Daniel Gefen is the founder of Gefen Media Group and host of the top rated podcast show ‘Can I Pick Your Brain?’ where he has picked the brains of over 100 thought leaders, billionaires and celebrities. He was named the top 25 most influential influencers of 2017 and has been featured in Forbes, Inc and Influencive. Most recently he is the author of the transformational book called "The Self Help Addict - Turn an Overdose of Information Into a Life of Transformation."
- Website: www.DanielGefen.com
- Book: The Self Help Addict by Daniel Gefen
- Podcast: Can I Pick Your Brain?
What is Spirituality to You?
- I’m going to start by saying that the minute you say spirituality to me, it doesn’t mean anything.
- I’m an orthodox Jew, I’m a practicing orthodox Jew and yet the word spirituality doesn’t mean anything to me because for me, it’s just another word people throw around. You have words like entrepreneur and influencer and all these different words people throw around. Spirituality is one of them. For me, it’s tough. How do you define something that’s undefinable?
- I’ll give you an example. How do you define love? How do you explain it to someone who’s never felt love before? If you’ve loved anyone before, it’s easy to explain it.
- If you’ve never felt love before, where do you begin to tell what love feels like? If you have not experience a spiritual moment or you haven’t experienced spirituality in your life, then I cannot describe spirituality to you because it’s an experience. It is out of the realm of comparison.
What belief led you to write ‘The Self Help Addict’?
- That belief evolved over time. I had to rewrite a lot of things along the way. I would read something I wrote a couple of years ago and I’d say; holy crap, you wrote like that? That’s so wrong. Then I’d edit it out.
- About a month before I went to publish, I almost scrapped the whole book. I almost had to rewrite the entire book.
- I had an awakening where I realized that everything I’m writing about in this book is all about how to go from being a consumer to a creator. It’s all about how to go from this self-help cycle of constantly taking in more and more information and actually going and doing something with it. It’s actually taking that energy and creating something out of it. Taking all the inspiration and putting it into action; making it real.
What is the Missing Piece of the Puzzle?
- You are at the proverbial bottom of the mountain. You keep looking up and you keep saying, ‘wow, it’s so amazing’. But I’m just too scared to go up there. I’m afraid of what people will think of me if I try to climb that mountain. I’m going to make a fool of myself.
- You see some people up there already. You have the Oprah Winfrey’s and Tony Robbins and all these amazing people up there and you’re looking up at them like they’re idols.
- You’re saying, ‘wow, wouldn’t it be great to stand on top?’ But I can’t do that because I’m not like that. Imagine I came along and I held you hand and I said, Bruce, let’s climb that mountain. I’m going to help you to climb up.
- And we start climbing. You actually start taking action and you start climbing and you go higher and higher and higher and you get to the top, so to speak. You get to that point where you’ve been dreaming so much to get to, whether it’s that you’ve become a millionaire. You’ve got your wife and children and you’ve got your nice big house. You’re living the American dream. It’s your mountain.
- When you get to the top, you suddenly feel very depressed because you’ve achieved it all and yet you still feel that emptiness inside. That’s worse than when you were at the bottom of the mountain. Why? Because when you were at the bottom of the mountain, at least you had hope.
- People who don’t take much action at least they have in the back of their minds that, if I ever do accomplish ‘X’, I’ll be happy. So at least they have that to live for.
- The people who make it to the top, the celebrities, the athletes, the movie celebrities; when they finally hit their peak and they’re drowning in cash and they can have anyone they want. These are the people who usually overdose on drugs and commit suicide.[show-notes-breathing]
Why do people reach this point of depression?
- Because they come to the realization that, hey, I’ve got everything that anyone could ever hope and dream for and yet I’m still feeling empty. What is there left?
- Then they take their lives because it’s so depressing.
- When I realized this, I realized my book was completely worthless. Everything I had written is helping them get to the top, but that’s not the whole picture. You’ve missed the point. I remember, I called up my Rabi and I also called up a few of my mentors. I told them that I would need to scrap this book and that it was not the full picture. They all said the same thing.
- They said, Daniel, you don’t need to scrap the book, you’ve written half the equation, you just need to write the other half.
How does someone become a self help addict?
- Self help addiction comes from a few things. Number one is doubt. You doubt yourself so what you do is you’re looking for someone and/or some thing that is going to change your life and that doesn’t exist.
What was the biggest thing you learned from writing the book?
- The fact that things always seem like a big deal until you actually do them. Then they’re not that big of a deal anymore.
- This book to me was this massive mountain that just went on and on and on. There was not way to conquer it.
- There was no way to get to the top. It was just this massive beast that I could not capture. I feel like everyone’s got their beast that they’re dealing with. Everyone’s got their mountain that they just can’t seem to overcome.
- It’s just too big. How to you do it? What I came to realize is, once I hit the publish button, the book came out and I had the printed version in my hand and it’s real.
- This is not a mountain to me anymore. This is a book. On one hand it’s a big deal and on the other hand it’s not a big deal anymore.
How do mindfulness and self help dovetail?
- They very much intertwine because if you look at a self-help addict and what happens in the cycle, it’s always the need for more and more information.
- Mindfulness is just being. Being able to allow what you already know deep down inside to come forward. When you meditate, that is when the most clear and the most incredible ideas come because you’re not taking in information at that point.
- When you’re meditating, you’re letting go. At that point when you’re able to let go and you lose any type of judgment of yourself, you lose any type of fear.
- You’re not worried about anything. Your anxiety just drops, so you resume the default position, which is being mindful and being spiritual. When you do that, at that moment in time you break that cycle of needing anything more. You don’t need anything more. You’ve got everything you need.
"You get that clarity of mind, that clarity of purpose, that vision, that mission and then you awaken from the meditation. The question is what do you do next? If you don’t take action then, you’ve really lost out." Daniel Gefen