The Neuroscience Behind Charm with Jordan Harbinger – #377
By: Dave Asprey
Why you should listen –
Charm is not an “Art.” It’s actually a science. Today’s guest is Jordan Harbinger, a successful Wall Street lawyer and entrepreneur who’s perfected the “Art of Charm” with a stunning array of cutting edge techniques at his intensive boot camp in Los Angeles. If you want to learn how to talk your way out of being robbed, charm your way out of being kidnapped or be wildly successful in both your personal and business life, Jordan is the coach for you and this is the podcast you must listen to.
Enjoy the show!
Follow Along with the Transcript!
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Today’s cool facts of the day is that when most people will think of psychopaths they think of people like Hannibal Lecter or Jeffrey Dahmer, but not all psychopaths are violent criminals. In fact, most of them aren’t. Some of the most successful and charming people in the world today are psychopaths. There’s a combination of persuasion, manipulation, deceit and chameleon-like abilities to get people to do whatever it is they want. Another interesting fact is that a disproportionate number of CEOs, lawyers, entertainers, sales professionals, and of course, politicians, have psychopathic tendencies.
Today’s guest on the show is a guy who knows-
Jordan H: Great lead-in.
Dave Asprey: Is a guy who knows a thing or two about psychopaths. Just kidding. I think about that intro, Jordan, in addition to running Bulletproof Radio, I’m also a full-time CEO at Bulletproof. We’re a coffee company, we make [inaudible 00:03:56] and things like that, and one of things I pay attention to is hiring. Something that I’d like to share with you is if you’re hiring, do you know where to post your job to find the best candidates, isn’t enough to find quality candidates. If you want to find the perfect hire, you need to post your job on all the top job sites and now you can with ZipRecruiter.com you can post your job to 100-plus job sites including social media networks like Facebook and Twitter all with a single click. Find candidates in any city or industry nationwide. Just post once and watch your qualified candidates roll into ZipRecruiter’s easy-to-use interface. No juggling emails or calls to your office. Quickly screen candidates, rate them, and hire the right person fast.
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Well, this is Jordan Harbinger, very successful podcaster who runs The Art of Charm podcast who studies charm and not all people who are charming are psychopaths, few of them are. Still, I thought it was a great intro for you, Jordan.
Jordan H: Yeah, thanks. Jordan Harbinger, part-time psychopath here.
Dave Asprey: Jordan’s podcast, The Art of Charm, gets about two million downloads a month, maybe two-and-a-half million, roughly twice of Bulletproof Radio. Basically, we’re both pretty good podcasters, but because Jordan’s so charming, he’s kicking my ass as far as I can tell.
Jordan H: It’s the psycho factor. It works every time.
Dave Asprey: The other thing’s that interesting that Jordan does and the reason we’ve got him on the show today is that he runs The Art of Charm boot camps where he teaches people about relationships, business, networking, and self-confidence. As you’d expect for a guy with his level of visibility’s been in all the media things like Huffington Post and Men’s Health and Details magazine. The cool thing, and we’re going to talk about this on the show, is that he’s so charming. He talked his way to freedom during two different kidnapping attempts, just kind of legit.
Jordan H: They were actually successful kidnappings.
Dave Asprey: You were kidnapped?
Jordan H: Yeah, twice. It’s funny because attempts, at what point does it not become a kidnapping anymore? I don’t know, but we can explore that.
Dave Asprey: We’re going to talk about resolutions and how to get things you want into your life and how to build them in, because you spend a lot of time thinking about that and we’re really going to focus on the most popular New Year’s resolution of 2015, it was the most popular ones according to AC Nielsen who measures this crap. I’m going to ask you how an average person can achieve those goals. Before then, how can an average person talk their way out of two kidnappings? Tell me the story. We’ll just go there.
Jordan H: Sure. I’ll shorten them both up so we don’t take up the whole show, but basically the first kidnap story I was 20. I’m 36 now so to put that in context. Sixteen years ago I was in Mexico City and I worked for a non-profit. I lived in a crappy area, kind of a like barrio-type place, and I lived on the roof of a house that was not finished. I lived with this family and I got into a taxi and it turned out to be a fake taxi. One of the reasons I’m still here is because nobody had mobile phones in 2000, especially in Mexico City. It was just not a thing. Most people didn’t have cell phones. The guy was trying to drive to an area where he had, I assume, had reinforcements or other people waiting for him to show up so they could probably get in and take people who he had thrown in the car or maybe just rob them or beat them up, whatever.
At that point I had been working out a lot. I was doing, at that point, what we now call MMA, so ground fighting and boxing and stuff like that. We just called kihon which is some Japanese word for basic. I was 20 so I had been lifting weights everyday and this guy was probably 50 and he’d been driving a cab everyday. You can imagine the difference in our physics. I couldn’t get out of the car because you know how old cars especially, it was a VW Bug, the locks on old crappy cars, the plastic parts ripped of so they go below the window frame, I guess you would say? I couldn’t just pull the lock up. When the doors were locked, I’m stuck in this car unless this auto glass or maybe not auto glass, this plate glass. Then what? Reach out and then the door still locked. I was, “What am I going to do?”
I told him to turn around and he wouldn’t turn around. I told him to let me out, he wouldn’t let me out. At the next light, he had slowed down and I was, “Look, let me out of this car.” He goes, “No, no, no, my friend’s house is right up here.” He starts to pull over in front of these shady, gross buildings and I was don’t get out of the car, don’t get out of the car. I put my arm between him and the door thinking what if he just bounces out of the car? He made a fast one for the door. He didn’t know my arm was there. I just reached around the seat and just basically reached entirely around my arm and pulled in and just smothered him with my forearm basically.
Dave Asprey: Nice.
Jordan H: Then he stopped moving for a minute. I had to crawl between the two front seats because I still couldn’t get out of the car. I had to crawl between the two front seats, open his door, push him out, get out. Tried to get the keys and drive the car. I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift, especially a stick shift that had been manufactured in 1968. I could drive a nice Ford Mustang or something but I wasn’t about to be able to figure out … There’s a trick with a clutch. With every car that’s over 10 years old has a trick, maybe even five years old. I couldn’t figure this out and adrenaline was going crazy. As you know just from your studies, when there’s enough adrenaline you couldn’t probably do the alphabet, so let alone try to figure out how do a stick while you’re trying to make sure nobody’s coming out.
I ended up not being able to do the car thing. Took the keys out of the ignition and chucked them so that they couldn’t chase me in the car and just ran. I don’t know how far I ran, but it seems like some kind of half marathon and I’m running it in Banana Republic chinos and stuff until I get to a main road. Then I’m trying to flag down cars, but I’m drenched in sweat, I’m a white dude in Mexico City. At the time I had fake dyed blond hair because I was 20 and I was idiot and I did that to myself. Nobody would stop and I just kept thinking what if these guys come back?
Finally someone stopped and took me to a metro station because they were, “What are you doing here?” I was dressed really nicely. I just looked like crap because I had been running. I was clearly super scared so I think they just realized, all right, this guy’s in the middle of the ‘hood and this doctor had stopped with who I thought was his daughter now I think it’s probably his girlfriend actually. She was one-third of his age. She’s, “We can’t just leave him here,” because I was in the middle of the ‘hood so they took me. I didn’t talk my way out of that one. That was a brut-force method.
Dave Asprey: You smothered your way out of it.
Jordan H: I smothered my way out of it. The second one that I had was I worked as an English teacher in the former Yugoslav Republic of Serbia. Not Siberia, but Serbia. A lot of people get those two things confused. Yugoslavia/Macedonia/whatever. In fact, we still called in Yugoslavia in 2005 and that’s the name it had on maps. In those countries you have to register with the police wherever you go because they’re socialist and they want to keep tabs on everybody. They don’t have pesky freedom getting in the way of authoritarian rule. I decided I can do that, but it became more and more of a pain because you have to the police station, you got to wait at the police station, you got to register at the police station, and the police were total jerks about it every time. They treat you like a criminal.
One time I was there really late at night because you’ve got to register the day you get in. I’d gotten in at 11:00, so I was sitting there at 1:30 a.m. and instead of doing the paperwork they just decided, oh, you must be a criminal because you’re here so late, so you’re going to jail. They threw me in jail with a bunch of roma women, aka gypsies, which I think is not a nice term for that. I’m not sure.
Dave Asprey: I think they’re okay with calling themselves that.
Jordan H: They might.
Dave Asprey: I have a few friends who still call themselves gypsies.
Jordan H: So do I, I just don’t want anybody, “How dare you?” Technically, roma.
Dave Asprey: We’re both offending people inadvertently?
Jordan H: Yes, exactly. I’m in jail with them and they’re chain smoking and yelling and talking the whole night and I thought, this is the last time I’m going to voluntarily register. I stopped doing that, so they started looking for me thinking this guy’s some kind of spy. I ended up on state security radar because I was not registered with the police, but my job as an English teacher, the people paying my salary was the US Department of Defense. They were, oh, he’s definitely a spy. This is a cover. Then they found me and my buddy. His dad was a war criminal in the former Yugoslavia so he had fallen out of favor with the current folks and he lived in Italy. His step-day was Saddam Hussein’s lawyer. This guy had some weird connections to a country that were no good.
He happened to live in this building where this arms dealer had been busted a couple weeks prior and they found RPGs and stuff. His address was all over the news. The police eventually caught up to us at a festival and they thought we got this guy who lives in the arms dealer’s building and then we got this guy who’s supposedly an English teacher who was not registered with the police. This can’t be just a coincidence. They took us and they were taking us off the festival island which was in this old Turkish fortress, speaking of Game of Thrones, it looked a lot like that. They started yelling at us and they were really, really aggressive. They were also drugged out because their state security officers, it’s not like this professional FBI state security CIA-types. A lot of them are just like deadbeat war criminals from Bosnia that got relocated to Belgrade or wherever, or [Movisaad 00:14:16].
These guys, they were not thinking logically. I pulled in a lot of AOC, Art of Charm, principles, like get them emotionally reacting in a different way because they were, “America bombed us. You’re a spy.” I was, all right, I got to reguide their emotions to something more calm and then redirect them, not reguide. I need to redirect them to somewhere more calm. I started talking about yeah, America is full of shit and agree with them and then bring it down a couple notches where I go I love living here. It’s amazing, it’s so fun. I love the food and the drinks. All right, these guys are slightly overweight and they’re drunk, so food and drink. They’re probably huge fans.
We started talking about those things and, of course, my friend is all pulling the whole, “Do you know who I am,” kind of thing, or “Do you know who my dad is?” That didn’t work as well. They took us to this safe house. They were still basically beating the snot out of my friend and they were talking with me more about Serbian culture and food and trying to discern whether or not I was actually a spy or just actually a teacher, which I was. Every emotional topic I brought back down to a logical level. If it was, “You bombed us, you guys are fuckers,” or whatever, I would just go, “All right, actually what we do is …” this, or here’s this other way that we operate. Here’s what I’m doing, I’m teaching English to refugees. They were like, “This is BS,” and I’d say, “Call my boss.”
They would be on my phone and I just kept them thinking and I kept them thinking and I kept them talking. Once people get emotional, they can get out of control and things can escalate. That’s why you see crowds going insane over stupid stuff like sports or even nontrivial stuff like elections. You see people who are normally just quiet sitting in the corner doing paperwork lighting police cars on fire, right, because they’re just so emotional. I tried to keep them out of that state as much as possible. After a while, I had been talking about food, politics, and really keeping this guy in a logical head space. Eventually, I asked for some water. Since we were in this place where there were broken and rusty pipes coming out of the basement, I knew that he would have to go upstairs to get water.
He went upstairs. I heard nothing for a while, and then I heard him actually get in the car and drive away thinking they maybe had to go buy some water. You’re probably thinking well what do they care whether or not you have water and the truth is, I got the guy who was interrogating me to at least respect me enough as a human. We were really sick and I was still bloody and stuff from earlier stuff. They were all right, we need to take care of this. I was, “Look, I need to be in good condition. I have a meeting with the foreign minister tomorrow,” dropping some things that said look, I’m going to be missed and I’m also connected with people in government in your country. Luckily, one of my students was the interior minister at one point and also a representative to the UN. I was able to drop his name and they were able to go, “Who is this? Can we verify this?” It was interesting because even my own student couldn’t do anything to get me out of that situation and couldn’t help me after that situation, but he was able to verify that these were government guys.
After they got in the Jeep and bounced, I dragged my friend out of there and we essentially re-escaped these guys and got re-arrested by regular police who didn’t believe a word of what we were saying until they verified that we were in a black Jeep with government plates, with tints. Here’s the guys what they looked and everything and they found them later and they couldn’t do anything. The police actually found them and all they did was get our phones back and my hat. It was very lucky. My friend had puncture wounds all over his body from needles that they were jabbing him with.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
Jordan H: He was bleeding, he had burns, so he had to go to the military hospital for four days.
Dave Asprey: He was seriously tortured. They beat you up, but you still stayed calm.
Jordan H: It was about staying calm and about redirecting the conversation to a logical level, because it’s really hard to get upset and emotional when you’re also trying to solve a problem with your brain.
Dave Asprey: It’s totally true and there’s ways you can practice that, right? I did the urban escape and evasion course a while back.
Jordan H: With Kevin … Who taught that?
Dave Asprey: That was Kevin Reeve.
Jordan H: Yeah, Kevin Reeve. I took that same course, exactly.
Dave Asprey: Nice.
Jordan H: Yeah, afterwards, five years too late.
Dave Asprey: You took it afterwards so-
Jordan H: I took it much, yeah, afterwards.
Dave Asprey: For listeners, this is a course you can go through where they teach you what to do if you’re kidnapped, how to get out of handcuffs and how to know you’re being tailed, how to tail people. The final exam is they literally hood you, handcuff you, throw you in the back of a van and you have to escape and then run missions while a team of bounty hunters are after you. What made me think of this, Jordan, is you talk about how you ran a half marathon.
Jordan H: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: When I escaped you have this adrenaline and I remember this time where I was freaking out a little bit, and really you’re not in danger if they kidnap you again. They just drop you off. You have no money, you have no cell phone, you have no way to do anything. You just have to socially engineer everything. I’d met with one of the other people who been kidnapped and we were plotting and scheming to try and stay free and to run these little missions. This is in Santa Monica, which is a pretty nice part of town really, but you’re still scared and you have no way to get across town. I was, “Okay, I think they spotted me,” and I just hightailed out of there.
When I finally hooked up with people I was six miles away and I don’t even know how I got six miles away. You get that adrenaline. I had a little costume with me, a red knit cap and a fake ponytail. What really stood out for me is one of the guys who had military training was okay. Our job was to go talk to the guy wearing the black hat at the bus stop and two of the people at the bus stop are bounty hunters and you can see them. How can I run this mission? I’m hiding and running away and he shows himself wearing the red hat and then they come to chase him and he goes into a store, he’s, “Hey, can I go out the back?” He goes around, does the mission, and he’s totally cool and I was about to shit myself.
Jordan H: Very cool. That’s a good plan, right? He distracted them and the other guy stayed there.
Dave Asprey: It just took a level of rational stuff. I was already too adrenaline and too not logical to even formulate a plan. I learned a lot about myself that way and I didn’t have the real threat of torture like you experienced or any that, but it was a learning experience for me in a big way.
Jordan H: It was a cool course. I’ll tell you, I got caught a bunch during that class and the reason I got caught a bunch, I think it’s easy to blame other people, but I didn’t have a good plan for most of my hiding. If they were chasing me I remember I tried to watch a little league game and the coach was, “Can I help you?” I was, “I’m hiding from a friend of mine.” He was, “No, this is too weird. This is a little league game, bro.” I got caught then and I thought that was a cool plan.
Speaking of fitness, health, and nutrition, they put me with this one guy. There was a bunch of FBI guys, there was a bunch of security guys, police officers, and then there was one arm-chair prepper guy, and I thought for a prepper, “Listen, buddy, if you’re preparing for the apocalypse,” he was at least 100 pounds over weight. You know how they lock you in the van and then they leave the van to go to Home Depot or whatever it is and you escape the cuffs and you get out of the van. This guy walked maybe half a mile with me at a very slow pace before basically just tapping out. At the end of the course, Kevin told me, he goes, “Look, we knew that was going to happen and you did better than we thought you were going do because the equivalent of this is having an injury victim or a small child with you who just can’t keep up the whole time.”
I would get caught trying to save this guy a half dozen times throughout that course. It was frustrating and eventually I started to get a little angry about it. Then I thought, wait a minute, this is the test for me. Not can I hide from people at a juice bar in Santa Monica. It’s going to be much more about can I deal with the person who’s dragging me down? Because in a real life situation, it will be the fact that there’s somebody who’s got an injury like my friend in Serbia, or maybe you’re with your wife and she has a busted ankle. You’re not just going to get mad and yell at that person. You have to deal with that. What if it’s an eight-year-old kid?
It was a really good test for me to go through with somebody who was not ready for this at all.
Dave Asprey: Something that I didn’t think we’d get into this detail on, but something that listeners will appreciate that idea of how do you maintain control of yourself in an emergency like that? I learned a ton just by realizing I was teamed with some other people, too, and it’s pretty darn emotional when your nervous system believes that you have a threat to your survival. Rationally you know, I’m in Santa Monica, I paid these guys, there’s no real risk, but it doesn’t feel that way at all and you really quickly get sucked into it. It’s one of my favorite experiences for just looking at sympathetic activation, fight or flight response, and just realizing you think you’re in charge, but you’re so not.
Jordan H: Yeah, one thing that brought up for me sort of parallels what you were just talking about with the sympathetic activation after that class I thought what about people who are on the run for a month or a year? Your level of adrenaline, you would wake most days probably going, “Oh my God, okay, I’m safe. Wait, look out the window.” You would age twice as fast easily, because you’d be activated the whole time. Your adrenal glands would be shot. Speaking of adrenal fatigue and entrepreneurs, imagine being on the lam.
Dave Asprey: I was trying to hide from these bounty hunters. I walked into one entire store and I had this weird knit hat and these sunglasses and there were three people staring at me. I was, “Maybe they’re bounty hunters, oh, my God. They’re going to find me.” They were staring at me because they thought I was celebrity. I was clearly trying to hide what I looked like. Who is that guy? It was just so surreal, but I would recommend anyone listening if you ever get a chance to do one of those classes where you really push your limits like that, it’s not a prepper thing it all, plus it’s cool to know what to do if someone’s going to try to kidnap you.
Jordan H: Yes.
Dave Asprey: Short answer is you should not get in the car, do everything possible. Kick their ass, make a lot of noise. If you get in, you’re probably going to die.
Jordan H: That’s right. Gavin de Becker Gift of Fear says never go to the secondary location. What that means, and that’s the thing that essentially … I saw that on Oprah when I was kid watching with my mom. No judgments. I was in this Mexican fake taxi and I remember going, “Oh my God, we’re totally on the way to the secondary location.” First mistake was getting in the car I thought it was a taxi. What are you going to do? The second mistake that I avoided narrowly was my mind really wanted to go, “You’re fine. He’s kidnapping you? No. He probably does really just need directions.” Then your other logical brain goes, “He’s a cab driver in Mexico City and you wanted to go down next to the presidential palace. If he doesn’t know where that is, what are the odds of a cabby in Washington DC not know how to get to the White House? Zero.”
If he says he needs directions and you feel like something else is up and he won’t let you out and he won’t turn around, he’s not really taking you where you want to go. This is BS, you’re kidding yourself. That was the trigger that I needed along with that advice of never go to the secondary location. That was the trigger I needed to go, okay, snap out of it. It’s not just going to be okay if you bury your head in the sand and look out the window or whatever I was doing. That’s what caused me to take action, and I think that possibly saved my life. Looking back on it, 50/50 chance whether or not I was just taken to 15 different ATMs and then dumped out when my card froze, or chopped up into little pieces and sold, I don’t know. Who knows? You never know. You don’t really want to find out.
Dave Asprey: I hear you have some really nice kidneys, that’s all I’m saying.
Jordan H: Yeah, they’re clean. I drink a lot of tea, I stay hydrated.
Dave Asprey: You talked about this overweight guy who really couldn’t take care of himself when you were doing that training. It turns out that more half of people are obese. I used to 100 pounds heavier, so I’ve definitely dealt with that and a lot of my work is how do you get control of your biology that way, not just the fight or flight response. The New Year’s resolution that’s Number 1, at least it was Number 1 last year, was lose weight, I want to lose weight. You search Google for diet and you’ll get 146 million results. Half of women are on a diet at any one time. Ninety percent of dieters don’t lose the weight they want to lose, in fact they usually gain it back because of some hormonal things that I’ve written about. What’s your recommendation for someone who wants to get their weight loss goals?
Jordan H: Sure. I’m not a weight loss and fitness expert, so I just want to qualify that.
Dave Asprey: No, this is about doing what you want to do, doing what you say you’re going to do, not about what techniques to use.
Jordan H: Okay, great.
Dave Asprey: I’m not saying eat more fat or whatever.
Jordan H: Right, yeah, because I’m … I don’t know. The truth of the matter is whenever I’m trying to change any habit, for example, weight loss or otherwise, I always try to use my own psychology against me. It’s about, well, I shouldn’t say equal parts, equal parts does sound clever. Equal parts, how’s that, self-awareness and putting in systems to use your own psychology against you. For example, when I was running which I now dislike, strong dislike, but I cycle instead, what I would do especially when I lived in Michigan instead of California and it was freaking freezing outside most of the year, I would say, “All right, I will get out of bed and I will put on all my workout gear, all my running gear. If I want to go back to bed after that, then I can.” Then after that I would usually go running.
Then when it got really hard because it was cold as hell outside and I knew it, or if that stops working because I know that trick of putting on your clothes, getting out of bed and making it happen, that trick might stop working, I would go, “All right. I’m going to put on all my stuff and then step out onto the front porch step and feel that cold air and take three deep breaths. Then if I want to go back to bed, I can.” I kept escalating it until I reprogrammed my brain to realize, oh, runners high is so fun versus ugh, getting out of bed sucks. It was avoiding the pain of not getting that runner’s high became greater than the pain of getting out of bed. That was a critical …
Dave Asprey: You became an opiate addict basically.
Jordan H: Basically became opiate addict, self-generated opiate addict. I use little things like this all the time where, for example, I wanted to start getting up earlier and not like 4:00 a.m. crazy stuff, but getting up at 6:00 or 7:00 just like a normal productive person. Are you one of those get-up-at-3:00-a.m. type of people?
Dave Asprey: Are we talking about sociopaths or psychopaths are like? They wake up at 3:00 a.m. That’s just all I’m saying.
Jordan H: Really, oh good. Well, I wake up at 6:00 or 7:00, sometimes 8:00, so way less psycho.
Dave Asprey: You’re more even-keeler. This Hal Elrod guy [inaudible 00:30:30], I don’t know these early-morning people. You got to look at them, they’re a little bit crooked. Hal, I love you, man.
Jordan H: A scants, yeah. We can’t pick on Hal right now. He’s going through so much.
Dave Asprey: I just texted him this morning, that’s why I’m giving him a shot.
Jordan H: Man, he’s the one guy who can get cancer and everyone goes, “Of course, now you’re going to use that to your advantage. You get all the breaks, Hal.”
Dave Asprey: He’s, “I’m going to kick its ass.”
Jordan H: Yeah, Hal gets all the breaks.
Dave Asprey: He does indeed. By the way if you’re listening and you don’t know about “Miracle Morning,” you should check it out and pick up his book or get in touch with him. If you haven’t heard, Hal’s been really public about it. He had a rare form of leukemia and is totally winning it right now. He does wake up really in the morning which is why even though I like Hal, I always keep one eye on him because you never know about these early morning people.
Jordan H: How did he rarest form of leukemia? He couldn’t get regular leukemia, Hal. Come on, buddy. Always got to be different. Yeah, he’s kicking its butt more that I know for sure. What I’m saying with the waking up early stuff aside from picking on Hal with this, and I just know from college days, it’s really easy for me to look at the clock at 6:00 and go, “Well, I didn’t go to bed early enough like I thought, so I’m really tired. I can move my stuff on my calendar around,” blah, blah, and make all kinds of crazy gymnastic leaps to not getting up. I studied Chinese in the morning and I have to schedule my lessons a week in advance. If I cancel one, I can’t just push it an hour, I lose it and it costs me money and I take them on Skype.
I scheduled all of those for first thing in the morning. Get up, don’t even shower, just crawl over to the computer and work on Skype. What that does is when I wake up and I look at the clock and I go, “Oh, but I’m so comfortable,” I go, “Well, do I want to lose a Chinese lesson and feel guilty about not doing the lesson, then sleep crappily for another 35 minutes and then get … No, that’s going to be awful.” I created a pain point that was greater than the pain point of getting out of bed. I do that in many areas when it comes to eating, when it comes to getting up early, when it came to running. Creating a pain point that is greater than the pain point of inaction is key. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but seeking pleasure is much lower on the schedule of what your brain will force itself to do versus avoiding pain.
Your brain prioritizes avoiding pain versus seeking pleasure. It’s not enough to say if I get up and work out this morning, I’ll have a cake later or whatever or I’ll watch some Netflix. It doesn’t work as well as going you are going to face the following consequences immediately by not getting up. That is the way to do it, not by reward which is counterintuitive for a lot of people.
Dave Asprey: I became a 5:00 a.m. riser for two years before I had kids. I did that just because I want to do it. I have since learned from Michael Breus, the “Power of When,” who’s been a guest on the show, there are four different chrono types and I am the night chrono type which he calls a wolf where my productive time is late and it’s not biologically normal for me to get up at 5:00 a.m. I did it for two years and I was just militant. The alarm goes off at 5:00, it doesn’t matter what time I go to sleep. Eventually I started going to bed earlier because I was more tired and I did shift. I’d wake up and meditate every morning and it was in my case the pain of … You feel really good when you do breathing exercises. I did some called Art of Living which actually has a lot of similarities what Wim Hof does, some different arm positions but really rapid counted breaths and things. You get high from that in a good way. It recharges your day.
The same thing is the pain of not getting that good calm emotional recharge, because if I woke up later than 5:00 I wouldn’t have time to do it, that became the cornerstone and I did make the habit change. Now I don’t do that anymore because I don’t think it’s what works great for my biology. Similar thing to what you did. How do you apply that to someone who said they’re going to lose weight and they’re walking down the street and they see the ice cream store. They’re either going to go in or they’re not. What’s your habit change perspective on what you can do inside your head at that point?
Jordan H: I definitely used to be that guy. It’s a very individualized thing with habit change and weight loss, however, the principles still hold. The way that I typically do any sort of eating outside of what is prescribed, like real healthy meals and the food that I chose earlier when I wasn’t in an emotional state … Well, actually, let me back up. I choose food and meals not based on emotional states unless I’m with friends and it’s a weekend and we’re deciding we’re going to go get whatever we want because that’s what we’re doing. What you don’t want to do is choose what you’re going to eat when you’re in a hungry, cranky, rushed emotional state. That’s not always avoidable, but you can plan around it.
Instead of waiting until dinnertime and going, “Ugh, what should we do for dinner? Let’s get some fried chicken because I’m hungry and I smelled fried chicken earlier and it stuck in my brain.” You want to have a plan for something that is healthy that is outside of that. The reason that you can stick to that plan is because you’ve already set up the logistics. It’s not just a vague plan that you have in your head. It’s got to be logistically handled. It’s like not having snacks in the house or not having cigarettes in the house or whatever habits you’re trying to break. You need to make sure that whatever you have that you plan to eat is either in the house or on its way.
If you desperately need food and you only have a few minutes, you need to go on Post Mates or whatever service you have, order something healthy and then what I would normally do is say, “Look, if you still want the unhealthy option after you’ve had the healthy stuff, knock yourself out, go right ahead.” That’s been very useful for me as well if I’m with a bunch of friends and they’re, “Oh, we’re going to go eat this ice cream.” Great, go ahead and eat all of the ice cream that you want. I’m just going to have one bite from my girlfriend or soon-to-be wife’s ice cream, or whatever. I’ll have that, or we’ll share this.
Or, I’ll get the tiny baby portion where it’s a half of one scoop or even just the tasters. Often after you get that taste you go, “Yeah, I don’t really want this. It’s sugary.” The problem is if you just ordered a double scoop of that, you will eat, if you’re anything like me, you’ll eat the whole thing because well, it’s good and I paid for and so I don’t want to waste it. If you eat three tasters, I should say if I eat three tasters, those little wood tongue depressors basically that they give you with the ice cream on it, there’s a 95% chance that after I have a couple of those, I go, “Yeah, I’m good on this. I got the taste, the emotional need was filled, so I don’t actually need to consume the product itself.” Does that make sense?
Dave Asprey: It does, and this is what people don’t know. For two years I worked at Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors scooping ice cream, and it ‘s guys like you who come in and get samples and don’t buy ice cream … No, I’m kidding. I actually did work at 31 Flavors, but I don’t have any anger towards people who sample and then run out the door. It’s actually kind of funny.
Jordan H: If it makes you feel any better, Baskin Robbins, the reason I do that is because at that point my willpower has already been exhausted. That’s an important point with any habit, weight loss or otherwise. The reason that you’re not able to rely on willpower is because when you decide I’m going to eat healthy this week, look at the emotional state and the physical state that you’re in. You probably just ate something that wasn’t good for. You’re at Cheesecake Factory sitting there going, “Oh, man, we got to get the check. I’m going to eat healthy for the rest of the week.” You’re not saying that when you’re, “Oh, man, I skipped breakfast, I’m starving. Well, I’m going to eat healthy this week. I already said I was going to do that.” Very unlikely.
You’re going to make those willpower promises when you are in a different emotional state and you have to be very aware of the way that you react in different emotional states, whether we’re talking about hunger, whether we’re talking about going to the gym, whether we’re talking about some sort of nervous tic that you do when maybe you pick your eyebrows or your nails or whatever little nervous tics people have, they do this a lot when they’re nervous. You have to be aware of what emotional state you’re going to be in because you can’t just say, “I’m not going to bite my nails anymore.” You can’t do that. You can only do that when you use your own psychology against you, which is creating those pain points and realizing that your willpower, whether or not it’s finite it doesn’t really matter. There’s debate back and force on whether or not willpower’s finite, whether it’s not.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, there’s debate.
Jordan H: They’re back and forth on it, as you know more than I do. We can’t rely on it. The bottom line is just can’t rely on it so you have to use systems. That’s why for people like me, I built a recording studio in my house. It’s convenient, but also it gets me to do it. There’s a gym across the street. I signed up to that one even though it’s a big box gym. It doesn’t have all the stuff that I would want. There’s people there that sweat on things and don’t clean up. It doesn’t matter. The point is it is there and it’s convenient enough and that’s my usual go-to excuse, time, which is is what most people have. I took that excuse away from myself.
These systems are all about creating pain points and taking away your own excuses, because eventually you will run out of the easy excuses and then you start to realize, well, I don’t really have time to go. Well, the gym’s across the street. Well, it’s too expensive. No, it’s not. It’s $29 a month. Okay, well, let me think of another reason. Oh, my gym shoes are still damp from yesterday so I can’t … No. Okay, then you’re going to get another pair of gym shoes. Oh, well, my pants are in the wash … You just have to continue to take excuses away from yourself such that when you start going through the excuse process, you’ve eliminated all of the top excuses and then you catch yourself in the middle of that excuse-making process.
You go, all right, well it’s close enough so I have time. I’ve already paid the membership, it’s not expensive. I can get everything there done that I want. It might be crowded, but I have alternate workout plans to use the machines that nobody’s going to use if I go there and the racks are full, which is another excuse. Then if you’re trying to think your way around those excuses, it usually takes enough time, and I’m talking about a few seconds, where you go oh, I’m doing that thing with the excuses again where I’m not going to do this particular. Just like I was where I was not doing my Chinese stuff because oh, I’m so busy. It’s no, it’s scheduled, it’s first thing in the morning. There’s never anything over that other than sleep, so I actually have to get up and do it.
If you create those systems, you create those pain points and you start to systematically take excuses off the table, you’ll start to do a lot more. You have to do all of those things. You have to do all three things in conjunction or you won’t actually get habit change. You’ll figure out a way around it because the pain point of taking action will still be greater if the pain point is not in place. Does that all make sense?
Dave Asprey: It makes wonderful sense, and what you’re describing there is ego awareness. It’s your ego that makes up all those excuses.
Jordan H: Yes.
Dave Asprey: When I do the [inaudible 00:41:59] neurofeedback program with clients, the whole thing is like using a lie detector that the neurofeedback, well, not the whole thing, but a big part to become aware that where those inner excuses come from and then change the programming that makes them happen. I was amazed at my ability to make up excuses, just my powers of self-deception are infinite. Same thing, if you make it convenient, you build those systems. I love your advice there for weight loss.
You talk about systems a lot in The Art of Charm. There’s things like getting things done, GTD, the action method, the Pomodoro Technique, Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite called don’t break the chain. What do you use to stay organized so that everyone will benefit from this?
Jordan H: Yeah, I do get a ton of email from people that say things like, okay, how do you do all this? Even when I hang out with people that you and I probably both know, like CEOs of I guess you’d call corporations, aka companies that don’t usually do all the business from their house or their house in one tiny office. These CEOs are going how the hell do you do so much? The truth is I have some fancy-schmancy tools and tactics, but I also have some not-so-fancy tools and tactics that most people under-utilize like crazy. The first thing that I will tell you and this is where people are, “Oh, come on.” The calendar is magical and I mean people use the calendar in the wrong way.
The way that most people use a calendar is they go, “Oh, your cousin’s wedding is in May. All right, put it on the calendar,” and they go write that in there. Then they go, “Oh, this weekend, we should go to the zoo.” All right, then maybe they write that on the calendar. Then that’s pretty much it, or they write go to the gym 4:00 p.m. and that’s the only thing on their calendar and everything else is blank. Here’s the problem. When you’re an entrepreneur or when you’re running a business or when you’re just a really busy parent with two kids or something like that, you can’t just put the things that are aspirational or multi-day affairs on the calendar.
The way that I do it is I put everything on my calendar broken into 15-minute blocks. The way that it looks is, and I’m going to look at my own calendar right now just to not have to create things from memory here. If I look at Tuesday the 29th, there’s things on there like get RMA form for this device that had to return. Chinese lesson. Record advertisements for The Art of Charm podcast. Record [inaudible 00:44:30] Mondays. Email schedule and there’s three random guest names in there. There’s shower is on there. Then there’s a phone call and another phone call and another call, all 15-minute blocks. There’s a lunch block on there so I can get some sanity, some recording. Somebody’s interviewing me. A bike ride, that’s on there. Checking my equipment to go portable because I was going down to LA to interview Peter Diamandis from X Prize.
Dave Asprey: Oh, I love Peter. He wrote a blurb on my last book.
Jordan H: Yeah, yeah.
Dave Asprey: Are you there from Abundance 360?
Jordan H: I was and I was interviewing at X Prize. I have heard … It’s funny, I just got an email about that.
Dave Asprey: I’ll be there. I’m making coffee for everyone.
Jordan H: Nice, yeah, that should be a really good conference.
Dave Asprey: I highly recommend it for people who are listening. If you’re into the future of te ch and the world, Peter’s a good guy, Abundance 360 conference.
Jordan H: The other things that are on there are all similar. As you can see, my calendar is loaded with things that most people would never put on their calendar. Here’s the problem, most people go, “Well, I can remember the few phone calls that I have to do.” Or, “They’re in my email inbox.” Or, “They’re on my to do list.” Even if they’re more organized-ish and they have a to-do list and they’re checking things off, the problem is if things are not planned out in space and time, they won’t happen. A to-do list is just a bunch of magic tricks that will occur outside of the space time continuum at some point possibly, right? What we know is people have crap on their to-do list that’s like write book. What? No. Do outline for next book. That’s a three-day process, not something you squeeze in while you’re waiting for your kid’s karate lesson to finish in a parking lot.
You have to put this stuff into the calendar because what that allows you to do is say I can cross that off my to-do list because it’s getting done at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday. I know what people are going, “I don’t even know, my day’s so flux, I can’t put things down on the calendar.” That’s fine. You should still plan it and put it on the calendar, and then if it has to move, you’ve guesstimated the amount of time that this is going to take and you shuffle that block around in the calendar. What you find is that those 20 phone calls that you needed to make over the next month, if you’re moving those in and out of your work schedule, your gym schedule, your kids’ schedule, your dinner and eating your food and your Chinese or whatever the hell you’re doing schedule, you realize holy crap, I can’t do these 20 phone calls until the end of the month or the next month or something like this. You start to not only figure out how much time your tasks are going to take, you start to actually knock them because they’re planned.
What’s on the calendar gets done and things that aren’t on the calendar, they do not get done. You say no to those things. You say no to spontaneous random meetings. Since you’re moving things from your to-do list to your calendar, which that does for you as well is it starts to show you how little time that you have. We all know we don’t have enough time, but it’s one thing to be able to show yourself tomorrow you really don’t have time. Because if you say, “Sure, I’ll do a lunch meeting,” and you go there and it takes an hour and a half instead of an hour, you realize in that moment that you screwed up. If you’ve got it blocked off and you realize you only have a half an hour for lunch that day, you realize you have to say no to that meeting, and it forces you to re-prioritize.
Using the calendar in this way forces you to not keep a huge to-do list because they’re taking up actually finite amounts of working and waking and living space in your brain and in your calendar. It also makes sure that you move things around to get them done. It also makes sure that you can protect your time against people that are intruding and it forces you to re-prioritize. If you’re not using a calendar in this way, you’re probably dealing with a bunch of crappy problems that are very avoidable. I used to be that guy who would wake up whenever, do whatever work I needed to do whenever I needed to do it during the day.
What I found, and this is in my 20s, even starting The Art of Charm and the show and everything was yeah, you start work around 2:00 after lunch and after the gym and then you stop working around 5:00 because people come over and you’re like yeah, whatever. You get two or three hours of work done a day instead of 10. Overtime that stacks up.
Dave Asprey: It’s a life-changing thing. My calendar looks just like yours. If there’s any self-care, like am I driving my kids to school that morning, all of the things, every little thing is on there. My lunch, if it isn’t scheduled, I won’t eat lunch. I’ve trained my wife if it’s not on my calendar it doesn’t exist. By the way, don’t ask me to remember. I don’t keep my to-do list in my head because it’s in my calendar and I don’t have a to-do list. It’s all in my calendar. I schedule it when I say I’m going to do it. I have a team of advents who help me do this now because it’s really stacked, but I’m growing a company, a write New York Times best sellers, I have a top radio show. It’s more than one person is supposed to be able to do. It’s because no minute gets wasted during the day and it also means it’s hard for people to keep up because how is that possible? It’s because I don’t do anything that I’m not unique at doing, and every little thing is on the calendar.
I’m so happy you said that instead of going into one of those techniques. I was a getting-things-done guy and in getting things done you spend a lot of time filing things because there is a rational fear if everything isn’t where I can find, then I’ll probably miss something, and if I miss something, it could be a rally bad and, therefore, there’s a stress response. You manage the stress response by filing things. I found just one day I woke up, I’m wait, I’m spending a lot of time filing things I don’t really care about, and I have a search function in my email. I don’t file anything anymore and it totally set me free. I put the important stuff on my calendar and everything else I’ll search by key words. If I can’t find something, I probably didn’t need that much. If I really need it, it might take me two hours to find it in the very worst case. That’s not going to happen and it never does.
Jordan H: Yeah, there’s a lot of people that you and I both know, I’m sure, that spend hours or they’ve got it down to a system now, but it’s still way too much time filing emails in different folders. Their finder on their Mac or whatever has 8,000 different folders. You don’t need that anymore because the search functions, in fact, they’re designing OSs now so that you don’t need to file things and that it does it intelligently for you. Even on your phone, here’s something I noticed yesterday. I wasn’t paying attention, but my friend said, “Oh, what’s your fiance look like? I never met her.” I was, oh, my God, that’s right. It’s never worked out in the past few years for them to meet. How do I find a picture of Jenny?
What I did is I looked at my phone and I saw a tab that said people. I was, oh, I don’t think I have folders for people because it seems like a huge waste of time. It’s got face recognition, it finds people. It’s funny because it’s, I guess, maybe not beta but it’s not perfect. It has Jenny with a bike helmet folder and Jenny without a bike helmet and sunglasses. Then it’s got me and some people who look a lot like me who we always joke look a lot like me. It’s great and it gets it mostly right, but it can’t tell my cats apart, for example. It’s great because I could have spent hours over the past few years figuring out this is a picture of Jenny, I better tag it. It doesn’t matter. They’re trying to figure out how to do all that for you because they know that you’re the exception when you’re the one who does it manually.
Searching for files on your computer, searching for email is the way to do it. People, especially CEOs and high performers will also get really hung up on being organized. I agree that organization in some ways is important, like this calendar is great organization in my opinion. It’s an example of great organization. Have things decluttered on your desk is organization. Making sure that every receipt you ever have is emailed to you and then put in a separate Gmail folder is not organization. It’s busy work. The way to tell the difference is to ask if something saves you time right now or costs you time?
The mistake that a lot of people make is they go having all my receipts in one place will save me time if I ever get audited by the IRS. Ah, but it’s not saving you time right now, so you’re spending the amount of time that it would take to find everything if you get audited by the IRS. You’re doing all of that time investment now for something that has a very low probability, a low likelihood of ever happening. That’s a bad investment because the consequences of not having that stuff filed is that you then have to do exactly what you’ve spent the last three years of your life doing. The consequences is not life and death.
If you’re military you plan for a contingency if they’re really, really low likelihood and it still costs you a billion dollars because yeah, you got to make sure aliens can’t attack or whatever the hell contingency they’re coming up with. If you’re talking about organizational stuff, if you’re talking about getting audited, if you’re talking about creating folders on your desktop so that well, if I ever need to give my computer to my assistant I can tell her how to find something, people will find excuses for this busy work. I’ll be honest, what your assistant’s going to do is push the option space bar thing to pull up the search and say, “What do you think that file’s called?” You go, “I don’t know, like business letter template.” “Oh, here it is.”
It doesn’t have to be seven nested folders deep. That’s your OCD busy work that’s been really good for you when you were in school. It was great in college, but now in the age of computers we have to let go of a lot of that stuff. I know people are going well if my computer search fails, I’m going to have it all in nested folders. You’re just planning for a contingency that is an ultra-low likelihood of every happening. You have to ask yourself, is that worth the upfront time investment? The answer is almost always no. The answer is always no.
Dave Asprey: Could no agree more. It sets you free to do a lot more important, meaningful stuff. For me there’s really two things I want to do with the time. I’m either going to go play with kids and be with wife and do family stuff, or I’m going to go do something that I think has the most impact on changing the world, changing the lives of millions of people, like disrupting big, bad processed food and things like that. Filing something, it just doesn’t matter. What I do with receipts, I know I miss some of them and the system I work with, which is really helpful, but I will not touch it twice. To me, that’s a waste of time. If I’m somewhere and there’s a receipt that might be a business expense, I don’t want to get PBL over fingers which is endocrine disrupting anyway. They coat all those receipt with this nasty chemical that basically mimics estrogen.
Jordan H: You have your wife handle it? Here honey, you take this.
Dave Asprey: I get the receipt at the counter, I take a picture of it, and I go, “Here, I don’t need it.” I touch it once and I take the photo. I don’t know if I email all the photos to my assistant. If she needs one she’ll probably tell me, but they’re in my photo thing somewhere. If I ever get audited I’m sure I could find it. The bottom line is I didn’t have to put it in my wallet. I never had to touch it again. I didn’t have to straighten out the receipt and scan it, none of that crap. You could not pay me enough to do that.
Jordan H: We do wallet audits. When I go out with an entrepreneur buddy, and you’re probably next. When I see you at Mastermind Talks, we’ll do a wallet audit. I did this Noah Kagan. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. No, it’s cool.
Jordan H: This is his idea. I’m not trying to take credit, but we basically victimize everybody at the table and we do wallet audits. You know that Seinfeld where George Costanza’s, “It’s a personal filing system,” and his wallet’s that thick? We do that and we find out and we talk logically about everything that’s in everyone’s wallet. People have fricking library cards in there. I’m, “You have internet right? When do you go to the library?” They’re, “Once with my kids. I go once a month.” “When’s the last time you went?” “Um, June.” “Oh, really, June?” “Yeah, of 2015.” You’re like, “Get that thing out of there.” You end up taking out cards, well, this is my business card, this is my personal card. Great, no problem. You can get things like coin or whatever, but you keep one or two cards in there.
People go, “Well, I have this Visa just in case this other one doesn’t work.” I’m, “Look, man, you’ve got Apple Pay on your phone, you got your card saved in one password encrypted so if people want your money they can run that card manually.” I go to Chipotle and I go, “Oh, my God, I don’t have my wallet. Here’s my number.” They can enter that thing in manually. Almost every merchant anywhere can do that. You don’t need three backup credit cards. We do these audits and I’ll tell you, we get rid of stacks and stacks and stacks of cards in the wallet. It sounds like no big deal because who cares you got a thinner wallet, but there’s multiple benefits from that.
One, you’re not making as many decisions which payment method, how are you going to file this, where do you put this, is this business, is this personal, is there points-activated on this? You don’t have to worry about that. You also don’t have to worry about keeping things around. Like you said, you can do digital most of the time. This is probably something you’ve covered, but I actually went to a doctor because my hips were so tight and screwed up and my right hip was way worse. They said, “Well, how are you sitting?” I go, “Well, I’m ambidextrous so it’s really that one foot’s always in front of the other.” They go, “Where do you keep your wallet?” I go, oh snap, I keep my wallet in my right fricking rear pocket, and the whole time I’m sitting down, I’ve got an inch and a half-
Dave Asprey: Wedge basically.
Jordan H: Wedge underneath one of my butt cheeks and my hip flexors and my spine had to overcompensate for that. I got a real health problem from having too many fricking cards in my wallet, it’s a real thing.
Dave Asprey: I got to tell you if people listening to the show only took one piece of advise from the whole show, never carry your wallet, even if it’s thin, in your back pocket-
Jordan H: Front pocket only.
Dave Asprey: Or at least never sit on it. Put it in your front pocket. It’s harder to pick-pocket. It’s harder to slash and steal, but most importantly, your spine will curve if you sit on a wedge over and over because your butt and your molars basically control the curvature of your spine. If either of them has an imbalance, you’re not going to like how your body feels. It’s such an easy thing, but yeah, if you have 15 credit cards you’re not going to like it even more.
Jordan H: Yeah, the wallet audit thing was a fun productivity thing. It was weird how I remember taking it out of my rear pocket. I’ve been going back and forth from front pocket to rear pocket for years. I’ll tell you, most people don’t like the way it looks in their front pocket, whatever. These entrepreneurs were saying, and I was saying the next day, how’s your back? People were like you now what? This is the first day my back hasn’t been sore in three years. I’m, “It’s your stinking wallet.” People don’t believe it because they’re, “But the chair is soft and my wallet’s only a half an inch thick.” It just doesn’t matter. It was shocking to find out how many people have life altering problems from keeping a stupid leather folio in their back pocket. It’s ridiculous.
Dave Asprey: It has to be the best bio hack to talk about, like changing the environment around you so you have control of your biology. How’s this, don’t sit crooked all the time. It’s so simple, it absolutely matters. The trick for the wallet in the front that I use, I just have a big tubular-shaped wallet and so I carry that in front. It solves the problem.
Jordan H: It looks like a cucumber, right? You roll up all your money and you put it in there.
Dave Asprey: It’s to promote the vegan diet. It’s okay. All right. We’re coming up on the end of the show and I got to ask you these three things. Long-time listeners think I’m going to ask you the [inaudible 01:00:00] question, but this isn’t it. I want to ask you how would you use The Art of Charm to get out of a speeding ticket?
Jordan H: I don’t get out of a lot of speeding ticket because I don’t speed that much, but I’ve taught this and I’ve done this a bunch. I was going to say I do this a bunch, but maybe several years ago. The way that you do this, you can memorize these stars and bars and if you just google … In fact, I’m going to try to find you a site with this and I’ll only spend a second on it. There’s images that I used for a while. The problem is you can’t just google stars and bars because you end up with union jacks, but if you look for military ranking chart or something like that … Yeah, here it is. There’s tons of images about this. Post one up someplace and you’ll find that you can look at things like the bars and the little chevrons that officers have. If you great them using that, they often feel … This is just pure and simple like attracts like comradery.
You can say, “Hi, Sergeant, what can I do for you?” Let them assume that you know cops or you’re from a cop family. I often will get asked, “Oh, are you an officer as well.” I say, no. This is a great jumping-off point where and I don’t lie about this. I do actually volunteer for this, but I go, “No, I just volunteer at a lot of police athletic league events and I donate to my local PD when it comes to this kind of stuff, and hell, I live in a weird neighborhood so I call the cops a lot and I figure I might as know where you guys stand on the totem pole.” I’m saying this tongue in cheek and they’re often like, “Well, then you be careful out there.”
I teach this because the ranking thing and then giving them a reason. Because here’s what most people do. They go, “Oh, I donate a lot or I volunteer a lot. I’m a good person,” and they try to convince the cop not to do this. Or they act like indignant about it. Obviously, that won’t work. Or they act emotional and they play victim. Cops are so used to this that it’s just so played out. In fact, I know a lot of guys and girls, officers of the law, who really resent it if somebody just starts crying because they know they’re being manipulated. Even when someone says, “My husband’s going to be so upset.” They’re, “Oh, is he abusive physically to you?” If they’re, “Well, no.” They’re, “Well then suck it up, honey.” If it’s a big problem then it’s a bigger problem that needs solving.
Usually, they just cut right to the chase and it’s, “No, I know you’re crying because you think I’m going to feel bad for you.” I’ve noticed my female cop friends, they just want to claw people when they do that. Talk about being in a masculine profession. They don’t want to see this kind of crap happen. If you memorize the ranks and you engage them in that kind of sort of friendly way, they open the door for that. It’s fine. I’ll tell you, you know what? Even then you’re looking at 50/50 speeding ticket, and cops are doing their job. There’s no magic trick to getting out of a ticket. Anybody who says, “Oh, I do this thing every time and I get out of a ticket,” they’re just lying. Cops are supposed to give you a ticket, and frankly if you’re speeding a bunch, you deserve one.
Talk about setting up pain points to create different habits, that’s what they’re designed to do. They’re negative incentives. If you get them in a good mood, they feel a little sense of comradery and they open the door to you talking about something that you’ve done ideally for them. Frankly, on that token, go out and volunteer for a bunch of cop stuff because if you get pulled over by somebody who you were just standing next to at the bake sale or the turkey day trot thing, that will get you out of a ticket much more than anything I’d teach right now ever would.
Dave Asprey: Good point, healthy relationships. My favorite police experience was somewhere in southern California out in the middle of the desert. I got pulled over and I was really respectful and nice, just nonreactive. I ended up getting the ticket, but he knocked it down from whatever it was to whatever, some other amount. At the end of it he just looked at me, he goes, “You’re a really nice man and he shook my hand.” All right, that’s a win. It’s sort of like people don’t act this way when you give them a ticket, what the hell? My view on these things which took me out of the anger and fight or flight mode is tickets are a driving tax. The more you drive, the more the chance you have getting a ticket. It’s set up that way and the cops are just doing their job. They’re just revenue enforcement.
It’s okay. I would rather that they just increase my gas tax at the pump by two cents and we didn’t have to do the whole speeding dance thing and people are really speeding. It’s not how it is, so you just accept that. You go how’s it going? I’m happy to pay my driving fee for this year. All the pain went away and then I was able to be more calm. Then I think they feel that and then they’re nicer to you and you’re nicer to them and it works.
Jordan H: Yeah, there’s something to be said out there for understanding where people are coming from. Being a cop is a job I just wouldn’t be able to deal myself just because it’s so dangerous. It forces you to look at the world in a totally different way. Anything you can do to show that you understand that world a little bit will go a long way. Will it get you out of a ticket? Hopefully, not, actually but it should get you … Maybe you’ll be only 10 under instead of 15 or 10 over instead of 15.
Dave Asprey: There you go. Now I do want to ask you. I was going to ask three questions, but we’re coming up on the end of the show. I want to ask you the Bulletproof question which is if someone came to you tomorrow and said I want to kick more ass at everything I do, I want to be better at everything, what are the three most important pieces of advice you have for me? What would you tell them?
Jordan H: It would be focus on your relationships and the reason is because you cannot do what an entire army of people can do. You can’t learn on your own the way you could be taught by other people who are experts and knowledgeable in any field. You can’t meet the amount of people that 10 friends of yours can meet. If you’re focusing on your relationships and you’re working really closely with helping other people get what they want, the law of reciprocity will show them towards helping you get what you want. That’s an old Zig Ziglar type, maybe even Brian Tracy, some sort of old school wisdom there. The way that we do this is by, and I’ll be really specific with the focus on your relationships, I can give you three points that should cover you here.
One is ABG, so instead of ABC, always be closing, it’s ABG, always be giving or always be generous. What I mean by that is if you write to me and you say hey, do you know how I can get a faster server for my show? I will make an introduction of another person in my network and I will do that freely. I will make several introductions. You have to do that. A lot of people think, well, that’s a crap tip. That’s not a real tip. You’d be surprised how many people will think well, I can’t do anything with your server, so I really don’t know and they give up. Or I see a lot of this in networking circles and entrepreneur circles, oh, I really need a graphic designer, and there’s a whole tier of people that go, “Well, I’m not a graphic designer so I can’t really help.”
It’s all about figuring out how to plug people in your network into each other because if you have to do the work yourself, you’re going to go, “Ugh, do I have time for this? Do I want to help this person? Do I have the expertise?” It doesn’t matter. It’s scalable if you’re just connecting people to each other. You could send 150 emails a day creating relationships with two different people and you’d do that before dinner, but you can only help a certain small number of people yourself. You want to ABG, always be giving, and looking for opportunities to give to other people, especially if that opportunity and that giving is just an introduction to somebody else in your network. Super powerful and super scalable.
Dave Asprey: I got to say that always be giving thing, just in the conversation of this of helping others, you and I just talked about Peter Diamandis, we talked about Hal Elrod. We’ve mentioned other people, the same thing. There’s no business rationale for doing it. Good people, you send attention to good people and that is a huge piece of advice and it’s one I don’t hear very often. I’ve heard this question answered about 350 times. I love that you chose always be giving. Just being generous without expecting something in return is so fundamental so thank you for sharing that, man.
Jordan H: Yeah. I appreciate your appreciation. The second tier of that is don’t keep score. This is where the ABG people … Most people will either not ABG in the first place. Most people are looking for what they can get from it. Even if you’re ABG or not, the keeping score thing will bite people in the butt. Here’s what this would look like. Hey, Jordan, we should do a show on my new book coming out in April, and I don’t know if you have a new book coming out in April, so don’t get your hopes up, Bulletproof fans. I don’t know when the new one comes out.
Dave Asprey: By the way, April is my book [crosstalk 01:08:54]
Jordan H: Is it really?
Dave Asprey: Yeah, good call, man.
Jordan H: Wow [crosstalk 01:08:58]
Dave Asprey: [Crosstalk 01:08:59] develop psychic powers, I gotcha.
Jordan H: Yeah, no worries. We’ll talk about that on the next show. I’ll say sure, I’d love to promote that, I think it’d be really fun. I’ll help you with your launch. What you should not then do is go, yeah, also I’d like to come back on Bulletproof in April and you should mail it out in your newsletter and blah, blah, blah. If people want to help you, let that be a completely independent action. Don’t turn it into a transaction, because what you do when you keep score is two different things. One you end up turning what should just be I like helping people, I like helping my friends or I like making friends, into transactional relationships where they’re then afraid to ask you for anything because they’re afraid of what you might ask for in return.
That’s not good because that cuts you off. That cuts you off as a no on their network because they go, “Crap, I’d love to have Jordan’s help in launching my book, but I really don’t want to have him back on the show in April because it’s just going to be so hectic. Just don’t even email him.” Then I’m out that opportunity and you’re out that opportunity, so it’s a net loss for both of us and it turns it into the transactional thing which it builds resentment.
The other thing that it does is whenever anybody keeps score there’s always an imbalance. The person keeping score never feels like they got a good deal. If I’m keeping score and you’re, “Hey, can you help me my book launch in April,” and I go, “Yeah, sure.” If I’m keeping score secretly and not asking you for anything, then what happens is I start to resent you because I go, “Freaking Dave always asks to be on my show and I’m always launching his books. He’s never asked me to fly out to where his stuff is. I don’t even get free coffee at Bulletproof store.” I just build this weird entitled covert contract where we are both in some sort of weird agreement, but you don’t know about it. Only I know about it.
Dave Asprey: That’s called business co-dependence. It drives me nuts.
Jordan H: Yeah, and it’s called covert contracts as well in relationships where the equivalent is outside of business, we all have this guy friend in college. He drives this girl to the airport. He’s picking up her books. He’s going grocery shopping, he’s doing all this stuff for her. She’s like we’re just friends. Meanwhile he’s like one day she’s going to realize I’m the one. Then he gets drunk one day and he’s, “I’m calling Angela and I’m going to tell her she’s horrible. I’m going to do all this stuff for her,” and you’re, “No.” That’s a covert contract and we don’t want that in our business where I’m suddenly resenting everyone around me because I did this for them but they never did anything for me. That’s what keeping score is. It is freaking toxic in your relationships.
Get rid of keeping score, always be generous, always be giving and you can scale it. That’s maybe two things, but I feel like they flesh out nicely.
Dave Asprey: They do indeed. That’s a phenomenal answer. All right, Jordan, I know people can go to TheArtofCharm.com. They go to iTunes and go The Art of Charm show. Is there anywhere else that they should go to learn more about the cool stuff you do?
Jordan H: Yeah, since you’re listening to a podcast, I’d love it if people tuned into The Art of Charm podcast as well. Yeah, we also have a challenge that we’re doing speaking of relationships, where we are helping people to foster new relationships for business and personal reasons and we’re also helping people get outside their comfort zone if they find themselves being in a workaholic mode, heads down all the time, or they don’t know how to start the networking and relationship development process. That’s at TheArtofCharm.com/challenge. Or if people are in the States they can text the word Charmed, C-H-A-R-M-E-D, to 33444. It’s Charmed to 33444 and it basically will say, “What’s your email.” If you’re driving and you’re at a red light, you don’t have to try to navigate on Safari or whatever on Chrome. You can just text it and it will ask for your email and it sends you the challenges. It’s super fun. We have 5,000 people doing it and it’s just rad to see how many connections are being made for personal and professional reasons. People are getting promotions and stuff so that’s what we got going on right now and it will be going for the next few months.
Dave Asprey: Well, that was 33444 text Charmed, I remember that right?
Jordan H: Yeah, the 33444, so that’s the phone number, 33444, and you text the word Charmed to it. It’s weird because in Europe they have that just everywhere but in the States those short codes, they’re just not that common. I think they’re just starting to be on commercials and stuff, or maybe I’m just behind.
Dave Asprey: They’re cool. I’m going to start using one as well for Bulletproof Radio.
Jordan H: Yeah, do it.
Dave Asprey: Get ahead of the curve.
Jordan H: Lead digits.
Dave Asprey: All right, Jordan. Thanks a ton for being on Bulletproof Radio, and you guys just heard Jordan Harbinger from The Art of Charm. If you enjoyed today’s show, I would appreciate it if you’d do something. Jordan has 8,500 five-star reviews for The Art of Charm because he’s so charming, and I’m working on getting to that level of charm and that level of reviews. If you liked this show, if it gave you something useful like don’t sit on your wallet, head on over to iTunes and leave a review for me. I really appreciate the feedback. It’s helpful and it helps other people find the show. Have an awesome day. Thanks.