Rob Price has spent years understanding the causes and effects of stress. He has built a mobile app that helps others actuate his learnings. Hear how it works.

Stress contributes to many health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes (and that is to say nothing of an array of potential mental health complications). These negative effects are avoidable however. Rob Price has studied the causative and preventative factors of stress deeply and has created and published a simple, free system to help inoculate people against stress.

In this episode Rob delves into the physiology and neuroscience of how stress works in humans, the ramifications of unchecked, high-stress on individuals and how to combat these issues via a simple practice he’s enabled via his app “The Power of Calm.”

Show Notes

Time   Topic
0:02:10   Welcome and context
0:04:10   What is stress?
0:07:40   Why evolutionarily has it evolved?
0:12:58   What are the factors that turns stress to physiological response?
0:20:23   Why is stress so critical to control?
0:23:14   What are the ramifications of constant low-level stress?
0:27:10   What chronic diseases are related to stress?
0:31:26   What should we do about stress knowing that is implicated in a number of lethal conditions?
0:38:04   Meditation for stress management
0:43:46   The judgemental component is the key for successful meditation
0:51:42   What are the things we can do in our control to mitigate stress?
0:54:14   Any consequences of disarming our stress response mechanism?
0:57:57   What makes the program you’ve built different from other mediation apps and who’s it for?
1:05:10   What is one book that profoundly affected you in some way?
1:06:00   What is your favorite tool that saves you time, money or headaches?
1:07:26   One piece of music or artist that is speaking to you lately?
1:08:26   What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
1:09:54   If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 20-year-old self?
1:11:10   Can you tell the story on how you found out about Remote Year?


Compact Health
Goldman Sachs
Power of Calm
Remote Year
Reflex arc
Norepinephrine (NE), also called noradrenaline (NA)
Cardiovascular disease
Stress Obesity
Headspace App
Dr. Herbert Benson
Podcast – The Tim Ferriss Show
Power of Calm on the App IOS
Power of Calm on the App Android
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Nick Cave



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Sean Tierney: 00:02:10 All right, everybody. Welcome to the podcast. I’m your host, Sean Tierney. And today I am here with rob price. Rob Is founder and director at compact health, a company developing a vision to inspire better health outcomes for clients and an accessible practical strategy to bring that vision to life. In a previous life, rob was managing director at Goldman Sachs overseeing the derivatives business in Australia. He transitioned away from the financial around though towards a more fulfilling career, focused on understanding the things that make us well. He self-educated in this regard and has worked with some of the biggest companies in Australia to help them, help their employees mitigate the effects of stress. And he has built a set of programs called power of calm to make these techniques more accessible to the general public. Welcome Rob. Hey Sean. Pleasure to be here with you tonight. Awesome. okay, so first off, just to set context for people of how we know each other. So we met on remote year. We did that program three years ago. That was where I first met you. We’ve sensed Chris Cross paths and just in various places around the world right now. We’re here in Lisbon where you’ve been for the last two weeks. And it’s been a good time just to catch up and hang out. And I’m glad that on your last day here we finally got to sit down and read.

Rob Price: 00:03:25 Absolutely. It’s incredible how the time just flies past you when you’re, when you’re doing these things. Yeah. Lisbon, I think you’d agree it was like one of my favorite cities definitely when I was here. And clearly you live here now yeah, no, it was pretty amazing and it’s incredible how much has changed actually. Totally for the better. But it’s been great to sort of see that and I also get good quality catch up time. So yeah, your accessions and TRX sessions, that’s another great hack.

Sean Tierney: 00:03:55 Nice. Well we’re, I want to start because you probably more so than anyone I know have made it a mission to focus on stress and you have, if anything, you become an expert in this realm. And so I’d say let’s focus this conversation around stress. Absolutely. Can you tell us what is stress?

Rob Price: 00:04:14 Yeah, look, yeah, absolutely. Just for a little bit of context. So you met, you mentioned before that in a previous life I I spent 16 ideas basically on Wall Street, some of it in Australia, some of the United States. And I can honestly tell you from that period of time like what I don’t know about stress is just not worth knowing. During that time it was crazy. It was exciting, it was invigorating sometimes depressing. But the thing that sort of sticks in my mind is how much I struggled with my health and my head space and the people in my team did so too. And between us all, we probably put all our health practitioners, kids through college. I would’ve gone to a health practitioner two or three times every month and sometimes a whole lot more because, you know, it’d be at a physical therapist or getting sick all the time cause my immune system wasn’t coping.

Rob Price: 00:05:06 And I kind of got to the point where I was kinda sick and tired of dealing with the symptoms all the time and nobody really taking the time to explain what the cause was. And so took a little bit of my own time to figure out what I was going on in my own, in my own system, in my own body. And what I found was quite frankly, life changing. There were a few questions really that popped up in my mind that I just, they were so simple yet so fundamental that I wish that I’d asked myself before. And that would have saved me so much trouble and so much illness quite frankly. And those questions are pretty straight forward. It is like, what is this thing that I’m dealing with? What is stress? Which was what you asked me. Secondly, why is it so important to focus on it? Like why is it so important to understand and identify it and then go ahead and do something about it. And then finally how and as simple in a scientific way, cause I’m not into the fluff at all. Can I go about doing something about it?

Sean Tierney: 00:06:18 And I appreciate that about you, that we’re not going to be, this isn’t woo, this is the actual science and PR, you know, give me the minimum effective dose of whatever this is to knock out stress.

Rob Price: 00:06:28 There’s no, there’s no chanting of the sunrise here. As much as I love chatting at the sunrise, it’s not about that. This is about pure physiology. And that sort of comes back to the question that you asked me. It’s like what is stress? It’s not this fluffy thing that’s hanging around in the air kind of waiting to happen. To us, it is a physiological imperative. It’s a physiological response that our body makes to a perceived threat or challenge. And this physiological response is a big deal. Like, if we were sitting in here laughing, uncomfortable, having this recording this podcast. If, if a guest main blue in the, in the room next door, you and I would be out of here halfway down light halfway down that the road all eyes wide open, hard running at 180 beats per minute before we even knew what happened. If you can think of how difficult it is to get out of bed some days, you then got some sort of an idea of the power of the response that takes us from this relaxed calm mode into this flight for our life in all within the, the, the time span of it. Less than a second.

Sean Tierney: 00:07:39 And then there’s a practical reason for that. So can you talk about like why has it evolved to this way?

Rob Price: 00:07:44 Yeah, absolutely. So the stress response evolved millions of years ago. It really started in the smallest little fluffy rodent that was running around at the same time of the dinosaurs. And it evolved to protect us from physical danger. So it was designed to be turned on incredibly powerfully for a short period of time. And then turned off when that danger had passed, allowing us to rest, repair and regenerate. Picture for example, is zebra feeding on the grass in the African Savannah sitting there. It’s feeding, telling a good shoe, looking around. It might look up and see a pride of lions. It’s big. Group, Zebra Hood, a zebra. That didn’t really move much. I just watched the lines, see what the lines are doing. As soon as the lights kind of started attack in one, the hood gets up and runs like crazy ducking, weaving, swerving. Eventually the lines are going to get one of them. They’ll drag it off the zebra stop practically where they are. Put the head down and study and then the grass again. Yeah, I mean this is the way the animalistic stress response was designed to work

Sean Tierney: 00:08:52 And it, and it has persisted. We’re talking about like on the scale of evolutionary, like coming from the Amoebas. Like this is cellular embedded and it has allowed species to survive because those are the ones that live the ones that get this activated then and make it out of there. So now this is just embedded in us and we’ve got like this primal machinery that was for that scenario you just described. Basically

Rob Price: 00:09:15 You, you’ve nailed it. That’s what got us out of the jungle and way we were to where we are today. The issue that we face today is the stresses that we generally face are not of a physical nature. We’ve pretty much got that sorted out 99 times out of a hundred most of the stresses that we face are a lot more kind of emotional or abstract. They’re more require a like a balanced calm, logical thought process around it. Most importantly. So of course if you like, if you’ve got a job interview or something or you’re in an interview where you think you might get you lose your job if it’s something that’s worthy of your concern. But sitting there with sweaty palms and shaking voice and dry mouth and a brain which is unable to think logically and coherently, but it’s shifted into this thought process of short term defensive thinking, that’s not going to help you keep your job or get the job that’s going to work completely against you.

Rob Price: 00:10:14 Right? More importantly, or as importantly, at least the stresses that we experienced today less threats and better described as challenges and they’re persistent. They’re around us all the time. And this is kind of key. So while this response was designed to be on very powerfully and off, it’s actually a very basic, simple response that is not like it’s, it starts in a very basic part of our brain. There’s no logic behind it and it doesn’t know that the response that is looking for is not one that you need physical protection from, that it’s one that you need a logical thought process for. And these are around us all the time. So what ends up happening is what’s the shopping list? What’s the, what’s the piece of work that I have to get in? What wasn’t that a crappy call that I was just done with my client? All of these sorts of things have got our stress responses kind of kicking off, keeping us in this almost constant state of mild fight or flight. And we were not designed to be in that state.

Sean Tierney: 00:11:24 Yeah. And there are no lions chasing us at this point. This is a word doc or whatever it is that we’re dealing with. Right?

Rob Price: 00:11:30 Well, that’s the point. So contextualizing it is so important. If we can understand that stress is not this reality, but a response, then we might understand that we’ve got more control over that response than we might’ve thought. So I an example that’s that I like to use is picture yourself at a wedding where people are about to stand up and start the speeches. It’s hilarious. Well, for some people, but there’s, there’s invariably one person who will stand up and speak as if they’ve been doing this all their life. They’re so relaxed, they might might as well be in their lounge room and this person stands up next to them in front of the same people doing the same thing with the same goal and they look like they’re standing in front of a firing squad. There are, you know, their eyes are wide, their mouth is shaking.

Rob Price: 00:12:20 They can barely get out of word. Why? Why is this the stress, the situation is no different, right? So it’s not the situation that is stressful. Otherwise both would be percent behaving in the same way. Right? The one person responds in a stressful way and the other person doesn’t. So in many respects, the one thing to take out of this and answering the question of what is stress is to understand that there is actually no such thing or very rarely such a thing as a stressful situation. Only a stressful response. Yeah. And we can learn how to meet our understand, identifying control those responses.

Sean Tierney: 00:12:56 So let’s stay on in terms of that question of what is stress. It’s a physiological response, but break that down for me. Like I know there’s a cocktail of things going on when you know the lines look at you and start running at you. What happens in that moment in your body?

Rob Price: 00:13:11 So you’ve got two main pathways of stress in your body. The one works at the speed of light, it’s the nervous system. It starts in your reflex arc. So that little part of your brain that you know, your brain stem, it doesn’t even get up to your logical cognitive thought process, isn’t it? And it’s a nervous system, electricity, electric response. So it moves at the speed of light. And that’s what kind of gets you up out of your chair. And halfway down the hallway before you even know what’s going on. Yeah, that is generally relatively short lived. However, at the same time, in the period of a couple of seconds to a minute or two, your stress hormone system kicks in and that starts in a part of your brain called the hypothalamus game. It’s like an ancient part that we share with them. You know, the most basic vertebrates,

Sean Tierney: 00:14:04 They call it the Reptilian, I think it’s the limb limbic yet or the, it’s

Rob Price: 00:14:08 The Reptilian Brian if you like. And essentially that bit creates a chemical path which people call the HPA axis. And essentially it is a message from that part of your brain, the Hypothalamus, down through to the pituitary gland down through to the adrenal gland, which essentially puts that message, that stress hormone message down through to the adrenals and results in the production of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. Go ahead. Now noradrenaline is a hormone which does a lot of things amongst them. Shortens and tightens your muscles getting ready for fight or flight, adrenaline. We all know what that, that can do. It’s a pretty powerful sledgehammer to the system. And in many ways cortisol is probably going to come up quite often in this discussion. And you guys all this thing, I’m sure I’ve heard, heard of it. Cortisol is kind of like the stress hormone, which is the smoking gun around the barrel.

Rob Price: 00:15:09 Like this, the smoke around the barrel of the gun, it remains for hours sometimes many hours after an acute stress episode. And if we’re flicking that stress response all the time or all day, we essentially living in a pool of cortisol. And Cortisol is a pretty interesting animal. It’s actually very, it’s an essential hormone in the body and it’s required to do a number of things including the metabolism of sugar and the mediation of inflammation. But when we spend too much time, as we, as with most things, it’s not, it’s, there’s no such thing as a poison. Only a poison is dice. When we spend too much time in the presence of that Cortisol we start to develop a degree of resistance to its message, to its anti inflammatory message. So for those of you out there who have done it some sport overview of your lives or just might have injured yourself, sometimes you’d go to the physician and they’d suggest what to get rid of the inflammation.

Rob Price: 00:16:15 I’ll give you a cortisone injection. Cortisone injection almost immediately just drops the inflammation around cause cortisone or cortisol, which is the cortisone naturally in your body. It’s a very powerful antiinflammatory, but that physician will or should tell you that you can’t have more than one, two, three of them maximum because your body starts to develop a resistance to the message of the core design. That antiinflammatory message, same thing applies in your body. If we spend huge amounts of time in the presence of that antiinflammatory hormone, that’s stress hormone cortisol, how body’s response to that anti inflammatory message starts to weaken and that can result in a whole lot of inflammatory type diseases, which we see a lot in today’s day and age.

Sean Tierney: 00:17:02 Interesting. I mean, I’ve bumped into the inflammation stuff and the anti-inflammatory diets and you know, they’re promoting those now. I was not aware that cortisol, this resistance to cortisol. It sounds like it compounds and an inflammation response. So if you’re decreasing the effectiveness of cortisol to degrade inflammation, then you’re basically, you’re diminishing the effect of it.

Rob Price: 00:17:25 Yeah. I mean you’re, you’re losing, you’re losing it as a weapon. Yeah. you can end up in a situation where you have plenty of quarters all around, but your system is almost like insulin resistance in the presence of huge amounts of insulin. You stop that. The body stops producing that message that says, all right, well, sugar and that needs to be uptake and it needs to be taken up. So just the same way as you can become insulin resistant in the presence of too much insulin, you can become cortisol resistant in the presence of too much cortisol or cortisone.

Sean Tierney: 00:18:00 Got It. Okay. So we’re behaved in, at this point, cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, and they’re all performing various functions. The threat goes away. And the cortisol, it sounds like remains for a bit, but you’re saying because we’re constantly exposed and we have kind of this ongoing, persistent, you know, low level stress that keeps hitting us. We’re just bathed 100% of the time in cortisol. And that’s the problem.

Rob Price: 00:18:27 If, if we don’t manage it, that that’s absolutely the case. Yeah. And it’s before, you know, honestly, it starts before we personally are even managing it. There’ve been a lot of really interesting studies that show that mothers who are pregnant and very stressed at the time of their pregnancy, the, the way the child develops, the way the child’s neural code connectivity develops in the presence of the cortisol in the mother’s system, Uhm, is fundamentally affected by that. So we will use different processing systems in our brain depending on whether we’re running on a stress response or a calm relaxation response. If we’re calm and relaxed, we use the prefrontal Cortex, that big chunk of our brain in the front that separates us from the animals, literally that logical strategic thought process. And there’s neural highways that go to that part of the brain.

Rob Price: 00:19:27 When we’re super stressed, we use the Amygdala, which is that smaller fear and anxiety part of the brain, which is about the defensive short term thinking reactive part of the brain. The more we’re in that head space, the more we do develop those neural pathways or highways to that part of the brain and we become higher stress responders. So if we are baked in cortisol, if you like because our parents or our, our mother is super stressed we come into this world with more highly developed neural pathways to the fear and anxiety part of our brain. So

Sean Tierney: 00:20:09 Grooves in the record are already kind of dug out. [inaudible]

Rob Price: 00:20:13 It starts early, but there’s, you can, you can turn it around. You can turn it around. Absolutely. You got it.

Sean Tierney: 00:20:21 Okay. Well, so we’ve, we’ve spent a good amount of time now explaining what stress is. Why is this important? What does this mean? What are the ramifications of this stuff?

Rob Price: 00:20:29 So if you can picture that, a example that I say of the gas pipe blind in one second flat and I’m just gonna Start, if you can picture that from the top of the head down to your toes. We switch our thinking from logical and strategic to defensive and reactive. So it changes the way we think. That’s fundamental to help businesses. It’s fundamental to our relationships. If we’re consistently in this state of stress or fight or flight, we constantly bring a different headspace to the headspace that’s often required in our relationships and in our, you know, business dealings. At the same time our pupils will dilate so you can let, lets in more light. Your mouth you’ll often find goes dry. You know, sometimes before you give an important presentation, a talk, you sort of get that dry mouth. Well what’s going on there is your digestion is being suspended and your saliva is the first phase of digestion.

Rob Price: 00:21:31 So when you get a super dry mouth like that, when you’re anxious, that’s your warning that your digestion is basically being put on ice. From that point on, you’re going to start to get the rumbling stomach because the blood has gone away from your extreme, but like away from your not immediately essential organs to your head, away from your extremities to your muscles for fight or flight, and also to conserve energy. So you’re going to shut down your digestion, which is pretty fundamental. Your reproduction reproductive system when you’re super stressed, gets hugely compromised. The absorption of nutrients and water, you get super dehydrated. And you know, sometimes when you’re really, who you feel stressed, and I’ve talked about the extremes just to illustrate the point you’ll feel like you need to go to the bathroom because you’re not absorbing water anymore. Your body is just more inclined to let it go. I’ll keep moving down your heart rate, your heart rate raises super quickly, sometimes by as much as 50%. At the same time your blood vessels are constricting to redirect blood away from those nonessential organs and your extremities and to your muscles. So in one breath you’ve got your pump beating faster and the tubes constricting. So it doesn’t take much imagination to see your blood pressure going up, route your muscles short and intense to get you out of town.

Sean Tierney: 00:23:00 Yeah. So this is just your body basically diverting all anything that’s not essential in that moment to live. It’s basically freeing up those resources to get you out of that situation or to fight and deal with the Predator. Right. So that’s physiologically what’s happening. But I guess my question would be over time, if this is happening too much, what are the ramifications of this constant low level stress and being in this state for more than we should be?

Rob Price: 00:23:26 Absolutely. So let, let’s have a look at, so we’ve, we’ve touched on the thought process and your using the fear and anxiety part of your, your brain anxiety, living in a state of anxiety. There’s a long term ramification of of this stress that we, that we might otherwise choose to ignore. We spend huge amounts of time worrying about, or Reese learning about nutrition and getting the right foods if we’re not absorbing those foods and digesting them because our digestion is messed up by the stress that we’re constantly taking. We miss missing the major point. We’re really just firing pellets into, you know, the mouth of the cannon, so to speak. You know, it’s great. You know, I walk that extra mile and spend that extra 20% on the organic food, but yeah, my body is, yeah, it is. It’s barely absorbing the nutrients.

Rob Price: 00:24:22 So people who spend too much time in this stressed state will often get ’em start to succumb to the syndromes like irritable bowel syndrome where you’re just not really holding on to, to any, to any food at all. Things that a lot of nomads experience because we’re always at different desks and a things all of the time is the muscles, when they shorten the tents in the presence of noradrenaline, they, we’re not releasing that tension at any point. So we sit, if we sit three, four, five hours in a row for two sessions a day, five sessions a week, on and on and on, the smaller muscles start to really become more effective. Those smaller muscles in your neck and your back in your, your, your neck and your shoulders and the bottom of your head, and you end up with those tight shoulders, the headaches that you get, the tight the tight temples.

Rob Price: 00:25:21 You start to get the, you know, the TMJ muscles around your jaw and your ears. You’re grinding those a light which develops tension over there. You can actually get to a point of, that’s called like neuromuscular hypertrophy, where essentially your muscles remember this position. So in the moments that you’re actually not stressed, they see that as the new norm. Right? So this in, in summary, and there’s, so there’s so many more I could touch on. In s in summary, it’s like if we’ve got this constant, what they call alostatic load building on the system, you’re okay until you’re not. And sometimes that alostatic load can become too much, even at a time of your life when you’re not the most stressed you’ve ever been. We often encounter clients who will say, well, I don’t understand why this is happening to me now. I’ve actually got my stuff relatively well sorted. And the thing is they’re basically you get to a point to an age, to a state of load that eventually your body just says nut. So it’s really important for us to focus on it early. So we could be just below that threshold and feel fine, but you’re seeing there was like an activation energy or whatever where once we crossed that threshold, now all these symptoms present in let’s like why now? And the answer is you were just there yesterday.

Sean Tierney: 00:26:44 You just didn’t realize you were right on the edge of that.

Rob Price: 00:26:46 Yeah, cliff. And if you in the back of your mind, keep remembering how powerful and profound this thing is that we’re dealing with, you realize that even when we’re putting up with it, because it seems to be under control over time, that pressure is going to mount and become too much.

Sean Tierney: 00:27:05 Okay. So I don’t want to, this is all kind of doom and gloom right now and I don’t, I want to round it out cause I, and then I want to move on from it. But what types of chronic diseases are we talking about that are related to stress? I know there’s heart issues, right? I know there’s you know, w what just, can you talk about the maladies that are associated with stress?

Rob Price: 00:27:22 Yup. Yup. So anxiety is one which is the mental, mental disease obviously, but it affects so many of us. Cardiovascular disease, as you pointed out. It’s hugely related to the stress response for blood pressure, Blood Glucose at, and, and a number of other reasons, circulatory issues. The inflammatory diseases are inevitably linked to the stress that we we carry. Things like a rheumatoid arthritis can, can spontaneously present after massively stressful scenarios. Other, other diseases. Well obesity is a massive issue, which is very, very oriented towards stress and it’s not necessarily just obesity, but dealing with our weight at all. So if you think of it this way, as soon as you get stressed, your body sends an unequivocal message or your mind sends another equivocal message to the body. Liberate energy from all possible sources. Cause I’m going to need it right now 90% of the time, if not more, we send that message to ourselves when we’re sitting on our backside.

Rob Price: 00:28:36 So there’s not a corresponding need for that extra energy. We’re not running from the loans, we’re not running. So we’re liberating energy from proteins, from fat stores, from, from glucose, our blood pressure in meat lot. Our blood sugar levels immediately rise because that’s the one thing that’s going to give you that energy straight up. So when you’re stressed, you start to get this blood sugar rise and fall more stressed. It’s up. Then you have a break and it’s down more stressed. It’s up. You have a break and it’s down, guess what those does to your appetite, right? You go from not feeling like eating, to wanting to eat a horse and then not feeling like eating again. So if you have a look at all of these three things working together, number one, that message saying liberate energy. So increasing your blood sugar. Number two, having no corresponding need for that.

Rob Price: 00:29:26 Your, your body then stores it as fat but generally felt that it can access more easily should it need it again. And that’s the visceral fat, which is the most dangerous type of fat they would store it at. And at the same time, you’re struggling to control your, so if you’re crazy stressed, it becomes so much harder to manage your weight. And there’s huge amounts of well, huge studies that have been done to show how, how stress people are much less likely to succeed in any weight management protocol if it seems like a vicious cycle in the sense that, you know, once you then perceive yourself as being overweight, that probably creates stress for you, which then makes it harder to manage your weight. Exactly. And it’s, it’s this notion of a loss of control and one of the greatest stresses known to human beings is that feeling of a loss of control.

Rob Price: 00:30:15 So when we kind of get out of this a doom and gloom piece of piece of it one of the major things that I’m sure we’ll touch on is how understanding that we actually do have control over this is a fundamental part of the process of being able to deal better with it. We’ll it’s, let’s go there. Now. I want to shake off the stress just talking about stress, but it’s important. I’m glad. I’m glad we did because we all get it, but we don’t, we get that we’re stressed almost to a person. Anyone who I tell what I do or anyone who comes to us to, with some form of interest in, in the, in the program, they say, I will be your ideal Guinea pig. Like every single one of us deals with it. The thing is we don’t appreciate the issue that it is.

Rob Price: 00:31:06 And to raise it to that level, they were actually going to go and do something about it is really important. Yeah. Yeah. Knowing that this will kill you if you lose, if you don’t address it, this will kill you. That should hopefully raise people’s elevate the importance of it. It has, it has that potential in, in certain respects. Okay. So what can we do about it? So I think the thing to understand is that it’s not an inevitability and it’s not this thing that we can’t control. It’s not some fluffy existential thing we need to understand and be able to identify when it is happening to us. So understanding what the signs and symptoms are. Am I thinking short term? Am I being super defensive? Is my stomach rumbling? Am I starting to sweat? Am I grinding my teeth? Am I getting headaches?

Rob Price: 00:31:56 Is my heart rate up? Am I feeling anxious? Am I tight? Is My neck and shoulders tight? Tapping in to what these symptoms are. The identification of that is absolutely key, which is why that’s sort of behind a while. I’m kind of happy to talk a little bit about the, the scary things a bit. Once you understand that, once you’re able to identify it, it’s then a matter of understanding that the stress response is essentially the operation of a part of your nervous system. And that’s the autonic nervous system. And that’s got two different components. One is the sympathetic nervous system. You don’t have to worry about that called let the stress system that’s on Wen fight flight, huge concentration focus. It’s not always bad. Like when you’re in flow, that sympathetic system is humming along at a nice low level. I’m not, I don’t wish it all to demonize it.

Rob Price: 00:32:55 The other system is called the parasympathetic system where you can call it the relaxation system and that part or that path of the nervous system is about rest, repair, regeneration. These two systems are cousins. They share this, they operate together, but they don’t like sharing the same stage. So the sympathetic nervous system is designed to basically have a kill switch to the parasympathetic. The stress system is designed to have a kill switch to the system, which is, hey, well let’s use that energy for refs to regeneration and digestion and all. It’s like we can worry about that when we’re up the tree and the saber tooth tiger has, has, has passed us by learning how to manage stress is not about giving away your worldly possessions or going on a pilgrimage to Tibet. Learning how to manage stress is learning how to balance those two parts of your nervous system.

Rob Price: 00:33:54 And we spend so much less time in that rest repair, regenerative time part zone. And we can spend more. Now some, some of you might be thinking, all right, well hang on. If this is part of the autonomic nervous system, that’s the part of the nervous system that we can’t really control that question yet, but you can influence it as a second order. So think about it as just in the same way as you can psych yourself up. You can psych yourself up, raise your heart rate. By doing that, I’m like, get yourself into a zone. Yeah, you can also psych yourself down and you can do that by through a process of focus and thought and just generally bringing your mind to a place where it doesn’t feel like it’s punching at shadows that it says, Hey, I don’t need this red alert system on anymore.

Rob Price: 00:34:55 I can switch that off so you’re not sitting there going, all right, flick the switch. Now you’re sitting there going, all right, let me focus on this candle. Let me focus on the feeling of the chair. Let me focus on the mantra in a meditation. Let me focus on the feeling of somebody’s hands in a massage. All of these things you’ll hit get so many people saying, oh, there’s this technique and there’s that technique and they’re all doing the same thing. They’re all bringing our mind from a state of punching a cellos, thinking about the shopping list, thinking about the call, thinking about the interview, thinking about the client, where there’s this notion of being under a tackle threat to a point where, hang on this scenario I’m in, has no threat to me. And then the mind comes to a settled point that stress system shuts down and the rest repair, regeneration, all that good stuff begins.

Sean Tierney: 00:35:59 So the object of focus is not the important thing. It can be whatever it needs to be, but it is bringing the mind back to a centered position is, is the active ingredient here, if you will.

Rob Price: 00:36:10 Exactly. And maybe centered is not the best word because centered would be centered on an idea. It’s bringing the mind back to position where it doesn’t feel like it has to be defensive. So meditation is not necessarily, for example, the notion of having no thought. It’s the notion of being in a head space or having a thought that you’re not connected to, that you’re not thinking, all right, well this leads me to this thought and this leads me to this consequence and this leads me to this threat or fear. You’re in a position where you’re like, isn’t that awesome? And your mind just drops into neutral if you like. Yeah. And it’s simple, but it’s not always easy. You can muscle through it though because our minds actually work really well with the notion of repetition. And a lot of the techniques that you’ll see out there to bring you into this state of relaxation are kind of repetitive techniques or techniques that bring your mind back to the present to be mindful of your current surroundings. There’s so many different key words that that all cliched words in a way that pop up essentially coming down to the same proposition, which is stop punching at shadows. Understand that you’re safe and that I can relax now and get on with the most important things.

Sean Tierney: 00:37:46 Cool. Well, it’s funny you mentioned headspace. That’s an app that I’ve actually used a, I used it for like three years, did it all on remote year tried a few other ones in the meantime. And ultimately they’re all kind of doing the same thing. Like I think I’m coming back to it and I practiced transcendental meditation, which I know you had done as well. That didn’t stick for me for whatever reason. I couldn’t it didn’t resonate. It wasn’t the right instrument or whatever. So but I found headspace to be very useful. And then the Sam Harris Waking up app was useful for me. And at this point I’m really not using much of anything. I’m Kinda just doing my own method,

Rob Price: 00:38:23 You know, it’s whatever works. So headspace was fantastic. Andy did a just a fantastic job in bringing it down to a very basic level that people could relate to. It’s the only gripe I’d have with some of the apps like headspace and calm and some of the others is that become, it becomes so big that they need to have a lot of contents, a lot of information, a lot of different practices, a lot of different meditations, a lot of different techniques to justify its user per se, but from a user perspective. And that can be fun. That can be fun. So there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think what sometimes happens is people get the wrong idea that, alright, well this, I need to use this for this and this for this and that. It’s somehow complicated. Yeah, it’s not, it’s dead simple.

Rob Price: 00:39:15 You’re trying to flick that switch between the stress response and what Dr. Benson at Harvard University, he’s a bit of a stress Godfather called the relaxation response. So just like there’s a stress response has a relaxation response. The stress response has dominant when your sympathetic nervous system is driving. The relaxation response is dominant when your parasympathetic nervous system is driving. Okay. And he actually went ahead. He’s been studying stress for 30 years. He’s an amazing guy to look up if you, if you want to. Herbert Benson and his team at Harvard tested a huge array of ancient as well as modern relaxation techniques. And at the end of this study, they basically come out with a a proposition as to what the four things were that were essential to eliciting this relaxation response from the stress response. And you’ll be shocked at how simple they are.

Rob Price: 00:40:13 Number one is you need a quiet place to sit in. So a place that doesn’t have any sort of distraction that makes it the technique work better. Otherwise your mind is running a different yeah, you’re looking at different things. Number two, you need a focus. He was essentially need a focal point or a sound or a mantra or a candle or a texture or something to bring your mind to appoint a particular point so that it can be at that point, focus at that point, focused on their point, focused on that point. Focus until it, let’s go over everything. Everything else. Number three is pretty fundamental is you need to bring a nod, judgemental attitude to whatever mo mode you’re using. So if you’re sitting there the whole time going, is it working? Is it working? Is it, it’s not gonna work.

Rob Price: 00:41:15 So a passive nonjudgmental attitude supports the relaxation response and finally, super simply as, as a comfortable position to sit in. So if sitting in a lotus position is uncomfortable for you or sitting cross legged is on the floor, is uncomfortable you, that is entirely unnecessary. You need to just be sitting, not lying. Cause if you’re lying and you’re tired, you’ll just fall asleep. And it activates other sorts of chemical responses in the brain that are more aligned with sleep than relaxation response. Sitting in a comfortable position. Again, learning how to relax is not about chatting at the sunrise. It’s about taking some time every day, even if it starts with 10 minutes to in whatever form you wish to engage with those full protocols and slowly start to teach your mind what it feels like to be in this relaxed state and those 10 minutes.

Rob Price: 00:42:20 Then kind of take, takes the 10 minutes, take a bit of a life like a, a path of their own because your mind starts to understand this space, which sometimes it’s just not in, at all in our working hours. And it chooses to sit there when it knows where to go. So saying, oh look, it’s only 10 minutes, what can it possibly do? You’re training your mind, you’re explaining to it, hey, this is what is available to you. And the mind wants to be there. It doesn’t want to be in this crazy loop. And with a bit of practice, you’ll spend more and more time outside of those 10 minutes sessions in a relaxed relating under the influences of the relaxation response, which means clearer thinking, more logical, better digestion, more a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, better blood glucose, let a better, more controlled blood sugar levels, more energy, stronger muscles from rest and repair, regeneration. All of the good stuff that the rest repair, regeneration function in the system would do if only we gathered half the chance.

Sean Tierney: 00:43:29 Yeah, I know personally I struggled with it at first and I’m very much my mind, like I suffer from just constant racing mind and exploring all the avenues and rolling over concepts in my head. So it had a very active mind. And the thing that really helped me on that, number three, the judgmental component of it was something I heard. I want to say it was maybe the Tim Ferriss podcast way back in the day. But it was basically like this stuff like if there, if your mind wasn’t wandering, think of the, think of it like a wandering mind, like the weights at the gym. It gives you a chance, like the practice is bringing it back and then dismissing the thought and just observing it and then letting it go back, you know, and, and falling into that state. But like that is the practice.

Sean Tierney: 00:44:14 You’re not doing it wrong. If you have a wandering mind. Those are just the weights at the gym. Like embrace that and realize that, okay, this is an opportunity to practice it again. Okay. So I’m going to just like let that go and okay. Here we are. And then it don’t get mad when a thought wanders into your head, cause inevitably it will. And I think a lot of people get frustrated with apps in the meditation practice itself because they think they’re not doing it right. And that deters them. And then they just give up on it. And it’s a shame because you’re like right at the border of like, no, no, that’s the practice. Just keep going. [inaudible]

Rob Price: 00:44:42 Exactly. Exactly. That judgmental thing is absolutely key. Yeah. And if you know, if you’ve been doing this for 20 years and you live in a monastery up in Tibet and you can’t clear your sit for 20 minutes with a clear mind, maybe I’ll have a little bit of a go at you. But we don’t live in a monastery. It’s a bit, and a lot of us are starting on, on this, on this journey, and there’s a lot going on around us all the time. I mean, I’ve been doing this for two decades now and I still have lots of thoughts during my relaxation sessions. The goal is not thoughtlessness. The goal is to not let your mind be full. That these thoughts require some form of physical response. Yeah. That’s the goal. To kind of disassociate the thought from that response. And generally when people are starting out to do this, I would still say don’t use your relaxation session to think things through because when it’s pretty subtle at first, so that would get you onto the wrong start.

Rob Price: 00:45:54 Still try and sit there, acknowledge the thought it pops in, have a smile, don’t be judgemental. Say what a great big Brian I’ve got that separates me from all the animals. Go back to your focus. After you’ve done it for five, 10 years or whatever, you can kind of start to say, Hey, I’ve hit that state. Let me play around with a few ideas and thoughts because you’re almost observing them from a third party position and you’re not being emotionally linked to them. So that’s essentially what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make that separation of the thought and the imagination creating this physical response, which is completely unnecessary and incredibly dangerous in over over a long term.

Sean Tierney: 00:46:44 Yeah. My friend Hart I don’t know, maybe this analogy is helpful for someone listening, but he says he just pictures his mind like this little puppy dog and it’s doing what a puppy dog does. It just kind of wanders off. And if you have that kind of like, oh, that’s cute attitude towards it, it’s a very like forgiving acceptance. Like, oh, that’s just what a puppy dog does and I’m going to bring that little puppy dog back then. That’s kind of really the attitude to have towards it. And over time that muscle memory of how you bring the puppy dog back is what the practice is.

Rob Price: 00:47:14 Very much so. Yeah. And we’ve all got our favorites, little bits and pieces and whatever works. I encourage people to use, I like the analogy of an animal in a lot of ways, particularly dogs because it always, I find it a great source of happiness and learning to me, watching dogs. And most animals actually because they don’t have the burden of this v eight engine that is constantly questioning itself and constantly questioning everything around you, which is why the dog will come and meet you at the door with his unbridled happiness. And then maybe something happens, it, you know, scratches the couch and you yell at it and it gets sad and then two minutes later it’s super happy again. Right. You don’t see dogs with these huge auto in IUD and you don’t see them with the same auto immune kind of stress driven diseases.

Rob Price: 00:48:15 That cute that afflict human beings in a lot of response in a lot of respects. I mean, sometimes yes, they can be. Dogs who have been abused can be super anxious because they actually do have very similar brains in a way to us. Yeah. But it’s always instructive to me to understand that we’ve got this Massive v eight engine in our heads, which I knew very recently has dealt with what 90% of its focus was for the first x million years of our existence, which was where do we get food? Where did we get shelter? How do we keep safe? How do we procreate now we’ve dealt with a chunk of that. The last one, sometimes being a little more tricky, but we’ve got this huge brain that in an almost a second of a year of evolution has solved all of that. Where does it go? Yeah, it grabs, it’s grabbing. It’s looking for what are these things that I’ve developed this system to protect myself from, but I can’t see the dangers. It’s sort of punching at shadows.

Sean Tierney: 00:49:23 Well, yeah, and not only that, but so we have this machinery over the course of evolution that we’ve arrived at to where we are today. Like you said, we’ve now don’t have to deal with lions and every right, but we’ve still got the same machinery that was evolved over all that time to protect us. In that scenario, it would be fine if we were just, if that was it, but not only do we have the stresses of just a regular life, but you have entire teams of people now hacking our machinery for profit, right? They know how the systems work. And so it’s like, how do I drop little stressors to get them to buy something and to create infinite loops in the brain that, you know, that keep us wandering and coming back to concepts and whatnot. And so it’s like you almost have to be aware of that to anti hack and like put a, you know, the immune system around that stuff going on now as well.

Rob Price: 00:50:14 Oh, look, I mean I’m, I’m opening a Pandora’s box here, but what’s politics today? Yeah. I mean, the politics of fear that we’re seeing you know, and it’s not just central to the United States, it’s, it’s happening everywhere right now. If you have a look at Trumpism or Brexit or conservative politics in some respects in a, and, and a hard, hard, hard left politics as well, it’s not on either side. The notion of creating a sense of fear is super important to being able to manipulate your response, to vote in a certain way or to ignore a certain thing. If you feel like you’re persecuted and you’re losing your country and you’re losing your privilege. And you’re losing all of these things. These are fundamental things in your back of your mind are a huge stress to you, which means you’re going to overlook things that we would otherwise be expected to have more compassion and more understanding and more thoughtfulness around a situation because you’re fearful.

Sean Tierney: 00:51:21 Yeah. So they’re overriding those systems in the same way that it sounds like your sympathetic system has a kill switch for the, you know, it, it can short circuit that in an instant just override things that were important to you because now this prioritizes, right? Absolutely. Cool. So what are the things we can do and we’re going to shift tack here in a Sec. What are the things we can do? You know, obviously doing things decidedly to put ourselves in situations which are less stressful. So working, if you have a job that just sucks and the company is awful and it’s a terrible environment, like to the extent you can try to extricate yourself and go find a different job, right? Like that’s kind of a no brainer. What are other things though? They’re within our control that we can do to mitigate stress.

Rob Price: 00:52:05 So I touched on it briefly, but it’s, it’s worth repeating the most one, there’s really three prongs to it and promotable. One is identification, so we can really work on the identification of those symptoms. So the, your point with the job is very a very good one. If we kind of get to the point, like if we’re sitting there and we’re not being we’re not reaching our potential because we’re in this incredibly stressed, defensive, unproductive state. If there are two things that we can do, we can either figure out a way, and this is difficult, it can take years. So sometimes it’s best to go and find a less aggressive environment. We can figure out how we’re going to handle that response. It was always very clear to me you’d have this pool of people on the trading floor, on Wall Street, the best traders out there where quite frankly, sometimes psychopaths, they had the ability to completely disassociate themselves from any consequence of what was going on around them as a result, had little to no stress response.

Rob Price: 00:53:18 And we’re able to just to think super clearly and super calmly in what if you’ve seen it is possibly, it’s really one, it’s as close as you’ll come to actually having a physically stressful situation. Technically every one of us has the ability to say, actually, I am safe in here. I’m not going to get hurt. I’m not going to get killed. If someone loses money, the worst comes to worse comes to worse. I might lose my job. There’s not a physical, you know, there is a physical down the road potential issue if you, you know, don’t have your funding mechanism, et Cetera, but realign your responses to that. So put things in perspective is, is a a better way of saying it. And if it’s become too difficult to put things into perspective, then give yourself some, some air, give yourself some air. Absolutely. So

Sean Tierney: 00:54:11 Quick question actually. I mean, absolutely. Is there any potential negative ramifications of disarming our stress response? Could we be in a situation where we need it and now suddenly it’s not activating on its own? Or is that just, am I imagining things?

Rob Price: 00:54:25 Yeah, no, you’re, you’re imagining like you’re not imagining things, but the stress response is there. It’s going to be there as it’s designed to be. So if that bang happens, if that gas man goes off or whatever, you’re not thinking about it, right, you’ll, your body is going to protect you so you’re not going to become kind of this useless kind of lump of Jelly. There are interesting conversations to be had about it. In fact, I’m my, my sister in law is an artist and a lot of the work that she does is really quite edgy and challenging and questioning. And there’s an autistic [inaudible] associated with it. And at one point we had, we sat down and had a discussion and she was interested in, in learning how to meditate and relax and whatever. And she said, well, you know, what did it affect you think it will have on my work?

Rob Price: 00:55:23 And I said, I think it’ll change it. It’s a, it’s an interesting thing when something sort of changes the, the way that your, your mind kind of operates. So from a creative point of view I think it’ll, it opens up different, different channels. There’s also a reason that in the military for example, they have bootcamp. And they pound you into a scenario where you’re not sitting there in that rest repair, regeneration kind of fluffy, more like, I wouldn’t say fluffy more empathetic state. It’s because they want you to be functional. Functional. Exactly. And I, I would stop veterans have huge need for this because they bring so much programming and exposure to stress out from the services. But I can’t imagine front line soldiers going into a meditative state before you know, jumping into battle.

Rob Price: 00:56:40 Yeah. At that point you want that fight, flight short term absolute focus. Another thing would be like ex explosive athletes. There’s a degree of adrenaline and stress whole mind that you need to be up there. But by the same token, you also need to know how to bring that back down. Because if you live in that world of continued like of that pool of Cortisol, another interesting thing that closes off doesn’t wanna jump too deeply into this, but when that message goes out, create energy from all possible sources, your muscles are a source of energy that can be broken down through Gluconeogenesis into glucose. And that’s why you’ll often see white lifters or you know, why weight lifters know that they can’t over train, that over-training is counterproductive actually start to lose muscle. That’s because over training causes stress, physical stress and stress Causes Cortisol called Cortisol. Cortisol causes muscle breakdown, which is counterproductive to what you’re doing it in the first place. Exactly. So that, that’s another kind of aspect to it and answering your question so that

Sean Tierney: 00:57:56 The thing that you built, like there exists headspace and and some of the other ones that you mentioned and the one that I use the Sam Harris one. What specifically, what is different about the thing that you built and who is it for? So

Rob Price: 00:58:09 The thing that I’ve built really tapped into my, not just my view but my understanding of the view that came from the side, the, the, the great minds that I had the privilege of, of reading and working with sometimes. And that was essentially the notion that we’re dealing with something that’s very simple that requires a, almost a repetitive focus on something and that is easily replicated. So I wanted to create something that was based on two elements. Number One, education. So the programs that we have all heavy on education and if any of you are for all of those, you’re listening to this right now, you’ve just got an unfair advantage. Like there is a huge amount of education that’s just come down the pipes at you enough to do the job cause that is going to cause that, that’s going to allow you to persist in all of this.

Rob Price: 00:59:06 So heavy on education. But then once you have the education, it’s about the simplicity of execution. So the app that we created to support the program has a very simple protocol, which is based on a combination of sound and breath. The sound is almost something to encapsulate you. So it’s designed to be used with headphones so you can do it at your desk without having to remove yourself. Very much designed to be very practical to be used anywhere, anytime, and the breath is the focal point. Now having your breath as a focal point has got a double benefit. The first benefit is it’s a very visceral focal point. It’s something that is all view and it can really take your attention. The second reason is one of the things that happens to you when you’re stressed is you breathe too much.

Rob Price: 01:00:03 Like your breathing rate goes up significantly because your body thinks you’re going to have a physical response and that you’re going to need more oxygen and you need to get rid of carbon dioxide and so on and so forth. So you end up breathing too much. Now, again, I don’t want to delve too deeply into this, but over breathing is actually a big deal. Like when somebody sits there hype, when somebody starts to hyperventilate, you can see very quickly they kind of lose it, right? This is because the gas balance in their system is changing. Fundamentally, oxygen levels are high as they often are, but carbon dioxide levels, what we think is a waste gas is falling to nothing because you’re breathing in air, which has got almost no carbon dioxide in it, and you’re breathing out air, which has got lots of carbon dioxide in it.

Rob Price: 01:00:51 Now we need carbon dioxide in our system to maintain our body’s Ph. So when our bodies get a little bit too acidic, our bodies produce bicarbonate, and when they get a bit too alkaline, they produce carbonic acid. You’ll notice the carbon in both of those. That predominantly comes from carbon dioxide and we can’t get it from the air. So when we over breathe, we’re juice our reservoir of carbon dioxide, which reduces our ability to be able to balance our body’s Ph. And our body is very sensitive to any shift out of that Ph. The foods we eat don’t barely scratch the surface of the buffering that goes on. 90% of the buffering of your Ph is done by your own, but by your body’s buffering system. So this is why when we go into this state of hyperventilation, we’ve got the big drop of levels of carbon dioxide.

Rob Price: 01:01:48 Our bodies freak out. Few people actually realize that your breathing function, your breathing desire is not focused, is not triggered by your levels of oxygen, is triggered by your levels of pelvic dioxide. Because there’s 21% of oxygen in the air. You can always get it unless you’re out of water. I carbon dioxide is just your own. So to cut a long story short, when people are hyperventilating, we give them a paper bag to breathe into it, right? Because you’re really, you’re really breathing carbon dioxide. Your chest stipends up again, your body stops freaking out. It’s not always that extreme. So if we’re sitting at our desks, we’re breathing heaps. We’ve got no requirement for that extra. There’s no extra metabolic activity. Carbon dioxide levels are dropping messes without homeostasis. So this is another way of focusing your breathing is bringing your breathing back down to that functional level at the same time as it being the focus. And it’s a single exercise that we guide people through for 14 days with a whole bunch of insights. And at the end of the 14 days, you have the skill, you have learned this single skill. You can use this single skill to help you sleep. You can use it before a meeting, you can, you don’t need a different one for all of these things. So we created it to deliver the science in as simple and enjoyable way rather than putting it too much fluff around it.

Sean Tierney: 01:03:21 And this is not a unlike headspace, which is like something like $15 a month ongoing subscription. Yours is just a one time purchase and now you have it, right?

Rob Price: 01:03:30 That’s right. It’s the, there are a few different ways of it. You could Google power, power of calm. There’s a, there’s a continuing education element, which goes through a program and we’ll give you a certificate so it can go towards a continuing education. And then there’s an app you can get that on android or on margins. And essentially that’s, it’ll, it’s got a basic series which has got three videos, which will have a lot of revision and some extra stuff for those of listened to today. And that if you like what what you see, you’ve got the ability for a one off payment to get either access to the exercises or to a 14 day program which is just going to teach you the skill.

Sean Tierney: 01:04:20 So the app itself is free. People could download that and get more of the education around what we’ve been talking about through the app at that part. And then if they want to unlock the rest, they can.

Rob Price: 01:04:29 That’s right. And we were talking, we were talking less than 20 bucks book on a, on a one off payment. It’s this business was really built on the basis of a, a project tries to do good. Exactly, exactly. I, I, I spent enough years in the on the other side of the ledger, so not that I wasn’t trying to do good, but it just gets a little bit worse, a little bit more of a worse Rep.

Sean Tierney: 01:04:58 Cool. all right, well, rob, at this point we’re bumping up right against the one hour mark. So I’m going to transition into just the last part of this interview, which is called the breakdown. Are you ready for the breakdown? Break down, baby. All right. What is one book that has profoundly affected you

Rob Price: 01:05:15 Thinking fast and slow by Daniel. Cool. Why? It literally changed the way I trusted my brain. So it essentially showed me the blind spots that I had where I thought I was making the right decisions, but I wasn’t. Some of it linked into the notions of stress, but some of it linked into things that nobody can even put their finger on as to, as to why it’s there. We barely understand the brain. So I second guess myself in the best possible way a lot. And I think if everybody learned the blind spots that we had as individuals, we’d be a lot more open minded to the, the different path pathways out there.

Sean Tierney: 01:05:59 Cool. What about, what is one tool or hack that you use regularly to save time, money, headaches, et Cetera?

Rob Price: 01:06:06 You want a funny one? Yeah. Okay. So I always have frozen vegetables in my freezer. I have like two big bags of mixed frozen vegetables. And for me, when I’m, when I’m traveling, when I’m away, you just never really know. What sort of food you’re going to be bringing home or you’re going to be getting. So if I, I mean if I’m not cooking and, which is not a lot cause I’m always moving a lot I always know that I can get Uber eats or whatever. I’ll have half of what the Burrito meal actually is, puff that out with another half of the vegetables and I’m, I know that I’ve actually got myself a relatively healthy meal at the same time as saving some money.

Sean Tierney: 01:06:49 So you’re just expanding kind of like embellishing a meal and getting like two ubereats out of one basically

Rob Price: 01:06:56 Times three. Yeah. And also it’s, it’s the balancers. So you sit there and you go, oh, you know, I kind of feel like it curry tonight, you sit there and you have a massive serving of a curry. It’s probably not the greatest meal on earth, but you’re cutting, you’re cutting the naughtiness by half and you’re increasing the goodness by 50% by chucking the vegetables in.

Sean Tierney: 01:07:18 Love it. Love it. Yeah. Money saving and probably time saving cause then you don’t have to go out the next day if you want to just eat the same thing. So that’s perfect. Yeah. Nice. What about, what is one piece of music or musical artists that speaks to you lately?

Rob Price: 01:07:33 I would always say that, well, I’ve got a very broad range of music, but nick cave is an artist that always speaks very loudly to me because he speaks from a place that you don’t often hear. So again, it’s a, it’s a very real place. It’s a very raw and visceral place and he, more than anybody I know brings together beauty and darkness, which again gets you questioning. The difference between the two, the passion for both sides is actually the beautiful thing in a way. So I get, I find out, listen to nick cave and it’s it really expands my mind. Yup.

Sean Tierney: 01:08:19 And we listened to nick cave in a cave the other night. We did. Yes. Yes. The irony was not lost on me. What is one important truth that very few people agree with you on?

Rob Price: 01:08:32 It matters what people think of you. Okay, thanks. Would you like me to elaborate and that a little bit? Without getting too existential, we live in a big cold universe in my opinion. I love the vision or the [inaudible] did you see, I’m sure you’ve seen the photo up taken by voyager as it was leaving the, the galaxy of earth as this tiny little blue dot and whatever you or I or anyone listens is doing on this call that not going to look any different in a universal sense. It look the same when the bomb was going off in Hiroshima. We looked the same during the second world war, during the tsunami and in Indonesia. It looked the same when the dinosaurs were here. In a universal sense, we are not going to change anything, but one thing we can’t have a profound affect on is other people’s perception of the universe, which in a way is changing the universe. That’s the only thing that we can truly do. So for me, it matters to me what people think of me because it’s a window as to the effect that I’m having on them, be it a positive or indifferent or negative one.

Rob Price: 01:09:51 Cool.

Sean Tierney: 01:09:52 All right. What about, this is the last question, one piece of advice. If you had a time machine to go back to your 20 year old self and give yourself any bit of advice, what would you say?

Rob Price: 01:10:00 You don’t really know anything you think you know a lot, but you don’t really know anything. And I can say that with confidence because that’s kind of what I feel like now. But I know a lot more. So life to me is, is a matter of learning and a matter of understanding. But also embracing this concept that we’re a carbon based life form that shares 95% of our DNA with we’re 99% of our DNA probably with a mouse. And we make a lot of mistakes and have a lot of blind spots thinking that the way we think about things can conceptualize everything. So when I’m, when I was 20, I think I was at the peak of thinking that I knew everything. And now I know that pretty much anytime you encounter somebody who thinks they have the answer or the solution you’re not really going to get too much out of them other than dogma.

Rob Price: 01:11:04 Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 01:11:06 Before we break, I just remembered something. We didn’t get a chance to talk about remote year. You and I both did that program. I think we would both agree that it was just one of the best years of our lives. Can you tell the story of how you found about found out about remote year? Cause I think that’s just the, one of the funniest stories. I as a lot of you listening

Rob Price: 01:11:26 To this podcast, we probably have experienced, I’m building a small businesses is a difficult thing. It can be a super isolating and quite lonely and you’re really passionate about it. But very few other people share that passion. And I was feeling just kind of like that. I was working a lot from the Home Office previously to starting the business. I had done a lot of travel and I was not traveling, working, I was just traveling. Then I came back, started the business and was kind of feeling sort of a little isolated and lonely and a little what’s the word I’m looking for? Resentful of the business because it was stopping me from being able to travel. And so I decided to take a break and meet a friend of mine in Patagonia to do some hiking cause I’d always clears the, clears the brain.

Rob Price: 01:12:20 And we’re doing the tourist opine trek. And my friend had a, we’d met this lovely lady a little earlier in the week and he was walking about two yards behind me talking to her and she was describing this crazy new concept that a friend of hers was just starting to do called remote Chia. And she’s like, Hey, you know, to meet a bunch of likeminded individuals. Some are entrepreneurs, everyone is interested in, you know, chatting about everyone’s story, sharing the journey meet together in a single city, travel around the world together, this great new this, this great new community. And I just froze literally in my step on. I turned around and I grabbed the lapel of her backpack and I stared a straight in the face and she’s still laughs about this right now. I just said, what the hell did you just say? And she was just like, had these big eyes is, I don’t know, there must’ve been this aggression that came out. To me it was, I could just sold everything. I get to travel, I get the community, I get the collaboration. All of these things is an option, which sometimes we use well and sometimes we could do a better job using. And so I got back home a week later and applied and was off about three and a half weeks after that. Yeah.

Sean Tierney: 01:13:43 And I think you and I were like the last two people that got into that group, so I just kind of worked out. Yeah,

Rob Price: 01:13:47 I think so. And damn, what a year. That was. What a year. And the gift just keeps on giving.

Sean Tierney: 01:13:52 Right. And here we are. It’s like three years later. Crazy. Yeah. All right man. We’ll wrap up there you man. Thank you so much. Where do we send people for the power of calm if they want to get the app and get access to all that educational stuff?

Rob Price: 01:14:03 Yeah, my pleasure. So the app is available on both iTunes and Google play. Just search for power of calm and a, if you want to go to the website and see a couple of the other courses, power of Cool. Awesome. Rob, thank you so much for being on the show anytime. Sean [inaudible].


Sean is host of Nomad Podcast, author of the Nomad Prep eCourse to help others successfully transition to the nomadic lifestyle. Sean is also founder of Problemattic, a global movement to mobilize knowledge workers for good. Read more from Sean on his personal blog or his business blog.

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Nomad Podcast is a series of conversations with nomads, founders and domain experts to help get more people unstuck through transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle. Add your email to get special access to private AMA sessions, pre-release products and other VIP shiz.