Your Lifestyle Is Your Medicine

Episode 30: Redefining Success - The UnAmerican Dream with Carlos Hidalgo

September 08, 2023 Ed Paget
Your Lifestyle Is Your Medicine
Episode 30: Redefining Success - The UnAmerican Dream with Carlos Hidalgo
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What's the real cost of chasing the American dream? 

Today, we're exploring this question with Carlos Hidalgo, author of Un-American Dream, a book about his personal journey of chasing recognition, prestige, and riches and how it almost cost him his marriage, identity, and career. 

As we dissect the societal pressures leading us towards overwork and self-sacrifice. We're questioning our cultural attitudes towards busyness and whether it's an accurate measure of our importance or a trap we've inadvertently fallen into. 

We dive head-first into the powerful role of values and boundaries in crafting our lives. We're sharing strategies to identify what we truly treasure and how to set boundaries to bring our best to every aspect of our existence. 

Finally, Carlos discerns the influence of parenting, personal experiences, and social media on our perceptions of success. We emphasize the importance of being content with our unique definitions of success. 

Join us as we navigate the delicate balance between hustle and happiness.

Follow Carlos Hidalgo

LinkedIn: Carlos Hidalgo

Book: The Unamerican Dream

TedX: Setting work-life boundaries 

website: www.digitalexhaust.co

email: carlos@digitalexhaust.co 


Watch the video of this episode on Youtube


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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the your Lifestyle is your Medicine podcast, where we do deep dives into topics of mind, body and spirit. Through these conversations, you'll hear practical advice and effective strategies to improve your health and ultimately add healthspan to your lifespan. I'm Ed Padgett. I'm an osteopath and exercise physiologist with a special interest in longevity. Today, my guest is Carlos Ithago. He's the author of the Un-American Dream, a book about his personal journey of chasing recognition, prestige and riches, and how it almost cost him his marriage, identity and career. Today we talk about the pursuit of happiness. We talk about the American dream and what it is that's driving us to sacrifice our families, our marriages and our friendships in the pursuit of money. Why do we give all our time, precious life's resource, to companies and what do they give us in return? We also talk about a new generation of the workforce who may be less inclined to work. What's the underlying reason for this? Carlos gives his views on parenting and different parenting styles and tries to unpackage the two extremes of overwork and self-sacrifice to no work and no self-sacrifice. This is truly an interesting podcast because a lot of CEOs really struggle with work-life balance. Carlos unpackages that phrase, looks at what we can do better and gives some great tips and advice for working with your friends and your family and your colleagues on how to create a better balance in your life.

Speaker 2:

Carlos, welcome to the show. Edward, thanks so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. No, problems.

Speaker 1:

I really loved reading your book. I think it's such an important message that you're putting out there into today's work, work, work culture. We're going to unpack what the book's about and your personal experiences To frame it. I want to try and understand. What is the American dream? What is this thing that people are chasing? And you wrote the un-American dream. Can you put that into context for us?

Speaker 2:

The American dream. The phrase itself was coined by a man named John Trustlow Adams or James Trustlow Adams, where he talked about and it was actually back in 1931, if my memory serves correctly, we're almost 100 years into this American dream what he talked about was really a land of opportunity he didn't talk about, and in his writing about it he actually said it's not measured solely by the number of motor cars, of course, being in 1931. That was the language then that one has, but it's the opportunity to achieve. When I started to really look into the meaning and the origins of that phrase, I started to look at my own life and the lives of my colleagues and just I would say Western culture in general, or American culture for sure, and say what we're doing is really un-American. Yeah, we have a land of opportunity, but we are killing ourselves For what we're not. We're slaves to our jobs and our business and our schedules. That's not freedom. That's why I came up with the title the Un-American Dream.

Speaker 1:

That's brilliant. I'm from the UK but I've actually lived in Canada for almost 15 years and now I live in Nicaragua. I spent a lot of time in Nicaragua and I've seen the differences in those cultures. One of the things I've noticed in the UK, for example, if I have to do a course, a professional course, because I'm an osteopath, I have to do a certain amount each year. It's pretty relaxed. We start at nine, we finish at four. It's a nice pace. But whenever I do a course in the US, they start at maybe 6.30 AM and they go through till seven or eight, but the content of that course is exactly the same amount of content as in the shorter courses in Europe. What is this idea? That value for money has to do with time? Can you help us unpack?

Speaker 2:

that a little bit. Yeah, I think that's such a fallacy. I run a consultancy with a partner of mine and one of the things we always talk about is I'm getting paid for my experience, not my time. If you hire me to do a job that you can't do, it shouldn't matter to you if I can do it in an hour or if it takes me 10 hours. If I give you a fee and say I'm going to do A for this much money, why should anybody care how much time it takes? We have this idea where if I'm taking more time, if I'm spending more time, or if I'm busy or somehow, I'm more important and I'm more valuable. I don't know when that started, but it's such a fallacy in how we think about things, how we think about life, and I think it's reflected in the schedules of, I would say, the average American, where anytime you ask somebody, hey, how are you doing? Oh, I'm so busy. Well, you don't have to be. I have a going conversation with my best friend of the power of the word no, and my wife is always reminding me that your no gives someone else the opportunity to say yes. That's a beautiful phrase. I love it. I love it because she's absolutely right, and I still, at 52 years old, have a little bit of FOMO, so I'm more inclined to say yes, but I'm learning more and more to say no and to be okay with that, to not have a jam-pack schedule, to have gaps in my calendar, and to learn to rest and just reflect and play and enjoy life.

Speaker 1:

You touched on something there about busyness, and this busyness can be seen as a sign of importance, and if you're the only person who can do your job, then people are relying on you and it actually gives you a sense of purpose. Is this a true sense of purpose or is this something we've created in our culture?

Speaker 2:

No, I think it's definitely an inflated sense of purpose. For sure, I believe fundamentally, first and foremost again, most of what I have learned and start to glean and apply, I get from my wife, who's an extremely wise woman Our jobs are our least interesting thing about us, yet we have made them the cornerstone of our identity and purpose. And I fundamentally believe that our jobs are a horrible place to find our purpose, but a wonderful place to apply it. And if I look to find my meaning, my worthiness, my identity, my purpose in my job, then it's going to be a roller coaster. Because we all know, even when we own our own businesses, work doesn't always go how I want it. If I work for another company, what happens when I'm laid off? What happens when I'm told I'm redundant? What happens when I get a boss who will never be satisfied? Well, now I'm taking all of that on myself as a reflection of who I am. Well, I don't want to live that way. So work is just part of what I do, it's not who I am In your book.

Speaker 1:

You actually take us through that. That happens to you, didn't it? You got made redundant and then your identity as that corporate high flyer that went out of the window.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, I had started a company. I co-founded a company in 2005. And the redundancy really it wasn't so much a redundancy, it was I bought into this that if people had asked me who was Carlos, I would have said I am a CEO of a B2B marketing agency. That's how I would have answered that question. Never mind. Not a father, not a husband yeah, not a follower of Jesus. Not a husband, not a father. Four great kids. Not someone who loves to laugh, who cries easily None of the things that really describe who I am. I attached it to what I did. I find that so often One of the things I ask people is the last time you were at a dinner party or any kind of mixer or met somebody at a bar or on a plane, how long does it take us to say so, what do you do? I've got friends of mine who still have no clue what I do, and I'm fine with that and I don't care what they do. They're just my friend and I love that. I love that about them. Our neighbors we've been neighbors with them for several years. I kind of have an inkling on what Tom does, but I'm not real sure and he's never asked me and I'm okay with that. We just know each other and we enjoy being neighbors and getting together every so often.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's beautiful, isn't it? There's so much of this culture about the grind and that the entrepreneurial spirit define you. It seems to be celebrity led in a way that it's coming from the social media, and you quote quite a few people in your book. Mr Shark Tank, or Mr Gorgeous was the wonderful Kevin O'Leary Kevin O'Leary, yeah, and he's giving advice, saying, if you want to start your own business, this is what you're going to be doing for 95 hours a week or whatever it is for the foreseeable future. And you come in and say, well, no, that's not necessarily the way to do it. That's one way of doing it, but it's going to come at a huge sacrifice. There is another way, but I'd like to know a little bit more about the sacrifice that you thought you were making when you were building that company.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and, honestly, the sacrifice I thought I was making was quite delusional. And I hear this a lot from and I've coached a lot of entrepreneurs and startup business owners and CEOs and we have this idea that well, we always make a reason as to why we're killing ourselves for the growth of our business. And, to be clear, I mentioned I lead a consultancy. We're only four months old.

Speaker 1:

And.

Speaker 2:

I'm not killing myself for this business. We're growing, we're doing well, but I'm done almost every day before 6 PM and then I'm done and then I start. I don't wake up at 3 AM, so you don't have to do it that way. That delusion of sacrifice is, for me, it was well. I'm doing this for my family. It's something I hear a lot about. I'm doing this for my kids. Well, the reality is my kids never cared how big my business got, but my kids wanted and what they deserved and needed, and along with my wife, was my time and my attention and my presence and availability. And if we're not willing to give that to our families, we're actually neglecting them, which was hard for me to come to terms with that. I had done that for years. The other thing we have to come to terms with that, unless we've had a conversation with our significant other and when our children, when it's age appropriate, that, hey, this is what we as a family are going to do. Mom or dad are going to go off and put in 14, 16-hour days so that we can do this. Is everybody aligned? Is everybody agreed? If we don't have that conversation, we are now saying my family is going to sacrifice and I'm just we have to come to terms with. I'm just selfish and that's where I was. I never had conversations. So even now, the other day, I had a call and I said before I committed to it. I said to my wife are you okay if I take this at 9 pm tonight? It was the only time we could connect and she said yeah and she will remind me, which is a great encouragement. It's just nice to have a conversation. The issue was never how many hours I wanted to work, the issue was she was never invited into that dialogue and I just made the decision for her. So definition I required her to sacrifice and my kids. I was the one who was selfish.

Speaker 1:

She writes a chapter in your book and it was really interesting to read it from her point of view. How, but I'll summarize it slightly you were off getting your frequent flyer miles, reaching your what ever A-list status and certain airlines always getting nice upgrades in hotel rooms and at these conferences, feeling as though you were making a sacrifice. Doing that, whereas she had four kids at home, couldn't leave the house, couldn't do any self-care, couldn't go to the gym, was losing her identity almost as a wife. She was there, as the mother, and it was actually and she writes this in the book it was her that was sacrificing, not you.

Speaker 2:

Oh, and she's 100% right. And these are conversations we've had for a long time now, because I wanna make sure that I don't ever repeat that cycle again. She sure is, and it's different. Our kids are now grown and gone, but yeah, she was absolutely sacrificing, and imagine being the one who sacrifices and gives and gives and gives. But you've never been consulted about that, you've just been told well, this is how it needs to be. I really don't know a person alive who, if they were honest, would sit there and go. I'm okay with that. It's disrespectful in so many ways. And again, it wasn't like I was consciously sitting there saying, well, I just did it. And I see that happening in so many careers and in so many entrepreneurs of well, this is what it, we buy into it. Well, this is what it takes. Well, no, it doesn't. It doesn't take that. We bought into this idea that it takes that. And actually science proves that you become less effective after working so many hours in a week. You're actually better off putting in less time and you will do more with less, because you're refreshed, you're re-energized, you're restored mentally, you're at the top of your game. And when Grant Cardone talks about 95 hours a week, I can guarantee, there's a law of diminishing returns and at some point and I think it's like 48 hours if I'm correct- you actually write in your book.

Speaker 1:

You say that people who are time poor, so they're working so much, they have lower levels of happiness, higher levels of anxiety, depression and stress. They experience left joy, they laugh less, they exercise less and they're less healthy and their productivity at work is diminished. Plus, they're more likely to get divorced. So this podcast is called your Lifestyle is a Medicine, and we look at lifestyle medicine being nutrition, being movement, being stress management, being a mindset, community and sleep and recovery, and what I just quoted there from your book. That is the opposite of everything to do with lifestyle medicine longevity and health span. And yet people are jumping both feet into this world to try and gain something, some sort of happiness maybe, or riches. And what do you think we're trying to gain by this?

Speaker 2:

I think we're trying to find worthiness first and foremost. I fundamentally believe and I quote Sean Acor several times in my book on that happiness is a choice and I firmly believe that. And I talk about my time with my wife in Uganda. My wife used to do a lot of work over there and I had the joy of accompanying her on a couple of these trips where we were in the poorest region of Uganda, where we encountered women with no husbands, no running water, no electricity, but the happiest, most joyful people and welcoming. I mean just blew my mind and I thought they have chosen joy despite their circumstances. I think we are hustling not for success, we are hustling for worthiness and I think the reason we are seeing angst, anger, worry, stress, divorce is it comes up empty every time. You can achieve amazing things. I know a lot of wealthy people who are absolutely miserable and until we get back to who God created us to be as individuals and know that work is just part of what we do, it's not who we are, we're gonna continue to. One of our podcast guests at one time said we're running in a circle and trying to win and I thought what a brilliant, absolute metaphor. That's exactly what we're doing and eventually we just get tired out and that's why we're saying things like depression and divorce is it's a never ending cycle and it's never enough.

Speaker 1:

Do you feel there's some corporate entity pulling the strings to get us running in the circle as fast as we can? Or is it self-inflicted? Where does this come from? I think it's both.

Speaker 2:

I see a lot. There was an article, I think, by Deloitte not long ago that I posted, talking about the disconnect of executives thinking that there's really great health among their staff, but employees saying the opposite. So I do think there's a leadership void or a leadership vacuum that needs to be filled, where they need to kind of get a clue on what true well-being is for their employees. But I also think there's personal responsibility, and I get a little tired of hearing and reading people going well, if leaders. Well, I don't have to stay there, I don't have to tolerate it, I don't have to get caught up in the corporate vortex of well, this is what I have to do in order to be happy or in order to get what I want. Again, I go back to my kids. My kids would have been really fine if I had had a nine to five job, made less money and was home more and played in the yard. And, believe me, it's one of the regrets I have. They're all grown and gone. I'm not going to get that time back. So I think we have to rethink what it means to provide, what it means to really be connected, and stop making work our end all to be all it's, just it's not going to satisfy, even if you get a seven-figure paycheck.

Speaker 1:

You're right. You do talk about that in the book. Actually, there's an article out of Princeton University that says how much is enough, and it'll be dated in 2017, but it was between $60,000 and $80,000. And then, beyond that, it's a law of diminishing returns. The more you earn, it doesn't make you any more happy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and I would go to. I don't think our earnings do make us happy. I look back when my wife and I first got married between the two of us this was in the early 90s we were making about $25,000 a year. And then we got pregnant with our first son and we had decided that before we got married that she was going to stay home with our kids. So we went to $13,000 a year and in year two it was hard but we were really happy and we didn't worry about a lot of things and we just made the decision of we love where we're at. We have this awesome baby. We didn't have a lot of stuff, but even now we have said we are spending on experience. So we spend our experience. We don't spend on stuff. Even our house is pretty small. We live in about a thousand square feet. We love it, but we want to go experience things together and be kind of blown away by the wonder that is our world.

Speaker 1:

Beautiful. I have a 10-year-old son and every year I come to England, for, even though I'm from England, it's for a holiday, for a vacation, and I have some friends from high school here that done very well and we met a couple of them last year. We're driving away from one and my son said to me are you successful, daddy? And I was like, hmm, that's a good question. And my friend, on a monetary scale, many, many, many times more successful than me, but he doesn't take a month off every year with his family to go on holiday, On travel. He takes his two weeks' call for holiday. I said to him well, you know, I think success for me is being able to come here every year with you for four weeks and not have to work. And he was like, okay, nice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and I think, and again, your friend, so long as he and whomever is closest that it's going to impact. So this is what we want to do. Who am I to say you're wrong? It's the life you want to live. Just make sure that everybody around you who's impacted is singing from the same song sheet and has the same ideas. I'm with you. I would rather. My three of my four children were just in town last week and I took the entire week off and we played, and you know 52. Trying to keep up with a bunch of 20-somethings is a challenge, but we had great time and I do not. I wouldn't change a thing Now. In the past, I would have spent a few hours working in the morning and it was my daughter who, when she was 16, set me straight on that. I believe I recount it in the book where she thanked me at one point I think it was 2016 was the first time I didn't bring my laptop on vacation, which is embarrassing to say, but she thanked me for not letting me go. She said yeah, but then you spend the rest of the day thinking about what you worked on. Your brain is not in the right place. Oh man that was. I tell people have you never been punched in the face by a 16-year-old girl? That was that. I'm not going to say that. I'm going to say that. I'm going to say that.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to say that I'm going to say that.

Speaker 2:

I tell people, have you never been punched in the face by a 16-year-old girl? That was that, that's it, but she was right, and so it's so liberating and freeing, and the other part is I'm not that important. That's what I really had to come to terms with. I'm not that important and, as my wife reminded me once I didn't like it at the time, but she was right If, as the CEO of a company, I can't step away for a week, or even two weeks, then I'm not a really good CEO, because I've not picked or enabled my people to operate without me, and that's bad leadership.

Speaker 1:

Yes, she mentions that in the book. I recall that you guys having a discussion and she said you know you were saying about how all these people depend on you. She's like, well, you can't be a very good CEO if they depend on you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's right and I didn't get that. I didn't like it at the time, but she was 100% right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, fascinating. So with your consultancy since writing the book, I didn't know you just started a new business, but are you helping entrepreneurs navigate this work life balance? And I believe you have a different, a different phrase than work life balance.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, before we hit record, I said I would change some things in the book. I hate the term work life balance. I actually now hate the term work life anything, because it's the only part of our lives that we try to separate. Nobody talks about kids life balance, or finance life balance, or you know, fill in the blank. The reality is we have life. We have 168 hours each week to live life. What we do with that 168 hours includes work, but it also includes a whole lot of other things, and so we have to define what we value the most, which, if you take the time to write them down, you're probably coming up with a list of, I would say, less than seven of things that you're like willing. You know, this is my stake. I'm willing to go to battle over this, and then we have to put boundaries around that. We should put a boundary around our work. We should have a time usually where it starts and a time when it stops. We should put boundaries around our relationships, around our personal health. You mentioned sleep, huge, huge part that people neglect. I am dedicated to seven to nine hours a night. Now, do I always hit that? No, I don't. I'm probably 98% of the time I'm getting seven to nine hours of sound sleep a night, because it just makes me better and it allows me to enjoy life more.

Speaker 1:

And you live longer?

Speaker 2:

Oh sure, absolutely. Science says that right. So for me, the idea of boundaries says I'm going to carve out those things that I value most, I'm going to put a boundary around that, and I'm a firm believer that our boundaries don't need to be. You know, we don't have to have a lot of boundaries, but we need to define them, and it allows me to guard my time and bring the best of myself to all the different areas of my life.

Speaker 1:

And is that the advice you give people you work with as well?

Speaker 2:

And then I tell them I'm not doing coaching so much anymore. I just still do talk to a lot of executives and and from time to time we'll get calls from people to say, hey, can we chat? So I'm like, yeah, sure, let's chat, because I'm so passionate about this and I think there's just a better way to live life. But that's what I encourage them to do is really think through what are those things you value? And if you, if you have a partner, if you're married, do it together and understand that they may value some things that you don't. Okay, because now there's the beauty of how do you support each other in that, how do you make room and as a partner, as a husband and wife, whatever, how do you enable your partner to respect the boundary they've set around, a certain thing that they love, that they enjoy? But once you start in that cycle, you start to just live within your boundaries and it just becomes part of the norm and it feels right and it just. And then, when you need to move that boundary, you have that discussion. Hey, I have a call at nine o'clock tonight. Is that work for you? If it doesn't, I'll move it, I'll push it. And again if somebody says no, it doesn't mean they're not supportive, just means they're making their needs known, which is really important in a relationship.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and do you have any tools you use to discover values? Is there any sort of list of core values you look at or anything like that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I just really encourage people to say write down those mountains you are willing to die on. What are the things you value? Now, sometimes I have people say work and I say, okay, well, work is something we do. We should work hard, we should work. I think work is noble and valuable, but is it really a value? I'm thinking about things like freedom, integrity, authenticity. So those are things that we value. So then, how do you bring that value into your work? You know, when people write down I value money, like now, you really don't. You really don't. Well, I value the things money can buy. No, you actually value what that thing you bought or what you spent on provides for you. So get deeper than that. What does that mean? So I mentioned value experience. Right, my wife and I value experience. Each year, we try to travel to a place that we haven't been before. So I think two years ago was I'm drawing a blank here was Costa Rica. We spent eight days there. We had a phenomenal time. This year, we're going to Iceland. We're going to see the northern lights. We've never seen that before. So these are the types of things. And then we the stuff we buy here where I live in upstate New York is for is to facilitate experience. So we've no mobile for the winter and we snow mobile. There's trails all over the place. That experience of being outside during the winter on a machine is fantastic and our lake freezes over. We can go across the lake. In the summer we bought a jet ski so we can be on the water, so we love that experience. So so much of what we do is designed around that type of value experience and allows, have experience with our friends and our kids when they come in. so that's kind of where I encourage them to go a little bit deeper. And when you start to write down those values Again, you realize there's not a whole lot that I'm going to hold on to through my life, but these are the things that I'm going to put a premium on.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. So when it comes to a car, for example, the experience of a car is being able to take you safely from one place to another, right. So would you be interested in the premium model cars? Or just like a, just a car?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it's really about. I mean, there is personal preference and my wife jokes she's more the car guy in the relationship. I have a. I have a small little truck in our driveway but we needed a truck to pull our toys that we use for experience. So for me to go get a sedan, I'm not going to be able to put a hitch on in the back of a sedan and pull what I need to pull. So again, I think at that point I think it's a great thing and you say, hey, I really enjoy this and it it's a hobby that I have, or I recognize and I like it, or I like working on them. I'm not going to tell you what to go by. It's between you and your wallet and your partner on how you're going to spend your money. Me personally, when we my wife and I lived in an RV full time for nine months, we had a really big truck. We had a Ram 3500. I love that vehicle again. It was awesome. I loved it. It's huge. I don't need it. Yeah Me, why go pay for that thing and spend all the money on the diesel when I can have a smaller one that costs less and is easier to operate. So to me that's more utilitarian, but again lens to the experience that we want to have living up here in upstate New York.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's brilliant because I feel, especially with the younger generations, they're pushed to for the in the car sort of analogy. But we're talking about other things as well. They're pushed to go for the, the premium model, for the status behind it, for the, for the symbolism that it shows the rest of the world that they're driving this fancy car. But you know you're like, well, hang on, what's the car for? It's to go from point B to point B. It's to pull some, you know, pull your toys or whatever, the and the experience, whereas it's easy to get lost in the, what is it? The external trappings of your toys.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, absolutely. And again, I think you know the the. I don't want to put a label on any generation. I think what we see on social media it's one of the reasons why, other than LinkedIn, I'm hardly on any of the other platforms. I'm just so tired of it. Nobody lives a Facebook or Instagram life, right, all we do is put on the highlights. It's a highlight reel of life and when we start to do a compare and contrast, well, they have this, I don't have that, I have this and you can even see that on LinkedIn. You see certain people depending on how the algorithms of oh, they're scaling their success, they're oh, you know, when I first hit my first million and things like that, the humble brag. We have to be really careful that there's always a lot of story behind what they're willing to show, and so that's why you talked about success earlier and I love how you frame that with your son, how you determine success, and I have to be comfortable and I am comfortable with this is what I've determined as success for me and my family, and it's been through discussions with my wife and their constant discussions. It's not just we discuss at one time and I'm okay with that May. That? Is that going to be your path? I don't know and I'm not going to judge what you and a partner decided. Is your what? What success looks like for you? We know what it looks like for us and I'm okay with that. No matter who posts what on social media.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it doesn't.

Speaker 2:

it doesn't sway you and that's right and I think and I think again, that gets back to being comfortable in your own skin, being firmly rooted in your identity, so then you can properly identify your purpose.

Speaker 1:

This isn't in the book and I wanted to get your opinion on this. We've got potentially your generation, a few generations below, buying into the American dream and then maybe finding out that it's not all it's cracked up to be. But then we've got this generation entering the workforce more recently, who've come out of the COVID lockdowns and they actually don't seem to want to work. Have you come across this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've seen there is definitely some entitlement and I see that kind of pervasive, you know, definitely stronger and a younger. There's so many. We could probably have another podcast just on this, or at least my opinions. I think a lot of that and at the same time I want to be clear. I've encountered so many of the younger generation who are hungry to work, not afraid to, and really willing to learn and apply themselves in ways that I wasn't not at. You know, 20, something what I really believe is is that the root cause of that is parenting. And people can disagree with me all they want, that's fine, but you know how we parent our kids and what I've seen and again, my kids are now all in their 20s is a lot of parenting has been sheltering our kids from discomfort, making sure that everything is comfortable for them. So instead of saying to them no, you go talk to your teacher or your coach, I'm going to go do it for you. I want to know why my child got an F on this test. I want to understand why my kid didn't get cut from or didn't make the team and got cut. And we have gone from helicoptering to bulldozing, where we have cleared this path of comfort for our kids, and I saw this and I've lived all over the country. I now live in New York, I've lived in Colorado, I've lived in Texas where this idea is we have to protect our children Now. Early, when our kids were really really young, my wife and I were given advice by another couple that said don't seek to raise good kids, seek to raise great adults. And in order to do that, you have to let your kids be uncomfortable. You have to let them make decisions within context where they can. You know they're going to fail. That's really hard as a parent, but when they fail, you're there to help them pick up the pieces. And again, I'm not talking about massive failures. I'm talking about things like well, if you don't turn in that homework, you're probably not going to get the grade needed to. You know, do your extra curricular activities. Well, if they blow it off and they miss the homecoming game for them, it's devastating. We know as older people. In the whole scheme of life it's a blip. So let them fail, but help them repair it, help them learn the lesson, pick up the pieces, and I was glad for that. Now, to be truthful, my wife was much better at that than I was, because I wanted to kind of smooth everything over. But the reality is we did better when we let our kids make their choices and reap the consequences, either good or bad, because that's life works. And I think what we're seeing in the younger generation isn't I don't want to work. I think they're ill equipped to live in the real world because from birth to 18, they've been told hey, don't worry, I'll clean it up, everything's good. Well, that's not how life works. You're going to have a boss who's a jerk. You're going to have a client. That's difficult. You're going to get laid off. You're not going to get the raise or the promotion, any number of things. You're going to have a landlord that's difficult. You're going to get your heart broken and there's not always someone there to pick up the pieces. So we are sending in a generation to life that is wholly ill equipped to deal with the ups and downs and the uncertainty that life gives us, which gets back to why nobody lives a social media life Life's hard.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Thank you, Samaritan, Very nicely, and you're right, Most parents don't want their children to experience any hardship that they may have had when they were younger. Right, and as a parent, I mean, you're a parent as well. If you intentionally let your kid suffer something, it's hard to do that. It's always easier for them not to suffer, Right, you know it takes a strong will to do that. But just to your point of the social media lifestyle, I had a client recently and she's finally been sharing this. He gave birth to one of her children in the ocean and she did it. It's all over Instagram. It's an amazing ocean birth. You know the kids floating up from underneath and she's holding the baby. It looked beautiful and I was like that's amazing. I saw her on social media before I even met her. Then I said so you know what happened next? And she's like well, we put the placenta in a little bag, because that's what you do, you don't cut the cord. And we went home and the dog ate the placenta and vomited all over the other children. Oh no, you put that on.

Speaker 2:

Instagram. Did you Right? Yeah, you know it's like that. Yeah, definitely not. It's um I, but it's so easy to get sucked into, right? It's always looking at the other side the grass is always greener. And we have a friend of ours who says, yeah, the grass may be greener on the other side, but remember, when you get to that side, it's still your grass, which means you don't. We all have baggage, we all have wounds, we all have things that we have to deal with, and I think that's part of the busy, the addiction to busy and addiction to work is there's just some things as a society, we'd rather not deal with. So what the way, then? To throw ourselves into work and into busy, so we never have that time to get inside our own heads and start to deal with some of the past things that we have to deal with, which would make us better people. It's hard work, but it's worth it, and so I think you know, as long as we continue to try to steamroll any object of discomfort for our children, we're just going to keep producing generations that are ill equipped to deal with the realities of life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you, Carlos. That was very, very deep. Could you give us some advice for someone who potentially, is in the situation you were in 2015, 20 years ago, where you're working, working, working, working. You think that you're doing the right thing, but you can see other aspects of your life, be it your health, be it your family, be it your friendships, they're drifting away slightly. What advice would you give that person?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, first of all, take notice of it, because my guess is you probably don't even realize it or you've become so numb to it you don't care, which is a harsh reality. I would say sit down to the closest to those who are closest to you again a husband, a wife, a partner and ask them where you're at and be ready for their answers. Don't get defensive, just listen, because if you go to them with an authenticity of I really want to hear how you're doing and how we're doing and they tell you, now you have a responsibility to act on that and to repair it and to fix it, and if you don't, at least have the integrity to say you don't care. So I think that's number one. Number two is go get away. Go spend some time again, either with the closest of your relationships or even on your own, to really understand what am I really doing this for and again, I'm a big believer that we were all wired for community. So ask the closest of your colleagues. If you're sitting there and saying I don't know who, I would ask that's a warning sign. That's a warning sign that you've isolated yourself. And, man, you're in big trouble when you isolate yourself. And so I would say start there and then stop running in a circle trying to win. I mean, when I referenced this in the book, when I posted my resignation for my consultancy in 2017, the one I co-founded in 05, the number of emails and calls that I got from colleagues saying how did you do this? I'm miserable. The reality is, when you get down to it and the executives I've coached, there's a misery index and it's pretty high. Yet we continue to do that, and until the pain and consequence of how you're living outweighs the fear of change, you will never do anything different, and so it is scary. It can be scary. It is hard work to unravel that, but my goodness, is it worth it. And where I'm at now, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I wouldn't take a seven-figure salary if it meant changing what I've got now, not in a million years.

Speaker 1:

Okay, how can people find out more about you? If they want to read your book or listen to your TED Talk, where would they go for that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for the book you can just go to Amazon. It's still being sold there. So just type in the un-American dream, Carlos Sidelgo, and it'll come up my TED Talk. If you just put TEDx, Carlos Sidelgo, I believe it can come up. You can visit me on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active there. I don't think there's too many Carlos Sidelgos. I haven't looked, but I will pop up. And then our current website of our consultancy. It's called Digital Exhaust and so just digitalexhaustco is where you can find me, or just email me, Carlos, at digitalexhaustco.

Speaker 1:

Perfect. Thank you very much, Carlos. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 2:

Edward, it was a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for joining me in my conversation with Carlos. If you enjoyed listening to and learning from this podcast, please leave a comment and you can leave a suggestion for a future podcast guest that you would like us to feature. In addition, on Apple, you can leave us up to a five-star review and leave us a comment there as well. If you're my direct help, you can always send me an email at edpadgetcom or visit my website edpadgetcom. Whilst there, you can also sign up for my weekly newsletters on Lifestyle Medicine, which are packed full of great advice about how to use Lifestyle Medicine to add healthspan to your lifestyle.

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