A 10-Year Retrospective: Dave Ursillo Critiques the Personal Development Journey
The tables are turned on host Dave Ursillo in this republished interview, hosted by longtime friend, fellow blogger, and creative entrepreneur, Greg Berg, in a special 10-year retrospective since their first interview together in 2011.
The two creatives, who met at a personal development conference for bloggers, came together on Greg’s podcast in the final episode of his 10-year podcasting journey.
In this interview, Dave is asked to relitigate his personal and professional journeys, reflect on the social and cultural forces that inspired his creative and career endeavors, and question personal development as a construct.
You’ll hear about…
- The counter-cultural moment of the early 2010s in light of the Great Recession
- How certain values around work-as-purpose are being corrected today
- The privilege embedded in “doing what you love for a living,” and more!
A big thank you to Greg for allowing us to republish this episode from Life on Purpose!
Email us at Hello@TheNewStory.is to share your feedback, concerns, and questions, or just to say hello. We’ll be back with new interviews soon.
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We provide full episode transcripts for increased accessibility, especially for those who may be hard of hearing or for whom English is a second language. Please note that transcripts are not fully edited and may contain errors. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Dave Ursillo 00:00
One of the central tensions that have been navigating as a content creator over recent years is how much and to what extent I center myself in what I create and share.
Dave Ursillo 00:14
Part of that is a matter of comfort level. Over recent years, I’ve developed stronger and I would say healthier boundaries around how much of my story my personal experiences, my beliefs, I share in a public space and the internet is effectively a public space. But part of the tension I felt is also a genuine desire, a want to facilitate centering others stories and lived experiences and identities and expertise in what I impart helped to create and share on this platform. And through my company, The New Story Company.
Dave Ursillo 00:52
I don’t want it to be all about me. And this tension that I’m describing to you is what I think you heard coming through in our last episode, if you haven’t listened to it, you might want to go back and listen. It’s called Why do we need new stories anyway. And it was an unscripted solo pod, it was just me kind of monologuing into the microphone like I’m doing now. In which I opened up and talked a bit more about myself than I have in the last year over these podcast airwaves. And I wanted to challenge myself to record and share an episode like that, that deliberately centered me and my story in an episode for you so that you could learn more about me and why we’re here and who I am not to make it all about me.
Dave Ursillo 01:33
But because story, you know, to be doing a podcast about story and storytelling and the importance of it. But to not tell my own felt a little bit like a contradiction, or even hypocritical. And I wanted to offer myself and my story my experiences in a free flowing way to help us potentially find resonance to share some empathy and compassion with one another, and to connect more deeply. And I also thought it was just high time for me to practice what I preach and share my own story with you and to hold myself accountable to you listening. And I’ve been I’ve been so grateful for you listening throughout the year and I do hope that episode has helped to bring us a little bit closer together. Today is a bit of an extension of that original intention in the previous episode. I’m calling this a table’s turned episode. I’m with permission republishing an interview that I gave and around this time last year in 2021, with an old friend of mine, Greg Berg, who interviewed me on his podcast which is called the Life on Purpose podcast, in which we as old blogger and content creator friends who have known each other in shared space in the blogosphere for over a decade, each reflect on our creative and professional journeys.
Dave Ursillo 02:49
We re litigate some of the pros and cons of solopreneur ship or creative entrepreneurship as an individual or solo that’s the solo part of solopreneur. Ship. And we chart how dramatically the social and cultural atmospheres in the personal development world have shifted across the decade.
Dave Ursillo 03:09
From The New Story Company this is The New Story Is a podcast that explores the stories, perceptions and ideas that have come to shape the world today as we know it. Along the way we speak to talented guests who are championing the new stories that may shape our collective future for the good. I’m Dave Ursillo.
Dave Ursillo 03:29
So today again, not a talented guests like the many that we’ve had on across the year, this will be me interviewed by my friend Greg Berg, who is quite talented. He’s a former radio DJ out in Southern California. He’s hosted many incredible episodes with many incredible guests over the years multiple podcasts. And this instance of turning the tables on myself as Interviewer I hope it does open up broader, maybe slightly more complex, more engaging ideas and points of conversation for us to have moving forward in the future and hope it continues to deepen our relationship you and I as listener to the show your feedback, whether it’s good feedback or criticism is always welcome. You can email me hello at the new story is.ai s and we will be back soon with more interviews for you. So until then, please enjoy this conversation. Allow me to hand off the podcasting mic to Greg Berg. And as we turn the tables on my usual role as interviewer here in the podcast, Greg take the wheel.
Greg Berg 04:37
Joining me via Skype from Rhode Island. It’s Dave Ursillo Day Welcome back to Life on Purpose, as I referenced in the show intro. This is a very unique conversation, a different conversation than I’ve ever had before here on the show for a variety of reasons, for most of which is I have a power outage happening where I’m recording today and so I had planned to contact day even say let’s find another day. Let’s see, you know, this is not working today. I don’t know if I’m gonna have internet I may have to just use my cell phone to pull in cell signal there’s no power I’m gonna going to be sitting in the dark other than the, the light coming in. You can’t see that but but I’m sitting in a half dark room. And I didn’t have time to do my normal show prep for this episode.
Greg Berg 05:22
And the Greg if 10 years ago, was interviewing Dave Ursillo on Radio Enso number one, the very first podcast episode that aired on July 11. Back in 2011, which is mind boggling to me that Greg would have said, Nope, can’t make this work. I just, it’s too stressful. There’s too many X factors. The Greg if 2021 says, You know what, let’s give this a shot. We’re gonna go with flow. We’re just going to, you know, we’ve set with the waves that came in today, the power outage and all the X factors involved in that. But we have tools and technology for both the ability to connect and tools and technology for ourselves to ground and focus and be in the moment. And to be in my breath to be centered and to have a conversation, a deep conversation that I couldn’t have done. I don’t think 10 years ago, at least wouldn’t have gone well. And then that’s really the gist of why I wanted to have this conversation. We are inviting, as I mentioned in the show intro, Dave Ursillo. Back for a 10 year retrospective. Hi, Dave.
Dave Ursillo 06:33
Hi, Greg, thank you so much. Yeah, I think that there’s something particularly vulnerability inducing. When we lose electricity, when we lose power, like in the grand scheme of things, it’s a very small occurrence. And something we’re actually quite privileged to be like, Oh, my gosh, I don’t know what to do with myself. But every time I lose power, if it’s for a number of minutes, or for number of hours, or on occasion, over the years, a number of days, it is the one of the single most disruptive like, but ordinary things to happen. And I think it actually does set a really nice table for us to have a conversation about change and adjustment and evolution. And looking back, sometimes I think as much as I’m certainly a creature of habit and comfort at the end of the day. But there is something that facilitates a really meaningful conversation, or maybe just really honest and earnest vulnerable reflections when we’re a little bit off kilter. So yeah, we’ll ride those waves, like you said, and see what comes of it.
Greg Berg 07:28
Yeah. And what’s interesting, David’s you said that what came to mind to me was that I’m literally in a power outage. But sometimes we metaphorically lose power, we lose our own power, we lose connection to Source and connection to other people. And it happens every day. And you mentioned being a creature of patterns of habits. And, you know, if I look back at the past 10 years, I think there’s nothing greater that I’ve learned and no skill that I’ve been working on honing is pattern recognition, and developing the self awareness, first of all, to be able to recognize those things. And then the ability to pause and have what my friend George Mumford would call self regulation. So that okay, I’m not going to just instantly react, the the sort of the instantaneous freak out pain body, oh, my God, this can’t work, like, Okay, those are the feelings I’m having in the moment. We’re gonna let those flow we’re gonna let those kind of move across the sky of our consciousness and then we can respond. And then we can take a moment say, Okay, well, maybe we could pull this off. Let’s, let’s see. Okay, well, what do you think, Dave? Can we do this?
Dave Ursillo 08:40
Yeah, I think we absolutely can. I think what I find really fascinating, Greg, and we can of course divert back towards a more big picture view on the conversation what we’ve we were planning on having about this this 10 year retrospective and the personal growth and different things and I was I was going back to your old Radio, Enso website and things and that will brought up a whole lot of memories, some some good, some not good, many. more me than 10 for you. Oh, me, too. Yeah, I think that tends to happen. We leave a breadcrumb trail of our whole lives and beliefs and things and personhood on the internet. But one thing that I’ve been learning more and more lately has been, how our brains as well as our minds are reactive in such a way that we talk about in personal development circles a lot around how the brain or these you mentioned, the pain body gets reactive to certain situations and feelings and experiences.
Dave Ursillo 09:39
I’ve been really intensely personally studying how that response is essentially designed to protect us and how that physical response is not something easily turned off with the mind with thoughts or with mollifying feeling and You know, we’ve both been on journeys of exploring mind body connection and things. And I’m more and more interested to continue to learn how our physical body holds on to memory, how our physical body dictates certain responses, and how to move out of those physical responses with more than just thoughts or words, which is a little bit tough for me to say just because I’m such a word, person, award and story person, as I have been over the years. But we’ll probably come back around to that and some different reflections on I would say, privilege, among other things. And I’ll make a note of that here. But we’re, I think breaking some interesting ground for our 10 year retrospective for sure.
Greg Berg 10:37
Yeah, well, Einstein’s quote is that we we’ve all heard, and it’s a quote that I always come back to it, it comes to mind when you said that there was the the idea that we can’t solve any problem from the consciousness that created it. And so if this challenge problem, what it will want to call this, we’re processing and in our head, we think that our brain or our head, is going to have the answers as you said, we have to really move to other areas, we have to move to our body, we have to move to other senses, we have to move to other tools to be able to effectively solve those we have to get out of our head. And not that I don’t think the brain is an amazing tool. And one of the most amazing things in the universe, we have this tremendous ability to process and formulate and use that tool when we need it. But it’s not the be all end all. So we’ll definitely try. We’ll come back to that.
Greg Berg 11:26
So Dave, let’s go back in the Wayback Machine. All right, 2011. I remember learning about Dave Ursillo. I think if I if memory serves me correctly, you popped up on some sort of Danielle Laporte phone call or webinar in 2011. And maybe were referenced in some sort of blog post or something by Chris Guillebeau, or Jonathan fields, or one of the people I was following back in the day, because we both attended the very first World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon, WDs, which is how we met. But before that, you had already come into my consciousness, I learned about your heard your name, I remember.
Greg Berg 12:11
And I looked back at my show notes, I think I was using a different platform for show notes in the first year. So I couldn’t find my notes from year one in their entirety. But I found a few notes from our second conversation and just let everybody know, I think this is David, his fifth conversation, including a video chat at some point over the year, which is great. And so Dave Ursillo of 2011. Take me back to that guy. And we’ll talk about your journey for we have similar stories from wanting to go into politics and being a body man and leaving that world behind as I did as well. Kind of our tracks even though we are years apart in age. But yeah, take me back to Dave Ursillo 2011. Where were you? What were you doing? What were you thinking? Who was Dave of 2011?
Dave Ursillo 13:04
Yeah, very, very therapy. Question.
Greg Berg 13:08
Right? Yes, we’re on a Yeah, I feel like we’re on a couch. I should be taking notes
Dave Ursillo 13:12
to be very therapeutic. Our therapy. Response. Yeah. Right and cathartic as well. But yeah, it’s interesting, because like I was saying, a moment ago, I went back onto your website onto the Radio Enso website, and I was like, You know what I might for my prep for this interview, I might go back and actually listen to listen to the interview. And I think the file wasn’t working.
Greg Berg 13:32
Yeah, I did the same thing I tried to listen to well, and I couldn’t pull it up. So
Dave Ursillo 13:36
probably for the best. And you know what, I probably do have it somewhere in some hard drive. But the point is, it was enough to see, you know, the photo I use at the time, the bio that I’d written for myself and all these things. And I’d say in a word cringy is probably the first word that comes to mind right? Looking back on yourself 10 years ago, looking back on how you describe yourself, I would say it was both very similar to how I would describe myself now and and very different all at once, the me of 10 years ago. So when we had that conversation, our first conversation, I was living in South Boston, Massachusetts, I was living with two buddies of mine from college. I was effectively self employed for the last for the previous two years after leaving my job in politics and in the tech career path and public service and politics behind.
Dave Ursillo 14:29
But I was mightily struggling with with making any money, which is important, because it’s something that I often want to disclose and remind people when talking about self employment or creative entrepreneurship, which is often times romanticized and put on a pedestal and only looked at through rose colored glasses, which in many ways it’s a it is an extremely extraordinary privilege to be able to try to align purpose and self discovery with generating income living well enough and trying to live Leave a legacy or something. On top of it all, it is like the Venn diagram of extraordinary privilege to be able to do all of those things all at once. But you need to also survive in the process of doing that. I was afforded many privileges when starting that journey when I was, you know, 2324 25 years old, and not having debt, and having family support, and just doing enough to be able to get by.
Dave Ursillo 15:25
But what I really what really jumps out to me, Greg, like, more than the business and self employment side, even more than the creative and writing and service side, as I look back on who I was 10 years ago, and think back or, like almost time travel back into inhabiting who I felt I was with someone who is really desperate, and longing to understand themselves. And I would say that beyond all else that has driven me and my journey in my life, more than anything else, just really, really wanting and needing to know who I was, and why that mattered. Why was it so important for me to know, to discover the truth of who I was? To put it in more eloquent terms up? Do we tend to say, what was I here for what mattered to me?
Dave Ursillo 16:17
And why was I, in a way subjecting myself to a path less taken that felt very difficult and extraordinarily isolating, despite some really nice moments, like you mentioned, of folks who, you know, many of whom are still around, and those three he mentioned Danielle Laporte, Chris Guillebeau, and Jonathan Fields, all you know, as so far as I know, doing well and successful and big platforms and things, and little moments like that of being highlighted or picked or chosen to meet new people like you other people and creatives in the world, beyond what I was trying to do creatively beyond what I was trying to do, thought leadership wise, was really who am I? And why is it so much more important for me to know myself than it is to disregard that or feel like alternatives or disregarding the path of knowing who I was?
Greg Berg 17:09
Yeah, I love all of that, Dave. And that resonates very strongly with me, because I was in the same place, even though we are 20 plus years apart in age, I was on the exact same path. And when I look back at the people that gathered as those early World Domination summits, I think that that’s a commonality amongst many of the people that I met and connected with. And in those days, were the guest on Radio, Enso, my first podcast, and the attraction for me why I wanted to hear more about their stories, because I was also very desperate and longing to understand myself, as you said, and then why that mattered? Who am I asking me these questions. And it was incredibly, almost intoxicating for me to find like minded people who were on that journey, who weren’t trying to fit into some box. So I have a, I’ve done lots and lots and lots of core inner work, identifications of old stories and old wounds and things like that. And I have a core wound that I might have named mine. And one of mine is called Don’t put me in a box. Don’t think I’ve ever talked about this on a show before. But yeah, and it’s funny because you get these things, these old wounds are stories from your parents, from your teachers, from your best friends, the people, you grew up with the relatives, and I had a very strong influence in my life, who always wore the rebel patch very proudly on their sleeve. And I took on that role as well, this idea of don’t put me in a box, I don’t want to have to conform, whether it was employment wise, Philosophy and Religion wise in every area. And so to start to find around that time period of the early whatever you call the second decade of the 21st century, we had the ox first and the teens I guess second and you know, 1010 years into the 21st century to start to discover people like those three that you mentioned that Jonathan and Chris and Danielle and and Leo Bob Lata first I’ve traced it all the way back to Leo Babauta in like 2008. And then I discovered Chris through him and then Jonathan through him and Danielle and all these people, you know, we can and they were all asking those questions too. And they were attracting people who were asking those questions. And so the ability to first gather with those people like you in community online and then to be able to do that in person was just remarkable and something I’ll be forever grateful for.
Greg Berg 19:53
But that also came with challenges that I had no idea were coming in 2011 that you Just you know, the idea of wanting to ask those questions and figure those things out is one thing. But trying to live those and make those questions work in that life work, without putting yourself in the box, quote, unquote, has ramifications from an employment a relationship, family standpoint, oftentimes profound ramifications that I wasn’t aware of at the time.
Dave Ursillo 20:26
Yeah, it’s even when you’re trying to avoid fitting into a box of someone else’s making you find that there are other boxes rather, yes, very true. There are always boxes. And sometimes the boxes have function. And I think, you know, as you were talking, Greg, I kind of like, had this image in my head of like the 60s. And I don’t necessarily think that what we you and I were experiencing, at the time of like, the early 2010s, was anything akin to like, the love revolution of the 60s. But there was a similar counterculture vibe that was present for us.
Dave Ursillo 21:07
And like for people who are basically starting personal development based, so called spiritual personal growth, purpose, meaning sort of journeys, and narrating them and sharing them and looking to connect through them in that timeframe. And I think is very specifically had to do with a backlash against the housing crisis, the Great Recession, probably the Bush presidency, at the dawn of the Obama presidency at the dawn of social media, there was this feeling of things, there was like backlash, there was Occupy Wall Street, there was a really rapid period of opportunity that felts available through social media plus the internet. And I think it was a pretty interesting time. But I think it was a distinct time. I know it was for me. And I know when I think back to 10 years ago, that it felt so young, it felt so full of opportunity.
Dave Ursillo 22:07
But I wonder also being more objective than just subjective, if it was just me, who felt that way at the time about the prospects about the opportunity about who I was about all of the possibilities that could have weighed in this feeling of endless numbers of paths to take, almost without repercussion, because of where I was at my particular period in life. 23, 24, 25 no family, no house, again, no debt, college educated, hitting all of the privilege boxes, which made me profoundly capable of ignorance and entitlement. Like like being white, like being born in gender identifying as a man being cisgendered, being straight, being Christian raised and assumed to be Christian, by people and having like, all these privileges, that kind of enabled me the ability to like, really mess up, be slow, be a slow learner, be really slow on the learning curve, and all these different things. So but I say all that to say, where we connected did feel very unique. And I longed for that period. For me personally, you know, that kind of remorseful way of like, oh, I never knew how good it was back then. Oh, if I could have found the direction a little bit sooner, like other stuff that we still say to ourselves as we grow older. But I also am curious, in your opinion, because about that time period, if it’s if it feels like romanticizing, or if it feels novel and unique, I think it may be a little bit of both. But I’ve also struggled to see that pattern play out over again, like I don’t see communities, of people creating gatherings like the ones that we are attending. And there being this really intensive periods of like networking and relationship building that would last 10 years, they probably exist. But I will put out feelers I’ll have conversations, I’ll even sometimes like blast to my newsletter list and be like, Hey, if you’re doing something interesting, if you’re trying to do something on your own, you’re trying to do something new, you’re trying to break out, email me back and tell me what you’re doing and why it matters to you. And I don’t really get responses from people in that, again, that this is maybe just like too small of a viewpoint until much wider conversation that I’m not able to have on my own. But I feel like it was really unique. And I’m curious about your memories of that time, too.
Greg Berg 24:28
Yeah, I would agree with that. In college, I studied radio, television and film. That was my major. And if you look back at the history of broadcasting, for instance, in the West or in the United States, the analogy I would give it’s like television. At one point there were three major networks and you had a few independent stations. And all of America would watch the same shows and so people were able to have a common thing that they could talk about that they experienced whether it was seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show till the man walking on the moon to win roots aired in the 70s. Everyone watched that and, you know, into the the space shuttle exploding in the 80s. And, you know, every decade there was a, there were certain cultural touchstones and certain things that were happening that everybody could talk about. And then of course, cable TV came along. And suddenly everybody has 100 channels instead of just three networks. And so not everybody’s just watching free options. And so then the internet comes along. And so now you have all these websites, and you have a few websites at first, and now you’ve got, you know, millions and then, you know, many, many, many websites. And then social media comes along. And so there’s fragmenting happening at every level. So it’s like a tree, and it’s sort of the branches are just getting wider, and more, you know, they’re just, they’re going on like this. And so, I think that when I look back at that time, it’s similar to what you described, it felt like we were at a unique moment in time, where we have the technology now to find people around the world. But we’re gonna primarily in the West, who shared a similar desire to ask these questions.
Greg Berg 25:57
And to commune together, it felt, you mentioned the idea of the 60s, and I guess I had the same sort of sets, you know, you hear people describe the Summer of Love, you know, go into San Francisco, and they found their people, you know, they might have been from some little small town in Texas, or Maine or North Dakota, wherever they come from, but they gathered in California, they found their people, you know, maybe it didn’t last. And the philosophy and the ethos petered out for a variety of social reasons, in writing human reasons, but you often hear those people talking about kind of finding their thing. And I feel like that’s what we were experiencing, we were finding all of these people who were out there suddenly decided we’re not quite happy with the systems that are in place, we’re not quite happy with how society has told us, we have to make a living, we’re not quite happy with how society has told us that we have to, you know, move through the world have one home or I want to be a nomad, with my laptop, I can live anywhere. Now I can work from a beach, I can try to explore these philosophical or spiritual principles, all these things in a unique way that that were felt exciting and new to all of us. As you said, there was this sense of people coming together. And then over time, it’s fragmented, and fragmented, and fragmented, more. And there are still some things happening out there.
Greg Berg 27:16
You know, the people that we talked about, and so many more, are still doing great work. And they’ve done projects that involves groups of people who are coming together. But it doesn’t feel quite the same. Like you said, I don’t quite see the opportunities for people gathering, whether online or in person in the way that we had in those days at WDS. Or through, I was also part of Jonathan fields is good life project. He ran a summer camp for adults for five years that I was very fortunate to be a photographer for. And it was a community of people that I’m still extremely connected with, I guess, I found my tribe is the best way to describe it. But then I look back, especially for me, the WDS crowd and some of the other communities I was involved with, and it felt like it’s splintered, like people kind of came in, they showed up for a few years. And then they went on to the next thing for them.
Dave Ursillo 28:08
Yeah, I think that’s the thing that I assume is just life, right? Especially and I think it feels more when you only have a certain like a very limited viewpoint into the lives of people even if you connected very deeply with them. Like you, I’ve been connected with, you know, several 100 people in this world many of whom I’ve worked with and have been you know, clients of mine or I’ve sold products to and you know, tried to help in different ways. We’ve helped me in different ways, bought things from and been coaching clients to an attended conferences. And I think there’s probably something a little bit self deceptive around like when we only get this fractional look into somebody’s life or what somebody is doing. And then that representation like either stays in time on the internet or social media, right like us looking back on the old show notes and the excerpts and descriptions of our conversations from 10 years ago, it can almost feel like walking through a cemetery.
Dave Ursillo 29:09
And you’re just seeing these very, very small snapshots of who a person was like literally a name and dates of birth and death etched into stone. Not to be melodramatic, but I am melodramatic. And so I’m gonna just go with that. But that’s what it can feel like. And I think it can feel tragic. But if I’m playing devil’s advocate with my own self, I also think like there are certain people whose journeys I’ve been able to track who I now consider like friends, and I don’t always have as close a relationship to them or as close a connection to them as I maybe once did. But there’s also like an understanding that governed by trust that life goes on for them, you know, until it doesn’t, I mean, for example, this is, again, where it’s a little bit of a dark conversation. Maybe this is just reflective of the last year and a half that we’ve had on top of the last five years that we’ve had, like in Brazil We’re all the top of the last 10 years that were so true, yes, very true. But there’s people that we’ve known and if not love, like loved like friends or admired who you’ve interviewed who have passed away, it was a few people who jumped to mind and tragic circumstances. And you know, like we do in life, you kind of go through it thinking like these people will be figures who last forever. And we talk about legacy. And we talk about leaving something behind and almost kind of like encouraging ourselves to do creative work and to effort harder to live with more purpose and to speak to an audience because of that mortal consciousness that we have the consciousness, the awareness that we will not live forever.
Dave Ursillo 30:41
And then when you start to see that stuff happening, you know, you start to see people passing away, whether it’s family, friends, whether it’s a global pandemic, or these, you know, these these figures who kind of heralded as something more than human, or different than human, it hits you in different ways. I think it’s, of course, always humbling. And I think I’ve been feeling more aware of that now, not perhaps just because of the passage of time, but because I’ve noticed personally, still doing what I’m doing today. A lot of change we can talk about when we talk about, like what we’re, we’re each doing now compared to then maybe, but I’m also really tired. I’m also really tired. And I go through these periods where everything is cyclical. So I’ll go through these periods of like being super optimistic and trying new things and doing new things. And then periods that kind of like follow that where I’m like, you know, it doesn’t work out as well as I thought, or I changed direction change my mind. And this is perhaps the lesson of a creative and a creator. But I’m in the phase now. And maybe it’s just because, again, due to personal circumstances, life, world, global economics, health, I’m just kind of feeling tired. But when I think of the internet world, when I think of building a business for myself online, when I think of creating and writing books and doing these things, I’m very grateful.
Dave Ursillo 32:02
And again, I will say it until I’m blue in the face very privileged to be able to have done and still do those things. But it’s also a lot less rah, rah and a lot more. How much longer do I really want to be doing this? How much longer can I be doing this? And I’m sure that that it like anyone listening to this, I’m sure it’s not all that surprising. I think more people understand now being internet savvy, having a head and like, there’s a lot less delight, optimism,
Dave Ursillo 32:31
social media and the internet, and like adopt democratization and free speech proliferating around the world. 10 years ago, we were like, Oh, I think we’ve figured it out. I think we got it, we did it. You know, like, everything’s gonna be better. Democracy is gonna go around the world, it’s all gonna be good. And the more that stuff that people say that probably better off, we’ll be. And now it’s like, what’s in vogue, getting rid of all your social media? What’s in vogue, disconnecting from the internet? What’s in vogue, finding health benefits from not being online? Not being in your inbox not being attached to your phone? Yeah, it is like the perfect counter punch to what we thought we were punching. Right. Yeah. Two things
Greg Berg 33:13
I want to reference that you mentioned, Dave, I think, first of all, is this ties in with the tenure journey is, I think one of the reasons why you and I are speaking today is because I have continued to follow you and your journey over 10 years. Because my, I’m very clear now that I want to go deep, not wide. And so you referenced the idea that it was you know, out here and so the people that I’ve kept in contact with the people that I still follow, and I’m much more selective now the people that I really want to have these conversations with, it’s about going deep. And it’s about people that have continued to go deep and in new ways and explore and ask these questions like who am I and why things matter and explore the mind body connection, as you referenced at the beginning and the sort of work that you’re doing to your evolution from, you know, political guy, public service, to mind, you know, feelers, working with healers, creatives. changemakers, the people that you work with, you know, you are to continue to deepen, deepen, deepen, and that’s what I want.
Greg Berg 34:17
And so that’s why for me, when I, you know, I think the biggest changes in those days in the 10 year ago days, it was about why let’s have this big, giant community and this big giant list and do this big work and out this and I still believe in the ability to affect change at a wide level, that’s still a goal. I want to create tools, things that can help people transcend suffering, at some level, I want to do that. And you know, I don’t put a limit on how many people that can be it can be one, it can be a million, whatever that looks like, but I’d much rather be deeper to go into deep channels than to go wide. That’s more important than me, to me now. And so that has necessitated up paring down what you reference people are sort of, you know, checking out paring down. And then this idea that we’re tired. Everyone I know says the same thing. We’re all time. And that is a function of a global pandemic that happens once every 100 years. And I think it’s really important that we recognize that and give ourselves some grace and ease around the fact that we’ve experienced something that we’ve never experienced in our lifetime. And hopefully, we won’t have to, again, you know, it’s a once it historically has been once in 100 years, and then, you know, all the political turmoil, the media turmoil, all this, there’s a reason we’re tired. And it was the idea that we had to hustle, and we had to do all this stuff, and do and be all the things. And so in that tiredness, it’s forcing us to turn inward and decide what’s important.
Greg Berg 35:47
And so for me, in closing the circle on this podcast, from Radio, Enso to Life on Purpose, you know, I’ve looked back and being on purpose isn’t enough for me anymore. That’s part of the equation. You know, I want to be purposeful in my thoughts, my actions, my deeds, my self talk, all of that, you know, it’s it has to all be in alignment, but just being on purpose isn’t enough anymore. I want joy, fulfillment, peace, love, all the things that are the priorities to me now are more than just the mechanism to get there being on purpose is a way of being it’s part of the equation, but it’s not the be all end all. So it doesn’t really work for me anymore. Just to say, I want to live a Life on Purpose, I want to do I want to do a lot more than that.
Dave Ursillo 36:35
Because there’s so many ways to experience purpose than perhaps you and I, and folks like us gave credit to years ago, when purpose was very, perhaps narrowly defined as making the living by working for yourself doing something that’s like, directly or semi creative, autonomous, without attachment almost to like any one or anything. So the whole, like, I would call it the myth of the four hour workweek that I think, even though I never read that book, and the author of it doing Damn, well, fine. So far, as I can tell, don’t know him, I don’t want to criticize them. But obviously, you know, and like, you know, should any of us be so lucky to have written a best seller, I’m sure there’s going to be plenty to criticize period as the nature with any book or anything, you know, ever any thought and the idea, and they’re all meant to evolve and change. But there was this mythology at this time.
Dave Ursillo 37:35
And again, I think it was a backlash to the Great Recession, seeing hundreds of 1000s of people laid off seeing so many people like lose their savings, lose their retirements and like lose their home in a way that, you know, frankly, these were issues that were disproportionately affecting, especially like black Americans and people of color in our country for upwards of 400 plus years. But it was really being expressed through like the white, upper middle privileged class in a way that we hadn’t really seen since the Great Depression. And that was a really disruptive, you know, that. And there’s been I think, you know, we mentioned being tired. And as a random aside, there was this New York Times piece a number of years ago, that was distinguishing, again, how describing oneself as busy was a lot different than describing oneself as tired. And how there was a distinction in the author’s point of view that basically privileged people, when they were asked how they were doing when the response was busy, it was a privilege masquerading as a complaint. And when you ask somebody who is working multiple jobs, just to get by, when you ask somebody who was was low income and really struggling in life, they would describe themselves not as busy but tired.
Greg Berg 38:48
That’s an important distinction, Dave, and I really appreciate you pointing that out. Because it’s, that’s yeah, that’s, you know, it’s specificity of language. And sometimes I find that I can be lazy with my language. So when I say things like, Hey, we’re tired. You know, I think that’s a really crucial thing to bring up. That’s a really crucial distinction.
Dave Ursillo 39:06
For sure, for sure. Yeah. And I think there’s probably there’s a lot of layers in there, too, right? There’s,
Greg Berg 39:10
yeah, there’ll be a whole nother hour. I mean, we get an hour about to act like, but
Dave Ursillo 39:14
when you are a big dreamer, and there was a lot of dreams that were kind of compacted into the desires and like this idea of like living with purpose, as you were saying, I think it necessarily has to be exhausting, because to do it is exhaustive. And I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but it’s a really big breach. Let’s just say it’s a really big reach, like you said at the top of the call to want to work for yourself. So to be your own boss to do work that is meaningful, that you are in some way good at if not exceptional at if not an expert, that you can charge enough money for to work the ways that you want on the hours that you want with the people that you want for as long as you want and to continue to feel good about it through and Bro,
Greg Berg 40:01
I beat myself up, subconsciously and at times consciously for not achieving that four horse, quote, unquote failing. Because I’m a smart guy, I got tools, I’m listening to all these experts. I mean, part of the reason I have struggled with maintaining consistency in a podcast over 10 years, in the early days, I was like a Swiss train I was clockwork and then that tailed off was because there was a part of me that was running the imposter syndrome story that said, you’re learning from all these people? Can’t you figure out a way to make this work? Like, you know, you’re not, or you’re not learning from these people? You know, of course I was, I can write an entire book and actually sort of started it in a project that I did for my finding light website last fall, about the various lessons and you know, bits of perspective and things that I have learned from my guest and and the framework from my own life that I’ve created the various seeds in the bits of knowledge and wisdom and perspective that you and every one of them have given me over the years. But there were plenty of times where I’d beat myself up for that, for not making that work. Because the ideal as you said, this romanticized idea was out there that we’re supposed to be able to have that four hour workweek.
Greg Berg 41:17
And I had, my biggest client was a guest on the Tim Ferriss show not long ago. And I can tell you, Tim doesn’t work a four hour workweek. He’s still doing great work, but he works more than four hours. So well, they were gonna, you know, we’re sort of flying through our time here, and we have a laptop battery, that’s, that’s dying, because we have no power and you have you have planned things to do. But a two questions I really want to get to before we end. First, we’re going to talk about what we’re going to wrap with what we’re both up to these days and talk about what Dave Ursillo is doing and how he can work with people. But I think this is really important to ask first before we do run out of time, is the Dave Ursillo of 2021. The same Dave Ursillo 2011 is like at your core at your being Are you still the same guy, the same soul with just different shifting vantage point shifting ways that we move through the world, newfound wisdom and perspective? Are you a different person than you were 10 years ago?
Dave Ursillo 42:17
Well, I think I’m gonna cheat by saying the same but different. The same but different.
Greg Berg 42:22
That’s a that’s a valid answer.
Dave Ursillo 42:24
Yeah, well, I’m the same in that I started off like, we started off this conversation, as I started off my journey with a need to know who I was, it was it was not just a one, but it was a need to know who I was. The nature of taking a journey that is in as well as a journey into the world, like literally or figuratively, is that you are going to change. That is the nature of what it means to be alive. I think that that is a mark of living well, is the again, privilege, the opportunity, the gift of evolving of knowing yourself of changing, we are always changing, not just in a spiritual sense, but physically. So we’re always changing and the mentally and emotionally I think we’re always changing and moving. So to answer your question, I have succeeded in understanding myself. And know I know myself better now today than I ever have before. And I’ve never regressed in knowing myself there have been pauses, there have been there has been stillness, maybe there have been periods of feeling like I’ve lost myself where I was losing myself. I’ve gotten away from myself for different reasons, psychological, mental, emotional, pragmatic. But within the last year, I discovered that I was a highly sensitive person.
Dave Ursillo 43:40
And that that was a thing that I had never come across before. There’s a great book by Elaine Aron, she kind of coined the term called the highly sensitive person. I just finished reading it yesterday. In fact, finally, I’m going into mental health counseling, probably as soon as this fall and starting, going back to school to get my Master’s because I’m still a coach. And I love helping people figure out themselves and noticing patterns in speech and stories and word choices and behavior. And I really love coaching. I want to be educated by professionals and challenge myself and find new peers and go back to school, which is terrifying because I hated school. I was younger, but I’m going back to school to get my Master’s become a become a licensed mental health counselor. And that might start within the next few months. And I still want to author books, but more to the point like you were making not long ago, Greg less about the number or the reach and more about the quality and the infrequency, I guess of, of sharing stories and things that are worth people’s time and energy and consideration. So I believe I am both Well, I was but who I know myself to be is different than I ever realized. And I’m very grateful for having figured out. So it’s time.
Greg Berg 45:10
I love that answer, Dave, that is a great answer. And I might to tape an addendum to this because we’ve got to go here soon for myself my answer to that question as well, but it would be very similar to yours, I believe we are multi dimensional beings. And at some level, our core our soul, if you will, if you have a religious or philosophical bent that believes there’s an unchanging part of us, that’s always there is the same as I was 10 years ago. But there are new layers. There’s a but it’s a it’s a continuingly, evolving me, who wants to go deeper, who wants to not only learn these things, but to put them into practice.
Greg Berg 45:47
And I think that’s, for me, the greatest difference between me of 10 years ago is this desire to actually step into hard things, to step into challenging and difficult things, and to put them all into practice. Because before it was just about learning and theory and reading and taking courses, and I, I’m kind of done with that. For now, I’m in a phase where I want to put it all into action and see how I can practice it and how I can screw it up and how I can succeed and how I can learn, grow and evolve. So living Yes, living So Dave, I know you gotta go laptops at 5%. So in case we die here, I’m gonna wish you goodbye soon. But what are you up to right now? What is Dave DaveUrsillo.com? Is your website?
Dave Ursillo 46:33
Yeah, well, I’m still writing, Greg, and still coaching and coaching people who are writers who are on personal development journeys, or who are budding changemakers. And thought leaders, I have a variety of coaching packages and things that I offer individually and in group, how our word choices how our stories shape our perceptions, or like I like to say our narrative understandings of who we are and what matters to us. And playing creatively in the space of editing or finding, revising those words, not because it changes everything, because there are still circumstances, there are still systems, there are still forces for oppression and repression in our world. But it does give us the awareness and the conscious power to start to align and refine the direction of our individual lives, our choices in such a way that I think is quite empowering and reminds us that we can some way shape or form author of the stories of our lives, with whatever power that we have. And like we were talking about wanting to help people hoping that it’s helpful. Getting some glimpses occasionally through the internet, that it is helpful, but also not resting on his laurels, and still trying to figure out ways to connect with people and, and live well and have another conversation and another 10 Hertz.
Greg Berg 47:46
I hope that happens, David, I’m just so excited that we have stayed connected through the years, I’m a fan of you and your work. And I’m proud of you for what you’ve become and continue to stay. I mean, you’ve stepped into, you know, an ever evolving version of Dave Ursillo. And I see parallels between us in that regard. And it’s just, it’s been a joy and a pleasure to have these conversations through the years. And I just want to thank you for your time and for saying yes to me and the food truck line at WDS. In Portland 10 years ago, when I said, wow, you know, I we were in the food truck line and the taco truck line and I said, Hey, I’m starting this new podcast, would you consider being my first guest? And you said yes. And that changed my life. And I owe a great debt of gratitude for that moment that you helped propel things forward. For me, give me the confidence to continue forward on this journey. I’ll forever be grateful for
Dave Ursillo 48:45
that day. Oh, thank you so much, Greg, I can’t take credit. I’ll say thank you. But really, this has been all you it’s been an amazing Odyssey that you’ve been on creatively, personally, professionally. It’s been a real privilege to call you a friend and to consider you like a brother. So thank you for everything. Thank you for reaching out and laying out the red carpet for me as you always do make me feel very good about myself competence. We need to have conversations.
Greg Berg 49:14
We should have scheduled annual conversations or something. Yeah,
Dave Ursillo 49:17
recording. We may be doing this for a long time. We would have no one’s listening, Greg,
Greg Berg 49:20
but that sounds good. Dave, I’ve dealt with that.
Dave Ursillo 49:24
Well, thanks so much, Greg. It’s always it’s always a pleasure. And I’m always grateful for our conversations. Thank you.