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May 18, 2022

166. Self-Love Revolution The Missing Ingredient of Success with Jonathan Troen

How to create more energy, impact, and success by simply loving and accepting yourself as you are.

How to create more energy, impact, and success by simply loving and accepting yourself as you are.



Jonathan spent 20 years in the music and entertainment business, living the life of his dreams and interviewing the biggest stars in the world. 

But he still wasn't happy. He also found out he wasn't alone. 

So, he went on a mission to find out why. Once he learned the secrets of true happiness and success, he had to share it with others. 

This was the beginning of the Self-Love Revolution. 





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You have to figure out, why are you doing what you're doing. Usually it's to create connections with other people so that we feel loved by them. Get out the middle. People love yourself. And the magical thing is when you do that, all those people you're trying to impress, they begin to like you because they're attracted to the energy.


Welcome, everybody. I'm excited today to have Jonathan Troen with us to talk about the self love revolution, that missing ingredient for success. I've been looking at the work, what he does, some of the feedback from people who've worked with him, and it really feels like you're going to get a treat today and something powerful. Thanks so much for joining us today, Jonathan Wade.


I am so happy to be here. Thank you so much.


My pleasure. So Jonathan spent 20 years in the music and entertainment business, living the life of his dreams and interviewing the biggest stars in the world. But he still wasn't happy. He also found out he wasn't alone. So he went on a mission to find out why. Once he learned the secrets of true happiness and success, he had to share it with others. And this was the beginning of the self love revolution. So, Jonathan, would you mind just sharing a little bit about what you've done? I always find it interesting when you talk to people who actually have gotten where they wanted to go because a lot of people are trying to get there. And so there's this story that okay, when I get there, it'll be this, it'll be great, it will be the other. I find it even more interesting when I meet people who said, no, I got where I either wanted to get or thought I wanted to get and something shifted. Do you mind sharing your little story and what that was like for you?


Yeah. I mean, you're exactly right. We're taught set your goals and achieve them. And I'm not going to say every goal I ever dreamed of, I achieved, but I did achieve a lot of them. And every time I would achieve a goal, yeah, it would feel great momentarily, but then I would still look around and go, oh, but that person is more successful. It's a whole other conversation how we define success. But that person is more successful than I am. That person is more successful than I am. I better set another goal. So success today, tomorrow new goal. Okay, here I am. New goal. Work hard, work hard. Work hard. Sidehustle hustle. Okay, boom. Goal achieved great. But there are still people ahead of me. You're never number one. And we're taught it's in movies. It's in classrooms. You're number one or you're nothing, right? Or maybe top 10%. Top 10%. But there's so much comparison. We are taught from the moment we are born and literally from when we are born, because when I became a father, I had a son and they gave us a sheet of paper, and it had his height and his weight.


And then next to that, there were percentages of how he compared height and weight to every other person in the world. So this literally starts at birth, where we compare ourselves to every other person on the planet. And I was not going to become the most successful person in Hollywood. I know I'm not supposed to say that because, yeah, I guess I could have been if I tried. But you're not number one in everything. And even when you get number one at some point, right? Okay. Tom Brady won the last year. He's not in it this year. Right. You're not number one forever. And that creates a lot of problems. And we have been taught we must be number one. So for not. Well, something's still wrong with me. I achieved my goal, but something is still wrong with me. Let me figure out something else. Let me create a new goal or a new path. Maybe you need a new path. Maybe you're just on the wrong path, but it's always something wrong with you. So something was wrong with me. Eventually we can get into that journey. But to answer your question, so that's what it was.


I would achieve a goal and then compare myself to everyone else. And I was never, ever good enough. It didn't matter who I interviewed. And I interviewed some amazing people. I interviewed my idols, like those people you dreamed of interviewing as a kid. Never good enough. And that's just what life was for me for decades.


And so share a little bit, if you don't mind that feeling of what do you do with that? In other words, there are certain accomplishments. I talked to people about this. There are certain compliments where you say, okay, not so much empirically, but by all agreeable standards, you're rich. So, for example, if you're a billionaire, people will say you're rich. It's not a fact, but it's widely enough agreed upon that you're rich. And so if you say I was a billionaire and I was not happy, or if someone said I was insanely rich and not happy, people would say, okay, that equals the same thing. It sounds like you did again, do a lot of the big things you wanted to do. What was that like? Or what was that feeling like? And what was that process of starting to figure out, well, okay, this isn't it. How long did it take you to identify it? Wasn't it? And then what did you do with that?


Well, it's like, what's wrong with me? I've achieved the goals. I did what they taught me to do. Set goals, work hard, achieve them. Why the F am I not happy? They told me that if I did it this way, I would be happy. And of course, there are other paths to the people that climb the corporate ladder, right? So when you get to director or VP or CEO, whatever it is we're taught, when you climb that ladder, if you pay your dues, work hard enough, climb the ladder, you will be happy. Of course, this is the definition of the midlife crisis, which happens a lot earlier these days than in the old days when they define the midlife crisis. And that's what it's like. What is wrong with me? I've done all these amazing things. What's wrong with me? And of course, it's all the stories in our heads about not being good enough and comparing ourselves to other people and all that goes with that. It's all up here. It didn't matter what I did on paper. On paper, I was successful. I had a decent bank account. I lived three blocks from the beach.


Of course, part of the problem with that. When I moved to La, I was in the middle of La. Then I got to 11th street in Santa Monica. So I was eleven blocks from the beach. Yes, I made it to Santa Monica, but that still wasn't close enough. So then I got to Third Street. But man, when I would walk to the beach and I could have my feet in the water, down the stairs, over the sand. We have long beaches. There really long beaches in the water. Ten minutes watching the sunset over the ocean. But I would look at all those houses on the beach and I said, Well, I can still picture the house that I would dream of when I'm in that house. Then I can be happy. We postpone happiness forever. When I get the new car, I'll be happy, okay? Got a new car. When I get the girlfriend, I'll be happy, okay? When I get the place to live, I'll be happy. I got to Third Street. That was a dream. Are you kidding me? Okay, when I get the job, I'll be happy. When I get the bank account, I'll be happy.


Okay, wait a minute. All the pieces of the recipe that they taught me were success. Are there what's wrong with me? And eventually for me. So you asked how long it took. So I had to leave the entertainment business. I just quit. I didn't do anything for a year. Now I get not everyone can do this. I was lucky enough. I sold part of a company so I had enough reserves in the bank that I could do this. And I did nothing for a year. I took some classes. And while I do this, while I do that, just to see what I might be interested in, because the truth is, I stayed in the business too long. I already knew I should have been out, but I was of the mentality. Well, what else am I going to do with my life now? To be clear, even though I've been in the business too long, if I knew then what I know now, I could be in the business still, right?


It's interesting.


If I understood my brain, if I could have understood my brain and controlled my brain and had compassion for myself and had a self love practice. Well, I can do anything. I could be on TV still. I could be at Starbucks. I could literally be anywhere or doing exactly what I'm doing right now. We have a mindfulness center here in Austin, Texas. And I do the self love revolution and things like this with you, Wade. I could be doing anything. So I quit the entertainment business, spend a year trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Now, there are a lot of pieces to the story, but to shrink it down a little bit and I'll answer any questions you want. I went on a journey to find out what was wrong with me. And what I discovered was that there was nothing wrong with me. And that is when everything changed. I didn't have to try and be that other person because a part of the journey I was taught what's the term they use for it? Not mirroring, but picking a person and saying, well, if you want to be like that person, then do what that person does.


Right? You've heard that right? So I did that, right. Well, I want to be like that person. So study that person and do what they do. I didn't have to do that anymore. Wait, Jonathan, you're good enough just as you are. Well, no, you're not waiting. There was a battle. No, you're not. Because you have to be like that person. Yes, you are. No, you're not. And eventually, as I practiced being kind of to myself, and it was a practice. It was not overnight. Oh, Jonathan, you're good. I had to practice it. But now I truly accept myself. I love myself. Do I say negative things myself? Of course I do. You know why? Because I'm human, period. So it's not that all the negative self talk just drips away, but it is combined with so much love and compassion and acceptance for who I am that I don't have to pretend to be anyone else. Look, our yoga studio. Of all the businesses I've had in my time in the entertainment world, it's the most successful business I'd have. I had one of the first startups on the Internet, a music startup. We were broadcasting concerts from all over La.


It was a huge success. Not as successful as my yoga studio. Now, why is that? It's not because it's a better idea or anything like that. It is simply because I have a different relationship with myself and honestly, with what success is awesome.


I just found a thread that I think would be really cool for this because you mentioned something. I've experienced this. I have been inside and outside of the insurance industry for 35 plus years. My dad's from that industry. And at different times, I'd left it at different times, I got a mastery in psychology. I'm going to go help the world and this and that. My mom was like, well, you're helping people there, right? Get your butt back and help people in front of you don't have to go to India to help people and constantly moving away from it and then coming back to it and find out what's now it's just a shallow industry. It's just about money and realize, oh, no, it helps people going through all these phases. And now the person I am 35 years later, I can say, okay, well, yeah, I just turned 50. I can see the beauty in it. I could see where I could choose to be in a different industry. I could also be in that industry. And it's one of the things I would dabble in. One of the things I'm curious about, maybe you mentioned something that I really liked is the idea that you could go back and do what you were doing before because of your being is how you approach things would have been different.


Let's say I'm going to have this to a specific person. Let's say somebody right now is listening and this might freak somebody out if this is them, but somebody that person. It's like, I'm in that place where, you know what, Jonathan? I'm making good money. I'm like 85% there. And I'm really like, do I really throw all this away? Because it is a steep climb if I put 1015 years into an industry. And for the most part, I like the industry, but I don't like who I'm being or my relationship with it or I'm finding them, depending on what would you tell that person or what would you told yourself to say, okay, what would you do before you leave the industry? Because I remember a couple of people told me, you should leave this industry. I'm like, well, I'm going to try these couple of things first. And if after I do these things, I still find, okay, it's the industry versus it's me, because I got to go with me wherever I go. What would you tell that person saying, gosh, it almost feels foolish or irresponsible. I have obligations financially. I have a family and this and that, and not just for that reason, but why would I give all this up if really ultimately I'm the issue?


What would you tell that person? How can they start addressing that to really kind of explore, okay, what could they perhaps shift if the job is situation or the career situation is so good that you say, I want to hold off before I actually really drop that domino?


Yeah. That may very well be the best question I've ever been asked in an interview. That is awesome. And I got chills as you ask the question because you are so right. See, I didn't have any of this information and I didn't have a guide or a teacher for this. I had to leave the business to figure it out. And that's okay because I'm doing fine now and I love me and it's a fine pathway. But if someone does come to me, so clients come to me and say, I don't like my job, but I am making the money. I don't need them. When I first started coaching because I did what they taught me to do in coaching too, I said, okay, quit, and we're going to find a new pathway for you. I don't do that anymore. I go we need to change your relationship with you because if you quit your job and go to a new one, you're going to hate it. You will have a different boss, but you'll hate your whatever the issue is, if you hate your boss, you hate doing it. You're going to carry all of this with you.


It's like the people I think people are more familiar with this in romantic relationships where you break up with someone and you meet someone else and you have the same kind of relationship with the other person and then you break up and then you have another relationship. Well, people do that in jobs too. So they leave a job, go to a new job, and they complain about it, and then so they quit the job and get a new job. You have to deal with the issue. You have to deal with your relationship with yourself. Now, I don't tell them not to get a new job. So maybe you can change your experience with yourself. Let me take a step back and I know it expands the conversation a little bit, but why did I get into the entertainment business? So I'm going to bring it back to junior high when I had a bad day at school and I went home and I turned on the radio and the DJ played a song and said something funny. And I had a smile on my face and I said, that's what I want to do with my life.


I want to bring a smile to people's faces. And I went into radio first, and then I transitioned into other parts of the entertainment business. When I got into the entertainment business, especially when I started getting into television, my mission changed from putting a smile on people's faces to climbing the ladder, both monetarily and title wise. So from producer and the paycheck that that comes with to supervising producer and the paycheck that that comes with right into moving closer to the beach and to having a better story to tell me, especially when I was single, to help people at parties and stuff about how cool I was, right so that they would give me accolades, they would say, oh, look at Jonathan, he's doing all that cool stuff. And when they thought that I felt good about myself, so I lost my values along the way. I forgot why I was doing what I was doing. Some of the shows I was producing were horrible shows. Some are great, some shows I really love, and others were like, I can't believe I'm doing this. In fact, I can't even believe that they're going to put this on the air.


But they liked it and they paid me and it paid my rent to be near the beach and gave me good location near the beach. I always wanted to be near the beach and gave me good stories for when I was out with friends or strangers and sharing stories about myself build my ego. I had to leave the industry to learn what value. I didn't know what values were. I knew what the word was, but I didn't know what personal values were. I relearned what my personal values were. So now I've changed it slightly from putting a smile on people's faces to helping people find the joy inside of themselves because I discovered that putting a smile on people's faces is an outside game. And eventually it's got to be an inner game. So I helped guide people. The joy doesn't come from me to you if it's going to be lasting. Not that radio and TV, they're all great. I watch TV, I listen to the radio. But the real joy comes from inside of you. So I help people access that inner part of them, which will allow them to experience joy. Even if they're pissed off and angry and sad and have all those emotions, you can still people say you only can have one emotion at a time.


In my experience, not true. Now back to your question. That's my story. Now back to your question. So we have to retention your values that you may have lost along the way. My goal was to make my boss happy, and they kept hiring me. So I said, make your boss happy. They'll pay you. You can pay your rent. That was what life was. Now I make me happy first, and I use that strength to help others, because when I lost my strength, there was no way I could help others. I became the complainer, and life is great, but life sucks. And why is it this way? And why does it seem to get harder and harder? And the more I succeed, the harder it gets. What's wrong with this? I thought it was going to get easier. Well, now it is easier. Not the days aren't hard. There are difficult days. I have business, two businesses and a son, and my wife wants to start a third business like, oh my God. But I bring the inner joy to it. So once you retention your values, once you have access to that inner joy, you bring that to whatever you're doing.


Bring it to the insurance business. Yeah, because we need it. I have insurance. I need people and I remember when the marketplace started and we have our own business, so we do marketplace insurance. And I was so confused and I had to get help to navigate it. And I'm a smart person. I still couldn't do it on my own. So we need people who do insurance. And of course, life insurance for my son because there are so many people in the insurance who aren't just for the money. We need caring people who will bring that. No, I'm here to help you to the business so that I can feel comfortable. And of course, that's in every business, I can walk into the airport and find a delayed flight and find the person who is just there for their job and who actually wants to help me navigate to the next place. Now, to be clear, I have to bring my side, too. I can scream at the person across the desk saying, you have to fix this, even though it's not their fault that the plane has an engine problem or whatever it is. I can bring my compassion to them, so they might actually want to help me.


But it goes both ways. We have to bring our values into what we do. We have to bring our inner joy into what we do. Then we can be happy doing everything. That is why there are very happy rich people and very sad rich people, and that's why they're very happy. What we would call poor people. But I don't know if they're poor, but monetarily not a lot of money in the bank, but way richer inside and really happy. I lived in Hollywood for 20 years, tons of rich people and tons of people that did not have a lot of money. And they were happy people in both of those categories and not happy people in both those categories. Money had nothing to do with it. It was all how they showed up in the world. Did that answer the question? I spoke a lot there.


That's huge. That's great. That is actually what I was looking for. And that's not just because it aligns with a lot of what I've experienced, but I've just watched different times. I remember even when I was in one company and people said, oh, we're going over to this company. This is around 1998 99. And even something that's mechanical because I look at the math of it, too. They said, well, we're going from company A to company B. Company B is going to pay us $20,000 more a year, and we're going to get stock options. Okay. And let's look at that. You're currently making this was roughly the situation. You're currently making 60,000 a year working 40 hours a week. You're about to make 80,000 a year working 80 hours a week. So your hourly income just took a huge hit. In other words, you kind of even just get a sense of the math there. So you're basically just got a part time job, not even quite minimum wage, but way less. And your stock options are uncertain. And you've got to go right back to the beginning. You've got to right back to the bottom of the ladder for the most part.


Even if you have all these great skills, you don't have the relationship, you don't have the connections. And so my whole thing was, look, I'm not saying don't ever leave because I eventually left, but make sure where you're going is definitely better. And again, look at all those different things that might be you or what you are expecting from a job. And this is one of the things that a lot of people because I advocate, hey, let's have this three day weekend lifestyle or something similar. And they'll say, wait, should you do what you love and let the money follow? And my experiences, like you said, about people with money, I've seen people who do something that they just make great money at. They believe in it. It's good work. They do not love it, but they do in a short period of time. They have good money, they enjoy the heck out of their weekends in their life, and they take great vacations and they're present with their family and they're happy as anything. And I've seen people that do exactly what they love. They don't do it 24/7. We all know in any job, there's parts you don't get to do or you have to do that you don't like.


But I've seen people that do what they love and they make lots of money. But there's not a specific thing. I've spent the majority of my time still kind of on this journey of sort of integrating two different things. My father's an entrepreneur, awesome serving guy. My mother is into psychology, spirituality, and I've always tried to balance it well. I want to help a lot of people, but if I charge too much, they can't get it. I'm sure you've run into this and then I want to help other people and some people can pay. I don't just help the wealthy people. I want to find a way. How do I do that and balance this? And then by the way, I'm raising a family. So bills to pay off my past career, which is still part of my career insurance. I'm worth so much more because of my experience. So while I'm trying to sell this course here for X, I'm being offered five X just for an hour of my time. And it's like, okay, so all those different things and yet being able to say, okay, we'll look in the overall equation, I don't want to look to any one thing to make me happy.


Any job, any result, any relationship, anything, kids, spouse, whatever it might be. And so we go back to this conversation that a lot of what you started on, which was the relationship between self love and success that if that's not in place, you might not address these things. And so would you mind sharing a little bit? What is that relationship? Self love and success. Because sometimes people think it means that I get to do everything I want whenever I want. And that to me sounds like a petulant child or a teenager as opposed to self.


Well, it's definitely not that even we own a mindfulness, but we're still running a business and not everything I do is my favorite thing to do. And some mornings I might wake up, oh man, I'm really tired today. I'd love to stay in bed today. Now when I show up in front of the people, it is all there. But they're certainly doing the books is not my favorite thing in the world. I mean, we have an accountant that does the big stuff, but I do some of the day to day things. Not my favorite, but I go back to values and I go, okay, why am I doing this? Because it's needed to create the community. Right. We call our yoga Studios. It's really a community of people, right. So I need to do this to create the community. The community is the goal. When I think remember the goal and the mission, it's easy to do. But also before I spoke about how when I was in the entertainment business, the goal is to climb the ladder. She had better stories to impress people. So a lot of what we do is to impress others.


We want the bigger house. We want the nice car to drive up or the nice clothes and the shoes and whatever it is so that people will tell us we are good. And when they tell us that, then we feel good about ourselves. What self love really is. It takes out that middle man. I no longer need you, Wade, to tell me I'm good enough. Now. I want you to like me. I'm not going to lie about that. In the perfect world, I wouldn't care at all. You like me now, okay? The ego is not bad. I still have an ego and I would love for you to like me. But if you don't, it is not going to change my world. When I look at the mirror, in the mirror tonight, I'm going to tell myself how wonderful I am. I'm going to congratulate myself and celebrate the successes of showing up, including showing up to this interview and being able to share this with you got a really popular podcast. So, like, I'm really excited to share this. So I'm going to celebrate that part of this as well as here. It's early in the morning.


I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest of my day, but I'm sure there will be wonderful things that I will be able to celebrate. And it's very different than the old me who I shared how I was interviewing the biggest stars in the world. And I wouldn't be happy because what I would do at the end of the day, I would look in the mirror as I was brushing my teeth and review everything that went wrong. Even if there were great successes, I would go, let's say I was doing an interview. Well, you didn't ask that question. You forgot to ask that question, or you asked that question. And that was kind of a stupid question to ask. Or you mumbled over your words when you said that really silly things. Or if I tried to set up an interview with someone and they said, no, see, you're not good enough. You can't get an interview with that person. Even though I interviewed everyone from the who to Cher to the Ramones, Madonna, Kiss, all kinds of people. But there were people who I want to interview that said no. Right.


So who do you focus on? The great ones. There they said no. My evening routine is completely different now. It's looking in the mirror. Now acknowledge things that didn't go right. I don't ignore them and sweep them under the carpet as if they didn't exist. They exist. Accept them. Is there something you could have done better learning? Maybe there isn't. Hey, they just don't want to talk to you. Okay, great. All right, fine. They don't want to talk to me. But Jonathan, you know what? These are the great things you did today. You're awesome. I love you. And I have your back, right? I me, Jonathan, have your Johnathan's back. Now, I want to be clear to those of you who are listening, this was a practice. The first time I tried to say I love you in the mirror, I could not say the words. This is what I said. I looked in the mirror and I said I couldn't even look myself in the eyes. And I couldn't say the words. That is the truth. But I kept practicing. I used to look at my face and go Gray hair and new wrinkles.


And before I had Gray hair, it was something else. I never looked good enough. I always tore myself apart. Now it's hey, Jonathan, you look awesome. New Wrinkle. Hey, New wrinkle. Welcome to the family. Because it's not going to go anywhere. So I can either be angry at myself or I can welcome myself and love myself just as I am. That's the real success. We wait for someone else to tell us we're good and then we feel good. Why do you want all the money in the bank? Why do you want the money in the car and all this stuff you are working so hard for? Why are you working the 80 hours a week? And yes, I used to work 80 hours a week on my old businesses. And when I worked for other companies, yes. Why? So that we can create a connection. We think we can create connections with other people and feel that connection of love. What do we really want? We want the beautiful relationship with someone else. And we think money in the fancy car will get us there. Now, I'm not putting down the money in the fancy car.


I love my hybrid car. I love money in the bank. And every time I spend money, I say, Arigato, thank you. You can just say thank you. Arigato is Japanese for thank you. And the guy I learned from was Japanese. But I'm very thankful when I spend money. I'm very thankful when I receive money. You have to figure out, why are you doing what you're doing? Usually it's to create connections with other people so that we feel loved by them. Get out the middle. People love yourself. And the magical thing is, when you do that, all those people you're trying to impress, they begin to like you because they're attracted to the energy. Because people aren't really attracted to the money in the bank. They are because they want a piece of it, but then they just want a piece of you. What they're really attracted to is the energy of somebody. That person that walks into the room and you're at a party, and someone walks into the room, and they don't even say, we're not, hey, everyone, I'm here. The person just strolls in and has that or. And it's like, Whoa, I want to talk to them.


That's who you become. People want to talk to you and everything else. The money, all that other stuff. Yes. You still need to work hard. You can do stuff you love. You'll do stuff you don't like just because life is a mixture of it. But then you bring that love into the mix. That is your success. That's what we want. The number one driver. I didn't make this up. The number one driver of everything we do is the need to feel loved. And if you really think about your actions through the day in your life, you will know that that's true. The number one motivator of everything you do is this desire to feel love. So this just changes self love changes it from being loved by someone else to being loved by yourself. So you can still experience the love. And just to be clear, so people think, oh, that's not selfish. You're in love with me. No, it's so that you can become a kinder and more giving person to the people around you. Because when you're pissed off, when you're angry at yourself in the world, it's very hard to be kind to all those other people around you, especially those that are making mistakes.


You know, who are making mistakes? Everyone, including you. So we become more accepting of ourselves. And I am so much more accepting of other people too. And their mistakes, even when they piss me off. I made the same mistake last week, right? We get pissed off when people cut us off in a car. Well, how many times have you cut someone off in a car? Not even intentionally, let's say accidentally. I go, oh, man, I just cut someone off. It was an accident. I wasn't paying retention. I wasn't mindful enough. And Jon can you screwed up. And I try and apologize. So now someone cuts me off. I go, oh, well, maybe they're just pissed off. Have compassion for them. Maybe they have to get somewhere. Maybe they're late to pick up their child from school or go, please. Or maybe they just screwed up like I did. So self love is a pathway to success and a pathway to better connection with other people, which is really what we want in life as humans.


Yeah, I like that so much. I know as I watch my children grow up, they're 15 and 13, our children, my wife and I, and you see and get reminded how much appearance can be a big deal. And of course, at all ages for people and at different times. I know when I was younger, I would perhaps focus on and maybe that's what young people do. Who was beautiful? Like, literally, they were gifted with features. Like, if you surveyed 100 people, 99 would say, yes, that person is beautiful. They're just almost empirically. Like, okay, yes, their features are harmonious. And then as you get older, I think, or at least I did, you'd start noticing more and more who is happy. You notice there's a couple of people, they're not textbook beautiful, but wow, they're so attractive or engaging. First, I would see that with people of the opposite sex and I'm heterosexual, so they're like, okay, she's cute and oh, wow, she's not gorgeous. Wow. And then you start realizing people my own sex, and it wasn't a sexual attraction. Like you said, I want to be around that person. That person's happy. They're energetic.


Something inside of them is full. Not that I need to go take it from them, but I want to be around that. And I actually want to be like that as opposed to, well, is this person beautiful or not, so to speak? It just seems to me this whole need for the Facebook likes, especially the Instagram likes, the validation, the tick tocks, not that they are bad or wrong or anything, they're all part of the stage. But the whole idea that we get Dopamine Hits when we get a like and it's that whole, again, external approval that as you've rightly said, we don't have full control over. But if we're in good shape and if we pose a certain way and if we're good at kissy face or whatever it is, we can get a lot of likes so we can get the Dopamine Hits, but we don't really seem to get to that true self love. What would you tell somebody that is successful at playing the hey, I'm being told I'm sexy, I'm this, I'm that all these things. And yet they're starting to get that sense of. But it's kind of gotten old.


And my friends are like, well, don't you care? It's like the kid to get 100 on their test. They never get 100 on their test. But then you start seeing people. And I've just noticed that the light in the eyes starts to get a little dimmer. They're less excited. So you see those beautiful people that the lights off. And again, this is not an install. I'm not trying to criticize you, but you see, they're supposed to be having fun. They're supposed to be like, yes, I'm beautiful. Everybody loves me. But it's not like people even get to see them. They see this image of them. What would you tell that person who perhaps is not so much even on the business side, but just socially, they're like, according to other people, they're successful, but they're not really something's missing. They're not connecting to something. And how does one maybe the better way to word it? How does one ease off of the addiction to the approval? Because that's one of the toughest things. My brother always told me this. He was in 6th grade, he was voted best looking in the school. And I'm like, why would they even have that?


And he's an awesome human being. And at times, even he who's an athlete and his smart businessman and a great person. He'd be like, wait, dude, why is such a focus on my looks? I'm a person. I'm not just the genetics of my parents.


Yeah. So the way you ask it, there are really two sides of it. And one is the individual and one is societal. And on the society side, you bring up a really good point. There should be no best looking person for a school award. What are we teaching ourselves? Because this is important. Most people think they're doing something wrong. And here's what I found out. You're not doing anything wrong. You're doing what you've been taught now. Yes, it's time to learn some new things. What they taught you is wrong. They taught me Pluto as a planet, and apparently they were wrong. It's not a planet. It's a dwarf planet. They taught me different things about Jupiter, which now it's not true anymore. Now it's not that the science changed. They didn't know. They taught me that the more money you had in the bank, the happier you are. Well, now they know that Harvard University research. This is really research stuff now, not the woo stuff. I know self love. That terminology can be woo, but this is real, by the way, they research self love, too. Kristen Neff at UT Austin. So much research on self love and PTSD and all of that.


This real research. But here's what Harvard University said. The number one predictor of future success. Not test scores, not great scores, not best looking, emotional intelligence. And what we're really talking about with self love is emotional intelligence. Being able to look at you as a human being and the emotions that you're experiencing, including anger, fear, sad. You've been told, don't be angry, don't be sad, don't be afraid. What they're saying when they say those to you are, don't be human. Because can you point to any human on the planet that doesn't get angry, doesn't get sad, isn't afraid. We all are. So we have to begin to embrace the totality of ourselves, which I get angry. I just don't get pissed off because I'm angry anymore. I'm angry. I'm not supposed to be angry, so it's wrong. I'm not supposed to be afraid. What's wrong? No, I get afraid now. I have a whole pathway for dealing with fear. We can get into it now, or you can join the self love revolution. The whole pathway for dealing with fear, for dealing with anger. But I do not get rid of them. And when my son cries, I go, It's okay to cry.


It's okay to be sad. That is the first thing I do. I do not try and stop him from crying. He always stops. It's fascinating. Sometimes it's two minutes, sometimes it's five minutes, sometimes it's ten minutes. He always stops. So what's the big problem? To cry for ten minutes. And usually at the end of it, if I really let him play it out, he starts laughing. The crowd turns into a laugh. So one is we need to start teaching different things. That person sitting next to you in the room is not your competitor. Let's teach cooperation in the classroom. Let's teach that if we lift the person next to us up, we will do better. Like, how about if I help you get a better score? My grade goes up. Like, what kind of learning would that be in the world? Instead of me making sure you don't get the information so I can one up you. Okay. But we've been taught what we've been taught. So what do we do now as individuals? We practice, say one kind thing to yourself every single day. Just one. You don't have to sit in the mirror for five minutes.


One kind thing to yourself, whether it's something you've achieved or done. You water the plants. I used to be a plant killer. So if I water plants, that goes on my celebration list. And I'm much better now because I celebrate it. I'm better at it. If a body part is working right, we Wade up in our neck hurts. What do we do? We complain. My neck hurts. What do we do when we wake up in our neck doesn't hurt. Do you go, hey, neck. You're awesome, right? We walk up the stairs, oh, man, my knee. Thank your knee for caring if you are walking. Not everyone is. So if you're walking, thank your knee for carrying. You, like, every day of your life, even if it does hurt. I have a ringing in my ears. I used to be really pissed off about it like this. I've had it since many years, decades now. And it used to piss me off. And now look, I don't love the ringing in my ears. I saw a lot of loud rock concerts as a kid, right? Yeah, I did it to myself. But now I thank my ears for hearing what they are still able to hear.


I can hear my son talk and laugh and cry. I can hear my wife. I can have conversations with the people I love most in my family now. Yeah, I'm in a loud place and some conversations are a little more difficult. I can either focus on them. It's hard for me to hear in a loud bar, or I can celebrate that you and I can have a conversation right now and I can still hear you, even though I personally abuse my ears. My fault. One kind thing to yourself every day. And you mentioned dopamine. Now, to be clear, we're a little addicted to dopamine. And actually, I forget her name. I wish I could share it, but this one psychiatrist, I think she's a psychiatrist. She's talking about dopamine fasting, that we're a little too addicted to dopamine. I'm not an expert on that yet. I'm going to research her a little bit more. I just saw this the other day. I thought it was really interesting that richer countries have a higher suicide rate. And part of it has to do she thinks or she believes it has to do with this dopamine addiction that we always need more and more.


That said, we don't need external forces to create dopamine. You know what creates dopamine? Gratitude. I know gratitude. All gratitude journaling. Oh my God. Another guy is going to talk about gratitude. It's not about gratitude. It's about your body. And why they don't teach this in science class. Why my son is learning more about the planet than his body. I don't know. Go back to what we teach. Your body is a chemical making machine. And depending what you bring into it, food, TV, all of it, as well as what thoughts you create. Now, there are thoughts you don't create. They are just there. But you can create thoughts as well. When you create a thought of gratitude and feel it, your body sends out dopamine and serotonin. These are the happiness hormones or the happiness drugs. So you don't need to go to Facebook and Instagram to check out the likes. Which I would say one thing. I would disagree with you. They are bad. They should take them away. We should still create content and do amazing things. But it shouldn't be based on how many people are liking and commenting. I believe it's dangerous, especially to the younger people who are still developing their prefrontal cortex.


I believe it's actually dangerous. And they know it and they're not doing anything about it. Side issue. We can get into that if you want. Create your own dopamine just by thinking of something great. Just by looking out the window and saying, look at that beautiful tree outside of my house. And if you don't have a beautiful tree outside of your house, there's something if you're watching this, thank you eyes for working. If you're hearing this, thank you ears for hearing. There's so much to be grateful in the world and you have to be grateful for the little things I just mumbled on my words there because I got really excited my old days. I'd be beating myself up about that. Hey, I mumbled, so what? You must be grateful for the little things, not just the big things. Be grateful for the big things. You got the new client, you got the six figure deal, you got the million dollar deal. Great. But it's when you can be grateful for the mundane in your life, man, that's when magic really, truly happens in the world.


Awesome. So there's two more questions that I wanted to go after you to speak to. The difference between self love and self esteem. People. Sometimes I have some of my own ideas on this. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this.


So let's be clear, it's a little semantics. People define things different ways. So here's how I define it to make clarity for me and people I work with. Self esteem comes from the outside. Someone else is telling you you're good enough, you're good enough, I'm going to give you the job. I feel great. Now here's the trophy. I'm great now I was talking to someone, they were interviewing me and they spoke, well what is everyone supposed to get a trophy? And I'm like, no, no one's supposed to get a trophy. Like not even the number one. Get rid of trophies altogether. Cause yes, we are all winners but we don't need trophies from the outside to tell us we're a winner. And so self esteem in my definition is coming from the outside. And the problem is that wait, if you tell me, oh man, Jonathan, you are so great today. But what if tomorrow you or someone like you is not there to tell me that right? When something happens and you move somewhere or not friends anymore or you die, I'm not putting a spell on him. We all are afraid of death.


We don't need to be so afraid of death. Although life is beautiful and when you have this real self compassion from the inside, you are less afraid of those things and it allows you to show up in the world more powerfully. So self esteem is from the outside. So what I spoke about before is get rid of the middle man. Middle person. I'm trying to change my language too. Get rid of the middle person. Oh, you mean it can come from here. Now, I'm not saying it's going to feel good if someone gives you a compliment, people compliment me. I feel good. I do. But I don't rely on it. And especially in these times of covet when we have less interactions with others. Right. But we're waiting for someone else to tell us we're good enough and they're not. That's a part of the problem. Every day I tell myself I'm good enough. Every single day. I didn't start off that way. I have to remind myself, I have notes on my mirror, say something kind, I love you. Now, I don't need the notes because it's truly become a habit, like anything. Right.


It's become so habit that I look in any mirror, I'm in the airport, or I see my reflection in the car window walking by, and I say, hey, you look good, Jonathan. I love you. It's really become a habit after years and years of practice. Start practicing today. So that's the difference. Self esteem is from the outside. Self love is from the inside. So you can take it anywhere with you. And if certain people leave your life, you still have it. You still have you.


That's awesome. Yeah. I've told my kids at different times to look, if you want to make your life simpler, need less and specifically set yourself up and your life up to where you don't need things from specific people. Like, we all need relationships in general. We need connection. But to me, when you need connection from specifically, this person over here can get a little hairy. We need approval from this person or that situation. And so, like you said, if you need somebody else to give you your feedback, well, that's a very precarious position. You're just kind of waiting if you don't get it. I guess we didn't get that today as opposed to doing it for yourself. I really liked that. And then last question. How is pursuing happiness something that can be making us unhappy? How can that happen?


I know. And it's in our founding documents here in America, the United States, our founding documents are about life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which really is the pursuit of misery when you pursue happiness, because that's what we all do. We spoke about that earlier. Right. When I get X, I will be happy that's pursuing happiness, you must have something to experience happiness. And that something is in the future. Here's the deal. You cannot experience happiness in the future. You also can't experience happiness in the past. Folks, you only can experience happiness right here. Now, this moment. Now you can have memories of the past that were joyous and think about them and bring them and experience it happiness in this present moment. It's fine. They did this research project, and tens of thousands of people were involved in it. Now, it should be said these people self selected themselves to be a part of it right. So there are things about research if you self select yourself or if it's random. So it's not randomized. But they sent people these questions. I think it was via text. What are you doing now? What are you thinking about?


And on a scale, how happy are you? And what they discovered in this research experiment was that when you are thinking about what you are doing in this present moment, you are happier. Even if you were doing something you didn't like doing versus the dreaming about the vacation you're going to take next month or the vacation that one day when I'm successful, I'm going to get this great vacation. When you are dreaming of a future happiness, you are not experiencing it now. And in fact, because you're not experiencing it because you're thinking about something in the future that will make you happy and you don't have it, you feel worse about yourself now. This moment is all you got.




If you want more, let me be clear also. I don't always love the way the universe works. I'm not happy that the pursuit of happiness doesn't make you happy. It makes you sadder. I don't like that. And when the curb, the sidewalk is a little uneven. I don't like that there's gravity and my foot hits the curb and my face is the pavement. I don't like it, but I don't get pissed off of gravity for it. It's just one of the laws of the universe. So I don't like everything I teach. I wish this would work differently, but it doesn't. And you know it doesn't. Because if you're watching this, you're dreaming of the future. You have to experience it today. Let me add, because I think it's important and you alluded it into one of the other questions, but I think it's connected and a lot of entrepreneurs are watching this. I know if you believe that working yourself and this isn't don't work hard, work hard, it's important. But working yourself to the point of resentment or variations of that anger, sadness, working yourself to the point thinking that when your business makes it, makes it that then you can and will be happy.


These are not my first businesses that I have now. I've had others. I guarantee you come back to me if I'm wrong, you will not be happy because you will have brought all of this angst with you. Now, if you find that joy, you can call self love, you can call something else. But if you find that joy inside of yourself and you work with that joy when your business becomes successful, when it makes it, you have all that joy with you. You will be loving life. When you get the money, you have what you got there with. If you get there being mean to people, walking on people angry, resentful, that's what you got when you're rich with money, if you bring joy, that's what you got when you're rich with money. So don't wait to be happy. Practice. Use these tools now, gratitude being in this moment, saying something kind to yourself so that when you have the money in the bank, man, you have all the joy in the world. You can use that money to do great things in the world and help other people.


Wow. I realize that that is such a great closing thought and so true from my experience. As you said, seeing people with or without money and definitely love having money, but it does not seem to be the variable. Definitely awesome. So I know you have a course, a Podfest website. We'll put the links below, but share a little bit about how people can connect with you.


Yeah, it's It is a life changing course. It's done with a community of people. And yeah, there's a Facebook group and you can find me, Jonathan Troen on Facebook selflove for the website. You can Google it for the YouTube and the Podfest. I got to be honest, because I know you focus on entrepreneurs waving. And that's my background of starting at the beginning of the Internet at 95, I had my first business. Entrepreneurs are twice as more likely to have mental health issues, anxiety, depression than the rest of society. It's a really important issue. And part of the reason, I believe, is because we are mean to ourselves. We are the worst bosses on the planet, but not to other people, to ourselves. And this is really emotional for me because these are my people. Right. I grew up with entrepreneurs, not as a kid, but with my business. That's who my community was entrepreneurs and still are. We have to start taking care of ourselves and those entrepreneurs around us. So as you look at your friends at that entrepreneur networking event and they all got their smiling face on and their drink and they're celebrating in front of you, you got to know that behind that, many of them are struggling.


And if you're struggling but pretending because you're seeing everyone else telling the great stories, you are not alone. And if you're going to enjoy this amazing company that you are creating, doing great things in the world, you have to change what's going on inside of you. And I'm not the only one that teaches self love. So if you don't like me, get it from somewhere else or join the self love retention, join me in an amazing community of entrepreneurs. But you have to change the story within yourself so that you can live the beautiful life that not only you deserve, but that is going to help your family and all those other people around you that you care about most.


That's awesome. Thank you. And that is so true. We forget that we lose sight of that. And at the end of the day, it's always about the people. And wow, just so much. Thank you so much, Jonathan for what you brought to us today. Your gifts, your wisdom, your insight. I really appreciate you coming out and sharing that with us.


Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share my story and to share what I believe is one of the most important things we need to relearn so that we really can all live joyous lives.


My pleasure. And for those of you all listening, I hope you enjoyed this. Reach out, check out Jonathan's work. Definitely share feedback with me whether it's online or directly. Let me know what you liked about it, how we can help you more and as always, looks forward to helping you impact more people and make more money in less time. Do what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life. Thanks so much for listening.


Jonathan TroenProfile Photo

Jonathan Troen

Self Love Mentor

Jonathan Troen is a Life Mastery Coach, Self Love Mentor, and creator of the Self Love Revolution.

He helps entrepreneurs make the shift from self sabotage to self compassion, so you can enjoy your life, business, and bank account all at the same time.

Jonathan spent 20 years in the music and entertainment business, living the life of his dreams and interviewing the biggest stars in the world. But he still wasn't happy. He also found out, he wasn't alone. So he went on a mission to find out why. Once he learned the secrets of true happiness and success, he had to share it with others. This was the beginning of the Self Love Revolution.