Coach Sam Falsafi welcomes Cullen Talley to the podcast in this week’s episode of Parables from the Pit.

Parable #1: Grumpy Men Wearing Masks

  • Cullen: You put out so much energy faking it around people in business and in public that by the time you are around your family, you are exhausted, you let your guard down and it all comes out on them. Nothing’s left in the container except leftover shit for your family.
  • Coach Sam: I used to give myself permission to snap at my family. It was ok for me to be grumpy at home because that was the standard. But not at the airport, in business meetings, with clients, at the gym, or even at Starbucks. You learn to mask like a pro in public, then when you get home you remove that mask and put on the mask of a fuckin liar.

In what ways do you resonate with this conversation?

Parable #2: Searching For Significance

  • Before Warrior, Coach Sam approached the future with the attitude of “I guess we’ll see what happens.” He was conditioned to put work above everything else, and although he had the foundation of love for his family, they came last in his priorities. He was constantly searching for significance inside the business world, rather than within himself.
  • Cullen had chased significance for years. Once he reached the place in life that a few years earlier would have seemed so incredible to him, he looked at his life and knew he was fucked because, despite all of his achievements, he was still miserable.

Where do you place your family in your daily priorities?

Parable #3: Achievers Who Ultimately Lose

  • Coach Sam: When you hear of a guy that says it’s easy for him to make millions of dollars but he finds it hard to connect with his wife and kids, it’s not necessarily that he doesn’t know how to do it, it’s that he’s paralyzed. The cognitive dialogue of the internal energy that has been running all day has left nothing for him, and often he numbs himself with alcohol, tv, or drugs just to find relief.
  • Cullen: Many men are thinking “If I get to this point, I will turn, I will change.” The problem with this is that when they “arrive,” they find that their families are shattered because they have plugged themselves into a bullshit fantasy story that they chased and achieved, but lost everything in the process.

What important relationships do you find yourself sacrificing or putting on hold?

Parable #4: Embrace Power

  • Cullen: I have done many endurance events where there is a level of power and aggression associated with them, which power I had pushed down. On the mountain in Warrior Week,  I recognized that I could call upon this power and then I stepped fully into it.
  • Coach Sam: There is an audience listening to this that are looking for physical significance. But, deep down inside, they’re looking to process the pain that they may or may not even be aware of. They’re running all over the place trying to find a level of significance in these physical events.

Where are you searching for significance?


Parable #5: From Start to Finish

  • Cullen: In preparation for my 15th Ironman, I wanted to see if it was it possible for me to create a result that allowed me to continue to invest in all the areas of my life and not have it get out of whack again like I had done every other time. I had created great results in other races, but I had neglected other things along the way.
  • I showed up whole, divinely connected, grateful for my family and producing in my business. I showed up as a whole man not needing to prove anything to myself. I’m prouder of the man at this finish because I didn’t sacrifice myself, my connection to god and my family, and my production.

How are you showing up in the four areas of your life? [Body, Being, Balance, Business]

Parable from the Pit:

“You will find excuses to justify your patterns and behaviors by washing the guilt with positivity.”

— Coach Sam Falsafi

“With my family I was showing up as the suit of a man – totally checked out, nothing left inside of me, the energy and intention fucking non existent.”

–Cullen Talley



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