Being Present and Reducing Mental Anguish With Ernest Svendsen

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Hello there ladies and gentlemen, welcome to “The Process” podcast … I’m your host Brad Wilson.

Do you think of yourself as a maximizer? The type of human being who wants to squeeze every single ounce of joy, productivity, and love out of your life?

Or maybe you find yourself stuck in a rut in some aspect of your personal or professional life and you’d like to hear weekly wisdom from Olympic gold medalists, worldwide best-selling authors, renowned psychotherapists, and much more.

If so take a second and subscribe to the show because if my guests make as large of an impact on your life as they have on mine you will be using their wisdom on a daily basis.

Speaking of dropping bombs of wisdom, today’s guest on “The Process” is the author of the book “How to End the Stories that Screw Up Your Life” Ernest Svendsen.

“There is only this present moment, and everything else is a simulation in your mind” – Ernest Svendsen

In our brains, we tell many, often contradictory, stories about who it is that we are.

Many of these stories cause us anxiety, anger, frustration, jealousy, and a host of other negative feelings.

But what if they’re not really true? And what if there were an actionable system that allowed us to turn those stories into dust so that we could dramatically reduce our own internal suffering?

Good news, there is!

It’s called “The Work of Byron Katie”, it’s freely available on the interwebz at, and it’s at the core of Ernest’s book.

In our conversation, we discuss:

  • The only capital T truth that Ernest has found in the world.
  • Why vulnerability is often the strongest position we can take.
  • The process and benefits of regular self-inquiry.

Before I “without any further ado”, I just want to take a moment to mention how special this interview was to me. In our interview, Ernest told me he regularly finds himself feeling love for the strangers he meets in his day-to-day life at coffee shops, restaurants, etc.

And I can say that, without a doubt, despite the fact Ernest and I were thousands of miles away from one another and communicating through a computer screen and microphone, I could tangibly feel Ernest’s immense love.

Which to me was powerful and memorable, and it’s my sincerest hope that you feel it too.

Because a little more love makes the world a much better place.

Without any further ado, here’s my conversation with Ernest Svendsen.

To listen to my conversation with Ernest Svendsen on this episode of “The Process” with Brad Wilson click any of the logos below.

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Show notes:

00:26 – Tell me about one of the first times that you felt curious about this exploration of the human mind.
03:12 – Do you remember how you talked him into participating in the experience?
06:07 – Could you tell me where that burning desire to learn about those things led you?
08:32 – Do you have an example of how it impacted somebody’s life early on?
12:00 – Why the topic of presence for your book?
15:32 – How did it feel when you did ask yourself the fundamental question of, “What do I know to be true?”
20:05 – Could you tell me about your exploration into the self?
27:25 – Is there a process of asking yourself these questions that can lead to these realizations that you use in your life?
30:30 – The process of self-inquiry.
35:39 – Is there a process that you use to ask yourself these questions or to have awareness of an assumption that you’re making that may or may not be true?
40:19 – What is one of the most powerful examples of using inquiry in your life?
50:00 – Vulnerability and the transparency that goes with it.
54:11 – What’s a question that you are thinking about a lot lately?
1:04:13 – The simulations we make naturally.
1:10:00 – What’s something related to cognitive performance that you observe people wasting a lot of time on that doesn’t give them a lot in the way of results?
1:13:57 – What does your typical morning routine look like?
1:16:05 – Do you have any books that you re-read and if so, which ones?
1:16:55 – Do you still read fantasy books?
1:17:37 – What wisdom would you impart on a 20-year-old carbon copy of yourself?
1:18:52 – If you could wave a magic wand and solve one problem in the world, what would it be?
1:20:25 – What is a project that you’re currently working on that is near and dear to your heart?
1:23:42 – Have you ever strongly believed something, only to reverse course later on, and if so, what led to that change of belief?
1:27:20 – If you could share one truth with the world, what would that truth be?
1:28:01 – Where can my audience find you on the world wide web?

Additional Resources

Ernest Online

Books Mentioned



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