Giving and receiving is one of the most essential elements of a healthy relationship. Sometimes, an imbalance between giving and receiving might cause conflicts and resentment especially if the other one does not feel appreciated or valued. It also takes a lot of commitment for the relationship to thrive, so both parties must work together in every way possible. Prioritizing what your partner needs and being sensitive is an act of love that leads to perfecting the input to bring them joy, love, and a strong feeling of connection.
In this episode, Benjy and Andrew talk about the idea of input vs output and how to achieve a good outcome to feel satisfaction in our everyday lives. This is crucial at first, but it will be something that you will look forward to along the way if your goal is to make the partnership grow. They also talk about the divine principle, the idea of object consciousness, nullification, the importance of an accountability partner, the power of kindness and compassion in a relationship, handling expectations, and how to master the punch of positivity to get the best results in your sexual integrity. Before you dive into a long day of work, make sure you spend a few minutes to reflect and focus on the input and output of your actions. Join our newsletter for good quality and accessible information every week. Click here.
- The power of kindness in marriage
- Subject consciousness
- Misconceptions about women
- Commitment to grow, support and love each other
- The idea of input vs. output
- Practicing and mastering the punch of positivity
- Believing in the future
Welcome to Love, Life and Legacy, a podcast dedicated to helping you navigate this tightrope of culture in terms of sexuality, and so you can make it to the other side. Which other side? It’s up to you if you want a radiant family filled with love and joy and laughter creating memories for eons to come, that’s what you can learn here. In today’s episode, we’re being super practical and we’re talking about input versus output. We are crushing it. Benjy and I are just absolutely channeling genius in this episode, so stay tuned. It’ll help you learn what to focus on so you can get the best results in your sexual integrity but in life at large, so enjoy.
Welcome back, everybody. Andrew Love here along with my guy. Hey guy, what’s your name?
Today, we’re going to talk about something very practical. It’s your input versus your output. And the reason is that I’m always learning, I’m always growing myself, and I was listening to this guy who grew up doing martial arts. He was talking about when he got to a point in his life where he basically quit martial arts. He was burnt out, he had some rough family issues and then when he came back, he wasn’t trying to race ahead. He wasn’t trying to get to the next belt. He wasn’t trying to become a black belt and become a master. He just was focusing on doing one punch at a time and being in that punch, and mastering that one punch at a time. The same would be for a kick, but he’s taking it really slow and really intentional, and working on mastery. As I was listening to this, I was like, that’s amazing. And then the next day, I had a group where I was talking to a bunch of guys, and one of my guys who’s married kept on getting unbelievably angry when his wife would reject him sexually. He took it so personally. And he’s like, but I did this and I did this and I did this, and then she rejected me.
Because you have these expectations, you have output focus, your focus is on what you want to get. It’s tarnishing what you are giving because your wife can pick up on that. When you’re around somebody and you can tell they want something, it’s really an uncomfortable feeling. Just get to the point, what do you want? So he worked on that the very next week, and he just is focusing on input like when he gives his wife a massage, he has no expectations for anything else. No hanky panky, not even a kiss, not even a thank you, just to make her happy. And then he ended up getting everything he wanted and more, and they made love a few times. More than expected, and then he was just super happy and he reported to me. This is a breakthrough. So I just wanted to introduce this concept. Does this resonate with you? What lands for you?
That’s really up my alley for sure. I would say that is similar to that guy in your group. My experience with my wife was that when I started, I read an article at one point about the power of kindness. The simple idea of being kind in a marriage, and how that impacts the marriage long term. They’ve done studies on this, and this article is particularly interesting. I think it was by the Gottman Institute. I read that and I was like, I didn’t realize how important just kindness is. I was realizing that I’m not so kind all the time, I’m like, maybe cold or especially regarding our sexual relationship, my wife.
I remember just for a period of time, I was just making that input a priority in my life. What comes up for me, it’s that I was just trying to be kind rather than being upset or reacting a certain way when something happens or she says something or doesn’t say something. Just being kind and just being gentle, and having that calming mentality and spirit around me. Somehow that really started changing things for us. I mentioned a few times that we had a pretty difficult relationship for a number of years. It was around that time where I just decided to start being kinder or realizing first of all, that I wasn’t being very kind and that was actually contributing to her inability to want to be close to me or intimate with me, is that I was just being unnecessarily brash and unkind. Not abusive, but a little bit honest. We all deserve to be in a relationship where we can just be ourselves without feeling like we’re going to be attacked or anything like that. That’s definitely the relationship we have now, just feeling totally comfortable to say whatever we want, and knowing that the other person is not going to react negatively but with kindness and compassion, most of all.
Yes, it’s a work in progress. This also brings up a concept from a derivative of divine principle like explanations of divine principles of. the idea of object consciousness. I guess it would be subject consciousness both where if your priority becomes to be aware of what the person needs, and you get good at giving them that because you’re sensitive to their needs. I remember this from a dude that was very intense, who taught us the hard way about this where we’re always supposed to watch him and see where he’s at and what he needs, that was more like a fear base.
But the love base is you’re just in tune. You’re tuning into the needs of this person, and you’re focused on trying to please them because they need it, because it helps them get through the day. Ideally, obviously, if you do this forever without anybody ever giving you anything in return, it’s hard because we naturally want that ourselves. But if there’s the expectation for a return on investment, that’s when things get a little bit gross. So if you’re just in tune, I guess here’s the caveat. If you guys have an agreement, if you’re in a relationship like me and my wife, we have a general agreement. We went to the blessing together and we agreed that we’re going to take care of each other forever, plus forever and beyond.
So in that agreement, she will eventually, because she agreed to this too, that I can just serve her and serve her and serve her, and then eventually she’ll get it and she’ll want to do the same thing. The concept is like if you just love and love and love, it’s inevitable that that person will want to give something back to you so much eventually. But it takes time because it depends on where they’re at and what they’re going through. That’s the hard part, is just giving without any expectation. It goes against a lot of what psychologists say too. Some people say that’s like self nullifying, and yes, it is. But they think that that’s a bad thing like you’re a sucker.
Nullification means you become nothing. Just become nothing, just giving like you just want to give with no expectations. But according to what you feel that they need, and the more that you take note of their needs, the easier it is because you know their rhythms. We’re not that complex. If somebody drinks tea or coffee at a certain time of today, take note. And then you can give that to them, and then all of a sudden, it makes them really happy especially if you’re just giving it to them with love. It’s so nice. Put your hand on their shoulder, give them a tea, exactly when they were thinking about a tea, they’re like, how did you know? It’s like, I’m on to you. I know you. I love you. That’s the best feeling ever. It’s like somebody can read your mind.
Yes. I would say that for me, I guess to put it in practice, I like talking about my relationship with my wife because I feel like it helps paint a picture of it. But also it helps people relate to what it is, and is very common. But in our case, my wife is Japanese. It’s nothing to do with the fact that she’s Japanese, but more with the fact that she’s very different from me and she’s very different from the way that I grew up, the way she grew up. And so for us, it became very apparent when I realized that I had so many misconceptions about women based on a more westernized or American mindset of what women respond to if that makes sense.
If you say, I love you, that’s what every woman wants to hear you say I love you every day. I honestly believe that, and every woman wants you to hold their hand while you take a walk together every week. These kinds of concepts I had, I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s an American thing, or maybe I just made it up. But I honestly felt like I could be a good husband because I can do that. I can say I love you every day, I can hold her hand, I can give her massages whenever. And to be frank, my wife for a long period, repelled that kind of thing. Not because she doesn’t know how to receive love but that’s just not how she was raised. It’s just completely foreign. Just a completely, completely foreign concept to her to be told that she’s loved like with words.
It’s not necessarily with actions. So my experience was I’m saying and I’m doing all these things for you. I’m doing all this input, but you’re not receiving my love. You’re not feeling loved. She would say things like, I don’t feel loved or things like that. I just feel like how? I’m doing all this stuff.
It really wasn’t until I realized that if anyone’s familiar with the love languages, five love languages. I think the five love languages are a bit oversimplified because there are maybe more like 30 or 20-30 plus different kinds of ways that people experience love besides just five. There are maybe subcategories. But my wife, she simply just wants to spend time together. That’s it. You could just sit down after dinner and just talk and listen to each other and do that. I even recently got a really comfy chair for myself for a dining room table, so that I could literally sit there for hours and just listen and talk with her without getting uncomfortable. That was like my investment. It was like a $200 chair, just so I could sit comfortably and listen. She felt loved by that, that I just bought this nice chair for myself.
So touching is not because I would think that if you’re going to invest in a sitting chair, be like a loveseat and you could snuggle and talk, but I guess she’s not a touch-y person.
I just sit next door and talk and listen. But that’s the thing though. It’s interesting that I would say 95% of couples would have given up within a few years. I think that goes for a lot of couples that succeed. All the couples we know, think about all the couples you know that are really truly happy. All of them that I know, anecdotally speaking, have been through those really hard periods of just not feeling the love from each other no matter how hard they try. Just saying that you don’t love me, but I am. No, you don’t.
It’s those times where we tend to shy away and give up and throw in the towel. But if we just stick with it and realize that this is the whole purpose, we’re talking about the blessing. This is what we signed up for, and the blessing is a commitment to grow and to support and love each other no matter what. And for us, it’s like, I’ve grown so much in the last 10 plus years, still growing. But I can honestly say that I don’t experience love the same way that it used to. My capacity for love has grown to a point where I can receive love in a way that I never thought existed, honestly. I didn’t know that making food for somebody was an act of love, and that’s how my wife expresses love. I didn’t know that was an act of love. I just brushed it off.
She makes food for you?
Yes, she makes food for me, for the family, for people, our neighbors.
That’s how she gives love.
That’s how she gives love. That’s how she’s thoughtful. Ten years ago, I was like, I don’t need food. I can make my own food. And for her also, she’s more receptive to just cuddling and being intimate and for sure, so it’s pretty amazing. If there’s a testament to the blessing, it’s that we grow and we change over time, even if it’s hard.
Yes. That’s interesting because first of all, that’s really perfecting the input. The punch for you is learning how to love your spouse in the right way, like doing the perfect thing that really brings them joy and love, and that feeling of connection. But I’m also thinking about these people out there who are single who are listening to this, that in your sexual integrity journey, for me with the Northstar Goal, it’s important to have both. This idea of input versus output is that you have a goal in mind but that’s not your focus per se. You focus on the execution of one thing at a time and get enthralled by the doing. The thing will happen, it will happen. But the more that we obsess about an outcome, the more we try to force our way to achieve the outcome, and we try to take shortcuts, or we’re just oblivious to the lessons that are trying to be taught to us which is the purpose of going there.
The reason you want something, it could be anything from a wife to a car to whatever. You want the thing but it’s not the person or the thing that’s going to bring you joy. You won’t be able to appreciate them unless you grow into somebody who deserves that thing or that person. If you’re out there and you’re single, then it’s really learning how to perfect that punch. Benjy keeps on saying that I keep on doing these punch motions, but you can’t see me. But the idea of perfecting the punch in your days, perfecting your day, how do you go through a day? That’s the Northstar Goal, it’s like I want this kind of day. I want to experience this kind of day where I wake up, I’m energized all day, I’m really focused, I’m really connected with myself and with other people. I’m the person that I’m committed to being, and then I go to bed feeling totally satisfied. How do you achieve that day? That’s one thing at a time.
The first punch is that you’re learning how to wake upright. Perfect that. Perfect how to wake upright, and that means how to go to bed right. What time do I need to wake up? What I need to do is the very first thing, that’s your first punch. The second punch is what do you do next? And then what are you doing throughout your day? Who are you talking to? How’s your relationship with your phone? All this stacks up to the ultimate goal of having a perfect day. If you have a perfect day, according to your own version of perfect, then you can create a perfect week, perfect month, and then a really amazing life.
That doesn’t mean that the circumstances in your life are going to go exactly according to your wish, it means that you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way because of those punches. Just like learning martial arts doesn’t mean that you’re always going to beat up everybody super easily, but it means that you’ll be able to defend yourself when the time comes and you won’t get totally destroyed when you really know your martial arts. So that is really important, your input because a lot of people freak out. They’re on the road to recovery and to redemption, and then they make a mistake. I’m going to screw up or I want to give up because they’re so obsessed with this outcome that they don’t realize that I still have some weaknesses in my armor. I need to perfect that more and more and more. That’s really the input. What am I missing here? What lesson did I miss, and how can I perfect this so I’m stronger next time?
One thing that Father Moon said at one point, he said that if you can’t think about the future or make plans for the future, you can’t do what you’re going to say in the future unless you can do what you say you’re going to do tomorrow morning. So basically, you can’t create a future for yourself or envision or vision cast a future for yourself if you can’t even do what you’re gonna say the next morning. This is really true for a group that I’m leading right now, five guys in my group. During our group, I told them that one thing that I learned from our porn mentoring program that we did with Brave Hearts, which is an organization that trains mentors to help people with their sexual integrity and overcoming porn. When I did this training thing, Andrew, you did too, right?
He listed what are the topmost effective practices for porn recovery. It was really interesting to see that the things that you would think are the most helpful for people to overcome porn were actually not the top practices. You would think that it would be having accountability software on your phone or your computer, or having an accountability partner or something like that. The actual top thing that he mentioned was a daily spiritual practice, which is very interesting. I mentioned this to my group of five guys, so let’s take that to heart and actually consider that your daily spiritual practice, your habits every day might be the greatest contribution to your recovery path in your journey.
The guys really took that to heart in my group, and they all started doing morning devotion with Dr. Young, which is going on right now. They all started waking up at 6 am to watch an hour and a half of morning devotion with Dr. Young. It’s really interesting what’s been happening over the last few weeks when we check in during our weekly call, and I asked them what’s really been helping you this week, or what’s been not helpful for you? Many of them have said that doing morning devotion has been the most helpful thing for them just to hear the content. It’s good content as well, but also just to start your day off on the right foot with the right mentality and right priority and focus. I thought that was really amazing, and I actually told Dr. Young, by the way. I met with him and I actually said that his morning devotions are really helping our High Noon participants, and they’re really getting a lot of inspiration from that.
Yes, absolutely. Because they’re clear about what they want, and they are willing to put in the work, so that’s a great first punch. It really impacts you. If you really feel masterful of something, you see how that can connect to the rest of your life, because it’s like I have dominion over something. Even as trivial as a punch or anything like with your physical body. It’s a great metaphor. When you learn how to handstand, I know you’ve been working on handstands, I used to do handstands like crazy. When you can do it for five seconds and you could never do it before, you’re like: Wow, I’ve just mastered my body that much more. You can bump that up to 10-20-30 seconds, a minute. You just feel this mastery and you want to see if you’re wise enough, you can see that if I could deal with this area of my life, I can do that to every area of my life.
That sense of mastery that we’re talking about, and so the Northstar Goal is being clear about your future, and then the input is practicing being that version of yourself through inputs every single day. I’m practicing being a kinder person. I have another guy in my group, and his Northstar Goal for the past three weeks, he keeps on continuing it. He was dabbling with it, but then he’s going to keep it which is just being super positive wherever he goes. He’s such a serious guy but he’s coming with a dopey smile now to the groups because he’s becoming his own man of the prophecy of what he said. I’m going to be super positive. So he’s becoming positive by practicing and mastering the punch of positivity every single day.
He has a really difficult boss that is so mean to him, and the only way that he’s surviving right now is that he’s just committed, and realizes that positivity is not a feeling, it’s an action. You got to practice every single day. That’s the mastery of every single day, being positive in every single scenario with every interaction. That’s really cool. This is all really practical stuff that regards if you are in a relationship, then it’s very clear. How do you practice tuning into your spouse’s needs, and giving them that without any attachment and just watch? If you don’t have expectations of an outcome, you will get more than you expected or believe as possible. That’s the trick. But if you have expectations, you won’t get that thing.
It’s this weird catch 22. If you release yourself of expectations, you’ll get more than you could ever expect. And if you keep your expectations, you won’t get that thing that you expect, because your expectations themselves are tripping you up. It’s not like a peer offering, as they say. God’s like, could you offer that lamb? And he’s like, yes God, I just offer that lamb. That’s half a lamb? I just saved half in case there’s famine and stuff. It’s not the same as like, this is the best of me.
So I think you guys get it, but this is a mentality shift that we’re promoting that you try. Try this out. Everything that we do is obviously not mandatory, but we’re coming from a place where this is working for us and it’s working for other people. When your focus is not worrying about the future, believing in the future, having a vision for the future, and trusting in that future, but that your focus is mastering one step at a time and you get lost in that process, that’s when time ceases to matter. Your worries and anxieties about the future go away because you’re not thinking about the future. You believe in the future but you’re focused on the now, in the present, and that’s where all the good stuff is. All the religions talk about being present in the present moment, and that’s where all the good stuff is. If you focus on the future, and the past you’re losing. Any last words?
I guess is there anything that you’re personally inputting in your life or in your daily life?
Yes. There’s some stuff that I’m losing at and most stuff I’m winning at, I am just also becoming more positive and focused a lot on input in my spiritual intuition, and trusting that by not being so scattered all over the place and stopping every once in a while and just re-aligning myself. Realigning my spirit and just be like, what’s really important? What’s true, and doing that more and more and perfecting, being a spiritual person who’s practically in this world. That to me is super important, because when I’m that, then I’m really available for my wife and for my kids. And when I’m not, and I’m distracted, I’m a disaster. I’m a cranky jerk. It happened last week, I was really cranky last week with my kids, and I was like a real rare thing. I realized what’s going on because I was just too scattered. So just to focus and realign myself and really master that throughout the day, that’s what I’m working on. That’s my punch, my spiritual punch. What about you?
I’m thinking that a good practice for people who are listening to this, is to figure out what is it that’s important to you in the long term? What do you value most in your life? Whether it’s I’m willing to bet it’s something around along the lines of health or relationships, or your contribution or your goals or career even. If that’s the case, then what are we doing every day that leads into that reality? What leads to that vision?
Andrew and I, we’re just talking before this. Recording this about my role as a parent and raising my kids, and for me, having my kids grow up strong and faithful and responsible and everything that I want them to be is the top priority in my life. Recently, I’ve been beating myself up because I’m becoming busy and this and that. I guess talking with Andrew helped me realize that I really do care about my kids a lot. The input that I’m putting right now, and I want to input more of is just enjoying the process of being a parent and investing in my kids, enjoying it.
And to me, that looks like a lot of times, it’s just sitting down on the living room table with them and making a Lego structure or making a clay, stop motion animation with our phones, or going in the trampoline and just tumbling about. That stuff, if I think about it, it’s really good for them. It’s really good for a relationship. It’s really good for their development, but also I enjoy it. I genuinely do enjoy doing that kind of thing. In that sense, it is a genuine input in that. It’s not like a chore or something I have to do because if I don’t then my children will end up being serial killers or anything. That crazy thing that we think of as parents sometimes. But just enjoying the process of investing and putting that into our relationship, I think that’s something I’m doing really well. I guess I don’t give myself credit for it, but I’m still trying to do everything I can to be a good parent.
I also noticed in our conversation that your anxiety arises when you’re thinking about the future. You’re worried about the future, but there’s nothing wrong with the present because you have these great moments with your kids. You’re creating all these memories for you and for your kids. There is nothing wrong except for your interpretation of what might go wrong in the future based on these unfounded fears. That’s really cool, and that’s a great example for you guys too. If you have anxieties, if you’re single, you’re worried about being the right person or finding the right person, or am I ever going to be happy in a marriage? Are you happy now? That’s a pretty good indication if you’re going to be happy in the future. Just like Benjy said before that quote, are you happy now? Because if you’re able to create joy in your life now and connection and meaning and love now, then guess what, your likelihood of doing in the future is great. If not, keep on working on it because it’s not going to happen in the future if it can’t happen now.
So inputs, y’all. It’s not that you’re not already doing it, it’s where your focus is. Again, when you focus on the future, you’re going to be producing a lot of anxieties and fears that don’t even exist. The future doesn’t even exist at all. So your bets are just as good as anybody so why not just enjoys the present moment with an idea of a strong idea and Northstar Goal. But don’t worry about it, trust that it’s gonna exist and just trust in the process. I hope this was helpful, everybody. If you have any questions, as always, you can Morse code us, you can Morse code us, or you can email us. We’re trying to stay away from social media these days but we will respond to your messages because you’re that important to us, that we’re willing to go into the fiery pits of social media hell to talk to you. But anyway, we just want you to succeed at creating joyful lives and meaningful existences, so good luck with everything. God bless your very souls. We’ll talk to you next time.
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