Episode 44 – Frame of Meaning: Michael Liebowitz

on left, text introducing picture of host Norah L. Jones; picture is woman with dark hair and floral blouse, arms crossed. To the right, picture of man with glasses and purple shirt and black jacket; text introduces This Week's Guest Michael Liebowitz. Bottom text Available On, with icons for podcast streaming services. Large text: It's About Language

“We relate to and make sense of our world based on our beliefs. When you go out there and communicate from the viewpoint and on the level of your beliefs, it is like a lighthouse to every other person out there who shares the same beliefs you do.

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Language, culture. Identity, meaning. For this podcast I invite you to sit back and listen with your ears and also your heart. As Michael Liebowitz (bio) tell us about his own history, work, and discoveries, take it personally.

What do you believe strongly about yourself and the world? What piques your curiosity? What confuses you, and how do you make sense of it? What words do you you use to describe yourself, your personality and your strengths?

Think of the people you most enjoy being around, contacting, talking to, work or playing or just plain being with: Why do you enjoy their company? What do you appreciate together? What, in fact, do you believe together, perceive the world to be together?

Michael Liebowitz has done a lot of thinking about not only each of these aspects as a descriptor, but has plumbed the meaning of them so as to make the work that we do have a positive impact on the world. When he refers passionately in this podcast to moving our relationships past transactions into the realm of meaning, belief, and common action for good, we are all far past “how to sell my product or service, how to have students sign up for my course, how to have a legislator vote for or against this bill,” and into a vision for the world we live in together. We are into hope, and activation of the spirit.

These are challenging times, globally. Each of us in our own lives — the cultures of our families, friends, workplaces, schools, houses of worship — can meet the challenges by becoming conscious of our deepest belief, putting words to it, being a beacon for others who share the belief, and applying that meaning to create communities and movements of hope.

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It’s About Language – Episode 44 – Frame of Meaning: Michael Liebowitz

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Transcript

[Introduction to podcast]

Norah Jones:                     Hi. It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to this podcast with my new friend, Michael Liebowitz. Hi, Michael.

Michael Liebowitz:         Hi, Norah. How are ya? It’s good to be here.

Norah Jones:                     I am very well, thank you. I am super excited about our conversation because, well, it’s certainly wonderful to have somebody that is an expert in the field of behavioral neurology. I’m trying to watch my steps here a little bit as we have our conversation. [crosstalk]

Michael Liebowitz:         Yes. I’m hanging onto everything you know.

Norah Jones:                     But I can tell you that, first of all, you’re just a delightful human being.

Michael Liebowitz:         Thank you.

Norah Jones:                     I hope that everyone will remember all the way through this podcast, and I’ll remind them again when we get to the end as well, that the information about MindMagnetizer.com. We invite everybody to go to MindMagnetizer.com and take a look at what Michael Liebowitz is up to because Michael, you’re up to really cool things.

When we were chatting, give our listeners a little bit of an introduction that as a Gallup-Certified Coach, I am used to working with the idea that we have raw talents. And that as we mature, and as we work on being an adult that’s trying to reach excellence in the world, that we pause. Then we can apply our talents more effectively by focusing. We call those strengths when we get to that.

Michael Liebowitz:         Right.

Norah Jones:                     And that bridging of pause, that pause between raw excitement and survival with the limbic system, and accomplishing our really gifting tasks to make our own lives and that of others better. That pause, that bridge, that’s been something that I’m still in search of and finding other pathways to discover. You have done it in the field of brand strategy and the idea of corporate work. Describe what you’re doing please, and how you make this field of meaning happen.

Michael Liebowitz:         Yeah. Essentially, as one of my clients so astutely put it because I can say whatever I want about what I do and it’s filtered through my experience of life. But when someone who doesn’t have quite the background I do in behavioral neurology goes, “Oh, you helped me figure out what I need to say so that people want to work with me.” That’s a great way to distill it down. Thank you so much.

Norah Jones:                     There you go. Exactly.

Michael Liebowitz:         Sometimes you got to get off of your ivory tower, out of your own head. Someone says, “You just help make me figure out what the heck I need to say out there in the world,” and they had it right. I work in this space of brand strategy, which is a cryptic word. Actually, I don’t often use the word brand anymore because it just doesn’t quite describe what… brand is a terrible word to describe what a brand is. It’s the weirdest thing ever.

Norah Jones:                     That’s interesting. We’ll need to perhaps return to that at some particular point, because we are talking about language.

Michael Liebowitz:         Essentially, it comes down to how are you being perceived? That’s really what it’s all about. What are other people’s perception of you and how do you guide that perception based on how you communicate? I tell everyone who listens, everything is communication. If you’re in business, your communication is not just the things it says on your website, or the things you talk about in your sales conversations, or on your social media.

How you communicate is also included in what kind of offers you have. It’s included in the experience that your client has of working with you. These are all forms of communication. Here’s something to understand. You are not actually in control, to use the word again, in control of your brand. You do not own your brand. Your brand, your… the perception of you, lives in the mind of your customer.

Norah Jones:                     Interesting.

Michael Liebowitz:         The most you can do is give them the right clues so that they come to the perception you want them to have. That’s the most you can do, but there is an art and a science to it. That essentially is the core of my business. This is what my client said, “You get me saying all the things I need to say.”

Well, basically we’ve mapped out what are the very specific frames, and specific language, even keywords to be using so that the audience gets the right perception of you that you want them to have. This is important because that perception equals a yes or a no.

Norah Jones:                     Wow, phenomenal. Interesting. Now, you talk about it being an art and a science, and you have these two backgrounds. How did you come to this realization? What led you to recognize the language and the meta-language of this experience?

Michael Liebowitz:         I’m so glad you asked this question because as of a month ago, I had a revelation of my own that I’ve actually been interested in this territory since first grade.

Norah Jones:                     First grade, that gives you a pretty good runway there, my friend.

Michael Liebowitz:         Exactly. It was in first grade that I was first exposed to kids teasing one another. Whether I was on the receiving end or watching it happen to someone else, I never quite understood that dynamic, that kid, whether me or someone else, says a thing or does a thing that suddenly others perceive.

Of course, you’re in sixth grade, you don’t have the awareness to make sense of anything on this level. Looking back, I didn’t understand how things got perceived that way. I was like, “Wait, that seemed pretty reasonable to me and the teasing happens? I don’t get it. Where’s the connection?” I never quite fit in that way.

Norah Jones:                     Interesting.

Michael Liebowitz:         I realized that was a big moment for me. It has been that fundamental question of well, how come we treat each other this way? That through my life and eventually studying all the various modes of understanding this, it started with that first exposure in the world.

Norah Jones:                     Isn’t that interesting.

Michael Liebowitz:         Eventually, I started studying neurolinguistic programming, and I started studying developmental stages, which comes out of classic psychology, and a bunch of other three letter acronyms that no one’s ever heard. I never say them anymore. Only one person I’ve ever met said, “Oh, I know what that is.” I’m like, “You’re kidding?”

Norah Jones:                     Well, we won’t stress our audience out today. We’ll just go right to the storytelling. Wow, first grade.

Michael Liebowitz:         It goes all the way back then. Honestly, I got to tell you, Norah, my story and the way it starts, though specific to me, the frame of it is common to every, single person. There’s always a reason why we gravitate to the work we do in the world. It comes from the beliefs that were formed, believe it or not, since birth through six years old, so about the time you’re starting first grade. Something happened that instilled a belief in us that later on in life is really resonating in our system. Really, a core belief that’s operating that has led us to the type of work that we do. It’s true for every, single person. Part of my job is to find what that core belief is because here’s the cool thing about how human beings work.

We relate to and make sense of our world based on our beliefs. When you go out there and communicate from the viewpoint and on the level of your beliefs, it is like a lighthouse to every other person out there who shares the same beliefs you do. When they hear it, 100 people might do the exact same thing you do. If you communicate on belief level, whatever belief is operating there, the people who share that same belief, suddenly all the other ones go away because our nervous system notices this connection. We feel this as resonance and attraction. It’s just how we work.

Norah Jones:                     That is phenomenal. I know that in these podcasts, in my work as an educator and in publishing world, we talked a lot about the recognition that there is the underlying word, the underlying concept, indeed, that we begin to name it. We begin to move into it. What you’re saying here is that’s a belief, that’s a perspective, that’s how we come at this.

Michael Liebowitz:         Great way to put it.

Norah Jones:                     Again, as a Gallup person, I’m thinking about the natural way that we see the world, our perspective, our lens. I’m just fascinated, again, every time I speak with you about how you then turn this into helping the person to articulate that belief, find that word so that perspective can be shared. You’re applying it to business, but this can be the work of a parent, of a teacher, of a leader, of everyone.

Michael Liebowitz:         I have a ton of sayings to help understand, to create clarity and understanding. I don’t know if this is an analogy, or a metaphor, or whatever.

Norah Jones:                     Never been able to figure that out myself.

Michael Liebowitz:         Someone who knows grammatical structure in the English language can figure it out but it’s a good story. Like I said, the person with the strongest belief wins.

Norah Jones:                     Say that again. That was very strong and powerful.

Michael Liebowitz:         In any human interaction, the person with the strongest belief wins and here’s the example I like to give. Whether you have children or not, you’ve experienced this. If the child believes they deserve that piece of candy more than their parent believes they don’t, guess who’s getting candy? Eventually, the beliefs will align. The kid will keep trying, and keep trying, and keep trying to get that piece of candy.

Eventually, if the parent doesn’t hold a strong belief that, “No, you don’t,” but actually, they’re operating another belief. It could be, “I just want quiet here,” or whatever belief is not quite as strong about that candy as the child, eventually, their belief systems will align and the kid gets candy. If you’ve ever noticed a child demand or ask for something, and that parent has a strong belief and they say, “No, that’s not happening.” The child typically doesn’t try again.

Norah Jones:                     Interesting. They can feel it.

Michael Liebowitz:         They know the belief was on the other side.

Norah Jones:                     Interesting. They can feel it is what you’re saying.

Michael Liebowitz:         Yes.

Norah Jones:                     They can intuit.

Michael Liebowitz:         We can tell. The same thing is true, not just of children but for all human beings, that in any situation, the person with the strongest belief wins. Ask any negotiator, they’ll be like, “This is the cornerstone of my success.” It’s believing in your position. There’s more that goes into negotiation, but that’s got to be there.

The person who doesn’t have a strong belief in their position, ain’t going to win that negotiation. The same thing is true for how you can communicate about your business. This is why we go back to if you communicate from a standpoint of beliefs, not only are you attracting people who share the same belief, but you become the strongest belief in the room.

Norah Jones:                     Wow.

Michael Liebowitz:         You become more believable because your belief in this is so strong. My job is to extract that from you and turn it into messaging, so that your messaging is really connecting and it’s really powerful because you’re the strongest belief in the room.

Norah Jones:                     Wow, wow. Explain how you do this. What do you do? What are some examples of this? Well, I’m going to use the word magic, doggone it. Even if it is neurological, this experience happening?

Michael Liebowitz:         Just foundationally, the work I do is we spend an hour and a half to two hours together in a series of meetings so each meeting is about that long. But it’s really the first meeting that’s the big win, to tell you the truth. I want to get all my clients the big win right away because everything else has to flow from there. In that meeting, I always start with two questions. I’ll just give them to your audience right now. The first one, easy to answer. What do you do? What I’m looking for is, and I tell them, “Just answer, don’t think about it. Just don’t try to make it the best thing to say, just blurt something out. What is that you do?” Not only do I want to know what do you do, but I want how you frame it. I want the exact words you use to describe it.

That already begins to give me the window into what’s going on in your system. That’s not the really important question. The really important question is once we have that, I’m asking you, “Well, what’s important to you about that?” Now, this question is specifically designed to elicit a belief. There’s two things about this question. This is a question about you, not your audience. Lots of people want to say, “Well, I want my to make sure my customers get X.” I’m like, “Pause, time out. Nope. We ain’t talking about them. This is about you. This is about your beliefs. You get to define what your message is.” Just little side note here. I liken it to going to a party. Someone comes up to you and says, “Who should I be so that you’ll like me?” It’s like icky. No one likes that.

Norah Jones:                     No.

Michael Liebowitz:         That’s the equivalent of going out to your audience and saying, “Hey, what kind of things do you want and I’ll just tell you that.” It’s forcing your message from your audience.

Norah Jones:                     Wow.

Michael Liebowitz:         Instead, we go to the party and we say, “Hi, my name is Michael.” You assert who you are, and you get along with some people and you maybe not so much with others. You have to do the same thing. That’s what I’m getting at here is you have to understand what your core belief is to say, “Hey, this is what we’re all about.”

This is what that question, what’s important to you about what you do, and specifically you not your client. Now, we’re in games together because the way our neurology is set up is we don’t quite know the answer to that question. My job is to listen and ask, “You mentioned this keyword. Tell me more about this,” and I’m literally doing therapy.

Norah Jones:                     Michael, that is totally amazing.

Michael Liebowitz:         I’m literally doing therapy on you and technically on your business, as if your business is a person, because to your audience, the way our brains perceive your business, it actually is to this part of the brain another person.

It’s weird how we work that way. That’s my job. From there, we figure out the core belief, what that means because we relate to each other based on what something means to us, and a bunch of other things have to come out of that. That’s how it starts.

Norah Jones:                     Wow.

Michael Liebowitz:         It’s quite surprising what can come out. I worked, just give you an example.

Norah Jones:                     Please.

Michael Liebowitz:         I worked with a young woman. She was a wealth manager. Just started, just recently hung up her shingle. I work with startups. Another client I work with, they’ve been around for 30 years. She was just starting out so we got started. It turns out, what comes out of this exploration of beliefs, is that she has a core belief about you have to be ready for whatever life throws at you. This was a big, resonant belief in the system that not just led her to her business, but led her to why this work in the world in the first place, of financial planning and wealth management.

Well, that means she is not a financial planner, she’s not a wealth management person. In fact, no one is in the business they think they’re in. What she is, is she’s the person that gets you financially ready for whatever life throws at you, good or bad. That’s the business she’s in. She just happens to do it through the mechanisms of wealth management and financial planning.

Norah Jones:                     Holy smokes.

Michael Liebowitz:         Instead of going out there and saying, “Hey, I’m a financial planner and I’m really good. I have all this training, I have all the certificates and I have X assets under management and blah, blah, blah,” which all the other 200 asset managers in the Bay Area say the same thing because there’s a lot of them here.

Norah Jones:                     Right.

Michael Liebowitz:         Instead, she goes out there and says, “You know what? I believe you have to be financially ready for whatever life throws at you.” What happens is anyone who shares that same belief just instantly sees her message and go, “Oh, yeah.” Now, they’re paying attention to her.

Norah Jones:                     Yes.

Michael Liebowitz:         Anyone who doesn’t share that belief, she is invisible to them and you know what? They weren’t going to be good clients anyway.

Norah Jones:                     Yes.

Michael Liebowitz:         She’s attracting these people. She’s becoming a fixture in her community that people who want to be financially ready for whatever life throws at them. Now, that’s good and bad. It’s like, “Hey, you want to be able to afford that opportunity that just came up, fantastic.”

If something bad happened and it’s going to cost a lot, like a medical thing, you’re ready for it. This is what they really want. This is the belief they share that’s connecting them.

Norah Jones:                     Michael, you deal with this all the time so I don’t mind confessing all of my weak-mindedness in this. Even when you ask what do you do? Just sitting here, listening to you and being with you, I realized that I would probably have to change my answer knowing that you were listening for something deeper.

The second part that strikes me is that your part there, that story, that wonderful story that you just told is not something. In fact, this is why you are working in this business. This is why you have the Mind Magnetizer Workshops that I don’t think anybody would sit down and say, “I’m going to think about this over breakfast today. I really am not doing financial planning.” [crosstalk]

Michael Liebowitz:         No one thinks about this over breakfast, no.

Norah Jones:                     No. I’m really thinking about having, making sure that life… To evoke this, I could see where you refer to it as therapy because you’re actually taking a look at a deeper, more core belief that was developed by age six, according to the- [crosstalk]

Michael Liebowitz:         Essentially, yes. It got reframed over the years as we get older but the core belief happened at age six. We’re going to use the adult version of the belief.

Norah Jones:                     Still, being prepared, not being taken by surprise. I can imagine there are events or experiences in this person’s life. Of course, I don’t know her and we just can enjoy speculation, but I can imagine where some of that might’ve come, from a behavioral point of view. It doesn’t really matter.

The fact is when you’re talking to people, you’re working with the way they express in words. What other kinds of things do you do, though? Do you watch behaviors? Do you watch how they’re responding to the kinds of questions that you’re asking? How does meta linguistic behavior work here too?

Michael Liebowitz:         Here’s what I’m looking at when I’m engaging with a client. Yes, I’m looking at framing. I’m looking at the words. Related to that, is something called isomorphic structure, the structure that is the same shape. As we go, I’ll notice that they keep coming back to not the same word, but it’s like pointing in the same territory, has the same structure to the idea, which is a big clue that this is something important in the world. I am noticing physiology.

Now, we’re on Zoom so I’m noticing physiology from the neck up, facial expressions, and such like that. I’m noticing only in so far as I’m looking for what’s really landing in the system, rather than something that’s interesting to them, but not territory we really need to go deep in.

Norah Jones:                     Interesting.

Michael Liebowitz:         It’s all helping me understand what’s going on in the mental map of the people I’m talking to. I don’t just do this with solo business owners where we’re one-to-one. I’ve had nine people in the room managing all this and finding the isomorphic structure between nine different points of view type of thing. Just a feather in my cap, I once had a CEO of a company, a tech company down in Silicon Valley.

After working together, he took me—because they hired me to help them with messaging. He took me aside and said, “I don’t know how you did this, but we’ve been arguing over some of this stuff for five years.” I’m talking someone’s about to leave argue. We’re talking at the executive level here. We’re not talking employees. He said, “You got us all agreeing on what this company is really all about in two hours.”

Norah Jones:                     Wow.

Michael Liebowitz:         “How did you do that?” I said, “Well, it happens.”

Norah Jones:                     If you’re an expert, it happens.

Michael Liebowitz:         That is one of the things that some clients hire me to do that as well. Not just like “What message?” but “What are we really all about and how do we get all get on the same page about it?” I call that the alignment type of thing so marketing teams, and sales teams, and the CEO vision are all aligned. Everyone’s talking about the same thing because you may or may not be surprised at how sometimes that doesn’t happen.

Norah Jones:                     I’m not too surprised. I’m not too surprised, but I’m relieved to know that periodically they do. Especially that with what you do, that alignment can happen, and it does peacefulness and focus.

Michael Liebowitz:         It’s always there. There’s either a middle of the Venn diagram where everyone overlaps, or there’s what I call the meta frame that contains everything. There is always something there, a commonly held belief that we’re all working under. It’s just never been spoken of, it’s never been acknowledged, and internally, we’ve all been speaking it to ourselves or acknowledging it from our own point of view. The words I use might be different from the words that person or that person would use. We think we’re not communicating, but we are actually talking about the same thing.

Norah Jones:                     Actually communicating.

Michael Liebowitz:         My job is to figure out how that’s all connected.

Norah Jones:                     There are two questions that come to my mind, please, Michael. One is to help us to get an idea of the impact of this for the businesses. The ones that are solely owned, the ones that are in fact groups, are larger, that you have had the history with. The first thing is let’s hear a little bit about the impact and what folks see because I’m going to go to the second part. Is we have folks that are not business owners, although they might be thinking of being, but they all are customers so that part we can take a look at. But to apply these principles again, more broadly to sharing meaning in families, communities, and institutions. Those two, please.

Michael Liebowitz:         Thanks for bringing that up. I do have a mission of my own and this mission was revealed to me. The business had already started, but shortly after I started developing this program, I was at a trade show in Chicago. This convention center is massive. I don’t know if you’ve been to that, I forget what it’s called, the McCormick maybe? I think it is in Chicago, but this was a housewares show. A colleague of mine and I had invented a product that is a housewares product. We’re in the show. Think of the largest Bed, Bath and Beyond you can think of, and then multiply that probably by 15.

Norah Jones:                     Wow. Okay.

Michael Liebowitz:         Massive, massive. They’re grouping product categories next to each other. Makes sense because this is for buyers to come and figure out what products they want to buy for their shelves. Not retail buyers, I’m talking retail store buyers. I’m noticing the language that they’re all using. This person, I’m just going to use him, humidifiers, whatever. There’s a brand of humidifier A, which has a salesperson there, and brand humidifier B and C. I would talk to each one of them and I noticed that they’re all saying the same thing and they’re like, “I can’t tell the difference.”

Norah Jones:                     Interesting.

Michael Liebowitz:         Not only that, but I start to step into this frame of, “Oh my God, all these messages are terrible,” and I’m feeling bad. I’m being bombarded by all these messages. The messages are all about transaction basically saying, “Hey, buy my thing.” When I said all these people, half of these companies are going to be gone in five years because they’re all blending in. They’re going to get bought out or just fail. I said if only they understood that instead of saying, “Buy my thing, buy my thing, buy my thing,” that they should be saying, “Here’s what my thing means in your world. Here’s what my thing means in your world.” They could be talking to different audiences based on meaning, and attracting all the customers they need, and have thriving businesses right next to each other.

Here’s what I mean. Company A says, “Here’s what I mean in your world.” Company B says, “Well, that’s great. Here’s what we mean in your world.” I’m going to resonate with the meaning that feels good to me. This person next to me goes, “Oh, I was actually resonating with this other meaning over here,” legit, healthy businesses and here’s what happened. In that moment, I stepped into the current world we have of a child moving through the world. Just the commerce and communication of life that bombards us every day, is all about transaction, transaction, transaction, and how that impacts how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive the world around us.

It’s all transactional. What if instead, we had a world where that child is growing up with these messages of commerce instead saying, “Here’s what we mean. Here’s what we mean to you. Here’s what we mean. Here’s what we meant to be.” Now, we’re being surrounded by messages of meaning.

Norah Jones:                     Meaning.

Michael Liebowitz:         Imagine the impact of a world where everyone grows up around messages of meaning. Here’s what I mean in your world, and how in investigating and understanding meaning. I wanted to live in that world.

Norah Jones:                     Yes.

Michael Liebowitz:         That’s my mission is to get businesses communicating from the standpoint of meaning rather than transaction because it’s really how we engage in our world. Plus, I think if we can all get there, we just got a better world to boot.

Norah Jones:                     Yes.

Michael Liebowitz:         As far as impact, specific impact on my clients, yes, they’re two x-ing to five x-ing their business, fantastic but your audience isn’t all business owners. What is the impact of communicating via beliefs or understanding your own belief system? It really comes down to a better experience of life, honestly.

Norah Jones:                     Interesting.

Michael Liebowitz:         If you’ve ever been in an argument, friends, spouse, whatever, the argument is really over a mismatch of what you believe to be true about whatever you’re talking about, and what that means to you. If you understood your own belief system and the belief system the person you’re talking to, well, then we start understanding their point of view, right?

Norah Jones:                     Right.

Michael Liebowitz:         That facilitates communication, rather than we get stuck thinking my point of view is the only point of view. It’s not like we do this consciously.

Norah Jones:                     No. Agreed, agreed.

Michael Liebowitz:         It’s not even unconscious but it is happening below the surface a little bit where we only see it through one lens. We don’t think critically about what our lens is.

Norah Jones:                     Right.

Michael Liebowitz:         When we do, we start to open up to, “I’m curious what that lens over there that I’m talking to is all about.” That’s how we can communicate better. I think impact-wise, has a tremendous, tremendous effect on how we relate to each other. There we are back in first grade, how do we relate to each other?

Norah Jones:                     To each other, no question. It’s just fascinating again, because we come back beautifully to that circle, Michael, thank you, where we have meaning across, well, the cultures of individuals, if we want to put it this way, we talk about the perspective of individuals and we talked about the culture of institutions of businesses that still have a belief system that’s in common. Our world is taking a look at, as in we need to be taking a look at more and more about understanding the meaning, according to other’s perspectives. That’s a powerful choice to make to come at life that way.

Michael Liebowitz:         Yes. It’s interesting. You frame it as a choice. It’s almost not a choice to see it that way. It’s just how our brains are wired to see the world this way. However, things fall apart when our brains are actually wired to see the world through our own filters, our own beliefs, and meaning systems. The choice is it’s not really a choice. It’s just an awareness of there’s another point of view to this. You’ve been to the eye doctor, you wear glasses, I wear glasses. That machine that they say, “Is this clear, or this one, one or two?” They keep throwing a bunch of lenses in front of you. That’s actually life right there is what does this look like with this lens in front of you? Now, you and I are selecting the ones that make things clear for us, in this case, the biology, the specific biology of our eye.

For the next person on that machine, they’re going to get different lenses. There’s this awareness that everyone’s looking at things from a different lens and here’s what’s going to blow your mind. The people we are most friendly with are the people whose lenses are really close to ours because we see things the same way. When we encounter someone whose world view, whose beliefs, whose lens of reality is different enough from ours, to extend this metaphor, seeing through their eyes makes everything look super blurry and we can’t make sense of anything. That’s why we just can’t relate to them. In fact, in the current political climate, that’s exactly what’s going on. The definition, the identities of the two political parties, the lens through which they describe the world, have drifted so far apart that to see it from the other one’s point of view, the world is unrecognizable, and it’s scary, and so on, and so forth.

Whereas in earlier days, the lenses were close enough in focus together that we could see it from that point of view, “You dress funny, but you’re genuinely a good person. You’re different from me, but you’re generally a good person.” That’s what’s going on right now.

Norah Jones:                     Michael- [crosstalk].

Michael Liebowitz:         In my business, I call it like-kind. We’re all looking for like-kind.

Norah Jones:                     Like kind.

Michael Liebowitz:         Our like-kind is dependent on our identity, our sense of who we are and who we are not. We want to hang out with people who are like us because to a certain part of our brain, getting back to behavioral neurology, that says, “Well, they are safe to be around.”

Norah Jones:                     Safety.

Michael Liebowitz:         And people who are not like us, our brain, this part of our brain that doesn’t do languages, doesn’t do logic, or reason, just as safety and emotion essentially, is saying, “Well, you’re not like-kind, therefore, you are a potential threat to survival. Best not take a chance. I like breathing.” The emotions of that come out and we interpret that as, “Oh, I don’t like that person, or they’re weird, or whatever.” That’s what’s going on.

Norah Jones:                     All right. Well, then I have to go to this next question. When you’re shopping in an extremely large Bed, Bath and Beyond experience, we have a variety of humidifiers or dehumidifiers that we can listen to the meaning of in our lives. We can safely make a choice and thereby, make our environment that we are going to place this object in more comfortable for us. If I take that analogy right there and now, I say, “Now, I have a world full of that, which when I take it into my house, I’m going to feel comfortable, but the others exist, how do I feel comfortable?”

I understand the meaning of one. I might indeed purchase that, if you will, and bring it into my life. I also need to be able to live with, and help others to live with, and understand that there are these other frames of meaning. How do we do that? It has some much larger stakes clearly.

Michael Liebowitz:         You’re talking about both a specific example of a product, but also it’s a metaphor.

Norah Jones:                     Yes.

Michael Liebowitz:         At the same time. We can easily buy the humidifier we want and completely ignore the other ones because it’s a humidifier.

Norah Jones:                     Exactly.

Michael Liebowitz:         Someone else will buy that one. As a metaphor, if I’m selecting these people or these things to include in my life, and I love that you used that word because that framing, because that’s exactly what I use as well. If that one over there is so different, how do we still get along?

Norah Jones:                     Yes.

Michael Liebowitz:         This is where culture and larger frames come into play. For instance, I’m on Facebook but I have a very unique experience of Facebook than most people. I don’t pay attention to my feed at all. I’m in two or three private groups on Facebook and I just go straight to the group. One of them is this super nerdy, we talk about science fiction movies, and books and D&D. It is the nerdiest thing you’ve ever experienced, and I love it and these are my people. I can hang out with them.

There’s another group out there, I’m sure, talking about parenting. Now, I’m not a parent. I don’t connect with that group, and what they’re all about, and that identity of being a parent. I’m not going to hang out in that group, but there is a meta frame, a larger frame, that we can all exist in that says and this is culture. Even just like the things you learned in kindergarten. Treat people nicely, share your toys. I think there was that book Everything I Really Needed to Learn in Life, I Learned in Kindergarten or something like that.

Norah Jones:                     Yes, right.

Michael Liebowitz:         There are meta frames that can hold these things together, absolutely. Then there are some groups, some identities that completely violate the rules. We’re talking maybe the frame of racism, or a cruelty of some kind, that we don’t have to accept that at all. That are even outside our meta frame of what generalized beliefs about the world would contain. These things fall outside of that for me, especially.

I know only from my experience those things definitely fall outside of my realm of this is what’s okay. I can feel good about rejecting those things. That’s how we get along. It’s never just I believe this, and it’s a self-contained thing, and that’s it. Now, there’re layers, upon layers, upon layers, and each one includes more and more but the specificity of it gets more generalized and generalized.

Norah Jones:                     Yes. That’s makes perfect sense. Thank you so much. That a beautiful way of being able to express how it is that we go about creating those concentrics that allow us to work with, and experience and enjoy, but also, to observe other items. Michael, I’d like you to do one more thing for our listeners today.

Michael Liebowitz:         Sure.

Norah Jones:                     You have expressed so many amazing ideas. I hope people will listen to this several times to be able to extract some of the wisdom that you shared and some of the neat stories. Is there one more thing that you would like to make sure before we leave today that your listeners hear about, or warned about, or invited to? What else might you say to my audience today?

Michael Liebowitz:         You just opened up a can of worms here. I got so many sayings, and insights, and things like that. First, I would like to get one thing out is if any of your audience is interested in learning more about how to apply what they heard me talk about in their business, I do have a monthly workshop. They can go to my website to register for it. The website is MindMagnetizer.com.

We do actual work in the workshop. The first part is learning about how our brains are actually wired to see messaging and to respond to it. Then we’re going to take that into action, where we’re going to work on the belief system of every single person or brand, I should say, in the room. You’re going to come away with a much better message than whatever you think you got right now, guaranteed.

Norah Jones:                     Cool.

Michael Liebowitz:         Here’s some other insights that I would like to let your audience understand. I already gave you some, the person with the strongest belief wins, so on and so forth but here’s what’s key. This is specifically for the business owners out there, because of course, that’s my realm.

I do a lot of this work with business owners and that is this. Your job is not to convince anyone to buy from you. Your job is to share what you believe, find the people who share that same belief, and then offer them something that will help. This is the key to success in your business.

Norah Jones:                     Wow. Wow.

Michael Liebowitz:         Share what you believe, find the people who believe the same thing you do, because of course, they’re going to resonate with that. Then you offer them something that’s going to help their world, which is another way of saying product market fit. Those are the things I work on in my program, but it is so fundamental to success. Now, if you want to extend that to everyone out there listening who doesn’t own a business, and you’re not really thinking about it this way, but as a metaphor, that still holds true. Share what you believe, find people who share your same belief, otherwise known as your friends. Then what happens is you offer each other something that’s going to help in our world. This is the secret to happiness, as far as I’m concerned, in life.

Norah Jones:                     In deed. What a wonderful invitation. Everyone can take you up on that. I think that the time spent in pondering over those quotes, that approach is in itself, time well spent and will absolutely run down to a more peaceful and a more encompassing experience for people. I’m just truly grateful that you shared this understanding with our audience today and look forward to them taking a look again on my website. I do have information obviously, about Michael and about MindMagnetizer.com.

You can sign up for the workshop there and find out more about what Michael does. I also invite my listeners to take a moment to sit back and take some time to ponder the invitation that Michael has extended to you today based on his experiences and the transformations that he’s already provided. Michael, again, what a great pleasure to have you today as my guest. Thank you for sharing with us.

Michael Liebowitz:         Thank you, Norah. This has been a pleasure speaking with you and having this conversation. I really enjoy it. I appreciate you so much.

Norah Jones:                     Yeah, I appreciate you too. Best of fortune but especially, best wishes in your work.

[Closing remarks]

One thought on “Episode 44 – Frame of Meaning: Michael Liebowitz

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