This is week 5 (our LAST week!) of our Play Theory Bootcamp! This week, we're focusing on how we can practice Looking Outward. Make others look good, Validate, and asking "What is needed?" are all ways to describe this principle. Come practice happiness with us over the next couple of weeks as we give you ACTIONABLE happiness drills to practice in your day-to-day life!
LaRee will guide us through a very thought-out Play Theory experience for you to combat the pessimism and negativity we find ourselves in these days.
Let's dive in.
PLAY OF THE WEEK:
Practice saying "YES" and then contributing or building upon the conversation with others.
Come join the conversation and play with us!
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Remember that Life is a team sport, so let's play together!
📍 Welcome to the happiness playbook, a podcast dedicated to the belief that life is a team sport. I'm your host, LaRee Florence. And this is our last week of our play theory bootcamp, where we're upping our happy game How did you do applying last week's principle except build saying yes.
Were you able in conversations to practice saying the word? Yes. And then validating something that was said before sharing any negative thoughts. One of our listeners, Michael Thomas shared how she was able to recognize that she could be better at validating other's ideas. Even if she couldn't immediately accept them.
She thought she could say something like I hear you, and I'm going to give this some consideration before I give them. She gave this example specifically, quote, another example is shutting down my husband's ideas. When first presented to me, I often mold them over and come back to him later in a more cooperative state of mind.
And I've been telling myself that I just need to process, but the reminder of the power of accept and build really makes me want to truly change that. I need to find ways to say yes and, or at the very least to say, I hear what you're saying. Can I take a little while to mull that over before responding unquote, thanks for the feedback, Michael.
Those are great observations. And please keep up the good work in seeking to change your knee-jerk reaction. A shift in mindset is the way to make that happen. So you're well on your way. In full disclosure. I know Michael pretty well. We spent 10 days on a boat in the Galapagos together, and she serves with me at take note troop.
She's a very generous person. I know, accepting and building is absolutely one of her superpowers that being said, because she took the time to think about and evaluate her mindset. She found room for improvement. That's why a happiness practice is so important. It's not a one and done like exercise or yoga.
You have to do it regularly to see results and like any skill you're trying to master, you have to practice it regularly with intention to improve. That's the power of the happiness playbook podcast. We're here to help you practice the skill of happiness by helping you with a proactive mindset, the fosters positive interactions with others that validates and encourages the principle of acceptance build.
While in conversation, if you can find something to agree with before stating a challenge or offering your opinion, you will build positive new relationships and improve existing ones. This is an idea that can take a lot of time to wrap your thinking around. Just like, as in Michael's example, she's familiar with play theory and knows the nano statement, accept and build, but by focusing on it, she could find another level to apply it to in her life.
It's not surprising. That and builds is a tough one to fully grasp. It's totally counter to our current fear-based defensive divide and conquer culture, which makes us so fear-based, it can be too frightening to imagine anything except a defensive stance. Isn't there a phrase in sports though? The best defense is a good offense accepting and building is just that you're leading out with positive.
Rather than hunkering down and anticipating the negative. I speak from experience. When I say it can be a tough mindset to accept. When I graduated from university, I was a counselor at a home for teens, just out of juvenile hall. It was demanding job that involved loads of training. There was one corporate workshop that introduced this idea of saying yes, instead of no, and even challenged us to eliminate the word, but entirely from our vocabulary.
I guess I didn't get it because I came home and totally mocked this concept to my husband, telling him how ridiculous that idea would be in practice on the job. Well, or should I say Welp as life so often? Does I got a second chance? Guess who organized that workshop that I attended, where I learned that valuable concept of acceptance built Sue Walden.
She was the founder of flash family. And she was the same person who had presented that idea of saying yes all those years before at that earlier corporate. Sometimes just because we aren't ready for something doesn't mean that thing isn't right. It just may not be the right time. So don't give up on this one, even if it feels uncomfortable or too hard, stay open to the possibilities.
All right. Before we get into today's practice, it's time for our team huddle. How are we doing? Did you see the link on our social media for a feedback? Look for the happiness playbook on Insta or the plethora page on Facebook and find our post with their survey link. All advancement requires assessment, and we need your feedback about how the happiness playbook is doing.
After a year of podcasts, we sincerely want this to be about supporting and serving our community. Please let us know how we're doing. You can also visit play theory.org and request a link to the survey. It'll just take a minute, really no time at all. We won't ask for your phone number or share it with anybody else.
So please take a moment and let us know how we're doing. Thank you to those who have shared review or left a rating, except for that one person who left a one-star that pulls us down out of our 73 rinks. We have one one-star. So instead of a five or a 4.9. Just so that everyone's real clear here. That means that you do make a difference without that one star we'd have a five-star ranking instead of a 4.9 ranking.
But I digress. Thank you for living a speed back already. If you have reviewed or ranked us on iTunes or made comments on the episode, webpage, it really means a lot to us. I think everyone wants to make the world a better place. Some of us get hung up on doing it in some huge way. When in reality, we can have the most impact in the simple things within our sphere of influence, like leaving a review that might help another person who really needs the wisdom we share to find the podcast.
It definitely puts fuel in our tank to keep going. So thank you all right. Enough with the team huddle. It's time to get on with our playbook. We're wrapping up our play theory bootcamp with the last of the four play theory principles look outward last week, I promised we talk about the last principle or what we like to call the sum in the play theory equation of life.
When you add, be present to let go and play and times it by accept and build you get lookout. A great way to sum up pun intended. This principle is with the idea, make your partner look good in life. We're surrounded with partners, some of our choosing and others we're stuck with regardless when we play on the same team with them, if they win, we win.
Look outward can also be summed up by one of Stephen Covey's famous seven habits for highly effective life. Think when. Rather than viewing everyone around you as an adversary, see them as a fellow traveler here on the planet, sharing this specific time and place with you. That really is a remarkable thing.
If you think about it, every person we cross paths with is a unique opportunity if we are open to it, but I digress. That's a rather deep dive. We don't have time for today back to the topic of looking at. Here's another angle you can take as a director of stage theater. I'm always reminding actors to make their partner look good.
Meaning their scene partner. Think about it. If the person in your scene isn't believable, then your scene isn't believable. And if you're in that scene, you aren't believable. And for an actor that's. Scripted theaters. One thing in unscripted theater, this principle is even more important. Last week, we talked about how accepting and building is the foundation of improv.
There's a story told about the late John Candy's audition at second city, a very influential hub of creativity, comparatively like the Harvard for comedians. A lot of talent is developed in this improv group. When John auditioned, his scene partner was trying really hard to pull out all the stops of funny and wasn't listening, let alone accepting and building on anything.
John candy was offering wisely. John stopped trying to rest the spotlight from the egomaniac. He was sharing the stage with and just started leaning in 120% to everything has seen partner was offering. Even if it wasn't. As expected with such an inwardly focused, seen partner, nothing magic happened. And John thought for sure, he hadn't made the cut.
It turned out that the directors let him know because he was willing to bend over backwards to try to make such a terrible scene partner look good. They wanted him in the cast. Let me repeat John Candy's commitment to accepting and building on whatever his scene partner offers. And his effort to make his scene partner look better than he was landed him the place in second city that became the launch of his career on Saturday night live and in the film industry, as he continued to try to make others look their best and look outward, he couldn't help, but look good in the process.
Ralph Waldo Emerson has said it is one of the most beautiful compensations in LA. That no, man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself, James and Barry, who was the author of Peter pan said it this way, those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves in theater.
It's pretty clear who our scene partners are. Have you ever stopped to consider who you're seeing partners are in line? Let's talk about the obvious ones like our spouses, our boyfriend, or girlfriend, our significant others consider then the poor logic in not making this person that we chose. Look good.
They'll absolutely be a reflection of us. Why wouldn't we want to represent them in the best light. Actually, I do have some ideas about that. After having years of therapy, there can be some deep seated insecurities that lead us to self-sabotage and I encourage anyone who struggles with this issue to get some professional help.
If you're not too far in the, remember your significant other is yours, not in the sense of ownership, but that you chose them. If you don't look outward and try to represent them in a positive light, that's like buying a new pair of shoes. And then if someone compliments you, you trash talk, the shoes, hold up a sec.
Didn't you buy the shoes? Didn't you choose the shoes from all the others available. Okay. I'm getting a message from my crystal ball of mind reading. Some of you may be thinking, okay. Sure. But sometimes we don't get to choose. I hear you. And yes, that is absolutely true. But think about it. If they're your partner, in some sense, any sense of the word they're on your team in your church group, a part of your family, then they're on your side and they're not there.
The opponent there, maybe other people have posted. Think about a pickable match. If you're playing on a doubles team, then you have two opponents across the line trying to thwart your every effort. So why and fight one more to their side by making an enemy of your teammate. Here's another angle on why look outward is so valuable.
Dr. Martin Seligman long ago, figured out that there are three types of happens. And let me check my crystal ball of mind reading again. What's that? Yep. We all want to be happy. We may have different ideas of how to get there, but we all want to feel happy. So here's the three types Dr. Seligman identified pleasure, satisfaction, and meaning let's break it down.
Number one. Pleasure feels great in the moment. We all know it's fleeting. We love that double scoop of chocolate, double fudge deliciousness, but once the cone is gone, so it's the pleasure. And we are more times than not left with regret. Number two, satisfaction. This happens as we use our unique gifts frequently.
This one's better than pleasure because it lasts longer and there's not the regret, but what about when we can't. Maybe we have an illness like chronic fatigue, or we can't find a pickleball court to play on that fits our schedule. A lot of folks spend a lot of time working out the logistics around this one.
That's not about thing. There is a better one though. And that's number three, meaning this is when we use our unique gifts for a purpose greater than ourselves. In this scenario, we're looking outward and trying to serve another person. It might not be the funnest way to use our gifts or talents, but it can feel the most appreciated way to share them and gives us the longest lasting feeling of joy and happiness.
William Blake said we are all looking for purpose. It is best found outside ourselves. He also said this about mankind's search for purpose and meaning. I sought my God and my God. I couldn't find, I sat my soul and my soul alluded me. I sought to serve my brother in his need and I found all three, my God, my soul, and the, I love that.
I hope you can hit, you know, 15 seconds back and replay that one in today's world. We're told, we'll find answers to the need to find purpose by looking inward, an article in relevant magazine addresses this idea, despite the fact that 91% of Americans agree with the statement, quote, the best way to find yourself is by looking within yourself.
Unquote. The articles, tile reads, quote, want to find yourself stop looking within yourself. Unquote, it's an interesting read that talks about how we really aren't going to find our purpose. If we're only looking inward, all leave a link in the show notes. Of course we do need to be introspective and self-care is absolutely essential.
If we're going to be able to care for us. But the idea that we'll find purpose without connection and interaction is ill-founded. We need each other to learn, to serve to love. And that is the root of our last play theory principle only when we're present with another person and we let go of our judgments and forgive our mistakes and step in to interact wholly while we accept and build upon one another another's ideas.
Can we truly see others and look beyond ourselves and outwards. Fred Rogers, the famous Mr. Rogers. If Mr. Rogers neighborhood had this down, pat each day on set after all the building and accepting and letting go and playing previously done to get to the place where the cameras were rolling. He would drop into the present moment and focus in on the camera lens, looking outward into the home of a small child.
He imagined there on the other side of that camera listening, as he shared something he hoped would serve and help. It's no wonder that Fred later became a trusted voice to assuage our fears after the tragedy of 900. With his powerful advice to look for the helpers, whenever there was tragedy or hardship, he promised we would always be able to find someone trying to help and serve one another.
I believe him as a theater director, I've learned that looking outward is truly a superpower over the years. I've seen some kids with stage. It's asking a lot to memorize long paragraphs and old English, and then to go out on stage and hope, you can remember it all while in front of hundreds of people, some of whom, you know, and you may be wearing some crazy costume or worse types and pumpkin pants and.
Every time, stage frights, reared its head. I have reminded the actor to look outward and instead of thinking and worrying about themselves to think about how to make their scene partner look great, or how to look outward and serve the audience by making sure they can hear and understand the message that's been prepared and Astra as Dr.
Solid. If the actor has found some meaning or purpose in the role that they want to share with audience they're even more empowered to perform. Well, one year our Shakespeare in the park was the Tempest. It's one of my favorite Shakespeare play. Some consider it autobiographical as it comes at the end of an illustrious career.
And the main character Prospero has this really powerful monologue about stepping away from the important work he has been pursuing for our staging. We had cast Prospero as prosperous a woman in the plot. Prospero sets all these things in action in order to provide a good future for her. At the end of the play, she has to say goodbye because her daughter has fallen in love and will be leaving her.
Well, our prosper or actress, Rachel Hodgson was a senior about to graduate and was facing the prospect of leaving her mother and stepping away into the great unknown future as we work together and connected the dots between the fictional prosperous experience and what she was going through. With Rachel's own mother's experience.
She was able to share a beautiful depiction of a mother's love and the hope juxtaposed by the pain of sending a child out into the world who, although well-prepared would be sorely missed back at home. As you can imagine, every single show as Rachel stood on stage and looked outward towards her mom's experience of having to say goodbye to her.
There wasn't a dry eye in the audience or performance actually won her an ele, a prestigious regional theater award. And more than that, much more long lasting by looking outward. Rachel was able to relate to her mom's experience, which brought them closer together. Look outward is essential for. Without it, our individual experiences contract into ever limiting one sided perspectives based solely on our own experience.
This of course is a false reality because we are all intimately related. Even the most selfish of us must come to see that our actions come back to affect ourselves. Ironically, in the end, looking outward is self-serving when we do good, we get good done to us. We are also the beneficiaries. Okay. That sums up the happiness equation.
When we think of others, rather than ourself, it cultivates confidence and a sense of purpose. As we turn outward and seek to make our partners look good, we end up looking great, generous intentions, build trust, and win-win thinking creates synergy. We could all use more of. For our play of the week. I'll leave you with a couple of Gamechangers.
You can pull out any time the next time you're with another person or pet. If you're blessed with a special four legged friend who has a personality that marries merits interaction, look at them and ask yourself, how can I add value to them? Maybe it's a word of praise. Maybe it's a warm smile or validating.
Look at them. See them with the Corona virus. We're hearing a lot about ICU's, which means intensive care unit. Listen again, though, I see you when we see each other, it is an invaluable form of caring and connection. Did you know that making eye contact releases a feel good brain chemical called. People are hardwired for connection.
And we can't do that if we're always looking inward, so care more about others, give them a little tender ICU care. Your workout this week is to consider the importance of looking outward notice when you're able to do it. And when you need to take some time for self focus or self. To really see results.
Think about someone on your team. Maybe it's a sibling coworker or your spouse, and take a few minutes and really think about what life looks like from their perspective. Find a few questions you can ask about their experience and take time to reach out and connect. Maybe it's a simple thing. Like how was it being the oldest in her family, or maybe you'll feel impressed to go deeper with.
What was it like when your parents divorced ask with sincere interest and then listen, validate their answer and check in with how you feel since you just made your partner look good. You'll probably feel great. Keep working on this mindset and practicing the skill. And pretty soon you'll be able to run a proverbial lookout word irony.
And if you want to go, the extra smile, look outward and help your happiness playbook teammates out here on the happiness playbook podcast. Join the conversation on our social media. Leave a review on iTunes. We would love to hear from you. And if you value what you've learned here, look outward. Think about others, you know, that would be benefited by listening to the happiness playbook and invite them to do the play theory bootcamp.
When we teach, we learn by looking outward and sharing the playthrough principles with others. We increase our awareness and understanding while also enhancing our ability to practice it. Life truly can be a win-win. We all want the world to be a better place. And this is how it has. One interaction at a time.
Now, as we wrap up our happiness bootcamp, let us know on play theory.org or on our social media. If you made it through all four principles and we'll send you a plethora sticker, you can put somewhere to remind you to keep going on your happiness practice and to remind you of what we're working on here at the happiness playbook.
Remember, as you downs has. A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes here at the happiness playbook. Consider us your personal happiness coach at the ready to help you develop the attitudes and mindset needed to achieve happiness. 📍
Next week, Neal Hooper will be back as our regular host and happiness. Extraordinary. So stay tuned and keep listening for more tips on how to up your happy game till then catch you next time.