Mastering the Mental Game of Basketball: Insights from Graham Betchart
Graham, you got to tell me, what is the number one thing that you are describing? When you talk about this hands-down approach, tell me about what this means, what it is, because I’ve watched a lot of your videos and you have this consistent theme and this consistent vibe and energy, but this hands-down or pop palms down, right?
Palm down. What? Tell me about this because I like uniqueness. I like different. And this resonated with me. Share it with us. What that means.
Yeah, man. Well, listen, I’m, I’m always trying to make things so simple. that a kid could do it, right? And so if you get it down to body language, like palms down as much better body language than this, this is the universal sign you see with athletes that I’m hopeless, something just happened.
I’ve lost my mind. This is the universal sign that, Hey, I’m choosing my response. I’m going through a tough emotional moment, but I’m here and I got these surfboards behind me for a reason. This is the reminder that when the big emotions hit you, you can’t be in the present like this with big emotions. We have to find our harmony, find our balance, and ride those big waves.
So palms down is It’s how we choose our response and it’s body language. And we’ve got a little dance we do, Jay. And it goes like this. It says, what time is it right now? Where are you at right here? How do you respond? Palms down, palms down, palms down. So we do a little like dance. Everybody I teach, I try to take them through those three things so they can remember that for their whole life.
Oh, my God. I love it. What we have got, we’ll talk about him. Oh, we’ve got Graham Betchart here. And the reason I’m excited about him is just a straight-up one-word vibe. Like I think you and I, when we talked and we’ll explain who, let’s explain who you are. I’m so excited. I didn’t even say what I wanted to say.
He is the mental performance coach for the championship-winning UConn men’s basketball team, and also the Utah Jazz. And then also you’ve got a program for youth athletes. Right. Yeah. And you and I connected on the straight-up vibe. And I was like, I just, I looked at a couple of your videos and I’m like, I’m just going to call this guy and I already know what’s going to happen.
It’s going to be straight-up vibes. So you were the vibe guy and, um, I’m so happy that you took the time to talk to us today, Graham. Um, got it, man. So, so let’s get right back to what you talked about. Cause I don’t want to leave that subject to what you just said. Cause you came out strong with something very, very important.
I call it the power of the pause, you know, the ability to respond instead of react and, the ability to manage our emotions in real time. When it comes to managing our emotions, where do you think athletes? Maybe sucked into the vortex. Why do athletes get so sucked into their emotions, getting out of control and maybe causing them to make poor decisions and not think clearly?
What do you think is the bait that they’re taking that’s bringing ’em down, that negative vortex and spiraling outta
control? Man, it’s a, it’s a great question. And, uh, just a quick heads up. All my NBA work is in the past, so I’m no longer with any teams right now. Okay. I’m just out there just doing it.
But what I noticed is. The human experience, Jay, it comes down to feelings. So like, all we’re talking about makes total sense, right? Oh yeah, this is all great. And then you get hit with a feeling. When you get hit with a feeling, it’s like getting punched in the face, right? You’ve trained for a boxing match and you get hit in the face.
Oh, I don’t like any of this. And all your technique goes away. So this to me comes down to feelings. And so people, it all makes sense moving forward, choosing your response. Then you get hit with a strong emotion, and that just goes out the window because most people just act on feelings, you know? So to me, the you’re choosing your response to your feelings is literally like you’re in your enlightening moment.
You’re like awareness of wait for a second. I don’t have to react to the feelings. In fact, I’m not these feelings. They might be coming through me right now, but I don’t even need to identify with them. So instead of saying like, oh, I’m angry, you might say I feel anger. That’s way different than saying, I am angry, like I’ve identified with anger.
And so we have these surfboards and the palms down thing is just to remind you, when you get hit with your feelings, you can do it. You can choose your response in the most intense moments. You can still choose your response with what you do with your body. And we say this victory goes to the vulnerable because, in those moments, it’s so uncomfortable.
It’s so vulnerable. It’s like, but if you know, there’s a victory here. So I try to wake people up. Like this is actually, this is when it counts. If you care about winning in this moment of vulnerability, if you choose your response, we’ve got a great chance of winning. So I try to tie it all into that, but feelings derail people.
You know, it’s so true. And they’re in new, what’s crazy is they’re not even based always on facts and they’re also fleeting. So it’s like, you have something that may not be true and it’s most likely fleeting, but yet you’re giving it so much value and importance and the consequences of that. It could be negative.
It could be great. Yeah. But sometimes they could be not so great. And it’s amazing how much truth validity and power we give to our emotions. And like you said, sometimes even identify with them. And then sometimes if you marinate in those feelings for too long, it becomes a mood and then a temperament.
It’s like, wait a minute. you know, something does this. Maybe you’re right. is right. But what if it’s your past and your fears that feeling, then it’s the truth. It’s based on
fiction that again, all of it makes
until it hits you. It all makes sense. I like to look at it like we’re a swordless samurai. So when your feelings come up, the feelings usually aren’t even that bad. It’s the stories attached to the feelings that are awful. Those are the things that are most absurd. They have nothing to do with reality.
Your feelings are always real. What the sensation you feel in your body It’s real. The story is 99. 9 percent of the time the biggest make-believe thing of all time. The story. So to me, a swordless samurai is someone who goes, I’m here to kill illusions. I’m here to kill dumb stories that derail me because like you said, there’s no evidence that you’re actually in danger most of the time when you feel feelings.
Um, and that’s a big transformative moment because in a lot of like this country, there are laws around acting how you feel. You could go to Florida and you could be like I feel scared and I shot somebody And you’re like it wasn’t a danger nothing happened, but my feeling was so strong They acknowledge those feelings as law right like you can honor feelings And so we live in a place where our feelings are really considered to be the thing Now you’re again, the sensation is real, but the story behind the feeling is absurd.
So that’s where your freedom comes is starting to derail those stories and recognize that’s not true. I mean, the most dangerous thing you probably did today was be in your car and you probably didn’t even feel scared. You know what I mean? But statistically, it’s on the line when you get it is on the line when you get in the car for real.
You know what I mean, but you don’t have any feelings associated with it a lot of times, so it’s, you know, anyway, it’s complex, man, but I look at it like if you can, you can feel feelings and then use your intellect. This is where you have to use your intellect too. Wait a second. I’m not in danger right now.
You have to have a smart enough intellect to grasp that. And you got to make your intellect, not follow the feelings. You got to have your intellect be sharp and be like, wait a second. We can’t follow feelings. We have to choose our response here. The story’s crazy and life is over. You’re like, no, no, we’re actually okay.
We’re actually okay. It’s just an intense feeling,
Do you know? Yeah, so true. And, and I think. So you and I are in complete alignment with that because I feel that the more that I go through my process and we have our own different ways that we approach mental performance. It’s amazing that I always feel like almost so many things always go back to like safety, and they also go back to like the.
the core of what kept us alive in the Neanderthal days, like that, that desire to be a law, uh, to be, uh, to be long that, um, that desire to remain in alignment with who you are. You know, if you’re part of a tribe and all of a sudden you come in as the, the, the caretaker or the medicine man, but then all of a sudden, if you were told sudden now want to be the hunter, the killer, it’s like, well, wait a minute.
We got. Two hunters and killers already. We need a medicine, man. You’re not in alignment with who you said you were. Now this tribe cannot sustain you because we don’t have enough resources for that. It’s like, that’s why to me, I feel like some people remain in alignment with who they are because you have to have some degree of consistency.
And I think a lot of it goes back to like, the tribal days and back to like what got us here. And so I think back like safety and just our ability to just replicate, you know, it’s like, that’s what our bodies want to do. Keep us safe and replicate. That’s what I feel is as unsexy as it is. Um, it seems like that’s a big part of it.
Where, do you feel safe and security? Um, and that design, that innate desire to feel safe. Where do you think maybe that comes out in negative ways or at least in ways that athletes have to be aware of? Like, is it fear? Is it other things? Like, where do we see that with athletes?
I look at it like this.
I see this. I mean, I literally see this whole thing as training here on Earth. The equivalent of someone saying, I need to feel safe and not feel uncomfortable. That’s the equivalent of someone walking into a weight room saying, I’d like to get muscles, but I don’t want to experience any resistance from any of these weights.
It’s absurd. It’s literally absurd. So you’re like, I get it. Like, but you’re actually in danger if you don’t let yourself feel vulnerable right now and you stick with the hard wiring that’s been here for 50, 000 years and you don’t evolve that. That’s like using the same software you used in the 1970s because you’re too uncomfortable to change the software.
That’s not safe. Like if your concern is safety, if that’s actually your concern, you have to get vulnerable. Because if your concern is safety, you have to, or else you’re going to derail the whole thing. You’re going to lose your family, you’re going to lose everyone around you just based on your old hard wiring.
Surgeons I work with, if they’re doing surgery the same as they were trained 10 years ago, they’re going to get sued every day. This is constantly growing, and constantly evolving. So the goal is to be vulnerable, not vulnerable where you’re in physical danger. The vulnerability that allows you to get out of your hard wiring keeps you stuck in something that’s telling you you’re safe by not growing.
That’s the most absurd thing ever when people do that, right? So that’s why we say victory to the vulnerable. We’re like, just so you know, if your concern is safety, you actually have to get vulnerable or else you’re in grave danger, right? Cause you’re going to be operating from a place that’s going to get you in big trouble just because it feels comfortable to you.
So you kind of have to help people get to that. And most of the time they want to see if it’s real, like who’s done it. So I I’m living it right now. Like I’m, I’m living it every day, you know, and our real offering is the energy and getting vulnerable and showing up in the present like that unlocks profound energy and you don’t know that till you do it.
You don’t know that if you’re doing mental training, the realest thing we have is the energy that powers us, right? That’s, that’s why I call myself a CEO, which stands for conscious energy officer. Energy is real. Like if I died right now, this body would fall over and you’d be like, this body’s there, but the energy left, right?
So if energy is the realest thing we have, we operate from that standpoint. You know, and so I, that’s how I look at the whole thing. And so I’m like, Oh, if your concern is safety, like if your concern is like physical strength, we have to get uncomfortable, no doubt. Right. So if your concern is like mental strength and being able to do this, Oh, we have to go get uncomfortable and vulnerable.
It’s so true. And it’s amazing how everyone knows that you got to get out of your comfort zone. Like this is not revolutionary news. You know, when you say, Hey, I got to get on my comfort zone or I need to get into the growth zone, like people know this, but yet at the same time that they know it, they don’t always know how to like break through it.
And so they don’t know where growth lies and they don’t know that, wait, I’m aware of this feeling of comfortability right now, but that’s only because I’m comfortable because I’m doing what I’ve always done in the past. And therefore I’m comfortable because it’s safe, not realizing that in order for you to grow or improve.
You’re gonna have to get a little bit outta that safety out, a little bit of comfort, and at least dip your toes in. I always kind of say, you know, just dip your toes in the uncomfortable. You can’t sit in the uncomfortable because that’s just too unsafe for too long, but you can dip your toes in the water for a little bit, dance in that for a little bit, and then come back to safety and comfort.
But there needs to be like almost like either. dipping into it, or if you want to call it like a pendulum, you need to shift from the comfort to the, the uncomfortable to get into that growth. Where else do you feel there’s resistance to change? Because obviously you and I, um, are often, uh, I don’t want to say fighting the same energy or enemy, because I know that that’s not the perspective you and I would have on this, but we both, um, have the same resistance to, um, to change.
You know, people have resistance to change and transformation and growth. And we’re, we’re battling or helping support them break through that. Where, where else do you feel there’s areas for athletes to take action, to actually create real transformation that’s lasting?
Yeah. I mean, first of all, great questions, man.
I look at it smart, man. You’re smart. I wasn’t going to ask you the easy stuff. I’m like this guy, like you look like if you had a monk outfit on and you have one of those fake backgrounds with like to bet in the background, dude, I just like humming and moaning the whole time and just figuring out through energy.
We wouldn’t even be communicating. It’s just one of these anyways, man.
It’s like, um, I’ve I mean? Yeah.
Like, I always, I think about that all the time. Like how do you get someone to do this? Like where, where, where’s the starting point to someone being curious about their next level? How does that happen? Um, man, Jay, I, I, I don’t know. I, I know like a lot of times you gotta have your ass on fire. Like there’s gotta be a catalyst to why you want do it.
A lot of people get into this through hardship. right? Hardship is kind of their awakening. It’s like someone having a heart attack. The doctor’s like you have to exercise. You’re like, Oh, the heart. I almost died. I should move my body. So I’m always thinking like, man, you have to get in that level of like mental health crisis to figure out that this is something you have to practice.
Every single day. These are habits we do every single day. Um, so I mean,
man, you, you brought up, you, you actually, I think answered it with one of my favorite things. And I don’t even know if you did it, which is you use one of my favorite words. That’s why I’m like, dude, like. We just we’re just bouncing off.
Yeah. You said you just gotta get ’em to be curious. And to me, that would, you literally answered it in two seconds with two words. Because if someone gets curious, all they’re doing is asking questions in my mind, if you’re curious, you’re exploring right? And you’re wondering why and you’re asking questions and it’s.
Why do I keep ending up with idiots? Like, let’s say you’re dating, you’re in the dating pool. Why do I keep dating morons? Why is it that I keep getting the same result I’m getting? Why is it that I can’t seem to break this habit? And it’s like everything starts with curiosity, right? And it’s interesting, the power of questions.
And to me, you start with curiosity, and then when you, when you start with curiosity, you get clarity. And when you get clarity, which I always say clarity is king because I kind of like you, I realized that people remember stuff if you make it sound cool. If you say clarity is king, it’s like, oh, I don’t remember a damn thing.
This guy said for 40 minutes, but he said, clarity is king. I’m like, all right, I’m good. But you know, so sometimes people need something that’s memorable, but I think it’s like curiosity and clarity And then having the conviction to take action on that information. It’s almost like three C’s that you can kind of move together.
But, um, it, but I think the reason it’s hard to answer is because is there even an answer? How do you transform? Because if there was an easy answer, everyone would look like share, you know, like the advertisement back in the day, if a great body was easy, everyone have one same thing with transformation, right?
It’s, uh, like I said, it’s not like you look around and see a whole bunch of enlightened people walking around every day. It’s just like, no matter how, what your pathway to enlightenment is, an enlightened person is the same. No matter if they got there through a certain religion, a certain practice, whatever it is, they’re all the same.
They have a deep understanding. We’re all connected. We’re all one. Their energies of a vibration of a super high level. They walk in a room. They automatically help people just with their vibration. It’s always the same. But I do think that curiosity and then maybe throwing in some courage to, you know, that you’re like, okay, then comes the clarity.
And then after those three things, everyone’s looking for confidence. But confidence is like a let thing that occurs after being curious and courageous, you know, byproduct. That’s what it is. And so really, that is confidence is curiosity. You know that that’s what confidence is. Um, confidence isn’t a feeling.
If you’re hoping to feel great all the time the same way, that’s absurd, right? Confidence is no matter how I feel in the human experience, I know, I know what to do and I’m gonna go do it. You know what I mean? And that’s, I’ll also look at it too, like if someone is seeking, if they’re seeking to go check it out, you know what I mean?
Say you’ve been given some beliefs in your life, you know what I mean? The first thing you got to recognize is belief means you don’t have a clue. And that’s okay. Because if you have to believe in something, that means you don’t know, right? Like right now, I don’t have to believe in gravity. The evidence is so overwhelming.
I’m sitting on a chair right now, right? Someone was like, Graham, do you believe in gravity? I’d be like, that’s an absurd question. And I’d be like, it doesn’t matter if I believe in it or not. The evidence is profound, right? So belief doesn’t matter. So if you’re ever in a belief system, that’s a start to you going, wait, I don’t know.
And then you have the curiosity to go, let’s go explore this belief. Say someone says, uh, there’s this dude called Santa Claus. It’s going to land on your roof. Uh, you know, December 24th, you go, okay. Go sit on your roof all night and see what happens. You know what I mean? Go do it. And then one day to being real, right?
One day you kind of go, okay, that belief system was put in me when I was young, but that’s, that’s really not based on a, on a truth. So the evolution from getting out of your, like, if you believe things are a certain way, like, Oh, I believe I should always feel comfortable. I believe, you know, how I have a right to how I feel go check it out.
Just go see
something else there. It’s so true. It’s amazing how many people wish they believed in themselves, but they’ll believe in, you know, all these other things with maybe without enough evidence to support it, but it’s like, but why can’t we believe in ourselves? If. You know, all the evidence of who you are because you’re living that life is like you’ve done all these amazing things.
It’s amazing how many people struggle to believe in themselves and they have all these limiting beliefs. You know, I am not worthy. I’m not good enough. Mistakes and failure are bad. It’s amazing. The beliefs that we adopt that we never put like a magnifying glass on and really try to maybe challenge or discredit because, um, to your point, like, I just feel like a lot of us have you know, have this faith in the unseen, which I think is a beautiful thing.
But it’s like we, we weren’t as consciously involved in the selection of those beliefs as we think. And that comes at a consequence sometimes. So it’s powerful stuff. So it’s super powerful. So what do you think, um, you know, so funny there, there were so many, I started writing questions down for you and I literally took the piece of paper and I just like ripped it in half.
I’m like, dude, unless this guy, unless Graham wants to be on a four hour, there’s no way that we’re going through all these questions. So one of the other ones, there were a whole, a whole bunch that stuck out. One of, one of the ones that I wanted to ask you is, um, I feel, and it’s funny how I go through different phases in my coaching where like different things seem to like permeate in my mind and things that I noticed that athletes are struggling with one of the things that I’ve come up with.
And I want to hear just your general thoughts on this is I’ve noticed that the athletes that I work with and even myself, um, because the beauty of what we do is as you’re coaching athletes, I challenge myself to sometimes take my own advice. So it’s almost kind of like, I feel like. I’m pretty good at kind of like listening to myself and taking the information and using it for myself, but I’ve noticed that recently the athletes that have gotten some great success have really managed their focus, their time and their energy, basically, you know, if there’s 24 hours in the day day and assuming they slept for eight.
That’s 16 each and every day. Like that’s 16. They suck the juice out of it and they get so much out of the time management and the focus, energy and attention. How do you kind of view the function of time? Because you can also play with time when it comes to patients with athletes, you know, them trying to achieve their goals.
A lot of times people want it Yesterday, like, Hey man, I wanna win a championship like three years ago. It’s like, okay. People will struggle with time, managing time, patience, managing their focus. They get distracted pretty easily. What are your thoughts in general on just any of those topics? I would love to see maybe what resonated with you that you want to talk about from maybe that little pile of of thoughts.
Well, when someone’s rushing to a result. And they want to be somewhere else. I asked him, you want to know the day you’re going to die? And they stopped right in that moment. They’re like, no, no, no. And I’m like, well, don’t worry. It’s going there. And that’s where this whole thing is going. So you don’t have to worry about that.
It’s the most natural process. Everyone’s going through it. So they don’t actually want to know where this goes. And so what I do is I bring them back to what we call a one day deal and a one day deal means let’s just do it today. Like instead of trying to get somewhere in seven months or eight months, or you go, bring it back to it’s a one day deal because we’re assuming we’re going to be alive tomorrow.
First of all, which is a major assumption. It’s a major assumption. It’s not based on anything besides you’re just as an assumption. So if you don’t know if you’re going to be alive tomorrow, that means that today means something, right? It today. And I bring my focus into a one day deal. And I say, all I got to do is do it today.
Thank you. And do it today, meaning you got your 16 hours, however you want to lay your 16 hours out. And you have to have, because this idea of patience is, gets funny business in, uh, here in this culture. So I say you have to walk to win with lethal patience. You got to put badass words around patience, because most people think patience is just some soft thing.
I have lethal patience, Jay. And I walk to win with lethal patience every day. And that’s how I’ve obtained whatever you want, whatever success that’s come my way. I’m not in a hurry to get to the future. I ain’t trying to go nowhere. Be here right now. And the walk to win is quiet yourself from being so driven to get somewhere else in life.
And be driven to be fully here in the present. Land, stand, and expand in the present. My energy is right here. My energy is not in a year. It’s right here, right now. So I just try to bring everyone’s idea of, because athletes are so driven. You know what I mean? But sometimes they’re so driven. It’s like absurd because they don’t even know how to be present because they’re always trying to get somewhere else.
When they’re in high school, they’re trying to go to college. When they’re in college, you’re trying to be in pro and they’re trying to be a pro to get somewhere else. So again, say, do you want to know the day you’re gonna die? No, no, no. So stop, come back, sign a one day deal. And if you wake up tomorrow, let’s do it again.
We’ll do another one day deal. But if you wake up, you should first of all be like, Oh my God, I’m alive. It’s mind blowing. I’m alive. This is the most valuable resource we have in human experience every day. You should think about dying because that makes you because we’re all going to die. And that makes you realize you’re gonna be alive today.
This resource is running out. So once you acknowledge that it makes you more vibrant today, you know, and I try to help them like strive to arrive instead of striving to get somewhere else. And you think it’s all going to be good when you get there. All that’s going to happen when you get there is you’re going to try to go somewhere else.
You got to be where your feet are. You got to come back to the present. You know what I mean? And, and then see what kind of energy you can unlock today, you know, and really go for it. So that’s, that’s the stuff that resonates with me when people are driven. Um, I’m like good, because we’re going to use that to drive back to right here because you know, when tomorrow shows up, it’s today anyway, it’s always today.
There is no tomorrow like it’s on like that doesn’t even exist. It’s always right now. Tell me when tomorrow shows up.
Oh my God. I love it. And you know what’s so funny? I love that you said this because I had an experience exactly like what you said were one day. I was a couple years ago. I was like, I could die tomorrow, right?
And so the average person would be like, Oh no, J, like you’re in good health. You have a gym membership. You had an orange yesterday. You’re going to be fine. And it’s just like, no, you don’t understand. Yeah. I feel amazing knowing that I could actually die tomorrow because it’s taking all this energy and I literally am like so excited, so grateful.
And like, there’s three things that I’ve wanted to do and guess what I’m doing them today. So it’s so funny that there is motivation and knowing that you may not be around tomorrow, but yet there’s some people that would maybe like dance around that subject and maybe be like offended by it. And I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.
I had a similar experience. Where I woke up one day and I realized that I completely don’t matter. I’m like, if I die tomorrow, sure. Some people are going to be upset. Some people may be happy, but whatever it is, like for the most part, like it really doesn’t matter. Right. The world’s going to keep going.
The sun’s going to come up. Graham’s still going to keep posting killer audios and make some songs and rap songs on YouTube. Like everything’s going to keep going. And the oddest thing about that is once again, very similar. I think the average person around you hearing that would be like, Jane, like, are you depressed?
Are you having a bad day? I’m like, no, I just had another big wind. Like I don’t matter. Which means like. It’s all good. Like everything is great. Like I feel free, you know? So it’s like I’m dying tomorrow. Amazing. I don’t matter. Even more amazing. What are your thoughts on that?
I mean it, I’m not saying that you don’t matter, but like if there’s 8 billion galaxies out here, Jay, you don’t fucking matter at all.
Like you think it matters, your psychological drama in your head, you think that’s real for anyone else besides yourself? Like that’s not a universal truth, like, you know what I mean, so I, it’s really important to learn how to get out of your own way, you know, and how and how to get out of your own way.
As soon as you think something’s about yourself, be like, there’s 8 billion galaxies that we know of. Just, whoa. You think on this little rock called Earth, when there is so many other little rocks out there, you think, now your feelings are real, but like the idea that you are this thing that’s like, you think you’re a big person or something like that.
That’s how people get into trouble, man. They find themselves in big trouble.
It’s so true. And, and I mean, it’s, it’s super interesting. And then also even like back to results. I mean, you know, I’m always finding, uh, that energy of, you know, athletes being result driven and to your point, it’s like, once you get there onto the next, onto the next, no one can stop and just marinate in the joy of, of of like having an experience that is, that doesn’t feel good, but at least there’s something to learn from it.
Because that like, to me, I feel like if you win. Like, let’s say you win at whatever it is. You went at your workout, you win in practice, uh, whatever it is, you have whatever your definition of a win is. It’s like, okay, that’s always what we’re striving for. But like, how do you replicate that? But I almost feel, and I want to see what your thoughts on this.
When you win, yes, you have validation that what you did was right. And you kind of unlocked maybe a couple things within yourself or the team. And you kind of unlocked like a nice secret sauce and made like a secret sauce. a banana bread that tastes amazing. Like you, you kind of like came up with like that secret set of ingredients that gave you a desired outcome.
Okay. Well, how much do you learn from that? Versus dude, that was a miserable performance. Like you sucked as much as I don’t matter. That’s how much you sucked in that performance. Um, I would almost argue, and I want to hear your thoughts on this. That oftentimes if you’re. Okay. Being vulnerable enough that you can get more value from, from the loss and that punishment and that pain, you can think about, you can work on letting go.
You can think about what you could have done differently. You could look back and say, wow, maybe my process is off. I have a client that I’m like, Hey man, like, I hate to tell you, but I think your coach is killing you. So we had, we had to move away from a coach. Like there was so much clarity that came from the pain that I think it almost was more valuable.
Then the emotions felt, you know, transiently on the wind. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, I mean, pa pain will wake you up. You know how we were saying like, how does someone get into this? Like the curiosity, have your life be really painful and be losing all the time and things not working for you.
That’ll wake you up to be like, Hey, what’s going on? Pain will, pain will alert you. A lot of times like positivity and that kind of stuff doesn’t wake people up. You know what I mean? Uh, it can be. So I think the learning from loss is really profound. You know, that, that’s like, it’s really, really profound.
And hopefully we get good enough at this where someone doesn’t have to lose to start being curious, where they’re like, no, I’m, I’m doing great, but I, I want to be studying this stuff too, you know, and I want to be curious. But yeah, I mean, loss is where you really, I mean, that pain, it can wake you up. You know, it can really be that catalyst, uh, to get that started for you to do this stuff for sure, you know, yeah, and it’s
It seems like people paying you. I feel like you don’t have a choice to experience. You’re going to experience pain. It just happens, but I feel like sufferings. Optional, right? Cause you kind of choose suffering. If you want to marinate in the pain, keep spinning. Hey, keep replaying that movie, man. Yeah.
Yeah. You know, keep looking at that photo of your dad in the obituary column. Like you will feel maybe not as intense as that day, but you’ll feel in that direction. Like why do we choose suffering? It’s insane. Like it’s, it’s crazy. Like pain can teach you, like you said, pain can create movement and it can motivate you.
It can serve you as long as you take that power, almost kind of like anger. You know, like have you ever, have you ever bumped into, I don’t know if I talked about this on the phone. Have you ever bumped in the map map of consciousness?
I think so. Yeah. With, uh, from all the different States from apathy to like
Yeah, exactly. So, you know, it, and it’s like, what’s wild is if you feel like shame, guilt, humiliation, embarrassment, that’s like towards the bottom, especially shame is like a 20 Hertz, right? But then if you go to like anger. You’d say, well, geez, who wants to be angry? Like, that doesn’t serve you. Okay. Well, if you shift from shame to anger, you’ve actually elevated closer.
You know, you’re, you’re almost like climbing that ladder out of the deep, dark hole you’re in. You’re actually better off feeling a little bit of anger because it has the energy of movement. Whereas sometimes with shame, you might kind of close off and. Go in your little cocoon or what have you, but anger has an energy of movement.
And as long as you place the anger, the anger in the right direction and not in a, in a harmful way, but in a, in a way that’s a little bit more effective or beneficial, you start to move up that ladder and then you start to maybe move up to courage and then you get back to maybe a good place where you want to be.
And you start to realize that. I can control, can control my destiny and my emotions by just shifting my energy and attention. It’s super powerful. That’s just thought that popped in my mind.
Oh, man, it’s such a big one. I look at it like we’re like a DJ, like, and I think this is a big one for humans that we’re a DJ and you get to select what energy you use.
And I think sometimes the lower vibe energies are so ready and so plentiful and so easy to bring in. Like if you say, go to, you know, courage, that’s hard to do that. If you’re feeling shame and you’re like, I feel shame. You’re like, how do I get out of shame? You know, like, how do I get myself out of shame and guilt?
How do I elevate that? And then, like you said, you start feeling a little bit of anger and you’re like, well, that feels better than shame and guilt. You know what I mean? You still have to get to courageous and all these other levels. So I, I try to look at it like whatever I feel, is this the inner, is this what I want to play?
Like, do I want to, like, I might feel shame. Do I need to act on that? Or can I let it pass through me and get to another one? You know what I mean? Can I, can I elevate that? So I think we get triggered a lot in this culture to operate from lower vibration, you know, from like fear, like people would much rather feel angry than scared.
You know what I mean? And they’d much rather, uh, do that. And if anger is how you’re operating a little bit and you feel some firepower, maybe finally feel something good. And you’re like, man, after anger, we have to elevate to courage and then neutrality. And then, you know, all these things you’re like, that may not even feel good.
Like that might even feel like more uncomfortable. So it’s like, I try to phrase this all as training, right? And if we have, if we can choose whichever energy we’re selecting as a conscious energy officer, You know what I mean? As we do that, just start practicing playing the right energy, you know, practice that.
And it doesn’t mean you’re gonna feel positive to act positive. You might feel shame and go, Wait a second. Why am I here? Based on some stupid ass story. That’s not based on anything. It’s an illusionary story that was taught to me culturally for however many years to keep me stuck in this place of shame and guilt.
I don’t, I don’t mess with that, you know? So you do have to have awareness to recognize where this story comes. And what’s the emotion tied in with this story? A lot of you shame and guilt as a way to kind of keep you in a low vibration. So you have to be aware of that stuff. You know,
yeah, and it’s so true.
And even if you could just, even if you, if someone said to me, like, just like, give me one skill, it’s like, just be just self awareness, like be aware of like, all right, I’m like, cause sometimes people are in shame and guilt and they don’t even understand that they’re there and it’s like, I always think of like a version of myself.
That’s compassionate. and curious, but nonjudgmental. Right. And it’s kind of sitting above me saying, Oh, interesting. You’re feeling tremendous guilt. It’s like, it’s not judging me, but it’s just shining a light on things and saying, Hey, do you realize the little dark spot here? Do you understand where this is coming from?
You know, it’s like, maybe I should be exploring that a little bit, but it’s amazing how many people, you know, it’s easy. And trust me, I’ve done it myself. I’m sure you have where it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions and get caught in that vortex. And it almost is like, it puts blinders on you. And sometimes, you know, emotions, if they’re powerful, even if they’re powerful on the positive side, but powerful, positive or negative, it’s almost like they.
Kind of like close your focus a little bit and then maybe not make you see, especially if you’re feeling shame and guilt, humiliation, embarrassment, you can’t really see your way out of it. It’s almost like it kind of sucks you in and narrows your focus a little bit where you got to kind of step, step back and look at all things.
You’re like, Oh, wait a minute. I definitely felt shame, guilt, humiliation, embarrassment for here. But like, My life’s pretty damn good. You know, like we’re good. You know, we just got a couple waves. I’m sure that’s a good day for you. Grabbing a couple waves, coming up with some beats, coming up with a new song, you know, like we’re good.
Like as shameful as this experience was, you know, if you take it, if you can get out of the vortex and look at it from maybe 30, 000 feet. It’s like, whew, that, that shameful experience is somewhat meaningless and my life has so many other great things. So it’s also perspective, right? I mean, how you look at things when you change, change the way you look at things, things you look at change.
We all know that. But, um, it’s interesting stuff. I wanted to, cause I know we only got a little bit of time left. I wanted to hear your thoughts on fear because fear, we have fear of other people’s opinions. We have fear of loss. We have fear of failure. We have fear of making mistakes, fear of public speaking fear.
is definitely something that holds most people back from either even just fear of starting something. You know, um, what are your thoughts in general about fear? How do you approach an athlete that’s facing fear?
Oh, we, we first of all say, let’s use our intellect. Let’s be smart. Right. And we just, are you actually in danger?
Like you go speak in front of a group and you’re not very good. Are you in danger? They’ll be like, no. I’ll say, so don’t ever say you’re in danger. We have to logically get like, you can have the sensation of fear. No problem. But the story you tell yourself, we’re going to examine that real quick. And we’re going, we’re going to check that out.
Would you yell at a baby for falling down when they’re learning to walk? Would you call that failure? No, that’s not failure. That’s how you learn this whole process. So what we do is we acknowledge the feeling and we say, no, the feeling is real, but your stories are absurd. You know what I mean? Your stories are absurd and let’s go explore that.
Let’s go feel the sensation and then kind of change our behavior. And so once you realize that, like, okay, the feel, the feeling of fear is kind of like, it’s kind of weights in a weight room. You need it. It gives you a catalyst on how to train. I thought, what’s the most uncomfortable thing I could do to put myself in fear?
Like what’s the most uncomfortable thing humans feel? And I was like, I think it’s. Standing in front of a group speaking. I think people fear that more than death. And I said, okay, so let’s go stand in front of a group and speak. What’s worse than that? Stand up comedy. I said, oh, I’m going to go try to do comedy to see if I can make people laugh, which I know I’m going to be really bad at.
And so I paid to do a class, an eight week class just to go through this experience of fear so I could transform it into false evidence appearing real man, fear, fear, and real man. You know what I mean? Face everything and rise or face everything and run. It’s all, it’s all your choice, right? That’s, that’s why we say palms down.
So I do the stand up comedy. Long story short, I paid money to do it. I’m paying to go experience the worst emotion. To go experience it. They hand me the mic up on stage. Decent sized crowd. I say my joke. It’s dead silent, like no one’s laughing. And I thought, this is what everyone wants to avoid, right?
This is it. I’m in it right now. It was the most glorious experience ever. It was perhaps it’s literally just like lifting weights. You’re like, oh no the weights and you’re like damn I feel hella strong after like that’s how it works. So you go be vulnerable go face fear not for 24 hours I did it for a six minute set.
How’d I feel after euphoric euphoric, right? Because we’re doing mental training in that moment That’s real mental training not to go be fearful for just like i’m gonna go do it for seven minutes So after i’m like i’m a badass And that was it. That was failure. I’m a free man now, you know, so it’s just like going back to like everyone in the world knows to exercise and work out, right?
Everyone in the world knows that. Does that mean they’re doing it? No, everyone. And so it’s like, you still got to go do it. You still have to, because you still have to put yourself in this position. Um, that feels uncomfortable and it’s not just to feel uncomfortable. I just mentioned that Jay on the back end, I felt euphoric.
So if your concern is feeling good, go purposely get uncomfortable for a little bit of time. So you feel euphoric for the next 23 hours. If that’s your goal is feelings. We can actually create great chemistry in our body. This whole human experience is a chemistry problem. Just so you know, this whole thing is just chemistry.
You get the chemistry, right? You play beautiful music. Your vibration is right. You know what I mean? So it’s just training principles. And if you go towards it for a little bit, you unlock yourself and you feel amazing. Just like when you work out, how do you feel after everyone says, thank, I feel better no matter what, you don’t feel like doing it at first, but when you’re done with it, it feels amazing.
So that’s you kind of have to tap into that paradigm of how mental training works, you know,
Oh, my God. I love it. Um, as we wrap things up, the final question I had for you, because I wanted to know because it’s, it was so important that you, you know, you have, you have these boards behind you. Um, I’m a big, I am not big.
I am a mega fan of the ocean. I have a feeling you’re a mega fan of the ocean. Um, as we wrap things up, you know, my last question to you is, I just want to know, um, what is it about the ocean? Assuming that your relationship with the ocean is like mine is, which I think it is. What with you? And water and, and the ocean and just the freedom of maybe surfing.
I just wanna hear like, why, why would that be of value to you? If you go to the ocean and you surf, when’s the last time you surfed, by the way?
Uh, you know, I’m not a huge surfer, but I’m in the water. You know, in
the water. Okay. I didn’t know, I knew there was a water thing. No. When you’re, when was the last time you were in the water?
Three days ago. Okay. A mile from the beach.
What? You’re a mile from the beach. Uh, do you have anything in the basement? We don’t have a basement. Would you be willing to put a shower and a bathroom downstairs? Oh, I got you. Um, as we wrap things up, I just wanted to know what, what is it, what is it about water that draws you to it?
Cause I, I, I felt like, I’m pretty sure when we were on the phone, I think the first time, I think you were actually heading towards the water maybe, I think.
Well, I mean, Jay, I mean, I am water, man. If, if you’re looking at this body here, this is, even science knows this is 75 percent a sack of water. So not that I even identify with my body, but this body that I’m with is water.
And the actual salt content of my body is the exact same as the ocean. So figure that out, right? So, and if you go down and look at the water and you look at the ocean, the waves are different every day. So it’s not just the same size wave every day. So that lets you know, this whole thing is energy. How the hell is water moving?
There’s an energy moving in and every day it’s different. It’s not the same. Um, I got a picture on the other side of my room here. It’s a picture of my wife and my kids. And in the middle of it is a massive wave. Like a 60 foot wave. And I remind myself that I’m here for these waves. I’m here for it, but I’m going to be like water and I’m going to flow with it.
I’m going to find the path of least least resistance. I’m going to find this amazing space. So that concept of being like water, which everyone has heard that Bruce Lee kind of made famous. We try to operate like that. And I think this is a big one for people who want these like fixed. Everything is fixed.
Gravity is different every day. Most people don’t know that gravity is not a fixed thing. It changes. Every day. The speed of light is not fixed. The speed of light shifts all the time. That’s very uncomfortable for Albert Einstein. He wanted it to be fixed. It’s gotta be. This whole thing is flowing. This whole thing is shifting.
Gravity is literally different on different days. If you tune in to the moon, I work with police officers. There’s more phone calls for cops on full moons. This is real because gravity affects you energetically. The brighter the moon is, the more you feel yourself affected. That’s why people act on full moons.
They act on different energy. So going back to the water, I mean, Jay, this whole thing is liquid, man. This whole thing is learning how to flow like water and be like that. Um, and I try to align myself with it and. I mean, if we are mostly water, we may as well like tune into that. And what I just what I like about water is it’s different every day.
You can find flow in it. You can, you know, when people surf, they get in the water, they tend to lose track of all thoughts and just find flow. you know, and get themselves into that experience. Um, so I mean, water is amazing, man. You know,
I love it. And you know, it’s so funny. I would never have dared to ask as we wrap things up.
I would never have dared to ask half of the questions that I asked you today to anyone but you because I’ve never asked anyone about the relationship with water. And I don’t know if ever in the rest of my life I will, but it just, it was so funny. I just felt like I wanted to ask that question. It wasn’t on the list.
It actually was the only one that I hadn’t considered, but, uh, it just felt right, and I think, uh, after listening to your response, there was so much value in what you just said that, uh, I think we’re vibing on the same plane, so, uh, we’re on the same frequency here. Graham, I, I’m so grateful for your time.
I know, uh, You know, people are gonna listen to this and people are gonna be inspired. People can be like, I want more of this man, not to mention. And I do want you, as you talk about how people can reach out to you, if you could also please tell people real quick where they can listen to your music, because your music isn’t just music, but it’s also got a vibe and an energy.
And it’s got, there’s more to it. There’s this subconscious mind reprogramming kind of vibe to it. Maybe as we wrap things up, tell me how people could reach out to you and find out more.
Uh, well, you know, I got a website, graham beard.com. You can email me there, you know, stay in touch, uh, on Instagram. I’m Graham, the guide, G-U-I-D-E, that’s also my music streaming name, Jay.
So you can stream all my music on all streaming platforms, wherever you get your music from. And basically I just take all this mindset stuff that we do and I just put beats behind it because music is such a simple way to transfer this stuff and who doesn’t wanna get it with a vibe. And, you know, we got songs with affirmations, we got meditations, all kinds of stuff.
I think that’s the best way to reach out to me. I’m trying to think, uh, on tick tock. It’s at palms down basketball. That’s kind of our online mental training gym. We do every Sunday, Sunday evening for youth athletes. So that’s something to come check out. But yeah, say hi, stay in touch. Any anyone who reaches out.
I always say hi to we always connect. So man, I’m grateful for you having me on Jay. This has been amazing,
man. Yeah. Thank you so much. And I love how you probably don’t even realize it. You started with the word simplicity and you kind of talked about the simplicity of the music. What a perfect way to wrap things up.
So thank you so much, brother. Love your vibe. Love ya. And, uh, we’ll talk soon. Thank you. Let’s go.