diana Chapman were guests on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast.
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Notes about this supercombo format. (00:05:42)

  • Tim Ferriss' podcast has reached its 10th anniversary and surpassed 1 billion downloads.
  • This episode is a compilation of some of the best moments from over 700 episodes.
  • The goal is to introduce listeners to both well-known and lesser-known guests who have had a significant impact.
  • Visit for more information about the guests.

Enter Greg McKeown. (00:06:44)

  • Greg McKeown is the New York Times best-selling author of "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" and "Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most."
  • He is also the host of the "Greg McKeown Podcast."
  • You can find him on Twitter at @GregoryMcKeown.

What is non-essential? (00:07:05)

  • Greg McKeown discusses the concept of non-essentialism.
  • He argues that it is easier to eliminate something entirely rather than trying to moderate it.
  • For example, he decided to give up sugar completely rather than trying to reduce his sugar intake by 95%.
  • This approach removes the decision-making process and makes it easier to stick to a goal.

Overcoming the planning fallacy. (00:08:02)

  • Tim Ferriss often struggles to decline requests from acquaintances and friends, particularly last-minute requests that inconvenience his team.
  • People frequently underestimate the time and resources needed for tasks, leading to unrealistic expectations.
  • To manage requests effectively, it's crucial to consider the total cost of saying yes, including reputational risks and the impact on others.
  • Creating a one-page document outlining the real costs of saying yes can be a useful tool for managing requests.
  • Proactively sharing this document with those making requests can help manage expectations and prevent misunderstandings.
  • The New York Times recently published an article discussing the issue of starting projects but not completing them.
  • The book "Essentialism" is suggested as a potential solution to this problem.
  • Writing out the costs and expectations of a project can ensure that all parties involved are aware of the full impact and can make informed decisions about whether or not to proceed.

The problem with taking ownership of someone else’s problems. (00:13:46)

  • Dr. Cloud met with a couple concerned about their son's drug use, drinking, and unemployment.
  • The son didn't see his behavior as a problem and was comfortable living at home with his parents.
  • Dr. Cloud explained that the parents had the problem, not their son, because their grass was dying while their neighbor's grass was green due to a faulty sprinkler.
  • The parents needed to let their son have his problem and stop taking care of everything for him so he could move forward and get better.
  • The same principle applies to other situations where people take ownership of someone else's problems.
  • Boundaries and education are necessary to help people realize they have a problem and take ownership of it.

How to avoid committing to the unsustainable. (00:16:00)

  • Tim Ferriss discusses the challenges of declining requests and the potential consequences, such as negative media attention.
  • Non-essentialism, the idea of saying yes to every request, is unsustainable and unrealistic for managing time and energy.
  • To manage requests effectively, consider what else would be neglected if the request is accepted, and prioritize tasks based on their importance and alignment with your essential mission.
  • Communicate the reasons for declining requests clearly and respectfully to minimize damage to relationships.
  • Writing out the reasons for declining requests can help express the "why" behind the decision and can be shared with others for context.
  • The essential steps to achieving a goal are:
    • Identifying what is essential.
    • Identifying what is non-essential.
    • Creating a system that makes executing what's essential as effortless as possible.
  • A written document outlining these steps serves as a communication tool and reference point for decision-making, helping individuals stay focused on their goals and avoid distractions.

Three rules. (00:21:42)

  • Came up with three rules after realizing the damage done while his wife was away for a month.
  • One rule was to avoid personalization, not redoing or rethinking things for every client or conference.
  • Another rule was to not overcorrect based on negative feedback, as it can cause problems for people giving feedback and can lead to overreacting.
  • The third rule might have been to avoid taking on new projects or expanding the workshop business, as it didn't feel like the right fit and lacked passion.

The personal quarterly offsite. (00:25:44)

  • Personal quarterly offsites allow individuals to focus on long-term goals and tradeoffs by reflecting on their past, present, and future.
  • Conducting personal offsites in a quiet and uninterrupted environment, preferably in nature, helps achieve uninterrupted focus.
  • To minimize distractions, Greg McKeown and Diana Chapman recommend using a small phone with limited contacts for emergencies only.
  • Considering the lives of great-grandparents, parents, and future generations helps draw out unexpected insights and discern one's true purpose.
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Enter Diana Chapman. (00:33:21)

  • Diana Chapman is the co-founder of the Conscious Leadership Group and co-author of the book "The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership."
  • Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Asana and Facebook, praises Diana's coaching abilities and her gift for guiding introspection and perspective shifts.

A transformative gift. (00:33:38)

  • In 1997, Diana Chapman was a stay-at-home mom teaching scrapbooking in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Diana's brother-in-law, concerned about her marriage, recommended that she and her husband attend a training with Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute.
  • The training had a profound impact on Diana, inspiring her to devote her life to making these tools accessible to others.

The Drama Triangle. (00:37:12)

  • The drama triangle is a concept that describes a dynamic in which people take on the roles of the victim, villain, and hero.
  • The victim feels powerless and blames others for their problems, while the villain blames others and seeks to punish them.
  • The hero seeks temporary relief from their problems by rescuing others.
  • Being stuck in the drama triangle can lead to negative consequences and it's important to see people as empowered and ask good questions to help them become more effective.
  • To avoid the drama triangle, it's crucial to acknowledge one's own role in creating a situation while recognizing that others have a part to play as well.

The whole-body yes (or no) and how it can serve us. (00:43:52)

  • Body intelligence (BQ) is an instinctual awareness known by physical sensations.
  • BQ, along with IQ and EQ, are different centers of intelligence that provide guidance.
  • The speaker relies heavily on body intelligence to gain clarity and make decisions.
  • Physical sensations often provide a clear "no" even when the intellect has reasons to say "yes".

Diana guides an experience to help pay better attention to our whole-body yes (or no). (00:46:22)

  • The body communicates "yes," "no," and "subtle no" through physical sensations.
  • A whole body "yes" feels nurturing, valuable, and creative, while a whole body "no" feels flat and uncomfortable.
  • To understand your whole body "yes" and "no," close your eyes and recall deeply valuable and undesirable experiences, paying attention to the physical sensations in your body.
  • There are two types of "no's": a "big no," which is a strong feeling of rejection or disinterest, and a "subtle no," which is a feeling of indifference or lack of enthusiasm.
  • To identify a "subtle no," pay attention to physical sensations, sounds, and visuals that arise when considering a particular situation or decision.

Observations made during the exercise and how Diana recommends using this inventory. (00:54:52)

  • Diana Chapman introduces an exercise involving self-awareness and body sensations to distinguish between strong "yes," "no," and "subtle no" responses.
  • Chapman emphasizes the importance of body awareness and reconnecting with feelings, especially for those who have learned to dissociate.
  • Practicing with simple scenarios, such as choosing from a menu or selecting a route home, can help individuals recognize body sensations associated with different decisions.
  • Over time, this practice can be applied to more significant decisions, allowing individuals to trust their body's guidance.
  • Chapman shares an example of how her body's response helped her recognize and intervene in a potentially life-threatening situation involving a client.
  • Despite its simplicity, this practice of body awareness and attention to sensations has had a profound impact on Chapman's decision-making process.
  • Identifying a "yes" can be challenging, as it may not always be an obvious or overwhelming positive feeling.
  • A "yes" can be defined as the absence of tension or negative sensations in the body, from head to chest to gut.
  • Trust your own unique experience of what a "yes" feels like, even if it differs from others' experiences.
  • Pay attention to the reactive patterns in your body that indicate a "no" and use those as a guide.

Fostering playfulness for those who mute their desire to celebrate. (01:01:55)

  • Celebrating achievements is important, but premature celebration can have negative consequences.
  • Suppressing the celebration of achievements can hinder creative and sexual energy.
  • Sexual energy is closely connected to creative energy, and allowing oneself to feel pleasure and sensations can ignite playfulness and creativity.
  • Cultivating playfulness involves focusing on bodily pleasure and sensations to create a sense of joy and aliveness.
  • Exaggerating one's current state can help break through barriers and find playfulness.
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Diana’s “black belt in practicing candor.” (01:08:44)

  • Diana is skilled at balancing pressure and support in relationships.
  • She is known for her candor and direct communication.
  • Diana had a voicemail message that stated she may or may not respond to calls and would decide when to call back, setting clear expectations.
  • Greg McKeown and Diana Chapman were guests on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast.

Diana’s thoughts on loving pressure and how to bring it into a relationship. (01:09:53)

  • Loving pressure requires being connected to your heart and gut to find the balance between challenge and nurturing.
  • Example of a depressed man who needed a challenge to break out of his state.
  • Expressing loving pressure can be done by reporting what you observe in your body, such as feeling bored, withdrawing, or contracting.
  • This can help bring awareness to fear-based thinking and create opportunities for growth.

Applying loving pressure to people you don’t know well. (01:13:40)

  • When you notice fear-based thinking in a conversation, you can gently challenge it by questioning the stories people tell.
  • You can say something like, "I hear you believe XYZ is occurring, and that could be true. I'm just wondering if you're open to another possibility that maybe it's not as true as you think."
  • This helps people consider other perspectives and can lead to perspective shifts.

Diana’s guidance on introspection leading to perspective shifts; using Byron Katie’s “turnarounds.” (01:15:24)

  • Diana Chapman is a gifted coach who guides people through introspection on the stories they create about events and people.
  • She uses Byron Katie's "turnarounds" to help people question their beliefs and find new perspectives.
  • For example, if someone believes that their therapist is handling them with kid gloves and that's making them remain a kid, Diana might ask them, "Is it true that you absolutely know this is true?"
  • She then helps them find the suffering that comes with believing this story and invites them to consider the opposite perspective.
  • This process helps people let go of their righteous stories and find more neutral and balanced perspectives.

Diana guides me through a turnaround. (01:18:04)

  • Diana Chapman fears slipping into depressive episodes and views them as inevitable and dangerous.
  • Tim Ferriss helps her examine the judgment that depression is dangerous by questioning its truth and certainty.
  • Chapman acknowledges that while depression has been dangerous in the past, she can't know for sure that it will be dangerous in the future.
  • Believing this thought causes her to feel terrified, anxious, and hypervigilant.
  • If the thought were removed, she believes she would experience more calmness, presence, joy, and space for others.
  • A meditative practice involving focusing on the breath and being present in the moment without any thoughts is suggested.
  • This practice may lead to increased states of presence, relaxation, and well-being.

A turnaround’s purpose is to identify and embrace alternatives, not invalidate the inspected belief. (01:24:14)

  • The objective of a turnaround is not to invalidate a belief, but to embrace alternatives and recognize that anxiety may not be caused by a depressive state, but by the belief that it will be dangerous.
  • Questioning beliefs can help individuals become aware of the possibility of entering a depressive state and prepare to mitigate its effects.
  • The next step is to recognize that the opposite of a belief may also be true.
  • Individuals should seek evidence to support the idea that a depressive state does not have to be dangerous.
  • Personal experiences, such as surviving multiple depressive episodes without committing suicide, can serve as evidence against the belief that depression is inherently dangerous.
  • Recognizing support from others and feeling surrounded by people who can help can further reinforce the idea that depression does not have to be dangerous.

The importance of introducing the somatic into the process; suggestions for difficulty with this step. (01:29:22)

  • Somatic experience is crucial for understanding the non-dangerous nature of situations.
  • Recalling past experiences of support and interconnectedness can help bring the body into the present and create a sense of safety.
  • Engaging the body allows for a direct experience of non-dangerousness, making the intellectual understanding more impactful.

The role of the witness in this process. (01:32:03)

  • The presence of a witness, a part of oneself that observes without judgment, can provide a sense of safety during difficult experiences.
  • The witness is not subject to panic or fear and can offer a perspective that allows for self-compassion and acceptance.
  • Cultivating a relationship with the witness within oneself can be beneficial in managing difficult emotions and experiences.

Walking the line. (01:34:10)

  • Holding both opposing views as equally true and valuable prevents panic and anxiety.
  • This approach allows for staying present and learning from experiences.

Welcoming the opportunity to learn from the experience, even if it’s not preferred. (01:35:56)

  • Trusting that learning can come from any experience, even unpleasant ones, reduces anxiety.
  • Believing that an experience will be dangerous feeds anxiety and can lead to burnout and depression.
  • Rephrasing beliefs that cause pain, such as "my sister is selfish," into alternatives like "my sister shouldn't be selfish" or "I should be selfish" can help gather evidence and gain a new perspective.

Alternative tools for dysregulation in the moment. (01:37:51)

  • Problem-solving and strategies are ineffective when emotionally dysregulated.
  • Using breath and movement to relax the nervous system is recommended before using other tools.
  • Physical activities like lifting heavy objects can be helpful.
  • Reframing negative states as something to be embraced rather than avoided can be beneficial.

Risks Diana and her husband Matt took to keep their relationship vital; who initiated the first difficult conversation. (01:39:47)

  • Diana Chapman and her husband Matt have been in a passionate and evolving marriage since they were teenagers.
  • To maintain their relationship, they have been open to letting go of what doesn't work and exploring new ways of being together.
  • Diana initiated a crucial conversation when she felt the relationship wasn't fulfilling for her and desired a different possibility.
  • With the support of a friend, Diana realized she needed to transform herself to attract the man she wanted to be with.
  • After six months of self-transformation, Diana found herself with the man she had always desired.

How Diana figured out who she needed to be during this time. (01:45:27)

  • Diana felt scared when she asked the question about who she needed to be to call forth the version of her husband she wanted to be with.
  • She recognized that fear is an intelligence indicating something needs to be learned.
  • Diana kept asking the fear what needed to be learned and stayed in a state of curiosity and wonder.
  • She allowed herself not to know the answers and was willing to listen and learn from something greater than her own experience.
  • Diana found her way through baby steps and several versions of herself, each time learning what needed to be learned for the next evolution of her relationship.
  • Diana recommends resources and practices from the Hendricks Institute for couples to better prepare for decision points and nurture a healthy co-created relationship.
  • Tools learned from the Hendricks Institute include:
    • How to get off the drama triangle.
    • Understanding personas and how they unconsciously require certain behaviors from partners.
    • The importance of feeling feelings and questioning stories.
    • Honoring polarity in couples and valuing both sides equally.
  • Diana suggests applying the 15 commitments of conscious leadership to couples' relationships as a guidebook for creating a beautiful relationship.

Examples of commitments from The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. (01:49:58)

  • The first commitment is to take radical responsibility for the results in one's life.
  • The second commitment is to let go of wanting to be right and avoid defending oneself righteously, which hinders learning and growth.
  • The third commitment is to feel feelings and avoid suppressing them, as this can lead to drama in the workplace and at home.
  • The fourth commitment is to be impeccable around agreements and do what one says they will do.
  • The fifth commitment is to appreciate others and play and rest.
  • The sixth commitment is to live in one's zone of genius.
  • The seventh commitment is to be the source of approval, control, and security rather than seeking it outside of oneself.
  • The eighth commitment is to experience that one already has enough.
  • The ninth commitment is to create a win-for-all solution when faced with different needs.
  • The tenth commitment is to be the resolution to what is missing in the world, such as being a better listener or taking care of things.

The Mind Jogger app and how Diana uses it with the commitments. (01:53:38)

  • Diana still uses the Mind Jogger app to ask herself multiple times a day if she is above or below the line, in a state of trust or threat.
  • She uses other rotating questions such as "Is this Exquisite?" to pause and reflect on her current state and make adjustments as needed.
  • Diana also has specific prompts for each of the commitments, such as "What are you feeling right now?" and "What do you appreciate about somebody around you right now?"
  • She believes in the power of appreciation and uses these prompts as opportunities to express gratitude out loud.
  • Diana recommends checking in with oneself regularly to assess one's state and make conscious choices.

Assessing self-awareness in hiring interviews applied to non-job situations. (01:56:11)

  • Diana wrote an article on LinkedIn titled "How to assess self-awareness in a hiring interview."
  • The article provides examples of uncommon insight questions that can be used in hiring interviews or in non-job situations to assess self-awareness.
  • Some examples of these questions include:
    • Describe a time when you were tempted to blame someone else for something but instead resolved it by owning part of the issue.
    • What percentage of agreements do you currently keep with the people you live and work with? What causes you to break agreements the most? How do you approach broken agreements?
  • Diana emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, candor, taking responsibility, and keeping agreements in creating a positive workplace culture.

Books most gifted. (01:58:09)

  • Gay Hendricks' "The Big Leap" is the most gifted book.
  • "Conscious Loving for Couples" is another frequently gifted book.
  • Hendricks' new book on the "Zone of Genius" is highly anticipated.
  • McKeown believes everyone has creativity and should strive to live in their "Zone of Genius."

Parting thoughts. (01:59:51)

  • Diana Chapman encourages people to embrace workplace challenges and foster creativity and unity by opening their hearts.
  • Tim Ferriss expresses gratitude for Diana's work in helping individuals lead more fulfilling lives and suggests that her personal struggles may have contributed to her impact on others.
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