I have a returning guest for this podcast and we are honored to have him back in the show, Dr. Eric Maisel. I originally interviewed Eric when we discussed his newly released book “Life Purpose Boot Camp” in 2015.
He is returning for this podcast to discuss one of his most current book entitled “The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists (and Everyone Else) Can Finally Meet Their Goals”.
Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of more than 50 books and has delivered lectures worldwide. If you want to learn more about Dr. Eric Maisel please click here to be redirected to his website. You may also visit this website to know more about his coaching programs, training sessions and courses.
I hope you enjoy this informative interview with author Dr. Eric Maisel. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. Today. We have Eric, Maisel joining us from Walnut Creek. Here's one of his most current books. He has over 50 books. And I'm going to read a little bit about him. It's called The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists and quote Everyone Else Can Finally Meet Their Goals. Eric, you speak about the varieties of daily practice because that's kind of an integration and you call it your recovery practice, speak with us if you would about this recovery practice, because there are many of these, like you just mentioned, we know family members who talk about craving, obsession, compulsion, dependency, addiction, whatever. Speak with us about the recovery, because when you talk recovery, you're usually talking about something on the opposite side, which is addiction addicted to something to get rid of it.
So as folks who know 12 step programs, one of the ideas of 12 step programs is first things first, one day at a time, the idea that you have to pay attention to the work you're doing in recovery, to make sure that you don't slip on any given day. It's not something you can push off to the side. And so to speak, forget about, you have to remember that you are, whatever it is you are, drinking alcoholically or whatever your challenges, you have to every day, realize that you're trying to deal with that challenge. And that's why the idea of recovery merits naturally with the idea of daily practice. It's something we should be thinking about every day. For creatives, the recovery practice is interesting because it in a way flies in the face of a creativity practice, because the tasks of early recovery are to stay calm and to not be too ambitious, not to generate a lot of energy in yourself, not to start getting your engine worrying, whereas for a creative person, that's exactly what that creative person wants to do. That's a long, it's a long, good way of saying in early recovery creatives have to be less ambitious than they want to be. If you think about it, you've been drinking alcoholically, you've been falling down. You haven't been writing your novel. Now, suddenly you're in early recovery, you have 20 days of sobriety. Now you want to suddenly get to your novel with this 23 characters. Well, actually you kind of better turn to a short story and your novel with 23 characters, it's better to be modest there in early recovery in terms of the tasks you set yourself than to be suddenly in modest and narcissistic and grandiose and all those words. And suddenly think that because you have 17 days of recovery behind you, you're now equal to doing a lot of this energetic work. This is a way that these practices go together so to speak because you can have your daily creativity practice where you do rev up, maybe followed by or proceeded by your recovery practice, where you do your big book work. If you're working a 12 step program, whatever it is that amounts to your recovery program, this gives you your daily way of attending to that.
So speak with us. If you would about the mindset that people need to create. I want to mention all my listeners that in every one of these chapters, there's food for thought. So what Eric gives you is four to five questions to be thinking, to reflect upon. And on this one, are you regularly challenged by your mindset? Are you specifically challenged by your mindset when it comes to your daily practice and what might you try to meet the challenge? I love the questions because they're very stimulating.
So this will also preview, I think another chat that we'll have down the road for another book I have coming out called The Redesign Your Mind, and that that book comes out in a bit. And so you change your mindset by literally changing your mind, which sounds crazy. How do you do that? Well, if you visualize your mind as a room, if you use that metaphor, the room, that is your mind and you go in there, so to speak again, metaphorically and make changes like install windows so a breeze can blow through or repaint the wall so they're no longer dingy gray, but a bright white or whatever it might be. Remove that bed of nails that you sleep on and put in an easy chair. These are all metaphors, but they're metaphors that speak to the idea that you can change the insides of your mind, at least to the extent of visualizing difference and having a more positive, calm, for instance, visualize a calmness switch that you flip when you were talking about the energy needed to do the works. Well, this is one of those tricks or tactics to have to be in the right place. Energetically is to flip a condom, calm the switch, and decide to be calmer, decide that there'll be fewer dramas in your life, decide that there'll be less histrionics and all of that. So these different visualizations of flipping a calmness switch or repainting the walls or installing start installing windows or whatever the visualization is, speaks to an idea that we can actually think about our current mindset and make changes. It's not actually that hard to visualize the change. It's again, as you were, you were saying just kind of the willingness or, or taking the time to do that kind of thing. In conversations with people, they discover that they can repaint their walls in a split second and suddenly feel a little less depressed or despairing just by suddenly having yellow walls rather than gray walls. It sounds not too exciting as an idea, but in fact, it works wonders if a person is willing to try it.
Again, a goal is defined in the mind by the vision to say, I've got to get there. Now that doesn't mean that it was influenced by the outside world. Maybe it was influenced by something that brings you pleasure. Frequently I find people are chasing goals that are not pleasurable and it doesn't mean just monetary goals. It just means goals. Let's take, for instance, the correlation between somebody saying you're going to lose 30 pounds and what you have to do to lose 30 pounds, what steps need to be taken to lose that 30 pounds and frequently they see the gap as being too much. So they never start, or if they do start, they get sidetracked because it's so easy to see that piece of cake or that pie or that whatever it is to do that. What advice would you have that around meaningful, meaningful, and heartfelt and sincere goals that one would write in harmony with their life to actually say, Hey, my ego beats up on me enough, I'm enough the way I am. Because I find that frequently that is the problem.
Well, one of the things I would say for my creative clients who are trying to decide about their goals is to remember what they loved when they were five or six or seven. I think those are the truest loves actually. And actually stay with us our whole lives. If we remember sitting in a corner, reading a book at the age of five and being transported somewhere. Well, that's the motivation to write our novel. It's not about bestseller or what have you it's to give someone else that experience some other five-year-old or 35 year old, the experience of being transported by a book. It might've been a movie we saw in a darkened theater, and now we want to be a cinematographer. So, this is just one piece of a puzzle, but one piece of the puzzle is to reconnect with, or get back in touch with our most genuine loves. And I think those loves were really spontaneous. No one, no one told us to love a book or no one told us to love a movie. Just when that TV came on and the movie started we fell in love with what we're seeing. So that that's one piece of this puzzle is to organize your goals around your, I almost want to say ancient loves or youthful loves or childhood loves because those are probably good guideposts for what to set as goals.
So any last words you have Eric about the book, practices, challenges that you'd like to impart on our listeners?
Well, because I work with creative performing artists primarily, I like to remind them that the issue isn't losing a day here or there it's that if you don't become very consistent and regular in your practice, you really won't get your work done. You'll lose an awful lot of time. A decade will go by. You'll be disappointed. And you won't exactly know how it was that you didn't get your novel written or your paintings painted. So it's not so much daily practice. It's the idea of regular persistent every day as close to everyday practice, as you can get for the sake of doing the things that really matter to you.
Well, that's a good way to sum this up. And for my listeners, you can see my little notes here. This is Eric Maisel, PhD. His book is The Power of Daily Practice. This is a new world library book. Thanks for being on Inside Personal Growth and spending time with our listeners.
Thanks for having me.
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