Season 2
42 Minutes

E56 | Darrell Gurney | About The Joys Of Back Forty Experiments

Darrell Gurney is seasoned recruiting veteran, career advisor and spiritual counselor based in Southern California whose work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CBS MarketWatch and CNN Money.

After 3 decades of successfully shepherding folks from every walk of life through their career transitions, Darrell faced his own. Born was his book “The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half,” Darrell stepped into a deeper purpose and passion for his life.

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Darrell Gurney  00:00

In March of 2002, and I was sitting in my meditation chair that evening, I was looking at my eight year old son sleeping in my bed because my parents were downstairs sleeping in his bed because they had come into town to lend me money and moral support around a half million dollar custody suit that I was in. And I was fighting to maintain my half custody and my son, frankly, I felt like Okay, I did everything the way I thought I was supposed to degree, the job, the car, the wife and all that. And it’s like, you know what, I don’t have anything to show for myself right now. That was actually the beginning of what I call my initiation.

Achim Nowak  00:44

Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your fourth act? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected fourth acts, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started.  I am just so happy to welcome Darrell Gurney to the my fourth act podcast. After college, Darrell and I’m quoting him hit the trail for growth and development and never turned back on broken gallop. He is an executive coach, founder of a business called The Back Forty with his life partner, Alexandra Levin, and the author of The aptly titled book, The Back Forty. I adore the subtitle of this book seven essential embraces, to launch lives radical second half. So when I hear that I know I have a perfect conversation partner for this podcast. So welcome, Darrell.

Darrell Gurney  02:07

Thank you, I came so pleased to be here with you.

Achim Nowak  02:12

Before we launch into back 40, let’s take a quick glimpse at your early 40. Before 40 pre 40. And I’m always curious with any guests. Like when you were growing up, and I believe you grew up in Texas, correct me if I’m wrong like you? Did you have an idea of who you want it to be when you grew up? Was that in your consciousness?

Darrell Gurney  02:36

By the way, we call it the front? 40? The front

Achim Nowak  02:39

40 Yes, I was at work.

Darrell Gurney  02:42

I do. Remember when I was little that I when my parents would go on vacation. They’d say what do you want for a souvenir. I said I wanted a police hat. Because I remember there were these books in the library. And it was a series and it says I want to be a and it was like I want to be a policeman, I want to be a fireman, I want to be a doctor. And I just for some reason I can even still picture that page in the book where the policeman was helping the little boy and I thought no, just sounded like a great thing to be of help. And then I remember later, in fifth grade, I wrote a story and no one told me to it wasn’t a creative writing class. I just thought what if I could make up a story. And I just remember writing this little story. And I thought that’s interesting. Like I actually made that up, you know. And then the next one I remember was as a teenager, I was written up in the I grew up in a really small town and they had a weekly newspaper. I had mentioned that I wanted to be the world country’s first honest politician. I had some burgeoning ideas then of trying to make a difference. I guess somehow, you know, when some kind of thread going through there I think of helping or trying to make a difference.

Achim Nowak  04:04

Well, I hear helping but also hear when you’re pointing to a police officer and politician that these are folks with some authority and power that comes with those roles. So I also hear, Oh, I want to have an impact with what I do. I’m appreciating those little tidbits. One of the many things I also enjoy about how you talk about life and life’s journey, which is what this podcast is all about. You had this wonderful phrase where you say everything before the back 40 is a research and development for what we do later in life. I know about your before 40 period that you had a successful career as a recruiter. You were in a marriage that ended in divorce, you have a son. It sounds like an almost traditional nice playbook, right? So if we look at your research and development period. What are some cool stuff about the research and development you did? Well, you go, Oh, this was kind of cool. But also what was maybe difficult and painful and you went, I just want this to be over.

Darrell Gurney  05:13

My parents hadn’t gone to school, and God bless them. They came from rural Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And my parents are wonderful. And I want to go to school. So I went to the biggest university in Texas at the time, which was University of Texas. And then I went overseas after that, and lived in London for a year, and I worked for a big aid accounting firm, and traveled around and went into Russia, when it was still Soviet and all of that. So I did a lot of travels, came out here to LA, because when I got back from Europe, I was set to go to law school. And again, I’ll kind of couch all of that I came inside of being on rails. And when I say being on a Rails, I mean, like a train has no choice, it’s kind of propelled to go that path. And I think some of the early influences and all of that, that tend to shape us that we’re unaware of, again, because we’re kind of in that unconscious from 40 just had me like success, gonna go be a lawyer, and I had the grades to do it and everything. But when I got back from Europe, I, I kind of saw that the way I had done undergraduate. And the way I was living is like if I go to law school, right now I’m gonna bust a blood mess. There was just a whole lot of stress and tension and driving forces, I made a crazy decision. I said, You know what, I don’t want to ever look back one day and say I couldn’t, I didn’t try it. And so I’m gonna go out to LA and come an actor. I came out to LA, I didn’t know a soul. If I’m going to be acting, I might as well work as a suit, behind the scenes and learn about that world. I went to a career coaching firm at the time in Southern California. And they taught me this method. I’ve actually refined it over the years because I teach my refined version of that. But by using that method, I met with the CFOs of the top seven entertainment studios in their offices within two months. And I got an offer to work for MGM, and HR didn’t even know my name. Got myself into a studio in a financial role, but I hated it. It’s like I so hated.

Achim Nowak  07:32

But you know, what strikes me it’s the storytelling is wonderful in many ways. And I relate this to what we do in the back 40, which is for the thing you really wanted to do, which is being an actor. All these other credentials. were irrelevant, right. And I think probably many of our listeners have all sorts of wonderful credentials that don’t connect with the passion going forward. Because I want to get to the now I’d like to bring you to the moment when when you realize that life had to change for you. I mean, there this stereotype is we call it a midlife crisis. I sort of cringe. I don’t love that word. But you had one of those moments where you went, Okay. Would you talk about that?

Darrell Gurney  08:24

Sure. Just a short circuit. I didn’t even get to acting for 10 years. You know, it’s kind of like, you know, you have this idea, but then you get caught up, right. So I got caught up and I got married, and I had a kid. I was working the job of as an executive recruiter, because I hated the financial side. So I went into recruiting. But the point is, as you said, it was actually at 14. I remember the moment well, I was actually sitting in my it was Kai, and it was 11:43pm. In March of 2002, and I was sitting in my meditation chair that evening, I was looking at my eight year old son, sleeping in my bed because my parents were downstairs sleeping in his bed, because they’d come into town to lend me money and moral support around a half million dollar custody suit that I was in. And I was fighting to maintain my half custody and my son, frankly, I felt like Okay, I did everything the way I thought I was supposed to degree, the job, the car, the wife and all that. And it’s like, you know what, I don’t have anything to show for myself right now. That was actually the beginning of what I call my initiation. One of the embraces in the back 40 Is your initiation. You talked about midlife crisis. I call it an initiation into what’s possible beyond being on rails.

Achim Nowak  10:00

Nice. You mentioned the word embraces, which is in part of the subtitle of your book. And you talk about seven embraces, but I let me go to another part of the subtitle. And I want to play devil’s advocate for a moment, which is to launch lives radical secondhand. What is your understanding of the word radical? And I think it Why Why does it need to be radical?

Darrell Gurney  10:29

Well, and very good point because the semantics is everything right? Radical could scare the hell out of something. What I mean by radical is, what if you’re in the second half of life? What if you’re back 40 is not limited at all, based on what’s come before. I think given the way society tells us who we are, and we are often so much shaped by our past, the things that have happened to us the decisions that we’ve made about ourselves, the decisions we’ve made about people in life, and this is the way women are, this is the way men are all of these decisions come from very early influences. A lot of them come from very early influences, and they go on to kind of shaping our life. But to consider Well, what if all of that was simply laboratories? What if I did a whole lot of experiments, and here’s my self expression directives is what I call it in the book, like all of these labs are pointing me to become more of who I actually came here to be. That’s kind of radical. I think it’s radical. If we can drop the ballast, yeah. And the weight of our past that tells us who we are, and what’s possible for us and play in our second half in an untethered way.

Achim Nowak  12:04

I so appreciate your explanation. So what I’ve heard, let me test this, that the radical part is to not be driven by old, unconscious narratives of success. But by having the courage to fully investigate our dreams and desires that maybe don’t match that narrative, and that courage to do it is the radical part. Yeah, can

Darrell Gurney  12:32

I give you just a quick example that was released

Achim Nowak  12:35


Darrell Gurney  12:36

rather than it being theoretical? This occurred for me literally 10 years ago. And I’ve done a ton of personal Well, I think, you know, my upbringing. And, you know, the influences just drove me towards personal development, spiritual development, you know, all of that. Every now and then you have a little breakthrough, you have an insight, right. One time, I was looking at myself in terms of relationships. So obviously, my first marriage ended in divorce and custody, sued and sued and all of that, and I went 18 years with different girlfriends and saying, I wanted to be in relationship but it just not working out. Now, I would imagine some of your listeners have had relationship things that have occurred that may subconscious or even consciously limit what they think is possible for them in terms of relationship maybe it’s just not doesn’t work for me. I’ve been through two husbands. I’ve been through three wives doesn’t work. So anyhow, I was doing a self examination one time I would call it an ontological examination and ontology is the study of being not Ralph Waldo Emerson said, I can’t hear the words you’re saying. Because who your being is speaking so loud?

Achim Nowak  13:54

That’s beautiful quote. Yeah. Yeah. And there’s

Darrell Gurney  13:57

this idea that maybe your being actually shapes your results in life even more than what you do. Right? So I did this ontological exploration to see who am I, that dating and relationships are? That’s a weird sentence. Okay. It doesn’t make sense. Who are you? But I was looking to see who do I be, you know, what’s underneath it all in terms of how I hold relationships. And I just started doing some, like writing just Relationships are hard relationships, or dating is hard. And I just went through several sheets. And one of them I wrote down was, I can’t trust a woman with my heart. After I sat back, and I looked and I went, Holy Hell, yeah. How could I? In my back 40 In my second half of life, how could I ever actually end up in a relationship that works if underneath it all, I have it that I can’t trust A woman my heart now I could actually walk back in several instances of my previous life and look to see what had made that a subconscious belief. There were things that had occurred, right. All I’m saying is that once I popped that, I was speaking at an event, a woman came up to me and introduced herself. We were friends for a year and a half. And now we’re together and we’ve been married. And I’m in the longest successful relationship

Achim Nowak  15:28

ever. And I am so happy for you and I so relate to the story you’re telling from my own relationship pass. But what I’m hearing and I want to just test this is that the ontological homework of who use the research and development metaphor, some more, brought something into your consciousness, and things couldn’t change that something was brought to consciousness. And then I know my son, Google, now the universe did the rest. Right? Your consciousness shifted? And let me stop here. Any thoughts on that?

Darrell Gurney  16:10

Well, yeah, I think when who were being shifts, our experience in the world shifts. So when we can get to kind of what’s underneath, are doing what’s underneath our drives what’s underneath our ambitions, what you know, when we can get to underneath that. And again, look, people probably won’t hear this if life is going great. People whose life is going great, don’t need to do those examinations, because they’re not, it doesn’t occur to them that something might be off. And yet, when people come across what they call midlife crisis, or midlife opportunity, then we have an opportunity to start looking at, okay, if this doesn’t work, if this isn’t working, let me do some digging. Just as a quick little ancillary to that story. My wife actually came into my life. Because of the back 40. She was just a friend. And she was in a reading group. And I was having some people read the initial chapters, and again, just a friend. But she, in doing some of the exercises, saw something for herself. She had been in her second marriage for 14 years, the last three had gone south. And yet with all of the personal development, and all the empowerment and all this stuff that she knew, she was paralyzed. And through doing one of the exercises in the book, she actually had the insight that in leaving Russia, where she had tried to get her family tried to get out for 13 years, they were dissidents, but they weren’t allowed to leave. And from the year from age six to 19, they always wanted to get out and they were always denied. At 19. They told her, okay, you can leave but your parents can’t. So she’s on a plane, leaving Russia crying her eyes out. And what she saw was that she started to associate freedom, which they had always wanted. Freedom of coming to America with scary, freedom is scary. And when she popped that, she actually told her husband the next day, you know what we’ve been talking about divorce, we’re going to have one it’s going to be amicable. And we’re going to come out of this alright, and it was just like immediate. Things can change in one’s life when those pops, and the freedom from previous subconscious restrictions occur. That’s my belief.

Achim Nowak  18:48

A word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast Fourth, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. So before we get to the seven embraces, which I want to talk about, since we’re talking about the pups, and you’re taking us into your own personal story and the radical second half, what might be one or two other things that have popped for you where you go when this happened. Very different things happen to show up in my life. Are there one or two others you can share with us?

Darrell Gurney  19:47

You know what, I’m gonna be completely authentic here just for you to know. I wrote the book for me. Yeah. I actually say in the front of the book that I wrote the book that I needed to read. I’m I’m reading it. It’s written, but I’m reading and I’m actually putting together study groups. Because this isn’t something that it’s like okay, mastered that got that done. This is a life manual. Okay. But what I will say is that as this has evolved and become kind of a path for me the back 40 path of greater self expression greater becoming. Yeah, you know, one of the lines that I love on the back cover, the book says, You’re not who you are. You’re not who you’ve been. You are, who you’re becoming. And as I’ve continued to pursue this back, 40 becoming for myself, I see so many patterns that have been there, but I didn’t notice them. One of them is seeking validation. Yeah. And that seeking validation thing where I was the class clown, when I was growing up, I was the one that mischievious one. And there was a there’s a guy, I actually interviewed him on some interviews that I did when I brought out the book. He’s a Guinness Book of World Records holder, he’s at age 79, he summited the highest seven peaks in the world. But I did a program with him. His name’s Werner Berger, when I did a program with him five years ago. And he said, because people would bring up something and I’d have a funny thing to say, I’ve got a great develop really wonderfully developed wit, right. But he said, Why do you always need to say something? Why do you always need to have the funny thing? That was just like, oh, wow, okay, that little boy is still looking for validation still wants to be totally is okay, and get get everyone laughing. So, I mean, this may be a little bit too much that you don’t want to hear. I’m just saying that. Yeah. But as you were talking,

Achim Nowak  22:03

I was thinking we have a mutual friend named Mark Silverman, who’s very outspoken about all the addictions he’s been recovering from. But the one thing he talks about, which is not labeled an official addiction, is that I worked so hard to be the best little boy in town who everybody loved the effort he went through? Well, you you’re saying so beautifully, if we work that hard for approval, that becomes a subjugation of our essence, our spirit, our soul. To get something from the outside,

Darrell Gurney  22:40

the first embrace is your past, a say until your past, you’ve really taken it on and those horrible things that happened to you, you’re able to recontextualize those in a way where they actually could be the best thing that ever happened to you. And they’re pointing you towards your greater self expression. Well, I take one of those incidents that happened to me when I was an adolescent and, and what the self expression directed that comes out of it is authenticity. And I gotta tell you, that, at this point in my life, is something I’m looking to develop more and more of, it’s not a natural thing to just be authentic.

Achim Nowak  23:23

I have a lot of sauces. So the word authenticity, which I, which I liked, but also has been culturally packaged and appropriate in certain ways. And, yes, um, let me just throw this at you. And I love you to play with it. Because I believe you and I can, in any given situation, authentically be many different things. So authenticity is, is multifaceted. If we’re always hiding and wearing a mask, we’re an odd. But I also believe we’re both coaches that it behooves us to have a sense of the social context we’re in. And be conscious of who we choose to bring authentically to that situation that supports the moment rather than again comes out of a need to be noticed to be like to all those things, even though that may feel authentic. So it makes sense what I’m saying,

Darrell Gurney  24:18

Oh, it does, and you know, anything taken to the nth degree was maybe all things in moderation, but the point is, yes, you also, you also need to look at your environment, you need to know where you are, who you’re with, and all of that because obviously we’re all got a self protection mechanism going on as well. I just at least my path and everybody has a different path. That’s one of the things that breaking down these early incidences are things in one’s life, but he’s got different pointers. That’s just something that I explore now. Rather than like you said, Mark Silverman, how do you show up the superstar Are the one that’s got it all together? And what’s interesting? I think I came. I can’t say this, categorically. But I think there’s a lot more appreciation for authenticity now than there was 1520 30 years ago. Because the people who wrote books back then, it was like they were the experts. Yeah. I remember in 2008, I was talking to a book coach around my book, and she said, Okay, you got to be the expert on this. I said, No, I want to actually show my own exploration stuff. She said, No, you can’t do that. You got to be the expert. So I didn’t work with her.

Achim Nowak  25:33

Good for you. I, I really, we’ve mentioned the word embraces a bunch of times. And I, I love your choice of that word. And you talk about seven essential embraces to help us move forward into a bolder and more authentic back. 40? Would you just mention what the seven embraces your bar? And then we can spend lots of time on each I know what my favorites are already. But we’ll mention the seven first, and then I’m going to jump in.

Darrell Gurney  26:09

Sure. So first, as I said a moment ago, embracing your past. There’s a lot of people who don’t even remember their past. Sometimes that’s for a particular reason, or but I do think no matter how much personal development, spiritual development, I mean, I’ve done a ton of that. And yet, if I really were looked at honestly be like, Yeah, but if that didn’t happen, I’d probably be better now. But this didn’t happen. And so I think it’s really, the whole idea here is that if you’re a victim, if you’re a victim of what’s happened to you, you have no say you just have no say over life in any sense of what’s going to happen because you’ve taken on that you’re at effect. And so there’s a process in there in the first two embraces which are your past and your present to actually take anything that was sorted awful traumatic, and get another perspective on it as to why it might have been perfect and may it’s maybe at some level, you designed it so that you could become who you came here to be to make the difference that you’re uniquely here to make. Right.

Achim Nowak  27:22

So I just want to address that. I love the way you designed it. I know everybody has different spiritual beliefs but are you saying you designed it subconsciously? Are you suggesting that God designed it higher power designed it? Who designed that? It just in your standing world?

Darrell Gurney  27:40

I think you know, I don’t know if you know this book written by Neale Donald Walsch called little soul in the sun. But I used to read it to my son. And it’s about this little soul that says, hanging out in the clouds of God saying, oh, I want to go down to earth. And God says, Why you got everything here? And little soul says, Well, I just want to experience I want to experience and God said, What do you want to experience? He goes, I want to experience forgiveness. Then God said, Well, if you’re going to experience forgiveness, He had to go down with somebody who’s gonna do something. And so this other little soul comes up and they have this agreement, okay, I’ll do something really dark and, and then you can experience forgiveness. So I think, you know, my belief at least is that at some level, so that we maybe pick the parents that we picked, we picked where we grew up, we pick the situations now, to the degree that we are on rails, and we stay unconscious of maybe the impacts of all of that, we just get shaped and we kind of just become whatever that would make us be I think, to a degree if we can look to see oh, why why would I pick those parents? Why would I picked this the way I did, it gives us to some degree, a semblance of say, over our past. And then if we can have a say over our past and I can say this thing happened to me. And here’s what it pointed to me to become more of so as to express my greater self, then that’s empowering for me. It’s way more empowering than I was a victim to something and again, I’m not diminishing people who have a whole lot of trauma that’s occurred, and it’s not true what I’m saying either. I’m just saying it’s another possible interpretation that may leave us empowered.

Achim Nowak  29:27

Really clear, but first of all, thank you for doing the little boy voice for us. We heard the actor knew when you told them Neale Donald Walsch story that was one just quickly just mentioned what are the other five embraces you do back to

Darrell Gurney  29:43

so your past your present your gifts? So many of us get to midlife and we think we don’t know what gifts The School of Life or the school of hard knocks have given us. So it’s just a great time to do an inventory. What are your gifts way beyond what you studied or what you Do your values. And again, our values are very different at midlife, 4056 years 17 than they were 30 or 20. And if you live on obsolete values, you’re just not present. So another inventory, you know, what are your values now? What matters? What’s worth living or dying for? Number five is your initiation. You mentioned midlife crisis in the back 40. We call it midlife opportunity. It’s like your wake up call to have a life ie completely other than it’s been, you can’t go back. What are you going to make of it now? So your initiation, embrace number six is your purpose. Too many people I believe myself included, search frantically. What’s my purpose? What’s my purpose? And what I propose is what if we start practicing and playing with purpose haven’t be purposeful practice, versus this silver bullet. And then number seven is embrace number seven is a presence. Now this isn’t a religious thing. It’s just saying, What if there’s something beyond me, that can be the wind beneath my wings, and that if I make myself available for that intelligence, God, whatever you want to call it, if I make myself available for it, then my purpose and my being on the planet can be moved forward in ways that left to my own self would never occur. So those are the seven embrace.

Achim Nowak  31:33

I want to connect presents that you just said to what we started with talking about the beingness, right and being in my mind are connected? How are you being more than you were maybe 2030 years ago? And how has your presence changed now in your back? 40 Can you play with those words, but also what they look and feel like for you in your life right now.

Darrell Gurney  32:02

I think I’ve become more consciously aware of my previous subconscious, drives, urges, I think I’m a better person to be in relationship with my wife showed up my life eight years ago, you know, together. And this is actually I think, relevant here. But there’s another book that we actually declared as the basis of our coming together, whether we were married or not, she was resisting marriage for a while, because she’d already been married twice. And it’s like, she had her ideas like, that ain’t gonna work. But there’s a book called embracing the beloved. It was written by two people who came together later in life after kids and other marriages. And what they decided to do was to go into that relationship like it is the source of their healing. Yeah, verse versus what happens too often is, oh, it just didn’t work. Right. So when things come up, we go deeper. And in other words, there’s no back door here. So I think that possibility of relationship and mutual healing that’s come about and look, she came to me because she read my book. So I don’t care, whatever comes out of the book, now that it’s out, and it’s published, I’ve already scored majorly, right. But But But what you described

Achim Nowak  33:32

about going deeper, I would say, into being together and maybe uncovering another layer and another door and another opportunity. And having the courage to do that, instead of being afraid. I mean, that’s beautiful. I because I know your bio, and know when you were born, so you have a year, I believe you’re turning 60 This year, which is fantastic. So when you think to the future, and this is not about having a roadmap or a plan, so I’m not talking about traditional goals, but if you think about wishes, dreams and desires for yourself, like what what would make your life even sweeter, and richer, and more enjoyable. What comes to mind?

Darrell Gurney  34:24

I think about you know, what it is to build a life and a business and income based on authenticity, based on, you know, being rather than doing what we have to do. And I’m not saying that we don’t need to earn and we do and sometimes you got to do what you got to do. One of the things that I mentioned in the book, there’s an exercise, embrace number four your values, where I actually propose and you know this that ain’t easy, but I propose, what if you took on that you’re going to die in three years, like you’re just going to be, but you’re not going to get decrepit and everything, you’re just going to croak in three years. But if that were really the truth, what would you shift right now, looking at that for myself, I can’t show it to you right now. But I have my trumpet in the back of the room here that I used to play 40 years ago. And so I pulled out my trumpet. My wife, and I just went to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Long Beach Playhouse. And it was like, you know, I could do a good big daddy. And so I’m just, I’m interested in what it is to begin to play outside of the constrictions or restrictions that getting into adult life. Yeah, had us think this is the way kindness be spent. And I don’t know what that looks like. And I’m also I’ll say, another game I’m up for playing right now is what it is to give, like, I call it Elvis giving, like what would it be like to be in a position? Or to play that kind of generosity? Like, what’s that giving? Like? So those are just a few things that that I’m exploring. What I’m clear about is there’s not going to be a top of the mountain to get to with the back 40 This is going to be an evolving that’s actually what we say is it if life is wasn’t down and out which society tells us what if it was up and out and there’s just a bigger bigger game more evolvement to come. That’s that’s what I’m interested in playing.

Achim Nowak  36:41

To things I’ve appreciated what it just heard. I had the thought of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in a long time. But I remember I think it was 1974 I think I saw Elizabeth Ashley, play Maggie and catalogued and Ruth at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. And talk about the power of talent, talent and presence on stage. She was a stunning, you know, when I gave him that play, and I hadn’t thought of that until you just mentioned that. The other thing I just want to thank you for because my opinion, I think people get almost maniacal and desperate on finding purpose. And your take on it. Just experiment. Just explore is so liberating. Because if I was brought to be a perfectionist, then even the quest for the purpose becomes another perfection this exercise and is already defeated. What it can be at its best. So thank you for that context I the question I ask every guest I want to ask you as well as based on what you know now, in your back 40. Having written a book about it, having done lots of personal work being in a different kind of relationship after a tough divorce. What words of wisdom? Would you whisper into two young DeRose ears not to change him or to control his path? But if you were the wise teacher, otherwise uncoloured what would you want him to know?

Darrell Gurney  38:18

I would want him to know that. He’s not going to figure it out. And that there is no way it’s ever going to all be in order. Or like you said perfect. And what there is I love Eckhart Tolle in a new earth, he says what our purpose really is, is consciousness. Yeah, is growing more conscious. And so I think and I don’t know if my 25 year old could have even heard. Right? Like, yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. But I gotta, you know, go out and make my money get my Mercedes, right. But um, yeah, I think that’s what I would the wise, the age would say, look, you’re gonna do a lot of experiments, and there’s gonna be some pain, it’s gonna be a lot of pain, and there’s gonna be some joys. And what there is to do is out of everything, look to see what’s the message of how you can expand and become more of yourself rather than shrink based on any particular experience. So

Achim Nowak  39:29

I appreciate this is such a gentle take on life’s journey. I’m a big Eckhart Tolle a fan, but I also have to chuckle when you said that because I’m surrounded by people in my life who are obsessed with becoming enlightened. And so becoming enlightened becomes another really tough task, right? And when I say Can I just shake you if you just relax, you get there faster, right? It just relates to everything you’re talking about. I I can’t imagine that there aren’t quite a few listeners who are curious about your book. And the work you do in your company, the back 40. Where would you like to send folks to learn more about your book and your work? Well, first,

Darrell Gurney  40:09

they can get the book on Amazon just look up the back 40. It’s got a really nice cover of a little sprig looking into a pond where it sees itself as a huge oak. If they go to the back And that’s spelled out so it’s th e BA, CK fo rt forward slash free, they can grab an ebook for the top 10 tips for a radical second half. I did some interviews when the book came out really awesome. Individuals were all awesome. And it’s interesting when you sit down and ask people this question, how did your first half of life set you up? For your bigger game to come? How was everything perfect, whether it was polio, whether it was abuse, whether it was drug addiction, and so I have some great interviews if people know what a bitly is, it’s just bi T dot L Y, forward slash b f interviews,

Achim Nowak  41:07

as celebrate you celebrate your journey, and I celebrate your higher self. They’re all thank you for the gift of this conversation. It was great to speak with you.

Darrell Gurney  41:18

Thank you, I came I really appreciate all the interviews that you do and this entire work that you build around the fourth act. I appreciate the message that you are bringing out for all of

Achim Nowak  41:33

us. My pleasure. Goodbye for now. Like what you heard, please go to my fourth And subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao


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