Overcoming Distractions & Discovering What Truly Matters with Joshua Becker

Episode Number: 269

Episode 269- Overcoming Distractions & Discovering What Truly Matters with Joshua Becker

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Overcoming Distractions & Discovering What Truly Matters with Joshua Becker


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Joshua Becker 0:03

And we are living in the at least your American listeners like we are living in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. 72% of us are still stressed about money. And at least not in 72% of our cases. It's not because we don't have enough money. It's because we keep thinking more money will make us happier. And so we get stressed that we don't have enough we could be happier. If we have more money, we could feel more secure if we had more money. So we get stressed that we don't have enough, when in reality, certainly more than 72% of us have enough money. It's just that we have a incorrect definition of how much money we actually need. Minus 10 seconds.

Intro 0:52

Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in 321.

Jamila Souffrant 1:24

Okay, journeyers, I have a special treat for you. Joshua Becker and his team have decided to gift to Lucky journey to launch podcast listeners a copy of his new book, things that matter. You'll hear all about it in the episode and you're going to want to be entered into a chance to win this book for free. Here's what you need to do to be entered to win. Go to journey to launch.com/win and enter your name and email address. That's where we'll be picking the winners from. Also, if you listen to this podcast on Apple podcast, that purple app on your phone, go and leave a review and make sure you're following me on my instagram account at journey to launch once again. Go to journey to launch.com/win to enter a chance to win a copy of Joshua Becker's new book. Things that matter. giveaway will be open from May 11 to May 17 If you're listening to this in real time, so go to journey to launch.com/win. To enter a chance to win a copy of Joshua's new book. Journey to launch is supported by first republic bank. A seamless banking experience is something we all want. But what does it really mean? At first republic, it means you have access to your own personal banker, someone who knows your name and is there for you when you need them. I know at anytime, I can just reach out to my personal banker Linda with any questions that I have. It's amazing to know that I won't get the runaround by the automated voice recordings and number of prompts that leads you to a dead end that I don't have to be put on hold for hours before I can speak to an actual person. Whether you're browsing their full suite of services, or just have questions about your bank statement. You can reach out to your personal banker by phone or email, and through the best in class banking app. See what a difference and always on seamless banking experience can make for you. Visit first republic.com today to learn more. That's first republic.com Member FDIC equal housing lender. If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes. You'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode. Hey, Jodi Arias, I'm really excited to be bringing back another guest who has appeared first on the podcast actually on episode 64. So earlier on in the podcast, and now he's returning back to talk about what he's been up to and his new book. I have Joshua Becker back on the podcast, he was on episode 64. But now he's back on to talk about his new book, things that matter when he was on the podcast previously, we're talking more about being a minimalist because he is the founder and editor of becoming minimalist. And I will say Joshua, that that episode that we recorded, I think it's one of my top 10 downloaded episodes. Well, yeah, so that means my audience really likes you and wants to hear more. So this is gonna be a really delightful conversation to welcome back.

Joshua Becker 4:57

I'm glad I can be back to fix everything I say. Enrolling

Jamila Souffrant 5:02

this new book, and what you're now talking about is about things that matter, living a life that is free from distractions, if that can never really be true. And I want you to talk to us and teach us how we all can become more purposeful and happier in our lives while pursuing whatever pursuits we have. So tell me a little bit more about why this book, why now and then we can get into some important takeaways.

Joshua Becker 5:32

Sure, the book is called things that matter, overcoming distraction to pursue a more meaningful life. I think you even said it well, in the description, that I don't think we ever entirely eliminate distractions from our lives. But instead, actually, I mentioned in the book that we, we recognize what the distractions are in our life. And then we battle against them every single day to keep our hearts and minds and resources and lives focused on the things that matter most. And the way I describe it in the book is, I really started with a question about the end. How do we get to the end of our lives and have fewer regrets? With how we chose to live? How do we become satisfied with the lives that we chose? And I think the way we do that is we define what things matter most to us what our values most are. And then we pursue them as much as we possibly can by removing distractions. And I think when people hear the title, things that matter, overcoming distraction, to pursue a more meaningful life, they think to themselves, Oh, I need that because I need someone to help me put down my phone. And I do talk about the trivial and technology. But the book actually goes much deeper than that talks about the distraction of money and possessions and accolades and leisure past mistakes, fear. So it's a much deeper book than I think people think is going to be, but I'm pretty proud of it. And glad to be here to talk about it.

Jamila Souffrant 7:14

Yeah, so that's one of the things you list listed them, I would like to get you to list them all again, we don't have to talk about each and every one of them. But I do want to highlight the ones that I think matter. A lot of people listening to this podcast, the people who are pursuing financial independence and freedom, and who may be a little bit more money focused, even though I also stress like living a joyful life and making your money work for you, not you just working for money. But can you list the eight distractions, and then we'll hop into a few?

Joshua Becker 7:40

Yeah, my blog on minimalism I always interacted a lot with people in the financial independence world. And anyone anyone talking about personal finance, minimalism, minimalism is a great conversation. My college degree is in finance. And so I always love these conversations. And at least the most that I interact with aren't talking about finances, so that we can all become as rich as we possibly can. Like there's an underlying motivation behind why we want independence and why we want to be intentional with our finances. So I always love these conversations. And they always go, they always go pretty well, even though the distraction of money is one of the one of the chapters in the book. So the eight distractions that I mentioned in the book, the distraction of fear, that keeps us from even getting started in chasing things that matter. past mistakes. 60% of people say that they are held back by their past mistakes from living the future that they want. Actually, 55% of people say they're held back by mistakes committed against them, that keep them from living the future they want, which was really the most heartbreaking stat in the in the whole book, the distraction of happiness, or at least the selfish pursuit of happiness, or the pursuit of happiness in selfish pursuits is the way I should say that. the distraction of money, always wanting more and needing more, the distraction of possessions, the distraction of accolades, the distraction of leisure, which is basically not appreciating the meaningfulness of doing good and important work, and always trying to get out of work as soon as we possibly can. And then the distraction of tech, or probably the distraction of the trivial is a better way to describe that last one.

Jamila Souffrant 9:34

Yes. Oh my gosh. So as you're saying all these distractions, I'm like, yes, yes, yes. You know, I can recognize where certain distractions that have been more prevalent in my life versus like, ones that haven't been as much. And so one of the things that you mentioned, and I would love to talk about a few but I'm gonna bring some up that stood out to me was the pursuit of happiness. So can you explain how that is a distraction? Because I know everyone who's listening it's like, What do you mean like We're supposed to be happy. And that's why I thought that was the point.

Joshua Becker 10:03

Yeah. In the chapter I define a little bit more about what I mean by that, there are pretty much two pursuits that seem to be common to all of us. So the the pursuit of happiness and the pursuit of self, we tend to care about our own survival and want to make sure we're doing okay. And the pursuit of happiness, I guess, even enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, so a pretty common pursuit. And the problem becomes, when we pursue happiness, in the pursuit of selfish desires, when the pursuit of self and the pursuit of happiness become too intertwined, we always fall short of the highest levels of happiness that we can find. And this has been proven, I mean, over and over again, in like, every study of positive psychology in the history of the world, like when we live lives, that help other people, when we live lives that serve others when we live when we care, not only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others, that this is when we get to the end of our lives, and we're the most satisfied with them. Actually, we did a survey for the book, 60% of people say that they will live their most fulfilled lives, if they live it, helping others. And so that's the kind of the purpose of the book, or at least one of the thoughts in the book that if I'm constantly chasing happiness, by trying to take care of myself all the time, I'll never actually get there. But if I live a life that benefits others, and helps others and serves others, then happiness just tends to come about in our lives, because I think the focus that it gives me start living, more meaningful lives, bigger lives, I mean, our lives can either be lived for us or our lives can be lived for hundreds of people like which one is ultimately going to bring us the most satisfaction, it's when we care for others,

Jamila Souffrant 12:08

right. And I think it's so interesting, because you know, now, as a mom, as a wife, and someone who juggles a lot in the era of growing my business, for me, there's been a transition between putting my happiness first, right, and then we get a lot of messages now that say, especially for head of households, or women that our problem is we care too much about other people, and we put ourselves last and we fill our cup last. And then if we're not filling our cup first, where we pouring from, I don't think that necessarily like contradicts what you're saying. But I think I can see how someone may have a hard time saying, Well, where do I draw the line between fulfilling and doing work that does matter to just me so that I can go out in the world and do better work for others?

Joshua Becker 12:53

Yeah. And so this is where probably the hardest part of me explaining this book to the editor. And I hope it came out in the book. And I think I think it does, okay, I even used that line in the book, you know, you can't pour from an empty cup, where the book doesn't say that money is bad. The book doesn't say that possessions is bad. The book doesn't say that. Fame is bad. The book doesn't say that happiness, or selfish pursuits are bad. When that becomes the primary goal, when that becomes what we most desire, then that becomes the distraction that keeps us from living a more meaningful life. So in this specific scenario, the approach of hey, I need to take care of myself, so that I can be the best mom that I can possibly be. Or I need to take care of myself so that I can bring the greatest good into the world for the greatest number of people. That is the right approach. The wrong approach is I'm just living for myself, and, and self care is all about me. I do what I do, so that I couldn't be happier so that I can focus on myself. I think that that's the shorter term version of happiness, as opposed to saying, hey, I need some time off as a mom, so that I can be the best mom that I can possibly be. That's just a different way of approaching self care. I think a more healthy a more healthy way.

Jamila Souffrant 14:34

Yeah, no, and I mean, that makes a lot of sense. So I think hopefully that would maybe help clarify something for someone if they were thinking something differently. Yeah.

Joshua Becker 14:43

I appreciate that. Because I just got an email literally just last night from someone who I wrote about this idea of you know, that the me monster that we can become so focused on fulfilling our own desires that we we miss out on on helping others and he's like, Well, if I Don't look out for myself who's going to, I said, I didn't say that you don't take care of yourself. There's, there's a little bit of assumption that we tend to do that naturally ourselves. And we need to be pushed outside of ourselves, certainly, certain seasons of life, force it upon us a little bit more, as you know, full well, but that's just about why am I doing this?

Jamila Souffrant 15:23

I think what happens here, like you said, it's not about eliminating these things from our lives, like having money in a capitalist society is important to be able to survive and work within a system, even if it's broken, and focusing on our happiness so that we are okay is key, it's more about this balance and knowing when to do what and when to focus, because you may be listening to this, and you may be in a stage in your life, where you need to focus on you. And maybe you don't have a specific I'm doing it for this other person. Maybe you don't need to figure that out yet. But like you said, I do think it's more of a, and for me, it has been an evolution of why I'm doing certain things. And it does always come back to like the greater good. Like, it's not just about me, but I know for sure, sometimes I couldn't see beyond me. And that was all I could do at the moment. So I think it's really great that we're talking about this in this way. Because what you're talking about what everyone's trying to really do, even if it's about pursuing financial independence, is living a life that they choose, they have options. And what does that mean? Like? How do we do that without feeling pulled in every other direction, apart from the path that we were meant to travel on.

Joshua Becker 16:29

So as you know, I write about minimalism a lot, and kind of what I'm known for, I guess, although I did a podcast a couple of months ago with someone who said, I know you're known for minimalism. But this new book is the one I think that you were really born to write. But minimalism, always is, and was how I explain it. Like, I'm going to own fewer possessions so that I can focus more time and money and energy on more meaningful things. The happiness I'll find and possessions is always short term, sometimes, even before I get home from the store, like I regret the purchase. And so minimalism frees us up to pursue happiness in different places than physical possessions. Where you go to pursue happiness, after physical possessions is up to you, like some people might say, Hey, I just want to travel the world. I just want to save as much money as I possibly can, in my bank account, I just want to retire early as I possibly can. I want to spend more time with my family, like, it's up to you, what you go do with your leftover resources. But I don't necessarily think the first thing we choose Next, is the thing that will lead us to happiness, or purpose or meaning or life with no regrets. So I'm going to own fewer possessions so that I can have as much money as I possibly can in my bank account. Like you can begin pursuing that. And you may get more money in your bank account than you ever thought you would and still realize that there's still something missing like i There must be something else to life than just a whole bunch of money in my bank account. And so that's what you're talking about. I think, you know that. Why are we pursuing financial independence? Why are we pursuing intentionality with our money? And what I think is the reason why I'm doing it may or may not be the most meaningful thing. And I hope that the that this book would kind of force us to at least evaluate, like, am I chasing the next right thing? Or is there even something better that I can be pursuing with my life?

Jamila Souffrant 18:45

Right, and so one of the distractions you mentioned is the distraction of money. So I'd love to dive deeper into that.

Joshua Becker 18:52

There's two ways to think about this. Since we're both entrepreneurs and run a business online, and I once did a podcast, we're talking about my philosophy of business, and especially being a minimalist. And I said, this probably isn't the quickest way to make a lot of money. But my approach to business has always been, I want to help others. And when you help others and serve others, then the money tends to follow. Like this, ideally, is what all business is like I'm doing something for somebody that benefits them that they are willing to pay me to do for them and if it's helped them own less stuff, if it's helped them become more intentional, then this is what I do you you help people find financial independence become more intentional with their money and you do it so well that they're willing to pay you to do that because they can't do it for themselves or they need to focus their attention on doing what they do well to help other people This is the business approaches how I've always approached it. So when I look at becoming minimalists.com, I don't do what I would do to make more money. I always want to approach my business as How can I be the most helpful to the most amount of people. And sometimes that involves charging money. But at the end of the day, or at the end of my life, I feel more satisfied. Knowing that I didn't do I didn't make business decisions based on how much money I'm going to make. But I made my decisions based on who can I help today? And how can I help the most amount of people, which I think just to get back to the theme of the book, I think we get to the end of our lives, and we have fewer regrets, because of how the decisions that we made because we weren't distracted by, I just want more money. And so 80% of people say that they'll be happier if they have more money. 77% of people say that their daily decisions are based on how to how to have more money. And we are living in the earliest your American listeners like we are living in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. 72% of us are still stressed about money. And at least not in 72% of our cases, it's not because we don't have enough money, it's because we keep thinking more money will make us happier. And so we get stressed that we don't have enough, we could be happier, if we had more money, we could feel more secure if we had more money. So we get stressed that we don't have enough, when in reality, certainly more than 72% of us have enough money, it's just that we have a incorrect definition of how much money we actually need.

Jamila Souffrant 21:52

Yeah, that's a great clarification or kind of like asterik, because I feel like for some people who are really struggling and there is a level of they don't have enough to cover their basic needs and have a level of joy in their life that they want to pay for more money will help them right. And there is a level or there's a sub segment of people within your percentage, as you just said, where they're making decent money, or they have maybe enough, but it doesn't feel like enough, because of outside influences. And the more things and all these messages that we get, whether it's from our culture, or from big corporations that are telling us, wait, you, you want to take this trip, you want to have this car. And I always go back and forth. Because I understand that for some people, having the car makes them happy. Even if it's surface level, or maybe deep level, maybe it's something like they dreamed about, you know, as a little kid, it's a deep meaning for them to have this car. But it feels like for some people like it is like pursuing like this hamster wheel of more money and not realizing that that's not going to solve an issue. So I'd love to stay here for a little bit because I realized that my own journey, my financial journey, that really early on that it wasn't about the money, because if it was I would have stayed in my corporate job and like, kept working and getting that guaranteed paycheck. But I'm like, wait, it's not the start with that I want money. Of course, I want a certain level of flexibility. But what I want is options. Like I want to be able to take my kids to school, I want to be able to not have to ask anyone for a vacation and do it. I'll do it when I want to do it. So yeah, I think it's really important. Like if we can all recognize within ourselves, like what's our baseline enough money? And then make conscious decisions of is it going to be worth it to work more or to take that extra job or to do this extra thing and exert more effort? Just for this extra check or dollar?

Joshua Becker 23:42

Yeah, you know, there's all these different studies on does money bring us happiness or not? And what's the magic number and some say if it's $50,000 a year annual income, like money doesn't actually increase your happiness much after that. Some people say it's 75,000. Like there's all these really interesting stats of, you know, how much does money really contribute to our happiness? Depends on where you live, right? Oh, sure, especially nowadays, but probably the most helpful study that I've seen in this arena, Harvard 100,000 adults, and the survey wasn't about I'm trying to remember the the specifics way that they laid it out, I can I can get to the punch line. And the punch line was that when we trade time, for money, we end up becoming less happy than we think we're going to be. So I could take on the new side hustle that is going to bring in some extra money this year. And if I think it's okay to trade the time for the money because the money is going to bring me happiness or I'm going to have time left over at the end of life, then it never brings as much happiness as if I had just chosen time in the first place, which I think is a little bit about what you're saying, where, hey, I could have stayed in my corporate job and had more money, but not had the flexibility or not have the free time when I wanted it to be living the life that that I wanted. And so the case I would be making in the book is like, I think you've made a decision that you'll get to the end of your life and not regret, because you are able to focus on things that matter more than just making more money. At the end of the day.

Jamila Souffrant 25:40

I want to say plot twist, because while my first initial reason for leaving, was because it wasn't about the money. It you know, actually I am making more money than I did make in my corporate career and have a lot more potential to make more money than I would ever in my corporate career. And what you're saying like matters, like when we cannot focus on the things that matter and focus on the higher good because like the work I'm doing now, it's impacting more people. That's when you do reap the rewards, or the things that you're not necessarily as focused on any more, you just more clear in terms of your pursuit of what matters.

Joshua Becker 26:18

Yeah, and it's more enjoyable to you, you're more you're more passionate about it, you want to be better at it. I guess that would go back to my my first thought, right? Like when you're, when you're helping other people and serving other people and doing what you were built to do that the money tends to follow. The problem becomes when we put the cart before the horse, I guess, as they like to say and where, like I'm constantly wanting more money, I'm taking on more responsibility, like there's always another opportunity to make more money, and that's never going to end and when life becomes about I just want more money, or I need more money all the time, then this is when it becomes a distraction to things that can matter most and do matter most.

Jamila Souffrant 27:07

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Joshua Becker 28:55

So I've always thought that the greatest benefit of generosity is that we realize that we already have enough. The question in the chapter is how much money is enough? Like how do I know if I have enough money already. And by that I mean income like I'm making enough money that I have enough money for the rest of my life and never need to work because there's a whole nother chapter on the value of meaningful work. But one of the ways I think we begin to overcome this stress of I don't have enough money is we give something away. If you can give away $5 This week, and still get to the end of the week and have food and have shelter and have clothing. Then not only do you have enough money to sustain yourself, but you had For an extra $5, that week that you could give away to someone else and still have enough, left over for yourself. My goal isn't that people would just give away $5 A week, like, my goal is that we would use our resources to solve problems in the world that we're passionate about solving. But we begin to overcome this, thinking that I don't have enough money, I don't have enough money, I don't have enough money. Like if you're making more money today than you were making two years ago, or you were making last month even, it's just, I had three, like three significant pay increases in the first 10 years of marriage. And I never felt like I had enough. Like, I could look back after my third pay increase, and I was making twice as much as I was making five or six years ago, and yet, I didn't feel like I had a financial cushion. And yet, I had twice as much money twice as much coming in that year than I did four or five years ago. And I'm like, what gives here? Like, how come? I don't feel that I have enough, even though I'm making so much more now than I was back then what what am I missing? And I think the missing piece is we start giving to causes that we believe in and problems that we're passionate about solving. And we begin to realize, hey, I actually did have enough money to take care of myself and help someone else. So this constant thinking that I need more and more and more all the time is probably getting in the way of a more meaningful life.

Jamila Souffrant 31:40

And it's great because it is flexing that abundance mindset that some of us don't feel like we have, right that we don't have access to enough. And I mean, I often just have to remember to remind myself, like coming from my mom's generation, or how she grew up how much more than I have, even like how much being a single mom and having less support less money, what she was able to accomplish with me. It's amazing. And so when I think about even now, and I'm like, Well, can I do all these things with my kids? And I'm like, what you don't need to? Like, it's great if you can, we'll try to if we can, but if you can't, that's fine, too, because you're doing enough, right? And when you think about like how much more my kids have maybe then another kid who doesn't have like the resources and it grounds you to be grateful for what you have. And to even then let's Okay, let's give away now or let's help out someone else who maybe doesn't have enough?

Joshua Becker 32:31

Yeah, yeah, you're right. I mean, you can look back at past generations and be like how they make it like how they get by, and you just start to recognize, you don't overcome the need to have enough by getting more money. And I know everyone thinks that they will, like everyone thinks, Well, if I just made that much more money. If I had that much money in the bank, I would feel secure. If I had that much money. If I made this much each year, I would feel secure. But I can tell you and maybe can attest to this or not like you can make that much money and you won't necessarily feel more secure. You just change the goal line, you just oh I now I am making more money and I don't feel more secure. I must not be making enough money. The goal line must be over there. But I think like 89% of millionaires say that they're not wealthy, like 89% of millionaires say that they don't have enough money left. And so if you think I am going to out earn that thinking, maybe there's some level way up there where you're gonna get that to that point. But you know, for most people they aren't and I don't even know if you know, John D. Rockefeller, I think famously, the richest man in the US at the time and like to have enough money said no, just a little bit more, just a little bit more. I think that's what money does.

Jamila Souffrant 33:55

Well, I think because, you know, we have this strivers mindset or we want more. And we often are encouraged to compare ourselves or to surround ourselves by people who are smarter and richer than us. And I think looking up and forward, in a way, keeps that mentality of not having enough and not that you should want to look down on anyone. But I think it's important to look back and to look at how far you've come or how much more you have than others, instead of always striving and looking ahead because the looking back or looking at what you have more than other people will allow you then to ground yourself and realize that you're actually in a better position than most.

Joshua Becker 34:32

Yeah. What I would even say is the people that we look up to the people that we're chasing or emulating or learning from, when I think of the people in my life that I most want to be like, like I look up to the most as role models in my life. It's not the people who are making a lot of money. If I want to learn how to make a lot more money than those who have become my greatest role models, but in reality, I'm most drawn to people who are generous people who are loving and compassionate and kind and people of character and integrity, that with values that, that I want to be true of me like my grandfather, my father, like people that certain bosses that I've worked with that will never be known, like, there's never going to be an article in Forbes written about how rich they are. And yet, if I had to choose one life to live, I would much rather look like my grandfather than I would look like that other Internet entrepreneur that's making twice as much money as I am. When the distraction becomes, I just want my life to be about making as much money as possible, then those are the mentors that I look up to and want to emulate. But when I think to myself, no, money just is distracting me from more meaningful things than I choose different mentors to look up to and follow.

Jamila Souffrant 36:03

Yeah. The other thing that one of the distractions that you mentioned, which also is in line with this pursuit of financial independence, for some is like leisure, right? Like we want more time off more time to travel more time to do things that we want to do without work. I think that's noble. I think that's legit in terms of probably how hard people are working or how stressed and overworked they feel. So what is that balance between leisure being something that feels you that we deserve? Like, I want to do more versus too much of it? Maybe it's not necessarily a good thing?

Joshua Becker 36:35

Yeah, good. Certainly, my opinions on retirement are rare and unpopular. CNN once called retiring early, the new American dream. And I know there's a whole a whole movement, the whole fire idea ends with retiring early, even though they always tell me that it doesn't mean what I think it means it's

Joshua Becker 36:57


Joshua Becker 37:00

It's not retiring from work entirely. It's retiring from the job you hate. So you can go do whatever you want, which is fine. And as as basically what I'm saying, my whole point is that work is meaningful, the work that we do, should and does bring a benefit to society. And we should see it that way. And when we begin to see our work that way, it becomes more meaningful to us. So 78% of Americans are disengaged at work. I'm like, well, 78% of jobs in America aren't terrible, like why? Like, why are 80% of us not enjoying our jobs? And I think the reason is, Dorothy Sayers wrote up an essay back in around World War Two called Why We work. And she makes this case that work has become selfish. I go to work to make the money that allows me to buy the thing, or go on the vacation or stop working as soon as I possibly can, like, I go to work for what I get out of it. But at the beginning, I don't know if it's historically accurate or not. But at the beginning work was what we did to benefit other people, like if everyone was hunting and sowing and farming and building and one family says to the other family, Hey, you're good at hunting, why don't you go hunt, I'll stay here and build the houses, they can go do the sowing, he can go do the farming. And we'll just trade at the end of the day, and we'll have better houses and we'll have better clothes, and we'll have better fruits and vegetables, and we'll have better meat. And like everyone will benefit because we're all doing what we're good at. This then is a selfless approach to work. Like I do what I'm good at, so that everybody else benefits and they can go do what they're good at. And we all move forward as a society. In some ways, work becomes love, like I do what I do to help other people and to benefit other people. Some people think I'm saying, hey, just go do what you're passionate about. And I'm not saying that necessarily, because I think every job is meaningful. Well, almost every job is meaningful. There's probably a few that aren't but like, the grocery store clerk takes the money from the person in the neighborhood. And then the money gets to the farmer who grew the food, like everyone works together to move us all forward. So in that way, my point is that if work is just what we do to get out of work, then we'll always find less meaning in it than seeing it as the thing that I do that helps other people.

Jamila Souffrant 39:57

Yeah, and I think the container Then for where we work and who we work for. So like if you're working for a big corporation and think what the issue that people have is this idea that at the grocery store at these big box grocery stores, like, ultimately, hopefully, whoever produced this, but is getting paid for this, if it's a local farmer, but because this has become such a capitalist, like mass produce society, a lot of that is some are farmers and some are not. Some are like, factory or machines. But then there's someone working in the factory that gets paid, because you're buying the material. But I think where people get upset at work is just like companies that fail to center their employees and to like, talk about the mission. And where's that profit going to? Where is it going back to the community? Is it going back to the people who are working for you? Are you treating them? Well? And I think like, that's like a bigger issue, you know, like, we won't solve on this podcast, because I get that too. Like, it's not when I was working to retire, it was really to work to retire from my job, right? Like, I want to work. And most people that I've talked to that reach financial independence are well on their way. They're working, and they're making more money. They're just doing what they want to do, because they have options, right? So it's more about, I think, for people, it's just like, how do you get to a place and not everyone's about to be an entrepreneur, right? Like, so if you're going to work for someone else? How do you find that good fit with a company or with a job with the people within that company, that it does feel like you're giving back or that it's for the greater good, because a lot of people don't feel like that when they go to work every day. They're like, this feels pointless.

Joshua Becker 41:28

No. And, and part of that is part of that is because of the the corporate culture, because of I think, individually how we think of work and how we approach it. And so like, I would say, someone who's in the corporation, and they, they don't love everything about the corporation, but you can still control what you control. And like I would say, every day, or at least in a very significant way. Like think through, okay, I may not love everything about this company that I worked for. But what I get to do today is I get to provide customer support to someone who bought the product, I get to manage and lead people, I get to communicate what our product offers to people, like I get to do something that is meaningful, even though I don't agree with everything. All the decisions being made in the company, there's something important that I'm bringing into the world. Today, I think that brings helps us find more meaning in the work that we're doing. And then like then to get to your original question like how does leisure and work fit together? Again, it becomes like what is the motivation behind my my day, and if my goal of work is to get to the vacation, then I think we've we've got things flipped around, I was once actually on a vacation with a group of guys. That's kind of a work vacation, I guess. And I said, my, my theory is, I don't work so that I can go on nice vacations. I go on vacations so that I can come home and do better work. It flips around rest, where rest and leisure isn't the goal of my life. But I use rest and leisure so that I can do my best work in the world. That helps the most number of people with who I am. Beaches get boring is the name of the chapter. And I just think if we're if we're constantly chasing leisure, or the whole goal of work is to stop working forever, then I think that we sell short our potential in the world.

Jamila Souffrant 43:51

Yeah, and because I love being solution oriented, I think or at least asking the right questions is that if you do feel like we were talking about in a job where you don't feel a purpose, and it's not what you want to do you have other pursuits, it's finding the purpose and joy. I always say like it has to be one. Not everyone is annoying. I know a lot of things may not be working out. But there has to be a couple of things, the bright spots in your day or at your job that you can look towards, and focus on to make things better in the moment.

Joshua Becker 44:18

And there are no perfect jobs. Even roses have thorns. And so if there are some things about your job that you don't like, you're not going to solve that by changing jobs, because there are going to be things in the next job that you don't like as well. It's a little bit about the nature of work. Now, that being said, I discovered pretty early when I found minimalism, that hey, if I'm owning less stuff, and if I'm content with only owning less stuff, then I need less money to live on. And if I need less money to live on then I have more options available about the work that I can be doing and I don't have to live with the golden handcuffs or the or I always say golden handcuffs. As can sometimes be silver, like you don't have to be at the very top of the chain to still feel tied to a certain level of income. And I think a lot of people would be happier if they chose a job that they were more passionate about if they were paid a lot less. I mean, you would you would share that story, but they're certainly doing something that they feel more passionate about and is more meaningful.

Jamila Souffrant 45:24

Yeah. Now, one distraction, you mentioned, that I think plagues us all is the distraction of technology. You call it something else when we were going through the summary, actually, but I want to talk about that, because it's so hard with all these technology firms, they know the algorithms like they know, even it's manufactured for us to be addicted to our phones, and being able to overcome that addiction and have a healthy relationship with social media, the news, just everything like how do we create that so that we have more space to do the things we want to do?

Joshua Becker 45:56

Yeah, the word I use is trivial. And, and that's because I, I do what I do, because of technology, like I, I do what I do, because I'm on social media, and I get to blog, and I get to write and I get to reach people, and we get to be doing this today. And so I don't think the the distractions, necessarily technology, the distraction is the trivial aspects of technology, the things that take our time, or change our worldview, or steal our energy or redirect are our passions, that those are the distractions that I think end up getting us in the long run, kind of the approach that I've always taken that that I thought is helpful, there's two things I recommend in the book. Number one, seeing technology, the difference between creating and consuming online, I think is very helpful. And a good way to think about it. I like to create online, and I like to try to bring about good in the world, hopefully, by the things that I'm writing in the things that I'm saying and doing. That's a different way to use technology than just scrolling through social media, or playing another 10 levels of Candy Crush or playing another video game like that is just consuming. And there's a time and a space for consumption. I mean watching television is is the same thing. But when all of our time is spent on consuming, or, as you say, so well, how the how the tech companies have really mastered keeping us caught in that consumption loop. Like even saying nice things to people, while we're on social media, like that's a way of creating, that's a way of bringing some good into the world. Like even that's different than just constantly scrolling with a finger. So noticing the difference between creating and consuming. And then really what I recommend in the book is to take a take a fast from a tech detox of some sort, you know, just like you would with a food like, Hey, I'm wondering if this food is affecting me, I just cut it out of your diet for 30 days, and then bring it back in and see what the difference is. And I've done the same with tech between two weeks and one month depending a little bit on on what the year is. But annually, like just put it away for a month and just say for the next month I'm I'm only going to answer email if you have to do at work like once a day at work, like you got your work time and then you've got your your other time and I say cut out as much as you can for a month and then reintroduce it back slowly.

Jamila Souffrant 48:42

That's solid advice. I'm just even thinking about whether it's not keeping the phone also by your bedside or your night table because you realize that you have a scrolling tendency and take note of like what changes like cutting something out your diet to see if you know you're ever allergic to give a gluten allergy or you can't eat dairy anymore. It's just like if something is not feeling right in your life. You have to do these experiments to help figure out what's what's the issue because you don't want to look back at your life and say I could have did this differently. But I knew I was like wasting all this time with all these distractions, you know that we talked about some of them here, you want to be able to have intention and say you you got the most out of your life. Now, Joshua, please tell everyone where they can find your book and more about you.

Joshua Becker 49:28

The book is called Things That Matter overcoming distraction to pursue a more meaningful life and is available everywhere. My Home Base online is becoming minimalists.com. And certainly, I'm involved a lot of other places YouTube and different books and different social media outlets, but every everything runs through becoming minimalists.com. So I always send people there.

Jamila Souffrant 49:51

I love it. And I will link all of that in the show notes actually have if you're watching this on video, I'm sitting in front of a copy of Joshua's book and I have to ask this I don't know if anyone asks you this before, but what's the design at all? Like influenced by atomic habits?

Joshua Becker 50:04

I assume? Have you written a book? Have you published a book?

Jamila Souffrant 50:08

Well, not you asked that I have to tell you, I did get a book deal late last year. So I'm in the process of writing my book, it won't be out until 2024. Got it?

Joshua Becker 50:17

So one of the first questions always is, what do you want the cover to look like? Do you have any ideas for the cover? Send us copies of books that you look up to. And so atomic habits, I'm sure was on my list of here's a good one. And they sent it to me. And I know James, and I'm like, Ah, it looks a little bit too much like it. Can we pick some different colors or something? And they're like, No, we like the colors and like, well, it's not something I'm gonna fight. So yes, atomic habits was certainly on my on my list of hey, here's here's good cover. I have had, honestly, the covers for my first two books, I spent so much energy and effort fighting and arguing about and I'm like, it's just not worth it. I'll trust my publisher to to put something out that people are gonna like so. And it seemed to work well for James. So why would I argue?

Jamila Souffrant 51:13

Yeah, well, I mean, well, I just I was like, Oh, when I first saw this, I just had to ask it. So thank you for sharing that behind the scenes I already know like the publishing world is something else. But thank you for sharing that. And thanks again for being on the show. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. Okay, don't forget you can enter a chance to win a copy of Joshua Becker's new book, things that matter by going to journey to launch.com/win. That's Journey to launch.com/w I N. Enter your name and email for a chance to win. Also, make sure you go and leave a review on Apple podcast if you listen on Apple podcast, and follow me on my instagram account at journey to launch. This will get you into the doors for the contest. giveaway is open from May 11 to May 17. Good luck journeyers. Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeyers. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

(This post may include some affiliate links)

Joshua Becker, Wall Street Journal best-selling author, joins the podcast to discuss how to eliminate common obstacles to discover what truly matters in your life. 

Joshua is passionate about helping people recognize what is hindering their happiness and live with no regrets. We discuss problematic narratives in the Financial Independence, Retire Early Movement, why being selfless will lead to a more fruitful life, and actionable steps to rid yourself of distractions.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The 8 distractions: fear, past mistakes, the selfish pursuit of happiness, money, possession, accolades, leisure, and technology
  • How serving your community and having empathy for others allows you to avoid the “Me Monster”
  • How the greatest benefit of generosity is when we realize we already have enough
  • An exercise to overcome the narrative of “I don’t have enough money.”
  • Getting to the end of your life and not regretting it, because you were able to focus on things that matter, more than just making more money + more

Enter for a chance to win Joshua’s book here.

Watch this video on Youtube here!

Episode 269- Overcoming Distractions & Discovering What Truly Matters with Joshua Becker Click To Tweet

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