Dimitar Ivanov: It is definitely a problem that we've had and partly, at least for me it is baggage that we carry from our parents. For most people, it comes from there and also from our shitty educational system that you are graded for everything and you really need to write it in a certain way to get the approval of the teacher. The education system in Bulgaria is so bad that teaches ... a bad way to think to the kids. When you get this, then you really base the way you look at yourself on how people would perceive what you do. The approval that you would get and it's not a good way to go through life.
Of course, then you need to please the internal judge and he's the hardest one to please because you can always compare yourself to something else, to someone else, someone has more, someone has a bigger car. It is easy when you're a kid because then you get grades at school, you have whether you made the school team or something else like this. But when you get older it gets so much more complicated because now you have all these different variables, you have a car, family, house, who got the corner office? Who got the promotion? Oh, the boss came in and he patted to other guy on the back and didn't say anything good about you in your annual review or whatever. It's just a shitty way to go through life and to really look for something. To really care how people would perceive you and to really define yourself by the opinion about other people what you do. Whether it is that I am this successful person, the CEO and this guy that achieves these things can make a lot of money.
They can have, it gets really bad and it can really lead you to bad places. A lot of people with addictions as well. We both know some people that just go and chase women because for them this is a way to get some external approval of them. They base their self-pride and how they feel about themselves as men based on this feedback that you get from other people. It's not really-
Simeon Ivanov: It’s not real.
Dimitar Ivanov: Well it is not real, the first thing and it's also just a shitty way to do it because there's always somebody who's got more, somebody who's doing more. Even if you're, shit the president of Canada, there's some guy that's the president of the United States. There's always somebody who's done more, who has more, even if he doesn't have more money, maybe he benches more or he has a faster car or it can just go crazy. Then you end up living this life just to please others and to just to look good in their eyes. You get this pride that, "Oh man, my neighbor will be so jealous when he sees me with this and I'll be so happy to tell them about my vacation that I went to." It's just bullshit.
Simeon Ivanov: It is. Obviously, the first step to come out of that shit is to realize that you're in it. I think that 99% of people are. Honestly, I'm still struggling on some days with stupid thoughts that drag me into all that crap again. But the first step is obviously being aware that this shit is not real. It's not the way to go, but do you know a practical way, something that you do every day to make sure that you don't go there again?
Dimitar Ivanov: I would say mindfulness helps a lot, just being still and being with your thoughts so you know what they are. When you begin noticing them and really evaluating them for what they are, it helps a lot. Sometimes you would feel really ... It's this thing that you've been feeding your whole life, this monster, that once you start starving it is really painful. You've carried so much your whole life how people think that now you're scared not to ... What would happen if you all of a sudden don't care about that? I would say mindfulness, lot's of inner work, lots of self-reflection, lots of thinking, lots of meditations, and then just start from somewhere.
Simeon Ivanov: For someone who has never done any of this kind of practice, what would you recommend them to start with?
Dimitar Ivanov: Oh meditation is always the best place to start for anything. If you just want to be in a balanced place, meditation is definitely a good place to start. It will help you observe some of your thought patterns and even things that make you uncomfortable. Where is this feeling coming from? Sometimes even the thought about doing something really hurts you. Why is that? Why do you care so much about how this is going to look? Whether people think you're an idiot? Why is this important?
Simeon Ivanov: For people that have never done it and who think that it's only a spiritual thing or that it's a woo-woo bullshit kind of thing, but still they're open-minded and they are willing to try. How would you advise them to try meditation?
Dimitar Ivanov: There is lots of ways to start and everybody knows the proper apps, like Headspace. Headspace is a really good one. There are also so many guided meditations if you go online or on Spotify. There is so many of them, but just find the one that works for you, there are so many different types. That's why I don't even call it meditation, it's really what it is, is mindfulness. Because I know meditation has this strange spiritual thing connected to it. I don't see anything, I'm not doing it for the spiritual aspect of it, it's just training and exercise for my mind. I'm better able to control it, to control my thoughts and I don't do it for any spiritual reason or spiritual practice, I just do it because I feel a lot better. I think everybody who's done it can attest to that because I know the benefits it has for me, for my day, for my family and just for everything that I do. It is really good. Find your way, whatever it is so you can listen to music, you can listen to mantras, you can focus on your breath.
Simeon Ivanov: You can even do a walking meditation if you like.
Dimitar Ivanov: You can do whatever you want, you just need to ...
Simeon Ivanov: To do it.
Dimitar Ivanov: You just need to do something and just to really focus on your inner voice and your thoughts.
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After years of testing, after all experiences as a professional racing driver, an entrepreneur, a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Coach, and simply a human being that wants to grow, I've narrowed down a set of skills that help me win the day, the week, and the game of life.