How To Get Over Your Addiction To Pity – Dr. Sean Stephenson #500
By: Dave Asprey
We saved one of our favorite interviews of all time to go out as our 500th episode of Bulletproof Radio!
Today’s guest is none other than Dr. Sean Stephenson. Sean is one of the hugest people we’ve ever met, and you may know him from his 70 million YouTube views and his 25 years of speaking on stage and working to change the world.
He’s actually almost three feet tall. Dave Asprey first met Sean several years ago at a networking event and got to talk afterwards. Dave was just blown away at the love and compassion, and just joy that he projects in everything he does, even though he has lived with brittle bone disease which kills most people long before they reach his age.
He has this amazing story of not just resilience and survival which is amazing in of itself, but of just going beyond that into a place of gratitude and service that is just unique in any human being.
So we wanted to bring his mindset to all of you today, so that you can understand what goes on in his mind, and just in his whole way of being.
Enjoy the show.
Follow Along with the Transcript
Links/Resources for Dr. Sean Stephenson
- Sean’s Website: seanstephenson.com
- Twitter: @TheSeantourage
- Instagram: @3footgiant
- Podcast: on Apple Podcasts
- YouTube: youtube.com/Seanclinch
- “Now, tell me a little bit about brittle bone disease, because we were talking before we started the cameras and you were saying that a lot of your life experience is what taught you to be who you are, but also just was the source of your humor which is just omnipresent. Just walk me through what it was like to shift from survival into where you are now.” -Dave
- “The opening line of every talk that I’ve ever given in decades is that when I was born, the doctors told my parents that I would be dead within the first 24 hours of my life. I’m happy to report 39 years later, all those doctors are dead and I’m still here, and that goes over everywhere well except for in hospitals. They don’t like that-” -Sean on brittle bone disease
- “With this condition, childhood was just physically brutal. Something as simple as sneezing day would break a collarbone, and if you’ve ever broken a collarbone it’s one of the worst bones to break. Maybe second to the femur, just so painful. Sneezing would break collarbone, putting on pair of pants too quickly would break a femur, coughing would break ribs. By the time I was 18, I had fractured over 200 times and when you hear 200, it’s hard to fathom that because each bone took four to six weeks to heal and sometimes there’ll be multiple fractures.” -Sean
- “Pain is inevitable, but what my mom and dad taught me when I was young is suffering is optional. You have a choice to suffer, you have a choice to become addicted to the most addictive substance on the planet.”
- “It’s not caffeine or sugar, it’s pity. More human beings are addicted to pity than anything else on the planet, and whenever you are feeling sorry for yourself, you are putting yourself into a disabled spot. It’s a conscious choice to feel sorry for yourself, and many of us feel justified. In fact, I think most of the human race would allow me get out of jail card for feeling sorry for myself because of the cards I was dealt. I think what’s made all the difference in my life is at a young age, I found that when you do feel sorry for yourself, people back away from you slowly and I didn’t like that.”
- “I found when you make light of things and you have fun and you make people laugh, they creep toward you. They inch closer to you when you bring them good feelings. When they feel sorry for you, they slowly back away.” -Sean
- “So at a young age I said well, I want people close and in my condition I believe that one of my survival instincts was human connection. Connection is an exchange of humanity, it’s an exchange of emotion, and when people connect they feel it. Maybe they don’t know what’s happening, they just know that there’s that bond that’s been built.” -Sean
- “I wouldn’t spend a good 10 years of my life mastering a doctorate of clinical hypnosis to understand the unconscious mind that I spent many years of my life to behavioral science, to even down to the biology of just understanding pheromones and these things that maybe we don’t consciously release, but they’re always interacting with us.” -Sean
- Sean on how people react to him. “That has a lot to do with them and very little to do with me, and therefore, I don’t have to take it personally. So therefore, I don’t have to be defensive. I upset a lot of people with disabilities unfortunately, because I don’t associate with my highest identity being disabled. Disabled means not able and I’m not going to walk around like, a donut doesn’t walk around going like I’m missing all this thing in the center, I’m a loser. No, it’s a donut. You’re able to dunk it into the coffee or the hot cocoa, that’s what makes a donut unique.”
- “You’re trying to bond with me or you want me to feel loved, or you want me to feel that you’re empathetic and thank you for that but you’re wasting your time with the way you’re doing it. The way you’re doing it is at a vibration that I’m not interested in. Yes, I’m three feet tall, yes I’m in a wheelchair, yes I get stared at and I have to go about certain daily activities dramatically different than you might, but let me tell you, I’ve had heartache like you.” -Sean
- “I’ve been confused, I’ve been lost, I’ve been scared, I’ve been so angry, I felt slighted, I felt like the world’s unfair, I can relate to your world internally far more than you can imagine. So when I just try to reeducate somebody on the wasted energy of pity, and then also maybe even if they let me in a little bit more, see where are they feeling sorry for themselves.” -Sean
- “There’s some people on this planet that no matter how much you try to give them examples of how you love them, or you care about them, the world is a good place, they’re hell-bent to be angry human beings.” -Sean
- Sean on the Coast Guard Motto of saving the people that swim towards you. “The people that swim toward them. So when somebody’s swimming toward you, they want your help. They want your love, they want your attention, they want your kindness and I love being around people that swim towards me. I am no longer in the business or in the interest of swimming toward people that don’t want me. They won’t do the effort to come my way that are either flailing around in pity like come save me or swimming away. The definition of a victim is somebody that runs into a burning building screaming help me, help me. I don’t have time for that, they’re going to get us both killed energetically.
- “I always say I got God’s caffeine in me, meaning God’s caffeine wakes me up out of bed because it knows how many people on this planet are unnecessarily suffering. They’ve put themselves in a prison, then they’re holding the key in their hand.” -Sean