A Better You

Update: 2017-06-1638
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Many of us are lured by the promise of self-improvement, but find it hard to follow through. In our 100th episode, TED speakers reveal ways to discover our better selves, from simple hacks to deep introspection. TED speakers include entrepreneur Jia Jiang, Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe, psychologist Emily Balcetis, technologist Matt Cutts, and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

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support for the Ted Radio Hour and the following message come from Quicken loans creator of rocket mortgage racket mortgage lets you apply simply and fully understand the entire mortgage process so you can be confident you're getting the right mortgage to get started goats are rocking mortgage dot com slash idea is this the is the Head Radio Hour each week groundbreaking had talked the Ted Technology Design at Stanford delivered and Ted conferences around the world gift of the human had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy rise so what you think back to the last time you were rejected maybe your boss shot down one of your ideas maybe give us somebody out and it didn't go over too well whatever it was rejection is not fun I think it's safe to say most people try to avoid it or at least most people don't seek out rejection the less you're this guy my name's Joshua and people come in the rejection I actually goes out looking for rejection all the time on purpose but have you been have even rejected today at all no I haven't been not experience rejection today no I feel bad about it now but I do it probably like two to three times a week just to keep myself sharp thing is for most of his life Zhao was terrified of rejection yes absolutely I was so afraid of rejection is looking back I felt is one of my biggest problems in my life so he decided to do something about this problem by fixing as he could become a better version of himself so good how they overcome my fear of rejection and I found this one website called rejection therapy dot com that will ask you to get rejected every day he says it has a cell from that pain of rejection I just love that idea so back in two thousand and twelve I decided to try this rejection therapy he found a Hello everyone this job any but the videos on YouTube this might they can are rejected there be just to conquer fear everyday for one hundred days he made various requests of strangers going to ask someone to open up their backyard and for me to play soccer in and requests where he figured the walk into a local business and the boss of the staring contest with the CEO people would always say No right clicking easy I want to get my hair trimmed a ten second clip this flower in your yard today home of flying to Austin to a long need to do the public safety announcement before the flight takes off hopefully I don't get arrested hundred days of rejection hundred is a rejection and that's what I did you come out become like a master of rejection let's see what the what kind of tough guy become today on the show better you ideas about changing the things about us we don't want to change conquering a fear or changing habits or find something new becoming the kind of person you want to be the judge on becoming a better version of himself man conquering his fear of rejection and that fear came from something that happened way back in his childhood he told a story from the Ted stage well a six year old my first grade teacher had this brilliant idea she wanted us to experience receiving gifts but also learning the virtue of complement each other so she had all of us come to the front of the costume she bought all of his gifts and stacked them in a corner she said Why don't we just stand here and compliment each other if you hear your name called go and pick up gifts the Dow could go wrong the well there were forty of us to start with and everytime wake use someone's name called I would give the hardest year and then there were twenty people laugh and ten people o five three left out one up and a custom install a teacher is freaking out she was like hey anyone see anything nice about these people the No one ok what did you go get a gift and sit down to behave next year someone must do something nice about you the well some described as two you probably know this is really well so that those one version of me and I would die to avoid being that situation again to get rejected in public again one version the fast forward eight years Bill Gates came to my hometown Beijing China to speak and I saw his message I thought Wow I know what to do now that night I wrote a letter to my family telling them ace twenty five I'll do the biggest company in the world and the company will buy Microsoft DT member what you wrote in that letter I do so in I said it's twenty five will become the biggest under painter in the world and also I talked about to go to United States someday to be this entrepreneur to fulfill that dream even chose a city for myself to live it I chose to move to Houston I would have no idea why I chose use the name sounded good to me Houston and also probably because they won the NBA championship that year the Houston Rockets and I kind of like them so fast that what's a fella see the letter the well than two years later I was presented was up thirty four comp United States jumped on it because that's where Bill Gates lifter he tells the Star of mine from your journey than fast for another fourteen years I was thirty nope I didn't build that company ID may start I was actually marketing manager for Fortune five hundred company Nextel I was stuck stagnant wise that was the fourteen year old wheel of that letter is not because even try because every time I had a new idea every time to try something new human I work I wanted to make a proposal I wanted to speak up in front of people in the group fell there was this constant battle between the fourteen year old and a six year old one wanted to conquer the world make a difference another was afraid of rejection and every time the six year old won the the tummy was going on in your life when he decided I need to deal with this problem and have so it was fun I just turned thirty at the time and after the news that we're going to have a baby gray but then my wives like you know he first met you re always talk about is your great ideas that you ought to do all this i wun hav tat guy back if you really want to be this entrepreneur you choose if you don't do it now and have a lot of regret looking back in Sep Lima York is your family for not achieving your dreams right so end up quitting my job four days before my first child is born wow gold as well as money lost by the way have you know but I stepped out and stuff outta my company and I was looking for investment what is happening is a four month adventure I was rejected with this investment and a video would hurt me it was like all those feeding solids six year old stadium a shorter again just tell me what you think you are gentle and does so that's where the mic stand and that's when you discover this idea of rejection therapy like you thought that said this is what I need to do yeah that's a part of this one is to solve this rejection problem this is something to help me and I'm going to try it but also the other part is like me to do something that I have been I would not dare to do in my life I don't know where this Business Chronicle but come on us a stronger person and not a bad outcome so here's what I did weigh one hundred dollars from stranger the came downstairs I saw this big guy sitting behind a desk in the He looked like a security guard so I suppose him his hair the back of the next inning I was sweating my heart was pounding and I got there and said the Circle Bar a hundred dollar from you and he thought as I know the why and I just say no sorry that's around the edges ran i i felt so embarrassed but because I feel myself tonight I was watching myself getting rejected I just saw how scared how was i look like this kid is six cents so that people the the uh so this guy he was and that menacing us chubby lovable guy you know and he even asked me why in fact he invited me to explain myself I could have seen many things I could've explained I couldn't negotiated oh I did was run I felt wow this is like a microcosm of my life every time I feel the slightest rejection was run as fast as I could and you know what the next day no matter what happens I'm not going to run all stay engaged day to request a burger refill the Ezra finish went to a burger joint and finish lines and I went to the cashier said I can get a burger still the he was so confuse I was a burger is still largest like aging trivial but with the burger the he said sorry when the burger if a man so there's a worry just a hop and I couldn't run but I stayed I said Well I love you Burger Love You You're or join a few guys burger is still loving us more and he said the outcome measure about it maybe would do it but sorry can't do this today that left but the life and death stating ousting the first time was no longer there because just the gates because I didn't run that while great learning things so when you do this for ninety eight more days you get rejected over and tried to get rejected every day you courted this yet I did and what happens to your or your fear of rejection the funny thing is I don't thi can't ever get rid of the fear but I started developing a very healthy relationship with rejection meaning I put up this whole experience of all if you go get rejections s You're OK right and that is always there the one to take that away from me so when I go into Andrew negotiation or any real life experiences were able to possibly be rejected and in all I needed to do was we would reject it happens I could know how to negotiate I know how to have fun and know how to keep it lighthearted and on now to take it personally so I boot up his whole mindset that use of Moses as a tool it became a friend I can say rejection is this my friend now it seems like a big part of this this whole experiment was kind of trying to make yourself into a better version of yourself absolutely absolutely and I still do that constantly there's an old Chinese proverb that talked about hey Eve if God or Heaven is and give you a big task or mission right he's going to run you through the ringers is going to have to put you through the difficulties overcome them then you're ready for the used some summer inspiration from the IG on a book about his project is called rejection proven by the incredibly out of his hundred requests he actually got fifty one people to say yes you can see his entire talk show today ID is about becoming a Better You I'm Guy rising listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR the ol' o Hey Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who help make this podcast possible first to Wordpress dot com every small business wants to find their customer base in out your customers can find you do when you create a website Wordpress dot com Wordpress Powers twenty seven percent all websites they have hundreds of customized themes to get you started just pick a template and making your own last twenty four seven support when you need if so you can get back to business go to Wordpress dot com slash radio hour to get fifteen percent off your website and today the thanks also to subside that come a new way to buy travel design from business travelers upside saves money on travel and gives you a free gift card worth hundreds of dollars every time he buying trip side is able to do this by bundling your flights and hotel together for one low price so they give you a free gift card size perfect for business travel for more information is an upside on condom use coded radio hour minimum purchase required see site for complete details it's that Ted Radio Hour from NPR and I rise and the show today better you I think we will have the potential to change this is Andy to come to mean for forcing will change but rather a better understanding among seeing it more clearly understanding what causes happiness and what causes unhappiness and being able to let go of those things that causes unhappiness end he's kind of an expert on meditation you might recognize his voice from his meditation app called head space or he's actually a former Buddhist monk and the story he became one started in his late teens way lost two close friends and family member all within a short period of time and at that time I certainly didn't have the skills the understanding to know how to deal with those things that I'd been witness to the So what'd you do and in the Anyway yeah I think as I went to college I think being staying in one peice for one time gave me the opportunity to see that scene no matter how much I try to move away from these failings actually they were with me wherever I was And then I was a really precious of Regina those difficult challenges being with those failings allow me to find the clarity to say actually you know what from Brady to understand it's not going to be through reading books University and the many to go and as it turned out to go weigh in and become a Buddhist monk ND spent the next ten years studying a monk traveling to countries like Nepal and Thailand all in search of trying to better understand themselves the NDP come on that stage the often asked me what I learned from that time well over a sea change things no let's face it becoming celibate monk is going to change a number of things but it was more than that you know it it's all me came a greater appreciation and understanding for the present moment by that I mean not being lost in the know being distracted now being overwhelmed quite difficult emotions but instead learning how to be in the here and now how to be mindful how to be present in the present moment is so under rates sounds so ordinary and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that is anything on golden right arm the the the How do you mean how do you stay present book is a matter of constantly reminding yourself it's interesting I think over time it's like I was the muscle memory you know if it's done enough times it is simply become stronger and stronger but I think in terms of the how it's actually done so if I think of a couple of examples I remember getting told off one's going one at the same honesty shows having multi week you get pulled off a monastery and it happens at a monastery absolutely have to remember one of Cali from MP now I think I read a book or something in the library that I was frustrated something and I was given to toss today when it was to cut the cross He was to cut across with a Paris is is how the time when I was doing it for the lease for the first kind of arrow to is doing that in my mind I was just busy talking to myself is ridiculous this is crazy so steep and really kind of just building up a lot of frustration and anger it was entirely my own kind of doing that stuff and I was kind of crazy in this detention in the mind in my body and at some stage I think I remember just comes laughing to myself that the absurdity and but through having let go of the storyline that go the attention of a sudden kind of released from the story and you are sudden she became quite pleasant activity a good example of how lead the activities what it was to define the experience of activity boy how I was relating to with does so in the most shiok on sneak on the challenge is sweeping the floor I use sweeping the floor was thinking about something else that happened in the past or looking to the something will happen in the or simply present the of the brew is but if it's done as a result transformative for Andy's actions became a form focus instead of gone on with millions the there was a recess recently said on average in lost in thought almost forty seven percent of the time forty seven percent the same time this sort of comes to mind wondering is also a direct cools of unhappiness now we're not here for that long anyway but to spend almost half of our life lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy that this tax cut seems tragic actually especially when there's something we can do about it when there's a positive practical achievable scientifically proven technique which allows our mind to be more healthy to be more mindful and less distracted and the beauty of it is that even know it kind of need only take about ten minutes a day it impacts our entire life but we need to know how to do we need an exercise need a framework to learn how to be more mindful as a sensual meditation is familiarize yourself with the present moment because most people assume the meditation is all about sort of stopping thoughts getting rid of emotions somehow controlling the mind but it is quite different from that it's more about stepping back sort of seeing the thought clearly witnessing it coming and going emotions coming and going without judgment but with a relaxed focused mind the the money to entice a work in a kitchen in this restaurant the members a chef in a nice swear of the NEP running back as opposed to the kitchen and every noun it again he'd stop and some Y so much going on and we'll just close look at him and go will you making all the noise you know I sometimes think that in our search for happiness we make so much noise if not externally that should be we miss the very thing that we were looking for and we realized that oh she was here alone so I sometimes worry about this kind of search for happiness or trying to be more happy and that for me I can only speak from experience but the framework of meditation is so useful way the reason we the site the error of trying to be happy it's more simply craving a frame what when we let go of all the things that bring us on happiness I know this is pretty complex thing for dancer because meditation is not it's not sort of practitioners not seen as a something you do with a goal in my drawer and a point or destination write it but me could make the argument that by meditating even just a few minutes a day to actually become a pear version of yourself are fundamentally counted for the summer and I say that based on my own experience rather than from a point of opinion now it's an experience that is being fed back to me by so many people now Jenny dying never believed from moment when I left a ministry that if people dates or ten or fifteen minutes a day that that would make a significant difference in their life and I am blown away on a daily basis by the amount of people who write in and say this is change my life the and it's a phrase that gets thrown around a lot but when you read come to the stress these people Stephanie something in taking even just a few minutes out of the day they can have a really significant impact on the mine to the spirits of the outcome he's a former Buddhist monk and co founder of the meditation app called head space you can see his fault I had that calms the soul for a lot of Ashraf first step to a Better You begins on January first I always set new year's resolutions and I always break them and hear what yearly recurring resolution though it's usually to be more interesting I mean for the day I mean the more interesting than I can be a man eating a bee sting of a new hobby like one one one into learning guitar and that that didn't even last a week this is Emily Bell Chad this she says social psychologist who studies goal setting and motivation so every January for snow reminded about the importance of goals and and how so many people have a renewed enthusiasm for making them and then after a few months the feeling of rejection for a game having let them go in fact Emily says that by Valentine's Day most of us have already quit whatever we were determined to do back in January and Emilie wanted to understand why this happens why it's so hard to stay motivated and she specifically looked at exercise and why so many people have such a hard time meeting their fitness goals exactly yeah so when we know we know several reasons why you don't have the time our lives are quite busy were pulled in many directions from friends and family and our careers that's not the new thing that we have to offer the unexpected explanation that we have been investigating as I may be you and I are seen as slightly different world and maybe that can help us understand why ain't you might be able to better meet your goals and I am really interested in this comparison how healthy or fit people see the world then how do I'm healthy people see the world the Jetta spoke about her research on the Ted stage the some people may literally see exercise as more difficult and some people might literally see exercise easier so we gathered objective measurements of individual's physical fitness after gathering these measurements we told our participants that they would walk to a finish line while carrying extra weight in a sort of race but before they did that we ask them to estimate the distance to the finish line we thought that the physical state of their body might change how they perceived the distance but so too can our minds in fact our bodies our minds work in tandem to change how we see the world around us that list I think that people with strong motivations and strong goals to exercise may actually see the finish line as closer though they be fined well people who were out of shape and unfit actually saw the distance to the finish line as significantly greater than people who are in better shape importantly though this only happen for people who are not motivated to exercise and the other hand people who are highly motivated to exercise saw the distance as short even the most out of shape individuals saw the finish line is just as close if not slightly closer than people who are in better shape the the hearing this sort of intuitively makes me think motivation is a brain thing is all about some people just naturally and then other people like some people like you know those people to get up everyday to write a journal entry they do yoga meditate and they're still at work before everybody else and I just I come across as people think other so lucky they just it's just in them if they just have it and some of us just don't that would be really demoralizing way to think about our possibilities for our life is good though I disagree and I I I assume you disagree as well that that it's not like a fixed sum it's not that some people are motivated and some aren't but we might think that that can be part of the problem and some people might think you know I am and there's really little that can happen that I could do to change that those people are going to have a harder time meeting their goals once they experience a setback or failure well if that's just who I am then why should I try again and and that's that's the wrong mindset to bring to any challenge that we might be facing so what's the secret what is the secret to staying motivated was no one easy answer of course you know really what we wanna do is try to think about a tool belt or a tool box and offering a variety of different techniques to consider that might work for you might not so that you just have more strategies available that you can use at the right time in the right place so when you are doing this experiment and asking people to to guess the distance that that they had to walk did you come across any strategies that work like that helped people to stay motivated yeah so what we noticed was that if these people are seeing the distances are shorter we wondered if there was something that we could teach people that would help them see the world the way offend persons season and could not improve the quality of their exercise from that research that we did we created what we calls that keep your eyes on the pricing strategy E this is not a slogan from an inspirational poster is an actual directive for how to look around your environment people that he trained in a strategy we we told them to focus their attention on the finish line to avoid looking around to imagine a spotlight was shining on that goal and that everything else around it was blurry and perhaps difficult to see we compared this group to baseline group we said just look around the environment as you naturally
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