#1 PositivePsychology.com Podcast – Out of Your Mind, Into Your Life

Positive Psychology PodcastThis is the first PositivePsychology.com podcast, where you can join your hosts Hugo Alberts and Seph Fontane Pennock in their discussion on the importance and meaning of (negative) emotions, awareness, and mindfulness.

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Seph: All right, we’re live. My name is Seph Fontane Pennock and I’m here with my colleague Hugo Alberts. Hugo welcome to our first PositivePsychology.com Podcast.

Hugo: Yeah, thanks, it’s quite exciting. I don’t know what to expect yet but I’m really thrilled to do this with you.

Seph: Yeah, we’ll see what happens I guess. How do you feel about this? I know we’ve been talking about this idea of doing the podcast for a long time, so yeah what do you think?

Hugo: I’m really excited. I think the reason why we talked so much about it is that we had a lot of phone calls of course in which we discuss, I think, really interesting topics that I would love to share with other people and also hear their opinion about, so I thought why not spread the idea and just hear what people think, so I’m really excited.

Seph: Yeah. Yeah, just to give some background information for the listeners, almost every time I’m on a phone call with Hugo at the end of our conversation I’m like, I wish we had recorded this so that we could share this with our listeners as content. So yeah I’m very excited about finally doing this with you. Maybe we can pick up the conversation we were having earlier this morning.

Hugo: Yeah, exactly. So this morning actually I called Seph and I asked him like, “Hi man how was the weekend?” I know that he had a quite turbulent week last week because as some of you may know we from Positive Psychology Program to our new website, and some things went wrong as usual of course.

So he worked a lot of hours, and I noticed that he was quite stressed, so I asked him how he was. So I was happy that he said he had a nice weekend. And then we started talking about what was going on, and the idea of thought and getting stuck into a negativity bias and that kind of stuff, so maybe you can elaborate a bit more on that Seph.

Seph: Yeah absolutely, yeah. I think I’ve been living up to the moment of finally launching the PositivePsychology.com website ever since I purchased the domain back in the autumn of 2016. So it’s like over two and a half years ago. The vision I always had for the platform that we’re building, this Positive Psychology platform was always that the website would be posted on the domain, PositivePsychology.com because I think it’s just the best domain for us.

Of course, it’s the name of the field itself, so I’m actually very honored to be representing that with our new brand. But yeah, it’s something that I’ve been living up to for many years, which is why I think the pressure was maybe so high and you know you just want everything to go right and of course with a transfer like that pretty much everything goes wrong. So yeah I was almost on a 72 hour Skype call with Jeff, one of our developers just trying to fix everything.

And then it’s super frustrating because of course I’m not a developer myself so I can only work with the developer that I’m dependent on but luckily Jeff is an amazing programmer and our other staff is too, so yeah but still, anyway I was in this mode of fault-finding. You know, trying to find everything that’s going wrong so that we could fix it and what I found very difficult was to get out of that mode because I was just stuck in this mode of negativity.

Everything we need to fix, making lists and then privately, and as soon as I stopped working it was very hard to get out of this mode I noticed. Luckily there was some awareness, I was aware of what was happening, so I was able to bring some curiosity to my state, but still, my feelings didn’t change. I still felt stuck in this mode of negativity, so I really needed to reset over the weekend which luckily I have done, so yeah what do you make of all this?

Hugo: Yeah for me actually it was quite interesting because often what I’ve noticed is that there’s a lot of synchronicity going on. A lot of things that you’re working, that you’re experiencing or I am experiencing, they happen at the same time so this week I noticed how often our thoughts actually attract their attention. It’s like they want to be noticed and they want your attention and it’s like an addiction kind of. The thinking process that we all have in our mind.

Our thoughts constantly ask for attention and this is something I noticed. It’s that you sometimes cannot stop thinking, it’s like they demand your attention and when you were talking to me last week I noticed that you were also a bit stuck in the mind game, you know. Always thinking, solving problems, a lot of stuff goes on in the head and this morning you told me one of your favorite quotes of Tony Robbins’ something like, ‘if you stay in your head your’e dead’ or something I don’t recall…

Seph: Yeah, exactly. ‘You’re in your head, you’re dead’ he always says yeah.

Hugo: Yeah, beautiful and this is what I realized as well. Once we start living in our head we start actually not living the real-life anymore and the only thing you can do is to do something different then to live in your head means I think to connect to life as it is again, to the present moment as it unfolds in an unthinking mode. So I was really happy when you told me that you were having a good time with friends at the beach and so on because I think that’s a very powerful thing to do to get out of that thinking mode.

Seph: Yeah, you have to break the pattern somehow, and it’s difficult to do that by yourself sitting alone in a room, so it’s usually a good idea to go out, maybe go for a hike in nature or be with friends. And something that really helps for me as well is exercise, so I started doing Crossfit about a month ago, and I’ve been really enjoying it so far. And this morning I just had one of the most intense workouts I’ve probably had in my life and I felt so much better afterward. I also had a good night’s sleep but then I realized, oh yeah, you have to physically break the pattern and to mentally get out of your mode of stuckness you know?

Hugo: Exactly.

Seph: It’s like the mind-body connection it’s super powerful.

Hugo: Exactly. So what I love so much about your story is that as soon as you step out of it you notice how much you were in it in the first place, right?

Seph: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Hugo: So this is why it’s so important we have to break the patterns. I think this is why it’s so important to be mindful of when this process of overthinking happens when we’re so stuck in our thoughts happens. If we notice that it’s going on we can do something to get out of it. You disconnect from it and then you slowly start to realize, oh my God I was so lost in all this whatever thinking negativity and so on.

I think one of the things the mind does is that it tends to create problems or things to solve and it just needs something, it cannot deal with the present moment. The thought is always concerned with a potential future or something that happened in the past analyzing this but it’s never really focused on this moment because the mind cannot analyze the moment.

The moment unfolds as it is and I think what I love so much about the mystery of thinking is that we all believe that it’s so important to think a lot and live a lot in our head but actually I don’t think so. I think many things you can do without thinking and yet be very creative and productive. And you don’t need to over-analyze everything.

I think when we are in a flow state, most people are just so connected to what they’re doing their not constantly thinking but they’re just immersed in a way and I think that’s also the beauty of finding work that you love. That you have this ability to lose yourself and you’re thinking process about yourself about who you are and what you want to be and who you should be and disconnect from that and connect to life as it unfolds, the very thing you’re doing.

Seph: Right. Right this reminds me of something that my writing coach, Katherine Britton, that she asked me a couple of months ago, she asked me how often during the week, during a typical work week are you experiencing flow? And can you tell me more about when you are experiencing flow and maybe how to build these moments to create those moments more often during the week.

So I really had to think about that and one of the things for me was always exercise. Sports, maybe team sports, I’ve always done that a lot in my life and over the past couple of years have got slightly less and less and that’s also what made me realize ah, okay I need to prioritize this again because of course it’s easy to say yeah I don’t have the time but I think it’s always… When people say that I don’t have the time, it always comes from this defensive mode of I know I should be doing this but there’s some cognitive dissonance trick that they’re playing on themselves right?

It’s like no, we all have the same amount of time, we all have 24 hours. The question is just what do you prioritize during those 24 hours. So I actually started prioritizing exercise higher than my work because it only takes a couple of hours a week, that’s nothing. But if I make it a priority then it really happens.

Hugo: Yeah, exactly so when people tell you I don’t have time for this what they’re actually saying is it’s not that high in my list of priority things right?

Seph: Exactly.

Hugo: It’s not one of my priorities yeah.

Seph: Yeah so maybe it’s good to talk about why do we start our first PositivePsychology.com podcast talking about maybe more negative experiences or about this mode. Maybe some people might be wondering, okay I thought this was about positive psychology so yeah, how would you reply to that?

Hugo: Oh, I have a very clear answer to that. For me one of the downsides of the name Positive Psychology is that it implies that it’s all about being happy, no problems, smiling, the problem-free life but for me it’s I don’t like the term positive psychology honestly, I would love the term well being psychology or something because I think what we’re dealing with is how to create a meaningful life, a life that is worth living rather than just a simple happy life because in the end I think we all face misery and problems and I think it’s not the goal of life, to not have this but to deal with in a way that promotes well being.

So for me, I think the negative side of life is inevitable and I think I don’t believe so much in negativity. I think negativity is positivity in a hidden form. I think we can all learn from the struggles we have and the things we are not so good at and so on. I think in everything there is a potential for growth. So for me, life is not about happiness or something. For me it’s about growth, about developing yourself, about cultivating your strengths, gratitude, all that kind of stuff.

But it’s not about circumventing the negative because otherwise, I would say it’s too simple. It’s not in line with reality. I think for many coaches and people, clinicians, practitioners, psychologists whatever you want to call them, I think many of them know that problems are part of our daily existence. So to come up with a branch of psychology that ignores that I think it’s just naïve.

So this is why I like so much the whole idea of second wave positive psychology and for me, PositivePsychology.com is all about the second wave approach which is all about incorporating the dark and the bright side of life and transcending that in a way I would say. Not just focusing on one side of the two, you know?

Seph: Yeah, exactly. I completely hear what you’re saying. I’m always reminded of this when I hear parents say, “Oh I just want my kids to be happy.” You know? I just want my son to be happy. And then I’m like, do you really just want your kids to be happy? Like that’s it? I mean I think I understand what they mean.

What they mean I think is they want a good life for their children which is very understandable but I think the phrasing is kind of awkward where they’re using the word happiness. I would rather say I want my kids to have the strength to deal with the inevitable suffering that life has to offer and to have the appreciation to make the most out of all the beautiful things that life has to offer right? That’s like both sides of the same coin.

Hugo: Yeah, absolutely. I was once reading a book, and I think the introduction went something like, imagine you could give your kids one thing before they start their lives right? What would it be? Would you give them an infinite amount of money? Or what would it be? And I think most people will agree that if you could choose among all these options I think giving them an infinite amount of money wasn’t the thing that you would give them.

Probably you would give them something different, maybe the ability to remain true to themselves, to follow their heart or whatever it is but that example always resonated with me because this is also how we often approach work and companies. Many people believe it’s all about money, just making enough money and so on but I think a healthy company or a healthy idea is never about money in the first place. Money is perhaps an outcome but it’s not the very process that makes something beautiful you know what I mean? And the same applies to life.

I think happiness per se is not what makes life so beautiful. I think what makes life beautiful is the very, very fact that we have negativity to overcome, that we have struggles, that we can grow, that we can learn, that we can… I think if you wouldn’t experience the loss, and the pain that is so part of life, you wouldn’t be humble.

You would be arrogant, you would feel entitled, and I think entitlement, actually I know that there is research that one of the things that correlate very highly in a negative way with gratitude is entitlement. People who feel entitled cannot be grateful. And it makes sense of course, so you know what I mean?

Seph: Yeah, no absolutely and when you were talking about giving kids a large amount of money, one of the quotes that came to mind, I don’t know where I picked this up but someone said the person most able to purchase a beach house will be least able to enjoy it. Because this person will be looking at the beach house right next to his or hers and think, “Okay how can I expand my real estate portfolio? How can I also acquire that or a bigger one or a more beautiful one?”

It’s not the type of person who sits on the porch, looks at the waves and is truly fulfilled or satisfied, no. The people who are probably more fulfilled or satisfied are the people he’s going to be renting out the beach house to, you know the family that can just afford to go there for five days and they’re going to appreciate the hell out of it. They’re going to enjoy it so much and talk about it for years and remember it and so often I see this pattern of people who are able to buy something, they’re not the ones that are going to truly enjoy it.

So yeah, that’s interesting, so what does that mean? I think it has a lot to do with habituation right? It has to do with the hedonic treadmill where you’re used to be able to afford something so it’s no longer exciting. It’s no longer new. It’s no longer something that sticks out in your attention so that you’re really going to give your full awareness and appreciation to it because it’s not new, it’s not something that sticks out. What do you think about that?

Hugo: Yeah, it’s cool. I think here kicks in the necessity of negativity so what happens if people suddenly are confronted with a loss or something, right? For instance, you have this beautiful, perfect life where everything is fine and so on and suddenly, a dear friend of yours dies right? Suddenly people have this wake-up call and suddenly they start to realize how important friendship is and all these kinds of things.

I think this is also very apparent from the research on near-death experiences. Many people that have a near-death experience, they start to re-evaluate life. They start to invest more in the people they truly love, they quit their jobs and so on. So what sometimes happens is that the negativity is in some way it’s disguised. It’s a disguised wake-up call. So I read a quote and I think it’s so powerful, it was about depression.

It went something like, ‘what if depression is not the sign of a human being that is not functioning well but a very well functioning human being that is just getting a lot of wake-up calls to change his or her life’. Maybe the depressed stage is nothing more than a sign, an indication that we should do something differently in life. So it’s not about a disease, it’s a very well functioning system we’re talking about here.

They’re just trying to make something clear and I’m not sure what it is of course but sometimes it has to do with re-evaluating the things we do maybe we should change our job, our relationship, maybe we should take a drastic turn and do things completely different and maybe that’s what feelings and emotions are really trying to tell us. That something needs our attention.

Seph: Right, and this is something that, of course, goes directly against the whole diagnosing people with depression model that we have nowadays where sometimes they don’t even ask a simple question like, how are you doing?, What’s happening in your life?, It’s like oh you’re experiencing these symptoms, oh that’s completely neurochemical, I’ll prescribe you something.

Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or what have you that will deal with this. It’s like no, this might very well be, probably is a well-functioning human being except there’s just some feedback going on. And then the question is what is the feedback trying to say? What kind of feedback is it and that’s why I think a good psychotherapist can be of way more use here than a traditional psychiatrist who just starts prescribing antidepressants right off the bat.

Hugo: Yeah absolutely. I think it’s all about that whole picture. A human being is so complex and life is so complex, it’s never… You know haven’t you ever wondered that we’re all alive here, we all have this life, and everything is miraculously working. We can use our hands, we can walk, we can think, we can do all this kind of stuff, our body’s taking care of us 24/7 and we’re not doing anything consciously about it.

Our heart is pounding at this moment and we’re not doing anything about it, it’s just working and yet we approach feelings and emotions as something that is wrong and for me, positive and negative emotions is actually quite strange. The whole idea of an emotion that is negative. I think an emotion is a feedback mechanism and maybe we find it difficult to deal with them but that doesn’t make them negative, you know what I mean?

Seph: Yeah, that’s a label, right? Negative is no more than a mental label yeah.

Hugo: It is, it is and more even so I think because we grow up all with the idea that we shouldn’t experience negative emotions or we should control them or whatever. I think people over time develop very negative or I would say negative is not the right word, I would say unhealthy relationship with negative emotions.

We embrace positive emotions but when it comes to negative emotions we try to push them away or regulate and talk about it but they’re not allowed to be there and I think once we start transcending it, so we go back to the very first beginning of this call when we’re talking about positive psychology, once we start to transcend negativity and positivity, we say, well it’s not about being good or right or wrong or whatever you want to call it.

It’s about embracing it as part of life and see what you can do with it. What can I learn from it? What is this emotion trying to tell me? If you’re experiencing anger you can push away the anger but you can also ask what kind of boundary is being violated here? My personal boundary or whatever.

What is really going on here? And I think once you start doing that, the emotions start to serve a function and I think if you approach life in that way I think it’s becoming, in any case, I would not say easy but well more effective maybe or in any case easier to generate some kind of happiness.

Seph: Yeah, it’s also another constant identification with the ego or the id right? That’s more a superego kind of mode that you enter when you develop these skills of awareness and curiosity. You can become aware of a certain feeling or state that you’re in right? And then maybe by bringing an attitude of curiosity to it you can start to explore it and maybe even find some golden nugget of information there that you can start acting on.

That you can change your behavior, your daily routines based on this feedback that you got about your own life because there are no general prescriptions for this of course. It has to come from the inside. And also the motivation to change therefore has to come from the inside. It’s a very intrinsic process whereas I think a lot of people start looking outwards when they are experiencing some problems.

It’s like seeking the help of a doctor, okay we can already call that some sort of extrinsic solution, not that I’m against that. I’m not saying don’t go to a doctor but it’s like yeah but have you tried listening to your own body? Did you try to listen to your own mind? Because maybe that would be a good place to start?

Hugo: Yeah, but it’s really hard because I think spending time alone is really difficult because once you’re alone there are these thoughts coming up and there is just me and there is no distractions. And I notice this of myself as well of course. It’s really easy to occupy the mind with a lot of things you can, you know… We have social media, we have all these actually external things that ask for our attention, but I think what we’re talking about here is more like an internal curiosity and I think what I love so much about kids is that they have this curiosity for life still you know.

They grow up, they want to know everything. My son is so eager to know everything. He’s curious, he wants to know what it means, what it feels like, what it’s like in America, whatever he’s asking all these questions and the sense of curiosity sometimes I feel that we start to lose it as we grow older and I think when we can keep this feeling of curiosity and apply it to our own inner life to what we feel what our body is trying to tell us rather than just pushing it away or seeing it as negative.

I think it can be of tremendous value. I think the very stance itself, not even the outcome, what your analysis is or whatever, but I think the stance that the curiosity towards what you experience itself, that very stance is very helpful. Because it’s open, it’s kind, it’s not black and white, it’s not judging. It’s free from that, you see what I mean?

Seph: Right, it’s completely free of dogma, free of preconceived notions as far as that’s possible. It’s like its bordering taking an objective stance toward the self which of course I think this is extremely difficult to do because that means you would have to step out of so many biases that are just inbred, that are in our genes but I think it’s a very courageous thing to do. But Hugo why do you think it’s because you said this before, this line can be very hard to be with yourself, I’m curious why do you think that is?

Hugo: Why is that? It’s a very good question because honestly you know I suffer from this problem myself as well. As I grow older it tends to get less but I remember 20 years ago I couldn’t be alone. I always had friends around me, I always need to do something to not feel alone and I think in the end if you ask me I think when we’re really alone and we’re not being a really good friend to ourselves. I think we feel alone.

So we feel lonely I think and I think that feeling of loneliness is very painful. So one of my best friends he once told me, he’s way older than I am and he said, “My goal of life is to become a better friend of myself.” And I didn’t know what he was talking about back then but now as I grow older I start to realize what he’s talking about. He’s talking about the ability to accept yourself and to spend time with yourself and be okay with yourself alone, you know I think to be in good company when you’re alone.

Seph: Yeah. Exactly and maybe this is the difference between loneliness and solitude right? Where solitude is being able to be with yourself and being okay with that.

Hugo: Yeah, perfect, yeah exactly. I recently read a paper that actually made this distinction and many scholars make this distinction between the perceived loneliness and actual loneliness, you know. There are many people that have a very extensive network and yet feel lonely. So it’s not per se about having a lot of people in your life, it’s about how you feel among those people and more importantly perhaps how you feel when you’re alone.

Seph: Right. I know of similar research when it came to social support, I’m not sure whether that’s the same study that you were talking about but that perceived social support is way more important than the actual social support which it makes sense but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Hugo: Yeah, exactly, exactly but for me again this applies to another very important principle for me about positive psychology namely that it’s the mind that creates this world. Everything is shaped by the way we see things, not the things themselves. I think the things themselves change as we change the way we look at them. So for me, one of the ground rules of a life well lived is the responsibility that comes with looking at things in a particular way.

I think if we choose to look at it from a dark side, from a negative side, the thing themselves will turn dark and if we choose to look at it from a curiosity perspective from a gratitude perspective the things themselves change. So that whole idea is at the very foundation I think of many of the studies that are being done in the field that we shape our reality by the way that we think of it.

Seph: You know Hugo there’s this little booklet by Nietzsche, it’s called ,Why Am I So Wise, it’s been published by Penguin, it’s a short little booklet and he ends one of the chapters with a sentence that made such a deep impression on me. He tells this story about himself in this chapter and then he ends the chapter with the line, “And so I tell myself my life.” That was so insanely beautiful to me. He captures it perfectly in once sentence he just, he sums up cognitive behavioral therapy for one but meaning-making as well.

It’s like your telling yourself your life with all of these narratives and these stories that you’re forming about your past how has this given shape to who you currently are. Maybe that you’re blaming, maybe self-blame, your self-worth. Everything that comes as a result of these narratives that you’ve formed and that are deeply ingrained and that you have been believing in for decades which can make it very difficult to change behavior of course. I think that can be the biggest obstacle.

Hugo: Yeah, absolutely so what is so funny about this is actually we’re getting back to the very beginning of our talk because we were talking about thoughts right? About continuously thinking and getting stuck in this mind mode. I think what the mind tends to do is create stories. It just wants to understand things, interpret things, analyze things and to do, so it produces words and symbols and all that kind of stuff in your mind, but those are not reality.

A word is not reality, and I think here is where the confusion starts. I think that we do this also in ourselves, we create stories about who we are, what we did in life, whether it was good or wrong, what other people are, what they do and so on. This narrative is so pervasive it actually is there, and we don’t know it. We so strongly identify with it, we believe it that it tends to start a life on its own and this is why I start to see the benefit more and more of learning to get out of thinking and way more connect to life as it is in this moment.

Just really feel life in this moment by just doing whatever you do with full attention and not to be whatever, you could say, “Well I’m trying to be mindful.” But that’s again, it’s another label that you put on yourself, I am a mindful person. It has nothing to do with that. You don’t do it to become something or to add something to your narrative. It is just because if you pay attention to what is happening right here right now with full attention it comes to life.

It adds flavor to it, it adds color to it. That’s why you’re not doing anyone a favor but yourself. It’s all about you and I think what you did this weekend when you said I’m having a good time with my friends, I think on a deeper level, you know you could say from a positive psychology 1.0 perspective you could say you were living the good life right? You were enjoying it, maybe having an ice cream, made some fun, blah, blah, blah.

Seph: Hedonic well-being.

Hugo: Hedonic well being exactly but on a deeper level I think what was happening is that you were able to shut down that negative spiral that you were caught in, this thinking spiral, that problematic thinking spiral and connect to life on the beach and stop that very process. And it reset you if I understand you correctly. You said to me like the beginning of this morning you said, “I feel reset. I feel that my system is back up running again.”

Seph: Yeah exactly. It was like rebooting your computer you know, that’s what it feels like, yeah.

Hugo: So for me, that would be a very important take-home message for myself as well by the way because I recognize of course the very thing you’re describing here. To deliberately make more time to connect to life in a non-thinking way.

Seph: Yeah so, and I can understand people might be wondering how do you do this? Because I’m hearing your words, I understand that this is important but how do you do this on a practical level? Maybe you could tell something about what has helped you to actually connect with the present moment and be in the here and now. Like what are some practical strategies for that?

Hugo: Very good question. I think there are many of them, but the simplest way to do it is to connect to the senses. If you notice that you’re caught in thinking just stop, breath in, breath out and pay full attention to your breath because once you’re focusing on your breath you’re not thinking. If you’re thinking your not focusing on your breath. So the breathing is a very powerful way to come back to this present moment. It’s happening right here, right now and as long as you live it’s always with you.

So this is one. But you can also do it with another… In another way for instance, every day I reserve some time for myself to enjoy my cup of coffee mindfully. So I go outside, preferably 10 minutes or so, just really only pay attention to this cup of coffee. I’m not using my computer, my phone, it’s just me and my coffee. Or you can even do it in a social context when you’re talking to people. What if you could fully pay attention to the moment as it unfolds to what people are saying, not what you want to say or what your mind is making of this other person but to the very conversation at this moment.

What happens if you just do that? I think mindfulness comes in moments. It’s not about sitting on the cushion for 50 minutes a day. That can be very powerful of course, but I think what we’re talking about here, getting out of that thinking mode is basically connecting to the very experience of this moment, whatever this experience is. It may be the sound of something, maybe you can close your eyes and listen to the music, you can fully engage in the very thing you’re doing, not multi-tasking many things at the same time but just focusing on one thing at a time.

It’s a conversation with somebody, it’s maybe your breath, it’s your body, it doesn’t matter what it is, but anything that happens in the present moment with full attention. You know everything is like a muscle I guess, you know we can train it. And the more we do that, the easier it becomes. And many people they ask me, “How do you run your company? How do you do that? How do you make all these tough decisions?”

And most of them are really surprised that I tell them that I do not tend to over think them. I tend to go with what feels right at that moment and follow my intuition and rather than just making complex analysis of whatever goes on because I think in the end, your body is a feedback system and many things, many choices that we make are reflected by what our body tells us.

Seph: Yeah. Yeah, this has been a tough process for me and still is. The listening to my intuition instead of rationalizing things and trying to come to a logical, rational decision on something but I feel like that’s something we could do a complete separate podcast about learning to listen to your intuition and I’m sure you have a lot of inspiring things to say about that as well.

Hugo: Well, I don’t know, you know I try to do it as much as possible but no I think we’re all being trained in a very rational way. We tend to rely very much on thinking, analyzing things, but I love to use this example of buying a new house right? I think you buy a new house not by comparing all the pros and cons of another house but by entering the house and just noticing and if you feel at home in this house. If you would love to live in this house.

Basically, that’s not a rational thing, it’s an intuitive thing. You just know whether you should do it or not and honestly I know people that made that decision purely on a rational choice and quite a few of them also regret their choice afterward. Rationally it’s the best choice to take this house because it’s a good value for money, blah, blah, blah but that’s not the issue. The issue is whether you feel at home and whether you want to go back home, and you look forward to going back to this very home. Rather than whether its right or wrong objectively. You see what I mean?

Seph: Yeah, I think that’s such a great example because I immediately know what you’re talking about where the times when I went looking for a new home, sometimes I entered the house and I just immediately felt like, okay realtor you can say to me whatever you’re going to say but it’s not going to change my feeling, this is not the house. And you know it just right off the bat, it’s like I am never going to be living here, I know that for a fact. And where does that feeling, where does that intuition come from?

Hugo: We don’t know.

Seph: It’s very interesting, no. And I think it’s pretty much impossible to get to the bottom of that, although an attempt would be interesting to witness and sometimes you have the opposite, it’s like you enter and it’s like oh yeah, yeah, yeah this is it, you know?

Hugo: Exactly. You know what comes to mind? You remember when we had to select the location for the masterclasses that we recorded?

Seph: Oh yes. Yeah, yeah.

Hugo: So for the listeners, that may be funny to hear. So we were recording a masterclass series and we did not choose the right location yet. So we were visiting all these places and it was constantly no. Both of us were like, “No man, it’s not going to happen.” And suddenly we… actually it was your idea, we went to a castle and I believe we were not even in the castle yet and we both were like, “Yes. This is it, this is it. It’s going to be this one.”

Seph: It was like the lane with trees that led towards the castle. We were driving there and I was already like yep this is it. We don’t even need to see the inside, it just felt right.

Hugo: Exactly. And I think this is also, some things I think I’m not sure whether science will ever fully understand what’s going on there but for me, that’s also the beauty of life and all those things like love and intuition and that kind of stuff. You can rationalize it whatever you want, but I doubt whether you get to the real core. I think for me what I learn from making music, you know I’ve been making music for over 20 years, is that it’s really hard to do it rationally.

You cannot say, “Well I’m going to play this melody now.” It just unfolds, and you create and this is also why I hate it when people try to analyze what makes a good song a good song. As if this writer chose this song rationally to be that way. Like “Oh I’m going to play this note and then I’m going to this distance between notes and then it will be a hit.” Or something. It doesn’t work like that. But after the fact, in retrospect, people start to analyze and say, “Yeah that’s very catchy because of this and that.” But it’s explaining, but it’s not I think getting to the real core of what happened in the creative process.

Seph: Right. Of course, it’s a control mechanism kicking in that tries to understand it. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a book about this, Big Magic, it was recommended to me a while ago. I read it and it talks about this idea as well, about an idea, like visiting you kind of as an entity in itself. You know sitting on your shoulder and waiting for you to be ready to receive it and to trust it and then to let itself express the idea through you and if you’re not ready and if you’re in the rational mode and you’re trying to force too much about it then you’re not ready for this idea and the idea will go on and go to someone else who will then may be, be ready to give expression to that idea.

And of course it’s all one big metaphor but I really love this way of looking at things because there’s… Like as soon as you start using force, it goes, it flees, you know it’s gone. And that’s exactly what I have experienced in writing stuff as well. If I want to write a book about something, I desperately want it because of I don’t know, because of the signaling, the status, what I think it will do for me. All of these extrinsic things.

Not a chance I’m going to be finishing it. I’m going to struggle a hell of a lot during the writing process, I probably won’t enjoy it. It will be like a to do on my list whereas I have this completely different mode that I can be in while I’m writing and I know it’s vastly different because it just flows. I don’t feel that I’m writing, I’m just channeling words that I have no idea who is writing this but I sure as shit ain’t. You know it’s like it’s happening, it’s just flowing out of me. Very, very different mode.

Hugo: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s also what many musicians recognize. Once you’re in the flow state it’s not that you are playing the guitar actually. The music comes out of you and it’s really hard to describe how it works, but it’s like you’re in sync with life or whatever you’re doing. There is a perfect congruence. A congruence between you and the very thing you’re doing, and I love to think of it as effortless creation.

I think we’re so much trained in effortful creation. We all believe that we should really work hard and do your best and overcome goals, and a lot of will power and all that kind of stuff, but I think many beautiful things can also emerge from this effortless creation, and we should just align with what you love doing. You choose what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing and then the results flow from that very state of basically love for what you do. I think then the creation itself will carry the love that you created it with you in itself.

Seph: And it’s selfless in a way as well, right?

Hugo: Exactly. It is selfless. There is no self-involved. It just follows naturally. So this is why I’m starting to experiment in my own life way more with effortless creation. What can I do that I truly enjoy doing and that I lose myself in and I lose a sense of time in and what happens if I do this? What is the result of this? And what I’ve noticed is what is created with love is so much more powerful than something that is created with a lot of pressure and have to and whatever, not you know.

Seph: Yeah, you know what it’s a love that is not obsessed with itself. It’s a giving kind of love.

Hugo: Yes, exactly.

Seph: It’s an egoless kind of love.

Hugo: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And what I love so much about it is love has often a romantic connotation about loving other people or whatever but for me, it’s a whole different thing. I think love is what connects you with something else truthfully. That for me is love, you know, and it can be with another human being, but it can also be with your work, with music, whatever it is.

So I think and what the mind does to get back to the very beginning of this talk, I think what the mind does, an over rational mind it tends to disconnect us. It tries to rationalize everything, make bits and pieces of it and actually lose the sense of wholeness that is so typical for a state in which we’re connected. If you’re connected to the very present moment fully, for me that’s an act of love. You see what I mean? Because you’re embracing, you’re connected. You’re fully connected and not because you want to be a mindful person, because that would be self. You call it like a self-connected love.

There is a hidden agenda there, it’s because you want to be somebody. But it’s just, for the sake of connecting, just in the same way that kids play for the sake of playing. They don’t play because they want to seem competent or they want to impress others. They just play because they want to play. And I think if you approach life in the very same way and you start paying attention to it, not to be somebody but just for the mere sake of paying attention you will experience a very… It’s a different life.

Seph: Yeah. Performing the activity for the sake of the activity itself right?

Hugo: Exactly, exactly.

Seph: It’s also something that, well, at least for me, that I slightly… Well I haven’t completely lost it luckily but I’ve slightly lost that mode of doing something just for the sake of doing it. Like usually there’s some sort of goal behind there that fits in some bigger picture of something I’m trying to achieve. Where it’s such a big relief if that’s all of a sudden if it’s not necessary. You know? Or if you realize it’s like okay, it’s perfectly fine to just sit here and be and sit in the sun and there’s nothing that you have to achieve by doing it. It’s rare. I feel like it’s rare.

Hugo: Yes, we’re not being trained in not being productive. We all have to be very productive. It’s a very pervasive belief that many of us, including myself have, and I suffer from it many times because even when I was on holiday I felt guilty because I wasn’t productive. And this is a forced way of living. There is always something you need to do in order to be good enough, and I think for me one of the main reasons why I would love to do this podcast with you is because it’s just plain fun. For me there is no hidden agenda, it’s just because I love talking to you about this stuff and if people enjoy it that’s beautiful but in the first place I just love doing this. It gives a certain likeness to the work we’re doing.

Seph: Right, and it’s like we’re having these conversations anyways because we always do every week. The only difference is we’re pressing record now, so I feel like that’s intrinsic enough of a reason to do it.

Hugo: Yeah, I think it’s a nice moment to conclude this first session Seph.

Seph: Yeah, yeah lets. I feel like we’ve gone all over the place. We’ve touched on so many big topics. So I hope people will be a little bit forgiving about that. If not, that’s all right too. Yeah looking forward to doing this again and we should definitely keep it up I think.

Hugo: Yeah, and also to hear what people think of it and have to add to it. I will also add a few videos to this podcast. I think I have some nice videos that will maybe even give a little bit more depth to this conversation about the loops of the mind and the rational mind. Basically, the topic that we tried to cover today. But yeah, so thanks Seph. Thanks for taking the time.

Seph: Thank you too and yep, talk to you soon.

About the Author

Hugo Alberts, PhD., is psychologist, researcher, entrepreneur, and former Professor of Psychology in the Netherlands. He obtained his doctorate in 2007 on the theme of self-control. As the co-founder of PositivePsychology.com, he provides practitioners with the right knowledge and tools to apply positive psychology in real-life settings and make a difference in the lives of their clients and students.


  1. KoolerTrek

    Love to hear truth.

  2. LinaM


    I’d like to listen to the podcast rather than read the transcript, but I’m not seeing any image of a podcast or link to the audio. Could you help point me to right place? I’m in New Zealand.

    I’m on your mailing list – got an email with a link to your page but can’t see how to access the podcast.

    • Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

      Hi Lina,

      You can download the audio file to listen to here.

      Alternatively, you can listen to this podcast episode on Spotify by clicking here.

      Let me know if this helps!

      – Nicole | Community Manager

  3. Melinda Parker

    Thank you. I find your information quite interesting and helpful.

  4. Lorilyn Bleckmann

    very informative; thank you! As a chronic “must be productive” person, this was personally enlightening, and I’ve taken notes to use with my clients in my coaching practice. Love the “flow” conversation. Love the embracing of the negative sides of life being positivity in a hidden form. In everything there is potential for growth. Powerful conversation~ thanks for sharing.

  5. Devi Novianti

    I like the idea of entitlement. However, I think the statement of “people who are striving for more is less happy compare to people who rent the beach house” is a generalisation. What if people can create, desire more and at the same time enjoy the creation?

    • Bryan Bossley

      I was impressed with all the comments everyone gave.
      For myself, the over-thinking was a needed ‘wake-up’ call for me for the many things I wanted to achieve in life. The over-thinking blocked so many of my natural flow experiences.

      Steph and Hugo, your podcast was so empowering from angles!


      • Bryan Bossley

        My apologies for misspelling your name:
        It should be “Seph”

  6. Guy McKim

    Really enjoyed to dialogue style, you addressed topics in such a way to encourage self reflection. Thank you.

  7. Büşra

    I have listened this awesome podcast on lockdown, and when I feel depressed, pessimistic, lonely. I think it was so inspirational and helpful for me. Thank you for sharing it with me

  8. David Phillips

    Thank you for adding a transcript! We hearing-impaired or impatient listeners salute you.

    • Rebecca Funk


  9. mark LEYSHON

    I found this podcast very informative and thought provoking. I am struggling with health issues at present and this has given me plenty of food for thought 🙂

  10. Ada Babajide

    Thanks, l learned a lot, but maybe shorter podcasts will help us assimilate better.

  11. Amal

    Give myself the gift of a few relaxed quiet hours every week to decide my priorities for the coming week.💐

  12. Mariah Myton

    I absolutely LOVED this podcast, and the valuable information within it. Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom.

  13. Zeeshan

    This podcast is the best idea please keep it coming. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Neil

    This podcast is AWESOME! Thank you guys so much, I will try to bring more viewers to your site and listeners to your podcast 🙂

  15. Jayne Heggen

    I believe negative emotions can be our greatest teachers when we don’t treat them as our greatest problem. They are trying to get our attention, something we need to pay attention to, embedded (or hidden) positive learning that can expand our awareness.

    Thank you for this timely, relevant podcast.

  16. Alice Belton

    Brilliant, thanks for recording this and sharing your thoughts, experience and learnings. Sending healing to a hurting world me thinks. Some great stuff in here! ✌🏻

  17. Susan Gitau ( PhD)

    I am so happy to learn that I can be alone and happy..it all depends on how I perceive aloneness and company of others. I have had a very busy time as a therapist based on the demands of COVID 19 pandemic response on mental health impact. As a developing country (Kenya), therapists are still far from being recognized and supported to give their professional services and this adds to their general stress. After joining you in reading and applying positive Psychology practice, I confess that I am more real to me and others than I was before. Thanks Steph and Hugo! I am alone in a hotel room now for the next week and happy to do this for me and those that I love and support. My body needs this rest and so is my mind.

  18. Attie

    Thanks for the insight!

  19. Lisa

    Thank you for this podcast, it was excellent and useful for myself and to help others. Looking forward to more!

  20. Olga

    Wow! Guys, you made my day! Thank you for sharing and including me into your community. I was just sitting and writing my Program of Reducing Aggressive Behaviour of Teens. I work as an Art- therapist. Your conversation was like a refreshing blessed break!
    You managed to cover such a wide range of topics. It was really inspiring! ( Though I didn’t quite catch everything, ‘ cause English is a foreign language for me. But this only encourages me to upgrade my English))
    I wish you all the best!
    Look forward to hear more!
    Thanks 👍😊

    • Hanadi

      Success is not measured our happiness, only love, appreciation and gratitude so, all those can be achieved with clear mind set(no negativity)

  21. Sukhbir Kaur

    As I listened to your podcast I was in the same space what you both were talking about. I could relate myself with your entire conversations. I could solve the mystery of myself not able to write THE BOOK which I want to write. Now I will be at peace with myself and no pressure at all for delivery of the book.

  22. Geoffrey

    Thank you, You are helping the world in coping up with emotions

  23. Margaret McDaid

    Thank you Seph and Hugo for such a positive and thought provoking podcast. The effect it had on me today was to forget a revisit to my mobile phone provider in what seems a futile attempt to download the n.h.s track and trace app. I have more meaningful ways to spend my time and energy today and I am quite happy to carry on using my costa app in the coffee shop and sign in elsewhere. Thank you for allowing me that reflection.
    I came across and bought Friedrich Nietzsche’s book ‘Why I Am So Wise’ when visiting Liverpool for a week’s break last year at the time of the ‘Writing On The Wall’ annual artistic festival. I will definitely prioritise reading it.
    I look forward to hearing your future podcasts.

    • Cezann

      Thank you Hugo and Seph and congratulations to your first pod cast. Isn’t it amazing that so much can be learnt during an open chat between two souls? To switch between conscious tuning into the moment and autopilot thinking mode requires deliberate choosing and such an act needs training like a muscle. The more one uses it, the easier it becomes to get into that state. Pause, breathe and be aware. Thanks for highlighting. Why are people afraid to face themselves? I hope to hear more about this topic given a chance. Be well guys.

  24. Valerie Burford

    Thank you very much Seph and Hugo for such an interesting and helpful conversation. I have indeed enjoyed it! I found it quite therapeutic and refreshing my mind upon so many things in my life. All the best and looking forward to continue reading all what you post, which helps me to learn so much.

  25. Theopista Mbabazi

    Am so touched by this conversation very encouraging to leave a happy life focusing on positive living.
    Thank you very much your sharing

  26. Rebecca

    absolute inspiration and the most uplifting conversation.
    We shouldn’t be scared of changes in life nor negativity as this help us mould ourselves, our thoughts and perhaps make us a better person.

  27. Pablo Philipsthal Popelka

    Found your website yesterday. Thank you both for this very enlightening conversation. How can we stop thinking and embrace the present moment? Through Mindfulness techniques? One of the famous books written by Dale Carnegie had the title “How to stop worrying and start living”. It should be “How to stop thinking and start living”. Thanks again and regards from Montevideo, Uruguay.

  28. Gonzalo Romero

    Hi you all!

    Congratulations for your ep1. podcast. Interesting insight on the power of intuition in decision-making over rationality and its connection to the inner communication. I suggest you to devote one of the episodes to delve deeper on it (beauties and perils of intuition).

    Keep up the amazing work!

    • Aakruti

      This is my first Podcast that I heard which is related to psychology and really enjoyed the conversation. I really liked the part where you spoke about Mind always thinking about past or future but not about the moment which is so true, it takes practice to be in the moment and I will be working towards it in a way where I can then talk about it to my clients to practice in life.
      Thank you 🙂

  29. Janice

    Thank you so much for sharing your wise words in the podcast. Also for normalising the issues that affect all of us at some time. Looking forward to learning more. No matter how much you have studied, every day is a school day and commitment is required to stay in the flow.

  30. Muriel Lowe

    An interesting conversation when talking about what we want for our children, it makes me what to quote “IF” from Rudyard Kipling, to remain true to oneself.
    Like the difference of what loneliness is versus solitude and the last sentence in Nitetsche’s book “Why I am so Wise : And so I tell myself my life”

  31. Mo

    Thank you for the intel and including me in your community – I look forward to additional sharings. I am in long term recovery and support others who are also beginning that journey …I was hoping for any material as it relates to that topic on past trauma healing and coping and anxiety often experienced by many who have yet to create those neuropathways and who are working with different recovery programs: dharma/SMART/12 step/small group/sober connections to recover – not just from substances but life itself
    Best and blessings ty Mo

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Mo,
      Welcome to the community 🙂 I’m not sure whether we have materials that specifically integrate the principles common in recovery programs. But we certainly do on the themes of trauma healing, coping, and anxiety.
      I hope these links help, and best of luck on your journey.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  32. Kathy

    I really enjoyed this podcast. Being true to yourself, living in the moment fully, and the importance of intuition. Thank you!

  33. Carlene

    I truly enjoyed this podcast and I’m looking forward to more. You two embrace a lot of what I try and do in my work, as well as how I try and live my life. Being present, being aware, being fully alive. Thank you for sharing your own challenges with this because I feel that it makes it more real, more tangible.

  34. dammy reigns adeleke o. jaiyeoba

    Thank you so much hugo and seph for this… but well anyways. i really care if you can share with me some lessons about emotional intelligent.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi there,
      So glad you enjoyed the podcast! We’ll keep this in mind for a future discussion topic, but in the meantime, you can read more on emotional intelligence here, or download our pack of free resources on the topic here.
      Hope this helps!
      – Nicole | Community Manager


    I really benefited a lot from the podcast. It has helped to answer questions I have had in life and to lok at really life situations using a different eye.

  36. Colloh

    Am thrilled by the podcast!!! Thanks soo much Seph and Hugo for sharing.
    Positive psychology is sure giving me a different perspective of how i should be looking at things.
    From Kenya ??♥️

  37. Peggy

    Living a positive life is being true to yourself and those around you, learning to struggle, acknowledging your areas of need and your triumphs, sharing with others and honoring the differences between our fellow human beings.

  38. Victoria

    Thank you both! Looking forward to being part of this wonderful community you’ve created! Great content! I teach organizational psychology and leadership to college business students. Looking forward to sharing some of your insights with them!

  39. Fakiha

    This was just amazingly wonderful to be here. Thank you for such useful content in a much lighter way.

  40. Presence Shafodino

    Amazing. Really looking forward to the next episode.

  41. Regina Jones

    Awesome!! kept having to re-play bits to take notes to use on one of my clients. has already been a lot of help. Thank you.

  42. Dan

    I enjoyed this podcast and both had lots of food for thought. I look forward to more interesting flow of conversation. Thank you for helping to heal all of us overthinking humans.

  43. T. K. Mishra

    Podcast was interesting and illuminating. However, this could have been presented in a more structured and phased manner. Interesting to note the distinction between solitude and loneliness. To me, solitude is one’s voluntary exercise while loneliness is involuntary. Solitude emerges out of individual’s abstract thinking, worldly detachment and philosophical pursuit. Loneliness occurs out of individual losing social connections and community feelings.

    • Peggy

      Agreed with your discernment between the two terms.

  44. Magdalene

    After listening to you now, having watched the videos on mindfulness, I am excited to discover the miracle of life and the wonder of my being. Thank you!

  45. Faiza

    Hi guys! That talk was great. Loved the casual very down to earth chat about the most basic of things us humans face in our lives. I loved the light hearted humorous approach towards the things that can make life feel so dark and unbearable at times. Also appreciated the fact you guys didn’t use too many high level terminology and maybe next time when you do have to use them, be great if you can give a little description for some of us who didn’t study subject at school 🙂 looking forward to listening to your next chat!

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Faiza,
      We’re so glad you enjoyed the podcast, and that’s great feedback for us regarding defining the technical terminology. We’ll keep this in mind moving forward.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  46. Nikki

    This is an utterly brilliant episode . I was thoroughly absorbed in the conversation and I loved the approach taken around thought provoking topics. I look forward for the next one. I would love to hear a podcast around intuition.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Nikki,
      Thanks for the suggestion! Intuition would be a very neat topic to cover. We’re glad you enjoyed the episode.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  47. Heba Fawzy

    Absolutely amazing!
    Very informative and interesting- you covered crucial areas in an excellent way !
    Looking forward to the next episode

    • Nicole Celestine

      Thanks Heba,
      So glad you enjoyed the episode. 🙂 Thanks for listening.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  48. Louise Robbins

    Wow this podcast was great. As a mental health nurse I find your view of emotions as something to be viewed as a signal and not as a negative feeling to be dealt with really positive and exciting. I also enjoyed your thoughts about the finding time versus priority, for my patients and myself!!
    Most of all were your thoughts on connection, in the field of mental health or maybe just being human I believe finding that connection is so important and I truly believe being able to “sit” comfortably with yourself is the beginning. It is about connecting yourself with the life around you and that is hard if you are not sure or comfortable with yourself, and THAT is why so many of us struggle I think, and are on the endless search for our connection – we are looking in the wrong place to start, we should connect with ourselves before we can connect externally. Rambling, probably!! I was very inspired by your talk nonetheless, plus I have a few of your materials to assist my patients – fingers crossed!!

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Louise,
      So glad to hear you enjoyed the podcast and that you’ve found some of the materials here to help with your work. We hope you find them useful!
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  49. LiliBA

    Hi Steph and Hugo, I was so into your conversation I found myself talking to you at certain points! Just on the labelling of emotions: positive and negative…I believe we’ve inherited those labels, and maybe it’s time to change them…maybe to comfortable /uncomfortable…pleasant / unpleasant emotions…so maybe if we pay attention to that unpleasant / uncomfortable emotion that we are feeling instead of shutting it down, we can do something about it! As I believe Steph mentioned something about anger and defending our limits…if anger didn’t carry along with it such a bad reputation, we wouldn’t probably “bottle up” until we exploded in rage…we would let that anger flow and help us reposition ourselves. To me, it’s like having a midday sun hitting you in the face and trying to deny it’s there…and standing still, and letting your skin ache rather than moving under a tree to get some shadow…and then again the sun is not bad, midday is not bad, you are not wrong, your skin is not wrong…so you instinctively go for the shadow. But something is “bad” or “wrong” about anger…so instead of listening, reflecting and acting upon it, we tend to shut it down, as if we actually could. I believe there are many beliefs on emotions to keep challenging, and some fine tuning to do on our labels, and this conversation made me feel relaxed enough so as to listen and enjoy, and uncomfortable enough so as to keep challenging them! Thank you!!

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Lili,
      We’re thrilled to hear that the conversation got you thinking. Indeed, to dichotomize positive and negative emotions is to ignore the important informational cues both can provide!
      We hope you continue listening as the podcast evolves. 🙂
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  50. Christina Dodd

    Hi Seph and Hugo,
    I am so thankful for your podcast and the subjects you covered. Very impactful and resonant with me and my beliefs. I feel, having listened to you both, that I have known you for so many years and finally, finally, have found kindred spirits and like minds. Many times in my life I am pressured and stretched emotionally, as most of us are, and to hear your words so genuinely spoken was extremely uplifting and comforting, and strengthening. I feel refreshed to be honest, and I am so relieved and enlightened to have found you both. The way you speak of negativity is so simple yet powerful and truly it is “a disguised wake-up call”. Every element of your Podcast is of value to me, especially about depression, and I will share the knowledge gained with others in my life and business. I eagerly await a podcast in the future where you might be able to address abusive personalities if you can. I have always believed in taking time out “to be in or with the moment” and when I walk through the park today I will enjoy – even more – the scent of the flowers and the feel of the grass beneath my feet. Thank you both once again for an exceptional experience!

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Christina,
      That’s amazing to hear the podcast resonated with you on such a personal level. We hope to have you as a listener for our future episodes. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about our resources for depression, you can do so in our dedicated blog post here. If you search our blog, you’ll also find many posts on the topic of mindfulness practice, which will help you get the most out of your walks in the park. 🙂
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  51. Anupam

    Loads of thanks to Hugo And Seph, this podcast was incredibly constructive for me to deal with the ambiguities coming through my life. The vast ocean of consciousness has the power of knowing ourselves and relating ourselves to eternity.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Anupam,
      Thanks for being a listener. We’re glad you found the discussion had some relevance/applicability to your own life and situation. The next episode (and several more) are out now, so we hope you continue tuning in.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  52. May Younes

    It was such an insightful and meaningful discussion. It was so organic and came out of the heart and I felt it so authentic. I have started to emerge myself in the field of happiness and well being since last year as I am now a Certified Happiness Trainer and I feel like I have a mission towards other people to help them understand and become aware of the true meaning of well-being and becoming conscious on how to live a meaningful and a mindful life and how to shape their identities to lead an intentional life with a true purpose that would make them thrive and feel alive. I am eager to dive more and more into the field of positive psychology as I feel that the more I dig on a deeper level there is still something missing, something like an urge that triggers my curiosity to know more and find more meaning in connecting everything together.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi May,
      That’s wonderful to hear you got so much out of the discussion and about your work as a happiness trainer. I hope that you will dive into some of the resources on our blog. One you might find useful is our dedicated post with 100 happiness activities and exercises.
      All the best.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  53. Stephanie Corby

    This is a very inspirational podcast. What stuck with me is the quick conversation around depression possibly being aligned with people who are fully functional experiencing a reality and dealing with the sadness of the reality (ok this was my interpretation of what was said).
    With several friends and family members suffering from depression, Ive often pondered this possibility. Not to downplay the seriousness of it, but it really is a matter of perspective. There are many realities in this world that are difficult to accept, but using a positive psychology approach in your thinking can certainly relieve some of the anxiety that can drive depression. Again – just my personal thoughts on this – I am not a psychologist.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you for being a listener. We’re glad that some of the conversation resonated with you. Indeed, depression and mental illness can be understood through many different lenses (beyond purely thinking of it through the lens of pathology).
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  54. Pia Molina Bejar

    The conversation reinvigorated me. It was what I needed to hear . I just felt it wash over me like refreshing rain after a long hot and humid day. Truly grateful to be listening in.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Pia,
      That’s lovely to hear the episode was so invigorating for you. Thank you for listening. The next episode (and several more) are out now, so we hope you continue tuning in.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  55. Debra P Barriteau

    Very realistic! We can truly shape our realities by the way we think. You correctly compared the mind, to a muscle that must be trained, in order to become productive . If we use effortless creation and loosen ourselves ,as we enjoy and educate our future leaders, some degree of positivity will surely be developed in their minds.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Debra,
      We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the podcast. Yes, when we learn that our minds are not static, but rather very adaptable, it opens up many possibilities for how we might train them. We have a dedicated article on the topic here if you are interested.
      We hope you enjoy our future podcasts, too.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  56. I AmE

    Just the name alone “positive psychology” gave me inspiration and motivation to do better at being a better me. My roommate told me once that it was impossible I could be as positive as I was and always smiling. That I was somehow faking it. In a way perhaps she was right. I have felt for many years dead inside, an empty shell, heartbroken and lost.. Maybe I still am but I’ve gotten better at hiding it and not allowing that part of myself show. I’ve learned by showing people the positive side or a diffrent perspective and utilizing the tools I’ve gathered over the span of my life that we need a bit of a cheering squad around us. Thank you for sharing your tools and expertise to guide change into the lives of many.

  57. Smriti

    Great dialogue between both of you. A real pleasure to understand what right thoughts can do to you. Would be interested in hearing more of your thoughts and maybe learn to live a better life. Thank you.

  58. Fahmida

    Thank you I really enjoyed this.

  59. Rosa Rebagliati

    Thank you. I heard lots of great insights which I can use as a Coach and more so now during the Coronavirus quarentine. At present, I am preparing a talk on Resilience. Several things that you’ve said make a lot of sense to help people cope with this situation. I wish to help them become more aware of themselves, their strengths and emotions. You spoke about life not being problem free, most of us experience difficulties but instead we can look at them as opportunities for potential growth.
    I look forward to listen more of your podcasts.

  60. Susan Timothy

    Congratulations on your First Podcast! It’s a very good topic and great content matter. Looking forward to more!
    Best wishes from Bangalore, India!

  61. Maria

    Really nice, well done! You two make a great team together!

    • Hugo Alberts, PhD., Psychologist

      Thanks 🙂

  62. Joyce

    Great podcast-profound reflections there.I kept listening to it over and over.Looking forward to the next

  63. Sam Osbourne

    Great first podcast, lads! Cheering you on.
    Wellbeing psychology, love it.
    What about balanced psychology or inspirational psychology?

  64. Sam Osbourne (@theselfworthguy)

    Great first podcast, lads! Cheering you on.

  65. Irene

    I feel good to have learnt something new,thank you.

  66. Irene

    This is a great insight , learning a lot from positive psychology.

  67. Lauren

    Some great thoughts and topics shared! Taught me not to judge my feelings or emotions but take them as they come and make the best out of them. Life is not about being happy but about being resilient. Thank you guys! Look forward to the next podcast.

  68. Laurie Eakin

    Really enjoyed the podcast thanks to both of you. The interaction between you kept it alive. If you become more structured in future podcasts, please don’t lose the fun out of it. Great stuff!

  69. Kumarie

    Having my thoughts verbalized by you guys in such a manner, really consolidates these concepts for me…thank you for this podcast… really enjoyed it….

  70. K.F. Latham

    I’d love to tweet this. Is there an option to do so somewhere here?

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi K.F.,
      Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, if you click ‘Yes’ on the button that says ‘Was this article useful to you?’ a bunch of sharing options will appear, including Twitter. 🙂
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  71. Dee

    Many thanks. Some lovely insights to being a human not being to be human.

  72. Swapna

    This is a great insight.. thank you

  73. rajan

    keep continuing it.. had listened twice and lots of insight .. thank you for the conversation podcast it really add value to our lives.

  74. Jose Laboy

    In this time of suffering everyone is scared with their surrounding how can we help someone who is suffering From the love of a love one when there is so much pain all around us.

  75. Lisa J

    I raved about your podcast to my family. We all need to hear it as it’s just plain wisdom for living life well. It actually provides understanding to be able to access a higher life, making sense of our lives in a more uplifting way. I am a continual student of psychology trying to gain understanding through a variety of perspectives but yours is definitely one I highly resonate with. Loved listening to your conversation. Thank you so much.

  76. Cynthia Córdoba

    Hugo and Seph, Thank you very much for sharing all these thoughts. Even if some of the ideas seem logic, we don’t always take the time to analyse where do our feelings or emotions come or only enjoy having them. Your podcast feels like having a conversation with friends and left me with a very nice sensation at the end. I’m really looking forward to hearing you again.
    I’m just new in Positive Psychology and I’m happy to have you at the beginning of my journey! Thanks!

  77. Sanctus Akuma

    Very inspiring conversation. Thanks a lot and I personally look to more. It has reminded me of many realities of life and very soon I will be contacting you people for more because I love reading posts connected to positive living. It is how I manage my learners problems in school .

    • Bendetta

      I am studying Counseling Psychology in Kenya(Africa).The podcast is an eye opener to me. I have found it theraputic. Congratulations for the good work.

  78. Angela Lee

    Thanks for an inspiring and positive time you both have allowed us into your world. I was in the flow and enjoyed the sharing and taking notes of wisdom that I echoed so much in my daily living be it professionally and personally.
    It reminded me of my calling which is my values + passion + gifts/talent/strengths and it is such immense joy when one finally embarks on the journey which makes life so meaningful and purposeful to live with and no regrets!
    Happy weekend as it is Sunday afternoon in Hong Kong.

  79. راضي الخضر

    Thank you ….
    I got several certificates and training courses in preparing trainers … I worked all the time in spreading societal peace and now I search in the therapeutic alliance and I would like to get a scale or fall into your hand so turn it to me … Thank you for your cooperation with me in the service of humanity

  80. Sehar un Nisa Hassan

    Very interesting conversation in this pod-cast and providing a different perspective to look at life struggles and happiness. Also some new insights about rational mind concepts. Looking forward to listen more as listening to this was also not like a burden and quite nature just children play with no final goal but experiencing what going on in this discussion without some judgment of its impact on us as listener.

  81. Dr Sohan CHouhan

    I am working as a clinical audiologist and my aria of work is tinnitus Hyperacusis and Vertigo. I found cbt and mindfulness is very useful tools for those patient. I would like to learn more if I get any internship opportunity.

  82. Zain ul abdin

    Dear iam working on phd proposal topic relationship between emotional intellgmce and acdemic stress. help me in this regard for searching research questionarie for emotional intelligence fo research students and acadmeic stress.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Zain,

      We have a post containing 17 tests and assessments of emotional intelligence that you can access here.

      Hope this helps!

      – Nicole | Community Manager

  83. Solange Pelland

    I really love your first podcast. It remind me of some stuff I had used for years, especially about being actually present to boost creativity and intuition. It is good to recall that in the reality I’m experiencing right now. I like your approach of curiosity – it’s so important and we all forget about it so often. Thank you for this helpful reminder.
    Look forward to listen to you both again. I’m very happy about the tools you gave me today. Thanks a million for those useful tools.

  84. Nora Maria Elena

    In a short span it refreshes my knowledge in basic psychology. I love to hear more from you both. Learning is a way to be wise and positive psychology is so useful in my field as neophyte in psychotherapy. Thanks a lot. Love to hear from your more.

  85. Rajesh CR

    A great podcast!
    The beach house example was great!
    The difference between solitude and loneliness was wonderful!
    By understanding two important things, life can be a lot lesser complex than it is,
    1. Who we really are?
    2. Discovering the true purpose of life or creating one!
    And it is the vulnerability of human beings which needs to be addressed, by trying to make people less vulnerable to situations by being strong mentally and physically.
    I hope you throw some light on this in your next podcast! Thanks

  86. Helen Aragon

    Loved the podcast. I hope you both do more. I have listened to it twice in one day. Plan on sharing it to others.

  87. Stef

    Excellent! I beat myself up all the time. I can become so negative and worse still, I go through the minds of people I know and work with and create scenarios or narratives about how they preseve me. Guess it is a kind of paranoia. I recently lost my father who was my hero and a great inspiration to me, and I have become very anxious! This podcast has helped me a lot. I know mindfulness is a big and important method and I am all for it, but I also like the idea of mindlessness. If you are constantly in your head, your dead!

  88. Thahira fazly

    Seph & Hugo, Thank you!! Very much enjoyed listening to your first podcast…..please keep them coming.

    • Phoebe

      Wow, the podcast was amazing and the part where u mentioned of doing things that we love and enjoy because as we do so we get to pay attention and actually things start to make meaning instead of doing things just to be good enough it makes so much sense I can so very much relate to this.
      Thanks again for the podcast, amazing knowledge

  89. Angela Pantazi

    It sounded like you guys are against the term “happiness”. Why is that so?
    Who gets to define what happiness is, for each and everyone of us?
    For some, it’s fulfillment, for some it’s love and deep, meaningful relationships, for some it’s calmness and a stoic mind, for some it’s a positive perspective of the world , for some it’s all the above mentioned and the list, of course, goes on. So why not happiness??
    We are almost 8 billion people. Maybe as many interpretations of happiness as residents of this planet.
    Well, for what it’s worth, to me, yes, it IS all about happiness. The way I define MY happiness.
    I wish you well, i thank you for your contact, and wish you happiness. Your way 🙂

  90. Vesna Radivojevic

    This podcast is simply wonderful! You were real inspiration in many moments for my brain,and that was the case again,thank you for that.

  91. Neil O’Brien

    Seph & Hugo, Thank you!! Very much enjoyed listening to your first podcast…..please keep them coming.

  92. Amrita Rai

    A nice podcast, resonating with how 2019 went for me.
    I mentioned it in my blog

  93. Cheryl

    Thank you for a wonderfully enlightening conversation regarding thought and related issues. You may want to look at the research of Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, Neuro Scientist at Harvard University and Boston General Hospital. He has great research about thought processes. For example, the ‘gut’ is correct in making decisions with pure feedback. Whereas the mind has learned to doubt decisions. I look forward to your next podcast!

  94. Kojokay

    Your website really help me with my term paper. Thanks a lot


    I am very happy to communicate with you. Because l face my patients with their negative thoughts and their modern lifestyle. Thanks to you .

  96. Fatima

    Thank you for your pleasurable comforting hour i spent listening to this fruitful cast .I enjoyed it all. I lived every moment of it , i liked mostly that happiness is an outcome not a goal by itself , living your life wit gratitude and resilience is what gives the pleasure of happiness . what was new to me is the perception that we do not have to do things with rational just doing them because we like and love to do it and feel the beauty of it . The word Negative is labeling “i loved that one” it is supportive , encouraging to spreads the feeling that it is’ OK not to be OK’ and that you do not live an ideal life of being the perfect person who has the perfect choices in life and who says only the right thing and behaves the best it gives me a feeling of serenity and confidence and peacefulness.

  97. Ali Sabih

    That was a great hearing you two. Excellent discussion about the three most desired areas as mentioned in your introductory mail. I liked your comment about”becoming and living with self as a friend”. super

  98. flor sermeno

    Genuine, informative and inspiring!

  99. Oussama.K

    Absolutely amazing podcast spontaneous and full of useful information . Thank you

  100. dracarolina

    Great podcast!
    I’m new into Positive Psychology and loved to hear from you guys-experts on the field the fact that the word “positive” may mislead into what it not actually is. Getting to a meaningful and resilient way of living is not for everyone at the same time.

  101. Annmarie

    This was a great discussion. Body-mind connection, resilience, the meaning of “positive” in positive psychology, and a really great Neitzsche quote to remember. Really good stuff. I look forward to listening to more! Thank you!

  102. Victoria Beresford

    Hi Guys,
    It was so nice to hear your voices. It made me want to travel back to Maastricht!!!!!

  103. Mary williamson

    Thanks for this podcast, it was really uplifting and inspiring, I particularly valued the insights into the role of parents in preparing young people for life’s challenges, and considering depression as emotional feedback.
    I look forward to listening to the next podcast

  104. Charanjit Kaur

    This is a wonderful podcast to listen to. Thank you Stephen and Hugo. I was expecting some tips on focusing on positivity in life, but understanding and accepting what our emotions are telling us.. What boundary or the limit that has been violated? Taking care of self and listening to our own body and mind.. When it’s easier to expect others to listen to our mind or to show care towards our well being… So many pointers that are so important and radical in the process towards healing oneself. All this while I received emails which I may not have opened to check.. But I am thankful that I opened this podcast.
    Eagerly awaiting what content I will hear in the next podcast
    Thank you so much

  105. Jazka Atterbury

    I really enjoyed listening to this podcast and I thought it was a great start! Untangling the misconception that positive psychology only focuses on the positive was really useful, particularly where the discussion explored the value in accepting ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings and how these are useful indicators to highlight where someone or a situation has crossed over it boundaries or gone against our values and belief systems. I would like to hear more about values and beliefs in these podcasts as I think this is a useful area to explore for practitioners – I’m a behavioural trainer and coach. Thanks again!

  106. Subha Majumder

    I took a break from my research for my next workshop and listened to your podcast….Soooooo resonated with my own feelings and i simply loved your authenticity and humility! Thank you and looking forward to more such meaningful conversations!
    P.S : At last I could hear your voices! Makes me feel more connected to both of you!

  107. Jack

    Great work! Thanks for pestering my inbox and providing me a positive curiosity break.
    I wonder if being creative and intuitive must always be opposite or separate from task/goal directionality? Seems as discussed there was a flavor of separation, an either/or positioning versus more of a both/and proposition. Can I work towards an integrated positioning where I enrich the problem-solving or work requirements, taking care of daily tasks and in whatever system I’m in enrich such with mindful, not breaks really, maybe insertions, engaging in both the analytical or work with mindful facilitation allowing the creative and/or intuitive to sooth drive or passion. Whoa way to philosophical -thanks guys…. All the Best

  108. Gylan Lai

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Almost all my undergraduate years i spent figuring out the meaning of my life. Sometimes, it feels like offering my service to my field and having series successes is the ultimate goal of my life. The other times, i get influncend by nihilism that we’re all gonna die, why do i bother trying, maybe chasing for happiness is enough. Now i really don’ t know how to motivate myself to get through dark times of my life.

  109. Lynette

    I thouroughly enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for your insights about the mind and thinking. The statement that really stood out for me was, “Connect to life in a non-thinking way.” I plan on using this with some of my clients.
    Looking forward to hearing more.

  110. Pooja Bajpai

    Seph and Hugo, this is a wonderful podcast. I heard it twice and such beautiful insights. I particularly liked the definition of happiness and effortless creativity.
    Awaiting the next episode.
    Best wishes.

  111. hairong huang

    Where’s episode #2?
    Thanks for the discussion, the metaphor of buying house is a good reminder!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      We recorded the second episode today Hairong. It will probably go live early next week. Keep an eye out for it on our blog!

  112. Tam

    I can’t believe you apologised at the end of this episode. It was terrific. I am looking forward to more. Thank you.

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Thank you Tam 🙂 We’re planning to do a weekly podcast!

  113. Charlene Lockington

    I think its great talking about ones feelings, especially negativity and the Podcast is a great way to move forward

  114. Kathy Taylor

    Hi guys, thankyou for the excellent podcast. Hreat listening on my long drive to work. It gave me some insight into the cycle of negative thinking and fault finding. Thankyou for sharing. Keep em coming ? awesome stuff?

  115. Kunle

    Beloved Hugo and Seph, I sincerely commend you for this good job.This is a great innovation in the in the world of psychology. Kudus to you. It is exciting. It will be a relieve to some individuals who find it difficult to read or do not have much time to sit and read. Easily they could go by listening to wonderful and impactful information as the ones you explicitly shared in the podcast. More grease to your elbows.
    Love you,

  116. Yannick Jacob

    This is really great guys! So much value in this and I love how the conversation flows, how you weave together big picture and very pragmatic stuff along with personal stories. Well done. Really enjoying listening to this and look forward to more.
    What irritates me a bit is the compressed silences when the plugin sets in to cut out the noise, but I’m sure you’re gonna improve audio very soon anyway.
    Keep it up! And if you ever need a guest, I’d love to join the conversation 🙂

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Hi Yannick, how’s it going man? 🙂
      I completely agree with you when it comes to the silences. According to Hugo, this had to do with a ‘gate’ he used in the mastering of the recording. No idea what that means, but we’ll keep it into account for the next episode.
      We’re going to invite guests as well at some point. Would be cool to talk about existential coaching with you sometime.

  117. Amna ghafoor

    Thanku so much for sharing this thoughtful conversation this is very beneficial for healing up the disturbing faults and thoughts
    This is as like as we do in a separate session this so helpful in the to evaluate the emotions
    Look forward for more..
    Best Regards:
    Amna Ghafoor

  118. David A Patch Jr

    Well, I am joining all the rest of these comments by saying bravo!! Well done. This podcast is evident of the power of conversation and connectivity between people. This was very rich in content. Your authenticity and humility along with your wisdom was all beyond words can say. Thank you! And keep them coming!

    • Kori

      Re: my children: I would wish for them to have ‘enough.’ The struggle many of us has is always wanting more. This isn’t simply about material things. Being able to know, recognize, and understand when you have enough leads to a greater sense of well being, in my opinion.
      Great conversation! I couldn’t listen to it in its entirety — I have research and writing to do — but I enjoyed putting voices to the faces I’ve seen. As you move forward with your podcast, you might consider including time stamps to mark a change in topic. You also could add transcriptions.
      Welcome to the podcasting life!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      We definitely will David. Thank you so much for the support!

  119. Marianne

    Thank you for sharing your thought and experiences. This is so difficult for people (like my friends and family) who are in a line of work that consists of 90% fault finding – for example in IT support. That mindset so easily follows you everywhere, into relationships and leisure time too. The fault-finding skill (even strength) becomes a burden when stepping outside of the work role.

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Exactly Marianne. The most important thing I’ve learned it so recognize it in yourself, to become aware of it. Only then can you choose to change your focus. The best way of doing that, for me at least, is to physically break the pattern by exercise.

  120. Lizzie Sturdy

    That was great. A lovely morning spend decorating my art room and listening to you both. I love listening to you guys flow from one topic to the next- each new topic as interesting and as applicable to everyone’s daily life as the last. I totally agree with your points about gratitude and appreciating the little moments in life, and this morning was one of them! Thanks! Please let me know when to expect the next instalment?

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Aww, that’s lovely to hear Lizzie, so glad we have mentally accompanied you while you were decorating. 🙂 Next episode goes live at the start of the next week.

  121. VanessaV

    Thanks for sharing! Great conversation – it resonates with me loads. Love that you talk about listening to oneself, such an important thing to do to so that we are able to live our life as true to ourselves as possible 🙂 Thank you x

  122. mehnazamjad

    Thank for a meaningful conversation, it did managed to cover a wide variety of topics yet was so natural and engaging.
    Look forward to hear more.
    Best Regards,

  123. Serge Bays

    thanks to daily work on my emotional behaviour, i was able in the last 50 years to patiently build up high resistant happiness. Even during the darkest periods of my life i have been able to stay somewhat happy and never slip in depression and be happy by seeing a small blossing flower on my way. I am a happy camper. I say this to confirm that i am perfectly on your wave length and recognize fully the great power of your followed track to help people to enhance their conscious level and enter in real conscious daily life.
    By the way the University of Lausanne confirmed after 18 years of research that all emotions are having their siege in one part of the primitive brain.
    Happy day to all of you

  124. Peter Brown

    Great to hear your thoughts on these topics it feels like we are listening in on a session with you guys ! So personal, I can almost feel better already jk not really

  125. AnnaD

    Thank you for this inspiring podcast! It presented so many good ideas that I actually started to write them down while listening. I just finished my studies to become a Positive Psychology Practitioner (here in Finland) and I am really looking forward to the new podcasts 🙂

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      That’s amazing Anna. Please feel free to share your notes here as a comment. I would be happy to add them to the post so that other people can benefit from them as well 🙂

  126. Nelly

    Amazing, I love how you can always find a way to connect with us, your costumer in a different way. Hey, it makes me feel that I am not a costumer, but a colleague of you, and it is so much more! It makes our connections much more living 🙂 And it does not compromise the professional level of the content. So, thank you and bravo!
    What I would consider, as some other folks also noted, is to adapt the length of conversation a bit to the busy days and to a very clear and straightforward title. Otherwise I can only give you the feed back to just keep on going! Thank you!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Hi Nelly,
      Thank you for your warm words and your feedback.
      We have decided that we will keep the length of the podcast to the natural length of our phone calls, which is usually anywhere between 40-70 mins.
      Should you not be able to finish listening, you can always pick up where you left when you find the time.
      Personally, I feel that 15 min podcasts can lack depth. We usually really start to get into a topic after the first 10 minutes, which is why it would be a shame to forcefully stop the conversation after 15 minutes.
      I hope you can follow my reasoning on this 🙂

      • Francine Hermans

        I agree, Seph! For me the value is very much in the authenticity. So that’s another reason to just record what you would normally talk about and with the length that naturally takes. And without editing. Otherwise it could become too much directed with the risk of losing value.

        • Seph Fontane Pennock

          Yes exactly, I think so too Francine. Thanks!

          • Nelly

            I am convinced:)

  127. Nandana Weerasinghe

    Excellent ???

    • Suranjita Bhanja

      Thank you very much. it is a very good resource for psychotherapist as well as for our own mindfulness.

  128. Kiiru Stephen

    Quite an inspiring conversation. Thank you

  129. Josephine Tite

    I absolutely felt connected listening to the two of you have conversation. Sometimes it’s so great to discuss multiple topics without diving so deep into just one. Hit home in many spots for me on a personal and professional level. I’m thinking too much about what to write in response, so in honor of your conversation I will leave it for what it is. Love you guys! Thanks so much 🙂

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Miss you Josephine!

  130. Aysha Yousaf


  131. Maria Lourdes L. Ramos

    It was insightful and full of sincere learnings. Thanks for sharing! God bless you both more.

  132. sauhancheong

    Great stuff! I am listening it second time…

  133. Adeline

    What a fantastic conversation!
    Am so touched inside.
    May you continue to shine and lit up the fire.
    Looking forward to seeing the next!

  134. Anne Y

    Wonderful podcast. I work with the socially disadvantaged and consistently remind them about the power of gratitude. It’s sometimes difficult trying to encourage them to believe in themselves and find the good and calm within. I intend to use your podcast so that we can discuss. Thank you

  135. Clara

    Honestly, I’m not a podcast person…I’m very picky with what and who I listen to. But I decided to give this a try, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Contrary to what was written in the email, I didn’t feel like a fly on the wall, but I felt like a person listening to two people who are talking about ME and how I can be better. So, thank you for this insightful and encouraging podcast. Looking forward to more!! 🙂

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      That’s great to hear Clara. I’m so happy that’s how it felt for you! We’ll stick to this format 🙂

  136. Brad Desmond

    I enjoyed the idea that negative emotions can be a welcomed wake-up call, and that meaning counts for more than happiness. Also, that intrinsic motivation has most power. Thanks for these candid insights from two thought leaders.

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      So we’re gonna start calling each other thought leaders now Brad? 😉
      Seriously, I like that take away of negative emotions serving as a wake-up call. Powerful reframe.

  137. Carol O

    I just listened to this podcast. Indulging myself in the conversation and topic found me taking notes as a personal and professional reminder. Very organically communicated (unrehearsed). Now to transcribe and reflect. This is a reminder of how powerful our thought process is. Enough to hold us hostage from true life! I look forward to your next discussion. What a lovely act of love by sharing with us. “Thank you!”

  138. Andy

    WOW! Words cannot express what I learn from your podcast. It hit home with me in many areas. I learned to stay focused on what you both were talking about and to block out negativity. I have to admit, it was a weird feeling blocking out negative thoughts and staying focused on the conversation. Your entire podcast hit home with me.
    Looking forward to the next. Thank you.

  139. Susan

    Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and sharing your insights and knowledge. I will be listening to the podcast a few more times because there is just so much richness within your words and what you’ve shared. I am on a journey of healing at the moment and what I got from your podcast today is balm for my soul.
    I would love to hear more of your ‘weekly chats’ and encourage you to keep sharing and distributing healing for the many broken, lonely and lost souls of this world.
    Blessings to you

  140. M. Touati

    The podcast is really interesting and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it will help many people. Looking forward to the upcoming podcasts.

  141. Gladys “Gia” Castellon

    Great podcast! Interesting and inspiring. Looking forward to many more. Thank you!

  142. Sam Robins

    I was thinking about how our psychological wellbeing is connected to our physical wellbeing recently after I had a reiki session. I gained a greater sense of gratitude for my physical body. That may sound weird, so to elaborate I have been thinking more about how my feelings and actions affect everything from my heart rate to my muscles and how I carry myself. As the vehicle for my soul and my energy, my body supports and cares for me and I want to do a better job in supporting it. We know chronic illness can lead to depressive symptoms. I would love to discuss this relationship more. Thank you, I look forward to the next one.

  143. Emma

    I listened to your first podcast by myself (en route from Warsaw to Italy to join my husband and children) in a little hut in the Tatra mountains – the bit about the difference between being solitary and alone particularly resonated. Lovely to spend time with your lovely and wise voices. Thank you.

  144. Adrian Harris

    Great discussion! Weirdly, you seem to be talking about topics that are very live for me right now: mindfulness, the danger of over-thinking, flow, creativity, curiosity, etc. etc. There’s an extraordinary definition of love: “love is what connects you with something else truthfully.” It’s said like a throwaway line but it’s such a beautiful definition. On intuition: You guys must check out Eugene Gendlin and Experiential Focusing. If you’re looking for a way to enhance intuition and understand how those moments of creation come about, please check him out! My blog offers a short introduction, but I’d be pleased to pass on more links: http://www.adrianharris.org/blog/2011/10/eugene-gendlin/

  145. Maha

    Congratulations with this wonderful first podcast

  146. Sandy

    Thank you – very interesting and inspiring!

  147. Sarah L Patrick

    I really enjoyed this podcast, Seph and Hugo. I can resonate with using exercise and being in nature to pull ourselves out of our head. I live on a lake and go jump off my dock! Wonderful break! I also have found in distance exercise that I can also, unfortunately, go into the thinking mind and realize as I finish my run or swim that I was still in my head most of the time as I exercised. My boyfriend is a triathlete and trains many hours a week. As a professional engineer, he also finds himself problem-solving and thinking through his whole run, swim, biking session. Any pointers?
    Thank you again for this website, tools, podcast and all your work!
    Best, Sarah

  148. Elaine Tavani

    Great podcast! I found it engaging and will be able to use all the little bits of creativeness in my personal and work life. I’ll be watching and listening and can’t wait to checkout PositivePsychology. com.

  149. Francine Hermans

    Great podcast covering so many interesting topics. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you’d pressed the “record” button already a long time ago! ?
    So, well done Seph and Hugo! Congratulations with this wonderful first podcast and of course also with the fact that all resources are now on PositivePsychology.com!!! ????? That must have been an incredidibly tough job, but you did it! ?????

  150. Melanie

    Wonderful. Inspiring. And yes, very therapeutic. Looking forward to the next one. Thank you for your work.

  151. Verónica Encarnación

    I loved the conversation. It felt like I was just spending time with myself listening quietly and analizing my own thougths. Looking foward to hearing more from you both!

  152. Amber Eaton

    Some very valid points that make complete sense. It’s like an ah-ha moment! Thanks for sharing.

  153. Jann

    Hi there,
    What a great podcast and really thought provoking. Thank you.
    Looking forward to the next episode!

  154. Norman W. Wilson, PhD

    Martin’s “Wow” seems so inadequate. What a great show. It was definitely self-therapeutic. I believe two points are of considerable value: negativity and being in the mind too much. Thank you both for sharing such an innovative and personal encounter. Norman W. Wilson, PhD

    • Emmenn

      Wow, I loved listening. I thought it was 48 minutes but it was so interesting! The sound quality and and the simple words are great! Your voices sound so positive and uplifting. Kudos

  155. Oscar

    The name PositivePsychology is great and you’ll do just fine in time Seph. A website in the net takes time to be known but the way you’re managing it is excellent and very professional and will eventually bare fruit. The podcast was also excellent but too long with many interesting themes. Maybe editing it in shorter 15 min. segments??? Thanks

  156. Jann

    Hi there!
    This podcast was excellent, really thought provoking thank you.
    looking forward to the next one!

  157. Shamala

    This was really good idea. Great to listen real life stories and how someone’s sharing thoughts of real actions and the path to overcome of it. It will make listeners to get connected and some sort like getting instances feedback really good ways of comunicating keep it up

  158. Adriana Konar

    So real, So authentic! great inspiration! thank you guys for be real, vulnerable and so open to us!

  159. Sangeetha Francis

    thinking too much is the biggest problem…. mindfulness is really a helping truth …. I am listening it again and again.. I feel it is good that you are working hard for the positive psychology Idea/domain… best wishes.. and waiting for more wonderful sessions

  160. Delia Ordaz Smart

    Very informative conversation regarding positive and negative emotions and practical application on personal experience.

  161. Sraddha Ghosh

    Thank u so much for sharing this being a Psychologist it feels great listening to this amazing talks.Just share more and more

  162. Dr.Sr.Sobhana

    Great my view is that any thing and everything is controlled by our very thought if so why don’t we control our thoughts obviously our emotions then we can have a happy life by building relationships with oneself and people around us.(if you are a
    person believing in God build relationships with Him first)

  163. drpratibha Swami

    Lovely conversation… the approach should be applied in everyone’s life.. it’s all about thinking

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Thank you Pratibha 🙂

  164. Martin Georgiev

    Wow, love the vulnerability and the almost self-therapeutic effect your conversation has on you (and on me). Keep it up!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Thank you so much for saying that Martin, and yes, definitely therapeutic!

      • Amitkonarde


      • Zabra Arms

        Thanks, this was very therapeutic.


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