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How to be Happy Like Every Day is a Vacation
Gabby: This is an All Ears English Podcast, 188: “How to Be Happy Like Every day is a Vacation.” [Instrumental]
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.
Lindsay: In today’s episode, Michael Miller, life and executive coach, will show you what you can stop doing today in order to have a happier life.
Gabby: Lindsay, I’m really worried because there’s only a few days left of our Kickstarter campaign. It ends the end of September.
Lindsay: Oh my god. You’re right. Absolutely. And it’s really important that each of our listeners thinks about what they could do to help us in the Kickstarter campaign.
Gabby: Yeah, I think the problem is that everybody thinks somebody else is going to help, but the problem is, you are somebody and we need each one of your, our listeners, we need your support.
Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely. And in addition, we want to build an app to make All Ears English a better experience for you, for you to listen to us, find us and connect with other people in the All Ears English community through our apps.
Gabby: That’s what the Kickstarter’s all about you guys: to provide better material that’s easier for you to listen to and for you to use for your English success. So we need your help now. Please come to AllEarsEnglish.com/kickstarter. That’s K-i-c-k-s-t-a-r-t-e-r.
Gabby: During the month of August, we held a special campaign for reviews that we called the World Cup of Reviews at All Ears English. So who do you think won?
Lindsay: Brazil! Brazil!
Gabby: You guys, Brazil won the World Cup of Reviews here at All Ears English. Brazil, you listeners based in Brazil, blew away the competition leaving six new reviews during the month of August in iTunes for All Ears English. And Lindsay and I are so thankful and we love reading each and every review that you’ve left. And that’s true for every country. So if you’re listening to All Ears English and you’ve left a review, thank you. We love to read them. If you haven’t left a review yet, please do so. We can’t wait to hear what you think.
Lindsay: Hey, Gabby. How’s it going today?
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. I’m doing great. How are you?
Lindsay: Really good. I’m really excited because today we have Michael Miller on the show. Michael is an author, a professional life and executive coach, and a motivational speaker. So, he lives in New York City right now, but he’s lived in China, and he’s traveled to over 30 countries.
Lindsay: Super cool. Welcome Mike. How are you?
Michael: I’m doing great. How are you?
Lindsay: Thanks so much for…
Lindsay: …coming here today.
Lindsay: Great, great.
Gabby: It’s nice to meet you. I heard that you’ve worked in cultural adaptation, and also now with life coaching, and about living a happier life. So, you’re doing a lot of really helpful, just awesome projects to help people live better lives.
Michael: Yeah, thanks.
Michael: I, I, I like serving people. It works out pretty well.
Gabby: Yeah, we like it too. I hope…
Lindsay: Yeah, and I think it’s…
Gabby: …our audience does too. Yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah. I think people are really tuned into this topic of happiness nowadays, (you know), people… Gabby: Right.
Lindsay: …are realizing that – no, life needs to go beyond just our daily job and money. It needs to go to something deeper, like happiness. So…
Gabby: Maybe we can ask Mike. I mean, does money buy you happiness?
Michael: Nice. So, the answer to that is ‘no’.
Gabby: Okay. Good to know.
Michael: Money will never buy you happiness. So – and like, (uh), I think money’s great and, you…
Michael: …(you know), making money’s fine, but, (uh), actually, (like), getting in touch with yourself, and a higher power, and others is what’s gonna (going to) bring you true happiness.
Gabby: So it’s kind of separate. Both are good. Money is good. Happiness is good, but not necessarily – not related.
Michael: Yeah. Well, usually, what I find is usually if you, if you find happiness, then the money will flow in.
Gabby: Oh, I like that.
Lindsay: (Hm). I like that idea too.
Lindsay: Doing something you love and the money just comes. Okay. Very cool. Do you think you could let us know, Mike, three tips for our audience on how they could start to live a happier life?
Michael: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, the, the, name of my company is, (uh), The Vacation Never Ends, and I was telling y’all (you all) a little bit earlier – but
that’s basically because when on vacation previously I-I, felt like a different person. (You know), I felt… Lindsay: (Um).
Michael: …more present, like I was more open to new things, like more open to talking to new people, and just (like) happier overall and, (uh), eventually I figured out that was just, (like), me being more conscious.
Michael: And so what I’ve done is actually, (like), worked on becoming more conscious throughout my daily life, (uh), and trying to get that same feeling. So, I’ll do three quick tips for people to actually live a more conscious life and increase their happiness, (like)…
Gabby: …hang on one second. I just wanna (want to) ask a question to clarify what we mean by ‘conscious’ because conscious can mean you’re just awake, like, you’re not dead, right, but…
Lindsay: [inaudible 05:49] physically breathing.
Gabby: …like physically breathing, exactly. But when you say conscious I’m assuming you mean, (like), being aware of your thoughts or your feelings. Is that right? Or is it…
Gabby: …a little different?
Michael: So, basically what it, what most people or humans do is they live in either the future. So, they’re thinking about what might happen or could happen or is possibly going to happen, or they’re living in the past and thinking, like, “(Uh), this happened and that was terrible,” or “I wish that hadn’t happened.”
Michael: [indiscernible 06:21] consciousness is actually living in the present moment.
Michael: …like right now.
Gabby: Got it.
Michael: (Um), and like you said being aware…
Gabby: Got it.
Michael: …of what’s going on.
Lindsay: I like that.
Lindsay: Oh man, then there’s so much power in the present moment, isn’t there?
Michael: You can do anything!
Lindsay: Anything, absolutely.
Gabby: Very cool.
Michael: Yeah. Cool. So I’ve clarified, so now I’ll jump into the three, that’s good.
Michael: All right. So the first one that I have is, is, a, a nice really hard one for most people and that’s to actually practice being present by doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for at least ten minutes a day.
Gabby: Whoa! That blows my mind because you’re so right. It’s difficult to do nothing.
Gabby: I’m not even being sarcastic, (right), (like), I find it really difficult to sit and do nothing.
Michael: Absolutely. You wanna (want to) just get up and do something or pull out your phone or get on your email or [crosstalk].
Gabby: Yeah, and Lindsay…
Lindsay: So Mike…
Gabby: Oh, sorry.
Lindsay: …what does this look like for you? Is that meditation or is that just…
Lindsay: …sitting in a room and just, (kind of), sitting? (Like), what does that actually – (I mean), what do you do when you don’t do anything?
Michael: I do meditate. That’s one way, but one thing that, that I actually really love to do is to go outside and I just be in nature and sit there and, and watch and listen and kinda (kind of) be present in that way. I find the two experiences to be very different and give me different things, but yet a lot
of times I, I’ll just like going outside and – (you know), you can even just go for a walk and just…
Gabby: …reminds me about when I read that, (you know), Eastern and Western culture have different focuses, like in Western culture we focus a lot on doing. So, when you said not doing anything, then I guess that means, (kind of) what, what West – (uh), sorry – what Eastern culture focuses on more is just being, right.
Gabby: So for ten minutes just, (like), stop doing and just be, like…
Gabby: …breathe, like, just…
Gabby: …be yourself.
Lindsay: But you (s-) – you, you still find it easy to get into nature when you live in New York? Do you live near a park? Are you able to go to a park, or how do you do that when you live in the middle of New York?
Michael: Sometimes I’ll just go hug a tree for a while, (you know).
Michael: (Um). Yeah, there, there’s a few parks around me that, that I like to frequent. (You know), Central Park is actually really nice if you go there,
and it, it, (you know), you’re, you’re, outside of the city (kind of); it feels like you’re totally in nature sometimes, but (uh)…
Michael: …yeah, anywhere like that.
Gabby: Very cool.
Lindsay: Love it. So the first tip is practice being present. Awesome.
Gabby: And what’s your next tip Mike?
Michael: (Uh). My next tip is to play once a day.
Michael: Right, yes.
Gabby: Tell us more about that.
Michael: So, for a long time when I had my previous companies, and even when I, when I was working, (uh), in the corporate world I was so focused on, on work and making money, and just striving and, and, trying to, (uh), [indiscernible 09:18] grow my career. I wasn’t playing at all. I wasn’t having…
Michael: …any kind of fun. And one thing that I find with, with a lot of adults is that we forget that there’s still like a little kid inside…
Michael: …that wants to go play on a playground, or draw, or, (you know), dance…
Michael: …anything like that.
Michael: And so actually, (like), letting that, that inner child out once a day will actually result to you being happier, and actually allow your career to grow more, and everything else.
Lindsay: Oh, that’s fantastic.
Lindsay: I think that is really key. It’s so easy – we talk a lot about, (uh), burn-out on this show and…
Lindsay: …that’s something that’s so easy to get to if you don’t let yourself play, and also be present in nature, right?
Gabby: That’s really…
Michael: One thing that the listeners can do if they’re feeling stuck about that is to actually make a list of things that you (lo-) loved to do as kid.
Gabby: Oh, yeah.
Michael: A list of like ten or twenty things and then…
Michael: …and then just start to [inaudible 10:14].
Lindsay: I like that.
Lindsay: Very cool.
Gabby: That’s great.
Lindsay: So what would be the next thing that you would do, Mike, to kind of have – generally just live a happier life.
Michael: Yeah. So, this is probably my favorite tool of, of, anything that, that I use or have. (Um), it’s very simple. (Uh), it’s, it’s, creating an integrity list.
Gabby: (Um). Sounds interesting.
Michael: So, the, the way that, that I define integrity is having your thoughts, speaking, and actions all in alignment.
Gabby: Oh, okay. Thoughts, speaking, and actions all in alignment. So…
Gabby: …give us an example if you could.
Michael: Yeah. So, have you, have you ever heard anyone say, (like), “Oh, I’m gonna (going to) start yoga. I’d love to start yoga,” and then…
Michael: …don’t do it?
Lindsay: Right, happens all the time.
Michael: Yeah, right. So, right there they’re thinking that they wanna (want to) start yoga, they’re saying they wanna (want to) start yoga, but they’re not starting yoga.
Gabby: It’s so frustrating.
Michael: And so what that does is, is two-fold, it stops you from actually doing what you wanna (want to) do, and then also, (like), humans naturally, (like), beat themselves up, we’re our own harshest critics.
Lindsay: Absolutely, we are.
Michael: Yeah. So, when, when you’re not doing something you wanna (want to) do you’re, you’re actually, (like), putting negative energy into your space.
Gabby: That makes a lot of sense and I was thinking that it, it can also affect your relationship with other people because if you’re always saying, “Oh, yeah, I’m totally gonna (going to) start a new yoga class,” (you know), “You wanna (want to) come?” And then you never follow-through, well your…
Gabby: …friends or your colleagues are gonna (going to) start to realize that you don’t have that follow-through or that, that integrity, which is a really strong word, but, (you know), it’s true.
Michael: Yeah. And…
Michael: …it’s like one place that this can really transform your life is in your romantic relationships.
Gabby: Whoo! Tell us more.
Michael: Ooh! So, again, (like), saying what you wanna (want to) do, what – saying what you’re actually going to do and then doing it, extremely important,
but actually, (like), it also falls in with (like) knowing what you want in a romantic relationship.
Michael: So, like, a lot of times people will have these thoughts of what they want in it, but don’t actually believe that it can happen.
Michael: [inaudible 12:31] the relationship can be what they want it to be.
Michael: And so anytime that you, you actually say, “Well, this is good enough.”
Michael: Then you’re out of integrity there.
Gabby: I love this. This is really (kind of) eye opening because your tips apply to so many different aspects of life, (you know), not just language learning. Obviously, it applies to language learning, but every aspect of life and so, (like), relationships, (right). If you don’t know what you want then how can you follow through on that?
Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely. Mike how has your life changed after implementing these tips. (I mean), what’s the shift that you’ve seen?
Michael: Oh, I, I – my shift has been extraordinarily dramatic.
Michael: (Um). So what’s happened is, is I’ve become the happiest I’ve ever been, business is the best it’s ever been. I, I – like I said, I found inner peace. I created a new, amazing relationship.
Michael: I have a heck of a lot more fun.
Gabby: Wow, that’s everything.
Lindsay: [crosstalk] Have more fun, (right), that’s – yeah, life can get so heavy sometimes, and if we can just step back and think about that. Wow, love it.
Gabby: (You know), I wanted to share one thing before we wrap up is when we’re learning a language or when we’re working – I shared this with you guys before we started recording – that, (you know), when we’re in school and we’re learning a language or whatever we’re in school for, (you know), a lot of the times we will think, “Oh, (you know), I can’t wait until class is over. I can’t wait for vacation,” or if you’re working at your job you might think, “I can’t wait till (until) work is over. I can’t wait till (until) my ten days of vacation are here.” And you’re just, (like), waiting for that moment in the future, and, and, Mike you talked about, (you know), thinking in the future versus thinking in the present moment, and so it’s really a mental shift as you guys said, (you know), it’s a shift to just thinking, (you know), the vacation is now, the vacation is not something that we should put off until we have a couple days off of work, or until school is over. (I mean), what can we do know to make our learning, or our jobs, or both, (you know), more enjoyable – to put everything in line, (right), like you said. I love that you said, (you know), your integrity is aligning your thoughts, your speaking, and your actions, and I think that’s just so life changing. It could be life changing for a lot of people.
Michael: Yeah. I hope so.
Lindsay: So just to kinda (kind of) recap here what we’ve talked about. So you’re suggestions are practice being present, (right), just get used to doing nothing for a short amount of time each day.
Lindsay: And then play once a day. Let your inner child kinda (kind of) come out and make an integrity list and line up your thoughts, your speaking, and your actions. I love it. This has been super useful and I’m sure our audience is really gonna (going to) be able to apply this, (you know), right away. These are things that people could do today…
Lindsay: …to start living a happier life.
Gabby: For our audience, you guys, stop listening and make your integrity lists. Now!
Lindsay: Do it now! Well Mike, can you tell our audience where they could find you online? You’ve written a couple of books. You’ve got some websites. I’m sure they’d love to know more. Where can they go to find out more about you?
Michael: Yeah, sure, absolutely. You can go to, (uh), my life and executive coaching website, the (Va-) – TheVacationNeverEnds.com, (um), and if you use ‘/coaching’ there…
Michael: …then you can actually, (uh), chat with me a little bit about coaching. I do work with people all over the world. So, very open to that.
Michael: And, (uh), I also wrote a book called, Four Weeks to Your American Dream Job, for anyone that’s interested in actually working in the U.S., and I help people to do that over on my website, (uh), CultureAdapt.com.
Gabby: Yeah, that’s…
Gabby: …perfect. Thank you.
Gabby: Great resource.
Michael: So, very…
Michael: [crosstalk] from anybody.
Lindsay: Perfect, perfect. Well, thank you so much for your time today Mike. We really appreciate having you on, and that was super fun, and I love your ideas, (you know). I’m gonna (going to), I’m gonna (going to) try to implement them today as well…
Gabby: Me too. All right.
Michael: Awesome. Let me know how it goes.
Gabby: Will do.
Lindsay: Thank you.
Gabby: Thanks Michael.
Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time
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