What do Tony Robbins, Candles, and fireworks have in common? Find out on today’s episode of the happiness playbook where we scuba dive in the beautiful reef of look outward with some truly great quotes and stories.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: The next time you are speaking to someone, I want you to say something nice about that person in your head. Watch how this changes your emotion, your presence, and your relationship toward that person.

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


For today’s episode we are going to keep it jam packed with nuggets and keep the momentum going. We have 4 beautiful quotes that we’ll share and discuss that all have to do with the crown jewel of Play Theory which is Look Outward.

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!

LINKS From Show


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.

We have a special guest on our show today, on today’s show we go deep on how to apply play theory in relationships and processing trauma from a licensed therapist - Jennifer Lehr. Jennifer specializes in educating couples on the relationship skills they need to build a solid, connected and loving partnership. She has had advanced training in many couples modalities and uses her knowledge to help others. Jennifer has been helping couples for nearly 20 years. She is a regular contributor to her 3 blogs, which are designed to help people improve their lives and relationships: Healing Tips Blog, WeConcile’s Blog and Jennifer’s Blog, as well as other media. Jennifer Lehr also writes and talks about her journey from a difficult relational beginning to creating a beautiful relationship with her husband.

I’m so excited to welcome our guest today and dive deep into the principles of happiness and relationships. 

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Be curious about your partner! 

BONUS TIP: Do yoga!

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


Neal Hooper: [00:00:00] [00:00:00]We have a very special guest on our show today. On today's show, we're going to go deep on how to apply play theory in relationships. In processing trauma, and we have a licensed therapist today. Jennifer layer, Jennifer specializes in educating couples on the relationship skills. They need to build a solid. 

[00:00:54] Connected and loving partnership. 

[00:01:01] [00:01:00] She has had advanced training in many couples modalities and uses her knowledge to help others. Jennifer has been helping couples for nearly 20 years. She is a regular contributor to her three blogs, which are designed to help people improve their lives and relationships. And those are healing tips, blog. We can Siles blog and Jennifer's blog as well as other media. Jennifer layer also writes and talks about her journey from a difficult relational beginning to creating a beautiful relationship with her husband. 

[00:01:32]And I'm not sure what was going on with the audio when we recorded this on our platform, but it took a hit. So, uh, forgive me for the audio quality. And we're just going to let go of that and a play with it. And roll with it and accept them, build on that, but really excited for you to listen to this episode And with that, let's roll right in to the conversation.  I am very excited to [00:02:00] introduce you to our guests today. Jennifer layer. Has many qualifications as you heard in her bio, but really she is on a mission and we totally agree with the mission she is on.

[00:02:14] Let me pull up your one pager here. I love this says. Jennifer layer is on a mission to create a world filled with connection instead of conflict. That is awesome. And something here at the happiness playbook, we are very passionate about. I think everyone, these days could use a little more connection and less conflict.

[00:02:38] So we're very excited that Jennifer is joining us today to help us learn how to do that. Jennifer, welcome to the show.

[00:02:45] Jennifer Lehr: [00:02:45] Oh, thanks for having me. I'm happy to be here.

[00:02:49]Neal Hooper: [00:02:49] I just want to dive in here cause you have a lot of value to add and I'm excited for our audience to learn more about you and in what your message is in some of the [00:03:00] principles that you teach others. So maybe a great place to start is just with a little background. So what's your story, Jennifer?

[00:03:07] Jennifer Lehr: [00:03:07] Oh, I have a long story. So my story is I grew up in a family that was had a lot of conflict, a lot of anger and bad communication and connection skills. So I went out into the world not very developed in those areas and through the course of my life and relationships, I started working on all that because.

[00:03:30] I wanted a good life and it wasn't going to happen the way it, the way I came out. So, I eventually became a therapist and did a lot of my own personal work as well as worked with people, a lot of trainings. And then I also decided that realize that couples needed a lot more resources than they have.

[00:03:49] And I started, I created an educational system for couples called we concile, which we're now currently turning into an app.

[00:03:57] Neal Hooper: [00:03:57] Wow.

[00:03:59] Jennifer Lehr: [00:03:59] that's the short [00:04:00] version of the story.

[00:04:01] Neal Hooper: [00:04:01] That's awesome though. It's so interesting. Cause we all, if we look deep enough, we all have baggage. Right. And I love that you bring that up. And also, that there's hope for us to get tools to overcome that that natural tendency, I think, to. To fall back on the conflict.

[00:04:20] Right. Which is something we're really good at. I'm just curious. And I'm kinda, coming out of left field here with this question, but you've had 20 years of therapy and you have seen a lot of people you're on the front lines for this, a battle for emotional wellbeing and mental health.

[00:04:38] And I'm sure you have. So many stories, but I'm just curious, what are some of the most common forms of baggage that people are bringing in to their lives and relationships? What are the biggest perpetrators.

[00:04:52]Jennifer Lehr: [00:04:52] People have wounds, we all have wounds places where we didn't get what we needed. And so we come into a relationship with [00:05:00] another wounded person and we don't understand each other's wounds. We're usually hungry for connection, but we don't know what to do when there's.

[00:05:08] A conflict or disagreement or we come at things from different angles because we're hungry and we don't know, we often don't have the space for the other person to really listen to what's going on for them because of our own, we're filled up with our own stuff.

[00:05:25] Neal Hooper: [00:05:25] wow. Is such a good way to put it wounds. I love that visual because I think that is a great thing. We view it as that the person is hurting, when someone's acting out or even acting out in a inappropriate way or a malicious way, it's because they're hurting. And I think that's a great perspective to take going into that.

[00:05:48] So there's a lot of tie-ins to the play three principles that we talk about and your message. And we'll kind of sprinkle those throughout. But you have a great message and kind of [00:06:00] framework around attachment. Theory. And so I just want you to dive into that and help us understand a little bit more about attachment theory and really the process and system you've used there.

[00:06:13] Jennifer Lehr: [00:06:13] Okay. So there's attachment theory and then there's attachment types, but we're going to talk about attachment theory. The types are you can Google attachment types and you get, avoidant there's like disorganized secure anxious. But we're going to talk about attachment theory and attachment theory is the mammalian need to connect.

[00:06:31] So mammals need to connect, and that means translate it into human terms. Am I important to you? Am I valuable to you? Do you care about how I feel? Am I safe with you? Am I enough for you? W the deep feeling level of what we need is my partner accessible. Interested curious. So it's about the deep emotional need.

[00:06:56]The human attachment means that we feel safe. [00:07:00] If we're sick, we want to be safe and secure in our relationships. And that's what secure attachment is.

[00:07:08] Neal Hooper: [00:07:08] And that's helpful to understand because in any relationship and correct me if I'm Wrong here, but that could be in a marriage. Could that also apply to a parent child relationship? Is that any relationship?

[00:07:23] Jennifer Lehr: [00:07:23] All close relationships that re that have vulnerability and, intimacy, vulnerability, that kind of thing. Yeah.

[00:07:31] Neal Hooper: [00:07:31] Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So those are, and remind me again, what are the things we need to have that attachment? Within the relationship again, it's safety.

[00:07:41] Jennifer Lehr: [00:07:41] well, there's a whole, we want to feel safe. We want to know where we're at and we want to know where valued. We want to know that we're enough. There's it's the list could go on, but those primary, yeah.

[00:07:54] Neal Hooper: [00:07:54] that's so good. And we're a huge here in having this playbook about a [00:08:00] principal. Which is lookout word and everything you're saying there it's really easy to not feel those things in a relationship when we're looking inward and we're thinking of our needs. And it's always, you got to mention the caveat that you're only able to serve to the degree that you have, engaged in self care and maintain your own wellbeing.

[00:08:21]But really it's that looking outward and in those intimate relationships, Creating that, helping people answer that question affirmatively, I do feel safe. I do feel needed. I do feel important. So what are so style, a little deeper there and how, when you see a couple or any. Two people right there, their relationship is just in the dumps and how do you help them work through that and go from not having those things, to feeling that connection and attachment.

[00:08:55]Jennifer Lehr: [00:08:55] Every therapist would work somewhat differently and it also depends on what your [00:09:00] training is, what modality you're sort of drawing on, but you want to get the couple to first identify how they keep getting stuck. So, When you when your tone got sharp with me, I left the house and slammed the door and then you cried.

[00:09:16] And then I got mad and yelled. In other words, what's actually happening. What are the behaviors you want to identify that because people have to take responsibility for what they're doing, because you can't create safety with that kind of behavior going on, and you have to create safety to get down into the deep, vulnerable feelings.

[00:09:35] And that is. When you had that tone, it reminded me of how my mother used to talk to me and that made me bristle and I, made me feel like I wasn't important. So you have to get into the story and into the deep feelings and you can't communicate that with bad behavior going on.

[00:09:56] Neal Hooper: [00:09:56] Okay, this is so good because [00:10:00] you have to let go right of the bad behavior. You have to let go of  those disruptive emotions just long enough to then get present, right? Is that, am I hearing you correctly? Cause you have to play that observational role and kind of process, what's going on and what the causes are for those emotions.

[00:10:19] Is that fair to say?

[00:10:21] Jennifer Lehr: [00:10:21] Yes. So present being present moment to moment awareness is very important. Because you have to be in your body and in yourself to really even be able to connect with the deeper emotional feelings. And you also have to be clear in order to say, Oh, I did this and that. Wasn't okay. I did that it wasn't.

[00:10:40] Okay. So if you're not present you're you tend to be spinning. You could be caught and you're not, you could be in the past spinning. You could be, but you're spinning more with anxiety or something's going on. That's keeping you out of right here right now. What's going on. And I can think of an example.

[00:10:58] I can think of a couple. I worked within [00:11:00] the w the woman in the couple. Was just furious with her partner for good reason, but she was furious. And so she was coming at him like a train, but she wasn't aware of herself. She didn't even see that she was pushing him away with her velocity of anger.

[00:11:15] And so she had to be, or I had to stop her slower down, get her to breathe and get her to identify. I know you're really angry, but what's going on. And underneath was this horrible feeling that. He didn't care about her and that's what was driving the behavior, but she had to be put into the present helped into the present moment.

[00:11:35] So she could connect with that. Okay.

[00:11:37] Neal Hooper: [00:11:37] Oh, that's so good. And really hard to do. And so you mentioned a few things just now. Deep breaths obviously are helpful. What other approaches or tactics do you teach people to get present so that they can play that observational role?

[00:11:52]Jennifer Lehr: [00:11:52] Well, we can sell it. I use what's called the lenses. So there's a body awareness lens, a thinking lens, a feeling [00:12:00] lens sensation, image lens there's 12 lenses and these are portals into experience. So I'll give you an example. I've talked about this before about my husband and.

[00:12:11] We are in some kind of disagreement. And I asked him, what is going on for you right now? And he said, my stomach feels really tight and cold. And I said, Oh, what's that about? What does that remind you of? And he said, that reminds me when I was a little kid and my dad was having a temper tantrum. I said, Oh so that, that moment of tuning into the body opened up a story that informed him and me of how he was being impacted by our disagreement. So, which was useful.

[00:12:43]Neal Hooper: [00:12:43] I read and my wife actually has finished the book, but it's called the body keeps the score.

[00:12:50] Jennifer Lehr: [00:12:50] Yeah. I've heard, I've read it. I've heard of it

[00:12:52] Neal Hooper: [00:12:52] okay. And I think the concept, again, I, it didn't get very far into it, but is that you can actually tap into and [00:13:00] understand traumas or things from your past and how they've affected you, but you can actually feel those or identify those based on how it's manifest, even physically in your body.

[00:13:11] And so like the story you mentioned there is there any thoughts to that? Have you found that to be true?

[00:13:17] Jennifer Lehr: [00:13:17] Oh, yeah, the body it's all in the body. Cause we're physiological, being and all our experiences are stored in the body and in how we're wired. So here's another example. So I'm thinking of a person who goes into an altered state when big due to trauma and You can use EMDR eye movement desensitization. Which is a form of therapy where you start working with either a light or a pattern going back and forth, and you start integrating the memory from one side of the brain, into both sides of the brain, and that enables the body to metabolize. And that's one way there's other ways to metabolize trauma.

[00:13:55] So one way the body can start metabolizing trauma instead of having it be [00:14:00] caught somewhere. Where you have no control over it. And it just sort of jumps out and grabs your psyche and causes you to behave in ways that are destructive.

[00:14:10] Neal Hooper: [00:14:10] Wow. That is kind of the first step in play theory with the four principles they're actually in order. And we start with be present because if you're not present, it's kind of , a non-starter and it's hard to really. Except in build, let, go and play and look outward if you're not present.

[00:14:29] And if you're just distracted and giving into all these emotions inside, I love, it sounds similar that, that's the first step is let's get present. What's observed and learn

[00:14:39] Jennifer Lehr: [00:14:39] Yep. Yeah.

[00:14:41] Neal Hooper: [00:14:41] very cool. Now you have what you call the relationship roadmap. And I would love for you to share a little bit more about what that is and and the approach you take

[00:14:55]Jennifer Lehr: [00:14:55] If you're a couple and you want to sort of start Harmonizing [00:15:00] better together, that sort of rhymed you want to, so the first step would be, or the first question I would have is have you talked about your goals?

[00:15:10] What is each of your purposes and your purpose? Do you have a purpose for your relationship? Like if somebody wants to travel and the other person wants to live in a little house with a fence, in a yard those two goals in life might not fit together. So the first step is who are we together?

[00:15:28]Sometimes couples get together and they don't even go there. They just get together and they're married and all of a sudden they find out that one person wants to go to grad school and the other person wants that person to make money so they can buy a new, new thing. So.

[00:15:41]So that's the first step. Have you talked about your dreams, your goals, and are you on the same page? The second step is what we already talked about. When you get into a fight, what is your pattern, each of your patterns and start deconstructing that, Oh, you did that when I did that, then I did that [00:16:00] and that means you're also.

[00:16:03] Becoming a team against the pattern, which is called externalizing. The problem instead of you getting caught in the problem and you're BA I'm bad and you're pointing fingers at each other. You go, Oh, the pattern is the problem and we have to break it. So let's step two and that's not easy to do because we tend to blame

[00:16:20] Neal Hooper: [00:16:20] Well, and that's really hard because we're so used to pitting ourselves against each other, but what you're really doing is letting go of, that perspective and that that angle, I had a mentor, so I'm kind of jumping around here, but he had a disagreement.

[00:16:36]He had a disagreement with his wife and they were sitting across from each other on a table and they were having this disagreement and I'll never forget. He said after a while it was not dealing any fruit. It was not being very effective. And so he wrote the problem on a piece of paper, put it on the table and then went on and sat next to her.

[00:17:00] [00:17:00] And so they were looking at the problem. So I think that's a great visual of exactly what you're sharing.

[00:17:04] Jennifer Lehr: [00:17:04] Externalized it. So then the third step is getting into attachment language. Now we touched on this attachment language. Isn't, I'm so mad at you that you forgot my BR that you went to your mother's house when it was my birthday, whatever some issue, attachment language is.

[00:17:22] When you forgot my birthday, it made me feel like you didn't value me. And it really hurt me. And I love you. So I need you to value me and not forget my birthday. So it's getting down into what's really going on. So you have to develop an ability to talk about your attachment needs and your attachment fears.

[00:17:41] I'm afraid, blah, blah, blah. But, and I need to know that you will consider what I want to, I need to know that what I want is important to you. I'm afraid. You'll forget me. I'm afraid I'm not good enough. I'm afraid you don't value me. I need you to do these things. So you have to start developing language because when you're [00:18:00] in a disagreement of some kind, right.

[00:18:02] There's almost always a level of attachment language that could be spoken that would help the people connect better, and understand each other better. So that would be step three.

[00:18:14] Neal Hooper: [00:18:14] Awesome. And what role does validation play in? Step three.

[00:18:19]Jennifer Lehr: [00:18:19] It's really important to listen and tend means you're actually. Your health, helping the person express themselves. You're curious. You want to hear what they have to say? You're not like, okay, let's just move on. I got things to say, you're like, wait, I want to understand you, let me give, allow me the privilege of stepping into your world. So that's that's, really important to be able to do that.

[00:18:46] Neal Hooper: [00:18:46] That's great. And that ties in perfectly to accept and build. Which is another way people see that one in the improv community is yes. And right. But you're taking sounds like you're taking where they are and you're not [00:19:00] just validating and accepting them. You're building on it and you're helping them feel comfortable to extract more.

[00:19:07] Jennifer Lehr: [00:19:07] Right. Exactly. And there's specific steps that that you can learn in order to do that but that's what you're doing. You're, reassuring them. You're often repeating, you're asking, clarifying questions, all of that, to help them elicit, to help elicit a larger who are you in response?

[00:19:23] Yeah.

[00:19:24] Neal Hooper: [00:19:24] I love that. I love step three. That's a great one.

[00:19:27] Jennifer Lehr: [00:19:27] And then step four is what I talked about. The lenses. It is getting into understanding a moment to moment. Your experience. So let's suppose there's a couple and one of the, let's say the woman, cause I'll go, stereotypical says, well, what are you feeling, Neil? And Neil says I don't know.

[00:19:49] And 

[00:19:49] Neal Hooper: [00:19:49] Yeah, that sounds great.

[00:19:53] Jennifer Lehr: [00:19:53] the person into the feeling and the way you do that is through the lenses. What are your thoughts doing? What are your [00:20:00] emotions? What is your body doing? What's happening? Is your, where is your heart beating? Is your stomach tight? Do you feel, what is it starting to help people get into their direct experience to understand what's going on?

[00:20:12] So when someone says, what are you feeling? They don't say they don't shrug and say, I don't know. They could say. I'm having this image of my mom chasing my father with the knife. And that really scares me. And, they could have some, and then you're like, Oh, you're having a real, something is really happening here.

[00:20:28] So you're not feeling you just are, you're being hit by stuff and you don't even know how to verbalize it. It just gives dialogue and language to experience when people often just go, I don't know, because they haven't learned to scan the body, the mind, the emotions and figure out what's going on.

[00:20:46] Neal Hooper: [00:20:46] wow. That is awesome. Very clear framework. I love the steps and it's a very clear how that would help you come together. Really understand [00:21:00] what's going on and then move forward. So I love that there's tons of be present, accept, and build, and a lot of let, go and play too. 

[00:21:08] Jennifer Lehr: [00:21:08] And there are other steps too, but those are the first four.

[00:21:11] Neal Hooper: [00:21:11] I'm so sorry. I'm jumping the gun here, please. Oh, there's more. Let's keep going.

[00:21:16] Jennifer Lehr: [00:21:16] the next step for, and these are, at this point they can start, they can move around but you have to be aware of these different we'll call them building blocks of connection, areas where you actually need to have some professor proficiency, but one of the steps is.

[00:21:31]How you've been impacted by your past. And, I worked with many people and I asked him how he w you know, what was your childhood like? Oh, it was great. Big red flag. Maybe a big red flag and yeah, there are people with great childhoods, but there's also a lot of people who didn't have great childhoods and they don't know it because that memory has been pushed away.

[00:21:52]And I can think of a particular situation where I was in a parking lot and there was a mother and a little boy who was, [00:22:00] let's say he was. Four. He was little and she was screaming at the top of her lungs at him and he was wailing and I just thought, Oh God, this poor kid. So what's going to happen to him when he's older, when he's trying to have a relationship, where are what's?

[00:22:16] Where, what will he have done with his feelings? He might not have any feelings by then. He might have got rid of them, not safe to have feelings. I whale. And my mom just screams at me. I mean, who knows what his story would have been, but I call these survival skills, survival strategies. So if you're an adult and when you feel a certain way, you might act a certain way because you learned how to do that to survive as a kid, but you don't, there's no link.

[00:22:44] You don't know, Oh, I'm doing that because I learned that as a kid, because whenever I had a feeling that I got slapped or whatever, So you so unpacking the impact of the past can have a huge it can really help, people [00:23:00] understand, Oh, that's why I do this. And I don't have to do it this way.

[00:23:03] There are better ways of responding of being.

[00:23:07] Neal Hooper: [00:23:07] That is so good. And again, awareness and that presence and observations the first step. Cause you can't let go of something you're not aware of. And that's a big one. I imagine that's it was just, that takes a lot of work sometimes to get that out of people.

[00:23:21] Jennifer Lehr: [00:23:21] Well it's really? Yeah, because you can't just rip someone open. You have to slowly, build a relationship and start understanding who they are and start opening little doorways and having them start going, Oh, are little lights go on and eventually more and more opens and they get a clear picture of who they were, what they experienced, how it impacted them.

[00:23:44] And what they're so carrying around that doesn't work.

[00:23:48]And we could keep going, but that's the basic that's the basic, I mean, there's, you go deeper and you refine and refine as you go on and you do more connecting of. The surface feeling what's under it. How does it [00:24:00] affect your cycle changing, and learning how to communicate differently, because you become more aware of the nuances of your experience.

[00:24:09] Neal Hooper: [00:24:09] wow. Okay. That's huge. And I love the framework again. I think it's very thorough and again, really tying into the relationship piece, but also just being able to it's a function and move forward with confidence and feeling good about yourself. So I think there's a ton of value there and obviously as high level, and I'm sure there's a lot more that goes into each one of those steps, but thank you for sharing that.

[00:24:35]We would love for us to all just be experts right. At this relationship in life thing. And the truth is, especially in relationships, I'll take that angle because that's kind of what we're discussing here. But there is trauma that happens. There are mistakes that are made and trust is lost.

[00:24:56] And I know that's another area of expertise for you is actually [00:25:00] rebuilding trust and intimacy in your relationship after there's been an event of betrayal or some kind of loss of trust. And so I'd love for you to dive a little deeper into that and help us understand how we can do that.

[00:25:12]Jennifer Lehr: [00:25:12] Many kinds of betrayal. One of the common ones. Cost courses infidelity, but there are many kinds of betrayal, emotional betrayals just different kinds. So when you have two people and there's been a big betrayal and we'll use infidelity in this example, the party who, who will call the perpetrator, just for lack of a better word, the perpetrator needs to be able to.

[00:25:38] Have empathy and not just, I'm sorry I did that, but my heart is breaking because I broke your heart a very deep level of, Oh wow. I really hurt you. And that hurts me. They have to be able to get to that level of empathy. Often the person who cheated [00:26:00] or was the perpetrator.

[00:26:00] However we want to call it is defensive? And that's a roadblock you'll you won't get anywhere and it's not possible. So that's the first thing that has to happen 

[00:26:10]Neal Hooper: [00:26:10] And just real quick on that note, it's that looking inward that is preventing any progress from happening. And I love that you pointed that out because that level of empathy, that level of looking outward. Is incredibly humbling. And I would say, very rare even, is that fair to say

[00:26:32] Jennifer Lehr: [00:26:32] Yeah, it's hard if people don't get there right away generally. And there's a lot of shame when you've hurt someone it's shameful and there's a lot of defensiveness. People don't want to feel shame. They'll, it was your fault. I mean, people throw the blame around because who wants to feel shame and.

[00:26:48] It's a hard, it's the hardest feeling. So, yeah. So then you, so then the next thing the person who was betrayed, they're not going to forgive right away, but they would need to [00:27:00] have it as a goal. I would like to trust you again. I would like to forgive you someday.

[00:27:05] Obviously it's not going to happen in three seconds, but it has to be a goal. If they have no intention of ever forgiving or one trust person, again. That's also a game stopper. There's nowhere to get. So there's those two big pieces eventually, and this is way down the line. You have to look at the dynamics of the relationship.

[00:27:23] That allowed this to occur because I can think of a relationship I had years ago where my boyfriend cheated on me and I just wasn't tuned in enough to, I wasn't tuned in enough. And had I been, I might've said this guy really isn't fully there for me and I need to get rid of him, but I wasn't tuned in,  I was young.

[00:27:43] And so really knowing. That there's always a S a whole picture. It's not, I mean, someone might have an addiction, a sexual addiction that could cause it, but generally both parties have a role, but you can't get to that until way later, because first you have to deal with the [00:28:00] injury and rebuilding trust.

[00:28:02]Neal Hooper: [00:28:02] You kind of alluded to this and I just want to clarify. Obviously infidelity there's a whole spectrum there of what that could mean. And on one end you have, the act of going out and cheating on your significant other, and somewhere in between, there's probably online activities.

[00:28:22]Catching a partner, viewing pornography, for example could have a huge impact depending on their perspective. Is it is it the same process, even at those earlier stages?

[00:28:33]If there's that loss of trust or betrayal.

[00:28:36]Jennifer Lehr: [00:28:36] I think it is. I mean, obviously different people have different tolerances for many different things and different people have different wounds. And for some people, the partner using pornography is that non-issue and for other peoples it's devastating. But regardless if there is a wounded party who feels betrayed, the process has to be what I outlined earlier, because that person needs to know that [00:29:00] it won't happen again, that their feelings are valued, that they can, that, that they won't ever have to.

[00:29:06] Yet. Nobody wants to go through trauma more than once.

[00:29:09]Neal Hooper: [00:29:09] Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. Thank you for those those clarifying points. 

[00:29:13] Jennifer Lehr: [00:29:13] It's just to be aware that infidelity and betrayal is a tsunami in the relationship and you will have a new relationship. You will not be able to keep the same relationship if you repair it. You actually have to create a whole new relationship because the old one is over and it's that way it can be good because you could end up with something that is much better than what you started with, but it's not an easy process at all.

[00:29:40] Neal Hooper: [00:29:40] wow. And that's the ultimate, let go and play in my opinion, because that is. And we've chatted about this earlier in the conversation. That's going to be really hard to not hold onto what you had and to just kind of start over clean. But that's a very important part of the process.

[00:29:56]You mentioned something earlier and [00:30:00] that I thought was interesting about needing to and you might have to remind me the wording here, but yeah. Kind of your new identity as a couple versus your identity as an individual. And is that a fair way of putting it

[00:30:16]That, that when you come together, you gotta figure out what your new identity is.

[00:30:20]As a couple rather.

[00:30:21]Jennifer Lehr: [00:30:21] I would just send you that when you take two individuals and they let's suppose we're formed and we have ideas about ourselves in our lives. And you put them together that, so in that context you do have to figure out what, who are we as a couple? This is a little different than when I'm talking about repairing and fidelity, because in that case, the relationship and the ways you were is over, because it allowed something to happen.

[00:30:47]Neal Hooper: [00:30:47] When you mentioned it earlier, I was thinking when my wife and I got married, it was funny because. As a single person, you make friends and you're just factoring in how you and that individual gel, but then [00:31:00] after you get married and you're trying to make friends, it kind of creates this whole new dynamic and you have to think through, okay, us as a couple now are going to gel very differently than I did as an individual with certain people.

[00:31:11] And so I just thought that was a good thing to keep in mind. 

[00:31:14] Jennifer Lehr: [00:31:14] Yeah, well, I think to have a healthy relationship, you have to work out of, like, I have friends that  my husband knows them, but he's not really friends with them the way I are. And he has friends that I know, but I don't, I'm not really close to them the way he is. And then we have friends that we know together that work, and that just part of, there's no, what is it?

[00:31:31]The Venn diagram with the overlap

[00:31:34] Neal Hooper: [00:31:34] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:35] Jennifer Lehr: [00:31:35] and different people have different overlaps, according to what they need. And, you do run into a problem if one wants a complete overlap and the other one wants to circle to very barely touch, right? But that's that's part of figuring out how to be a couple, how to be the specific couple that you are to the best ability.

[00:31:53] Yeah.

[00:31:54] Neal Hooper: [00:31:54] wow. That is awesome. You've shared so many good nuggets and I [00:32:00] just so grateful for your expertise and. I would love to know in your experience again you've had a lot of experience. You've worked with a lot of people.

[00:32:08] What's like, what's been the. The best victory, I guess, for a couple that's come and worked with you or maybe that's come from that most dire circumstance and then had a big win. I don't know if you have any stories like that off the top of your head, you could share.

[00:32:22]Jennifer Lehr: [00:32:22] I would say my relationship is the best victory because my first marriage was extremely difficult and I'm in my second marriage. And we did in, I mean, we had, the first six months is generally bliss, which it was, and then you start hitting the, the problems. And we did some therapy together.

[00:32:40] I think I did every other week for a year or two with him, but I was writing, we can sell. So I was learning a lot and I was writing and he was reading and editing and we had a lot to talk about because of that process. And it enabled us to. Really work, understand each other work through huge like differences.

[00:32:58]Like I understand why he [00:33:00] reacts the way he reacts sometimes because of the conversations we've had and he understands why I get upset the way I, so there's a much it's like the weaving of the two cloth, the two cloths get woven together with understanding and story and a bit bility too.

[00:33:15] To connect in a deep hole, deep way where both people, their whole selves are coming in and that's, I'm just using me for an example because I think we have a particularly good relationship. And so that's why I'm bringing that up.

[00:33:30]Neal Hooper: [00:33:30] I like to brag about my marriage as well when I get the chance to, so that's awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful concepts with our listeners. And we're so excited to to share this before we get to our last question, the pro tip that they can take and apply.

[00:33:50] I just want to know if our listeners want more Jennifer, they want they want to learn more about what you're doing. Where do we send them?

[00:34:00] [00:34:00] Jennifer Lehr: [00:34:00] You can sell.com w E C O N C I L E like reconcile, but we can style. That's the website. I have a blog with a lot of articles on relationship in different subjects. I also, Jennifer Lear mft.com where I do more personal writing. I have a free quiz or relationship quality quiz. We consult.com/quiz. I'm on Instagram and Facebook at wee concile.

[00:34:24]Those are. Yeah that's probably the best way to

[00:34:27] Neal Hooper: [00:34:27] That is awesome. Okay. So you heard it here. She's got a free quiz, so make sure you go check that out. We'll put it in the show notes, the link for that. So you can go and and again, for this quiz, what are they learning about themselves when they take this.

[00:34:41]Jennifer Lehr: [00:34:41] It's just 10 questions. So I made it short. But they're going to learn how they score. In a couple of different areas, including hope about the relationship, sexuality conflict understanding of each other, blah, blah. There's like, I think six, probably six categories. I'm not sure. And [00:35:00] yeah.

[00:35:00] And so then they get actually a score that says, okay, you're doing good or okay. You better jump on this before it's too late. So

[00:35:07] Neal Hooper: [00:35:07] Okay. Awesome. That sounds very valuable. Thank you so much for offering that to our listeners. And and again, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. Now for the last question, what is one pro tip for applying and developing the skill of happiness that you would share with our audience?

[00:35:28] Jennifer Lehr: [00:35:28] Oh, my there's so many tips. So, I'm gonna, this is an odd tip, but I'm gonna throw it in there. Because it seems disconnected, but it's not. So I've practiced yoga for how many years. More approaching 30 years now which is a long time and what it taught me, you're on the mat and that's your little universe and you notice, Oh, I don't like this isn't fun.

[00:35:55] Or that person's doing it better than me or. Oh, I don't like that [00:36:00] teacher she's ganja yet. And you start witnessing a lot of yourself because you're stuck in this spot . And it's a really good way to to develop, present centered awareness which you need. If you're working on a relationship, now I could give other tips.

[00:36:16] That's a very sort of general how to develop presence, centered awareness. But it's a really good one, a good method to do that. In terms of relationships you want, if you're not curious about your partner, you want to look at the blocks to your curiosity. So your partner's upset and you're mad at them for being upset.

[00:36:36] Can you be curious? Why are they upset and why do I not want to be curious about this what's going on? So that would be a good thing to just take us. Self-inquiry.

[00:36:48] Neal Hooper: [00:36:48] wow. What a great question to ask, because that is huge and that applies to couples, but also if you're. On a date with someone I'm assuming [00:37:00] that applies as well there. So that is awesome. Jennifer, thank you so much. You've been so gracious with your time and your knowledge and we are so enlightened and better off for having had you with us.

[00:37:13] So thank you so much

[00:37:14]wow. That is good stuff. Whether you are in a relationship or marriage or you're in the dating scene. And you're just trying to find out how to connect with people. Today's show armed you with a lot of very concrete applications of play theory in relational setting. So I hope that this week you will move forward, that you will become introspective. And remember the pro tip that she shared. 

[00:37:40]To be curious about your partner. And again, that applies in friendships as well as relationships. 

[00:37:48]So take that one to the bank. 

[00:37:50]Thank you so much for joining us today on the happiness playbook. Remember to look outward, to let go and play this small stuff and accept and [00:38:00] build upon the hardships and become a better you and to build a better relationship. 

[00:38:06]Thanks for tuning in and as always, I just wanted to remind you 

[00:38:10] that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport and we are so glad to be on your team. Catch you next week. 

What is the secret to being charismatic?! What animal sound are we going to hear today? And what is the chief cause of failure? Find out today on the happiness playbook! Today we tune into Russell Brand for some wisdom on how to be more charismatic through the power of presence! We go deep in this episode on the first principle in the Play Theory principle lineup.


This Week’s PRO TIP is: The next time you are having a conversation, ask yourself: “Who is this person before me?”

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

We’re going deep today you lovely people. There are inspiring sound clips, practical grocery tips, and lots of feel good conversation. Join me at the pool of pondering as we marinade in the essence of life. 


This Week’s PRO TIP is: To practice getting outside of yourself and your needs, for this week’s pro tip, the next time you go grocery shopping, ask the store clerk “What’s the largest checkout you’ve ever seen?” and note the response. Let’s see if we can make a subtle shift here.

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

Jennifer Jerald is an international 2 time #1 Best-selling author, speaker, and dedicated transformational coach who knows what it takes. Join us as we discuss the power of PLAY THEORY and overcoming trauma through the HEAL framework. 

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Do the thing! Or “do the next right thing…” for you Frozen fans 😉 Take baby steps toward your dream life and goals.

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

Happy Groundhog day, everybody. This is going to be a fun episode and I am so honored to be joined with LaRee Florence for today's episode. Why we do a deep dive into the classic Groundhog day with the one and only bill Murray. We're so excited to share some insights and to celebrate this momentous (and strange) holiday with you!

This Week’s PRO TIP is: This week we want you to try again. Every day is a fresh new start to your life. Whatever’s got you down, whatever project you have not completed, TRY AGAIN.

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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Today I sit down with a very special guest, David Butler, to discuss everything from leadership, employee engagement, and how to live a fulfilling life. You don’t want to miss this one! David has over 30 years of leadership, consulting, and enterprise growth experience. His international business portfolio is impressive. He is the founder of Spanvest, an organization focused on helping “Companies Get and Keep People Motivated & Enthusiastic Even When Things Are Constantly Changing”. He’s been in top positions for renowned organizations such as Franklin Covey, Brian Tracey International, and is a certified global leadership coach, stakeholder leadership coach, and certified partner for everything DiSC. David received a Master in International Management from Thunderbird Global School of Business, and an MBA from Esade Business School from Spain.

It is my sincere pleasure to sit down with such a qualified and stellar human being. David welcome to the show!

This Week’s PRO TIP is: We want you to go through David’s list of 7 tips for happiness and just pick one to really focus on and incorporate into your life this week. The list is

  1. Serve others
  2. Get regular exercise to move.
  3. Express gratitude
  4. Live in the moment
  5. Define true success (hint: success is not happiness when you have more money)
  6. Surround yourself with positive people
  7. Make the choice to be happy

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

What does failure, Nintendo, and launching cars off massive trampolines all have in common? Find out today as we talk about the art and beauty of failing forward.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Think back on a failure that you may have thought at the time was a pit or a "green turtle shell" that metaphorically killed you and set you back that you now recognize as a stepping stone that helped you fail forward into a better situation. And THEN share it with us on any of the social media platforms or comment on playtheory.org on this episode's post.

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



[00:00:00]Neal: [00:00:00]    What does failure Nintendo in launching cars off a massive. Trampoline all have in common. Find out today on this very exciting episode of the happiness playbook. As we talk about the art and power of failing forward. Let's kick things off with our highlight reel, where we share some of the good things happening in the world.

[00:00:55] Dr. Omar, a teak originally from Pakistan founded the [00:01:00] Arkansas cancer clinic in 1991. He has always enjoyed treating his patients, but his clinic had to close back in February due to lack of staffing. There was $650,000 worth of debt owed by his patients. So Dr. A take attributed this buildup of overdue payments to his willingness to always treat a patient no matter what, as he began reaching out and contacting the patients in February, he realized that most of his patients were not able to afford the.

[00:01:35] Bills. They had incurred during the difficult times, brought on by the pandemic. He decided with his wife and family to forgive the $650,000 in debt outright. How amazing is that? I am so touched by this story and.  The effort that so many people are making in the communities they live in [00:02:00] to help people get through these hard times.

[00:02:02] Yes.

[00:02:02]  All right. It's time for coach Neil to give us a report on operation. Joy domination. Emotions are running high today because we have already passed our December numbers. Baby, we've got to keep this up. If we ever want to embarrass that Rogan feller with his silly little podcast over there on Spotify in a few months, I reckon that we'll have that Spotify exclusive deal 

[00:02:31] as good as ours, not only are the numbers, something to write home about 10, stop crying, go give me 20. I'm a little proud today as well. Cause we've got some star players shining their light on the field. First up, Rose molten Hodnett said. I just want to say that I love these principles. I love listening to the podcast and having them fresh in my mind, just this week, I've been [00:03:00] able to bring comfort to an uncle in prison by asking him to focus on gratitude.

[00:03:05] And I was able to accept them, build in a conversation with some distant relatives. Yeah. In a topic that could potentially be a stumbling block, but instead I sailed a ride over the part I disagreed with and steered the conversation to what I could agree on. It was great. Well, Rose, you are great. We think you are the cat's pajamas.

[00:03:25] Keep up the good work team. We are nearing and. Out of this world. Awesome tackler milestone, and we need your help. So keep sharing and tell us how you are helping us win the game of life and execute operation happiness domination. Tell next week, coach out.

[00:03:44]Oh, never good. So whether it's a test, a new job, a new relationship, or simply a goal that is pushing you outside your comfort zone. Failure is something we must all come to [00:04:00] terms with. But today I'm here to tell you that it is not the failure, but how we frame that failure that will make the difference in your life to start off.

[00:04:12] I would love to welcome my amazing guest Mark Rober to the show. Okay. So he's not actually really here. One day. I got to tell you it would be my absolute dream to have Mark Rober on the show. And if anyone listening to this right now has a connection, I will pay you in. Pure pineapples to message me those those connections and introduce me.

[00:04:41] I think Mark Rober is just the coolest guy. And before I, I man crushed too much, you should probably know who he is if you're not familiar. So Mark Rober is a YouTuber. He's an engineer and inventor. You might know him for his viral video, where he builds a glitter [00:05:00] bomb trap for package thieves that releases the finest, glitter and fart spray on the Woodby thieves.

[00:05:07] This video alone earns him legendary status. In my opinion, if you haven't seen this video, you've got to just stop, pause this right now. Go to the show notes and watch it. It's just amazing. And he does it every year. So actually this year was his third iteration of the glitter bomb. It's just amazing.

[00:05:26] Go check it out. And he is just one of the coolest guys on the internet. He's amazing. He spends months of his time engineering and designing these amazing projects and turning them into YouTube videos. But he really. Gets educational. He's entertaining. They're just amazing. If you haven't checked them out, you have got to go subscribe.

[00:05:49]He's up to like 16 million subscribers right now. So he's absolutely blowing up,

[00:05:54]but the message of Mark Rober that I really want to dive into today [00:06:00] is regarding a Ted talk that he gave. So. A few years ago when 50,000 of Mark robbers at the time, 3 million YouTube , subscribers participated in a basic coding challenge, that data all pointed to what  rober has dubbed the super Mario effect.

[00:06:23] The YouTube star in former NASA engineer describes how this data back to mindset for life. Gamification has stuck with him along his journey and how it impacts the way he helps or some would say tricks. His viewers on YouTube, into learning science, engineering, and design. He shares his thoughts about it in his Ted talk.

[00:06:46] And  he just touches on so many amazing things in the talk that are so applicable to our topic today. So let's go ahead and play a clip.

[00:06:56]When my son learned to walk, he didn't think about how dumb he might look.

[00:06:59] If he fell [00:07:00] down and this, his parents, we didn't punish him. If he wasn't successful either. The focus was always on the end goal. And we celebrated the successes with him as a result of constantly failing and trying and discovering new things. During that phase of our life, YT Clip 1 [00:07:15] we discover so many more new capabilities within ourselves, and it's not even close to any other time in our life,  

[00:07:23] Neal: [00:07:23] children, especially when they're learning to walk or doing lots of motor skills or just learning in general, there is no shame in failure and as parents and guardians and caretakers, the last thing we want to do is shame them or humiliate or make fun of them when they fail a child who's learning to walk is cheered on, is celebrated and.

[00:07:48] The frame of that failure, the perspective of the failure to that child is always on the goal. It's get back up and try again. And this is the beauty of this [00:08:00] perspective that we're talking about today. But what I really want to dive into is what Mark Rober, dubs the super Mario effect. So let's go ahead and play that clip and then react to it.

[00:08:12]Mark Rober: [00:08:12] 

[00:08:12] YT Clip Super mario effect [00:08:12] when super Mario brothers came out, my friends and I became obsessed. Like we wanted to get to the castle and rescue the beautiful princess peach from the evil Bowzer. We get to school and ask each other, like, dude, what level did you make it too? Did you pass the game? We never asked each other about details on all the different ways we might have died when it comes to games like this, no one ever picks up the controller for the first time.

[00:08:34] And then after jumping into a pit thinks I'm so ashamed, that was such a failure. And they never want to try again. Right. What really happens is they think, Oh, I've got to remember, there's a pit right there. So I think next time I'm going to come out with a little more speed. I'm going to jump a little bit later.

[00:08:47] The focusing obsession is about beating the game. Now how dumb you might look. If you get hit by a sliding green shell. And as a direct result of that attitude of learning from, but not being focused on the [00:09:00] failures, we got really good. And we learned a ton in a very short amount of time. We were the right side of this graph.

[00:09:06] This is what I call the super Mario effect, focusing on the princess and not the pits to stick with a task and to learn more. 

[00:09:14] Neal: [00:09:14] Now I grew up playing super Mario brothers and I'm sure there's a lot of you listening to the podcast right now that may have also played the game. And what he's sharing right here is so relatable for someone like myself who is familiar with these games because the goal. Is beating the game and I love how he says it's not how dumb you might feel from getting hit by a sliding green shill 

[00:09:41] it's about winning. It's not about focusing on the failure and the super Mario effect. The term that Mark Rober coined in this talk is defined as focusing on the princess and not the pits to stick with the task and learn more.

[00:09:58] Okay. When we [00:10:00] fall off the cliff, we say, when we're playing Mario, ah, man, that sucked, but what can we learn from that? Gamification. And especially when you apply this concept of reframing failure and focusing on the end goal, when we've applied that to life and we have a positive attitude, you never give up because it's not about the failure.

[00:10:23] The failure is just a stepping stone along the path as you progress forward and fail forward. When you frame a challenge. In the way we're describing you actually want to do it, just like the toddler who's learning to walk, wants to get back up and try again until they've mastered  waddling around on two legs.

[00:10:47] We too can reframe challenges and obstacles and setbacks in the same way. And instead, double down on our goal. To fail forward, but it's not [00:11:00] natural. As we grow older, we slowly start to give in to this perfectionism of society and culture where failure is viewed as a negative thing. And we've got to reframe it.

[00:11:12] We've got to change that mindset and perspective in order to experience.

[00:11:17]Something. I really love about Mark Rober. If he can't tell I'm a huge fan of his, but his, he actually embodies the super Mario effect in his life. If you've seen his YouTube channel again, which I can't recommend it enough, then you see this play out in every video he does. Whether he's making the world's largest Nerf gun, filling an entire pool with jello and jumping in it or creating the world's largest trampoline to bounce a full size car off of, he shows you the process and he shows you the failure and it is so cool [00:12:00] to see how. Once you've reframed failure and obstacles and setbacks in this way as stepping stones and not roadblocks, then that's when the magic happens and he certainly makes the magic happen.

[00:12:12] On his channel,

[00:12:13]He also mentions in his Ted talk, how we have done a major disservice to society and to our students in the public education system with how we have framed learning science. So let's listen to that clip real quick.

[00:12:29]So as a science, YouTube, or sometimes I feel people have framed the act of learning science in a negative way it's been taught poorly. So it feels scary to them. And my YT Clip [00:12:39] approach is to take the same physics lessons you might've hated and to try and sort of trick you into learning something through something cool, 

[00:12:48] Neal: [00:12:48] And I think he is absolutely right. We have taken the learning process and especially as we get older, we start to view [00:13:00] learning and especially science or math or these important things as such a. Prescriptive and lifeless process, but to really bring it to life and to really make learning, engaging, and growth and progress engaging, we have to learn how to fail forward.

[00:13:20] We have to reframe these setbacks and these failures as stepping stones. And to really move forward by reframing the learning process and focusing on the cool, amazing end goal. The fear of failure is taken off the table and it will embolden you and empower you to move forward. You will be excited to move forward.

[00:13:44]What I love most is how he ends his Ted talk. So he puts up this slide and you're going to see it because you're going to go watch this after the podcast. He has on the top. It says your plan and it's somebody on a pike, it's a little drawing, [00:14:00] right. And so it's somebody on a bike and it's just a flat, gradual inclined to a little flag.

[00:14:05] And then just below it, he has a drawing called reality. And it's way zoomed out, you see a little guy on a bike, but then there's immediately a pit of rocks and then a bridge and then another deep pit full of water. And then there's, clouds and snow. And then finally, after one last, really steep dip, it goes up to the flag and he says, that's what reality is.

[00:14:28] Like, we always plan for a gradual easy flat terrain, but then we're given all of these obstacles and curve balls in life, and we've all experienced this. So let's listen to see what he has to say about this part.

[00:14:43]This is so true. But often in life, we tell ourselves that the top version is what we want. That's what we expect. But then something happens. Maybe it's a really bad grade on a test or meeting with a client that goes horribly wrong. Maybe it's a bad breakup. Maybe we miss a wide open shot, some [00:15:00] kind of green shell hits you.

[00:15:02] And so at that first setback or sign of failure, doubt creeps in and we tell ourselves we're not good enough. We're not smart enough. And yet if the bottom rectangle here is a game where now your bikes crash and you have to get your bike across to the flag, it's not, Oh, I hit these rocks. I'm just going to leave my bike here.

[00:15:18] I'm not good enough. And you quit and walk away. You see that flag to the right. And you're like, nah, like what did I just learn? You're like, okay, next time. If you're going to come out with more speed and I'm going to, I'm going to lift the front of my bike up. You want to try it again? You're immediately excited to go forward again.

[00:15:32] We sort of tell ourselves we want our life's challenges to look like the top one, but that's boring. If that were a real video game or a book or movie that went out to the market, it would be a total failure. Nobody would buy it. Where's the risk and the reward. Where's the challenge. There's no feeling of satisfaction.

[00:15:49] The bottom picture is real life and that's not a bug. That's a feature. Think about anything that means anything to you in life. Whether it's a degree, a relationship with a [00:16:00] friend or someone in your family, maybe professional accomplishment. I can guarantee you, it came from something that looks like the bottom and not the top feeling and feeling and feeling and eventually succeeding to the point that it now holds value.

[00:16:15] Just like the most meaningful high fives of my adolescents were those. When I said, dude, I finally beat Bowzer last night. 

[00:16:23] Neal: [00:16:23] my man. Mark is spit in so much truth here because by removing the obstacles and the dips and the rain clouds that makes life dull. And gray and boring. It is in the contrast and in the failing and failing and failing and eventually succeeding as he points out that gives us value and meaning in our lives.

[00:16:49]A lot of the successes in life come down to the super Mario effect. Great triumph is always preceded by great [00:17:00] challenges. And as we learn and practice that skill of happiness of letting go of that perfectionism and playing the game of life or super Mario brothers. We will then experience the abundance that life has to offer us as we leave that comfort zone and really go for it by applying the super Mario effect to your life and the inevitable challenges that you will face, you can fail forward into greatness and happiness.

[00:17:30] Just like no one would buy a super Mario game that didn't have any goombas 

[00:17:35] or green shells or Bowser's or pits, our life would also be dull and boring without these obstacles and without these opportunities to learn. 

[00:17:47] So remember, let's focus on the princess and not the pits. That is how you're going to learn how to accelerate your growth exponentially. [00:18:00]

[00:18:00]For this week's pro tip. I want you to think back on a failure that you may have thought at the time was a pit or a green turtle shell that, that killed you and set you back. But that in hindsight, you now recognize as a stepping stone. That helps you fail forward into a better situation. And I want you to share it with us on any of the social media platforms or comment on playtheory.org on this episodes post.

[00:18:33]As always, we want to hear from you. So if you have a story, an idea, or an idea for a guest like Mark Rober or feedback, head over to play theory.org and send us a note on the contact page. If we've benefited your life in any way, we hope you'll look outward and send us some love. So please leave that five star review on iTunes.

[00:18:57] Give us a follow on Spotify, share the [00:19:00] podcast, do your part. We're building a community of positivity, promoters, and want you to be a part of it. So head over to the Facebook page and join the conversation.

[00:19:10]Thank you so much for joining me today, as we explored the super Mario effect and how we can fail forward  into our best life. I know that as we get better at practicing, let go and play and failing forward and reframing those. Failures as stepping stones and progress and playing the game of life that we are going to experience abundance and happiness at levels.

[00:19:39] You could not imagine

[00:19:41]practice happiness this week and never forget that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport catching next week.

Mandy is a wonderful and daring soul who can be found at any moment chasing, and often catching, her dreams. She is helping others do the same through her health and lifestyle coaching program. She is thrilled to be living out her dream life with her family and helping others do the same.

This Week’s PRO TIP is: Take a break from watching the NEWS and reflect on what sets your soul on fire!

BONUS PRO TIP: Make a vision board and share a picture with us!

Come join the conversation and play with us!

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

LINKS From Show


Neal: [00:00:00]   [00:00:00] We have a very special show and guest today. Joining me is Mandy Mahon, and she is a master dreamer and has a lot of very exciting things to share with us. Mandy is a wonderful and daring soul who can be found at any moment chasing and often catching her dreams. 

[00:00:56]helping others do the same through her health in transformation [00:01:00] coaching program.  She is thrilled to be living out her dream life with her family and helping others do the same. 

[00:01:08] I can't wait to dive deep into all the things with you, Mandy. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:14]Mandy: [00:01:14] Hey, Neal. I'm so excited to be here. What an honor to get to chat for a few minutes and have a dream session.

[00:01:22]Neal: [00:01:22] This is where it's fun because it's a topic or several topics that we were both passionate about. So I am very excited, but before we dive in, I want to just make sure we start things off, right? With this train of happiness, can you give us just a little train horn sound for us?

[00:01:42]Mandy: [00:01:42] I will Neal. All

[00:01:50] Neal: [00:01:50] You are awesome. She did that in our conversation before we got going. And I was like, man, we got to share that gift with our listeners. So thank you for that. [00:02:00] Mandy, I know how awesome you are, but I want you to share your story with our listeners so they can get to know the awesomeness themselves.

[00:02:07] So you're a master dreamer. But maybe you weren't always that way. Take us back on your journey. What's your story?

[00:02:15]Mandy: [00:02:15] this is my favorite thing to talk about Neal. So I'm going to try really hard, not to get too excited and talked too fast. Cause I get really excited. So six years ago, I started my first vision board and I was nervous about it because I really was in a job that I was in for many years.

[00:02:39]And I liked my job, but I always felt like there was something that I was meant to do, but I didn't know what it was. And so I started reading the book. The success principles by Jack Canfield and Jack Canfield heavily goes into vision boards. I don't know Neal, if you've read that [00:03:00] book before, but if you haven't, you should.

[00:03:02] Neal: [00:03:02] I just added it to my audible list so I will get there, but I know who Jack Canfield is. He's amazing.

[00:03:10] Mandy: [00:03:10] Yeah. He wrote the chicken soup for the soul. And so he wrote a book called the success principles and. I will say, if you need, if you want something that will lay it out, what exactly to do, he like maps it out for you. It's awesome. And so highly recommend that book. So I was reading the success principles actually with the people that I work with in my office, where I worked and we all decided to make a vision board.

[00:03:35] And so we all,  we started like dreaming what we wanted to create in our life. And I want to like pause for a moment and talk about during the, so I feel like most of us, we lose that ability to dream as we become an adult, when we're kids. If you would ask a [00:04:00] child what they want, they could tell you in less than two seconds, like they know exactly what the work looks like.

[00:04:07]They could go into detail of exactly what they wanted for Santa Claus, probably what they want even next year. But if you ask an adult, they might pause for a moment and be like, not sure what to say. Because we, as an adults, we I've, especially as a parent, I feel like often we give that to everyone else in our family.

[00:04:27] And we put ourselves on the back burner. Luckily though, I am a child at heart, so dreaming very naturally. I was able to awaken my inner child really easily. And. So we made our vision board and I remember one of the things I wanted to put on there was I really wanted to become a mom.

[00:04:53] At the time I was about 38 and 37 38, and I wasn't a mom yet, [00:05:00] and I really wanted to be a mom, but I was scared to put babies on my vision board because I was. Scared of being disappointed, but I, one of my coworkers was like, why are you resisting? And so I put it on my vision board. I put a boy and a girl on my vision board and I put on there.

[00:05:21]I wanted a house, just the generic things like I wanted babies. I wanted a house. I wanted a way under 200 pounds. I think those were like the first big things I put on my vision board, which is probably a common thing. People want, they want a house. They want to lose weight.

[00:05:38] They want to have kids. 

[00:05:39] Neal: [00:05:39] The car maybe

[00:05:41] Mandy: [00:05:41] Yeah, the color, just the basic things on there but it was things I really wanted. And so I put it on my vision board and then my vision board just sat on the ground for a couple of weeks. I never hung it up. Number one is hanging up your [00:06:00] vision board because you gotta you have to be able to look at it.

[00:06:04] So I didn't do that for awhile, but it probably took me like six months to hang it up to be completely honest. But within a couple months I became pregnant and within a couple of weeks after that or months, however long it takes to find out. I found out I was having twins. And then I found out I was having a boy and a girl, which was exactly what was on my vision board.

[00:06:30] And when that happened, all of a sudden I was like, Ooh, I better hang up my vision board

[00:06:36] Neal: [00:06:36] I better get that at eye level. Oh, wow.

[00:06:41] Mandy: [00:06:41] on my vision board. And then I was like, wow. Wow, this is amazing. And it humbled me a little bit to be like, okay, When you put it out there into the universe and when you really start visualizing what you want while a lot can happen. And so I was really excited about [00:07:00] that. So that's how it started for me.

[00:07:03]Neal: [00:07:03] So exploding with questions. I'll try not to ask too many. I am curious there's a lot of approaches to doing vision boards and I don't want to get overly tactical right here at this portion of the conversation. having done lots of vision boards, myself, like how do you go about a vision board?

[00:07:24] Are there any best practices or like things you feel strongly about and how to do one ha how to do one in the, in in the most effective way. 

[00:07:33] Mandy: [00:07:33] I really liked that question, Neil, because I feel like that's what holds a lot of people back is they feel like it has to be perfect. They feel like it has to be this grandiose thing. And my biggest advice is you need to do what resonates with you. Some people have a whole wall that's efficient board, tons of things, other people.

[00:07:53] I know this one of another mentor that I really appreciate. Kirk Duncan who has three key elements. [00:08:00] He literally,

[00:08:00] Neal: [00:08:00] courage.

[00:08:01] Mandy: [00:08:01] yeah. He just puts masking tape on the wall. And then he just puts what he wants in that. That's an example, like there's no right or wrong way to do this. And I feel like I really do feel like most people, they hear the word vision board and it scares them because they think it's going to take all this work and they think it's going to be overwhelming.

[00:08:21] And a lot of people, when you say even if you say to somebody, Oh, you're going to have your annual conversation with your boss. It's like dun dun dun! You like are dreading the minutes until you have to meet with your boss and talk about your performance appraisal.

[00:08:36] And I think a lot of people may be put vision boards in that category of a daunting task. But what my biggest thing would say to, to whoever's listening right now is make it, you make it fun. And some people resonate with pictures. Other people resonate with words. There's no, I [00:09:00] promise you there's no right or wrong way to do this and it will evolve.

[00:09:04] And what I use is I just use a magnet board. So I can just constantly be putting things on it with magnets. And I have a lot of things on my vision board, but one thing I do is most of mine have a really big theme of what I want. And what I do is within that, I break it down into miniature goals.

[00:09:27] So I can constantly be taking things off my vision board. 

[00:09:31]Neal: [00:09:31] Really like that.

[00:09:32] Mandy: [00:09:32] yeah, I chunk it down. If I have a huge business goal, I have a bunch of little things on there too. I have the big thing on there, that's what works with my brain is to have a big goal and then have little goals to help me reach that goal.

[00:09:46]Neal: [00:09:46] And the power behind that it's so important to do that because what you have when you go about it that way, by starting big with the ultimate outcome, or I like to use the [00:10:00] metaphor of scaling a mountain, right? You got to define your mountain. And from there, when you break it down into milestones and where you want to go but based on that long-term vision, then you have alignment and that is where you get momentum, because you're excited about the direction.

[00:10:19] And now you can tie back this action, right? This day-to-day grind. When you have clarity about where those actions are taking you, and you're excited about it. That is when the light bulb really turns on for people. And that was something I experienced as well. In corporate America .

[00:10:39] I was in a fortune 100 company and it was a great company, but my day-to-day grind, I couldn't connect where that grind was getting me and I wasn't excited about the direction it was taking me. And so I had all kinds of mental health. Problems and physical health problems creep in because of that misalignment and [00:11:00] the depression and anxiety that comes along with that is it can be very damaging.

[00:11:03] And so I love what you're saying here, because, and again, tying this into play theory and the principles that we teach on this podcast, you have to be present, but you also have to let go of the directions and the goals that are imposed on you, that, that aren't exciting to you because if you don't and you're giving into the social compliance of what others feel you should be doing, then you're not going to have that alignment.

[00:11:32] You're not going to be excited. And that day-to-day grind is going to cause lots of problems.

[00:11:39] Mandy: [00:11:39] Yeah. I feel like the universe dropped me a bone in the beginning. They gave me like a big goal. Like they dropped a boy and a girl on my lap and I was like, Whoa, okay. I'm a believer. And there's a couple of lessons to be learned and I'm those of you listening.

[00:11:52] I'm a very open person. So I'm going to share some things that are really personal and. I, my [00:12:00] intent and sharing it is hopefully just to inspire people to never give up. And so vision boards are great. And sometime things happen really fast. Like my pregnancy happened and it was amazing.

[00:12:12] So the next big things I had on there was the house and I wanted a way. Under 200 pounds. And so I wanted to share just a little bit about my babies. So I became pregnant. Like I talked about with the boy and a girl. And I was so excited and at asked right before a week before they were born, I found out that my little boy had down syndrome and I was so excited.

[00:12:38] It sounds weird, but I was so excited because I know how special those souls are. And I was so excited to get to Have that experience to share a life with my little charming boys and after they were born and they were born two months early and it was a really scary pregnancy. My little boy, Charlie ended up having hydrops and they had to [00:13:00] do an emergency C-section and he did end up passing away after eight days.

[00:13:05]And that was really hard for me because here I am a new mom. My little girl, I lost my little boy and my little girl Rosie was in the NICU for two months and I just lost it a little bit emotionally with food. And I started really turning to food a lot and emotionally eating because that's always been my go-to when I'm stressed, I eat.

[00:13:30] And I actually had an appetite to eat cause my whole pregnancy I didn't. And so after I got to bring Rosie home I remember looking into her big, beautiful eyes. And at that moment I was like, Oh my goodness, you deserve a healthy mommy. And at the time I weighed about 320 pounds and I had swollen ankles.

[00:13:54] The doctor was giving me water pills. He was talking about me needing to wear compression [00:14:00] socks. And here I am a new mom, almost I was almost 39. And I was like, I'm not going to wear compression socks. This is ridiculous. So I decided I always had it, my vision board that I wanted to weigh under 200 pounds.

[00:14:15] And if you remember, I talked about, I started vision boards six years ago. So years went by and I would look at that on my vision board. And it would just almost seem impossible. Most of the things I had on my vision board were pretty grandiose, big things. And I didn't do what I talked about in the beginning that I would break them down.

[00:14:33] This is what I do now. But back then, I just had those on my vision board and I would just look at them and I would just stare at them and I would be like, okay, I had my baby, so I know this can happen. So I would just look at him and dream about it and wait patiently. And yeah , I knew I needed to make a change to my health.

[00:14:52] And I was like, okay, I think I'm ready to focus on this goal. Like really focus on it. And so I started this Epic journey of health now [00:15:00] with a new motivation and my little girl Rosie was my motivation, but also my little boy, Charlie, that passed away, he's actually been my biggest cheerleader up in heaven because he's always wanted me to be healthy for Rosie.

[00:15:14] And so every single day, At 11, 11, 10, and one, one, one he chairs for me to keep going. Whether you believe that or not, it fills my heart with joy every day. I see those numbers and I know that's Charlie being like, mommy, you could do this. So I started my journey of health 320 pounds. And. I was terrified because this time I knew I knew I couldn't fail cause I needed to be healthy for my little girl.

[00:15:44] I needed to be able to be the kind of mom she deserved. My heart changed when I became a mom. And so I started this journey of health and quickly I realized the biggest transformation I had to make, where the six inches between my ears, it was mine [00:16:00] because I'm such an emotional eater. And so I had 170 plus pounds to lose and that was daunting. And so I started this journey and I actually became a health coach.

[00:16:15]For this incredible program that I've been doing, and I was a 300 pound health coach. And I remember thinking who would ever want me to be their coach? Because here I am over 300 pounds, I've struggled with my weight, my whole life. But I was like, I knew I had a passion for helping people. I knew I loved helping people and I knew that it would help me.

[00:16:37] So I started coaching. And helping other people and hundreds of people linked arms with me and together over the last few years, I've been able to lose. So far I've lost 135 pounds. I dropped under the 200 Mark, which is, I was able to take that off my vision board,

[00:16:55] Neal: [00:16:55] That is awesome, Mandy.

[00:16:57] Mandy: [00:16:57] which was to take that off my [00:17:00] vision board because I worked on that for my whole life. Pretty much.

[00:17:04] Neal: [00:17:04] Wow. Okay. So this is so cool because I think it gets to a point. With some of us with all of us where we might have, whether they're on a vision board or in the back of our minds or deep in our hearts somewhere, we have these long-term hopes, these dreams. And as time goes by, I think every year that goes by That we don't see substantial progress toward those dreams.

[00:17:36]We log it as like a data point against our ability to do anything about it. And those negative voices start to creep in. And so I'm just dying to know obviously. There's a lot of factors that played into how you were able to break through that. And I'm just curious what other thoughts you have for our listeners and the role of letting go of [00:18:00] those negative voices and how to do that in order to get the new results and to chase those dreams.

[00:18:05] Mandy: [00:18:05] Yeah, I love that question, Neal. And. It would probably take me a long time to answer that because there's so many different strategies that I've learned. But I will say because I've been working on my health, I want to be completely transparent. Neal. I want to be very upfront that this did not happen to me overnight.

[00:18:26] I'm a food addict. I'm an emotional eater. I'm a binge eater. I turned to food for comfort and. Over the last few years I've as anyone life has happened, there's been some struggles that we've gone through as a little family. And what I'm the most proud of is that I haven't given up.

[00:18:46] And the biggest thing I've done is I've turned off the word diet from my mind. I no longer say I'm on a diet. I say I'm making changes. I'm [00:19:00] creating. I'm creating a new life for myself. I'm creating these new healthy habits for the rest of my life. So number one, Neal, I would say that has been the biggest help for me is recognizing that this is going to be a lifestyle change and that it's not going to happen fast.

[00:19:19] The second thing that's helped me a ton is that I've messed up. It's been good. That I've messed up. Because every time I've messed up, I get back up and I get back on again. And if I did it perfectly and I never messed up, I don't think I would be able to have sustained it, but I've proven to myself over and over again that I can do it.

[00:19:44] And it's taken a lot of pitfalls and learning and being open. And I follow an amazing program that has an educational piece that really helps you rewrite your story. And I have a [00:20:00] coach, that's my accountability partner, which really helps. There's like a lot of tools that I've used.

[00:20:05]Neal: [00:20:05] How neat is that? Because I think the airwaves are flooded with people that it's all in the past tense. And I love your humility. I love your transparency. And I think that is so refreshing to hear that right? Because, and this also ties into what needs to be let go of, we talk about let, go and play.

[00:20:29]And it is so important that we let go, not only of those negative voices. And we talked about that a little bit, but of the perfectionism. That thoughts are progress. And like you said you have fallen down and, but you've gotten back up and that's the important thing.

[00:20:50] Perfectionism is like the Achilles heel of progress because. The second you mess up, or the second year not [00:21:00] you meeting this impossible standard, then your perceived capability, plummets, your self-esteem goes down and you're tempted to give up. And so I love that you brought that up and that we need to just let go of all of that and play and fall forward and stumbled toward the light.

[00:21:19] I love everything that you're sharing and it's just so good.

[00:21:23]Mandy: [00:21:23] And Neal, like I coach, I've coached almost a thousand people the last few years. And the biggest thing I tell them, and I tell myself, as I'm telling them is this is about imperfect progress. It doesn't matter. Even when you mess up, you're progressing because you're not giving up.  And I have clients that want to lose five pounds.

[00:21:46] I have clients that want to lose 200 pounds and it's been fascinating to see everyone's the same. They all are struggling with emotional eating and they all are. They don't feel good about [00:22:00] themselves and not to go too much in a tangent about this. But I do feel passionately that. When we allow food to control our life, we literally are imprisoning ourselves.

[00:22:13] And when we realize that we are imprisoning ourselves with our habits and we break free that's when we feel freedom. And so if you're ever feeling trapped, when you think of the word diet that's why you feel trapped because diet is like food jail, but when you. Awaken your mind and be like, no, this is I'm freeing myself.

[00:22:36] Cause I'm actually empowering to make a choice. I'm not letting my emotions rule. I am choosing what I do and that does not just happen overnight, but it's what I love and it's what I fall in love with. And so it's something I do a lot and so I'm working on, I'm working on my last. I don't know how much weight I need to lose.

[00:22:57] Cause I've never been thin before. I'm like in the one [00:23:00] eighties right now, I'm thinking I want to be in the one fifties. And now on my vision board, I took off the 200 and then I put on there. Okay, you can do it. And it says one 50 by June 1st. I do want to talk for a minute about dates. I don't like to date some things because I don't like to disappoint myself, but. I think it's good to do every once in a while, use your discretion. But for me, when I say June 1st, it puts that out there that I'm serious about it. Like I'm putting a date on it and I put dates on things before and I didn't reach it and I'm fine because I just update it when I don't reach it.

[00:23:42] I'm always closer than I would have been. And so don't shy away from putting dates on things, but just know that. It will happen when it's meant to happen, but it will get you closer to your goal. And so now I have on there, I want to get to my goal weight. I have [00:24:00] seven little things on my vision board to help me get there.

[00:24:03] And so as those things happen, I can take them off. And then I have a little book that I would like, she protectors that I put the things in my book that I achieve. And the other thing I want to say about vision boards is sometimes you have to put things back up. Like I did gain weight and I got back over 200 pounds and I hated putting it back on the vision board, but I've now taken it back off again.

[00:24:31] And now I'm like committed to not doing that again. But I think it's important to have humility, to recognize that it evolves and it changes and it's okay if it has to do that.

[00:24:44] Neal: [00:24:44] And I love this concept too, because I think especially right now, we're still January, we're just barely what, two weeks in, not even two weeks in.   We have the resolutions on the mind and goals, and [00:25:00] it's so important that.

[00:25:02] We accept and build on our progress, whatever that progress is. And so yeah, you set a date. We're afraid to do that because we don't want to fail right there's the let go and play principle that needs to come in there. But once we get rid of that perfectionism and we are moving forward, we're setting goals, we're taking actions.

[00:25:25] I think like you mentioned, it is so important to just adjust it.  You set a target, you strived for it, even if you didn't get there. That's okay. Except that don't reject it. Don't put up the wall. You just have to build on that and keep moving forward. And so in goal setting, I want to just.

[00:25:44] Take one more pause here. And if you were already going to share more about goal setting and forgive me, but what can you tell our listeners about goal setting? And and I know you've already shared a lot, but I know we have the vision board and then you say you break it [00:26:00] down. Into smaller pieces.

[00:26:02] Are you treating your vision board as your goal setting dashboard as well? Or is it a formal process? Talk to me a little bit more about the goal setting part in particular.

[00:26:14] Mandy: [00:26:14] That's a good question. I guess I just haven't really analyzed what I do that much now, but I think I just, my brain is naturally. I guess you're right. I guess my vision board is just like a work in progress and I constantly update things. I take things off. I put things on, I chunk it down another thing, I think that's really powerful about goal setting is to have an open mind and sometimes you just have to pause and you have to ask yourself because we know ourselves the most, what we need to do. And. I think it's important to check in with ourselves and check in what we need to do.

[00:26:54] And we have to be aware. The other thing is if we're not [00:27:00] constantly updating what we want in our life, like Jack Canfield talks a lot about the haves do's and B's things you want to have things you want to do, things you want to be. And if I think it's important to constantly be updating that.

[00:27:15] And so as we're goal setting, we can make sure they're aligned with what we want. But I will always say simplify it don't make it. Don't make it hard. Make it fun. I think it's fun now. I really don't think it's daunting anymore. Goal setting is fun and. It just comes, the more you do it. It's like priming the pump for the water.

[00:27:39] The more you do it, all of a sudden it's just, it starts coming and you start having more clarity of what you want to create, but it didn't happen overnight. It's taken me years. It's really cool. One thing I do want to mention Neil, about that, I really like about how vision boards work is often things come [00:28:00] in flashes. So I reached under 200 pounds. Then within a month, we were able to buy our dream house. That was on my vision board. I was a huge one. And those things happened within a few weeks of each other. And then another big goal I had was I wanted to be able to stop doing my corporate America job.

[00:28:21] And I wanted to be home working from home with my daughter. And that was on my vision board for a few years. And then that happened within a few months after that. So it was like, I spent years. Dreaming of these things, dreaming of my dream house, dreaming of weighing under 200 pounds, dreaming of being home with my daughter, all of these things.

[00:28:41] And all of a sudden they just all happened. And so I just want to infuse hope in people that it's so possible and you just have to believe, and you don't, you won't always know how it's going to happen. You [00:29:00] won't. So don't overthink it. Just be with it and just allow the universe to help it happen.

[00:29:09]Neal: [00:29:09] I appreciate you sharing that to not overthink it to not overcomplicate it. I'm a very process driven and detail oriented person. And so I think Actually, I also, I have a program called the purpose driven professional, and we talk about life mapping, vision boards, it's all a part of there.

[00:29:30] And sometimes I think the approach can be overly complicated and daunting which is not good, especially at the beginning for someone who's really transitioning into this as a habit and an approach to life. And I love that don't overthink it. Just, get familiar and bought into the concept and believe in it, but don't let the mechanics get to scare you away.

[00:29:56]So I really love that tip. Thank you so much for sharing.

[00:29:59] [00:30:00] We talked a little bit about. Mindset and, I think it's so important to, to factor in mindset and to change those things that are preventing us from moving forward.  Do you have any tips for first time, vision boarders, who,  they're getting warmed up to the idea that there's hearing these stories about results.

[00:30:24]But they still have a lot of that doubt or the mindset's not quite there, or maybe as a coach and you don't have to give away any of your secrets, but I'm just curious, how do you help those people that are getting into this world for the first time?

[00:30:42]Mandy: [00:30:42] I think it's just baby steps. And that's how I was when I started. We have to remember I didn't hang it up for months. Remember that I was a little skeptical of it and it was daunting to me and it wasn't fun now it's fun, but it's taken time for it to be fun. [00:31:00] So you don't get to walk into it, feeling confident.

[00:31:03] You know what I mean? That's just not how life works, anything. That's going to be amazing in your life. It takes work to get there. And I'm not saying that to deflate anybody I'm saying it to hopefully make you realize that. Yes, I'm talking to, I'm talking about it from a stance of doing it for years and it's completely, my life is completely unrecognizable than it was six years ago.

[00:31:27] And in every way, I could keep going. There's more things, but we don't have enough time. But it's just  it's like living, it's like living a fairy tale.  I love Cinderella. She's my favorite Disney princess, because she's not girl because she always talks about, a dream is a wish our heart makes when we're fast asleep.

[00:31:49] And that shows to me. No matter how your heart is grieving. If you keep on believing your dreams that you wish will come true. And I feel like when we [00:32:00] start, we are grieving. We're grieving, disappointment, and life, especially this year, man. This has been one of the best years of my life. There you go vision like here it's this has been one of the best years for me because I'm literally getting to live the life of my dreams and even everything in our climate has been going on.

[00:32:24] Hasn't even diminished my joy because I'm living the life of my dreams and I've created it. But to back up a little, cause I know I'm talking up in the clouds. I tend to live in a place called Mandy land.

[00:32:36] Y'all get to visit Mandy land for a few minutes. But I didn't start that way, Neil. I didn't start. I was just what you described and I just had to trust Jack Canfield, Kirk Duncan, other people, Rachel Hollis, Oprah Winfrey, other people that have gone the path. What's the actor's name? Oh gosh. He's always doing vision [00:33:00] boards and he's hilarious.

[00:33:01] Dumb and dumber. I'm caring. He's big and busy or it's too. So there's all these people that are really big vision boards. And I just had to go into a believing that if it works for other people, it can. So maybe you just have to believe my story and be like, okay. And it can just start with one thing.

[00:33:19] It can start with one thing and you don't have to, you can  follow somebody that's done it. And like Jack Canfield, he breaks it down for you. And I appreciate that as well. So I don't have to make up the process for that.

[00:33:34]Neal: [00:33:34] I love so much of what you shared. I don't want to leave Mandy land. This is fun.

[00:33:40] Mandy: [00:33:40] Okay.

[00:33:41]Neal: [00:33:41] One last thing that I want to make sure, I at least point out and you can add any comments you want to, but I love how in your story, we've all been through the school of hard knocks.

[00:33:52]You have been through a lot and have made some incredible changes in your life, but what I love and your story [00:34:00] was. A huge catalyst for a lot of the change. Was really your children and your daughter and your son were huge catalysts for you to really take on that.

[00:34:13]I'm assure daunting goal, especially the health and getting that where you wanted it to be. And so I hope, and again, look outward as a principal the crown Juul, if you will, of the principles that we teach here on the happiness playbook. And it's so important. And I think when we double down on that outward focus on that charity on, that service part of our souls, that can really be the bigger catalyst for the change we want in our lives.

[00:34:46] And I think I'll go out on a limb and say all of the truly impactful and longterm. Positive change that we can do in our lives will always result [00:35:00] from a place of love and charity and outward focus. And so I love that you brought that in as part of your story.

[00:35:08] Mandy: [00:35:08] and one thing with it really at some it really, if you want to summarize that, it's the WHY it's when, when you're asking them about goal setting and how do you do goal setting it's and this definitely means a lot. For health is I'll use health as an example, because that's what I focus on a lot, but you can use it for every goal that you're setting is when your, WHY is so strong.

[00:35:34] My babies are my why and one's on earth, one's in heaven, but they're my why. And they're when I made that so strong, when you have something that you're working towards, it propels you forward and. It makes all the difference. And so that definitely is near and dear to my heart.

[00:35:53] And that's when I finally could make a change. And so if you're feeling like you keep [00:36:00] trying using health as an example, but if you keep trying to lose weight, losing weight, you're just, yo-yoing really what I recommend you do is there's a thing you can find. If you Google it, it's called seven levels deep.  And you just, it asks you the same question over and over again, but it helps you identify why you want something. And the more you can be crystal clear on that , in those moments when. You really want to be lazy and you, your natural man comes into play and your natural, lazy self comes into play challenge and choose. And you can get more intentional about what you want and the more you do that, it becomes really easy and it becomes second nature. And that's really been what has helped me the most.

[00:36:48] And I love helping other people. I love helping people find their happy and find that freedom for themselves. It's truly been, [00:37:00] I can't believe now I get paid for it. And every dollar I earn means somebody's life is being impacted. And that blows my mind. It's again, it's like , I'm living in a fairy tale that I get to help other people do the same thing.

[00:37:13] And it's amazing and love it so much.

[00:37:15] Neal: [00:37:15] that is so cool. You're amazing. Thank you so much for these Mandy. I wish we could just sit here and just stay in Mandy land, all th all good things must come to an end. I just made that saying actually 

[00:37:30] Mandy: [00:37:30] you could just come to my page. Mandy Florence Mon is my Facebook page. I'm mostly just posted by Mandy land. You can follow anyone that wants to follow me feel free. Mandy Florence, man. That's my Facebook and I pretty much just post about living in Mandy land all day. So

[00:37:48] Neal: [00:37:48] yes. And this is perfect. I'm just going to ask if our listeners want more Mandy land, how do they get in touch with you? So go to the Facebook page she just described and we'll put it [00:38:00] in the show notes as well. 

[00:38:01]Mandy: [00:38:01] You can just text me. And we can connect. My phone number is (801) 899-5591. So you can text me. We can be friends.

[00:38:16] Neal: [00:38:16] Yeah. Wow. Everyone's got her phone number now to, to tap into Mandy land at a moment's notice. That is so fun. Thank you so much for sharing. One last question and we've shared lots of very good tips. But we always like to end on maybe one more. We call them. Pro tips.

[00:38:37] One thing that our listeners can apply in their lives to really get traction and to develop the skill of happiness. So what pro tip would you share or reiterate with our listeners?

[00:38:49]Mandy: [00:38:49] So my pro tip for you is that I really feel strongly. That positivity is the key. There's a book called the happiness [00:39:00] advantage by Shawn Achor.

[00:39:01] I don't know if you've read it

[00:39:02] Neal: [00:39:02] Love that book.

[00:39:04] Mandy: [00:39:04] I, again, I love being happy. I love being a Mandy land. I love positivity. And Oh my goodness. When you can just look at life out of , what I can learn. Even when you go through trials, the more you can look at life as, how can I learn? How can I grow? What can I find good out of this?

[00:39:27] I promise you're going to be so much happier. And if you're watching the news and you're just getting depressed, I really don't watch the news. And I just really focus on growth. And I focus on love and I focus on positivity and how I can help other people.

[00:39:46] It just makes me happy. And so my tip for you would be , if you're spending a lot of time in the news, just take a break from it and just look inward and look at what sets your soul on fire. What makes you happy and spend [00:40:00] some time there and you will shine.

[00:40:04] Neal: [00:40:04] Yes, that is a great pro tip. Mandy, thank you so much for coming on and opening your arms, opening the Gates of Mandy land for. For a little bit here. This was amazing and we are so lucky and grateful to have you on our team because life is a team sport. So thank you so much.

[00:40:29] Mandy: [00:40:29] Of course. Thanks, Neal. This was so fun and. I really hope you make a vision board. And I really I'm saying this to anyone listening, and just do it and hang it up and don't overthink it.

[00:40:43] Neal: [00:40:43] And we want to see anyone who's willing to share. If you're listening to this right now, make a vision board, just something super basic. And again, we mentioned Kirk Duncan. He says, if you don't have anything fancy yet, just get paid painter's tape and make a square on your [00:41:00] wall with the painter's tape.

[00:41:01] And just start putting pictures up on the wall if it needs to be that basic, but make a vision board and share it with us, we would love to see it. I'm sure. Mandy would love to see it too. So

[00:41:12] Mandy: [00:41:12] I would totally love to see it. So you guys are awesome and I can't wait for you to live a life of your dreams because you're going to have so much fun.

[00:41:20] Neal: [00:41:20] thanks again, Mandy.

[00:41:23] Mandy: [00:41:23] Okay.



[00:41:23]Neal: [00:41:24] wow. I hope you enjoyed being in Mandy land as much as I did. Accept and build on where you are right now. Let go of the pessimism. And those negative voices inside your head that are holding you back. Articulate your dreams make a vision board and chase those dreams at full speed. Practice happiness today and always, and never forget that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport. Catch you next week. [00:42:00]   

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