With Dr. David Gruder, a multi-award-winning Wall Street Journal bestselling psychologist who Radio-TV Interview Report named America’s Integrity Expert and hailed as having “a field of wisdom that few can match.” A Business Lifecycle Psychologist and pioneer in PsychoSpiritual Fitness for Leaders & Executives with a deep commitment to ethical leadership, Dr. Gruder is a beacon of inspiration for those seeking to revolutionize their organizations, enlighten their communities, and create lasting positive impact in the world. He has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world chart a path toward a more ethical, values-driven, and universally prosperous society.

Dr. Gruder excels at turning high intentions into practical step-by-step procedures. He blends psychospiritual mysteries of the soul with boots-on-the-ground skills that equip leaders in business, society, and governance to flourish. The most recent of his many books are “The Nimble C-Suite” and “The Nimble Company.”

Join us for this powerful conversation around what makes for effective leadership, how to create real impact in your life and in the world, and why transformation on an individual level is essential for all of us. Listen as we dive deep into a conversation about anger, (and how to transform our relationship to it), what purpose is and how it relates to your soul-growth mission, as well the true definition of forgiveness. Hear Dr. Gruder share on why we can’t “will power” our way out of trauma, and how we can better deal with the current state of (painful) affairs in the world. This is a ultimately a conversation about healing – oneself and the world.

You will not want to miss this transformational conversation!

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Takeaways & quotes you don’t want to miss from this episode:

  • True anger is about boundaries.
  • How positive thinking was used as a hiding strategy for avoiding healing trauma.
  • What are the basic common sense things that seem to have been forgotten?
  • The problems that humanity is facing today cannot be solved by one person.
  • What is “New Age denial”?

“We can’t willpower our way out of unresolved trauma because trauma is not embedded in the mind, but in our body, heart and our spirits.”

-Dr. David Gruder

Check out these highlights:

  • 07:49 David shares some challenges he encountered in his childhood.
  • 13:28 How to deal with your anger in a more healthy way.
  • 21:24 What do you make from your painful childhood experience to your current version of yourself?
  • 34:37 David’s turning points in his career that have led him to what he’s doing now.
  • 57:46 Final thought to leave with our listeners…

How to get in touch with Dr. David on Social Media:

You can also contact Dr. David by visiting his website here

Special gift to the listeners: Get access to resource recommendations on various topics such as self-development, health, men’s work, leadership, software, and business development here.

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below:

GGGB Intro  00:00

Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®…

Dr. David Gruder  00:04

We can’t willpower our way out of unresolved trauma because trauma is not embedded in the mind. If it was only embedded in the mind, we probably couldn’t willpower our way out of it. But trauma is stored in our body, in our heart in our spirits, not just in our thoughts. That’s why it can’t be willpower out of…

GGGB Intro  00:29

The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell  00:57

Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington, serving online information entrepreneurs throughout the US and the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I am so excited to bring you a very special guest today. My friend David Gruder. Welcome, David.

Dr. David Gruder  01:27

Oh, thank you so much. I’ve been looking forward to West enjoying each other during this podcast.

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:33

Oh my gosh. Well, I feel like for one, this is way overdue. For those of you that don’t know, David, I met David. Gosh, years ago. Now I want to say was it like 2017? The first time because it was a JV Ology in Calgary.

Dr. David Gruder  01:47

Yeah, it could have been 2017 or 2018.

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:50

Yep, somewhere in there. And then, you know, I think, again, at the JV Ology event in San Diego right before COVID hit right. What you guys don’t know is that I felt an immediate connection to David. I just loved his message and his work right away. And I mean, of course, like anybody over the last handful of years, that work has evolved. And I am super excited for you to hear David’s message today and to help share it because the timing is just so right. There’s a lot of really poignant things happening in the world. And I just I feel like so many people are going to benefit from hearing from David today. So for those of you that don’t know, David, Dr. David Gruder, is a multi-award-winning Wall Street Journal bestselling psychologist who Radio-TV Interview Report named America’s Integrity Expert. I love that so much. And I’ll mention something on that point, and how he has been hailed as having “a field of wisdom that few can match.” And I can tell you personally, the truth of that, a Business Lifecycle Psychologist and pioneer in PsychoSpiritual Fitness for Leaders & Executives with a deep commitment to ethical leadership, Dr. Gruder is a beacon of inspiration for those seeking to revolutionize their organizations, enlighten their communities, and create lasting positive impact in the world. He has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world chart a path toward a more ethical, values-driven, and universally prosperous society.   Dr. Gruder excels at turning high intentions into practical step-by-step procedures. He blends psychospiritual mysteries of the soul with boots-on-the-ground skills that equip leaders in business, society, and governance to flourish. The most recent of his many books are “The Nimble C-Suite” and “The Nimble Company.” David, I love you. And I love your message so much. And I think one of the things that really resonated for me when I first met you is this theme around integrity and ethics. And what a lot of people don’t know is one of the things that actually got me into law was writing a paper on legal ethics.

Dr. David Gruder  02:45

Woohoo, marvelous. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  03:35

Yeah, it was fabulous. And even in my early years in line it up teaching numerous CLAS on the topic of legal ethics and what they tell us and actually, not only legal ethics, but lawyer jokes and what they tell us about the legal profession. Right. So yep, it’s been a long standing theme anyways, I love other people who are in the field of ethics, integrity, you know, and really, I think the other aspect to you that’s really powerful is how practical you are about how to bring In this alive for people and make it something that they can implement and do right now.

Dr. David Gruder  05:05

Thank you. That’s really where my passion is translating good intentions into effective actions.

Heather Pearce Campbell  05:14

Right? Well, and I think, you know, the struggle is real for a lot of people in positions of leadership or influence about having good intentions, but not knowing how to translate that into something that has the impact they want to have.

Dr. David Gruder  05:32

So true, so true. And I’ll add as a parenthetical comment that I’m the gratefully recovering son of an attorney, which, you know, my father was an impeccable, attorney, ethics wise. And I really got a deep seated sense of ethics, including legal ethics and constitutional ethics, from my father growing up, which makes me a particularly odd duck as a psychologist.

Heather Pearce Campbell  06:07

Right? Not everybody is, right has a legal mind in their family, and especially one that shares openly some people have attorneys in their family, but they are kind of self encapsulated in their work, they don’t bring a lot of it home or talk about it a lot with kids and family, depending on the area of work. But that is fascinating. And the maybe two other people in my life that I know that come from a family like that, where they had a legal mind who shared a lot. I actually have tremendous respect for they ended up not in law, which you know, is always interesting, but are really, really interesting decision makers.

Dr. David Gruder  06:49

My father, to his credit did not tell me that he thought that I would have made a really effective trial lawyer until after I was enrolled in my doctoral program and psychology.

Heather Pearce Campbell  07:03

Interesting. Good job, Dad. Yeah. Yeah, good for him. Well, I would be curious, because, you know, I always love the origin story. And I know you have one, even around childhood. I mean, we were joking. Just before we went live, I think you said the phrase, it’s never too late to have a happy child. I thought, Wow, that’s a powerful message that people need to hear. And I think that, you know, there were some challenges in your childhood. Do you mind sharing a little bit about your story?

Dr. David Gruder  07:37

Oh no, I mean, we could spend the entire time on that which will not do. Because there are so many juicy stories from from my childhood. But I’ll tell you a couple that are particularly important to me. One was that in elementary school, I had this the equivalent of an X on my forehead saying to my peers, if you’re looking for someone to bully, I’m your person. And that came from an experience that I had when I was about five years old, six years old. When a boy who had been bullying me, I reached what I call the Popeye point from the Popeye cartoons where just before he reaches for his spinach, he says that’s all I can stands, I can’t stand no more. I call that the Popeye point. And I reached the Popeye point with this boy. And I was a really peaceful, you know, happy kid. I was not a violent kid. But I landed a left hook onto his face, and decked him. And he was just crying on the ground. And what happened for me was I scared the hell out of myself. I realized at that young age, that I had killer energy in me. And I had no idea what to do with that energy. So I completely pushed it away and divorced it. And instead of potentially becoming a perpetrator, I became a victim. And so I really grew up understanding what being bullied felt like, and what being on the receiving end of being a target felt like, because I was even up through eighth grade. I was regularly ambushed and beaten up growing, going home from school for being Jewish. So while they were hurling, you know, demeaning comments about Jews verbally. I was being beaten up by a group of boys physically. And all of that could have turned me into a victim or could have turned me into a hater. What it did was it turned me into a lover. And on the other hand, by the time I was 16 years old, I was saying out loud, in words, I don’t do anger, because the only version of anger that I saw growing up in my family was rage or holism. And cabinet door slamming, so passive aggressive, covert anger, and very explosive, verbal anger. And because those were the only two versions of anger that I grew up with, in my own family, and at 16, I didn’t know that anger came in any other flavor than those flavors. I was saying, I don’t do anger, it wasn’t until I was in my 40s, that I finally started developing a healthy relationship with anger.

Heather Pearce Campbell  11:00

So many bells going off for me, because I feel like I mean, a couple of things stand out one about the choice you made as a child, right? Seeing that rage come kind of full frontal center in your own existence and being and it sounds like making a meaningful choice around, I’m not going to do that, which took you the other direction. Obviously, now you see it in the lens of love, and that experience, it sounds like really helping you to become this wealth of wisdom that you are the topic of anger, I feel like it’s so relevant. It’s so relevant. And I think so many of us learn the wrong lessons about anger at a young age, right? Because whether it’s generational, you know, whatever it is, the messaging, I think, for so many of us, and I can speak that in my family. You know, my dad grew up in a household where his father, and you know, I love my grandfather, and he had human struggles, like so many of us do. He was fairly abusive, he had loving children, and so often to get little boys in line and keep this horde of kids in line, you know, he was physical with them. And he was particularly physical with my dad. And so my dad, to his credit, took the reverse role in his parenting, like, I’m not going to do anger, I’m not going to raise my voice, I’m not going to raise a hand. And he didn’t, to his credit. And still, the lesson that we learned about anger was that it’s not okay, you shove it down, you shove it to the side, you know, you don’t talk about it, you don’t address it, you put it under the rug. And I think so many of us like you, in our adult lives, it’s the first time that we’ve really learned to not necessarily befriend anger, but to like, address it, to face it to dissect it to start to have the conversation around, you know, what is this thing called? Anger? How do we deal with it in a more healthy way?

Dr. David Gruder  13:17

Yeah, absolutely. We could actually spend the entire episode talking about this, right? It’s a big topic. It’s a big topic and what most people don’t know. And I certainly didn’t know until I finally started reconnecting with and addressing my anger. And like I said in my 40s is that anger comes in four distinctly different flavors and the only version of anger that’s true, pure anger isn’t even called anger. Because what pure anger is, is really a half of a boundary. Your anger. pure anger is no and Ouch. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  14:06

Right, it’s the red flag that pops up. 

Dr. David Gruder  14:09

Yeah. And of course, that’s half of a boundary because the other half of the boundary is yes and yum. In contrast to no and Ouch. And the things that get called anger are all of the dysfunctional expressions of anger.

Heather Pearce Campbell  14:24

That are being masked by this thing we called anger. Exactly.

Dr. David Gruder  14:28

And so when you said the phrase, befriend anger, and then you almost took it back, right? I’m going to take it all the way. Yes, it’s crucial to befriend real anger. It’s crucial to be friend. The only thing that’s pure anger that’s not called anger, which is no and ouch, because we don’t have our boundaries. If we don’t know what fits for us and what doesn’t fit for us. We cannot flourish in the world. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  14:55

No, no, we can’t. No, we can’t. And I think so often what happens is anger can so easily mask sadness, it can mask fear, it can mask these other things. We call it anger. But there’s really something deeper. But you’re right, like true anger is about boundaries.

Dr. David Gruder  15:15

Yes. Right. Well, you know, we had talked before we started recording about what I could offer your guests, and I didn’t even think about this are your guests, your regular viewers. And so one of the things that I’ll make available is a primer on the four flavors of anger, and how each of them needs to be dealt with differently from the others.

Heather Pearce Campbell  15:39

Oh, I love that so much. I mean, it’s something that I still have more work to do on personally. So perfect. If you’re listening, pop over, because this will be one I’m sure of many links that we’re going to share, not only in, you know how you can get in touch with David and learn more, but on this particular resource, which is a primer on anger. Thank you, David, that sounds amazing. Well, so you have these experiences in childhood, you began to deal with really processing anger in your 40s. Is there more like this experience of turning that childhood? Sounds like not just one experience a long list of experiences along a same theme? At what age were you when you decided those made you love?

Dr. David Gruder  16:33

It started to shift for me when I was in my late teens and early 20s. Up until probably my final year of high school and even then, I had taken on the mantle of being the innocent victim, the one that harmful things happened to and had started to adopt this false sense of identity that the only thing that makes me special is that I’ve been doored being a victim. And, you know, in some circles, it’s called victimology. And so I really acquired that kind of addiction. And yet at the same time, there was another part of me that’s always been active in me, that is always living with the question, How do I turn the unasked for or even unacceptable, into a spiritual gift into a soul growth gift. And I call that harvesting. I consider it to be a crucial life skill that is among the crucial life skills. That’s not taught in school. It’s not taught in religious training. And it’s not taught in most families, for exactly the reason you were saying before, because our parents came by their wounds, honestly, too. My dad was physically abused. Growing up, he made a vow when I was born, I was the first firstborn. And when I was born, he made a vow to himself that he told me about when I was in my 20s. And the vow he told me he made to himself was that he was not going to do to his children what his father had done to him. And because he didn’t have the benefit of the human potential movement, and you know, things like that. All he could do was make a white knuckle decision. It was a decision about abstinence, he was going to abstain from doing to his children, what was done to him. And when he sat me down in my 20s, to tell me about that. It was with a huge amount of emotional pain and grief and guilt in Him. He said to me, I didn’t realize until now that I did the same thing to you and your brother that your father did to me, but I only did it in a different form. I shamed you. I did verbal abuse. I didn’t do physical abuse. I was true to my commitment to not physically abuse you and your brother. But I didn’t realize that I just translated it into a different form, because I didn’t know what else to do. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  19:25

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Heather Pearce Campbell  21:08

What do you make of that today? Your today version of yourself? What do you make of that? Is it like part of what my mind is going to is almost that there are universal lessons that find us no matter what. 

Dr. David Gruder  21:23

Yes. So your question goes to something that is really important to me in terms of the personal purpose, world and being purpose driven. Almost everyone in that I’m familiar with in the field of purpose driven life and purpose driven business. They talk only about our what I call our impact mission, the positive impact that we want to have in the world are recalled to have in the world, which is really, really, really important. But it’s only one half of our purpose, because the other half of our purpose is our soul growth mission. And only when we’re clear about our soul growth mission and our impact mission and how they synergistically feed off of each other, can we really have maximum impact in the world. And I knew I came in with an awareness that I don’t know how I came in with it. But I did with the awareness that my soul growth mission was to finally get in the deepest cells of my being, that nothing in the physical universe could either harm me or save me. And because of how deeply embedded that soul growth mission was. It’s what gave me the fuel to turn undesired life experiences into blessings. And I’ll share what can I share one with you from my teenage years that directly informs the work that I do today? 

Heather Pearce Campbell  22:57

Yeah, I would love that. Before we get there. Can I ask one question? Because sure, in my mind, I hear naysayers or somebody going well, this sounds like you know, because I want to be clear how this is different from spiritual bypassing, because you hear a lot about spiritual bypassing these days, right? Oh, yeah. Will you? Will you distinguish those for us? And yes, okay. 

Dr. David Gruder  23:20

Yes, I will. In fact, I was one of the forerunners back in the late 80s and early 90s, who was talking about spiritual bypass before the term was invented. I called it New Age denial. That’s what I called it back then. And I wasn’t demeaning New Age thinking, because I think there’s a lot of value in positive thought. But what I was speaking about in my keynotes, back then, on this topic, was how people were using positive thinking as a hiding strategy for avoiding healing their trauma, avoiding healing their wounds, what they weren’t learning in the new thought world was that and here’s a soundbite of mine from back then we live our lives at the level of our wounds, not our wishes, until we heal that stuff. And then it starts to shift. And it translates into a lot of the problems that we see in politics and in business, and in the structure of societies and humanity. Today, leaders lead at the level of their self development limitations, despite their highest intentions.

Heather Pearce Campbell  24:33

Yes, there was another gentleman in my life who I remember saying the phrase something about, we do the best with the resources that we have. And he said, No, we do the best with the wounding that we have. You know, again, speaking to the fact that inherent in the human experience is limitation based on our wounding until we address that wounding. 

Dr. David Gruder  24:59

Precisely, we can’t willpower our way out of unresolved trauma. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  25:06

Yeah. Because you say that again for the kids and back. Sure.

Dr. David Gruder  25:11

We can’t willpower our way out of unresolved trauma because trauma is not embedded in the mind. If it was only embedded in the mind, we probably could willpower our way out of it. But trauma is stored in our body, in our heart in our spirits, not just in our thoughts. That’s why it can’t be willpower out of…

Heather Pearce Campbell  25:35

Yeah, yeah. It’s why it can be so surprising to folks, I think. And I speak from my own experience around this, who are aware, right, who are intelligent, who are aware, who are compassionate, they think they’ve “dealt with something”, right? So like, I like so many people had an experience in my childhood that I was aware of, and even as a three year old, going through that experience I was aware of at a completely different level than a lot of three year olds would be, and still, what you say the truth of the fact that trauma lives in our body, you cannot willpower, your way through it. And time and time again, that episode has popped up as a causal factor for all these other things that I’ve had to address.

Dr. David Gruder  26:29

Exactly. My definition of forgiveness is demonstrating in the present, that I’m no longer harmed by the unacceptable that occurred in my past. Yes, exactly. Right. It’s not about pretending like unacceptable, things didn’t happen. Totally. And it’s not about doing bypass, it’s about doing the deep work of trauma healing, because there’s no such thing as a trauma that can’t be healed from psychologically and spiritually, there is such a thing as physical injuries that people might not fully recover from physically. But there’s no such thing as a trauma that can’t be fully healed from psychologically and spiritually. I love that. And the healing is where we have extracted the soul growth gifts from the unacceptable experience. And once we’ve truly extracted those gifts, the rest of what the experience was about becomes irrelevant, it loses its emotional charge for us, it loses its ability to over control our reactions in the hearing now.

Heather Pearce Campbell  27:43

Yes. Well, it’s so interesting, I think that point around emotional charge, whether it is drawn towards something or repelled away the conversation because talking about parenting, right, and I’m a parent, I’ve had my own experiences, where I’ve shamed my children, and then feel a tremendous amount of shame myself, you know, and figuring out like, how do we parent in the best way possible with the least amount of trauma? And well, it’s a worthy question. Part of what I’ve had to live into, is, is also accepting the bigger picture that lessons are going to show up for my kids, I’m going to deliver some of those painful lessons, unknowingly.

Dr. David Gruder  28:33

Yes, right. And culturally.

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:35

And unintentionally, and that that is just part of the journey, and that there’s no way for me to not do that in some capacity for them. 

Dr. David Gruder  28:45

It is part of the fabric of our soul growth as human beings. Yes, yes. And that’s why the mistakes my parents made, I call them loving mistakes, meaning loving intention, mistaken expression, a loving mistake. I don’t harbor resentment toward my parents for that anymore. And to even say it that way understates it, because I harbor gratitude for the gifts that I was able to harvest from those experiences. And that then maybe if it’s okay, ties, ties us back brings us back to the experience I wanted to share from when I was a teenager. Yes, please do, has to do with, with my my purpose in life. The seeds for this experience were actually sown. When I was about six or seven years old when my I grew up in and around New York City. And at that young age, my parents took me to the United Nations for a tour of the United Nations. Now, of course, you know, there are plenty of people who talk today about that. The corrupt politics in the United Nations. I wouldn’t know nothing about that at six or seven. All I knew at that age was that here was this organization that was supposed to be all about helping the planet function in a good way, interconnectedly. And from that visit forward, there were two flags that flew in my bedroom, the United Nations flag and the American flag. And in my mind, as a child, I was a citizen of the world first and inside that I was a proud American, not the other way around. So that was the foundation. Fast forward to age 16. The war in Vietnam was raging now we’re looking at when I was in the late 1960s. And my high school was polarized the way that society was on a lot of high schools were the polarization in my high school was two groups. One group was called the hippies, and they wore black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam. And the other group was called the Greasers. And they wore white armbands to protest the protesters. And I finally got fed up with this. And I thought, I have to figure out a way to make a statement because they’re both of these groups are nuts. They’re making war against each other. And that’s not going to ever create solutions. So I came up at 16 with what I thought was a brilliant idea to bring them together. And I recruited my mom to help me because it required sewing and I didn’t know how to sew and she did. And what I asked her to create for me was an armband. That was actually two bands sewn together. A black armband, and a white armband sewn to each other. And across both was the phrase anti polarization. And so she finishes the armband and I put it on, I proudly wear it to school first day that I have this armband available to me wanting to bring these two groups together with this protest against the crazy what I viewed as craziness. And sure enough, within moments of arriving at my high school, I’m surrounded by a group of hippies and a group of Greasers. And they’re all yelling the exact same thing to me. You’re a coward. You refuse to take a stand? Get off it, stop being a coward. And I realized I’m standing there listening to this. And I’m saying to myself, Oh, my God, I got my wish. I got them. I got them on the same page. But I was the sacrificial lamb. And in that moment, I made a vow that I was going to figure out how to bring people with divergent perspectives together without me being crucified in the process. I was a 16 year old commitment. It’s what I have done for my career ever since.

Heather Pearce Campbell  32:57

Wow. Well, I was gonna say that’s a very early experience that relates so poignantly to what you are doing now. In looking back, first of all, I have so many questions my mind immediate was like, What number are you on the Enneagram? What number Enneagram? One? I knew it. I’m a one. 

Dr. David Gruder  33:16

And for people who know the Enneagram, I will say my favorite joke about being a one. I’m actually a 17. Because one’s evolved towards seven.

Heather Pearce Campbell  33:26

Seven, when they’re living in their highest self, right? And the seven is the light hearted fun being in the moment. 

Dr. David Gruder  33:33

Yes, yes. And I happen to be married to a seven. So I’m constantly inspired sports seven, the ones are the perfectionist and the idealists.

Heather Pearce Campbell  33:44

DLA? Well. And often they’re the ones willing to take bullets based on principle, right, based on taking a stand and saying something that is uncomfortable, but needs to be said.

Dr. David Gruder  33:55


Heather Pearce Campbell  33:55

Are you a two wing or a nine wing? Right? Because the nine is the peacemaker. Yes. 

Dr. David Gruder  34:04

As a psychotherapist, I was the two wing, I was the helper. Yep. And as a social change agent, I’m a nine wing. I’m a peacemaker. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  34:13

Yeah, exactly. You’ve got both of those. So fascinating. I love this. So you spot this about yourself. And I love that you made the commitment to figure out how to do this in a way that does not make you the sacrificial lamb. Yes. Right. So jump us forward in how this has evolved. And I know there’s a lot that has happened between then and now but maybe you could share a couple of like poignant experiences or turning points in your career that have led you to what you’re doing now. 

Dr. David Gruder  34:47

Yeah, I’ll share three. One goes back to that same point in time 1969. My parents sent me to Woodstock. which is a funny thing in and of itself. And maybe I’ll tell the full story some other time. But the short version was that your parents? Yeah. Well, my parents had a really strong reaction when they figured out what they had sent me to. I was very involved in performing arts growing up and acting and music and all of that. And my parents somehow managed to pull together enough money to send me off to a camp for the Performing Arts during the summertime. So I could keep progressing with all of what I was doing in the way of performing. Well, the spring of 69, the camp director sends a note home to the parents saying, for the first time in the campus history, we’re going to have an optional field trip to music and arts fair in upstate New York. Do you want to send your kid? Of course, now, no one knew what the Woodstock the 1969, Woodstock was going to be beforehand. So my parents naively looked at me and they say, Well, what do you think? What am I going to say? No, I’m not interested. So I thought I went to Woodstock for the music. And believe me, most of the music was over the moon, really amazing. But what I couldn’t have known that I went to Woodstock for beforehand, was to really see, to experience what it was like to be in a temporary city of a half a million people who were all joined together to show the world that a half a million people could have each other’s backs and not have crying, even if only for three days. And we did that. And that showed me that the lyrics that appeared in music for the first time in the history of music during the 1960s that were telling us we had the power to change the world. We’re actually so and so that sparked in me, have a commitment that I was going to discover what my part was in helping to create a better world. Fast forward to September 11 2001, I was back in New York, where I grew up when 911 happened. And I was deeply impacted by being there. Because I knew people who would have died in the World Trade Center had they not been working out of town on business that day. One of my cousin’s was that I grew up with a classmate who lived four or five doors down from me, who grew up to become a New York City fireman and died rescuing people in the or actually, before the towers fell, he was racing up the stairs to try to rescue people. And so I was living in the midst of individual and collective trauma in New York, and something broke in me. And what I heard inside myself was, David, you’ve been playing too small. Now at that point, I had already established a really excellent reputation in as a psychologist, as a psychotherapist as an organizational development psychologist, et cetera, et cetera. I, it wasn’t like I was having no impact, right? So when I heard inside myself, you’re playing too small. I thought, Oh, my God, well, what, what is playing bigger look like. And what started coming through me was this document called the declaration of global responsibility, which was 10 principles for dealing in a holistic way with the roots of terrorism, which I call fanaticism disorder. And when that finished coming through me, I made a commitment that I had no idea how it would ever come about, which was that I was going to be brought to Geneva, which is the working capital of the world community, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization, etc. I was going to be brought over to Geneva to train a group of ambassadors, in evolved, approaches, collaborative approaches to decision making and policy creation and negotiation, I had no idea how that would happen. Two years later, I was brought to Geneva to train a group of ambassadors to the World Trade Organization, in collaboration based negotiation tactics, which they didn’t even know existed, let alone how to do. All they knew was coercion and compromise, which are massively both of which are massively inferior problem solving and negotiation tactics. And that experience solidified for me how I was called to make a bigger difference that I had been playing too small. And that’s what led to my ultimately developing the Center for enlightened self sovereignty.

Heather Pearce Campbell  39:45

Love that so much. I remember when we first met you talking about this mission. And I think at the time you had maybe a US based project of wanting to take something to Congress, but it was along these exact same lines and my look what’s happened, you know, between even that time that you and I have met. And now when we’re talking about, you know, polarization and, you know, the Trump years COVID, what’s happened to our news? What’s happened to the ability of people to go online and remain rational? There’s, it’s such a big and I think for so many people, it feels like such a heavy conversation of like, where do we even begin? So, where do we even begin?

Dr. David Gruder  40:35

We begin by remembering some very, very, very simple, basic, common sense things that seem to have been forgotten.

Heather Pearce Campbell  40:45

I love the practical side of you, it’s coming out right now.

Dr. David Gruder  40:48

Exactly. The first of those is about our basic architecture as human beings. We are social beings, endowed with freewill. Well, what does that translate to in constitutional law? Personal freedom and the common good? Right. So when we have political polarization that looks on the surface, like two parties, political parties at war against each other, that’s at the symptom level. Below the symptom level, what we’ve got is a war between two equally and oppositely, insane perspectives. One perspective says, personal freedom is far more important than the common good. The other perspective says the common good is far more important than personal freedom. They’re both nuts. Because the audacious experiment that the United States was the beacon for and all free societies, or societies that aspire to be free are attempting to emulate is to create a society that functions at the intersection of preserving personal freedom, which I call self sovereignty, and promoting the common good, which I call societal well being. Well, this is our basic fabric as human beings. We are both, we’re not one more important than the other. So that’s the first common sense piece. Okay to move on to the second, or do you want to say?

Heather Pearce Campbell  42:16

Yes, no, I love it. I, you know, well, my natural next question is how do we balance these things? Right? How do we make choices that, that honor the two sides?

Dr. David Gruder  42:28

Right? Well, the starting place for that is recognizing that we are both of those things, because, until, you know, in fairy tales, they have this mechanism called spells, you know, where some evil person casts a spell on someone? Well, that fairy tales are metaphors for our psychological inner workings. And in order for a real human being, not a human being in a fairy tale to wake up from a spell, three things has have to happen. The first is you have to recognize you’ve been under one. The second is, you have to learn how to understand the anatomy of it, the dynamics of it well enough to spot it when it’s being perpetrated. And the third is that you have to have an alternative to the spell that is far more compelling than the spell could ever be. And that it’s only with those three ingredients working together with each other, that we can elevate into a an enlightened perspective about something. So the starting place is recognizing we’ve been under a spell that the spell is you’ve got to choose between personal freedom and the common good. No, no, no.

Heather Pearce Campbell  43:48

Either or, Yes, right.

Dr. David Gruder  43:50

That kind of either or thinking is a form of psychological and spiritual immaturity.

Heather Pearce Campbell  43:59

And where are we would you say in all of your observations of trends, like where are we in regards to that first step across society?

Dr. David Gruder  44:10

In the keynotes that I given around the country and outside the United States to over the past 20 odd years. What I’ve noticed, and not just the keynotes, but also media interviews that I’ve given on shows across the political spectrum is that there is a new silent majority. And this silent majority is thirsty for an end to the divisiveness but they don’t see how to end it. And so they end up aligning with people that they believe are ones who are going to upset the applecart. They’re going to throw, they’re going to be the overthrow errs of the money changers if you use a New Testament story, for example, And so, in the absence of a holistic, integrative, psychospiritually mature vision, kind of like a 21st century version of the I Have a Dream speech that Martin Luther King gave in the 60s around around desegregate desegregation and civil rights. Until we have the equivalent of a 21st century, I Have a Dream speech for reuniting humanity, and elevating individuals and societies into functioning through as conduits of higher love and wisdom in the physical universe. Until we have that AI version of I have a dream, people are going to continue to be drawn to false saviors. Who, every single one of them no matter where they are on the ideological or or political spectrum, they have identified a bad guy and enemy, only the enemies are different depending on who you’re listening to. And the message is always if we eradicated them, if we got rid of them, we’d be fine. That is sick thinking, that is thinking that leads to the wars that we have, it doesn’t solve them. But my experience is that the new silent majority is thirsty to for an alternative to societal divisiveness, and political polarization. They’re just waiting for one to appear that they resonate with. And that vision starts with understanding this first building block I was just describing around us being social beings endowed with freewill. And about us being able to exercise free will either as egos who think we are separate from you and separate is separated from something larger than us and entitled to operate in our own narcissistic self interest, no matter what the harm is that we do to others, versus being conduits of higher love and wisdom in the physical universe. So that’s one of the hidden wars going on today, as well. There are groups of people who have throughout history decided that they know better than everyday human beings, what the future of humanity should be, or in the back in earlier times, not the future of humanity, but the future of their locality, their feudal system, their their monarchy, their whatever their, whatever they were having. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  47:39

Whatever they’re possessing, and wanting to control. x

Dr. David Gruder  47:42

whatever of how intertwined the world is, and how instantaneous communication is, these same people from the same mindset are now looking at how can they decide the future for all of humanity. And that is really a problem because they’re operating from ego. They’re operating from self serving special interests, not from that, that integration of self sovereignty and societal well being. So that’s another building block is, which version of freewill are you going to sign on to an ego based version, or a version that’s based in higher love and wisdom that unites us all?

Heather Pearce Campbell  48:28

So like one of the things that comes to mind immediately? Is somebody going okay, I understand this, it’s all well and fine, but what can I do? Right? What can I as this single little speck in the universe, what can I do to make an impact in the right direction? Right?

Dr. David Gruder  48:48

Perfect question. And a spot on question. It’s the most important question unfor? And I’ll answer it in a moment. But before I do, unfortunately, a lot of people when they ask that question, they’ve already answered it for themselves with a false answer, which is nothing.

Heather Pearce Campbell  49:08

I can’t do anything. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. David Gruder  49:12

We all know that the problems that humanity is facing today, cannot be solved by one person. They’re far too big and far too complex for that to happen. However, if each one of us is clear about what our unique personal impact mission is in our chosen spheres of influence, if each of us is doing our part, collectively, all bases that need to be covered will be covered. So if we think that unless we can change the world, we have no impact. That’s delusional thinking. You’re a mom, you are having massive impact on your child. Ultron you’re an attorney, you are having massive impact on your clients. You’re a thought leader and a trainer around legal aspects of business development, you’re having huge impact on ethical business practices. Well, you’re doing those things in spheres of influence that aren’t my spheres of influence, thank goodness. Because if all of us was we’re doing the same thing, then what needs to get done can’t get done. Right. Each of us has to do our own part.

Heather Pearce Campbell  50:38

I mean, it’s so important that we arrived to this. I mean, it’s one of the things like the conversation you and I were having right before we went live today about how to stay centered in light of being bombarded regularly with negativity and World News and things that, truthfully, our biological systems are not designed for, right, this incessant incessant flow of traumatic events and information. And so much of my experience in the recent super intense years is looking at all of these scenarios and having to arrive to the point of releasing myself from obligation in relation to all of it right and saying, I can’t solve all of it, I maybe can’t solve that problem. But I can solve this problem in front of me, right? I can do this thing in front of me, I can have this influence in front of me and with the people that I serve and people that I meet.

Dr. David Gruder  51:42

I think that’s an important part of the picture. I think the other part of the picture in terms of staying centered is to adopt a different perspective about what’s going on at this point in the evolution of humanity. The species, Homo sapiens, that we’ve been for a very, very, very long time is over a new species is emerging. Well, when we’re evolving into a new species. There’s no way for that to happen without huge amounts of turmoil. There’s an old saying that, and I’ve never been able to find attribution for that says mostly people change not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat. And that’s not just individuals, mostly societies change, not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat. Every time we deteriorate a little bit more as a society, or as a species. Part of me, pains over that part of me grieves over that the bigger part of me rejoices over that, not because I want the suffering to happen. But because the law of wakeup calls for individuals and groups is that when a wake up call to emerge into elevated consciousness is issued and ignored the universe in its benevolent, infinite patience. Simply reissues the wake up call at a future time at a next higher level of intensity. And the universe will continue to do that, until the level of intensity is high enough so that the snooze button on the wakeup call alarm clock stops being pushed. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  53:32

What’s fascinating to me about this conversation is I feel like we are back full circle, but almost in a collective way. At the no out conversation. Exactly. Boundaries, who are we going to be in the future? Right, and we are all feeling the heat and we’re feeling it collectively, I think many of us have had even turmoil in personal relationships in new ways that are having us ask new questions and set new boundaries and have new healthier ways of functioning into the future. 

Dr. David Gruder  54:10

Exactly. We’re at no end. Ouch. Yes, but not enough. People are yet at yes and jump. They don’t know what instead of the know or the Ouch. So they go into rebellion. Or they go into violence, or they go into being an ostrich sticking their head in the sand. Or they go into regression ism, longing for a romanticized version of the good old days that are never going to be coming back anyway.

Heather Pearce Campbell  54:35

And that were never truly the good old days.

Dr. David Gruder  54:37

Of course not. That’s romanticize. It’s revisionist history.

Heather Pearce Campbell  54:41

Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. David Gruder  54:43

So until we have a clearer sense of yes and yum. The No one doubts is not enough by itself. It’s got a it’s got to have the yes and Yama accompanying it, which is why I wrote re imagining humanity. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  54:58

Well, I was gonna say you have an answer. To the yes and yum. And, given our time, and I know we could keep talking for hours and hours. And maybe there’s a part two of this conversation where we only talk about the yes and yum. But I do think it’s really important, what we’ve talked about so far, because I think so many people feel this so deeply, exactly what you’ve said, and you’ve put a shape to it, and words to it that we can relate to. And we can see clearly.

Dr. David Gruder  55:27

Thank you. That’s part of my mission. Yeah.

Heather Pearce Campbell  55:30

Yeah, So folks, if you’re listening, I want us to all get to the yes and yum. And I know that David has so many great resources, one being the center for sovereign enlightenment.

Dr. David Gruder  55:44

And the Center for enlightened self. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  55:46

I got it backwards. Enlightened Self Sovereignty, which we will definitely share links to, we will also share a link to the previous primer on anger, right. So make sure that you pop over for that. And then finally, what was the last one that you just mentioned, David? Re reimagining humanity? Yes, so that so you can find all of those resources over at the show notes page, which can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast, look for David’s episode, David, you are a wealth of love, you are a wealth of knowledge, you are a wealth of of wisdom, because wisdom really takes knowledge so much farther. I am so excited for people to who have not been exposed to your work to be able to hop over and check out your resources, you know, look at what you’ve created. Do you like for people to connect with you online? And if so, where would you like to point them door?

Dr. David Gruder  56:46

Well, I’m on all of the major social networks, except for Tiktok. I’m not, I’ve got some problems with TikTok.

Heather Pearce Campbell  56:52

I’m not there either.

Dr. David Gruder  56:55

But my Hub website, my main website is drgruder.com drgruder.com. And from that site, you can get to all of my different hats that I wear and resources. And you can also be in touch with me through that site.

Heather Pearce Campbell  57:13

Perfect. I love that. So we will share that as primary way along with the other links that you’ve just mentioned. David, I so appreciate you. I’m so grateful to know you. And I know even though you know, we’ve probably been on each other’s peripheries since meeting, I’m so glad to know that you’re in the world. I just really, really deeply appreciate you.

Dr. David Gruder  57:33

The feelings are so mutual. Heather.

Heather Pearce Campbell  57:35

Thank you. What I knew, and I know we’ve covered a lot, this has been a big conversation. But if there’s a final thought that you would like to leave our listeners with, what is it?

Dr. David Gruder  57:46

It’s all going to be okay. Do your part. Discover what your part is. Do that. Align your personal impact mission with your soul growth mission. Do that. It’s all going to be okay. And the last thing I’ll say is something that was said to me when I was about 20 years old. That pissed me off at the time, and I like it now though. It’s all much too serious to be serious about.

Heather Pearce Campbell  58:15

I feel that, I still feel that right. I’m still working my way into the more joyful side of life. But I want us all to be there. Yeah, yeah. I appreciate you, David. I so look forward to being in touch and we will definitely have a part two or maybe a part three who knows? You will be back. 

Dr. David Gruder  58:35

It’ll be my pleasure to return. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  58:37

Awesome. Thank you.

GGGB Outro  58:39

Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at www.legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.