My name’s Jonathan Mueller. I’m the host of Building Better Businesses in ABA, and my guest today is Finnian Kelly. Finnian is the founder of Intentionality. He leads events and retreats, inspiring attendees to connect deeply with their businesses and themselves. He’s a lifelong learner with degrees in math, physics, finance, leadership, and teaching, as well as a retired Australian Defense Force officer. Finnian’s work with individuals, teams and underprivileged communities has been featured on National Geographic, Business Insider, Forbes, Sky Business, ABC, Smart Company, and more. Finnian, welcome to the pod dude.
Thanks so much, Jonathan. I enjoy being in a pod. It’s funny, I was in Peru just a month ago, and they have these pods on the side of the mountain. It’s a hotel literally in a pod on the side mountain. You have to like rock climb up to it. So you just brought me back to a beautiful memory.
You are a legitimate world traveler. It’s always like, where in the world is Finnian? So let me get this right in Peru to get to these pod/hotel rooms. You’re climbing and full send to earn your night’s sleep?
Yeah, and then you come down and there’s a big hot tub there on the side of the cliff, but you’d have to like literally climb up with like full harnesses to go back up to bed and then you’re just hanging off the side of the cliff. it’s a touristy thing, but it’s actually pretty damn awesome. I was pretty impressed.
Dude, it’s unbelievable. You know what I like in that dude? So I love to climb as well. And we both live in Colorado and, there’s all kinds of climbing: bouldering, there’s cragging, there’s trad, sport climbing, there’s big wall climbing. People probably know that because of Alex Honnold and the movie. But this sounds like big wall glamping, maybe the equivalent, you’re on a big wall, but a little bit safer than free soloing.
And there was a flushing toilet up there as well. It’s remarkable what humans could do. It was the nicest toilet I experienced in Peru and we’re on the side of a cliff.
I won’t ask where the flush goes when that happens.
You’re a Renaissance man, travel the worlds you do all different kinds of things. And one experience, actually many experiences we share in common, but one of those is, you hiked El Camino Santiago, which was the Pilgrims Way, an old Spanish missionary route. What did you learn from that experience? Tell me more.
Oh, it’s incredible that you’re asking this right now because two things are happening right now. So I’m literally in the final 10 pages of edit of my book, which is based around this time of my Camino experience five years ago. And it’s called A Pilgrim’s ,well I haven’t given the title, but there’s a message which is about A Pilgrim’s Pathway to Intentionality. So on the Camino, I really discovered intentionality and what it meant, and I’ve created a whole action-based philosophy since then. So things like it’s not good enough to find your way, you’ve gotta stay on your way as well. So there were these beautiful yellow arrows that pointed us across the country. Literally I didn’t have a map, didn’t have a phone. Just followed these arrows and these clamshells. And if you paid enough attention, you would stay on track, but every so often you’d be consumed in your own self-talk or just head down and you would suddenly realize, whoa, where was the last yellow arrow? Now if you catch it quickly enough, you would be okay. You’d see a pilgrim over there, or you’d be like, oh, I can just go back to that arrow. But there was one day where I was such in a struggling place, head down, lot of self criticism going on, and I looked up, and I looked around and there wasn’t anyone and there were no arrows and I couldn’t remember a single thing and I went, wow, I’ve lost my way. And then I realized I hadn’t just lost my way in a physical sense, I’d also lost it in my whole life. There was a period where I just lost what really mattered to me, and that’s really what my pathway to intentionality was. So, that was definitely a big learning. And the other reason, just looping back on the second reason, is my partner is actually, doing it right now, and she finishes in three days time on the anniversary, her mom tragically died last year, and she’s finishing it on her anniversary. So she’s been walking for four and a half weeks already. So it’s a pretty powerful time to ask that question.
Wow. you know, tell me more about as you described, you lost your way in what matters, what does matter to you in life and business?
Yeah, so what I really discovered was I was living with intentionality. The problem was that where I was making the decisions from was from programs inside of me. So we have the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, and the subconscious actually determines most of our decisions. It’s our programs, it’s our habits, it’s our behaviors, and it’s there to make our life easy. It’s so we don’t have to waste any energy thinking about how to do things each day; driving a car, brushing our teeth. So when that works for us, it works great. The problem is sometimes we are coded with some faulty code and the programs that I was running my life decisions off, at the foundational level, were based on fear. So no matter how much I wanted something, how much I went for it, how much I achieved something, it was never gonna fulfill me because the core beliefs were based on fear. So that was my big awareness where I was like, whoa, I’ve lost my way and I’ve lost my way for a long time, effectively. I thought I knew my way, but I didn’t, I probably didn’t know it since I was a little baby, because of just some events that happened in my life. I went off on a different chain of events and I almost feel like that’s the lesson for everyone in life. Like we’ve all lost our way in the truest essence of who we are. We’re peaceful, joyful, loving beings and just because of how we’re conditioned over years through societal pressures, we do lose ourselves. And that path of awakening it’s not to find anything, it’s actually just to remember who we are in our core. And that was definitely what, I discovered on the Camino. And that’s why I’ve created these five principles of intentionality because they’re almost the yellow markers. They’re the signposts one, to help you find your way, perhaps get you on your way, but most importantly, it’s about keeping you on your way as well.
Hmm. That’s deep, man. When I lose my way and it still happens to me all the time, I feel it like it’s because I’m letting complexity get ahead of the simple and the things that you described, like the joyful and and community and all of these other things. And when I did El Camino Santiago in, gosh, 2004 now it’s crazy coming up almost 20 years, one of the things that I really appreciated in spite of some of the hardships and I think it was like the first day I tried to hike 20 miles and I had this huge backpack and I had to mail a bunch of stuff ahead. So it was like, ah, is this even gonna work? Is this gonna happen? But as I dialed all that in, there is a simplicity over five weeks of knowing you are ostensibly achieving one objective, which is reaching the Compostela, the church. And then what that means is you’ve gotta wake up every day and sort of put one foot in front of the other. There’s a simplicity to that, but there was also a real simplicity in community for me. I think it was day two or three, I connected with a girl from Finland, Anna, and David, a train driver from Austria and for the next five weeks we all hiked together and as extraordinary as Northern Spain and Galacia were, it was that connection with them that made it such a special trip. How does community fit into being intentional about living our lives?
Yeah, it has multi-facets. So our subconscious is impressionable. So who we surround ourselves, we’ve gotta understand that they are imprinting on us. That’s why there’s that saying you’re the sum of the five people around you, because effectively you’re imprinting on each other. So you want to be very mindful of who you are surrounding yourself with. Also, when you look at all the studies of longevity, happiness, they’re all connected to relationships. If you have good relationships, it will outdo any body- hacking, biohacking, diets, anything. it improves it. So that’s really what we need to be investing ourselves in. And I can tell you when I was going through a real hardship in my life, there was moments where you’re questioning how you get through the next day. And I can tell the difference that I was lucky to have, and what a lot of other people don’t, is I had incredible people in my life. So even at my lowest I knew that I could go to that person’s place or I could literally, I could probably go for two years traveling around visiting friends and it’d be incredible where a lot of other people don’t have that. And that was something which I anchored myself in a lot. I have a saying, I’m more than my net worth, I have a net wealth, which is my friends, my health, all these different elements. And I wish people valued their relationships more, where a lot of the time, what are we doing? We’re actually not even present for our relationships cause we’re so focused on the next thing or accomplishing this for what though? To hopefully one day to have more time with people. We can enjoy that time right now And that’s what I think the beauty of the Camino does, is it just reminds you that the magic is in the present and we can all be walking the Camino without physically walking the Camino. We’re all on a pilgrimage. If we just allowed ourselves each day just going, okay, what do I need to do today? What’s the direction I need to go? What foot do I need to put in front of the other and stop over complicating it.
I appreciate that you described this idea of like net worth, which is how, I mean, just think about how we’re wired as a society. We tend to ask others, maybe we don’t ask what’s your net worth, but that’s what we value, right? And we talk about gross domestic product, as opposed to things like gross national happiness or as you point out, net wealth. Why are there those contingencies in society? Why are we wired this certain way that just seems like it’s always just how do we get ahead? What’s the next thing we have to do as opposed to like that living in the present.
Unfortunately, I just think it’s over time we program each other and we collectively program some things which aren’t great, and also some things were really great. And the thing about the money side of things, it’s just, it’s so easy to compare. It’s physically tangible. So they can go, well, you must be better because you have $10 million and I only have $5 million, or whatever. It could be $500,000 or $100. Where it’s quantifiable, where the quality, your relationships, your health, it’s not as easy to measure. I think it’s just pure laziness. That’s what happens. But I always have a fun thing, when I see someone with a, I don’t know, a broken leg or I don’t know, they just had big surgery, and I go, what would you pay to not have that right now? To be able to have a healed leg and everything? And some of them will be like, you know, a few hundred thousand. And I remind myself, all right, yep, I’ve got a few hundred thousand here, a few hundred thousand there (pointing to each of his limbs). And I’m like, suddenly my bank account just increases. And it’s just a good way just to give you some perspective on, it’s all just silly what we compare against. Because we’re always just comparing against one variable. And that’s why one principle of intentionality is practice presence, not comparison. Comparison is something about the future, or the past, it’s never in the present and it’s never going to fulfill you because there’s always someone with more. So being present in the experience is the most important part.
And what helps you to do that? To be present? I ask that question knowing it’s easy to be mindful, but, it’s hard to remember to be mindful. So how do you cultivate a practice of being present in the moment?
Yeah. So it is a practice, and it is a constant practice. Even the most advanced people, they still have to come back to it, the Dalai Lama still sits down and does meditation to practice. So it’s about using different modalities such as breath work and meditation to help you separate from the drama of life and become more of the witness, observing yourself not identifying with your thoughts, stepping back a little bit. And when you’re present, you’re not narrating, the narration might be happening, but you are observing the narration. And nature is one of those great examples. Like when you go through nature, it has a natural calming effect to bring you more present. And that’s why I recommend everyone just get outside and you’ll feel present. So, observing, catching your thoughts, coming back and just keep coming back. And the breath is a great way, it’s like the entryway to presence, just observing your breath, slowing it all down, and then just looking out and absorbing it all rather than going, there’s a label, there’s a label, there’s a label just going, okay, what’s there right now? And we’ve become so addicted to thinking in the future, in the past, it’s a practice and one interesting way to practice it is to stop the narration. Just call out what you actually see. So you could be in a visual place and just go: mirror, suitcase, pillow. And by just doing that practice, you notice that you start becoming more present and it stops the silly chat that goes on in your head all the time, the monkey mind.
That monkey mind dude Finnian, that has been something that’s afflicted me for much of my life. That idea of racing and thinking and perseverating on either the future or the past, and did I do that conversation right? That’s my downfall. I have to meditate 20 minutes every morning as part of my practice, and I’m still nowhere where I probably should be. But I like the idea of labeling and just being that observer of what’s happening around us.
Yeah. And, the monkey mind is an interesting one. It often comes from the intellect because we’ve given the intellect such power. We love telling ourselves that person’s so intellectual, that person’s so smart, they’ve read so many books or they’re thinking, and we pride ourselves on thinking. That’s not actually where the true intelligence is. That’s our conscious mind processes things at 40 bits per second, and our subconscious processing is at 40 million bits per second. So you’ve got a supercomputer 1 million times faster than the thinking mind. So why we bother thinking at all? We should just get clear on what it is that we want and then send the direction down to the supercomputer to work out how to happen, and then it sends information back up and we have to be in receivership. You have to be paying attention to go, oh, it’s telling me to call that person up or go do this. But if we are thinking all the time, we can’t get that guidance. So it’s about getting into this place of receivership, of this inner guidance, this inner intelligence that comes through.
So I have to ask you Finnian, how you came around to thinking about intentionality and this framework that you have? And I know you referenced that you’ve gone through some challenging times in your life. I think when we actually first connected on a zoom call. You live in Aspen, Colorado when you’re not traveling around the world. I’ll never forget you came down off the hill early and skipped an apres ski just to have this conversation with me. And that’s, by the way, that’s the biggest form of honor I would ever see in someone. But you’ve created this life that, not only does it work well for you, but you’re passing that wisdom onto others. Take me through what you had to do to accomplish that. How did you come out from that sort of pit into the other side?
So there was a few things, I had to really go inside and explore and basically see it as, coming in and looking at my operating system, and if I have this belief that the subconscious determines 95% of our decisions daily, then we need to have an awareness of what are the programs inside of there, and what’s the code inside of the programs, and where did the code come from? And I wanted to take back control of my operating system. So I just started observing, just digging deep and going, okay, what are some faulty beliefs that I might have running which are affecting my ability to feel joy, peace and love? And I just started facing them and then I went, well, do I want to hang on to those beliefs or am I willing to let them go? Because what are beliefs? Beliefs are just stories. They’re just our interpretation of an experience. We have something called cognitive dissonance that is something where we’ll twist information to support our beliefs. So I always say, I don’t care what you believe in, literally, it doesn’t bother me as long as it’s serving you. And the way to know if it’s serving you is do you have more positive emotions? If you’re not having positive emotions, then you have some form of belief in there that which isn’t serving you. So I had to just go down and just start excavating anything that didn’t serve me, and then start putting back in new positive beliefs. And there was really one foundational moment when I looked at, I think of the paths of the Camino, and I looked at my life and I went, this path has been one based on fear. I know where that goes. I know how to play that one out, but it’s never gonna fulfill me. So what’s the other path? And I realize the only other path is love. So from that moment, it was pretty binary. It was, is this moving me towards love or away from love? And that’s how I started making decisions in my life. And it helped me get really clear on what it is that I actually wanted, because that’s the fundamental question, is what do you want? And very few people can answer that when you ask them. Even the ones who look like they’re super successful, they actually don’t know what they want. They’re just running on a program which has contributed to financial success and maybe a lot of impact, but it’s not fulfilling them. So getting really clear on what it is that you want free of these programs, like truly what you want, not what your parents wanted or someone else wants. Once you get that, you become liberated because then you can actually now start putting in the action to bring it to fruition. And then the incredible thing about how the universe works is that things start just conspiring in your favor. And that’s really how it works. And you have to be willing to do things that challenge other people. A lot of people would look at my life and go, I can’t have that life, and that’s cool. I don’t expect you to have that life, but this works for me and this is what I really love doing. All I want to know is what, what do you love doing? What can we bring more of into your life?
So what is it that you ultimately want?
In my book, I wrote a journal entry while I was on the Camino. I said, I define success as doing what I want, with love, without any obligation to doing it. And I’m, I’m right there. I’m not obligated to do anything. I do what I love. So I’m feeling pretty good there. Ultimately for me it’s peace and joy. I think they’re the two core desires of a human being is we want to feel peace and that’s peace with yourself, peace in your relationships, uh, peace in community, and then joy, have a lot of fun and, have these moments of just joyful moments. So that’s really, really what I’m looking for. And that will probably come from me having a family, impacting lots of people. But I don’t really mind how it happens. That’s the beautiful thing about intentionality, is you get really clear on your feelings and then allow the how to come afterwards. Because sometimes you’ll be surprised on how it shows up.
Yeah. That is my experience of life in spades. being, open to, not necessarily knowing where a path will take, but having conviction around the path and ultimately where you’d like to get to, and how that relates to my values. That’s felt really important. So the big question on listeners’ minds, well, frankly, and on mine is, all right, this life sounds awesome. How do you financially sustain that kind of life? Which maybe that’s part of the monkey mind and the chain, etc. But how do you figure out how to make those work together?
Yeah, unfortunately that’s what always happens. We have these programs which then quickly just wants to just stab down any possibility. So there’s always a financial element, but if you find a way to get really passionate about something, clearly give value to something else. Money will always show up, but you have to be willing to break free the doubts, and you have to be willing to sometimes go, all right, we’re not gonna spend money on this right now because this isn’t value to me because I’m investing in this particular area. So the last two years, I invested a lot into my education, my knowledge, just reinvesting back into things, and now it’s paying off in dividends because I was willing to back myself at that period of time. Money is abundant, like it literally is. Energy is there. It’s construct of it that stops it. So just get clear on what it is that you want and then it will start showing up you’ll start finding out, wow, there’s ways to earn money through this. I didn’t have any idea that I could earn money through what I’m doing right now, but people are willing to pay because people see the value, they see the transformation. So it’s just always be really clear on what’s the problem you’re solving and what’s the transformation you can give people? And if you just think of that, there’s always a way. That’s pretty much what businesses is, just literally going, what’s the problem I’m solving for who? And what’s the transformation that I can guarantee them? And everyone has value that they can give each other. Like we’re all humans, all able to help each other. And probably to start with work on your money story, that’s a big thing. A lot of people have negative money stories, so that was a big part of my life was, being a financial expert and we would do something called a money story and was like, look in and what programming did you have? Some people got lucky and have the abundant programs and other people got coded with scarcity programs. The good thing is you can change them. Everyone has the same access to these programs. You just have to actually want them and be willing to do a little bit of the commitment, the practice to rewire those programs.
Do you know what convinced me that the scarcity of money was not a thing or that it’s only money and happiness? So actually right before I hiked El Camino Santiago, I was in Tanzania and I was a volunteer business advisor and where I lived in Arusha, Northern Tanzania, up near Kilimanjaro and Mount Maru is absolutely beautiful. But people would live, families, entire families, would live on the equivalent of what someone in Colorado maybe makes in a day, foran entire year. And you know what? There was profound happiness in the host family I lived with and people I saw. And yeah, there were challenges of course, but just like we have challenges here, but money doesn’t translate like directly to happiness. But is that sort of what you’re getting at here is tell your money story, but also separate out and ultimately who you wanna become and what you want to be from simply that money story?
Yeah, it’s a two part thing is one: put in a good program so you’re actually open to abundance. Becuase it’s not that money’s bad, money is amazing. I love money. It opens up so many things, but it’s not needed for happiness. The key with happiness is just literally, having your expectations lower than what you experience. So, stop making these big expectations that I’m gonna be happy once I get this or once I get that promotion or once I get this house, because then you’re putting the expectations too high. We’ve all had that experience when we’ve like really been looking forward to a particular restaurant, talking it all up and then the meal came out and I bet it was pretty good for the person who had no expectations but because you had such high expectations, you’re like, this is a little bit bland. It’s like the danger of going back to a place after you’ve had an incredible experience because then your expectations are high. So that’s a big part of being happy, is just stop having expectations. And that’s about being in the present because expectations are once again about the future. So just letting them go and just witnessing and just experiencing as things come up, that’s ultimately the true happiness. That’s what is actually happening with the family in Tanzania,they’re not thinking about the future. They’re literally thinking about today, like they’re in a survival sort of experience. And in some regards, that’s really refreshing for them because every day they go, look, we lived another day. And they’re grateful. Where we are not living that way. We’re not living in a state of gratitude or presence. It’s all about not enough. I need to be more. Which is really unfortunate.
Yeah, it really is it. So speaking of being present, I know you’re a burner. You’ve attended Burning Man. In fact, I think I saw somewhere there’s this, burners and entrepreneurs together. My wife and I went to Burning Man 2009. And still to this day, I think back about how pure and simple that experience was and I think it boiled down to and we were having a camping experience, we weren’t necessarily having some big trippy kind of journey. And that’s the joy of Burning Man, I think right? Is you can be and do whatever you want to do there, but it felt like we were super present. But tell me more about your Burning Man experience and how that translates to intentionality in your principles?
Yeah, so I do agree with the presence. People aren’t distracted. They’re just in that moment, and there’s a saying that the playa always provides, and what that means is if you suddenly go, oh, I’d love a cold drink, someone will literally just come around the corner and go, oh, I’ve got a cold drink for you. Or, I’d love a pizza, and suddenly there’s a wood-fire stove, pizzas being cooked, just magic happens. And I believe what’s actually happening is we’re in such a beautiful place that we’re communicating the subconscious and we’re effectively being able to change reality in a small amount of time, which we all have access to. So Burning Man is this place where, I call it like a playground for anyone from ages three to 95 years old. Whatever you’re into, there’s a group of people who are also into it. People think it’s like this big party drug sex theme, and yeah, that’s an element of it, but it’s the best art, music, connection, camping, there’s a bit of everything there, which is really special. So if anyone, if you’re ever hearing anyone like pay out, Burning Man, ask them, have they gone? Because I guarantee they haven’t gone because everyone who’s gone loves it and they all just say, yeah, there’s nothing we can do which will do it justice. And I’ve explained it to so many people when the first time they ride out at the nighttime, their jaws just drop, and they’re just like, yeah, you did not do this justice. Because words don’t do it justice. So you are in this place. You just open, you’re not comparing, you’re just seeing people for who they are. You’re more operating on a soul level rather than a personality level, and you’re just loving and because of that, you start learning what love is really about and you start feeling accepted and at peace and it just opens things up on you, which is incredible. After the first Burning Man I went to, three weeks afterwards, I was looking in the mirror and I just reflected and I went, whoa, I’ve not thought about my body once in the last few weeks. And it sounds weird, but I’ve had a body complex my whole life. A lot of men, a lot of men have, and, that was just a liberating moment. I went, wow, that’s what Burning Man did to me, because everyone was just so accepting and loving of everyone’s bodies. It put me back into perspective and I could truly see myself for who I am. Like I know my body’s strong and healthy, but I had a program which was stopping me from seeing that. So I see people have those breakthroughs all the time.
Oh my gosh. So, all right, I have to share one of my Burning Man stories. We lived in Reno for a number of years, which is a couple hours away from Gurlock, Nevada, which is where the Black Rock desert is. So the playa that you’re referring to, just to paint a picture this is like the finest, it’s almost like chalk dust, it’s this huge open desert, and you’re in the basin. It’s so fine, I mean, to this day, what, 13 years later, there’s still playa a dust in some of our clothes and camping gear because it just gets in everything. But I thought going into it, okay, this is gonna be sort of the unreal world, it’s gonna be fun for, 3, 4, 5 days. So I get in and on that first day, by the way, when we got in setup camp, it was probably eight or 9:00 PM and we biked around and looked at art until the sun came up at 6:00 AM. And I won’t say I like art, I love art, but I’m not a an officionado but it was so powerful and it was on a scale that’s so huge. But here’s what was wild. So that first morning you’re surrounded by playa dust and it’s ostensibly a harsh environment, we saw, periodically there are these trucks that drive by and they spray water down and tamp down the playa dust on the road. And all these people come running behind the water truck to wash off playa dust. some of ’em are naked, and we’re like, what the heck are these people doing? They’ve got this non-potable water, they’re running behind this truck naked. It made no sense to us. Guess what? Next morning we wake up, had another extraordinary day on the playa and this truck comes by and immediately, first thing I did, rip off our clothes and we’re like, come back truck. And we charged out after this thing. And it was just this joy. Once we had gotten rid of that like pre-program, once I had gotten rid of my pre-programmed mind around what you’re supposed to do or not, it was just like one of the happiest times. And I think looking back now, even though I went in saying this is gonna be the unreal world and it’ll be cool. I now think is that more the real world, Burning Man, because you strip everything else out and when you get to simplicity, you’ve made it.
Yeah. Yeah, I think you’re spot on. It’s about giving people permission to experience new things like you can let go of these programs. I liked what you said, it’s like getting back to that pre-program mind. I see people all the time, it’s like, yeah, you can do that. You’re allowed to do that. Like they just need that permission and you’re like, we can really have this much fun. And I’m like, yes, you can have that much fun. It’s okay. You can be this happy. And I definitely feel that’s one of my gifts in life and also one of my responsibilities is helping people give permission to themselves and, allow themselves, you are allowed to just be so in love with life, and that’s what Burning Man does for people. It reconnects people. You’re just like, wow, you literally spent all year working on that and putting all your money in so we could experience it for a couple of days and then we’re gonna burn it. Like talk about incredible abundance. It’s remarkable.
Yes it is. We live in a time of incredible abundance and, in some ways that’s scary, right? It’s funny, I love zombie movies, full disclosure, but I’ll think sometime, and I won’t say I’m a full prepper, but I’ve got extra Coors Light in case there’s the end of the world that comes, that sits in my garage. But sometimes I step back and I say we probably throw away more food in a day in my household, as much as I cherish food, then in an end of the world scenario, then we’d have all month or all year. And I wonder if that’s part of this pre-programming, this idea of when there is so much abundance, does it create a hunger for more, or what are the other ways that’s skewing how we think about what we value in day-to-day life?
Well, I think what it does is we’ve associated that more is better. So as we get more and we realize it’s actually not bringing us the satisfaction. Rather than thinking, oh, maybe we should cut it. We double down, we go, well, maybe more will make us happier. So it actually starts getting exponentially worse. And that’s a statement I always say is money is a magnifier. If you’re a good person, then you have money, you are gonna become a better person. If you have some insecurities, some weaknesses, and you have money, you’re probably not gonna be that great a person. It just magnifies whatever you have in you becuase it’s just energy. So effectively what we need to do is we need to get back to the foundations. What really brings us joy, what really matters to us? And if you get people to do those lists, it’s never materialistic items. It’s always simple things like enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning, walking in nature, hugging my partner, um, having a drink with a friend, going for a run, all things which are free and we could access any day. But we don’t do it. We keep operating on this program. That’s all I want people to go is just jump out of this world, you don’t need to be playing this game anymore. There’s so many other ways to be really experiencing life right now rather than life in the future, which most other people are doing.
Finnian, does this apply across anyone? Is this universal? Becuase I can see where, one criticism could be, hey, being able to do this maybe comes from a place of privilege. Right? So how about someone who’s gotta work three jobs, is a single parent and has all these responsibilities, can they experience this and what you’re describing in the same way? Is this a universal ability that we have to rewrite our programming?
Yeah, it is. Everything is universal and I fully get, like we have hit the lottery us being where we are in our lifestyle, and some of the programs we have, we’ve definitely got a head start. But everyone has access to these programs and a lot of people will be hearing it and they want to do the excuses, and they’re like, oh, I’m just gonna write that person off. But the thing is, if you do that, you are just gonna keep staying in the same scenario. So if you want to be able to get out of your current situation, whatever it is, some people it’s for billionaires, they want to get outta this situation. Other people, it’s no money. If you’re just not happy with your current situation, it’s in your best interest to believe that this is possible, that it is possible to rewrite your programs. And we see this all the time. People learn these things and this isn’t new information. We’ve had people like Napoleon Hill and, Neville Goddard and all these great people writing about this or, Emerson, like we’ve had people writing about this every 50 years. It’s like people start communicating this. It’s like, here is the code, which has always been here, like the formula. But a lot of people just, they want to stay in the victim. They want to stay in the place of this is too hard. Or they they wanna feel sorry for themselves. And I have full compassion for everyone who’s in a tough situation. I know it. You are in pain or sadness, I wanna hold you and I wanna hug you and I’ll support you and I won’t judge you with anything that happens. At the same time though, I’ll also tell you that it’s possible to change because I see people change every single day, but a lot of people have that belief, oh, people don’t change, or, this is too hard, or that’s, that sounds good for them. Once again, that’s not gonna serve you. Start believing that it’s possible and just little changes, little behavior changes each day, and if you start reading some of this content, you start applying it and you realize you can break free of the program that you have unfortunately been playing for a long time.
Hmm. We are absolutely, creatures of our environment. And that’s what, science of applied behavior analysis describes exactly. We are the products of that environment that shapes us. Well, you know, a lot of listeners, on this pod Finnian, are leaders. Leaders of their business, maybe founders of their business or leaders of a team. What do you think is the most important quality leaders need to have to be successful, and is that a coachable quality?
Hmm. So there’s one which is just about making decisions. Leaders need to make decisions. They don’t even have to be the right one. People want direction. They want to know that they’re following someone who’s confident enough to make decisions. It was a big part that I learned in the military was just the importance of just making a decision and by the time that you’ve worked out that it’s the wrong decision, you’re okay. You just pivot and you go to the next place. But if you’re not moving, it’s very hard to get that ship moving again. If you think of it as a ship, it’s very, easy to tack while you’re moving, rather than stationary. So keep that movement and it’s definitely coachable. You can coach people and the key is to start making decisions so once you start making decisions, you then gotta start tapping into your own guidance system and operating from a place of your heart, which is more intuitive than your head, and then you can make quicker and more decisive decisions. So that’s definitely one. And in order to make decisions, you have to know what you want. That’s the fundamental thing. A lot of reasons why companies struggle is because the leader’s confused and they’re not sure of where they’re going and this is why it just keeps changing directions and they don’t really seem to scale. Once you get clear on what you want. Then we can work out what are the behaviors we need to put in place and then everyone can start working for you. So I think they’re the fundamental things as a leader. And then self-awareness is probably the next piece, is actually having a level of self-awareness to see what’s working, what’s not, how is your communicating affecting other people? And when you have self-awareness, you’re able to then grow and it’s a form of humility effect.
It is, it’s a huge form of humility and I think that’s part of the challenge a lot of people have about self-awareness. It requires vulnerability. And especially when you’re in the spotlight as a leader, you can be like, wait, I don’t wanna show vulnerability. And yet we know, I’m a huge Brene Brown fan, vulnerability is one of those things that, when a leader can shine a mirror back on themselves. You, by working on yourself, provide a great model for your team members for being self-aware and for constantly getting better, and as you described, shaping those behaviors every day. But you said something earlier that’s so powerful that I wanna come back to this idea of investing in yourself and it’s not something that comes naturally. And that could be education, it could be professional development, it could be retreats, it could be any number of things, but what is a good, investing in yourself regimen? Or a practice that leaders can get into every day or just anyone can get into it every day in order to live their best life.
Yeah, so I have a sort of multifaceted approach for me, like there’s one with investing, just getting to know myself. I define spirituality as getting to know yourself, so the more you can invest in any practice to get to know yourself. It could be certain retreats, it could be meditation retreats, it could be breath, plant medicine, psychotherapy, whatever you need to get to know yourself, that’s gonna naturally improve things because once you know yourself better, then you’re gonna know what matters to you and you can really get back onto what we were just talking about. Getting clear on your direction. Then another thing, I’m always investing in something which improves my craft. So your craft is whatever it is. Right now, I’m investing a lot in speaking to improve my speaking craft. I’ve done it in coaching before, facilitating, it could be particular education, which is just gonna improve your ability to make you valuable to other people, like in your professional sense? That’s the thing which a lot of people don’t realize is that if you make yourself more valuable, you can lose everything and it doesn’t matter. You are your greatest asset. So I’m looking there and then I invest in community, in relationships. So going back to that foundational principle, that relationships ultimately bring us the most happiness over the long term. I’m very aware of that. So I go see my friends, I go on trips, we do things together, which is great. And that’s one of the reasons why I love Aspen so much is because this is a community of doers. Like literally every day we see each other and we’re interacting and we put that over anything else, which is really wonderful. And then, Investing in your health, so your self health. I see a lot of entrepreneurs and they’re focused on scaling the company and I’m like, you are not gonna be able to enjoy any of this money in 10, 15 years. I literally told one person the other day, I went, you are on the path of death. I’m that type of coach where I’m very forward and and I’ll say the things that other people won’t and I went, look, I love you. This is a lot right now, life and death. You need to make a change and so that’s a big part. And then joy, investing in joy, going in nature, doing trips, whatever it is. They’re pretty much my places I invest in. And when you do that, what ends up happening is you become a higher energetic frequency, you are vibrating at a higher level. And if you want to look at the science in this, you can look at Dr. David Hawkins. He talks about the different, levels of vibration, fear being quite low, love being higher. And when you are in a energetic state, you become more appealing to others. You wanna find a date, increase your energetic vibration. You want to get a better job, increase your vibration. You want to have new friends, increase your vibration. And that’s how it all starts happening. It starts flowing together. And before you know it, things are happening in your life that you couldn’t have even imagined because it’s that idea of a quantum leap. It’s lots of little different movements vibrating together, and then one day it just goes, boom, just jumps up there. That’s, that’s what a quantum leap is. But unfortunately, the human mind thinks in this linear fashion, they’re like, oh, I’ve gotta do this and do this, and it’s gonna take so long. I’m like, no, stop thinking that way. Just do the behaviors and then trust the energy and then you’re gonna be here and it can happen so quickly, it can happen in under a year. You can completely change your life in under a year if you’re committed to it.
I’ll drop a link to Dr. Hawkins, The Energy Vibrations. That’s cool. I wanna study up more on that. All right. Throw one question at me. Anything, Finnan make me answer on the spot?
All right. Why do you ask certain questions? How do you know where to go in a podcast?
No one’s ever asked me that kind of question before. The first thing that comes to mind is it’s selfish. I learned that, we have a shared experience in El Camino Santiago, Burning Man and living here in Colorado and the outdoors. And I wanna know more about what makes you tick because some of those things, that shared experience resonates with me. But, what I crave most Finnian is belonging in community. And that’s what I cherish most. And maybe there’s a subconscious aspect to the questions I ask that I’m searching for connection with the people on my podcast. Because that connection is I think that’s the heart of who we are as human beings. And that’s what we do special different from all the other animal species is we create a special form of connection that actually, ironically, if you read the book, Sapiens, comes from this ability to tell stories, shared stories about our experience. I don’t know if that’s the right answer, man.
I can experience it. So I’ve been on lots of podcasts and there’s some podcasters who are literally, they’re focused on just getting the podcast done. They just want to ask questions. They have a formula. I don’t think they’re having any connection at all. It’s a very mechanical process, but even just how you answered that, it was slow, it was methodical. You are listening to the guidance coming through, so you’re doing very well and I’ve connected with you great today.
Oh, right back at you Finnan. Hey dude, where can people find you and Intentionality online?
Yeah, so I’ve set up a link for you. So if you go to Finniankelly.com/podcast, you’re gonna get a ton of free resources and will start you on this journey. Remember, you’re one behavior away from intentionality, one breath away from intentionality. So it has this great intentional living guide. It has some other really cool resources that you could apply, and if you apply one of these tools in your life today, you’re already on your path. So that’s the best place. So finniankelly.com/podcast, Finnian with two ns.
Right on. I will drop that in the show notes for sure. All right. Are you ready for the hot take questions?
All right. Finnian, you’re on your deathbed. What’s the one thing you wanna be remembered for?
Loving, kindness, energy.
Nice. What’s your most important self-care practice?
Being in nature.
Uh, Follow the Sun by, um, I’ve just had a complete mental blank. It’ll come to me in a second. I’ll come to you.
Follow the Sun, I don’t think I know it. I will listen
Xavier Rudd. Yes. He’s amazing.
Finnian, if you could give your 18 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Uh, learn how to give self-compassion to yourself. Just, just love yourself.
Right on man. And if you could only wear one style of footwear, what kind of footwear would that be?
Ooh, that’s a good one. Sounds weird, but it’d have to be trail runners because I love running.
Well, and there are amazing trails around Aspen. Hey Finnian brother high five dude, this has been a ton of fun. Thank you for inspiring me. I appreciate you sir.
Thanks mate. Appreciate it too.