Jean Gomes
Mindset Magic

By integrating your emotions, physiology, and cognition to optimize performance and well-being, you can reshape your stress responses. Using strategies based in neuroscience, learn how to cultivate self-awareness, fuel greater creativity and resilience with a sufficiency mindset, and build an embodied approach to growth and transformation.

Jean Gomes
Listen Now
Show Notes

Jean Gomes is an author, researcher, and consultant focused on the science of mindset. He studied neuroscience before transitioning into consultancy, where he works with global corporations to transform leaders through mindset training. With over 20 years of experience, Jean has been dedicated to uncovering new ways of thinking to help individuals navigate an increasingly uncertain world.


Jean is the founder of Outside, a company that offers programs like More Human, which aims to address issues of depletion, defensiveness, and disconnection by building mindsets of well-being through simple practices. His research team consists of neuroscientists, psychologists, and consultants who work together to develop evidence-based approaches to mindset transformation.


In his recent book, “Leading in a Non-Linear World,” Jean shares insights from his research and practical strategies for cultivating adaptability and resilience in the face of complexity and uncertainty. He is passionate about making his work accessible to a wide audience and plans to offer the tools and practices developed by Outside to the world for free once they have been thoroughly tested and proven effective.


“Negative emotions aren’t a sign of weakness, what they are is a ‘core need’ in us not being met.” – Jean Gomes


Key Takeaways

  • The Connection of Neuroscience and Mindset: Your brain is a “prediction machine” and emotions provide valuable information to help navigate uncertainty.
  • Fixed vs Growth Mindsets: Purely behavioral approaches to change your mindset is limited. Jean emphasizes the importance of building self-awareness of underlying assumptions and emotional responses.
  • Negative Emotions are Important: They keep us alive and indicate core needs that aren’t being met. Understanding them provides actionable information.
  • The Problem with a “Sacrifice” Mindset: Having a “Sufficiency Mindset,” that priorities meeting your needs enables greater creativity and innovation.
  • Wellbeing Through Simple Practices: Outside and Jean’s More Human program aims to address issues of depletion, defensiveness, and disconnection by building interoceptive awareness through daily consistent practices. 


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Links for Jean Gomes



[00:00:05] Jean Gomes: We can create, we can innovate, we can come up with really amazing new things by beating people’s needs. And that we can see that how we feel is the most primary source of information about how to navigate all of the complexity and uncertainty that we can. We can ally that to our intellectual abilities and we’ll have a much more whole response to things that are happening in the honest one as well.

[00:00:32] Mark Divine: Welcome to the Mark Divine Show. I’m your host Mark Divine. Thanks so much for joining me today. Super stoked to have you here on the show. I love to talk to people from all walks of life folks who are fearless inspirational and compassionate. resilient, courageous, talk to military leaders, martial arts grandmasters, neuroscientists, and mindset experts, such as my guest today, Jean Gomes.

Jean is an author, researcher, and consultant. He’s focused on the science of mindset and studied neuroscience before going into his consultancy. Where he works with global corporations transforming leaders through mindset training. He’s been working for 20 years to uncover a new way of thinking about how to navigate in an uncertain world.


[00:02:29] Mark Divine: He’s the founder of a company called Outside and they have a program called More. Thanks so much for joining me on the Mark Divine Show. Super stoked to have you here today. 

[00:02:35] Jean Gomes: No, it’s a pleasure, Mark. Thank you. 

[00:02:37] Mark Divine: Yeah. So how are you doing? It sounds like you just were delayed by a traffic accident and You’re a little bit scrambled.

[00:02:44] Jean Gomes: It’s the UK, so we have got a number of challenges, including we were in a village that’s not had any water for four days. 

[00:02:51] Mark Divine: Really?

[00:02:51] Jean Gomes: Yeah, we’ve had floods. And as I was leaving the office to come home to do the show, there was a massive accident, which meant I’ve been in a 40-minute delay. In a, what normally takes 10 minutes to get home. But, I’m absolutely delighted to be here, so I’m in a good place. 

[00:03:08] Mark Divine: Yeah, well, I’m super stoked to have you. Four days without water, I mean, for a lot of people that’s probably a pretty intense situation, but, you know, then when you compare it to what’s happening in the rest of the world, sets it in perspective, right?

[00:03:18] Jean Gomes: Exactly, you can’t get too prissy about these things when you look at what’s happening elsewhere, yeah.

[00:03:25] Mark Divine: You know, I’m really excited to talk about mindset. That’s been a big chunk of my work with Unbeatable Mind, you know, it’s even the name of my company or one of my companies. But before we get into that, I’d love to really get a sense for the trajectory of your life. Like, what were the shaping influences, good, bad, and ugly, that set you on your path in life and kind of led you to where you are? And this library with about 80,000 books behind you, all of them yours. 

[00:03:46] Jean Gomes: I’m very interested in the arts. I think my trajectory, it started in things that I was naturally good at school and science and math and so on. But I didn’t actually love those things then. I really loved arts. But I had a school and a parent, particularly, who just saw those things as being not a great place to be.

[00:04:06] Jean Gomes: Both my parents were first generation immigrants into the UK. One was Indian, one was Irish, and I think they just wanted me to be a doctor. We had doctors in the family and so on. So I kind of pursued an academic career, started off as in neuroscience. That’s what I did my degree in. And then I just pivoted and went into consulting because I just sort of had a natural flair for that.

[00:04:25] Jean Gomes: And that took me on a journey and full circle. But 15 years ago back into neuroscience because things were getting interesting there and I thought that there was something there that could actually be translatable into the work I was doing. 

[00:04:38] Mark Divine: So what does neuroscience have to do with the mind? I’m kind of curious.

[00:04:43] Mark Divine: I mean, it’s really about biological functioning and the mind really. I mean, it’s affected by biological functioning, but it’s not the same thing. So maybe we start there. What does neuroscience have to do with mind, and what does mind mean to you? You know, help us define that. 

[00:04:55] Jean Gomes: Yeah, okay. Well, it’s a big topic, and there are lots of different places where we could start, so I’ll start at the beginning.

[00:05:02] Jean Gomes: It’s always good to start at the beginning. So I think it started with a principal definition about what mind and mindset means, and we can come back to that. But I, you know, before that, I think Probably 20 years of my career, I was in the kind of center space, the norm, probably with everybody else in terms of what this word meant.

[00:05:19] Jean Gomes: And that was psychology and behavioral sciences and so on. And what that led me to really, I guess, When working in large transformation programs, leadership development in some of the world’s big cities. You know, the most interesting companies there was something missing and it was how people change their beliefs about themselves and others and situations in light of new things happening, new realities, and how that was often the root cause of why things didn’t happen.

[00:05:45] Jean Gomes: And pragmatic approaches, which are really focused in on strategy, the ideas of change, and getting really granular about behavior. Just don’t cut it when it comes to uncertain, fast-paced environments. And so what I was trying to do alongside lots of other people and in different ways, yourself included, is find an answer to, you know, what’s missing in that.

[00:06:07] Jean Gomes: How do we help people to navigate a more uncertain world? And neuroscience doesn’t have all the answers. It certainly doesn’t. It’s just one piece of the puzzle. But I think it’s an interesting, um, thing, which is that there’s a kind of layer cake, the layer cake starts with what is the human body trying to do at a physiological level?

[00:06:23] Jean Gomes: And it’s trying to keep us alive. You know, that’s his principal mission in life. And the updating of science, the metaphor of the computer being like a brain and not really thinking of it like that, thinking of it as a prediction machine, which is really its principal mission is to keep us alive. And it does that by making a constant stream of predictions based on the past, based on our expectations of what’s going to happen.

[00:06:46] Jean Gomes: And then this huge flow of information that’s coming to our body from our senses. Some of it is processed at a rational level, but the majority of it is just unconscious. And that’s the connection, really. The layer cake starts with what’s happening in our body, and how we then construct emotions to make sense of those feelings, given the circumstances, and the thought process that happened, the awareness that we have of these different layers.

[00:07:09] Jean Gomes: And that layer cake constitutes the mindset from a scientific point of view, as far as I’m concerned. 

[00:07:14] Mark Divine: So I’m reminded of Daniel Kahneman’s work, System 1, System 2 Thinking. From my understanding, What he was saying is, like, most biases in all conditioned reactionary behavior and subconscious programming, you know, that system one mind is really what’s driving most of human behavior.

[00:07:31] Mark Divine: A lot of the shortcuts that the brain takes or the mind takes to, like you said, to move away from danger or to move toward pleasure, Are really being driven by this primordial limbic system, reptilian brain stem area and then flows toward the mid level brain where we have imagery and memory and then it’s only the system two neocortex, the latter part of the brain of human development that finally can kick in and interdict or change the trajectory of all that system one thinking.

[00:08:00] Mark Divine: Am I anywhere close to his kind of philosophy there? Because the whole realm of psychotherapy, western therapy is to try to Interdict and change all that conditioning that’s leading, you know, the human being down a path that is unsatisfactory, not producing happy results. 

[00:08:15] Jean Gomes: Well, you know, there’s an argument happening in science at the moment, which would say that there are the body of thinking which has prevailed for a long time, which is based on the kind of tree and brain that you just described there.

[00:08:26] Jean Gomes: Which thinks about the brain having evolved through a number of these stages, which may have some validity, but there’s a counter argument here, which is the brain didn’t evolve quite in that way. And that the representation of the brain, who used to talk to Lisa Feldman Barrett, who’s one of the chief proponents of this constructive point of view.

[00:08:44] Jean Gomes: is that the brain doesn’t work quite like that. It works in a different way. And that Daniel Kahneman’s system two, system three thing is really just, it’s not proven a scientific level. It’s a construct. It’s an idea. You know, it looks like it has a lot of validity when you see human behavior, but it isn’t grounded in science.

[00:09:01] Jean Gomes: It’s grounded in psychology, which is a slightly different, it’s a construct of how we making sense of things. It’s not to say it’s wrong. It’s just, There are other ways of looking at it, and the way that I’m really interested in thinking of it in terms of mindset is that emotions, for example, and physical feeling are valuable sources of information which we need.

[00:09:21] Jean Gomes: In the model you’re talking about, we’re trying to override with rationalism and in a way what that means is that we are saying in order to be a fully developed human being, you have to kind of rise above those things and the idea of emotions being something that are a source of weakness or bias or misunderstanding is perhaps there’s a re evaluation of that and I think the re evaluation of it comes in the form of Work done by scientists that showing that, for example, in situations of risk and uncertainty, our body knows before our mind what’s happening.

[00:09:54] Jean Gomes: So Antonio Damasio’s work is a really good example of this, showing that people can make really wise decisions when they tune into what their body is telling them about. What’s happening in a situation around risk, for example, and that traders in financial markets, who’ve got really strong connections with this in a sense of 20, 30 percent more profitable than the peers that don’t.

[00:10:15] Jean Gomes: And that’s nothing to do IQ. It’s nothing to do with gut instinct or anything like that. It’s just, they’re getting a flow of information that is not prone to bias. It’s telling them something direct about what’s happening in the situation. So I think the interesting thing for me is that there are new approaches to how you build a mindset that kind of are not just purely cognitive and rational.

[00:10:35] Mark Divine: Of course, yeah, makes sense. Sounds to me like you separate the body and the mind into two distinct things. The way I would have stated that is that the mind experiences sensations in the body that it can act upon before the cognized aspect of the mind and, you know, from the, what you would call the prefrontal cortex, can, you know, rationally understand what’s going on, but it’s still the mind.

[00:11:00] Mark Divine: And you find very few people who would say that the mind is solely inside this cranial sacral housing group, right? Yeah. The mind is in the body, the body is the mind, it’s all one thing. 

[00:11:10] Jean Gomes: I definitely agree with that. I think we have to re conceptualize what 

[00:11:13] Mark Divine: Which is also a construct. 

[00:11:15] Jean Gomes: Well, maybe, maybe. But I mean, when you think about our experiences and things like consciousness What is that?

[00:11:22] Jean Gomes: And that’s long been a body mind duality that is being eroded by science. Science is saying, well, maybe not. Maybe consciousness comes from something else that is absolutely measurable. So, I think we’re saying the same thing, but probably in a slightly different way, but 

[00:11:36] Mark Divine: Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s fun to do that to just shed light from, you know, on confusing, things that are kind of confusing or murky for people who don’t study this stuff, right?

[00:11:45] Mark Divine: Because there’s a hundred different ways to kind of look at this, right? And I’ve studied the, kind of the Eastern perspective for a long time, and I find a lot of validity in this idea of consciousness, you know, basically streaming through the body mind instrument, creating thoughts based upon the conditioning of the body mind.

[00:12:01] Mark Divine: And so in that viewpoint, you are not doing the thinking. Consciousness is the thinker. And the individual named Jean or Mark is really just an experienced machine. And I think that’s a fascinating viewpoint, it’s actually a quite liberating one. But it flies in the face of everything, you know, Western psychotherapy and neuroscience, you know, they’re going in completely opposite directions.

[00:12:22] Mark Divine: I think that as science goes deeper into the metaphysical, you know, especially quantum physics and whatnot. Because you’re starting to bridge that gap and find that there’s a lot of validity to both. One’s from the perspective of duality, the other’s from the perspective of non duality. 

[00:12:37] Jean Gomes: Yeah. I think a lot of, a lot of neuroscientists are actually coming exactly to the point of view that you’re saying, which is that the kind of perennial wisdom, particularly in Eastern philosophies, is born out of the fact that we evolved from nature.

[00:12:52] Jean Gomes: Where, you know, our primitive self or earlier versions of ourself, our experience of the world was, there was no separation between ourselves and nature. We were part of it. And as we’ve separated ourselves, we’ve had to kind of identify and create a new identity of ourselves. And, you know, so that is part of the problem.

[00:13:12] Jean Gomes: And so we, what we’re doing in effect with this new way of thinking is arriving at full circle about reintegrating with what’s going on. 

[00:13:20] Mark Divine: Reintegrating. I love that word. Yeah, I agree. So this idea that we’re walled off from the world as a separate self, the Eastern traditions say that is the cause of suffering because it’s a misperception.

[00:13:31] Mark Divine: So breaking down the ego and, you know, idea of humility, which you could even equate to a mindset, softens that hard exterior barrier of separation and you begin to experience that co arising of sameness with other humans, with nature, with everything around you. And I think that I’d love to hear your take on that, like, especially with your work with clients, like, how do you help them experience that co arising or that unity of sameness while appreciating the diversity?

[00:13:58] Jean Gomes: Well, if you think about when you’re consulting in a business sense, and forget about, you know, sort of working with people as human beings in a broader sense, but in that work way. The thing they’re paid to do is to separate themselves and to see themselves as just cognitive vehicles, solving problems, making decisions, and so on.

[00:14:18] Jean Gomes: That has created a separation on a number of levels. One is the separation with their body. Their body is not to be trusted. I love Christopher Hitchens thing when he was diagnosed with cancer. He said, I don’t have a body, I am a body. It was a realization of what we’re talking about here and the Magic Circle HR director said to me, all of the partners basically ignore everything from the neck below.

[00:14:41] Jean Gomes: It’s irrelevant to them, you know, as a function. So I think, you know, when I come to my definition of mindset, and this is a very simplified picture of what, you know, my research over the last 20 years has taught me. Is that our mindset is how we make sense of ourselves, given how we look at situations, the assumptions that we make largely unconsciously, and then how we feel physically and emotionally, given the frame, the thought process, and how we experience ourselves.

[00:15:08] Jean Gomes: In a particular situation, and when you start to join those dots up, you actually realize that there’s a massive flow of information coming from your body, coming from other people, coming from the situations you’re in, that you have misinterpreted most of the time. That means you feel constantly out of your depth, particularly in situations of uncertainty, you feel disconnected from yourself, you feel disconnected from other people.

[00:15:30] Jean Gomes: And so, this definition of mindset is a way of helping to do what we’re talking about here, which is to reintegrate the whole self into something that’s more powerful. 

[00:15:40] Mark Divine: Although I think it’s a fairly simplistic view, Carol Dweck’s notion of, you know, growth mindset versus fixed mindset is, is helpful. And it does fit kind of a developmental psychology that says we grow through these stages, but you’re not going to grow if you’re stuck at a particular stage due to life circumstances or family belief systems that you originally adhere to, or religion, or stuff like that.

[00:16:00] Mark Divine: And so I’m curious, you know, in corporations, you know, what you just said to me sounds like you work with a lot of people who are kind of in a fixed mindset, at least initially. So how do we, um, unfix somebody? Or how does somebody unfix themselves so they can begin to Expand into this sense of greater context that you’re talking about.

[00:16:18] Jean Gomes: Yeah, so I’ll tackle that in two ways. One is to sort of take on the conversation about this idea of fixed and growth mindset and then talk about how we actually practically make people make a shift in their mindset. So if you look up, as I have, I’ve looked at thousands of papers on mindset and books and talk to people who profess experience in this area and the majority of research papers, academic papers and so on.

[00:16:42] Jean Gomes: They all do the same thing, which is, Carol Dweck does this as well, largely. They describe the mindset of a type of person, or a type of way of looking at the world. As a mental model, and then a series of behaviors that that mental model then, you know, encourages and so on. And that is kind of useful up to a point, you know, it’s interesting to be able to see how, for example, an entrepreneur looks at situations, what’s their mental map, and then how, what are the kind of behaviors that give them an advantage.

[00:17:10] Jean Gomes: The problem with that is it’s only half the story of what a mindset is, because what it doesn’t say is Is the assumptions that person holds that they’re not even aware of and how they feel and respond emotionally and physically in situations of high risk and uncertainty. Because when you don’t know those things, you can’t teach other people how to adopt behaviors that are counterintuitive and countercultural.

[00:17:32] Jean Gomes: And so when you look at Carol Dweck’s work, that’s exactly what happened when other people took that work out into thousands of schools. That’s the research. Shows that less than 15 percent of children were able to adopt those things, because what you were doing was showing them a model and then saying, this is how it works, this is what you need to do, and it completely bypassed how anybody can actually learn.

[00:17:55] Jean Gomes: And certainly in, in most cases, the only successful examples where, where there were already a strong culture of personal development and openness to learning and so on. I think, you know, what we’re talking about here is confusing a kind of intellectual mental model with actually how a mindset works.

[00:18:12] Jean Gomes: And that’s what I’ve been really focused in on. 

[00:18:14] Mark Divine: Yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent. I, we call that a background of obviousness. It’s all that stuff that’s creating the background, like the underlying operating system software of a computer. It’s a rough analogy. It’s hidden from view. The mental models would be like Microsoft Word and Excel, and the background of obviousness is everything, starting with that identification as an, as a named being, right?

[00:18:36] Mark Divine: Mark, like that creates suddenly a, it’s an idea, right? It’s a virtual representation with four letters of what this being is supposed to be based upon others perceiving. And then language, right? So language is probably the biggest shaper of background of obviousness, like, and it really, really radically constrains.

[00:18:55] Mark Divine: Right? Your perception of reality. You can narrow it. This is why we see with people who speak multiple languages, they, they have greater perceptual ability based upon the language. Like for instance, like Sanskrit has like 67 words for love. And how many words in English do we have that even come close to love?

[00:19:10] Mark Divine: I mean, gratitude, compassion, love. So I think that’s interesting. How do you help people see that kind of obviousness in your work? 

[00:19:18] Jean Gomes: So I think you firstly acknowledge the rightness of an idea. So when you say, you know, like a child with a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset, we all know when our children do that and how that makes us feel.

[00:19:32] Jean Gomes: So you’re putting a label on it. And I love the phrase you’re using there is, yeah, it seems obvious and it seems right. There’s a rightness to the idea, but doesn’t mean it’s actually helping you to do anything about that. So I think what you have to kind of. Move people through is three steps. I think the first step is that they do need to understand a new way of thinking about something, but then they need to build it.

[00:19:53] Jean Gomes: They need to build it for themselves and experiential level. So we work with leaders and their teams to start showing how they can practically build the underlying mechanisms of their mindset. So before you start to think about applying any of this stuff, you actually show people what it’s like when you do this stuff and how it increases their self awareness and how it increases their ability to gain some of the things that they’re really missing in their life, like a sense of calmness in difficult situations.

[00:20:22] Jean Gomes: So. Things that I’m sure you’re, you know, you’ve done for many years and are second nature to you, like a body scan and doing kind of micro forms of mindfulness and renewal. What they do is if you find the right metrics for people who are very rational around this kind of stuff and don’t like the leap of faith.

[00:20:43] Jean Gomes: And show them how that can improve a measure of their neuroplasticity or some of the brain function. Then they can see themselves making progress. And so they will then start to invest in that because they can see that then they can get the qualitative experience of staying more open in a situation where they lose patience or being able to concentrate more where they get bored.

[00:21:08] Jean Gomes: And looking for immediate gratification by looking at their email, they can stay longer in the, in the presence of conversations and so on. So, it’s about creating real, practical, fast things that people can do to gain the thing that they’re missing. And that is the kind of switch and bait, really. Instead of focusing entirely on behaviors, look at the underlying mechanisms.

[00:21:31] Jean Gomes: And then get people to really focus in on what they want out of life that they’re not getting. Okay, 

[00:27:20] Mark Divine: I think cognitive behavioral therapy is. It could be a useful addition, right? So it’s a compliment. Yeah. But, you know, we know this from the many, many failed diet programs that everyone tries that you’ve got to change the underlying thought structures and, and the way the mind is working. There has to be a metanoiasis, a change of the mind.

[00:27:39] Mark Divine: Yeah. In order for the behaviors to change. Behavioral change alone can be a supportive mechanism, but it’s not going to get you there, I don’t think, in most cases. So, in my work with, um, clients, especially starting with, you know, Navy SEAL trainees, one of the first things it seems that we have to do is to get them to appreciate how destructive Negative thought patterns are and so I use kind of like, you know metaphors like feeding the courage wolf and the tail of the two wolves the fear wolf being residing in your brain and the heart courage wolf residing in your heart and stuff like that I have to kind of break it down in Barney style for for 17, 18-year-old Navy SEAL candidates And I help them see this kind of law of reciprocity that you, you know, whatever you give is what you get.

[00:28:21] Mark Divine: So if you’re putting out negativity, you’re going to receive it back and it’s going to degrade your performance. And so, in practical terms, I help them experience that through hard, crucible experiences where, when they’re negative, they can literally see and feel the performance of the team dropping. And so we give them the tools to get back into positive territory, like positive mantras and, Being in service to your teammate, you know, we call it the SEAL teams, not SEAL individuals.

[00:28:46] Mark Divine: And what I found is that one mindset shift is probably one of the most valuable and powerful around, right? Just the shift. Your mind from negative territory positive and we’re, you know, there’s some research I’m sure you’re probably more aware than me that the brain is kind of like five times as negatively wired as it is positive Probably based upon all the massive input we’re receiving constantly from TV and news and social media.

[00:29:10] Mark Divine: It’s just Radically negative, and so we absorb all that, like that’s the context you’re talking about, you’re constantly taking in information, so if it’s all negative, then you’re going to absorb that, and then you’re going to, your brain is going to take on that quality, and then you’re going to put it back out there, and you’re just going to receive more of it, so I don’t know, there wasn’t a question in there, I’m just more curious, like, does that resonate with your experience, and do you have to work on this with your clients to kind of shift them to positive territory?

[00:29:33] Jean Gomes: It does. I really like the kind of metaphor approach to things because people need to be able to hold on to something that they can action very fast. And often the metaphor that they have around something that’s negative doesn’t serve them particularly well, right? Because it’s all coming from a, a resistance point of view.

[00:29:51] Jean Gomes: It’s trying to something you’re trying to suppress or resist. And over time that becomes a futile strategy. You need to focus on something that you can do that’s positive and constructive. I think one of the things and it’s just something I kind of add into the conversation around from a neuroscience point of view and from a way in which emotions could be looked at is that negative emotions serve a real important function and that’s to keep us alive.

[00:30:16] Jean Gomes: That’s it’s number one thing and it’s not just the fight or flight because that’s the kind of simplistic way of looking at it every decision that we make is informed by some form of negative feeling because that’s a course correction and it could be very mild it could be like tiny little bit of anxiety or uncertainty or fear or you know whatever and that’s all trying to guide us and so 70 percent of the feelings that we have are negative and that’s constructive and one of the ways in which we should think about this is negative emotions aren’t positive A sign of weakness, what they are is a core need in us not being met.

[00:30:49] Jean Gomes: There is a feedback loop saying something is not being met. So something physical is not being met in us. We’re not getting enough sleep. We’re not getting enough food that’s right. We’re not getting enough renewal. We’re not getting enough movement or whatever. We’re not, that’s one big block. There is an emotional need that we all have to feel valued and with other people.

[00:31:10] Jean Gomes: And so when we don’t feel that, we feel defensive or we feel isolated or whatever. We have a need for control, volition, for a sense of being, you know, in charge of our destiny. And we have a need for connection when we feel isolated or we feel not included and so on. So negative emotions, when you read them like this, as needs not being met, What that does is it gives you more primary source of information, more actionable source of information, because often we can misread negative emotions, either by trying to switch into a positive action immediately, which might miss what’s really going on, or we might confuse the fact that we say we’re feeling frustrated when we are feeling shameful, or we are feeling And this comes back to your point around language and the fact that most people only have four to six words to describe how they’re feeling, which means they have no idea how they’re feeling, which means they don’t know what their needs are.

[00:32:03] Jean Gomes: So they say, fine, I’m fine. They say, fine, I’m great. I’m busy. I’m, I’m overweight, but they don’t actually know what they’re feeling because they might be, if they really tapped into what those feeling states were, they might go, I’m actually feeling jealous, or I’m feeling embarrassed, or I’m feeling revengeful.

[00:32:20] Jean Gomes: I’m feeling sulky. I’m feeling, you know. That then gives you that granularity of understanding how you’re feeling then helps you to understand what do I need because to switch to a positive action, you need to know what you need in order to be able to meet that need in yourself and take accountability for it.

[00:32:38] Jean Gomes: That gets you to a deeper kind of level of accountability around a positive action. 

[00:32:42] Mark Divine: And then the layer beyond that is to understand that in many cases, that feeling is a projection. Of maybe a repressed or suppressed energy from some sort of trauma, childhood trauma or, you know, even adult trauma. You may be feeling isolated or alone because, you know, you were, you were isolated or alone as a child and that was traumatic.

[00:33:02] Mark Divine: And therefore, you were kind of projecting that out in the world and that’s creating this feeling of being isolated or alone. In your life right now. So, how do you get rid of that? That’s the realm of like shadow work or, you know, therapeutic processes. From the western perspective and from the eastern perspective, it’s to embrace the silence and to touch into the, you know, the eternal nature.

[00:33:26] Mark Divine: You know, we talked about it in terms of consciousness, but the eternal nature of each individual, which is whole, which can’t experience shame or guilt or lack, because it’s, it’s beyond all of those experiences, but it’s still, you know, The essential nature of our very being. There’s a great book written by a guy named Bruce Tift called Already Free, which juxtaposes kind of the Eastern and Western models of psychology.

[00:33:52] Mark Divine: And it was very helpful for me to understand just how they can actually work together. Like, the Western is the outward reaching or, you know, striving to improve mindset and improve one’s conditions in life. Both, you know, through the internal path as well as, you know, behavioral therapy. Whereas the Eastern Path is a recognition, it’s more of a surrendering to the fact that you’re already whole.

[00:34:12] Mark Divine: You just don’t perceive it yet. So it’s a process of removing instead of adding to your life. 

[00:34:17] Jean Gomes: Yeah, I think that’s a very important thought to hold on to for a moment because A lot of the fundamental assumptions in mindset work is that it’s all about just improvement and being better and so on, rather than the, my starting point is this is about making sense of yourself in the world to your, your question around the critical, uh, Role that trauma has in people.

[00:34:42] Jean Gomes: Not everybody is traumatized, but in early life experiences, some people have the blessing of a loving family, but who knows? Things happen to us beyond our memory because we have childhood amnesia up to the age of seven. So we don’t always know what the source of something is. And having had, you know, a fairly difficult childhood myself and worked through that with therapy and a brilliant psychologist to help me to confront that in my 20s.

[00:35:07] Jean Gomes: I know the journey that that requires, and it’s never ending, constantly having to re, re understand that. But I think a lot of what we’re encouraged to do is to avoid that at all costs. To focus on the practical, the concrete, and the tangible, and, and therefore happiness will come from that, and that, that will never heal or make you whole in that sense.

[00:35:27] Mark Divine: Right, totally agree. You know, I would almost like to flip the script on the blessings of a perfect childhood, because, you know, similar to you, I had an imperfect childhood. A lot of trauma, a lot of anger, alcohol. And I find it a great blessing. You know, literally, that saying, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today were it not for that.

[00:35:43] Mark Divine: I wouldn’t have been a Navy SEAL were it not for that. And I’m very grateful for those experiences. But, like you said, it took me a long time to get there, as you can imagine, to where I have absolute gratitude for the childhood. But I think that’s instructive for anybody who had a pretty rough go at it in the first 18 years of their lives, or beyond, is to begin to Like really see it as a blessing as the, you know, shaping the courage and the resilience that is the nature of your being today, right?

[00:36:14] Mark Divine: It’s interesting. I’m curious, like again, this would probably fall in the context of a, of a model, but when we’re talking about mindset, is there like an ideal or optimal model? framework for mindset that one should be striving toward? And how would you name that or characterize 

[00:36:30] Jean Gomes: that? It’s very difficult to say because I think that falls into the kind of ideas business where you’re trying to take this vast complexity and boil it down to something that’s overly simplistic.

[00:36:39] Jean Gomes: The one thing I would say about this is that There is no one mindset. There are multiple mindsets we need. And I think the things that are causing polarization and, uh, causing division in family life and, you know, and so on is grounded in firstly, I believe that we, we need as to have a different conversation about a needs based mindset.

[00:37:03] Jean Gomes: I think once people start to pay attention more to their needs, not wants, not rights, not all this kind of stuff, but their fundamental needs, We’ll move out of a very toxic sacrifice culture where in order to be successful, we have to sacrifice our core needs to health, to our family, to our, the things that we care about community and so on.

[00:37:24] Jean Gomes: And then we justify that by saying that’s the only way I can be successful now. There may be a grain of truth in that, there always is, and there may be in past generations the need to make huge sacrifices to help your family to do that, and certainly around the world there are families making huge sacrifices.

[00:37:40] Jean Gomes: But what I’m focusing here is on the blessed people in developed countries who are now in a horrible grind. Where even the most successful people that go to the Ivy League universities have a horrible childhood striving for perfection. They get into an education system that challenges them beyond belief.

[00:38:01] Jean Gomes: Then they get into jobs that do the same in the belief that somehow they’re going to get freedom at the end of this. And all they do is they suffer the whole way through it. And for what? Their families don’t see them. They have poor health as a result of this mentally and emotionally and physically.

[00:38:17] Jean Gomes: That’s the apex of what we’re all looking to and saying, well, those are people that are really, you know, achieving and that isn’t a great, that sacrifice mindset is the one that I think we need to, to get rid of. We need a sufficiency mindset, which allows us to say our needs are more important than anything else.

[00:38:34] Jean Gomes: We can create, we can innovate, we can come up with really amazing new things by beating people’s needs and that we can see that how we feel is the most primary source of information about how to navigate all of the complexity uncertainty that we can, we can ally that to our intellectual abilities and we’ll have a much more whole response to things that are happening and more honest one as well.

[00:38:57] Mark Divine: Right. Yeah. I mean, and as you’re talking, I was thinking. Again, how we’re shaped by the context of our culture, our social structures, the social contract, even the ideas around the economy, right? So, as you were talking about that social contract where you bust your butt in primary school so that you can bust your butt and be traumatized in college with just this relentless pressure and do outs and grades, and then you can get traumatized back in the workforce by endlessly long hours in an uncaring environment.

[00:39:29] Mark Divine: And like you said, all for what, right? Does it bring you, you know, like studies of people on their deathbed, like they don’t say, I wish I had more of that. They say, I wish I didn’t do that and I spend more time with my family. So basic awareness, like some of the drills you talked about, mindfulness, you know, they can help you expand out to see how all that context has shaped that background of obviousness and those belief systems that keep you stuck on that endless merry go round.

[00:39:55] Mark Divine: And I think the more people who see that, then the more conversations we can have to begin to change, you know, the economic story, right? That we have to constantly, like, here’s a problem with our economic story, it’s linear, and it’s based upon something that is always going to grow, but can’t possibly take time to restore.

[00:40:15] Mark Divine: Take time to recover and cycle back, right? Nothing grows forever. No human being grows forever. It literally has a growth phase and then a retraction phase. So we’ve got to develop economic models and social structures that are more yin yang, you know, balanced. The, um, circular, I don’t know, there’s different words for it.

[00:40:34] Mark Divine: Anyways, I guess. I’m just kind of opining here and extending it out to like social theory, but the social mind, the social situated and social cognition is the terms I would say, you know, that shape your reality are a significant factor in one’s mindset. And so by examining those structures and seeing how they affected you, you can then begin to deconstruct your relationship to them and that brings you freedom.

[00:40:58] Mark Divine: And then you’re free to make new choices in terms of how you spend your time in terms of, you know, work and relationships and stuff like that. 

[00:41:06] Jean Gomes: Yeah. I think of mindset as a broker between the external world and the social constructs and the internal world, which is your personality, your genetics, your knowledge, your, um, Values your, um, you know, the whole range of internal things that are often lumped into mindset.

[00:41:25] Jean Gomes: I think I see it separate to that. I see it as the kind of navigating tool, the broker between those two worlds. In order to be able to orientate yourself and orientate your sense of self and what’s happening outside of you, you need something to be able to prevent you from getting stuck. And the three elements that we’re talking about here is you see people are stuck because they hold the same frame up.

[00:41:46] Jean Gomes: For the whole of their lives about what success looks like they hold the same frame up and the whole story about what their relationship with their family is and what they’re doing. I sacrifice everything to make you safe and their family is saying we’re already safe, but we’re not getting any of you.

[00:42:01] Jean Gomes: The second piece when you change the frame, you change the assumptions that come with that frame and that opens up the possibility to see things differently. And I know, you know, there are lots of different ways in which you can articulate that. But to the rational mind, this is a very simple.

[00:42:14] Jean Gomes: architecture that is logical, you know, change the frame, changing the assumptions. And then you recognize that when you feel defensive and angry in a particular situation, why, what need is that showing is not being met in you. And that gives you a really primary source of information to go, well, is that frame helping me, those set of assumptions, logical, and that’s the kind of thing I’ve been trying to work on to give people something very simple to hold on to.

[00:42:40] Mark Divine: Yeah, that’s a beautiful framework. So your organization is called more human. Is that what you’re working with now? No, 

[00:42:46] Jean Gomes: that’s a program that we do. Our organization is called outside. 

[00:42:49] Mark Divine: Outside, right? 

[00:42:50] Jean Gomes: We started three years ago and with a mission, 10 year mission to be a driving force of human evolution.

[00:42:56] Jean Gomes: What we mean by that is that. We have a research team of neuroscientists and psychologists and consultants. We have a consultancy team doing this work. And then we want to take this message. Once we’ve commercialized it, we want to give it away to the world for free. And let everybody benefit from this and all the tools and so on.

[00:43:13] Jean Gomes: But we want to prove them out as well first. We don’t want to just be the ideologues. We want to show that these things actually work in practice. So that’s, that’s my 10 year mission. 

[00:43:21] Mark Divine: That’s terrific. I applaud that and I agree with it. It’s got to be evidence based for the Western mind to accept it. You know, when I teach or coach, I say, listen, there is a lot of evidence out there, but at the same time, you need to be your own research laboratory, study of N equals one, and prove it to yourself or else.

[00:43:38] Mark Divine: Concepts get you nowhere. Knowingness comes from practice, not from knowledge. 

[00:43:43] Jean Gomes: Totally agree. I totally agree. I mean, I think, you know, there’s such a temptation to get excited about your own ideas and believe your own, uh, Yeah, bull. Yes. One of our values is eat your own dog food. And if we don’t, we don’t try and sell it to our clients.

[00:43:58] Jean Gomes: Or, you know, to our research team, you’ve got to do it. And I did an experiment during COVID that lasted 441 days. And it was a body scan that I did every morning to tap into that rawest form of consciousness. And then to measure what happened to me, both the physiological signs and also my experiences, how my mindset was altered over the course of confrontations, difficult situations, Uncertainty, good times, bad times, and so on through that process, including the death of my dad, and it was just, I write about it in the book that I just wrote this year, and it was a revelation for something so simple that took 30 seconds a day, 40 seconds a day, you know, it was amazing.

[00:44:39] Mark Divine: I love that, and you’re right, it doesn’t take much, it’s the consistent effort, right, the commitment to consistently do it. I start Navy SEALs with breath training, right, just because it’s very, they can see palpable changes very, very quickly in their arousal control and their clarity of their decision to make that calm under pressure that you talked about earlier, but I tell them, listen, doing it for an hour on Sunday or, you know, hyping yourself up with Wim Hof, You know, once a week, that’s not going to really do anything for you, but even if you just did five minutes a day of consistent box breathing practice, come back to me in a month and tell me how you feel and what’s changing your life, and I can guarantee you, you will see some significant results.

[00:45:17] Jean Gomes: I don’t know if you’ve seen the Dr. Paulness study, looking at the impact of these kind of things have, so. There’s a body of work around the topic of interoception, which is the sense of information coming from within your body. And people that have greater connection with that and can know what their body is doing have all sorts of benefits.

[00:45:36] Jean Gomes: But what he showed was on this range of ultra marathoners and the elite athletes, Olympians, Navy SEALs, and someone right down to, you know, kind of normal people with kind of normal sedentary lifestyles. is very simply that the people at this end of the spectrum with the heightened awareness of their body and do the kind of practices you talk about.

[00:45:56] Jean Gomes: have an enlarged part of their brain, the insular cortex. And what that does, when you put people through stress, is it mobilizes the resources in prediction of the stress and then calms down, which means that you are free to think. Whereas a normal person, who’s not sort of developed this, Their brain lags.

[00:46:13] Jean Gomes: The insular cortex response lags after the stressor and then goes crazy and doesn’t calm down, which means they can’t think and they’re panicking. So it’s not about IQ. It’s not about, you know, knowledge and experience. It’s about your brain can’t literally do what it needs to do in that situation.

[00:46:29] Jean Gomes: Because you haven’t trained it to mobilize the resources necessary. And that’s why I love about the simplicity of these things, they are very effective very quickly. 

[00:46:38] Mark Divine: Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, we could go on forever, I’d love to chat more, but uh, your new book, is it out in the marketplace yet? 

[00:46:44] Jean Gomes: Yeah, it’s called “Leading in a Non Linear World.”

[00:46:47] Jean Gomes: It’s published by Wiley. It came out at the start of this year, and yeah, it’s had a good reception. 

[00:46:52] Mark Divine: So people can obviously go check out the book, and I’d love to read that myself. Your program More. Human, is that accessible or is it something that’s 

[00:46:59] Jean Gomes: Yeah, that’s one of our programs. So it is a, it’s an in person program.

[00:47:02] Jean Gomes: It’s also, we’ve got a digital platform that we make available to corporates. It’s not a consumer product at the moment. We are developing one. But More. Human is really about helping to deal with this problem of increased depletion, defensiveness, and disconnection. And we’re trying to flip those three things by the kind of practices that we talked about and give people simple things that they can do.

[00:47:25] Jean Gomes: So it’s a, it’s a one year self directed program where, you know, they’re really helped to build a mindset of wellbeing. 

[00:47:33] Mark Divine: That’s terrific. I love that you make it a year. My, my unbeatable mind program is a year long as well. And it’s like we said in the season. You can’t mass produce change. It’s got to be a consistent effort over a period of time.

[00:47:43] Mark Divine: It’s been a terrific conversation, Jean. I really appreciate your time. If someone wanted to reach out to you, get more information about your company’s work and your book, anything, what’s the best way for them to do that? 

[00:47:54] Jean Gomes: Well, two things, really. One is just to link in with me, Jean Gomes, or look at our website, which is weareoutside.

[00:48:01] Jean Gomes: com. I have a regular newsletter that I do on Mindset every month. where I share not just kind of high level ideas, but some of the real detailed practices and models that we’re working on. The aim of that really is to get collaborative input. People reach out and say, this is what I’ve learned about that or have questions about it because we want to give, you know, this stuff to people.

[00:48:23] Jean Gomes: We’re not holding back. So come and take a look. 

[00:48:27] Mark Divine: We are outside. com. I’m going to go sign up for your newsletter right now. 

[00:48:30] Jean Gomes: Awesome. 

[00:48:33] Mark Divine: All right, Jean. Thanks again. I appreciate your time. 

[00:48:34] Jean Gomes: Oh, I loved the conversation, Mark. Thank you.

[00:48:41] Mark Divine: Oh, that was a fascinating discussion with Jean Gomes about mindset and neuroscience and all things around that. Really interesting. Love that stuff. Thank you, Jean, for being on the Mark Divine Show. Appreciate it very much. Go check out his website, Weareoutside.com. Show notes are up at markdivine.com.

[00:48:58] Mark Divine: Videos up on my YouTube channel. If you have a guest idea or want to reach out to me, you can find me on Twitter slash X at MarkDivine and on Instagram or Facebook at RealMarkDivine. Also, I have a newsletter, Divine Inspiration, which comes out every Tuesday, where I’ve got a blog and show notes from the week’s podcast, a book I’m reading, a practice, and some other interesting things that come across my desk.

[00:49:19] Mark Divine: So check it out. Go to markDivine. com to subscribe and share it with your friends. Thanks so much to my team, Catherine Divine and Jason Sanderson and Jeff Haskell, who help produce the podcast newsletter and bring guests like Jean to you every week. Ratings and reviews are very, very appreciated. If you haven’t done so, please consider rating and reviewing wherever you listen.

[00:49:38] Mark Divine: And thanks so much for being part of the change you want to see in the world. It is gnarly out there, but it doesn’t have to be gnarly in here. So, work on yourself. Develop your own positivity. Your courage and peacefulness and then you’ll reflect that in the world and bring more of it to you The more people we can get to do that and to live that the less violence we’ll see in the world at large So thanks for being part of the solution until next time.

[00:50:04] Mark Divine: It’s your host, Mark Divine. Booyah!


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