Ep060: Procrastinating Creation

Join Dean and Dan as they talk about the challenges and benefits of procrastinating creation.




Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep060

Dean: Mr. Sullivan.

Dan: And what can I say except Mr. Jackson?

Dean: That's all you had to say.

Dan: That's the only thing you can say.

Dean: That's really it.

Dan: I would know your voice anywhere. I might be walking down a street in London and somebody would've said, "Mr. Sullivan?" and I would immediately know who it was.

Dean: You see? That's so great. Where are you today?

Dan: I'm sitting by the fire in Toronto. I've got a great, it's a basement room in our main house. And it's really cozy during the winters. So with rare exceptions, this is basically where Joy of Procrastination has come from my side throughout our storied history.

Dean: In the winter. Okay. I figured I have you pictured over in the garden house.

Dan: No. I kind of like a fireplace during the winter.

Dean: Love it.

Dan: I've got a fireplace here, and great. Yeah, very, very interesting from my perspective because I'm right in that period where I'm moving quickly towards new workshop creation.

Dean: Oh, yes?

Dan: Yeah. So that's two. I got two that I prepare. One is the 10x Program. And then the second one is the Game Changer; both of which you will see.

Dean: That's exactly right. Well, Dan, let me ask you something, then.

Dan: Yes.

Dean: Do you ever procrastinate that?

Dan: Oh, yeah. It's really interesting because I've been procrastinating for the past two weeks, actually, quite skillfully, by the way, quite skillfully.

Dean: I love it.

Dan: Skillfully procrastinating. And we've often talked about the who side of it. In other words, there's a bigger and better goal. I just want to touch base with you that what I'm really waiting for, because the who will spring into action when I am absolutely sold on the what and why.

Dean: Yes, I think that's absolutely true.

Dan: And it strikes me that the step you have to talk after you've completely admitted, first of all, you've actually told the truth, because in Alcoholics Anonymous Program, Bill Wilson, who is one of the key players to start the AA program.

Dean: The 12-step.

Dan: With the 12-step program, the first step is all progress starts by telling the truth. So if you're a procrastinator and you're truly committed to coming to take ownership for your procrastination, you have to first of all tell the truth: You are a procrastinator.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: You and I handled this a long time ago individually, but also then when we made our compact to start this podcast series, we were encouraged, I think I was encouraged and you were encouraged that you were joyfully committed to actually discussing this topic.

Dean: Yes, and not alone.

Dan: And not alone.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: Yeah, and I don't know if there's ever been two more joyful discussers of procrastination on the planet to know. I certainly never heard of it.

Dean: Me neither. I think this is great.

Dan: And I've not seen it depicted in novels. I've not seen it depicted in stage plays. And I've not seen it depicted in movies, in TV series, where two individuals are talking about this topic like they would talk about their favorite hobby or their favorite destinations in the world before they talk about this. I think we're unique. I think actually I would like the listeners to know that what you are listening to over this hour is not only probably totally unique view that you would have two people talking about procrastination, but this may very well be unique in the history of the human race.

Dean: That's true. Now, it's fun, is I just had a two-day event with my real estate agents for Go-Go Agent Academy. And a lot of the people there are avid listeners of our Joy of Procrastination and love the conversations and embrace themselves as procrastinators.

Dan: So they talk about certain conditions not being infectious.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: So what you're telling me is this one actually is infectious.

Dean: It really is. And it was fun that we had a nice discussion about it. Some of the people that were here were also in Toronto when you came and we recorded a live Joy of Procrastination.

Dan: Oh, yes, I remember exactly.

Dean: We recorded in Toronto. And some of the people, Penny was one of them, was sharing with me how hearing you talk about the living to 156 and how it's not just about the actuality of living to 156, but the intention of living to 156. How would you be acting, and what would you be doing if you believed and knew that you were going to live to 156 and not, Penny said, change everything for her? And she's just like renewed, and excited, and moving forward. And that makes a big difference. Of course Tom Cooke, who wasn't at this one, but in Toronto, in his early 70s now thinking, "Should I start winding down?" or sort of hear you a few years even older than him with your 25-year plan made him revaluate things. And it's so great, especially you're now a living inspiration in that you're not a 40-year-old proposing this, you are a 74-year-old proposing this and living it. And you're literally every year at the top of your game with a bigger and bigger future. And so that's all pretty exciting.

Dan: Yeah, I'll just very quickly in one minute sum up a podcast that Shannon Waller and I did, Shannon being our, next to Babs and myself the person who has been in The Strategic Coach company the longest. So, it will be 28 years in I believe it's July, she'll be 28 years. And we have a podcast series which is called Inside Strategic Coach, where we talk about one inside program concepts, you know the concepts that we actually coach in the program, but also Inside Strategic Coach from the standpoint how we think about the growth and development of our company. And we very quickly hit upon the psychological usefulness, just what you're saying, just what you're saying about the conversations that you had with Penny and Tom, that the I think in terms, first of all, I think in terms of a 25-year framework with the knowledge that 25 years is 100 quarters, and what that frees me up is just to focus on one quarter because I know I have a lot more coming. I have many more quarters coming. So I don't have to worry do I have time. I've got massive amounts of time. But it's actually the purpose of the 25-year framework isn't some 25-year goal, it's a framework which allows me just to zero in on the goals of the next quarter without having to spend time thinking about anything beyond the next quarter. So that's one thing. And the second part is that I think in terms of the 156-year lifetime, not that I'm obsessed with that goal, it's just that the framework, the thinking framework that that gives me is actually just say, "Well, what am I doing today?" So I've got two ways out of two frameworks, a 25-year one, work-related, and a 156-year one lifetime related that just allows me to first of all think in terms that the next quarter's goals are the only goals that really need to spend time on, and the activities of today are the only activities that I really need to focus on. So that's really the reason for that.

Dean: I think there's so much value in playing with your time perceptions because really time is just a construct anyway, right?

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: It's really just how we bring to the present, because in reality, this is the only thing we have is right now. So everything else is a construct and a thinking mechanism, really, to frame everything, which really only helps us decide what to be doing right now. So I've just loved these ways of thinking about it because the abundant time mindset of 100 units every day really makes you feel like there's a lot of runway. Are you still aware? I find myself now really measuring and getting better at understanding how long things take. I've really kind of become a much better time estimator, knowing what I can accomplish in a 10-minute period and in a 1 hour period. It's a surprisingly long enough time when you're even just for sitting still and centering or getting, regrouping, or getting prepared for something with a 10-minute window. And I know you have a policy of always being early for things.

Dan: Mm-hmm.

Dean: And because I look forward to it. I look forward to when I can be early for something, even if it's 10 minutes early to have the time to sit and just relax and get present.

Dan: Yeah, and there's an easy test. I have people say, "Well, I don't know if that would work for me." I mean, this is not just in relationship to the thought that you just talked about, Dean, like being early all the time, but it could be about any mindset. It could be about any experimenting with any way of looking at things that's new to you. And I said, well, why don't you set up a little test, and it need not be more than a week-long, where you say, "I'm going to pick five things this week where it wouldn't really matter whether I was exactly on time or not." In other words, if I was a couple minutes late, it wouldn't make any difference. It wouldn't hurt my reputation. It wouldn't make the other person uncomfortable or anything like that. And then pick five other ones during the week where you're just purposely going to make sure that you're there five minutes early before the appointed time. And with each of them, just notice in the moment, like you're now, it's you're supposed to be there, and you still have three minutes to go, how does that feel to you? Are you feeling good about this?

Dean: Yes.

Dan: Are you thinking about what the other person must be thinking and everything? Just notice your energy level. Just notice the kinds of thoughts that are going through your mind. You don't have to write these down. But just be conscious of them. And do that five times. And do the same for the other. Do the same other. I'm here five minutes early. And how am I feeling about this? And at the end of the week, at the end of seven days, compare the five where you were two or three minutes late against the five where you were five minutes early and say, "Is there a difference there?"

Dean: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I mean, you can imagine the difference. It's I can tell you from my experience of it that you just feel much more relaxed and positive going into things.

Dan: And it's first of all, if you're 10 minutes early or five minutes early, you don't feel that you're missing anything. In other words, you're not at risk of anything. And if the other person is then late, then you have the grounds for feeling superior.

Dean: Which is always great.

Dan: I never, ever neglect an opportunity to feel superior.

Dean: That's funny. It's one of the driving things. It's one of our things that we enjoy is feeling higher status than people.

Dan: Yeah, well, what's really funny, we have our lunch dates, either at Jock's Bistro in Chicago or Le Sélect Bistro in Toronto, of favorite being Jock's Bistro. And there's this interesting little competition that's been going: who can be the earliest. In the calendar on the schedule it says 11:30. What I'm noticing is how much earlier than 11:30 can you be? And sometimes you've won, and sometimes I've won.

Dean: Isn't that funny?

Dan: But we have both the knowledge that we're joint celebrants in being early. We're participants in being early.

Dean: I love that. I miss those. I really do miss the quarterly rhythm of that in Toronto, because I haven't been to Toronto this winter since September when we were in there, because I've been of course going to Game Changer in Chicago. So one of the things I'm really looking forward to in the spring is the return to Toronto, getting in our rhythm there.

Dan: Yeah. We just are starting to get the first feel that there's something that happens. I think it's usually a month before the official start of spring. So on the 21st, Babs and I were driving home from the office. And all of a sudden, first of all, it was light out, and we've been used to going home in the dark, 5:30 or so, and it's light because we're approaching the equinox, the spring equinox. And all of a sudden we get a feeling, "Hey, it kind of feel like spring's coming." It's a whole bunch of things because I think that it's not just your imagination or your awareness of the date, but I think nature itself, the trees and everything else, they start responding to this too.

Dean: Mm-hmm. I agree.

Dan: Yeah. Animals, I think are generally kind of just on time.

Dean: Just on time.

Dan: Yeah, leaves and flowers and that, I think that they're acutely attuned to when is just the right time? With birds and squirrels and everything else. But it's an interesting thing. And can we go back and pick up on that time is a construct?

Dean: Yes.

Dan: Can you go deeply, more into that?

Dean: Yeah, I can.

Dan: I would say if you would say those words to a lot of people, “time is a construct,” they would say, "No, no, time's not a construct. I mean, I didn't create time." So if someone said to you, Dean, "Well, I didn't create time. What do you mean it's a construct?" what are you saying to them?

Dean: Maybe "construct" isn't the right word, but a model. It's just a theoretical almost. I don't know. Maybe that's not the right word, but it's only something that we can only imagine in any other timeframe than now. And I've been really looking at this concept of what I'm calling time travel in a way, that we have the ability to reflect. We have the ability to remember, to look back on something and learn from what happened. Like doing like an experienced transformer gives us the opportunity to look back on something. And you're really time traveling in a way that you are observing what happens; it's already happened, we're observing it, and then imagining what it would've been better, like rewriting it, and then looking forward to create an opportunity to make it never happen again, right?

Dan: Mm-hmm.

Dean: Or how to respond if it does happen again. And I mentioned to you a long time ago that one of my, I-know-I'm-being-successful-when sort of mindsets has been that I know I'm being successful when I can wake up every day and say, "What would I like to do today?" And in a way that's a model. That's a thing that requires me to create things in my life in a certain way. And where my big advancements have come is in loosening my literalness of that, where to at all costs keep my calendar clear, which has been my, for 20 years, my model, and to now sort of embrace. I wake up every day and say, "What would I like to do tomorrow?" Because there are more options for tomorrow than there are for today if I plan them in advance. I think about what I was doing was protecting and favoring the experience of present Dean, today Dean by limiting future Dean, like having that for I have to where present Dean insists on waking up and deciding today what he would like to do—that limits the opportunities for future Dean. And this is kind of like a really amazing like mind shift when you really kind of get into this mindset that what I look now, when I say, "What would I like to do tomorrow?" it's like I'm thinking, because I realize that future Dean is really only present Dean two weeks from now, or a month from now, or whatever. It's just it's the same guy, right?

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: So often I would wake up and think, "I wish I had setup, something, this, or whatever it is." So I know what I like. I know the things that bring me joy. And so I can now take some of my time today to set up things that future Dean is going to wake up today and say, "I'm so glad I get to do this. I'm so glad that past Dean set me up to be able to do this." And it's actually more options, more opportunities, and it actually involves less time than trying to create stuff scrabbling at the last minute for things, if that makes sense.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: I think about that as time travel. You know?

Dan: Yeah. And that's, to use a term from the computer world, especially the software world, is that you're kind of using a faculty that you have, which is called time awareness and seeing it in units to kind of program an improvement in the program that will be realized a week down the road, two weeks down the road. We're actually programming. And that's really what goal-setting is; it's a form of self-programming you. You're taking stock of who you are right now and kind of establishing a measurement that you have of yourself right not. And then you're projecting in the future. And you're setting up an imaginary measurement where specific things are bigger or better.

Dean: Yeah, and that's great. I mean, I saw a movie. There was two of them. There's been two of this movie. I think it's called Now You See Me.

Dan: Mm-hmm.

Dean: That was a movie about the magicians with Mark Garraffalo, I think. Ruffalo maybe. I don't know what way say his last name, and Morgan Freeman.

Dan: Ruffalo, Mark Ruffalo.

Dean: Yeah. So do you remember this movie where he's a magician?

Dan: No, I haven't seen that movie.

Dean: Okay. So. It's a really interesting movie. His father's a very renowned magician in the movie. And what one of the concepts that plays out is this idea of playing the long game and this idea that his father set up a trick, like a magic trick that required years for this to pay off, in that he had, a card. I don't remember the specifics of the thing, but the card was going to appear in this tree that where the tree had grown around the card. If you imagine when you cut a tree, the tree continues to live, but grows around it, right?

Dan: Right.

Dean: So it took 20 years to set this up, but he did it. And then the card, the trick is ready to pay off 20 years later. And everybody's minds are blown by what happens. So it's like that was a pretty impactful, interesting lesson, to start thinking about what can you do now that's going to have a payoff in 20 years or in any timeframe in the future? Same principle applies is imagine using our ability to time travel now, time traveling in our minds like thinking that way, and imagine what would I really love to see happen then, and how can I go ahead and set that up so it happens now? And it can be simple things where you imagine that I'm going to need something in the future. I used to do a series where 20 years ago I had this idea of make my life better day, where every Monday I would think of something that would make my life better and something that would calamity-proof my life. And I would think about what's a calamity that could happen that could get me in trouble, or an uncomfortable situation, or something that would be a big hassle? And so, for instance, one of the things was, well, if I lost my wallet, that would be a calamity, because all of your stuff is in there. And so I thought, "Well, how can I calamity-proof myself from that?" And one of the ways of course is to just take the wallet, and empty it out, and take a picture of both the front and the back of everything in your wallet. Now you've got a picture of the contents of everything in your wallet. And if anything happened, there you go. You've got all the numbers and the stuff, and it's not as much of a calamity as it would've been if you just lost it, you know?

Dan: I think that's the practical tip of the day for our listenership, to should you choose to follow through on this project, you can have it done by the end of the day.

Dean: Yeah. And that's I would every Monday, I would think about that as what would make my life better, and what would be a calamity that I could calamity-proof? And I thought another one is if I got pulled over, if you get pulled over by the police for anything, you're always scrambling: "Where is my registration and stuff?" So I had a yellow envelope, and I put everything, take a photo copy of my driver's license just in case I don't have it with me at the time. So you got your driver's license, the registration, insurance, all of that in one like just-in-case-you-get-pulled-over envelope and put that in the glove box. And so now you're prepared for that kind of thing, so all kinds of things like that where you could just prepare for stuff and do something now that's going to affect you later.

Dan: Yeah. It's really interesting. I'll give you a very real-world engineering version of your card trick. Can I give you that?

Dean: Yes, of course.

Dan: Being your future guy. So in Toronto, we have a major river valley that flows right down kind of the east side of the downtown called the Don Valley, and the Don Valley River is in that Don Valley. And that was a major separator, physical barrier right up until 1920, and in the early '20s, they finally decided on the main east, west street, which was Bloor, Danforth: Bloor on one side of the valley and Danforth on the other side of the valley, essentially the same street but not connected until 1920. They built a really beautiful bridge. It's called the Prince Edward Viaduct. And immediately it was a four-lane paved road since they went through all the trouble of constructing it, designing it beautifully, constructing it and everything else. And then immediately the whole eastern side, eastern suburbs of downtown Toronto began to prosper because they now have the major streets, so this is the 1920s. Now, I'm going to fast-forward to 1954, and Toronto had grown, and they were starting to face the problem. They already had street cars, and they already had probably early buses. I know they had the street cars, but early buses. And they said, "We got to put a subway in. We got to start thinking about a subway." And so in their planning sessions, this is before they actually went out and did the complete survey, road surveys, and everything else, one of the considerable expenses is going to be retrofitting the bridge, the big bridge that we have. And it's going to take quite a while, and that's probably going to put the bridge out of operation for a while, and we have to figure that, that this is going to be a major disruption, and it's going to cause major disruption. So finally they said, "Well, why don't we go out and get sizings on the bridge and put together a plan on how we're going to retrofit it?" This is where the card from the past came in because the bridge builder was from London, in England, and he had built bridges across the Thames. And he said, when he was designing the bridge in the 1920s, "Someday this is going to be the likely spot that they're going to want to put a subway." So he completely designed in all the specifications underneath the road for the subway to go through.

Dean: Wow.

Dan: And this was like news. This was like a big thing. And it's been used ever since in city politics, prevential politics as the great example of someone, visionary having the insight that even though we're doing something for this purpose right now, in the future, there will be an additional purpose that's required for this, and I might as well do all the planning for that right now so they don't have to tear things apart and start over again when they do that.

Dean: Yeah. Thinking, that's where this 25-year framework really is a valuable thing. I mean, we're talking about that this weekend, that the 25-year framework helps you think like things that you almost can't foresee. Some things you can foresee, but you don't know how it's actually going to come to be. And then this next, the three-year kind of timeframe is something you can actually probably see what's happening. We were saying there's not going to be any shocking development in the next three years that's going to come out of nowhere and completely full adoption and change anything. Anything that is going to do that is already on the radar in somewhere. It's already disruptive, as Peter would say. It's already present and happening. At some point blockchain and cryptocurrency are AI.

Dan: Artificial intelligence.

Dean: And artificial intelligence, at some point it's going to reach the tipping point and, bam, it's completely like changed everything, and it's going to feel like it happened in no time. But the reality is it's happening right now, and you can see that that's an inevitable thing that's happening. So most people can't act on things that are going to take that long of a time to unfold. You mentioned that you think about the value of the real estate on the east side of the Don Valley, the immediate jump in value from 1919 to 1921, the value of now, especially now, you're describing those are some of the most affluent neighborhoods in Toronto still on both sides of the Don Valley there, in Bloor specifically when you're looking at Lawrence Park and those areas there, Forest Hill.

Dan: Yeah, well, on the west side, and then on the east side, all of a sudden, they weren't quite as wealthy, but there was this vast expansion of people who let's say were middle class according to the standards of the day could have homes where they could get into the inner city much more quickly because of the, first of all, the bridge in the 1920s and then the subway in the 1950s. And it's really interesting to see that and know, and you know from your business, I mean, you have a, with your mapping system, how you map, starting with Toronto, map out all of the distinct home residence, the residential neighborhoods and then saying, "Within every one of these residential neighborhoods, there are-" I'm not quite remembering here, Dean, whether it was seven or eight- but there are eight theoretical sales where a person could actually come in with one purchase of a home and stay within this residential neighborhood throughout their life, and move to seven other different types of real estate purchases while they're redoing that.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, well, you're looking ahead. I mean, every time you could see another jump of purchase, a purchaser going to maybe moving three blocks into their next higher domicile, and then taking it all the way through to the ultimate one, maybe it's an eighth one, you are using time as a construct.

Dean: Yep, that's right. And it's really interesting that since we did our session in Toronto in the fall, one of the gentlemen that was there with us was talking about that 25-year framework as a fundamental thing that now he starts every conversation with his clients if in talking about almost sitting back and saying, "Tell me about the next 25 years here," and just talking about we're going to go find a house right now, or we're going to sell this house is he wants to have a framework about where does this fit in the 25-year plan here? And having that conversation with them, they're saying, "Well, why do you know that?" He's like, "Because I want to be involved in it with you over the next 25 years. Where are we going from here? With this house, are we looking for the house for the next 25 years, or are we looking for a house that we can transition to something else so we can make the best choice to poise us for this, the ultimate in destination? And that's really a kind of a game changer in the way that most real estate agents have conversations with people, because they're only usually focused on the next 90 days of, "Let's get this one on the market and get it sold." They're not thinking about a lifetime relationship.

Dan: Yeah, and I would say the real thing is that seeing them in simply the retail business or actually in the relationship business.

Dean: Yes, that's exactly right, yeah. Fascinating.

Dan: Yeah. I guess Babs and I have done that in our approach to real estate in the beaches because we started with a smallish house and nice house, fundamentally two-bedroom, two-bathroom. I'm just trying to think here, one, two, three fireplaces. And then we said, "It's a little bit small for us," but we wanted more. So then we bought another property two houses away, tore it down, built it. And that added essentially three more bedrooms, one, two, three, four, five more baths, four more fireplaces, and another kitchen, a kitchen and laundry, and now we were just adding them up. We were buying, but we weren't selling. And then we acquired a third one in the middle, and we built that one up. And so instead of moving all around the beaches, we just moved the part.

Dean: Moved the beaches around for you, yeah, yeah.

Dan: Yeah. And part of the reason is 25 years from now, we want to be where we are.

Dean: Yes. And that's awesome. I mean, you got such a beautiful… we'll call it a compound there now. And if only the people behind you would get off so that you can get that and have your straight-through driveway, you'd be in business.

Dan: Yeah. Well, I think that's been taken out of the game because the only place where we could do that, somebody actually took over a not-so-nice house, and they've completely renoed it now. They've done a great job on it, so that I think that's sort of permanent structure.

Dean: Oh boy.

Dan: We don't want to acquire another house. I mean, we might've acquired the property before it was renovated. But the world has a vote too, Dean.

Dean: That's right. That's so funny. I love it. "The world has a vote too."

Dan: You can have your plans, and you can have your desires, but the world has a vote on how things are going to go. I just wanted to bounce a thought off of you because on Friday, I did something that I had never done before, and I was really pleased with it at the end of the day, and that is I woke up with the thought that the world was not created for me.

Dean: Wait a second. And how did that feel?

Dan: It felt very, very liberating. Okay. And I'll tell you, I'll just tell you a quick progression of thoughts. Then I will tell you there was a second thought that added to it. And I got so intrigued with this that I had this podcast session with Shannon Waller in the afternoon. And sometimes when I get a thought and the thought won't go away from me, I said, "This thought is trying to get my attention, so there's something here." The thing that I was thinking is I felt very freed up because that means that I'm absolutely zero responsible for the way the world was when I arrived.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: I didn't pick up. I said, "Can't find the document that said that I wanted to be here."

Dean: That's true.

Dan: Whatever my parents were thinking, I don't have a feeling it was about me.

Dean: Probably not specifically.

Dan: Yeah. And the second part of the through was that any time on the odd times it seems that the world was created for you, treat it as a coincidence.

Dean: That's a better frame to come from.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: That worked out well.

Dan: Just treat it as a coincidence. Yeah.

Dean: A lucky accident.

Dan: It's kind of like the weather is with you. It's an, "Ah, geez. Kind of this weather was designed for me." I said, "No, no, no, no. Just treat it like a coincidence."

Dean: I've been really fascinated by this whole philosophy. One of the things about the Kekich credos, as our friend Joe Polish has introduced us to with Dave Kekich's 100 credos for life, and Dave is a wonderful thinker. I like his ideas a lot. And he has 100 Kekich credos that he puts on. One of them that was pretty interesting is that the universe is hostile to life, that that's really what this everything has to fight to survive. It's not a natural thing. Everything, there's friction uphill stuff for living. And when you're not progressing or you're not fighting against the forces that are against your life in general, you're not growing.

Dan: Yeah. And I would say the other thing is don't take this personally.

Dean: Right. That's good. Yeah, then it's not that it's fighting against you, it's everything's in the same boat, you know?

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: There's so much of it where on certain parts, it is set up against us, in opposition to us. But then it's also where things are in our favor. I was thinking about and read some stuff, some evolutionary psychology stuff because I'm always fascinated by that, that so much of our decisions and motivations and actions are baked in. We think we have a choice, but we don’t; we're acting just naturally about without our conscious thought being involved in it, because we're genetically wired to do certain things. And one of those things is I've often talked about the idea of the more cheese, less whiskers, as the mouse is prime directive to get cheese and avoid cats. But it's not 50/50. It's not. If we had to consciously evaluate every scenario that we're faced with and rationally come to a conclusion, "Should I stay and go for this cheese, or is that mouse or cat going to get to me in time?" If we're trying to logically deduce it, we would be extinct as a species because we would be thinking of things. But we are, as Dave Asprey always says, on a mitochondrial level we're programmed to survive, and that if there's ever a doubt, our preference, our thing is to flee, to do that, to get away because it's always more important to live, to have another chance to get more cheese than it is to risk your life trying to get this particular cheese, you know?

Dan: Yeah. One of the just I saw a little documentary, and it was a African tribe that still exists, where there are really, really older canny hunters. Like, you have young boys who are coming along, and their notion is, "I'm going to go out, and I'm going to stalk the animal and do that." And what the young boys began noticing, that this older hunter always brought back meat, but he didn't seem to rush out to do anything. And one day, he said, "I think the two of you are old enough, you're actually old enough that you can find out something new about hunting. I'm going to let you in on this." And he says, "But you have to do exactly what I tell you when to do it." And what he did is he said, "The first thing you look for is vultures."

Dean: Awe.

Dan: And this is sort of plains, this campus. It's sort of like campus. There's not deep jungle that we're talking about, we're talking about where there's wide-open spaces. And he said, "Okay. Let's go where the vultures are." So they went, and they ran. So they ran, and they noticed that they came to a tree. And he said, "Okay. Now you got to absolutely be silent. And I want you to see. We're going to come around the tree here, and I want you to look." And it was a pride of lions. Pride—that's what their group is called. And they had taken down a big antelope. All right?

Dean: Yes.

Dan: And he said, "Okay. Now, you have to do everything I say, and you can't talk. You can't do anything else." He said, "I want you to do exactly what I do." So they have these big almost like machete-like knives. And the lions normally would pick up their scent, but the lions couldn't because they were smelling the pride of the antelope. And they were in prancing. So he knew the lions were totally, totally focused on, and they're quite competitive of trying to get the best parts of meat. So the younger lions and the older lions are kind of wrestling. And out of the bush come these three hunters. And he says, "Just walk straight towards them." He walks straight towards the lions who are feasting on the antelope or trying to tear it apart, and all of a sudden, the young lions pick up on it, and they run for the bush, and all the lions run to the bush. It just creates a mass evacuation of the kill scene. And he said, "Okay. Go for something you can cut off in 30 seconds." He says, "We got roughly about a minute to pull this off." So they're cutting away. And meanwhile, and this was actually captured on film, him actually doing this. So we actually have film.

Dean: Oh, really?

Dan: And the cameraman is picking up the eyes of the lion starting to peer out and watching what's happening. And meanwhile, the three hunters, they cut off legs. They cut off bit hunks of meat. Then he said, "Okay. We've got enough. Let's go." And he says, "Walk straight back." And that was it. Then the lions came out, and were they going to go after the hunters, or were they going to go after the antelope? They went after the antelope. And he said, "Works every time."

Dean: That's amazing.

Dan: Look for the vultures. The vultures know where the kill is. And he says, "Just follow where the vultures are. Then get quiet. See where the lions are. Walk straight towards them. They'll run away. And he says, "You get your meat, and then good. You don't need the whole antelope."

Dean: That's so funny. It almost reminds me the thing, you go where the vultures are. Watch where the things are. I've been watching on the Internet, there's a group of fashion companies that, and we're starting to see it now in award season, Oscar season, and the Golden Globes, and the Grammy's, and all these things that there is Chinese manufacturers that watch for these celebrities that show up at the Oscar's or the awards in these beautiful gowns. And then the next morning, these exact replica dresses are available to buy by these Chinese knock-off artists that make the fashion stuff available. That's what that kind of reminded me of.

Dan: That seems to me exactly the same principle at work. Here's the thing about that: My feeling is that that has probably the technique that this guy has been around for thousands of years. It's only captured for other people to see because of video, but that's probably been in the works for a long time. And my feeling is that it perfectly illustrates to concept of who not how.

Dean: Yes. That's true. This is an interesting thought if we go all the way back in time here. I wonder when the first art forgeries happened or when people were starting to offer knock-off goods?

Dan: We know the word sincere, which for modern folks, the word sincere means it's true, it's real, something's real. It actually goes back to gold dealers in Rome. It's a Latin word, and it was sine cera. So the word sin, S-I-N, means without, and cera means gold, or without lead. Cera is lead, let's see, the mineral lead. So it's sine cera. So when you say the word sine cera, you mean without lead because the gold dealers in Rome, the dishonest ones know that you could have an outside of a statue, which was 100% gold. Oh, no, no. Cera is wax. It's wax. I don't know where I got that. So I want to give the correct information because this will be spread all over the Internet within a day. So it's without wax. Cera is wax. And what they would do is that they would very cleverly carve out the middle of a gold statue. And then they would start packing it with wax. And they had figured out exactly what consistency of wax would come out the exact same weight as gold because weighing something was exactly the same. And then they'd seal the bottom of the hole so that it didn't look like there was a hole. So people would come around. And so the ones who wanted to say that their gold was without wax, in other words, it was 100% gold, they'd say, "Sine cera. Sine cera." And that's where our word sincere comes from.

Dean: Isn't that something? It's funny. It reminded me, in Toronto at the Eaton Center, my good friend Jessie was victim of something very similar to that. He bought a notebook computer that was wrapped in a box, like a original manufacturer box.

Dan: Manufacturer.

Dean: And it was shrink wrapped in the package. And the guy had a real one on top of this. He had like five or six of these, and he had an open box that he was showing what the computer was.

Dan: Which was real.

Dean: Which was real. And Jessie bought one, and the guy gave him the box, and Jessie took it home. And it was filled with newspapers and stuff that were the same weight that filled the box, so it felt sincere, it felt like the right weight. But when he got home and opened it up, it was nothing but newspapers and no computer.

Dan: Unfortunately, that dealer wasn't there the next day.

Dean: Yes. Exactly. Isn't that amazing?

Dan: Yeah. Well, it's probably as much as there's manufactured goods on the planet, some shysters have figured a way to game the system.

Dean: And life goes on continuing.

Dan: Yeah. So one thing you got out of today.

Dean: Well, this was a good reminder, I think the amalgam of the thoughts that I was having about the long game and I think the progression of it all. That's really what was good for me. It reminded me about my calamity-proofing and make my life better. I think I'm going to bring that back into action here, time travel.

Dan: I mean, it's what you're doing is that you're paying attention to future downside, or a downside situation. And my feeling is that an enormous amount of our growth of collective intelligence as human beings has been to take unfortunate disasters, failures, breakdowns from the past and reverse engineer them and say, "Now we know what bad looks like. If we're not prepared for it, how do we prepare for it to either lessen the bad or to eliminate the bad in the future?"

Dean: Yes. Agreed. Well, always delightful.

Dan: And my sense is that everybody who sells something in the marketplace, their ability to lead a long and successful life where they have a reputation for high quality is because they have done the most at transforming the danger of future downsides, and they've kind of taken care of that in the way that they have designed their service, or product, or their value creation in such a way that even if the downside does happen, they're totally prepared to respond for it. No. I mean that we were threatened with high winds this afternoon, like 60 degrees, 60 miles an hour, 100k an hour this afternoon. I haven't seen any sign of it yet. My massage therapist was in this morning, and she says, "Oh boy, the Toronto Hydro," that's our eclectic company, "is totally prepared for big trees to be down and power to be out, everything else." I said, "I couldn't care less." I said, "I've got generators at all my houses, so..."

Dean: That's great. Very funny. I've got a massage therapist coming in 26 minutes. So I'm looking forward to that myself next.

Dan: And that's a very, very relaxing thought.

Dean: I think you're right, absolutely.

Dan: Wonderful chatting.

Dean: Yeah, I really enjoyed our conversation.

Dan: Wonderful. Wonderful chatting. Always wonderful chatting.

Dean: And we're back on for next week too, like that.

Dan: Yes, we are.

Dean: Okay. I will talk to you then.

Dan: Okay, Dean.

Dean: Okay. Have a great day.

Dan: Bye.