Burn From Within

How to find meaning in your life and work - Jeremy Lipkowitz

November 13, 2020 Matt Garrow-Fisher Season 1 Episode 23
Burn From Within
How to find meaning in your life and work - Jeremy Lipkowitz
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

I talk to Jeremy Lipkowitz, who is a Search Inside Yourself certified teacher, a leadership coach, a meditation teacher, an emotional intelligence trainer, and founder of Untangling The Mind.

I met Jeremy in Chiang Mai, Thailand and found out that throughout his life, although he consistently achieved his academic and career goals, he felt empty inside and ultimately unhappy. This lead to unhealthy addictions, which Jeremy also openly talks about. This episode is a fascinating discussion about purpose, meaning and also some of the quite big career changes Jeremy has had personally in his life.

What I love about Jeremy is that he has a solid background in science, spending 4 years on his PhD in Genetics, and throughout his quest for happiness, he’s found some game-changing tools for high-achievers and high performers to find meaning and happiness, with or without having to change the job or career you’re in.

In this episode we discuss:

  • From being allergic to spirituality as a scientist to understanding it (as a scientist)
  • Jeremy’s big career changes - from science to trading tea to teaching mindfulness and meditation
  • How to decide whether to stay in your career or not if you feel unfulfilled
  • Practical tips to start uncovering purpose and meaning in your life to feel less empty inside
  • Shifting from a mindset of self interest to one of contribution to others
  • What’s the one thing that makes Jeremy Lipkowitz burn from within? (I love this one!)


[00:00:00] Matt Garrow-Fisher: I was really attracted to one of your recent posts that you made, where you said. I know the times in my life where I've felt the least connected to meaning and purpose are the times I've been most susceptible to distraction, addiction and procrastination.

[00:00:17] Whereas when I'm driven by purpose, I don't need as much to keep me happy and content. And that really resonated with me. and, I'm sure it resonates with a lot of listeners as well. Let's talk a little bit about that. Go straight into that and talk about your background in experiencing that and actually writing that statement.

[00:00:39] Where did that realization come from? And, what changed. 

[00:00:46] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:00:46] Yeah. that really goes right back into the depths of things. So you're really starting off on a fast note. Of course. Yeah. So for me, addiction was a big issue in my life back in when I was in college, especially, and it came out for me, not in the ways that you usually expect it.

[00:01:05] When you hear the word addiction. Usually we think of drugs and alcohol and things like that. And for me, it was much more along the lines of these subtle addictions, behavioral addictions, and things like seeking external validation, perfectionism and being addicted to success. Really. So I was one of these really high achieving students in college setting all the curves in my classes, pleasing all my professors.

[00:01:31] And I was addicted to that success and that achievement. And at the same time, I was actually also addicted to pornography and sex addiction. And this is something I've talked about quite openly. And, I know that there's so many people out there who struggle with this kind of silently because it's such a shameful thing.

[00:01:49] And I had this big realization in college when it really hit me, that I was. I had everything I wanted externally, everything I set my mind to, I achieved and everything I wanted to attain, I could attain and I still wasn't happy. I still wasn't satisfied. And in fact, it was quite the opposite that even though I had all these external successes, material, wealth, friends, lovers, I felt quite miserable inside because I was always wanting more.

[00:02:19] I was always thinking I didn't have enough. And so I had this. Moment of this existential crisis of realizing that I needed to change something drastic. I needed to change something fundamental or else I would live out the rest of my life being miserable. Despite having all these amazing things happen to 

[00:02:38] me.

[00:02:38]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:02:38] And, so you said you needed to change. what did you look for?  what were you searching for in order to change that? And what did you discover as well? 

[00:02:48] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:02:48] Yeah, So I had that existential crisis, this kind of freak out this one day of it was a day of realizing that I was just so full of desire and so full of emptiness at the same time.

[00:03:00] And that those two were actually linked up that the feeling of wanting what you don't have was actually a deep state of suffering, the deep state of, of feeling like you don't have enough. And that started getting me interested in just the. Topic of happiness. I started looking into what is happiness even possible?

[00:03:20]From being allergic to spirituality as a scientist to understanding it (as a scientist) [00:03:20]

[00:03:20] What does it take to be happy? And during that time, I was a very scientific person. So I was studying the sciences in university and all of this spiritual stuff was just too, I was too allergic to it. anything that felt kind of woo or spiritual, I just couldn't touch it because it felt like nonsense to me.

[00:03:41] But eventually I found this book called happiness and it was written by a Buddhist monk who he himself was a neuroscientist, or he was a molecular biologist at some point. And so we had this deep background in the scientific world and the way he explained meditation and mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy was from a very rational point of view.

[00:04:04] And that was when things started making sense. For me, it started making sense around. What was my purpose? How did I find meaning what was the nature of happiness? And also, I really started understanding my own suffering. I started understanding what were the reasons that I was so unhappy in life. What were the reasons that I was feeling so much emptiness inside, despite having everything going well.

[00:04:29] And so that started me on a path of getting into meditation, getting into mindfulness, getting into this kind of secular Buddhist world of understanding the mind and the way the mind works. 

[00:04:42] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:04:42] Okay. I want to revisit that actually, and how that developed this path of, mindfulness and meditation and the spiritual, the spirituality that you've been developing, but, 

[00:04:53]Jeremy's interesting (and quite dramatic) career changes [00:04:53]

[00:04:53]I'm very interested in your career changes in particular.

[00:04:56]and I know that you were very largely based in science. You [00:05:00] studied, I think genetics, college and, so you're a scientist. I also read that you were a T peddler and  Many other professions taught me through a little bit, about some of your career changes and how you've ended up to where you're at now 

[00:05:18] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:05:18]   I feel like I've gone through so many different lives already. I was a scientist and then I started to tea company and lived in Asia for a while and then doing coaching, the big transition for me, so even after I discovered.

[00:05:31] Mindfulness. And I discovered Buddhist philosophy and it completely changed my life. So it turned my life in this 180 degree direction where I finally had a sense of meaning, a sense of deep inner fulfillment, but it wasn't then that I made my career change. So I actually stayed in the sciences for another, maybe four or five years after that.

[00:05:53] Because what I realized is that you don't actually have, I have to make a career change to find deeper meaning or to find deeper fulfillment. And that's one of the things that I'm really passionate about talking about and helping people understand is that you don't necessarily have to make this massive career change.

[00:06:10] You don't have to travel to Bali or to India. You don't have to shave your head or wear any special clothes. And then you can find a deeper sense of meaning. Right where you are doing whatever you're doing. And so for me, I carried that sense of meaning that I was finding through this kind of more spiritual path into my life as a scientist.

[00:06:31] And so after college, I ended up going to graduate school and I was working on a PhD program in genetics at Duke university. And I was there for about four and a half years working on my PhD. But what happened is when I got to Duke, I started. To the under undergraduates and graduate students. And it was mostly a totally selfish way to just keep me consistent in my own practice.

[00:06:58] So I knew that meditation was really important for my wellbeing, my sense of fulfillment. And so I said, okay, how can I stay consistent for myself? And so I started offering this morning meditation, Monday to Friday at 8:00 AM in the Duke chapel. And over time, more and more people started showing up.

[00:07:17]Teaching meditation and mindfulness in a way that made sense to academics - no more woo woo! [00:07:17]

[00:07:17] When I started teaching people, the basics of mindfulness and meditation. And I realized a few things. One was that it actually was so deeply fulfilling for me to teach people about meditation, did teach people how to understand what's going on in their mind, and how to work with some of the kind of emotions and depression, anxiety, and stress, particularly for academics because academics are so stressed.

[00:07:44] And wound up tight because it's such a stressful career. So that was one of the things I learned. But the other thing I learned is that people were telling me that the way I was explaining meditation was finally making sense, that they had always thought of meditation as this woo kind of nonsense, just like I had.

[00:08:01]but the way I explained it was very down to earth, very pragmatic, and scientific. And I realized that there were a lot of people out there like me who needed to hear that meditation could be like this. They needed to hear that you could actually get into spirituality or wellness or whatever you want to call it, and you didn't have to   join any religion or chant, any, funny words, anything like that.

[00:08:27] You could actually just be a normal person. And live a more meaningful life. And so it was about four and a half years into my PhD program that I decided to actually leave my PhD to leave the sciences altogether, because I realized at that point I didn't want to be a scientist. And I was so much more fulfilled by teaching people about how to live more meaningful lives.


[00:08:49] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:08:49] that's quite a brave decision to leave. discipline that you've been studying for many years, and pursue another path, right?  

[00:08:58]How to decide whether to stay in your career or not if you feel unfulfilled [00:08:58]

[00:08:58] what would you say to people who are you are in a career? 

[00:09:02]  But they're not happy. You're not fulfilled. how do you think, with your experience in hindsight, they could deal with being in that moment right now, to approach the next chapter in their life, because you talked earlier about where you don't necessarily need to change your career.

[00:09:20]so maybe we can explore a little bit more of that. Or how do you, how do they know when is the right time to change your career like you did? 

[00:09:30] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:09:30] Yeah, it's a great question. And, to answer, I could answer both of those with one answer, which is developing self-awareness and you kind of emotional intelligence on top of that, developing this awareness of what's going on internally for you.

[00:09:47] Is so critical to living a meaningful life. And it's also critical to understanding when is it appropriate to change your career? And when do you not necessarily need to self-awareness is the foundation [00:10:00] that all of that is built off of. And so for example, a lot of the work around finding deeper fulfillment in your life has nothing to do necessarily with what's going on externally.

[00:10:13] Most of it, I'm just gonna throw out a number, which is totally unscientific of me, but I'd say 90% of that sense of inner fulfillment or meaning comes from how you're relating to what's happening and the mindset you're bringing to what you're doing, the intention behind what you're doing.

[00:10:31] And then maybe another 10% is about what you're actually doing. And so there's so much that you can do in terms of. Getting connected with what are your values in life getting aligned with, what are your intentions? What are your values? How do you want to live? All of this stuff is internal work and it's something that you can bring to every moment.

[00:10:52] It can, it's like, how do you interact with your colleagues? How do you interact with strangers on the street? What's the intention that you bring to the work that you do. You can find so much fulfillment and meaning just from changing these internal aspects of your life. And that starts with this quality of awareness, being able to understand what's going on inside of you, rather than just looking externally.

[00:11:15] For me, that was one of the biggest transitions. When I started learning about mindfulness was realizing that there's this whole inner world going on. so many of us high performers as high achievers,  are so focused externally or so focused on productivity and achievement and success and wealth and status and all these things.

[00:11:37] But we don't realize that the internal world is vast, there's a whole landscape in there. And the mindset that you bring to things changes your experience of your reality. And that's, understanding that on an experiential level is really profound. 

[00:11:55]  Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:11:55] 



[00:11:55]Practical tips to start uncovering purpose and meaning in your life to feel less empty inside [00:11:55]

[00:11:55]Is there any,  practical tips you could start to suggest, for  people to adopt, and start taking action on in order to start.

[00:12:05] Uncovering, purpose and meaning, and actually what is it direction that's going to, move them towards feeling less empty inside. 

[00:12:14] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:12:14] Totally. one of the first things I could say this is, it's just so poignant because it affects so many of us, if you were to ask any one of these people that listens to your podcast or does a guest on your podcast, if you were to ask them, Hey, does money make you happier or does getting that, next yacht make you any happier?

[00:12:37] All of us, no. Theoretically. That? No. Okay. Money's not going to make you any happier and getting more followers on Instagram. Isn't going to make you any happier. Like we know these things are true. But our physiology is so ingrained towards that direction. That even though we might know that it's not going to actually bring us happiness, we're still compelled towards trying to get them.

[00:13:05]And so the way to actually unhook yourself from those kinds of empty pursuits, a lot of times we talk about. One of the symptoms of this is feeling empty inside. Like you're super successful, but you feel empty and it's because we're chasing so many empty pursuits, right? We're chasing things that don't actually fulfill us in the long run.

[00:13:27] So the way to actually unhook yourself from that is by directly seeing clearly that when you achieve these things, it's not leading to happiness. And the way to do that is through mindfulness. So really clearly seeing this is what Vipassana is. but Boston has one of these styles of meditation.

[00:13:46]and it's the main style that I was taught in the main style that I teach as well. And what it means when you break down the Sanskrit term, it just means seeing clearly into the nature of reality and having insight into the nature of things. And when you see that more pleasure, doesn't bring you more happiness.

[00:14:07] UVA. Like when you see it on an experiential level, then it starts to unhook yourself from it naturally. And it's a lot, like the way I describe it as if you put your hand in a fire, your hand will naturally retract. You'll naturally pull your hand back. You don't need to think, Oh, this is really hot.

[00:14:26] It's burning my skin. Maybe I should pull my hand back. It's just the feeling of heat makes you recoil. And it's the same way. If you observe. The way that pleasure feels in the body when you're experiencing it. And you observe the impermanent nature of it and how it's not truly satisfying. if you eat a donut and you observe it really mindfully and you notice like maybe the first second is like intense pleasure.

[00:14:54] And then it's neutral. And then it starts to fade and you start to maybe feel sick. And when you [00:15:00] start to see that on an experiential level, That's when you can start to, pull yourself off of this cycle of addiction. so much of what I talk about is around addiction and being addicted to success, being addicted to all these things.

[00:15:16] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:15:17] Yeah. So, I've done a Vipassana retreat in Thailand and. we've not that much meditation practice before I  threw myself in at the deep end. but one thing I noticed was, no,  You have a lot of time to think, 

[00:15:32]  when you, when all these distractions are away. Do you start to notice. The patterns of your thoughts and, like you said, you're  uncovering your unconscious reality, like your unconscious processes, like what's actually happening.

[00:15:45]it's so rare for. people that are in nine to five, nine to six, eight to eight jobs. and then they come out of work and go to the pub or go to the gym and, society is constantly. Doing stuff all the time. and to recognize, and I recognize this in my life as well, going to the pub, was just crux to, I guess quiet in the real reality it was going on in my mind that, some points in my life, I wasn't happy at some points in my life.

[00:16:18] I was feeling anxious and stressed at work. And, so I go back to Vipassana. It was an, it was a moment. It was an opportunity. 10 day opportunity to, to really just listen to myself, listen to what was, what was the reality. and I wish I'd done it years ago when I was in the corporate world, 10 David customer retreat for.

[00:16:42] People that, busy, have a very busy corporate lives might be quite difficult, especially with families and things like that. What can people do to, to start to find out their unconscious patterns and, th their reality, what's actually really going on in their lives.

[00:17:01]aside from doing a 10 David pastor retreat, 

[00:17:04] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:17:04] Yeah, before I talk about what people can do, I just want to reflect on that. Is it one of the reasons that those silent retreats are so powerful is you just see how powerful the mind is in terms of creating your reality. you can literally be doing nothing, but sitting in a room having a cup of tea and you can either be in a state of complete hell because of what's going on in your mind or complete bliss, based on how you're relating to your experience.

[00:17:32] And it's all in your mind. it's so much of the drama that we experience is created by ourselves, created by having expectations about where we should be, or shouldn't be, or, all these things. It's so great to be, to have the time to go on a retreat like that, but you're right. That most people don't have the space.

[00:17:53]most people don't have the time and the space to go on a retreat like that. There's still so much you can do to start to become aware of these things. So developing a consistent meditation practice, particularly, I'm a huge fan of mindfulness, which is this there's very bare open.

[00:18:10] Awareness of what's happening. There's no goal to mindfulness. It's really about observing what's happening, particularly inside your experience. So what's going on in your body. What's going on in your mind. And this observation, you start to see what's happening in your life. You start to see the way you might be talking to yourself the way you might be beating yourself up, high performers.

[00:18:34] So many of us are. Really vicious, inner critics, right? We're so nasty toward ourselves. when you start to see that, you see how violent you are to yourself, you just naturally start to do less of it, but it requires seeing it first. So that's one thing is, having a consistent, meditation practice or reflection practice, or self-awareness practice of some sort.

[00:19:00] The other big thing that I like to offer it to the people that I work with or in some of the workshops I do is connecting with people that you really admire from that sense of how they're living their life. And for me, this was really important early on is seeing people that were living really good lives.

[00:19:21] They were really fulfilled from within, and you could see it on their face, the way that they live. It wasn't about how successful they were. They had this kind of inner radiance to them and reading about those people. for me, I think of, people like the Dalai Lama or, tick, not Han or, whoever you want to think of people that have that inner glow is really powerful because then you start to.

[00:19:48]your vision of reality starts to crumble. if you keep thinking, Oh, I'll only be happy if I can be a millionaire and have enough money to retire and go sit on a beach and drink a [00:20:00] margarita and you see those people and that they're miserable. And then you see someone who doesn't own anything except for a pair of robes and a begging bowl.

[00:20:09] And they're filled with happiness and contentment. You start to realize Oh, okay. Maybe I'm not doing things right. Maybe I'm focused on the wrong things here. 

[00:20:18] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:20:18] Yeah. I totally relate to that. I was running a NLP retreat in the Himalayas and the Indian Himalayas. And we met a few of the villages out there.

[00:20:29]very poor people. they took us into their houses. very few material possessions. Yeah. I've never seen people with such a smile on their face. and their eyes, like there's something in their eyes. It was just, it was magical. and like you said, like I was comparing.

[00:20:49]corporate London, and New York and people hustling, and no where near the level of, from within happiness that was seeing that. And I totally relate to it because that moment. those series of days that a couple of weeks I was there, that really made me realize, hang on.

[00:21:08] Okay, it, that there's, there must be something else. and it's not material possessions and it is gotta be something from within. And I explored, I think I mentioned I was talking to another guest about this. I was exploring this concept with one of the. Chief monks of, one of the monasteries out there, key monastery in, in the Himalayas and spitty Valley.

[00:21:30] And I said, why are all these villages so happy? what's, what was the secret? what's their purpose in life. And. He gave me many reasons, but one of the ones that really stuck out was, two of them that stuck out was, one was around. They believed in karma and they, and actually because of that, they, There was a massive community spirit and they believed that if they helped out their community, then they'd get it back because karma was the principal.

[00:21:57] And so there was a huge community spirit there. and the other thing was that they vocally practiced, meditation. They were all Buddhist, and they regularly practice. meditation and mindfulness and a lot of the principles of Buddhism. and he said that really did contribute a lot to the happiness.

[00:22:15] There is obviously many other, reasons, but, th the simple act of. of mindfulness of, being aware of your thoughts. for me, like you said, like seeing people, who are lit up inside, that's the game changer and if you can network or it at least get in front of and start being inspired by those people, then perhaps you can start moving to a path where you become more like them.


[00:22:43] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:22:43] Yeah. and now I would also say you don't even have to necessarily network with these people. Like we live in a time where YouTube gives you access to everything you could ever possibly want to learn about or see. And so you can watch videos of these great spiritual leaders from our past. Now, people that are really inspiring or watching documentaries about people living really good lives.

[00:23:06] And I want to make a side note that I think is really important is that it. I'm not promoting. And I think you're not as well that need to give up your possessions in order to have that sense of spark from within what it's that. It's more about dismantling the assumption that so many of us Westerners have that happiness is to be found in success or validation or status or any of these things.

[00:23:33] And realizing that the mental qualities that we cultivate are so much more important for that sense of happiness.  there's so many things you can do to cultivate that. 

[00:23:44]Understanding karma from a scientific point of view [00:23:44]

[00:23:44] Another little side note is the idea of karma. this is so interesting because when I was a scientist, when I was like really hardcore in my science and I heard.

[00:23:54] The word karma. I always assume that it was this hippy dippy bullshit, that it was like, Oh, this is for people, believe in nonsense. And I thought it meant if you told a lie, then a piano is going to drop on your cat or something, like that it meant this magical thing, but the idea of karma can actually be understood very scientifically as well.

[00:24:16] And it's in essence, it's basically what we know about neuroscience and neuroplasticity, which is that what you do, and even what you think about changes the structure and function of your brain. So the intention that you do something with. Actually has a karmic effect in the sense that if you were to give a donation and your intention behind doing it is B is a greedy intention.

[00:24:41] Like you want people to think that you're a compassionate person and that's why you're giving a donation. That intention is going to solidify. You're going to be wiring those neural pathways. But if your intention is to give, because you care about the person. And that's the reason you're offering this donation, then that is [00:25:00] getting solidified.

[00:25:00] And that is the concept of karma, which is that even what you do and the intention behind what you do is actually creating your future because you are solidifying different mental qualities. 

[00:25:13]  Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:25:13] So karma   it literally changes your brain. and depending on  What your intention is on in every action that you take, that ultimately affects your life path.

[00:25:23] It could change your career. it could do many things. that's so interesting. I love that. 

[00:25:28] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:25:28] Yeah. The way that I like to think that for me, the law of karma is basically the law of cause and effect. That what you do. everything that exists currently is because of the causes and conditions that came before it, and everything that you do in the present creates the causes and conditions for everything that comes later.

[00:25:47] And for example, the karma that comes from doing something out of generosity is that you get to experience the joy of genuine giving. And that is the good karma that comes when you are generous. it's not if you give somebody $10, then three years from now, something magical is going to happen and somebody is going to give you that $10 back.

[00:26:09] It might, but that's not the main point. The main point is the effect of happiness that you get to experience. When you act out of one of these wholesome mind States. 

[00:26:19] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:26:19] Let's talk a little bit about, the clients that you've worked with and, some of the transformations or changes that they've had in their life as a result of,  the work that you've done around emotional intelligence, mindfulness, et cetera.

[00:26:36]what kind of, results have you seen and just observations in general, in terms of how this affects people. Cause a lot of people if they haven't started mindfulness or they haven't explored meaning, a lot of people want, they want results or want an outcome so could you give me some context there in terms of what you've seen and how it's affected people?

[00:26:57] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:26:57] Yeah. it's one of the reasons I love working with high performers is because. there's nothing wrong with wanting to get results and wanting to achieve things. And I think a lot of times in the spiritual communities, things like success or achievement or goals can get a bad rap. And we can think that any sort of goal oriented thing is bad because it's like there's expectation.

[00:27:21] But I think that's not true. There's actually, they're very healthy, wholesome goals we can have in a wholesome desires that we can have. So for example, If you have the desire to change the world or to end world hunger or to bring justice to people who deserve, justice, there's there's so many wholesome things you can set out to do.

[00:27:43] And. what I love is helping these high performers connect with a more meaningful goal. And so what I like to call them as mindful high performance, these are people who want to use mindfulness because they see that they can make a bigger impact on the world. They can create a better world. If they're able to get their, get their crap sorted, there's so much crap going on in the mind and.

[00:28:09] If you really care about making a difference in the world, it's helpful to get your mind. Right.  And so if your ultimate goal is to achieve more and to do more and to make a bigger impact, then cultivating this kind of mental hygiene is not just like a luxury it's critical. That you can't actually make a difference in the world.

[00:28:32] If your mind is your biggest source of self-sabotage, if you're always doubting yourself or judging others or getting lost in addictions and in all these things like we talked about at the beginning, like when you're coming from a place of meaning or purpose, You're less likely to get sucked into addictions that just pull you away into apathy or boredom or distraction.

[00:28:58] And so if you care about making a difference than focusing on your mind is really important. 

[00:29:02] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:29:02]  just related to that, Jeremy, One thing that Springs to mind, particularly with high achievers is, a lot of them are, good or bad that they live from self-interest and maybe ego as well.


[00:29:15]Shifting from self interest to contribution to others [00:29:15]

[00:29:15] this concept of. maybe being selfish and then shifting to, contributing to others and making an impact and a difference in the world there's some people that I've been there as well. who think, I don't know if I want to run a charity. I don't know if I want to, help out the poor.

[00:29:35]I want to buy more cars. I want to, all of that kind of stuff. So yeah. is there a way to start shifting from, being selfish to making more of an impact? 

[00:29:45]Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:29:45] Yeah, first I would say that understanding that we all start from selfish, that's how our bodies evolved.

[00:29:52]our physiology is made to protect ourselves. We want to seek out what's pleasurable and we want to [00:30:00] avoid what's unpleasant. And we want to care for ourselves because that's how we needed to be in order to survive. So first understanding that it doesn't mean you're a bad person. If you're selfish, It means you're a person.

[00:30:12]And so the question becomes not necessarily how to shift that or coerce that, but really saying okay, to each person, what do you truly want in life and what you find from people when you start to do this kind of reflection, is that what everyone wants on the deeper level is happiness.

[00:30:33] His real inner fulfillment. And that can come about in many ways, but you have to start with this understanding of what do you want behind what you think you want? a lot of people think Oh, I want, I want a six figure income. I want a big house. And it's okay, that's fine. Why do you want that?

[00:30:53] And if you keep digging deeper, You realize that what you want is security, stability, love, fulfillment, meaning. And so it's more about what's the best way to get you what you truly want, which is that life of deep, meaning deep, inner fulfillment. And so that's what I help people do. It's not about blaming yourself for being selfish.

[00:31:15] Like you can want nice things. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's more important to connect with what do you really want? And that's the way I work. Is it letting go of shaming? shaming just doesn't work. So if you feel shame, like if you go to a spiritual community and they make you feel bad because you're a selfish person, it's not going to be helpful.

[00:31:36] You have to learn how to accept yourself and start from there. 

[00:31:40]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:31:40] so something has popped up in my mind, related to addiction and, addiction is, you could consider it like a selfish action.  you're using behavior  for self  gratifying purposes.

[00:31:53]and this concept you just mentioned about, going deeper and finding out what's the purpose behind that. What's the purpose behind that? Let's talk about, purpose and addiction. You, openly said that you were addicted to porn and sex. and there's many people that are listening that are addicted to that.

[00:32:12] And many other things, alcohol. many other things. is this concept of, finding purpose behind your actions  can you do that for addiction as well? And how can you shift away from that? 

[00:32:24]  Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:32:24] Yeah. it's so interesting because   we say in the addiction field that the substance is never the problem.

[00:32:32] It's, it's the attempt to solve the problem. So if you're addicted to alcohol, it's not the alcohol that's causing it. It's you reaching out to alcohol is you trying to fix some underlying, emotional struggle that you're having. You're trying to escape from something trying to numb out from something.

[00:32:51] And so understanding that behind all of these addictions, no matter what the addiction is, whether it's. Drugs or alcohol or behaviors or gambling or video games. It all comes from this desire to be safe. It all comes from this desire to protect yourself and to feel good. The  problem is that it's just, it gets out of control.

[00:33:13] And it overtakes the system where you don't know how to turn it off. And so having that understanding that, Oh, this comes from a healthy place inside. It comes from a place of me wanting to protect myself or maybe needing to protect myself when things were too intense. understanding that it has that wholesome root can help you find the self-compassion and the self-acceptance to then begin to work with it in a healthy way.

[00:33:40] Because if you're judging yourself about it and feeling this sense of shame, you're not going to be able to really work with it. 

[00:33:47]Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:33:47]   before I ask my last question, Jeremy, where can people find you? And how can they find out more about, delving into purpose and meaning in their life?

[00:34:00] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:34:00] Yeah. 

[00:34:01] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:34:01] 


[00:34:01] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:34:01]  So I have an upcoming, webinars. It's going to be a free masterclass online. It's called how to design your meaningful life. And it really addresses this exact question of if you're a high performer, if you're a six figure business owner, If you're someone that has all this external success, but you feel empty inside.

[00:34:19] How do you start to begin to design a meaningful life that will lead you to that state of inner fulfillment? So you can find that online. If you go to my website, Jeremy liquids.com, and just look for the link that says free webinar. that's a great place to start. And then beyond that, In January, I'll be launching a group coaching program called beyond success.

[00:34:41] And this is for people who are ready to move beyond success to get out of this kind of productivity trap and take action on building that fulfilling life. That's awesome. 

[00:34:54] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:34:54] Amazing. I mean, it's so useful for so many people, who have that empty feeling inside of them. They've been [00:35:00] chasing something and not really knowing why, but why they've been doing what they've been doing for many years, maybe their whole life.

[00:35:06]I'll put all the links to those courses, the master classes, in the show notes for this episode. so Jeremy,  

[00:35:13]What's the one thing that has made the biggest difference for you to Burn From Within? [00:35:13]

[00:35:13] My last question, I call people that live with passion, purpose, and balance. That they're burning from within. 

[00:35:21] what would you say is a one thing Jeremy that's, enabled you to live with passion, purpose, and balance and burn from within, 

[00:35:30]Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:35:30] so often it comes down to kindness and kindness for yourself and kindness for others and understanding that kindness is not a weakness.

[00:35:40] It's a strength, when you can be compassionate towards yourself. A lot of people think that it's a weakness if you're kind, or if you're compassionate, but realizing that gives you a strength. And when you start asking the question, who am I here to fight for? who am I here to protect?

[00:35:58] That gives you a, like a source of strength and energy and vitality. That is it's an unmatched. And so if that's the one question you could ask yourself is who can I take care of? Who can I help? And that will go a long way. 

[00:36:16] Matt Garrow-Fisher: [00:36:16]  Wow. I wasn't expecting that  I'm going to, I'm going to reflect on that.

[00:36:20] I think, I instantly relate to, all the, the mothers and fathers, when you have a child, suddenly you have a purpose in life and there's so much needing. Behind having children. and,  there's an underlying kind of root factor, pattern that of well, okay.

[00:36:37] what else can I care for? Who else can I, care for and serve? and it doesn't necessarily have to be. With children, there's a whole world out there, that you can, find purpose for. and I'm sure, people  we'll uncover more of that in your upcoming masterclass and  group coaching in January.

[00:36:55] So thank you. I loved it. I loved it. It was great conversation. around purpose around career change around addiction, about your own life experience and, yeah. Thoroughly enjoyed it today. 

[00:37:08] Jeremy Lipkowitz: [00:37:08] Thank you. Yeah. So did I awesome.


From being allergic to spirituality as a scientist to understanding it (as a scientist)
Jeremy's interesting (and quite dramatic) career changes
Teaching meditation and mindfulness in a way that made sense to academics - no more woo woo!
How to decide whether to stay in your career or not if you feel unfulfilled
Practical tips to start uncovering purpose and meaning in your life to feel less empty inside
Understanding karma from a scientific point of view
Shifting from self interest to contribution to others
What's the one thing that has made the biggest difference for you to Burn From Within?