The Richard Nicholls Podcast - Motivate Yourself
Summary: The UK's most popular personal development podcast series. Brought to you by Richard Nicholls. To motivate, inspire and help you to be the best you can be.
As Old Bill Shakespeare once said "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" In this episode I talk about the importance of distinguishing the meaning from an event that causes emotion and finding a better way of looking at it.
Almost every self help book you read will say something along the lines of "If you can see it, you can be it!" They tell you about the importance of imagining the end result of your hard work to motivate you to make it happen. But what if they're all wrong!
A recent study had researchers texting a quick survey 5 times per day asking people a few questions including asking them to rate how they were feeling, how many times they’d used Facebook since the last text and how many times they’d had direct social interaction with people. They also filled in a questionnaire before and after the 2 week experiment so that they could get a baseline of their satisfaction in life. What it all showed was that direct interaction with people does not predict any changes in life satisfaction, but using Facebook does. The researchers were able to predict the life satisfaction levels at the end of the study by analysing how frequently they’d used Facebook. The more people used it the worse they felt the next time they text-messaged them! Showing that the more they used Facebook over two weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined. But why? Connecting with people usually pushes the happy buttons in our brain. So what is it about Facebook that causes the opposite. I think that Facebook gives us glimpses into someone’s world, that is at best filtered and at worst fabricated. So much so that it’s become outside of the norm for someone to post something personal on Facebook which is genuine. For someone to write on Facebook how depressed they are, how they feel that their relationship is holding them back or that they feel unfulfilled with life is almost unheard of. Instead people lie and say “Couldn’t be happier, chilling with my perfect man tonight after a great day at the office” Really?, I don’t think so. If someone genuinely feels that good, that they wouldn’t be wasting their “perfect chill time” with their partner by posting things on Facebook. No-one’s holiday pictures include the sickness and diarrhoea, the cockroaches or the drunken fight with pedro the bus driver. Instead they’ll lie on their back and post a pic of their feet with the sea in the background instead, because that’s what they want you to see. If someone wants you to know something, question why. Is it to make them feel good? Is it to try and make you feel bad? Now, I’m not saying NEVER use it, but don’t swap genuine interaction with a real human being, for a like on a comment. If you’re bored, sitting around, waiting for your wife to come out of the changing rooms at Selfridges AGAIN then that’s not so bad, but don’t let it replace something more useful. After all, your mobile phone has already replaced your camera, your CD player even your bookshelf. It shouldn’t also replace your connection with friends and family. Research from about 18 months ago found that nearly half of 18-24 year olds say they often feel lonely. Compared to only a quarter of those aged over 65 and a UK average of a third. In another survey last year. Half of the over 55’s asked said they NEVER feel lonely whereas 83% of under 35’s said that they were ‘often, always or sometimes’ lonely. If you find that despite having 1000 Facebook friends you still feel lonely or isolated, then learning to deal with anxiety is the first step, listening to these podcasts means you’re already a step ahead of anyone else, it means that if there are changes to be made then you are willing to learn how to make them. Learn some relaxation exercises, Learn to breathe properly, Learn to speak to complete strangers, even if it’s just a generic bloke walking his dog, or better still get a dog and go and take it for a walk, I guarantee you’ll have more “good mornings” thrown your way than you ever have had before. Or just simply pick up the phone and call someone you’ve not spoken to for a while. Because that’s a habit that it would be nice to get back into, it’s a part of life that’s being replaced with pixels on a electronic device, and that’s not a proper conversation.
How many times do you need to hear a joke before it’s no longer funny? 3? 4? 5? What if you replayed that joke every day for a few years, would you find it anywhere near as funny as you did when you first heard it? I doubt it. So why do we find that we can hold onto bad experiences for years and still feel upset about it? It may sound daft but it’s often because there is a part of us that doesn’t want to let go of the past trauma. Losing the memory completely might leave us vulnerable to the same threat returning. If it’s always on our mind then we’ll always be on the lookout for the potential for it to happen again and so can run away from it before it even starts. If that happens with you then congratulations you’re human. Although in the 21st century it’s probably OK to let anything that happened to you in the past stay in the past. But, in order to move on and leave it in the past we need to recognise that the past is gone. The first step in doing that is to spend some time living in the NOW, to notice more about what’s going on in the present. Lately that process is part of what’s being called Mindfulness, and has been around as a process for thousands of years under various different names, and is still around today. Whether you call it Mindfulness or Meditation, we are all capable of doing it. All of us, no matter how stressed or anxious, will at times have a blank mind. Whether that’s because we’re enjoying a piece of music, a book or even a thought. Sometimes things just seem to pause and we’re only noticing something that we’re focusing on. I recommend you practise that, because taking that first step in letting go of the past by only noticing the present, gives you evidence that its safe to leave the past where it belongs. Do you need to stop being a victim? I know that sounds a bit rude, after all something could’ve happened that was awful, but blaming someone else for how you feel years later isn’t helping. Take responsibility for your emotions. If you’ve been practising negative emotions you can get so good at them that they feel automatic, and you create the feelings so fast they seem outside of your control. But it’s just a skill, you’ve got good at feeling bad, thats all. So get good at feeling good. by practising. Everything we have to learn to do takes practise, and part of succeeding at something does mean being bad at it first for a while, but keep at it, you’ll get there. Take responsibility for your happiness. Don’t let someone from your past have control over your emotions, why let someone continue to hurt you, deliberately? I know it can be hard but that’s OK, hard work pays off in pretty much every circumstance certainly this one. Overcoming these things doesn’t happen by accident, it happens because we let it happen. Do you need to forgive someone for something, obviously not everyone is going to be forgiven, there are some things that we can’t forgive and I wouldn’t ask you to. But there are some events that could easily create anger towards someone and thats not helpful, it eats away at us and keeps the past locked in our minds as if it’s the present. See if you can create some genuine empathy, try and look at it from their perspective. Most people that come to therapy are suffering with nothing more than life itself, a phrase that Freud used 100 plus years ago, and it’s still (mostly) the case today. Yes, there are some awful things too, but the majority are petty, relatively trivial, and that can be frustrating to a client because they know that they shouldn’t be feeling as bad about it as they do. But they keep going back in their mind to maybe one particular time that they were hurt, and if someone was to honestly explain why they did what they did to you or said what they said, they’d probably reply “Because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time”. They don’t have to admit that they were wrong for you to let it go, and you don’t need them to…………
As a wise man once said “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don't care who knows it" Granted, it was Will Ferrell in the Christmas film Elf, but the message still stands. But how do I know that I’m actually in love?
Today is all about procrastination. Why we put things off and how we can overcome it and get going.
As I salute David Bowie and Alan Rickman and wave them off onto "A New Career in a New Town" I raise the question of how labels influence our personality. Does labelling yourself change the way we act and feel? Does other people labelling us do the same? Come with me on a "Fantastic Voyage" and we'll see what we can figure out.
If someone bumps into you do YOU say sorry or do they say sorry? Common sense says being bumped into is nothing to apologise for, but if your self-esteem is low then your default thinking might be, “If I didn’t exist they wouldn’t have bumped into me, so it’s my fault.” It sounds like an exaggeration, but I know for a fact that some of you do go through that process. Today we look at the habit people often develop of apologising unnecessarily.
It had been 6 weeks since the funeral. Long enough to get used to the idea that he was an orphan now. Dan had laughed a little when he first used that word, orphan. How old do we have to be before we no longer describe ourselves as that? He thought to himself. But to him, Dan was an orphan. After all both his parents had died, first his Dad, although that was many years ago and now his Mum. But, at 57 years old to describe yourself as an orphan seemed odd, hence…
Have you ever walked into a room to find that everyone’s laughing about something and so you begin to smile and maybe even laugh yourself as you enquire what’s funny? It happens all the time, but what was it that made YOU smile and laugh? After all you didn’t know what they were laughing at! But in that moment your mood had genuinely lifted, even if for a second or so. You were smiling and laughing simply because someone else was smiling and laughing all because of the phenomenon of what’s called Emotional Contagion.
A lack of patience has probably always been an issue in society but it does seem to be getting worse. Why?
As the Royal Navy Engineers say: If you can fix a skateboard, then you can ultimately fix anything. But we need the steps in-between. What happens though when a species becomes impatient and lazy?
One thing that you can pretty much guarantee in life is that you will come under fire at some point, you WILL be criticised by someone. How do we deal with it? Well, let's find out.
Have you ever said “Yes” to something, when in your head you’re screaming “Nooooo!”? Maybe you fit in with the attitude that “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person” After all, that’s what people say isn’t it? But, why is that?