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John Jolliffe, LMFT, Psychotherapy and Successful Relationships | RUHM Podcast

Tim Smith

Tim Smith’s name is synonymous with the coastal Orange County real estate market, where his well-established reputation and unmatched market knowled...

Tim Smith’s name is synonymous with the coastal Orange County real estate market, where his well-established reputation and unmatched market knowled...

Jan 22 68 minutes read

John Jolliffe, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, joins RUHM Podcast to share the findings from his 96,000 therapeutic consults over a 40-year career. 

John and Tim discuss the 6 Principles of Growing Relationships, illegitimate human beings, resolving false conclusions, psychopaths, and the disruptive alternative thinking that has guided John’s life training.

In this conversation about relational challenges, John and Tim reveal their personal therapeutic breakthroughs and digest the question, “What if the life you’re living is not the life that wants to live in you.”

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For those who'd like to read the episode.

Tim Smith  00:00

I'm Tim Smith of The Smith Group here at CineNewport presenting our podcast RUHM where we're here to highlight and expose the amazing people, properties, places and stories of Southern California to the world. Today, I'm so thrilled to have my therapist as a guest, John Jolliffe. Can't wait to really chop it up with him. Thank you so much for joining us today.

John Jolliffe  00:30

Thank you, Tim, for having me. 

Tim Smith  00:31

So little bit of a start..

John Jolliffe  00:33

I'm impressed with your studio. 

Tim Smith  00:34

Oh, thank you. 

John Jolliffe  00:35

Very cool. 

Tim Smith  00:36

We try to we have a standard, we try to meet all RED cameras, you know, so. So I don't know if I want to dive as much in the history. But I do want to get just a little background on you. 

John Jolliffe  00:47


Tim Smith  00:48

And I think the things that I would really be interested in number one kind of your history in therapy and some of the things you've done, and why you want to do it.

John Jolliffe  01:00

Yeah, just start there. But, you know, you probably will never see initials after my name. 

Tim Smith  01:08

Even though you have them 

John Jolliffe  01:09

I have plenty of them. But the that's my education. But it wasn't my training. My training came from life. By confronting life, dealing with life, overcoming life, you know, those are your real credential. I think anybody, that's what makes you, you and makes me me. So I've had a number of things I've overcome, and if you want to get into those details, but it was just, that's where your experience and training comes. That's where the depth comes from. 

Tim Smith  01:42

So when you were a kid, did you actually think, hey, I want this is what I want to do, I want to face my own, are telling me how that unraveled. 

John Jolliffe  01:52

And well, I was confronted very early in life, because I was orphaned as a child and had to make everything up, you know, not having a real family. I didn't watch my father and then imitate him or you know, those kinds of things. So I had to kind of make things up. I'd watch people.

Tim Smith  02:11

Oh, give us a little bit more. So when you were orphaned, Mom and Dad, tell us how that happened. 

John Jolliffe  02:15

So my..It's a very, it's a beautiful story. Interestingly enough. I don't know how far back I should go. But the part that is related directly to me is that my mother was kidnapped when she was three years old, from her family. My grandmother had married into a wealthy family. So when the grandfather, my grandfather died, the family came in and kicked out the girls, so they couldn't be heirs. And so they were put in reformed schools and things like that when Pearl Harbor happened (they're all Hawaiian, I didn't know I was born). The story that raised me is I was a child isn't born to a woman who was 18, French, in Paris military installation. My father was a major in the Air Force and died in combat. That's the story that raised me.

Tim Smith  03:11

That was a story that you were told. 

John Jolliffe  03:13

That was a story I was told. It's not uncommon for adoptive parents to want to cloud the reality so you can't find your roots. Well, I found my roots and my grandmother's 100% Hawaiian. And anyway, I just got back from Hawaii. We had 150 family reunion in Hawaii from all the islands. And my, my aunt Mapuana, she had just passed, so we had a big luau. So anyway, so my mother was kidnapped when she was three years old. And she was put in a reformed school in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor happened. She came over to Hollywood, to be raised by governess, she became an actress and a model; had a Hollywood romance with my father, who was a major actor in the golden era of Hollywood. And they got pregnant and had me but my father, when he found out she was pregnant, abandoned her and abandoned me. My mother, not having any family kept me for three months and sent me to an orphanage afterwards, which was taken out three or four times, different names, changes and things like that. 

Tim Smith  04:27

Do you have do you have recollection of that?

John Jolliffe  04:30

I have a recollection that three months of age, when she was she took me to the orphanage and I never knew that was what it was, but probably four or five times a year I would have this dream, this repetitive dream. I'm in a dark room with a woman being held rocked and wet. And so when I did a birth search, back when I was about 32 years old, I asked. I said, "Was I ever breastfed? Did I ever have a contact with my mother?" And they said, "The only evidence is that your mother brought you in at three months of age, and you were and your mother were left in a room over several hours. And she never returned. So what is my mother doing in that room?

Tim Smith  05:17


John Jolliffe  05:18

She is holding me, rocking me and crying because she's going to leave me - the only blood and flesh she's ever seen in her life, because she was taken from her mother at three years old. And she's giving me to an uncertain future. And she's crying. She's grieving. Now, I don't know if it was exactly that way. But I didn't have the dreams since 1982, ever again.

Tim Smith  05:45

When you figured it out.

John Jolliffe  05:46

When I understood that, but I was three months of age when I was in that room. And what that tells you is..

Tim Smith  05:53

So it wasn't a dream, it was a memory.

John Jolliffe  05:56

That's right. It was a memory. Yeah. And it occurred to me when I get sad, or when I got depressed, I would have this memory, wow, of grief, my mother's grief. So it taught me two things. You got to listen to grant dreams, they may be invitations. And second thing is you can inherit emotions. I couldn't be grieving at three months of age. But my mother was, and I inherited that. So when I got sad throughout my life, I would remember her grief, thinking it was my grief. And I would have this dream.

Tim Smith  06:32

So what happened when you were 32, and you figured it out, that it like just the actual becoming aware of it, dissipated it? 

John Jolliffe  06:41

Well, the number one need in mankind, in my opinion, I've traveled extensively. That's one of the other trainings I had - I lived abroad and live in villages and work with shaman and witch doctors and all kinds of things working for travel bureaus. One of the things that occurred to me is that you're influenced by a lot of sources. And you you get influenced by things that happen to you. And a lot of my travels helped me understand my life helped me understand life in general. And that sometimes when you're so confident that you got it figured out, you really don't. There's one story I'll tell you very quickly. So I'm sitting in a hut, and I'm telling people look, I played football, Vietnam, I'm a big strapping young guy, and I want to help. So I want to cut wood and I want to hunt. I'm going to do something just put me to work. 

Tim Smith  06:41

You're in a village, what village are you in?

John Jolliffe  07:47

West Irian Jaya, up in New Guinea. We're studying cannibals. Okay. So I've saying, "Put me to work". I'm waiting for the cameraman to take their pictures. I'm just bored to death. And so one day the chief comes by with my native speaker, and he asked me to come out, he says, point to the future. 

Tim Smith  08:09

Point to the future.

John Jolliffe  08:11

I pointed this way. He said point to the past. I pointed that way. And he mumbled in his native language, he walked off, and I never saw him again. And I was never asked to help. My native speaker came by..

Tim Smith  08:25

So you're basically shunned because you got teh asnwer wrong.

John Jolliffe  08:28

So my native speaker comes by a couple of days later, I said, "You know, I felt like I was put through a test, and I didn't pass." And he said, "Yeah, you didn't pass and you were tested." I sais, "So what's so complicated with that being the future, and that being the past?" He says, "We can see our past through music, art, dance. So our past is right in front of us. We can't see our future. So it's that way. And the chief thought, if you don't know your directions, how could you be helpful? And what that taught me was, if you're highly confident about something, be careful. And so that became the start of my disruption. So when people say, well, glass is half full glass is half empty. I'm always looking for the third alternative. The disruptive alternative. There may be another way of looking at this. And so that was a lot of the training that went into not the education - the formal education - but the training. So when I'm in now in formal education with this train, because I had the train before the formal education to grad school. I'm in there being disruptive. Yeah, people are saying, well, this is what depression is. I'm going, "Ah, I'm not so sure." Alocohol is a real big problem. I said, "No, it's not a problem. It's a solution to a problem that creates more problems than it solves." And it was so focused on sobriety. You talk somebody who's been in alcoholism, you have been sober five years, thirty five years. I'll go, "Great. What was the problem?" "Well, I was not managing alcohol, I was wasn't sober." No, no no. "What was the problem for which alcohol was the solution?" 

Tim Smith  10:14


John Jolliffe  10:16

And nobody really focuses on that. 

Tim Smith  10:18

So you're really focusing on the symptom not the problem. Exactly. Because one of the things we've talked about with drug and alcohol.. it's not.. you're taking these things not to, or you mean you're drinking or doing drugs to feel better, but really, it's not to feel better. It's to feel different than your natural state. And if you're doing it all the time, you would prefer to be in that state than your natural state.

John Jolliffe  10:44

And how you react or respond. Respond being the better option. And question is, "What's wrong with this way things are that you have to rush off to feel different?" Escape or medicate. And everybody has a different escape mechanism. Escape capsule. Gambling could be sex, could be shopping, could be sports - it could be anything. But anyway, overcoming some of these things, and being challenged, and having these experiences in life, you know, mine are mine, and you've got yours, and everybody has them. And sometimes we call them trauma. But it's not trauma that shapes your life. It's what you make of trauma, how you interpret the inconveniences and trauma and things that happen to you. So in 19--, up until 1970, in America, very few people know this truth. I did a birth search, so I know. Up until 1970 in America, there was such a thing as illegitimate children, and illegitimate children become illegitimate adults or illegitimate human beings, right. So there was such a thing in the law in the US, that you could be an illegitimate human being up until when they changed it in 1970; 1985 in the UK; 2015 In France. Illigitamate human beings cannot inherit, they can't be baptized in church, there's a number of things that can't happen. So I was teased that I was unwanted, and I was illegitimate. Right? I put together somehow that my biological parents, my father, my biological father was married to another woman, getting an 18 year old girl pregnant, and then abandoning her and the child. Now, if there's anything that's illegitimate, it's that relationship relationship, not the child. What did I do? But they want to prove, and do you think I got that? Right? I was legitimate, their relationship was illegitimate. You think I got that right?

Tim Smith  12:54

Not at first.

John Jolliffe  12:55

No. But now?

Tim Smith  12:56

Yeah, yeah. 

John Jolliffe  12:58

You know, who I see in my office every day? Who, people who've got their story wrong?

Tim Smith  13:02

Well, so let's go to my story. Because when I came to you, and we've done a lot of work, I'm the youngest of five. I grew up in a Mormon household. After the third, my dad, my mom had an IUD, which is 99% accurate, that you're not going to pregnant. Had my brother, which was a bit of a shit show for my dad. And then the IUD was done again, before me, and then I came. And I know now through digging, because there's been this inherent question I've been asking myself, "Am I wanted?" Right? And we've done a lot of work on it. And I don't know, if in the womb or after, I just had this sense that I wasn't, so I've gone out in my life as a strategy to prove that I was wanted by asking the question, "Am I wanted?" to everybody around me. And let me tell you, that brings problems.

John Jolliffe  14:05

And there's many ways you can do it.

Tim Smith  14:07

Totally. And so with your question, am I legitimate? If you're illegitimate, you're asking yourself the wrong question. You're asking people to validate that you're legitimate when it was your parent's relationship that wasn't legitimate.

John Jolliffe  14:21

That's exactly right. If I had come with a conclusion that I was I was illegitimate, or yeah, not important, I would be trying to legitimize myself in everything I did. Watches, rings, money, planes, boats, everything, bragging, all that stuff, to legitimize myself and every conversation,

Tim Smith  14:48

But that's a tough process to go from - I mean, hasn't there been temptations and challenges where you have tried to show that you were legitimate before you found out that it will wasn't actually you it was your parents relationship that was?

John Jolliffe  15:03

Yes. Well, you have to catch yourself. That's the whole training in consciousness, is catch yourself rather than be caught by somebody else.

Tim Smith  15:11

Okay, stop for a second because that is a big, big hook. Catch yourself. So somebody else isn't catching you.

John Jolliffe  15:20

That's right. And, because of the community and the culture, we live in - bragging, and in talking about what you have, and all these things and envy and all that is the big issue. It happens to all of us. So the idea is when you start down that conversational road, catch yourself before you get caught or you embarrass yourself with all this, "you know who I am and where I've been?" And that's right. Yeah.

Tim Smith  15:48

Dealing with that trauma, right? The trauma, which creates behaviors that aren't in your best interest.

John Jolliffe  15:55

So what happens is that things happen to all of us. You have a story, I have a story. We all have stories. We don't have enough life experience or wisdom to know how to properly conclude our own stories, but conclude we do anyway. And those conclusions, I really false conclusions. I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough. All these things. I'm illegitimate. I'm not wanted.

Tim Smith  16:22

To speak of that. So you remember when we had my dad in your office, years ago. Until I sat and listened because I actually told him the story, I felt unwanted. Like, that was a real thing that I felt like to my core, right? And there was a million things that I used as evidence to support my story, right or wrong. But when I heard him explaining, you know, he had three kids, he was stressed financially, his mom and dad had passed, he didn't feel up to the task, not that he didn't want me or want my brother. He just didn't feel up to the task. And he was explaining. And as he was explaining, as much understanding as I got, kind of changed my perspective on that thing. And you remember, at the end, I think this kind of - and it was maybe a little unfair to my dad, because I brought him in there to work through some of my conclusions and change them - but I remember at the end, you know, we got up and you gave me a hug, which in reality, I just wanted a hug from him. And after we talked about it, and then we hugged and we embraced for a long time and shed some tears, and he explained further. And it really helped me to get through it. Not that I still am not tempted with that question, right? But now, as I ask the question, as I think about it, it's like, okay, even though I have these feelings, which I can't trust, what I really need to understand is, am I wanted? Do I want me? And that's the question. Which I am. I am.

John Jolliffe  16:28

And I would probably debate, I would say those probably aren't feelings. Those are probably thoughts.  Am I wanted.  See, life is a series of questions, and we have to get answered. We have to get them answered. But after you've gotten them answered, how many times do you have to repeat the question?

Tim Smith  18:04

Right! Absolutely.   Right.

John Jolliffe  18:20

 But here's the problem. If you're smart enough, and you and I are smart enough, if we're smart enough to know what the right question is, unfortunately, we're not smart enough to know who is the right person to ask. When you ask the right question of the wrong person and get the right answer. "Yes, I adore you. I want to I want you to be my agent. I want you to be my friend." Yeah. When you get to ask the right question of the wrong people and you get the right answer. It doesn't help. Because it's the wrong person. The question is, who is the right person?

Tim Smith  18:57

So who is the right person?

John Jolliffe  18:58

We oftentimes think it's ourselves, but in a lot of cases, your question you need to ask if the person is your father. Yeah, and here's what mistake we all make. And your father made that mistake that day. He wanted to explain. It's not his explaining, that's going to do the healing. It's you're telling him everything that you bottled up, and your worry and your questions and all that. And if he would listen, and empathize and sympathize with that, and give you a hug, that's where the healing comes in - not in his explanation.

Tim Smith  19:37

That's what happened after and the funny thing is, as I actually felt, I don't know if there's an emotional - a psychological - I felt like this release because I'm like, "Oh my gosh". You were just a young man, trying to do your best without, you know, having parents and other things the support that you needed. Like, the understanding gave me a release of that whole..

John Jolliffe  20:03

That's right. And the question is, did you get enough relief? Did you get enough said, do you get enough revealed? Sometimes we stopped short, because we make them uncomfortable or they're uncomfortable, and therefore we stop short. But we do get some relief, because we got more out than we ever have before. Yeah, the question is, is there more to come? Right? I always think there is.

Tim Smith  20:27

Yeah. There's always deeper. So let me ask you a question. As we're, as we're starting this. So one of the things I've found in therapy, as embarrassed as I am to say it and I think we've been working together for 10 years, and it's been I mean, through the group or whatever, you know, at least bi-monthly, a lot of times weekly, and more often.

John Jolliffe  20:49

Can I interrupt you? 

Tim Smith  20:50


John Jolliffe  20:51

Okay. Embarrassment is when something is going to be revealed before you're ready. Well, so. And so since you are revealing it, its not embarrassment.

Tim Smith  21:01

Well, so now, but like one of the questions I want to ask is, in therapy, first of all, people go for a lot of different reasons - they have been caught or they have been forced to go. But half the time I've realized in the first few years of my therapy, I wasn't even beyond being honest with you. Yeah. I wasn't like.. you always ask us a question that I think is probably one of the greatest questions you can anybody. I don't want you to tell me what you want me to know. Tell me the things you don't want me to know, that you're like mortified for any human being to figure out, right. And so as a therapist, why do you want to do it? First of all, there's so few people that actually want to want therapy, number one, and second when they go half the time. They're not even being honest with themselves or you.

John Jolliffe  21:48

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, that's..So why do I want to do it?

Tim Smith  21:55


John Jolliffe  21:56

I love puzzles. Okay. I love questions. I love the deeper things in life. It's very hard for me to go to a cocktail party. It's all about interviews. Hey, what's going on? And then boo.

Tim Smith  22:10

Where do you live? What do you do? What do you do?

John Jolliffe  22:12

Yeah, what kind of car? And I want to have that, you know, deeper kind of conversation. :Hey, have you ever thought that the life you're living is not the life that wants to live in you?" 

Tim Smith  22:24

Whoa, whoa whoa slow down. Have you ever thought that life you're living is not the life that wants it to live in? Like that would be an interesting question for people to really digest.

John Jolliffe  22:35

And we would have two minutes on that. And somebody would come and say, Hey, you want to drink? You want to know what's going on? Have you been to the Rams game? 

Tim Smith  22:42

Yeah, shots shots!

John Jolliffe  22:45

Yeah, so it's hard for me to go to cocktail parties.

Tim Smith  22:49

But your desire to continue is because people are like puzzles. 

John Jolliffe  22:53

They're like puzzles. And when, when people really understand that therapy is so.. it's like the best massage in the world. It's like the best relief in the world, like the deep sigh. You know? But when they realize the real benefits of therapy, that's the remuneration, seeing it, and hearing it in people's lives, putting the lights together, putting their stories together, what I said about drawing conclusions before you have enough life experience and wisdom to properly conclude but conclude we do anyway. 

Tim Smith  23:27


John Jolliffe  23:28

Those false conclusions live in our adult life as confusion, right? People are confused about a lot of things. And the reason the way you resolve confusion is to say, okay, now with your life experience and your wisdom, let's go back and properly conclude. And we go back and properly conclude. Are you aware that this comment you make "I'm not good enough" is not a complete sentence. To boil water to boil water? To get me to Mars? I mean, what is it? Yeah, it's an incomplete sentence. And are you taking somebody's fall for them? Maybe they weren't competent enough, maybe they weren't skilled enough to raise you to discipline you. To whatever. The people who grow up with this idea that I'm difficult, I was a difficult child is - an inherited conclusion. Your mother or your father was saying, "You're difficult for me". Right? And we took it personally and said, "We're illegitimate". We're a difficult child. Yes. And what we need to do with that confusion now in our adult life, we need to go back and reconclude that.

Tim Smith  24:36

It's almost like sunlight is the ultimate disinfectant. And unless you go back there, and you really look at it, at all aspects, you know, then you're not going to be able to change the story that you're telling yourself. Yep. Or the conclusion that you're making. So for all those people that won't go to therapy, like what do you say to like, I don't want to go to a therapist therapist or quacks this and that because Now, being in therapy sighs sometimes I'll talk about and people like, "Oh you got to therapy?" I'm like "Oh, is that a bad thing?"

John Jolliffe  25:05

So one of the things that you say quite frequently, that's really, I mean, it's become a total different perspective for me is: There are no relationship problems. There are only personal problems that become evidence, what evidence or that come about when you're in a relationship. Talk a little bit more about that. I think that's really changing. And I think a lot more people are embracing it. They may not know which therapist because you know, sometimes we seek out therapists who are compromised. They're not going to ask the hard questions. They're not going to be active. I mean, look how active I am. Right, right. Yeah, some therapists try to create a very safe place, and they don't say anything. Right. One the most important lines on my intake form is, "Have you ever had therapy and with who?" Yeah, okay. Because now I see. Oh, it's Dr. George. Okay. Dr. George, when's the last time so doc George? Oh, a month ago, two weeks ago, years ago? Well, why don't you go back to Dr. George, why are you here seeing me? Yeah. Sounds like I'm trying to give patients away. Yeah. No, I want to know, well, I didn't go back to him because he talks too much. Well, I don't want to be that guy. Or he didn't say anything. You sat there and said, Hey, well I don't want to be that guy. So you're teaching me how to be your therapist. Right? By answering that question: Why didn't you go back to that guy, or gal or whoever. So I've been a therapist for 40 years. I was interviewed on television recently, and they said how many consults is that? I said, I have no idea. Yeah, sent me back during commercial to the greenroom to do the math. I came up with 96,000 consults. Okay. I felt like a Farmers Insurance commercial, "I know a thing or two, because I've heard a thing or two." So in all those 96,000 consults in 40 years, I've never seen  a marital problem.

Tim Smith  27:02

Never, in 96,000 consults, no marital problems.

John Jolliffe  27:07

Never seen a marital problem. I've seen relationship problems. And I oftentimes after assessing their marital relationship, will say, "Oh, I think we're going to have to terminate your relationship in order to save your marriage". Because it's your relationship that is creating the problem. And what do people typically do? They terminate their marriage, rather than terminate their relationship and find a new way of relating. It's all about relationships, and many people need individual therapy, before you can really do marriage counseling. They're not ready for marriage counseling.

Tim Smith  27:46

Right? Because then it just becomes like, you're a mediator. Well, he did this, she did that. And you're like, Okay, I don't really want to hear the story. It's the dynamic. That's important. Like what creates this, right?

John Jolliffe  27:58

It's always the dynamic, you can chase stories. Today, we burned the popcorn, tomorrow we kicked the dog, third day we cheated on our spouse. All different stories, but they're linked to a dynamic that may be very common. 

Tim Smith  28:11


John Jolliffe  28:13

Well, so that leads me to another question. Because I think about this, like, is there a perfect fit? Is there a twin flame? Is there you know, their side because you like everybody has this idea. And I think marriage, maybe the institution of marriage has become obsolete to some extent, because we have the wrong KPIs or metrics like what just like what constitutes a great marriage, peace, happiness, whatever. But in reality, it seems like the institution of marriage is the perfect environment for people to deal with their personal issues within a relationship, otherwise they wouldn't. If you don't have a committed relationship, and that's what marriage really entails. A committed relationship. Painful and complicated to get out of. Yes. Costs you more to get out of a marriage and get in. Okay, right. If you don't have that kind of committed relationship, the work of developing yourself the work of maturing yourself wouldn't take place. If they were all girlfriends and boyfriends, we would just part when things got rough.

Tim Smith  29:29


John Jolliffe  29:30

Well, all of a sudden you have an estate, you have children, you have a commitment, all these things. You're going to stay. Some people don't stay to work it out, they just stay because they can't afford to leave or they're, you know, whatever. But without the institution, I don't think we would grow as people. But let's take a look. Now, if you look at housing, since you're in the housing market. If you look at housing when you're In your 20s, and you buy your first house, it's probably what you can afford and it's probably got two bedrooms at the most. One bathroom, two bedrooms, boom. Now, you can't stay in that house for the duration of your lifetime, because all of a sudden, you got more people, you'd have children, you got a dog, you got two dogs, whatever's happening. Yeah, you got toys.

Tim Smith  30:24

Life events.

John Jolliffe  30:24

So what you do is you terminate your residency and you move.

Tim Smith  30:29


John Jolliffe  30:32

What marriage is, is you don't terminate the marriage and flip marriages like we flip houses. So what we have to do with our marriage, kind of like we do with our houses, we add another room. Right? You gotta add another skill. I've been married now 52 years. If you want to stay in a relationship, you got to develop new understandings, new perspectives, new life, when two become one, that doesn't mean I become you. You see, and the idea that marriage is my best friend, my sex partner and my confidant, and my golf buddy, and all this - marriages are never designed to be the end-all and be-all. You've got to have friends, you've got to have life apart from each other. And that's what makes life work. But you got to add skills. You can't - with the skill set you started at 20 years old - your life has become so much more complicated. Your marriage is so much more complicated. You've got to add skills. And if you think of therapy, or counselors, coaches - they're teachers. They are skills, they do skill sets. The difference between counseling and therapy is a big difference. People don't know it, they use the words interchangeably. A counselor is a teacher, and you're the student. And if you'll be quiet, and let me teach you, I can show you some new things. Now as a therapist, it's just the opposite. You're the teacher, and I'm the student. And if I can listen and ask good questions, and you can get to talking about your life, then I can shift over to counseling and teach you things. So the best is both a therapist and a counselor.

Tim Smith  32:21

Only if I'm being honest.

John Jolliffe  32:22

Only if you're being honest. 

Tim Smith  32:24

Right. Yeah, that's interesting.

John Jolliffe  32:26

Or I'll teach you things you don't need.

Tim Smith  32:28

Right? If you're just to keep it going. Right. So are you married to your soulmate? Or your twin flame?

John Jolliffe  32:36

I would say not. I would say she's made me a better person. I trust that I've made her a better person. I think I have. But I'm not sure there are soulmates. I think there's compatible. I think some people are more compatible than others. Yeah, my wife and I have some incompatibilities. We have some very strong compatibilities and the strong compatibilities keep us together where the other incompatibilities - I like golf shoes and se doesn't like golf - that's not a big incompatibility. But trust, security, has my back. Faithful, you know, willing to do whatever we have to do to make it work. Those are strong compatibilities. So this idea of soulmate..

Tim Smith  33:32

Yeah, it's like, I mean, as much as it works in the movies, it's not - I'm not sure that I actually could see these are soulmates because

John Jolliffe  33:41

...I don't think we know what a soul is let alone find a mate for it.

Tim Smith  33:45

And nothing is as it seems. It's funny how you see all these families and couples. Oh, when you're like, okay, that's not what it seems. Okay, so going back to my question, which I was, I think that I lost that we were talking about soulmates, we're talking about, oh, this is why I didn't ask. One of the things I've noticed through my group therapy, my own therapy, when I'm being really honest, and I've really taken that on, is there's nothing that I could say that would shock you. Almost, it's almost totally opposite. Like I think I'll give an example. If I told you that I killed somebody, what would you be your response? 

John Jolliffe  34:23

Did you know them? 

Tim Smith  34:26

But you would be curious, and you would start asking me and I think there's this misconception like there's right and wrong and there's so many things in relationships that people deem right and wrong and this and that. You almost look at things as okay, you did this, but what was the reason is possible? Yeah, it wasn't it's not bad. It's not good.

John Jolliffe  34:46

So when I graduated in, in psychology in my grad school, I wanted the toughest internship I could get. So I went to federal prison for five years. 

Tim Smith  34:58

How old are you at the time? 

John Jolliffe  35:04

Uh, twenty-eight.

Tim Smith  35:05

Married? Single?

John Jolliffe  35:07

Married. One child.

Tim Smith  35:08

So you went to federal prison as an internship?

John Jolliffe  35:12

An internship, and I spent 10 hours a day.

Tim Smith  35:14

And who were your clientele?

John Jolliffe  35:17

I wanted to specialize in psychopaths. Serial killers. So all the famous serial killers. I'm not going to mention them because somebody might be watching. Yeah. So all the famous serial killers were friends of mine. I spent time at three o'clock in the morning sitting closer than I am with you. Yeah. And if you saw Hannibal Lecter, the FBI told Jodie Foster, don't get too close. Don't get too close to the glass. You don't want Hannibal to get inside your head. So my job was to get inside their head, not let them get inside my head. Yeah. And it was very, very helpful what I learned. And one of the things I learned was the difference between a narcissist and a psychopath, a narcissist has no empathy.

Tim Smith  36:04

A narcissist has no empathy. They may have sympathy.

John Jolliffe  36:10

They may have sympathy, but not empathy. And we can talk about that in a minute. But a narcissist says no empathy. A psychopath has no conscience. So therefore, somebody without a conscience has a decided advantage in business over somebody who does.

Tim Smith  36:29

Because they're willing to do anything.

John Jolliffe  36:31

Willing to do anything. Take advantage of you at all levels.

Tim Smith  36:35

Coudl you actually could you actually discern the difference? When you were talking to him?

John Jolliffe  36:42

Talking to the psychopath?

Tim Smith  36:44

Could you actually just you could discern like, okay, there's no conscience here.

John Jolliffe  36:48

Yeah. Yeah. And I wrote an article called The Dark Side of the Moon, in which I helped analyze psychopaths so people can pick them up. One in every 25 People in America are psychopaths. Psychopath, sociopath, antisocial personalit..we call conmen. Only 2% 3% wind up in prison. The others are people we're married to or partnering with and all that - they just have no conscience. Yeah. So you you say to your guy, you employed. Hey, I've got a big presentation. I mean, it's a killer deal. Big presentation on Monday. I need this power presentation and a portfolio. Please get it to me. Monday comes around and go where's the portfolio? Where's powerpoint presentation? "Oh, this Monday? I thought you meant next Monday." And you go, immature, procrastinator, sociopath? No conscience? Didn't care. Something you did or didn't do? Or you make more money and they did or something like that got into them and they got your back - with no conscience. I mean, we're not to worry about these people. 50% of what makes a sociopath psychopath, con man - antisocial personality happens at conception. Okay? The other 50% has to do with nurture and how you raised them. So you can be raised like a Bernie Madoff. He kills you by taking your pension. Or it can be a Charlie Manson, who takes your life.

Tim Smith  38:36

So going back this marriage thing, I've often heard that you married the parent that wounded you the most? So, how do you feel about that?

John Jolliffe  38:50

I'm not sure that it's an automatic kind of thing, but the problem is that we oftentimes don't identify. We don't - either we're so used to being treated a certain way that we don't identify they're treating me the same way that I don't like because it's so familiar. Or we married because it is familiar. Right? 

Tim Smith  39:14

And maybe not the right thing. It's just familiar. 

John Jolliffe  39:18

Oh, yeah. It's familiar. 

Tim Smith  39:19

They feel like home even though home might have been a shitshow. 

John Jolliffe  39:22

Yeah, see, I don't get - because I've been around so many criminals, and so many serious criminals - I don't ever get afraid of criminals. We had a big thing you and I in the neighborhood? In which they evacuated all the houses. And I got on my chair and sat on my porch. I wasn't leaving. And then you and I helped solve the problem. I was calling you and yeah, walking up to the front lines.

Tim Smith  39:52

I want for the listeners - one of the things about why we're doing this podcast is because in the last from 2010 to 2002, about 10 to 12% of the buyers that we worked with, or bought our properties were from out of state. Now, with COVID, and how things have shifted from like a paradigm of how people want to live, it's over 50%. And one of the things I use that story as an example a car jacker comes ends up in a house across the street from the house that we happen to have listed. And we actually helped solve the crime. Helped find him, which was interesting, but the one thing I say to people is like, "When I was driving to my neighborhood, there were three helicopters, and probably every squad car in Orange County. And I mean, for a 22 year old carjacker.

John Jolliffe  40:38

It was Costa Mesa, it was Newport, and there were helicopters and drones and dogs and SWAT. And there was all the stuff for one 24-year-old kid. And because I had been involved in forensic psychology, I know this kid was not a shooter.

Tim Smith  40:52

Yeah. But it's interesting. That's a reason to move to Orange County. It's we're going to take care of crime.

John Jolliffe  41:00

Well, the other thing is interesting. I got to talk to you about this after the filming. Is the gal right next door got robbed. Right after that. Really? No one knows. There's cameras on the wall.

Tim Smith  41:11

Interesting. So one of the reasons I ask that question is because I find myself.. there's something to be said for like, as we have these questions that we're asking the wrong people - we're also attracted in relationships, friendships, marriages, whatever, to people that help address the issues that we never resolved as children. And I find myself in relationships with clients, sometimes putting more efforts into the relationships that I know aren't the best. But it's just a natural thing because it's like, I'm still working with that question, right? And so it becomes complicated, but it's, it's almost as if we continue, you know, the, the state the statement, "Whatever you resist will only persist". Like, until you address it, you're just going to be have more invitations in relationships to address the issues that you have and take care of them. Otherwise, you're destined to repeat them, right? 

John Jolliffe  42:18

I don't think it's always kind of a negative thing, for instance, because I overcame my childhood issue, and because I was able to figure out how to be a father and figure out how to be a husband figure out how to be a man, by watching and emulating other people I admired. I have a real sensitivity to people who are struggling. So homeless people, people who are just so confused, because of false conclusions, I have a real burden for them because I I said, "If I can do it, I can help you do it." You know, so that's part of my attraction. And, because, you know, your issue with validation, maybe in terms of the Father issue, you might go out of your way for clients, and help them because you want to be acknowledged or appreciated for the excellent work you do. 

Tim Smith  43:17

Right? Yeah, for sure. 

John Jolliffe  43:19

It's not like a negative thing. But it is the thing. And you know, where it comes from, and I know where mine comes from, but we do it in the service of others.

Tim Smith  43:28

Yeah, for sure. One of the things that I've really, like, the last year, growing up the way that I did, I don't know that I was very good at having a voice in relationships, and actually telling people what I needed, or what I wanted. And so I've used a lot of strategies in my marriage that have not been effective. Right? And, and I'll give you an example. It's like, well I need this. Right? Which never comes across as good negotiation. And quoting, you know, Jared, from our group, one of the things that he's so articulate about, he's like, "Well, why don't you do this? What if this is what you want? Why don't you romance, why don't you do this?" And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, it's not just about me, having the courage to say what I want, it's actually nurturing and loving another person to help them see, so that they want to do it.

John Jolliffe  44:27

Remember, that was a little girl you married. She was a little girl at one time, and you were a little boy. And we need to see these little kids. They have needs. Now we are very sensitive to our children. And we know they have needs and we have sympathy and we give them a little space. Okay? We don't give adults space. But those adults are little girls and little boys. And if you could understand that they may be confused or hurting or insecure and whatever, we can give them a little grace. Give them a little pass. Okay? So in coming down here, I thought if I were going to give some principles to everybody listening that I think would be 'take it to the bank' - It's 96,000 tries and it works. Maybe I could share that with you?

Tim Smith  45:21

I would love it. Okay, but do we want to give the pearls before the swine? Are they ready for it?

John Jolliffe  45:29

You just lost a lot of customers. Okay. Somebody asked me, "Do you have a piece of advice you could give everybody in the world?" I said, sure. Yeah. Seek to understand more than try to be understood. You've heard me say that. Seek to understand more than try to be understood. That is a critical principle if you want to have a growing relationship. The idea of 'shut up and listen, wait till I finish' never works.

Tim Smith  46:01

Give me like a real example because I totally understand what you mean. But practicing that is a little more difficult, because in a relationship, most of the time we're seeking to understand just long enough so that we can throw what we want interject in that.

John Jolliffe  46:17

Yeah, the first thing you know, so you're talking, talking, and obviously you hear something and bam, you're in the conversation, interjecting and erupting and all that stuff, defending and re explaining. Your father was explaining. You were saying I feel this and I thought I wasn't wanted and all that. And he quickly interrupted. He didn't know that. And you didn't maybe pick it up. He quickly interrupted to explain.

Tim Smith  46:47

Which is our natural. 

John Jolliffe  46:48

That's the natural thing. I'm seeking to understand until I feel like I'm either being misrepresented, you're being unfair, or I want you to understand. It's all about you shut up and listen to me now. 

Tim Smith  47:01

Yes, for sure. 

John Jolliffe  47:02

And we get that feeling. Oh, okay. But we feel some relief because we got a little more out than we did before.

Tim Smith  47:08

But wouldn't it be fair to say like the thing that you say if a baby throws up on you, has diarrhea, you can't take a personal. So part of the seeking to understand before understood is nothing's personal about what they're saying. Unless you make it personal, right?

John Jolliffe  47:23

Well, you could shift from, you know, your father wants to understand what's going on. What? Why have you felt? Why are you in therapy? Why did you want me to come? He's seeking to understand. And so you're giving him information. If he interrupts and gets defensive, or wants to explain, he said, his soft spot, a vulnerable spot, and he wants you not to misunderstand. So he's interrupting you. You could shift back now to seeking to understand him and his dynamic.

Tim Smith  47:56

Whic is what happened after, because when we understood - the embrace was, it was like, Oh, my gosh, we're totally just made our own conclusions to something that you didn't even mean.

John Jolliffe  48:08

That IUD was not about, you know, it was about me. I couldn't handle any more kids - financially, emotionally, physically. It had nothing to do with you. I didn't even have you in mind. But you took it a different way. You were not old enough to reach a conclusion, but you reached a conclusion and it stayed in your life as confusion. But the point is, seek to understand, and then if they interject, or interrupt or take away, then you shift to seeking to understand what's going on and try to find the dynamic that going on.

Tim Smith  48:49

Because there's always time to explain, but you just want to listen and hear.

John Jolliffe  48:52

And if you model understanding, hopefully they reciprocate. Shut up and listen to me. Let me finish, I'm not finished. That never works and they'll reciprocate.

Tim Smith  49:05

So this is a real skillset that takes a lot of practice, because in those moments when they strike a nerve, it's like, how do you just be like, this isn't about me. I'm understanding. Okay, that's number one. I love it. Number two.

John Jolliffe  49:23

And you're really not interrupting me, you're interrupting yourself, because you're not going to hear what I was going to say. You just interrupted yourself, not me. Instead of taking it personally, you interrupted me. You didn't let me finish. He couldn't take anymore.

Tim Smith  49:37

That's like the Four Agreements book I love where it's like nothing's personal. And what people say says more about them than it ever would about you. You have to be really aware.

John Jolliffe  49:48

I had a talk with that guy and took issue with some of the things. Okay, first point: Seek to understand more than be understood. Secondly: Focus on understanding the needs of your partner and commit to meeting them.

Tim Smith  50:05

John Jolliffe  50:08

Focus on understanding the needs of your partner and commitment to doing them.

Tim Smith  50:13

Well, I was an expert for the first seven years of my marriage in hearing what she wanted and doing the things that she didn't want. Because now as I've, as I've gotten more aware, it's like, hey, if they're asking for something, and it's reasonable, give it to them. Right? And like, then you don't have to do the 90% of the other stuff that you're trying to do to solve their needs when they're telling you what their needs are. So focus on the needs of your partner. 

John Jolliffe  50:43

Yep and commit to meeting them. Don't just know them, you gotta commit to meeting them.  Be aware

Tim Smith  50:48

Well, it's funny, because this goes back to a story. I don't even know why. Like, you know how sometimes you think you're so aware, and you understand everything, like that confidence thing? I went on a golf trip with one of my mentors, great guy, we're gonna have him on the show. But when when we were flying up, he's like, telling the story about 'fill the tank'. "Fill the tank. You know why my relationships great is because I spend the time, like, not just identifying the needs of my wife, but meeting those needs and she lets me do all these things." Because I'm so focused, and so I came back with this whole thing, like, 'fill the tank' and the morning I came back, I was actually in my wife's car, and it was empty. So I literally went and filled the tank. So it's like this metaphor, fill the tank. And then the second piece to it as I was filling the tank, I look in there's a little sensor that says her tire pressure was empty on the back left side. So don't just fill the tank, fill the tires too. Yeah, be aware - which I've lacked. I've lacked awareness.

John Jolliffe  51:09

Am I intererupting a confession? But that will have more... there's something wrong with all of us. And by saying wrong, I mean, blind spots, imiturities, you know, mistakes that we make. And I put the number about 10%. Yeah, it could be 3%. But it's 10% or less, there's something wrong with everybody, including myself, right? If we would focus on that percentage, and make progress on that percentage, it would look like 100% improvement to somebody.

Tim Smith  52:27

Like an exponential improvement.

John Jolliffe  52:29

You fill the tank and fill the tire, you get huge credit for a half hour or 20 minute deal. It'll last forever. Yeah.

Tim Smith  52:41

So that's number two, what's number three?

John Jolliffe  52:43

Number three: Support the relationship when it cannot support you. Support the relationship when it's not supporting you.

Tim Smith  52:54

I'm guilty of this.

John Jolliffe  52:56

We all are.

Tim Smith  52:59

Because like, there's life events. We lost my mother-in-law a year and a half ago and it's like, these are the times to support the relationship where understanding, clear understanding, maybe it's not going to support you even though it has, right?

John Jolliffe  53:14

Hey, I went to the funeral, I got some flowers, I gave your -- don't I get any credit? Support the relationship when it's not able to support you.

Tim Smith  53:31

Right, big one.

John Jolliffe  53:34

Yeah. Fourth: Understand how you contribute to every problem in the relationship. Understand how you contribute, in some way, to every problem you're complaining about in the relationship.

Tim Smith  53:53

This is about being really honest with yourself. 

John Jolliffe  53:56

Catching yourself.

Tim Smith  53:57

Really honest, because there's so many things that we do to undermine our relationship that if we were really honest with ourselves, we know exactly what they are, but we do them anyway. So understanding your contribution in the challenges in a relationship.

John Jolliffe  54:17

And it will make so much of a difference - much more difference - if you admit to what you believe your mistake is, rather than be confronted with your mistake.

Tim Smith  54:30

Yeah, catch yourself.

John Jolliffe  54:31

Catch yourself and then confess yourself.

Tim Smith  54:35

For sure. And that does something to somebody too, when you're like - whatever the challenge or the conflict you're in - when you can own your contribution, even if your contribution wasn't as big as their's, but it's going to open it up where it's like, "Okay". For apologies or grace, it's the vulnerability. Meet them with vulnerability versus the alternative.

John Jolliffe  54:58

So I was taking out the trash from my bathroom. I got distracted and I set it down in the living room. Okay? Instead of just go directly out the back door, but I got distracted. So then I kind of woke up in another part of the house and said, "Where's the trash?" I confronted my wife. I go, "What do you do with my trash? Did you hide it somewhere? Where? Where's the trash?" And she goes, "I didn't know anything about the trash." I go, "Yes, you probably took it and you forgot." Accusing her of all this stuff on these small little things. Right? And then she goes, in the living room andn she says, "Is this a trash can?" I go, "Well, how did he get in there?" And she goes, "Well, you brought it in". And so I took the trash out and while I'm taking the trash out, I'm thinking, "You know, the right thing to do would be to apologize." And there's two ways to apologize. I could say, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. My bad." Or I could say, "I was wrong." And "I was wrong" is a much deeper apology than "I'm sorry". Hey, sorry! I was wrong in accusing you of that. 

Tim Smith  56:18

Yeah. Owning it. Did you do that? 

John Jolliffe  56:21

Yeah, I did. And I'm still talking about it. Okay, so: Understand how you contribute to every problem in your relationship. The fifth one is: Seek a second opinion, sooner rather than later. Counseling, therapy, coaching - somebody you really trust, a mentor. Seek a second opinion. I'm going through this and I think this is my contribution. I don't know I'm handling this right. This is what's going on.. Help me find the thread, the dynamics. 

Tim Smith  56:55

You got to be careful with that, though. 

John Jolliffe  56:58

In terms of who.

Tim Smith  56:59

Who you ask.

John Jolliffe  57:00

Oh, yeah.

Tim Smith  57:00

Because the one of the things that I've found is..

John Jolliffe  57:05

You're talking now not about confidentiality, you're talking about bad advice.

Tim Smith  57:09

Right. Because there's something about when people are telling their story more than once. They're usually not looking for an answer, they're looking for validation that they're right. Right? And so it's really, you have to be careful about who you are choosing to get advisement from, right? So but that's a huge thing, a second opinion of somebody that will actually give you good advice, or advice that you may not like.

John Jolliffe  57:37

Well, and people are afraid, they don't want to lose your friendship. So if you ask a good friend, they may say, "Well, I think you were right all along. She was wrong." Yeah, you got to be careful. The sixth one is: Keep the sacred date night, between you and your partner every week, not whenever you can get it. But every week, and here's what will happen. And this is the why I do date night. And that is - I think we've talked about it - there's four weeks in a month, generally. You take two and your wife takes two, you plan the first one she plans the second, you plan the third, she plans the fourth. You don't tell her where she's gonna go. You only tell her what to wear. So if there's tickets or reservations or whatever, it doesn't have to be expensive, could be a walk on the beach, but you don't want her walking in high heels, so you tell her what to wear, but not where you're going. And that way she knows as busy as we all are, there's somebody planning a special night, a sacred night for the two of us. That makes makes a lot. And then next week's her turn and it's not about "can you top this?" Now, you need to keep the same night for one month, you need to keep the same day or night or whatever it is. And here's what will happen: Things will come up. If you have a Thursday at six o'clock, things are going to come up Thursday, at six o'clock, that never came up before. But what you do is, you say to whoever it comes up for - we have a meeting we have this - you go, "I have a sacred date night with my wife. I can't make it. Can we reshuffle that? Reschedule that? I'm sorry, I can't cancel this." "It's only a date with your wife. You can cancel it, move it." Well, then we get in the habit of moving around until we don't do it anymore. The second thing that's going to happen is they're going to tell somebody. "I told Tim we have a very important meeting he told me at a sacred date night and he had to cancel the meeting." Can you imagine that? Everybody's gonna say particularly that guy's wife is going "Well, why aren't we doing it? That is amazing." So you'll get the compliment for that but keep a sacred date night. You're not to double date, you're not to talk about challenges or problems in your relationship, you're not to talk about taxes or the kids. You're just to go out and try to rekindle that time.

Tim Smith  1:00:12

So it really takes some some communication and conversation, "We're going to agree to this and we're gonna make it fun." It's not going to be a time where we sit and talk about the kids or money issues or other stuff. It's like, we're going out there, just to spend some time together. And then you have to start exercising those muscles to have fun with each other, which is like key.

John Jolliffe  1:00:32

Or get some skills.  Go and get a therapist and get some skills and go to that date night with more skills. 

Tim Smith  1:00:38

Yeah, for sure. For sure. So is that all six?

John Jolliffe  1:00:43

That's all six.

Tim Smith  1:00:44

So seeing is this, we're gonna launch this in January, I kind of feel like this is right, in the New Year's resolution. Because it really is. And I think that there's these hooks, for all the listeners are unbelievable. So I thank you for being here. But before we end, I want to talk a little bit - because this is about Orange County. Why Orange County? Why in all the places that you've lived? Why did you decide to settle down here, and you've been in the same house for 30 years. So why Newport Beach?

John Jolliffe  1:01:18

I'm not a flipper. Fifty-two years of marriage and thirty years in a house. I find it a safe place. I find people are highly educated, so there's the potential that we can love learning. And if we can turn that learning on, in terms of internally, we can learn about ourselves. People who have that affinity towards education and improvement may improve their own lives, not just their homes, and their careers. Improve their lives. You know, people gave up on me very early in my life and I don't give up on people. And I don't want people to give up on each other. So I have kind of a commitment like that, and I see that we can afford in Orange County to divorce, financially. But we can't afford emotionally, to flip our relationships and our marriages, the way we do other things. And so I think, that same capacity, to learn and to be educated and to be well-off, why don't we turn that inside and become more well-off internally? 

Tim Smith  1:02:35

Well, it's funny that you say that from a divorce standpoint, because you look at the divorce statistics, a first marriage, I believe it's around 50%. And then as you get second, third, fourth, the probability goes up. So really, kind of what that tells me is, no matter how bad issues are in a marriage, if you don't address them here, they're gonna become - in the next one and the next one - so why not just do the work now?

John Jolliffe  1:03:04

Well, and what happens is don't seem, but you see, and I'm, I'm kind of opposed to this 50 or 52%, because nothing is the same every year since 1945. But, too many. What happens is we don't acknowledge the part I played, I co-created an environment that we're now terminating. I co-created that. If I don't acknowledge the part and role I play in the marriage, I'm going to take that brokenness into the next relationship and it's not going to last very long either. And that's what happens. Statistically, it says: For every five years, you're married, you need to take one year off, in order to understand your part, what happened and things like that. So if you're married 25 years, that's five years. Well, therapy can shorten that time it takes, but you have to know what happened. If something cataclysmic like a breakup of a family or breakup of a marriage, gotta understand that. And typically, we don't understand enough of it and we move on.

Tim Smith  1:04:13

Well going back to me. So, you know, we've had challenges in our relationship. And when it's become challenging in the past, I haven't always made the best decisions, right? And I mean, almost from a sabotage standpoint, you make it worse with your decisions. But now that I've changed, I'm changing, and it's a constant change for growth - and I've changed kind of the metrics on my marriage - I've actually look at my marriage and my partner in Amber as someone that's the best person for me that you could ever put on paper - For me to become my best dad, best worker, best husband. And as I'm starting to realize your number two point, identify the needs and meet those needs. I'm getting a side of Amber that is my dream girl. Right?

John Jolliffe  1:05:12

Who does she think she is to behave the way she does and treat you the way you she does sometimes in your life? Who does she think she is? The answer is: My teacher. She's teaching you things about your intolerance, your impatience, blind spot, an immaturity. And you're better off for it if you embrace it, rather than fight it.

Tim Smith  1:05:35

Which is like, but but as I go through it, it's just amazing how time and therapy and just personal growth, like it just changes your perspective and your conclusions. And I'm like, by design of what's going on, it's like the perfect partnership for me.

John Jolliffe  1:05:54

Right. And you've heard this said, that "progress, personal growth is one step back and two steps forward".  I don't believe that. I believe personal growth is three steps back, and one step forward.

Tim Smith  1:06:13

Okay. So would you say that you think people give up too easily?

John Jolliffe  1:06:17

I think they don't understand when they give up. I don't think they understand giving up. I think they disguise it as something else. Yeah. But people do quit. They quit on themselves, they quit on each other. 

Tim Smith  1:06:31

What's interesting about going through it, and maybe I'm talking too much, but it's like, I realized the challenges that I brought to the marriage. They're challenging for her, but really what I'm doing is betraying myself. And I think like, if you are true and honorable and honest to yourself, number one, it allows you to be best for that other person.

John Jolliffe  1:06:54

Yes. But I don't think you can betray yourself unless you know yourself. So what you're doing is you're acting out these immaturities. Okay, you're acting out until we properly catch herself and know what to do with what we understand or catch. Before, catching yourself - what am I going to do with it? I'll just hate myself or criticize myself. That's not a good way. You know, when you're two years old, or maybe six months old, everything you find you put in your mouth. That's a way of processing. Well, there's other ways that we process that are just as ineffective. Today, we don't put it in our mouth. But where do we put it? When you catch yourself or you catch somebody else? Where do you put it? You don't put it in your mouth. What do you put in? Maybe the subterranean pool of all this undigested life experience? And then it comes cropping up and cropping up in another time. So we have to learn how to process life. And we don't know how to process life.

Tim Smith  1:07:57

Well, so one of the things I want to say - I really appreciate our relationship, and I would just have to go on camera to say, "If you're not --and I've been this way, in every aspect of my life, business coaches, real estate coaches -- if you're not finding a therapist, and really being honest about personal growth, you're really missing out. You're missing out on so many things that you just -- it's almost like, you know, the definition of sacrifice. If you look at the Latin word, it's to give up something, but to get something better. There is a utopia if you're willing to really go and dig deep. And I know that this is a process and this is my first decade in, but I have a lot more decades. So we got to keep this going. 

John Jolliffe  1:08:45

So what is the life you're living is not the life that wants to live in you? You're finding that. You're questioning that. Is there more to my life? Have I reached? Am I at the pinnacle? Is there any more to uncover? In one of the chapters I wrote one of my books I wrote, "Knowing is really uncovering what we've known all along."

Tim Smith  1:09:14

Yeah, it's becoming aware of it. 

John Jolliffe  1:09:16

I's becoming aware of what we've known all along. That's why when we go "Aha!" We have these deja vu's. It's because we've known it already, but it's been clouded. Burried.

Tim Smith  1:09:28

So in ending and we're gonna do this quarterly I can already tell - if you're willing. In ending, if you had a billboard or is there a quote or a motto that you live by that comes to mind?

John Jolliffe  1:09:50

Several come to mind but nothing is so profound. A motto..

Tim Smith  1:09:58

Or a quote. If you have had to put something on a billboard, what would it say?

John Jolliffe  1:10:03

That's a great question. 

Tim Smith  1:10:05

You can get back to me on it.

John Jolliffe  1:10:07

How about next quarter?

Tim Smith  1:10:07

Next quarter. Any books that you would suggest?

John Jolliffe  1:10:12

I was lecturing in China and a guy came up to me and said, "After hearing you talk, I think this is a book you need to have." I said, "Well, I'm gonna be going through China. I can't be carrying books." He says, "My notes are in the margin." I thought that's a gift. Yeah. So I took the book, I took it back to the hotel read it is one of my top five. And it's written here in America. It's called "The Spirituality of Imperfection". I know that you know, that book. The Spirituality of Imperfection.

Tim Smith  1:10:45

And tell me what it is that you love about the book. Because I've read it multiple times

John Jolliffe  1:10:50

It's dense. And you have to read the same page over twice or three times to get all the material in that. So I like dense books, because I like to meditate and I don't like just to read something like a carwash flyer. I want something dense. And it talks about how we have to embrace our imperfections, rather than deny them, or reject them. We have to embrace our imperfections. It talks about the difference between spirituality and religion. If you can define it, it's religion. If you can't define it, it's spirituality. Religion is for those who are afraid of going to hell - spirituality is for those who've been there. And those kind of things. I mean, it's just a real honest book. 

Tim Smith  1:11:35

Well, thank you for being here today. It was like a real treat. And thank you for everything you've done in my life to make it better. And tune in for next quarter.

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