Have you ever wondered why you allow yourself to be pulled away from your goals despite knowing what you need to do?
Do you think you lack motivation and inspiration? Do you blame big food companies for making processed junk food so delicious? Or big tech for making social media and addictive apps?
Or worse, you generally blame the world for all the bad things that happen to you? But you actually know that the truth goes much deeper than that, don’t you?
If you are ready to find out how you can start living a successful life, listen to this new episode packed with a lot of science-based information on how to start improving your health, your relationships, your career, and finally live the life you’re meant to.
The 3 steps to get yourself to do what you need to do [04:34 – 43:03]
Step 1 – Take responsibility [04:34-08:10]
Step 2 – Understand how your brain works [08:10 – 16:09]
Step 3 – Ways to improve the executive system [16:09:40-43:03]
Why does your brain work against you sometimes?
How to deal with negative emotions [16:30-23:06]
Aerobic exercise’s importance in boosting the executive function of the brain [21:45-23:05]
How to manage distractions in your life [28:29-43:03]
How to cut the external trigger that is distracting you [33:48-43:03]
And much more…
Episode Transcription: No Motivation? Three Proven Steps To Get You Back on Track | Real Talk Friday
Ted Ryce:The secret to living the life you want is simple: You need to do what needs to get done! But if that's the case, why don't we do it? Why do we allow ourselves to be pulled away from our goals despite knowing what we need to do? Why are we feeling stuck sometimes? What can you do to able to take action even when you're not feeling ready?
Some will say “Well, I'm not motivated, I lack inspiration!”. In fact, when we did our recent survey, that was one of the themes that came up again and again, and again.
Others will blame big food companies for making processed junk, or big tech for making social media and addictive apps. Or blame the world for just being too messed up. And while it's easy to lay blame elsewhere, the real source, the root cause of why we don't do what we know we need to goes much deeper. And today we are going to be diving into that and most importantly, what you can do about it.
What is up my friend friend, welcome back to the Legendary Life podcast! I'm health expert Ted Ryce, coach to CEOs, executives, and other high-performing professionals, and what we do on this show is we break down science-based information on how to lose fat, prevent disease and live a longer, healthier, legendary life.
On Real Talk Fridays, though, we get a little bit deeper than just what exercise to do, or how many grams of protein to eat. We talk about the psychology of success.
And recently we sent out a survey asking people: “Hey, what is your struggle here? What do you want to hear more about?” And again, like I said earlier, at the beginning of this episode, one of the consistent answers is: “I lack motivation, I lack inspiration, I can't stay on track!”.
And here's the thing with this. This is the wrong perspective. In other words, motivation doesn't last! You may listen to this podcast, or other podcasts, or listen to something inspirational on YouTube or something else and you get a hit of motivation, you get a hit of inspiration, you feel good in other words. But it doesn't last. The next thing you know, your kids start bothering you for something, and you need to take care of it because you're their parent and they're your responsibility.
Or perhaps you get thrown off by scrolling on social media and seeing something like: “Oh man, look what just happened in the world. Look at this horrible thing that happened!” Sound familiar? Or perhaps you've been trying to stick with your diet and eating, and exercise plan, but then things get a little stressful at work.
So today we're going to talk about how to stay on track, even when it seems like there's so many obstacles working against you. And I want to say this: We're all in the same boat. You think I'm not struggling? You may hear these episodes and say: “Wow, Ted, you sound full of motivation, you sound full of energy!” And that's true. At least I hope so. But what you didn't see is how I woke up today.
And I only had five and a half hours of sleep because I woke up a little bit too early, cause I was a little bit stressed about this situation here in Brazil - that's where I am right now - and the lockdown that's happening, and the coronavirus numbers that are kind of getting out of control, and these variants... And you didn't see me scrolling on social media, talking with people on Twitter... but then how it turned into something where, okay, I'm just procrastinating and not doing the work.
You didn't see how I felt bad when I woke up this morning, but I went in, did my exercise anyway. And that's the key. A friend of mine, Chris Friesen, who's a performance psychologist said: ”The people who are the most successful do what they need to do based on their values and their goals. They don't base what they do on how they feel, or whether they're motivated or not. The key is to show up no matter what”. And I'm kind of paraphrasing Chris there. I don't remember his exact quote, but it's something to keep in mind.
So let's jump into it, because we're going to talk about some perspectives and some tools to overcome this lack of motivation, to get yourself to do what you need to do in spite of not feeling motivated to do it.
Step # 1: Take Responsibility
So, number one is this: Take responsibility! I got a harsh truth for you: No one is coming to save you! Food manufacturers won't stop making tasty junk food, if you want to lose weight. Supermarkets won't stop selling it to you.
Social media platforms they're not going to make their sites less habit for me! Netflix won't stop launching the next episode. (You know how, when you're watching this series and the episode ends and you're like “Oh, I should really go to bed!”. But then that next episode thing, it launches within like 10 seconds. And there you are watching another episode. )
And by the way, porn sites won't stop making porn available. And the world, by the way, in general, isn't going to get better and hit your expectations just so you can’t say “Oh, well, the world is such a terrible place for the people!”.
You know those people who are like “Oh God, what a world we live in!” It's like, well, yeah, it's always...it's actually better than it's ever been. But guess what? Whatever that standard you have for the world, it's not going to happen in your lifetime.
The real truth is we're stumbling and bumbling towards a better humanity and it is more stumbling and bumbling than progress sometimes. And that's where we are. We're in this situation where our expectations of the way the world should be, have outpaced the real world progress. Right?
In other words, the world is getting better at a certain pace. I really believe that. Things like, there's less people living in poverty than ever, although, you know, we'll see with this coronavirus situation, how much it sets us back. There is more people who can read than ever before.
And let me tell you, I've been, I've lived in so many different countries. I've traveled to even more. Education is the key. We think about how people look different or, how people speak different languages.
You know, Chinese or Thai is so different from Spanish or English. But if we're on the same page about education, about math, about science, about whether there's a virus that gets us sick, or it's a curse from the gods. That's one of the biggest things that I see.
Okay , and there's a ton of research on education and what it does for people. In fact, you could even say, well, morality and ethics. That's part of education, right? Education that you teach your children what to do, what not to do.
But back to this idea of taking responsibility, the responsibility to improve your life is yours and yours alone. And so many people right now, it's very in fashion to blame a lot of other people, to blame systemic racism, white privilege, big pharma, all these different things.
And I'm not saying that these problems don't exist, what I'm saying is you can, you can say things on social media, but it's not going to influence these things. The best way... What I'm trying to say here is the best way for you to make the world a better place is to improve your life, yourself. That's the place to start. That's what you can control.
So, okay, great! Hopefully you're at least somewhat interested in this, at least halfway bought into this idea of making the world a better place, because so many people get thrown off by negative thoughts. And me too, the same thing, same situation. I'm in the same boat as you.
Step # 2: Understand How Your Brain Works
So, before we talk about steps to do this, let's talk about something. Let's get off the philosophical conversation here and talk a bit about how our brain works. So, if the key to having the life that we want is doing the things that we need to do, and we all know what we need to do, right?
Do you really not know that you shouldn't eat the chocolate cake or at least all that chocolate cake versus a salad and lean protein and fruit? Come on! Do you really not know that more exercise is better than less exercise, more exercise is better than sitting all day at work and then coming home and sitting down and watching TV? You know that you know what you need to do. You know the conversations that you need to have, you know your shortcomings, you know your strengths, you know what you need to do.
Now, maybe you're a little bit confused, Maybe think carbs make you fat instead of total calories, for sure. But even if you're somewhat misguided, somewhat misinformed, you have an idea of the direction to go in.
So, what is it about our brains that gets thrown off? Why can't we just say “Oh, well here's a goal! Okay! Here's what I need to do to achieve that goal! Okay! So let's just do it!” What's the big problem? Well, here's the thing: There's a part of our brain that's called the executive system.
Now, I know this might get a little nerdy here, but I want you to pay attention, because I'm going to make it as user-friendly, as understandable as possible. And I'm not just talking about this stuff to sound intelligent. This is problem solving that we're talking about. We've got to get an awareness.
Do you not feel that sometimes you work against yourself? For example, you had to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. But it's you. So who is doing the dragging? Why do you have to drag yourself out of bed? “Oh, I had to hold my tongue!” What do you mean? Why don't you just not say? Why don't you just say: “Oh, I shouldn't say that, so I'm just not going to say it.” Why, why did you have to expend effort to drag yourself out of bed or to hold your tongue?
Well, we experienced this duality. And this is something that's in all cultures, this is something that is universally human. And what we know is this: We have different parts of our brain do different things. We have... Let me talk about this. There's a theory, now this is somewhat simplistic, but I think it's an easy model to understand, there's something called the triune brain model.
I'm sure you've heard this before. So there's the reptilian brain. That's “Hey, I need warmth, or I'm going to die. I need food, or I'm going to die, right? I'm going to starve to death. Oh, I need sex, I need to reproduce!“ That's kind of that reptilian function.
Then there's the mammal function, right? The mammalian brain. There's a reptile brain and then there's the mammalian brain. And the mammalian brain is the brain that wants you to feel good, that wants validation from other people, that wants to give you the pleasure now. “Let's not put off the pleasure, let's not wait until we kind of do some good things to reward ourselves, let's just go for instant gratification!”
And then there's the prefrontal cortex. And that's where the executive system sits. So, what are we talking about here? Impulse control. This is the executive system. So, in other words, if you want to say no to that episode of your favorite series on Netflix, if you want to say “Hey, you know what? I'm going to eat just a small slice of chocolate cake instead of half of it!”. Emotional control. If someone says something nasty to you, or someone cuts you off on the road (I used to lose my cool all the time on the road in Miami, which, you know, granted, it might offense, is one of the worst places to drive in the country, it was voted the worst road rage in the country a few times.) If you want to keep your feelings in check, your executive system needs to work.
Flexible thinking. So adjusting your behavior to unexpected changes, for example: “Oh, guess what? Now you're in lockdown again - like I am- so no more gyms.Okay. Well, how long am I going to spend crying about it versus, okay, well, what can I do? What workouts can I do?” Working memory. So, keeping key information in your mind. For example, maybe you're trying to learn from this podcast and a lot of things you feel like go in and out of your head and you're like: ”Oh, what did Ted say again? Or what did that other podcast say again? Or what was that thing that I just read in the book?” So, working memory!
Also, self-monitoring, realizing, and maybe when you're talking and amusing - this example is in no way autobiographical! - but maybe talking to your partner and you're getting kind of irritated, but you know you love them. So you got to say ”All right, I'm irritated with them, but I love them. So let me not say or act or emote in a way that's going to hurt our relationship. How about planning and prioritizing?”
So, setting a goal and achieving it and doing the things consistently, which is the biggest problem.
Or task initiation. So, taking action on tasks. For example, I was struggling today. I'm not feeling great, to be honest, we're locked down here in Brazil. I knew I had to get this stuff recorded, and I knew I had to take action. It took effort to initiate this task. So, my executive system isn't firing on all cylinders.
And organization, keeping track of things physically and mentally. “So, what was it that I needed to do again? Oh, I just forgot!” So, keeping track of things physically and mentally. “Where are my keys?” So, many of us think that we're having like early Alzheimer's, but in reality, our brain just isn't working right at all! Our executive system isn't working right.
What I'm trying to tell you here is that you don't have early Alzheimer's, it's not age, but your brain isn't working right, if you're not able to get things done. And this can be from one day to the next. For example, I had a bad day yesterday, my brain wasn't working right at all, and today was better because I did some things yesterday to set me up for success for today. And that's what I want to get into next.
So, first is you just got to understand, okay, this is a brain issue. This is controlling my impulses, maintaining control over my emotions, being flexible in my thinking, making sure that I can remember what the hell I'm working on right now. Monitoring yourself, having that self-awareness, planning and prioritizing, being able to get started on what you need to do, and of course staying organized.
So this is a brain health problem and it can shift from one day to the next. You can be on the ball one day, and then you have some drinks, and then you sleep poorly, and then you skip your workout the next morning, and wake up a little bit, not maybe totally hungover, but you don't feel on top of your game, and then boom! All these things, control your impulses, stay organized, starting tasks that you need to start, they get thrown off. Does that make sense?
Step # 3 - Ways To Improve the Executive System
So, let's talk about how to improve brain health! And more specifically here, psychological health, right? We think of psychology as ” Oh, it's just my mind!” , but in reality, we're really talking about our brains. So, the first thing I want to talk about is negative thoughts. Okay?
Negative thoughts. This is one of the biggest complaints I hear over and over again from clients. Now, I tend to hear it more from women. And I tend to hear it more from people struggling with obesity. Not necessarily who are obese, but struggling with obesity. Cause I get some clients they're like, „Hey, I'm obese. I want to change!” Okay, Here's the plan! Boom! They go and do it. And then others: “Okay, I'm doing the plan, but oh, I stepped on the scale three days in a row and my weight didn't drop. This isn't working, I'm freaking out, I'm feeling so unmotivated!” It's like, what's the problem? It's only been three days. Why are you freaking out so much?
So, understanding negative thoughts. Do you struggle with this? Because if you do this, I mean, we can't go into how to fix dysfunctional thoughts, but I want to tell you this: If you're suffering with a lot of dysfunctional thoughts, that's an issue. It's not normal. Well, it may be common, but it's not normal. And I want to say this: I'm not saying that you aren't normal. Believe me, I suffer from... this is why I'm such a good coach. I'm a great coach because I've had to work through all this stuff, things didn't come easy to me. I've dealt with a lot of dysfunctional thoughts.
But I just want to walk you through something. Let's say that you're falling, let's say you've joined my co - I'm just going to just roll with this example for my client - Let's say you join my coaching program. And let's say you lost some weight initially, cause everyone does. But then when we started to dial things back and increase the calories, you hit a plateau and you plateaued for a week. And this situation brought up for you ”Oh, I feel like I'm a failing again, I've tried this so many times in the past. So, I'm feeling frustrated, I'm feeling anxious, I'm feeling defeated.”
So there's the emotions that come up based on this situation and the dysfunctional thoughts that come: ”I'm a loser. I'm always going to be fat. My parents were fat, I'm fat, everyone in my family is fat, and everybody tries to fix this. All my friends try to get in shape and they all fail too. Maybe I have a hormone problem, or a metabolism issue.” And then you have to find alternative thoughts. This is something, this is called the dysfunctional thought record, is what I'm walking you through, by the way.
This is what I walked my clients through. You gotta sit down and say ”Okay, well - alternative thoughts - My really (and, and I had a client who dealt with this recently. They lost seven pounds in a week, which is huge and then they hit a plateau and didn't lose weight for actually two weeks. And then we just changed again. And now they're dropped down. Now he's down three pounds.
But before we switch the program to give him a win, I had to say “Well, listen, I know you're feeling this way, but you are not going to fail this time. You hired me! Here, let me show you!” And I didn't just want him to blame me. I showed him people who had success, success, success. I explained it to him, I showed him proof, because the last thing you want people to do is just kind of believe things in faith.)
So you've got to find alternative thoughts: ”Am I really never going to get this handled?”
And I love working with entrepreneurs in particular, cause I bring up examples. I'll say: ”Listen, do you invest in stocks?” ”Yes, I do.” ”Okay, cool! What if the stock has a bad week? Do you take all your money out?”, ”No, of course not. I know I'll lose money if I do that, and I know I'll make money if I stay in long enough, because I invest for the long-term.” And it's like, yeah. So you've invested for the long-term and look, I will prove to you that this works. Look at this evidence, and you got to give yourself evidence, and then as a result, your emotions start to shift. Does that make sense?
So I wanted to talk about that because so many people struggle with negative thoughts. The two things that I do in my coaching, by the way is: I educate, that's the easy part, and then I coach through the obstacles and the obstacles sometimes are “Hey, I'm committing with my family and, or I'm having a business meeting and I know there's going to be drinks and all this other stuff. What, what can I do to have a good time and enjoy myself and not feel like I'm restricting myself, but also not shoot all my results in the foot by just going crazy and doing whatever it is I want to do? Right?
Or following my friends lead and just eating and drinking way too much.” But a lot of it is “Hey, I'm dealing with these negative emotions and this comes up so frequently, negative thoughts, negative emotions, feelings of defeat, feelings of failure.”
So really getting some self-awareness there. Now, the next thing that I recommend to people is doing aerobic exercise. For example, I woke up this morning, not feeling good. I didn't want to exercise. I didn't want
work, I didn't want to do anything, but I knew if I could just get my negative Nancy butt into the gym - which is in the building that I'm staying in, it's open now - and do some exercise on the bike, especially aerobic exercise, I'm going to boost my brain function, I'm gonna boost my mood, because boosting your mood is boosting your brain function.
Can we agree with that? And aerobic exercises in particular boost executive function. Is one of the most powerful things you can do if you're struggling with negative thoughts. This is an important reminder for anyone who lifts weights a lot, but you don't do cardio, but you deal with this frequently. Maybe try some aerobic exercise. In fact, if you hear why people love aerobic exercise so much, they say "Well, it makes me feel amazing!".
Now that is exercising for mood, not for results necessarily in fat loss, because strength training is better. But here's the thing: If you're feeling bad and it's messing with your life, shift away from strength, incorporate more aerobic exercise to see if it helps you!
The next thing you can do is make sure you get good quality sleep. I slept five and a half hours last night, that's a bit low for me. But what I did is I stayed in bed and I did a 45 minute meditation this morning. So that gave me a little over six hours of sleep slash relaxation. And I'm going to do another meditation as well.
So what I'm trying to tell you is if you're struggling with staying on track with your goals, look at your sleep. This is foundational stuff, my friend. If your sleep sucks, yeah, okay, you can go to work and do the things that you're already good at, you're even going to the gym and crushing your workouts. But if you're trying to stay on track with your nutrition, that's a huge challenge for people.
For most people it's easy... My clients, there is easy for them to go to the gym. They all want to, "Hey, let's talk about the workouts! Let's keek out about how we can make this workout like super optimal." It's like, no, put aside the workout and focus on the nutrition! But you need to get your head in the game to do that.
And if you're not getting good quality sleep, your head's not going to be in the game. You're going to struggle with more negative feelings. You're going to struggle with more distraction. Make sure you're getting good quality sleep!
Managing stress improves executive function. No surprise there, right? If sleep knocks executive function out and good quality sleep improves it,
stress affects sleep, stress affects cognitive function as well, or specifically executive function.
One of the things that I said on social media that got some interesting responses is: “the best fat loss hack that nobody talks about is creating a life where you're not driven to escape it through alcohol and food.”And a lot of us, the truth is we are trying to escape our lives through eating, we're trying to escape our lives through alcohol. Other drugs too, but marijuana doesn't have calories, neither does cocaine or meth. Alcohol, which is the number one used drug in the United States, not only does it have its own consequences, and many negative consequences in many different ways, if used inappropriate, it also adds calories, empty ones at that.
So what is it that we're trying to escape from? What is it? You know that joke, right? “Mommy drinks because you won't stop crying!” What is it that we're not dealing with? Are you really eating the food because it's so delicious, because it's this Belgian chocolate that you hardly ever get, and you're just sitting there savouring it? Or you just got a bunch of cheap junk and you're shoving in your face, while you mindlessly watch or mindlessly shove it in your face while you binge-watch your favorite series? Because those are two different things.
There's nothing wrong with experiencing the pleasure of eating delicious food. I mean, food is one of those beautiful things we get to experience in life. But if the intention is just kind of mindlessly eating, then what are you doing that for? It's not because processed food or big food had scientists concoct, some special formula to hit your bliss point. Come on! Why are you eating your emotions? Because stress knocks out executive function and unless you're willing to go a bit deeper and deal with wherever you're having stress, your behavior is not going to change.
Or if it does, it's going to be an uphill battle and it's going to be easy for you to relapse, right? Remember the stages of change? Pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and relapse. The six stages. If you're struggling to take action, what's going on? Again, we go back to that executive function.
Why can't you use this part of your brain to get yourself to do what you need to do? Because that's…the people who are successful in life, those are those people they're able to do that, they're able to stay focused. But if your brain isn't working properly, yeah, sure, you might be able to do the thing that you've been doing for such a long time and you can kind of go on autopilot, like me when I was training my clients in Miami beach. I was just on autopilot. I could count reps and show exercises. It was easy for me. I had been doing it for two decades, nearly two decades by the time I left or two decades, by the time I left, like exactly two decades, by the time I left. And so many people, I mean, we look at people who are financially successful and we put them on a pedestal, at least in American society. Other places it's not the same.
In fact, in Bali, I remember having a conversation where this Balinese man, he was saying, "Oh, I don't care what type of car you drive, I ask how many children you have?” Very interesting! But in our society, in American society and you know, modern Western society, and the UK and Canada and Australia, it's all about money it's all about success.
But guess what? The truth is a lot of high-performers they're just good at making money. Just like people are good at playing basketball, people are good at playing music. They're just good at it. It's not, it's totally in their comfort zone. And if you're a high performer who doesn't struggle in your career, but you struggle in other areas, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
And unless we're willing to tackle those other areas, we're going to stay stuck. In fact, you may use work as a distraction. A great quote I heard recently is "to know if something is a distraction or not, we need to know what we're being distracted from." This was from Nir Eyal. I had Nir on the show recently, he's got a great book called "Indistractable". You're going to hear the interview with him soon, in a few weeks, but I want to return to this quote again, "to know if something is a distraction or not, we need to know what we are being distracted from now".
What does that mean? We know what a distraction is, right? Not necessarily! A lot of us we know we need to work on our relationships with our spouse, or perhaps our children, but what do we do? We work! And we say: “No, but work is good. I'm making money, providing a future for my children!” But what they really need is for you to step up and be the parent and to have those hard conversations. Because work is your safe space.
A lot of people that I have coached before, especially in my coaching group where they didn't work with me one-on-one, which is one of the reasons why I discontinued the group for now, a lot of people they lose themselves in work. Maybe even learn how to focus like “Oh, I need to do this to be successful!”
But here's the thing: If you can't manage the other two areas of your life that are super important, but you're really good at work, you're not really a success. I mean, maybe in some ways, I don't want to take away your success from you, in your career or financially, but are you really doing that great if your health and your relationships have fallen by the wayside? I'd argue not.
And on the other hand, by the way, and this is me, just in case you feel called out here, going to the gym or working out all the time and being super anal with your diet can be a distraction too, because I wasn't dealing with the emotional issues.
Yeah. I've heard. I mean, I've heard, I've shared my story here many times, you know what I've been through, and if you don't, just listen to more episodes, I'll bring it up.
But I was exercising all the time, going to Brazilian jujitsu, lifting weights, eating all organic food, spending a lot of money, spending my whole paycheck on whole foods, as they say. And the truth was all that focus on exercise and... I was running away from my problems. I needed to know how to calm those negative emotions. I needed to deal with the areas of my life that needed work. In particular, so many people have success professionally, but their relationships need work, and their health needs work.
For me my health, my physical health was good in terms of “Oh, I exercise regularly, I ate good quality food”, but my relationships were a mess. I hung out with the wrong people in my twenties and to a lesser extent, my thirties, but no, not really in my thirties, but in my twenties, I was hanging out with the wrong people.
But I struggled with relationships in my thirties. And also my business struggled, definitely in my twenties. Thought I was going to be a millionaire by the time I hit 30. I'm like training all these celebrities in Miami beach, all these high net worth individuals, getting invited to yacht parties - I've turned down more yacht parties than people will ever be invited to. That's the type of life I had. I'm like “Oh, I'm going to be a millionaire, of course.” But the truth was, I didn't have it together, I was a great practitioner, but I didn't have the business structure.
So, I had to pull myself away from doing what was comfortable, which was the exercise, which was the jujitsu, which was buying those special foods, whole foods and wild oats. Even before that, I had to focus on my relationships. I had to focus on my business, and a lot of that came down. And we say relationships, and we say business, or we say health, but really we're talking about the relationship with ourselves, because we're the center of everything.
I had to deal with a lot of those negative emotions. I had to deal with a lot of the things from my past. So I want to ask you: What is it that you're struggling with? Because if you can't stay on track with something, you're struggling.
It's not just because “Oh, no, life is awesome. I'm super happy. I mean, my family is amazing, my career's amazing, my health is amazing, it's just, you know, I get thrown off a little bit here and there.” Hmm... Americans say that because we never want to admit our vulnerability, right? Oh yeah, everything's great. I'm doing great! How about you? I'm great!
But what are you struggling with? It's not just Americans by the way, a lot of people care too much about what other people think.So, until you manage those internal triggers for you, you're going to have a hard time getting traction on your goals.
And the last one is much less or deep, but hack back those external triggers! Cut out external triggers. It's amazing how many people… I remember, when my dad was alive you'd hear this, this really ominous alert coming from his phone. I'm like "Dad, what is that?". It was, he had Fox News that would interrupt him. It would interrupt our conversation and he would have to check it because it had that news alert sound.
When I bought my Mac computer, my brand new Mac computer, Oh my Gosh! It's like, I bought a computer last year, and you know, I wanted the new one. It was full of bell... like all these notifications going on. Turn those things off! Turn those things off!
And we're living in a world right now where - and I feel bad for those of you who are listening, who didn't grow up with technology. Now I'm, I'm kinda about edge, right? Where, the internet really started taking over. I mean, I had a Nokia phone with no internet access when I was in my early twenties. And then... but now we're all just inundated with this technology. And for those of you who didn't grow up with it, you're having a hard time.
But people are, people are just, you know, it's one of the hardest things to watch is people arguing online. I'm like, wait a minute. It's work hours! Why are you arguing on Twitter? Why are you arguing on Facebook? Right? Do we really believe that the political argument we're having on social media is much more important than the work that we need to get done, that that we're being paid for? Or if we're the boss, like we really believe that's the best use of our time? Of course we don't. Right?
And technology does that because guess what? The Facebook algorithm... well, let me ask you this: you see something in your feed and let's say, it has a lot of likes, a lot of comments, a lot of reactions, let's say a lot of comments. What is it usually? Maybe it might be a viral cat video, but I have a very clean feed, meaning I've unfriended or unfollowed a lot of people who put up negativity, and even I'll see some things that just go crazy. People are arguing back and forth. There's like 300 comments, hundreds of reactions. And we're more likely to respond to something negative than we are to respond to something positive.
I remember I put something up on Facebook and someone I've never heard from before they would leave this long comment, negative comment. Because they were angry about what I said. It's like, wow, we're friends, but we've never talked and this is our first interaction: you complaining about something I'm writing. Whichultimately doesn't matter because it'll just get lost in the algorithm and things go on. Right? So, get rid of those external triggers! Be focused!
Gosh, let me tell you a secret! I'm on social media, because I'm trying to reach the minds and hearts of people. But if I didn't have to be there for business, I wouldn't be o there, because like the saying goes "if the product is free, if you're wondering..." I forget. I can't remember the saying, but it's basically, if the product's free, then you're... no, wait a minute! I don't remember exactly what it was, but it's basically like this: Facebook wants you to stay on the platform for free, just like Twitter, but the way that Facebook makes money, or one of the ways that Facebook makes money is people advertise to you. Or people pay for advertising on Facebook. And they give you a ton of information about people too.
So if you've ever, if you've ever been to a website, maybe looking at something that you were going to buy, maybe some clothes, purse, shoes, whatever and then you're on Facebook, and then you're like, “Wow, how are these people knowing that I was just on their website? Are they listening to my phone call, or did they hear me talk about something? Are they listening, are they hacked into the speaker of my phone?”
No, it's the digital footprint that you leave behind, people are selling the information, people making so much money. So, stop being the product! Stop being, you know, stop being the product, okay? Hack back those external triggers! Start controlling yourself!
I can't recommend any, or... here I'll recommend this: Get the apps off of your phone, or set a time limit on your phone for apps. I know how to do that on the Apple, on the iPhone, but I don't know how to do it on other phones, but you can set some, you can set some rules or some limits for yourself. So if I spend too long on social media, I get a notification.
But I recommend getting them off your phone and only using them on desktop, or find some way, find some app blocking software, something that kicks you off, that says "Hey, you can't be here anymore! You spent two hours here today!” So, that's the last thing I would say. Okay?
So, just to recap what we talked about. Number one, you got to take responsibility. None's going to come and save you, the world isn't going to change to make it easier for you, or to put less obstacles in your way, for whatever goals you're trying to achieve. You really got to take responsibility, the responsibility to improve your life is yours and yours alone!
Two: You gotta understand how your brain works. This is crucial! Understanding that your feelings aren't necessarily real. You can be really upset, and then you go for a workout and than you feel better. What does that teach you? Well, you may still have the same thoughts about, "Hey, this wasn't right! What this person did to me, wasn't right!"
But you know, that emotional intensity has gone after you've worked out. So we've got to understand that to achieve our goals. We've got to stay focused, and that focus comes from a specific part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex, and the name of the system is called the executive system.
And three: there's ways to improve it, improve this executive system, managing negative thoughts, aerobic exercise in particular, good quality sleep and managing stress, are all crucial. And of course, we've got to manage distractions.
So many of us, we feel victims to social media, but the truth is we can unfollow or unfriend people on Facebook, we can unfollow people on Twitter, we can unfollow people on Instagram, we can turn off the notifications, we can erase those news apps from our phone that have the negative headlines, we can control what we're exposed to.
But again, you've got to take responsibility for it. You can get rid of the external triggers that are putting additional obstacles, because it's hard enough to deal with your own stuff, and then you got to deal with: Boom, boom, boom, breaking news, another mass shootout! Or it's not mass shootouts these days, right? It's more like Corona viruses out of control! There's a new variant that is making people splurt blood from their eyes or whatever it is, right?
And here's the thing about the news by the way, just not to go off on a tangent, but to go off on a slight but relevant tangent, how do you think the news makes money? They've got to get your attention! There's a saying in marketing and digital marketing, that attention is the new currency. So, people are working hard to get your attention because it's hard. Not only people are competing with me, I'm competing with them and people really just want to watch cat videos, right? So we're competing for your attention.
Now, I'm here, I'm competing for attention, but I'm trying to help you, trying to be as helpful as I can. You got to question the other things in your life, the news channels that you're listening to, are they really helping you to achieve anything? Are they really helping you to achieve your goals and to live up to your values? And anything that is in your life that takes you away from that, you really got to ask yourself, is this worth it?
There's nothing wrong with indulging in a little bit of news watching, or whatever it is, watching series. I watch a lot of series, just watch "For all mankind", I'm watching the second season on Apple TV, excellent show! And Ted Lasso on Apple TV, watched all of it, looking forward to season two! But I don't let them get in the way, or at least I'm aware if they start to get in the way. So we've got to just be on top of it. We're all in the same boat here. All right? You can do this! You've got more power than you know!
So, I want to ask you right now, what is something that you can do right now? What is something you can act on? Did you delete some apps from your phone? Did you unfriend or unfollow people? Unfriend and unfollow anybody who puts up anything negative and unhelpful. Just complaining about things? Unfriend or unfollow that person! You want to be able to deal with your stuff? It's going to be hard enough to deal with that, you don't need people getting in your way and making it even harder. All right, that's what I want to leave you with! Hope you enjoyed today's show!
And on Monday we'll be covering the secret to a happy thriving career and life with my friend Simone Tai. This is a great conversation, you're really gonna love what she has to say!
And lastly, we rely on you spreading the word to grow this show! So pause the episode right now, and text a friend who'd love to hear this science-based health and personal development podcast and send them the link to legendarylifepodcast.com That's it from me, have an amazing weekend and speak to you on Monday!
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