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Goal Setting, Relationships and Self-Compassion W/ Amy Smith, The Joy Junkie

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“What a lot of people miss is cultivating a really rich relationship with themselves.”
— Amy Smith

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined, once again, by my SuperFriend Ms. Amy Smith, The Joy Junkie. In our last episode, we talked a lot about communication, and how learning to communicate properly will unlock SuperHuman levels of efficiency, happiness, and satisfaction in your life.

That has proven to be so true for me, in my life and in my relationship. Thus, I wanted to catch up with Amy. I didn't really have any new reason to have her back on the show besides the fact that I love her perspective, I love her energy and, of course, that you guys really enjoyed our previous episode.

So we hopped in, we started chatting and I think an amazing episode came out of it. We talked about goal setting, we talked about relationships and some of the difficult challenges that people get stuck on in relationships. We talked about compassion for the self and then we talked about something that I think is perhaps more important than all of that. At least it has been in my experience, and that is making peace with your past even if you don't realize that there is something to make peace with.

If you think that, psychologically, you are all clear, trust me, you are not. There are things that you can make peace with, and that is what we talk about in this episode. As you know, I really enjoy talking to Amy, and I'm sure you guys will enjoy listening to this.

Join Jonathan for a completely free, 1-hour training seminar, where you'll learn the top 3 strategies to accelerate your learning and improve your memory!

This episode is brought to you by Organifi. Save 20% on their highly-recommended green juice products with coupon code “superhuman.”

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What has Amy Smith been up to since our previous episode together? [4:30]
  • The major changes in Amy's life and their impact on her relationships [5:00]
  • The dynamic in Amy's marriage [9:00]
  • How to create anything you want in your relationship [10:00]
  • How to balance between what you want and the necessary compromises [12:00]
  • Setting goals is an important thing to all of us – How does Amy Smith do it? [14:50]
  • The importance of evaluating each goal and method at regular intervals after setting them [17:00]
  • How being honest with yourself is the most important technique to be able to adjust [22:00]
  • What is the framework that Amy Smith suggests for difficult inner and external conversations [23:30]
  • Some specific techniques that Amy herself uses [25:15]
  • The topics Amy (and Jonathan) are obsessed at this point of their lives [27:20]
  • The no.1 most common regret people have at the end of their lives [29:40]
  • Carrying stuff from the past can interfere A LOT with your current life [33:00]
  • How Amy got into what she does, and where she is heading now [36:30]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Amy Smith:

“Whenever we have different opinions about anything, we always look at ‘How can everybody feel honored?'”
“You can start creating whatever you want. It's just about creating a plan.”
“People collapse their self-worth with whether or not they attain a goal, instead of looking at it as information to propel you into a better solution.”
“I do routine check-ins that I put on my calendar, to evaluate if my method is off.”
“If it's not on your to-do list, if it's not on your calendar, it's not gonna get done!”
“There absolutely are times when you need to give up on a goal.”
“Change the method depending on how you operate best.”
“The most challenging emotion for us to feel is regret. It's just a helpless feeling.”
“We experience an incident, a chapter of our life, and that we interpret to mean something. That interpretation is what we are unpacking.”


Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming Superhuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Before we dive into today's episode, I want to let you guys know about an opportunity to learn some of the most important skills in life, if not the most important skills, and those are the skills of learning and doing so rapidly, effectively and easily. You see guys, I'm putting on a completely free 60-minute webinar that you guys can check out where I will be going into my absolute best memory tips, learning tips, and speed reading tips so that you can immediately begin applying them and accelerating your learning of anything and everything, all you need to do to claim your spot in this free webinar is visit we have showings at many different times throughout the days for every time zone, but you have to log in and claim your spot. So that's and I really look forward to seeing what you guys achieve.

This episode is brought to you by Organifi. You guys, one of the only things that every nutritional expert that we've had on the show seems to actually agree on is that we all need to eat more vegetables, eat more greens, eat organic, cut out all the processed junk. Well, who has the time, right? Who has the time to go out, do the shopping, make the salads, make the juices, make the smoothies?

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Greetings SuperFriends, and welcome to this week's show. I'm going to give you guys a free pass on the fact that there are no new reviews because I've been recording these episodes months and months in advance and it's fair that you guys can't keep up, but if you haven't left a review, please do. All right. Onto today's episode you guys today, we are joined once again by my super friend, Ms. Amy Smith, the joy junkie in our last episode, we talked a lot about communication and how learning to communicate properly will unlock superhuman levels of efficiency and happiness and satisfaction in your life that has proven to be so true for me in my life, in my relationship and so I wanted to catch up with Amy. I didn't really have a good reason to have her back on the show besides the fact that I love her perspective. I love her energy and you guys really, really enjoyed our previous episode. So we hopped in, we started chatting and I think an amazing, amazing episode came out of it.

We talked about goal setting. We talked about relationships and some of the difficult challenges that people get stuck on in relationships. We talked about compassion for the self, and then we talked about something that I think is perhaps more important than all of that, at least it has been in my experience and that is making peace with your past even if you don't realize that there's something to make peace with. If you think psychologically, you're all clear, trust me, you're not, there are things that you could make peace with and we talk about that in this episode. I really enjoy talking to Amy as you know, I'm sure you guys will enjoy listening to it.

So let me present to you, my SuperFriend, Ms. Amy Smith.

Amy, welcome, welcome, welcome back, my friend. How are ya?

Amy Smith: I'm so great and I'm thrilled to be able to hang out with you today. I was giddy seeing this on my calendar.

Jonathan Levi: Mutual. I have to admit, as I was telling you before we hit record to the audience, I'll admit that I just wanted an excuse to hang out with you again. I felt like we didn't even scratch the surface of all the amazing joy junkie, good vibe stuff that you're doing. So yeah, we're going to figure out a way to make it valuable for them, but I'm already having fun. So.

Amy Smith: Yey! Likewise, likewise.

Jonathan Levi: So what have you been up to since we spoke last time?

Amy Smith: Oh my gosh, so much big stuff.

I moved from the West coast of California in the US all the way to the East coast. So we are now in North Carolina and that has had plenty of implications. One of which is that I now am 100% the sole breadwinner. So that's kicked up a bunch of money stories and male, female dynamics and ego and things in our relationship with my husband and so, which has been brilliant and amazing to be able to come through together, and yeah, so I am now looking out a window where there was a bunch of squirrels and it is making my life incredibly happy like I can't express you how much I love these damn squirrels and it's just not something that I had on the West coast.

So we spent about three weeks traveling the US seeing a bunch of stuff that we wanted to see, just took our sweet ass time to get over here. And now we're kind of getting a foothold a little bit, and it's been such an incredible journey. However, I do feel like there was really this pole, this conflict between actually taking time off and relishing and being present with the experience and then gearing up for this new kind of role that I was taking over with our dynamic of supporting us financially. So, you know, that was crazy and continues to be crazy, but it's really rewarding so.


Jonathan Levi: incredible. Can I ask, was this a planned shift in roles or an unplanned?

Amy Smith: No, totally planned. We were very calculated and we had been planning this move for about two or three years and so we had geared up for absolutely all of it, but it was interesting to watch my husband adapt to that change, but we have amazing communication. So we've been able to kind of, you know, pull through it. But there were some moments where he was starting to, it was very fascinating. He would try to control little things like before we started driving across the US we did a trip to Hawaii and there were lots of little things where he was like, no, no, no, I really we're going to go scuba diving here or snorkeling here and no, no, take the picture like this. And so he would start doing these little controlling. Things that he had never done before. And I'm like, what the hell is this? I know how to take a goddamn selfie. Like why, why are you trying to control him? You take a picture. And then we were able to kind of look at it and he's like, I feel so out of control in this dynamic and had some great conversations about it and how we can be amazing for one another throughout it.

So I'm happy to say that that was really short-lived and we've been able to kind of navigate a lot of it pretty seamlessly. So I'm really, really grateful and it's exciting. He's starting an, a completely brand new practice out here so there needs to be ramp-up time and I really feel like it's a time for reciprocity because he's, you know, throughout our relationship, we've kind of vacillated between him putting me through makeup school and then me putting him through massage school and then sort of throughout our entire relationship, there's been some sort of give and take from each person. So maybe it was 70, 30 as far as financial contribution or 40 60, or something like that, but we've never ever had 100% zero. And you know, so that's been, it's been fun though. It makes me feel like a bad-ass

Jonathan Levi: So I did say I did this amazing podcast episode with this woman, Amy, one time about communication. So maybe that one. That's really cool. That's really cool. And hats off also to your husband for, you know, being the progressive modern male, because I think that's a really interesting topic and one that I find really interesting where you know, I'm at a point in my career where I can kind of kick back and my partner is starting her career in law and I think about this a lot, like how would I derive purpose if I wasn't working every day? And if it was just being with the family and if it was just kind of tending to the home.

Amy Smith: Right, right. Yeah. And I think there's room to shake up a lot of archaic notions of roles in relationships. I mean, still to this day, I can't remember if I shared this with you, but I mean, we've been together 21 years and we still do like our own grocery shopping, we cook our own food, we have separate sides of the fridge, we'd do our own laundry. I mean, still, our finances are separate like everything, it has been very non-conventional and my philosophy and kind of theory about that is whenever we're at odds about any sort of decision or have different opinions about anything, whether it's related to the financial house or physical house or anything, we just always look at how can everybody feel honored because it's not about right or wrong. It's not about massive sacrifice and compromise. It's about how can we find maybe an, an unconventional option that we haven't even thought about. In fact, I had a student asked me the other day, like, what happens if my partner and I have differing dreams and this person is my complete soulmate, but he wants to stay living here in middle America and I am dying to get back to the beach. And I said, well, then you put together a plan. It doesn't have to be one person wins and the other person doesn't. What if you have six months where you live here, six months you live there, you have a summer home, you create a beach room in your house, you know, you can start creating whatever you want. It's just about creating a plan and that really truly is how we've gotten to this point, moving across the US, it's all about setting up these goals and actually working the plan, you know, so.

Jonathan Levi: You know, that's actually a really nice segue into one thing I did want to ask you, which is, you know, as we're recording, this is the middle of February and this is right about the time where people start petering off on their goals and so I wanted to ask you a little bit about this kind of dichotomy that we all have between getting what we want, whether it's in our relationship or with ourselves, you know, and having these goals and setting these goals versus kind of the compassion of letting it go when we don't always get all our goals. I mean, I've often told people I set goals so that I get 60% of them because I want them to be ambitious enough. And I'm playing with this idea a lot, you know, especially because as you said, being in a relationship, I can't devote 20 hours a week to reading anymore. So I'm playing a lot in this space and I wanted to bounce it off of you. I mean, how do you weigh those things? How do you make those decisions and, and how at the end of the day, knowing that you're not going to achieve everything that you want to and set out to, how do you make peace with that?

Amy Smith: Yeah, that's such a great question and I think it is important that we look at this. Here is the major obstacle that I see people stumble with. They collapse their self-worth with whether or not they attain a goal instead of looking at it as information to propel you into a better solution. So what I mean by that is people might set up a goal of, I don't know, let's say I want to be able to run a marathon in six months time and you get to that point and you're not able, like, let's say you had to walk half of it or something like that. And so the conversation that then follows suit in your mind is one of you're a failure, you didn't accomplish it, and then it's probably a lot of commentary that probably stems from your upbringing or whatever. So we have this idea that those boxes in which we check that those somehow mean something about who we are, what we're capable of instead of looking at it, very pragmatically and factually and go, Oh, okay. I actually didn't accomplish that. What went wrong? And where can I tweak and alter in order to attain that goal? I think for most of us, it's about the method. It's not that you don't want that overall goal of let's say starting a nonprofit or running the marathon. You still want that, but you could have a ton of different ways to get there. And sometimes methods off sometimes, you know, maybe you trained for that marathon by yourself and what you really needed was accountability from a coach or maybe you want to just start this nonprofit and you went through a different Avenue that didn't light your soul on fire, and there's another way to go about it. So sometimes I think it's in the analysis, but I also think a lot of it has to do with your own self-talk and how you view your goals in relationship to your own value.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I'm considering going back on the 60% because as I get older and I become a kind of more self-compassionate I realized that it's kind of a major bummer on the dopamine system to look at your checklist every week and know that, you know, a large percentage of things on it will not get done. So I'm kind of going back on that, but at the same time, what kind of helped me for years to have that self-compassion is to say, look, you set these goals to be very hard, you know, and some of them are even reach goals, as they say, like, I'm really gonna have to stretch if I want to make this happen. How are you setting goals? And, you know, as we get almost a month and a half into the year, what kind of goals are you focusing on and how do you set them so that they're just reaching enough.

Amy Smith: Yeah, this is such a great thing to look at because I also see that when people get to this particular time of the year, when we're approaching halfway through that, there's kind of this, well shit, if I haven't done it now, and it's a complete throwing in the towel instead of regrouping, reanalyzing and getting going. So one of the pieces of my goal setting is to do routine check-ins that I put on my calendar to evaluate, is the method off? Is it working? Do I still want to attain that thing?

And I go through an entire process at the very beginning of the year and I actually give it away as a freebie. So I'll give you the link if you guys are interested, but I do a whole process around celebrating the year that has passed and then looking for what I want to accomplish in the new year. And I break it down into eight different segments of my life, because I also see this happen where people say, this is the year I'm losing weight, or this is the year I'm getting healthy, this is the year I start my business. And then they forget to go on a date with their partner or you know, how to be good parents or whatever and they collapsed everything into one category. So I look at eight different segments. I look at the bigger goal of what I want to accomplish. And then I look underneath that and ask, what do I think attaining this goal will give me, and then some subsequent questions around, am I doing this genuinely for me? Or am I doing it because it's an expectation from my community because I'm motivated from guilt or fear? I really look at what's underneath that. And then it really becomes a matter of logistics and breaking down into small steps, what that looks like, and then taking it to the calendar. I often say if it's not on your to-do list, if it's not on your calendar, it's not going to get done.

So if you're wondering why you haven't had it deep for a while, are you to have sex for a while? Like you might want to schedule it like that's the most important thing are the things that go on our calendar on our to-do list. But then, like I said, it's a constant checking in on that looking at, does this still feel resonant to my life?

Because I think there are absolutely times when you need to give up on a goal or the method is completely off. So a perfect example, two years ago, one of my goals was to complete P90X, the fitness program. And so I'm doing that, I'm probably on like day 75 and I had found that I was dragging, I was not looking forward to any of my workouts. Just hating it. And I realized the only reason why I would finish this was just to say that I could, and it was actually costing me more by digging my heels in and saying, I have to finish this. So instead I switched the method, decided on a different program that lit me up and I got really excited to do, and then was able to still accomplish the different, you know, physical goals that I had.

So I think there's analysis there to be had where maybe the methods off and do you still really want to attain this thing and checking in on that?

Jonathan Levi: I think you make a really, really important point that kind of underscores, you know, the exact mechanics of the system. I think don't matter as much as the idea of having a system, like the fact that you do set goals, whether you set them at 60%, whether you want to accomplish a hundred percent, whether you reevaluate them every week or every six months or every year, but it's just find the system that works for you so long as you have a system.

Amy Smith: That's right. That's right and it's interesting to hear you talk about a percentage because I never even measured them from that perspective. I kind of looked at them more. I either did it or I didn't do it. So I think that that's actually a really helpful for me to start looking at no, no, no. You put all of these things into place in order to accomplish that goal. That's a percentage. So I like that.

Jonathan Levi: So I do a binary, right? It's like either I did or I didn't, but it's like, I set the goals in such a way that I aim to achieve 60% of them.

Amy Smith: Got it.

Jonathan Levi: Which isn't for everybody by the way. Not at all.

Amy Smith: Right. And it's interesting though because I think that there are so many components that go into setting goals and achieving them and everybody has a different perspective. You know, writing them down every day can be really advantageous. Everybody has a different perspective about what gets them into action. So I think you have to really understand how you are motivated and how you operate best, right? So if you, for instance, say, I'm going to wake up at 4:00 AM every morning to get a workout in and you hate getting up early, but you know, it would work out so much better if you just would do those workouts after work, then set yourself up for success. You know, it's like change the method or the system, like you said, based on how you operate best.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely.

Amy Smith: I don't know how you feel about. What is your perspective on giving up a goal like quitting?

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. So that's a really interesting one. I was going to ask you that. My perspective is my goals are there to serve me and the moment that they stopped serving me, I abandon them, but I always try to go into it and ask, you know, sometimes there are things that I don't actually want to do, but I need to do and they're there. So for example, I live in a country where English is not the native language and my reading speed in Hebrew is much slower than it is in English. So like while I really prefer, and I could get by just fine reading very slowly, you know, I need to work on that and it's been on my goals forever and I haven't abandoned it because it's just one of those things that I will benefit from other things, you know, I come to realize over time that for whatever reason are still not relevant with that said, I, I will say by the time something ends up on my goals list, chances are I've done the kind of soul searching and determined that it's worthwhile, that it's something that actually means something to me.

Amy Smith: Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: But like I said, I mean, I routinely, I mean, you do the math, right? And you quickly figure out that if I'm only accomplishing 60% give or take of my goals, then I'm rolling over 40% and not everyone is being rolled over, right? So inevitably things do get pruned or become irrelevant, or I decide, you know, what? I'm going to achieve this a different way, which is another one, you know, to your point, like if the goal at the end of the day is working out, it doesn't have to be at four 30 in the morning. I had a goal of giving a Ted talk at Ted and I realized, you know, there's actually no additional benefit. If you give a good enough TEDx talk, it can get as much exposure or more exposure and in the end, some goal was to reach people. So I check that one-off, right? Good enough.

Amy Smith: Yeah and I love this because I think there is so much power in. The re-evaluating with the caveat that you have, to be honest with yourself and you have to, you know, because it could be very easy to go, oh, you're just making excuses, but it really is a place to be introspective and look at no, what really is in my, my best interest at this point, you know, and being able to course correct or for things to completely change. I mean, I remember one year, my husband and I, one of our goals was to go to Ireland and we ended up having the opportunity to buy our first home and so we did that instead, you know, and it was just a complete, course-correct like, oh, that doesn't, oh my God Ireland, okay, that doesn't matter nearly as much.

Jonathan Levi: It's not high on the priorities compared to buying a home.

Amy Smith: Right.

Jonathan Levi: I like that.

Amy Smith: Having that freedom to like abort mission and, you know, reroute.

Jonathan Levi: I like that a lot abort mission and reroute. Do you have a process for, I mean, because in my head I associate you a lot with the self-talk and the hard conversations with others and with yourself, do you have a framework or a process that you go through when that happens and when you have to stop and look down a crossroads and decide, wait a minute, because I think so many people are completely out of touch with themselves and, and they don't know how to have that conversation anymore.

Amy Smith: Yeah. Oh, wow. This to me is our spiritual work. This is what we do for our entire existence is we navigate our internal world and how that is up against external stimuli all the time, right? So we have all of these societal notions about here's what a successful person looks like, or here's what a healthy relationship looks like. And so we've got all of these things outside of ourselves that we go, Oh, okay. I must want to achieve that because then I'll be valuable and what we miss, what a lot of people miss is cultivating a really rich relationship with themselves. So that instead of looking outside of themselves for the answer, they start looking internally and going, wait a minute do I want that book deal just because everybody else in my industry has it, or is it something that really lights my soul on fire and getting connected to what's really true for you. And I think one of the ways to start doing this is to address all of your emotions, right? And really feel what you feel, so for instance, if you don't meet a goal or if you do need to course correct or reroute looking at what's really happening here emotionally. I had probably I'll give you an example. When I was in my early twenties, I had kind of finished one major career as a makeup artist, and I kind of had this quarter-life crisis where I realized that it was not the trajectory I wanted to continue to go on and I had to mourn it and grieve it and I had a meltdown when I realized like I'm not going to accomplish this goal. And it doesn't light my heart on fire anymore and I had to do that internal work of talking with a coach. So these are some of my methods talking with a coach, journaling, being a part of courses that foster that, and reading books about the purpose and drive and all of those things, and then deciding, okay, what is the healthiest path for me?

But we override our emotions all the time and just go to the next best thing. So there's a handful of things that I do daily. Journaling daily, every single morning, I do this little hippie ritual of pulling goddess cards, which I'm not a big fan of that word, but I love this little goddess card deck. And I kind of look at how do I need to show up each day? You know, what feels really powerful for me? And I get to interpret that, right? I get to make it. My own particular truth. So I don't know. Did I answer your question?

Jonathan Levi: You did. You did. The journaling is a particularly helpful one because it, it's something I know I need to do. I just ordered this, uh, ever book erasable notebook that you can like scan and I need a toy. I've realized I needed a toy. If I want to accomplish a goal, like want to work out more and need to get some new workout shoes that I love.

Amy Smith: Yes.

Jonathan Levi: So I'm realizing like, well, you know, it's, it's the whole Charles Duhigg like habit queue response reward thing like queue not wanting to set a goal response, writing down, sitting down quietly with warm cup of coffee. I like it.

I want to change gears though because you know, I'm browsing through and I'm realizing that you've done so many podcast episodes and you talk about so many topics and I want to ask you, because I don't know about you, but I always, I get obsessed with subjects and it seems like people always ask me about the same stuff, right? Like the stuff that I'm building for talking about, but I get obsessed about other completely random topics, you know, niche, topics of entrepreneurship. So I want to ask you what topics are you obsessed about right now? There's you're talking about it.

Every dinner party that you just can't wait for people to ask you about.

Amy Smith: Yeah,

Jonathan Levi: I can tell you mine, if you need a minute to think, Yeah tell me yours. So I, I was completely obsessed with blockchain for like six months, and then I kind of burned it through all the material that I could find and all the knowledge that I wanted to seek it.

It's kind of a nasty side effect of being an accelerated learning expert. My current obsession is building. Community around amazing people. So I just joined Genius Network, which I'm really excited about, and I'm excited to meet some of the people whose work I admire so much. And then the other thing I'm really, really obsessed about is, you know, we all work so hard for all the money that we make, but how can you actually leverage it to improve quality of life?

So money sitting in the bank is very pointless. If it doesn't actually improve your quality of life. So just, uh, this week I started having a cleaner come twice a week instead of once. And that's like a very tiny little thing, and it's not even a big sum of money, but it makes me so happy when I came home today.

And the house is clean, even though it's a Monday, not a Thursday, it's like a disproportionate amount of happiness. So I'm obsessed with that right now. And I'm obsessed with finding out how people spend money in ways that make them happy. Cause buying shit doesn't make people happy, but buying gifts makes people happy, you know, and booking a vacation to spend time with your family.

So I'm going to see my parents twice as much this year because I decided to hop on a plane and, and make it happen is going to make me happier. And so that's my obsession topic. How's that for time to think.

Amy Smith: Yeah Now I'm

totally comparing myself like, Oh, I don't have nearly as many obsessions right now. I will say there's something that's been really popular that for whatever reason just has felt extremely resonant for me lately.

And that is a relationship to our past. And I didn't start doing a lot of work around forgiveness and letting go of. It's things that we've kind of kept ourselves on the hook for whether it was a past relationship that we think we messed up or a job that we really wish we would have taken and I've become kind of obsessed.

I don't know. I'm probably a 60% or so compared to your obsession I don't know if you know the book Top Five Regrets Of The Dying by Bronnie Ware.

Jonathan Levi: I don't.

Amy Smith: Okay. Well, that's so fascinating to me because when I teach classes, I've got people of. All different races, sexes, political affinities, sexual orientations, like all sorts of different things. But when you get to death's door, it's kind of the great equalizer.

And it really puts everything into perspective about did I live my life in accordance with my highest purpose? And what does that really mean? So this gal Bronnie Ware was a hospice nurse for eight years. And she basically compiled these top five regrets that she saw across the board. And the number one regret was I wish I would have lived a life according to what I wanted instead of a life of what everybody else wanted.

So, which I'm like how loud that's what I've been saying, but we're caught up so much in the minutia of the day in and day out. We don't actually make peace with our past and resolve our past and forgive ourselves for whatever we have or haven't done in order to live a life on purpose and to actually enjoy and figure out what we enjoy instead of.

Trying on all of these different things that we think everybody else will love about us. And then you wake up one day and you go holy shit. What did I do my entire life? I just was catering to everybody else. So I think those two kinds of topics, this idea of regret. What we tend to, I personally think is one of the most challenging emotions for us to feel as regret.

It is such a helpless feeling and how can we curb that? How can we stop going down that path? And then also how we can use it. This is also something that, that I use oftentimes with people who are in a challenging situation, in a relationship, whether it's like a spouse or even a family of origin, where I always think if you're going to, like, let's say sever that relationship with your father.

I did a podcast about that, about breaking up with a family member essentially, or with a parent. I always say, okay, what do you need to do? Say, or be in order to close the door on this chapter and have no regrets? And that puts all of the focus on your personal responsibility. And so you don't get to just blame dad for being a shitty dad, or you don't just get to, you know, blame your ex for a horrible marriage.

Like you have to really own your role. And that is incredibly powerful. Even if it comes down to a challenging decision like that, to be able to say, no, my side of the road is clean. I can walk away with no regrets knowing that, that I did my part.

Jonathan Levi: That's incredible. That's a really good obsession topic. I think I'm actually going to start asking that question by the way, like, what are you obsessed with right now?

And I want to point out to people that that's so important because I have a podcast episode that I want to do, but I'm probably not going to do it for about a year and it's called. How I finally got into a relationship after nine years of being single. And it goes through this whole process of how I did it and the books that I read and the exercises that I did.

And I took it on as a learning challenge, as I tend to do with everything in life. And so much of it, like the vast majority of it. And by the way, for anyone out there who wants the quick answer calling in the one by Katherine Woodward, Thomas, just read that.

Amy Smith: Yeah, I suggest that all the time it's so good.

Jonathan Levi: It changed my life, everyone, I know who's read it is now in a relationship.

It's amazing. And so much of that, the vast majority of the work that you do in that book is making peace with childhood agreements, relationships with parents, past relationships, relationships with yourself, opinions. It's all like putting the past at rest. And then as soon as you do that, you feel so much lighter and you can go into something like a relationship clean.

Amy Smith: Yeah, absolutely. And it is incredible how much we carry with us into the next job, into the next relation, you know, I mean, and we do it subconsciously it's, we're not like, Oh, let me bring up all my mom issues. Now with my current partner, like nobody does that. Nobody thinks that that's what's happening.

Jonathan Levi: Exactly and even healthy stuff. Like, you know, it doesn't have to be that you're traumatized by the parent. Like I realized through this process that I hadn't made a, an agreement, which is not something that my parents ever requested of me, but it was something that they said to me when I was four years old.

That I misinterpreted the wrong way. That was so deep down in my subconscious, that until I was asked, is there any possible possibility that you feel some obligation to this, that, and the other? And I was like, Oh my God. Like, I, I was immediately back in that drug store at four years old, promising not to do this, that or the other, which is relevant if you're a four-year-old, but no longer relevant.

If you're a 30-year-old man, you know, And it was just like, holy crap. I've been carrying that all of this time. That was just one example. Like there were so many other things, so many opinions and statements that I had about myself that I was carrying.

Amy Smith: Right, right. Oh my gosh. This is so good. This is so good because people in that situation, they don't go, Oh, I need to make peace with my four-year-old self.

And the things that I, you know, was up against with my family, we go, Oh, I need a girlfriend. You know, we look at all the surface shit instead of going underneath to figure out. Well, what has been happening over the last nine years? Was there a process of insulating yourself and keeping yourself safe? Was there a vulnerability?

Was there whatever, and there's always learning when you start asking those questions and that's it. It's just much richer. Richer experience. So I'm so excited for you that I love, love, love that book.

Jonathan Levi: So incredible. Like life-changing and  I've tried to get Katherine Woodward Thomas on the show, but she doesn't respond to like any emails.

So if anyone out there has a connection to Katherine Woodward, Thomas. That would be phenomenal. Yeahs Awesome. So, Amy, I want to give you an opportunity to give us an update on kind of what projects you have coming out and how people can remain in touch with you, because I'm sure people reach out to you after the last episode, but what can we expect to come out between now and when this episode comes out?

Amy Smith: Yeah, well, let's see, I am going to be doing. It's right at the preliminary stages. So I don't know exactly what it's going to look like, but I have been threatening to do a project with my partner who is my co-host on my podcast. And people really enjoy our dynamic. And I used to do a lot of work in relationships and teaching couples, how to communicate and creating.

Systems for their life. And I kind of abandoned it because it was just so frustrating to me. And I realized that underneath all of that, it was people taking ownership of who they are and really owning that piece. And so that's how I got really involved into this. Speaking your truth and having tough conversations and owning your worth and your value and all of that stuff.

And now five years later, I'm at the point where I'm ready to dip my toe back into that relationship piece, because I'm starting to understand more about the challenges that people have and how we can infuse our self-talk our self-worth our relationship to the past. Like you said, into having a happy.

Relationship now. So I have a set of courses that are called, excuse me, your bad-ass is showing. And there's a self-love addition, a self-confidence addition. And then this one that will be brand new will be a relationship edition. So that is probably happening right as this is launching. Oh, this podcast.

Jonathan Levi: Well, we will do our very best to get a link before the show comes out and put it in the blog post-episode so people can reach out. Last question. What would you say was the most important takeaway from our chat today?

Amy Smith: Oh gosh. Well, I definitely love this idea of compassion. Through your goal setting and having that ability to.

Be malleable that if we're talking about goals, it's for you, it's in service of you and that's awesome. So you also get to reroute, you get to call the shots and you get to mourn if it breaks your heart, you know, and you get to regroup and continue on. So I think having just that element of gentleness as you go through something, so logistics focus like goal setting.

Yeah, so I think probably that paired with the idea of. Handling, whatever might be arresting you from your past. That's really influencing your present

Jonathan Levi: That's my big one.

Amy Smith: Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: The one that I would want to emphasize to people that all of us write it off and all of us say like, you know, I don't have trauma like that.

I don't have skeletons like that. Trust me to do like, even just that your parents treated you too. Well, you got skeletons from that,

Amy Smith: right? It's very simple. It's what we experience. An incident, a chapter of our life. And then we make that mean something. We interpret it to mean something and our interpretation is what we are unpacking.

That's really what it comes down to. And we all have that, whether that scenario, that instance, that chapter of your life was really positive. We interpreted it to mean something. So yeah, it doesn't have to be this egregious upbringing. It's really, truly just about what you've made it mean.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely Amy.

I want to thank you again for coming on the show and sharing your wisdom and excitement and enthusiasm and inspiration with us. I, as you know, we'll take any excuse to catch up and chat with you and I'm sure our audience benefited as well.

Amy Smith: Yay. I hope so. I hope so. It's been a blast.

Jonathan Levi: All right. You take care.

Amy Smith: All right. You too.

Jonathan Levi: All right, SuperFriends. That is all we have for you today, but I hope you guys really enjoyed the show and I hope you learned a ton of actionable information tips, advice that will help you go out there and overcome the impossible. If you've enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or drop us a quick little note on the Twitter machine @gosuperhuman.  Also, if you have any ideas for anyone out there who you would love to see on the show. We always love to hear your recommendations. You can submit on our website, or you can just drop us an email and let us know that's all for today, guys. Thanks for tuning in.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. For more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit We'll see you next time.



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

  5. Leonia
    at — Reply

    Maybe oarts of the things he has to share are right, maybe not. If I look at him which impact his nurturing and living style has on himself I see a very old looking man! He is year 1973!! That is not old and he looks definitly much older!! If I would not know his birthyear I would guess that he is in his mid-60ies!! A bit concering for someone who claims his lifestyle is suitable for a long life, isn’t it?

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The Basics of Total Personal Transformation W/ Stephan Spencer