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#312: You're Doing Resolutions Wrong. Here’s How to Fix It. | Dr. Laurie Santos

2021-01-06

New Year’s Series Episode 4. Today we’re going to dive into the science behind why so many of us get New Year's resolutions so wrong -- and how we can do better. My guest is Dr. Laurie Santos. As you may remember, she made her debut on this show just over a month ago, in an episode about how to handle the pandemic winter blues. She was such a font of practical wisdom that we almost immediately invited her back. 

Laurie is a tenured psychology professor at Yale, where she teaches a massively popular course on happiness. She also hosts an excellent podcast called The Happiness Lab, where right now, she’s doing a series of episodes along a very similar theme--what she’s calling “anti-resolutions”--so I definitely recommend checking that out. 

In today’s conversation, we talk about why resolutions are a thing in the first place; why they so often go pear-shaped; and common pitfalls and misunderstandings in our attempts to lose weight, exercise more, or make more money. As we’ve been stressing in our New Year’s series, Laurie argues that one powerful antidote to our resolution morass is self-compassion. As we’ve been saying throughout our series, the research shows that self-compassion is much better fuel for habit change than our usual mode of shame. I have been referring to it as a kind of uber-habit, out of which all other habits can flow. 

Join Laurie Santos in the New Year’s Challenge: https://challenges.tenpercent.com/?challenge=new-years-2021&challenge_invite=gDTcpTfZgSdFXZvhtG6u3sSe&challenge_title=New%20Year%27s%20Challenge 

 

How to join the New Year’s Challenge:

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If you've already downloaded the app, just open it up or visit this link to join: https://10percenthappier.app.link/NewYearsChallenge21

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/laurie-santos-312

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC this. the ten percent happier podcast down here. Hello Welcome to episode, four of our special new year's serious today we're gonna, I've into this science behind. Why so? Many of us get new year's resolutions so badly wrong and how we can do better. My guest is doctor. Lorries and says you may remember, she made her debut on this ship, just over a month ago, in an episode about how to handle the pandemic winter blues, she was such a fund of practical wisdom that we almost immediately invited her back Laura, a tenured psychology, professor at Yale, where she teaches a massively popular course unhappiness she's in the process of turn that into a book right now. She also hosts an excellent podcast called the happiness. where right now, she's doing a whole series of episodes along of
Similar theme, which he's calling anti resolutions, so I definitely recommend checking that out. It's a great show in today's precision on this show, though we talk about why resolutions are a thing in the first place, why they. So often go pear shaped, and we talk about common it falls and misunderstandings in our attend to lose weight, exercise more or make more money. She really breaks down those different, very common resolutions and talks about the psychological misfiring that can happen there and, as we ve been stressed, throughout the new you're serious here on the show lorry argues that one powerful antidote to our. Resolutions. Morass is self compassion, there's a ton of research that shows That's our compassion is much more effective than shame when it comes to motivating yourself to make healthy habits. I've been two. It is a kind of goober habit out of which all other habits can flow. Speaking herself
ash and lorry I'm happy to report has signed, for our free new year's meditation challenge taking place right now in the tent and happier app where the whole goal was If you train your mind and self compassion through meditation, the chat started on Monday, but it is not too late to sign up. You can join the challenge right now for free by downloading the ten percent happier app wherever you get your apps bore by visiting ten percent dotcom. That's ten percent! All one word spelled out dot com. If you already have, they are used It up and follow the instructions to join. Here we go now with lorries sent us a lorry Santos welcome back thanks, so much rather gonna show very very, very happy to have you back so urgent. our resolutions, I'm very interested to hear what is your history with resolutions?
make numerous resolutions all the time, actually not necessarily ones that I stick to. Sadly, but I definitely make the resolutions- and I do that, because behavioral science suggest it's actually a good idea, there's some work by them psychologists, Katy Milk, then on what she calls the fresh start effect Is this idea that there are these natural times what our motivation is higher than usual? All you know, as you know, motivation is not linear. It's not this consistent thing its highest, sometimes and down in others, but one of the times that it tends to be high. Is it natural sort of temporal breaks, so like Monday mornings, like your birthday, but new Thursday is one of those like the beginning of January is a time when our motivation is higher and while motive you're, being high, doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna succeed in developing new goals. It's actually a lot better when you're motivation is high, so big believer in fresh start effect I like to kind of David and like harnessed the new year in different ways. So I pro resolution. The problem is that people
tend to do them wrong, and so the key is. We have to pick good resolutions. I want to talk about that in the second, but curious what kind of resolutions have you made in the past, which have worked, which have not yeah. Well, I'll be honest that you know for most of my adult life, I was picking some resolutions that I now know the research suggests are pretty dumb resolutions. I was really heavily and the oh, my gosh, I'm gonna finally lose weight can without like this year, is gonna be the year that I only eat plants and that's it cap. You know, I feel it through most of my third those were my new year's resolutions. These days, I think there patients are a little bit more evidence base there trying to be more present in trying to be more social. Last year I had the resolutions. improve my time and have a little bit more time. Affluent switch given covered was a little bit Sierra, given that all plans were cancelled, I had a lot of GMO did those past year. But, yes, I link
gotta gonna die then, and the key is to kind of figure out which plans which goals are really gonna help. You feel happier in the new year maybe a mutant, but I've never made new year's resolutions. I have made. big vows to do behavior change like, for example, I decided one day while knowing on a chicken bone that I was gonna, give up animal products, and I did- I decided one day we can start meditating and I did it and that neither of these was tied to any date on the counter. Just Adam. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can somehow do this yet you're not alone, I people, aggression, Reuben, talk about this. Sir lightning moments are light, bulb moments right where everything changes will I get so today I'm never gonna either animal product again for the rest, my life and then people can stick with it, and so you know, Sometimes you get these random moments of motivation. I actually think psychologist. Don't understand them very well, it'd be great if we could understand them, so we could harness to come a lot better, but the research does suggest that sometime
he's temporal boundaries, can give you a little bit more again, not this early to stick with things, but just a kind of give you idea that you can try. One of the reasons is a fresh start effect works so well, as that we tend to think of ourselves as a new person like a blank slate when the new year roles around right in January. First, like oh, all, the mistakes of the past they're gone, I've got this fresh, clean. Three sixty five days to be a new me and that blank slate can feel powerful, a really can motivate us to change yeah. I've never felt that birthdays the new year just never landed with me as a fresh start. So I guess that's, maybe why I've never really done it. So I'm curious I know that most at I you'll probably noticed statistics here, but I know that most people don't stick with resolutions too long is the failure rate, and why is it so high
the failure rate is pretty high, like I've seen estimates as high as ninety percent. Ninety five percent of nears resolutions don't stick, and I think there are a couple of things- times. I think we're not really true to ourselves when we're picking new year's goals. We know there so many behavioral biases, where were awful at planning, were awful it deciding what goals are gonna be good for us we tend to kind of, you. Have this optimistic biased to think that we're just gonna to do anything, and so I think part of is it our wonderful fresh start effect gives us the sort of optimistic, glasses that make us think everything's gonna be perfect in the new year. Let means we don't. essentially plan well. So there are better and worse ways to plan for your new year's resolution. Such they stick a little bit better, but I think a bit. Issues were often picking like things to do who then aren't necessarily great goals, you know so once we dig in really start working on these do habits, we discover
that they are not necessarily workin for us in the way that we thought before, and so it makes it harder for these things to stick because they're not having the effect we assumed when you said before that we Ten did get resolute, genes wrong is that the meat insane or mistake that we we just pick the wrong kind. You anything as part of our general misconception about the kinds of things that make us happy the water. The things we talk about on my podcast, in that I talk about in my class at Yale, are the misconceptions have about the sorts of things that are going to make us happy you first off. We assume that there really circumstantial right. They have to do with you our bodies and our body size and our salary and desolate how many material possessions we have and things like that and the evidence suggests that those just don't matter as much as we think, mostly because when they are going well, we have the perfect body or a great salary we get used to it, so the happiness impacting it could possibly have
isn't really working in the way we think once we get used to something is just not giving us as much happiness bang far back as we could be getting out of something were much better off doing changes that really reflect new mindsets, new behaviorist re, rather than just to change the way our body Luxor. What our bank account looks like Sherwood say, sort of developing mindsets. What do you mean by that yeah? So mostly what I mean is that we tend to think of our resolutions that our common right there, all about changing our circumstances, were actually better off focusing on resolutions and goals that involve changing our mindsets, trying to look at the world through a different lands trying to become more present and try to become more grateful, trying to become more compassionate. Those are the kinds of things Is that really will have a long standing impact on our well being Romeo don't realize their powerful, and so they tend not to be in the big list of New year's resolutions that we see every year. I know one of the things you're talkin about
on your show is the development of self compassion, as one of these skills as a kind of I've been referred to it as a kind of goober resolution. That's upstream from all the other more traditional resolution hey. I love this idea of goober resolution too, because it's a great thing to focus on for two reasons: one is it's a good guy all in and of itself right bumping up self compassion. The research suggests do not allow you to have all kinds of other positive changes. Kristen, NAFTA researcher, Uti Austin, who we entered router podcast, has all this. Showing that by boosting yourself, compassion, you naturally a bunch of things, you naturally, for example, eat healthier, who naturally, for example, are more likely work out and take care of your body, because your kind being kind and loving your body here actually more likely to procrastinate less and a kind of continue at a hard project after you failed a little bed and so would have other things you want to achieve. In the new year, like focusing on self compassion, is actually gonna help you get there.
The upper resolution, because it might make all the other tinier resolutions a little bit easier, was in and of itself self compassion, whack. booster, while being so just the active kind of focusing on self, passion, can bump your happiness and it makes it easier for you to Paris other goals that was above of your happiness. So it's a win win and it's gonna say that more of us don't realize it can be such a powerful technique, furred kind of getting all the stuff we want in the new year. I think that's because besides has ended as well, publicized as it might be, and I think now the two of us are going to put a dent in that, but I also think it's because they're all sorts of blocks to racing self, compassion in particular I'll say it as a male of the species. You know it's it comes off, is really cheesy and also. I think there is also the fear that people have that if they take it easy on themselves, they ll fall into sloppy resignation. You hit the nail on the head I think we think its weak right. You know we have the sort of culture of a protestant work ethic and even
general notion of new year's resolutions. I filling in some ways we feel it they're supposed to be hard right, they're supposed to be in this sort of ray framing of ourselves, where we kind of shame ourselves very no past deeds in all the years answer to make it better right. This idea being nice to ourselves. It feels really culturally foreign Annie plays into these risks, options that we have that the only way forward is through stuff. That's gonna feel hard, and this comes all the time and happiness research. We often think you know that the only. The change. Our behaviour is through what power and it turns out. There are tons of behavioral science work, suggesting that willpower just doesn't when we really needed to like willpower, might work when our motorways. is high and everything's great, but it falls apart as soon as things get tough ray, and so I think you know the fact that you don't realize self compassion can be so powerful is just part of our deep. Miss
you're standing about how human nature works, that kindness and compassion and being nice to yourself can be powerful forces for achievement and success feel strange and, as you said, a little hippy. Dippy too. I have really good. Have for anybody, whose insisted upon having hard news resolutions I say this as somebody who spent the last few years very assiduously, working at cultivating cell compassion and apply in my life and writing a book about it, etc, etc. It's hard to read yeah. We think we're being nice to ourselves a super easy but involves that and a soul searching that is really time consuming and him surely wrenching, which is basically you, know the hardest kind of new year's resolution you can engage with. I'm sure you talked about this with care enough on your show
then, on the show before her partner in crime from research perspective Christopher Burma is we just put up an episode from any other day I'm sure you ve heard different, Christine And- and I know that that Burma was talking about it here, that the process of trying to muster some warmth for yourself, often in self compassion, meditation, brings. He calls it back draft. It brings up all of this stuff that major means yourself in the first place, most of us develop this armor in response. two trauma or difficulty in the world. Disarming requires back and looking at a lot of that stuff and then remembering to apply it. You know in your a day life when you have all you know several decades. In my case of conditioning that involves, you being a cattle prod internally day, combine all of that and it's quite a project. So anybody who is
and for a big project? I highly recommend this one. Much more My conversation with lorries. Santos read after this, the new here is a good time for a mental health check in better help. Online counselling offers licence professional therapists who are trained to listen and help with issues ranging from stress depression, family com, likes and more get match with the earth therapist and under forty eight hours and start communicating by a secure video phone chat or text from the comfort of your home joined the million plus people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced better help, counselor better help as a convenient and affordable option and our listeners get ten percent off your first month with the disco code happier get started at better h, E Lp Dotcom, slash happier before we die back in with Lori. I just want to give you another quick reminder that right now we're running a free twenty one day, meditation challenge
ten percent happier app in this challenge. Our teachers will guide you through a series of meditations, demonstrating the many benefits of developing self love, compassion and acceptance, and also showing you how to actually do it. Here's how that works. Your goal will be to meditate at least fifteen out of twenty one days. Every day you get a short visit, for me need along the way by some very special experts and then video slides into a related guided audio meditation, which will be about ten minutes long, the insights the self compassion combined with regular practice, really ought to help you develop their resilience. That is so critical when it comes to making sustained healthy chain if you're a long time listener. This challenge is an opportunity to learn directly from the expert teachers. You know and love as guests on the pod gas Susan Piper tourists allow Jeff Warren the challenge, also It is our most recent guess: Koromo the tv host from Netflix from the blockbuster reboot of queer. I
and if you ve, never meditated before no sweat are challenges are specifically designed to help you boot up a practice. join the challenge now for free by downloading the ten percent happier app today, wherever you get your apps or by visiting ten percent dot com, that's all one word spelled out If you already have the app good for you, just open it up and follow the instructions to join the challenge kicked off Monday January forth, but there is still time for you to join and remember, lorry Santos will be participating in the challenge re alongside you, there's a link in the show notes to add her as a friend on the challenge and speaking of lorry. Let's get back to today's conversation with her, so you talked about the two for of self compassion before, but there's another two. For that. I know you talk about, which is that the ways to apply self compassion, as except two resolutions, there's itself compassionate approach to
you know booting up any new habit or breaking an old one, and there is also the self compassionate choice of which habit you're going to attack does my stating your thesis correctly? He added happy ram, and I think you know, as you probably talked about and then the last episode self compassion really works right. If you want a strategy, that's going allow you to meet your goals and not procrastinate and not be worried about failure. Self compassion is really powerful but secondly, we know from the happiness research. Is it the kinds of things you pick can also, work well in terms of boosting your while being if you pick stuff, that's about being kind to yourself about not depriving yourself of thing or trying to be someone you're not or so drastically changing your circumstances that you become this awful drill sergeant. We also need to pick you up the changes that are gonna work for us and be kind to ourselves when we're picking those things and then I think, gets us to some
resolutions that art in the norm, maybe like exactly the opposite of the norm, take dieting, which is one of the biggest resolutions every single year people decide on January, one that they're going to completely region their bodies that, however, their shaped is just wrong. I mean I used to do this to you. I spent many years picking exactly that resolution on January first and in some ways it really unkind resolution relic it's about oftentimes here in your body and hating your shape and really can changing the way you eat, not in a kind of compassion away. We are trying to serve experience some nutrition and stuff like that, but in a way that really about changing something. That's gonna be hard, if not impossible, to change, and so I think, a much more complex that resolution when it comes to kind of eating in and physical health, and things like that, is to engage with more of a practice of mindful eating right to kind of passionate. We choose to put things into your body that feel good for you and that really different than the lake Keaton.
paleo, you know I don't like. Whenever restricts diet is for twenty twenty one is really differ. and the common approach in part, because it embraces this kind of compassion, approach. What you're trying to do is to figure out what's gonna feel good in your body. Now it's going to change how you look or whatever, what's really going to be nice to you, and that can be a tough choice to a comment in a question hear the comment is I appreciate you talking freely about your having made that resolution. The past is not an easy thing to talk about, and I will just ask Well, I don't make new year's resolutions that that dialogue of I don't like the way I look in the mirror and I'm going to wrestle my body into some different shape so that I can finally be in some sort of psychological Valhalla as a concert that's present in my mind as well as others question is: have you heard of intuitive eating? Yes, yes, yes, I dont practice all the time I wish I did, but it's just a fantastic approach me basically into it.
Meeting, is just as idea of trying to give body. What is gonna make it feel good and it's hard because That's not how many of us grew up eating it, sad I feel like. Sometimes I watch little toddlers eating and you know they pick. They want and they eat something of the kind of push it away. And it's not like you spending hours craving cookies are gonna feel themselves with stuff. That's make them feel nasty afterwards. They just sort of each when their Hungary and what they want and that's it and then, when their full, they often do other fun toddler things and in some ways we ve lost that form of but it can be an incredibly powerful way to give ourselves some nutrition. and away, that's like loving, and also that small it. You know where our heads are filled with diet books worth of statistics about what we're supposed to be doing. You just eat what kind of feels good for you amen to that. I have two six year olds around the house and dumb. I love eating dessert with them,
because they just stop eating when their full, which means I can eat the rest of my sister. I was getting so on intuitive eating. I had a guest on the show this time. Last year, Evelyn AAA was one of the co creators of intuitive eating she. In a co author wrote the first book about this called intuitive eating and we actually just reposted the episode a few weeks ago. If anybody wants to go back, was to an end and genuinely eating, her changed my life, I was in the throes of a ton of classic embarrassing middle. I've crisis stuff around you known at my. I am no longer being visible and whatever and doing you, know, sort of crews work out, then do you know really trying to stick to some free, strict calorie counting? vision, diet, thing and media
her and then working with her one on one over the past year. It has taken a ton of time for her very simple message which you are to collate it well to penetrate my cranium, but it has been a revelation and has genuinely changed. My life in terms of how I eat- and you know one of her little monetarism and again I get my- can feel my whole body posture, changing as I say this, because I He also cheesy saying it, but it is like what is the kind of thing to do for your body right now and if you can, really take that in and have it in your molecules, it just makes all thing much more simple, just listen your body as you eat here I assume that the kind of thing always ass, to involve some sort of deprivation right I mean, I think, that you sometimes we get that wrong. We think that will that kind of thing must be to you know, never crossed paths with another. You know, don't I in the rest of my existence rate, but what we know from
Ecology is that our minds kind? It don't work that way in a one of the easiest way. To get your mind obsessed with something is too tell it not to do something, I'm not sure if you ve talked on the show before This is famous series of studies by the late psychologist and Wagner called the White bear experiments and they goes something like this for the next thirty seconds- try not to think of a White bear and in a way that we can run the timer down, but I well a lot of your listeners right now and you probably are thing? Is you realize your brain, which has never really probably given much thought to white, bears scrolling through polar bears in that bear in the Coca COLA Commercials and blah blah like as soon as you your brain, not to do something, it gets obsessed with doing something. That's in part, because our mind doesn't really have off switch the only way we can represent not to do something is to think of that thing, and so, when you Your brain, ok, no cookies, whatever I do know cookies, no cookies, no cookies. All your mind is thinking is cookies cookies
He is, which is an easy way to make it really hard not to like. You know, YE cookies of that you're trying to do it, and so we constantly have these theories about how to change our own behaviour. That are not just like incorrect, but they do exactly the that thing exactly a thing that will make it harder for us to change our behavior the thing that is easiest like eat, in a way that really kind. Your body feels really counter intuitive is very fast. trading that human nature works. This way that is so hard to be kind to ourselves. I nor brought this up before and I'd be interested saviour of response to that the for me. It's not so much that I miss judge. What's gonna, make me happy, although I do that, of course- and I love that you know that is a huge emphasis of yours and I think it's really spot on, but for me it also that and even with Evelyn, little bit. You know, I love it when I'm at really love it, if she's sitting credible human being, but even with her, like. I think part of the reason why it took me so long.
do what she'd been telling me over and over and over again is just the formulation, the words yes, struck me as like. No I'm not going to do that. Do the kind thing for you bought it get out of here with that I'm gonna do the lake bad ass things my bad either like pigs angle across fit thing for my body. I guess you know, I think we think I think a couple think one is you know it's got terrible branding and great unite talked about this before, like half the stuff that we know works from the field of meditation and research, it sounds her ball right. You know like loving kindness who, like black, like I wish it had better marketing to be totally fair by think. That's, not what you know the practitioners we're thinking about when they were developing practices that we're gonna like lead us to Nirvana. They weren't trying to like you know, maybe really palatable for modern day folks to kind of jump in what they I'm. U part of is that it does sound, really really cheesy and
second thing is, I think again, it violates the way we ve all been brought up, which is a sort of stiff upper lip bright. You know it's not worth it unless it's hard ray and that a hard thing to overcome to Europe and I've got some pretty solid stiffer conditioning in my dna. Let's talk about a few com in areas where we tend to make resolutions and see if you have any the wisdom to share I'm, I'm pretty sure you let's hear with accurate, What have you learned about the best way to approach exercise as a resolution? Yell? Size is one of these, where I think the content is right on. I mean there's a type of work, suggesting that just getting little bit of cardio exercise can be incredibly important for your mental health. There's one study showing that a half hour of cardio, Every morning is as effective as one of the leading into depression prescriptions I won't say with one for reducing symptoms of debate, and over time and their similar evidence for anxiety and things like that so exercise in of itself.
Awesome goal for twenty twenty one the problem is again how we go about the exercise right. We should want to exercise in the same way the intuitive eating folks talk about picking a meal. Like what would be a way to move my body that would feel kind rate and again we are when people choose exercise is not often out of the lake intuitive exercise approach. It's often out of the Lake Cross, fit military body blast. It is funny when you look at these magazine articles that talk about exercise in the new year. They sound like a new military instrument of terrors, your blast your belly, and things like that Oh God is not necessarily the what you're trying to do. It's, how you are trying to do it and the reason that the problem is first of all its not choosing things that are going He kind to your body like the kinds of exercise you pack will be really different if you're taking a sort of and passionate approach than, if you're taking alike purely hardcore military approach. But the other thing is that I your ability to stick with. It is going to be better if you,
take a compassionate approach right like there? Sometimes, when your body just need some rest there, some kinds of exercise, that may or may not be fun for you if you don't allow yourself to notice that it cannot accept it just as it is you're gonna be pushing against the tide we try to make your body than yourself commit to things that just are fun. Maybe even good for your body, and so I think that in the domain of fitness. We also need to take a little bit more of a compassionate approach, and this is and something that has been very hard for me, I feel like I was the chubby kid in Jim Class witness was always something that I was either forced to you or did out of a hatred of my body and the coming around two figuring out. No wait! You can move yourself in a way that just feels good, and that should be the goal of this. Just like you were saying about into eating. It's been a bit of a revelation for me right that you know the exercise can be find something. I look forward to that
wasn't canna how I grew up with fitness, but is something that I am trying to come to terms with than it your stuff such a healthier approach would have you found feels good for you yoga for sure and often hard yo. The classes This is something that, as I've been more mindful about how exercise feels I realize like, if you're paying attention to body. Sometimes you want a very light chill, you know ye in practice. If you know they're like yoga terminology like you just want a kind of do something. That's all restorative, but sometimes your body just really wants you to push it right and I feel like if you're always trying to push it, then you can tell the difference. That means their liking over ninety percent of the time. You're just gonna feel exhausted and flocking to be fun pie, paying attention. The way you want to push your body. You can get so much insight into it's gonna feel good and what you really need, but yeah for me, yoga has been really huge. Pilates practices, where you have to pay attention and move, your body. No, then I get kind of some move may end little color many meditation in there, but also another
think I've realises the most fun exercise for me is what I'm exercising with someone else and these days during covered. That means you know, exercise classes other people online or socially distance takes being nature. Is another big way to move my body, I what I've tried to Is that it's not about you know getting in eggs? only forty five minutes of a specific kind of exercise. It really is again, whatever is gonna, be fun and get you moving. I love this plus one on everything you just said, There is another area where many of us tending to focus this time a year has to do with our finance. is saving money, making more money, etc, etc. What have you learned in this sphere? Will this is a topic in their happiness. Researchers have been on due for some time right at an perhaps one of our biggest miss exceptions right. Many of us think if we could just be rich in everything, would be perfect and life
when you go out and look at rich people. What you find is that their mood levels are as high as you'd think there just as adapted to their new salary levels and a lot of their current problems are about feeling like they don't have enough either one of my favorite data points. It was a study where folks were asked. What would be the salary level that, if you got to it, you wouldn't need another sent her? I want you got that salary level you'd never worry about money again, and so they asked people who were currently earning thirty thousand dollars a year in the? U S and those folks said I could just and fifty thousand dollars a year. I would be good. I never need another said so dear. If you're running fifty k, you should be good, not one another set. Now the same report looked at, folks, who are earning a hundred thousand dollars a year and asked them. Are you good and useful? Not only did say: yeah, fine, you no money stuck up in my kitchen. I don't need to know what they say. was. Not only am I not good yet what I to be happy, is two hundred, and fifty thousand dollars is not just that you don't get there
you get more money, you want more right, the ratio between what you have and what you think you need actually it's more off as you earn more, and so I think you know so caveat. We need to pay attention to you know of your resolution is save some money because you have a nest. Egg for an emergency than definite saving money is going to help you. You know if you are going to get your finances in order, because you lost your job, and covered or either you're really living below the poverty line than definitely definitely Earning more money is going to help, but if you're late solidly in a middle class in come and have a reasonable nest egg, and you just think that more money is gonna, be the path to happiness. The research suggests you're, probably wrong. Like you be much better off, focusing on the other kinds of things we ve been talking so puffy in big. He had a right when they said more money, more problems, ya want, I favour episodes that we did early on in the happiness lab interviewed this guy Clay cockerel, whose wealth psychologist he's a mental health professional for
at the super rich that point zero, zero one per cent and he has come it's right, which is already shocking to me, like these people who have you know you and houses in things like need you and he has a weight list, because people are so unhappy and what striking to him is that they think the cause of their unhappiness is often that they just don't enough right, which kind of makes sense right if you're on this thing, you know like yours. They get a million dollars I'll, be happy, and then you become a millionaire and you're not happy. What do you think? You know you could think? Or maybe money wasn't the answer and to shift gears? No, instead, you a double down say what was it a million dollars? I need your eye, to be a multi millionaire. I need to be a billion here, and this is what he sees an inner his real clients where your they stay. At night, trying to figure out where they're gonna park there yacht and We could laugh at them and say you know like boo, but I think it tells us something important that here
maybe we who are not the super wealthier getting wrong to right, where we just think if whom I could get a little bit more than I'd be good, but those The resolutions tend to never work most because once you get there, whether that's more money or a better body or better possessions or a new car whatever, once you get there you're gonna get used to that too. Yes, such hedonic adaptation. I think the Buddha had something to say about this. If you see his first noble, truth about life being suffering. In other words, life will be unsatisfying. If you click the things, would that won't last? Do you think the dissatisfaction of the Super rich there were inclined to feed, feel composure them or not, that the morsel of dissatisfaction that could be scalable d to the rest of us would be that they pay. We are getting hung up on comparing themselves to other people yeah, I think that's part of it in the EP
with clay. He talked about that allowed in other riches perceptions of other folks who are just the little bit richer than them- and this is just another piously have or mine? Has this negativity by us like we tend to walk on to stuff? That makes us look bad. That makes the world look bad, but that also makes us look bad and that As you know, the millionaire out. There is looking at the- u no ninety nine percent of folks who have less money than he does he's, looking at the guys who are multimillionaires, and we can test test the millionaire for that. But we do it to every single and who think like? Well, maybe I can just get it. Slightly better body, you're, not looking to all the foot Who are you not do and worse than you you're, looking to the Instagram celebrities that are much better same thing about all the there are things we care about right, we crave crave crave, want more more more without realising what we have without kind of taking time to feel the gratitude for what we have and that kind of craving like it sucks. It feels awful re that kind of pushing yourself
is probably one of the least compassionate things we can do and so having an approach will we recognised? That's painful. He no to experience that kind of craving and to engage in. This is where we could try to control that craving and allow it and let it be using things like meditation those are way better ways than trying to like you know, keep sprint, on that treadmill and hope that we get somewhere further kind of knowing that we're not gonna get very far away. Luckily, for me, before this part cast, you had a conversation, my brilliant collaborator, Samuel Johnson, talked about things that you would like to talk about an on the list, which is very good one of the things on I spotted was that there are resolutions that many of us, my attempted to make in a normal year that we can make this year like doing more travelling and you, mention that then we might want to serve. Do an appropriate level of grieving for our limited possibilities here. I think
There's something else we get wrong in the new year. One January first roles around: we think you everything is going to be wonderful and only positive and I'll, never be lonely or sad or anything like that ever again right. We think that the new year is only going to be perfect. Perfect, perfect, I think we kind of worry about that really were scared, Canada, any negativity in- and I think this year in particular, we have to allow the negativity like twenty twenty sucks like we need to give ourselves some time to agree over the fact that it was a pretty awful challenging year here to process the fact that many of us, are still reeling hidden from what was going on. You know, for the last few months and honestly, recognise that many other as we might want to have for the new year. Would be really positive in terms of what the science suggests. It's gonna be hard. You know we could follow all the things
science has about improving our happiness and want to engage in lots of social connection Yoda by ourselves. New experiences like all these things, the research suggests, could boost up our well being, but that's does tricky. twenty twenty one, and we have a lot of hope for where the here is gonna. Go you know, as were speaking. I think the vaccine is shipping out right now in first responders or getting jobs of it not agree, and I do think that once more, Are we going to be in a different place, but we get some pretty called dark months where things are gonna, be like justice, as they were in December, twenty twenty. He I joke that the first few months of twenty one one or going to feel like twenty twenty two point right, but just colder and gardener eight, and then that means you know we have to allow for some grieving over the fact that this wasn't the start of the new year that we are all hoping for and that you know that's gonna, take some processing the sadness and the anger and the frustration we need to leave space for that too well said
I know you're doing a lot on your show. As a brief digression, I would say everybody listen to this should go check out the happiness lab, because it's a great show and all of the brilliance, your hearing and incite you're here from lorries, the guests. She brings all and more as a host. I know look that you're doing a lot on numerous resolutions right now and your show just curious. What have you learned That's been newer, surprising to you. He I think, one of the biggest things surprising to me was really just the power of this kindness approach. I mean I from all this psychology training that, obviously it doesn't feel great to shame yourself all the time. You telling me that that was not a huge surprise to me, but I didn't know the research till I started these episodes on how powerful I approach it is. It doesn't just feel good. It actually works in others, wonderful study. Out of you, see Berkeley looking at college students who you make
they'll something, and I hang our college students. They do not like failing things, especially when failing things involves their graves, and this was a case where college students were given these based. really impossible a jerry type problems that we knew they were gonna mess up right, so they all failed and the question was how they then tried to come back from that failure in one group was given no instructions but another. was given instructions to try to deal with this failure through some self compassion to trade be kind to yourself. Recognise your come humility. Everybody feels something something this is not a unique thing and to be mindful but how it felt in an to kind of allow that sort of pain to be there and things and what the research showed is. It students who didn't get any instruction, you know did the normal thing, which is they probably self shamed, and then, if you look at their performance afterwards they basic We avoided studying for that exam didn't wanna, take it again, feared: failure and procrastinated doing anything about the fact that they hadn't done so well. Where is the self compassion Group did just the opposite? That compassionately?
spurious and that they knew that you know it. It's ok to fail that turned on their growth mindset that made them want to learn even more than made them want to kind of dive in even more deeply and that I didn't really I mean I got. I knew that self compassion would be helpful and it would feel nice and so on. I didn't realize it was a path to much more resilience. I didn't realize it was the cure for my procrastination and impostor syndrome and so realizing that it's that powerful really made me like a believer like this, when my main resolutions for this year is to try to engage with more soft compassion and its impart cause. I have seen how well it works, can you say more about herself? Compassion applies to procrastination. I didn't know that was a problem, for you will I mean in a m dynamic. I feel, like you know, if you like, to go lineup of academics and ass, who has problems with procrastination? I bet many of them will step up, but you know that
One of the reasons that self compassion can be powerful for limiting procrastination is the most procrastination is about a fear of failure ray it's about back draft of all than messy yucky things we tell ourselves when we don't do something perfectly when you have a so self compassionate mind it really when you mess up, because you know you're gonna- be barrage by a lot of mean thoughts and self talk and things? And you know our brains- are smart, if we know there's gonna, be really awful consequences for messing up. We try to avoid messing up and we do that by just like not starting the thing in the first place and so a lot of procrastination could be healed if we just were nicer to ourselves, were ok with feeling, and indeed ourselves up and self compassion. Can really help us with that, because if you know you're gonna take a self compassion approach. If things go badly you kind of moral k with the possibility of things going badly. You know you see in a way, we are not beating yourself up every thirty seconds. You know I'm now,
starting a new work on happiness, kind of like a book version of my course, and these techniques are really pay for me right now, because every time I like two sentences like us, not the right word. Why my having so much trouble with this, I watched my jewel sergeant, jump in and be like you suck you'll, never be a writer, and then I say, ah that feels yucky You a lot of people have a hard time being a writer Ivan. Do there the thing that Chris enough recommended on my podcast work on a stroke. My arm, like a loving mom, might stroke my arm, and then you know it sound so cheesy, and even when I'm doing I'm like there's another part of my brain is like this is so cheesy. What are you doing but like and then I laugh often, and I write the next sentence right. So, if you can, I just know you're gonna be there for yourself and not be yourself up and makes it are easier to do stuff, that's hard and they are probably gonna mess up ad we solicited about of questions from our audience of your voice. Melon
it's. Ok with you, I'd love to play a few and get your response navigate heart. So here is the first one hey man and career. I can't thank you enough for doing it. Might then, and the six year old, physician getting ready to retire. This party really resonate with me to this point in my life has been a quest herself improvement rather than south acceptance trying to be sitter smart. half year. Nicer I'd, have this nagging self doubt and always have my negative self maybe I think, can be re only four days. Meditation has helped us alive hasn't got rid of it completely. On the concept of self I'm not sure I'm eating, Nonetheless, I thought oceans are: how do we D programme, the years of self criticism and loading? Isn't self love a farm?
ego or vanity and as such on, why? I really look forward to the coming to caution and thank you for taking the time to listen to my questions. Please keep up your offer more things. Don't you doc, over you lorry yeah. I mean so many reactions that first, you know, does this woman inside my head, because that is exactly the kind of thing I feel when I go through when you first start giving yourself some self compassion. It feels vein right. It feels, like you know self indulgent like. Why would I do that ray? I think, that's part of the process. It feels foreign cause. We haven't done it before you. All things are suggesting you do for self compassion actually the kind of thing you would do for a good friend if you're apparent their exactly. kind of thing you do for your child right. We are ever.
Hush narrowly built to soothe. We just don't do it for ourselves very much, and so part of the challenge of soft compassion is actually to go through that process of kind of coming to terms with the fact that it feels really foreign it feels like you should feel guilty for doing it. But those are all the steps that we need to get through to get to the point of being as kind to ourselves as we might want to beat to some one else. Here we joke that. You know in the Bible, it solves, do unto others as you would have them, do, unto you and actually think honestly, given aware treat myself sometimes those bad advice, regent life, we should do under our selves. The way were constantly doing it other soothing them being nice to them, giving them the benefit of the doubt telling them their human right. We need to cannot do the same thing. For ourselves the second I'll say is that she asked like how do we get there, and you know
get there in the same way you talk about on ten percent happier all the time it just takes work. You know it just takes fact of sitting on a cushion doing the process, giving yourself the soft heart watching the emotions I come up when you give yourself this self talk, but doing it anyway right. It's just gonna, be a process that takes time and the more you are kind of one of those people that were really strict with yourselves fan care but self esteem and treated yourself, like a drill sergeant, the more time it's probably gonna, take to get to a point of really not just giving yourself some self compassion, but understanding that that's probably the right thing to do
If I may, I just want to say also to the good doktor there who retiring physician about this issue of self love being egotistical. I think that say a common misunderstanding and the problems they comes around with the word love, because it's such a loaded phrase and I think that's deeply problematic, culturally and psychologically for us, because we ve been sold this image of love from Hollywood and pop signs. That is quite grandiose, but in this case we are talking about perhaps the basic capacity to care about yourself and that is very different from puffer, ear ego or staring in the mirror and telling yourself how amazing you are, which you know again kick actually can have some benefits, but it's not just about building yourself esteem. It's about
being okay with your own suffering, giving yourself some of the work that you give to other people and in the net effect, and I think this is born out and certainly born on my personal experience in its borne out in the research is You are more available to other people because, let's just take eating, for example, Evelyn AAA says this all the time to me how much time damn have you spent distracted over meals or and after meals, in your allegedly playing with your kid beating yourself up about you know how much you over eight or how you look, etc, etc and not, actually paying attention to the people. Your with self compassion is what can be a circuit breaker on that pernicious cycle, so I think it makes you more available to other people instead of having some sort of sycophant in your honestly and all the research bears that out. You know, Kristen Neff has worked showing that people who tend to be
more self, compassionate, even experience herself compassion, training. They want to happier in their relationships with their partners say that there are people say there. Marriages are better when they engage in the self compassion, training and again it feels counter intuitive. That being nice to yourself means that your I just have more energy for other people, but again when it with don't have that much airtime caught up in beating ourselves up it's amazing What we could do with the rest of tat. Your time back to my I'm always argue about the Tibetans phrase for I meant, which is clearing away and bringing forth, and self and passions are very useful ingredient for that recipe let's try to seek in one more voicemail ash, were practising self love and compassion which you're, gonna, being more gentle with yourself? Are you letting other people down so some of what I beat myself upon as things that are not doing enough? Well enough,
for other people S. I take on a leadership role, as I know all kinds of things connected. You for other people balance the increase you yourself with also doing much right, other people and not then shoving stuff on it make life more difficult because I've been kind myself sales pitch thanks again thanks. I question lorry what say you again very common misconception. That compassion is this like resource that we when we have a little bit of and if we use it up for ourselves, we're not going to be able to be compassion. or do nice things. Rather, people totally get that intuition. It just doesn't fit with the data in the research really shows that people who engage in self compassion, people who are kind themselves, people who fiercely per tonne to themselves and their own boundaries very often the people who can give back the most. Why? Because they're not depleted right,
they're not so spent from all that negative self talk, this something that I personally have had to learn the hard way, especially when it comes to helping other people right. You if I look at, the times I beat myself up the most. It's because not doing enough for other people are, I said no to that thing and so on, but when, just saying yes to things out of a sort of so flag Felicia, nor just kind of doing more, because I have to do more more more, that's a time when I have the least energy for other people. That's the time when I'm cranky to my husband, because I'm too busy cause I committed to too many things. That's a time when I'm gonna like you shortly, students? Can I just don't have time for them? Chris enough talks about self compassion as being fierce, sometimes and what she means by that is that strictly trying to be kind to yourself and protect your own. Boundaries can be incredibly powerful tool, for like setting up your life in a way where you just have some space, where you have space for other people and the secondary limit yourself camps
She is in a selfish, as we often think is that here the research, the neuroscience really suggest that compassion, out of a muscle that we can sort of apply to anyone here. This is the beauty of doing practices like loving kindness, meditation right. You extend that loving kindness to people worse for easy- and you start with your child or a pet or something like that. But then you accept the loving kindness to somebody who's kinda hard to love right in that can be yourself but with the research shows, is that people who do these price says it doesn't really matter what the compassion going to? U just gonna get good at tuning up that feeling and apply. and that means that euro less likely to burn out when dealing with difficult people are difficult circumstances, and the reason I bring this up is that you know if you practice self compassion on self your brain doesn't know that that compassion is for you, you just get really good at soothing, and that means you kind of built up. This therefore skill for he was soon your colleagues at work soothing, your spouse, soothing, your kids, being compassionate with somebody who's kind
hard to relate to you kind of the other compassion for free prison, Nuffin Ip Gas mention it issues almost sad that she talked about this concept. As self compassion causes, cottages passion applied to one of the many people in the world whose you- yes, I mean it's all just one thing, and that that sir that's actually pretty deep concept, Never in the history of the show have we had on a guest twice in such rapids session, and that is a testament to how awesome you are lorry and you did a great job in this interview. You do a great job on the regular, on your show, I recommended to everybody. The happiness lab go check it out. Where, were you get your pack guests lorry? Thank you so much thanks. So much vanity, big thanks to lorry, really appreciate her feminine and participating in the challenges will speak. Another challenge, don't forget, you can join its free
as for twenty one days, although if you haven't signed up yet you're, not too late, it started on Monday, but you'll have missed the first two days in its totally call. You can start on day three, it's it's all good. You can join the channel, for free by downloading the temperate and happier app right now, wherever you get your apps or just good ten percent dotcom, that's ten percent, or one word spelled out and as I keep seeing, If you already have the applicant just open it up and click to join the challenge, big thanks to everybody who worked so hard to make the show a reality in particular, when a point that there has been an enormous amount of work that has gone into this new year series so here some of the name, Samuel Johns is our senior producer. Dj Kashmir is our producer, jewels Dodson is our associate produce. Our sounds. A diner is met bulletin from Ultraviolet Audio Maria were tell us our production coordinator, who yet and enormous really really helpful input from our Tpa colleagues, such as gent point, nay, Toby been Reuben unless Levin also, of course, big. Thank you to rhyme Kessler and Judge CO hand.
Abc news- and I want to thank some folks at the ten percent- have Europe who have been working incredibly hard to make this podcast series and the accompanying challenge a reality here. Some names from that, through Maggie Moran thousand Brian Julia Wolf Kimberly, my guiche Nikko Johnson, Amy, Breckinridge, Jessica, Goldberg, Jake, Western Matthew, Heparin, Joshua, Berkowitz, Crystal Isaac, Conner, you list would well clear: Stag, Nettie Jade, CAN Roy Giovanni, Derek Haswell even brightened back re Housman Young, oh Victoria, carry trouser grass, lives farmer and Khalifa Archer Virgo. One last thing: I promises last thing on Friday and get something really cool coming up, we're doing a bonus abode, episode where we're gonna bring back Susan, Piper and Jeff worn, and the only thing to do is take a bunch of voicemail questions from you guess. we'll see on Friday for that.
Transcript generated on 2021-01-07.