Thursday, April 2, 2020

Episode 38: Mental Health and Motivation during Isolation: Therapist Dan McGann & Motivational Designer David Tai

Episode 38 is available on most podcast apps, including Apple, Google, Spotify and Anchor!

I. In this episode we first feature Dan McGann, a therapist who delves deep into our identity (as individuals, runners, members of society) and how movement can be utilized to generate a healthy mental attitude and habit building to combat anxiety and depression. He also touches on 3 key practices to building a daily routine, an especially important practice during isolation- The Three G's are one:  GROWTH, GIVING BACK & GRATITUDE.  Regarding noticing our thinking and goals for it: 20% on negative/problem areas and 80% on the solution/positive aspects of the situation. Please see more information in the graphics and links below for details of what we discussed and research / published books or articles in this area. RxRun The Film (about McGann's running therapy practice)
Dan's Star Wars Analogy- "The Force (80%)- Live in a place of faith of love & courage, or Dark Side- Live in a place of fear, anger... it's our choice!" (more links/info following II below)

II. Second, we feature David Tai- and his career & current research into motivation and what
David running Singapore's coastline
cognitive psychology / motivational design have to teach us at the University of South Florida. David spent many years of his life working with IBM and focused on improving motivation within an organization, as well as personally with regard to work/life balance. He found running to be pivotal in his own transitions to new ways of thinking, both for mental health and clearer thinking, and describes this "how to" process for us, including the FLOW Method to establishing new habits / ways of thinking. Originally from China, he also provides valuable comparative cultural perspectives on how the US and "the West" have dealt with the Covid-19 crisis as compared to China, lessons learned and differences in approach.  David's Commentary on 
"The Four F's of FLOW" (Short Video Summary) & national bestseller by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:
"To create flow in what I do every day, I followed the 4Fs in Flow. The first F is Focus. I get focused by using my iWatch’s breath function to help me do deep breathing. I close my eyes and follow the iWatch breath rhythm to visualize one and only one task that I need to finish in 30 to 50 minutes. The second F is Freedom. During this stage, I free myself from any worries, distractions, and self-scrutiny and focus 100% on the at-the-hand task. For example, when I write, I do not do any editing but keep writing. When I read, I do not stop to take notes, but keep reading until I fully understand the article. The third F is Feedback. I use the 18-minute rule to give myself feedback on the progress I make throughout the day. I use 5 minutes to plan the day and 5 minutes to close my day. Then for each hour, I use one minute to reflect and plan the next hour. The total time (for reflection) is only about 18 minutes for any normal workday, which is a self- feedback system to enable me to see my progress toward my daily goals. The fourth F is the four percent challenge. Csikszentmihalyi (2014) described that the flow state is at the intersection of the optimal intersection of a challenge met by stretching one’s expertise. The rule is to aim 4% above one’s normal challenge and expertise." -David Tai

Dan McGann's presentation “The Mental Side of Running”
The Four Logic Questions:
1) Is it true? (examine old patterns of thought that may be subconscious and
examine the facts with truth)
2) Where is the evidence? (Where is the evidence that the opposite
is true?)
3) What is the price you pay emotionally for holding on to that old
pattern of thought?
4) What will be better or different when you let it go? (What
becomes possible in your life today – tomorrow and in the
months and years ahead when you let it go?)

"I promote in my work each individual creating powerful and compelling reasons WHY? What becomes possible when you decide and act in the face of challenges? Then the HOW is much easier... Avoid Passivity, Encourage Activity"- Dan McGann
 The "Technology of How" Visual:

Books and Methods brought up by Dan in the Podcast:

The Gratitude Challenge, Dr. Joe Dispenza- Gratitude focus BLOG and Challenge (free)

Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, on Amazon by Dave Goggins, Audio or Print book

Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl- "In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning,Frankl said “Man can get through any HOW? if he has a strong enough WHY?...  I think this is why when you research runners who complete a marathon and those who drop out is that primary factor of WHY? – those who complete tend to have a strong and passionate WHY- (i.e. for my family, to raise money for a cause, etc.) and those who drop out tend to have very vague intentions." - Dan McGann

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