« The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos

Don't Accentuate the Positive


We often think positive thinking is the best way to achieve our ambitions - but the science shows it holds us all back. Dr Laurie Santos hears how champion swimmer Michael Phelps imagined the worst to help make his Olympic dreams come true. It's a mental habit that you can learn too.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
How happiness lab listeners, I want to tell you about a new podcast. I think you're, like it's called the last archive and it features one of my favorite new Yorker writers. The Harvard historian Jill Upward Jill asks the big question who killed truth. She looks for clues and events across the twentieth century from a brutal death in Burma to the invention of the lighted factor to the release of the polio vaccine. The last archive is, unlike any podcast you ve heard before it brings history. The life with archival tapes, intrepid field reporting, an old, timely radio drama reenactments. The last archive unfurled, like a classic nineteen thirties mystery but takes on the big issues of today. Wouldn't you like to know who killed truth then check out the last hour. Five brought you buy, Pushkin industries have included a trailer at the end of this episode. You can subscribe to
an apple Spotify wherever you get your podcast about tonight, as why positive figures got positive results, I don't do that's for sure past or not Vincent Peel, officiated, Donald trumps, first, marriage, but that's not his biggest claimed thing. You can watch peerless you, As for his nineteen fifty two book, the power of positive thinking, peel, was one of them Here's to argue for the power of positive thought, the idea that you get rid of your negativity and crush all your worries about the obstacles in your path. Then things will work out just the way you hoped they would the concept with them. And really appealing soup visualize a great job or the perfect marriage and it'll happen positively in order to send a positive, emanations terrain.
Stem themselves in kind in positive results. But peel says if you about the pitfalls. You could meet along the way and they'll appear, you'll be punished for your PA, you can strive for or you can create your sound by the manner and quality of your thoughts idea that the path to happiness was in our heads, took a troubled postal american public by storm the power or a positive thinking, remained on the best seller list for a hundred and eighty six weeks and was trained it into fifteen different languages, and on this basis, and by this method, Do you, always get positive results.
but the notion that negative thinking could bring you down didn't ended. The nineteen fifties that same This pessimism idea contained in the rhetoric of self help groups today, everything we think and feel is creating our future, so wrote, Rhonda burn in her two thousand six book, the secret. She argued that the power of positive thought was a basic, physical law of the universe. Her theory, because a favourite subject on daytime talk, shows and most importantly, one the Oprah seal of approval. All of my guest today say they have uncovered the secret to bringing love to bringing happiness even well into anybody's light, secret is the law of attraction. It means that the do you put out into the world. Is all he's gonna be coming back to you. Think good things and good things will come drawn to you like a magnet, but as burn, warned if you're, worried or in fear
then you're bringing more of that into your life too. Even if you don't we subscribe to the law of attraction. I don't you agree that thinking positively is probably a good thing. Then thought may not work like a magnet, but a little Ms is presumably still useful for meeting our goals and it seems obvious that too much negative thinking could bring us down, but is that really the case does envisioning upon? future, actually help it come about and is helping our happiness in the way we think our minds, are constantly telling us what to do to be happy. If our minds are wrong, for mines are lying to us, leading us away from really make us happy The good news is that understanding the signs of the mind when it's all back in the right direction, fearlessly to the happiness lab with doktor,
he sent his world records in swimming? I think it's forty. I keep losing track of it. It sporty something real records. I think the next versus person is twenty something you know, he's just obliterated the record books. This is Bob Bowman them and who could swimmer Michael Phelps to twenty three olympic gold medals. Twenty four came three. I think that close. This person is nine and that's March. Spits raid and lousy. Baron Ed car Bob was the first person to spot Michael's immense potential. He knew at the instant greater entered, the water has Baltimore Swim Club Michael stood out. He was head and shoulders above the rest of the group that I went home and I could not sleep tat night because I like, while this kid is something and I better step up my game cause, he's way ahead of me right now. As the youngest pew, Bob Swimming practice. Eleven Europe,
Michael would be placed at the back of the group behind Three and four years older than him everyone set off for their daily lapse. By the end of it he had worked. Is lay from last two first and was swimming times that no eleven year old, some in practice- and the first thing I remember doing was like don't act like your excited just act like it's normal. Okay, I shall see tomorrow, even in those first practice sessions. Bob could see that Michael was a very raw talent. What I saw, with someone who had rather undisciplined strokes, say a very efficient. He just use a lot of energy. He had an credit mental capacity to want to compete to give his best effort when it was needed, but in practice he was very sloppy and sometimes you wouldn't painting two things Michael, was particularly resistant to altering his front crawl rhythm dude up the so called sixty kick, which means you gonna, take six kids for every two armstrongs. This is a critical thing. Michael
only took too so he just moved his arms like a madman and didn't kick it all and doing that he was the fastest eleven year old in America. Nevertheless, Bob wanted to fix this stroke problem but it met engaging the young Phelps in a battle of wills. If Michael stuck to the six beat kick all was well, but he fell back into his bad habit. He got pulled out of the poor, so the first practice he made it about five minutes before he didn't do it and I kicked him out of practice. Next day about twenty minutes kicked out the next day about four He made an hour on about the fourth day, but after that he never had to go back right. That's what made Michael Phelps Michael Phelps, but Michael's physical training could only taken so far. To get to the next level Bob had to introduce his pupil to mental training. Oh you have to have software in the hardware eight that nobody
just gets a MAC with nothing on earth so you have to work on the software to and you have to constantly be upgrading it. That's where I think the midst training comes it. It just makes everything you do more. Meaningful went on toxic mental training. He said it's a little like a positive thinking. Girl you need to have is what I call your dream goal: your your vision, right, that's Michael! What's your drink goal, think about it, and he would always say swim in the Olympics, but Michael just want olympic glory. He developed a list of for his career, a list of goals for the year and even go, for his next training session and I had put it on refrigerator, because that's where he went most of the time right, I see it a hundred times a day. Use eating non. Stop at the star to focus on meeting all these goals during swim practice, which took a of hard work. You know what the things it by swmrs hate hearing they say is you know it eggs what it takes
you don't get to make up what it takes. This is what it takes. So you can. Do it or not, but realise this is what it's going at it, but also TAT, Michael, very advanced form a mental training, the art of visualization, come it for a gold medal in his mind. Let's see yourselves swimming the race and the time that you want to swim seo. Self sitting at the tempo you know make it as vivid as you can smell the chlorine. You know what a lot of these pools are. Gonna be like so you know, Make sure that your mental pictures, various it's like a movie but its very detail, and He would start doing that Jobs. Visualization technique is based on the line, the science of what researchers call mental practice a full reply. Just that. You do not in the physical world, but inside your head. It turns out simply imagining a behavior say swimming in olympic race or practising the violin. Train your mind and some of the same ways as hopping into a real pool or picking up an action.
Instrument. Mental practice Ex, because our minds aren't all that great. I telling the difference between something that's really happening to us and something just imagine envision. In activity vividly. It turns out, recruits this brain circuits as experiencing that have an in real life, which means are mine, can learn from imagined events in a lot of the same ways as we learn from real events. Scientists done. Some clever experiments to show the power of mental simulation to enter it's what we learn in the real world, the sex Just carry more weight and his colleagues wanted to see simply imagining eating lots of bad food can have the same kind. The quotas as actually eating a lot of bad food. More wage had his Jack's. Imagine one of two activities: either pudding three quarters into a laundry machine slowly, one by one or eating thirty pieces of eminence candy, slowly, one by one, words he made both groups of subjects in a room with a real candish,
did simulating eating the affect how many real eminence people aid more, which found people who imagined eating Emmon AMS eight about as many as people who imagine popping quarters mentally eating a food. Well, so much like your actually doing it, but you eat less chocolate in real life. Merely imagining causes enough of the same queues and physiological signals that we can learn from a behavior we just saw inside our heads. Mental practice it turns out can also make perfect, or in the case of Michael Phelps, more than perfect. We used to call the movie right like back. Then there was an in digital at the edges. Epps Oh, I would carried into practice. So let's say we were doing a series and practice where I was swimming a hundred meters free stuff, I would say put in a videotape and run your rehearsal of your race right now see the movie right now is you're doing this last hundred metres and hit the time was the kind of
Michael was envisioning. His head always positive. Like the perfect race, everything goes perfectly. Well, you know I used to think it was until after the Beijing Olympics. Yes- The two thousand eight Beijing Olympics that year, Michael, was being to smash the record in the two hundred are butterfly final. It was his best of and quite frankly, he and I were both hoping for a performance that would last forever that butterfly final was definitely a race that fans would remember, but not for the rich Bob expected a real disaster struck during that raise one that channel the tenets of positive thinking right to the core. The happiness we'll be back in a moment. Michael Phelps was about to begin one of the biggest races of his career, the two
We meet our men's, Butterfly Olympic Final, coach, Bob was poolside when the race suddenly went wrong after the dive he noticed, First, fifty meters that is goggles are filling up with water but he knew he couldn't stop and take his goggles off, because that would be disqualification who had have broken stroke. So he was stuck with the goggles than by the time. Is halfway through the race, he could not see anything. I think about this. For a second year, Michael Phelps, you, ve train for this moment, your entire life you ve been reminded of how important the gold medal is. Every time you went to the refrigerator you ve played until videotape after mental videotape of the perfect race. But when you I've into the pool, your God, filled with water in your swimming blind. What did Michael? Do even though his coach didn't realize it Michael had a tape for that too. It turns out why
had gotten so bored with all those things positive, perfect race, visualization that he threw some not so perfect mental simulations into the mix I had no idea he was doing that he did. That is a very important. The importance at this is clear, when we come back to that butterfly race. How did Michael deal with tragedy of swimming blind, he played back a mental movie, So what he decided to do was revert back to what he had seen and worked on so hard mentally, as I go hope at nineteen stroke somebody hit the wall. He did and then made the last fifty years like ok at twenty. I really hope of many get this done and he did the Salt was a world record gold medal and, if you ever watch. The video that Michael takes off his throat his cap and goggles, and he looks like somebody who got last place right ahead. Any went into this. Andrew, like you used to have what he was like dwell with my
filled up. I didn't know what to do. I just counted my strokes. I could have gone one hundred and fifty point five, one hundred and fifty two flat, I'm like you, know we're kind of in front of a few billion people right now. Gold medal record, let's just smile, and he did, but that's a perfect example of I'm taking what we had rehearse so many times and putting into practice under incredible pressure right? And might you my first thought about that issue? Does that what we're gonna freak is this it does, but it about when you go back and dissect how we got there, he had been prepared for that for a very long time I saw an interview with him where he was asked. What was it like to swim blind? I think he said just like I imagined it would exactly despite its Michael, didn't just visualize all the positive stuff. The perfect race Everything went well also simulated what it felt like to swim blind, and so he swam perfectly in spite of the awful situation and in the end he won the race got the gold,
and even took the world record Bob reckons things would have been very different If Michael's visualization had used purely positive thinking, Brain is a computer right. That's what I say add you're, giving it in that's right, you're giving out, on the one hand, the input of the things that you want to do on the second part you're rehearsing our data base of scenarios. So that you're ready for whatever comes up. If you die Then something doesn't go well. You can immediately call on these other scenarios, but if you haven't put those in your data base, you don't the call on those you have to consciously start thinking about what to do, and we all know that's not the best way to being competition right. You want to shut your brain, and decided automatically happen. Michael helps as a one in a million may be one in a billion athletes, but science as the strategy he used focusing his until energy on the worst possible outcome. That night,
scenario is one that all of us can learn from despite what shelves of self help book say, it turns out that negative thing is really really helpful. In fact, numerous which is beginning to show that positive thinking focusing only on the good outcomes can be a recipe for disaster. What we find is the more positive people think about the future. I should leave less well, they do in reaching the positive future. I'm talking with care. Voting in professor of psychology, and why you an author of a book entitled rethinking positive thinking, We need to listen to our positive fantasies daydreams because they, an expression of our needs, so we know where to go there the problem is that these positive fantasies data the sap, our energy, they actually an impediment to our actual successes.
Gabriel's work has documented lots of cases were more positive. Thinking leads to worse outcomes, the more positive people enrolled in weight reduction programme fantasized about their success in the programme. The few pounds they shed or the more positively university graduates fantasized about success in transferring into the work life few dollars there in two years later, if you a job, offers that button and fewer job applications that send out you name? The goal and research shows that positive thinking makes it less likely you'll reach it. Those who fantasy is about starting a romantic relationship are more likely to remain alone people Who dream of an ideal future, get more depressed, carefully, imagine getting good grades and you risk flunking, the class, the downs A positive thinking even extends to physical outcomes elders
individuals who dream of a full recovery after their hip surgery are the ones who can walk the fewest steps afterwards, simply positive thinking alone doesn't work, I asked, real if people are shocked when they hear about this work, whether gets a lot of pushed back. I do, but on the other hand, people are sometimes grateful, because this positive thinking of long did not work for them and they always think something's wrong with them and a few kind of relieved that they are not alone, where they experience that they can think positive and positive from positive and still things don't drained from the coolest thing about Gabriel's work? Is that she's figure why positive fantasies are counterproductive. The reason until he simulating our desired outcome makes us think we already got there we just they all the Eminem. We need
in their minds, experience this desire to all there and therefore their relax? So it's almost like the simple act of experiencing this positive and to see it's like confuse our mind. Our mind thinks we ve already got in it, so you don't have to buy energy and exactly you can measure that by Lord brought pressure, for example, so, how do we actually get the energy back? We need to realise our goals. Oddly enough, need a burst of negative thinking, just like Michael Phelps visuals swimming blind getting to our own, snow goals requires thinking about the obstacles that block our path. It's kind of country intuitive Obstacles in our way are actually the trigger for overcoming them and getting to implement positive fantasies, but it's exactly what we found, we need to ground. Our positive fantasies gritty reality. Its strategy EL calls mental contracting every time
We have a positive ambition for ourselves. We need to directly contrast that call mentally with the real in this situation. The actual obstacles in our way and we need to stimulate all the obstacles. Both the physical ones, like a pig goggles falling off, but also the mental obstacles are dumb habits, fears and bad tendencies. That's a critical point in mental entrusting identifying the inner obstacle get rid of the excuses. Then we get the energy to overcome these obstacles. Mental conch testing is not just negative thinking or simply ruminating about all the bad stuff. It's making sure you factor the obstacles your facing into your plans, its contracting, the harsh realities of the world, with what you'd like see in the future and that
to determine whether your vision is really achievable or worth it is, the obstacle is just to forward devil or too costly to overcome. We can then say: ok, I can let go without having a bad and then I am free to invest. My energy two more feasible wishes So it is a strategy to set priorities and to let go from wishes. There are simply not feasible or to cost. Mental contracting can help us get our goals in line with what actually doable. What's really worth our effort but that doesn't mean that mental contrast causes you to give up when the going gets tough? In fact, this strategy can be essential for getting through the toughest visit and mental challenges a person can face jerk jerk. This is growth. Iraq. Will
We're Santos Kristen back is a decker veteran of one of the most elite military forces. A unit were even if you're lucky enough to try out chances of you making the grade are tiny How will I seven percent, I think When I joined it was like the late 80s early Ninetys, and there was really no publicity for the seal teams but it was really crappy movie called Navy seals and, after I'll leave. You haven't ABC Isaac already that nowadays, The Navy seals are famous there. The unit killed, Osama Bin Laden and there stream training techniques. Mink great television their shouted at made to carry heavy logs and thrown into freezing ocean with their hands tied and that's just the I'm up for the real challenge of joining the seals hell week, you start turning out. Judges out area, you're gonna be awake for six days When we work out constantly for six days, you're making you do,
in our a thousand seraphs and hundreds is how to refresh ourselves need swim for several miles. Then you four miles as it the constant physical abuse and what you're trying to do is try to make you break your trying to Your body breaker your mind, rake in one of the other, the interest Wait for Wanna be seals is insane during how weak recruit after Recruit just gives up it's even ritual eyes to drop out, recruits- need to walk were to a brass ships Bell assume. Making even walk and bring it to no they're surrender, but part of what makes. Kristen such an incredible person is that she never hit that bell. You never were these two. If you ve gone and your beer walking but you're still go on. You know you're doing for shops and you're like your knees, the ground in your barely moving. We are still doing and they can. The train you that hard physically, because that's what you're going to deal with physically when you're acting the job right arena physically,
you'd part of it, but I think the metals bigger Why do the seals make their recruits train so hard? It's the old, military adage, train hard fight, easy. Having survived hell, weak Christian had the confidence that she could meet even the greatest mental and physical challenges and still succeed, but once becoming part of the seals proper. Kristen found that the unit doesn't just practice in the real world. They also practice in their heads and this elite unit the simulations Michael Phelps and Gabriel Oetting, and recommend to a whole new level referred. The bad stuff to make sure that when we do get there, we go out of easy. I have already seen something dad or every then there till you're, not it is shocked when you really have the fan just with Michael Phelps, imagining a race thinking of every stroke and greedy detailed down to the smell of the chlorinated water Christian would painstakingly plant. Every facet of her missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So we do sand tables and are actually these big tables with sand, and we we shape for this and into the terrain, and so, if its amount over there in a valley here stream here we'll make it ass, close ass, what what I'm trying to look like if we encounter enemy Where's is here The mere are our way out. If this doesn't work. What about here. We're counselling, can the council say what if they haven't worth that happens, and then we throw all the other branches and a machine to make things break down, this happens, as happens, doesn't just like microphones We visited little archer in word, weird stuff happens. You guys were certainly do with big bags and mortars. Think you had better be found through the water for seven miles, so not sure how much of this is. But I'm wondering if this kind of Simulation Chocolate Alzheimer's. If I were there, the reserve, like you Know- or it may be in vague terms, Unita was a one time where their simulations really paid off Irene I tell you that every mission go
that way? You ve never goes, but in plan I didn't put christened, tell me any more of her war stories. There's a good reason. Her activities are classified, I deployed thirteen times overseas. I did a lot of work. Ride, enemy lines like in indeed, I was kind of sneaky pay heed, so I did a lot of stuff. Do you do like and other agencies since most important role in the seals was as a planner, the person charged with pride did the terrible obstacles she, trained mourn, the ok. What could go wrong next thought, the nearly any, Nelson, our nation- I do not have it did it so many times and because its habit Chris really gets that the kind of positive thinking were often told to adopt by well meaning friends and self help grows. It isn't all that helpful when the bullet start fly always plan on all the negatives on the bad stuff. Half in hope is not, of course, fashion If all you have hope, then you know have very much.
Christians training in the seals, made her the human embodiment of mental contrasting thinking through all possible obstacles before they happen, there is a second reason I wanted to interview Kristen for this episode and that's because she's also faced a different kind of battle. One that she began speaking about publicly only. After leaving the armed services. Writer, retired. I knew who I was born Fervent Kristen was part of my. Since hours like a very young age, I knew where I was It is a transgender woman, an author warrior princess a? U S. Navy seals need coming out transgender after she left the military she made the courageous decision to live in accord with her gender identity, not the sex. She happened to be assigned at birth, She has now gone on to become one of the countries, most celebrated trans activists, but like many Trans people Kristen is also face. A number of harrowing challenges in the process of her transition from daily.
Asthma and discrimination to acts of physical violence, I wanted to learn how Christians expertise and mental contracting helped her navigate this difficult personal challenge, her honest answer blindsided me. And taught me that the wise of the mind go way deeper than we often realise the happiness that will be right back. As we understand what the obstacle is, we will not have the energy to overcome the obstacles and we will also when we Imagine the obstacle. We will not be creative in finding solutions to overcome the obstacles. Gary quoting its work on mental contrasting has shown, time and again that simulating the barriers to our goals can give us shown time and again that simulator blood pressure goes up. Provides
vision? We need to solve them. Blood pressure goes up, provides the oxygen to get guy but there's one more feature of mental contrasting that makes it such a our full strategy. It gets our minds to start planning when we think about obstacle, Our brains naturally want to search for solutions to those obstacles. Very often, the solution comes a ready when you think about the obstacles, when you imagine the obstacle happening, he will certainly understand. This is what I could do in order to overcome the obstacles. Why didn't I discover that you go thinking through all those entering our obstacles drives and and applauding mood we turn We overcome the barrier. We hunger down at our mental sand tables to work out a plan that can successfully overcome the barrier we identified, but Gabrielle. Has found a new way to put this planning process into overdrive by adding one additional form of mental practice.
In addition to stimulating the obstacles, Gabriel recommends also taking time to imagine very intentionally what it would feel it to implement our plan for the obstacle comes up kind of like what Michael Jobs in his training, if goggles come off, then equally nineteen strokes. This tension or simulation of an if then plan is a strategy that researchers have called impulse. Station intentions. The practice was developed by Gabriel's husband, this colleges Peter go with her. The couple has now team to study the power of using these two mental practices. In parallel, they ve been tied. The two techniques together into one convenient package. It's even got a handy acronym whoop. You are all key. That's that's right! Whoop, which means wish outcome obstacle and then plan
So it is. I didn't if I wish that is dear to your heart, fine best outcome and they met in it find the inner central obstacle meaning the obstacle in you that stands in the way and imagine the obstacle and form an if then plan so wish outcome obstacle plan, so that then, we call book. Let's try it now really quickly. What something you wish for call you really want to achieve in life now take a second to think of the outcome your life will really be like if you actually achieve that wish. But what are the obstacles non judgment we think of really in your way, and now that you know the obstacles, what's your plan, how are you
overcome the barriers to realizing your goal. That only took a few seconds Gabriel recommends taking a bit longer to Boop, but you, at the general idea. It's a simple technique, but one that's really powerful. Research shows that helps people eat healthier, lose more weight, study more effectively and even procrastinate less it can help depressed people exercise and be more social and even helps patients recover faster and take their medication and more regularly. When you ask people how it would work for you, the obstacle didn't appear, so they can't even remember that the obstacle appear because they just automatic surrounding it and that's why whooping is so powerful harnesses processes we learned about in the first part of this episode, one of most awesome features of our mind. Our brains can magically, learn from mental practice.
Imagine eating a bunch of dominance and you ve learned what it feels like you're done eating them a man in swimming the perfect race in your brain knows. To do and imagine the solution to a tough obstacle and your brain has all. Many figured out how to overcome it automatically, but there is one small challenge to whooping. Like all other good things in life, we actually have to do it for it to work. MAC can be tough in reality, not just because it takes time, but because doing it well involves making a long, hard look at yourself and your circumstances when an the obstacle? It needs to be identified honestly excuses, and then you can see whether you will be able to overcome it or not. Being works because it forces you to ask some tough questions. What are my inner obstacles? What am I afraid of my real priorities, what am I
in securities are the people around preventing me from doing what I really want people who employ technics. Like We know that this part, the Fettered honesty can be daunting, what Bob woman told his swimmers every day it takes what it takes. Some sickles require a lot of work and that can be tough to come. Terms when so tough that we see times would rather put on blinders and just think positive. Instead, even people understand. The power of mental practice are always able to put the workin for goals that really matter our most purse, no one's the one that involves a really long hard look at the inner obstacles we face it's worse than combat, whose That is very cotton dry. But this is this: is u dont now When Christian left the Navy seals and began her transition, she found enemies on all sides, one of one,
I'm the only a transgender Navy seal on the Ali Feel Navy seal on the only have you want explain it. Small minority. I went. Inauguration of Donald Trump, when people are angry at me for doing that says. Why would you do that? That's because I was being visible going to sit in there. Almost all of these people on all the supporters and everyone loves our president. Dramatically have others, respect for the military and patriot and all the other day talk about, but they don't respect. Transgender people but now they're in a weird conundrum where they, what are they going to do? You're not going to walk up to me and start yeah? I know you're just to me because I can't get an act against uniform so there are really weird, but that I feel This demand to force you to be with me and talk to me and be respectful and they are christian made to feel like an outsider on the other side of the political eyeless. Well, some lip
are suspicious of anyone who served so long in the military and Christian says people make assumptions about her all the time. So I kind of me out It makes me feel like I'm, not worthy your valid, even amongst the opportunity community, worthy or validated. Once there, women's groups or the civil rights groups, and they never I am but Christians, Identity also brought more intense challenges than feeling misunderstood on both sides. Like many transgender people. She also faced physical violence in two thousand, twelve hours out, in Florida and as walking down the sidewalk and I was alone, which is a mistake that I learned a hardware. I was ignorant affair I had always protect myself and always be on guard. To Morgan on the sidewalk and for deeds calm, gentlemen, man, a I definitely weren't, one of behind me real fast and he was yelling fag and having a bag. It ahead.
Sucker soccer function has knocked out and what then, like a sack of terrorism on the ground, with four guys offer me, you know trying to kill me So again, I gain my back and I was getting up and I want to kick me my had just but while Burma had knocked out again, are you back from something like that Are you? How do you survive now on this? Where you gonna live in, and so I do have one, I started really looking at my life and looking at the water around in a whole different light Canada. When I started behind activist after Christian recovered, she made a film about her stall we set up her own charity and even ran for a seat in Congress. She has now dedicated her time and energy to the biggest fight of her life, making the world scene for in war, inclusive for trans people. And, as you might imagine, a chance, Jingle like that, faces lots and lots of obstacles, and that was why I wanted to talk with
and so badly. For this episode, do you use the same process, the use of the ceiling and you get out the sand- do think. Throw these. Negative scenarios, its accrued point- and I wish I did write down. And maybe it s one of my problems. I'll be honest, I was pretty shocked by this reply. Kristen has years of training in the power of negative thinking. She knows better than anyone. That hope is a replacement for planning, but even she has trouble thinking about the obstacles when it comes to the goal. That are most dear to her, especially when those obstacles aren't just personal. Societal as well looking had on it real barriers can be scary, but it's a necessary step from making big changes, but Christian sought alone. We all find it tough to look directly at the hurdles that stop us from achieving what we care about most deeply and even once we're ready.
The face those obstacles. We sometimes have trouble taking the time we need to practice these techniques, Christians, Terry Training, required hours and hours of practice at those sand tables the seals. Also, give her the structure she needed to take the necessary time to imagine and plan, but Chris, I can't do that nowadays, because her mouth forms of activism, keeper really really busy and famished for time. So you talked about the roof and of planning and if I planned, have the luxury of Diana. I feel like I'm always playing catch up the sun, This shows the many benefits of mental practice. You increase the chance of achieving realistic goals UK the scarred, the impossible fantasies which make you feel defeated and a bit guilty you can even higher. Your brain, to work with you, rather than against you pursuing your objectives with greater energy and self confidence, but we ve seen this episode. Mental practice and whooping takes work successfully. Get
to our goals requires an honest look at the real challenges we face and doing it right takes time. It might just be five minutes of quite reflection, but even those few minutes can feel prohibit. If one were already feeling overwhelmed by the challenges ahead, but there's hope for all of us, Kristen Homey. After our interview that our discussion changed her that she's planning to bring whoop and other techniques into her activism. Despite the hard work it takes. I've heard attitudes and bands. And how do you feel and that the balance that we can find we need good and bad between sea in life is positive, but also known. The negatives exist in a plan where's negatives. To try to understand that in our life is not always gonna, be perfect market, would be fun so you're gonna run into some hard times and end some differ. Situations taking long hard look at the struggles head is not as an
We oppose fantasizing about how amazing it would feel so simply have achieved our goals to have learned that new language run that half marathon or created a more inclusive society for people of all identities? Often it feels easier to put on our rose, colored, glasses and ignore the challenges ahead, but that's not way we become our best selves or our best societies either. Pod cast about happiness, recognises that sometimes we gotta look on the dark side. The good news is that once we take the time to do that, once we face the option we had on our minds, give us the power to harness the automatic energy that comes from contrasting and planning. It comes from easy. Once we do the work we ve just gonna put the time in it. Only in a few minutes a day and the benefits of that work can be impressive.
I had to go through forty, some years of denying who I was and looking in the mirror and and kind of hate myself. When I made a and I'm here and now happy. So it has put your head down. We good yourself. The question is when will you finally be good to yourself? When will you actually, your head down and take the time needed to whoop it up? play that mental obstacles, videotape and move Lord. The goal you ve been fantasizing about when you're done, come back and learn more concrete strategies for meeting your goals, ones that will cover in the next episode of the happiness lab with me. Doktor lorries centres. If you enjoyed the shell I'd be super grateful if you could spread the word by leaving a rating in the review. It really does help other listeners find us and don't forget, to tell your friends
If you want to learn more about the science you heard on, the show then check out website happiness, lab dot, FM you can sign up for our newsletter to get exclusive content. The happiness lab cover in and produced by Ryan Delhi. The show is mixed and by Evan Vila edited by Julia Barton fact checking by Joseph Friedman, and original music was composed by Zachary Silver special banks to be all about Curly Mc Liore Heather feigned Maggie Taylor, Maya Caning and Jacob whispered to happiness, lad. Is brought you buy, Pushkin Industries and me doctor lorry centres a strange thing happened to me in the library, while back I needed to pick up a few books This was before the quarantine, a question. Was nagging me It had been nagging me for a long time who killed truth.
This truth problem. It isn't just bad its deadly it's also way older than it might seem, this mystery its historical Jennifer and I'm a historian at Harvard and staff better at the new Yorker has been a lot time trying to solve mysteries like this one. So anyway, I was at the library. Everything seem normal, hum swiped, my card, the elevator down to the basement. Upon volumes of the shelves and then I saw it something I never seen before down here, at the end of the road. Hidden in the shadows. Green door. Was a sign on the door tarnished breastplate. We barely make out the words it read the letter archive
Everybody, tv and radio confuse hello right right, hello. How are you no one's there the voice from the past voices. Ray We waited period prior, woe heralded the discovery which assured and who want to ban time was granted in here he's lying before corona virus. A congressional debate about the government's role in developing a vaccine. Is there any other term for them as socialized medicine, old horror, movies therein? Here too,
punch cards from the forgotten history of the National Data Center network, referred to as being that work is now and operate in record's records of bird songs. Considered. America foremost songbird hermits rush, all these voices from the past sound nobody is heard for decades maybe somewhere in this vast last archive this corridor of the mind, I can find what looking for an answer to that question who The truth I decided to start a podcast, it's called the last archive hotel stories from hundred years a history of America in our arguments about truth and evidence. If you wanted I found Mimi back here. I leave the door unlocked the last archived coming brought to you by Pushkin industries,
Transcript generated on 2020-05-26.