Contact Us

Good Thoughts Podcast Season 3 Transcripts with Dr. Gary Epler and Host, Joan Epler

*****************************************

Podcast #9: 30 Lifechanging Soft Skills and Social Skills        

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is to know who you are moment by moment and be your true self. This is the basis for successful soft skills and social skills.

Joan – What’s your meaning of soft skills and social skills?

Soft skills are for work. Social skills are for friends, family, and the public. Soft skills are personal characteristics and habits at work. Social skills are positive interpersonal behaviors. I have a list of 30. The first group are soft skills, the middle group are both, and the final group are social skills.

What’s your first five soft skills?

(1) Prioritize – this means completing the most important task first before going the second. (2) Self-direction at work making your own decisions and actions rather than being told what to do. (3) Influencing – this means knowing your audience and your goals, having people aligned with your solution, and sharing options allowing others to make the right choice. (4) Being engaged and being present. (5) Being prepared for discussions and meetings.

That’s a good start. What are the next five soft skills?

(6) Have a good work ethic with honesty and integrity with yourself and others. (7) Have a growth mindset. Be willing to listen to new ideas and ways of doing things. (8) Be a team player. With two or more people, one is in charge and the other follows. Be flexible when in charge; and committed and enthusiastic when following. (9) Use positive communication. This means both individuals feel better after the interaction with no destructive comments, one-ups, or put downs. (10) Listen – let people finish talking before you talk.

What are five more skills?

(11) Be your true self which gives instant trust and likeability (12) Make immediate decisions at work and at home so everyone can move forward (13) Take total responsibility. It feels good; and gives you strength and impact. Learn to take the consequences for bad outcomes. Fix them fast before they cause damage. (14) Have unwavering commitment. This is consistent reliability for your family, friends, and coworkers. (15) Have empathy – consider the other person’s situation.

What are physical attributes for these skills?

(16) Have a strong posture. (17) Have a genuine smile – delay a second, have the smile come from the heart. (18) Be in control of your physical emotions at work and in public. (19) Be adaptable to all physical and social situations. (20) Have resilience.

What’s a strong posture and why is this helpful?

Posture is important for your health and positive interaction with people. Stand tall with chin straight, eyes forward, back straight by gently squeezing your shoulder blades. Have your palms out with no clinched fists or folded arms. You look strong, confident in who you are, and open to connect with people in a friendly manner.

What’s resilience mean to you?

Resilience is quick and persistent recovery from physical fatigue and mental strain. Being resilient means increased well-being, decreased anxiety, and improves health. Resilience means being your true self, learning to change your thoughts for desired outcomes, learning to use the mind for creative solutions and helping others, having close relationships, focusing on what you can control, and expecting positive results.

What are the next five skills?

(21) Not saying something negative after saying something positive. (22) Not making others feel vulnerable or weak, and not asking personal questions. (23) Ignoring mistakes or accidents of others without a negative comment. (24) Putting others first. (25) Don’t eat out of a bag in an elevator.

Could you give an example of saying something negative after saying something positive.

It’s a habit. People don’t realize they do it. For example, saying “enjoy the party” and then “saying don’t stay out too late.” Or, after thanking someone, the person replies with “my pleasure,” which is a pleasant response leaving you feeling good, but then the person says “just doing my job.” That eliminates the good feeling immediately and leaves a negative feeling, thinking about work.

What’s an example of making people feeling weak or vulnerable?

You don’t want to make people feel bad about themselves. No need to ask personal questions. It’s using clichés, outdated sayings, or being impatient with your friends and family, or in public. For example, someone’s annoyed at you while in a grocery store line. They’re fidgeting, sighing, and telling you to “hurry up.” Another example is honking at someone trying to make a left turn – this is dangerous and could cause a serious accident.

What are the last five skills?

(26) Being kind to retail and restaurant people, looking them in the eye with a warm feeling. (27) Say “thank you” for a compliment, no added negative comments needed. (28) Use the words ‘you and yours,’ not ‘I and me.’ (29) Always tell a positive story about yourself and others. (30) Make people feel good about themselves and bring out the best in them.

Why are the words ‘you and yours’ useful?

Everyone likes to hear the word ‘you.’ A study showed that people using more ‘you and yours’ in a conversation rather than ‘I and me’ are healthier and enjoy life more. For example, “you look stunning in that outfit,” rather than “I like your outfit.” “You asked an excellent question,” rather than, “that’s a good question.

Learn soft skills and social skills for a fulfilling and enjoyable life for you and others at work and at home. Do you have any closing comments?

I have one more social skill. Say “yes” to opportunities and sharing positive experiences with close relationships.

What does this mean?

Someone approaches you and is all excited about doing something, going to a party, going on a trip, or flying in a biplane. They’re excited. Share the excitement. Don’t automatically say a harsh, “no.” This instantly takes away the excitement.

In closing, soft skills like always being your true self, bringing out the best in people, and a strong posture can propel you to success. Score 100 in your soft skills and social skills for an invigorating enjoyable life for you and everyone else. 

*****************************************

Podcast #8: How to Live in the Moment                     

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is to be your true self by knowing where you’re thinking from moment by moment. Think from the heart with kindness and think from the mind with creativity. Today, we’ll talk about applying this new way of life to living in the moment.

Joan – The living-in-the moment expression has been around for many years and the benefits are well known. Today, is about learning “how” to live in the moment. Before we get to that, what does this mean to you?

Living in the moment means being engaged in life at all times. This means know what you’re doing, what you want, and where you’ re going. It means paying attention. You can only do one thing at a time. Pay attention to the moment. This means putting away the mobile … when talking with friends and family. Put away the mobile when interacting with people at work and in public.

What happens if you don’t live in the moment?

Stress.

Stress? Can you explain?

If you’re not living in the moment, you’re having negative thoughts about the past or about the future. For example, you’re upset with yourself about mistakes you’ve made. You’re feeling sorry for yourself. You feel guilty about something. You worry about not finishing a big project. You think about failing at your presentation or losing your job. All these thoughts mean you’re thinking about yourself and your problems from the stress center and not experiencing the moment.

Stress seems to be the biggest problem if you’re not thinking in the moment. What else happens?

If you’re thinking about negative problems in the past or unknown events in the future, then you can’t enjoy the moment. For example, you may miss lifetime opportunities connecting with people you love. A commencement speaker told the graduates that he let his dying father’s calls go to voice mail, rather than taking a moment away from work, to talk. He still regrets not hearing his father’s live voice one last time.

That’s such a sad story. Live in the moment for people you love. What are other benefits of living in the moment?

The biggest benefits are enjoying the moment and having zero level stress. You can only think from one location at a time. If you’re thinking about past and future problems, then you can’t think from the heart with enjoyment and kindness. You can’t think from the heart with giving. It feels good to give. You’re free to think from the mind with creative ways to solve problems and help people.

Now the big question, how do you live in the moment?

Be your true self. This begins with a healthy lifestyle which means having a healthy nutritional lifestyle, eight hours of sleep every night, and one hour of exercise every day. These three health habits will provide the energy for living an extraordinary life with no negative thoughts or self-doubt. This means having compassion for yourself and others. This means having a high level of happiness by being content with your current situation. This means learning something new every day. This means positive social communication every moment where both people feel better after the interaction. This means experiencing the feelings from the mind with total calmness and universal acceptance of who you are. This means being in the flow when you’re doing something you love. Finally, this means paying attention to the moment.

Can you give an example of being in the moment?

It’s called being in the flow. You’ve experienced a wonderful day where everything goes well or you’re enjoying something when you forget about time or surroundings. You’re happy. You’re content. This is being in the flow, and it’s related to skill and challenge. When your skills and challenges are equal, you’re focused on the activity with no distractions. You don’t think about failure. You have no thoughts about yourself. You don’t care what other people are thinking about you. Time is distorted – feels like ten seconds doing a triple jump at a track meet that takes only a second, or feels like minutes working on a new discovery that takes hours. The activity becomes so enjoyable that you want to do it again and again because it’s pleasurable and brings you happiness. It’s living in the moment.

What’s an example of living in the moment by paying attention?

You and a friend volunteer to build a house for a nonprofit hurricane rebuilding organization. There are 15 new houses to be built from the foundation up, and about 100 people are helping in the project. You arrive and find sleeping arrangements, and report to the group leader for your assignment. All during this time, you are living in the moment because you are only thinking about what you’re doing with no negative thoughts about the past or the future. You’re assigned to the carpenter group with two other volunteers, and you’re asked to move a storage room from one location in the house to another. You plan and design the project with your team and then do the sawing and hammering nails. This is the most enjoyable day of your life. You’re doing physical work with no thinking from the head. You’re having enjoyable feelings of kindness, giving, and helping. You’re living in the moment.

Live in the moment. Eliminate stress and enjoy life. Do you have any closing comments?

Living in the moment means being engaged in life, being in the flow, and paying attention. This means no stress in your life. I have a call to action. Remember that at any given moment in time during day or night doing whatever you’re doing or activity you’re engaged in – you’re safe, you’re secure, and you’re healthy. Learn to have no thoughts about yourself from the stress centers. No thoughts about past problems and unknown future events. Think from the heart with kindness and giving. Be your true self. Thrive in your uniqueness.

*****************************************

Podcast #7: Your Face Tells the World Who Are                            

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is knowing who you are moment by moment by knowing where you’re thinking from. Today we’re going to apply this to how you’re thinking tells the world who you are. 

Joan – What do you mean?

You’ve probably heard that you have ten seconds for people to know if they want to talk to you or do business with you. But, it’s not ten seconds, it’s instant. People know instantly if they like you by the look on your face.

Can you explain?

Author Leil Loundas talks about a famous caricature artist who knows people’s personality instantly by looking at their face, and most of the time, people don’t know their own public personality. He’ll draw someone’s caricature on a napkin at a social event. When people look at the drawing, they always say, that’s good, but that’s not really me. However, their friends all nod their heads in agreement with the caricature portrayal.

How can you know someone’s personality by looking at their face?

Everyone does it.

What do you mean, everyone does this?

It’s where you’re thinking from. If you’re thinking about your yourself or being critical from your head stress center, your face shows stress. People see you stressed. Where you’re thinking from is your personality moment by moment. You feel sorry for yourself, that’s your personality. You’re complaining, that’s your personality. You don’t want to be someplace. You don’t want to do small talk. Everyone knows it. You’re desperate – trying to get a job, find a romantic relationship, or meet your monthly quota, you’re face tells the story.

I never thought about it, but it makes sense. So, what’s the harm?

It depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re in a social setting and enjoy talking with people, no one is going to come up to you and start a conversation, if your face says go away. If it’s a romantic situation, no one wants to talk to someone stressed-out or desperate.

What about a sales situation?

This can be disastrous in a sales situation. If you bring your angry face, better-than-anyone else face, or trying-to-make money face, than you’re not going to make a sale.

Can you give an example?

This is everyday life. Everyone is always selling – ideas, products, services, where to go for dinner, or where to go on the family vacation. For example, you’re selling a tech product at a convention, and you’re walking toward a potential client. Before you introduce yourself, the person has determined they don’t want to do business with you and have no interest in what you’re saying. And, you too will know they’re not interested in a few moments from talking with the person.

How do you know they’re not interested?

While you look at their eyes while giving your pitch, the person will glance to the left or the right as if looking for something more interesting than what you’re saying. The person will fidget, touch the face, or move, all with the idea of getting away. Finally, their feet are sideways ready to go for the exit.

Sounds dramatic. People make up their mind without you saying a word. What should you do so people will always want to talk with you or do business with you?

Be your true self with good posture, show interest in them, and that you like them. For example, don’t use the quick, fake smile used for photos, delay the smile for a couple of seconds so then your smile is for them, and you’re pleased to see them.

What else?

Your face shows where you’re thinking from. Be thinking about the other person, their feelings, what they like, and what you have in common with them. These thoughts will show a strong, successful face. Remember, do not have self-centered thoughts or negative thoughts when approaching people. They will instantly recognize your thinking.

What do you do if you’re upbeat, positive and kind, but the person turns you down?

This is not because of you. It’s the other person. They are having a bad day.

Joan – How your thinking shows your personality. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – Where you’re thinking from shows on your face moment by moment. Think from your heart with strength and from your mind with success. Be exceptional by being your true self.

*****************************************

Podcast #6: Innovation

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is knowing who you are moment by moment. Today we’re going to talk about innovation and thinking from the mind.

Joan – What do you mean by innovation?

Innovation is creating a product or service that is entirely new.

What’s the difference between an innovative product and a standard product?

An innovative product is used by billions of people throughout the world making people’s lives easier or improving their lives.

What type of people are innovators?

I call them trial-and-error people.

What do you mean?

It’s like it sounds. People try something new. It fails. They try again. It fails. They repeat and continue to repeat until they develop an innovation.

What’s the other way to develop a product?

With planners. People who methodically plan product development and continue to plan until they get it right. There are no failures. Planners bring stability to the organization through operations and regulatory management. Trial & error people create innovative products and services.

Sounds like a combination of innovators and planners is the best approach.

You’re right, the combination is the best option. Today we’re going to talk about innovators.

What does it take for successful innovation?

Innovation comes from a team of people with different cultures and from different parts of the world with ideas from the periphery, from the edge. A UPenn study showed that teams from within a company have massive amounts of similar information, and they quickly develop good products. However, teams with geographic and cultural differences take a long time to develop a product, but these teams develop the best products.

What else is needed for innovation?  

A governmental structure that creates an environment for innovators, which is the right mix of personal freedom and business regulations. For example, a country in the distant past developed innovations that continue to be used to the present time, but governmental structures changed that resulted in shifting innovation from that country to another part of the world. Regulations are for intellectual property protection and uniform accounting rules. Innovation creates the strongest, most vibrant countries in the world.

How do you develop an innovative product or service?

There are three components. Frist, apply the Eplerian principle of stop thinking from the head cingulate stress center. Practice this every day. If you think about your problems, upset with yourself, trying to be someone else, or thinking about failing, then you’re thinking from the stress center. If you’re stressed, you’re thinking about yourself from the head. You can only think from one location at a time; therefore, if you’re stressed and thinking about your problems, then you can’t think from the mind with creativity and innovation. Stop thinking from the head stress center.

What’s the second?

Learn to think from the mind quickly and automatically. The mind is outside the body and has unlimited knowledge about the past, the present, and the future. Because the mind is outside the body, you need to be in a slow alpha brainwave state, not in the everyday highspeed beta brainwave state. Everyone experiences this alpha brainwave state. It occurs during daydreaming and meditation. Learn to be in the slow brainwave state naturally for innovative ideas.

What’s the third component for developing innovative products and services?

Develop an egalitarian team with five to seven individuals who have strong ties from different cultural and geographic locations. Centralized teams with similar members can quickly develop good products. They make choices that are familiar not necessarily the best. Egalitarian teams develop innovative products. When the company grows, it’s important to include frontline people and people from the outer banks in decisions. For example, a study of major league baseball teams showed that using the opinions of the established, entrenched scouts produced good teams but having an equal voice for all scouts and coaching staff who each see something different creates championship teams.

What lifestyle is typical for innovators?  

Trial & error innovators live with failures, often have negative cash flow, and never retire. Innovators have failure after failure, but also extraordinary international successes. Innovators are not discouraged by failures. These failures provide energy to try something new. Not so with investors, they are deterred by failures and quickly take away the money, but that’s the part of the path to innovation. Being a trial & error person is filled with enormous risk and entrepreneurial fear in exchange for an exciting and invigorating life.

Innovation is fundamental for products and services that  make life easier and improve the lives of billions of people. Do you have any closing comments? 

Dr. Gary Epler – Innovation is creating a product or service that is entirely new. This requires learning to stop thinking from the stress center and think from the mind for creative ways to help people and innovative ideas to improve people’s lives. Be exceptional by being your true self.

*****************************************

Podcast #6A: Gaslighting

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is thinking from the heart with kindness and giving, and thinking from the mind with creativity to help others and with innovative ideas to improve people’s lives. Today we’re going to talk about how this applies to gaslighting.

Joan – Why talk about gaslighting?

This word has become very popular in social conversations and TV shows.

Yes it has. What’s another reason to talk about it?

Everyone needs to know what gaslighting means so you can recognize it as fast as possible to avoid toxic interactions and unhealthy consequences. 

How do you define gaslighting?

It’s lying, manipulating, and blame.

What do you mean by lying?

People using gaslighting lie about everything and continuously. It’s so natural, they don’t even know they’re doing it. They’ll even ask you to help them come up with the best lie for something. For example, they’re late. You’re going to meet them at 5, they’ll show up at 6:30 or 7:00. And, they’ll have an excuse, which usually involves blaming someone else or they’ll have some made-up story. Also, they’ll take something from you or say something to you, and when you bring it up, they’ll not only deny they did anything wrong, they’ll insist that you’re wrong, which makes you question your own values.

What’s manipulating?

This is often so subtle, you don’t recognize it until the next day. This means convincing you to do something that’ll benefit them, but at your expense. They’ll often add a made-up reward for doing the request. They’ll also manipulate you by judging and criticizing you to make you feel bad about yourself.

What’s blaming mean?

This one is easy to recognize because you are the one that is often blamed for something. Gaslighting behavior is blaming someone else for not helping them get what they want. It’s your fault. They’ll say they had a bad day because of you. They’ll blame you for ruining their lives. If they make a bad decision or a wrong decision, they’ll blame someone else.

What type of people use gaslighting?

There are two situations. The first is toxic narcissists. They use gaslighting as part of their behavior. Second, it’s temporary in almost everyone, usually not common but it can be frequent, especially with lack of sleep.

What’s a toxic narcissist?

This is rare and a true personality disorder. Examples include current and past world leaders who destroy countries, businesses, and millions of people’s lives and their families. And, they can occur in close relationships at home or at work. These people will do anything to anyone to get what they want and have no feelings of remorse for harming others. Do not try to change these people. They learned this behavior during childhood, and it works for them. Feelings of kindness and love from the heart have been shut down. They only think from the head anger center and self-thinking stress center. Do not engage in this interaction. You will get hurt. Protect yourself and disengage.

That sounds like a bad situation. That’s why it’s so important to recognize gaslighting as fast as possible to avoid getting hurt. What’s temporary gaslighting?

This is common. Everyone has likely used this behavior one time or another. It’s when people don’t get eight hours of sleep. When they have poor nutrition, or they don’t have a daily exercise program. It’s when they are not being their true selves. The most common cause is not enough sleep.

Can you give an example?

Someone who doesn’t get eight hours of sleep can have gaslighting behavior with lies, criticism, and blame. This is because six hours of sleep are needed to recharge the adenosine brain energy, but an additional two hours of sleep are needed to recharge the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the judgement center. If these two hours of dream sleep are not obtained, the frontal lobe is offline, and people have no filter resorting to bad social behavior.

Joan – Gas lighting behavior causes stress and is unhealthy. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – Gas lighting behavior consists of lying, manipulating, criticism, and blame. Learn to recognize this behavior as fast as possible to protect yourself and prevent unhealthy consequences. Obtain eight hours of sleep every night, have a healthy nutrition lifestyle, and one hour of exercise every day to prevent this behavior in yourself. Think from the heart with kindness and giving. Think from the mind for creative ways to help people and innovative ideas to improve people’s lives. Be exceptional by being your true self.

*****************************************

Podcast #5: Good Feelings from Positive Words

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is knowing who you are moment by moment which means know where you’re thinking from and that’s who you are. Think from the heart with kindness and giving. Think from the mind with creativity to help others and innovation to build products and services to improve people’s lives. Today we’re going to talk about the good feeling from thinking, writing, and saying positive words.

Joan – What do you mean?

Positive words come from the heart, and they feel good. Studies of conversations among families and workers show improved happiness and productivity when more positive words are used.

Why do positive words mean so much?

Positive words come from the heart. Negative words come from the head anger center and stress center.

Can you give an example?

Words like kindness, love, beautiful, giving, and trust all come from the heart with a good feeling. Words like angry, cruel, evil, jealous, and profanity come from the head with a bad, unhealthy feeling.

Joan – You’re right. Positive words feel good. What’s a positive word ratio?

A positive word ratio is number of positive words divided by the number of negative words. For example, if someone says three positive words for every negative word in a conversation, that’s a positive ratio of three. If someone says two negative words for every positive word, that’s a negative ratio of two.

What do studies about the positive word ratio show?

Surprisingly, the ratio needs to be high at three to five for positive, healthy feelings. If you have pleasant conversations, you’re both using three positive words for every negative word, a positive word ratio of three. A ratio below three has a neutral effect. As expected, a negative ratio causes stress in a conversation and can have serious consequences.

What do you mean, serious consequences?

Researchers counted the positive and negative words used by spouses and calculated the ratio. They found a positive word ratio of three to five was seen in happy marriages, but a negative word ratio was common among divorced couples.

Sounds dramatic. Why would negative words have such a bad outcome?

Negative words come from the head anger center and the head stress center when people are thinking about themselves. Close personal relationships are built on trust, giving, and people being their true selves. If people are using negative words from the stress center, they’re not thinking from the heart with kindness and giving to others.

You developed a positive word game, what is it?

It’s the positive alphabet word game. It’s simple. Think of a positive word that starts with A like amazing, B like beautiful, C like courage, and go through the alphabet. The letter X is hard for anyone to answer.

It feels good to play this game. I thought of the answer for X. It’s XOXO and means love! How does a positive word ratio help at work?

Researchers develop a device to measure the positive word ratio at work. They measure the ratio before and after people learn to stop thinking about themselves from the stress center. Findings show increased productivity and creativity when managers and employees have a higher positive word ratio.

How does this happen?

People learn to stop using negative words from the anger center toward other employees and the boss. They stop using negative words from the stress center like criticism, blame, and judgment. People can only think from one location at a time, so they no longer think from the head anger and stress center, but think from the heart with kindness and giving, and think from the mind for creativity to help coworkers or innovation to improve products and services.

Joan – Use positive words. They come from the heart and feel good. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – You’re right. Use positive words. Have a positive word ratio when you write and talk. Think from the heart with kindness and giving. Be exceptional by being your true self. This is a new way of life for extraordinary living. 

*****************************************

Podcast #4: Attention

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is knowing who you are moment by moment, which means know where you’re thinking from. For attention, learn to stop thinking from the head stress center and think from the mind for success.

Joan – What do you mean by attention?

This means 100% concentrating on the task with no other thoughts.

How does this help?

This is how to be the best in what you do.

Could you give an example?

I’ll give you two sports examples. The typical baseball pitcher continually shakes off the catcher’s sign, thinks about the batter’s stats, and thinks about being in the big game. These pitches often think about the opposing team, the ballpark, and even the standings. All these thoughts are from the head self-thinking stress center. The best pitcher in baseball gets the sign from the catcher and throws the pitch. No other thoughts, doesn’t know who the batter is, doesn’t even know the team, and that the team is playing in the final World’s Series game. The best pitcher is only throwing the pitch with no other thoughts. This is concentration. This is attention. And, this means thinking from the mind.

What do you mean thinking from the mind?

The new way of life is knowing where you’re thinking from moment by moment. There are four locations to think from that include the head, the heart, the gut, and the mind which is outside the body. Thinking about problems and the competition from the head causes stress, and you can only think from one location at a time. If you’re thinking about the competition, then you can’t think from the mind with attention and concentration. If you’re thinking about yourself, you’re thinking from the stress center, then you’re not concentrating. If you’re giving total attention, you’re thinking from the mind with success. 

What’s the second example?

The best quarterback in football wins important games like the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Other quarterbacks may be quicker or bigger and win games, but not when it counts. What’s the difference? The winning quarterback focuses on the play as the ball is hiked. There are no thoughts about the opposition players, the last game, the last play, the stadium, the importance of the game, or how many seconds are left. The quarterback gets the ball and carries out the play. The amygdala and cingulate brain regions take over through instincts for instant adjustments as the play unfolds.   

How do you pay attention?

The clue is from these athletes. They don’t think from the head. They get out of their head. They think from the mind. Attention is from the mind.

What do you mean?

They have no thoughts about themselves, about losing the game, or making a mistake. These are self-centered thoughts, thinking about themselves from the head stress center. They only think about throwing the pitch or the football from the mind, not from the head. Laser attention comes from the mind, which is outside the body, and in a slower alpha-brainwave state, in the zone.

How does attention apply at home?

Give total attention to fixing a leaky faucet, washing dishes, or carrying out the trash without complaining, being angry, or criticizing. This turns these tasks into something positive. It’s not doing the job of washing the dishes, it’s giving your time and contributing to the family from the heart with no stress. Complaining and criticizing is thinking about yourself from the stress center. Think about helping the family from the heart with kindness and giving.

How does attention this apply at work?

At work, this means staying in your lane.

What do you mean, “staying in your lane?”

Do your job, no one else’s. The CEO pays attention to creating a successful company not with thoughts of day-to-day management. The CTO pays attention to tech with no thoughts about operations. Employees focus on their specific task with no complaints and criticism of others.

Can you give an example?

The job of a startup board member is to help build an organization, not to be concerned with making money. The board member who only thinks about making money is toxic and will destroy the company. This board member analyzing every expense and blocks the CEO from hiring key pivotal people or spending money for capital raise because this means losing the board member’s money. This egocentric board member is thinking from the self-thinking stress center and not from the heart with giving and help, and not from the mind with innovation and solving problems.

Thinking from the mind and not the head stress center can make the difference between failure and success. How does paying attention help the community?

Focusing on the task with no self-thinking thoughts about criticism, seeking power, or judgment results in completion of the task and a positive, enjoyable experience working with others.

Joan – Use your mind for attention. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – I have a call to action. Give total attention to tasks at home and at work with no self-centered thoughts from the head stress center. Turn them into something positive. Reframe tasks and jobs, it’s giving and contributing to the family or the company. Think from the heart with kindness and giving, and think from the mind with creativity, solving problems, and courage.

*****************************************

Podcast #3: Stressed? You’re Thinking about Yourself

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is being your true self thinking from the heart with kindness and from your mind with creativity. Today we’re going to talk about why thinking about yourself causes stress and what to do about it.

Joan – Let’s begin, what are ten thoughts that mean you’re thinking about yourself?

Here they are: (1) Thinking about your problems. (2) Being angry at yourself and negative self-judgment. (3) Feeling sorry for yourself. (4) Thinking about someone blaming you, criticizing you, or complaining about you. (5) Comparing yourself to others. 6) Trying to be someone else, especially the perfect person you’ve created in your head. (7) Thinking about getting even, retaliation, or revenge. (8) Feeling guilty, jealous, or resentful. (9) Worrying. (10) Finally, thinking about what other people think of you.

Why does thinking about yourself cause stress?

This begins thousands of years ago with the words “Know Thyself” carved in granite. Aristotle and Socrates talked about knowing yourself means wisdom and know who you are in your heart. For 4000 years, no one knew how to do this. How do you find out who you are? How do you become your true self? Then, new MRI technology was developed to give us the answer. 

What’s the new MRI?

It’s called functional MRI (fMRI) and shows the part of the brain where people are thinking from. For example, have a group of people take the functional MRI and give them a simple task, “Don’t think about yourself.” If they do, a red light will go on. 

What happens?

It doesn’t take long, after a couple of minutes, people start thinking about their problems, comparing themselves to others, or feeling bad about themselves – triggering the red light. After about three weeks, they learn to keep the red light off and stop thinking about themselves.

What part of the brain are people thinking from?

When people think about themselves, they’re thinking from the cingulate region of the brain. This is the primitive, crocodile brain. It’s for instinctive reactions that will save your life in an emergency. This cingulate brain region is not for thinking about yourself. As you’ll find out, I call this the “stress center,” a much better word than the cingulate.  

What do you mean?

Let’s check in on everyone three to six months later. They’re healthier. Their heart rate and blood pressure are improved. They’re more productive and three times more creative. They enjoy life. They’re better friends and better citizens. To me, this is an amazing result, even better than any pills I know about. Eliminate stress by not thinking about yourself, or if you’re stressed, you’re thinking about yourself. It’s easy to do and doesn’t cost anything.

That's a huge breakthrough! Can you have examples of when you think about yourself?

Some are obvious such as any time you think about your problems or you’re angry with yourself. Other examples may not be so obvious such as comparing yourself to others or trying to be someone else. This is stressful. Another example, people often try to be like the made-up person in their head that can do everything. Being like this perfect person will never be attained and causes severe stress. Other examples include thinking about getting even or retaliation against another person. This causes a negative feeling and stress. Feeling guilty and being resentful also gives you an unhealthy feeling. Worry is a special consideration because exploring this further will show you that you’re thinking about yourself. Finally, thinking about what other people think of you is of no value and causes stress.

Is there thinking that causes stress that people don’t know about?

This is a major issue. The ten thoughts we’ve talked about are obvious; however, if you’re stressed and not thinking about any of these, that means you’re still thinking about yourself. Then you need to find out the cause.

Can you give an example?

If you’re spending more money than you’re making, you’re going to be stressed because you either are forced to make more money or sell your house. The stress is coming from thinking about yourself. You need to find out why because you can only think from one location at a time. If you’re thinking about yourself from the cingulate stress center, you can’t think from the mind with creativity and solving the problem. Trying and fighting to make money causes stress. The key word is trying, as this means you’re going to get rejection after rejection that leads to feeling sorry for yourself, blame, and always comparing yourself to others. Trying to make money means you’ll check emails every five minutes, set unrealistic goals, and feel angry when your life savings has an off day. All these thoughts are thinking about yourself in a negative way leading to severe stress, increased blood pressure, and an adverse health outcome. Working and making money by thinking from the heart and from the mind with solving problems are not stressful. Trying and fighting to make money is stressful.

Joan – That’s a complicated example and difficult to understand. The important lesson is if you’re stressed, you need to find out how you’re thinking about yourself. Do you have a call to action?

Dr. Gary Epler – This is what I would like to have you do: First, realize when you’re thinking about yourself. Second, instantly change to thinking from the heart with kindness to yourself. Third, explore and determine the reason or cause of thinking about yourself and permanently stop this thinking. Strive for zero-level stress. This is a new way of life to live every day filled with high energy, creativity, and enjoyment.

*****************************************

Podcast #2: Age Is Just a Number

Dr. Gary Epler – This session is about age and thinking from the heart with kindness for positive social interaction at home, at work, and in public.

Joan – Why would you talk about age and positive communication?

On the surface, it seems like a trivial issue, but let’s explore this at a deeper level. It’s an opportunity to improve people’s lives. It’s about positive communication where both people feel better after the interaction.

What do you mean?

Let’s start with a simple social question that’s asked all the time, “How old are you?”

That doesn’t seem like a problem, but some people are upset when asked that question. Why?

Asking people “how old are you” has been a common social question for decades. Not anymore, society has realized this question can make some people feel bad about themselves. No one likes this feeling, it’s unhealthy.

How can such a simple question be a problem?

It’s about the person asking the question. This is self-centered thinking from the head stress center and not from the heart.

What do you mean?

Thinking from the stress center is thinking about yourself. If you’re stressed, then you’re thinking about yourself. It’s taking behavior. Taking something from others, their enjoyment, their confidence. It’s wanting something in return.

Why would someone ask the question, “How old are you?”

They may not realize it, but they want something from the other person. They’re taking information to use for themselves – to compare with others or even to be better than others. Sometimes this makes people feel bad about themselves because they may feel much younger and don’t want to be treated like their numerical age.

Let’s talk about children, how can asking children how old they are possibly cause stress?

Sometimes people ask children how old they are, thinking it’s an easy way to say hello and interact, and they’re surprised when the child gets scared and hides with the parents. People ask the innocent question not thinking about what it means.

What does it mean?

This question comes from the head stress center, and children know it. They respond in two ways. Confident children will yell out the number bragging to their siblings or anyone else. But, most children are quiet and shy. You will see them back off and hide because this question comes from a taker, an adult who wants something from them. This is not a good way to start to a conversation. This scares children. It’s easy to talk to children. All you need to do is talk from the heart with kindness and giving. They will respond instantly.

I never thought of that. Talk to the children from the heart, and they will likely respond with joy. What about young adults, asking their age can’t be a problem, can it?

It wouldn’t seem so. But, the person asking the questions whether they know it or not, is taking information. They want to know if the age is appropriate for the person’s accomplishments, either massive accomplishments beyond their age or no accomplishments for their age. For those outperforming their peers, they take this as an opportunity to brag about their accomplishments, which is thinking about themselves from the head stress center. Most young adults are in the stage of trying to find out what they’re doing. This question makes them feel bad about themselves.

I never thought of that, but you’re right. What about older adults?

This has been an acceptable question for many years. Now, enough people in society don’t like the feeling of answering the question. It’s the same as with children and young adults, there are adults who love to tell the whole world about their age and brag about it. Most people do not want to tell anyone their age.

Why would someone ask the question?

There are two reasons, the first is related to the pecking order. It’s like birds, watch them eating breadcrumbs for a few minutes, and you will see the top one, the middle ones, and the one on the bottom. People who ask this question want to know where you are in the pecking order to find out if you’re above or below them so they can treat you accordingly.

That sounds strange, but it’s probably true. What’s the other reason?

A bigger problem is that once the person knows your age, then they will treat you as society has determined how that age should be treated. This results in being treated like an old person and not able to work or start a company. Children may treat their parents as being old, sometimes not letting them enjoy life because they say they worry about their health, which actually means they’re thinking from their stress center about themselves.

Joan – Asking people their age seems like a minor question; however, this makes people feel bad about themselves and people might be treated as if they’re too old to enjoy life. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – Think from the heart with kindness and giving. No need to ask anyone how old they are. This is a question from the head stress center, and it causes stress. Be exceptional by being your true self. Think from the heart with kindness and giving. This is a new way of life for extraordinary living. 

*****************************************

Podcast #1: Good Health Habits: Eat, Sleep, and Exercise

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is knowing who you are moment by moment. This means know where you’re thinking from and that’s who you are. There are four locations, and you can only think from one at a time. There’s the head, the heart, the gut, and the mind, which is outside the body. We’re going to talk about three fundamental requirements to live this new, extraordinary way of life.

Joan – Let’s start with nutrition, what do you mean by a healthy nutrition lifestyle?

People often think that diets are the best way to lose weight. They’re right – you can lose 20, 30 or 50 pounds, but diets are also the biggest cause of weight gain. It’s all gained back plus an additional 10 to 20 pounds. This is because diets reset the brain eating thermostat to a higher level, and it’s permanent. The diet approach leads to trying the latest fad diet every few years with swings of weight loss and weight gain, which leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. A healthy nutrition lifestyle is the better choice. Food needs to provide energy to the brain, heart, and muscles without causing harmful inflammation.

What’s your secret for healthy nutrition?

“Eat the right foods in the right amount at the right time prepared in a healthy manner.”

What are healthy foods?

Foods that have no added sugar, no added salt, no processed foods, and minimize starchy foods. Lean protein, fiber, and omega 3-fats are good foods.

What’s the right amount?                       

This is the hardest part about healthy nutrition because you need 10% less food every ten years as you age. Eventually you only need half as much as when you were a teenager. This is difficult because we’ve been conditioned to “clean the plate” since childhood, and the food quantity thermostat in the brain stays the same during aging, so people must actively think about eating less.

Everyone needs to keep in mind that less food is needed as the years go by. What do you mean by prepared in a healthy manner?

This means eat foods in their natural state, steamed, boiled, or cooked at low temperatures. This means limit fried foods and charred foods.  

Live a healthy nutrition lifestyle by eating the right foods in the right amount at the right time prepared in a healthy manner. Why do you need eight hours of sleep every night?

Everyone needs eight hours of sleep every night, not less and not more. Six of these eight hours are needed to replenish brain energy adenosine. Two hours at the end of eight hours are needed for dream sleep or REM sleep, which is rapid eye movement sleep. This restores kindness and giving feelings from the heart. This REM sleep is also a time when the energy for the frontal lobe is replenished. The fully energized frontal lobe is needed to make healthy choices and judgments in your life.

What happens if you don’t have eight hours of sleep?

Sleeping less than eight hours is unhealthy and can be deadly. This can lead to sleep deprivation syndrome causing severe health problems. Lack of eight hours causes irritability from minor annoyances, inability to make decisions, and being mean to others. People are at 60% of their performance level at home and at work. New studies show that not enough sleep to recharge the frontal lobe results in loss of judgement. People know they should not be mean to others or fight with someone, but they can’t help themselves because the frontal lobe is offline. Two hours of dream sleep are needed every night for kindness and restore frontal lobe function.

Sounds like you need eight hours of sleep every night. It’s healthy, decreases stress, and helps you to be your true self. Why do you need one hour of exercise every day?

One hour of exercise every day gives you energy to power through the day. This has been known for thousands of years. Aristotle said it’s healthy to become short of breath from exercise every day to live an energetic life. Exercise decreases stress.

What type of exercise is needed?

Mix it up. There needs to be some aerobic exercise such as walking, running, treadmill, elliptical, or swimming. It’s important to use weights during some of these workouts as muscle mass decreases with age. Classes are an excellent way to exercise because you do them at your own pace, there’s variety, and best of all, social interaction and meeting lifelong friends.

Anything else?

You might fall in love! Everyone knows your heart rate increases when you fall in love. The opposite is also true, increase your heart rate and you might fall in love with the person you with. Go for a hike together. Go for a run. Go dancing.   

Run along the Charles River in Boston, fall in love, and guess what, you might get married. That’s what we did!

Sounds good to me, best thing I ever did!

Joan – Develop a healthy nutrition lifestyle. Sleep eight hours every night. One hour of exercise every day. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – Know who you are moment by moment. You can know who you are because there are four places you can be, and you can only be in one place at a time. You can be in your head, your heart, your gut, or your mind, which is outside the body. Learn to eliminate unhealthy head thinking with anger and stress. Think from the heart with kindness and giving. Think from the mind with creativity, courage, and success. Be exceptional by being your true self. Thrive on your uniqueness. This is a new way of life for extraordinary living.