Book Summaries

The Power of Awakening | Mindfulness Practices and Spiritual Tools | Wayne Dyer | Book Summary

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

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The Power of Awakening, Mindfulness Practices and Spiritual Tools to Transform Your Life  by Wayne Dyer

Beloved spiritual teacher Dr. Wayne W. Dyer often shared his thoughts on the path and practice of personal empowerment during his writings and presentations. He’d say, “This is not about self-help. It’s about self-realization, which is way beyond self-help.”

In this book, which collects some of his timeless words of wisdom in a new format, the internationally renowned speaker and author offers spiritual tools to transcend your current circumstances and old patterns in order to reach true fulfillment. He will show you how to become genuinely awake, aware of the power you have within to shift your thought processes, release attachments, and tame your ego-to name just a few topics covered in these pages.

Wayne will help you understand what an illusion much of life is, so you can see the big picture and spark deep transformation (that is, “the ability to go beyond your form”), resulting in peace and harmony in all areas of your life. He will also take you through the stages of enlightenment and instruct you in mindfulness practices such as visualization and meditation, ultimately helping you reach a higher consciousness.


Transcend Your Thoughts

Take a look at all of the things that are important to you, starting with your loved ones. Can you understand that the only way you can ever experience them in the moment is through your mind? You can’t do it any other way. You can’t get behind their eyeballs and be them.


Now, take all of the things that you want to accumulate. You’ll see that they just exist in thought as well. You can’t be a diamond or a new house. You can experience it, but you can’t ever actually have it or own it. It is only in your mind that you can do something with it.


In other words, anything that you can think, you can achieve. A thought is something that if you get it properly in your mind and start living with it, then eventually what you are imaging for yourself has to come about.


In the process of awakening, you begin to see everyone and everything in the universe from this place of no limits. You look at everything that you used to get really hung up on wanting to own, and you say to yourself, If it’s in my life, it’s fine; if it’s not, that’s okay too.


There Is Only Now

Even though everything that’s ever happened to you up until this moment is in the realm of thought, it is very real for you. It’s critical to understand this point: The whole experience of your past up until this very second is all in thought—and nothing more. How much sense does it make to regret, be miserable, or feel guilty about something that is pure thought?


If someone says to you, “Let’s feel guilty about the outcome of the Peloponnesian War. Let’s you and I feel some guilt.” You’d laugh and say, “That happened almost three thousand years ago, what are you doing?”


Then he says, “Well, look at how the Spartans were treated—it wasn’t nice. The Athenians shouldn’t have done that. It was simply awful. Could we change it by feeling guilty?”. You’d probably reply, “Of course not! It’s over and done with.”


In reality, this morning is just as over as the Peloponnesian War. And as Einstein taught us, there’s no time in a linear frame at all. That concept of time is merely something we invented.


As for everything that’s going to happen to you from this second on, understand that it is also nothing more than pure thought: You can’t touch tomorrow. You can’t grab on to your goals. You can’t take tomorrow’s BMW and drive it. It’s all thought. Yet you can also have the experience, within your form, through thought. If your whole past and your whole future are all thought, then all that leaves you with is now. So why would you elect to use up this moment with something like guilt or by ruminating on things that have already happened?

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

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You Don’t Need to Deal With Everything

You want to be able to say, “It happened. It’s over. I’ve resolved it”. However, a lot of therapists might then reply, “That’s unhealthy because you’re not really dealing with it.”


The truth is you don’t have to deal with things all the time in order to prove that you’re healthy! Imagine there’s a great big pile of cow manure in the street. Now, there are some people who’d say, “Hey, I can deal with that—I’m going to walk right through it.” To me, that’s pretty crazy. A healthy person would say, “No, I don’t have to deal with that. I’ll walk around it.” And that’s what they’d do.

You’ve got to go around a lot of stuff in your life, including your own thinking, when it doesn’t serve you. How do you do this? Well, you just do. Don’t think like that anymore.


The Last Day of Your Life

Life itself is an unfinished-ness. It’s not like you’re going to get it all organized into the right place, and then check out. No. No one tells you in the morning, “You’ll be checking out about 11:30 P.M. You will be joining me tonight.”


Consider getting into the habit of telling yourself every morning, “This is the last day I’ve got.” Because all of us, at some time or another, have got to face a last day. Nobody’s leaving here alive. And when you tell yourself, “This is the last day of my life,” you get a whole new perspective on the worlds of form and non-form. You know death is merely another transition rather than anything to be feared.


Let’s say you’re in a traffic jam on your way to work. If you know that this is the last traffic jam you’re ever going to get, you’re going to enjoy the hell out of it. If this is your last bridge crossing, you’ll be checking that bridge out carefully. You’ll introduce yourself to everybody in line there: “Excuse me, my name is ____. I’ll be leaving tonight, but I wanted to tell you how much I like that bridge there. Boy, is that nice.”


4 Keys to Higher Self-Awareness

The four keys to higher awareness all fit together, with one leading to the next.


Key #1 Banish the doubt

If what we think about is that we can’t do something, or there’s even the slightest amount of doubt that it’s possible for us to do it, then that is what we will act upon. As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted long ago, “We know that the ancestor of every action is a thought,” so if that thought is one of doubt, then that’s what we will act upon. That doubt will keep us from being able to create heightened spiritual awareness, or whatever it is that we want to create for ourselves. Here are a few suggestions for banishing the doubt.


  1. Try an affirmation, which is a positive statement that you repeat to yourself to affirm and create what you want in your life.
  2. Make a decision that you’re going to meet the invisible God within, so that you will come to know this loving presence rather than know about it.
  3. Practice dreaming while awake. You did it when you were a child. You allowed yourself the free-floating excitement of being able to fly, soar, swim, create, write poetry, or whatever it is that you wanted.


Key #2 Cultivate the witness

Once you learn to banish the doubt, then you can cultivate the witness. You can’t do it before. The witness is that part of us where we are placing our attention. Where we place our attention mandates what we will see manifesting from the world of the formless.

When we cultivate the witness, we’ll understand the mechanics of creation. Quantum physics tells us that there are particles so small that no one has ever seen them—the only reason we know that they exist is that they leave traces in what are called particle accelerators. When we observe them, they’re there; when we take our attention off them, they disappear. The very mechanics of creation state that whatever we keep our attention and focus on will manifest.


Key #3 Shut down the inner chatter

Again, this flows from a pattern: First you learn to banish the doubt. Then, as the doubt begins to dissipate, you have the opportunity to cultivate the witness, which can only be there with an absence of doubt. As you get good at cultivating the witness, you find that the best way to be the witness is in silence. Silence is what you have to learn as you shut down the inner dialogue.


The inner dialogue is nothing more than your inventory of beliefs, which have been handed to you from well-meaning people all your life, and are loaded with doubt. It is a constant reiteration of all these things that have been handed to you that keep you from reaching a sense of purpose or from knowing your higher self. It is your ego at work.


Understand that in order to get to a higher place, you need to come to know God, or this loving presence that is with you at all times. You cannot do it when you are constantly at the beck and call of your inner dialogue.

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

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Key #4 Tame Your Ego

The ego works really hard at keeping you from awakening, making you believe that there is nothing of value to you in silence. We’ll learn some more about the ego, so we can clearly understand that which we need to tame. First, let’s see the seven characteristics of an ego:


  1. The ego is your false self. Your ego tries to convince you that you’re something you’re not. It wants you to believe that you are this body, so you have to make it better than other people’s bodies, and you have to have more wealth and so on. This is false because your real self—which is eternal, changeless, and formless—doesn’t care about any of those things.


  1. It teaches separateness. Your ego says that you are distinct in all the world, and that uniqueness and separateness must be nurtured and protected at all times. You’re constantly comparing yourself to other people or defending yourself from them. Your real self, however, knows that we are all one.


  1. It convinces you of your specialness. The ego says you are not only separate from others, you are special too—you are better than others because of who you are and your background


  1. It’s always ready to be offended. The ego convinces you that anything that isn’t the way you think it ought to be is a reason for you to be offended. It reinforces the belief that you are better than those people who are doing the offending and that God is doing work that you have to correct somehow


  1. It is cowardly. The ego operates on fear and cowardice. It’s terrified of you getting to know the higher part of yourself, and it will do everything that it can to keep you from facing directly inward and tuning in to that power within


  1. It thrives on consumption. The false self continually bombards you with the idea that you must have more in order to be happy. It pushes you toward comparing yourself to other people, to looking at all your acquisitions and saying, “I am better than others and more special because I have a newer car, a bigger house, nicer clothes, and a more attractive partner.


  1. And finally, the ego is insane. One of the definitions of insanity is “when someone believes themselves to be something they’re not.” Well, the ego always wants you to believe that you are this false self, which is separate and distinct in all ways, rather than something that is connected to and a part of a Divinity that it fears more than anything.


There Is No Separation Nor Specialty

Despite what your ego insists, you are not separate from anyone. You do not have to be better than anyone, nor are you more special than anyone else in the world. You are that which is eternal and changeless.


This is not to say you need to conquer the ego. There’s no fighting here; this is not a war. Rather, you have to tame it by understanding what you are not. You are not your body, you are not your name, you are not your occupation, you are not any of those things that you have come to identify as who you are. When you come to know and believe in your true self rather than the idea of yourself, you learn to trust in the very wisdom that created you.


It can be helpful to think of the ego like a shadow: When you go out into the light, you cast a shadow. The shadow, like your ego, is not real. You can’t get hold of it. It’s an illusion. Your higher self, of course, is what is real. It’s wonderful to know your real self because then you don’t live with the illusory shadow, which is always changing.


If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

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The Natural Balance | Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach Kelly Mulhall Interview

A Naturopathic, Nutritional Therapy & Wellbeing Clinic ​​ About The Natural Balance Founded by Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach Kelly Mulhall, The Natural Balance is a natural Nutritionist London practice that specialises in Digestive Issues, Women’s Health and Hormonal Imbalance, Fertility, Miscarriage & Pregnancy, Disordered Eating and overall Wellbeing. We offer everything from private nutritional therapy packages, to food diary reviews, personalised meal plans as well as self led, online nutrition programs. Our corporate nutrition workshops and wellness programmes are for businesses looking to optimise the health of their employees, which will translate into improved productivity, increased motivation and reduced absenteeism. Whilst we offer Nutrition Packages, we never take a one size fits all approach – we work with you as an individual, tailoring your support levels to your body’s unique needs.

My Movie kelly

[00:00:00] Best Book Bids podcast brings you nutritionist, gut health specialist, and health coach Kelly Mullhall. Kelly is the founder of the Natural Balancer one-Stop Wellness Shop for private nutritional therapy and corporate wellness. Kelly takes a holistic approach to healthcare and focus on implementing healthy eating, improved physical fitness and positive mental wellbeing with the aim to make each and every client feel the very best version of themselves.

Kelly, thanks for being on the. Thank you very much for having me been traveling in South Africa, but we don’t wanna talk about, now what I do wanna talk about is take us back to, your story and how through your personal struggles with health led you to now leading others in their health journey as well.

Absolutely. So I suppose my story is a bit of a what’s the word? I’m not, I’ve not always been interested in healthy eating and nutrition. I’ve been quite the opposite. I was a can’t cook, won’t cook person, I lived off ready meals, crisps, chocolates, Luca, eggs. That was my sort of staple diet.

So I had no interest in healthy [00:01:00] eating not interested in the kitchen at all. And I think it was, It’s a culmination of things really. Being at university, eating bad food, obviously, craving food all the time, no energy, sick all the time. And then I went traveling to Thailand when I was university and I picked up a travel bug, as I think many people do when they go traveling, when they’re younger.

And I just completely destroyed. To the point where I must have been back at the hospital and the doctors for about 12 years having testing done, blood tests, stool tests, everything done to see what’s going on with your guts? Why have they suddenly, completely changed? And it was awful.

And and I never got anywhere. It was left undiagnosed. They tested for parasites, couldn’t find anything. . And in the end I just thought, okay, this is life I just have to deal with, ibs, as a massive percentage of the population do and. And so I dealt with it. And then it wasn’t until I was working in a, corporate environment when I was in London and I [00:02:00] just, I was chatting to a friend one day and I was thinking, I’m not really enjoying my job.

What can I do? I wanted to sort my health out and I, we just, someone, she mentioned nutrition and I didn’t really know what that was. Obviously I was not interested in nutrition and I just started delving into it a little bit more and I thought, oh, this is all about, healing the body from. , the root cause of the problem.

I said no one so far medically has been able to diagnose what’s wrong with me or find out what’s going on. And so I just started looking into it and I thought, actually, do you know what? There could be something in this. And I went and I saw a student nutrition clinic at the place I actually ended up studying at.

And I went there and I was like, explained all the situation and they were like, look, you need to do a comprehensive stool analysis. Very different to the sort of type thing you’d get at the doctors. And I did. And they diagnosed a parasite, which I was like, oh my gosh, I’ve been living through this for years.

it was a lot more in depth than you might get your doctors. And and then from, yeah, my life just completely changed. I started working with the nutritionist transformed, how I ate, but also healed my gut. Got rid of [00:03:00] the I B s and I was like, wow, this is, really amazing.

And so within about a week I decided to quit my job and enroll to study, to become a nutritionist for a couple, three years I think it was. Which was quite ironic cuz my parents. , you’re not interested in nutrition or healthy eating. And I was like, no, I can see that this is gonna be huge and this is gonna help me and I’m gonna help other people.

And I think when you’ve been on your own journey, with health, it really does then give you that sort of motivation to want to help others because you’re like, look, this has happened and worked for me and I can see how incredible it is. I want to help other people. So yeah. So that’s it in a nutshell.

It was yeah, quite life transformational really. And that’s what you’re do with other people with it. I wanna unpack some of that, so thank you for sharing that story. So Thailand Travel Park, 12 years had a para. That was undiagnosed. That’s like having a firstborn or like being pregnant for 12 years, which is and not sure what’s going on.

What is a stool [00:04:00] analysis? What do they do? It’s obviously, what’s the in depth of a stool analysis? What do they do? So if you go, obviously I’m in I’m based in England. So if you go to the doctors and having NHS test, you’re basically just pulling into a sample pot and then you send it off for analysis.

And what they usually do is they just culture the stool for a few days in a Petri dish and just see what grows, which is what I’ve been doing now, a lot of bacterias or parasites or anything that’s in the stool, anaerobic meaning they don’t like oxygen. So if you try and take a stool and you expose it to oxygen and then you just.

Get the bacteria to grow, you’re not gonna find anything in there because it’s gonna have died cuz it can’t survive with oxygen. But when you do a comprehensive stool analysis, so something like a functional test, which is what we do in our clinic. In England, they probably, they’re gonna be private.

Usually you’re looking at the DNA level of the stool. So using PCR technology, much like done with a, COVID test and use a pcr, you’re looking to see if there’s the genetic material for covid. The covid, the coronavirus in there. So it’s the same sort of thing that you would do with the stool.

You’re looking at much more [00:05:00] DNA genetic. And from that you are assessing in the stool. Is there parasites, is there pathogens, bugs? Looking at bacteria levels. You’re looking at the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates. You’re looking at the levels of digestive enzymes in your stool. And just seeing how the whole.

Gut microbiome is working and functioning. So it’s it’s a lot of digging around in stool. I don’t do that. It’s not something that my clients send me their stool, they send it off to a lab. It’s not something I did have someone ask me the other day if they wanted to. Them to take a picture of their stool and send it to me.

I was like no. . I do not need to see that. No, you can just tell me what it’s like. So yeah, so that’s comprehensive stool analysis. Then what you usually do is you would grow, you would try and similar things. You would grow some of it in a dish and see what grows, because some bacteria are aerobic and will grow in oxygen.

But a lot of it will be done through DNA testing to see what’s in there, which is how I ended up finding out paras that I had clearly didn’t like oxygen. Got it. The reason I ask, I’m a big Matrix fan, and I think number one where Neo gets like this electronic [00:06:00] parasite in his body through a dream, and then they suck it out through his belly button and it’s like a tracker and it’s alive.

And he’s that thing was in me. And that’s what came to my head. But How do you actu Sorry. Just a funny just a funny movie analogy with the para. , they’ve located it. So you’ve got something. How did you heal it? How did you clean your body? How’d you get it out? What’s the next step after that, after the diagnosis?

So this is quite interesting actually, cuz I remember when I told my fa family oh, do you know what I found out the problem? And they’re like, okay, are we gonna go to the doctors and get antibiotics? And I was like, no, actually. Because as been in the news for years now, antibiotics are, we’re becoming more antibiotic resistant.

Antibiotics do kill bacteria but they just kill everything. A lot of people that come to me, a slight tangent, but just so you background, a lot of people that come to me will have had rock repeat bouts of antibiotics and it just destroys the gut lining and it destroys the bacterial diversity in the gut, which obviously if you have a parasite or a bug or an infection, you want the [00:07:00] bacteria to be killed.

But obviously, as I was looking at from like a naturopathic perspective and trying to do it from a more natural approach, I wanted to do it more natural. Now nature gives you everything you need in nature. So to, in order to kill off the parasite that I had quite like a comprehensive antimicrobial protocol.

So n Nature provides us with a natural antibiotics. in the form of a lot of herbs and plants. So some of the ones that, you’ve probably heard of on a daily basis be like orno or a garlic or the active component of it called allin. These are herbal antimicrobials, which will kill off bacteria, but they target the bacteria that is the pathogenic one, so the bad one, as it were, and it won’t destroy everything.

So it depends on the type of parasite that you have or the bug or infection. Depends on how long you’ve had it and how vir it is. How much there is in there will depend on how long it takes for you to kill yourself. [00:08:00] But it could be a couple of weeks, it could be a couple of months. So when we work, when I work with someone, you’re always looking at the actual symptoms because it’s like, how are your symptoms responding to what you’re taking?

So we, we did it through natural antimicrobials, blend of different herbs, Burberine, there’s a aana, there’s black walnut, there’s U ersi there’s a whole range of natural herbal antimicrobials. And it’s not as though if you think you’ve got a parasite, you should caveat this. Don’t just go and, drink some or a gar oil or something.

It’s not quite like, works like that. You’ve got to look at the active constituents in it and have the correct dosages and things. But yeah that’s how I got rid. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, thanks for sharing. And two things I picked up. So number one, you need to know exactly what the problem is. So a lot of people just go to the doctors.

Here’s the story. I got sick a couple months ago and I went to doctors and I was so sick and I just went to the doctors to get medication. I’m like, just gimme antibiotics, but, and the doctor said, I’m not giving you anything. And I was like, wow, this is like a random doctor. I was in the middle of nowhere.

I just had to go get medication and she was like, not giving you anything. [00:09:00] No antibiotics. Suck it up. You’ll be okay. And then she explained a little bit about it’s bad to take too much antibiotics, and I was like, wow. I was like speaking to, a naturopath, but she didn’t, what I’d love her to do was like, look.

don’t think you should take anything. Go see a, a naturopath and get them to sort you out or do a further analysis on what it is as well. How important is it now with the movement of, you studied threes at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, top Europe school, educating, nutritionist, herbalist, and acupuncturists.

What’s the popularity and why is this so important now that we need to find out the root cause of. Our symptoms like ibs and like how important is this trend? Like it’s not a trend, like to go back to nature’s way and not just rely on the pharmacist and the medical institution to take a pill and think it’s gonna solve everything, which it doesn’t.

It just masks it huge, hugely important. And that, a lot of that is down to antibiotic resistance because as soon as antibiotics was discovered, it’s completely transformed the world and saved lives. It’s been probably one of the best medical [00:10:00] inventions ever, but, Bacteria.

Viruses are very clever. They mutate, they change, they grow. They become adaptive to their environment, which is why, you could have bacteria that has been found from millions of years ago, and it could be reactivated now because it protects itself and it will hibernate essentially until it gets activated again.

So when we have bacteria in the body and then. Bombarding it with antibiotics, the bacteria’s gonna be like, oh, I get this. Now I know what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to kill me. I’m gonna change and I’m gonna mutate to something else. So that’s where you get the antibiotic resistance from.

And now we have so much more antibiotic resistance because so many people have been on antibiotics. When you’re younger, now GPS and doctors are much more aware of it. They’re stopping prescribing it as much as you, you’ve seen. , but it just means that they’ve got two one, they’re trying to find more types of antibiotics, but there are certain antibiotics that are like strictly kept under lock and key to give people who are antibiotic resistance to everything else cuz they’re just not responding to [00:11:00] treatment.

So it is really important to one. To try and find out the root cause of what’s going on in, in the body and in the gut. And then you can try and support it naturally because it may be for a lot of things, and this is why stool testing is just so incredible, is that you may have an overgrowth of certain bacteria.

Some, I’m sure you’ve heard of like the good bacteria in the bad bacteria in. Some bad bacteria is pathogenic. It’s, it’s an infection. It’s not the sort of thing you wanna have in there. It’s gonna cause you a lot of gut symptoms. Maybe there’s bloating or diarrhea or constipation, things like that.

But what you don’t want to do is just always kill something. It could be that your levels of good bacteria are really low and if you start to increase them, it will balance them out. You are not gonna have that technical overgrowth of the bad bacteria. So things like changing up what you are eating, putting in prebiotic foods, which feed the back, the good bacteria in your gut will mean that they naturally grow [00:12:00] and populate population of those good bacteria increase.

You don’t always need to. So it’s, that’s why a stool test is so important to look at, especially when you’re looking at what we call the commensal bacteria. So the good bacteria and the bad bacteria together, because it’s not just all as always about killing, it’s about in improving the good guys and increasing their population and everything starts to balance out then.

And then in that case, you don’t need the back, the antibiotics or necessarily the herbal antimicrobials. In that way. Yeah. People treat their body like they’re going to war, but it’s more of a, it’s more diplomacy. So you get ahead through. Through agreements rather than through war.

The big five pillars that you talk about is diet, it’s lifestyle, it’s exercise, it’s sleep, it’s stress management. You go to a doctor’s, they don’t ask you, what you have for breakfast, how’s your stress levels? How’s your lifestyle? What are you exercising? This is the importance of having someone like yourself and those property institutions where you can look at those pillars cuz they’re the daily.

What’s your stress like today? How did [00:13:00] you sleep last night? Like lifestyle changes, diet and exercise. This will change the fundamentals of your body as well. I like that. It’s really cool as well. Just while we’re just a you talked about IBS before. A lot of people suffer from it.

We know it’s irritable bowel syndrome, but how does someone know that they have it and how can they, I’m not saying how can you fix it, but where does it come? How do you improve it? What’s, why is there such an increased risk, like so many people these days? So I’ve got irritable bowel syndrome, like where’s it come from?

Yeah. The gold, the golden ticket question. Isn’t that so irritable bowel syndrome, exactly what it sounds like is irritable bowel. Your bowel is irritable. It’s not functioning probably as it should be. And I think one of this is what a lot of people don’t understand is what should a bowel movement look like?

How should it feel? How do you know if you have irritable bowel? Really, if your stool looks like a sausage, so a stool as in your poo looks like a sausage and you’re going one to two times a day, you are in a good place if your stool is anything out of that range. So if it’s too hard to pass, it’s constipated, it doesn’t come [00:14:00] out, or if it’s on the other side, it’s loose, it’s mushy.

There’s no form that you’d probably say that there’s something going on there. It’s slightly irritable. , anything less than one a day, once a day would be class as constipation. Anything more than three times a day, you would probably say something’s not quite going right there because your, the food is transiting through your bowel too quickly.

You’re not having enough time to digest and absorb the nutrients. So three times a day is probably max that you really wanna be going. The main causes of irritable bowel tend to be something like repeated antibiotic use, like I was saying before, which is just has then has not been recovered from. So usually if you’re on antibiotics, you want support the gut with some sort of probiotics or prebiotics to try and increase the good bacteria again.

A travel bug or food poisoning usually is quite a big trigger for i b s as well. So if someone like me picked up a travel bug, whether it’s dirty water, mine was, I fell in a, I was white water rafting and I fell in the water that wasn’t white. It was more brown and swallowed loads of water and that’s how I’d got sick.

[00:15:00] But, take a dodgy takeaway or something like that can often have it. an impact. So those are the, I would say, the main things. If someone comes to me, I’m usually saying, have you had travel bug food poisoning or antibiotics? They’re probably big triggers for it. But also things like food intolerances or allergies.

If you are intolerant to food is different to an allergic reaction to food. An allergic reaction means would be something who’s, someone allergic to peanuts or, celiac, you’re actually allergic to gluten. You are having an immune response to those foods and that immune response can cause you to have diarrhea or bloating or pain.

and also a poor diet, what you would call the typical western diet is a big cause of gut issues. So a typical Western diet would be high in refined carbohydrates, say like breads, pastures cakes, pastries, anything that’s refined and high in sugar, low in nutrient content. So not a lot of vegetables.

And saturated fats. Like things like long [00:16:00] life products, preservatives, additives, anything that’s not fresh. It would be your typical Western diet and having a typical western diet. Means that the gut, the lining of the G can come, can become a lot more aggravated. It can become a lot more inflammatory because the types of foods that you’re putting in there are causing it to be aggravated and inflamed essentially, which then means.

You’re more likely to suffer from something like leaky gut. I dunno if you’ve heard of leaky gut. When the gut has been constantly bombarded with something, causing it to be irritated, whether it’s a bug or a bad food choices or toxins. The, I will say I was, do this analogy.

So imagine these are the cells of your the lining of your gut that you want them nice and tightly packed. So food comes through the intestine here, and then it will get digested and absorbed and it will go through the vili into the bloodstream. And you. take the nutrients that way. But if the the gut’s constantly being inflamed, then the cells will start to become a little bit leaky like this, and the tight junctions between them will get gappy, and [00:17:00] then bacteria, pathogens, bugs, food starts to seep through the gaps.

Into the bloodstream, and then people will then start to notice maybe, oh, I’ve got brain fog, or I’ve got achy joints, or I’m getting rashes on my face or spots on my skin. Or your mood is changing. All of these things can be another sign that there’s something going on in the gut. And leaky again, can be another sort of The next best stage I suppose, of having irritable bowel syndrome if it’s not being recovered from properly and the gut isn’t functioning.

So those are probably how, the main reasons of why you might get i b s. What can you do about it? is there, I guess the, next part of that question you can absolutely do loads about it and I think that’s what people don’t necessarily understand. And then, and not to poo western medicine, cause obviously it’s incredible.

Your, like you said, we go to the doctor, they’re not asking you about all of the other things that are going on in your life, which can also be impacting your gut health. So for me, the biggest thing is always a [00:18:00] comprehensive stool analysis because there’s no point in guessing what’s causing your ibs, could it be that you’ve picked up a travel bug or that you had a dodgy takeaway and you’ve, you’ve still got a bug in there or something.

Or is it that, just that, over years of stress, your gut microbiome balance has fluctuated in the sort of more negative way, and stress has such a huge impact on our gut. We have a gut-brain access. So if we’re under any sort of mental or physical stress, it can also put stress on the gut. It can make it more leaky.

It can make it more inflammatory, and it can have more of when it has a more pro-inflammatory state, it means that some of the bad bacteria can proliferate, which then gives you the ibs. So what you wanna do is find out what is the cause of the gut symptoms, and you can do that through a stool test.

Yes. Okay. Maybe it’s a pathogen, if it’s not okay, what are your good bacteria like? Are they’re actually really low levels, or the mucus membrane of your gut is really compromised. You haven’t got anything there to try and stop bacteria [00:19:00] going through from that leaky gut. You wanna find out what the cause is and then you can rectify it.

Now, for example, with the stress thing, a lot of people will know. Oh, do you know what? When I’m really stressed, I notice that I get a flare up. Or you can, you have that gut feeling, don’t you? You know when you know when something’s not nice and you think, oh God, I need to go to the toilet right now, or, So stress can play a huge part in it.

And if that’s the case, it could be just simple as if you can manage your stress levels. If you can try to remove the stresses in your life, take steps to, to do something to improve that stress. You might find that your I B S clears up and that’s quite an easy fix. . But if it’s someone who’s got a parasite or you’ve had, lots of antibiotics or you’re eating a really bad diet, you need to find out what that is.

And really the best way to do that is a stool test. They are expensive, I always say, but they are, they’re worth in weighting gold. If someone said to you, you can pay a few hundred pounds or a few hundred dollars and I’ll tell you what’s going on with your cut, I always say that’s a pretty good investment.

I wish I’d done it 12 years before cuz it would’ve saved me a lot of hassle, [00:20:00] but then I probably wouldn’t be a nutritionist now. . So once you know what the cause is, then you can start to heal the gut. And a gut healing protocol is gonna involve, obviously, like looking at your diet, it’s gonna usually have quite a comprehensive supplement protocol.

Now, obviously as a. A nutritional therapist. I don’t wanna be what’s called like a green doctor. I’m not there just to give more natural versions of a Western medicine. I am there to use the body to heal itself. But also supplementation does help with this. So things like, Supporting the lining of the gut, bringing in prebiotic foods or prebiotic supplements along with probiotics, probiotic foods or probiotic supplements, or using natural antimicrobials to kill off the bacteria to then, make sure that those symptoms aren’t happening.

, a bit of a full body approach. We need to look at stress, is that causing it? We need to look at diet, what foods are you putting in or not putting in. We need to maybe look at a [00:21:00] healing protocol, so with supplements or natural supplements. And then just put taking, putting the whole thing together as a package.

And working on it that way. And I would say people would say what people would say, how long does that take? That’s probably easy. Is this a day? Is this a week? I would say rule of thumb, you are looking at three to six months. If you’ve, six months, if you’ve got really bad gut issues, three to six months, you’re probably gonna see pretty much good resolution of your symptom.

Yeah. Thanks for cheering. So many questions you’ve answered before. That’s just this, just great. Back to the IBS thing. What about coffee? I know that in the morning I have my coffee and I go the toilet and just one of those things. I don’t know if it’s just a morning thing, but it’s like the smell of coffee, side of coffee first sip, like it just, I don’t know a lot of people.

Is that irritable bowel syndrome or is that just, what is that as in sends you to the toilet? Yeah. So coffee is a stimulant, so that’s why we get a buzz off it. We become more alert off it. It’s waking us up. Coffee is gonna do the same to your gut. [00:22:00] It’s gonna start that peristalsis action in the gut.

When you think food’s moving along the intestines, it will start that process. So it’s like kickstarting the metabolism almost to, to move things through now, which is, is it good, is it bad? I would say, . Ideally you don’t want coffee on an empty stomach because when you have coffee on, which I know lots of people do, I used to do it, I’d probably used to drink like five, six cups of coffee a day when I was working in, my old job.

And coffee is huge trigger for people with irritable bowel because if, especially if you have diarrhea or loose stools, it’s gonna make you go to the toilet even more. Cause you’ve already got a compromised gut. But having coffee on an empty stomach is gonna impact Your blood sugar as well because it’s almost going to spike your blood sugar because which is gonna then start getting everything moving.

It’s gonna give you more energy, so things are gonna start to move through the guts. So I would say you always wanna try and have coffee with food. It’s better for you. It’s gonna keep your blood [00:23:00] sugar a little bit more balanced. But it’s absolutely. Make things move through in the morning. And I know a lot of people rely on that as well to have their morning coffee to get them going to the toilet.

But I would encourage you to have a water and some food first just so it’s a little bit more gentler on your digestion. Got it. Okay. Thank you for that. , what is the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist as well? What are, what’s the core difference? There’s it’s a bit of a weird one.

There’s dieticians and I suppose I’m speaking from the perspective of, the UK health system dieticians are much more in line with what our nhs, our national health system and how the Western medical. Profession works. I suppose it’s a lot to do. I would say it’s probably more to do with calories in, calories out.

And in line with what like I said, Western doctors would prescribe with people from a nu nutritionist perspective. So you’ve got nutritionists, you’ve got nutritional therapist. There’s what, technically what I am, you’ve got naturopathic nutrit. Nutritionists are, and especially what [00:24:00] I do is we are looking at the body as a whole, so we are always looking at the root cause of the problem, and we’re not just there to mask symptoms.

So it’s always, it’s much more investigative. When you’re a nutritional therapist is you’re trying to understand what’s the reason you have this problem, then we need to peel back all the layers and work from there outwards to try and heal the body. But we’re doing it in a much more holistic perspective, maybe than a dietician, because we are looking much more at stress, sleep, lifestyle exercise, all of those things that play into the body as a whole than maybe a dietician, which in my experience has been a lot more focused on.

Calories and food obviously is a huge part of it, but we focus more on the whole picture as a, in a holistic perspective, I would say. Yeah, makes sense. I think I had this conversation the day with someone. I was like, you can get your diet right, you can exercise right? Get your water all that stuff.

Stress is good, [00:25:00] but don’t sleep for a week. Not gonna work. So it’s like it’s, it all balances together. You can’t just, chop off one arm and say you’ve lost five kilos. You know what I mean? It doesn’t work like that. Like it’s all interconnected. What about fasting? Do you ever tell clients, or do you recommend fasting?

There’s all these hype about water fasting. I’ve read walks into the five and two and all this stuff about fasting. What is your recommendation to clients in regards to, fast? Funny. I get that. I get this, asked all this all the time and I feel like I should have a set response here for this.

Yeah. Cause people are really interested in this. So fasting, there’s lots of different ways of thinking about it, first of, I would say fasting often works better for men than women just because of how women’s hormones are. If we are not eating, it can impact our blood sugar, which can impact our hormone balance.

So generally, as rule of thumb, I found that fasting works better for men because of the hormone we’d have. You [00:26:00] have the same hormone rollercoaster maybe as a woman can. Secondly fasting is, if you were doing it from a weight loss perspective, fasting and fasting can be good to create that calorie deficit if there is a lot of weight to be lost.

Because if you’ve got, spare calories to burn, then the, you want the body to burn that fat. But if you are not necessarily overweight, fasting doesn’t always work because you are then just gonna be a calorie deficit and you haven’t got enough energy coming in the body to do all of your bodily functions.

Now, fasting from the perspective of shortening your eating window is quite good. because digestion takes up a huge amount of energy in the body. It’s massive, which is often why, when you eat, you feel quite lethargic or tired. If you’ve had a big meal after you need to sit down, that’s because all the blood, all the energy’s going to your digestive system to break down the food and get the nutrients out.

So if you can [00:27:00] shorten your eating window so that you are not eating from seven in the morning till 10 at night. You’ve then got a longer period over the evening when you are fasting so that the body can then do everything else it needs to do. Now at nighttime, the immune system is really important to, it’s repairing, it’s healing, it’s fighting infection.

Our limb system is detoxifying. All of the toxins throughout the body. Our brain’s working on solidifying memories and all of these things, and we’re sleeping, we’re recharging our batteries, which is what we want it to do. But if we’ve still got food in the digestive system, then we’re just, the body’s not able to do those other really important points.

And things that it needs to do. So if you can fast. And so by fast I mean having that long period of not eating is good. Yes, absolutely. But fasting to the point where it’s calorie deficit can be detrimental if you are not getting enough food and you’ll know that usually because of your energy levels.

I have a lot of people say, oh, I don’t eat breakfast. I’m not that [00:28:00] hungry. , but then they’re, on lots of coffees a day or three o’clock in the afternoon, they need a snack or some chocolate or some sugar, and it’s that’s not really working for you then is it because your body is giving you those signs that it’s not got enough food and energy in them?

So I would say it can be short term. It can be good in the sense if you are overweight and you’re trying to lose calories and you do a little bit of a deficit. , great long term. It’s probably not advisable because your body, there’s a reason that we need, between, 2000, 2,200 calories a day because our body needs to do all of these things with the energy and our brain uses a lot of energy.

, which is fine, but if you are not eating enough and you’re just fasting and calorie deficit, you’re gonna find that you’re hungry and you’re cranky and your concentration and your memory goes, you might not repair as quickly from me, recover from exercise. You might find you’ve got muscle ache. You find that your body is burning muscle rather than fat, which is what a lot of people I think don’t realize, is if you eat [00:29:00] less, and this is often I find.

Something when people think of a diet is that if you eat less, your body will think there’s a famine. So at first it’ll be like, okay, I’ll burn some fat, and you think, great, I’m losing weight. But then it will plateau because our bodies are really clever. So if your body’s thinking, oh my gosh, there’s not enough food every day I’m getting less and less.

And I’m hungry. I need to preserve my fat stores for danger for famine mode because fat has more colds, more calories on us than muscle does. So what will happen is our body will burn the muscle because there’s less calories, but it will store fat. So people will think, gosh, I’m eating less. I’ve still got weight around the middle, weight on my bone or my arms, what’s happening?

It’s because your body is preserving that because it’s worry. That there’s a famine coming and as soon as you start to eat regularly again, your body’s clever. Ah, food’s coming great. What I can do is I’ll speed up my metabolism and I’ll start to burn the fat because I don’t need the [00:30:00] stores of it because I know that we’re in a safe time, and the body can and metabolizes it needs to, it can burn fat as it needs to.

And I don’t need to worry about storing it. So there’s a roundabout way of explaining fasting, but I hope that helped. No, it definitely did. What went through my head? Just a couple little thoughts. When you talked about the immune system working at night, it’s like a nighttime cleaner at a shopping center.

I’m one of those motorized mops and it’s just going slow. Like cleaning the whole shopping center during the night, and it’s like we have that in, in, in ourselves. What’s a really interesting fact is so many people that diet hate their. To a point where they’re at war. This is back with the diplomacy versus war.

They’re at war with their body. You can’t cheat your body. You can for a short period of time, but in the long run your body wins. Hands down. Okay? We know this cuz we all die and the body shuts off, but. If you just loved yourself a little bit more and said, you know what, we got this. I’ll give you the [00:31:00] right food.

I’ll treat you good. I’ll get enough sleep for you. I won’t stress you out. You take me for some runs. We’ll go to the gym every now and then we’ll get some exercise there and let’s be friends. And if you start up your friend in your body will work for you as well.

Know it sounds stupid, but it’s just that change of thought versus. Love yourself. It’s the only body you live in. It’s the only house you’ve got. Absolutely. You can totally right there. I think it’s easier said than done for a lot of people. There are lots of people that do, go to war with their body and it can be a very mental thing as well.

It is, it’s a psychological pain that can be causing you to have an upset relationship with your body. But it’s so true, you don’t need. Live a strict regime of diet and exercise. To have a healthy body that works for you. You just need to put more of the good stuff in and do more of the good things, which will make you feel better, which will then mean that the body functions better and you will have a better relationship with it.

It’s, you don’t need to be a saint with your body. But you just need to treat it with a little bit of kindness as well, I think is [00:32:00] important. Absolutely. Now, from one coach to another, it’s like health coaching, for example, right? You have the answers. A cu a client comes to you, you diagnose him, you give him the analysis.

You give ’em the plan. Okay. That’s half the job. The other half of the job is the power of behavioral change. It’s to manage their inhibitions, fears, blocks that keeps clients on track, motivated and hit their health goals. How hard is it to change someone’s behavior as well? What’s your experience like with that?

It depends on how much they want to change. So often I find it can be if they’re like at the end of their tether and a lot of people that come to us usually. Been to the doctors or hospital as the last resort. They come to us because they were like nothing else has worked. So a lot of those times people are like, I am really ready to make change, and they are going to do what you asked them to do because they’re like, I’m fed up.

But some people. Have almost, I find, grow to have their symptoms and their diagnosis and their illnesses as a bit of their identity. And it’s oh, I can’t do that because I’m, I’ve got this, or, [00:33:00] and so they use that as a barrier to actually putting the effort into making change. So when I’m working as a health coach with someone, what I’m trying to understand is what are your actual barrier?

to this? Is it that you’re being lazy and you can’t be bothered because you just want the easy way out? Or is it that, it’s, years and years of ingrained sort of indoctrination of yourself that this is who you are now that we need to work on? Or is it just that, people just put silly barriers in the way, it’s oh, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money.

Oh, I haven’t got the space. Oh, healthy eating’s hard. And if we can start to unpack, Then we can say, look, let’s just focus on this. And I think a lot of times when you are doing it from a health coach perspective is someone will come to me, right? And I’ll ask for a list of all their symptoms and they’re like, oh, do you know what I, I really want to lose weight.

often that’ll be that their main focus is they wanna lose weight. But when I look at their symptoms and I look at their blood tests or the stool tests, I’m be like, do you know what [00:34:00] actually what you really need to do is work on the hormone balance because of the imbalance of the hormones or the blood sugar that’s causing you to be overweight.

Whereas they just think, oh, they need to eat less or exercise more. But actually, no, there’s a more biological reason for that. So it’s trying to marry up what you know is the cause of their symptoms with what they want. What they want to get out of it and what they think is the problem going on with them and trying to find a balance between the two so that you can then help them.

And I think there’s lots of tools that we use. There’s lots of like diagrams and charts and things that we’re trying to unpack each area of your life. So what is it? Is it the stress impacting this? Is it your exercise? Is it job? Is it family? Is it finances? Is it diet? Is it sleep? And then we can say, look, actually, why don’t we focus a little bit on this area?

And as you start to focus on say, . Your sleep and your sleep improves and you’ve got a better bedtime routine, and you’re going to bed earlier and you’re sleeping better. You wake [00:35:00] up with more energy, great. I’ve got more energy. I’m more focused and motivated to eat well today because I’ve had a good sleep.

And when I eat well, I’m gonna feel better. And when I feel better, I’m more likely to go to the gym. Oh no, go to the gym. I’m gonna have more energy, and then I’m gonna have those endorphins and I’m gonna feel good and I wanna keep doing it. So it’s just trying to marry up all of those things. Again, taking that whole holistic approach to it.

Finding out what the blocks and the triggers for that person are and just trying to dig a little bit deeper and find out the reason and then slowly work on that. Yeah, it can hard, a lot of people come, a lot of people come with the. The fake reason, not the real one as well. I, someone was like, I really wanna lose weight.

But what they really wanted to feel better, more energy, sleep better, and obviously the external thing is to lose weight, but the internal things that come with it. Now you touched on something that was my next question, which is hormone balancing as well. Talk to me a little bit about hormone balancing, mood swings, hormonal aches, cramping, digestive issues, and female hormone.

Things. Painful periods. I’ve [00:36:00] got a wife I know what hormones all about . Or what’s hormone balancing? Hormones, men and women have hormones in the body. They’re, like chemical messengers that send off around the body to, to trigger certain reactions within the body.

When our hormones are unbalanced, it can mean that we are then, Unbalanced, in ourself with various different things. Now, for women, obviously hormonal balance is huge because we have such a huge change in our hormones every month when we have a, menstrual cycle and when we have an imbalance of hormones.

it can cause so many symptoms for women whether it is menstrual cycle related, heavy periods, pain, cramping, mood swings, poor sleep, anxiety but it can also have an impact on energy focus, mood concentration, has a huge impact on the reproductive system, with regards to fertility as well.

From a women’s health perspective, the hormones you think of estrogen, progeta, and these ones, which are they fluctuate quite a lot throughout the month. That’s one side of things, but then another side of a sort of hormones that can affect both men [00:37:00] and women. I guess the one I probably see the most with is thyroid hormones.

Now, these, for women, obviously these are connected. The thyroid hormones can impact the, our sort of female health sex hormones as well. I guess from a more general perspective with hormone. Ones that affects men and women is our thyroid health. Now, thyroid is the gland in the neck. It produces thyroid hormone.

It goes into every cell of the body, and it governs our metabolism. So when the thyroid’s not working so well, it means we’ve probably got less energy. We can be more lethargic, maybe more constipated for a lot of people at. We have cold, more cold hands and feet. On the other side of having an overactive thyroid, it could be that you are more nor more jittery, more nervous.

You’re the sort of person that can’t put on weight, you’ve got a lot more energy. So that’s one that see quite a lot in clinic. And especially if you people come to us with energy, it’s let’s check your thyroid. Cuz actually thyroid, if thyroid can be impacted by stress, and lack of iodine too.

So it’s looking at that. So that’s a really big area for hormone balance. But then, like I said, from the women’s perspective, [00:38:00] which is what we deal a lot within our clinic, and even myself was coupled with my, the IBS issues I had hormone balance imbalance was, massive, and I.

As, I dunno what percentage of women around the world are on the contraceptive pill, which is obviously a synthetic hormone. But when I came off the contraceptive pill, I’d probably been on it for 16 years or something. It was the answer to everything. When you go to the doctor, oh, I’ve got heavy periods.

Oh, I’ve got acne. Oh, I’ve got period pain. It’s go on the pill. And people still get prescribed to go on the pill and I don’t think that you realize. Detrimental that can be because we are on it for long periods of time. And even myself, when I came off the pill after 16 years, my skin went crazy.

I, I was in my thirties and it was like a, really bad teenage acne. I didn’t know at the time that was hormonal imbalance and your body’s trying to detoxify all of these hormones and . It’s so important to have good gut health to balance your hormones because our hormones are excreted through the gut.

So I said thing that we tie in a lot with people, and it’s something we [00:39:00] see usually quite a lot together, especially with women, is if there’s gut issues going on, there’s often quite. Commonly hormonal imbalance as well, because the hormones aren’t being excreted through the stool and they get reabsorbed.

And when h hormones as particularly estrogen because it’s quite a powerful hormone when estrogen gets reabsorbed, or we have high levels of estrogen that aren’t being excreted. Women find that maybe skin issues are a big one. Mood swings, painful periods, bloating things like fibroids and cysts can develop.

It’s quite a, it’s quite a big area to cover, but it is very much connected. It’s something that is very important to make sure your gut health is working well if there’s hormonal imbalance, because like I said, nothing in the body is in isolation. , this is another, even, this is tying it all in together.

Everything is absolutely connected. Thank you for ex, thank you for expanding on that. Not many people, understand about hormones and you just educated me a little bit about hormone balance. [00:40:00] The last one, which we touched on, I think we’ve touched on lifestyle, diet, exercise, sleep, stress.

Everyone knows what the stress is, but you talk about how to det. Couple tips before we finish off. How do we de-stress? Like when someone says, just stress less, stop stressing. Relax, that’s great. , thank you. That changed my life. What are some tips that you give people to de-stress and relax?

I think the first thing with trying to say de-stress is, If someone said to you, just chill out or relax, that’s gonna stress you out more. That’s like really passive aggressive way to get someone riled up. I would say it’s very much looking at the reasons that you are stressed and trying to, again, dig into those.

I think I find the biggest things that work with my clients when I’m trying to support stress management is putting in. And I think especially, work is a huge stress for people. And I’ve had clients that have quit their jobs because the stress levels have been so much that they’ve impacted their health.

I see that quite a lot and whilst sometimes I may actually say to [00:41:00] someone, not just straight off the bat, Is this the right job for you? They might turn around and say, no, it’s not, and I’m gonna quit that job. And they remove that stress and their health dramatically changes. Now, obviously that’s more of a drastic drastic example.

I’m not telling everyone to quit their jobs, but I find the biggest thing is. Trying to put boundaries in place to try and minimize that stress because a lot of us are yes people, so we’ll say yes. We take on things we don’t have the capacity to do and then we’re putting more on our plate.

That’s gonna make us more stressed from a another perspective. I say I have a background of being a yoga teacher as well. is knowing that there’s things that you can do to instantly put your body from your sympathetic nervous system, which is our fight or flight response into our parasympathetic nervous system, which is our rest and digest nervous system, which is the more de-stressed one is breathing is huge.

If you just two minutes works really. . If you just find a quiet space or go and sit in the [00:42:00] toilet at work or wherever it is, and you close your eyes and you take some deep breaths, it will instantly activate your para parasympathetic nervous system. And anybody, if you’ve ever been to a yoga class or you’ve ever done anything where you’ve just sat there, it will de-stress you and the importance of this.

Is that it brings down your cortisol levels, it will bring down your adrenaline, which are our stress hormones, which will make us more stressed. And it just puts you into perspective more. It’s why, when we are nervous or we’re stressed, our breathing will get more shallower and we’ll be more on edge and everything’s a little bit more tense.

But as soon as you take deep breaths, breathe in for four out for six, or even, if that doesn’t feel comfort. Box, breathe. Breathe in for four, out for four. Hold for four. In for four. Hold for four. It will naturally calm the body down. And I’ve seen clients, especially some big cl clients of mine, have had severe hormonal imbalance.

A lot of stress levels, hair falling out heavy, painful periods, gut issues, and I just got them to go to the toilet in periods of [00:43:00] stress. and do some deep breathing, and they did it a couple of times a day and it was amazing the results. So that’s probably my biggest tip. is do some breathing.

I actually have a funny story of that recently, a couple weeks ago I was out with my wife and we both went to talk and one of my friends is like a master breath work. Anyway, he’s just next level in terms of breath. And he does this one where it’s nostril, where you hold one nostril and you breathe and you alternate nostrils and you breathe.

I come outta the toilet waiting for my wife. There’s a crowd of people there. Now I’m in my own world because I’m just, I’m just in my own world. I’m standing there going.

My wife comes out and goes, what the F are you doing? I’m like, what? People are looking at me thinking I was doing something to talk. I just sit in there breathing for a minute. People thought I was doing like cocaine or something. It was the funniest thing, cuz I was literally getting high off my breath.

Just getting, I scented. I was, it was so funny because I’m like just laughing to [00:44:00] myself going, oh my God, how embarrassing. But it was just funny. That’s a great breathing exercise. A and Nostra breathing please. Yeah, it’s amazing if you are sitting in traffic or whatever, hold your nostril.

Breathe in. Alternate nostrils. Add such a rush. I was doing that today. Better than drugs. Breath is better than drugs. Any drug, alcohol, cigarettes, whatever. So if you are stressed, that, that is number one. The other ones you say take a time away from technology, which is great, nourish the body and make time for yourself as well.

And then identify triggers and seek a resolution. Kelly, we could chat for hours, but I’m gonna let my audience find you. So you’ve got some programs online as well. Where can people find out more about your stuff and your work? Yeah, fabs. You can head to the natural on website there.

You can still about the sort of private coaching we do online group courses that we’ve got or online self-led courses. You can find us on Instagram as well. It’s the natural balance with an underscore at the end. And yeah you can find everything on there. We’ve got lots on there. Lots. [00:45:00] What about socially as well?

Where do you spend most of your time on. Instagram probably. You’ll see a lot on there. We’ve got a lot of information on there. We’ve got a lot on the website as a lot of blogs, so blogs on gut health, women’s health, hormones, fertility, pregnancy we’ve got a whole range of beacon of pregnancy.

Congratulations and for your next step in Journey in Life as well. Thank you very much. Wanna say thank you for being a guest on the Best Bull Pits podcast, and to my audience, go out there, follow Kelly and check out her website. She’s got some great stuff there. And yeah, if you, any of this stuff resonated with you, definitely seek out some professional advice and let Kelly look after you.

Kelly, once again, thank you very much and we shall speak to you soon. Okay. Thank you very much, Michael. It’s wonderful to speak with you. Thank you. All right, great. Thanks so much. All right, bye bye.


Shadow Magic | Turn Your Fear Into Fuel | Anna Tsui Interview

Most books on coaching and business focus on surface-level actions like list building, client generation, and marketing. This book, however, recognizes that unless you address the deepest, most unconscious “shadow” layers of your operating system, you will self-sabotage your growth at every level. Your shadow is composed of your fears, old trauma, and insecurities. It’s the reason why most business owners struggle to stand out, attract ideal clients, and create consistent revenue. Here is the magic: your shadow actually contains the secrets to accessing your unique genius and gifts that can help you powerfully connect with your ideal clients and become an unstoppable leader in your industry. The powerful techniques in this book have been adapted from ancient wisdom, behavioral psychology, and the author’s private coaching practice. Anna shows you proven methods in an easy-to-practice format that will help you clear your biggest revenue blocks, identify your unique identity as a coach, and create a structure for your thriving business. Included in this book is the author’s guide to building a six-figure coaching practice, with tools that have helped her students and clients create sustainable growth in their businesses and bring in an additional $5,000–$20,000 in monthly revenue. This book is a must-have for coaches and entrepreneurs in all industries. For every book purchased, a tree will be planted.


My Movie ANNA

[00:00:00] Best Book Bits podcast brings you Anna Tsui, international coach, speaker, author, serial entrepreneur. She believes that building a successful business and living a joyful existence is much easier than we’re being conditioned to believe. Author of the book, shadow Magic. Anna, thank you for being on the show, Michael.

So nice to be connected with you. Thanks for having me on. No worries. Now, an amazing book, and we’ll deep dive into it soon as well. I think this topic of the inner work and shadow stuff and all that amazing stuff has now come to the fold and surface. And I know a lot of people are talking about it, but tell me a little bit about your background, how you got started into this work and what led you on your journey.

So where did the journey start for yourself? Oh, that’s a great question. I think maybe a lot of your listeners, I was natural, intuitive. Very sensitive, but always in hiding or didn’t know how to deal with all of these like feelings that I had. And then I realized that feelings were actually if, when I listened to them cuz I’m a serial [00:01:00] entrepreneur.

When I listened to my gut instinct, when I listened to my feelings, they always guided me. in the right direction, unless, of course, and this is what I, what propelled me to write the book unless they’re like the shadow feelings, which help me distinguish what is the difference between our kind of like fear versus our intuition.

And so I have a history of doing serial entrepreneurship, a bunch of different startups. And I’ve been on this coaching journey, meaning coaching other people. Excellence and their brilliance for the past 10 years. Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. And you deep dive into the book a little bit about your experience as well.

What started first? Was it was it the coaching? Was it healing? Was it, like what was the first. First thing that you did for someone out there that’s you know what? I want to start and helping people in this particular area what advice would you give them to start? Or what was your experience on starting?

My experience was I was always the one that people told too much information to, too much personal information to at parties, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate and it’s okay, but I love to listen. It was fascinating to me. And then [00:02:00] one day I was at a party and someone was like, will you be my coach?

And I was like, what is that? And that got me into the coaching world. But before that, my hobbies really were in the world of energy and learning, energy healing. I’m a certified reiki master. I’ve been trained into going into the Kasha records, which is really esoteric, but now it’s getting really popular.

I don’t know if you noticed, but now the esoteric, like astrology, human design, a kosha, crazy stuff like that, right? It’s becoming more main. . And I think that’s just people moving into trying to make sense of all the crazy changes that are happening in the world and it brings up a lot of our shadows, right?

And so people are trying to figure out what do I do with all this? Tell me a little bit about why you wrote the book. The book is for coaches, cuz that was a lot of the clientele that I worked with, helping them overcome their self sabotage. But it’s really for any entrepreneur or anyone who’s. Why do I always get in my own way?

And I wrote it with basically all of my client anecdotes. Those are all true stories because we realize that whenever we are about to launch a program [00:03:00] or about to start a social media campaign or do something that’s new and that will get them growth. Weird things started to happen, but it was the same things, right?

So there were certain patterns that certain clients would have, they would always get sick before a big launch or some things, and it was legitimate sick, they would get a sore throat or they would actually lose their voice, but it would happen pretty frequently or. Their lives would go crazy.

They would’ve in-laws visiting them, right? And everything legitimately was they got too busy to go through their sales and marketing plan, right? And I realized, oh, hey, there’s a pattern here. There’s something deeper going on underneath. And that’s really what the book is about. It’s about helping people see that actually it’s their unconscious that’s running their.

And really informing their showing up or lack of showing up. It’s not really our consciousness that’s running our business, like who I think I am. It’s actually my unconscious that’s running the show, which is, scary, that’s the reason why I wrote the book, just so people can plan for it.

[00:04:00] Yeah, absolutely. And being a coach myself, I can totally understand the self-sabotage and just the unconscious things that come along with it as well. You kick off the book with chapter one, talking about the force within and one of the little subheadings is what if no one signs up for my program?

Now I’ve been here before, so spent time and time, money, effort, energy, emotions on grant, the program, and then you market the program and you do your first live webinar. Been there, no one shows up even I’ve got a big audience and like, how, where does a coach go from there? When they first had that first initial failure.

Now I’ve overcome that and I’ve done quite successful in my coaching stuff, but we can always go that next level. But tell me a little bit about where does a coach go from there? When they experience that first sort of son of failure and no one so up for their. Or how am I gonna get clients? Or why can’t clients to pay me a higher rate?

There’s so much stuff that goes internally. What? What do we do? Oh yeah. And I, to be honest, I don’t even have that fear anymore. And I’ll tell you why and how I [00:05:00] overcame it. So I know once I’ve announced my program, it’s gonna be crickets. I know it. So I plan for it. I don’t expect anything else. And if people show up or if people express interest, then that just adds more fuel to my motivation.

But I think what people, what happens is we spend so much energy launching something and before it even gives momentum, we give up on it. We give up on it because this internal yeah, self-sabotage, but it’s really this internal self-protective mechanism comes up. Don’t make yourself even more visible.

You lose. And then we hear these voices and we actually, we are the ones that abandon our project, our launch, our program, our service, because it feels unsafe. But if we can plan for that, if we know you know what, I’m just gonna do five posts and after five posts, then I’ll come back and reevaluate.

But really planning for the crickets, planning for people who don’t show up allows you to just give yourself that. To have fun into experiment and to get re [00:06:00] excited about the program that you’re launching. Because if you’re not excited about it, then no one else is gonna be excited about it.

Yeah. And also bringing consciousness to the unconscious. So you talk about the executive self versus. The shadow self as well. So going into launching a program or something like that, when you operate from your shadow you talk about it in the book, a couple of things happen such as, self sabotage, spirals, and you block yourself, you begin to lose confidence.

But when you operate from an executive leadership, Space you are able to recognize yourself, sabotage and realize that’s showing you important lessons about your personal growth. So it’s bringing that consciousness into the unconscious aspects of ourselves as well. Yeah. Michael, I’m so impressed by your speed reading skills and just like the level of comprehen, I know you’re in this industry, it’s it’s amazing.

So that’s a great question. And actually the energy of consciousness is a really powerful energy. So I love that you brought it up because our shadow stuff really, it’s our scared inner. . And children, what do they need? They need a strong authority figure to feel [00:07:00] safe. And so for many of us, we don’t realize that cuz we don’t have, like you mentioned, that consciousness and What Actually, when you become conscious of your shadow, you embody this energy that’s really strong and makes your shadow feel safe, and your shadow will test it just like a little kid.

Or if anyone has like a pet, right? Or a dog. I have a dog, he’s very stubborn. He’s an English bulldog and he will test you at every. Every minute. And so if we can stand in our consciousness, it actually allows our shadow self to be more at ease and it becomes less powerful because it’s this inner child’s oh, I don’t need to be in charge anymore.

I don’t need to kick and stream and claw my way to safety. And so that consciousness that you mentioned is so key and it’s very powerful. Just the. . Yeah. But it’s easy for you to say, Anna, you didn’t grow up, severely insecure, depressed, growing up in the projects from an immigrant family being bullied, broken nose, gangs and parents arguing.

It’s easy for you. You were brought up on the right side of the road. That sounds like a great rap video. I should make a song. [00:08:00] Yeah. Eminem eight Mile. Can you tell me. Tell us a bit about your background and how, what I just said then was tongue in cheek and how that actually related and was your upbringing.

Yeah, absolutely. So exactly what you said, just, immigrant family. I think looking back using the terminology today, it would be, it would’ve been a toxic household. A lot of ptsd, a lot of anxiety, of mental disorders. We were poor. And I got picked on a lot and I realized later on in my adult years that I got picked on because I was just in that victim mentality.

Like I was almost like, pick on me was my energy, right? I know I’m different, I’m insecure. I know I look different and I eat different things and I speak a different language, so everyone just pick on me. And I didn’t realize that until my adult life. But I’m so thankful for that upbringing and I’m so thankful for my parents as challenging as they were.

Because I really think that if we didn’t come, if we didn’t come through all of this contrast right, and difficulties our greatness in who we really are wouldn’t really come out. So like they really were [00:09:00] instrumental in. Yeah, I I can second that as well. So thank you for sharing your story. I have was on a podcast recently and I expressed that I was the youngest child and my parents never really told me what to do.

They didn’t tell me what not to do, but they didn’t also tell me what to do. So what it did, and gave me this incredible space of no one telling me I couldn’t do something or did stuff. And because of that I just did. For a long time and then created great stuff as well. So I thanked them that, I had this lane, full way, highway lane open, no traffic, no one on the road all the time.

And I was like, and it’s not good or bad, but . Yeah, I do. I do thank him for giving me that space and just to leave me alone, but still had that loving home. It was strange. Very strange. Anyway, we’ll move on. That’s great. Yeah. It was cool. Sounds like a party. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I was looking back.

It’s a bit weird. You talk about the energetics of a business and this chapter really got to me as well because your business is alive, literally. [00:10:00] Can you talk about the energetics of a business? Oh, I love this because everyone who has a business right now, and it can even be like a hobby or a side hustle, right?

Or it can even be a relationship like your marriage. It has its own life force. It has its own aura. It even has its own birthdate. So if you think about it, your business and corporation date, you can actually get an astrology tree chart reading, right? It’s actually a legally binding date. It’s a legally binding entity, right?

I have an LLC here in the us and everything about it is an entity. And it’s the same in your marriage, right? It’s an entity. So you can do things for yourself or you can do things for the marriage. You can do things in your shadow space, right? Or you can do things as an executive of your business.

And so when we see our business as something that’s really alive that wants to thrive, and that means it has clients already built in, right? It has a strategy already built in. It has its own strengths and weakness. And so if we tap into the energy of our business right now, all of your listeners just feel into it and [00:11:00] notice if it feels really weak, if it feels like it could use a little bit more love.

Or if it feels really vibrant, just notice the size of it, right? Does it feel tight and small and insular, or does it feel vast, like it encompasses the whole globe? Just tapping into the energy will show you so much about how viable your business actually. Yeah, I used to think this stuff was like woowoo years ago.

I, I wasn’t ready for it. And it’s funny, I look back now and I had, I was invited by some of the, if I said their names, people would know their names cuz they’re the most well known public personal development people around the world. And one of the guys is, was I’m a Christian slash Buddhist.

To do both things, but he was really deep into Christianity and teaching all about God and things like that, which is great. And I’m into that. But then his whole program, and I couldn’t believe it was based on the inner child traumas and stuff, and I was like, man, I’m all good. don’t need any of that.

I’m like, but it was my ego blocking me going, What he was really, and I’ll look back now in a bit of, laugh it off a little bit [00:12:00] because the work of a business, as you say, we need decisive leaders who’s committed to making a bigger container of light and expansion, which you write in the book as well.

And it is about coming from that space of expansion. But when we are in the ego or the self-sabotage or the inner child or whatever it is, we are very locked into a certain position and we don’t want to open any wounds. It’s not even going back to open up things. But we’re, we are very closed ourselves cuz we’re very logic, we’re very logical as a leader.

We need to be open enough for things to flow into as well. So what’s blocking a lot of people from even getting into this particular work of shadow work? It can be really painful. It can show you parts of yourself that you might not wanna see cuz you’ve spent your whole life. Trying to look successful.

And I think especially when you get to a certain age, you know when you leave your twenties, which I’ve left for a while, when you leave your twenties and you become like truly an adult and settled in the world and you have a list of accomplishments, you’re known for something, right?[00:13:00]

That’s just. How much stronger your ego is. It’s just adding more walls to you. Being flexible and nimble. And like you said, we’re a part of this like infinite source, right? Who we really are is very multi-dimensional and very dynamic. So the stronger that we identify to this ego, to our accolades, to the things we were good at, 10 years ago, and the things that people say that we’re good at, the more that we don’t want to show.

we maybe fail the more that we don’t wanna experiment and fail. And so then it becomes a really rigid like stuck structure. And so if we, if any of your listeners are really finding that they’re stuck in the same place, like maybe you’re wearing the same clothes from, back in the day, or you’re like talking about something, but it doesn’t feel like it’s hitting your heart.

It means you need to open up those walls. It means you really need to move beyond this ego identity and. Put stuff out there that gets [00:14:00] people to respond to you in a good way or in a negative way. Test yourself. We are so much stronger than our ego, cuz really our ego is a survival mechanism.

It’s our inner child, it’s our unconscious. It’s not like the strongest part of us. It’s just like this part of our mammalian brain. So the thing is if we don’t recognize our ego and our shadows and our. You don’t really get to recognize the consciousness that’s so much bigger that, like you said, is completely tapped into abundance.

The ego is not tapped into abundance. It’s not tapped into flow. It’s tapped into like scarcity and like staying the same. And so if we find ourselves sabotaging ourselves or being stuck, or we’re making the same amount of money every year and things aren’t really changing, chances are you’re in self-sabotage eco space.

So just be the consciousness that’s aware of it and you really don’t even need to do much. Life will come to. , right? Like you said, you’ll find people that you wanna learn from. You’ll find videos you’ll like, start shedding people that you don’t wanna follow anymore. Life will bring you what you focus on.

So just be [00:15:00] like in your consciousness. It’s a strange world, the universe. It’s funny that you say that when you said life will bring everything two, I’ve got this screensaver and I can’t share it through here, but basically it’s a man on a cliff and there’s a big finger behind him flicking him off the cliff and the caption says God, and then below there, there’s his hand under the cliff.

The guy’s free falling, he’s being click flicked off the mountain. And it says also God flicks you off your path of where you’re at. But he also catches you. And I had this personal experience myself. So a couple months ago I had a full-time job, a great high paying job great lifestyle, been doing it for ages, really easy.

I was very bored. I’ve always wanted to leave it. I finally gave up and I was like, , gonna retire. I’m not doing this anymore. It needs a semi-retirement. Right? People can’t say that. I’m like, I can say it. Let me own it for a couple months. So it’s semi-retired. Very bored at home December, January.

Not bored, but basically a lot of time with the kids. It’s great. Yeah, it’s great. And then yesterday got the phone call for the business opportunity that [00:16:00] I didn’t even know existed, but it came to me and it only came to me because I’m involved in these other businesses, which is great. And my business partner believed so much in me.

He’s you have to join this new business venture I’m on. And it’s like the universe moves you. It gives you something completely different and it’s what kind of ride is this? So you look back and connect the dots, but it’s like you gotta just have faith that go with the flow, go with your intuition.

Step into spaces where it might be a little bit dark and unknown, like the dark forest, but someone will come in and shine un white and it will all make sense as well. So just wanted to. . Yeah. Yeah. And you know why that special adventure? I love that story. So that arrow of the finger flicking being God and the hands holding you being God.

Guess what? There’s another arrow of the guy , right? Jumping off the cliff also. God, yeah. . Yeah. God, I forgot about that one. They forgot to put that one in. Correct. And we forget that [00:17:00] we are the ultimate expression of creativity. We can actually change, move. The thing with the ego is it’s stuck in the, that’s what I wanna get onto as well.

When you said, when you were stuck, the ego, from my understanding of it, it’s not just block, we’re in habits, certain habits and habitual things that just get us stuck and I was stuck. In certain areas, and I knew I was stuck. And I call it I call it a loop, like in the matrix. We’re stuck in this loop and you can see other people’s loops and it’s oh my God, I’m in a loop.

I’ve gotta get outta this loop. I’ve gotta break the chain, walk out the loop, walk into the unknown and start a new loop. And it’s like we are just human, but. How do we, let’s say we’re in an environment right now that we don’t want to change, and we could talk about this in a sec, but one of the things I wanted to talk about in your book, you talk about you were the medicine, and I know I’m just going off topic, but indigenous cultures call this our gift and it’s now our unique, our uniqueness is our own medicine as well.

What do you have to say about that with our [00:18:00] medicine and our uniqueness and how do you tell clients and get them to actually express that uniqueness in their life? Yeah. If you look at your life you are, you’re a medicine for somebody, right? Like you, we’ve given ourselves our own medicine and you know anyone who’s you’ve been through a lot of personal growth, right?

You’ve been remedying parts of yourself, like things that you don’t feel are right, and that journey, you become like this big medicine, and chances are it’s medicine for your people. So it could be medicine for your family. It could be medicine for your clients, your community, right? But it’s just who you.

And if you allow yourself to really own that, that you are this like walking healing energy that actually helps us escape the loop of the ego. So the ego is always based in fear and self-preservation. It’s always like seeing like scarcity. It’s like rooting the news about the economy, right?

And inflation and all this stuff. And I’ve heard this thing now where there’s , people are there’s like this like social depression that I saw yesterday and it’s [00:19:00] basically people have less friends, less good friends than before, and it’s one right now versus three good friends from, the seventies.

People are less likely to have children now. There’s like all of this stuff going around, and so if you are. In a space of just loving yourself, that energy of love, right? That energy of accepting yourself, you are instantly out of that loop because that loop is always being fed by scarcity, by things that we see in social media, the news, other people, right?

If you allow yourself to just spend a moment with your kids, a moment in nature, it’s really simple, right? But the more we do it, it becomes, So healing because that love energy and that ego energy can’t coexist, right? Like abundance and scarcity can’t coexist. So just do a jump. One of my very good friends and I’m actually helping him birth a book as well, pretty much lives in the forest, and he’s literally we call him Jesus because I can share his [00:20:00] stuff through there.

His name’s a shout out to Jo. Lives in the forest. He’s the most highly spiritual, energetic vibe person you’ve ever met. and, but it’s one person. This is the way the world works and how people judge. It’s like someone’s got their head in the clouds, meaning they’re very spiritual, floating levitating.

And then someone’s got their feet on the ground and there’s this judgment of, oh, but you don’t do, you have a secure job of secure income? And then people like you don’t understand. I’m tapped into source energy. It’d be like, no, you don’t understand. And it’s this constant battle between people that are just feet on the ground, head in the.

And there’s this balance, I think there’s a balance between two. There’s also a very thin line between enlightenment and schizophrenia. I listened to a podcast recently about that and I can totally understand that too, cuz some people don’t know if they’ve tipped over the edge. A little bit too much as well.

I need to come back down to reality. But anyway, I’m waffling on it the moment, but I really wanted to talk about your struggle is your strength. And one of the things you talk about in the book is, the not so secret sources that most [00:21:00] business. A functioning from a deep level of fear and insecurity that make their business and brand un unstable and reactive.

The underlying dysfunction causes them, to make poor reactive decisions give away their personal power shrink in vulnerability. What are we doing? Why are business owners operating from this state? And how can we change this state of fear and in. Oh yeah. So definitely do a self-assessment if, and this is in the book too, and I think it’s in the free download that’s Write the insight.

Yeah. Your unique insight worksheet. Yeah. Is that the one? Yeah. And there’s there’s one in there. I can’t remember if it was that one or some other one where basically you just list the task in your business or the sections of your business. So like finances, how confident you are you in the financial aspect of your business, bringing in money, saving money, spending money.

How confident are you? Sales of your business, having sales calls, how confident you in marketing and basically if you’re not at a level, let’s say so one outta 10, 10 is super confident. If you’re not at an eight or above in [00:22:00] terms of confidence in those areas, chances are you’re running on self sabotage.

Chances are your ego is keeping you from doing the things that you probably know that you need to do to have a thriving. And so if you just again, feeling into the energy of your business, if you’re less confident than you’d like to be, then that’s a sign that your ego’s probably running the show.

You also talk about, good point. You also talk about the inside job as well. And one of my personal experiences recently, I went to all these networking events, probably about three in the last week, and they were great, met some great people, but. I didn’t go there looking for, to expand my network cuz you know, I’ve got, I speak to a lot of great people and I wasn’t going there for looking for work or promoting myself as well.

And conversations came up and people was what do you do for work? And one person would just be like, oh, I’m unemployed. And you watch their reactions and I do it as a joke. And then people are like, oh, okay. And then one’s oh, I’m Samara Raton. Oh, okay, that’s cool. She like, And then the other one’s no, look, I’ll be honest with you, I’ve got five businesses, or I run the worlds largest three books on website or, oh, I run a global Top [00:23:00] 40 podcast and oh, I’m actually got a property business through here.

And you can have a, and they’re all true, but. Watching people’s energy change when you have, like your words, create other energies, but also your own words, change your own state as well. But one of the things with the inside job was I realized after everyone’s do you wanna join this network in event or this company and do this work?

I was like, I need to go home and work on my own inside job because, , I’m now at that point where I don’t need external business. I need to just find that internal driver within myself to get my own stuff sorted within my own business systems and my own stuff as well. So how important is it for you as a coach, coaching business owners and coaches to sometimes stop.

Maybe look inward on the inside job of not just yourself personally, but your own business systems as well. It’s the inside job, and you’re absolutely right. And I know coaches who did really well and went into seven figures like but then their whole lives fell apart and they’re like, [00:24:00] okay, maybe this isn’t for me.

And whenever. And let’s just bring it back to something like a launch, right? Something that people can relate to. Like I’m about to do like a selling my new program or whatever it is. If I don’t do the inside workforce, which is the most essential work, then I’m gonna go out there like hoping and praying that someone’s gonna buy.

But if I am so confident and grounded that of course this is gonna sell out, right? The energy that I show up from is completely different, and that’s what happens. So like I, I say if you’re not really gonna allow yourself to be really confident or even just excited about a thing, then don’t even launch it, right?

Because then your ego and all this stuff is gonna come in and fill in the void. So like the inner work, the energy that you come from dictates what happens in your reality. For sure. Yeah. You talk about do the inner work. People probably listening now saying, all right, tell me how do I do the inner work?

What is some of the first steps for someone to do the inner work? Do they have to hire someone to have to read a certain book, do a mantra, do a breath exercise? Like where do people start doing the inner work? Aside from [00:25:00] listening to this podcast, ? Yeah. Go to where you are most. go to right now. The thing where you’re, and it could be something really silly I don’t like what I see in the.

Like my face is different. My, maybe I’ve gained some weight. I don’t really know, like what clothes are flattering to me now, I don’t even show up on zoom or do anything on social media because I’m really insecure about how I look. Go to where you’re insecure and work on that and love yourself through that, because not only will you be a hundred times happier, Right and find, you’ll release all this energy that could be creative energy for your projects and your business and your family because chances are what we’re insecure about is where we have most walls, and that’s where we’re blocking off love.

And I can tell you there’s a direct correlation. If you don’t have what you want in your life, it’s because you’re not allowing love to flow. And you mentioned flow earlier, right? Like that flow within into the universe where you don’t have love flowing. There is no possibility for abundance. And usually where the walls.

Are [00:26:00] insecurities, and you know what it is as well. It’s also people. It’s definitely got to do with the fear and insecure as well. But I do these podcast shows like all the time now, which is great. I, And I love it and I’m very comfortable and confident to sit here and just have a conversation, look at a webcam, but, , if it’s just me in the studio with the webcam and turn it on and have the same energy to say, Hey, it’s Michael here.

I’m actually running and I run multiple programs, but I don’t promote. So it’s like my own insecurity is I’ve got this audience. I don’t tell them that, I’m a book coach and I work with authors all around the world and entrepreneurs speak their. They speak, I write it. I work with, very busy entrepreneurs and things like that.

I don’t tell them, I don’t tell them I’m too, business consulting or other YouTube consulting. I don’t tell them my programs and my packages. What, do people get to a point where, like, how do you distinguish between the voice of the. Of the sabotage. You wrote that in the book as well, like what’s stopping people from, even though they might be confident they’ve got all these stuff, but just to promote, [00:27:00] like they get everything there, but like stopping people from promoting.

Is that an insecurity or what is that? I’m just trying to work it out myself. Why don’t I promote my programs and my stuff to my audience? Oh, yeah. It’s because it’s giving you some important aspect of your identity, right? So why does a part of you feel safe not promoting Michael? , if you wanna answer that question, don’t know.

I think I’ll have to, I’ll probably have to check with you. Off one on that one. Yeah. Cuz for me, when I I was hitting an in income ceiling, I was just making the same amount of money every year. And then when I ask myself why, like, why, what is this giving me? Because it gives a part of me.

Some sort of a sense of safety or it feels good to a certain part of me that I’m not making more than this amount of money, even though the big part of me like wants to make more money. And then when I asked myself, it was like the silliest answer, but it was, it hit really deep. It was, if I make more money then I’ll have to like really take care of my parents and people will come after me and I will feel bad and I will give them all my.[00:28:00]

right? It was a weird thing, but we all have these little things, right? Maybe it’s if I tell people what I do and then maybe I won’t have time for my family cuz I’ll be so successful. Or they won’t believe me. Yeah. And I’ve got the answer. What is it? What is it? Yeah. I found the answer. So the answer is it’s cuz I run the world’s largest.

Book summary platform and it’s free. And I pride myself on educating the masses for free and I educate millions of people every year with the videos and the audio stuff as well. That is one of the reasons because I’m really passionate about decentralization and free. , but I’m not serving anyone if I’m not telling them about certain, if I can’t help someone birth a book or help create a great YouTube channel or start a podcast show or do a course, what’s, there’s no, I’m not helping them. So I think I’ve gotta get across that. And the other one is cuz I make money on other businesses that aren’t free. So I’m like, I’m cool with money there and I’m cool with my charity work, which [00:29:00] is Best book Bits, which is me giving back and it’s like mixing the two. Yeah, a clash of identity and values as well.

Cuz one aspect, I give all this stuff away for free. For a, I’ve been doing this for 15 years with the book summaries and things like that. So I think that’s the identity thing that I need to shift a little bit. That’s probably the inner work I’ve gotta shift. Yeah. Oh yeah. So it’s like you just need to expand your identity to be both.

Correct. Yeah. Cause I’m like, I’ll make money over there and I keep money over there and I, and do things for free over here. But anyway, this is not a I don’t want this to be a coaching session through there as well and people are like, I don’t care about your life Michael, let’s move on. I wanna know about my own shadow work as well.

Moving on, you talk about, yeah, your self sabotage can destroy your rocket launch for sales as well. One of the things I really like what you said, there are three reasons why clients don’t buy. It’s cuz they don’t really want the. Which is really true. Like people don’t buy cuz literally they’re like, ah, too hard, basket out.

I really don’t want the result. Number two, because they don’t believe they can get the result, [00:30:00] which is, it comes down to belief and number three because they don’t believe that you can help them get the result as well. Oh yeah there’s a lot around client psychology and I think the insight here is if we’re really.

That what we’re offering is perfect for our specific client. It’s not perfect for everyone, right? But we need to be really clear on that kind of specific avatar that it’d be really helpful for. And I find that when you’re clear on that connection, then it gives you the confidence to really talk about it when you’re talking to that specific avatar, that one client, right?

Because what we, what happens is all these other people come and they’re not your perfect. And then, they’re not a good fit for the program and all of this stuff. And then we judge ourselves based on that. But we need to remind ourselves that as long as my offering is good for this one person you’re gonna attract the people like them, and then you’re not gonna talk yourself out of it.

Because a lot of times I think we talk ourselves out of, can I really help them? If you can help one person and you [00:31:00] really help them and or you. Look at the younger version of you. If you can help the younger version of you who is going through that similar problem, then yeah, you could probably help a bunch of other people who were like you.

So just be confident in that. Yeah. And yeah, you’re absolutely right as well. One I’ve been coaching for years and as I said before, I don’t promote it too much, but when I started coaching, I just did a coaching page and I wasn’t very clear on the avatar of who I wanted to coach. And then, I read Russell’s books and all the funnel stuff as well, and he talks about, your ideal client, talk about your origin story.

And then slowly but surely, I started to attract the right clients that I wanted to work with as. unconsciously, right? And then now it’s I don’t coach too much now because I’m not, I’ve done so many books and so much stuff. It’s like I only work with, infopreneurs entrepreneurs, people that wanna write books, authors, high level business owners.

That’s my jam people. I can have great conversations with, like this instead of me being a teacher, I also want to be the learner and, get into their lives as well. But [00:32:00] yeah, really interesting. Thinking about the end client and who you actually want to serve as well. Just to segue back, I found the answers to some of the questions I was trying to think about before.

, this is a live coaching session, everyone some stories on how self sabotage shows up in your business. Look for these major areas of self-sabotage. Number one, avoidance of key revenue generating activities, which is sales convergence. I frequently don’t do the 4%, which is the key revenue generated activities, resistance to standing out.

I don’t wanna do a video. I don’t wanna put myself out there. I don’t wanna mark it. I don’t wanna run ads. This is self-sabotage. Not speaking your truth before what I was saying, not actually expressing how you feel and where you’re at waiting, or the alternative stuff wanting. over authenticity. So seeking approval instead of just being your unique self and, letting your light shine and speaking your truth.

Acting from a place of fear versus connection to clients, which is great. This is all your stuff by the way that you’ve put in the book. Placing priority [00:33:00] on other people’s needs and opinions before your own. Trying to look good versus being real, not being honest with your needs and doing too.

My biggest issue, my plate is so full that I’m the one that put all that food on it and I’m like, I’m too busy cuz I’ve got too, I’m doing too much. Anything you want to expand on or touch on or any of the other ones that, that pop out to you? The doing too much. And I think this is perfect for your audience cuz clearly.

your audience is, they’re intellectually hungry, right? And so there’s a difference between being like intellectually stimulated and oh, this is a good idea, this is a good thing. And physically in your body saying yeah, this is this is what feels good for me to do. And it’s like a lifelong journey.

And they’re personality types that need to do a lot. You clearly all that personality type, right? Because you’ll get bored. I also, I just had a baby and I’m already. Planning this next thing in my business because I need that. It’s, oh, congrats. Thank you. It’s like self-care, right? [00:34:00] So don’t ever feel bad for doing a lot, but be discerning with, is it just like your mind is really inspired and has all these cool ideas, check in with your body, check in with does feel like as good as, oh yeah, I would love to go to the movies right now with my friends.

Like that feeling of yes. go for that. Yes. If it’s not like that, hell yes. Like people say, avoid it or wait a few days right before you take on the new project. I came across a quote I think two days ago that’s changed my life. When I say changed my life, it’s really changed my thinking and it goes like this.

Every know that you say to others is a yes that you say to yourself. So it’s every know that you say, look I can’t, it’s not in my sta I say it’s not in my stage in season right now. Let’s circle back to this in six months or 12 months. But I really resonated with me cuz I was like, you know what?

I’m a people pleaser and I love opportunities and I love doing way too much cuz that’s just how I’m wide and that’s my own [00:35:00] uni unique gift as well. But I realize now that I have said yes to too many things and I’m paying the cost now because my time is so stretched thin. I’m not enjoying the moments because it seems like a work and it should seem and thinking back on it you knew that you didn’t really, it didn’t feel like a true Yes. Yeah, that’s right. Yep. Yeah. So that’s what we get, right? You always get what you get . So those listening a no to others is a yes for yourself. So start saying no to others and start saying yes for yourself as well.

Wrapping this up, part three, you talk about becoming whole, the wound is the key to wholeness. How do we make ourselves whole? What’s, how do we go from self-sabotage, the inner work, when does it go full circle? And we start to, the vision of process. How do we close up the wound?

Yeah. There’s something even called like shadow marketing, where if you become, like you said, I love that you use the word consciousness, the [00:36:00] more conscious you become of your own self-sabotaging tendencies, of your own fears, of your own, the voices, guess what? Almost all of your people have the same exact shadows and fears and voices and so you can almost like, just pull content from your own head , right?

Yeah. And it’s so powerful because it connects to people instantly and so like our shadows are ego, like when you become conscious of it, it’s really just a wealth of connection. So bring consciousness to your shadow. It becomes an ability. You have this ability to use it to connect versus use it to wall yourself off from other people.

So do it. Yeah, and it’s interesting and it’s also, you said something before like the journey you go on is the light. You can shine on someone else’s journey who hasn’t walked yet or is walking that path as well. You can turn around and walk back down a trail and say, Hey, by the way, here’s what you’re gonna expect.

And this is the beautiful thing about being a coach as well, young. You need to be a few chapters ahead of someone to help shine light on their path and journey as [00:37:00] well. We’re 42 minutes in. And the biggest topic I wanted to talk about is regarding money. So you talk about in the book, many people have money blockages cuz they attach too much of their sense of self-worth to how much, Money.

So money blockages probably one of the biggest things around in terms of even not just coaches, but clients as well. I can’t afford that. And it’s just money is the thing. I call it a lock. Money is the lock that blocks and we put these money block between coaching clients being a coach and clients Put that in between.

I know on the other side of money is the result because 50% of the result comes from the decision. So when a coaching client pays, Upfront. They’re pretty much 50% there. Can you talk about money blockages on both angles from coaches and clients as well, and how? How do we deal with money in the coaching space?

Yeah. Number one money blog from coaches, number one money thing. They don’t even ask for the sale. They don’t even ask for, they don’t even like really dive into the topic with [00:38:00] the person. And they usually undercharge especially for women. Women usually undercharge because we get in their heads about it.

So that’s like the number one thing for coaches is their own worth and just saying the. , right? Saying the number that you feel is really aligned. And then for clients, for, here’s the thing for me, myself as a client who I always hire coaches, I just made a big investment recently, right? If I, and it doesn’t matter how much it is, like this was a very big investment.

I actually had to borrow money and go into debt, to invest in my business. But I did it but I did it so easily because, you know why I believed in. . I was like, Anna, are you gonna make this work with your current life situation? Are you gonna make this work? And I was like, hell yeah.

And so whatever amount it was, it felt good for me to do. It didn’t even feel like a risk. Of course there’s a risk in there and I, they’re like, pay people back. But the thing is that it’s like when you really believe in yourself as a client, you hire different coaches. So I found that if I am like in this state of, I need someone to save me, I need [00:39:00] someone to really help me with my business, like I’m struggling.

You’re probably gonna hire the wrong coach cuz you’re gonna hire the coach who says a lot of good things cuz we’ve all been there, right? I’ve hired coaches like this and they say all the good things and like I’m gonna build this magic thing for you. And then it doesn’t work out mostly because like I wasn’t in that space to really make it work.

And If you believe in yourself and for coaches, you wanna get a client who they are really motivated because they will have the best results. And I found that the best sales strategy, honestly, is almost like pushing people away. Like what you said, say no, just say no to people who are making money.

The big issue because they’re not gonna get the results if they’re already like in fear space and there’s nothing that you can say that can get them to see the vision. Just say no to them because I’ve had many instances where that client actually costs you more time and money than you need.

Yeah. So I know you know that feeling. . , no, it’s at, and that’s one of the reasons why I choose your ideal client that you wanna work with, and then understand all their fears and shadow stuff as well. But amazing stuff. I will have to wrap it up through there [00:40:00] as well. But I will leave some space where I will give people a bit of a breadcrumb.

In the book as well. You also talk about the. The six figure coach as well. And how to actually go beyond that. So if you’re a coach or want to be a coach, where can people find this book to read more about the shadow magic and Yeah, all about coaching and shadow work as well. Yeah, so much to the dismay.

My publisher, I actually put up half the book for free so you can download it and it includes some juicy stuff. So you just go to my website. Suite a n a t s u and I think it’s four slash book. And then you can just put, it’s not fancy, it’s probably just gonna send you an email for a link for you to download and you can just check it out.

And if you like it, purchase it. You like me? I gave my book away for free plus shipping. Just because again, back to the shadow work. Look, . Where can people find you socially? Where do you hang out socially If people want to connect and say Good day, or just follow your work. Yeah, right now I’m just on Facebook.

So just find me on Facebook and you’ll see my, my son, I post pictures of him on there a lot. And yeah, I interact with people out there. How old’s his son? [00:41:00] He’s less than three months. Oh, wow. Congrats. I remember that. He brand new. Thanks. My son’s four and I’ve got a daughter who’s newly too, but is that your first as well?

Oh yeah. First, first baby. Yeah, no. You look really good. I you look really good for first time no sleep as well. Me too. Anyway, we can talk offline about this, but yeah, congratulations. Thank you for the book. Yeah, congrats on being a first time mother as well. That’s really exciting. And yeah really good conversation.

Thank you for you’ve, I’ve really taken down a lot of notes as well, so you’ve helped me in in some ways that I’ll start implementing as well. But enjoy the rest of your day and tomorrow you go follow Anna and we shall speak soon. Okay? Thank you. No worries. Thanks so much.


Mastermind Dinners by Jayson Gaignard | Book Summary

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

Download the PDF Summary here

FOLLOW US HERE > |YouTube |Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Newsletter | Website

Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins by Jayson Gaignard

This is a playbook designed for those who want to create and cultivate meaningful relationships. The catalyst that has brought me the majority of my success over the past two years comes from hosting something I like to call ‘Mastermind Dinners.’ These dinners have taken me from being bankrupt on virtually every level of my life to personal and professional heights which include launching a #1 rated business podcast, spending a week with three-time best-selling author Tim Ferriss in Argentina, meeting up with skate legend Tony Hawk at his offices in California to sit in on his radio show, and now running one of the world’s most exclusive events for entrepreneurs. The speed by which I’ve turned my life around can easily be replicated and I’ve created this book to show you how. The key is the way in which you create and cultivate your relationships, and the concept of Mastermind Dinners is your vehicle.”


Chapter 1 – Your life has meaning because of the relationships you have, not because of money. Make an effort to keep your connections!

After a long day at work, how do you feel? Need some R&R after being exhausted or beaten up?

So many of us assume that receiving a paycheck will suffice to make us happy. However, the adage that money cannot purchase happiness is true.

The author made 22 times more money as a young IT entrepreneur than the average American worker. But did he become 22 times happier or 22 times healthier than the ordinary person as a result of this fact?

In no way. In actuality, at the age of only 23, he had kidney issues brought on by stress.

Yes, everyone wants a job with a good salary. But a job that brings in six figures may be distracting you from what your true priorities are.

While the author’s online ticket sales company was successful and brought in serious profits, the constant work and stress pulled the author further and further away from his original goal: to create a business that made him happy.

Many people, especially entrepreneurs, lead a lonely work life. After another 12-hour day, the last thing on an entrepreneur’s mind is planning a get-together with friends. Often, daily stress and work travel make it difficult to connect with people, at work or even in the “real” world.

But as any good businessperson knows, networking is vital in unlocking new opportunities. By conducting networking events like mastermind dinners and mastermind talks, the author built a thriving business and a fulfilling life.

He realized the advantages of interpersonal interaction for himself.


Chapter 2 – Being authentic is important when networking. Your relationships will have more value if you are genuine about who you are.


It’s not about how you network; it’s about who you are.

It doesn’t always follow that you’re an “excellent” networker if you have a ton of social media profiles or go to networking events every night. Utilizing networking technologies lets you delve deep and discover who you truly are; getting out there is just the beginning!

Your connections will notice quite quickly if you’re networking solely to advance or for any other purely selfish reason, and they’ll tune you out.

You must modify your attitude if you don’t want to leave a bad impression. Do you believe that when one of your colleagues advances in the ranks, your prestige is diminished in networking? It doesn’t function like that.

The ability to celebrate their accomplishments while understanding that doing so strengthens and deepens the friendship is one of the things the author likes most about having a strong network of ambitious friends.

Also, be aware that the caliber of your connections matters considerably more than the quantity. Connecting, not gathering, is the point of networking. Do you believe that someone who has 5,000 Facebook friends has a more effective network than someone who just has 100? It might not always be the case.

It’s much more satisfying to have 100 friends “like,” “share,” and “comment” on your postings than it is to have 5,000 people who couldn’t care.

How do you make sure you connect with great people? You must dedicate yourself to it. Being open and sincere about who you are and your hobbies enable you to build stronger relationships with your network.

Of course, not everyone you meet will like you, and being open about your personal and professional life may result in fewer contacts. But you can be certain that those who do remain will join your closely knit, genuinely true network.

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

Download the PDF Summary here

FOLLOW US HERE > |YouTube |Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Newsletter | Website

Chapter 3 – Do you wish to spend quality time with powerful people? Bring them to dinner.


You’ve put a lot of effort into growing your online networks or making an effort to make friends at conferences. However, these methods of networking have nothing on the mastermind method.

Masterminds are aware that there is no better setting for meeting prominent individuals than over dinner in a warm, conversation-filled setting.

Thus, extend dinner invitations to significant people if you wish to develop a strong network with them.

It’s one thing to attend a dinner party as a guest. However, planning the meal yourself presents a completely new level of networking opportunities!

You’ll have access to more powerful circles than ever before by deftly introducing folks you think will click.

How do you then create your guest list? You must provide your potential guests with an allurement. Influential people get the opportunity to meet new influential people or rekindle existing relationships at mastermind meals.

If you’re concerned that higher-level attendees won’t RSVP, start by inviting those who are more likely to say “yes.” It will be simpler to convince your more elusive visitors to come if you can confirm the attendance of a group of fascinating people.

Keep in mind that most people want to network with others who are like themselves. Because of this, if you want to host a dinner for CEOs but you’re not one yourself, you should start by inviting one or two CEOs as bait to persuade other invited high-level executives to attend.

Additionally, it is simpler to connect the very successful if other important people are already present at your dinner because they provide social promises. And if word goes out, you’re more likely to reel in the big fish if you steadily attract more and more interesting individuals to your evenings.

In conclusion, dinners are the key to effective networking. However, you can’t throw dinner at just any restaurant! Of course, you’ll need a restaurant that provides outstanding food, but a successful supper requires more than just that.


Chapter 4 – Attend local meals to expand your network locally. With location dinners, you can attract influencers from near and far.


You want to organize your mastermind dinner but are unsure of where to begin. Here are a few pointers to assist you in choosing the event kind that will best serve your networking objectives.

The kind of network you wish to create should be your priority. Once you know this, you can make a better choice on where to hold your evening. For instance, are you more interested in making specific connections than building a strong local network with a varied set of people?

Local meals near your home or place of employment have their benefits. Finding ideal venues is considerably simpler because you are the expert in your neighborhood.

Local meals also give you the chance to create a strong local network. The roots of future, bigger, more pervasive networks can subsequently grow from this network.

People who travel to a certain location for a planned event, such as a conference or trade fair, are the inspiration for location dinners. A location dinner is perfect if you’re trying to connect specifically with folks in a certain field. So why not host a dinner alongside an active annual IT conference if you want to meet great web designers?

The advantage of a location supper is that it gives attendees who may not have much planned after the conference day is over an interesting off-site event. However, if a special networking dinner is planned, your guests will be excited about it. The ability to contact potential participants is facilitated by the list of attendees that conference organizers occasionally provide.

You, therefore, have two primary possibilities for mastermind meals, depending on your networking objectives. However, other factors play a role in the success of your dinner. You will learn the details you need in our final chapter to make your mastermind meal special.


Chapter 5 – A mastermind cannot fail to pay attention to the details. Your invitations are your entryway, so handle them well!


Paying close attention to the details is essential if you want your mastermind dinner to be memorable. For instance, it matters how you invite people to your dinner.

Email is a cheap method to communicate, but if you use it improperly, it could cost you some guests. Always customize the subject line of your emails and include the recipient’s first name. This makes it simpler to deliver your invitation to the intended recipient without having to navigate a potential gatekeeper like a personal assistant.

A direct pitch, such as “Would you be interested in a free dinner with like-minded people?” should be used in emails rather than a lengthy list of specifics. A “yes” is far more likely in response to a query like this. You will still have an “in” even if your guest is unable to attend this particular event because of it.

The size of your dinner is another element that matters. The ideal number of diners is four to eight since fewer diners make dinner more private and give each person a chance to talk and be heard.

Additionally, even though a modest guest list is desirable, avoid having an intimate supper. You run the risk of upsetting your visitors if there are only four RSVPs and several cancellations.

However, when there are more than eight individuals seated at a table, it might be challenging to guide a discussion because conversations often split into multiple smaller chats. Hosting a big group will also cost you more money because you might need to reserve a private dining area in a restaurant.

It’s important to keep these things in mind when planning mastermind meals. So now you have all you require for a fruitful networking event. Get out there and make some contacts!


If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

Download the PDF Summary here

FOLLOW US HERE > |YouTube |Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Newsletter | Website


? Brain Changer | Good Mental Health Diet | Felice Jacka Interview

You feel how you eat. Professor Felice Jacka’s love of food led her to question whether what we put in our mouths everyday affects more than our waistline. Felice set out on a journey of discovery to change the status quo and uncover the truth through rigorous science. Beginning her PhD in 2005, she examined the association between women’s diets and their mental health, focusing on depression and anxiety. What Felice found fundamentally changes the way we think about mental and brain health, and the importance of the nutrition-mental health link. Brain Changer explains how and why we should consider our food as the basis of our mental and brain health throughout our lives. It includes a selection of recipes featuring ingredients beneficial to mental health. It also highlights the practical things we can do to help prevent mental health problems in the first place, and offers strategies for treating these problems if they do arise. This is not a diet book to help you on the weight scales. This is a guide to good habits to save your brain, improve the lives of future generations, and to optimise your mental and brain health at every stage of life.

About the Author

Professor Felice Jacka is director of the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University in Australia, founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, and immediate past-president of the Australian Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders. She holds Honorary Principal Research Fellow appointments at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Centre, and the Black Dog Institute. Professor Jacka’s current research focuses closely on the links between diet, gut health and mental and brain health.

felice jacka

[00:00:00] Best Book Bits podcast brings you Felic Jacker. She’s an Alpha Deacon, professor of Nutritional psychiatry, co-director of the Food and Mood Center at Deacon University and founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. Professor Jacker has been responsible for establishing the highly innovative and impactful field of nutritional.

Psychiatry influence in policy and clinical guidelines and practice in psychiatry globally. She’s an isi, highly cited researcher, putting her in the top 0.1% of publishing scientist worldwide for impact. In 2021, she was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia for her services to nutritional psychiatry.

Felic Jacker is a director of Deacon. Food and Mood Center and founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. She’s also the author of the book Brain Changer, and at Children’s Book there is a zoo in my poo. Felic, thanks for being on the show. Thanks for having me, [00:01:00] Michael.

Now we’ll deep dive into the books a little bit later on, but yeah, for my audience please tell us how you got into this field. And I know it was a little bit unconventional, so could you mind sharing? I’m one of those classic people who had a very misspent youth and did lots of different things.

So my when I was at school, I was gonna be an artist, so I never studied anything useful like maths or biology or chemistry or anything like that. And I did actually go on to do fine art and do a degree in fine arts, like painting and printmaking and sculpture. , but I was always really interested in food and my family background was very unorthodox.

My father was a very well-known naturopath and so whilst there was a lot in what he used to promote or promulgate that is not necessarily evidence-based, what I did. Take from that was this I guess this understanding or this paradigm as a, of food, as the absolute fundamental driving force for virtually everything that happens in our body and our health and all the [00:02:00] rest of it.

Very interested too in the environmental and ethical aspects of food. But anyway, I went on and did my fine art degree but then with, still I have like many people do, Quite profound experiences of common mental disorder when I was young. So as again, many do, I had a anxiety disorder when I was younger.

That turned into a really full blown panic disorder when I was 12 or 13, and then developed major depressive disorder, which I had episodically over my adolescence. And when I was 19 or 20 I started to run and to exercise, and I found that really helped me a. , but the psychology of, how do people work, what was going on?

Why did I experience these things? Prompted me to go back and study psychology as a second degree. So I did that, and while I was studying psychology, I came to recognize that I wasn’t particularly interested in being a psychologist per se, but I was very interested. in the brain and in the sort of more, [00:03:00] biological aspects of humans.

And which is, problematic because I didn’t have any background in this of course, but then I did manage to go in and start working in research, which was just wonderful. Cause I didn’t even know research existed as a thing when I was young. So this was really exciting. So it was a very circuitous route into research.

But very glad I made my way to where I. Yeah, it’s a great story and I know we’ll unpack it a little bit later and I find it great that you didn’t have any background in it at all. And they’re some of the keys to life as well. You know what they say, ignorance is bliss, but sometimes you find yourself in situations that work out for the best.

We can always go back and connect the dots, but it’s very hard to look forward and connect the dots in the future. So congratulations with all the work you’ve done through there. Can you touch on a little bit about your early work, how you came into link in nutrition with mental health? Yeah, so when I was doing my psychology undergrad, I ended up through a funny set of circumstances doing work experience, if you like, with a [00:04:00] newly set up research group in the area that I live in, and led by a very well known and fabulous psychiatry researcher.

And so I came into research. I was still in my undergrad, and I’m looking around and I’m reading, starting to read papers and things, and I’m thinking, This is really interesting. There’s no no real data or certainly no good quality data on the possible role of diet and nutrition in mental and brain health.

And I remember as a, as an undergrad going to a seminal lecture by a wonderful researcher Izzy who later died unfortunately. But he talked about the framework for understanding mental disorders and all these different aspects to them, and one of them, how we were starting to understand that the immune system was really important in our mental and brain health and not just, our body.

And then of course our stress response system. And then things like, not just neurotransmitters, but this new understanding that there were parts of the brain that actually grow new neurons throughout life and that these are involved in [00:05:00] mental health as well as learning and memory. . And as I listened I realized that pretty much all of the aspects of what we were starting to understand contributed to mental disorders were affected by diet.

So there was new information and research coming out of the US in animals showing that if you manipulated diet, you would really have an impact on this key area of the brain, the hippocampus that is so key in learning in memory, but also mental and brain health. and this field that I mentioned, psycho neuroimmunology, this understanding that there’s this bidirectional, very close relationship between our immune system and our mental and brain health.

And of course diet is really important in our immune system. And then of course, there’s an aspect of neurotransmitters being produced by tryptophan in the gut and. There were a lot of different strands where I could see that diet was related to these mechanisms, these factors in the [00:06:00] body, but had never really been investigated as possible contributory pathways to mental disorders.

And of course this is before we understood about the gut and the microbiome that live in the gut and how that kind of ties all those things together. So I set out with my PhD study, I proposed to look at. And the whole of diet quality and how it related to clinical depressive and anxiety disorders in this large, very well-characterized study of women that was very representative of the Australian population.

So women right from age 20 up into their nineties and everyone thought I was a bit bonkers cuz it really just hadn’t really been looked at. But that’s what I did for my PhD and it ended up being a very influential study. It was published on the front cover of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

It had a big impact. It was one of those things of being in the right place at the right time with the right idea. And I think being old enough [00:07:00] because it was my second career. To look the naysayers in the eye and say, no, there’s a good reason for looking at this, and we’re gonna do it in a very rigorous scientific way to really evaluate this hypothesis that what we eat is related to our mental health.

Yeah. Thanks for sharing. It’s such an amazing story. One of the things you talk about is the SIM similarities You had doing the research with women similar characteristics from the same town, same diet, same things, and they all had sort of one thing different. What was those differences in the finding?

That you came up with? What we found I think, really was concordant with the hypothesis, which is that the quality of women’s diets was related to whether or not they had a clinical major depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder of some sort. And really importantly what I did was take into account all these other factors that could explain that link.

For example, their level of education their income. Very importantly, their body weight. People imagine that the quality of our diets is related [00:08:00] to mental health via body weight. That doesn’t seem to be the case. And later on when we did the intervention study, the SMILE study, we also found that by improving diet, we could have a major impact on people’s.

Major depressive disorder without them changing their body weight at all. So that was really an important finding that this was, this link wasn’t being explained by other factors such as where people lived, their income, education, et cetera. Other sorts of health behaviors like, cigarette smoking or physical activity.

And so then we looked at particular components of diet as well. And one of the most interesting findings to me because I was brought up as a vegetarian and I’ve lived my life mainly as a vegetarian, was that there was a really clear u-shaped relationship between the amount of red meat, so this is beef and lamb that women were eating.

and whether or not they had a mental disorder. We took out the 20 or so women who were vegetarian. So we were just [00:09:00] looking at this more than a thousand women, those who had less than the dietary guidelines, those who were eating roughly the dietary guidelines, which is, three to four palm size servings of red meat week, and those that are reading more than the dietary guide.

and then we took into account their overall diet quality. Cuz of course, they could be eating lots of meat, but also lots of veggies and beans or lots of meat and lots of fries and everything else. And what we saw was this very clear U-shaped relationship. So women who are having less than the recommended intake or more than the recommended intake, were twice as likely to have one of these clinical depressive or anxiety disorders.

Now of course, that doesn’t prove that red. Actually has a causal role in mental disorders to show that you would need to do a randomized control trial, and that’s very difficult cuz you’d have to randomly assign women to either eat meat or not eat meat or eat different amounts of meat. For [00:10:00] a long period of time and see whether they developed a mental disorder.

So for obvious reasons, that would be a very difficult study to do. But it is interesting how striking it was across all of the disorders. Major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders. Now remember this is in women, so it may, if it is a causal relationship and we dunno that for sure. But it may be to do with, menstruation, particular needs of women.

So that was an interesting finding that was not concordant with my hypothesis. And in science, that’s always the most interesting thing when you see something that doesn’t fit and you go, Ooh. That’s interesting, . Yeah. That’s really important for people like yourself doing, decades of research and long-term studies and not jumping to conclusions, but seeing results that come outta the box from that as well.

Jumping into brain changer, when did the book come out and what was the motivation to writing the book? . So it was published in 2019 and I wrote it in a pretty short timeframe. I [00:11:00] just took myself off and worked 10 hours a day over a period of about five weeks to just smash it out because I wanted people to have evidence-based information.

What I see out in the internet, and it’s only gotten worse, is a huge amount of misinformation parti. Promoted by American, influencers and things like this. Because I’m a scientist and I really pride myself on very rigorous science and because I’ve done many studies, so it’s not just that first study in adult women was very influential.

But then I went on to show that. Early life diet. So what women eat during pregnancy, what kids eat in the first few years of life is related to children’s mental health. And that’s now been shown in many other studies as well. That adolescents mental health, which is often, when people develop a mental disorder for the first time, that was very clearly linked to their mental health.

And we were we ruled out reverse causality as being the cause here. So people eating differently because they have a mental disorder. And then of course I went [00:12:00] on to do the Smiles trial, which was the first randomized control trial to show that you could take people with moderate to even very severe major depressive disorder, help them to improve their diet, and that had a major impact on their mental disorder.

So I wanted people to have the evidence to know what we knew and what we didn’t know, and to say where there wasn’t enough evidence to be. Or where we didn’t know whether this was a causal relationship or it was really about educating people in a way that was very accessible. About science, how you do science to show something or to disprove something, but also to talk about how this came into being and the whole field, because I’ve led all of those seminal landmark studies and then set up the society, et cetera.

I’m in a very good position because I have an overview of the whole field and so I was able to describe all the different studies and what it might mean for people and give them [00:13:00] information that they could take into their own lives to make changes. And I’ve had emails from people all over the world talking about what a difference it’s made when they’ve changed their diet.

It achieved its aim for me in that. Yeah, congratulations on the book and we’ll deep dive into some of the chapters soon. Talk to me a little bit about the Food and Mood Center. When did that start and what’s your role in the Food and Mood Center? So 2017, which was when the Smiles trial was published.

It was, I was just working, I had two fantastic PhD students. . And again, because of science communication and the need and the desire to have evidence-based information out where people could access it, I wanted to set up a website that had, links and resources and maybe some blog posts and.

Somewhere where people could go to actually get information that wasn’t coming from an influencer with some supplement to sell or some diet book to sell, and so I went to set up a website and I was working with [00:14:00] the communications team at my university, deacon University, and I was gonna call something like Center for Nutritional Psychiatry.

And they said, oh, don’t be silly. No one’s gotta look at that. Just call it the Food and Mood Center and went sure . So we set that up and of course then that started to really attract researchers and students. And so the Food and Mood Center has grown incredibly quickly between 2017 and now, COVID, not withstanding, I’ve also had breast cancer twice, so there’s been some interruptions, but we are now, I think by the end of this year we’ll probably be about 60 researchers and staff students.

All working on nutritional psychiatry. We’re the only center in the world doing this. We are really leading in the world. We’ve got a very high international profile. Our work has been cited in more than 80 very high level policy documents around the world. I’m working with the World Economic our workers influence clinical guidelines in psychiatry.

So in a. The Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatry [00:15:00] clinical guidelines. So they’re guidelines for clinicians and psychiatrists around how to treat mood disorders. So depressive and bipolar disorder. They now have what is essentially lifestyle medicine as the foundation. So diet, movement, exercise smoking cessation, sleep.

As really the foundations and they call it the foundations and they say this is non-negotiable. You have to address this before you go on to do anything else with these patients. Not instead of, but as the foundation, like you gotta get that right because everything else will then work. But of course there’s this huge education gap because doctors and psychiatrists, they generally get about two hours of nutrition research in all their years of training, and they know as much as your hairdresser most of the time about nutrition.

That doesn’t stop them, of course, going on the internet and writing books and saying all sorts of things that don’t necessarily have an evidence base, but. So one of the things we are doing at the Food and [00:16:00] Mood Center that’s very important is a lot of education and training. So we’ve done a free online course on food and mood, which is now one of the most popular in the world.

It’s enrolled nearly 80,000 students from more than 180 countries. We’ve got now accredited training for physicians. That was developed with the college. So we are really trying to address that knowledge gap and make sure that physicians have the information, the evidence-based information to put it into practice with their patients.

And so people know what we know as scientists about what you should and shouldn’t eat for good mental and brain. . One thing that I like what you said was about the doctors and the health practitioners. So when you go to the doctors, they don’t necessarily ask you, how’s your diet? What did you eat this morning?

How’s your sleep? One of the things that you are trying to implement or have implemented is those conversations that are, will be coming through to doctors. Not just prescribing you medication as well, asking you, how’s your stress levels? How’s your diet? How’s your exercise? Things that aren’t necessarily normally related, but now you are [00:17:00] changing the conversation.

Can you expand on that? A. And the fact, and so when I wrote that book, that was back way before the new guidelines have been published. So now they’re embedded in official clinical guidelines by the peak psychiatry body in Australia, New Zealand, to say, you gotta do this, you gotta take it seriously.

Because if the clinician takes it seriously, then the patient tends to take it seriously. Now, that’s not to say that every di every doctor needs to be a dietician or an exercise physiologist. But if they know the basics and really it’s not complicated. It’s not like there’s some special diet that you have to follow or it has to be organic, this or anything special.

If they know the basics, they can have that conversation. Then if the patient is wanting to know more or get more support, then they can go see a dietician. The problem is, at the moment, that in Australia you can, if you go to the doctor with a mental disorder or some sort of mental health problem, you can get supported access to go and see a [00:18:00] psychologist for 10 sessions through what’s called the Better Access scheme.

But there’s not a similar pathway to go and see a dietician or exercise physiologist. . So that’s something we are working on. And with the Food and Mood Center, my co-director, professor Adrian O’Neil, has led a very important study through Covid looking at whether diet and exercise support is at least as effective as psychological support.

And so what we are showing is really exciting and it’s basically, if you think, if you’re trying to getting to see a psychologist in Australia, you’ll often have a six month waiting list or there just won’t be any in your region if you’re out in the rural areas. We are designing support for people that they can access via Zoom and testing it and testing to.

Cost effective as well. And so with all of that information, we are hoping that over the next couple of years we might be able to get the government to give Medicare item numbers for [00:19:00] dieticians and exercise physiologists for people with mental disorders, not just for psychologists. Yeah. And one of the things I also wanna touch on is that like you look at culture.

So for example, you got Master chef you watch TV and you’ve got your mom and dad cooks at home. But on Master Chef you’ve got people cooking gourmet meals that you can look at and say, I can never cook this. It’s too hard. And then you’ve got things like the Biggest Loser. So you watching, everyday obese people losing a whole bunch of.

In a very short time. It’s very unrealistic tv, so it’s expanded on the polarities of extreme. What I like, what I would love to see is like regular people like yourself showing us. Day-to-day lifestyles. What you go to the shops, what you buy from the market, some simple meals that you create.

Nothing fancy, nothing hard habits, consistency, just small lifestyle changes as well. I think from a cultural point of view, we get inundated with the extremes of. Exercising in the extremes of, gourmet meals. Now how can it be? But realistically, life is not that hard. It’s [00:20:00] simpler than we give it credit for.

We try to distract it. And jumping into the book, brain changes. So chapter one, you talk about diet and mental health and the biggest elephant in the room is obesity. Diet. It’s one of those things that, the food manufacturing industry as well. Poor diet’s pretty much, the number one risk of death to middle to high income countries, and number two worldwide.

Do you wanna expand on that and just talk about the elephant room, which is poor diet and obesity? Yeah. The elephant in the room is really the industrialized food system, isn’t it? Because that’s where the. Comes from, and, the work I’m doing with the World Economic Forum. Now I know from their latest economic modeling, and it’s really startling, is that our industrialized food system globally is costing the planet nearly 20 trillion a year.

Now, the whole GDP of China per year is about 16 trillion. Now, roughly half of that cost is in. because of the impact of ultra processed foods in our modern food [00:21:00] environment on people’s health. And the other half roughly is environmental and those, it has a big impact on land use and water use and all of those sorts of things.

And there’s a bit more that goes into it, but it’s very a. expensive for the world, even though there are a lot of companies that are making a great deal of money out of it. And in fact, something like 70 of the top 100 companies in the world are ultra processed food manufacturers. The problem is that we’ve focused for a couple of decades now on obesity, body weight.

That’s a really dumb endpoint. It’s really dumb. A body weight is very complex. It’s very much driven by your genetics. And when you live in an environment where you have as much access to food as you need, people are generally gonna get to a larger body size. We need to get the focus away from that and onto nurturing and just eating healthful foods and changing the food system.

Now there’s a lot of really interesting stuff happening in this space where we can start to think about maybe ultra [00:22:00] processed foods instead of being health degrading really bad. And responsible for early death, all over the world actually, health enhancing, cuz there’s a real role for processed foods. For people who are living very far away from major cities or in war zones or whatever, you need foods that can shelf stable, that are accessible and easy to prepare, but you want them to be foods that are really helpful and there’s all sorts of really fascinating.

Happening with like insects and elgi and growing meat from air and things that don’t impact the environment and that are gonna be health enhancing. So I think the future is really interesting, but right here and now, we desperately need to take action about the food environment and change that because it’s almost pointless saying to people don’t eat, burgers and fries and things that come in packets with 40 ingredients.

just go and get fruit and veggies. A few tins of legumes, maybe a couple of tins of fish do it that way [00:23:00] when they’re just surrounded by these food products that are designed to interact with all the reward systems of the brain to make you crave them, to make you overeat them, and to make, they make you very, very sick.

So we have to change the food environment. So every time you walk down the street or fill up your car with petrol, you are not getting opportunities and marketing to consume. Highly ultra processed, very addictive yeah, it’s an interesting war between the multinational food companies that rely on factories and packaging and, products versus a decentralized farming system that we’ve grown up against.

And, it’s your choice in Australia, you go to Kohl’s or you go to Woolworths, or you go to the market or you go to Aldi. So the same sort of thing go to the supermarket. They’ve got the, the best real estate in the world. So they’re everywhere. These multinational companies, or you find your local market, your farmer get fresh produce as well.

So Roy’s gonna have that sort of 80 20 split. But at the end of the day, when they open up, a new town or suburb you’ve got your prime real estate with your multinational companies and where’s the farmer’s markets kept you. You’ve gotta go to some random website to find, , [00:24:00] which is, Saturday or Sunday.

And you can’t go really Monday to Friday cause they’re not really open and there’s that fork in the road, no pun intended. We have the information, we’ve got the books, we’ve got the people, we’ve got the teachers. We know the knowhow. I just think it’s resurgence of, health and wellness.

So you’ve got two choices, follow the crowd or you follow your own instincts as well. . The problem is that at the moment, it’s really still very much what I call the white worried wealthy. So the 10% of people who already know this stuff and what we are trying to reach is the 90 odd percent who don’t.

Or dunno how to do it or are very confused by what’s healthy or who think it’s really expensive or really difficult. Now, when I say to people, look, my, during the week, my diet is basically pre-prepared salads with, maybe some chickpeas or a small tin of tuna or something because I don’t have time to be doing anything fancy.

And it doesn’t need, we know from the Smiles trial we did very detailed cost. That a healthy diet that we were promoting was actually cheaper than the junk food diet people were eating when they came into the study. But, frozen [00:25:00] veggies, fantastic. I use them all the time. Tinned legumes, dried legumes, you dried lentils, red lentils cook in about 10 minutes.

They’re super easy. Things, tinned fish, things that are really easy to prepare, very accessible, and not necessarily expensive, but people don’t know what to do with. Yeah. Correct. And it’s, it’s all good to have well intentions and you go to the market and you’re buying fresh food, you’re gonna eat fresh food that you buy.

If you have the intention to say, you know what, let’s go let’s do these meals. Buy the food, clean up the fridge, clean up the pantry, clean up the freezer. That all starts with shopping first. The intention of putting in good food in your house, and then you’re going to eat good food. So the old saying goes, what you put in is what you get out.

It’s the same thing what you. Where you go shop in what you bring home. So focus on where you shop and you get around healthy places like farmer’s markets as well. Moving on to chapter two you talk about diet mental health in adults and you talk about the study of the Geelong osteoporosis study as well.

And I know you’ve mentioned that too, but do you wanna [00:26:00] touch on that and some of the findings that you found, 3000 men and women agents from 20 to 90, from regional hospitals getting an assessment every few years. What was the study about and yeah what was the things that. Yeah, that, that was the study I referred to earlier where we had, yeah, women, over a thousand women, very representative of the wider Australian population and where we, really in detail looked at their diet and their mental health and found these associations that we expected so that women who had a healthier diet were much less likely to have one.

Mental serious mental disorders, those with an unhealthy diet had more mental health problems. That was a cross-sectional study, so you couldn’t tease out, cause an effect. But it still had a big impact because it was the first one that had really looked at this in women in people with clinical diagnosis.

Like we did really detailed clinical assessments of people. But since then, of course, there’s been huge number of studies from across the world and all different countries and cultures, [00:27:00] Norway and Spain and Japan and China all showing the same thing. Even places like India. . And then of course, as I said, across the lifespan from right at the very start of life what mothers eat when they’re pregnant, right the way through to old age and how people age.

And often people develop, say depression as they get older for the first time that this link exists. And it also link exists prospectively. So when we look forward and we take into account people’s diet at the. and then look to who develops depression. We see that link independent of all those other factors.

Big Geelong osteoporosis study is one of the biggest mental health studies in the world. It’s one of the few studies that has the clinical assessments of people, and we are continuing to collect data from these people, but now we’re also collecting gut microbiome and oral microbiome samples. So really excited about over the next couple of years, the data that we will have from that.

Yeah, absolutely. Now you touched on the Norwegian diet too, the Mediterranean diet, [00:28:00] and did some studies in the Japanese diets as well. But you spent some time with Norway, is that correct? Yeah. So I spent a few months living there when I was doing my PhD, and then I’ve been back many times to work with them in Scandinavia.

The governments of far more progressive and enlightened than they are at most places in the world, and what they have is very good access to data on people. . As people go through the system, because everyone sees a public sort of doctor and public hospital and everyone has like a number.

And so all of their medical histories and diagnoses and everything else are in the system, and we can do research on them. It’s all de-identified, but it just means that we can follow people and go, oh my goodness, this happened in childhood and now that person has X disease or disorder. So we’ve done a lot of work there and that, the work that in particular, I was interested in.

The study looking at mother’s diets during pregnancy and then children’s diets in the first few years, and looking at the tra trajectory of children’s emotional health [00:29:00] over time. We did that in more than 23,000 mothers and their children, and saw these links between quality of diet and the children at later mental health.

More recently, we’ve used that same very large study, tens of thousands of women, and shown that the quality of women’s diets during pregnancy and also children’s diets is linked to their ADHD symptoms and diagnoses, which is a surprise to me and to many, because many people had thought based on the evidence that ADHD was purely genetic.

But now we are seeing that there’s a role for modern diets, and this makes sense because the work that we’ve done more recently in other cohort studies has shown that mother’s diets is linked to their gut microbiota and their gut microbiota, of course, we think is linked to the kids, the infant’s, mic microbiota, and the infant.

When babies are born, the gut microbiota of the infant in their first [00:30:00] days, weeks, months of. trains their immune system. But we also think has a role in their brain development. Now, if you think about children these days, their mothers are having terrible diets. Or even when women are pregnant, only about 10% of them are eating even vaguely, according to the dietary guidelines.

Their is terrible. They’re having a very non-diverse diet. Lots of antibiotics, which is what we have in the. The mother’s microbiome during pregnancy is releasing all these molecules that are going in and having an effect on the developing fetus. And then also when the babies are born, they’re getting some of their microbiome, usually from their mum, either breast milk, fecal, whatever, and very often they’re getting exposed to antibiotics right from the get-go because of cesarean.

So I had two Cesarean for example. They give you antibiotic. That has an impact on the early life gut of the ch of the infant. And now we are seeing these massively increased rates of allergic [00:31:00] diseases like asthma and food allergies. We’re seeing increased rates in young people of things like type one diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis.

We’re seeing increases in cancer in young people. 40% increase. Many researchers think that this is linked to the problem of the early life gut microbiota because it’s so important in immune development and we are doing so many things to totally ruin it. . So I think it’s really interesting thinking about how diet fits into that picture.

And this is where we are doing a lot of our work now in the Food and Mood Center. Yeah. And even if you’re a parent and you’ve stuffed up, so far in chapter three you talked about, diet, mental health in children, adolescence, and I like the word you use, it’s called modifiable. So there’s two things you can modify and that’s.

and exercise, and you can expand on that a little bit about, as a parent you can modify your child’s diet, you can modify, what they eat and what they do in terms of exercise as well. But I think the, the, we’re the major players in terms of [00:32:00] mental health and physical health as well, parents can you expand on that a little bit?

Sure. And just to say too, there’s a lot of fantastic resources on social media platforms like Instagram these days. I’m part of the. App in the uk. Tim Spec, Sarah Berry. Yeah. I watched that interview a few weeks ago. The guy’s amazing. He breaks down everything and he’s just a fantastic guy.

Tim Spector, he’s amazing. Very famous, wonderful professor of genetic epidemiology, King’s College in London. But there are a lot like the Doctor’s Kitchen, for example, is another great. Lots of great examples and information about how to eat better in a very simple way, but also to get your kids to eat better.

Dr. Flas is another one. She’s someone I’m working with and we’re actually writing a paper with NASA at the moment, which is very fun. But kids will eat what you give them clearly from when they’re an infant and they’ll eat what you eat. Sitting up at the. They eat whatever you eat right from the start and you don’t make a [00:33:00] fuss about it.

You just put it in front of them. If they eat it, great, if they don’t eat it, take it away. If don’t panic and go, oh my God, they haven’t eaten anything, I better give them some ice cream. And kids will take, because bitter flavors are not automatically things that babies they like sweet flavors, bitter flavors are harder to get used.

So what many are promoting now is that you start giving them, when you start feeding them solid food, feed them the bitter stuff first. Give them the broccoli and the I don’t know the vegetables that have got a stronger, more bitter of flavor that they won’t automatically like, because after 10 or so exposures, they get used to it and then they really like it.

So my kids always just ate what? , but there’s no point you tucking into pizza and then telling your kids to eat their veggies. It’s gotta be just what is normalized within the house. We never had junk food in the house growing up. Dessert was, berries and yogurt. Like we just didn’t do that.

And so it was never normal. So my [00:34:00] kids have always eaten really well. Exercise, similar thing, just going and doing stuff with the kids when they’re young, going for hikes, going, surfing, swimming, whatever you do, get them involved from the get-go. In Norway, every child pretty much goes to a really good quality government childcare from the age of one.

And even with Norway’s appalling weather, they will get them out pretty much by the time they’re three out hiking and up mountains and in the snow and everything because, , you just normalize physical activity and then it’s something that becomes a lifelong habit. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Said. People might be listening saying, I’m not a child, I’m not an adolescent.

Talk to me about aging. And in chapter seven you talk about aging well and you give a great story about your mother as well. Do you wanna expand on that and talk about how the older population can age well and how different it was for them? The story of your mother growing up a simple sort of diet and a simple lifestyle as well.

Yeah. My mom was born in 1920. and even though her diet wouldn’t have been [00:35:00] perfect all the time and there would’ve been food restrictions and all those sorts of things, they didn’t have ultra process foods. They tended to eat foods that were fairly, basic. They had chickens in the backyard and they’d eat eggs, they’d eat they’d grow their, some of their own veggies.

Just had a much more simple diet. My mum always ate, porridge and oats and just fish and even just meat three. And she had an amazing brain. I She died at 98, but she didn’t develop dementia until she was 93. And she, like many of her cohort were just healthier and more robust, I think.

And this is certainly what the evidence seems to suggest, and when we look at the risk factors for dementia, they’re very much diet related. They’re things like increased body weight around the waist and high blood glucose and high blood pressure, and things that we know are related to food. So if we want to protect our brains, we have to protect what’s going into our mouth and particularly into our gut.

And there’s more information now coming out about the bacteria that live in our mouth and how that [00:36:00] might be related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But of course, the mouth and the gut and the lungs, they’re all connected. Increasingly we’re interested in the microbes that are in the air and how they interact through our lungs and with.

all the other systems in our body. And when people talk about green space and blue space and the benefits, I think it’s been thought that maybe that’s just psychological. Cause it’s lovely to be out in nature and to look at it. But actually maybe there’s microbes there that we are breathing in that are really having an effect.

So this is a whole new area of research that we are really interested in. And this is where now comes in because if they’re gonna get people to Mars on the Mars mission and they’re gonna be away for, three years, four years. I have to think about what’s in the air, what people are breathing in a closed loop system.

So there’s all these sorts of really interesting things and new areas of research. Another interesting area that you touched on as well, you talk about a really shit topic, literally zoo in my poo. You wrote a children’s [00:37:00] book about poo got some great awards. Can you tell us a bit about that zoo in Wai Poo?

You’ve got trillions of tiny bugs live in and all around us, and there’s a zoo of bugs in our. So this was another passion project, and again, it was. Designed as a science communication exercise and something we know that kids are really often the drivers of what is purchased at the supermarket and what people eat in the home.

And kids are really cluey. We know that if you tell them about something very concrete, like the bugs that live in their gut and the fact that when they put something in their mouth it’s gonna go down to their. And their gut bugs are gonna do all of these things. And they have to look after the zoo in their poo.

They have to be the zookeeper. And my husband’s really great at drawing cartoons and things. So he did the illustrations. I did the text, but he also did the rhyme. So we tried to make it so that there’s part of the book that’s a bit Dr. Susi, so they’re little rhymes that your young children will find accessible.

And then there’s more information. [00:38:00] For the parents and the teachers and for older primary school kids to make it very concrete and very simple. And then the most fun bit for me was to do some of the recipes at the end, cuz these are just things I do at home. So there’s zoo poo stew and of bog burgers.

Burgers and farty toast. Beans on toast, really. So that was fun. Just, to get kids interested in food and making food and understanding that link between what they put in their mouth and how it affects their health. Yeah. Awesome stuff. I just wanted to really plug that in there as well.

But yeah, really amazing book and thank you for sending that across to me as well. But going back to Brain Changer for a second, we’ll finish off with some myths. You talked about red meat before. Is it good or bad for us? Look, I think it, it’s a complex question. I think that there’s very important environmental and ethical questions around.

Now what I eat is wild games, so deer, which in increasingly is available because there’s such a huge pest in Australia and there’s companies that are going out and humanely [00:39:00] killing deer and then processing it and turning into the most fantastic venison that you can just buy online. So that’s how we get a bit of red meat to ourselves.

I suspect for women, particularly menstruating women. I think that it’s probably important to have a bit, but it only needs to be a small amount. And remember that. It needs to be, the good protein sauce is a quarter of the P plate. Some sort of a whole grain is another quarter of the plate. And then the other half vegetables, salads herbs and spices.

These things are really rich in polyphenols and fiber, which feed you gut bugs. So have a bit of red meat. By all means, think about the ethical source. Don’t have too, Pair it with fiber and polyphenols because red meat can cause DNA damage. And the vegetables and the antioxidants help to counteract that.

And don’t have the processed stuff, like the ham and the bacon and the sausages. Yeah. I still eat bacon every day. gotta get offered. What’s a substitute for bacon? What do I substitute [00:40:00] bacon with? Bacon and eggs. I love it. Eat it. Every morning I wanna get offered. What do I substitute Bacon.

I have mushrooms are fantastic. I have leaks, which are very good for your gut bugs and really delicious. You can get all sorts of seasonings now, like smoke paprika is a great one to add to things for a bit of that smokey flavor. Some people use, for example, anchovies when they’re cooking up with garlic and oil, and it gives you that really fantastic umami flavor.

So there’s things that you can do that don’t, and you can just get used to. Yeah, I know. I’ve just gotta cut out the bacon in my life, but that’s one thing you talk about is dairy. Good for us as well. I do a lot of Greek yogurt. I like Greek yogurt at night and I put protein powder in it. I like that.

What’s your take on dairy? Is it good for us? I don’t drink milk, but what’s your take on. Yeah all of the data that we’ve generated, and I just had a student graduate yesterday with a PhD looking at diet and mental health. Everything that we see tells us that dairy seems to be pretty neutral.

But fermented dairy, so carefree and yogurt seems to be potentially good for us, which makes the. [00:41:00] Yeah. Oh good. What about the whole diet industry, like paleo diets, keto what’s your take on the diet industry? Paleo is not even a thing cuz you know, cave people ate a huge range of foods, including grains and seeds and all sorts of things.

It’s a, it’s just a myth. The keto thing, we think it might be useful in some very severe mental disorders, like bipolar disorder, but the evidence is not there. We do not have any randomized control trials that show that it’s useful for for a mental disorder. And in fact, there’s not a lot of information to say that it’s useful for anything much.

And if you think about a keto diet, It’s usually the complete opposite of what we know. Comprises a healthy diet for mental and brain health, for gut health, for the whole body, which is very high in plant fiber and polyphenols and that’s not keto. So I think in the US it’s been very popular because it’s a way for people to, I think, cut.

Alt ultra processed foods, cuz of course if they [00:42:00] go keto, then they’re not having donuts and these alt ultra processed refined carbohydrates. But the other aspect to this is because people’s gut microbiome are so sad after a standard American diet, they’re so non-diverse. They’re so not healthy, they’re so lacking.

The bacteria that can break down dietary fiber when they go on keto, when they completely remove any sort of fiber in the diet, they feel. Suddenly their gut isn’t getting irritable every time it meets a fiber. , but that doesn’t mean that’s good . No. Yeah, correct. And a lot of times they just go from eating unprocessed food to real food and that’s the difference.

But it’s not the actual diet. It’s to say when to eat real food versus non-real food as well. To finish off the conversation, talk about Brazilian diet and you say Brazil why is Brazilian diet. Fantastic. You can talk about 50% salads and vegetables, 25% proper whole grain, and 25% good source of unprocessed protein.

Why the Brazilian [00:43:00] diet? What’s so good about that? I think it’s just that with it, it’s not the Brazilian diet per se, it’s their guidelines. They just made it very simple. They didn’t say things like, oh, only 10% saturated fat, or 5% this, or whatever, which people don’t really respond to and they don’t really understand.

It’s really just about that plate. Half of it should be a diverse range of plant foods like vegetables and salads and things. A quarters a good form of protein. So this could be anything from eggs to fish to unprocessed red meat to nuts and seeds, and then a quarter of sort of whole grain. But then you eat it with people.

You sit around a table you have that social engagement as well, and that’s built into their guidelines, which I really. Definitely think the guidelines and has a recommendation, a holistic lifestyle. Like for example, you get sleep, you get water, you get diet, you get exercise. The four pillars.

You, you can’t say, get 50% diet, right? Yep, great. 25% exercise and get 25% water, but don’t worry about sleep. And you’re like, don’t worry about sleep. None of those [00:44:00] things matters. If you don’t get adequate sleep. So if you can’t just cut out a macronutrient, you gotta embrace it and just eat real food as well.

And just one of the la last things before we touch on as well is the Moody diet. What is the Moody Diet, the top 10 tips, that’s a really good recommendation. Where does that come from? The Moody Med Diet. So that, Modi me comes from a very famous Smiles trial, which was the first randomized control trial that showed that if you took people with even severe major depressive disorder, Help them to improve their diet, which is basically just reducing the junk op processed foods and increasing helpful forms of protein, fats, fire, extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, legumes, so you know, your chickpeas and lentils, et cetera.

That it had a major impact on people’s mental health and there was no body weight. It was just improving diet quality. So Modi Meat is a great example because it’s meshing together the stuff that we know is really good from a [00:45:00] Mediterranean diet, which is basically plant foods and lots of diversity and a bit of fermented foods.

But having a little bit more of an emphasis on getting that little bit of red meat. And not maybe having worrying too much about dairy. So that’s just one form. But you could, you’ve got, the Nordic diet, you’ve got healthy forms of Japanese diets. There’s all sorts of diets that are culturally specific.

They’re all great if they’re using Whole Foods, not processed foods, and a lot of diversity of plant. Yeah. Got it. Yeah. It’s not even like that, like a personal story essay, like about making choices that you know that when you eat foods you’re gonna feel better than the food that you would normally eat.

You feel worse. So for example, I was in a random suburb yesterday and I was getting some work done to my car and I was hungry walking around and you had your standard, corner block shops like McDonald’s. You had K ffc. and then you had this thing called Gomez wa Gomez, a Mexican kitchen.

And I was like, I’ve had this before. It feels really good. I’ve got a burrito bowl. Sat down, felt great. A good meal is when you don’t [00:46:00] feel good or bad after it, you just feel satiated and, eating McDonald’s or K ffc or pizza, you feel crap after it. And these are the choices you make eating, it’s, are you eating for nutrition or are you eating just for afu as well?

Food and mental health correlate because when you eat good food, you feel good and it’s good for your gut health as well. Just making those micro choices in those micro moments, I’m gonna eat this instead of that. I’m gonna choose to feel good instead of feeling shit. The, these are the things that sort of interlink the whole, web of diet in, and we all know what’s good for us and this is all things with mental health as well.

Eat good food, feel. Eat bad food. Feel bad. Cuz at the end of the day, I was at the gym as well and there’s a lot of things that I was funny. I went to this gym yesterday and I did a great workout session. I had this amazing gym and they’ve got all this, food in the fridge and I had a protein drink and had 40 grams of protein and zero sugar.

Smashed that down. I felt like I had a big meal protein. So that’s another topic there, what we can discuss later on. But again, [00:47:00] that’s a cultural thing that we need to realize Maybe we’re eating too much. That’s right. And stop worrying about body size and weight. Just stop it and don’t have the protein powders.

They’re not doing you any good . It’s another poly process thing that’s going in, and it’s quite redundant if you’re eating, vaguely well. Do you have a look at those protein things and just how many ingredients are in there and how processed they are? They’re not doing you any. Where can people find more about you and find out more about your work and check out your books there as well.

Where can they find you online? So the Food and Mood Center website. So if you just Google Food and Mood Center, you’ll find us. It’s got a huge number of like bog posts and information and links to the resources. And my books, you just Google me and you’ll see my books. They’re both published by Pan McMillan in Australia.

Brain Changer is also published overseas in the UK and Europe by Yellow Kite. So you could go, I think Amazon or any of those will, will stock them. And if you’re interested in the actual science, like the papers, you go to Google [00:48:00] Scholar, and this is a good tip for everyone. If you’re interested in finding out something about a particular topic, you’ve got a Google Scholar and you put in your search terms plus the word review or systematic review, and you.

Hopefully good quality reviews that will bring all together all of the information. But if you search me on Google Scholar, you’ll see my 200 and, I don’t know, 50 odd publications that you can look at. Oh my God, that’s great. I just Googled it. So Google Scholar, it’s like original Google back in the day, how it looks.

You can do articles, case laws. I’ve never heard about that. Thank you so much for sharing. The best way to find out if you wanna know if someone’s speaking rubbish or not, one of the first things you do, go to Google Scholar, Google your search terms, plus systematic review. You’ve probably saved myself a lot of time as well.

Yep. Systematic reviews. It says stand on the shoulders of giants. Yeah. Thank you for being a giant in your field and yeah, thank you for all the work you’ve done. This thing with the brain, the gut, the food, the diet it’s not going away. We live with it. It’s not going away. So thank you again for being on the show and to my audience, go [00:49:00] check out for Lisa stuff and read her books and enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll speak to you soon.

Okay. Thank you so much, Michael. It’s been a great. Take care. Okay, bye.



I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brené Brown | Book Summary

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

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I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brené Brown

Do you ever think back to something embarrassing you did in the past and wish the earth would just swallow you up as you replay that moment over and over? Perhaps you texted someone you liked and were flatly rejected, or maybe you made a major blunder at work in front of all your colleagues.

That feeling? It’s shame – a complex blend of embarrassment, pain and a sense of isolation that makes you suspect your mistake somehow marks you as a mediocre or deeply fallible person.

But in the end, absolutely everyone is fallible. Realizing that mistakes, and the profoundly negative feelings they can prompt, are shared by many helps to mitigate our experience of shame, and can let us feel safe in the knowledge that we’re not alone.

In this summary of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brené Brown, you’ll learn

  • what can trigger shame;
  • how empathy can be a powerful antidote to shame; and
  • why we should all give up on the pursuit of perfection.

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #1: Shame is a confusing and painful emotion caused by rejection at sensitive times.

There are plenty of uncomfortable topics of conversation that most of us will try to steer clear of, but one subject that people particularly loathe discussing is the emotion of shame. As a result, many of us don’t have a proper understanding of what it really is.

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Shame is a visceral emotion whose exact characteristics are difficult to describe, but at its core, it has to do with a feeling of not being good enough. Articulating such an experience can be difficult – after all, discussing shame requires us to, at least to a certain degree, relive the pain it causes.

That being said, when the author interviewed over 300 people about how they experience shame, she discovered a theme; shame is a negative feeling connected to a sense of rejection and the exposure of aspects of ourselves that we tend to hide.

Based on this information, the author put together the following definition: shame is a deeply painful sensation that stems from the belief that we’re not good enough, and that this shortcoming will prevent us from being accepted by and belonging to a group.

But how does shame arise?

Most often, shame occurs when people seek compassion, but experience rejection instead. For instance, one participant in the author’s study spoke about how her mother persistently shamed her because of her weight. When the participant visited her mother, the first words out of her mother’s mouth would be about how she was still fat, and the last would be about how she hoped her daughter could lose weight before they saw each other next.

Or consider another participant whose mother committed suicide when she was in high school. It was a time when she needed support and compassion, but she was instead ostracized by her fellow students for being the daughter of a crazy lady who hung herself.

Even from these examples, it’s clear that a lack of empathy precipitates shame, and that’s precisely what we’ll explore next.

3:22 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #2: The solution to shame is empathy; understanding another person’s perspective without judgment.

If you get bitten by a poisonous snake, you can receive a dose of antivenom that will save you. This is a dramatic example of the many antidotes available to us, and thankfully, a powerful antidote also exists for the feeling of shame – it’s called empathy.

Since everyone experiences shame, what truly matters is that we learn how to manage it.

Every participant interviewed by the author pointed to empathy as the essential factor in quickly overcoming and recovering from shame. However, receiving empathy from others isn’t the only important step; it’s also essential for you to empathize with them.

Most people first feel empathy by sharing a difficult experience with another person and hearing them say that they understand. Knowing that another person has experienced what you’re experiencing, and that it’s not unusual or uncommon, makes you feel less isolated and more accepted.

But to achieve this understanding, you need to be able to see things from the other person’s perspective without passing judgment, which means being present and aware of the other person’s story.

For instance, one year, the author was overwhelmed by the number of tasks she had to complete one weekend. She had promised to bring cookies to a party at her daughter’s school, but she forgot. In her embarrassment, she lied to the teacher, claiming a dessert brought by another visitor as her own contribution.

Later, when she told a friend about this, the friend responded by saying that the author had done her best, that she was juggling too many things and didn’t want to make a bad impression on the teacher. This response was purely empathetic; there was no judgment, just a simple taking of the author’s perspective.

You now have some sense of how to relieve shame. Next up, you’ll learn how to identify when exactly you’re experiencing it.

5:27 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #3: Dealing with shame requires recognizing it and understanding where it comes from.

Have you ever felt like you’re coming down with some sort of illness, but just decided to ignore it? If you have, you likely learned that listening to yourself is important to your physical health – and the same goes for your mental health.

As such, to deal with shame, you first need to recognize it. Through her research, the author found that the people who could notice and precisely describe their shame were much better at handling it.

Some of these people, when confronted with shame, might get a dry mouth and have difficulty swallowing. Others turn red and start shaking, while still others become incapable of even getting out of bed.

However it manifests, noticing your shame enables you to overcome it, because to truly deal with shame, you also need to understand what triggers it. Accurately identifying shame lets you start looking for these triggers.

That being said, there are no universal causes of shame, since it’s largely dependent on negative personal experiences from early on in one’s life. For instance, one of the people interviewed by the author, Sylvia, made an error at work and found herself on the company’s loser list, a piece of paper posted in the hallway detailing all the people who had messed up that month.

While others might have shrugged it off, Sylvia, who grew up with an extremely competitive father, simply couldn’t. Her father had always told her and her sister that nobody likes losers, and that there’s nothing worse than being one. Naturally, being publicly shamed as a loser was deeply triggering for her.

The good news is that by knowing the triggers of your own shame, you can take a step back when it starts to flare up. Doing so will give you a better shot at processing the emotion and emerging with a positive feeling on the other side.

7:27 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #4: Critical awareness gives us a wider perspective on shame.

On one occasion, while giving a presentation on critical awareness to a pharmaceutical company, the author found herself losing the interest of her audience. Rather than feeling shame or panic, she simply told them that they seemed more interested in the pizza that would follow the presentation than in her talk. By doing so, she was exercising awareness of herself.

She went on to explain that she knew they only had a short lunch break and that the pizza was a major incentive for them to be there at all. By pointing this out, she was displaying critical awareness. This all-important ability refers to understanding both why and how something happens.

Critical awareness is vital to handling shame because it gives us the ability to zoom out. After all, when we feel ashamed, we can’t really think of anything else. By taking a step back we can notice the social causes of our shame and address it more easily and effectively.

For instance, when we complain about our frizzy hair, our freckles or the size of our bellies, it can feel like we’re the only ones experiencing such thoughts. But the reality is that beauty and body image are almost universal triggers for shame. To understand these thoughts, we need to look at society and understand the expectations it places on us.

Not only that, but critical awareness helps us see when we’re being manipulated. By zooming out even further, we can see that there’s an entire industry fuelling our negative feelings regarding body image, and that we consume its content in the form of magazines and TV shows.

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

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Such media makes us feel shame, and that’s exactly what this industry wants; this shame is what makes us spend so much money trying to live up to impossible standards of beauty and attractiveness.

Naturally, the results of such a process are disastrous. For instance, some 7 million women in the United States alone suffer from eating disorders. But by being able to see this bigger picture, we can realize how others suffer too, normalizing shame and taking away its sting.

10:05 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #5: Connecting with others is a form of healing, both for us and for them.

When we feel hurt or ashamed, a common reaction is to retreat into ourselves. However, what we actually need is to do exactly the opposite; connecting with others is crucial to healing from the experience of shame.

The opposite of shame is self-esteem. There is a broad tendency to believe that certain things, namely a successful career or a terrific outfit, will boost our self-esteem – but the reality is entirely different.

The psychologists Jean Baker Miller and Irene Stiver found in a 1997 study that forming and maintaining relationships is the most reliable way to make people feel grounded and sure of their value. And this is especially true when it comes to shame.

Having friendships and support networks through which we can share our life experiences shows us how others share our difficulties. This removes the isolation from shame, makes it easier to manage and can change the way we see other people.

We can even help other people heal by reaching out to them. Such an ability is so powerful that we can actually transform shameful experiences into positive ones.

Just take a participant interviewed by the author, whose father was married to a younger woman and whose mother was married to a man with six previous wives. She was often shamed for the eccentric marital histories of her parents, and when she hears someone being judged for having a strange family she shares the story about her own.

When it comes down to it, we all have weird families, each with its own imperfections. It’s only because we habitually lie about such things that visible imperfections are met with ridicule.

12:02 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #6: The lie of perfection fuels shame and makes it hard for us to care for others.

Most of us know that the perfection we see depicted on TV isn’t real. But it’s still easy to get sucked into the illusion that it is.

This is a prime example of how perfection is a shame-producing lie. Just take Alex, the iconic 1980s character played by Jennifer Beals in the movie Flashdance. In the famous dance audition scene, Alex nails an incredible number that combines ballet and breakdance. But in reality, the scene is a combination of Jennifer Beals’ face, a professional ballet dancer, a top gymnast and even a male breakdancer.

With enough editing and polish, movie scenes or photo shoots end up providing the false image of perfection that we get from the mass media. Naturally, the major problem with such images is that we’re led to believe that we should admire and emulate these perfect humans; who wouldn’t feel ashamed trying to live up to such an unrealistic ideal?

But there’s another issue with the perfection lie: it makes it difficult to fill human roles, like that of a caregiver. After all, if we expect to be perfect, we’ll expect it from others too. This can only lead to difficulty in imperfect situations, such as caring for an elderly parent who is losing his cognitive faculties.

As a result, caregivers are often extremely hard on themselves, disappointed by their feelings of resentment. For instance, one of the author’s interviewees, Chelsea, cared for her mother for two years before putting her into a nursing home. But when she did, she was overcome by guilt and shame for not having been able to do everything by herself.

It’s clear that such ideals of perfection aren’t healthy, and a good way to overcome them is to show the opposite: vulnerability. By accepting our own limitations in such situations, we can alleviate many of our shameful feelings.

14:12 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Key Idea #7: Anger is a tempting way to cover up shame – but it only makes things worse.

Have you ever totally lost it on someone just so you didn’t have to be honest about how hurt, ashamed or embarrassed you were feeling? It’s a common reaction, and anger is a tempting tool with which to hide shame.

In fact, shame even appears to be directly related to blaming, as people are constantly pointing fingers to avoid confronting their feelings. Psychologists June Tangney and Ronda Dearing say that people can protect themselves from their shame by projecting it outward and blaming others through a self-righteous burst of anger.

Essentially, this is a way for people to regain control over their shame by exerting power. However, anger really just makes things worse.

Many of the people the author interviewed admitted that they invariably regretted the angry outbursts that resulted from their shame. While such explosions might feel good in the moment because they relieve some of the pain, in the long run, they are simply detrimental to relationships.

People can become alienated because they can’t understand where their anger is coming from. This, in turn, isolates the angry person, producing more shame as their connection to the other is weakened.

But that doesn’t mean everybody should suppress their anger. Anger is actually a healthy emotion – just not when it’s hiding another one. That’s why, if you’re feeling shame, it’s important to try to stay with it, describe it and reach out to other people.

You now know that anger can be a mere mask for shame, that focussing on perfection isn’t a solution and that it’s essential to avoid being trapped by shame.

Rather than letting yourself fall into these unhealthy patterns, let yourself be vulnerable, turn to those around you to forge connections and share the empathy that you and others need to heal.

16:13 In Review: I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) Book Summary

The key message in this book:

We’ve all experienced shame and we’ll all experience it again at some point down the road. Rather than trying to ignore this inevitability of life, it’s essential to acknowledge and normalize it. By doing so, we can constructively deal with this painful emotion, connect with others and emerge from a difficult experience with our self-esteem intact.

If you have been thinking about starting or growing a YouTube channel or Podcast show, writing your first book or creating your first course. I consult creators all around how to monetize their passion and creative dreams. Book a free consult with me here to find out how we can work together so you can start making money online now.

Download the PDF Summary here

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Rescuing Socrates | Roosevelt Montas Interview | How the Great Books Changed My Life


Roosevelt Montás. A Senior Lecturer at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He was Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia College from 2008 to 2018. . a renaissance man who loves literature and writing, as well as being the director of Columbia University’s Freedom and Citizenship Program. He speaks and writes on the history, meaning, and future of liberal education and is author of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation


[00:00:00] Best Book Bits podcast brings you Roosevelt Montes, a senior lecturer at Columbia University. He holds a PhD in English in comparative literature from Columbia University as well. He’s also the director of Center for Core Curriculum at Columbia College from 2008 to 2018. A Renaissance man who loves literature and writing.

As being Director of Climate University’s Freedom and Citizen program, he speaks and writes on. Meaning in the future of liberal education and is the author of Rescuing Socrates, had a great books Change My Life and Why they Matter for a New Generation Roosevelt, thanks for being on the show. Thank you, Michael.

I’m delighted to be here. No worries. Now what A book and a personal story. Now let’s go all the way back to when you and your brother took that first flight, three hours that changed your life. How did your story unfold from. I came from the Dominican Republic to New York. It’s a, as you said, about a three hour plane flight, but oh my God, I might have as well [00:01:00] landed on Mars.

It was of a culture shock. I didn’t speak English. It was also a shock at a kind of developmental level. I grew up in a rural mountain town, and here I was in the middle of new. In the middle of the decade of the eighties, and yeah, you couldn’t speak English and you went in New York.

What was the next steps for you? What did you do then? How did your journey unfold and where did you start? Those were pretty rough years coming in. We, I had come to the stage with my older brother to join our mother who had immigrated a few years earlier. She. Minimum wage job in a garden factory.

She lost that job not long after we came we ended up living in the basement of a, a distant relative. Went to the public, the local public schools. Middle school for me that seventh and eighth grade. My first grade was seventh grade. The local public school was a pretty under resource.

Rough difficult environment. And from there I went into the local high school and that was a [00:02:00] sort of a better situation in that this high school John Bound High School in Flushing, Queens happened to be, at the time, it probably still ranks pretty high up at the time, it was the most diverse high school in New York City.

It is because of its location. It is at the knob of various immigrant communities. So there were a lot of immigrants, a lot of different languages spoken and like me, there was a kind of cohort of immigrant kids that were looking to school as their way out of poverty and marginality.

So my sort of immediate peers, , pretty high achieving and very serious students, and I just followed along and it was that work in high school, that environment that nursed a kind of intellectual orientation that landed me at Columbia where I studied as an undergraduate and where I have been in one way or another ever.

Yeah. Awesome. And what did you, what got you into studying books? What was that and what was the catalyst for education that changed and changed your life for a [00:03:00] better future? Do you remember what sort of kick started the journey on that? There were a couple of really crucial junctures and influences.

One was in high school my first year of high school. I made this relationship with a person who turned out to be a really important, decisive mentor in my life. Somebody who saw me in the hallway reading a philosophy book and engaged me. And he continues to be my friend to this day.

So he was very important in guiding, orienting mentoring me. But influences go back even further than that. The household I grew up in, the Dominican Republic with my father was extremely political. My father was a kind of left wing Marx. Dissident who spent time in jail was an opponent of the right wing regime.

So I grew up thinking, I grew up listening to. Debates and interested in the world of ideas and interested in a world that was larger than my own sort of domestic personal space. So I [00:04:00] think that was a sort of a crucial orientation that I came to the United States with already, and which set me on the path of of scholarship and the life of the.

Yeah. Understood. Yeah, it makes sense. One of the things I found interesting, you had a key passage about how people in the Dominican Republic react to what Americans throw out in the garbage. Can you describe this encounter of cultures and how you found, treasure in someone else’s trash? What book did you find?

Yeah, there’s a, in the Dominican Republic there, there are a lot of people from there in New York and they would go back and talk about this place. , unbelievable affluence where you could just pick stuff from this pick up stuff from the street, TVs, couches appliances and furniture of all kinds.

So I had a, I I had a kind of a habit of always checking out the piles of garbage, and indeed did find a number of interesting things there, the most decisive of which was a pile of books that my neighbors have thrown away. And I fished out two volumes from there that, whose names. Rang a bell.

One was a volume of [00:05:00] Shakespeare and one was a volume by Play-Doh, the dialogues of Play-Doh, that record Socrates’ last days. And that’s the book that I started reading and introduced me to ancient thought to philosophy. I didn’t really know what I was reading, I didn’t know, didn’t really have a conception of what antiquity was or didn’t have a conception of really how far away this man I was reading about was.

But that book. So profoundly transformative for me. And one of the ways in which it was, is that it opened the path to this relationship. I alluded to before. That was the book that teacher saw me reading. He, that teacher is a Greek man himself. And he was just wide-eyed with astonishment that this kid who’s struggling in English is here reading the dialogues of Play-Doh.

So he be, became a mentor and Play-Doh Socrates became a, For the intellectual life, a model for the kinds of questions, the kinds of pursuits that would come to really shape my life and career. Yeah. Excellent. Let’s fast forward to why you wrote the book. So what’s the [00:06:00] book about the Rescue of Socrates and what is the liberal education for the people out there that dunno what liberal education is?

The book is fundamentally. About just that issue. Liberal education. And part of what motivates it is that it is a thing that is so poorly understood. It gets thrown about in public discourse a lot. People sometimes. Think that liberal education means like politically liberal as opposed to conservative.

Like you go to university and you become a com, you become a a left wing activist, and that’s because you’ve got liberal education. But in fact, liberal education goes back way before our kind of political divides, right now it goes back to ancient Greece. And the idea there was what kind of education is appropriate for a free individual?

And a free individual. In the context of Athenian democracy meant a citizen meant somebody who participated in direct democracy in the shaping and govern governance of the society. They made laws, they sat on juries, they made [00:07:00] foreign policy. Every aspect of Athenian city life was determined democratically by debate and deliberation of the free citizens.

So what kind of education are we going to? For individuals to prepare them for this task of collective self-governance. That’s what liberal education is and to this day, that remains the kernel of the idea. What does an individual need to a participate meaningfully? In a collective democratic project of self-governance, and B, what does an individual need personally to organize his or her life in a way that is satisfying, in a way that is productive in a way that LE leads to the fullest?

Human flourishing available to the person. That is what liberal education is about. Yeah, said. And especially we’re in the age of, education information, overwhelmed. And the old saying is to know where we are, we need to know where we’ve been to understand the present. We need to understand the past as well.

In terms of where we come from in the education [00:08:00] philosophy and all the great people, books and stories behind us. We’re at the apex of civilization, but we’ve got a mountain, we live on a mountain of information. And we need to know where that base comes from as well. So the, these great authors in your book, you talk about four of them.

So that’s Saint Augustine Plato, Sigmund Freud, and Mahat Macand. You’ve probably, and Ian asked this a million times, but why these four? I’m sure there’s others, but how did you choose these four individuals and what impact did they have on your. It was actually hard deciding what four authors I wanted to showcase in making the case for liberal education.

So the book wanted to do three things. One was to tell the story of my own intellectual development and how liberal education had shaped my own life. B, talk about the history of liberal education, explain what that was, and three, exemplify the kind of liberal education that I. Through the reading of Great Books.

So finding those four authors was a bit challenging because so many authors have been [00:09:00] important to me and so many authors I think are worthwhile people’s attention. Those four, however, rose to the, to, to the top because for idiosyncratic, sometimes accidental reasons, I happen to read them at decisive, pivotal points in my life and they had an outsized impact in the way that.

Thought about myself in the way that I approached the world. And in retrospect, I realized that part of what accounts for that is that these four authors are people who are utterly devoted to self-exploration that is utterly devoted to understand the inner resources of their own mind and their own.

they’re always looking at the world. They’re all very engaged with the world in politics, in religion, in clinical psychology. So they’re not withdrawn from the world or kind of self-absorbed, but their engagement with the world is always an occasion to look inside, to look deep and to search for a grounding, to search for an understanding, to search [00:10:00] for some kind of clarity, some kind of authentic vision within themselves.

Sort of self-exploration. The search for understanding for self-knowledge is the through line. Of these four, four writers and in some ways a through line for my intellectual trajectory. Yeah. Saint Augustine. What’s the story with him? If people dunno who he is, how he converted to Christianity became a saint of what’s his story and how does it relate to your life?

So the key text that I read is Augustine wrote a lot. He was a major writer in antiquity third, fourth century. He wrote a sort of autobiography called The Confess. . And this is a book in which he looks at his life and his trajectory from the time he was born to his conversion to Christianity, and it’s a sort of intellectual and personal autobiography.

He had made a career as a teacher of rhetoric, now back in, in anti, in, in Rome called the Roman Empire Up. Teacher of rhetoric was [00:11:00] essentially a philosopher, but somebody who thought deeply about the questions of life and taught students how to essentially be free citizens. Both philosophical, ethical, legal, historical studies, but all having to do with language expression, understanding.

So he was a superstar teacher of rhetoric, explor. All of the deep philosophical questions that preoccupied his time and this questioning initiative had led him away from Christianity. His mother was a Christian, but he soon thought that Christianity was foolish and irrational and superstitious and not worth anyone’s time, but he wanted answers to the big questions in life.

So he goes through a series of philosophical religious experiences and little by. He droves closer and closer to Christianity until finally in a kind of dramatic climax scene. He has this experience in a garden, in his house in Milan and becomes converted to Christianity. It is an and Augustine, because he’s a teacher of rhetoric he has at his [00:12:00] disposal.

Extraordinary, expressive, rhetorical. For the project that he’s doing, A comic explaining his life, explaining his own psychology, explaining his own evolution of thought. So we know the inner life of St. Augustine better than we know the life, inner life of any individual in antiquity. And one of the things that strike your reading St.

Augustine, is how modern and contemporary he seems, how so many of the things that he articulates and struggle. Are recognizable to an individual 2000 years later in a different culture, a different time, a different language. There is this powerful sense of recognition when you read Augustine One, one famous line, people know augustin is when he’s struggling to, to become a Christian.

He says, Lord, make me chased, but not yet. So he articulates things that are quite vivid, vividly felt by even contemporary. Yeah, thanks for sharing. And just a side note, liberal humanities was invented at Columbia, is that right? In the thirties, and it was offered to read one classic [00:13:00] book a week, and that was considered a radical thing back in the time.

Can you expand on the history of that with Wich humanities and why it’s really important at Columbia? Yeah, that’s right. So at the turn of the 20th century as Columbia University in the city of New. One of the oldest universities in the country, part of a, kind of a small cohort of very elite institutions.

Columbia, at that point, was undergoing a kind of identity crisis and transformation, and it had to make a decision between being a. Elite school for the traditional cr la creme of society prep school boys or to turn towards the new influx of immigrants that the city represented.

And it made the decision to go urban. So it dropped its Latin requirement, it dropped its Greek requirement and began to organize a curriculum that was meant. absorb and democratize the student body. Now it’s a complex history. Not always not always pretty Colombia, like all of the other elite schools were also worried about having too many Jews and did all kinds of things to exclude and [00:14:00] keep down the number of Jewish students.

But it’s in that, in, in that mix that Columbia creates this course. That it’s, the idea is that students will read in translation at classic every week. So one day you might be reading Roman Classic one day, a Greek classic later an English classic. And this was a radical idea because the part the university was organized then and now around kind of departments.

So you could take an English class and you would just read English literature or a classics class and just take, just read classic classics Greek and Roman Classic. . So this new course was going to be not affiliated with any particular discipl or department. It was gonna be a kind of look at all of the stuff that’s really valuable, we think, for an undergraduate to be exposed to.

It meant it was hard to find teachers who felt comfortable teaching that kind of range of texts. Course was a huge success at Columbia, and in fact it influenced the way that the curriculum in American Higher Education developed so many schools adopted versions of [00:15:00] this model. And for a long time, this was the dominant way in which students encountered the humanities.

it’s no longer the case. Now, Columbia is a kind of an outlier in maintaining that approach to education, the sort of dominance of departments, the dominance, specialization, the reluctance of faculty to teach outside of the specialty has Dom dominates again, the cor the curriculum of American Higher Education.

So it’s very rare. To find a course in which you can do what I did as a first year student at Columbia, which has encountered all these great thinkers, all these great questions in a way that was vital and alive and connected to, not a discipline, but my condition of being a human being. Yeah. One thing you touched on, which is really interesting, I know you’ve touched on this in the past before but we know we’ve got great institutions around the world with universities.

There’s a thirst and a zeal of students that one learns knowledge, but the key element in the middle of this particular is the teacher. How important is it to have [00:16:00] the right teacher? The qualities, what kind of qualities does it take for the right teacher to influence the students as well? Can you expand on that and how important it is to have the right.

Yes, it is. It is in invaluable inestimable the role that a teacher plays. Most people who have had their lives transformed or impacted by education have that ha have had that happen, not because. extraordinary intellectual content that they encountered. But because that content was delivered through a particular vehicle, through a particular channel, through a teacher that somehow ignited their mind and liberal education, unlike other forms of education in the university, is something that happens from person to.

Liberal education happens. I sometimes I say that it happens by contagion. It’s like something that you catch rather than by instruction. A [00:17:00] liberal education teacher is concerned with the full development of the individual. Ask a person. Not as a future lawyer, not as a future banker, not equipping you with the right knowledge to build a bridge or to solve a differential equation.

The subject matter is always secondary. In liberal education, the primary thing is the development of the student, is this kind of unfolding, flowering, flourishing of the students. That happens always in a unique way. There’s no pattern. Every individual is going to be different and the teacher’s.

for the individuality of the student, for the particularity of the student, for the kind of wholesome, full development of the student. That’s what drives liberal education, and it is when you, as a student encounter that, when you encounter somebody who suddenly seems to you to care about you, not just about your mind, that is the, that connection that conduit.

Of really [00:18:00] psychological, emotional af really affection. It’s what it is that becomes the vehicle through which the education gets transmitted and happens. So teaching and teachers are absolutely critical in the project of liberal education. Yeah, and just in education, I they’ve made a good couple movies of it.

Goodwill Hunting, Robin Williamson and Matt Damon. The story of the teacher and the student, and even Dangerous Minds with Michelle Pfeiffer as well. That’s cool. That just shows the power of the teacher who’s engaged and brings out the best in the students as well. What qualities do you see from great professors and teachers that really bring out the best in their students?

One is that they are not trying to reproduce themselves. That is their interest is not in reproducing their specialized knowledge. If they are, a physicist, their interest in you is not to make you a physicist, or there are, if they are a classicist, their interest is not making you a classicist.

Their interest is in equipping you to develop yourself into kind of the best version of yourself. So that kind of prior prioritization of the student, of the subject [00:19:00] is a quality of the teacher. The teacher is also not trying to persuade you to see the world in the way that he or she sees it.

The teacher is trying to, in a way, replace him or herself, does not want you to ape or mimic his thought or her thought, but to develop your own capacity. So there is a a sort of independent and a skepticism that the. Is interested in fostering a teacher is also has to be a, in the context of a classroom, has to be a very good least listener and a kind of a sort of conductor of conversation.

It, there’s a kind of skill involved when you’re running a discussion, where do you push where do you encourage where do you add information? Where do you try to? The topic, when do you encourage minority opinion or when do you add information into the discussion that shifts that kind of reframes what’s being said and all of this happens.

There is no formula. All of this happens spontaneously, and it [00:20:00] is a very , but subtle skill that is required to be that kind of discussion. Leader in a c. Yeah. And it’s not something you could put on a resume or a profile. I think finding the right people for the right job, it’s one of the hardest things in the world.

They call it recruitment or head hunting. But we’ll move on it, it’s another topic in itself, but talking about Sigmund Freud, how did you uncover Sigmund Freud? What got you started? And he talked about, Tara Incognito, finding out that, the world’s full of mysteries and the mysteries and shadows that live in our mind.

How did you uncover that, and what’s the story with Sigma f? Freud has such a bad reputation today, right? So Freud is often when I first introduced Freud to students, the often the first thing I hear is, oh, Freud has been discredited. Freud was wrong about everything. And of course, Freud was wrong about a lot of stuff, and he was very bold.

He would assert pretty hypothetical and pretty speculative things as if they. Undeniable truths. He got a lot of it wrong. [00:21:00] But the big thing that Freud got right was that we are not fully transparent to ourselves. That our knowledge of ourselves is fragmentary, that we hide from ourselves even more than we tell ourselves.

And that to live an authentic and genuine life involves a kind of skepticism and curiosity about yourself. That the mind, your mind is, as you put it, terra and cota, they are vast regions of the mind that are not accessible to you, and that only become accessible through disciplined, dedicated curiosity.

So what Freud did for me was reveal myself, my own mind as an object of study. It has made. Cautious and in some ways humble about my own certainties, about my own motivations about my own accounts of myself. It has made me attentive to my emotional [00:22:00] responses. There the, sometimes there’s an image is used to, to.

Freud’s kind of understanding of the mind of the, as centor this kind of mythical being that has the head of a human being, but the body of a wild horse. And it’s like the head is rational is cognitively developed, abstract. But underneath that is a beast, is an irrational, emotional, chaotic perhaps lutful, perhaps aggressive beast.

And those things live together. So it’s made me, and I think it makes any attentive reader of Freud aware that there’s a lot more going on in your thoughts than you think that there’s a lot more going on in your. Narratives about yourself. In your own understanding of the worlds there are hidden agendas.

You are driven by hidden agendas that you hide from yourself. So the, any effort you can make to clarify those agendas and any progress you make in uncovering those agendas [00:23:00] deepens and enriches your life in in, in just invaluable, priceless. Yeah, I think it’s an interesting fact that you make in the book as well, that when you’re at Columbia, that everyone is on the curriculum, you’re accustomed to everyone being in therapy all the time.

You say that everyone in your class was at therapy and you shared a personal story of yourself. Six years in psychoanalysis. This untangle in the psychic tangles that accumulate in your life. But right now, I meet a lot of authors that talk about shadow work and inner work and, child childhood traumas.

And I think we’ve all very accustomed to now being very open and talking about doing the shadow work as well. We’ve all got tangles and accumulation of the psychic traumas of our paths that make us and shape us to what we are now. Talk to me a little bit about psychoanalysis. Back in the day it was considered a very controversial thing, but now it’s very open.

Do you see any changes in psychoanalysis now? Yeah, psychoanalysis. Yeah. Psychoanalysis is hugely different today than it was. In the kind of Freudian line, although psychoanalysis, that term [00:24:00] continues to be pretty, pretty Freudian. In fact, when people talk about being trained in psychoanalysis or doing psychoanalysis as opposed to therapy that’s a flag that they are in a more Freudian.

cast than regular psychotherapy. So psychoanalysis is a sort of Freudian term, but therapy in general has moved very far away from the thing that Freud theorized cognitive behavioral therapy, castile therapy, group therapy, marriage counseling it’s really exploded, whereas today it is utterly entrusted in the kind.

Mental health, medical establishment. Again, even while Freud is not all of these practices that were opened up by Freud’s talk method and it is I think healthy that people are that has been largely destigmatized. Now, I say largely because it’s, there’s still a long way to go. And there is a socioeconomic marking to it that [00:25:00] is usually people that are more affluent that are more highly educated, that have more resources at the disposal, are much more open to psychotherapy and psychoanalysis than working class.

Less. The non elites. So there is still tremendous stigma among populations that would really profoundly benefit from therapeutic interventions. There’s still a big stick stigma there. So even though it’s much more pervasive and ubiquitous in the culture, it’s still too much localized in a particular sort of socioeconomic.

Yeah, just like anything, the low socioeconomic people, they just don’t have the resources all the time to do it. And the wealthy people have all the resources and all the time to to ru ruminate and think about what they’re thinking about. And definitely go see someone and get help from it as well.

But you just gotta stop thinking about that. Moving on to gti, GTIs, one of my favorites as well, the autobiography, his quest for truth, self realization. He’s looking for moksha and he’s on always on the verge of death a few times. Search for truth meeting wanting to meet God [00:26:00] face to face.

What’s your experience with Gandhi and why is he so important in your life? So Gandhi was a really profound kind of life transformative revelation for me. And I came to Gandhi quite late in my life. That is all of my formal education was done. I had a PhD, I was a professor. And I had cut my teeth in what loosely called the Western tradition, reading the Western classics of literature or philosophy of religion.

But I knew that there was a whole sort of universe of ethical, philosophical thought. That I had no exposure to, and my own appreciation of the Western Classics led me to appreciate the fact that these other classics were really worth my attention. But how did I start? Gandhi emerged as a sort of entry point.

Let me explore Gandhi because I knew enough. You, there’s a great sort of biopic of Gandhi with Ben Kingsley. Yeah. Amazing movie. Amazing movie. Amazing movie, right? So you can [00:27:00] start there and you will grasp immediately that Gandhi is a kind of hinge figure that Gandhi is western educated.

He’s a lawyer barrister trained in England a kind of good English colonial subject for the British Empire. But then he is rooted in this deep and ancient spiritual tradition as an orthodox. . And he is as learned in the Western classics as he is spiritually committed to his Hinduism. So Gandhi became a kind of a figure that through which I entered this whole different ethical universe, this whole different way of understanding spirituality, of understanding politics, of understanding humanity, ethics, justice, truth that we’re.

Quite different than what I had encountered and which were really powerfully enriching. At the time that I started really Gandhi, I had also begun to explore meditation. I had a fledgling practice in Buddhist meditation. So Gandhi also fed [00:28:00] and invigorated, enriched that, that meditation practice.

And it opened up. sort of dimension of spiritual growth for me that has been, continues to be really central. in my life. Yeah. We actually have a similar past, so I’m in between two worlds of Buddhism and Christianity as well. Studied Buddhism for I think 20 years and Christianity as well. think there’s a convergence of truth there.

Truth is truth no matter if you agree with or not. But yeah, talking about. Gti, for example, he’s talking about his life, so it’s an autobiography of his life. These aren’t things that he sat there and he thought about and wrote about. These are things that he actually lived as well. So people, things that he actually experienced and went through.

It’s amazing how teaching, you liberal arts and education in humanities and just the classics, so there’s so much rich knowledge in someone’s life experience that just because we don’t have to experience it, we can still mentally understand the inform. And experienced by reading those rich text and experiences of life as well.

So yeah, great stuff. The classics are classics because they [00:29:00] engage with humanity’s deepest questions. The things that we grapple with, the things that when we wake up in the middle of the night in our kind of solitude cause us awe and wonder and sometimes anxiety. Those are the questions that the classics are concerned.

Probably a good segue to talk about why the classics are under threat as well. So can you talk to me about the challenge liberal education has in the growing emphasis of a higher education on workforce training and what you call transactional and instrumental education, there are two ways in which you can think about education to to understandings of education.

One is equipping you with very concrete and practical. Applicable knowledge. If you study civil engineering, you will learn, about how to manage water systems and maybe how to build bridges and about infrastructure. Very concrete, applicable knowledge. Then there’s another meaning of education that’s that’s [00:30:00] much older, that, sometimes we use it still in English when we talk about somebody.

A child who is educated a child which is it’s cultivated, it’s civilized, it’s mannered. And so that meaning of education has to do with the sort of human development of an individual. And those two meanings of education. HF coexisted in the university for a long time.

One of them is embodied in the research mission of the university and the professionalizing mission of the university, and one of them is embodied in the liberal arts tradition of the university today. The first of those meanings, the research professional applied meaning of education has largely overtaken the univers.

In some ways for good reason. The story of the modern university is the story of the triumph of science. We have unlocked such powerful technologies and such powerful capacities to master nature and to master the world. So there is [00:31:00] no, there’s no challenging the dominance of that way, of that notion of learning, of that notion of knowledge in the.

Yet we are still human beings and we are still caught in basic existential dilemmas that need to, that, that we need to confront rationally, humanely, and which are not examined, instrumentally. They’re not examined for the sake of something else, only for the sake. Greater clarity and engagement with those things themselves.

Beauty, justice happiness love. These are things that we, that constitute our own humanities our own human and which the humanities explore. Now, one thing that I should say is that sometimes those two missions of the university, Placed in a kind of zero sum game where if you go to university, you will either [00:32:00] get a liberal education, which means that you will end up a kind of maybe very refined and articulate and thoughtful individual, but have no skills with which to go get a job.

So a jobless, refined person, or you can go and study something very practical business engineering. computer science, in which case you may be a sort of, maybe not that interesting, a person to talk to, but you’ll be, you’ll have a good job and you’ll be well placed. Economically. These two should not, must not be offered as alternatives.

. The argument I make in the book and the, and the sort of institutional advocacy that I engage in is in embedding liberal education in all of the professional degrees. You want to be an engineer, but that engineering. Knowledge and skills should emerge from a liberal foundation in which you explore questions of humanity, questions that matter to you, whether you’re an engineer or a banker, or a computer programmer, if you [00:33:00] want to be a banker or a business person.

Similarly, that education should be rooted in a humanistic education. My, my sort of educational activism has to do with embedding the liberal. Education inside as the foundation of all of the degrees and all of the profess. Yeah, said. And what comes to mind? My mind as well, it’s you can’t be too strong on one hemisphere of the brain.

So for example people are chasing fame, people have fame, spend a lot of money on privacy. And then there’s people that want a lot of fame, that spend a lot of time to try to get that money, but they don’t understand that. What comes with that is, Fame and then no privacy. So it’s two extremes.

What I was really trying to basically say is people get outta balance. So getting back to what you’re talking about with education, you could be a triple PhD, broke no job, or you could have a great job with really no understanding of the foundational stuff in terms of, liberal education.

So what I really wanna say is what I was getting around to is the best students are the [00:34:00] lifelong learners that understand that education doesn’t stop. When you stop paying for an education at university or when you get a. Or when you have kids and have family, the greatest thinkers and teachers of the world are people like yourself and me who just have a thirst for knowledge and their continuous lifelong learners and understand that, you don’t have to have all the answers.

That’s number one. So drop dropping the ego and forced an education on people because their parents paid for it. You got a university with paid tuition, you gotta do this, you gotta do that, and you’re forced into learning. . And then when you get out, you realize that they don’t have to learn anymore.

And that’s really sad as well. Coming back to a society that doesn’t value continuous, lifelong learning, and even people getting into jobs where they’re, their knowledge is not valued. It’s literally just like a robot, do this job, hit that target. Come to work that time, leave then.

And then we don’t care about your classics, liberal arts guarantee, Sigmund Freud, whatever it is. Just be quiet. Just go sit in the corner. So that’s society, that’s culture that’s environment. But you know how important it is to teach [00:35:00] students to become, lifelong learners and give them a thirst for knowledge, not just give them the whole meal at university.

What’s your philosophy on that and how do you communicate that with students? That their time at university will end, but their education will not. I think you raise a really important set of issues and I, it’s something that I’d like people to who are listening to this, to walk away with away with.

So one thing I often tell my students on the first day of class is at the end of the semester, after we’ve spent, 15 weeks reading classics and grappling with philosophical debates and deep questions of humanity, I’m gonna give you a grade because I have to. If I were being really honest, the grade that I should give you is an incomplete and 20 years from now when you come for your alumni reunion, in this scenario, I’m still alive.

And to get with it in 20 years, we can have a conversation about what ha, how what happened in this classroom fed into the kind of life that you lived. And at that point [00:36:00] I might be able to give you a grade. At that point, I might be able to assess whether. benefited whether you got what I am trying to achieve in this class.

That is what liberal education does. Is it reorients you. There’s a line in Plato where Plato says, education isn’t what people think it is like putting knowledge into source that lack it. Education really assumes that people have division, have the site, but they’re not looking in the right.

And what education does it does is it turns them around and gets them to look in the right direction. That’s what liberal education does, and that raises this point, which is really, I want people to you, your listeners, to walk away with that liberal education is not something that needs to happen in a classroom.

While if you are going to have a university, education, university ought to, needs to make that central to the education. Really, this kind of education is something that you can pursue and should pursue wherever you are. Get together with friends. Read a good book, have a glass of wine and talk about it.

Have [00:37:00] a meal and talk about it. Look at a political debate and talk about it. Not in the partisan way, but a little bit above the fray. Look at a. Go to a park engage in the kind of reflection, open and honest inquiry and conversation with others who are different from you. That tries to get at the root, at the kernel, at the essence of your experience.

That is a liberal education, and that is something that is within the reach of all of us, and which we should all. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And one final thing that people don’t realize is how powerful tool, Facebook groups are, you could join a Facebook group on liberal arts, you could join a Facebook group on anything.

I just joined a Facebook group on, I met a lady and she does nlp. So I joined the NLP group. And you know what, you could jump on a YouTube channel. You can in interview amazing authors like yourself, Roosevelt, and talk deeply about a book. So you’ve got no excuse now, but you’ve just gotta get around those new.

And they change as well. So one click of a button and you could be in a new environment and start having new conversations as well. Spark [00:38:00] some curiosity and new thoughts as well. But one last question I wanna talk about and expand your experiences on is liberal arts across the world.

You, you’ve taught and in different countries like Latin America, China, and Israel as well advised. What’s your experience like there and how is it different from, the liberal arts in America? What experiences can you. It’s a very curious thing that is happening that while in America liberal arts is on the defensive and contracting in the rest of the world, it is actually in the offensive and expanding.

And part of what accounts for that is that people in China and Latin America in Asia are looking at the US and see their the most powerful and the most successful higher education. . And, why is that, why is it that America produces such innovative culture, such kind of a culture of invention?

How why are there so many Nobel prices? Why is there so much creativity? And one of the things that is beginning to dawn on on, on the rest of the [00:39:00] world is that the key to the Amer, to the success of the American Higher education system is its liberal arts. is the fact that in America, every bachelor’s degree contains a good hefty amount of courses that are not in your special, in specialization, that are not in your major.

That for the most part you become a professional. By going beyond your bachelor’s degree into graduate school, become a doctor in graduate school, a lawyer in graduate school, a businessman or woman, a journalist an architect. These specializations come in the postgraduate with a non professionalizing emphasis in the first four years of college.

And I think people are waking up to the fact that this broad foundation in humanistic learning actually is the key to the innovation. To the business success, to the technology, to the scientific breakthroughs that it is in fact the opening into those things. By grounding people in things that are not meant to be [00:40:00] applied or are not meant to be sort of money making.

Yeah. They’re foundational. These things are foundational. It’s they’re learning cooking. It’s foundational. You know what I mean? People don’t learn how to cook. They’ll eat shit food for the rest of their life. But people understand nutrition and, you can go on and on.

But Roosevelt, where can people find more about yourself? Where do you spend time online and where can people find the book and connect with you as well? Thank you. There’s a lot of stuff on YouTube and a lot of podcasts. And of course, faculty page on the Columbia website. You can get basic information.

What to find me. You can follow me on Twitter at Roosevelt montas or find me on Instagram and Facebook also. Same, my, my first name and last name is my handle. And the book, rescuing Socrates is published by Princeton University Press. It’s available at the presses website and of course at Amazon and other online and physical book.

Yeah. Thank you so much. And I just wanna congratulate you on your book and all the work you’ve done so far and all the work you’re gonna be doing as well. So yeah, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Congrats. And keep going. Will there be more books coming from you in the [00:41:00] future?

Thank you Michael. There will be more books for me in the future. I’m beginning to work on a book on American political culture and what it means to be American and what. underlying ideas in the American National Project. So expect that out in a few years. Cause I’ve just started.

Alright, I’ll sit tight and I’ll wait patiently. But yeah, thanks for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast. And to my audience out there, go follow Roosevelt, check out his books, he’s amazing. Get stuck into the liberal arts, humanities, the classics, and start educating yourself because it’s never too late to learn.

It doesn’t matter what age you are at your mind’s always ready for new stimuli information. So give it that stimulus. But I’ll let you get on with the rest of the day. So yeah, thanks for being a guest on the show

Living Forward | A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want | Michael Hyatt | Summary

Unleash your full potential with personal development coaching! I will work with you one-on-one to identify your strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a customized plan to help you succeed. Invest in yourself today and start living the life you’ve always wanted! Contact me here to schedule your first session.

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Living Forward A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want

by Michael Hyatt  (Author), Daniel Harkavy

Each of us has but one life to live on this earth. What we do with it is our choice. Are we drifting through it as spectators, reacting to our circumstances when necessary and wondering just how we got to this point anyway? Or are we directing it, maximizing the joy and potential of every day, living with a purpose or mission in mind?

Too many of us are doing the former–and our lives are slipping away one day at a time. But what if we treated life like the gift that it is? What if we lived each day as though it were part of a bigger picture, a plan? That’s what New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy show us how to do: to design a life with the end in mind, determining in advance the outcomes we desire and path to get there. In this step-by-step guide, they share proven principles that help readers create a simple but effective life plan so that they can get from where they are now to where they really want to be–in every area of life.

Chapter 1 – Commanding your own life, it requires a Life Plan

Visualize yourself on a surfboard, ahead of the flouting waves. You are looking for that special moment that you’ve longed for while taking your time under the sun and with the pleasant breeze. But suddenly you look back and see there is a riptide entailing you. Oaring against the flow is in vain, it has more power and throws you about anywhere you don’t want to be.

Generally speaking, this riptide that entails you symbolizes life.

We feel unsettled, fatigued, and lost when we turn forty or fifty. Neither our health nor our relationships are going well, now we’re consumed. There is a huge difference between the current life we live and the one we once imagined. It is hard to understand how we’ve rolled so far.

The living conditions that surround you, indeed, have a determinative role in how remote you are from your dream life. It is not always possible to change the circumstances. But still, you can manage your reactions to them and find an effective way of tackling obstacles.

Possibly you are already aware of it. Leaving close to a fast-food restaurant and working too much does not make you obligated to always eat fast-food. But you always postpone focusing on your eating habits. “I can’t eat healthy under this stress, I’ll do it after that deadline”, that’s what you say repeatedly to yourself. That deadline passes but nothing changes, you come with another reason to delay changing your diet.

Maybe you think sometimes that some conditions can’t be controlled, but that’s not true. You think eating takeout is a must for you because you have to work until late, so you don’t have time to do proper shopping and to cook. These assumptions mislead you into supposing that your life is out of your command. But the reality is different! You can seize control over your own life again. You need nothing but a Life Plan.

Making a Life Plan is being responsible for your life. With the assistance of this plan, you can deliberately make your own decisions that take you to wherever you want to be. It will function as a reference point that makes you stay safe from drifting unconsciously by the flow. Remarkably, it will also make you resist irrelevant influences that take you away from your dream life.

Unleash your full potential with personal development coaching! I will work with you one-on-one to identify your strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a customized plan to help you succeed. Invest in yourself today and start living the life you’ve always wanted! Contact me here to schedule your first session.

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Chapter 2 – Thanks to your Life Plan you will recognize your priorities, your goals, and put an agenda to realize them

GPS is a wonderful device that leads you to new sides. Moreover, it offers new routes when you’re lost, never judges you, or complains. Don’t you think it would be great if controlling life was as simple?

However, life is not as simple as navigating between two determined points. Life is full of unpredictable developments. In this journey of living, some routes emerge suddenly whereas some get blocked unexpectedly. In such cases, you need to be careful about what changes around you to reevaluate your destination and your strategy accordingly. Life Plan serves exactly at this point.

We usually plan material elements of our lives such as our career, exercises, and financial situations, on the other hand, we rarely consider the other issues- such as relationships, productivity, spirituality, etc. More remarkably, our plans have almost no crossing points. We perceive them as independent fragments that have no impact on one another.  In reality, we have a brilliant career at the cost of our health and family life. Or we stay in good form, but our relations weaken as we spend the hours at the gym to look well.

Both authors have once lived this worrisome imbalance in their career paths. So, they modeled Life Plans as a means to assess each compartment of their lives, in the light of their concerns.

How about being more accurate? What does a Life Plan include?

It is simply an 8-15 pages long document that describes your ultimate life.  Once you have such visualization, you can recognize your own main goals and sketch an Action Plan to actualize them.

Your priorities might change over time, as well as your Life Plan does.  You can freely review or change it anytime you want. Its power is behind this liveliness. Your Life Plan will always guide you into rethinking where you want to be, and how you reach there just like a GPS device. Therefore, you reroute your journey if needed.

There are three important points that are worth keeping in mind when you make your Life Plan. We’ll issue them over the following pages.

Chapter 3 – The way you see your legacy will draw your Life Plan

You’ve better start with the end while making your life plan.  “Which legacy will be left from you?”, that’s the first question you need to answer.

Maybe you think only notable figures like Martin Luther King, or Abraham Lincoln leave a legacy behind them. But that’s not true. Each of us bequeaths something, so will you. Your legacy signifies how your community will remember you after your death. In the frame of your Life Plan, your legacy is where you’ll end up.

To imagine your legacy, you need to raise difficult questions to yourself: “When will you pass away from this world, and what will people say after you?” So, it could be rough, still, remember: It is a must to recognize your life goals. Just like planning a trip, first of all, you should consider respectively your destination and the way that you’ll use to reach there. The destination represents your legacy, and the route that you use to get there is your Life Plan.

To bolster your imagination on your legacy, think about what people might say about your life when you are on your deathbed. Record your farewell speech. Hide nothing about you, neither your imperfections nor your strengths. In this way, you can know which parts of your life work on track and which ones require attention.

Ask yourself further questions: Who would be at your funeral?  What would their feelings be, would they remember the same things about you? Would those memories be profound and affectionate, or would they be superficial and cold?  After all, how you’re feeling, how different are those than you’d imagined. This consideration helps you to understand the missing part of your life.

After writing your eulogy, now it’s time to prepare your Legacy Statements following how you want them to remember you. These statements could address the people you value in your life -like your family, friends, and colleagues. Keep in mind that you should use a moving and specific tone of language while creating them. For example, ıf you were writing to your husband you could say “I hope Charlie will remember our shared moments with full of tears or laughter”

Take your time to make these statements eloquent for you. They’ll remind you what you find most valuable in your life.

Chapter 4 – Decide what comes first for you by assessing your Life Accounts

You have fifty-two Saturdays every year; it doesn’t seem too many! Furthermore, let’s think your business, your endless run, and your stress consume half of them. Then it turns out that you have a little time to do whatever makes you happy.

We generally allocate huge parts of our lives to actualize others’ expectations. It is challenging to stay determined to our own priorities by turning a deaf ear to others’ calls.

And if you’re not truly determined on your main goals, it appears even more problematic. You can realize that you’re getting away from your life goals, only when you know them precisely.   For that reason, as a part of your Life Plan, it is essential to ask what matters most to you in life.

Maybe you find it easy to answer the question of what matters most to you. However, you have to ignore what they expect from your life and contemplate painstakingly what you really want, to find a genuine response to it.

Exercising your Life Accounts is your means of doing this. Your Life Accounts design every detail of your life from your leisure time activities to your valuable affairs.  They have basically three main chapters: “Being” that concerns your intellectual, spiritual, and physical state; “Relating”, your relationships, or the social group you belong to; “Doing”, issues your business, economic affairs, hobbies, and interests.

As soon as your Life Accounts are ready, decide five to twelve of them as your priorities. Name them specifically. Use “Reese”, for example, by getting inspired by the name of your partner. Or name your work account as “Teaching”.  Different accounts might be under the same category, for example, discrete accounts for your partner, your children, and other relatives would be classified within the “Relating”.

A further step is to check the well-being of these accounts. Are they all in good health, or is there any account that needs more care?  Write down what suits each.

After you finished checking the process, order them according to their level of importance. Now, make a comparison between this list and the previous one which shows their health. This tells the truth about your time management, whether you spend your time doing things that are important to you or simply not.

Let’s think of the situation in which your business is the healthiest on the list and you value your family more than your business. Then it would be wise if you were busy with your loved ones on Saturdays. There is no need to consume these precious moments by controlling your emails coming from your colleagues or your boss.

Unleash your full potential with personal development coaching! I will work with you one-on-one to identify your strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a customized plan to help you succeed. Invest in yourself today and start living the life you’ve always wanted! Contact me here to schedule your first session.

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Chapter 5 –  Map your actions to realize your Life Plan

Living is like being in a country-race that you run without having a roadmap. Even if you know your final point that you should end up ultimately, you have no concrete ideas about which route you should take. At any moment you might get confused on the way.

When you set your route according to what others say before carefully assessing whether they correspond to your dreams or not, you usually turn in the wrong direction. Occasionally, you might get confused when you encounter new opportunities. Indeed, taking a promotion is irresistibly exciting, but will it necessarily bring you the life you’ve imagined? To stay loyal to your Life Plan, you need to ask one more Life Plan question: In which way will I reach my ideal final point?

Look again at your Life Accounts to find a proper way that takes you to your destination. Examine every account and prepare statements concerning what you have to do for them. You might record for the account of your “Spouse” that your duty as a partner is to always love and support her.

A further step is writing another statement that portrays what your accounts might be in the scenario where you pay them enough attention. Regarding your “Fitness”, you can write “I m strong, in good health and lively”

Think where you stand right now. Are your statements about to be real soon? Tell only the truths, hide nothing from yourself.  Assess which account you’ve failed, which of them you’ve succeeded.

Finally, you can prepare your Action Plans, in another say, draw the maps that make you reach your planned final points. They should be detailed, flawlessly put in a timetable, assessable. So, when you feel you fall apart from your goals regarding your fitness, you could start making regular exercises and change your diet.

You might think that it’s not possible to realize each plan you have. Don’t worry! In the following chapters, we’ll examine the way of managing the time to actualize your Action Plans.

Chapter 6 – Prepare your Life Plan by devoting a full day within the following two weeks

Imagine you stand close to a lake. Something strange has just happened in front of you. You’ve seen a chest that contains three million dollars has just been thrown into the water. This treasure will be yours if you’re able to reach it.

Even though there is a rowboat that you can use, it is too heavy to carry up without help.  Maybe you could demand help from a friend, however, it might be late.  If you don’t want to lose it, you have to hurry up as the flow is throwing it away. Well, how do you act?

To decide writing a Life Plan resembles quietly this situation. A quick motion could bring you a significant fortune. But if you delay, you’ll never find yourself doing it again. So, you’ll lose your dream life forever.

In order to create a suitable Life Plan, you need to be in a good connection with your sentiments. Devote a full day to complete your Plan, so that you can look into the depths of your soul. If you don’t spend enough time doing it, you can’t connect properly to your heart, as a consequence, your plan will be lacking power. And each time you delay doing it, your enthusiasm will reduce. You’ve better move now, at the earliest opportunity. Take two weeks as your deadline.

Promise yourself to do it a full day-long and be strict to keep it unless an unexpected situation arrives. Arrange whatever requires, an off day from work or childcare for example. As you’ll be doing it all day long, be sure that the people who are depending on you could manage in your absence. So, you will be able to perfectly focus on writing your Life Plan.

In addition to the day, you should also find a calm place where nobody can interrupt you. It’s better to be in a new atmosphere, away from your usual places. As long as that’s stimulating, anyplace such as a hotel room would suit – except the local library in the neighborhood.

When this special day arrives, put all of your other concerns aside and try to inscribe five to ten pages. Be sure they respond to the three Life Plan questions. There is no need to be excellent; no one but you will read them. The key points of that day are believing the process, listening to your heart, and entering your own genuine world.

Unleash your full potential with personal development coaching! I will work with you one-on-one to identify your strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a customized plan to help you succeed. Invest in yourself today and start living the life you’ve always wanted! Contact me here to schedule your first session.

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Chapter 7 – Be in charge of your time management to actualize your Life Plan

In one episode of I Love Lucy, a TV series, Lucy works in a candy factory where she was responsible for covering chocolates. But she can’t reach the speed of the conveyor belt, so fails to wrap all of them in time. To escape from getting fired, she finds a solution that is hiding uncovered chocolates under her clothes.

Life is sometimes as fast as Lucy’s conveyor belt and the demands of life are like those chocolates; just after a demand passes, another arrives. Impossible to reach all of them. Life asks endlessly more than you cope with and makes you stunned. Just like other normal people, you get overwhelmed with what your family, your work, your friends expect from you. So, is it possible to sort all of it out – and still be able to bring your Action Plans into life?

By using these following three ways you can use your time properly and pursue your Action Plans. To do this, you should first pretend as a triage officer when you’re setting your agenda. Consider whether your appointments suit your Life Accounts goals. Leave the ones that are irrelevant to your life goals out. If needed, rearrange unessential things so you give yourself enough space to do whatever matters most to you.

Secondly, prepare an alternative timetable which includes only the appointments that are truly important for you.  Let every activity that you need in order to actualize your Life Accounts be scheduled in it, like family time, social events, business affairs, fitness, spirituality, etc. Then, consider this ideal schedule while planning your real-life timetable.

Finally, learn to refuse the demands that don’t serve your priorities in life. It could be enormously difficult if you’re afraid to disappoint people. But if you keep doing things that are irrelevant to your own life goals and let that riptide throw you, in the end, you’ll make yourself disappointed. Never forget that each no that you say to other people means a yes to yourself. Remember you should pursue the route which is led by your own choices.

Chapter 8 – Life Plan works only if you get it in motion

Michael Hyatt, the co-author of the book, used to work at a well- developing company which required a serious strategic plan. The managers of the company left for three-day-long seclusion under the counsel of an external mentor. This resulted in a notable success. After some sparkling discussions, they made a full-fledged plan that covered all the necessary actions and the accountabilities.

However, after the process had ended, nobody looked at the plan. This could’ve been very helpful if it had been implemented or re-arranged. Instead, it was forgotten in the library. Consequently, all of these exciting ideas stayed on the papers, and they served absolutely nothing to the interests of the company.

Your Life Plan is alive. It needs to be paid attention to like all other living creatures. Paying attention means regular analysis that makes your plan always suitable while day by day you’re getting close to your life goals.

To avoid making your Life Plan useless just like the forgotten strategic plan of that company, you should embrace it strongly. Reading your plan aloud each day in the following three months could help you with it. In this way, your Life Plan will settle permanently inside of you.

After three months, reserve only 15-20 minutes per week to revisit your plan. Use these reviewing times also to assess your progress. As long as you do it regularly, you’ll stay in the direction of your time so you will be able to make necessary arrangements on your priorities.

Meticulously examine your plan every three months. Read the whole plan and then determine five to seven objects for the next period. Think about what arrangements should be made. It is possible to get lost on the route and fall apart from the goals in a period. But there is always a chance to make necessary adjustments that existing conditions require.

Finally, reassess your plan annually. Devote a full day to evaluate how much you’ve proceeded. Think about the possible reasons for the changes in your main goals last year and decide what you envisage to succeed in the upcoming year. Nothing is more valuable than your life, and Life Plan provides you with enjoying it at most. It can serve you better to reach your dreams when you pay more attention to it.

Unleash your full potential with personal development coaching! I will work with you one-on-one to identify your strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a customized plan to help you succeed. Invest in yourself today and start living the life you’ve always wanted! Contact me here to schedule your first session.

Download the PDF Summary here

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