These are the show notes for the Life Habits podcast series, including the title of the episode, the quotes, and a summary of the advice provided.
Episode 1 - Overview and Setting Priorities
1. Starting with the end in mind
2. How you would like to be remembered
3. Determine what is most important to you
Episode 2 - Time Management
Thomas Edison, “Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the only and the only thing you can’t afford to lose”
1. Take control and don’t be controlled by time
2. Use a yearly and weekly time scales
3. Set weekly plans on Sunday
4. Prioritize your roles
5. Focus on the non-urgent and important
6. Change meeting lengths and take time for yourself
7. Select the optimal communication method
8. Take control of electronic communication
9. Effectively multitask and delegate
10. Don’t over schedule
Episode 3 - Staying Positive
Helen Keller, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us”.
1. Glass half empty or full approach
2. Determine how to react to situations
3. Focus on positive behaviors of others
4. Dwelling on the negative is destructive
5. Make deposits in the emotional bank account
6. Use the positive to motivate yourself
7. Energies your own mind’s positive perspective
8. Practice positive behaviors and thoughts
Episode 4 - The Power of the Mind
Marcus Aurelius, “You have the power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength”.
Examples of the power of the mind, the ways in which it can take control without our knowledge, and what we can do to avoid the effects of them.
1. Placebo effect
2. Re-constructed memories
3. Confirmation bias
4. Bandwagon effect
5. Base rate fallacy
6. Illusion of control bias
7. Gamblers fallacy
8. Planning fallacy
9. Halo effect
10. In-group bias and out-group homogeneity bias
12. Cognitive dissonance
Episode 5 - Working Remotely
Joe Bitner, “Many not only work from home but they can also work from a remote island if they want. A lot of what we do is to meet with our clients but once you’ve sat down and discussed with them their business plan, you can do the actual work from any location.” Optimize flexible hours
Episode 6 - Career Planning
Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
Episode 6 - Career Planning
Lewis Carol - If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.
Jimmy Dean - I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Three areas of focus and three phases of life. Pre-career, optimizing early career, further enhancements to existing career.
- Happiness - doing what you like to do and doing what you have aptitude for in order to be happy.
- Success - making enough money at what you choose to do in order to have the kind of life you want.
- Lifestyle -balance and flexibility
Episode 7 - Career Strategies
1. Choosing a path less travelled
2. Choose roles that aren’t typical for your gender
3. Look for new opportunities regularly
4. Try to predict the trends
5. Try to be the first in a new field
6. Combining disciplines
7. Understand the core disciplines of companies
8. Importance of the network
9. The social network of people
10. Get out a do it!
Episode 8 - Authentic Parenting
“No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.” Bill Cosby
“Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes” Chinese Proverb
“Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.” P.J. O'Rourke
“Parents who are always giving their children nothing but the best usually wind up with nothing but the worst” - Parent
1. Life Balance - kids time - adults time
2. Foster good self-esteem
3. Management vs. relationship
4. Responsibility - chores
5. Give them space to learn for themselves
6. Develop shared interests and do them
7. Set limits and be firm about them
8. Establish a clear set of values & model them
9. Keep tabs on age appropriate rules
10. Tell them you love them and show it - you might not always like their behavior but always love them
Episode 9 - Fitness for Life
John F Kennedy “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
Jack Lalanne “I just want to see how long I can keep this thing going. The easiest thing is dying. Living is a a pain in the butt.”
Julius Erving "If you don't do what's best for your body, you're the one who comes up on the short end."
1. Health is the great equalizer - you've only got one body, one set of genetics, and no amount of money or influence is as effective as just you looking after the one body you have - and fitness is the way to get there
2. Exercise and overall fitness boosts your brainpower, clarity of thinking, and lowers stress, and increases your energy
3. When you get the body you want through excercise you feel better, look better, and feel more confident interpersonally
4. Make fitness your most important goal for life
5. Fit excercise into your daily routine
6. Choose an excercise activities you like but they've got to both aerobic and strength based
7. Make the activity more enjoyable (iPod) or make it social
8. Set realistic but sustainable milestone goals and make them public for motivation
9. Re-start the program if it lapses and don't be discouraged - this is a life-long quest
10. Celebrate successes as if they were the most important achievements in life - which they are
Episode 10 - Effective Public Speaking
Jerry Seinfeld, "According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy."
Roscoe Drummond, "What this country needs is less public speaking and more private thinking"
Dale Carnegie, "There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave."
Mark Twain, "It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Be sincere; be brief; be seated."
Different types of public speaking - large group in-person presentation, conference call presentation, speaking up in a meeting or call.
1. Decide whether to do it
2. Consider why you're doing it and what you want to say
3. Understand who your audience is
4. Determine where you'd like to do it
5. Be clear, concise, and organized - focus on no more than three major messages
6. Speak more slowly and louder than you think you should
7. Prepare visuals to guide and reinforce what you want to say - don't read words on slides
8. Stay connected with the audience and ask them questions and comments
9. Reinforce the key message and follow-on actions required in wrapping up
10. Ask for feedback from peers, listen to recordings, and plan on how to improve and practice
Episode 11 - Interpersonal Communication
Confucious, "Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I'll remember. Involve me and I'll understand" George Bernard Shaw, "The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished." Turkish Proverb, "If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." Henry Ford, "If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view - as well as your own."
1. Express graditude - say thank you for meeting
2. Small talk to get settled - personal connection
3. Say something positive even if the focus in negative
4. Be clear re your objective & try for win-win
5. Choose tone - calm or assertive (not aggressive)
6. Active listening - repeat back - eye contact, distracted
7. Non-verbal communication - movement & sighing, tone
8. Empathy - understand their view - including conflict
9. Ask for feedback periodically - does this make sense?
10. Summarize follow-up, commitment, & express thanks
Episode 12 - Dealing with a Flat World
Quoted stats - World Internet Users - March 2008 Asia 37.6% Europe 27.1% North America 17.5% My sites - 60% NA, 20% Europe, 15% Asia, 5% rest
1. Appreciate that the world exists - avoid enthocentrism
2. Consider where "here" is when mentioning place
3. Pronounce names properly - listen to voicemail
4. Be aware of idioms and language differences eg. hitting a home run, at the end of the day
5. Be careful with sports & government references
6. Avoid cultural minefields i.e., people's names in red
7. Speak more slowly and use simpler grammar/vocab
8. Learn more about other cultures/biases (from staff)
9. Whenever you're comfortable - check - left side of road
10. Given trends, if you're good at this, you'll prosper
Episode 13 - Taming Technology
Make it work for you rather than being a slave to it.
Stewart Brand, "Once a new technology rolls over you, if your're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road."
Mitchell Kapor, "Getting Information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant."
Bill Gates, "The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant."
Control your interruptions (inputs) and your workload (outputs) via technology to lower stress, make more time for yourself, be more effective, and enjoy life more.
1. iPods/iPhone to multitask - podcasts & audiobooks
2. Text messaging - keep in touch efficiently
3. Voicemail - rather than being interupted
4. e-mail - twice a day, filtering, short replies
5. Electronic sicky notes (post-it notes)
6. Calendar (diary) block for your time
7. Instant messaging control
8. Social networking - reconnect & stay connected
9. Web through rss and services (banking, etc)
10. Heart-rating monitors, GPS, treadmill, DVR
11. Unplug entirely
Episode 14 - Sex Differences
Research shows that there are very few differences between the sexes in cognitive abilities and psychological traits. Sex and computers.
But there are certain important trends, hearing, seeing, risk taking, response to stress, communication, compassion/cooperation -- most women prefer feeling and most men thinking. Men talk more in public but women more at home, women make more eye contract, and agree rather than debate.
There aren't major differences in things like intelligence, there are many differences that are important to be aware of in order to be effective in life. You should drive for equality and fairness while also being aware of and optimizing for differences.
1. Equality through Awareness & acknowledgment of both sexes (his)
2. Sexist language, attitude, and behavior (comfortable)
3. Remove biases (power of the mind episode)
4. Optimize androgyny
5. Men - listen more actively, cooperate, compassion
6. Women - speak up more, risk taking, confidence 6. Learn from the other gender Celebrate Differences
7. Feel good about being feminine or masculine
8. Use the power of your gender
9. Make sure it is appropriate in the context
10. Nobody is perfect on this topic - mistakes will happen
Episode 15 - Achieving Success
Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Bob Dylan - A person is a success if they get up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.
Monty Hall - Actually, I'm an overnight success. But it took twenty years.
Woody Allen - Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Albert Einstein - Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Malcolm Forbes - Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
Dale Carnegie - Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
Author Unknown - Some people dream of success... while others wake up and work hard at it.
Author Unknown - Most look up and admire the stars. A champion climbs a mountain and grabs one.
Mahatma Gandhi - As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world...as in being able to remake ourselves.
1. Set, document, visualize, & own your goals and subgoals
2. Assess your abilities, resources, and deltas
3. Consider any biases, childhood fears, parental pressures
4. Factor in family arrangements, kids, etc. (balance)
5. Education, training, and experience
6. Network, mentor, and be mentored
7. Just do it - act before you think - take risks
8. Expect and learn from setbacks - continuous learning
9. Periodically reevaluate progress & correct course
10. Do what you love and love what you do
Episode 16 - Positive Psychology
Four Ways to Build Self-Efficacy Gratitude at Work Learned Optimism and Resilience Celebrating Successes Effectively Establishing the Conditions for Flow Broaden and Build: The Power of Positive Emotions Meaningful Work Strategies for High-Quality Connections Discovering and applying strengths
Episode 17 - Managing Anger
Don't be a slave to your emotions - don't let others control you - control yourself Powerful emotion can result from frustration, hurt, annoyance, disappointment
Waldo Emerson - For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Benjamin Franklin - Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.
Marcus Aurelius - How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Chinese Proverb - If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
Bobby Hull - Always keep your composure. You can't score from the penalty box; and to win, you have to score.
Horace - Anger is a brief lunacy.
1. Pause, don't respond, take deep breath, parasympathetic, delay - stimulus/response
2. Communicate in person not e-mail/text, etc.
3. Write it down in e-mail but don't send it
4. Try to understand the other person's point of view
5. Stick to the facts, not character - this is a mess vs. you're a messy person
6. Work on solutions rather than restating problems - future focus not past
7. Practice what you're going to say while visualizing the situation
8. Think about what you're modeling (for kids)
9. Practice simply getting control of your emotions in a variety of situations
10. Nobody is perfect - learn from your mistakes
Episode 18 - Self-Actualization
Bill Gates - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Steve Jobs - Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Norman Vincent Peale: One of the greatest moments in anybody's developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.
Og Mandino -Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.
Unknown Author - Seeing yourself as you want to be is the key to personal growth.
Deficit Needs - Physiological, Safety, Belonging, Esteem Being Needs - Self-Actualization - be all that you can be
Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, William James
1. Solitude - away from everyone & everything - including technology
2. Relaxation - breathing, meditation
3. Personal reflection - dreams, goals, progress
4. Feel satisfaction with yourself
5. Feel and express gratitude
6. Visualization - future state
8. Humility and respect for others - compassion, forgiveness
9. Freshness of appreciation - creativity - outside the box
10. Reset button - daily or at least weekly
Episode 19 - Forgiveness and Compassion
Josh Billings - There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
Mohandas Gandhi - The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong
Friedrich Nietzsche - I've learned that no matter how good a friend someone is, they're going to hurt you every once in awhile and you must forgive them for that.
Buddhist saying - If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.
Dalai Lama - If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Haile Selassie - It is much easier to show compassions to animals. They are never wicked.
Leonardo da Vinci - The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals
Forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. Rely on religion or not - whatever works
1. Understand who is hurt most by you not forgiving
2. Decide that why isn't important
3. Acknowledge your own role
4. Express your feelings
5. Communicate your forgiveness
Compassion is a profound human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule embody by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others as you would have done to you. Research - dealing with pain or just deeply trying to do the right thing for other people and animals.
1. Better to give than receive
2. Actions speak louder than words
3. Random acts of kindness
4. Planned acts of compassion
5. Karma - All living creatures are responsible for their karma - their actions and the effects of their actions
Episode 20 - Fostering Creativity
Edward de Bono - "Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way."
Arthur Koestler - "The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards."
Albert Einstein - "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
Smiley Blanton - "A sense of curiosity is nature's original school of education."
Mary Lou Cook - "Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun."
Frank Capra - "A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."
Thomas W. Higginson - "Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes."
Erik Christopher Zeeman - “Technical skill is mastery of complexity, while creativity is mastery of simplicity”
1. Understand - the context
2. Analyse - the current solutions
3. Be Curious - explore dramatically different contexts
4. Trust Intuition - feelings, emotion, hunches
5. Brainstorm - generate a lot of ideas without criticism (daily reflection period)
6. Document - make notes regularly of your wild ideas
7. Prototype - test your ideas in quick and easy ways
8. Get Feedback - solicit input from key stakeholders
9. Iterate - make changes based on feedback
10. Stay the Course - don't give up - great innovations often take time to take hold
Episode 21 - Simplifying Life
Albert Einstein - "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler. "
Henry Ford - "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. "
Leonardo da Vinci - “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Richard Bach - “The simplest things are often the truest.”
Frederic Chopin - "Simplicity is the final achievement"
Frank Lloyd Wright - “"Think simple" as my old master used to say - meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.”
Hans Hofmann - "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak".
1. Take Stock - of what you do in a week
2. Prioritize - use the life priorities of episode 1
3. Less is More - consider dropping the bottom items on the list
4. Delegate - don't try to do it all yourself
5. Set Limits - Don't sweat the small stuff - good enough
6. Block Time - for yourself and specific activities weekly
7. Just Say No - practice not getting into more commitments
8. Clear Clutter - especially your work space - clears the head
9. Single & Multi-Task - determine what can be done in parallel and what not
10. Check Progress - regularly and make adjustments
Episode 22 - Stop Procrastinating
Wayne Dyer - "Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy"
Benjamin Franklin - "You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again"
Abraham Lincoln - "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle"
Napoleon Hill - "Don't wait, the time will never be just right"
Martin Luther King Jr. - "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step"
Proverb - "One of these days, is none of these days"
Unknown Author - "I always wanted to be a procrastinator but I never got around to it"
2. Simplify life
3. Subdivide tasks
4. Set mini-deadlines
5. Make deadlines public
6. Put it in your Face
7. Remove distractions
8. Reward yourself
9. Internalize non-Procrastination
Episode 23 - Taking Stock
Pele, "Practice is everything" Yogi Berra, "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Leonardo da Vinci, "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." David Starr Jordan, "“Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.” Unknown author, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved”
1. Set life priorities (Episode 1:Setting Priorities)
2. Make time for yourself (Episode 2: Time Management)
3. Focus on positives (Episode 3: Staying Positive)
4. Avoid biases (Episode 4:Power of the Mind)
5. Relationship vs. management (Episode 8: Authentic Parenting)
6. Fit excercise in to get fit (Episode 9: Fitness for Life)
7. Avoid enthocentrism (Episode 12: Dealing with a Flat World)
8. Make technology work for you (Episode 13: Taming Technology)
9. Optimize Equility & Androgyny (Episode 14: Sex Differences)
10. Just to it (Episode 15: Achieving Success)
Episode 24 - Managing Stress
Lee Iacocca, “In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” James C. Dobson, “There are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal experience, but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point.” Sydney J Harris, "The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." Bill Clinton, “Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it's the time when they most need to think.” Britney Spears, “Every night, I have to read a book, so that my mind will stop thinking about things that I stress about.” Reinhold Niebuhr, "Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other"
1. Understand circle of influence
2. Lower arousal level via breathing
3. Progressively relax muscles
4. Exercise vigorously
5. Get sufficient sleep
6. Distract yourself
7. Get social
8. Focus your energies
9. Moderate substance use
10. Assess progress
Episode 25 - Blogs and Podcasts
Quotes and Facts:
Rebecca Blood, "A weblog is a coffeehouse conversation in text, with references as required." Paul Boutin, "Twitter, Flickr, Facebook make blogs look so 2004" Jason Kottke,"Growth of Twitter vs. Blogger - crazy insane viral growth" Pew Internet Project, "Podcasting continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with the total audience for podcasts increasing by 58% in under two years...those that download podcasts every day - has gone up 300% in the same time". FeedBurner, “podcast circulation is consistently growing nearly 20% per month.”
Top 10 List:
1. Search for topics that interest you in Google Alerts & Twitter & iTunes Store
2. TED Talks video or audio podcast
3. TVO Big Ideas
4. This American Life
5. Harvard Business IdeaCast
6. The Economist
7. Stuff You Should Know
8. Grammar Girl
10. This Week in Tech (The Tech Guy)
To access these podcasts, simply search for them in the iTunes Store. Karel's coordinates: Blog karelvredenburg.com, karelvredenburg on Twitter, and search for karel vredenburg in iTunes for podcasts
Episode 26 - Resilience
Anais Nin, "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage." Toller Cranston, "Wings are not only for birds; they are also for minds. Human potential stops at some point somewhere beyond infinity." Bob Richards, "It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks." Ralph Waldo Emerson, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Michael Jordan, "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." Horace, "Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant."
Top 10 List:
1. Understand your level of resilience
2. Assess and anticipate - challenges and changes
3. Consider strategies to avoid negative outcomes
4. Diversify areas of focus - multidimensional
5. Support system - friends and family - people you can trust
6. Relieve stress via exercise and hobbies
7. Focus on the positives
8. Keep things in perspective - priorities
9. Act decisively when that's required
10. Take stock regularly
Episode 27 - Gratitude
Albert Schweitzer, "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Margaret Cousins, "Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." Jean Jacques Rousseau, "There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend." Cicero, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." John F. Kennedy, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." William James, "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated."
Top 10 List:
1. Consider what you're truly grateful for
2. Imagine you didn't have what you're grateful for
3. Think about a time when someone expressed sincere thanks to you and how you felt
4. Make a specific plan to express gratitute to specific people
5. Express gratitude authentically routinely
6. Even when being critical, first express gratitude
7. Reflect on how you feel when you show gratitude
8. Notice others who are good at showing gratitude
9. Think about how much gratitude costs you and how valuable it is
10. Take stock regularly on how you're doing regarding showing gratitude
Episode 28 - Resolutions
Oprah Winfrey, "Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right." Edith Lovejoy Pierce, "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." Alfred Adler, “More important than innate disposition, objective experience, and environment is the subjective evaluation of these. Furthermore, this evaluation stands in a certain, often strange, relation to reality.” Albert Einstein, Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." Bernard Shaw, “The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them”
1. Reflect on your year
2. Consider all your roles
3. Evaluate topics we've discussed
4. Identify and celebrate successes
5. Understand & learn from failures
6. Convert learning into resolutions
7. Keep them short, simple, & measurable
8. Break them into sub-tasks
9. Make them public
10. Stay the course despite setbacks
Episode 29 - Leadership
Harold R. McAlindon, "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Thomas J. Watson Sr., “Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” Dwight Eisenhower, "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." Peter F. Drucker, "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." Publilius Syrus, "Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." Arnold H. Glasgow, “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” Napoleon Bonaparte, "A leader is a dealer in hope."
Top 10 List:
1. Focus on People
2. Provide vision
3. Link vision to operation
4. Exude Passion
5. Focus on value(s)
6. Plan yearly, monthly, weekly
7. Measure progress
8. Modify course
9. Be authentic
10. Collaborate with leaders
Episode 30 - Staying Focussed
Italian proverb, "Often he who does too much does too little". Johann Friedrich Von Schiller, "Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is thine". Alexander Graham Bell, “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Mariah Carey, “Never, never listen to anybody that tries to discourage you”. William James, “Act the part and you will become the part". Robert Henri, “Do whatever you do intensely”.
* Clarity of vision and purpose
* Do the things that are most important
* Stay in the moment
* Strive for excellence
* Remove distractions
* Enjoy yourself
* Don't be discouraged
Episode 31 - Relationships
Arthur Schopenhauer, "Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people". Brian Tracy, “The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” Anthony D'Angelo, "Treasure your relationships, not your possessions". Stephen Covey, "Nothing is more exciting and bonding in relationships than creating together". Anonymous, "Relationships of trust depend on our willingness to look not only to our own interests, but also the interests of others". Anonymous, "We control fifty percent of a relationship. We influence one hundred percent of it". Anthony Robbins, "The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships".
Top 10 List:
1. Take stock
5. Emotional Bank Account (EBA)
6. Express Gratitude
8. Stay Positive
9. Invest Time
10. Keep Focus
Episode 32 - Self-Confidence
Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're probably right" Lao Tzu, "When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you" Eleanor Roosevelt, "Nobody can make you feel incompetent without your consent" Unknown Author, "If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price"
1. Your current life is the result of your past thoughts and beliefs.
2. Analyze your internal dialogue. What limiting self beliefs do you hold about yourself/your abilities/your appearance/your character?
3. Challenge these negative beliefs - Where is the evidence? What has this belief cost you/prevented you from achieving?
4. Replace these negative beliefs with more positive ones.
5. Repeat the positive beliefs to yourself regularly even if, at first, it seems untrue. Suspend disbelief.
6. Visualize the new confident you, how would you dress, behave, interact with others?
7. What you think - you create. Self doubt leads to self sabotage. Be your own best friend.
8. When you act confident and like yourself, others become convinced too.
9. Thoughts lead to behaviour which leads to your outer reality. What you say and think about yourself is crucial because it is shaping your outer reality.
10. Make a list of your strengths and past achievements that you are proud of: Accentuate the positive.
Episode 33 - Electronic Communication
Marshall McLuhan, “The new electronic independence re-creates the world in the image of a global village.” Earl Warren, “The fantastic advances in the field of electronic communication constitute a greater danger to the privacy of the individual” Storm Jameson, “We need the slower and more lasting stimulus of solitary reading as a relief from the pressure on eye, ear and nerves of the torrent of information and entertainment pouring from ever-open electronic jaws.”
Top 10 List:
1. Assess your communication trends (what percentage is electronic, e-mail, conference calls, twitter, facebook, etc.)
2. Link to Family/Friends/Colleagues - Facebook - choose carefully who you friend and set your friend types and permissions
3. Folllow people who interest you - Twitter - celebs, experts in your field, people who have something interesting to say
4. Communicate regularly - what you're doing, ask questions, comment on what others say
5. Go mobile - make it more convenient to communicate electronically by using cell phone texting as well as iPhone and Blackberry apps
6. Add video - use Skype Video, Google Chat, MSN chat - make the world a smaller virtual place
7. Hone your electronic communication skills - text, e-mail, chat, Twitter, Facebook, Internet Video
8. Set the appropriate privacy level for your communication - basic internet security plus information access - work and personal accounts, settings
9. Plan your electronic communication - social networking time limits, e-mail, chat, etc. because it will suck you in
10. Unplug - electronic-free sabbatical - make Sundays, for example, screen-free days for you and significant others around you.
Episode 34 - Work-Life Balance
Albert Einstein, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." Diane Domeyer, “Companies today cannot afford to ignore the issue of work/life balance. Providing employees the flexibility to address personal commitments, without compromising the needs of the business, can make the difference between a good working environment and a great one.” Louisa May Alcott, “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.” (1800s) Tom Stern, “How am I supposed to write a blog about work/life balance if you people won’t go away?” Paul McFedries, "Words and phrases commonly act as cultural signposts that give us clues about where we are and where we're going. The phrase "work-life balance" is a perfect example. Coined in 1986, its usage in the mainstream press was sporadic for many years [but increased dramatically after the year 2000]".
1. Assess your own practices
2. What should it be (equal isn't necessarily the goal)
3. Blending - trend toward integrating both (beyond concept of "balance")
4. Work from home
5. Use technology - VPN, Smart Phones
6. Set limits - schedule activities - universal calendar - block
7. Do weekly planning
8. Discuss with significant others - work & personal
9. Make your time count
10. Deep dives - work (deadlines) & personal time (vacations)
Episode 35 - Presentations
Wayne Burgraff, "It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time." Philip Crosby, "The audience only pays attention as long as you know where you are going." Ira Hayes, "No one ever complains about a speech being too short!" Gerald C. Meyers, "Humor heals the heckler." Author Unknown, "The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public." Guy Kawasaki, "A PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty point"
Top 10 List:
1. Audience - who are they, what do they expect, what do you know about them
2. Objectives - what do you want to be different after your presentation
3. Three main points - reinforce at the beginning and again at the end
4. Duration - plan to speak for half the time you have
5. Slides/structure - Decide whether to use slides, how many
6. Graphics/text - Make it engaging, minimize text, don't read, but don't overdo gratuituous graphics
7. Audio-video/animation - Include if relevant but don't overdo
8. Humor - Good for breaking the ice and for hecklers, in moderation
9. Practice - Be in role and do runthroughs to practice, get timing right, etc.
10. Delivery - Speak more slowly and with greater volume that you would think you should, ask for questions periodically
Episode 37 - Developing Skills into Habits
Aristole, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Susanna Miller, “If animals play, this is because play is useful in the struggle for survival; because play practices and so perfects the skills needed in adult life”
Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers quotes neurologist Daniel Levitin as follows: “In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery."
1. Assess the type of skill you're dealing with (simple to complex)
2. Use the timeframe guidelines if helpful
3. Repeat the behavior in the same setting/environment
4. Avoid cues that lead to undesired behavior & add cues for the desired behavior
5. Don't just remove a bad habit, replace it with a good ome
6. Increase your motivation - introduce effective rewards
7. Be consistent but don't worry about occasional lapses
8. Solict the help of trusted friends, family, and/or support groups
9. Assess progress regularly
10. Determine if certain problems require professional help
Episode 38 - Designing Your Life
Jim Rohn, “If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn, “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Les Brown, “We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.” Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Napoleon Hill, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” Tony Robbins, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
Top 10 List:
1. Assess how your current product is doing (yourself)
2. Set your strategic objectives - future product success
3. Collect and prioritize the list of new requirements to add and problems to fix
4. Decide on design features to go into the next release (6 to 12 month horizon)
5. Write the specification - what the new design will look like
6. Built the prototype - try out the new designs - see what you think
7. Get feedback on the prototype - see what others think
8. Incorporate design changes based on the feedback
9. Iterate - make small changes, get feedback, incorporate the feedback
10. Celebrate your product launch - reap the benefits
Episode 39 - Effective Meetings
John Kennth Galbraith, "Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything" Thomas Sowell, "People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything" Unknown, “The brain will absorb only what the butt can endure.” Steve Jobs, "We don't have a lot of process at Apple, but that's one of the few things [meetings] we do just to all stay on the same page."
Top 10 List:
1. Assess current effectiveness and identify problems or challenges
2. Determine what should be dealt with in a meeting and what not
3. Establish the objectives to be met
4. Determine how formal a meeting should be
5. Establish your role - formal leader or emergent leader
6. Decide how much time you need
7. Be punctual
8. Work to be inclusive - model expected behavior
9. Summarize action items, owners, and dates
10. Think about what worked and what didn't
Episode 40 - Psychological Capital
“Hope doesn't come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It's simply a choice to take action.” Anna Lappe, public speaker about sustainability, food politics, and social change. O Magazine, June 2003 "To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime." --Erich Fromm "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. " -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Resilience: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius "When everything goes wrong, what a joy it is to test your soul to see if it has endurance and courage." Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis And just for fun: "There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does." Daniel Pink
Top 10 List:
Hope 1-5 Resilience 6-10
1. DO break a long-range goal into subgoals and then begin by concentrating on the first subgoal.
2. DO tell yourself you have chosen the goal, so it is your job to go after it.
3. DO enjoy the process along the way.
4. DON’T look for one perfect way to get there.
5. DON’T conclude you are lacking in talent when an initial strategy fails.
6. Learn the best way for you to calm yourself at will. For example, some people do it by breathing deeply and regularly.
7. Collect cues that stimulate positive emotions.
8. Learn how to reframe negative thoughts in ways that open up opportunities.
9. Keep an inventory of your assets and successful experiences with trouble that you have collected during your lifetime.
10. Use curiosity to counter anxiety – turn up your explorer knob.
Numbers 1 through 5 derived from Hope Theory work by C. R. Snyder and colleagues.
Episode 41 - Reflection & Feedback
Peter Drucker, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action."
Top 10 List:
1. Reflect on what this podcast and others mean to you and what value they provide you
2. Think about how you would tell a friend about this podcast as well as any other you listen to
3. If you use iTunes, open it, click on the iTunes Store link on the left, then key in "life habits mentoring" in the search bar at the top right, click on the life habits album art picture, on the page itself scroll to the bottom and click on the link "Write a Review", key in your username and password, and then provide a rating out of five stars and then provide a brief few word title and write your review, and then press "submit". It can be a sentence or multiple paragraphs. Write whatever you'd like.
4. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch (or if you're listeing to this after the Apple iPad has been available) press on the iTunes icon on the screen, press the search button on the bottom right, key in "life habits mentoring" in the search bar at the top of the screen, press the life habits album art icon, press the arrow to the right of review, then press on "write a review", key in your password if you haven't already, rate the podcast, provide the short title and the review, and then press "send".
5. If you have a Zune, you can go to the Zune marketplace, key in "life habits" in the search bar on the top right, find the life habits link under podcast series, click it and on the life habits page look to the middle right for the link "Write a Review", click it, sign-in, and provide your review and submit it.
6. If you don't use iTunes, an iPhone/iPod/iPad, or a Zune, you can leave ratings and comments on the lifehabits.net site by just going to the site, clicking on "about Karel Vredenburg" if you want to leave a comment about the overall series by simply scrolling to the bottom of the page, keying in your name and e-mail (which is not shown but is required) and then keying in your comment and pressing "submit comment". You can also click on "home", go do a particular podcast episode and clicking on the rating or comment, and completing the same information for the episode.
7. If you have any suggestions that you'd like to send to me, you can send them via e-mail to email@example.com or via Facebook messaging at facebook.com/karelvredenburg or via Twitter via twitter.com/karelvredenburg.
8. Speaking of e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter, you can also simply tell your friends or followers about the podcast by sending them an e-mail, a Facebook update, or a Tweet, and simply directing them to http://tinyurl.com/lifehabits for iTunes or lifehabits.net for the website.
9. Check how life habits in doing on iTunes in your country and if it's doing well, feel good about the contributions you've made
10. Take this approach and apply it to other things in your life, whether other podcasts, commenting on updates that friends have written on Facebook, and also verbalize your appreciation more often for things that you value in your life.
Episode 42 - Sleep, Food, Mood, & Exercise
Marie-Josee Salvas Shaar
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Mahatma Gandhi
Top 10 List:
1. A fulfilling home life is good business
2. Positive emotions make people more successful
3. Food influences mood and performance
4. Trying to attain your healthy weight is doomed to failure if you are sleep-deprived
5. Self-regulation is not the solution
6. Exercise improves brain circuitry
7. Lack of sleep is a major brain impairment
8. Constant busyness impedes greatness
9. Multitasking is counter-productive
10. Overworking can lead to under-performing
Episode 43 - Getting Unstuck
Rush Limbaugh, "Being stuck is a position few of us like. We want something new but cannot let go of the old - old ideas, beliefs, habits, even thoughts. We are out of contact with our own genius. Sometimes we know we are stuck; sometimes we don't. In both cases we have to DO something."
Marilyn vos Savant, "Be in the habit of experimenting with your clothing so that you don't get stuck for life with a self-image developed over the course of high school".
Albert Einstein, "You can't solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created the problem."
Albert Einstein or Rita Mae Brown, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".
Archimedes, "Give me a lever and I can move the world."
Top 10 List:
1. Focus on only one goal on which you're stuck
2. Consider what's keeping you stuck
3. Don't dwell on underlying problems
4. Set small, measurable, near-in goals
5. Just do it!
6. Build in personal reminders
7. Involve others - public motivation - or help
8. Celebrate each mini-success
9. Never give up - or think too much about it
10. Just do it!
Episode 44 - Advice and Mentoring
John Crosby, "Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction."
Donovan Bailey, "Every kid needs a mentor. Everybody needs a mentor."
Sanford I. Weill, "I remember the mentoring experiences of some teachers that I had, like a second term home room teacher in public school that really was very helpful to me."
Sean Paul, "I think kids should have a mentor and a role model, but that they shouldn't take one person's opinion to be what we call final assessment or judgment about how life is supposed to be."
Whoopi Goldberg, "We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark."
Dick Gregory, "One of things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people."
1. Consider what you'd like to be mentored on
2. Think about the people who are good at that and whom you admire
3. Consider people you know (at work, school, etc.) and people you don't (ie, famous people), or professionals
4. Use programs at your place of work or school to establish mentoring relationships
5. If you don't have those, contact the person(s) directly or observe them
6. Mentoring relationships can be a single get together or an ongoing set of meetings (informal or formal)
7. State clearly what you'd like to get out of mentoring and come up with a plan
8. Mentoring sessions can be structured, practice sessions, or just sounding board opportunities
9. Consider being a mentor yourself to someone else - you'll learn as much as they do
10. Evaluate mentoring relationships do determine whether to continue or whether you've accomplished your goals
Episode 45 - Recap and Review
Alan Lakein, “Review our priorities, ask the question; What's the best use of our time right now?”
Les Brown, “Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."
Karen Horney, "Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist."
Josh Billings, "Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
Unknown, "What a wonderful life I''ve had! I only wish I''d realized it sooner."
Karel recaps and provides a review of each of the podcast episodes from 1 through 44.
Life Habits 46 - Familial Insights
Quotes: Jesse Jackson, "Your children need your presence more than your presents." Charles R. Swindoll, "Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." Haim Ginott, "If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others." Chuck Palahniuk, “Your folks are like God because you want to know they're out there and you want them to approve of your life, still you only call them when you're in a crisis and need something.” Abraham Lincoln, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." Orlando A. Battista, "The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day." Paul Smally, "Children desperately need to know - and to hear in ways they understand and remember - that they're loved and valued by mom and dad."
Top 10 List
1. Take a moment to think about your parents and what influence they've had on you (capture some of those thoughts)
2. Think about the your kids if you have them, nieces, nephews, or other kids your close to and consider what they mean to you
3. Take note of the ways parents, kids, and others have contributed to who you are today
4. Think about the last time you expressed appreciation to them and described their contribution - to parents & kids
5. Make a plan to communicate your thoughts to your parents and if relevant kids (we often leave it too late) more than a M-Day Card
6. Capture your thoughts re parents in written form and possibly in audio/video form as well and give it to them
7. Capture your parents' stories, insights, and life lessons in written or audio/video form for you and your kids benefit
8. Write down your life lessons to date and also plan to act upon them everyday
9. Think about what you'd like to be appreciated for in the future and act upon that now
10. Reflect on how all of this has felt to you and plan to focus on it if it is important to you
Life Habits 47 - Teamwork
Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Margaret Carty, “The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side” Babe Ruth, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.” Marvin Weisbord, "Teamwork is the quintessential contradiction of a society grounded in individual achievement." Michael Jordan, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." Paul McCartney, "I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity... to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that." Katzenbach & Smith, "Teamwork represents a set of values that encourage behaviors such as listening and constructively responding to points of view expressed by others, giving others the benefit of the doubt, providing support to those who need it, and recognizing the interests and achievements of others."
1. Think about the teams that you're apart of - family, work, school, sports
2. How well are those teams working? What's your role in those teams?
3. Every team is different and your role in it will be too - learn the culture - the relationships
4. Think about what others on the team want and then about what a win-win might be with them
5. Establish relationships - get to know each other - go to lunch together - friend each other on Facebook
6. Start team meeting on a light note - honestly finding out about what's going on in each members life
7. Determine when individual contributions are called for and when only the team counts
8. Reinforce other team members for accomplishments and also the entire team
9. Sometimes a team pulls together best when there is an external threat or an urgent focus
10. Reflect on the great feeling that comes from a group of people working well together toward a goal
Life Habits 48 - Difficult People
Keith Levick, "Although the difficult people make up 3-5% of the population, they create over 50% of the everyday problems!" Pema Chodron, ”If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” John W. Gardner, ”If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.” Sophia Loren, “Getting ahead in a difficult profession [or with difficult co-workers] requires avid faith in yourself”. Eleanor Roosevelt, “Nobody can make you feel incompetent without your consent”
Difficult people can include those who constantly interupt, people who go on and on, people who are too bossy, who are critics, who are know it alls, etc. Wide range of people and situations that are problematic. However, there are a common set of approaches to dealing with them all.
1. Understand why are they acting this way
2. Determine if it is the situation or the person
3. ut yourself in their shoes - truly listen to them
4. Work with them one-on-one - develop rapport
5. Go for a win-win solution (apply constraints - compromise - on both sides)
6. Focus on the task and content (don't get sucked into arguments - walk away)
7. Think before you speak
8. Avoid problematic topics
9. Avoid problematic people if needs be and if you can
10. Keep track of your handling of difficult people to further improve
Life Habits 49 - Assertiveness
Sharon Anthony Bower, "The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others." Anthony Robbins, "The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." Maxwell Maltz, "We are injured and hurt emotionally, not so much by other people or what they say and don't say, but by our own attitude and our own response." Eleanor Roosevelt, "Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes."
Definition from About.com "Assertiveness is a form of communication in which needs or wishes are stated clearly with respect for oneself and the other person in the interaction. Assertive communication is distinguished from passive communication (in which needs or wishes go unstated) and aggressive communication (in which needs or wishes are stated in a hostile or demanding manner)."
1. Decide what you believe on a particular topic and how important it is to you -
2. Give yourself the right to express your views in a way that is congruent with your views (don't say, "I may be wrong but" when you're certain)
3. Make direct eye contact - don't look down or off to the side when you're speaking
4. Maintain appropriate body posture - communicate confidence
5. Use a steady and firm voice and stop interruptions firmly but politely
6. Focus on the topic and don't get distracted
7. Own your own statements - say "I" when it is appropriate
8. Listen deeply to what others say in reply
9. Practice prior to important moments of assertiveness and then find situations to practice further
10. Reflect regularly on how you can improve - ask trusted others to give you feedback
Life Habits 50 - Effective Management
Agha Hasan Abedi, “The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.” Peter Drucker, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Jack Welch, "If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings—and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don't have to manage them." David Ogilvy, "Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it . . . ; Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine." Napoleon Bonaparte, "The art of choosing men is not nearly so difficult as the art of enabling those one has chosen to attain their full worth."
1. Take stock of how you're doing as a manager (ask others)
2. Assert your formal authority but still earn it everyday
3. Delegate and empower people
4. Build relationships and trust (but know limits given your role)
5. Hire, develop, and coach others
6. Foster collaboration and teamwork
7. Make decisions, especially tough ones
8. Be open and honest and transparent
9. Coach, resolve conflicts, and model - walk the talk
10. Be accountable (budgets, deliverables)
11. Manage but also lead (provide vision, inspiration, passion, etc.)
Life Habits 51 - Sleep
With guest: Marie-Josee Shaar
Blain Lee, "The leader who exercises power with honor will work from the inside-out, starting with himself." Aristotle, "Happiness resides not in pastimes and amusements, but in virtuous activities." The Dalai Lama, "Happiness can be found in routines." George Bernard Shaw, "The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them."
1. Rethink your relationship to sleep
2. Keep the cortisol under control
3. Bo to bed and get up at regular hours
5. Cut back on caffeine
6. Be enlightened - or not!
7. Have a light night-time snack
8. Try some sleep-inducing music
9. Get comfy
10. Learn how your body functions
Life Habits 52 - Taking things personally
Dalai Lama, “We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally.” Elbert Hubbard, “The art of winning in business is in working hard - not taking things too seriously” Ani Difranco, “Taking me seriously is a big mistake. I certainly wouldn't.” Don Miguel Ruiz, "Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream...It is NOT important to me what you think about me, and i don't take what you think personally.... I dont have the need to be accepted. I dont have the need to have someone tell me, " Miguel you are great"... What ever YOU think, whatever YOU feel is YOUR problem not MY problem. " "Personal importance or taking things personally, is an expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about me!! Nothing people do is because of you!! It's because of themselves!!"
1. Realize that most people are focused on themselves and not you
2. Look at the facts and believe in them
3. Don't rely on other people's opinions more than your own
4. Think about what it says about the other person given what they are saying to you
5. Get the focus off you - it is not only self-destructive but also annoying to others
6. If appropriate, ask for clarification
7. Engage in some activities that will generate positive feelings in you
8. Become aware of situations, people, and your own state of mind that are problematic
9. Be more aware yourself of other's potential sensitivities
10. Be an observer of how people handle feedback and learn from the best
Life Habits 53 - Confirmation Bias
Thomas Jefferson, "The moment a person forms a theory his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.”
Charles Darwin, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"
Bertrand Russell, "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision."
Research: An (fMRI) study shows where in the brain the confirmation bias arises and how it is unconscious and driven by emotions.
Top 10 List:
1. Examine your current practices
2. Read/view an alternative view piece
3. Follow someone on Twitter/Facebook randomly
4. Do a Google search for opinions opposite to yours
5. Focus on the facts and not opinion wherever possible
6. Admit when you don't know enough
7. Debate the opposite point if view
8. Consider what effect polarization causes
9. Think about what you're modelling for others
10. Find a role model of evenhandedness and fairness
Episode 54 - Relaxation
A special episode giving direct guidance on progress relaxation.
Life Habits 55 - Getting the Job
Norman Vincent Peale, "Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy." Zig Ziglar, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude “ Yogi Berra, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is” Bobby Unser, "Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire." Abraham Lincoln, "The best way to predict the future is to create it" Confucius, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Denis Waitley, "Don’t ever let economics alone determine your career or how you spend the majority of your time." Dan Zevin, "Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire”
Top 10 List:
3. Dress & body language
4. Be slightly early to be on time
5. Listen & think before you speak
6. Avoid pat answers
7. Stay positive & don't exaggerate
8. Be confident and enthusiastic
9. Be specific, give examples
10. Thank sincerely
Life Habits 56 - Get Up and Move
Guest: Marie-Josee Shaar
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. - John F. Kennedy
“When well-being comes from engaging our strengths and virtues, our lives are imbued with authenticity.” - Martin Seligman Use of strengths is engaging and energizing.
Top 10 List:
Getting Rid of Excuses
1. I don’t have time! 2. I don’t have talent! 3. I hate exercise!
Making change easier
4. Sleep 5. Food 6. Mood 7. Shorter duration
Making exercise more attractive
8. Use your strengths 9. Add Meaning 10. Use the Peak-End Rule
LH57 - Vegetarianism
Guest: Dilip Barman
Quotes: "Meat and milk production generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation ... [and is] One of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global … also a major source of land and water degradation” [H. Steinfeld et.al., Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006.
“In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it [reducing meat and dairy consumption] clearly is the most attractive opportunity” [“UN Says Eat Less Meat to Curb Global Warming”, The Observer, Sept. 7, 2008, page 1 (quoting Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, UN Intergovernmental t Panel on Climate Change.
"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men." --Leonardo Da Vinci
Start slow - you may be interested in moving to a plant-based diet, but it doesn't have to happen overnight. Try a stepped approach like:
1. Do some of your own research on a plant-based lifestyle.
2. Join a local vegetarian society
3. Stop buying meat/fish or ordering meat/fish at restaurants, while reducing the use of eggs and dairy; if you wish, try meat analogues
4. Stop buying or ordering eggs. If you like to bake, try any number of egg substitutes; if you like scrambled eggs, try scrambled tofu.
5. Stop using dairy milk and look instead for nut "milk", hemp "milk", or other beverages to satisfy your desires for milk
6. Be more careful with hidden animal products - learn to avoid animal-based ingredients like some glycerins, lactic acid, and soup stocks.
7. Stop using cheese or other dairy products. Try any number of soy- / tapioca- / rice- based "cheese"s.
8. Decide if you want to continue to use or perhaps donate clothing made from wool or silk. Consider no longer purchasing such items.
9. Stop purchasing honey, and explore other sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or black strap molasses.
10. Read ingredient labels to avoid honey, such as in breads and crusts.
LH58 - Authentic Listening
Ralph Nichols, "The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them." M. Scott Peck, "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." Michael P. Nichols, "There's a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest." Winston Churchill, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Robert Schuller, "Big egos have little ears." Turkish Proverb, "If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." Stephen R. Covey, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
Top 10 List:
1. Pay attention
2. Avoid distractions
3. Show that you're listening
4. Focus on verbal and non-verbal communication
5. Defer all judgment
6. Set aside prejudices and opinions
7. Stop your internal dialog
8. Restate or summarize what you've understood
9. Ask questions to explore issues deeper
10. Provide your own views
LH60 - Complaining Effectively
Guest - Dr. Guy Winch
Quotes: Chinese Proverb: “It is better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.”
Mark Twain: I think a compliment ought to always precede a complaint where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception.”
John F. Kennedy: “One person can make a difference and every person should try.”
Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld: Many complain of their memory, few of their judgment.”
1. Identify exactly what you want to achieve by complaining.
2. Address your complaint to the person who can get you the result you want.
3. Avoid anger, insults or sarcasm.
4. Begin with a neutral or positive statement.
5. Voice only one complaint at a time.
6. Provide necessary detail, not emotional commentary.
7. Be clear about what you’re asking for.
8. End with a neutral of positive statement.
9. Treat the customer service representative respectfully—they didn’t cause the problem.
10. Escalate your complaint to senior executives if you don’t get a resolution.
LH61 - Mastering Gratitude
Guest: Kathryn Britton
“If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get.” ~Frank A. Clark “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” ~William Penn “One of the ways we can honor those who face great hardship is to be aware of how blessed we are not to face the same trouble.” ~ Anonymous “When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” ~ Chinese Proverb “The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Top 10 List:
The first three tips are based on Robert Emmons’ book, Thanks. The rest come from the book that we published late last year: Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life’s Gifts (http://tinyurl.com/GratitudeBook)
1. When people systematically cultivate gratitude in their lives, they benefit physically, psychologically, and in their relationships. “Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”
2. The first step is to acknowledging the particular goodness of your life.
3. The second step is to recognize that the source of this goodness lies mostly outside of yourself. “We could not be who we are or where we are in life without the contributions of others.”
4. Pay attention to good things large and small. It is a blessing to be able to walk, to enjoy food, to feel fresh air, …
5. Pay attention to bad things that are avoided. You wreck your car, but your life was saved. You fall, but break no bones.
6. Practice downward comparisons – things could be worse, used to be worse, or are worse for someone else. “Sorrows remembered sweeten present joy.” ~ Robert Pollock
7. Establish regular times to practice being grateful, for example at bedtime, during meals, on arising. Gratitude is a strength that improves with practice.
8. Keep a gratitude log can help you become aware of the many blessings in your life. Reading old entries can remind you of things you have started taking for granted.
9. Share the practice of looking for three good things in each day with your family. It can be a lovely bedtime routine with a child or an engaging dinner topic.
10. It takes effort to be aware of the goodness of life. Use whatever rituals help you remember to give thanks.
LH62 - Making a Difference
William James, "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." Tom Brokaw, "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference."
Anonymous, "Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic." Harold R McAlindon, "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
What - do you want to make a difference at? various roles in your life - topics we've dealt with in the podcast Why - do you want to make a difference in these area? When - do you want to accomplish this? next week, next year, life-time? Who - do you want to make the change on? yourself - others - start with self is best How - do you want to make the change? what can you do to get started on the what? Where - do you want to make this happen - work, in your family, online, etc.
LH63 - Take Time for Yourself
Talking with a close friend about not taking vacation and also too focussed solely on others, partners, family members, friends, work and work colleagues.
Quotes: Diane von Furstenburg, "Be your own best friend and don't forget to wink at yourself now and then" Buddha, "You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." Henry David Thoreau, "I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude"
The 5 Rs:
LH64 - Visualizing Progress Quotes:
Robert Collier, "Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build." David Seabury, "Try out your ideas by visualizing them in action." Unknown Author, "When performance is MEASURED, performance improves."
* Set a goal and get a mental picture what success will look and feel like (make it real and specific)
* Find a picture or other visual representation of that mental picture and use it as motivation (analog or digital - iPhone background)
* Choose a metric to track your progress to the goal and plot it visually (analog or digital)
LH65 - Life Lessons
Steve Jobs's life lessons from Walter Isaacson's biography "Steve Jobs" and the 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.
Quotes: "Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."
“There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.”
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
1. Follow your curiosity, intuition, interest
2. Learn from every experience especially negative ones
3. Do what you love and love what you do with passion
LH66 - 5 Lazy Ways to Get in Shape
Karel is joined again by guest Marie-Josée Shaar who describes five simple, lazy, ways to get in shape based on the content in her great new book, Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person's Guide to Optimal Health and Performance, which she authored with occasional guest on the podcast, Kathryn Britton.
If you know me, you know that my thing is all about sleep, food, mood and
exercise. Mutually reinforcing, making each other easier.
Agreed, doing so can sound daunting and effortful (if you don't know my full
process, that is), so today I’d like to share ways that will improve your health
while saving you energy at the same time.
“Being busy is often a form of mental laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate
action.” - Tim Ferris
1. Sleep All You Need
2/3 of American adults are sleep deprived - brain functions no better than if
When we watch a movie, soundtrack gives us hints about what will happen next
I’ll play a scene twice, with different background music. Finish the scene for me.
We live our lives to the tune of biochemicals - high on stress hormones, we see
more causes for stress; high on good guys like serotonin and dopamine, we see
things in a better light
Sleep rebalances our biochemicals - plays more harmonious or more upbeat
2. Eat by Design
“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the
body.” - Ben Franklin
Food can serve many purposes other than nutrition. We often use it for
celebration, distraction, consolation, or as a way to connect with others. Paying
attention to all the ways you use food, and then replacing purposes other than
nutrition with something else can be very helpful. For example, rather than
celebrate at a bar or restaurant, why not do it with a mani and pedi, or with a
round of golf?
Distract yourself by taking a break (see next strategy).
Console yourself by calling a friend or journaling.
Why is this a lazy strategy? Because it has to be a rule - no debate. Am I hungry?
if answer is no - no room for discussion. You’re off to something else.
3. Do a Mini
#1 reason people say they can’t exercise is “I don’t have time”
Yet - avg American adult watches between 3 and 4 hours of TV per day!
Everybody says not them! But if I was a fly on the wall in their living room,
I bet I’d be well updated on the news, Glee and The X Factor!
So REAL #1 reason is they need to catch a break
The nervous system is divided in 2 parts: the sympathetic and the
parasympathetic nervous systems (SNS and PNS). The 2 function much like the
gas and brake pedals on your car. To arrive safely to destination in a car, you’ll
need to use both pedals. Similarly, if you want to maintain good health, you’ll
need balance between your SNS and PNS. The challenge is that modern lifestyles
tend to overstimulate the SNS, and so regular relaxation sessions to avoid SNS
dominance are in order. To do so, close your eyes and take deep and full belly
breaths while mindfully quieting your internal chatter.
4. Don’t Make It a Big Production
We all have an internal lawyer that’s ready to argue the case of whatever we want
him to argue.
Eg: in the mood to go for a walk? - will preach for the benefits of outdoors
Not in the mood for a walk? - it might rain, short on time, have something else to
One way our internal lawyer rationalizes inactivity is by making exercise very
difficult to get to.
Example of Jane - a previous client of mine.
When I first met Jane, she thought that she needed to have eaten a light meal at
least 2 hours before any workout session, brought her favorite gear including her
most comfortable underwear and socks, her water bottle, a sweat headband, and
a stop watch, planned for at least 75 minutes but at a time when the gym was not
crowded, be prepared with photos of the latest moves from her favorite magazine
and with her iPod filled up with her favorite songs, have a change of clothes, a
brush, and hair dryer on hand, and have enough time to redo her brushing post-
workout␣all this before she could head to the gym. Whew! I'm tired just thinking
So the point here is - whatever requirements you have for yourself prior to being
active, see if you can lower the bar, and make it more simple for you to work in
5. Exercise on Company Time
“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.” - Marilyn
Let’s stop sacrificing everything for our careers, and have the time we spend at
work pay back a little in terms of higher wellbeing!
We burn 3X more calories standing than sitting - metabolism is revving at higher
capacity - Keeps postural muscles engaged
Taking any chance you get to move around and be active contributes to a
stronger, leaner body. On a long conference call? Do it standing, and might as
well pace in your office, do a few calf raises or discreet knee bends at the same
time. Meeting with colleague? Go for a walk and talk session. Time to use the
restroom? Go to the one on the next floor, and if no one is in there at the same
time, use the counter-top to do a few push-ups. Keeping your body as active as
possible will make a difference in your health, weight, and alertness.
LH67 - Type of Support
with UK Psychologist Mandy Kloppers
Tia - gave feedback that I read in a previous episode and made the suggestion for a topic:
Every time I think of topics that may be of interest to you for podcast ideas, I always seem to stumble upon one that has already covered my question. However, I’ve just started working with a business/life coach and although you already cover off mentoring, it may be beneficial to examine this service and how one might get the best out of it. For example, what’s a life/business coach, what do they do, how can they help, and, importantly, how can you get the most out of your coach.
1. When should you seek help
2. What type of help is available
3. What to expect
LH68 - Type I Personality
Karel summarizes key insights from Daniel H. Pink's book "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us", on the recommendation of a podcast listener. He summarizes the alternatives to "carrot and stick" which include Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. Find out more about Dan Pink and how to get a copy of his book.
Facebook message from Carrie:
Hey there! I haven't listened to ALL of your podcasts (there are a lot, after all), so I apologize if I missed this- however, I was wondering today: have you ever read "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink? This book has had a profound impact on me and unfortunately I don't know anyone else personally who has read it, much less have anyone else to discuss it with. I would love to get your insight on this book.
Thanks for all the great work you do!
So I bought the book, read it, and loved it. Thanks, Carrie! I was aware of some portion of the literature and studies summarized in the book on the topic of motivation. What I thought was particularly insightful though was how Daniel Pink consolidates all of it and then provides very practical advice as to what to do about it all.
These quotes from the book will summarize the essence of the material.
Carrots & sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose.
COCKTAIL PARTY SUMMARY
When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system–which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators–doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements: 1. Autonomy, 2. Mastery, 3. Purpose.
This applies to people who want to motivate others (leaders, parents, teachers) and/or themselves (adjust self-reinforcement)
Type I and Type X Personalities - intrinsic vs extrinsically motivated - people start out as I but society pushes them toward X through external incentives (if you do this, you can get that) -- carrot -- or (if you don't do this, we'll punish you with this) -- stick -- crowds out internal motivation, ownership, and pride.
Carrots and sticks may apply in some very limited circumstances but most situations would benefit from Dan's approach.
1. Autonomy - "the desire to direct our own lives"
rather than being managed, people need to have control over what, when, who, and how they do something
Cornell University study of 320 businesses that offered autonomy grew at four times the rate and had one third the turnover
rather than saying do this at this time in this way and I'll give you X for it and Y as punishment if you don't, lay out what is expected and
allow the other person flexibility in accomplishing it and then showing you what they did
2. Mastery - "the urge to get better and better at something that matters"
rather than compliance, people need engagement that produces mastery
When challenges match skills, you get a feeling of flow (in the groove, totally absorbed)
Need a mindset that abilities are infinitely improvable and focusses on learning goals vs performance goals
3. Purpose - "the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves"
need to focus on goals and causes greater and more enduring than themselves
Improve the world, create amazing products, not just maximize profits
Book - Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - danpink.com
LH69 - Stop Worrying
In response to a listener question, Karel provides advice on the process to use to stop worrying, including the identification of your degree of control and taking action on the basis of this.
email from Heather:
"I love listening to your podcast in the evening, it is very relaxing. One of my biggest challenges is constantly worrying about things - I worry over things I've done, should have done, and future worst case scenarios. I worry when I can't think of what I should be worrying about. Do you think there is a podcast topic there? Thank you, any advice would be most welcome!"
Anonymous, "One cannot change the past, but one can ruin the present by worrying over the future."
Santideva, “If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”
Reinhold Niebuhr, "Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other"
Answer the question: "Is this something I can change?"
If yes, use the energy you're expending on worry to take action to resolve it, be proactive, drive it to resolution
If no, and it is something that is out of your control, realize that and do the following
- Distract your mind - listen to a podcast, a book, watch a movie, talk to a friend
- Involve your body - do relaxation exercises (LH54), play a sport, do something creative (music, art)
- If necessary, take action to remove the worry even if it isn't within your circle of influence (get out of the situation) or get professional help (LH67)
LH70 - Managing Money
email to firstname.lastname@example.org from Jack
Just a quick thank you for your great podcast, the world needs more people like yourself! Just a quick suggestion you've probably had a couple of times, a podcast on 'managing money' I'd find that incredibly helpful and I believe others will as well. Thanks again, Jack
Charles A. Jaffe, "It's not your salary that makes you rich, it's your spending habits."
Frank Hubbard, "The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket."
Gloria Steinem, "We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs."
Unknown, "The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."
- Understand what money is coming in and going out - look at last month's finances in detail
- Increase the ins: Improve your skills and habits to increase your value to yourself and others (maximizing success and salary)
- Invest in yourself, your kids (if you have them), as well as traditional financial investments (experts suggest 10% up front) -
- Make your money work for you
- Decrease the outs: Decide what is most important to you and use that to determine what expenses make sense and which don't
- Reduce your debt - Credit card debt and mortgages are a biggest challenge - try to reduce what you pay just to use someone else's money - it is expensive
- Simplify, visualize and track - Have one credit card, use a card rather than cash so that you can visualize and track all expenditures - use software like Mint.com or moneydance or lovemoney (UK)
LH71: Doing the Right Thing
Facebook Life Habits page suggestion by Karen:
Hi Karel. Always enjoy your podcasts. I was wondering if you would be able to do one on Ethics.
W. Clement Stone, “Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
Henry Kravis, "If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing."
Bertrand Russell, "Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value."
Mark Twain, “It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. “Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”
- Our sense of ethics develops over time and is influenced by our family, education we've had, exposure to religions, and a whole range of experiences with peers and others.
- Personal sense of right and wrong - more of a continuum with you needing to determine where on that continuum any issue falls, for you.
- Wide range of issues - at work, at home, in relationships, anything that makes you stop and think "what's the right thing to do here?"
- Identify the central ethical issue concerning the decision you need to make and think through all the options in terms of the following factors:
- Legal, professional, or other institutional rules or regulations regarding the issue
- Personal value system position on the issue (philosophical, religious, fairness, conscience, integrity, etc.)
- Potential consequences for you and others you care about
- Will you be able to sleep soundly knowing that you did the "right thing" now and in the future?
LH72: Growth Mindset
Listened to an interview on Harvard Business Review podcast with Carol Dweck about her book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"
Feedback from listeners on Facebook page
Dale Carnegie, "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all."
Henry Ford, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young."
Artur Rubenstein, "Don’t tell me how talented you are. Tell me how hard you work."
Mark Twain, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did."
Albert Einstein, "It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
Carol Dweck on the growth mindset, "What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?"
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
Dweck's four steps to changing your mindset:
1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset "voice". "Are you sure you can do it?", "Maybe you don't have the talent?", "What if you fail?".
2. Recognize that you have a choice. You can interpret events and occurrences due to fixed attributes or as having growth potential
3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice. "I'm not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort". Everyone can expect failure at times.
Basketball wasn't easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn't easy for Thomas Edison. They had passion and put in lots of effort.
4. Take the growth mindset action. Listen and practice the growth mindset voice.
LH73: Questions about Relationships
Karel dedicates this episode to a set of questions submitted by listeners on the theme of relationships and is again joined by UK Psychologist Mandy Kloppers. The questions address how to deal with infidelity, getting over a failed relationship, and dealing with parents as they are progressing through a divorce.
Previously had an episode dedicated to listener questions (59) - good feedback
Facebook page request for questions - relationships theme - bring in Mandy Kloppers
Previous episode #31 - Relationships
Quotes about the importance of questions:
Thomas Berger, “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”
John Abbott, “'How do you know so much about everything?' was asked of a very wise and intelligent man; and the answer was 'By never being afraid or ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant”
Anthony Robbins, "Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential."
Three listener questions contributed via email and the lifehabits.net website - using pseudonyms
1. How to deal with infidelity
Greg wrote, "I actually suggested this topic of "Dealing with Infidelity" because I know from personal (bitter) experience that it is an extremely difficult issue to deal with. It is a complicated problem and it would be very helpful if you could come up with a podcast episode that deals with how to cope with the tension as well how to understand the struggle between commitment and freedom in a relationship."
Relationships outside of marriage are estimated to happen 15-55% - desire to have if couldn't get caught 70%
Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan
All kinds of relationships - have open communication and an open mind
Understand each others needs - emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual
Take stock of what you each have together and how it can be improved
Discuss boundaries regarding people outside the relationship - establish trust
2. Getting over a failed relationship
Robin wrote, "I'd like to know how to help a friend move on from a devastating failed relationship with her significant other. The context here being that of encouraging self-esteem and positive future outlook. I have two friends who broke up with their exes... both think they will never love anyone else again."
Happens a lot (50% of marriages break up)
It really, really hurts and it takes time for the hurt to lessen
The partner that is left often has a harder time dealing with the breakup in terms of self-esteem
Have an honest think about personal culpability so as not to repeat it in the future
After sufficient time of recovery, get geared up and be socially active again - not necessarily looking for a partner
Get away from the regular routine and environment - go on a vacation to practice single skills
3. Dealing with parents as they are progressing through a divorce
Frances wrote, "I'd like advice on dealing with parents who are going through a divorce, picking sides, dealing with the mud slinging, and the pain."
It really, really hurts and it takes time for the hurt to lessen - these are often the most important people in your life
Although every situation is different, try not to take sides - this is between them
Anything you say could make it more difficult later to develop a great relationship post divorce with both of them
LH74: Covey's 7 Habits
This episode is a tribute to the late Stephen Covey, the author of the seminal book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". Karel discusses the influence Covey has had on listeners, himself, and the world. He then provides a few quotes and briefly summarizes Covey's seven habits.
Stephen Covey - died on July 16, 2012 at 79 as a result of medical complications from a bicycle accident
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - 1989 Stephen R Convey - sold 25 million copies, several other books drill-down, extend, and apply
“We are free to choose our actions, . . . but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions.”
"Most people define greatness through wealth and popularity and position in the corner office. But what I call everyday greatness comes from character and contribution."
"Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us."
“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
“Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education”
“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character...”
Independence or Self-Mastery
The First Three Habits surround moving from dinosaurs to independence day (i.e., self mastery):
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life. Create a mission statement.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.
The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.
Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.
The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.
The eighth habit is to "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs".
LH75 - Bullying
Guest: George Janeteas
Would you like to be more aware of bullying of various types and what can be done about it? This was a topic that rose to the top of the Facebook pole of listeners. Karel has university student, George Janeteas, as his guest on bullying in general and cyber-bullying in particular. You can find more about George at his website at georgejaneteas.ca. George also provided the following additional resources:
Introduction to George
* 4th year Concurrent Education Student at York University
* Pursuing a career as a Secondary School Teacher/Guidance Counselor
* Inspirational Speaker and Founder of a youth program initiative called “George’s Youth Talks”
Introduction to George’s Youth Talks
* Youth program initiative that focuses on sharing our personal stories with ourselves and each other to foster empathy and understanding in our schools and communities
* Travels to schools and conferences in the community to conduct various talks and workshops on issues affecting youth
* Launches events that focus on one of these issues to raise awareness
* Will be conducting a workshop at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education on building safer schools and communities through social media
* Launched first event, ‘Cyber Compassion Day’ that raises awareness on Cyber Bullying
What is Bullying?
* When someone does or says something to hurt someone else
* About making someone feel small and powerless
* Always done on purpose
* Individuals and groups can do it
* Approximately, 10 to 15% of pre-teens and teenagers report being physically or verbally bullied at least once per week
* Nearly half of all children in grades 4-7 are bullied at least once per month
* 9 out of 10 gay youth are bullied for their sexuality, and 1/3 skip at least one day of school per month
* Youth with disabilities are 2-3 times more likely to be bullied
* 45% of youth do not feel safe at school
* Those affected by bullying are upwards of 10 times more likely to consider suicide
Types of Bullying
1. Physical Bullying: Hurting someone’s body or their belongings
* Punching, Kicking, Spitting
* Destroying belongings (i.e. bike, iPod)
2. Verbal Bullying: Anything one could say to hurt someone
* Name calling, ridiculing
* Making threats to hurt someone
3. Social/Emotional Bullying: Using your friends or other relationships against someone else.
* Spreading rumours, gossiping, excluding someone from the group
4. Sexual Harassment: Saying or doing something to make someone feel uncomfortable about their body or sexuality
* Touching someone in a sexual when it’s unwanted
* Making fun of someone for being Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, or Questioning
5. Cyber Bullying: Using technology like a computer to hurt someone. Can incorporate other forms of bullying as well (i.e. verbal, emotional, sexual)
* Sending mean emails and text messages
* Posting embarrassing photos
* Creating websites to mock others
* Story: Friend kept getting mean texts sent to them from an anonymous person for weeks
Signs that Bullying is Occurring
* Not wanting to go to school or participate in extra-curricular activities
* Anxious, fearful, over-reactive
* Exhibits low self-esteem and makes negative comments about him/herself
* Headaches and stomach aches
* Lower interest and performance in school
* Loses things, needs money, reports being hungry after school
* Injuries, bruising, damaged clothing, broken things
* Unhappy, irritable, little interest in activities
* Trouble sleeping, nightmares, bedwetting
* Expresses threats to hurt himself/herself or others
How to Eliminate Bullying
* Focus should be on bullying prevention and changing the social climate of our schools and communities
* Encourage both youth and adults to open up their hearts and minds to the diversity that exists within their community
* Allow more opportunities for self-expression (i.e. through the arts, poetry contests, clubs)
What Targets Can Do
* Talk to someone you trust, like your parents, a friend, a teacher, a counselor or coach. Remember that confiding in someone is not the same as tattling, especially when it comes to your safety.
* Work out a plan to put an end to it, together
* Contact an authority, like a school principal or the police
What Bystanders Can Do
* Don’t be a silent witness. You would want someone to have your back if you were the one getting bullied.
* Don’t watch and laugh. That’s even worse than doing nothing.
* If it’s too hard to speak out, send an anonymous note to school staff
* Be assertive, not aggressive. Fighting doesn’t help anyone.
* Invite the person being targeted to leave the situation with you
* Encourage the target to get help from someone, like a guidance counsellor, teacher, or other adult who can help.
If You are Bullying
* Walk away from situations where you want to bully
* Resist peer pressure to bully. No one can tell you what to do.
* Hang out with friends who will help keep you in check.
* Try using your energy in positive ways, like playing sports or doing another activity
* Apologize to the people you’ve hurt, even if it means sending an anonymous note.
What Teachers Can Do
* Document bullying incidents to show proof that bullying does exist
* Collaborate with parents/community centres/organizations
* Schedule meetings with administrators to come up with potential bullying prevention programs in the school
LH76 - Mom's Life Lessons
I've reviewed here the life lessons from two key influencers, Steve Jobs and Stephen Covey. Today I'd like to reflect on the lessons learned from the most influential person in my life, my mother. She died recently in her 90th year.
Our Mother's Life Lessons:
1. Follow your passions - Do what you love and love what you do - don't chase money - find what really interests you & get great at it - reading university papers with us
2. Look to the future - Anticipate and build your life plan - having the vision to come to Canada and my growth spurt & theatre arts
3. Be a leader & a doer - Don't just watch what others are doing and be a follower, drive to be the best and then lead, and be worthy of being a good leader
4. Stay humble - Don't let successes go to your head - have a growth mindset - encourage the effort rather than saying that "your so smart"
5. Be fair - Even to a fault to ensure balance - never feel beholden to someone else - contribute more than your share - within the family be absolutely equal in all things
6. Be frugal - watch what money is coming in and going out, particularly the going out - don't be cheap though - making clothes and refinishing furniture
7. Be authentic - Express yourself honestly and openly - have integrity in all things - be comfortable with who you are - you always knew where you stood with mom
We often don't have the opportunity or don't take the opportunity to tell the people who important to us what a difference they made in our lives. I was fortunate to have taken the opportunity two years ago on Mother's Day to tell Mom that she had given us these incredibly important life lessons (LH46 - Familial Insights)
LH77 - Workplace Challenges
Karel addresses five questions listeners submitted on the topic of workplaces challenges. The questions deal with communicating across age and experience level differences, knowing who to trust, workplace bullying, managing anger outbursts, and working effectively with a world-wide team.
Listener questions episode on a theme.
Ambrose Bierce, "Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret."
Tom Crum, "The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them."
Henry Ford, "Don’t find fault. Find a remedy."
Scott Ginsberg, "Listening is not waiting to talk."
Anais Nin, "We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are"
Will use pseudonyms given the sensitivity of the topic
1. Mary wrote on the Facebook page:
I'm not sure if this has already been covered, but what about a podcast addressing differences in generations and how that can affect communication?
For example, I am currently doing some freelance work for a client who is considerably older than me and I am having a hard time relating to her. I am really tech savvy and it is hard to relay to her what I am trying to say without confusing her. And also she brings it up a lot that she knows so much more than me because she is older. I am not sure if this is relevant but I think it could help some listeners when trying to communicate effectively without feeling the disconnect because of age.
I love this podcast Karel! Keep up the great work! I definitely listen to this podcast to help to level my stress and get great ideas to implement in life to help my journey of improvement. Thanks for all you do!
- dealing with differences - in technology knowledge - experience/age level = understanding the differences, embrace them, and leverage differences tactfully
2. Lance wrote in a Facebook message:
I am a Filipino who lives and studies in Japan. And following your podcast advice, I believe that I am headed to live and work in New Zealand by early next year!
I sent you a like message a few days before mentioning that I have been listening to your podcasts for more than two weeks now. I have a question which I have a hard time answering. The question is "How do I know when to trust a person and when not to trust a person?" I tend to trust everybody 100% and then feel devastated when they do something contrary to what I expect from a person I trust. I found your podcast while looking for advice on how to deal with difficult people, but your podcast on this, doesn't exact hit the spot... If you have a previous podcast that addresses my concern, I hope you can guide me to the appropriate podcast.I hope you can address the topic on trust.
- dealing with trust = be cautious at first until you know the person better, learn from others what the person is like, try to take their point of view re topics
- but can't protect entirely from ever getting hurt or else you wouldn't talk to anyone - its a matter of balance
would it be possible to cover workplace bullying in particular in a podcast.
Especially the aspect, that it is in most cases the target that leaves the workplace in the end and there is rarely any consequences for the bully?
Thank you so very much. Your podcasts are helping me through a very bad time at present. Thank you.
- workplace bullying (LH75) = try to understand the bullying - what is he/she getting out of it. try to talk to them privately if possible and engage
- if dealing with the bully yourself isn't possible or advisable in your case, seek out a trusted superior to talk to (mention how you've tried to solve the problem)
- if the problem is serious, go to the designated official responsible for these sorts of things in your company, like someone in HR
- if it is very serious and involves breaking laws, then go to the police
Hi Karel, I have all your podcasts, though I confess I have not listened to them for a while now. But WHEN I do I always find them helpful. I continue to work on my communication skills. It has been pointed out by of course my wife and a couple of my co-workers that sometimes I am short or snap when asked a question that I feel requires a lot of thought and the person wants an answer at that moment. i find people of aggressive nature is when this happens most. In my line of work it has a certain amount of stress and i must make many decisions as I am management. Any thoughts on how I could curb this? I consider myself to be very outgoing and friendly. But occasionally this issue pops up.
- interpersonal communication (LH11) & anger management (LH17) = anticipate problematic situations to prepare if you can
- don't respond right away, use a pregnant pause, bite your lip quite literally, take a breath to plan your calm response, and then give it
- listen to what the person is saying, not how they're saying it, they may be angry which makes you angry but they may have an important and valid point
- practice typically responses outside of the situation - perhaps with your wife in the comfort of your home
One of the challenges that come to my mind is "communications with diverse work environment - involving global team members".
- communicating with a global, diverse team (LH12) = take time to understand the diversity and how your global coworkers are different from you
- try to be conscious of their holidays and special customs and time zone differences and don't say "our government when you mean the US government, for instance)
- but mostly importantly, try to speak more slowly and avoid culturally specific topics, terminology, or phrases (local sports, brilliant, home run)
LH78: Stay True to Yourself
Karel devotes this episode to listener requests along the theme of staying true to yourself. He addresses awareness, consistency, and strength.
Apologize for delay especially to regular listeners who are waiting for the next episode to come out - I've been traveling a lot for work.
Facebook input: themes like self-concept, identity, confusing nice with weak, etc. = Stay True to Yourself
Bernard M. Baruch, “Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Judy Garland, “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
Be aware of: who you are (death bed test - core beliefs, morality, foundational habits)
who you want to be (what things YOU want to fine tune), and
how you're perceived and want to be perceived by others (external you)
Be congruent, consistent, and authentic - who you are, want to be, & how you're perceived
Don't be influenced, bullied, or manipulated not being yourself
- people will want to change you, you may want to "fit in", but you've got to keep
what Stephen Covey used to call the personal moral compass focussed on staying
true to yourself
LH79 - Impression Management (aka, Marketing Yourself)
Maria, "How about an episode on marketing yourself? I'd like to hear about creating a personal brand, developing an elevator pitch, and such…"
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
Maxwell Maltz, "Your most important sale in life is to sell yourself to yourself."
Sir Thomas Overbury, "Put your best foot forward."
In Psychology, this is called "Impression Management or Self-Presentation". The actual techniques and mind set can profitably be leveraged from marketing. This isn't about some crass and artificial ways of selling yourself. It is about putting your best foot forward and actually focusing on the impression you're creating for yourself and intentionally working on improving it. We did something similar in Episode 38 when we used the techniques and approaches of product design in designing your life. This time we're focusing specifically on the image you present to the world and how you can improve that. The last episode we did together #78 on Staying True to Yourself is relevant here too. You don't want to create an impression of someone you're not but you do want to make sure to project an image of yourself that is congruent with who you are and want to be perceived to be.
1. Who are you, what do you stand for, and why should others care?
2. What is your objective (get a job, find a partner, be more effective, be more popular, etc)?
3. Who is in your "market"? (employers, eligible partners, everyone you meet more generally)?
4. What do you have to offer? What is your "product"? How can your product be improved (see design your life episode 38)?
5. What are your marketing channels (job - LinkedIn and personal site, partner - dating sites, Facebook, on the phone, and in person)?
6. How can you improve the impressions you make on others? Focus on the whole "package" - whether online, on the phone, or in person:
1. Keep the market you care about in mind - your "look", clothes, hair - in person & online - appropriate for the "market"
2. Increasingly your online presence is primary - profile picture is you online (video too) - camera positioning, background, expression, consistency
3. Consider a different online presence for each "market" but realize that it's often hard to control online content visibility
4. Focus on the style and substance of your communication in person and online
(LH10 & LH11 Communication, LH49 Assertiveness, LH58 - Authentic Listening)
7. Develop a simple, short description of yourself online and in-person. For the in-person, consider it an elevator pitch. Force yourself to make it short by actually practicing it in a elevator. Answer the essential question and tailor it for the market and objective you have (job, mate, in general, etc.)
Tell me about yourself?
Positive, to the point, interesting, informative, and, if possible, directly relevant to your target market
Record yourself so you can playback from the recipients point of view how and what you're projecting and then modify. Do the same for the online.
LH81 - Being More Productive
Context for Episode:
JC - "I suggest for your future episode a topic about 'Making things productive. I suggest you to discuss how a person can use things such as their cellphone, mp3 player, etc. for specific ideas as how to be more productive"
Tony Schwartz, “A new and growing body of multidisciplinary research shows that strategic renewal — including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations — boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, health.”
Janice posted this Dalai Lama quote on the Facebook page: "There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live."
Bruce Lee, “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
1. Do things more efficiently: text versus phone -
Use apps like "Lift" for Habits, "Waze" for traffic, "Quick Scan" for shopping, "Word Lens" for translation, bank app
Yelp, for restaurants, Netflix for movies/TV shows, Evernote, news feeds in social media (FB, Twitter, Flipboard)
2. Do more things at once sensibly: audiobooks and podcasts while working out, doing dishes, music while working - http://coffitivity.com/
3. Do fewer things at once sensibly: full screen to focus, room lights off desk light on or just computer, everything else off
4. Do nothing: sleep longer, take afternoon naps, change your focus looking at a distance - volitional day dreaming,
LH82 - Dealing with Change
Guest Mandy Kloppers
The topic for this episode comes from Miriam who is new listener who messaged me on Facebook. She just finished an undergraduate degree and is now going off to graduate school and asked - "Do you think you could do a podcast on handling change? I'm in the process of changing my life in almost every area such as peer group, work, living arrangements, social environment, etc. I've never handled change well and the thought of it stresses me out greatly. Any advice would be wonderful! Thanks so much!"
Karel is again joined by UK Psychologist Mandy Kloppers as they address a listener question asking for advice on dealing with change.
LH83 - Communication Challenges
Listener questions episode - using pneudonyms rather than real names
George Bernard Shaw, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "When the eyes say one thing, and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first."
Stanley Horowitz, "Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising the voice."
Donald A. Laird, "Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom with encouragement."
Lillian Hellman, "People change and forget to tell each other."
Anonymous, "The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgebern385438.html#KiPjFddikbHElAHv.99
Daniel Trotti (Dave)
"I am a truckie and listen to your podcast while I drive:) keep up the good work! Suggestion:"What makes a good conversation?", how to initiate and keep a good conversation? help please, thank you.
* Focus on the other person (not about you) , ask questions and listen to the answers and ask follow up questions - authentically (#58 - Authentic Listening)
* Show genuine interest in what they're saying, maintain eye contact, paraphrase what they've said before you ask a follow up question. Use the person's name if you know it. Monitor how the conversation is going and don't push if the other person is doesn't appears not to be interested in pursuing the conversation.
* If you have something in common - place of work, where you're living, on the same plane - what do you think of ??
* Keep it light initially - if you're so inclined, be funny, and keep it light-hearted
* Practice - for example, in a plane, you have time to sit beside someone, practice these techniques
LH84 - Being Happier
Jim Rohn, "Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present"
Janet Lane, "Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important"
Dalai Lama, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion"
Abraham Lincoln, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”
Aristotle, “Happiness depends upon ourselves"
Martin Seligman - Positive Psychology - Marie Josée Shar, Katherine Britton, and some upcoming guests graduated from Seligman’s Masters program in Positive Psychology
Good summary in Huffington post and elsewhere including Nataly Kogan's blog
1. Surround yourself with happy people - happier app (half are naturally happy but need boost and other half work at it)
2. Smile and mean it and try to be happy - laugh out loud (LH3 - Staying Positive)
3. Cultivate resilience, be mindful of the good - look on the bright side (LH26 - Resilience)
4. Appreciate simple pleasures and focus on them (LH16 - Positive Psychology)
5. Devote time and money to giving - surprise someone - pay it forward (LH19 Forgiveness & Compassion)
6. Lose track of time - into the flow - unplug (LH68 - Type I Personality)
7. Get into deeper conversation - not just surface talk - and listen authentically (LH58 - Authentic Listening)
8. Make exercise a priority - go outside (LH66 - 5 Lazy ways to get in shape)
9. Get sufficient rest and start the morning off right (LH51 - Sleep)
10. Do something creative or inspirational (LH20 - Fostering Creativity)
LH85 - Affirmations and Mindfulness
with Mandy Kloppers
Albert from the Philippines: "I'm not sure if you've tackled the topic of career shift. Because I'm a newly Registered Nurse and due to very few opportunity for nurses here in my country, I'm now planning to pursue another profession." — I told Albert about Episode 6 and 7 that address career planning and strategies. — He also said, "And another thing, I want to have advice on how to deal with a partner at work who so toxic." Aleida, an American expat in Kazakhstan - had a similar question -- "To let you know that I really enjoy your podcasts. It is my way of staying connected with the world and gaining new skills and knowledge. I would like to suggest a session on dealing with difficult people.” — I told both of them about Episode 48 addresses the topic of dealing with difficult people.
Jc Ulan from the Philippines says, "Hi sir Karel, joyful day, I'm still thankful for your consideration of my suggestion about making things productive (ep81) and with that I've come up with another idea. I suggest a future topic of “making money". I told him about about Episode 70: Managing Money.
Don asks, "I am a recovering alcoholic and was wondering if you ever done a session on alcoholism. If so, would you mind sending me the link." - he’s part of AA and is always looking for more information for himself and new AA members. AA is a great program.
Adam asked, "I would like to hear something more on affirmations. I specifically have the problem of procrastination. I've thought about making recordings of myself and putting them on my phone so I could listen while I'm doing workouts and driving. I quickly get discouraged and give up. Any thoughts?"
I realized that much of the information to make changes in these various areas is known and I’ve already covered a lot of it in previous episodes. However, what’s needed is that additional reminder and those conditions that will optimize yourself for change no matter what the topic. And Adam’s question reminded me of the power of affirmations as the reminder. The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning "to make steady, strengthen.” Here’s a quote:
Robert Collier , "One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true or false. It comes to be dominating thought in one's mind.”
Recent research indicates that the most effective use of affirmations is in combination of them with mindfulness methods. These methods provide the conditions to enable effective and substantive change. I’ve therefore asked my regular guest host Psychologist Mandy Kloppers to join us to get into affirmations and mindfulness.
LH86 - Profit from the Positive
Guest Margaret Greenberg
Book together with Senia Maymin
Profit from the Positive: Proven leadership strategies to boost productivity and transform your business
Marie Jose Char connection - Sleep, Mood, Food, and Exercise —> work life
“How can I get the most out of my people”
“Google has a term for employees who fit the company’s culture: Googly”
"Multitasking has become associated with being more productive, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The biggest hit to your productivity from multitasking is what we call flip-flop costs.”
1. How did you two meet and what motivated you to write Profit from the Positive?
2. What is Positive Psychology and why should business leaders care about it?
3. Who should read Profit from the Positive and what main messages do you hope readers will take away after reading it?
Quotes in here?
4. I notice you start each chapter with WHAT's NOT working. That doesn't sound very positive. Why do you do that?
5. I also notice you separate Profit from the Positive into two parts: One focused on the leader and the other on the team. Why do you do this?
6. You talk about boosting productivity by 40% without spending a dime. How can a business leader do that?
LH87 - Thinking Errors that Hurt Your Health
with Marie Josee Shaar
We love for our beliefs and opinions to be validated. So much so that we have an internal lawyer, working around the clock to make sure we give more weight to anything that agrees with us, and discredit sources that disagree. If you’re an avid runner, you’re likely to find and remember information showing that running doesn’t influence the likelihood of developing arthritis. If you’d rather go blind than go for a run, you’ll find the studies that explains the dangers of joint overuse.
We hate failure. The more time, energy and money we’ve invested into something, the less we want to let go, explains Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. So we watch a late night TV show until the end even if the episode sucks and we know we’ll suffer from sleep deprivation the next day, and we eat the whole Sumo-size dish the waiter placed under our nose even if doing so requires us to loosen our belt.
We hate to lose, or to miss out on something. Studies estimate that losses have about twice the psychological impact of equivalent gains. When faced with a choice, we therefore tend to place more weight on what we could miss than on what we want to gain. That’s why we pick the happy hour over the gym session, read Facebook posts past bedtime, and cheat on our eating plan when an opportunity arises.
In my wellness workshops, I often ask my audience how many have below average driving skills. In a crowd of 200 people, I’ll typically see 5 or 6 hands go up - including mine (my husband has told me enough times, it’d be tough for me not to know that my driving skills are below average!). Similarly, most of us think we need less good sleep, food, mood and exercise than others to function optimally and stay healthy.
Our fundamental need to belong is a powerful behavior shaper. Just think of all the times you succumbed to regrettable choices due to peer pressure as a teenager (or how difficult it was to resist) and you’ll agree that the desire to fit in impacts us deeply. In their book Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler review 30 years of data from one of the longest-running epidemiological studies. They found that change doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it happens in networks. When we live in a culture that glorifies sleep deprivation, promotes fast food, normalizes high stress and engineers movement out of every activity, our health clearly suffers.
So ask yourself...
When does your reluctance to let go hurt your health? When are you consistently choosing against sound health behaviors, and is it really worth it? Do you think you’re doing just fine even if sleep deprived, malnourished, stressed and sedentary? What topics is your internal lawyer serving his most active duty on, and does it serve or interfere with maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Who in your network twists your arm away from your health goals? Can you reverse that pressure?
I recommend working on one of these mental shortcuts at a time. Be mindful so you can catch yourself using them. Admit when they are leading you astray, and make a smarter choice.
LH88 - Life as a Sport
Apologies for the delay - I’ve been traveling almost continuously - and for all the changes. I changed the podcast hosting service from Podbean to Squarespace. I’ve been with Podbean since I started this podcast almost 5 years ago but with the popularity of it, the cost of hosting it at Podbean was getting to be exorbitant. This is my hobby and I still don’t want to have to use advertising to pay for the bandwidth. I already hosted my blog at Squarespace so I also moved the podcast there too. It was a lot of work to move all the material over and I also ran into some glitches. Everything is now working again but some of you may not be appropriately subscribed to the podcast.
If you use iTunes, please search for “Life Habits Mentoring” and make sure it shows you are “subscribed”. Some listeners have said that they needed to unsubscribe and re-subscribe. If you use some other podcast client, make sure it is accessing the new feed at:
Each discipline and domain of knowledge has a unique perspective to offer and I see significant value in taking those different perspectives when we’re looking to improve our lives.
Lessons from Design - Design your life, episode LH38
Lessons from Marketing - Impression Management LH79
Another area that has huge influence and has a lot to offer by way of habits, best practices, and unique perspectives is Sport.
Let’s first sample a few particularly insightful quotes:
"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” Babe Ruth
Michael Jordan, "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Wayne Gretzky, "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
Billie Jean King, “Champions keep playing until they get it right”
Paul Coffey, "Nobody's a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It's hard to stay on top.”
Michael Jordan, “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”
Lynn Jennings, "Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body."
Best practices from sports.
1. Take Stock & Focus - what you can improve - observe - introspect - look at the "instant replay" - ask others - analyze the progress you’ve made - think through the work you did via the previous podcast episodes for evidence - determine what to focus on to further improve and don’t take on more than three or fewer things - go where the puck is going not where it is - create a game plan to improve - (can apply to anything - sleep, exercise, public speaking, authentic listening, etc.)
2. Teamwork - don’t do it alone - work with friends or experts - look at the items in your game plan and determine who can best help you progress them - an exercise buddy for workouts, a mentor or councillor for interpersonal communication, an online community (like Happier) to be your virtual teammates and the audience to help cheer you on.
3. Practice & take chances - take more shots on goal - fail often and fast - hone your skills - nobody questions the need to practice a sport but they do or have never thought of the need to practice to become an authentic listener or be good a public speaking, or using Growth Mindset parenting, or mastering expressing gratitude. But these too need to be practiced and you need to fail a bunch before you can get great at these skills and make them habits. So, schedule time to practice the items in the game plan you developed for number 1 and practice. Also, look for opportunities to try out your new skills in safe settings (as you would in sports in a regular season game rather than in the finals). And, realize that every professional athelete still practices and focuses on improvement daily throughout their careers. You have to do the same for the elements in your game plan.
LH89 - Developing Empathy
Empathy is the ability to take someone else’s perspective, understand things from their point of view, have insight into their emotions and motivations, and essentially know them deeply.
Developing the habit of empathizing with others is central to success and happiness in life regarding your personal and business relationships. It’s also key to resolving conflict whether between two members of a couple or world leaders discussing war zones.
Some people have a natural tendency to be able to empathize more easily and more deeply with others. However, everyone and anyone can develop the skill into a well-practiced habit.
Annie Lennox, "Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion.“
Stephen Covey: "When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That's when you can get more creative in solving problems."
Henry David Thoreau: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"
Theodore Roosevelt, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”
Roger Ebert, “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.”
Arundhati Ray, “Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.”
There are three main skills to learn do develop and practice empathy. They are as follows:
A - Authentic listening. (LH58) - Review for those who have listened to it - others should listen to the episode
1. Pay attention - face the person, maintain eye contact - give your undivided attention
2. Avoid distractions - phones, computers, co-workers, family members, noisy environments
3. Show that you're listening - with ahu, right, I understand, empathize and verbalize what you're learning
4. Focus on verbal and non-verbal communication - the emotion as well as the content
5. Defer all judgment - simply try to learn
6. Set aside prejudices and opinions - simply take the other person's perspective
7. Stop your internal dialog - and anticipation of what to say next, relax, you just have to listen
8. Restate or summarize what you've understood, don't just repeat, really show that you've understood
9. Ask questions to explore issues deeper
10. Provide your views if at all at the end with the context of what you've heard
B - Bias reduction - test out your preconceived notions (LH53)
1. Examine your current practices - make it conscious - newspapers you read, people you listen to, blogs you follow
2. Read/view an alternative view piece - people thought the internet would be liberating but not if you restrict what you read
3. Follow someone on Twitter randomly or friend someone with an alternative view on Facebook
4. Do a Google search for opinions opposite to yours
5. Focus on the facts and not opinion wherever possible
6. Admit when you don't know enough
7. Debate the opposite point if view - tell undergraduate story
8. Consider what effect polarization causes (world, country, family, & personal issues)
9. Think about what you're modelling for others (kids)
10. Find a role model of evenhandedness and fairness
C - Connect with the whole person - what does he/she say, do, think, and feel?
1. Draw a circle on a piece of paper
2. Put a picture of the the person you’re trying to empathize with in the circle - or draw them
3. Draw a vertical line above and below the circle and a horizontal line to the left and right of the circle
4. Label the quadrants with do, say, think, and feel
5. Write in each quadrant what you think the person would do, say, think, and feel about an area of interest you have
Recent research also showed that reading fiction further develops people’s ability to empathize.
LH90 - Gender Equality
Emma Watson’s UN speech on gender equality so moved me that I thought I should do my part as my heforshe contribution to provide some practical advice on how you can do your part, whether you’re a man or a woman. Emma said, “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop” and “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” he for she… And the shocking comments from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that women cannot be treated as equal to men reinforced for me that while we’ve made some progress, we have a long way to go worldwide.
Nicholas Kristof, "In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world."
Gloria Steinem, "We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters."
Randall Munroe, The role of gender in society is the most complicated thing I’ve ever spent a lot of time learning about, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about quantum mechanics.
There is more difference within the sexes than between them. (Ivy Compton-Burnett)
Emma Watson, “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop” and “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” he for she…
People who listen to this podcast series are from countries that vary widely in progress toward gender equality but all have significant progress yet to make on this topic. I’ll try to capture advice that applies more generally regardless of maturity of the country you live in regarding gender equality.
Three Advice Themes:
1. The basics for both genders: gender pronouns, sexual innuendo, inappropriate jokes, married names, etc.
2. For women: be assertive (LH49), self-confident (LH32), be an effective communicator (LH10&11), and lean-in (Sheryl Sandberg) - negotiate, don’t just try to be liked, take risks, balance responsibilities with partner, and literally, lean-in and take a seat at the main table
3. For men: Embrace and celebrate the full range of skills, attributes, and habits (including traditionally female ones) (LH14), become an authentic listener (LH58), beware of and counteract confirmation bias when it comes to gender (LH53), be more cautious and strategic.
<This is a work in progress - material from previous episodes will be provided when time permits>
LH91 - Optimizing Travel
Been traveling a lot and haven’t had time to record an episode so thought I would dedicate the first one back to the thing I’ve been doing so much - travel - and making it efficient, enjoyable, and stress free.
About half of all the people in the world, 3 billion people, travel each year for business or vacation. And that’s increasing by about 6 percent each year.
Lawrence Durrell, "Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection."
Tim Cahill, “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."
Saint Augustine, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only on page."
Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
Organize it into two themes: planning and actually traveling. Most of this applies to both business and vacation travel.
- Pack lighter and smaller than you think you should - take only a roller bag if at all possible
- Buy a bag that is distinctive
- Put all your electronics in the same organized space in your bag and follow all the rules re maximum sized bottles to get through security checks quickly
- Download podcasts and movies
- Remember to take chargers and converters and make sure your phone will work
- Take local currency minimally to deal with situations where cash is the only form of payment
- Pack your workout gear to stay fit
- Take pictures of your passport and credit cards
- If you travel often, sign up for a frequent flyer program
- Plan in time to explore even if you’re traveling on business
- Ask for bulkhead or emergency aisle if you need more leg room
- If you order a special meal (for long flights), you get served first
- Make sure to get up and walk around especially on long flights
- Put earphones in if you don’t want to be disturbed during a flight
- You can listen to podcasts, music, or with nice-cancelling earphones, nothing - just think freely
- Unless you’re really busy, talk to and get to know the person sitting beside you
- Talk to cab drivers, people waiting in lines, etc. you’ll learn so much about the place you’re visiting
- If you use systems like Uber, check to see that it is available (consider Hailo)
- Ask for a room away from elevators or ice machines
- When in restaurants, ask for the local options re food, beer, and wine
- Even if you’re traveling on business, take time to explore the place you’re visiting (at least take a bus tour)
- Take a lot of pictures, panoramas, & videos using your phone and post to your friends
- Use WiFi wherever possible including VPN and be careful with cellular data (unless you bought a special package)
US iTunes - WallyPR Great - 5 stars - My favourite podcast. Excellent advice and ideas delivered in a very pleasing and efficient manner. I very much enjoy re-listening to the ones that I find most helpful.
ChefRay - 5 stars - Great show and a great way to start the day!
Life habits is AMAZING! by Pequexoxitl from Mexico - 5 stars
It's been a while since my husband showed me this podcast. Since then I listen to you Karel. I like all the good advice you give. I recently listened the podcast related to Gender Equality. I live in Mexico, so, it's difficult to face the macho culture in which we are in! But, not impossible. I have been giving my heart and my knowledge to my son (he is 22 years old) to think as equals. Men and women. With little steps i can change my micro-world. Thank you Karel. Hugs from Mexico.
Great podcast! by Bradplayingflappybird from China - 5 stars
Ever since I listened to your podcast, Karel, I started getting out of a lot of confusing situations and picking up new amazing habits. And I have to say you are eloquent. I listened to your latest episode 90, inspired by Emma Watson's speech in he4she. I'm 26 now, and I feel there are so many things to improve. Thank you for doing this for us listeners, I really appreciate the work you've done.
Eurika via email - I am writing this email to you to express my gratitude. More than a year now, I have been following your podcast and even recommended it to my family, friends and colleagues. Lifehabits podcast has given me a lot of insightful information, each topic is clear, interesting and valuable. I am always seeking self help, to learn and evolve individually. With your podcast, I am able to work many aspects of my life concerning my behaviour, perception, mental, emotional etc. It's a very interesting exchange and I am very fortunate that I have found you this way and that it's free for everyone out there.
Podcast listener Wally and Thomas also wrote to me, as have several others, asking for the show notes for the episodes, the quotes and the summaries of the advice lists. Those used to be on life habits.net but I then changed the hosting company. I’ve now put the show notes for previous episodes on the Facebook Page at facebook.com/lifehabits.
Podcast listeners Scott and Maria made a suggestion on the Facebook page that I create a Facebook Group in addition to the Facebook page to encourage more discussions and make discussions more fluid. It will also mean that all of you will receive updates and not just the small proportion who do with Pages. So, go to facebook.com/groups/lifehabits and request to join and if you haven’t already done so, join the Life Habits page too at facebook.com/lifehabits.
You can always still write directly to me too at life email@example.com.
LH92 - Optimizing Happiness
Did a poll of listeners across social media networks to determine which topic to deal with on this episode. The vast majority of you chose Optimizing Happiness so that’s what we’ll talk about. If you’d like to provide input in the future or just join the conversation, go to Facebook.com/lifehabits for the podcast page for announcements and links as well as go to Facebook.com/groups/lifehabits for listener discussions, polls, etc.
I did a previous episode on the topic, LH84 Being Happier. Since that episode, I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on happiness largely due to posting several times a day and reading the posts of others on the Happier app. Episode 84 is an excellent grounding in wide-ranging set of habits to develop to become happier. Today’s episode will further build on that foundation and explore ways of even further enhancing our lives in various ways to achieve even greater happiness.
I mentioned in Episode 84 that Psychology used to focus the negative, studying people who had depression, anxiety, etc. Then about 15-20 years ago, one of the leading depression researchers and theorists, Martin Seligman, decided to start to focus on the positive, studying what made people happy. That field is now large yielding fascinating insights and practical advice. A Google search for “happiness” now yields more than 340 million results and there are more 86 thousand books in Amazon on the topic of happiness. That’s a lot of information to get through so I’ll try to summarize here some of most powerful advice for optimizing your happiness.
* Thich Nhat Hanh, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
* Helen Keller, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
* Douglas Adams, “I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
* Unknown author, “The grass is always greener where you water it.”
* Abraham Lincoln, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
1. Buy experiences not things - with and for others - take action yourself
2. Being kind to others, saying thanks, show gratitude - share your happiness - happier.com
3. Hug someone including your non-human friends - build strong relationships
4. Smile - I’ve done this for years - and decide to be happy
5. Achieve balance - mental, physical, spiritual - experience and appreciate the current moment, nonjudgemental mindfulness
6. Focus on your sense of purpose, fostering the greater good, volunteering, or otherwise giving back to society - pursue a cause you believe in - get involved and possibly use the internet and help change the world
LH93 - Social Intelligence for Success
We talk a lot on this podcast about a wide variety of topics some of which you have sent to me as suggestions. The one topic that is often implied but not always explicated stated is "how can I be more successful”. I dealt with this topic in Episode 15 which was recorded seven years ago. I recommend you listen to that episode if you haven’t and today’s episode will then be an update building on the foundation laid in Episode 15. People often think that it takes intelligence to be successful. While you do need a base level of traditional intelligence, however, the greater predictor of success is "social intelligence". Fully 80% of adult success can be attributed to social intelligence. And, the more influential the position, the more important social intelligence is. The trend in how we define success is interesting too. Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars (Zuckerberg $30-35B) and some 72% of young adults (millennials) have aspirations of being entrepreneurs. But upwards of 90% of entrepreneurs or startups fail and they often fail because they didn’t understand the person they were hoping to sell their product to well enough and they didn’t develop the right skills or work effectively enough together. At the heart of those failures is a lack of social intelligence.
Social intelligence is the capacity to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments.
In this episode we'll explore how you can develop your social intelligence and use social intelligence to increase your likelihood of being successful at virtually anything personally or commercially.
David Caruso, “It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.”
Zig Ziglar, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
George Bernard Shaw, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
Albert Einstein, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."
The same guidance applies whether you’re creating an startup or being successful in an existing company
You can increase your odds of being successful by focusing on three things. These are important for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and to life in general.
1. Understand who you’d like to focus on and get to know them really, really well. through empathy
This applies if you’re creating a new product as an entrepreneur. It equally applies as an entrepreneur inside a company trying to improve an internal process. And, it also applies to many other aspects of your life where you want to improve what you do and how you contribute
Figure out who is the most important to understand
Deep understanding through observation and probing questioning
Try things cheaply and quickly and then get feedback to fail fast and often
Probe emotions - see how you can help them be successful
Listen deeply, proactively, and authentically
2. Collaborate - Make sure you have the right skills to accomplish what you want to accomplish, whether it is hiring a team in the case of entrepreneurs, bringing together the right skills inside the organization in the case of intrapreneurs, or even finding mentors in the case of improving aspects of your own life. You have to get the right skills, further grow and develop them, and most importantly, work together with others through radical collaboration. It takes multiple skills to be successful. You need to appropriately use those varied skills and leverage them by working closely with others, valuing what skills others have and amplifying your own skills as a result.
3. Focus - Keep it simple, elegant, and focussed on just a few things - KEEP YOUR GOAL IN MIND
Take things out rather adding more in
Keep your focus on doing what’s important to you, your clients/stakeholders
Write down the outcome you’d like to see for the few areas you’ll be addressing and then focus on making those outcomes a reality
Several other podcast episodes in this series can help you with the specifics in each of these areas of focus, like LH89 Developing Empathy, LH83 Communication Challenges, LH77 Workplace Challenges, LH72 Growth Mindset, LH58 Authentic Listening, LH47 Teamwork, LH44 Advice and Mentoring, LH 39 Effective Meetings, LH38 Designing your Life, LH35 Presentations, LH30 Staying Focused, LH29 Leadership, LH20 Fostering Creativity, LH11 Interpersonal Communication, LH6&7 Career Planning & Strategies, and of course, LH15 Achieving Success.
LH94 - Fixing Unhelpful Thinking Habits
Guest: Mandy Kloppers
“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems”
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples don't count on harvesting golden Delicious .
Whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, We make our world.
· Negative Filtering
This is when you focus on the negative aspects and exclude all other evidence. An example: My last partner was horrible therefore I am not going to date again because future partners will probably also hurt my feelings/ make me feel unimportant/cheat on me.
Your brain will be tuned into looking for negative behaviours that confirm your negative filtering.
Don’t do it!! Look at the positives too. No one is all bad. There have to be some redeeming features or you would never have persisted or fallen in love with your ex.
1. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Learn to look for the silver lining in every cloud
* Count up your negatives vs your positives – for every negative event, stack up a positive against it. Make a list of both negative and positive character attributes and behaviors
This thinking involves blaming yourself for circumstances that are not your fault/responsibility. An example: Betty and John didn’t enjoy the party I threw and I should have paid them more attention as then they would have had a good time.
This is not entirely true. Betty and John are adults and it is also their responsibility to chat to other people and make the most of the party.
Many things will have nothing to do with you personally. The more you are inclined to take responsibility for situations that are not entirely under your control, the more you will be likely to suffer from depression and low self esteem. Let it go.
1. This distortion “the mother of guilt.” Personalization occurs when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. For example, “My son is doing poorly in school. I must be a bad mother…” and “What does that say about you as a person?” – instead of trying to pinpoint the cause of the problem so that she could be helpful to her child. When another woman’s husband beat her, she told herself, “lf only I was more attentive to his needs, he wouldn’t beat me.” Personalization leads to guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy.
2. On the flip side of personalization is blame. Some people blame other people or their circumstances for their problems, and they overlook ways that they might be contributing to the problem: “The reason my marriage is so lousy is because my spouse is totally unreasonable.” – instead of investigating their own behavior and beliefs that can be changed. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask, “How do you know [I am to blame]?” “SAYS WHO?”
* Ask, “Who/what else is involved in this problem?”
* Ask yourself, “Realistically, how much of this problem is actually my responsibility?”
* Ask, “If there was no blame involved here, what would be left for me/us to look at?”
· “Should” Statements
Replace the word “should” with “could” and stop putting pressure on yourself. Since when are actions SO important that you MUST do them? Is it a life threatening situation?
When you use words like “should, must, got to, have to” you place unnecessary pressure/stress on yourself. Rather, set aside time and make sure that you manage your schedule efficiently.
1. To beat this cognitive distortion
* Ask, “What would it feel like, look like, sound like if you could/did or could not/did not?” or, “What would happen if you did/didn’t?” or, “What prevents you from just doing it then?” or, “What rule or law says you/I SHOULD?” or, “Why should I?” or, “Could you just prefer instead?” or, “Why SHOULD I/YOU?”
· Negative Prediction – similar to negative filter
Imagining a negative outcome to an event/situation that hasn’t yet happened. No one can predict the future. Usually negative predictions come from past experience but it is necessary to review the evidence and recognise that each situation is unique and that with each new experience we have the power to approach it differently. Learn from past experiences (positive or negative) and adapt accordingly.
Eg. The future is bleak. There is nothing to look forward to. I will always have bad luck. No one will ever love me.
Impacts upon our motivation and adds the feeling of dread in our lives.
· Black and White Thinking
As the above title suggests, this type of thinking is very rigid – an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Very few things in life are black and white and it pays to remember the grey areas in between. Black and white thinking narrows your options where alternatives are concerned and ‘closes down’ your thinking – the very opposite of “brainstorming”. Challenging this type of thinking involves broadening your outlook.
1. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask yourself, “Has there ever been a time when it was NOT that way?” (all or nothing thinking does not allow exceptions so if even one exception can be found, it’s no longer “all” or “nothing”)
* Ask yourself, “Never?” or “Always?” (depending upon what you are thinking)
· Over Generalisation
An example: “I never get anything right”. This is a sweeping statement that fails to consider specifics. Look for evidence that challenges this type of thinking and negates broad judgements.
1. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Catch yourself overgeneralizing
* Say to yourself, “Just because one event happened, does not necessarily mean I am (or you are or he/she is…[some way of being])”
Example: “I’m stupid”. Again, ask yourself where’s the evidence? When you think of examples, challenge these with evidence that contradicts these examples. You will most definitely find examples where you acted intelligently. Therefore, perhaps you have BEHAVED in a stupid manner at times (don’t we all?) but that does not mean you are stupid with no other redeeming features, that is unrealistic thinking. Stop it!
1. Related to overgeneralization, explaining by naming. Rather than describing the specific behavior, you assign a label to someone or yourself that puts them in absolute and unalterable negative terms. This is a logic level error in that we make a logic leap from behavior/action (”he called me a name…”) to identity (”therefore, he’s a jerk”). To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask yourself, “What could be a better way of looking at this that would truly empower you/me?” or, “Is there another possible more positive meaning for this?”
* When you recognize you are labeling or are being labeled, ask, “How specifically?” Example: “How specifically am I a jerk?” – which will evoke behaviors rather than identity.
* Remember who you/others are in spite of behaviors: “Even though I failed the test, I’m still a worthy person.”
I feel it, therefore it must be true. A feeling is JUST a feeling. It does not mean that it is based upon fact. Acknowledge your feelings (fear, anxiety etc) but do not see that as a predictor of the outcome. Remind yourself that your feelings are related to your perception of events (NOT the event itself) and investigate the thinking behind the feelings. Think positively – visualise a positive outcome.
1. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* – interrupt anything negative: “X makes me mad” “How does what X does, cause you to choose to feel mad?” Interrupt: “How could you believe that?” Is there evidence?
This thinking will only escalate your anxieties and fears and occurs when possible negative outcomes are exaggerated in your mind. This leads to a sense of vulnerability and powerlessness. A good question to ask yourself (and be as objective as possible) is: What’s the worst that can happen? If you stop awfulising and think realistically, it will seem more likely that the outcome won’t be as awful as you anticipate. Anticipation is often worse than the actual event. To gain perspective, ask yourself if this will still matter, seem as important in a year’s time.
Keep perspective, tell yourself that you’ll deal with whatever comes your way.
Errors in cognitive thinking are not beneficial and if anything, act as a hindrance to your motivation and enthusiasm. Try positive affirmations. Tell yourself regularly that you are amazing, that you are unique and that you have a lot to offer. It may seem false at first but positive programming does work wonders.
Visualise positive outcomes and remind yourself of all your past triumphs. You’ve made it this far, survived the many challenges sent your way so why should it be any different in the future? Believe in yourself and ‘sock it to them’!!
Being aware of the thoughts can help you achieve your goals, stop self sabotaging behaviour and help you to lift self-limiting beliefs.
NATS (negative automatic thoughts) contribute to low self esteem, depression, lack of motivation, encourage fear and self doubt. It makes the world seem a more hostile place = self fulfilling prophecy. Try to be more aware of the times when you use the above cognitive errors/errors in thinking and limit the space they take up in your head.
LH95 - Escaping Average
Guest: Cynthia Tripathi
"Life is meant to be prosperous and full of growth."
"Baby steps can have lasting change in your life. Getting from step one to step 1000 is scary. Getting from step one to step 2 is manageable, achievable, and confidence boosting."
"Don't waste another minute not working on yourself. Be proud of this life you were given. Be proud that you want more. Be proud that you can live a more fulfilling existence on this planet. There is no greater joy than seeing your progress in your life."
- Mental state - your thinking, gratitude, giving to others has a huge affect on your life
- Health - without health you physically cannot do anything else you love. One of the biggest areas of life people ignore because it's too convenient and tasty not to
- Career - settling for something because it pays the bills but you may not necessarily enjoy it. Not wanting to do better work that matters. Growing and learning past school in the industry you want to make an impact
- Finance - being in good financial health matters. Most people don't have enough cash on hand for a life emergency or car repair if they needed it tomorrow. Take a look at your finances as a whole and analyze how you can manage it better
- Social - humans are relational creature. You can have millions or billions but without relationships it would't matter. We need each other in this uncertain world. We need other people in our life to thrive. No one can go it alone. Cherish your relationships and work to make them better.
We need to take better care of ourselves as a whole. There’s more to life than just work or your family or whatever else has consumed you. There’s a bigger picture in all of this and your life on this planet. I want people to be able to live the best life they possibly can. I want them to be aware and educated. I want them to care about their progress. That’s where living optimally begins.
LH96 - Mindful Meditation
Poll of listeners put this topic at the top of the list for the next episode.
Harvard study reported in the Harvard Gazette
First study to show the positive effects on the amygdala (emotion and memory centre of the brain) after doing eight weeks of meditation and not just during the meditation - as measured by fMRIs
"Overall, these results are consistent with the overarching hypothesis that meditation may result in enduring, beneficial changes in brain function, especially in the area of emotional processing.”
Other research has shown effects such as healthier glucose levels, suggesting that improved focus and self-control could help fight obesity and unhealthy eating habits, improved sleep quality among older adults, improved focus, reduced dependency on opioid drugs, and lowered anxiety and depression levels, and even a beneficial effect on the DNA of breast cancer patients.
Mother Teresa, “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more"
Carl Jung, “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
Elkhart Tolle, “You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”
Sri Chimney, “Paradise is not a place: it’s a state of consciousness"
Jidda Krishnamurti, "Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end"
People have used mindfulness and medication interchangeably but I consider mindfulness to be a type of meditation that you can practice anytime and almost anywhere whereas the other medication methods need to be done in a particular time and place. There’s also a lot written and taught about mindfulness and meditation but I’d like to share with you my very simple and practical approach which I find works for me.
The essence of Mindfulness is to focus on being in the present, not ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Our attention is increasingly being consumed by cellphones, computers, game systems, and the like. Whenever we have a moment to ourselves, we fill that time by checking social media, texting someone, playing an online game, or watching a video or something like that. We rarely take these moments to focus on ourselves, on our minds and our bodies. We rarely calm our minds and relax our bodies. We need to get centred again to focus our mind and body on us. We can do that with mindfulness during this moments to ourselves.
If, for example you happen to be drinking a coffee, mindfulness can help you to intensely focus on the look of the coffee in your mug, the warmth of it in your hand, the aroma, the intensity of the warmth and smell as you bring the mug to your lips, the feel of the mug on your lips, the sensation of the coffee pouring into your mouth on your tongue, the flavour of it on your tongue, the sensation of it going down your oesophagus and into your stomach, etc.
Be an observer of yourself like an anthropologist would.
Focus on your consciousness, increase your level of self-awareness and just be curious about your experiences
Focus, focus, focus on whatever you’re doing - even your breathing, something we’ll focus on with meditation
If a worry comes into your head, push it out by again focusing
Leads to mental alertness, greater focus, and lowered stress
You can practice mindfulness virtually anytime anywhere
You practice mediation at a particular time and place
1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
2. Wear comfortable clothing or just loosen any clothes that are tight
3. Turn off and put away your phone as well as any other distractions
4. Close your eyes and then take three deep breaths, then feel where you body in touching the floor or chair and the other parts of your body. Focus on the sensations you’re experiencing as you’re sitting, any pressure, any warmth, any tingling, any uncomfortable sensations.
5. Now focus on your breathing. Feel the breath coming into your nose, into your lungs, notice your abdomen rising and failing.
6. Don’t change your breathing but if it does change thats fine, just be aware of all aspects of your breathing.
7. Every time your mind wanders in thought, push it out, by gently returning your mind to the sensation of breathing.
8. As you focus on your breathing, you’ll still experience other sensations like noises, feelings, and emotions. Just make note of them but then return to your focus on your breathing.
9. When you notice that you’ve drifted into a thought about the past or a worry about the future, or just some planning that you need to do, identify it as a thought or worry in your awareness, and then return your focus to your breathing.
10. Keep this up and in time you’ll notice that you’ll have fewer instances of your mind drifting and needing to refocus it on your breathing. This takes time but you’ll get better and better over multiple meditation sessions. As you do so, you’ll feel more and more relaxed mentally and physically. You’ll also look forward to your meditation time each day.
You need to practice mindfulness several times a day and meditation at least once a day and you’ll develop them into habits and then start to see the real benefits. Don't expect that you’ll get to long moments of a clear mind, it takes a long time to develop that skill. So, don’t get discouraged.
Also, use the methods when you need them the most. You should consider using mindfulness when taking a bath or a shower, when your eating a meal, when you’re listening to music, really any time you’re able to do mindfulness. The same goes for medication. If you have a big presentation to give and you have some time before hand and a quiet place to yourself, just do your medication to calm your mind and body. As we’ve discussed in previous episodes, it’s also a good idea to give yourself a reminder. A rubber band around your wrist could be your private reminder to regularly practice mindfulness and meditation.
Thanks so those of you who have provided input and feedback. And, please do that in iTunes or wherever you get the podcast. Make sure to connect on Facebook at Facebook.com/lifehabits. I’ve received a lot of interest from people wanting to be guests on the podcast and I like to let you, the listeners, provide input on what I cover in our episodes together. I regularly post polls on the Facebook page to get your input.
iTunes - India
in iTunes by eve-ke from Kenya on June 21, 2016
This podcast has been an eye opener ,source of encouragement and advice to me.The voice is clear, and soft, I’m able to digest all information. I’ve recommended your podcast to my friends and family. Keep up the great work.
in iTunes by MeMarkDee from USA on June 4, 2016
Karel has excellent information and guests on this podcast! I love his theme on Life Habits and making daily habits to live your life fully and succesfully. He is an inspiration and I look forward to his episodes!
Helpful, wise, and accurate…..it’s a must listen 5 starts - Duncan’s Grandad from the UK
I've been listening to this podcast for over a year now and the information that is available in these episodes are so valuable that I keep coming back to them again and again and use them in my day to day life. Each episode is easy to understand, listen too, very practical and covers all aspects of topics that karel has spent years studying. Top marks from me, keep up the great work Many thanks David
LH97 - Having Personal Impact
Many parts of the world are experiencing unprecedented levels of uncertainty due to political, economic, and religious types of instability. This episode will give you ways of dealing with uncertainty and becoming the agent of change.
I’ve touched on various related topics over the course of this podcast series and would recommend you listen to those episodes as well. You have to focus on staying positive (Episode 3), often we need to forgive others and show compassion (19), we also need to manage stress (24), have to be resilient (26), be able to deal with difficult people (48), be appropriately assertive (49), learn to relax (54), practice being an authentic listener (58), you have to stop worrying (69), we often have to deal with bullying (75), all the while staying true to yourself (78), and dealing with change (82), focus on being happier (84), developing empathy for others (89), further optimizing your happiness (92), you need to fix unhelpful thinking habits (94), and you should practice mindful meditation (96). While many of the episodes in this podcast series focus on you improving yourself, others have focused on how you can have a positive impact on others. Some of those include growth mindset (72), making a difference (62), and effective management (50).
The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This quote works whether you happen to be religious or equality if you’re not.
Mother Teresa, "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
Steve Jobs, "For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
Steve Maraboli, "Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't."
Nelson Mandela, "One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others."
1. Determine per the Reinhold Niebuhr quote what you can’t and what you can change. Things you can’t change at all, you shouldn’t invest ego energy in nor should you worry about that. In fact, try to even remove, where you can, things in your environment that you can’t change. It doesn’t make any sense to worry about things you can’t do anything about.
2. Think about the things you can change or the things you can effect a positive change in by what you do yourself. Tell the story of 24 year old Veronica who decided to make coats for the homeless which can be converted into warm sleeping bags. When a woman coming out of a shelter said Veronica deal with the real problem, that they needed jobs, Veronica now employs only previously homeless people in her operation. Choose only 1-3 things that you’d like to focus on because having too long a list will mean you won’t possibility do any of them. So, focus but also be bold with what you come up with. For each of the 1-3 things on your list of things you’d like to be the agent of change for, make a plan. I’m not suggesting that you need to quite your job and start a company making coats for the homeless although things like that aren’t out of the question. You can do some of these things during the time that you used to spend worrying about the things you can’t change.
3. Think about the ways you can effect a change in things you may not think you can change. You can use your power as a consumer to influence change. Only buy products from companies that have values that you respect. Participate in protests or support organizations that champion causes you believe in. Join special social media groups on topics you care about and join together with others to effect change. Carry out random acts of kindness especially ones that may change someone’s opinion on a particular subject. Be the change you want to see.
Please provide any feedback you may have on this episode or the overall series in iTunes or on Facebook or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Petuniapootie Thank you! 5 stars.
This podcast really helped me tackle my biggest problems. I love listening to this while working to keep me sane 😉
Interview ValetCF Love the length and the content!! 5 stars
It was so fun for me to come across this podcast! I couldn’t decide which episode to listen to first. I thoroughly enjoyed one about optimizing travel and Karel hit on all the vital points! Thanks for reminding me of the importance of keeping it simple, how to help avoid worst case scenarios, and tips for traveling with enjoyment! I look forward to more!
Duncan’s Grandad Helpful, wise, and accurate… its a must listen 5 stars
I’ve been listening to this podcast for over a year now and the information that is available in these episodes is so valuable that I keep coming back to them again and again and use them in my day to day life. Each episode is easy to understand, listen to, very practical, and covers all aspects of the topics that Karel has spent years studying. Top marks from me, keep up the great work! Many thanks, David.
Kopinsky Great Podcast 5 stars
Full of value, great content and host! Thanks!
Eve-ke Great Job 5 stars
This podcast has been an eye opener, source of encouragement and advice to me. The voice is clear, and soft, I’m able to digest all information. Ive recommended your podcast to my friends and family. Keep up the great work.
LH98 - Career Workouts
I’m often asked for career advice by family and friends, by my staff, by the people I mentor at work, and by many people who listen to this podcast series. So, I thought I’d devote this episode to what I think it the most important career advice I can give you, the title of this episode, Career Advice.
Michael E. Gerber, "The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next."
Mahatma Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today.”
John Dewey, “We do not learn from experience we learn from reflecting on experience.”
Previous episodes: Career Planning & Career Strategies (LH 6 & 7), Achieving Success (LH15), Leadership (LH29), Work-Life Balance (LH34), Getting the Job (LH55), Workplace Challenges (LH77), Social Intelligence for Success (LH93), and many others that deal with acquiring and practicing skills into habits that relate to your career and work advancement.
I’d like to introduce a new way to frame your thinking about your career using an analogy of physical exercise. I’m sure you arrange to go the gym a few times a week to build your cardiovascular capacity, your muscular strength, and to look good. You may even track your progress in a journal and check in with a trainer or a friend to get advice and to track your progress. OR, maybe you don’t do that but I’m sure that you at least know that you should! But now think about your approach to your career, do you even think about doing any of that regarding your career, planning time for it, developing your skills, tracking your progress, and checking in with a coach and/or doctor? Likely not, and that’s what we’ll be discussing today.
1. Schedule Career Workouts
2. Keep a Career Journal
3. Get Career Checkups
in iTunes by C | Dawg from Australia on March 17, 2017
Very informative info delivered smoothly. I've listened to several podcasts and can say it is one of the few podcasts that offer practical and solid advice for work, relationships, communicating with people and the basics of life. No mumbo-jumbo stuff and offers some good chuckles to look at things through the big picture.
Best podcast on self-help
in iTunes by koshka84 from Spain on May 3, 2017
I really enjoy these podcasts, I like the positivity of its messages and the soothing voice of Karel. Although I still have so much struggle to apply the advices to myself; I understand that I need to learn a lot and deal with bad habits and thoughts I have. Listening to this podcast helps me a lot. Also was surprised to find the blog of Karel and his main ocupation as designer at IBM. I enjoy your design articles as well. Thank you.
LH99 - Diversity & Inclusion
It’s been a while… but I’m back. Thanks so all of you for sending your gentle requests for me to continue to put out episodes. The message Raki wrote me on Facebook.com/lifehabits is representative, "Hi Karel, just dropping by and hoping you will make more episodes... can’t wait. Thank you for being a good adviser and a mentor to me through listening to your podcasts. Such a great find! Take care always."
Gender, race, life experience
Previous episodes on parts of today’s topic including:
LH52 Confirmation Bias
LH89 Developing Empathy
LH90 Gender Equality
But this episode will take a broader perspective on the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Malcolm Forbes - “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi - "I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides
and my windows to be stifled. I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”
Franklin Thomas - "One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”
Proverb - “Variety is the spice of life”.
1. Recognizing and eliminating bias: Malcolm Gladwell story his book Blink about bias in orchestra auditions. We all have unconscious biases so try to make interactions with others as level a playing field as possible. Think about the situations you’re in whether at work or socially and consider deeply whether bias exists and then take action on removing that bias.
2. Understanding and empathizing: Story about Daryl Davis and white supremacists. Story about hate crimes when the perpetuator meets and gets to know the victims. Internet trolling when the troll meets the person being trolled.
3. Championing and celebrating: Let others know that you support diversity and inclusion on social media, among your family and friends, and even publicly. For example, I attended a Pride parade for the first time last year. It felt so good to show public support for diversity and it was also one of the most moving experiences I’ve had being with thousands of people who together expressed love, celebrated diversity, and had such a positive and hopeful perspective on the future of the world. It was amazing.
I often read ratings and comments provided in iTunes from around the world. I also occasionally share email you send to email@example.com. This time I’d like to share some general feedback that I’ve received in conversations at the various conferences that I give keynote addresses too, the panels that I’m on, and workshops that I run. It happens quite often that someone will come up to me and say that my voice sounded familiar to them when I was presenting and they then realize that I’m the same person that they regularly hear in their earphones with this podcast. The main focus of my career is design leadership people, so often don’t make the connection directly. My voice is also different, I’m told, when I’m presenting to a large crowd compared with the voice I use when I’m speaking directly to you on the podcast which is much more intimate and personal. They then tell me about particular habits that they’ve developed as a result of the podcast and they invariably encourage me to put out more podcasts, which I’m now trying to do again. So, thanks to all of you whom I’m met in person. I loved our conversations.
Whether you connect using ratings and comments in iTunes, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or meet me in person, please do get into contact and provide some input and feedback. I love hearing from you!