Hi Everyone and welcome back to the Hockey Journey Podcast, episode number 53,
The Power of Positivity, presented to you by Online Hockey Training.com. I'm your host Coach Lance Pitlick. If you're new here, please make sure you subscribe, so you won't miss out on any future episodes.
Before we open up the blinds, let the sunshine in and begin this conversation, if you want to learn more about me, my hockey experiences, what I know, and most importantly, how I've been helping hockey players get really good with a stick and puck, just head on over to onlinehockeytraining.com and gain instant access to my 10 part video series where I'll show you everything. Consider it my gift to you.
I'd like to start this episode by saying hello, hope your day is going well, you're crushing your success list for the week, aaaaaaaaanddddd, I'd also like you to take a moment and do something for me, if you're cool with that. It's going to seem a bit odd, and some of you might even be mad at me for even posing the question, but hang with me for a sec and let's see what happen's. I know my Mom is buckling up her seatbelt, because she has no idea what direction I'm going in right now??? Mama, this is going to be fun, here we go.
It's funny how some things stick in your memory and others don't. I've had several occasions over the years, where I've had conversations with people, maybe with people from high school, who have brought up a past memory of the two of us, told me how impactful that moment in time was to them, but I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Has that ever happened to you?
It drives me crazy when I can't remember a memory so ingrained in someone else's consciousness, but unfortunately has been completely erased from my story board for some reason. But there are other memories that are like gum on the bottom of your shoe, you can't ever shake them off, like this one.
Back when I was in college and when I turned pro, and I hate to admit it, but in my free time, I shouldn't even say that, because I made the time, but I loved watching the Oprah Winfrey show. Being a dude saying that I regularly watched Oprah, well, not that cool around the fella's but I didn't care what anyone thought, because I enjoyed her show and the guests she'd interviewed.
Getting back to memories that stick and others that don't, this is a memory that I find funny, and also a mystery why it was encapsulated onto my master story board. I just began my professional career in Hershey, Pennsylvania and one afternoon I was getting my Oprah fix for the day at my small studio apartment. The show began by Oprah posing a question, "If you found out you only had seven days to live, what would you do? I had never thought about that question before, ever, so it got my attention right away.
Oprah had a mic setup in the middle of the audience so members could share their thoughts, which she often did during her shows. The first 2 women that got up to speak had similar last days on earth visions, it was going to be on a beach down in the caribbean or Hawaii. The 3rd audience member was a male, and I was curious to hear what he had to say, so I kinda leaned in toward the tv.
So this guy gets up to the mic and Oprah asks the question again, if you found out you only had seven days to live, what would I do? He said, he easy Oprah, I'd move in with my Mother-in-law, as everyone chuckled a bit, followed by Oprah asking the gentleman, and why would you move in with your mother-in-law if you only had 7 days to live?'' He said the reason is, because it would be the longest 7 days of my life. Everyone busted out laughing, including me. I still smile every time I think of that story.
Back then, the question of only having 7 days to live, like I said earlier, was something I never pondered, and it became a shifting moment in my life. I started to have thoughts about what's the meaning of life, what is my purpose, why am I here? After weeks of wrestling around with concepts, the mantra that I started repeating on a daily basis was, "Choose to be happy and Choose to be Positive."
The number one thing I did that completely changed the game for me, was when I decided to not let negative thoughts occupy my mind very long, began to start disrupting them, and did a quick reframe to something positive. Easier said than done and it's still a work in progress for me, but I honestly can say that it's really helped me in creating a happier life and definitely reduced the amount of negativity I was unnecessarily contributing to the world.
Did you know that researchers did a study where they interviewed people who were on their deathbed, asking what they're biggest regrets in life were? Wishing they were happier more was consistent across the board. Interesting, so shouldn't we learn from these people and strive not to have the same regret when that time comes for us?
There is so much negativity in the media today, and I've done my best to limit the negative social media from infiltrating into my days, but it's hard as it's the norm to say, "did you hear about what happened downtown? I can't believe so and so tweeted that about so and so," in daily random conversations. But does it have to be that way?
Do we have to play along with the masses and keep mindlessly contributing to this non-necessary practice, by passing on negativity through our conversations?
Eknath Easwaran tells us in his book Words to Live By - Daily Inspiration for Spiritual Living, that there should be three gatekeepers of the lips, expanding on the Arab Proverb - The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers.
“Before words get past the lips, the first gatekeeper asks, ‘Is this true?’ That stops a lot of traffic immediately. But if the words get past the first gatekeeper, there is a second who asks, ‘Is it kind?’ And for those words that qualify here too, the last gatekeeper asks, ‘Is it necessary?’
With these three on guard, most of us would find very little to say. Here I think it is necessary to make exceptions in the interests of good company and let the third gatekeeper look the other way now and then. After all, a certain amount of pleasant conversation is part of the artistry of living. But the first two gatekeepers should always be on duty.
It is so easy to say something at the expense of another for the purpose of enhancing our own image. But such remarks—irresistible as they may be—serve only to fatten our egos and agitate others. We should be so fearful of hurting people that even if a clever remark is rushing off our tongue, we can barricade the gate. We should be able to swallow our cleverness rather than hurt someone. Better to say something banal but harmless than to be clever at someone else’s expense.” (End Quote)
I love that, the 3 gate keepers before we speak, is it true, is it kind and is it necessary? Brilliant!!
In my attempt to help reduce my contribution of negativity to the world, I'd like to share some great ideas on the power of positivity and how we can choose to be happier from a few books that may shed a different light on how you currently are viewing the world, but more importantly, how you're reacting to it.
For the following books I'm going to reference, know that I'm only scratching the surface of all the learning nuggets in each of the titles. If something resonates with you from a certain book, by the end of this episode, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of your own and read it in its entirety. I'll put the links to each of the titles in the description. With that being said, let's get this party started.
Book Number 1
The How of Happiness
A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
by Sonja Lyubomirsky
“All of us want to be happy, even if we don’t admit it openly or choose to cloak our desire in different words. Whether our dreams are about professional success, spiritual fulfillment. a sense of connection, a purpose in life, or love or sex, we covet those things because ultimately we believe that they will make us happier. Yet few of us truly appreciate just how much we can improve our happiness or know preciselyhow to go about doing it. To step back and consider your deep-seated assumptions about how to become a happier person and whether it’s even possible for you—what I hope this book will spur you to do—is to understand that becoming happier is realizable, that it’s in your power, and that it’s one of the most vital and momentous things that you can do for yourself and for those around you.” (End Quote)
WHY BE HAPPY?
“In sum, across all the domains of life, happiness appears to have numerous positive by-products that few of us have taken the time to really understand. In becoming happier, we not only boost experiences of joy, contentment, love, pride, and awe but also improve other aspects of our lives: our energy levels, our immune systems, our engagement with work and with other people, and our physical and mental health. In becoming happier, we bolster as well our feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem; we come to believe that we are worthy human beings, deserving of respect. A final and perhaps least appreciated plus is that if we become happier, we benefit not only ourselves but also our partners, families, communities and even society at large" (End Quote)
Quote # 3
THE 40% SOLUTION
“In a nutshell, the fountain of happiness can be found in how you behave, what you think, and what goals you set every day of your life. ‘There is no happiness without action.’ If feelings of passivity and futility overcome you whenever you face up to your happiness set point or to your circumstances, you must know that a genuine and abiding happiness is indeed within your reach, lying within the 40 percent of the happiness pie chart that’s yours to guide.”
“What makes up this 40 percent? Besides our genes and the situations that we confront, there is one critical thing left: our behavior. Thusthe key to happiness lies not in changing our genetic makeup (which is impossible) and not in changing our circumstances (i.e., seeking wealth or attractiveness or better colleagues, which is usually impractical), but in our daily intentional activities. With this in mind, our pie chart illustrates the potential of the 40 percent that is within our ability to control, the 40 percent for room to maneuver, for opportunities to increase or decrease our happiness levels through what we do in our daily lives and how we think.” (End Quote)
THE WORK OF HAPPINESS
“It may be obvious that to achieve anything substantial in life—learn a profession, master a sport, raise a child - a good deal of effort is required. But many of us find it difficult to apply the notion of effort to our emotional or mental lives. Without effort, we might ‘get lucky,’ butlike a long-forgotten New Year’s resolution, the success will be short-lived. Consider how much time and commitment many people devote to physical exercise, whether it's going to the gym, jogging, kickboxing, or yoga. My research reveals that if you desire greater happiness, you need to go about it in a similar way. In other words, becoming lastingly happier demands making some permanent changes that require effort and commitment every day of your life. Pursuing happiness takes work, but consider that this ‘happiness work’ may be the most rewarding work you’ll ever do.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #5
12 HAPPINESS ACTIVITIES
1. Expressing Gratitude 2. Cultivating Optimism 3. Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison 4. Practicing Acts of Kindness 5. Nurturing Social Relationships 6. Developing Strategies for Coping 7. Learning to Forgive 8. Increasing Flow Experiences 9. Savoring Life’s Joys 10. Committing to Your Goals
11. Practicing Religion and Spirituality 12. Taking Care of Your Body: Meditation + Physical Activity + Acting Like a Happy Person (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #6
HAPPINESS ACTIVITY #1: EXPRESSING GRATITUDE
“People who are consistently grateful have been found to be relatively happier, more energetic, and more hopeful and to report experiencing more frequent positive emotions. They also tend to be more helpful and empathic, more spiritual and religious, more forgiving, and less materialistic than others who are less predisposed to gratefulness. Furthermore, the more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is to be depressed, anxious, lonely, envious, or neurotic.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #7
SOCIAL COMPARISONS AND HAPPINESS
“We found that the happiest people take pleasure in other people’s successes and show concern in the face of others’ failures. A completely different portrait, however, has emerged of a typical unhappy person - namely, as someone who is deflated rather than delighted about his peers' accomplishments and triumphs and who is relieved rather than sympathetic in the face of his peers’ failures and undoings.”
“You can’t be envious and happy at the same time. People who pay too much attention to social comparisons find themselves chronically vulnerable, threatened and insecure.”
“The happier the person, the less attention she pays to how others around her are doing.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #8
THE BEST POSSIBLE SELVES DIARY
“There are many ways to practice optimism, but the one that has been empirically shown to enhance well-being is the original Best Possible Selves diary method. To try it out, sit in a quiet place, and take twenty to thirty minutes to think about what you expect your life to be one, five, or ten years from now. Visualize a future for yourself in which everything has turned out the way you’ve wanted. You have tried your best, worked hard, and achieved all your goals. Now write down what you imagine. This writing exercise in a sense puts your optimistic 'muscles' into practice. Even if thinking about the brightest future for yourself doesn't come naturally at first, it may get there with time and training. Amazing things can come about as a result of writing.”
Book Number 2
Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
by Amy Cuddy
“The opposite of powerlessness must be power, right? In a sense, that’s true, but it’s not quite that simple. The research I’ve been doing for years now joins a large body of inquiry into a quality I call presence. Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities. That’s important, because if you don’t trust yourself, how can others trust you? Whether we are talking in front of two people or five thousand, interviewing for a job, negotiating for a raise, or pitching a business idea to potential investors, speaking up for ourselves or speaking up for someone else, we all face daunting moments that must be met with poise if we want to feel good about ourselves and make progress in our lives. Presence gives us the power to rise to these moments.” (End Quote)
“Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential. That’s it. It is not a permanent, transcendent mode of being. It comes and goes. It is a moment-to-momentphenomenon. Presence emerges when we feel personally powerful, which allows us to be acutely attuned to our most sincere selves. In this psychological state, we are able to maintain presence even in the very stressful situations that typically make us feel distracted and powerless. When we feel present, our speech, facial expressions, postures, and movements align. They synchronize and focus. And that internal convergence, that harmony, is palpable and resonant—because it’s real. It’s what makes us compelling. We are no longer fighting ourselves; we are being ourselves. Our search for presence isn’t about finding charisma or extraversion or carefully managing the impression we’re making on other people. It’s about the honest, powerful connection that we create internally, with ourselves. (End Quote)
“The kind of self-affirmation I’m talking about—the kind whose effects Steele and others have studied—doesn’t have anything to do with reciting generic one-liners in the mirror, nor does it involve boasting or self-aggrandizement. Instead it’s about reminding ourselves what matters most to us and, by extension, who we are. In effect, it’s a way of grounding ourselves in the truth of our own stories. It makes us feel less dependent on the approval of others and even more comfortable with their disapproval, if that’s what we get.” (End Quote)
PRIMING, NUDGES AND YOUR PERSONAL POWER
“Recall a moment when you felt personally powerful. A time when you felt fully in control of your own psychological state—when you had the confidence to act based on your boldest, most sincere self, with the sense that your actions would be effective. Maybe it was at work, at school, at home, or in some other part of your life. Take a few minutes right now to remember and reflect on that experience of your personal power, on how it felt. It felt good, right? Whether you know it or not, you’ve just been primed. Thanks to that little exercise, your psychological state was, and likely still is, infused with feelings of confidence and strength. I could just have easily asked you to remember a time when you felt powerless and stress-ridden, but of course I don’t want to bring you down. Had you done that, however, it, too, would have changed your psychological state, at least temporarily—for the worse. That unhappy sensation of being at someone’s mercy would have come flooding back into the hidden recesses of your brain.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #5
EXPAND YOUR BODY TO EXPAND YOUR POWER
“As scientists, the first thing we needed was a clear hypothesis. This was our thinking: if nonverbal expressions of power are so hardwired that we instinctively throw our arms up in a V when we win a race—regardless of cultural background, gender, or whether we’ve seen anyone else do it—and if William James was right that our emotions are as much a result as they are a cause of our physical expressions, then what would happen if we adopt expansive postures even when we are feeling powerless? Since we naturally expand our bodies when we feel powerful, do we also naturally feel powerful when we expand our bodies?” “In our sample of women and men, the high-power posers showed a 19 percent increase in testosterone and a 25 percent decrease in cortisol. Low-power posers showed the opposite pattern—a 10 percent decrease in testosterone and a 17 percent increase in cortisol, the exact pattern we predicted.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #6
I’M EXCITED! YOU?
“As most of us know, stage fright can feel like a paralyzing overdose of anxiety. And what do people tell us to do when we’re anxious? They tell us, with good intentions, to calm down. As it turns out, that might just be the very worst thing they can say. You see, anxiety is whatpsychologists describe as a high-arousal emotion. As I’ve explained, when we’re anxious, we occupy a heightened state of psychological vigilance. We’re hyperalert. Our hearts race, we break out into a sweat, our cortisol may spike—all of these reactions are controlled automatically by our nervous system. And it’s virtually impossible for most people to shut off that kind of automatic arousal, to abruptly de-escalate it. Not only can we not calm it down, but when someone tells us to calm down, it also reminds us of how calm we are not, which stokes our anxiety even more. But there’s another high-arousal emotion that’s not so negative. In fact, it’s quite positive— excitement. Brooks predicted that we may not be able to extinguish arousal, but we should be able to change the way we interpret it. So rather than fruitlessly trying to change the arousal level of our emotional states from high to low, what if we try to change them from negative topositive? From anxiety to excitement?” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #7
MOVE LIKE THE BEST, BOLDEST VERSION OF YOU
“In the first month after my TED talk posted, I heard from an Olympic swimming coach who explained how he’d been using a power posing-type strategy—with great success—for years: encouraging some of his swimmers, beginning on the morning of the race, to physicallybehave as if they’d won their events. Swimmers, as he pointed out, are notorious for their use of dominant body language in the moments before races, not only to signal their power to their competitors but also to loosen their muscles and pump themselves up. Sometimes theywill literally pound their chests, like gorillas. But the approach this coach used—encouraging swimmers to adopt ‘alpha’ nonverbal postures from the minute they wake up on race days—was most helpful to swimmers who’d been thrown off by a poor performance or who were feeling a wave of insecurity and self-doubt.” (End Quote)
Book Number 3
How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
by Robert Emmons
“Gratitude has never, until recently, been examined or studied by scientific psychologists. It is possible that psychology has ignored gratitude because it appears, on the surface, to be a very obvious emotion, lacking in interesting complications: we receive a gift—from friends, from family, from God—and then we feel pleasurably grateful. But while the emotion seemed simplistic even to me as I began my research, I soon discovered that gratitude is a deeper, more complex phenomenon that plays a critical role in human happiness. Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change peoples’ lives.” (End Quote)
HAPPINESS IS A GOOD THING
“So gratitude is a key to happiness, as I will argue from a scientific angle. And happiness itself is a good thing. An implicit assumption that many of us hold is that happiness depends on happenings—by what happens in our lives. We believe that success in life—whether in the boardroom or the bedroom—makes people happier. Yet a recent review of the scientific literature on happiness revealed that happiness yields numerous rewards for the individual and precedes these outcomes. This means that happiness makes good things happen. It actually promotes positive outcomes. The benefits of happiness include higher income and superior work outcomes (for example, greater productivity, higher quality of work, greater occupational attainment), larger social rewards (such as more satisfying and longer marriages, more friends, stronger social support, and richer social interactions), more activity, energy, and flow, and better physical health (for example, a bolstered immune system, lowered stress levels, and less pain), and even longer life.” (End Quote)
GRATITUDE SLEEPING PILLS
“Compared to those who were not jotting down their blessings nightly, participants in the gratitude condition reported getting more hours of sleep each night, spending less time awake before falling asleep, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. Perhaps this is why grateful individuals feel more alive and vital during the day... This finding is enormous in that sleep disturbance and poor sleep quality have been identified as central indicators of poor overall wellbeing.”
“It may sound simplistic, but the evidence cannot be ignored: if you want to sleep more soundly, count blessings, not sheep.” (End Quote)
“The basic observation that positive emotions are somehow incompatible with negative emotions is not a new idea and has been demonstrated over several decades. Back in the 1950s, this basic principle of emotional incompatibility provided the basis of behavioral therapies designed to treat phobias and other anxiety disorders. One simply cannot be relaxed and stressed at the same time. Try it. You can’t. Relaxation drives out anxiety and vice versa. The Buddha said that “Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.” You cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time, or forgiving and vengeful. When we are savoring the moment we cannot be regretting the past.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #5
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
“It is relatively easy to feel grateful when good things are happening, and life is going the way we want it to. A much greater challenge is to be grateful when things are not going so well, and are not going the way we think they should. Anger, bitterness, and resentment seem to be so much easier, so much more a natural reaction in times like these... The religious traditions encourage us to do more than react with passivity and resignation to loss and crisis; they advise us to change our perspective, so that our suffering is transformed into an opportunity for growth. Not only does the experience of tragedy give us an exceptional opportunity for growth, but some sort of suffering is also necessary for a person to achieve maximal psychological growth. In his study of self-actualizers, the paragons of mental wellness, the famed humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow noted that “the most important learning lessons... were tragedies, deaths, and trauma... which forced change in the life-outlook of the person and consequently in everything that he did.”” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #6
FEELING GRATEFUL AND BEING GRATEFUL
“In thinking about the relations between suffering, gratitude, and growth, we need to remember the difference between feeling grateful and being grateful. As a feeling, gratitude is a natural response to a particular situation when good things happen to an individual. No one feelsgrateful when they have lost a job, received a devastating diagnosis, or seen their marriage crumble. How could they? It would be absurd and an insult to the person to suggest they should feel grateful in spite of what was happening to them... But gratefulness is not just a feeling. It is also an attitude, a chosen posture toward life that says, “I will be grateful in all circumstances.” Brother David Steindl-Rast, the world’s foremost teacher of gratitude, has written that “times that challenge us physically, emotionally, and spiritually may make it almost impossible for us to feel grateful. Yet, we can decide to live gratefully, courageously open to life in all its fullness. By living the gratefulness we don’t feel, we begin to feel the gratefulness we live.” Conceiving of gratefulness as a posture toward life enables us to see how it can be tested and strengthened through adversity. Grateful feelings follow when good things happen; grateful attitudes precede goodness, and they precede trials. If one is not grateful before challenges arrive, it is going to be more difficult (though not impossible) to summon up gratitude after they hit.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #7
KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
“One of the best ways to cultivate gratitude is to establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. One of the best ways to do this is keeping a daily journal in which you record the blessings you are grateful for. My research has shown... that this technique makes people happier. When we are grateful, we affirm that a source of goodness exists in our lives. By writing each day, we magnify and expand upon these sources of goodness. Setting aside time on a daily basis to recall moments of gratitude associated with even mundane or ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to interweave and thread together a sustainable life theme of gratefulness, just as it nourishes a fundamental life stance whose thrust is decidedly affirming.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #8
THE LAW OF EMOTIONAL CONTAGION
“Internal strategies are good but not enough. We live in social contexts, and other people can facilitate or hinder our desire to become more grateful. You might consider hanging out with grateful people and commit to spending less time with people who themselves lack this virtue. You may already do this, since ungrateful people, like chronic depressives, tend to be shunned. A well-established social psychological law is the law of emotional contagion: an emotion expressed within a group has a ripple effect and becomes shared by the group’s members. People are susceptible to “catching” other people’s emotions. ... If we hang out with ungrateful people, we will “catch” one set of emotions; if we choose to associate with more grateful individuals, the influence will be in another direction. Find a grateful person and spend more time with him or her. When you yourself express buoyant gratitude, you will find that people will want to “catch” your emotions.” (End Quote)
Bonus Quote #9
GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS
“So what if the motion has to be forced? The important thing is to do it. Do it now, and the feeling will come. There is a great deal of psychological evidence showing that attitude change often follows behavior change. Good intentions are often crushed by old habits. If we stand around waiting for a feeling to move us, we may never get going. Get a person to perform a behavior, and, with some exceptions, their feelings will fall in line.”
“An ingenious series of experiments conducted a number of years ago showed that when people mimicked the facial expressions associated with happiness, they felt happier—even when they did not know they were moving “happy muscles” in their face. Researchers have found that smiling itself produces feelings of happiness.” (End Quote)
Wow, how much is there to think about now? Lot's go goodness and awesome suggestions on how to construct the life you've always dreamed of. My only intention for doing these solo episodes is to hopefully get you thinking on a deeper level regarding what you want from this journey, how you're going to represent yourself along the way, and what legacy are you going to leave behind? Happiness is there for everyone on some level, and apparently there are established systems and techniques in place, we heard some today, that will help you get there, if you really want to get there.
Well that concludes another episode of the hockey journey podcast. I can’t thank you enough for stopping by and listening. I hope you enjoyed this packed segment on positivity, gratitude, and happiness. I hope you pulled a few things that can be experimented with starting now, I love it. Before we part ways for the day, If you think there’s someone in your circle of family and friends that might like this episode as well, please share it with just one person, it will really help me in growing this hockey community.
Again, I appreciate you being here, don’t forget to subscribe, rate or submit a review, I hope to see you back here soon, and do me a favor, make someone close to you smile today. All the best my friends!!