• Positive Polarity Podcast

The Anatomy of Results: Breaking Down How To Get Results In Your Life & Business



Tell me a little bit about Lunch Box Alchemy.

Lunch Box Alchemy is a cannabis company. We operate both in the regulated THC market here in Oregon, and then we also have CBD products that are available without THC all across the country. So, it's a consumer-packaged-goods company that's bringing cannabis, which certainly I believe has its place, both medically recreationally and in the world.

So medicinal CBD has really been proven to have a ton of value. Is there research being done still in that area?

There's a tremendous amount of research that is still coming, and I think it's hard to quantify because we know a very small amount of what the plant is capable of doing medically at this point. I actually love having this conversation because I think that the conversation about cannabis is so different from different parts of the country. I can imagine that some of your listeners are very educated about cannabis. They understand how it's used the benefits, how it's recreationally safe, what to avoid, and are the pitfalls. And then some people are like, "Oh my gosh, talking about pot already?"

So how do you combat that negative connotation some people might have with cannabis?

I don't try to convince people of anything. I respect that people have unique and different beliefs. For me, I've not seen valid examples of where prohibition has allowed people personal choice and freedoms that make their lives better. The argument that if we prohibit things clearly didn't work with alcohol. It clearly didn't work with cannabis. And the reality is, is that cannabis is not a gateway to anything. Certainly, people believe that it can lead to the use of much harder drugs, but cannabis has a really important place in society. Again, both medically and recreationally.

The opioid crisis is clearly off the rails, and it's not good for society. Many people effectively use cannabis for everything, from pain relief to stress relief to anxiety and sleep benefits. So that's something that I believe has its place. And then, from a recreational standpoint, I grew up in Wisconsin as you did. And kids learn how to drink when you're 14, 15, 16 years old. And, I don't think that alcohol should be prohibited, but cannabis certainly in my life now has a really healthy place for socialization. I'm a much better dad when I'm not hungover. I think it's something that I'm grateful for its place in my life.

Can you unpack for the listeners your approach to the anatomy of results?

So, starting in 1996, my best friend at the time, Roger Sipe, and I launched a personal development company in Wisconsin that turned into Freedom Personal Development. Over many years, literally over a decade, we worked with thousands of companies and people on improving their performance personally, professionally, and with their health.

Out of that came a retreat that I used to lead called the Abundant Living Retreat. It was a pretty simple premise. How do you take all of the areas of your life that you care about most of the most important relationships, your physical health, your career, your areas of contribution, and make them work well at the same time? I know I've certainly experienced this. Many people have experienced in their lives that your life can sometimes be like spinning a plate. These relationships are going well, but I'm not in the best shape of things that work is going exceptionally well, but I don't feel super connected to my family. How do you put it all together at the same time? That was meaningful to me because I don't think that our lives live in silos.

I saw a tremendous amount of unhappiness and dis-ease from men and women that were incredibly successful in their careers. And nobody wants that. Nobody wants to be a rockstar at work and then to not love their life. And there's been a statistic that I was exposed to this when I was in college. 76% of people are fundamentally unhappy with their career or their professional life. That's brutal. So how do you change that? So from that is where this the idea of the anatomy of results came from.

Can you break down the Anatomy of Results?

So anyone listening to you can think about it in your own life. There are things and areas that you want to get positive and predictable results in, whether that's running a marathon or losing some weight or getting stronger, healthier in an area, or completing a project, getting a job, finishing your university degree, whatever it can be. There's a result that you want to get. What I did is I just put it together in a way that many people have told me, it's just very easy to grasp, and it simplifies how to look at it. So the way that I look at it is there are three macro components in any result. Number one is the intention that you have; everything is created by humans twice.

First, it's created in your mind, and then it's created in reality. When you set out to build a house, the first thing you do is build a blueprint, and you see it in your mind. Nobody would ever show up at a job site with a bunch of wooden hammers and just start whacking things together. So you kind of see this in your mind first. And that happens even in short periods. It's not like you have to draw a blueprint before you want to go to the grocery store, but even something as simple as going to the grocery store, you see it in your mind, you have the thought, "Oh, I'm going to go to the grocery store" before you do it. And that component of intention is everything from your dreams, your goals, your to-do list. And the clearer that people are about what their intentions are and the more consistent they are with their intentions.

It makes a difference in the results that they get. For example, many people have thought, "Oh, I want to run a marathon," or "I want to climb a mountain." And if you think that thought once, that's a lightly held intention. It's a very soft intention. If you think that same thought every day for a hundred days, you're much more likely to do something about it. So the intention is the first piece.

The second piece is state. What I mean by that, I'm defining it as this is your emotional or energetic experience. And we all have state throughout every moment of every day. Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you're sad. Sometimes you're disappointed. Sometimes you're jealous. Sometimes you're confident. People have different emotional experiences. And that in my experience definitively moves the needle on what is the outcome. What's the outcome of a conversation? What's the outcome of a presentation?

And then lastly is action. And action is actually what you're doing. It's the training that you have. It's the skill with which you move your hands or move your mind. These three things all work together in ultimately creating results that we get in our lives.

What percentage of those three dynamics create the results in your life?

I found that most people say very similar to what you said, that action is predominantly it, and there's some rationale behind it that will don't do anything. Nothing happens, which I totally agree with. You definitely want to have a blueprint, but that's maybe not that important in state. It's just kind of along for the ride.

If you go to Google and hit Super Frenchie, he's the best bass jump skier in the world. What he does is he skis off of almost impossible to ski mountains. He will fly off cliffs and then open a parachute and make it out. And he's been doing this for almost two decades. He's an incredible skier and incredible mountaineer. He has incredible skills. And the projects that he does require an immense amount of planning. I mean, he'll plan for six to 12 months, maybe longer to do one ski run. There's a lot of intention there. But back to my bigger point, what I kept hearing from elite performers, from people that were absolute best in class, and this is in medicine, it's in business as an art, it'sits athletics is, is, is that the intention is really important.

It's like 30% of this bigger equation. Really what they believe is the most important is state. Mathias would say that there's thousands of people on the planet that are better technical skiers than he is. And he would say that there are thousands of people that can climb mountains as well as he can. But what he's the best in the world is putting those dynamics together and doing it in a safe and fun way and well thought out and planned, which is really a state.

There's a guy on our sales team named Kevin Ray. He's a really, really strong young salesperson. He's in his twenties and really focused. And he's made a quantum leap in his career in the last six to eight months. And I just talked to him recently. I'm like, "Hey, Kevin, what, what's the difference?" He goes, "it's simple. It's my attitude because I'm not working any harder. I'm working hard, and I'm focused, but I don't have any different goals. I've just changed the way that I look at myself and what I'm doing and my customers". And he's getting tremendously different results. His sales are up in some areas over a hundred percent.

So then the last little chunk of that is the action, which again, I thought was the vast majority of it. And it actually turns out if your intention is right and your state is right. That that's kind of along for the ride. I mean, it seemed like it kind of flipped a little bit. So what's the last percentage of that?

So again, the percentage in my mind is 10% or less. And again, a lot of people see it differently than that half, and I'm like, sure, you're right. Absolutely not here to argue with anybody. I just know that again, the people that I've talked about in the Ted talk or that I've seen, that are on the Olympic team, of one of the best research scientists in the world, they gave me a radically different answer. I've never had somebody like that come up to me and go, yeah, action is 50%.

Do you do much of this anymore? Have you kept that going, or are you kind of more focused on your individual businesses?

I really enjoy personal development, and I think it has an incredibly wonderful place for me. It was really important. I did that professionally for 18 years, and it was important for me to step out of the classroom and step out of wearing a microphone and running the retreats. For the last six, seven years now, I've been really focused on running consumer packaged goods companies. Home kombucha was a project that I worked on for a bunch of years that we had some pretty good success. And now, Lunchbox Alchemy is something that I'm really passionate about. Again, I love teaching, and I love being at the front of the room, but I love actually doing it more. I like actually climbing mountains, not just talking about climbing mountains.

You're the only one that I've ever met that's climbed, Mount Everest. Was that before, during, or after your anatomy results research kind of percolated in your head? How do those two talk to each other in this?

I was writing that curriculum from 2005 to 2010, and I climbed on everything in 2011. Yeah, they really coincided, but I love having physical projects. I believe for me, and my life is really complete when I've got something focusing my mind, body, and spirit. I try to carve out time for all of those three very intentionally. And yeah, that was a really, really great project. I didn't have this big overwhelming desire to climb Mount Everest, but I had a pretty big desire to keep climbing. I climbed Mount Rainier early in my career. And that was cool. And then I climbed Mount McKinley, and that's the biggest peak in North America. And that was cool. And then started doing some climbing in the Himalaya and had a lot of fun. And one day, I looked over at Mount Everest.

So if I remember, it was like 62 days, or so it took you to climb to the top. How does that work?

Yeah, so from arriving at base camp to the top, when we left, it was about 60 days.

And every day you're climbing, is that just an everyday thing?

No, there's a lot of days off. So what we'll do is from base camp to the summit, we established five different camps. We had an interim camp. We had an advanced base camp and then three climbing camps, which we called camp one, camp two, and camp three. Basically, it's a 40 someday experience 30 to 40 days when you're stocking the mountain with your food, with tents, with shelter or whatever, because you need those things in before you go up.

And then there's the acclimation factor. So base camp is at about 17,000 feet. You go up to 19, get acclimated, come back down to 17, get more supplies, go up to 21, chill out and come back down.

So you had to re-walk the stuff you walked once before?

Oh yeah. I probably climbed from base camp to camp four or five times.

Certain people are built for that. And certain people aren't. If I'm not built for that, is that something that I can work my way into?

For starters, I would say that most people, the closest they ever want to climb Mount Everest, are to popping in a DVD and watching someone else do it. There's so many things in life that people love to do that are not for other people, like gardening.

So I grew up as a swimmer, and I always hold my breath underwater. So I get married, and we find out that my wife enjoys the scuba snorkeling and we're off some Island, somewhere in the Caribbean, And I'm like, "I'm a swimmer, how hard can this be?" But I couldn't do it. I could not get my head underwater and allow myself to take a breath because I knew everything in me was going to just fill with water, and I was going to sink to the bottom, and my wife was going to be a widow.

So, what advice would you give me to help me through something like that?

That's a really good question. So I think it speaks to an experience that I certainly have you've just explained to me that I think most people can relate to. And the way I describe this might be a little confronting. So this is just how I talked to myself. So basically what's going on here, Dave is you're lying to yourself. So your subconscious is telling you I cannot breathe when I put my face in the water. And that's flat out a lie. You can breathe. I love scuba diving. And, and then there's lots of things by the way that my mind lies to me on this is not. I think that what happens is that when people hit that resistance point where I can't go any further. I don't have the discipline not to eat the dessert. I can't make myself breathe. I don't have the confidence to ask that person out or to submit my resume in my dream job. What I think fundamentally is happening is really simple. It's that there's a belief that I have or the possibility you have, that you've been told maybe your entire life is bullshit. Just isn't true.

How do you combat that lie?

So I love Byron Katie's work. I love her work. It's so simple. For me, it just cuts right to it. So there's a couple of questions in her work. In your experience, what I would do is, " Are you telling yourself I can't breathe underwater? Yep. Okay. So Katie's first question is, "is it true? Is it true that you can't breathe underwater, and it's not?" No. Okay, good. And it's always a yes or no answer, right? If the answer comes back as yes, that's true. Then the second question is, "can you know that it's true that you can't breathe underwater, right?" If their question is, and I'll just ask, "how do you react? What happens when you're believing the thought, I can't breathe underwater?"

And to loop this back to intention, state and action, you had the intention to get in the water and go under, you did all the actions, put the mask gone dumped in the water, but your state was one of fear. It was one of visualizing you dying. Of course, that's going to stop you, as it should. So that's the importance of changing that state in your best state, changing your mindset in that situation.

So the fourth question of Katie's work is, "who would you be without the thought I can't breathe underwater?"

And I've seen this happen to many people with scuba diving and it's happened to many people. It's happened to people in sales. It happens to people working out. It happens to people all sorts of ways, but a flip a switch goes off in your brain. And you go from really being afraid of something. And I've seen this, a good friend of mine, David Shoop. We were scuba diving, and he freaked out on the surface. And it was one of his first times diving, and all we had to do is get him about a foot underwater breathing. And then he was totally good. He was like, "Oh, got this." So looping it back to climbing, this actually happened to me on my climb.

We had just gotten to base camp, and we were setting out, and it was so intimidating, looking straight up at the biggest mountain that I'd ever stepped foot on. And I literally panicked. I was hyperventilating. I was beating myself up in my mind. What kind of an idiot am I trained? I can't even go to base camp. And I remember just talking to myself and saying, "okay, can you get from here to that rock?" And I was like, "yeah, I can get from here to that rock." We'll get to that rock, and then you're going to see if you can get to the next series of rocks. And I made a pact to myself that I would climb as high as I could as safely as possible. And I ended up getting to the top because there was never one step that I couldn't make when I stood there. And I looked at the totality of trying to summit this 8,000-meter peak. I thought it was impossible, but when I broke it down to, well, what's the one step that I need to take? Can I find the courage to take one step? And my state mirrored to action just started making progress and then confidence built.

Did you doubt at all while you were on your way up?

Oh yeah. Tons of times because I would get away from my next step and have to look at that vertical wall in front of us, and I'd be like, there's no way I can climb that. And I'm like, okay, well, can I climb to the bottom of it? Okay, well, I can do that. So again, the closer I would bring my focus and my attention to the present and keep it away from something that I don't even have to climb right now. I freaked out about climbing the third step on Everest in Katmandu. I was freaking out like looking at pictures of it, reading other people's journals about the 9,000-foot drop. I mean, I was yeah, super scary. But then when I got to the third step, it wasn't that scary.

At the beginning of your Ted talk, you asked what makes you great at what you do. So how do you answer that?

Yeah, that's, that's a super fair question. For me, if there's one thing that I try to cultivate is the piece of my own greatness, it's how do I see other people? I believe in the kind of work that I do now, especially that is for as cliché as this sounds, it's incredibly team driven. If the production team and the sales team and the marketing team and the finance team are not all working well together and performing at their best, then as a company, we're not going to perform as our best. And there's a passage in the book, Boys in the Boat that I love. It's this great book about the University of Washington crew team at the beginning of the 20th century, and they were competing against the Harvards and the Oxfords and the Yales and the Cambridges of the world.

And they're this kind of rural Pacific Northwest logging community crew team. They are not Ivy league, and they ended up beating them all. And the way that they beat them is there's a passage in the book that says that the crew has to be incredibly confident. They have to believe in themselves, but at the same time, they have to abandon themselves and just be in sync with their teammates. You need somebody that's going to charge out, and you need somebody that's going to save some in reserve. You need somebody that's going to be calculated. You need somebody, that's going to be quiet. You need all types of humanity. And I believe that every single person has incredible talents and incredible greatness in them. And then I believe that we all have areas where we're insecure. We have areas that we're overcompensating. And I think that seeing the greatness in people and yourself and being okay with our humanness, with our fault, I think that's incredibly important in connecting and connecting. So I think that that's one of the things potentially that I can bring to a team or a company that helps.

Do you find that a lot of people are easier to point out their negatives than to enjoy their strengths?

Yeah, there's no question. I think that that's part of human nature and there's probably a lot of reasons why that happens. I think innately when our security is threatened, and when we don't like how things are going when we have a problem, it's really easy to blame other people. It's your fault or his fault or her fault, or it's the president's fault. And really, that's just a reflection of, I think of what's not right inside of ourselves. And to be able to take total ownership of this is going my life is going in the direction it is because of me, you have got to be able to own the "here's where I'm winning," and you have to be able to own, "here's where I'm losing." And that's hard to do it.

What's one thing that most people don't know about you that you would feel comfortable sharing with the listeners?

A lot of people, when they get close to my comment, at some point, they're like, "wow, you get grumpy." "Wow. You're insecure." "Wow. You suck at stuff." My grandpa was a farmer in South Dakota, and he said, "Eric, people put their pants on one leg at a time. "Everybody does, I'm a total pain in the ass a lot. And I'm pessimistic. And I say the wrong thing a lot and I have to make apologies. And I think it gets really easy when you watch somebody's Ted talk or when you listen to six hours of their training, or you get emails from the CEO or whatever it is to think that, Oh, that person doesn't have problems or, they're not screwed up too. And yeah, that's just simply not correct.

If somebody wants to get in contact with you, learn more about Lunchbox and learn more about you. What's the best way for them to reach out to you?

Yeah. I'm pretty easy to track down on social channels. LinkedIn, Facebook is probably the easiest way to say hi.



Get In Touch With Eric:

linkedin.com/in/ericplantenberg

lunchboxalchemy.com (Company Website)

ericplantenberg


Resource List:

The Work of Byron Katie

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The Positive Polarity Podcast

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