The Happy Engineer Podcast

174: Here’s Why Being Busy Blocks Engineering Success with Dr. Andy Garrett

Feeling busy this week? Of course you do… When was the last time you were NOT busy as an engineering manager? Building a successful career often leaves you feeling busy and overwhelmed.

Listen now and discover why your busyness is blocking your success!

In this episode, meet the world’s leading authority on identity and resilience, Dr. Andy Garrett.

Andy holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has invested his life’s work teaching organizations how to become Radically Resilient – to maximize your successes & limit losses!

We show how the world’s definition of success is part of the problem, and why everyone walks around feeling so busy all the time. Spoiler alert, doing more is not the answer to your next promotion.

If you have ever struggled with motivation, or bouncing back from adversity, then what Andy has researched about authenticity, resilience, and agility will be a game-changer for your career.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to change your story from post-traumatic stress, to post-traumatic growth!

Ready for more? Join us in a live workshop for deeper training, career coaching 1:1, and an amazing community!  HAPPY HOUR Workshop Live with Zach!


The Happy Engineer Podcast

WATCH EPISODE 174: Here’s Why Being Busy Blocks Engineering Success with Dr. Andy Garrett



LISTEN TO EPISODE 174 with Bonus Debrief from Zach

Previous Episode 173: Now You Can Make Hard Career Decisions Seem Simple


The Top 3 Principles for Redefining Success and Building Resilience

In this episode of The Happy Engineer Podcast, Dr. Andy Garrett shares tremendous insight on authenticity, resilience, and agility from his experience in clinical psychology and practical coaching in organizations.

Here are the top three insights:

1. Authenticity is key: Dr. Andy emphasized the power of authenticity being 4,000 times stronger than love (!!!), which was a shocking idea to discuss. Acting on known truths with belief and conviction is the foundation for resilience and success.

2. Resilience as agility: In today’s fast-paced and uncertain environment, agility is crucial for success. Dr. Andy stresses the need for agility as a sub-skill of resilience, ensuring the ability to adapt and thrive in any situation.

3. Values drive success: Both Dr. Andy and I discuss the importance of aligning with core values and crafting a purpose statement that aligns with personal values. This intrinsic motivation leads to sustained fulfillment and external success measures.

To go deeper and build an action plan around these points and why all this matters, listen to this entire conversation.


Dr. Andy Garrett, with a doctorate in clinical psychology and extensive training in life coaching and consultancy, leads a movement toward personal growth.

He earned his doctoral degree from Azusa Pacific University’s Graduate Psychology program, specializing in Family Systems and holistic integration. This background enables him to create effective treatment plans for individuals, families, couples, and organizations.

Dr. Garrett emphasizes positive psychology, focusing on strengths rather than dysfunctions. By combining this with cognitive behavioral, existential, and solution-focused strategies, he offers transformative therapy.

He has significantly contributed as a consultant for faith-based organizations and as a performance coach for high-performing teams in Southern California.

Dr. Andy’s private practice in Newport Beach provides in-person coaching, therapy sessions, and virtual workshops, committed to delivering premium clinical and coaching services.



Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: All right. Happy engineer. Welcome back. Dr. Andy Garrett, man. Thank you for making time. So happy to have you here on the happy engineer podcast. Welcome to the show, man. Do you like to go by Dr. Andy or just Andy? When you’re in regular life? 

[00:00:18] Dr. Andy Garrett: Just Andy. Uh, my kids and my family, I do have them call me Dr. Andy, right? We’ve got to make sure to totally kidding.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:23] Zach White: No, no dad. Definitely not dad. It’s Dr. Andy or Dr. Dad. Those are your two choices. Okay. That’s so good. Well, Andy, you’re. Your genius spans some of the most important areas that resonates with me as a coach, where Oasis of Courage being the brand and the banner that we hang and the work we do, resilience and adversity and identity and courage and all these ideas come up all the time.

[00:00:52] It was such a pleasure to look and study into what you’ve been doing and how you’re changing the world through that. But I actually wanted to start with a statement that’s right On your website, just grabs you. When you drop a, you go to the homepage that the world has a broken definition of success.

[00:01:15] And I’d love it. If you just take that and help me understand what’s broken. Broken. Why do you make that? 

[00:01:23] Dr. Andy Garrett: we talk about starting our resilience program, the identity program from the inside out. And I feel like the world often defines success from the outside in. So really looking at, so many of the clients that I’ve worked with have come in and by all the external measures, they’re crushing it.

[00:01:40] they are very successful. They’re type A’s, they’ve got sometimes multiple homes. They’re going on these amazing vacations, they’re hitting all the milestones that they thought were supposed to lead to happiness, fulfillment, and yet internally they feel bankrupt. There’s a sense of feeling deeply empty and unfulfilled.

[00:01:56] And so when you reverse that, equation or the formula, and you realize that success starts best from the inside out, and you are able to have a clear understanding of your true norms, having a clear understanding of who you are, and then you anchor the goals that you set, the work that you do to that authenticity, to that true north and be resilient to that.

[00:02:16] It’s amazing how suddenly success takes on a different, definition, different meaning, and it leads to the fulfillment that it’s supposed to. 

[00:02:25] Zach White: Inside out versus outside in. So is the broken piece that we use only external measures in our definition and we leave out the internal, or is it, we don’t understand how these two are linked.

[00:02:42] what’s an example of how to do it right? tell me more about what the path towards an actual meaningful definition of success might look like. 

[00:02:50] Dr. Andy Garrett: it’s kind of a progression of this. I think you see early for kids, you know, that they’re so, driven to get certain grades.

[00:02:58] There’s a sense that they have to get into the best colleges. So you see this notion of right that they’ve got to hit certain milestones or objectives. And yet no one ever stops to ask. Well, yeah. Why are those things important? Right. And do you actually enjoy the classes that you’re doing? And so there’s a sense of not applying self awareness to it.

[00:03:16] I remember even in grad school, there was so many of my colleagues, you know, my cohort who had this notion of, I just need to get to that next milestone and when I get there, then I’ll finally stop and I’ll, spell the roses, you know, be happy, build friendships and all these things. And yet what I saw is, is as soon as they got to that milestone, they just set the next one and the next one.

[00:03:37] And they never took the time when you slow down a little bit and take the time to define those things that are most important. You know, I think, I think there’s like an epidemic of busyness in society. 

[00:03:46] Speaker 3:

[00:03:47] Dr. Andy Garrett: know I’ve been guilty of that. And people ask, how are you doing? Right. It’s always some version of things are so crazy.

[00:03:51] I’m so busy. I remember asking myself at one point though, you know, is all this busyness actually leading me to, you know, something worthwhile and, and, you know, fulfilling and, and it wasn’t. And if I’d have downtime, I’d actually feel guilty, right. That I wasn’t using it in some way productive. I always got to hustle, right.

[00:04:08] And keep trying to reach for that next level. But when I stop and actually recognize what are those essential few things that really are most important. And then I spend the majority of my time in those areas of life. It’s amazing how I can actually get further, be more successful with a whole lot less effort.

[00:04:26] And it’s way more gratifying. Is that, does that make sense? 

[00:04:30] Zach White: Yeah. And so you mentioned how our system of education creates some of this milestone based programming. And I relate to this. I remember. as a kid in school. My mom used to tell me school is your job. And I never once asked the question, why do these things matter?

[00:04:52] There was a simple answer because school is the, that’s it. Like, this is what you do. And getting A’s was the goal. And straight A’s is something I identified with and it was an expectation that I would do my best and my mom used to tell me, it’s not about getting straight A’s, it’s you doing your best.

[00:05:09] But honey, your best is straight A’s. It was like a given, right? So, so is this, is this pattern? that’s emerged of the broken definition of success. Is it a result of our conditioning and the systems of how we raise kids? Or is it part of human nature that we start on the outside and we need to go through this discovery or failure process?

[00:05:35] To bring it back internal. 

[00:05:37] Dr. Andy Garrett: That is a, is a great question. Uh, I would say if you look at, going really to early kids, I, I think you see a little bit of a hint of, I think what is designed in us or, what we’re capable of. Like I love, as kids are early trying to master, milestones, the developmental milestones, like walking, crawling, talking, they have a natural resilience, it’s organic resilience, 

[00:05:59] And they live so much in their imagination. They will, I think the average kid as they’re learning how to walk falls down something like 30 times a day and yet, you they don’t fall down and look around and say, I feel like you’re judging me, you know, having imposter syndrome around this, whole walking thing.

[00:06:13] Maybe I’m just not cut out to be a walker. They just keep getting up and pursue mastery of the milestone, and they won’t, you know, stop until, until they reach it. And yet, at a certain point in age, we start taking in, feedback from our environment. We start to hear, and, and, you know, I’ve got two kids, and I’m guilty as I have anxiety, you know, it’s like I need to set limits for them.

[00:06:32] And I have to catch myself sometimes, but then they internalize the messages of what’s important, from their parents. And so I think sometimes there’s a sense then of, of, of you start to take on your identity from your environment. hopefully you’re getting great messages, you’re getting great leadership in that, and you’re leading your kids to, to really develop a clear understanding that character matters, understanding what core values are and, and really as parents, you’re setting the tone for core values for the kids.

[00:06:59] Speaker 3: But 

[00:06:59] Dr. Andy Garrett: I think that sense of taking on, there’s a, a really interesting philosopher, theologian, James Fowler, who created a model of identity. And so he said identity exists on a spectrum from most mature to least mature.

[00:07:13] And he said that, people generally take on their sense of what they believe and what’s important to them from their environment. Could be from, church could be from your parents could be from society, now social media and in doing that they don’t necessarily take the time to chew on it and say, well, is this even what I believe?

[00:07:29] And if it is, what does it mean to me? Why is it important? How do I integrate this into my life? And so when you do that, you develop this really rigid, dogmatic connection to these beliefs. And if someone doesn’t share your beliefs and starts to question, well, why do you do that? It tends to get a very harsh, rigid response, right?

[00:07:46] It tends to create, because it exposes, it’s a very, shallow, immature sense of, of belief. He said, the idea was to start to take the time to actually question, is this what I believe? And if so, what does it mean? Why is it important? And when you take the time to go through that process, and it can be a little uncomfortable sometimes in doing that, but you come out the other end More than a 

[00:08:05] Zach White: little.

[00:08:06] More than a little. 

[00:08:07] Dr. Andy Garrett: It’s unsettling, but you come out the other end with this really deep foundation of understanding who you are and why you do what you do. And then when people do start to question or challenge, you’re not threatened by it. You have a really secure sense of self.

[00:08:23] You’re able to be more tolerant, more loving. You’re a better leader. It’s amazing how you come out on that other end. And so I think that’s almost kind of a journey, 

[00:08:32] of undoing from childhood and having to come out really as a mature adult, that I don’t think is really taught. but I think it’s such a critical component of development.

[00:08:43] Zach White: So if you’ve come through that journey, What would an example of a new and beneficial definition of success look like if someone says, all right, I’m bought into the idea that making a million dollars a year and having the vacation home and. Traveling to Bora Bora every summer. Okay, it’s no longer about these external measures, but what is it?

[00:09:08] Could you give us an example of when someone has done this work, or even from their own life, how you would define success on the other side of the journey? 

[00:09:17] Dr. Andy Garrett: One of the fundamental things that we do when we work with clients, whether this is working with the leadership team in a business, it’s working with an individual, we start by defining core values, 

[00:09:26] And we really want to limit. Sometimes we’ll work with someone and they’re like, Oh, we’ve done core values before. And they’ve got a list of 25 core values. that’s way too many, you really want to have it down to three to five and you want to make sure that you’ve developed it in your language There are some good, core values assessments out there that there’s a great one that we use, but sometimes it’ll come back in the language of the test.

[00:09:49] We had a woman who recently we worked with and she had always thought for the past 10 years that her leading core value was efficiency. When she had to go through and choose the word herself and not have a test tell her what her core value was, she realized it was a slight difference.

[00:10:05] But effectiveness was her leading core value. And she said that she had been being efficient in all the wrong things. And recognizing the slight difference, it was more important about being effective and efficiency was important to her too. So, you come out on the other end with a clear language, a framework for decision making.

[00:10:24] I know for me, it’s related to, The purpose, the impact I want to have on the world. know, my definition of success is it really comes from my purpose statement. I want to help as many people as I possibly can to establish and live out their true North identity, purpose, and community from the inside out.

[00:10:40] And to live radically resilient to that. And if, if you saw me, how I parent my kids, how I interact with my friends, how I do my work, it’s really consistent with what, 

[00:10:51] Zach White: let me mirror that back really quick. Cause this is important. You. You do the deep work on core values.

[00:10:55] You crafted this powerful statement of purpose. And did I hear you right? That then Andy’s definition of success is now simply, did I, or did I not live out my purpose in a way that’s aligned with my values, if yes, success, if no work to do, is that, 

[00:11:14] Dr. Andy Garrett: yeah, nailed it. Yes. Well, that’s a great, uh, summary of that.

[00:11:18] Yes. 

[00:11:18] Zach White: Amazing. Amazing. Okay. So let me play. Cause I was like, Hey, well, that sounds great, Andy, but. But I still want to make a million bucks a year. Where does that fit into this new definition of success where my values are effectiveness and love and community? And uh, you know, I have a purpose statement around for Zach White, it’s being an oasis of courage.

[00:11:44] And it’s like, well, how does that fit in? How does that lead to these other things that I still want? Or are you telling me I’m not supposed to want them anymore? 

[00:11:52] Dr. Andy Garrett: No, not at all. many of my clients, I think if anything, end up being more successful afterwards, one of the components that we take people through that I think is a really important element of resilience that in other resilience programs that I usually don’t see also an important aspect of developing authenticity, true North, true South.

[00:12:09] You know, identity is what motivates you. What is your driving force? I don’t know if you’ve ever read Daniel Pink’s book, drive. 

[00:12:16] Yeah. Love it. Phenomenal. Autonomy, mastery, purpose. I’ll never forget. Powerful lesson. 

[00:12:23] If your primary driving force or motivation is extrinsic motivation, 

[00:12:27] ultimately extrinsic motivation will become, expensive. unsustainable and corrosive. And so you have someone, let’s say that their primary motivation is, I just want to be rich. I just want to make a lot of money.

[00:12:39] Well, every time that they make more money, they get a hit of dopamine, right? With the extrinsic motivation, it gives them that sense of this is awesome. It feels great. That dopamine hit wears off pretty quickly. what happens if they don’t have something intrinsically to fill them up, to reward them.

[00:12:55] They don’t have something deeper there. Then they have to keep going back to that well, the extrinsic motivation over and over again. And eventually, whatever payments or money that was giving you a dopamine hit early in your career, it takes, it’s really the addiction cycle, right? It takes more and more.

[00:13:10] And that’s where you see people that are deeply unfulfilled, and early in my career I was making a bunch of money. It felt great. And now it just doesn’t give me the same thing. 

[00:13:18] Speaker 3: So 

[00:13:19] Dr. Andy Garrett: when you flip the script on that and you help people to define, you can be intrinsically motivated and make a ton of money.

[00:13:25] But when you do it that way, it’s amazing how you will find people that actually perform, at their best intrinsic motivations, the key to getting into flow state. you can actually perform at peak levels and it’s a form of motivation that is, it constantly regenerates.

[00:13:40] It’s amazing what you’ll tap into with that. 

[00:13:42] Zach White: So I believe you and I’ve experienced it when I made the shift from a definition of success that was purely external to a definition driven by my values and purpose. My actual external success measures have increased. you report the same, but what would you tell someone who just doesn’t have the faith in that?

[00:14:03] it’s great for you to say that you do make great money, you are, a genius doctor, dr. Dad person. I’m not quite sure if that’s true by focusing on this internal stuff. You’re telling me if I just get my values straight, that I’m going to make more money. Like what? So what would you tell that person?

[00:14:21] Who’s at the. front end of the journey. They haven’t done the work yet. 

[00:14:25] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah. 

[00:14:25] Zach White: To help increase their faith that it will actually help you on these external things if you’re willing to trust the process. 

[00:14:35] Dr. Andy Garrett: some of that is we tryingdesign the program, like even with the core values work that we do, the reason that we start there, not only does it set a really powerful foundation, but the results impact that you get lead to very quick benefits.

[00:14:49] you’ll start to see these really significant changes. We have people sometimes do. I listened to one of the podcast episodes you did where you had a guy that did vision boards, and. Fan of vision boards. We do a slight kind of a change on it where we have people do values based vision boards.

[00:15:05] the reason that those work is cause it triggers a part of the brain, the reticular activating system, and it basically tells the subconscious what to look for. And so suddenly now your brain is looking for all these.

[00:15:15] Opportunities to align with the things that matter most, there was a really interesting study, that looked at, it was, essentially the most powerful psychological state that people can exist in. And then for this particular, so it was the Spain study, S. P. A. N. E. They had 25, 000 participants, and they were able to measure the energy that people were giving off, right?

[00:15:34] We have the ability to do that. And because I had access to people, they could ask me, what was going on? What were you thinking? What were you feeling? What was going on with you? And they found that there was a particular psychological state that was by far the most powerful state we can exist in, and it was the state of authenticity.

[00:15:48] It was even 4, 000 times stronger than the state of love, which was the second most powerful. But I love the way they defined authenticity. It was about when you are expressing things or, acting on things that you know, to be true. And they’re driven by belief in conviction. And so a lot of times when people start doing affirmations or vision boards, I’m a millionaire.

[00:16:08] But it’s not true. They’re looking at their bank account, right? And they’re broke. It has no power. It’s not a, there’s no belief behind it. It’s not a true statement. I had to back up and 

[00:16:16] Zach White: say that definition again. That was really insightful. I want to double click on that. 

[00:16:21] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah. Yeah. It was when you were acting on things or demonstrating things that you know to be true.

[00:16:27] And there’s belief and conviction that’s fueling it. 

[00:16:30] Zach White: You know, it to be true belief and conviction behind there’s that driving force kind of concept you were, okay. Really interesting. And 4, 000 X measured beyond even number two. 

[00:16:44] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah, 

[00:16:46] Zach White: that’s insane, man. And what’s even weirder is I would have guessed if you had told me before, I would have said gratitude would have been my guess as the one that is the most frequent guest.

[00:16:55] Yeah. Yeah. So would you really quick, like if you were creating a mental model for me of how this definition of the state of authenticity would work? Would gratitude kind of be nested underneath that as like, when you’re in a deep state of gratitude, that is a state of authenticity in a sense, or would you put it in a separate category?

[00:17:17] Dr. Andy Garrett: No, that’s a great point. I think the key to that is sometimes we say things around gratitude that we want to be grateful for, right? there’s not that conviction, that sense of, yeah, I mean, I deeply feel this. And so it’s not going to give you that sense that resonance is not going to give you that, the same power, but when you’re saying something you’re grateful for, and when you say it, you just know it to be true.

[00:17:39] That’s how you’re going to tap into. 

[00:17:41] Zach White: Interesting. Okay. So you were explaining, and I really agree with this. I’ve seen it happen where somebody might have an affirmation or a goal or a goal. And identity statement that they grab onto. I am the world’s best public speaker or whatever, but right now you’re deadly afraid to even talk to five people in a conference room.

[00:17:59] So the reason the energy is not present is because we’re. Lacking authenticity around that statement. So how do you bridge that gap and, and would you say these affirmations are pointless, don’t do it, or is there some action we need to take to increase our belief and authenticity around it? 

[00:18:21] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah, I think, I know there’s the whole fake it till you make it.

[00:18:23] I’m not the biggest fan of that. I get it. I get, the theory behind it. but I think you got to just alter the affirmations. I had a client that kept saying, I love obstacles. He hates obstacles. Right. But again, was trying to speak it into existence that if I keep saying it, maybe I’ll eventually I’ll get to this place.

[00:18:41] He shifted his affirmation just slightly and started saying, I am well equipped and resourced to overcome any obstacles in my life when he said that. He’s like, I a hundred percent believe this. I know it to be true. He’s now leaning into all these obstacles and crushing them. And so the ability to make statements where you can say it, and it’s like, yeah, there’s, there’s no internal resistance, right?

[00:19:02] There’s not self doubt. I don’t feel like an imposter when I’m saying this. that’s the key. 

[00:19:06] Zach White: Powerful shift. And one thing that I’ve. I’ve seen similar to this when somebody is really stuck in a negative belief and an identity that they’re holding on to. They’re not ready to let it go.

[00:19:17] Sometimes that reversal, I am this negative thing to I am this positive thing is too big of a gap. And I’ll encourage clients to say, I’m open to the possibility that this other thing could be true. It’s like, if we just leave a little room, you don’t need to go all the way to the new thing. well, can we at least believe that?

[00:19:37] Are you open to the possibility? this is awesome. Link it to resilience then. So what is resilience and how does this pathway of values and purpose and a new definition intrinsically for success link to the work you do around resilience? 

[00:19:55] Dr. Andy Garrett: So in our model, I know the resilience program, you might think you’d start with resilience, but we actually think, again, you got to start with authenticity, right?

[00:20:04] You got to start by first. And we know that when people feel connected to what matters most, they feel like they can overcome just about anything. There’s study after study that says when you are able to anchor your habits, it’s really, it’s like putting, instead of, for resilience was a paint.

[00:20:20] And you’re just starting with resilience. It’s like throwing, paint against the wall, hoping it sticks when you do the authenticity work first, and then you bring in these proven resilience principles so that they’re authentic to who you are, right? a lot of the resilience programs I’ve seen, there’s a lot of great ones, and I think they do good stuff.

[00:20:37] But it’s not necessarily a lot of these things wouldn’t work for people because it’s not something they would practice. It’s not connected to their values. So when you do that work first, and then you anchor the, the practices and the tools and things like resources to that. It’s, it’s putting a powerful primer down first so that when you put the resilience down, it’s going to stick, it’s going to last, it’s going to be sustainable, yeah, that’s one.

[00:20:59] And then the resilience for it. So not only does operating in that authentic space create just an organic, almost preventative sense of resilience, but then again, it helps to know what type of resilience work is most likely to work for a particular organization or individual. and so that’s why we, we’ve added agility is the third piece.

[00:21:19] I think agility is going to be the skillset that really defines who’s most successful in these next five to 10 years, because we live in an age where information comes at us so quickly. the Moore’s law that, the technology doubles in capacity every 18 months or whatever is, and who knows that might even be quicker now, and then we have so much uncertainty.

[00:21:39] There’s so much turmoil and change and things like that. So the ability to be able to respond efficiently, effectively, and to be able to pivot, when the old way of doing things no longer work, like that’s going to be such a crit and so, you know, agility is really a sub skill of resilience when you layer those three things together, I think that is the most powerful formula for optimizing success that I’ve seen in my nearly 20 years of doing, coaching work and working with clients.

[00:22:10] Zach White: Authenticity, resilience, and agility. Tell us the simplest definition there is of what resilience really means. And then you’ve used this phrase, resilience work. What’s an example of that in practice? What does it actually look like? 

[00:22:27] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah, so resilience, it’s most fundamental. It’s the ability to bounce back.

[00:22:32] I have actually a resilience journal with my daughter. so she’s, hopefully she doesn’t resent me later that she has a psychologist for her dad. but it gave the example of dropping an egg versus a bouncy ball, right? The egg drops, it cracks, it’s fragile, right? Bouncy ball. I would say the radical resilience work.

[00:22:48] We are, have you heard the term anti fragile? 

[00:22:51] Zach White: I have. 

[00:22:52] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah. So it just takes, resilience really right to the kind of the extreme. It says not only do you bounce back. But that you learn from it, you get better and stronger so that, yeah, and truthfully, that’s often what happens, what we’re trying to do is help you to get to that place quicker because a lot of times our best strengths and attributes have come as a byproduct of adversity, right?

[00:23:13] Character strength, by definition, is something we develop to as a way to, to overcome the challenges, but we’re just helping people give them the tools, whether it’s mindset tools, whether it’s crafting the narrative that you attach to adversity, hardships, setbacks. we know that when someone feels powerless and when something bad happens, right, it significantly undermines their sense of motivation, their resilience.

[00:23:38] So if we can help them to recognize, I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to go through this. Is there some benefit? How could I grow from this? How could I use that growth or wisdom to benefit others? It’s amazing how much quicker, right? That starts to lead them to growth. And there’s like a whole, 

[00:23:53] Zach White: as asking that question, an example of a tool in the sense of what you’re defining here, or what would be the simplest tool you coach or you work with your clients in clinical psychology around this idea of, Resilience building and resilience work.

[00:24:09] what’s the easiest tool we can learn? 

[00:24:11] Dr. Andy Garrett: I love, so there’s a benefit finding tool, which is effectively what I was just talking to you about. I first learned about this as it was used with veterans who’d experienced trauma. We all know about PTSD and that pathway, right? Have you ever heard of post traumatic growth 

[00:24:25] Zach White: post traumatic growth?

[00:24:27] No, I’ve not heard that. 

[00:24:28] Dr. Andy Garrett: And why part of me questions, like, why is this not something that’s more common knowledge? Interesting trauma is obviously, again, it’s not something that people would want to experience. But there is a potential pathway for trauma to turn into something that leads to significant growth and leads to thriving.

[00:24:42] These soldiers were given, that the army had spent a bunch of money trying to figure out how they can intervene, and they helped them to identify, right, this I had no control over, and, I felt, Whatever sad scared, they gave them tools on how to be able to accept their feelings, how to be able to, kind of work through those, but we can’t focus on the stuff.

[00:25:01] We have no control over. We call that inner locus of control, right? That’s where our capacity. One of my favorite authors is Viktor Frankl, right? And the guy who was in five Nazi concentration camps. And yet he was able to find meaning and grow and freedom in the worst of possible circumstances. My favorite quote from him is between what happens to us and our response.

[00:25:21] There’s a space. And in that space is where our capacity for growth and freedom exists, that ability to pause before we just emotionally react or we, use habit or what we’ve always done, but to really stop and allow our prefrontal cortex to kick in, which is where our ability to problem solve our values are right.

[00:25:38] When we use that to decide how we respond to adversity, there’s all kinds of incredible growth and freedom available to us, and we’ll carve out a much more resilient path. So that real quick to finish the thing on benefit finding the soldiers focused on what they could control and said, of course, I wouldn’t have wanted to go through this, can I become courageous?

[00:25:58] Is it developing empathy, right? Or whatever it is. And in that I could use that to serve, whether my family, other soldiers. And so it completely changed the trajectory of the trauma into something that was meaningful, something they had ability to have power and control over. And it led to them thriving.

[00:26:16] And so it’s amazing. So it encompasses several principles of resilience within that exercise that I think are really important and foundational. 

[00:26:25] Zach White: Awesome. Awesome. And what I like about that is you don’t have to be a soldier with PTSD to benefit from that practice. Yeah, that’s really good. So Dr. Andy, I’m going to call on Dr.

[00:26:35] Dad for a second here. Most leaders in your situation and doing the kind of work that you do that I’ve met and interviewed and talked to. There’s something in your own story that draws you passionately to serve in this capacity to really, go deeper into resilience and authenticity than very, anybody on the planet, basically, you’re one of the leading minds in this space.

[00:27:01] And so I’m curious what that is. what did you have to bounce back from or what’s that adversity that you faced that initially ignited your passion to go into this? so much. 

[00:27:12] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah, so it really does go back to some childhood and some, some family trauma and things that I said, I didn’t have the tools to be able to know how to deal with it.

[00:27:20] it led to me taking it out in ways that were destructive and self defeating, struggle with depression. And, I think I cover just about every anxiety disorder and in our diagnostic manual. and, really, I became this people pleaser. I really would. getting social acceptance became my true north at a point.

[00:27:40] And so when I got really good, I, I had tons of friends, I’d go to all the right parties and I’d feel just completely alone in these places. I was always scared that I was going to be exposed as being a fake. And so there was this deep sense of not knowing who I was that, that really created a lot of fear and anxiety.

[00:27:56] I remember when, I went to grad school, I had two times that I was asked the question, who are you? And I had to answer it. I hated that question, right? I was like, Tell me what I’m supposed to say, give me some framework that will give me an A on this. and I realized how important that question is.

[00:28:12] it’s, in my opinion, it’s the most critical question that we need to ask. I know there’s Simon Sinek, who says we’ve got to start with why. And Simon, I love you. I think your stuff’s great, but actually you got to start with who, who has to come first, because when you know that, then it gives you clarity on what, when, why all the other answers run downstream from having a clear understanding of who you are.

[00:28:34] I actually was led by my grandpa. he was a very successful businessman. He actually started Carl’s junior, Carl Karcher, and then, but his greatest success was who he was as a person, right? I he had, just thousands of people show up for his funeral. We received dozens upon dozens of letters from people that shared stories about how he interacted with them and changed their life because of how much he cared.

[00:28:56] and he was my best friend for the last 10 years of his life. We spend thousands of hours together. When I decided I was going to answer this question, who am I? I was like, he clearly had such, a clear understanding of who he was. He was so consistent. Like we talked about big a right where, wherever he was at, he was the same and he constantly talked about his core values, right?

[00:29:15] I know he didn’t have the language for intrinsic motivation, but what he did, you could see there was a passion behind it. He could go all day long and never run out of energy. That’s a clear sign that you are running on intrinsic motivation. he had a clear understanding of his character strengths.

[00:29:30] So I basically reverse engineered everything that I learned from him and said, if I was to answer this question, these are the things I saw him do. If I go through the same process, putting on my psychology engineer hat. this is what I did. And when I went through that process, man, I had such clarity.

[00:29:46] All of a sudden I started operating at a completely different level. We developed a course, that we have now had several hundred people go through and we have, leaders of organizations go through. And it’s amazing how consistent the results are when people go through this process, it produces a very consistent, reliable outcome.

[00:30:04] that’s really powerful. 

[00:30:06] Zach White: I know in my own story, there’s a point where that bouncy ball or egg, depending on which one you identify, hit that rock bottom place and things began to change in my life after my divorce and depression and burnout in my career. Or is there a moment that stands out as the point?

[00:30:28] The rock bottom point where your bouncy ball hit the ground and it started coming back for you. And if so, where were you, what was going on? 

[00:30:34] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah, it’s probably a more than one. I think there was, I would say career wise, was actually when my wife, got pregnant with our, our, our first child.

[00:30:42] First child. and unfortunately, about 22 weeks in, she went into labor and we lost. She had a split of stillbirth, and going through that, here I was just really working and having a lot of success in private practice and it rocked the world. It didn’t even dawn on me that was a possible.

[00:30:57] thing that could happen. 

[00:30:59] Speaker 3: My 

[00:30:59] Dr. Andy Garrett: wife was, so excited and happy to be a mom. She went through a really deep depression. It was scary. It was really scary. And so I realized I needed to drop everything. I needed to lean in, I needed to be there for my wife. we’ve started working with a therapist and, doing some of our own work there.

[00:31:15] cause I know I’ve seen enough that if you are not growing together and you’re not communicating right in this. That something like this can really lead to a split where it becomes at some point, unsalvageable. and my wife, recently we were asked to write something on compassion for a nonprofit board that we’re on as a magazine.

[00:31:34] That’s not in my area of expertise. So originally I was gonna say no, and my wife said, no, you’re going to do that. I’ve learned just to say yes on that. She said, I’m going to ride. Yeah. I’m going to co write that with you. And I was like, Oh, that sounds even worse. We wrote it, in compassion is it means to suffer with, right?

[00:31:51] That’s the, if you go to the definition of that. And so she said, one of the things that she never shared this with me before, but in her part that she wrote, she said the fact that I didn’t come in and try and fix everything, or I didn’t try and explain away her anger, I didn’t tell her that, you know, it’s all going to turn out good and everything’s going to have a purpose for this.

[00:32:08] I just sat with her. And when it’s amazing when you sit with someone in their pain, and you And it can lighten the load, right? That’s the idea of compassion too, is that they know they don’t have to go through it, by themselves. Huge piece of resilience, by the way, too. 

[00:32:20] Zach White: Yeah. Awesome. 

[00:32:22] Dr. Andy Garrett: that it enabled her to start to grieve in a healthy way and it strengthened our relationship.

[00:32:27] all of a sudden we actually trusted each other. We had less arguments afterwards. So it was really crazy how something that was terrible that of course we’d never wanted to have gone through. we were very fortunate to have two kids afterwards that very high risk pregnancies and stressful, but, they’re healthy and everything now.

[00:32:45] But something that was terribly, tragic and certainly was a low point, turned into something that was, ended up being a real blessing. 

[00:32:52] Zach White: Thank you for sharing that. everybody has their version of that story, right? The thing I like framed, that’s like, I never even considered this suffering or this adversity as a possibility until it hit me.

[00:33:05] And I felt the same way in my own journey. Looking back, it was easy to see how I. Was sliding well before I hit rock bottom, but until I actually hit it, it never even registered as an option, for my life and the adversity that I would face. I think a lot of people can say that it’s like, wow, until it actually came right in front of my face.

[00:33:26] I just never saw it coming. And it speaks to the importance of the work that you do and why this training and these programs and investing in yourself to build an authentic understanding of who you are, are resilient and resilient. Toolkit and capability within yourself. And then I’m excited to see how the agility piece goes for the future.

[00:33:46] So maybe just to Wrap things up. What do you see on the horizon in this body of work? you’re still a researcher and a practitioner at heart. You’re really deep into where this body of knowledge and its practice is going. Where do you see things headed? Is there something exciting on the horizon that you think will be transformational and you’re willing to share?

[00:34:07] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah. The work that we’ve leaned into, so I had a private practice for, as I said, almost 15 years, a little over that. but over, over time, worked with a lot of people that were executives, business owners, and they would, start to say, really would love, we’ve got a Dr. Andy, that’s a consultant that works with us, but, really love the tools that you bring and how practical they are and the impact they’ve had, so they started asking me to come in and do, whether it was speaking or, or, or workshops.

[00:34:35] So we finally said, we’re getting enough requests here. Like, why don’t we just make an official offer and start working with companies? And we’ve done dozens of workshops and, working, consulting with companies, what I like about this work, cause I’m really motivated by impact. is that when you go into an organization and if you can restructure writer or create a clear understanding of the true north of the organization and then align the true north of the individuals to that and then create resilient principles that impact on that, it has this trickle down effect that can affect sometimes hundreds or thousands of employees.

[00:35:07] there was research that came out from the Gallup poll that showed that the manager that you work with or for. Can have a bigger impact or a similar impact on someone’s quality of life as their spouse. that’s pretty staggering. And so if we can help to create more authentic, resilient leaders, right, I think the downstream effect of that could be just massive.

[00:35:28] And we’re working with some bigger and bigger organizations and it leads to bottom line growth, right? We know that’s something that, business owners and, shareholders care about. we know that’s consistent and tends to see. Three to 400 percent return on investment is what we’ve seen and what the research shows, but it also significantly, helps with things like burnout, turnover, a lack of engagement.

[00:35:49] really 300 

[00:35:52] Zach White: percent is nothing to shake a stick at. That’s for sure. Great opportunity then, Andy, if someone wants to take advantage of this work for themselves, personally, they know this is a gap, this is an area they need to go deeper or they’re leading their company, their organization, and they’d like to talk to you about bringing this toolkit and these principles into their company.

[00:36:12] What’s the best way for somebody to connect with you and your work? 

[00:36:15] Dr. Andy Garrett: the easiest place to go is to go to my website, ag dash thrive. Dot com. So a G dash T H R I V E. com. 

[00:36:25] Zach White: Perfect. Happy engineer. We’ll put that in the show notes as well as all the links to how to connect with Andy. So please take advantage of that opportunity and highly recommend that you lean into this work and if nothing else, follow him on socials and keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of resilience and agility.

[00:36:46] Andy, you know, as a coach, consultant practitioner of Psychology questions come first, the questions lead, the answers follow. And we’re all here looking for better answers. How do we become more resilient? How do we get to that real definition of success and live the life that we deeply desire? So what’s the question you would lead the happy engineer with coming out of our chat today?

[00:37:12] Dr. Andy Garrett: going to, I’m going to cheat just a little bit and say that fundamentally,I think the most important question that we can answer is who am I? Now that’s a difficult question. It’s a deep one. So I’m going to give another one that I think is maybe a little more practical.

[00:37:24] and doesn’t, maybe take as much time to answer. I love, the eulogy exercise. It can be an epitaph. But, if you imagine for a moment, it’s, You’re 100 years old. you’re healthy, you’re vibrant and people are there and they’re sharing, the impact you’ve had on their life, right?

[00:37:40] Maybe you’re if you got kids, your kids are saying these are the lessons that I learned. It’s such a powerful exercise to take the time to ask that question and think about what you’d want people to say in those moments that really helped to clarify what >matters most, what you should be focusing on.

[00:37:55] Mhm. how to live a life of, not regret. and from a reverse engineering standpoint, it’s the most powerful thing to reverse engineers to say, I know at the end of my life. This is who I want to be. This is the impact I wanted to have had. What do I need to be doing from this point forward, 

[00:38:11] To start to actually have that impact and be that person. 

[00:38:15] Zach White: I love that. I would encourage everyone to take that eulogy aspect seriously. If, if the fact that you’re going to die. Is hard for you to face. That’s probably a reason why you need to face that. Takes me all the way back to episode one of this podcast with Xander Friar.

[00:38:31] We talked about how his encounter with the reality that he would not live forever was the catalyst to his radical transformation. So maybe there’s an opportunity, happy engineer for you to have both answering Andy’s question and coming to grips with the fact that we won’t be here forever. Thank you so much, Andy.

[00:38:51] This has been tremendous. So much value. I just want to say thank you for your generosity, acknowledge the work you’re doing. It’s so important. And I love that you’re bringing it into these domains where the engineering leaders that I work with are at and companies and an individual’s lives. So keep doing the work, man.

[00:39:06] And we’ll have to do this again sometime. 

[00:39:08] Dr. Andy Garrett: Yeah, I love it. so appreciate this was very enjoyable. So thanks for just being an awesome host and, for the work you do. Like I said, I’m a huge fan. I’ve listened to numerous and I plan on going to listen to Xander too. that sounds like it’s gonna be a great episode.

[00:39:22] Zach White: It was all right, Andy, until next time. Cheers. Oh, awesome.