Jeff, TheHappyPhilosopher.com

Check out Jeff, from thehappyphilosopher.com as he gets his Zen on out about:

  • How he unplugged from the Matrix and how that helped him rethink his whole approach to his life and being a physician
  • Why he turned off the TV and news
  • How we tend to focus on what is tangible when those intangibles are what we should focus on
  • How meditation helped him be a better doc

Josh Mettle: Welcome to the Physician Financial Success Podcast. My name is Josh Mettle, and this is the podcast dedicated to advising physicians how to avoid financial landmines. Today, we’ll be talking with Jeff – physician, philosopher, and blogger at the happyphilosopher.com.

Jeff, I’m extremely excited for the show. Thank you for joining us. How are you doing today?

Jeff: Josh, I’m doing great. Thanks for inviting me on.

Josh Mettle: My pleasure. Your blog is so interesting and I was supposed to spend about 45 minutes writing my blog questions and when I ended up there for 2-1/2 hours and blew off an appointment, I knew that there was some good content there [laughter]. I went way over time schedule, but I was having fun. Let’s talk just a little bit about your intro and in the intro and in the information about you, you described yourself as often, “the happiest person in the room since unplugging from the Matrix.” I love that. I just stared at that for a minute, trying to figure out exactly what that meant. Could we start there, just give us a little background and what you mean by that statement?

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll set the stage and give you a little background on me. I’m a radiologist and I followed a pretty typical path for a physician, went straight through college, med school, residency, fellowship, and immediately started working in private practice. I think I was about, just turned 32. Pretty typical story but what’s not typical is about 5 years of working, I found myself pretty burned out and quite miserable. I really didn’t understand why because I’d done everything that society told me to do to ensure a great happy life and have this great career, well-paying job, great family, wife, kids, the house with the metaphorical white picket fence in front. I mean on paper, it was perfect. I just didn’t understand it.

I was becoming more dissatisfied and anxious with work. I couldn’t recharge on my days off. I was becoming increasingly cynical and I knew my life wasn’t sustainable, but I felt trapped. I didn’t know what to do. I started realizing – maybe this is what a midlife crisis is [laughter]. I realized that life was too short to have it filled with anything other than joy. I didn’t know what to do. I started looking into just getting out of medicine. I started poking around the early retirement blogosphere and reading about other people achieving early financial independence and early retirement, so I had this seed planted.

After a particularly bad stretch of work call, I don’t quite remember, I came home and I told Mrs. Happy Philosopher that I only had a few years of work left in me, and I basically that night committed to 5 years of work, save a big pile of money, and then get out. I was convinced that I could do it with the math, but I still had this problem of being burned out, so I solved my problems 5 years in the future but that didn’t really help me now.

By unplugging from the Matrix, I mean that I had to rethink everything, question all of my assumptions about my life, about what society tells me I should do, so I committed myself to studying happiness and kind of reengineered my life around it. During this process, I realized that a lot of my misery was self-imposed. I had not really optimized my mental or physical health. I was worrying about things were not in my control like stock market collapse, political events, world news, whether somebody cut me off in traffic. I really lacked gratitude, mindfulness, and all of these things that I really needed to change.

I’ll get back to this and wrap it up. A few years later, my plans actually changed and instead of quitting medicine, I dropped down to half time, did a job share. But interestingly in those few years while I was still working fulltime and nothing had changed in my career, I became quite happy even in spite of not making any real changes in my work schedule. Most of the change was my mindset, so nowadays, I do feel like I’m the happiest guy in the room most of the time, but unfortunately I think the reason for that is that there is so many people around me that are still miserable [laughter].

They’re living this life that Thoreau referred to as “a life of quiet desperation” and then they’re still plugged in the Matrix. I guess maybe I’m sent here to help them unplug like me.

Josh Mettle: I love it. The first question that jumps out to me there is when most people hit that midlife crisis moment or whatever, as you described it whatever that was, they start drinking or buying fast cars or finding younger women. I guess I commend you for questioning your own assumptions and looking internally versus externally to try and fix that or figure that out. Where do you get that? Where did you start traveling that path?

Jeff: Wow! That’s a great question. I think just my personality, I’ve never really looked to material goods and consumerism and items to fulfill my happiness. Yeah, I don’t know [laughter]. It was a slow process, just a gradual realization. I don’t know if I have a really good answer to that.

Josh Mettle: I think whether it was just something that came to you or whether it was intentional, I think that’s the distinction, the first dividing point that a lot of people need to make, right, is there is unhappiness here, how am I going to address that? Am I going to work on things or am I going to try and cover it up? Anyway, I just wanted to make that distinction, that moment. That was a great choice.

Jeff: Yes. I think actually most people do suppress it.

Josh Mettle: Right.

Jeff: They get to this point in their life and it’s just too difficult to face and it’s easier to sort of go down the path of suppression and soldiering on. It can be very destructive. Some people make it through, but other people, it destroys them.

Josh Mettle: Well, I mean we could be driving a faster car with a drink in our hand by the end of the day, but trying to figure out how to unwind oneself or rewire one’s self is a much more laborious process. Anyways, I just wanted to make that distinction that was a great turning point, I think for you. Then you talk about turning off the Matrix, and what I thought I heard you say that you started not worrying about things that were beyond your control. Could you just go a little deeper on that like did you turn off news? Did you stop watching TV? How did you stop worrying about what was out of your control?

Jeff: Yes. Both of those things. I think that they’re extremely important, so I turned off the news and I turned off the TV. I think that both of those items are extremely destructive and distracting to the things that are important in life because the news is, especially for the most part, not actionable. All it does is create worry and this sense of responsibility and anxiety. That was a big part of it. I was just worrying unnecessarily about things that were not my control and that served no purpose.

We have this sort of false sense of control like if we know we know everything, everything that’s going on, that we can somehow change it, but we can’t. We should really focus our energy on the 5 percent to 10 percent of things that we can change and get rid of all the other distractions. That was a big part for me.

Josh Mettle: I love it. Jeff, there was this moment. This was probably 3 or 4 years ago for me that I was watching TV. I was watching Fox News at night with my – I think he was 3-year-old at that point, maybe 2. Zander and I were perched up on the bar chairs watching the TV, kind of doing that post-dinner thing and he in kind of abrupt fashion jumped off the bar stool and ran into the living room.

I went in and said, “Hey, buddy! What’s going on? What happened?”

He said, “You know, Dad, that stuff on the TV, it really bothers me.”

I thought, “Holy crap! I think the 2-year-old outsmarted me,” because it was really bothering me too but I didn’t really have that cognition. I didn’t understand it until I saw it so deeply affect him, and I too just decided I’m out. I’ve got some financial stuff that I watch because I have to know where the markets are moving for some of the stuff I do at work, but beyond that, if it’s beyond my control, you all have fun with that. I’m going to focus on my piece.

Jeff: Absolutely! I love it. I mean kids, even young kids, 2 or 3, in some ways are smarter than us because they haven’t been beaten down and conditioned by society. I mean they can tap into their emotions and their true knowledge.

Josh Mettle: Totally. Absolutely true. Okay, great. Well this is a perfect segue. In what I think was your most recent blog post titled, Why We Ignore the Important Things in Life, the concepts that you lay out in that post, I thought were great and maybe we could just talk about how we could use those for our listeners’ personal benefit. Could you talk about that?

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. In that post, I discussed the concept of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is usually thought of as this pyramid of needs, with the more basic needs in the bottom and the more complicated higher-level needs at the top. Like food, and shelter, and safety are on the bottom of that pyramid and then things like belonging, love, and self-actualization are on the top. In an ideal world, you would spend just enough energy at the bottom of the pyramid so that we could have a foundation for working on those higher-level needs. But in reality, we don’t do this, and I think it works a little bit differently.

We tend to focus on the things that we can see and that are tangible regardless of where they fall on our hierarchy of needs, things like BMWs and granite countertops and vacation homes and boats, I mean these things we can all see and touch and feel. They’re tangible. But our health, our relationships, these are harder to see and quantify, so what I describe in that post is basically the rat race. I mean we work harder and harder for more material goods and things while our health and our relationships can deteriorate.

The example I use in that post, I described my experience bike accident that my daughter had and how it brought all of these unseen things into crystal-clear focus. Looking back on that, I realized that this happens to us a lot, but it’s only fleeting. When we just recover from an illness and we never – we appreciate our health the most at that point.

Josh Mettle: Right.

Jeff: But if we could somehow bring these things into focus, it would really give us a tool to spend our energy on these more important things. I mean love, health, freedom, happiness, these things instead of trying to fill our needs with other things – you know more food, a bigger home, whatever. When we make our career decisions and we decide how to spend our limited time or money, we’re really well served by having these things in the forefront of our consciousness and not kind of hidden and unseen, so yeah.

Josh Mettle: The question that’s on my mind is well first of all, there’s not commercials about the things that we should be focusing on. There’s commercials about the new BMW, right? How do you make yourself or what are your rituals for, or what kind of systems or practices do you have in place maybe with your spouse that help you kind of go back to that moment where you had the accident with your daughter and all of your priorities were crystal-clear? How do you get yourself back to that place on a regular basis?

Jeff: Well, for me, it’s just constant reminding myself of these things. For instance, just having a practice of gratitude and constantly reminding myself what I have and how lucky I am and how great my life is. I mean that can go a long way in providing deep satisfaction, and when you’re deeply satisfied about your life, you don’t need all those other things. The people grasp for those other things when they’re missing something, and if I wake up and spend 5 to 10 minutes just being grateful for having a roof over my head and living in a First World country and having all of the things that we take for granted, good health, healthy family, after I go through that exercise, I don’t feel I need anything else and that’s it.

Josh Mettle: I think there’s significance to what we’re on. Thus far, the formula seems to be turn off the bad news that you can’t control. Focus what you can control. Start to focus or create a ritual where you are grateful what you have because compared to many places in the world, right, our lives, most of our lives are pretty darn rich.

Jeff: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: Especially if we’ve got health and family and kids and spouses that are doing well. Just in regards to your gratitude practice, it sounds like that’s some sort of a ritual for you in the morning. Is that intentional? Does it just happen? How do you make sure that doesn’t fade away?

Jeff: Well, for me I’m not good at structure.

Josh Mettle: [laughter] You’re the happy philosopher, man. You don’t have to be [laughter].

Jeff: I know. I just kind of float and when I notice things are going wrong, then that’s when I turn my attention to them.

Josh Mettle: Got it.

Jeff: I don’t have a specific wake up ‑ I mean I wish I did. I mean that’s what you probably should do on paper ‑ wake up, do 5 minutes of gratitude, maybe some yoga, your meditation [laughter]. But my life isn’t just like that. It’s not how I’m wired like with meditation. I’m terrible at it, but it still works. For me, it’s a day-to-day kind of in the moment, try to be mindful, try to be more present, and just recognize situations when they come up.

Josh Mettle: I think that’s a great point whether you’re the kind of person who wants to put it in your Outlook calendar to bookend your day, or start your morning, or if you’re the person who’s just kind of in-tune with what’s going on within himself and in your environment and go, “Hey, I’m a little off-balance here. Let’s get back to these foundation blocks, right? I’m grateful. I’m going to spend 15 minutes meditating.”

Then if those things kind of clear up, you’re like, “Well, maybe I don’t need to put as much energy there because things are going well. I’m in-tune.”

Jeff: Yeah. I mean most people will at least in the beginning would probably be best served by having some sort of ritual or routine just so they stick with it. It’s like an exercise program.

Josh Mettle: Right.

Jeff: But ultimately at the end of the day, you have to know yourself and you have to be responsible for how you take information in the world and synthesize it and change your life. There’s no right or wrong way. I mean you have to filter all of these recommendations and ideas and articles and blog posts through your own lens. You have to tailor them to you.

Josh Mettle: That’s a great point. Yeah, I think it’s powerful to think through in the beginning 15 minutes of meditation or 5 minutes of sitting there, enjoying a cup of coffee e or tea and being grateful is probably going to have a minimal impact. But if that’s repeated and you start to kind of catch momentum with that and you get that it’s creating a good experience, then you maybe don’t have to be so structured. You just know, “Hey, that’s good. When I feel out of center, I go back to my rituals.”

Jeff: Right.

Josh Mettle: I love it.

Jeff: Exactly.

Josh Mettle: Okay. I love the path we’re on. let’s talk about another blog post that you recently wrote on the White Coat Investor titled, The Most Valuable Financial Asset, and you talk about a proactive approach to physician avoiding burnout. I think we’re already kind of discussing a few of those things, but there were specific steps as I remember. Do you mind talking about that?

Jeff: Yeah, sure. Yeah, burnout is a huge problem with physicians. I mean I went through it and I wrote that post because we go on these financial websites and look at all the details and, “Should I put my money in a Roth or traditional IRA, or 529 Plans I save in?” None of those things are as important or as important as you, as the physician. I mean we’re highly paid, highly skilled, and our ability to work a long sustainable career is more valuable than almost any other financial decision we make. None of it matters if you burn out and quit medicine, or if you’re one of the many docs we lose to suicide every year, so I came up with four things.

I’m not an expert on this, so there’s other people who know a lot more about burnout and coach people but four things that I think are important:

(1) Prepare for it. Just assume that you will burnout by 50 and be ready for it. Nobody thinks they’ll burn out but if you believe the survey data, 50 percent or more of us do. The more financially free that we are, the more options we have, the more physically and mentally healthy we are, the better chance we have of getting through burnout or maybe avoiding it altogether. If you don’t burn out, then congratulations. You’ve like won the game of life. Do you remember that game, that little game?

Josh Mettle: [laughter] Yeah, right. I love it. I love it.

Jeff: (2) Thoughtfully choose your job, so this could include a geographic location that pays better or has a better lifestyle for you, maybe somewhere where physicians are in-demand and needed, which gives you more leverage in shaping the job to fit your needs. Maybe it’s a fractional full-time equivalent position. Maybe it’s locums work. Maybe it’s some kind of different practice model, or concierge practice. It doesn’t matter. Finding a job that you love that fits your skills, your personality and lifestyle is going to suit you well. I would counsel people to focus more on happiness and longevity than salary.

(3) The third one I talk about is having mentor or a coach. I mean when you think about it, we are highly trained, highly skilled, very niched individuals, and we should really think of ourselves as professional athletes. I mean we don’t obviously have the same skill set but I think we’re more similar to that than a lot of other careers. Even the lowest-level professional athlete has multiple coaches, and mentors, and people helping them, and so should we. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated life coach that – I’m not advocating that for everybody but you need people in your life that can look from the outside in and give you some objective, clear actionable advice. Because going through medical school and residency, we tend to develop a very bizarre distorted view of reality and sometimes it can be hard to step out of that and make rational decisions.

(4) The fourth thing I talk about is just seeking help early. We were taught to tough it out through med school and residency and not really get help. Showing weakness is often punished and we’re afraid to get help. In some people, seeking help early can make the difference between life and death in terms of physician suicide, which is about twice the rate for the average population. I encourage people to seek help early and to try to find those resources.

Josh Mettle: I love it. I think those four steps are pretty actionable. I think the one that I may question is the mentor and coach, and the reason I say that is because in the business world or as you mentioned in the sports world, business coaches are all over the place. I mean that is extremely the norm today. As you mentioned, any type of professional athlete is going to have multiple coaches. Where do you find that mentor and coach? Is there a network or how have you cultivated that?

Jeff: I think that there’s a lot of ways that you can do it. You can either go out and try to find a specific coach, I mean somebody who does life coaching. There are people out there that do specific physician – they just coach physicians. There’s this one individual I know of who focuses on physician burnout, so there’s that path. But you can also – I mean the right financial advisor. I mean a good financial advisor really their value is in sort of holistic low-level life coaching rather than just the nuts and bolts of finance. You can find these people anywhere but it’s tough. I mean there’s not like a list on the Internet somewhere you just go out. You have to vet these people and find somebody who suits you, matches your personality, and you mesh with. If somebody is not working, find somebody else.

Josh Mettle: I think for me the most important piece of coaching or one of the most important elements is being vulnerable with them because we all kind of do a great job at talking about the things that we’re doing well and are less comfortable at the areas where we’re failing. Would an older mentor, maybe an older physician also be a potential good option here?

Jeff: Maybe. Maybe. I would caution, I would caution people on using older physicians because I mean some of them may be great, but they’re going to have a very specific view of how they went through the medical system and their career.

Josh Mettle: Good point.

Jeff: And their advice is only – it may not be applicable to you. I mean it’s highly applicable to them, but there are so many different specialties and different paths that we take through medicine that I think somebody who is outside of medicine that just deals with helping people and coaching, or a therapist, I think that’s a better option. But you know you get good advice from anywhere. I mean I’m agnostic to where good advice comes from. If I see something great, I take it.

Josh Mettle: I get it. I do think this is as you mentioned a huge issue. We work with a financial service firm and one of the things that they quite intentionally weave into their financial plan is this very intentional approach to dealing with burnout, and so I don’t know. I think that’s something that you could dedicate a whole other blog to, and maybe find some great resources for folks out there just a small challenge for you, Jeff, small challenge [laughter].

Jeff: Right on.

Josh Mettle: Okay, great. thank you. Hey, there was another blog post that you wrote titled, Comfort is Fear in Disguise. As I was reading that blog post, I remembered a podcast or something I heard with Jim Carrey talking, the actor Jim Carrey. He said there was this quote that just hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to replay it like 10 times. He says, “So many of us choose a path out of fear disguised as practicality.” As I was reading that blog post, I thought of that quote by Jim Carrey.

I just wanted to talk a little bit about specifically these words that came from one of the classmates where you were, I think it was a financial seminar where you’re at, and she said, “What would I do or what would you do if I wasn’t afraid?”

I thought that was a great question. I’ve got some big personal and business decisions coming upon me in the next couple of months and I just sat with that for a moment and thought, “Well, how would I handle those decisions if I wasn’t afraid?” It was a bit enlightening for me to go through that exercise. Would you mind discussing that experience and a little bit of what led to that post?

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. I love that Jim Carrey quote, by the way. I wish I knew about that before I wrote the blog post. I would have used that in there. It’s so appropriate. But I was at, it’s called Camp Mustache. It’s a retreat centered on sort of the ideas of blogger of Mr. Money Mustache. I don’t know if you read his blog. It’s kind of the mother ship of financial independence and early retirement blogs. I was in a breakout session there and I don’t even really know what we’re talking about, but we kind of meandered to fear. We were talking about self-improvement and fear. When this woman next to me in a very quiet voice said, “When I’m stuck, and I can’t move forward, I ask myself what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” That question hit me like a sledgehammer.

Josh Mettle: Yeah.

Jeff: I mean it just took the wind out of me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the next couple of days. I’m guessing that some of your listeners here will be thinking about this question as well. But what really got under my skin was the fact that in spite of my so-called new enlightened state as this superhero, The Happy Philosopher, I realized that I was still afraid, that many of my decisions are still based in fear, although I think I was calling it comfort, or convenience, or practicality as Jim Carrey described in that great speech of his.

And, so, I started thinking more deeply about this and I realized that fear is based in the scarcity mindset, right? When we’re afraid of losing something and we’re not having enough, we make our decisions based on that. But what I often forget and I think many of us forget is that our time is the scarcest resource of all, and we tend to just freely squander it. We hoard things and money and resources because we are afraid of losing them or missing out, but we freely waste our time. I think it relates back to why we ignore the most important things in life in that post that I wrote because time is invisible. We can’t see it. We really can’t see the cumulative effects of wasting time until it’s too late.

Josh Mettle: Right.

Jeff: You’ll see that in the rearview mirror, so we end up working one more year for 10 more years because we’re afraid of the unknown, afraid of running out of money or depriving ourselves of something that we want in the future, afraid of what would be left of us once we leave our career. These are huge, huge questions for most of us. These are big existential things that many times we just suppress them; our ego can’t handle it.

My curse or blessing is that I really can’t stop thinking about this stuff because it’s so interesting to me. I guess I had to write a blog post on it. You read that post, you realized that I left it a little bit unfinished because I couldn’t figure out the ultimate answer to the end of it. I’m not sure even knowing what I know and all of this so-called enlightenment, self-development, I don’t know that I can completely let go of fear and we’ll see.

Josh Mettle: Well, I think the ultimate answer is the question. I think that what I took away from that post was the question of what would I do if I wasn’t afraid, and so that answer is going to be different for everybody. But the point is to take a minute to separate, you know, “I’m feeling this way but why am I feeling this way and if I took that out, then what can I control and what are those logical steps?” Anyways, unfinished or not, I appreciated the message and I think our listeners will if they take a minute to read that blog post. It was great.

Jeff: Yeah, thank you.

Josh Mettle: I wish we can find that lady and send her like $5 and a postcard or something [laughter].

Jeff: Track her down.

Josh Mettle: Okay, I love it. All right, man, listen we are about out of time and I know we’ve had a good podcast when that happens, but I want to end on one thing because this is something I’ve been a recreational practitioner of for I guess a couple of years. I went to a class and there was a class on meditation and the whole class wasn’t on meditation, but one of the breakouts was on meditation and I really thought that was pretty weird stuff that people that took too much LSD did [laughter]. What I found was well, first of all, it’s incredibly challenging. You think golf is hard? Try and calm your mind for 10 or 15 minutes. That is hard, but what I was left with at the end was a little more settled feeling, a little more, “Hey, it’s going to be okay.”

Maybe a little bit more ability when things were coming at me fast to slow them down. We’ll make another Matrix reference to kind of slow down those bullets and do one of those backward backbends. So let’ just end on meditation if we could and how you got started there, and what it does for you, and how you practice?

Jeff: Yeah, I wish I could go on slow motion and dodge bullets.

Josh Mettle: Right.

Jeff: And jump in the air like Matrix. Yeah, that would be awesome [laughter]. I’m not quite there. Yeah, I actually started paying attention to meditation and mindfulness. I heard about it through listening to Tim Ferris podcast.

Josh Mettle: Yeah.

Jeff: And he interviews all these very high-performing people, sort of the top of their game in a wide range of areas – sports, business, military, athletics, whatever – and he started realizing that most of these people, an unusually high percentage, had some sort of meditative practice, so he started doing it and started doing interviewing some people on his podcast.

I decided to start experimenting and dabbling in meditation. I read a lot about mindfulness and meditation in general. I settled on the mindfulness-based meditation that kind of originates from the Buddhist tradition. Here in the West, it’s been quite poked, and prodded and studied scientifically and secularized through like mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, that sort of thing, but basically I consider it a superpower. I mean it’s one of those metaskills like gratitude that just makes everything better.

Like you said, it’s simple but it’s not easy. I started meditating just like 10 minutes a day. I was terrible at it. I was inconsistent. I forgot days. I fell asleep while meditating, but even in spite of all of this, in a few weeks, I saw really huge results. If anybody should have no effect from doing meditation, it should have been me. I mean if meditation was a pill, I was like taking it half the time. I was ignoring warning labels on the bottle. I was not doing it in any kind of consistent way, but I think what you’ve touched on, I’ve learned to live closer to present moment, the day-to-day situations and I had less anxiety, less anger. I could just accept my negative emotions and diffuse them. It was very, very powerful.

It taught me to pause and just accept what was happening in the present moment and that enabled me to freely act upon it. It’s kind of hard to describe unless you’ve actually do it and go through it. I think the most important thing about meditation is not the actual formal practice, but it’s the informal practice that you carry into your day-to-day experiences. I noticed that I started just confronting problems and negative things during the day in a different way. I mean it was almost like my operating system had been infected by this mindfulness virus and rewritten with a different code just going down that Matrix analogy.

But life is just easier when you’re mindful and living in the present, and I think all physicians should have some sort of mindfulness or meditative practice. I think your life improves. You’ll probably be a better doc by increasing your awareness and empathy and being able to handle difficult situations easier, and it’s so simple, not easy but simple. It takes very little time and the results can be dramatic, so.

Josh Mettle: Yeah, well said. A couple of thoughts. The gentleman that I took that first class from, one thing that he said is he said, “We spend so much time in our life making noise or making motion.” He said, “Just take a few moments and make silence. Make stillness.”

And I thought, “Well, I’ve never thought about an intentional approach to make stillness,” but that’s something that comes back to me over and over in meditation that has helped me.

Another little nugget, there’s a gentleman by the name of Brian Johnson, and Brian has a podcast called Optimize, and he breaks down these kind of cool subjects that Tim Ferris kind of turned into 1 hour, 2 hours, and he’ll do like an 8-minute, or 10-minute, or 15-minute class. He recently did one with Russell Simmons. I don’t know if you know Russell, but he’s the hip-hop mogul that is like massive on – he wrote a book and all kinds of stuff on meditation like his total key to success is God, faith, and meditation. That podcast was called Success through Stillness by Russell Simmons on The Optimize podcast. I think it’s 20 minutes, 30 minutes. If you’re virgin to meditation, that would be a great place for you to just spend a few minutes and get some bearings about how to do it.

One thing he says is, “Don’t judge your meditation. There is no bad meditation. If you are stilling your mind for 5 or 10 minutes, don’t judge yourself. Just be grateful for that time and you’ll see the results.”

Jeff: That’s fantastic. I’ll have to check that out. I haven’t listened to that one.

Josh Mettle: Brian Johnson’s killer. You’re going to love him. Jeff, we’re way well over our time, man. Hey, thank you for sharing so very generously. If our listeners want to find out more about you and the blog, obviously thehappyphilosopher.com; any other way to find you or is that the best spot?

Jeff: That’s the best spot. I have social media. I’m on all the annoying social media things like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. There’s a contact page, so if people have any more questions for me or they want to share their story, I’d love to hear it.

Josh Mettle: Well, I’m very grateful for our time together and I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Jeff: Josh, thanks. It’s been a blast.

You can read more of Jeff’s posts and reach him at thehappyphilosopher.com