Let’s Talk About That Voice In Your Head

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Nick Oswald: hello, and welcome to another edition of the happy scientist podcast.

Nick Oswald: This, of course, is the place to be if you want to become a happier healthier and more productive scientist i'm in a causal the founder of bite sized bio and today we will be drawing again on the wisdom of Mr Ken.

Nick Oswald: Ken is my friend mentor the bikes he bites his bio team coach and the founder of the executive mentoring company via Caritas.

Nick Oswald: Today, and then all other side as podcast episodes you get the benefit from his words of wisdom to help you to increase your performance enjoyment and success in the lab.

Nick Oswald: In this episode we'll be discussing that voice inside your head, you know the one the one that always has something to say always thinks it knows best and is your worst critic so without further ado kane let's talk about that voice in your head.

Kenneth Vogt: All right, let's start with the voice in your head.

Kenneth Vogt: Okay.

Kenneth Vogt: So.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah the.

Kenneth Vogt: First, I, I want to start with a disclaimer I am not a psycho therapist I am not an attorney I am not a public accountant i'm not your bartender.

Kenneth Vogt: that's not what this is about folks if you really if you truly are having trouble with voices in your head by all means seek some counseling.

Kenneth Vogt: But i'm talking about what all of us encounter we all have a voice in your head in fact we all probably have multiple voices in our heads.

Kenneth Vogt: That are talking to us all day long and they just never stop it's just constantly there now in some some fashion it's very useful and very comforting.

Kenneth Vogt: it's it's familiar, you know we know what this voice is going to say in certain situations and.

Kenneth Vogt: If we have more than one voice, you know we may have voices in our head from people that have been very influential to us.

Kenneth Vogt: So we may hear, we may hear our mothers say things to us or our favorite teacher from the past, or you know or or a trusted confidant.

Kenneth Vogt: it's possible to you can have voices that are not favorable they're they're from some you know some bully on the playground, or some some abuser that has been an ally, if you know that can happen to but.

Kenneth Vogt: For the most part today we're going to talk about the positive voice, the voice that is your costume companion, and is there, trying to help.

Kenneth Vogt: it's there to keep you safe it's there to keep you alive it's there to to make things turn out well for you, at least from its perspective.

Kenneth Vogt: And so you're familiar with those thoughts that this is the voice that tells you like you're not going to go get that second donut now are you oh yeah okay.

Kenneth Vogt: This that voice is useful, like no i'm not having the third cup of coffee, I feel annoyed already we're going to stop now.

Kenneth Vogt: And that voice will often speak to you as as you, you know so it's not going to say you shouldn't have a third cup of coffee it's gonna say I shouldn't have a third cup of coffee, you know that the.

Kenneth Vogt: there's there's a connection there that we you know it can become very personal to us and we can very much identify with this voice.

Kenneth Vogt: Okay, but what this voice is doing, since it doesn't have any other means to speak to us it doesn't it doesn't have a mouth to speak with it's it's just it's just a thought so we're going to talk about thoughts and what happens when you have thoughts.

Kenneth Vogt: And, and where do they come from and are they mine, or do they come from somewhere else do I have to take ownership of them, because I thought it.

Kenneth Vogt: And are these thoughts me are they are they the quintessential essence of who I am.

Kenneth Vogt: So I want to start off with an Oxford dictionary definition of thought.

Kenneth Vogt: Their definition is an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind.

Kenneth Vogt: I thought that or was very telling because he's a thought of something you think well yeah there's you know these are coming from the same root word.

Kenneth Vogt: But something that occurs suddenly in your mind isn't that interesting if you think about most thoughts, that is exactly what happens you don't sit down to think of thought and and then.

Kenneth Vogt: And then produce something this is this is, generally speaking, thoughts just kind of arrived and they arrive in your mind so so that leads to the SEC second definition we need to give what does the actual dictionary think about mine.

Kenneth Vogt: It says it is the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experience to think and to feel.

Kenneth Vogt: So that again, you know if you just think if your mind is just a repository for your thinking that's one thing, but it was a place for you to become aware of everything around you.

Kenneth Vogt: To be aware of your experiences to think and to feel that's much broader context, and that is the that is the environment in which thoughts arrive and thoughts arrive.

Kenneth Vogt: in many different ways they may arrive this language, and you know we often when we think about the voice in our head we're thinking about the words it's speaking, but.

Kenneth Vogt: But not all thoughts comments language thoughts can come as sound so or you know that are not words or they can come as as pictures, or they can come as feelings, as it as forebodings or about oriented patients of things.

Kenneth Vogt: there's all kinds of all kinds of ways to to have that voice in your head reach out to you and to give you information is useful yeah I mean it's very useful if you didn't have that going on, you would, by definition, be unconscious.

Kenneth Vogt: And you know what is that.

Kenneth Vogt: can get much done there, and the fact is we, you know we spend a third of our life unconscious as it is you know, so the two thirds and we're supposed to be awake we kind of want to make you so.

Kenneth Vogt: So so here we've established that thought, so this is a pretty broad category of things that we experienced in our mind, but, but it does lead to a question, where do these thoughts come from.

Kenneth Vogt: And if you if you ponder how thoughts come to you if you consider that you're going to realize that, generally speaking, they just arrive.

Kenneth Vogt: Now granted sometimes they are triggered by something they might be a response to an event.

Kenneth Vogt: But the fact is often thoughts arrive totally unbidden we we didn't ask for the slot and and often we're not really.

Kenneth Vogt: we're not ready for it or or not real happy that it's there you know if you have a thought that I look ugly today that just comes to you I don't know where that's not a welcome thought I don't want to hear that you know, but on the other hand.

Kenneth Vogt: Maybe it's just a.

Kenneth Vogt: Nice not very politically correct way of saying you know you can do a little better dressing you're combing your hair or.

Kenneth Vogt: or getting a better shave today yeah hey there these thoughts can still be useful, even though they just show up like that, and we look at the well how did that happen Why did I take notice that today.

Kenneth Vogt: I need to pay more attention to my physical appearance well there could be all kinds of triggers for that, but these thoughts are not coming because.

Kenneth Vogt: I made the decision today to be more aware of my physical appearance and so, then, therefore, I had a thought to be more aware of my physical appearance, but.

Kenneth Vogt: it's not really how it works and that's not our experience and it's not not just one person's experience, this is the unique not and this isn't a unique experience, this is the common human experience that thoughts just drive.

Kenneth Vogt: Now I can feel some of you out there bristling at this because you've you've put a lot of.

Kenneth Vogt: Your a lot of importance find the fact that you have produced a lot of thinking.

Kenneth Vogt: And and it's been very important in your life and, in fact, you can point to some cheap skins on the wall that prove that you are the originator of your thoughts, but I want to I want a positive to you that they don't prove that then So if you don't believe me let's do a little experiment.

Kenneth Vogt: i'm going to say something and then I want you to create a thought in response so you're ready.

Kenneth Vogt: you're ready Nick okay.

Kenneth Vogt: Two plus two equals.

Kenneth Vogt: Four you had a thought, and it was for right.

Nick Oswald: I didn't think.

Kenneth Vogt: Well sure.

Kenneth Vogt: But okay did he what process did you use to create the thought for.

Nick Oswald: None that just appeared.

Kenneth Vogt: It just appeared now why, why is that why, for, and why not, why not, and possibly for some of you the answer came to you in another language.

Kenneth Vogt: Because you know that'd be more familiar language you, but it was still good but I, I will be willing to bet that it was still translatable into the English word for.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, because you know, two plus two equals four, this is information you already have you might think, well, I just pulled that out of my memory banks like did you really though was there some filing system that you've that you rifle through until you got to two plus two equals.

Kenneth Vogt: Did you have to really do any looking around to find that answer it's like no, it was right there and and frankly that kind of thing happens to you all the time.

Kenneth Vogt: You get asked questions to which there are ready answers and they just produce themselves now sometimes they're ready answers like this one's like man, I learned that in first grade or even before.

Kenneth Vogt: But others are are things that that are more complicated and yet you have this inkling just comes to you, and sometimes we we label those things will call them hunches or tiffany's which are a little different than a calculation like a math calculation, but.

Kenneth Vogt: You know they're they're all they're all different, and yet they all kind of show up the same way, you know we recognize that that when you have 150 all that's definitely wasn't me thinking it up that was me.

Kenneth Vogt: I stumbled across something well how is it really any different than stumbling across two plus two equals four.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah it's that's just it's just another thing that is true in the world that can be found now granted to you can find some things that are untrue also but but for for and i'll stick to the things that are that are factually accurate.

Kenneth Vogt: So you know you're really not thinking up your thoughts and you think well how much effort you put into thinking things up if you've ever tried to sit down and write a term paper.

Kenneth Vogt: And you just hit the wall, then you realize I can't I can't create this on purpose, I have to get into I have to get into a mode.

Kenneth Vogt: Where it flows and that flowing is coming from something something a little bigger than you know the the apparatus, that is, that is parked between our ears now and i'm not gonna launch into anything about about consciousness or awareness.

Nick Oswald: Although maybe.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah I mean it can I mean there's certainly there's certainly a scientific basis for having confidence in mindfulness mindfulness is just put you if you is about focus.

Kenneth Vogt: So when you focus on the right things, then thoughts come to you and the better job you do at focusing the more accurate those thoughts tend to be.

Kenneth Vogt: And so that's that's the that's your job in this is to focus your job is to put your awareness on the task at hand what's in front of you.

Kenneth Vogt: You know, sometimes we don't want to hear the thoughts that are in our head because we're we're getting thoughts that aren't very nice there's a you're stupid you're mean you're selfish you know.

Kenneth Vogt: you're lazy you must hear that kind of stuff but if you're if it's a voice in your own head is telling you those things there's probably some factual data behind it.

Kenneth Vogt: Now that's, not to say that it's entirely accurate if something's telling you that that you're stupid and you're ugly that's probably not true.

Kenneth Vogt: Not not entirely but there may be some things there that it's signaling you like you know what you're not stupid, but you're acting stupid in this situation.

Kenneth Vogt: Because you know better okay well now that's a that's a much more nuanced thought, but that's something you're gonna you're gonna have to put a little more focus on to get otherwise all you're going to hear is stupid stupid stupid, you know.

Kenneth Vogt: And that's that could be as useful to you if you want your thoughts to be useful, then it comes to comes around to putting some focus on.

Kenneth Vogt: So now here's there's another thing about thoughts that's interesting that's interesting that.

Kenneth Vogt: If you ever had a thought and thought that's my thought and we've done it we said, well, I think X.

Kenneth Vogt: And, and so it becomes very valuable to us now because it's ours, because we've taken ownership of it and that ownership becomes very important to us and, in fact, you know this discussion so far we've talked about how thoughts are often just a rising.

Kenneth Vogt: can be very disturbing to people like are you saying I don't have any my own thoughts.

Kenneth Vogt: What am I doing you know i'm just i'm just wandering around here's a receptacle for these thoughts that are careening in from God knows where you know.

Kenneth Vogt: The that sounds very that can sound very disturbing to people, but, at the point is that you do get to choose your own thoughts and and there are times that we have thoughts and we reject them.

Kenneth Vogt: we've all had that happen so you look at something, and you go Oh, I think i'm I think i'm i'm gonna burn the the meatloaf tonight i'm like no i'm not i'm not going to do that, you know.

Kenneth Vogt: Just because you had a thought doesn't mean you have to take ownership of it, you can you can accept thoughts and you can reject thoughts and you end.

Kenneth Vogt: And you have a choice, and you can you can reject thoughts after the fact, just because you've accepted a thoughtless mean yet stay that way.

Kenneth Vogt: It doesn't matter how long you've been accepting that thought and for the longest time you've told yourself you're not good at math at some point, you can stop.

Kenneth Vogt: and say you know what i'm gonna stop saying that this is not true, I had that experience when I was a kid.

Kenneth Vogt: I remember in grade school all these kids complaining about how hard math was masses so hard and because.

Kenneth Vogt: i'm a you know i'm in third grade whatever i'm an eight year old I wanna I want to fit in with everybody i'm like yeah yeah math is hard but and then one day I realized like I don't think math is hard I Why am I agree with this.

Kenneth Vogt: And I just stopped him from that point i've walked math ever since and and I realized for many of humans, like the idea of loving math sounds like an absolute impossibility.

Kenneth Vogt: can't understand from my standpoint there at eight years old, everybody I knew told me math was hard it why wouldn't I believe these people.

Kenneth Vogt: I trusted them they seem like good folks in brown they're all eight years old, what do they know you know I didn't know that at the time I didn't have that distinction.

Kenneth Vogt: But it was enough that I can make I could choose to reject the thought and I did, and it changes directory in my life and I bet you that you have you have an example or two or 10 of those in your own life you do know how to reject us if they're not useful to you.

Kenneth Vogt: And you can reject us that you've had for a long time, I think a lot of teenagers have that happen, they get to a point where they realize that you know what i'm not a kid anymore.

Kenneth Vogt: I can look at the world differently, and the same thing happens with young adults, you know there's the process that happens there, so you know if you're in your 20s.

Kenneth Vogt: Just because you've always been X doesn't mean you have to stay that way you're still quite malleable and for those of you who are older, I will grant you that is a little harder to change when you're older, but it is not impossible.

Kenneth Vogt: and maintaining your flexibility is very important as as you go on.

Kenneth Vogt: I was thinking about point there's a couple different articles i'm gonna i'm gonna have to dig him up and put them in the show notes, one has to do with this idea of of.

Kenneth Vogt: Of the thoughts that come into your head and i'll find that for you, but then another is about the patterns that we have in life.

Kenneth Vogt: And when you're young, you need to develop patterns, otherwise life is just casting cass so you develop a pattern, for you know how to put your pants on.

Kenneth Vogt: You develop a pattern for how to pour a bowl of cereal and it, you know now that you're older you think well that's silly Why would you need a pattern for that one you didn't have one it wasn't silly at all.

Kenneth Vogt: So you go through your life and you develop patterns and then, then you started seeing some real benefits, you know you start developing patterns know say on the soccer field, and you get really good at.

Kenneth Vogt: And people start to notice you for that, like Oh, this is great, and you start to see the benefits of developing patterns, so you develop patterns that you know that that you do all your homework and you and you study before a test and it pays off for you.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, as you get older you get to the point where you've got so many pradhan stacked up in your brain.

Kenneth Vogt: they're constantly taking over your thinking these patterns will keep firing thoughts into your head and while that that is useful to a point, there is a point where you don't have time for any internal dialogue anymore.

Kenneth Vogt: Where you don't have time to develop any more patterns that you probably have patterns for developing patterns, as you get older.

Kenneth Vogt: And so, your job, as you get older is actually to start discarding patterns that are no longer serving you.

Kenneth Vogt: And and you'll know they're no longer serving you because because they will keep generating thoughts that you have to reject.

Kenneth Vogt: When you when you find yourself constantly going, no, no, I know i'm not going to do that or i'm not going to think that way i'm not going to be that way.

Kenneth Vogt: Well then, you realize okay there's a pattern here it's got to go and that pattern has been pushing thoughts of you so there's a lot of things that happened to you in your life.

Kenneth Vogt: And now, they are the thought generators, because you know I never want to be in that situation again and and so it's going to try and protect you for that, and a lot of these voices that a lot of these these.

Kenneth Vogt: These thoughts that come to you are are your are your ego trying to protect you it's trying to keep us safe, and you know we live in a world where.

Kenneth Vogt: That where people are so concerned about safety, they want to have safe zones and i'll add in the fact is, if you think about how your life has been.

Kenneth Vogt: it's the times you weren't safe when you grew the most when you got the most done when you learn the most now grant here, there are times when you're not safe that hurt the most.

Kenneth Vogt: But you'll learn a lot from those times too, so you still have a choice, then, of what you're going to do with these thoughts that come to you, so the final point on well I say the found point the one of the last points I want to make is that this voice in your head is not you.

Kenneth Vogt: it's and i'll use i'll put it this to you to you this way when you were young you probably figured out at some point that I am not my body.

Kenneth Vogt: You you realize, you have a body, but you are not your body and there's simple ways to know that you know if you were to if you were to lose an arm, would you stop being you.

Kenneth Vogt: will know you still be you ever feel lost, and I would you still be you well yeah it's still be you what if what have you lost an eye and an arm and both legs.

Kenneth Vogt: it's still be you know this, when you start chatting parts of your body must be take your head off.

Kenneth Vogt: Where you can't keep living you're still going to be used, so you know you're not your body, but that you possess a body.

Kenneth Vogt: And that body is a vehicle for you and it's very useful vehicle and it's great yeah so good thing you have one.

Kenneth Vogt: And maybe it's got some flaws, or maybe it's got some limitations so maybe it's not as good as some at some things as you wish, it was but, at the end of the day.

Kenneth Vogt: You you can't get hung up on the fact that you are not you know, a star athlete if you're not are you can't get how high up on the fact that.

Kenneth Vogt: That somebody else has a better musician in you or somebody else knows more about a topic than you they're they're better at something you know they can do something that you can't do.

Kenneth Vogt: Because it's just what your body can do so, you know I kind of leave this in here you start to realize while you go having a body is kind of the same as having a mind, you are not your mind.

Kenneth Vogt: You have a mind, and so, just as you realize that my body is not me, you can realize your mind is not you it's a tool that you use.

Kenneth Vogt: And you or something greater than that and so you're a possessor of a body and the mind.

Kenneth Vogt: And so, these thoughts that are coming through they're definitely not you, they are things that are housed in this mind this just tool of yours.

Kenneth Vogt: So it's it's like if you have a had a computer program that thick and generate the speech as an example, or text.

Kenneth Vogt: Or do you think that text was the computer like no it's just it's just the software running.

Kenneth Vogt: You know, on the computer and it's the same thing here, so these thoughts are just the software running on your mind you know, in your mind.

Kenneth Vogt: And and it's useful it's greatly useful, but it is also very important that you realize, you are not your mind.

Kenneth Vogt: And you are not your thoughts, because you can get very path into this and become very limited, if you want freedom you're going to realize i'm going to treat this thing as a tool in my possession under my control and you're my charge.

Kenneth Vogt: And then i'll be free to do what I want to do and.

Kenneth Vogt: You know and i'm not advocating you know crazy freedom here but i'm talking about where you you're not going to be unnecessarily shackled.

Kenneth Vogt: by your thoughts, because you may have some disquieting thoughts, at times, you may have times when you're depressed you may have times when you're angry, you may have times when you feel despondent or unloved or all kinds of negative things.

Kenneth Vogt: But none of those things represent you, you can realize, you know that's just something happening around me so not even necessarily happening to you.

Kenneth Vogt: Because you can take a look at it and and realize that you know I don't have to accept that as an a personal attack.

Kenneth Vogt: That thought that said that you're unlovable wasn't real and it wasn't right and it was incorrect, you know wasn't accurate it's just it's just the thought that came by, and so the question you have, then, is okay, why do we use this voice to get the most benefit for ourselves so.

Kenneth Vogt: i'll start off by pointing out that sounds cannot be overrated.

Kenneth Vogt: This voice in our head just keeps going and going and going and going and we're so accustomed to it that that we don't even we're not even bothered by it.

Kenneth Vogt: But you, it can be turned off or at least turn down to where it's no longer registering with you.

Kenneth Vogt: And you know, there are ways to do that, that you know and, and again I won't dive too deep and all that, but you know just just just simple sitting back and just quieting your mind Now you can take that to you know the answer degree, you can become a master meditator if you want, but.

Kenneth Vogt: But if you don't have to go that to that route, if you can just take a moment and take a breath just literally focus on your breath for a second just focus on your breathing.

Kenneth Vogt: And not have not have to casually deal with your thoughts you're going to find out that it gets everything gets easier and things get clear.

Kenneth Vogt: Now I wanna I wanna I want to target something to Nick and I were talking about here recently so i'm putting you on the spot a little bit neck but.

Kenneth Vogt: So, here it goes i'm going to make a statement.

Kenneth Vogt: Year worry never helps now having made that statement, Nick why have you ever felt that worry might be important or valuable.

Nick Oswald: Life.

Nick Oswald: Okay yeah yeah This is something we talked about recently, is that I felt like.

Nick Oswald: For certain things, it was my responsibility to feel worried about it, so that I would do something about it right.

Kenneth Vogt: And so worry, of course, comes this thoughts and so to feel responsible you needed to hear those thoughts about all this could really go South on me if I don't get in front of this and if I don't.

Kenneth Vogt: If I don't work really hard and if I don't spend a lot of money, or you know, whatever other commitments, you have to make to it.

Kenneth Vogt: And if you don't do that well i'm being irresponsible, and now you got the voice telling you that you're going to be irresponsible.

Kenneth Vogt: I thought you were an adult I thought you were a grown up, but you know I guess not I guess you're just a selfish little kid again.

Kenneth Vogt: You know and and you, you never you never took on the mantle of responsibility, you know, again, this is, these are the kind of voices that they can really be dragging you down so if you can have a moment of silence, I will have a little little freedom from that.

Kenneth Vogt: It would be awesome so i'll give you something simple that you can do with thoughts like that, whatever thought it is.

Kenneth Vogt: Now you can you can get into a whole cycle of stuff where you have a thought that says you're being irresponsible and then you have the next thought the counters that same time you're being really hard on yourself here, you know so it's a cycle going on.

Kenneth Vogt: you're having a thought now you're bad for having the thought now you're bad for daring to counter the thought, and you know.

Kenneth Vogt: It can just it can just be a cacophony.

Kenneth Vogt: of noise that doesn't do you any good So what do you do when you have a thought that you prefer and and how do you deal with that well and here's the hands.

Kenneth Vogt: When you have that thought, rather than argue with it, rather than deny it, rather than call it stupid or selfish or unreasoning or whatever negative you want to want to call it.

Kenneth Vogt: How about you just receive it.

Kenneth Vogt: and say do it, thank you for sharing.

Kenneth Vogt: So when you have a thought that says.

Kenneth Vogt: You look fat and that dress, thank you for sure.

Kenneth Vogt: that's it we're not and and you got to be open to the idea of like you really have to be thankful Okay, thank you for offering that opinion i'm glad I heard it.

Kenneth Vogt: But you don't have to validate you're not seeing that now it's right it's correct and I have to do something about it, no I.

Kenneth Vogt: All this voice in your head do is once is to keep you safe.

Kenneth Vogt: So all it really wants us to be heard.

Kenneth Vogt: You don't even actually have to act on it doesn't even care that you take action, what he cares is that you're listening.

Kenneth Vogt: So, when you say do it, thank you for sharing it feels heard and what happens when somebody is heard well they stop talking well if you're hurting me I don't need to say it again.

Kenneth Vogt: And then you will notice that what happens to when you don't acknowledge your thought you will keep hearing over and over again.

Kenneth Vogt: I should have went to bed earlier, I should have went to bed earlier, I should have went to bed earlier, I should have went to bed earlier, you know it'll never stop until you acknowledge it and give it that, thank you for sharing.

Kenneth Vogt: Now there are other thoughts that are truly beneficial things that are like ran their life saving like man, that is a great idea oh i'm so glad that you remember.

Kenneth Vogt: That i'm supposed to pick up the milk on the way home, you know great reward those beneficial thoughts be grateful for them.

Kenneth Vogt: You know it's like wow I am so glad I thought of that and and give yourself that mom to feel that that little pleasure that little joy that oh good i'm thinking and i'm thinking usefully you know guess.

Kenneth Vogt: i'm.

Kenneth Vogt: For for those who are listening to this podcast if you got as far as you've gotten in the field that you've gotten in I imagine that you're somebody that thinks a lot.

Kenneth Vogt: And you've probably noticed that there are people around you that don't think so often.

Kenneth Vogt: And don't think so deep now that may not be among your colleagues they're probably peers and yours in that regard, but, but other people in life, and it might be people in your family even your friends who people who grew up with.

Kenneth Vogt: And you might have looked at that, and what is wrong with them why don't they think.

Kenneth Vogt: Why, why does, why do they keep getting new the problems that keep me in into I can see him a mile away because of my brains turned on you know.

Kenneth Vogt: So it doesn't i'm not denigrating the idea of the things going on since he's very useful, but by the same token, silence is useful to.

Kenneth Vogt: So you know now people that where their mind is being salad all the time I don't know.

Kenneth Vogt: I mean salad all the time and that they're not thinking anything useful, you know all they're all they're thinking about is the baseball scores of latest cartoons, you know okay.

Kenneth Vogt: that's not that helpful but somebody whose mind is truly silent those people are rare and and they're amazing.

Kenneth Vogt: And when they have thoughts they ring like about because they're you know they happen without any other distractions to sometimes you have thoughts you're competing in your head at the same time.

Kenneth Vogt: And you wonder why you can't focus, because what I mean I gotta cut the grass when I get home.

Kenneth Vogt: And like oh before that I gotta go to the store before that you know I think I heard the karmic and a funny noise.

Kenneth Vogt: And like oh man I gotta get this this report done, and you know, did we figure out how we're going to do that protocol for the for this next round of.

Kenneth Vogt: of experiments and and like oh man there's a meeting tomorrow and i'm not even close to ready and all that's going on at once, in your head and you're never going to get anywhere with it.

Kenneth Vogt: So.

Kenneth Vogt: So what i'm trying to offer you is the idea is that if you will give your thoughts, a little bit of attention at least to thank them for being there.

Kenneth Vogt: it's kind of a you know it's kind of a carrot that you offer to them and so they'll stop constantly shouting the same things over and over again.

Kenneth Vogt: Now you might think that well if we're going to have carrot, we should have stick to but well, not necessarily it if you're negative with yourself it comes at a cost and it's really.

Kenneth Vogt: there's nothing you can do with a stick you if you beat yourself about the things you think up.

Kenneth Vogt: they're going to still stick around because again they're still trying to get a message 30 and when you stop it when you stop it down what you're doing is you're going to make it.

Kenneth Vogt: give you the most simplistic message ever because it's like well this this you can't hear it unless unless I make it simple and it's got to be short and so that's when you're going to get your brain yelling at you and it's just going to call you names.

Kenneth Vogt: And you know it's you're not gonna you're not going to get as much use out of it, but if you really want to make use of all these beautiful thoughts that come by.

Kenneth Vogt: And, to be more aware, when great new ideas come by and Epiphany combined and hunches that lead you in the right direction, save you a lot of time and trouble.

Kenneth Vogt: You know, this is the way to do it give your give your mind some respect don't you know I mean we love to demonstrate that was a good voices in my head.

Kenneth Vogt: Like yeah you do in there and it's great it's useful and and and they're they're there to help, so this is what the thoughts in your head, are all up oh.

Nick Oswald: OK, I just let you go there, because that was.

Nick Oswald: A stream, but I was writing some notes down and.

Nick Oswald: it's quite interesting is that whole thing about thinking that you know picking apart, what is you as quite an interesting exercise is a little bit mind blowing well literally mind blowing sometimes.

Nick Oswald: A couple of things I learned from what you said, there was.

Nick Oswald: You know you think of your not your body you're not your mind.

Nick Oswald: But you whatever you are getting feedback all the time from your body and your mind So these are kind of like components, if you like, if you're the central processing unit, or whatever, these are the components that are feeding back to you, and in the case of the body it's.

Nick Oswald: You know there's all sorts of stuff even back about feeling you're feeling things you're you know senses and whatnot and your thoughts are feeding your mind is feeding back thoughts to you all the time, sometimes spontaneously or apparently spontaneously.

Nick Oswald: Sometimes in response to things that you've put to it, you know, like you ask a question of a calculator I think.

Kenneth Vogt: And so, one.

Nick Oswald: thing that occurred to me from what you said, there was that you mentioned being or you alluded to being in the zone, you know if you wanted to focus on to do something well.

Nick Oswald: You you get into the zone or or you can get into the zone bite you know if you want to focus and concentrate on writing them the SE your main thing you have to get in the zone to be able to do that and that's clearing your mind enough to be able to.

Nick Oswald: take control of the thought process and or control of what you're asking your brain, to give you back in order to be able to write that that the SEC.

Nick Oswald: And likewise you mentioned being mindful and then also silence, you know, being able to.

Nick Oswald: sit in silence, and that is separating yourself from the thoughts, so that you're back to you, and then you back to who you are, if you like, or what you are other and.

Nick Oswald: And then, at that point you're you're more able to use the mind and the way that you want to use it as a component as an accurate.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah okay so you've you've alluded to there too it's for saying out loud is when I say thoughts i'm speaking in a very, very broadly and sometimes people.

Kenneth Vogt: Have us make a distinction between a thought and a feeling but here's a an interesting way to think of this to order to consider this.

Kenneth Vogt: A thought is something you have in your mind a feeling is something you have in your body.

Kenneth Vogt: And so once about better or worse than the other, and I know, sometimes there's a there's a masculine feminine thing about how.

Kenneth Vogt: The masculine things and the feminine fields and and and both sides are will denigrate the other side for that there's nothing to denigrate there they're there they're both useful in there and they're both fall into the same category of thoughts, is that we're talking about today.

Nick Oswald: Okay, and so that's a good clarification so you're taught, you are talking about.

Nick Oswald: You know, being back in the mindful place or in the zone to write your essay that point you are centered in yourself, and you are using your mind.

Nick Oswald: In you know to write the essay or if you're in the zone to take a kick in football, of whatever producing a football, you want to take your end result you're you're you're an optimal position to take.

Nick Oswald: Take the kick you know what when you when you come back in it there's one because you've taken control of your body of taking mindful control of your body, which is what mindfulness really is, you know.

Nick Oswald: So.

Nick Oswald: As well you know we all we've all experienced that with those inputs and especially the spontaneous inputs are they apparently spontaneous inputs or overwhelm us and stop us from performing you know.

Nick Oswald: We have feelings we have thoughts that are overwhelming there's just too much whether it's.

Nick Oswald: What he thought or it's chronic you know down on myself or life is no good thoughts or you know or I can't do this type thoughts or aches and pains in the body or feelings or whatever it is, and they overwhelm us so that then they feel like that's you, you know I am.

Nick Oswald: I am fearful i'm you know, whatever.

Nick Oswald: You know, because you should identity of those thoughts and so your way you know one way to to kind of.

Nick Oswald: overcome that issue is to you know, as you mentioned in previous episodes to practice mindfulness so you get used to being able to step back into you and see the thoughts and feelings as inputs for the are.

Nick Oswald: The other thing you're talking about it to be just.

Nick Oswald: To summarize, it is to.

Nick Oswald: win a thought is offered to you by your brain is to get into the habit of just that it just you know, whatever is is used the car to kind of just a piece it's like a child coming to you with a thought you don't have to.

Nick Oswald: act on it, you don't have to believe it, but you thank for the thought and that stops you from fighting against it and creating a look where you, you know that's just going to take up more and more space.

Nick Oswald: Then the other one.

Nick Oswald: Is that when you have useful thoughts, then be especially grateful for those and then you start training yourself into having more useful thought the thoughts and.

Nick Oswald: You know, so that you become you know you buy in one we create practicing mindfulness to separate yourself from your thoughts or your awareness so that you're aware of the difference between you and your thoughts and then an other hand, tuning your thoughts to be more beneficial.

Nick Oswald: By.

Nick Oswald: You know, by not fighting with the ones that you don't want.

Nick Oswald: And by being especially grateful for the ones that are useful, then you start to become create a situation where your thoughts are more beneficial, but you're also not overwhelmed by them is that does that.

make sense.

Kenneth Vogt: sounds like you were listening today.

Nick Oswald: Oh yeah I wrote this down because it's got this is.

Nick Oswald: This is something that I always kind of get tripped up on with this, you know what is what.

Nick Oswald: You know that what is you think what are you.

Nick Oswald: You know that cause that can who knows you know.

Kenneth Vogt: That kids profound question.

Nick Oswald: As a very profound question but for a practical solution you're not you're worried, you know, this is why you see that worrying doesn't make it isn't useful worrying is just your brain popping up solutions to you all the time and and.

Nick Oswald: That generally won't do you know it doesn't even when you don't need it, you know and.

Nick Oswald: So you know, by definition, it's not it's not you have to filter that.

Nick Oswald: And you have to take control of that and.

Nick Oswald: yeah okay so and so as a good it's a good explanation of why meditation mindfulness and stuff like that what because it separates as a good example of why.

Nick Oswald: or a good illustration of why doing things like being aware of the thoughts that are passing from your mind into your into you what you being aware of those helps and and also it's the you know.

Nick Oswald: it's also a good illustration of how.

Nick Oswald: When we get overwhelmed or real when we get overwhelmed by our thoughts and we don't use these things to to filter them or to to corral them or to do not problem, but to.

Nick Oswald: You know, to allow them to just come and go, we get them caught we get we get them you get caught up in the code that can cause big problems.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah yeah.

Kenneth Vogt: that's a great metaphor there, the idea of our they caught, you know something's caught that's trapped there well Kim can it just go by Kim.

Kenneth Vogt: Even if it's something useful it doesn't have to stick around it, can it can give you an idea for something useful, and you can recall it later.

Kenneth Vogt: doesn't have to be put into practice in this moment yeah you have some freedom there, and so you know remember this, this whole apparatus of the mind is there to serve you it's a servant to you it's not your master so you know you don't have to do everything it tells you.

Nick Oswald: yeah it's like it's more like a mud an advanced the magic eight ball.

Kenneth Vogt: Exactly.

Nick Oswald: So, would you believe yeah sometimes it's right, sometimes it isn't.

Nick Oswald: So if you had a magic eight ball, it was gone crazy and just fighting the different.

Nick Oswald: See whatever is the different one liners that you, whatever that thing is I can't move away.

Nick Oswald: tells you about.

Nick Oswald: You would you necessarily would, would you be selective about what your let's kind of get to you or would you just believe everything you know.

Nick Oswald: It definitely does take a bit of self examination and stuff, but I think that that was a really great.

Nick Oswald: really great sort of a.

Nick Oswald: bit of insight for people to start well, maybe they're already to look at it from themselves if they do, then, it gives me, be a bit of a clarification in some areas, but if you if people have never looked at this then it's certainly I find that certainly a very helpful.

Nick Oswald: thing to look at.

Kenneth Vogt: And yeah it's very, very practical I mean, obviously we could go down some rabbit holes here which might be interesting and fun to do, but you know, for the purpose of.

Kenneth Vogt: This podcast we're trying to give you practical things that you can use that will help advance your career and help you become a better scientist.

Kenneth Vogt: And, and by when I say better scientist, I mean somebody who actually accomplishes more good in the field of science, for the benefit of mankind that's a pretty high aspiration there but that's what we want for you.

Nick Oswald: I mean, again, we can make this podcast that we make this about podcast about scientist, because this is, you know beta is bio caters for scientific audience and I have a particular interest in science and until we make it for that you could easily make it for you know, be a happier.

Nick Oswald: ballplayer or a happier lawyer or a happier doctor and and again in this particular instance, what we're talking about.

Nick Oswald: Something that's actually well known, especially in sports but everywhere, as well.

Nick Oswald: it's about how do you get into the zone and getting into the zone is separating from the thoughts that are saying I can't do this or or controlling the thoughts that you know you're trying to hit the kick.

Nick Oswald: Of course, if you don't take a few train your thoughts to be that you're clear and that, at the very least, your mind is neutral and, at the very.

Nick Oswald: Better that it's thinking a positive pattern towards that you're going to make this kick right then then you're more likely to be.

Nick Oswald: A happier and be get the results you want and but.

Nick Oswald: it's the same in science as well it's the.

Kenneth Vogt: Performance yeah yeah yeah.

Nick Oswald: So yeah it was very good I love it when you when you do that and it's just this just captures it and and it's so clear I might draw that little diagram that I wrote the.

Nick Oswald: Center of your theme that's happening as well, oh i'm going to draw this diagram.

Nick Oswald: That, I was in my notes, when you were talking and actually helped me so it might help other people as well, so.

Kenneth Vogt: sounds good.

Nick Oswald: we'll put that in the show notes.

Nick Oswald: Okay, so thank you, Ken again for another very eye opening I opening podcast.

Nick Oswald: just have to know click get back into the zone to think about what i'm.

Nick Oswald: So again, if this if this if you want to see the diagram that we will, we will put that in the show notes.

Nick Oswald: And the outline of of ken's outline of the episode we'll put that in the show notes, which you can find at both sides by old.com forward slash the happy scientist, this is, I believe, is episode 42.

Kenneth Vogt: wow believe.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah it's it's it's the answer that life and everything credit.

Kenneth Vogt: Because of the galaxy.

Nick Oswald: Well that's that's a good one, actually, because this is very fundamental this one.

Nick Oswald: And if you have anything to if you'd like to get involved in conversation with us ask us questions just see hi you can find us@facebook.com forward slash the happy scientists club.

Nick Oswald: And I think that leaves us just to see again thanks Ken for that, and for the work you put into creating that.

Nick Oswald: and

Nick Oswald: And we'll see you again in the next episode.

Let’s Talk About That Voice In Your Head