In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

Whether we like it or not, we’re living in a culture of “heroic individualism” in which numbers and results dictate our success and drive our sense of fulfillment. 

And while many current mindfulness techniques (& other “anecdotes”) teach us to move away from this lifestyle, not all of these practices are applicable for those of us who need to provide for our families and/or aspire to more. 

But “groundedness” belongs in a category of its own. Defined as “the internal strength and true self confidence that comes from learning how to practice the timeless skills of acceptance, patience, presence, vulnerability and community”- today’s guest Brad Stulberg is on a mission to dispel myths around this ancient practice while making it more practical for the everyday person and leader. 

Brad researches, writes, and coaches on health, well-being, and sustainable performance. He is bestselling author of the new book, The Practice of Groundedness, and also Peak Performance. His work has been featured in The New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Forbes, and more. In his coaching practice, he works with executives, entrepreneurs, and physicians on their performance and well-being. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

His new book, The Practice of Groundedness, has been marked down by over 40 percent for a limited time! If you are thinking about getting a copy, take advantage of this great deal!

We discuss: 

  • Ways groundedness differs from typical mindfulness/gratitude practices
  • Strategies for combating heroic individualism and how get off the “Hedonic Treadmill”
  • Building strong community and the need for local as well as distant ties
  • “Performative” versus true vulnerability – how to achieve the latter 

Connect with Brad: 

Via Twitter: @BStulberg 

Via his website:

Speaking of achieving performance, recovery and health at the highest level, we’d be remiss not to mention our greatest partner in the space- Momentous. Check out their entire line of protein and supplements at and use code BRETT15 at checkout for 15% off!


Brett Bartholomew  0:00  

On today’s episode is brought to you by Momentous given our busy schedules and the chaotic nature of life you amongst us will ever be perfect with our eating habits or dietary habits in general, and momentus understands this. That’s why they’ve created a line of supplements for people who want to be healthy and high performing without being fanatical. Learn more at And be sure to use code Brett 25 at checkout for 25% off your first order and 15% off any subsequent order again, that’s and code Brett with two T’s 25.


Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s episode.


Today I sit down with Brad Stulberg. Brad is an internationally known expert on human performance, wellbeing and sustainable success. Yeah, so you know those people that tell you to hustle, hustle, grind, grind, grind, all of that stuff. He is the exact opposite. He is all about helping you win over the long term. He’s the best selling author of peak performance, the passion paradox, and his latest book, The practice of groundedness. His work has appeared in The New York Times Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times wired Forbes, Outside Magazine and more. And he’s a good friend of mine. So one part you may enjoy is us arguing like we’re an old married couple. So without further ado, my friend Brad Stulberg.


What’s up everybody. Welcome back to another edition of The Art of coaching Podcast. I’m here with Brad Stulberg. Brad, welcome back.


Brad Stulberg  2:43  

Hey, Brett, it is great to be talking to you. 


Brett Bartholomew  2:45  

Hey, Brad, it’s good to be talking to you too, especially because I’m gonna push back on you. And we’re gonna have some fun on this one for anybody not who has not listened before Brad and I are good friends. And so because this is a conversational podcast, we can give each other a little bit of a hard time. So Brad, you wrote a new book, The practice of groundedness and transformative path to success that feeds not crushes your soul? 


Brad, what’s going to convince me and I’ve read it. So of course, I’m saying this tongue in cheek, what’s going to convince me that when I opened this, this is not some wishy washy book that’s going to tell me to quit striving so hard for goals and just practice gratitude, and meditate more? Why do I need this book.


Brad Stulberg  3:25  

So what I would say there is just the definition of the term groundedness. And that’s offered very early on in the book. And it’s quite explicit that the goal of groundedness is not to get rid of ambition or striving. It’s to situate that ambition or striving and a firm foundation, so it feels less all over the place and frenetic. The metaphor I like to use is this, there’s a peak of the mountain, there’s two ways to get to the top. One way you’re constantly obsessing on what the peaks gonna look like. You’re worried about what people will think if you don’t get there, you might be putting it up for your Instagram story with nine filters along the way. And your entire self worth is wrapped up in getting to the top of the mountain. The other way to the top of the mountain is to show up day in and day out, be where you are, put one foot in front of the other, enjoy the view from the side and have some fun along the way. Be present and be patient. Both of those climbers might reach the top of the mountain, but the texture of their journey is going to be totally different. And what I’m trying to do in this book is help you be the ladder climber. So you can strive you can achieve goals. There’s so much fulfillment that comes in striving for something that’s meaningful. I just want to situate it in a way that it doesn’t make you crazy.


Brett Bartholomew  4:44  

Yeah, I think that makes sense. You know, when we talk about a lot of folks in our internal community, respecting the craft, without getting stuck on, you know, a term that you’ve used before this hedonic treadmill, right you can respect your craft, but you also have to know like, what too far. And I think I’ve explored that people are familiar with my story, I know you have as well. But when you think of people going too far, adhering to that old mantra of you never know how far you can go until you risk going too far. How does that align? Or maybe differ from this concept of heroic individualism? Because I like how you frame this up, right? This is so chase that,


Brad Stulberg  5:20  

yeah, so heroic individualism. First, let’s define the term right. It’s this game of one upsmanship against yourself and other people. So you’re constantly trying to outdo yourself and other people were, like measurable achievement is the only arbiter of success. So you’re constantly looking at these external dashboards to see how you’re doing. And that could be if you’re a creative, it could be book sales, or podcast downloads, if you’re a coach, it could be high profile athletes you work with, if you’re a professional in the business world, it could be revenue, or how many minions or underlings you have reporting to you. That’s fine. But that can’t be the whole thing. Because eventually what happens is like the numbers go down, or they’re not as good as you thought they were. And as a result, you’re like constantly chasing your tail, because it’s never good enough. Like you always need more, anyone that’s ever had a success, understands the urge to like want the next success. And again, the point of this book isn’t to stop striving, the point is to make it less of a compulsion. So that you can do so from more of a place of like freedom and joy and love. And that sounds woowoo. 


And before you push back, I’m going to explain what I mean by that. So if you’re doing something, because you feel like you need to, like everything rests on this thing, you tend to get really tight, your shoulders might rise, your eyebrows might tense up. If you’re doing something from a place of joy and love, you tend to be more open. And there’s all this research shows that most people not everyone, but most people perform better from a place of like joy and love. This is in the research literature. This is where flow comes from. But it’s also an all these ancient wisdom traditions, like the goal of any major ancient wisdom tradition is to lose a sense of self. How do you lose a sense of self, by not fucking obsessing about yourself all the time? And by focusing on your language on the craft, you become one with the craft, you get the best results, you also get the most fulfillment?


Brett Bartholomew  7:17  

Yeah, no, you did a good job of that. And I appreciate this is what people will love. You know, this episode is because we will push back on each other and have some fun with it. It’s so much more real right than just the scripted podcast. And what you’re touching on reminds me a lot of these kinds of three models of commitment, right? There’s affective commitment doing something because you want to there’s continuance commitment, because you feel like you need to what you alluded to, and then normative, like, oh, I ought to and we see this so often, even though so many of our listeners now span from firefighters and coaches and what have you. But in coaching, specifically, I saw this in my own background of people chasing the job, people chasing the thing, people chasing the label, people chasing the highest level athletes, or whatever the perception is, and they can’t get off that treadmill brown like that is heroic individualism of well, I’m doing this for the right reasons. Okay, then Why do you need to continue to move your family 36 different places, just so you can work for this university you’re in. And I’ve fallen victim to that too, right? Because it is a blurry line. It is like, hey, I want to be great at what I do. I want to do it at the perceived highest level. But then there comes this moment where you realize, oh, there’s dissonance. There’s plenty of people that get to this level. And like you said, and you say in the book, that ain’t what I thought it was 


and I wonder, do you have this own your own experience of this? I mean, you’ve written three books now, right? This is number three, correct? 


Brad Stulberg  8:39  



Brett Bartholomew  8:40  

you’ve written three books. Now you have a successful coaching career in your own right. Like, when did you start asking these questions of yourself?


Brad Stulberg  8:48  

I mean, I experienced it. Like, I thought that getting a literary agent would make me content that I thought that publishing a book wouldn’t make me content. And I thought that having that book, be a best seller would make me content. And then I finally realized that like, guess what contentment is not out in front of me, or if it is, I’m not gonna find it, I better create it like in my life right now. So I’ve been thinking about this stuff, I don’t know over the last five years because every stop on my journey that I thought would bring me fulfillment has not what has brought me fulfillment is when knowingly or unknowingly I’m practicing groundedness like I am where I am. And I’m focused on being present and patient for what’s in front of me. So that’s the first thing that I would say in terms of like, how did this come about, and how have I experienced it in my own life? The second thing I’d say is it’s really freaking hard. Like we live in a society that loves heroic individualism. So let’s just talk about like the consumer capitalist model. The whole point is to make you feel like you’re not enough so you buy some product service or good that then makes you enough. If you watch a commercial for cat litter, the people are beautiful. They know that doesn’t have anything to do with cat litter, the whole point is to sell you on this idea that you need this product. And then you too will be beautiful. God forbid, like a commercial for a fancy car or watch, they’re not selling the car, the watch, they’re selling being this like, you know, sleek, smooth person. And the whole system is set up to have us think that like success is out ahead in front of us. And it can be, but if that’s 100% of your motivator, you’re gonna end up burnt out anxious, depressed, restless, whatever it is. 


The researchers they call this the arrival fallacy, right? What a clever freaking term, right? And that is that we think we’re going to arrive. But it’s a fallacy because when we get to that point that we thought would be our rival the goalpost is always 10 yards down the field. I talked about in the book, Ray Allen in his biography, because I know we got some sports guys and gals listening to the show, he talks about how one of the worst days of his life or the hardest days of his life was the day after he won a championship. Because he thought that if he just won that championship, he’d be content. And you woke up the next morning, and he’s like, Well, shit, like what next? So this book really tries to change the psychology not so that you don’t strive for the next thing, but so that you don’t feel emptiness along the way. So you can both be good enough now and want to get better.


Brett Bartholomew  11:22  

Yeah, and I appreciate that mention of the arrival fallacy. And you hear a lot of different terms for this, right? The idea of the Oh, the second mountain or the sickness of more along the same lines of what you said there. I remember reading in an interview and somebody asks you, hey, is this a problem of living and working in America? And you did mention the capitalism piece. But you also, if I remember correctly, in that interview said, Well, I don’t want to be a total critique of capitalism, right? Because that’s not your wheelhouse. Because that’s one thing that I would think I think, inherently in people, right, just looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, many of us feel like at some level, we’re not enough. Many of us feel like we have something to prove. That can’t just be because Oh, yeah, no, that’s only if you live in a capitalistic society. I mean, Or is that your stance? You know, because?


Brad Stulberg  12:06  

So yeah, I’m glad you’re asking that question. So the first thing is right, that is out of my wheelhouse. And I think that, like capitalism gave us vaccines in record time for a deadly pandemic. So clearly, not everything about capitalism is bad. It’s the human condition. And you look back at these ancient wisdom traditions, and the practices are all to counter this sense of like not feeling enough trying to fill emptiness. Particularly Buddhism, like the whole point of Buddhism is you suffer because you’re striving for something that’s an illusion. And I think that consumer capitalism in particular, preys on that at hyperspeed. So is it the human condition? Absolutely. Has it intensified, particularly now due to technology that allows us to make our personalities brands on a marketplace, which is social media, also absolutely true. So I think both those things are true at once. I think it’s both the human condition. And I think that we live in a culture where it’s intensified. And I think you can do an empirical experiment on yourself to prove this. So if you disconnect, and I’ve done this, and I think you have as well, and you go out on a hiking trip, or some vacation, where you’re totally disconnected for two weeks, the first few days, you probably feel really anxious, because you’re like, What am I missing? I need to respond to emails, then on day three or four. You might be like, Oh, my God, if I’m not on Instagram, or I’m not tweeting, am I still relevant? Day five or six, you finally settle in and you’re like, holy shit, I feel free. Well, what happened? You removed yourself from that culture that’s like constantly keeping you on that Niantic treadmill. 


Now, the point of the book is you said isn’t to go check out into a monastery for 20 years, the point of the book is to control the treadmill, so it doesn’t control you.  and hard stuff, man. I mean, like, if I can shoot 60% on this stuff in a given day, it’s a win like this is really hard stuff, especially is an entrepreneur or a creative, or any type of job where performance is a big part of it. Because the flip side of this and I know you’re really good at cutting through the fluff is people will just be like, you know, focus on the process process process. That’s true, and it’s good, but like results matter. So this isn’t about, like, let’s all sing Kumbaya and forget about results. But results just can’t be the entire thing. Because then you just end up chasing them your whole life and you’re miserable, whether you achieve them or not


Brett Bartholomew  14:28  

for sure what I think one of the big differentiators the small thing that I noticed about your book is I like that you called it the practice of listening. There are a lot of things that people will say, Oh, I get it. Yeah, there’s books just about this that would have you people don’t struggle kind of getting the big picture. They struggle putting it into practice. You know, that’s what we noticed. Even just with the education model when it comes to professional development, no matter the fields you ran right. The drug we’re all fed is this idea of information, information information, but people don’t do anything with it. They never do what you talked about in the book like separate Write yourself from the experience, see from the outside in and actually do something. People just want to dabble and act like they did it. Yes, I’ve read the book. Yes, I’ve heard the podcast. Yes, I’ve heard these things. But it’s like, no, you haven’t done the shit. You know, even in our communication workshops, none of the slides we put up are like mind blowing to people, yes, we give research we give strategies or what have you. But it’s the minute we put them in role playing scenarios that their world starts to crumble around them. And I think that’s a lot of what you’re speaking to, in its own way of saying, like, Hey, I’m not going to preach at you, I’m not going to tell you that you have to do this. And this is the only way it should be locked in. But I am going to tell you that there’s going to be some things that probably go wrong, and can really eat you from the inside out. If you don’t pay attention to this at a higher level. And, that’s the issue is people read now, or listen, but they don’t do the work. 


So like, what are some things just so people can peer inside your life? Because you are an SME in this area? What are some things that are even still hard for you to apply within the stuff that you wrote here? So they can be like, Wow, it’s not just me? Or maybe if they’re having trouble envisioning in their minds, I practices and we’ll talk about more strategies from the book. But what are some things you do?


Brad Stulberg  16:10  

Yeah, it’s such a good question. I’m glad we’re doing personal. before I answer real quick, it’s funny that you mentioned what people want. So it first everyone in my publisher was like, the book should be called, like, get grounded, or like, be grounded. And I’m like, no, like, because you don’t get great. Like, it’s not a switch. It’s a practice. Yeah. And I’m glad that you picked up on that it’s really important to me, it’s probably because like, at your core, you’re like, you know, a coach, and you realize that like, there’s not a fitness switch, or there’s not a preparedness, which sometimes you’re more prepared than others. And that generally is a result of your practice. So I just thank you for picking up on that. 


So what do I struggle with, that’s in the book, I struggle with all kinds of stuff that’s in the book, I think there’s a few things that get me particularly the first is separation of awareness of what’s happening from what’s happening in intense situations. So the metaphor I like to use here is there is a wave, you can either be the ocean that holds the wave, or you can merge with the wave completely and be the wave itself. And generally speaking, and stressing distressing situations, it is better to be the ocean, because it gives you some space. And in that space, you have degrees of freedom to make a decision. When your kids are yelling at you, or you are in an argument with your significant other, or you get a sales report that is worse than you thought it was. Or even worse, someone else messes up something that you have no control over that affects you, it is very easy to fuse with that situation. And when you fuse with that situation, you tend not to make the wisest decisions. So I think this is again, not just me, it’s a lot of people, but certainly in my own life, something I’ve been really focused on is how can I create more space between stimulus and response in challenging situations, something else is patience, and very patient in some areas of my life. Like my own physical practice, I am the you know, my you’ve trained me before, my whole training is like consistency, don’t get injured, like go slow now to go fast later. But sometimes when dealing with other people, it’s extremely hard for me to be patient, because I’m pushing and I want to see something through and I expect a response. And when it’s not there, I struggled to be patient. So that is something that I’m constantly practicing. 


And then another thing that I’m getting much better at, but it’s only because I failed so much. And it really like hurt me when I failed is this notion of building deep community. So one of there’s a reason I call it heroic individualism. And one of the hidden costs of it is when you are so focused on optimization in efficiency, what tends to get crowded out most is time to build relationships that have no purpose other than the relationship themselves. And when you’re crushing it, and your work product is killing it, that’s gravy. But when your family member gets a cancer diagnosis, or you need orthopedic surgery, or depression or anxiety creeps up on you, if you’ve been moving at warp speed and have neglected time to build community, there’s going to be nothing there to hold you when you fall. So in my own life, you can probably tell just by the fact that published three books even the pace at which I’m talking like I’m a pusher and it takes a lot of discipline and restraint to prioritize time to build community because building community is really freakin inefficient. Like getting to know your neighbors. You don’t get anything out of that right away. It takes time. It takes energy. And I think that in today’s hyper connected world, so many people put that off and they substitute it with like fake community. So like social media or message board or whatever it is. And again, that’s fine when you’re moving 100 miles an hour, but when you’re forced to slow down, like, if you don’t have deep community, then you’re going to be in a rough spot.


Brett Bartholomew  20:09  

Well, and this is where if I can riff on your point about community, because I think that’s huge. And it’s a selling point in the book of itself, there’s two areas, I see this as well. And I’m going to share these just because our audience has given us feedback that when you go personal and when I go personal, it brings these things to life a little bit more. We even see it in the podcast space. So we, I really liked the podcast, it’s something that I don’t feel the need. It doesn’t stress me out. It’s very cathartic. You know, what we also wanted to grow. And the reason I started this podcast was to have more people like you on who are no nonsense, we’ll get straight to it, don’t mind the fact that it’s unscripted and what have you. But what we see when you talk about fake community, and people that kind of build without expectation, it’s almost like if you want the formula for how to grow your podcast, it’s have a bunch of celebrities on or this thing where people will go to the houses of people because they have to, like their networking, right? When in reality, the expectation is No, I just want this name on my podcast, to build it and build it and build it and grow it and cool. Yes, maybe you like that person? Maybe the you get closer and what have you. But what I’ve found is much more freeing, granted, it’s the slow route, right. And by the time this airs, you know, we’ll be within a few months of 2 million total downloads, is we’d rather have kind of the other underdogs, the misfits, the outcast, the people that don’t mind sharing the messy realities of leadership like you want, and other people and say, Hey, no, we actually value the conversation. This is real community, we don’t need to chase the quick route. We don’t need to do this. And in doing so we talk about topics that are so much deeper, right? Because I’ve gotten to the point where I almost can’t listen to other podcasts, because it just seems like there’s this agenda that’s so obvious, they just kind of spoon feed the questions. They’re overly produced, and I’m starved at certain points in my life for like, just real conversation because everybody’s got this facade. And it’s a lot of what you talked about in the book, the facade of even heroic individualism, I got this figured out, I’m on the path, I’ve got this hack, I’ve got this trick. I’ve got this secret. And so that’s troubling to me. I think the other thing is when we look at professional development, people building this false community of other people that in actuality, just agree with them all the time, then you would see this in coaching as well, oh, we do in services, or we do this. Now, what you’re doing is going to conferences and clinics where there’s more people just like you, instead of things that might stretch your abilities. 


And so I just wonder, you know, like, this creates, in my mind some social atrophy, both internally and externally, if we’re not able to connect with these things, and that yeah, I just think community building is more important than ever. And, it is tough, right? Because you and I are good friends, and how often do we get a chance to really chat? You know, so what are some things that you feel like, if there’s people like you they identify with Brad Stulberg? Oh, he’s a pusher, right? He’s a self aware pusher? What are some tactics that you think like, kind of bring you back down to earth of like, No, I’ve got to be more intentional about community building, whether that’s calling this person or that person, what are some things you’re working on.


Brad Stulberg  23:04  

So the first thing I would say is get really local. So one of the best parts about the internet is it allows people like you and I to be friends. One of the worst parts is you can have 15 Good friends and never see any of them. So something that I’m a big believer in is meeting people in your physical neighborhood. At the very least y’all live in the same place, and get those in person bonds going. And they might not be it all similar to you. And that’s okay. But you should give it a chance to really like try to get to know your neighbors. Another thing. Definitely pre and post COVID. If you’re vaccinated and you feel comfortable, maybe now, go to the same coffee shop to work every day get to know the baristas like really have a sense of self, our species did not evolve to be globally connected, we evolved in bands of 10 to 150 people. So it is great to have cross country friendships like this because not too many people think about the things that we think about all day. And it is equally great to know the barista at the coffee shop down the street by his or her first name, because our species craves that, like situate itself. 


So I am really, really a big fan of boundaries. So saying that on this day from this time, like I’m going here, or my wife and I we’re going to make plans with the neighbors at least twice a month. Because otherwise just doesn’t happen. And I often because I’m a pusher the moment before those things I get like a little bit anxious and I almost like want to cancel them. But then after I never regret it. So it’s just kind of knowing that about yourself and paying attention to that. So that’s the first thing that I’d say. And then the second thing I’d say is that as you mentioned like there is no kind of like magic switch. And these things are often like non dual. So if you’re building something, and if you had a chance to go interview LeBron James, I don’t think you’d be like, Oh, we’re trying to go deep community. I’m not going to interview you’d go fucking interview Lebron James. 


Brett Bartholomew  25:14  

Yeah, it’s got to play. 


Brad Stulberg  25:14  

So, bingo. So it’s not holding yourself to an impossible standard either. But not constantly interviewing LeBron James, because then the exception becomes a rule. So it’s being really honest with yourself. Like, if I go on the path of heroic individualism, or I deprioritize, my foundation, I know I’m taking a risk, kind of like in training, like it’s acceptable to take risks and training. But if everyday, you’re taking risks, eventually you end up injured. And I think the same thing is true with like, how we approach our lives.


Brett Bartholomew  25:44  

Yeah, I think that’s a great analogy. And you know, within that, and thank you, 


Brad Stulberg  25:47  

for Brian, if you’re listening, Brett’s not going to come to your house that you got to go to hit 


Brett Bartholomew  25:50  

Yeah, LeBron, you got to come to me. Touch and I appreciate you taking the time to make the tactical points because we’re really big pushers, pun intended on our listeners to not be passive in this, right. Like we do reflection notes, and everything. Like we want people to be like, Okay, I took something from this, another piece, and you’re gonna have to forgive this, this might be long winded, because I want to give context to the question to set you up for success and also let you take you where you want in the book, you talk about vulnerability. Now, of course, I can’t even say that word anymore without somebody being like, oh, have you watched? You know, Brene? Brown stuff? Yeah, you know, so there’s, that kind of vulnerability, right? We practice vulnerability at our apprenticeship workshops, where we do things with self disclosure, because there’s, this idea that vulnerability is get on Dr. Phil’s couch, open up. And that’s the only way to create deep community is to use your right a bunch of like, woowoo stuff, when in reality, that is not what that is. At least that’s not my take. And I want to get yours a little bit like we view vulnerability as strategic risk taking, whether that’s forms of self disclosure, we use a lot of situational improv, like real world improv, at our workshops, and we had somebody that had trouble kind of getting into a role that they were supposed to play for the benefit of somebody else. Because you’re like, I feel stupid. And I go, Well, isn’t that ironic? We claim to be authentic and leadership. Yet, if we’re self editing, when we’re playing a role in the moment, is that really authentic? Like just who gives a shit what you feel like do the role for the benefit of the other person? And let go of that? 


What is your take on vulnerability? Talk to us about how you reference it in the book, so that people just have a better concept of what it is because I do think it’s been a bastardized term.


Brad Stulberg  27:33  

Yeah, I agree. So the first thing I’ll say is, I’m a big fan of Brene. Brown and her work. I think that like any researcher whose work kind of takes off in the public, it gets applied, often in very, like bizarre ways. So I think that before Brene, brown the pendulum for everyone, particularly men was very much be bulletproof. Always be a tough guy or a tough gal, don’t be vulnerable vulnerability can cost you, I think Brene Browns work swung that pendulum completely in the opposite direction. And now as a result, I think you see a lot of what I call performative vulnerability. So somebody that is strategically trying to be vulnerable, because they think that it will make them more liked, or it will help them develop more friendships. Or the worst version of this is it’s going to get me more retweets or comments on my Instagram. So I think about this in a few ways, the first is being vulnerable should not be comfortable. If you are being vulnerable and you feel great, you are probably doing it in a performative way. The second thing I like to think about is a sociologist in the mid 1900s. I cite his work extensively in the book, a guy named Erving Goffman. I just love his framework. 


Brett Bartholomew  28:45  

He’s amazing. 


Brad Stulberg  28:46  

Yeah. So you know, and he talks about the front stage shelf and the backstage self. And the front stage self is the self that you bring to various interactions and the backstage self is who you really are. And the wider the gap between those two cells, the more cognitive dissonance and distress you feel.


Brett Bartholomew  29:08  

A quick break in the action. Listen, everybody wants to be the type of coach that makes a lasting impact, the one that’s authentic, the one that makes a true difference. Basically the person that can get the best results out of somebody, even if that means yourself. But great coaching doesn’t just come from doing it, right. It comes from learning how to communicate, how to relate, how to be able to deal with interpersonal challenges in the heat of the moment. And that is exactly what we do at art of coaching. We have a few live workshops left this year, specifically in Wales, Asheville, North Carolina, and then we’re going to be in New Jersey in Toronto. So make sure to check these things out at for your chance to pick the brains of other expert coaches across a wide variety of fields. Network with top professionals, get  feedback, like actual feedback from people that are non bias there. Gotta give it to you honestly, but openly. And also the tools that you need to be able to apply everything you learn, the minute you get home, if you can’t make it to one, no worries, we have tons of online resources, go to Check it out, all that stuff’s available to you 24/7. All right back to the episode.


Brad Stulberg  30:29  

And the front stage self is the self that you bring to various interactions. And the backstage self is who you really are. And the wider the gap between those two selves, the more cognitive dissonance and distress you feel. So the whole goal is to get those selves as close together as possible. So how do you get really tactical, I’m going to tell a story about a coaching client I have, she just took a big C suite role with a major company. And she started to get like really nervous, she fell in over her head, she felt like she had impostor syndrome, particularly when she was speaking in front of huge audiences internationally. And she was performing. And I said, like, Well, what do you really want to say? And she’s like, what I really want to say is I feel like an accidental executive, I don’t know how I got here, I feel in over my head. Like, why don’t you just say that? And she’s like, well, because like, the people have to be confident in me. Like, okay, I get that. What could you say that is close to that as possible. So what she ended up saying is, I feel like an accidental executive, this new role can be very overwhelming at times, I’m trying to do my best to learn as I go. And that’s why I need your all to the people she’s speaking to help to engage in these talks and these town halls to get feedback. She felt better, the feedback from the talks got better. So one, like real practice, is ask yourself what you really want to say. And then stay as close to that as possible. And the reason it’s as close to that as possible is sometimes you can’t actually say what you really want to say, if you’re the head of a new company, and everything is going to hell in a handbasket. 


And you’ve got 100 people looking at you, probably can’t say like, well, I feel like I want to quit today. But you also don’t have to go up there and try to be all put together, you can say this is really hard. I’m a little bit scared, you know, we need to come together to get through this. So I think it’s those kind of three things would be the take homes, the first, if it feels easy, then you’re not actually being vulnerable. It’s performative. The second front stage, self, backstage self, try to keep that gap as little as possible in all areas of your life. The third in the moment, the practices when you catch yourself performing, ask yourself what you really want to say, and say as close to that as possible.


Brett Bartholomew  32:39  

Yep, you know, three key points, especially with the part about being performative with vulnerability, you know, we another reason we lean on improv is because that’s our form of overload, right? And so, when we see that when people are put in this kind of adjacent possible scenario, that vulnerability finds them because they can’t prepare for it, where you’re, you’re totally right. There’s people that in going back to Erving Goffman his work self presentation, what it is, is they use a supplication tactic, right of saying like, ah, you know, I’m so stupid or I’m the dumbest person in the room or, you know, I’m just a lifelong learner. I don’t have all the answers. You know, that’s performative self presentation. And I think one of my favorite quotes, I’m probably gonna butcher it, but Erving Goffman said something along the lines of like, first of all, it’s important that everybody and we have a whole podcast on this. So I’m not gonna we’re gonna focus on Brad. But like, he said, choose your self presentations carefully, because what starts off as a mask will become your face. And it’s not that people shouldn’t use self presentation. We all do. Everybody does it to use it skillfully. I also love the example of the person talking about accidental leadership, or accidental executive, here’s the thing. 


I think a lot of that comes in, I’d love to get your take on this just as a riff. People love to think that people in positions of, let’s say legitimate power for looking like French and ravens power bases, right? They have this title, they’re in the C suite, or they’re a director or through the President or they’re the Emperor. We love to think that these people have it all figured out. When in reality, you know, we romanticize leadership so much. We romanticize all these things that we hear about Silicon Valley and this and people at huge companies. A lot of these people just struggle with the same thing we do. So how can you not feel accidental when we basically grow up hearing these myths, but in reality, if we go investigate the lives of half of these people, these massive companies, they were just as, I don’t want to say ugly because that’s not the right term, but they’re just as messy as the ones we leave, you know, and so do you touch  right? And like so I wonder, like, what part of your book touches on this? Because you have so much within that framework. When we think about acceptance and presence and patience and vulnerability, this idea that maybe we need to quit romanticizing this peak as you allude to, and focus once again on that base of the mountain like does that fit into the acceptance piece, the President’s piece of like, where does that fit?


Brad Stulberg  35:04  

I mean, that fits across all the principles, because those are all the base of the mountain, I think when you’re looking at other people, like one of my heuristics in life is if someone acts like they’ve got everything figured out, that’s a good cue to run the other way. So that’s, the first thing I’d say about that. Also, going back to vulnerability, you raised a really good point about the people that might come in and kind of like, diffused by being like, wow, like, I’m a lifelong learner, I’m not good at this, like, I don’t think I’m going to do well. I write that, you know, this reminds me back in middle school, the cool kids would never try in gym class, because they were scared that if they tried and they didn’t win, they make a fool out of themselves. So when you actually care about something, and you give it your all, inherently makes you vulnerable. Why? Because you could fail. So what were the cool kids in gym class doing, they were protecting themselves from potential failure, because they were scared to put themselves in that vulnerable place, that is no different than the person that rolls up to the workshop. And like, you know, oh, I’m not good at this, whatever. So a big part of vulnerability and how it’s linked to confidence is like owning your seat in an authentic way, which is like, Yeah, I’m here, I’m like, I might fail. And again, if you don’t have groundedness, if you don’t have a solid foundation, you’re not going to be able to do that. Because if you fail, there’s nothing like you’re just going to freefall down to hell. Whereas if you have a solid foundation, paradoxically, it allows you to perform better, because you know, that if you fail, you’re okay. So like, there’s this myth that like in order to achieve greatness, like it has to come from a place of emptiness or trauma. And like, you know, you have to like really, really, really just have nothing there. And it can work for some people. I think Michael Jordan, in the last dance is a prime example. But for most people, it actually holds you back because you don’t take good risks. Because if you mess up, you know that there’s nothing there. And back to heroic individuals in the culture now you’ve got me thinking like desperately but there’s a reason that we make the last dance documentary but we don’t make the Tim Duncan one. Because Tim Duncan was boring a shit. Yeah, but he won five championships best power for to ever play the game, maybe. But like totally different approach, like light hearted, do look at yardas like, so there are different roads to Rome. And I think most people are sold this idea that they have to do it from a place of emptiness, compulsion, and you have to go all in all the time. And what I say is like, we’re all going to die. So like, take the honest route, or take the Tim Duncan route, like Have some fun along the way. Like, you don’t always have to be so angry.


Brett Bartholomew  37:41  

Yeah, we’re always told that our way and you see it systemically I mean, I’ve talked to you about this in our conversations, right? Our entire company is about communication, the least sexy thing there is yet it’s the thing that started wars ended relationships cause people their reputation, or what have you, yet, you know, millions, hundreds of millions have been made teaching people different training techniques, sports science, technologies, all the sexy stuff yet devoid of a coach that connects and communicates those things don’t, they’re not going to hit just like devoid of anything at the base of the mountain that you’re talking about. You might have some success with these these hacks periodically, but it’s not going to be you’re not sustained, right? These things aren’t gonna be sustained.


Brad Stulberg  38:19  

Can I give you guys another metaphor? Yeah, I really like I’ve been, I mean, just the, the metaphor has really helped me. So you can also think of a given mountain you can also think of a tree. And when you see like a big redwood tree, you often immediately look at its overstory. And it’s beautiful. And then maybe you look at its trunk, and it’s like this big, thick trunk. But you never think about the roots underneath the grounds. But it’s actually those roots. That’s what hold the tree up during hard weather. So we often neglect our metaphorical roots, because we’re so focused on like, the top of the truth of the overstory, or the trunk. And it’s the stuff that we don’t see is what actually like gives us a chance to be well and do well, like in the crazy world that we live in. But it’s hard because the stuff that other people don’t see doesn’t get like you iror you rewarded. So it’s not easy. That’s why I go back Swenson earlier about boundaries, like often like, taking care of your foundation in life is no different than in training. If you let an athlete go with their own devices, they’re never going to do like the boring one foot, skip whatever bullshit drills you used to program for me. But if you don’t do those drills, you are fragile. 


and you might not realize it, but you’re fragile. And when you do do those drills, as much as you dislike getting started, you always feel better after. And I think in life like these practices, these principles, patients acceptance, community vulnerability, those things are the drills, and we can’t neglect doing them because without them we don’t have the solid foundation. But it’s really freaking hard. I mean, I’m going to turn it back on you because I remember when conscious coaching came out From the outside looking in it appeared that for a period of time you got very caught up in like the numbers game and sales and all that. So A when you reflect back on that, what is an older wiser Brett, say to yourself back then, and be if you have a new book coming out? How are you going to treat it differently to not get caught up in that game? Because this is hard?


Brett Bartholomew  40:19  

Yeah, well, one, I mean, I remember I had a chip on my shoulder, because you introduced me to somebody that I was like, in a, I barely got three words out. And they basically told me, you know, that I wasn’t worth their time, it was a literary agent. And he’s like, I don’t understand what a strength coach is, I don’t understand what this is. I’m not interested basically go piss off.


Brad Stulberg  40:38  

So by the way, I no longer work with that agent,


Brett Bartholomew  40:41  

right? Like, so that’s why I was, you know, I’m very much we have a thing that we do an that, you know, as people kind of what drives they are, I’m very much in adversity drive. So if I get angry, like the worst thing somebody could do is make me angry or piss me off. Because I get more focused. I was never that guy. And this isn’t. This isn’t me going at anybody or knocking on anybody else’s coping mechanisms. But I was never that person that would go down this self destructive route, I just find something I was going to do and make it better. So I had no concept of the numbers and tell actually, and this is a little insider behind the curtain that our listeners don’t know. You called me up and you said, Hey, your book is at this level and Amazon. How did you do that? And I’m like, Dude, I didn’t know shit. It was self publish. I had no newsletter, I didn’t have a huge Instagram, I had none of that. And so then all of a sudden, you plant that seed in my head. And I started paying attention to it because I had this lifelong rally against one size fits all leadership. Because when I was in a tough situation, I didn’t have the book I wish I needed. And I’m so you know, that’s still my next book. But so yeah, I had a vested interest in wanting to outdo people that I thought sold Sugar Rush books, things that was like yay, motivation, think positive and manifest destiny. So that’s where I got caught up on that, that chip on my shoulder with this next one. 


Listen, buddy, you and I both know. The next one, I’m already ready for the well, it’s not as good as his last one. This was it because this one has nothing to do, literally with, you know, I’m not talking strength and auditioning and that other conscious coaching had crossover too. But this one also hits on some parts that I don’t think people are going to be comfortable examining with themselves. Just like your book, right? Everything with groundedness is like, this is not the sexy stuff, but it will sustain you and help you find lifelong happiness in the right areas, as opposed to the ephemeral. My next book is going to be like, what if we told you that everything you heard about in leadership that’s dark and hyper sexualized and sensationalized is actually the thing that you need to lean into, because you don’t know the whole story. And during a time where we’re more politicized and chaotic than ever, we need to embrace that kind of shadow self. So yeah, I think I’ve just kind of put myself in that scenario of, or like, you’ve warned me against multiple times, Hey, bud, if you do get an agent and a literary agent, be aware that they might neuter the book. So I think that’s where I’m actually more ready for more Metaphorically speaking, is that this book means so much to me, if somebody tries to neuter it, I’m gonna feel really anxious about it. But sales wise, this one just has a very different goals. So I don’t know that I’ll be I want people to enjoy it. But I’d be fine with a cult classic. I’d be fine with that. Enemies of greatness. Cyril Connolly, where people might reject it at first and then they’re like shit. Yeah, we needed this Does that answer your question? It’s honest. It’s it’s me being honest. 


Brad Stulberg  43:30  

Yeah, it does. But like the I guess the pushback is how do you get unconscious coaching? like at what point do you get out of the bender of like, checking your sales rank?


Brett Bartholomew  43:38  

Oh, I don’t check it now. The only time I check it out, man


Brad Stulberg  43:40  

Not now. But how long did it take you when the book came out?


Brett Bartholomew  43:43  

Well, you asked me all the time. That didn’t always help you. You’re such a liar. That’s like me, and 


Brad Stulberg  43:48  

you’re putting it on me. Man. It was your book. My name is not on the book. I simply said it’s doing great. But I No, seriously, I do remember like, You got pretty caught up in it. And it’s totally fine. Like we’re being honest here. Of course you did. It’s your first book. I think every first time author goes through it. But what? Like, what was it when you said like, this isn’t fun. Like I shouldn’t I don’t need to be spending this much time and energy on this? 


Brett Bartholomew  44:08  

Well, I think when people ask me, like, for example, even just preparing a proposal for the next book, we were told that we had to report all the numbers and this and that. And as you know, Amazon or a lot of these places doesn’t do a really good job of that. And so then we had to figure out like, Okay, how do we account for the books that were sold to corporations, when we went and did speaking gigs? It almost felt like I was being judged on it. And I was just tired of that I was tired of being like, I’ve always felt like this underdog. And when I talked to some other authors that wrote multiple books, they didn’t have to jump through those hoops. So we’ve all got our own things like Boohoo. But I mean, I don’t think that beyond that first year, and it was maybe just disbelief because I had a lot of self doubt. I had that inner critic of like, dude, who’s gonna care what you have to say. So for a while, it was like, Holy crap, this book is continuing to sell it and do well. You know, but that’s, I think that I probably only looked at it once a year because we’d have to update the media kit or somebody wouldn’t book me because they’d be like, well, we’re booking this person instead. And then I found out that that person, pardon my language, they kind of horde themselves out in terms of their statistics a little bit more. 


So then I learned Brad, that was the game that I had to play with certain crowds. And then coaching that’s very 180, right? We’re very just like, hey, it’s not about us, what have you. But when then these corporations would make you kind of have to sell yourself just so you some Yes, man up the ladder, or Yes, woman could say yeah, you’re like, holy shit. Now I really do need to get into the numbers. Because otherwise they’re gonna have that, you know, I remember this one guy, like banging the drums, and his whole thing was about, you know, march to your own beat or whatever. I’m like, I’m tired of getting beat out by these people. So you had to learn how to sell yourself at a different level? For sure. 


Brad Stulberg  45:48  

Yeah, that’s a good answer. 


Brett Bartholomew  45:49  

you know, similarly, I’d ask you and by the way, you get like, 20 points for not mentioning the iceberg analogy. I’d lose it on you. If you’re like, Well, it’s kind of like an iceberg to things that man, you know that it’s really underneath the surface, you just see the peak. Now, here’s what I wonder. We’re having this conversation. Now. You’ve been prolific with your writing, you’re prolific. You have, your blog, you tweet like nobody’s business. I think I only get on Twitter to put something of my own out just so it’s there for public record and to check you. And man, you are just prolific. You’ve got all this stuff. When is it going to be enough books for you? Let me push back on you as a friend. Now when you’ve done writing Brad.


Brad Stulberg  46:26  

Yeah, I mean, I want to write until I die, because I love writing. So for me, it’s less about when is it going to be enough books. And it’s more about saying no to everything else? so I have my coaching practice, which I enjoy. And it makes sure that I have skin in the game. So if I’m writing about high performers, I’m actually coaching them as well. And I’m learning from that, and I’m getting to test these principles. And then I write, I don’t do that much speaking. I don’t do workshops. I’ve turned down offers to do online courses. I have a podcast with my collaborative partner, Steve, but like it is pretty lowly produced. So for me, it’s actually the decision is, I want to do this one thing, and I want to do it. Well, I mean, there’s a reason you know, back to giving you a hard time, you’re always bugging me to get on Instagram. The reason I’m on Instagram is because I can’t practice writing on Instagram. Why am I on Twitter? And why aren’t I tweeting political nonsense, but like actual sentences, because Twitter is a great way to practice writing.


Brett Bartholomew  47:28  

You can write you can write longer captions on Instagram that I’m the opposite.


Brad Stulberg  47:32  

Their captions man, the writing should be the thing. but you don’t want any of that. 


Brett Bartholomew  47:36  

Oh, no, no, no. Timeout, you just said that you do. The whole reason I got off of Twitter and did Instagram is so you could see, there had to be imagery or video or something associated with what I was doing. And you can Yeah, so you’re saying that what is Twitter now? 148 characters?


Brad Stulberg  47:52  

Nah, man, I get 280. But if you can get a point across and 280 characters, that’s not bad. And it allows you to test ideas and refine the thinking and refine the writing. Part of it just giving you a hard time. But I guess my point is like, I have coaching and I have writing And those are my things. And it requires saying no to other things, it requires turning down things that might make me more relevant. But that is when for me, I would start to be too stretched. And that happens like right now. I mean, I prefer to walk my dog than to try to expand my brand on the internet.


Brett Bartholomew  48:30  

Sure. Well, I mean, I think a lot of us would agree with that. Right? I don’t know that there’s many of us that like, for example, when my next book comes out? I don’t look forward to the launch of that, right? 


Brad Stulberg  48:41  

Like, yeah,no, launch is tough. But it’s also you got to remember, like why you wrote the book and that you want people to read it, and you want them to engage with it. I think it’s just important to put some boundaries around like, you know, how long are you going to be in marketing mode? And how can you actually honor those boundaries and not just say, one more hour, one more day, one more week, one more month? Because then it becomes your whole life?


Brett Bartholomew  49:03  

Well, and this comes down to my final question for you, because I know you gotta jump when you write. And this question is in the context of the person that’s listening right now that knows there’s something they want to get out. But in that writing is incredibly difficult. They’re not sure how they’re still trying to find their voice, all this stuff, right? When you write how much of it to a degree is writing to like a former version of yourself are exercising your own demons? Does that question make sense first, because I can rephrase it.


Brad Stulberg  49:35  

The writing to a former version of yourself Yes, that exercising your own demons? I’m not sure about


Brett Bartholomew  49:40  

okay. So meaning of course, you write books for many reasons to put stuff out that helps people to make them think you have general interests, what have you, exercising your own demons in the sense that like, you, obviously feel very passionate about the things that you write? Right like I know, for example, in this book, like you were rallying against things that can actually increase anxiety and OCD. What have you do you have any of these things yourself? Do you have any elements of OCD anxiety? or what have you? Do you deal with any aspects of that?


Brad Stulberg  50:07  

Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, we talked about that in your past podcast, right? 


Brett Bartholomew  50:10  

That’s what I mean. So how much of that is swages? As you’re writing as you’re putting this stuff out into the world, like, and maybe the best example I can give is, I once wondered why my core industry when I started out was so screwed up. So I went deep into this research, of which Erving Goffman was much of it, Kurt Lewin, right change psychology, all these things. And I created an online course. And this course was like, why do we get stuck? And why are so many people in this profession stuck. And in that, I found cathartic kind of nature to it. Because I realized why I did some things, I was able to extrapolate on that help other people kind of avoid the same traps, but also kind of give this thesis to the field of hey, like, this is why we’re having so much burnout. This is why we’re having so much stuff, I guess that’s what I’m asking is how much of your work is perpetuated by your need to make sure people are better armed to deal with some things that you might have dealt with?


Brad Stulberg  51:04  

You know, I think that is a part of it. I think that for me, writing is like meditation. Like, I lose my sense of self. It’s, I am no longer writing. There’s no i It’s just ideas. And there is actually no I because these ideas are coming from scientists, ancient wisdom traditions, people I’ve interviewed. So for me, it’s just like, you know, it’s this really almost like spiritual endeavor of the ego really floats away. And it’s like, Oh, these are just ideas. And what’s neat about a book is like a book, in very well could outlive you. So it’s not you, it’s like your brain or your mind in a moment in time. melding with the minds of all the other people who influence your book, and then you get to put it down on paper. So for me, it’s less about, like, I’m on this mission to help people with things that I’ve struggled with. And it’s more just trying to give people a language to explain things that are happening in their own lives. Because once you can name something, then you can do something about it. So once you can name heroic individualism, then you can identify when it is encroaching on your own life. Once you can name groundedness, then you can say, well, here’s something that might be an antidote, or that I might develop, once you understand. And once you might do, oh, I need to practice acceptance, then you can actually practice it. 


So I think for me, and why I like speaking metaphors so much is, you know, when you can name something, you have power over it, right? That’s like a very old spiritual saying, but it’s also what the research shows like effect labeling, the more you can name an emotion, the more power you have over it. So I think part of what I’m trying to do is like give people a language for things that they might feel, to allow them to name those things, equip them with some practices, and ultimately, then they get to take it off the page and do whatever they want with it. And like, that’s how a book lives on, you know, takes on its own life. So, that is a very circuitous answer to the person that might be struggling. My first drafts are shit. And that’s like, the most important thing to know, if you try to write a good first draft, you will never write anything, because there’s never been such a thing as a good first draft. So you have to talk about being vulnerable with yourself, you have to allow yourself to just go and trust that when you wake up the next morning, with fresh eyes, you’ll make it a little bit better. Know when you edit it a week later, it’ll be a little bit better. And when you send it off to a colleague, for added it’ll get a little bit better. And if you’re like truly stuck, I’ve never used this, but a lot of people have and it works really well is just pretend that you’re emailing a friend to discuss an idea and just start writing them an email. And then that becomes your first draft.


Brett Bartholomew  53:52  

Yeah, I think that’s helpful. hadn’t heard that one. Either. I had heard, hey, I’d like you’re having a glass of wine or chatting with somebody or what have you. For some people that were I know, for me, one thing that never worked was outlining traditional outlining, right? Like, I’d be like, what’s, and you alluded to this early, wonderfully, I call it half life, in your message, we actually sold out from two researchers in Michigan. But when you’re going back to that executive saying, What do you want to say, say that we do this exercise where even when people introduce themselves at our workshops, they get a minute, Hey, who are you? Why are you here? How can we help whatever, then they have to iterate it and do it in 15 seconds, and then five, because it teaches message prioritization. So I would kind of just put notes like, what am I trying to say? Great, what’s the purpose? Who’s the audience? What how do you so I think what you did is huge. 


Another thing I want to point to as and then we’re going to talk about all the places people can support you, but I just want to thank you for it is, and I know it’s a super silly thing, but it’s big to me, the language that you use, which as you mentioned as powerful. I personally don’t really do well with the whole gratitude movement, right with this idea of, oh, I had a red light. I had an awful day. Let me just sit here and Practice, I understand the value, right? I understand that. I think it got sensationalized. I really like how you just use groundedness. I don’t think the world needed another kind of saccharin. 


Brad Stulberg  55:11  

Well, they’re different. They’re completely different. 


Brett Bartholomew  55:13  

And I get that I get that. But I think some people might still think like, you know, everybody interprets. There’s many definitions for words, right? Every word has two definitions in the dictionary, but words and meanings of those words are in people as well. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think that, to me, there’s some people that I think what they’re trying to say with gratitude is no, it’s really groundedness. It’s


Brad Stulberg  55:35  

And like groundedness, to me is like, like, I mean, I mentioned, it’s like being like strong, firmly situated where you are, like the texture of your striving changes. You know, tell a depressed person to practice gratitude, like, it immediately falls apart. And because you asked, and I feel strongly about this, if you feel like practicing gratitude, practice gratitude. Like, if you’re having a beautiful moment with like, a lover, or a child, or like a creative moment, or an athletic achievement, and the sun is setting perfectly, like, yeah, be thankful for that pause, soak it up. But if you’re experiencing depression, like in trying to come up with, like, I’m grateful because I have toilet paper, like, all that happens is you become more depressed, because you judge yourself for not being able to muster up any gratitude 


So that is my take on gratitude. I think that when you force it, it only leads to self judgment. And, you know, it is okay to have days, or weeks when you’re not grateful for anything. Like, okay, it’s part of the human experience to go through like really down lows or ruts. And if you are again, like trying to come up with stuff to be grateful for because someone told you to do it, and then you’re judging yourself, or it’s making you feel worse, because I can’t even find anything to be grateful for I must be so broken, or I must be such a terrible person. That doesn’t help. So like forcing it doesn’t work versus having it arise organically, and then pausing to be grateful because it happened in your life. I think that is like supremely valuable. Yeah, to me, like they’re very different things. I think that again, gratitude is like, I think of it as finding things to be thankful for, I think of groundedness is watering those roots under the tree. So it will hold you like solid to the ground. 


Brett Bartholomew  57:30  

Yep, well said and, and guys listening to this, this is a book that I definitely recommend one owning on audiobook, but to also having on your bookshelf. And I say that because I know as my son gets older, I want to increase the likelihood of kind of accidental discoveries, right, where he can wander to the bookshelf, grab a book like this during a time where he might be feeling things that he doesn’t know. Right? So it’s like the audio book, in some circumstances can be for me when I’m traveling and what have you. But the physical book is when I want to come take notes on it, or in the future if my son goes to our library in our house, and grabs it. 


And so Brad, to that point where, aside from Amazon, and all the obvious, what’s the best way we can support you find the book and all of its formats and all of its ways?


Brad Stulberg  58:13  

Yeah, thanks so much for asking. So Amazon, I don’t know when this will actually be published. But Amazon does these random price drops, and they just dropped the price of the book by 40%. So right now it’s on sale pretty massively on Amazon. You can also get it from your local bookstore, you can get it from Barnes and Noble. I mean, as they say, pretty much wherever books are sold. And then as Brett alluded to the only social platform that amount of regularly is Twitter, where I’m @BStulberg. And then my website is just my name. And that’s a great way to to reach out. And guys,


Brett Bartholomew  58:47  

as always, these links will be in the bottom, the book, the practice of groundedness the transformative path to success that feeds not crushes your soul. 


Brad, you’ve given me some juice back because this has been the type of interview or type of conversation rather, we like having we gave each other a hard time. We talked in an asynchronous way people got to learn about your stuff. And this is what a conversation should be. So thanks for having fun with us and putting out really tremendous work and also not taking yourself too damn seriously. Even though you take your craft Very much so.


Brad Stulberg  59:21  

Yeah, Brett. I love you too, buddy. Thanks for having me.


Brett Bartholomew  59:24  

Alright guys, until next time, this is Brett Bartholomew, the art of coaching podcast, we’ll talk to you soon.


Hey, if you’re still here, we’re really not joking when we say spots are limited for our live events. And I fully understand that everybody is strapped for time and money. But if you really want to get better as a leader, you can’t just read books. You’ve got to get out They’re in do so I’m going to encourage you one more time. Go to Go to attend an event and you will see all the dates that we have listed for 2021 and 2022. It’s very easy. We have payment plans, we have early bird discount super early bird discounts, and if you’ve passed any of my online courses, you get an additional $180 us off. That’s Thanks so much for supporting the show.

Did you enjoy the show?

Your support ensures the best quality guests and listening experience.

Leave a Comment