Marc Lesser: Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader | Talks at Google
Well. Good afternoon. In. Kind, of. Contemplative. And and actually it's now I think it's more and more happening, here at, Google and other places we should start with one minute of arriving, right, just. Stopping. Just noticing. What, it's like, to. Be here. Noticing. The body. Noticing. That you're breathing. Arriving. Just arriving. Simple. Profound. Practice. And. Maybe. Asking yourself. What. Brought me here today. Why. Am I here. And you can you. Can answer that, literally. Or poetically, why am I here why am i here in this. Room maybe, why am I here on. This. Planet. And. Then. Maybe the other question to reflect on is why. Am I really here. What's. Underneath what's, underneath that - as, much as you can hear, in this, busy workday to allow yourself to drop in feel. Your body feel, your breath, noticing. What it's like to be here what. Is it like right. Now to. Be alive. Breathing. Thinking. Feeling. The. Whole experience. Just. Allowing. It allowing. Yourself to, experience. Your, full experience. And then, let's come back so I'll come back well. Welcome. So. I want to start today with. Kind. Of one of my my current, kind. Of favorite, saying. Which. Is if, you're. Not cultivating, trust. You're. Cultivating, cynicism. If. You're, not cultivating trust. You're. Cultivating, cynicism. This. Is particularly, true I think in the workplace but. I think it's true in general in our lives and in our. Relationships. That. Cynicism. Is easy cynicism. Is kind of the default, mode. I think of human. Human. Emotion in a certain in a certain way, Trust. Trust, takes work. And. I. Want to bring in someone. Who was a colleague. And a. A. Good. Friend of mine who worked, here at Google for, many many years his, name is Mario some of you probably know Mario, so. I think it's worth just a little bit of background about Mario. Mario. Grew up in Spain and was, passionate about how, the human. Brain, and how the human mind worked. So. Mario went on to get his MD, degree Mario became a doctor and, he, was very disappointed to, find that doctors, don't know how the brain works, so. He then got, his PhD, in, neuroscience. And. Again. Was somewhat. Disappointed. To find out that. Neuroscientists. They don't know how the brain works, he. Then got passionate, about storytelling. And filmmaking and. Got. His master's degree in. In. Filmmaking, and after. That was hired by Google as a filmmaker. I only. Google right would hire MD. A PhD, as a filmmaker. But. His first couple of weeks here he was walking by the main, auditorium, and, so, a lot of people there and he walked in and he, proceeded, to see someone. Sitting. On a seat he a talk, that there were hundreds of people listening, to and he, immediately said, there's. Someone who, knows how, the brain works there's, someone who knows how the human mind works. It. Was Vietnamese Zen, teacher tick not hum and, this. Actually, kind, of changed, Mario's, life and it, was right around that time that I, was. One of the people helping, to develop the. Search inside yourself program, here, at Google and Mario immediately. Was, was in one of the early classes. Mario. The reason I bring Mario up now is he, was very fond of saying that. That. We human, beings are, descendants. Of the, nervous, Apes the Apes. That were chil cool. Hanging, out they, all got killed. It. Was the ones that part of our evolution, was. That as humans we've. Evolved, to scan, for, threats right. We scan for threats externally. And we. Also are scanning quite. Regularly, internally. For threats I think this is partly why we seem. To have this strong inner critic this part of us that is that, is sweeping, inside, for. Am i, safe did, I do it wrong how can I do it better that that, very, often, unpleasant. Sometimes, mean inner voice but. This is this is one, reason why it's. So, difficult to build trust and why cynicism, is so easy because. Of this scanning, for threats and that we are descendants. Of the nervous Apes and, we're. Also I. Didn't. Get a chance I hope to have a chance to talk about this with Mario, but. I think, we're also descendants. Of what, I would call the dissatisfied. Apes right. That part of our human evolution is, to. Always be, needy. To. Always feel like we need that next. Meal right it wouldn't be good for evolution, if after.
Having One meal you were done right right away that. Next meal that. Next. Entertainment. That next sex all, those things these are good for evolution. Not. So good for. Trust. And feeling. A sense of satisfaction. And. We're. Also the, descendants, of. The. Apes that. We. Have empathy. But we also easily. Feel separate. Even. Though we feel even, though we feel the feelings of others we're, empathic, we're. Descendants, of these, tribal. Apes and apes that very easily, bring. In the. The. Mind, of dissatisfaction, and the. Nervous eight mind to feel a sense of separateness. To feel that somehow we're. Separate from others. Even. Kind of separate from nature separate, from life we have this really strong peace. About feeling. Separate. So. I think this is why. What. The underlying rationale. For why it's so difficult to. Be cultivating. Trust and why. It's so easy to be cultivating. Cynicism. So. What do we do how, how, can we cultivate trust, and how, can we reduce the, amount of cynicism, so. For this I want to tell kind, of us just a little corny joke. Which is it's, about a. Musician. Who's getting out of a cab midtown. Manhattan on 57th. Street and a. Stranger. Goes up to this person and says how. Do I get to Carnegie Hall and, the. Musician, looks, at this person and says practice. Practice. Practice. So. This is my this is my answer to how. Do we, build more, trust, it's. Practice. And and, I, like, I like the word practice and and I like you know there's a lot there's, a lot of books and about, you, know the seven Habits and how to build habits and habits. Are really important, but. I think practice. Adds a whole nother dimension that. Practice, contains, a sense, of. Intention. Aspiration. Also. With, practice, practices, I think are about. Transforming. Ourselves and, embodying. Embodying. What it is we're aiming for, as, as, human, beings. Right. Is one thing it's one thing to say you. Know you hear a lot you know it's on it's on dozens of greeting cards right life is short right live as though life is short, that's. Easy to say but, how. Do you how do you live that way how. Do you live that way and it's easy to say we, all know that, Trust is, hard. To, build hard, to maintain, but. How can we actually. Transform. Ourselves. To. Embody, to become. Trustworthy. To trust ourselves to, connect to, not to, reduce the amount that we're scanning for threats to find to. Have the body of someone who feels safe. To. Be able to not always look at what's missing, to not always be dissatisfied, but. To build. The body of someone who feels that I have, enough right now I can appreciate what I have right now and. To. Build. The body of someone. Who feels connected, radically. Connected, and, part. Of that of course is noticing. When we're scanning for threats noticing, when we're needy, and noticing. When we feel. Dissatisfied. Or. Disconnected. This, is part of the practice. So. 7, practices there are 7 practices that I want to introduce today, that. In a way I think are. Radically. Powerful. In terms of building. The body of someone, who, is trustworthy. And who can build trust, not. Only at work but in all all. Parts of our lives and all relationships. And. These. Seven practices are, love. The work. Do. The work. Don't. Be an expert. Connect. To your pain. Connect. To the pain of others. Depend. On others and keep. Making it simpler, I. Love. The I find. Saying these it's kind of like poetry right, right, love the work do the work don't, be an expert connect, your pain connect. To the pain of others. Depend. On others and keep making it simpler but, they're meant to be very practical. They're, meant to be practiced. Where. Do these come from so a little story about where these come from. Van, I don't van were you in the first class of siy teachers. No. Okay. You can't you came on later. I hope. There's anyone here who was in that class is.
There. So. So. It was back I. I. Got a call, one. Day in, in. 2006. From. This, engineer. Here named Ming who, said we're. Starting this mindfulness, and emotional intelligence program, are, you interested in coming and helping us to. Develop it oh and. By the way there's, no budget. There's. Something there's something a little strange about this Google. No budget but of course I said yes and I. Came and it. Was it, was so. Just. Brilliantly. Fun, and enlivening, and satisfying, the, first I mean. At the time we were just kind, of experimenting. And testing and iterating how. To teach mindfulness, emotional. Intelligence leadership, science, within, an organization. Like Google and. In particular, we were focusing, on Google, engineers, and there needed to be a kind, of precision, around it and. After. After, several years it actually was kind of slow in fact I often, thought the course would probably, go away because it wasn't it wasn't originally. Being supported, by senior, management but. It's it got more and more popular and Endicott kind of crazy popular and. And. We decided that it, was time to figure out how, to scale it within Google and we, decided we were going to train. About a dozen Google, employees, mostly, engineers to be search inside yourself teachers, but. The question one of the big questions was how do you train, people to, be mindfulness, teachers, we. We, had this idea that, in order to teach mindfulness you needed, to have 10,000. Hours of. Mindfulness. Meditation practice. This was this was one of the bars, originally. Set for teaching search. Inside yourself but. We realized that was, going to eliminate pretty much everyone. At. Google so, we, wanted to find people who had. Some practice, but. The question was what, do you need to know what what are the core elements, of being a mindfulness, teacher so. We. Decided that we'd bring in to, this one of the training sessions a friend, of mine a man named Norman Fisher who, is kind of one of the leading, Zen. Teachers, in. The world and we brought Norman in for a day this. Was in the Presidio with, about a dozen, Google. Employees who we were training to be mindfulness, teachers and and. When. This day started, in, front of me was the agenda and I don't even I don't know who quite made up this agenda but, it said right, away that, Norman was going to give a talk about, how to be a mindfulness. Teacher at Google and I, had a feeling no one told this to Norman so, I so, I very very, stealthily, just put the agenda in front of Norman and pointed, you know you're gonna you're gonna give a talk in about five minutes and and. Norman. Very nonchalantly, got out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote, down some, notes and proceeded. To give, a talk to, this group about, these, seven practices that, I just named and I. Wrote, them down most, people didn't write them down I wrote them down and I, I immediately, I, felt, like these are wonderful. In, fact these express. The. Kind of culture, that I want, to, run my, company. The search inside yourself Leadership, Institute I I, made copies of them wrote, a little notes and I put them on everyone's desk and I. Found myself. To write and talk about them and little. By little I noticed. They started. To. Turn into a book started, to emerge after, a couple, of years of writing and talking about these seven practices and I, started to feel funny, and I, realized I need to call Norman, and have a what might be a difficult conversation so. I called Norman Norman, here's. What happened remember those seven practices that you taught I'm booked of course Norma's listening and Norman says what. Seven practices I have. No idea what you're talking about and good. Luck with your book and send. Me a copy so that's that's. Where these that's. Where these seven, practices, came. From. So. Maybe, what I'll do is just. Talk. I'm gonna talk briefly about this about, each of these practices. And then. Actually, do some, practice, together, how's. That sound okay. Don't. Leave if you don't want to that. Sounds difficult you'll it'll be okay. So. The. First practice, is love. The, work. People. When they hear that they immediately think oh that means, do I have to love my, job it. Doesn't mean that it's good it's good if you love your job but. What it means is to. Love the, work of. Cultivating. Trust. To. Love the work of, self-awareness. To. Love the work of building. Healthy. Relationships of. Kindness. Of curiosity. Of compassion. This, is this is this. Is I think the, real work, of human. Beings and what's. Beautiful about this is that. You. Can bring this in to. Whatever you're doing even, if you're not so happy even if you're cynical, about. Your work or the people around you are cynical. Loving. The work will help loving, the work in a, way it's. It's a kind of practice, of being more sincere. Also.
I, Like, it, relates a bit to you might be familiar with, now. There's a model called. The hero's journey Joseph. Campbell wrote about how. All. Humans. Across, time and across cultures seemed to go through a similar pattern and the. The. First part of the hero's journey actually Star Wars was modeled after the hero's journey as. Was Star Trek and many other many, books and movies and. The. Hero's journey starts, with the. Calling, what are you called, - what again. This question that I asked, right at the beginning, why, are you here what. What, bring what brings you here why are you here on this planet what's. Really, most important to you so, loving, the work is is, grappling. With that. That, question what's, interesting in that even. In the hero's journey model, the. Second, step after. Awakening. To a calling, a kind of returning, home is. Called. Refusing, the call right. Because this is the this, is the nervous ape this. Is the dissatisfied, ape just coming as soon as we even. Get some clarity, about what's important, to us there's. Something there that's like no this is this is too dangerous I might. Fail why, would I do that Who am I to do that so. It's. Good to recognize, that, part, of, part. Of loving the work is that these. These. Refusals, these other these other voices will be there and part. Of the practice that this is why practice. Is so important, how, do we practice with, those those, voices. So. The second practice is. Do. The work that. It's, that practice, is more than idea, we actually have to have some. Kind of physical, practice. That we're doing and this, is the beauty of. Meditation. Practice and mindfulness. Practice, so. Meditation practice, actually having. Some. Way we're on a daily basis, or regular basis, we. Can actually step. In to. The, body that. Is feeling, safe and become. More aware of how we are scan for threats and, over. And over again practice. Reducing. That from, our lives as much as we can so we're feeling. A sense of safety, we. Can embody, the, sense of satisfaction. We. We don't you know we don't have to be, chopping. Up the world into right and wrong and worrying, about what we need or what we should be doing we're we're, kind of cultivating. That that sense. And. We're. Feeling this radical, sense. Of connection. I went. It's, funny being here I have to tell another Mario, story Mario. And I were once teaching. Search inside yourself here, at Google it, was a special program that we were doing for. Doctors. And health care workers I think because I don't know how it is now at. The time they weren't employees, so they weren't eligible to take surfs inside yourself but. We heard there was a huge. Need that there was an incredible amount of stress with. The people who provide. Medical. Services here at Google so, Mario and I did a. One-day. Program for, them and it was in that program where Mario was, in front of the room and said it. Was actually a slide that I don't know if it's still in the program or not but it said meditation. Is like, going to the gym and had. A picture of a muscle, because and the idea, was again, and again when. You're distracted we, bring our attention back to the breath, well. I I was just moved in that moment to go off-script and I stood up and I said I want to offer that. Meditation, is nothing, like going to the gym and, Mario. Fortunately. Mario and I had a good enough relationship where, he just he kind of stood up and he looked at me and he and looked at oh I didn't said that's, why we have two teachers. And. And. I, said that yes, there. Is an aspect of meditation, that's like going to the gym but. There's another aspect that it's, about completely. Letting, go of wanting. To change anything, or do, any it's this paradoxical.
Piece, About. Completely. Accepting. What is and that. Transformation. Comes. Comes, through that which. Is actually kind of a good, maybe. A good segue into the next couple of practices, but the second practice doing, the work means. To have some. Kind of a regular what. I would call a dedicated, practice a sitting practice a journaling, practice. Walking. Meditation and, then the other bucket of practices. Is what refer, to as integrated. Practices, and. This is often what people think, of when they think about mindfulness, is taking. Taking. That the practice embodiment, of. Safety. Of satisfaction, of. Connection. That, body that is. Completely. Accepting. Aware, curious, and bringing that into. All. Of our relationships as much as we can again, and again so this is this. Is the second practice which is to to, do do, the work. The third practice don't. Be an expert. Don't. Be an expert again, I feel like it's, kind, of in the in the water these days some of this language the language you might be familiar with is kind. Of cultivating, a beginner's, mind so. Just to make it clear of course. I want my surgeon, and my car mechanic to be really good at what they do but but. This this. Practice, is more, in the realm of, relationship. And and. Being, human. And and, in this was in the context, again coming back to where. These practices, came from this. Is the context, was being. A mindfulness. Teacher is not. About, being. An expert it's again and again. Practicing. Not, knowing, letting go letting like. It's. Funny so often when, I'm teaching meditation. In the corporate world I can. See people really wanting, to be good at it and wanting, to be the best meditator. You, know or the best breath counter, and, it's like no, you need you know it's it's hard it's hard for us especially people, who are super, super, successful to. Somehow. Paradoxically. To let go of this, idea of. Being. An expert and what is it like so in some, way one. Of the themes and I think this is a theme that runs through, all of these practices and this is some of the little bit of the practice that we will do it's.
The. Practice, of listening. And listening. Wholeheartedly. Listening. With a sense of curiosity. You. Know when we when we started, the, search inside yourself Leadership. Institute the. Original, mission, and vision was. All, leaders. In the world are, wise and compassionate thus. Creating, the conditions for a, more, peaceful world or for world peace and and. And. It's easy to roll your eyes you, know world, peace you. Know all leaders but, there's something, about, the. Power of listening. The power of creating, a safe. Space and just listening, being curious about, one. Even listening to ourselves. Right starting, with ourselves but. It's really interesting and we'll do some listening practice in a little while of actually, just bringing. Our full attention to another, person, not. Knowing who they are it's, the secret of long-term relationships. I think it's a secret of long-term marriages, is the, longer you're married to, know the person less and less right. To - that this person. Like. As soon as as soon as we know who people are we. Generally, stop listening. So powerful. Practice, don't. Be an expert, the. Next to connect. To your pain and connect. To the pain of others. The. First one connect your own pain a little, bit like you. Know Buddhism, 101, starts, with like the for the Four Noble Truths that the very first teaching, of the. Historical, Buddha was, don't push away what's, difficult embrace. Embrace what's, difficult, being a human being is difficult it, just is we're, subject, you know everything. Everything really, does change. You, know I I've, often, joked about wanting, to form a support. Group called Buddhists, against change, because. I don't like it you, know who likes who, likes getting, older, who likes seeing. Friends. Die, who likes you know losing jobs or. That. Life life is is difficult. So this practice is to connect with that difficulty, you, know there's there's, a lot of. Evidence a good, deal of research but I think in particular of, a. Conversation. That I had, a several. Years ago with Bill George who wrote the book true north and who works. With, fortune. 500. CEOs, and executives, and at. A dinner that I had with him he shared with me that the. Key breakthrough, that all leaders need to have is to connect, with their own sense of pain and, even. Sometimes shame. But. This is like there's a positive, shame it's like the shame of I'm not doing enough I could connect better so, connecting, connecting, with that sense of pain. And. Connecting. With the, pain of others is again, this is empathy. Practice, the practice of feeling, the, feelings, of others. Lots. Of research about the. Relationship, between, leadership. Emotional. Intelligence and, empathy. And, oddly. Enough you, might have seen some of this research it shows that the the, higher you are in an organization the more responsibility, that you take the, lower the empathy is a. Is a pattern, and and. Yet, the need for empathy in leaders becomes, greater and greater the need to connect with people I think, what happens is as as people take on more leadership roles. Their focus. Tends to be more toward toward. The results, and and toward you. Know other things other than the human, beings that they're actually there. For and need to care for so.
Love The work do the work don't be an expert connect to your pain connect. To the pain of others the. Sixth one super. Interesting, and again all of these all of these are like lifetime. Practices. We're not it's not about mastering, these it's about practicing, them, depend. On others actually. In their eyesight. To, google, studies which i kind. Of imagine maybe you're all familiar but maybe none of you are who knows I don't know what you're familiar with but. If you if you haven't checked them out you should check out, google. Aristotle, wait. The study that Google did several years ago asking. The question what. Is it that makes great teams and, and. Google oxygen the. Question. What is it that makes great leaders, and the, results, of both of these were. That. The first study right, the what what it is that makes great teams was. That. People are listening, to each other that they are trusting, each other they called it psychological. Safety there was norms, created, around around, trust and the. The, the big takeaway to the second study, Google. Oxygen, what makes great leaders it, was more. Coaching. More. Mentoring, and the. Third was listening, that, great leaders listened and and, what, I've read in the in the preamble to the study Google. Assumed that leaders don't matter right, that the assumption this being such a strong. Engineering. Driven company, the assumption, was it's the products that matter not the leadership and they're. Actually surprised, to find that, leaders, in fact do, matter. So. Depend, on others, again, this is I think. One. Of the huge, changes. In the workplace that's happening, is there's a I think there's this huge macro. Shift happening, that we're all part. Of this big experiment. Is you. Know work for the past several hundred years has had this, assembly. Lined mentality. There, is a sense that the that you should take the humaneness, out of. Workers. And and, have put, people into boxes, you, know org charts, and. Things will work great if you just if the if the human element isn't isn't there that is. Changing, and it's changing big. Time at places, here like Google and I see it I see, it all over and, it's it's one of those norms. It's one of those invisible assumptions. About. Just. How important. Human. Relationships. Are and partly. It's because of the, need for collaboration that, we that, almost, nothing gets done by one person things get done in teams of, teams. Of two larger. Teams and things, are now happening, across, the globe across, culture, the need for collaboration has never been higher so this practice of, depend. On others, and the. Seventh is. Maybe. One of the hardest ones but one of the most important, is to. Keep making, it simpler. To keep. Making it simpler, again, this goes against. The grain of what it feels like in terms, of not. Only technology, but. The. Part of us that's scanning, for threats and feeling dissatisfied and, not feeling connected that leads to lots and lots of, complication. So. In a way all these practices, are about.
Making. Our lives simpler. Staying coming, back coming, back to this question that. We, started with is like why are you here what's. What's really, important, something about staying with. What's. Really important, and other, other. Things tend to drop, away oh. Let's. Do some practice, okay. So. If you can put things down. Put. Things away and. Again, I want I want to make this this. Is not going to be mystical, magical, it's going to be quite quite, simple and accessible. Easy. And. You. Know and we'll get to the mystical magical peace maybe see, but. Just just start by noticing, what. It's like to be sitting here. Make. Some conscious, choices about how you are, placing your feet how, you're placing your hands, bring. Some consciousness, into the body I. Love. The image in, fact this was an early we used to show a slide. Called. Sit. Like, a majestic, mountain. It's. A beautiful, image of the, body like that we're sitting here sitting. Upright. Opening. The chest opening, the shoulders. Allowing. Breathing, to be full often, we constrict, it without knowing, it. So. Just. Feeling. The sense of what is it like to be relaxed. Relaxing. The jaw relaxing. The shoulders and. At. The same time alert. Just. This is such, a great. Practice. For, all. Parts, of our lives, why don't we whether. We're trying. To solve a problem or in a meeting or. Playing. Sports. Relaxed. And alert, relaxed. And alert. The. Alert piece. The. Lengthening. The spine just, a little bit. Taking. Some full breaths especially, this time of day heart, a little hard to be alert, middle. Of the day warm, day so. Oxygenating. The body breathing breathing. In and breathing. Out. So. Just checking in with the body, checking. In with the breath. Noticing. Whatever is happening with your thinking, mind again, no, need to try and change anything just bringing, awareness to the body to. The breath, to. Your thoughts. Totally. Letting go as much as you can of any. Scanning. For threats of. Any. There's nothing, lacking right now right. Now. You. Have everything that, you need everything. That. Needs to happen it'll. All be there when you leave. Here. Right. Now safe. Satisfied. And. Can. You feel that sense of connection. Connection. With yourself, connection. With the. People in this room. Connection. With the people. Who. Are. Important. To you in your life. And connection, with, life. I heard, someone say recently. The opposite, of addiction, isn't sobriety, the, opposite the opposite, of addiction is connection. Connection. Is so. Important. And I think something. Important. For our well being, important. For, trusting. Ourselves and for building trusting. Healthier. Relationships. Connection. So. Quieting. Quieting. That. Critical. Voice quieting. That cynical voice not. Not, suppressing. It noticing. It maybe. What, would it be like to appreciate. Appreciate. That. Inner. Critic that I, think just really wants us to be safe. So. This practice, there's. A. Zen. Teacher who, founded. The. Zen tradition in, Japan, in the 13th century named. Dogen who says. This. Practice is about studying. The self and. Going. Beyond the self. To. Study the way is to study the self. To. Study the self is to go beyond, the, self and. To. Go beyond the self is to. Feel our radical, connection, with everyone. And everything, to. Me this is another. Way of talking about, practice. These practices. Of studying, ourselves. Accepting. Ourselves. Seeing. The gaps between. Where. We are and maybe where we aspire, to be. So, let's, keep it simple just breathing. In and breathing out, and. Let's. Just sit quietly together for a minute. Beautiful. Bringing, tension, back so, if everyone can stand up please, and feel. Free to stretch from sitting and. What. I'd like to ask you to do is. Without. Talking, and pretty, quickly. Find. A partner find.
Someone You, can just turn to the person next to you you can walk around, someone. You know or someone you don't know but. Find someone and have a seat and I'll give you some instructions. Okay. So every anyone need a partner is there anyone who needs a partner. Need. A partner. So. Here's what we're gonna do so we. Want to do is is do some do. Some practice. Practice. This. Taking. Taking what we just did in stopping. But now taking it into a conversation. So, one person is going to speak the, other person is just going to listen without asking, questions some of you have, taken si why you know, you know the routine but many of you probably haven't. But. I'm going to tell it different anyhow. See. One. Person is just gonna listen completely. Giving their attention, to the person who's, speaking. So. What I want to suggest for, the listener see. What it's like just experiment you don't have to sit there like a stone you can you know make facial expressions, and be in your body but, you're not going to ask questions you're not going to drop you're going to experiment is what is it like to. Just listen, for. The person who's speaking, I. Want, to suggest that you, don't need to be impressive. That. It's okay to imagine. Saying something, that surprises, you, this would be great that that you're, you. You're kind of discovering. For yourself it's okay to be a little bit, awkward. If you, run out of time person, speaking that's okay just sit there quietly we're just going to do this pretty quick for a couple of minutes for, one person and then we'll we'll, switch so. The suggested, topic, I have two, suggested, topics. One, is the original. Questions. What, brought you here today. And what. Really brought you here today or. Whatever. You want to talk about. Because. Who, knows who, knows when you're going to get this opportunity, to have someone just, listen to you for. To. Will do this black for to literally for like two minutes it's a great opportunity, so, let's. So. Let's just jump right in so, decide. Who's going to speak first and I'll. Ring a bell in a couple minutes and then we'll switch so let's go ahead. Okay. And. Let's all just take a breath together. And. The. Second, person you're in the listener is now the speaker the speaker is now the listener, again I'll ring a bell in a couple of minutes. And. The second person finishing. And then. Just. Very briefly, with, your partner back, and forth how was that what did you notice literally for a minute just quickly what did you notice doing that with your. And. Finishing. And thanking your partner and come on back. Lots. Of energy. Clearly. They don't let you talk to each other here generally. You. Should try it more often. We. Have a couple, minutes for, questions. Although. It's funny as I was while, you were talking I realized. Oh, I. Skipped, a whole big part of what I wanted to say so we have to start over again. Actually. We don't, but. The headline. For what I wanted to say was, I forgot. To talk at all about my my, experience, you, know living in a Zen monastery and, how it, was it, was working, it, was working, in the kitchen and then leading. This, place, called Tassajara that, was my kind. Of aha. And inspiration, for. Combining. These contemplative, practices, integrating, these with the world of work and I, ended. Up going to business school running. Running, a company and and, then in in. Part you. Know I think. Part, of the sense was how can we bring how can we bring that sense of. Joy. And love that, that I experience and that people a lot of people who, have worked with experience. Working in a Zen kitchen, why. Isn't all why why, aren't all workplaces like, that and how could we bring that in to, Google was where, search. Inside yourself started, ok, any, questions comments. Anyone, make a new best friend doing that. Yeah. Get. A mic I. Try. To frame the question as clearly, as, I can because, there are too many thoughts in my head um. I. Haven't. Found the purpose of my life and I've questioned, this for a very long time and. I think because I couldn't, you make little purposes. Like for example a promotion, a bigger, house or, or whatever that you can like the next, fancy thing that you can get your hands on - I. Do. Want, to feel satisfied I feel. Ashamed to say this I hate people who feel satisfied, in their life I just don't know how they do it I. Do. Want to feel satisfied but I'm very scared, if I get satisfied, with what I have would. I lose, the, the, ambition, or wanting, to be better or. Or. Maybe achieve more that I could have otherwise. Great. Question I. Think. We. Well. Let's see several things there, one, is I, wouldn't. Get too hung up about this this thing about like having a purpose, and that so, I'll give I sometimes, I feel like my role I'm like, The Wizard of Oz right. What's, the difference between you and someone who doesn't have you know who needs a purpose so.
I Want to give you something this is your purpose be, the best human, being you can be, be. The best human being you can be and I think you already have that just like the people, in The Wizard of Oz so. I think, I. Think. In our culture and and and our culture I think has managed, to. To. Really. Infiltrate. This idea, this, idea that, we have to not. Only do we have to want, things but, we need to be tough on ourselves a lot of people either. Very, consciously, or almost unconsciously, feel like if I'm, not tough, on myself if I'm not hard on myself, nothing's. Gonna happen, and there's, some great research now there's Kristin. Neff is doing a lot of research on this, whole realm, of self compassion and, and, demonstrating. That actually, the, more we love ourselves the, more creative. Can be the more we can get done so, there's. A funny there's it's very nuanced, and and funny I don't think you ever have to worry about the. So. The. Desire to excel, so, there's there's a paradox, even when I say be, the best person you can be, I thought, you're supposed to accept yourself the way you are yes. And yes. Like like, part of being part. Of acceptance. Is. Accepting. Where we are and looking. For what's the gap between that and where we really want to be in, a. Accepting. Way though not in a beating, ourselves up way. In. Fact there's a there's. An expression, these. Are called kind of creative, gaps right so so, part of this part, of this awareness is is, recognizing. Recognizing. Oh my, mind is really busy and I'd like to work, on that or. I'm. I'm. Judging, myself a lot and I'd like to I'd like to be scanning for threats less so, to work to work on that too but. To accept, it to see what it is to have the courage to see what is and to, practice, with what can I do to. Become. A better, more, thriving human. Being and there's. A beautiful expression, from. Shin. Yu Suzuki, who is the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center he was once doing. A long term retreat with people and he looked out and said you're, all perfect, just as you are and you. Could use, a little improvement. And. And, and, I think what's, brilliant, about that is -, they're. Not opposed, to each other our minds make them opposed to each other what, if you. Were perfect, as you are and what. If you were working toward becoming even. Better, that's. Part of the paradox yeah. Get. A mic. Thank. You thank you van. A morning. If you have any capable, of improving, meditation. So I started my decision a few months ago and just five minutes it's a very effective I feel, refreshed but. Now there. Is that are usually to the ten or fifteen minutes a day I feel, like a star not improving, I can, implement I still like constantly, wandering and also like, I feel like maybe. After. Practicing, I will feel more happier, or more refresher, yeah after meditation or just for the past like two of my favorite view stuck a.
Chair. May recommend, is, make a special, chair for no. No special chair and, and my, short answer we could talk more about this but my short answer is try. Doing a retreat do. A one-day retreat or a three-day, or try it just see what happens I want, to respect time and I, see that it is it. Is one o'clock and, I. Also want to. Yeah. The I hope I know some of you were lucky enough to get here early, and got. A copy of my book for. Some reason, Amazon. I don't know why they're selling it at a ridiculously. Low price, they're almost giving it away I don't know why that is, but. You can you can you, can go on and buy my book on Amazon of, course right reviews, would be so, appreciated, I have. A mailing list over here if you want to I, am now I'm. Doing a weekly newsletter. Incredible. Benefits, to be I just sign up for my mailing list you can always unsubscribe, and I. Also do a regular. Wednesday. Night meditation. Group in the North Bay in Mill Valley if you're ever up there come join me there and. Mark. Lizard net, is my my. Ma, RC and it's. Um it's. Just it's. Such an honor to be back here at Google, and I hope to get to spend more time back here at Google and Thank You van and Anthony much. Appreciated thank you all. You. You.