Coach Sam Falsafi welcomes Russ Perry to the podcast where they have an in-depth and enlightening conversation about making and keeping commitments and building strong foundations; where they explore the importance of being receptive to signals in one’s life and share their experiences surrounding sobriety and marriage.
Parable #1: The Phone Call
- At the young age of 22, Russ received a phone call that would ultimately change the course of his life. At the time, he would soon be graduating from college and was laying the foundation for his future, which included a commitment to work in Australia. Seven months prior, Russ had met a young woman at a college party, they had had a brief exchange, and had gone their separate ways with no connection or communication.
- While growing up, the topic of scarcity was prevalent in Russ’s single-parent household. This fueled him to make a commitment to always provide for his family, and where the lack of money would never be an issue as it had always been for Russ. That commitment would be coming in to play a lot sooner than he had planned for or anticipated, as the phone call he received was informing him that he was soon to be a father.
What choices have you made that have ultimately altered your initial plans?
Parable #2: A Double Life
- When he first heard the news, Russ felt shocked and was frustrated with himself. But that readily turned into acceptance that this was his new path and life. Since he and the mother both shared custody, half the time Russ did fatherly things and the other half he was a 23-year-old partying bachelor creating the habits of a social drinking lifestyle.
- Russ was in the worst physical shape of his life at the time, and although he had an awesome job at Apple, every time he wanted to see his daughter he had to request a day off, which is what influenced him to start his own business. He had chosen to control his own path but instead ended up building his own prison, which nearly ruined him because of the mistakes made along the way.
What has been the catalyst for change in your life?
Parable #3: Coping Mechanisms
- About eighteen months after the birth of his daughter, Russ met the woman he would eventually marry. He brought his scarcity mindset into the marriage, which at the time, was based mostly on external things. That scarcity mindset and fear of “losing it all” drove him to justify his long working hours and the “I have to do this now so we can have a great life later” mentality.
- When his wife became pregnant, they weren’t equipped for what that all entailed, and at the same time, his business was experiencing the typical ups and downs. Russ’s coping mechanism was working longer hours, drinking more, and finding solace in the arms of another woman. The affair was exposed two months after the birth of their daughter who turned out to be the glue that held their crumbling life together.
Where in your life is Russ’s life mirroring your own?
Parable #4: Signals
- Russ: We condition ourselves to block signals in order to be successful. Substance and alcohol mute these signals even further, blocking the gravity of our decisions. It was through that massive and altering pattern interrupt of exposure that the signal was finally able to get through to me.
- The primary reason for Russ’s sobriety is that he is 100% committed to always being in tune with those signals. Sam: “People do shit because the signals are turned off, then tragedy happens, and because of that tragedy, they now they have super sensitive sensors.”
What do you know you need to remove from your life so that you will be receptive to the signals?
Parable #5: Therapy
- Russ: My wife grew up in a family where you didn’t talk about problems but instead internalized them. In my family, it was the opposite where we talked about everything. During the pregnancy, we distanced ourselves from each other, which ultimately created a wide gap between us.
- In the first conversation with our therapist, we were told, “You have no foundation as a couple at all, no traditions, you each live in your own silos.” It’s always in retrospect, but I’m glad I had the affair because our foundation now is impenetrable. Had this not happened early on it would have happened 20 -30 years down the road. When a skyscraper topples, it’s irreparable; when a little shack crumbles, you can recover from that.
What is the foundation your marriage is built upon?
Parable from the Pit:
“If in marriage, you’re not having an intimate relationship, those are signals. Explore them. If you are not having sex with your wife, it is a signal that there is something wrong; don’t ignore those signals.”
— Coach Sam Falsafi
“I wasn’t in a crisis at the time, but in an upward trajectory hungering for more, as if there was a voice inside of me asking, “Is there something else?” I later recognized it as the actual Voice speaking to me and guiding me to Warrior, to help level me up as a man and create more certainty in my self.”