The Importance Of A Growth Mindset In Stroke Recovery
Is your mindset a Growth mindset or A Fixed Mindset? Learn how to understand the difference and how you can change your mindset to support recovery
03:26 What is Mindset?
10:41 Perspective as one of the key components of a mindset
18:33 The right mindset approach
26:01 Neuroplasticity is not just in the head
34:43 Self Awareness
41:00 Nothing is random
45:24 “Follow your bliss”
58:27 Neuro behavioral modeling
With neuroplasticity research that’s available today what other things we do know is that neuroplasticity is not just occurring in the head. So it’s not just about settling the quote-unquote head brain mind that there is also within the heart and the gut as well and, and that’s why it’s a total way of being neuroplasticity is occurring throughout the whole of the person. And this is why it’s possible where we can actually grow and evolve ourselves as integrated human beings.
This is recovery after stroke with Bill Gasiamis helping you go from where you are to where you’d rather be.
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 82. And my guest today is Marvin Oka. And is a world leader and an authority in the field of behavioral modeling and behavioral change technologies, and has built an impressive track record helping people and organizations with strategic systemic and personal change You can find out more about Marvin at behavioralmodeling.com.
Now just before we get started, I wanted to share with you that a few weeks ago, I launched recovery after stroke coaching the people who have signed up and now being coached by me and are being helped to overcome challenges including fatigue, anger, isolation, amongst other things, the 12 month access, they paid only 149 US dollars.
So if you are a stroke survivor that wants to know how to heal your brain, overcome fatigue, and reduce anxiety, recovery after stroke coaching might be for you. If you have fallen in the cracks between hospital and home care and desire to gain momentum in your recovery but not know where to start? This is where I can help.
I will coach you and help you gain clarity on where you are currently in your recovery journey. I’ll help you create a picture of where you would like to be your recovery 12 months from now, and I will coach you to overcome What’s stopping you from getting to your goal? During coaching, I will also teach you the 10 steps to brain health for stroke survivors and guide you through each step with supporting interviews from experts and information that is based on the latest scientific research.
If you’re one of the first 10 people to join recovery after show coaching, you will get a one on one private coaching thread with me access to the course 10 steps to brain health for stroke survivors when released access to member only monthly group training calls and access to the stroke survivors private forum.
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After the seven day free trial you will pay the annual amount of only 149 US dollars and the price of renewal will never increase for as many years that you stay a member. Once the first 10 coaching packages are solid, the price will never be offered again.
So take advantage of the seven day free trial now by clicking the link below if you’re watching on YouTube, or by going to recoveryafterstroke.com/coaching, if you are listening online, and now it’s on with the show, Marvin Oka. Welcome to the podcast.
Thanks, Bill. It’s such an honor to be here.
What is Mindset?
So it’s gonna be a fun interview because you’ve got a real depth of knowledge in many areas. mindset is one of those and if I could ask you the first question, which is, what is a mind set? And how do we come to have a mind set?
Yeah, it’s great question because it’s one of the often use words around the place, and most people really haven’t thought through, really what’s involved in it. You know, it’s been used interchangeably. with things like attitude, for instance, to have a mindset, really, for a lot of people, they’re saying, you need the right attitude.
But even that alone is not very helpful as a set of words. I don’t know if you can recall bill, but I know certainly when I was growing up as a young boy, I was often told you need to change your attitude. Yeah, and it’s one of those where it’s like, Okay, great. I don’t even like aside from the word how, like, how do you actually shift attitude, but often I didn’t even understand what people actually meant.
Like what what do you actually mean? any more than when someone says you need the right mindset? Okay, wonderful. What does that actually mean? Now, mindsets, not one thing, it’s not just, you know, just attitude if you actually break that down, it’s a it’s, it’s the result of a range of things from your perception of the context, which we can talk about more in just a moment.
Your identity Your values, it has to do with your motivations, it has to do with what you think the the outcome of the goals are. And in a particular situation, it has to do with your psychological orientation, which is also built on your personal history and all your preferences and biases. So it’s a long way of saying, it’s not one thing, it’s many things.
Which is why it’s very slippery to try and get a clear, concise definition. You know, since I would assume instead of looking at it from a academic or technical viewpoint, like, what’s the definitive definition of, mindset? I think probably for your listeners, we’re probably talking more about the practical side of things.
So the really the question, is it given what kind of psychological orientation you’re in? is it helping? Is it serving? Is it the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve? And you can tell if it’s helping you or not, because you’ll experience It’s not helping you, if it’s not helping you, you’re going to experience things like frustration or, or anger or stress or anxiety or worry or, you know, depression or whatever it might be.
Which which tells you right off the bat that it’s not necessarily the external world. You know, in our particular world of neuro behavioral modeling, we take a look at the what we call the blinding flashes of the obvious. You can have two people in the same situation.
And one person will be under great stress and in various forms of suffering and another will be more resourceful and find their ways to generate choices and options in which to respond properly or effectively to the situation. So clearly, it’s not the situation. It’s ones mindset, quote unquote, mindset or psychological orientation in how to respond to that kind of situation.
Of course, though, when you’re in our what we call an unresourceful state. It’s totally unhelpful. If someone just says well, you need to change your attitude. Shift your mindset. Thanks a lot. But I’m not in that mindset. So your advice is not only not helpful, it’s downright irritating makes things worse.
So, this is the issue, the issue is probably less about the mindset itself. It’s more about, in my particular view, what we call the meta consciousness, the ability to stay at choice to be able to choose your orientation to a particular situation and the first step is recognizing when the orientation your in your psychological orientation that you’re in is not serving, because if it’s serving you fine, move along.
But if it’s not serving you, you’re feeling stress, worry, depression, anxiety, frustration, whatever it might be. these are these are clues saying, you know, other people can be resourceful. Clearly, it’s not the world that’s out there.
It’s some way that I’m relating or interpreting the world. It’s the way I’ve psychologically oriented myself to the world and the narrative I’m creating on it. That really I’m in total control of, and if I can shift that, then it’s not a question of which way of orienting myself in the world is going to be more effective, more fulfilling, more meaningful, and more expressive of who I am in this kind of situation.
So it’s kind of a long way of saying it’s not one thing. And and rather than try and get caught up in the technical side of things, let’s look at the pragmatics of it.
I do like your explanation. It’s very deep already. We’ve gone a few minutes and we already seriously deep into the topic of mindset. What I like about what you said, amongst many things, is that fact that when I’m coaching somebody in the recovery after stroke phase or process, they’ve usually altered their mindset to be ready and willing to accept support in some way, shape or form.
And that creates an amazing space for new learning to occur. And I just had a client literally a week ago who told me that the thing that she was struggling with was anger, that anger that she found herself in this situation now, where she’s dealing with not being able to walk properly and recovering from stroke, and it’s interfering with her career, etc.
But what’s interesting now that you say what you said is that she wasn’t angry while we were in the coaching phase. She was selecting on previously being angry. And now she was in a more resourceful state and allowing for new ideas to come into her world so that she can approach these difficulties as challenges rather than as things that are getting in her way of her life that just challenges that she needs to overcome.
So I love the fact that already, as soon as you engage somebody to help you overcome that challenge that you’re having, you’ve already shifted your mindset and you might not be aware of it, but you’re going and moving towards a growth mindset or a change mindset or a mindset. That’s about recovery.
Yeah, that’s great, great example because it highlights how many different aspects there are to the word quote, unquote, mindset. So you know, it’s just saying if they come in with an with a mindset already of seeking, helping open to help, etc. And then as you’re also saying that, you know, she was became aware that she’s not angry in them in the moment during the coaching session, but she’s she was angry about past experiences or in past experiences.
Perspective as one of the key components of mindset
So one of the highlights one of the key components is perspective, right? So it’s major part of your mindset, from what perspective now even that that one little word or one long word depends on what the word perspective is. It also has so many different things components and variables associated to it.
So here we’ve got a time based perspective with the lady saying, you know, this is interesting in the now, when the the coaching session, I’m actually fine is when I think about the past experiences where the where the anger resides. So from a larger timeframe perspective she can now recognize, okay, so she’s not angry all the time, which means she’s not an angry person.
And that kind of larger, broader perspective, the big picture perspective, so to speak, shifts mindset. And this is the classic example of framing and reframing in the world of behavioral psychology. And so the idea is to reframe means shift perspective. In another perspective, things take on different meaning. And so these, seeing all the different elements that make up mindset is is really critical to kind of say just shift mindset is not going to be helpful for a lot of people.
So let’s get a perspective in the moment you’re fine. Right? So that time orientation makes a difference context as another one, which is okay, in previous contexts, I could be angry, but in the context of coaching, I’m not an I’m open, which means in the context of future choices, I, you know, I can be a different way than just angry, right?
But if we can start working with more concrete things like, okay, let’s take about take a look at the difference between what was then versus now what that I can work with, right? And then what’s coming up in the future well, that I can work with, I can get coached to then. So if I come in, and I’ve got a mindset where I’m open to the coaching, that means I’ve got now a shift in perspective as to who I am in relation to you.
So if I am a victim, if my if my perception of who I am as a victim, then my mindset is, you know, woe is me and I can’t do anything about it and everything happens to me. But if I come to you for help, my mindset is okay, I’m someone who can be helped. I would like help. So therefore, I’ve got built in motivation. you’re someone who can help me I’m open hearing and listening and learning from you, well, then that’s a completely different psychological orientation to work with or to work from.
And what people also seem to miss many times as they think it’s all in the head. They think it’s just, if I can just shift my my thinking now shifting your way of thinking is certainly a major part of mindset. But it’s also a way of being. And so if I come to you for help, and it’s not just my thinking is I would like help.
But my way of being is I am someone who is open to being helped. Well, then now your coaching is going to go really far with that person. And so, you know, mindset is not just in the head, mind. It’s all in the whole of body, the whole body mind as it integrates together.
Yeah, it’s interesting. Sometimes you come across clients who think it’s a great idea to get coaching, but then they won’t take the action that they say that they think they need to take. And it sounds like that’s what you’re describing you’re describing that idea of coaching or support or making a difference or changing my mindset.
If I could just do that here, then that’s great. Oh, I got myself to a coaching session or to a session where somebody’s going to support me through a difficult time. And the job’s done. Well, it’s not necessarily done. There’s a lot of things that have to, you have to follow through with. And one of the things you mentioned just a little while ago was, you talked about, you know, people turning up as victims, one of the great things about the stroke community is they call themselves stroke survivors.
And you never hear the word stroke victim, and that automatically sets them up for a different path towards healing and recovery because they are talking about surviving and overcoming. And that seems to me to suggest growth, and re-learning new things anyway and new ways of being anyway because they’re surviving. So the language seems to play a really important role there as well.
Oh, absolutely, it makes a critical role or plays a critical role. Because our language is is the core of of what’s holding together our narrative, or I’m making of the meaning of the world, and the way that we make meaning of our subjective world that influences our quote, unquote, mindset. If we think it’s a terrible world well, and that’s our narrative, that’s the language mapping we’re creating of our reality, then if our mindset is one word, it’s a terrible world, or it’s a harsh world, etc, well, then we’re always going to be at the receiving end of a lot of problems.
Whereas if we are from survivors, and I know for a fact that you know, listening to a lot of when we spoken in the past, from the people you’ve spoken with, as well as yourself, you’ve gone even beyond survivors, and so you know, you’ve gone from surviving to thriving, right?
And so, you know, you’ve got people that are identifying that with themselves, they’ve got a narrative that shapes their mind. mindset around, not just surviving a stroke, but actually now they’re better off because they actually have a different mindset where they value things differently.
They appreciate things differently. They’re more in the moment tomorrow, President and and their, their whole way of being has, for lack of better terms, you know, evolved into a greater levels of authenticity, deeper levels of authenticity. And so when you’re coming from that kind of narrative, your whole mindset, your whole way of being begins to shift.
I certainly noticed that with myself. there’s times where I do things, or I think it’s a great idea, but I’m using words that don’t support the other stage of the process, which is, I’m going to do this part. I’ll go there. And then I’ll talk about how hard it is to do the action steps or the homework or how I don’t have time or all those things and then I’ll get to the point of having a great idea taking action from one point and then kind of interfering with that achievement or that goal or that outcome by using different words to stop me from taking those necessary steps.
And it’s encouraging and it’s in reflecting, and it’s in conversation with other people that allows me to have that checked. And I don’t say that in a in a negative way or or, pupil teacher kind of way. But I say that more in a, I speak to people and I surround myself people who have permission to say to me, hey, Bill, did you realize what you just said?
And how maybe that will interfere with what it is that you’re trying to achieve with your outcome. And then that allows me to reflect on what I said, and perhaps notice myself doing that at times where it’s a critical moment in my action taking to get to that step. And noticing myself is a skill that I never had. before, it’s a new skill that’s come out and notice my words, I noticed my actions and notice my interactions.
And it makes a big difference in how I’ve been able to get through the stroke recovery journey from nearly eight years ago that when it started to this point where the learning never stops, and the noticing myself never stops, because there is a way that sometimes you can revert back to an old mindset that doesn’t serve you.
The right mindset approach
Yeah, you brought up again, a super important point. And something you know, we spoke about right at the beginning, in our conversation, which is this idea of, to really approach mindset well, you want to approach it, in terms of choice in terms of meta cognition, or you know, your meta consciousness, whereas you’re saying, you’re able to observe yourself, you’re able to make different choices you can you can actually choose between your mind so you can become aware of one when it’s not working, or what our particular mindset when it’s not working for you.
And then choose a more appropriate one or more effective or what we call in our language, and ecological one, it works better for you as a whole system as a whole person. And and this idea of, of metacognition is absolutely critical when approaching the development of one’s a mindset. Otherwise, as you’ve rightfully pointed out, you don’t want to get stuck. You don’t want to swap one mindset for another and then just get stuck in this other one.
Otherwise, someone kind of go shift your mindset and they’ve shifted it, but now there’s, they’re just stubborn, (inaudible) mindset that they just won’t let go of, and it’s like, well, you know, hang on you as a person, you’re continually evolving, you’re continually growing. So, you know, you want to be continually be shifting and evolving your mindset as well.
And it also comes back to in our particular field, we look at things in terms of processes, so mindset is not a thing that you have It’s not a it’s not like having a proper mindset you actually do it, it’s actually a set of internal processes that you actually do. And if we break that apart, and we put it back into its process forms, we put that those set of words back into the process forms.
We have, we have mind and we have minding. So when you’re minding something, what are you doing when you’re paying attention, aren’t you You’re, you’re noticing you’re paying attention you’re observing, you’re minding something, you’re taking care of it. And so you’re taking care of cool when this pretty location Take care of yourself. So we can also look at the word set, and we can look at the word of setting.
So you know, how are you setting your way of of minding things, but I like to maybe broaden the word a little bit and say, settling. So how are you settling your mind into something, right. And if we now look at the latest findings in neuroscience that do not separate mind and body that is that Cartesian split of mind and body as two separate things no longer exists in the world of neuroscience, they recognize that part and parcel of the same system, they’re different aspects of the same system.
So more likely to neuroscientists will use the one word of body mind. And as one word just says one word showed two facets on the same system, how the body put it, you know, if you’re not, you know, if your body is not functioning really well, obviously, it affects your mental emotional processes. But your mental emotional processes can affect how your body functions so that.
They’re not two different things interacting with each other, they’re part of the same thing. And so if we look at the body mind, and how are you settling into your body mind? How’s your body mind settling into itself? In other words, it’s another way of saying, it’s how are you doing your way of being in the world? How are you settling into a way of being and this is why it’s not just thoughts, right?
Mindset isn’t just ways of of just pure only thinking. It has to integrate Thinking emotions, body actions, motivations, values in your internal spirit as well your levels of deep authenticity has to come to express itself through this quote unquote, mindset. And so when we as a neuro behavioral modeler when we unpack it, and we start to look at how someone’s settling in the way they’re doing their body mind, or their body minding the hunger, they’re minding themselves, then you start to see things completely differently as to what it actually means to shift mindset.
Basically, what it means, you know, in our most practical sense, to be able to shift from an unreasonable mindset to a more resourceful one isn’t just shifting your thinking. It’s about evolving your way of being. It’s about self evolution. It’s about real growth, about it’s about emerging, deeper levels of authenticity and more congruent expressions of who you are. And so when we really want to get into shifting transforming mindset we are talking about human development or evolution of human consciousness of a person. And so this is where the real work comes in. I know that’s a lot of the focus of the kind of work that you do.
Yeah, it’s it’s a much lovelier place to work in. Let me tell you, it’s really fascinating. And when you take that approach to supporting somebody to recover from something, and you’re using the idea that it’s about evolving that person, and it’s not about helping them fix a problem today, it’s about helping evolve them to the point where they are fixing their own problems without even knowing it from a from a space of this sort of greater wisdom, then that is really the place we want to I want to be playing in.
If you’ve had a stroke, and during recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be. You’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind and Like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I’m make matters worse, doctors will explain things. But obviously because you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.
If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a guide that will help you. It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke. They’ll not only help you better understand your condition. They’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. head to the website now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide it’s free.
When we spoke about mind settling, that’s a beautiful way I’ve never heard mind settling being used before as a way to describe the mindset that I was familiar with up until right now. And I had a problem with that word mindset. And it was because somebody who’s not expanded in their way of thinking, and I’m certainly not that expanded yet, but I’m getting there is I looked at the word mindset, and I, I saw the word mind and set and when I hear set, I think of concrete, it set, change it.
I want to think of mind I put those two words together and it’s like, even the word automatically from just you know, straight out of the gate in suggests, kind of if, you’re that way inclined, that it’s hard set and we can’t change it. But we know that’s not true now, because of things like neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is not just in the head
That’s right. And then and again, that the, as you’re well aware of built with, with neuroplasticity research that’s available today what other things we do know is that the neural plasticity is not just occurring in the head. So it’s not just about settling the quote unquote head brain mind, that there is also within the heart and the gut as well. And, and that’s why it’s a total way of being a neuroplasticity is occurring throughout the whole of the person.
And so this is why it’s possible, where we can actually grow and evolve ourselves as, integrated human beings. You know why the mindset isn’t just a shift of thinking it’s also an emergence of deeper core authentic values, an expression of your of your core when I simply called core essence of who you are at the deepest level. And, and this idea of, you know, with coaching, where we’re looking at the evolution of consciousness of someone.
The challenge I think, for a lot of people is that When they’re in a particular or doing a particular mindset, where, they’re there, that mindset is creating a lot of suffering and pain for them, you know, a lot of mental emotional angst and suffering, to actually entertain the idea there’s another way of doing one self another way of being that we’re this this form of suffering doesn’t exist with more choices are available.
That all sounds impossible, unreachable to someone who is suffering. And that’s why is it as you’re saying, This is why, you know, people like yourself when they’re coaching people. It’s taking them to that place where this new level of authentic ways of being can emerge, right, there’s this new self evolution is emergent.
They can’t see it from where they are yet but with guided processes with with help with support with with the right levels of entrainment space, that’s created they can have a way to access new ways of settling a body mind a way of doing themselves, where there emerges new choices that they could not see before. And this is the form of generative coaching that that I know you do.
And it’s kind of coaching that I do. And, and this is where, for lack of a better term is what I call the real work. That’s where the real work happens. And that’s why it kind of similar to yourself, why, you know, when people throw around the word mindset, I take a look at the level of depth at which they’re using the word that depth kind of narrative and whether they’re doing things at a surface level, like just change your thinking it’s like yeah, thanks dad.
Like you know, what am I supposed to do when you when you tell me to change my attitude Thanks a lot. As opposed to someone who really understands what it actually means to to actually shift the way that I think value feel connect with myself and emerge a new way for the more deeply authentic, more fulfilling, more expressed. And when that happens. Now the words mindset now really have meaning.
Yeah, they sure do. One thing I’ve become aware of, as I’ve gone through my own evolution, in 45 years I’ve been on this planet is that my mindset may not have been mine. It may have come from somewhere else. I may have been partly influenced by my schooling by my parents, by my boss by all these other people who may have somehow infiltrated my mindset and laid down another mindset or partly some of their mindset.
And now I’m walking forward in life and I’m experiencing these things and I’m wondering, you know, why I feel certain ways or why this is not working for me because potentially what I’ve not been able to develop is an awareness of what my own mindset should be. Hmm. Now we become aware of how we’ve been, for lack of a better word intrained in a way that is not authentically us. That is somebody else’s way of being. And how do we shift?
That’s a superb question because it’s at the heart of almost all wisdom practices for millennia. And there’s so many different ways to try and go about it but have, I’ll talk about one right now only because it’s fresh in my mind because I’ve just been recently reminded of it as I’ve been working on a particular project looking at various forms of meta philosophies and meta and working with a colleague around looking at meta ethics and working with another colleague around development of one’s general philosophies of the world in the your a little bit, a slightly different nuance to mindset.
But it’s your background framework that you’re reaching for, to make sense of the world and to make decisions and to make your decisions and actions, what’s guiding the wisdom of your decisions and actions. And one of the ways to explain this, John Paul Sartre had one way of explaining this. And in his in his philosophy of in that genre of existentialism.
And one of his phrases, one of his famous phrases is that we are condemned to freedom. And that one of the things he said because as humans, we are always free, but there’s a part of us that recognizes this and it has this ongoing anguish and angst knowing that we’re free. It’s scary. And he say because part of it is in our consciousness.
You know, in our language, as you know, Bill as neurobehavioral modelers, we talked about how we represent the world to ourselves, we take pictures of the world, we say things to ourselves. People say things to us, we take on their narrative, as you’re saying, It’s not even in our own mindset. They give us pictures, we watch the news, and they put pictures in our head.
And we go through all these different representations of the world that weren’t self generated, they were given to us. And that’s the way it is. That’s the way the world works. And John Paul Sartre was saying, you know, we have these in consciousness, we have these images that go on in our head. And he said, you, but you, you always have to remember that there is a, that we have what he called the objects of our consciousness.
In other words, the content of our focus. And he said, but there’s always the observer, which is us, noticing these things that are that are going on in our head. Well, you know, we Hearing the voices in our head, right? If you hear what somebody what your parents told you, for instance, when you were growing up or what you should and shouldn’t do?
Can you recognize that there’s a you that can hear this internal voice in your head? If you have these pictures of memories running in your mind, can you recognize that there’s a you that observes these pictures? So you’re not those pictures, and you’re not those voices. There’s an observer, that’s you.
And Sartre points out, he said, there’s always a gap. There’s always a gap between you the observer, and that what you are observing, there’s a distance between you and that. And he said in in that gap is freedom in that gap, because you don’t have to choose to think that way. Right you can interpret those things differently in that gap.
And we always have that gap. There’s always you the observer. All the other things all the things that you’re observing with is the pictures the sounds what people are saying, the images that’s going on out there in the world. And we are we always have this and that’s why I said we are condemned to freedom we always have this freedom.
And with this freedom comes this amazing responsibility and it’s in a lot of people will run from that a lot of people run that they kind of said they want to play the victim. Right they want to have not be at choice because now they feel like it’s they don’t have to be responsible for what happens so with this freedom with this recognition that you can be responsible you can choose you can create your life you can be more you can authentically create your your own interpretations of how things are that’s more fulfilling to you.
So that’s a big ask. But this is one of those things where Look, how do you do it? Well, one of the first things The first step to the to the how question is exactly what we started this conversation on self awareness. You have to become aware of your own thoughts. Your own internal voice, the internal voices running in your head, which may not even be yours.
The pictures running in your head, all the things that the external world tries to to well, but it’s not for the intentionally try to do this, but it happens, the news etc It all comes, you know, we’re all we all grew up people telling us things and is what Gurdjieff said, he said, We need a guardian at the gate of our impressions.
So all the impressions that we take on all the pictures that we store in our head, all the things we say to ourselves all all the recordings that we store in our head, we need a guardian at the gate of these impressions just saying, do I choose this? Do I agree, do I not agree or whatever it might be. Because if you don’t have this level of meta consciousness or self awareness, then you just take it on and you just get conditioned you get programmed by society.
And so a lot of this choices is becoming aware of the programming. It’s not a bad thing. It just happens. So, what the antidote is is consciousness is choice is to actually stay aware of your choice and then constantly doing exactly what you’re doing, which is come back and ask yourself, do I really believe this? Do I really choose this? And if not, what do I want to choose? And it’s, it’s what people want to do next in order to choose is don’t look external.
They’ll say, Okay, what should I choose? There’s not should all there is is what is authentic to you? In this moment? What do you choose in this? And, you know, there’s this old game that’s played. I don’t know if some people are familiar with the game. Are you familiar with with the old Chocolate and vanilla Ice cream game?
No, tell me.
It’s a beautiful game. And it’s one where someone comes, you know, as an exercise, if I were to come up to you, Bill, and I’d say all right, so I’ve got in one hand, chocolate Ice cream in the other hand, vanilla ice cream. All right, choose which one?
Vanilla. Okay, so why did you choose vanilla?
It’s my favorite.
It’s your favorite. no wrong answer. Chocolate or vanilla choose?
Why did you choose chocolate?
Because it’s my favorite.
No wrong answer. This game will go on for minutes, to hours, where people are just struggling with this thing. Now one of the points of this exercise is anytime you have because that means you haven’t chosen Oh, it means your reasons made you choose your reasons decided for you.
Right? Oh because this this this and because because of those reasons. Therefore, I’m making this choice, which means you’re not in control. You didn’t do it. Your reasons did it, your criteria made you do that. Because of it or because it’s, you know, it’s better for the planet or so. So none of this is your choice.
Right? Now, when you’re actually coming at it from a bit esoteric, because I know people will argue with this and it’s like, well, first just understand what the point is, right? It’s not meant to be a practical exercise. If I go to an ice cream shop or gelato shop, I am choosing something because it is my favorite. But the point of the exercise is, yeah, that if you’re coming from pure choice, then you would hear narratives coming out of someone like what? Choose one alright chocolate, why did you choose it?
Because I chose it because because I chose it. No other reason other than I chose it. Right? There’s there’s no reason That’s just what I did. It’s like Okay, all right. So, you know what while it might not be the most, you know, in in the most Street, you know, the most conventionally practical exercise although it is immensely practical in terms of development of one’s consciousness. So, in terms of, you know, what is it you really choose.
Look at 10 a day in the moment, be truly self authoring to be authentic and self authoring, create truly self creative in that moment, takes tremendous levels of awareness and consciousness. Now, I’m not saying that one should be doing that all the time, although that you know, that would be like a lovely, lovely Nirvana type state.
But, but it is, it is an important concept. It is an important, you know, light on top of the hill actually a flag on top of the hill to actually be good to be aware of to recognize Okay, it Your question is, how do I choose? Well, look at the deepest level, how you choose is stay connected to yourself stay connected to what is authentic to you in that moment. Now, that’s a big gask. That’s that’s far easier said than done. Right?
But that’s why it requires strong degrees of extreme degrees of constant self awareness. Well, then the core question now becomes how do you actually develop self awareness while you develop it by being more self aware on an ongoing basis? It’s not an end state. It’s an it’s an ongoing thing. There’s always another level of self awareness we can get to so you know, the thing is, it comes back to mindfulness practice in the most simple terms. You know, if in getting into everything comes back to what we started the conversation with, to be to really work practically with mindset. To do it practically means develop self awareness.
Nothing is random
Yeah, what I’m getting personally from this is that nothing’s random. My place in the world today is all is because of all of my because, yes, nothing is random. I haven’t got here because of the randomness of somehow a podcast emerged out of the world. And I’m interviewing people because of randomly, they just emerged another on my podcast.
They are all choices I made when I contacted you is because I wanted to speak with you about mindset, and so on and so forth with every other guest and my whole experience with stroke, I have realized perhaps it happened in a random part of my brain because it was a birthday effect that just occurred. However, a lot of the things that I did, created the perfect storm for that bleed to occur.
And when I become aware of that, then I can take steps to create the opposite of perfect storm for a bleed to occur. I’m creating the perfect storm for wellness to occur. And that is not random. That’s because of all of my because and I get there and I’m at this point and I’ve totally and in every way influenced my life up until the day before the stroke and then every day after that.
So hopefully what people listening and watching get from this as well is that there is no randomness they have they are in control of every part of the process after today, if they choose to be and if they choose to be aware of how they’re currently living in their life in their world, and How they doing themselves able to shift and do themselves in a way which will serve them better.
Which means that I can start with any client, any prospective coaching client, no matter how terrible their experience is or how great their experiences is, and still support them and create a space for them to enhance their world. Way beyond what they’re experiencing now.
Yeah, absolutely. So they you know, what you’re saying there reminds me of several things have several thoughts running through my head and while while you’re talking, that one is you know, as the one of the concepts that the Buddha talked about was the notion that the things are always things are the way they are. their level of impermanence is or is because everything is just because of what he called interdict.
Well, that translated as into dependent arising, which map straight across to what we now know today we’re on systems thinking around how things there’s so many variables all coming together and things and the present moment. emergence is many variables that are there. And and they don’t happen by accident, you have a role to play in this.
So if we go to another language, like chaos theory, they have a principle called sensitivity to initial conditions or sometimes just simply called initial sensitivity. And it gets translated into some people have heard the the metaphor or analogy around or more of a metaphor around a butterfly flapping its wings and Texas can create a hurricane over in China.
And because in a highly volatile system, where there’s a lot of interdependent arising conditions like weather, the weather conditions, something subtle like a butterfly flapping its wings can create subtle air disturbances that permeate that have repercussions throughout the entire system that end up as a hurricane over somewhere else in the world around the China.
Right. Now keep in mind that you are like that butterfly choices you make everything you do creates all these other interdependent arising variables around you from people responding to you to new opportunities, opening up certain ones closing down, every choice you make has repercussions all around you and they keep emerging how your life is going to unfold.
“Follow your bliss”
So how do you make sure that you’re not just a ship on on a stormy sea being battered about by the winds, right? Do you know that you’re not just being blown away as a butterflies somewhere? Well, this is where we go to another language, which is where the great mythologist when he was alive, Joseph Campbell, the founder of the hero’s journey, one of his great pieces of advice was to follow your bliss.
Right at the end of the day, it’s like so what is it if you deeply connected to yourself? What is it that makes you come alive? start following this things that that deep inside yourself is saying this is fulfilling this Is this is more of an authentic expression of who I am, whatever it might be in that moment. And when you as like a butterfly flap your wings following your bliss, the end of dependent arising around you, your life will start emerging in a much more blissful direction, that way and so you are at choice.
And the thing is, as you know, as john Paul Sartre was saying, we’re all condemned to freedom we all have this but deep inside there is this from what I can see from other wisdom traditions, there’s like this essence there’s there’s another another language we can talk about is free energy. There’s, there’s there’s a there’s something there you know, if someone comes to you bill in a coaching situation, right, and they’re having a suffering in life, right, as you pointed out, they didn’t come to you for no reason at all. It wasn’t random, right?
There’s a there’s a free energy and a boundaries a bound energy in them where they’re trying to express the truth. They want to live a more expressive, authentic life, and they’re struggling. And they don’t know what to do, but they’re free energy makes them come to you. And they’re bound energy is stuck, right? And so no matter where they are, no matter where they’re bound energy is bound.
No matter how much suffering there is, there is that free energy that if you tap into, that’s where the butterflies trying to flap. And if you can coach them there, they will flap following their bliss. And now their life will start to create new forms of emergence new forms of independent rising with their life can start to move in a more authentic expressible blissful direction. And, but what they need is they do need a coach and that’s what we all do.
All humans, you know, we all need the next level of coach that we’re into. So you’re absolutely right. You know if people can can turn their life around, no matter how bad it is, you can turn your life around if with with help. And as long as you stay mindful, as long as you’re willing. You can do a way of being a mind settling where you’re open to being coached you’re you’re open to learning and know it open to being coached doesn’t mean you know you’re less than that. What it means is you’re open to learning and growing, you know, you’re open to consciously choosing that path.
There. What I find fascinating is that humans like myself, before I understood what coaching was, I thought I could do it all on my own and sort it all out and learn everything and you know, take it all on board. And it ended up me doing 16 hours a day, almost seven days a week for many, many, many years. Until I realized, until I had the bleed and I realized that I could no longer do that it was gonna kill me, amongst other things, you know, it was taking me away from my family and my kids and I had a lot of regrets.
And they’re not deep regrets that I’m going to take to my grave or anything like that, that are going to make my life you know, miserable. But I have regrets about the fact that I was so thick and I didn’t understand how coaching would help and then as I as I became a coach and started to coach people and learn what the power of coaching was, I realized that the best tennis players in the world who have been number one, or in the top five, for decades, have a coach all the time.
They never went without a coach. And these guys are using a coach to make to be the best tennis players I imagine what’s driving them is partly to be the best tennis player ever, but also to be extremely wealthy and make a staggering amount of money. And then we, we do the whole I don’t need a coach. I’m doing well in my struggle. Amazingly fantastic and not being able to afford anything and not being able to overcome.
So if I could just impart that part of my wisdom because that is something that I’ve become wise to recently I can impart that on anybody. And I don’t mind if I’m not your coach. But if you are struggling with any part of your life or you want to achieve something and you haven’t been able to yet, get a coach and get another coach and then find another coach and keep getting people to support you to help you to overcome whatever it is that’s blocking you from those things that you want to get to.
And, and it That was one of the things that freed me discovering that I didn’t have to do all these things by myself because I was doing the victim. I was doing the whole, nobody’s going to do this better than me. I was doing the whole you know, I can’t rely on people, I can’t do this. I can’t do that. And if I don’t do it, nobody’s gonna do it.
And I was playing the victim game and if I took that into my stroke recovery journey, I’d be relying on doctors to help me feel better emotionally which is not their job. I’d be relying on all sorts of people to be doing things for me, that they are not trained and skilled to do, it’s not their job to do that for me. So what was great it was there was I was able to let that go immediately and take responsibility for my recovery on myself.
And then as I did that, and as I sought out, new learning new help new books, new ideas, then I was able to develop this other way of existing in the world and people didn’t recognize me, not because my face had changed because of the way that I would talk or turn up or present myself to them. And then that opened up more doors, it opened doors to do public speaking and I’ve been doors, you know, to be featured on TV commercials, it opened doors to be featured on news articles.
Which are all about making a difference and showing people that things are getting better those types of news articles that I want to be involved in. Not the ones that talk about all the all the terrible things that happened on the planet. So I feel like if people can understand the importance of mindset and how they can develop their mindset and continue evolving it that that will say a massive shift in their life and I don’t I feel like it doesn’t take a lot of energy to get great results from a shift of mindset.
Yeah, shift in mindset can change everything. It’s I remember several many decades back now. Maybe a good four decades back. I heard this this lovely speaker this lady say something once that I went, Wow, how amazing is that? And she was from California. And she said that She one day, you know, she was she was doing her morning run. And she was running near the Golden Gate Bridge.
And so this is the (inaudble) 40 years ago. And she said, there’s this, there’s this park near the Golden Gate Bridge, where if you look in one direction, you’ll see you’ll see San Francisco, and you’ll see it and it looks beautiful. You’ll see the bay and you know, you just, you know, just be beautiful. And then she said, and then you turn about, I don’t know about 40 degrees or so.
And then you’re looking at Oakland, back then was very industrial and a bit lower key on the on the socio economic status compared to San Francisco. And, and she said, That’s amazing. You’re standing on the same spot. And you could be looking at Oakland and that could be your life. You could be looking at it I could have gone man, my whole life is going to be Oakland and she said, But standing on the same spot. If you just shifted 40 degrees, you’d see San Francisco and all its bays and how beautiful it is.
She said, for the same place, just a slight turn of 40 degrees. And it would be a whole different view. Right? And I thought about that. And I said, Look, you know, aside from the fact that I’m assuming, I don’t know, 40 years later, hopefully Oakland’s a lot better. I haven’t I haven’t been for 40 years. But I did think what a great analogy, right?
This shift of mindset up sometimes a 40 degree turn, no more, maybe not even, you know, sometimes just a five degree shift in thinking. And it’s a different world. It’s a different life. It’s a whole different orientation that they can start to occur. And you’re absolutely right, this huge change. Now one of the things you highlighted bill when you’re when you’re just talking there is one one of the key things is, you know, you highlight around these top superior, you know, sports performance, etc.
And you said, you know, you know, maybe it was to be the best in the world or whatever it might be. And I think it does, in some ways, start there, which, which is, you know, you’ve got people that may come to coaching because they have a problem. And their whole, quote, unquote, mindset is, how do I fix my problem or get rid of it? I’ve got this problem, I want it to go away. And I want to go back to the to the way I was,
without recognizing that, but the way that they were was what caused the problem in the first place, is what you were saying you did all these choices, all these things which led up to the perfect storm, right? You don’t want to go back there. You want to evolve, you want to grow. And that’s what you’re saying around you know, these top athletes. They’re looking to be a champion in the world or they’re looking to become the best that they can be.
They actually have motivated They actually have something that is in our language, what it was called teleological, which is they have an end goal in mind have an end purpose. Right? And as you’re pointing out, you know, suddenly you will not suddenly but you know, through choices you’ve made, you’re not have all these new options, new choices, you’re being invited to new places, new opportunities appearing everywhere, you’re turning.
And for a lot of people, it’s it’s, they settle. their mindset is one where they settle for a life that is conditioned, they actually think this is how life is going to be and that’s what it is, and, and if I have problems in life, I need a coach to get me back to this standard of life that I think is the standard. What they don’t realize is, if you set your goals to be, you know, to be the champion of your life, you know, to to to to win the championship of your life, which is going to be more of how could How could life be good life, life could have far more opportunities, far more fulfilling ways of living life.
One more ways of expressing who you are in the world. What if life was that? rather than get back to the life that was conditioned beforehand? How do you make your choices there? And I think when people are mindful enough to kind of say, look, you know, this life of suffering this this life of continual challenges this this life of continual stress and anxiety is not me.
This is not who I am this is not all I want my life to be I want my life to be more authentic, more fully express more motivated more bliss, set your goals then now you actively go seeking for a coach because now you recognize I can’t get there on my own. I need someone to point out things that I don’t see about myself, you know that I need people to help me point out my blind spots and my ways of thinking my ways of be I need people that can accelerate my my development because I don’t have forever on this planet. And that’s when they actively go and seek a coach. And and that’s when you get the people that will show up ready to learn with them. For real growth, real development, I think it starts there. Yeah.
Yeah. One of the things is that comes to mind when you you mentioned about going back to being the person who you were before the stroke. I think is that Einstein that said, You can’t solve the problem that you’ve created with the same thinking that created the problem?
Neuro behavioral modeling
You know, going back to where you were before, is just going to be a couple of days or months before stroke. And don’t want to be leading up to those days or months before the stroke because we know what happens. We’ve been there before.
Your work is neuro behavioral modeling, amongst other things, and recently I’ve sat in and then the course to understand and learn how to be a neuro behavioral modeler and I mentioned that before Cause you just said something about how we can accelerate our way to change and to evolve. And it comes to my mind that one of the things that we can do is model other people.
And we’ll talk about it in that simplest form because neuro behavioral modeling is another conversation, a very lengthy one, which is amazing and perhaps for another day, but for right now, if I modeled some of the behaviors of another person who I think is already further ahead of me, what are some of the things that I need to look out for because I don’t want to model them and be like them in the way that they have recovered from stroke because they are slightly different from me and I have a couple of little things that I don’t agree with perhaps, but modeling could be something that I could do to accelerate my evolution or my healing or whatever.
Yeah, great. Yeah. What a brilliant question. So a couple of things. First I need to clarify is when we use for our listeners when we use the terms, use a term behavioral, especially when we talk about neuro behavioral, we’re not just talking about gross external physical movements. So we’re not just the can’t the gross steps or chunks of what people have done physically thinking processes to us are neural behavioral, for instance, emotions for us our neural behavioral.
Right your body has to be doing a set of processes in order to produce a way certain classes of emotion or ways of thinking, ways of being ways valuing etc. So, for us, all of human functioning is neural behavioral, even even the you know, even emerging levels of consciousness we have to look at, you know, how does the central nervous system have to function in order for new levels of consciousness to arrive? And emerge.
So that’s the angle that we’re taking from. So it’s not just gross external behavior. So coming back now to your question, what are some of the things to actually, you know, look for or notice, some of things has to do, first and foremost with motivations, we need to look at what motivated or how do they motivate themselves.
And in remembering that motivation has direction so it has what we call a move toward or move away from, so the things they might want to gain or things they want to avoid. You want both. So we need to attend to so what actually motivated someone to actually want to do something even beyond that, we want to look at their core identity.
So it’s what’s important to someone that motivates them, their values, things of that nature will come into play with motivations. It’s only important because they take it personally. What’s their core identity and, and who are they? How do they what’s the narrative around their self called concept in a particular situation.
So as we spoke about before, if they have an identity of being a survivor, compared to being a victim, well, that’s a completely different identity, right? And there’s different values that will arise if you’re a survivor and a thriver. Compared to someone who’s a who’s a victim, and you’re just trying to cope. Right? The completely different set of now strategies will come into play. Also, the perception of context, I think is really critical.
How do they perceive what it’s all about? Like what is what is what is this all about? So someone who is for instance, I can imagine if someone were a in victim mode, right? The the context would be the lower end of surviving of coping, it’s not even trying to get through but you know, basically, how do you just be on the receiving end as a victim right?
Now you cope accordingly. And if that’s your context, your country Text is just cope woman. Good luck. I hope you cope well. But if some are not coping, yeah, as if the context was that was the goal, the goal was to cope. Whereas, you know, I know what some of your case studies that you did better on modeling on with some of the people that you looked at, you know, when the context shifts when the context is no longer about them.
But the context is now about others, or service to others, or contribution to the to the world or the context is, is about being there for loved ones, if that’s the context and who they are their identity changes, right? And then their values change their values are not just you know, how do I get more for me their values is about contribution, it’s about service, it’s about all those types of things. And and that’s where their psychology now comes alive. And that’s where their mindset really starts to shift and their and their ways of being starting to shift.
So you know, if I would Look at just a if I had to pinpoint down some core things, I’d want to know, you know, if you’re someone that I want to role model, how are you perceiving what the context is? What What is the game for you? Right? And how is it different than the way I’m establishing what I think it’s all about? How do you define who you are in this and what’s important to you what values are important to you, in all of this, right?
And because that’s where the big mindset shifts come in the rest as to how you do it, how you think about it, that’s that’s all how to write. And that’s equally important. But it comes after the big mindset shift. Because if you’re not connected to a bigger context, a more more evolutionary identity, a more authentic set of values and beliefs. If you’re not connected to that first, you’re not even going to do all the How to you’re going to talk to the person you’re gonna go, that’s interesting. And then you’re just going to go back and do your same identity from the same context with the same values and then wonder why nothing’s changing. The real change is going to come from the context identity and values and beliefs levels.
Yeah, I wasn’t clearly aware of that. But just in you saying that now it really takes me back to my shift. And my shift really occurred when it became about, I need to be here for my children, you can’t, you know, when I need to get better, so I can be there for my wife, for my family at large. And then when I started sharing stories, and people would share their feedback and say stuff like I needed to hear that or thank you for that or I can relate to that I’m not alone, then it became about them as well.
And then I held myself to this greatest standard, get better presentations better at presenting get better at putting podcasts together, understand all these things that I needed to do to make the experience of sharing to other people, more able to be received in a more profound way so that it makes a bigger difference. So I’m putting the same effort in in my podcast episodes, they take an hour, we transcribe them.
But now we’ve added people can download a PDF, so that if they do not like to just listen, they can actually read the PDF and they can underline, like I love to do on Blank pieces of paper to make things stand out. Or to put it in my, desk or my folder somewhere where I can pull it down and just flick through it at any time.
And then, from there, I have also made it possible for people to download on YouTube. So if they prefer to watch and see us interacting, they can do that there. And when I think about how I made all those decisions, it all started from the very first moment where I thought, well, I might not be here tomorrow. What will my children think of me? If I croak it and I’m not around.
They might say dad was a good dad, but he wasn’t angry all the time. And that led to all these other decisions about how am I going to positively impact the lives of all of the people who come across me. So that when I do kick the bucket, they say, well, that bill was a good guy. He used to give us videos, and he used to give us audio. PDFs.
So, I love that you share that because it’s really brought me back to my why. And the why then made it possible for me to overcome all the problems in that how do I get a podcast out? What is a podcast? How do I get people to listen to it? How do I do more than one episode a year? You know, it was all those things then started to get answered.
But they they just all, all that over how tos they just fell one the other after the other after the other because my why was so massive and it made it simple and it made it. It made it easy for me to continue doing that work without having to wake up in the morning going, Oh crap, I have to put another podcast episode out because all those people are waiting to listen to it.
Yeah, exactly. I mean that’s beautiful what you’re saying so that you know the context goes bigger than yourself which then contextualize is who you are and all of this in a way that’s meaningful and that’s the most critical component you know, as as you’ve just so beautifully pointed out in all the How to becomes a natural expression of your of who you are and your your desire to serve your desire to contribute, as opposed to just having another bunch of things on your to do list.
So you can you can look at all your online marketing things and go Gosh, I gotta go purchase a YouTube channel and I got to create podcast geez, but if it’s a natural expression of who you are Your desire to serve you, it’s part of, you know, the alignment between your context, your identity, your values, your beliefs, all starts aligning internally within you and it’s a congruent expression, then you following your bliss.
And of course, yeah, as you say things just fall into place, the interdependent arising, will now be wonderful because you’re, you’re a butterfly, you’re flapping your wings, you know that everything is now shifting around you and it’s emerging your life forward from this point in a way that’s meaningful, comes all the way back to exactly what Viktor Frankl was saying, you know, in Man’s Search for Meaning, it which is as long as the key to his survival in the as a in the Nazi prison concentration camps is key to survival, as you pointed out, was having an identification with a larger purpose.
You know, something larger than oneself that that brought meaning to things. And this is the whole point is to make sure that it’s that what you’re doing is is meaningful. This is this is what Campbell saying. follow your bliss. This is what you’re doing now is meaningful, it has purpose. It has natural authentic expression of who you are congruent way of being and expressing yourself into the world. And that that is closer.
What what I would think is is meant by, by looking at from a neuro behavioral modeling standpoint, mindset, right? It’s not just the thoughts running through your head. It’s the way you’re settling into your body mind as to who you are, and how you’re expressing yourself into the world. And that’s that’s real mindset at that point.
That’s a beautiful way to end the podcast. Marvin, thank you so much for being on the recovery after stroke podcast.
Thanks, Bill. Thank you, It’s an honor. And you know, I’m such a big fan of your work. And I just love what you do, what you’re doing is making a huge difference out there. So thank you. Thanks for inviting me and thank you for doing what you do.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Thank you for listening. As mentioned during the interview, you can now download a PDF of the full transcript of the episode. Which you can print and make highlights on or take notes on. Just go to recoveryafterstroke.com. Scroll to the most recent episode, when you click on that episode, it will take you to the episode page.
And when you scroll down just a little bit on the episode page, you’ll come across an orange download button, click the orange button and enter your email address and the transcript will be sent direct to your inbox. Now, if you enjoyed this episode, and think that others might appreciate it, it would really mean a lot to me if you share it on your favorite social media platform, as this will make it possible for other stroke survivors to find recovery after stroke.
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