Revisit: Death Is Not The Greatest Loss In Life

Episode #572

What do you do for fun? What is it that you really want to do in life?

Many men work their tails off building businesses, then find themselves watching as their relationship starts to crumble.

These men then do everything they can to put their broken relationship back together…and end up putting themselves last.

Do you know what we always forget? We forget to have FUN! We give everything of ourselves until there is nothing left for anyone.

Take the time to discover what you really want to do. Put your needs first, or nothing you build will last.

In this episode, you will learn the importance of putting yourself first and being able to have fun while being successful in business.


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Doug Holt  00:01

Hey guys, welcome to The Powerful Man Show, where we help married businessmen save their marriages without having to talk about it, get unstuck, and gain clarity in their lives. As I like to say, life is too short for average. I’m your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host, Tim, The Powerful Man Matthews. Now let’s get this started.

Tim Matthews  00:22

What’s going on, buddy?

Doug Holt  00:56

I’m doing okay, doing better since I started the last podcast, I felt nauseous and sick, but I feel better now. We just got off about a 20-minute rant on the possibilities and all the conspiracy theories that are going on in the world. So funny to hear and think about all those things you and I are extremely well-connected to in the world just by nature of what we’ve chosen to do for our professions, who we hang out with, and how many different things are coming our way from people that we respect and trust. And they’re not always in alignment, right? So it’s always interesting to see when you have Person A, whom you respect and trust as being super-intelligent, and they’re saying one thing and Person B, who is super intelligent whom you trust and respect, saying the opposite. It’s just interesting to get into that conversation. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today, guys. Tim, have you ever heard of Norman Cousins?

Tim Matthews  01:51

He rings a bell.

Doug Holt  01:57

He is an American author, and he wrote books that you probably have heard of, like the anatomy of an illness, the healing heart, the celebration of life, the pathology of power, and many other books. He’s a very famous author. He’s been quoted so many times, really, for his ability to look at alternative ways of being and what makes people happy, right? What makes people whole and complete? We talk about fulfillment a lot as business leaders, as it’s what we’re looking for. A lot of us have pushed the envelope. We’ve done the nine to five; for business owners, it’s more like the five to seven, or more like 5 am To 7 pm. But we made our money, and then we look around and think, wait a minute, this isn’t fulfillment, this isn’t happiness.

So he’s got a quote, Tim, that I think you may have heard, but I think you’ll like it because it applies to many men today. We’re going into the holiday season, or we’re actually in the holiday season, coming up to Christmas. And guess what’s right around the corner? Divorce day, right? Statistically, we’ve talked about it before, but 80% of divorces are initiated by women. Which is why this is so impactful and powerful. Because guys, are you living your best life right now?

So his quote goes, “death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” I’ll read that again. Because I think it’s so powerful. “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” I think this is so applicable to the men that come through TPM because they’re working their tails off, they built businesses, and their relationship is starting to crumble. They’re doing everything they can to put it back together. And they’re going into being a nice guy, right? They’re putting their needs last, ‘I’ll take care of my wife, I’ll take care of my kids, I’ll take care of my staff.’ And at the end of the day, there’s nothing there for them to give back to themselves. There’s nothing left. They’ve given it all away. They’ve forgotten to have fun.

We just did a summit where we had 50 business leaders participate this weekend, and I asked them, what would you do right now to have fun? Not in theory, but what would you do if you had two days off by yourself? Not a productive to-do list stuff, not work stuff, but what would you do for fun for two days by yourself? Many of us guys are in a hard position there, especially with our relationship in which we put all our eggs in that basket, and it’s disappearing. It’s crumbling in front of us. So what do you think of when you hear that quote, Tim?

Tim Matthews  04:53

I think of the graveyard being the richest place on earth.

Doug Holt  04:59

I love that idea. I think that’s a great one you bring up from time to time. So what does that mean? The graveyard being the richest place on earth?

Tim Matthews  05:08

It’s referring to the number of great ideas and dreams that die with men that never actually get released into the world. Be ideas in business, the ideas in their life, personal lives, relationships, whatever. It’s so true, and it kind of speaks into the core there by Norman Cousins. And honestly, guys, the breakdown in your relationship is usually the last thing to go. You know, often, if, by the time you’ve got a breakdown in your relationship, there’s been a breakdown in yourself for a long time. Your business might look like it’s doing okay. But you know, chances are, you’re never gonna feel like whatever you achieve is enough.

In business, people might talk about you and how great you are, but perhaps it just doesn’t land for you. Maybe it kind of makes you feel uncomfortable more than anything else. It’s like you try on a shirt that’s too small, and to get it off, you want to pass it to somebody else. You might buy that fast car or build that home and then stand outside and look at it and not have a clue how you got there. Maybe you’re feeling like a stranger in your own home, where you’ve built that house you’ve always wanted, but it’s not really a home. You feel like you don’t belong when you’re at home, but you’re thinking about work or at work thinking about home. So naturally, the relationship is gonna break down. It’s inevitable, right? It’s a reflection of the breakdown inside of yourself.

And you know, that might sound critical. My intention isn’t for it to sound critical; it’s just the reality. In The Activation Method, the guys that come to us typically have been adding floors to a building with crumbling foundations, right? They’ve been stacking and building and making it bigger. And, you know, adding expensive furniture, trying to make the place look good. But it’s crumbling foundations, it doesn’t look like it on the outside, but the foundations have been crumbling since day one. And it was inevitable that one day it was gonna topple over. And like a game of Jenga, you don’t quite know which piece you’re going to pull is going to cause it to topple over. But you just know, at some point, it will.

That’s similar to the idea of what these guys are building. Until you focus on the foundation, you’re always going to be on shaky ground. You just are. Whether you choose to look at your relationship as the mirror, the reflection of the breakdown. Or maybe you look at your health and how you’ve been putting on weight, and you’re anxious or depressed, or you’re not sleeping very well. Or maybe you’re up and down, or whatever it is. Maybe you choose to look at your bank account, and it’s doing the same thing as your mood or whatever it is. So there are simple places you can look guys; you don’t have to wait until your wife is walking out the door. The symptoms are showing up elsewhere that will tell you the same thing as your wife will tell you when she leaves.

Doug Holt  08:33

Yeah, it’s so true. What comes up for me, Tim, is kind of that idea of I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it someday. I’ll take that vacation trip with the guys. I’ll take my wife out later, you know when COVID dies down a little bit. I’ll read that book. I’ll take that course. I’ll do that thing that’s kind of gnawing on me that I know I should do. Should is a hard word, right? No, I should do it. But I’ll do it later. And then to read that death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

For me, a lot of that comes down to my journey, right? Part of my story is selling a successful business. In fact, I didn’t sell it. I exited a successful business, would be a better way of saying it, and got into venture vans before the van life thing was popular. And drove to Alaska by myself. I told my wife look, I’m going. I want you to go with me. This was before we had kids. I said, ‘I want you to go with me. The seat next to me, the copilot seat, is yours. I would love for you to do it, but I get it if you don’t want to. I get it.’ And my wife was against it at first, Tim, as you know, but I needed to do it because I knew the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

My wife ended up flying up to Alaska. You know, this was a four or five-day drive that I had to do by myself, which is epic, by the way. I got to dive with sharks, crazy enough as it is. But the point is, is, when can we do these things? Right? My wife and I got into coaching, thinking about what is it that we want to do with life, which actually brought you, Tim, forward to The Powerful Man, serving men. So that they don’t have to go through 10 years of therapy, 10 years of coaching, 10 years of reading audiobooks, left, right, and center, and dedicating themselves so they could get past the pain they’re in today in a matter of weeks.

And that’s where it’s really interesting to me because the men that we run through, which are just amazing guys that come through this program, they’re just awesome guys, you know, the kind of guys you just go want to go get a beer with, or a tea or coffee or whatever, and hang out. Yet, they’re going through what this quote is talking about. It’s not death that they’re worried about because if it was, suicide rates wouldn’t be so high for men, suicide wouldn’t be an issue, but it is what’s dying inside of men around the world. That’s the biggest issue here.

Tim Matthews  11:59

And the thing is, you look around, and you make assumptions. As men, we tend to make assumptions. ‘Oh, he must be doing great. Yeah, he’s got it all together. That guy over there. Look at him. He’s always smiling. He’s marriage looks great; he always seems to be happy and laughing and seems to complain about business when the business must be doing well. He’s in the country club, he’s got the latest car, and business must be doing well.’ But then he’s looking back at you also thinking, ‘Wow, that guy must be doing good.’ Yet, they’re all experiencing a war inside. In both of them. And if they just actually spoke up about the war within, they could team up and end the war quite quickly as well.

Because the thing that I think confuses a lot of guys is, you know, they think that the way to win the war is to fight. To resist the fact that they’re at war, and fight with it, fight with the internal struggle that’s going on. And the way they’ll fight is either through working harder, making more money or buying a new car or taking more vacations, or getting the Rolex or whatever it is, right? That’s what they’ll do to fight and then what they’re fighting deep down is this feeling that’s arising inside them that they don’t quite know what the feeling is. But it just feels uncomfortable. And with every million dollars and every new hub with every new car, what tends to happen is that thing that used to be a general tap on the shoulder, ‘Hey, look over here. Look over here, hey, look over here.’ starts to turn into a feeling that they get hit, with a sledgehammer.

And what that feeling is, is truth. Because they’re trying to lie to themselves. And the reality is, it’s impossible to do that. You can lie to your head, but you can never lie to your heart. You just know the truth. You just do. You just do it. It’s just impossible to lie. We’d like to think you can lie to yourself, but you just can’t. Regardless of what front you put on to the outside world, whatever you’re portraying or are saying. you know the truth. And it just stacks more and more shame.

So the reality is the way to win the war is to surrender. And guess what happens when you surrender? There is no war to fight. Because fighting just takes you further into battle, surrendering is strength. This is everything we describe as the five agonies in no man’s land, right? At that point, when you surrender, there’s a way you can do it. And it’s not just about laying down and becoming a pushover. You know, choosing between happiness and business. It’s not like that.

There’s a way you can do it that enables you to walk a different path. You get a very different result and a very different journey. And you end up with a very different relationship with the self, first of all, but then by default with others. And that’s where you go from the five agonies to the five freedoms. So it’s a great quote.

Doug Holt  15:32

Yeah, and you know, you and I got to see this firsthand. Some of you guys who listen to this were there. When we did the summit over the last weekend, and just seeing the men come together, and seeing the words and the wisdom that was shared, the love that was shared for each other, it was clear to see each man on his own journey, right? They were at different points in their journey. On Friday, we opened the Summit up to all alumni, which was fantastic, and Saturday and Sunday were just for the guys who are in our Brotherhood and Inner Circle programs, which are both advanced one-year programs. You have to go through either The Activation Method or the Triad of Connections courses that we offer to get an invite.

But the level of sharing and the reality of each of these men who were sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, crap. It’s not just me. Oh, crap. He’s like me; oh, wow, he’s going through a struggle. I didn’t think so because he looked fit and in shape, confident. But yet he’s struggling in a different area.’ And that same guy is looking at the other guy saying the same thing, right? You know, ‘he’s got it together in these areas.’ And it was fascinating to look at these guys once they started to open up and realize what was going on.

This brings me back to this quote, the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. We saw men from all over the world, all different age groups, all walks of life, and all marital statuses; at this point, everyone had at least been married before, and they all came together. They all came together and continued to have each other’s back. The alumni group that we have is firing so strongly right now. One guy raised his hand, and literally, 30 men within minutes jumped up to say, I got your back, man. And these aren’t like normal dudes. These are business leaders. They’re busy. They got families there are things, but the amount of just pure love, right? ‘I got your back; I’m here to help you; let me know if you want to jump on a call. Do you need this? You need this.’ it just blew me away. I was like, holy cow. This is amazing.

Tim Matthews  17:53

It’s incredible. I can’t remember how many guys admitted to being suicidal. Either currently or previously. But guys admitted to quitting on themselves. Sharing things they’ve never shared with anybody in their lives.

Doug Holt  18:07

Yeah, I was surprised by several of them.

Tim Matthews  18:11

Instead of guys turning away, guys turn towards. Which is something they all previously thought was going to be their weakness and that men would want to avoid or reject them, but it resulted in men wanting to be around them even more. And one guy said, “Wow, I can relate to you. Now you are real to me. You know, I just thought you were the guy that had all of his shit together. And I was Googling ‘How did you buy a mountain?’ And how did you do this? How do you do that? And I just didn’t understand. Whereas now you’re relatable.”

Doug Holt  18:54

Yeah, it’s pretty common. So guys, as we wrap this up, I want to know where you are in this journey. And then, without judgment, where are you? Right? You’re not afraid of death? I get it. But where are you not living? When are you going to step up and take the opportunities that are in front of you? When are you going to put yourself first, even just once just try it once. Put your needs first once, whether that may be the trip, the course, the item, the massage, or whatever it is for you to put yourself first. And when is that going to happen? And seriously, think about this.

So guys, we normally have a call to action here where we want you guys to do something, which is what I want you to do. I want you to just sit with this for a little bit. Go back, write down that quote, and put it in your journal look at that quote and just sit in silence for a few minutes and see what comes up for you. And then take action. Take Massive Action, guys; this is your life. We’re playing a serious game here. And I want the best for you. And I know Tim does too. And that’s what The Powerful Man movement is all about. So guys, until next time, make it a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man Show.


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