Success Podcast Post

Stop Resisting with Amy Wong

George Grombacher September 8, 2022

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Stop Resisting with Amy Wong

LifeBlood: We talked about how and why to stop resisting, the danger of going on auto-pilot, the value of choice in perspective and how to live a fulfilled life, with Amy Wong, Founder of Always on Purpose, executive coach, and author. 

Listen to learn why every time you think “should” is a trigger!

You can learn more about Amy at, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Amy Wong

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on let’s go. This is George G. And the time is right. Welcome. Today’s guest strong a powerful Amy Wong. Amy, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:17
I’m ready. Let’s do it.

george grombacher 0:19
Let’s go. Amy is the founder of always on purpose. She’s an executive coach, author and facilitator working with organizations to transform leadership teams. Her newest book is living on purpose, five deliberate choices to realize fulfillment and joy. Can you tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work? And why you do what you do

Unknown Speaker 0:39
that? Absolutely. Well, I, starting at a young age, I have been so fascinated with all things. Consciousness, spirituality, I think I stumbled upon tick, not Han when I was in fifth grade and started meditating at a young age and just really, really hungry for the big conversations about why we’re here. What does it mean to thrive and, and that that drive just led me to study all forms of Eastern wisdom traditions, and I mean, just really immersed in that. But at the same time, I also was very passionate about math. And so I studied math at UC Berkeley. And interestingly, I found that it was this love of in this fascination with people’s experience and how they thrive. And then this love of math, it’s some interesting, which combination of the two, had me realized that wow, I’m really, really, really, really good at being able to discern and with people like what is it that they don’t know that they don’t know about what’s at hand, and how I found that out was really by teaching math. So I taught math in high school, I taught math at Cal as an undergraduate student instructor. And it wasn’t so much the transmission of math that was really lighting me up. I mean, that was but what again, what it was, was listening for what it was that people didn’t know that they didn’t know. And I could hear it in their argument in their logic in order to help them break through blocks. And so that theme really persisted. I ended up in the tech industry after I graduated, I was at Sun Microsystems for 10 years, which, you know, it’s a long time, if you remember that name, Sun Microsystems, a dinosaur back then, but really, truly one of the pioneers in the tech industry, which really set me up for understanding business and world and leadership. And, and yet, at the same time, I had this tremendous ability to facilitate and coach I just didn’t know that. But then after my first child was born, who’s now 14, I had this big breakthrough breakdown, breakthrough experience, where I realized, you know what, gosh, I’m just, I’m not attending to all of me. And so in this massive epiphany, experience, went back to school, got my Master’s in transpersonal, psychology, having no clue what I was gonna do with it, I just had to study it, because it was fascinating to me. And lo and behold, little did I know, the blend of pure mathematics, that rigorous study, you know, that I got from UC Berkeley, and then a transpersonal, psychology graduate degree, together lended itself perfectly to coaching. So coaching found me in 2010, and it’s just I’ve been off to the races. And I’ve been doing this work now for a decade. And it has been truly I, I have to tell you, George, I feel like I live a miracle every single day to be able to have the conversations that I have to help people break free from self imposed limitation and false perception. And so that really has been what’s been going on. And it’s just been, it’s just continuing to evolve. Now, the book that, you know, I’ve had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of conversations from 2010 till now. And it was around 2014 that I knew exactly what this book needed to be. Because it was the process, I was really starting to discern and take clients through to really create a massive breakthrough. And so I knew what the book needed to be, but I knew I wasn’t ready to write it because I was still accumulating the research. It was still in process with all the conversations and the examples and didn’t think about it that way. I just knew in my heart that I just wasn’t ready. And I knew at some point, I would know. And that’s when it was 2019. I was like, Okay, it’s time I this book needs to get out in the world. And so that’s where we’re at.

george grombacher 4:32
I love it so much, so much awesome stuff there. I just I got to ask about teaching high school math for like if I committed a horrible crime. I think that probably my sentence would be you have to go teach high school math.

Unknown Speaker 4:54
Well, to be clear, I wasn’t a high school teacher. I had a tutoring business. So I I got the best of all worlds I’d kids that, you know, one on one, not a class. But I you know, I have to tell you though it’s it’s, there’s just something about it, it was magical and always and always

george grombacher 5:13
fair enough

Unknown Speaker 5:16
wasn’t punishment, I’ll tell you that.

george grombacher 5:20
So helping people to recognize that or break free of self self imposed limitations to help them recognize what they don’t know. Is, is, is the problem getting worse? Or is it getting better?

Unknown Speaker 5:37
Oh, gosh. So I think I think both are true, I think, you know, I have got so many personal kind of hypotheses here about consciousness and how this thing called existence works. But, you know, we live in a, in this reality of duality, which means, you know, we, there’s a balance of forces, you can’t have light without dark, you cannot have up without down. And so, you know, as the universe expands, there’s, there’s, there’s an equal and contracting force. And so what I feel is true, is that at the same time, while we are evolving, and really waking up, I also feel like there’s this equal force of devolution has that, though, is that a word I don’t even know is where we’re falling. Yeah, and it’s, and I. And so I think both are true at the moment. And I look around, I mean, I have children, a 14 year old, a nine year old, and the constant conversation is the regulation of devices of the technology of, of this very consuming force, that all of us are being swept up by, you know, due to the way it’s just it’s configured, how we’re connected. I mean, it’s, I’m not going to it for one second demonized technology, but we’ve found ourselves in a, in a situation where we are massively addicted to the stimulation that comes from the constant barrage of information. And so I, you, I’m sure you talked about this, you know, this, we are now in what’s called an attention economy, where the currency of the time is our attention. And so, if we don’t, if we don’t safeguard our attention, we’re gonna fall victim to these, you know, just to these, these, the poll. And in doing so we really lose our agency, we lose our presence. And what’s happening is, we are all really kind of going into autopilot. And then you compound that with COVID, where everyone entered into survival mode a little bit where and so I think lots of people are inserted in this autopilot phase. And many people are waking up. And I think, and for many people, it’s getting worse. And so it’s, I think we’ve got I think we’ve got all of it going on, all of it’s going on.

george grombacher 8:00
So this idea of autopilot, it’s just, I’m just in my pattern, this is I wake up and I do this. And then I go into the office, and I come home and I do this and I just do it over and over again. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, but it’s but it’s not. It’s just then this is this is just what I’m doing. It’s not I’m not conscious of it. I’ve just slipped into it.

Unknown Speaker 8:22
That’s right. And this is the opposite of living on purpose. Now, I, you know, I’m big on this, this idea of being on purpose and on purpose as an as an adverb, not necessarily a noun or purpose, like, Oh, hey, my purpose is to, you know, feed the world or to create clean water systems. And it’s not that it’s really to be on purpose, which means to be awake, and autopilot, really is that it’s, it’s just, it’s default mode, where it’s like default living where I am going to exist, and continually replay these habitual patterns that I have developed as a result of continued exposure and experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem, though, I mean, if that, if that’s one’s prerogative, no problem. Because you can exist fine. The the opportunity, though, I don’t want to say necessarily problem. But the opportunity in waking up from autopilot, however, is that you really, truly are at choice. And that’s what it means to be on purpose is to harness choice in the most conscious way. Because the sum total of the choices that we make, totally dictate the quality of our life. And when we’re on autopilot, we’re not really making choices. We’re just replaying patterns. And if we want to take life by the horns, and we want to truly live on purpose, and we want to be in the driver’s seat, and we want to experience joy, and we want to experience that x During that just amazing feeling of being present, and being able to listen to the birds and see the trees and to be with that smile on the left, we have to be awake. And we have to harness choice at a very powerful level. Now, last thing I’ll say about this is, you know, it’s easy to think that being on purpose is to be purposeful, about choice at the level of action, meaning, okay, you know, I think I will choose this apple over this bag of chips. Now, that’s important. But that’s not really where the magic set where the magic lies is choice at the level of perception. So as stuff happens, we’re going to choose how we perceive it, we’re going to choose more importantly, how we interpret what we’re perceiving. We get to choose the beliefs we hold the interpretations we make. And a lot of us forget that and when we’re on autopilot, we don’t have the ability to harness love choice at that level. And then that’s when we really are victims of circumstance, and nobody wants to be a victim of circumstance. They want to be able to thrive unconditionally. And that’s really what living on purpose being on purpose is all about.

george grombacher 11:08
That’s super powerful. Nobody wants to be a victim of circumstance.

Unknown Speaker 11:15
Well, in their heart of hearts, maybe not maybe not in the autopilot mind, but in the awakened mind. Yes.

george grombacher 11:27
It I, I, I wholeheartedly agree with with everything you said. It’s like the red pill, the blue pill, it’s like, you have the ability to make this choice. And that’s a trite thing to say, but it was kind of fundamentally what it is, is we have the ability as human beings to choose to make these choices about the level of perception. And to not feel like I’m a victim, I, I want agency, I want to be able to feel like I’m in as much control as we as human beings can have. Is that right?

Unknown Speaker 12:12
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I mean, think about, if I were to say, Hey, would you like the ability to thrive unconditionally? I mean, would you like the ability to, to really feel alive, to feel vibrant, to feel joyful not to say you could be joyful all the time, because again, we live in duality, we can’t have joy, without sadness, we, so all the emotions are real, all the experiences are real, and they’re necessary, but to be, but to feel purposeful, to feel alive to feel fulfilled more often than not, and to say, you know, and I can do that irregardless of the circumstance, I can do that. Even if this doesn’t go my way, I’m not going to make that mean, that I still can’t be alive and joyful. That’s really the that that to me is the opportunity.

george grombacher 13:07
And that that is available to all of us. Not like you can well, how, how, how do I get there? It’s going to take work, like Yeah, if I say yes, I want this, I’m going to embark on this journey. Maybe it’s gonna take me longer, it’s gonna take others faster?

Unknown Speaker 13:31
No, that’s a great question. And I mean, this is the work of, it’s really the answer that I would want to offer. Really, it’s gonna feel a little magical, but it’s not. It’s it’s really quite independent of where one is in their life. And the reason I wrote living on purpose was because there were very clear themes about shifts. So so the book is, it’s five deliberate choices, to realize fulfillment and joy, to realize contentment, and joy, right, and so when, you know, but these choices really are perceptual shifts. And then depending upon where one is in their life, like these, the collection of these perceptual shifts really are somewhat independent of each other. And there’s really no order to them. However, I’ve written it such that it makes a lot of sense if you if you take them on in order that I propose them. And I would say, you know, there’s depending on where someone is, or any one of these choices will be an unlock the one that comes up right now, as we’re speaking about it, that might be really powerful. That tends to be a pretty big aha for folks is that and I’ll just break this down. So kind of something that people can begin to practice is, you know, everything we want, everything we think we want in life, whether that’s more money, whether that’s a new job, whether that’s to retire, whether that’s a relationship we Want it because not for the thing, not for the money and not for the status, we want it because we think it’s going to make us feel a certain way. So, at the end of every desire is truly a desired feeling state, but we don’t really think about it that way, we just tend to stop at the thing. So there’s a lot here. And that really pertains to choice number one, but I’m gonna actually go to choice number two, because I think this is where it can get really eye opening. Is that okay? So here we are, we want to feel good, we want to be happy. And so I’m going to break this down in a very objective way. So let’s imagine all emotions that you could ever feel can be mapped on a vertical scale. And in the middle is neutral. Okay, so going up, the scale here is all the positive emotions, you can feel increasing and positivity. And below neutral is all the negative emotions, you could feel increasing in negativity, okay? Now the truth is, everybody wants to hang out up here, above neutral. That’s why you want what you want. That’s why you do what you do you want to hang up here, you don’t want to be down here. But many of us find ourselves down here. And so then we do and we make choices trying to get up here. Okay, so part of where we can start to be in the driver’s seat, and take responsibility for where we are in scares recognizing this very, very powerful, very profound fact that everything below neutral, whether that’s as mild as apathy, or as intense as rage, everything below neutral is caused by one thing. And when you get this, it is a game changer. So here it is. The moment here you are, if you are in your now moment, and the moment you resist what is you push against what is you push against current reality in any way, shape, or form, boom, resistance itself, shear forces you to drop below neutral. That’s it. And so now we can look at each of these negative emotions in a really objective way. And we can see it as a measure of exists of resistance, increasing a negativity. Right. So confusion. I should know something here that I don’t frustration, you shouldn’t have done that disappointment, you should be different. Right? And so there’s, we’re pushing against reality. And so this right here is a big aha, oh my gosh, the only reason I am holding myself underwater is because I’m actively pushing against reality. Now what’s resistance? Resistance is anytime we are judging ourselves, others or circumstances, this needs to be different. You need to be different. I need to be different. We’re pushing against Curt with boom, we dropped below neutral. Anytime we’re comparing ourselves negatively other. You know what that I’m pushing against myself. And then the really and here it is, here’s the here’s the big, like secret, the Hallmark indicator that you are resisting what is, is anytime you think, feel, say and act on the word should. Should is the ultimate indicator that you’re actively pushing against reality. You’re not focusing on what you want. You’re focusing on trying to avoid negative consequences. And then there’s a big conversation. And that’s all what chapter four is, by the way. I love this. I’m so tickled with myself, I titled chapter four, I should you not, I didn’t. So really

Unknown Speaker 18:27
the whole chapter details this but if we want to truly begin to wake up and take responsibility for the quality of our lives, it starts with recognizing how often we push against reality for no good reason. It’s kind of like here I’m in my office, I want an office bigger office, I’m gonna push against the wall hoping it’s gonna get bigger me it just wastes resources. And that’s where most of us we sustain resistance for no good reason. It just eats up bandwidth. And it gets in the way and it keeps us below neutral. And so that right there is, you know, a big aha, just waking up to this fact that wow, you know what, like, for example, so I have a dog that shuts I love my dog. I don’t like dog hair, and yet like my dog sheds and so I could be frustrated all day after the tie brush and I can be frustrated that there’s dog hair even though I just vacuumed but the truth is like there’s only so much I can do so I can either resist the dog hair and be miserable. Or I can just let it be and or get rid of the dog but then my kids would disown me like they get rid of my dog. Right and so we have to look at our relationship to what is and that’s really where the opportunity lies.

george grombacher 19:48
Well I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets come up. When you resist what is that is that is a powerful statement right there. Yeah, love it pushing against Reality is the problem and sustaining that resistance. Well, I can certainly look to just examples of me doing that probably this morning.

Unknown Speaker 20:12
We do it all the time. I mean, you know, where you can really fight, you know, feel it, is when we’re in traffic. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s so easy to do a traffic like, oh, you should be driving better, you should speed up. Why is there so much traffic? And so we end up pushing against what is and it’s like, oh, what does that service? Nothing? Absolutely nothing? No, but I will say, you know, a lot of people will say, Well, hold on a me, but are you advocating for us being, you know, tolerant to crap, you know, to tolerate mediocrity to become doormats? And I say absolutely not. You know, it really what this is about, it’s waking up to, to just how you’re unnecessarily eating up your own resources. You know, and I always I use the example of like, here we are in conversation. And I’m, I’m engaged with you now, would it serve me to pick up this big heavy pitcher of water? And hold it out? Right, and sustain resistance? And then have this conversation with you? Like, no, that’s gonna be distracting? I mean, I can do this. Yeah, but am I going to be great at it? No, I’m am I going to be? Or do I have all the ideas available to me? Not really. And so that’s where sustaining resistance all the time, it just gets in the way. So what am I saying? I’m saying, put the water pitcher down, and then take action. Right? So it’s not that we become tolerant of crap. It’s that we stop eating, stop wasting our resources, so that we have all of our resources available for ingenuity, innovation, problem solving, creativity, empathy, objectivity, right, but it takes take it putting the water pitcher down. I love it. Yeah.

george grombacher 22:00
Well, Amy, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? Where can they pick up a copy of

Unknown Speaker 22:07
living on? Purpose? Yeah, right. Yeah. So yes, you can pick up a copy of living on purpose. It’s anywhere books are sold. Best place probably to get it as Amazon. And for me, my website is always on Lots of stuff there articles, interviews to get a lot more information. And I’m on LinkedIn, I’m not really big on social media, Instagram, Facebook, to just I don’t have the presence for that. Too busy, the living, you know, in other ways, but I am on LinkedIn. And if you if you’re on LinkedIn, I’m Amy Elisa Huang. As my handle, always on purpose.

george grombacher 22:51
If you enjoyed as much as I did, show me your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to always on and check out all the great resources and all Amy’s great work and pick up a copy of living on purpose five deliberate choices to realize fulfillment and joy. Wherever you buy your books. Thanks again. Amy.

Unknown Speaker 23:12
Thank you so much pleasure.

george grombacher 23:15
And until next time, fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together. I take it back. Stop fighting the good fight. Stop pushing

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