PR Dr. Eric Holsapple | Failure And Mindfulness


We all have our own failures in life. Failure happens; it’s normal. But then, why is it so hard to let them go? Why can it sometimes be a struggle to forgive ourselves for our very human failures? Our special guest for today is Dr. Eric Holsapper, Founder and Lead Facilitator at Living in the Gap, Author of “Profit with Presence – The Twelve Pillars of Mindful Leadership,” and Vistage Worldwide Speaker with over 40 years of business experience and 30 years meditation experience. In this episode, Dr. Eric discusses the forefront of what animates our emotional state, how to infuse mindfulness into a business career, how success is really about managing failure, and more! Tune in to our conversation with Dr. Eric now!


Show Notes:

  • 02:22 – Managing Failure: How you turn things and transform
  • 06:57 – Mindfulness practice: Finding your blind spots
  • 10:02 – All issues are solvable if we can talk and get along and find compromise.
  • 15:44 – We’re the root cause of everything we’re experiencing.
  • 25:00 – We love to be distracted because when we’re distracted, we’re not present. We’re not comfortable with the present.
  • 27:36 – Profit with Presence: The Twelve Pillars of Mindful Leadership
  • 32:43 – Ritual for resilience
  • 35:26 – It’s an inside-out game.

Get the newest Change Proof Podcast episode delivered directly to you – subscribe here. And, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please give us a 5-star rating on iTunes! For instructions click here.

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.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Infusing Mindfulness: How To Forgive Your Failures And Manage Them Towards Success With Dr. Eric Holsapple

You are in for a treat yet again. I have Eric Holsapple who has more than 40 years of business experience, 30 of which is in yoga and meditation. He has taught business at Colorado State University for twenty-plus years. He has found ways to infuse mindfulness and meditation into a successful business career. He has also received Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from BizWest Magazine and Colorado State University. My talk with him is spectacular because we cover some controversial and vital topics. You will enjoy it thoroughly. It’s something that you’re going to want to share with others. Buckle up, settle in, and enjoy.

Having heard your own bio, that’s always an interesting thing, at least from me. When I hear people tell what we have created for them to read, talk about us, me, and all that stuff, feels a little artificial. Maybe you don’t feel that way, but my question to you to start with is, what’s not in that bio? What’s not in a standard introduction of you that you would love for people to know about you right out of the gate?

I don’t know what I would love for them to know what’s not in the bio. What I want them to know is in the bio. What may help them to know is that the low lights that define me and how I use mindfulness and other tools to take me from low lights to what I call sticking the landing, more or less, not in an egotistical sense but the bio is the highlights. It’s highlighting a long prosperous career but it was quite a journey.

You’re making this easy for me because I love how you took exception to the framing of that question. My question back to you is, why do you think we don’t, or why don’t you include some element of the low lights if it’s something that would serve the audience or others to hear about?

I do in my book. It’s longer but you get a few words. Who wants to listen to somebody that’s low? The interesting part is how you turn things and transform because any business person will tell you it’s how you manage failure. It’s not the peaks. It’s how you manage failure, how you kept going, turned it, and all those kinds of things. Failing is an art.

How you turn things and transform is based on how you manage failure, not the peaks. It's how you manage failure and how you keep going and turn it. Failing is an art. Share on X

Im not so much taking a contrary approach to what you are saying. I’m taking this in for myself because its a good question to start with. We’re used to people starting with their highlight reel, their accomplishments, their accolades, the awards, and whatever other things they think that people would want to know. Does it have to be that the bio becomes three minutes long simply because you want to describe the fact that you crashed and burned a business years ago?

I don’t know the answer other than that’s the way that bios are written and that’s the way I wrote mine. It gets me invited to shows.

This is a call to action for you, me, and anybody reading.

It’s why I love a longer format like this. We get to explore what things made a difference for you and what might make a difference for somebody reading because someone that’s on the top of the mountain somewhere that’s hitting on all cylinders of life, which is rare, is probably not reading this. It’s people that are looking for a way to go to the next level, mostly.

We go through stretches. Maybe it’s not like being on a highway. We drive all the time. There are different speed limits. At different sections, you go slower because you’re required to go slower. There are other places where youre encouraged to go faster and where youre supposed to go faster and all that good stuff. I feel like thats an element of life anyway. Nobody is hitting on all cylinders at all times. I’ve never met anybody like that. Even what all cylinders mean can mean different things to people because it could be that you’re hitting on all cylinders financially, but your relationships, your health, or something else is not.

This is a show about change. It’s based on my book Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience. Ultimately, our research in the world on this topic brings to life the idea that we become more resilient when we’re able to bounce forward and utilize the adversity and he uncertainties in our lives to grow. It is very compatible with your messages and your content, which is why we’re having a conversation.

I want you to take us to one point in time since what you said made so much sense. I resonate when you say, “Success is about how you manage failure.” I got a little bit of the wording inaccurate there but that’s what the throughline was for me. What’s a moment in time in your life that doesn’t have to be recent and could be in the past where you’ve had to manage failure? I would love to start at that pivot point.

Would it be fair for me to share a time when I was having business success and personal failure?

That would be terrific.

A comment made me think of it. It was in the early 2000s. I had three kids. I thought I was hitting on all cylinders. I’m a real estate developer. I had a dozen successful real estate developments. I had worked through the university and was teaching real estate courses at the university. I was coaching football and doing all those things. I took a trip with my family to Australia.

Fast forward five years, we’re in the recession of ‘07 and ‘08. My oldest son started struggling with some substance issues. My youngest son was suffering from depression. My daughter would go into her room and say, “I’m getting straight A’s. Leave me alone.” My wife and I went to marriage counseling. On the other end, I was in the recession of ‘08.

What I did at that time is I tried to change my boys, my daughter, and my wife. None of it worked. What I did out of either desperation or inspiration was turn around and say, “Maybe it’s time to work on you. No one else is listening.” I went to work on myself. I gave up drinking, which was overdue. My son’s issues were hereditary. I learned to manage him but it was an issue. I went to work deeply on my mindfulness practice. I found blind spots that I had around anger, acceptance, and intimacy. I went to work on those things.

The magic was as I got better and more mindful, others started to change. My family started to change. Fast forward, I had my 31st wedding anniversary. My wife and I are getting along better than ever. She didn’t follow me around but she found her work. My oldest boy is going to graduate with his PhD in Psychology. He coaches people. He’s thirteen years sober.

As you get better and more mindful, others start to change too. Share on X

My youngest son, who was a gamer, is now a game developer. He has come through our program and brought friends. It’s awesome. My daughter is a yoga therapist and doing her work. It is amazing. We always think the other person needs to do this or that but we don’t control anybody else other than ourselves. Sometimes that’s hard. That was a moment for me. I’ll never forget it. It lasted for years, but it was a moment.

We’re sharing about that because I also came through the 2007 and 2008 global financial crisis, known in the United States anyway, as the Great Recession from the Great Depression of the ‘30s. For many people, it was a depression because there was so much loss in terms of wealth, opportunity, and housing. You name it.

Were in a very interesting time when this episode is being recorded when you and I are having this conversation. We are once again at some form of a precipice. I’ll leave the political stuff to the side in the margins for the moment but economically, you are an entrepreneur. You’ve been a business owner for many years, as have I. We have been through that last one. I remember the one that started in 2000 when the dot-com bubble burst and when the Nasdaq went upside down seriously again in 2005. The real estate market bubble burst in 2008 and all that.

Having come through those things and resiliently ended up on the other side of those as I know you have as well, is there anything that you can tell about whats coming? I’m not asking you to be a prognosticator. Nobody can do that, not even whatever pundits there are on TV, CNBC, or wherever. What’s your sense of the headwinds ahead or the recession headwinds? What’s your sense of any of what is in store for folks?

I don’t know that it’s possible for me to answer that and set the politics aside. What I would like to set aside is partisanship. None of the issues, economically or socially, as far as poverty, homelessness, and climate change, bother me. What bothers me and why I’m doing what I’m doing the work that I do is our inability to talk, get along, and find a compromise. All the issues are solvable. We are capable of solving every single issue that’s out there.

PR Dr. Eric Holsapple | Failure And Mindfulness

Failure And Mindfulness: All the issues are solvable. We are totally capable of solving every single issue that’s out there. We just have to work on our inability to talk, get along, and find a compromise.


The economy isn’t an issue other than stagnation, stalemate, arguments, and those things. We can get through this easily. When it gets bad enough, look at what happened in ‘08. Compare what we learned from the Great Depression. I studied economics. From ‘08, what a job they did. Taking us from the edge of collapse and the tools that they used to bring us back, economically, we’re amazing.

In mindfulness, we have a term called the Middle Way. We have lost our middle. To me, business needs to be in the middle. The business has a role in saying enough. In South Africa, around the time of apartheid, they were on the verge. There were international sanctions. The business community was brought to its knees and said, “Enough. Left or right, move us.”

I don’t know how bad it has to get here. My fear is not the economics. This was a great little slide on 60 Minutes on the effect of social media making us the barbells. We used to have a normal curve. The normal was 5% or 2.5% on either tail. Now, the middle is 5%. The tails are big. It’s the effect of social media and how all the aggression and aggravating things get exaggerated and reposted by thousands. The statistics were crazy but anybody putting something out in the middle about compromise or anything, nobody liked or retweeted this and that. It’s craziness.

I don’t worry about the economy. We have so many tools at our disposal. I worry that we will get into another stalemate where they can’t agree on policies. The policies don’t have to be perfect. 2% or 5% less or more in tax rate or an immigration policy a little more or less isn’t going to sink us. What’s going to sink us is fighting and not being able to get along.

What I do is say, “Business people, you matter. You move the world. Start being a voice, not for partisanship but for moving things along because we have so much technology and ability to solve.” We have been to the moon and done everything. We can do it. Those things aren’t the issues. I got in myself boxed but there it is.

I wasn’t going to interrupt you, not because I was being polite. I’m nodding and feeling the words you’re saying. I’m leaning into them. This is my disclaimer here for people who are reading. This is my opinion. The only cause of everything is us. That’s it. The cause of whatever is causing discomfort in your life and my life is us, meaning individually and collectively us.

In the example you gave about what you were dealing with, what your kids were dealing with, and how when you began to deal with your thing and work on that, some miraculous or magical thing happened with your kids. You and I are probably both in the same age category, which we won’t say out loud but I don’t mind saying it. Now, in 2022, I’m 57. I’ve lived long enough to be able to say I’ve seen a thing or two.

I’ve seen some pretty tough times for people. I’m agnostic to that on some level. We are always going to have tough times. That’s the rule, not the exception. It’s not that these things aren’t serious, deserving of our attention, passion, and fervency. We have to be able to see the bigger picture, which is that we will all be fine.

Especially in America, you have to be kidding me. Pinch me. How am I so lucky to be born here?

The world is still spinning. The world is still in business if you believe in whatever version of the universe or something that animates the whole thing. The universe is still in business.

There are a lot of stats. You could say it in a lot of different ways. The average or median American has 30 times the income of the average of the rest of the planet or something. That’s something crazy like that. If we can’t be happy, we can figure this out.

The premise is that the only cause is us. I want to be able to dovetail because I speak to organizations pretty often about resilience. I’m a resilience keynote speaker but I also speak on mindfulness. I speak about the things that we’re seeing in this Great Resignation that’s perpetual. That has turned into something and they’re calling it a period of quiet quitting. We’re seeing people that are stressed out, burned out and exhausted.

There’s a lack of what is known as work-life balance. There’s a lack of what I like to refer to as work-life harmony, not work-life balance but finding the work-life boundaries that need to be in place, managing stress, and things of that sort. In those conversations, often, the idea of how we manage ourselves better comes up. If we’re the root cause of everything that we’re experiencing, that’s an element of personal responsibility when you live long enough to understand, it’s not somebody else’s fault. It’s not a blamesomebody game in life. Ultimately, it’s about taking personal responsibility for our experience of life. That’s when things change.

When you do that, miraculously, your company changes. The people you work with or the people you lead change. Your family changes because you are the common denominator in all of those situations. I am asking you now. The work that you do when it comes to finding that Middle Way, is that something difficult to do? How difficult is it? Is it something that people can learn? Can they learn it at any age? I would love for you to led us into a bit of the inner details of what that’s like for you and for the people that you work with.

It’s incredibly simple but not easy because you’re bucking culture. You’re 57. I’m 64, heading to apply for Medicare. You’re bucking years of everything from your parents to the coaches, the schools, the churches, the colleges, and the government telling us, “Production and consumption are the be-all to all things.” I love producing and consuming. I love traveling and doing all those things but until you get that you have something else that’s more important than that in your life. If we’re hanging all of our happiness on how much we produce and how much we consume, there is no such thing as enough. There will never be enough.

Those things are all great. I’ve been very successful and lucky but I had them all and was miserable. Look for a different way to be happy, and I’ve found it. I lead a lot of people through it. Some people are in for a penny and some people are in for a pound. The intention is number one. Everybody doesn’t have to meditate but they have to have an intention and do something. It is a practice. They have to have some practice.

You can be very successful and very lucky but still, be miserable. Share on X

We’re so divorced from nature, particularly in business. Some people go out more. They have some acreage or get out on hikes and walk. I did one at lunch. Take a walk with your phone behind. It feels like you left your lung behind but you leave your phone behind, take a walk, and look up. People say, “Mindfulness is woo-woo.” Mindfulness is a focus. The rest of this crap is woo-woo. It’s having everything go through, “I have to be on every text. I have to respond in 30 seconds to every email. I have to be up on the media. I have to be tweeting.” That’s the woo-woo.

Mindfulness is getting out of the woo-woo and focusing on what I choose to focus on. I choose to focus on the people I love first and make sure I have a mindset that is positive. I can spin whatever comes. I focus on those I love first, get that taken care of, focus on my business, and get that taken care of. If I get those things taken care of, then I’ve got a few minutes to try to save the world. I can’t be dragged into every thought stream out there because business is good at getting our attention from everything. The cultural revolution of mindfulness has to come through the business.

If a business could start setting a culture where it is important to focus, then that goes home. When it goes home, it goes to the church, the school, the Cub Scouts, the football team, and everywhere. Business is a great melting pot of every gender, every race, and every color. Business is the melting pot. We have everything. If we want to have successful businesses, we’re crazy to rule anybody out. I want the biggest market and employment pool that I can possibly get so that I can deliver a product and make a profit. Businesses have such a role in taking us through this. How bad does it have to get?

It’s funny. It’s self-serving for sure when I say this because Im routinely speaking to leaders of organizations about why bringing us in to assess where their folks are from a resilient standpoint mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually even is so important. Ultimately, there is an exhaustion that is the result of what you’re describing. It’s the result of being pulled down so many rabbit holes and so many directions, or to use your exact language, to be dragged into every thought stream. It’s crazy on some level, yet it’s probably the definition of crazy in that we keep doing it. Somehow, we also realize we want to stop doing it. The way to stop doing it isn’t by continuing to do it.

I got back from Hawaii and made this decision when I went. There were some things I needed to check on while we were away. I would use my laptop to log in and check my email once or twice but what I decided was, from the moment I got off the plane in Kauai, my cell phone was going to be turned off and not get turned on until I landed back in San Diego. Eight days later, that cell phone was off and then it was on. It was what you described.

For a little while, maybe the first two days or so, it was like, “Am I missing something? What am I missing? I’m walking around with my wallet. I’m missing an appendage to my body,” which was this cell phone but by the third day or thereabouts, I was like, “I’m not missing this thing. I’m not fidgeting. I’m not using it as a fidget tool because my programmed mind is to be constantly aroused.”

While I’m standing there waiting for my family to come out of the juice shop or wherever I might have been standing for five minutes, I was looking out on Kauai, which is gorgeous, and being with my thoughts wherever that might have been, whereas previously, they went inside to shop, “I don’t want to go inside the shop. I’ll sit outside in the sun, check my email, check LinkedIn, and answer a text message.” It’s bizarre.

I’m in it too. I have to do those things in silent retreats. I’ve got to do those things or consciously leave them behind on a walk or something. We’re habitual creatures. What I have found is that we’re doing the next thing some 95% of the time. If we don’t interrupt that pattern, we can train ourselves that the next thing is productive and positive toward our vision and goals, but if we don’t, we’re going to wherever the marketers or the government want us to go and everything else. We’re on a chain.

It’s our default mode.

What we do is train ourselves to recognize that, clear out, and set a new vision. You can reset your habits toward more mindfulness, goals, and things that you want for your family that are wholesome and good. That is the next thing that happens when you’re not consciously picking the next thing, but it takes some time. I was talking to someone about habits. They say a habit is in 30 days, 60 days, or 21 days. I can get a bad habit in that much time but a good habit is a steady mindfulness habit.

Our program is nine months. I find that it’s a start to get one because you put yourself back. You’re in an environment that is not that. You’re bucking it all the time. The other thing that we try to do is tip companies to be mindful. One person comes through the program and goes back into a company that’s not mindful. In a few months’ time, they’re on an island.

The way habits work is first, I don’t do it for a day. Think about lifting weights or running. I don’t do it for a day or two. If it’s a week or a month, then I don’t run anymore. It is easier to start up again if I never ran but it’s gone. Commitments and habits have to go hand in hand. I have to have the commitments and the habits support my commitments and my commitments support my habits, but if my commitments and habits are contrary, I don’t stand a chance. I have to have the two. If it’s vacations or holidays, something is going to happen that I fall off for a little bit. My commitment gets me back on the horse. Habits support it.

In this instance, the pattern interrupt was breaking up the habit that I want to break. It remains to be seen whether or not I applied what I learned during those eight days of not having to have a phone.

I’m guilty as well. We love to be distracted because when we’re distracted, we’re not present.

This is potentially philosophical too. Why do you feel like we are not so comfortable in the present?

It’s because we haven’t experienced it. We’re not comfortable with things that aren’t usual or typical for us. After a bit, being present for the first time is uncomfortable. A lot of people that I work with and come through are shocked by it. It’s not an experience. At first, they don’t trust it but if most people think about it, they have some activity in which they’re present. For me, it’s snow skiing. For my wife, it’s painting. For some people, it’s taking a walk in nature.

PR Dr. Eric Holsapple | Failure And Mindfulness

Failure And Mindfulness: As humans, we’re not comfortable with things that aren’t usual, aren’t typical for us. Being present for the first time is uncomfortable.


I have a cousin that’s a national speaker. He was talking to me. He’s in his 70s and he doesn’t want to stop. I said, “It’s because you’re present when you’re in front of people. You’re there.” I love leading because I have to be awake and alert. Snow skiing is going through the trees. I can’t be anywhere else. I have to be present. I like going fast because I have to be present.

Once you get it, you want more but you have to get to the point to make a difference. It’s when you know you’re present and when you’re not. In our family, my wife knows when I’m not. My kids know when I’m not. My workmates know when I’m not, but I don’t always because I’m in a thought stream. It carries me away. I have to come back again but once you feel that bit of being present, it’s like a drug. It’s the best drug there is out there.

I don’t know if this has been your experience. In working in the mindfulness space as well, I find for myself that I need reminding all the time. It’s constant vigilance. Some people get frustrated with the fact that it might be that they can be with their thoughts and thought streams, be observant of those things, and be still even, which is a lovely thing. You can’t stop your thoughts. People are frustrated if they can’t stop their thoughts. There’s no stopping your thoughts. It’s not meant to work that way.

They’re frustrated when they find that they have fallen into a thought stream. They have taken the bait. They’re on the hook because they’re thinking about something in the past or some anger they have about somebody or something in the present. You go, “I screwed it all up,” but you didn’t screw it up. We don’t understand what success looks like in that space. You’ve written a book. I would love to have you share a little bit about how you address these topics in that book. That’s a very broad question.

I appreciate it. It’s Profit with Presence: The 12 Pillars of Mindful Leadership. I believe that in business, there is some inaccurate belief. It’s in the mindfulness community too. I believe that mindfulness and profit are somehow at odds. I’m not speaking for everybody, but there’s a portion of the mindfulness community that thinks money is a dirty word. In the business community, there’s a hidden belief, “I don’t have time for that. Once I make it, I’ll do that.”

PR Dr. Eric Holsapple | Failure And Mindfulness

Profit with Presence: The Twelve Pillars of Mindful Leadership by Dr. Eric J. Holsapple

What I take on is no. Mindfulness is a focus. There’s nothing contrary in focus, clarity, vision, intention, commitment, and habits that is contrary to business. It’s serious business. I take that on and lay out a chart or a path. It’s not the path. There are a lot of paths. It has worked for me, and it works for many. There are a lot of ways to do it but you have to do something.

We start people with two minutes of meditation because more than that, I found is counterproductive for the reasons that you pointed out. You get in there. It’s a scary place. You go, “I can’t do this. Every time I look at that, my mind gets increased.” You’ve been like that. You haven’t noticed. Now, you’re noticing. The beauty is when you become a separation, some thoughts don’t stop. You may have a dramatic experience where you’re present. Thoughts slow down. It’s that gap when one thought stops before the next one starts.

We have some 6,000 thoughts a day. It’s not big but we trained to do it for two minutes. A lady was sharing in our program. She has been in it for almost six months. She’s now up to 5 to 6 minutes. We try to get to ten. After that, if somebody wants to go to twenty, that’s great. I’ve been doing it for 30 years or something. Twenty minutes is about what I get. Not every day I can get that much, but once your mind starts slowing down, your brain waves slow down a little bit. You feel like doing more but if you say, “I’m going to do twenty minutes,” your mind is like that after a bit.

I find people give up and say, “I can’t do it. It’s too hard.” It’s a process. We took a long time not being present. As Americans, we’re not very patient. If it can’t happen by 5:00, it’s a long process. It’s a commitment over time. We start with two minutes and over a long period and try to build up. I find that once your brain waves start to level out and things slow down a little bit, you start finding the peace that you might find in looking at a dramatic view or a beautiful painting thing.

I want to have that peace when I’m at work. We’re at work more than we’re anywhere else. We’re at work more than we’re with our family. We’re certainly at work more than we’re in nature or doing our hobbies. If we can’t have peace of mind and joy at work, we’re going to be agitated most of the time. Can I get that feeling of the zone in flow at work and notice when I’m not? When I’m not, I’m going to take a little walk. I’ll be back and get back in that mode. That’s when these relationships change.

If we can't have peace of mind and joy at work, we're going to be agitated most of the time. Share on X

Mindfulness is such a gift for relationships. I can’t say, “Stop judging.” I still judge but I notice when I’m judging, set it aside, look through it, and say, “There’s a real person under there. They’re not the label I’ve given them.” That’s when we start communicating and life starts working. When I start giving back, the science of gratitude, service, and these things is dramatic. Once I start practicing it, I look for things to be grateful for. There’s an afterglow image of being grateful that stays with me after that.

It makes such a difference. It’s going to take a little bit. I don’t think it’s going to happen by next Tuesday but I lay out a path that I hope the business community will take on and say the business community is where it’s at. We come up with all wealth that goes to politics. I don’t believe in business to be partisan, but businesses can say, “You don’t make sense. If you don’t work across the aisle and move us somewhere, we’re shutting you off. Let’s go.”

It’s hard not to end up there because all roads seem to be leading there these days. For the person who’s saying, “I would like to get started,” it’s always great to provide a single tangible tip. In our language, we talk about developing resilience one ritual at a time. As we’re wrapping things up, I want to ask you this question. For our readers too, you can connect with him and find out more about what he’s doing in the world, the services of his company, and all that kind of thing.

When it comes to a ritual for resilience, I give you two choices. Is there one thing that you would recommend that people start with? Is there one thing that you do in your daily routine or one single ritual for your resilience, whether that’s the resilience of your mind, which is mostly what we have been talking about, or your core competency in mindfulness? What’s that one routine that you use that you go to each and every day, whether it’s at the start of the day or at some point in the day when you start to feel the thought streams coming on? Is there one other thing that you would recommend to people for them to get started?

I do a number of things but there’s one that comes up in both categories that you put out. I’ll go there. The lowest-hanging fruit is to practice gratitude. When you get up in the morning, get a journal and think of three things that you’re grateful for and why. Some people believe they need to be new each day. My wife and kids are on there every day. It helps me deal with them in a positive way, regardless of what’s going on.

PR Dr. Eric Holsapple | Failure And Mindfulness

Failure And Mindfulness: The lowest-hanging fruit is practicing gratitude. When you get up in the morning, get a journal, and think of three things you’re grateful for and why some people believe they need to be you each day.


I can’t wait to meet a non-dysfunctional family but we certainly aren’t excluded from that either. One thing is gratitude. It changed the dopamine and the mirror neurons. With that is a little smile. People say, “I smile when I’m happy.” You’re happy when you smile. If you want to be happy, start smiling. If you want to walk into a tough meeting, walk into it with a little smile. It’s amazing.

I’m so happy that you did that. We didn’t even plan this, folks. Many of our readers know I did a TED Talk some years ago about that very topic. It is the one thing that I’ve held onto. It has been my buoy in many ways for the last several years of my life. It’s this concept of starting the day with this mantra, “I love my life no matter what.”

I appreciate you sharing that as a daily ritual that people can engage with. It does alter the molecular structures of our brains as well as our hearts to be in gratitude. This is the key at the beginning of the day, not that you should not use it throughout the day. You can. I go back to what my grandmother said, “Start the day on the right foot.

Often, what we’re doing is starting the day based on someone else’s agenda for us. When you pick up your cell phone and look at your text messages or your emails, thats coming from outside of you. We know that every great teacher and every great teaching, whether in spiritual terms or intellectual terms, is inside out. We understand that the game is an insideout game. We win the game working from the inside out.

When we’re allowing these other extraneous things, whether it’s the media, news, reports, text messages, social media, or whatever it might be to be the thing that influences how we feel, certainly at the start of the day, were starting on the wrong foot because were not working from the inside out that way.

Eric, I enjoyed our conversation. We would love for you to leave a comment at if you believe there’s somebody you know in your business and personal life that would love to hear this message and what Eric shared with us. There was so much richness in what he did share. Please feel free to share this episode with folks. Leaving a five-star rating is always lovely wherever you are consuming this show. We love that too.

If you’ve not yet found out how resilient you are and want to take your assessment, it’s entirely free. It takes three minutes, believe it or not. You can go to and find out in three minutes how resilient you are based on where you are in this moment, even mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually too. With that, Eric, thank you so much for being a guest on the show. For our folks, have a blessed and beautiful day. I do truly hope you love your life no matter what.

I enjoyed my conversation with Eric. It covered so much ground. It covered some things that are at the forefront of much of what is animating us and our emotional states these days that’s got us, in some ways, quite agitated. We talk about how the only because of so much of what we’re feeling is us and what that means. Most importantly, how do we address it? What do we do about it? If we are the one cause of all things, if we’re the catalyst, and if we’re the first domino in that succession, how do we use that? How do we utilize it? What do we do with it?

We talked about how success is about how you manage failure. It’s something that I know in my life I’ve had trouble with. A lot of people have trouble letting go of failures, forgiving failures in themselves and others, and generally not rehashing them or living in some state of regret about them. We talked about mindfulness and a very workable definition or maybe the most workable definition of mindfulness that I have yet discovered. That is mindfulness is purpose. It is simply the focus that you put into your purpose. The purpose could be about business, loving people, being grateful, not holding judgments, and anything, but to focus on that purpose for some small length of time is the key.

As Eric said, that can be two minutes. Two minutes is an excellent mindfulness practice when it comes to the length of time that he works with people on this. He starts in 2-minute increments and then 5 minutes. Ultimately, ten minutes is a workable timeframe. Often, we find that when people want to meditate or think that they have to develop a meditation practice because everybody around them is telling them they have to do it, they go about it in the wrong way.

They don’t go about it in a way that sets themselves up for success either because they define it in an unrealistic way, such as, “I have to quiet my mind. I have to remove my thinking somehow and stop my thinking and my thoughts,” which is something that many of us who have been doing it for some length of time understand as virtually impossible. What we can experience are gaps that are wonderful between a thought and another thought. There can be these lovely gap moments. We can revel in our ability occasionally to observe the gap, but ultimately, meditation is more effective when we define it in a way that allows us to be successful at it.

What Eric said on that topic is worth repeating and listening to. Hopefully, I didn’t get in the way of his process but contributed to it and added some flavors from my practices in that same arena because when it comes to resilience, developing greater resilience for ourselves personally and professionally, and how to apply it even when we want to lead others in that practice. Whether it’s to help our families and our kids to develop their mindfulness practices or when we’re leading teams in business, we have to keep it simple.

We have to make those goals realistic and attainable and things that won’t frustrate people. We have to also understand that when we do get frustrated, there are methods to interrupt those patterns so that we can get back to it because there’s so much value in quieting our minds, not stopping our thoughts but being able to observe those thoughts and even observe this wonderful gap that can occur between our thoughts from time to time. I love the talk that we had that covered how it is that we are going from one state of agitation to another and what it is that we can do in the way of our rituals and our practices at the beginning of the day.

Looking at gratitude is a fundamental precept for happiness and a wonderful tool that is accessible to all of us to develop ourselves and resilience practices in deeper ways. It’s something that I love to talk about when I’m in front of audiences in my resilience keynote speaking or topics. I often cover stress management, work-life balance, how it is that we resolve conflicts, and things of that sort. They all come back to the same thing, which are simple practices to get present and become less agitated or even on the other end of that spectrum to feel happiness and peace.

These things develop our strength before we need that strength. We develop our resilience in an optimal world and scenario before were going to be called forth to be resilient due to circumstances because there’s so much in the way of circumstances that are outside of our body of control. People like me who are control freaks, or I like to think of myself almost as a recovering control freak, are living in the most uncertain times that we ever have. That is by anybody’s definition and anybody’s stretch of the imagination.

Developing our resilience couldn’t be any more relevant and perfect timing-wise than it is at this moment. If you don’t know exactly how resilient you are but would love to find out that information, then we have a wonderful tool that is accessible to you for free. You don’t have to do anything or pay anything for it. We use it. It is IP that we developed some years ago. We have now used this resilient leader assessment with more than 5,000 leaders globally from Fortune 50 companies to startups.

All you have to do is go to This is probably the best part because it has sixteen questions. It takes you about three minutes. You will get your score and know how resilient you are and four specific key areas. Importantly, you will get some free resources for how it is that you can create some new practices to improve those scores, including the things that Eric talked about on how it is that we develop a mindfulness practice and how it is that we become more adept, agile, and flexible in our thinking and mindsets so that we can leverage the uncertainty and the adversity even to our ultimate benefit and growth.

I hope that you love this episode with Eric, that you share it with friends, and that you will take a moment to leave a review and even give us five stars. If it makes sense to you and if it feels right to you, we love that. We love it when you share this information with someone else. If this episode would be valuable, please feel free to share it with a friend as well. I’ll say ciao for now. I wish you a blessed and beautiful day and that you are loving your life at this moment. I know I am.


Important Links


About Dr. Eric Holsapple

PR Dr. Eric Holsapple | Failure And MindfulnessHolsapple has over 40 years experience in business, 30 years of experience in yoga and mediation, and taught in the business school at Colorado State for 20 years. Holsapple found ways to infuse mindfulness into a successful business career, and has receive entrepreneur of the year awards from BizWest Magazine and Colorado State University.