Ask Me Anything: Brett Kaufman on Mindset, Overcoming Fear & Parenting

Finishing up this fun AMA series to get us into the new year, this episode brings together your questions about my mindset practices and personal life. I’m truly sitting in the Gravity guest’s chair for this one, with eleven different hosts sitting across from me.

We begin with my time management philosophies and where I picked them up (Hint: past Gravity guests). We go granular on this subject, detailing my day-to-day routines, how they’ve changed over the years, and what kinds of things I like to do in my free time – including a list of recommended reading.

From there, we jump into the deep end with some great questions about how I perceive myself, my work, and the world they exist in. I talk about walking the line between appreciation or gratitude and the desire to make things better – before another well-worded inquiry prompts me to discuss the complicated role fear has played in my life.

We finish up with a few popular podcast topics, how I make and keep friends as an adult and how my wife and I have gone about raising three exceptional young adults as we prepare for an empty nest. Perhaps these subjects are so commonly discussed because they don’t have any one real answer or rule book.

I hope my perspective on them, or on anything we’ve covered in these two AMA episodes, has shed some light on something you’ve been struggling with or made you think about something in a way that allows you to better understand yourself or someone in your life. Thanks for listening.

Questions Brett answers:

  • [01:20] Advice on how you prioritize time.
  • [06:28] Tips and programs that help you set and execute goals
  • [08:57] How many hours a day do you work?
  • [10:35] How does your daily routine change throughout the week?
  • [11:30] How do you get into a creative zone?
  • [13:40] Book recommendations?
  • [15:04] Appreciation for the way things are vs. desire to make them better
  • [16:11] Handling fears and self-doubt
  • [18:44] What kind of friendships do you seek/need as an adult?
  • [21:40] Being the best parent you can be to teenagers and young adults
  • [25:57] How do you come to terms or prepare for an empty nest?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • So often, themes from our childhood become the tracks that our adulthood runs on, good or bad. Fear, for me, held a big place in my upbringing. I’ve worked to reframe those feelings as healthy motivators when they make sense to, and know to leave them behind if not. Even train tracks can be torn up and relaid. 
  • Our kids don’t need all of our wisdom. Even more importantly, they don’t want it. Our role should be to get them best prepared to obtain that knowledge, or whatever they decide to fill their brains with, as they go along their own journeys. All we can do is ask questions, support them, love them, and seek to understand. That is more than enough.