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If my videos have had any impact on you, if you have gained insights from my podcasts that have supported you in your life, if you've been inspired by my reflections on Instagram or Facebook or YouTube, then my first ever book, Think Like a Monk, will take you to another level. I follow my heart and soul into this book to present to you the path of transformation. I dive deep into how you can let go of anyone or anything that's holding you back, how you can find your passion and your purpose and live it every single day, and how you can make an impact in the world through mastering your mind.
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When you choose an alter ego, you want to choose someone real or fictional who is most known for the qualities and attributes you want more or less of in your life. So it doesn't have to be one quality you attribute to me. Several you might want to start out with just one or two, and then you can shape your alter ego as you get more accustomed to working with the. Hey, everyone, welcome back to you on purpose. I am so excited to be with you today.
It is truly exciting when I'm recording these episodes, preparing, I get so excited by some of the insights you get to read and study for these podcasts. And I put in a lot of time to really research and think about how I can make these kinds of money simple and accessible and relevant and shareable. I want you to be able to talk about them this weekend and at dinner and over your next zoom call or whatever it is that you're up to.
I want you to be able to share these concepts in a way that they add value to your life and what's going on. Now, this was one of my favorite reviews that I got recently, and I want to share it because I just love sharing your reviews. And I would love, love, love for you to leave a review as well. And this is someone who wrote a review, says twice a week automatically. Like many others, I've become a bit of a podcast junkie.
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And today we're talking about the surprising tool that can transform your life and the five steps to putting it into work for you. Now, answer these questions honestly. Like really think about it.
Do you sometimes wish you as someone else, maybe a famous actor or a rock star, a successful author or maybe an investor or maybe you wish you had a particular skill set, that you were more charming or better and networking that you were better at handling money or negotiating, that you were a better listener or a better public speaker or better giving presentations with the future so uncertain and things feeling so out of control in so many ways. Lots of us are looking for things we can control, what we can do to make an impact on our lives and perhaps the lives of others.
The last few months I've talked to you about increasing your focus, managing anxiety, cultivating curiosity and broadening your skill set. But what if you could just borrow these abilities from someone else? What if you were like Roeg from the X-Men, who could borrow the powers of others? Or Mystique who could shapeshifting perfectly mimic other people or mutants? OK, I get it. And I'm super into mutants and superheroes. But here's a fun statistic.
As of twenty eighteen, forty five percent of male consumers surveyed had seen one or more films from Marvel's Avengers series. I've got my hand up for sure. And 38 percent of women had watched one or more of the movies to the most popular films.
Do you want to guess they were the Iron Man movies with roughly 40 percent of men. Forty one percent of women having seen at least one Iron Man movie. Now, you might be thinking, gee, where is this going? Why are we doing Myanma?
Well, there's so much going on around us that feels heavy. So this week I wanted to bring you something a bit lighter and it's something fun and playful.
But the great thing is that it's also an extremely powerful tool that can create real meaningful change in your life. So let's say you struggle.
Speaking in front of groups of people, comedian Jerry Seinfeld famously joked that at a funeral most people would rather be the person in the coffin than the one delivering the eulogy because people are more scared of public speaking than they are of dying. But what if you could be a great orator like Martin Luther King or Barack Obama? What if you could channel some of the skills to be a speaker who's brilliant and inspiring and motivating people? Today, I'm going to talk to you about how you can do just that.
Most people know that Winston Churchill was the British prime minister during World War Two, leading during one of the most challenging times in modern history. While many don't know, is that Churchill used the tool that I'm about to describe for you. If you look at pictures of Churchill, you'll often see him wearing a hat.
No big deal, right? You have a Churchill.
It was Churchill would select his hat based on the person he needed to be for the event at hand, whether it was giving a speech to rally the British public during the bombing campaign against London and other British cities or meeting with international leaders in the movie The Darkest Hour, there's a scene where Churchill, played by actor Gary Oldman, is preparing to travel to London to accept the role of prime minister from the British king.
He stands there surveying his large collection of hats and asks, Which self should I be? You see, for Churchill, a hat wasn't just a hat. It was for peak performance.
Coach Todd Hermann called a totem right, an object that evoked a particular personality. Now, I had the joy to sit down with Todd about his book called The Alter Ego Fact last year when it came out. And I really enjoyed this conversation. And so I dove into more around this theme and seeing how we could use it, incidentally. And he told me about this one, another famous figure who had a totem with Martin Luther King Junior, though his vision was fine, king the glasses, because he thought they made him look more distinguished wearing the glasses.
He felt he was better able to channel the eloquence and presence that was required of him in his role as a leader of the civil rights movement. Both Churchill and King use props to invoke the same tool you can use to show up as your best, smartest, savviest or funniest self.
And that tool is known as an alter ego. Now, you're probably familiar with the idea of the alter ego, primarily from comics.
Superman is also Clark Kent to Charles, also Black Panther. Carol Danvers is also Captain Marvel and so on. Some of you might be familiar with the idea of an alter ego from the entertainment world. Singer Beyonce released an album introducing fans to her alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Beyonce says she created Sasha Fierce because after a childhood growing up singing in church choirs, she struggled transitioning to the sexy presence she needed to channel as a pop star that she wanted to.
So she let Sasha Fierce do it for her.
And I remember growing up listening to Emily. Marshall Mathers, right, Slim Shady, these were all personality types that help us tap into different parts of ourselves and even understand ourselves. I had Lysa Koshy as a guest on the podcast. I was an amazing podcast. I literally just watched a new movie on Netflix with my wife the other day. It's it's awesome. It's it's really good fun.
And she was talking about how she created characters on a YouTube channel that represented different parts of her personality. And that was almost like a healing process for herself. And this is something that you can do as well. Today, I'm going to walk you through five steps for creating and channeling your alter ego.
But some of you may be thinking really an alter ego. Does that actually work? Does actually signs to back it up? Stephanie Kozin, a professor and director of research at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, took four year olds and split them into groups and told them they were going to do a task. Then she and her team did something guaranteed to frustrate the kids. They put a toy in a locked box and gave the kids an assortment of keys.
But when the kids didn't know was that none of the keys would work to unlock the box, the researchers wanted to observe what the kids would do under these circumstances, how creative they'd get in, how they tried to unlock the box and how long they persist in trying. What they were studying is called executive functioning, which is a set of brain skills that includes flexible thinking, working memory and impulse control calls. And an ad team knew that kids already spend a lot of time in pretend to play.
And they wondered what would happen if they instructed one group to bring that pretend play to bed during a serious task. So the researchers also gave one group of kids some instructions. They told them to pick a character that they should pretend to be while they undertook the task, either Batman or Dora the Explorer, they even had the option of wearing a cape. The other group of kids receive no special instructions.
The results, as Carlson writes, Kids, you pretended that they were Batman or Dora were more flexible thinkers than those who didn't. They spend more time trying to open the box. They tried more keys and overall they were calmer. As one child told researchers, that man doesn't get frustrated, but those were kids, right?
Well, in and colleagues believe that the reason pretending at such a dramatic effect was that it created something called psychological distancing, which is when we have the space to step back and examine something from a different perspective. You've probably heard me talk before about the power of detachment in allowing us to access new and more creative solutions along with patients. It is a form of psychological distancing. And that skill doesn't have an age cap, right? Like we did as monks, like as monks.
We the mindset of a monk is to psychologically distance to solve an issue. So all of that said, let's get started here. Step one for creating your alter ego. Let's start with the little fill in the blank exercise. If you can get out a piece of paper or open a notes notepad, if not, take a screenshot and come back to this exercise later because it's critical to creating an alter ego that's effective for the change you want in your life.
Now, I want you to think of one quality you wish you had, right, just one quality you wish you had and one way you want your life to be. So maybe a quality you wish you had was to be a better at finances or the stock market. And you want your life to feel more secure and you want to feel more confident in the decisions you make about money or maybe a quality you wish you had was to be a great listener.
And you feel if you are a great listener, you would have stronger relationships in your life. So fill in the blanks. If I was more blank, my life would be more blank.
Or you can go the other way and think of a quality of behavior you wish you didn't have or a behavior you didn't do. And then something you want your life to be lesser. Maybe you wish you didn't feel so afraid to have difficult conversations so you feel like you wouldn't be held back in your career.
So in terms of filling in the blanks, that sounds like if I was less blank my life and my job or my family wouldn't be so blank, that's step one. And I prefer the positive affirmation as opposed to the negative to try do the first side of the activity. So, for example, if you want to be more fun and engage with your kids and less focused on work when you're home, you're not going to pick an alter ego like Thor or Shonda Rhimes.
That's not what they were known for. Right? Maybe if you wanted to be more confident you'd pick Thor or if you wanted to be an incredible screenwriter, you'd pick Shonda Rhimes. But if you want to be more fun than an engaged parent, you'd pick someone like maybe Robin Williams character, Mrs. Doubtfire or Mary Poppins or Scott Langa is Paul Rudd's character. And man, when you choose an alter ego, you want to choose someone real or fictional who is.
Most known for the qualities and attributes you want more or less of in your life, so it doesn't have to be one quality, your attribute can be several, but you might want to start out with just one or two, and then you can shape your alter ego as you get more accustomed to working with the.
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Step two is to list out five people you admire. Now, these definitely do not have to be famous people. In fact, some of the most powerful figures in our lives are often family members, coaches, teachers.
So definitely do not limit yourself to celebrities or other famous people. Also, just like comic, another fictional characters, they don't have to be real. You might look up to a favorite hero or heroine from a book or a movie. Or again, it might be someone who's an everyday person who embodies equality or several qualities you'd love to channel in your life. Scott Harrison At A Life People Dreamed Of, you're 28 and driving a BMW with a posh apartment in New York City.
As a club promoter, Harrison was connected. The rich and powerful look to him to nowhere to party and be seen. But even though he had all the outward signs of success, Harrison was desperately unhappy, describing himself as emotionally, morally and spiritually bankrupt. During a news trip to Uruguay when Harrison was hosting a party with hundreds of guests. He decided it was time for a change. When he got back, he quit his job and spent the next year volunteering as a photojournalist for a team of doctors caring for people in poverty in Liberia.
When he got back, he quit his job and spent the next year volunteering as a photojournalist for a team of doctors caring for people in poverty in Liberia. Harrison was deeply affected by the fact that so many of the health problems that people faced were because of a lack of clear drinking water. Realized that he had a superpower that he wasn't using for the greatest good. When he got back to New York, he drew himself a 30 first birthday party, invited more than 700 people and charge them each a 20 dollar coverage charge.
Then he had a team, took the fifteen thousand he'd raised to a refugee camp in Uganda and used it to fix three local wells to supply clean water. He sent pictures of the work back to his party guests to show them what their money had done. And that was the birth of Charity Water, a nonprofit that has donors for more than 100 countries around the world and provides clean water for millions. Lots of people wish they were better at networking.
So, Scott, super power is one many of us have dreamed of having. But you might be thinking Jay Scott Harrison was great already a networking. He didn't have to create an alter ego to do that. And you're right, he didn't have to create an alter ego to become a great networker. But to create a charity water, he did have to create another vision of himself, another version of himself. And that was Harrison, the humanitarian right.
It's almost like connecting to your inner monk. And that also brings me to an important point. And it's perhaps the most important takeaway from this exercise. By creating an alter ego, you're not faking it or being insincere. Maybe you've heard the advice, fake it till you make it. But when you channel the skills of an alter ego, you're not faking it. Scott Harrison wasn't pretending to be a humanitarian. He tapped into that desire that was already within himself, but that he hadn't yet connected with Beyonce.
He wasn't faking being an unbelievable pop star. Her alter ego of Sasha Fierce helped her connect with those skills that were already inside of her, though it might seem that by channeling an alter ego, you're pretending to be someone else or you're actually doing is bringing out something inside of you. The phrase alter ego is from the Latin for other eye. This isn't about tricking anyone or yourself. It's about connecting with other versions of yourself. You can think of your alter ego as a magnet for those qualities, pulling them to the front when you need them.
In effect. In Todd Hermann's book, Alter Ego, he describes a client who actually created an alter ego that was a giant magnet so he could channel and focus his own innate ability to attract new business. Now, there's something else I should explain. If you want to have a certain skill set like being investing, you can't just channel Warren Buffett and all of a sudden you'll have his knowledge. You have to actually take the time and take some tips from him and how he got to be Warren Buffett because he wasn't born knowing about money either.
He used his innate interest in money and markets to spark his desire and read and learn all he could about them. You have to build those skills if you don't have them. Also, you don't have to want to be a footballer to channel Renaldo or a scientist to channel Stephen Hawking. Creating an alter ego is about taking some of those qualities that makes the person so good at what they do and applying it to your field of play, as Todd Hermann calls it.
Definitely that salesman didn't actually want to become a literal magnate, right? Renaldo is on my short list of people, the top people that I greatly admire and would love to interview. And while I do love playing football, it's his work ethic that's such a big part of his success. Renaldo is at the top of his game because he shows up with the intensity and consistency and that's something I strive to emulate.
Let's say that you want to be the kind of mother that your mother was. You you've got to break down what it was about parenting that you want to channel. Was it actually balance the career and parenting? So she so you felt she was there for you when it mattered the most? Was it that she was a great listener? Was it how she made home cooked meals and she cared for you? Be specific so that when you think of channeling your mother, when you parent your own kids, you know what actions to take.
Maybe you're not much of a cook or your partner does the cooking and instead you demonstrate your care for your kids in other ways, like doing their homework with them. So that step three, take one or two people you listed in step two and break out three to five specific actions or ways of being that made them show up on your list. What do you admire or want to emulate about them? What inspires you about them? Step forward is to actually create your alter ego.
Now you can choose to channel a specific character, a person such as Adel Batmen or Dora the Explorer, if you like.
I'm joking about Dora, but actually childhood heroes and heroines can be very powerful for us. The amazing thing about your alter ego is it doesn't even have to be the same gender as you are, right. Or have the same approach to that as you have. They don't even have to be human. Kobe Bryant had his own alter ego. He called Black Mamba. And the idea he got from Kill Bill movies, you can choose an animal like Kobe.
Maybe you want the keen eyesight of an owl to be able to make smart decisions about your business or who to trust. Or maybe you want to be more playful in your life and channeler baby goat like I don't know or have the confidence and self-assurance of a lion. And of course, like a magnet man, you can choose an inanimate object.
Something I'm so passionate about is health, as you guys know, think about it when you're not feeling well, we want to lay down and do nothing. Let's now take the complete opposite. When you're healthy, hydrated and feeling optimistic about life, how much more likely are you to be a better service to the world? I saw a quote the other day on Instagram that I love it when something like the healthier the tree, the better the food. My mission is to make wisdom go viral, but in order for me to do this, I must stay in the best shape that I can.
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Once you've chosen your alter ego, the final step, step five, is to choose a totem to help you bring forward the energy of the alter ego like Churchill with his hat or Martin Luther King with his glasses, or the character of Mary Poppins with their umbrella, according to him. And a totem is not essential. They can help. Maybe it's the briefcase your uncle gave you at graduation and reminds you of his faith in you that you make sure you bring to meetings where you need to be confident.
Maybe it's a red tie that evokes Ironman or a piece of jewelry. Whatever it is, it should be something special that you clearly associate with your alter ego and doesn't also have a lot of other meaning attached to it. That way, when you put it on or carry it, it clearly evokes that alter ego.
In 2010, Beyonce announced that Sasha Fierce was no more. She no longer needed the alter ego she had fully embody. The qualities of Sasha is that you wanted to keep and discarded the rest. The announcement marked a shift in Beyonce's music and performances that embraced a more authentic self and in many ways different from earlier work. So those are the five steps to creating and invoking your alter ego, right? First list either what qualities or skills you would like to display more or less of and how that would impact your life.
Second, make a shortlist of five people or animals or objects whose qualities you admire. Third, pick one or two people or animals of objects from your list and list out three to five that put them on your list. What fascinates or intrigues you about them? What do they represent you step boys to create your alter ego. And to do that you want to isolate one to three qualities that you want to be able to channel in particular situations.
Perhaps it's the key inside of a hawk. We can spot and seize opportunities or the confidence of Drake, who incidentally, as a few alter egos, including one he champagne puppy, which is even his Instagram handle. And lastly, once you have your alter ego, you can choose a totem or a symbol that will help you evoke your alter ego in those situations when you want those qualities to come forward. So there you go. I hope this is powerful.
And if you enjoyed it, you can check our Twitter book, The Alter Ego, in fact, to which I interviewed him for when it came out and and really underpins a lot of the research and a lot of ideas that have shared it today.
So I really hope you enjoyed this podcast. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of On Purpose. Make sure you share what you learned from this in your Instagram feed and Twitter and Facebook. And please, please, please take a moment to leave a review. I hope this has been useful and powerful for you. I can't wait to see what you learn and what you practice in this one. Thanks for listening and always come back to you on purpose.