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June 13, 2024 60 mins

Oliver is joined by Neuroscientist, Dr. James Doty. 
The renowned researcher, best-selling author, and master meditator spotlights the practice of manifestation.
Have we been doing it wrong all along? 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hi.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
I am Kate Hudson and my name is Oliver Hudson.

Speaker 1 (00:08):
We wanted to do something that highlighted our.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
Relationship and what it's like to be siblings. We are
a sibling Railvalry.

Speaker 1 (00:21):
No, no, sibling. You don't do that with your mouth, revelry.

Speaker 2 (00:33):
That's good. So the Oliver Hudson here, and I'm just
gonna get I'm not getting it into my life, you know.
Usually I'll do a little intro and get into my
life whatever. But I'm very excited to get to the
guests that's in the waiting room right now. And this

(00:55):
person is James Doty. He's a neuroscientist. He's a stand
for is extremely smart. But he's getting into this world
talking about this world of manifestation and he's just written
a book that we're going to talk about as well.
Manifesting has been something that is definitely hot right now,

(01:15):
you know what I mean, Like everyone's like, oh, you
need to manifest this. And my wife has a friend
who lives across the street. It's like one of her
best friends, and she's always manifesting things. And we were skiing,
you know, in Utah, and its snowed like twenty four inches,
and she goes, see like I manifested this. I'm like,
I mean, come on, I mean, you can't manifest the snow,

(01:39):
you know. So I'm excited to talk to James to
get into sort of the neuroscience behind it and really
what it means, you know what I mean, Like, it's
not even though his book has the word magic in it,
it seems like there's a magical element, but you are
creating this magic like this is about your drive, you know.

(02:04):
It's about the power of sort of positive thinking and
putting yourself in the right mind space to then accomplish
the things that you want to accomplish. Anyway, You there, buddy.

Speaker 3 (02:14):
I'm here man. How are you just fucking peachy? How
about good?

Speaker 2 (02:20):
I'm fucking pretty peachy too. You know, my mom called me,
and of course you always got to take mom's calls. Yep.
I told her I was talking to you. You know,
she has a foundation called mind Up that she has
been you know, doing for twenty plus years.

Speaker 3 (02:35):
I'm very familiar.

Speaker 2 (02:36):
Oh great, so she was. I said, you just come
on the show with me right now, talk to James.
But she wants to connect. So once we finished, I
would love to give you her information because she would
love to have conversations with you. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (02:51):
You know, it's interesting our passive crossed innumerable times although
we've never met, I don't think. And because I've been
in the meditation compassion space for well a few decades myself. Yeah,
and yeah, so I've been at innumerable events where work
she's been doing has been highlighted or she's been there.

(03:13):
But you know, the fates have never allowed that to happen, and.

Speaker 2 (03:18):
Well now it has.

Speaker 3 (03:20):
Yeah, so that's that's wonderful. I appreciate that.

Speaker 2 (03:22):
Yeah, she has been sort of in the world of manifestations,
I mean for a million years. I mean, this is
she she operates and lives this way, you know, and
to get into all of this, Yeah, I was even
saying it sort of when I was in my intro.
It feels like this idea of being manifesting is is
sort of buzzy right now, everyone's talking about it. You know.

(03:44):
My wife's friend I was just saying this that she
manifested twenty four inches of powder in Utah. You know,
I'm like, well, Sam, I mean it fucking snowed, all right,
Like you didn't create the snow, what are you talking about?

Speaker 1 (03:57):
Right?

Speaker 3 (03:58):
You know the problem with this is that what do
they do when it doesn't happen?

Speaker 2 (04:02):
Right?

Speaker 3 (04:03):
They never talk about when it didn't happen. They only
talked about Oh see, I manifested this. But what can
you say?

Speaker 2 (04:14):
No, But like, let's get into the science behind it,
because you know, just to I'm I'm a very open person.
I consider myself a spiritual person. I don't believe in
God necessarily, I believe in higher energies. I believe that
we can actually scientifically know that we can sort of

(04:35):
change our neurow pathways. You know, I've been meditator for
a while, but I wish I was more consistent because
I know how it makes me feel when I am consistent,
and it's it's beautiful, you know. But at the same time,
I'm a practical person as well. You know. So the
power of positive thinking, it's like, oh, if you think

(04:58):
positive things will happen. And my argument to that is,
there's eight billion people on this earth. You know how
many people are thinking positively that it's just not going well.
You know how many people are trying to manifest something
and it just isn't happening. So I become a skeptic
when we talk about that, you know, but I know

(05:20):
that the power of positive thinking will put you into
a place, a state where you feel good, and when
you feel good, you're able to accomplish more and life
gets better, just generally, you know, but not necessarily it's
going to happen. I'm going to think I need a job,
I need to get an acting gig. And if I
think hard enough and I'm more and I manifested and

(05:41):
I'm positive, and this is going to show up, you know,
So how do you speak to that? In my research,
it's more about the science behind it than it is
about the magic, even though magic is in your book
type sure, sure, well, I think there are several aspects
of this that need to sort of be unpacked.

Speaker 3 (06:00):
You know. You look at books like The Secret, which
promoted this narrative of I want and the problem that
I want is this sort of leads one down the
wrong path. And what I mean by that is that
people want out of a sense of scarcity. And as

(06:20):
an example, if you ask high school students what they
want to be, what do they say? They want to
be an influencer, they want to be a millionaire or wealthy.
They want to be a celebrity, or they want to
be a professional athlete. Those are the main ones. And
this is you know, part of the problem is when

(06:43):
this idea of I want comes from a feeling you're
not good enough as you are, and in fact, on
some level it's stimulates what we call your sympathetic nervous system.
This is the fly fight or fear response, because you're
afraid because you're not good, So you have to have
these things to prop yourself up. And the problem with

(07:04):
the western capitalist narrative is that success equals happiness. Success
translates into many power and position, and sadly, so many
people have bought into this narrative. And of course The
Secret took advantage of that. And don't get me wrong,
it's not just the Secret, it's the whole law of

(07:26):
attraction narrative. And the problem oftentimes is that the reason
it didn't happen is you didn't really try hard enough,
and this lays a guilt trip on you. As you
pointed out, I mean, there are eight billion people in
the world and many people are trying to manifest or
have things positive happen to them, and it just doesn't happen.
And this is one of the other problems. Problems is

(07:49):
that people somehow believe one I just say I wanted it,
it should happen. Two I don't have to work for it.
Three I deserve it for it needs to happen on
my timeline. And five it needs to happen the way
I want it to happen. And fundamentally it just doesn't
work that way. But how do you actually manifest? First off,

(08:13):
you have to understand the difference between what you want
and what you need. And what I mean by that
is especially if you're younger. And in my first book,
which were called Into the Magic Shop, I'm not sure
if you've had a chance to look at it, but
it's a memoir that combines neuroscience and meditative practice. But

(08:35):
when I was twelve, I walked into a magic shop
filled with despair and hopelessness because my own background of
growing up with an alcoholic father, living in poverty, A
mother had a stroke and ended up being paralyzed, chronically depressed,
attempted suicide, which of course is not the ideal environment
if you wish to succeed in life. But what changed

(08:58):
me or saved me you will. Was I walked into
a magic shop and met a woman who knew nothing
about magic. She was the owner's mother, but she had
this radiant presence about her. And the reason I mentioned
that is she made me feel okay talking to her.
She made me feel comfortable. She created what we call
this environment of psychological safety, and as a result, I

(09:20):
opened up and I answered her questions honestly, and after
about six or about twenty to thirty minutes, she said
to me, she said, you know, I really like you.
I'm here for another six weeks. If you show up
every day, I think I can teach you something that
could really help you. And at that point in time,
she taught me a meditation practice. How old were you well?

(09:41):
And believe me, I had no self awareness at all.
And the reason I showed up was because, frankly, I
had absolutely nothing else to do, and she was giving
me chocolate chip cookies. Those were the motivators. But I
did show up and she taught me. And this was
before we talked about meditation or mind mindfulness or neuroplasticity

(10:01):
and our modern lexicon if you will, But you did
teach me these techniques, and one of those of course
was a manifestation technique. So she taught me a meditation
practice first. And as you can imagine, when you grew
up in the environment I grew up in, it's like
being in a constant warzone. You never know what's going

(10:23):
to happen. It's chaotic, it's unpredictable, and thanks can go
from perfect to horrible in a microsecond. So as a result,
your muscles are always tense because you never know what's
going to happen. So she taught me the technique of
relaxing the body or doing a body survey, followed by
being able to focus, in this case on a candle two,

(10:44):
because you cannot be present if you can't focus. So
she taught me the ability to focus. And then she
taught me that the negative dialogue going on in my
head was not truth. And this is a problem for
a lot of people. Now this is not to say
you get rid of that immediately with different techniques. It

(11:05):
takes work, and frankly, it never goes away, but you
can quelch it and control it with positive affirmations. And
the reason I say that is oftentimes when we beat
ourselves up, that results in us looking at the world
through a negative lens, and we become hypercritical of everybody
without realizing. And you pointed out, you know, there are

(11:29):
eight billion people around and many of them are suffering.
And so it changed my perspective on how I looked
at the world. Once I was kind to myself. But
what I tell people is also changed how the world
connected with me, because once you don't carry that anger
and hostility around with you, you're much more open to
connect with people. Plus it also allowed me to forgive

(11:52):
my parents, who I had a lot of anger and
hostility towards because I felt they had failed me, but
they did not have the tools to deal with their
own problems. But subsequently she taught me a visualization technique,
and this required repetition of my intention by writing it down,

(12:16):
reading it silently, reading it aloud, visualizing it and these
are standard techniques with manifestation, and that helped me. In fact,
she had me make a list of ten goals that
I had, but again I looked at it through the
lens of a twelve year old who was poor, who

(12:36):
fell into the narrative of what success is. So I
wanted a mansion, I wanted a million dollars. I wanted
to be a doctor so I could impress people. I
wanted a portie, I wanted a Rolex, and I got
all of those things.

Speaker 2 (12:52):
Yeah, I know exactly just thinking that.

Speaker 3 (12:56):
Yeah, so every one of them. But the problem was
kept climbing these mountains waiting for this external affirmation, which
I got, but it never filled the emptiness that I
had inside, or dealt with the insecurity or the shame
that I carried with me, and so it didn't work,

(13:19):
and it only I only sort of reflected on the
whole process after I lost eighty million dollars in six weeks,
which does get your attention?

Speaker 2 (13:31):
What?

Speaker 3 (13:32):
Yes, yeah, well this was during the dot com period
and I had made some significant bets and so after
six weeks I was bankrupt. I was minus three million
in the hole. And so I went back to reflect
on what had happened, because nominally I did everything. But
what I didn't really pay attention to, and I was

(13:52):
too young to pay attention to, was the purpose of manifesting.
I was confused about. And what I mean by that
is that when you look at the world through I want,
and I mentioned you, this activates actually your your sympathetic,
nervous system. It actually has a negative effect on your physiology,

(14:13):
both brain and perpheral physiology. And in some ways it
relates to the difference between what we call hadonic happiness
and udamanic happiness. And what I mean by that is
hadonic happiness or hedonism is you chase, you chase pleasure,
you avoid pain, And frequently it relates to things you're

(14:35):
looking at the world through. I want this, I deserve
that I should have that, and if I just have this,
it'll make me okay and feel okay. And it does
do that very short term, very shallowly, and not particularly
long lasting. But you contrast this with udamonic happiness, which
is an understanding that your purpose in this world is

(14:59):
to be of service, to care for others, and that's
when your physiology actually works. It's breast the best, that's
when these cognitive brain networks work their best. That's when
your peripheral physiology works its best. And this is when
you engage your para sympathetic nervous system. So what's the
difference and why is it important? Well, first of all,

(15:23):
if you start looking at the world through the lens
of being of service and caring for others, it actually
changes what you want. It changes what you think is
important to understand what's really important, because when you're of
service to others, when you look through that lens, ultimately
you'll get everything you want if that's what you really want.

(15:44):
And I'm sure you've had people say to you, God,
I really wanted this, and either they'll say, God, I
got it and there was nothing there for me, or
they'll say, identicet it And I'm sure glad identicet it
right because it wasn't the right time, it wasn't the
right place, that was the wrong thing. So what happens
if you and this is what meditation does, right, It

(16:06):
shifts you. And unfortunately, in the modern world, so many
of us are sympathetic nervous systems are aggravated or activated
because we were never meant to live in this type
of a world. We were meant to live with engagement
of our parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system was
only when our life was in threat. But the nature

(16:28):
of modern society where you're required to have a job,
you have to feed a family, you have all these
pressures on you. For many people chronically activated and frankly
is one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety
in this world.

Speaker 2 (16:43):
One hundred percent. I mean I live with that every day,
you know, and then trying to find the joy. I mean,
I'm a joyous person just generally, you know. But I
mean when you start to think about providing money, finances, this, this,
and that, I mean, it can it can take me
into a fucking hole.

Speaker 3 (17:01):
Well, of course, yeah, it would take anybody. And so
the problem is that so many live in that state
and they get lost in this. Well I really need this,
I need this, And when you start looking through a
different lens, first of all, you realize many of the
things you think you need you don't, and the things
that actually make you HAPPI are far different than what

(17:24):
you thought. And so there are these different cognitive brain
networks that need to work in unison and they only
I shouldn't say they only work. They work their best
if you're in the right mental state, and this is
being able to shift over to engagement of your parasympathetic
nervous system.

Speaker 2 (17:52):
How do you get into that mental state in order
for them to work their best? Is that through meditation.

Speaker 3 (17:57):
Well, that's certainly a way that many people poll can
get through. But you know, people oftentimes get all this
angst and about meditation right because they always think of
a monk and his legs are crossed any sitting like this, Fuck,
I can't do that, And you don't need to do
any of that. It has to do with the right

(18:19):
mental attitude and putting yourself in a position where you're
receptive and you can lay down, you can stand, you
can sit, you can as long as you're comfortable, as
long as it's quiet and your attention is directed. And
it starts simply through a breathing exercise. But again, so
many people get so tense about thinking they're meditating.

Speaker 2 (18:41):
So just well, that's the hardest part about meditating, you know,
I mean, am I meditating? Am I doing it? Right?
I hate this? Is this working? I mean for me specifically,
there are you know, the lists that I create throughout
for the day to sort of accomplish, and they consists
of you know, practical work things and then more physical

(19:07):
spiritual health related working out all those things. The hardest
thing for me to do is to sit for ten minutes.
And I mean even to not to actually do it
when I'm in the room but to just get to
the room. I procrastinate on my meditation more than anything
else in my life, and I can't even put my

(19:27):
fingers on why. I don't even know why. I was like,
this is not difficult. Just go sit there, go do it.

Speaker 3 (19:33):
Well. I appreciate that, but you know, sometimes just taking
a walk in nature. Again, once you get into your
head you're meditating, you obviously have some sort of block there,
but it's not even that. Take the time to simply
go for a walk and be with your thoughts, be relaxed,
and just breathe, and that will get you there. You

(19:54):
don't need all of this other stuff that is so distracting,
especially for I pay people. You know, they think that
there's absolutely a right way and that there's somebody outside
themselves who is judging them and going to criticize them
right exactly, but nobody gets how far.

Speaker 2 (20:13):
Yeah, yeah, it's true. You have your own path on
how to get get there, you know. I mean just
an example of that, I did this to the Hoffmann Institute.
You know what that is. Okay, So it was really
an amazing experience for me, and I've talked about it
a million times on this podcast and then you talk
about giving back and what that means and how that feels,

(20:37):
and this is just one avenue of that for me.
And it's just sort of a byproduct because I talk
about it all the time. I'm very open and you know,
at the end of Hoffman, you have to write a
letter to the person who inspired you to go there.
And I have hundreds of them just from talking on
podcasts or in the press or whatever. Every time I
get a letter, I get emotional because these people are

(20:58):
are expressing how listen to me and my experience made
them go there, and how it's changed the way that
they think. And it's just the most gratifying feeling that
I can get, honestly, so I understand what that feels like.
Moving to what I was my point, doing it your
own way. There's a process, an exercise where you have

(21:23):
to sort of, you know, beat a pillow, let's just say,
and a pillow is your mom or whatever it is.
And people are raging all over the room and I'm
faking it and I'm like, what are you doing? I
feel uncomfortable doing this. I feel like I'm being judged.
I feel people looking at me and laughing at me,
even though everyone is doing it. So I went into
a board of a meditative place and did it my

(21:44):
own way, you know, and it was gratifying to be
able to do it my own way. I got to
the same place that everyone was getting to, but I
had to sort of take a different path to get there.

Speaker 3 (21:57):
Well, And I think that's the exact point here, And
it worked for you and you didn't have all the
angst about doing it their way, and I think that's
really the point here. So once you're able to get
into that state, then your cognitive brain networks work their best.
And what I mean by that, they're basically four areas
primarily that are involved in manifestation, and one is something

(22:20):
called the default mode network, and this is that part
of your brain that is associated with daydreaming or mind wondering,
but it's very self referential and it's how you paint
pictures of who you are, who you wish to be.
And once you've painted that picture, then it has to

(22:41):
stimulate or activate what we call the salience network. It
has to be salient to the brain, and this is
on a subconscious level. And so once you've defined an
intention as salient, then what the salience network does is
it activates what we call your attention network, so it directs,

(23:02):
like a laser, your attention on accomplishing that task. And
then the next step is that once those are activated
on a subconscious level, then this results in what we
call your executive control network to be activated. And this
is what's associated and I call it the CEO of

(23:23):
the brain, if you will. This is in your frontal areas.
This gives you access to experience memories and making discerning
decisions about what's going to happen. And the reason I
say this has to get into your subconscious is that
what the subconscious wants, the conscious finds. And what I

(23:45):
mean by that is that there's a process of something
called value tagging. And what people don't realize is you
have about ten million bits of information going into your
brain every second from all your sensory organs, but trebled
up says only five to fifty to one hundred on
a conscious level. So what your information that you have

(24:06):
the ability to impact is very small compared to all
that other information, much of which goes to what we
call maintaining homeostasis of bodily functions. But that's at an
unconscious level. But once you value tag something, then it
becomes salient ultimately, and then you're focused on that. And

(24:28):
when I say focused on that, that's at a subconscious level.
It's not at the level of consciousness. And this is
as an example, like I'm sure you've been at a party,
maybe the party you were at the other night, and
it's very loud, Yet if somebody says your name, you
immediately turn to it. And why is that? Your identity

(24:48):
is deeply embedded in you, and your mind on a
subconscious level is always attuned to things related to you.
And this is very similar to manifesting. Once you're able
to embed an intention, your subconscious is always on the
lookout for opportunities for that to manifest. And what do

(25:09):
I mean by that? One example is let's say I'm
a neurosurgeon should probably know, and I see a patient
and I say, you know, you have a benign brain tumors,
called them an inchioma, blah blah blah blah blah, and
they'll say, oh my god, I've never heard of that before.
Yet two months later I'll see them go the most
amazing thing I've run into Five people have the exact

(25:30):
same thing. I do. Why is that because that suddenly
got deeply embedded and their subconscious was on the alert
for situations, opportunities people who have the same condition or
somehow relate. And I'll give you another example. I was
at a coffee shop a few months ago and there's
a project that I'm working on which is fairly frankly esoteric,

(25:54):
and it was really noisy. Yet out of the den
of all of that noise, I heard somebody make say
a couple of words that very much relate to what
this project is about. So I went over, introduced myself,
and now we're working on the project together. Wow, that's
how it works. It looks your subconscious is always looking

(26:16):
for opportunities to create if you want to call them
coincidences or synchronicities.

Speaker 2 (26:22):
That's what I was getting at. How do you square
sort of the magic of that? Because I always ask
is it a coincidence or are we just as our
subconscious now sort of taking it over, you know? Or
or is there something magical out there?

Speaker 3 (26:36):
Well you could call how your subconscious works magical if
you want, But as I say, in the first sense
of the book, the universe doesn't give a fuck about you.
There is no magic true, you know, it's I was
talking to John Hammer a little while ago.

Speaker 2 (26:53):
And I know John's friend of mine.

Speaker 3 (26:55):
Yeah, he's a good guy. But he was saying he said,
and he was quote from something from Madman. He said,
at best, the universe is indifferent. He used that as
an endorsement for my book.

Speaker 2 (27:08):
Actually. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (27:12):
So the point is that when you have these the
physiology aligns where your brain works at its best. It
creates these opportunities. But there's several aspects which I should
probably point out. One is all of us from our
childhood's carry baggage. Some of it's wonderful, some of it's

(27:34):
pretty horrible. What people don't appreciate is, and this is
the question of what are you already manifesting. If you
carry baggage with you which you don't appreciate, impacts every
interaction you have with another person, every decision you make.
I'm sure you've been in those situations where somebody will
sit there and say, I don't understand it. You know,

(27:56):
I'm going through my third divorce and I picked the
exact same person every time I got married, Right, Well,
why is that? It's because you're carrying baggage which is
making these decisions for you, and you've never stopped to
reflect on one. What is it that you've been manifesting already?
So that's one point.

Speaker 2 (28:15):
So subconsciously manifesting even though it's all exists in your
subconscious even consciously essentially, I mean, are you manifesting every
day subconsciously?

Speaker 3 (28:27):
Yeah? Absolutely? Now most people do it inefficiently. It's like
I'm not sure if you're an athlete or a marathon runner.

Speaker 2 (28:34):
No, I mean I'm athletic for sure, I don't run marathons.

Speaker 3 (28:39):
The point of that, though, is that all of us
start at zero. We don't start at the Olympic level
right now. Of course, oftentimes people read these books and
I'm gonna read the book and I'm going to be
an Olympia tomorrow. It doesn't work that way, and so
one you have to figure out where you've been and

(28:59):
get some insight into that. You have to understand all
of us manifest try to manifest every day, but it's
usually a statement like oh I really like that, and
that's it right, there's no systematic way to do it.
Then the other thing is people get confused because they
somehow think it works on their timeline, right, Well, that

(29:20):
should have happened tomorrow. It can't happen two weeks from now.
The third thing is that people have a tendency to say, well,
I want it to happen exactly this way. It doesn't
work that way. Either it neither works on a timeline,
or you don't get exactly what you want. And sometimes
the reason you don't get exactly what you want is
because you're subconscious has also processed the fact that some

(29:43):
of these things are not necessarily good for you, like, oh, geez,
I saw this hot blonde in the bar. I know,
you know, we're going to make a perfect couple, you know,
when she's a psychopath.

Speaker 2 (29:57):
So essentially is your subconscious sort of your chaperone in
some ways, it's been like looking after you.

Speaker 3 (30:05):
Yeah, it's protecting you, I think in some ways. And
so you have to become friends with that. And again,
like I said, you have to have clarity of what
you really want versus what you think you need, which
is I gave you the example of myself. I got
every one of the things I wanted. And you know,
it's funny because, as I said, I kept waiting for
this external affirmation and I had all these buddies of

(30:27):
mine going wow, Jim God, that's cool man. You know.
I had this mansion overlooking Newport Beach. I had a
penthouse in San Francisco. I had a Ferrari Porsche BMW
arranged over Mercedes in the garage. I was flying in
private jets. I was meeting all these cool people and
they kept telling me how great my life was. And

(30:48):
I was never more miserable in my entire life.

Speaker 2 (30:52):
Really absolutely why.

Speaker 3 (30:55):
Because I kept searching for something to fill up this
void that it could never fill it up enough. All
the things in the world could not fill up this
emptiness that I had inside of myself. And this was
accepting myself and loving myself. You see. I was looking
outside of myself to find the affirmation that would say

(31:16):
I'm okay. I deserve to be loved. And what the
reality is, only you can give yourself that gift. Nothing
else is going to give it. All the stuff in
the world is not going to give it. And if
that is what you were seeking, you're never going to
be happy. And as I was saying earlier, so I
ended up losing eighty million dollars and I had actually

(31:37):
at that time if you had a company that had
gone public during the dot com you could borrow a
quarter of that amount of your wealth through the bank
which I had to buy all of these things. And
so when that happened, two people became my best friends.
My banker who called me because he wanted his money

(32:00):
I didn't have it, and my lawyer. And what happened
ultimately was which gave me great insight. Is so once
I lost everything, I went back to my house in
Newport Beach, which had been sitting empty for some time,
and I had gone through a divorce a year or
so before, and I went through a period of reflection,

(32:20):
and I'm saying, what the fuck happened to me? How
did I get lost here? You know, I kept chasing
these things. I got all of these things, But why
was I so unhappy? And now I've lost everything? And
so during the same time, my lawyer also got a
hold of me, because I had to do all sorts
of reshuffling of things. And I had set up a

(32:40):
variety of trusts, and one was an irrevocable charitable trust,
and I had put a bunch of stock in a
company that I had run into it that had not
gone public, and he called me and he said, look, Jim,
it turns out and they had a junior partner who
was supposed to fill out the paperwork. Kid never actually
they filed the paperwork and they said, you know, if

(33:02):
you want, you could just keep all that stock. You
don't have to give it away. And I really bowled
over this for a long time, and I realized that
one of the monkeys on my back was poverty. That
was always the driver. Poverty equals insecurity equals fear. And

(33:26):
I never since I had enough. So after this period
of reflection, I told the attorney go ahead and still
give it all the charity and that ended up being
thirty million dollars.

Speaker 2 (33:40):
Wow.

Speaker 3 (33:41):
But you know, I set up charities throughout the world,
homeless shelters, blood banks, I developed programs for the disabled.

Speaker 2 (33:55):
Through this thirty thirty million yep.

Speaker 3 (33:59):
And but the other thing that happened is here I
had this trajectory where I went from rags if you will,
to riches literally, and then to rags again. Now I
preface that by saying, when I say I went to
rags again, I was always still a neurosurgeon getting paid
more than ninety nine point nine percent of people, So
I was not starving, right. But what happened was though

(34:23):
by giving that money away, it changed how I looked
at the world. I did look at the world, not
from I'm a doctor, I'm so great, but I'm a doctor,
how can I help people? But what I realized though,
was that I actually became extraordinarily wealthy, but in a
different way. It wasn't through riches. It was I set
up the center at Stanford where we study the neuroscience

(34:45):
of compassion and empathy. We developed programs that have helped
millions of people around the world. The Dalai Lama was
the founding benefactor. I ended up becoming the chairman of
the Dalai Lama Foundation. Through that, I ended up probably
meeting some of the greatest spiritual and religious leaders in

(35:05):
the world who become my friends. As an example, Radhanaswami,
who I was just with last night. He's the head
of ish Khan, Shri Sri Rabi Shankar Sad Guru Ama,
the Hugging.

Speaker 2 (35:17):
Saint my Boston. My brother is with her all the time, really, yeah,
all the time, Like there they hang out and he's
with her all the time. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (35:28):
Well, she's a she's a dear friend of mine. And
but eckar Toole byron Kati. All of these folks our
dear friends, and I've learned so much from them just
being in their presence. And this is the thing is
so I have nothing to complain about. But my life
is directed to seeing how I can be of service

(35:48):
to others. And this is not a anti materialism lecture here,
because listen, I live very very well. I have a
very nice house. I drive a Porsche and I enjoy it.
But the difference is, though, and this is an important difference.
If all of that was taken away from me tomorrow,

(36:09):
the house, the cars, all the wonderful benefits I have,
my mental attitude will not change one iota. They're things.
They're there to use. I enjoy them when I have,
I share them with people if I can. But if
they're gone, it's okay. The most important thing is how
can I live a life of being of service to others?

(36:32):
And if you focus on that, all the other stuff
will happen to you. It's not about you. And I
think that's the important message I hope of this book,
and that's the important message of if you wish to
manifest quote unquote maximally to get the best benefit out
of it, it has to be through that path. Yes,

(36:52):
you can go the other way. It can all be
about you. You can get all of these things, but frankly,
that's a dead end path.

Speaker 2 (37:07):
I always say though, you know, to my mom, oh,
you know, the sort of cliched Oh, money, Money's not
going to bring you happiness. You know, money can't buy
you happiness. But then I say, well, I'm happy, you
know what I mean. I got an amazing wife and
three kids. And I said, but now just back up
the fucking bringstruck and then life will be even better

(37:29):
because my you know, again, I'm doing fine, but my
struggles come from my finances. You know, I've afforded myself
a nice life as an actor, but you know that
goes away quickly. You're making a lot of money and
you're making zero dollars, and sometimes when those that zero
dollar plays out for a year and a half, you

(37:51):
start to get a little nutty, you know, And you
know it's about again for me personally, relating all of
this back to my situation, it's trying to stay positive,
trying to sort of you know, I guess call it manifestation,
but just sort of waking up every day and saying, hey,
it's gonna be a good day. That's it. I'm going
to have a good day. You know, sun is shining,

(38:13):
and with my kids life is good. I'll figure it out.
I'll fucking figure it out, you know. But then that
can get the best of you, no.

Speaker 3 (38:20):
Doubt, no, absolutely, And this is why I suggest for
some people that they change how they're thinking of stuff.
And in the book I give several examples. But as
an example, I had a young lady who she wanted
to become a doctor, and she reached out to me.
And you know that my first book was really not

(38:42):
only about my own struggles and the trajectory of my life,
but the challenges I had getting into medical school because
I was always called out from college to deal with
family situations. My great point average was two point five
y three when the average to get into med school
was three point seventy nine. And what often happens, of course,

(39:03):
in those cases, people who quote unquote are your friends
will tell you how you're never going to get into
medical school. And fortunately I didn't listen to any of them.
But so I talked about that struggle. But this young
lady reached out to me and she's from Sri Lanka,
and she was saying, you know, I wanted to be
a doctor, and I've now been rejected three times. And

(39:25):
I went through this with her, and the reason she
wanted to be a doctor was to make her parents
proud in the sense that they had left Sri Lanka
to come to the US, and even though they were
middle class in Sri Lanka, they were very poor in
the US. She struggled. She worked really hard to get
into a nice college, but all of her struggles were
filled with anxiety because she was living to fulfill her parents' expectation.

(39:52):
And we had a long talk and I went over
a lot of these things with her, and I said,
the difference is, it's not about you or your parents.
Why want to be a doctor. You want to be
a doctor to be of service, to help people. You
have to change how you're looking through that lens. And
you could use it even using the context of an actor. Right,

(40:14):
I need a job is different from saying I want
to be engaged in a project that is life affirming
and that helps other people. Yep, those are completely two
different dynamics. One is self oriented, the other is outside
of yourself or in it.

Speaker 2 (40:30):
Do people trick themselves though, meaning, Oh, I want a
job because I need money. But I'm just going to
say to the universe again, the univers doesn't give a fuck,
as we know, well, you know, I'm just gonna say,
I'm going to couch it in. This idea is for
other people. But really, deep down, I know why I
want this job. Well, you can't fool yourself, right at

(40:50):
the end of the day. Actually, there's a research project
that was done which would probably be interested, and we're
talking about volunteering, right, And the point of this was
the value volunteerism. So I followed a group of people
over the age of sixty five for I think a
couple of years, and they volunteered a minimum number of
hours a week. And at the end of it the study,

(41:12):
the people who volunteered compared to those who did not
actually doubled their longevity. Doubled it almost, okay, which is huge.
But there were some exceptions. And the exceptions were the
people who were, like you were saying, they were doing
it to impress people or they wanted to get an award.

(41:33):
It didn't work for them.

Speaker 3 (41:35):
Yeah, okay, because you know the difference between what your
end game is. Now, that's not to sit there and say, well,
I get nothing out of There's nothing wrong with getting
something out of it, but the focus fundamentally has to
be I am doing something to benefit others, And if
you look at it through that lens, the likelihood of

(41:56):
been happening is much much higher than the other way.
You could look at me and say, Jim, you're full
of shit, and that's certainly possible. But at least in
my review of the science and looking through all of
the literature, that seems to be the greatest way that
one can not only benefit themselves but benefit others, you

(42:16):
know Themama says, if you want to make others happy,
be compassionate. If you wish to be happy, be compassionate.

Speaker 2 (42:27):
Yeah, oh man, I know that. If we need to
get into a subconscious right, you sort of gave the
example of debeni and brain tumor, and it's almost like
it's almost like shock memory. You know, that flash bulb
type of memory where it's boom and it's going to
stick in there. So how do you and how long

(42:47):
does it take? I know, there's an impossible answer. But
how do you put something into your subconscious? I mean
it almost seems counterintuitive, like, oh, I want this to
be in my subconscious, so then I'm constantly working on
it without even knowing it.

Speaker 3 (43:01):
Yeah. Well, I mean that's what we talk about in
the book, and there's actually six steps that are fairly
well defined that include a meditative practice. But again, like
I said, it's using some of the same techniques. One
is using your sensors too, because there's a term that
says what fires together wires together, right, this is how

(43:25):
you develop neuropathways. It involves repetition, it involves practice, So again,
using your sensory organs to stimulate the nervous system. Write
everything down right, look at it, read it silently, read
it aloud, sit in silence, and visualize that manifesting and

(43:47):
those strengthen those neuropathways to further embed it into your
subconscious mind. As you said, you can have the shock therapy,
which as example, telling somebody they have a brain tumor
and it's a meningioma is a normal shock therapy that
gets blasted in. It's just like your identity as who
you are is deeply embedded in your subconscious. And so

(44:09):
when you're able to embed it there where it gets salience,
and this is through this technique of value tagging, then
that's what you do.

Speaker 2 (44:17):
Explain value tagging quickly.

Speaker 3 (44:19):
How does taking your intention and creating a value so
that it sticks into your subconscious?

Speaker 2 (44:25):
So if my intention is okay, you know, if my
intention is to sort of get a great part, you know,
or or as an actor sort of being do something
that I really care about, you know, So how would
I create a value tag around that concept or that manifestation.

Speaker 3 (44:46):
Yeah. So again, whether you're walking in nature, whatever it
is that you're using, you get yourself into the mindset
and you say, I wish to be in a part
or have a part in a movie or whatever it
is in which my character is doing something that is

(45:08):
of service to a greater cause. It's not I need
a part this week to pay the bills so I
can pay the mortgage payment and the car payment. And again,
those are two completely different ways to look at it. Now.
Now listen, I certainly appreciate you may need to make
the mortgage in the car payment, But I'm just saying

(45:31):
that the strength of this is changing the narrative to
not one of self service, but of overall service, where
you're doing something that benefits others, but you ultimately get
the benefit yourself. Which is that quote I just mentioned
about the Dalai Lama.

Speaker 2 (45:56):
That's interesting because as I said before, or can you
trick yourself? Or and obviously you cannot. I mean that
seems redundant. I don't know how you're gonna trick yourself.
But you know right now if you are in need
of money to pay that mortgage. But we know that
that's not the way to go about manifesting because it
is not of service. But now we're going to create

(46:19):
that narrative.

Speaker 3 (46:20):
Well, but then you can also change or to say,
I am trying to create an environment where my children
will thrive. Right, it requires me to be in a house,
and I need the money so that I can create
that environment for my children.

Speaker 2 (46:37):
Love that that is my truth. I mean, you know,
I don't want money so you can fly in private
planes and be on yachts. It's just about creating a
comfortable sort of lifestyle, you know, for my own health,
even my own stress, my stress markers, you know.

Speaker 3 (46:55):
No, no, so but you see how you change how
you think, and that change should because so many people
think I have to have this for X, which is
typically you you know, I need to drive my Porsche
around so people see me my portion think I'm successful
right right right now? Yeah, I used to think that

(47:16):
though I was as vain and a jackass as anybody.

Speaker 2 (47:20):
Come on, when did that shift for you?

Speaker 3 (47:22):
When I lost eighty million dollars. Now, don't get me wrong,
I wasn't an asshole, but I was always nice. But
it was more about me, you know, like, and I'm
sure you've experienced this. You know, there used to be
I used to live in Newport Beach. Right there used
to be a very popular restaurant, and I used to
drive a yellow Ferrara.

Speaker 1 (47:44):
Yeah, I pull up the front, you know.

Speaker 3 (47:47):
Then I knew everybody, and I would just leave my
car there and there's a line a mile long, and
I would just walk in the front and there was
my own table there, and you know.

Speaker 2 (47:55):
It feels good. Oh yeah, yeah, I'm just fascinated. It's
just if I can talk to you for hours like
this is such I need to, like I needed to
be my my spiritual manifestation mentor you know, I mean,
I'm a very practical person. But these are the things
that you said something and I got the chills, and

(48:16):
you know, got a bit of emotional. I'm a very
emotional person just generally. You know, I cry very easily.
I feel things sometimes like what is wrong with you?
Why are you feeling these feelings right now? You know?
But you said that you just have this overwhelming feeling
that it's all going to it's all going to turn out,
it's all going to happen for you. And I have

(48:38):
that and I don't even know where it comes from,
but I just I have that. And sometimes I think
it makes me lazy, to be honest, you know, because
I'm like, oh, it's going to work out. I know
it's going to work out, and then I don't. I
don't put the work in, you know what I mean.

Speaker 3 (48:53):
Well, that can be a challenge too, But I guess
the question is what works, what doesn't work? If that's
worked for you, you know. I I always have a list
of projects, and don't get me wrong, I don't go insane.
I just slowly work on them and hopefully they ultimately manifest.

(49:20):
But I don't get lost in whether they don't or do.
And again, this is you know, the greatest cause of
suffering is attachment and craving, right yeah. And it's interesting
because you'll see some people on podcasts will go, you know,
I can run, you know, twenty miles. I get up

(49:41):
every morning at four am and then I wait lift
for three hours and I and my shit together. And
if you don't do it, you're a loser man. And
I'm glad that narrative works for some of these people,
but you shouldn't even be in that direction. I mean, yes,
if that you want that, but I'm not quite sure

(50:02):
who wants that. My point is, what is it that
you need that will make you wholed? And you know,
one of the people are the person I was alluding to.
You know, this is a person had a very challenging background,
but he feels he has to beat himself to death
every day to somehow prove that, you know, he's got

(50:24):
it together. And all it is is it's a sad
statement of just beating yourself up to prove you're okay
when you were okay to begin with. And we're all okay,
you know, we're perfectly imperfect. Now that's not to say
we don't continue to strive, but you know, getting to
the top of a mountain and waving an a ward

(50:45):
around and you look behind you and you have no family,
children who dislike you, multiple broken relationships and broken people
in your wake. What is it that you've accomplished?

Speaker 2 (50:58):
Yeah, son, And this.

Speaker 3 (51:01):
Is, you know, the sad thing.

Speaker 2 (51:02):
What about self talk? You know, just generally, because I'm
a I use self deprecation. Humor for me is big,
you know, and sometimes I use it to sort of
mask some sort of an insecurity. You know. I've got
a family of you know, to move three movie stars,
and my my younger brother is sort of on his way.
And not to take away my career, it's been. I've
been very successful, but I do feel like a black sheep,

(51:25):
And you will use not a black sheep, but someone
who has not accomplished or reached their potential, because I
honestly do believe that I have a lot of untapped talent.
I do believe that, you know, given the right opportunity,
things can be even better for me. But I'll use
self deprecation, you know, and I will self talk poorly,

(51:49):
you know, to myself, and I imagine that that can
be detrimental subconsciously, right.

Speaker 3 (51:56):
Well, of course, uh you know. I I mean each
of us carries a different type of burden, right. Uh
you know I have mine, which is the insecurity of poverty.
You have yours living up to expectations in a situation.
And there's there's no reason for you to feel that

(52:22):
way at all, because your life is not their life.
And and again it gets back to the thing. Are
your actions to show that you're worthy or your actions
about who you are? And I think that's you know,

(52:42):
a challenge sometimes and you have to you have to
forgive yourself and not beat yourself up. And I appreciate
the self deprecation certainly, but you have to get to
the point where you understand that it's not about them.
It's simply about you and who you want to be

(53:04):
and what's the best path or vehicle for you to
get there. And again, the more you beat yourself up,
that probably works against you. I guess we're doing a
therapy session now.

Speaker 2 (53:18):
I know. I'm sorry. I always it always gets it
always goes there with me, Okay, I just love deal.
I just you know, the humanity is very interesting and
why I operate and why people operate. I think, you know,
to wrap it all up though, But like compassion, forgiveness
was a big sement and Hoffmann Institute. And it's not

(53:38):
just about, you know, forgiving your parents, and but it's
about forgiving and having compassion for yourself and finding self
love and finding self worth, because we all are worthy
of loving ourselves. There's no doubt about that. And then,
you know, you said something interesting in the beginning of
our chat, which was sort of having forgiveness or passion

(54:00):
for your parents because they didn't have the tools to
help you, you know. And then when we look back
on their childhoods and how they were raised and how
they are just sort of extending those negative patterns into
onto their children. You know, that helped me a lot
with my father, you know, understanding where he came from,
why he was who he was, you know, and immediately

(54:22):
you feel this beautiful, overwhelming compassion for people who normally
you would feel vindictive towards you know.

Speaker 3 (54:30):
Well, and and that's the thing and this you know,
idea of vindictiveness or not forgiving, it doesn't help anybody,
and it only hurts you. You know. There's a from
my first book, Into the Magic Shop, someone asked me
to give a talk to incoming medical students at my

(54:51):
medical school, which was a great honor for me, since
by every marker, I should never have gotten into medical school.
But I reflected on the lessons I had learned, and
I wanted to give these medical students something because you know,
they have to remember a lot of stuff, and a
lot of people use mnemonics to remember. So I distilled

(55:15):
down what I had learned into ten letters of the alphabet.
And you know, people say, what is your personal practice?
And my personal practice includes this, And what I do
every morning when I wake up is one. I sit
on the side of the bed and I do a
breathing exercise again to put me into the engagement of

(55:35):
my par sympathetic nervous system. I think of the joy
and awe of being in this world. And then I
go through these ten letters, and they are C Compassion
for self and others, d Recognizing the dignity of every person. E,

(55:57):
practicing equanimity or evenness of temperament, not getting lost in
how you want to be or the great things that
have happened to you, but also not dwelling on the
bad things that happen, because they're all transitory, and if
you can look at them with the same feeling and
have this evenness of temperament, appreciating the good times, understanding

(56:18):
the bad times, but always maintaining this evenness of temperament.
And then of course forgiveness. So many people attach an
emotion to an event, and every time they think of it,
of course it comes back and it only hurts them.
And so being able to forgive people not necessarily to forget,
having gratitude for what you have. You know, if you

(56:40):
simply reflect on the reality that half of the world's
population subsist on less than two dollars and fifty cents
a day, we're incredibly fortunate. And then humility, And I'll
assure you as a neurosurge, and humility is the hardest
thing to have.

Speaker 2 (57:00):
Is it because because of ego?

Speaker 3 (57:04):
Of course, yah h or I is integrity and values
that bound your behavior. They define who you are, how
you act. Jay is justice for our responsibility for caring
for those who are vulnerable. Hey is kindness simply for
doing the right thing and caring for people they don't
have to be suffering. And all of this is contained

(57:26):
by love, Oh.

Speaker 2 (57:27):
My God, love that love that and that's in your
first book, yes, because everyone's got to go buy that one.
First is that Magic.

Speaker 3 (57:34):
Shop, Yeah, into the Magic Shop. But Neurosurgeon's quest to
discover the mysteries of the brain and the secrets of
the heart amazing.

Speaker 2 (57:42):
And then and then the new one.

Speaker 3 (57:44):
Mind Magic, the neuroscience and manifestation and how it changes everything.

Speaker 2 (57:49):
Wow, this is so good, dude, Thank you so much.
You know, I love I just love you know how
how open you are about everything, you know, I mean,
just the way that you feel your ego. You were
saying it's the hardest thing for you to do, losing
all that money you driving the ferraris be trying to
be the man. I mean, those that reality just makes

(58:12):
everything so much more palatable when reading something, because it
doesn't feel like you're on a pedestal sort of speaking
down to people. You are right in the game with
everybody you know. And that's a beautiful thing, Dude. I
appreciate it. And I'm going to hook you up with
Mom too, because you guys are going to definitely hit
it off. I mean, there's no doubt.

Speaker 3 (58:32):
Well, Oliver, I'd love to hit it off with you
if you have some time at some point.

Speaker 2 (58:36):
And one all right, well this has been really fun. Man.
I appreciate you. Thank you you. Take care dude, okay,
take care all right? Oh my god, wow this I
feel I got energy. Now. I want him to live
with me and teach me the way is how to manifest,

(58:58):
how to remain positive. Think he has such a clear outlook,
you know, and a very realistic outlook. It's not it's
not he's not trying to I mean, he's trying to
sell books. But it's not about sort of oh you
can you can have whatever you want. You know, you
can whatever you want, you can have and just fucking
manifest it. No. No, this is about using manifestation through

(59:25):
giving back essentially, And this is what I loved about it.
You know, even asking the questions of oh, what if
I want a job, Well, it's not just about you know,
I want a job because I want to be rich
and I want to win awards. No, I want I
need a job to be able to support my family
so my kids can do this and they can look
up to me and know that I work hard. It's

(59:46):
just about reframing some of these things, you know. Anyway,
that was awesome. Thank you guys for listening. I feel
like this is a good one. You know, buy these books,
buy his books, and yeah, maybe, hey, maybe listening to
this podcast right now, this specific episode is going to

(01:00:09):
change the entire trajectory of your life. So in ten
years from now, you can say Oliver Hudson changed my
goddamn life, changed my life, and then that will make
me feel good and I'll feel very powerful, and then
I got to manifest humility anyway, all right, love you guys.

(01:00:32):
I'm out beast
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Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

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