Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and New York Times best-selling author teaches how to train your brain to become sustainably happier, calmer and more confident.
Ladies and gentlemen on today’s show we are interviewing a man who seems to have lived 3 separate successful careers all during the same lifetime. He’s been a New York Times best-selling author. Academically speaking he entered UCLA at just the age of 16 and graduated summa cum laude (SOOM-UH-KOOM-LOUD-AY) in 1974 (and was honored to be one of four “outstanding seniors” chosen by the UCLA Alumni Association) he worked towards his masters degree in developmental psychology at San Francisco State University and then went on to receive a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in 1991. Now he’s become renowned as being one of the few people on the planet with a proven track record for helping people to retrain their brains and to become sustainably happier, calmer and more confident. I’m reading this bio I’m become depressed by comparison…I think I now need to hire him to help me retrain my brain…wait…maybe that’s part of his plan.
NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” – Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
The brain has a negativity bias
The brain has Teflon for positive experiences
Show Introduction –
Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show, we’re interviewing a man who seems to have lived three separate successful careers all during the same lifetime. He’s been in New York Times best selling author. Aright brochure Domus aren’t taken over the read here. I feel like I could bring more sizzle, more heat to this, read to this hyper intro, cue up the hot music, getting me fired up. Let’s do and academically freaking at just the age of 16. He enrolled in Ucla, graduated summa cum laude in 1974. Then Rick Hanson was chosen by the Ucla Alumni Association to be one of the four outstanding seniors. He then went on to attend San Francisco State University where he worked on his master’s degree in developmental psychology and went on to receive a phd in clinical psychology from the right state institute in Nineteen Ninety one. Now he’s become renowned as being one of the few people on the planet earth as the planet earth, not on the planet. Oh, cure the explosions on. This guy’s got a proven track record of helping people to come sustainably, more happier, calmer, and more confident. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m reading the Bio that seems to be false because it’s so good, but it’s true. I’m Mr Rick Hanson, Phd, a New York Times best selling author.
Some shows don’t need a celebrity and a writer to introduce the show showed show to math. Eight kids, Koch created by two different women, 13 mode time million dollar businesses. Do Think, gentlemen, welcome
to the thrive time show.
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
Andrew, on today’s show, we have a very special guest and I hate. I hate to one up our guest as soon as we have monitors. Not really a polite thing to do, but think about this. Today’s guest is a New York Times bestselling author. Wow. I’ll give. I’ll give them a point for that. He is a doctor. I’ll give a point for that. He is from stillwater. I do give him a point for that, but he was never a disc jockey, so really is there any credibility? None. All right. Welcome to the show. Dr Rick Hanson. How are you, sir?
Clay, I’m happy to be here. Thanks for that intro.
Hey, I just have to ask you is was there ever a low point in your life where you thought I should become a disc jockey because the only reason I was a disc jockey is because I couldn’t be a carnie.
I’ve had a fantasy of doing some kind of TV show in which people explored personal growth topics and we like we you do a on as a regular show, but I’ve never thought of becoming a disc jockey.
You want to take your career to the bottom and miss every single weekend and date night with family and you know every dj on every holiday. That’s a backup fallback position. If your best selling author career does not continue to take off. So my first real question for you is I want to talk about grow the good that lasts in your brain and your life. What does that phrase is written on your website? What? What does, what does that mean?
It’s the basic idea like let’s say somebody is listening to you or listening to me and in the moment and it makes sense. Let’s say people have good ideas, they have good intentions. They have good experiences, but then 10 minutes later, same old, same old or the next morning, and then wake up Saml, Saml, or there you are, you get into an argument with your partner or your kid and you think to yourself, ah, next time I got to do it differently, but you know what? Next time you don’t. So the question is, how do we actually change for the better over time and take charge of that process ourselves to become grittier, tougher, more determined, more resilient, more fair-minded, happier, more skillful that are leaders that are followers, that are spouses, better parents. How do we actually do that over time? And that’s what I’ve been deeply interested in because that is the fundamental key. It’s the kind of super power of super powers because that’s the one you use to grow the rest of them, which really boils down to how can you relate to the experiences you’re having in the moment to help them have maximum impact on your own brain, to hardwire happiness, calm contentment and inner strength into yourself. So then you have a with you wherever you go.
So let me queue up an example here. Um, I work with a lot of churches, a lot of pastors, and my job is to help them with the, with the workflow, the marketing, the checklists systems for large churches, you know, so that way you have fresh coffee and your website works into these kinds of things. I don’t really get into helping someone with theology, but a lot of pastors I’ve worked with over the years have expressed extreme frustration that they’ll deliver what they believe to be a powerhouse sir sermon. And literally they’ll get an email from someone 10 minutes later going, could you please email me the outline? I couldn’t remember the key points, but it was great.
Exactly right. How do we help good moments. I don’t mean good like touchy feely or rose colored glasses. I mean moments of feeling accomplishment or a spiritual revelation of some kind or, or, uh, just a calming inside your body instead of being stressed out. How do we help it stick to our ribs in effect? And that’s where as a neuropsychologist, I’ve been really interested in helping learning last in effect. And the key to it is really summarized it in this kind of catchy thing I knew he would make a jingle out of it. Neurons that fire together, wire together, and a famous thing in cycling.
Neurons that fire together, wire together
from the work of the Canadian psychologist, Donald Hebb, literally about 70 years ago. Neurons that fire together, wire together. See the two stages. The problem is, lots of times we’re thinking something or intending something or experiencing something in our body or becoming a little bit happier, a little more confident, let’s say. And those neurons are firing that they don’t start wiring the experience, wash this through us like water through a sieve. But of course, meanwhile, every moment of irritation, hurt, disappointment, frustration, self doubt sinks, right? Yet, because the brain has what’s called a negativity bias. I see it’s like velcro for bad experiences, but teflon for good ones. That’s what helped. Um, you know, our great grandparents and great, great, great, great grandparents do well under really harsh conditions. Sometimes you need that negativity bias. But for most people today, it just creates a lot of unnecessary suffering and unnecessary self doubt and conflict with other people do is to turn that around. Yeah.
You’re saying the brain has a negativity bias.
Yep. I am hundreds, maybe more researchers and scholars say the brain has a negativity bias. Yep. Very, very well established result. It’s really remarkable. Think about it. You go through your day, write 10 things happen with your partner or your boss, and nine are positive. One is negative lifestyle and you obsess about for the rest of the day, it’s the negative one. Or I think about interactions. Research shows that little quarrels, little tiffs or serious conflicts have much more impact than a positive interactions. That’s why positive interactions from the perspective of the other person need to vastly outnumber negative interactions with you for any kind of good, strong longterm relationship. That’s a keeper of a finding. So the takeaway point for me is to see the tough things. My Dad grew up on a ranch in 19 years, born in 1918, grew up in North Dakota, and the Great Depression.
My mom was raised by a single mother, restaurant hostess. They had to really see the tough things. It’s important to see the tough things, but to be able to see the tough things and to do something about them, we need to grow strengths inside resources inside, and we grow those inner strengths as science shows by helping our experiences sink in the how of that is actually incredibly easy. It just takes a little mindfulness and deliberate effort, but many, many people routinely flow through their day. They’re having one useful feeling or idea or intention or way of acting after another, but they don’t grow from it, are no wiser there no stronger when they go to sleep then when they woke up in the morning. So that’s what my work really focuses on. The how to steepen your growth curve, your learning curve, your return on investment in effect from the experiences you’re having each day so that, uh, your rate of return is much greater every single day of your life.
So let’s just say as an example, we just interviewed Dan Millman on the show. Okay. So we just had Dan on the show, so you remind me of Dan, your overall tonality. I figured you guys would have the scientists,
California, California is by, but I don’t know. But anyway,
so you guys are so let’s say
Happy to be compared to him. Well, let’s just say that we have one of our listeners listens to the Dan millman show and they say, yeah, that show was good. Help the listeners right now on a very practical level, help the listeners to create this lasting memory of something positive or this lasting happiness. Walk us through the, the simple practical steps. How do we do it?
Yep. The simple steps are summarized in that great little saying neurons that fire together, wire together. So first you have to experience whatever you want to grow. Maybe you’re thinking about a new idea that’s good, or you feel in your body a sense of calm strength or you have an emotion of gratitude or confidence, right? First year, experience it. And then you got to turn on the inner recorder. Once that song’s playing in the inner ipod, stay with the experience for a breath or longer. Keep those neurons firing together for a breath or longer rather than scooting on to the next thing or letting other people rain on your parade to try to feel it in your body. The more we feel stuff in her body, as kindergarten teachers know and the great inspirational speakers like you know, the more that people feel things in your body, the more it’s going to tend to leave a lasting physical trace behind that you can count on later when things start falling apart, even and a third thing you can do and you don’t need to do them all, but these three are like neuro hacks. You can almost. You can hack your brain in effect, I’m using the term metaphorically, not literally
focus wrong, rewarding
about it. Focus on what’s rewarding, what feels good or what’s meaningful about the experience technically that will increase dopamine and other neurotransmitters people have probably heard of inside your brain which will flag the experience you’re having is a keeper for protection and longterm storage. The essence is really simple. For a breath or two or longer, receive what you’re experiencing into yourself. Stay with it, try to get a sense of it in your body, focus on what’s meaningful or enjoyable about it. I have a lot more details about this and applications for particular issues including healing, old pain and addiction and things like that. You can learn a lot more about that freely offered on my website, but the essence is really simple. Slow down, received the experience for five, 10, 20 seconds in a row. Feel it in your body and recognize what feels good about it and in that way, if you do that half a dozen times a day, which takes less than five minutes a day, you will go to bed feeling more filled up from the inside out, and that’s just the first day and as you do this kind of practice again and again and again, it really makes you stronger and more able to maintain what I call an unshakable core of resilient wellbeing.
Neuroscience. I think there’s somebody out there listening. We have so many business owners that listen to the today show. I would say our listeners have an action bias. Uh, I would say that if the brain has a negativity bias, our listeners have an action bias. They’re very motivating. Okay, great. Great. And they’re also very skeptical. They’re also very skeptical because if you own a business you’ve had, you’ve been taken advantage of, you had somebody not pay you on time, you’ve had all the situations, and so they’re going really, really does. This is actually proven. So can you get into the neuroscience and in studying the actual brain and what’s going on with the brain when we’re having a positive. And this is kind of the science that shows that you’re not just making this up, Mrs. Real teeth stuff.
Oh yeah. So two things. So first there’s lots of evidence, very thorough, complicated studies to everyday experience. There’s lots of evidence that people do change in lasting ways in their character, in their happiness and in their capabilities. There is a lot, there are many, many examples of that. Well, evidence of mental change is evidence of neural change. Even if we don’t yet have an MRI scan, that’s the first point just to make here. There’s a tremendous amount of evidence that both formal and informal actions of various kinds sustained over time and help people grow inside in a variety of ways. Good evidence there. Second Point, there’s tons of evidence now on both human and nonhuman animals that, uh, that learning, that the what I mean by learning as you know, personal growth, learning character, learning, spiritual learning, um, leaves observable physical traces of change in the actual brain.
So now I’m going to give you some examples of that. First, since neurons that are firing together, firing together, you will see in brain scans of humans and nonhuman animals who’ve gone through some kind of training experience with psychotherapy, mindfulness training or frankly rats learning that the cheeses down, you know, the x tunnel rather than the wind tunnels go left and said, all right, that’s where the cheese is. Okay. Um, so first of all, you’ll see more connections between neurons. The neurons are actually wiring together. You’ll also see more sensitivity or activity. The existing connections called synapses between the neurons. Based on lasting changes of emotion and action and intention, another change you see is that there’s more blood flow to parts of the brain that are routinely exercised. It literally it is like building up physical muscle. The more you work a particular muscle, the bigger the muscle fibers get and the more blood flow that comes to them and you can see that observably in the brains of people that are going through personal growth.
Experiences of different kinds of other changes are really remarkable. EPI, genetic changes changes in the expression the activity of genes way down deep, all twisted up in the molecules of DNA that comprise the genetic material inside neurons and so for example, people who routinely practice relaxation in a systematic way, not just exhaling once in a while before putting, let’s say, but in a systematic way, five, 10 minutes a day, they really practice relaxing their body deliberately. They have improved expression over time of genes in their brain that calm down the stress response and therefore make them more resilient. Those are epigenetic changes. I could give other examples a little more technical, but there are many, many, many, many examples that people can create lasting changes inside their own nervous system, physical changes in their brain that are the basis for changes of mind, changes of heart, changes of character, um, uh, that they can then take with them wherever they go.
So for me that you’re happy, right? I’m kind of a, you know, my, my dad grew up on a ranch cowboy and there’s a tough mindedness here. I’ve also have a business background and for me the underlying basis for what I’m trying to say is that a life is tough often and I’m also very often, you know, the calvary isn’t coming, things kind of fall apart. What we have inside us is, is what we really have when the going gets rough, including perhaps our relationship with the, with the divine. And um, so for me that’s the real essence of self reliance is learning how to take charge of your own growth process, take charge of who you are becoming, which really means to take charge of how your brain is changing for the better.
Rick, I don’t know if you’ve spoken to Andrew, have you spoken yet? Andrew, you and rick, have you smelled smoke? We have not yet. Okay. Rick, this is Andrew. He’s tes. Takes the show notes. He helps do a lot of production after the show. Basically it goes in and makes me try to sound a little bit better and then leaves it the guest every time. Hey Rick, how’s it going, Andrew? For Christmas? Uh, Andrew without asking me. Put a mic on me. Think about this. He makes me up here and cause he’s like, what I’m gonna do is I’m going to play the audio of you relaxing for Rick so rick can tell you whether you’re doing it right. So Andrew, first off, I appreciate you for finally fessed enough, but to next time we need to do it without, without queuing up. We need to know. I didn’t know about this before. We have a guy like Rick Hanson, the doctor on the show, so let me queue up the audio of me relaxing and rick and tell me if this is, if I’m doing it the right way or not. So quick in about a ten second clip here, Andrew, you’re going down. Here we go.
Is that relaxing the right way? I think somebody either there’s this thing going, how do I do it? I mean does it need to be talking into a box?
As you exhale, your body naturally forced to relax because as you exhale, the get ready for a fancy word here, the Parasympathetic wing of your nervous system controls exhaling and that part of your nervous system also calms you down. It’s called. It’s some of these people’s joke. They say it’s the rest and digest part of the nervous system after a big holiday meal and you’re all like for chilled out the parasympathetic nervous systems involved sympathetic wing of the nervous system. That’s the stress response, fight or flight part, and it controls inhaling, so your breath, your heart rate naturally slows in. Your body naturally comes as you exhale. So here’s a little trick. You can do it in the middle of business meetings when no one can know what you’re doing. [inaudible] just deliberately make your exhalations as long as your installations, if not even longer for a breath or two or even 10, and you will notice that within a breath, certainly within a few breaths, you’re just calmer. And if you have one of these little like fitbit things or heart rate Gizmos, you’ll watch your heart rate slow. If you do several long exhalations in a row, that’s a little trick right there you can use and no one needs to know you’re doing it.
I would like to ask you some, some questions that I have about creating new neural pathways and retraining the brain. Um, years ago I read this book called the magic, the magic of thinking big. And if you grow up without money and you see money as a bad thing because what happens? A lot of people view people who are wealthy as bad, you know, they view them as greedy or whatever. And so you’re always if you were raised with that kind of mindset, you know, and now, but yet you find yourself needing to earn money so you can pay the bills. I mean, here, my wife and I, uh, now we have hundreds of employees, but at the time we couldn’t afford air conditioning. Uh, we couldn’t afford heat. We live in an apartment and I had three jobs at applebee’s target and direct tv while trying to start what would go on to become the nation’s largest wedding entertainment company called Dj Connection Dot Com.
But I’ll try to retrain my brain and I wasn’t sure about neuropathways. I never heard of these concepts, but I remember he had this. He said, the mind is what the mind is fed. And I made a decision. I’m only going to watch positive movies. Only movies that are like positive that our documentaries about somebody overcoming adversity, you know, something like that. I’m only going to watch those kinds of shows where the, where the entrepreneurial lives happily ever after or to read autobiographies from people who are 10 times more successful than I could ever hope to be. And as I started reading all these books, I started noticing that I always saw success as inevitable if I follow these systems. Whereas before I thought, well, you know, you’ve got to be born with it, you know, the rich get richer, you got to have money to make money, and I actually now don’t even relate to my old self. Was I doing something with my neural pathways or what was I doing?
Great question, but your whole being has changed. Obviously if you feel different on the inside and especially your wife or your partner notices that you’re different on the outside, you’ve changed and for that change to occur, things have to also change inside your nervous system. So you’re an example of I’m sure if we could do a before and after brain scan, particularly with the kind of technology that’s going to be developing, that’s even more penetrating than what we have currently in terms of seeing what’s going on. We’d see a different brain today than let’s say 20 years ago. Point one point to the whole idea of focusing on which are feeding yourself. I think it’s profoundly important and you see this fable, I’m sure you’ve heard it, of the two wolves. The story is told in many traditions, the idea that basically inside this are two wolves, one of love and hate and everything depends on which one we feed each day, and you can generalize that story to other things like, do you want to grow confidence?
Do you want to grow the, the wolf, if you will, a feeling that youtube deserve to be successful. If you work hard and stick with it over time, um, what is it you’re trying to feed? Or are you trying to feed resentment or self criticism or needless anxiety were old feelings of hurt and shame that you really could afford to put behind you. Right? Which will defeat and you’re exactly right. You were feeding the neurons that as it were, you were firing the neurons that were involved with inspiration and hopefulness and a sense of possibility. Man, here’s an interesting thing. What research shows in many different ways is that people who do, I’m focus on opportunity and they pay attention to their successes along the way and they pay attention to positive relationships. Like I’ve watched you on some of your youtube clips and how you form fairly quickly positive relationships with other people. Research shows that when people do that, they actually more able to deal with the hard things of life and they tend to become in fact more generous as well as their own cup runneth over. They don’t usually. There’s some significant exceptions unfortunately, but they don’t usually become smug and self satisfied, stingy and horrible. They used me become generous for giving large hearted and I’m more interested in meeting other people, rise with them as well.
What would you say to the parent out there listing? A lot of our listeners have kids. Yeah, and I’ve noticed this just in my office. We have hundreds of employees and you know, occasionally you have to fire somebody. All right. And one unfortunate pattern that I’ve seen is the people that usually get fired for stealing or something. They’re downloading some pretty crazy stuff on that work computer after hours or before hours and watching a lot of violent things and it just seems to be a parallel activity. Some of the parent out there that’s going, does it hurt my kid’s brain to allow them to watch a ton of violent films or to play a bunch of violent video games? Is that creating a bad neural pathway?
That’s a really good question. So two things. So what we’re talking about is really relevant to the individual, right? How can I grow a little bit every day and really feel like I’m in charge of that change process rather than just being buffeted by all these forces in life. Alright. So it’s very relevant to an individual themselves. It’s also relevant if you manage other people or teach or coach or therapist or other people or raise people and my wife and I have two adult kids now and um, this question is really relevant as well. How can we help the people were raising or managing, um, to themselves, um, use these methods of cultivation of self-development to help the experiences that they’re having or maybe we’re taking them through a training program. How can we increase the impact of the experiences people are having? So all this is really relevant to that as well.
And then specifically, um, it’s a little controversial, this whole question of video games and stuff like that. Basically if you take a kid who already tends to be kind of, um, you know, aggressive or impulsive, uh, just by nature, no nothing wrong with that, just kind of the more vulnerable that way, or even a kid who, um, tends to just kind of withdraw from others and really go into his or her internal world. And then if you have that person do a lot of violent, very engaging video games like hours a day that can create risks and that can create also what is in a funny way of a more pervasive issue. It’s not so much that the kid’s going to become a high company, just going to go walk into a mall and shoot people if it’s not so much that it’s just, um, what, what starts to happen is that a person gets used to a really intense amount of stimulation under their own control.
So ordinary life, like just talking with somebody, you know, just looking out the window for a couple of minutes in a row feels who so boring. That’s part of the issue here. It’s like feeding little kids candy, then they don’t care about apples. Apples don’t taste sweet any longer. So my own rule of thumb, I’m a psychologist and I’ve worked with a lot of schools and a lot of families and my actual first book was about taking good care of mothers and their partners over the long haul for everyone’s sake, including there’s um, what I would tend to tell people is a watch what the results are if this is a kid is really thriving and lots of other ways, you know, making grades that are equal to their ability. They have friends or not doing crazy stuff and they’re not driving you crazy, you know, if they’re consuming media and hour or two a day. Okay. On the other hand, if that kid is in trouble and you know, locked in their basement playing shooter games 10 hours a day, chatting online with weird people in the middle of the night, uh, that’s where I think parents need to exercise authority and put their foot down.
I like to walk us through what you mean by wellbeing on your website, Rick Hanson Dot net. If you go up there, you can. You have a lot of free content available for everybody. There’s so much good information there and you do write a little bit about wellbeing. What is, what do you mean by wellbeing?
Great question. I mean by that, a deep sense inside yourself, deep kind of deep down inside yourself of feeling relatively peaceful, contented, and loved and loving. And the reason I say those three, think about it. Safe enough, satisfied enough, connected enough, it’d be nice to have more, right? And it doesn’t mean not seeing the way it really is, that it means that in the core of your being, there’s an underlying feeling in the background, often have inner peace, contentment and loving warm-heartedness. And the reason I do those three is that those three speak to our three fundamental needs for safety, satisfaction, and connection that we like, you know, other living creatures all share together, and they’re related to the three levels of the brain, the brainstem, the subcortex, and the Cortex, which, um, are related actually to the physical, biological evolution, the reptilian brainstem, Mammalian, subcortex, primate, human neocortex that are related to our fundamental three needs.
A person doesn’t have to buy biological evolution if they don’t want to, to observe directly in themselves that they like the people they work, they work for them or their kids had these three fundamental needs. When we don’t feel our needs are met, we don’t have wellbeing. Wellbeing is the result of the internal felt sense of an enoughness in meeting your needs, which is partly related to your circumstances. It’s great to have a lot of money. There’s a lot of research that shows that the amount of money a person has tends to make a fairly small contribution to their wellbeing compared to their sense of relationships and their own state of mind. How they, how they engage their own thoughts and feelings. And so when I say wellbeing, I’m really talking about what’s in the core of you in the background around which could be physical pain.
Your back could be killing you. Uh, when my dad passed away a few years ago, over the course of many months, um, and I spent an enormous, a lot of time with the enormous amount of time with them. My heart was really heavy, you know, and still deep down there was a fundamental sense of peace. I loved him. I knew he loved me and I knew this was the natural process, right? So you can have issues floating around the edges, but in the core of you, there’s a wellbeing. On the other hand, to have that kind of wellbeing, you need to be resilient. Wellbeing without resilience doesn’t last very long in a changing and challenging world. And so for me, the two go together. I talk about resilient wellbeing. That’s why I use the language, the unshakable core inside yourself of peace, contentment and love.
Have you ever spent any time with Ray Dalio?
No. I know the name. Yeah,
I haven’t spent any time with him. He’s a billionaire hedge fund manager in the way you are speaking. Reminds me of, of Ray and uh, um, he wrote a book called principles and one of the excerpts that I highlighted here in the book, he says, having the basics, a good bed to sleep in good relationships, good food and good, good sex is most important. And those things don’t get much better when you have a lot of money or much worse when you have less. And the people one meets at the top aren’t necessarily. I’m more special than those one meets at the bottom or in between. And he was just hammering home like, you know, he’s a billionaire and the food can’t get that much better. It’s still an organic avocado. You know,
I think honestly about how ordinary people today live better than king said 100 years ago except do we notice it? And one of the things for me that, that’s a really good takeaway from the kind of methods I’m talking about here with you, is that it helps you really maximize your pleasure because you go through your day, you start to be able to literally just look at, you know, I’m, I’m looking out my window and like leaves literally on your, in your backyard and go, wow, those are beautiful leaf, honestly, without drugs, you know. Uh, so and uh, I think even in a more ultimate way of picking up on what you said about working with, uh, many pastors, I’m, one of the things that also interests me is to help spiritual insights really thinking and, um, you know, to kind of take with you over the rest of your day or for the rest of your week. Maybe something you hear at Church on Sunday, uh, so that it’s with you, uh, in a much more ongoing way.
Oh, you have this program that you have come up with on RickHanson.net. That’s Rick h a n s o n.net where it reads, change your brain for the better with a year long program for lasting happiness, confidence and peace of mind. Rick, what is. What’s this all about? This, this year long program.
Clay, I really appreciate you bringing this up. So basically what I did in an online program, super accessible is to pull together most everything I know really is a long time psychologist, parent and business consultant. What are the essentials of the 12 inner strength I called them that as you grow them, you build up this core inside yourself that’s in you so no one can take it from you and you have a with you. Wherever you go, you build up this core inside yourself of calm wellbeing and happiness, and so that’s what that program’s about. A, it takes people through a sequence of steps in terms of changing your brain for the better. It takes about an hour a week. If you do want, if you want to do it over the course of the year, it doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s grounded in science.
There are lots of ways for people to access it, they can connect to it in different ways. Some of these people just listened to my guided meditations and that’s what they do. Other people like to see our guest experts of different kinds of people who are really well known as psychology and, and, and in mindfulness as well. So that’s what that program is about and people can see more. Um, there’s a money back guarantee if you’re a therapist by any chance, you can get continuing education credits for doing it. And um, it, uh, has had really rave reviews. Some say it’s the most successful, uh, self help online program today. Really we’ve had pushing now 15,000 people go through it.
What does it cost? $7,000. What’s it cost
hold for a year or so? I think about 400 bucks maybe.
Oh Wow. That’s a great deal.
Or the year. No, it’s very affordable. And even though my wife kills me about this, uh, if people have financial need, we love giving noyce scholarships.
So again, just think about this. If you’re out there today and you are, this is what I see and I want you, Mr, listener, to ask yourself this question, Mrs Listener, I want you to ask yourself this. Are you mentally in the doom loop? So let me give you an example of a mental doom loop. Person signs up for a personal training like a fitness class, right? They pay the money, they don’t go like the first day. They get there a little bit late, day two, they don’t show up. Day three, they’re still paying day for. They’ve given up on themselves. They’ve almost quit before they started and you’re in this perpetual loop. I’ve seen people and this and this loop for decades. Some people never get out of the loop and you’re saying you can help people retrain their brain for 400 bucks a year,
100 percent results to show for it using these psychological measures before and after. Um, but here’s the key point. You got to do the work yourself and you really, I’m sure. Well, no, this, that I’ve been struck many, many times by people who will work hard to get good at things they don’t particularly value for one reason or another, but the thing that they know would really help them or help those they love get a little bit better as a parent or a partner or a business owner or a. They know that if they were more mindful or calmer or more self aware, more patient, it would really help them in their everyday wellbeing would help their physical health. It would give them more years of life. They will spend more time with their grandkids. They know this, but they don’t make the 10 minutes a day of effort and that’s mostly what I’m really struck by.
It’s about, you know, ballpark 10 minutes a day. If someone would actually do it, would change their life. No one can stop you from doing that. That’s old school and I love it. On the other hand, no one can do it for you. So for me, if someone. Now I do want to come up with a little key point here. If someone makes sincere efforts at the scale of let’s say 10 minutes a day, 10 minutes a day of deliberately taking, uh, some long exhalations and calming your body or as they move through their day, you know, 10 seconds here at 20 seconds there, five times a day, slowing down to notice something useful or enjoyable and kind of soak it into themselves if they did that, if before going to bed or on getting up in the morning, they spend a few minutes kind of centering themselves maybe with prayer, maybe with meditation, maybe thinking about things they’re grateful for, maybe more generally and really kind of marinated in it. Um, marinaded. Especially in those three things I said, peace, contentment and love. Just kind of did that 10 minutes a day. If someone did that for 10 days in a row and did not feel markedly different than they should look at their physical health,
I need to look at is there an underlying depression or issue in their own health that’s getting in the way? Or obviously if they’re in a horrible situation like fleeing for their lives or a refugee, you know, trying to get away from some, you know, police state, um, you know, then there’s something to look at beyond your own mental training. But if someone who has, let’s say normal physical health and isn’t, then the world’s worst situation gives a 10 minutes a day for one day in a row, let alone 10 days in a row. You really ought to see results.
Ron Popeil or Billy Mays, they would always sell these info products on the infomercials. And then right when you’re going, there is no way I’m going to buy that. And beef jerky machine. They go and there’s
more. And they gave you this slicer, dicer, and then you’re like, I don’t know to go. And it’s half off for the first 10 people when you’re going, there is no way in around 3:00 AM. You know, your wife’s on vacation or some out of town. You’re like, well, I’ll get one. Here’s the offer I’ll make for the thrive nation. If you’re out there saying to yourself that you want to sign up for the program and you’re going, I just don’t know if I can find the 10 minutes a day to actually do it, if you will, if you will come to Tulsa, I promise I will tease you with a police grade Taser as much as you need to get yourself motivated to find those 10 minutes, you just come on down whenever you have a free second and all, I’ll tase you and you’ll be sufficiently motivated. That’s an offer to Andromeda. Stand behind that all. No one’s calling, okay, well you can get this.
That is great.
this kind of hellish realm, what they call hungry ghosts and these are creatures with enormous powers and enormous appetite like they’re there. Visualize is having huge bellies, but their capacity to satisfy their appetite is represented as a pinhole of a mouth. They’re hungry. Ghost. That’s the idea and to me there’s something very poignant when you see people walking on the street, very often they’re harried, hurried, they. They feel empty inside. People will say that they feel, as my dad would talk about horses at the end of a really long day, rid hard and put up wet. And there is that feeling, I think thoreau said quiet desperation in a lot of people deep down inside. And it’s poignant. It’s sad, um, simply because we have the power, we really do have the power as we move through our day to help things sink in, to really land them in our body so that I have a lot of experience of wilderness, done, a ton of rock climbing.
Um, you know, listen to your backpack, right? What’s inside you that you take with you every day. And I think that is honestly, people get more filled up from the inside out. I don’t know if I could say this word on your show, but it starts with a and ends with us and it’s got door hole in it so they just become less of a jerk and usually and become a lot better to other people. And to me that’s the opportunity and it’s an opportunity with implications for both individuals and you know, step back, big picture, take a look at the world. I’m one of the things that drives a lot of craziness is people who already have a lot, don’t really feel it inside and their discontent in and they’re angry and frightened and aggressive and vengeful and they heard a lot of other people because of what’s missing inside themselves.
I know you will like to climb rocks, nice terrain there. If you want to climb, climb on an area where there’s virtually no terrain, nothing visually to see if you like. If you want to a sod farm, you to come to Tulsa. I mean that right there. You know what I climb? Look completely flat terrain with nothing to see and the weather’s probably going to be bad. It’s going to be hot and humid. I don’t know what you’re doing out there in California. I mean, if we really want to push yourself and adjust your, your mind and have a mind altering experience, I would suggest coming to Tulsa and climb a sod farm, which leads me to my next question is, speaking of climbing sod farms, neuro-plasticity. Okay, there’ll plasticity. And what does that mean?
It just means the capacity of something to physically change. Neuroplasticity is the capacity of our nervous system to learn from the experiences we’re having for better or worse. And it’s a sword that cuts both ways, both ways. You know, so as you said earlier, uh, related to um, what you’re feeding inside yourself, where are you putting your attention, right? If people do it is common and spend a lot of time every day, ruminating, beating themselves up, resenting other people, rewinding conversations, woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, uh, why do they have so much? Why do I have so little drowning and envy when people do that, they changed their brand for the worst or for the worse over time. And there’s a lot of, again, research evidence that shows physical changes, including, for example, maybe people have heard of the Amygdala. There are actually two of them in your brain.
If the alarm bell of the brain, it goes off when we see danger. Okay, well, if we, people who ruminate on resentment and anger and, and things that they’re scared of their Amygdala, that alarm bell gets in effect a little bigger. It gets more sensitive and it, it’s much more on a hair trigger and other parts of the brand. They’re like put the brakes on it become weaker and less able to calm it down. So that’s one example of, you know, resting your attention on things that make you feel worse and become less effective over time because there you are, neuroplasticity, you’re changing your brain for the worst
like you and are talking about. You can change it for the better. Yeah.
I’d love to share with you, um, I, I basically put a helmet on my Amygdala a couple of years back and just the almond size part of the brain. And it was hard. It was hard. It was hard to shove the, uh, the, the helmet into my cranium and still be alive here today. But, uh, anyway, I have no proof that this happened, but this is how I virtually did it. Um, psychology today, there was an article I read that said the average American is now interrupted 91 times per day and other articles said 85 times per day from their smartphone. And I got to thinking, you know, I have thousands of customers, literally thousands of customers at different businesses. So, um, my partner and I, you know, we have the elephant in the room, it’s a, it’s a chain of men’s. It’s like a men’s, a say, a country club for men’s haircuts and we have thousands of members and the vast majority are super happy. But we’ve discovered that if a man or a woman cuts your hair 33
times every 33rd time, they will make one mistake. So it’s like a two or three percent error rate. And most people are gracious and kind. But some people immediately take to social media to write me a message that says something tactful, like you suck, you know? Or they’ll go on Google and write a nice review, something tactful. Like did I mention you suck on the facebook message I sent you because you suck or people will take a picture of a vacuum and say, I thought of you, here you go, you know, and people will get very personally aggressive on his keyboard warriors. They’re not talking to anybody. So there’s no immediate buffer of tact, social nuance, whatever. And I discovered I was getting at least no exaggeration and rick at least probably 10 complaint today because my partner and I, between the two of us, there’s 13 multimillion dollar companies.
So we’re getting at least, you know, several a day every day we’re getting thousands of happy customers a day. But as a percentage, you know, I’m getting, you know, some people that are mad everyday. So I turned off all my push notifications. So I, I don’t ever ever look at social media ever. Never, ever, never. No. Don’t look at it all during the day. And then on TV, I don’t watch TV, so I don’t, I don’t see that the newest trump scandal or somebody claiming that Obama’s from a different country or as you know, I don’t, I don’t see people throwing rocks at each other and blowing things up. I just, I don’t even see that part, so I’m always in a flow state now and I am very happy all the time because I don’t even know what’s going on except for each week. Each morning when I get to work, um, we have a kind of protocol for how we deal with social media feedback and complaints. And if it reaches a certain level then it gets to me. But I was able to kind of guard myself because I was perpetually. I mean I was there. A person gets 85 interruptions a day. I bet you I was getting 300 a day.
I mean, it’s crazy. So I just set those boundaries for myself and I got that idea from a Daniel Goleman book on emotional intelligence. Two point. Oh, where he’s talking about you had to create digital boundaries. What advice would you have for the listeners out there who are going? That’s me. I’m constantly getting interrupted. I’m constantly getting emails at night when I’m having dinner, I’m getting text messages, calls, complaints, issues. I’m just going to explode. What? What advice would you give the listeners?
What’s the most fundamental thing you own? It’s your attention. It’s where your attention goes, so there’s a kind of thing where your attention goes neural activity flows. So for me as a independent, very stubborn kid out self reliant, autonomous kind of guy, I want to control my attention and we live in a society in which frankly more and more clever and intrusive methods are being developed to hijack our attention for somebody else’s purposes or to feed our tendency to get addicted to lots of new things, especially new kinda interesting, rewarding things. So to me it’s a fundamental matter of autonomy, of being the boss of your own life and the boss of your own mind to be able to control your attention. That’s where some training in mindfulness and prayer meditation can really be helpful to get more control over your attention rather than the habits skitter all over the place.
So that to me is a general point. Then there’s the question which you are getting at, which is to what extent is it useful to be aware of the sorrows and troubles of the world, including the people around us and I, my own value system and I’m speaking more as a person here and less as a, as a psychologist here. It’s a personal value for me to be really kind of aware of what’s going on so that I’m informed about it. But on the other hand, I don’t want to be flooded by it and I don’t want to be, um, I guess consumed by it or addicted to it. Right? I know people who have to check their phones every 10 minutes. What’s the news? Was the news? Well, the news is usually the old
reports that in the morning
I went into, I went into the future real quick and I have the news for next, for tomorrow and the next week the news President Donald j dot trump pissed someone off this justin. That’s gonna happen right everyday.
Right, right, right, right, right. Exactly right. You know, so that’s to me the key question here, you know, are you in control of your mind or is somebody else in control of your mind? I’m including your own bad habits over time. And can you be aware enough, like you said, you have this meeting in the morning. If things arise above the threshold, above a threshold, you pay attention to them. Can you be aware enough of the issues out there and on the other hand, can you move on the opportunities that surround you to the good news that’s around you looking at the world through rose colored glasses. I don’t believe in positive thinking. I believe in realistic thinking, but one in the context of recognizing that we’ve got a negativity bias that tends to make us obsessed with bad news. And overreactive to it. Meanwhile, we’re missing all these opportunities.
Did you say where your attention goes? Neural activity flows? Yeah. Okay. I’m just making sure I’m getting this on the show notes to that was, that was a hot. Do you know you’re, you’re, uh, you’re a rhymer. Have you ever thought about getting into the hip, the hip hop scene?
People in not the same.
I’ve heard that a Wu Tang clan is looking for a clinical psychologist or a doctor or a best selling author to join the group to really improve the overall level of syntax and when just to live the quality of the linguistic knowledge bombs that are dropped and their albums that, that could be a. That could be a combo right there. Okay. Now
it’s important here, that phrase neural where we’re attention goes neural activity flows. It’s probably close to something. A really wonderful guy, a physician named Dan Siegel, s I e g e l has said so people might want to also check out his work. I think it’s important to give, to give credit where credit is due.
Okay. And I’m going to give a big shout out to you for being the newest member of the Wu Tang clan potentially. Okay. Now this is the lightening round, so we’re still gonna be mindful, but we’re going to fire through a few questions here. So the line full lightening round, is it possible you have said, and I read the quote so many times I thought I, I don’t get it. I need to ask them directly. It says as the brain changes, the mind changes, but then you said as the mind changes, the brain changes. Can you help us understand that idea?
Well, right there we’re right into deep philosophy, even spirituality. So I’m going to try to really cut to the chase here. What it really means is if we’re having experiences, right, we’re feeling pleasure, we’re feeling pain, we feel good about ourselves, we feel bad about ourselves as we’re having those experiences, they are being enabled by and in some sense produced by underlying physical activity. The experiences are intangible, but they exist. That’s what I mean by the mind, the flows of experiences that we’re having better enabled by flows of underlying physical activity. So as the physical activity changes, has the brain changes, therefore our experiences change, our mind changes. The other side of it though is that, um, by, as you said earlier, focusing our attention on what we want to take into ourselves. What we rest attention on is like a big vacuum cleaner. It’s the front end if who we are becoming and getting control over where we put that vacuum cleaner for what we take into ourselves, knowing that we’ve got a brain that’s really good at sucking in the crud right, um, is really at the heart of autonomy and self reliance, very old school stuff.
So to me that’s part one, part two. When you do that, you’re in effect. I’m focusing your mind on certain things that are useful to you. Knowing that repeated patterns of mental activity require repeated patterns of neural activity that are underlying it and repeated patterns of neural activity leave lasting changes in your brain. So in effect, you’re using your mind to change your brain, to change your own mind for the better. And that’s really the heart of what could be called fancy phrase, alert, self directed neuroplasticity.
I’m going to listen to this show twice, maybe three times. I’ll tell you this, I know you have quite a bio there and I just want to give you something else you could add to your bio. You could say that Clay Clark, first of all, they’re all say who you could say, Clay Clark gave me one mega point for my vacuum sound effect. So that’s one mega point you could use that you get up there to speak and all your fancy events. It is ladies and gentleman, today’s speaker got one mega port, good vacuum cleaner, right there will be like, I don’t know what else this guy is talking about, but that neuropathway thing and that vacuum sound effect. That’s what I want. And Book Him. Okay. Now my final couple of questions I have for the next 12 months, you’ll get rolled back, bring it back.
Who Do you want to become by the end of the day? Realistically, who do you want to become by the end of the week, the year, and by become who you are on the inside out, what does it feel like to be you? How much time do you spend in a state of kind of reasonable, calm, happiness or feel uptight, contracted, stressed out, freaked out? Who Do you want to become? Do you want to become more skillful? Deb, going to become someone that your kids aren’t kind of really afraid of. Uh, do you want to become someone who isn’t so caught up in, in thinking about cookies or alcohol or this or that? Who Do you want to become? That’s what you have power over. You have power over who you are becoming every day. And to me, there are a few things that are more sacred and moral than, than this matter.
Andrew, I confess. I think we’re going to sign you up for this program because we came in today and you were pulling the wings off flies. He saw that this guy needs. So now I’m like, what is he doing? That’s a lot of flies. Andrew, how long have you been down here? Okay. Now my final question I have for you is the next 12 months you’ve got a lot of things going on in your career. Um, what’s the big project you’re most passionate about? Are the book you’re most passionate about because our listeners are very action orientated and they want to take action. So should they check out your site? Should they check out your book or what do you, what are you working on here? The next 12 months.
Wow, that’s great. So check out my site. There’s a lot of great stuff there. Most of it’s really offered. The programs are well designed or inexpensive. They produce results. They’re really good. Um, so there’s, there’s that part of myself actually I’m working on a new book that’s a real deep dive. A working title is Neuro Dharma, the deepest roots of the highest happiness. I have a long background as a meditation teacher and um, I pulled together in that new book which will come out in May 20 slash 20, so it’s about a year and a half away from now. Um, but I pulled together these seven fundamental characteristics of the really the wisest most evolved people. I know. You want me to say them?
Yeah, we can think about this.
Cool. We can. And the thing is, each one of these seven characteristics are there. They’re both where we want to become, right? It’s where the, it’s the, it’s the end and it’s the means because there are ways of being each day that helped us change for the better. And you can relate to each one of these three, each one of these seven at a kind of basic level, or as you get more and more into it, they become deeper and deeper and more profound. So I’ll just say them Kinda fast, steadiness. So right off the top, being able to, you know, kind of steady your mind, stabilize your attention, know where you’re at, stay in the present moment, steadiness second, loving this compassion, kindness for other people and for yourself. I’m feeling more and more connected with other people in skillful ways. Third fullness, a sense of enough already.
It’s great to go for more, but on the basis of feeling already full so you’re less likely to become a jerk with other people as well as the ways that fullness skills good in its own right. So the first three are like the platform, they’re the foundation, the springboard, yeah, steadiness, loving this fullness, and then we move into some pretty deep spiritual waters which you can relate to in different ways. Wholeness, which you accept yourself completely and you have a sense of your whole being, your whole mind. Very open, very wide. Now this is number five, really coming into the present moment, letting things go quickly so they don’t stick to you and problematic ways. Now illness and then almost certainly more and more like you are part of everything in a really beautiful way. Yeah, you’re different from the guy next to you on the street, but at a larger level you’re connected altogether and that is a great way to feel less uptight about things and have more peace of mind. And then the last one is timelessness. Opening into a sense of connection with the eternal divine, uh, in whatever way you know is meaningful to you. So those are the seven and what I get at, um, especially for the first six is how to be embodied about them, how to actually reached down into what’s known in science about the underlying physical factors of steadiness, lovingness, etc. So that you can use that knowledge to change your own body over time to support these seven wonderful ways of being.
You are Somewhat of an infinite well of knowledge about this subject. and, and I, I really do think that you’ve helped some of our listeners out there and I just cannot thank you enough for taking time out of your, out of your schedule to be here because I know you are very purposeful and mindful about where you spend your time. So again, thank you for believing in our audience and in, for investing the time and hopefully this was not the worst interview of your life and hopefully has scarred you. And this doesn’t because I know that the mind is now has a negativity bias. I don’t want your spouse or someone to ask you
for bad teflon for good. You can definitely say came from me. I’m very honored and touched. She said that. And also I want to say I’m very struck by your generosity. Uh, there’s a generous quality you have and that quality of generosity that you can send from other people. To me it’s one of the most important things a person can have. So thank you
brother. I tell you what, I would love to have you on the show again. We get off. I’ll give you my cell phone number so you’re just a text away if you have something, you’re, you know, when your new book comes out and uh, love to come back. So I’ll, we’ll get off here. I’ll give that to you. And again, a thrive nation and your car in your home and you’re right, you know, if you’re there in the bathroom, getting ready for work, whatever. Good. Let’s give a round of applause right there, andrew.
All right, andrew, I want to make sure we’re distilling what we learned today into some action steps for the listeners out there. Oh yeah. Um, you know this, during the business coaching program, we work closely with business owners on a daily basis and can you not think of a client that we’ve worked with that has had big wins and big changes as a result of diligently implementing the systems that we’re teaching them? Yeah, I can think of quite a few. Uh, uh, let’s go with papa gallows. There you go. Perfect example. Tell us about where they’re located, who these people are roughly. Just give us maybe their first name, where they’re located. Tell us about papa gallows. So papa gallows is located in satellite beach, Florida and they are coming up on the highest, most reviewed restaurants in satellite beach, Florida. They’re almost there. uh, it’s dave and trisha rich and they are just killing it.
They’re doing really, they’re doing a really, really good job, but it’s not because, um, you know, um, any supernatural force or luck, they’re just very diligent doers and I think that is what we’re trying to underscore on today’s show is that if you’re out there today and you feel stuck, you have the power, you have the capacity to re train your brain, but to build your faith, I’m going to queue up the audio testimonial from our good friends with papa gallows based in you said, satellite beach, Florida, satellite beach, Florida. I’m going to queue up their audio testimonial and that waY somebody out there can, can hear from somebody other than us about the power that we all have to change and then you can maybe google search them, check them out and verify they’re real people, overwhelmed them with calls, call them to verify that they are in fact real and that their success is in fact authentic, legitimate, bonafide, proven, tested, and real estate.
Hi, this is david, trisha rich company from satellite beach, Florida. The winds we’ve had since we started with. We’ve completed group interviews. We were fully staffed. We’ve received over 100 google reviews, increasingly google rating, and we now have more money in the bank. Have you ever had a good night,
andrew? I’m not the kind of guy that would want to play the same part of the clip over and over and over again to hammer home a point or I typically would not do that kind of thing, but I think maybe the listeners might have missed just a small little detail that trish, trish, trish, tricia, tricia and dave. Dave who are in satellite beach, Florida. Yes sir. There are companies called papa gallows pizzeria they might’ve missed out on, so I don’t typically repeat things over and over and over to hammer home an idea, but let me repeat something again to hammer home an idea
more money in the bank and we’ve ever had a good night.
I’m not really sure what she just said. Let me play it back one more time
and we now have more money in the bank and we’ve ever had a good night.
If you are out there listening today, we believe in you. You do have the capacity to change, but you gotta take some action, either book a ticket to a workshop, give us a call, set up a 13 point consultation, check out thrive time show.com. Sign up for the online business school to something. We have a scholarship available for you, so if you can’t afford it now, you can seriously, if you want to move forward in some capacity and you can’t afford it, just email us to info at thrive time. Show.com. We have never let finances stand in the way of helping somebody who is sincerely willing to put forth effort to do it. I meAn, if somebody is financial in a spot where you’re saying, I don’t have the money right now to attend a workshop or to do coachIng or an online school, we have so many scholarshIp options available for you and you don’t have to pay us back. Andrew, as always, like to end each and every show with the boobs. So here we go. Three, two, one. Boom.