Interview: Larry King with Gabriele Oettingen


Hi it’s, Larry King, and welcome to another edition of growth habits where we talk to achievers and fault leaders about the secrets to personal growth. Today I’m interviewing Dr. Gabrielle Edmonton, professor of psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg.

Dr. Ettinger is recognized around the world as a leading authority on goal-setting and achievement. Gabrielle welcome. Thank you for having me. How did you get interest in the science of goal-setting and that’s? A science science tell me.

I was always interested in hope. I was interested in why people would not give up, despite the most dire circumstances and at first I thought positive thinking is the answer to that. But then we learned from the data that it’s, not as simple don’t.

Some people give up well positive thinking about the future is great for exploring the possibilities of the future. It’s good for your mood, but when it comes to actually attaining the desired future, then it’s, a real detriment.

I remember that program. The secret never done was a Google tea. I used to interview all of them. How did that work or not work? Well, in your mind, it works, but what we really mean is actual change action, so that people can change their lives and take responsibility for their lives and that’s.

The reason why we thought this is not a good answer, positive fantasies and daydreams about the future is not the answer to the question of how people actually are resilient, and then we understood we just need to do a little trick.

We need to complement these positive fantasies in daydreams about the future, which are important because they give action the direction and they come from our needs. So we need to take them seriously, but we need to compliment them with a sound sense of reality.

In other words, get off the porch exactly get off the porch see what is standing in your way. What is it in you that stands in the way that you realize your positive future fantasies? What is this doer impediment? What stops you actually and if you complement these positive things about the future, with these thoughts about what is it in me that stands in the way that holds me back that stops me.

Then people understand oops. I need to do something and they understand how they can surmount that obstacle. A lot of people just say I wish exactly they say I wish I wish I had a little house in southern France.

I wish I wish and they never get to it. There’s, a difference between a dreamer and a doer that’s exactly and that’s. The reason why we always say you know this strategy, which we call mental contrasting of the future, with the obstacle of reality, is a way to get from dreaming to doing now.

How do you do that? What is what is woo? Ah, what are you all P? Exactly whoop is a four-step imagery tool. It’s, real tool that helps people to understand their wishes. What is really dear to their heart, to prioritize the wishes and to fulfill the wishes, and it’s very simple.

If you want to whoop, you need to have five minutes of real quiet and you need to be calm and uninterrupted ahead, slow, slow and then I would ask you: what is your wish? Let’s say for the next four weeks.

What do you really want know and how that people say not what you think you wish, what is filling it out? What is it that you really want and you would identify that wish, which needs to be feasible for you, but still a little challenging and you identify that wish phrase it in a few words and make a note in your mind that’s, the W and then you would go on and you would say what will be the best thing: the best outcome, if I fulfilled myself, didn’t wish.

How would I feel, and you identify that feeling of wish fulfillment and again just one feeling and you phrase it a few words and you make a note in your mind and then you imagine that feeling you really let your mind go and these exactly the positive Fantasies which we talked about before, and you even imagine that I know after you imagine that it really experienced a good feeling.

Then you change your gears and you say what is in me that holds me back that I tackled that wish and experienced that outcome. What stops me, what is my main inner obstacle and you identify you fill out that obstacle can be an emotion anxiety.

They’re, healthy or resentment or habit, or it can be an irrational belief whatever it is. You come up with it. Nobody else can person yourself estate expert. You can dig a little deeper. What is it really that stands in the way and you identify it put it in a few words and make a note in your mind, and then you imagine that obstacle occurring might feel a little tense.

You imagine that, and the nice thing is, then you understand. Okay, I want to overcome that, and you understand also how to overcome it, and then you say: what can I do to overcome that obstacle? What can I think, what action cannot take? What will be effective, what an action so now we’re W.

Oh, oh now we need a plan. No and the plan is an if-then plan which is discovered by Peter gollwitzer and that’s very simple. In the context of this mental contrasting it’s. If you know you put in your obstacle, then I will, and now you put in the action on the top and that’s.

All you’re, the inventor of woop, yes, and why does it work? It works because it triggers processes outside of people’s, awareness and through these processes, which are non conscious. We change our behavior and these processes are cognitive.

Future outcome is linked to the obstacle and the obstacle is linked to the behavior to overcome obstacle. Also, I recognize the obstacle now, so I recognized that the party on Saturday night is not a fun party.

It’s, the obstacle to doing well on the meeting on Tuesday, and I will get the energy and you committed. This is Tony pepper. It goes up energy and then, when you get setbacks you don’t. Take it personally, you process the information in these setbacks and you build it into your behavior chosen exactly so.

These non-conscious processes, they do the trick for you and they actually lead to or automatic. If you want behavior change, so you program yourself to behave towards wish-fulfillment. We’re talking all things achievement with Gabrielle Edmonton and we’ll have a lot more after the break.

I remember the president of the University of Miami made a speech once I see number years ago. I still haven’t forgotten it, and I think I’ve thrived off it. He said stress is good. It’s good to have stress because it embodies you.

Do you agree with that? Well, not totally, certainly because if you have prolonged stress that has bad health consequences, but for the moment to understand the obstacle is crucial to understand the way to wish fulfillment.

So often people have been thinking, you know the positive future and then the way towards realizing the positive future is enough know because both can be ideal. You need to have the obstacle and you need to fulfill the obstacle.

You need to have the effective experience of having the obstacle in your way in order to get the energy in order to find out the problem solving strategy. What about people who people who overeat people, who don’t can’t control themselves? Temper? Yes, this is a good point exactly we manage that right.

So these are automatic processes, often overeating. It happens without that we realize so we created up all these popcorn. How did we eat up the popcorn? We were just looking television, so suddenly the popcorn is gone or temper, strong impulses with really bad habits too, and therefore the in order to be looking these kind of compulsive and automatic phenomena.

We need a strategy like woop, which also is based on these automatic processes. So that the automatic processes of woop can conquer the automatic processes of these strong impulses and that’s, the reason why, very often for, like I say, overeating or strong impulses, this simple, you know I want to do it.

It’s. Just not enough, because we need to have the automatic processes that actually beat the other automatic processes which have been run off, often because bad habits, you any schools, teach whoop.

Well, we teach it so whoop is not something which has kind of established history. Like you know, in clinical psychology, where you have decades of certain traditions or certain cognitive behavior therapy, it’s, not just a theory.

It’s, not a theory. Well, not just fear, it certainly has theory behind it. It has the empirical data behind it and the experimental data and the intervention data, and we are now ready to move out to give it.

I would so that people can use it in their daily life and certainly it’s. A very it has the potential of being. There short you can, you can use it and take it in your daily life like a daily companion, say: ok, I do my boob and then I will get more clarity in my daily life and I will be more.

The person was the agent of change in my life and the architect of my lifespan. Now, so it is much more practical than the therapies your device by by on big schools. So we will say: ok, Boop is a way to emancipate yourself, because you can use it for any kind of wish and you are the expert of your life.

Everyone is the expert of their lives, so you know better what to put in in terms of content into the structure of whoop and that’s. The reason why it’s, often helping professions have a real difficulty to give hope to others, because they already know the advice.

They know what what is good for that person. Don’t patients and patients with whooping yourself too, because often you know you need some time to feel out. What is your wish? What’s, the game? This course this show is called growth habits.

Can you make a habit that’s, a very good point? If you ask me, and it totally, I could say yes, because I developed a routine I bleep every morning you can make group habit like you make other you know things which help you.

I have it, you just need to establish the routine that you would let’s say every morning or every lunch whatever. As soon as you have a routine and you Boop, then you will get a lot more clarity during your daily life.

How often do you hope every day do a lot of people walk every day? I hope so I mean we don’t know. We have root my life org as a website. We have the root app. We find, for example, that the woop app is used in countries where we never suspect it that they would be used.

So we have translated to whoop app and the group website now in too many languages, and it makes its way out there. Now there’s, a whoop app yes, so you get all the instructions of whoop on the whoop app and then you can go through them whenever, if you have five minutes, when you need to five have five minutes, because somebody lets you wait or Five minutes in the subway have used that and goes get more clarity understand which wishes you want to attack it and how to tackle them.

So you could do it anywhere anywhere anywhere. When you have uninterrupted five minutes, you can’t. Do your email on your path to a conversation parallel to it? I just need to have five minutes slowness.

How did you discover this? I’m, a basic researcher. We just discovered. I mean the journey was easy. We discovered oops positive thinking, doesn’t do the trick. Then we said: okay, how can we give people the energy we came up with mental contrasting? We saw it.

Doesn’t only give it the energy, but it gives them also a way to understand their wishes and to achieve their wishes, so the problem-solving qualities I’m, just a heightened and and then we thought. Okay, let’s.

Try intervention studies now if it works in the in the labs. Well, if we know all the non-conscious mechanisms from lab studies, then we can give it out to people in interventional studies we did intervention studies and when they work only then did we do the website, because we thought you know it.

Shouldn’t, be in scientific journals and just sort of lying dormant there, and then nobody looks at them. Let’s, get them up. Do many many people. Naturally, oh, that’s, a good question. Actually, no.

We know that, because we measured in many studies, we measured how they fare with their wishes and what we find this most of them positively. They dream about wish fulfillment and they don’t move. Some of them do just rumination about the negative, with the obstacles and the negative reality, and only about, depending on the study sort of between ten fifteen.

Twenty percent of the people whom we’d tested, do naturally whoop, and then we understood okay. We need to do intervention studies and we need to teach it to people because it’s not moving. They do it demands cognitive effort, fascinating honor.

Thank you. Thank you that’s it for this edition of growth habits. I’m Larry King, reminding you to go out and hope your life Dr. Ettinger. Thank you so much. Thank you. So much see you next time.

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