Metrics for Motivation
So with that said we're going to talk a little bit right now about metrics and how they can help you reach your goals and this is going to be we're going to bring john c havens up in a moment to remind you he has this amazing book coming out on today's freckled hacking happiness and it's all about how metrics help you or him to you how do they help you hinder you how do those numbers affect you in your life so whenever you're ready we can talk to john c havens in a moment and he is just a master I have two met when I was talking about the segment there's john say hi john with everything hi how are you thank you so much for being here and john I want to say good luck on your amazing book was so excited because you know nothing like getting ready for book launch like two days from now and john has taken out precious time from his schedule to be here and share a little bit of his incredible knowledge so thank you my pleasure thank you so the first thing john you you write a lot about metr...
ics and but what does we hear the word quantified self that's um that's mean you know I used a lot these days what does that actually mean for those of us that might know not know including me I'm not that familiar with the phrase sure well quantify itself is actually a movement that began about four five years ago by two of the founders of wired magazine and there's been meet ups around the world dozens and dozens of meet ups and basically the idea is that people study themselves they study their lives to optimize their lives now a lot of times you hear about quantified self being used with aps and technology but you can actually measure yourself in a quantified self manner using a pencil and paper with the journal or a friend of mine jokes about having fat pants you know when you when you have that pair of pants that you can't get into any more and that means I have to lose a couple of pounds that's a form of quantified self so the geeky term has to do with absent technology but mainly it means examining your life with data so you can improve it okay now we had a conversation a long time ago but I loved what you said for me what makes when someone examines their life john with data that's sometimes a positive for some people and then I have seen people that then use those metrics those numbers and they almost feel disempowered by that can you is there a difference in the mindset of what we do with that data? Is it once we have those numbers how could we use them in a way that's really meaningful and motivational and is there a difference? It's a great question and I think there's definitely a difference. I tell people it's kind of like your credit card bill at the end of the month besides thie stuff that you have to buy, you know, food or what? Have you really a credit card? Build the end of a month is a data portrait of what you value right? So you may not be happy about what you bought you maybe like, oh, my god, I just saw a lot of hands go like that for me it's books I know I got, like, fourteen books my wife is like, what are you doing? How about we eat? But that that's sort of like it's kind of like with weight, right? It's hard to get on the scale the first time that you maybe trying to lose weight, but what I tell people is as much as possible try not to be condemnatory it's just a starting point to then observe how you change if that makes that makes it absolutely I think I remember correct me if I'm wrong. I remember you saying something like about not attaching a feeling or an emotion to the data, the data my english is a battle data, okay, except I thought you had a sense that remembers something really resonated mays about like not being judgmental about it, and I think from a lot of people at home that is a really powerful meta, I said I would love you to talk on a little bit more because I think we're very quick to judge ourselves when it comes to the negative on not meeting, reaching the metrics that we had hoped for. Yes, no it's it's really easy and I don't want to just say like, hey, don't judge yourself because that's really hard, especially depending on what your measuring but quantified self geeks and I'm one and I say geeks with love measurement and data, you have to gather the data before you make any judgments, so as compared to say, looking at your body and being uncomfortable are unhappy with your body, a sort of data geek mindset would be a look, I have a curve which is going over my belt that is keeping me from seeing my toes right? It's like an observation as compared to going, oh my god, I'm so fat, right, right? And if you can also remind yourself that data, you have to accrue data for a while before you can make decisions with insights, and again I'll go back to the credit card spending there may be one month where you have a lot higher spending on one thing and that may bum you out but you observed that data and you say okay, we spent a lot of money on eating out this month next month let's not eat out so much so you know you're allowed to make you're allowed to be condemnatory to yourself or you're allowed to judge yourself I mean, that just happens naturally but if you can sort of take the data collection mindset that gives you the freedom to say over the course of two or three or even four months I want to judge data about what I'm trying to change in a longitudinal way so I really get lasting insights I think it's so important what you say they're joining that were so we've been sold the quick fix so we're not used to having to sit in with it for like four months we wanted we wanted immediate as we put that immediate judgment I think that is a huge takeaway just sit with it and see what what it shows you without putting a judgment on thank you that's brilliant now how does the average person tap into this information and use it to their benefit? Because I I use a couple of app space please show me when I need to get my ass in er off the chair walk ten thousand steps but how does the average person who's not a geek in this world what's the best way to kind of tap into this information would you suggest well that's a great app by the way to get off the couch I love that there's a couple of laps there's one that I'd recommend it's really fun to use it's called moves I haven't I love move scared did you talk about it loses great I haven't talked about it, so go ahead well there's what's called active data collection and passive data collection active data collection is if you have something like a fitbit, which is a wearable device and along with measuring things like your steps which you don't have to measure, you may plug in like what you've eaten or would have you some people find that tedious to use after a couple of days the moves uses what's called passive data and that's the same logic it's like a gps device you don't have to look at it every second just after a day you can see how many steps did I take? Where did I go? And the logic there's that once or twice a day when you have the time, then you can check in and see for instance, how many steps you took that day but some people actually like like there's a lot of gaps that can interrupt you during the day, so if you are sitting too much I have another app that says, you know, once an hour it will say you've been sitting for an hour and it's actually a great sometimes it's really annoying but he's a great reminder because you kind of forget the day but it gets you to get up and move around yeah no that would be super useful for a lot of us on that I think for me what I love and also there is another one that was recommended I won't name it here but is meant to help me mental is like every like noon it say if you that he checked in with yourself today that's just annoying that wasn't making me connect with myself but so they're definitely certain aps world percent certain personalities but what I love about your book john as you talk about like you know hacking happiness so how does your book kind of take this metrics into, you know, quantify a happier life a life that's flourishing full of well being? Well I'm glad you asked because it does come out thursday like you mentioned so thank you so hacking when I describe it is not like hacking your computer like in a mean evil way this is hacking like rethinking for geeks hackathon is where you get together and you rethink a previously established idea to innovate on that idea so a lot of us are used to happiness being associated with mood and it is a ce you've probably talked about there's one type of happiness called saddam iq or momentary happiness and that's great that's like when you get a raise you like I can raise, but the problem with that is when your buddy gets a raise and it's higher than you, and you find that out on your yacht my radio's ok? And then you're really depressed so that hedonic happiness they called the hedonic treadmill. It goes up and down it's, very natural and that's natural, but there's what's called intrinsic happiness, or the greek word is you demonic happiness, and that has to do with long term things that aren't really affected by money. So, for instance, being in a community like you guys are their love with laughing when I'm here that's that builds that up, or being with family or doing work that brings you purpose and what's so exciting is like with you and fitness exercise and eating well, you can't do it right away like you, said it's, not a quick fix it's a commitment to exercise over a long period of time, similarly practising things like gratitude for altruism that build up your intrinsic happiness, you can build these up, so they're additive and complementary and aggregate, so you really improve your wellbeing over time? I love it, this is what I'm so excited about because now is saying not just the research but the metrics and the quantifiable data behind it is supporting everything we're talking about here, john, over the next two days. So with that being said, are there certain? I mean, we can talk about it here, a certain acts that help measure specifically what you're talking about, the long term, deep rooted wellbeing versus the hedonic travel that I referenced, a couple of which is great, so just means we talk about the same thing it's great, I love it when people can hear the same message from different sources on dh what your goals are to spread this message, and my goals are we have different communities, but we all have the same goal of we're seeing. How important would you not agree and feel free to comment on it, john, that the importance of working on happiness, the long term, flourishing life affects every area of our life? Yeah, I couldn't agree more the book, which you've been kind enough to talk about. I focus a lot on economics, and that might sound strange for a geek, you know who likes to, you know, new zaps, but I didn't realize, and so I started this work how something, for instance, like the gdp, the gross domestic product it so deeply has affected us for the past fifty to seventy years. In terms of what we're supposed to value that's the main primary goal I'm sorry measure or metric of value for the world since after world war two and the main aspect of the gdp is it's focused on growth and increasing productivity now at the time that made total sense because it was after the second world war however, now what we know is growth has a plateau right there's a top point for growth in terms of countries and there's finite resource is with our environment similarly in our lives we can't work seventy eighty whatever you know hours a week all the time on going without our body's shutting down so in terms of a lot of the work I'm trying to show people is your worth versus your wealth that when you measure things like okay last week you needed to go to work for seventy hours because there was a big project okay, great but now there's tools you can measure stress for instance wearing hope like a watch type device that measures the sweat asked you stress so what I'm trying to teach people is in the quantifying aspect of emotion or your physicality what happens during that week we work seventy hours and you start measuring your stress and you can see the lines going up what that will hopefully give people is data they could take to their boss and actually say, look, you're killing me david killing may and likewise you can also say look after thirty five hours I need a nap and there's tons of data about how sleep even just a quick twenty minute nap like three o'clock in the afternoon can make your productivity go way up so I think what's going to be so exciting for the workplace as well as our lives is all these different tools we can use to say you know what? I don't need to work seventy hours a week if my work and my sense of purpose is so much better and I can prove it with data I love that because I think you know I'm a very touchy feely person but for a lot of businesses is about the bottom line and a lot of people who work at home you know I got to make money but when you're working from a happier place with a sense of purpose, your bottom line will also lift up. So again it's reframing the why behind the dollar and the dollars will on dh to sell this into companies were now going in with happier people have they're going to be more resilient they going to stay longer at work they're going to enjoy what they're doing in the turnover is going to be less so this sense ofthe emotion reflects, reflects and affects everything thank you for saying that there's going to be just one more to have questions love to hear if there's anybody right here in the studio audience that has any questions for john yes uh can you tell us a little bit about what? Uh the chapters are in the book so we kind of get a preview of what's in there? Sure, you know it's funny you mention that I have the book right here have a way of going on a great sort of well, thank you so much better. I did it in sections because some people I write like for mashable and some other tech websites that some people have the geeky stuff. So I talk about in part one a lot of that like passive sensors, effective computing augmented reality artificial intelligence I'm sorry that's in that's in section one is, uh artificial intelligence section to so that's sort of like a lot of the geeky stuff then second, section two is where I talk about things like shared value on dh how we can shift our mindset from being a consumer to what I call a creator so kind of what we just talked about in terms of the gdp and then the third part I focus a lot on positive psychology so something, for instance, like altruism, I'm fascinated by altruism in the sense that I always thought altruism was more about the people I could help with what I did which which it is but positive psychology and science shows that when we are altruistic, we actually have a chance to feel that we are a hero so we can increase our self esteem by being altruistic so another thing in the workplace or in our lives not that you want to be motivated from the sense of like I'm gonna be nice to people so I could be happier but you can and then for instance, you don't have to spend as much money not that there's anything wrong with therapists? My dad was a psychiatrist, but if we can if we can find ways to sort of self help ourselves by helping others, what a wonderful way to not have to make my case like I rely on food sometimes I eat when I'm stressed are not to have to rely on negative ways that we may deal with our emotions anyway. So hopefully it's helpful there's three sections in the book it's sort of geeky and then kind of positive psychology and then some of the economic stuff thrown in and thank you for asking I love that and I think we should do it chris how many times you said geeky in the past fifteen minutes because you don't look like a geek I don't want geek is but I just love the fact that we're hearing posit psychology is such a relatively new world in the world of psychology but with now we're more and more people becoming aware of it, you're going to hear it, maura I'm hearing it more on speeches from ceos I'm hearing it more in business magazines you're seeing the world flow, you're seeing resilience, you're seeing optimism on all these words that were going to read about in john's book were singing in the news now and you guys other the thought leaders, you're the champions for change. This is a movement that's just beginning, but I think has never been more needed in this world wait question yeah questions in the chapel of john okay, happy face wants to know what is one tactic that you've used personally that you find to be best for improving well being over time. Well, happy face, excellent icon and avatar choice. First of all, the single most powerful thing that I've experienced recently is gratitude and I do an exercise when I speak called gratitude mirror and you just find one of the person one person is a one person is b and person a says I am grateful for and then you say what you're great before so I might say I'm grateful for my kids person b then repeats that back to you you're grateful for your kids and you stand there kind of in a meditative when you regard each other, which means no screens, no phones look at the other person and really take them and take a breath and through your nose out through your mouth and here's someone else tell you what you're grateful for. We don't pause enough to be grateful for what we have. We're so focused on what we want or we don't have, and when you let that soak in and really get into the fiber of your being, you realize how blessed you are with what you have and there's tons of research on positive psychology, showing the power of gratitude. The most famous. Martin seligman, the guy who created positive psychology, tested for six months, multiple multiple patients suffering from clinical depression, so serious depression and these pace and simply with a pen and paper kept a gratitude journal where the end of every day they were right down. Three things they were grateful for, and what they found is over the course of six months, through no other change except that pen and paper and the gratitude over the course of six months, they greatly minimized their depression rates, and I thought that was astounding, and it's certainly resonates in my life, so gratitude is the first thing I would definitely say to try. That was amazing, and we had a few questions come in about time management and how much time do we have to a lot to that to this in order to see effectiveness? But it sounds like this is something we only have to take a few minutes out of our day for really, and we can see significant results. Is that right? I know it takes twenty seven hours a day like it was going to be o I think what I think what you have to do is get yourself in a paradigm shift, and I do this with the gratitude journal exercise there's, another woman and positive psychology. Her name is barbara frederickson. She wrote a great piece for the new york times about the fact that when we look at our screens and look at someone else, like, if I was looking at, you know, petra, you like this, and I'm on my phone, you get this dead eye dead face thing going, yeah, what did he say? Anything right in your face? Kind of does she pointed out that we're actually losing the muscles in our face, they are atrophying because we're looking at her phone and I'm trying to talk to someone at the same time, so why do I say that? I say that because when you think about time management and you think about what you stand to lose that time with your kids when you're looking at you know the latest cat name on facebook right? That's why tracking is such a big deal people say like well john, I don't want to track all my life and when I keep saying to them is if you want your life to count you have to take account of your life you know by the time you watch game of thrones you know the episode three the third time over the question is just have you balanced have you exercised that day? Have you spent time with loved ones more often than not you can find that the time that you that you get back but by practising things like gratitude your life is this still vastly improved? I think also it's the quality of your time you know it's so busy missing the moment for the future moment that it's the quality of the time and I love the whole gratitude the mirroring exercise because I will talk about gratitude a lot tomorrow they always have ingratitude and not sharing it is like having a present and not unwrapping it it's like it helps to have gratitude for yourself and also be able to take it on and then share it john I just everything you've said right now has resonated so much with the audience and I thank you again for your time and I'm like yes to everything you're doing and yes deposits like college get yes to being happy and as we go out and yes to your book launch in two days and thank you for your time where can we go to find your book in store online? Can you just give us a few places where we could get this amazing book is going to help a hack our happiness and leave productive and lives filled with gratitude? Well, thank you again it's my deep pleasure to be here I'm grateful grateful so much gratitude tio hacking happiness eyes on amazon or the easiest place it's you know it's available and kindle and nook and all those other things if you go to my website which is john c havens dot com and that spelled j o h n c like charles h a v e n s so john c havens dot com you confined all the other places that book is available and I do a lot of talk so like I have a ted x talk and videos about in the book there thank you john thank you so much for joining us thank you so much have a beautiful happy great luck with your book watch thank you so much the bike terrific was amazing I know don't talk too much about that because that's tomorrow right now but I just love the fact that here is a guy using metrics using aps using all the new technology out there on the the elements he's found that are so important to measure exactly what we're talking about here and the fact that we can take the latest technology and use it for good to measure these moments reflect on our moments not put judgment upon the moments observe the moments and see how he can take this moment and then this moment and this moment and create a powerful future based on the data without judgment petra in our in our earlier segment you talked about the importance of expressing gratitude so not just being grateful but actually saying it out loud and that mirroring exercise that he talked about hearing that bag I mean it's you know we're starting to get it that it's it's uh it's really about experiencing that gratitude and being enveloped by it in a way that can't just stick you know I do we're going to some gratitude exercises tomorrow they're super fun to dio but this thing when you share joy when you share happiness is you can't give your happiness away you can't give gratitude away the more you give the more you get this is just a win win the bucket you can empty someone's bucket but you can also fill someone's bucket as you fill people's bucket your own bucket gets filled we'll talk about being bucket fellas tomorrow it's a great kids way all just could love so you know you empty someone else's bucket guess what your bucket gets empty to you pull someone else down you get pulled down to you lift up the people that we used to think while competitors there is room for everyone to soar because there's only one you there's only one you we don't have to push someone else down to raise ourself up it's when we raise others up as a community having more gratitude, having less fear, having a more optimistic outlook together, imagine what we could do so it's about the secret of success to goal setting well, you know, that really is no secret. Visualisation, though, does help seeing a positive future does help but here's the kicker you have to put action behind it because again, your brain doesn't know what a thought first is what's really so it's prime ing your brain to get ready for what's gonna happen the big key when you visualize it's not just enough to say I want the job, what really makes it work, its noticing, the steps that you're going to take, teo, get to that job and the more details you can put around that visualization, the scents, the smells, the tastes, the more details you can put into that, the better when we visualize and we sit and think about our future self ah best most powerful future life needs to be grounded in reality if I said okay, I visualized myself doing ted x next week no is not going to happen if I say I want to do it. Okay, his minutes throwing the backpack off. Mom, I want to do a ted talk two years but you know, I think I just I wanted to talk to expect them to call me up. I see myself on the stage and then what are all the things I need to do to get there? And it has to be grounded in reality. Ten top next week they saw me here on creative life. Who is that? Keep bill british thing. You know, we need to have her not goingto happen that's a little futuristic, crazy thinking, but involves many pieces of your sense. Is it possible quick piece of research was done in two thousand five involving students visualizing group juan was just visualizing. Getting in a thea other group is involved visualizing getting an a and the action steps that they needed to take to get there second group obviously did much better and they had more fun along the way. The first group adjusted the visualization of like I want a it actually came very stressful so, john, just talk to us about the quantify south. And again, you know, socrates says, the unexamined life is not worth living. But we don't want to be so busy examining all life that we miss the moments.