[00:00:00] We’ve only got one kiddo, and she’s she’s young enough that I have not had to do the sort of Calvin and Hobbes dad thing where when you don’t want to explain something you don’t know, something you could theoretically just make up some asinine explanation for it. I will say in a on a serious note, I’m generally of the belief that. By consistently not exaggerating and telling stories that are not real to your kids, you really you actually gain a lot in the long run in terms of they know that when you’re praising them, it’s real. They know that when you’re explaining something, then it’s OK to say, Hey, you know, as a dad, like, there’s some, this is this is complicated and you don’t need to know about it right now. I’m happy to share it with you, and we’ll make more sense. But don’t stress about it like let mom and dad worry about it.
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Jesse: [00:01:33] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host, Jesse Funk. My guest today is a self-described not so great sprinter turned distance runner. We’ll ask him why he quit because, you know, quitters never win. He’s the founder and CEO of Endeavorun, the principal at Ticonderoga Advisory, executive coach. He has his education doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership. He’s an organizational psychologist, dad joke aficionado. Welcome to the show, Dr. Jake Tuber.
Jake: [00:02:06] Thanks so much, Jesse. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Jesse: [00:02:09] I, you know I would start off with just asking you, do you? Can you tell us a dad joke? But that’s not necessarily how dad jokes work, so I’m just hoping that they get peppered in here.
Jake: [00:02:18] Absolutely. I mean, there is a bit of like if you’re a dad joke connoisseur, it’s sort of like being a standup comedian where somebody is like, Oh, you’re funny, tell me a joke. And it’s like, it’s all in the telling and the setup, the dad jokes, It’s all in the moment. It’s all in the bad puns as they come. And if I just tried to tell you a dad joke right now, I think dads everywhere would understandably frown and I don’t want to do that. So I appreciate the the nod and I will do my very best to pepper a few in there unexpectedly.
Jesse: [00:02:45] Well, I appreciate that. You know, I’m hoping it’s an educational lesson because I have my friend Kevin, who I’m going to send this episode to. So Kevin, if you’re listening, keep keep Kevin away.
Jake: [00:02:55] Kevin, buy low. Sell high, get out early. All right.
Jesse: [00:02:58] He’s got all he needs to know and the thing that I want Kevin to learn and hopefully you the listener, if you’re not Kevin is what a pun actually is because he seems to have a real hard time with that one. He is here at my house. Maybe a month ago, everything seemed to be a pun to him, so I’m hoping we can. We can educate him what an actual pun is and take up his dad jokes to the next level.
Jake: [00:03:21] That is important, you know, and I will say that you don’t have to be able to linguistically differentiate puns from other kinds of dad jokes in order to make them effectively, but it certainly cannot be your game, and that’s something I think with rigorous study into sort of pun syntax and the subtle differences and that that will take your average dad and make them a truly excellent father. So that’s really the main difference between sort of poor and great fathers is really their understanding of the syntax that differentiates puns from other types of dad jokes. So I’m here for that one hundred percent.
Jesse: [00:03:55] I think that leads me to the question, is this going to be a new subsidiary of Ticonderoga where you focus on taking dads to the next level?
Jake: [00:04:07] There’s a lane. You know, there’s a lane there. There’s a well, clearly there’s a market, right? The dad market is up there with funeral directors. You’ve got a target market that’s always grown. And so I think that there’s obviously clearly a need here. I don’t know of anyone else who’s serving that particular market need. I don’t know what the economics of the model look like. But yeah, maybe after this, you and I will have another LLC to add to the portfolio that is really focused on forget, forget just a subset of Ticonderoga subsidiary. I see this as a standalone. I see this is a a multibillion dollar Corp. within a few years.
Jesse: [00:04:42] Right. Well, I mean, you said buy low, sell high, so high. So we should probably exit our current ventures. And then just do a joint venture, you know? Of course, I have to wait till after July, after my baby’s born. But you know, you’ve got to be official dad to be a part of this particular club. But yeah, I think we could as as the kids say, take it to the moon.
Jake: [00:05:04] Yes. And it’s good to know what the kids are saying these days because my toddler seems to just want to watch Encanto over and over and over again. And that’s really the extent of what I’ve been exposed to. So the more that you can tell me about what the kids are saying, I think that’s more fodder for dad jokes. So yeah, we already see this being a self-fulfilling prophecy here.
Jesse: [00:05:21] Well, I know for sure if we have a boy that we can’t name him Bruno now, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to talk about it.
Jake: [00:05:27] Yeah, no, you can’t say a thing about him. It’s treacherous. In fact, actually, you know, Florida state legislature has been getting a lot of heat for their new law on Don’t Say Gay. They’re actually considering a new law about not saying Bruno just because of the popularity of the film. So you can see how that sort of is already, you know, traversing state borders. So, yeah, make sure that Bruno is really Bruno is going to be up there with sort of Karen as far as names that you know, your average person just can’t consider naming after 2020. And rightly so. Rightly so. It’s a nice name, which is too bad, but yeah, we can’t talk about it.
Jesse: [00:06:01] Yeah, I feel bad for two people in this situation, both Florida man, because of his constant exploits and my grandmother because her name actually is Karen. So she gets that unfortunate reality.
Jake: [00:06:15] Give a woman of her time and nobody will fault her for that. You know.
Jesse: [00:06:18] That’s very true. So we’ll try to shift a little bit. Otherwise we’d probably just going to have an hour of impromptu.
Jake: [00:06:26] This isn’t what your your audience is tuning in for. I’m shocked. If anyone listening —
Jesse: [00:06:32] They would still listen — Well, frankly, I don’t know what my audience is tuning in for because I don’t get enough feedback, so please give me feedback if there’s comments, a comment section. If you’re on YouTube, YouTube.com/Solpri, you can see the video version. You can see Jake’s sweet like bookshelf and plants in the background.
Jake: [00:06:50] I need to. My bald spot is going to show despite my face on camera, so I’m going to —
Jesse: [00:06:55] Yeah, he’s got his nice hat on now. I just got like, I’ve got a bookshelf in the background, but it’s kind of a mess. Whereas your setup seems a lot more put together.
Jake: [00:07:04] I do. I have since even pre-pandemic, I have had to do a lot of hours of facilitating training, learning, development sessions and stuff via Zoom. And so having a a setup that was reasonably professional and not terribly distracting was sort of the goal.
And so this is what I’ve settled on. It’s it’s done OK. I also don’t you have to have I’ve noticed that it’s good to have obviously like, you know, a good color scheme of books in the background, but I don’t want anybody actually be able to read the titles, you know, just enough to have some intrigue, like, oh, he’s got some yellow books and some orange books, and that looks like a beige book. You know, just something out there, but I don’t want anyone to actually know what I have at least claimed to have read by the bookshelf behind me.
Jesse: [00:07:48] Well, I’m largely in the way of my own bookshelf, if you know, I think there’s something to that. My wife’s. She’s really into cookbooks. If if you need to get our present and you don’t know what to get, get a cookbook, she’ll probably be happy. But she organizes them by color, which drives me mad because then I don’t know where the books that I want are because I don’t know what color they are, but it looks beautiful. So there’s there’s probably something to that.
Jake: [00:08:17] Yeah, no. I don’t have an eye for design. That’s that nice. I just figure like a blend of colors. Titles that are just too far away to read is sort of the way to go, and I haven’t been embarrassed by it yet, but who knows me? By the end of this episode, things will totally change. That’s a possibility.
Jesse: [00:08:33] It could, you know, I think the only problem you’ll run into, which actually maybe isn’t a problem, because then you can lean into the like dead sheep kind of mean, you know, doesn’t spend any money is that you can just never upgrade your camera ever again. Because if we get a nicer camera, then people might actually be able to read the titles.
Jake: [00:08:50] That’d be a professional decision to make sure that I’m operating at four twenty at all time. So that nobody can read the books, you know, it’s interesting you say that I was joking with —
Jesse: [00:08:59] To clarify, that’s a that’s a pixel resolution, not a time of death.
Jake: [00:09:03] Yes. No, it was not a drug joke. Actually, I would be the last person to be able to claim to to make such a reference. But that’s right as a pixelation joke. You know, I was joking with a friend of the start of the pandemic that I wanted. This is, I think it’s a decent idea for a business, but like you go to publishers and you tell them, all right, any time somebody buys a book from you and like, like an e-book, something for the Kindle, et cetera.
For an extra dollar, you will ship them a cardboard cutout of that book’s cover so they can stick it on a bookshelf, because that’s one of the problems with e-books is you want to be able to go and browse your own books, you want to have your books up there so that your friends can see it and maybe get interested. You can share a book, but if everything’s on your Kindle, that’s harder to do. So what about like just extra dollar cardboard cutout for every e-book you have that you can just stick on your shelf? I think it’s a genius idea. Tell me, how does that not work? You know, who wouldn’t do? Wouldn’t do that?
Jesse: [00:10:00] I think that definitely would go well with with dads. I think that’s I think that’s your market. So I think that you’re thinking in your side, your own lane, for sure.
Jake: [00:10:10] Although, you know, sell the WHO, you know.
Jesse: [00:10:14] Right. I don’t know, though. You have a I’m trying to think of what the potential problems are. One, you have friends over. Maybe we don’t have friends anymore because of the pandemic, so nobody comes to your house anymore. So now the problem? Perfect for zoom rooms. Yeah. I don’t know about the dollar price point. I’m concerned about that. Postage is increasing.
Jake: [00:10:37] That’s fair. Yeah. Maybe you make it plus shipping handling fee as well, I think that’s reasonable. Your biggest issue is probably just like getting publishers, you know, trying to trying to get different publishing houses to produce and agree to. That would be probably a nightmare, I imagine.
Jesse: [00:10:51] Probably.
Jake: [00:10:52] But I think there’s something to it. And you know, the issue that I think you were probably getting at as if a friend comes over, they pull the book off the shelf. They realize it’s just a hollow piece of cardboard. What you can then say is, Oh, actually, that’s where I hide a lot of expensive jewelry. You just sort of use it as if it’s an excuse. Like, this was actually never anything like the book.
It’s just it’s a secret to deter burglars. They would never know. Burglar wants to open James Joyce while they’re trying to rifle through your drawers, you know. But right, that’s where I, you know, that’s where I keep the hope diamond. So I feel like that’s your out if you’re in that situation. But I think the publishers are probably the main issue. But yeah, we talk about the price point. We can get into that. There’s some there’s some wiggle room.
Jesse: [00:11:27] Yeah, I think at that point, if you’re if your buddy has your empty bookshelf and their book and then you tell them, Oh, that’s right, hide Jewelry, say, well, why isn’t there anything in there now? And then you’ve got to tell them, Well, you know, because —
Jake: [00:11:43] It’s on loan to the Smithsonian.
Jesse: [00:11:45] I guess it could be on loan. I guess I was going to try to come up with a sob story and then try to get a five around it.
Jake: [00:11:51] Yeah, there’s a lot of a lot of different directions here.
Jesse: [00:11:53] I just feel Like if you we’re having a hard time, we had to had to put to the pawnshop, could you buy dinner tonight?
Jake: [00:11:59] Yeah, you want to kick in a little extra for the beer? Right?
Jesse: [00:12:01] Right.
Jake: [00:12:02] There’s something like that. I like it. I’m with you.
Jesse: [00:12:05] I guess. I guess that’s the difference between us. Maybe you’re a good person and I’m not.
Jake: [00:12:10] Listen, the fact that I was so quick to think of that as a potential way to make an excuse, I think illustrates the exact opposite of what you just said. The pathology involved in coming up with a litany of excuses to cover up for the inadequacy of cardboard book covers. I’ve got a lot of a lot of soul searching to do there, so I think you’re off the hook.
Jesse: [00:12:29] Or maybe there’s something like, as we talked about there in the dead territory that kind of goes with that. You just got to come up, come up with stories quick. Is it do kids need lots of stories or is it just like you got to come up with all stories all the time? Just now —
Jake: [00:12:44] We’ve we’ve only got we’ve only got one kiddo and she’s she’s young enough that I have not had to do the sort of Calvin and Hobbes dad thing where when you don’t want to explain something, you don’t know, something you could theoretically just make up some asinine explanation for it. I will say in a on a serious note, I’m generally of the belief that. By consistently not. Exaggerating and telling stories that are not real to your kids, you really you actually gain a lot in the long run in terms of they know that when you’re praising them, it’s real. They know that when you’re explaining something, then it’s OK to say, Hey, you know, as a dad, like, there’s some, this is this is complicated and you don’t need to know about it right now. I’m happy to share it with you, and we’ll make more sense, but don’t stress about it like let mom and dad worry about it.
[00:13:32] I think that’ll probably happen a lot in a couple of years. I hope I could also see myself just, you know, making up silly excuses to get out of conversations that are probably not more difficult, but just heavier than I want to in a given moment. But it’s cool to have a curious kid. I’m sure you’ll have a really curious kid, too. It’s it’s it’s a nice, it’s a nice problem to have if you get there. But again, mine right now is mostly just like, can we talk about Bruno? That’s really that’s —
Jesse: [00:14:00] Right. And then you just turn the song on and question, answer.
Jake: [00:14:04] Hear it again. And then she wants to hear another song. Yeah. You know, I imagine it must have been much easier when you and I were growing up to be parents. Once you decided screen time was OK because the options were limited. So like, you know, my dad would put on Sesame Street, like that was it. I was Sesame Street or SportsCenter. I couldn’t like the choice my daughter knows there’s like, if she doesn’t like this song, she can literally listen to any other song in the world anywhere she wants. She wants to watch a video. She knows it’s literally accessible, basically anywhere that she’s going to be. And the fact that she already knows that despite the fact that we’ve, you know, even in the pandemic, try to keep screen time basically to a minimum is terrifying.
[00:14:43] Like the the extra choice they have does not make it easy because she starts a song that she wants to go to the next song and then the next song. Whereas in the past you turn on the radio, it’s like, Sorry kid, this is the radio like it’s on. You want it on or on. That’s it. So maybe we should have pretended that we only had like rabbit ear or television for a while. That would have probably been a lot easier.
Jesse: [00:15:02] Yeah, it may be easier, but maybe not the same reality. I’m forgetting his name. There’s a psychologist on YouTube.
Jake: [00:15:12] Oh, well, I’m sure he’s an expert.
Jesse: [00:15:14] No, he he he caters towards to gamers like in their their problems. Yeah, Dr. Kay, there we go. He just he has some really interesting. No, he’s not a psychologist. He’s a psychiatrist. He has his. He has his M.D.
Jake: [00:15:32] Oh, forget it. Forget it. Oh man, M.D. Jeez.
Jesse: [00:15:36] I just get that right. So not Dr. Kay will ever listen to this. But he was talking about, you know, there’s the idea right now about screen time is terrible and, you know, don’t let your kids have screen time or whatever. And I think he was he was talking about a couple of studies that have been done. It was it was basically like the tendency towards like attention shifting or like ADHD-like symptoms, even though a kid may have actually have clinical ADHD, like the tendency towards that behavior is more associated with like things like YouTube, where you can go this to this, to this, to this, this instead of like sitting down and watching long form content or listening to it. Like this podcast. So it wasn’t necessarily the screen time in particular, but the like attention shifting nature of the medium that was being taken in by the kids.
Jake: [00:16:31] That makes that makes a lot of sense to me. Intuitively, I’ve not seen those studies and I will say that, yeah, like my daughter knows that she can kind of dial up anything on command. And we’re pretty we try to be pretty strict of like, no, let’s listen to the end of this song, and the next one will come on. When it comes on, it’s, you know, there’s an element of at its core, it’s an element of self-direction and control, which is, can you be the one to sort of decide what’s coming on? Or do you have to wait until something else, whether it’s Spotify or a TV station or an adult says so? And your ability to kind of get those reinforcements and rewards, especially these younger ages, when that kind of behaviorism is really powerful, based on that, I think, is really important. So I agree.
[00:17:11] I don’t think there’s I don’t think it’s literally the blue light of the screen, I’m guessing is probably not as harmful as we’d like to believe. So much as the kind of ability to constantly shift and pick and choose and dictate your reality becomes something you become pretty reliant on. And it can be it can be hard to watch. I mean, I haven’t been out much at all since the start of the pandemic, when I have not too long ago, we were actually we were in Austin, Texas, for one of our endeavor on retreats down there, running retreats and afterwards myself and a couple of coaches and a couple of the folks who were local, there were participants stuck around.
[00:17:46] We drove out about 40 minutes outside of Austin, Texas. There’s one of my favorite restaurants in the world is Giant Barbecue Pit out there. That’s really cool. And we get there and we’re sort of waiting. And it’s, you know, it’s mostly outdoors. It’s inside, outside. It’s a beautiful day. It’s it’s seventy eight degrees in Texas in February. There’s no humidity. It’s stunning and there is a family there that’s waiting on line behind us. To try to get a table and this mother, I think it was the mother, I’m making an assumption there. The kid’s got an iPad out, right? You’re in the middle like you’re forty five minutes outside of a city. Obviously a perfect service. So the kid’s got an iPad there and he’s watching something and the mother like, goes to move it and the kid loses his mind. And so the mother, obviously, you’re in public. And I would do exactly what she did, which is put the damn iPad back in front of the kid.
[00:18:36] This kid looked about seven or eight. So this, you know what I mean, like it should have been, it was clear that this is much less a product of just being exposed to media so much as sort of needing it as a safety blanket. It is something and that becomes relying on the control that you have over getting that dopamine fix the way you want. That, I think, is it’s problematic. And as a parent, it’s it’s tough. I mean, I don’t know how we’ll navigate it in the future. I’m optimistic, but it’s tough. And because, yeah, when my little ones were trying to get her to get her shoes on and stuff to get out the door to go to daycare, it’s much easier for me to put on her shoes or my wife to, you know, to her hair into pigtails if she’s like listening or watching something than if she’s, you know, realizing that she’s leaving now. So I get it. But but it can. It can be a slow creep into, OK, like you’re never taking the iPad in front of the kid that’s in front of the kid away. So I get it. But anyway —
Jesse: [00:19:31] This is entirely speculation on both of our perps. But so I’m going to ask you, but you know for you, the listener, neither of us are basing this on anything besides conjecture. It makes me curious about. So like. Especially as decent runners or really any sports endeavor and building businesses, anything that you want to build over a long term relies on delayed gratification, which means a certain amount of suffering for a period of time, often longer than most people are comfortable with, to eventually come upon the reward that you’re after. Do you have any inkling that like being reliant on some of this instant gratification behavior from such a young age, do you think that might lend itself to us having fewer people growing up that are interested in like long term delayed gratification kind of behaviors?
Jake: [00:20:36] It’s not. It’s not an absurd hypothesis in any way, and I don’t know of any psychological.
Jesse: [00:20:41] It’s not based on anything. If this is —
Jake: [00:20:43] It’s reasonable speculation, though, right? The thread that I, as I understand you there that you’re pulling on is this notion of Are we training folks to be so focused on short term gratification that there’s just less of that, right?
Jesse: [00:20:55] They basically don’t have that that muscle to —
Jake: [00:20:58] Yeah. So so my intuition is is a few fold, which is ultimately, I don’t worry about it for a couple of reasons. So one, I do think that muscle can be built later. You know, there’s famous delayed gratification studies. Everyone knows the one that everyone, a lot of people know about the marshmallow study.
Jesse: [00:21:19] A lot of people do the marshmallow study wrong, and it pisses me off every time I see it.
Jake: [00:21:22] Yeah, well, they do it wrong. And also really, the data was reviewed and actually the the actual reasons for the delayed gratification had much more to do with socioeconomic status of the participant and their expectation as to whether or not there would be gratification. The idea being if you don’t have a lot of money or means you can’t rely on there being two more later, so you eat now when there’s food as opposed to waiting for something better. So so a reanalysis of the statistical data there actually revealed very different conclusions, and that was an important finding. I do think. I do think you will see probably. I guess you could you can maybe think about the hypothesis that you’d see people displaying less long term grit, although those elements do tend to be pretty trait specific as well.
[00:22:09] So the extent to which they’re malleable is going to revert back to the, you know, the bell curve of an individual person’s particular genetics. But I would say the real reason that I’m not too worried about it is one what’s considered long term is also shifting because everything is happening more short term. You won’t need to be long term gratify the way you and I may have been or our parents’ generation mate where you work on the farm for 40 years and then eventually you have enough fruit or whatever you sell the livestock. And now long term is like a month or so to some extent, they’re kind of just getting primed for the new long term. The other thing I would say, too, is that the incentive structures that are still in place in the sort of mid-to-late post capitalism world that you and I are in are still very much going to reinforce and reward the kinds of longer term endeavors.
[00:22:56] And those will ultimately kind of those will attract folks to actually pursue things in a slightly longer term way. Now, if you look at this at a macro level, there are many more people who build and sell the company after a short amount of time. I’m not talking about just like the person who sells an idea to another Silicon Valley after coding a prototype for $10 million like that does happen. But in general, the lifespan of companies in terms of when they’re built and when they get acquired or moved on has gotten shorter as time has sped up. But I do think there’s still going to be a lot of frankly. Wealth created by folks who have. The patience that’s needed for certain things that just take more time, even if that more time is relatively speaking less than what more time means today is the world just gets faster.
[00:23:45] So I do think I do think the void will be filled. It’s a it’s a vacuum that is begging to be filled, but yeah, the chances that like a given kid might develop a little bit less grit or resilience or ability to do things long-term because of the instant gratification they’re constantly being thrown. That seems plausible. Not of the question. We’re worried too much about that, necessarily. As a parent, I think it’s part of a larger parenting strategy. I wouldn’t do anything explicitly to avoid it, but it seems plausible.
Jesse: [00:24:18] I think it kind of goes into obviously a debate or discussion that I don’t know if we’ll ever truly have an answer to. But maybe I’m simply too naive is the whole, I mean, the whole nature versus nurture debate, right? Like how much influence do we actually have on anybody’s giving personality or innate desires, you know, whatever you want to call it? I know I cannot remember the book now for the life of me, but there was a book I was reading once that talked about, you know, it had to have been some kind of like a self-help book or something, you know, something like that chapter about like attributes of high achieving people or something.
[00:25:04] And it was like, if you have, you know, five of these, then you’re probably pretty well off. You know, if you’re if you have seven of them, then you’re considered high achieving. If you have, then there’s 10 total or whatever. And I hit like all 10 of them and they weren’t like things I learned. It was just. Behaviors like always felt like we’re meeting and. But I also know familiarly, we’re pretty like competitive people. You know, my siblings largely played sports or did other things. So that’s again, like, is it a family culture thing? Is it genetic? Obviously, because it’s family. And it seems like to answer my own question about, you know, short attention spans and missing out on the late, great delayed gratification. You may just end up getting people that would self-select for that anyway. Continue to do so regardless of whatever happens with watching YouTube on an iPad or not. I don’t know. But again, just consider —
Jake: [00:26:14] I think that though at a societal level, right? Which is to say that if it’s if we don’t want people self-selecting in to that more than we’d like, we probably want to take steps to avoid it. Like the obvious one is like addictive behaviors like gambling, right? Like at the end of the day, the prevalence of like, you know, sports gambling that’s now in every state on your phone, everywhere. Generally speaking, like it just means that more people who could have fallen down a hole had they been born in Las Vegas are now going to fall down a hole because they’re born anywhere.
[00:26:42] So the question is, do we want to decide a society? Let’s sacrifice some of our sort of independent, individualized rights or access to things because we don’t know. I mean, you’re getting it some pretty interesting sort of rules and questions about the nature of sort of how we want to construct a society given what we assume an individual can be responsible for. And I think that’s a more interesting part of the question around nature versus nurture might. My good friend and one of my business partners, Matt Fitzgerald, the running author who many of you —
Jesse: [00:27:10] Yep, Matt’s been on the show.
Jake: [00:27:11] Yeah. So, Matt, when you ask them the nature nurture question about runners or something like that, he likes to say it’s mostly both. And it’s a good answer. And it is. I think the more interesting question is, I suppose it’s nurture. Does that mean that we should say someone is responsible for it, I mean, how much of nurture do we have of volition or conscious control over, to your point, whether or not your competitiveness is actually wired because one of the sort of theories of, you know, personality traits are largely pretty stable over time.
[00:27:43] Most conceptions reduced to the big five traits that are, generally speaking, pretty, pretty biologically wired. They’re cross-cultural, they’re manifestations are different. There’s a lot of conceptions of personality trait that, generally speaking, map to that pretty nicely. And there are certain traits that generally make people more likely to be seen as a leader, more likely to be seen as this more likely to be competitive. Whether or not that’s actually because of a genetic wiring, or it’s because you were inculcated in a family lifestyle whose family, climate and culture was very competitive because of the nature of your parents’ work or the nature of the society you were in or the social circles you ran in independent of, like the epigenetics or genetics of it.
[00:28:24] Either way, that’s not something like you being raised to be competitive is not something where, like, you chose to be a competitive person. So I I think that’s a really more interesting question, which is to say that if someone is looking at say, like the success of somebody because they really went out and competed. Well, it’s not that they weren’t successful, they didn’t compete or we shouldn’t try to understand what about their situation made them that way. But we as a society, given I think a lot of our assumptions around meritocracy like to say, Well, that was you. That was a conscious choice. You’re made. You know, when someone else is sleeping and sleeping late, you were up grinding as if that was really like an actual choice that got made the morning.
[00:29:02] You got out of bed at six and someone else hit snooze. That choice, so to speak, was made for us in many very, very hard to measure ways long before that morning ever occurred. And that has a lot of implications, I think, or at least should have a lot of implications. I don’t think it does, but it should have allowed for how we think about ourselves as people, how we work with others constructively, how we think about setting up a society. It has some real permutations so that you’re right. I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to the nature versus nurture question any domains.
[00:29:32] It’s definitely a bit of nature. People ask me this about leadership all the time in my work as executive coach, our leaders often are made and know there are definitely some folks who have traits and characteristics who across most situations are likely to be in positions of leadership like there are there is. There’s a reason that the sort of trait theory of leadership hasn’t gone away. It’s because there’s evidence for it. That doesn’t mean they’re always going to do that. And it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have those things in certain situations, you can either build skills that compensate for that or build like competencies that really help you or in certain situations, your particular traits are actually more conducive to leading. Same thing for athletics. Same thing for parenting. Same things we’re talking about. I like the term mostly both, but I think the more interesting questions are not necessarily what. But so what? And then what?
Jesse: [00:30:21] Lot to unpack there. Let’s see if I can go back through my own thoughts. Sometimes I think about the conversation about. Well, at least the U.S. North American paradigm is like, I’m responsible for myself if I am not succeeding, it’s my fault. And. I definitely lean into that because I’m in control of things that I can control, right, there are plenty of things I can’t control. I can’t control who my parents or I can’t control where I grew up. I can’t control what other people do.
Jake: [00:31:03] What are some of the things that you feel very confident you can control?
Jesse: [00:31:07] I mean, I can control my limbs, at least for now.
Jake: [00:31:11] Usually, right,
Jesse: [00:31:13] Usually but not always.
Jake: [00:31:14] If someone kicks you, if someone hits you in the knee, your leg is going to flail out. So there’s obviously sympathetic nervous system stuff that’s —
Jesse: [00:31:21] Or lately going through some like rehab and doing some dry needling for the listeners. Not familiar because you get needles shoved into your muscles and then you get electrodes attached to that. So make sure muscles move. It’s kind of like a tens unit, if you’re familiar with that as well.
Jake: [00:31:38] Just like really, really unpleasant acupuncture, I’ve had over 50 dry needles put into my right hip in the last year alone. Yeah, I scream like a baby every time, and I think of myself as a reasonably tough person around physical pain.
Jesse: [00:31:52] But, effective. It’s effective.
Jake: [00:31:54] Yeah, it is effective.
Jesse: [00:31:55] It’s effective. So, yeah, I mean, but that’s where I go. Yes, obviously, this is a philosophical hole we could get so far down that I’m not reasonably smart enough to talk about it anymore. But, you know, there’s at least a belief that I do have control over some things. You know that I can open a door. Obviously, there’s like. There are exceptions to rules. But you come at it from the perspective of like this is a generally accepted principle. Right? There’s always going to be exceptions. In the nature of humanity, very rarely is something absolute. This comes from my math background doing my math proofs where you have to, you know, you have to prove that this is actually this way. So for you, the listener, if you’re not familiar and maybe Jake as well, so you’re doing a proof. If. You want to disprove something which is much easier than proving something. If you make a broad statement like I can’t even think like,
Jake: [00:33:08] You just have to show one example,
Jesse: [00:33:08] Show one example where it doesn’t works.
Jake: [00:33:11] That improves the totality mutual exclusivity.
Jesse: [00:33:13] Right, right. You only have to show one example. One time it doesn’t work. So it’s much easier to disprove something, which is why you have to come at the idea of control and the ability to control from the place of. The vast majority of the time, this is an accurate statement.
Jake: [00:33:33] Well, certainly I will certainly grant that for the sake of just philosophical discourse, I’ll grant that everyone operates as if it’s an accurate statement. But let me let me push on it. Ok, right? Let me. So take it. Yes. Certainly in the U.S. But in general, humans as a species tend to believe that we have a degree of control. We know we don’t control the weather, we know we don’t control everything that we do because some of it’s a product of our nature or our energy in the past. But we think like if I’m going to get up and go open the door, that’s all me. I’m making a conscious choice. I should be held responsible for that choice because I could have chosen not to. I could have seen other paths that didn’t do them, et cetera.
[00:34:11] The really interesting question, and this gets into like subtle definitions of causal determinism is. Is that choice, I mean, yes, it’s originating in you, and then I can’t say it’s originating in anyone else, but is that really something that’s fully of your own volition? That’s a subtle question about free, like you’re taking a drink of water right now in camera. Now you could, in theory, choose not to. But whether or not your decision not to because you wanted to illustrate a point about choice, that architecture was built about your desire to adhere to what your guest on the show is saying, etc. that was built long before that very moment. Right. And so what you’re getting into is are subtle distinctions.
[00:34:52] What I think some philosophers would call soft determinism versus hard determinism. So for listeners out there interested, so I’ve determined if someone like Daniel Dennett, professor at Tufts, very famous, he endorses the view what he would call compatible ism, which is this notion that, yes, we’re the product of a lot of things that we don’t control unless our actions are ultimately fed by them. But essentially over reducing this here in your head, there’s like a moment of sort of the fact that it’s attributable to your mind and it passes through some filters, et cetera. And we’re going to say that you’re responsible for your actions.
[00:35:23] Where is a true hard determined almost feels like a fatalist was basically saying like, yes, in theory, it’s passing through those prisons. But those prisons themselves were the result of past action and genetics. And so we are basically just kind of vessels for consequences in that way. And the challenge for that view, I think in some ways and I struggle with this a lot in terms of the implications for how I do things day to day is I think philosophically that view holds a lot of power. It’s it’s not how we’re wired genetically. We are genetically wired for the promulgation of our species to feel like we have control. It makes us achieve and do things that makes us more likely to survive, thrive and reproduce. So certainly, our brain is trying to trick us into thinking we have control, assuming, assuming we don’t.
[00:36:07] And if we do, there’s a question of sort of how much is reasonably attributable to a person as opposed to the circumstances they found themselves in. And I don’t know. I don’t know the exact answer to that. I know. You know, philosophers like Harris and others are more on the hard, deterministic camp and and there’s good points for that. I do think there’s some issues around around free will, but it’s really there’s also a lot of incentive in place for us sort of to your point, in the North American cultural paradigm to ignore that because we have an entire system of meritocracy that’s based on the notion that you can have control over your own destiny if you just work harder. And if what we’re ultimately saying is those choices to work harder are not actually really attributable to you, but are much more the product of things that happen to you, whether it’s your genetics, epigenetics or circumstances that poses a series of problems for meritocracy.
[00:37:00] And I think a lot of people really fear that, and I don’t think we should construct, right? So the idea that, oh, let’s run to Marxism, right each according to their abilities for each, according to their needs. I don’t think that’s a really good biological answer, either. But I do think that reconciling that notion of determinism and its implications for the kind of way we set up and continue to foment society is really powerful, and I think a lot of people avoid it for that reasons.
[00:37:26] It’s also in the in particular in the US. A lot of those assumptions about free will are very interwoven with religious conviction, and we are highly religious country. And so to have certain conversations of that pull at some of the tenets and fabric of particular, you know, we’re mostly Christian country like a lot of the strands of sort of all the Old Testament religions are built on this degree of sort of like divinity and or omnipotence and omnipresence being compatible with the degree of free will. That’s complicated to understand. And so it’s much easier for us to just avoid the question.
[00:38:00] So there’s a lot of reason we have a lot of incentive to avoid thinking about it, but I do think it’s subtle, and for me, it’s really just humbling. Like, I really try to remember that it’s, you know, it’s not I don’t think it’s painful to say that, like, you know, the only reason that I’m sitting in the chair talking to you and not in Ukraine right now, fearing for my life or not ever existing at all is by nothing that I can attribute to myself. I don’t in any meaningful way. I don’t take credit for my successes. I don’t. Sometimes I try to take credit for my failures or responsibility for them, either. There’s a sort of like like, I don’t know, but that’s hard. It’s hard to live a healthy, moral, valued ethical life that way and feel like you have it.
[00:38:45] So I struggle with that all the time. It’s something that I do think I’m tiptoeing around potentially some answers, but I remain in a state of curiosity about and it’s, you know, is an athletic coach. It’s really running such an interesting way in which that manifests because, you know, to the extent that hard work is an innate trait. That’s that’s hard that’s hard for some people to get, or at least, if not in a trade, it’s like your ability to like go the extra mile when you probably should quit. Maybe that was decided for you by the time you were 12 because you did or didn’t grow up in certain circumstances.
[00:39:22] There is some psychological evidence that, like real toughness, is bred by having a good amount of adversity, but not quite too much like you don’t want to be have too cushy a situation where you can weasel out anything but also too much adversity to the point where it’s trauma will just be defeating. But who can control the trauma that brought when they’re a child that has all those formative experiences. Anyway, thanks for coming to my TED talk. It’s been great to hope you learn. That’s my diatribe on this. Thanks for getting one of it. It’s something I struggle with a lot psychologically as to think about how to evaluate my own actions, my own feelings about my actions, whether it’s pride or remorse or something in light of the control we may or may not have.
Jesse: [00:40:03] Yeah. You know? Again, too much time packing, too little time. Maybe you and I, I’ll hang out, it’s another time what we can, we can dissect this off camera, but you maybe think about so within your diatribe, I’ll call it.
Jake: [00:40:25] That’s very nice you think. You could have given that. I appreciate.
Jesse: [00:40:30] No, no, no. There’s a lot of good stuff. So I think you were talking about being hard determinism. Like basically, we’re a causal chain of events and we don’t actually have free will is kind of the conclusion you come to. It makes me wonder about the concept of whether. We, as humans are more akin to like a superorganism than a collection of individuals and whether if we’re if we’re like, if we’re super organism again for the listener, I’m talking out of my ass here, but if we’re a superorganism, then you might suppose that like our laws and punishments in any given place is an attempt to correct what we collectively would believe to be unhealthy behavior for the propagation of the species moving forward.
Jake: [00:41:26] That’s fascinating, so we sort of looking at humans as like a school of fish in and of an organism as itself. That’s I think there’s certainly a very good lens of analysis to be had with that point of view and — Certainly in a democratic society that is probably more accurate, I mean, the history of societies in which this sort of fish had some say in how the school moved was pretty limited. So I think just historically speaking. While that might have been true accidentally or peripherally, generally speaking, most societies historically were sort of governed in a very authoritarian way until more recently. And so they’re much more likely to just be the product of what that particular individual or ruling class wanted to do to promulgate their clan, their tribe within the tribe as opposed to as a whole.
[00:42:14] But yeah, I do think over time, like you could look at the constructions of of law, expectations of cultural norms and civility as what the species at any given point in time in a given space in context is ultimately aiming to create to sort of increase its collective utility so it can promulgate procreate, et cetera. There’s probably a lag, though. Right? So like there’s especially in a post-industrialized society, there’s probably a big lag in which, like, you know, the laws we have for climate change. Perfect example, right? Like, if that were fully true, we would be spending all of our time and energy on climate change because it is an existential threat that is around the corner. We are clearly still like focusing on last year’s shit, and that’s also because a lot of the people who have the power to do stuff are on their way out.
[00:43:04] All right, it’s one way to look at society is the consistent transfer of wealth and resources from young to the old, and that promulgates over time, too. So like, there’s that, I always laughed about this when Oh God, this is going to be such an odd, esoteric meme reference, but I suppose I haven’t gotten off dad jokes. And so maybe this will count. There was a couple of years ago, I’m a big basketball fan, and when Magic Johnson was still an executive with the Lakers before he was leaving, there was a great online clip of somebody ask him a question, and he was just kind of very flip and going like, I’m not going to be here. And there was a great meme going around that was like boomers talking about climate change.
[00:43:44] I’m not going to be here, right? And there’s a little bit of that. It’s like no one’s intentionally trying to make it worse, but their incentives given where they are and them as organisms and they have a lot of the power. I’m not throwing this at boomers in particular, but older generations have always historically therefore become more conservative over time, typically than younger generations, because their needs and things change and their access to power changes as well. So I do think there’s probably a lag despite the increasing speed of stuff industrialization. I love the conception of society as a mechanism for it’s it’s, you know, its laws, its structures, et cetera, its cultures as a way of determining its sort of collective promulgation future. I love that if something —
Jesse: [00:44:23] Society has its own health. But you know, you mentioned being more likely to be true in a democratic society, less likely to be true in authoritarian society. But I don’t know that that necessarily negates my thought because if you think about it. So if my idea holds true, then the idea of societies as the collective superorganism of humans were shifting constantly to try to promote overall health, which is more humans into the future, right? So if by, you know, its selection of authoritarianism, if that is in a sense, oppressive Putin and is making organisms humans die out, then a shift to democracy could itself be a change in the superior’s behavior to try to make itself more healthy. So it doesn’t. I don’t think it necessarily negates the idea to say –.
Jake: [00:45:21] Yeah, you’re zooming out, right. You’re basically saying that like the political status of an entity at any given time will adjust like authoritarianism worked, and therefore it was allowed to happen in some form until —
Jesse: [00:45:31] It didn’t work. And then it has to adapt.
Jake: [00:45:34] Yeah, I think that’s probably true, although my my intuition is. It’s not like those in authoritarian power are who have all the power to like. I suppose if you’re looking long term, you could say that adaptation sort of like happened with or without them, and sometimes it just takes longer. My intuition is that now in a society where like China, where you can really like know what everybody’s doing and thinking at any given time, if you want not thinking necessarily but pretty close to it, the amount of control that authorities have now is probably at a point where without some sort of kind of non species level, non superorganism promulgation won’t change. Like authoritarians aren’t going to just give it up because they’re like, You know what? Optimal global utility is better if we change things up, so I’m going to go for it there, just like I am in charge. And that’s it.
Jesse: [00:46:26] That’s what I think you go with, like the Mechanism of Revolution, you know, from the back —
Jake: [00:46:30] I just think it like revolution in as far as that being a way of if you could centralize revolution as an exercise of the superorganism needing to restructure itself. I actually just think it’s less likely. I think that like power is getting to absolute like it’s too easy to kill everyone quickly for lack of a better. Right? In a way that in the past, like, you know, in the past, like this is the classic Second Amendment argument of like, you know, we need to take arms up so that our own government can direct us. It’s like you need to take your own, be to up there to figure out how that’s not happening. So there’s there’s a there’s a sense in which like our ability to self-govern as a super organism, I think has been undone by the means of control that we’ve been able to enable ourselves. We may have outgrown that, that ability that we had in the past to kind of self-regulate that way, which is which is worrisome, which is worrisome for sure.
Jesse: [00:47:23] Yeah. Before we run out of time, I want to ask. If we go to Endeavorun, are we going to have these same kind of conversations? What happens there is they’re actually running. It goes on like, what? What do you do? Why are you doing Endeavorun?
Jake: [00:47:39] Yeah. So the answer is is yes. If you want the the idea behind Endeavor Run, well. I’ll give I’ll spare. The whole conception certainly could check out the site and others who are interested Endeavorun to check it out. But I really have envisioned Endeavorun to be, we call it a retreat. At least most of what we do are retreats, and I see retreat as not as a combination of camp and workshops and not like the air compliance workshops that you have to go to. But you’re not just going to a place with cool other runners to hang out and run a little bit and chill in the cool spot the way a lot of camps do, or it’s, you know, you go to meet this one person who finished sixth at Boston in the seventies and you like, that’s that’s super cool. I’m really not knocking that. We’re just kind of playing in a different space in the market, which is our goal is to help people who want to kind of take their running to the next level do that.
[00:48:31] So yes, we go and we run, and it’s for all paces truly. And we’ve got people. We had somebody who came with her aunt. She was 17. We’ve got folks in their late 60s and 70s who come at all speeds. We’ve got people who are really sub elite and are trying to get under 17 for their 5K.
Jake: [00:48:47] We’ve got folks who are trying to get up to running three miles consecutively. It is. It is about you thinking part of yourself and your identity as a runner and wanting to meet some of the best coaches and athletes in the world. In a place where, you know, you can kind of be in that sort of pro training camp that you always sort of feel like you need. And if I could just go and train like a pro for a few days and get things right, I would improve that. That’s what we’re trying to put together.
[00:49:09] So, you know, if you came to we recently at the time recording just not too long ago had our event in Austin for a couple of days there was running. We had our physical therapists there doing mobility enhancement workshops where folks were doing self assessments are registered. Dietitian talked extensively about, you know, race fueling and nutrition for different, you know, if you’re running to lose weight, if you’re running to run fast, if you’re running to go far and sitting down individually, we’ve got some really renowned runners and coaches there to help you go over your race plans or make a plan or think about planning.
[00:49:41] We’ve got riders there to talk about running and identity and things like that. I bring personally a lot of the developmental workshops that I do often incorporations of adapted for individuals as runners, so we do a lot of not just sort of like the mental side of running insofar as sports psychology is concerned, which is typically the application of cognitive behavioral perspectives and principles to sport. But we do more psychodynamic developmental stuff about like why do we run and why do we sabotage ourselves as runners and where does our identity is that so it’s kind of a hodgepodge of things. But ultimately, as I say to folks, typically when we do our sort of opening spiel, it’s like we’re with great people who care enough about themselves as runners to come and spend time here and run in a cool place at a great time.
[00:50:30] It’s going to be fun, no matter what I want folks to learn. I want folks to feel like the moment they walked in is different than the moment they walked out. And so far as their ability to go and do what they want to do with their running, think about what it means to them and have that kind of experience. And that was something we just didn’t really see in the market. We didn’t really see. We didn’t go into it because there was a market hole. Don’t get me wrong, but when we’re thinking about what we could put together, our retreats have really been come on to take on that flavor, which is it’s not.
[00:50:58] It’s not just a couple of days of fun camp, it is that, but it’s a lot more without being corny or silly. Or it’s, you know, we don’t come there to sing Kumbaya or anything like that. So there’s no, you know, it’s not. It’s just about connecting with other people who have that passion in a way that’s very real and low key and fun, and we goof around and we like it’s it’s silly, right? You can probably tell if you’re listening to this still that I can’t go more than a couple of minutes without vacillating between serious and silly. And I think the retreats probably have a little bit of my personality there in that way, just as is the program manager.
[00:51:35] But it’s been really cool, and it’s been really neat to see folks who’ve come back new folks and keep coming in the kind of community we’re building. We’re doing something new that we’re going to try to do, which is for anyone who’s running CIM, who sign up for the California International Marathon this winter. We’re going to do like a virtual remote training collective, I guess, is the way to put it. It’s a pod. You can get plans from us, you can get discounts on shoes and stuff, et cetera.
[00:52:04] We’ll meet on Zoom. We’ll have a slack and we’ll meet up eventually and have a great time in Sacramento in December. And we’re sort of trying that out. And I’m not 100 hundred percent sure, but I think in order to be equitable and inclusive, we’re going to probably make it a sort of suggested donation based program. Pay what you can. Here’s what we think this is probably worth. If you make this much, you can consider this much, but you don’t have to, because the irony of running is it’s a sport that anyone can access if you have a pair of shoes or even if you don’t. But also to do it really well and do the kind of things we do like, we get that it’s expensive too, but we’re trying to trying to walk a bit of a middle ground there and give folks a little bit more access. So I hope it wasn’t too comprehensive an answer to the question.
[00:52:47] But yeah, there are lots of times where we’re having beers and talking about this kind of thing or or we’re just shooting the shit about which Pro just ran this time at this race or talking about which marathons we’d like to run in or the local 5K, or just getting to know people that clearly have the same passion as us. So it’s it’s it’s been pretty cool.
Jesse: [00:53:08] It sounds a good time. Jake, we are running in on time a little bit, so if you’ve watched the end of the other episodes, you know, I ask everybody the same question for an entire season. So this season’s question is how do you celebrate your wins?
Jake: [00:53:28] Ohh! Pre or post-pandemic, it’s a great question, how do I celebrate my wins? Well, I think I probably. I think I probably and I don’t know if this is healthy, but — With an intense amount of sort of meta reflection on celebration of wins in the moment, like I probably feel pride, I probably feel excitement, I probably seek I know I’m a recognition driven person. I seek the recognition of people I care about, even people I don’t know that well.
[00:54:00] But at the very same time, I’m also consistently peddling that philosophic dialog about like, well, that I just do anything like that. I didn’t win anything. Was that actually like, Why am I? Pride is such an interesting emotion in particular for me to grapple with insofar as some of those philosophic convictions. So any celebration? Yeah, I’d like to share it with people, I care about it with crazy admiration of others in many ways and try to be honest with myself about that being a real driver for me and try to use that in a healthy way and also try to mix that with a degree of humility about what I can actually reasonably take control of and, hopefully, learn, you know, my my entire profession, whether it’s through endeavor on whether it’s through my, my work and executive coaching and leadership development and training and some of the other stuff that I just do is is really focused on trying to cultivate continuous curiosity and being open to how my own paradigms will hopefully shift and continue to shift over time.
[00:55:02] And just that being the constant. So I try to step up my wins by tempering down my sort of limbic reactions of pride and swelling and needing adulation with appreciation and thoughtfulness and learning and. And also lately nonalcoholic beer. I have really enjoyed a good athletic brewing and a cold shower. I’ve been trying to do the cold, cold water immersion thing to suck up to and doing that. So yeah, I think. I think that’s obvious or junk food, Oreos, fruit snacks, all the sort of things that I hate myself for enjoying so much. I have a very, very sweet tooth.
[00:55:46] So I think those things, but yeah, trying to celebrate it with others is great. And lately, you know, when there are wins that I get excited about, I. You know, it’s usually just picking my daughter up and kissing her on the nose and holding her, even if she doesn’t understand why that that to me is like, that’s that’s the wind chair, I suppose. Cool question. Thank you for that. It’s a really cool question.
Jesse: [00:56:13] Yeah. Jake, if people want to get in touch with you, check out Endeavorun, executive coaching, any of that kind stuff work, where they can get in touch with you?
Jake: [00:56:21] Anywhere. I’m probably too accessible, but certainly for Endeavorun, check us out Endeavorun.com. You can email me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org or we’re not on Twitter, but we’re — we do have an account, but we just didn’t want anyone to create a ghost account and pretend to be us. But Instagram? My my colleague uses it and I have access so you can DM us, you could email us, et cetera, for endeavorun. If folks are interested in any of the other stuff I do in my professional world, you can absolutely hit me up from my website. Easy. Find me on LinkedIn. I think there’s only one Jake Tuber, at least recently that’s got a LinkedIn profile. The flux of having a kind of strange name or on my website, which is abbreviated ticonadvisory.com.
[00:57:02] But yeah, just just Google me. I’m sure you’ll find me. I try to be pretty responsive. It’s pretty important to me to try to be responsive. So I would love to hear from folks, whether it’s just questions they have, if they have resources to help me answer some of the questions for myself and others that they’d be willing to share, I’m always excited to read and grab more stuff, so please do reach out.
[00:57:20] It’s never. It’s never not interesting to hear from someone I don’t know who’s also curious, like it sucks if you hear from someone you don’t know and they’re just trolling you. But generally speaking, like it’s sometimes I’ve heard people saying like, Oh, you know, I heard you on this show or this, and I kind of wanted to reach out, but I wasn’t, you know, I was forget it. Like, consider us old friends over the hump. It’s great to hear from folks and just trying to learn from them and with them and be helpful if I can. So anyway you can reach out as — you and I were joking earlier, just like LinkedIn, I get a lot of shitty LinkedIn messages, so it’s nice to get a real one. Yeah, so agree to to hit me up there. Linkedin also was the kind of like will send me a bajillion notifications, so I can’t ignore it for that long. That’s a sadly is a pretty good way to get in touch with me. But yeah, you can just email me, email@example.com, and I’m happy to respond.
Jesse: [00:58:13] Awesome. Jake, thanks for hanging out with me.
Jake: [00:58:15] Thanks so much for hanging out with me. I so enjoyed it. I hope this wasn’t too painful for you.