(Breather) This show is inspired by a great article by Andrew Merle titled, “What Is Success Anyway?”. The author offers 7 insights that I cover with my added colorful commentary.
Hopefully this show will get you thinking: Can money buy happiness? (research says only to a certain, seemingly low, point), and what is success anyway? According to Merle, success feels something like this: doing work that you love and living a long, happy, and healthy life. And yeah, that money can’t buy you happiness stuff is totally true – the fact is, once you’ve been able to cover all your basic needs (food, shelter, etc), money can’t produce the same kind of feeling of happiness in you – you plateau, basically. This is because consumerism locks you in a never-ending cycle of wanting more, more, and more…and you’re never satisfied. Small choices, like opting to make coffee at home instead of going out to your local Starbucks, will seriously add up in savings over time. Not only that, but look at what it’s doing to our planet! Simply appreciate what you already have, instead of constantly trying to collect more stuff. Remember – it’s just stuff. We live in a world where the new model of something is always just around the corner. There are always updates and upgrades, always something to buy – and there’s always a company out there trying to get you to spend your money. No wonder these things cannot give you sustainable happiness – the only joy they bring is fleeting. Real happiness comes from the substantive things in life – like making connections, engaging in or building community, service for others, living with passion and purpose…
This is precisely why overworking yourself and overpacking your schedule absolutely destroys productivity and messes with your personal happiness. Research actually shows that once you’ve exceeded 50 hours of work per week, your productivity is seriously challenged. Push it to 55 hours, and your productivity basically drops off a cliff. Why? Because there’s no balance when you’re working without socialization. Social relationships are the #1 driver of happiness, so we have to work on creating, and maintaining that work-life balance. Otherwise, you’ll find your work suffers – when you’re overworked, your energy is low, your concentration is sluggish, your abilities are decreased. Who wants to work in a state where you’re barely functioning? No one can produce good work under those conditions, but unfortunately, it’s very common in our consumerist and capitalist-driven culture. No wonder the countries that rate the highest on the “happiest people” scale have an average workweek of 37 hours! And check this out: Europeans tend to vacation way more than Americans, who average only 11 days of vacation time a year. Compare that to studies that have shown 6 weeks of vacation time a year is optimal for happiness…clearly, we’ve got some catching up to do.
One radical takeaway from this piece was the statement that happiness causes success, not the other way around. First, you gotta get happy, because 1) duh, it feels good and 2) because that’s what leads to success. Yes, we’ve had the formula backwards for years, and now we know: success does not bring happiness. Success follows happiness. That’s why we have to be super mindful about balance – because no one wants to have any regrets on their deathbed about how they balanced (or didn’t!) their personal life with their career. So why not start incorporating 5 habits into your day that Merle claims will boost your happiness? These habits will effortlessly get you into a positive and happy mindset, which is the key to happiness and success because having a negative and discouraging attitude will only get in the way of you manifesting your dreams. Start doing these 5 things daily, for 21 days, and see how your life changes:
- Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
- Journal about a recent positive experience for 2 minutes every single day.
- Engage in (not strenuous) cardio, like brisk walking or jogging.
- Meditate, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
- Start your day by emailing/writing a 2-minute note of gratitude/thanks to a friend or colleague, or compliment someone you admire.
The most important lesson I garnered from Merle’s writing was this: your true nature and highest calling is to promote happiness. When you think about life from that perspective, things seem simpler and easier. Is it really that simple? Nothing ever is, but the bottom line is: everyone wants to live a happy and healthy life. If your true nature and highest calling is to promote happiness, then how fun is that? Enjoy this show, and don’t forget: stay positive, remember to widen your perspective on any situation (meaning, just get over yourself), and promote happiness among your friends, family, even the people you pass on the street. A little kindness truly goes a long way, whether it’s to yourself or to others, it does matter. Every action has an impact, so why not slow down, and stop and smell the roses?
What does success really mean? [03:00]
Can money buy happiness? [04:05]
It depends on the person. If you are in a position of doing for others rather than just gathering material goods, you would probably feel quite satisfied. [07:08]
Even people with lots of money experience FOMO (fear of missing out). [09:55]
How much money would you have today, had you begun saving $5 per day at age 20? [ 12:42]
Working long hours does not equal productivity or happiness. [15:17]
Vacation time is critical. [17:49]
Social relationships are the best predictor of overall health and happiness. [20:09]
Happiness causes success. Not the other way around. [25:39]
Make sure you are not looking back in regret at the end of your life. [27:42]
Slow down and savor life. [30:48}
Have the courage to be true to yourself no matter what other people want you to be. [33:30]
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:08 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge, and expertly balance that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 02:37 You got to stop and smell the roses. That’s what this breather show is all about.
Brad: 03:00 I read a great article and I want to share it with you, including my running commentary. That’s what I get to do cause it’s my show. Uh, it was written by Andrew Merle, M E R L E.com titled, what is success anyway with some great reflections here about getting our priorities straight, stopping and smelling the roses. Uh, Let’s go through it together and see what you think. I want to get your thoughts kicking into gear, but it starts off with a wonderful message that, Hey, you know, we’re socialized these days to hustle and grind and that’s going to be our path to success and happiness. If we aren’t out working, others will be left behind. But what does success really mean? Asks Morrell. His definition is quote, doing work that I love and living a long, happy and healthy life. And then he’s presenting one, two, three, four, five, six, seven insights to help us get there.
Brad: 04:05 Well, how about this one? Can money buy happiness? I mentioned this study, uh, an earlier show. Uh, it was a prominent study that revealed this shocking insight that money stops producing happiness. After you have met your basic needs, food, clothing, shelter to the tune of uh, an income of $75,000 per year. More research clarifies those findings to show that happiness gains from income starts to fall off once you get past that. I guess you could say that’s a, um, a, a basic needs threshold, uh, in, especially in most major urban areas. I just read something that in San Francisco, uh, you basically need a six figure income to make it work there because the rents are so expensive and pretty crazy. Huh? But I guess in most places, uh, in urban areas where you’re going to need a nice place to live, nice food, uh, maybe your health club membership, your phone service every month, what else do we need, need, need?
Brad: 05:13 Uh, you can probably hit that pretty well, uh, with around $75,000 a year, arguably for this study. And then, uh, happiness gains from income start to fall off, become very low by $160,000 per year and hit zero at $200,000 a year. Of course you want a comfortable standard of living to minimize financial stress, which definitely would kick in, one would assume if they’re below the income threshold where your needs are being met, especially if you’re a family household. But chasing huge income as a means to happiness is not a proven strategy. So I read the study, uh, some other articles about this. I wonder what you think. I don’t know if it’s this, I think it depends on the person. Um, you know, there’s a prominent research that lottery winners have a huge increase in stress, uh, turmoil, high divorce rate. Uh, they have to, they get ostracized from their, uh, social community.
Brad: 06:15 They quit their job, their self esteem plummets. And it’s really disturbing to think about because, uh, for example, if I were to be a lottery winner, I would argue strongly that I would be extremely well adjusted and everything would be just fine. And I do good things with my money. Who knows, maybe I’d be charitable, who knows? Maybe I’d pick up some more fun hobbies. Maybe I’d get better at golf. Maybe I’d see more places around the world and take my friends and family with me. It would be all good. There wouldn’t be any bad. Would you agree for yourself if someone called you up and said, Hey, you won the lottery? Ah, I dunno. People, what would really happen? You can understand how, uh, you would move into a different socioeconomic category. Uh, there’s a prominent phenomenon where people start, uh, mooching you, uh, they start treating you differently.
Brad: 07:08 You’re not on equal footing. So there’s kinds of things like jealousy and resentment kick into gear with perhaps the closest people to you. And yeah, it could be a bad deal if it’s not handled well. Uh, personally, I see people at all different income levels who are both struggling and who are both very happy. So very wealthy people that are extremely well adjusted, doing great things in the world. Listen to my show with, uh, Ray Sydney, uh, big George and early on in the podcast, you can search for it in the archives. Uh, one of the earliest Google employees, in fact, the fifth employee hired by Google. Uh, so he, uh, made his fortune at a young age and is living a good life up in Lake Tahoe, having fun, number one philanthropist in his area. So he’s made a huge impact on the community. Uh, not a lot of ill effects, uh, as you can listen to him in detail.
Brad: 08:03 And especially how that wealth was generated was through pure motivation, which I like to talk about a lot. He was fascinated by mathematics. He studied at the highest level, uh, on the planet, going to Harvard and getting a doctorate from MIT, uh, driven by a fascination with, uh, doing the best he could, being the best he could be, pursuing the highest expression of his talents in that scientific area. And then of course, wow, go. What? Good luck to land at Google and see that turn into an economic windfall. But it was the order of priorities that’s relevant here because there’s a lot of people that, uh, set out for Silicon Valley or what have you, intending to strike it rich, but perhaps not with their priorities straight and therefore we’ll have a story and an excuse and a complaint rather than being committed to the all the way.
Brad: 08:56 Uh, and speaking to Google, uh, the founders, Larry and Sergey famous for holding out on that instant, uh, cash bounty that happened during the.com days of 1999 and 2000. So they refused to go public because they were steadfastly committed to building the world’s best search. And it didn’t feel like distracting themselves, uh, by jumping in onto the.com craze. And of course it was only, uh, several years later when the company did go public. And of course it turned into a vast amounts of wealth, but they were committed to something much bigger than making a quick buck. Like so many startups, uh, trying to just, uh, put up numbers. I remember back in those days, there were websites that all they cared about was getting more and more viewers. They didn’t care about really making money or have a plan to make money and it was just kind of riding that wave that of course the bubble ends up crashing when you have these entities that are being valued highly but not really generating income.
Brad: 09:55 So, uh, apply that to your own life. But back to the question that, uh, getting your income up and over 160,000, 200,000, it matters not at all. If you were to double it from that point on, uh, that one I feel like I’m going to have to challenge a little bit because, again, if you’re positioned to um, you know, do good things with your economic comfort and your time and your freedom and all the things that money represent, it doesn’t necessarily have to, uh, have the increases in income put into a negative context or adding stress to your life. I will observe that as your income rises and your possessions, your assets, your financial matters become more complex, that can easily become a stressful point in your life if you get sucked into the consumerism hole. If you start to trend in the direction of FOMO, fear of missing out or folk you folk you to fear of keeping up a had great commentary on that from Elisha Goldstein, one of the early shows.
Brad: 11:01 Uh, he’s the director of the California Mindfulness Institute expert on mindfulness and also dr Ron [inaudible] who takes care of very high income patients in California, Silicon Valley talking about the disease state of FOMO whereby people even in the highest income in the entire, possibly in the entire world, the highest income community in the Silicon Valley, two and a half times the national average where everyone’s making well over six figures and paying for a median home prices of 1.21 point, 3 million. But there’s always people around that have more. And in the case of Silicon Valley, there’s people that have a lot more. So you get fear of missing out, even know your basic needs are more than met. And so maybe you’re one of those statistics in the study showing that, uh, you have zero increase in happiness once your income exceeds 200,000 and goes up to blank, blank 400,000, 800,000.
Brad: 11:54 So I’m going to say that, um, let’s take personal responsibility here too. For example, coming to mind. Take care of what you have. Uh, be appreciative of what you have rather than wanting more and more and more. I enjoy taking care of my old golf clubs instead of going and looking for the shiny new ones and taking care of my body so I can swing the old golf clubs very skillfully and successfully knowing that that’s going to be the best way to play golf. Uh, rather than seeking the solution is in buying more and more and more. Same with taking care of a vehicle or your home. For example. Uh, the beauty and the magic of minimalism and not just minimalism, but efficient minimalism, we could call it where you have your stuff, it’s well organized. You know where to find things. They’re in good shape.
Brad: 12:42 If you’re feeling like recreation, one day your bike is ready and tuned up and you’re ready to go out there and have some fun. That kind of lifestyle rather than the excess, which we see the, the rampant examples of, uh, inefficient and stressful consumerism where you go into your closet and you can’t find anything because you keep buying more stuff and, uh, fail to discard the, the stuff that you don’t wear anymore. Kind of stuff. And so, um, Bradley here is a challenging, this first one a little bit money can buy happiness, but only to a point, uh, because I think if you’re a, a wise and a discriminant consumer that you put some money away for savings, like all the experts suggest that you do, you know, those, uh, articles that you’ve probably seen where, uh, if you decide to skip Starbucks every day, so let’s say five bucks a day, you’re going to, uh, uh, make your own tea at home, uh, and you do that starting at age 20 and invest it in a conservative, not something crazy, but just a 6% interest per year earning.
Brad: 13:49 When you’re 60 years old, you will have a half a million dollars. Oh yeah. So try telling that to the young people of today, uh, to sacrifice a little bit of instant gratification for longterm saving and security. And it’s a tough sell. Uh, I personally looking back at this age, I will say that I have regrets for not adopting a little tiny bit of that mindset along the way where just about everyone listening could have put away 25, 50 or a hundred bucks a month starting when we were, uh, of income earning age. So let’s say starting when we were 20, and then how old are you now? Raise your hand. I’m 54. How about you? Oh, 64. How about you? 47. That’s a lot of money. If it’s just sitting there earning interest in a mutual fund or something simple. So I tried to tell my kids, uh, of course you want to pursue your passions and the highest expression of your talents. Do things that you enjoy that are meaningful to you. Uh, but keep a little something in the back of your mind about the or the relevance of things like security, the economic consequences of your decision. Uh, the concept of building wealth slowly and steadily. Keep those in the back of your mind because, uh, that’s going to contribute to, uh, for example, the author of the article, uh, defining success as living a long happy, healthy life. I would say with a lot of freedom, a lot of free time and a lot of choices and options.
New Speaker: 15:17 Okay, so we got that one covered. We got everybody set straight. The next presentation is that working very long hours is not a recipe for productivity or happiness. Great research showing that productivity falls off sharply when you exceed 50 hours per week of work and drops off a cliff after 55 hours. Are you feeling me here? You have any reference points yourself? Oh my gosh. Uh, thankfully at this age I don’t have the battery power, the engine that I used to, to do these long working stints. I remember in college, uh, falling behind a little bit and then going to the library for, uh, 11 hour straight and studying with Tom MIlhoff at UC Santa Barbara and catching up from weeks of slacking in my economic studies, uh, and being capable of that and stepping out for a cookie from the kiosk and then back to studying for another five hours straight. Uh, these days. I don’t think I’d capable of that. And I think there’s a lot to be said for being more efficient and balanced with your time and your energy because pretty soon the decline in focus, cognitive performance, the propensity for distraction, the fatigue factor, where the tasks that you’re doing are taking longer and not being as well thought out.
Brad: 16:45 Those are definitely relevant. And the problem here is that when you get tired, when you get fatigued, when you’re putting in too many hours without the right discipline or a balance between, let’s say physical activity and cognitive tasks, you don’t notice because you’re too tired to notice how inefficient you’re becoming. So basically we have to trust ourselves here to realize a, for example, an insight that working over 55 hours a week is a ridiculous notion because things are going to take longer because you’re off your A game. Okay. In the world’s happiest countries, the author says, which have primarily been concentrated up in the Scandinavian area. I did a whole show on that. And, uh, the Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland keep coming up top, top and all these different categories of quality of life and happiness. Uh, these countries have an average work week of 37 hours a week, uh, despite that, because we can scoff when the, the U S is putting up more hours.
Brad: 17:50 Uh, some big champs have come out of, uh, Scandinavia. Ikea, Skype and Spotify are listed as examples here. Uh, you also desperately need, um, sufficient vacation time and U S is falling short here. We know that the European averages are much higher. Uh, six weeks of vacation time per year has been shown to be optimal for happiness and Americans take an average of only 11 days of vacation per year. Oh my gosh. So that’s two weeks. That’s kind of your basic a hiring package at many jobs as you start with two weeks vacation and build from there. So that’s surprising to learn that the American average is so low. And what happens when you don’t take vacation? You get into ruts, you get stale, you lose your creative thinking, you lose your ability to segment information and jump from one insight to the other. These epiphanies that almost always come when you’re away from the grind and you’re doing something different.
Brad: 18:48 I know from my, uh, aerobic activity when I’m out there jogging and might’ve been listening to a podcast or might be listening to music or might be listening to nothing, oftentimes I’ll achieve these breakthroughs or new insights that just arrive to me when I’m not trying and when I’m doing something besides staring at a screen and diving into this high tech world that we’re immersed in, in this overstimulation and hyper-connectivity. The critical importance of vacation was covered in the primal blueprint book. There is plenty of evidence attesting to the fact that we can be more productive when we carve out time for play in vacation from our busy schedules. A New Zealand study reported that following a vacation people were 82% more productive and enjoyed enhanced quality of sleep, but 43% of Americans had no vacation plans in 2007 due to work pressures. It’s probably worse in 2019 than in 2007. A 2006 study described in the Sunday Times in England noted that the percentage of married couples citing lack of quality time due to overwork as the basis for divorce had more than tripled in recent years. And the traditional leading reasons for divorce, the bad stuff, violence, infidelity, et cetera, dropped sharply.
New Speaker: 20:09 Moving on to the next one, social relationships are the best predictor of overall health and happiness. Uh, we got into this in the new book Keto for Life extensively. Uh, and finding some sad realities of modern times that, uh, people are losing the number of friends, the size of our social networks are dropping sharply whereby the average American only has something like 1.2, uh, really close friends, people that would drop everything to be with you in a moment and do whatever you needed to do, be doing in an emergency or crisis. Oh and boy, I think, uh, we can all reference this, how the influence of technology has kind of created distance from those sort of everyday random social interactions that we experienced in the old days, in different generations where, I don’t know, you’re walking down the street and you stop by at the neighbor’s house and all these open door policies and the people sitting on the porch in their rocking chairs and communing with your neighbors.
Brad: 21:14 Ben Greenfield did a classic, uh, Instagram video, sort of an opiniony day where he realized that, you know, he’s been biohacking his way to the top of the, the health world and spreading the message and, uh, trying to figure out the best way to optimize life in so many ways. But he mentioned in the video, uh, his awakening that he doesn’t even know who his neighbors are. He doesn’t really have any, uh, physical connection to his surrounding community. Cause basically he lives somewhere and then he heads to the airport and flies around the world. And I think so many people can relate where, Oh my gosh, when I was, uh, racing as a triathlete, um, you know, uh, jumping on airplanes and flying around the world a lot for 10 years and I would just, uh, you know, leave my driveway every day, whether it was on foot for a run or a bike ride or in my car and drive past all these houses.
Brad: 22:05 Didn’t know those people in them at all for years and years. Think we threw a party finally for a neighborhood gathering, just put flyers in the mailbox. And had a huge turnout. So I think we crave these social connections that we’ve lost. Um, I know from walking into a crowded Starbucks to get my, uh, mobile order, so I don’t have to hassle with waiting in line or talking to people. I’ll just grab it off the counter and go. Uh, but you see, uh, in many cases they are very crowded gathering spots. So that’s kinda cool. Um, for all the bad stuff. Starbucks has done pitching, uh, sugar into the, uh, human body, uh, due to great detriment of, uh, health across the country, across the world. Uh, at least they’re a gathering spot for community. So, um, redeeming value. So a Harvard study conducted over 80 years we feel that close relationships more so than money or fame are what keep people happy throughout life. These findings hold true when factoring in all these other variables like genes, social status, IQ, uh, the thousands of people in the study, uh, those who are most satisfied in their relationships at age 50, were the healthiest at age 80. Ah, those checkpoints, uh, remind me of the Cooper Institute and, uh, University of Texas Southwest study, um, predicting longevity at age 50 by one’s time in the mile run. So if you have a, a satisfactory time or a great time in the mile at age 50, you have, uh, extremely high probability of living healthily, up to 80 and beyond. So I guess the perfect formula here would be to have a bunch of friends at age 50 who are all really fast running the mile. Then you’re all going to have a great time and be happy and social and physically fit until you’re 80.
Brad: 23:53 The study’s lead researcher, the Harvard studies lead researcher concluded quote, the key to healthy aging is relationships, relationships and relationships. Ah, they also have the effect, not just longevity, but boosting your mood on a day to day basis. Um, and the study suggests that you aim for six hours of socializing per day. It seems like a lot, doesn’t it, when we have so many obligations and so many, uh, you know, core responsibilities most likely relating to you interfacing with the screen or are you doing your own thing in some way, shape or form? Uh, except on the rare occasions of whatever working in a restaurant environment or on an assembly line where you’re interacting with people and you could count that as being social even though you’re doing work together. But for most of us, yeah, six hours a day socializing is probably more than we get.
Brad: 24:49 Um, and guess what? The data proves my conjecture to be true as I keep reading. Uh, there’s a study showing that Americans socialize for an average of only 41 minutes per day. I would say, uh, on this one there’s a lot of personal preference involved and some people, um, my sister relates how she’s busy interacting with people all day and serving the community as a physician. So she’s in that service category. She looks forward to the time where it’s just her and her dogs in the evening relaxing. So the ebb and flow of needing to be social, definitely put in a plug for that. But I think we all should be mindful of those opportunities to connect instead of just retreat into a digital experience, which is really easy to get caught in that rut.
New Speaker: 25:39 Okay. Next one. Happiness causes success, not the other way around. Shawn Achor one of the world’s leading experts between happiness and success connection says we have the formula backwards. So first we want to get happy and that leads to success. What an interesting insight. And he provides five everyday habits to boost your happiness. I love this. Yeah. Get into that positive, happy mindset and then manifest your dreams into reality, especially calling wealth and abundance into your scene. But if you’re kind of grinding, feeling desperate, feeling negative, uh, and thinking that’s going to be a path to any form of success, even material success, I dunno, you might be right. There’s a lot of unhappy mean people that are achieving material success, but I guess that’s missing the point. Uh, so we want to be happy and materially successful. How about that? So here’s some five steps offered. Write down three things each day that you’re grateful for.
Brad: 26:41 Journal about a recent positive experience for two minutes every day. Engage in 15 to 30 minutes of cardio exercise, like brisk walking or jogging. And I’ll make that distinction that we don’t want that to be strenuous, so we just want it to be refreshing. So that’s a big one to build happiness, meditate for just as short as a couple minutes per day. And that’s what my cold plunge is all about. I’m killing two birds with one stone cause I’m getting the, the cold therapy, the hormetic benefits of the, the stressor of the cold water, but it’s also an opportunity. Uh, it’s sort of a necessity that I launch into a meditative state because that’s the only way to overcome the cold, uh, for the five to six to seven minutes that I stay in there. And then, uh, start your workday by writing a two minute positive email thanking a friend or colleague or complementing someone you admire. Shawn Achor suggests, Oh, Shawn Achor, sorry. Suggest that doing these five things every day for 21 days straight will produce profound and lasting happiness benefits.
New Speaker: 27:42 Uh, the next item on the list is making sure that you’re, uh, not looking back in regret at the end of your life. And we all have heard that adage. Uh, the person on their deathbed, no one ever said, I wish I’d spent more time at the office on their deathbed. I tried to, uh, attribute that, uh, did some research, maybe it was Ben Franklin or somebody, uh, Mark Twain, but it’s been attributed to many different people. So it’s just out there floating into the culture. And it’s a nice, uh, insight to think about. Uh, there was a book, uh, referenced by the, the author here. Uh, the book was called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying written by Bonnie Ware. And it was not scientific or a proper polling to be a true resource, but it was sort of her insights.
Brad: 28:31 Uh, I’m working with the elderly and so she, uh, it was, uh, a very, uh, high selling book. A lot of people loved it, uh, to get some good reflections about what it’s like to be on the deathbed and what she shared with her, um, people that she cared for. And so she came up with, um, with these five, I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. That was number one. Number two, I wished I hadn’t worked so hard. Number three, I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Number four, I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends. And number five, I wish I’d let myself be happier. Ah, pretty good stuff, huh? Uh, speaking of, uh, number three, I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Berne Brown giving that great insight in her latest book.
Brad: 29:21 Uh, I think it went something like, uh, a few moments of pain and suffering to, uh, to be vulnerable and have the conversation you need to have is better than a week of resentment. Something like that. So yeah, expressing your feelings, doing it in a kind and respectful manner. Uh, referencing that, uh, those John Gray insights about relationships, where is this going to be in conflict with his, uh, instruction for the man to suck it up and go off by yourself and do some testosterone boosting cave time activities? Uh, don’t speak with a negative emotional charge. I am definitely, uh, appreciating that insight tremendously every single day and realizing that if we just, uh, take a step back, uh, instead of getting triggered about this or that or everything that comes through, that’s not a perfect communication in daily life. A lot of times we’re going to resolve these things in our own mind and realize that, uh, what our contribution is to all these times when we’re offended and put, uh, put out and all this kind of stuff.
Brad: 30:25 So, um, express your feelings but be good at it. Manage your emotions and say what you need to say. Say it in the right way. And that’s my, uh, an enhancement to that one on the list because if you just take it at face value, I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. Uh, there’s a lot of jerks out there that are expressing their feelings 24, seven. Uh, and I don’t think that’s gonna lead to happiness.
New Speaker: 30:48 So, okay, getting toward the end here. Uh, we need to slow down and savor life. Modern life is chronically stressful. Our race against the clock, uh, we’re into these patterns of chronic stress, chronic inflammation, which is the root cause of all major disease. So when you’re chronically over-producing those stress hormones, especially cortisol, which you hear talked about a lot, and that’s the major fight or flight hormone, uh, puts you in a heightened state of physical and mental function, uh, doing things like converting lean muscle tissue into glucose for a steady supply of energy, gluconeogenesis.
Brad: 31:27 Uh, so it has wonderful effects for peak performance, but when we overproduce it throughout the day, because we’re stressed about this, stressed about that, and operating in that fight or flight mode, this leads to chronic inflammation. And that is the baddest deal you can possibly imagine to be in that inflamed state going through life. That’s the root cause of all the major diseases. So instead of always staying in overdrive, quoting the author, we need to consciously downshift. And this is a common practice among the world’s longest lived people. So it’s all about kicking back into parasympathetic mode, away from that sympathetic dominant state. Again, sympathetic is the branch of the autonomic nervous system associated with fight or flight behaviors. And then parasympathetic is often nicknamed rest and digest. So you’re either in go, go, go mode, which is okay, you’ve got to do a busy day, you got to get shit done, you got to get the kids to school on time and then head off to work and then do this and then do that.
Brad: 32:33 Uh, but we need to learn how to unplug and unwind. So first and foremost, uh, disconnecting rather than staying connected all the time. We have those hours where it’s essential to disconnect, take care of your body, uh, do parasympathetic stimulating activities, behaviors such as sauna, such as the cold plunge. After you get out, you kick into parasympathetic, uh, foam rolling has been shown to very quickly, uh, activate parasympathetic, possibly due to the pain relieving chemicals that come because the foam rolling is a little bit uncomfortable for most people. So doing things like that. Uh, the author’s listing, some other ones like a happy hour with friends, uh, spending time outdoors, listening to live music, watching the sunset. Uh, I would say simple one, taking a walk around the neighborhood, uh, evening stroll after dinner just to kind of get some fresh air and then make that be the, uh, the impetus for winding down the rest of the night. Okay.
New Speaker: 33:30 So in conclusion, uh, Andrew Merle is, uh, observing that the happiest people discover their own true nature and match their life to it. Ray Dalio, legendary venture capital guy, one of the wealthiest people in the world, quote, meaningful work and meaningful relationships were and still are my primary goals and everything I did was for them making money was an incidental consequence of that. Ultimately, life and happiness boils down to finding the right fit for you. It’s essential to know your own nature and operate consistently with it. And Dalio adding a little bit here, quote the courage to be true to your truest self, no matter what other people want you to be. Oh right. That’s a lot to think about. Could it change our lives going forward? I hope so. Thank you for listening.
Brad: 34:48 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love it if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves cause they need to. Thanks for doing it.