On today’s show, Chris Cox Au.D., and Riley Bass Au.D. continue their series on Beyond Positive Thinking by Robert Anthony. Did you miss part 1 of the series? If so, go back and listen to Beyond Positive Thinking (Part 1) first!
Listen to the Episode Below
Read the transcript:
RILEY BASS: Welcome back to the podcast. We spent last week talking a little bit about the opening to the book Beyond Positive Thinking, and we want to dive a little bit deeper into that and really kind of look at the clinical applications, as well as life applications of this book.
CHRIS COX: Like real-life applications?
RILEY BASS: Like real life, not–
CHRIS COX: Like IRL?
RILEY BASS: IRL, not fake life.
CHRIS COX: Right. Yeah, it’s a good book we’ve talked about before, and one that we’re happy to be able to highlight here for you. So let’s get into it. One thing that we wanted to talk about here, that was a truism in the last chapter, this idea of the river of life.
RILEY BASS: Sounds like The Lion King.
CHRIS COX: Is that The Lion King?
RILEY BASS: That’s The Circle of Life. But the they probably drink from the river of life.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, my guess is they also drink from regular river.
RILEY BASS: No, river of life.
CHRIS COX: OK. Well, we’ll just agree to disagree on that one. So the idea, the overall idea around the basis of the book, is that life is kind of indifferent to us. It just happens, you know, and if you think of it like a river, it just flows. And we can dip into the river of life with a teaspoon, with a thimble, with a bucket, with a barrel, whatever it is, to get as much out of life as we can.
RILEY BASS: With an inflatable kiddie pool?
CHRIS COX: Or, yeah, that’s another one you could use.
RILEY BASS: It’s pretty big. You can hold a lot of river of life water in a kiddie pool.
CHRIS COX: And just swim in the river of life kiddie pool.
RILEY BASS: Exactly.
CHRIS COX: But yeah, that’s the idea. And a lot of the times, we have a smaller idea of what our life can bring us, or what life can bring us. And there’s some out there that they go full force and take a bigger chunk out of life, so to speak.
So how do we get that bigger yield from dipping our barrel into the river of life?
RILEY BASS: You think positively.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, anything beyond thinking positively.
RILEY BASS: You can’t just think positively at the river of life. You have to go beyond the positive thinking.
CHRIS COX: But keep in the back of your mind as you’re listening to this, and as you’re going through either your studies or you’re going through your big person job now. Big boy, big girl. And think about what you’re doing with this river of life. Are you are you coming to it with a thimble, or are you coming to it with a barrel?
A lot of this really has to do with you, and your perception of you, and what you think is the truth. As they talk about, your truth is your truth, and it doesn’t matter if it’s real or if it’s right or not. It’s your truth, positive or negative.
RILEY BASS: Whatever you tell yourself is true, is what you are innately going to believe. So if you tell yourself that, I don’t know, ghosts are real, then ghosts are going to be real to you.
CHRIS COX: And if that thing falls off the counter in the middle of the night–
RILEY BASS: It’s a ghost.
CHRIS COX: –it’s a ghost. Not just your cat. I mean, it could be your cat, but you believe in ghosts.
RILEY BASS: Might be a ghost cat.
CHRIS COX: So if you believe in ghosts, then maybe things around you that happen you can attribute to ghosts. But if you think of it more a professional manner, what could we relate that to?
RILEY BASS: If you think that you are going to fail at something, and you go into a new job or a new endeavor with a negative outlook on it, then it’s probably going to go negatively. If you are scared of the idea of opening a private practice because you think I’m going to fail at it, then you will fail at it. But if you come into this situation, and you say, I’m going to do everything I can to make this work, I believe that I’m going to be successful, I’m going to have the most amazing audiology clinic in my community and in my state, then you can do it. There’s nobody that’s stopping you and telling you that you can’t do it except for you.
CHRIS COX: Exactly. You’re your own limitations. And whenever you think about yourself in smaller adjectives like I’m not good enough, or I’m too timid, or that’s not my thing, it does put that limit on you. And it really comes down to self-image. And that self-image has been created and refined by ourselves over all these experiences we’ve had of our life. And that self-image can be good or can be bad. And that self-image can help us find happiness or it can, as the book says, it can tyrannized our life.
So we have to be deliberate in how we’re seeing ourselves and how we view ourselves, because that’s where it starts. That’s where all of this starts, is our own perception and our own self-image, and how we relate to the world. So many of us are in spots that maybe we don’t want to be in. Whether you’re either in school or you’re out working, you may be in a job that you kind of feel is a rut, or maybe you’ve kind of felt that way about a lot of different things over the years, and it just seems to be following you that you’re not exactly where you want to be, and you’re not doing exactly what you want to do.
RILEY BASS: And the way to really get out of that situation and to get to a place where you are where you want to be is 100% related to your perception of yourself and your self-image.
CHRIS COX: So maybe it has something to do with you that all these things aren’t working out right.
RILEY BASS: It’s not just bad luck?
Our self-image is really the culmination of all of our thoughts and attitudes and opinions, and everything that has happened to us since our childhood. And it creates this picture of who we are in our minds. And it goes along with you’re your own worst enemy. And a lot of times, even just arbitrarily in day to day life, if somebody compliments you on something, it’s always you go towards that self-deprecation of, you know, whatever, it’s nothing, instead of really realizing that I do have the strength. Not like somebody would say, Chris, you’re really smart, and you be like, yeah, I am really smart.
CHRIS COX: Thanks.
RILEY BASS: I don’t know if that’s a good example, but obviously, practice humility in everything that you do. But a lot of times we focus on the negative things rather than the positive, and then we create this negative self-image of our self that limits us from reaching our full potential.
The good news about this is even if you in the past have been guilty of having somewhat of a negative self-image of yourself, you can change the image of yourself. And you can really work to find the better in yourself. And once you change that self-image and once you begin to evolve it and work really hard to see yourself in that more positive light, the results are going to follow.
Our behavior is just an automatic to whatever our self-image is. So we don’t really control that, and it’s very hard to overcome those natural behaviors whenever you are in that negative mindset.
CHRIS COX: Especially when you’re not really thinking about it that way. We have these thoughts sometimes that just enter our brains and we don’t intentionally do anything with them. We just let them sit in there and they can rot our brains or they can make our lives happier. But when you’re intentional about the things you think about, the things that you want to accomplish, then all of that starts to kind of restructure your brain and your desire to move towards those directions.
And we’ll talk about that here in just a second. The book definitely lines out some tips for changing that self-image.
Something that I just thought about is something that you and I talk about, Riley, and what we call Riley luck.
RILEY BASS: Oh.[LAUGHING]
CHRIS COX: Seems like you have the worst luck ever with everything.
RILEY BASS: I do. Despite all of that, I tend to try and have a positive mindset. But–
CHRIS COX: You do. Despite all of that, you have a positive mindset. But there are just all of these things known as Riley luck–
RILEY BASS: Right.
CHRIS COX: –where if it’s going to go wrong, it’s going to.
RILEY BASS: Wrecking rental cars in other states, and getting shingles, and if anybody is sick in the entire building or even thinks about it, I get sick, too.
CHRIS COX: Automatically. It could be a person on a totally different side of the building.
RILEY BASS: So yeah. But I don’t let it get me down. I don’t go through life as Eeyore the sad donkey, just like, OK, bad things are going to happen. I try to stay positive and go through it a little bit lightheartedly. But yes, Riley luck is a real thing.
CHRIS COX: Sure is. There’s some of that stuff that you can’t control, obviously, and one of the things that we say around here a lot is control the controllable and don’t worry about everything else. Being sick and all that is just going to happen, right? But keeping that positive attitude is key for being able to get through all of it.
Another thing the book talks about is this idea of believing is seeing. We’re used to hearing, seeing is believing. But it’s really the opposite of that. You have to believe first and then you see the path before you. And that’s really talking more about the goals that you have for yourself, and believing that you can achieve those. Once you’re able to line out in front of you what you want, then you start to see the pieces that you need to construct that vision for yourself.
RILEY BASS: Right. If you wait to see something before you believe in it, you’re always going to be waiting, because you have to go out there and make it happen for you to be able to see it. So if you’re always waiting, I’ll believe it when I see it, then you’re always going to be waiting for something to happen. So quit waiting and make it happen.
CHRIS COX: How do you go about doing that? How do you go about taking action?
RILEY BASS: Setting goals and writing down, especially smart goals which we’ve talked about on this podcast. And saying, in order to achieve my overall goal of, for example, opening a private practice, I need to do A, B and C along the way, and that’s going to help me get the abilities and the skills that I know that I’m going to need. It’s going to give me the confidence that I need, and it’s going to physically set me up in a situation where I’m able to have a private practice. Maybe figuring out your setting and your strategy for acquiring a practice and stuff.
So it’s both physical and mental, and emotional and spiritual belief in setting those goals into alignment and figuring it out.
CHRIS COX: All those aspects, the three aspects you’re talking about, that you have to have those aligned to be able to reach those goals. You have to have them down on paper, you have to right them out, you have to make them real. It’s about having that thing in your mental world come out into the physical world.
In the book, it talks about this creation process. And there’s this model of being, doing, having. And that the universe flows from being into doing, and then into having. So if you break that down, what it means is that if you’re, well, he talks about being happy. And this discussion about success ethic, in the sense that if you have the things that happy and satisfied people have, you will do what happy and satisfied people do, and then he will be happy and satisfied.
But what he’s saying is that’s not actually true. What happens is that life goes from being to doing to having. If you’re being happy and satisfied from the inside out, so he’s talking about all of this comes from the inside out, you’ll start doing what happy and satisfied people do. And then you will have what happy and satisfied people have.
RILEY BASS: s is money, right?
CHRIS COX: Cars and boats, million dollar houses all over the place.
RILEY BASS: I know money is a super arbitrary thing to mention, but when you think about that, you see all the time that there’s these millionaires, billionaires that aren’t happy, that are miserable people, that are lonely, that don’t have anything in their life that actually makes them happy. Whereas you see people that don’t have as much, and are living in maybe not quite so nice of homes and driving as nice of vehicles and don’t have those physical things that you associate with, if I had a boat I would be happy. But if you are happy from the inside out, then you’re going to be happy whether you have a boat or not. A boat’s just going to make you even more happy. Because everybody likes boats.
RILEY BASS: It’s huge. And you’re right on with that. That happiness, it has to come from being happy. It has come from that part of it, from the inside out. And from there, the rest of it cascades.
So when we look at writing your own script and creating your own goals, this idea of the being, doing, having concept is something to keep in mind. Because you don’t become something by having something, you have that something because you’ve become whatever it is that you’re looking at, whatever it is that you do.
And that is good or bad. The same goes with negative. If you’re being a negative person, or if you’re being dissatisfied with things, you won’t be doing the things that happy people do or that successful people do. And therefore, you you’re yielding the negative aspects of that attitude.
RILEY BASS: Right.
CHRIS COX: Being conscientious of what state of mind you’re in is super important in looking into the future for what you’re trying to do.
RILEY BASS: Exactly. And one thing that’s easy to think of is going to work every day. You want to go work in a place where every day you know that you’re going to make an impact and you’re going to do something awesome that day. And not just, like, oh, I don’t go to work today.
I mean, yeah, I get it, sometimes your bed is all warm and snugly and you just want to stay there and watch TV in bed all day. But you do have to get up and go to work. But I know that there’s never been a day where I’ve just dreaded going to a job. And if there ever was a day that I felt like that, and I was just dreading it, I either left that job or I would leave that job if it was a situation I was put into.
So looking at each day and thinking about, am I going to choose positivity and choose happiness today, or am I going to start the day off where the first thing out of my mouth, or the first thing I think of is, I don’t want to do work today, I don’t want to go to work. Make sure that you’re not in that situation. And if you are, you need to really re-evaluate what type of changes you can make to change that about yourself.
CHRIS COX: Happiness comes from the inside, but it doesn’t mean that things on the outside can’t affect that. And especially in a negative situation with bad work experience or bad work environment. They can really grate. If it gets to the point to where you’re not able to be happy because of where you work, then maybe it’s time to look somewhere else, for someplace that not necessarily you’re expecting is going to bring you happiness, but at least won’t impede your pursuit for you being happy.
RILEY BASS: Good news about being an audiologist is we are in high demand, and there is an exorbitant amount of opportunity out there available for us. So if you’re ever in a position where you feel like you’re truly not happy, do something about it.
CHRIS COX: One of my favorite things in the book is this quote here. “Go after what you want, but enjoy the trip. Life is a journey, not a destination. Know that when you get what you want, it will not change who you are at the being level. So enjoy yourself, love yourself unconditionally, and participate in the trip.”
This reminds me of traveling as a kid. My dad is somebody who likes to go from point A to point B as quick as possible, drive through the night, all that. And then I found out, as I got older, I’m more of the journey type of person, who likes to stop by and check out things to do, random excursions, and all that, on the way to whatever I’m doing.
It’s two different ways of looking at travel. But for my dad, it was more important to get to the destination, for whatever reason, and for me, I wanted to get to the destination, but also wanted to see things along the way and enjoy the trip, and enjoy the journey and where it can take me, because there’s so much out there that you can miss.
So I think it goes hand-in-hand with what we’re talking about here. Have your goals and have your intentions, but also–
RILEY BASS: But don’t forget to stop and see the world’s largest ball of yarn along the way.
CHRIS COX: Exactly.[LAUGHING]
RILEY BASS: So next time, we’re going to talk a little bit more about programming your mind for the best, and some techniques for imprinting.
CHRIS COX: What is imprinting? Is that when a duck gets out of the egg and sees a chicken and thinks that’s its mom?
RILEY BASS: Yes. Just kidding. Tune in next time to find out what it actually is.