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Mindfulness at Work with Dr. Eric Holsapple

George Grombacher June 5, 2022

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Mindfulness at Work with Dr. Eric Holsapple

LifeBlood: We talked about mindfulness at work, the business case for mindfulness, what it really means, how to start the practice, and how to introduce it to your employees with Dr. Eric Holsapple, mindful business expert, Founder of Living in the Gap, and author.  

Listen to learn why so much of success begins with intention!

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Dr. Eric Holsapple

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:00
Come on.

Unknown Speaker 0:12
left with this is George G. And the time is right to welcome today’s guest struggle powerful. Dr. Eric Holsapple. Dr. Eric, are you ready to do this? I am George. Good morning. Good morning and excited to have you on. Dr. Eric is a mindful business expert. He is the founder of living in the gap. He’s a PhD in economics. It’s been a real estate, CEO and developer for 40 plus years, Eric, tell us a little about your personal life some more about your work and why you do what you do? Well, I’m married my wife, Tracy, as of 30 years, I have three three grown children all in this work in one way or another. And

Dr. Eric Holsapple 0:50
I also came up, went out and work for a period of time was very successful search for meaning went back and got my doctorate in economics, ended up teaching at the Colorado State University for 20 years adjunct as I ran my business and helped them launch their real estate center and those things, and over that time, took up yoga, then threw that in the meditation, mostly, as a closet, meditator begin with I just, you know, would do it at home and show up at work maybe a little bit different, but still in a silo. And then came across some other work and just opened myself up and started sharing it with my company, one person at a time. And eventually, the company adopted a vision statement of mindfully committing creating community, I didn’t, the staff did. And they’re all making a difference. We do a C group where people practice mindfulness and read insightful books, and everybody’s on a nonprofit organization of some type out in the community.

Unknown Speaker 1:53
And it’s been totally transformational for myself and for my family. And I see the company that

Unknown Speaker 2:00
is not only more mindful, but they’re busier and more profitable than ever, and happier and they bring it home.

Unknown Speaker 2:08
And that motivated me to form living in the gap and start sharing it with other professionals. We’ve run three cohorts through, we just graduated one last Friday, major real estate professionals primarily expand, I’m expanding it beyond that this is where my contacts are. But some of the most successful real estate people in the state have come through and experiencing amazing results. And I want to share it. So that’s why I’m on this morning. Outstanding.

Unknown Speaker 2:41
So what what is mindfulness?

Unknown Speaker 2:44
Well, it’s it’s the ability to focus, if you wanted to say one word can I focus on, can I fill my mind with one option, one object of my choice.

Unknown Speaker 2:57
And we live in a world of multitasking, we believe we can do four or five things, and we can because of the power of the non conscious brain, but it’s very difficult to be conscious of more than one thing at a time. So we we try to choose starting with following the breath or one mantra or something that

Unknown Speaker 3:17
you train yourself to focus.

Unknown Speaker 3:21
And there’s a lot more beyond that. But once you start to focus, you can start focusing your life and have a life of intention, or as we trained to have a soldier of in life, that, that you really drive, you know, your life versus having a life is just kind of going along with cultures and societies, callings, which are all positive. My, my brain manufactures over 6000 thoughts a day. And, you know, there’s a handful that are good ones, and I want to try to hang on to those and I try to let the rest of them pass through, you know, pass through and

Unknown Speaker 3:57
not impact me, though and focus on the ones I choose to focus on.

Unknown Speaker 4:05
Being able to fill our brains or minds with one idea at a time to focus on that.

Unknown Speaker 4:12
And we have all of these thoughts 6000 or so going through our brains at a time we’re constantly making decisions, that’s crazy the amount of decisions that we’re making throughout the course of the day.

Unknown Speaker 4:24

Unknown Speaker 4:25
and if we’re not good stewards of where our minds and our attention our thinking is going there’s a constant influx of new things these days and more and more that that that that will take our attention and directed somewhere else. So that that’s not leading to happier people. So not only is this a good thing for your mental health, but there’s also a business case for it. Totally the you know, the science is showing be happy first and you’ll be more successful. I mean, just think about it. We have a Science Society that

Unknown Speaker 5:00
says if we do all these things, go to college advanced degree, work really hard. You know, buy the house, take the dream vacations,

Unknown Speaker 5:11
you know, the dream spouse, the dream family, all these things that someday we’ll be successful. And when we are, we’ll be really happy. We turn that around and say, you know, be happy first. That happiness, contentment will actually make you more successful. I mean, who do you want to deal with on your on your way to success, somebody that’s happy, fulfilled and content or somebody that’s unhappy, unfulfilled discontent waiting to be happy someday when they magically arrive at our culture’s dream life.

Unknown Speaker 5:49
My experiences once once most of us get to that dream life, it was certainly true for me was still not happy that if we don’t instill happiness, now, when we get to that dream life, the next thing is the second house, the third house, in the yard or going to the moon is in the billionaire’s space race today, I look at it and go, you know, I can’t get no satisfaction.

Unknown Speaker 6:13
You know, I gotta conquer the next 40 or so we try to turn it around and say be happy first. Worst case is your dreams don’t come true. Just like your thought. And you’re still happy.

Unknown Speaker 6:25
And my experience that makes people more successful, more focused.

Unknown Speaker 6:32
It’s just better to be around better people. How would it not? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 6:38
The logic says the same thing

Unknown Speaker 6:41
is, is that the gap that you’re talking about? They get that’s where joy and peace are. It’s that gap between those 6000 thoughts where one stop thought stops, the next one starts or the inner dialogue that we had that a lot of us have, we don’t notice it. So we start paying attention to the mind. But a lot of people when they start mindfulness, they go, Oh, what is this, this is awful, I can’t do this, it’s the first time they really noticed this inner dialogue going on. So it’s the gap between those that inner dialogue to we start noticing it, we start clearing it out. And then we start filling it in with more positive seeds, gratitudes, affirmations,

Unknown Speaker 7:21
you know, books and things that so that we can actually slow that dialogue down and change the conversation, that we’re hearing more affirming things over time than discerning. And you know, what’s gone in there is family, you know, school culture, everything that’s coming out, we came in without it, everything that’s coming out is what’s been put in there and just listen to the media for a day. You know, listen to the news cycle and those things per day. That’s what that’s what those seeds are hearing. And if we don’t actively take control of our lives, and that dialogue and begin to direct ourselves, and we’re subjected to that constant barrage of negativity, that’s invading the planet today. So it’s powerful work, it’s needed work. And it can make a difference in two minutes a day,

Unknown Speaker 8:17
two minutes a day to start meditation, a lot of people sit and they go 20 minutes, they try to do it so long. And until you we start people with two minutes, and, and start slowing the dialogue and then gradually move up. I’ve been I’ve been doing the practice for over 20 years, 30 years mindfulness, 20 years formal meditation.

Unknown Speaker 8:39
Once you slow the dialogue down, you can increase the time a little bit. And the goal is not the time you sit. The goal is when somebody pulls out, you’re in traffic or your boss boss comes in and gives you that bad news or your kid gets in an accident, instead of the, you know, the immediate reaction that isn’t usually positive, in my case, anyway, we start to just feel ourselves in our body come into our breath. And we’re able to respond rather than react. And it’s a process takes a while some of the results are immediate. But it’s a layering over time. That can get better and better and better. And you keep getting a bigger container so that you can handle life stresses, without all of them being so dramatic in such a story. And so you know, us against them can just be that’s what happened. What are we gonna do about it? Can’t do anything about it? I think I’ll accept it. See what happens from that point of view. I can change it. What steps am I going to take to change it and we work on an action system that allows us to step in and make those changes?

Unknown Speaker 9:50
Is this accessible for everyone? Absolutely. I mean, I’m not saying it is. I mean, I’m not saying formal meditation is for everyone.

Unknown Speaker 10:00
I believe mindfulness is there are some very serious and, you know, advanced practitioners that don’t want to sit, but they have some sort of practice. I mean, one of our one of our things is nature, we’re so disconnected from nature. It’s so hard to get out there. But you know, if there was mean if you have access to nature is gotten just, you know, observe a nature rather than labeling it, dissecting it, just observe it. And just notice your mind and your body calm down and your world fill with the wonders of this world. Versus judging, stereotyping, backbiting, you know, the things that are so pervasive right now. So I think it’s, I think it’s accessible to everyone. I believe meditation is the most portable practice, mostly for busy professionals. So I the programs that we run, living in the gap is a nine month living development, we start with a three week program when launching in June, you know, and build up but over over time to build a meditation practice, which I think if you’re a busy professional, you’ve got to compartmentalize that somehow to get the practice started. And then it just infiltrate your life. You know, when you just see, you know, it’s possible to

Unknown Speaker 11:17
you know, change your life and be happy now. And, you know, your relationships with your business people, you start listening to them, they when when you listen to somebody or amaze is mirror neurons and have them start listening to you, the whole conversation switches. And then I believe that bringing it through companies is ideal, because then I go home at night, my wife says, Boy, you’re a little different. Why are you listening to me? Oh, then it to kids, you go to the school board meeting, rather than a fight? It’s Hey, what is he really trying to say? What is she objecting to, rather than?

Unknown Speaker 11:58
And it can pervade the whole community, I believe business has the potential by adopting mindfulness to transform the world, be a more mindful culture. And in fact, if it isn’t through business, I don’t think we got that good dance, because I go eight or 10 hours a day, come home six o’clock at night, I’m exhausted. Oh, I think I’ll practice mindfulness. What am I just have a beard and turn on the news. Instead, I’ll try to mom. So at work is when we’re fresh. We have access to it. And

Unknown Speaker 12:34
man, it can make a difference. It can change the culture of work, some of the problems we’re having with the great resignation and the remote work. Mindfulness can be a culture, it’s a very sticky culture, that people once they get it, they don’t want to leave you.

Unknown Speaker 12:49
How do you? What are some of those initial steps into rolling it out at at a company which which you’ve done, and it’s awesome that your employees or your team made the decision to put the mindfulness in your public messaging. But I can hear a lot of people saying that sounds really awesome. But how do I even get started with that talking to my employees about it? Well, it starts with yourself.

Unknown Speaker 13:15
It’s critical that the company’s going to do it that the CEO or top executive is walking the walk, not just saying, oh, yeah, you can try that if you want just, you know, do it at lunch. But if the person it can be any person can be the seed, but you need one person. And the thing is, I recommend not sharing too soon until you have some length in your practice, because of the skepticism that’s rampant in society can knock you off your game. But once you find it you you’ll find one or two other people you might share it with. And keep in mind, the goal is not that everybody in the company becomes a meditator, they won’t. The goal is that the company’s more mindful. Those that will meditate, provide access for him provide a a spot or a little time or some meditation training, and some other kinds of training for others, that allows them to be more mindful and participate in it. Just them being in the environment with the others will open them up. Maybe someday they will. But that’s really not our goal. Our goal is to be more mindful, more compassionate, more focus. So if you have a community, if you can get over 50% of people that are actually meditating, you’re doing some good things in the community, people see that feel that you actually start caring about the people versus just the result of profits, not a purpose. You know, profit is a result of intentional action, which there’s a demand for.

Unknown Speaker 14:40
So really changing the focus of it and given them some access to I talked about at some of my upcoming book, profit with presence, given them access to

Unknown Speaker 14:52
other mindfulness techniques that don’t because everybody’s not going to meditate. They’re just not and that’s not the goal of mine.

Unknown Speaker 15:00
At least

Unknown Speaker 15:01
there’s there’s a lot of mindful movement is great. Sometimes they’re resistant to yoga. So we go to mindful stretching, mindful movement, access to yoga, but actually bringing mindfulness in any of the

Unknown Speaker 15:14
what do you love to do?

Unknown Speaker 15:17
Bring mindfulness to it take you to another level,

Unknown Speaker 15:20
a little bit. Mindful weightlifting, I didn’t think was possible till I lost my longtime trainer and COVID. And I always hated weightlifting. Just recently got a new weightlifter and started saying, Hey, can you make that muscle fire? Why are you moving for that? Could you slow down a little bit and just feel that do a little slower reps. And I just started being in my body. And that’s the first best refuge for the mind is mindfulness in the body. Down here, whenever I’m focused on my breath, or my body, my mind slows down, if I’m focused on my mind.

Unknown Speaker 16:00
So we learned we learned some techniques, technologies, to slow the mind down and really be with people.

Unknown Speaker 16:06
Weapons of Mass Destruction, but that that is my brain needs to needs to be controlled at all times, for sure.

Unknown Speaker 16:15
I love it. Well, Dr. Eric, that people are ready for your difference making tip even though you’ve already given us a lot, what do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 16:22
Well, I would say the intention to be mindful. And if you had to do one, practice,

Unknown Speaker 16:29
practice three gratitudes a day, when you wake up, even a lot of people do it before they get out of bed. Just strengthen your mind and say, What do I have to be grateful for today, this bed, my partner, the day ahead, good night’s sleep, can be small can be big. But there’s a transformation that happens in the brain, that you just start, there’s a reticular activating system that just starts looking for what you program it to. So when I’m grateful, I start looking for things to be grateful for. So I would say if there’s one thing you wanted to practice, and you were just wanting to get started mindfulness, try that, and have the intention to be mindful. And you’ll start seeing other ways to be mindful, may lead you into meditation. That’s a choice and a path that you choose. But the intention to be mindful and grateful, is a huge start.

Unknown Speaker 17:24
We think that that is great stuff that definitely gets caught.

Unknown Speaker 17:28
Thank you so much for coming on. How can people learn more about you? How can they learn about the cohorts? And when can we expect the book? Yeah, well, the best way is living in the is our website, it has our programs on it, those kinds of things.

Unknown Speaker 17:44
And there’s some free resources in there that you can get a meditation body scan, book list. And also if you’re into yoga, and everybody isn’t, there’s a little five minute standing yoga sequence, really mindful stretching, to just get into our body. And then the book I’m working on, and we launch spring of 2023 profit with presence, really showing that

Unknown Speaker 18:12
profits, not the purpose. But with presence, you show up in a way that profits are a natural result of that. And of course, we need to be profit business people have to make profit or they won’t be the CEO long, they’ll find somebody else. So we have to deliver something to companies that allow them to satisfy shareholders while also embracing themselves.

Unknown Speaker 18:37
Love it. If you enjoyed as much as I did, show, Dr. Eric your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to living in the And check out the great resources that the body scan meditation, the book list, and mindful stretching as well as everything else that he is working on. And we’ll keep an eye out for the book and have you back on to talk about that as soon as it is released. Thanks.

Unknown Speaker 19:04
I appreciate it. George, I really enjoyed being on and you do great work. And I’ll be following Thank you. Thank you, sir. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together. Thanks

Transcribed by

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