Part of my goals this year are about using my time more thoughtfully. (I’m looking at you, hour long commute! You too, meal prep marathon!) Instead of riding along listening to 70s music (again) or the usually depressing news, I wanted to start listening to podcasts. I loaded some up and have enjoyed quite a few (while easily deleting others after a couple of episodes.) I’ve learned that some are pleasant to listen to, even inspiring, and will linger with me. Then, there are others where I am actively nodding, mind completely engaged, stopping to jot notes down to think about or follow up on later. I’ll share interesting tidbits once in a while.
The first one I wanted to share here is an episode from Lewis Howes’s School of Greatness podcast. Specifically, an episode with Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator who now trains people to negotiate across many fields, especially business. This is definitely an episode I would have skipped based on the topic / title except for one thing…I was going to a car dealership later that day to buy a car. People who know me can guess I’d be nervous about negotiating anything, so when I saw this episode title I thought to myself…well…maybe I can learn something that will help me feel more confident in negotiation for this car.
As I listened, most of what stood out to me was about mindset. He talked about the way much of our brains (around 75%!) are neurologically wired to be negative – to defend ourselves for example, but we are actually significantly smarter when we are happier. Like, 31% smarter. That’s huge! This comes from Harvard professor Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk, The Happiness Advantage. Who knew that just by being happier we boost our smarts? Left me with a lot to think about.
Another tidbit that struck me was Voss mentioning the importance of gratitude in starting your day. He recommends that we write down 1-3 things to be grateful for at the beginning of the day as “emotional / spiritual hygiene.” I’ve known the importance of gratitude for a while. I’ve even written about thanks on this blog. But I think the idea of how gratitude is as necessary as taking a shower or brushing your teeth was a mind shift for me. It’s not just nice to do, it’s necessary in order to get your brain framed up the right way for the day. Gratitude is a way of taking care of ourselves. It is a daily practice that keeps us on track.
So far, podcasts are an interesting new way to learn for me…I’m late to the party, I know, but I’m figuring it out. Do you have any podcasts you enjoy or recommend?
As for negotiations, I have started to notice all the subtle little negotiations we make during our days, from the coffee line to casual conversations at work. Will I improve at them using what I’ve learned? I’ll let you know. In the mean time, I still haven’t bought a car, but that’s a story for another post.