In this week’s episode, Billy talks to Purdeep Sangha. Purdeep is the world’s leader in complete strategic advising and is the author of Amazon international best-seller The Complete Man. He is an internationally acclaimed business strategist and performance advisor to high-performing CEO’s, executives, and entrepreneurs. He’s also a top rated men’s leadership coach who teaches men how to become The Complete Man; meaning a man who achieves ultimate performance, fulfillment, and victory in every area of his life. He shows men how to live at their highest potential and be the best possible business leader, husband, father, and man they can be, and he’s here today to share with us what goes into that process.
Billy and Purdeep discuss:
--How he came up with a strategic firm that helps men at any point in their lives
--What lessons he learned as a manager at age 16
--What led him to his current work ethic
--How his team uses neuroscience to cater to their clients
--What it means to be a “mindful alpha male"
--Why “toxic masculinity” is BS
--The core concepts of being a father
--The value of being emotionally, spiritually, emotionally, and cognitively present as a father
If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy:
–Episode 10: Top 20 Strategies for a Happier Life and Episode 35: Rebalanced Thinking, Rebalanced Living with Tom Cody
–Episode 41: The Midlife Male with Greg Scheinman
–Episode 7: Billy and Brian Discuss the Daddy Brain, the Little Boy Brain, and the Teenage Boy Brain, based on the book The Male Brain by Dr. Louann Brizendine.
–Episode 13: Billy, Brian, and SuperMom Judie Goslin Discuss the Mommy Brain, the Little Girl Brain, and the Teenage Girl Brain, based on Dr. Brizendine’s book The Female Brain.
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Billy: Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy. Thank you for tuning in this week wherever you are. Shout out to our listeners in Nashville, Tennessee, Tampa, Florida, Delhi, India, Bavaria, and Liverpool, England. I guess the Beatles are fans of our show. That's nice. Hey, if you want a shout out, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram @mindful_midlife_crisis. You can also go to www.mindfulmidlifecrisis.com and click on the Contact Page and hit us up there. We're also on Twitter. We never use Twitter, but you can find us on Twitter @MindfulMidlife. We're on Facebook at The Mindful Midlife Crisis Podcast. All of this is in our show notes and on our website. Be sure to check that out.
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Today's guest is Purdeep Sangha. Purdeep is the world's leader in complete strategic advising and the author of the Amazon international bestseller The Complete Man. He is an internationally-acclaimed business strategist and performance advisor to high-performing CEOs, including CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, executives, and entrepreneurs. He's also a top-rated men's leadership coach and teaches men how to become the complete man. Meaning, the man who achieves ultimate performance, fulfillment, and victory in every area of his life. He shows men how to live at their highest potential and be the best possible business leader, husband, father, and man they can be. He's here today to share with us what goes into that process. Welcome to the show Purdeep Sangha.
Purdeep: Hey, Billy. Thanks for having me.
Billy: Absolutely. You also have a podcast called The Complete Man. You have a couple other podcasts, too. You are a podcast legend here. What are your other podcasts?
Purdeep: Let's just say I love podcasting. It's one of the platforms where you get to say what you want to say. If people want to tune in and listen, they can. If they don't, they don't have to. So, it's not like we get filtered out by other social media channels. I have The Complete Man Podcast, which is one of my favorite one. This was the one that we just talked about all issues that guy's face. There's the Business Brothers Podcast, where we focus on family business. Then I have one that I do, which is every few days for small snippets of wisdom, which is called the Mind Shot Podcast. That's less than six minutes to get guys go and to rock their day.
Billy: I love it. I love that you have this passion for helping men particularly. We also talked the other day. It's not just men. There's tidbits in there for women, too. Interestingly enough, you get quite a few referrals from women. This reminds me of when we talk to Greg Scheinman — that's episode 41 if people want to check that out, the midlife male — how women refer their husbands to you and just say, "Hey, this guy could help you get unstuck or be a better version of yourself."
Purdeep: Yeah, definitely. Actually, we have a lot of women who listen to our podcast. A lot of the readers of our book, The Complete Man, are women. We get a lot of feedback from them. I think women are looking out for their men a little bit and giving them a little bit of a nudge out there.
Billy: Excellent. You actually have a promo code for the audiobook and e-book. We will make sure we put that in the show notes along with links to the podcasts — plural — that you can check out. One thing that we like to do here is we like to ask our guests what 10 roles they play in their life. What are the 10 roles that you identify?
Purdeep: Oh, yeah, this is the one where you made me think and had to actually write it down. Usually, I don't have to memorize anything for the podcast, but let's just name them off here. I'm a son, I'm a father, I'm a husband, I'm a CEO, entrepreneur, I would say a community leader, a coach, advisor, a learner, and I'm also a brother.
Billy: Of those roles, which ones are you most looking forward to in the second half of life?
Purdeep: Well, the second half of life, that was the tough one again. It's like, which one do you cut? Do you cut being a brother? But does that make me a bad brother? It's an interesting question. I would say, definitely, a father. My kids are my life. A husband as well. I'm very passionate about my relationship with my wife. As well as a learner. The learner is just part of who I am. It's also part of how I was raised. I believe it's a true core element to really getting the most out of life. It's one of the core concepts of being a complete man.
Billy: We talked the other day about how part of this program or part of the consulting that you do really helps guys dive deeper into what it means to be a father, what it means to be a husband. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Purdeep: The firm that we have, we strategically put it together to help men in many different areas of their life. Mainly, if I was to sum it up, two areas — A is business, B is performance in all areas of life, which includes a relationship and as a father. Because we noticed that if we just worked with the gentleman on his business, he wouldn't execute as effectively, because there were other areas of his life that were impacting his ability to execute in his business. This is something that I learned at a very young age. I was a personal trainer at the age of 17. I was very much into fitness. I always had a passion for helping people. When I would put together a program for someone, I just lay it all out for them like a complete path. This is your nutrition plan, meal plan. This is what you need to do. People wouldn't do it. It's like you got everything in front of you, why wouldn't you? Not that everybody wouldn't do it. But there was a small fraction who actually execute it. That's really where I learned that there's a psychological element behind this. There's a whole other, you can say, series of events and circumstances that impact a person's success. This is where — it's part of our competitive advantage where we've, I would say, excel in the business that we're in. Because when we work with an entrepreneur, we can give them a business strategy and help them execute. But we also work behind the scenes to really shift their mindset, their emotional capacity, their performance levels. Because that's what's going to enable them to execute more effectively.
Billy: We're going to dive into the neuroscience of that as well, because we talked about that the other day, too. I'm actually really excited to dive deeper into that. Because what you just said there, certainly, it makes me reflect back on maybe my successes and my failures, particularly while working with students, where I would think that I had laid out this beautifully organized plan for success on how to get caught up with assignments, and they wouldn't follow through with it. I was like, "Well, it can't be the plan. Because the plan was beautiful. If executed, it would have been amazing." But they wouldn't follow through with it. I think, as I'm reflecting now, as you're talking about that, that's where I fell short. It was that I didn't examine the whole student. I was just looking at the plan and the need for execution. You're taking a look at not just these guys as business leaders and entrepreneurs, but the whole man and the complete man.
Purdeep: Yeah, absolutely. Because there's a difference between your external world and external circumstances. That's where a lot of, you can say, the approaches start. That's where the strategy is. That's where people think execution happens. It actually does. The execution comes from within. It's the internal world. This is where we teach men to actually master their internal world. Because when they master their internal world, they're more likely to master their external world. If they have trouble mastering their internal world, you can bet that they're going to have trouble mastering their business, or their relationship, or being a father. A lot of guys are working in reverse. They look externally, trying to fix that first rather than looking internally. But you actually have accelerated results when you start it from within.
Billy: I like that. I think that's very well said. I think you probably do very well with your clients. You said here that you are also a learner. What are you learning right now? What is it that you want to learn more of or more about, maybe even yourself in the second half of life?
Purdeep: Well, I'm always learning every single day. There's a constant — you can say I'm always reflecting and learning. Well, what I used to think a year ago isn't necessarily what I believe to be true today. My belief systems have changed along the way, too. I continuously make tweaks to how I approach mainly, at this particular time, my relationship with my wife and my kids. Because that's ever evolving. As our kids grow and my relationship starts to shift a little bit, it's a constant learning game. So, that's one of the things. Because my family is the most important thing to me, that's one of the areas that I continuously learn about.
I'm also into business. There are different verticals, but business is another one. I've been a student of business for decades, as well as neuroscience and spirituality. Those are areas that I really delved deep into recently. A lot more into quantum physics, for example, just the intersection between that and spirituality. There's a lot more science within the last decade that is confirming a lot of the stuff that spiritual teachings have taught for thousands of years. It's a really interesting thing to see how science and now the spiritual world is actually intersecting.
Billy: My buddy, Brian on the Bass, he was my co-host here. He's gone on to bigger and better things. He, too, is also a science nerd. Now I'm bummed out that he's not here so that you two could wax intellectual on science. Because he would be all over this conversation right here. So, let's do this. We're going take a quick break. Then when we come back, Purdeep is going to talk about the secrets to becoming a more complete man. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here with Purdeep Sangha. He is the author of The Complete Man. He is also the host of The Complete Man Podcast. You can check all that out including his website in the shownotes. All the goodies will be in the show notes, so be sure to check that out. It sounds like you've had a passion for leadership ever since you were a teenager. Talk about what you learned as a manager at age 16 — you said you were doing personal training as well — and how those experiences shaped your pursuits and leadership as you got older.
Purdeep: Yeah, again, at a young age, I ended up managing people as a foreman that time in an orchard agricultural sector. I was managing about 50 employees. It was a great learning experience, because here I was at that age, actually managing other people that were even in their 50s. I had to learn the art of what motivates people and influence. Not to say I was great at that time. Because there were times where I pissed them off, and they would piss me off. The conversations didn't go well. It was a great learning experience. I think that was my first step into this whole concept of leadership and managing and leading people and trying to influence people, which was a great experience. Personal training was a great experience as well. I was trying to find out what motivates to people, what gets people to move. This whole concept of people working out, for example, why they actually do it. It's beyond looking good or even feeling good. It's a whole sense of how they see themselves in terms of having self-worth and belief system. It was a great learning experience.
I would say it really started from my grandfather. My grandfather was a core, you can say, influence in my life, as well as my father. My grandfather was in the Indian British Army for three plus decades. He was a very spiritual man, but he also fought two major wars. My great grandfather was a spiritual teacher. My grandfather was the one who taught me about values and principles, really the core essence of being a man. He used to say to me, people could take your educational certificates. They can take your home. They can take your money. They can even take away your shirt off your back. Because he saw all that. He said the one thing they can't take away from you are your values, your principles, and your character.
Billy: What do you think your employer saw in you at such a young age to put you in a leadership role? Then what did you know to be true about yourself to where you could say, oh, I can execute this? Because there might be impostor syndrome that pops up even when you're 16 years old, to say, "Oh, god. I'm going to be in charge of a bunch of old people. I don't know that I want to do that. I don't know if I'm capable of doing that." What do you think they saw on you? How did you know that you possessed those skills?
Purdeep: It was a funny story because I talked about that in the book. At, I think it was, around 14. I'd actually worked for this family business since I was nine years old. What ended up happening was, at about 14, I think I slacked off. I think I had some other friends that were working around the same time. I wasn't actually working that great, I would say. My work ethic wasn't as on par as it usually is. Then at 15, my employer — because he had a relationship with my dad — he basically said, "I'm not going to be asking your son to come back." My dad's like, "What do you mean?" He's like, "Well, he wasn't working as hard." My dad's like, "Don't worry. You get him back. He's going to work even harder." So, that's what ended up happening. At 15, I just worked my butt off and literally just gave it everything I got. So, that was basically the catalyst for it.
Billy: Well, I think that begs the question, what was the discussion between you and your dad that led to this shift in work ethic?
Purdeep: In all honesty, there was no discussion. He basically said, "This is what I heard. You're going to go back, and you're going to work hard." That was it.
Billy: So then, that begs the question, how come that works for you but that might not work for someone else? We talked about outlining the perfect plan but not the execution. It sounds like, did you just have this internal drive then to be a leader? How come that that worked for you?
Purdeep: Well, I think, yeah. First of all, I felt like I disappointed not only my dad but my employer who I respected. Because I didn't have a clue that he felt that way. So, there was a big feeling of disappointment. Because that's not normally — I've always had a strong work ethic. That was a part of who I was. So, that was one thing. The second thing is, in our Indian culture, for example, and I think in many cultures, it was ingrained in us to respect our elders. If they said something, we were to listen. Especially for my dad, my dad was a big guy. He was also in the Indian police. He was a big gentleman. He's like 6'1 or 6'2 at 40. At this point, still, he is. When I take a look at him, when I talk about real men, he is one of the figures that I think about. Because when he walked into a room, you literally didn't have to see him. You could feel his presence. So, that's the kind of effect that he had. He was scary, too. If he got pissed off, we knew that, you know what, we didn't want to piss him off. Put it that way. It was a look or just a little bit of raising his voice, and that was it. We would straighten out. It's not like how kids are these days, especially, since I have a nine-year-old son. He likes to back talk a lot. It was a different environment as well.
Billy: So, you've developed this leadership expertise over the years, and you bring that to your consulting business now. You're an entrepreneur. You coach executive leaders. But your team is also made up of neuroscientists. I really want to dive into this. Talk about how you and your team use neuroscience with your clients.
Purdeep: Sure, yeah. We have a research team. We focus on two particular things — research in business and research in performance. Some of that is neuroscience. Some of that is performance psychology, sports psychology, you could say, and neural psychology. We combine a whole bunch of elements. We also partner with universities and research institutions. Basically, we wanted to help business professionals perform at their best. I was so fascinated by this concept of high performance, at a young age, with leadership and business that we combined it all together. So, when we work with someone, especially men, the reason why it's a lot easier for us to work with men and have results is because we use a lot of the science. Men, when they hear science, it's more factual for them. It's more practical, so they tag on to that. Rather than saying, "Hey, look. You need to do this because of this," in just a psychological perspective, I could say, "This is the science behind that as well." Then they'll actually pick up on it and be like, "What's actually going on?" But things have changed a lot, especially over the last decade, when it comes to the science out there, the neuroscience out there. Because performance is a big thing. Obviously, performance has been big in the sports world. But now a lot of that technology is available outside of that. So, we're leveraging that to really help people perform better. What's involved in being motivated? What are the neural chemicals behind that? What's involved with being in an optimal state, for example? How about sustaining your energy levels and reducing stress? These are all the things that entrepreneurs and CEOs deal with that there's actually science to show. We just use simple things, for example. We have partners that share research with us. My wife, actually. Her dad runs a sleep clinic. My wife is actually in functional medicine. She actually works with a lot of our clients from a health perspective. She came on board about a year ago, because I told her. I said some of our clients are just not healthy. They have just bad eating habits, or they're struggling with diabetes, or some other things, that through not eating properly or having a proper diet, they're just having these conditions. That's her area of expertise. Her dad has a sleep connection. So, she's familiar with sleep patterns. She used to work for him. Simple things like, let's just say, if you get less than five hours of sleep, what they call T cells, for example — cells that actually help with the immune system — they drop by 70%. If a CEO is going and working, and has a very important meeting the next day, we ensure you got to get at least seven hours of sleep. If you don't, you're not going to be performing at your peak level. That's why, for example, someone may be feeling great and then they don't get good sleep. Then the next day, they wake up with a cold. They're wondering what the heck's going on. All of this stuff is based on science. That's why we incorporate this in, because we fine tune people's performance to really make it optimal and sustainable.
Billy: But then you've also talked about the spiritual aspect of that, too. How do you get the buy in with that? Because that's a little bit more woowoo. So, then, how do you get that? How do you get that buy in there?
Purdeep: It's really interesting. Because, again, based on our research and outside stats, 85 to 95% of people roughly believe in something greater. Whether that's through a religious faith, or through spirituality, or whatever, anybody's particular belief is, majority of us believe that there's something greater than ourselves. There's a higher being or higher power. So, it's actually not that difficult. We don't always present that upfront. It's for people who are actually interested in that, people who actually want to.
I was surprised, actually. I'm part of this local business executive group here. It's a group of 50 individuals, entrepreneurs. I basically put it out there. I said, I'll do a free workshop on individual personal performance. I had all the subjects. We laid it out in a survey. We basically got them to check off which one they were interested in. I was surprised to see how many people actually checked off spiritual energy. I was very surprised. I didn't think that was going to be there. But I would say about 70% of the people were interested in that topic, including men. In this group, it's both men and women. But it was substantial. So, it's something that people are interested about, especially when people are working hard, when people have even each success. Because at that level, what ends up happening is, a lot of people tell themselves, is this it? Is this the best I'm supposed to feel? There's got to be more. Is this my purpose in life? An individual's purpose and spiritual belief are very much tied, I would say, to such a large degree. Because everybody, at some point, wonders what's the point of life. Why am I here? What am I meant to do? That's where the spiritual side comes in.
Billy: So, then, what's the meaning of life to you on a bigger scale? When you think about your upbringing, and your grandfather, and your great grandfather, and the spiritual work that they did, what impact has that had on you in developing meaning and purpose specifically to you?
Purdeep: Huge impact. It was just a massive impact. Some of that — I'm not a hugely religious person, but our religious background of faith is Sikhism. The word Sikh comes from Sikhi, which means to be a disciple of, to be a learner. Because part of our core of being here, as a being on Earth, is to continue to learn, continue to evolve. So, that is the core purpose and meaning of being alive. It's to continue to evolve and learn through the great times and through the challenges as well. My grandfather taught me a lot.
The other thing is, there's this other concept in our religious faith as well. It's called Sevā, which is giving without expecting anything in return. Contribution is another core element, I believe, in terms of the meaning of life. If we're going to live here, I truly believe that the core meaning of life is to experience life to the fullest. I think we're all put on this earth to experience it, and enjoy it, and to have what we want to have, and live the life that we want to live. I think that is the core, the central core. Otherwise, what's the point?
The second element, I believe, or second layer is that each one of us are so unique. We have our own individual talents and meaning and path throughout life, that we have to identify what that meaning is ourselves. By no means can I tell what another man what his meaning should be, aside from living it to the fullest. Because he has a completely different path than mine. I know what my meaning is. I've gone through the challenges in my life, had the mentors in my life, and the life circumstances to be able to be here and have the skills to work with men. So, that is the core aspect of who I am and my purpose.
Billy: Just listening to you describe all of that, even going back to the neuroscience piece of it and then your leadership role, you are embodying the complete man. You cover a lot of coaching areas from business, to career growth, to personal energy, vitality, parenting, and relationships. How do you avoid being a jack of all trades and a master of none? It sounds like your team really plays a significant role in that.
Purdeep: Just to go off that, I think that's very important. This is something that I thought about strategically over the last decade, and a little bit further. Because every single subject can be broken down into sub-subjects. I think we have to be careful. Because if we're trying to learn everything, it can be overwhelming. We're not going to be experts. But I'll give you an example. When I was in the corporate world — I was in the corporate world for 14 years — my goal was to be a CEO of a major corporation. That was my goal. What did I do? I strategically, over 14 years, what I did was I led every major division from sales, to operations, to customer experience, from marketing. Because I wanted to be the best CEO I could and be able to ask the right questions. So, I learned that at a macro level, at a strategic level, and a micro level. Actually, getting my hands dirty at the front lines for every single topic I learned. I've been to six different business schools and academic institutions. So, I constantly learn. I strategically set what are the verticals that I need to be the best at, and I actually learned those.
So, there are some things that we have to strategically say maybe we don't or shouldn't be the best at. For example, we don't do personal training. We don't do that kind of stuff, because we have partners that are way better than us. They spent decades in sports, for example, training NHL players and NFL players. They have the latest science. It will take us forever to be up to speed with that. So, those are areas that we pass on to them. We don't go deep into relationship coaching, for example, because we don't want to be relationship counselors or coaches. That's not our strategic focus. But we do work on leadership as a man in a relationship and what that does, and basics of a relationship, fundamental things that men need to know to have a successful relationship.
Now, if you want to get to know that deeper at a very minut level, well, we're not going to be able to work with you ourselves. But we have partners that can. We really strategically wanted to be the best place for businessmen, career-oriented businessman or entrepreneurs, to come to get holistic advising and coaching. For anybody out there, this is something very important. Because when I started to study neuroscience — I actually started prior to that. At that time, neuroscience wasn't a big topic. This is before the Internet. This was when I had to go to the public library to pick up books. I've started researching people like Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci, these inventors of the Renaissance, for example. If you take a look at some of the most successful men — I'm not going to say from a family perspective, because a lot of these men didn't have families or just weren't great family men, but they were able to be great inventors, great painters, great philosophers. They were able to do a whole spectrum of these things, because they were able to combine a lot of stuff.
Here's what I call the Lego approach or the weaving approach when you pick some verticals. For example, my verticals, my three main verticals that I have is business. Business is one. The second is neuroscience and performance. The third is men and men's leadership. I've, over decades, have built those three pillars, to be very good at those three to combine them. Now they're almost like a foundation. For anybody out there, if you take a look and you say, what are two or three things that you can combine? Because there's always overlap in some things. You will actually start to connect ideas. If you take a look at the best inventors — my background, Billy, is also in innovation. That's what I did my MBA in. I'm very much into creativity and innovation. But a core aspect of innovation is combining ideas from different disciplines. If you want to be a great innovator and be very creative, broaden your spectrum as well. Learn about things that have nothing to do with what you're doing, because you'll be able to pull ideas in. That doesn't mean you have to be the best at it, but having some knowledge in it will allow you to think creatively and actually break outside that norm.
Billy: I'm connecting with that. Because as someone who's transferring out of a career in education into coaching, and who knows where, having worked with some career coaches around resumes and stuff like that, they talked about transferable skills. What are your transferable skills? Because I'm not just stuck in education. I'm not just stuck being a high school English teacher or a dean of students. There are transferable skills that could take me to different corporate jobs, if that's what I desire. Now that's not what I desire anymore, but that's interesting. I liked that Lego metaphor that you used. You talked about your three pillars right there. One of them, you said, was working with men. The other day, you and I had a conversation about perception of working with executive level men and having that be your focus. When we hear a lot about these days, it will behave to men in leadership and a lack of women in leadership, which is very real. When I brought that up to you, you talked about coaching men to be more mindful alpha males. I absolutely loved that. What do you mean by that?
Purdeep: I think that is the core essence of the complete man. It's a mindful alpha male. I'll break those two terms or that term up, and then talk about how they come together. If we take a look at the word alpha, that's the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It's the beginning. It's the origin. It's been misconstrued because people think of, let's just say, an alpha wolf. Most people don't understand what the leader of the pack actually does. Because they think he's vicious, and he keeps people in line. He takes first, all this kind of stuff. No, his number one job is to make sure the pack survives. He's there to protect the pack. As an alpha male, that's one of our core duties. It's to protect our family, as well as protect our community. But more importantly, if we take a look at what alpha is, it's the beginning. It's the origin. It's the creation. So, if you are not going to be the alpha male of your life, well, guess what? You're going to have to be a follower. What ends up happening when you're a follower, you get stuck with circumstances because someone else is going to be the leader. That doesn't mean that you don't have to follow people throughout your life. Because if you're working for a CEO, you're going off his or her direction. As you grow up, you have a father that you're going to listen to. You might have an older brother, or even your mom. This is a natural part of life. But when you get to the state of being a man, you are the leader of your life. You are the creator of your life. You get to create your destiny. That's essentially what alpha means — take control of yourself to be able to create the life that you want.
One of the biggest challenges right now is a lot of women are saying they can't find men who are — I want to say this very carefully, because this is where the mindful part comes in — where men are actually taking control, where they're actually taking responsibility. Because now we've gone into a complete opposite approach where it's all about emotions and talking about your feelings, which is nothing wrong with that. We could talk about that as well. But it's almost like men have lost their strength, right? What makes them actually men? What actually makes them alpha men? The strength in there, the solidness. The mindful aspect is actually just as important, if not more important. Because that's what balances out the alpha side. Alpha can be controlling. It can be very dominant. If you're mindful, it means that you're actually looking out for not only the intentions of what you're doing but what the actual results of the actions are.
There's an old Buddhist saying that says, whenever you're making a decision or acting, always take into consideration what the ripple effect may be throughout the universe. But laugh as though whatever you're going to do is actually going to make a difference. In one hand, always be careful. Mindful of, hey, if I say this or I do this, what's the impact on not only me, my family members, or the community, or the world as a whole, and potentially for generations to come but then also not take it so seriously as well. Because you can't be stuck and be like, "Okay. If I do this, it's going to ruin my third generation down the line." You can't be that serious either. But when you're mindful, it's very important. This is something that my grandfather taught me. Because this is the balance that he lived by being in war, and also being very spiritual, and having his father — a spiritual teacher for over six decades. He had to balance that out. This is where I say it's that dichotomy. It's the yin and the yang, right? It's that approach. It's having that balance between the two. That's where the mindful alpha male comes. You can have an amazing life if you take charge and take control but also take care of those around you.
Billy: How does that then address toxic masculinity? Because we talked about the softening or the beta male mentality, and women are frustrated with that. Women are also extremely frustrated with the toxic masculinity that is often showcased or that is often discussed. How do you address that, then?
Purdeep: Yeah, there are different ways of addressing that. There's a way of addressing it from a philosophical perspective, from a biological perspective, from a psychological perspective. But what I really want to say there is, I think this whole term of toxic masculinity is just a bunch of BS, because it's like saying toxic femininity. Femininity or masculinity, there's no toxicity in it. It's the individuals that do it. For example, if someone is going to be belligerent as a man, it's because he's belligerent. It's because of his belief system. It's not because of his masculinity. That is something to take into consideration. Because we blanket it and say, well, that person behaves that way because he's a man. Therefore, masculinity is toxic. How is that toxic? Masculinity is not toxic. If you take a look at 95% of the deaths that happened in high-risk jobs — firefighters, police officers, military, whatever it is — 95% are men. Now you're going to say that that is toxic, because they're out there protecting and putting their lives on the line for the people that they love in their communities, people that they don't even know? So, it's a total misinterpretation of what masculinity is about. I think it's a bunch of BS.
I think it's a terminology that people have hyped up just like some other movements out there. I think it's actually very dangerous. Because what ends up happening is if you subdue — masculinity is about protecting. Masculinity is about being there for the ones you love. If you subdue that, because I know men are. This is one of the core things that we work with men on because men are so confused. What does it mean to be masculine? Am I being too masculine? Am I not being masculine enough? There's such a confusion. That's why I have to say, A, the guys of our generation — I'm going to say in their 40s and potentially even in their late 30s — are the last line of defense right now. Because a lot of guys in their 20s haven't been raised by a lot of masculine men, for example. I openly say that guys like my grandfather, in his age and even my dad's age, they don't make men like they used to. Not to say that that era was belligerent, because there's a lot of men that were very mindful in those eras, too. So, we have to be very conscious in terms of what we are teaching the younger children these days. Because I think we're actually making boys a little too soft. I think it's going to bite them in the butt.
Billy: It sounds like you're seeing an overcorrection. Is there something, though, to the cumulative effect of messaging from when you and I were younger in our teen years around masculinity and entitlement, around because I'm a man, I get to do this? Are we getting the blowback of that now as we navigate through this new political correctness of society?
Purdeep: This is a blowback from thousands of years. This isn't just over the last few decades. This is thousands of years of women being oppressed and treated like slaves, for example, and like they didn't matter. This isn't something that is new. I don't blame women for stepping up — the ability to vote, for example, work at executive jobs and get equal pay for doing the equal amount of work. That is all stuff that should have been done long time ago. What we are seeing now, I think, is a result of what's happening with men. Because men, we may have alpha males. We don't have a lot of mindful alpha males. We're not standing up to other men and poor who are exhibiting very clearly, poor leadership. That's one of the core reasons why we doubled down about five or six years ago, in tandem with some events around the world, to say we are going to be leaders and we're going to show other men how to be leaders. Because what we are seeing right now is causing this whole movement of women feeling like they have to step up. I don't blame them.
Billy: That's really powerful, the idea that because we've had so many ill-behaved alpha males and so few mindful alpha males, putting those guys in check and protecting the community, everyone involved in it to better society. Now women are finding that we need to step up because you guys aren't doing enough of what you should have been doing for thousands of years. I liked that interpretation, that understanding, and that explanation of it. So, let's do this. That was a deep moment right there. Let's give everybody a minute to process that. Then when we come back, we are going to continue talking to Purdeep about the core concepts of being a dad. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here with Purdeep Sangha. He is the podcast host of The Complete Man. He's the author of The Complete Man. You can find all of that in the show notes. We even got a promo code in case you want an audio book and an e-book. Check that out. We'll put that in the show notes. We've got all sorts of resources here for you. Purdeep, this has been a very fascinating conversation. I've enjoyed it. This is where I miss Brian on the Bass, because he is a dad of three boys. I'm not a dad. I'm never married. I have no intention of doing that. So, I know there are listeners out there who are dads. I know that there are moms out there who, like you said, they like to share this information with their husbands so that they can be a complete dad. You talked about the core concepts of being a dad, what are those core concepts?
Purdeep: I would say they're the core concepts. They're core roles or factors that we need to pay attention to — to be a dad. Because my dad taught me — this is something that we didn't get into. My dad struggled with alcoholism. That's ultimately what led to his heart attack and where he passed away. But he was there in so many other aspects of our life. And so, here are the five things. A is to protect. We are there to protect. B is to teach. Then there's to love. Then there's to be present, and be a good role model. All of those are the core elements.
We can quickly break them down if you like. Because some of them are very simple. A — protect. Well, that's simple. You got to protect your kids. You got to protect your family. But these days, it's not necessarily from physical harm. It's more from emotional harm. I'm going to say technological harm. This is a big, big caution sign out there for the dads. Just be careful in terms of the amount of time your kids are spending on technology and where they're spending their time. A lot of the research that's coming out these days is showing the negative impact that it's having on kids. So, I think that's one of the core duties. It's actually to take a look and see where our kids are spending time. Technology is a big factor, as well as negativity. Because this is something that I do. I keep my kids away from negativity. There's a difference between negativity and a challenge. Because it's not that if they're challenged, I'm going to pull them away from it. It's from when they're constantly bombarded by people who have negative energy, that is something that can really hurt your children. It can really cause them some issues in their self-esteem, and from a spiritual aspect, if that's something that you believe in. Because we absorb other people's energy.
Billy: So, I got in this conversation the other day with a friend of mine. He talked about, yeah, let's not learn how to work with negative people. Let's just kick them out of our lives or that sort of thing. Because people talk about you need to remove toxic people from your lives, which I agree with. I think his point was, you also have to learn how to deal with toxic people as well. How do you then balance that with the negativity? I don't know if you're shielding them from negativity. Maybe that's exactly what it is.
Purdeep: Well, it's exposure, right? There's certain exposure. It's just like anything else. If you knew that a certain part, let's just say, a microwave has radiation. You're not going to put your kids in front of a microwave all the time. You're going to shield them. Are you going to stop them from using the microwave? No, but you're going to limit the exposure. That's exactly what it is with negativity and negative people. It's not that — for sure, you have to show them how to deal with them, and how to become so powerful in your positive energy that you can actually influence other people that don't have the ability to do that. So, that's something else. That's a skill that needs to be developed. But there's a lot of harm that can come with continuous exposure to this energy. Because I've seen it. We've worked with a lot of men on this, and even women, and the impact that it's had on them throughout their lives. They haven't noticed where that came from until we actually did deep dives and figured out, well, this is something that they were exposed to growing up. That's one of the core things. You can't protect your kids. I do believe that kids are being too shielded from things these days. So, I completely agree with that. That's a whole other topic when it comes to emotional shielding. Because kids don't know how to shield themselves from emotions at that young age. That's something that needs to be taught, which is the second factor or the second element, which is teaching. This is something that is so, so important. It's important across the entire animal kingdom.
The number one rule that we have is to teach our kids. If we don't teach our kids this, well, guess what? They don't survive in the world. That's what ends up happening. We have to understand what we should be teaching our kids. What are the core elements? You and I had a brief discussion about this before — things that are not taught in school. Because what we think of as success these days is money and financial. It's not. What about having a good relationship? What about having good health? What about having good mental health. All of these things that they haven't, and maybe the academic system is slowly catching up. But it's centuries behind. It's something that we haven't taught our children. That's something that we need to teach our children as parents, especially as fathers.
Then the third element is love. That's a simple one. It's to give as much love to our kids as we can. It's verbally, it's physically, it's emotionally. I drown my kids in love. I don't know if this is a video recording or not, but I have this letter here from my son. It says — if it is on video, this is something you can see. There's something on here. This is what my son —
Billy: We don't do video. We might have to just for this episode. So, do you want to explain what he made?
Purdeep: Yeah, on one side, he's colored in a beautiful picture of a Pokemon. On the other side, he's got a note with two guys — one with hair, one without. I'm, obviously, the one without. Holding hands, it says me and then dad. It says, "I love and hate you Dad." So, this is comical, right? But this is essentially what it means to be a dad. On one aspect, you're there to love your kids and give them all the love you can. But on the other aspect, you also have to teach them, which is a tougher side as well. You can make it fun, but there's some tough lessons that you have to teach them. No, you can't have dessert three times a day. That's just not healthy for you. My son is going through this phase where he's got a love-hate relationship with me, where it's like he just doesn't like me saying no, or, hey, you got to earn it, or you got to work for it. It's not an easy road. Again, that's part of teaching and loving. It's this delicate balance.
Then one of the other elements is being present. This is a challenge for a lot of men. A lot of men. Because this isn't necessarily being physically present. Because a lot of times, we'll be like, "Yeah, we're with our kids. We're chilling out in the living room, family room. The kids are there." No, it's actually being emotionally and cognitively and spiritually present, engaging them with your entire presence. Busy career men, entrepreneurial men are challenged with this. Because a lot of times, what ends up happening is, we're with our families but constantly thinking about what we need to do with work, or what we didn't do, or what we screwed up on.
Presence is important. My kids are actually very good gauges, extremely good gauges for me. I've learned the hard way through personal challenges and through my kids teaching me. They know. Dad, we're going. You're putting your phone away. After this podcast, the next day, we're going on this trip to Marine Land. They know we have this agreement. I'm going to put my phone away, and it's nowhere near us. My younger one, my daughter who's seven years old will grab my face and make me look at her and say, "Dad, I'm talking to you." These are really good lessons, right? But it just teaches us as parents how to be, as fathers, to be more present. Very, very important. This is actually something that is a core part of, again, being mindful. Being mindful is being present. If you are not present, you are not aware. This also goes to being an amazing businessman. Because if you are not present, you are not taking in the information that you need to make the decisions that will make you successful in business.
Then the last element is being a good role model for our children. Because actions speak louder than words, right? It's that old saying. They're very much sponges. They watch everything we do. They listen to everything we say, and we have to be very careful. For example, why is it that I can have a scotch on a Saturday night, and my kids can't? That's an interesting one to try to explain. It's like, okay. Well, I'm going to dip my finger in this scotch. I'm going to put it in your mouth. Let's see how you like it. Sometimes they do. It's like, okay, you can have a couple of drops. That's it. Again, being a role model is important. That's a tricky one. That really is a tricky one. I find myself caught in that one sometimes. Because I'm like, yeah, why am I able to do this, and you're not? So, that catches me off guard sometimes.
Billy: So, then, what is your explanation to them? Is it just sometimes adults get to do things that kids don't get to do, and there are some things that kids get to do that adult can get away with?
Purdeep: Yeah, that is exactly. I try to dumb it down for my kids. But I try to teach them as well, as much as I can, within their ability to learn. Surprisingly, my kids are very smart. But I also teach my kids about the brain. So, I bring out the brain model and say this part of your brain isn't fully developed yet. If you drank, you might be making really silly decisions, and you may end up doing something that hurts yourself or someone else. Sometimes they're not convinced. But at least, I tried to explain it to them. So, I try to explain as much as I can.
Billy: Well, it's good that you brought up the brain right here, because we had talked about The Male Brain and The Female Brain books by Dr. Louann Brizendine. Brian and I did a deep dive on those in Season One and Season Two, so you can check those out if you're interested in those. You've done a lot of work with neuroscience in your team. Where do you see that research in the male brain and the female brain come into view with your own son and daughter? How does that relate to your core concepts of being a dad?
Purdeep: It's really interesting. Because just in neuroscience in general, because the brain is so complex, it's not as well understood as we think it is. Even the top neuroscientists will tell you, "Hey, look. As much as we think we know, we don't." A lot of these things are still theories that people are passing around. Brizendine was actually — I'm going to call her a pioneer, because I don't think a lot of people actually took the time and the initiative to compare the different elements of the brain. Mainly, neuroanatomy, the physical structures of the brain, is what she was taking a look at the most. Mainly, because feminism started back in the 60s, for example, and 70s. Prior to that, majority of the studies were actually done on men. Because there's a misconception, you might have already talked about it, that female brains, you can do studies because of their menstrual cycle. It would just throw them off whack. That wasn't substantial or, you can say, relevant in the research world because you need to have certain consistencies.
Long story short, she has shown differences between the neuroanatomy between men and women. There's also hormonal differences as well. But not very many scientists after that have done much research. In fact, there's a lot of research that has shown that the male brain and the female brain are actually similar, more similar than what people think. So, it's something that is still out there. What we do know is that our brain sizes are different, that there are certain elements that are different. There's the assumption that the amygdala, for example, is a different size in men than women. We react differently as a result. All of these things are still, I believe, theories and have not been proven factually from that perspective. But it doesn't take a neuroscientist to see that men and women are different, and that there's a biological element to that. I think that's one of the core elements that she was teaching, or she was trying to get across.
Brains may be different, but look at how we are built. Look at the difference in our hormones, which can be easily measured. You and I spoke about this. At any given time, in young boys especially, their testosterone levels can be through the roof compared to a young girl. Testosterone is linked to certain behavior. All of these things have a part to play in how men and women are different. For example, there's a lot of studies out there right now that actually show that when men take care of their young children, newborns, for a certain period of time, their testosterone levels drop by 40%. What ends up happening, they may actually even go into depression. They might not have a high sex drive anymore. These are studies that actually show the differences from a neurochemical perspective.
So, I think there's a lot of validity in the research. One of my colleagues, Dr. John Gray, he was on our podcast. This was a few years ago. He's the original author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Huge back in the 90s, where he was one of the first people if not. We call him the grandfather of this conversation — the difference between men and women — where he came out and he said, yeah, men and women are different. He was all over the news. He was one of the biggest hits out there. But what ended up happening is, and he openly said this to me, it's a tough gig now. He can't even speak about a lot of these things, because it's almost taboo to say men and women are different. I think there's a challenge out there. Not very many people are doing research when it comes to the differences at this particular time. Because the present done research is a decade plus old, right? It's considered old now. So, there's no modern-day neuroscientists that are really looking at the differences, because I truly believe that it's considered taboo to say that men and women are different.
Billy: Do you use any of this when parenting your seven-year-old daughter and your nine-year-old son? Does any of this come into play, or do you just recognize them as your son and your daughter, and you just have a basic understanding that, of course, they're going to behave differently because one is a boy and one is a girl?
Purdeep: This one, again, is a tricky one, because I have the research behind a lot of the stuff. It's interesting because this is, again, part of the nature versus nurture argument. Because if we see someone, let's just say, if your son is really good at a physical sport but your daughter's good at something else, let's just say, playing the piano, you're going to put your son into that sport. You're going to put your daughter into the piano. Then you're going to think that they're naturally leaning towards that way. But no, we've actually pushed them in that direction, right? Because we think that they are better in that. Therefore, we continue to perpetuate that behavior. So, as a result of that cycle, they get better in those things. Then we say, "Hey, look, there's a clear difference." It's a tricky one. I, at a young age — I did this purposely. It's almost like an experiment — put my kids in the exact same activities, karate, swimming, soccer, all the exact same activities. Circus school, they were in, which is kind of cool. They do acrobatic stuff, gymnast stuff. But there's a clear difference between my son and my daughter. I can't even — can I say that it's a lot from our teachings? I think some of it is, because my wife is very feminine. So, my daughter sees that, like nail polish, jewelry, purses, and all that kind of stuff. But it's not like we said you have to carry around a purse, or you have to wear nail polish. She's taking it upon herself, because that's her interest. My son isn't saying, "Put nail polish on me." So, we're seeing this difference already where we try to be neutral, but it's an inherent part of society. This is something that you and I talked about before.
People don't realize that genetics and social influence are so tied together. You cannot separate those two, because there's been literally hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that has made our genetic code this way. Because it's dependent on our social structure. Our social structure is dependent on our genes and our genetic makeup. So, to say that we can split the two, I think, is silly. I think a lot of the men and women, in particular, these days that are scientists and psychologists and even anthropologists and evolutionary scientists are saying yeah, you know what? We can't split the two. It doesn't make sense.
Billy: Well, Purdeep, this has been a really fascinating conversation. I want to thank you so much for sharing all of that. If you enjoyed what you heard, and you want to check out this program, and see what Purdeep has to offer, you can go to www.purdeepsangha.com. We will link it in the show notes. You can go to www.completemanbook.com for the physical book, www.completemanaudio.com for the audiobook and the e-book. There's a promo code, victory75, that you can check out. Listen to The Complete Man Podcast. Listen to the other podcasts, that we will link in the show notes. Purdeep, once again, thank you so much for being on the show. We really appreciate it.
Purdeep: Thanks, Billy. I love it. Appreciate the time here.
Billy: For, Purdeep, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and loved. Take care friends.