Feeling Alive is a lot harder than it should be. We are all constantly doing, or, at least, constantly scrolling, but we’re not necessarily living. We keep ourselves busy to exhaustion, but we’re also languishing. We feel a little bit dead inside.
And the truth is that we know that on some level. That’s why we keep ourselves so busy and distracted, to begin with. But we don’t know what to do about it. And that’s what this Ted Talk episode is about.
So today, I want to reveal the secret to a healthier life that no one is talking about. I promise that if you start practising this secret, you will become a better leader in your industry, a better parent, and a better partner. You will become your best self and feel more alive and ready to leave your mark on the World.
- Why do we tend to associate having fun with wasting time
- What can playfulness add to our lives, and why is it crucial for high achievers and top performers
- How to enhance our wellness through social connections
- Why it is essential to find our flow and spend as much time as we can in that state
- Strategies to add more fun into our lives
- Flow state of mind: How To stay focused
- And much more…
Book: Steven Kotler – The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
Book: Steven Kotler – The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer
Book: Nir Eyal – Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
Do You Need Help Creating A Lean Energetic Body And Still Enjoy Life?
We help successful entrepreneurs, executives, and other high-performers burn fat, transform their bodies, and grow successful businesses while enjoying their social life, vacations, and lifestyle.
If you’re ready to have the body you deserve, look and feel younger, and say goodbye to time-consuming workouts and crazy diets, we can help you.
Go to legendarylifeprogram.com/free to watch my FREE Body Breakthrough Masterclass.
Podcast Transcription: The Secret to A Healthier Life That No One is Talking About
Ted Ryce: I don't know about you, but doesn't it feel like it's a little harder to have fun these days, to have that experience of feeling alive? It seems like things got so serious. Right up until when COVID hit, things seem to be going, okay. Of course, their problems in the world. But after COVID, it's just a bit of a mess. And we're busy.
And most of us are busy scrolling our phones—if you know what I mean. And we're keeping ourselves occupied to the point of exhaustion, but we're also languishing, we're also feeling a bit dead inside. And I think that we know, on some level, that one of the reasons why we keep ourselves so busy and distracted to begin with, is because we don't know what else to do.
And today, that's what this episode is about. So welcome back to the podcast. I'm your host, Ted Ryce, coach entrepreneurs, executives and other high-performers. And today, I want to propose a new, more precise definition of what having fun is.
And I also want to make the argument here that this is a secret to longevity, a secret to being healthier, a secret to making our health regimen, the exercise, the nutrition, the sleep hygiene, the stress management, make it feel a little bit effortless, little bit more effortless.
And I also want to give you some suggestions for things you can start doing right now to experience the power of having more fun in your life. You know what's interesting is we ask people, okay, well, what do you like to do? “Well I like to scroll on social media, I find it fun.” Or you ask people what else they find fun, and they tell you what activities are.
Like they tell you what fun activities are. But one thing that I think it's really important to point out is that fun isn't an activity. It's a feeling. And I want you to think right now back to your own memories, the times that stand out to you, where you are really having fun.
And I want you to—obviously, not if you're driving, but I wouldn't really want you to close your eyes and think about this. Now I want you to bring up the memories that you would describe as being a lot of fun. And you'll notice that there's something a little bit deeper going on.
And what's really cool is if you ask someone about like, “Hey, tell me about one of the most fun joyful times in your life.” They don't say: when I was having the most fun, I was…They don't say it in a robotic way. When their eyes look off into the distance as they start to picture that fun moment, their face starts to change, their eyes light up, their face, their cheeks raised up in a smile. And it's really a nice thing to ask someone, just to see…
I mean, you start to watch them smile, and then you end up smiling. You don't even know what the hell they're going to talk about, but you just start smiling. And what I want to tell you is this: fun isn't just for kids. And it's definitely not frivolous or inappropriate in today's world. It's the secret to feeling alive.
And again, I want to come back to that idea—It's a feeling. And what's interesting about fun as you can kind of break it down into its unique components. There's an element of playfulness, there's an element of connection, there's an element of flow. So, let's talk about those, playfulness.
So, by playfulness, I mean like, there's a lighthearted attitude, there's a feeling like ah, it's not caring too much about the outcome, we start to forget about the problems in our lives, and or forget about the stresses in our lives. And there's a feeling a good feeling, we let ourselves or our guard down, we don't take ourselves so seriously.
And this is something that I try to work into my life. I have to say that I feel like I'm good at this. I definitely have a tendency of being too negative. I have a tendency to get too neurotic, too negative, angry. And I'm aware of this. And I also feel like I'm also pretty good at being playful too; going out to dinner with friends without expecting anything.
One thing that being in Brazil has showed me. I mean, people hear they go out to dinner, and they spend hours just talking. Again, Brazil is a tough place with a ton of social problems. So please, if your mind immediately goes there, shut that part of your mind up and focus on the good part. When I'm with Brazilians, it's like you're out you're talking and it just goes on and on and on, and it's good
Brazilians really figured that out. Like, hey, there's an element of, like, we spend time with each other to have more of this feeling. Another thing that I like in Brazil, is that it's considered rude to be straightforward. So, for example, a friend of mine texted me today, he just straight up asked me a question. And it's cool.
It wasn't like it bothered me. But it was just such a stark contrast between the way he was communicating with me, he asked me a very business-like question, which was okay, and I answered him in a business-like way. But in Brazil, what you do is you say hello to person, you ask how they're doing. You say, “[foreign language] Como voce esta? How are you? Como seu dia? How is your day? Como a sua familia? Yeah, how is your family. People ask you this stuff.
And even though it's like, you could call it small talk or superficial talk, I really disagree with that. There's like just an element of, hey, we're going to have this pleasant exchange, and then we're going to get down to business. And that's the way to conduct yourself here. And it's like that in other countries too; Colombia and Mexico. But in Brazil, I feel like it's much more.
So it’s the playfulness, Brazilians are really playful in general. And the same thing goes when trying new activities. So, we talked about just connecting with people for the sake of connecting with people, and having that positive experience, and then we can also do things. The other day, I tried a water bike in the lake, and it was a lot of fun.
And it looks silly, and not that exciting. But at the end of the experience, I was having such a great time. I mean, it was like one of those bikes, you know, when you're pedaling on the bike, and you feel like you're pedaling too fast, and there's not much resistance and you're not going anywhere. That was basically the experience on the bike the entire time.
But it was so much fun just being out on the water, chatting, appreciating nature. And I hope the lesson that you're taking away from this playfulness aspect of happiness and fun, more specifically, fun, is don't be so serious or goal-oriented all the time, don't go into a social conversation going okay, I will laugh five times, and I'm going to track the number of laughs I have.
And I'm going to split test that, how many laughs I have with one person, and then split test that with another person, I'm going to take the person who I have the most laughs with and I'm going to prioritize that person in my laugh.... You know what I mean? Come on. That's like such a productivity Type A American sort of perspective.
As high achievers, we tend to be too serious about life, too focused on numbers, performance and the goal. But at the end of the day, we need to add more playfulness into our day, we need to see things as an opportunity for growth instead of just an experience in itself for personal growth, not something that needs to necessarily be quantified.
Or we need to use things or have experiences, rather, to get us out of our head, not back into our head. And the problem is if we don't have enough playfulness, we get so stressed that the diets, the workouts and supplements, it doesn't have the desired effect.
So, let's talk about connection. We've already talked about this a little bit. I shared my experience in Brazil. It's one of the places where I really like. Even though some of the conversations and the exchanges are awkward and sometimes I get nervous around people and people get nervous around me, it's really showed me a lot about connection.
And connection as I'm referring to it here. I'm talking about the feeling of having a special shared experience. I don't think it's possible to have fun alone. Not in most circumstances that you can have fun alone, sure, but the feeling of connection with another person.
Here's the thing. we're social creatures. That's why it sucks to be around negative people or people who aren't having fun. Fun is contagious. And the connection with others, it has an effect on us. We even know that social isolation, that’s being alone or feeling lonely, raises inflammation and causes your immune system to lower. It affects your immune system. It’s so crazy.
But I'm kind of geeking out here. I think the best way to talk about this is to just ask you: when you think back about the best times of your lives, your peak, fun memories, are you by yourself, or is there another person involved? And even for me, where I have introvert tendencies, it's always when another person's involved.
I had a lot of fun when I first got to Portugal, I had a lot of fun at the end of last year, I was in Orlando going to the parks, I had a lot of fun in Mexico going scuba diving with Ed, my instructor down there who I've been seeing for years, going back to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and scuba diving with him for years.
I think about the times with my business partner, Gisele, we've shared some great moments. I think about even the times with my dad. Now, he died end of 2020. But I think about the last time that we all had a really fun time and felt connected with each other. We were in the Kennedy Space Center.
And he just had such an amazing experience and the way his face lit up, it's something that will stay with me as a memory about him, but also as a realization about human beings in general. My dad was an introverted guy, especially after my step mom, his wife, died from a heart attack.
I mean, he's got to have a story, if you know my story, you know, we have a heavy family story, but his face lit up. And he felt connected. We had such a good time. And even when I go to events with entrepreneurs…It's so funny. I was in Playa Del Carmen last year, and I was hanging out with this group of entrepreneurs and we were having brunch on Sundays, and we were going scuba diving together.
I got a group of entrepreneurs together, we did bull shark diving. I took three guys with me and I kind of pop their cherry, if you will, with bull shark diving, it was my third time doing it. But we went down and did a bull shark feeding, who we all felt more connected as a group.
And although we have very different businesses, very different personalities, and even in this group I’m talking about, different political views, you start to realize, though, it's not about, oh, you have this political belief so I can't talk to you. You start realizing you have very similar values, goals and a life mission. And we can have fun times together and experience connection as well.
In fact, one of the things I try to do on my group calls is I try to foster connection for my group clients. Such an amazing group of people that I have in the coaching group right now. And the reality is, we're all connected to each other, but we feel disconnected.
And, man, even I'm guilty of this. Social media, it's not real life, and I have a great time on Twitter. By the way, if this is resonating with you, and you are on Twitter, even though I’m kind of telling you to spend less time on social media, if you do happen to find yourself on Twitter, definitely tell me if this made an impact, if this episode made an impact for you.
Reach out and let me know @ted_ryce, T-E-D_R-Y-C-E on Twitter, because when we start to feel that connection, you know, we have so many problems in our life, we have so many problems in the world. And then when you hear someone thinks differently than you, you get a little trigger a little angry.
But when we start to feel the connection with each other, we start to see each other as human beings. And if we want to solve those problems, connection is the way, overcoming those differences and seeing each other as more similar than different. So, one big problem.
This isn't bullshit self-help talk. This is real talk right now. This isn't some like utopian bullshit. This is reality. It's not political what I'm saying right now, it's the reality, we just have more in common. I'll tell you, I've lived in so many different countries, people are all the same, very different color, people look different, the languages are different.
And certainly, if we're talking about very low education, that can be very, very different. But in general, we’re more similar than different. And when you have these experiences where there's playfulness, where you're feeling the connection, you start to see people as human beings, even if you have a different viewpoint than them.
So, let's talk about the third component to fun - is flow. And flow is something I've talked about a lot over the years. I've experienced it a lot over the years, and I've sought it out in my life. You might not know this, but I played in rock bands. I played in a jazz band. I've played soccer, I've done martial arts. I've done so many things that helped me get into a flow state.
Now if you don't know what a flow state is, it's the state of being where you feel your best and perform your best, and you lose track of time. I didn't even know what it was called, even though I was very familiar with the experience, until Steven Kotler came on my show, when he wrote his first book, The Rise of Superman.
And since then, I've had him on several times, he's come out with some great books about flow states. Art of Impossible, is the latest one, fantastic book, Art of Impossible, also Stealing Fire, an amazing book as well. So, you can think about an athlete in the middle of the game, who's just—it's like, whoa, he's performing on another level, or she whatever, you know, don't to trigger anybody now. And they're just in the zone.
Or a musician playing their heart out or singing their heart out. You know what I'm talking about, when you're in the zone. And what I want to tell you is, it's possible to be in flow and not have fun. Like, if you're doing jiu-jitsu, you're not like, “Well, this is so much fun. Someone’s trying to choke me. Oh, my God, let me escape the choke, let me escape the pen. Let me dodge the punch.”
That's my thing, martial arts. Got a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, by the way, if you didn't know. I spent a lot of time training and competing. And it gets me into a flow state, but I couldn't say it's fun. So you can be in flow, but not have fun, but you cannot have fun if you're not in flow.
And the reason this is, is because flow states focus your attention, it gets you out of your head, in other words, and you're in the moment. And sure, you can do meditation. I do meditation. I've been a little bit lazier about it. But I've done it every day for years, ever since 2016.
And lately, I want to be honest with you, I've been sleeping better and kind of feeling better. And so I haven't been doing it as much, which, ironically, I haven't been feeling as good. But I’ve got some other stuff going on too, relationship stuff, just got out of a relationship.
And what I want to tell you about this is, when you're in a flow state, it makes you forget all those things. It makes me forget, “Oh, yeah.” You know, because I've been thinking a lot about the relationship that ended recently. And I think about it too much, to be honest. And it's stressful to think about it, think about, you know, why didn't it work, what I did wrong.
And whether it's a relationship that you might be hung up on, like me, or maybe it's something else, with your kids or with your job, with whatever it is, you need something to shut that part of your mind up, to bring you into the moment so that you're focused.
And to be honest, doing these episodes is fun for me. And I feel a little bit of a connection with you, of course, although it's not the same as in person. But what I want to ask you is this, what are the things that you do that shut that part of your brain up, to get you present and focused in the moment so that you're not thinking about anything else?
You're just in the moment, then you look back, you're like, “Where did the time go? I just talked for hours.” I mean, that's how I've been so many times here in Brazil. I've been like, “Whoa, we just talked for like three hours.” That's why I really like Brazilian culture a lot. You go out, and it's like hours and you come back and you feel like, well, I felt connected with that person.
I felt like I was having a good time with that person. I lost track of time, I wasn't thinking about other things when I was with that person, or with that group. And I'll tell you, I don’t want to say I make my coaching clients add flow-inducing activities into their calendar. But we strongly encourage it, because we all need more flow.
And again, these flow states, especially when it's in a fun situation, with playfulness and connection, like we're talking about today, it's going to make you better at your work. I had breakfast with Gisele this morning, we had fun. And then now I'm in a much better mood to do these episodes.
Now, I love doing these episodes, but I'll tell you, sometimes I feel like I do them but they don't quite go well. And you may have heard some of my episodes where you're like, “Whoa, Ted's really off today.” And those are the times unfortunately, where I wasn't able to get myself into the zone.
I really tried to avoid that. I tried to save you. I was trying to save you from that. I really want you to show up here and get that vibe from me too. I want you to feel connection, even though connection in person is better. But I want you to come away from listening to this... It's more than the strategies I share with you. It's, I want you to get in the zone while listening to this.
I want you to feel a connection. I feel connection with you. I'm in the zone. I'm trying to be playful. I try to bring that into your life every week. Sometimes I don't do a good job, I know. But that is the goal for me. So anyway, so those are the components of fun, the playfulness, the connection, and the flow state. So let's talk about some strategies.
One thing is, we're all too distracted—and, oh my gosh, I could joke and say, I have ADHD. But if you heard my interview with Chris Friesen about ADHD, being misdiagnosed, and that most people are actually, you know, ADHD, people need Ritalin, what's Ritalin, it's something to speed you up.
What most of us need, who don't have ADHD is something to calm us down. And when we calm down, that's when we feel better. What I want to tell you is reducing distractions, helps you increase flow. So, anything that distracts you is going to kick you out of the flow state, it’s also going to prevent you from having fun.
And let me ask you a really tough question here. What's the number one source of distraction for most of us these days? That's right. Our phone, it's a love-hate relationship. Oh, my gosh, and I've been on my phone so much lately, with social media and social media marketing that I do and growing my following on Twitter.
That's the place where I'm spending the most time, and I really liked Twitter. I like the community I'm starting to become a part of there. And I've actually met people, not just from Twitter, but from social media in general. I've met people in person. I met Roar Alexander. He's been on the show, I met him.
He was following me on Instagram, we connected in Thailand. And we've been friends ever since. I just talked to him recently. Who else have I met? I met Zubi in Playa Del Carmen, who I met on Twitter, initially. I met so many other people that I've met through social media.
But the thing is, though, the reality is most of us are on our phones too much. And if you look at what distraction does to us, if you read Nir Eyal’s book, I forget the name of it. But it's fantastic. If you just Google near in N-I-R E-Y-A-L’s. His last book about distraction was phenomenal. I had him on the show. I actually got to reach out and get back on.
So, distractions take us away from flow, try turning your phone off more number to increase connection by interacting more with human beings in real life. This is something that Brazil has been really good for. Versus Portugal, which, you know, you think like, oh, well, Portuguese, you know, they colonize Brazil, and so the Brazilians are a lot of fun and so Portuguese must be a lot of fun, too.
It's a different culture. And in Lisbon in general, when I was there, it was, yeah, it was, you don't say hi to people in general. Whereas here in Brazil, it's considered a bit rude, at least where I am in Brasilia. If you don't say hi, if you walk by a person and don't say anything, and you're like in the hallway, it’s kind of rude.
You say, bom dia. You just say bom dia, which is good morning. It's not buenos dias. In Spanish, it's bom dia. So take the time by interacting with more people in real life, with human beings in real life. Say hi to people, say good morning to people.
Now know the place you're in. If you're in Miami, you don’t say hi to people in general, if you're walking down the street or something like that, but you can talk to more people. One of the things is most of us are on our phone, to avoid having to spend time and interact with human beings in real life.
I mean, like, you're in the line at the grocery store and there's someone in front of you. And you could say something to them or someone behind you, maybe a girl you want to talk to, maybe a guy you wouldn't mind talking with. And what do we do? Just pull out the phone and get on it. But I want to make a challenge to you to increase connection by talking to people in real life.
And the third strategy is to prioritize these things. Prioritize fun, schedule it into your calendar, if you're one of those people. Make fun activities part of your calendar, treat it as a business growth activity. Because here's the thing, if we don't deal with the social part, I mean, health is three parts. There's the biological side to health, which we're overly obsessed about.
If you want to write a bestselling book on health, you write a diet book. You write a diet book. You want to make millions of dollars writing a book, you write a diet book, because people are obsessed with what goes in their mouth, even though it's really fucking simple, people, get into a calorie deficit, eat mostly whole foods.
Nutrition actually has a lot of limitations, right? So does exercise. So, there's the biological side, exercise, nutrition and supplements. Then there's the psychological side, which is also less popular, but still people talk about it. Right now, we're having these conversations about mental health. But what we don't talk about enough, is the social side.
And I remember one of my clients shout out to you, Rich, if you're listening, former client, the guy has worked on and off with me for quite a while before just really nailing his health. And he told me, “Wow, I was sitting down with this guy in Yellowstone Park and we just had these amazing conversations. I mean, such powerful conversations.”
And Rich is the type of guy—he competes on in bike races, and he wants to compete, you know, I mean, not at a super high level, but he wants to place well in these races, and that's awesome. And he would never miss a workout, unless he had to. But when he was talking to me about this experience he had in Yellowstone Park with this guy, who is, I think, he was in his 70s, he had this great life, he was super active in his 70s.
And he was a bit of a role model for Rich, who is in his 50s. And I said, “Rich, why don't you make sure you schedule more of those things in your life?” And so that's what I want to tell you. Because we can't be healthy by isolating ourselves, meditating, doing yoga, exercising, eating only organic foods, doing intermittent fasting, it's not going to work.
You have to address the social side, because fun is part of the secret to a healthier life. And the more often we experience it, the more we'll feel like we're actually alive. And that's it for me today. And I would ask you, out of all the things we talked about, what is something that you can take action on? What's something that you can take action on?
And what I'd love you to do is to reach out to me on Twitter, and let me know what you did, what you're doing, how this episode made an impact you. My handle is @ted_ryce. So that's @T-E-D_R-Y-C-E. We'd love to hear from you. So that's it for me. Have an amazing weekend, and I'll speak to you on Monday.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.