Embrace Impostor Syndrome with Dr. Adi Jaffe
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:00:38] Well, I would I would urge for. Has it. Yeah. You know, this is such an aside from the academic conversation, but I would actually urge those of us who’ve gotten to this place in academia to just remember for a second, if there’s one thing that academics has taught us and knowledge the pursuit of knowledge has taught us is that you don’t know what’s true, which is very clear. Right. Right. The current version of truth has changed in every field. I don’t care what field you’re in, this is true from physics to biology to chemistry to obviously psychology, a relatively new field to mathematics. Knowledge is fleeting, and those of us who have pursued these, hopefully to some extent at least, are there for the pursuit of truth. But if you’re really here for the pursuit of truth, then please understand that. You have to be flexible while still following data, right, like it’s a very precarious place to be in, because you have to understand that any conjecture you make I’m sorry, any truth you’re believing right now is a conjecture based on the data you’ve seen to now. And it could change at any given moment. And so. You have to you have to be willing to live in this flexible place, and I think it’s part of our duty with the rest of the people around us to get other people to understand the same thing. Look. We didn’t know about dark matter and neutrons when I was when I was in physics classes and chemistry classes in high school and junior high, and you didn’t know about dark matter and neutrons. So is it that they don’t exist or is it the truth at the time just didn’t include them?
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:02:18] Also, I would take the word that you keep saying truth, and I would I would use understanding instead, because now we’re getting into sort of an epistemology discussion. But I kind of believe that there is an objective truth that underlies everything, but that it is so sort of complicated, kind of ala the Plato’s cave, the allegory of the cave that we’re we’re able to see bits and pieces of it. We can put that together in a way that helps us to understand and helps us to technically interact with our world and to progress technologically so we can do that through understanding. But the truth is still something that we can I think we can always understand better, know how to live.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:02:58] So that’s why I’m saying what I think we’re saying the same thing. We are there in the pursuit of truth. And so we’re we’re constantly just taking extra little baby steps towards that understanding. Will we ever get there? I don’t know. But the point is, we’ve now lived in a world where everybody just believes that whatever they believe is the truth.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:03:16] And that’s something we’ve got to work on.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:03:19] That’s a problem. Like, it’s very clear. And I hope I hope that any of us can stand there and and give anybody in our lives thousands of examples of how people’s version of the truth of reality have shifted over and over and over. And and by having that conversation, you’ve studied it. If you have a Ph.D., you’ve studied it. Right. Part of the whole point, when you defend your dissertation, when you defend your your little area is to found fine counter points. And what else do people believe about it? There’s a power to that. So. It’s our job to take that into the world and say, look, people, I understand this is how you see things at the moment, and that is great. You get to hold on to that. But let’s be clear that if we just follow that path backwards through some information, that understanding has changed over time. And odds are that unless we’ve reached some magical unicorn land right now, which would be weird since we’ve been around for a handful of years and we haven’t yet, if you talk to me five, 10, 15, 20 years from now, there will be other advancements in understanding and your current perspective will change. So don’t get stuck in now as as the end all be all of existence. Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:04:36] I firmly believe me. You mentioned dark matter as a specific example. I firmly believe that dark matter will not be written in our textbooks 50 years from now. I don’t know exactly what point it’s going to happen, but at some point we’re going to figure that out, but that there’s a double entendre to that name of dark matter and it is a number one. We can’t see it. So there’s no it doesn’t interact with light. So therefore it’s dark that number two, dark ages, this is like something we don’t understand. We put a name on it, we label it something, and we are really labeling our ignorance in terms of what that is and what.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:05:10] I mean in genetics, in genetics. There was this concept that like 90 percent of the genetic material that you had in your system didn’t matter, that it was only about two percent that coded for everything. Now we’re realizing that’s bullshit. It’s it it it helps regulate the coding of the others and it transfers a lot of information. Look, we learn constantly to me, that’s a beautiful part about what it is to be human. Yeah. We now live in a world where you get to express your opinion. Let’s just be honest about it, your opinion. And if you’re big enough and you feel big enough following tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of people take that opinion and without any consideration incorporate it into their truth of the of the world. And I think there’s a lot of responsibility in that. And as far as the people who made learning part of their part of the reality, I think we have we have this responsibility to remind everybody on a regular basis that learning is an ongoing process. Understanding is an ongoing process. It changes. And, yes, it can be there in a pursuit of an objective truth, but. As you mentioned, you can Schrodinger’s cat or whatever you want in terms of the allegories and analogies, in terms of anything that you observe has been altered by your observation in some way. Just know that our perception of the world is colored and. Right. That’s a reality, so you can’t avoid it, but if you incorporate that into your understanding, at least for me, it brings in some flexibility so that hopefully you can sit in a room with two people that have completely opposing views and have a conversation saying, look, instead of putting you down, instead of relegating your knowledge to obsolescence and not as if it doesn’t matter in my world, I want to understand it. So that we can have an active conversation. I hope you can get to that place again.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:07:14] Yeah, and as a society, the conversations have gotten very difficult to have. But I do hope that, like I said, going back to Larry King, that we have people who can appreciate nuance and who can bring a comfort level out in people rather than trying to divide and incite and and jab.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:07:33] It was really great. And I think you have to be able to sit there and interview people on the right and the left in the middle. And you have to be.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:07:40] Yeah, and it’s like I said, we need it. So I hope I hope I’m calling to whoever out there who wants to be the next Larry King. Please keep going. We need we need you. We need more of that in our society. So I’m going to try to challenge him or channel Larry King right now. Our guest today is Dr. Adi Jaffe. The book is The Abstinence Myth. Dr. Joffe with IGNTD, tell us about really briefly before we go. The thesis for The Abstinence Myth. What what what’s the message there that you want to share?
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:08:12] Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. The point of The Abstinence Movement is to get everybody to let go of the notion that abstinence, that quitting a drug of choice or a behavior that is addictive should be the goal and should be the starting point of addiction recovery. My research, my post-doctoral research actually showed me that somewhere between 50 to 60 percent of people do not go and get help for their addictions because they’re not ready to stop. And while the rest of the world looks at that is saying, well, they don’t really want help, I said, well, they obviously want help. They’re just not ready to do the one thing you’re asking them to do. Why not remove that as a requirement? And so the work that I’ve done in the last 10 years has been about offering people help for their addiction without requiring them to stop. Just saying, hey, what can I help you with? So that’s the thesis is we shouldn’t put abstinence at the front gates of recovery help. And the second thing is abstinence should not be the way in which we measure success in recovery because people’s addiction problems are actually not only about the drugs are about a lot of other areas in their life that they’re not working out the way they like them to. So that’s the point of the book. IGNTD is essentially an online program and community and platform that I’ve created to take those principles and create a more helpful, available, affordable and easy, easily accessible body of knowledge and a system to allow people to use those principles from the book in their own life. And by the way, I don’t know when this is coming out, but if it may still be true right now, we periodically give 30 days free of everything that we do for people to try it out. So if people go, I’ll give you a link. And if people go there, they should probably still be a trial for people.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:09:58] Well, for folks that are just listening, we’ll put everything on the show. So if you want to do some research, it’ll be there, get a DissertationDone.com/blog. You can find Dr. Jaffe’s episode there. We’ll have links to the show. But for those who are just listening, what what what should they go to?
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:10:12] So if you’re looking at this thing, a united outcome, it’s spelled IGNTD.com is the best place. And if the trial is still ongoing, that will literally be a banner at the top saying that. But then you can read about everything else we’re doing.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:10:27] And so for those of you guys who are just listening, it’s ignited with the eye, but all the other vowels are removed by the volume of you and AdCom. So go there, check out the see if there might be a free file. And even if there’s not, obviously investing in yourself is as important. You mentioned systems there. What type of systems will they find?
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:10:48] Yeah, so. Again, we as we mentioned already, we allow a lot of choice in the work that we do, so people get to choose goals, they get to choose paths, and instead of focusing. So there there are a lot of evidence based tactics that work in addiction. One of the things I write in the book quite a bit about is I’m a little sick and tired of people choosing what the best method is. As a researcher, I know that there’s something that happens when you apply statistics to things and statistics are all about removing error. And I’m putting that in air quotes because what we call air in statistics is actually individual variability in the real world. And so. We actually bring back that individual variability into the data by saying, look, cognitive behavioral therapy matters, mindfulness meditation matters, mindset, work matters, nutrition, exercise, hormonal balance, genetics, all of those play a role in people’s addictions, struggles, trauma. But I don’t know who they play a role for because we’re all different, so instead of trying to find the best solution, what we’ve done is create a suite of solutions and thorough assessments and asking people questions and following them over time. Our platform helps match them with the tools the best worked for them so that they can find the specific combination of tools that work. And so instead of being a cognitive behavioral therapy program or a mindfulness based program or a trauma program, we allow people to come into one place and then rely on us to be the place that sort of helps select for them the suite that works. And what we found that is beautiful is a lot of our people say even though they’re all pursuing slightly different therapeutic routes, what they’re able to say is I feel like this is the first program that actually listens to what I need versus tells me what I have to do.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:12:39] And that’s so important. I was just thinking, as you were talking about this, we talked about this before and here we’re in the middle of the night, we’re getting close to the end of the lockdown period still. And so I’ve been sharing old movies with my with my son and my daughters. And they recently watched The Matrix. And there was a point when she came to the Oracle and asked what why he was here. And she she mentioned to them, well, you’ve already made the choice, but now you’re trying to understand why you make the choice. And I think that notion of you saying people don’t come to therapy because there’s there’s one solution in that in that therapeutic approach or in that that that rehab approach. And they’ve already made the choice that that’s not the right one for them and therefore they’re turned off from it. But if they have other choices available, they can find plug into the one that they know somehow subconsciously is right for them. And then maybe that’ll take them to the best choice eventually. But they have followed their path to get there. And that’s not to say there is a true best choice because we’re all individuals. But but for those who are thinking, well, we have to get everybody to abstinence, abstinence, maybe that’s not the first step, even if that’s possibly the ultimate goal for everybody, that’s still definitely isn’t the first step.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:13:55] And if you’ve got it, you’ve got it right. You’ve got it right.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:13:57] And it’s getting taken steps along their path, not the path.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:14:03] Yeah. Look, the path everybody wants to get to is a path where at the end they have contentment, joy, fulfillment in everyday life. Right. And and if we know that that’s the goal, I think it’s silly. Maybe even unethical sometimes to tell them, well, we’ll get you there, but first you have to be able to commit to these things weren’t for me. I’m in the helping world. You don’t say to somebody who’s broken his leg, you don’t say to them, well, I really I’ll do the surgery on you, but I don’t want you to use any crutches or wheelchair on the way to the surgery room. Figure out how to get yourself to my surgery room and I’ll operate and fix your leg. It sounds insane when I use the analogy in other areas. Like, if somebody is depressed, you don’t say them cool. You can come in for therapy, for depression. And I just need you to not be depressed. It’s it’s insane when we say it in any other field. But somehow, weirdly, in the addiction field, we feel totally comfortable saying somebody, hey, I know you have a drinking problem. If you commit to stopping to drink, I’ll help you. It’s just it’s crazy.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:15:05] Yeah. Because, you know, unless you have hit the so-called rock bottom, for most people, there are always other options. And I can I can do something else besides the one path you’re offering to me. And so to tell them this is the only way you can get help is, like you said, borderline unethical.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:15:24] I hope you don’t have to I hope you can stop me from having to get people to the rock bottom. Let’s just put it that way.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:15:30] Yeah, absolutely. We never want that. Well, Jacki, thank you so much for being here with us today again. Well, what’s the best way for folks to get in touch with you? I know that there were a number of things we talked about. What’s the best way to contact?
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:15:44] Easiest is IGNTD.com or a AdiJaffe.com? If you go to either one of those, there’s a contact us and I check all those emails.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:15:51] So we will get plugged into that again. If you want to see all the links, they’re going to be on our show, on our blog, which reminds me that this episode today has been brought to you by a Dissertation Done if you’re an adult doctoral student working through the dissertation process or about to start, check us out at DissertationDone.com/done. And if you are someone who is functioning in the expert space or wants to be an expert, get your message out there by becoming a published author and we can help you with that by going to DissertationDone.com/book. Again, Dr. Jaffe, thank you so much for being with us.
Dr. Adi Jaffe [01:16:24] Thanks a lot for having me, Russell.
Dr. Russell Strickland [01:16:25] You’re welcome. And to everyone else, go out and live your unconventional life.
Outro [01:16:34] This has been an unconventional life. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today’s episode, subscribe now to keep getting inspirational stories of unconventional lives as soon as they’re released. Until then, go out and live your best unconventional life.