The Pursuit of Learning - Jordan Gray (1)
10:17PM Apr 18, 2021
Welcome to the pursuit of learning podcast. I'm your host, Clint Murphy. My goal is for each of us to grow personally, professionally, and financially, one conversation at a time. To do that, we will have conversations with subject matter experts across a variety of modalities. My job as your host, will be to dig out those golden nuggets of wisdom that will facilitate our growth. Join me on this pursuit. Today on the pursuit of learning, I welcome Jordan gray. Jordan has made it his life's purpose to help as many people as possible, create their most fulfilling, passionate, love filled lives. He's done this by writing the books, publishing hundreds of articles, coaching, leading in men's groups, and teaching seminars. Jordans writing has reached more than 80 million people. Today, we talk about sex, life, purpose, suicide, relationships, men's work, Shadow Work, and so much more. I had an absolute blast talking with Jordan, and think you will too.
Jordan gray, welcome to the pursuit of learning. I'd like to have a conversation with you that starts chronologically, and then veers off here and there into deep conversations about what you have experienced at various points of your life. And how that ties through into society today, where I'd like to start is around your life that you write about from years five to 15, what you experienced there, how you interpreted those feelings? And how that culminated? Do you want to take the listeners on a bit of a journey there?
Sure. This is the fastest I've ever gotten into a core wound on any type of media. So let's do it. Yeah, so five to 15 not my favorite years of my life, but in many ways, the most vital that really kind of shaped me into who I had to become in the world. I yeah, I experienced a lot of bullying between those ages, both by my siblings, and also some people that I was in school with. And it basically just felt like a systematic crushing of aspects of my soul. And I think I needed to feel the depth and duration of pain and isolation and separateness and feeling invisible. You know, I needed all those years of pain, ultimately for what my life path became, or at least what I forged it into. And when you said what it culminated into, I don't know if you mean that for today, or the end of the five to 15. But yeah, 15 years old, I tried to kill myself. I had been some version of depressed for. Yeah, I feel like when I was eight years old, I started to feel what was depression, um, but I, you know, with the child and didn't have the words to label it, or definitely tools to do much with it. But yeah, there was a intermittent, just feeling really down and like, my pain was invisible, and like, I didn't matter for a good seven or so years. And yeah, 15 I tried to take my life. And you know, it wasn't just, I didn't just like wake up having one bad day. Like, I've been thinking about it for months. I like really wanted to succeed in doing it. And I did not. Clearly I'm here talking about it. And yeah, that was that was that decade. And
yeah, and that's the culmination that I was getting. And part of why I wanted to get there so early in. Yeah, we sorry. I dove right into core wounds. So later we're going to talk about Shadow Work. We're going to talk about core wounds because a lot of our listeners may not even know what a core wound is. So what we'll dive in there later, part of the reason I wanted to get to this topic so quickly, is with COVID. With isolation, I think it was Connor Beaton, on Ben's. Ben Goresky's podcast, the evolving man podcast said isolation equals amplification. And so there's a lot of people out there who may have depression may have anxiety and it may be a fair amount worse. And so my one of the big fears that I have is we will see suicide on the rise. We've already started seeing that, and I think it may only get worse. And you write a fair bit about reasons not to kill yourself. You talk about how you overcame it, and I think a reader reached out to you and said How did you overcome your challenges to become the man you are today? And one of the things you said was don't don't put me on a pedestal. But here's three or four things that I did in my life to make that evolution. Is that something you can dive into for the listeners who may be in that spot today?
Yeah, interesting. Like, as I'm thinking about this at a high level like that, it's really, for me, it was it was quite a war of attrition, not war of annihilation, like it was, it was all the baby steps was all the various pieces and tools and relationships and, you know, therapy insights and journaled insights, meditative meditative insights, that culminated in that progressive sense. But I think for me, the first major turning point was, yeah, somewhere between 15 to 20 years old. Yeah, somewhere in my late teens, I remember very clear, yeah, just like general turning point, I was like, Okay, I can already see my compulsions and addictions, wanting to like proliferate and take more hold in my life. At that point, every move, like every one of my favorite movies was exclusively about drug addiction. Like I just, I resonated with people, with protagonists that just had an immense amount of pain. Even though in those years, I was actually quite disconnected from the fact that I had been depressed or that I even tried to kill myself, there was a good amount of sweeping it under the rug, and how people close to me, related to my suicide attempts, like it was, you know, when it was brought up, they wouldn't be denied. But it just it wasn't brought up. It was just kind of like, Okay, well, business as usual, let's like not acknowledge the fact that that was a real thing that happened back to business as usual. You know, that was the kind of general coping strategy of certain people close to me. And so knowing, you know, with this underlying sense of, Okay, I know that there's a lot of pain in me, I know that I can spiral over the next decade. And yeah, there was still like a shadow aspect, part of my mind that was very deep and pervasive. Okay, it didn't happen then. But like, I know, I'll do it again, by 30. There's no fucking way I'm going to live to 30. You know, all, I'll have a couple of years of fun all, you know, go down, whichever addictive rabbit hole seems the most, you know, user friendly, and that I can like squeeze the most juice out of for a couple of years. But then, you know, at 22 or 26, I'll just like, I'll do it again. And I'll be done with that. And so somewhere in those years, I remember having this thought of, okay, like, is this the trajectory? Like, what is my most likely case scenario? outcome? Am I going to just wallow and become smaller and, you know, collapse in words and have the arm's distance get wider and wider between me and everyone that I know? Or am I gonna transmute this pain into something that might help anyone in the world and for me at that point, and for for most of my 20s, the motivation to transmute the pain into something that helped others was way more motivating than it was for me. You know, there can be some, like self esteem experts or identity focus people who are like, like, oh, like, it's not the healthy ideal, you know, or there's something like inherently codependent about wanting to live for others, but I needed that as a long bridge. Like, it mattered way more to me, you know, the pain that my parents would experience if I killed myself or Yeah, it just it's always been more motivating for me of Okay, I can change this into something and if that helps, you know, a person that doesn't doesn't people let alone 10s of millions of people like that feels way more worth it. I'm an afterthought. I'm just like the vessel that this stuff can come through. But yeah, it's maybe because of the near death experiences that I've had. It's generally been pretty easy for me to not factor myself in much like not overlook myself like I don't exist. I just I'm not as interested in myself compared to the impact or like, Yeah, what can I turn this thing into?
Yeah, not yourself. But what yourself can do for others and less about the self in it more more the acts of service, the the creativity,
yeah, the healed pain, like what can that healed pain turn into for the world, like just the transmutation of that like, even that concept of, you know, I really love thinking about whenever I have a wave of grief move through me or, you know, some more challenging or societal viewed negative emotion. Like I love feeling. As I'm not feeling my pain. I'm feeling that pain. Like I'm chipping away at the collective pain that is available to every human. Some people have easier access to it than others. But like that, to me has always been way more intrinsically motivating that yeah, it wasn't what can my pain do for you? It's not my pain. There's just it's something that I went through. And like now that healed, pain gets turned into healing transformation, you know, healed shame, more likeness for other people. Like, that's, that's it, you go through things you forge meaning out of it, and you try to do point 1% better every day forever. And yeah, like it's, I see it as just a total fluke, or byproduct of my willingness to dive into the stuff that I've literally had 10s of millions of people read my stuff, which is just ridiculous and baffling. I don't consider myself a writer. I'm not a tech person. And yet somehow, over 80 million people have read words that I wrote, just because I had the core intention of just being of service and sound that I've gone through can be helpful to a handful of people. Cool. That's it like that's, that's it, that's the only reward needed as anyone was helped. Over and over,
I think some an interesting one there is you said, you don't consider yourself a writer. Based on what I've seen, you're a fairly good writer, and you have written a lot of content. So it's hard to not be a writer, and write as much and as well as you do. So I know you're not necessarily focused on the self. And I'm not focusing on flattery on that one. But just a lot of times, we don't recognize our our own inner gold. And as part of that shadow work and core wounding, we tend to recognize it in others, but not in ourselves. For the listeners out there, if you one of the things I like to say to people is we are all those things. Some people say I'm not a runner, or I'm not a writer, well, if you put a pen on paper, you're a writer, you put one foot in front of the other, you're a runner, whether you're skinny, whether you're heavy, whatever you are, we're all whatever we want to be if we're doing it, and sometimes for the listeners, you may not give yourself credit for it unless you feel like you've reached a certain level or you've done a certain something that just the act of doing it, you are that thing you're doing. Sorry. I digressed pretty heavily there. The I realized in Jordan, I'd never thought about it until you said it right there. I had someone when they were that age, maybe a year or two older, that was very close to me do the same thing. And we have never talked about it. And you know, I won't get into the details. That's their story to share someday if they want, but I realized I'd never talked to them about it. And it's been 25 years. That's interesting to your point about sweeping it under the rug, I don't think anyone in our family ever talked to this person about the challenges they were facing at that time, which is quite interesting. Now I know we all may have had a similar reaction to what you raised. And it actually made me tear up a little when I read it was when your family came to see you in the hospital, you were actually surprised to see the redness in their eyes and the pain that they were going through. Can you take our listeners through why that surprised you? And how that might have contributed to you holding on longer and saying maybe I will change the path a little?
Definitely, yeah, for quick context. This was like a day or two after the actual suicide attempt. And when you're that young, you not always but you often get put into like a youth just like a suicide watch ward. So I was in a place overnight for I believe three nights afterwards, you know, daily talks with the therapist, like they just want to hold you until you're less of a threat to yourself, I guess. And so yeah, my parents came and visited me because there were visitor hours. And yeah, I saw the redness in their eyes, I saw how tired they looked. I saw the pain on their faces, you know, logically understandable, their youngest child that just tried to kill himself and they were upset by it. But there was, you know, a huge driving factor in my suicide attempt was just the Yeah, like the the depth and breadth, the ongoingness of the bullying by my siblings who I lived with both of them my entire childhood. And there had been a long story in my mind that I interpreted in my childhood of, you know, I was a mistake. My family didn't want me I and yeah, my siblings were the ones who were honest enough to communicate how unwanted I was or that I was annoying or they didn't want me around. I thought they were being honest for the whole family system. So I thought my parents thought the same thing. So in trying to kill myself, I really thought like to a very high degree. I'm doing these people a favor like I'm getting out I'm on burdening them with my existence. And so seeing them hurt when my pain had felt so invisible for so long, because, you know, when you're intermittently depressed for seven plus years, I went to great lengths to hide the Billings my parents completely it was completely off the radar. It was just on the sibling level. My parents are like, just golden rock stars with huge hearts. Like I really put a ton of energy into hiding from them at every step of the process. So yeah, like seeing them. So heard about it. I was like, oh, could this belief be faulty? Maybe they want me around. I wasn't a mistake. My siblings are just like being the translator on behalf of my family that I'm unwanted. Maybe I'm mistaken. I love that.
Jordan, thank you for sharing. For our listeners, I recommend you read up on this topic on Jordans website, we'll put it in the show notes, Jordan gray, consulting calm, and he has an article that we'll put in the show notes for reasons not to kill yourself. So anyone suicide serious topic, anyone who contemplates it, reach out, get help. There's a lot of hotlines you can reach out to and have a read of Jordans articles on this topic, and get help if you're going there. Jordan, let's fast forward a few years, you're in university film school and you start dating someone that you had been crushing on in high school. And when you broke up, it hit you hard. But it also acted as a catalyst for what you've been doing for the last 12 years. Can you take us through the realization process that you had at that point? And some of the next steps you took in a couple that really jumped out at me, and we'll talk about we'll piggyback these to talk a bit about excuses. Because I've seen you talk a lot about excuses in your videos and in your writing and just being in group with you. For example, the two that stuck out to me were trading work for learning and working for free.
Yeah, multiple pieces to tie in there. I love it. This is Yeah, you've very clearly done your research, sir. This is beautiful. Yeah. So the breakup, yeah, dated someone who was just like the girl in high school that I just like, oh, that's just like, you know, the, you know, unforgettably attractive way out of my league. I found out a couple of couple years after high school that she had actually had a crush on me and had sent quite clear messages that she was into me, but because that was just like, couldn't be on my radar when I was a scrawny, insecure teenager. I just missed them completely. So yeah, we did it for a year 19 to 20. Yes. And yeah, at the end of that, I was like, just a beaming open heart. I was very loving, available, kind, sweet, you know, veering into nice guy territory, but more just like really just loving on full blast at that time. And I have found out years later from her directly that Yeah, there's a threshold. We were a year in. And there was a sense for her of like, okay, either I continue to receive love this full blast from this like fire hydrant of a man or my unworthiness starts to bubble up, and I have to sabotage this ASAP. And she chose that. So yeah, she broke up with me in quite a spectacular fashion. Really, just like verbally tore into me for 40 minutes in the front seat of a car, I can still picture the exact moment. And I would just like nonverbal dumbstruck, I just like it came out of nowhere, and she just really taught me a new one. And yeah, during that conversation, or, you know, more moments shortly after I had the birth of a new faulty belief, which was, you know, that served me in a way for years. But during that breakup, I basically had the thought of, I will never I will never let anyone have this much control over me ever again. And so for the next five to seven years, five to eight years and you know, varying degrees I really just yeah, I shut off my heart to a fairly high degree not entirely I think that no matter how you know, shut down and repressed we are like the the self the essence is still shining through always, but I really hardened up and I wanted to gain a sense of control in my relationships, which spoiler alert isn't healthy and doesn't go well, for anyone at any age. So yeah, really started feverishly. I already been studying relationships, family dynamics, you know, self esteem psychology texts for about four years at that point, but the ferocity of that, you know, autodidact wanting to like voraciously, consume hundreds of bucks just quadrupled during that breakup, I was like, Okay, I'm really I'm really going to tear into this and Yeah, a year or two later became a full time social skills coach, which was just a rebranding of, you know, it was somewhere between social skills coaching and pickup. It wasn't hardcore pickup. And we were actually like teaching, you know, very like left brain tech nerds how to like, make good eye contact and have better conversational skills and like learn humor and assertiveness and boundaries. But yeah, that was early 20s was that breakup into Okay, hundreds of books doing this full time. But doing this full time being still a more superficial dating version, control oriented, you know, egoic relationships with less depth, that was like 20 to 25.
And when you when you wanted to become a social coach, the company that you ended up coaching for you first said, I want to take your course. And you were a photographer and film and said, Why don't I? Why don't I trade you my photo skills because your photos suck. And you guys give me your course for free? How did you come up with that idea? And how did you already have the confidence to deliver that ask?
Well, I think a good percentage of it was just kind of youthful arrogance. You know, they're gonna couple leap things like yeah, both in really forcing my way into that business. And yeah, like one of the first sentences of that email was your your headshot suck, like I? Yeah, I basically, I done three years of film school, I've been working on film sets and found them. I was just like, this is not the lifestyle that I want. There are a lot of pieces about this that I really do disillusion with and not really into. And yeah, and a moment of clarity. I looked around my, at that point childhood bedroom, I realized that I had one book about film, cinematography, lighting, and over 300 books on dating, relationship psychology, and I was like, Oh, you know what, maybe I care about this more. And so yeah, just I googled, like Vancouver dating skills company. This is one of those companies. So I went to their website, I really resonated with the curriculum that they had thus far. And I just, I knew, inherently that I could add value. I was like, Okay, I see which part of the market they're trying to be in. I see areas for improvement. And yeah, my way in was, I'm gonna take photos, I can give you in your whole team, better headshots. Let me take your six week program. I originally pitched I wanted to do it for free. And, you know, with the Express intent of i'd also want to become one of the coaches here, you know, sooner than later. And by week, three of the six week program, I was already teaching week one to other people, because I just like the curriculum made sense to me. There wasn't anything super new. It was it was packaged in a really intelligent way. But yeah, within a couple of months of not being paid. I don't know. There's just, I feel like I trust the feminine I trust life enough to know that when there is those leap moments, I'm like, this is something and I'm and I've been serving tables and doing Yeah, actors, headshots, and wedding photos for a couple of years. And I was like, these things are not it. This is This feels way more true in my body. And so yeah, it just feels Okay, this is a time to sprint and name your desire clearly. And even if they pay you zero money for the first two months, three months, six months, I just I had the confidence that I can come in here, add enough value like I can make, I can create them, you know, three times the amount of new money that I can take a third of a salary, like, I'll create my job in this, and this is the most readily available vehicle that I have for it. And yeah, I had some people close to me who were like, oh, you're just letting yourself be taken advantage of. And I was like, No, no, I'm, like creating my own university. I am, like coming into a thing. And I get to learn, you know, business skills and core structure and management and all these things. And it's like, it's almost like positive reverse University, because I'm learning a ton of stuff. I know, on the day on the job, and I'll eventually get somewhat paid for it. No, no, this is like, this is the way so I never had any fear or hesitation around. What if they don't pay me that, like that would just be a projection of, you know, lack of self trust, I trusted myself enough to make it work.
And that's, that's what I'm hearing. But there's so many things that I want to tackle in what you're just talking about there. Because one of the things I tend to see in a lot of young people today, and I may over generalize mostly to the young men that I see in my life is not taking action, not having a plan not believing in themselves. possibly not having a growth mindset or an abundance mindset, you hit every single one of those things in that topic, right? You believed that in an abundant mindset that if you put yourself forward and you were successful, there's enough room for everyone will grow the pie, you guys will want me as a coach, you sacrificed and said, I'll work for no money. You had a plan, you had belief in yourself and stuck to the plan? I mean, I don't want to make it a leading question. Am I wrong in saying that? I see that and a lot of young people today and maybe an unwillingness to do all of those things that you did to be successful? In that step of your career?
Yeah, I mean, I definitely see it in a lot of people, it'd be hard for me to say that there's anything that there's any tie disproportionately to a generation or an age group. I think, just the vast majority of people. You know, we're really societally conditioned to go on the, you know, safe, straight and narrow. Really, you know, watch out like, anything can kill you. So there's, yeah, like, I have some compassion for a lot of the laziness and entitlement that I see which there is a fuck ton of I'm not like, Oh, no, everyone has a ton of work ethic? Of course not. I think most people are just looking for a very safe salary. They want someone to tell them how to do their life, they want to be handheld. Yeah, there are not many emotional adults in the world who are really taking responsibility for themselves across the board. I just see that as a person thing. Does that hopefully get, you know, does the volume of that narrow as more people, you know, age wise, grow up and have more life experience, hopefully, but also not a guarantee? For me, I really, because of the suicide attempt, and then another near death experience, my mid 20s. I just there is such a sense for me of all of this as a bonus round. Like, seriously, I should have got a 15 bike. And so I'm playing with house money. Like how fucking dare I not make courageous leaps and go for things that I care about? Like, how seriously do I actually think myself that, oh, I started a blog. And you know, I write 50 posts, and it gains no traction. And people from my hometown laugh at me, and they think I'm trying to be famous or, you know, pump up my ego and look a certain way. And like, Who gives a flying fuck, think whatever you want about me there, when you have a lot of people consumer stuff, there'll be someone somewhere who thinks every possible thing about you, like, there's just you can't control it. And so yeah, from a combination of almost dying, and then knowing that I will die one day, like, why would I hold back on any of it?
It was in there, you said you had compassion for the people you see not moving forward in their life. And it's a great way to look at it. You talked about the system, whether that's, you know, our childhood, how we're raised, how we're told what to do, what not to do, in a school system that has you marched from k to 12, go to college, get a partner, get a job, retire at 65, effectively, most people are conditioned to live that life. So it's, it's probably a select few who see a way out of it,
I see a split between who see a way out of it, and who desire a way out of it. Because some people, you know, if that model works for them, 100% and they find a career path. Like there's some people that do work in finance, or engineers or architects or doctors, you know, that need formal training and go on a certain path. And they want predictability, they want consistency. They're stoked on making, you know, 50 to 80k a year for decades, and they have some, you know, they're a tenured professor, whatever the path is, you know, if it works for you, phenomenal. I'm not dogging on people who like have formal education or have like, normal people jobs that you know, are not as easily labeled as self employed. Yeah, I am by I'm under no false pretenses that like we're all artists, or are we're all entrepreneurs, like, No, of course not.
And to make it clear listeners, I'm not dogging on that either, because that actually, is exactly what I've done with my life to date. So it can work. Maybe at some point you decide to change what you're doing. That's fine. The Okay, digression aside. Let's we're back on the journey. So you said that in that relationship, you were bordering on being a nice guy and I put nice guy in quotation marks and we'll dive into why. But as you were doing this work, some of the women coaches and possibly men coaches as well that you were working with told you, you don't have an edge to you. You don't have a base. You're a nice guy. Can you take our listeners through what we mean by What a nice guy he is, and what some of the challenges and negatives are. And then we'll talk about how you killed your nice guy.
Sure, took him behind the barn and shot him. Yeah, for me, I guess the real focal point epicenter of nice guy is someone who is more attached to how he is perceived by others, than someone who is willing to be aware of verbalize, stand up for his own needs. So nice guys are generally either in passive or passive aggressive communication, as opposed to assertive, which is more kind of healthy middle of the road where you're actually advocating for yourself, and you allow yourself to have needs. So yeah, I had a lot of nice guy tendencies in that relationship and a lot of relationships in my early mid 20s, when they're still present today, there's still something that I keep my eye on, it's, it's not like a, you know, zero to 100 to zero type of thing. But yeah, because, you know, in my mind, at especially that 20 year old relationship 1920 like she was so you know, the it girl in high school, that I just, I swallowed so many of my needs, and just I just didn't want to rock the boat, and just like, you know, better feet and be like, the most perfect boyfriend possible. Yeah, it's, there's various pieces to that, but it's really how in right relationship with your needs, are you and are you willing to, you know, take up space and exist in your relationship, and not just be a doormat or need meter for your partner.
That was huge needs boundaries. It's something that the nice guys significantly lacking. And so you went on a bit of an adventure for a number of years to say, Okay, I'll develop my edge. How did you develop your edge? What was that journey?
Yeah. So as you alluded to, before, it was a female coach of mine new, super powerful. Yeah, when I was 20, probably 23 ish. She did you know, without mincing words did say like, so the thing that I've been struggling with for a couple of years post that breakup, and in the women I've been dating after, was there were a handful of women who I would be interested in romantically sexually. And like, as I started to broach those conversations, I was getting this consistent feedback of them being like, oh, like I did, I kind of thought you were gay. And like, nothing wrong with being gay at all, of course. But I was like, Huh, interesting. So for me, this heterosexual design these women person, I'm getting this consistent patterns, consistent feedback. Like it wasn't a woman, there was like, at least half a dozen that I had serious interest in. Okay, there's something in this that I'm not seeing. And yeah, that mentor was like, they're seeing you as a nice guy, they're seeing you as a sexual non entity because your edges in there, you haven't integrated your, you know, darker, masculine energy. And that made sense to me. I tied a part of that, too. I had some early childhood experiences with adult male anger. That was so terrifying to me that some, you know, coming back to the shadow, some part of me relegated anger and rage to my shadow was like, okay, that is fucking terrifying. I can't be like that. So put my anger on the on the back burner. And anger is a necessary precursor to boundaries. So if you say no anger for me, you're going to not set boundaries, you're going to not advocate for yourself in a lot of your relationships until you realize you're doing it. So that was a big tangent. But yes, I in wanting to integrate my darkness. My you know, killing my nice guy, the systematic killing and when nice guy. I thought, okay, I'm looking to integrate boundaries and anger and darkness, but also in this sexual realm. So who has you know, what, what men can I have access to that have seemed to integrate this specific piece, and that brought me into BDSM, you know, kink dungeons, play parties. I wanted to be around, ideally, like as many 40 plus year old men who were just deeply comfortable with the full spectrum of their sexuality. And so that's where I went, I sought out new mentors. That was really my Yeah, multi year, mid 20s. One of the major growth edges was just wanting to spend as much time with men like that as possible. And yeah, I found a few got a lot from them and somewhat swung the pendulum became my own kind of, you know, darker Dom energy cell for a few years, which really integrated this piece. And then as I started to feel my heart. You know, taking too much of a backseat that is okay, this was enough. I absolutely have edge. If anything, I'm starting to have too much edge. So now coming back to the middle path of, okay, you know, spine and heart and balls like how can I just be all these things at once, you know, heart all the way through, but also boundaries all the way through.
And one of the things that really blew me away in the supercharge your sex life video series, was your conversation with Devin. And you too talked about how men could be more attractive to women. But part of that was how do you develop that? Let's call it inner status. improved health? Is that something we can dive in a little little to give the listeners a flavour of what they'll be able to pull away through your series?
Sure, yeah, that bonus videos, a unique one is a bit of a bit of a tangent. But I think the biggest thing I would say to that, because like that content was really the epicenter of like the dating coach years, like, so like 11 ish years ago. Yeah, I think the biggest thing that I would say around that, which is a bit of a translation, into what I think is really the heart of that program, and really how I see, you know, how I'm desiring mentorship and relationships in general, is you can only really, truly, you know, penetrate and ravish and blow your sexual partners mind to the depth you've penetrated yourself. And anything that you're doing that is just trying to like be a performative or shall we or, you know, make them come 10 times in a night and be their best lover ever. And fuck like a rock star and ecstasy. It's all a band aid. It's going to be a band aid until you are really, you know, what depths of grief and sadness Have you not plumbed in yourself like what? What edge if you're not integrated is your heart as available as you want your partner to be radiant and open? If you aren't doing the same things to yourself and you're just trying to, you know, codependency and habits it habit it through another person. It's gonna fall flat in one thing that came up for me when watching that video when you talked about because I believe Devin worked with you. early on when you you were in the Yeah, he was he was one of the original founders of that business that I have forced my way into. He was one of the people who had shot that I was like, hey, new headshot.
Yeah. And you were saying, you know, border bordering towards pickup. But what really blew me away. And and I don't know if anyone said it to you was when he talked about some of the things that you need to do to have presence in your life, meditation, slowing everything down, being calmer. Those are not just things that make you attractive to a woman. Those make you a leader with men, they make you a leader in the workplace, every person I see in work that's leading that out front, they all embody the behaviors you two talked about throughout that video. So it may make you attractive to the opposite sex, but it's also going to move you forward in your life personally and professionally. So I really recommend people dive into that material. And we'll, we'll put your course in the show notes for people to look at.
I wanna I want to make one comment on that. It'll be it'll be short. So yeah, on that piece. One of the reasons that people that are rich are so attractive is people think like, Oh, you know, because of their access to resources, like they can just like buy me a Lambo. And we can go on vacations wherever, like, like, on the deeper, truer level. One of the reasons that that rich people, you know, men or women are generally seen as more attractive than someone who is, you know, 500 bucks away from not being able to pay their rent, is because they have free attention, like this major pillar of their life that caused a lot of people stress and anxiety, it's handled, so they have more bandwidth to really be with you. So it's not Oh, 20 cars, it's that they can be more present with you. Like they have the free attention to really be there in the conversations or if you're having sex. They're very they're they're not like, Oh, I have this like unresolved stress and tension after that. I'm not like, my, my life isn't functional yet. They can really be there in a way that other people can't.
And there's a word that's jumping in my head is you say that it's presence. And it's not because of the money. It's simply a presence and you look at that presence and sale. I want to spend time But that person, I want to listen to them, I want them to coach me, because they embody something that I don't necessarily see. Day in, day out. There's something special there. Okay, totally aligned on that. And Jordan, you talked earlier about always craving that next addiction, whatever it would be. And so at this stage of your life, you're diving into the BDSM and you're diving into other areas to improve your sexuality. And you realize, I think I may have developed a bit of a sex addiction. Is that accurate?
Definitely. Yeah, there was a real hedonic escalator factor in it that you know, from this was like the proliferation of ego this was the yeah the heady fear based control piece of me just claiming more ground and you know, gathering up more of my my brain matter in this direction, what started as, you know, the 2122 Okay, voraciously reading, becoming a dating coach, when you know what I was doing the dating coaching thing, and about, you know, a quarter a third of my job was really teaching like cold approach pickup daytime, on the street. So like, we'd walk around downtown Vancouver, and like, we'd walk around like this same kind of six or seven block radius, especially during the summer when way more people are out, and just going up to strangers and getting their phone number and asking them on dates. And once that became, you know, too systemized, and too easy, whether it was in a nightclub or daytime pickup, it just became progressively not a challenge. And so I was always looking for like, okay, what's, what's the next challenge? What's the next layer of control that I can get? And so yeah, then going into BDSM, and kink? Yeah, at that point, when there was just there is such a felt embodied sense of getting getting new sexual partners is just too easy. You know, I was in like, open poly relationships during those years, you know, all the partners that I was seeing with me that I was seeing other people, they were free to see other people as well. But then I also started getting into seeing sex workers more because that felt like an even bigger layer of control of Okay, I'm, you know, having voluntary consensual sex with my polyamorous partners who, you know, were generally women that I dated for like three to 12 months, and it just be like, overlap with each other. So I was seeing a couple people at a time. But yeah, for some reason, it felt like another layer of control or another layer of emotional safety of, Okay, if I'm now paying someone to be sexual with me, then I'm that much more guaranteed that she won't say something mean and cutting and emotionally eviscerating like the woman did when she broke up with me when I was 20. I just just proliferating my pain. And, you know, in those years, while there was undoubtedly, you know, I'm sure there was some, some or ample damage done to maybe some of those women who were dating me, you know, said they were totally fine with the setup, or were like, maybe over functioning. And, you know, being the nice girl to my former nice guy. Yeah, it was just there was an escalation. And it just became a numbers game for a while, and it was just really soulless and empty and unsatisfying. And yeah, then I started going to sa meetings, sex Addicts Anonymous, got into doing 12 steps, got a sponsor read the big book, one to that for a while and was just like, Yeah, I remember one of the quotes that really stuck with me was, you can't get enough of that, which doesn't satisfy you. Like the sense of like, you can't gorge on, you know, nutrient vacant bullshit and food, you can't sleep with 300 women and be like, okay, like, 305 like, that's gonna be the one where I feel like, Oh, now I, I feel safe. I can relax into this. No, it's just it's it's empty. It's a, you know, escalator to nothing
more and more meaningless. Sex is not going to address the need that you're trying to satisfy through it.
Yeah. It's not only a law of diminishing returns, that the law of negative returns. That's another thing and the 12 step. Life is, this is more than a but yeah, there's this concept of like, first drinking was fun, then it was fun with problems, then it was just problems. That's right. And it was it was completely true. Like, I have that exact three part thing with the various sexual partners and sex workers. Like there was absolutely an exhilarating ego. Hi, wow, this is like crazy. And, you know, I'm like people that you see in movies, and it's wild. And then it's hard to, you know, be really like empty and frustrating and still like some spikes of dopamine. And then it was just, oh, I'm using this to isolate and be in pain and I'm drowning.
And so you, we've gone through all of this, that we've discussed, and you're still only 24. And
this point, I'd be ? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. And this is, and this is when you make a big pivot, and I love the audacity of this one, you actually decided you're leaving the country, you get rid of all your possessions, and you decide you're going to go to Thailand. Some questions around that. What prompted the decision? How long did you expect you were going to be gone for? In? Did you set any goals for yourself? before you left?
Yes. So I prompted the decision is I met a guy who quickly became fast friends, like it's one of those people who I met him. And in the first three minutes of us talking, it was just like, oh, there's a lot of energy here. We can very clearly just become like new best friends. And yeah, in spending less than, like we'd spent, like we'd seen each other on three separate days. And on the third day, we literally shook hands. We're like, let's go travel the world that there's like, there's so much energy here. I barely know you. I just met you. And we have such an easeful amazing time together. I'm pivoting in my life in a big way. I just, I left this company, I broke up with a long term girlfriend. At that point, I was distancing myself from friends who were getting into a lot of drugs and alcohol. And that was never my thing. And wasn't necessarily judging them for their addiction because I had my own, but I was just like, really in a big overhaul of Oh, and I also Yeah, like, purged my life and my physical possessions. I got rid of donated like, 95% of all the things that I owned. At this point, my parents are quite worried about me, because they're like, Oh, is he gearing up to do that thing you did a decade ago? I was not, I was just like, I'm just offloading a ton of noise, then dead way that doesn't feel true anymore. So yeah, we flew off to Southeast Asia. The plan, like what I what I told my friends and family, but I kind of brace people for was, I thought I might be going for at least 11 months, we'd left early February. And I was like, I might be home for Christmas. I'm not sure. But the goal, the very explicit goal that I told everyone, because again, social accountability works well for me. And I am, you know, at that point, especially was shame driven enough that there's no way I was going to tell people, I'm not coming back to Canada until I'm self supporting from my new business venture. Unless I was I just I wouldn't again, that stubborn throwing my hat over the wall part of my mind, I was like, I know, I will make this work. It could be really painful. We'll see. But yeah, it was estamos force my way into like, company when I was 22. I just like this is the way now I'm going to Southeast Asia, I'm going there. First and foremost, because it's way cheaper to live there. Even as a tourist than this doesn't Vancouver. That was really the main point of logic was,
that's such a great point.
I you know, wasn't I remember at that point, I was still at my parents place I could have been, but I was I don't know, if I was, I may or may not have been. But you know, whatever my rent was, it was you know, close to $1,000 a month, Canadian. And then if I was going to be doing, you know, phone and Wi Fi and food, all this stuff, I was like, Okay, I can live for half if not a third of Monday expenses by just going to Thailand for as long as the visitor visa allows you to, and then going to Bali. And you know, Bali was not as much of a tourist hotspot back then in half years ago as it is today. It's really come way up in people, specially digital entrepreneurs knowing about it and moving there. That Yeah, that was the goal was replaced my income as quickly as possible. So I'm traveling and living off of like I'm, I'm in the black, what my income is, I'm not dipping into my savings at all. And with that pillow with that cushion, hopefully getting to, you know, 2k 3k a month in recurring revenue through products or maybe coaching revenue. Through my business, I'll be able to move back to Vancouver and still be in the black living there. So that was the goal. And I did that in the first two months.
And so what were some of the biggest highlights for you both personally and professionally on that trip, and I think you ended up staying for two years.
No, I stayed for four and a half months.
Oh, okay. Okay.
Yeah, so yeah, the plan was, I think even in saying to my parents and friends like I'm gonna be gone until at least December. I think that was just a piece of my individuation at that point of just like okay, expect to you won't see it for at least a year because I just want to feel very energetically untied to my hometown to Canada. I'm just I'm very gone. Don't expect me back anytime soon. It was just like I'm really severing ties and gonna go do a thing. Like it's time for me to really build my life in a way that I haven't before. Because even though I was kind of an intrapreneur at a business that I pushed my way into at 22, it still wasn't my thing. And so yeah, 25 it was really like, I'm putting down my roots for the first time ever. And I want to give this a really, you know, fair start. So yeah, I, I wrote, published and marketed three books in my first 60 days of being there, which again, like just blasting out that word count at that point was the easiest thing in the world for me, because I'd been voraciously consuming books for, you know, a decade, so at that point, and so I had a lot of stuff swirling around in my mind, and I'd never written anything. So those just pour out poured out of me and put them on Amazon, those got over 1200 1500 18 $100 a month in recurring revenue quite quickly. Again, without a platform, this isn't people are like, Oh, yeah, but like, you're a writer, and you like have this like world famous blog. Like, if I had 30 people on my website in the day, it like made me cry, tears of joy. I had no traffic, I had no assets, like, I had, I don't know, maybe $3,000. In my bank account, when I left Canada, the company, I learned a ton, just a ton, like, but my revenue was largely what I learned, they paid me a phone call. It was like the whole the years that I was there, it was not not a livable wage for being in Vancouver.
But even right there. What you said, again, is an outlet for excuses. Oh, well, you did that because you had this world famous blog, because you're a writer. Yet, at the start of the conversation, you said, I don't see myself as a writer. So you didn't identify as a writer, you didn't have a world famous blog. And in 60 days, you published three books that went on to be Amazon bestsellers,
yeah. And dozens of articles. And I was posting organic content on my Facebook and Twitter. And every platform that I had every day, even if I was just like, spamming, of friends, and family and loose acquaintances, like I just I used every single resource I had available to me, and I just like, hit it hard, I was like, I will just provide the ridiculous amount of value in every facet, every corner of the internet that I have access to. And I'll just do that on repeat. And, you know, even the feedback and the comments and the messages that I'll be getting, that is as much revenue as someone buying a $3 book of mine. Like it's all gold,
because it's teaching you to be better at what you're already doing. every comment someone gives you as a lesson for the next article, or the next course that you offer,
what's landing what's resonating? What do they want more of exactly? Like I'm it's, it's my job to be a conduit, a channel to be of service. Like, if you're standing on a stage in front of 100 people and doing live q&a, like you're listening to what questions are coming at you. And even as you're speaking, you're watching people's faces. What's landing? What isn't as clear, how can I make this, you know, more applicable or actionable? Like it's every single moment is layers of a dialogue. It's not just like, Hello people here is me with a megaphone and like, enjoy my content, then. I am always listening.
always listening, refining. It sounds like a sponge for learning from your audience. And probably people who aren't in your audience, because they may give feedback that also helps add someone to the audience later.
Absolutely. Yeah, every every book, every course, every video program I've ever made, is exclusively come as a result of hearing Many people ask the same set of questions over and over. And especially questions that I particularly didn't like answering, like things I was okay. I'm really tired of like hearing the same question. Here's a book.
Here's a way to Yeah.
Here's an excessively priced thing with Yeah, like, it's when it's repetitive enough that it starts to anger me. I'm like, Okay, I have to make a thing. I don't want to talk about this anymore. There's a course. That's way cheaper than one one time with me go do this.
I almost imagine you in your mind saying fuck if I get that question again. You're going to write a book or I'm going to record a video on it. Wait a second 9.99 you can get an answer to the question. Everyone asks me. That is phenomenal. Well done. So now fast forward, were 2016. And when you left Canada, you somewhat cut a lot of relationships cut a lot of possessions, you start to realize that you're a bit you're back in Vancouver, and you're realizing you're a bit disconnected from the world. And so you go to an open house for a men's group. Fuck what is a men's group? And it turns out
something that I judged immensely. That's another story
Of course Exactly. We'll get into that. And it's the samurai brotherhood. So can you tell our listeners? What is a men's group? What were some of your early judgments? And what happened for you? When you let go of those judgments? In, you really embraced it and dove into the work?
Yeah. 2016 another big inflection point. Yeah, I was coming off the heels of my ninth breakup with the same woman, just a very painful cycle with also a lot of beauty and love and healing of a relationship. And yeah, I really just had a big regulatory moment where I realized, you know, with, with a great deal of irony, that the first two or three years of me building a relationship coaching brand, I'd really just, I'd never sacrificed and kind of minimize the role of relationship in my life more, I was single for a good chunk of their early years of this business. And yeah, there was kind of a no man's land in between of letting go of my old social circle and former close friends and calling in kind of the new, more deeply aligned people that I wanted to meet and be close to. And yeah, so I, this is when this the feature on Facebook of I'm guessing it still exists, I'm not sure if they still use this as much anymore. But the brand new feature of Oh, like this person, like this Facebook friend of yours in this face, a friend of yours, and nine other Facebook friends of yours are going to this event nearby. And yeah, Samurai brotherhood open house. And I was like, What is this? And I clicked on the link, and there's a Facebook event page, and it said, Yeah, there's gonna be 50 or so men. And it's an open house for a measure of community in Vancouver. And you know, my my heart my higher self spirit pushed me enough, you know, past my egos resistance of who these fucking losers, there's no way any of them make as much money as I do. Like, I'm probably smarter than them, I'm deeper in the work than they are, what am I going to learn? Hang out with a bunch of losers, whatever, I'll try it out. We'll see. And I went to it. And I continued to systematically Judge 98% of the guys there. But there were two, maybe two and a half guys who I saw my story and everyone went around and shared for I know, one to three minutes, it was a multi hour event. And yeah, there are a couple guys who I really heard. I mean, similar to what happens in call stack meetings. And a any of the things like a lot of the value is just oh, I hear my story through other people's words. So therefore, I'm not alone. It's not just me. It always happens other people. And yeah, there are a couple guys who shared of being in a similar place in their life where they'd also built a six figure business that they had largely systemized themselves out of, they had a lot of free time, too much free time. And they're just kind of twiddling their thumbs and feeling kind of lonely and bored. And that was very my story. That point I was doing over 120k a year, just off of my courses. And like, I didn't need to work as hard as I did in my first couple of years. And, you know, I was like, envious of my year one self just got to, like, wake up with burning passion. And, you know, nobody had to do and now it's like, oh, I've got room. I've got spaciousness. Yeah, I heard those kinds of stories. And I was like, I'll give it a shot. It was a four week trial. And okay, just come and join this men's group, show up for a month of meetings. If you don't like it, go away. All good. If you like it, keep on and yeah, thank goodness, I went to it. And after a few months of being it eventually kind of busted myself and owned my story of Listen, I've been kind of quiet and just like judging you guys for a couple of months. Because my story is that I'm better at x y&z ways and that. And my deeper truth is actually that when my friend just died a couple of weeks ago, and I've been going through this breakup cycle with this person, and actually feel really hollow and alone, you know, I feel like judgment, judgment, judgment, superficial, bullshit, and deeper truth. I'm in a lot of pain. Yeah, I was in that men's group for several years. And I really credited with both helping me heal a lot of my wounding with my brother winning with men in general and as learning how to be in connection, like it was just a long form of container to learn how to just be in connection be in relationship with the same people. You know, we got we can week out for years on end, and there was a lot of healthy and necessary ego dissolution, in just being a guy and a roomful of guys talking about the truth of their lives.
And for those who aren't listening, for those who are listening that don't know what a men's group is. Some people may say, Well, why don't You have a co- Ed group? Why a men's group that just sounds like a bunch of guys getting together and being misogynistic and toxically? masculine? What is a men's group? What work do we do in one? And why is it important from
so many angles to go out and do with those, what is a men's group, it is usually a weekly ongoing container of somewhere between eight to 15 of the same men who meet week after week, and just talk about the truth of their lives. I think that there is absolutely value in coed groups. And there's also value in same gender groups for men and women. There are men's groups, there are women's groups, I think that generally when people are in same gender groups they can go into, there's just more free flowing, ease, transparency, totality, they can feel that much more free to speak about the deepest, most raw, most vulnerable truth of their lives, and not have the added layer of, you know, Could someone that I'm maybe attracted to, or I want, like see me a certain way, like, if anything, gives your ego, you know, even that 5% wiggle room to like, Okay, well, I won't say the full truth of this, because this dynamic is in the room, and it's different. Again, I've been in multi year, men's groups, I've also been in multi year co-gender groups, there's value in both. Different things come from each one.
And one of the things I'll add to supplement that is often men tend to suffer in silence. And so we we don't talk to our friends, we don't talk to our family, we don't really talk to anyone about the darkness, that we feel that it's inside us that pervades our world. And often men's work men circle, it's a safe container to just talk about how you're feeling. So you're not suffering in silence. And in a lot of ways, it's also just a great way to hold each other accountable. You talked about how social accountability is a tool that you love to use for yourself, men circle is that spot where you can look at each other and say, What are you going to be accountable for? What are you going to do? You know, you've been telling us for months, that you're going to do X Y Zed, you haven't taken the first fucking step? What are you going to do this week? Before we meet again in a week? What are you going to do to commit to what you told us you want to do? Right, and those are deep conversations that a lot of us don't have with our closest friends in life
Yeah, completely. I think it's also there can be a in some way, there can be a lower barrier to entry for men getting into a men's group just you know, a group of their similar ish aged peers. Versus like, there can still be you know, I live in a bubble. So this isn't as prevalent in my direct life. But there is still I think more of a stigma or you know, hesitation resistance for a man, you know, just pick a man from a random population sample off the street to go to a therapist, our therapist, oh, man, oh, I must be really fucked up. And like, I definitely can't tell my girlfriends, I'm doing that. But a men's group can at least sound like I think it's, you know, it's one step more accessible of Oh amends, you're like, do you guys just like drink beer and play video games, you just like, hang out and chat. Like, I'm more curious about that, then going to see a shrink, or someone who's like, gonna fix my fucked up mind. Like, it's Yeah, and some men can also overly rely on you know, if they don't have close confidence, you know, and modern developed. Nations, it's quite common for the, the median number of self reported close confidence for adult men to be zero, like, the most frequent number is, I don't have a close friend, who, if I found out that I had cancer, I would call and tell them or ask for support. Like most people, that is like, I just don't have that. And so some men do aim to choose my words carefully here. Like they can overly rely on their partner if they are in relationship, and they don't have close friends, they don't have a men's group, they can, you know, if they're only felt a sense of an outlet for the secret thoughts and difficult emotions of their partner, then, you know, a amazing they feel safe enough to bring it to the partner at all. They're talking to someone great. And I picture humans as tabletops. And if a tabletop as one table leg, it's not very stable, if it has eight. And you know, two of those tables are close friends and two of them get knocked out and you're still stable. That's amazing, like having a diversification of support is massively valid. And I think that men more often than not, are a bit more prone to the lone wolf isolation grin and Barrett thing, compared to, you know, just the depth or number of close friends that women might have, compared to the average adult male. And it's less stigmatized, there's, there's generally less resistance for women to have female friends that they can hop on a phone call with and talk for a free flowing hour about whatever. It's a relatively more rare man that, you know, that has access to that, or has the willingness to even attempt something close to that. So a men's group really hits a lot of these pieces for people and it did for me as well.
one thing it does, Jordan, at the start of that you were talking about mental health, and you were talking about how the average guy may not want to see a counselor, or they may not want to acknowledge that the way I feel right now could to some be classified or labeled as depression or anxiety yet, what's interesting is they're in circle, and they're sharing. And quite often, someone will throw out a question to say, Hey, this is what I'm seeing, this is what I'm hearing. And you may say, Can people put up their hand, anyone in this room who suffered from mental depression, and you may have 70 to 80%? put up their hand, can you put up your hand, if you've been to a counselor, 70% of the people were more put up their hand, in that man who was suffering in silence and came to circle, he looks around, and he realizes I'm not alone. Other men go through what I've gone through, and I can, I can feel more comfortable now that seeing a counselor and addressing my needs is viable, it's not something that the guys in this circle are going to look down on me for.
Yeah, I really love the concept of the opposite of shame is innocence. And that is a huge thing that comes out in any form of group work is you see just how significantly unspecial your stuff is. And the ego really thrives in specialness. You know, like it's a it's a more controversial hot take but true that a lot of anxiety and depression is just, you know, an overabundance and overgrowth, of ego, of rumination of spiraling into me and my stuff and focusing on my pain. And when someone tries to like burst my bubble of self loathing, I push them away. So I can just like, hold on to me being in my stuff. Again, non judgement, this is me speaking from experience, this is me speaking, both personally and professionally. with clients I've worked with, yeah, there's the ego really just wants to be left alone, to wallow to just like, collapse in and self protect, like, I've been in a men's group circle where, you know, even darker shadow content, where there was that moment of like, okay, you know, everyone raise your hand, if you've ever had suicidal thoughts, same thing, every hand or close to it out of 16 men, like at some point in their life? Yeah, yeah, I've totally thought about it. And so the one person who is like, I really been struggling in the last three months with a lot of isolation and barely seeing people. And you know, I've even had thoughts like this, and they say it with such trepidation. It's like, Listen, the more personal the more universal, if you have this thought, and then your ego attacks that thought and is like, oh, like, no one else is having an experience like this. This is just me, that is a surefire sign that you're tapping into the collective, you're tapping into something that millions, if not billions, of people have been like, no, totally. I've been there. Of course,
yeah, we, it's so easy to think that we're unique. And we're different. When so many people on this earth have gone through every single thing that we're going through, that's a beautiful way to look at it. So in your years in the work with men, what are some of the most common challenges you see men facing
in any specific realm, or just across the board
Just across the board, two or three things that really jumped out at you that you see, Dan doubt consistent or week in week out consistently?
I mean, there's, there's a lot of self selection bias in it. Because, you know, I tend to attract the kind of clients that are just, you know, either very similar to me, or similar to a former version of myself, or just a 20% more neurotic version of me today, like so, you know, the things that I've written from my personal experience, those articles, those books call in people. So this isn't to say that this is like, an objective sample of the entire world. But this sample of my readership, I mean, the most common things that I tend to get is a lot of sexual anxieties. So premature ejaculation performance, anxiety, rectal dysfunction, and largely from younger men. So younger To me, you know, under 40, not just teenagers. But yes, I called this function and certain things can be increasingly common, over 50 over 60 on the physiological level. But yeah, just generally a lot of overthinking that manifests itself in some sexual hang ups of, you know, it was hard for me to get an erection one time six years ago, and that girlfriend is really mean about it. And ever since I'm afraid that that's gonna happen again. And so I have these things that have piled on top of it, and I just now I'm drowning in it and don't know what to do with it. So sex stuff is one very common one. Another one I would say is, yeah, path purpose, meaning stuff. So maybe I'm several years into medical school, I'm doing it because my parents wanted me to, I'm getting increasingly depressed, I'm quite unhappy with my path. And I know exactly what I want to do. But I just don't see a path of how I can, you know, switch lanes do this thing? And am I even allowed to optimize for joy? And meaning? Or should I just, you know, sit down, shut up and do the work that will give me status and the love and approval of my parents? And the third one, I take? Yeah, there's a good amount of like, either, like some iteration of, should I stay? Or should I go? I've been dating this person for a while. I'm on a new precipice of commitment. You know, I'm thinking about proposing or I'm thinking about whatever this next I asked her to move in with me. I'm having some anxiety come up around it. Is this guidance, anxiety is this. Oh, there's there are several red flags that I'm overlooking. I'm kind of nice guy and get my way through. This thing is actually get with men and women. This one isn't as gendered as the last two. But yeah, it's like, does this sound like a safe, healthy relationship that I am good to double down on? Or do you hear anything that's like, oh, wow, watch out for that. Maybe this isn't, you know, a fundamentally values align the partner for you.
All right, you've chosen our next three topics, I love it. So let's dive into sex. One of the things that jumped out at me in the video series, and I'll throw it at you, and you'll probably have a fair amount to say on this, it seemed like the content in the main series was geared towards men with a lot of the topics that you just raised, whether it's erectile dysfunction, stronger penis, go down the list. And it started to paint the picture for me, of how men tend to think about sex and what makes a good lover. And then you had bonus content, where you had interviews with half dozen women, and my take away was everything that the guy thinks he needs to be doing. And I'm gonna use a key word because it came up for every woman to perform, to hit his stats to hit his numbers, when you ask them what good sex was, or what made a good lover, it was totally different than what I think most men think about, can we? Can we unpack if I'm off base on that, or dive into it together?
That's 100% on. Yeah, the that's really like the one sentence crux of the point of the course, you know, in, in marketing and education space, there's often this concept of, you know, selling what they want, give them what they need. And this course is just it's very, that, you know, selling what they want is, you know, you hope people end with Yes, you will, this part is not, you will absolutely be able to last longer if you want to you will get erections on command, you will be a more present comfortable and confident lover. And you know, what, in the languaging of, I don't leave with this, but like I speak enough to the performative part of the average man's mind is exactly that. It's like, like, Oh, I haven't been performing well for my wife lately. And I want to like, make sure that I can show up and like fuck for hours. And like, you know, have you asked your wife like, Hey, are you looking for three hours of vaginal penetration? Cuz I bet she would say no. So like, it really is a come in with performance is the thing. I have to have sex for at least this amount of time. And yeah, really, like the crux of the course is, it's about connection. Like, and that's Yeah, the interview series with the bonus module in the program of interviewing a bunch of you know, eloquent, emotionally intelligent, amazing women. And just saying like, yeah, are you looking for a mentor performing perform for you in bed Are you looking like is the the metric that you're tracking most closely that you have, you know, six vaginal orgasms every time you have penetrative sex. And every single one without any prompting or leading questions or like, I'm just looking to feel connected to you, like, I'm just looking for no one said this sentence verbatim, but they do want lovemaking they do want connection. It's like, are you in the room with me? Or do I feel like you're fucking the clock more than you are, you know, actually having sex with me.
Not only did it seem like most of them said, what they do want it. It also seemed like most of them said what they don't want. And everything I heard, I was writing down the notes for what they do want. And I just kept hearing presence, connection mindful, he's here with me. He's sensing what's happening in my body. He's vulnerable. He's intimate. What don't I want? I don't want sex by the numbers. I don't want a predictive path. I don't want a performance mindset. It felt like almost every one of them talked about not having a performance based mindset. So it was absolutely incredible to hear what they all wanted, and how you might approach that totally different than what the average guy thinks about.
Yeah, I really enjoy hearing that I really, just it conjures up the image of different forms of dancing like there are. I'm sure there's a proper term for this. But like, there's there's group hip hop dancers that all you know, move flawlessly and sings like they're all doing. I'm sure they wouldn't call this like they're all doing some version of the robot. They're all just like, very sharp. And it's like every single it's choreographed. It's exactly on beat. And yes, like, to the masculine. There is a lot of beauty in that like Flava structure, like, Wow, you guys are really sharp. And it's cool. And it's performative, and it's a thing. And yeah, like most, I mean, most women and all the women that I interviewed for that series, they're not looking for, are you hitting the mark? Are you hitting your choreography flawlessly and on beat? That's, you know, like a more wild, intuitive flowing dance. It's like, we're dancing together. It's not me witnessing your choreography. We are dancing together. And so as I'm dancing and shifting as my dance moves, are doing a different thing. Are you responding and calibrating? Are you dancing with me? through it? It's a moment to moment, you know, letting go surrendering, witnessing, reflecting, mirroring, like, it's all? Yeah, it's really a one to one. Comparison, like what form of dancing you're doing. It's not about doing the Macarena flawlessly, it's about being with your dance partner and like letting them feel felt and seen and like you're with them.
What really flew into me on that one, as you were saying, that was get out of your fucking head, and be here with me. And we're gonna have amazing sex together.
You're not gonna have sex at me, we're going to have sex with each other
I'm not a sex doll that you're working over, I'm a human being I want connection with the person that's on the other side of me.
And that is why every exercise in the program is exclusively centered around relieving tension from your body. So you can go from just a head, you know, just like a brain walking through the world, to someone who is embodied someone who can feel their physiology someone who's connected below the neck. That's that's really it. Like, all the things are re sensitizing every exercise. How do you alleviate tension? How do you get more in touch with a full spectrum of your, of your body a full spectrum your sexual arousal arc? That's, that's really it. You know, whether it's, you know, guys who come to me and they've been jerking off to porn daily for 20 years, and they can't get hard. You know, when they're not looking at porn or when they're trying to be intimate with a partner. It's okay. You desensitize that by this. You re sensitize yourself to your body. With these practices, it's all the same thing. Can you be deeply in relationship with your body with your sexuality? Again, coming back to the you can only penetrate as deeply as you have penetrated yourself. It's all the same stuff.
You know, I wasn't going to go here, but you just brought it up. And it's it's such an important concept when you are looking at some of the challenges men have with sex is porns not necessarily bad or wrong, which I've heard you say before, but if you're potentially overusing it, then you're in effect desensitizing yourself to a normal human sexual encounter. Does that sound right?
Totally. Yeah, I picture it like that. Before but it just came to me. Yeah, I picture it like, if you are no healthy, able bodied person who can walk down the street normally. And one day you decide to use crutches like you have crutches under both your arms, and you pretend like your right leg can't walk. Yeah, you can still walk with crutches you can absolutely self pleasure, you can masturbate to porn. And sometimes that's fine. If you do this exclusively for years, maybe the muscles in your right leg might start to atrophy or whichever leg you're ignoring. Like, it's just, it is a crutch you can overly rely on. And so there is absolutely, I have an article on the benefits of porn, there are any benefits of porn, I think that some people who live in a small town who are growing into their sexuality and wanting to explore or think of, you know, their sexual orientation, or their sexual proclivities, they can explore and discover things and go, Oh, this thing really calls to me, that's interesting. And I wouldn't have thought about this in my city of 2000 people, and maybe I wouldn't have even heard about it until I moved to a major city, you know, there are things that can be functional and healthy and absolutely usable by porn, but it is in the chronic over reliance on it. And I've met a lot of men, a lot of people, but for this sake of this conversation, a lot of men can use it as a crutch past their anxiety of Okay, I don't want to feel the potential rejection of going out and trying to find a partner. Or if I have a partner in asking in sexually extending, whether I've been dating this woman for a year, or we've been married for 20 years, you know, there's there can still be enough of a sting, when, you know, we reach across the bed and she goes, I'm exhausted or not now, and it's, you know, it's the same, I'm exhausted, you've been getting for weeks or months on end, you know, it takes a balance to centered man to not have the ego co OPT the sense of rejection, quote, unquote, and go, Oh, this means something about me. Oh, like I gained weight over the last year. And this is actually about my belly, or, you know, she's too stressed, because she's doing a lot of chores, or she's stressed about money, because I'm failing as a man like, it's, it's easy to take it personally to like, find a way to make it mean, you know, my needs don't matter, or I'm not doing good enough of a job, or whatever the story sounds like. And so hey, I just go jerk off to an endless, like plethora of millions of sexually available women who never say no, on the internet. Of course, I will default to that. And if you default to that for, you know, months, years, decades on end, it'll have an impact.
Yeah, for sure. And the deeper you go, and the more often you do it, you'll just start to notice that the content that you have to use to achieve the same result that you were otherwise searching for through, it just gets more and more exotic, you might call it. But for someone who's realizing, as they're hearing us talk about this, that, hey, maybe I have a little bit of an addiction to porn. He has a very good video in the bonus content of your course with Ben Goresky addiction expert, talking about how to overcome a porn addiction. So if if you feel like that maybe you on the other side of this, feel free again, check out the course. And so now, let's go back to chronology. The at this stage 2019, the fall Demetra comes to Vancouver, you two have been connecting online and you have a you decide you're going to give something a shot. You don't know what that is yet. But let's have a one month date. Can you tell us how that started? how that went and take us all the way to where you are now.
So the initial plan, what like we didn't know that it'd be a one night, one month date. The initial plan was she was just flying to Vancouver for us to meet in person. And yeah, even before meeting I said, Sure. Like what you know, like, she might have asked at one point before she came like, you know, how do you think it'll go or like, what's what's the plan? Like, should I book a return flight? And I basically said no book a one way flight. If it goes well, you can, you know, stay for several weeks until you have to go back to LA to do whatever thing she had scheduled in her existing life in LA. And if it goes terribly, and you know, we like have friend energy, but there's really there's no charge, it doesn't translate in person, then you can hang out for two or three days. You know, all like, take you to the beach, we'll have a picnic, we'll hang out and you can just you know, get a flight and come back. And yeah, there was massive chemistry and connection and charge from the get go. And so it did end up being a month long first date and the end of that month, basically culminating in the decision to Okay, I'm going to fly back to LA to break my lease, sell my truck, sell all my things. And come back here and move in with you full time and we're doing this like that was Yeah, that was the obvious next step. We didn't know where it was gonna go. We're just like, well, this is this is just it like, Okay, here we are there's there's no rationalizing our way out of like just the truth of the connection that we have. And yeah, we are now we're coming up on our two year anniversary, we are going ring shopping in two days, our second, we've already been ring shopping, we're going to a second place just to see if there's a different ring she likes more just to make sure because you know, gonna own it for a lot of decades and wear it for hopefully 60 plus years. So we're making sure it's the right one. And yeah, it has been the most healing transformative, nourishing relationship of my life. She's applied for permanent residency. She's She's from America, I we live in Canada, we're in Canada right now. And we're just we're doing it, we're going full blast we Yeah, I mean, I can say endless things about her. But it's going great.
Yeah. And we're, we'll dive into a bit of that. So two of the other areas that you said, People talk to you about one of them one's path, purpose and meaning. And Jordan over the last, I'd say seven months, you've been doing a fair amount of what I'd call whitespace sessions for yourself, where you seem to be diving deep into, what's my next step on my path? What's my renewed because you seem to every certain number of years, like to have a pivot, like to say, Okay, well, I've obviously had some learning over this last five years. So the man I'm going to be over the next five years isn't the same guy. And you seem to have come to some realization through the winter. What are some of the next steps for Jordan gray. So far, you've been public about the change in your writing style, and what you're going to write about, and the topics you want to talk about. And you also the third thing you said people reach out to you for is relationships, should I stay Should I go. And together, you're putting on a course called Nourish, which was a word you just used when you were talking about your own relationship? And so those are the two things that I've seen, but also seen new geographically take a different direction. So it seems like there's a lot going on. And I don't think you've been public about all of it. But I have a feeling that you've been doing a lot of deep work on what you want to be doing with this next stage.
Yeah, I feel like I've I've named most of the all the pieces in some place. I think one of the earlier threads that really came through over the last six months is actually this. Yeah, it really ties into the, you know, earlier on this call, and we're talking about how every book, every course I've made has been in response to, you know, the 200th person asking the same question about, okay, there's a lot of energy here, people are asking for this, I can make that. And while you know, being of service and meeting people where they're at and lead with compassion is important. There's also you know, one concept that I've heard from Tim Ferriss, blogger podcaster, you know, biohacker extraordinare, life guinea pig, is, yeah, I remember hearing him say this thing of his blog, he relates to as one for me, one for them, one for me, one for them. And now there has to be some balance of, you know, you speaking from your naturally emergent essence and also responding to market need. And I feel like I had I begun to overstay my welcome in not just creating products and courses for what people are asking for and doing deep dives. Okay. The mark one says, Okay, here's this. But that kind of overly status welcoming started to bleed into my writing. And I found myself writing, you know, for a couple of years, really, predominantly leaning towards entering reader questions. And deep diving into things that I knew would be complements to existing programs or things people were asking about all the time. But there's less and less, yeah, less of a felt sense of spaciousness or joy or play or just whereas me in the max, like I was increasingly just a, you know, a valuable article cranking out robot and less of a writer, artist, you know, my inner child my joy coming through, but I wanted to put out having more of me in the mix. And so over the last few months, I have been both in the emails that I write to my email list and in the transparency my Instagram posts I've been doing daily live Instagram videos. And just like just connecting with people from just very me, not from my teacher, not in any performative way, or not coming on and doing an hour of q&a and giving target and value, or just letting myself be a person a bit more, a lot more. And that has been really nourishing really, yeah, just great for me. And also, surprisingly, unsurprisingly, has also been really feeding the people that also have always resonated with that essence in me that has come out in little, you know, fits and spurts and intermittent chunks. So yeah, a lot more be in the mix. And yeah, Demetra and I are also looking at buying a place a couple hours away from Vancouver, and just having an out of the major city stripped down simple, creative life of service site. To me, an ideal day is waking up doing an hour or two or an hour or two of writing or creative work, doing an hour or two of coaching interviews, you know, like relational one to one or group stuff. And then, yeah, just like literally chopping wood, tending to a fire, making lunch, getting groceries, just like just having it be simple. I can, I can have this scaled of service life that reaches millions of people through my website, and then engage with my body engage with the earth,
Mm hmm. Mindfulness yoga, go for a walk, read a book,
learn. Yeah, you just described my perfect day I've been, I've been working on building out the plan for the future, and you just hit a lot of notes on it. My wife is not quite onside with leaving the city. So I'm gonna have to work on that piece of the plan. That's a decade away when the kids are out of the nest. But I love what you just said. For listeners who may not listen to Tim Ferriss that much, you describe something as you were talking about how you're approaching that. And it really resonated with his methodology. I think recently, I was listening to him with Adam Grant. And they were talking about how do you when you start a project? How do you define success for that project. And one of the things I forget who it was taught him this, but they said, the easiest way to make sure you're happy, regardless of the outcome is if the project you're doing is for yourself, then you're already successful just for doing the project. So even if only one person buys the course, that comes out of the deep work that you're doing for yourself, you're successful, because you did the course that you wanted to do in you learned what you wanted to learn in creating. So I thought that was just an absolutely beautiful way to approach life, your new course that you're going to be offering nourish, do you want to tell the listeners what that's going to be about and get more and more people geared up for it?
Sure. So it's actually closed. No one else can sign up for it. It's, it starts tomorrow.
Oh, beautiful. Okay.
Okay. Closed registration over a week ago. Yeah, that's, that's a co gendered offer. Demetra and I are co facilitating a group of maybe of 14 people. It's a six month program. It's like a live group coaching program. Several calls a month, there's a Facebook group, a lot of engagement. Yeah, this is almost like v one of Detroit and i doing a live long form, like held group together. We've done several one day events together, where we're co facilitating and play off each other flawlessly, and it's super fun. Yeah, this new experiment for us is okay, what if you do that for half year? What if we do that for, you know, different when this one goes, well, what's a multi year container look like? So yeah, that's already existing starting tomorrow, and we're super excited about it.
And for those of you who are listening, round one is done. We don't know what round two will look like yet, or when it will start. But keep your eyes peeled. So Jordan, some questions that I like to ask a lot of the listeners for you, what's your superpower?
When if I had one, the first one that comes to mind is either care or curiosity. I just I just care a lot. And I'm also curious, I probably care more than I'm curious. So I'd say caring as I fundamentally want truth power aliveness for people, you know, like, I frequently have new were writers or bloggers come to me and be like, like, tell me like, Why? You know, some people go Oh, like, Don't blog too much. Because like, this is content you can monetize and, like, you could like turn a ton of this stuff in your blog, you like 10,000 plus word articles. You're gonna turn into a little ebook. Why don't you do that? And I'm like, I'm very explicit, like this. This is bad business. I'm not strategizing for monetizing I care WAY THE FUCK more about millions of people having free access to almost all of my work than me finding a way to put a price tag on everything. But it's not the point. Like, for me the fact that over three to 500 people a day, Google, you know, should I kill myself? Why should they kill myself reasons to kill myself and find my article and read that and I personally touched by it like, you can't monetize that, like if that article pay me 30 grand a day, but it was behind the paywall No, like, just No, it would not be worth it. Exactly.
That's a beautiful way to look at it. Now let's flip the coin. What's something you struggle with on a daily basis on a recurring basis, however regular you'd like it to be a struggle, well, probably not like it, but
I'm sure there's a blind spot here and I can sit with it longer. My first unfiltered thought around it is, if there's something that I'm struggling with for more than a couple days, I either outsource it, like it's not a thing. That's my zone of genius. And I say like in business, I just don't do it, I pay someone else to do it. And if it's a thing that's, you know, personal, not high routable and I'm struggling with it long form, that's probably my minds attachment to like liking the struggle. And so a thing that that would be would be what are they regularly struggled with recently. I'll do this over the last year. So recording this April 2021, we have had a full year of like, on and off lock downs and, you know, COVID isolation stuff. And I say between that, and also being in a relationship that I want to be in it for the rest of my life. It is easy for me, I'm very hard leaning introvert, I'm an INFJ counselor archetype. Not unsurprising, it's easy for me to hermit. And so I hesitated on using this because like because it's just like a pocket that I like sitting in, I don't, I don't resist it much. I am quite good. Not reaching out to friends or seeing friends super often or extending socially. I really can just like hang out at home and create for a long time without it bothering me. Like I don't have you know, I've some extroverted friends Ben or mutual friend who like and Demetri my partner to similar but maybe lesser extent, like they are really get hungry for like, I need to hang out with people, I need to talk to friends, I don't have that as much. And so I can hide behind that and under extend to certain friends. Or, yeah, I can, I can harm it more than my ideal life would want me to. So maybe the struggle is that it doesn't register as much of a struggle. And you know, I can do it more.
It's a good way of looking at it and you triggered something, for me, triggered might not be the right word, because too many people use that to imply you triggered me. But it's something that jumped out, you mentioned, it may be something that I'm struggling with. But I realized that I enjoyed the struggle when we've been on a call with some other men in the past whenever they've when some of the guys have expressed something like that you've suggested a great book that I read last year that I enjoyed, which we'll put in the show notes was existential kink. So that's a book that allows you to explore your shadow and realize why you may actually keep committing the same behaviors over and over that you say you don't like. But the fact that you're committing that behavior over and over implies there's something about it that you do like and you can explore why it's great, but
like what part of me loves this, like totally benefiting from this and I don't want it to go away at all. If I've been in therapy for years. I tell myself I hate it. It's like one out there's some attachment to it. So something to explore. Yeah, the best like one sentence synopsis in that book is having as evidence of wanting, like if it's in your life, you want it and people are like no, but I've been trying to get rid of it. It's like yeah, and something in you want it? That's right.
That's right, Jordan, how can our listeners find you
My website is the main hub Jordan gray consulting calm I think everything branches off of there. I've got books on Amazon. I've got an Instagram account that I do some stuff on but yeah, the website is the main thing with 500 plus articles and video courses galore and a tiny sliver of one on one coaching but yeah,
that's the that's the place And is there anything that we haven't covered that you want to get across to the listeners before you go?
It isn't super timely to talk about. Anything we talked about, but this just this theme feels alive for me today and lately, like I've gotten a thread of these clients recently and so just has some energy and I'm sure someone will benefit from it. Just this idea of it is so easy in the default codependent model of intimate relationship. It is so easy to a if you're single want to find a partner to like kickstart the dead battery of your life to give you juice and a lightness and meaning and something to focus on. And on the other side of the spectrum. It's also easy to be in a long term relationship with someone who you love or once loved, and project your life dissatisfaction on to them because oh, maybe this relationship is draining me or bad, when the question should really be, am I showing up for my own life? Like, where's the fire in my belly? am I showing up for my likeness? Am I cultivating the juice and passion, excitement and enthusiasm in my own career hobbies, friendships, you know, movement practices, like in my own life that is outside my relationship? Am I tending to that fire to then bring the overflow to my relationship? Or am I just going, ah, my life feels kind of doll. And so this relationship is kind of doll and maybe we should get a divorce. There's a lot of threads of personal responsibility and psychological laziness that I think go totally unexamined. Because the vast majority of relationship advice is deeply codependent and flawed. This is not me throwing every other relationship coach under the bus at all. There are some phenomenal providers, many of them are close friends of mine, people that your listeners and your friends, you know, know and be aware of. But yeah, just really, when going across the buzz feeds and Cosmos of the world, just watch out for the default narrative of, you know, Hey, girl, you're blameless and perfect, and it's all their shit. It's like, watch out for that. If you get to be completely let off the hook by a 10 point listicle that you find on a website? Take it with a boulder of salt and go, Is this about really waking up and transforming? Or is this just getting clicks, and it's a ranking high because it makes people feel good.
One of the guests that I talked to recently, Traver Boehm, who you may have just heard on Ben's podcast, he had a very good line that a therapist told them in that he put in his book today I rise was for a breakup or for a relationship in that situation. You're 50% responsible, but you have to take 100% responsibility of your 50%. So none of us are blameless. The other thing that really resonates and i've i've heard it from some of the guys and we get set off in in our work with men's groups is if you're bored, you're boring. And for those who aren't listening, what Jordan is saying, if I'm unhappy with my relationship with my wife, then in reality, I'm unhappy with the lack of effort and a lack of heart in the lack of connection that I'm putting into that relationship. If I put my full self in, odds are she's going to pull into that energy and we'll be connected together. But I'm again, just like the sex. I'm stuck in my fucking head. I'm not in the relationship. So get out of your head. Get into the bed, get into the relationship. Be present, Jordan, this was an absolutely blast. Have a conversation. Thanks for joining me today. I really, really enjoyed talking to you.
My pleasure, that was super fun.
Thank you for joining us on the pursuit of learning, make sure to hit the subscribe button and head over to our website, the pursuit of learning comm where you will find our show notes, transcripts and more. If you like what you see, sign up for our mailing list. Until next time, your host in learning Clint Murphy