In this mind opening interview with Peter Sage, Steve and Peter touch upon many topics. They touch on Peter’s relationship past, how to find strength, conviction and focus for what you want, the importance of clarity, how we all can go deeper into ourselves, the male attachment to beauty, a life beyond marriage and the fact we can never own someone else’s heart.
Peter is serial entrepreneur, a philanthropist and an international best selling author. His latest book ‘5 Keys To Master Your Life’ became an Amazon No. 1 best seller in Japan in its first week and has since sold over 100,000 copies and risen to be in the top 1% of business books ever sold in Japan.
He also has beautifully refreshing views about male/female relating, noting that a man could have millions in the bank but if he doesn’t have his closest relationships sorted then he isn’t worth a great deal!
This podcast is truly worth 40 minutes of your time.
Steve: Peter Sage (41), is well known international serial entrepreneur who has a burning interest in everything to do with relationships and as many of us do realize that relationships are one of the most fundamental and important parts of our lives. He’s certainly got many important things and views on relationships that he wants to share with us today. So, hello to Peter, how are you today.
Peter: Hi Steve, I am absolutely fabulous, my friend and thank you for the opportunity to come on the show.
Steve: Okay, so let’s start with a snapshot of the last 20 years – Where have you been on your journey with relationships?
Peter: That’s an interesting question and quite a… how can I put it… quite a journey. I figured out early on that as a sort, I was, a masculine alpha male type guy. From my early days I thought it was all about what most guys think what is it was all about – which is the more successful you are, the more you’ll be liked. The more attractive you are, or the better car you drive, the more women will want to date you – All of the fantasy bullshit that we tend to grow-up with.
And really it was a case of having been so focused on trying to achieve goals on business, working 130 hours a week, 7 days a week, and just really making everything about me, so that I could, in a sense, cover up the insecurities as a young man of not being – or not feeling enough. We all have the primary fear, which is the fear that we’re not enough. And ultimately therefore it leads to the fact that we’re afraid that we won’t be loved.
And so I don’t know how many layers of the onion one needs to peel back to get to that truth, but it’s always there. And so for me, relationships was a bit of a conundrum. It was always short term. I was petrified of making commitments. I was somewhat shallow in terms of that I was a visual guy, I wanted good looking girls – And that it was quite a “Shallow Hal” kind of time in my life, but for me it was, business came first, my mission came first. That’s what it was. And when I get to the end of that, in my mind, then I’ll be able to have time for this relationship thing.
So, from there, into my late- very late 20’s I started to have a value shift. And it was quite a demarcation point in my life, because I went from being far more ego-centric, to all being about me, to starting to understand that the true fulfillment, and especially in relationships, comes from growth and contribution. That emotional maturity for men begins when they start to understand the value in lighting up their partner. And so I went through much of my early 30’s with that level of awareness and really just, I guess at that point, exploring, learning and getting it wrong enough times to try and want to get it right.
And that led me up to a point where, a few relationships later, I found myself living in Dubai. And I was living with a lady that I, in my heart, although I’d made a commitment to, I wasn’t happy. And I wasn’t happy because I felt like I should be able to figure it out. And I learned a lot from that relationship. But what I learned was that I (could) only be responsible for my behavior. And if I’m being an asshole, somebody hold up a mirror. I’m happy to look. I cast myself as a fairly decent open-minded guy. My values are in place, but what I can’t be responsible for are other people’s insecurities.
And I see this a lot. If somebody is having to be somebody else, other than their genuine level of self, in order to maintain a level of harmony or supposed, fabricated harmony in a relationship. Then that has a time limit on both sides. So for me, it took a huge amount of courage to leave that relationship. And really what it came down to is, I went for a run one morning. I run on the beach in Dubai on most mornings and it gives me time to get clarity. And I was running and I got this flash of insight, this flash of clarity, crystal clear clarity about why the relationship wasn’t working and why neither party was fulfilled.
And I also got clarity around why there wasn’t anything I could do about it, if I was going to maintain a level of authenticity about being who I am. I’m an outgoing guy, I’m a somewhat of an extrovert and if I’m in an elevator with five people then, yeah, I’m going to start a conversation and that’s whether that’s with five models or five football players. It doesn’t matter, that’s just a natural way of who I am. If somebody else has insecurities around it, that their first boyfriend cheated on them or their dad cheated on their mum and they’re carrying their model of the world interpreting their beliefs on that, then that’s their deal.
So I went back and I journaled. And I journaled for an hour, and what came through me, because I journal quite a lot, was such a distinct clarity of truth. Because I’m sure there are people listening here who’re either in relationships and unhappy, or planning their escape, or trying to make a relationship work that’s gone sterile even.
But you can be way too close to the trees to see the woods sometimes. And I read this journal entry that I wrote, and it was so slap-in-your-face, stark truth, outside of the perspective of being too close to see it, that I thought I have to come back and read this every day for the next seven days from a different place. From a place of anger, from a place of love, from a place of frustration, from a place of apathy, and if every single time it still reeks of truth, then I know exactly what to do. And what made it hard for me at the time, Steve, was this…
It was that my mother is who (four years ago), was dying of cancer at the time. And my father had recently passed away. I don’t have any brothers or sisters. I’ve got no close family. My mum is my last living close relative. And she was happy because her boy was going to get married. And I had to make a decision as to whether I was going to go and tell my mum at a time when she was more or less on her death bed, I was calling it off. But after a week or reading that and it saying it was true – I came to the conclusion that what am I doing? Why am I here? Neither party is happy and trying to fix it, even with the tools that we had, it wasn’t going to work.
So, it took a lot of courage. And I remember I flew to England and I went to see my mum, and I turn around and I said, “Mum, I’ve got to be honest with you, and this decision’s been cutting me up to tell you. But I’ve got to be honest. I can’t lie… Now I’m single. I’m not going to get married.” And she looked me in the eye as only a mother can and says, “I knew she wasn’t the one.” And what was tough about that, is that my mum passed away about a week later. And the hardest thing at that time was for me to prevent my then, ex-fiancée from coming to the funeral. Because I knew that I was so craving love at that point. I was so craving love having just lost my mum and had no other family to mourn with.
There was no one else for support that if I went back to her I would have reconnected for the wrong reasons, if that makes sense. And it was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because obviously my ex-fiancée she loved my mum and I said look, “I cant let you fly back from Dubai for the funeral.” Because I knew that it has just taken a huge amount of courage to leave the relationship for the right reasons, but I would’ve reconnected in a heartbeat. I would’ve connected with anything at that point, I was so desperately craving love and connection.
I believe one of the biggest challenges with relationships is that most people get involved with them for the wrong reasons. People get involved because they’re lonely. People get involved out of convenience. People get involved because they’re egocentric and they’re looking to get something out of it – many different reasons.
Who you become, or anything you attach the words “I am” to, become a huge part of your personality and control a lot of your unconscious behaviors – those ingrained habits. So, for me to have the identity for the first time in my life, essentially, of being alone, with no family – that was a big wound. And I knew that if I had a relationship at that point, I would be having a relationship for the wrong reasons. So, when went back to Dubai, I made a conscious choice that I was going to be single for at least as long as it took for me to be comfortable with the identity of being alone.
So I chose to be single for what turned out to be almost two years, until I was ready to say, “you know something, now that I’m comfortable with the idea of being alone, then I’m free to go and choose somebody I can spend my life with.”
Ironically, not long after that, I met the woman of my dreams. We’ve been together ever since. We live together now in Dubai. She moved in about a year ago and I’m exceptionally happy. And I’m so pleased I not only waited and had the presence of mind to walk my talk and go through that level of emotional pain, to have the right foundation on which to build a relationship now. But also that I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the last 10-15 years that I can bring to the table from a complete perspective.
But of course we’re always learning, and of course for the guys listening, you’re never going to figure a woman out – not completely. That’s just part of the game. Accept it. Their base is too large. And if we’re okay to live in the space of the question be okay with that and be as present as we can, then you are already ahead of the game. But that brings me kind of up to present day and where I am now – just a very happy with a woman that I’m hopefully going to spend the rest of my life with.
Steve: That’s great. That’s a great story. I want to know, and for the listeners I think it would be interesting to know, how did you get to that place of strength and such self awareness to be able to say, “No, a relationship now is definitely not right for me.” What, for the people listening, what can people do to get to that place of realization?
Peter: It’s a couple of things, Steve. First it’s about walking your talk. Everybody talks a good talk. And I teach relationship awareness, mentality, and strategy and I knew for a fact that if I was going to go and get a relationship at that point, as much as it would fill a huge gap in my life, it would be for the wrong reasons. The strongest trees grow in the strongest winds. If I couldn’t walk my talk at that point, I had absolutely no right to present myself as any kind of authority on the subject.
So part of it is being true to your values. Another part is having clarity around what it is you want. But there’s so much in relationships today, whereby we are conditioned for instant gratification. In other words, it’s a very egocentric model. We end up having a relationship we think serves us and we’re in a horse trade, essentially. I’ll make you feel happy if you make me feel happy… and here are my terms for that.
And so, without getting too deep into levels of consciousness around that right now, for me it was a self-realization that, okay, here’s a storm. What am I going to do? Am I going to cave in? Am I going to give into the emotional gratification of wanting connection? Or am I going to hold myself strong here, go through the pain, accept the fact that this is part of the journey, and hopefully come out of the other side of the tunnel stronger, wiser, more mature, and a better person for the lady I’ll eventually to be with.
Steve: I think clarity is one of the biggest points that you mention there, because it’s the clarity that you’ve obviously got in your business world, in your business mind, that you’ve created. To take that clarity of what you want into your relationships is just as important and many guys, and possibly many women, just don’t take the same kind of clarity from what they want in their career to what they want in their relationships. And some don’t even have it in their career to be honest…
Peter: I would say many.
Steve: Yeah. Many. So how might we all get more “clear” and clarity of what we want? Is it about stepping away from fear? Is that one of the main things?
Peter: That’s always a component, but let’s drill a little deeper than that. Most people never take the time to unplug. To go away and quiet the mind and have an honest conversation with themselves to a point where they’re not afraid of the answers. The challenge is, even if we admit something to our self, it’s almost like somebody else heard it. We tend to be the biggest self-justifier of actions that will lead us to emotional satisfaction or instant gratification, rather than saying, “You know something? No. This doesn’t work.” I’m a great believer that the unchallenged person remains juvenile.
And there’s way too many adolescent relationships out there right now, and I’m talking about people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. That they’re either running the same patterns, attracting the same kind of guys or girls, and then looking hopelessly at life and they think, why does this always happen? There’s a good old phrase that says, if everybody you meet’s an asshole, maybe it isn’t them. And sometimes we have to literally sit in the mirror and say, “Okay, who do I need to become in order to attract the person that would most want to be with me?”
And that’s not a conversation most people have with themselves from a place of honesty. It’s a place of, “Okay, here’s what’s wrong with this person. If only they were like THAT, then we’d be happy. If only he didn’t do this, then I‘d be okay.” – And all that kind of stuff. It starts with us. You sit in front of the mirror. The most fundamental thing that you do next to breathing is who you spend your life with. And that’s the biggest determiner of happiness outside of your thoughts.
So, if you have a situation where you’re not willing to give quality time to preparing yourself, from a place of honest inquiry, to have a relationship that you say you want, or even question yourself on what it is you want and why – Are you still trying to attract somebody that’s a replacement for your father? Are you still trying to justify to your mother why you should never rely on a man? And therefore, you’re not going to attract a decent one because you’re too busy trying to be one. Are you treating girls like you saw your dad treat them, and therefore you have no sense of respect?
Or you saw your dad abuse your mum, and therefore you swung the other side. And therefore you’re so nice now you attract a lot of roommates, but no one who’s passionately looking at you like you are their king. Now, it starts with an honest level of self-inquiry as to where you’re at, and then what is it that you want? And who do you need to become in order to attract the kind of person that you want? And if that’s not worth spending time on, then most of us will get what we get and then start bitching and complaining about it.
Steve: But, is it really as simple as just having a conversation with yourself?
Peter: Have you ever had an honest conversation with yourself?- It isn’t simple. And the honesty factor here, and asking the right questions, and having the humility to get out of your own ego, is where the emotional maturity lies. And that’s what prevents it. To have the presence of mind to unplug from the day-to-day distractions that are so conditioned in 21st century society that we can’t even hold silence for ourselves for longer than a minute without getting distracted. So to have a level of groundedness that we strive to be, or strive to have, that would allow us to have that conversation – is not a case of sitting there and running the same patterns.
Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created the problem.” Most people are creating the same relationship over and over again with different people. And that’s not about trying to find somebody different. That’ll never happen. It’s about changing your, or raising your level of consciousness and that comes through honest self-inquiry and the intention to become more than you currently are. And the willingness to own your own shit, rather than blame everybody else for it.
Steve: Yeah. I totally agree. And it’s certainly not simple to come out of the distractions and the way of life that we live currently to find the space for ourselves and really go deep. Because we wouldn’t see half of the suffering in the world if we all went much deeper inside and actually looked for what’s going on with humanity at large and within ourselves. We are all a reflection of humanity. To find that space for ourselves is incredibly important. What are the ways we can go deeper into ourselves? You mentioned you did the journal as well. Is there anything else you recommend?
Peter: Well again, there’s a distinction I’ll make here between activities and techniques versus shifting the level of thinking. And, how I could put it – the willingness to give up the need to be right, is – will get you far closer to the person you want to be to attract a high level of partner, then it would journaling thoughts at the same level of consciousness of- around blaming every body else for your stuff.
Steve: Yeah I agree.
Peter: I’m not saying to people here you have to become a saint or a monk or anything daft like that. This is 21st century life – we’ve all got mortgages to pay. We’ve all got lives to live and you have emails to reply to. You’ve got to combine a level of practicality with the spiritual quest. But it starts with the intention. Do I intend to make it a priority to understand the opposite sex better than I have done? Is it an intention for me to try and start giving up the need for significance, and replace it with a focus on how I can put a smile on somebody else’s face? Not because it makes me score brownie points, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Are you the kind of person that picks up litter in the park when nobody’s looking? There’s a different way of being able to approach and interact with life that will allow you to grow and mature emotionally and spiritually into a person who will naturally attract somebody into their life that would be at a similar level. What can you do? Look for role models. Read the lives of people who you’d be happy to follow in the footsteps of as an example.
Take time out. How much time a week do you invest in yourself versus running around on patterns of ego trying to prove something to the world, trying to get approval, trying to win favor, trying to demonstrate that you’re better than everybody else, trying to win love, trying to… fill in the blank? So, for somebody to turn around and say, “You know something? This week I’m just going to make it goal to appreciate people more. I’m going to make it a goal to be more grateful for the things I already have rather than complain about what I don’t. This week I’m actually going to try on the cloak of humility, even if it’s an hour, what would that look like?”
And start building up to be a better person – it doesn’t have to be sitting on a mountain for 20 years. And a better person isn’t the actions – it’s the consciousness. Everybody can act in a way that’s nice, but if you’re doing it under the guise of trying to get something for it, if you’re doing it under the guise of seducing yourself into thinking there’s a hidden agenda that somebody then should reciprocate on, then it’s the same car with a different coat of paint. What we’re talking about here is changing the engine. From the outside it still looks the same, but it’s a completely different drive.
So there are many different things. I didn’t want to turn this into a, sort of, spiritual conversation, but most people are so unhappy with their relationships and so willing to blame others for it, that we never take the time to sit and look in the mirror and say, “You know something? Maybe it’s not them.”
Steve: Well I think your point there about giving up the idea to always be right is incredibly important for people to take note on. I think also to do with stuff you said there is, the attachment to ego, especially for guys – guys often have this attachment to beauty. We often become attached to wanting an aesthetically beautiful woman, often to compete with other men. I think we have to look at our relationship to beauty (as men) and our connection to love through the physical aspect of a woman. How might we look at that as a way to change the way we are in relationships with women?
Peter: You’re opening up an entire, I don’t want to say can of worms here, rather, an entire corridor of many of the doors. And I don’t know how much time we’ve got for the interview, but from my side, there ist so many different angles there. Yes, we all find attractive what we find attractive. And the insecurities are the issues here, more than anything. Women feel “less than” because they’re not looking like the same as the cover of Cosmo, or the guys feel that women that are of a certain physical type are better women than those that aren’t or worth more attention.
That’s a whole 21st century manufactured level of bullshit. We can’t help what we like. That’s a given. And ladies listening, you know, it’s been proven several times, if a guy looks at a female form that he finds attractive it has the same biochemical effect as taking blood pressure tablets to reduce your blood pressure. Nature knows what we like. Now how he acts on that, or how he – what his intention behind that level of appreciation is, is a different conversation.
If there’s a level of insecurity there that you set up the rules that says that’s disrespectful and how dare you, versus having an emotional, mature perspective by – you appreciate female form, I say well actually yes, she’s pretty attractive. Because you know your man is so present for you that his heart is where you’re at, regardless of what he finds attractive. It’s like going into an art gallery and saying, “you’re not allowed to look at these paintings because I’m jealous of them.” Well I’m not planning on stealing the paintings, or make your painting “less than,” or don’t appreciate your painting “less than” because there’s others on the wall. That’s a whole different level of conversation. And we don’t have a lot of time to get into the levels of justification on there to make it less contentious. So, that’ll always be an ongoing level of cat-and-mouse for people who operate at a certain level of consciousness.
Jealousy, give me a break. You can solve jealousy in one question if you allow yourself the ability to transcend the lower levels of thinking. And I don’t want to come at this from a hierarchical perspective, that’s not my intention, but there are certain levels of thinking and consciousness that are emotionally less mature than others – very childlike. And you come down to something like jealousy, Steve, ask yourself the question, “Now what rights do you have, do any of us have, over who should or shouldn’t love us?”
Steve: I personally think that one solution for jealousy, is just a better brotherhood if we all connect to each other, man-to-man, we have better relationships to each other. Then there would be no jealousy – and the same for female – female relating.
Peter: Yeah and esoterically that sounds fine. But to set up a global brotherhood or sisterhood that has that in mind is not as practical as being able to turn around to someone and show them the insight to say, “We should never have the right who should and shouldn’t love us.” And what we’ve been seduced into think, over the last only very, very recent years, is the fact that we have rights over other people. We don’t have any rights over them.
That model came from a model of suppression. And most people listening here, I would invite to look at where the entire concept of marriage came from versus romantic love.
Romantic love and marriage and marriage have never been together – apart for the last 100 or so years. And most people have absolutely no clue, the history of marriage. And yet you go back 5,000 years from the Egyptians to the Greek city-states 3,500 years ago and understand the whole context of marriage and how it came forward. It was hijacked by the Catholic Church and it was a way to be able to control union over people. But it was always about politics, union; it was always about economic security, strategic alliances.
That’s what marriage was. Whether you liked the guy or girl or whether you didn’t, that had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was only until 150 years ago when the first marriages were based on the freedom of choice after the Industrial Revolution. Whereby things like village security, economic stability weren’t as big of factors. In fact, prior to that, you would’ve been committed as insane, if you wanted to marry someone based on what we now call romantic love.
And if we turn around and say, “Oh I need a signed contract that makes me spend the rest of my life with you, irrespective of whether it’s your truth or my truth.” That isn’t how to love somebody beautifully. Holding a space for somebody to honor their greatness, not regardless of where they go, what they do, where they’re at – and honor their truth. Your only right in life here is to walk your truth. Any if you’re blessed enough to have somebody walk their truth alongside you, then to be humbled by that, and honor that. But it may be a point in the future where that is no longer either of your truth.
The irony is, the more you free up the ability or the need to want to own or control somebody, the more you own a space to love them, the less likely they are to want to go anyone else. But our mind won’t tell us that if we’re coming from scarcity.
So, what gives us the right over who should or shouldn’t love us? Nothing. We shouldn’t have the right over who should or shouldn’t love us. We only have the right to be the best “us” we can be and if somebody chooses to be with us for those reasons and it’s right, fantastic. If not, then who voted on the fact that I should be unhappy for the next 20 years and suppress myself, rather than honor something, which I didn’t vote on? And we’re getting into a somewhat contentious area here, but it’s having that level of inquiry that gives us a sense of perspective and clarity sometimes.
Steve: Yeah, I think you’re obviously completely right. The way our society and religion has framed marriage as this thing we have to do. And many of us have seen our parents’ generation and there’s been really no education around what a partnership is. And like you said, if we’re walking our truth, and there’s someone walking their truth with you, that truth could last a month, it could last 70 years, depending on what feels right to you.
Peter: 100%. And the Egyptians knew this. If there were children involved, then whoever the new father or the new partner of the mother would come in and honor that, and you’d also honor the fact that they had a different father, and honor the access to that, etc. It was a very respectful level of society. There was no jealousy. There was no, “I’m going to use the kids as a bargaining tool because I think you pissed me off, because you slept with my best friend.” All this low level bullshit. It was a case of understanding that who we are today are different people to who were five years ago, and therefore we also know we’re going to be different people five years from now.
So how can you make a call, based upon wanting to be with somebody 30 years from now, when we’re going to be completely different people? As I say, the only way that that tends to stack up, the only way that that tends to have a level of longevity, is if you come from a place of being able to honor each other and honor each other’s space, and hold that level of respect for their humanity. Not suppression and ownership and rules and bullshit. Chances are, you wouldn’t want to be with anybody else. And you’ve got a much higher chance being together 30 years from now from that place, than coming from a model that nobody here voted on. Nobody understands how it happened. It kind of just sort of clicked into place.
When you start dating somebody, there’s this assumption that you now are meant to make me happy. You’re not allowed to break my rules. The unspoken dictates that if you break a non-negotiable then it’s over. All our own insecurities are being brought to the table that we then project and blame other people for violating. And it has nothing to do with unconditional love. It has everything to do with taking beautiful people and making them uglier over time, rather then honoring your partner and lighting them up and finding new ways to love and adore them. And if they choose 10 years from now they realize that this is no longer their truth, to celebrate that the fact that they’ve found that or discovered that at that time, and give them blessing to move on.
Steve: Wow there is so much we could talk about. And hopefully you may get to do another podcast in the future. But perhaps leave that for another time. For those listening, how can they find out about your working relationships and what you’re doing? You have a website, is that right?
Peter: Yes, actually if, obviously I’m pretty much all over the web. But my own site is, PeterSage.com and there’s some great resources on there. In fact there’s a great video talk on there on relationships that Glen Moore did on the “Sharing Your Passion” series. And there’s a lot of good stuff on there which we haven’t had time to touch on yet. But there’s also one of my most popular downloads is on my Straight Talk number 9 on relationships. That’s a two-hour talk on how to take any relationship and make it magnificent. How to, if you’re single, put yourself in the right place in order to attract relationships and gives insights into understanding the dynamics and differences between masculine and feminine energy of a way that, hopefully, allows people better insight into the level of communication and honoring of each other’s styles to hopefully allow for more love, rather than less.
So yeah, I’ve got a lot of free talks all over the web too. I encourage people if they like some of the philosophy that I’ve got, go look at my work. I’ve got work all over, on business, on making money without spending money, on relationships, on gratitude, leadership – many different subjects, which I’ve had the privilege of being able to study and learn and experience from. And make a huge amount of mistakes in over the years. And if I have the ability to share that with somebody, and they get something out of it then obviously I’m very grateful and humbled by that.
Steve: Great. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of grateful people out there, in terms of what we spoke about today and what they’ll find from your information online. So thank you Peter for taking your time today.
Peter: Yeah, you’re more than welcome Steve. And thank you again for putting on this medium for people and yes, I look forward to speaking again.
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