Success Podcast Post

Book Club featuring Stefan Falk

George Grombacher February 23, 2023

share close

Book Club featuring Stefan Falk

On this edition of the Book Club, Stefan Falk talks about his newest book, “Intrinsic Motivation: Learn to Love Your Work and Succeed Like Never Before.”

Stefan is an internationally recognized executive coach and human performance expert.

Get your copy of Intrinsic Motivation HERE

You can learn more about Stefan at and LinkedIn.

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live. 

Stay up to date by getting our monthly updates.

Want to say “Thanks!” You can buy us a cup of coffee

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Guests

George Grombacher

stefan falk

Stefan Falk

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:01
Welcome, this is George G. And the time is right. Welcome to our monthly book club. Welcome our author, the strong, powerful Stefan Fox to fine. Are you ready to do this?

Stefan Falk 0:10
Yes, I’m ready.

george grombacher 0:11
All right, let’s go. To find his internationally recognized executive coach and human performance expert for top business executive, special operators and elite athletes. His newest book is intrinsic motivation. Learn to love your work and succeed as never before. Stefan, excited to have you on, tell us a little about your personal life smart about your work. And what motivated you to write the book.

Stefan Falk 0:36
Yeah, thank you. So I’m actually born and raised in Sweden. But I moved here to the US about 10 years ago. I live in New York with my beautiful, fantastic wife, Regina, I have a son Ram cyst, that’s 24. And when I wrote the book, I asked him, so what do you think I should write about myself? Because I have to say something about myself. And then he looked at me, it was quite a while. And then he said, Well, I think you need to be honest. And I said, Well, you know, that’s my plan. So what should I say? Well, then I think you should say that you’re crazy. Because that’s what you are. Unlike what do you mean? Well, you’re the only person in the universe that can’t be bored. And that’s actually true. And I think that that’s probably one of my greatest assets. And something that I also tried to teach my clients, you know that there were two or define boredom. I’m also a recruiters worst nightmare, because I’ve been all over the place because my life has all been about learning. That’s, that’s sort of what really excites me. So I’ve been a professional musician, I play for instruments made records before. I’ve been a creative director for a fashion magazine, you can’t believe that now. I also have worked as a McKinsey consultant for a few years, super exciting. And then I spent 1213 years as an executive specialized in doing large scale turnarounds. And now for the past 10 years, I work as an executive coach. And I would say that my work as an executive coach is helping my clients to achieve things that they didn’t think they were capable of. And I think that’s a little bit part of the reason why I want to share some of the methods that’s has been sort of highly effective for most of my clients, you know, over the years, and that’s in the book. I love it. And that and then don’t forget, I’m crazy. So you have to be prepared for that. Okay.

george grombacher 2:37
Right. I what I wrote down, son called crazy, be careful. Do you think that that you’re wired different than other people? Or are we all capable of picking up something new and and excelling at it?

Stefan Falk 2:55
I I’m not wired. Of course, I think I am wired differently. But it’s not because of an intrinsic talent is because how I lived my life, because I think one of the key things that I do with my clients is to teach them about the brain or the mind and how that actually functions. And part of that is them to push by clients, because everything is based on what they want to achieve. It always starts with the if I work with an executive, it was always the business goals. And then within the business goals, they need to stretch themselves learn new things, you know, change their mindset, and so forth. And, and part of it is helping them you know, to really push themselves in areas where the untrained mind is pretty poor, in terms of dealing with which is dealing with boredom, dealing with things that we think are uncomfortable, that gives us discomfort, any type of pressure and stress, we try to run away from psychological pain, which is actually a beautiful thing. It’s a sign of that you actually in the growth moment, were also pretty bad in dealing with difficult people, something that is super important for us because the world is filled with difficult people, you know, solving problems, you know, if you look at the mind, we have we are infested with. I don’t know how many cognitive biases we have, you know, when we process information, so that’s actually you need to learn how to solve the problem in a logical way and so forth. So I truly believe that the brain is you can view it as a tennis player, and your tennis player becomes good at, you know, what he practices on and how it practices. That’s basically if you’re a person that think negative thoughts about your work, and you do that repeatedly, your brain becomes really good that, that and only sees all the bad things would work. If you’re trained to think positive thoughts about your work, what really excites you and so forth, your brain will become good in identifying these things. That’s simply how it works. It’s not more complex than that. And I think in my, if I look at myself, what really started my wiring was, I think I spent a lot of time alone when I was a kid, because I was overweight. And I was not very popular among other kids. And then I also had a father that was a little bit too harsh, I think, you know, his, his ideal parenting was like, just basically, you know, spanking me whenever he fought, I did something bad, which I think he thought that I did all the time. So I spent a lot of time in my room alone. Now, the beauty of being alone, I think, when you’re a kid, is that you have to stimulate yourself, to find something to do that excites you. And that builds your ability to fantasize, you know, I need to fantasize, what what should I do? Why would that be fun. So fortunately, you build a very strong inner world. And that inner world, the stronger it is, the more you can actually decide how you think about the outer world, okay, you get alternatives. And I find that most people, they, they don’t fantasize, they don’t dream. And the beauty with fantasizing is that in the fan in the world of fantasies, you could always make what you fantasize about happening, okay? So if you fantasize about, I want to be the most admired leader in this company. And you do that over and over again. And all the time in your dream or in fantasy, it happens, it builds some kind of will some kind of need to actually try this out in the real world, because after some time, fantasizing will not be enough.

george grombacher 7:04
Because that’s really powerful. And it sounds like, I sounds like a kind of a superpower, that that, that we have, that most of us don’t use.

Stefan Falk 7:15
Yeah, and we all have it in us, okay, this, this, this experience of, you know, being in the moment being present. And that’s what I talked about in the book, in the moments are intrinsic motivation. Because intrinsic motivation is when you engage in activity, for the experience the activity gives you, it makes you feel alive. And when that experience, when you have that experience, you are challenged in a good way. And when we are challenged with developers skills, and we learn something new, and that is something that they experience, that fulfilling experience, that’s our brains way of rewarding us for that we actually are pushing ourselves. Because if you think about it, from an evolutionary standpoint, developing ourselves and learning new things have been a key survival strategy, if we would not have done that we will not have been here. Okay. So so it is in our, I would say, in our DNA, this willingness and need to develop the complication is that the stronger force in us is our laziness. Because the most, the most important survival strategy has been to always have a surplus of energy. Given the fact that evolutionary we have not known when we’re going to eat the next time when we have to fight the next time, you know, fixed shelter and all these things. So it’s always more to have a surplus of energy. So this force heavy enough to learn new things, that’s pretty weak, that needs to be cultivated. And that’s, that’s something you actively have to do with your brain.

george grombacher 9:04
That’s really powerful. That fulfillment is our brains way of rewarding us for pushing our abilities for learning new information. And fascinating, we all have worked hard at something and then had that sense of fulfillment. So that makes a ton of sense.

Stefan Falk 9:24
Yeah, it’s a beautiful thing. And, and so in the book, I say, you know, learn to love your work. And I think the word love could be a little bit confusing for people because they might have a very one dimensional view of what that is. Because this moment of development. What makes it so magnificent, is that it’s almost like we experience all emotions at the same time. Because it’s a stretch, we are aiming to something that is a little bit outside either our comfort zone, obviously there is a sliver of anxiety in it, where you’re like, Am I really going to pull it off, okay, but that fear is not too big because if it’s too big, you know, then the rails us, but that is labor, okay? Neela pull this off, okay? That that type of anxiety sharpens our senses, anxieties is the is totally important for learning. So we have that because it sharpens our senses. But it’s also a feeling of excitement that we actually are breaking new ground and in some little way, Nunan tweaking this way I’m doing it’s going to be exciting to see how that actually comes out. And then, of course, it’s a feeling of accomplishment, you know, that we are involved in dedicated effort. And this happens so naturally the most.

george grombacher 10:50
That makes a lot of sense to that excitement, because we are learning new things, but we’re taking in new information, there’s, there’s there’s growth that’s happening. You tell me a little bit more about the confusion with with with love and work or just our confusion with the word love?

Stefan Falk 11:09
No, but we might, we might, we might associate that that, you know, this, this experience of intrinsic motivation is just like, oh, this is so wonderful. This is so fantastic. And now it has sort of, that’s what I’m saying it has all emotions in it. When I’m when I’m in these moments, which I am, like several times a day. It is it is it has a bit of pain in it, because you’re stretching ourselves, we should remember that that one of the signals that we are in a learning moment is actually the brain that you know, feels a little bit of a pain because it’s pushed to work. And it’s pushed to work. And that draws energy, which should think about this, that when we actively think that draws more energy than physical exercise. If you look at when you run a marathon, you’re the average person burns about 2500 calories. A professional chess player playing a day in the tournament, can burn as much as 6000 calories and lose two pounds. Wow.

george grombacher 12:23
So when we’re pushing ourselves, it would, is it also fair to say that, that when somebody says or when when when I say something like, you have to work hard to get what you want, that it’s going to be similar, similarly confusing. So you’re really going to love your work because people are turned off by the idea of hard work sometimes.

Stefan Falk 12:46
When I think that, yeah, maybe people are turned off by it. I had the opposite experience, you know, with the people I met and I met a few facets and people that that when they’re involved in hard work most of them actually enjoy it, maybe not while in it. But off the because it gives them a sense of accomplishment. I’ve actually done something now and that that’s a that’s an important thing in working really hard and not sensing that you have made any accomplishment. Okay, I think it’s detrimental. I think that’s one of the reasons for burnout for instance, people are I’m spending, I’m spending all this time on something, but I don’t actually see the result of it. And if I don’t see the result of it, it’s very hard for me to deliver on another psychological need, which is purpose. Because remember, evolutionary when we have spent our energy to learn and to develop, it has always been in areas that has been important for us and more more importantly for our immediate survival Okay, and it has been on things that we can see the result for instance when we have okay if we are successful or not. And if we’re not successful, we can learn something from it okay, what we should do differently and so forth. So, I think hard work in general is fantastic. We are built to work really hard. But we need to be make sure that we understand what we are as a pull sheet

then we can see if we achieve we had the ship

george grombacher 15:00
That makes a lot of sense. Hello. So what are you hope? Looks like I’m back.

Stefan Falk 15:12
Okay, you lost me or what?

george grombacher 15:18
Give me one second hearing and see if I can find a different internet address

Stefan Falk 15:48
all right,

george grombacher 15:49
sorry about that, sir.

Stefan Falk 15:53
So you lost me up?

george grombacher 15:54
Yep, sorry about that we are back. So I appreciate you elaborate on that, I think that you were able to, I was able to get you closing out your thoughts before I cut out. So I’d like to pick up and figure out or ask you what you’re hoping that people get out of the book when they pick it up? So we’ll just kind of move on from there, if that’s all right. So I will ask that. So when somebody picks up a copy of intrinsic motivation, what are you hoping that they’re gonna get out of it?

Stefan Falk 16:30
By I think they hope my hope is that they, they really understand that it is fundamentally up to them. What they want to achieve in life, that that’s number one. And number two, also understand that it is extremely important how they choose to develop their brain. So the brain becomes something that actually serves them well. And that that actually requires some refinement of how its of its basic configuration. And then I think, the very practical hope I have is that they actually use the methods because they actually work. They work. And there are, I think more than 30 methods in it that has been tested in extremely demanding environments. So if you test something in a very demanding environment, it has to be very easy to understand and implement, which also means it works in all environments. So that’s my hope, I hope this becomes a practical handbook for people.

george grombacher 17:40
I love it. Certainly, we spend a lot of time training our bodies and stuff like that, or learning new skills, but not a lot of time actually training how our brains work. So I think that that’s

Stefan Falk 17:51
great. Yeah, I mean, we, in a way we train our brain every day, it’s just that we might train the brain the wrong way, even when it’s very interesting. It’s very interesting, you know, when I go through this process now, which has been extremely, you know, stressful, a lot of pressure on me. And I have a pretty well trained brain. But still, you know, I still have the primitive parts of it, which is, you know, the fear center is the reward system that is a sucker for easy rewards. And all these things take the easy way out. And when I’m under this immense pressure, to do stuff, you know, six client sessions, and I need to write an article, and then the podcast is still full, of course, you know, my brain then and that’s not me starts come up with all these excuses. Oh, Stefan, why do you do this, you know, you don’t have any ambition to be an author, university, full time author. You’re an executive coach, that’s, that’s your love. That’s what really rewards you. That’s what you think is meaningful? Why? Why do you do this? I probably get 100 excuses every day. But But I know that that is not me. That is my brain, the primitive part of it. It’s almost like, I view it as Okay, now I’m going to sit down here and I’m going to work, watch something on television, I’m going to watch my primitive brain, you know, trying to derail me with a lot of thoughts. So, you know, that’s how it works. And the problem is that most people that don’t understand this day take these thoughts as their thoughts, and hence they need to act on them or they need to accept them. No, you don’t have to do that. You can think in 30 way.

george grombacher 19:49
I love that. Just because your brain is feeding you stuff doesn’t mean that it’s really your thoughts. It’s just the conditioning. It’s wiring from hundreds of 1000s of years.

Stefan Falk 20:00
Yeah, no, but I have is, I have a brain that that actually serves me well, I, I, for the first time in my life, I decided to take a driver’s license, I’ve never had that. And this is like, maybe six months ago. Because we had a conversation, Regina that, you know, we want to go places and it’s not fair that she, you know, drives all the time, okay, I’m gonna do it. I did it, you know, fairly fast, I think that took like, 15 lessons or something. And got the got the license. And then, but I felt that I had this super anxiety of getting out on on highways, you know, changing lanes in fast speed and all these things and, and that really made me not feel feel well. So we didn’t, I went to Los Angeles to meet with her daughter, she goes to college there. And I thought that it was like, I think a Friday that, oh, I’m going to rent the car in the weekend. And then I’m gonna, you know, practice driving, I’m going to practice this, like hybrid driving and all these things a good idea. I rent the car. And the second after I rent the car, my brain starts well, you know, that’s going to be super painful. You know, that’s, you know, thinking about it, you know, you’re going to spend the weekend you know, in complete anxiety. Why do you do that? You’ve worked so hard. Why don’t you use like, went out to relax a little bit, you know, take a walk in Central Park, you know, hang out, do these things, you know, also feel it, you’re pretty tired. being tired. Having the anxiety, driving, it’s not the combinate good combination. So obviously, you know, Friday night, my sleep was not the best, you know, I was very anxious. I woke up Saturday morning, my brain is like, you just feel it now. Stephen, you so tired? Why should you do this? Let the car be in the garage. That’s it? No, you know, why do you push yourself. But then my brain is like, on the other hand, if you don’t take on this challenge now, and go out and practice and try to get your head around, you know, actually how to do this in a way that makes you feel more comfortable. That means that you’re going to have this anxiety every time you rent the car with your wife and go out and drive. Do you want to have a life like that? No, of course not. I took the car and I drove two days. And now you know, whatever. So the understand is, it’s about developing a brand that at the end of the day, you know, saves you and pushes you into the right path.

george grombacher 22:40
I love it. Thank you for sharing that story. That’s really a helpful way to to illustrate it. So gratulations to you on on getting a driver’s license.

Stefan Falk 22:52
Thank you. Thank you. I enjoy it actually. Yeah, driving, driving straight. I was driving in Costa Rica after after Christmas. And that was, that was a special experience. I had to cross a river with a very small car. That was very, very scary. But But anyway, you know, I’m here. So it went well.

george grombacher 23:14
Yeah, you learn how to drive in New York City. So that’s, that’s no small feat. And then you’re driving across rivers in Costa Rica. So nothing? No baby steps for you, sir. Just just just just just right in there.

Stefan Falk 23:29
Mr. George, isn’t it like this, that, you know, we are born incomplete. And we know that we would pass incomplete. And I think a good purpose in life is let’s try to you know, grow a little bit. So when I pass, at least I’m a little bit less incomplete. Okay. And that you have a life where, you know, everyday is memorable. I mean, it’s a gift we got and this life it’s not it’s not a burden. It’s something that you know, it I just think it’s magnificent. Life is magnificent. Isn’t it?

george grombacher 24:10
100% If we’re born incomplete, does that mean it’s possible to be complete?

Stefan Falk 24:18
Never. Never. I mean, I’ve been in this space in the people space for it’s going to be 30 years and I’ve been a student of neuroscience behavior science. You know, what not been to the FBI is behavior science unit with the criminal profilers learned from them. You know, I’ve been all over the place. I’ve been in many more places than most of my peers, I would say. And, and I learned things every day, every day. There’s no end to it. But that’s also what makes it exciting. Not in the beginning, perhaps. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why we feel bored. This I learned from my mentor shakes me hi that most staff that we meet, that are new to us that they know very little about, don’t naturally spark our interest, we need to learn a little bit more about them to gain some kind of an initial sense of mastery, and to feel the excitement of it. And, but when your money started coming into that zone a little bit, then you start to see the world, the inner world of whatever you’re trying to, you know, to learn about, and that becomes exciting.

george grombacher 25:40
Love, it was fun. Thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you? And where can they get a copy of intrinsic motivation, learn to love your work and succeed as never before.

Stefan Falk 25:51
They can learn more about me on my website, which is learn to love your Learn to love your work in one And there they also have information about about the book and the book they can find in bookstores and all the online stuff like Amazon, or, or whatever. Excellent. And it’s, I think, published on February 7, yeah.

george grombacher 26:17
Right. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, just stuff on your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to learn to love your and check out everything that’s to funds working on pick up your copy of intrinsic motivation. Learn to love your work and succeed as never before, wherever you buy your books. Certainly link all those in the notes of the show. Thanks gets to fun.

Stefan Falk 26:43
Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure.

george grombacher 26:45
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

Our Manifesto

We’re here to help others get better so they can live freely without regret
Believing we’ve each got one life, it’s better to live it well and the time to start is now If you’re someone who believes change begins with you, you’re one of us We’re working to inspire action, enable completion, knowing that, as Thoreau so perfectly put it “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Let us help you invest in yourself and bring it all together.

Feed your life-long learner by enrolling in one of our courses.

Invest in yourself and bring it all together by working with one of our coaches.

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, or you’d like to become a Certified LifeBlood Coach or Course provider, contact us at Contact@LifeBlood.Live.

Please note- The Money Savage podcast is now the LifeBlood Podcast. Curious why? Check out this episode and read this blog post!

We have numerous formats to welcome a diverse range of potential guests!

  • Be Well- for guests focused on overall wellness
  • Book Club-for authors
  • Brand-for guests focused on marketing
  • Complete-for guests focused on spirituality
  • Compete-for competitors, sports, gaming, betting, fantasy football
  • Create-for entrepreneurs
  • DeFi-for guests focused on crypto, blockchain and other emerging technologies
  • Engage-for guests focused on personal development/success and leadership
  • Express-for journalists/writers/bloggers
  • General-for guests focused on finance/money topics
  • Lifestyle-for guests focused on improving lifestyle
  • Maximize-for guests focused on the workplace
  • Numbers-for accounting and tax professionals
  • Nurture-for guests focused on parenting
  • REI-for guests focused on real estate

Feed your Life-Long Learner

Get what you need to get where you want to go

Rate it
Previous post