Relationship expert and truth seeker Peter King is the host of Wired for Impact Podcast. His main mission in life is to define a universal relationship ideal that people aspire to achieve, requiring them to fulfill their maximum potential. He sits down with Adam Markel to share his work, primarily with men and boys, to help discover their purpose. Peter shares how masculine energy can be elevated by relating to the feminine, leaving a powerful legacy of love and impact. He also explains how proper communication deepens relationships and how men could stand up against a society that continues to demonize them.
How do we leverage continuous uncertainty to thrive in this unprecedented new world?
The answer is to build the resilience we need to power us through the challenges we face so that we become “Change Proof.” Prepare to tackle the future with confidence by reading Adam’s latest book Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience.
0:00 – Show Intro (I’ve got a great guest. His name is Peter King.)
1:24 – Peter King (Peter, I know we all have bios and standard intro that we have either written or other people have written for us and all that kind of thing.)
3:43 – The importance of humility (My next question is how important is humility in that equation for you?)
6:36 – Costa Rican retreat (I was in Costa Rica for a wonderful retreat.)
10:38 – How brain chemistry and neural connections form truth (I’m fascinated by the idea of our minds, as I better understand brain chemistry, neuronal connections, beliefs and how we form these connections in our brain.)
14:26 – A rocky marriage (I tried to hang it up at one point when I was in my marriage and things were not going well.)
16:46 – Communication’s role in relationships (I’m fascinated about the communication piece among other things because your work in the world is about relationships.)
20:03 – Becoming a truth seeker (What made you be a true seeker?)
20:39 – Panic attack (I wrote a book called Pivot some years ago.)
23:53 – Unrealistic Hollywood one-liners and completing others (There was one particular night I woke up and had trouble getting back to sleep.)
25:59 – Three phases of a relationship journey (David Deida has a great model for this where he talks about the three phases.)
27:31 – Masculine and feminine energies (I’ll share one other quick thing that has been beautiful for me to learn. It’s very humbling. Something that women innately have within them is that feminine energy that helps uplift the masculine.)
30:08 – Struggles of young men today (I know you do a lot of work with men and boys as well and had to better understand and relate to the feminine.)
32:53 – Masculine cycle (As men, how we fit into that and raise new young men is to understand the masculine cycle or journey, which tends to be linear.)
38:09 – Advice for judged and unappreciated young men (I want to come back to this question of young men.)
45:24 – Men as victims of double standards (I was reading in the paper about protests that are happening. A group of men in South Korea has taken up arms, not physically but verbally and socially, through social media, protests and things.)
48:30 – Bridging truth and being change proof (There’s one more thing that I want to ask you about here. We started with the truth. This show is called Change Proof. I would love for you to give me a sense of how you build a bridge between truth and being change-proof.)
55:04 – Conclusion (Peter, I so loved the conversation.)
57:02 – Wrap-up and final insights (That was a great, wonderful conversation. I was so fascinated with listening to Peter’s thoughts and philosophies on so many topics.)
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Achieve Maximum Potential By Deepening Your Relationships With Peter King
I’ve got a great guest. His name is Peter King. We’re going to talk about relationships. He is a relationship expert. He has just a wonderful breadth of knowledge and philosophy on that topic. We’re going to talk about communication, the male and the female and how we relate to one another and where there are some challenges happening in our world, the kind of changes that caught some people off guard. We’re working through them at the moment.
We’re in a state of flux. I’m going to talk a little bit about how to be resilient in the face of some of those changes and some of the most important and intimate areas of our lives. The people that we live with, that we work with, that we are committed to. Peter King is one of the most interesting people to listen to philosophically. He’s got so much knowledge and wisdom to share. Stay tuned for this amazing conversation.
Peter, I know we all have bios and standard intro that we have either written or other people have written for us and all that kind of thing. We have edited, looked and combed over the very important way that we’re described, how we establish our credentials and all that BS and not so BS. It’s both. I want to ask you this question. What’s something that’s not a part of your standard bio or intro that you would love for people to know about you?
First and foremost, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. I’m honored to be in the program. To answer the question, what popped in my head as you were saying that was truth seeker, seeking truth. I’ve always been curious by nature and I have found that the way that I go about seeking the truth is a little bit different than perhaps others. I’m constantly challenging my own belief sets and looking for where I have misled myself.
In that process of trying to crack my foundations, I’ll find cracks or find, “I was completely awful.” It has allowed me to build more solid foundations as I see it. I’m always being open to being proven wrong on something. At least, I try to be. That’s not necessarily something that weaves its way into every introduction. That’s something that I would add to it, at least for this conversation.
That resonates with me. My little monkey mind went off into this arena of I was listening but not fully listening and present. My mind went to, “I wonder how many times a day we’re wrong?” Have you ever considered how often it is that you, me and the collective we are wrong?
It’s probably more than we would care to admit.
I would raise my hand to that a lot more than I’m comfortable admitting.
It begs the question of, “What’s right and what paradigm are you looking at for what is right versus wrong on some level?” I’m a pretty spiritual guy or at least I’m interested in that. I’m exploring consciousness and all that. From that perspective, this whole experience isn’t true and is delusional. We can go down the rabbit hole in many different directions on that one. I’m sure.
My next question is how important is humility in that equation for you?
To me, there is no growth without humility. Humility to me is paramount because the idea of truth is so much bigger, at least in my personal experience than what I had ever thought it might be. As I’ve discovered more truth, I’ve had to let go of what I thought was true before that. You can only do that through an act of humility. To me, it’s a paramount element of expanding our vessels to better understand deeper truths.
If we’re committed to truth and I would think most people would say they’re committed to truth may not wake up in the morning and go, “I’m committed to truth.” They may not intentionally or consciously set that out as a goal for themselves in the day. If asked, “Are you committed to truth or lies? Are you committed to bullshit or something real?”
Pretty much every day, everybody puts their feet on the floor, starts and goes, “I’m committed to something real and truthful,” as opposed to feet hitting the floor and going, “I’m committed to being a fraud. That’s what I want to be, the best fraud I can possibly be. I want to walk around with such a great facade.” It would be a total pretense to the world. If we’re committed to truth consciously or unconsciously, truth leads us into some pretty dark shadowy places. We’re in the underworld in our own life experiences if we’re being truthful a lot of the time. Is that my dark past, do you think?
No. I 100% agree with that. You used the word darkness and shadow. I’ve done some studies of Carl Jung and other psychologists and philosophers of that ilk. They talk about shadow work and it’s something that we often tend to not want to shine the light in. We don’t want to go there and yet, that tends to be, at least in my experience, where the deepest growth and the more truth has been found. Looking at those uncomfortable things and being willing to challenge the beliefs that might be bigger than our own perceptions of what’s true can be scary places.
It can feel like what’s dark and yet at the same time oftentimes and I’m getting a little bit esoteric here, they tend to create contrast. When you think of love, happiness and joy, do you know what that is if you haven’t experienced the lack of that? The lack of that helps to expand and deepen our understanding of what that love and joy might feel like. I find that same symbiotic relationship with the truth too Is what isn’t true or those uncomfortable truths help us embody and understand a deeper light of truth.
That makes sense to me. I was in Costa Rica for a wonderful retreat. I went to this place called Rythmia.
Were you there with some other people that we know? I don’t want to necessarily name names if they don’t want to know.
Yeah. I know a lot of people that do go to Rythmia. I’m not always one to say it out loud. Joe Rogan had a guy on his show. I’m not going to mention his name. He’s a comedian who was there the week before I was there. I’m fortunate to be able to go there as a facilitator and as a participant. It’s the best of both worlds. The last time I was there, the time before this time was February 2021. This celebrity comic was there. He was on the Joe Rogan show talking about it. They never mentioned the name and maybe that’s because they don’t want to blow up the place, meaning that too many people try to get there.
In any event, I’m happy to promote their good work. They do good work. Gerard Powell, who has created and founded it is a superstar in terms of impact. You have a website impact. They have a serious impact on a lot of people. In this last visit there, as I was both leading, training and also participating, I got kicked in the teeth royally. Ayahuasca, for those of you that have never either heard it or didn’t know what the heck it is, it’s plant medicine. It’s not synthetic. I’m not a big drug experimenter. I‘ve done my share of things but I’m a middle way guy. I trust myself to not get too far gone with things.
For this particular time there and the first night, there were four journeys in a week. The first journey is on a Monday night. I taught that afternoon. I went into a ceremony that night. It was darkness from start to finish. It was six hours of being in the underworld. There was no light in the underworld. Not to be too coy about it, I was pointed in the direction of who I’ve become. There are three intentions or questions that get asked throughout the week. One of them is, “Show me this request.” Plant medicine shows you who you’ve become.
You don’t have to ask that or inquire there but it’s cool if you do because when you ask a good question or pretty much any question, you’re going to get an answer at some point. I got the answer right out of the gate. It was tough to be shown truths that I am so good at evading or keeping at a safe distance and away from damaging my precious ego, self-esteem or ability to have the audacity to speak publicly. It’s an important thing that you can balance the confidence to do certain things in life and yet have humility that’s in harmony with confidence. I would love to get generally any comments about that. Also, have you been to Rhythmia yourself? I’m curious.
I have not. I was invited to go on that specific trip. I know Robert Glover was down there and some other folks that we know. I had gotten that invitation. I was very close to going but it wasn’t in the cards for me at this particular time. I have not done an Ayahuasca event yet but it is on my radar. I’m fascinated by that whole idea. Personally, it’s off the reservation from my religious conservative upbringing. At the same time, everybody that I’ve talked to that have experienced it, the more that I understand about it. I was first shown about it when I was in the Tony Robbins Platinum group.
We went down to Brazil and the Amazon. There was a group of people that did it and I decided I wasn’t ready for it yet. I’m fascinated by the idea of our minds, as I better understand brain chemistry, neuronal connections, beliefs and how we form these connections in our brain. You were talking about the truth. What happens when you have these beliefs that are not true? “I’m not loved. I’m not worthy.” Those are the deepest untruths in our egoic human experience. What happens when those connections are so well-proven in our heads? Is it possible that an Ayahuasca type of thing could flush that out?
It’s like defragging the computer, reorganizing thought and bringing it back to coherence. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Joe Dispenza in 2021 and had gone the meditation route, which as I understand it, is almost a similar endgame by heightening consciousness, tapping into a higher frequency and better understanding our true natures. I’m fascinated by that whole world. It’s something that I’ve only been into. I have not done a specific Ayahuasca one yet. I’ve experienced some pretty metaphysical things in the meditation space in 2021 or so.
My personal take on this is that you don’t need to do it to get there. For me, meditation is the practice of being present. Somebody shared that with me years ago. It’s super simple and I’m a simpleton. Something simple I can wrap myself around and use. It’s being present. I have a presence of getting present and presence process in the morning that I use, which is a meditative process. That can take me right to the endpoint of a journey quickly. Breathwork is magical. For anybody that has never done breathwork or been facilitated in breathwork, you can go deep in breathwork.
I also recommend that folks interested explore things like Ayahuasca in the right environment. We’re good at hiding from ourselves. I’m good at hiding from myself. I know that I’m no different than you, Peter or anybody else. I feel like that’s true of the human condition. The thing about that too is you don’t know when you’re hiding. That’s how good you are at hiding. When you’re in an environment where you’re being facilitated in expert ways with shamans and people that have been doing this indigenously for thousands of years, knowledge and education are passed down to another leader in that space. There’s so much to be gained from it and humility.There is no growth without humility. It is a paramount element in expanding your vessels to dig deeper into the truth. Click To Tweet
The thing is, on that first night of that journey of that week, I got knocked to my knees. I was there the week before our mutual friend George Bryant was going to be also facilitating. I got knocked to my hands and knees. I needed it. I had been knowing a couple of weeks before I was heading out there. I could feel stuff all tensed up in my neck. My body was feeling stiff. We can’t get too stiff because, at some point, we’re so stiff, we’re done. You being a truth seeker is fascinating because it’s a constant vigilance to be a truth seeker. It’s not easy. You don’t get a day at the beach.
I tried to hang it up at one point when I was in my marriage and things were not going well. On paper, everything was good. I had a beautiful wife, two loving great kids, a nice home and a great income. I remember thinking to myself, “Why can I not be happy? Why is this not fulfilling for me?” It seems like, from my perspective, most people seem to live a fairly happy life working from 9:00 to 5:00.
They don’t necessarily love it but they have their moments, weekends and breaks. They seem to be okay with that. I’m like, “I’m going to have to do that because that’s where I am at the moment.” It was a two-week intention. I had a longer intention but within two weeks, I got to the point where I was like, “I can’t turn this off. I don’t know how to not do this. There’s a calling within me. There’s something about me where I seek deeper knowledge and truth.” I couldn’t turn it off.
Is that a point of conflict for you and your spouse?
Certainly, it was what bubbled up the uncomfortable truths of our relationship truthfully in a way that was serving us and we didn’t necessarily see at the time. On that quick note, we had a wonderful holiday season. A big part of that was my ex joining my family for our vacation. It took a long time and it was a long time coming. I had this thought, “Is your marriage strong enough to survive divorce?” The reason why that came to me was that my ex-wife and I have a better relationship now. We communicate better.
We are still connected through our children. Even in a spiritual sense, we have an undeniable spiritual relationship that we didn’t know we had when we first started dating all the way back in high school. Now that we’re adults and have been through some stuff, I never felt not married to her even when we were separated because we had that connection on so many different levels emotionally, financially and spiritually.
I’m fascinated about the communication piece among other things because your work in the world is about relationships. Not every relationship is meant to be the until-death-do-us-part kind. That’s the reality. It’s not a terrible reality is what you’re saying.
If you set that intention, there have been times when we have both wanted to strangle each other but there is a deeper intention to ultimately turn the page. Every day is a new day. We put the past behind us when it’s appropriate and effective. There are times when we need to revisit the past to have that healing. The communication piece is massive. It is something that led me into relationships. It’s that and my mother’s passing. About a year after she passed, my father came out of the closet and told us he was gay. At the time, I just had my son.
I was having a profound and deep reflection on, “What does it mean to be a man and a good father? What did I not have?” I talk about the shadow and uncomfortable things. I wanted to go into that space of what I didn’t receive growing up so that I could be clear with what it was and make sure that I bequeath it to my son and give him that experience. All of this stuff to me converges with this journey that we’re on, the truth that we’re seeking and the ego that we’re shedding to better understand our true natures if you believe like I do that we’re spiritual entities. The communication piece is massive.
Maybe the most important communication, it’s convenient to say this, I suppose, is the communication with ourselves. It’s back to that same thing, “Can you receive the truth from yourself? Can you seek it, to begin with? Can you deal with it and accept it?” Going back to that week of mine, the truth was devastating that night to be confronted. I won’t be too cheeky about it.
The truth that I got was that I’ve been behaving like an asshole. This is all under the influence of this beautiful medicine, Mother Ayas. It’s sometimes referred to as Aya. It’s to be able to say, “I’m an asshole.” I’m not saying that it’s a good thing at all to be an asshole but to say to yourself, “If that’s it, we can rationalize everything.” I can say, “I’m being an asshole here and there,” and that doesn’t make me an asshole. I just act like an asshole sometimes.
What’s the difference? If you strip it away, it leads to more questions, “If I am an asshole, does that mean I’m unlovable? Does that mean I can’t be forgiven? Does that mean I can’t love myself? Does that mean I can’t improve and get better? Does that mean I have to be an asshole tomorrow or in the next minute simply because I was one yesterday or a minute ago?”
It’s remarkable how much the truth like the biblical or what has been interpreted can free you and give you great freedom. I’ll save that for a little bit in the discussion and where it went from there. What made you be a true seeker? Was there some catalytic thing that said, “This is my path in life to seek the truth.”
No, I was born with it. We’re all born with certain gifts, callings or pursuits. When I started to consciously, on a much more mature level, understand that and see that it was different than others, I had that same question, “When did I start doing this?” It was one of those things where I have always done that. It was something I was gifted with if you consider that a gift.
I wrote a book called Pivot some years ago. The book starts with a story of me having a moment in the emergency room with electrodes stuck on my chest, my heart beating like it was outside my chest, fingers tingling and sweating profusely. I have a heart attack. I’m deeply afraid of dying at that moment in particular because I have four small kids and my wife is standing there next to me as I’m lying on this gurney. I’m so weak. I feel filled with shame that I’m putting her through this. I’m going to leave her and make her a widow with all this stuff to deal with.
I didn’t have a heart attack. My heart was fine. The doctor said, “You’re having a panic attack.” That’s what it was. I had an anxiety attack. That was the moment for me. When I left the hospital, the doctor said, “This is a pretty good gift you get because you’re going to walk out of here. There are guys who come in your age in their late 30s presenting these symptoms. They don’t always leave.” I did walk out and realize I had been given a bit of a reprieve.
I looked up at the sky, holding my wife’s hand and said, “Thank you, God.” I don’t know if I ever said, “Thank you, God,” before in my life but I did that day. That was the moment for me that put me on a, “I got to find something and get some truths.” Dr. M. Scott Peck wrote a book called The Road Less Traveled, which is a phenomenal book. That was the opening for me in that arena. Even when I left the hospital that day and I didn’t know what to do, there was a bit of a crack in the door and a little bit of light.
It was dark because I was confused. I didn’t know where I was, even though I’m married to my college sweetheart with four healthy kids. My business is great. I’m a lawyer and I’m making tons of money but it was sheer darkness for me, especially in the morning. I don’t know if you’ve ever had trouble waking up at that early part of the day. That was miserable for me. I would put my feet on the floor and feel instant dread.
It’s that little window where you’re coming online in the morning from unconscious to conscious state. I had those moments of impending doom. Something not good is going to happen in the world and your life.
It’s low-level or not so low-level anxiety. In the path or this distance after that event, I didn’t know what to do. I was having trouble not only waking up but also falling asleep. Maybe people can relate to that too. I was taking Ambien to get to sleep. If I woke up in the middle of the night, I would have trouble getting back to sleep. There was one particular night I woke up and had trouble getting back to sleep. I sat down and turned on the TV. I was watching this old movie, Jerry Maguire.
That Jerry McGuire movie leads me to something that I did that I won’t talk about that changed the trajectory of my life. The thing that I don’t normally think about is that in that movie, there are all these Hollywood lines here, “Show me the money.” Cuba Gooding says that to Jerry or Tom Cruise. Renée Zellweger, at some point says, “You had me at hello.” That’s another great Hollywood line. Tom Cruise says something like, “You complete me.” One day, I remember saying to my wife, Randi, “Do I complete you?” What do you think she said? Take a wild guess.
From a woman’s perspective, she probably said, “Hell, yes. I’m all of you.” If I would ask anybody that I dated, it’s like, “You’re nothing without me.”
She looks at me and goes, “Are you out of your mind? You don’t complete me.” We had done some relationship training workshops and things for a bunch of years. We would tell that story on stage because it was an interesting moment to explore whether or not anybody can complete us in an intimate relationship whether it’s marital or not.
A lot of people don’t even get married these days but you’re with somebody and committed at some level. You go, “Is it another person’s job to complete you?” I want to get your take on that because you are an expert in this field of relationships whether that’s relative to communication or some other thing. I’m going to throw that potato in your lap. What do you think of it?When two people come together, they can create something an individual person cannot. Click To Tweet
To preface my answer, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants that I have learned some of this stuff from. I went and applied it to my own relationships and also reflected and better understood it myself. David Deida has a great model for this where he talks about the three phases. I’m going to twist it a little bit to fit my own needs here. There are three phases of the journey of relationships. You have that incomplete stage where you consciously or unconsciously are seeking out that love, validation and approval from somebody else.
That was one of the mistakes that my ex-wife and I made when we first came together. We were essentially two incomplete people seeking love and validation from something outside of each other. The next phase is wholeness. When I first heard that, I was like, “Is wholeness the second stage?” The second stage is wholeness and wholeness is when you start to create boundaries and have a sense of self. Without those boundaries, you don’t know what’s outside or inside your sense of self.
As I went through my personal development journey, I started to better understand my own values, personality, strengths, weaknesses, where I began and where I stopped. Creating those boundaries helps me create a greater sense of wholeness within myself and at least that intention. The third phase is beyond wholeness, where I believe when two whole people come together, they can create something that an individual person cannot. You see this and feel it. More importantly, you feel it when you’re around a couple that elevates each other in ways that the other person cannot.
I’ll share one other quick thing that has been beautiful for me to learn. It’s very humbling. Something that women innately have within them is that feminine energy that helps uplift the masculine. On a more practical level, in my personal development journey, I was told one time, “You can have one or the other. You have two options. You can either have a boxed-in heart and your heart is safe in that protective box but it’s confined or you can have an open heart that’s bleeding and full of life but because it’s open, it’s vulnerable. Therefore, it’s going to get bruised.”
I have found in my relationships with women that some of them, not all of them, who sought to elevate that there was a third option, which was when you’re with a partner that is humble and seeks to love, they can put a box around your heart or seek to put a box around it to help protect you. To have somebody else do that is incredibly humbling and also deeply loving. When I think of communication, incompleteness and wholeness, I think there is this masculine-feminine design where we’re supposed to come together biologically. Spiritually, I believe that those energies do constitute wholeness. I don’t think you have to be in a partnership to have that.
I would guess that you would agree with this too. We all have feminine and masculine within us. There is a wholeness within us that does not require something outside of us to complete that wholeness. I do think in this human journey with the illusion of separateness and incompleteness that a man and a woman can bring together more of that spiritual union. A feminine woman who is mature, done the personal development work and in touch with her spiritual nature, her expression of femininity will out-express any man who is in touch even with his feminine and vice versa.
We are clear channels of that masculine and feminine energy on a practical level in this human experience. Those two coming together creates a wholeness or a beyond wholeness like David Deida was talking about, that is beautiful and enriches each other but also enriches their offspring and the community around that. It’s something that our world is sorely needing. It’s something I’m passionate about because it seems like we don’t have a clear sense of what that ideal relationship ought to look like.
It is confusing. I know you do a lot of work with men and boys as well and had to better understand and relate to the feminine. I would love to learn more about that. I’m particularly curious because the landscape has shifted. I’ve had kids and all that. I’m not making a start in the world. I’ve been with the same woman for 30-plus years. The landscape is different now for young men, boys turning into men and young men that are even in their twenties in having to figure it out or navigate it. That’s a statement but it’s also a question. Do you think it is different? Has it changed? How do you work with those young men these days?
It’s undoubtedly different. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create bad times. Bad times create strong men.” We’re in that good-times-have-created-weak-men phase and we’re starting to tip over into the weak-men-create-bad-times phase. It’s helpful to understand that landscape so that we know what we’re at, where we’re at, what’s needed and where we need to step up as men.
Say more about that. I don’t want to digress too far but that’s a powerful statement.
To me, we’re in cycles. We are energy. I’m now leaning into my Joe Dispenza experience. Everything is energy on a physical level. If you break apart and deconstruct an atom, there’s nothing there. It’s just space or a little vortex of energy. What’s emblematic of energy, if not cycles and waves? We see that in relationships and economics. Our whole world is waves, cycles and all these things. Part of that cycle that we’re in is what I described.
There’s a fascinating cycle called the Tytler Cycle. There’s a gentleman named Alexander Tytler, who in the 1800s discovered that democracies and empires followed this predictable set of cycles that maps on top of the good men cycle that I was talking about, where you start with liberty and freedom. I’m giving you the paraphrase model. It goes into abundance. From that abundance, it goes into apathy. Apathy goes into corruption, corruption goes into bondage and bondage goes into liberty again. You start the cycle.
To understand our place in that is helpful because, number one, as things tend to get a little bit more volatile or turbulent, it’s helpful to know that we are in a cycle and that this will play out. There will be a spring that’s coming. That’s another cycle winter, fall, spring and summer. As men, how we fit into that and raise new young men is to understand the masculine cycle or journey, which tends to be linear. It starts in the Prince stage and moves into the Knight stage, which is from teens to early twenties. That’s the stage of a man’s life where he’s seeking to find out what he’s made of. It’s typically a selfish stage.
The Hawaiian culture, I love what they have done. They call it the three Fs. A young man’s three Fs are focused. I’m sure you can think of a couple of them. One of them is Food, Fighting and Fucking. It’s self-serving. As he matures, he goes from that Knight stage into the Prince stage once he finds out who he is, we’re talking about wholeness. Before you find a sense of who you are, you have that sense of wholeness, “This is what I’m bringing to the table.” That energy tends to get boring almost if you’re constantly serving your own needs. It’s like, “I want to uplift others, help and serve.”
That energy shifts outward. It’s typically when a man starts to have a wife and children. In that Prince stage, he’s now looking to give. The three Fs then turn into Feed, Family and Fend, which is more serving his tribe and community. Alison Armstrong, who was the one that taught me this, talked about this stage prior to becoming a King, which is the Tunnel stage. A man oftentimes will reach a point in his life. It sounds like you might have hit this with some of what you’ve shared. It’s where a man tends to go into the Tunnel, which is a bleak, dark and trying period in a man’s life.
It’s typically when as he has been building his kingdom, the rug gets pulled out from underneath him whether his wife cheated on him, a business partner stole from him or there’s a health scare. It’s something that rocks him to his core. I have put a little bit of a different light on that because I’ve worked with men in that stage. I want them to slow down. Breathwork is huge in this period. It’s a sacred time in a man’s life where he’s burning off all the impurities spiritually but also in his actual life of essentially answering the question, “What’s not necessary?” It’s a minimalization process to streamline and strip down.
Get rid of all the bullshit and stupid stuff you have in your head about ego and get down to the raw and real, “Who am I? What is this purpose in my life all about? How do I give and build a kingdom to ultimately bless and leave a legacy of love and contribution in the world?” That roadmap is helpful for men to know where they are in that stage. I can get into archetypes too because I help men with that as well. That’s something helpful for me. It has been helpful for me to better understand my son and other men and also with communication as well.
Going back to the Ayahuasca story, that thing became important to me in that experience because it was difficult. On the one hand, I had done many journeys before. I know how loving and kind it all is, even in the worst of it like if you’re throwing up, crapping, screaming and crying. There’s a lot that’s going on in a very safe environment, at least in the place where I’ve experienced this. The knowledge I bring to it is that I’m being loved the whole way through. It‘s nothing but love that’s carrying me through it.
At a certain point, it became real. It’s through a line in the book that I’ve got. This new book, Change Proof is a book about change. Oddly enough, everything is changing. The one constant we have in our lives is that everything is constantly changing ironically. There’s acceptance and truth. Truth is not absolute. I don’t call it truth. Look at things without the lens, ego or anything else that clouds seeing things for what’s there to be seen.
A part of that night, I was going, “You’ve been short with people. You haven’t been compassionate and listening well. You’re an asshole.” That’s the conclusion of that. Acceptance without judgment is ultimately what helped me to move beyond or through that darkness and into the light. To not be in judgment is a fundamentally profound thing. You talk about the missing and what you can do without. What could be missing from your life is judgment.
When you eradicate judgment or you’re able to accept things without judgment, it feels like love and presents this love. That’s complete lightness. I want to come back to this question of young men. I’m curious if you have an opinion about whether young men are feeling more judged than they were in the past. I didn’t grow up feeling, as a young man, judged by society. I wasn’t thinking of myself as potentially something that should feel shame, guilt or is wrong necessarily just for being.
I know this is a controversial topic and I’m curious what your thoughts are on it. I’ve lived in a house of women for a lot of years. I have three daughters, a wife I adore and a son. I have a son and he’s in a committed relationship, which is wonderful. For guys that are out there starting to make their way in the world, what advice do you give them? I won’t even put an opinion on it because I don’t work with those young men the way you do.
It’s a blessing and also a challenge and a struggle to be a man. The word that I hear often isn’t necessarily judged but it’s unappreciated. Men feel expendable and feel like the cause of all the shit in the world. It’s our fault. There are loud voices and in many cases, understandably so, of why we have fucked things up.
There’s also a political element in a lot of it that I pushed back on because a lot of it is over-the-top, unfair, destructive and counterproductive to what we’re all wanting to create in the world, which is more safety, love, kindness, strength and acceptance. For the men who are seeking to find their way, the blessing is, in a way, you have a blank canvas because you’ve already been condemned.Men have an obligation to create the container of love and defend it. Click To Tweet
You’ve already created all this shit by the societal view. It’s like, “What are you going to create now?” There is no high standard that you have to step into. I’ve heard some comedic perspectives on this where it’s like, “The bar is so low. It’s easy.” I forget the comedian’s name but he went out on a date and the gal said, “Don’t you want to have sex with me?”
He’s like, “If you don’t want to, I’m not going to force you to have sex.” She’s like, “You’re a great man.” He’s like, “Is that the standard? Is that the bar that I have to pass?” In that regard, men have an obligation to create the container of love and defend it. A lot of men are so impotent in their energy and intention.
That’s the weakness. That’s where I wanted to come to. You described the stage or the phase that we’re in as a difficult one. You said, “We’re in a stage where men are weak.” Maybe we’re not doing sociology work here. Maybe it’s more philosophy than anything else or what your gut tells you.
Oftentimes, we think we are physically weak in impotence and their energy, etc. Weaknesses are also bullying, pumping your chest and being a bulldozer. There are a lot of “weak men” that are physically and emotionally strong but they’re bullies essentially and tyrants. That’s also a shadow of true masculinity, which to me is a weakness. We’re dealing with a lot of that weakness where you have a lot of corruption. As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of pedophilia in high elements of the government, Corporate America and the world. It’s tragic.
Good men with good hearts need to hear that calling to step up and create a container of love and defend within it women, children, other men and other people who are unable to defend themselves. We need to raise that standard and create that element of masculine safety and masculine strength. Women play a huge part in this. A lot of men are driven by the love and affection of women. There are a lot of women who I believe have fallen into this societal lie that there is no difference between men and women and/or that men are the root of all problems.
It has seeped into our lexicon and culture. You see it in music, movies and language. I work with women too. A lot of times, beautiful, attractive, capable and successful women, you will hear in their words disdain for men, not outrightly and not necessarily even consciously. Oftentimes, I’ll stop and ask them because a lot of them have relationship issues. The complaint is often, “I intimidate men too much. Where are the good men?” On some levels, if you’re an attractive, successful and ambitious woman, the nature of that is there’s going to be fewer men in that pool to select from.
However, a lot of times, they don’t understand that they’re repelling the good men that they are seeking in an unconscious way because of that. The question that I ask them is, “What can a man bring to the table that you love that no woman could do so?” A lot of times, they have a hard time answering that question. This, to me, is that societal pot that we’re in. Everybody is very clear on how men have screwed things up.
We’re all clear on which ways men have messed up relationships, race or economics. “What’s the vision? What are we working towards? How should men behave? What can a man bring to the table that a woman can’t?” That’s something that I encourage people to think about and reflect on. In my opinion, there’s an element of truth, strength and protection that men bring to the table that on average most women can’t bring as much to the table. That’s not a knock at all on women. We need to have the humility and the emotional maturity to hear that, receive that and say, “Cool.”
The same question is true too, “What do women bring to the table that men cannot?” Most men I know can write books on that. They might be frustrated by them and be pissed off but men love women. We love feminine energy, affection, nurturing and the energy that they bring to our lives often. I’m painting broad strokes here. There are plenty of men that don’t or they’re assholes of much worse ways. I’m sure you feel like you’ve been an asshole. They’re the bullying or abusive types.
There are so many places we can go. I appreciate you going there. I was reading in the paper about protests that are happening. A group of men in South Korea has taken up arms, not physically but verbally and socially, through social media, protests and things. They have taken up arms against the feminists or what they call feminism in South Korea because they feel like they’re being marginalized and punished for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers. You’ve got all these generations of men that treated women like shit.
Culturally speaking, ingrained in culture was the degradation, marginalization and outright oppression of women. The pendulum has swung in many ways quite a bit. I don’t know if it has gone to another extreme. Young men who are not responsible for that and don’t bear the Scarlet letter for their fathers or grandfathers are standing up and saying, “This is not right. This is hypocrisy. This is double standards.” That’s a whole long conversation all by itself but as long as I brought it up. Do you have any thoughts to share about that, Peter?
If you understand politics and history, there’s a clear political agenda to demonize men. Some healthy pushback on that is healthy. If you’re finding that you’re doing it to the people and women in your lives in an unproductive way, that’s counterproductive. Understanding that there’s a political piece in this is key. On the other hand, part of the reason why that has taken such root is that there have been abuses. A lot of women don’t feel safe. They have been hurt, raped and violated. As men, we should hear and feel that collective calling to step the fuck up and start to create safety.
Part of that is, we’re going to have to take it up a notch a little bit, you have to love yourself in the process, create those boundaries and this was something I had to do in my relationships and say, “I hear you. I’ll receive some of that.” At some point that becomes imbalanced as well. We have to push back lovingly clearly, communicate where those boundaries are to help women and other people fit into that loving and protective container. It’s not going to happen overnight. This is a generational thing. It is the duty and obligation that we have before us.
It is one of the most important conversations that we can be having. I’m glad we even touched on it as superficially as we did. There’s one more thing that I want to ask you about here. We started with the truth. This show is called Change Proof. I would love for you to give me a sense of how you build a bridge between truth and being change-proof.
Those are a little bit subjective. Can you detail that out a little bit more about what you mean?
The concept of change-proof, we spoke about this before. It’s the way that we deal with the changes we’re talking about. For example, here’s this change in how women are being heard, how they are using their voice and how men feel or are being treated in response to that shift or change. There’s this constant change but there are some profound changes that are happening.
You’re a truth seeker. I wrote a book called Change Proof. I want to see if there’s a bridge we build or a connection even. The bridge is a way to connect two points. It’s connecting truth and this concept of being able to accept change without judgment because that’s how I define being change-proof. It’s the unconditional love and acceptance of something without it being subject to judgment.
There’s a great book by the name of Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s a fascinating book where he tracks all these companies and compares two companies in any given era. They had access to the same market, essentially the same amount of resources and good management teams. For one reason, one company took off, went to the stratosphere and then sustained that greatness while the comparative company may have achieved some level of greatness but then fell off the tracks for some reason.
In that whole process, what he and his team did was remove everything to see what was left. They found that the companies that achieved and sustained greatness came down to two elements. They had a sense of their core values but they were also always willing to stimulate progress. To me, being change-proof in truth is there’s an anchoring of truth in the core values of who you are as an individual, family, country, world and human. There are senses of core values that are timeless and will never change.
In our modern society, with technology, population and geopolitical connections, there’s constant change. How do we stimulate that progress? To me, it’s this element of taking all the new technologies, new perspectives and all of that and then feeding it through a funnel of, “Does it meet our core values?” Simon Sinek does a lot of great work in this space too, helping individuals and companies have a sense of why. What is their purpose?
That, to me is a grounding foundation of stability and certainty that you can feed your whole life through to make sure that there is that constant while also not being so timid, stiff and fixed that you break because things are changing fast. I think of it as a sapling tree. It’s strong in its anchoring but very flexible at the same time. As a kid, we used to play out in the woods. It’s easy to break a dead branch because it’s stiff, brittle and fixed.
If you try to break a live branch sometimes you can sit there and twist on that thing forever because it doesn’t freaking break. To me, this is masculine and feminine. That ability to flex, be and change is a feminine flow of energy. You’re with the current and where it goes but at the same time, you have that lighthouse energy or the masculine bedrock of truth that which we’re always seeking. I’m full of metaphors.
I love how you’re also giving a lot of resources to people to think about people and works like Jim Collins’ Good to Great or other works because I’ve asked the question on the topic of change-proof. The bridge that I would build looking at this concept of truths and my work with organizations are always focused on the topic of how those organizations are operationalizing the resilience of individuals so that strong or resilient individuals create resilient organizations.
Those organizations are what you described. It’s the sapling or the Willow tree that bends in the wind and doesn’t break. It has that flexibility but has strength as well. That is what resilience ultimately looks like. We are able to not just survive storms but be stronger in the process. We’re always in a constant stage of growth. The future is always going to teach us something. There’s wisdom from the future. It always teaches the same thing that we are good and growing in the present. That’s what it will teach us every single time we listen to it.You can either have a close heart that is safe or an open one that is full of life but prone to getting bruised and wounded. Click To Tweet
We get so caught up in the fears of mostly what might happen. For companies, in particular, look at the changes that are happening and then be able to pause, ask and choose a path. The model is to pause, ask and choose a path that is more resilient for the individuals and the organization itself. It’s the key and truth. This idea of truth fits in that ask category to pause and then ask. You ask questions, not with the intention of being told lies. You ask questions with the intention of being told the truth.
Asking tough questions may lead to some tough answers. That’s the truth at times. Those answers themselves are like nutrients in the soil, to keep to your metaphor. It’s the water, the rain, the sun and the nutrients in the soil that help things grow and be both flexible and strong. Peter, I so loved the conversation. We will stop here but I’m still looking forward to our conversation on your podcast. Would you say the name of your podcast so folks can tune in and check that out too?
It’s Wired for Impact. You can find it on Apple, Spotify and just about anywhere you can find a podcast. I’m very much looking forward to that too. I had to bite my tongue a few times because the podcaster in me was like, “I got to ask all these questions but I’ll save it for mine and let him ask the questions here.”
You can find out more too about Peter and his podcast at ImpactNow.com. If you love this episode, we would love to hear from you. If you have feedback, we would love to hear that too. Feedback is oxygen for us. Share it with a friend, subscribe, tell other people and comment. We will answer back. I promise it will be me, in case you’re wondering.
Also, we would love to find out more about your resilience at this moment in time, given all the changes that are happening and the types of lovely, wonderful and beautiful truths as well as challenging truths that we’re dealing with some of which Peter and I got to talk about, you can take a resilience assessment with no strings attached.
It’s entirely a gift. You can go to ResilienceRank.com. You can take that resilience assessment and not only get some answers immediately with respect to your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual resilience but also get a resource kit. That’s entirely our gift to you all. I’ll also have some follow-up thoughts so keep reading after Peter and I say goodbye. I’m going to circle back and ruminate on some of the wonderful insights that Peter King shared with us. Peter, it has been a blessing and a pleasure to have you on the show.
Thank you so much, Adam. It has been an honor.
That was a great, wonderful conversation. I was so fascinated with listening to Peter’s thoughts and philosophies on so many topics. Clearly, this is a guy who has done a lot of personal development work on himself and read. He can connect the dots between the things he has read, the experiences he has had and the work he has done with people like Dr. Joe Dispenza and others so that we can better understand his position on things. Through that conversation or his sharing of those insights, I’m clearer now about this construct, what truth is and its place in many things.
We started the conversation by him saying he’s a truth seeker. I thought, “That’s a tough road to be a truth seeker because the truth is not always rosy and not everybody asks about the truth or inquires that deeply. Sometimes what we are shown or what we will see means that there’s more work to do.” We have to go back to the drawing board and be humble in the face of that truth so that we can build from something substantial.
Often, in old biblical analogies and stories, we hear about the sands of the desert and the description of the blowing of the sands was a way to talk in many ways about the development of our souls and how if we’re not building a life on something stable like a rock then we can be blown about like the wind. We’re like the sand in the wind. That creates a lot of pain because we can feel lost. We go through phases and stages in our lives when we do feel lost.
We are like little grains of sand being blown in this wind. It can feel cruel even at times. When we’re committed to truth, as Peter King was talking about something different happens. I was sharing this story about me on an Ayahuasca journey in Costa Rica, where my intention in the first of four journeys that are scheduled for a weeklong retreat I was asking for the truth and to get it right between the eyes. We got to be careful or maybe don’t be careful asking for things because everything that we get is what we need.
I’m net positive on everything. I want to stay that way. Everything that we are experiencing we’re meant to experience. I believe we’re meant to experience everything that we are experiencing because it enables us to serve, develop and grow. All this is about our growth in the end. We grow or we die. We’re growing. That’s the mode we’re in. If you want to grow more, faster, stronger, bigger and deeper, truth is the way in. I was so happy that Peter started there as a truth seeker.
The opportunity when you ask for the truth to see things and accept those things that you see without judgment gives you this opportunity to then move forward from that place better because you now are not blind about whatever it is that you’ve been asking to see the truth of. Even in my journey and the first night that I was asked for the truth about myself and who I had become, it was difficult because there was work to do. It was back to the drawing board, compassion, listening and thinking better.
There’s more right thinking versus wrong thinking and things like that. There’s more humility to come back to a place where ego is not driving the vehicle all the time and not without supervision. I got to close the loop, I suppose, on my time in Costa Rica. The next night was this complete lightness and feeling as though my heart was healing and that my soul was being restored to me. By that, I mean a part of me that separated or felt separated early on in my life because we all experienced things that we can’t make sense of when we’re kids.
I was bullied as a kid and couldn’t make sense of that. I watched my parents sometimes arguing and had no control over that. I suppose at that age, it meant that there was something wrong with me or what have you. It’s difficult to know exactly what it means to not live in fear when in the bulk of our lives, we have lived in fear in some way. I’ve lived in fear a lot of my life. I have a lot of childhood fear of things that are in the unknown and are uncertain.
Part of my adult journey has been to embrace the uncertain and the unknown and look for the truths and things in myself. Even when I find things that are ugly or things that don’t make sense, I know that there’s the process of exploring without judgment. Those things that I don’t understand, that I can’t see or that are uncertain produce this light and ability to grow toward the light. That’s what the book Change Proof is about.
That has been my journey, literally and figuratively. It’s an ongoing journey because that’s the thing about it. Every day is a brand-new day. Every day is a new opportunity to be vigilant about how it is that we look at the world, the truth that we seek, the changes that are around us and how it is that we either embrace those changes without judgment, reject them, rail against them or ignore them. We know in personal and business matters that those that bury their heads in the sand are left or lost.
Those that resist change or have fear of change when change is the ever-present constant of the universe and our business or personal lives. In every aspect of Mother Nature, change is the constant. If we resist change in any way, we’re at a loss. We’re not working with everything that we have at our disposal and every resource that we’ve got. When we’re completely open to change without judgment then we can embrace it and even that change that we don’t understand.
We are able to leverage the power of what we don’t understand, our obstacles and blind spots and the unknowns and uncertainties in our world. When we look at those things differently, those things change the way we look. The truth for me is that it is our greatest freedom to see things as we do. It’s a freedom that no one can ever take from us. It’s a freedom we have regardless of where we live, what regime of government we live under and whether we’re advantaged financially, otherwise or we’re disadvantaged.
The greatest freedom that we’re born with and that nothing can take from us is this capacity to make meaning of what is happening in our lives and around us. That’s fundamentally what I call or have been saying is a Nelson Mandela mindset to honor Nelson Mandela. Here’s a guy that, for more than 28 years, was imprisoned in a cell. Despite physical imprisonment, no one could imprison his mind. No one can imprison the thought or the way that he was able to see the future, which ultimately not only meant physical emancipation but his being able to emancipate an entire country from a partite.
That doesn’t happen without a catalyst. The catalyst to me was what was happening between the years of that wonderful man who transformed our world. We have that freedom as well. We’re not often imprisoned, hopefully. If we are, it’s no different. There’s this fundamental capacity that we have to think our way through the world. The truth is Peter King helped us to explore. Truth is one of those areas that when we’re able to embrace truth, we are change-proof.
We’re not looking to see truth as good or bad. We’re not judging it in any way, shape or form. We’re change-proof then. I love this conversation with Peter to explore that and get into it. How far could we get into it? It’s just a little bit but hopefully, it was enough to whet your appetite for more. I hope that you are inspired to get your copy of Change Proof. See, explore, read and let us know what you think of the insights that we share in the book.
There are wonderful stories, incredible interviews, a lot of collective wisdom and some thoughts of my own as well. With that, I love this conversation with Peter King. If you did, please let us know and share it with someone. If you didn’t, please let us know that as well so we can continue to embrace the truth and work with it. Thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your day or evening wherever we find you in the world. Ciao and much love.
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About Peter King