#15 - Why we must fight to pay attention with Paul Angone

May 30, 2023
Paul Angone

Episode Summary

This week on The Aro Podcast, Joey sits down with Paul Angone, a sought-after national keynote speaker and best-selling author. They delve into Paul's latest book, Listen to Your Day, which explores how we're losing the battle for our own attention due to the allure of technology and social media. They discuss the inspiration behind the book, and how to turn the mundane into magic. The conversation covers how what you pay attention to is what you become and ultimately, how paying attention to our purpose is worth the effort. Tune in to join the conversation between these fast friends and learn about the importance of listening to your day!

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Episode Transcript

Joey Odom (00:00):
It's Tuesday, May 30th, in two days on Thursday, June 1st, Aro is partnering with I Am Mom to bring you this year's I am Mom Summit and great news, it's totally free. So if you go to iammomsummit.com and register, register for free. Join tens of thousands of people all across the country and the world participating in this year's I Am Mom Summit with a full slew of great speakers. Go to iammomsummit.com. Register today for Thursday, June 1st, the I Am Mom Summit.

Paul Angone (00:34):
Do I want to be investing in the things that I'm paying the most attention to? Also, do I wanna be in debt through my intention to TikTok? Do I wanna be in debt to TikTok? Do I wanna be in debt to 45 minutes on Instagram stories? Like do I wanna be in debt to these things? Do these things have my emotional, spiritual, mental, physical wellbeing and mind? Or are they created just to be as maximally addicting as possible? And I have, you know, research in the book book where one of the engineers that helped create infinite scroll, and he called it behavioral cocaine, is what they were trying to create. You know, so that's, that's hyperbole. That's a scary statement.

Joey Odom (01:19):
Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. It's Joey Odom, co-founder of Aro. So glad you're here. I know I say that every time, but I actually am so glad you're here. If you could see my face, I'm kind of smiling like a big goof. And it's all because you're here. And that makes me happy. Um, I had a great talk with Paul Angone. He's written a recent book. Listen to Your Day. It's really good. I've read it. Please go buy a copy of it. And I wanna read you an email we got from an Aro member that also made my day in addition to you being here. But this made my day. This is from Christie in Mount Vernon, Washington. She said, I just wanna say thank you for making Aro, for making this box that I wish we didn't need, but we do.

I'm only a day in. But finding myself surprised at how distracting my phone was just being visible, even if I wasn't getting any text or notifications, as much as I wish I had the discipline to not notice it. Being forced to ask myself if and why I need it right now in order to take it out of the Aro box, is the pause I apparently needed. Most of the time the answer is no. Even have a, even having a relatively short amount of time with it out of reach in sight last night made me feel like I had my pre 2008 life back this morning. I wanted to put it back in after I checked my schedule and messages. Thank you for creating a practical solution. My favorite line there is when she said, it made me feel like I had my pre 2008 life back.

Christie, thank you for that. Um, if you are interested in Aro please do go to goaro.com. I don't, don't, don't do many commercials, um, in these intros here for ro, but please do go check it out. It is a very, very practical solution. My promise to everyone is if you use it every day, it'll change your life. And I know that cuz it's changed my life. So I'm excited for you to check that out as well. For now, please just sit back, relax, and listen to my great conversation with my new friend Paul Angone

From a self-proclaimed failure in his twenties to a millennial mapper. He's all grown up. And as Seth Godin calls him, he's a wiser, funnier, older brother, dispensing wisdom in his books and talks. Today, you can find him writing about moonwalking bears thinking in a lavender bubble bath, playing the arcade fire on repeat, encouraging all of us to be awkward or bored or maybe just paying attention in a garden somewhere in Colorado. Ladies and gentlemen, author of his most recent and life-changing book, listen to your day, Mr. Paul, Angone. Don't call him Tony Angone <laugh>. It's Paul Angone everybody. Paul, welcome

Paul Angone (03:46):
Brother. Hey, hey, hey. Thank you. You can call me Tony and goi, but then I gotta wear more chains and more chest hair. But my, my middle name is Tony, so I wanted to be a true Italian. Hey, yo, what's him outta you, Tony?

Joey Odom (03:58):
I'm going <laugh> you speak that fluently. I can tell. I love it.

Paul Angone (04:02):
You know, that's being raised by a Louie and Goni Go. That, that's what will happen to you. So

Joey Odom (04:06):
That'll do it. I wish I had Louie and my dad. That's, that's strong.

Paul Angone (04:08):
You can have him. He's still around.

Joey Odom (04:11):

Paul Angone (04:11):
More and more enough of lie to go around. So <laugh>,

Joey Odom (04:14):
That's beautiful man. It's so good to hang with you. We were talking a little bit beforehand and we just, you know, just immediately you find those kindred spirits. And I think we've, uh, I think we think we've uh, we've latched on here. So, um, dude, I'm really excited to talk about your new book and, um, I, I'm interested in, in this transition, because you were, you were very focused on, again, I said in the intro, you, you know, you talked about you were a failure in your twenties mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so then you just dug in on millennials. Tell me about that transition away because, cause your books before 101 questions you need to ask in your twenties, 101 secrets for your twenties all grown up searching for self faith and a freaking job. Um, so you were so focused, but this, you've pivoted a little bit here with this new book to a little bit more of a, of a broader audience and something that I really relate to. But I'm curious what that transition has been like.

Paul Angone (05:02):
Yeah, you know, my first books, you know, 101 signature, twenties, all those books were basically, cuz I felt like such a failure in my twenties <laugh>, you know, and it was such a hard decade of my life. You know, you think you're gonna go do all these big things, make a difference, change the world, make a ton of money, get married, whatever that dream is. And then it's like those expectations just go up in flames Yeah. At some point in your twenties for a lot of us. Yeah. And, and so through that failure and that questioning, I started realizing, Hey, I'm not alone in this and there's something bigger going on here. So that's why I started really honing in on cuz I just feel like, man, there's just, you're set in the course of your life. Yeah. And, uh, and you can go one of two ways.

And it, and it's hard to, you know, you talk to the 60 somethings that are like, man, I wish I would've asked myself the harder questions Yeah. Earlier on, instead of just picking this path that I didn't want to go down. So that's why I was so passionate about that topic and why I've written so extensively about it. So now with this new book, listen to your day, the life changing practice paying attention, same source of motivation of man. I feel like I'm just an utter failure <laugh> right now at this. I just felt like I, I I'm missing Yeah. The most important parts of my life, you know, and, and that's why I connected so well with what you guys are about. When I watch your guys' video, like I told you, I'm like, oh my gosh, these are my guys. Yeah. Uh, because it was that same feeling of, you know, my, my kids and my relationships, you know what I find meaningful and valuable. Yeah. And yet I'm spending so much time and attention on things that just don't add any value that are not worthy of my time and attention. I have to change that. Mm-hmm. So that's why I did this deep dive again, researching, studying, writing, thinking about how do I change habits and practices in my life to start focusing in on what's important Again,

Joey Odom (06:48):
Dude, it, it's a, it, it's so go it I've in my notes for, and we will hit on it later, is that we've, even as a company, we've found that it's so important to seek out those opportunities for failure cuz those, that that's when you learn those are the teachers. And so just knowing that this is, cuz you read this book and it is from a place you, you read it, it is from a place of authority and that it's very well researched, but it's also from a place of humility and vulnerability for you saying like, I've just missed these moments too. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's, and what, what a greater thing to not look back with shame, but then look forward to, okay, how do I, how do I make this better? Right.

Paul Angone (07:20):
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And I, I often, one of my lines I'm always saying is that the po possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. Wow. So you can't do anything great in this world if you're not willing to be completely embarrassed in the process. Yeah, that's so true. And social media kind of, you know, that there's a lot of fear of that. I don't wanna look, I don't want, you know, I don't wanna look awkward, I don't wanna be embarrassed. I don't wanna look like a failure. You know, if I, I can't even post this because what if I don't get enough likes? You know, all those feelings. So as an author, you know, and you're probably the same Joe, you're just leading with that sense of authenticity, vulnerability. Yeah. Saying, Hey, I'm in this too. Maybe I'm just a couple steps ahead cuz I've just been focusing in on this. Yeah. But, but hey, I'm not perfect, you know, and I think, and this is a whole leadership talk, you know, this is a totally different thing. That's correct. But I think that's, that's where that leadership and that connection happens. You know, we're all struggling, but too many of it, too many of us are struggling to make it appear like we're not struggling.

Joey Odom (08:18):
Ooh, that's good.

Paul Angone (08:19):
You know, and genuine connection happens in the shared struggle. Yeah. So all of us have to be willing to say, sometimes to say, Hey, you have to be willing to go first. Yeah. And, and as leaders, you know, as you know, as parents or whate, you know, you have to be willing to say something like, I've messed up. You know, and I try to do that. I've always tried to do that in all my books, um, to be kind of, you know, that older brother, you know, like Seth Godin, that was a great endorsement from Seth Godin, who I've looked up to. But I love that being kind of that older brother who's just a little wiser, a little funnier, a little snarkier <laugh>. Uh, but anyway,

Joey Odom (08:51):
I, I'm, I've a a bit of maybe a sideways question on the twenties thing where you said, we talked about how you, you had all these ambitions for, you know, the greatness and all the great things you're gonna do. Do you think any of that is attributed to growing up in the church? I grew up in the church as well, and then you're told, like, you know, everybody says Jeremiah 29 11 again and again and again. Do you, do you think any of that and then you're just like, oh, I have a specific purpose in calling and then all of a sudden when you're met with, oh, but you gotta start at the bottom. You have to start as an analyst, you gotta start as you know Yeah. Bringing coffee to people. Do you think any of that is attributed to, to growing up in the church?

Paul Angone (09:24):
Yeah, totally. I, you know, I think there's just this whole other weight to it in the sense of you gotta be successful financially or you gotta, you know, you're gonna have a family get a house. Like, do you gotta do all those things still Yeah. But also go change the world. Yeah. And, and not that, you know, non-believers or people that didn't grow up in the church don't have these feelings of I wanna make an impact. Sure. But I think that's definitely ingrained Yeah. In that culture. So yeah. I, I've had the opportunity now to speak at a lot of colleges, both, you know, secular schools or more faith-driven schools. And, uh, and definitely in those faith-driven schools, I have a lot more kids coming up to me afterwards and saying like, thank you. Like, I've been so anxious, I've been so worried, I don't think I'm gonna live up to anything that I'm supposed to.

You know? And, and, and it's my constant reminder for young people or for all of us, that having these dreams and goals, these ambitions, you know, that's great. Being optimistic, wanting to go do these big things, I think is awesome. Yeah. It's the timeline for how quickly you think you're gonna see some fruit Yeah. From this choice that becomes the problem. And especially in our culture where everything's at our fingertips and instant. So, so I'm constantly reminding, you know, 20 something, especially, you know, in your twenties, it's more about setting the table than enjoying the feast. I like it. Like, you gotta set it right. Yeah. You know, so that you're not a one hit wonder where success actually crushes you. Yeah. And so, in my case, you know, and this is, we're going all over the place here, but <laugh>, but I felt like God really protected me by not giving me much visible success Yeah.

In my twenties, uh, because it would've crushed me. I I didn't have the skill set to carry it, but I also didn't have the character to carry the weight of any success. I thought I did. Yeah. But I think God was like, no, I gotta, you gotta go. I gotta train you. You know? And if you're gonna have a big calling in life, the training's gotta be as, as equally as as intense and difficult and big. Yeah. Uh, and so I think we miss we miss that part of the story. Right. <laugh>, you know, we're just like, yada, yada, yada. And then I had the Fortune 500 company. Right, right. The bestselling book, you know.

Joey Odom (11:31):
Yeah, exactly. I really like that. And it goes to, to, you know, it's a segue into this book, which is, which is, it begins small, it begins, we all have these grand ambitions, but it does begin small and, and, you know, listen to your day, which by the way, I keep singing in my mind, listen to your heart. And I, but I'm saying listen to your day. Yeah. Um, which I love some, some, uh, keep singing that. But, um, this, the, the overwhelming feeling I got reading this book, and I'm gonna go into it, is how much is at stake here mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you, you do put a lot of, you put a lot of weight behind it, I think, in a very healthy way and very truth telling way. But, um, as you were un you knew it was important to you, but as you wrote it and as you dug into it, did you get this even more sense of weight on it? Of how much is at stake?

Paul Angone (12:14):
Yeah. I mean, probably similar to you guys where it's, it's that passion that just keeps growing and growing. Yeah. Like, man, this is like, how is everybody not talking about this? You know? And that's usually a sign that you're onto something that is important to you, where it's like, man, how is everybody not Yeah. Like, thinking about this and focusing on like how important this is, you know, and our attention and where we're paying our attention, I think is one of the key topics and, and the thing that we have to talk about Yeah. In today's world. Because as I say in the book, you know, and I'm not trying to over dramatize things, but I, I, I say there's a battle for our attention. There's a war going on for our attention. And I don't think that's far reaching to say, because our attention is money.

Yeah. You know, and it's literally in the phrase, you know, pay attention. Right. <laugh>. So I even put that in the context of money. You know, you're making transactions with all, everything you're paying attention to. You're making a transaction and you're paying that, whether it's an app, uh, a website or whatever, or a relationship. Yeah. You're, you're investing in that. So it's even thinking about, you know, do I want to be investing in the things that I'm paying the most attention to? Also, do I wanna be in debt through my attention Yeah. To TikTok, do I wanna be in debt to TikTok? Do I wanna be in debt to 45 minutes on Instagram stories? Like, do I wanna be in debt to these things? Do these things have my emo emotional, spiritual, mental, physical wellbeing and mind? Or are they created just to be as maximally addicting as possible?

You know? Yeah. And I have re you know, research in the book book where one of the engineers that helped create infinite scroll. Yeah. You know, where you, you don't have to think anymore on social media, they just keep scrolling for you. Um, so, you know, he called it behavioral cocaine. Right. Is what they were trying to create. You know, so that's, that's hyperbole. That's a scary statement. Yeah. You know, for somebody to say, you know, we have thousands and thousands of very educated engineers that are working on creating behavioral cocaine <laugh>, that's a, that's alarming. So I think we have to be as equally intentional with our attention Yeah. With this conversation with how important this is. Because what you pay attention to, you become, that is your life. Yeah. You know, and so that's why I was like, man, I gotta get back to what is meaningful, what is good. I gotta focus my mind on those kind of things. Um, cuz I wanna pay my attention to life-giving things. I wanna make that compounding interest of my attention grow.

Joey Odom (14:52):
It's, it's, it's funny as I, as I was reading the intro in chapter one, I, I came to the end of it, uh, of both of those. And I thought, I don't, I didn't feel like I needed someone to convince me that I needed to pay attention. But reading that, I thought, holy crap. I mean, it did it, you do a very good job of taking something. We probably all would say, of course I need to pay attention to what's important. But you, you, you lay it out in, in such a way that it, it's a good reminder. It uncovers some new things. Makes me realize that I'm not doing it. And then there are a couple things you said in chapter one that I like. Um, you talk about the intentional choice to be an active participant in your day. And you name three things, the magical, the mundane, and the mechanical. Hmm. Will you talk about those three? I really like the concept of all three of those that, that you're participating in different ways throughout your day. The magical, mundane and the mechanical.

Paul Angone (15:37):
Yeah. You know, I think, I think most of our days feel a little bit of the, the two of the mechanical and the mundane. Yeah. We're just going through the motions. You know, it's almost like driving the car where you get to where you're going. You get to work the same drive you've always been doing. Yeah. And you don't even, you're like, I don't even, I <laugh>, I don't even remember the last five minutes, you know, cuz I was just zoned out. I'm just solely in the mechanical and the mundane kind of this robot just going through the motions and, um, and yet, and yet, yeah, you're right. Every day is a gift, you know, so I'm, I'm not trying to, you know, over spiritualize or over, you know, but it's, yeah. You know, there's, there's so much richness waiting for us, you know, and I, and I call it, uh, you know, we talk about chance encounters, you know, we had this chance encounter in our day.

I call 'em not so chance encounters. Yeah. You know, like, what are the odds that you're sitting next to that person in an airplane? You know, I always think about that. Like, this is amazing. Like that we're here in history. We both had the same schedule. We're here next to each other. Like, we couldn't have orchestrated this if we wanted to probably. Yeah. And now we're next to each other. So like, is this a a a not so chance encounter? Is this a gift? You know? And I, and I think we're given these gifts, so that's where that magic comes in, so that, that makes the mundane and the mechanical magical. Yeah. So we, again, we start paying attention at our day through a to totally different lens, and we can start pulling out like all the blessings, all the insight, the revelation, the ideas that are coming at us.

You know, these, you know, we, we crowd to God like, please God, gimme clarity. Uh, you know, and I feel like God's tr trying to give us that. And like, if you would just gimme a moment Yeah. To listen, to just hear I or this, I, I put these things in front of you, but, but you're, but you're so focused on all these other distractions, you know? Yeah. And so it does help transform the mo I, I almost equate it. I remember, I'm getting long winded, but I remember riding, riding in, in the, in my, uh, a Mazda Miata with my girlfriend in LA and we're in, we're in on the 4 0 5 freeway, which is what I say. That's where good moods go to die in La <laugh> because it's a parking lot. You're there for an hour. I'm in a Maza Miata, which is, I mean, it's like a 10 can, like, I can't barely move.

It's so small. Right. And I'm there with my girlfriend and I remember thinking it was such a terrible feeling moment. You're just stuck. And I remember thinking, man, I would not wanna be anywhere else or, or here with anybody else but her. Wow. Like, it, it, it transformed that moment into a magical moment. Yeah. You know, and that's, that's why she's now my wife of 15 years and four kids. Right. Wow. So it's again, the, the, that, that's what helps transform the mundane, the mechanical Yeah. And to magic every day. It doesn't have to be the mountaintop That's right. To get the magic involved in your every day.

Joey Odom (18:30):
But that story could have gone differently if you had not married her. I was curious. <laugh> my

Paul Angone (18:33):
Wife would've not, I probably wouldn't have used it as a illustration.

Joey Odom (18:36):
Smart. Yeah, exactly. <laugh>.

Paul Angone (18:37):
And then the, uh, the rabbit ran out of the hat and we broke up six months later. Exactly.

Joey Odom (18:42):
Right. Exactly. You know, it's funny, my, my son is about to turn 15 and my daughter is 13. And, and I've start, I've noticed lately that with this realization that, gosh, there, my son's in high school next year, my daughter will be in high school in two years. I'm gonna, I gotta, I have to start driving slower. So I've been, not telling them, but just purposely driving slower and then in the mundane, because I know here's a moment that I have that they can't do anything but be a captive audience with me. And, and then trying to create the magical, so the other day we were, I was taking them to school and my son, I noticed he was on his phone. I was like, Hey, let's go. Let's all have a conversation, but we have to sing it the whole way to school all 15 minutes.

So that's crazy. The only thing, you had to sing it and then you had to ask a question of somebody else at the end. Then you had to ask this. So we sang the entire time that my son took a second to warm up to it. My daughter was immediately in <laugh>. But it's Right. It was, there's there's a mundane moment Yeah. Of we're driving to school and traffic's bad. And people in the East Tennessee don't know how to drive very well, but, um, but we, you make, you make the magical out of it mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it's, and the opportunity does, to your point that it exists at all moments for us. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Paul Angone (19:46):
I love that. I love that.

Joey Odom (19:47):
Um, the, the, um, you say though, you say that we're dangerously close to losing the war for our attention. And the culprit that you, and I'm not disagreeing with you in any way here. A lot of the book, the early parts of the book are focused on the, you know, our phones and our pockets. Yeah. Will, will you talk about that, that piece of discovery and maybe even how that might differ from in the past? And, you know, people say, oh yeah, we had, well we had TVs, you know, 30 years ago they thought there was gonna, or 50 years ago they thought that was gonna take our attention away, or even newspapers before then. But this is different. Yeah. So why is it that you spent so much time, um, talking about our phones?

Paul Angone (20:27):
Sure. Yeah. You know, I, I mentioned in the book, uh, another book called The Hidden Persuaders, which is a book written, written by Vance Packard, a very popular book. And he was talking about the, he was, he was alarming the nation about, you know, how advanced marketing and advertising's getting, you know, how they're, uh, manipulating the privacy of our minds. And he was very concerned about this. And, and it was a bestselling book. Everybody became alarmed about it. Uh, but I found it interesting that this book was written in the, in the fifties or early sixties Oh gosh. Is when this book came out. Wow. Um, so that's why I talk about, especially the phone, cuz we all know, you know, and we've seen the documentaries. We kind of understand it a little bit more now. Yeah. How advanced this is getting, you know, so we're not talking about mad men in an ad copy room drinking whiskey.

Right. And thinking of ways for you to buy cigarettes. Yeah. Now we're talking about very sophisticated AI algorithm systems that are totally catered to your, to your brain, that that is helping rewire the way your brain works and functions. Yeah. Uh, you know, we're becoming pavlos dogs. Um, except that our phone, you know, we used to only answer our phone when it was ringing. Now we're answering our phone when it doesn't even make a sound. Yeah. It's calling out to us all the time. It's calling out to us all the time. And it's our reflex response. And that's where I'm getting to it. You know, it's so much further a part of us that it's, it's, you know, I call it our digital cigarette. Yeah. You know, it's, it's us taking that hit constantly. But, but what's even more pervasive about this is that you, you at least had to go outside to take the cigarette break.

Yeah. You know, you used to have to take a break. It was a, it was almost an intentional choice in space. Yeah. Right. But now with the phone, you know, you can just slowly pull it out on your couch. Life is still going out, but now you've escaped. Yeah. So I, so I'm kind of, I, I call us cultural escape artist is what we're starting to become. Where any, any dull, boring, uncomfortable down moment, I can just, now it's my reflex to escape into anything that ends up being nothing. And, um, and that's, that's where it's what's alarming to me, you know? So now we watch the television with the computer on our laps and then our phone in our hand, you know, and then, uh, you know, our spouse is saying like, what just happened in the show? Or whatever. It's like, well just, we can't even focus. So we can't even focus on Yeah. What used to be our biggest distraction <laugh>, you know? Yeah.

Joey Odom (22:55):
We're distracted by our distracted.

Paul Angone (22:56):
I, so that's what I, that's what I always say. We used to live annoyed with our distractions. Now we're kind of living four our distractions. Yeah. And that's an alarming thing, I think, for all of us. Yeah.

Aro Team Member (23:05):
We hope you're enjoying the show. Let's take a quick moment to hear from one of our members about how Aro is impacting their life.

Aro Member (23:11):
My daughter Sophie is probably more excited about it because I think she recognized, Hey, this is gonna be more intentional time. And I think my son is just a little bit more pragmatic about it. Like, Hey, good place to store it. It gets charged. I like the fact that we can all sit down to dinner together. And I thought it was having more of an impact on Sophie than on Brock. I will say though, it was interesting the other night we were sitting down at dinner and my wife checked her phone and my son was the one who said, Hey, do we need to go put that in the arrow box? So even when sometimes you weren't sure whether the lesson was being, uh, sort of passed. Obviously there was

Joey Odom (23:47):
One thing that I, I noticed this was a, this is a big wake up call to me. And I've told the story a lot, and we talk about it in our failures, in our shortcomings, where we were, led us where we were. I, I, I feel like I was, I remember one story with my son when he was young. We're reading a, reading a, a book at night. My arms around him, I'm holding my phone out to the side while we have one of those books that reads to you. And Innocent is, can be three, four years old. He goes, he goes, Hey dad, this is my favorite. And I didn't think he noticed me looking at my phone aside, and he said, Hey dad, this is my favorite page. Will you do this page with me? Then you can look at your phone again, <laugh>.

And and I realized, yeah. Um, um, you know, among just this moment of my utter failure was that my son was beginning to be conditioned to believe that he was the distraction. Hmm. That my, that's good. Phone is a priority, and that he was the distraction. So it's almost like our distractions are, we're, I love your line. We're being distracted by our distractions, but we're also, our distractions are flip flopping. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the things that were important are now our distractions, such as our kids. Yeah. And, um, and it's, and and you're right. And then when you, when you talk about the weight behind it, there's the weight behind it because using your cigarette analogy, it's Yeah. They are cigarettes for ourselves. And what we're doing is blowing, we're blowing secondhand smoke all, all around those people that we love. And it's, um, when you put it in that way, it's how can we not

Paul Angone (25:04):
Do something there? And and that's why in the, in my book too, I have, you know, many chapters just kind of focused on relationships Yeah. Because that is such a big casualty Yeah. Of, of our attention if it's not properly placed, you know, and, and that's another, uh, focus with our attention about being intentional is that, you know, all love starts with our attention, you know, and it's either a proper application of our attention or it's not. Yeah. You know, you really can't do the love languages, you know, the five love languages. Yeah. You can't do those if you're not paying attention, you're not gonna, you're not gonna see 'em, you're not gonna be able to apply them. Yeah. Uh, and, and so every time, like you were saying, that's such a, that's a great story, but every time that we're shifting our attention away from somebody that's meaningful to us, to our phone, to some distraction, you know, we're telling them, Hey, this is more important than you.

Yeah. Um, and it's such a blocker of authentic relationships and, you know, and it's like that, you know, it's like that crack in your windshield. Yeah. That starts off very small, you know, and you know, you know, even in the context of marriage, I don't think marriage is unravel because of one just giant thing out of nowhere. Yeah. Right. It's the crack that just keeps growing and growing. And I think it's part of it now is we're just, we've lost that sense of paying attention to each other. And life is already so busy. Yeah. Kids are already so noisy. You know, I, I have four kids, so I talk about it like you, it's like you have four radio stations on in the house, <laugh> at max volume, all on different stations Right. All the time. Like that's enough noise Yeah. <laugh> to wade through to try to connect like with your spouse versus if you're always having to then pull out your phone, um, and block in that connection that way too. So that just spreads that crack across the whole windshield until the whole thing needs to be replaced, you know, somehow. So, um, so yeah. That, that, that meaningful connection piece. Yeah. So that's why I even, I even go into things like simple things like body positioning and Yes. Eye contact, leaning forward, smiling, even just some things that we're losing even from a, a business networking standpoint Yeah. Or with your kids, you know, things that we can just be reminded of. Let me put this in a practice

Joey Odom (27:23):
That I, I'm telling you the eye contact, I went and grabbed lunch today and I went, when I picked up my food, I was very intentional because I, this was fresh on my mind. I said, I'm gonna make eye contact with the person at the, at the checkout. It was a little bit uncomfortable. I mean, it was like, yeah. It was intimate in a way with, you know, the 24 year old, you know, dude who was giving me my, giving me my water cup. But it's, it, it, it's, it's so interesting and it reminded me how little I do that, how I actually, you'll do like a glance at the face type of deal, but not an actual, like locking eyes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's a really amazing thing. And I think for somebody, people are starved for that. And I actually think that if we do that more, if we put that more into practice, I'm gonna work on that more. And try not to be weird in the process <laugh>, but I'm gonna try to,

Paul Angone (28:05):
There is a weird way to do I, there's the not blinking eye contact that's, that becomes a little strange. Yeah. But, uh, but you're totally right. And I, and I've even, even shifting the wor you know, even from a networking standpoint, I used to, I used to, I, I would, I would kind of just cringe at the thought of networking. Yeah. You know, I, I have to go do my elevator pitch and how amazing I am and how, you know, you gotta buy whatever you gotta do, whatever. And, and when I shifted it, I gotta stop networking and start relationship. I like that. You know, and I change it to that word. Yeah. And it's like, how do I love, how do I love these people? Well, that I'm meeting for the first time. Yeah. And it's things like eye contact and, and it's, uh, even something like, you know, I talk about in the book, you know, practice, like the first five minutes is what I call it.

Yeah. Like, can you just ask this person great questions? Like try to, it's like a game. Like can you think of good quality questions to ask this person? Right. You know, and, and they might leave that conversation. You might not have said a word about yourself. And they're probably thinking, man, I love Joey. Like, he is so awesome. Like, I really connected with them. Like, I really vibed with them. They probably don't even know, like, you didn't say a word. Yeah. But they just felt, seen, heard, they felt like you cared about them. You know? And like you said, that's so lost. Yeah. You know, and I think with social media, I don't think we're seeing a bunch of narcissists on social media doing selfies. I think we're seeing a lot of people crying out Yeah. To be seen and heard and known who feel so alone. And, uh, and that's the email I get the most as an author with all the books I've written, is, thank you for, in this book. I have felt so alone in this. Wow. You know? And that is where this becomes so obviously meaningful. There. There's so many, there's so many layers Yes. To, to all of this where it's so impactful. And it really, if we change that day, if we change those practices, we do change our life Yeah. In these small, simple ways.

Joey Odom (30:05):
It's so true. And, and the, I'm going to jump you talking chapter nine about paying attention to your anxiety and your excitement. Mm-hmm. And, and connecting it to what you just said about having a conversation with somebody. And I, I always think the barometer for, for somebody, or how you, how you relate to somebody is how you feel or how they, how you feel, how you feel about yourself after being with them, or vice versa. And that's the, that's a barometer for that type of person. And because most of us, we follow our anxiety online if we, you know, in the comparison trap on Instagram, oftentimes, not all the time, but then you just have to, if you can pay attention to that anxiety and say something doesn't feel right here mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know what I mean? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's a really tough skill to follow that anxiety, pay attention very deeply. You talk about becoming an expert, becoming an expert on yourself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, I feel this, so that discovery process, I, I would love to hear you talk about, about paying attention to your anxiety and your

Paul Angone (30:58):
Experience. Yeah. You know, it's another lens that I don't think we wanna look through. Right. You know, and we want, and we feel like we have to escape from it, or I have to medicate in whatever way. And not, I'm not saying that medication can't be important for anxiety, but I'm just saying we want to escape from that feeling. Yeah. And for me, I've learned, um, that I need to, to define my anxiety. Like that's an important step for me in the process of pulling myself out of a little bit of that spiral. Yeah. And, um, and I even remember one mo I, I remember when I had this realization, I, I was feeling anxious and it was this looming, you know, anxiety's so looming. Yeah. It's just so all encompassing and it is tough. And so I have to stop myself. And it, it was this moment where I'm like, why am I anxious?

Uh, was it that conversation I just had with my wife? No, that was good. You know? Yeah. Was it the interaction I just had with my daughter? No, that was good. You know, and it was like, uh, it was the post that I just checked and I didn't feel like I had enough likes. Yeah. And now I'm feeling anxious about that. Yeah. And I do. And so, and I didn't even consciously make that connection until I stopped and defined it. And, and so I even say that anxiety can be a great, um, barometer. It can be a great revealer of some truth in our life. Yes. And, and it can even reveal, I I think it can reveal our values to ourselves sometimes because cuz maybe anxiety is tied to conviction. So you're feeling anxious about something cuz you're actually really convicted. You know, and this, and this is not all the time, but sometimes you're being convicted about something.

And so you can have a value, let's say, for family. And I have a, a value spending quality time with my family. And yet, you know, I feel anxious at wor you know, my work feels anxiety driven to me. I, and I don't know why I'm killing it at work. I'm making money. I'm, I'm being successful. I'm getting awards. Yeah. I still feel anxious of going to work every day. Well, maybe that was the contradiction of that value Hmm. Of I'm spending 70 hours a week at work and I barely see my kids before they go to bed. So there's this contradiction being played out, and so I feel anxious all the time. Yeah. So even as we step back and we define those things in our life, it might give us a, a signpost into some of our values. Yeah. Uh, these sole values that are deeply important to our story in the ways that were wired. And, uh, so I think it's good. Just different. So every chapter I I just try to pull out different lenses of, yeah. Hey, let's, well, this actually might be really important to look through this lens. Uh, we don't have to run away from this lens. It could be a great revealer of truth for, for our lives.

Joey Odom (33:35):
I, I like that you said just there at the end is, is running away from it. And I can very much relate to that feeling of doing something and then feeling anxious and then going, having to replay it or even, but also excited and exci, I feel like I'm excited about something. And then you have to almost go back and retrace your steps. So, oh, yeah. That's what I'm excited about. What we, what we do run away from both of those. And so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you flee the anxiety, so you miss an opportunity to correct something that needs to be corrected or you, or, or you flee from a moment of excitement where you can just like sit, sit in it for a second. You know what I mean? Yeah. And just, oh, that feels good. Yeah. Or maybe, maybe you can extrapolate more and you can take a lesson and you do this again.

Or just have that moment where it's paying attention to something good in your day. Yeah. Which probably then continues the cycle. But we do, we flee both of those things. The, the anxiety and the excitement. Yeah. Um, one thing I liked that you did is the first nine chapters are fairly introspective. Um, and, and there's, there's not all the time, but it, they are fairly introspective. And then chapter 10 goes into paying attention to people, which I think that most of us, and I bet a hundred percent of people listening to the RO podcast would feel this way, is that's our highest ambition. That's our highest intention, is to pay attention to the people that mean most to us. But mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you gotta get, there's some self work in there first. Right. And so you spend a lot of time building a foundation, which I really, really like to, it's almost like the oxygen mask putting on yourself before you can help others. Hmm. So let's help get, get into those, but talk, talk about that. The paying attention to people you mentioned the love language is all of that stuff. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But once you've gotten this foundation down, how do you then translate that out externally to others?

Paul Angone (35:13):
Yeah. You can sh again, you can show love Well by showing people your attention, you know, and it's, and I think we've just become so we, we've almost become so lazy in relationships. Yeah. You know, and I, and I think even, you know, a detriment of, of, of marriage, and again, the busyness and everything is, I, I've even noticed that you, you stop looking at your spouse in the face or again, in the eyes. Hmm. Because again, you're just going a mile a minute all over the place, you're just circling around each other or on the phone or whatever, just trying to coordinate life. Yeah. And so it's so important, you know, so I even talk about simple things like couch time, you know, just sitting on the couch with your spouse, no phones, you know, around putting 'em in the, putting 'em in the box for the, you know, getting rewarded for that.

There you go. Uh, and then having your kids just see you connecting with each other. Yeah. Asking each other questions. Your kids are jumping on and they're involved, you know, and again, I think for, for, from a kid's perspective, it's, it's a, a, a rooting, grounding experience for them. Yeah. And that gives them that peace and that comfort and that confidence. Hey, mom and dad are doing good. Like, I've seen it. They're, they're connecting and they, I mean, I think a three-year old, I think a four-year-old can feel that let along a 16 year old or 17 or 18 year old. Yeah. Um, so it is, it is so crucial to, again, with all our, our meaningful connections, because that's what's the paradox of our society is that we're connected globally with everybody around the world instantaneously. And yet so many of us, uh, would say that we feel really lonely.

Yeah. And isolated. And that's a weird paradox. It is. That we're wrestling with right now. You know, Cigna did a study where, um, they were studying, uh, something that they said was worse than, than smoking 10 cigarettes and what they were calling an epidemic. And this was before Covid, so before the word epidemic was getting thrown around very everything, but they were calling loneliness an epidemic. And they were studying it cuz they were, they said, this is worse for your health than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Yeah. Is how lonely people are feeling, especially even younger people. Yeah. You know, and again, that's why focus so much on young adults, but there's that loneliness epidemic. And so it's, it's a weird paradox

Joey Odom (37:34):
There, there's been a recent

Paul Angone (37:35):
Taking place, a

Joey Odom (37:35):
Recent study that's come out and it was a, a lengthy paper on this epidemic of teenage unhappiness and loneliness and so much of that, and they tie it directly to, hey, it's been, you know, for about the last 12 years, the iPhone was released 15 years ago. This is not us demonizing the iPhone. This is just the fact that like of the potential for these things to form you and how they form you is it unhappiness is at an all time, um, high for, for teenagers. And it's attributed two things. It's one, certainly it's the comparison and all that stuff that goes into it. Two, it's the escapism, but then three, it's that we as parents aren't modeling it Well, and, and you, um, and so then kids don't, they certainly, like in development, like children eye contact is so important, especially infants. And so we're not making eye contact from a very, very young age. And so the foundational stuff that we had for thousands and thousands, tens of thousands, however many years is Yeah. You know, millions of years is, is no longer there. And what's cool about it, what I like about this, what you've done here is you, you give the weight to the problem, but then you give the hope on what the other side is. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, will you give us just a, a little bit of that? What, tell us a little bit about the hope on the other side of paying.

Paul Angone (38:43):
Yeah. And and that's the goal of my book is not just to give the weight, you know. Yeah. Um, is to give the encouragement hope. You know, all my books are, my goal is to be so hope-filled Yeah. In the book to, to encourage and inspire people, um, to change and, and to really feel like, oh, I really want to do this. Yeah. And, uh, and so the book is made to get messy, first of all, cuz it's got lots of questions and things to write in so that you're paying attention and finding truth and revelation and ideas for yourself. You know, it's not me just saying, Hey, here's the truth, um, for my life. It's like, here's the truth for, for your, your life that's there waiting for you. Right. And, uh, and then i, I give these lenses and exercises. So even something like the whole tail end of the book is all about these mindset models Yeah.

That I talk about. And basically, uh, so I have like the entrepreneur mindset model, investigator, farmer, farmer, monk, rider. And, uh, for me it was fun ways, almost like you're role playing in a sense. You know, when you think like, I wish I could think like those people think. It's like, well, you can, you can practice that. Uh, and, and you can pull some of the aspects into your life, uh, as you form new habits and practices. So even, you know, like the entrepreneurial mindset model, um, you know, I, I don't know if you ever, I I never envisioned being an entrepreneur. I kind of fell into it, I guess as a writer and author. But, but I love how entrepreneurs they, they look at their day differently obviously, but they, and I focused in on how entrepreneurs view their problems. So an entrepreneur, they don't run from their problem.

They, they don't get just frustrated and then just leave it there or complain about it on social media. They get excited about it. You know, it's like, this is a huge problem. Is anybody doing anything about this? You know, maybe I should solve this problem. Right. So a problem can be a pathway to your purpose, to a product, to to profit. You know, that's, that's a problem. Could be a really good thing. Yeah. If you can do something about it. So just giving people new lenses and exercises or like a farmer, you know, how does a farmer look at their day? You know, I grew up with my, uh, relatives in ca all in Kansas, you know, all Kansas farmers. Yeah. You know, my and my great uncle Russell and his farm, he looked at his day very differently. Right. You know, he was, look, he was looking at timing the seasons, uh, you know, the health of his soil was incredibly important, you know, the consistency of watering, uh, you know, of the elements.

So he was, he was looking at his day through different lenses that then I kind of take people on this journey of let's look at our day like this. Yeah. Um, so just give us helpful exercises to start forming these new habits and practices, um, so that, again, our day is so much bigger than our distractions. That's right. You know, that our purpose is so worth paying attention to. And it is like, I'm here to tell everybody your purpose is so worth paying attention to. Maybe we've just kind of forgotten about it or we've lost it, or we've just kind of gotten outta that routine. But even focusing the beginning of our day, rooting ourselves into your, your why, your goals, your purpose, so that your day is so much bigger than all of the other distractions coming at it.

Joey Odom (42:00):
And you talk, I love how you say it's, it's a combination of three theater, it's art, science, and habit. So listening to the details of your day, I love how you do that. Um, it, again, it's, it's, you do, I'll say it again. You do such a good job of, of illustrating the weight. We need to hear it. It is important. We need to know what's at stake because if we know it's at stake, then we'll know how hard we need to fight. And then you give the hope behind it and then you give the tools behind it. I thought it was brilliantly, brilliantly written. Um, I wanna, I wanna close with one question that I'm testing out. This is kind of the beta test. So you're, you're one of ready of the first few. So we're, um, you're very introspective. So what is, what's the piece of advice that you need to hear today for yourself? For you? Oh gosh. What's the piece of advice that you need to hear?

Paul Angone (42:42):
Yeah, sure. That's a great question. Yeah. And that's, it's a funny au asking an author that, you know, it's like I have five books where I'm pretty much just writing to myself saying, Hey, this is Paul. We gotta rethink the this stuff in our life. Yeah. You know, but for me, I'm, I mean, I'm looking at a book launch right now. Right, right. Um, which is always, uh, you know, it's like sending your baby off to college. You've been, you know, working on for so long now it's like, and, and then it's also very visible. It's like, here world, here is my soul <laugh>.

Joey Odom (43:09):
Right. Like, please don't trample

Paul Angone (43:11):
It yet to like, take it and like, uh, you know, Amazon reviewer, like, thank you for pointing out the defects of my soul. Like, that's fun <laugh>. You know? Um, so for me it's a constant reminder. And this is what I, I, I still, I'm constantly needing to hear this more is that my worth sh doesn't need to be weighted on the perceived outcome of my book. That's so good. Good. You know, of my business or whatever it is. And, and I'm constantly reminding myself, you know, we're so quick to label something, a success or failure and I, and I'm just constantly saying, I gotta throw those words outta my vocabulary. Yeah. Cuz really success and failure only can be looked at through the lens of eternity.

Joey Odom (43:53):

Paul Angone (43:54):
You know, you know, I, I think about like, oftentimes I think about the Apostle Paul in the Bible, new Testament, and he, and he's writing all these letters. The whole New Testament is basically a lot of it's Paul writing all these letters. Right. And he's in prison. Yeah. And he's writing like, man, I wish I could be there with you. I wish I could be, you know, I I'm so bummed. And you can hear that he's a lamenting, but it's like that failure or that hardship of him being in prison is why we have half the Bible. Wow. Right. Wow. Um, so I, I think about those things where it's like, Paul, okay, you don't need to be on the teeter-totter of, oh, book sales were great today. Great. I can feel good about myself, I'm worthy. You know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or or book sales are bad, you know, I'm terrible. I'm a failure. Uh, I can just kind of keep more of an internal eternal, uh, mindset going. So that's something I'm still every day. I mean, it's a battle. I mean, it's, it, it, it really is. It's again, a retraining in a habit. Yes. To not go down that wormhole of this failed. I'm a failure <laugh>. You know? Yeah. We're, I think we all, we all go too quickly.

Joey Odom (45:00):
I feel that I, that that's the advice I needed as well. You talk about success and failure. Red, red, your Kipling in, in the poem. If he says he refers to success and failure as both imposters. So treat him both. Both as the imposters they are. Cause they really are. Exactly. Um, we're gonna get, we're gonna do some autograph giveaways of, uh, yes. When, when this launches of, of the book we're, I'm really excited about that. Where, where else, uh, should people go? Where, where are you on socials? Your website? Um, people wanna go learn more about you.

Paul Angone (45:27):
Yeah. My website is, uh, all grownup.com. Uh, but it's g r o a n all grown. Like you're groaning in pain. Oh, <laugh>. Uh, it's wonderful. Um, come

Joey Odom (45:37):
On, <laugh>.

Paul Angone (45:39):
I've been saying that joke for like 10 years. <laugh>,

Joey Odom (45:41):
You're a father for you keep at the dad show. That's alright. I'll, I'll allow it.

Paul Angone (45:46):
I thought it was pretty, I thought it was pretty punny. <laugh>.

Joey Odom (45:48):
Come on, <laugh>. Tripling down. <laugh>.

Paul Angone (45:52):
You gotta keep going. You know, I

Joey Odom (45:53):
Like it if

Paul Angone (45:54):
You're, if you're there, you just keep digging that, keep digging that hole deeper. Um, but all growing up, that's been my home base for, you know, over a decade. And, uh, people can grab free chapters from all my books on all grown up if they want to check out other books or listen your day, grab some free chapters. Yeah. Uh, and then Paul Ani is my socials with's, A n g o n e And Goi, good luck on that. But, uh, but, but I still am, I'm still on social media. You know, we've been talking about it, you know, it's still, again that poll of Yeah. It's, you know, but I'm there and you, you'll see a lot of videos of me, you know, on hikes that I'm doing. Yeah. Because I've scheduled that 45 minutes into my day where I go on a hike and, uh, and I, and, and by the end I'm so fired up, you know, it really is one of the most productive Yeah, it's the most productive, yeah. Uh, hour of my day. And so I'm, I'm just want to share some idea. I'm so fired up. So if you go on Instagram, most of my videos are me on this hike. Oh. Um, uh, so I'm still trying to figure out that healthy balance of Sure. This is a great platform to get a message out, but how do I have that healthy relationship with it?

Joey Odom (46:59):
It is. I mean, that's how we connected was, was on social media, so Exactly. Again, we, we, we fully understand the tension there and we, I I agree with you there. I do. I like that. Um, you talk about gardening in, in there, you may even have some gardening. I, I appreciate the fact that you don't have Instagram videos in your lavender bubble bath. You do Talk about how you like lavender bubble bath stuff. Thank you.

Paul Angone (47:18):
Thank pardon. Standing <laugh>. I felt like that was a little too much. I want to be vulnerable, but I don't want to be, I don't want to be that vulnerable. Yeah,

Joey Odom (47:26):
No, that's

Paul Angone (47:26):
Scary. Vulnerable. Appreciate

Joey Odom (47:27):
That. Yeah. Like the prolonged non blinking eye contact that I'm gonna try out today, <laugh>. So Paul, you, you're the best man. This is incredible. Oh, thanks. Every, everybody please do go pick up a copy of Listen to Your Day. I've read it. I can, uh, I can tell you it is very, uh, very much worth reading. It is very additive. There's stuff you can do immediately and, um, so it's, it's enriched my life already. Paul. I'm excited. Thanks. Perform into practice. So thanks. I'm

Paul Angone (47:49):
Excited to keep connecting. Joey. Thanks for all the work you guys are doing.

Joey Odom (47:52):
Thank you, brother. Appreciate it.

Gang. Go grab a copy of Listen To Your Day by Paul Angone. What a great guy. What a great interview. What a great book. We're also gonna do a giveaway of some copies of Listen To Your Day, go over our Instagram @goaronow to get some details on that. And I wanna leave you with a line from the end of Listen to Your Day. It says, don't seek to change your life. Seek to change your day each day, which will change your life. Thanks so much to Paul Angone for that encouragement. We can't wait to see you next week on the next episode of The Aro Podcast. The Aro Podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Pod Co. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support, and to our executive producer, Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.