Sat, 2 July 2016
The Changeability Podcast past and future
We celebrate 100 episodes as we take a look at the Changeability Podcast past and future.
Here’s some of the top 3s from the past 99 episodes followed by a look at the next episode in the Changeability Podcast story.
Audience top 3 episodes
The 3 favourite episodes of our audience to date. These are the shows with the highest number of downloads so far. The longer the episode’s been on iTunes or our BrilliantLivingHQ.com website or Stitcher or TuneIn the longer people have had to listen to it, so we would expect the older shows to have more downloads than newer ones and that’s reflected in these results.
Third most popular episode - ‘What is Mind Management’ Episode 6
In episode 6 of the Changeability Podcast we were thinking about our strap line phrase – ‘Mind Management’. What is mind management and what’s in it for you?
In episode 6 you found out about:
Second most popular episode - ‘The Brilliant You’ Episode 2
Do you know how truly amazing you are? Well that’s what episode 2 is all about.
You might not always feel like a magnificent being, but by the end of this second episode you be agreeing with us that you’re pretty smart.
Because in this show we talk about just how brilliant you and your marvellous mind and what it means.
Understanding a few basics about how your mind works, will help you understand what’s getting in the way of doing what you want and what to do about it.
Most popular episode - ‘Changeability – The Start’ Episode 1
The first episode saw us introducing ourselves and the Changeability show.
The Changeability podcast is for you if you’re interested in changing or improving something in your life or business, big or small. It’s for people like us who’re interested in finding ways to make our lives the best they can be – so we can be more successful (whatever that means to you), happy and fulfilled.
Through discussion and interviews we look at practical mind management and change techniques, tactics & tools - taken from the worlds of personal development, psychology, neuroscience, business, sport, entertainment and spirituality – to empower and inspire a happier, successful life or business.
In the first episode you find out:
Top 3 countries
We love you being here wherever you’re from – so this isn’t our favourite countries – but rather the top 3 countries with the highest number of listeners out of the 167 countries we currently have listeners in.
(And just in cast you’re interested the fourth is Australia with India in fifth place.)
Kathryn and Julian’s favourites
This was so hard to choose, especially as we decided not to include any interviews in our top 3s (maybe they’re deserving of a separate post) – but here’s three each with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure.
Couple of extras
3 of our favourite reviews on iTunes
Very hard to pick 3 out of the 78 we have so far across the different iTunes countries as we obviously love them all. So we can’t really call these our favourites but they are reviews we’ve especially like.
Excellent - iimmmii from United Kingdom
One of the best ‘change your life’ resources I’ve come across. If you like to understand the theory and evidence (be it scientific or anecdotal) behind advice on how to change your life, this material is presented in an engaging way in this podcast. Of course they also make recommendations for how best to go about taking action. A few episodes in and you will feel like you’ve made two new friends who are supporting you on your journey of change. Well done Kathryn and Julian, listening to you makes me proud to be from the same Sceptred Isle!
A Homely Serving Up of Sound Advice/Wisdom - Ola-B. from United Kingdom
Where has this amazing couple been all my life?! :) Love Kathryn, love Julian, and let's not forget Dude!!! Love this podcast - the topics, the delivery of it all...it's simply unique, uplifting and inspiring! Thank you guys!
Kathryn and Julian's chemistry rocks! - LornaLi from United States
I love the concept of this show! It's so unique and refreshing! I absolutely LOVE the hosts' chemistry - their exchanges are such a joy to listen to. Thank you for all the useful tips you provide to your listeners on how to plan and achieve their goals, I'm sure many are reaping so many benefits from this show!
Thank you to you for taking the effort and making our day. By the way – we’d love more reviews. We don’t always ask for them in every episode as it gets tedious for you to listen to – and we want to provide you with a good listening experience. However, reviews are important to us not only because it’s great to find out what you think but it means iTunes makes our show more visible to people looking for podcasts. You know yourself the power of reviews on sites like Tripadvisor and Amazon – so if you feel like helping us out that’s one way to do it.
Dude’s top 3
Who’s been with us all through every single episode and every phase of the podcasting process – in fact he’s always with us – Dude the Dog, our faithful hound and black labradoodle.
We’ve joked we have a contractual obligation to mention him in every show – not that we’ve quite done that but he’s had more than his fair share of mentions and even made it onto the show on a few occasions.
So here’s Dude’s top 3 favourite Changeability Podcast moments as chosen by him (woof).
Our top 3 bloomers
You wont know what we’re talking about here if you’ve never listened right to the end of our shows – but listen to episode 100 to hear 3 of them for your entertainment – and why they’re called Kathryn’s bloomers!
3 lessons we’ve learned from creating 100 episodes of the Changeability Podcast
Here’s just 3 of the many things we’ve learned from creating 100 episodes of this podcast over the past two years, and they’re all relevant to you.
Sometimes it’s hard to measure your impact – this goes for measuring the success of a podcast or many things. How do you measure your success or the impact you have?
On the whole people don’t tell you and it’s not always possible to make a connection e.g. between who’s listened to the podcast and who’s visited the website or bought an Affirmation or audio mind management tool or a course like our ‘Beginner’s guide to mindfulness meditation’.
That’s not to say there aren’t any clues. Ways of gauging if we’re having a positive impact include comments in our FB group or page and reviews on Stitcher or iTunes. Plus nomination for national / international podcast awards – being a finalist for the New Media Europe Audience Appreciation Award and winner of the UK Podcaster’s Best Self Help Podcast Award. But the truth of it is that for the thousands of our podcast listeners each month, for the most part it’s hard know the difference, if any, it makes to them.
Does that matter? Yes and no. Yes because from a resource and business perspective it’s helpful to have a handle on the impact but also no because sometimes it’s not just possible to know but that doesn’t make it any less valuable.
This is an important lesson for us all because you don’t always know the impact of what you do in your work, relationships and everyday life – but that in itself doesn’t mean you should stop what you do.
Creating 100 episodes of a podcast, especially one like this, is an achievement. This is an important lesson for us and maybe also you as well. When we do something consistently and with focus it creates results.
We may not know the full impact of those results but there are some clear results for us.
All of which is the result of focus and stickability – week by week. And now we have this body of work that is out there in the world whatever happens in the future – no-one can take that away from us.
This goes for you as well – what is it you want to achieve? A new skill, producing something, writing a book, starting your own podcast, setting up a business. Whatever it is clarity, consistency, stickability and focus is the key.
The third lesson for us has been learning the importance of reviewing and evaluating what you’re doing. We’ve been doing just that with our podcast as 100 seems a good point to do so.
We’ve been looking back on the experience of the past two years, learning from it and making changes. This is something we advocate for you too. It’s about being deliberate about what you do rather than just carrying on doing the same thing because that’s what you do or what people expect of you. It might be a matter of fine-tuning and pivot or of big changes.
For us it’s meant reviewing our experience, going right back to why we started Brilliant Living HQ in the first place. In fact going back further than that to why we wanted to make the big change in leaving our previous careers. Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.
One of the things we always said was that we wanted more control over our time and to spend time doing what we want to do, and more time for ourselves. We know that time is a resource, even our most precious resource.
So to put these two things together we’ve been looking at how we spend our time and efforts, in effect the resources we put into the podcast – that’s the review bit.
Next came the evaluation. Is the balance right? This is a challenging one for us because we love doing the podcast, which means it’s always high on our list of priorities, together with the schedule we set ourselves and the way we create our show.
Review, evaluate and make changes in the light of your experience to make sure you’re always taking control of your own path.
That’s what we’ve done – and to see what changing we come to the future.
The result of our thinking about what we’ve done and what we want to do is that we love the podcast and you the listeners, so we’re going to continue with it but take a break over the summer for a few weeks.
We’re taking this short break for an exciting reason, because when we return at the beginning of September we’ll have the Changeability Success Club.
We’re taking the next few weeks to get this exciting club ready for you. We’re ordering the carpets and curtains, mowing the lawn, changing the beds, only joking, it’s an online club to take the things we talk about on the Changeability podcast and make them a reality in your life.
With everything you could want and need to help you make changes in your life alongside a great community of people like you to support each other. More on that very soon, but for now we wanted to let you know it’s coming.
We’re putting a lot of love and time into creating what we believe will be the best online club for you to become a member of.
We’ve been working on it behind the scenes for a while now and now we want to put a special effort into the final push to get it ready for opening the doors. We’ve been making videos and templates and downloadable tools including special audio tools to help you not only get clear about what you want but also give you the tools and support to make it happen – all within our special membership club for those of you who join us.
So we’re taking the next few weeks to get it ready for you and when we come back it will be here. We’ll have one hundred places ready – it’s going to be really special and we can’t wait to share it with you.
What to do next
Thanks for being here and listening to the show and we look forward to talking again soon.
Sat, 25 June 2016
Habits are an intrinsic part of who we are and how we function. Habits are fundamental to how we think and behave, which makes them key to how we live our lives and make our decisions.
The achievement of our goals and success are more the product of our daily habits than any one off transformative situation or action on our part.
Habits are a key part of mind management because;
To do this we need to know which habits are good for us and to continue and critically which habits are not supporting our goals. The first step therefore is to identify a habit you want to change for a helpful, empowering, positive, healthy or wealthy habit, or a new habit you want to cultivate.
This an important step as the funny thing about habits (like limiting thoughts) is we’re not always aware of them. We have to take a deliberate step back to identify the habit or to acknowledge that thing we keep doing but would really love to change is indeed a habit – an habitual way of behaving in response to a situation or action.
Now you know the habit you want to change, is it a matter of using your willpower to change it and your motivation to keep going?
Yes and no. Yes because when it comes to habits willpower and motivation both have an important role to play but they’re not enough on there own as there are limitations to be aware of.
Willpower is the power to exercise your will. To have control over what you do and self-discipline.
But the thing about will power is you only have so much of it and when it runs out – because we’re tired or hungry or sad – it’s hard to rely on.
This is why you can wake up with good intentions and lots of willpower but by the evening it’s decidedly harder to exercise your will.
Although you can get better at exercising willpower the more we do it, your brain likes your habits so wants you to keep them.
So although willpower has a role to play in changing your habits, it can’t be relied on to do it alone. The same goes for your motivation.
Your motivation is the purpose or the ‘why’ behind what you do – in this case behind the new habit you want.
I think of motivation as having different levels or layers and each level or layer has a different strength.
Think of it as concentric circles –circles within circles like an onion.
The outer layer is your big ‘why’ or the purpose that motivates you.
Say you want to develop some health and fitness habits– the big outer layer motivation is to be healthier and fitter because it makes you feel better, gives you more energy, to get the most out of life, you look better which makes you feel better, and that makes you a better happier person in yourself and relationships.
In short the outer layer is you want to develop healthy habits because being fit and healthy feels good and makes me a happier person. That’s all very well and good but it’s hard to keep that at the forefront of our mind in everything we do – and we know that willpower will only take us so far. Especially as we move in onto the next layer.
The next layer or circle in is your situation. For example, you have a busy life, you’re looking after your house, maybe you have a family or a hectic social life or many commitments, and you’re always rushing around from one thing to the next.
Then we get to the next layer in which is your career or job that maybe demands a lot from you in terms of energy and time.
Next comes the final layer because right in the middle (like the bullseye on a dart board) is a circle which represent you. It has the word ‘you’ of ‘me’ written in it.
This is you at this very moment or in the present moment when you’re thinking about it.
That’s the model but it’s not static, because the thickness of these layers changes over the day and over the week, they may be different at the weekend to a Monday morning,
The point is your motivation which starts off with the best of intentions can get hijacked or watered down as you move through the layers.
So first thing in the morning you start off with good intentions about changing your habits but then you get busy getting the breakfast done, getting to work, your energy dips and then the you in the middle circle – i.e. the you at that precise moment – isn’t so worried about the bigger picture because the needs of the moment are nearer to you than the big circle on the outside. And the needs of the moment are that you’re hungry, you’re busy and need something quick to boost your energy but more importantly in that moment to overcome the hunger and to do it quickly and easily in a satisfying way.
That’s when you don’t want to just be relying on willpower and motivation and can do with something else to help you.
Let’s think about what that could be and to do this we need to go back to the idea of what a habit is.
The habit loop
Habits have a cycle they go through. These are the elements or phases a habits exhibits or has h to be classed a habit. A habit is made up of
This whole habit process or framework is sometimes referred to as the habit loop and it’s a crucial concept to changing your habits.
Disrupt the loop
Now comes the clever part. You take this habit loop and use it to your advantage to reduce your reliance on willpower or motivation to help you form new empowering habits to support your goals.
In practical terms you do this through disrupting this existing habit loop and tying the new habit you want to cultivate to an existing one. In that way the existing habit or activity becomes the cue or trigger for the new one you want to do.
So you take a habit you do every day like cleaning your teeth or having a shower and disrupt or interrupt it – because you’re not necessarily completely changing the habit, you might be adding in a new habit.
You’re effectively hijacking or piggybacking an existing habit.
I’ve been doing this by interrupting my morning bathroom routine to insert a push-ups and stretching directly in-between cleaning my teeth and having my shower. And it works as I’ve done it every day this year. It’s now intrinsically tied into my morning routine so it doesn’t feel right to get in the shower if I haven’t done my little exercise habit.
Try it for yourself. Tie or link your new habit to an existing one and see how long it takes to create a new pattern of normality, in other words a new habit. Let us know how you get on.
The Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk about all of this and more on episode 99 of the Changeability Podcast.
Thank you and next steps
If you like what you’ve read or listened to please help us spread the word by sharing this post and leaving a review on iTunes and subscribing to the show while you’re there. Thank you.
Keep in touch
Sat, 18 June 2016
What are habits and why they matter
Your habits are key to who you are and the change you want.
Habits underpin what we do at Brilliant Living HQ.com and on the Changeability Podcast – mind management for your best life and business and how to make changes.
Lasting change, i.e. achieving your goals – is not the result of a one off transformation but a product of daily habits.
What do you want to achieve? What do you want to change? Whatever it is, getting it is the result of your habits. Habits play a role in what you look and feel like, in your success and relationships.
All of which makes it slightly surprising we’ve got to episode 98 of the Changeability Podcast before dedicating and episode to habits – but here we are and this is it.
So what are habits?
Habits are the things we do, but also and maybe as importantly, the way we think and what we believe. They include the self-beliefs that influence what we do, our behaviour and the actions we take.
A habit is the repeated thinking and behaviours that become automatic, so we don’t mostly think about it.
We need to know how we form habits in order to change them.
Habits have certain characteristics or constituent parts that keep us doing them.
Cues, routines and rewards
There’s a cue that initiates the behaviour.
A cue is a trigger, or reminder, something that triggers our thought or behaviour. Like the cue line in a play, (the line before you come in) which on hearing it reminds you to say your line, or triggers you to deliver your line.
Then comes the routine. This is the behaviour or action that the cue has triggered – and the bit we think of as the habit.
This is followed by the third part of a habit – the reward. This is the bit that is of benefit to you in some way, even though it might not actually feel like that, your brain is seeing it’s benefit. Because it’s a reward or benefit your brain wants you to repeat it and so you do until you’ve done it often enough it becomes a habit.
This forms what Charles Duhigg in ‘The Power of Habit’ and Stanford professor B.J. Hogg in ‘Tiny Habits’ call the ‘habit loop’.
Many of our everyday activities involve habits with a cue, action and reward. Here’s a few you probably repeatedly do and don’t really think about them :
Then there’s certain ways of behaving we get into which quickly become habits for example,
Then there are the habits you think of as bad or unhelpful.
If you want proof of the power of habit – if proof were needed – just look at your pet. Our dog Dude not only knows the time of day but exactly what should be happening in his world at what time and what order. Especially when it comes to food and walks.
Why we need habits
Habits help us manage our minds.
Habits save us brain power – or rather free up our brains to do exciting creative thinking.
Making habits out of the things we do repeatedly, our behaviours and actions – provides our brain with a power saving or effort saving mechanism. An automatic response requires less creativity and complexity of thinking from us.
Gretchen Rubin in her book “Better than before” sums it up nicely:
Why habits matter
Habits matter because they hold great influence and sway over how we think, act and feel – which just about covers everything we do.
We get into habits of thinking, doing and feeling.
And because it’s the brain’ shortcut to behaving and feeling certain ways, it becomes automatic behaviour.
This is great if it’s good automatic behaviour – but what if it’s not good behaviour? We’ve mentioned a few of our bad habits, those unhelpful habits that don’t support us in the changes we want to make and the way we want to live. And the truth is we all have unhelpful habits.
That’s why habits matter. They matter to us because they are such a big part of who we are and what they do. The results of their influence is felt and seen in every aspect of our life and work. They help to determine how we feel and what we do.
Habits underpin our mind management and how we can manage our minds to change what we do and how we do it.
And habits matter because lasting change is a product of daily habits. The little small daily things we do that day in day out, week in week out and then month in month out, go into making the person we are - how we think, feel and act. In other words, we and our lives are the sum and result of our habits.
What can we do about it? Before we think about how to change our habits – we need to identify them and decide which are helpful and which are not serving us in what we want to do or the person we want to be.
The mind work is to take a day really notice what you think are your habits. Notice what you do and how you feel and note down a word or two or you’ll forget (you think you wont but you really will) and then determine if it’s linked to a habit and if that habit is helping or hindering you.
To take it one step further you can relate it to the there being the three aspects of a habit. This will not only help you determine if it actually is a habit but also help you understand what triggers it, (the cue) how it shows itself (the routine or behaviour or action) and what that habit is doing for you (this is the reward and benefits bit).
This will not only give you an increased level of self awareness and understanding but will put you in a good place to take forward some of next week’s suggestions when we look at how to change your habits.
Changeability Podcast Episode 98
Hear us talk about all of this and a lot more – including some more of Julian’s unsavoury habits, on episode 98 of the Changeability Podcast.
Thank you for reading or listening today. We appreciate you spending your time with us and if you appreciate us we’d love you to share this with someone you know. Send them an email or share on social media.
Links and resources
Sat, 11 June 2016
Healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters
Kathryn and I first met Emma and Carla when we were attending a business entrepreneurs’ event in the Philippines. Meeting these two vivacious and fun loving entrepreneurs made a mark on both of us.
Their joy of life was infectious, and we wanted to know more about them, their journey and what they did.
Emma and Carla Papas, known as ‘The Merrymaker Sisters’ are real life sisters who went from being communication professionals to health and happiness advocates and health coaches!
They're the founders of themerrymakersisters.com where they inspire hundreds of thousands of Merrymakers around the world with real food recipes and ways to find and follow your bliss!
So, what better than to invite them onto episode 97 of The Changeability Podcast laugh and chat healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters.
Packed into this week’s Changeability Podcast
Links mentioned on today’s show:
Sat, 4 June 2016
Change your brain, revitalise your body – really? Sound too good to be true?
We’ve been talking over the last few weeks about how to use the power of your brain to reach your ideal body weight, look younger and boost your energy.
And let’s face it, who couldn’t do with a bit of that!
As part of our wellness and wellbeing series we’ve explored Dr Daniel Amen’s book, Change your Brain, Change your Body, including 10 brain principles for the body you want and four ways to use your brain to change your weight. Today we conclude our exploration in change your brain, revitalise your body.
How your brain can help beautify your body and improve your overall health and well-being.
Dr Amen puts forward 6 solutions:
1 - The Skin solution
Your skin is directly tied to the health of your brain.
People spend a lot of money on skin care products and more. It’s a huge multi-million pound business. From skin-care products to laser treatment, to the plastic surgeon, but Dr Amen argues these are only temporary fixes and the real solution lies in your brain.
It’s your brain that tells your skin to produce more or less oil, supervises the production of supportive collagen and is responsible for skin regeneration; so it’s there we need to begin.
So what’s bad for our brain (and therefore our skin)?
Well it’s the usual suspects: Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, poor diet, too much sugar, yo-yo dieting, inadequate water intake, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, unresolved emotional conflicts or PTSD, hormonal changes, untreated psychiatric conditions, dementia, medications, sun exposure, pollution and environmental toxins, climate.
And the solution:
Get more sleep, distress, exercise, balance your hormones, have more sex (really), limit caffeine and alcohol, quit smoking, eat a brain healthy diet (more of that next week), maintain a healthy weight, drink more water, balance your sun exposure (some sun is good for your Vitamin D) but not too much which can cause premature aging and sun spots. 20 minutes during the day after which protect yourself with sunscreen. And finally treat mental disorders and memory problems.
Plus you can take some supplements, e.g. Vitamin D, fish oil, evening primrose oil and grape seed extract (good antioxidant)
2 - The Hormone solution
Did you know your hormones have a huge impact on brain function?
When your hormones are balanced you tend to feel happy and energetic.
And in contrast Dr Amen cites evidence pointing to low hormonal levels being responsible for amongst other things: low libido, depression, memory problems, midlife crises and divorce.
While high hormone levels lead to: hyper competitiveness, acne or aggression.
Once again it’s the brain that controls all the hormones in your body.
Types of hormonal imbalance include thyroid, adrenal, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone to name but a few. Different hormones require different treatments but often begin with blood tests depending on the symptoms.
3 - The Focus and Energy solution
If you want more energy and focus (and frankly, who doesn’t) then you are probably prey to one or more focus and energy robbers.
These fall into different categories including; infectious causes, hormonal issues, low or erratic blood sugar states, anaemia, brain trauma, environmental toxins, inherited brain disorders, medications, chronic stress, untreated past emotional traumas and bad brain habits.
So if you find yourself wondering if your lack of focus could be something more that just being disorganised or lacking focus, it might well be. The good news is there’s lots you can do to counteract this.
The first step is to get any of those focus and energy robbers treated and at the same time develop and maintain a brain-healthy lifestyle – adequate sleep, a brain-healthy diet, exercise (4-5 times/week), a stress reduction program if chronically stressed, and meditation is a particularly good energy booster too. Plus, certain foods are energy boosters including fruit, veg, beans, and whole grains and protein.
4 - The Sleep solution
And then we get to solution 4 – the sleep solution. Always a favourite topic of conversation between us. One of us a night owl who can survive on considerably less than the other.
Dr Amen suggests resting your brain for a slimmer shape and smoother skin, pointing to a small study by the University of Chicago which suggests people who are sleep deprived (the test was on 12 healthy men in their twenties who slept only 4 hours a night) were more likely to choose sweets, cookies, and cake over fruit, veg and dairy products.
Practical action steps in the sleep solution include: maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoid exercise close to bed time, and what causes sleep deprivations which includes amongst others medications, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and a number of others along with these usual suspects.
5 - The Stress solution
A little stress can be a good thing but excessive stress both in good and bad forms can spell trouble for your brain and body. Chronic stress affects the flow of blood to the brain, lowering overall brain function and prematurely ageing the brain and can also affect the body making you look older.
A 2009 study of 647 women found the physical effects of chronic stress were similar to the effects of smoking, being obese or being 10 years older than their actual age.
Techniques to help calm stress and thereby have a better body include: meditation, yoga, learning to delegate, practicing gratitude, getting enough sleep, exercise, soothing music, lavender, rehearsing or practicing situations that cause stress, living in the present (mindfulness), laughing more, seeking help, self-hypnosis and avoiding substances that harm your brain (the aforementioned usual suspects).
6 - The Negative Thoughts solution
The last solution is around thinking your way to being thinner, younger and happier through avoiding negative thoughts. Dr Amen cites 9 types of ANTs or Automatic Negative Thoughts that get in the way of your being thinner, feeling and looking younger and being happier.
We’ve looked at these and more in a previous post and episode of the Changeability Podcast which you check out at – Episode 39 – 11 Negative thoughts to avoid. And how to swat them.
Change your Brain, Change your Body
‘Change your Brain, Change your Body’ is an interesting book that really got me thinking about whether some of the things he talks about, which I’m sometimes frustrated about in my own behaviours – tiredness, fogginess of thinking, could well be around imbalances, or poor dietary considerations and I was left wanting to explore that more.
It’s a dense book with many useful actionable steps in it, plenty to ponder and take action on and return to for further reading. It will really make you think about the mind-body connection.
Where to start?
Start by changing a few vital habits that will have the maximum impact. That may mean replacing ‘anti-nutrition’ with brain healthy foods, or taking supplements geared to your brain type, or by gradually starting an exercise program, or getting a bit more kip (sleep). Then fine tune your life changes to ramp up your brain and body health.
Episode 96 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk about all of this and more on episode 96 of the Changeability Podcast on iTunes, Sticher, Tunein or in the podcast player at the top of this post.
Links mentioned in the show
Vote for the Changeability Podcast
We received some excellent news this week. We’re through to the final of the Audience Appreciation Award 2016 at New Media Europe 2016 – which is incredibly exciting and down to you lovelies who all voted for us in stage 1 of the Award process. The winners of this award will become known later this month at an Awards event in London.
We could do with your help to vote for us from now to 10th June. The competition has moved to Twitter and all it requires is that you vote for our podcast on Twitter, by going to:
BrilliantLivingHQ.com/awards2016, scrolling down to and click on The Changeability Podcast link under ‘The Audience Appreciation Award’. This will pre-populate a tweet which shows your support for our podcast.
One final thing– if you felt super-duper kind – please vote for us once a day up to 10th June – thank you.
Sat, 28 May 2016
How to use your brain to change your weight
This week we’ve gone from consuming 5 course dinners every night in a lovely hotel on holiday in Wales, to thinking about weight and the brain. It’s sweetly ironic and rather timely.
As part of our mini series on health and wellbeing, this week we think about weight and if we can use our brains to help us lose weight. Today’s featured author certainly thinks so as Dr Daniel G. Amen devotes the second section of his book, Change your Brain, Change your Body, to the subject.
Last week we looked at 10 brain principles for the body you’ve always wanted. Continuing with our exploration of the link between your brain and body and how having a healthy body and making healthy decisions all starts with your brain, we turn to the subject of weight.
Weight is an aspect of our bodies that many of us want to do something about. We might want to change our weight upwards or more commonly downwards, for our health and because we think it will make us feel better about ourselves.
So what does Dr Daniel G. Amen say about this?
How can you use your brain to achieve lasting weight loss?
Dr Amen, puts forward four major solutions to how to use your brain to change your weight.
1 - The Craving Solution
This is about using your brain to increase your willpower and calm the urges that prevent you achieving your goals.
How often do we have a day where everything’s going well and then someone offers us a cream cake? In Dr Amen’s case it was a caramel apple which he resisted it by walking away – but why was everything in him craving it?
Essentially, there are centres of the brain responsible for focus, judgment and impulse control – the pre-frontal cortex in the front of your brain – and there is also a pleasure and motivation centre deep within your brain plus we also have emotional memory centres that trigger behaviour. All this comes together to influence our behaviour.
By understanding these brain circuits of willpower and control you can work towards gaining mastery of your brain and body.
It starts with our first experiences of pleasure or intense emotional experiences. These first experiences can get locked in the brain and lay down the tracks for later behaviour and addictions, because we want to replicate and repeat what led to our first pleasurable experiences.
For Dr Amen it was linked to the pleasure he associated with some of his earliest memories of making fudge with his sweet-maker grandfather.
What about you? What are your earliest memories of pleasure or intense emotional experiences?
I remember eating ‘milky way’ chocolate bars at my Grandma’s house when I got home from school and my Mother’s sherry trifles were legendry at family parties and celebrations of every kind.
For Julian the stodgy puddings of school dinners and getting enough of it after it had been passed down the table of older children first, loom large in his memory (yes he is that person that loved school dinners)!
So going back to the idea there are different centres of the brain responsible for focus, judgment and impulse control plus a pleasure and motivation centre, it’s the relative strength and weakness of each of these brain areas that goes a long way in determining how much control we have over ourselves and how well we are able to stick to our plans.
Regaining control of these different centres of the brain depends in part on the area in question but it generally involves balancing your brain systems. If, for example your Prefrontal Cortex is out of balance, you might need to treat any PFC problems that exist but in more general terms you can strengthen this area by:
Solution 2 – The Weight Solution
Here, you’re using your brain to achieve your optimal weight. While according to Dr Amen we might exhibit different clinical presentations and brain patterns and require different approaches, he outlines 13 things all of us should do to maintain a healthy weight.
Solution 3 – The Nutrition Solution
This involves feeding your brain nutritious foods to look and feel younger, on the basis that we are what we eat, and that the foods we eat affect our moods and our energy levels.
We’re constantly getting the wrong or unhelpful messages about food. As a society we’re bombarded with messages encouraging us to adopt bad eating habits.
‘Do you want to supersize that?’, ‘Do you want bread first?’ ‘Do you want a larger drink? It’s a better deal’, the All you can eat buffet!
Many of us send out the wrong messages to our children ‘If you’re good, you can have a treat when you get home.’ We use poor nutrition as a reward for good behaviour which later in life translates to us rewarding ourselves with food that is not good for us.
To follow the Nutrition Solution of how to use your brain to change your weight:
Solution 4 – The Exercise Solution
Exercise your body to strengthen your brain.
We’re becoming more sedentary – driving to work, sitting all day at a desk, lounging on the sofa. This is bad news for our brains, our bellies, our backsides and our backs.
Exercise is part of the solution because it:
Episode 95 of the Changeability Podcast
Join us to hear us talk about all of this and more in episode 95 of the Changeability Podcast
What about you?
Is this something you’d like to change – sign up for our free Changeability Starter Kit.
Links mentioned in the show:
Sat, 21 May 2016
10 brain principles for the body you want
Is it possible to utilise the power of your brain, to reach your ideal body weight, to look younger and boost your energy?
That’s the question we’re asking today.
And it’s the bold claim Dr Daniel G Amen makes in his New York Times bestseller, Change your Brain, Change your Body - the subject of this week’s blog and Changeability Podcast.
What’s the idea behind Change your Brain, Change your Body?
In his introduction, Dr Amen tells us
Let’s unpick this a bit.
We’re visually orientated, with our brain devoting half of its processing power to sight.
Being visual creatures – how we look, or how we perceive we look, plays a large part in how we feel about ourselves and that can often determine our ultimate success.
For our own underlying health – and not just for vanity sake – we should therefore concern ourselves with how we look and feel.
And that ultimately, to look and feel your best you need to first think about and then optimize your brain.
So as the title suggests, this book is about understanding and optimizing your brain to help you reach your ideal weight, look younger, boost your energy, change how you feel about yourself and that process of changing your body (via your mind) will in turn ultimately determine your success.
In essence then, this book is about body/mind integration, mind/body connection and how you can use your brain to improve your body and health.
And I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s an interesting premise.
But what do we know about the author and how he comes to make these claims?
Background and credentials of the author
Dr Daniel G Amen is a doctor with three decades of clinical practice at the Amen Clinics.
His interest in the brain-body connection started over 30 years ago – where intriguingly he was influenced by an oncologist who taught people to use visualization to boost their immune system in order to fight cancer.
At medical school he became trained in hypnosis and saw the effect it can have on healing the body in a variety of treatments.
But it was in 1991 that he truly started to understand the mind-body connection when he started doing the brain imaging work which he now does at his clinics.
Addressing the effect rather than the cause of body dissatisfaction
How often do we look in the mirror and see things we don’t always like?
We look at our reflection and we see lines on our face we don’t always want there, or we catch a glance of ourselves sidelong and see a tum which frankly we’d prefer not to have. We notice a few split ends in our hair or excessively dry skin on our face.
What do we do?
Well, we could make an appointment with a hairdresser for a haircut.
The wrinkles – we might slap all sorts of lotions and potions onto the skin to moisturise, cleanse and fill the cracks, so to speak – and some might nip along to their doctors to make an appointment for Botox.
Basically we try and fix it ourselves (diet to lose the tum) or get some professional help. We address the effect.
But Dr Amen would say that we need to address this issue by thinking about the health of our brain, the cause.
And that many of us are walking around with brains that could do with some serious help, but we don’t know it, so we don’t do anything about it to address the issue.
The things we see in the mirror are symptomatic of our brain health and instead of addressing the causal symptom we address the effect.
10 brain principles for the body you want
Amen’s book is based on 10 key principles about the brain and its relationship with your body, and ultimately the health and wellbeing of our bodies.
So that’s it, the 10 principles that explain why it is essential to love and nurture your brain to have your best body possible and optimal wellness.
Next time, we explore how to use your brain to achieve something many of us struggle with – lasting weight loss; plus the many ways your brain can help you beautify your body and achieve lasting wellness and good health.
Episode 94 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear us discuss the 10 principles and more in episode 94 of The Changeability Podcast, or subscribe to all our previous episodes on iTunes.
Links mentioned in today’s show
Sat, 14 May 2016
Nicole Keating is on a mission to live a life of Epic Wellness, and to inspire and help others in their quest for The Art of Epic Wellness – a life of physical, spiritual and emotional vitality.
And who doesn’t want more energy and vitality? We know we certainly do.
Behind the concept of epic wellness is the belief you have the right to know what’s going into the temple that is your body, and the responsibility to share what you know with the people you love.
And this carries on from ideas we explored on last week’s Changeability Podcast where we were talking about wellness and wellbeing.
Nicole’s website, theartofepicwellness.com and her podcast of the same name seeks to do just that, to explore, uncover, question, unburden and uplevel your wellness journey. After all…
With a life voyage of such life changing proportions, we thought the only decent and British thing to do was to invite her onto the Changeability Podcast to discuss not the science but the Art of Epic Wellness.
And when the California State (where Nicole lives) and good old blighty meet – that’s home to Kathryn and I – there’s bound to be room for lively discussion on living a life of such epic proportions.
On today’s Changeability Podcast
Hear Nicole, Kathryn and I discuss:
Links mentioned on this week’s show
Sat, 7 May 2016
What the heck is wellbeing?
Here at Brilliant Living HQ and our Changeability Podcast we’re all about helping you and us manage our minds to make changes and have more success and our best life and business. As well as looking at mind management techniques and processes to do this, we thought it would be fun and hopefully helpful to look at some of the key areas of life that many of us want to do something about. Earlier this year we did a series of podcasts and posts about relationships and today we start thinking about wellness and wellbeing.
Today is a beautiful day. It’s the first week of May and spring has sprung here in our little corner of England. The evenings are light and the days getting longer every day. The sunshine is making us feel better and it’s amazing the difference it makes. In fact we could say it’s increasing our sense of wellbeing - it certainly feels like that to us. But what the heck is wellbeing?
What does wellbeing and wellness mean to us?
This notion of wellbeing seems to be everywhere, in the work-place, in magazines, all over the internet, in fact there is a whole wellness and wellbeing industry out there.
Wellbeing is big business. It’s a world populated by spas, therapists, therapies, fitness, gyms, dancing, exercise classes, weight loss, relaxation, supplements, closely associated to the health industry and being in a healthy state.
Wellness is the manifestation of wellbeing. Wellbeing is a particular way or specific state of being encompassing many different aspects such as:
Psychologists, economists and policy makers are all interested in wellbeing and try to measure it, so they can use it to understand more about populations and the policies needed in the future.
While our focus at Brilliant Living HQ and in the Changeability mind-work is on mind management, it doesn’t mean we ignore the physical or body side of things.
The two are totally entwined. We know this is area where lots of us want to change things – and that’s great because we believe mind management is key to making those changes, as much as it is to making any changes in life or business.
Is it an area you want to change? Ask yourself if your level of wellbeing is having an impact on your life, work, business, interests, family or relationships?
Mind body and spirit
When we talk about wellness in terms of Brilliant Living, we see wellbeing encompassing body, mind and spirit. For us it has to be a holistic definition and approach to wellbeing that takes all three elements into account.
How do you define wellbeing? What the heck does wellbeing mean to you?
We asked our Changeability Facebook Group and is what two of our members told us:
Thanks to Vicky and Janet for these insightful definitions.
Just as health is not the absence of disease, there’s something much more positive to it rather than being just an opposite to a negative thing, wellbeing is something positive in its own right. As Jan points out, it isn’t about the absence of problems, but about being happy where we are – which is a relief for all of us as we’re never going to have a completely problem-free life, but we can still have wellness and experience wellbeing.
How we think and feel about wellbeing is context dependent, as wellness and wellbeing are a relative concept. It might change at different times and stages of life, and different levels of health and fitness, but the key to wellbeing remains the same.
The key to wellbeing is feeling good
That’s it really isn’t it? The answer to what the heck is wellbeing is – ‘feeling good’.
As our feelings and emotions are connected to our mind this brings us back around to mind management as the way to help us experience wellbeing.
So how can we summarise what wellbeing means to us?
Wellbeing is a combination of factors, some of which are more important at different times than others, but all impact on our levels of wellbeing including:
That’s our quick introduction to wellbeing, what it is (and isn’t) and we're looking forward to delving into this subject a bit more and talking to some guests about it over the next few weeks.
The Changeability Podcast Episode 92
Hear us talk about all of this and much more – including how and 11 year old Kathryn got this definition of wellbeing and times she hasn’t been feeling it – on episode 92 of the Changeability Podcast.
Getting to Know You survey
Thanks to those fantastic people who’ve completed our ‘Getting to know you’ questionnaire. If you haven’t done we’d love to hear from you. It’s very quick and easy with only handful of questions. It’s anonymous unless you want to leave your details and will help us get to know and serve you better. Thank you.
Sat, 30 April 2016
A new measure of success
How do you quantify success? What is it you actually measure?
Should it be statistics, figures, numbers? Or how about the effort put in to achieving it?
Maybe it could be a combination of these, rather like those school reports where you get a grade for achievement and a score for effort.
Or should we more concerned with experiences rather than numbers?
Statistics are certainly the easiest and most obvious way to measure success. With money wealth, income being one of most popular ways for people to measure their own or others’ success.
But it’s all relative. What constitutes a measure of success in monetary terms fluctuates according to age, the circles you move in, geographical location and your time in history.
Money can be measure in it’s own right or as an indication or measure of success. It’s not necessarily the money per se that’s important to measure, but it’s rather the way some people choose to quantify their success. The success is what drives them, not the money, but income is a useful indicator and measure of that.
That’s all very well and yes numbers and effort are a good way to measure anything, but let’s not ignore the role of feelings and the experience itself. Otherwise we run the danger of seeing success as one-dimensional and we’re not one-dimensional beings, so if we do this we fail to capture the true meanings of success.
So how are we measuring success?
During my reflection time recently (a part of my Changeability mind-work where I write whatever comes to mind during meditation or visualisation) I came to a realisation as I was musing on this very subject.
I realised that for much of my life I’ve equated success with validation. Validation for what I’m not sure, but it’s something to do with feeling valued and wanting to be seen to be good enough or for people to think I’m good at doing what I’m doing.
This was quite a revelation! I was interested in what it meant. Did I see my self-worth wrapped up in other people’s idea of my worthiness? I don’t think of myself as someone who worries too much about what others think of me, or let it stop me doing things. But maybe it’s not so much about what others think, but more that I want to be seen as good enough so I think I’m good enough myself.
There’s a lot more to be said about this and how it shows up in what I do and don’t do. You can hear all of this in much more detail in episode 91 of The Changeability Podcast.
A new measure of success
If you haven’t got time to listen to the episode now (and it’s quite a short episode for us) here’s a flavour of what I wrote in my Changeability Daily Journal:
I am going to have a new measure of success from now on.
My new measure of success is around enjoying every day. So essentially I will measure my daily success in terms of whether I enjoyed the day and found it fulfilling in some way.
Now of course what constitutes an enjoyable day or a fulfilling day will change from day to day depending on what I’m doing – but in many ways that is the point.
There is no real single measure of success, but many different measures depending on what we’re trying to achieve at any time. Therefore, I’m using this as an overarching catchall that can encompass any other measure within it.
After all, what I (and I think most people) want to achieve in life and business is to be happy and fulfilled and enjoy this amazing experience of being alive.
What makes each of us happy and fulfilled will be different and that doesn’t matter, because my new measure of success allows me to capture this for me.
Listen to the podcast to hear me read the full extract from my Changeability Planner and Journal.
Getting to know you
If you listen to our podcast or come to this website regularly then you know a bit about us – and we’d love to reciprocate and get to know more about you. So we’ve come up with a quick questionnaire to help do this. We recorded a short video to explains why – or you can skip straight to our Getting to Know You Questionnaire.
There’s just a few questions which only take a couple of minutes to complete. It would be fantastic to hear from you as the more we know about you the more we can talk about things and create things you’re interested in and will help you. Thank you.
Sat, 23 April 2016
6 ways to measure success
Have you thought about what success looks like to you? If so, how do you measure your success?
Actually the first question is – do you need to to measure success?
We say yes.
One, because when you measure your success it makes you think about it. What is success and what does it mean to you? It makes you aware of what you want in life or business, rather than wandering aimlessly.
Two, it gives you something to aim for, and we know that as humans we thrive and are generally happier and more fulfilled when we have a sense of purpose.
Three, what gets measured gets done.
So how do you measure success?
That depends on the sort of success it is. Here’s 6 ways to measure success – or 6 different types of success and our (some obvious and some not so obvious) suggestions of how to measure them.
Episode 90 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk more about this in episode 90 of the Changeability Podcast
Thank you for listening and reading this. If you like the show, please go to iTunes now and leave us a review – we will love you for it.
Sat, 16 April 2016
What does success mean to you?
We start every episode of the Changeability Podcast with the words ‘brought to you by Brilliant Living HQ .com’ because that’s our online home. That’s where you find us, our products, the 89 podcast episodes we’ve published to date, and hundreds of blog posts.
But this week we asked you if you’re experiencing ‘brilliant living’. If you take the dictionary definitions of the two words and put them together it brilliant living means something like ‘living life in a way that is excellent, bright and marvelous, pursuing a lifestyle that feels very good to you.’
We define ‘brilliant living’ as living life on your own terms. Ok, so its not always 100% possible, but it is definitely more possible than most people think.
Sure there are physical and social parameters, but we can push those boundaries and look at what are the real boundaries and which are those created by the cultural norms and social expectations we go along with.
What brought all this on you might ask.
Well this week we had a fabulous day in London. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was the first warm day of spring. We met our son Alexander for a full works English breakfast sitting outside at the Bankside Café – they even had three vegetarian options for me. We walked along the Southbank of the River Thames - past Tate Modern, past Shakespeare’s Globe and down to London Bridge, where we ambled round Borough market, saw the house from Lock Stock and ended up drinking smoothies in the Refectory Garden at Southwark Cathedral – all by lunchtime. Returning along the river to the Royal Festival Hall we met with some Tropical Think Tankers for a Mastermind Session and had a fun productive great time talking business. Then back to my sister’s house for family dinner before driving home to pick up Dude the Dog and get back to our house and bed.
Reflecting on it in my appreciation time the next day I thought to myself – that was a brilliant day. This triggered thoughts about what makes a successful day.
Because in a way success is another way of looking at what brilliant living means to you. So how do you define success – what does success mean to you?
The definition of success
The Oxford Dictionary describes success as
‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’
‘The attainment of fame, wealth or social status.’
‘A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame wealth,'
These last two definitions are interesting because this is the sort of thing that springs to mine when we think about what success means.
Conceptions of success:
Moving up the ladder
There is the idea that success is about getting to the top of the ladder especially in terms of career and moving up the corporate hierarchy. Any organisational chart will make it obvious where you are in the scheme of things, but at what point on that ladder of success will you think you’ve been successful?
It will partly depend on why you’re doing the job. Is success about the status or b the influence and impact you will have? Is it connected to the benefits or trappings of success?
Another way of looking at success is about reaching an expert status. We call people a success when they reach a level of expertise like actors, musicians and sports people.
An interesting question is at what level do you become a success in your own eyes and in the eyes of those around you.
The most common definition of success is probably around financial or monetary success.
There’s a wealth connotation implied when we think about success. When we say someone’s done well or they’re a real success, more often than not the implication is around wealth, but it doesn’t need to be.
Success can equally encompass social impact as seen in social enterprises and community based initiatives and roles.
Then there is success in terms of social standing where success is being in with the right people and networks or getting into the right club and achieving some perceived level of social acceptance.
When we’re at school, college or university, exam success is a massive part of our lives – whether we want it to be or not. People are seen as successful or not depending on the qualifications they achieve and then the occupation they go into.
Once you get into the work place that academic success which you needed to get you there becomes less and less important.
Most of us would want to include definitions of success that revolve around success in aspects of our personal life. It could be in terms of health or fitness or around weight, or success in a hobby we love doing or learning a skill.
What about defining success in terms of our relationships. It could be being a good friend or a good partner, husband or wife or a family member or a great parent or being popular.
Career or business success
Success to you might be about your career and business and it may or may not be associated with money or that it gives you the means to lead the sort of life you want to live. Part time working might not make you successful in terms of your finances but allows you to be a more successful in your parenting role.
In thinking about what success means to you it comes down to what makes you feel like a success or what makes you feel successful.
Success at different ages and stages
Success looks different at different ages and stages of life e.g. someone leaving school will define success differently to someone about to retire. But there are elements and characteristics of success that remain consistent throughout, even if the way they’re played out changes over time.
As you think about what success means to you, think about whether your definition of success allows you to experience these.
A sense of achievement:
From being able to use your talents and skills and getting things done, seeing something through to a good outcome.
Recognition and validation:
One aspect of success is having our efforts or talents recognised and respected and feeling validated.
A sense of self-worth and self-esteem:
We feel successful when we feel valued and recognised but also when we value ourselves and our individuality and capability.
Purpose and values:
Success can be connected with purpose where you have an idea of what you want to achieve and where that purpose is aligned with your personal values. Real success only happens when its in line with what’s important to you. So if integrity is important to you, it doesn’t matter how successful you are in the eyes of the world if you achieve that success in dubious ways. You will not experience success because that wouldn’t be your definition of success.
Security and control:
These are key characteristics of success for many people. Being successful means feeling secure in who you are and what you do and in the basics of life but also having a sense of control or being in charge of your own life and destiny. Being able to choose the sort of life you live.
Contentment with your life and the in your relationships is another facet of success. This is about inner contentment rather than being accepting of things as they are. It doesn’t mean you don’t strive for more or for changes but that this striving helps you grow rather than scuppering you. Because when you are content inside you don’t have to rely on others for that contentment or inner happiness.
Love has a key role to play in success. To love and be loved is an important part of what success means to many people. It’s a big part of what makes them feel successful.
Last but not least comes fulfilment. In a way I think this is one, if not the most important characteristic of success. We feel successful when we feel fulfilled. This could be in so many ways but its about fulfilling potential in any area of your life or work. Its about doing something you feel good about and getting a positive outcome for you or for others. It can also be about contribution.
So what does success means to you? How do you define success in your life - any area of your life? In fact that’s an interesting place to start. What areas of your life spring to mind when you start trying to define what success means – start with those and then move on to others.
Because brilliant living starts with being aware of what you mean by that, what does brilliant living mean to you, what does success mean to you. Next week we’re going to think about how we can measure that success.
If you want a bit of help with thinking about these things sign up for our free changeability starter kit.
Episode 89 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear Julian and I talk about all of this and more besides in episode 89 of the Changeability Podcast.
If you like listening to the show we’d love you to let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes – we will love you even more and at some point we will read it out on the show.
Sat, 9 April 2016
WHY do you need mind management?
What do you want to change in your life? Do you want more or less of something or to learn a new skill or experience different things? Or do you want to change something about your relationships or body or work or finances?
It doesn’t have to mean you hate your life or work now – but you just want it to be better in some way.
Yes, we all want changes but WHY do we need mind management to do it.
Your marvellous mind
Your brain is amazing and has enormous power. Its big job is to keep you alive and it does that by keeping you safe which tends to mean maintaining the status quo – because that’s what’s worked so far.
This is fabulous for keeping you alive – but it’s not always so fabulous when you want to make changes – in other words you want to move away from the status quo in some way.
It’s important to know that although you think you make your decisions and plans – including what you want to change – much of your thought processes go on at an unconscious level and decisions are made without you being aware of them much of the time.
It has to do this. We have control over the conscious part of your mind, and although amazing, your conscious mind has limitations. It loses focus easily and typically holds about 7 chunks of information at any one time.
This is why the subconscious takes control of most of what’s happening in our bodies. It’s the engine driving us – leaving our conscious mind to focus on other things.
Changing your mind
This is critically important when we want to make changes, because your unconscious mind, which is a million times more powerful than your conscious mind, is running the show. And it does much of this based on the beliefs and habits you’ve built up over your lifetime – not all of which are serving you well.
Both parts of your mind are crucial not only to survival but also to getting the changes and living the life you want. The real trick is to get them working together to make this happen.
This enables you to use the whole of your marvellous mind brain to work for you and not against you –otherwise it’s all to easy to end up self-sabotaging what you want to achieve. We’ve all done that!
Why when you want to lose weight do you still eat the very thing that you know will not help you get the body you want? Because your mind is screaming at you that you’ve hungry and want to eat and want to eat something that tastes nice – and your belief and experience tells you that cream cakes – especially a Victoria sponge with butter cream icing – will fill you up quickly and taste nice, and you’ve had a hard day so of course you deserve a little treat.
Now that might be irritating and throw you off course a little but it also happens in really important decisions and situations. You want to leave a job and set up a new business for yourself, but your subconscious is screaming at you – ‘are you mad, you’ll never make a good business person, why do you think you can do it, you never see anything through.’ Or whatever it might be for you, based on your past experience.
Mind management is about becoming aware of the impact your thoughts have on yo,u and using your mind to your advantage.
Time to take a step back - because underlying all of this is the notion that the way we think and the thoughts we think, influence what we do.
Our thoughts influence how we feel, which influences what we do or the actions we take, which impacts how we live our lives.
It sounds obvious when you say it like that – but just take a moment to think about it and see if you really believe this is so or if you’re aware of it in your day to day life.
The thoughts you think lead to the action you take.
It therefore follows that if you change your thoughts (that’s the way you think) then you can change your actions. This means you can make the changes you want in your life, work or business.
You are not your thoughts
It’s a fabulous concept to accept and goes hand in hand with the concept that your thoughts are things.
Your thoughts are not you and you are not your thoughts.
You are not defined by your thoughts. Which means that you can change your thoughts to help you live how you want to live. That’s what we mean when we talk about mind management.
We’ve been talking about why you mind management to help you make changes, but it’s not just about doing things differently. It’s also about improving the everyday experience of being alive. After all, one of the changes you could look for is to be happier in your daily life, or more enthusiastic for life.
It’s not just about things, its about ‘being’ as well.
And mind management is the key.
Do we have to learn mind management?
Yes - to a large extent we do have to learn mind management because we’ve not been taught how to manage our minds.
We don’t learn it at school – although some schools teach subjects like critical thinking but that’s something different. At best, we may have learnt something about the component parts of the brain and its functions.
Most of us don’t pick it up from our natural interactions with our parents, probably because they never learnt it themselves.
But this is your opportunity to learn about mind management now.
So what do we know about the mind?
We’ve talked about the two major components of the mind being the conscious and the subconscious. And we know that our brain is in effect an information processing system, containing nerve cells (neurons) which are connected through synapses.
These neural pathways are influenced and strengthened by what we do, the influences in our lives, our previous experiences, beliefs and values we have stored in our minds. And these neural networks or pathways are strengthened by repetition.
One of the potential problems of the mind is that it can be consciously (by our thoughts) or unconsciously influenced (by our subconscious). And the subconscious is the more powerful.
We’re suggesting you get the conscious and the subconscious to work in harmony through mind management. So there’s no dissonance or disagreement between the two component parts of the brain and between your actions and your beliefs.
That is the key to getting what you want and making the changes and why you need and want mind management.
We know we can influence our conscious mind – we can determine our thoughts, so we need to influence our subconscious so it aligns with the subconscious.
We also know that our subconscious mind was itself programmed, and can therefore be reprogrammed, but the process is slow and incremental.
The captain of your ship
It’s likened to a super tanker (the subconscious) being controlled by the captain of the ship (the conscious).
The captain (the conscious mind) may be in charge, but the instructions the captain give take a long while to affect and influence the super tanker that is our subconscious.
But the subconscious, like the formation of any habit, including thinking habits, can be influenced through repetition.
Advertising relies on this repetition of key messages to get you to believe and then buy into their product, concept or ideas.
This is why you can recall adverts from years ago, even your childhood, because of the power of repetition. Particularly when you add in a few tricks of the trade to make it even more memorable, tricks incidentally we can use to our advantage in mind management terms.
The bottom line is mind management will help you change what you want to change and achieve what you want to achieve.
HOW to manage your mind
You manage your mind by training your mind to think in certain ways – so you develop habits and ways of thinking to support change, happiness and success for you.
Training your mind might sound a far out or like some sort of trickery, but all it means is using certain techniques and ways of thinking that you can develop through practice.
With the result that you can improve and transform your life and business through your thoughts, self-beliefs and the action you take.
What techniques help us manage our minds
Key mind management techniques include:
These are the very techniques we talk about here at Brilliant Living HQ and on the Changeability Podcast. They’re also captured into a 10 step framework which shows how they all fit together and build one on the other in the Changeability framework.
You will find the full version of this written out in a logical practical step by step framework on Amazon in the book Changeability: Manage your Mind - Change your Life either in Paperback or in Kindle. This is the best place to get the full explanation and exact steps.
Or you can of course listen to the last 88 episodes of the Changeability Podcast! But it will be a lot quicker to read the book!
Episode 88 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us discuss all of this and more in episode 88 of the Changeability Podcast.
Thank you for being here and being wonderful. If you like listening to the show please leave us a review on iTunes. If you’ve read the Changeability book please leave a review on Amazon.
Sat, 2 April 2016
At a recent business event I had 30 seconds to introduce myself and what I did. This is the so-called elevator pitch and it’s not as easy as you might think. Having seen how some people were struggling to get their description done in 5 minutes let alone 30 seconds it was suggested we use the quick little formula – I help …. To …. By…. I was the next one up so I sat there and said:
It worked because everyone went ‘oooohhh’ and wanted to know what does that actually mean and how do you that.
And it got me thinking that it's a long time since we've actually talked about what it is we actually do or rather the idea behind what we actually do.
So today we're going to put that right because we’re going back to basics and thinking about what fundamentally underpins everything we talk about at Brilliant Living HQ. It’s also the subject matter of my Changeability book and underpins the whole Changeability process and practice and Brilliant Living products.
It is mind management!
What is mind management?
The key question is what is mind management and why do we all need it.
At it’s most basic level mind management is about managing your mind.
Which maybe isn’t saying much – or more like it’s saying the same thing twice – there’s a nice word for that – tautology!
But mind management is about managing your mind and we’re very keen on the whole idea of it.
Our strap line here at Brilliant Living HQ is ‘Mind management for your best life and business’ or at least it was until we changed our site recently – we thought our logo looked better without it but maybe we should put it back somewhere so people know what it’s about!
And the strapline to our podcast (and the Changeability book) is ‘Manage your Mind – Change your Life’.
Why the obsession with mind management – what lies behind it?
Mind management is the idea you can:
In other words you can reprogram or train your mind to create the right mindset to change what you don’t like into what you do like, and achieve your desires and live life to the full.
That’s a good start, but can we define it further and look at the individual elements of ‘mind management’ to get a better working definition?
How do we define mind management?
The Business Dictionary defines management as:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary adds a useful extra dimension defining management as:
If we take these definitions together and replace business with the mind we come up with:
This does assume that you have already determined what you want from your life, and have a vision of your defined objectives (goals) and what you have to do to achieve them.
And for us that’s where it always begins – getting clear about what you want – because there are clear mind management reasons for doing this and for using the power of your brain and mind to help you achieve those goals and the changes you want. It has to start with intention plus inspiration which equal your vision or goals.
If you want to know more about that go to brillliantlivinghq.com/goals to be one of the first people to find out about our goals challenge.
So that’s the management bit. Now for the second part.
There are basically two major components of the mind - the conscious and the subconscious.
The conscious which is the bit we’re aware of – e.g. as you’re listening to this, the thoughts you’re thinking about what you want to eat or drink or what you’re doing later or reacting to what you’re hearing. This is what we think about and what we’re aware of. We tend to think of it as us – ‘this is me’ – but there is a lot more to you than that.
Your conscious mind is like the tip of the iceberg because underneath it is what’s often called your subconscious, the bit below the conscious mind. We think of it below if thinking about an iceberg – but it’s sub (as in submerged or submarine) in terms of our not being aware of it. The other name – which is probably more accurate – is the unconscious.
This is the part we’re not aware of – but keeps us alive because it carries out millions of actions every day without us even thinking about it.
Taken together these two components of your mind create what is in effect an information processing system whose purpose is to keep you functioning and alive.
The brain and mind
When we talk about our mind we’re really using the term to describe aspects of what goes on inside our brain. People often use the two terms interchangeably but they’re not really the same thing.
There are different physical elements to our brain, which you can easily see in any diagram of the brain, but our mind is what goes on within that physical organ. Your mind is where your consciousness and personality are.
It’s a a bit like the software inside a computer. The brain is the hardware and the mind the software. But it’s not as straightforward as that as our thoughts are the result of our experiences and interpretations and feelings – so it’s more mixed.
Essentially our brains contain nerve cells (called neurons) that are connected through synapses. This is how thoughts are formed.
These neural networks or pathways can be and are strengthened by repetition. Likewise, these pathways can be consciously and unconsciously influenced and strengthened by what we do, by the influences in our lives, by the previous experiences, beliefs and values we have stored in our minds.
This is not only one of the facets or characteristics of how your mind works but is also one of the reasons why we need and want to manage our minds.
Next week we’ll be exploring this further when we talk more about exactly why you really do want mind management to be an everyday part of your life.
If really can’t wait until next week to learn more – then you will find it all neatly explained in my book Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life - together with a 10 step logical framework of ten practical mind management techniques, you can start using right away. Get it here now (and it’s on special offer this week!)
Episode 87 of the Changeability Podcast
You can hear us talking about this and more in episode 87 of the Changeability Podcast.
Join our free Changeability private Facebook group
Like our Brilliant Living HQ Facebook page and keep up to date
Get on our mailing list to find out what we’re up to
Buy the book of our mind management program Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life – on Amazon
Thank you for reading or listening
If you like listening to our show we would love you to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher – like Alex did – thanks Alex – really appreciate it!
alex 18 butterfly from the UK – October 23rd 2015
Sat, 26 March 2016
Last week we gave you the ultimate guide to recognising toxic people and relationships.
Now it’s all very well recognising toxic people and the characteristic behaviours of these relationships, but it’s not much good if you can’t deal with them.
So this week we thought we’d look at those emotionally draining vampires and the process of dealing with toxic relationships.
Dealing with toxic relationships and people
So how do you deal with toxic relationships, toxic people and their behaviour?
By literally detoxifying! Or as the dictionary would define it:
And we like that definition of ‘detox’ for that is sort of what you are doing here. Taking time out: “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of the toxic source” (in this case the person). It’s a process of distancing and this can take the form of mental, physical or emotional detachment.
But what if these are people that you can't necessarily extract from your life or your situation?
So this could be someone you work with, or a member of your family.
And in this instance, the approach would be about how we manage these people and their behaviours.
Essentially a process of controlling what you can and eliminating what you can’t.
We’ve identified 15 ways that can help you can do just that.
15 ways to deal with toxic relationships or emotionally draining vampires
Episode 86 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear us discuss all this and more in episode 86 of the Changeability Podcast and be certain to catch last week’s episode on ‘How to recognise toxic people and relationships’. After all, if you can’t spot it, how can you deal with it? Until next time.
Sat, 19 March 2016
You’ve probably heard of the phrase toxic person, and are aware at least of the importance of not surrounding yourself with this type of person. Particularly, if you consider:
And one of those five is either someone you’re living or work closely with and has a toxic personality.
So what is a toxic person?
The dictionary definition of toxic is a poisonous substance with the synonyms: dangerous, unsafe, harmful, destructive and even malignant (with connotations of evil, or hateful).
If we apply this to the term toxic person we might consider this to be a person who is dangerous, harmful or destructive to us as an individual.
The Urban Dictionary gives a rather nice definition of a Toxic Person as being:
But we’d probably put it less strongly than subconscious malevolence or psychosis and describe it as behaviour which drains you - the receiver of this toxic behaviour - of energy and life.
A person causing social tension or indeed unpleasantness, might be described as having a toxic personality, for example.
So is it a toxic person or toxic behaviour?
It is of course important to separate the behaviour from the person. It’s not the person in their entirety who is toxic, rather it is their behaviour which is toxic.
And it’s also worth pointing out, it is your response to their behaviour, i.e. the power you are giving that behaviour in your mind that determines whether or not they are toxic to you.
Not such a comfortable thought!
Perhaps of more comfort then is the fact that you always have the power to choose your thoughts and responses to that behaviour however difficult that may seem. And it’s important to recognise that both the person displaying the behaviour and the person who might be on the receiving end – both play a part or a role in the toxic interactions. So if you feel you are on the receiving end, it is equally necessary to consider your own personal role as well.
What are the signs you’re in a toxic relationship?
What are the indicators or signs of this toxicity?
Toxicity – a great word isn’t it?
(Note, our additions are in brackets)
In that definition, the actual word refers to the effect on the whole organism, such as a person, as well as the substructure of the organism.
We even hear that effect on part of us in the language people sometimes use to describe toxic behaviour, saying things like:
And we know that having a toxic person around can have quite an effect on a group of people. Within an organization, like the workplace, for example.
And maybe the toxicity of the individual relates to the amount of contact, or degree of proximity or closeness you have to that toxic person. Or the amount of credence, you give to that person’s behaviour.
It is quite incredible, how one person can affect so many others around them.
Why do toxic people behave in this way?
Often the person has been deeply hurt or is suffering themselves, and on some level are unable to take responsibility for that hurt and suffering and the subsequent problems that causes in their life. So they may typically project their behaviour onto others.
How do you know that you’re dealing with a toxic person or toxic relationship?
Here it’s useful to separate the behaviour of the toxic person from the behaviour you find yourself enacting when you’re dealing with it.
Toxic behaviour of the toxic person
Typically, the toxic person will exhibit some or all of the following characteristics.
So, we’ve looked at the toxic behaviour of the so called ‘toxic person’
How might we describe your behaviour or feelings when dealing with a person’s toxic behaviour
This could be characterised in the following ways or behaviours:
What impact do toxic people or toxic relationships have when you’re trying to make changes in your life?
Tell-tale signs include:
Episode 85 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear Kathryn and Julian discuss how to recognise toxic people and relationships and their own experiences in the latest episode of The Changeability Podcast.
And next week…
We’ll discuss the tricky task of ‘How to deal with toxic people and relationships.’
But in the meantime let us know if you recognise these behaviours where you are. We’d love to read or hear your comments below.
Sat, 12 March 2016
The heady heights of a budding relationship can quickly fall into the treadmill of something more humdrum and yet it doesn’t have to be that way.
So, what makes better relationships in both life and business?
Well who better to ask than a relationship coach.
Susie Miller, known internationally as The Better Relationship Coach is an Author, Speaker and Coach. She is dedicated to helping people create better relationships and is the bestselling author of Listen, Learn, Love: How to Dramatically Improve Your Relationships in 30 Days or Less! She teaches us that by being willing to listen, open to learn and therefore ready to love – truly, deeply and kindly – any and all relationships can be reignited beyond our imagination.
Over the last few weeks of the Changeability Podcast we’ve been exploring the many facets of love and relationships:
With all that talk of self-love, we thought our mini-series on love and better relationships with ourselves deserved to be broadened to include better relationships with our loved ones and those other key relationships we have with friends and work colleagues.
So to help us ‘put deposits in our relationship bank’, we invited Susie Millar to come and speak on that very subject of better relationships, in episode 84 of the Changeability Podcast. And what a great interview it turned out to be.
In episode 84 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear your hosts Kathryn and Julian interview Susie and discover:
Mentioned on today’s show:
Sat, 5 March 2016
Love yourself if you want to be a happy, fulfilled, confident, effective person, able to give and receive love, have self-esteem and a good sense of your self-worth.
But it’s one thing to understand this intellectually and quite another to really know and believe it. One of the best ways to accelerate a self-love habit is through using self-love rituals. Practicing self-love rituals is an easy enjoyable way to implant and build your self-love habit and behaviour until it becomes natural. Today we look at 11 self-love rituals to get you started, but first what’s so special about rituals?
What are rituals and why are they so powerful?
A ritual involves a series of actions, sometimes in a prescribed order – which are a type of behaviour regularly and invariably followed by someone – in this case you!
Because that’s what we’re after isn’t it – a way of behaving you do regularly and invariably, habitually and consistently.
That’s why developing rituals is powerful, because rather than leaving it to randomness and chance or how we’re feeling on a particular day, by creating rituals we build them into our life and are more likely to do them. Once you’ve created the ritual you don’t have to think about it – it’s part of a system. It’s internalised.
Rituals will supercharge your habits and are better than habits in some ways. You can encompass more than one habit within a ritual and because rituals focus on specific ways of doing something, they are very focused.
Apart from building the habit, the other great thing about using rituals is that by following a set way of doing something you’re creating space and time in your life for it. Just doing these rituals will send your brain the message that this is important to you – you matter.
These rituals we’re talking about of themselves nothing out of the ordinary. You might think that’s not a ritual that’s just how I’m spending my evening. Great if that’s the case – but by virtue of thinking of it as a ritual and labelling it as a ritual – it makes it a thing. It raises it up out of the everyday and mundane and it becomes something more. It becomes that thing that you do, and what’s more you’re doing it with intention.
Most of these self-love rituals fall into the category of how to spend ‘you’ time. This is time you put aside where you focus on yourself. Scheduling ‘you’ time is one of the key self-love habits. These rituals are a great way to help you do this. How you interpret them and make them your own will depend on your lifestyle, situation and preferences, but we’ve included a few suggestions to give you the idea.
11 Self-love rituals
This will mean many different things to different people. It doesn’t really matter what it is – what matters is that you make a ritual and habit of scheduling time to do something that gives or brings you joy.
Schedule it to make it a ritual. It doesn’t have to be the same thing every day or for the same amount of time every day.
Make a ritual of asking yourself – what am I doing today that it going to bring me joy.
The power of laughter is immense.
You’re telling yourself you deserve to laugh – you deserve to be happy. Sometimes when we’re stressed or not feeling very loving towards ourselves we almost don’t feel right doing lots of laughing and having fun – especially if others are suffering – but we all deserve to be happy and making laughter a goal for your day or a ritual will help nudge it up the list and keep it on your radar.
Of course at BrilliantLivingHQ.com we’re big on gratitude and appreciation of what’s going on in our lives. It’s one of the most efficient and pleasing ways to ground us in our present, but more often than not it’s about other people and things around us. The difference with this self-love appreciation ritual is it’s about self-appreciation.
It’s not always easy, we tend to feel a bit funny about writing down what we like about ourselves. It goes back to the old idea some of us were brought up with that there’s something unseemly about blowing your own trumpet or fishing for compliments. But this ritual will help you counteract those unhelpful beliefs.
And gratitude and appreciation stop you taking things for granted, like how amazing your body and you really are.
Affirmations are one of our favourite rituals.
If you want to be more loving towards yourself, start with our Brilliant Living™ affirmations for love. Treat yourself (they’re very reasonable) to bring more love into your life, including love for yourself.
You might not get this if you don’t have a pet – but if you do have one you’ll know what we mean!
We’re not suggesting you do them all every day (but how great would that make your day!) But make some ‘you’ time that is non-negotiable. Decide what’s going to be in that ‘you’ time, and it might include 1, 2, or 3 of these self-love rituals.
Have a lovely time this week being purposeful about it. That’s the secret to all of this - remembering to do it and bringing it to your awareness on a daily basis so it becomes a ritual and then a habit.
Episode 83 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 83 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talk about all of this and more.
Links mentioned in the show:
Sat, 27 February 2016
It’s all very well knowing we should love ourselves but how do we do it? Find out how with these 10 ways to build the self-love habit.
What a lovely quote from the unique and fantastically brilliant Oscar Wilde but
what did you think when you read it?
Did you think that’s a clever little quip, or it’s a bit over the top or fanciful?
Maybe you think it’s narcissistic or you haven’t thought of loving yourself as a romance with yourself.
Whatever thoughts came to mind are an indication of your view towards you and self-love.
Self-love is an inner love and acceptance of who we are and how we are.
Last week we talked about what self-love is and why we all need it, in our blog posts and on the Changeability Podcast (episode 81). We looked at 6 ways or clues that show us we’re not being loving towards our self.
We understand what self-love is and why it’s good for us, we’re looking out for those times we’re not being self-loving, but how do we go from the ways we tend to behave where we’re not being loving to ourselves, to growing our self-love until it becomes the norm or a habit.
10 ways you can build a self-love habit for yourself
Give yourself permission to do what you want. Don’t wait for others to give you permission. You might think this doesn’t apply to you, but ask yourself if there’s anything you want to do in your life or at work where you’re waiting for someone else’s permission to do it. You might not have realised it before, but tacitly you’re waiting.
It can be more explicit or obvious in our close relationships. You seek someone’s permission before starting something new or maybe even to go out.
This isn’t about not caring about what your family, partner, boss or colleagues think. It’s about not holding back from being who you want to be or doing want you want to do because you’re scared or reluctant to ask or because you think you need someone’s permission. When often it’s an excuse for procrastination and you don’t need that permission at all – you only need your own permission. So give it to yourself.
Neglecting your own needs was one of the key signs for not loving yourself and this is the antidote. Make space in your life for you.
One practical way to do this is to make time for you. Carve out your own personal time to do something that pleases or excites you, or enhances you or your skills in or just makes you feel better.
This is a time when you put yourself first.
This doesn’t mean you don’t look after children or do your job well, but it does mean there is a time when you’re not putting other first.
When you create ‘you time’ you become a better parent, wife etc. You set a great example to your family and colleagues of one of the ways of being an effective person, and send a strong message that you matter and want to be treated as if you matter.
You matter enough to yourself to spend time on yourself and tend to your own needs and desires and they need to respect that. And they will respect that – even it it takes a little while to get you and them into the swing of it.
If you find this an uncomfortable prospect, ask yourself if rushing around, doing lots of things for others, however worthy, is feeding an underlying limiting belief (like I need to be busy or look after everyone else to be valued) or is it because you really want to do it.
Unless we’re talking about SMART goals you don’t normally hear us talk about being realistic. However, we’re not talking about a lack of ambition or not having big dreams or goals; this is about being realistic about what you can achieve in a given timescale.
Or to put it another way – don’t overstretch yourself or take on too much.
One of the times we hear our inner critical voice is when we get impatient or cross with ourselves that something’s taking us too long or we’re not as far along with a project as we think we should be.
However long you think something is going to take – double it! Or even triple or quadruple it depending on the sort of person you are. This is about self-knowledge.
Basically don’t give yourself so many things to do. Don’t think you can fit in ten things before you go out for that appointment when you’ve only got tine for two – you’ll either fall short and be disappointed with yourself or be late!
Examine your beliefs around being busy and time. Is your time something to be used or enjoyed? Do you feel that you have to be rushing around filling up every moment in order to be valued? Because let us tell you - you don’t.
This fits with the above three and is one very practical way to help you accomplish them – to choose you, create and use your time and curb your expectations of yourself.
Learning to say no is a very practical skill.
You learn it by doing it – but there are a couple of techniques to help you.
If you’re the a person whose automatic reaction is to say yes, then you want to break that automatic response – which is a habit.
One easy way to do this is to buy yourself some time .This doesn’t mean you won’t say yes to a request, but that you will not automatically say yes – without thinking about it.
To give yourself some time say ‘I’ll get back to you’ (if you might need a little while) or say ‘I’ll go and check my diary or calendar’. This gives you the option to think about it and obviously see if you have something on or not.
But it’s not just about if you are free, but if you actually want to say yes or not. Don’t just say yes because you’re free.
You can even practice saying no. Start with very small things, or when it doesn’t really matter. Once you’ve done it a few times it will get easier and you wont feel you’re letting people down.
Watch out for being a people pleaser and thinking that people will only like you if you say yes.
Much of the time we can be quite hard on ourselves – I should have done this or why didn’t I do that or can I do more or why didn’t I achieve that or why did I fail to reach that goal. This is not self-love and can be rectified by being kind and gentle on yourself.
Do you sometimes expect more from yourself than you do from other people? We often have higher expectations and standards of ourselves than we do of others.
But if you want to love yourself more - then accept you’re not perfect, and life will be a lot easier.
Perfectionism is a scourge and one to be avoided or downgraded. Doing a good job is great but there comes a point where it tips over into more than good enough to the detriment of you and your performance.
So be kind to you. Be gentle. Give yourself a break – both physically, in real terms but also figuratively speaking.
Your inner critic is never going to go away completely and that’s a good thing. It’s helping you stay safe and keeping you on your toes or on track, pointing out when something could be improved or isn’t helping you – but it can also be detrimental to your happiness and to loving yourself.
So accept your inner critic for what it is. An inner voice trying it’s best to help you out – albeit in a often misguided way. It is working from the confines of its experience of you and the world and that’s not your inner critics fault, it’s just a matter of fact. So you need to help it to see where it’s not helping you and retrain it to be more supportive and helpful.
Accept that your inner voice and critic is a part of you. And loving yourself also means loving this inner voice but that doesn’t mean that you need to accept everything it says or let it stop you making the changes you want in your life.
Be aware of it, listen to what it’s saying but don’t accept it as the truth. Examine it and take notice where it’s helpful or overrule it where it’s not.
You can even talk to your inner critic – ask it why it feels like that, thank it for it’s observations and opinions, answer back by suggesting ways in which you can modify your behaviour.
Sometimes it will be telling you the truth, maybe an uncomfortable truth, But often it’s reflecting the results of the experiences you’ve had throughout your life – particularly in your formative years. This experience might have left you thinking you’re not good enough in some way, or your behaviour is inappropriate or you’re veering into new and therefore dangerous territory.
Listen out for your inner critic, acknowledge it, see what’s underneath it, accept it, deal with it, negotiate or quieten and calm it. One of the best ways to raise your awareness and calm and quieten it is through our next suggestion.
One of the ways to address, put into practice and tick off the things we’ve talked about so far, is to be mindful and practice a simple form of meditation.
Because when you meditate you put yourself first – you are with yourself in that very moment – your mind might be thinking about a million things but you bring it back to the present moment and are aware of you.
This is your time – so you’re taking or creating some ‘you time’.
And you’re setting a specific time – however small that might be – to use for yourself and be realistic about it.
In that time during your meditation you’re bringing a calm awareness to yourself and what’s going on in you (including your inner voice) and around you at that time.
Look for what energises you. If you don’t know, search for it, find it and do it.
It might be something creative like drawing, painting, writing or speaking.
It might be something physical like playing a sport, swimming, dancing or walking – it might be taxing but could be gentle and be about getting your body moving or getting out in nature.
It might be something that gets your adrenaline pumping or where you get lost in the zone. For us it’s singing and being on stage – it’s thrilling and nerve wracking and fun and challenging and all those things – it’s not always a pleasant feeling but is ultimately energising.
That’s what you’re looking for - something for you that makes you feel alive
This incorporates making time for yourself and choosing yourself or putting your self first (not all the time but some of the time) and takes it a step further by taking a positive decision to develop yourself.
Congratulations because you could say that by reading this or listening to our personal development podcast you are doing this right now.
Developing yourself involves leaning a new skill or changing something you don’t like about you or your life or improve yourself. It takes effort but the effort is worth it – because by spending effort on yourself you show yourself that:
One of the keys to personal development is getting clear about what you want and then finding the best way to achieve it – and that means setting clear goals around what you want to achieve for yourself (and of course for your family and friends and community). There’s nothing more self-affirming than achieving something that means a lot to you.
So self-love means developing yourself – and at BrilliantLivingHQ.com you’re in the right place to do that. And we have something coming up soon if you want a systemised supported way of doing that – you find out more here.
Knowing you are enough is the start, and it’s a great start, but it’s one thing to know it intellectually and another to believe it.
That means taking it to the next level. The things we’ve been talking about will help you to know it – and as you make them part of your life you will come to believe it.
Because creating and building a self-love habit like any habit requires thought and action and repeated action until it becomes an automatic way of thinking and behaving.
And one of the best ways to accelerate this process of building a self-love habit is to use self-love rituals to implant the thinking and behaving.
But that’s for next week!
Episode 82 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 82 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about all of this and more.
And if you like the show please let us know by email at hello@BrilliantLivingHQ.com and by leaving a review on iTunes – we love reading them!
If there’s somethine you know you’d like to change in your life then you’ll want to know about our forthcoming goals challenge! We’ll be sharing more about this soon but just want to let you know that if you want to be involved in the first group (and you surely do!) – you can sign up at BrilliantLivingHQ.com/goals to get on the list. We’ll send out more details when we have everything finalised. But it’s going to be exciting – or we’re excited anyway!
Sat, 20 February 2016
Last week we were celebrating love and Valentines, which inevitably led to thoughts of romance and different types of love.
But despite a lot of talk of love everywhere – from card shops to films to books and the media – we see evidence of a lack of love all around us. That lack of love is not only evident in the terrible things we hear on the news, but also in something closer to home. And that’s the love we have for ourselves – or self-love.
What is self-love?
What are we talking about when we talk about self-love or loving yourself?
A good place to start is by saying what it’s not.
It’s not about being selfish or self-centred – even though it’s easy to jump to this conclusion when we talk about loving ourselves.
And it’s not about showing off or having an over-inflated ego or sense of self.
Nor is self-love about being narcissistic. In fact narcissism is the opposite of self-love because we’re seeking approval of ourselves, as this quote from Emily Levine illustrates:
So that’s what it’s not – but what is it?
Self-love is about our ability to deal with and cater to our own needs and desires. It’s about having a healthy view and sense of our self.
It’s tied up with our sense of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence in ourselves.
Yet how often we don’t love and respect ourselves.
6 ways we don’t love ourselves
What does it look like when we don’t love ourselves? Here are 6 tell tell signs to look out for, clues that indicate you’re not being loving towards yourself.
This is the inner dialogue that goes on in our mind. For example:
I can’t or I couldn’t do that
I’ve never been any good at…
Why would they want to hear what I’ve got to say…
They wont be interested in me
I’m not clever enough to…
Stupid man …. Why am I so silly or stupid (one of Julian’s favourites)
I feel disappointed in myself that….(one of Kathryn’s favourites!)
It’s not just what we say to ourselves but also what we say out loud and in front of others, including when we put ourselves down in front of others.
This is where you’re critical of yourself e.g. ‘why can’t I do that’, or where you’re impatient with yourself for getting something wrong or with how long it’s taking you to get something right.
Think about when we’re learning something new. It might be a new or complicated skill like playing a musical instrument, so of course we’re not going to pick it up straight away. But still we somehow think we should be able to do it much quicker than we realistically can.
We’re impatient, as if it’s some defect or lack in us that’s the cause of our slowness. We get frustrated or even angry - when really it’s our expectations that are unrealistic.
The same goes for when it takes long time to do a task or our work. Impatience or criticism creeps in and we question why we can’t focus more or why’s it taking so long to get it done.
These are the signs of being hard on yourself that we both recognise only too well!
One of the classic signs of a lack of self-love is when we don’t look after ourselves physically. We might show a blatant disregard for our health and what we put into our bodies or what we do with our bodies, such as indulging in risky or dangerous behaviour.
When you love someone you want the best for them. Yet many of us fill our bodies with food and drink that’s no good for it and harmful in the long run. Is it we don’t love ourselves enough to give us the best we can, or is the quick reward of eating something we like the taste of, more appealing?
It’s a complex subject and might not apply to you – but it’s worth thinking about what you eat and if you’re being loving to yourself. Or is that little something you call a treat and reward, really the opposite?
This applies to you if you run around looking after everyone else whilst neglecting your own needs. Many parents will relate to this. Of course most people love looking after their children and doing things for their family, friends and community but there is a point at which it becomes about everyone else - which is fine until you find yourself neglecting your own needs.
Another form of neglecting your needs is when you live how others think you should live rather than following your own dreams and aspirations.
Sometimes shame gets in the way of loving our self.
You might shame yourself about the decisions you make or have made in the past. Or you try to hide something from your past because you think it puts you in a bad light or you regret it. But you might also try to hide parts of you from those around you because you’re ashamed or don’t like some aspect of yourself. Maybe you’re afraid they wont like you if they were aware of it, or you fear opening up the whole you will make you vulnerable to getting hurt.
These are examples of when we exhibit behaviour and characters lacking in self-love, but they also describe a lack of self-worth.
This is when people don’t consider themselves worthy or deserving of looking after or nurturing themselves, because or an underlying, possibly unrecognised, sense that they don’t think they’re worth it.
But they are worth it – we’re all worth it. We need to think of ourselves in loving ways and to feel and experience that self-love. Not in a selfish way but because self-love is good for us, our families and society.
What to do next
Be on the look out for how you do or don’t love yourself, especially those signs of when you’re not being loving towards yourself like your inner voice and critic.
Catch it out and if you’re serious about this make a note of it. Write down the thought or word or action and the time and date. This will help you in two ways:
In case you’re worried about being selfish, it’s not selfish to look after yourself, or want to change yourself and your situation.
The fact is we have more to offer others when we care for ourselves first. Love starts with you. Improve your life and you’ll improve the lives of those around you and have more love to give.
Episode 81 of the Changeability Podcast
In episode 81 of the Changeability we discuss all these aspects of self-love and more. You can listen now either on this page or on iTunes, Sticher or TuneIn.
If you enjoy listening to the podcast you can subscribe to it from here or your phone and get each episode downloaded automatically.
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Sat, 13 February 2016
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, The Changeability Podcast today takes a light-hearted look at something we all want in life and if we haven’t got it, we’re often looking for it.
And that is love.
So episode 80 of the award winning show is our opportunity to celebrate love – in all its rich diversity.
The Beatles told us ‘All you need is love’, we know that ‘love is a many splendored thing’ and we may even have said ‘I’m not in love’ when clearly we are.
So with love all around us and the shops urging us to spend, spend, spend to show and celebrate love, we thought we’d offer our own take on a subject that’s dear to our hearts.
In Episode 80 of The Changeability Podcast discover:
Mentioned on today’s show
Sat, 6 February 2016
This week’s guest on the Changeability Podcast is Tarun Stevenson, joining us all the way from sunny Australia.
It being the beginning of February, this is traditionally the time of year when people begin to struggle with the impetus and enthusiasm of personal and business goals they may have set for the year, so we invited Tarun to talk about keeping your goals on track.
Who is Tarun Stevenson?
Tarun is a personal development coach, teacher and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. He works with individuals and organisations, to identify obstacles and limitations in their growth and through development of leadership and communication skills help them realise their full potential.
We had a fascinating discussion with Tarun, in which he offered a wealth of information and knowledge on keeping your goals on track.
In episode 79 of the Changeability Podcast, discover:
Links mentioned in the show:
Sun, 31 January 2016
Start talking about goals and it wont be long before the subject of SMART goals comes up. Possibly the most popular and well-known of all goal setting tools and techniques, but are SMART goals always the smartest way to set goals? Today on the Changeability Podcast we we ask, and answer, the question - do goals need to be SMART?
You can’t go far in the worlds of business or personal development without coming across smart goals and last week in episode 77 we talked about what SMART goals are in ‘A smart guide to SMART goals’. Because they are used so much all over the world and particularly in business, they tend to be accepted as the best way to set goals but maybe not everyone is so enamored with them.
Yes, there are those who totally get SMART goals, they love them and accept them as the best goal setting technique, but are they really always the best way to look at goal setting.
The word SMART is an acronym which provides a goal setting framework to ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. Goals that meet these criteria are said to be SMART goals and the assumption is that we want our goals to be SMART – but do we need our goals to be SMART?
One of the key potential pitfalls with using smart goals is that because of the very nature of SMART goals they tend to veer you towards thinking small.
If you think about how to set a good smart goal, you've got to have quite a good idea about how you're going to achieve it before you set that goal. You need to know what likely timescale you can achieve it in, and how you can quantify it in someway. This means you’ve already got an idea of the numbers involved whether that be time, money, widgets, weight or any other way of quantifying goals.
It’s great you've got a concrete target to aim for. We know it’s good for our conscious and subconscious to know what we’re working towards; something tangible and specific we want to achieve. And for that SMART goals are an excellent tool.
But one of the issues with quantifying your goals in such a way, is that you’re looking at them through the lens of your present experience. This may or may not matter but looking at your world, life and ambitions through the lens of your present experience can mean you don't aim as high as you might because straight off you’re aware of the need to quantify it.
It’s not just this need to quantify your goals but also the need to be relevant, realistic and achievable or attainable. Taking these elements together can constrain us or make us narrow-minded in the way we use our imaginations and vision. It can mean we can end up thinking smaller rather than aiming higher. And consequently start out with goals that are just a bit boring or a little dull rather than exciting, empowering and part of a bigger vision.
Another potential downside of SMART goals to watch out for is that by constantly quantifying your goals you might just be setting yourself up for failure or at least for fewer chances to feel good about yourself and what you’ve achieved.
For example, if you measure a fitness goal by going to the gym 12 times in the next month and something comes happens and you go 10 times have you failed to reach your goal. Yes, you’ve missed your goal and you know you’ve missed your goal but does that make you a failure. Of course not, you’ve been to the gym 10 times, which is probably 10 more times that you went this month. But the very act of getting so specific puts the focus on the numbers rather on the activity and how you feel, and how you’re actively pursuing and being a fitter person.
These may seem like small points but can change your perception of yourself and your goals.
So what can we do about this.
You can get around this by not starting off with SMART goals, but start with thinking about your bigger vision. How you want to feel and the sorts of things you could do to make you feel like that, the lifestyle you desire, how you want to spend your time, what you want to look and feel like. Take this as your starting point looking through the big wide lens of potentiality.
Now of course at some point you might want to, or have to, ‘smarten up your goals’, because you need to quantify them in some way and think about the actual actions you need to take. Yes of course you are going to have to do some of this, but the point is don't start there.
Start bigger, then think about what you can do, and how you can start making those goals a reality for you. Yes, this will probably involve some element of timescales and quantities plus actions of course, as without action you’re not going to achieve anything - and your vision and goals will remain as wishes.
Start out thinking big and hone in and smarten up your goals until you’re thinking more specifically about each part of what you want. You might also look for other ways to measure the progress and success of your goals, or opportunities to leave them a bit more open and less specific, and more about the experience than the outcome.
This is a a good starting point if you want to make significant changes. However, if you're setting goals in the workplace or business and they’re not of significant proportions like wanting to change major things in your life, then smart goals may very well be the best option.
If you’re talking income, expenditure, turnover, profit, productivity, in other words goals based on numbers and being specific and quantifiable, and within specific timescales, then SMART goals are indeed a suitable technique to use.
Episode 78 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 78 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us chat about all of this and more as we we ask and answerthe question - do goals need to be SMART?
Want to know more?
If you want to know more about our goals course leave your name at briliantlivinghq.com/goals and we’ll get back to you with more information.
If you want to make big changes in your life a great place to start is reading Kathryn’s #1 Amazon best seller - Changeability: Manage your mind – Change your life – available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.
This is what what one lovely reviewer called Ian wrote on Amazon.co.uk a couple of weeks ago:
Thank you Ian wherever you are. We really appreciate this and every review we get on Amazon and iTunes.
Sat, 23 January 2016
In this week’s episode of the Changeability Podcast we’re talking goals and more specifically we’re talking SMART goals. What are they and why do people like them – in our smart guide to SMART goals.
As we write this, we’re three weeks into 2016 and so far this year we've been thinking about goals. In episode 74 we looked at why some people don’t like the idea of goals or setting goals and some ways to overcome those objections.
We chatted to Richard Scott in episode 75 about his experiences and insights into goals and how to achieve them.
On last week’s show, in episode 76, we thought about why our brains like having goals.
We’re at the end of a very goal focused week ourselves, having been working on two specific goals of our own simultaneously. One of which is ironically about goals – to finish writing all the scripts for our new goals course. And the other goal is to transfer this website over to a new theme (Thrive themes if you’re interested), so it will look better and be more responsive and therefore more useful. So far so good, though there may still be some glitches to sort out but we’re getting there. We like to set challenging goals that gives us lots of things to do at the same time!
As we’ve got goals on our minds this week we thought it would be good to think about different types of goals, and more specifically about one type of goal which is incredibly popular in personal development and business - the SMART goal.
You can’t go very far in the worlds of business or personal development without coming across SMART goals, so listen to the show to hear our smart guide to SMART goals.
Episode 77 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 77 of the Changeability Podcast to find out more including:
Want to know more?
If you want to know more about goals sign up at briliantlivinghq.com/goals and leave your name and we’ll get back to you with more information.
Sat, 16 January 2016
An interesting conversation occurred on our Facebook group (facebook.com/brilliantlivinghq) this week. We’d posted something about ‘Why people don’t like goals (and are they right?)’ and one of our Facebook members made the comment:
The Anglo-Saxon aside, what a great comment from someone who is obviously not a total convert of goal-setting. Direct and to the point.
And that got us thinking. As Kathryn is the writer of the international best-seller “Changeability: Manage Your Mind – Change Your Life” and goal setting is a key element of developing your Change-ability, the ability to manage your mind to make changes in your life, then surely we need to be able to explain ‘Why your mind needs goals.’
So we set about explaining just that.
Entrepreneur, author and writer, Jim Rohn has always plenty to say on the subject of personal development and so this quote caught our eye as in part answering the question.
No plan, then in essence your plan is likely to be someone else’s and chances are they’ll be looking after themselves more than you in that process.
But what’s going on in the actual brain?
Why your mind needs goals
The brain operates on two levels – the conscious and the unconscious or subconscious with the conscious being less powerful but crucial to achieving your life’s aims. We know, for example, that all great ideas must begin with the conscious thought of that idea.
So your conscious mind is often where it begins, and that’s also where we often decide on the actions we need to take to achieve that goal.
But the conscious mind has limitations, it quickly loses focus and holds limited amounts of information at any one time – thought to be around 7 chunks.
So it needs a subconscious to process things in the background. All those myriad functions our bodies and brain must undertake to keep alive.
But how does your unconscious mind determine which bits of the millions of pieces of sensory data it takes in every second of every day through your senses it should make your conscious mind aware of?
The subconscious minds’ function
It decides its reaction based on a comparison between new incoming data (through the senses) and existing data stored in your subconscious and then taking an appropriate response.
It’s like having a library in your brain (memory to you and I) with a record of all your experiences, values and beliefs.
Essentially your subconscious is trying to keep you safe, so when something happens it compares this situation with previous situations it has stored in your mind and formulates an appropriate response which it feeds to your conscious mind. You know the sort of thing – fight or flight and in practice the brain is primarily concerned with just maintaining your safety (and some might say the status quo!)
Now this is all well and good most of the time. You want to know hot things burn from previous experience and your conscious mind with those limitations we talked about earlier needs to only know what it needs to know.
Furthermore, there’s a filter mechanism in the brain – the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which processes everything it receives through the senses and then judiciously selects what the conscious mind needs to be aware of! And remember, it’s primarily concerned with your safety!
And in deciding what it makes known to the conscious mind, it chooses this based on what you’ve programmed your brain to focus on – rather as Google searches for matches to the words you type into the search engine.
So what happens if you haven’t set goals?
Then we default to what we already know, based on your previous experience, habits, values, etc. stored in your subconscious. Essentially, more of the same.
But if we use our conscious mind to set the coordinates of travel, i.e. we set goals, then our subconscious will look to provide the conscious mind with evidence to support our ideas or goals we’re searching for. We’ve in effect by passed the gate-keeping function of the brain, or at least tipped off the gate-keeper to let our conscious minds know of things which fit in with what we’re looking for. It’s in effect providing a lens through which to focus the subconscious mind, plus giving a nod to our gate-keeper the RAS to let through to our conscious mind things which might support this goal or aim.
Episode 76 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us discuss this in full and more, plus a sneeky, dramatic look at the effects of the wrong way to use the Google in your brain, in episode 76 of The Changeability Podcast.
Go on, you have to be at least a little curious!
The last word, or do you have that?
We’ll leave the last word to Melody Beattie in The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditation on Codependency:
Where do you sit?
Let us know in the comments below.
Sat, 9 January 2016
Today’s guest on the Changeability Podcast is Brisbane based, Richard Scott at mynd.works. We asked him onto the show for his valuable insights on the subject of goals, goal-setting and making your goals a reality.
Richard’s work combines Psychology, NLP and CBT with traditional and modern hypnosis to bring the latest techniques in mindset motivation, psychotherapy, and stress management.
Richard's highly successful techniques are world renowned with clients spanning over 30 countries, including celebrities, world champion sports stars, members of royalty, X-factor finalists, government, special forces and everyday people from all walks of life.
We’re sort of guessing, we’re the latter of that list!
Episode 75 of the Changeability Podcast
On this week’s episode:
Links mentioned in the show
Next steps in goal-setting
If you want to achieve your goals, it starts with setting goals that work.
Find out about our new course on how to set goals for success in life and business at BrilliantLivingHQ.com/goals
Sun, 3 January 2016
Welcome to the first post and podcast episode of 2016. If you're reading this in real time - a very Happy New Year to you.
In our last episode (73) we asked ‘What are you proud of today?’ We talked about things we were pleased about, and how all too often we focus on what's going wrong or the things we don't like about ourselves.
It doesn’t matter you’re reading this at New Year or not – but one of the great things about New Year is it represents a cut-off point in time. A natural opportunity to re-evaluate what you’re doing and think about what you want to achieve in the year or months or weeks ahead.
It’s a fantastic chance to move on with the new. And one of the fantastic things about life is there’s always an opportunity to start something new - a new way of thinking and a new way of doing things. We all have the potential to change things, which is of course the basis of the Changeability Podcast.
Setting goals is a great way to start thinking about the new and what you want to achieve. But if that’s the case, why doesn’t everyone do it? Indeed, as you’re reading this you might be thinking you don't much like the idea of goals. If so you’re not alone, because many people never set goals because they don’t know what they are or how to do it, or they don't like the idea of them.
Episode 74 of the Changeability Podcast
That being the case, in episode 74 of the Changeability Podcast we ask why people don’t like goals – and are they right?
We think about the reasons why people don't like goals and suggest answers including:
If you want to achieve your goals, it starts with setting goals that work.
Find out about our new course on how to set goals for success in life and business at BrilliantLivingHQ.com/goals
We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to see what's going to happen for you and all of us in the coming months and year.
Sat, 19 December 2015
The impetus for this week’s blog post and podcast was in part inspired by a conversation between the two of us.
We’d been to see a couple of films and Julian was feeling a little stupid that he hadn’t really fully got to grips with their plots. During a conversation he said ‘You know, at the heart of it – I think I’m not very bright.’ Of course, as soon as he said it he realised it was a limiting belief and on some level knew it’s patently not true, and yet on another level he realised this was in part what he believed about himself.
Having The Changeability Podcast and a personal development site like this tends to make you notice this type of thing but doesn’t make you immune from it, and here was an unhelpful belief rearing its ugly head.
That got us thinking about unhelpful beliefs, which in turn got us thinking about counteracting them.
The Stephen Covey quote mentioned above goes on to say something interesting;
How can we describe ourselves more positively and change our perceptions of ourselves, or make a paradigm shift in what we believe about ourselves?
It’s the end of December at the time of writing and recording, which makes it an appropriate time to consider the year past. One way to begin changing your self perceptions is to think about what you’ve achieved or what are you proud of in this past year.
Here’s a few things we achieved this year.
What about you? What are you proud of achieving this year?
Doing this exercise for yourself
It doesn’t have to just have to be about things you’ve achieved this year? We started with achievements for the year, because of the timing - but it could equally be something you’re pleased with today. In many ways it’s more useful to do this on an on-going basis than once a year.
So what are you proud of today? Write down one or two things you like about yourself or you’re proud of doing or being, or pleased with how it went or how you behaved. You can do it daily.
It could be a characteristic, the way you think,a skill, an act of kindness, something you’ve produced, something you are e.g. a parent, brother, sister, child, friend, colleague. Being happy or smiling at someone. Maybe you’re a good listener, or you were there when someone needed to talk. Or you contributing to your community or entertaining people or are a good conversationalist. Maybe you just like the way your hair looked today or your outfit.
This helps counter-balance the lack self-esteem most of us experience - feelings of not being worthy or good enough, like ‘I don’t feel I’m very clever’.
But all meanings and labels are meaningless apart from the meaning we give them, and yet they colour our lives and have a massive impact on us and the way we feel about our lives, which impacts what we do.
The whole idea of cleverness is an artificial construct – something that only exists because of the meaning we give it. What on earth does being clever mean? Is it intelligence – if so what does that mean? It must be more than an IQ score which only measure a very specific narrow set of thinking skills, and which only matter in a certain context.
It’s all about the meaning you give it. If you don’t believe those things yourself they won’t affect you. Someone can tell you you’re as thick as two short planks but if you don’t believe it yourself, it doses’t smatter. It only matters because of the meaning you give it.
It’s time to reinvent the meaning by noticing the things you are good at, or like about yourself or are proud of. This is the contrary evidence to your negative beliefs that will boost your confidence and general sense of well being and belief in yourself.
We tend to focus on the future and what we need to achieve, our goals and aspirations – and indeed we’ll be looking at this soon – but it’s also time to recognise and celebrate your achievements, big and small, and the things you like about yourself and what you’ve done – today.
One of the films we saw this week was the last of the Hunger Games films (The Mockingjay part 2). At the end of the film Katniss Everdene says she copes with thinking of the horrors they’d been through, by making a list in her head of all the good things she’d witnessed, the good things that people had done and the kindnesses shown. And that’s what you’re doing, here but for yourself – about you.
From Proud sung by Heather Small and written by Wayne Anthony Hector, Steve Mac and Andrew Gerard Hill
Episode 73 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk about all of this and more in episode 73 of The Changeability Podcast.
Thanks for listening to the Changeability Podcast. We love having you here and appreciate you spending your precious tine with us.
Let us know your comments
What are you proud of today? Let us know in the comments below.
Sat, 12 December 2015
I just don’t have the time
If you find yourself complaining you don’t have time to do what want because you’re too busy, here’s 12 suggestions of how to free up your time and energy. They come from our guest on episode 72 of the Changeability Podcast, Rob Cubbon, who shares interesting insights into the drains on our time and energy that sap us of the will to achieve what we want in life.
If you recognise the name it’s because we talked with best-selling author Rob Cubbon in episode 58 about his book: ‘Free your thoughts: How I re-programmed myself for happiness and how you can too.’ We realised there was one aspect of the book that deserved wider coverage, so invited Rob back to discuss his advice on how to free up your time and energy.
If you spend your time involved in negativity, you’re not using that energy and time for more positive pursuits.
Look at your habits, would you have more time and energy if you did without them.
What are these activities and habits we’d be better off without?
How to free up your time and energy
A final thought
We’re not saying you have to do any or all of the above, but suggest that these are potential drains to our time and energy. Of course ultimately it’s for each of us to decide what we want to do with our lives.
But maybe, when you catch yourself complaining about not having the time or energy to do something you’d like to, this list will serve as a reminder of where to look first to free your greatest assets - time and energy.
Episode 72 of The Changeability Podcast
Hear Rob and us discuss how to free up your time and energy on this week’s episode of the Changeability Podcast, as Rob joins us from a shared working space somewhere in the world.
If you’d like to find out more about Rob and what he’s done to change his life and work, you’ll find him at www.RobCubbon.com
Resources mentioned on the show
Which of the suggestions do you agree with? Which don’t you agree with? How do you free up your time and energy? Do you practice any of these suggestions yourself and why? Let us know in the comments below.
Sat, 5 December 2015
We all find ourselves subject to criticism - not least from ourselves, but also from others. And we don’t like it. It makes us feel horrible - hurt, rejected, guilty, fearful, let down, misunderstood, angry, humiliated, insecure, embarrassed or unappreciated.
What you can do about it? You can’t always prevent it or stop it - but you can handle it, by changing the way you feel about criticism and how you deal with it.
Here’s 37 ways to deal with criticism. Read them or listen to episode 71 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about 37 ways to deal with criticism and more.
That’s 37 ways to deal with criticism. We’d love to hear any you’ve got any to add – leave a voice message, comment below or join our FB group.
Here’s a final thought about criticism; accept the truth – you’re not perfect.
Sat, 28 November 2015
If you don’t want to be criticised - don’t do anything .Although you’ll probably then be criticised for not doing anything, or for doing nothing - if that’s actually possible.
The meaning behind it is clear - the more you do the more people have to criticise you about. the more you open yourself up to judgement.
We’ve all met people who always seem to be worried about what other people think about them. So much so it’s the determining factor in deciding if they do or don’t do something.
But let’s not let such thinking keep us living small lives and stop us getting out there, making an impact or doing what we want. Because the truth is that whatever you do you’re likely to be criticised.
Not least because we all do it. We criticise ourselves and and we criticise others - even if it’s only in the privacy of our own minds. But it’s actually a lot more out there than that if we’re honest.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about feelings and being criticised brings up all sorts of feelings in us, so we thought it would be good to think about criticism and why we don’t like it. Starting with what it is, when and how we experience and ending with why we don’t like it.
What is criticism?
There’s many ways to describe criticism and they involve the following elements and concepts:
The modern word of criticism comes from the 14th century French expression critique and has roots in Latin ("criticus" - a judger, decider, or critic), and, even earlier, in classical Greek where "kritos" means judge, and "kritikos" means able to make judgements. this conveys the notion of the critic owning a sense of discernment - which isn’t often the first thing we think about when we’re being criticised.
The Oxford Dictionary carries 3 definitions of criticism
We’re talking predominantly about the first definition here.
When do we experience criticism?
We all experience criticism, at least in the sense of feedback, by virtue of growing up. It’s practically impossible to grow up and not be subject to criticism of some sort - and there are key sources of it.
For most of us it begins, and keeps going, in the family. Staring with our parents and our siblings and maybe extended family too like grandparents, uncles and aunties and cousins.
Then we go to school and it really kicks in big time and carries on into college and university - hopefully in a constructive feedback variety,even if it doesn’t always feel like that.
This continues into the workplace - only now it’s called 1:1s and performance reviews or even team meetings. It also happens if you work for yourself or are involved in a creative enterprise.
We’re not immune from criticism from our friends either. In fact the closer or more intense the relationship the more likely we are to experience criticism.
Which leads us to another potential source of criticism - our nearest and dearest - our husbands, wives or partners.
If you have children you will at some point endure their criticism - especially during those teenage years they’re trying to break free, find themselves and put their own stamp on the world, and you get criticised for much of what you do and stand for.
Do we ever welcome criticism?
There are occasions when we welcome criticism. We actively seek out people’s opinions on something, with the expectation they will be critical, by critiquing something we’re working on because we want to improve it or get buy-in.
Or we want to choose between alternatives and look for the discernment of others (like the original definition from ancient Greece) where the criticism is to determine a preference.
Or we know there’s something wrong with a project or creation and want honest guidance or feedback to help us improve it or get a different perspective on it.
When learning a new skill, criticism can be the mechanism to teach us where or how we can improve.
The way it’s delivered determines whether it’s seen as criticism or teaching or guidance. And not just how it’s delivered but how we hear it (more of that next week).
Whilst there may be times when we welcome or seek criticism, although we might not call it that, for most of us most of the time we see criticism as an unwelcome fact of life.
Criticism and why we don't like it
We don’t deny it may be good for us, that we can learn from it and become better at something or improve some aspect of ourselves - but we don’t like criticism. Why is that?
Because we don’t like the way it makes us feel. Isn’t that at the root of it?
In fact we don’t like the way that being criticised makes us feel so much that we almost fear being criticised.
We don’t like criticism because when someone criticises us:
If you have a high level or strong sense of self-esteem you might still feel these things we’ve talked about today - hurt, humiliated, outraged, rejected, guilty, uncomfortable, and also unappreciated - but it will be short-lived and you’ll bounce back quicker. You’ll have more resilience and your sense of worth isn’t dependent on what others think of you so much. You can’t avoid criticism but you can deal with it better - whether it’s justified or not.
But there are things we can do to help ourselves change the way we deal with criticism and that’s what we’’’ going to talk about next week in episode 71. So if you have any ideas or ways you do this we’d love to hear them.
Episode 70 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 70 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about criticism and why we don’t like it.
We’d like to hear what you think
We’ve been thinking about what we might do with the podcast next year. There’s two things we’d love your feedback on:
Please let us know - you can get in touch with us by:
Thank you for listening and reading - we look forward to hearing from you.
Sat, 21 November 2015
We are emotional beings with feelings, and together with our thoughts (which are intricately linked to our emotions and feelings) is what make us us. But our own feelings don’t exist in isolation. We are after all social beings and exist in groups, communities, nations, continents and the world.
Our feelings and behaviour affect other people’s feelings and behaviour and other people’s affect us - in a positive or negative way. And the way we deal with the feelings of others can have a positive or negative impact on them or us.
You only have to look at the news to recognise that as a human race we’re not always very good at dealing with the feelings of others. We see examples of religious intolerance, and social and political inequalities around the world and close to home. Our feelings do not exist in isolation and we are part of a larger community (whether we want to be or not).
The more aware you become of your own feelings, the more you will find yourself able to tune in to the feelings of others. Exercising your own feeling muscle enables you to understand and empathise with others better.
Empathy is a key concept here. It’s the idea of experiencing something alongside someone - putting yourself in their shoes. It differs from sympathy, which is more about feeling sorry for someone.
Empathy is linked to the idea of emotional intelligence. This is the skill of managing our own emotions and being able to recognise and deal effectively with the emotions of others and handle our relationships with empathy.
Empathy is a skill, and one of the indicators for happiness, we talked about previously.
But how do we get it? It’s a social skill we learn and pick up as we’re growing up, but some people more so than others.
You might say emotional intelligence and empathy can help us become better, more effective and successful people, and better for the communities in which we operate.
Paying attention to the feeling of others is a good place to start.
A question for you
How often do you ask yourself in a particular situation, where you are talking with a friend, colleague, or family member:
“How does anyone else feel right now?”
And perhaps a more interesting question is:
“How might the way they are feeling be affecting the way they are behaving?”
Last week we looked at setting feeling goals and suggested ways to do it, including keeping a diary of your feelings and how you behave when having these feelings.
This increased awareness of your own feelings and associated behaviours gives enables more insights into the behaviour of other people.
An important distinction
Notably the distinction between the person and their behaviour and the role feelings plays in the the relationship between the two. It’s helpful when dealing with people’s feelings, to separate the person - and their inner feelings - from the person’s behaviour - which is how they are acting or what they have said.
As human beings we have a tendency to conflate, or combine the person and their behaviour into one.
If a person is behaving angrily, on some level (whether we would say it consciously or not) they are an angry person. We associate the person with their behaviour.
Now as we know from ourselves, this is not the case. You might have just had a very distressing meeting with someone which left you feeling very angry, from which you bounce straight into another conversation where you’re perceived as aggressive, defensive or angry. If you assume the person and their behaviour are one and the same thing, you might see them as behaving unreasonably towards you and react accordingly.
But if, when someone is behaving very angrily, you can practise separating their behaviour from the person inside, you can respond to how they are behaving rather than reacting to them as a person.
This is of course easier said than done! There’s a temptation, as we discussed in ‘dealing with negative thoughts’, that we ‘mind read’ what we think the person is feeling from their behaviour.
Here’s a little exercise you can do:
Over the next couple of days keep a note of how other people demonstrate their feelings.
Dealing with unfamiliar feelings
It’s harder to deal with other people’s feelings when they’re feelings we ourselves are less familiar with. This in turn affects how you respond to them.
But how do you determine which feelings you’re less familiar with? You draw up a feelings map.
The feelings map
Draw up a list of your feelings under three categories: physical, emotional and state of mind:
Then plot these onto your feelings map.
Draw 4 concentric circles (circles within circles).
On the smallest circle, write in the word ‘often’; on the next circle up, write in the word ‘sometimes’; the next one up again, write ‘rarely’ and the final circle write ‘never’. Now divide those circles in three (like a third of a cake slice each) and on the outside of the cake slices (thirds) write the words: Physical feelings, emotions and states of mind.
Now map your physical, emotional and state of mind feelings onto that feelings map. So if you feel you ‘never’ express the emotion of sadness, then under the emotion segment of your feelings map, write ‘sadness’ in your ‘never’ concentric circle.
(See Feelings Map)
This gives you a map of your feelings, divided into physical feelings, emotions and states of mind and how often you feel them.
Now you’re able to look at your feelings map and see at a glance which feelings you feel least often and armed with that knowledge ask yourself:
“Which feelings do I feel least often and how do I tend to respond when others are expressing those same feelings?”
Love and anger
For example you might find you don’t express feelings of love very often and therefore tend to ignore that emotion not only in yourself but also when others are expressing that emotion. Now you’ve recognised those feelings of how you deal with love within yourself, you can develop a strategy for dealing with it in other people. So you might decide your strategy will be to say something very positive about that feeling and to explore with the other person how they are feeling.
“Wow, that’s wonderful. Tell me more about it?” In effect you are exploring the feeling in others.
Where as before you were judging them by your own standards of how you would behave, you are now sort of stepping into their shoes.
If you find anger difficult to tune in to and express yourself, your strategy for dealing with angry behaviour in others could be to focus on separating their behaviour (anger) from who they are (the person) and practice assertively standing your own ground.
It’s worth saying that none of this is an excuse for bad behaviour on anyone’s part and we’re certainly not suggesting you should put up with unacceptable behaviour or when people are riding roughshod over your feelings.
We’ve talked about dealing with the feelings of others on a one to one basis. What about group feelings? Human beings are after all group or pack animals. We’re social beings and are affected and influenced by those around us - particularly in group settings.
It’s easy to get caught up in the wave of what’s going on, unless we’re clear about what we feel. You only need to go to a football match or pop concert, to see this in action – generally in an enjoyable way where we take pleasure in the camaraderie of our fellow supporters or fans. But of course this same process can also be used towards less innocent ends, like mass rallies - where people can be influenced towards a more dangerous end.
Group feelings are also present in the smallest groups, in our own home within our own families or in the offices and places where we work, and influence how we feel and act as individuals.
It can be helpful to think about the way group feelings can affect you and ask yourself:
By paying attention to the feelings of others and by being aware of how we deal with our own feelings we can ‘deal with feelings’ more successfully.
The Changeability Podcast Episode 69
Hear us talk about all of this, including how often we think we’re aware of other people’s feelings (we have different views on this) and whether we think animals have feelings (of course they do but are they really ours?) and much more in episode 69 of the Changeability Podcast.
Sat, 14 November 2015
For many of us, our behaviours are often influenced by our childhood and underpinning those behaviours can often be a feeling of needing to be loved. The manifestation of that particular ‘feeling’ may well take the form of always striving to achieve – and by being in perpetual ‘doing’ mode - continually trying to prove yourself worthy through what you do. Something I’m sure many of us can recognise in ourselves even if we don’t always realise or acknowledge the cause.
Recognising our feelings is perhaps the first stage in a three-fold process of dealing with feelings. How we deal with those feelings successfully is then second part and if we can do that whilst being mindful of the third step – the feelings of others (as well as ourselves) then we are well on the way to feeling good.
The process of undoing years of engrained thinking patterns and the way we feel about ourselves, our feeling patterns, is hard, with no ‘quick fixes’ but is a path worth travelling.
And one way we might assist this process is to go about setting feelings goals – goals about how we want to feel in our lives.
Why set feelings goals?
We’re probably all aware of the concept of engrained thinking but we might not always think about engrained feelings.
Feelings often bypass the rational mind – and we just find ourselves reacting to them – often in an habitual way –perhaps because feelings tap a more primitive part of the brain.
Setting goals around how we feel then, is a practical way of putting into practice what we’ve talked about in our last two blog posts and podcasts:
Setting feelings goals
So the first thing about setting feeling goals echoes the earlier comment about how ‘it’s hard to undo years of engrained thinking patterns’.
These are long-term feeling goals and as such this is an incremental journey. But a rewarding journey none the less.
And just because its not a quick fix, doesn’t mean it’s ‘unfixable’. Give yourself some time with your feeling goals.
The first step is to identify what you want your feelings goals to be about. What aspect of your feelings do you want to think about?
Different sorts of feelings goals
Do you want to:
It might be advisable not to take on too many feeling goals, so it may be you initially decide on one feelings goal and aim for that.
What can you do to think about and create feelings goals?
Here’s 7 ideas to get you started. You don’t have to do them all at once, some you will deliberately set out to do but others will come to mind at different times and situations.
1. Feelings diary
A good way to explore your feelings is to keep a ‘Feelings Diary’. In it you might jot down particular feelings you have, the strength of those feelings, what prompted you to those particular feelings, how you responded to them and indeed how you might respond to them more appropriately moving forward.
Or note down at key moments in the day, what your body is telling you about how you are feeling at that moment.
Through doing this you come to recognise underlying situations or themes to the way you feel on a day-to-day basis.
2. Change the way you talk about your feelings
Be personal in your conversation, rather than using generalised statements based on what you think you should feel, or even what you think others should feel. Instead of expressing yourself in terms of ‘you’, ‘one’ or ‘they’, make a connection with how you really feel, by using ‘I’. E.g. Right now, I am feeling…
In other words, speak for yourself not others.
3. Reflect on your feelings
We can only really understand what we’re feeling and the effect of those feelings on us, if we take the time to regularly reflect on our feelings.
Give yourself a moment in the day, perhaps before you drop off to sleep to have those thoughts.
4. Spend time with people who accept your emotions
We hopefully all have people in our lives that accept us for who we are, and with whom we can share our emotions and feelings.
Prioritise your time by spending it with the people who’re supportive of your emotions and with whom you can share your feelings.
5. Conversations around feelings
When I was younger, a friend and I used to have classifications of how we conversed with people. Essentially, conversations were divided into Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 type conversations.
Level 1 conversations – were small talk. The weather, the football scores, whatever and it surprising in life how often our conversations with key people in our lives essentially stay at this level – the level of small talk. We always have similar conversations and they do not stray onto unsafe territory – whatever that might mean.
To have more meaningful conversations, however, we have to switch up a level, to level 2.
Level 2 conversations – were typically more intellectual conversations. Conversations about religion, history, politics, view on women’s rights, to name but a few and here you get more of a sense of what a person is like and the commonality of your views with that person.
Level 2 conversations can be more heated, particularly if there is disagreement. But you certainly get an idea of what a person is like from these types of conversation – including if you are going to share or differ in your opinions. Once again, many conversations with people in life do not stray beyond level 1 and 2, but you probably feel you know people better who you have had level 2 type conversations with on a regular basis.
Certainly these level 2 conversations do reveal more about you, albeit on an intellectual level.
Level 3 type conversations are on another different level again - conversations of emotion and feelings. Here you reveal a lot more about yourself – personal stuff, stuff you might only reserve for your closest friends.
Rather than dive in and reveal everything about yourself – which can be a little overpowering - you might test an initial Level 3 type conversation with a person, by revealing a small intimacy or personal fact and seeing how the conversation went with that person – did they respond by revealing a little bit more personal stuff about themselves? Or did they keep on safer territory?
Although this might seem trivial, or just a bit of fun, in fact it is quite an interesting statement on the nature of our relationships.
Do you always conduct your life on the safer grounds?
If you believe that might be the case for you, try deliberately revealing a little more (shifting to Level 2 or Level 3 type conversation) when you’re next chatting with someone who you know quite well but have always had the same type of conversation with and just gently explore and observe the response.
In the lovely book The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, there’s a lovely quote which says:
But I firmly believe it is a risk worth taking. Who knows it could be the start of a wonderful new deeper relationship?
6. Write an open letter
If you think you might have difficulty expressing your feelings person to person, another useful little technique is the open letter.
Write down in a letter to a friend, a partner or even yourself, what you’re feeling about something. And don’t worry, you don’t even have to send it (though you could if you feel able) – the act of writing it down will help to clarify the feeling and may help you realise what you want to achieve from expressing the feelings in writing.
7. Letting go
If you have difficulty expressing your feelings, try letting go a little more. Little by little, see how emotionally expressive you can be. View it, if it is easier, as an experiment – though the idea is to explore feelings rather than totally distance yourself from the process.
So there you have it. 7 ideas to get you started with feelings goals.
What next for your feelings?
Hear what we had to say about ‘Feelings Goals’ in Episode 68 of The Changeability Podcast – an award winning podcast dedicated to help you manage your mind to make changes in your life.
Or let us know what you thought about our 7 suggestions in the comments below.
Alternatively, leave us a voicemail by clicking the pink tab on the left hand side of this page and who knows, your voice may feature in a future episode of our podcast.
I’m rather feeling - you’re spoilt for choice!
Sat, 7 November 2015
It’s been a week where I’ve had to deal with “nothing more than feelings” in a very public way, speaking as I have at my father’s funeral. An event of this magnitude can bring up many feelings and I think it would be fair to say I’ve experienced the whole spectrum - feelings of sadness and grief but also gratitude and joy as we celebrated as well as mourned Dad’s life.
And yet amidst the on-going sadness Kathryn and I have also experienced other feelings like accomplishment when we recorded 8 videos in 2 days for our business and happiness and gratitude when Kathryn’s podcast, Podcast Divas hit the top of New & Noteworthy in iTunes in 4 categories. So it seems fitting therefore to think about the process of dealing with feelings.
Last week we asked what are feelings, what purpose do they serve, and how do you recognise and own your feelings? Now it’s all very well recognising you’re having them but when you’re in the presence of intense feelings, what do you do next?
Whilst it’s true you can’t always choose how you feel, you can choose how you respond to how you feel, and that’s what we’re talking about today, dealing with feelings.
So once you’ve recognised you’re feeling something there are a number of choices you can make with how you go about dealing with them. Here’s five ways.
5 ways of dealing with feelings
So how do you judge which will be the most useful in any particular setting?
A good rule of thumb is to consider what makes the circumstances better for you in this situation or ideally better for you and the other person(s). Or you can consider what makes the situation worse and avoid that. So ask yourself if you’re really feeling fed up with someone - would expressing my feelings make the situation better or worse?
And how do you balance those 5 choices?
A nice way to consider how to balance your feelings is to do the following for each of your five ways of ‘dealing with feelings’.
So taking the example of ‘Expressing your feelings’. Say to yourself?
Do I need to express my feelings more, or am I expressing my feelings about right or do I need to express my feelings less? You’ll know the answer if you listen to yourself.
Repeat this process for channelling your feelings, switching your feelings, controlling your feelings and reasoning your feelings and you’ll get an idea of how you predominantly deal with your feelings. You’ll also be aware of the other options you have and which ones you’re under using. In the end the skill of dealing with feelings is probably about balancing those 5 ways, rather than defaulting to one in particular.
Tell us how you deal with feelings
Tell us how you deal with your feelings by leaving us a voicemail using our new voicemail service – it’s a pink ‘Send us a voicemail’ tab found on any page. And who knows we may feature your voice on our podcast. We’d really like to share your collective knowledge of these matters. Or you can leave us a comment below. If you feel like it of course! And talking of podcasts…
In episode 67 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us discuss all the above, plus:
Sat, 31 October 2015
Having recently talked about the ups and downs of life and a week when we experienced what might be called extremes of feeling, this week we put feelings in the spotlight.
How are you feeling right at this very moment as you read this?
We all have feelings, they’re an intrinsic part of our human experience, but what are they and what purpose do they serve?
What is a feeling?
How do you describe what a feeling is?
Dictionary definitions of a feeling include:
That’s what feelings are but what’s the point of feelings? Why do we have them?
Feelings have a purpose
First thing to recognise is that feelings do have a purpose. They are like a bodily alarm system, alerting us to dangers and opportunities in life.
We can respond to feelings in different ways:
But to ignore them disregards a powerful tool in the changeability armoury. To discount our feelings removes some of the meaning from life, as feelings are powerful indicators of our bodily and mental emotions. Taken to extremes, totally repressing our feelings can lead to mental and physical problems.
Being aware of our feelings, and how we respond or choose to express them, is a skill. A skill we’re not normally taught. But one we think can be taught and learnt, (we would say that wouldn’t we), and developed into a useful tool.
We all have instances when we haven’t dealt with our feelings in a helpful way.
One of the keys to developing the feeling skill is summed up in the phrase:
“You can’t choose how you feel, but you
Recognising and owning your feelings
The first step is to recognise you’re having the feeling in the first place.
This involves getting in the habit of tuning in to what you are feeling and taking ownership of those feelings.
You can find clues in your speech.
‘I’ not ‘you’
We often express our own feelings by using the ‘you’ word. We might tell a friend,
“You know, you feel really upset when someone doesn’t listen to you properly.”
When what we actually mean is,
“I feel really upset when I’m not listened to properly.”
Such phrases appear like general statements but are really statements about the way we think and feel or the way we believe others should think.
Substitute ‘I’ to make it a statement of your feeling and you
Mindfulness and feelings
Mindfulness can help us recognise and own our feelings.
“Mindfulness is the awareness, that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
One popular mindfulness meditation technique is the body scan, where you pay attention to sensations in your body as in your mind you progressively scan your body from the tip of your toes to the top of your head, becoming aware of the sensations in your body but without attaching labels to them.
You can use a similar process for recognising your feelings.
Bring your awareness to your breathing to make a connection with your body. Your body is where your feelings connect, it acts as a channel for your feelings and reflects them.
If you listen to episode 66 of the Changeability we talk you through this but if you want try it for yourself now start with a couple of breaths in and out and begin to observe your body.
What is your body telling you about your feeling right now?
Using the ‘I’ word say to yourself: “Right now, I am feeling …
You might have said tired, angry, irritated, annoyed, hungry, sleepy, alert, bored, energised – sad – or a completely different feeling of your own.
Typology of feelings
There is a huge range of words to express our feelings but broadly speaking they come under three wide categories of feeling:
How do you feel when you watch a really good horror movie? Perhaps a sense of fear, but one related to your body exhibiting characteristics like feeling on edge or a fast beating heart and heightened sense of awareness. After all eliciting feelings is a key driver of a film.
“A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” Stanley Kubrick
Quantifying your feelings
Once you’ve identified, recognised and owned your feelings you can take it a step further by quantifying the strength of feeling using a simple process like red (for very strong) amber, green – or assign a number from 1-10.
Remember to focus on the whole range of feelings, not just the more negative ones we’re sometimes more aware of but also feeling happy, joyful, thankful, excited, exhilarated.
Episode 66 The Changeability Podcast
Listen to the episode 66 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about all of this and more and join us next week to explore what we do next in ‘dealing with feeling’.
We have a new feature this week here at BrilliantLivingHQ.com – voice mails! Yes you can very easily send us a spoken message – for free – and we’d love to hear from you.
Why not humour us by trying it out and letting us know who you are, where you live, and something you like about listening to the Changeability Podcast or the website – go on, we’re waiting for your call!
Sat, 24 October 2015
Our guest this week is Luke Strickland of The Potting Shed Podcast who joined us in the studio to help us with exploring creativity.
About Luke Strickland
Writer, thinker and dreamer Luke Strickland, is the host of the The Potting Shed Podcast, an eclectic exploration of a variety of topics helping you to be the person you’re created to be. His warm, engaging style is like a chat with a supportive friend.
In the best Potting Shed traditions, it is nurturing - nurturing and guiding with honesty and humour as he shares his struggles and successes along life’s way.
Join us as he talks about exploring creativity in his life and how you can do the same in yours.
Episode 65 of the Changeability Podcast
In this week’s episode, we explore:
If you’re wanting to make changes in your life or business we invite you to sign up for our Changeability Starter Kit - a free video course delivered to your inbox - and start getting clear about what you want.
Thank you for reading and listening and we look forward to being with you again next week.
Sat, 17 October 2015
“Life has its ups and downs. When you are up, enjoy the scenery. When you are down, touch the soul of your being and feel the beauty.” ― Debasish Mridha
This week we’re talking about the ups and downs of life and how we react and deal or cope with them.
True to say partly spurred on by the week we’ve just had.
It’s included the normal ups and downs of everyday life but on top of that there’s been some heightened ups and downs.
In today’s episode (64) of the Changeability Podcast we share a couple of major events that happened to us this week and use them to think about the highs and lows, ups and downs of life generally, together with suggestions of things we can do to help us cope with them.
Life is full of ups and downs
It might sound obvious but ups and downs of life are just part of life.
However calm and stable someone’s life appears, a closer look will reveal ups and downs. We all have them because they’re part of the human experience – a condition of our humanity. Whether of our own making or down to circumstances outside our control.
This week we’ve experienced both.
From down to up
Kathryn had the pleasure of giving a presentation to 150 Shell employees at a conference at Canary Wharf, London. Talking about how to thrive in times of change, it was a privilege to share the agenda with Baroness Susan Greenfield and VPs from Shell, Microsoft and Cisco.
The whole experience went from a down point of being outside the comfort zone and a fear of uncertainty prior to the conference, to the up of meeting fantastic people, delivering an adrenaline fuelled performance and accompanying sense of accomplishment, boosted by lovely feedback.
From up to down
Following the conference Kathryn returned home from London to the news that Julian’s father had taken a turn for the worse, and he sadly died a few days later.
The death of a loved one is the ultimate downer or low point, but is still a bittersweet experience. A mixture of ups and downs even within the low points.
A slight sense of relief for the release but shock at the dawning realisation of the finality of the situation.
Thankfulness and gratitude for the relationship and the memories you find yourself talking about together in the time spent preparing for the rituals and ceremonies accompanying this time.
That’s been our experience this week which got us thinking about some of the ways to help cope with the ups and downs of life. Here’s 20 of them.
20 ways to deal with the ups and downs of life
Episode 64 of the Changeability Podcast
You can hear us talking about all of this and more on episode 64 of the Changeability Podcast.
If you’re wanting to make changes in your life or business we invite you to sign up for our Changeability Starter Kit - a free video course delivered to your inbox - and start getting clear about what you want.
Thank you for reading and listening and we look forward to being with you again next week.
Sat, 10 October 2015
If you ever wondered how to start and finish anything in life, then you can’t help but be inspired by Tom Boother’s story.
Tom Boother studied politics at the University of Leicester. And on graduating he did what all graduates do and sought to become a racing driver. Unfortunately, however, racing driving did not seek him and he was unsuccessful in securing the necessary funds to race at the level he wanted.
So he returned to college to study Law, at the College of Law in London. It was whilst here, and with no athletic ability that Tom literally stumbled into the bizarre world of Ultra running.
Ultra Running is an extreme form of running where runners typically cover large distances over rugged and challenging terrains.
What’s a large distance, we hear you cry? Well, the official definition is anything over a marathon, though in reality the distances are considerably longer and the ground significantly rougher!
Using the metaphor of Ultra Running, Tom now speaks on how to start and finish anything - including big challenges and projects in life and business. It’s a unique slant and his stories though sometimes literally bloody provide valuable insights and illuminate how we can start big challenges, become the person who is capable of completing them and embrace the pain necessary to complete them.
And it’s this starting and finishing which is so intriguing. Why do some people achieve what looks to others as impossible? And do we need challenges in life for fulfilment.
At the heart of it all, Tom outlines three key components needed to complete big challenges and in this order:
Business typically spend a huge amount of time writing plans and setting corporate and employee targets. Tom’s refreshing relook, emphasises the need to get in there and do it, exploring the overall importance of doing tasks to ascertain if we like them, perhaps prototyping them and learning what is needed to succeed prior to then formalising this in a plan of action.
Episosode 63 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear about all of this in episode 63 of the Changebility Podcast and discover:
Links mentioned on today’s show:
What’s next for you?
If you’ve been inspired by Tom’s story let’s us know in the comments below. What lessons have you learnt? We’d love to know.
Sat, 3 October 2015
Following on from their recent success of winning best self-help podcast at the UK Podcasters Awards ceremony 2015, Kathryn and Julian were invited to the BBC to take part as guests on Lesley Dolphin’s afternoon radio show.
‘On the Sofa with Lesley Dolphin’ – is a BBC Radio Suffolk feature interviewing local people about their lives and successes.
So with the tables turned and the spotlight glare firmly on Kathryn and Julian, we sat down for a warm-hearted discussion and interview about Changeability, winning an award and life – ‘On the sofa with Kathryn Bryant and Julian Illman’
Episode 62 of the Changeability Podcast
On today’s podcast discover:
Links mentioned on today’s show:
What’s next for you?
As always, thanks for listening to the Changeability podcast. We would love it if you could take a moment to leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher of our show – we read them all and it might be yours we feature on our next show.
Alternatively if you’ve learnt something new about us, we’d love to read your comments below. Bye for now.
Sat, 26 September 2015
Dalai Lama XIV
According to neuroscientist and psychologists, one of the significant aspects happiness is it can be a learned response because the characteristics of happiness exhibit plasticity.
Yes, this means we can take specific actions to make us feel happier. And when we when we practice or repeat them they build up into a habit.
You know this from your own family, friends and colleagues that some people seem naturally happier than others, but this doesn’t mean your happiness level is a pre-determined given. Because what we’re talking about here means that we can develop and build up a happiness habit over time.
Another key finding is happiness is the sum of lots of small actions and happenings rather than one big event. So it’s better for our happiness level to do lots of daily little things like kissing your loved one, enjoying a laugh, or eating something you like, rather than one big thing.
All of which is brilliant news for brilliant living because we can do something about it.
Following on from last week’s article and episode 60 of the Changeability Podcast, 10 ways to be happy here are 10 more ways to be happier.
Every night before you go to bed write down three things you appreciate in your life in an appreciation, gratitude or thankfulness notebook - Big or small things about your day, about you and others or the world.
Date it and think about them as you go to sleep – and finish your day in the most positive of mind-sets.
2.Step out into nature
Get out into nature and daylight.
Immersing our senses in the natural environment stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, which makes us feel happier by heightening our mood and gives us a dose of vitamin D.
This also gives you a fractal hit. Fractals are naturally occurring patterns that are pleasing to us – and nature is full of them everywhere you look. You might not be aware of it but subconsciously you love them and nature is the the place to soak them up.
Be interested – whatever your age and circumstance.
Don’t you think that the most interesting people are those who are interested in others and the world?
They take a wide view – not small or narrow minded but always wanting to know about people and the world.
It’s easy to get in a rut with work, where we live, the people we know, and what we do for fun. Travel and holidays are great for experiencing new things and meeting new people, but we don’t need to travel to do this.
Staying curious is the opposite of being cynical and small-minded – it’s being interested and big-minded. Learning something new, which boosts our self-esteem, gives us a sense of accomplishment and leads to us feeing happier.
4. Give up complaining
This is a real challenge - give up complaining – about anything.
Try it starting today and see how long you can last.
It probably wont be long. Because like so many things we do, think and say - complaining is a habit and breaking this habit will make you happier.
Every time you're tempted to say something negative, notice it, stop and don’t say anything at all, or find another way to frame what you want to say in a positive light. We didn’t say it would be easy (we’re still working on this big time) but even being aware and reducing it will decrease negativity.
5. Be purposeful – have purpose
This is about intention and purpose - and having some!
Think about the things that give you purpose in life, these are motivation behind what you do.
It could be something significant like how you want to live or achieve this year, month, week and why.
It’s not necessarily about one overriding purpose – but finding the purpose in the multiple ways we spend our time.
We can find purpose in almost anything we do.
6. Find your strengths and values
Find and focus on using your strengths and values. The research of positive psychologists like Martin Seligman show the happiest people recognise and use their character strengths and virtues.
Character strengths include things like persistence, hope, critical thinking, zest, gratitude and virtues like humanity or justice.
What are yours? Think about when achieved something you’re proud of – what personal qualities allowed you to accomplish it.
You can measure your strengths through questionnaires. The University of Pennsylvania’s VIA survey of character strengths will determine your top 3 signature strengths. It’s free but you need to register.
We value our relationships, job, and interests more when they’re in alignment with our personal strengths and virtues.
Research shows that one of the best ways to boost long-term happiness is to use our strengths in new ways and situations, stretching ourselves a little (but not too much) rather than focusing on our weaknesses.
7. Take control and change what you don’t like
This is a big one, and ties in with purpose and intention, and living to your strengths and in alignment. Because if your life is full of things you want to change then it makes it tougher to live in alignment and be happy.
This doesn’t mean we want perfect lives – we’re not going to get that. But there may be certain things that you really don’t like about your life, or you want to improve or have more of – if that’s the case, and it’s something that can be changed, then you need to change it.
If you want to change what you don’t like to what you do like, you can start today with our Changeability Starter Kit. This free mini-course of 7 videos, mind work and practical actions, helps you kick-start change and make the fist crucial steps towards the changed life you want.
One of the big benefits of getting the Changeability Starter Kit or making the decision to change is you start to take action and control.
A sense of control over the parts of our lives we can have control over is an essential ingredient for happiness.
This is self-efficacy, feeling that what you do makes a difference – that you are at the centre of your actions rather than things happening to you.
8. Be Social – Relationships
This funny quote is not necessarily true because our relationships and being social might be the most important ingredient of all when it comes to happiness.
When asked about the causes of happiness in an Harvard Business Review interview, the Harvard Psychology professor Daniel Gilbert said if he “had to summarize all the scientific literature on the causes of human happiness in one word, that word would be “social…If I wanted to predict your happiness, and I could know only one thing about you, I wouldn’t want to know your gender, religion, health, or income. I’d want to know about your social network—about your friends and family and the strength of your bonds with them.”
Find ways to nurture the love, friendships and relationships in your life – we all take them for granted at times but relationships really are the most important thing in our lives.
9. Find your spirituality
There seems to be a link between religion or spirituality and happiness.
Psychologists think that religion and spirituality may make us happier for several reasons.
The social aspect and support of being part of a community of like-minded people.
A belief in something bigger than ourselves can give people a sense of hope and meaning to life and provide solace, support and resilience in times of trouble.
The link between spiritual practices like prayer and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, like a reduction in stress and anxiety and increase in calmness and positive thinking.
This is one of the key findings in the book by neuroscientist Andre Newberg and therapist Mark Waldman called ‘How God Changes Your Brain’
But you don’t have to be involved with organised religion to benefit from this. It’s about finding a way to connect with your spiritual side and make time for sacred moments.
10. Laugh and smile
Smile and laugh a lot – every day.
Even when you don’t feel like it – it will still do you good and make you happier.
Try it now – make a great big smile.
If you’ve ever heard ‘The Laughing Policemen’ you’ll know that laughter is contagious, but it’s also good for us.
According to the Mayo clinic in - Stress relief from laughter – it’s no joke – laughter is not a cure-all but does have a positive effect on us mentally and physically.
When we laugh we take in more oxygen-rich air, our heart, lungs and muscles are stimulated and endorphins released by our brain. Our stress response is activated and relieved and our heart rate and blood pressure increased all of which makes us feel more relaxed.
There may also be longer term benefits to our immune system and improvements in our mood.
Best of all, laughter is fun, free, and easy to use. So smile more and find things to make you laugh.
If you remember nothing else from this, keep in mind this final thought - If you think you’re happy – you are!
Episode 61 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 61 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talk about all of this and much more – including Julian’s impersonation of the Laughing Policeman and keep listening for the real thing!
What to do next?
Links mentioned in episode 61
Sat, 19 September 2015
The amazing thing about happiness is it’s a skill we can learn and practice and make into a habit.
As mentioned in What is happiness and the Neuroscience Behind It, four of the key characteristics of happiness exhibit plasticity, which means we can do something about it, we can grow and develop more happiness.
There’s nothing lucky about being happy. Happiness isn’t down to our circumstances, luck, money, career, success, talent, education, weight, looks or age.
The good news is there are simple actions we can take to make us happier. It turns out that simple actions are exactly what it takes to be happier, because the fascinating thing about happiness according to psychologist Ed Diener is that the frequency of positive experiences is more important for your happiness than their intensity. This means we’re more likely to be happier if we have lots of rather nice small things happen in a day rather than one amazing thing.
In other words as Daniel Gilbert, author of the 2006 best seller, Stumbling on Happiness noted in an interview for the Harvard Business Review,
Here are our first 10 ways to be happy. This is the small stuff, the actions we can do everyday to make us happier and hone our happiness habit.
Most of them don’t take long, and are free.
1. Choose happiness
Make the decision to be happy.
Say out loud ‘I choose happiness’. It sounds ridiculously simple and it is – but ultimately being happy is a personal choice.
Being happy is about attitude and the approach we take. Happiness is a skill we can learn and a habit we can foster, and it all starts with the decision to be happy.
2. Look up
It doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s one of the simplest quickest ways to feel happier.
Go outside and look up at the sky. Stand up straight, put your shoulders down. Take in the vastness of the sky and know that you are an integral part of this amazing universe.
3. Be kind and spread the love
Say or do something nice for someone today. It will make you both feel good and especially you.
If you want to feel good – do good!
It’s not just about money, it could be giving time or skills, or just helping someone out with a random act of kindness.
Even a kind word or smile can make a difference to someone’s day.
Try going around smiling at people – it does make you feel good.
4. Move it
Get moving - dance, walk, jump, run, skip, swim, gym – however you choose to do it, get some exercise and release your happy hormones.
Research into the link between depression and exercise shows exercise improves our mood and makes us feel happier.
5. Be positive
Think positive thoughts and experience positive emotions.
Positive emotions help us become more perceptive and open to the world, and flexible and creative in our thinking. Which in turn helps us be happier.
Thinking positive thoughts means being aware of your thoughts and the self-talk when it veers into the negative and replacing them with more positive empowering thoughts. One great way of doing this is through affirmations.
6. Cultivate optimism
Is your glass half full or half empty? It might be a cliché but it nicely demonstrates the different way in which optimistic and the opposite of optimistic – pessimistic, people view the world. The same events and circumstances elicit very different responses based on our attitude.
It sort of stands to reason that optimistic people are happier because they’re not looking for the negative in a situation or others. But there is research to show optimism has other benefits as it’s linked to life longevity and other health benefits like improvements to your immune system and being better able to cope with illness with quicker recovery.
7. Look after yourself
The body and mind intimately connected. One influences the other so it’s not just about looking after your mind, happiness is about your relationship with your body.
Boost your energy, enhance your mood and optimise brain function through eating healthy food (most of the time), drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep.
8 hours often cited as optimal but it varies a lot person to person – something we need to work on!
But fact is that it’s harder to be happy if you’re tired, hungry and dehydrated.
8. Be mindful of the present moment
Be mindful of the present moment and notice what’s going on around you. Stop and look and make an effort to do it rather than rushing around not seeing what’s around us. Be mindful about what you’re doing like how you eat or how you interact with the important people in your life.
Try Mindfulness Meditation – being intentionally and non-critically aware of the present moment. Sit quietly with closed eyes. Focus on your breath and don’t ponder the past or future but experience the present moment – on purpose and without judgement. Just ‘be’ for a few minutes.
Find out more with our Beginners Guide to Mindfulness Meditation.
9. Get in the flow
Alternatively do something that concentrates your attention on the here and now in a way that gets you in the flow.
This is that state of being when you can get lost in or caught up with something you’re doing. You become so completely immersed in what you’re doing that you lose track of time. You suddenly realise an hour has passed.
It might be a physical or mental activity like singing, practicing an instrument, being creative, playing a sport or dancing.
It’s when you become totally absorbed in concentrating of something.
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that flow is highly correlated with happiness.
10. Do something new
Do something fun, try a new experience, take new opportunities, try a new sport, interest or hobby. Do at least one of these every day to feel more alive, keep your plasticity going and make you feel good.
Episode 60 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk about all of this and more in episode 60 of the Changeability Podcast including:
What to do next?
Sat, 12 September 2015
‘Being happy is something you have to learn. I often surprise myself by saying “Wow, this is it. I guess I’m happy. I got a home I love. A career that I love. I’m even feeling more and more at peace with myself.” If there’s something else to happiness, let me know. I’m ambitious for that, too.’ Harrison Ford
How happy are you? This begs the question – how do you know how happy you are?
Is it something you can measure?
Is it something we should measure – and at what level can we measure it or could we measure it, if it’s possible.
At an individual level or what about something bigger, like a county or state level or even a national level.
How do you know how happy you are?
That’s a bit of tricky question isn’t it?
Because we don’t really go around measuring how happy we are - do we?
We sort of know it don’t we, that’s even if we stop and think about it which we don’t do most of the time. We just get on with going about our lives until something notable, good or bad happens, or maybe we plan something so we’re looking forward to it and thinking about it makes us feel happy.
Happiness is something we have a feeling for.
Websters describes it as a "a state of well-being and contentment."
We all know the physical effects of happiness; like smiling and laughing. And there’s also physiological reactions when we’re happy, like increased activity in the brain's left prefrontal lobe and decreased amounts of the stress hormone cortisol in our bloodstream.
We often think about happiness in terms of the negative or in retrospect.
We realise when we’re not feeling happy. Something happens to make us sad and we look back and think that we were happy then, even if we didn’t necessarily think about it at the time.
How happy we feel can frequently change depending on the context. As we talked about in episode 56 on ‘What is Happiness?’, this is reflected by the different types of happiness. The short lived experiential happiness of doing things that make us happy and the longer term underlying sense of wellbeing.
So you could have a different answer for ‘am I feeling happy today’ to ‘am I happy with my life’.
If we stop and think about it, we sort of know if we’re happy in the moment or not, or with our overall sense of wellbeing – but is there a way to measure happiness for ourselves and wider communities?
How to measure happiness
It turns out there are lots of ways to measure happiness and quite a lot of psychologists are doing it.
In an interview with the Harvard Business Review Harvard, psychology professor Daniel Gilbert said:
Measuring happiness is mostly done through happiness surveys where people are asked to rate their satisfaction with aspects of their lives. For example, one of the most critical questions asked in the World Values Survey is:
This enables comparisons between sections of the population and internationally such as the sophisticated broad ranging survey measuring subjective well being carried out by the OECD, the Better Life Initiative. The OECD survey acknowledges there’s more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics. So they created an index which lets you compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics they identified as essential in material living conditions and quality of life.
More than 60,000 users of the Better Life Index around the world have shared their views on what makes for a better life and you can share your own index on what makes for a better life and see how you score on it.
In the UK the ONS Office for National Statistics has developed new measures of national well-being, to provide a fuller picture of how society is doing by supplementing existing economic, social and environmental measures. Measuring National Well-Being: Life in the UK March 2015 and another one on International Comparisons, provide a snapshot of life in the UK today across the 10 domains of national well-being. It’s the third annual summary to be delivered by the Measuring National Well-being programme.
The tiny country of Bhutan is a champion of measuring national progress not only through gross domestic product, as economists do, but through tracking Gross National Happiness. The Bhutanese government has been surveying it’s citizens since 1971 on their psychological well-being, health, education, living standards and time use. They also track cultural diversity, cultural resilience, quality of governance and community vitality as well as ecological diversity and resilience.As well as asking people about their happiness in the moment and overall life satisfaction, some psychologists have found more creative ways to measure happiness, including monitoring social media for happy tweets, Facebook feelings and Instagram grins.
How can you measure your own happiness?
If you want to measure your own happiness you can take the numerous multiple choice quizzes available online. They will help you think about where you are across different criteria.
Or you can do that with our chart your life exercise, which you will receive if you join our Changeability Starter Kit. This gives you a quick snap shot of where you are now, and is a good place to start. You can then measure yourself on these scales in a few months time if you want to see if things have changed.
Or if you want a quick multiple choice quiz there’s one on the TIME website.
With the 4 key questions that Edward Diener devised for the Satisfaction With Life Scale in 1980 and has been used as the basis for many studies since. You score yourself on a scale of 1-7 for each orf these statements:
Although it’s quick, convenient and interesting to ask yourself these questions, it doesn’t really go anywhere after that.
So the best way to measure your happiness is to keep a happiness journal where you record how you feel throughout the day. The emotions you experience at different times. Or you can do an overall summary at the end of the day, but isn’t quite so robust as our feelings and emotions change considerably throughout the day.
And that’s the challenge of doing these online quizzes they are literally a snap shot of how you feel in that moment. What you’re after is a more in-depth realistic assessment, if you’re serious about it, by recording your emotions over at least a week.
Episode 59 of the Changeability Podcast
Hear us talk about all of this and more in this week’s episode of the Changeability Podcast – on iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn or the player at the top of this post.
Choose happiness and make it happen
So what about you? Do you describe yourself as very happy? Comment below.
If not do you want to do something about it? Listen next week for our tips, actions and techniques on how to be happier.
Thanks for reading or listening – and if you want to help us out please subscribe to the Changeability Podcast on iTunes and leave us a rating and review – it would be much appreciated.
Sat, 5 September 2015
Here at BrilliantLivingHQ.com we love thinking and talking about how our thoughts impact our lives. How what we think makes a difference to what we do, which is where the concept of mind management comes in.
When we realise we don’t have to be defined and confined by the way we think, because they’re just thoughts and we are more than our thoughts, we can do something about it to make changes and get the life we want.
We call it managing your mind. Our guest for today, Rob Cubbon, calls it ‘freeing your thoughts’ and he’s done just that. So we just had to talk to him and now bring you the conversation in this week’s episode of the Changeability Podcast
Rob Cubbon is an Amazon bestselling author, online teacher, graphic designer, digital nomad and all-round good guy! Rob helps and inspires people to build sustainable online businesses, earn passive income and experience greater freedom and happiness in their lives.
Rob’s also the author of ‘Free your Thoughts: How I Re-programmed Myself For Happiness And How You Can Too’, his latest Amazon bestseller about the mindset shift he enjoyed which enabled him to sort out his life and start his own business, find his own calling and happiness.
Episode 58 The Changeability Podcast
In episode 58 of the Changeability Podcast Rob talks about how he did this, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly, including:
If you enjoyed this interview please send Rob a tweet to let him know at @RobCubbon
Sat, 29 August 2015
When have you been at your happiest? Do our happiness levels change throughout our life? Does happiness depend on your age?
This week we’re talking about the link between happiness and age and thinking about how happy we are at different stages of our live, does it change and what does it mean for us.
When have you been at your happiest?
When you look back are there times when you felt really happy?
Was it your childhood, first love, student days, staring out with your career or family, or maybe getting a big promotion.
We tend to look back at happier times, which might make us think we were happier when we were younger, and our carefree school days or at least the long summer school holidays were a time of happiness.
We didn’t have to worry about paying the mortgage or bills but there were probably other insecurities, maybe a worry about what others thought and wanting to fit in, not to mention the pressure of homework and exams.
Whilst for those who couldn’t wait to become an adult, the happy times began with leaving home and starting out on your own.
Age as a happiness factor
Although individual circumstances vary, according to research our happiness levels change throughout our lives, so how happy you feel could also be influenced by your age.
According to a by Dr Hannes Schwandt of Princeton University for the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, we’re happiest at 23 and 69, and unhappiest in our mid 50s.
Our happiness levels are U shaped throughout our life.
The optimism of youth and looking forward to future achievement accounts for a peak of happiness at 23. But the other happiest age of 69 is more surprising.
Life is exciting in our twenties and thirties, getting on at work, maybe meeting a partner and starting a family.
And then you get into your 40s and 50s and the pressures started building. You’re getting higher up in your career with more responsibility, or re-entering the workforce after having a family. Your children are getting older, bringing different pressures to bear on you from one end, whilst aging parents present another dimension of worry and potential stress. You’re caught somewhere in the middle.
The LSE study was based on a study of a panel 132,609 life satisfaction expectations matched with subsequent realisations. And one of the striking things about their findings is that there was little variance between socio economic or culturally diverse groups or genders.
And this U shaped pattern of happiness over the life span (high during youth and old age, low during midlife) has been observed in other studies also. It seems to hold around the world and has been documented in more than 70 countries, in surveys of more than 500,000 people in both developing and developed countries, according to a paper by David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswold of Warwick University,Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?
The researchers in the LSC paper measured people’s expected life satisfaction and actual life satisfaction, and it basically showed that we aren’t very good at estimating how happy we will be in the future.
Why? Because we all tend to overestimate the likelihood of positive events and underestimate the likelihood of negative events. This is the optimism bias. So e.g. we tend to expect to be healthy in spite of an unhealthy lifestyle.
According to neuroscientific research this ‘optimism bias’ is due to the selective processing of negative and positive information in the frontal brain and this is what which allows us to hang on to our biased expectations even when confronted with evidence to the contrary.
Basically we’re not very good at estimating how happy we’ll be as a young or older person - but there’s a difference in the reason why.
Young people tend to overestimate their future life satisfaction or future happiness while older people underestimate it.
So as young people we expect to be happier in the future whilst we’re young but expect to be less happy as we get older.
But this isn’t what actually happens.
One of the reasons is we overestimate the impact future changes will have on our happiness. This is because we don’t realise how quickly we adapt to life changes such as changes in income. We think earning more money will have a bigger longer lasting effect on our life than it actually does, because we very quickly adapt to the new situation and become used to it.
At the other end of the spectrum, we anticipate a drop in income when we become elderly and we think this will have a big negative impact on our happiness levels and satisfaction with life. Once again we overestimate the impact this will have because we adapt to it quickly.
That explains the high points, but what happens in the middle at the bottom or low point of the happiness age bias U shape.
The researchers put the midlife dip in wellbeing down to unmet expectations.
When we’re young we have high expectations but as we get into middle age we realise we’re not going to achieve everything we thought we would or wanted to, and we start to abandon our higher unmet expectations.
Then as we get older we have less expectation of doing so much and become more accepting of our situation or as the researchers say – we experience less regret. So from our late 50s wellbeing starts to increase again.
According to an article in the Huffington post – it keeps rising until we’re 85 – which is good news because it was also found that those who stay positive live 7.5 years longer.
Other reasons why people get happier as they get older are that happy people live longer and it has been found that as people age they enjoy "ordinary" experiences more.
People become more satisfied with their life through family, health, and home, and have more time and energy for hobbies and interests.
What does this mean for us – is there anything we can learn from this?
It means you’re fine if you’re 23 or 69 – because they’re your happiest times of life.
Of course academic studies don’t directly reflect our experience on an individual level in this way really. But there are some general points we can take away.
Firstly to be aware of what these studies about happiness and age tell us:
And finally just because it looks like 69 and thereabouts might be a high point, happiness isn’t something to wait until you’re 69 to experience.
The Changeability Podcast Episode 57
Hear us discuss all of this and more in episode 57 of the Changeability Podcast including:
We know there are millions of blogs and podcasts out there, so we really appreciate you being here. If you would like to support the podcast further we would love you to:
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Sat, 22 August 2015
We all want to be happy, but what is happiness; is it a skill we can learn, and what does neuroscience have to say about it?
What is happiness?
What do you want in life? To be happy?
That’s what most of us want -but what is happiness and how do we get it?
The dictionary definition of happiness is
But surely there’s more to happiness than a fleeting feeling.
Whilst happiness is relative as it means different things to different people depending on circumstance and interest, it would seem there are two distinct types of happiness.
Two types of happiness
There’s things that make us feel happy, the experiences of things we love doing and we want more of.
This is hedonia – pleasure and fun. It’s transitory, in the moment – it happens, it makes us feel happy, and then it’s gone and the moment’s passed.
Then there’s a more fundamental type of happiness. The sort of happiness which ideally underlies or underpins our lives.
It’s a state of being that comes with being content with yourself without relying on other people or external props.
This is wellbeing or ‘eudaimonia’ which captures the idea of living a meaningful life as first described by Aristotle.
This sort of happiness is more enduring.
Happiness and Brilliant Living
When we were thinking about the characteristics of brilliant living, we kept coming back to ideas about happiness because the characteristics of brilliant living equally apply to wellbeing and happiness. This is what we came up with for starters:
The neuroscience of happiness
Is there a scientific basis for understanding what makes you happy?
There’s been a lot of scientific interest over the past 10 years into what’s going on in our brains when we experience emotions such as happiness.
Developments in neuroimaging have greatly assisted this, as scientists can monitor reactions in the brain in real time.
Richard J. Davidson and Brianna S. Schuyler in an article on The Neuroscience of Happiness highlight four constituents or elements of happiness and wellbeing.
Happiness and wellbeing levels are higher when people are better able to sustain positive emotion; recover more quickly from negative experiences; engage in empathic and altruistic acts; and express high levels of mindfulness.
Results of a study by Killingsworth and Gilbert where 2000 people recorded on a phone app how frequently their minds wandered and how happy or unhappy they felt at that moment, showed their minds wandered 47% of the time and they experienced significantly more unhappiness than when they were focussed on an activity – almost any activity!
Mindfulness meditation training results in a decrease in what is activated in our brains during mind wandering.
One of the most significant findings of the neuroscientifc evidence is these 4 constituents of wellbeing all exhibit plasticity. Which is a huge finding because it means with training and practice we can develop and transform these behaviours and ways of being.
Now that is significant for all of us. We can actually increase our happiness by learning how to grow it effectively and enhance it through training. It ultimately means happiness is a skill we can train for, practice and get more of.
Episode 56 of the Changeability Podcast
Links mentioned in episode 56
Only days left to vote for the Changeability Podcast for Best Self-Help Podcast in the UK Podcast Awards. Voting closes 31st August 2015 and we would love your support. Many thanks if you’ve already voted.
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Sat, 15 August 2015
We all feel overwhelmed at times. Seemingly insignificant circumstances can tip us over the edge into feelings of overwhelm that on other occasions wouldn’t bother us at all.
What one person finds overwhelming, others cope with comfortably or even thrive on.
People have different thresholds and causes, but we all experience it and it’s not nice or good for us.
So what is it, what causes it and how can we go about dealing with overwhelm?
What is overwhelm?
Overwhelm according to psychologist Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, is what happens when we’re ‘feeling completely overcome in mind or emotion…When we think a stressor is too great for us to manage, we feel overwhelmed.’
We experience it in our emotions – feeling anxiety, anger or irritability; in our thoughts as worry, helplessness and doubt and in behaviour like crying or panic.
Causes of overwhelm
The list is endless and personal to you but here are 9 common causes.
Dealing with overwhelm
Be realistic about the commitments you take on and how long something will really take to do.
Give up multi-tasking (it’s a myth anyway).
Learn to say no
If you think you can’t do it well or don’t have time to do it or just don’t want to do it – if there is any element of choice – learn to say no.
Many of us find it hard to say no to requests for our time and attention because we think people wont think so much of us or like us if we say no to their request. Practice saying no. Avoid saying yes straight away by developing a tactic to give you a chance to reflect, like checking your calendar.
Take control or give up control
Find a way to seize an element of control in an overwhelming situation.
E.g. if you’re finances are overwhelming you – start organising them, get familiar with them – face up to it and start taking some control.
If you’ve taken on too much because you want to be in control then it’s about giving up control – letting others in to play their part. Ask for help and accept it.
Keep things in perspective
Does it really matter that much if it doesn’t get done, or it’s late?
Why are you getting worked up about it – are you worried about what others will think. Notice your underlying self- beliefs.
Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen.
Change your energy
Do something to dissipate the negative energy building up and change it to a more positive energy like get up or go out and do something physical – walk, jump, dance.
Break the cycle and put a bit of distance between you and the situation that’s causing you overwhelm by doing an activity you enjoy and can immerse yourself in.
Break a downward spiral of thought by finding a small slightly more positive thought connected to the situation that give you a small nudge from negative towards the positive, and then another so you gradually pivot.
Find something to be thankful or appreciative or grateful for.
Look at your priorities – and prioritise them. Don’t try and do everything because no-one can.
Set boundaries for yourself – around your time and activities..
Take a few moments a step back physically and mentally and slow down your mind – focusing on the present moment – not worrying about the future – even the near future and everything you have to do – not worrying about the past and what you didn’t get done – but spending a few moments in the here and now in a non-critical non-judgemental way.
Affirmations and visualisation
Affirm the behaviour you want to have and visualise the person you want to be.
The Changeability Podcast episode 55
Hear us talk about all of this and more in episode 55 of The Changeability Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or the podcast player at the top of this page.
Links mentioned on the show this week:
Sat, 8 August 2015
1 year of podcasting
It’s celebrations all round at Brilliant Living HQ as we celebrate the first birthday of our offspring – the Changeability Podcast.
Podcast Award Finalists
Plus a massive bonus celebration. We’re thrilled the Changeability Podcast has been nominated as a finalist for the UK Top Self–Help Podcast Award. How wonderful is that
A huge heartfelt thank you all you marvellous people who nominated the Changeability Podcast.
And if you want to be totally fabulous all over again you can vote one more time for us until the end of August. Only one vote per IP address is allowed. Click and vote via FB, Twitter, G+ or anonymously. It’s really quick and easy!
The award ceremony will take place at New Media Europe – an amazing conference for anyone interested in digital media, podcasting, blogging, social media, business and the internet.
10 mind management techniques on the Changeability Podcast
In our first year and 53 episodes of the Changeability Podcast the theme’s been how we can manage our minds to make changes in life and be happier. We’ve looked at it through the 10 mind management techniques featured in the book, Changeability: Manage your mind - change your life.
In episode 53 of the Changeability Podcast we take a quick romp through these 10 techniques – to remind you and give you a quick overview and to share snippets from some of the shows.
Starting with this great quote – which sort of sums up the notion of change.
The idea behind mind management is we can use our minds to help make changes or have more success. If left to their own devices, our conscious and particularly subconscious minds can sabotage our best intentions and efforts.
1. Vision setting.
Get clear about your aspirations, dreams and goals, so you know where you're going.
What do you want to change, achieve, have more of, improve or do differently from now? This is the vision of your changed life and the milestone goals to get you there.
Step back to your starting point and look at what holds you back from changing what you want to change and being the person you want to be.
These are your limiting beliefs, negative self–talk and inner dialogue.
3. Clearing the ground
Having identified your limiting unhelpful beliefs, it’s time to examine and release these disempowering thoughts.
4. Empowering positive affirmations
Replace negative self-beliefs with empowering positive thoughts and affirmations, to affirm how you want to be.
Imagine or visualise the outcome you want. Whatever you want to change – see it in your mind’s eye as if the changes are in place – and importantly, how you got there.
Place yourself in the here and now by appreciating what you have now, on route to your changed self.
Practice appreciation to make it a daily habit, and train yourself to look for more to appreciate - you’ll find it.
7. Mindfulness Meditation
Practice mindfulness to notice being in the present moment on purpose, without judgement or criticism.
Experience the benefits of Mindfulness meditation in return for a simple focus on your breathing for a few minutes every day.
This is where mindset meets actions and stuff happens, based on the previous techniques. Take your vision and milestone goals and break them down into actions and trigger actions, so you know what to do, can fight procrastination and build momentum.
If you want to achieve your goals and boost your success, make yourself accountable because:
10. Reflection and celebration
Learn from your experiences and find and take every opportunity to celebrate your successes – however small.
Episode 54 links and resources
Listen to episode 54 to hear more about the 10 techniques with excerpts for previous shows – including some of our favourite bits.
What to do next
Thank you for reading and listening. Please vote for the Changeability Podcast before 31st August 2015.
Sat, 25 July 2015
Thus wrote Aristotle and whether you agree with his ancient Greek wisdom or not, honest self-reflection and review is a powerful and underused tool for success and change.
Yes it’s hard, yes it’s scary, yes it might seem like a bit of pain – but evaluating your progress might just be the difference between learning from your experience and repeating your mistakes.
How do you know what you’re doing is effective unless you measure and evaluate it.
In episode 52 of the Changeability Podcast we explore the importance of evaluation. How we do it and what we’re evaluating.
In episode 52 you find out:
Links and resources mentioned in episode 52
Like the podcast? nominate it for an award
Show us some love by nominating the Changeability Podcast for a UK Podcaster’s Awards. It’s super simple to do and we will think you are truly wonderful. You can vote for us once a day every day until the end of July – so that’s only a few days left to go.
Go to this link and click ‘Nominate this podcast now’
Vote via email, or Facebook or Google
Sat, 18 July 2015
Nobody likes the ‘f’ word. And we’re not talking about that old Anglo-Saxon epletive some people call swearing. No, this is much worse!
This is something that absolutely nobody likes or wants to be familiar with. It’s FAILURE.
No-one wants to fail. In fact we’re programmed to avoid it where possible – or at lest to avoid what getting out of our comfort zone might do to us.
The Fear of Failure
The fear of failure runs deep in all of us.
It lurks buried in our psyche, only to raise it’s head when we want to change something in our lives or business or try something new.
It seems virtually impossible to become an adult and escape picking up a fear of failure along the way.
The fear of failure scuppers invention and enterprise; stops us fulfilling our potential and living our best life – if we let it.
We try to avoid it where we can, either by staying safe, living small within our comfortable familiar world, or by procrastinating over any action that might incur failure.
But if we want to live an examined life – if we want to reflect on our progress towards the life or business we want – then open honest reflection with ourselves is the way to go.
Many resist such honesty – either from within or from others. We don’t seek out the critique that might help us change or be more successful.
We carry on doing the same things we always do, and you know where that leads – nowhere.
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” Narcotics Anonymous
We like the familiar – because our subconscious wants to keep us safe and that means sticking to what we know – even when it’s not serving us well.
And facing up to things not working might make us feel like failures and that we’ve wasted the time and effort we’ve already put into it that thing. It might be years - with a job or business, or a relationships.
We shy away from failure because of what the word means to us – the negative connotations.
But what if instead of avoiding the ‘f’ word, we were to embrace it? Make a virtue of it? Change the way we think of it and even the very word itself.
What if you were to look at things not going as well as you’d hoped as simply feedback rather than failure.
So every time you thought about potential failure you saw it as feedback.
What if you were to reclaim the ‘f’ word in a positive context.
No need then to avoid the ‘f’ word.
You are like a scientist observing an experiment of honest reflection without a failure label.
If we change the way we look at failure to see it as feedback, we don’t need to be afraid of it. In fact we can totally change our whole approach to life and how we do things.
Imagine if you weren’t afraid of failing – what would you do?
The Changeability Podcast Episode 51
In episode 51 of The Changeability Podcast we chat about all this and more including:
Links mentioned in episode 51
Vote for us
If you like the Changeability Podcast please nominate us for a UK Podcasters’ Award at http://ukpodcasters.com/directory/podcast/changeability-podcast-manage-your-mind-change-your-life
Vote via email, Facebook or Google
If by email don’t forget to confirm the email that comes to you to verify you’re a real person.
If we’re worth it you can even nominate us once a day every day for the rest of July – which would be fantastic.
Fri, 10 July 2015
We’ve reached episode 50 and Step 9 of The Changeability Podcast – hurray!
Not entirely sure why, but 50 seems a significant number – a bit of a milestone. And we’re marking this 50th episode with the launch of the Changeability Starter Kit.
Sign up now for your free short series of videos to get you started on your first Changeability step.
Today’s episode calls you to be accountable.
If you’ve set your goals, worked on your inner self talk and beliefs through affirmations and visualisation, know the actions to make those goals happen for you and you’re all set to go – what’s going to keep you on track?
What will motivate you when events throw you off course, you reach a plateau or your goals feel out of reach?
It’s the 9th of our 10 Changeability steps and it’s a big one – accountability or to put it another way - find a way to be accountable.
Accountable for your actions, your goals, yourself.
In episode 50 of The Changeability Podcast you’ll find out:
What to do next
Sign up for your Changeability Starter Kit today
Join the Changeability Facebook group and share your goals – use us to keep you accountable
Links and resources mentioned in episode 50
Vote for us
Show us some love by nominating the Changeability Podcast for the first ever UK Podcaster’s Awards. It’s super simple to do and we’ll be forever grateful to you.
Go to this link and click ‘Nominate this podcast now’
Vote via email, Facebook or Google
If by email don’t forget to confirm the email that comes to you to verify you’re a real person.
And if you really like us you can nominate us once a day every day for the rest of July – you amazing person!
Sat, 4 July 2015
You know what you want, you’ve created your vision and set your goals. You’ve got in the right mindset and done the mental preparation.
You’ve planned your actions and know where to start – so what now? Well it’s time to actually do it – it’s time for action.
Planning for action is key but none of it matters if you don't put your plan into action and follow through on your goals.
Changeability is about taking action.
But it’s not a ‘running around like a headless chicken’ sort of action. It’s not being busy for the sake of it action.
It’s about managing your mind to make changes in your life, and that means it’s action based on mind management techniques.
The very techniques we talk about on The Changeability Podcast and are laid out in the Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life book.
If you follow and practice these your action becomes:
It’s time for action, but there’s potential traps stopping you.
Procrastination is the number 1 killer of action, but what’s behind it?
Busyness for the sake of busyness
Sometimes we just like to feel we’re busy. Being busy is almost addictive and makes us feel like we’re achieving something even if it’s not the actions we need to take to get us to our goals.
Set your priority and prioritise it
Make this your one thing to get done before moving on to other activities
The ‘to-do’ list
Surely the most simple productivity tip of all time is the good old fashioned humble to-do list.
Action on action
The time for action is now – and the key is consistency and purposeful activity.
The Changeability Podcast episode 49
In episode 49 of The changeability Podcast – Time for Action – we talk about all of this and more including:
What about you?
What are you taking action on today? Let us know in the comments below.
If you like listening to The Changeability Podcast help us out
Nominations have opened for the first ever UK Podcasters’ Awards and are open for the whole of July. If you like our podcast we would absolutely love it if you’d consider nominating us for a UK Podcast Award.
You can nominate us up to once a day for each day of July – so if you really love us you can do it everyday – but even once would be fabulous.
Simply click here and then on ‘nominate this podcast’.
You’ll be asked to verify it with an email address, Facebook or Twitter (this is to make sure it’s only 1 vote per podcast per day).
Thank you very much K and J xxx
Sat, 27 June 2015
Changeability is the ability to change. It’s the fundamental ability underpinning your approach to what you want in life and how you get it.
It’s what The Changeability Podcast is about - developing the ability to change through managing your mind. Getting you in the right mindset and way of thinking to achieve what you want to achieve.
And the Changeability book Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life is basically a 10-step framework of tools and techniques to do just that.
Yes it’s crucial to focus our thoughts and use the power of our thoughts and mind to help us do what we want to do – but that’s not the end of the story.
Today we’re talking about what comes next.
Because it’s all very well doing all this prep, getting yourself in the right frame of mind and developing the positive mindset to get you where you want to be – but you still have to actually get there.
That means taking action.
The one thing that differentiates those who read this and think it's interesting from those who change something as a result is they take action.
And to take action you need to plan for action.
But not just any old action. It’s not about being busy for the sake of feeling like you’re doing something.
Effective action comes from knowing what you want to achieve, and what to change to get there. It’s the big picture stuff your goals come out of.
Reverse engineering is the term for a technical process, where you start with a finished product and take it apart to see how it works, the components and interrelationships, so you can put it together again or improve it.
Reverse engineering begins with the product and works through the design process in the opposite or backwards direction.
Basically that’s what you can do with your life – start with the finished product, how you want your changed life to look, and work backwards to see the steps that need to be taken to get you there.
When you don’t know where to start
It all seems to make logical sense – but what about when you don’t know what actions to take. You’ve got your vision, you’ve set your milestone but don’t know how to get there?
Some goals will have more obvious actions to take, like a healthy eating plan or training regime, but sometimes you wont know what to do.
The trick here is to find a way to take the first step.
Think around the subject; do a bit of research and make an educated guess about where would be a good place to start.
It doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s about finding a way in, getting started and building momentum.
The Changeability Podcast episode 48
To hear us talking more about action planning for success and other things along the way listen to episode 48 of The Changeability Podcast.
Resources and links mentioned
Thank you for reading and listening to the podcast. And a special thanks to the action takers who’ve been generous enough to leave The Changeability Podcast a review.
This is very important to us as it makes a big difference to the visibility of the podcast which in turn means more people listen.
Sat, 20 June 2015
Is Mindfulness Meditation good for you?
As amazing as some of the claimed benefits of meditation might seem, there is a growing body of work that suggests mindfulness meditation is indeed good for you.
Putting aside the inevitable caveats and variables, the evidence of hundreds of studies is that meditation is good for you – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
And the surprising thing is that many of the positive benefits are felt after only a few weeks of mindfulness meditation practice.
Episode 47 of The Changeability Podcast
You can find references to the academic studies they’re based on, in the books listed in the resources section below. (Also good further reading on the subject.)
But it’s not just about academic studies and therapists. What we’re talking about is also based on the evidence and experience of people like us.
We asked the Changeability Facebook group if those who meditated experienced any benefits.
You can hear their answers in the podcast episode.
Listen to hear the full version, but here’s a summary for you.
The benefits of meditation include:
Now that really is something!
It’s great to hear about medical and other benefits of meditation, but what most of us are after is everyday happiness and resilience, experiencing more joy in our lives getting the most out of life.
This is what mindfulness can deliver if we make the small effort to practise it.
Try mindfulness meditation for yourself
If you want to try mindfulness meditation for yourself and start experiencing the benefits there’s 3 ways we can help you.
Resources and links mentioned in episode 47
Thanks to Ange, Craig, Vicky, Rich, Janet, Keith and Melissa, from the Changeability Facebook Group for your insights and quotes.
Sat, 13 June 2015
If you want to make today your favourite day – everyday – mindfulness meditation is a great place to start.
It helps us focus on the present moment rather than worrying about a future that may not materialise or a past that’s gone. So in a way it helps us make the most of every day by living more in the here and now.
It gives us a space to stand back from our thoughts and internal chatter and see them as just that – thoughts which are not us and don’t have to define who we are.
The basis of mindfulness meditation is simple. Gently focus your attention on something like your breath going in and out of your nose and be purposefully aware, in a non-judgemental way, of thoughts that arise and let go of them.
But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s always easy and straightforward to do in practice. It can be but equally it takes practise and commitment.
Here are 21 simple tips for mindfulness meditation, to help you start and/or stick to your meditation practice. They’re tips we’ve picked up from others or are our take on what we’ve found useful in answer to common issues. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list so let us know if you have any to add to the list.
Issue – My mind keeps wandering and I’m getting distracted by thoughts
This is normal. It’s the nature of our minds to wander and all part of the process of mindfulness meditation.
It might be frustrating sometimes when we get distracted with thoughts abut what we’re planning to do or replying something from our past. But mindfulness meditation is not about stopping the thoughts or getting it right or wrong.
It’s about practicing a way of thinking, of gently focusing attention on something specific like your breath going in and out, whilst being aware of the present moment in a non-critical way.
Tip 1 - Notice your thoughts
Notice your thoughts – what you’re thinking – acknowledge them and let them go.
Tip 2 – Name your thoughts
Name your thoughts. For example say to yourself –‘oh I’m an unhelpful thought’.
But bear in mind that one of the facets of mindfulness is to observe on purpose but without judgement or criticism. So the trick here is to observe and acknowledge the thought in a matter of fact way, as devoid of emotion as possible.
Tip 3 – Thoughts as bubbles and clouds
See or visualise your thoughts as something, give them a physical representation of them – e.g. bubbles, clouds or waves.
Tip 4 – Acknowledge your thoughts and take gentle action
Once you’ve recognised it - do something with the thought. If you see it as a bubble, burst it.
If it’s a cloud, let the wind blow it across the sky in your mind and out of sight.
Tip 5 – Quickly record truly persistent thoughts
If you have a thought that just keeps coming because it’s about something you absolutely have to remember to do, you can have a notebook to hand to jot one word to remind you – and then get straight back to your meditation. This is not necessarily recommended but is one way to deal with a doggedly persistent thought.
Issue– I haven’t got time to meditate
Yes you have and the answer is to make time so you can try it and see for yourself. You may find like others have even though you’re spending more of your time on meditation, paradoxically it seems to give you more time.
Tip 6 – Set a regular time
Set yourself a regular time to start with. It’s all about building a habit and that takes a bit of commitment, so set a reminder on your phone or put it in your diary.
Tip 7 – Get up earlier
If you really feel you haven’t got 10 minutes to spare in a day then set your alarm to go off 10 minutes earlier in the morning. Get up and meditate before the day starts – everyone can survive on 10 minutes less sleep in a night.
Issue – I could never meditate – it’s not for me – I can’t sit down for more than two minutes – I can’t stop my brain working
You don’t need to stop your brain working. No one can stop their brain working and you wouldn’t want to or you’d die! Revisit the first 5 tips about dealing with distracting thoughts if you’re worried about how you can’t stop the thoughts.
Tip 8 - Think about what you’re saying - because you’re worth it
Look at the reasons behind what you’re saying.
Are you saying that everything in your life is more important than your wellbeing. Or maybe you don’t think you deserve to spend this time on yourself for some reason.
Maybe it seems a little self-indulgent to be spending time on what might seem like a self-centred pursuit. If so read our article - Self-help or self-indulgence.
Tip 9 – Take a realistic look at how you spend your time on different activities in a day
This also ties in with the time issue. But can you really not sit down for 10 minutes in a day.
Spend a day noting down everything you do and the likelihood is you can fit in 10 minutes and you can sit down. Indeed you probably have sat down for 10 mins today.
Don’t forget that every time you watch television you’re sitting down and using time you could use for meditation – or at least a few minutess of it.
Tip 10 – Count your breaths
If you find it hard to sit down for a few minutes and softly direct your attention to your breath, you can help yourself maintain focus and bring yourself back to the present moment by counting your breaths.
Count each in and out breath up to 10 and back, and as you get more used to this type of focus, count just the out breaths. Or count to a smaller or larger number, whatever you find helpful. Maybe 5 maybe 100.
Issue – I sometimes fall asleep while meditating
This is close to our hearts – especially for Julian!
There are different views about whether we should do anything about this or not. Some say if you fall asleep it’s alright because it shows you need the sleep.
Whilst that might be the case we think it’s good to try and do something about it, like get more sleep at night if you need it, but also there are some people who just fall asleep very easily and often! So here’s a few tips to make it less likely.
Tip 11 – Keep your eyes open
One way to deal with it is to keep your eyes open. Many people like closing their eyes when they meditate, like we do, because it helps take away the distractions of what you’re seeing, but you can meditate with your eyes open.
If so try lowering your eyes, let them glaze over a little (sometimes called having a soft gaze or focus) and not really focus on anything in particular.
Tip 12 – Light a candle
One way of helping keep your eyes open but your gaze soft, in other words not getting distracted by looking around you, is to gaze softly on a lighted candle. This gives you something to rest your eyes on without really looking at it.
Tip 13 – Think about your position
Are you lying down to meditate or reclining right back? If so, your body may be too relaxed and in an all too convenient a position for nodding off.
So think about the position you’re meditating in. Which leads us to our next tip
Issue – I find myself slumping over
If you find yourself slumping or drifting down your chair it’s worth thinking about posture or position.
Tip 14 – Sit up straight
It seems to be generally acknowledged that whether you’re sitting on a chair or the floor or using a meditation cushion, you’ll have a better meditation experience if you can sit with your back straight, away from the back of the chair. Otherwise you’re tempted to lean against it and before you know it you’re back to slumping over.
Tip 15 – Shuffle on your chair to get evenly distributed!
Shuffle around on your chair for a second before you start, rocking from side to side to get comfortable and distribute your weight evenly.
Many people (including us) don’t actually sit straight most of the time but have a tendency to slightly lean to one side.
If you don’t believe it, look at how you’re sitting right this minute – is your weight evenly placed on your seat?
Tip 16 – Imagine you’re a puppet
There are a couple of little visualisation tricks to help you keep a better posture. Imagine there’s a string coming up your back and neck and out of the top of your head – like a puppet.
Imagine your head is touching the sky.
Issue – I don’t know how long I should be meditating for
Like so many things in mindfulness and meditation there is no right and wrong. It’s about what suits you and your lifestyle.
One minute is better than no minute, and 10 minutes is often better than 1 minute, simply because it may take you a minute or two to settle into your meditation.
But 1 minute spend in mindfulness meditation can be enormously beneficial in some circumstances, like a stressful situation at work or home where it can help to step back and take time out.
Tip 17 – Do what you can
Try starting with however long you can manage or feel comfortable with.
If you’re worried about the amount of time then 5 minutes is a good start.
If you like to have a set amount of time to aim for, 10 minutes twice a day seems to be enough to experience benefits and cultivate the habit.
Tip 18 – Build up gradually
Start with 5 or 10 minutes and stick with that if it’s convenient and doable – or try to build it up a few minutes a week.
And you don’t have to do the same amount of time everyday – sometimes you can do it for longer and other times keep to the 10 minutes.
It’s about regularity rather than overall time.
Issue – I wonder if it’s better to use music, sounds or silence
It all depends on what works for you.
Many people like to be silent where possible because it’s about being aware of the thoughts in your mind, and you might find it easier to notice your internal chatter with the least distraction. You can meditate with any sounds going on around you either from others or of your own choice.
Tip 19 – Try a selection of sounds
Whilst silence is golden, you may like to try meditating to other sounds sometimes.
It’s not so much about listening to the sounds but having them replace or cover other more distracting noises in the background.
This can be good where you can’t meditate in silence – e.g. on the bus or train or in a café or park. It’s a matter of trying it to see what suits you.
You can use meditation music or natural sounds, for instance we have a seascape on our guided meditation – with a choice of a silent background or seascape with sea and seagulls.
Issue– I’ve heard a lot about it but I’m not sure meditation is for me
The thing to do is just give a go. You’ve nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
Tip 2o - Keep a journal
Keeping a journal or diary about your meditation practice can be useful, especially when starting out and you’re not sure what to make of it all.
The idea is that you act like a scientist observing an experiment from the outside and take notes of what comes up for you.
Tip 21 – Start with a guided meditation or short course
And we have just the thing for you. If you’d like to do a short course where in 1 and a half hours from now you will be up and running and have a guided meditation to keep – then Julian’s Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Meditation is a quick and reasonable way to get started.
Alternatively download our guided meditation mp3 ‘Meditation Moments - With Breath in Mind’
Episode 46 of The Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 46 of The Changeability Podcast where we talk about all these tips and more.
Links and resources mentioned in Episode 46 – 21 Simple tips for mindfulness meditation
Hope you find these tips helpful – we’d love to hear your suggestions – so send them and any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Twitter or our FB page at Brilliant Living HQ
Sat, 6 June 2015
If you’ve tried mindfulness meditation, you can’t help but notice the thoughts keep coming. Here’s 7 simple techniques for dealing with your wandering mind.
If you’ve tried mindfulness meditation, either following along with the short guided mindfulness meditation on The Changeability Podcast episode (44), or you’re a regular meditator – you can’t help but be aware of the mind’s tendency to wander around during your meditation session.
You’re just settling into a few minutes of focusing on the here and now, you’re noticing your breath going in and out and suddenly you’re aware of thoughts crowding in about all sorts of things.
Maybe it’s something you should have done, or an upcoming meeting or event you’re organising. It might be you’re hungry and can’t stop thinking about your next meal.
Whatever the thoughts are, this is normal – if a little irritating sometimes!
Some people feel that if they can’t clear their mind and not think of anything then meditations not for them, or they can’t do it.
But everyone can do it – it’s just how you define ‘doing it’.
It’s not about getting it right or wrong. It’s about practicing a way of thinking, of focusing your attention on something specific – like in our case we’ve been paying attention to our breath.
It’s about the practice – which is why ‘practice’ is such a great word in relation to meditation. Because it’s about the experience of doing it rather than getting to an an end point or destination.
It’s about gently being aware or turning your focus onto your breathing, and re- turning your attention back to your breath and the here and now as other thoughts start coming into your mind.
The thoughts keep coming and gradually you get snatches of moments where they don’t – they may be incredibly fleeting on some days and other days, with practice the space between them gets longer.
But it takes practice and to be honest, some perseverance and commitment.
So don’t be surprised or hard on yourself if you find it challenging or think you’re failing in some way, this is part of the process. There is always the opportunity to re-commit and get back to it.
So to get back to mindfulness meditation and your wandering mind – there a few little techniques you can try out to help you turn your attention away from the thoughts and back to your breath. You can hear us chat more about these in episode 45 of The Changeability Podcast, but in the meantime here are a couple of ways of dealing with your wandering mind.
Notice you’re thinking these thoughts – you might even think ‘I’m having a thought’. Then find a way of letting it go.
One way of doing this is to visualize the thought as something. You might it in a bubble that bursts, leaving the thought to evaporate and disappear.
Another technique some people like to use is to count your breaths, either in and out or just out. This helps you to bring the focus back to the breathing.
None of these stop the thoughts coming but can help you deal with them so they don’t become too distracting and take you away from the purpose of your mindfulness meditation – being in the here and now in a non-judgemental way.
On Episode 45 the Changeability Podcast you’ll find out:
Links and resources mentioned in episode 45
What to do next
If you’d like help in getting going with mindfulness meditation – and a shortcut to help you stay on track, we have a couple of Brilliant Living® resources for you.
A short course where in 1 and a half hours from now you will be up and running and have a guided meditation to keep with Julian’s 'A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Meditation' short course.
Or if you just want a super quick way to get going, download our guided meditation mp3 ‘With Breath in Mind’. Six 10-minute tracks to choose from.
Talk to us
If you have any ideas, comments or questions we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com
Sat, 30 May 2015
He might have lived a long time ago but it’s fair to say Pythagoras knew a thing or two about the power of the mind. He knew he did his best thinking in the silence of a quiet mind – and he certainly did a lot of brilliant thinking. Coming up with new ways of thinking about mathematical equations.
Now we don’t have to be mathematical geniuses to appreciate the benefits of a quiet mind but most of the time life doesn’t seem like this. We rush around busy in body and mind – so how can we can learn to manage our minds?
How can we learn to be silent so our quiet minds can listen and absorb and do much else besides? One of the best ways is to manage your mind with mindfulness meditation.
Why do we need to manage our minds? Because all too often our minds are full of thoughts about what’s happened in the past or planning what’s going to happen in the future.
Of course we need to think about these things sometimes but not at the expense of what’s going on around us in the here and now. So the idea of mindfulness is that we’re mindful of the present moment, but that as far as possible we do this in a non-critical way. (See last week’s post for more about this)
Mindfulness is about purposefully being aware of the here and now and in a way that doesn’t judge it or put meaning on it – but just experiences it. And one of the best ways to do this is through a simple form of meditation.
Meditation itself comes with a long history which crosses cultural and geographical boundaries. It’s a feature of many of the world’s great spiritual traditions, but we’re not talking here of meditation in spiritual or religious terms.
Today meditation has become part of the mainstream with millions using it as a tool to improve their lives and wellbeing.
Meditation is becoming increasingly popular amongst the business community with prominent companies such as AOL, Apple and Google, offering meditation and mindfulness classes for their employees.
Meditation is increasingly seen as a success tool with the potential to unlock productivity and creativity.
At Brilliant Living HQ we see meditation as a key mind management technique –maybe the most important of all the mind management techniques and tools we advocate. Not only is it of huge benefit to us in many ways (more on this very soon) but it enhances all the other mind management techniques we talk about – like visualization and affirmations.
It’s all about attention
So what’s the common factor across the traditions and disciplines and different ways meditation is used?
It’s attention. Meditation is about focusing attention in a relaxed way on a something – it might be a chant or mantra or something physical like beads or an image. Or it could be something as simple and fundamental as your breath.
This is a simple form of meditation anyone can learn to do. There’s no great mystery or intricate elaborate ritual to follow – you just need to be able to breath and focus your attention on your breath.
If you can breath you can meditate
When you start this simple meditation technique of focusing attention on your breath, the first thing you’ll probably notice (apart from maybe wondering what you’re doing!) is that your mind wanders off all over the place.
Straightaway you might start thinking you’re not doing it right, but don’t worry because this is all part of the meditation experience. Remember that mindfulness is about not being judgemental about what happens in the moment. So the trick is to not judge it or get irritated but to bring the focus back to your breath.
Doing this will help you become more aware of your body, your feelings, your thoughts and perceptions and the incessant activity of your mind.
At the same time you’ll keep returning your awareness to the present moment, rather than dwelling on a past you can’t change or worrying about an undetermined future.
Of course it’s easier said than done! But the brilliant thing about when you manage your mind with mindfulness meditation is that it’s all part of the process. The whole point isn’t to get it right or wrong but the experience of the practice. Yes, we find it hard to sustain our attention. Our minds flit away from this simple task. But by returning the mind back to the breath when it wanders, it can gradually help us observe our thoughts.
You are not your thoughts
You are not your thoughts and mindful meditation gives you a way to sit back and watch your thoughts as they enter your mind, and to recognize the sort of thoughts they are and their impact. The aim is to view these thoughts without self-judgement.
It’s almost as if you step outside of yourself for a few minutes as an observer.
This helps you realize that your thoughts are just your thoughts in that moment. You don’t need to be defined by them and can change your reaction to them or let them go.
So if you can breathe and be quiet for a few minutes you can meditate.
Episode 44 The Changeability Podcast
If you want to manage your mind with mindfulness meditation now’s your chance.
In Episode 44 of The Changeability Podcast we chat about mindfulness meditation and talk you through a quick guided mindfulness meditation, so you can try it for yourself.
Many people like to follow a guided meditation to keep them focused on their meditation, specially to begin with. Our guided meditation Meditation Moments: With Breath In Mind is a great place to start.
Just download the MP3 tracks, sit back and think along to Julian’s calming voice.
Links and resources mentioned in Episode 44 – Manage your Mind with Mindfulness Meditation
Sat, 23 May 2015
Everywhere you go it seems people are talking about mindfulness.
It seems to be the new ‘in-thing’.
Of course it’s been around a while, thousands of years in fact in its oldest forms, and more like 30 or more years in its present western form, but it’s come right into the mainstream now.
Companies like Google have staff queuing up to participate in mindfulness courses they’ve instigated.
Entrepreneurs are falling over themselves to let us know how many minutes they’ve been meditating on their newly discovered meditation apps.
Celebrities are tweeting their love of mindfulness meditation.
So there’s certainly a lot of it about.
But what lies behind this media interest?
That’s what we explore in Episode 43 of The Changeability Podcast. Mindfulness – what is it and why you need it?
Do you ever feel a bit like Alice in this quote?
Life sometimes feels like you’re always looking back or looking forward while life today seems somehow out of your grasp.
It’s like you’re a time traveller worrying about the future, or reliving past wrongs (or maybe good times).
Do you ever drive somewhere and can hardly remember the journey because your mind was so full of thoughts and concerns that you barely noticed the countryside you were driving through, or the architecture of the buildings in the city around you. In fact more worrying, you didn’t even notice the other cars on the road.
This is what happens when we’re not aware or ‘mindful’ of what’s happening in our day-to-day lives - and don’t worry – we all do it!
But mindfulness can help us deal with this.
Mindfulness seeks to resolve this by helping us focus on the present moment – the here and now.
To be mindful – or aware.
And to do so, as far as possible, in a non-judgemental way, because that is where the real power of this mind management technique kicks in.
One of the godfathers of modern mindfulness is Jon Kabat-Zinn whose Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) has spread throughout the world and he describes mindfulness as:
And one of the best ways of doing this is through Mindfulness Meditation.
Starting with simply focusing on your breath for a few minutes at a time – you can become aware of the thoughts rushing through your mind and what you’re focusing on.
The trick is to gently refocus your thoughts on your breath.
We’ll talk more about mindfulness meditation over the next couple of weeks, but for now it’s enough to start noticing your thoughts and being present in your day.
Links and resources mentioned in episode 43 of The Changeability Podcast
A Beginner’s guide to Mindful Meditation
Start Mindfulness Meditation today with a special half price offer on our “A Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Meditation” - in 1 and a half hours you will be meditating. This link will take you to the special page on Udemy (the online learning platform where the course is hosted) for listeners of The Changeability Podcast.
Sat, 16 May 2015
We’re just back from a long trip. We’ve had great times, met wonderful people and had a lot of fun. But it wasn’t all sweetness and light.
We had our share of things not going to plan, which can be especially frustrating when you think you’ve planned something carefully.
If you heard episode 41 last week you’ll know about our trip because we talked about the benefits of travel – and some of the good things we learnt or have been reminded of while away. That was part 1 – so this must be part 2!
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right… and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Munroe
In episode 42 you’ll find out about:
Send us your stories
Let us know about something you’ve learnt while travelling, doing something different to your normal routine or when things don’t go to plan.
Send it to hello@BrilliantLivingHQ.com and we’ll include it in a future podcast.
Mon, 11 May 2015
We’ve been having an adventure. From the surrealistic glitz of Las Vegas to the silent arid beauty of Death Valley, the splendours of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks to the bustle of LA and finally the tropical paradise of the Philippines .
We’ve spent the last 5 weeks travelling for business and pleasure and on today’s episode of The Changeability Podcast we talk about the benefits of travel we’ve experienced along the way.
Episode 41 is part 1 of our personal perspective on things we’ve noticed as we’ve been travelling around, starting with the benefits we’ve seen.
In episode 41 we talk about:
Your experience of travel and it’s benefits
Sat, 2 May 2015
“There are two types of people in the world. Dreamers and haters and the only difference is one thing, haters gave up on their dreams.” – Answer to the author of this quote is found in the podcast.
Joe Pardo is a New Jersey-based dreamer, who has always believed that society starts with you, and that to make changes in society you must first change how you yourself think.
His innate curiosity about people inspired him to start the motivational Dreamers Podcast and he now aptly considers himself a “recorder of dreams.”
Joe’s just released his first book (April 2015) called 31 Life-Changing Concepts, a book for people like him who hate to read books. He’s packed it full of pictures and very direct messages and challenges for the reader.
Changeability Podcast – Episode 40
In Episode 40 you’ll discover
Resources and links mentioned in Episode 40
Sat, 25 April 2015
Our thoughts are critical.
“If you realised just how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” - Peace Pilgrim
The wrong types of thought, the negative thoughts that often come to mind throughout our day, can make you feel bad and stop you achieving our best.
So today we’re thinking about NATS.
And we don’t mean those pesky little insects that buzz around you and over your head when you’re enjoying a warm summer’s evening walk or drink outside the pub.
We’re talking Negative Affirming Thoughts (NATs for short).
And if you’re not recognising them, then they might just be preventing you living your fullest life now and getting in the way of you achieving your goals or making the changes you want in your life.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” - Eckhart Tolle
So today we want to look at the different varieties, or maybe we should say ‘species’ of NATs out there.
Because if you’re aware of them you’re more likely to recognise them and do something about them when you notice yourself thinking them. And sometimes just catching out that thought is enough to dissipate it or stop its influence on your behaviour.
Why are these thoughts affirming?
You probable think of affirmations as something positive (like those we’ve talked about before) but affirmation just means affirming something, or making it firm, and this can be in a negative way just as much as in a positive way.
So with negative thoughts the danger is that you constantly reaffirm or reinforce them until they become the way you think and then get in the way of you doing what you want to do.
In his book, Change your Brain, Change your Body Dr Daniel G. Amen puts forward 9 types of negative thought (that he calls ANTs – automatic negative thoughts).
David Burns, in , outlines 10 common mistakes in thinking, or thinking errors he calls cognitive distortions.
NLP has a similar concept so we decided to roll them all into one bundle and somehow we’ve ended up with 11!
So here’s all 11, how you can spot them and then swat the little beggars!
So go on, see if you’re thinking these thoughts and learn how to stop them before they take a hold (you know you want to!)
The 11 Negative Thoughts
1. All or nothing thoughts
Recognise, one slip up doesn’t mean you’ve given up; it means just that – you’ve had one slip up.
2. ‘Always’ thinking – overgeneralization
Ask yourself. Does this always happen, every single time? Really? If not then recognise you’re overgeneralizing. Say to yourself – just because one event happened, doesn’t necessarily mean I am permanently this way of being.
3. Focussing on the negative
Learn to look for the silver lining in every cloud and count your positives rather than your negatives – in other words look for the positives in situations.
4. Thinking with your feelings or emotional reasoning
This species of NAT mixes up and confuses feelings and facts – which leads you to make decisions based on how you feel rather than objective reality.
Look for evidence to see if it’s really true. If you feel you’re never going to get a grip with your bad back, then book an appointment with you doctor or physio to see if there’s anything that can be done about it.
5. Disqualifying the Positive
This involves always shooting down good or positive experiences for no real reason – so you can keep a negative belief even though the evidence points to the opposite. It’s as if the good stuff doesn’t count because everything else is bad about your life.
Swatting those NATs:
Think about what does count and why.
Learn to accept compliments by just saying ‘thank you’ (so when someone compliments you on your new shoes just say thanks instead of – well they were only cheap, or I got them in the sale)
Or try bigging yourself up – or bolster your view of yourself by listing your good qualities, skills and accomplishments.
6. The Guilt Trip or ‘should-ing’
Try asking yourself questions like - what is stopping me doing this, or what rule says I should, or simply ask ‘why should I?’ Another technique is to use ‘could’ instead of ‘should’.
7. Labelling and mislabelling
There’s an error in logic going on here, where you make a leap from a behaviour or action to an identity, so the identity is determined by the behaviour.
Ok, so you may not be very good at maths at the moment, but you can’t just give up before you’ve even tried. That’s just defeatist. You didn’t say when you were a child “I tried walking once and I was useless at it.” You didn’t, did you? OMG!
8. Magnification and Minimisation
This is where you magnify or exaggerate the negatives and minimise or understate the positives – people often do this to themselves.
I can also be where you catastrophise – or jump ahead to the worst possible outcome, expecting the worst case scenario to actually happen. Or thinking that a situation is unbearable when it’s just unpleasant; like when you think ‘I can’t stand this.’
Swatting those NATs:
Ask yourself what would happen if you did stand this.
Examine exactly how something is so bad – and compared to what.
9. Fortune telling – jumping to conclusions
Talk back to those thoughts. Ask how you know it will turn out this way. Say - Ah, that’s fortune telling thinking – and tell yourself it doesn’t always have to end that way.
Another form that jumping to conclusions takes is when you think you know what someone else is thinking even though they haven’t told you.
And how about letting go of a need for approval because you can’t please everyone all the time. As to thinking about you, the truth is most people are too busy thinking about themselves to think about you.
Blaming others for your own problems and not taking responsibility for your actions is toxic and disempowering.
When you find yourself blaming yourself ask how much of this problem is really your responsibility.
And quit blaming others and take responsibility for your actions. If you are smoking, it’s because you choose to and equally, you can choose to quit! Empowering, isn’t it?
Remember, recognising negative affirming thought patterns is the first step in learning to change them.
Changeability Podcast – Episode 39
Resources and links mentioned in Episode 39
Sat, 18 April 2015
What are the ingredients for a fulfilled life, how can you get them and what gets you going in the morning?
Just some of the massive questions we’re discussing with Gary Ware from Breakthrough Cocktail.com on today’s episode of the Changeability Podcast.
We’re delighted to welcome back Gary to talk about these massive questions and more and to share with us an exciting online event he’s organising - The Elixir of Life Summit. And you don’t get a better name than that for an event – after all who wouldn’t want the elixir of life?
Before we get to that, Gary tells us the story of his self-development journey and how he came to be putting on this event. From feeling unfulfilled and lacking a sense of purpose to being fired up by a huge goal much bigger than himself.
One of the defining activities in this journey for Gary and many others has been the introduction of a specific morning routine.
This is a routine of morning rituals which work together to perfectly set your intentions for the day. Gary shares how he went from everyday being a scramble to get to work and get things done to a changed perspective and way of doing things. He even looks forward to jumping out of bed at 5.30 every morning.
We talk through the steps of this morning routine and if you’re a regular listener to the Changeability Podcast or you’ve read the Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life book – you will recognise most of them.
It’s great to hear how Gary does them everyday and how he fits it in with his busy schedule. And if you’re thinking you’re a night person or you could never do all this in the morning Gary shows you how you can get it done in as little as 6 minutes if you need to, but assures us we’ll love it so much we’ll want to get up earlier to do it more, and never hit that snooze button.
You will also hear about this amazing online summit Gary’s put together to help people feel better, get unstuck, be happier. Listen to the episode for the detail but here are a few key points about it.
The Elixir of Life Summit – Ingredients for a fulfilled life
It’s an online event so everyone can attend – 27th April to 1st May
It’s a great opportunity to get into the detail of each of the ingredients for a fulfilled life including, health, wealth, mindset, personal branding, productivity, living life on purpose, goal setting, mindfulness, improv and more...
23 (in the words of Gary) ‘awesome people’ presenting the sessions – we couldn’t possible comment as we’re one of them.
Free to watch in real time.
All profits from the sale of all access passes (after the event and with bonuses) going to Pencils of Promise to build a school in Guatemala.
Sign up here
Resources and links mentioned in episode ?
Sat, 11 April 2015
What have self-development and improv got in common – well quite a lot it turns out, according to our guest in today’s episode of the Changeability Podcast - Gary Ware.
Gary is a breakthrough mixologist! (Listen to find out what that means!)
By day a digital marketer, by night a comedian specialising in improv comedy.
At the end of a busy day, he also has his own website BreakthroughCocktail.com and a podcast of the same name helping ambitious professionals live up to their full awesomeness potential.
We talk to Gary about how he got to this point and why he took up improvisation, what he’s learnt from it. How it helps him in his work and life, and what we can learn from it too – even if you don’t want to get up on stage and try it out for yourself.
There’s lots of gems in here but a couple that really resonated with us were:
Say yes – even when out of your comfort zone. But don’t stop there and don’t say “yes but…”, say “yes and…” Gary explains what this means most eloquently.
Our perception is failing equals bad – but we can learn more from our failures than our successes. How we perceive and interpret failure is all down to our mindset and what we look for. And Gary’s looking for fun. We’re working on this!
“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs
In episode 37 we find out:
Resources links mentioned in this episode
Find our more about Gary or contact him at:
If you enjoyed this episode tweet Gary a tweet to let him know @GaryWare
Sat, 4 April 2015
We often look to the future to make us happier. We think about the changes we want and that somehow we’ll be happier once they’re in place. Or we think we want more of something to make us happy, more money, more cars, more holidays, more tech.
It might seem counter-intuitive but studies indicate that in reality these aren’t the things that make us happy.
It doesn’t mean we don’t want to change or improve things in our lives, or indeed have more – but that those things alone are unlikely to increase our happiness and fulfilment, if we’re not happy now.
They may give us a temporary lift but all too soon it becomes the norm and we’re looking for the next thing, when we might be better finding ways to bring more joy, time and experiences into our lives.
Gratitude and appreciation can help us do this by focusing on what we have rather than what we want.
We can train our brains to look for the positive and the good and what we appreciate and are thankful for, and as we seek it out we will find more.
Research indicates that one of the best ways to be happier right now, in the only time we know we have, is by practicing gratitude – or appreciation.
But how to do it?
Here are 15 ways to practice the art of appreciation.
Choose those what appeals, try it out, pick and mix:
Changeability Podcast CA36
You’ll find all of this and more in episode 36 of the Changeability Podcast, including:
Links and resources
Sat, 28 March 2015
It’s all very well knowing gratitude is the best attitude but how do we actually do it – how do we do gratitude? Because we’re not talking about noticing a lot of nice things today that make us feel all warm and fuzzy and then forgetting it all for the next month. That’s not going to help us much.
And the evidence tells us that gratitude and appreciation are helpful to us.
They make us feel happier right now, and in our lives in the future, they put us in a good place from which to make the changes we want.
As we mentioned last week, by deliberately seeking out gratitude filled moments you train your mind to be on the look out for more.
An article by Eric Barker in TIME Magazine this week ‘Here’s How to Scientifically Train Your Mind to Be Happy’ talked about the very same thing.
He wrote that training your mind to look for errors and problems (as happens in careers like accounting and law) can lead to a pervasive pessimism that carries over into your personal life.
Yet these negative ways of thinking can be overcome by training your brain to seek out the good things in life. Primarily through counting your blessings day by day, i.e. practicing gratitude and appreciation. Alongside using retrospective judgement, basically putting a positive spin on negative past events to remember the good, and expecting things to get better because optimism can make you happier.
Cultivating the habit of gratitude
And the key to getting the benefits of gratitude and appreciation is to make a habit of our gratitude.
So how do we do that? Well how do we make any habit? We practice it (either intentionally or not) by doing it over and over again, until with repetition it becomes ingrained in our mind.
But how do you practice gratitude and doesn’t that sound a bit like hard work?
OK so like most things worth doing in life it might take a little effort. And we’re certainly not saying we have this perfected ourselves by any means. But we’re trying it – we think it’s worth the effort and we invite you to try it out for yourself too.
After all what have you got to lose? Feeling better about your life and the world, enjoying and making the most of your life, and having a positive impact on those around you as you’re happier in yourself.
The appreciation list
The most simple straightforward way to kick start your gratitude habit is to write down 3 new things you are grateful for and appreciate each day.
And if you want to really supercharge the launch of your gratitude habit then start your appreciation list with 10 new things you appreciate every day.
Do this every day for 30 days and by the end of a month you’ll have a list of the 300 items, people, experiences, and sensations you’ve appreciated on purpose. And reading through this is sure to make you feel good.
Hear us talk about all of this and more on ways to turn gratitude from a few nice thoughts every once in a while to a mind management technique that works. Listen to episode 34 of The Changeability Podcast.
Resources and links mentioned in this post and podcast episode 34:
Sat, 21 March 2015
If you want to jump out of bed in the morning shouting ‘I love my life’ at the top of your voice (and mean it) - the time and place to start is here and now.
It’s brilliant to have a vision of how you want life to look – and goals to get you there.
It’s great to use tools like affirmations and visualization to put you in the right frame of mind to achieve those goals.
But it’s not just about looking forward to happiness in some future time.
It’s about where you are now, being happy with who you are and what you have now.
And this is where gratitude is the best attitude kicks in.
Gratitude and appreciation give you a simple yet amazing mind management tool with the power to change how you feel right now and carry you forward towards your goals.
Gratitude is one of the universal themes from our shared experience of what it means to be human.
It crosses cultures, gender and age, and features in the world’s great religious traditions.
Every language in the world has a way of saying ‘thank you’.
But despite the fact it’s easy to say, and we throw out cursory ‘thank you’s everyday, it’s not so easy to feel and experience.
To make gratitude a deliberate part of our daily lives takes practice.
So is it worth it?
Psychologists have quantified benefits in the well-being of those who carry out simple but regular gratitude practices like writing down 3 good things that happened to them a day.
Writing down 5 things they were grateful for once a week for ten weeks, had a measurable positive impact on the happiness and health levels of a group studied by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough of the University of California.
And if when it comes to managing your mind, gratitude is the best attitude to focus you on the good things in your life and train your mind to look for more of the same.
Gratitude and appreciation act as a bridge from the here and now to where you want to be. They put you in a good place by realising and feeling great about all the marvellous things in your present life.
This doesn’t mean you don’t want to make changes but that you’ll be in a better place from which to start making those changes whilst experiencing present life to the full.
Episode 34 of the Changeability Podcast
We talk about all this and more in episode 34 of the Changeability Podcast – where we ask if gratitude is the best attitude.
Links and resources
Emmons, R. A. (2007). THANKS! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Episode 33 - The Time of Your Life
Appreciate to Accumulate – a guided gratitude MP3 to kick-start the appreciation habit
Sat, 14 March 2015
You think you have time
Does this apply to you?
The answer, if you’re being honest, is probably - yes it does.
We all think we will always have more time.
We know on an intellectual level we wont. We understand the concept that our time here is limited. We see the evidence all around us.
And yet we often don’t accept it on an emotional level, and don’t act in accordance with it.
We carry on living our lives as if there will always be a tomorrow. Another time for us to make the changes we want to make and live the lives we want to live.
Maybe even another time somewhere in the future when we’ll be happy. With that happiness depending on changes we have yet to make.
So we find ourselves saying I’ll be happy when…(fill in the blank).
Time as a Present
If this all sounds a bit depressing, what about this then?
This is the flip side.
We can only ever really know the here and now – the present. Which is more reason to make the most of each day.
This saying also captures the essence of mindfulness – of living in the present moment and being mindful of the here and now.
Time as a concept
Time is an odd concept.
We take it for granted but what is it?
Is it a conceptual construct or convenient unit for us to measure changes and progress?
And how do we relate to it in our personal lives.
The Changeability Podcast Episode 33
These are some of the questions we’re asking in episode 33 of The Changeability Podcast – where we’re talking about The Time of Your Life.
We get a bit philosophical in this episode as we talk about time and how we relate to it, based on 3 things that happened this week to bring the subject of time to the front of our minds.
Specifically in episode 33 you find out about:
Sat, 7 March 2015
What is it that stops us doing what we want to do? We’re not talking about the things we think we should be doing but those things we think we truly want to do. Yet even though we want to do them, something gets in the way of us actually doing them.
It might be starting that new business, or the novel you know is inside of you. Maybe it’s shedding the excess pounds getting you down, or eating the healthy food that’ll give you more energy.
Whenever you want to do something but you don’t see it through, you are resisting it on some level.
You are experiencing resistance to your goals, desires or dreams.
And we all experience it, that’s not the issue. The issue is what we do about it.
Do we let resistance win out and sabotage our intentions, or do we recognise it and deal with it.
That’s what we’re talking about in episode 32 of the Changeability Podcast with guest Tony L Brown.
Tony is a coach, consultant, speaker, trainer, digital marketer, and host of the 3Vs Podcast, who helps people transition from employee to entrepreneur.
Tony’s also a man who knows all about resistance in his own life and with those he works with.
Tony believes in battling resistance and shares with us 5 steps to overcoming resistance.
In episode 32 you’ll find out about:
Sat, 28 February 2015
Are you a rudderless boat being tossed about in life’s sea or are you on course to get what you want from life? These might be difficult questions to answer but the secret to getting the changes you want in life starts here - being clear about how you want your changed life to look.
“Do you know where you’re going to, do you like the things that life has shown you, where are you going to, do you know?”
Whether you recognise the song or not, the words capture the first technique to manage your mind to get what you want in life and business.
It’s about setting your intentions and then finding out what’s getting in the way of making them happen.
The likelihood is there are self-beliefs and negative thoughts lurking about in your subconscious working hard to keep you precisely where you are now. Nice and safe and secure, at least as far as your mind is concerned, even though you might not realise that’s where you want to be!
Yet recognising those thoughts is a great step forward and the start of getting rid of them.
But what to replace them with. This is where positive affirmations come in, fortified by the power of visualizing the future you want.
Today we’re taking you back to school for a little revision session –starting with a little test - but don’t worry, you don’t have to tell us your score! And by the end of it you’ll be up to speed with the 5 mind management techniques we’ve talked about on the Changeability Podcast so far.
You’ll find out:
Sat, 21 February 2015
This excerpt from Changeability – Manage your Mind – Change your Life sums up what we aim to do, not only with this book, but also on the Changeability Podcast.
Our aim is to help you understand that internal mental programming and give you ways to work with it so you can change what you want to change, improve what you want to improve and have success in whatever you want to do.
This week on our 30th episode of the Changeability Podcast we look back at some of the key themes of the past 29 episodes. These are the big ideas that underpin what we talk about on the podcast, write about in the blog and lie behind the Brilliant Living® products.
We believe that by understanding and taking these four themes on board you put yourself in a stronger position to make this quote come true for you.
Changeability Podcast Episode 30
In this episode you find out:
Sat, 14 February 2015
Do you like to daydream? As a child were you told off for daydreaming in the classroom when you were supposed to be doing your school work? Maybe you were imagining what you were going to do with your friends after school, or what you wanted to be when you grew up, or how great it would be when you were old enough to do what you wanted.
If so don’t knock it, you were practicing a useful technique to help you get that life you dreamt of having. Because visualization is like daydreaming on purpose.
And with some tips on how to make the most of your imaginings and a bit of practice you can hone your daydreaming so it becomes a great mind management tool for you. That’s what we help you to do in episode 29 of the Changeability Podcast.
Episode 29 The Changeability Podcast
This week’s episode is a slightly different format (not that we really have a set format!) – with a practical show of two halves.
In the first half we give you through a step by step visualization guide. We share exactly what you can do to get the most out of your visualization experience – and enjoy it as a positive step on the way to making it real for you.
In the second half we have a guided visualization for you to listen to. But only do so where it’s safe to listen and relax (so not while driving at 70mph down the motorway).
We wanted to give you a way to get started straight away on some visualization practice if you haven’t done it before – and if you’re already into visualization then it will give you another visualization to use.
We decided to share a visualization for abundance with you, as many people would like more abundance in their life. An abundant life is one full of the things you want it to be full of, which for most of us includes love, security, health and money amongst other things.
We’re excited to hear what you think of this guided visualization and as a thank you for listening to our podcast and for taking action to develop your changeability, we would love to give you a separate mp3 recording of this visualization for free. We do sell a version of this in the website shop which has two different voices, so you can have a male or female version – and if you’d like this you can buy it here. Or you can get your FREE version (female voice) here.
We hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing how you get on.
Specifically in this episode you find:
If you’ve got any other tips to add to make your visualisation even better in some way please let us know –drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d also love to hear from you, as always, about how you get on with your visualization or what you’ve successfully visualized.
Sat, 7 February 2015
What does it take to be successful in any part of your life?
Yes, setting goals.
Yes, being clear about what you want.
Yes, doing the work and putting in the hours to create or improve or develop the skill or the relationship – or whatever it is you want to achieve.
But what if there was another ingredient that you could throw into the mix to give you that extra edge? Would you use it to up your game or even get ahead of the competition?
These might sound like sporting metaphors and we’ve used them on purpose, because this is the very thing that many people, including sportspeople, use to give them that extra something that leads to their success.
So what is it that they have? Well it’s something we all have it’s just they use it for a specific purpose. It’s IMAGINATION.
They use the power of imagination to create the success they desire, and you can do the same.
It’s true that the imagination is where this success initially starts, and where it plays out until it becomes reality.
But in that imagining and playing out of your vision of what success looks like and how to get it, you’re planting the neural seeds that grow into expectation and even memory, both mental and physical.
This is all about mindset and getting your subconscious mind to work for you.
If you’re after inspiration to imagine your way to success, you’ll find it in episode 28 of the Changeability Podcast where we look at some of the people who have done just this.
You’ll hear from and about people who’ve experienced massive success in their field, whether in sports or entertainment. But it’s not just about the rich and famous as we also share some more everyday examples of how visualization can help you imagine your way to success, whatever that success looks like to you.
The Changeability Podcast - Episode 28
In this episode:
Sat, 31 January 2015
If visualization is one of the key mind management techniques sports people use to perform better and reach their goals, then mentally rehearsing what you want to achieve can do the same for you.
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to experience the benefits of using your imagination to visualize the future you want.
But how to visualize to get what you want? What’s the best way to do it?
In episode 27 of the Changeability Podcast we take a look at what you can do to get the most out of visualization.
These are the little tricks of the trade of how to visualize for maximum effectiveness – in other words – how to visualize to get what you want.
It’s got a lot to do with rehearsing and making it as real as you can.
In episode 27 you find out:
Sat, 24 January 2015
This week we’re talking about a straight up, full on, mind management tool you can use in life and business to help you make changes and achieve your goals - VISUALIZATION.
Visualization uses the power of your imagination to create the life you want, by creating in your mind’s eye what you desire or want to achieve, and repeatedly visualizing it.
Far from being something way out or weird, visualization is natural and we all do it everyday of our lives.
We visualize when we’re being creative or planning something. We use it in a positive way - like looking forward to our next holiday, or in a negative unhelpful way - like when we unnecessarily imagine things going wrong for us. (We talked about this in episode 20 ‘What is Visualization’ when we first looked at visualization.)
So if visualization is something you do naturally – wouldn’t it be great to take the visualisation you do naturally everyday, enhance it and make it work to your advantage? As a mind management tool - using the power of your mind to do what you want in a deliberate way (we’re all for that at BrilliantLivingHQ).
That’s the theory and In episode 26 of the Changeability Podcast we start looking at how we make it a reality – through using the technique of MENTAL REHEARSAL.
We look at what mental rehearsal is and how to use it to get the most from your visualization.
And if you think you find it difficult to visualize, we talk about different ways people can ‘see’ things in their mind.
More specifically in episode 25 you find the answers to these questions:
Sat, 17 January 2015
If you want to get inside the mind of a successful entrepreneur and businessman, then episode 25 of the Changeability Podcast is your chance. Because this week we talk with Chris Ducker who takes us on the roller coaster experience of what being an entrepreneur has been and is for him.
Chris shares the highs and lows, fears and rewards of his entrepreneurial journey so far and we chat about the mindset, techniques and tactics, which have made him the success he is today. And it’s not all sweetness and light, as Chris opens up about the challenges he’s faced along the way and how he’s dealt with them.
“Do what you do best – delegate the rest” Chris Ducker
Chris, of ChrisDucker.com – is a serial entrepreneur and accomplished businessman, with a bricks and mortar business in the Philippines employing over 200 staff and an online business helping become people start or improve their own businesses. He is also a coach, blogger, author of the best selling book Virtual Freedom, sought after speaker and host of the popular New Business Podcast. And as of this week, co-host of the #1 business podcast – 1DayBB alongside his friend Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income fame.
More specifically on episode 25 you will find out about:
Sat, 10 January 2015
5 words for a great year ahead
The power of words
There is power in words. We all know the power of words to motivate, educate and communicate.
We use words to communicate with each other and also with ourselves.
Our thoughts are formed in words and we have an inner-voice that commentates on what we do and think, and not always in the most positive of ways!
So why not use your words to your advantage?
One way of doing this is to have a few well-chosen words that sum up the essence of what you want to achieve or experience in the year ahead.
These become your words for the year.
The idea is you write them out and place them where you will see them every day. And you regularly repeat them, think about them, look at them and use them, until they’re impressed onto your subconscious and become part of how you think, act and behave.
In short, these words work as shorthand for your aspirations and as affirmation of the way you want to be. They are a reminder of your goals and reinforcement for your intentions.
Your words for a great year
So what are your 5 words for a great year ahead? Choose between 1 and 5 words to sum up what you what to achieve, experience, be or or have in the year ahead.
Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:
If you want this year to be better than last year, then thinking about what you want to change is a great place to start. Will this be a year of change for you and if so what is it you want to change?
It’s no good doing everything the same as you did it last year and probably the year before that, if you want to have a different outcome.
So think about the word change every day. What is it you're changing this year, what is it you want to do differently? How do you want your year to be different from last year? What is it you want more or less of, what is it you want to improve?
All of these things can be encapsulated in that one little word change - which is why it's so great to have it as one of your words of the year. Write it out and look at it every day and remind yourself every day what it is you’re changing in your life.
And if you want to have the changeability - the ability to change – you might like to start here.
People say money makes the world go round and of course we all need money but what about love? The Beatles sang all you need is love and we know that's not true either. But the truth lies somewhere in between.
The fact is that love is what makes life great. Love is what motivates us to do things and makes us feel good. This can be love for your family, your spouse or partner, your colleagues and friends and love for yourself.
By having love as one of your words this year it helps to remind you of the driving force of life and the thing that holds us together as families and as communities.
If you'd like a way of reminding yourself about love or want to open yourself up to more opportunities for love in your life - check out these affirmations for love.
Abundance is a bit of an old-fashioned word that is also a great word because it captures the essence of so many things. Whatever it is you want more of in your life - the word abundance can capture it all.
Do you want abundance in monetary terms; this is how most people think of the word abundance? It’s a lovely word for it because it gives this beautiful idea of having more than you need. Abundance suggests there is no limit to what you can have.
This is an abundant world we live in with more than enough to go around. There is no limit on money, it’s an energetic exchange of value and a commodity.
So if you want more abundance in your life, if you want money in your life in this coming year, focusing on the idea of abundance is a great way to start thinking positively about what you have and how you can have more of it - what ever that might be.
The word growth encapsulates the notion of learning or developing or getting better at something. It could be a new skill, or the way we want to act, it might be a characteristic we want to develop like being more attentive - or maybe we want to read more because reading and learning is at the root of development of any type.
Maybe you have a business and want to grow your business - so the word growth is great because it can be whatever you want it to be, personal or business related. But as with all your words – as you write it down, as you say it, as you think it, have an idea in your head about what you mean by it otherwise it’s just a vague concept.
Appreciation, gratitude, thank you - they’re all words which bring us back to the here and now and help us be grounded in our everyday experience. In doing so we become aware of all the amazing, fabulous, wonderful, gorgeous, lovely things in our life that are going well.
Having the words thank you or appreciation or gratitude helps to remind us every day of what we already have and how privileged we are to live in this age, in this time of comfort, luxury and modern medicine.
The Changeability Podcast Episode 24 - CA024
You can hear us talking about all of this and more in episode 24 of the Changeability Podcast, where we also share our own words for the coming year.
Sat, 3 January 2015
The first of January was dedicated by the Romans to their God of Gates and Doors - Janus. Janus had a distinctive and unusual look – he had two faces which rather cleverly meant he could look behind him with one face whilst simultaneously looking forward with his other face.
Just as doors and gates look in two directions, this god could look both backward and forward at the same time. This made him not only the guardian of exits, entrances and transitions, but just as you go through a door or gate to enter a new place, Janus was seen as the God of Beginnings.
We of course remember Janus in the name of our first month of the year, January, but he represented beginnings and firsts of all types. This makes Janus a perfect symbol for us at this and any time of the year.
So although we’re doing the two-faced Janus thing of looking back (in last weeks Changeability Podcast - episode 22) and looking forward to new beginnings today at the beginning of January – it doesn’t matter whether you read or listen to this in January or any month or day of the year.
It’s about new beginnings of any type at any time. Indeed Janus was originally honoured on the first day of every month and at other key times in the year and people’s lives such as harvest, birth and marriage.
Whilst the passing of one year into another lays down a useful marker in time to think about our lives, we can take any time as a cut off point to sign off a portion of our lives and start a new segment afresh. Compartmentalising our thinking into years, months, weeks or even days, gives us a convenient time span to divide and measure ourselves by.
The great thing is that any moment in our life can be a gateway to a new and different pathway – to new beginnings.
In today’s episode of the Changeability Podcast we’re talking about the concept of looking forward. And asking you what you’re looking forward to doing, achieving, experiencing and being this year.
Are you approaching this year with excited anticipation and embracing it as something to literally look forward to. Because when we look forward to something – we expect it to happen – we’ve set an intention to do something and are now looking forward to it. We’re looking at ways of doing this on today’s show.
Specifically in this week’s episodes we look at:
5 questions to kick-start your year
Here’s to a great year ahead. We appreciate you being part of ours and hope we continue to be a part of yours.
Sat, 27 December 2014
We’re at the end of the year – so how was it for you?
What have been the highlights and achievements of your year?
If you were to give this year a mark out of ten, how would you rate your year?
Would it be a derisory 1, measly 2 or a paltry 3 - a poor 4, average 5 or respectable 6 - a good 7, a great 8 or maybe even a fabulous 9 or totally brilliant 10?
What is it about the end of the year that makes it a good time to take stock?
We have a culture of looking back around this time of year – with all sorts of TV programs looking back at the events of the year, the trends, the politics, what happened in the media.
But the end of a year also provides a convenient cut-off point for you on an individual level to reflect on what’s happened - and either recognise and celebrate it or put it behind you and move on.
And to go with this there’s the annual goals fest of New Year resolutions.
The fact is the idea of new beginnings is a conceptual device – a framework to hang a review of the past and preview of the future on.
Recognising that one year is ending and a new one beginning makes for a common point of reference.
But whenever you’re reading this, you can do exactly the same. Because a year is just a unit of time to measure things by – and you can use any unit of time at any time of the year to take a step back and review what you’ve achieved and not achieved and if you’ve met your goals or fulfilled your desires for the year.
We’ve been reviewing the past year past year ourselves and we’ve recorded it for you in this week’s podcast - Come behind the scenes with us in Episode 22 ‘How would you rate your year’ to find out about our year.
And then rate your own and let us know your score and some of your highlights and achievements.
Sat, 20 December 2014
If you’ve ever doubted what visualization can do for you, or about the power of your subconscious mind to influence what you do and how you do it, listen to the interview with our guest on today’s episode of the Changeability Podcast - Dr Eva Detko.
Dr Eva talks about how she used the power of visualization in her bid to compete in Latin and Ballroom competitions from a regional level right up to the national finals at the international home of ballroom dancing – in Blackpool, England.
At the heart of this and the work that Dr Eva does with her clients is finding ways to harness the power of the subconscious mind to help us achieve what we want to achieve.
This might be through the hypnotherapy that Dr Eva specializes in, or in releasing the build-up of the stresses and strains of everyday life that will be detrimental to our health in the long term.
Talking of health, Eva is also a Nutritional Therapist with a clear view on the inter-related link between mind and body, what we eat, our emotions and state of mind.
Quotes of the show
More specifically in this episode you will find out about
Sat, 13 December 2014
What does the word ‘visualization’ mean to you – what image does it conjure up in your mind? Or maybe you’ve never given visualization much thought before now.
In today’s episode of the Changeability Podcast we’re introducing visualization. We look at the basics of what is visualization and why visualization can be a powerful mind management technique to add to your self-development tool-kit.
Visualization is about using the power of your mind, and your imagination in particular, to help you live your best life now and achieve your goals.