Dripping paint, curveballs of life, and the secret to true satisfaction...these are just a few of the golden crispy nuggets you can look forward to on today’s episode of the happiness playbook as we accept the good and the bad, and build upon life to create awesome-ness!

Neal shares some profound “Accept and Build” lessons learned during a duplex renovation that took place over the past few weeks. He shares below in the transcript.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Think of something you are struggling to accept and build upon right now...and reach out to someone who can provide experience, tools, or insights into helping you accept and build your way through the situation.

Come join the conversation and play with us!

WEBSITE https://www.playtheory.org 

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/playtheory/

Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1652343491608927/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/playtheory4life/ 

Remember that Life is a team sport, so let's play together!

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TRANSCRIPT

Not sure if I’ve brought this up already but my wife and I decided to renovate a duplex and jump into the homeowner scene and it has been a LOT of work. I couldn’t help but think of the beautiful play theory principle of accept and build as we quite literally accepted, tore down, and built upon a duplex to make it even more desirable place to live for our future tenants. 

There are all kinds of reason why the principle of accept and build was one i learned so much about as we embarked on this ambitious project and I am grateful for everyone of them:

First off you have to realize exactly how big a project lay before us and how little time we had to pull it off…

It didn’t take long to realize just how limited my skills were and how desperately I would need to accept my lack of skill and build as best I could using the collective knowledge of my family and YouTube DIY channels. A particularly tricky part of the renovation was cutting the countertops to fit the cabinets along side a not perfectly flat wall. I immediately knew that cutting the countertop just perfectly to fit against the sloping wall was going to require some advanced measuring and cutting that was beyond me. Thankfully I had my father-in-law there who provided not only years of experience that would come in handy, but also the very nice and effective tools including a table saw, squares and measuring tools, and many other gadgets that made it not only possible but infinitely quicker than it would've been if I were trying to accomplish the task by myself. This experience lead me to ask myself: “When there is a particularly hard or undesirable offer before me that I know there is no way around, am I seeking out those with the experience and tools necessary for me to accept and build upon these situations? We’ve all been there, seemingly insurmountable tasks and scenarios that make us want to curl up into a ball and sleep until it’s over. Maybe a hard test or project, maybe it’s a breakup or loss of a loved one. These hard and trying times can be mourned for sure, but it’s only in the acceptance and building upon them that we can continue creating and progressing in this beautiful life of ours.

The next accept and build lesson was learned several times during the project. We had several unexpected things happen that threw off our very strict timeline and made the project much more difficult. Whether it was cabinets not getting shipped on time, finding out the wall we were tearing down had concrete and chicken wire in it, or even discovering that the drill bit we JUST purchased was the wrong size for the hole we had to cut. There were so many curveballs, as we now know are inevitable during remodel projects, that came up and gave us the choice: to accept and build? Or to reject and remain unskilled. You can imagine how horrified I was when after loading up the paint gun we borrowed from my father-in-law and doing an entire coat of fresh paint, seeing that several walls had the paint run off completely due to the material and temperature of the wall. I begrudgingly accepted that what was going to be a rather simple 2-coat paint job taking only several hours, was going to turn into an all nighter requiring me to bring in heaters to dry the running paint, renting a sanding tool to grind off the paint and texture the walls, put on a thick primer, and only THEN be able to finish the paint job. I did indeed pull an all nighter but thankfully I had lots of good audiobooks, podcasts, and caffeine to get me through it. What helped me take the plunge on this undesirable turn of events was partly due to realizing just how high the stakes were since the flooring crew was coming in the next day and I HAD to have the painting done for them to get going on it. But it was also because I was able to stay present...this is where we see some of the principle overlap as we often do. If I had freaked out and gave into my anxiety, I’m sure I would’ve become paralyzed by the enormous task at hand and not gotten the job done, but it was only as I doubled down on the present and, again, relied on the knowledge, experience, and counsel of others much wiser than myself, that I was able to perform. How often in your life do you give in to the anxious stories about your future and become immobilized by the task at hand? It’s hard not to, but that’s why be present is the first principle in the PLAY THEORY soup and actually helps us accept and build especially on the curveballs of life and we all have those...curveballs can be especially hard because of the excitement and hope that dies with dashed dreams and goals, but being present, letting go of the fear and ego, and then accepting and building upon these curveball offers that come our way truly is the way to progress and move forward. 

There were many lessons learned this past month as we embarked on this journey in the unchartered waters of renovation, but overall the biggest lesson learned was that it’s only in the accepting and building upon the offers, as crazy and stretching as they sometimes are, that you feel the satisfaction and growth that deep down our souls are always craving. Looking at the completed unit with brand new flooring, cabinets, paint, and appliances, and hearing the delight of our tenants as they saw their new home, it reminded me of a quote by Gandhi who said: “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” It’s as we accept and build upon both the seemingly insignificant AND the grandiose offers that come our way that we are growing and experiencing the satisfaction that accompanies such effort.

Well here we are, we’re finally getting near to closing a very hard and trying chapter of humanity’s book of life...2020. For very obvious reasons to all listening right now, 2020 has been one of the hardest years across the globe. There’s a staggering list of reasons why 2020 was rough year:

Wherever you were in the world this year, you felt the wrath of 2020. And as hard as it was, and it’s been harder on some than others, there are some who not only survived 2020 but thrived! I want to note that whether you were on the thriving, surviving, or even suffering end of the 2020 spectrum, we want to highlight some key takeaways from 2020 as we launch into the new year.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: For this week’s pro tip, I want you to get out a paper and pen, notes app on your phone, or whatever form of note taking you prefer, and WRITE OUT THE LESSONS YOU LEARNED FROM 2020. Then I want you to go to playtheory.org and comment your favorite lesson learned from 2020 on this episode of the podcast! We want to hear your lessons learned and how you have grown in 2020.

Come join the conversation and play with us!

WEBSITE https://www.playtheory.org 

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/playtheory/

Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1652343491608927/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/playtheory4life/ 

Remember that Life is a team sport, so let's play together!

LINKS From Show

This is a fun one! It’s that time of year, hot chocolate, holiday parties, and of course Christmas Movies! Today we want to extract the principles of happiness out of some Christmas classics you’ve grown to love and give YOU a Christmas present from us here at the Happiness Playbook. Hold onto your cocoa, because here we go… 

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Look for Play Theory principles in your day to day life (movies or elsewhere!) and TELL US about your observation!

Come join the conversation and play with us!

WEBSITE https://www.playtheory.org 

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/playtheory/

Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1652343491608927/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/playtheory4life/ 

Remember that Life is a team sport, so let's play together!

LINKS From Show

TRANSCRIPT:

Sequence

[00:00:00] Neal: It's that time of year hot chocolate holiday parties. And of course, Christmas movies today. We want to extract the principles of happiness out of some Christmas classics. You've grown to love and give you an early Christmas present from us here at the happiness playbook of these insights. So hold onto your cocoa because here we go.

[00:00:56] I am delighted to be joined today by the one and [00:01:00] only Laurie Florence, founder of play theory and producer for the happiness playbook. Laurie, thanks for joining me today. 

[00:01:09] LaRee: Oh, you're so welcome. 

[00:01:12] Neal: The format we're doing is Laurie and I are just going to go through the foreplay three principles and we are going to pick some Christmas classic movies that have.

[00:01:23] Great examples of the play third principles in them, and then listen to some clips and react to those and help you practice examining and observing the play theory principles. So it will be a lot of fun and we got some good movies in the pipeline. Don't we? 

[00:01:42] LaRee: We do. If we, If we have half as much fun doing this, as we did talk about doing this, it's going to be great.

[00:01:48] Neal: Yes. spoiler alert, we're going to be talking in depth about the plots of all of these movies. So if you haven't seen them feel free to. Watch them and then come back and enjoy the [00:02:00] conversation. Let's start off. I am up to the bat first.

[00:02:04] So we're going to start with be present and for any new listeners be present is what it sounds like. It's the ability to focus, to pay attention, to be present in the moment that is be present and to illustrate this principle. We wanted to look to. The Grinch, which is a classic Christmas story.

[00:02:29] I love the story of the Grinch for so many reasons. And. How important it is to ground in the moment to experience joy. This is a principle that you might not even catch on if you're not paying attention, but the Grinch. And there's a few different versions of the Grinch. My personal favorite is actually the most recent animated version with Benedict Cumberbatch.

[00:02:55] LaRee: Really good. I was, I saw that was a little bit leery because I [00:03:00] liked the old cartoon one it's hard to, and Jim Carrey has some profoundly funny moments in the live action version. So I was like, how can they, how can they make a better? And I don't, I'm not going to say that it's better, but it's definitely worth watching.

[00:03:13] It was so enjoyable. 

[00:03:15] Neal: Yes, I totally agree. And who knew Benedict Cumberbatch had such a versatile voice? That was amazing. 

[00:03:22] LaRee: That is my one beef though is his lovely English accent is gone and that's an attractive, wonderful thing to listen to why we love English accents as Americans do the British.

[00:03:35]If you're listening over there and the answer to this. Please reply and let us know, but do they love American accents or do they prefer how they sound to themselves as 

[00:03:45] Neal: well? That version is really profound. And I think it's in that version where you can really extract this principle because the Grinch, he had such a terrible upbringing, he's in an orphanage.

[00:03:59][00:04:00] And. He just really grew to resent Christmas because of his childhood. And he became so fixated on the past and the trauma from his childhood that he could not enjoy Christmas at all. So let's listen to a little clip here and then we will react to it.

[00:04:26] He walked through the crowd. And the sound and the lights and his ears heard the thump of their joy and delight. And it took him right back to his earliest years to that loss lonely boy who cried all of those tears that lost lonely boy, isolated and sad with no home of his own. No mom, no dad.

[00:05:00] [00:04:59] And as the Grinch looked around, he felt downright scared as he remembered that Christmas where nobody cared, where nobody showed, not even a flee and there were no cards, no gifts and no tree.

[00:05:25] And as he watched other kids, one thing became clear that this was the single worst day of the year. So we see, and it's really sad. This really pulls at your heartstrings 

[00:05:43] LaRee: so sad. They do a really great job of showing his trauma without dragging you through it. But everybody's got their past, everybody has their traumatic stuff they've gone through and you can really empathize with him here. 

[00:05:57] Neal: And it's so interesting because. [00:06:00] He is there at the Christmas tree lighting and he's having, it's like a flashback and they're showing you the source of that anxiety and trauma, and it removes him from the moment and it fuels his.

[00:06:15] His disdain for Christmas because of that, that trauma and that sad, empty feeling. He remembered from his childhood where nobody cared. 

[00:06:27]LaRee: And I'm not a psychologist, but I would venture that if this was a real person, he probably wouldn't even be cognizant of that kind of flashback. He'd just be experiencing this anxiety or these.

[00:06:39] Feelings at a surface level or he's uncomfortable. And that's why he attaches them to what's happening around him, the Christmas lights and everything. And so he thinks they're, what's making him miserable when in reality it's this, this past horrible thing. And he just knows this bad feeling, Christmas makes him feel angry and sad and, he might remember those [00:07:00] days, but I think being present is one of the things that helps us separate from that past experience, because otherwise we bring it all the way through to our present with us.

[00:07:12] Neal: Yes. And it's so hard and we all do this where we let the trauma from our past, take us out of the present and even resent the present if we're not careful. Yeah. And the kicker is he was never shunned by the who's. He chose not participate because of this dwelling on the past. It's not until later as we fast forward, when he's about to he's robbed all the houses, all the gifts and presents, and he's about to push the sleigh full of gifts over the cliff on Mount crumpet.

[00:07:47] And. He hears the who's singing. And this moment is so well done too, because getting ready to push the slate full of gifts over the edge, and he hears [00:08:00] the who's singing and he's touched by the holiday spirit or the Christmas spirit. 

[00:08:06]

[00:08:06] And it's so interesting because especially in this version, they emphasize the Grinch being present and how that helps him feel.

[00:08:15] And it's as he really grounds. And he even asks himself kid, I feel. What she feels, and he's referencing Cindy Lou who describes the singing to him when they crossed paths in the house. And so there's this moment where he stops and he just listens to the singing. And it's only as he's being present.

[00:08:37] That's when his heart opens and grows, two times bigger. 

[00:08:42]LaRee: That's, that's so interesting because instead of being, the first, the clip that was shared where he's. Experiencing the singing, but then going back into these traumatized emotions in his past, and he's able to be present with the exact moment where he's at and not bring [00:09:00] that all into his moment with him.

[00:09:02] So he can have a future of his choice rather than bringing this baggage alone. 

[00:09:06]Neal: Cindy Lou, who actually comes back, and this is another edition in this version that just really, I love Cindy Lou who comes all the way back up to Mount crumpet and invites him to dinner. And it's, as he becomes vulnerable and opens up that he's able to connect with the who's and they have this beautiful Christmas dinner scene that plays out.

[00:09:27] And again, just to bring it all home. Sometimes our traumas from the past, if we're not careful can really distract from the present and harden our hearts and make us close off to the beauty that surrounds us just as this happens to the Grinch. And we're all, Grinchy in our own ways. And it's very tempting and comfortable even to dwell on the past.

[00:09:52] And even today, Pull up the victim card and to really re rehash and replay over and over [00:10:00] again, these terrible things that might've happened to us, but as long as we're reliving the past and feeling sorry for ourselves and not moving on, we can't experience the true joy in the moment. And that is I think the key takeaway for me.

[00:10:16] LaRee: Yup. That's a great example of being present and what's possible. That's awesome. 

[00:10:23] Neal: Yes. So the Grinch, it's a good one. 

[00:10:27]LaRee: A little movie moments like that. Some of them are harder to find, but home alone, that's a classic. And I just think about Kevin, this kid who is experiencing trauma in the moment, because he's been abandoned.

[00:10:40] I don't know how old he is in the movie, but, he was able to drill down and be so present that he had the. Presence of mind to set up his traps and all the little, the booby traps and things. And then rather than being an anxious mess and an unable to take [00:11:00] action, he was patient. It is time or bite.

[00:11:03] It is time and of course it's fictional, but the outcome was hilarious and he was able to take good care of himself. And so that's this little like metadata dive on how being present, allows you to take care of yourself and be more powerful in the real-time moment. Oh, that's fun to think 

[00:11:21] Track 1: about.

[00:11:22] Neal: I love that. And it goes both ways. I love that you brought that example in, cause that's, anxiety about the future. We talked about the Grinch. That's not trauma or depression, even from our past regret, both can take you out of the moment, whether you're going into the future into the past, both of those can distract.

[00:11:39] And in the example of home alone, he had to perform right to really hold it together and defend his. How w I'm gonna, I gotta insert the line nail from him when they come to the door and he says, this is it. And he talks the gun.

[00:11:59] Don't get [00:12:00] scared. Now 

[00:12:03] LaRee: be present just to throw it out there. Remember frosty the snowman. What snow fan is putting a stake in having a 90 year life? Frosty knew he had limited time on the planet. Barely, not even a season. But was a pretty jolly fellow. And he, I think would not have been able to do that if he wasn't able to be present and accept where he was.

[00:12:26] And if he was all worried about melting then or resentful that he was just A man made out of snow. He would have not enjoyed any of his life. So another great play theory, moral in our Christmas Bonanza of holiday movies. 

[00:12:40] Neal: That is awesome. Yes. Frosty the snowman. Our time is not maybe that limited hopefully, but but the principle applies.

[00:12:48] We gotta make the most of the time we have yeah. Awesome. Will that is our Christmas special on beat? Present? We have more for you though. Next up is let go [00:13:00] and play and I'm going to turn it over. 

[00:13:02] LaRee: Okay. I, that good money, everybody out there knows what movie I'm going to talk about. Yeah, it is buddy.

[00:13:11] The elf. 

[00:13:12] Neal: Yeah. 

[00:13:15] LaRee: Oh my goodness. Th the movie, the concept, the story, and will Ferrell's performance. I don't know how he was able to be.  Playful. He just is a playful person, but I watched this behind the scenes and we will put a link on that. So you can check it out. I think it might be on Netflix.

[00:13:32]So you might have to be a subscriber to Netflix, but we'll check that out. But if you get a chance, look into how they made it. And I wasn't aware of this, but a lot of the scenes where buddy, the elf is wandering around New York city. Those were just two. They just threw welfare on an elf costume and let him loose on the streets.

[00:13:50] Neal: I didn't know that. That's amazing 

[00:13:53] LaRee: where there's a guy who looks like Santa, but he's in a jogging suit and buddy. Comes up behind him and says [00:14:00] Santa. And I guess that gentleman was not an actor. He was just, on the screen and on him and paid the most of opportunity, let go, and play. So they were like, and playing, I was there making the movie.

[00:14:13] I wanted to focus on one that I think is more relatable and that is. When Zoe Dasha Nell's character is singing and buddy the elf overhears her she's like in the employee's washroom and is singing in the shower. And later on, he approaches her about you sing beautifully. You should sing, and she's too embarrassed.

[00:14:33] She doesn't want to sing she's uncomfortable. And can we relate to that? Not wanting to let, go and play. And she's pulling people doing a shower where no one's listening or she thinks no one can hear her. But then when somebody else is there, everything changes. And I think that's the gist of let go and play.

[00:14:51] It's let go of caring what people are going to think and do what makes you happy with her. It was singing and when she's in the [00:15:00] shower, singing, she's letting go and she's doing what is playful and makes her happy singing this beautiful song. But then when she's out in front of other people, she can't let go.

[00:15:09] And. How much more would we get out of life? If we were able to really let go of the belief that other people's judgments or condemnations or expectations or anything are really going to affect our ability to feel joy when we're doing something that we love. So that's the one that I wanted to share and there's a clip.

[00:15:28] That I don't have it in this document, Neil, so 

[00:15:31] Neal: buddy, he's the epitome of let go and play and just being playful. And it's so interesting because he really does not care what others think. And they play off that a lot in the movie, that he's just buddy, the elf and  you want to be considerate and you never want to be intentionally putting others in uncomfortable situations, but.

[00:15:55] There's a balance act there because he has this purpose  [00:16:00] and drive, he's an elf and his goal. And, we're going to get to look outward and maybe this is where that would apply to, but as you really gain that confidence, and as you said, not caring. What others think and not putting, not allowing others to value your self worth, to, to put a price tag on your self-worth.

[00:16:21]That is I think, a preceding step that allows you to let go and play. Where that with buddy he's just himself and he's having fun. And he wins people over eventually, right? Yeah. 

[00:16:34] LaRee: Not the movie, wherever he's playing and playful, others are joining in and they're having a lot of fun too.

[00:16:40] And that has absolutely been my experience. It's truly a gift when we let go of our self-consciousness and our playful and invite others to join in. So you want to play this clip where he's inviting Zoe dash and L's character to a. Trying to convince her of the merit of letting go and singing in this case.

[00:16:57] Neal: Yeah, let's roll it. [00:17:00] Thanks for, I don't say, Oh, it's easy. It's just like talking to louder and longer and you move your voice up and down. I can sing, but I just choose not to sing, especially in front of other people. If you sing alone, you can sing in front of other people. There's no difference.

[00:17:14] LaRee: Actually. There's a big difference. 

[00:17:17] Neal: No, there isn't wait. I'm singing. I'm in a store and I'm singing I'm in a store. There's no second in the North pole. Yes, there is. No, it's not. We sing all the time, especially when we make toys. See. That is awesome. 

[00:17:42] LaRee: It's so fun. It's just an interesting thing to be aware of what it is.

[00:17:47] You're not letting go of. What are you hanging onto? That's keeping you from letting you go and playing. And buddy's a great example. And again We don't want to give too much of the movie away if you haven't seen it, but if you haven't seen it, [00:18:00] heaven's just pause and go watch it right now, later on, the singing becomes more important because there's this moment where it's pivotal to the plot that this crowd starts to sing.

[00:18:12]Let's leave it at that Zooey, Deschanel or Zooey Deschanel as she. Has hung out with buddy and experienced and watched him letting go and playing. She now in this moment has gained the courage, but he's no longer with her in this moment. He's doing something else, but she recognizes this need to get the crowd singing and she steps in.

[00:18:38] And helps out. So let's listen to that one. 

[00:18:40] Neal: Yeah. Perfect. Let's roll it. He's 

[00:18:43] LaRee: making a list, 

[00:18:44] Neal: checking it twice, gone to find out who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town. He sends you when you're sleeping. [00:19:00] He knows when you're away.

[00:19:09] shake. Oh, you 

[00:19:11] LaRee: better watch out. You 

[00:19:13] Neal: better not cry.

[00:19:23] I love that scene there at the end, too, because again, you can see. People who were really the shakers and movers in society were the ones willing to let go of? 

[00:19:37]LaRee: I like to think if you're so busy, worried about defining and identifying the box, you're never going to break free of it. And culturally, we always celebrate those who stepped out of the box and stepped onto it to new and greater Heights.

[00:19:52] Neal: Yes said, and that is definitely the lessons we learn here about let, go and play from [00:20:00] buddy 

[00:20:00] LaRee: the elf. Yeah. There's one more movie. I think that you got to talk just a little bit about. Which is nightmare before Christmas. And you are a big fan of this, and you're an inspiration to me to step out of my comfort zone and to explore and to be open, which is another way of summarizing, go and play.

[00:20:19] And if you think about Jack from the nightmare before Christmas he was out exploring and then he came across something unknown or new, and rather than shutting the door, being frightened, which. Maybe he should have, but, and he stepped out of the comfort zone and he tried new things and new relationships were formed and a great story was told and people grew and we're better for it.

[00:20:46] Neal: And the inherent curiosity of the song, what's this, when he's going through the town and just, exploring for the first time a snowflake and all these things, I think curiosity is such a powerful ingredient [00:21:00] as well to let go and play that. We see there with the nightmare before Christmas, for sure.

[00:21:05] I love that. 

[00:21:06] LaRee: Yeah. That's a powerful word. That's something to hang on to is curiosity. If you think about where children have it and where individuals start to lose it, or they no longer are interested. And the growth and development slows down exponentially. 

[00:21:24] Neal: I think those that maintain curiosity are the ones who really grow and progress in very powerful ways.

[00:21:30] So that is a very good nugget. 

[00:21:32] LaRee: Yeah. Wow. That is like a Lifespring. 

[00:21:36] Neal: That's right. Oh, Lifespring from Jack Skellington. That's ironic. But we got two more principles here to cover. Next up is accept and build and accept and build again. If you're tuning in for the first time and learning the principles that has to do with.

[00:21:56] Validating the offers that come your way, [00:22:00] whether from people or life in general, and then building upon those offers and and turning them into something even better. And so accept and build is a very powerful principle. And there were a lot of examples that we could have looked to But we're going to narrow in on Disney's the Santa Claus.

[00:22:21] And as you may recall, the film starring Tim Allen showcases the journey of an ordinary guy, assuming the role of Santa Claus. So a fun take on a classic story, but the lead character, Scott, Calvin. Is actually going through a nasty divorce, which is a very interesting element they included. And this is just a constant source of contention throughout the movie, as he navigates visitation rights with his son and simultaneously steps into the role of Santa Claus.

[00:22:55] And that's, I think the beauty here and where we really see this principle come [00:23:00] into play is he's resisting this new Call to be Santa Claus. And he's not only resisting that, but you can obviously see he's resenting the divorce and everything that means and how it's impacting his relationship with his son.

[00:23:16] And so it's really neat. As we develop through the movie and he really begins to embrace to, to accept not only. His role as Santa Claus, but to really just accept, the situation of, the divorce and everything going on with his family, as he accepts it. He not only is able to build his new life and really grow into that role of Santa, but he's actually able to build a much better relationship with his son and his ex-wife and even her new man that's in her life now.

[00:23:57] And there's this beautiful monologue at [00:24:00] the end that we want to play for you now. Where he goes into this. So let's listen to that. I think it's a much better idea that you stay here with your mom and Neil freely. No bus, Charlie. I can't be selfish. I can't be with you all the time. We're a family.

[00:24:21] You, me, your mom and Neil. And they need to be with you too.

[00:24:40] And don't go yet. I 

[00:24:41] LaRee: have something for you.

[00:24:49]Neal: It's my Christmas present for you with the custody papers. I want you to come and see, you can count [00:25:00] on it

[00:25:08] Merry Christmas. So again, we see as we stop resisting. The trials the new opportunities in this case as well, that come our way as we really accept those and then build upon them, we are able to take even a, an undesirable situation and really redirect that even, and turn it into something much more beautiful.

[00:25:34] LaRee: Yeah. They stay there's the same one. God closes a door, he opens a window and it's a great example of yeah. His marriage ended. But there was a window that opened, so he could continue to have this relationship. And he has a new role. Santa Claus is a pretty boss role and I love the idea of acceptance because.

[00:25:53]In this principle, we have to take the action and it's up to us at risk squarely upon our [00:26:00] shoulders to take that step. 

[00:26:02] Neal: There's lots of movies. Like I mentioned, that we could also touch on, there's the classic animation stop animation, Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer, where. He accepts his glowing nose and used it for good.

[00:26:14] And it's worth noting in the beginning. They're trying to hide his nose and make him feel ashamed, but it's only in embracing it and stepping up to the plate and capitalizing on his shining knows that they're able to save Christmas. So there's another example. All right. One more principle to extract here and a great Christmas classic.

[00:26:34] Laurie, tell us about look outward. 

[00:26:37] LaRee: I have heard some people say they haven't seen this movie because they consider it too old fashion. I'm just like, stop that snap out of it. You just need to go watch it's a wonderful life. And if you're still not sure, watch something that talks about, maybe we'll find a link and put it backstage about how this movie came to be.

[00:26:55] And it was just, it's a wonderful backstory and won't go into that, but [00:27:00] it's a treasure that we have this movie and Jimmy Stewart. Who does a wonderful job portraying the protagonist. It goes, it's shows us a moment in his life when he's a young boy or young man, he's working at the druggist the pharmacist shop and that man's name is Mr.

[00:27:22] Gower. And it's apparent through a verse. Looking or from Jimmy Stewart's character, seeing a telegram that has come. And Mr. Gower's behavior that Mr. Gallagher's son has just been killed in the war. And mr. Gower, isn't right in his head. He's obviously. Really upset and Jimmy Stewart's character, George Bailey realizes that the pharmacist has sent the wrong drugs to a family in need, and he realizes that they could be poisoned and he takes the fall.

[00:27:57]So we're gonna share that clip with [00:28:00] you really quickly, 

[00:28:03] Neal: really bright advisor characters.

[00:28:08] What I said,

[00:28:16] right? How did you know that? Boy?

[00:28:22] LaRee: You don't know what you're 

[00:28:23] Neal: doing. You put something wrong on those capsules or you're on your own. You got the telegram and you're upset. You put something bad, 

[00:28:30] LaRee: those capsules, it wasn't your fault, Mr. Gower. 

[00:28:34] Neal: Just look and see what you did up in the bar. The bar it's poison. I know you feel bad.

[00:28:54] I know you hear me.

[00:29:00] [00:29:00] LaRee: Oh, that's a tough one to watch 

[00:29:02] Neal: because George 

[00:29:03] LaRee: he's just trying to be helpful. He is looking outward. He needs. Able to recognize that Mr. Gower's in pain. And so he's willing to be more patient when Mr. Gower is angry and actually hitting him. And it's just a beautiful example of George, even at a young age, being able to recognize this man's very.

[00:29:28] Real deep need and watching out for him and then watching out for that family, that how would they have felt if they'd gotten the wrong medication and possibly died. And then how would Mr. Gower have felt again, the druggist, if he was responsible for killing a family, he could have gone to jail. So the wonderful thing about this, it's like this little taco of lookout word play theory because it's this cosmic wraparound because, and obviously the writers have done a beautiful job.

[00:29:57] But later on at the end of the movie, [00:30:00] when George Bailey is in dire straits, he is in need of some funding and some money to come through. And it's a beautiful moment. It's a wonderful moment in the movie where the townspeople rally behind him. And at this moment, someone shows up and says, quiet everyone.

[00:30:22] There's a telegram. And I let's just play it. And then I'll talk about it. 

[00:30:27] Neal: Yes. Okay. Let's roll it.

[00:30:35] quiet. Quiet. I'll get this. It's from London. Oh. Mr. Gower cable need cash. Stop my office instructed to advance you up to $25,000. Stop he hall and Merry Christmas Sam Wainwright.

[00:30:53] LaRee: did you catch that? It's a little hard to follow. And the first few times that I watched the movie, I didn't put [00:31:00] two and two together, but this person comes in and announces that when Mr. Gower. Who is now an old man heard that George Bailey needed help. He telegraphed a former resident of the community.

[00:31:16] That was an old friend named Sam Wainwright who had become quite wealthy and asked, let him know that George Bailey needed help. And Sam Y Wainwright then replied, saying you got up to. Back in their day. It would've sounded like millions, but $25,000. And so what a beautiful thing that here, Mr.

[00:31:39] Gower had the opportunity to look outward and do what was within his power. That to then help out George Bailey. I just. Love that's a special moment for me. I always cry. I always tear up 

[00:31:53] Neal: the thought of people not watching anyone going through your life and not watching this movie is really sad to me.

[00:31:59] Cause I [00:32:00] think there are, it really is. So if I put together life one Oh one as a course that everyone was required to take, this would be a part of the curriculum. 

[00:32:08] LaRee: It usually. I put together a curriculum. 

[00:32:13] Neal: Yeah. I will do helped put together the curriculum. I love how George Bailey, he did the right thing and he looked outward even when he knew that Mr.

[00:32:24] Gower, wasn't maybe going to be understanding and he wasn't initially, and that can be really hard. Those moments are hard to look outward when you're not going to be understood when there's lots of opposition. And, but you gotta do what's right. And I love that example here because. He does make the courageous decision, even though it costs him at least initially in that moment.

[00:32:48] And so that I think is very good. 

[00:32:50] LaRee: Oh, it's so true. And that, that is the some real amazing force behind this principle of looking outward. It gives you [00:33:00] courage and. I think for me it's because when I am looking outward, even when it's in the face of something and I've had to make some tough decisions and this principal has saved me because I don't go back and second guess and think, Oh, should I have done this?

[00:33:13] Or did I do it right? Cause I can go back and say, I know I was looking outward at the other person's best interest. And then even if. My efforts were rejected. Like George Bailey's were in that, that first clip. I can know that my intentions were aligned with my core beliefs of my authentic self and wanting to help the other person.

[00:33:34] And even if I got it wrong, even if I did the absolute worst thing in that scenario, because I misjudge things, I can still rest that I was thinking of the other person. And so it's a great way to. Encourage yourself to take the step to do those things that might take boldness beyond what you really feel because  you're thinking about that other person.

[00:33:56] Neal: And to have that as a guiding compass is just a [00:34:00] game changer as well. I love also how evident it is. Not that this is a reason or should be an objective and looking outward, but your net worth is not as powerful as your network. And when you see all the lives that George Bailey. Impacted in such a positive way in how they all come through for him in the most dire of circumstances, it's just such a powerful reminder of how important it is to build relationships and especially through looking outward and serving others and being there for them.

[00:34:36]Just what a safety net that is for you throughout life. And I can attest to that in my own life. How many. Countless times I have been saved, maybe not in as dramatic fashion as George Bailey, but certainly in dire circumstances because of, previous times where I had the courage to look outward and be there for people.

[00:34:58] And then that karma came back [00:35:00] for me. And so that was just such a beautiful moment in this film. 

[00:35:03]LaRee: It's wonderful because in different cultures you can call it a parable of Christ where cast your bread upon the water. It will come back, you can call it karma. There's. All kinds of other ways of labeling this idea that when we put ourselves out there for another person, it's going to be compensated often in ways that are larger than what we initially our initial investment was.

[00:35:25] And I really. I have seen that so many times, and this is one of the principles that people consistently will return to me. And thank me for introducing them to, or share an experience where they have been completely convinced of the authenticity of. Of this idea. So yeah, Christmas, it's a wonderful time because I think we, the season invites us to look outward.

[00:35:50] We're buying gifts for the other person is sometimes, it's all about what am I going to get for Christmas. But I think the most joy and satisfaction comes when, where. Thinking [00:36:00] about the other person. And I just have to end on a lookout word movie with frosty the snowman, going back to that it's a trite little tale.

[00:36:09] It's ridiculous. It's a snowman, but what a beautiful little message that when Karen, who is Frosty's little friend, it becomes too cold and it looks like she's not going to survive. The cold frosty is willing to go into the greenhouse because he knows it will save Karen's life. And. Yeah, he makes that sacrifice and he does it willingly.

[00:36:30] And we, we have that warm, wonderful feeling because I think we understand the truth of that principle of looking outward rather than trying to grasp, take and hold onto whatever we can get for ourselves. That's the source of true joy and happiness. 

[00:36:46] Neal: Oh, that's such a good example. And I love look outward.

[00:36:51] I love that. It's the last principle that we talk about because it's such a powerful one. And this time of year, it's all about giving. And I think look [00:37:00] outward is just such a natural such a natural principle to talk about as we look to give gifts and and to sacrifice our comforts, to hopefully lift the spirits of others.

[00:37:12] I love that. 

[00:37:13] LaRee: That's awesome. 

[00:37:15] Neal: Larry, this has been so fun, so insightful, and I love getting on here to just dive into these amazing principles of happiness. 

[00:37:25] LaRee: I really just scratched the surface though on all these principles and these movies. So we really hope people will step up and share so we can maybe talk about next year.

[00:37:34] We can talk about the ideas that they found. 

[00:37:36] Neal: Yes. I love that. As you can see, these principles are everywhere and we found some examples in Christmas movies, but we want you, as Lori said, to keep your ears to the ground, open your minds and hearts and see, and observe where they are in your life. And then share those examples, because we're all about practicing [00:38:00] the skill of happiness here on the happiness playbook.

[00:38:03] And. Life is a team sport and we are so glad to have you on the team. Laurie, I am so glad to have you on my team. Thank you for joining me. 

[00:38:13] LaRee: Oh, it's been a pleasure. I always love talking about play theory, especially with you Neil. 

[00:38:17]Track 1: Merry Christmas to everyone have happy holidays and we will catch you next week for a very fun and unique episode of the happiness playbooks.

[00:38:29] So stay safe, stay happy. We'll catch you next week.

On today’s show I sit down with Guy Gibbons to chat about everything from content creation, subtracting the fluff outta life, and validating your children to create magic! Hop over to https://subtractapparel.com and use the discount code “HAPPINESSPLAYBOOK10” to get 10% off some incredible merch AND provide direct support to the OSSO organization. Let’s make the world a better place…

Also just wanted to remind you how crucial the reviews are for us to continue our reach and growth! As always, I want to remind you, nay urge you, nay PLEAD you to leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts.Thank you thank you thank you.

The song you heard at the beginning of the episode was Guy Gibbons’ hit single “Back to the Day” which you can find on YouTube (link in show notes).

Thank you for tuning in today, remember that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport! Catch you next next week.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Focus on the PERSON you are needing to serve over the act of the service.

Come join the conversation and play with us!

WEBSITE https://www.playtheory.org 

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Remember that Life is a team sport, so let's play together!

LINKS From Show:

Accept and build is one of the most powerful Play Theory principles! On today’s show we take a deep dive into the power of accepting and building on offers that come our way in life. What does it mean to accept and build? It means we validate and contribute to the thoughts and offers from those around you. It means being an optimistic builder. Whether it’s Martial arts, improv, or marriage, the concept is the same: we accept what comes our way and add to it. A karate student accepts the energy of a punch directed at his head and redirects it into a defensible posture.  An improviser accepts an offer by her scene partner to be a mad scientist and so she describes her laboratory, shuddering at the imagined thunder and lightning. In a healthy marriage partners accept each other’s ideas and feelings building trust and well being. This is the power of acceptance, it builds while rejection destroys. 

This Week’s PRO TIP is: 

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Practice saying the word “yes” in your daily conversations where you would normally be tempted to say no. Remember that this does not mean you are literally accepting every offer, but rather you are accepting the person and validating them. Practice saying the word “Yes” then add more to whatever part of the statement you can agree with. In the US with all of the election discussions going on, you might consider saying something like this when the topic comes up with someone you disagree with: - “Yes the election is very important and I’m confident we both want thFAcebooke best scenario for all involved.” Note that you don’t have to agree on which scenario… 😉 Validate, be a builder this week! 

Remember, life is a team sport so let's all play together. Join the PLAY THEORY team and play with us on instagram, our facebook page and join our PLAY THEORY facebook group.

Visit playtheory.org for more information.

LINKS From Show

Calling all parents and caretakers! On today's show we sit down with Stephanie Whiting to discuss PLAY THEORY and parenting. We chat about parenting, marriage, anxiety, shyness, and performing and how PLAY THEORY positively impacts ALL of them! Such good content...

Stephanie is an amazing warrior momma of 6 kids (5 girls, 1 boy)…She loves spending time with her family. She’s a running, soccer, hiking, reading, and musical theater enthusiast. Her and her family recently bought a ranch and they love riding their horses into the sunset and caring for all 16 horses that are at their property. Stephanie is also the Momager for her her kid’s music group called Torch family music (see link below). 

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Take note of your day-to-day application of PLAY THEORY principles in a journal. Reflect on the experiences you’ve had and how you can better apply them in the future. This intentional reflection and application of the principles will help you exercise the muscle of happiness!

Life is a team sport! Come join the conversation and play with us!

WEBSITE https://www.playtheory.org 

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/playtheory/

Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1652343491608927/

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LINKS From Show

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