- Improve your personal and professional communication with Dr Ro
- September/October, 2020
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Episode 047 – 2020 in review, look ahead to 2021, big human shifts, business changes, habit changes, dealing with frustration, supporting children, what to do next and more
Show Notes – Episode 047 – 2020 in review, look ahead to 2021, big human shifts, business changes, habit changes, dealing with frustration, supporting children, what to do next and more
At the time of recording, we are 21 days into 2021, yet it still feels like 2020 because in the UK we are in a third national lockdown, therefore for many, nothing has changed. Which continues to create personal and professional pressures – uncertainty, anxiousness, inability to reset, blurry future, frustration and more.
To help reflect on the past year and look forward into 2021 and beyond Dr Ro and Harminder have recorded this special podcast.
Enjoy a free flowing review of 2020 and a look ahead at 2021 where Dr Ro and Harminder explore the following big questions:
- What big shifts have happened with people?
- How about business, where are businesses going?
- What human habits have changed and what are people more comfortable with?
- What role has social media played?
- How have people dealt with frustration and life in general?
- How long will this last and how are people visualising the future?
- How have children been affected and what can we do as parents?
- What can people be doing now looking ahead?
Take this opportunity to re-reflect on 2020, has this episode provoked any other thoughts or feelings which you missed during your December goal setting?
Affiliate disclaimer: NO links on this page or products discussed during the episode have an affiliate or advertising association with the Seekardo Show. Please support us via the supporter programme if you wish to help.
Harms: Hello it’s Harms here and welcome to another episode of the Seekardo show.
We are well and truly into 2021, however it feels like we’re still stuck in 2020. Now it may feel that way because nothing seems to have changed in the outside world and myself and Ro have been speaking and what we’ve done in our personal, business lives, family lives is reflected back on reviewed 2020.
But what we haven’t had the opportunity to do is do that with you the listeners. I’ve got Ro to jump on today to talk about what was 2020 in our view in our eyes and we can touch upon the success of the podcast as well, and the support the listeners and how that’s grown over of the year as well, but we really want to give you a picture of what 2020, was and also now look forward ahead into 202.
If you’ve been a part of the podcast during 2020 you will know that it’s all about aspiration, looking forward, being able to react in a manageable way. If you’ve listened to the recent podcast on how we react, how do we respond to a situation you’ll know that that’s very much the space that we come from.
So Ro over to you to open up what you think about 2020 from your observations from your feelings because this has been a year like none other.
Dr Ro: Hi everybody and welcome to the show and again, thank you for taking the time to join us. I love the opening we’re like 20 days in and we are well and truly into 2021, it’s flown by the first three weeks we’ve just smashed through.
I think it’s a good time to reflect back, we’re close enough we’re still hanging onto some of those memories of 2020 and I think it’s very easy to rush through a year and not take some learnings from it. So what have we seen that’s happened?
I think shock is a good word that describes last year.
Just a reaction to several things that happened actually last year, not just Covid being the obvious one.
Harms: There were political things.
There was activism there was a lot going on in the world which definitely shocked everybody to the core. It is interesting you mentioned that word because how long can somebody stay in a state of shock in a 365 days period before something else happens to them?
Dr Ro: This is a good point.
We’re built as human beings to either run away from something to just shut down and to freeze if that sequence is to freeze first, then to run and then to fight back.
That typically is a momentary thing our bodies biologically have this ability to do something quickly to survive and then there’s this cortisone rush, adrenal rush then there is a period where we need to kind of recuperate, rest.
That’s why if someone goes into shock they shut down. We haven’t had a chance to do that, as a culture as a country, a global community.
Yes, in some parts of the world right now they’re more relaxed. I got a message from a friend of mine in New Zealand saying come spend time with us, it’s more relaxed down here. But then if I look at Australia last year with the fires they had the shock of that. I think people are still in a state of shock which is why we’re seeing a lot of health issues, mental health issues.
People are still running on a level of adrenaline and stress and tension which we’re not biologically designed to cope with not on that consistent regular basis.
That is my gut feeling.
Harms: For those who felt that shock and then came out of that shock state what kind of words can be put around what happens next to somebody? What happens next after that freeze that shock moment the deer in headlights? What kind of feelings occur next?
Dr Ro: If we rewind back last year three or four big ones, Covid, US elections, which played out a lot globally, then the Black Lives movement, which has always been in the background that is a very powerful experience for people that want to make changes but was triggered by some terrible events last year, which I think all of us were moved by.
I think the combination of those things all at the same time really left the world in a state of shock. I still don’t think it has left, but typically when you get that shock, let’s talk about Covid for a minute there’s that initial fear but then the confusion kicks in.
So now the dust has settled, how do we deal with this?
That’s where I think people go into it, it is like what do I do next? How do I deal with this situation and they’re trying to make sense of it. The making sense of it was going online searching for answers and what I think happened very quickly most people when they go into shock they reach out and lean on the people around them to give them the support.
We couldn’t do that because we were all isolating.
Harms: We had to stay separate from people we love, people we care about. You mention the word confusion there confusion to me when we look internally within our business, our family life confusion always happens when there’s a lack of or poor communication going on.
Now I feel like a large part of the confusion stems from the fact that there was such poor communication coming from high levels, different bodies, different authorities, government bodies, etcetera and this is not criticism of them in the sense that they are also in that shock. They are also feeling exactly what we’re feeling as a public and they had to step up to try their best to manage the situation.
It is not a criticism of them, but it is an interesting insight to how poor communication can lead to confusion on a mass scale.
Dr Ro: The thing is, wherever there is a space in any form of communication then we create our own communication. In other words, we either make assumptions we form pictures in our minds, stories we pull back on our belief systems or, as happened other people fill that space. This is where there are different positions on it.
Even that’s a dangerous thing for me to say because the reality is there are people out there with genuine facts about the situation Covid et cetera, but of course how other people perceive that someone might say how do we know it’s a real fact? Is it conspiratorial?
The minute there was a lack of communication from say the government bodies I think what happened is that space got filled by other stories of people creating whether they were true or not doesn’t matter, it’s human nature then to latch onto something you relate to, you’ve got a belief system associated to.
Harms: Bearing in mind communication was one of the challenges that came out my feeling from that was you mentioned there’s a level of creating your own form of communication and fundamentally what this shook to the core is people’s trust in expertise, authority.
Myself and yourself have observed this for many years in the area of wealth in the area of plan B, in the area of actually you don’t have to go to University, get a job then retire that doesn’t have to be a plan.
We know that we work with hundreds and thousands of people in the space of creating their own financial dependence, so we know when it comes to not trusting authority, but saying there are other ways to do things.
Dr Ro: I think what happened last year was that people’s trust got broken and when you’ve got the British government messages changing week by week one minute it’s safe, oh no it’s not safe and people are like what the heck is going on?
Harms: We will have Christmas, no you won’t have Christmas. It fundamentally breaks trust and just talks into the space of how does trust play out in relationships because that would give the listeners an idea of when the trust is broken, how hard is it to repair?
Dr Ro: Once broken it takes months if not years. If ever it gets repaired. I think there are certain things that have been said and done in the media by government announcements over the last year that will leave people with a question mark for years to come.
I think that anyone that didn’t trust it initially it was just magnified people that were maybe oblivious to it have even raised questions. Some of the people that are least interested in politics have started raising questions this last year.
That said, there’s going to be a point when we go back to normality whatever that’s going to look like and then when people get out to travel a bit and have their pleasures and go on holiday, a lot of these things ebb into the past. We do forget it’s the classic case lest we forget, I think things do happen and we go. I’m never going to forget that but actually we do and that’s even with relationships and then the pattern happens again later on. They go, why did I stay in this relationship we did that before, so I think if you look at a global level, government level we’ve got to be mindful of how we manage our lives.
If anything else this year has taught people we have to really take back control in a massive way. I think that’s a big message to get across because the thing is, once you’ve accepted that the norm, which is what happened out of shock people were like okay, this is how it is.
We can cycle here, we can’t go here, we can go to a park, we can’t go to a park and what can we do? Well we’ve got a house and we’ve got a TV here. There was kind of the shift where people started looking through the Internet things like Netflix and Amazon prime.
Harms: If you take Netflix their revenue in the early part of the year increased by 50 million within a month so their subscribers went through the roof in the same year there were multiple other video streaming movies sites.
Netflix recently increased its prices knowing it’s got a whole bunch of new users, so there’s a lot of I guess when it comes to business some people are naturally going to benefit in what’s happening in the world.
A lot of other people maybe didn’t benefit all or
are still suffering.
Let’s go back to what happened so people then went from shock to confusion to looking for answers to going maybe I haven’t got control right now and went inside to Internet, TV and then there was kind of a new norm where the masks were on very quickly.
We talked about this.
People were distancing and some people got quite reactive you got shouted at on the street when you went out with your baby.
Something I genuinely struggled with I was used to when people walk past each other in the street. You smiled and I lived up North for while I travelled north from a busy London world where people just don’t have the time to look at you, never mind stop smile say, how are you doing?’
Whereas I went up north and I started to get accustomed to this way that somebody would stop whilst you’re on a walk you would talk, you’d ask how the family is doing then we moved down just below London and the same feeling existed.
All of a sudden people who were used to staying connected being good neighbours showing love and affection to the neighbour, it stopped. They would cross the road, they would avoid eye contact, they would dodge you, almost like by looking at someone that was also an issue. You can’t spread the virus by looking at someone, but that was the feeling.
Dr Ro: It was confusion as well.
It is not to say everybody did that but I think if there was a partial connection with somebody they did that. Even close friendships think people were a little bit more cautious.
There were two groups of people forming there were those that were a bit more relaxed and possibly more emotionally developed around this and those that conform and followed the set rules.
I was seeing a lot of the older generation people my mums age yes, more vulnerable, and of course the message coming out was if you’re vulnerable you’ve got to be really careful and yet there’s people I know that were in the 70s and 80s very good immune system looked after their health and where out and about and not knocked by it at all. This is the challenge we’ve got is that not everyone is going to fall into that.
My mum’s generation grew up following rules during the war years, the ration years they literally followed their set rules. I think we saw that again this time round. How they were literally standing away from each other.
Do you remember we were standing in town? I think it was an early lockdown and we were socially distanced and you got into your car and an elderly couple got upset because we were on the pavement and it just threw them off completely.
Harms: It became such a big issue that somebody else was socially distancing but the very fact that somebody was out or on the path affected them.
Dr Ro: You were trying to put a baby into a car.
Harms:This is everyday life but what I think this story is a small, isolated incident, but this is happening everywhere. Now imagine this happening all across the country people having these kinds of negative feelings towards others. I think this is something I struggled with.
Dr Ro: The word is trust.
It’s not that they don’t trust that person, what they’ve been told is X, Y, and Z and so there’s an automatic assumption.
Harms: If we shift the limelight to the younger generation what I saw was where my generation hasn’t grown up following rules we’re the opposite.
We’re rebellious but also we question authority because ultimately, countries like the UK, USA, certain countries in Europe have grown in stature and establishing different areas of even economics in terms of culture because people challenge authority and that’s the whole point of having a voting system, a democratic system in the sense that we say actually what’s the truth behind that?
Because we just don’t follow blindly with the amount of information we have at our fingertips, we are able to ask the question. I think what my generation did was ask the question and either we didn’t get the answer either we didn’t want to accept the answer
Or didn’t like the answer.
There were parts who followed rules, those apathetic, confused I best just ride this out and I will just watch Netflix or Amazon prime and then there were the others who went out their way to say actually this is not the truth. This has formed one because of the challenge against authority and mistrust.
Dr Ro: What also came through this was lots of loud voices and those listening might relate to this faction happening within families.
One group of people with one view about what it is if these facts aren’t correct, are there really these numbers of deaths, are people really getting ill? There’s another group of people saying absolutely everything is factually correct, whatever we get given and told is factually correct and the truth is, both extremes are probably not correct and there is somewhere in the middle is the truth. But people can’t accept that because the minute you get questioned on a belief you push back against that and even families are getting into conflict.
Harms: What you have touched on is a really insightful point, which is this element of polarised conversation as it is often described has been developing year on year, year-on-year the conversations got more polarised and even more extreme and people are getting further away from each other.
I think 2020 defines the year where can it even get more polarised?
It is so extreme the conversation north to south east to west, but very few people are having that conversation in between, which again I think fundamentally comes down to communication.
Dr Ro: You look at the American government and some of the messages coming right from the top were frightening we’re talking about drinking cleaning fluid, crazy stuff.
The point being that at that level you have to be so careful what is said because people take things literally. Particularly those that are leaning on a need to have someone tell them what to do, who can’t be autonomous they just don’t know how to research or have just grown up in a culture where I do what I’m told.
Harms: We recently had an interview with Robert VeKerk and Mel Aldridge, the biggest outcome from that was we have to individually risk assess things and being able to risk assess if somebody is there on the other side of the street putting a baby in the car well as a person you just assess do I want to go close to that person?
If the answer is no we will cross the road it’s nothing to do with them. There’s no need to outwardly project your feelings on them. You’ve never met them before, so I think being able to risk assess and come from an engineering background we had to risk assess all the time.
On a daily basis if somebody phones you up and they’ve got a challenge and in that moment, you have to make a risk assessment whether it’s to do safety with efficiency, finance.
Dr Ro: Where it became difficult with Covid is with engineering and I know this from my background, you knew what the parameters were to risk assess.
But we were thrown left, right and centre. 2m, 1 m don’t do this, don’t touch that because nobody really knew it’s a virus, it does what viruses do, it works its way through a community, tribe, culture and history has shown that we build immunity ultimately by getting these things and then there will be attrition rate and it’s scary. It just happened so quickly that confusion that risk assessment we couldn’t make that.
Harms: Because what parameters do work because in our country it’s 2 m, as we get information now. It’s 1.25 m in other countries, half a metre and then we start to get this confusion.
Dr Ro: Of course you have people walking into shops with masks, without masks and there’s a common law saying no you can just and there is all this confusion and then we go into lockdown three.
What happened was a new norm formed and everyone was just getting used to a little bit of the same behaviour and interaction and now you can have six people in the house and then boom, UK lockdown three and similar behaviour patterns happen again.
People seem to reach out. It’s the reaction between pleasure and pain, are you driven by pain or pleasure? Every time there is a lockdown the pattern now is that people suddenly change what they want to do.
We’ve had more intake on events to do with real estate investing more people interested in finding out about personal development, communication because they’re realising they want to do something different and then what happens is no doubt as we come out of lockdown and we get back into especially the summer months people go it’s fine and they’ll chill. They go out for a walk and those decisions they made when things were tough suddenly stop making the decisions.
When in fact they need to be consistently making those decisions and not be driven by external circumstances. I think that’s a really big eye-opening concept to grasp for anyone listening to this, think about how you reacted to this year and how much was spent on Netflix, education books, bicycles.
The bike industry went through the freaking roof in this country and actually they still haven’t caught up. Now I bet you there will be hundreds of thousand bikes parked.
It is a reactive type of behaviour. I think that’s something we’ve also seen this year not to be negative, but to say it’s human nature when we are faced with a challenge to go, I need to change my life.
The question is will that stay consistent or is that just a fight freeze type behaviour as opposed to a fight consistently and go off and do some different.
Harms: A great observation because if we ask the question what’s the difference between the person who reacts with apathy, fear, shock versus somebody who takes the opportunity in front of them, adapts and takes a chance to learn.
Takes a chance to double down in the business. Take the time to pivot in the business or whatever they’re doing in their personal life, look for a new job whatever their situation is, personally my observation is the big difference is the people who adapt, react and respond appropriately to a situation have developed themselves personally, they’ve spent time working on themselves.
Dr Ro: They have got more emotional tools, more resourceful, more resilient.
Harms: Because of that they’ve got this level of emotional maturity as you described in the last.
I think something we miss is we all have the same brain. So when it comes to feeling fear nobody can feel more fear than somebody else when it comes to feeling worried nobody can feel more worried than someone else. Biologically the brain is the same.
So when we look at the Prime Minister or a president having to make a big decision for the country they’re going to feel a level of stress and worry.
That’s no different to the level of stress or worry I feel about am I going to lose my job. It’s the same but the difference is they can manage that better because they’ve worked on themselves, they’ve developed themselves. I think a big insight for this is we are still in lockdown three, if there was a message it would be to pivot and start spending time working yourself asap.
Dr Ro: I agree with you that it’s our personal development that’s really going to carry us through these next four, five, six years and it always has done and it always has done through difficult times, but this is a global difficult time.
This is not like the recession of 2008 this is the recession of 2008, which was coming anyway, plus a multiple factor of Covid, plus government disorientation at the moment a lot of unrest. Look at the energy and the violence in America there is a lot of pent-up anger. I think there’s a long way to go before we work our way through that.
Unless we start to have a different understanding of humanity and how we behave and interact with each other and how we can manage and get out of our heads as well because people are still very much from a business perspective, very heady about things. We have to start to connect with people.
That is the one thing that Maslow’s hierarchy needs the basic need of belonging and connecting so if there’s one thing globally everyone needs is that. That’s why so many youngsters are struggling with what’s happened.
Harms: And fundamentally we are missing certain human needs, connection being a massive one and if we don’t get what we are saying we will find that someone else. We will find connections via watching shows getting false dopamine hits and that’s what we’re looking for. Consumed by box sets.
Whereas we don’t have the opportunity to get that organic hit, the natural hit via human connection.
Dr Ro: It’s not a criticism because you and I have sat and watched movies but it’s how you control it and saying I’m going to switch off and enjoy this, but it doesn’t become obsessive and an addictive process written.
Go for a walk, get some fresh, walk barefoot on a cold, wet, rainy day connected with the earth. We went for a walk and I stayed socially distanced but I still remember that walk because the sun was out we could have both sat and watched a movie or we could have recorded another podcast but it was a choice to connect.
Around where we live lots of families go out and they walk in the countryside and there is definitely in this community a greater sense of calmness there isn’t that kind of stress vibrational frequency that I’ve seen in other places.
Harms: A big question is, what are you going to do?
What are you going to do now and when this is over as well? What are you going to do if this continues, because we’ve got to decide to make those decisions versus burying your head in the sand doing nothing, staying apathetic.
Dr Ro: Which I hate to say people are going to do that in the next six months.
Harms: They’ll plant a future date the Prime Minister said this will be over by Easter, okay Easter is the new date. But I’ve heard that all through 2020.
We can’t be focusing on that otherwise will be waiting for a date that doesn’t exist. Ro very soon you will be sharing with a private audience and giving them the opportunity to learn a skill which can transform their 2021, 2022 and onwards it will enable them to manage what we’ve been speaking about.
How to communicate with impact and the listeners know that Ro’s a fan of committing the impact.
When somebody is given the opportunity to do something like this it will be so fascinating to see what people do. Do people take the opportunity and adapt and learn skills that will help them in jobs, careers, business negotiations, selling everything.
Dr Ro: Look at how badly communications come from above companies struggling to communicate internally, families not being able to communicate it is coming to the surface.
Harms: It will be fascinating to see if people don’t and we never know why they don’t, but it fascinates me why somebody wouldn’t absorb the number one skill that is going to set you apart for the year to come.
Which actually links to business as a whole talking about communication as a way to help your business this year, but let’s look back on last year. How have you observed businesses because we are in big businesses, we have our own businesses. We are surrounded just because of the people we’re associated with, they are operating big businesses and we see lots of things happen.
Dr Ro: I think the big words that came out for me from last year are some businesses sunk and others pivoted.
Pivot is a word I think found its way onto the scene in the last year, I don’t know if it’s a millennial word. UK from my age group pivot was never a word.
Harms: I think that’s because you guys never had to pivot.
Dr Ro: It is true we kept on going in one direction.
Harms: The job was for life.
Dr Ro: Harms is right.
The only pivot that really came was when you lost a job and that was the pivoting moment for most people when I grew up. If you lost the job I needed to change direction, the word pivot wasn’t there, I’ve just got to look for another job.
That was a desperate thing, I’ve got to find another job coming from a place of fear, so this is down to how we react to a situation. People that have lost their jobs, is it an opportunity to change? Is it a turning point? Is it a chance to go and start a new career?
This whole thing that I have to find another job is driven by a need for security, putting money in the bank account. I want to create a new direction and a new language. You said what people do one of the things they can do is start to change the language and the way they perceive a situation. I think some people in careers have realised they’ve got skills and tools they can take to the market selling that comes down to communication.
They want to create something that also comes down to communication, write a book communication, they want to create a podcast that’s communication. They want to set up a consultancy business to do coaching, how do you get your customers?
That’s a fundamental underlying area. From a business perspective I think some businesses just drowned. They couldn’t cope with the change quickly enough. They couldn’t adapt quick enough. Others pivoted and said how can I take the business and I think online has become a big shift.
We saw a lot of event -related businesses collapse last year or pivot online, which I think has made a big difference for the ones that have been adaptable.
Harms: Off the back of that there has been some great changes when it comes to business because you mention being able to pivot online leveraging technology that has been for a long time, it’s also put pressure on the supersmart people behind the technological scenes to up their game and provide us with technology which better serves us.
In addition to that, we’ve been able to learn how to connect and you challenge this connection better to camera, people feel more comfortable communicating via video. We’ve got the concept of a whole generation and this is me talking into your generation’s space. I have actually learnt this could be amazing how to use this technology which has always been around us.
Dr Ro: Your generation are used to this already whereas we’re like I’ve got to talk to somebody via camera and they see me on the screen.
Harms: From a perspective what we’re saying is there’s senior management high-level directors, members who would insist on needing to travel five hours or two hours for face-to-face meetings.
Whereas suddenly entire companies and corporations have changed and said actually we can do this remotely, we can be more productive. We can save you that travel and we get the same impact.
Dr Ro: Let’s see what the blocks were previously. The blocks would have been number one the technology, two because people see stuff on TV there is a perception of how am I going to look on camera.
When we run the CWI program we get people to experiment with the camera, phone cameras and just looking at how they look and how to position themselves and for a lot of people, even just doing that while taking the phone.
The good thing is people are used to selfies for the younger generation but for the older generation not so much but I think that’s been another block also the old traditional belief that you have to physically meet somebody to be able to get a sense of who they are.
But actually with camera technology and being close to the camera you can really get a sense of the person through the lens.
Harms: A tip there would be ask the other person to switch the camera on as some people hide.
I’ve been in meetings and people are hiding behind the cover so you can’t get a sense of them. That’s the missing key, just a tip there.
Dr Ro: There are eight different personalities in business and wealth and if you are a front facing person that’s great, but if you are left facing person away from the crowd what might be classified as a Lord or somebody that is more systemised you don’t want to be on a camera but technology has forced that now. If you think about a Zoom call when someone is not showing their face there is that question mark of what are they hiding?
It is not that you’re thinking that but why can’t everyone be in the meeting present face-to-face there’s that going on at the moment as well in some situations. I think you’re right. I was used to it because of the field I’m in.
In our business property solicitors now signing and doing paperwork they never did that.
There was something in law of them seeing you but now it can be done on camera so a lot of changes in many businesses.
Harms: I think they are forced positive changes and that’s my opinion around the changes.
Dr Ro: The flipside to that is you can’t go online on holiday. If you want to get to Australia, Bahamas go to the Maldives you can’t just sit there looking at the camera with the kids and say we’re on holiday. Industries like that have really been hit.
The food industry.
The restaurant industry have somehow managed to hang on, but have struggled.
Harms: It comes down to the word pivot: they’ve pivoted takeaways immediately, jumped on applications they leveraged tech to get to the customers again, their bottom line will have been affected.
When it comes to business there are so many nuances so for example if I was a loyal customer to a local coffee shop and every day as part of my commute I would get a coffee from there and that’s part of my behaviour.
All of a sudden I can’t do that, so the coffee shop has lost years of loyalty with customers, behaviours have changed. So when the shop does open how many people are going to re shift their behaviour and go and purchase a coffee? I think it changes so businesses are affected on a deeper level, especially long-standing businesses.
But what we are not saying is you haven’t suffered, you haven’t faced challenges which are out of your control ultimately, if you’ve got to close shops and board up what can you do? People are not allowed to physically go to your shop and you sell things in a certain way for example we’ve got a climbing centre near us it physically has to be shut, we can’t climb online.
Dr Ro: I think where the big online businesses have thrived the small businesses have struggled and that’s been really sad to see many family businesses that have been around for decades younger generations have just come to their knees and it’s been very challenging.
Yet other businesses that have grown because they can go online and the funny thing is, whereas someone would have worried about a suit how they show up now you’ve got people with the kids running around in the background.
I was on the phone with a company and it says please be aware that our employees are working from home so you may get the sound of kids in the background and dogs that’s because of the current circumstances and people are like that’s fine, it’s real.
I think what’s become interesting is now people are more raw on camera, more real they’re not dressing up in the same way they used to, so they’re more casual and actually in the home environment they’re more relaxed which is very interesting.
Harms: That is interesting because it’s almost like the expectation has changed then of what we expect a customer service or a customer facing person to show up like and the fact that we as a society have empathy for them, which says it’s okay, we know you used to work in office and you’d have to show up in a certain way and now you’re at home with the kids wearing a suit and tie and turning up and sitting in your lounge is tough.
We get it and we’re okay with it.
Dr Ro: That realism has changed even customer service which I’ve noticed. There isn’t that same clunky energy mechanical feeling. Whereas people are just real, at home and we’re all facing the same thing to some extent and that has brought the community together in that respect it’s just how that’s perceived and that’s the whole thing about social media.
Harms: You talk about perception. Now how social media has changed people’s perception in 2020 talking about social media because yes it’s a part of business, but actually social media now is well accepted and it completely changes the fabric of our culture, society.
It can change the fabric of the way we think masses if you’re not sure what I mean 2020 has been a very interesting year for the exposure of how social media companies operate. The reason they have been exposed is because we’ve had Brexit, the presidential elections, we’ve had a lot of false news, a lot of propaganda, we’ve got a lot of absurd amounts of ad spend going on with certain messages.
I think documentaries there were the great hack which has now become a movement and they’re going to governments to say how we manage social media, which is changing the fabric.
Dr Ro: For anyone interested that’s really about how political elections are manipulated through very specific social media targeting groups and it’s been proven. It happened and some people have been taken to accountability on this now, but quite shocking and we were aware of it, but to see the depth of it was fascinating.
Harms: The next documentary I recommend is the social dilemma which talks about the social dilemma one is social media but how that’s changing the real-life social dilemma and the fabric of I’ve mentioned culture, society, how it can incrementally change a mass perception, or a mass idea or story even by one or 2% and that completely changes the outcome for a country. It’s frightening, but we need to be aware of it.
Dr Ro: You and I as a parent as well it was just seeing how and I know you can separate adult behaviour from a child it operates differently, but not if you’re constantly bombarded with subliminal and subtle messages that are coming to you.
I think that’s something that really came to the surface last year.
I began to realise what was going on, but of course we were in lockdown so they’re leaning on their digital media and they’re leaning on the computers.
Whereas maybe under different circumstances you say screw it I’m going to go do less of this there was more of it, there were more people on social media because it is the need to connect. There was a real wrestling match last year between the knowledge that some of this is really screwed up and we’re being manipulated versus I need this to connect with my family.
Harms: I think by the very fact that you make yourself aware of how these mechanisms work gives you a better chance of protecting yourself against that manipulation, against that propaganda is another word being used in these documentaries.
Again, messages that are tailored for you they’re so sophisticated they tailor the message for you, and ultimately they want to keep you on their platform so that they can continue to drive ad spend from their main customers, which is businesses.
Dr Ro: Let’s take another slight look at social media in a different way. I think social media last year because of Covid was used in some amazing ways.
People were able to create new brands, more than authenticity I think coming to the table there was less of this really blinging type social media posting, but more real this is what life’s about, people coming out with more emotionally developed messages as well. We saw a massive increase in podcasts coming to the surface where people were going out and trying to get something out there to inspire.
It definitely became a place for inspiration and evolved people to want to get a strong message without necessarily being driven by an ego. I’m not saying everybody, but there was more of it.
Harms: I agree and I think if you understand how to use social media and how to manage that use properly there were a lot of inspirational thought leaders out there which were helping guide from a mindset personal development set, from taking care of yourself from a health perspective.
There were a lot of people out there doing good trying to take care of the community some for profit some not for profit and that’s irrelevant in the point of they were out there trying to take care of whatever people were feeling right now in the world. I think there were pros and cons.
Dr Ro: There were certain apps people were doing funny videos.
I think there was a period certainly and still going on, the sharing of comedic videos going round so that little bit of humour that comes in we all needed that, we needed that little bit of up now and again.
I think that brought up a great thing to lift your spirits. We have to remember to keep laughing, if we can’t laugh at ourselves and sometimes the situation around us all we’ve got is darkness. We can’t focus on darkness because that alone is the opposite.
You’ve got to give the universe a balance between light and dark. If you look at the problems and the things tough in your life you should also look at the great things in your life as well be grateful for those as opposed to focus on one thing.
Harms: As we’re doing now we’re talking about the dark side of social media but also talking about how amazing it is because nothing is that polarised.
Nothing is perfect and nothing is the worst thing ever, it’s always something in between.
Dr Ro: People that want to go to those extremes are usually driven by some need to be significant, feel important, have a statement, their life feels may be worthless or they don’t have enough going on sense of purpose.
So they create that by either going into a powerless victim mode or being aggressive and trying to put a message out there to get a reaction.
Be mindful of that if you’re around people and noticing people that are like often are driven by that desperate need to be seen, because if they’re loud enough they take one extreme go in the middle and maybe find an in between conversation where we can have a sensible dialogue that doesn’t make me feel important. If I go to the extreme I can really get some attention.
Harms: Bearing in mind we’ve spoken about the good and the bad of last year how would you say social media, including business, including personal when I say business I mean jobs, careers, how have people dealt with this frustration?
Add to that the fact that children, schools are closed from a personal level. I’ve had a fascinating year on one side. We had the most amazing thing happen to us we had a baby boy and he is six months yesterday.
But he grew up in lockdown and what was fascinating to see is he was born and growing in lockdown, although we personally felt frustration couldn’t see our family, this happening in the business our baby boy basically didn’t know any of that. He just got frustrated when he couldn’t crawl and it was happening in the moment.
Dr Ro: You would have taken a lot of your joy from that experience which it would normally be anyway, which I guess was a filter for you.
Did it help you filter some of the noise out there?
Harms: It helped us filter some of the noise but also it was a lesson if a creature if a little human can just have fun, be annoyed, cry all of that in a space of a day and doesn’t have to know what’s going on in the outside world was fascinating to see that actually we do also have that ability.
Dr Ro: It’s not to say ignoring the world, it’s saying be present in the moment, in the moment of joy at least so that you can experience them, which you did. But there were people that went into birth with a lot of fear, had their babies and were still driven by fear.
My worry was that this is arguably one of the most amazing experiences of your life so enjoy it, because that child will pick up on every single vibration from you and if that fear is put into that moment they will start to embody that and it will become part of their unconscious programme. I think for anyone going into birth just enjoy it and live in the moment and have that experience for what it is.
Filter what is relevant to be filtered from the outside. You handled it very well because you then separated from that moment you went back into business and dealt with what’s going on outside and you don’t bring the two together.
Harms: I’ve struggled with it in the past but as we know when you work on yourself when you develop yourself it helps and is it perfect every day?
No, but I think the lesson that there’s a little baby who lives in the moment allowed us to live in the moment with him because if we didn’t like you said he would be the one who suffers as well as us.
Dr Ro: Those moments you forget because when you should’ve been there watching that first movement of the hand and the first time they can see you but you’re looking at the bloody phone or whatever.
How is that going to impact that moment?
That’s the key message.
I think what came out of this was a lot of emotional changes, so mental health issues and still ongoing. People were searching for gratification, which we always do when we’re in a bit of a difficult place.
Historically, couples breaking up he or she ends up turning to alcohol or food or chocolate whatever, or going off on some sort of binge. This has been a year-long situation like that, so I think what I’ve certainly observed is that people are looking for something. Interestingly some people have spent more money on education, which is great. Learning to grow by buying more books, reading and audios.
Others spoke to a friend recently who is a plastic surgeon, and they had a massive spike in the number of people coming through and enquiring about plastic surgery. Literally four or five times in a month, so from 150 to six, seven, 800 people enquiring and I said why do you think this?
He said I think what it is they can’t travel sop they’re not spending money on that, maybe had an idea to do this in the past but now they’ve got the money, because their lifestyle has shrunk they’re spending less money going out meals et cetera, holidays and we’re talking about five, £10,000 type surgeries and above.
A massive spike in that so there’s definitely the need for people to feel better physically.
Harms: Is it boredom? What do you think is playing out there?
Dr Ro: All those things and maybe they were thinking of doing it before.
They want to look good, let’s do it now whilst we can’t travel for a couple of years. Whereas others might go I’m going to spend money on a course to develop myself and to evolve as a human being so it’s personal growth and physical growth.
Also people have turned to property and trading in the business that you’re in which is online. I think they’re three areas people have focused on this year. We’re seeing a massive spike in the people attending property courses, communication now people are reaching out saying how can I learn to do this better? Let’s face it, if you’ve got an online business or you’re going online you need to communicate better.
Harms: You raise a good point because one is people are saving more, but also on the flipside people have struggled financially it’s been catastrophic for some people financially, but ultimately what we know is people buy.
When it comes to communication, you’ve got to decide how you want to position yourself because right now competition is going to be the highest it’s ever been and a lot of noise out there, a lot of businesses selling their products, individuals selling their product, education different services, whatever it is to get your product sold you are going to have to up your communication.
This is essential.
Dr Ro: In that general broad comment it’s like how do you get them to look at your product before someone else’s?
How do you get your message so crisp and clean they go, that’s who I want to buy from? I really connect with that person. Even if someone has their message they might not be authentic. That’s one of the things that we evolve through the CWI process is how to get somebody’s message out in an authentic way to grab people’s attention.
100% this year where people are going right, I really want to take this online now I have got it ready. What do I need to do?
Harms: An additional point is ultimately people are going to take longer with their buying decisions, be more cautious, be more careful, be more studied. Whereas in the past it was more impulsive.
So the way you show up the way you communicate the way you develop your skills this year is going to reflect on how you can say to that person choose me rather than them, otherwise they are going to spend their money with the better communicator.
Dr Ro: Also with relationships as well.
Those of you that are dating or the idea of dating might be more difficult so people are doing it online and meeting people. So how do you come across in a way and communicate which is authentic and at the same time is real enough.
This is the thing with cameras now so you can use a camera to look at something you really get a sense of whether they’re lying or not. There are ways to read a person and it works very well because it gives you an instant feel for another person.
Harms: There are virtual speed dating’s happening, it used to be physical. I was speaking to a few friends and they are attending virtual speed dating so how quick that relationship will accelerate, how quickly you can identify is this person right fit for me?
Or all of those amazing things that happen when you’re dating that can be sped up by what you’ve spoken about. The glance of an eye, the movement, facial expressions tells so much but most people can’t see them.
Dr Ro: Because they’re in their head.
If you’re focused on you then you’re not thinking about the other person. We are a species that can survive but it’s knowing what tools to thrive not just about surviving.
Harms: Let us shift the conversation to that which is now starting to look into the future and ask the question, how long will this last and exact date please, exact month, year?
Dr Ro: First of all I’ve got no idea how long this is going to last.
The reality is that once the virus gets into a community it can mutate and any virus does take multiple variations. I think we’re going to evolve over the next few years and living with this is as we are with other things that come along.
I think it’s hopefully going to give people a chance to stop, reflect and press the reset button, which is a really important one. But we’re bloody resilient as a species we’re resilient. Life has seasons to it we’ve talked about the whole concept that Roger Hamilton shares, which is the idea of different wealth profiles, human beings and he talks about Wealth dynamics, but actually in his teaching also talks about the seasons, and each human being having a different nature. Some people are earth, other people are water and it ties back to the Oriental style.
Seasons happen in our lives and you’ll go through seasons as your child gets older and my children, we’ve got a global season going on at the moment call it winter at the moment but it’s tough.
But following that comes the spring and the summer and all things pass. I think that’s what people have to accept that everything is going to pass but it’s how we navigate that, it’s how we steer through this passage we’re on the river and there is going to be at some point a waterfall. Maybe a fork in the river where we go a different direction and we can’t ignore the fact that we’re going down that river but how you steer and how Harms steers will be different to mine to somebody else.
That’s the key thing that people have to come across, each of you have to tool up with whatever skills you feel necessary for your current situation and if you said to me how can they look at it? I think one is looking at it from an emotional perspective, what do you need to do with your emotions?
The second is relationships.
Thirdly, your health the fourth one would be just as a family member, as a parent, also business as well your finances. How are you going to navigate each of those otherwise it overwhelms us. So break down the steering of this journey.
Each path might be slightly different but it’s going to keep going. We can’t keep living in this delusion that they’re going to give us a date and it will end. It’s not going to work like that. How long do you think the airline industry will take to pick up back to get anywhere close to what they were doing before?
We just don’t know.
Harms: I saw an announcement from British Airways saying 2023, 2024, to get back into the full global flow.
The lower cost airlines are saying they’ve had the highest bookings to date so we are seeing the contrast maybe locally but they won’t travel far.
Dr Ro: Also some countries say vaccine no vaccine whatever there will be all these different things that affect that.
The other thing we’ve got to remember is the Second World War was six years and people went through absolute, my mum told me stories. You hear about what people went to through, they adapted, they survived but they also found ways to thrive.
We are literally months into something if you compare it to a world War which is really what we’re at then we’ve got the tools that we didn’t have before. We’ve got the ability to connect, there is science there and yes, medicine can help so I think people have to start focusing on themselves and build ourselves up now.
Our health, vitality, mental strength and find new ways to cope. The challenge of course is parents are struggling with the kids, meaning they’re home schooling and trying to stay afloat financially, relationships under pressure and that is another area I think people have to deal with this coming year. We can’t walk away from it, we have to face it head-on.
Harms: Is there a message that you want to share as you are a parent, I’m a parent, but of a young six month old baby, but you’ve been involved in the school situations. Is there a message to parents because they will take the message on board but they may feel like you but what about the kids?
Dr Ro: I think Kim said it best in our last podcast she said you don’t blame yourself. Don’t beat yourself up, you’re a human being.
No matter how hard you try as a parent there are just things that you’ve got no control over. My eldest daughter was up last night and she was restless and exciting all these things and I think it was 11 o’clock before we finally got to put her head down, three hours later than she should have done but we just said look, she’s been in a lock down, she’s got this energy that’s bursting out at the moment.
So is it natural to try and suppress that?
Shouldn’t be in a normal life where she’s been out and she can do things, yes. I think parents just accept that their reaction to the world is based on the fact that they’ve been compressed into a small space and an atomic bomb works on the basis that if it collides and compressed into a tiny space it then expands out of that and creates a huge bomb. Human beings are the same thing.
You put 50, 100 people into a room and you build up the pressure. It’s amazing what change can happen. In a daily life, you can’t deny that the frustration builds so be more forgiving of your children I think that’s something we’ve learned, accept that this is currently the situation so rather than keep trying to go back to an old norm just find a way to work on a new norm as well, and talk to your kids.
I typed my daughter a letter and sent it in the post and I just told her the things that are amazing about her as a child as I see her as a dad. I just typed this letter and said she read it and there were tears.
Creating magic moments for your kids and from a couples perspective just find the time to talk because there’s so much going on we’re almost busier than before.
We’re managing the kids doing the dinner, looking after the business and then it’s like I need to watch this and switch off which is fine, but maybe find at least once or twice a week just to sit be present with each other and allow the space where maybe there is silence and just say so how are you at the moment or what can we do better? What do you want to do this year? What aspirations do you have because I think particularly if there are men listening there’s a lot of ladies that the pressure may be put on them in family households not all, but certainly depending on the dynamics of the working relationships.
Where the mother is almost doing all the home schooling and I think the guys you might be getting your release if you’re out or the other way round if it’s a woman working and the husbands at home whoever the person is going out working that is without a doubt a release of pressure. It’s a sense of fulfilment, sense of worth, and also connecting other people.
If the other person is at home they’re going to explode. I was talking to someone about this yesterday. Maybe check in with your wife, maybe she’s lacking a sense of purpose right now you’re out doing this in the business, but she needs something as well.
Harms: Yeah because coming home and saying I’ve had a hard day, been a long day is not going to cut it because she or he has had a hard day in a different way.
Without space. It’s not like you go to work you have
Dr Ro: a moment to switch off, but when you’ve got kids, cooking dinner, managing them, home schooling there is not a single moment of rest.
Harms: Something everyone can underline is this should pass, this will pass, all things will pass, the seasons will change and I’ve had a few personal messages about the meditation practice I did for 10 days.
Silent meditation retreat I’ll just re-highlight that because the biggest lesson that I took from that is as part of that process they will get you to observe sensations in your body.
This is how they describe it and the sensations will be anything from an itch to a hotspot to a feeling of pleasure, tingling sensation and what they’re saying is, regardless of whether the sensation is a good feeling or a bad feeling just observe it. Feel both as both exist at that moment in time.
Tuning everything out externally.
You’re focusing on those sensations, feelings that you have that are positive or negative feelings that you have and they describe that as a sensation. Now the lesson or the practice is you feel them and you observe them.
But what you notice is the sensation passes and I think when you practice and you just take the lesson, because it’s experienced practically we can then apply that lesson. It is no longer a theory we know things pass and we can theorise that but when you feel it and you’re in the moment to know that you said when summer comes, don’t forget about the winter.
We’re saying don’t forget about the winter, don’t stop those positive habits you’ve created during this hard time, which are positive habits: self-education, connecting with children just because it’s summer now things are great don’t suddenly forget.
Dr Ro: Make those decisions meaningful and make them decisions that were made based on not desperation, but actually a decision that is going to be a change of life.
Otherwise it just becomes I did that because of this, and then you just revert back to an old way of thinking. Make it conscious, make the decisions conscious and purposeful.
Harms: I think we’ve reviewed the year from our perspective in an amazing way and I know we spoke about some of these conversations on a personal level. We’ve taken some of these conversations in a business context, so we had our review.
Dr Ro: On that note I think kids have been challenged for those that are parents and I think children need a sense of connection. When we came out of the first lockdown my kids loved the fact they could go and see their friends again and as parents we can’t forget that.
The learning process is going to be difficult for anybody.
I personally think that home schooling for our daughters has magnified their learning ability and they’ve really taken to it, not everyone does and I understand that. But take the best out of this year as well.
Think about what the kids really need now, I think, is reminding of the connection that you have with them, giving them an opportunity we’re asking our daughter now what do you want to learn, what are you excited about and then repositioning the learning to make it something they’re passionate about because they’ll be much more inclined to do that. Also allowing your kids to have a voice.
This is where 25% young girls are struggling at the moment with self-harm is they may be don’t know how to express themselves, the more they feel removed from you because your heads in this lockdown and all the pressure that has been going on over the last year, the more you’re thinking I’ve got to survive, I can’t talk to you as I’m doing this.
They’ll hear that enough times and then think I won’t talk to mum and dad so where do they then vent? The scary thing is they go to social media we need to get them to open up by making ourselves available and if they can’t feel that then what will happen is that our children will then revert to old habits which we know, which can involve them changing their diet not eating well, tantrums, anger, frustration even running away.
It is a way of getting attention, I think this is definitely a year for people to grab it and nip in the bud now as these things don’t happen overnight.
I’ve got a friend whose daughter is really not in a very good place right now this been going on for a long time, probably two, three years and this has built up but you can’t beat yourself up as a parent, but if you’re listening to this now is a chance to grab it and swing it because the kids are still in the first year of this.
What if this goes on for another six, seven months, better we just nail it now.
Talk to the kids, give them an environment where they feel safe and they won’t be judged or told off just let them express yeah and then listen to what they’re saying don’t just react to it but go what does this really mean?
If they’re upset with you about something don’t kick back and go, I don’t do that or we don’t say that, actually listen because that’s their interpretation of the world.
Nothing has meaning a part of the meaning we give it. A five year old sees the world differently to an adult. Whereas we might go it’s not like that at all. That’s how they see it as kids tell it as it is.
Harms: If you’ve listened to the review podcast we did in December at that point it was a process which we went through to plan ahead review last year, plan ahead for this year you may want to revisit after listening to this episode. It was a process of reset act.
That’s the acronym we used which review the year, take a moment to reset and then act and act looking ahead and actually putting what you said into action.
Take on board the discussions, but I think the biggest thing I would say is to have a reflection on last year because it feels like we are still there, but do have a look at it from not a heady space but from the heart space.
Dr Ro: What are some of the great things that you can take, good memories from last year? Maybe formulate some photographs of some of the lovely experiences.
Harms: Because one thing last year did is completely changed everybody’s habit.
Our normal daily activity which kept us busy, kept us in a flow was taken away, which magnified another world so we can look at what great things from last year can we add to this year which we never did before.
Dr Ro: We just rushed through.
Looking ahead into this year the key thing for everybody is just to have a greater sense of purpose, meaning give this year, 2021, a different meaning.
Give it a chance to evolve for you.
What do you want to do on a personal level, professional level, any aspirations you’ve parked for so many years? Maybe a new project, write a book, do a podcast like this really and get a coach and get someone to guide you through the year.
Have somebody accountable and if you don’t want to pay somebody find a friend that you trust enough that won’t judge you, but you can be accountable to.
The benefit of paying is that when you take on a coach you know that they are focused on you and you’re engaging them as opposed to a friend that may not make the call, may not have the right skills. My experience with paid people, you tend to get the result.
But definitely have a greater sense of purpose this year doesn’t have to be a massive project just something that allows you to focus in so when things are going pretty rough you’ve still got that as your shining beacon.
Harms: I think that is a beautiful message to leave listeners with it’s almost summarising go do something, take action and break your own habit.
Dr Ro: It is not about being busy for the sake of being busy, make it a purposeful action. Drop things this year that you think do I really need to freaking do this, just drop it.
If everything you did this year was purposeful, meaningful, greater good for the world i.e. a charity or for your health, but it’s like I don’t want to do anything that is wasteful meaningful, if this is my last year on this earth what would I pack it with and then start to introduce that into your actions.
I think that will give people a fresher feel like walking on a summer’s day. It’s not to say you’re going to have some tough days, but at least you’ve got more purpose to each day. It has a different feeling to it.
I want to say a massive thanks to the listeners because reflecting back talking about the podcast how I looked at the numbers and we have had over 12.7 thousand downloads in 2020 which is growth, more listeners than the year before, so that’s an incredible feeling for us on the show and the team in the background.
Spread the podcast, let people know and for those who listen regularly and consistently and those who just check in a massive thank you if you’ve enjoyed our version, perception, review of the year.
Dr Ro: Much, much gratitude for those listening and some of the words and the phrases and the feedback we get is great.
Harms: We are now looking ahead at 2021, we are now living in 2021.
That’s myself and Dr Ro signing out we shall see you on the next episode.
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