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From ABC, this is the 10 percent happier podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Before we get to the episode, we care really deeply about supporting you in your meditation practice and feel that providing you with high quality teachers is one of the best ways to do that. Customers of the 10 percent happier say they stick around specifically for the range of teachers and the deep wisdom these teachers have to impart for anybody new to the app. We've got a special discount for you.


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Hey, hey, it's a new week and we've got two great episodes for you this week, and there's a common denominator between these two episodes. They're both people who have phenomenal stories. On Wednesday, you're going to hear from a Buddhist monk who survived an assassination attempt. That's coming up in two days. Let's start with today's guest. We're going address a number of questions. How do you strike work life balance when you feel overwhelming pressure to provide for your family?


How do you balance gender roles in a modern marriage? How close should we live to our parents when they retire? These are questions that many, if not most of us struggle with in one form or fashion. But Ravi Patel does so in public, not just in public, but on camera and all over the world. Ravi is an actor who's been in TV shows such as Master of None and American Housewife and movies such as Transformers and the upcoming Wonder Woman in 1984.


He's perhaps best known, though, for starring in a hilarious and very moving documentary called Meet the Patels, in which he travels around America and India, egged on by his parents looking for a bride. Now he has a new TV show. It's on HBO, Max, and it's called Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness. In each episode, he and somebody in his life, his wife, his parents and best friend go on a global adventure to address a major life issue.


Here's a clip of Ravi and his parents in Mexico exploring the issue of retirement.


We all feel a great responsibility to take care of our parents and we want to get it right because we love them. And who knows how much time we all have left together to get. That is what I realized. Is that what I want more than anything else is for them to have this melody playing. Laughing, celebrating. Being too busy to pick up the phone when I call them that, it was happening at a. One day I'm going to be back and I'm not going to want to feel like I'm some burden or in a really long going away party.


I really think you're going to enjoy this conversation.


Ravis very funny and a completely open book. Before we started rolling, he told me that he's been beating himself up recently for not meditating enough. And that's where our interview begins.


Just to put your mind at ease a little bit. Habit formation and now having studied this a little bit, is diabolically difficult. And everybody struggles or almost everybody struggles with forming new healthy habits. And if you have ADHD, I can only imagine that would make it even more difficult.


So I would love to turn down the volume on your self-criticism, if possible.


I appreciate it, man. I would love to turn down the volume, too. I'd love to turn down my volume in general. I mean, I am genetically loud. I mean, you said you saw the documentary. I come from a loud family.


Yeah. I mean, there is a lot of similarity with both of your parents, but and both of your parents seem like maybe they speak at high volume, but everything they say is awesome.


That's true. Oh, I can't tell you what a gift it was to you know, you're in the business. Do you get it? Like, you know, my sister and I, we made that movie together. We spent six years making it and we edited it. We had other editors as well, but we eventually edited it ourselves. And so how lucky am I that I got to see not only myself, but my parents, my family from this kind of detached third party perspective as characters in a story that we're telling?


And it gave me I mean, I wish this upon everyone with anyone you love that you get to see someone for a second detached from the usual dynamic you have with them. To see my parents and myself as a character, I got to see the strengths. I got to see the weaknesses. I got to see the beginning, middle and end. And for me, ultimately, I was like, oh, my God, I'm just so lucky. These people are amazing.


And then to put the film out there and to get the kind of feedback that we got specifically about how lucky I am to have my parents, it's such a good feeling. And, you know, that kind of just to Segway to the show, the first episode of Pursuit of Happiness is on retirement and aging and taking my parents to this hot spot, this retirement place in Mexico. It's really a continuation of that of wanting to make the most of the time that we have together, especially now that I'm on the other side of forty and wanting to realizing everyone's mortality, basically wanting to kind of ask the questions today that I might regret not having out sooner or before it's too late.


It's a really rich episode because there are at least two levels, at least two levels more for sure. But there are at least two levels that are relevant to this conversation thus far. One is.


Thinking about, from your parents perspective, retirement and how you want to live these years and the other is from your perspective of a kind of wistfulness, we're watching you come to terms with the fact that this incredibly rich and unusually healthy, it seems, relationship that you have with your parents will, of course, end, because those are the laws of nature.


Yeah, it's both of those angles and, you know, there's not really a right answer, and I don't know that we came to any specific conclusions to either of those. But I can tell you that going on that journey really brought those questions to the forefront and we're kind of a really great stepping stone.


Let me reflect a little bit on something that I've learned in this process and just see how it lands with you in light of what you're learning quite publicly about your relationship with your parents. I've referenced this before on the show. I believe she's a child psychologist or child psychiatrist. Alison Gopnik, I heard her being interviewed on Ezra Klein's podcast. Ezra Klein has been on the show a couple of times and he has a great podcast. And she said something that just stopped me in my tracks, which is that you don't care.


Because you love. You love because you care. It's the act of caring for somebody that produces the love, and I've found that this leaning in and taking care of my parents has created a whole new dimension to our relationship. And I wonder if that resonates with you, given what is going on with you and your parents.


You know, where that really resonates with me is in marriage, like the idea of love is this thing that not to avoid your question, but that's just where my mind went to. That's really been evidenced in my marriage. I didn't have a choice with my parents. And so we've just always figured out how to make it work. So I don't know.


It's not as clear to me in that relationship, even though it makes perfect sense. But in my marriage, here's a person who was a stranger who then we decided we love each other. We're going to start this life together. And only in retrospect did I realize that love is not a real thing. It's actually the output of doing the work together. And by the way, is there any deeper level of work than becoming parents together? I mean, all the cracks show up, you know, that's where all the hard work.


And so to me, that is really evidence of the statement you made. I mean, I'm sure you must relate to that as well in your marriage, right? 100 percent.


And actually, at one point, my wife got sick. She had breast cancer and is totally fine. But the caring for her up, the love, even though it sucked or most of it sucked at that part of it was positive. And I totally you know, I think this adage of you don't care because you love, you love because you care applies to every relationship. It can apply to mentoring, relationships, your kids, adopted child, anybody.


It's just such an interesting way to to look at relationships. It's the work that produces the love, not some special magic.


Yeah, I love that man. You know, first of all, I think just the way. Everything's set up right now for Americans. We spend the breakdown of the community, the breakdown of the family, we don't spend as much time with the family unit as we used to. Everyone lives further apart. We've become increasingly individualized. There's no co-dependency. You don't need a ride to the airport. You got Uber. We don't hang out in our front yards.


The family unit itself is not what it used to be.


And so what that does is, is it's created an unfair transaction, I think, for our parents generation, because essentially they did all the work.


Their investment comes up front and their return was supposed to come in the later years. And what I see so often, especially with American families, but I think it's just something, a trend in general right now.


Is they took care of us, they gave us everything, and then we become independent, so independent to the point where we see caring for our parents as a burden.


I think a lot of people feel that way, at least. And that's something that I've really tried to fight. Indian culture obviously expects you to take care of your parents, but I also feel. Look, I would love for it to come entirely out of love, a lot of it, though, comes out of. An obligation, I feel, towards my parents, I. I just you know, and especially I'm sure this happened to you becoming a dad, whoa, what an eye opener in perspective and empathy towards my parents.


Like, I vividly remember the moment, even like I was sitting there at 4:00 in the morning with my daughter. And, you know, when they're really young, you just sit there in silence. You can't pay attention to anything else. It was honestly the beginning of me starting to get a sense of what mindfulness meditation, what it might get you to. I was probably sitting with her for 45 minutes to an hour, complete silence in the dark, and I had no other choice.


And I remember at the end of that moment. Because they spent the whole time just looking at her and loving her, that was it. And it wasn't a complicated thought. It was just that singular intention. And at the end of it, I thought, whoa.


This is what my parents.


Have done for me for 40 years, maybe it's a little less the older you get, but they have spent a lot of time just wanting me to be OK and wanting me to love them back, you know, like for me to come back and essentially say, you did a really good job. Thank you, because that's how I feel. That's what I want out of my kid. That for her to say thank you. Prefer to feel. Thank you.




And man, doesn't that make you want to do the work.


And that was when I started to have that conversation with my therapist. And I was like, hey, I'm realizing I'm at this age like one. I'm I've never been so grateful for having parents, but that I have the parents I have. And I'm also at this age where I have friends who are starting to get sick, friends, parents, uncles, aunts. They're starting to lose them. I've never been to a funeral, which is insane, I know I don't want to just be the best son, I want to do whatever it takes to make our relationship the best version of itself.


I remember and I imagine most of us have gone through this period, you know, in our, let's say, early, mid 20s. At some point there's a shift where you go from this fiduciary relationship with your parents. They're your bosses. They're people you go to for resources to fix problems. You don't see them as equals.


You don't see them. It's not a two way street. You're not giving anything to them. You're not even thinking in that way at least. You know, I'm not saying, you know, maybe you were like that, but I was I was not like that. And we started to go through that transitional period where they were still being my bosses and telling me what to do. And I went into this mode where I'm giving the exact same answers.


We're having the exact same conversations every time we talk. Where are my answers are often one word or one sentence. They're asking the exact same three questions, you know, like how you feeling? Are you eating OK? How much money do you have in the bank? That's a question. My mom, that's one of her greatest hits. And I'm giving the same answers. And the result is everyone feels shitty about themselves. There's no actual conversation happening and it's stale and.


I remember kind of noticing that, and I don't remember what it was, it could have been the documentary, it could have been a friend's story. I don't know what, but I remember thinking, oh, God, this is not the relationship I want with my parents.


And so what I started to do for better, for worse, was I started to pretend to care and then we'd be on the phone and I remember I would ask my parents advice and I didn't need advice on just for the sake of making them feel human and important.


And I started. Asking them, like starting random conversation pieces, because keep in mind at that moment I was on the other end of that bad habit that we had created in our dynamic.


So I was I was faking as much for myself as I was for them. But a funny thing happened, like when I started to treat them like humans, they started to be human and treat me like a human in turn. And to me, it was a perfect evidence of doing the care of actually the spark of caring and how that can lead to love. I want to I want to step back for a second, because there are other.


Subjects you tackle in the show that I want to talk about, but before we dive into that, and those include work life balance and marriage and parenting, but before we dive into that, I want to step all the way back and ask, why do you want to do this?


Everybody wants to be happy, but most people are not very systematic or thoughtful about it. And even those who are are not doing it in public. So what's going on with you that you decided to do this work?


Well, I think you know the answer because you and I are doing the same thing, but I'll give it to you nonetheless.


Maybe yours is different. Mine is just I'm a greedy narcissist and I'm just looking to sell books.


So what's yours? I've heard you say that 20 times, but that's not the truth.


The fact of the matter is, you know, you're lucky to be where you are doing what you do. And you know that this path is hopefully going to be healthier for not just you, but the people you love. And that's a privilege just to be in that position. And I think, you know, just to bring it back to our parents, I think that's something that good parents really teach you. You know, I was listening to Michelle Obama's podcast with Barack the first episode and one of the one of the things they said is, you know, I think Michelle and Barack, what's the one thing you wish you could teach everyone?


And they both agreed that the one thing they wish they could teach is. How? Important giving is how that is actually the most selfish thing you can do, the most fulfilling, personally fulfilling thing you can do. My parents taught me that that was something that was ingrained for me.


Community first, family first, whether through actions at the temple or always just you know, my house growing up was like an immigrant halfway house, just like different Indians coming through that we were supporting and helping set up in this country. And so I know that to be true of just the giving. And I mean, this sounds so cheesy, but like I have the evidence. I mean, I just know it. And I went so I'm always kind of chasing more of that and meet the Beatles was more evidence of that.


That was a really big turning point for me. You know, prior to me, the Beatles, I'd quit acting twice because I kind of fell into acting. I was an entrepreneur. I was like a finance guy prior to that. And I fell into acting just I was in L.A. and all of a sudden this career happens. And I kept doing it because I was making all this money. And it's something that everyone else wanted to do.


But I thought it was the dumbest thing and I had no spiritual relationship with it at all and. It wasn't fulfilling to me, but when I made Meet the Patels, here's a film that's about my life. It's about a real important chapter in my life. I make it with my sister, with my parents. And the result is my sister and I, who previously I didn't necessarily like her. I always loved her. Now we're legitimately best friends because as a result of making that movie together, we couldn't fire each other.


We made each other cry. We sent each other therapy. And now we really figured out how to see each other and love each other. Got to go on this entire journey with my parents, all the things I already said to you. And they're now like the most hilarious, unlikely celebrities and they want more of it. I'm having to tell my dad calm the hell down his Facebook status, says actor celebrity guest speaker. He's got like eight things that are all like make you want to vomit.


But really, the main thing that that film taught me was. Oh, like this like work can actually be purposeful and it can be it can be an inner journey, but it can also bring me closer to the people that I want to get closer to and. Having felt that so profoundly and surprisingly through Meet the Patels, I've kind of been chasing that feeling ever since and it very much informed my decision for the premise of the show. This thing started at CNN and I didn't actually know why I was meeting with them.


I just talked to them for an hour about just the way I talk or not, like all the things that I was obsessed with. I was, you know, I, I get obsessed with all things, every trend, all things health and wellness, all things positive psychology. Like I just get obsessed with all of them and I'm the one that's all. Try things like I'll go on the cleanse, then I'll go on a binge, like on a you know, that's just how I've always been.


And I told them all this to tell them about my obsession with like building a neighborhood with all my best friends, blah, blah, blah. And they came back, they said, look, we would love to do a show with you. The only thing is it has to be travel. But we want it to be whatever your thing is. And I don't have a thing like I'm not an expert in anything.


I certainly could do a food show. But the one thing that I had done before was.


A journey with people I love that is, you know, somehow premised and introspection and curiosity, and there's another thing that happened. I've been in so many failed shows as an actor that I know that the likelihood of anything, no matter how excited you get, is that it's going to go away. And so you have to find a way to enjoy the thing you're doing while you're doing it, because in everything you and I do, we are conditioned to believe you have to have a myopic obsession with the top of the mountain.


Otherwise you won't ever get to the top of the mountain. But the older you get, the more you realize the top of the mountain doesn't actually exist.


And if it does, it's not even necessarily a happy place where you get there and you see that some other dudes on the top of a bigger mountain, you see there's a mountain top at the top of the mountain.


Yeah, exactly. And so this is another thing that came with becoming a father and getting on the other side of 40 was a man. The last 10 years looked amazing on paper, but I don't even know that I remember what happened. I got to figure out a way to love your day, prioritize what's happening today. So, I mean, and I feel like all those things came together at the right time when this show opportunity happened.


And I said, look, I don't want to be on a show where I'm traveling alone because I don't think that'll be fun. And also, if it goes on forever, I really it'll just make me further apart from the people I love, I can't be away from my family that long. And if the show gets canceled, which I'm expecting it will, then I want to make it so that each episode truly was a life changing journey.


So I'm happy it happened either way. And that's what happened here. Every episode I travel on my life, we address a big question. And the way I even prioritized what the episode premises were was I just sat down and thought about what are like kind of the most urgent pressing questions in my life. Go to Mexico to talk about retirement and aging with my parents at a time where that's one of the top questions I want to figure out how are we gonna spend the rest of our time together?


Went to Japan with my wife. This is the most important new thing in my life is figuring out how to make this thing work. This family, so we went to Japan, is one of the most innovative places in the world. And they have their own way of doing everything. And generally speaking, it's better. So when I go to Japan to try that went to South Korea with one of my best friends, Matt Polson, who like me, loves to go hard in work and in play.


And so we went to a country that's having that issue on an institutional level and then went to Denmark, to a country that I'd only previously known as the happiest place in the world, only to find out that it's not so great for immigrants and refugees. Turns out what they're going through is one of the most pressing, urgent American questions that we're experiencing right now. More of my conversation with Ravi Patel right after this. 10 percent happier is supported by better help online counseling.


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Dotcom slash happier. That's better. H e l.p dotcom shapir. So work life balance, I didn't see that that was the episode you went to Korea. I didn't see that one. I'm kind of obsessed with that issue because I'm not the best at that. I'm Mr. Happiness and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that's what you do.


I mean, that could not be more your business. Yes, but I'm a massive hypocrite because I work too much even now. Yes. I mean, I've gotten better. I stopped anchoring Nightline and that means I'm home in the evenings and I have dinner with my family every night, but I still work seven days a week. And my had a conversation with my son last night. I was reading a book and I see my son a ton. So this is going to sound worse than it is.


But he had been fighting my reading of the book. He wanted me to read the book and as I was reading the book to him, I said, You know what? What's up? You don't like Daddy? And he was like, No, no, no. You know, it's like we keep missing each other. I try to hang out with you, but you're always working. I was like, oh, man, because it's true, sometimes he comes up to me during the day when I'm trying to work or he often comes in, interrupts this podcast with no pants on.


But I can't hang with him in that moment. And then sometimes when I'm ready to hang with him, he's like on a Miami trip.


I'm curious to hear about work life balance. I've done a lot of work on myself, but that's an area where I'm still not fully formed to look for work.


Life balance, I think, is maybe most people we know is number one challenge. Look, you're in the you're kind of in the perfect year and you work in journalism, which is an incredibly I don't how to put it like a guy like work aggressive. There's a pride and workaholism in journalism. It's an incredibly competitive lot of big egos. Andy, do it in New York at the top of the game. I mean, it's you've got a lot of pressure, you know, in entertainment in general.


Like I said earlier, you feel like you have to have this myopic desperation to have a chance of succeeding. And the problem with that is that every time you create an opportunity, you feel the need to create more opportunities out of that opportunity.


So that's a never ending toxic feedback loop. If you think about it, it never ends. I feel that so much.


And it's one of the conversations I most commonly with my wife and I talk about in therapy quite a bit. Look, I think the conversation for me started with. Probably eight to 10 years ago, this idea of purpose and work and trying to figure out ways to have my work fit into my overall purpose, OK, which I realized then and I realized today is a privilege. Ninety nine percent of people don't even get that possibility right now.


Many people don't even have jobs right now. Many people don't have jobs. Exactly.


I'm fortunate enough where I. I think I've figured that out pretty well. I have almost an entirely triple bottom line approach to everything I do. And if anything, it's a singular bottom line where, you know, I'm fortunate for money isn't even my main thing. Not that I'm wealthy by any means. I'm not. But I certainly now chase experience and what something does for my life and my family's life more than I do necessarily what it's going to do immediately, financially or career wise.


Why South Korea? What's their problem and what did you learn about how we can be better at work life balance there?


So South Korea was a very poor country 60, 70 years ago, and they had a lot of work to do. So as I understand it, a dictator came in, put in all these programs to essentially pump up the GDP as quickly as possible. Fast forward many years later, the country has made one of the best comebacks in world history, as I understand it. But the downside of it is a kind of collective, systemic addiction to work, to the point where depression and suicide is a problem.


They're literally creating social programs to combat them. We walked along this bridge where there's pictures of delicious food and little positive messages beneath them. People refer to it as the suicide bridge. And these messages are meant to hopefully turn people around and put them in a good mood. They have these things called death cafes, which we went to in the episode where you literally go and simulate your own funeral. You lay in a casket for 12 minutes, you write your own eulogy, which was an incredible experience.


I can tell you the main thing that I've got. I got out of it. Which was, first of all, you know, when you hear your eulogy at your own funeral, nobody talks about what you did. Like they don't they remember how much fun you had together, how much you made them smile, whether or not they liked you. They. Don't even bring up. You know that you had this amazing podcast or TV show, and so it's a great reminder of what really matters.


And for me, I kind of came out of that in a new way. I'm like, OK, I'm really lucky that I get to do this purpose thing with all my work. But that's also kind of cheating, because what I've done is by saying all my work is purposeful, I've decided I can work 100 percent of the time because there's no line between my personal life and work. So now what I've been working on and the pandemic has been really helpful because it's forced the issue is really bifurcating the real estate between work and non-work.


I'm forcing myself to not work more often.


And and this is the real challenge, the thing that I really suck at, something that I think mindfulness could hopefully help me with getting my mind to stop working when I'm not working, because as I'm sure you know, like so often I'm with my family, but I'm just not I'm.


And so now I've realized that what I really am seeking is more time for nothingness, more passivity, more time to just be the other night I was sitting in the dark eating ice cream. I don't know why, but I did it for many minutes and I thought to myself, this is great. I didn't notice that I was doing this till just now.


Now, I should have turned the lights on. Sure. Maybe next time I will. But my point is, I'm trying to learn. It's almost like going back to my child state I often think about.


How playful we all were as kids and how. How untethered we were, the idea of flow didn't just apply to a specific interest or activity, we were in flow with the world, right. Like whatever got our attention to go play, go do that. And I look back on those days with such envy and I'm like, well, where did that go? Because I still have my essence. I'm a very happy, optimistic, playful person. But that true for now look.


I'm a father and a husband, I have responsibilities, I have work, but I think there's something about adulthood where we almost. Oppressed that part of ourselves too much, and now it's something that I really want to reawaken, hopefully, before it's too late. I just want to have better days when I want to have more fun. I like cooking and I like sitting around watching television and playing basketball just. Normal stuff that I feel like I spent so much of my time trying to get away from, you hit some of these themes in the episode where you go to Japan with your wife and talk about your sense of guilt.


You had statistics about the number of times per day a parent feels like a bad parent. And I was like, wow, that's that. Yes, I feel that all the time. And you talk about your own feelings about worrying whether you're a good enough dad and worrying about, you know, having this pressure to provide for the family, which then, of course, takes you away from the family, both physically and psychologically, and having a different world view from your wife, who a little bit resents having to do all the work with the family, with the kid and the dog while you're, you know, providing and and you both have these different pressures.


I saw a lot of myself in that episode for sure beyond relating to it were there I guess my question is, how did you relate to it and how did it make you feel about do you still experience those dynamics in your household or have you made progress on them both?


Still experienced all those dynamics, mostly just sort of my internal guilt stuff. And we've made progress. I would say the impact for me of you and your wife wrestle with these issues on screen is that it normalizes it. I'm thinking I hear, oh, all parents have this this dad, who is by every measure a good dad that I can tell, is also telling himself a story about how he's a bad dad. Oh, OK. So I now feel better about my own junk.


Well, you're welcome. I'm happy to normalize our shame. What do you guys fight about?


How much how much to discipline the kid and what the how to do it and how much independence to give them?


Yes. Well, the independence issue, we haven't gotten to that much. And I know that's the theme of the show. You go to Japan and you see how much independence they give kids is starting at age six. They're sent out to. Do you follow a kid running an errand, which is the craziest thing I've ever seen, but it's insane.


Yeah. One of the great things you do in that episode is destigmatize couples therapy. And I'm totally on board that we've done some couples therapy until I think he basically fired us for being too boring.


That's good news. But we got boring because we did the therapy, so we don't fight too much.


But we definitely have disagreements about, you know, I'm all like when he's being a jerk, you know, time out, buddy. And she'll let it go longer than I would. I'm a little bit more of a disciplinarian. So we disagree on those things. And that's tough. Yeah, it's tough.


You know, it's so funny. I think at the root of parenting is how we disagree and fight. It's like to me, every challenge with parenting for me has been more about the marriage and how we figure things out together. I actually don't get a ton of anxiety about my daughter going to be OK. Am I going to be OK? I for the most part, I feel.


Pretty good about all that stuff they got. I don't have those fears because I have plenty of other ones. The stuff that always is hard for me or they are just my wife and I. And, you know, early on all we did was fight.


And, you know, we you know, in fact, we had a moment this morning, not unlike the one you just described. Where my daughter kind of like took a swing at the nanny, like with the like, tried to slap her but didn't slap her, but she did it as like a threatening like like that.


And and so we came and talked to her and we're like, hey.


And my attitude was we should punish her for this. Right. She needs to know that this is not something she can do. And we're at a point right now where we're starting to wonder if we've been too lenient with her. We've done so much to try to talk her through everything, calm her down when she's crying, and then have a conversation with her about what happened. But we don't really do a lot of time out stuff anyway in that moment.


I said to my wife, I go home, I started it, I tried to diffuse any possibility that it was personal because she was comforting her. My daughter was crying and I said, I'm not saying that I have any answers here nor any inclination.


But I really wonder, like, is it better for us to hold her and calm her after she's done this bad thing? Or is she crying in part because she knows manipulative words?


Yeah, and she's really smart.


And I was like, are we doing are we doing ourselves a disservice by comforting her right now? Should we maybe just let her cry? And, you know, that's a debate that will go on forever.


But the way we had that conversation was such a testament to the progress I think both of us have made, not only individually, but between ourselves. Now, that said, we had a fight four days ago that I still don't know what it was about. Like sometimes I'm like, I don't know what we're talking about. And then we're just both mad at each other. And then by the end, I'm just apologizing.


It starts with a false apology, which she sees as a false apology. Then I'm apologizing for the false apology and then I'm inhabiting the character of someone who admits what they were wrong. And I have a deal with myself on the inside that we don't feel this way. But I am fully pretending on the outside. I am sorry because all you want at that point is that.


But then a funny thing happens when you apologize for the thing that you didn't do after the apology and seeing her soft reaction, because my wife's just a better person in all regards than I look back and I'm like, oh, I'm so glad it went that way. And I remember, like, my new thing in a fight now is I try to tell myself the mantra, which I forgot this three days ago.


But generally speaking, whenever things start to go south, you know, you feel it coming like vomit like before it's even there. You start to feel that small.


You're like, OK, we're about to get in a fight whenever that happens. Now, I try to tell myself this mantra like create a safe space, create a safe space, like let her know you're on her side, create a safe space. And I've noticed how. It just leads to such better outcomes, and any time we get an argument with our spouses, it's the ego that tends to get in the driver's seat.


Yes, yes, and sometimes I notice, like I'm trying to tune into, like, what do I want here?


And then the embarrassing answer is total victory, even if it doesn't matter.


I love what you said about like that internal progression paired with the external behavior around your apologies. It kind of reminds me a little bit of the fake it till you make it approach you took with pretending to care with your parents until you actually did that. That's probably particularly resonant for an actor. And I guess that kind of brings me to the bottom line takeaway I have for the whole show, which is it's called The Pursuit of Happiness. And yet it's a show about relationships.


And then you realize, well. Happiness is contingent upon relationships. My happiness is synonymous with good relationships.


Well, that's not something that I thought of, too, you just said it, and that's really interesting. I would agree with that. It reminds me of. So before I met my wife, my wife and I, we've been together for six or seven years now, and just before I met her, I was going through a single guy phase that I should have had when I was 18, but I didn't. And so I was having this full on douche bag and it was a wonderful moment in time for me.


But it started to feel kind of empty. And around that time, a close friend of mine.


Had given me this Buddhist little booklet and the main thing that this pamphlet. Kind of taught me was it said that, you know, all books about positive psychology, whatever, they all say the same thing, that, you know, the point of life is happiness and giving and like this one set in a way that we really, I would say, changed my life, which is it said that the way to measure one's happiness is by the time they've passed, the extent to which they've contributed to evolution.


And that was really revelatory for me because it really broke down. OK, if that's the measure of happiness, is the extent to which you contribute to evolution, the way you can most contribute to evolution is directly proportional to the intimacy with which the people you're in contact with.


Now, just to be clear, when you say evolution, you don't mean natural selection. You mean somebody's personal growth.


That's a good question by making the world move forward in some way. How much have you made the world? A better place, essentially. And obviously, you have the most impact on the people that you're closest to. And from that, I kind of figured, oh, well, then the highest form of intelligence is actually not being good at math or having any incredible skills that it's actually kindness. And that quote from that bullet to me might be evidence of what you just said.


Yeah, you know, if true happiness is derived from the extent to which you're making the world a better place, then naturally the way you give make the world a better place is the people you're closest to and through your relationships. Yeah. And that's also I mean, that's basically what the Obama said in that podcast. And if the Obama said it, buddy.


You know. Such a pleasure to meet you, although albeit virtually, but, yeah, so much more to come, I hope. Well, I appreciate you having me, man. I hope we get to do more of this. Big thanks to Rovi, really appreciate him making the time for this. Go check out his show on HBO. Max Big thanks as well to the team who work incredibly hard to make the show a reality three times a week or two and a half times a week, depending on how you count it.


Samuel Johnson is our senior producer. Marisa Schneiderman is our producer. Our sound designers are Matt Boynton and on Yoshiki from Ultra Violet Audio, Maria Wartell is our production coordinator. We get massive doses of guidance and wisdom and insight from our colleagues such as Jen Point and Nate Tobey and Ben Rubin and Liz Levin. And finally, a big thank you as always, to my guys from ABC News, Ryan Kessler and Josh Cohen. We'll see on Wednesday for Banty Budha Rakita.


He's a fascinating, fascinating dude. As I mentioned at the top of the show, he's a Buddhist monk who survived an assassination attempt. He's got an incredible story. That's on Wednesday. See you then.