Self-Help

The Daily Helping | Food For the Brain, Knowledge From the Experts, Tools To Win At Life

Dr. Richard Shuster

The show’s mission is simple: To help you become the best version of yourself possible and in doing so make the world a better place. Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, and whatever you do, this is the show that is going to help you become the best version of yourself. Each episode you will hear from some of the most amazing, talented, and successful people on the planet who followed their passions and strive to help others. Join our movement to get a million people each and every day to commit acts of kindness for others. Together, we're going to make the world a better place. Are you ready? Because it’s time for your daily helping.

Episodes

Ep. 16: Celebrate Your Unique Gifts & Other Lessons Learned from Peak Performers | with Molly Fletcher
37:27
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 37:27
Ep. 16: Celebrate Your Unique Gifts & Other Lessons Learned from Peak Performers | with Molly Fletcher

Today our expert guest is Molly Fletcher, who was hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN. Molly inspires audiences around the world as a keynote speaker, drawing on success stories from her former life as a sports agent and sharing lessons that she learned from those at the top of their game.

One of the most important lessons that Molly learned from working with peak performers is that they lean into discomfort – they embrace it, and they recognize that on the other side of discomfort is growth.

When Molly first became a sports agent, she was the only female sports agent… so there were a number of obstacles between her and the incredible success she achieved (she successfully negotiated over $500 million in contracts).

It’s all about how you think about the obstacles along your journey – are they actually obstacles, or are they opportunities?

Molly had to shift her mindset, look at things differently, and celebrate the fact that she was different. It was a gift that athletes remembered her when they were on the range; it was a gift that they had her back when she was behind the dugout; it was a gift that she was able to connect with and serve not only the men she represented, but also their wives.

Want to maximize your influence and unleash your potential like Molly? Check out her new podcast, Game Changers with Molly Fletcher. Each episode, she’ll take you behind the scenes with peak performers to learn what makes them tick and discover how you can apply their lessons to your life.

You can dig even deeper into Molly’s incredible insight and experiences in her newest book, Fearless at Work: Achieve Your Potential by Transforming Small Moments into Big Outcomes.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Stay curious. The more curious we can stay, the more opportunities there are for people to influence us in a positive way, every day, all around us.”

Listen to podcasts, read books, and be a lifelong learner!

 

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Ep. 15: Strengthen Your Posture & Improve Your Health | with Steven Weiniger
41:07
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 41:07
Ep. 15: Strengthen Your Posture & Improve Your Health | with Steven Weiniger

Today our expert guest is Steven Weiniger, an internationally-renowned posture expert. He literally wrote the book on posture: Stand Taller~Live Longer. In addition to a busy speaking calendar, he is a prolific writer and serves as managing partner of BodyZone.com, an online health resource and referral directory.

Most recently, Dr. Weiniger developed PostureZone, a free app that encourages people to assess their own posture and offers tips for postural improvement.

 

What is a posture specialist?

A posture specialist can help you become aware of your posture, assess what you do with your body, and then teach you how to strengthen your posture.

Your posture isn’t inherently good or bad. Different bodies are shaped differently, and posture is a very personal thing. Improving your posture is about accurately connecting with your body and moving it in a way that’s better adapted for the world.

 

What effect does posture have on your health?

  • Most obviously, there’s back pain and neck pain, which are epidemic.
  • People lose height as they get older. However, a 20-year study looking at men's height  observed that the people who lost the most height were 64% more likely to die during the study. They concluded that hunching over negatively affects your health because it compresses your chest and you can’t breathe as deeply.
  • Another study looking at the head posture of women over 60 observed that participants who could not lay on their back and keep their head level had a 1.44x greater risk of dying during the 4.2 year study.

 

What are strategies for strengthening your posture?

The way we use smart devices, particularly phones and tablets, is changing our posture. Obviously, you can’t quit your phone cold turkey, but you can make the choices to live intelligently in the world we live in:

  • Instead of putting your head down to your phone, on your shoulder, lift your phone up to your head and look straight forward.
  • At the same time, stabilize your torso by pulling your shoulders back and down, putting your elbows into your sides, and then lifting your hand up so your phone is in front of your face.

 

If you often work at a desk, which can’t be avoided, you can optimize your work environment so that you don’t have to be constantly mindful of maintaining good posture.

  • Use an adjustable sit and stand desk. The body is designed to move, so being able to adjust the desk is important.
  • If you have to take a phone call, try using a headset and taking a walk while you do it.
  • Take frequent, short breaks to move a little bit and, ideally, do mini posture exercises. This strategy also works well for frequent flyers.

 

ACE your posture:

  • Awareness - There’s always a path towards improvement, but you have to be aware of where you are now if you want to improve.
  • Control - It only takes a few minutes or a couple proactive choices to improve your posture on a daily basis.
  • Environment - Changing your environment will promote good habits that allow you to maintain stronger posture.

 

PostureZone

PostureZone is a free app that will show the user, using a picture of them, where their body is in space. It’s a simple and useful tool for postural awareness.

Your posture is what you are doing, when you’re not thinking about it, to balance your body. At all times, you’re balancing these key posture zones:

  1. Head over torso
  2. Torso over pelvis
  3. Pelvis over where you’re standing

 

The app brackets those masses, calculates the center of those masses, and offers a numerical observation that shows the angle of deviation from straight vertical.

Many people think that they can stand tall when they want to, but they’re wrong. People who use the app are sometimes blown away by the difference between their perception of where their body is and the photographic reality.

Dr. Weiniger isn't trying to promote perfect posture – the app gives you a benchmark of how you’re standing when you think you’re standing tall so you can measure improvement over time.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

First, become aware of your posture and connect with what it feels like to stand tall.

Afterwards, try to strengthen that by improving your balance. The first exercise that Dr. Weiniger teaches people is called Stork: stand tall and lift one leg up to your thighs, 90 degrees from the ground, and take five slow breaths.

If you can’t balance without support, that’s fine. The goal isn’t balancing – the goal is standing tall.

 

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Ep. 14: The Go-Giver Way | with Bob Burg
33:56
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 33:56
Ep. 14: The Go-Giver Way | with Bob Burg

Can a subtle shift in focus really make much of a difference in your business and your income?

Today our expert guest is Bob Burg, and he says the answer to the above question is YES! Bob is a firm advocate, supporter, and defender of the Free Enterprise System; he believes that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve.

Bob is also the author of a number of books on marketing, sales, and influence, including co-authoring The Go-Giver.

If you’re not familiar, the basic premise of The Go-Giver is to shift the reader’s focus from getting to giving. In this context, Giving means “constantly and consistently providing value to others,” whether that’s in your personal or professional life.

This isn’t just a pleasant way to live life – it attracts success, and not just financial success.

Success can be financial, physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social, or relational… but when people are focused on giving value to others, they tend to be happier, healthier, wealthier, and successful in all of those ways that success can be measured.

 

The 5 (Somewhat Counter-Intuitive) Laws of Stratospheric Success

In The Go-Giver, Bob and John David Mann write about the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success. They found that ANY sustainably profitable business is using all of these five things:

  1. Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payout.
  2. Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve, and how well you serve them.
  3. Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place others’ interests first.
  4. Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
  5. Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving; we both breathe and we breathe in.

 

How do you add value (without losing money)?

Bob has found that there are 5 Elements of Value:

  1. Excellence – Both doing your core competency really well & how you make other people feel. “The single greatest people skill is a highly developed and authentic interest in the other person.”
  2. Consistency – “You are as you are, day in and day out.”
  3. Attention – Attention to detail, and attention to people as human beings. What are they saying, how are they feeling, and what are they not saying?
  4. Empathy – “Communicating empathy doesn’t necessarily mean you know how they feel. It means you communicate that you understand they’re feeling something, and this something is distressful to them, but you’re there to help them through it.” It’s possibly the most important skill, and it’s a skill because not everyone is born with it but anyone can learn it.
  5. Appreciation – Notice the things that other people do or say that make a difference, big or small, and point them out. Don’t just say thank you – mean it.

When you can honestly communicate all of these five elements, you will attract an army of personal ambassadors who want to share your message.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

A mentor once told Bob, “If you want to make a lot of money in sales, don’t have making money as your target – your target is serving others…. Never forget that the money is simply the reward for hitting the target; it’s not the target itself. Your target is serving others.”

 

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Ep. 13: Accept the Call to Entrepreneurial Adventure | with Ande Lyons
48:03
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 48:03
Ep. 13: Accept the Call to Entrepreneurial Adventure | with Ande Lyons

Today our expert guest is Ande Lyons, Founder & Chief Possibility Officer of Possibility Partners. She mentors startup and early-stage entrepreneurs, while providing tools and resources to help them launch, brand, and build their businesses.

We discuss what the entrepreneurial “call to adventure” is, how she empowers entrepreneurs, and how you can build a business that succeeds.

 

Bring Back Desire

Before Possibility Partners, Ande launched three businesses, one of which was Bring Back Desire: “A tasteful, playful website sharing tips, tools and resources for women who want more intimacy, sensuality and sexual excitement in their lives.”

After 3½ years of success, she didn’t hear a calling from the business anymore, and she was always driven by passion and purpose. Eventually, she heard a new call...

 

Guiding Entrepreneurial Adventurers

“Every event brings you a deeper relationship with your beloved self and your beloved life, and this is especially true for the courageous, entrepreneurial adventurer.“

Ande’s core value has always been shining a spotlight and enhancing others, so she fits very naturally in the startup world. She’s able use her business to serve people, and help them be more positive, by bringing out their unique gifts and guiding them on the path to adventure.

You can find tips for entrepreneurs in Ande’s new video series: Ask Ande Startup Solutions

 

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

“You have to build those ‘comfortable being uncomfortable’ muscles.”

Risk and opportunity are inseparable, so being risk averse can prevent entrepreneurs from taking full advantage of their skills and opportunities. However, with help, you can learn how to stay focused on what you need to accomplish despite feelings of uncertainty.

 

The Brand Promise

“You have to build your brand from the heart.”

The entrepreneurial space is crowded, so you will be confronted with thousands of other people doing something similar to what you do. The only way entrepreneurs can differentiate themselves is through their brand promise, or the emotional connection between you and your audience.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Life happens for you – not to you. Every event brings you a deeper relationship with your beloved self and your beloved life, and this is especially true for the courageous, entrepreneurial adventurer.”

 

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Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.

 

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Ep. 12: Learning to Allow Your Magnificence | with Susan Winter
46:49
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 46:49
Ep. 12: Learning to Allow Your Magnificence | with Susan Winter

Today our expert guest is Susan Winter, a bestselling author and relationship expert specializing in higher thinking for an evolving world. She writes, speaks, and coaches on cutting-edge partnership models, as well as traditional relationship challenges, from a platform that fosters self-esteem and personal empowerment.

Susan’s first book, Older Women/Younger Men, opened the hearts and minds of readers worldwide to the validity of this type of age-gap love. Susan’s second book, Allowing Magnificence, completely reframes how we view life’s challenges, empowering the reader to reconnect with the limitless power they already possess.

Susan continues to write about relationships and love as a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and The Good Men Project.

 

Older Women/Younger Men

“When our authenticity collides with what we are doing, we make a choice that is right for us… and it may not be the choice that others endorse.”

Susan wrote her first book after one of her relationships caused a literal witch hunt: she had a TV show called Higher Ground throughout the North East, and a petition was sent to local outlets claiming she was a witch and a prostitute (and a lesbian).

She can laugh at it now, but at the time it was very hurtful. They couldn’t just be in love; she had to have him under a spell, and there had to be something perverted about it.

 

Allowing Magnificence

“The things that we call challenges can actually be reframed.”

Susan’s second book is, thematically, radically different.

Throughout most of her life, Susan doubted her take on the world; her internal answer was always so different from her parents and everybody else around her.

Through a series of dating mishaps and research, Susan started to trust herself – and she gave herself permission to live a life driven by her own understanding of the world. Life is guiding us, and most challenges can be reframed as something trying to reroute you to a new path.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

In today’s modern world, with all of our shifting technology and social media, nothing beats character, and nothing you do is more beats who you are when you do it.

 

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Ep. 11: Living with Purpose at the Intersection of Life & Leadership | with Alli Polin
38:15
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 38:15
Ep. 11: Living with Purpose at the Intersection of Life & Leadership | with Alli Polin

Today our expert guest is Alli Polin, a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development who is driven to help others create a full life and achieve professional success. We discuss how people can achieve success through Personal Leadership, and how parents can foster leadership in their kids.

Alli’s award-winning blog, Break the Frame, draws on leadership lessons from daily life as a catalyst for breakthrough change and inspires people to engage more purposefully at the intersection of life and leadership.

She also wrote one of the 16 stories in Energize Your Leadership: Discover, Ignite, Break Through, a book that helps people discover new ways to get energized, ignite energy in others, and ignite their workplace to break through and create a dynamic future.

 

What is the difference between Organizational Leadership & Personal Leadership?

“We’re all leaders of our lives. We’re all theoretically able to take control and make decisions for ourselves, and that’s not based on where we work.” –Alli Polin

Organizational leadership is typically based on hierarchy, and the people have accountability and responsibility based on their position.

Personal Leadership has very little to do with your level. It’s really about being true to living with your values, living with integrity, and leading your life.

 

How does someone develop Personal Leadership skills?

There are three elements of personal leadership that you have to develop: Confidence, Competence, and Creativity.

  1. The Confidence to speak up and stand up for what you believe in, and for others (whether it’s a personal relationship or an organizational setting).
  2. Competence is continuing to grow yourself, invest in yourself, and learn more about yourself.
  3. Creativity is about intentionally stretching yourself and challenging yourself to get out of the rut of daily life, and to bring a spark of change. Creativity isn’t about being an artist – it’s about finding new pathways that diverge from the old.

 

Everyday Leadership

Everyday Leadership is an idea very closely connected to Personal Leadership, and the central conceit is simple: leadership doesn’t only belong in a board room.

When you go out of your way to offer small acts of kindness, help people feel less alone, and generally acknowledging other people’s humanity, you are practicing Everyday Leadership.

 

The Parent’s Guide to Leadership

One of Alli’s passions is fostering leadership in children, which led her to co-authoring the Parent’s Guide to Leadership.

Alli and her co-author share personal stories, the lessons that those stories taught them, and what they then taught their children about being leaders.

They also include activities, book recommendations, conversation starters, coloring pages, and more ways to engage with your child on the topic of leadership.

 

The best part? The book is free! Click here to sign up for updates about the publication of the upcoming children’s picture book, I’m Not a Leader, and get immediate access to the Parent’s Guide to Leadership.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

A cornerstone of Personal Leadership is taking responsibility for your choices. “Don’t shoot for a busy life with bragging rights. Create a full life that’s filled with more than one dimension and, whatever it is you value … don’t wait until you retire to honor those values – do it now.”

 

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Ep. 10: Be an Opportunity Maker | with Kare Anderson
39:46
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 39:46
Ep. 10: Be an Opportunity Maker | with Kare Anderson

Today our expert guest is Kare Anderson, an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, now connective behavior speaker and columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post.

In Kare’s TEDTalk, The Web of Humanity: Becoming an Opportunity Maker, she mentions being a phobically shy, stuttering young girl. However, a couple influential teachers and mentors gave her opportunities to find greater motivation.

 

“It’s hard to overcome something. It’s easier to supplant something with a greater motivation.”

 

One of these mentors helped her realize that was insatiably curious with a talent for asking questions, and that was the greatest thing he taught her: “the capacity to tell someone about a talent they have, that they’re unaware of, is wonderful.”

It’s vital that we learn more about ourselves because, until we know how we’re wired, we are living life reactively.

These experiences were incredibly influential in Kare’s life, and they led her to studying and speaking about connective human behavior.

 

Communicating to Connect

One of the behaviors she’s studied is how people can communicate to connect.

  • The key, she believes, is specificity. Once we get specific, we gain greater self-clarification and people listen sooner – so specificity not only increases clarity, but also credibility and memorability.
  • Incorporate Triangle Talk: address someone else’s interest, confirm that is of interest to them, and suggest a way your interests coincide.
  • Speak with AIR: make your communications Actionable, Interesting, and Relevant.

 

Opportunity Makers

It’s increasingly important that we connect with others because the world needs more opportunity makers: people can see an opportunities or problems and then forge the right team to solve a problem or seize an opportunity, better and faster than others.

An important skill for solving problems, especially in our politically polarized climate, is fostering mutuality: the ability to draw people away from conflict by creating or offering a better and mutually-appreciated action.

Kare believes that, if we want a more meaningful life that’s more adventurous, we should embrace the opportunity to bring the right people together to support an action that matters to them – and we should take any opportunity to support others by highlighting their positive aspects, even if they’re not aware of it themselves.

By being mindful of others in this way, and supporting them, we can connect others and help them find mutuality.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

Specificity is key to almost anything in life, so Kare wants you to think about two things:

  1. What is your highest mission in life? Describe it in a way that is so concrete that other people understand what you mean.
  2. What are the 2-3 hot buttons that cause you to be most reactionary?

 

By getting clear about those things, you’ll have a better understanding of what you might want to do differently in your daily life, and who you might want to bring into it.

 

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Ep. 9: Leadership Empowerment: How to Lead from Where You Are | with Terri Klass
39:16
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 39:16
Ep. 9: Leadership Empowerment: How to Lead from Where You Are | with Terri Klass

Today our expert guest is Terri Klass, a leadership training consultant and speaker who partners with organizations to create cultures of empowerment and develop future leadership. She believes that, regardless of your position or title, anyone can be a leader.

Terri delivers highly successful leadership workshops, writes a weekly blog on the challenges leaders face daily, and co-authored the book Energize Your Leadership: Discover, Ignite, Break Through.

 

What does leadership empowerment mean?

Terri defines Empowerment as “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”

Leadership empowerment takes it to the next level because we really need to take initiative to make something better in our personal or professional lives. To become more confident, stronger, and gain more control over our lives, we need to take action by leveraging our unique gifts and talents.

Leadership empowerment also involves taking responsibility and holding ourselves accountable for our own actions.

 

We all need control over our own lives, or to steer the boat of our own life’s direction.

However, sometimes something happens and we feel out of control. That’s when we need to locate our unique strengths and figure out how we can use them to take the control back.

We can discover our unique gifts by…

  • Paying attention to why other people come to us for help. What are the specific things people turn to you for?
  • Asking people that you trust, and feel confident with, what they perceive as our strengths.

 

Lead from where you are. You don’t need a title or a crown – you can lead from any position.

“The only thing we need to do, if we want to lead, is take action, take responsibility, and make a difference.” –Terri Klass

As long as we do our best and try to add value, we are leading, and through that we will keep growing.

You can’t empower everyone within an organization to lead from where they are if you don’t, first, create a culture of accountability.

Accountability is when everybody feels like they are part of something – a team and a vision. If they feel like they belong, and they feel like their contributions are appreciated, then everyone starts to perform at their peak.

 

What happens when there’s conflict, and people don’t feel empowered?

The most important part of dealing with conflict is listening. If you keep an open mind and an open heart, you can really hear how another person is feeling and understand their perspective.

Often, at the heart of conflict is a difference in perspective. If we talk about our different perspectives and come to a mutual understanding of how they’re different, we can figure out ways to blend those perspectives together.

The big thing we DON’T want to do is blame someone else when there is conflict – that’s the opposite of being accountable.

Energize Your Leadership shares stories from 16 different leaders about how each of them became exhausted and overwhelmed by conflict, and how they overcame those obstacles. It’s not a textbook – it’s all human stories that we can relate to.

 

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“We all can lead from wherever we are, regardless of our title; regardless of our position. No matter where we are in life, we can be leaders. We don’t need to wait for someone to ask us to step up – we can step up ourselves and make the first move to help others, and in helping others actually help grow ourselves”

 

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Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.

 

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Ep. 8: Discipline, Passion & The Riddle of Iron | with Greg Schop
45:05
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 45:05
Ep. 8: Discipline, Passion & The Riddle of Iron | with Greg Schop

Today our expert guest is Greg Schop. He is a former teenage bodybuilding competitor, a certified personal trainer, an English professor, and a published author.

His latest book, Huge in High School: Fitness for Life, has started a grassroots movement to help parents and students build a framework that establishes the foundation for long-term success.

Greg started weight lifting when he was 12 years old, and (inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger)  he continued to practice bodybuilding throughout high school. This practice created the foundation for Greg’s future goals and lifestyle.

Juggling body building and typical high school life requires a rigid schedule – wake up, go to school, work out, do homework, eat, go to bed, repeat. The discipline stuck with Greg, and it still helps him get things done.

Greg’s experience highlights something important: the things we do in our formative years stick with us, for better or for worse, and they can lead us to our passions. You are building a foundation for your life as you enter adulthood, and laying a structured foundation can help you in the long term.

Do you want to join the #HugeInHighschool movement? If you’re in high school (or you know somebody who is), share something that you do and you are passionate about on social media using the hashtag. It doesn’t have to be related to fitness – It’s all about developing the discipline and courage it takes to live a big life that is right for YOU.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaways

  • Live to lift another day. You have a long life ahead of you – take your time, don’t take shortcuts, and be safe.
  • While you’re in high school, find your passions… and follow them for your entire life.

 

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Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.

 

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Ep. 7: Growing Friendships: How Parents Can Help Their Children Make & Keep Friends | with Eileen Kennedy-Moore
38:23
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 38:23
Ep. 7: Growing Friendships: How Parents Can Help Their Children Make & Keep Friends | with Eileen Kennedy-Moore

Today our expert guest is Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, an internationally published author, psychologist, and speaker. Her newest book is Growing Friendships: A Kid’s Guide to Making and Keeping Friends.

She is also a professor for The Great Courses, blogger for Psychology Today, an expert contributor to PBS Parents, and the author of two books for parents, Smart Parenting for Smart Kids and The Unwritten Rules of Friendship and What About Me? 12 Ways to Get Your Parents’ Attention Without Hitting Your Sister.

 

Friendship is Fundamental

“If you want kids to be happier, help them make friends. If you want them to be more engaged in school, help them make friends. If you want them to be less likely to be bullied, friends… it’s kind of the answer to everything.”

As a clinical psychologist, Eileen has seen how important friendship is for kids. Every parent has seen their child struggle with friend relationships, and these can be very painful for children.

The good news is that there’s a lot that parents can do to ease the rough spots and help kids get along with other people.

 

How do Kids Make Friends?

Before you can help your children get along with other people, it’s good to understand how children think of other people and make friends at the different stages of their life.

These are the stages of friendship established by Robert Selman, which relate to children’s developing awareness of themselves and others:

  • Ages 3-6 – The “I want it might way” stage. Kids assume that their friends think the same way that they do. They love the idea of having friends, but they aren’t very good at being friends.
  • Ages 7-12 – The “two-way fairweather / by the rules” stage. Kids are very concerned about fairness, and they think about it in a quid pro quo way. They also tend to be very judgemental about themselves and others, and they can be very jealous. This is also the age where kids tend to make secret clubs.
  • Ages 8-15 – The “caring is sharing” stage. Kids help each other solve problems, confide thoughts and feelings, and are able to compromise.
  • Ages 12+ - The “mature friendship” stage. Kids place a high value on emotional closeness, can accept and appreciate differences between themselves and friends, and start to emphasize trust and support. They also want to stay close over time, even when they’re separated.

 

Warning Signs?

If you’re a parent, ask yourself these two questions:

  • Does your child have at least one relationship in which they like and are liked by another child?
  • Do they have someone to hang out with at lunch or recess?

Everybody has bad days, but there are signs that your child might need help navigating their relationships. It’s important to pay attention to the level of distress and how long it lasts. If your child stays stuck feeling down or thinking nobody likes them, then you might want to consider talking to a psychologist.

Non-voluntary isolation is also concerning. If they don’t have someone who likes them back, they are at greater risk for bullying, depression, and negative self thought.

There’s also times where you shouldn’t worry. Some kids are just introverts who need quiet alone time to recharge, and they tend to be loners. If they can interact when they want to, it’s okay.

 

The Ingredients of Good Friendships

  1. Kids have to show an openness to friendship. To do this, they have to greet people that they know or reach out in small ways (e.g. compliments, small kindnesses) to show they like people. Kind children are usually well-liked by their peers.
    1. Parents can help children with this by role playing greetings and teaching them to communicate with nonverbal signals.
    1. Kids start to believe the “magnet theory” of friendship, where they will attract people to them through being great, but friendships are two-way relationships between equals.
  2. Similarity. Kids are more likely to be friends with people are similar to them, particularly in interests and personality.
    1. One of the most helpful things parents can do for their kids is arrange one-on-one play dates because that’s what allows friendships to deepen.
  3. Shared fun. Kids make friends by doing stuff together.

 

Dr. Friendtastic

Eileen has a website for children called DrFriendtastic.com that includes friendship questions, quizzes, cute animals, and advice (with a strong dose of silliness). It’s a playful and fun way for children to discover the information they need to learn about getting along.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

Kindness is the key to friendship.

It’s that simple and that complicated. There are a lot of criteria that our kids may or may not meet, but kindness is something that every child (and adult!) can achieve – and they can do it multiple times every day.

 

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Ep. 6: Loss, Love, & Courageous Change | with Debra Oakland
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2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 36:21
Ep. 6: Loss, Love, & Courageous Change | with Debra Oakland

Today our expert guest is the international bestselling author Debra Oakland, who is an advocate for prioritizing joy and living your most courageous, authentic life. She is the Founder of Living in Courage Online, a spiritual oasis for overcoming life’s biggest challenges.

In Change Your Movie, Change Your Life: 7 Reel Concepts for Courageous Change, Debra goes into the core concepts that have helped guide her through adversity and shares ideas you can use to manifest your best life.

 

Loss & Love

Over the course of just four years, Debra experienced unimaginable loss: two brothers, two children, and her father all passed away.

Debra asked herself a simple question: What would they want from me?

The people who love us want us to be happy – so Debra decided she would honor the people who have passed by living a happy life, living her joy, and sharing the power of living in courage.

 

Change Your Movie, Change Your Life: 7 Reel Concepts for Courageous Change

“Everything you need is inside of you. Tap into that... You’ll find the answers.”

Debra’s book introduces readers to the seven concepts that form her belief system:

  1. Conscious Choice
  2. Wisdom
  3. Love
  4. Purity
  5. Concentrated Illumination
  6. Peace
  7. Rhythm

 

After going over each concept, Debra shares a personal storyboard and offers a blank one for the reader to fill out. She also includes a movie treatment telling the same story two different ways, with two different endings, showing how your conscious choices affect the outcome of your life.

You’re the writer, director, editor, and producer of your life’s movie – if you don’t like something, change the script.

The Biggest Helping: Today’s (Two) Most Important Takeaway

  1. You are not alone. If you need help, ask for it – and if you love someone, lend a helping hand. We all go through challenges in this life and no one escapes them.
  2. Gratitude is the most important thing that you can hold onto. Remind yourself, every day, what you are grateful for.

 

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Ep. 5: Secrets of a Strong Mind | with LaRae Quy
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2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 49:03
Ep. 5: Secrets of a Strong Mind | with LaRae Quy

Today our expert guest is LaRae Quy, who was an undercover counterintelligence FBI agent for 24 years. As a former U.S. agent, LaRae speaks and consults on no-nonsense FBI practices that help people develop the mental toughness they need to manage their emotions, behavior, and thinking so they can set themselves up for success.

LaRae is also the author of Mental Toughness for Women Leaders and Secrets of a Strong Mind.

 

Secrets of a Strong Mind

After retiring from the FBI, LaRae started writing Secrets of a Strong Mind.

Using her own life experience as an example – from her first pony Socks to Quantico to her time as a spokesperson – she reveals the six core components needed to move through barriers so we can lead our life from a place of personal strength.

“Every one of us, inside, has a story that will create a strong mind.”

We all have a story from our past, maybe a failure, that we can use to connect our passion to willpower and keep moving through any obstacle.

If you don’t know what that story is, you need to look inward. The most important person you will ever get to know is yourself.

 

Mental Toughness 

The pillars of mental toughness:

  • You can’t have mental toughness without emotional intelligence – understanding yourself and understanding others; the ability to communicate with others – and emotional competency. Do you understand how you present yourself to people and develop relationships?
  • If you are resilient and you hit a roadblock, you will be confident that you can keep going. To be confident, you need to know how you will respond when you’re faced with the unknown – you can’t simply react or hope you will respond in the correct way.
  • You need the willpower to push past your comfort zone and limits. When times are tough and you’re looking for an answer, are you persistent? Can you set goals that drive you to improve without disheartening you?
  • The toughest people have a champion’s mindset: they can think harder about positive information to counter their bias towards negative information. For every negative thought in your brain, it takes five positive thoughts to counteract it.

The biggest obstacles to mental toughness are your own limiting beliefs. Although these beliefs are often seeded by other people, only you can make the beliefs true. 

Overcoming those beliefs, again, comes back to confidence. Too many people are afraid to revisit their own failures or negative experiences, but that’s how we learn more about ourselves; that’s how we mine the significance of our own stories.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Mental toughness is believing that you will prevail in your circumstances, rather than believing that your circumstances will change. You have what it takes in order to prevail in your circumstances.”

 

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Ep. 4: How to Master Your Emotional Response to Stress & Develop a Stress-Proof Brain | with Melanie Greenberg
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Ep. 4: How to Master Your Emotional Response to Stress & Develop a Stress-Proof Brain | with Melanie Greenberg

Today our guest expert is Dr. Melanie Greenberg, who specializes in managing stress, love, and relationships using proven techniques from neuroscience, mindfulness, and positive psychology. She uses these techniques to educate, support, heal, and inspire people so that they can overcome emotional barriers to fulfilling their potential.

In Dr. Greenberg’s bestselling book, The Stress-Proof Brain: Master Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity, she examines health through the lens of the biopsychosocial model. Basically, she looks at mental health and health as the combined effects of your mind, body, and spirit.

 

How does the biopsychosocial approach work in practice?

For example, someone may comes into Dr. Greenberg’s practice with chronic pain. This pain makes them feel helpless and depressed, and this puts a strain on their social relationships. All of that can make the objective experience of the pain worse.

In treating this person, Dr. Greenberg would try to move them away from strictly using medicine to cure their pain, explain how stress can worsen physical pain, help them see how their thoughts and feelings affect the pain (so that they might feel less helpless), and coach them to interact with social relationships in a way that would empower the theoretical patient.

Everything interacts.

 

Exploring The Stress-Proof Brain

Dr. Greenberg describes stress as an automatic response that can trigger you into a state of flight or fight, in which you fall into an automatic response pattern. In the book, she offers readers tools they can use to manage that response and, instead, leverage its positive aspects.

By taking advantage of neuroplasticity, or your brain’s ability to change through experience, you can rewire your brain to shift from responses that promote stress to healthier responses. This is important on many levels.

On a biological level, stress can literally be a killer – it creates inflammation, changes blood pressure, depress the immune system, and more. In the short-term, this isn’t terribly harmful.

In the long term, continued stress can erode your immune system, develop into significant inflammation in the pathways going to your heart, and affect your glucose production. The negative results of stress can also compound other health problems, or other symptoms of stress.

On a social level, stress can make people angry, argumentative, and more likely to saying things they regret. It can get in the way of relationships and drive people away.  

On top of all that, we often have unhealthy responses to stress. Sometimes we drink to excess, over eat, stop exercising, and generally stop taking care of ourselves. Those unhealthy cycles just add to the feedback loop.

 

One powerful tool for lessening or relieving stress is mindfulness. Mindfulness is meditation, but it’s also much more – it’s an attitude.

 

“Mindfulness is an open, compassionate attitude towards your own inner experience.”

–Dr. Melanie Greenberg

 

Mindfulness will teach you to see your judging thoughts, negativity, reactivity, and fear, and then create some distance between you and those responses so that you understand that those thoughts don’t define you.

If make that a regular practice then, over time, you can learn the difference between your direct experience in the body and the judging thoughts that you cling to. As a result, you will be able to decrease the power of negative thoughts over your life.

As you develop familiarity with mindfulness, you can employ it to change your life at work, online, and in relationships.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

Stress is a natural part of life. It doesn’t have to own you – it doesn’t have to get in the way of your health and happiness. If you learn to manage your brain’s automatic fight or flight response then you can put an end to unhealthy responses to stress, become more mindful, and develop greater compassion.

You can start the rewiring process by beginning a mindfulness practice today, even if it’s just five minutes a day. The most important part of the practice is consistency.

You can begin to learn mindfulness through a specific type of meditation:

  • Focus on your breath as an anchor and watch it go in and out
  • During this process, your breath will naturally slow down
  • As you’re trying to watch your breath, your mind will likely wander to a judging thought (e.g. this isn’t working, I’m not doing this properly)
  • In the moment that you can catch that thought, notice that you’re having it and bring your attention back to the breath
  • You now have a little bit more power over how you focus your attention and a little bit more self-awareness

 

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Ep. 3: Creating Brain-Controlled Medical Devices & Their Potential Applications | with Dr. Nicholas Opie
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2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 32:01
Ep. 3: Creating Brain-Controlled Medical Devices & Their Potential Applications | with Dr. Nicholas Opie

Today our expert guest is Dr. Nicholas Opie. He is a biomedical engineer with experience in neural prosthesis, co-head of the Vascular Bionics Laboratory, and Founder of pioneering endovascular bionics company Synchron, Inc.

Vascular bionics combine biology and medical electronics in the bloodstream. Devices like stents and pacemakers are currently using blood vessels, and Dr. Opie sees these as an opportunity to access the brain without open brain surgery.

These bionics have potential applications for individuals who suffer from paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and degenerative diseases.

 

Making Technology Applicable 

Too often, engineers and researchers create something fantastic that never reaches clinical use. Synchron is devoted to making these technological breakthroughs medically applicable.

They’re currently developing STENTRODE™, the world’s first endovascular electrode array. It  is a minimally invasive implantable device designed to interpret signals from the brain, and Synchron is currently preparing for a pilot clinical trial of the device. 

They plan to evaluate the safety and feasibility of the device to enable patient-directed brain control over mobility assist devices. He’s confident people will be able to control wheel chairs and computers using the device, and his ambitious goal is that the technology will also allow people to control prosthetic limbs.

In just the United States, there are about 6.9 million people who are paralyzed. “If we can help even a small fraction of those, then everything we’re doing is worthwhile.”

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway 

If you enjoy what you do, then it’s not working.  

“That’s what I like to live by. Everything I do is because it’s something I enjoy and it’s something I want to do. I think if everyone can take that bit of advice and do what they are passionate about, then their lives will be a lot happier and they’ll have a great time doing it.”

 

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Ep. 2: How to Understand Body Language & Communicate Positivity | with Dr. John Paul Garrison
47:17
2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 47:17
Ep. 2: How to Understand Body Language & Communicate Positivity | with Dr. John Paul Garrison

Today our expert guest is Dr. John Paul Garrison. He is a licensed psychologist, published author, and an expert in nonverbal communication and detecting deception. He received specialized training from the Paul Ekman Group and achieved expert-level status in micro expressions, subtle face expression, and law enforcement. 

John developed the ARC Analysis system, a methodology originally used to teach law enforcement to identify and react to nonverbal behaviors they observe in potential suspects. He’s since adapted the system to help business leaders increase their interpersonal intuition, and he shares how anyone can benefit from a better understanding of nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal communication is what the brain recognizes unconsciously; it’s what an individual’s body movements suggest. These involuntary movements are a manifestation of your emotions, which are controlled by the limbic system of your brain. For example...

  • When someone doesn’t move their arms while they’re walking, they’re trying to hide.
  • When someone crosses their arms, they are looking for defense or comfort.
  • When someone is seated and locks their feet together, they’re trying not to say something.
  • When someone stands with their legs apart, the farther apart they are, the more dominant and defensive they are trying to be (typical ‘alpha male’ behavior).

John teaches people to recognize and understand these unconscious behaviors so that they can better communicate, without speaking. This is where the ARC Analysis system comes into play.

 

ARC = Action, Reason, Concern

  • An action is a behavior you see.
  • The reason is the context of why an individual engages in a specific action.
  • The concern is, as you might expect, the reaction you feel associated with the observed behavior.

ARC was originally designed to identify deception, but it’s since been expanded to help users develop their intuition and emotional intelligence. John defines emotional intelligence as an individual's capacity to recognize their own emotions, as well as other people’s emotions, and experience empathy.  

 

If you aren’t in law enforcement, counter terrorism, or a Fortune 500 company, understanding nonverbal communication can still be incredibly useful! When you understand how your own unconscious behaviors are related to your limbic system, and your feelings, you can start to control the nonverbal messages you send and the way you are perceived. 

John is currently adapting the ARC Analysis system for couples, who have some of the most exaggerated and strongest nonverbal language. Understanding each other, nonverbally, can make a world of difference.  

We need to train in reading nonverbal communication because contextualizing behavior – ascribing reason to a particular action – is very nuanced. Some behaviors aren’t consistently the result of a specific feeling, and some behaviors don’t indicate the feeling you might expect. We need to understand the science to understand the context.

  • Shaky hands can have a lot of meanings (e.g. cold, poor blood flow, nervous), but if someone’s hands start shaking in the middle of a conversation then that person had a strong adrenaline rush.
  • Flaring nostrils doesn’t necessarily mean someone is angry; it means someone is trying to oxidate the body, and greater oxidation means someone is preparing for action.
  • People squint, sometimes called eye blocking or shielding, after hearing something they don’t like.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway 

“We are always communicating with each other. Always.”  

You really need to learn what your body is saying to other people, and what people are silently saying to you. When you can do that, you can adapt your behaviors and make other people feel better.

If you know what to look for when people are feeling defensive, then you know what to do to make yourself open… and if you can make yourself open, as uncomfortable as it might be, you will receive a better reaction from other people.

 

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Ep. 1: Love, The Moral Molecule & Trust | with Paul J. Zak (AKA Dr. Love)
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2017-09-23 00:47:43 UTC 40:31
Ep. 1: Love, The Moral Molecule & Trust | with Paul J. Zak (AKA Dr. Love)

Today our expert guest is Paul J. Zak. He is on a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork. His latest book, Trust Factor, uses neuroscience to measure and manage organizational cultures to inspire teamwork and accelerate business outcomes.

His quest has taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rainforest of New Guinea and, finally, to The Daily Helping.

 

The Moral Molecule & Humanity

In The Moral Molecule, Paul recounts his unlikely discovery that the neurochemical oxytocin is the key driver in trust, love, and morality that distinguishes our humanity.  

All animals make oxytocin, but humans seem to thrive on it. About 200,000 years ago, humans started living in groups more often, and individuals with more oxytocin receptors in their brain produced more offspring. Now, our species has far more oxytocin receptors than our closest genetic relatives.

Psychologically, oxytocin increases our sense of empathy for others. Empathy is an incredibly adaptive tool because it helps us understand other people's emotions and why they perform certain actions.

 

Oxytocin & Human Development

Are we born with all of our oxytocin receptors and innate social skills, or are we built?

  • The answer is both (as it often is with nature vs nurture discussions), but there are genetic variations in the number and function of oxytocin receptors in humans.
  • Bad News: You have to have nature and nurture for a system to flourish. Because nature is very conservative with resources, children who are neglected simply don’t develop all parts of the system. About half of the people who are sexually abused or abandoned as children don’t have functionally intact oxytocin connection systems in their brain.
  • Good News: Because oxytocin is so evolutionarily old, the receptors are connected in most people who do not face severe neglect, abuse, or abandonment. It’s very difficult to kill all of the receptors. Additionally, it is likely possible that sufficient social support later in life can help individuals regain functionality in their oxytocin connection systems.

 

Applying Our Knowledge: Tactics for Improving Your Relationships

Tactic #1: Embrace your emotional nature. If you focus on the emotions you see in others, you will gain a lot of valuable information.

  • When you say hello to someone, take a moment to look at them, feel the emotion on their face, and start a more intimate conversation. Don’t just say hello. Say, “Hello, you look ______.” You will learn more about how that person is doing, connect better to the individuals around you, and make them feel more valued.

Tactic #2: Acceptance. You don’t always need to fix things. Sometimes it’s just about listening and acceptance. This is especially true for parents! Focus on seeing other people for who they are, and don’t try to force them into the box you want them to be in.

 

Trust Factor: Enhancing Trust in the Workplace

In Trust Factor, Paul details the eight building blocks of trust and identifies ways that organization leaders can create a culture of trust in which people are empowered to control their lives, and are held accountable for what they’re doing.

Paul also explains why trust is good for business. Compared to businesses in the lowest quartile of organizational trust, employees working for businesses in the highest quartile of trust...

  • have 100% more energy at work.
  • are 76% more engaged at work.
  • are 50% more productive.
  • are 50% less likely to leave.
  • enjoy their jobs 60% more.
  • feel 66% closer to their colleagues.
  • take 13% fewer sick days.

On top of all that, employees working in a trusting culture are substantially more satisfied with their lives outside of work. 

You can find a number of useful resources, including Paul’s free organizational trust tool, at www.ofactor.com.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Use the word LOVE a little more often. The more you say love, the more you practice love, the more you’re going to get love.”

Love is a real, physiologic phenomenon in the brain. It is not a “squishy” term – it is something that our brain is designed to give and receive. Understanding that love is facilitated by the brain’s production of oxytocin is necessary for improving your relationships with pets, children, friendships, colleagues, and family.

 

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