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Jerzy Gregorek On Establishing Standards Of Mastery And Meeting Them

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In this episode with Jerzy Gregorek, we learn all about the concept of standards of mastery, we figure out how to define them, as well as how to meet them.
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“Learn how to live the way of life that comes after hard choices.”
— Jerzy Gregorek

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined by a past guest from a year ago, someone who has actually won 4 world championships in Olympic weightlifting! Incredible, right? His name is Jerzy Gregorek, and the reason I wanted him back on the show was that I felt like he had more to share after our last conversation – and I was right!

In this episode, we talked about standards in general, as well as about establishing standards of excellence. We talked about motivation, how Jerzy motivates people that he coaches, and how he motivated himself to get 4 world championships in addition to earning poetry awards and an MFA in writing. This is what we call completely cross-disciplinarian! We also talked about how he motivated the people that he coached at UCLA, as well as how he got to work with people like Tim Ferriss.

As you can probably imagine, this is a really interesting episode! I enjoy talking to Jerzy because of his ability to spin a story and tell you a mind-blowing tale – he has that kind of life wisdom and experience. I'm sure you will enjoy this episode as well!

-Jonathan Levi

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This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. Click here to save 15% on their amazing mushrooms coffees today, for all orders placed on their website!

This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. Click here to save 15% on their amazing mushrooms coffees today, for all orders placed on their website!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Jerzy Gregorek, what does he do, and how did he get here? [4:10]
  • Was Jerzy always passionate about weightlifting? [7:40]
  • What allowed Jerzy to come back from a big injury and dominate the competition? [11:50]
  • What does “standards of mastery” mean? [15:00]
  • An event that really got Jerzy thinking on standards of mastery [20:40]
  • How did the rest of the standards of mastery come up for Jerzy? [25:40]
  • What does Jerzy have to say about self-care? [31:05]
  • Where does motivation fit in? [35:00]
  • Where can you reach out to Jerzy Gregorek? [42:30]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Jerzy Gregorek:

“When you achieve certain things, they build up your character.”

“Life is really a constant improvement.”


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

Jonathan Levi: Before we get started, I want to take a moment to talk to you guys about personal development. You see if I've learned anything over the last five years of hosting the show, it's that the journey of self-improvement never ends. There's always a way to improve and grow. That's why my team and I have recently launched Superhuman Squad, an all-access pass to our full library of personal development courses.

Think of it as the Netflix of personal development for just $49 a month. You get access to each and every one of our premium courses, which sell for as much as $399 each. Best of all, you'll be the first to gain access to our new courses, courses that we're developing in partnership with some of the most esteemed thought leaders we've ever hosted on the show to get started, simply visit superhuman

Greeting, Superfriends, and welcome. Welcome to this week's episode, which was lovingly crafted. Thanks to her review from K 95 N from the United States of America who says outstanding FiveStars Jonathan's material brings together in a focused way. Many of the things I've been interested in during the course of my life but was unable to commit.

Two due to being too busy and doubting that I could achieve these skills. This podcast is addicting and has inspired me to go all-in towards truly developing my potential in life. Wow. That is an awesome review. Thank you so much. K 95 N. And if you haven't left a review, please do because it totally brightens up our day.

I gotta be honest. We only do it for the reviews on to today's episode. You guys, today, we are joined by a past guest we've had on the show. Someone who has won four world championships in Olympic weightlifting. Incredible. His name is Jerzy Gregorek and the reason I wanted to have him back on the show is I felt like he had more to share after we spoke a year ago.

And I was right. We talked in this episode about standards and establishing standards of excellence. We talked about motivation. How does he motivate himself? And how does he motivate people that he coaches and how did he motivate himself to get four? World championships. In addition to earning poetry awards and an MFA in writing completely cross-disciplinary.

And how did he motivate the people that he coached at UCLA? And how did he get to work with people like Tim Ferris? It's a really interesting episode. I really enjoy talking to Jerzy because he can just spin a story and tell you a tale and blow your mind. He has that kind of life wisdom and that kind of incredibly interesting life experience.

So without any further ado, my superfriend, Jerzy Gregorek

Mr. Jerzy Gregorek, how are you, my friend?

Jerzy Gregorek: Fantastic as usual. 

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. Good, tohave you back. How have things been? What you've been up to since the last time we spoke?

Jerzy Gregorek: Oh, well, you know, I'm always up to a lot of things, but the good thing is mostly things that helped me to get better.

Jonathan Levi: So. Beautiful. That's what I up to for those who don't know, Jerzy was actually on this show a year ago, and we talked about the happy body and we talked about what it takes to become a world champion.

I want to give people a little bit of a background in case they haven't listened to that episode yet. So I'm going to just ask you to describe, because I know if you're like me, this changes over time, how you describe what you do and what you're passionate about. So give people a little bit of background on you and what you do and how you became a world champion.

And then I'd love to hear an overview, of what the happy body means to you today.

Jerzy Gregorek: Well, I think it's a dangerous question because it's a question for hours that you're going to put it five minutes. Well, I think I have to be short because otherwise, we'll, I ended up a podcast about a week ago and that question popped in and I talked for about one hour.

So before I even arrived, is there, have you got it? I think that in short, I will say that I was an alcoholic. And I was a weightlifter and I was a fireman and I was a freedom fighter in Poland. That's why I, uh, ended up living, uh, Poland. And, uh, in us, I was a political refuge and, uh, during the process of, um, adapting myself to, uh, living in new West, Uh, it was very interesting because I always love independence.

And as you know, I lived in Poland, communistic, Poland, not today's Poland, where we were called, uh, white Negroes, like slaves and, um, not only slaves but also slaves that had to obey and. And you could easily lose your life if you didn't know how to behave and show them obedience. So there was a very weird way of living in Poland.

Very debilitating, very hard. So fall onto us underground from 39 through the second war until, uh, 89. So you need the one, uh, was in the fire protection Academy and also studying fire protection engineering. And I was just before my graduation, but at that time in December of 81, uh, the government would try to use the fire department against demonstrations in Poland at that time.

But to do that, they had to change the law and place the fire hold the fire department and then military control. So that would change completely our way of living as fire meant. And of course, we didn't like it. Start the strike and. Which was brutally ended after 10 days up to 10 days of negotiations, they simply drove, you know, forces inside and took us by a force.

There were 400 firemen and solidarity members inside. So after that, that was underground for three years. And, uh, when. The threat of my life came and say they choose really to stay or to go. And then I chose to live. Poland came to us in 86 and, um, started in my life here. It was very interesting beginning.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, no kidding. Now were you always passionate about weightlifting? I mean, were you a weightlifter when you were in the fire brigade as well?

Jerzy Gregorek: Yeah, I was always, uh, you know, since I was, you know, uh, in middle school, I wanted to be a weightlifter because I wanted just to, you know, have more, I want some edge against a stronger and bigger didn't want to be the shit out of them, but I wanted to protect myself and because I was shorter and weaker. So I was a target. 

Jonathan Levi: What were your statistics, height, and weight when you were in your twenties?

Jerzy Gregorek: No, the train is whether I was about 13 when I started lifting too. I was about 110 pounds and five, five by five, five, six around that. Wow. Then.

Yeah, not strong. Right? Big as the boys are in Poland, you know, they were almost all of them. They were maybe like there were two or three shorter than I, and everybody was bigger and definitely stronger. So weightlifting was this thing that could help me. You know, to just simply not to become a target.

And, um, I know after about, you know, two years it happened that day was not the target and the bar. Yeah. It was too powerful, too strong. And then that's how it was, uh, In my life, that weightlifting was something that, you know, saved me. And then I fell into alcoholism and came back when I was, uh, 18 and then started weightlifting again.

And at 23, I got the injury that eliminated me from, you know, competitive weightlifting. And then I came back again, you know, uh, after healing myself. When I was 35, I spend this time between 23 and 35 to figure out how to heal myself, how to get stronger, how to protect myself from crashing under the early heavy waste when the power was us.

And, um, And at 35, I started really lifting heavier, heavier, again, started competing in a muster division, you know, and, and the, uh, the weightlifting, uh, somehow did it affect my injury and Amar and I won four championships. One was in Poland actually. So, wow. Coach my wife and, and now a lot of people between lots of different kinds of athletes, not only weight lifters, but, uh, and instead there's Olympic way, Olympic weight lifting team at UCLA and in 1999 and had it four or five years and 2004, 2004, I moved to.

Yeah, San Francisco Woodside. And, um, said that raising my child, who is now almost 15 years old, bad. Do you know, coming back to the time of 86, when we came, we had a really fun, uh, thing. We landed in New York and we had the real one big luggage. And then, uh, everything, what we had from Poland, uh, documents, pictures, and just everything valuable.

And then we put it on the belt going to Detroit because that's where we are. And then in Detroit though, our luggage didn't come. So it was very funny because we had only a thousand dollars, no clothes. And. That's it. And almost nobody that we, you know, had no in us. So of course my wife got really upset and the guys, and so they said, you know, Life one says to be clean, to have a clean slate.

So it's better, you know?

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I want to ask you, you know, your story's incredible to me because first off you were injured, you should have been eliminated from weightlifting based on your injury. And yet you came back at a time where most people are ending their careers in performance sports. And you won four world championships.

And I guess the question I've always wanted to ask you is why, why you, I mean, what, what did you have that other people didn't have that you were able to come back from this injury and not just come back and be healthy, but dominate the competition.

Jerzy Gregorek: Well, you know, first of all, I started competing, not in the senior division, but master division.

So I really competed against, uh, my type and my time, but you know why? Well, you know, it's like, um, there's something in weightlifting that, uh, gives, I would say, uh, the sense of. Freedom. When you achieve certain things,, they build you up a character. It's not only that you are strong and powerful, but your character builds up.

You become a better person. Definitely, you become patient and more kind to yourself. You understand, you know, the levels of power there you require certain. Yeah, I know it's standard. So certain approaches even to, uh, create that. And that's when your character becomes a lot of better, the self-control happens.

And then, uh, the patients to kindness and all of it has to happen. You know, to actually be able to become so powerful. And I think that you know, I understood, of course, this, not at the beginning, but I understood that from the perspective of time, from the perspective of being that person, you know, like, uh, in Poland, when I was very powerful, I walk somehow differently.

I like myself when I walk, I like everything about what I was and who am I friends and so on. I think in a way I earned this for the hard choices and, you know, achieving something. But no, no, no. That my character was good. You know, I didn't know if it was that mixture of being a fireman and, and we lived her bed, you know, definitely.

I was a good person. I was a kind person. I became that. And, you know, watching weightlifters throughout time, I must say that I really like the weightlifters and wherever I competed in the world, I had a really special connection to wait that Tuesday. I also had two other athletes, but you know, when you are set in.

Elite and sit in class in a certain activity. Yeah. Weight lifting or swimming. And you know, it was probably a sprinting. It's just the same connection you have to others. That's instant friendship, instant understanding, the instant that being together. So no matter where I was, when I met her weight lifters, somewhere in the gym or right away, Uh, we simply like behave Like we were friends for 10 years. 

Jonathan Levi: Um, talk to me about standards of mastery. I mean, you mentioned the word standards and that stood out to me because you changed something changed in you and you developed over time, these standards. I mean, what does that mean and how did those standards help you overcome obstacles to failure along your journey?

Jerzy Gregorek: Well, I would. Begin that I know weightlifting, it sets up the standards and the standard is the word records, right? Say, um, and then if you, uh, if you align along that standard that you train and they do everything to get there. And usually, it takes about five, 10 years to even. You know, to know whether you can get there and there are different levels, national levels, and state levels or whatever, but there are standards, the standards that, you know, immediately how good you are and how many years you need to do in order to get there.

So let's say, you know, swimming and running all the numbers, sports, they, they will have it. Very clear when it comes to games, game athletes, they have other teams and other teams set up those standards for them. As you see that weightlifting has a very clear standard number. And when you compare yourself, then you know, wow, why I need to lift.

50 pounds or a hundred pounds more in order to be even in the nationals. So then you ask yourself how much time it will take me. And you know, when you talk to coaches that will say, you know, five years, okay. So you need to five years, you need to pursue this by five years, and then, uh, you pursue this for five years and then you have a chance to actually know whether you can get there.

Or not. If you don't have standards in life, it's very difficult to find out where to go and what to achieve. And the whole fitness has kind of aligned with that. So through the competitions, I fought about those standards, you know, that fitness doesn't have. And, and I, I said, they're really thinking about.

How I coach people. I came to us and I have how I coach people in Poland. And, and then this was also weightlifting and extensive coaching, all kinds of different, you know, people that came to me. And then the one thing that I, I pursued always is I pursued the strength and the certain way, how, uh, certain standard, was in my brain, they really could achieve. So if you, I really pursued that, that you can help people to overcome a lot of problems. I know led a lot of problems with, you know, pain and depression and then, uh, self-esteem and drugs, and, you know, so, you know, it works in someone, a waste to help people to come out of the weakness.

Jonathan Levi: I get that feeling that you're talking about more than standards for just fitness though.

You're talking about standards for nutrition standards, for mindset standards for behavior. I mean, I get the feeling that standards do you means a lot more than did you lock out your elbows?

Jerzy Gregorek: Well, you know, these are the standards to weightlifting. The standards of weightlifting is just very clear, but I wanted.

Talk about the standards for people. And then I was always intrigued how to actually make it happen, how to make it happen for people. Let's say, Whoa, what people really need in order to create for themselves. A good way of living good life, right? So I thought that flexibility is needed. Strength is needed than power is needed.

The speed, right? And good posture is needed. There is certain idea about the way that people need to have when they are underweight is not good. Overweight is not good. And then they have to have set in that amount of muscle, because if you don't have it, that they become weak. And when the, uh, they get older, that atrophy of the muscular atrophy already happens very fast.

So he's very important. So in a way, it's six standards for a better way of living. But, you know, it's very easy to say. Extremely difficult to actually create such a thing, such a plan and strategy for people that actually they could follow. And it would be scientifically created and put in numbers like a more directly.

Right. So the first time that flexibility. So it was clear for me, that has to be a squat possibility and flexibility of ankles in relationship to the Kips and then, uh, spine and shoulders. So a person should be able to squat. And extend the arms vertically up, and that should be a measure of flexibility.

And that one thing can really measure or the joints and everything, what is needed to have a fantastic posture, good posture, and, uh, everything else should be aligned to get there. So this is another one. So that I established that the power tower, the exercise that would do it. And I aligned all the 17 other exercises to make it happen.

Now, the standards of strength was very difficult for me because I didn't know how strong people should be in it and in what, right. So I was, uh, competed, uh, it was the master Olympics in Melbourne and I competed there. And the older people started competing and I went to see a T PLAs lifters competing, and I was sitting there and eight-year-olds were competing and this, um, you know, a lifter from Australia came and then, uh, he lifted more weight.

That was his body weight. All right. In which movement, clean and jerk. So he lifted his hat, right. There was more than his body weight. And he was about 130 having 35 pounds and he lifted more than that. And then that was looking at that. And I was comparing to myself how strong I was, you know, when I was in Poland and not being a weight lifter and, you know, around.

All the best boys, uh, the strongest boys, almost nobody could live to by the way. So that was impossible on the best, you know, could do that. And usually, they with somehow athletically align and they could do that. And he is the guy. Eight-year-old and does, right. Right. Of course, you know, I did in Poland two and a half, by the way, right.

When I was in twin bed, he is the guy who is eight years old and as is the same thing, what we were doing when we were in teens or twenties and actually. Very difficult to do, not easy. So if the best of us in our twenties, we're able to do it without any training and the guy who is 80 does it. So I put it together because I was shocked.

The whole thing sent me back to expect it. And then, uh, so if, uh, if I can. It takes just numbers, the clean and jerk equal by the way. And I can transition these numbers to power tower, to the lift at the flexibility lifted. I told you, and I could make it happen. That would be. Great because I could have my standards of Sanford people, but still, I didn't know really how I could do these numbers.

So then it was this coincidence as that Anella had that problem early with the clean and jerk and her shoulders were giving in. And, uh, the number that. Is connected to the clean and jerk and the press behind the neck is 58% of the clean and jerk should be the military, press the press behind the neck so that I took that 58% and put it into the power tower and it worked perfectly.

So, uh, now I had the number that anybody could pursue. And anybody could achieve. And anybody, of course, there was a different number for women and men because men are 20% stronger than women in competition. So I adopted that. So it's for everybody the same and different number, of course. And then number is their number.

His strength was set. Um, there, and then the num the number of speed, because the movement has to be fast. So I set up for five seconds that a person should do in five seconds, this and then three, three really standards where establish flexibilities Tran and the speed and the power. So once I had that. I could develop this system, the plan, the program, to actually pursue this and achieve it.

And you can imagine that if you could do that, Dan well done. You're strong. You are fast and you have flexibility to, you know, handle any task, you know, easily in life. It means first you have the training, you have the hard choices, but then you become the person that is ready for any task. Even if you are 80 years old or 85, if you can do this in the thirties and forties would be.

It's simple for you, right? So I've had, is it fair to ask people to become as strong as an eight-year-old weightlifting champion? I said that's fantastic. That's good. Because it's a line along with the twenties and the building, the character of course came back. That once we followed the hard choices.

Once we developed a plan with micro progression, and once we have some years to actually achieve it, we create a magical way of living for ourselves. 

Jonathan Levi: Would you say that that pretty nicely summarizes? What is the happy body?

Jerzy Gregorek: Well, there were other three standards that really were in question was the ideal body weight, and ideal body weight came because of the, you know, all athletes have certain idea of body weight, and the, uh, really, you know, have.

Awesome physics, uh, too sick. And then, um, you know, like pole vaulters, let's say, and sprinters and soccer players and swimmers. And you know, when I, when we analyze all of this bodyweight and so on, we, we came out to set up set ideal body weight. To help people not to be, uh, too heavy or too light. And we had a lot of obese people and a lot of anorexic people.

So we needed that to help people to gain weight, or I needed two people to lose weight. So we had a 400-pound man that needed to become 200. And, uh, I had. 6.7, a boy that was 150 pounds and had to become, you know, 220 pounds. So we tried to find out what would be the number. And then we set up all the numbers and then the numbers were according to weight, lifters and soccer players and mixed together runners and how to make the average of that.

Who is, you know, the best. And then I will give you the example of six for a man should be 200 pounds. And folks were in competition was one 95. And, uh, you saying bolt was two Oh five. So you can see this best. One of the best, you know, athletes of all the time aligned with the 200 pounds. And they're happy by this standard.

So. There's happy by the standards. Just points that idea by the way, to the ultimate bodyweight that is beautiful, attractive, powerful, strong, fast, and so on. So once we get that, that was another standard was asking for was because you can't be, you know, 110 pounds. Let's say if you're a woman, let's say five, three, five, four.

But you can still be obese at the same time because obesity is body fat percentage. And not really the, by the way. So BMI doesn't work here because you can have perfect BMI and be obese. So once we understood that and we had to set up the leanness and the Linda's, the standards of leanness was aligned through the, you know, uh, how, when we supposed to be.

So when I compete. I am 30% body, but, and most weight will be around that body fat. That's insane. Yeah. But you know, the more fat you have, the weaker you will be, right. So you said the less fat you have, the more muscle you have, the better chances you have. So when Anya competed, she was 6.5% body fat and some stride because women have a little bit more.

Now when I don't compete, my body fat goes up to about eight, nine, 10 around half her staff. So we've thought about that should be the best that the Lena's for people, our most fat time would be the best. For people, fitness people to be lean. So, uh, on yellow is about 13%. I am around 10. So we set up that as a standard for people.

So once we had, it was really good because now we could check the body fat, we could check the idea, body, weight, and with the relationship, you could easily, uh, establish the plan and strategy to achieve it. To achieve this to standards and following up, of course, the standards, the strand speed, and so on.

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Jerzy, I want to ask you about universal self-care, because you know, you're demanding a lot from your body to reach these standards.

What does self-care fit into this? Right. And, and how does the happy body change the value systems for people who take it on so that they. Take better care of their bodies.

Jerzy Gregorek: So we created a plan and the strategies to actually pursue. So you don't have to achieve of course those standards, but you can pursue them.

Right. So once you go on the happy by the program, Then you definitely, if you practice it right, you will definitely get better. Then, uh, if you practice for half a year, you will get a lot better if you practice for a year, even more, better, two years, five years. Awesome. Right. So what I want to say is that.

In athletics. If you don't have five years, nobody even will talk to you, right? If you want to play violin and you come to the teacher and you say, I have two years, nobody will teach you. Because why if I, anybody would waste the time unless somebody is just the teacher and take the money and doesn't care.

But if you really want to achieve anything that is a substantial. And the thing that has some quality, you have to have about five years. And if you have this five years and then you crab. Plan you, you are attracted to the hard choices. You can create something awesome. So, okay. Let's say you are 45 years old or 50.

You come to me and you say, okay, my life is, is good. I'm really successful for everyone else. But you know, my lifestyle is not really dared and I, yeah, I feel like it should be better. It should be somewhere else, but they didn't know how to create it. So. I give the person they're happy by then. And I tell the person like this, you know, you are 55 and you will be 16 in five years.

If you do this for five years, you will have an awesome body system in five years. But if you don't, you will just get worse. Okay. So choose it, right? Because we think about five years, it's just a lot of years and we don't want to do it, but it's just five years. It will pass. It will pass with a building the quality, or it will pass without the building quality.

This is how it works. So you can be going into different classes, enjoying yourself and doing, you know, like, uh, fitness classes and so on and never get better. Oh, you can have really something that you can pursue something of that quality and build a better you because it's designed with the standards behind it and it knows where you're going.

And, you know, once you start really going and you have obstacles and those obstacles, you will simply. Learn how to overcome. And as you know, that obstacle is the way, like, you know, somebody wrote, I forgot his name holiday. Yeah, exactly. So, you know, it's exactly that the obstacle and the harder obstacles, the better character builds.

So. You know, even for that reason, you can pursue their happy body for them just to have a better character. You will not build that better character without the, you know, hard obstacles, the other way. Is also, is it the quality or the quantity? So then, you know, of course, the quality is extremely important here that you actually choose something that builds the quality, not quantity.

You have to comprehend what it means and how different it is one and the other one because it's important to have a quality of life and not quantity of life.

Jonathan Levi: Where does motivation fit in? Because I think the problem for so many people is even before they know what to do, it's motivating themselves and, you know, persistence and sticking to it. I mean, how can people motivate themselves to stick to something as comprehensive that that does require five years of work?

Jerzy Gregorek: It's not its life. It's not five years early. So it really doesn't matter is five years. So 10 years or 20 years, really. I remember I met my, uh, poetry mentor and I presented my.

Poems. I wanted to get to Vermont college and they rejected my poems. I went to, to work on that. And then he looked at my hundred poems and in probably about three, five seconds and they were hundred poems. It took me 10 years to write them. And then he threw everything to the ground. This is all garbage.

And you know, I look at the game and I just try to comprehend what happened. And you know, at the same time, I had the lifter that was sent from Colorado university. It was a pole vaulter and he was doing Olympic weight lifting to help him to be more powerful. And he came with a letter from his coach to me, and he sent directly that Paul Walter to me.

And so I read the letter and I said, okay. So pick up the bar and do this knot. And he did this notch and I said, that's okay. And he said, I, I can do more. I said, no, no, no. It's enough. So I needed one, really two, one, two, three seconds to know what his, his technique, what I need to do with him, what he's done already and weave everything forward and how much time it will take me to bring him to the set and, you know, powers on that will improve his, uh, polo thing.

So at that time, I'm sitting with a poet. Right. Who recognize my poetry as worthless. So, you know, but at the same time, I'm just thinking about how much time I needed to estimate my Poulter. And then as everything happens, I'm thinking he's really a genius or he's really a bullshit, right. There's two-way, two-way tickets.

And then he says like, this. In five years maybe will write some good lines in 10, maybe, you know, a verse in 15, you will know more about writing in 20 well we'll find out.

And then he said, do you want to start? And I, I laugh because you know, Of course, I don't want to waste my time. So, and I also want to know if I am a pilot in 20 years, so, okay. That was 96. Okay. So I work with him for a year. Then I went to the Vermont College. I graduated 98 and, uh, in creative writing MFA.

And then, um, I translated poetry. I got. Um, yeah, NDA a world for translate a shimmer. And then I, I wrote my books of poetry. I published three of them and then it just, it's 20 years after now, 23. Right. So what's going on? Right. So I think about that. Everybody's a poet really. Right. And everybody is, he's a stoic because we are mixed mixture of something that is what we do and what we do take certainly alive.

And it is, there are qualities on there of what we do and pursue. You can pursue writing poetry for, uh, three months. And that will be your quality of writing. And. You know, of course the better poets will know where you are and how much time you spend. And that is just the same with, in a way the SIRS and Stoics.

Right. You know the story cause the one that is a mixture of self-control and virtues and, you know, pretty much everybody is a story because everybody's a mixture of, of self-control and virtues and. Everyone you can, you know, really every person you can look and that you can talk about that person from these two perspectives, you know, but not everybody's a Catholic now that everybody's a Buddhist in here when it comes to Stoics, everybody is and how good stoic you are.

Now I will go to studies to answer your question about motivation. And I like study Stoics' way of saying that. The nature brought you here and you're going to finish what nature brought you with. So you're going to live your life and you're going to make out of it, you know, something. And that's something that really depends on you.

So I comprehended that and I understood that life is really a constant improvement, constant, uh, way of becoming better until you die. And that is life. And that is a motivator for me, enough to be, to never retire, to never really smoke a cigar in Hawaii. Right. And then, uh, never really stopped. Educating myself and building the skills of life.

And, um, that's where my energy comes from. Yeah. That I think Confucius, you know, talks about education and eliminate the classes and understands that. And I understand also that there is a relationship between. Education and the skills and the skills are those that, uh, action activities and so on. And they are very, very difficult to, you know, uh, difficult to practice and so on, but it really, really doesn't matter what we do.

We, we just can not think about that. Only it has five years to practice something but more important is who are we becoming because of the practice and whether we have the chance to become or not, and ease becoming really. A battery in life constantly throughout your life, the way of life. And for me, that is the meaning of life.

That is my purpose to be here. And I cannot imagine myself to waste that. So I have certain time and you know, and I will not waste it. And then I will think about what creates my better character and constantly work on it until I'm not here.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And I think that's a really nice summary of the reasons why I do this show and why I come back every single week to bring folks like yourself on the show Jerzy.

We've had such a lovely chat and we've come up on time. I do want to give you an opportunity though, to tell folks where they can reach out to you. I mean, I know you're teaching programs around San Francisco and retreats. You've done books. You've done interviews. Where should we send people to get a feel for you and your work?

Jerzy Gregorek: We have the happy body, of course, a weapon we are trying to develop now a subscription. So I will be coaching people on the subscription and I will be coaching people on a weekly basis. But, uh, you know, I imagine somebody that needs to be coached and, um, somebody there is somewhere in the world and doesn't have money.

To be here or doesn't have, you know, there's a big distance between, so then I imagined that I coach a person and then the person is anywhere in the world and that's how I'm going to. Coach people on the subscription. I will talk to that one, even though that one can be thousand people, but I will be trying to find out how to coach that person that up there in the world, and that will be available very soon.

And, um, of course, there are a lot of books on Amazon that people can buy and start there. The recent book that. We publish is the happy body, virtuous daily practices for the modern stoic. And these are the 52 virtues that we created and the work for the whole year. And, uh, we take every virtue and spend one week with every very true and we every day.

We answer the question. According to that, virtually say hard choices is alive. And then we have said an understanding on it, but we need a. Practice to integrate that, that wisdom, that virtue into our life. So every day there's a practice every day where we'll respond from a different perspective. So the first day starts, I understand.

Understand. And then you finish the second. I think the third, I feel the fourth, I believe the fifth. My plan is. And there's six. My strategy is, and the seven by experience is everything is explained, but in the book, how to use it. But the most important is that we spend, you know, a week with one virtue and, uh, one, you know, a wisdom that we integrate that we have at least a chance to integrate that wisdom.

So we can actually comprehend what is self control. Let's say it's not easy to. To comprehend that Stoics, you know, a way of living, you know, it may be, you can comprehend or feel it after 20 years of practice. So, you know, we know a lot of things but doesn't mean that we will act on it. And so this is the, uh, we'll end up with this, um, kind of a question.

So at one doctor is, and let's say the doctor knows how to heal. But he doesn't know how to talk about this. There's another doctor who knows how to talk about healing but doesn't know how to heal. Okay. Now, how does doctor find out how to talk about. Healing without actually being able to heal and about it.

So that doctor of course learned from the doctor who knew how to heal and how to talk about what he does. So we know a lot of people today they'd know how to talk about wisdom, how to know about the virtues. That debt is just very superficial way of living. So I, I brought you back to stoicism and mimicking Stoics were people that were teaching others like Socrates and teaching others through mimicking, through being Stoics.

And they taught. To become stoic through their way of living. They lived that way of life. They understood that you can not just talk about it. So you have to Zim how become stoic. Of course, that takes time and that takes life and the happy body to become stoic or Buddhist is kind of the same way, right.

It takes life. So they're happy bodies this way of life that. You have to be on, and as you are on you, your practice and your practice, and then you, because of the practice, you, you become a better, not only better character, but you can also learn how to keep your body happy you, how to live that way of life.

That is good. And that it comes after hard choices and you know, that we, you know, committed to overtime.

Jonathan Levi: Fantastic. And we will put links to everyone in that podcast episode for this episode. So make sure to go ahead and check that out Jerzy, I want to thank you for coming back on the show.

Jerzy Gregorek: It's always a pleasure to chat.

Jonathan Levi: Thank you. I appreciate it. Take care of my friend.

Jerzy Gregorek: Thank you. Bye bye.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the award-winning Superhuman Academy Podcast. For more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit While you're at it, please take a moment to share this episode with a friend and leave us a review on iTunes. 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