“Just do it”….. this Nike mantra has been a motivational quote for a lot of us. The truth is that getting motivated every day can be very tricky and elusive.
You might not realize it, but your environment has a huge impact on how motivated and productive you are. Your surroundings can either help or hinder your ability to achieve goals. The key is understanding that the environment shapes your life in many ways.
So, now I have a question for you: Is your environment helping you to achieve your goals or is it putting up unnecessary obstacles?
Note: Be honest with yourself while answering.
But, if you don’t know the answer, the first thing you need to do is assess what type of environment you spend most of your time in.
In this Ted Talk episode, Ted explains how your environment impacts your life and reveals an easy and effective step-by-step guide on creating an environment where you can thrive and achieve your goals this year! Listen Now!
Ted’s personal story on changing his environment to increase productivity [02:48-14:59]
How your environment affects your feelings [08:49-11:25]
The relationships in our lives are a big part of our environment [18:32-19:43]
How to bring your life back into balance and create a winning environment [23:47-25:07]
And much more
Follow me on Twitter @ted_ryce
Podcast Transcription: RTF 78: Motivation isn't Enough. Environment Literally Shapes Your Life
Ted Ryce: Is your environment helping you to achieve your goals or is it putting up unnecessary obstacles? That's going to be the topic of conversation for today. We're going to talk about how your environment affects you, what you can do to make things more easier and how to change your environment if necessary.
So often, especially if you are an American or you have that American mindset, you're all about hard work and you're all about willpower, and you got to force yourself to do things in force and it's hard, but you gotta keep going. And, you know, we drive ourselves to stressy, to burn out, to not enjoy life because we feel like we have to work so hard and push so hard. But the reality is that we want a flow with success. We don't want to have that sisifician, if I'm saying that right, experience. Where Sisyphus was the, I guess, Greek, that story about the Greek man who had to push a boulder up the hill every day. It sounds terrible, it sounds like a good workout though, but after a while, that's going to get too tough.
So we're going to talk about that and I'm going to share what I've been going through personally here. I feel like I've been doing a decent job with these Real Talk Fridays, but, they're almost, sometimes they borderline into like, it should just be a Monday really sciency episode. Right?
So I'm going to get a bit personal today and share what I've been dealing with in Brazil. And if you are just tuning in for the first time, or you're a new listener - I've seen our downloads have grown quite a bit - welcome! Or I should say “bem vindo” as they say here in Brazil, and welcome to the show! I'm your host, Ted Ryce and I'm a health expert. I've been in this business for 23 years. So all I've known and done my whole entire adult life and I still love it even more than when I first got into it.
And what I do is coach executives, CEOs, and other high-performing professionals. But on this podcast, what I try to do is I try to give you information that helps you to think or take action differently in your life.
And on Real Talk Fridays, I like to get a little bit deeper and just share some stuff that is going on, right? So much is going on for all of us. So if that's what you're into, you're in the right place, continue to listen!
So we just run things by you, have a really interesting past six months, I guess, you could say. And after my dad died on October 3rd, I headed to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Yes! Even though we were in this pandemic and coronavirus numbers are going up and down and up, I, man, you know, I just, I took the chance, I wanted to go somewhere!
I was stuck in Orlando for a while, I was in Miami for a while, but I just felt like I needed something different. And I went to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. For those of you who don't know Playa Del Carmen, it's about an hour away from Cancun. And it's a bit more... Cancun is a great place to go to a resort, but it's not a great place to live. And I wasn't going to live in a resort, so I lived in Playa Del Carmen. It's a great place, you could walk around.
But I was starting to lose it. I was by myself and Playa del Carmen has a bit of a party vibe and, you know, partying during these times, that's not something I'm going to be doing. And my social life was suffering. So Gisele, my business partner, and ex-wife, in case you haven't been listening for that long she came to see me in Playa Del Carmen.
We hung out for a little bit and she said "Hey, why don't you come with me to Brazil?" While we were together we never made it to Brazil. We never, I never met her family although they've heard about me, we were together for seven years. I didn't know if it was the right decision or not to go there, especially because the numbers in Brazil weren't good at the time and have gotten even worse. But I went, I went for it.
And then, I got COVID on Christmas, the day before Christmas Eve. No, on Christmas Eve I was feeling okay, but I had this terrible flight from Miami to Sao Paulo. It was all overnight, I couldn't sleep and I'm pretty certain... and I was in a plane full of people going to Brazil.
It was packed. It's one of those big airplanes, I don't know the number, but it had three rows. You know? Those big international airplanes. And since then, I've been in Brasilia Brazil, which is the capital. It's like Washington DC, except I think Washington DC is quite quite old as a city. Brasilia was a planned city organized by a famous architect.
And I was stuck there. And where I was in Brasilia I was staying in the hotel zone, but it was a weird vibe. The weather was quite rainy in Brasilia, it was hot and it was rainy. There's this red dust everywhere, “poeira vermelha”, as I learned about recently. I was talking with the guy who sells agua, coconut water. And he was like, this red dust is everywhere. It's terrible. You know? Even though the city is nice. It just wasn't a good place for me, and I was there for three months, but it was really wearing on me.
And so I decided to come to Florianopolis, Brazil. Now you probably never heard of Floripa, as it's known colloquially, it's known by its nickname Floripa. You probably have heard of Sao Paulo, you probably have heard of Rio, but Florianopolis is a beautiful, beautiful, it's paradise. It's nicer than where I was in Playa Del Carmen.
The beaches are beautiful, the people are so nice, it's a pretty upscale neighborhood where I'm staying and people are educated, they're..., they're a little cold too, little colder for Brazilians, which is nowhere near as cold, as if you're talking about Americans or you know, other Western countries. But for Brazilians they're a little bit colder.
In Brasilia everybody says good morning to you: “Bom dia, tudo bem! Boa tarde, Boa noite!”, everyone is saying Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening to you. It's really cool.
Here it's a little bit less, it's more kind of like: Yeah, we're cool, we don't just act happy. We have money and sophistication, and so we don't like to pretend like we're happy!” You know, or whatever, you know, like when you go to those places that like Miami is, Miami is really well-known for this. Everybody just kind of walks around with a little bit of an attitude. You say “Hi!” to someone, they just look at you like: “Are you saying Hi to me?” You know?
So, I mean, it's in Brazil, so it's got a little bit, it's not quite like that, but it's a little bit colder compared to Brasilia and other places that I've been in Brazil. So anyway, but here I am and I'm close to the beach. I've been walking to the beach every morning, almost every morning. And it's sunny, it's just got something about the vibe of the city I really like.
And as a result I've been... I was struggling before in Brasilia, struggling to be productive. I would wake up in the morning, it would be gloomy, it would be rainy, it would be, you know... there is a gym I could use. Actually the gym in my building is now closed, the building that I'm staying in Floripa, but the gym was opened there.
It was, even though I had the gym available, even though I was staying in a decent place, there was just something about it that was wearing on me. And the reason I want to talk about this is yes, sometimes we need to just fight through things. Like, for example, if you've got kids, if you're in a place that's in a lockdown, if you're locked into a place and you've got to go through a cold winter - like I've had a client in Michigan, she was doing really well during the summer, but as it got colder, she spent less time walking her dog outside and spent more time inside - not good for you!
In addition, the weather started to change. It was more gloomy, less sunlight and so what I want to tell you is this: I want you to pay attention to how you feel in your environment, how your environment affects your happiness. What is the impact of your environment in your life?
So many of us, we don't realize, but we are like Sisyphus, waking up every morning and pushing this big boulder up a hill. And while it's admirable, if you go through that process, it's, if there's anything that you can do to change it, that is the goal. That is where you should put your effort towards. There is nothing noble about suffering unnecessarily.
I'm not saying like, like I know I live a crazy life, right? You're like “Well, Ted, I'm not, I can't just say Oh, I don't like it in this city, so I'm going to fly to a new city!” Right? You may not have that ability, even if you're doing well financially, you may not ... Your kids might be in school or you may have to go to the office. You may not have the same opportunities, but this isn't about me and what I do and how you should follow what I do.
What this is about, this talk today is about starting to be aware, starting to be mindful of how your environment either adds to your ability to achieve your goals or how it takes away from it. And I want you to think about this, and I want you to think a bit deeply. You can even take notes here. Think about the things that you experience in your day. Think about, you know, we can break success down mathematically.
I don't know about you, but I have this feeling like "Whoa, it's just so complicated! Oh, there's just so many variables!" Or we get stuck into the feeling of how we're... We get stuck in how we're feeling, we can't really see the details. But the reality is it's mathematical. If we have more positive experiences than negative experiences from our environment, we're going to do better.
And the same is true with relationships as well. In fact, check out John Gottman! Is a bit of a tangent, but relevant I think. John Gottman. What he did was... People talk a lot, right? "Oh, this is why I'm having this problem and I have this problem with my wife or my husband. And this is a problem with talk and think and think and talk." And the reality is, it's not really about what we say, it's about how we feel and then how we feel drives our rationalizations, our speech, our choice of words, the story that we tell ourselves, but it starts with the feeling.
What John Coleman did is he was like: Yeah, I'm not going to listen to anything of what you say. What I'm going to do is I'm going to put you in a sound control brute and I'm gonna measure your blood pressure, your pulse, your breathing rate, and your galvanic skin response.
And if you've never heard of galvanic skin response, it's really interesting. Have you ever gotten really ... I don't know. I don't know if you're like me, but if you could show me one of those crazy videos... Remember the videos a couple of years ago that were going around of these guys that would climb up these tall towers and stand on the top with no safety harness and take selfies or do videos? My hands are, actually even talking about it, my hands are getting sweaty right now.
So in other words, when we're stressed - so funny, my hands are actually a little clammy right now. So when we're stressed, we start sweating and it can be even imperceptible, but it happens.
And so what John Gottman did is he put couples in a booth and measured these things. And he was able to deduce not by what people said, but how they felt on whether or not they were going to stay together. Fantastic stuff! Make sure you go to YouTube and search "John Gottman, the science of love". He did a TEDx talk. Just fantastic! It will blow your mind!
And I want to argue that the same is true for our environment. It's not about what we say, because you know, and it's so funny when I used to run group coaching with the group coaching program and we'd have our group calls, we would talk… Sometimes it would come up to "Oh, my life is actually pretty good. I shouldn't be, I shouldn't be unhappy. I should be more grateful!"
And, and perhaps that's true. But the reality is we can't talk ourselves out of a feeling. Actually, you can do that, but it requires basically working with a coach or a therapist to start to reframe those beliefs. You can't just tell yourself "Hey, you shouldn't feel this way!" At least most of us can't do that. What needs to happen is we need to start to become aware. How does my environment add to stress or take away stress? Does it put me in the zone or not?
Let me tell you, I'm in the zone right now. And you could even make some arguments that my place in Brasilia was better, I had made service once a day. Someone came in and cleaned my place once a day. It was a little less expensive, it had a gym that was open and it was clean, it was nice,
But here I'm in Floripa. I was in a one bedroom in Brasilia, I'm in a studio here.A large studio, almost the same size as my one bedroom apartment back in Brazilia. But, actually, no, the other one was bigger. But the point is this: there were so many good things about the place in Brasilia versus here in Floripa.
But the end result isn't about what we put on paper. It's about how we feel. And I don't, it doesn't matter, the pros and the cons! Although some cognitive, what's called cognitive restructuring can help there where you go through things and start to challenge your thoughts and beliefs about things. But I'll tell you, I feel better here!
And so often people have to go on vacation to get some perspective about how their environment is affecting them. And let me tell you! If he can go on vacation, do it! Get some perspective! If you're afraid to go on vacation or for whatever reason you can't, I feel for you. But what I want to suggest to you is start to become more aware about the things in your environment that worked for you and the things that don't. And after you become aware of the things that don't work for you, what can you do to change them? How can you change your environment?
So funny, I felt so bad in the other place, I never even unpacked my clothes fully. I was a mess in that apartment in Brasilia. Here I just, I really like this place a lot. It's, it's a nice place. It's not amazing, but it's nice. It's something about it, it's a step up. And it just…
I make my bed every morning, although truth be told, I haven't done it yet today, but I make my bed almost every morning, I've got my clothes put away. Oh, also one thing it's I didn't have a place to wash my clothes in the last place. And that's really frustrating for me. And here, I got a washer, dryer inside the apartment, which is by the way, most Brazilians don't have that. In Brasilia people don't usually have that, it's uncommon, people... Yeah. I don't know what they do, to be honest, but it's, it's uncommon.
So back to you and your place, what are the things that are working for you? What are the things that are becoming an obstacle or have been an obstacle and what can you do differently?
And if you need a little bit of help with this, certainly making your bed, organizing your place, for those of you who are like me, you're a little bit messy, that's something that can go a long way. Trying to be productive, especially if you're working at home and you're just in a messy place. It just, the clutter takes up ram in your brain, like random access memory, that thing on your computer, where you've got too many windows open, so nothing works well because you've got too much going on.
The same I would argue is true for human beings. If you've got too much going on in the background, it could be a messy place, could be a noisy place, it could be you haven't set clear boundaries with the people that you live with, your family, your husband, wife, whatever, kids, you haven't set boundaries with them. You could be in a place where the weather is not conducive to you feeling good all the time.
I told my client, the one that I mentioned briefly, who was in Michigan, who started to become more sedentary and struggled with more negative feelings as the weather changed: “You got to really ask yourself, I mean, if you're stuck financially and you just can't move, I get it. Or if you've got family and you don't want to be away from them, I get it. But you've got to understand two things: One, it's your choice to be there. And two, there's a price to pay, and there's always a price to pay, right? There's pros and cons to everything.”
For example, where I'm staying now, it's more expensive. So I've got to pay more money. For me, it's worth it because I'll make more money when I'm feeling better. My problem isn't that I can't make money, my problem has been, I need to work more, to be more productive, to get the things done that I need to. And so my productivity has been better, even though it's cost me money to do it. It's more of an investment you would say.
Sometimes it's the relationships in our lives, it’s part of our environment. And I'll tell you just very honestly, I was with Gisele in Brasilia, and as much as I love her and care about her and we're friends and we're business partners, and we, you know, even though we're not together as husband and wife, I mean, we just have this connection that's so special. And her family is my family. And it's hard to ever imagine her not in my life.
It was hard to be there with her because we were falling into, even though we're not together, we were falling into this pattern of her interrupting me when I was in the zone, and then me interrupting her when she was in the zone. And both of us were getting very frustrated. So this separation, although it's hard, again, there's a price to pay, I miss her, right? And I'm more lonely here. That's the price to pay, but it's worth it overall because her productivity is better and my productivity is better.
So, you've got to look at the relationships in your life as well. How are they adding to your stress or how are they taking away stress? So interesting when someone wants to work with me and do coaching, one of the things, I don't know what you think goes on on those breakthrough calls, but one of the things I'll tell you is I try to make sure that a person isn't distracting themselves from a bigger issue in their life and coming to me so that they can just kind of distract themselves from a problem and just get in shape.
I need to make sure that person is on point because if they're not solving the root problem, then it's going to be a hard journey for them and a hard journey for me. And it's always hard, right? There's always struggles involved. Not always, I guess, but there's some challenges. I've got some clients that are just, it's so smooth sailing. I got one client now, shout out to you, Damon, if you're listening, just smooth sailing and, he's done so, so well this guy, I can't wait to have him on the show and share his story.
And he runs a successful business, has a loving family and just crushing it right now. And he's down about 15 pounds in eight weeks. In eight weeks, he's down about 15 pounds. And so interesting, that's one of the secrets of the coaching success that I do is as I've been a coach I've gotten better at pre-qualifying people, not to be arrogant or anything like that, or like, no, this is the red velvet rope, you can't get in unless you're cool enough.
It's just to make sure someone is emotionally healthy enough to do the things and to stay on track. Because I've made the mistake in the past, where I really wanted to help the person. I wanted to get paid, but I really wanted to help the person that was just, it wasn't a good fit.
And so part of what I've been able to do now is prequalify people. And I want you to take that away as well, if you're trying to achieve goals in your life, you've got to be emotionally healthy to make it happen. You can't be dragging a lot of baggage around. Can't be having your environment a mess. You can't be having your relationships a mess. You can't be having your finances a mess. Right?
Well, actually, that's not true. I do well financially, but I'm like, my finances are a little bit of a mess. It's one of the things that we're working on, catching up with some of the taxes and doing some other things. And I still have like this student loans that I need to kind of finish paying off, and we just have been focused on growing the business and being successful and making money. And we've done that. I was able to help my dad last year.
But now we're just... you know, it's a constant process. And I share that with you because so many people think I have this amazing life and I do, okay? I do. I'm super grateful! I work from my computer in whatever destination I want in the world. I've live a luxury lifestyle, different from other people's luxury lifestyle where they're, you know, in their mansion in Miami beach and they got their Ferrari or whatever, like so many of my clients. I had one client with a Rolls Royce Phantom and a driver.
That's not the luxury life that I want. I really want my freedom and I love to travel. And so the point is, you know, really setting ourselves.. I share this stuff with you because even in spite of living this lifestyle, I still have my struggles. And I think that's the truth behind everyone who you see who's successful or has some crazy lifestyle like "Oh my gosh, it's so amazing!"
You know, even Oprah, she's talking about her weight problems and some of the struggles that she's had. Everyone's struggling, right? And so the goal is like to achieve our goals we've gotta bring our lives into balance as much as possible.
I know some people don't like that word balance, but because there is no definition of perfect balance for every person. It is individual. And also sometimes to be imbalanced, we need to be out of balance, right? We need to unbalance ourselves because we've tipped the scale too far.
For example, a lot of the time people say in America, high achievers, high performers they'll shift the balance to their work and their health will suffer, their relationships will suffer. So to bring them back, back into balance, we've got to be a little unbalanced and cut back on the time that they're spending at work and the money that they're making out.
Gosh! Money is amazing, right? It can buy happiness for sure, but if you're not investing in it, in happiness, or if you're not investing in relationships, if you're not investing in your health, that it really doesn't buy it! It can buy happiness, but it depends on what you invest in. So sometimes we need to tip that scale and invest in ourselves more. And certainly if you can do that in your environment, do it! One of the most powerful things that you can do.
And I want to ask you now, like, what is your big takeaway from this talk? How are you applying this information in your life? What is coming into your mind as we get into this episode, as we talk more about my story, and you think more about your story? What is coming up for you? And what is something that you can take action on today? What is a small action that you could take today?
And that is what I want to leave you with. Go do that! Less thinking, less listening, less watching, more action! Okay? Because we learn really through taking action. Now, sometimes we've been too action oriented and we need to shift it back, but that's not the case for most people. Most people, they've been thinking too much and then paralysis by analysis.
So what is the action that you can take after this episode? And please don't say "Well, I'm going to go down, download another episode and listen to that!" It's not really an action that we're talking about. We're talking about what is one thing you can do for your environment or perhaps for your relationships or perhaps for your health to... What can you go do, right?
And if it's for your health, give me a plank hold or give me some pushups or give me some body weight squats, or do a wall sit! I don't care if you're at work... but gosh, I've got to share these isometric workouts that you can do at work! So powerful! So that's what I would leave you with. Right? What is one thing that you can take action with?
And again, I want to thank you so much for listening to this episode! I highly recommend you subscribe, if you haven't already, I really love doing these Real Talk Fridays, and I've been thinking about, I've been actually getting some coaching on how to create content better, how to have..., and it's so funny, like it's just about having better conversations, being more open, sharing things, being more real, right? Living up to the Real Talk Friday name, because on Fridays it allows me to go a bit deeper into my story, what I've learned, what's going on in the world, what's relevant to our lives and most importantly, what we can do to break the cycle that we're living in and to create the life that we deserve?
And if you're on Twitter hit me up! I've had some people... hit me up on Twitter, shout out to Shawnee who said she took action and work out after listening to an episode. And there was another person who reached out to me on Twitter as well recently, actually just today. And, so shout out to you. You said that, Oh, I forget, gosh! Forgive me, I've got so much going on in my head!
After this I'll tell you what's one thing I can do? I'm going to go meditate for 30 minutes after this and bring myself back into balance, because I feel like I've been kind of going a little bit too hard today. So again, continue the conversation with me on Twitter, if you are there @ted_ryce hit me up there!
I'm spending a lot of time on Twitter. I used to hate Twitter, but now I'm like, Oh man, you know, I love it!It's... the people that I follow, the people I interact with, it's just... You got to kind of clean up your Twitter followers, who you follow, be very careful or else you'll be seeing a lot of controversy and get sucked into rabbit holes that just suck away your productivity and distract you from what you need to do.
But it is a, it's my favorite platform at the moment. And I spent a lot of time there, I've formed relationships with some of the other influencers on Twitter. And Twitter is about writing, it's about ideas, it's not about "Hey, here's this Photoshop image of me on Instagram!" And here's like five…, you heard some trite cliche quote, while I show off my butt or my abs, you know? I like Instagram by the way and I still post there every once in a while, but Twitter, I'm on there every day. So hit me up @ted_ryce.
And, yeah, we've got a great episode for Monday with Brad Thorpe. We're going to be talking about how to prevent pain and stay strong forever. So, if that's something you're interested in, tune in for Monday! This guy, let me tell you, this is going to be a game changing episode for you! It's going to have you think about stretching, have you think about exercise in a very, very different way in a way that is going to allow you to stay strong and prevent pain forever. Right?
Little bit of hyperbole because life's a terminal condition, let's say, but, definitely this is game changing stuff! So you're going to want to tune in for Monday and that is it for me!
So hope you have an amazing weekend! No, I hope you have - how about this? - make sure you have an amazing weekend! Remember you are stronger than you realize, you've got more power than you realize! Go take action and I will speak to you then! Enjoy and love you lots, speak to you soon!
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