The Pursuit of Learning – Peter Beresford
Fri, 4/9 9:47PM • 1:29:38
book, meditation, learning, Trump, peter, mindfulness, day, idea, creativity, creative, social media, love, conversation, years, read, meditating, realized, minutes, korea, thought
Clint Murphy, Peter Beresford
Clint Murphy 00:03
Welcome to the pursuit of learning podcast. I’m your host, Clint Murphy. My goal is for each of us to grow personally, professionally, and financially, one conversation at a time. To do that, we will have conversations with subject matter experts across a variety of modalities. My job as your host, will be to dig out those golden nuggets of wisdom that will facilitate our growth. Join me on this pursuit. For the first episode of the pursuit of learning. I’m excited to be talking with Peter Barris for a man I’m proud to call my friend. Peter is a teacher, a creator, in the author of the Trump guide to spirituality. In this wide ranging conversation, Peter and I talk about religion, spirituality, meditation, creativity, social media, and Peter’s latest book, we also talk about some of Peters adventures, and much, much more. I had an absolute blast, and learned a lot. I hope you do too. Enjoy the show. Pietermaritzburg Welcome to the very first episode of the pursuit of learning.
Peter Beresford 01:29
Clint Murphy, good to be here. I’m really excited about your first episode here, brother.
Clint Murphy 01:34
Thank you, Brother, I want to start us off with a very easy question for you, I hope, what is something in life that you are very excited about right now?
Peter Beresford 01:49
Oh, that’s a really cool way to start a conversation, clean the slate here on a really positive note, something I’m really excited about right now. There’s so many things right now. They are creative in nature. And they are a combination of personal creative projects, like new book ideas that are so ridiculous. And just market testing them, you could say. And the other thing is, I’m applying for a grant at the school, I teach at bcit. And I am trying to apply the best of my creativity to this educational technology project that I hope will serve as real innovation to the people who see it at bcit. So those things are getting the bulk of my attention. I’m really excited about those. My teaching schedule has been reduced drastically now due to COVID. So I’ve got a lot of space in my days to consider other projects, which is actually what I’ve been asking for for three years, was the chance to teach a little less, and work on other projects a little more. And so here it is, in one form or another. And yeah, I’d say those two things. And my relationship with my girlfriend toy toyoko is also a really bright, exciting part of my life right now.
Clint Murphy 03:10
Excellent. We’re going to dive pretty deep into the idea of creativity. Throughout this conversation. One of the things that you mentioned to me, and I should give an early warning, the conversations not going to be chronological, will jump back and forth in time across multiple subject domains. And I’m definitely sure given it’s you and me, that will have some digressions here and there, but ultimately, we will get to some pretty good nuggets for our listeners. Very cool. One of the things you told me, Peter, was that you went to Catholic school, throughout your childhood, and were a practicing Catholic until your early 20s. And that you then stepped away partially through Buddhism. And so I want to explore what was that Catholicism like for you? And why the Buddhism in the step away?
Peter Beresford 04:15
Yeah, that’s a very important foundational question here about, you know, how did being a Catholic kid for 12 years of schooling and I was Catholic practicing until I was 20 years old. How did that affect me?
It’s so so foundational. And being a Catholic kid, you learn in school that biblical history is no different than actual history. So they don’t tell you that there’s any difference between the First World War and the time that like bread rain down from heaven, right or Moses parts that the Red Sea or Jesus multiplies the bread and the fish like you just think of it all as facts. Right, so you’re indoctrinated. And I don’t mean that word in a negative way. But you’re like, this is all you hear. And at age seven, you’re given an examination of conscience, which is a list of like 45 possible sins you can commit. And you’re told to review that and see like, how many things did you do wrong, the idea of being like, if you do too many of these, normally, you’re a bad person burning up. And so this is in preparation for a first confession. So I think that does some of the wiring of a young kid. I think that’s inescapable. I think there’s a lot of pros and cons to it. So there’s that element of it, the fear of God, but also hopefulness in bliss and paradise, and prayer. And so you asked about the connection to Buddhism, that comes from years and hundreds 1000s of hours spent in prayer as a child from as soon as house probably 500, to pray up until 20. So these are like, talk talking with your eyes close to something in the dark, like you’re in the dark, and you’re talking to something and that you get that establishes a relationship with the dark, like you’re talking to something, right that you’re acknowledging there’s something other there, otherworldly. And you believe it and like you feel it, and you go there when you’re having hard times or good times. So that’s the thread that continued.
So when I got to be 18, 20, and my critical faculties started kicking in a little more sort of asking questions like, Oh, Jesus, Sir, he rose from the dead. Oh, wow. Like I say, I believe that, well, how do I know I believe it? What does that actually mean? Jesus was born of a virgin mother, do I not believe that? Wow. Like, what does it mean to say, I believe that, and these two events are foundational to the entire Catholic faith, literally, like the virgin birth, and the resurrection of the two things that make him unlike any human, like, these are foundational. And I realized, I think I had tried mushrooms for the first time around like 19. And they those sort of opened me up a little bit, to other options. I tried to MDMA also at that age. And that opened me up to the concept that all religions are just ladders going to the same place. And that got really clear for me, I’m like, if you’re Muslim, you’re Hindu, you’re Christian, you’re Buddhist, you’re Zoroastrian, whatever it may be, you’ve just just so obvious, it became so obvious to me. So then I thought, I was in church one day reciting the apostles creed, and I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I believe in Jesus, Father, almighty, creator of Heaven on Earth, sun seemed the right hand, Father all this and I stopped and thought, What am I believe with this? And I haven’t read the weird part. I had never even read the entire book that it was based on. So I walked out a church, I was alone there. Actually, I walked out Sunday 5pm. Like, you’re not you’re not setting foot in this building, again, to read the entire Bible. And I read it with a highlighter and pencil. And I was like, What is this really all. And I got through the whole testament, and then two thirds of the New Testament. And I realized that I didn’t need to finish it. I learned what I what I needed to learn, and transferred over that prayer life into meditation.
Clint Murphy 08:30
So something you just said there really resonated each religion being a path to the same spot. One of the things I think, you know, I’m studying right now is mindfulness. And they often do talk about the fact that every religion that has prayer is, in effect, a form of mindfulness. Whether you’re meditating, whether you’re praying to God, what you’re doing is taking yourself away from the distractions, and focusing your mind. You’re bringing it here to the present moment, right here, right now. Is that somewhat what you’re talking about there?
Peter Beresford 09:14
That’s part of it. And I love that idea. So I think prayer and the word prayer gets a bad rap, because it gets connected to traditional models of religions, hierarchical patriarchal, whatever you want to say it, but what’s what’s lost is the the universal experience of prep, which is exactly what you just said. It’s a slowing down. It’s being singular in focus. It’s like doing something repetitively, possibly. Now that may be reciting a prayer. It could be an our father, right? It could be a mantra, it could be from any lineage, it could be spinning in circles. It could be watching the breath, right? But they all have this repetitive thing in nature and and if you’re lucky, what you might get to is a slowing down of your brainwave Slowing turning off of the the default mode network, which is all the static in a way that constantly thinking about turning that off. So there’s similarities there. I think what prayer does, also, more so than just mindfulness is ask and surrender to a power that is infinite. And you’re very being very intentional about that. And so I think that’s a dynamic that may, there may be emotional quality to that, and prayer that you might not automatically be in a mindfulness practice.
Clint Murphy 10:35
That makes sense. An interesting thing that I found out just in the last couple weeks talking to my eldest son, when he’s stressed, he prays, and he never told his mother that he never told me that. He’s in Catholic school. He’s been learning it since he was a young kid, as you talked about, and we don’t talk about it too much at home. To hear him say that when I’m stressed, I pray. And I feel less stressed. It was beautiful. It reminded me of mindfulness that reminded me that he’s actually learning to center himself, and to put his trust and faith in God.
Peter Beresford 11:22
that’s really, really beautiful and so wonderful to hear that your 12 year old son, okay, for someone who’s 12, to learn the tool that like you can be the solution to your own problem. Like it’s all in you. Right? That’s so so cool that you have that power, and that you can ask for help. And and oh, that’s really beautiful.
Clint Murphy 11:45
So one of the things you talked about a bit there was Buddhism, as part of the mindfulness as one of the avenues. What drove you to that avenue? Why the move from Catholicism? to Buddhism?
Peter Beresford 12:01
That’s a really good question. I think that when I left a religion at 19, or 20, there was a void, and the void needed to be filled with something. And that something needed to be of a spiritual realm. Right. So I guess that the, the images that had been portrayed to me of Buddhism and meditation and yoga and Hinduism, possibly pop culture, right, like in the few years around and like, I guess that they offered an easy entrance point for me, like this stage in the mountain, like you’re a 20 year old guy, you love the idea of this bearded crew in a misty cave in the Himalayas, like that, that’s so perfectly captured what you want to experience like you want to break free of this, I hadn’t really traveled to another continent before. Never been Asian ever been to Europe. So I had these like extremely grandiose ideas. And so I think those images captured me. And the one central thing to all those in the monks in the saffron robes, and like was meditation, right, so there’s a lot of visuals connected to it. And at the same time, like a very tactical thing you can do in your day to day. And then there, you don’t have to pledge allegiance, you don’t have to join an organization, you can do in your backyard. And so I think that they were just there, we were very accessible. It sounded really interesting. I mean, the concept of personally, the concept of dreams and recording dreams, that was my dream as a kid to like, be able to record dreams, the idea of consciousness itself, I think I was just drawn to that naturally at 1920. So the books that I would read about consciousness would often link into meditation. And there was some little feedback loop between like, Oh, you read about consciousness, it gets connected to some new age, new agey topics, maybe they loop in meditation, oh, you know, I look at meditation thing. I can do that. And I actually, I think my first ever book on it was called gaming super consciousness or something was like, 100 page book from the library. And it had like, a 10 minute meditation. I could do a five minute meditation, you know, inhale, exhale, counter six, counter six, like in a box. And it worked. And I think that’s all I remember, like being 19. And realizing those two words like, oh, it worked.
Clint Murphy 14:40
So you’ve been meditating now for 23, 24 years?
Peter Beresford 14:44
Clint Murphy 14:45
How often would you say you meditate?
Peter Beresford 14:47
Over the past few decades, it’s changed a lot. It’s ebbed and flowed. There’s been periods where I didn’t meditate at all for months where I couldn’t. I convinced myself that I couldn’t. There’s been times where it was eight minutes a day. There’s been times where it was an hour a day, an hour and a half a day, there have been times where it was twice for 20 minutes each time. The one thing I keep coming back to is that I need to do. And so you know, to get efficient about it, and that the Tim Ferriss thing or like meeting him with a minimum effective dose, right. So I tried to think about that, and actually got to the number of 12 minutes a day. But I think that takes a little bit of the romance and the mystery out of it. So that whatever that number is, 12 I like to aim for more, because that’s where I’m allowing a little space in magic. And it’s like not so utilitarian.
Clint Murphy 15:37
So at least 12.
Peter Beresford 15:40
Yeah, at least. So these days, I’m aiming at 20. And I like I love the word daily ish, and that you reminded me of that. And so yeah, daily ish. On a good week, it’s seven. And that feels great. But like, on a bad week, maybe it’s three. But if I’m, if I’m really doing best for myself, it’s always within 24 hours, never let 24 out longer than 24 hours pass without dipping in for at least like two minutes, five minutes. Because that like it like frost it up. It reminds you of that place.
Clint Murphy 16:14
Okay, we’re coming back to this, I’m going to talk to the readers for a second about what we mean by sorry, the listeners, what we mean by the concept of daily ish. And you won’t be surprised to know that I first heard it on Tim Ferriss, when he was talking about meditation and mindfulness. And the idea with daily ish is your targeting daily, but you’re not going to beat yourself up if you miss too often, when people are trying to start a new habit or have a routine, they’ll do it every day for 25 days, misses a day and not do it again for two years. That is what daily is tries to conquer with daily ish, I’m going to set a goal of doing it every day. If I miss a day, I’ll pick it up the next day. So I’ll try to never let that run that can often extend for months or years happen.
Peter Beresford 17:11
I love that explanation of it because you’re trying to be compassionate and kind to yourself 100%. And, and I mean, to force something that’s an act of you know, self care, like meditation to force it, when you don’t have the time you really don’t want. It just doesn’t feel doesn’t feel like it’s coming from the right place. And I love that the forgiveness angle where you’re, you’re going to allow for some flexibility as you learn a new habit and and also acknowledge that this is a long game, like, this is the next 50 years of our life knock on wood, like I hope we can both in all live well into our 80s 90s and beyond. So these habits need to be sustainable for over five decades, 50 years. So I love zooming out. That’s one of my favorite catchphrases of my own is when in doubt, zoom out. So I’ve got 15 lines drawn on my cover, like tiny lines. And it’s reminder like, Oh, no, this is a 50 year game. And so whatever habits I’m trying to that I believe in, rather than programming in over the lawn, and just be okay with that, like there’s no rush. There’s an urgency similar to something like yoga for me, or squats for me, like, oh, I’ll do it. The goal is once a week, over the year, that’s 50 times squats, 50 times yoga, that’s a lot over the I like over 10 years. That’s 500 sessions like so there’s a long term learning in the body in the mind. And I love that angle.
Clint Murphy 18:41
Yeah. It’s a great way to look at it too often people get constrained by what do I need to do right now? A simple example reading 52 books a year, someone misses a book for two weeks, and they think it’s game over and they stop no more reading for the rest of the year. They may not recognize that they were simply busy those two weeks. What about the week they’re on vacation? And they can relate?
Peter Beresford 19:07
Yeah, exactly. What about the fact that maybe it was a dumb plan? And I don’t even mean that. But but we have to allow that all our plans don’t sometimes don’t always match. Exactly.
Clint Murphy 19:20
And if it’s something that’s important to you don’t just give up because you missed, zoom out. Take a long term approach. Slow it down.
Peter Beresford 19:30
That’s exactly right. Because you’re committing to the importance of this habit. Yeah, not committing to the number. Because I think we can all agree that if something tragic happen in one’s life, like there was a death of a family member.
Clint Murphy 19:44
Maybe you don’t read a book for two months. Exactly. If you allow for that end of the spectrum, then it’s like it’s a spectrum. You know, there’s a lot of things could pop up that warrant not reading for a month, you know, this is So allowing for life believing in the habits long term. And I think this is only like wisdom that I’ve accepted in the past few years beautiful wisdom to accept one of the things you said in there that I want to come back to because the listeners might have noted it, you said that you realize throughout the years of meditation that you need it. And what that brings up in me is what do you notice happening? When you’re not doing it? That tells you that you need to do it?
Peter Beresford 20:34
Hmm. So really, really big question. It’s a really important question. I’ve joked before that the only way I know to survive is meditation. That’s a pretty big thing to say. So to answer your question, what is that thing? Right? That I was I wasn’t put like, what am I turning off? It’s well, in a word, monkey mind, right. So this is a really common word to understand. There’s no rhyme or reason to the cacophony of random thoughts that we could wake up with in like a highly like media dense environment. There’s just in all the relationships, we’re juggling, like, there’s literally no rhyme or reason to all of this space, junk whizzing back and forth in our brains, just random neurons firing connected, right? And acknowledging how random that is, first of all, but the danger is, when you hop on any one of those random thoughts, and get emotionally involved in when do you hop off that random bus return? It’s like, I just thought of the analogy of a city with like, 1000s of buses going by that you could you could literally hop on one at any time. And then how long you gonna ride that bus? And where’s it gonna end up, you can end up in all the different city, right? There were emotionally charged stories, actually. So this is like, all these thoughts can be related to like emotional charges. And, and that’s, that’s a lot of work to do every day. And a lot of them aren’t even real, like a lot of them are worries about things that may or may not happen. We’ve all done that. We’re gonna want something that didn’t happen. And so it’s like, getting free of that is very relaxing. And just like after a workout.
Clint Murphy 22:22
The monkey mind is legendary with everybody. One of the things that I want to know if you’ve ever heard from anyone ever, is they have a monkey mind. That’s positive and affirming.
Peter Beresford 22:42
What a good question. That’s so funny. Huh? Sounds like someone high on meth or something.
Clint Murphy 22:49
Yeah, no, all I’m saying there. Peter is almost all of us that I’ve ever talked to anything I’ve read. The monkey mind tends not to be the nicest roommate. Yeah, what’s up with that?
Peter Beresford 23:03
Yeah. So they call him the monkey because he just pops up wherever he wants. And he’s not nice. But why isn’t he is a super supportive, positive.
Clint Murphy 23:12
I think because then no one would meditate. We would all like to talk to our friend. He’d come in have a good chat, you’d have a tea with them. Talk about some gossip and then go about life.
Peter Beresford 23:24
I mean, is there a chance that the person with that super positive monkey mind is like Richard Branson,
Clint Murphy 23:32
someone who’s achieving at an absolutely astounding level? Yeah. And always has a smile on their face. Yeah, potentially. But if I’m not mistaken, I think he may actually meditate.
Peter Beresford 23:45
I think you’re right. And I think he’s a long term 70s Guru. Oh, he’s an old school like hippie level guy. Like he’s got that things. I get the point of your question. And that, I don’t think there is such a thing.
Clint Murphy 23:57
Yeah. And I think that’s why we both think that meditation is so important to all aspects of your life. And as you were talking about it, I was started to picture a rabbit hole. And you know, a lot of young people today, their rabbit holes, YouTube, and they start watching it, and the next show comes on and the next show in an auto recommends, and when you’re stuck in your own mind, you don’t realize that exact same thing is happening inside your head. And how do you get out of that infinite loop? And I think meditation is what you’re saying is your answer.
Peter Beresford 24:38
Yeah, and I love the idea of the YouTube video linking to another one like when do you actually just walk away from the computer? I also love that idea. of Have you when you see someone quote unquote crazy howling in the streets, talking to themselves, walking down the street talking themselves out loud. Societies is we’re crazy to describe that. And but the only difference between them and the average person is that they’re making sound with their mouth. I think there’s a lot of truth to that is there’s a lot of talking to ourselves that is just robbing us of so much. It’s really a measurable,
Clint Murphy 25:15
I had never pictured that the only difference between that person and me or someone else on that street is their vocalizing, what’s going through their mind, while I’m having the exact same conversation in my mind, and not vocalizing?
Peter Beresford 25:40
It’s right. That’s right. And, and so we learn to like one is called crazy. And one is called just a normal person. So to some degree, like we’re all containing a level of craziness, right, to the point that we can dampen that chatter internally. And when we can dampen it, we can choose what to put our attention on.
Clint Murphy 26:04
And that’s, that’s a beautiful thing. And we’re going to dive into that right now. And I apologize in advance is the longest question I have for you. So bear with me for a minute as I get ready for it. So the question is, as we continue with Buddhism and mindfulness, which it seems that played a major role in your life, and your creativity, for example, you have a tumbler, a constant state of arrival, which has some of the best illustrations or depictions of mindfulness that I’ve seen, and your in your recent book, The Trump guide to spirituality, in your afterward you tell the reader, please keep one idea in mind, an equanimity, which is a key virtue of Buddhism, amongst other religions. Can we explore that together? To what extent has mindfulness and Buddhism impacted you from a creativity perspective?
Peter Beresford 27:05
To what extent has mindfulness and Buddhism impacted me from a creativity standpoint? I would love to know the answer to that. And I would love for the answer to be measurable, and easy to explain. But I don’t I can guess at it, though, because it’s a really lovely concept. And I think that there is definitely a link. And so what mindfulness does is or meditation practice does is asks me to linger in the space without deciding what’s in the space. So linger in that space between thoughts. So there’s a space there is the key point, equanimity, it’s the middle path, it’s the absence of desire and the absence of aversion, so you don’t seek and you don’t avoid. So it’s right there in the middle as a space. So there’s a lot of similarities between those two things through maintaining space. Now how it leads to creativity, I think is when you allow space, then things can grow, you can take that space. So I like the analogy of soil. So if the soil is taxed too tight, there’s no air or water getting through it, or no air to the things don’t grow. If you like toil, this, this will kill the soil, give me air, get some light, then things can grow, you know. So that’s the function, I think that this the link there, there’s like, I create space in on a regular basis through a meditation practice. And the result is there’s space for cool things to grow in the garden. And, and so, for creativity to happen for me, this space needs to be there.
Clint Murphy 28:49
So if the mind is cluttered, if it’s full, if it’s constantly spinning down that rabbit hole we talked about earlier, you don’t have the space to be creative.
Peter Beresford 29:02
Exactly. And I can liken it to a spare room, you’re trying to let’s say you’re trying to build a nice bathroom in the spare room. And let’s say the spare room was full of old random junk. don’t have room to design a nice nice bathroom. It’s just so it’s it sounds so obvious, you know when I when I think about it like this, but it’s really that it’s so intangible, right? And the making the commitment to it. To that slightly The thing that I don’t maybe feel like doing the meditation. That’s the challenge. The sacred daily discipline is like taking your vitamins, you know, and I’ll sit down for 20 minutes and remind myself that this, this isn’t something I’m trying to fit in. This is the most important thing I can do in the day. So that one one more time. Meditation isn’t something I’m trying to fit in. It is literally the most important thing I can do in my day.
Clint Murphy 29:55
Excellent, thank you. I’m going to throw a couple examples that you Let me know if these resonate. Often when I’m meditating, I’ll do my four thoughts that turn my mind to mindfulness, I’ll do my refuge prayers, and loving kindness, and then I’ll sit with the breath. And often, when I’m sitting with the breath, ideas for the fantasy novel series that I’m writing with my sister start to come in. And I almost never bring them myself, they just start to come. The other time that has, is often when I’m running inside and out for a long run, I might be listening to a podcast or not, it’s usually when not actually, because then I’m just in the moment, almost like a meditative run. And all of a sudden, the book comes into my mind, and I write a chapter while I run. A couple times, I’ve paused the run, I phone, my sister, and I tell her the chapter on the phone, or I leave her a voicemail.
Peter Beresford 31:14
Nice, that’s really important.
Clint Murphy 31:16
Outside of those two times, where the ideas come very few times throughout my day or week or a month, do I get ideas?
Peter Beresford 31:31
It’s so beautiful that you get them and acting on them is the fuel that will will incentive them incentivize the idea fairy to keep let coming in landing and giving you the idea. So she likes when you do something with them? Right? It builds a there’s a feedback loop there. And so it’s so wonderful that you have those spaces you can go to. And the cool thing is, is like how few good ideas we really need to do something cool. You know, like we you could have more good ideas in a week. You know, if you like tried, like, if you like meditated more like drew more painting more like me the practice of it, right? But how are you going to do with that? Fine. It’s it’s that I hear people complain a lot of Oh, I have so many ideas. And like, I’ll go from this to this to this. And it’s true. There’s like people have so many genius, shiny, amazing ideas put. You don’t need Haha, sure. You need to do one.
Clint Murphy 32:30
You need that one that you act on, you commit to it, you actually get finished. Yeah, exactly. Great point better. So there’s at least three things that I’ve seen you put out into the world that are creative, whether it’s the illustrations on mindfulness, and I encourage people to go look at those, we’ll put them in the show notes, your book, and your stand up comedy. When did you realize in life if that you had this creative aspect to you? Good question.
Peter Beresford 33:06
I’ll go back to elementary school and a creative writing assignment. And I remember my work was used as the example the teacher took my work and use it as an example of how to do that a good job. And it was a silly little piece of writing, and then the next class, another kid copies the same way. And she scolded him. And I felt really bad for him. Because he just been told like, this is a good way to do it. And then he did that. And she’s like, No, you can’t copy. So that I think it made me be age nine, I realize oh, okay, I’ve got ideas maybe are neat. And then it happened in grade 10, a piece of writing, I did want to got nominated. And like a BC youth writing awards book, something like that. So I had a little confirmation there, that people thought my ideas were neat. But I was just too lazy. And I wouldn’t stick with it. I then got into public speaking at 1819 and Toastmasters. And when I would give speeches, I realized that people were enjoying them more than I expected them to, because there was just something like, odd, maybe a little creative, and who knows, you know, you know, they’re funnier or stupid, or but I really loved that. So I would lose time planning speeches, and whether they were like the prepared ones or even the impromptu ones that would get such a buzz from doing that. So I was involved in public speaking off and on from age 18 to now in Toastmasters, Coover in Korea. So that was an outlet for creativity.
Clint Murphy 34:47
So how many years would you say you did Toastmasters in total?
Peter Beresford 34:50
Let’s see here. Two full time in Vancouver. Maybe you could add two or three in Korea, so to like, five years and then A little bit of intern call it like a solid few. And then part time also, for a fan that you’re teaching for 15 years, the teaching for 15 years has been an outlet to speak to a group.
Clint Murphy 35:12
Yeah, yeah. And one thing for the listeners, one thing I’ve told Peter, in the past, when we’ve talked about things you admire and each other, I’ve told Peter, he’s one of the more articulate people I’ve ever met. And so things are starting to make sense. Ah, Peter, one thing I want for listeners that the pursuit of learning who our parents is to take some of the nuggets from this and understand how can I encourage these traits or behaviors in my children. So for example, creativity are the three things that you remember your mother and father doing that also allowed this creative energy to flourish?
Peter Beresford 36:06
No, and, you know, it’s probably my quickest answer. My parents did not have creative practices at all. And my father was a banker, my mom was a law library. And so there was a lot of incredible, beautiful traits I got from them, but they didn’t have creative creative practice for me to follow. So I think my quick answer is that there’s no, there doesn’t need to be a connection between what’s what the parents doing, what the child is doing. And as far as how to bring out creativity in a child, the answer that feels really true to me right now, is make sure they know that there’s no wrong way to be creative. And that it doesn’t have to look a certain way, it doesn’t have to be a certain thing. The important thing, the absolute most important thing is that they wanted to make it when they made it, and that they kind of enjoyed making it. And so it’s simply that act of creating, that’s the thing that can be incentivized and motivated and encouraged. Not the how beautiful the thing that you make,don’t focus on the result.
Clint Murphy 37:16
Yeah, focus on the process, son, daughter, loved watching the look in your eyes, while you were creating love watching how good it seemed you enjoyed doing that. Not this is good, or this is bad,
Peter Beresford 37:37
correct. Because the creation could end up getting a child attention or accolades or he could get, he could win a contest, there’s all kinds of ways it can play out and people could not care about about it. And that’s not the point. At this stage. The point is learning that you’re capable of making something like out of principle, like you’re capable of making anything from your own self. That’s, that’s the quality that I think, I hope that I can have my whole life, that I can create something myself. And like, that’s something that can be just that thought can be a rescue mine, to anybody at any point in their life than Dark Pit, just the one thought of I can make something regardless of the outcome,
Clint Murphy 38:33
The process of doing it. And hey, you created a story you created a painting you created.
Peter Beresford 38:45
Yeah, exactly. That’s the celebration,
Clint Murphy 38:47
something that jumped out with what you said there for me, they could win an award, it could get liked. When you and I were young, we didn’t have technology, we didn’t have our art. We then have our life on social media. We didn’t have someone pressing a Like button, or not pressing a Like button. How do you think social media, the desire to be liked learning that people like certain things, and not others? How is that influencing the generations that are coming behind us?
Peter Beresford 39:29
I don’t know. But I think that it acts as a multiplier for whatever a youth would be experiencing, organically. So you know, I can think of two extreme examples, the jocks and the nerd. Right? So the jock walks through the halls. Everyone loves him. He’s got the hot girls. He’s like high fives all around on social media is in the same feedback. So it’s like going to multiply whatever there was of that feedback from the environment, positive praise, whatever. Does that agree? thing? I don’t know. It’s like, it’s up to that individual like, does that become their neurosis? Does that become the attention? They need to be healthy? Or are they already healthy? And then that’s just happening?
Clint Murphy 40:12
Yeah. Does that become their echo chamber? So they put up a drawing, or a painting or a poem, and it doesn’t get liked? Do they put it up again? Or do they say, Oh, shit, my friends will only only virtually have five me. When I’m flexing and lifting weights, I better go flex and lift some weights.
Peter Beresford 40:34
Yeah, so it’s like, Is it a reinforcement of an ego? That’s, that’s helpful. Maybe it’s maybe it’s, maybe it’s help. But maybe it’s maybe it’s not. And then I also think on the other end, you know, the kid that may suffer from getting pushed into a locker in high school or whatever it may be getting bullied. Now he’s got this multiplayer thing. Okay, it’s all right online. Yeah.
Clint Murphy 40:54
And God, my hope is that kids have somewhere else to go to know what’s real, and that they can maintain the separation. And so fast forward to someday Peter Beresford has a 13 or 14 year old daughter or son, are you trying to encourage them to stay off social media and to obey can develop that inner calibration tool, that place of refuge or calmness, that will allow them to process the information in a way where they’re not positively or negatively attached to the outcome?
Peter Beresford 41:41
I think there’s a definite argument to be made to keep kids off social media, mainly for the short term, impulsive wiring that it creates like it, you know, they incentivize people to click and like and reward them. And so there’s a really, really a rewiring issue. That’s very real. Not to mention all the ego related stuff that we just talked about. But I also think there’s a case to be made for kids knowing what’s out there, and not remaining legs. And knowing that this is what this is, the central pros and cons of it. You can just like watching TV, I felt bad for the kids that weren’t allowed to watch TV at all. Absolutely. Yeah. And so it’s kind of a similar conversation. It’s like, Well, why would you want to? Like, would you want to do that to your kid or not? Now, social media is a worse evil than TV. And we’ve seen the documentaries lately, that social dilemma. And like, we know why it’s the worst evil. So I think we have to be careful even talking about it. It’s like, gets compared to smoking. You know, they say all 50 years ago, people didn’t think smoking was a problem. And now we’re never smoke. That’s the joke that gets made of a social media. Now. I think if I had to make the choice for a 13 year old, 14 year old daughter, I’d say you get 30 minutes a day on there, an hour a day, whatever. But don’t constantly have it buzzing you all day, stretching every minute.
Clint Murphy 43:12
shut off notifications, have time limits, and have conversations around social media with them. The real world versus social media. A simple example that may resonate on that front is I talk to my kids about money. And they’ll often look at someone and say, Timmy is rich, you know, as an example. And I say, Well, why do you think Tommy’s rich? And they’ll say, well, his mom drives this car. Dad drives that car. He has this phone, right? And so one of the concepts I’m trying to teach them about his debt. his net worth is you never actually know if Timmy is rich. Or if Timmy his parents are in a lot of debt.
Peter Beresford 44:06
Yeah. Is Timmy richer and Cindy’s dad losing sleep at night?
Clint Murphy 44:09
Exactly. And social media is the same. I you know, I’m talking with the boys on a run and I say no one pose the shit part of their life on to their Instagram feed. I don’t post when I’m having a fight with you because you don’t want to go to bed on my Instagram feed. We’re post stigwood we’re hi gay get going for a run together and it looks great. But life’s not always great. That’s right.
Peter Beresford 44:39
Yeah. The favorite line I have about that is on social media. we’re comparing other people’s exteriors to our interiors.
Clint Murphy 44:49
Exactly, exactly. And that’s not reasonable that is only going to lead people to a path of depression and suffering.
Excellent on a pivot, can you think of something you will do as a parent, to encourage the children to be creative,
Peter Beresford 45:14
it would happen from a very young age, I think that the approach that any parent takes has to be very, you have to be very sensitive and delicate about it, because anything you push a child to do, it could have the opposite effect. And so I’m aware of that odd tension, you know, like, you want something so bad for your kid, then that’s the thing they won’t do. Or they’ll feel judged for not doing that, something like that. Right. So I’ll start by saying, even though I want them to be creative, I wouldn’t want to push them to be creative, because that just feels gross, you know, but as far as encouraging them, I would say, anytime I saw them make something or do something expressive, could be anything. Could be dance, could be drawing, could be sculpting, could be singing could be anything. Anything creative, right? I would acknowledge it positively. And I would always say that’s really cool that you did that, that you tried that. And that there’s something really cool that you even tried it. And oh, he didn’t know that, that that. That’s very cool. And that’s very fun. And that makes me happy. Actually, I think that’s where I come from. And then it’d be like praise the qualities I want to see more of, yes, no, nine a phrase but shit. I mean, I was put in piano class for some jackass. I can’t play the piano. I don’t like the piano. Like, I was putting things that were quote unquote, supposed to be creative. And then I wasn’t creative in those things.
Clint Murphy 46:54
Because you were forced to do them. You were pushed,
Peter Beresford 46:56
I was forced to do them. And I didn’t understand why I was doing it. I was pushing. and creativity is such a natural extension on what’s really happening in us and to be to sit down at a piano for an hour with Mrs. Nicholson from 430 to 530. Because that’s when my parents could get home to pick me up or something. I was like, What is this scale? What am I even doing? I feel so bad for why am I here? Why am I here? And and I didn’t do any of the practicing. Like I I get pulled out joint like family dinners and stuff. My mom would call me and say, Peter, play the song. Jesus. Are you kidding me? And I play some dorky song, and I just I hated it. And what a shame. That’s all. And I think that’s just my example of you. You can’t like turn on a creativity by booking a kid into something unless they really want to do unless they ask you to do it.
Clint Murphy 47:57
Unless they say Hey, Dad,I want to play guitar. Hey, Mom, can I be in piano? Sure. Let’s encourage what you love. Yeah, interesting. Lately, I feel like we’ve been having this same conversation together and with a few other people, when we talk about choice. So for example, when I say I should work out more, I’m almost forcing myself to want to work out. And I have the same reaction to that, as I do to my parents, when I’m a kid saying you have to do piano versus I choose to work out? Yeah, you’re saying let the let your children choose and then encourage, the choice is that will lead to long term success in their lives.
Peter Beresford 48:51
Exactly. And and it’s that where is the zero to one coming from zero to one coming from inside them or from outside? And I think the answer to that will decide how long you’re going to want to do it.
Clint Murphy 49:07
Last question on creativity. Do you have any creative work comedic role models or mentors that have influenced what you did? I’m thinking of your stand up comedy. What influenced the way you delivered your comedy?
Peter Beresford 49:25
I think Seinfeld. I think that he was the stand up comedy role models I had when I was 18 to 20. And when I started doing public speaking, then people would say, Oh, you have a pacing. You have a pause to reminding me of Seinfeld. So I think I i internalized that slow, dry, lean kind of delivery, right where there’s so much I think I noticed when I was watching comedy, there’s so much happening when there’s nothing being said and that the jokes are just the words. It’s everything around the words that makes them funny. I mean, you could deliver the same list of jokes. Seinfeld read and nobody would laugh for a second. That’s right. It’s you don’t it’s not what you say it’s how you say. Yes. And so it’s the inflections. It’s the pause. It’s I love that embracing the like, he’s a real entertainer like he has respect for the audience. And what that meant in that era was that you chose what you were going to say, because people had paid money to show up somewhere, you weren’t just going to say whatever came to mind. Because why would you? These people are paid to see a performance like, why they don’t pay to see just Griffin think random thoughts. So I like that. Now, of course, there’s many ways to do performance and comedy, and I respect all of them.
Clint Murphy 50:51
Have you watched much of comedians and cars? Yeah. And what you said right, there absolutely. resonated last night while I was at basketball with my son, you’re not allowed in anymore. So you sit in the vehicle, and I was watching a Netflix video. And I was watching Kevin Hart, with Jerry Seinfeld, and they have completely opposite styles, laid bare, simple, calm delivery. Whereas as Jerry said to Kevin, I’ve never seen someone get into a bit faster than you. And Kevin said, Yeah, like I get into my bit before I even get on the stage. Like when the fires coming up, and I’m walking out through the flames. That’s part of the bit. And, you know, Jerry pointed out, you probably don’t need the flames and takes away from the show. But then gave him an observation that might help with the show. And for each of them totally different delivery. My two favorite comics,
Peter Beresford 51:59
no way. And so Seinfeld actually had a suggestion almost,
Clint Murphy 52:03
yeah. And he waved his hand in the air. Like he was giving that suggestion, Kevin. And Kevin said, you don’t need to do the wave like you’re giving that to me. Oh, it was it was really well done. And Kevin said it was one of his two favorite conversations in his life. The first favorite being when his dad told him why he had to do drugs. But I’ll leave it for you to watch that episode. I think you’ll really enjoy it. Switching topics, Korea teaching. When you first went to Korea to teach English as a second language, how long did you plan on going for
Peter Beresford 52:49
seven years. I was the only person who showed up and said I’m gonna stay here seven years. Literally, I never heard anyone else answer that way. And it was not my first time in the country. So I knew what I was getting into. So that helped me decide why I was going there. And why seven years was going to be the amount. I spent four months there. A couple of years earlier, I realized, Oh, this is the place I want to come back to I want to go seal off my education upgrade a little bit so I can come back and get the jobs I want. I know the employment landscape. I know that the do’s and don’ts and Oh, you want to work. I can come back and kill it. And I’m like, I’m gonna say seven years because it’ll take that long for me to get my savings and investment goals.
Clint Murphy 53:27
So there was a very specific seven year plan to hit certain saving and investing goals.
Peter Beresford 53:35
Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And I worked in a lot of traveling and trips into that seven years, and then didn’t hit those goals.
Because Because we spent the money on the college having too much fun doing five
Peter Beresford 53:50
Yeah, love it. And I kept you know, just justifying just fine. Anyway.
Clint Murphy 53:55
So what are some of your more memorable moments from living in Korea?
Peter Beresford 54:01
Oh man, memorable moments in Korea. There’s just too many. There’s way too many. And I definitely will make these all safe for work. My most memorable moments in Korea were beautiful Sunday afternoons in Seoul. Walking through shopping districts, outdoor shopping districts that are just beautifully set up miles off with like a music video with fall leaves, you know, falling from the trees out of the ground and, and street food and maybe an afternoon drink with some really good friends and the mountains in the background. I think that some of the funniest memories in Seoul were about eating with people and eating street food with people eating in groups sharing soup, sharing so juice, you know, just pour each other’s soda Talking about Korea, which is one of the favorite topics of foreigners in Korea is to talk about how little they understand Korea. And and I think one thing that kept me there so long was my mind kept getting blown. And so things would keep surprising me. Like, I would see the way a bus driver talk to a customer. And I think do you just say that? Like, is he talking about leaving that? Like he’s being that aggressive to this customer? Or to this bus rider? Is that normal? It’s just all these cues that I would have normally for how people communicate, they’re just out the window there. And so there’s this, this fascination with that.
Clint Murphy 55:43
So the communication style and a lot of ways. If you were it sounds like if you were in Canada, you would find super aggressive, maybe rude.
Peter Beresford 55:57
Police will be called there’s something like, yes, super aggressive, super rude. I mean, and I’m not painting Koreans as rude people, the Italians of Asia, they’re the most vocally expressive people in Asia. They they love to hug and push like physical. So it’s not just about the communication. No, it’s about food, discovering new kinds of food, whole new neighborhoods. But I think Yeah, a lot of the surprises were on like the human dynamics. And that may be appealed to me more than the average person, because that’s just the topic that I like,
Clint Murphy 56:36
I’ve noticed that you are very observational, you’re one of the more empathetic people I’ve ever seen. And you generally have a good ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes, which would lend itself I’m assuming to enjoying watching people and saying, What if that was me, or if I was in those shoes, or if I was that person completely.
Peter Beresford 57:02
And I know that was one of my dad’s favorite pastimes is watching people figuring out what, what they’re up to laughing and also as a teacher, empathy is important, because you’ve got students that are sometimes extremely scared, and they’re paying money to be there. And you have to know like, how to treat people to make it the best possible experience,
Clint Murphy 57:26
something just came back to me when you mentioned your students, and the social media conversation we had earlier. Can you try to describe for our listeners, the exercise you started using earlier and COVID as it related to your students? And what you had them do at the start of the class with their cell phone? During the zoom classes,
Peter Beresford 57:59
yeah. So this is that the thing I mentioned to you once, yeah, so I, I realized that teaching on zoom, I’m just one more screen in their life. And I don’t want to be competing with all the other screens on their desk. So the number one offenders is cell phone, see, I would ask them, where’s your phone, and they’d say, Oh, it’s down here. And I say, pick it up, show it to me. Now put up your hand. And now I want you to reach your hand out to the right, as far as you can. And now I want a couple feet not only to lean another foot over. And I want you to put your phone down on the floor, wherever that is I don’t care have dropped the phone in the carpet. And now Come back to center. And so what that meant is their phone is literally physically out of reach. And so I told them, that x is going to that one act is going to get you so much more value out of this class. Because you’ve now committed to giving me your attention. And if I have your attention, we can do something cool. If I don’t have your attention, basic level, then we’re wasting our time. So yeah,
Clint Murphy 59:06
yeah, I thought that was genius. And that way through the rest of the class as well, if you saw someone leaning two feet to the right, you would know the importance ourselves. Another great adventure you talked about with Asia as well, was a 14 months backpacking trip. You started the trip with $5,000 you ended the trip with $5,000. So you back packed through Asia for 14 months with effectively zero spending. Mm hmm. Tell us about that.
Peter Beresford 59:43
I was 22 I had an invitation from a friend to go backpacking in Southeast Asia. I met him in London. I actually borrowed $5,000 to do to do the trip. I didn’t even have $5,000 Four or 5000 to do the trip even better. Yeah. And I met him in London for a week. And All I knew is we were flying to Kathmandu, to Nepal and I’ve never been to you. I’ve never been to Asia. And that first week in Katmandu, completely floored me blew my mind in every way. And then I spent the next 10 months really backpacking. That means staying in the cheapest possible places, buying the cheapest possible food, trying to stretch your dollar as far as you possibly can. That included a stint working in a call center in Bangkok, even for six weeks in a really strange, crazy job. And my only plan was, I’m going to, when I run out of money, I’m going to go to Australia and pick fruit because I have a holiday working visa. And that’ll be the next leg of the admission. When I got the 10 months, I started calling farms in Darwin and or other other places in Australia. And they told me, no, come on town. And then I also had an invitation to go teach in Korea at an English camp from one of my most respected friends who I really trusted. And so she said yes, jobs, great. Cake. Right, you’re going to be staying away from the hotel. 10 days of work, you can pay like 2500 cash, the end of it. I mean, just sounded like the softest possible landing to a country.
Clint Murphy 1:01:29
So you went for four months, which is the four months you referenced earlier, it led to your future seven years.
Peter Beresford 1:01:37
That’s exactly okay. Yeah, cuz I kept getting a little jealous for four months, and then I earn the five grand and came back and was able to pay back the person who lent it to me.
Clint Murphy 1:01:46
Love it. Peter. Good. Peter, what is something that you struggle with? On a daily basis?
Peter Beresford 1:01:53
That’s a good question. And I want to be careful with the language that I use on this because I’m getting more aware of the importance of languaging I like that word. languaging. Right. And and I don’t want to choose to use the word struggle. I understand the spirit of the question. But the most important thing that maybe I’m challenged, I challenge myself to do on a daily basis is direct my attention intentionally. And I find that when I can take that horse by the ropes and get on and stay on it, my quality of life is just so much higher. So what that means is, what do I do for the first 15 minutes when I wake up? I’m having a tea, I’m cleaning my home, with the tidying with an intention, you know, what am I doing for the next 30 minutes in my shower in my during the light, like movement, mobility, Workout, workout stretch, but it’s keeping my attention on the thing that I’ve chosen. That is the most important thing, like for my quality of life, I find and being aware of like, I can’t be militant with it. I don’t want to be super militant want to be kind of myself so that I do need breaks. I do need to give my attention breaks in the day. And I want to allow for that fun and softness in my day. And but there’s slippery slope. So the habits like YouTube, you know, getting on a train of YouTube videos, like you said, and like it’s almost the what’s the word? The seductress. What is the seductress in your day? So it’s like, the seductress looks good. Oh, I’m gonna watch an educational video on YouTube. I want to learn something about politics or some intellectual sphere or something. And then what does that degenerate into? Exactly? Okay.
Clint Murphy 1:03:46
Now we’re on social media, too, you know. So by being deliberate, by being intentional, and by being present, you’re able to in boy, some of those seductions a little better, which may tie into your comment earlier in the episode, when you said you try to go no more than 24 hours without getting a meditation. And because that brings you back.
Peter Beresford 1:04:15
Yeah, it’s really that basic question. Do you know what you’re doing as you’re doing it?
Clint Murphy 1:04:19
And are you choosing to do it? Or did you let it choose you? Yeah. I’ll tell you a lie. And I heard from a recent workshop I did. That blew me away. The little boy he knew was hooked the man and you went along for the ride. So in other words, you actually had no choice. Your conditioning throughout life led you down that path and what you’re trying to do with the meditation with the intention with the deliberation is to choose.
Peter Beresford 1:04:55
Yeah, that’s right. It’s to reclaim sovereignity over what is happening in your day and interrupt that long term chain reaction that got triggered, like you said, as a adolescent as a hook. And then you got triggered, and then you just kept playing out this reaction, right? And so interrupting that hopping off that to what a beautiful thing. And yeah, I love that analogy. That’s beautiful.
Clint Murphy 1:05:21
And I think it may lead into because I always like to look at things, two sides of a coin. So if there’s one thing that is a challenge daily, in this case, we talked about the seductress. On the flip side, what is something that you find easy to do? that the average person is very challenged by or struggles with?
Peter Beresford 1:05:48
Hmm, that’s a good question. I don’t know how much other people struggle with things. So it’s tough for me to say, you know, but I think relating to people may be one of them. I think keeping a positive rapport with my students may be one of them that may come naturally. I think maintaining practices like exercise and meditation, like those two things, specifically, I find they’re, they’re a bit of a, what’s that word deal breaker? Like, there’s no choice in the matter? I’m like, I have to, they became musts. I think that that’s my best guess,
Clint Murphy 1:06:27
to make sense based on the things we’ve been talking about throughout the day. So I want to dive deeply to be remiss if we didn’t, into the Trump guide to spirituality, which is a book you’ve recently published, you went through an Indiegogo campaign, and we’re successful, signed a number of books, shipped them out. And now you’re in the process of selling in some stores selling on Amazon, and learning all of the process of doing that. Can you describe to the listeners, what the books about?
Peter Beresford 1:07:06
Sure, I’d be very happy to. And thank you for introducing it like that. What is the Book about? Well, it is not a regular book. So by that, I mean, you don’t sit and read hundreds of pages of text. So it’s not a traditional book, I didn’t write a book, I created something that’s very fun to look at, very fun to hold. And you can read it, it’s, it’s only 60 pages, you can read it in 1015 minutes, it is about the length of time someone can even keep their attention span as they’re sitting in your living room waiting for you to make tea. Right. So it’s, it’s a coffee table book that or a bathroom reader or a den book or like an office waiting room book that you can read in the amount of time you have. So that was the idea. And it’s made for the Instagram generation. So it’s a square, right, every page is is one image, and one quote, but the left and right pages interact with each other. So on the left, you have a Trump trumpism, you could call it so this is something significant, absurd, weird, crazy. Unbelievable that Trump has said since the 1980s. And then on the right, you have a quote from a religion or a spiritual route that’s got all the major world religions and, and some authors and spiritual notes. And so there’s a contrast or a juxtaposition. Those are the key words to explain what’s happening. So on the left, you’d laugh and you’re in shock. And on the right, you read something insightful. And the fun is in figuring out, what’s the interaction between the right page and the left page. So some of them are just a criticism of Trump, you know, that sort of the low hanging fruit, some of them are a response. Those can be more interesting. And then some of them are even, they can work two ways of three ways. They’re the translation of some accidental wisdom in what he said. So, like, Trump has Buddha nature on a level to a degree. And that’s where there’s a lot of fun because it’s very tongue in cheek yet it’s asking some important questions at the same time. It’s up to the reader to decide what each two pages are doing. People who read it say that it makes them laugh makes them think, and I’ve been really happy with it.
Clint Murphy 1:09:32
Are you okay with me sharing one for the list? I
Clint Murphy 1:09:35
Okay, so on the left page, we have an image of President Trump,
Peter Beresford 1:09:39
and it’s all silhouette. So I think that’s very important. Similac and so as a very minimal silhouette, great illustrations silhouettes.
Clint Murphy 1:09:45
In this case, it’s a of President Trump. And the Buddha on the right and the Buddha says quote, is radiate boundless love towards the end. Tire world and on the Donald President Trump page sorry. It says Happy hashtag Cinco de Mayo. The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower grill. I love Hispanics.
So, just a little bit of a juxtaposition between love the entire world
Clint Murphy 1:10:23
and using cinco demayo, to sell the taco bowls in your hotel while you’re the president of the United States of America, right?
Peter Beresford 1:10:32
And how how on one level how awful Is that another level? How bad is it that you’re, you’re grouping in this entire cultural group to some food item that like may not even really be part of their cuisine or not?
Clint Murphy 1:10:46
Like General Tsao’s Chicken is really Chinese food. Exactly.
Peter Beresford 1:10:53
And and also looking at what he said and saying, Is there anything wrong with this, like he’s celebrating one of his favorite things.
Clint Murphy 1:11:00
And there’s an innocence, there’s always a different way to look at it a different lens, a different angle, which is what I love about it. And Peter, so what was the aha moment, when you decided to create the Trump guide to spirituality,
Peter Beresford 1:11:19
I was laying in bed, and I thought of the Trump guide to Buddhism, that the tagline just came in my head and it cracked me up. And I don’t know why I think I’ve been over consuming like Trump media overwatching so much news, and when around, it’s election time. And also I was meditating and reading Buddhist books. And so there’s sort of two worlds, and they just, it’s kind of collided and exploded in my brain. And I wrote it down. And it made me laugh. Just there’s so far apart. The stick couldn’t be two things further apart in the public mind and Trump and Buddhism. Right. And I love her. Yeah, yeah, I just it’s so absurd and, and then I just, I left it. And then as I do many ideas, and then a week or two later, I thought of it again. And I thought, Oh, please, that there’s something to that. And they started saying what’s here? Why is this fascinating to me? And I started drawing a little bit like, what what, what does this even mean? And I dropped a Jew, Trump and Buddha now that I realized I can’t draw. And so I left it. And then it was sort of a process like that. So every week or two, I go, I feel drawn to look at this scrap piece of paper again, and see what’s there. What’s funny. And then I realized what was funny was, my parents had a calendar of Trump isms every day, pull a page, and then so they were really cracking me up. And then I thought, well, what if we put something wise over here, and I made one of them. And then it, I really enjoyed the little exercise of making one of them. And then I started to imagine what the art could look like. And then thought of a couple more. And then realize there was a lot of opportunities if I opened it up to all the different religions. So it changed from the Trump guide to Buddhism to the Trump guide to spirituality, right. And I thought, oh, there’s so much more material to work with. So I then went down a serious research route. I have like spreadsheets and spreadsheets of Trump quotes from like, just hundreds 1000s I read through, and then also spreadsheets full of all these religious and spiritual quotes. And so I want to chose all my favorite ones. And then I went through this process of trying to line them up and see like which ones play with each other, which ones work good together.
Clint Murphy 1:13:46
That’s beautiful. Peter, the word Covfefe, even made it into the book. Oh, and does anyone yet actually know what that word means?
Peter Beresford 1:13:59
Only? Only and and i think so the answer is no. But I think the answer that everybody accepted was he fell asleep while I was sending a message. And which happens when you send 130 tweets in a day. It’s gonna happen. And, and you’re up late, like, it was like a late night text to the late night tweet that was in the middle of the night. Yeah. So I have the times in on these. Yes. Yeah. That’s right. That’s part of the comedy of it. And then he woke up and he said, everyone’s dying to know it means you’ll never find out, but I think we can.
Clint Murphy 1:14:35
Yeah, he deleted it. Six hours later, though, he said, it was deliberate. It was intentional. But I’m gonna delete this. This is such a transcript. So Peter, as you’ve gone through this exercise, whether it’s Indiegogo, whether it’s Amazon fulfillment, what are some of the greatest lessons that you’ve learned?
Peter Beresford 1:14:58
Wow, I love that question. I’m really trying to dig into that right now. Because the answer to that is going to be the highest leverage point for my next project. That’s right. So I did the project to learn all the skills that came along with learning. I didn’t do it to sell a number of books, I did it to sell 10 books to strangers online. And I know if I did that I’d learned a whole bunch. So there’s major areas in making a book. And and three of them are creation, like the publishing of it. The second is the marketing of it. The third is the distribution of it. Creation, marketing distribution. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. You could also call it production, marketing distribution. And so each of them has their host of lessons, right? That are all really important. Actually, I think the most important one to answer your question is that will guide me going forward is how do you validate an idea for the lowest possible investment before you invest your time and energy into it. And I love what I created the in this Trump guy, the spirituality, the major obstacle I had was, I was not permitted to advertise the book on any of the major marketing platforms or books. Amazon is one and Facebook, Instagram, Google, like so where do you Where do you advertise things? Well, the most effective advertising or the most measurable is like Facebook, Instagram, Google. And I couldn’t do that at all. And so I learned that I made something that I wasn’t allowed to market.
Clint Murphy 1:16:44
Is that because he was still the president? Or because the election was happening? Both both?
Peter Beresford 1:16:52
Both. So So Facebook, and Google and Amazon, like they have specific policies saying you cannot, and they’re good policies, you cannot run advertising that relates to a specific person in office or who’s running for office.
Clint Murphy 1:17:05
That makes sense. Unless you have a pack, could we have created a Trump guide to spirituality pack and advertise it through that puts a pack? I don’t know the exact acronym. But those are the vehicles that are created to do the advertising during a campaign. So for example, you see a campaign and it says, brought to you by the duck that does not Donald Trump are not the Republican Party. It’s effectively a vehicle that’s done a lot of fundraising on the outside, which is generally seen as a means to get around conventional financing rules.
Peter Beresford 1:17:47
Where are these ads that you’re referring to? Are these on the TV? Generally television? Yeah, and there’s a very key difference.
Peter Beresford 1:17:56
So television ads, yeah, you can run those ads on TV.
Clint Murphy 1:18:00
Oh, that’s probably not we don’t really see those types of advertisements on Facebook. There you go.
Peter Beresford 1:18:03
And why not? These laws are reaction to the 2016 election meddling from Russian trolls. Allegedly legit brushing up for us. Yeah. And Facebook realized, well, this is a serious breach, we need to clamp down. And so I made something that I wasn’t allowed to market in the most. Like, for Self Publishers, social media is important. Right? If you’re established an established author, author with an established publishing company, and have access to an interview on CNN, or the Joe Rogan podcast or whatever, great, but for a first time, self publisher, like social media is a very important thing place to be able to promote. And I made my book such the cover such that it was bait, so that when people saw it, it would grab their attention. And they’d say, what is that? That is ridiculous. It’s bright, red, white, there’s an image of Donald Trump meditating. And so it was very effective at getting attention.
Clint Murphy 1:19:04
Yeah, I love the cover. The cover is really well done.
Peter Beresford 1:19:06
And literally, like, I just haven’t even advertise it. And so I’m still appealing now that, you know, iterations done, I’m still appealing with Amazon and Facebook saying, Can now can I know?
Clint Murphy 1:19:15
I Which is what I was wondering is now that we’re out, you have four years before a runs again in 2024, where you’re allowed to potentially advertise this. And
Peter Beresford 1:19:29
yeah, I literally emailed Amazon last night saying, Hey, guys, with screenshots of them promising me, I just think everything’s changed since capital, the capital, right?
Clint Murphy 1:19:38
Yeah. So it’s gonna take a little bit before they before they let something like this.
Peter Beresford 1:19:41
Yeah, forgive me, so no one gets incited for good reason, you know, so I get it and I don’t like it. So it doesn’t help me, but I get it. Now for the next project. I want to make sure that I can market something before I create that fabrics because the next one I’m going to have more of a goal of can I sell 1000? Bees not gonna sell 10? Yeah, now that I know how to do it, I want to make some money at it. Yeah, maybe make money, but maybe like, even definitely want to make money. I want to make money in anything I do. But what’s still being patient with that? Yes. Right. And and understanding that it’s the process that the important thing learning the key lessons of the process. So if the next project is sell 100 distributors, I don’t know, or 500 or 1000, like, keep it modest, keep it doable, and validate the idea first. So that’s what I’m doing right now. I had some ridiculous ideas. I’m validating now I’m running ads. First, it’s just like a book cover book doesn’t exist.
Clint Murphy 1:20:44
So you’re almost doing A | B testing with different concepts to simply see, would people want to buy this? If I put it out? Yep. And if you get good feedback on the marketing, then you’ll produce it.
Peter Beresford 1:20:56
Clint Murphy 1:20:58
And so you don’t have to do production, marketing distribution in that order. Obviously, distribution always has to be number three. But you’re doing number two before number one.
Peter Beresford 1:21:09
Exactly,exactly. I love it. I love it. So. So it’s use marketing to validate a concept, verify that there’s demand there, if possible, have a pre order system. Right? Not a Kindle version, let’s say. And then if there is a demand, create the book. And my idea for creating the book, this is the laborious part, quote, unquote, like the hard part of writing is like, Well, you can’t rush writing a book. This is where I’m getting. I’m trying to get really creative with like, how do I find content and create something worth reading in the shortest amount of time? And so I’m looking at a number of ideas for that. So like, I mean, my book is a great example of it’s like, DJing, right? I didn’t write the Trump tweets, I didn’t write the, the spiritual quotes, I just found them presented them in such a way that was was interesting. So that’s how I’m looking at the creation of this stuff, too.
Clint Murphy 1:22:09
Have you ever heard of the book, I believe it’s called Man’s Guide to everything you need to know about women? No, it’s written by a doctor. And I put that in quotation marks. And then when you open the book, it’s three 400 pages, and they’re entirely blank.
Apparently, the book is sold millions of copies.
Peter Beresford 1:22:32
Honestly, why is this such a great concept? And there’s an entire industry of I think they call them no content books. Exactly. And so you can take any pop star, you could take any famous philosopher and put them on front of the front of a book, you could call the Aristotle journal, with a bunch of blank lines or lines, blank, blank pages, you know, and so that would be the most minimal example of not having to write create the inside, people still bought. So I think the question is, why are you making? You know, I mean, in that case, that’s a hilarious product is gonna get laughs It’s a laugh, right? It’s a gag gift. And so this creator decided I’m going to make a gag gift. I’m going to make some sales. It sounds like an evergreen book, which means it’ll keep selling.
Clint Murphy 1:23:20
I think every few years, they actually put out you know, the Year 15 edition, updated, get that Anniversary Edition. And you open it up and it’s the same blank pages. So I was I saw it earlier for Christmas. And I almost bought it. It was quite interesting. Yeah. The where can our listeners find your book,
Peter Beresford 1:23:45
they can find the book in two places. The first is the books website, which is Trump guide to spirituality, calm. And if they go there, they’re going to see some paid samples and some funny videos I made. You can also get the book on Amazon. So if you just search the title of the book, chunk guide to spirituality on amazon.co.com, you’ll find it on there.
Clint Murphy 1:24:08
And for those who are listening, I hope it’s not just my mom, maybe Peters mom, there is an excellent video of a Trump impersonator, reading some of the book and talking about how much he loves the book. So definitely worth viewing this. Peter, my last question for you. And I think you’ve hinted at this throughout our conversation. When you are at your absolute best. What habits routines practices, are you following regularly?
Peter Beresford 1:24:44
It’s very easy to answer that. Yeah, it is regular sleep that six to eight hours of regular sleep. It is drinking a lot of water. It is meditation daily, is exercise daily and exercise doesn’t have to be hard. Can you monitor I really noticed that effective even moderate exercise that had naps. naps are so huge. So often when we reach for a coffee or a drink or smoke or whatever bad habit, we’re tired, and a great solution for that as naps. Yeah. I think those basics Oh, and eating natural food
Clint Murphy 1:25:19
reasonably well. Yeah. skipping the Big Macs. Yeah. Is there anything that we haven’t covered? That you want the listeners to know?
Peter Beresford 1:25:28
That’s a good question. I think that I would like to remind the listeners of the theme of this podcast, which is Clint’s podcast about learning really, is your commitment to learning interested in learning, lifelong learning? And what a beautiful thing that is. And that when we look at other people, and ask, what can we learn from them, and realize that every other person can teach us something. It’s a really cool way to live. And it’s a really cool way to build relationships. And it’s a cool way to be in conversation, no matter who they are. eight year old, Hungarian kids, 80 year old Chinese lady we can, every single one of them can teach us something. So yeah, I just want to say that this podcast and your effort with it is a great reminder for me of that. And that I think it’s really cool that you’re doing this.
Clint Murphy 1:26:23
Thank you very much, Peter. And I will expand on that because you nailed fundamentally the entire purpose of the podcast. And that’s the realization I’ve had through life, that every single person you meet, knows things that you don’t. And so when you see the cover art for the podcast, it’s a cartoon illustration of me on an adventure to learn. And ultimately, there’s an image of me holding a large, golden nugget. That golden nugget is what you can get, if you dig in to a conversation with those people. And you try to find some of those things that you don’t know, that can help you to grow personally, professionally, and financially, find those nuggets of wisdom and in my show notes in the intro to this show, I will highlight some of the nuggets that we got from Peter today or that I got from Peter today. And that I found really enjoyable for our listeners. Peter, where can they find you if they want to learn more about your future adventures?
Peter Beresford 1:27:53
Hmm. I suppose they could find me on my Instagram page, which is petering up. All one word, and they could also find me on Facebook, but I don’t think that you can message me on facebook unless you know me. So I think Instagram is probably the best way. Yeah, petering up. The book, Trump guide to spirituality also has an Instagram account, and you can message me on there. And that’s a totally open account, too. So that might be easier.
Clint Murphy 1:28:23
And so the next step that’s going to take a little more time, and by the time we get to project three or four, it’ll no longer be individual websites for each project. But we’ll have we’ll have a Peter Beresford website with all of your work.
Peter Beresford 1:28:37
I literally just bought the domain. PeterBeresford.ca. I couldn’t Yeah, I couldn’t get .com. But I have Peterberesford.ca. And there’s nothing there. And that will be developed for that reason.
Clint Murphy 1:28:53
Perfect because that is the future that I see for you, brother. Thank you for coming out today. This was such an enjoyable conversation. My friend. Thanks,
Peter Beresford 1:29:02
Clint, thanks, I loved it.
Clint Murphy 1:29:05
Thank you for joining us on the pursuit of learning, make sure to hit the subscribe button and head over to our website, the pursuit of learning comm where you will find our show notes, transcripts and more. If you like what you see, sign up for our mailing list. Until next time, your host in learning Clint Murphy