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The Power of Suffering & Finding Happiness in the Struggle | Matt Vincent | Better Man Podcast Ep. 012

The Power of Suffering & Finding Happiness in the Struggle | Matt Vincent | Better Man Podcast Ep. 012

Join me in this week’s podcast episode as we discuss Matt Vincent’s story and how the power of suffering has taught him to find happiness, to work through adversity, and to be grateful for what he has.

Matt Vincent is a two time Highland Games World Champion and the founder of the successful brand HVIII Brand Goods that helps people eliminate the bullsh*t in their lives through movement, mindset, and motivation.  

After going through various adversities (he had nine knee surgeries as well as a total knee replacement) and enduring excruciating pain, he found beauty in the simplicities that his new life offered. 

After his father died, Matt realized that the time we have left on Earth is finite, and precious. He now lives every day as if it was his last. He’s no longer identifying as just an athlete. Competing with others is now in the rearview mirror, he’s in competition only with himself. To be better, bolder, and wiser.

In this episode, we’re discussing how stress can benefit us, the importance of being honest with ourselves and other people, and how taking ownership of our lives is a pathway to boundless personal growth. 

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Watch a Clip From Episode 012

The Power of Suffering & Finding Happiness in the Struggle with Matt Vincent

Key Takeaways with Matt Vincent

  • Why Matt experimented with different diets and to what result.
  • How pain and trauma changed his outlook on life.
  • How he balances every aspect of his life (business, relationships, health).
  • How experimenting with psychedelics led him to breakthrough realizations.
  • Matt’s transition from an athlete to entrepreneur. 
  • Practicing jiu-jitsu with a bad knee: How to do it? 
  • Surround yourself with people that are positive and bring value to your life.
  • Matt’s morning routine that gets him absolutely fired up for the day.
  • Why discomfort and suffering are invaluable in the pursuit of excellence.
  • Find out how his injuries made him even tougher mentally than before.

Matt Vincent Notable Quotes

  • I wish that people would accept the fact that there isn’t any f*cking magic. Like, there isn’t any magic to your weight loss. There isn’t any magic to you being happy. You’re waiting on magic. Start taking the f*cking wheel, man. Start addressing it systematically and fixing things.” – Matt Vincent
  • I’m happier if I’m in better shape because being in better shape gives me more options to go do things with my life. That’s what it is. It’s a tool. My body, if I’m happier and healthier, produces better chemicals that keep me happy.” – Matt Vincent
  • I’m depressed because I’m in a really sh*t situation that I don’t know how to get out of. And so, I just kept trying to figure out how to get out. And for me, it kind of took pushing a big detonate button on everything and starting over. It took a lot to walk away from all of it and realize that I had to change.” – Matt Vincent
  • I think being able to control your perception of things is a really important part of it. You know, whether or not something makes me angry or happy is really up to me.” – Matt Vincent 
  • “Everything’s your choice. You’re overweight? Cool. You made bad decisions for a decade. Let’s fix it. I can’t do anything about what’s in the rearview, so I’m not going to let that dictate any of the time I’m trying to go straight ahead.” – Matt Vincent 
  • Only I can build my dreams. No one else is ever going to give a sh*t, man. And that’s cool. They should give a sh*t about building theirs.” – Matt Vincent
Episode 012: The Power of Suffering & Finding Happiness in the Struggle | Matt Vincent – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Hey, guys. It’s Dean. Welcome to the Man Flow Yoga Podcast. Today, I’m joined by two-time highland games world champion, Matt Vincent. There’s a lot of other stuff in your title but we’ll go over that at another time. So, Matt, first off, thanks for joining me for a conversation.

Matt Vincent: Dude, I’m really, really stoked to be here, Dean. I appreciate it. I love getting to podcast. I like getting to host mine and it’s always fun getting to chat with other people and talk to their audience. So, thanks for having me, man.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And we don’t know each other too well yet. So, I usually like to start these telling people how we know each other. And I was introduced to you actually through our customer service and our community manager, whose name is Jesse. And he used to do highland games, so he used to do, well, how about you start off by defining what the highland games are rather than me say it? Well, you just throw a really big tree and you hope it goes far.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. It’s essentially what it is. So, it’s a nine-event competition that is the Scottish Heavy Athletics. They’ve been around a really, really long time. So, the nine events are what people are familiar with typically is the caber, which is the big telephone pole. It’s guys in kilts, throwing rocks like Braveheart, doing that whole shebang. But the actual sport of it is nine events where we throw two stones just like shot put. We throw two weights for distance, we throw a weight for height over a bar, the caber of course, and then the sheath. We throw a 20-pound hay bale with a pitchfork for height. And at some point in my life, I was the best at those things. So, it’s a really, really fun, sport, man. And kind of as a thrower out of the college realm, I did that at LSU as a shot put, discus, and hammer thrower, did a few years of Strongman, and then finally once I got into the highland games, all of my background as a thrower plus everything else really lined up. And so, I’d kind of just found a sport that I was really good at. And it was a lot of fun for a number of years. I retired in 2016 due to complications of knee surgery, I suppose, is probably the better answer at this point. But yeah, just wore out my knee and was trying to get it fixed. Didn’t go great. That ended up being a couple of years battling some really gnarly chronic pain as well as figuring out new identity and how to go forward now that I’m no longer an athlete and I can’t do the thing that makes me happy.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Matt Vincent: And at some point down the road, we’re here.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And that’s what I really want to get into. So, I was thinking about this yesterday but I was thinking about it in a completely different context, actually. But it applied to you as well. And I was thinking about how some people, they have to continue to struggle. They have to continue to push themselves in order to stay where they’re at or continue to improve. And that’s great, that’s inspiring, working through things, but being able to basically maintain or get better from where you are. But what’s a lot different than that and what’s a lot more challenging is continuing to struggle, is continuing to push yourself, but then having to deal with a severe or a big reduction in your capabilities and having to go through that struggle, having to reframe your identity, having to create new parameters on what’s going to make you happy. And I think that’s much harder and that’s what you’ve talked about. That’s what a big theme of is with your fitness journey for the last few years, that’s something that you talk about in your documentary, Fragile, which I recommend everybody go check out. It’s on Matt’s YouTube channel. Yeah, it was nice. It was good to watch. And it reminded me of a typical mindset of when you’re injured, when basically you’re just like, “I just want to be able to do this,” or like, “I just want to be able to walk without pain.” And you think about how nice it was to be able to do all the things you were able to do and you’re at this point where you’re just like, “I just want to walk.” So, let’s talk about that. Let’s just dive into your thoughts.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. So, I think mindset was as an athlete, look, I really loved the sport that I was part of. And what I really loved about the sport was having a thing to train for that I got to test on a regular basis and be around a community of people. I don’t identify apparently really much as a highland games competitor. I don’t know how important that is. It’s great fun sport. I love it. I’m not keeping up with it today. Do you know what I mean? Like, I’m not a giant fan of the thing. I’m not obsessed with the highland games culture. I like doing a thing. And it was wonderful, man. I got to meet the best people in the world, travel around with this group of guys that were also lunatics, and trying to compete in a thing that no one gives a sh*t about. And it was the best. And I always knew that like this was the thing I was doing and not who I was. I knew that like this wasn’t going to be a long-term thing for the rest of my life. And I don’t understand, I guess, I get confused why people get caught on that, that like, “This is who I am. I do this now forever.” My chapters have ended before, right? Like, I’m not a high school football player anymore. I’m not a collegiate track and field athlete anymore. I don’t work at the same company I worked at before. I’ve been married before. I’ve had plenty of chapters that at some point in the middle of them, I thought were forever art.

And so, I look at everything going forward as like, “Cool, this is what we get to do right now.” And I knew the highland games would eventually come to an end and I would find interest in another thing, whatever that meant. I didn’t think I would be the guy out there at 45 still doing the Masters competition and being part of it. Those guys are awesome. I just I’m too much of a spaz and a lunatic to do one thing for that long. And so, what I didn’t prepare for was getting hurt and not being able to be an athlete. I had prepared to not have my sport in that capacity, right? Like, I can live without being able to compete in the highland games but I’d never prepared that I was going to be trapped inside a machine that doesn’t respond anymore, like going from doing second in the world at my sport and this thing has always responded to me with. It’s just on whatever I’ve ever asked for it and I’m totally taken for granted. And I essentially just put the coals to it for a decade, and I broke it. I got really lucky enough to get out of it being broken. But during that time when it was broken, man, it took a lot to deal with the fact that I had felt any of the exceptional-ness of me was gone and I could just see this normal life ahead.

Dean Pohlman: So, what I’m thinking of right now is so you talked about you’ve been going through the transitions. You’re a high school athlete, then you’re a college athlete, then you found yourself in highland games. Did you always have that mindset of, “This is not who I am. This is what I do,” or was there a certain point you had to realize that? Or was there just a process that you’ve always had for thanking the activity, thanking that process of your life, moving on to something else, doing something new? Or was that something that you had to learn?

Matt Vincent: For sure, learned. For sure, learned. I didn’t have the gratitude for it at a younger age. This is definitely something I’ve been able to piece together on the way forward. Believe me, I put up plenty of resistance to all those things ending. Well, other than like high school football like you don’t get to keep playing high school football, right? You’re out of f*cking high school. You know the ends come to that. We do okay with things.

Dean Pohlman: I had the same written story.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. Well, you know we know about the stuff that society or time or say high school has an end day. Those things put in chapters and people are pretty good with that because someone else is at the wheel. People have a really hard time with saying like, “I think I’m done with this,” and choosing to walk away from whatever that thing is. I didn’t get to choose to walk away necessarily but also I’m kind of aware that I wouldn’t have. Like, there’s no way that I could have been – I’m not the guy that in 2016 would have been able to say like, “You know, I think my knee is pretty bad but if I stop, retire, lose weight and find some other interest, I probably don’t need to have knee surgery.” I’m not that guy. I’m the guy that wanted to continue trying to be the best in the world at a thing. So, I had a plan of going in the knee surgery and all that and went from taking second in the world at my last competition to not able to walk 400 meters in a day. I traveled with a cane for two years. And I had submitted completely to this is what it’s going to be going forward. I couldn’t find any light at the end of that tunnel.

Dean Pohlman: So, what was that like when you were experiencing, “Okay, I’m not going to get…” Who were you grappling with this experience of, “You know, I don’t think I’m going to get better like I don’t think this is going to…” What was going on?

Matt Vincent: I remember having a day and oddly enough, man, I’ve been doing things publicly a long time, right? So, going into this round of knee surgery, my intention with YouTube and etcetera was we’re going to document and film me going in, having an ACL surgery, I’ll document the rehab. I’ll f*cking do all that really well, get back to throwing a year later, see where we’re at. But it’s all documented on my YouTube channel as well as in a book I’ve been working on. But while I was journaling and writing, like, I remember there being a point where I went into a surgery and the chronic pain thing had taken over where typically after surgery, pain relief is relatively linear, relatively speaking. I have good days and bad days but by weeks on weeks, it’s trending the right direction. And so, with the chronic pain, it just gets to a point where it’s like, “Oh, this doesn’t ever change.” And not only does it not change, only the things you do in the day make it worse. There is no way to make it lower than wherever that number is all the time. And that’s laying down. That is standing. It is moving or not moving. It doesn’t give a sh*t. And so, once that had set in, my priority of giving a sh*t about ever competing again really vanished quickly. And I really didn’t really get to mourn the death of that chapter until much later after I’d figured out total knee replacement and got out of pain, and really started looking inward more. But, man, it was ugly.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I’m just thinking of times when I was… So, I was a lacrosse player in college. I’ve had knee issues on and off since I was 13, which mainly came down to lack of hip strength, lack of core strength, not doing the right exercises. But I’ve had periods where my knee has just not been cooperative and it’s just been like the limiting reagent in the equation of my physical fitness. And you go through these periods where you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to respect it. I’m going to do the rehab.” And then you get frustrated and it’s not recovering faster so you’re just like, “Screw it. You’re just going to do what I want,” and then it says, “Okay. This is going to hurt tomorrow but, you know.”

Matt Vincent: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: It’s like you can negotiate with a lot of things like I’m usually in a position where I can negotiate. Like, I can get five more minutes or I can ask people to whatever, to change the situation. But you can’t negotiate with how quickly the sun is going down when you’re trying to finish up an evening hike and you can’t negotiate with your body and if it’s going to feel pain or not.

Matt Vincent: No, but I sure tried for a number of years. I remember being like. “Okay. So, we won’t do anything tomorrow and the next day. That’s fine. I have those days to not do anything so I can cook it today.” Like, I would just build in like two days of like f*cking cool and take two days of eating a bunch of anti-inflammatories and opiates and stay off of it like essentially not walk for two days was the deal. And it just got to the point that that was always going to be the deal like that was never going to be a thing. And so, what ends up coming with it is like you just can’t enjoy doing anything. Like, everything f*cking hurts. And whether I go in and whether if I’m engaged enough in the current thing happening, I don’t hear the interference from my knee telling me that we’re in pain, I’m having a good time. That’s genuine. But as soon as that noise dives back down and the pain is higher, that’s all I can hear. And there was no way to get away from it or turn it off. Like I said, like laying flat, putting ice on it, none of it f*cking matters. All I’m doing is trying to hide it. And so, that took a long time to go through, man.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And I want to point out just how long you went through that. So, you had 11 knee surgery? 13?

Matt Vincent: I had 9. Nine knee surgeries, yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Why not 10?

Matt Vincent: In a three-year window. Well, we finished.

Dean Pohlman: So close.

Matt Vincent: We did a total knee replacement. There’s nothing else to go in there and do. It’s all better now.

Dean Pohlman: And that was over how many years, the process?

Matt Vincent: Three years.

Dean Pohlman: Three-year process. So, I just want you, if you’ve ever been injured before, if you’re listening to this, you’ve ever been injured before, I want you to think about how terrible it feels to be injured for six weeks. So, currently, for example, my wife has a stress fracture right now and she’s been in a boot for six weeks. And two weeks in, she was like, “This is terrible. You know, this is like, I can’t believe this has happened. I hate this. I am not able to walk. I’m not able to play with our child.” And you were there for three years.

Matt Vincent: Yeah, give or take with various degrees of it.

Dean Pohlman: I just want to point that out. Like that’s a really long time to be in that space.

Matt Vincent: And there’s plenty of people who’ve dealt with much harder situations than I have but this is my experience, right? And I don’t believe pain or trauma that we’ve had to endure is a competition that your and I’s is different. It’s just the max that we’ve ever had to deal with. And so, this is the most I’ve ever had the opportunity to be f*cking part of and that’s what I had to get through. Man, I went in like I had the opportunity to really try to do anything I could to figure out pain. And so, first thing I was doing was if there was any type of a measurable marker that made pain relief happen, I had to try. So, first thing is change nutrition completely. I ended up losing about 60 pounds through the course of this, and I can’t really train.

How much did you weigh? At your like peak competition weight, how much did you weigh?

Matt Vincent: Peak competition weight for the highland games, I said about 295, 290. And then for…

Dean Pohlman: How tall are you?

Matt Vincent: Six foot. I’m not very tall.

Dean Pohlman: Six foot, 298. That’s a lot of weight for six feet.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. I look like a memory foam mattress. Very strong. Move very well. Not great looking. This machine’s much better looking, much less functional.

Dean Pohlman: Much, much more Instagram-friendly.

Matt Vincent: F*ck yeah. It’s much less functional though. I got beat the sh*t out of me. But yes, I lose the weight because I’ve switched over to doing a ketogenic diet because I want to reduce inflammation. That’s why I’m pursuing it. I’m not pursuing it to lose weight. The side effect seems to be losing weight because I’m eating less food. I’m also doing less things like I can’t train. So, I’m trying to develop ways to stay active, too. I spend a ton of time on the assault bike because I can put my bad leg on the peg and still be able to use the three points. So, at least that way I know metabolically I’m in control there. What I can’t do is let this pain get f*cking compounded by me being 350 pounds. I am at a f*cking crossroad to make that decision and I can either start picking off and controlling everything in my life that I’m able to figure out or hand it all over and wait for magic. And I don’t believe in that. And so, I just went into it, man. I lost weight to see what that changed or made anything better. And there were some markable differences, man. Like, I did feel better the less carbohydrates I was eating at the time. I did eight months of the straight carnivore type thing. I didn’t notice any real incredible benefit to pain reduction there, had some physique changes of course but, man, whatever. Then, I mean, I even tried doing sh*t damn near a pescatarian approach for a while. I’ve never taken red meat out of my diet.

So, I was curious to know, do I see any noticeable difference there after three or four weeks? And I didn’t. So, I brought it back in. If it works for you, killer. If it doesn’t, try something else. And then I’ve kind of slowly switched over into basically doing a vertical style diet. It seems to work really well for me being very consistent and I’ve been working with a meal prep company for a long time now that I’m kind of out of the woods on it but I did that. Really, my biggest concern was getting the f*ck away from opiates. I know that road’s bad but I also know that they’re a necessary evil currently. And so, I’m trying to figure out the best way to maximize. I want to be able to get the absolute most out of taking the least amount of it. And so, the best way I can do that is not build a tolerance to it. So, what else can I do that can reduce pain if it’s at a three instead of an eight? Because I need it to work when it’s in an eight. And so, I built an ice tub in my backyard with the chest freezer. I had a hot tub that I would use. I would get some noticeable difference with both of those. I noticed with the cold that I could turn the pain off while I was in it like I basically couldn’t hear it. But it’s not real sustainable to live in a chest freezer I found out.

Dean Pohlman: You cannot.

Matt Vincent: Tough. Tough. I found probably the biggest difference in my mindset and mood really came from starting to use cannabis on a really regular basis, medicating that way, which kept me away from opiates, kept me able to sleep better. And then when I still needed opiates, they work.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I think a lot of people are still coming around to the idea that cannabis is a legitimate form of long-term therapy.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. And I mean, I don’t understand why they’re not. I mean, there’s – f*ck them. There’s no evidence of the contrary. So, like, whatever. I don’t care that people don’t get it, whatever. It keeps the shops less crowded.

Dean Pohlman: I just wanted to bring it up because…

Matt Vincent: Right. Yeah. It’s just a bummer to me at this point that they don’t realize the illegal reasons and propaganda behind it have been built to sell us sh*t. And that’s it. Like this wasn’t ever an actual danger. The people that we’ve put in control chose to lie to us, and we bought it. And so, I don’t trust the people that choose to lie to us. I’ll go ahead and figure out my own evidence and how things work for me. And so, with my experience with cannabis and using it more and more, especially as I grew up in a very say no to drugs world, competed as an athlete through college, like I really didn’t have any experience with marijuana until I was 33 or in my 30s. Yeah. In my early 30s, when I started really trying to figure out the knee deal, we started with edibles and further on and eventually had led me into psychedelics and other stuff and I found those helped me a ton.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. There’s been a lot of cool studies coming out about psycho. I always read it, but I don’t. Psilobin? What’s it?

Matt Vincent: Psilocybin. So, that’s the active ingredient, the psychedelic compound in mushrooms or some mushrooms is psilocybin. So, that would be the magic, if you will.

Dean Pohlman: Gotcha. Yeah. So, I want to kind of steer the conversation toward – I’m just curious because so much of what you did, so much of your identity, so to speak, was based on your physical ability, based on your ability to compete. Did you find that you had to do something to – was there a void?

Matt Vincent: Of course.

Dean Pohlman: What did you do to address that?

Matt Vincent: I built my business. I attacked my business the exact same way that I approach training and obsession. Kind of being as hyperactive in ADD as I am, I gave up a long time ago trying to pretend that I give a sh*t about things I don’t. It’s a complete waste of time for me and I don’t have the ability. And so, at that point, when I quit competing so that’s the end of 2016, HVIII brand has been around since October of ’14. So, I’ve already kind of got the wheels spinning on it. We’re running a business by that point and I still have my regular 9 to 5 job doing outside sales in the petrochemical industry. So, I’ve done that for about a decade.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, you’re still doing that too?

Matt Vincent: Yeah. Until, well, going through injuries and still traveling to go see customers on crutches and flying places.

Dean Pohlman: Wow.

Matt Vincent: The job’s got to get done. I don’t know how else to pay these bills. So, that continues on. They eventually fired me in March of 2017 and well-deserved. They should have.

Dean Pohlman: Well, it’s probably a good thing for you.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. I’m not mad about it. It was coming. Well-deserved. And so, I never gave enough sh*t about that job the way I gave it about building my own thing. And so, once I got the opportunity to lean in and build my own thing with reckless abandon, that’s where I put all the focus and attention since I can’t do anything else. But it’s a really hard thing when there’s a big identity attached to the brand that came from me as an athlete. Like, man, there’s a big fear of like, “F*ck, I’m hurt. I’ll never compete again. I run a brand based on this thing I did and I’ll never do that again.” There’s a lot of fear, man, of why would anyone give a sh*t? But they did and they’ve continued to. And it’s something that the meaning has been more impactful to them than anything I ever did and how really unimportant that achievement was other than I proved I can accomplish a thing.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I’ve gone through your social media and I’ve watched a lot of your content and a lot of it focuses on the HVIII, just put in the work, do what you can, being consistent. All that stuff that we talk about that’s so important but also like, “Is really that it?” It’s like, “Yeah. That’s really it.”

Matt Vincent: That’s it. Yeah. There’s no magic.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Matt Vincent: People want there to be magic and there just isn’t.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. It’s tough. It’s tough making that sound sexier than it is, but it is what it is.

Matt Vincent: But I wish that people would accept the fact that there isn’t any f*cking magic, right? Like, there isn’t any magic to your weight loss. There isn’t any magic to you being happy. There isn’t any magic that, in the same way, you’re not fat or unhappy because of bad luck. You’re waiting on magic. Start taking the f*cking wheel, man. Start addressing it systematically and fixing things. I’m happier if I’m in better shape because being in better shape gives me more options to go do things with my life. That’s what it is. It’s a tool. My body, if I’m happier and healthier, produces better chemicals that keep me happy. Also, if I’m trying to do things, my body is adapting and growing, which is keeping me awake at the wheel instead of running in this operating system that’s just on autopilot all the time, waiting to be reacting to sh*t that comes at it. Why aren’t you pursuing and hunting? We are f*cking predators, man. Choose your goals the same way. That’s what keeps us active and interested in thinking and growing and adapting. Same reason that I have to continually stress my body out in the gym for it to want to stay healthy, I have to do that with my mind and f*ckin spirit, too.

Dean Pohlman: So, you’ve had to figure out different ways to do all that, obviously. I guess I’m just curious, how limited are you limited sort of speak? What are your restrictions on exercise right now? Or what are you not, you know?

Matt Vincent: I can’t really lift heavy anymore but again, heavy is relative, right? Like, I can no longer lift in the way that I enjoy lifting. I enjoy lifting very aggressively and very violently. Like, I want to Olympic lift. I want to do big push presses. I want to slam weights up, throw as heavyweight as I can, as violently as possible, big cleans and all those type of things, heavy deadlifts or big squats. I can’t. I’m not going to be able to train back up to do it. I couldn’t have any less of a hard-on for figuring out what my squat max is while I’m slightly crippled at 38. Like, what an uninteresting metric for me to invest a bunch of time. You know what I mean? I know the max amount that this machine will ever squat. Let’s go figure out what other achievements we can accomplish with it. Instead of like, what’s the other like I need to find out again at 38 what he can do. I don’t give a sh*t. I found the peak. Let’s move on and go try something else. Let’s go be bad at another thing for a while and develop some new skills, learn to problem-solve instead of being mad at a thing that was supposed to end and be a finite chapter of life ended. It’s supposed to.

Dean Pohlman: So, that anger, that frustration with the situation, I remember watching your documentary and there was one scene where you were in your car and you were just yelling. You’re just screaming. You know, you were just like, “I just want to f*cking be able to…” or I can’t remember the exact sentence but as someone who’s a fellow angry person screaming at inanimate objects in the car, did you hit like did you hit multiple breaking points? Did that anger get out somehow? You know, did it get out in the way that it should have so to speak?

Matt Vincent: It manifested in plenty of non-healthy ways. I managed to survive that chapter of my life and get out but the marriage I was in did not. And that’s due to me being f*cked up, man. Sucks. They’re a real bummer. But I’m glad she’s better. I’m glad I’m better. We needed to go different ways and they were just too many things at one time. And so, now there’s plenty of stuff that didn’t quite make it out and it was a f*cking rough time.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, what were the ways that, I mean, let’s not go through the temper tantrums or whatever you want to call that part. Let’s talk about what were some of the healthier ways that you felt you worked through that?

Matt Vincent: The healthier ways I worked through it was changing my diet, managing a routine with hot and cold. The more experimentation I was doing with cannabis and psychedelics and finding new people to be around and it wasn’t anything wrong with the people I was around but they’re the people I was around, right? So, like they’re not new exposure and I need to be around something new to want to change me. I know that if I just stayed doing that, this is what it looks like and I don’t want to do that.

Dean Pohlman: So, outside of the physical changes, like getting into the new community, getting into psychedelics, can I ask like what were the deeper identity changes? What were the deeper…

Matt Vincent: Fears?

Dean Pohlman: Emotional process. Like, what was going on outside of you and your physical fitness? I want to know…

Matt Vincent: It was the idea, man, but yeah, the idea and the big scary thing for me was I could see the rest of my life and it looked very normal. And I don’t know how interested I am in that. And the other side of that, too, was once I had submitted to the chronic pain, I don’t really deal with any depression other than I know that I was during that period of time. But that’s not chemical depressed, right? I’m depressed because I’m in a really sh*t situation that I don’t know how to get out of. And so, I just kept trying to figure out how to get out. And for me, it kind of took pushing a big detonate button on everything and starting over. Yeah, it took a lot. It took a lot to walk away from all of it and realized that I had to change, that what I needed was to dig more into me and figure out what it is I actually like doing so that I know what to pursue. I’m sure I answered your question.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, no. Thanks for digging. Yeah. That’s what I’m trying to get out of you so thank you.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. It was really scary. It was really scary. The other side of that fear really came from, at that point in my life, my father had passed away in 2014. My dad died of pancreatic cancer in 2014 on April 5th. It happens to be the day before my birthday. I turned 31. It’s easy to remember the date. It’s a one in 365 chance. It’s not terribly odd. But it was really loud and clear at that moment for me that how quickly it can change, that I watched him go in 11 months from healthy to dead. And at the final end of it, he had had enough of the process and cancer and all that and shot himself.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, wow. I’m sorry.

Matt Vincent: You know, he didn’t want to be sick anymore. I’m not sorry. I wouldn’t have let one of my f*cking dogs live that way through the sh*t that we had to let people do it. They’re just f*cking trapped inside that thing waiting for it to die because we’re not comfortable. For me, having an awareness of that, I don’t know a reality that I run out the clock and that much pain. I probably don’t. So, I don’t know what point I’ve had enough that I would have punched out, but I believe I would. So, real stoked to not be there. And so, that kind of keeps perspective on how excited I am to now gives a sh*t about being able to compete in the highland games like, “Yo, I can walk.” This was a thing that was never going to happen again. So, let’s figure out some new metrics. How far can we walk? That’s something I can be in complete control of so that I can train for. That’s hard. That’s a new wrinkle of training, a discipline that I don’t have is something in endurance. Also, I’m not built to be good at it, so the expectations are super f*cking low. I’m not fixing to go start running a 100-mile marathon. I’m not Nick Bare. That ain’t happening for me. I’m going to go do some random hikes in the woods, eat some mushrooms, and focus on being really, really happy and living in gratitude.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, I’m just thinking of going from being so stoked about being able to do these really remarkable or what other people would consider remarkable feats of strength and then having to kind of reframe your barometer of gratitude and seeing like, “I’m grateful just for being able to walk,” but really getting to a point where you’re not just saying that but like really feeling like I feel really great right now that I can, yeah.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. The fact that I get to get up every morning and come do painless cardio or be annoyed that I’m going to go walk pain-free for an hour, that’s a great place I want to be in my life.

Dean Pohlman: And you do that. Do you keep in mind where you were and how much…

Matt Vincent: Always.

Dean Pohlman: And that gives you the perspective to be able to appreciate just being pain-free.

Matt Vincent: Well, not only that, man. It’s the appreciation of that and it’s the full awareness of I had submitted to that I was never going to get to do anything again. I can’t ever go snowboard. I was never going to get to go wakeboard or any of that. At best, I get to hang out and watch people do sh*t. I have never been a spectator. I’m never going to be a spectator. I want to do sh*t. So, yeah, I mean, it never misses for me that I get to do things again. And so, it’s changed so much, the gratitude. Also, I have a lot of gratitude for the guy that survived in that really ugly window, man. You know, he’s not the dude that I am now. I’m way more on top of my sh*t and have figured myself out in another three years down the road and more work on myself and trying new things. But, man, I’m glad he got me here. And not to mention without the injury, I’m not here, I haven’t got a chance to share the story. I don’t get to build a community like we’re building around here at the gym at DOPE or with HVIII Brand Goods or any of these other things. For all extensive purposes, man, I could still be slugging away and maybe finish top five in the highland games right now. There’s a way f*cking cooler road.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Well, cool. Thanks for clarifying all that for me. I wanted to get really clear on a lot of that stuff. So, thanks for answering that.

Matt Vincent: Well, I mean, I think being able to control your perception of things is a really important part of it. You know, whether or not something makes me angry or more or happy is really up to me.

Dean Pohlman: Was there a particular practice you did and practicing, changing your control and your perception? Or was it just living it? Was just doing it day in, day out?

Matt Vincent: So, for me, cannabis would make me a bit more introspective anyway. You know, as someone that kind of started out more of a party drink, those type of things as young people do, the parts of my personality that came out from that aren’t helpful. They’re just ego sides of f*cking loud and louder and I don’t need any more of that. Something that I can take that makes me more introspective and question my own thoughts and question why I feel this way and why I think this way is a much better chemical for me to be dealing with.

Dean Pohlman: 100%.

Matt Vincent: It tends to let me put the light more on the parts of me that I don’t care for and I get to question, “Why do you do that? Why do you act that way? Why do you respond that way? Why did that make you mad when nothing f*cking took place?” And then further diving into those perspective shifts have really come from daily microdosing psilocybin has been very, very valuable for me. And then bigger doses occasionally to work on myself like damn near try to schedule them in once a month that I’m going to take time to sit with myself and kind of meditate at that level with the help of something like that and kind of put some f*cking light on what I don’t want to deal with.

Dean Pohlman: So, it’s practices that help you to get into an introspective place where you can actually question the really deep feelings that are going on and reframing them? I guess I’m just like tell me more about that.

Matt Vincent: So, how that works for me, right? I guess the best way I can describe it is it doesn’t allow me to lie to me. And so, what allows me to do is keep very honest perspective with myself and take emotion out of it of whatever the emotion is, right? Whether that’s fallacy of sunk costs type sh*t of like, well, I have to do this because I’ve been doing it for ten months. Instead, it allows me to be able to say, do we like doing this and does it help us? And if the answer is no, why are we bothering? Why don’t we figure out how to put that energy toward something that’s in a direction we actually want to go instead of just half-assed breathing life support into some other side thing I’m doing? It really allows me to look at things that way and organize and process thoughts a lot better because I can’t bullsh*t me. It doesn’t operate there. It feels really, really bad to operate that way with that medicine. And so, I really use it as a way to figure out what I have anxiety about or how to read anxiety differently. You know, that’s been one of I want to read anxiety differently. Like, I want to read anxiety of the fact that if I am anxious about this thing, that means I give a sh*t about the outcome and if I give a sh*t about the outcome, let’s go. That means we’re in. Let’s figure out how to get control, to stack the cards in our favor to change the outcome. Let’s not just sit back and wait for it to come at us and then go, “Oh no.”

Dean Pohlman: So, how often do you take time? Like, what’s the frequency? How many minutes per week are you spending on taking time to think through this, to do this kind of thinking?

Matt Vincent: So, I’ve been really, really good since beginning of the year on like being disciplined on my morning routine. My morning routine has consisted for the last 31 days of an hour typically of cardio in the morning. So, whether I’m walking on a treadmill, riding the bike, moving around, I don’t care, that I’m going to do some form of cardio. And while I’m doing that cardio, I’m not scrolling on my phone and looking at bullsh*t. I’m engaging with some type of content, whether that’s YouTube or documentary or something like that, that I’m interested in, something that is going to pique my interest and keep me thinking in new directions. I want exposure to something new that I’m interested in. And if that is something as simple as eventually, I would like to build out a sprinter van to camp out of and do all those types of things. So, why don’t I start learning some information about that? Or if I’m very confused recently about whatever the f*ck the metaverse is going to be, maybe I should start learning some information about that instead of burying my head in the sand and pretending it isn’t coming. So, I spend an hour, 30 minutes doing that first thing, usually straight out of bed to kind of get there as quick as possible. And then I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour in the sauna. And while I’m in there, typically my interest in whatever the first thing was has lost. And now I’ll shift to an audiobook that I think is going to be valuable about something that I am prioritizing in my life. Right now, I’m prioritizing consistently choosing uncomfortable things.

Dean Pohlman: What’s interesting for you right now?

Matt Vincent: Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter.

Dean Pohlman: I’ll look it up.

Matt Vincent: It’s solid. And then after I wrap up that hour or so in the sauna, I move to the cold tub and do breathwork for 3 minutes, and then I start my day. And that time in the sauna when I’m usually listening to the audiobook, something’s going to pop up that I have to get out and I typically journal.

Dean Pohlman: You journal? Okay. That was my next question.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. So, I’ll journal in the sauna there on my phone. I’m pretty strict about not getting lost in the other bullsh*t. That thing works for me.

Dean Pohlman: So, the journal process, do you just write whatever comes to mind?

Matt Vincent: Yep. I have no intention of sharing it most days.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That’s my…

Matt Vincent: Doesn’t even matter.

Dean Pohlman: I’m so used to writing for like an audience that I’ll sometimes write my journal like, “Oh, I got to share it with someone.” And then I’ll like, “Am I being honest right now?”

Matt Vincent: But it’s interesting the fact that you’ve even taken awareness of that is wild. And I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to it because clearly both of those things have served you, but at least the fact that that light bulb goes on, which kind of proves a little bit more of the observer theory, right? Like that idea that as soon as you’re observing something, it acts differently as far as trying to measure what it does. And you feel that in your own journaling, right, that as soon as you feel like someone else reading it, the voice has shifted a little. And so, a lot of time, if I’m journaling and I need it to just be guttural in me, I’ll do it by hand on paper and I write at the speed that I’m thinking and it is illegible and really never needs to be revisited. I need that.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I can 100% support that, that if you are writing and it’s illegible and you’re all of a sudden you’re not writing in a straight line and the letters are getting really big then you’re being honest with yourself.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. Right. It’s odd but I don’t need it to be valuable, like, you know what I mean? Like, I don’t need it to be viewed by anyone. I don’t care if I can burn it. Every once in a while if I don’t have something, occasionally I’ll look up an interesting journaling prompt. I’ve had a couple recently that I think are good ones. One of which was, “I want you to write down what you think the three biggest misconceptions of you are by other people and why they’re right.”

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I can see why that would provoke some good thoughts.

Matt Vincent: It takes a while to get through that one.

Yeah. How many minutes are you spending? Is there a set time?

Matt Vincent: Typically, while I’m in the sauna. So, at some point during that hour or 45 or however long I can stomach being in there that day. And then in the colds just breathing then I usually move into my office and start kind of the day. By that point, man, I am f*cking on fire. I am fired up with ideas and I want to do. And so, from that point on, man, I just feel like I’m so much on the attack in the morning, especially with I’ve got my body up and running. I didn’t let this thing overwhelm me from the jump. I’m at the wheel. I choose what gets to me. And so, I pick something I’m interested in to be inspired by. Watch something like Mary or watch something like 14 Peaks or any of these other super mutants that are out there that just prove impossible sh*t’s possible. Get fired up by that. Get in the sauna. Listen to something else. Get some interesting thoughts, do some introspection. Figure out what is my intention? Where are we trying to go? And always be clear on that. And the more clear I am on that, the better that direction wants to go. And then enter the cold, get that giant f*cking boost of dopamine and everything else. It’s a 300% to 500% increase in dopamine. Also switches me into parasympathetic nervous system.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Hard not to be when you’re in the ice-cold. So, two things. Number one, I like that you brought attention to getting clarity on what you’re trying to do. Just it sounds like for the day but just in general. But number two, I think a lot of people…

Matt Vincent: I sure should in for the long term. If there’s anything at this point in my life, I can’t tell you. If I tried to tell ten years ago me what I’d be doing now, bullsh*t, a 0% chance. So, I am no longer trying to predict where I’m going to be in ten years. All I know is I want him to have as many options to do whatever the f*ck he wants to. So, I’ll do whatever I can currently that enables that.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I can feel that. I think when I was 18 years old and playing lacrosse collegiate athlete, I didn’t think I’d be doing yoga. Here I am.

Matt Vincent: Here we are.

Dean Pohlman: But the second thing that you were saying, I think a lot of people do all those things like they have this big morning routine and then they finish and they’re just tired. And I think it’s because, you know, it might be maybe their genetics are predisposed one way or the other or they just have a lot of other stress that just make it they just don’t have as much energy. But I think what makes yours unique is that you’re combining all of that physical activity with mental activities that are giving you energy that are…

Matt Vincent: Stimulating.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. You know, you’re doing things in a way that it’s not just something to get it done and be tired and be like, okay, I got my workout done for the day but you’re doing things to help build up, you know?

Matt Vincent: Yes.

Dean Pohlman: So, I think that’s…

Matt Vincent: I’m building the engine like I’m getting the engine started that morning, right? Like, I’m getting it warmed up before I just start dumping cortisol into it or anything else like that’s coming. I know it is. My life is stressful. And it’s full of stresses I’ve chosen. And I love it. And so, if I want to continue to go forward, I have to figure out how to manage stress better. That’s the big challenge. And I can manage stress better if I’m healthy, if I have a lower resting heart rate, and heart rate variability is better if I can downregulate faster. If I could do all those things, I can manage stress better, which allows me to do my job better, which then allows me to handle managing more stress better. And if I wanted to be as strong and resilient in the gym as possible, then I constantly have to keep pushing for stress so that I have something to adapt to. The rest of my life isn’t any different. I want to keep adapting and growing for as long as I can.

Dean Pohlman: So, your workout is the only way for you to contain stress?

Yes. I have no interest in retirement or whatever that idea is. I’ll just do now. I live now.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, I wanted to ask you a big question, but you do a crap ton of vlogging like holy crap. I feel like if I hung out with you for a day, 30 minutes, I don’t know how much time you spend doing vlogging, but…

Matt Vincent: It’s not as often. And we basically kind of bailed on it since I got back from Dubai. I finally had to admit after seven or eight years’ worth of it, that people really don’t care. And that’s okay. I have the raddest video album of all my travels of the last decade, so I’m really excited about that, despite the fact that like it’s not my YouTube channel ever exploded and I got to become a travel vlogger for a living. It’s all supported the rest of everything I do. So, we’re going to focus on telling bigger stories like making a movie like Fragile or any of that and putting more quality content with a lot of heart into it instead of, “Here’s my day.” You know, if people were interested in, “Here’s My Day,” then that’s what they would get but my f*cking day is boring. My days are really consistent.

Dean Pohlman: I think most people.

Matt Vincent: Because that’s what gets us progress. Like, I never tried to hide that, right? Like, hey, it’s Monday. Guess what? I’m squatting again. Why? Because that’s what works. Not because it makes you feel better or you’re entertained. I want you to see the grind. I want you to see that I show up every day. That’s why there’s that level of amount of vlogging.

Dean Pohlman: So, yeah, you know, you did it for so long. What was driving you to do it? What made you keep it up for as long as you did?

Matt Vincent: Consistency. I committed to doing it. And it did work, right? Like, it does help drive the brand. It does help get eyes. It does help me share content. It gives me a reason to travel and do a lot of rad things. But there also becomes that part of being present while you’re in it. And at some point, like I knew for a lot of my travels and a lot of my blog, the stuff that I was doing in my life that I thought would make the really good content. I was never willing to film because then it wasn’t for me. More in-depth conversations I had with people or times that I got to spend with people that if I’m sharing it, it comes across like, “Look who I’m with?” When I can’t believe I get to interact with some of these people anyway. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can while I’m there.

Dean Pohlman: Gotcha. Cool. Yeah. I would say that, you know, might not be getting millions of views on those vlogs but I bet you the people who are watching them are mostly watching them from start to finish or a huge percentage are watching from start to finish and I would hope they’re inspired by your story.

Matt Vincent: There has been plenty of it. We have an interesting backlog of footage. There’s a lot of it there. I mean, you can go all the way back to me throwing in the highland games in 2016.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Cool. Man, alright, well, I want to shift gears a little bit, and I want to start moving to part two, which is kind of my rapid-fire section.

Matt Vincent: All right.

Dean Pohlman: And this is where I ask you some more general questions that I don’t know how to explain it, so I’ll just start doing it. What do you think is one habit, a belief, or a mindset that has helped you the most in terms of your overall happiness?

Matt Vincent: Anything’s possible and it’s up to me. I know that’s probably two answers but essentially like the one that has wrapped it up that I keep kind of saying as a mantra to myself is, “Only I can build my dreams.” No one else is ever going to give a sh*t, man. And that’s cool. They should give a sh*t about building theirs.

Dean Pohlman: Anything is possible. We actually had someone else say that. And I’m just trying to grapple with the depth of that. I’m trying to because…

Matt Vincent: I have too much proof at this point from people I’m around that anything’s possible including myself. Like I said, if I went back and told a decade ago, what I’m doing with my life. So, I’m 28 the end of January in 2012. I haven’t won a highland games world championship yet. I’ve written a book. I have loosely mentioned the HVIII and I haven’t really started filming stuff yet. And to tell that guy what my life currently is, he’ll go, “You’re full of sh*t. Like, what do you mean last year we went to Africa, Dubai, and three weeks in Iceland. What do you mean we run multiple brands and we’re our own boss? What do you mean we’re not still f*cking married? What do you mean?” So, to pretend something’s not possible, wrong.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. So, it’s more so the idea that it’s not – okay. So, that makes more sense to me. So, it’s more so the idea that anything can happen. It’s like what you expect is going to happen?

Matt Vincent: Well, expectation is sh*t anyway. Expectation is based on some reality that you don’t really have any evidence about. Stick with intention. My intention is that I want to stay making progress. My expectation is we’ll see where that goes. But if I set the expectation of I need to be this by here, you don’t have any evidence to support that being f*cking real, man. And so, you can either put the same amount of effort into following my intention that I would have put into chasing perhaps an unrealistic expectation, one of which lands me with a lot of gratitude, and the other one leaves me really bummed, the same outcome. That’s a simple perspective shift.

Dean Pohlman: All right. Cool. That gives me some clarity so thank you. Alright. Next question, what’s one thing that you do for your health that you think is overlooked or undervalued by others?

Matt Vincent: Choosing stress on a regular basis, most of the time or day.

Dean Pohlman: Choosing things that make you uncomfortable, choosing things that are hard?

Matt Vincent: Yeah. I think it’s a weird intangible. I don’t know how to measure what it actually benefits. Like, saying yes to speaking engagements, saying yes to like, look, I’ve done tons of podcasts but I still get anxiety about doing them every time. I still halfway f*cking look for a way out before I do every episode. And I see it. I just don’t listen to that voice anymore. It’s like, “We’re busy? Or I don’t want to do that right now.” Just shut the f*ck up. Like, one of the things you want to do is be a podcast host. You enjoy doing it. One of the things you’d like to do is speak to more people and be able to share your story. How is there a better opportunity and how else are you going to get the reps and be good at telling your story? Start talking to people. Talk to anyone. So, yeah, it’s diving into that feeling of like, “Why would anyone give a f*ck about the things I have to say?”

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I really feel that idea of leaning into discomfort like if you’re really feeling something, it may take a while for you to kind of develop the sense of being able to tell what that feels like. Like there’s a difference between like, “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t jump off the cliff,” or, “Maybe I should do this because it’s going to be fun and help me grow but I’m scared about doing it.”

Matt Vincent: Learn risk.

Dean Pohlman: It does take some time to learn that.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. Learn the risk versus reward, right? Like, I’m interested in being uncomfortable. I’m not trying to go compete in jiu jitsu on a fake knee. I would like to learn jiu jitsu, and I’ll do that and control as many things as I can. If I have the ability to work one-on-one with the coach or do it private or do any of these type of things, that’s what I have to do. Otherwise, when I get f*cking hurt doing it the other way, that’s my fault. It’s not jiu jitsu’s fault. It wasn’t jiu jitsu was bad for me. No, I did a sh*t version of it. Taking the accountability of whatever it is, you know.

Dean Pohlman: You know, we could form a jiu jitsu for people who are scared about knee injuries group and that could be fun.

Matt Vincent: I hope you’re not considering I have a whole lot of knowledge in the jiu jitsu department because I have close to none.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, no. We’d find a coach with a bum knee who would be able…

Matt Vincent: Oh, perfect.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Matt Vincent: Mine just hasn’t been great. Oh, well. I did it. Like, I’m not amazed it’s f*cked up. I was really, really gnarly to it for a decade. That’s how things work out.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Do you have a set time for it? Well, we talked about your regular stress, you know. Well, the question is, do you have a regular set time for stress relief? Do you have an activity that you do? How frequently?

Matt Vincent: Yeah. I mean, a handful, right? Like, I get stress relief from walking on a treadmill or training. I get stress relief from boxing, doing any of those type of things. I like moving. I get a stress relief from hanging out in the basement, watching movies with my chick and being super stoned. I get a stress relief from sex. I get a stress relief from having cookies sometimes. I’m into downregulation. Like, for me, what mine, that’s one of the reasons I like cannabis so much is what I want to figure out between being able to do the cold plunge in the evening as well because that is the down regulator, right? Like, that’s a switch to flip to downregulate because of the cold. I want to be as high energy and stress and focus for as many hours a day as I’m efficient. And then I want to hit the brakes as hard as f*cking possible to downregulate and rest so that I can do it again tomorrow. I’m not interested in hanging out on cruise control.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. You know something I want to point out, though, is that you’re choosing those stressors like by you having the authority over that stress that you’re choosing to do it, that you’re setting the parameters for it, it’s not like you’re just throwing yourself into something that you don’t have any control over.

Matt Vincent: What I want to be very clear about is everyone is in control of their stressors. That’s a f*cking mindset. At some point, that was the choice that you made. So, either be okay with it or get the f*ck away from it, and then be okay with your choice. You don’t get both. You don’t get to ever tell me that you don’t get to do X because you had kids. We have a lot of things we don’t understand with modern science but we’re just about f*cking sure how those things get made. That’s a choice. You chose to have kids so figure out how to work it all out or admit they’re a f*cking hassle and figure out how to get around it. Figure out how to make yourself feel differently about the choice you made instead of halfway resenting your kids and pretending you don’t and not taking care of yourself. Go all in. Pick one. Take care of yourself, which will probably make your kids f*ckin like you more and make stress better. Maybe figure out how to do it all together as a team. Maybe figure out there’s an infinite number of strategies. Just start trying them. There isn’t a right or wrong. You know what I mean? But everything’s your choice. You’re overweight? Cool. You made bad decisions for a decade. Let’s fix it. I can’t do anything about what’s in the rearview behind us, so I’m not going to let that dictate any of the time I’m trying to go straight ahead.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I feel that. What’s the most…?

Matt Vincent: I’ve slowly whittled away the stressors I don’t like. Sorry.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. No, no, you were jamming, and I just interrupted. I’m sorry. No, I really like that be okay with it or get out.

Matt Vincent: Those are the only options, man. Look, I don’t believe I’m obligated to do anything. And so, if I’m not obligated to be at places, then it’s a choice. And if it’s a choice, be f*cking present or go home. Don’t be a f*cking baby and ruin it for someone else. Be a f*cking adult who made a decision, who’s in control of their life and not someone who’s being dragged to something, and then they’re going to pout. F*cking baby.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Man, okay, next question. What’s the most stressful part of your day-to-day life?

Matt Vincent: Look, there isn’t a consistent thing like what I have found with whatever this is I do for a living, entrepreneurship or creating or whatever. I am aware of what the stress today is going to bring is there’s going to be problems to solve that I don’t know that are coming. Because if I don’t have problems to solve, we’re not growing. So, I need to be solving problems as much as possible. So, that’s where the stress comes is something is going to come up that’s going to be hard to figure out how do we get around it. Like, oh, normal things that were taking three months to get in for my business to sell and ship. Ship them into me now went to 120 days so we missed the back half of the year but now I have six months’ worth of inventory that I can’t just release all at one time. So, these are problems to solve. Now, how do we change all of our strategy that we had in place for how this should have sold in the fourth quarter? And how do we stretch it over the first two quarters of 2020? You know, how do we do that? You know, how do we solve problems with changes in coffee pricing and wholesaling? What are my options out there? Like, what do other roasters look like? What do we have options for bigger production? What do we have options for pivoting that business and getting more value to our customers? Have we tried this? Have we tried that? That’s where I’m at.

Like, I have to stay. Like, I don’t have any part of the decisions I’m making in most days that are routine. And that’s what I love. I don’t want to f*cking do busywork. I don’t want to fill out an expense report. Yuck. I want to do stuff that actually needs my attention. You know, the 5% and 10% of the parts of my business that after doing it for eight years, I’ve been able to hand off things like content creation, editing, and video work to Brent. And Brent does all of that so much better than I ever did and that frees me up now time to do more sh*t. The content that when I was poorly editing every video was getting in the way of because it still takes 2 hours. So, the second I can hire someone to do a better job of that so that I have more time to problem solve the next thing, the better I am. And so, there’s always going to be these problems that pop up. And so, the better I’m prepared to solve those problems is what I need to be trained to do.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. All right. Last big question. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing men and their well-being right now? Their happiness, their fulfillment, their healthiness, what’s the biggest challenge?

Matt Vincent: Themselves. Themselves, being honest with themselves that they have gotten themselves here, that they need to figure out their direction, that they need to figure out what they actually give a sh*t about. I’m sorry it didn’t fall into place with all the things that we were told would make us happy by the time we were 30 but it was f*cking wrong. It’s not our parents’ fault either. They grew up in a very different time, raised by a generation of people who actually came from scarcity. We don’t have any. Our parents got sold on the whole idea that their existence in comfort for our parents’ generation was an absolute f*cking luxury compared to what they grew up with. So, of course, that’s the American dream they got sold. We all got raised and brought up with the idea that you can be anything you want until we actually started trying to do that and they said, “Oh, that’s f*cking crazy. You shouldn’t take those risks,” you want to do the same thing. Meanwhile, we’re never uncomfortable. We never go out. You know, most people are in climate-controlled times their entire life. They’re living in recycled air. They are never hungry. Most people, the day you meet them is the lightest they’ll ever be, and they will just consistently gain weight until they’re dead. Most people never check it. Most people never say no to themselves. Most people never do any of those type of things.

And I believe that’s where the mistake is, is that you just get caught in that idea that comfortable is somehow some type of success but it isn’t. The happiness and all that comes from struggle. The cool thing that we have now is we get to pick what we want to struggle about. I don’t have to go struggle and get strong because I need to plow the field, yet those people were really happy and fulfilled. You have the opportunity to be fulfilled by whatever dream it is you want to chase but you are entitled to f*cking nothing. Your existence simply because you are here does not entitle you to anything. You get what you work for. You get what you deserve. That’s it. I don’t even know if deserve works. You get what you get.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Man, I’m really struck by just how much conviction is behind everything you’ve been saying. You know, I can tell that you’re not just saying this because you read it like these are deeply rooted beliefs in you.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. This is what works for me. Yeah. I don’t know the technical term of enlightenment is, let’s say, but I think what matters is how do I define that? And for me, feeling enlightened is that I am sovereign in my existence, that I am in 100% control of my machine and my emotions and my desire to go forward. I don’t need a f*cking good song on to choose to do hard things. I don’t need something else to give me permission to go where I want to go or feel how I want to feel. That’s how I feel enlightenment is that I damn sure if I know that I have a certain amount of energy every day to put toward stuff, that’s the battery for the day. There’s no f*cking way I’m giving 1% of it to some guy who drives like an idiot. I don’t give a sh*t. Yeah. He doesn’t get a vote in my life and in my day and on my emotions. Chances are he’s a moron. Chances are I wouldn’t enjoy talking to him. So, why would I give him access to my energy system? [01:11:05] [0.0s]

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Matt Vincent: And people let that sh*t ruin their whole day, dude. What an incredible waste of energy. He doesn’t care. That guy’s in a car doing something else probably being mad about some other sh*t.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Truth. All right, man. Well, that was awesome. Thanks for getting real. Thanks for being vulnerable, you know, talking about all that.

Matt Vincent: Yeah, man. What’s the point if you’re not? Talk about sports games. Chat and talk about how the big game did? I don’t care.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That whole concept is interesting to me but another time.

Matt Vincent: Again, back to emotions, right? I’m not choosing to let how a bunch of 22 to 25-year-olds play a game dictate my emotions for the weekend. These are people that I wouldn’t let f*cking housesit for me. I’m definitely not letting how they played a game determine how I feel today. Do I think they’re incredible athletes doing amazing stuff? Oh, yeah. And I will watch that spectacle all the time. But do I have anything that I give a sh*t tied to how the outcome of that challenge ends up? I don’t. I don’t give a sh*t.

Dean Pohlman: Right. Yeah. Alright, man, so what’s the best way for people to continue to just keep up with you, learn more about your companies, support HVIII? That sounds really weird. I said support HVIII.

Matt Vincent: Our tagline for the brand is, “Spread HVIII. Always party.”

Dean Pohlman: Really? By the way, it’s spelled H-V-I-I-I.

Matt Vincent: Yeah. It’s about finding that awareness of those parts of you that are creating drag and realizing that you want to eliminate them. You are no longer going to accept your own bullsh*t. We fix those things with movement, mindset, and motivation. I want you to build it from within.

Dean Pohlman: This makes much more sense now. I appreciate the explanation.

Matt Vincent: No problem. We’re not doing tiki torches or anything in case anyone… It’s not the brand of HVIII. It’s all focused more this way. It’s very little to do with anyone else.

Dean Pohlman: That makes more sense. Instagram? YouTube?

Matt Vincent: Yeah. Instagram is ihviiimattvincent. YouTube is Matthew Vincent. UMSO Podcast is the name of my show. TheHVIII.com is our website for apparel with HVIII Brand Goods. We also have Habit Coffee. I have some training programs. Daily Destroyer is on Train Heroic. And if anyone is interested in more of the words per se that are coming out of my mouth and mindset stuff, I have a mentorship group of the 1612 and that is The1612.com. And we open enrollment every eight weeks and it’s an ongoing kind of course talking about different mindset and perspective shifts and kind of strategies that I have used over the years and people being a resource for people that don’t have people around them that simply believe you can do stuff.

Dean Pohlman: I love that.

Matt Vincent: It’s so tough for me to hear that people are like, “Man, I just feel like I want to do more and everyone around me thinks that’s crazy.” I’m like, “Oh, well f*ck them. Let’s go find some people that are into doing more that also help you had a problem solve doing more.”

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That group sounds awesome. That sounds, yeah, because not everyone is going to have the same interests. I mean, not everyone right around you is going to have that same interest to go deeper so being able to have that community.

Matt Vincent: You know, the 1612 is in reference to my father passing away and like that’s kind of that. All the really cool things that I want to accomplish in my life at the day I turned 31 need to happen in the next 1,612 weeks. That’s it. Tick tock. Get busy. Whether you choose to accomplish those things that you dream about or not doesn’t change the fact that clock’s running. I’ll happily die a tired man. And so, having that is really what that’s about is I want people to find that drive to give a sh*t every day instead of just going and doing the same routine and not growing and realizing that you’re on autopilot. And that’s how you have that, “What just happened? Twenty years disappeared.” Yeah. I want you to want to build as many days in your life that don’t blend into others.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Alright, man. Well, thank you for all that. Thanks so much for joining me for the Man Flow Yoga Podcast. Matt, I hope we get to continue to keep chatting. Please keep inspiring me.

Matt Vincent: Try to do it again. I hope it works. I’m having a good time with it. I mean, hell, man, don’t get me wrong like half of the sh*t I’m yelling here, I’m yelling at myself.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Hey, I mean, I feel that.

Matt Vincent: I’m aware. I need to hear it, too. I need some repetition to get f*cking drilled in here just like anywhere else.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. True.

Matt Vincent: It’s not one day and done, man. It is a decade of yelling at myself.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Alright, guys, I’m going to wrap it up. Thanks so much for joining me. I’m looking forward to see you on the next podcast, the next video. Take care.



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