Transcript for Kasper Van Der Meulen on Human Performance, Writing, Teaching and much more


welcome to the human experience podcast

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as we approach our ascent please make

sure your frontal temporal and occipital

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relax your senses and allow us to take

you on a journey we are the intimate

strangers thank you for listening they

hired me some nineteen year old kid off

the street doesn’t even want to be a

teacher they don’t take it seriously I’m

not gonna take it seriously so I

literally started just experimenting and

then I meet this guy who I used to hang

out with who was basically a drug addict

and a criminal and now he’s the super

wealthy successful internet marketing

guy if you believe you are or you can do

or be something you you can’t do it

right it’s that simple but the one thing

that remains unshakable is whenever I

have a moment of clarity I realize what

I’m really here to do I realize where I

came from who I really am and what the

most important thing is for me and that

is to share these stories and put them

out there so that people can be helped

by

[Music]

what’s up guys you are listening to the

human experience and Wow

just another home run episode here for

you guys our guest Casper or Vander

Molen he is actually a friend of mine

that I spent some time with in LA and

learning from him I really wanted to

bring him on the show you guys are gonna

love this conversation there’s a lot of

practical usable tools we even get into

a reading exercise that Casper walks me

through which you can apply and use in

your everyday life

usually we cut out the episode for

members only we’re not doing that with

this episode because it’s that good so

enjoy this one thank you so much for

listening the human experience is in

session my guest for today’s mr. Casper

or Vander Molen Casper my good sir

welcome to hxp

Thank You mana I feel very welcome and

I’m very happy that you’ll have me did I

say your last name right because I’ve

known you for at least a year but I

don’t know how to say your last name is

it Newland you did that’s as good as any

American has ever said it I appreciate

that

Casper I’m really glad to have you here

man I loved mine lift and I love your

story why don’t you take us through that

tell us a little bit about yourself and

who you are today and then and then

we’ll go back to what made you into who

you are today

yeah oh that’s a great way to phrase the

question because the way that my life is

now it’s a lot of fun and there’s a lot

of adventure and there’s decent amounts

of success and a lot of people see it

and then they’re like that’s amazing and

I want that and most people if they

don’t look beyond that they don’t get

the see with the back story is so right

now it’s a lot of fun

I started let’s say two and a half years

ago when I had this wild idea of writing

a book in 30 days based on the

challenges I’d been through and I was in

a hunt

or the most disempowering and limiting

booty ifs that I had about myself and

about my life and about what I could do

and I realized that I’d always learned

and being taught that I couldn’t focus I

couldn’t concentrate you know I was the

kid in the back in the classroom could

focus and I could never be good at books

like I was I wouldn’t read books let

alone ever write one so those were two

really big limiting beliefs I had about

my life so I was like you know what

let’s see how hard I can crush those so

I decided to write a book about focus

basically and mindset and lifestyle

within 30 days so that I had to really

challenge everything that I knew about

it but also apply everything and I was

writing about in that moment and I did

that and the book came out about two

years ago in Dutch and ever since then

it’s been an amazing adventure in the

meantime you know we had a baby my wife

quit her job we’ve built this lifestyle

where we’re traveling around the world

we’re teaching people these principles

of lifestyle enhancement of health and

happiness through practice and right now

it’s it’s very exciting there’s amazing

things coming one of them that I’ve been

really looking forward to is this

podcast I know how big your reach is and

how well you reach people and how much

your listeners love this show so it’s an

honor to be here thanks man I really

truly appreciate that

your story is amazing and I I want to

talk about your childhood our childhood

it’s such a defining thing for us and it

really kind of characterizes who we

become you know like who what we become

so you know what was something in your

childhood that affected you deeply

I think that’s a great great question

because everybody has an origin story

that has formed them the way they are

and for some people it’s for example

losing a loved one for some people it is

coming through basically any kind of

hardship or being in negative social

surroundings or you know addiction

depression whatever it may be and those

are a deep depth in life but then if you

work through them they can become your

biggest strength that’s why I love this

topic in particular so one of the bigger

challenges I had it was kind of a

combination of everything I just

mentioned but it all started with not

being able to connect in my direct

social surroundings and I was you know

the weird quirky fat kid in the back of

the classroom I couldn’t really get

along with the subject matter in school

with the people around me I was being

bullied and then I had my own little

world inside my own head that I was

really into and certain creative modes

that I couldn’t express theirs I didn’t

feel a freedom of expression in that

time so this was between I was about

between 7 and 10 I had a hard time with

people judging me and people bullying me

but the most difficult part was the way

that I bullied myself basically based on

other people’s opinions and this whole

concept of I feel that I am this way and

I feel that I’m supposed to express

myself this way but in no way is it

being accepted or applauded my direct

surroundings and it was it was tough

times

my mother remembers me telling her when

I was a kid that I didn’t want to go on

with life and I can’t I can’t remember

being suicidal but I can remember this

feeling of how am I supposed to deal

with this life this is a very difficult

thing this thing called life and what’s

interesting is that a lot of people who

are supposed to be role models like

teachers for example they pretend to

have life figured out and they play this

game of look I know how life is and as

long as you listen to me and you know do

what I do then you’ll also maybe finally

be good enough to know how life works

and I very quickly caught on to the fact

that that’s the scan right it’s it’s one

of the biggest lies told in modern

society is that you know

people tell you follow along these lines

just do what I do I’ve got my stuff

figured out and then maybe one day

you’ll be good enough be part of the

whole thing and to really play the game

and as soon as I started to realize that

that basic authority that life is built

on it it all started to crumble so

that’s definitely one of these origins

stories actually this is really

interesting about stories by the way

what I love about the modern world is

that storytelling has become the best

commodity in the world so the fact that

hundreds of thousands of people are

tuning in to podcasts like these are

millions of people I should say is

because people are standing up and

telling their stories and I think that

stories are like the fundamental

technology of humankind to really evolve

and connect and to understand each other

it’s like the currency of you know

transaction energetic transaction but I

want to go back to something that you

said that really impacted me and

something you said about you know the

real opponent was yourself paraphrasing

your words a little bit but the

perception that you had of yourself was

determined based on this outside view of

what other people said to you but the

real hurdle was just you right

absolutely yeah and I and there have

been a few periods in my life where I

was really in deep depressions and has

struggled with addiction and feeling

burnt out and all of that and the

biggest problem is that we sometimes

don’t see how everything in our life is

our own responsibility and the way in

which we think in each moment and act in

each moments determines our results in

life right so some things aren’t your

fault there’s kids being put through

horrible things and there’s people who

just get caught by disease or by

hardship it’s not your fault but there’s

a big difference between fault and

responsibility and I feel that being

able to see the fact that everything in

your life is your own responsibility

even if it’s not your fault that gives a

lot of freedom so for me one of the

biggest things that I had to take

responsibility for was the fact that I

was judging myself based on what other

people told me so other people’s truths

only become your truth if you accept

them and if you live them

this is the big pitfall of the human

mind in a way one of the big pitfalls is

that we overestimate other people’s

valuation of who we are and we

underestimate our ability to change that

valuation and to change the way we look

at ourselves it’s a beautiful way to

paraphrase it because my own opponent

was me it was my you know destructive

thoughts my destructive behavior my

obsessive behavior around you know

substances and around anything that I

could use to get me out of present

reality so the first thing that people

do when they when they’re their own

worst critic is that they try to shape

and change and escape from reality

instead of facing how powerful and how

amazing they really are I still have

these moments of doubt and these moments

of worry and I can tell you like writing

a book and having my way of thinking out

there imprint on thousands of

bookshelves in the world where people

can just see whatever I think about life

that is really magnified the the fear of

you know people judging me which is

basically judging myself you know but

the one thing that remains unshakable is

whenever I have a moment of clarity I

realize what I’m really here to do I

realize where I came from who I really

am and what the most important thing is

for me and that is to share these

stories and put them out there so that

people can be helped by your mission

right it’s it’s really ingrained in your

DNA it’s something that you know you

live for and this was a big transition

for you so you became a teacher and

there was a point within the educational

system where you were sort of

disillusioned by the system you did a

sort of 180 and you wanted to teach and

that was your main draw you and you were

teaching middle school yeah so great

nine through eleven I think you know

different school systems but that’s

about the that age range okay so high

school ish and I said yeah so how long

did you do that

I did that for about nine years which is

really interesting it’s the only job

I’ve ever had I’ve never had even like

the smallest little side job anywhere I

literally walked into his school

reluctant to be a teacher actually I

didn’t want to be a teacher and you know

nine years later I left with this new

career path in mind or at least with

this new book in hand to try to give

what I’ve learned in nine years in the

education system as a science teacher

working with kids to give that to a

bigger audience I see some parallels

starting to form you know with what

you’re teaching and and I think it’s a

good moment to bring up mine lift you

know we so you call this mental fitness

for the modern world and I I love this

challenge that you gave yourself to

write a book in 30 days I mean who does

that

right so going back to just your life as

a teacher what happened was there a

moment that you remember where you just

you had enough you wanted to make that

turn into writing was there a single

event that did this well it was one of

those where it’s a culmination of all

these different events and there was one

moment where it really popped out

but the I’ll give it a little bit of

backstory before the moment because like

I said I was 19 years old I walked into

a school and because I had such a hard

time in school

I couldn’t go straight to study

University because I wanted to be a

scientist and in one of the study

biology at the University but I was you

know I didn’t have a very successful

school career myself in high school so I

had to do like an internship in the

field of biology and the only thing

available was basically a teaching

internship but I didn’t want to be a

teacher because in my mind those were

the bad guys I always felt like the

teachers were the ultimate bullies

because there were the ones allowing the

bullying and they weren’t the ones not

allowing me to learn in my own way so I

had a lot of resentment for it and I

walked into the school this guy who was

supposed to be like my mentor in that

period he greeted me and I basically

said to him like you know I’ll do some

copying I’ll get some coffee I’ll do

some chores but don’t let me do any

teaching that’s not for me right and

then he was like I think you might be a

teacher actually and before I could

actually say no he just opened the door

and he was standing right next to a

classroom he

shut me in he says go and teach what’s

this guy doing right and he gives me

this physics worksheet which at the time

was actually my worst subject I’ve

worked as a science teacher but my main

thing was biology physics was not my

strongest side right and I don’t know

what happened but I walked in and I

started talking and these kids started

laughing and kind of went for the flow

and and an hour later he walked back in

and the kids were smiling I was having

fun I felt amazing and like charged and

in flow and he looked at me and he was

like see I told you you were a teacher

and I was like man what happened there

and interestingly then they even offered

me a job I was 19 I didn’t even finished

my education but they needed a science

teacher they saw something in me and

they hired me and I was like you know if

they’re not gonna take this seriously

because I was like if they hired me some

19-year old kid off the street doesn’t

even want to be a teacher they don’t

take it seriously I’m not gonna take it

seriously so I literally started just

experimenting and I started trying stuff

they just walked into the classroom and

I was like let’s see how far we can take

this and how much fun I can have before

they kick me out right so I walk into a

classroom and go hey guys so what do you

want to learn today and they go why are

you asking us and I just went well

because I’m interested so what do you

want to learn and how shall we learn it

and that was the main way of teaching

that I use and it was an amazing ride

and interestingly if you don’t take

yourself seriously but you do take the

work seriously then suddenly you can

think innovatively which was I didn’t

even try to innovate but it was like

they started giving me all these

opportunities to do like innovation

projects and teach other teachers the

way that I was successfully teaching

these kids right and if there were

classes with kids that were all messed

up and all over the place they would

send me in and I would kind of like set

them straight at least that was what

they thought I was doing like I would go

in and be drill sergeant but I was

really just going in and being nice to

them and asking questions so I was kind

of on intuition doing things that work

but it didn’t really know what I was

doing and then at one point so this is

the the answer to the question at one

point there was a conference in London

it was called learning without frontiers

and they were going to bring together

like a thousand minds in education

innovation to discuss different topics

and

one of the guys there was Sir Ken

Robinson who has the best watched TED

talk ever which is called do schools

kill creativity and two things happen at

the same time so I went to London for

the conference and instead of me being

this weird guy just going off the cuff

having success in the school system but

not really knowing what I did and also I

had this frustration with the system

because why do these kids enjoy it so

much when they’re in my class but then

in the next class they have a really

hard time right so why this is system

work in a way that where they’re not

empowered so I went there with that

mindset and actually I was on my own in

London I opened up Facebook and this guy

added me who was a good friend

14 15 years ago when I was doing drugs

and hang out in the street as a kid

basically and he invites me over to his

hotel and it’s like the fanciest hotel

in the city and I’m like what’s this guy

been doing right and it turns out he’s

been massively successful his name is

marked by the way he wrote a book about

the whole story it’s a fun thing that

we’re now both authors and he was like

yeah man you can just you can just do

this you know and I was like what are

you talking about he’s like you can go

in a business you can be successful you

can make money and have the lifestyle

you want you could do that that was like

what I’d never even considered it so two

things came together my frustration for

the education system but also being at

this conference for all these great

minds were that we’re saying the things

that I’ve been thinking and feeling the

whole time and I was like maybe I’m not

crazy maybe I really get this but I’m

just one of the few people and now I’m

finally meeting my peers so that was an

interesting perspective and then I meet

this guy who I used to hang out with who

was basically a drug addict and a

criminal and now he’s the super wealthy

successful internet marketing guy and so

in that weekend those two things came

together and I was like you know what I

should stop pretending like I’m not

taking this seriously I should step my

game up and really create a very clear

vision and a mission to build something

bigger than me just messing around in

the classroom so that was a really

pivotal moment yeah that is such a

profound story love love that it’s

almost you know reminds me of Joseph

Campbell’s hero journey it’s almost as

if you were at that moment sort of

presented this

break through but then also this

challenge to you know how are you gonna

accomplish this how are you gonna create

this new life for yourself and how are

you gonna do all these different things

and one of the things that you did was

you wrote mine lifts I really want to

get into that I mean each chapter has

something different in it is there

something about mine lift that you find

yourself talking about or is there

anything that you think you know people

would want to hear about something that

you have noticed in other people if that

makes sense well that yeah that’s that’s

a really cool question that’s probably

the most original question that I’ve

gotten in 18 podcast interviews in the

last two years so that’s also welcome to

expound yeah my great job so one thing

that I find very interesting is that

people are they are in a way passionate

about changing their life and they want

to change their results and they always

want to have the most practical insight

so what can I do now and they always ask

me like what’s your best protocol and

then go well I eat some of that or maybe

I do this meditation thing or that

breathing thing okay okay so how long

and how often and what time of day and

and I want to say something like I don’t

know it’s your mind in your life you

have to figure it out but that doesn’t

work right and I’m a teacher so I want

to give them something making you eight

so I make like little protocols that

people can instantly use and and what I

found interesting is that I really tried

my best to explain this system and I

always say the system’s behind the

symptoms so the mechanisms that produce

the results and I found that people are

much more interested in learning the

quick fix techniques people who read my

book because my book is like fifty

things that you can implement right away

that are simply you don’t need to

understand how they work and just do

them but then when I speak and I start

to explain science I noticed that people

at first I kind of like hold on now

here’s all this kind of like graphs and

and yeah you know physiological systems

and scientific studies and they assume

that it too difficult for them and

that’s what I find really interesting so

they even though if they’ve already felt

the results of the practice for example

I tell people you know go take cold

showers every day or go do this

meditation technique every day

they’ve already felt the results and

still they’re kind of reluctant to get

into this scientific mindset and then my

background is in teaching basically 11

to 15 year olds that don’t want to learn

science right so my toolkit is based on

that and if I approach it in that way

and make it fun and interesting then

certainly they really open up to it and

what I’ve learned from that is that not

just kids in school have a hard time

learning because they feel disempowered

but those kids have now grown up and

they still as soon as somebody starts

speaking abstract or scientific terms

they get into that disempowered mindset

of learning something that they find

difficult right and but then when I

break it down they go that’s amazing I

do more of that because we have these

mental and physical states that we find

ourselves in and my work is really about

the question how do you influence those

and there’s two ways to look at it you

have these very practical things that

you can implement right away that I give

people a lot but if you also understand

the underlying mechanisms of how and why

they work then you can start to view

life in a completely different way and

looking back on it I see that people

have a very high interest for learning

it but they don’t know it yet most

people that I meet they go like oh

that’s very interesting does it work yes

okay you’re fine right so the few that

I’m trying to teach people is your human

being is a set of very complicated

interrelated biological physiological

chemical systems and these systems they

produce an output and these outputs are

what we call the results in our life now

these results a lot of times deal the

people as though they are happening to

them right especially if you don’t feel

like you’re in full responsibility of

your lives like oh now I’m angry I’m sad

all my health is bad or now this happens

right they feel like they’re at affect

to those things now as soon as I start

to teach people and I try to teach

people to look at these physiological

systems and ask okay so there’s a system

and there’s an output that we call a

result what is the input where did it

come from how did it shapes how does it

influence these specific systems that I

have what is my personal physiology what

is

my mental toolkit how do these things do

states that I’m in every day and I feel

that that’s the answer to your question

that I’m giving now might also become my

next book I’ve been really thinking

about this thing so I’m hope I’m making

a clear statement because this question

is so original that I don’t have any pre

friend answers wouldn’t want to take you

out of your pre framed answers man I

love that perspective and I also find it

to be very true very accurate it’s as if

when you’re at a seminar or when you’re

at a conference or when you’re at

somewhere where learning is induced and

you’re seeing these people speak or when

people are coming to see you speak

they’re in a state where they’re ready

to sort of absorb what you have to say

but then when they go home it’s a little

bit more difficult to apply it you have

to really want it right you really have

to want it for yourself and in that

moment when you’re giving a person this

technique if they believe that they

can’t do that technique or if they have

this preset belief that they will fail

at that technique that’s exactly what

will happen absolutely and this has been

measured physiologically with athletes

and your belief and what’s in your mind

before you attempt an action is what

determines the outcome so if you think

you can do something probability you

will be more likely to do that thing

then if you do absolutely and that’s

what I love about understanding I love

love love about understanding the human

physiology and psychology because here’s

the thing I basically I work in the

human potential field right and so do

you but to really understand the full

magnitude of human potential you have to

also really understand and embrace the

fundamental flaws of human psychology

one of them is beliefs belief systems

right and you see it in the placebo

effect and you see it in the example you

just gave and it’s been studied in so

many different ways that the way that

you focus your mind the way that you

focus your intentions really determines

the quality of your life

this is such an interesting thing

because it works both ways exactly like

you just said it’s such a perfect

example where if you believe you are or

you can do or be something you can’t do

it right it’s that simple but it’s just

a simple the other way around and we all

have in our lives built up this mental

and emotional database almost like a set

of bookmarks that tell us how we feel

and what we believe about the things

that we encounter in our lives right so

what’s interesting about that and this

is why I said also understanding the

fundamental flaws we pick up those

systems in relation to our direct

environment and in relation to direct

situations in our life

most of them which is why I love how you

started the podcast about asking about

childhood because most of these systems

are picked up in childhood yes so you

find a child finds itself in a situation

that is unbearable that is difficult

where the world doesn’t make any sense

then it tries to find a solution you

know for example children who are in a

bad breakup between their parents or

children who have a situation of abuse

or who have a parent that needs a large

amount of care let’s say you know a

parent gets sick a parent leaves or

something bad happens they lose their

own health or whatever and then the mind

needs to figure out how do I survive

this and what’s important to understand

is that in terms of priority our psyche

is built first to survive and it doesn’t

ask how can I live in this situation but

how do I survive this situation which

make perfect sense because let’s say

you’re you know in an actual survival

situation you’re attacked by a bear

you’re not asking yourself how can I

thrive in this in this bear attack

you’re asking how can I survive the bear

look so something horrible happens and

then it goes how do I survive this you

figure something out and for example

what a lot of people do that I work with

they sacrifice themselves they start

taking care of the parent too much or

they start know sacrificing their own

well-being for the sake of having a

harmony in in you know they’re there

comforting the mother if the father is

aggressive or whatever the martyr the

martyr complex yeah exactly right and

this is just one exam

but there’s a lot of them and then

what’s interesting is that even though

that system works in that specific

situation in that environment in that

time if it doesn’t have a reason to

change it’ll stay there right so if you

believe I need to sacrifice myself in

order to have the world work you will

keep believing that until you actively

disprove it so people walk into these

seminars with these belief systems that

are old and outdated and a lot of times

no longer serving them and that forms

behavioral patterns so guess what

happens if you feel you need to make the

world work by sacrificing yourself these

people they seek out relationships that

require their sacrifice these people

they seek out jobs that require their

sacrifice and they end up getting in

this loop and you know finding

themselves in the same place of burnout

every time or a depression or whatever

every time right so what’s really

interesting is that these belief systems

they’re wiring literally hardwiring

neural patterns in the brain and there

are so many ways to work with this but

the first step is awareness and the

first step is to understand how the

experience of life which we know one of

my favorite and ways to call life is the

human experience right is this thing

that we’re all in that we’re all kind of

like trying to figure out and go through

I think the first step in improving a

subjective experience of life as a human

is by creating the awareness to really

look honestly deep inside and go okay so

let’s really honestly take a look at

these belief systems that we have and

really really really question if they’re

still serving us because my belief

system years ago before I started this

was I can focus I can get my mind ride I

can’t write a book if I would have kept

believing that I wouldn’t be here right

now and if it would have been about me

right if it’s about yourself it’s more

difficult to change something but I made

it bigger than myself and I still do

because I I have days that I wake up and

I feel this depressed mode I have these

dark thoughts but then I go hold on

right

two three years ago I challenged these

beliefs about myself now my book has

become a best-seller thousands of people

are vetted and on a weekly basis I get

multiple emails of people saying hey

listen I was suffering in my life I had

a hard time now I used your work and I

live a better life for it

so that’s another thing that’s really

important to me is having the

perspective of this thing is bigger than

me and I can sit on the couch and be

depressed and addicted and overweight

and in migraines and like I used to be

or I can realize that I need to discard

those limiting beliefs about myself

step up show the world who I am and give

something good to others yeah yeah yeah

it’s so empowering and you’re not doing

it in the sense of oh hey let me fish

for you and you know hand you your

dinner it’s more of a you know here’s

the fishing pole here’s how you find the

water like go go do it you’re very much

handing people their own responsibility

and I think that’s so much different

then you mentioned it earlier the the

sort of snake oil that gets sold and I

don’t want to drop any names in this

podcast but they exist then it’s pretty

disgusting the way that happens but

getting back to just mind lifts and some

of the key elements of this for you when

you were writing the book through this

30 day period was there a point where

this Eureka moment where you were like

yes okay that has to go in the book and

what were you doing when you were in

those Eureka moments how are you getting

to those states let’s talk about

really accessing that that state

that’s a great question because the main

goal of the 30 days was to really figure

out whether I could bring myself into

that state so it’s very much about state

management and the whole idea of this

state that you want to achieve does it

happen to you or do you do it and my

statement is you do it so how do you do

it

first of all you need to understand what

strengths and the pitfalls of your own

brain are so for example for me I have a

really hard time keeping time and I have

a really hard time focusing on one thing

for a longer period of time right so

what I learned about myself is that I

can access these flows States and really

get into it but as soon as I have them I

try to grasp them and hold on to him and

but I can’t and then I kind of lose the

flow because your mind is like a muscle

right and if you focus on something and

your muscle can’t injure that focus the

mental muscle it has to let go at some

point so what I learned for example is

that I take my work and I kind of chop

it up into little 20 minutes sprints of

really focused and intense work and then

take a little five-minute break then I

can access that flow state much easier

but it’s also very important to do the

right things in those five minutes and

to put myself in the right space so

there’s a few things that happened I

cleaned out my attic right and I made

this space to write this desk which was

my focus temple I was like this is the

the most important thing and what I had

in mind is I’m gonna do all of the

things that I wasn’t allowed to do when

I was a kid in the classroom I’ve kind

of reversed engineered the hyperactive

hyper creative curious learner that I

was in school but couldn’t be and now go

I just let that little kid run free and

what does he need well he needs a bit of

structure so I’m not gonna sit here at

my desk and work for eight hours

wouldn’t make any sense that’s not what

I want to do so I set up the whole space

I put like a pull-up bar in the office I

had this giant whiteboard I had a desk

for sitting I had a standing desk and a

bicycle desk and I had all these

different places to work because I had

learned from working in education with

kids

my type of brain that a lot of kids that

we call a DD or ADHD they can focus just

fine if you have them switch spaces and

places and postures every 15 minutes

right so an ADHD kid is either gonna

wiggle around and be annoying after 15

minutes or you allow him to stand up and

wiggle around and then he can focus

perfectly so that’s something I’ve

learned so I’d set up this space that

was the first thing and the only

distractions that were there were

positive distractions so instead of

saying I can’t have any distractions I

figured you know life is about balance

it’s yin and yang right so if I want to

be able to focus I have to embrace the

distraction but at least I’ll give

myself distractions that are useful so

for example I would have my musical

instruments and I play six or seven

musical instruments so I’d have my piano

I have my bass guitar flute I’d have a

drum like in corners of the room so if I

would lose focus and get distracted I’d

get distracted by playing a bit of piano

well instead of checking my facebook or

instead of whatever kind of distraction

is there like doing notifications or

answer an email which only deplete your

brain if you go and sit down at a piano

for five minutes and you use your finger

you have fine motor skills your brain

connects to the musical notes it starts

to pattern eyes it starts to sync up the

different brain hemispheres you’re

actually recharging your brain by

getting distracted so all of these

little things I noticed so I would do it

a twenty minute block so I almost had

like a mental training schedule

I had intervals and rests and you know

all that stuff so I would do a 20 minute

block of hyper focused work at my

sitting desk the timer would drink I

would do

for example pull-ups for five minutes

get my blood flowing then I would do the

next block 20 minutes at my standing

desk right and I would have my music on

and kind of like dance around and move a

little bit and then when the timer would

go I would have my planned distraction

of playing piano then another focus

block at my bicycle desk and then

another little distracted break time or

I would do some juggling your again a

coordinating coordinating your

hemispheres and having your motor skill

alright because I understood the

workings of my brain and especially and

this goes for everybody but especially

for

active creative brains which we like to

call ADHD which is kind of I have my

opinions about it but anyway the motor

cortex activates and the the neocortex

right so then moving brain activates the

thinking brain so from that

understanding I realized the brain needs

fresh and interesting and a little bit

challenging input in order to keep

thinking and to keep thinking clearly

so if I would align all of those factors

I would be able to access these flow

states of creative writing work and

actually pretty accurately determine

when I would have a Eureka moment this

is one of a problem that geniuses have

right now I do coaching for example like

famous singers and artists and people

that are actually geniuses if you have

too many Eureka moments that can

actually be kind of like a burnout

moment if you don’t want to have a

thousand of them so I was able to pace

myself able to really determine how to

work on this thing and whenever I

wouldn’t use those systems I would just

be bashed by stress and anxiety like if

I would just sit down behind my desk and

just type for two hours I would get

stuck and like completely get into

stress mode and and self-doubt not of it

let’s talk about that a little bit more

so anxiety I mean we all deal with this

and I’ve been doing the show for a long

time now man and we’ve talked to a lot

of different types of people we’ve

covered stress and anxiety and like you

said earlier you know it’s it’s the

human experience and I’m a human being

and and I’m here experiencing and I have

my moments you know I go into stress and

go into worry when you see people going

into these states what is your technique

to interrupt those moments or is this

where your cold showers come in or yeah

yeah I like Tony Robbins and NLP people

I use that as an excuse to swear I have

to say profusely chokes I throw out a

lot of bad words now I just pretty good

it’s that that definitely works so

there’s two things one of them is

interrupting it in the moment which is

what you asked about and the other one

is training the specific stress response

which is what the cold shower for

example is about so those are two

different things that are both equally

important so in the moment the most

practical most

thing I can do is posture and breath so

if your mind is out of control and it’s

racing all over the place people don’t

realize that they are creating

physiological circumstances under which

this stress can thrive so stress is a

series of very clear very well-known

physiological circumstances and

responses you know there’s some

chemistry involved you’ve got your

cortisol and your adrenaline you’ve got

your amygdala as the fear center that is

gathering the input determining how to

respond to it and if there’s this mental

bookmark that it’s scary or stressful

whatever it responds with stress and

also the more burnt-out you are the more

tired you are the more likely you are to

have stress but also the more relatively

‘silly acidic your blood is the more

likely you were to have stress and

anxiety now what’s interesting is if you

are stressed and anxious or panicking

you find yourself hyperventilating so

people who are in a stressful mode their

body produces cortisol it raises the

blood sugar it raises the heart rate

with an increased heart rate

we need more oxygen you start breathe

faster so this also means that breathing

faster and it’s not just faster it’s

also through your mouth and into your

chest so fast breathing into your mouth

and to your chest

those sustained this stressful and

anxiety mode because they are a result

of it but this also works the other way

around

and this is so incredibly simple and so

incredibly profound

if you understand that you find yourself

in a state and then a state of mind and

body and then there is a state of

breathing that comes along with it we

all know that like you’re tired and

you’re young right you’re relieved you

take a sigh of relief you’re panicked

you’re hyperventilating guess what works

the other way around

just as effectively so if you

hyperventilate guaranteed your body will

produce stress and cortisol and

adrenaline this is actually one of the

things to wim HOF method is built on to

actively produce this stress in order to

cope with it better and you’ve had whim

off on the show alright so so a lot of

people know about this right now but

that’s one of the things that this is

built on so if somebody is in a

stressful state if I can get them to

come to look me in the

and I can tell them breathe like I’m

breathing right now and I just show them

a very calm nose breathing breathing

through your nose for four seconds hold

it for four seconds very calmly breathe

out you know hold it out for four

seconds those kinds of little techniques

if you don’t give the body more oxygen

and if you stop breathing out extra co2

it will stop producing stress because it

doesn’t have the energy to produce

stress so that’s one thing well let’s do

it right now let’s have everyone

listening and why don’t you guide us

through that

Kaspar and if you don’t mind and just

absolutely why don’t you show us this

breathing technique and I’ll do the

breathing and you can sort of direct me

into you know how to move out of an

anxiety state and we can show that

people absolutely so there’s I think 23

different techniques to go from anxiety

to calm I think the most effective and

most well-known is called box breathing

this is actually used a lot by the Navy

SEALs to switch between a heavy sprint

and then being able to down regulate

calm down the heart rate for them to be

able to actually aim their rifle so this

is a very practical thing now if

anybody’s listening and you’re in a car

or you’re in any place where it’s not

safe to kind of feel busy don’t do this

right so it’s important to kind of sit

down and even if you’re in an anxious

state and I do this with people I tell

them to sit down you know calm down or

even lay down if people get you know

dizzy easily or if people easily snap

into hyperventilation they want to make

sure they’re safe so just as a quick

precaution for people I listen to

podcast bribing all the time and I don’t

want anybody getting dizzy behind this

massive disclaimer don’t do this if

you’re driving and make sure that you’re

at home on your couch in your living

room and the safety of your own home

while you do this take it away exactly

so here’s box breathing it’s called box

breathing because it has equal parts so

first sit down and sit back into your

chair lean back relax let your shoulders

hand back because stress really goes

into the shoulders also right and just

watch how changing your posture can

already calm down your mind and maybe

even your body

the next is just a little invitation you

might be able to do this some people can

do it right away but just kind of ask

the internal question in your body of

what’s my heart rate doing and without

saying what it’s doing or giving it a

name

just gently observe where your heart is

maybe you feel it around your chest or

in your wrist or in your neck anywhere

else just see if you can locate it

anywhere and see if it’s maybe it’s

rhythmical maybe it’s fast maybe it’s

slow doesn’t really matter where it is

try not to judge it then the next is how

are you breathing so what’s this state

of your breath right now your breathing

your your mouth or through your nose all

right and this is something people can

check for themselves also at home

are you breathing fast relatively or

slow and if you don’t know what faster

slow is are you breathing at a pace that

is more like you are just waking up in

bed so very calm and relaxed or is it

more as though you’ve just run up a few

steps so is it better to be fast so now

wherever you are what we’re gonna do is

we’re gonna try to down regulate the

nervous system so get out of the active

mode and this is a very simple technique

where you breathe in for four counts you

hold it in for four counts you breathe

out for four counts you hold it out for

four counts this is one of the easiest

ways to start with breath work and down

regulate yourself so we’re gonna start

with it with a deep sigh of relief yeah

one more time you you breathe in for a

four count breathe out for a four count

and then breathe back in for a four

count I’ll walk you through it in old

out hole and what we’re gonna do is

start with a deep sigh of relief so that

we start on an out breath so breathe all

the way in let it go and now breathe in

two three four hold it in

breathe out two three four and hold it

up two three four

breathe in two three or hold it in two

three four breathe out

hold it up to three threes in two three

four

hold it in two three four breathe out

two

hold it out to be alright

deep sigh of relief

let it go Wow

that’s really impressive man I uh I feel

like this sort of weight is off my

shoulders I feel lighter I feel renewed

refreshed and it’s so simple it’s just

such a simple little exercise I feel

much more calming is that the whole

exercise that’s the whole thing man I’m

just did three rounds and normally I do

four rounds which equates to one minute

basically just about one minute and this

is what I do every night before I go to

sleep just to make sure that the last

little inches of stress and anxiety are

out of my nervous system so there’s so

much going on there just controlling the

breath if you more control over your

physiology then doing the breath holds

sends the signal internally of there

might not be enough oxygen to sustain

activity so you’re calming down and as

you calmly and control the breathe out

and hold it out you’re actually

stimulating the vagus nerve and the

vagus nerve is the most important actor

in the parasympathetic nervous system

which is the nervous system we call rest

and digest so the opposite of fight and

flight so as you are stimulating that

nerve it is actually sending signals to

the organs to get out of anxiety mode

and even if you practice very intently

and focused to get out of inflammation

mode it lowers the heart rate it

actually decreases activity in the right

prefrontal lobe which is the place where

we can show anxiety or stress or

depression in the brain they come

together in this very simple practice

and you only need like a minute of it if

it doesn’t in a situation you do it for

a minute

it doesn’t change anything that’s the

surest sign you need to get out of the

situation instead of change your

breathing right so on yeah this is one

of my favorite little quick tools to get

people’s beautiful I love it man and I’m

sure many many people will benefit from

that little exercise that we just did I

want to talk about your relation to

success I dislike the word success and

there are so many different

interpretations of success there is you

know society’s interpretation of success

and there is this sort of idea that when

you see someone what people usually see

is that person has you know sort of

blown up to a point where everybody

knows who they are and suddenly they’re

successful but in the backstory there’s

an everyday grind that you put in and

work and it’s hard work I want to know

what your perception and your idea of

success is beautiful beautiful question

so my personal definition of success is

a continuous practice of finding balance

between the important factors of life

being mental physical emotional

spiritual and financial and also

relationship is one of the one of the

things so financial is one of them right

and I think that this is an important

thing where a lot of people if you ask

about success they start throwing out

definitions about money and I meet a lot

of people who are financially successful

but they are spiritually or emotionally

clogged up or out of balance right for

me and that’s why I called a continuous

practice because what’s in there is in

the definition it is built the idea that

this is an effort a constant effort and

a conscious effort that you do every day

and also the word practice implies skill

and skill implies development and

putting in the effort practice so for me

success is about the balance between

those things I am NOT interested in

financial success is I if I have to

sacrifice my relationships with family

or my physical health or my mental or

emotional health and also I’m not

willing to put my physical success in

front of financial success or emotional

success I was a pretty good basketball

player when I was a kid I’ve trained a

lot right and I was the fat kid in

school so I and I couldn’t get along and

I didn’t have any friends and the one

kid that I liked went to basketball so I

was like shit I better go there and show

up and be good at and these other kids

they could get away with three hours of

practice in the week and they would all

beat me on the court so I was like man

the only thing I can do is put in more

effort and practice and work harder

I worked hard and hard and hard and

within like a year or something nobody

on the court could even touch me right

because I put in so much more work brain

because I didn’t have any talent now

another thing that happened there as I

had my growth spurt I was just a kid and

I was so obsessed about this physical

work about being the best basketball

player on the court that it completely

messed up all the other parts I didn’t

have any time for anything else right

they didn’t reflect well on my

friendships and all these other factors

so on different parts of my life I’ve

been out of balance and I know a lot of

people are out of balance and they say

I’m successful and then go at what right

so I think it’s important to have a

personal statement of success and then

to really take that success very

seriously because I feel that nobody is

helped by me being unsuccessful and

everybody is helped by everybody being

successful this is one of the

fundamental beliefs that I have about

the work that I’m doing in the way that

I’m approaching the world is I want

everybody to win because my definition

of my success doesn’t mean that anybody

else has to fail so I can win but it

doesn’t mean somebody else has to lose

so yeah that’s my two cents on it I love

that that brings true for me so much I

have a very similar perspective on you

know just the way we’ve identified with

consumerism and competition and this

need to win what we’ve learned is you

know there is a winner and there’s a

loser I really connect with the way that

you describe your relationship to your

own personal health and you know money

you know I talked to a lot of different

entrepreneurs people who are building

their own businesses and these people

are working 12 14 16 hour days like just

slaving away for this dream that they’re

really passionate about and what you

will notice is that slowly over time

they degrade because they’re not

nourishing their body they’re not giving

their body this attention that it needs

and the crash oh yeah because not all of

those areas and grow the whole time so

obviously the foundation of my

definition of success is growth it is

about continuous forward motion

relentless forward motion I think that’s

the title of a book about ultrarunning

but it’s it’s kind of like one of these

mantras that I have for a landless

forward motion just keep doing the next

step sometimes I find I have a little

growth spurt on the financial level and

I go awesome that’s amazing and it’s

really easy to become obsessive about it

and go this is awesome I should keep

doing this and this and this and then

you notice that these other parts are

falling back and I think that’s where

the exact entrepreneurs you just

described they get tunnel vision on this

one area and then the other ones start

lacking and you know that’s one of the

pitfalls but it’s also fine you know I

found myself staring into this tunnel of

one of these things going like another

physical stuff is all over the place

right and getting stronger and getting

healthier and getting fitter and then

noticing like oh man I could have done

this and my business it could have gone

for that opportunity and actually

recently I went for a whole ton of

opportunities when I was doing this tour

through the US you know I live in Europe

and I’m flying all over the place like

12 flights in six weeks 14 seminars like

all this high-profile work working with

these amazing people and then I got home

and it’s the first time in years that

I’ve gained weight lost muscle mass and

to less strong and then I go up did it

again it was awesome you know my

business grew my bank account grew but

now it’s time to really be honest and

say the body the mind spirit they need

something extra right now right so I

think it’s good to kind of juggle them

and and sometimes one of them goes up

and the other one goes down as long as

in this continuous board motion as long

as there’s balance overall I think

that’s the most important thing its

equilibrium its balance and really

understanding yourself you know know

thyself understanding your own

limitation understanding your own body

just listening to your body because your

body will tell you your intuition will

tell you and it will speak and most of

the time it speaks in whispers I I just

want to interject really quickly and say

that there’s there’s a quote in my book

that is

what you just said and the quote is the

body whispers before it’s screamed yes

and if you can listen to the whispers

you’ll save yourself a lot of screens

and that’s what you’re doing in this

book you’re really giving people these

sort of ways to you know hear those

whispers and before they become screams

you know you’ve also created

methodologies to deal with those screams

because we all eventually end up

screaming you know like that’s that’s a

part of the human condition as part of

life I wanted to ask you about one more

thing and then we’ll put a bow on this

and wrap it up but I want to know how

important is it for our lives to do

absolutely nothing how important is it

to not be working on the next project

not be flying around to different

speaking engagements literally not be

doing anything so you know it’s always

come down and this is one of those

things where I bumped my head against

the same wall again and they go up I

should listen to my own advice because

it’s all yin and yang right so if you

want to have and this is interesting

because I just said relentless forward

motion but there is no motion without

standing still so you know there is no

action without rest and I think silence

and emptiness even are very very

important teachers where I think that

entrepreneur is people who build

lifestyles and build businesses and good

products out the ones that are

successful the ones that are doing the

best jobs are making art in a sense

they’re making something beautiful

something unique right you know and

we’ve met in person you know when we’re

at the kitchen table we don’t sound like

this but as soon as your podcast might

go on you become a poet your tone

becomes phoretic in your language and

you get into this flow and you your

wording becomes like eloquent and this

is something that I find is really

important to understand for people who

want to build something put something

out into the world is that you are

making something that people are going

to see or use or consume and it’s a form

of art

art is something that has to connect

like spring from something deep inside

and you have to create circumstances for

it to be able to spring and to be able

to grow and to be able to flourish and

the creation of these circumstances

comes from allowing that source of truth

and that source of inspiration and flow

to really sometimes have a moment of

silence at a moment of rest in a moment

of really not having to do the next

thing not having to go anywhere and my

grandfather he was a genius man I love

them so much and I grew up in all of his

stories and every time I would stay at

his house and it was kind of like a

sleepy town and with all people and I

would go to him and I would say I’m

bored and then he said congratulations

okay because he said this is the soil of

good thought right boredom is the soil

of good thought and I believe that

that’s important sometimes you have to

kind of sit around and be in this

silence because that’s where you hear

the whispers that’s where the good idea

catches him that’s where this stroke of

genius of inside issue and you realize

that that’s something you needed to do

the whole time and I have one last

anecdote that I that I’ll share so this

is in meditation and mindfulness and Zen

which are all practices that I’ve put a

lot of time in it’s very much about

finding the silence finding the

stillness but even finding like

deprivation and suffering and then

within that finding beauty so that’s

kind of like what I was just talking

about it create the silence this space

where the beauty the art to kind of

spring into flourish about I think a

year and a half ago I was running an

ultra marathon which is kind of crazy

right it’s more than a marathon this was

51 cake-like 10% more than a marathon in

Switzerland in the mountains there was

9,000 feet of elevation in total right

crazy stuff I ended up continuously

running in the mountains for nine hours

and it was equal parts glorious as

miserable as ultra endurance athletes no

I came to a point where I was I couldn’t

move my left leg I had been running for

about seven hours I tripped twice

I’d hurt my ankle I was just completely

broken I had never been so exhausted I

couldn’t hold in my food right I

couldn’t my stomach was upset I couldn’t

do another static cough and I was

staring out into the distance and there

was just emptiness I felt like I I

didn’t have even the tiniest amount of

energy left in my body I couldn’t

appreciate anything that was just pain

emptiness exhaustion right and

interestingly my mind went completely

quiet my mind always has something to

say and in that moment it was like you

know what I give up I don’t have

anything to do with this figure it out

and it was just intense silence and I

was just staring out into the distance

not even noticing whatever was going on

it was that silent this guy came up next

to me a Scotsman and he looked at me and

then he looked at where I was looking

where I was staring and then he said

something like oh man you’re right

sometimes you have to stop and enjoy the

view he thought that I was mindfully

stopping look at the beautiful view

because it was like the most beautiful

mountain view ever and I didn’t I was

imprisoned and then just because he

thought I was doing it he reminded me

that’s the goal that’s what thing is

about my taking time to stand still and

enjoy the scenery and I just snapped out

of it and being in a place of that

intense like emptiness and silence and

then the first and most profound thought

to come up was enjoy this moment it was

the loudest confirmation of that idea

that I ever had

so you know and and then I just found

this new well of energy because I came

from the silence I faced all this

difficulty and now you know it’s luxury

and difficulty I mean there’s people who

are of actual poverty and actual like

I’m a white man born in a western

country and fucking like wait I have to

I have to pay money to go to a mountain

and feel suffering right so it’s like

this is all I want people to understand

this is all luxury you know my life I’ve

been through some hardships but

statistically my life is the easiest

life in his

come on but the point is that that

moment of silence where there was

nothing mystery just a minute and then

the first thing that came in to my

experience so vividly was that moment of

enjoy it make art make something

beautiful the rest of the trill which

was like probably like 25% was still

left it just became a dance and I

started laughing and I started making

jokes with people around me I started

taking the whole thing seriously so

that’s just a little anecdote of a

profound moment in my life where I

realized that every now and then we have

to seek out the stillness the emptiness

the not anxiously obsessively seeking

for the next thrill and to really grasp

what is in front of you and then watch

the inspiration happen you can issue a

mic drop after that little story just

drop the mic

Kaspar that this has been beautiful man

we touched on so many different things

and I feel like we just scratched the

surface there’s so much in this book

that is genuinely helpful and I highly

recommend it the book is called mine

lift mental fitness for the modern mind

my guest is Kasper Van der Mullen Kasper

I know that you travel around a lot are

you doing anything where people can kind

of sign up and come see you oh yeah yeah

so I’m doing a tour on the East Coast

and Colorado so I’m kind of like all

over the place but that’s October and

November I’ll be teaching a bunch of

workshops around New York Boston area

let me think

Atlanta Colorado and a quick trip to LA

and so that’s that’s this fall then in

the winter in January and February I’ve

got a bunch of retreats in Poland in

probably Iceland and I’m looking for one

more location where I’m doing a full

week retreat with grass work and cold

exposure and all the biohacking stuff so

that’s that’s definitely something worth

traveling for in my experience and then

in May and June Oh I’ll be around in the

west coast which is Southern California

has become one of my favorite places to

be so I’ll be pouring around San Diego

Los Angeles around there so I’m around a

lot to check out my website and if

anybody has learned anything from this

taking away anything or it has a

question you can find my contact info on

my website I will answer your questions

and I will answer every just little note

that you sent me but it might take some

time because I know how big your

listener bases but I always just want to

know let people know like a I appreciate

hearing back from listeners is that’ll

make the this you know beautiful medium

of podcasting a bit more interactive

yeah I’m sure I’m sure that you’ll

you’ll get some questions and you know I

highly recommend for people to order the

book and Casper what is your website

mind lift commas so that’s easy mind

lift calm and you know I highly

recommend people either download the

e-book or just order a copy Casper are

you doing anything where if people go to

mind lifts that you like sort of

autograph the copy or anything like that

for the American version it’s difficult

because I don’t get involved in any of

the process difficult this is by the way

there is an audiobook and I myself

enjoyed listening to audiobooks more

than reading and then you can listen to

my smoother voice for six hours but

that’s definitely a pain but I would

love for people to come follow me on

Instagram you can find my Instagram

thing on there on the website too that’s

where I’m most active and I love getting

you know little notes or pictures from

people who are lose your ghost again

it’s at Casper’s focus ka SPER fo see us

got it it’s my favorite favorite outlet

cool yeah come check me out we will

definitely have people get to the

website the book and and your Instagram

Casper thank you so much for being here

man I’m bowing humbly crushed it thank

you so much

Thank You Man you’ve got one hell of a

beautiful podcast go in here so it’s my

honor to be here thank you so much man

guys you have been listening to the

human experience we are going to get out

of here it bub huge thanks to my guest

Casper Vander Molen make sure that you

pick up a copy of the book mine lifts

mental fitness for the modern mind and

we will catch you guys next week thank

you so much for listening hey guys

you’ve been listening to the human

experience and you just heard our

episode with Casper van der vielen

really great episode and you heard the

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listening I hope you enjoyed this

episode it was a really really fun

episode to do with Casper

you

you

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