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Marco Bartolome

532: Achieving More through Smart Energy Management with Molly Fletcher

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Molly Fletcher explains how to expertly manage your energy to accomplish your best work.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The key to better energy management
  2. Smart ways to beat burn out
  3. Why self-care shouldn’t make you feel guilty

About Molly:

Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word—now a CEO, she shares unconventional techniques that made her one of the first female sports agents in the high stakes world of sports.

Too many leaders, teams, and organizations are stuck. Instead of achieving greatness, they remain stagnant, failing to reach their potential. That’s where Molly Fletcher comes in.

Items mentioned in the show

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Molly Fletcher Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Molly, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Molly Fletcher
Well, it’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me, Pete.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m excited to dig into so much of your wisdom associated with energy. But maybe, first, if we could go back in time, could you give us an exciting story from your adventures as one of the first female sports agents?

Molly Fletcher
Well, gosh, how much time do you have, man, because there are a ton?

Pete Mockaitis
I want a one-minute anecdote that will amuse and delight.

Molly Fletcher
Well, knowing your audience, I think probably some of them are moments when I found myself often as the only woman in the room, and whether it was the room being my office which was often the range at PGA Tour events or behind the plate at big league baseball games during batting practice, there were so many moments like that, that I found myself in walking practice rounds and I’d be mistaken as the wife, right?

I remember once, somebody looked at Matt Kuchar and said, “Are you kidding? I thought Sybi, his wife, I thought she had brown hair. Where’s Sybi?” thinking I was the wife, not the agent. So, there was lots of moments like that and I always try to tell people those were moments that I always try to reframe as gifts that were positive because I was different and I was being sort of noticed, if you will, as somebody that was a resource to my athletes in that way. And being different can be wonderful and it can be a gift, and so it was reframing those moments and also having great relationships.

My guys were often, probably 85% of my athletes were men, and I always try to ensure that my relationships with them were so strong that they always had my back. And I remember once being at a minor league ballpark, and about three or four of my athletes had run over during batting practice and we were talking about business stuff and all kinds of different things, and all of a sudden the manager started yelling at one of the guys, “What are you guys doing? Let’s go, man. Let’s quit hitting on that lady behind the plate, right?”

Pete Mockaitis
“Quit hitting on that lady.”

Molly Fletcher
Yeah, actually, I think the guys said, “That chick.” And my guys always had my back and I’m super grateful for that, they said, “Look, no, man, that’s my agent. We’re talking about stuff.” But there’s a ton of stories, Pete. I’d probably bore your listeners with them.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, no, I think that’s just enough to set the stage, so thank you. And we’re going to dig into some insights associated with energy management, which I think is so, so important. I feel it every day. But maybe to kick us off, could you share with us a story that really shows why this stuff matters and can make a world of difference?

Molly Fletcher
Well, I wrote a book called The Energy Clock, which you’re referring to, and it’s just released January 1, 2020, and I wrote it because when I was an agent for almost 20 years, I watched athletes and coaches, the best of the best, do what they did. And what the best did was they were really intentional about the way they managed their energy because their level of sort of energy, their level of energy was integral to their ability to perform, and those two things went hand-in-hand, and the best athletes recognize that. They recognize that those two were tightly knit together.

And I remember I had a minor league ballplayer who was a first-round pick, he came out a complete stud, and early in his career he comes out and there’s a lot of opportunities for appearances, autograph signings, endorsements, commercials, all kinds of stuff. And I remember that he was young, and he was sort of beyond his years, in my opinion, and he looked at me, and he said, “I know this, right? If I go out and do what I know I can do as an athlete this season, everything else will work out. Everything else will work out. Like, if I go out and hit and do what I need to do in the field, and I stay healthy physically and mentally, and I’m rested, then everything else, all these opportunities will exist and maybe tenfold in a couple of years, so I’m going to lock in on doing what I need to do to perform at my best.” And he did.

And I think when I got into the business world, more specifically now, we run negotiation trainings, and I speak and write and we consult with businesses, what I saw was there’s such a connection between the way that I saw the best athletes and coaches perform and the way in which they managed their energy, and the way we, as business people, can be equally as intentional about the way we manage our energy so we, too, can perform in the work that we do at the highest level for us as individuals.

And so, that’s the premise of the book and the reason that I think it’s incredibly important for all of us so that we can show up and lead, we can serve our customers and our clients better, we can solve problems better, but we can’t do any of those things if we’re fried.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, completely agree, and I love that story because it shows right there and there, “Hey, I’ve made a decision, there’s a lot of opportunities,” and you might call them distractions, “a lot of places I could put my attention. But if I put the attention toward the thing that truly matters, being energized, alive, uninjured, performing well on the field, then that sort of unlocks everything.” So, I’m big into the 80/20 principle here, and definitely energy management falls neatly into the vital few vastly important 20% of things.

So, let’s dig into it. You’ve got your own experience working with athletes and folks. Can you tell us, as you’re doing your research and putting this material together, did you make any surprising or striking discoveries along the path?

Molly Fletcher
Well, I think the biggest one would be we see people that wake up every day and they’re busy, they’re going and going and going, but it’s like, a friend of mine told me the other day, velocity without a target means nothing, right? And so, I have seen, over and over again, people get to maybe the end of their lives where they have maybe chased the wrong stuff, and they’ve been busy, and they’ve been doing what they do but maybe they’re not fulfilled. And, to me, there’s a really big difference between achievement and fulfillment. And what I hope this book does is it helps people find fulfillment, which to me is what many of us are really after. We’re not really after external things.

And so, the intent of the book is to try to help people get really clear on the things that give them energy, and then how to be intentional about being systematic and intentional about walking those things and the way that you live your life every day so that you can show up and perform as your best because there’s nothing that breaks my heart more than folks that wake up and they’re not delivering the kind of value to the people that matter most in their lives. And part of it bubbled up in lots of conversations with friends and after keynotes from the stage or businesses that we work with.

And I remember distinctly, I was with a client and we were up at her, I guess, sort of her cottage, and we were sitting there. We were out on a boat and we’re having a great time, and she sort of started to share, and a little bit break down, that she was just exhausted, she said, “Look, my relationship with my daughter isn’t where it needs to be. My husband, we’re not as connected as we typically have been.” And she’s like, “And this new boss I have is just difficult, and I’m working all the time, and I’m travelling too much,” and she’s just venting, right?

And I’m listening, and I said, “Well, gosh, man, tell me this, what are you chasing?” And she looks at me and goes, “What are you talking about?” And I go, like, “What is this all for? Like, what are you chasing?” She goes, “What do you mean?” And I go, “Is it a promotion? Is it money? Is it another opportunity? Like, is it a car? I mean, what is this all for?” And she kind of got tears in her eyes, and she said, “I have no idea. I don’t know. I’m just going.”

And that was when I said, “Gosh.” And so, I sort of invented this energy audit thing that’s in the book, and it helps people get really clear on, “What are the things that give you energy? What are the things that are neutral? What are the things that drain your energy? And then, how can you be intentional about ensuring that the things that give you energy are a part of your daily life?” Because I believe if we aren’t intentional about giving ourselves the opportunity to live in a space that allows us to do the things that lift us up, then we can’t really serve the people that we lead and our customers, etc.

So, there’s lots of moments like that that caused me to want to take this thinking and what I saw worked with great athletes and coaches, and bottle it up in a way that connected to business people.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that is powerful and I’m just going. I mean, that’s, whew, that is a powerful sentiment, and I think I caught myself in there certainly from time to time.

Molly Fletcher
We all have. We sure all have, yeah.

Pete Mockaitis
And that’s really great to say. And velocity without the direction is just you’re just going, as opposed to hitting a particular target. So, that seems like that’s one huge takeaway right there, is to have some clarity there on what are you, in fact, chasing and why does that matter to you.

Molly Fletcher
Absolutely. To me, having a really clear purpose that you filter things through is important, and there was a lot of moments in my life. Part of it for me is my parents really were my energy clock. They always helped me keep it set, and for that I’m so grateful, and my husband too. And so, what I hope this book helps people do is set their clock in a way that is sustainable, that it drives performance for them, whatever that might look like for them. It’s different for everybody, and that’s okay. I’m certainly not suggesting that I know how people can show up as their best selves.

But when we can create a system that’s sustainable, we hopefully get to our 90th birthday party, and we turn around in the room and everybody is there that we’ve nurtured in our lives. What always breaks my heart is people that go hard and they’re not quite clear on what they’re chasing, and then they get to the end of the days even, or the weeks, and they don’t have the energy for the people that matter most in their lives, and then potentially those sort of things unravel. And that’s that gap between achievement and fulfillment that I think is important to delineate that I think this book helps people solve for.

Pete Mockaitis
And so, let’s talk about when you say clock. Is there sort of an overarching metaphor or framework you’d like to orient us to here?

Molly Fletcher
Well, there’s things in all of our lives that give us energy. They are the things that when we’re doing them, time sort of stands still, or that after we feel better about who we are and how we feel, how we show up. And whatever those things are for people is different, but what I think is incredibly important is to be intentional about protecting that time. And that’s the correlation. I think there’s a really tight correlation between energy and time, but time is finite, right?

We have so many hours and minutes in a day, and I think if we’re not intentional, and what I’ve seen so much about protecting the things that give us energy, then we find ourselves, we don’t do them. And, over time, that leads to burnout, it leads to chasing the wrong stuff, it leads to disheveled, you know, folks that maybe aren’t their best selves. And so, what the book helps people do is get intentional and clear about the things that lift them up, and then protect that time in their calendars, and they color code those in green.

And then the things that are neutral in your life, and we take people through, it’s called the audit, and then the things that are neutral in their life, they’re not the things that necessarily lift you up but they don’t necessarily drain you either, right? But they’re a necessary part of the way that we show up and live our lives. And so, those things that are neutral, those are orange.

And then there’s the things that drain us, that are really exhausting, and those things are red. And I believe leaders, great leaders, will find that most, 80% of their calendar, we want to make sure is green. And leaders often have a little bit more control of their calendar and so they can be a little bit more intentional about protecting that time traditionally, because if we don’t protect it, if we don’t identify where we want to put our time, trust me, somebody else will.

It’s a little bit of what Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, and some of the best coaches the book talks about, which is control the controllables, right? Control what you can control. And controlling our energy, to me, is something that we, if we’re intentional and disciplined about, we can control it, and it helps us show up as our best.

Pete Mockaitis
So, there you have it in terms of thinking about the activities in your calendar. Is it filling you with energy? Green. Is it neutral? Orange. Is it a drain? Red. And shooting for 80% plus, green. So, now, let’s zero in on you mentioned something that fills you with energy. You said that time stands still and there’s an audit. I guess, so what are sort of the key guiding questions or indicators you look to in categorizing these things? Because I imagine that for some people it’s just obvious, like, “Oh, my gosh, when I go for a morning run with the dog, it just fills me with energy and it’s a delight.” But I think that there are also probably some surprises, like, “You know what, that meeting really sucks every time.” So, how do you kind of raise this more into your consciousness and get the clarity on the categorization there?

Molly Fletcher
Well, I would tell people, like, if you’re sort of listening to this, and you’re thinking, “I wonder how this applies to me,” I guess I would tell people, who maybe their energy clock isn’t set, to me, they don’t  have the time for the things that matter most in their lives. So, that would be a question I would ask them, “Do you have the time for the things that matter most?” And that’s obviously incredibly important because this thing called life is not a dress rehearsal, right?

And people who maybe don’t have their energy clock set, they feel distracted maybe, they’re disconnected, they’re probably exhausted, they find themselves maybe reacting and blaming and behaving defensively. So, I would say that, at a high level, if somebody that’s listening feels that way, what setting your energy clock allows you to do is to have the energy for the things that matter most, to feel energized and fulfilled and focused and connected, to anticipate more, to be curious, and to be comfortable being accountable in your own life.

So, I would say to anybody that’s listening that says, “Hi, I want to feel more like…” what I just said, then you ask yourself, “What are the things that give you energy? What are the things that lift you up?” And so, we could do it, Pete, with you right now. So, what are the things that give you energy? What are the things that lift you up in your life?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, sure thing.

Molly Fletcher
Are you open to that? I don’t want to put you on the spot.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Well, family time, good connecting with my wife and kids, prayer, spiritual time is swell. I’d say discovering stuff. I think that will often get really lit up in work in terms of it’s like I’ve discovered an opportunity, and I am excited about the implications of it, I’ve got several creative ideas for how to make it happen, and I’m just exploring and running after it. And I find that’s just…it gets me fired up. I’ve got some friends who tease me, like when I’m explaining one of these things to them, my hands are…

Molly Fletcher
Going?

Pete Mockaitis
…jumping, and they say, “I’ve got some things up here and I’m going to put them down here,” is what my hands are doing. Yeah, those are some of things.

Molly Fletcher
Okay, cool. And so, like family time, get me inside of that. What does that look like?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, sure thing. Well, so we’ve got a two-year old, and almost a one-year old, their current ages.

Molly Fletcher
Wow, you’re busy.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, sure, yeah. It can be really anything. I mean, reading stories is fun. I think it’s fun when all four of us are kind of on the same bed at the same time.

Molly Fletcher
Yeah, totally. Sure.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s nice. I don’t have to move too much, to sort of chase, “No, no, don’t put that in your mouth.” You’re more relaxed.

Molly Fletcher
Right, sure. What about discovering new stuff, like curiosity? So, that means you’ve got to make the space to have time to read and to have the head space to do that. That takes time.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s true. And as we talk about it, I really do. I think if I look at my day and I see it’s full of meetings, and I guess I would not count a podcast interview. In a podcast interview we’re discovering things so that kind of fits the difference. It’s meetings in terms of kind of administrative matters. It’s like, “We’re going to cover this, we’re going to ensure we’re all…the status of that.” I’d say when I look at a calendar and it’s full of that, I go, “Aargh, where do I get to play and explore and discover? I don’t see that time on this day.”

Molly Fletcher
Right. So, prayer, family time, discovering new stuff. And then what are the things that are kind of neutral for you, right? They don’t necessarily get you excited but they don’t really drain you either. I mean, they’re just sort of there, they just exist.

Pete Mockaitis
The first thing that comes to mind is sort of tidying my desk and email. They don’t fire me up but it really does feel good when they’re done. It’s like, “Oh, I’ve got a clear space. Oh, I’ve got a clear inbox.” I don’t have to worry that I’m leaving someone hanging somewhere.

Molly Fletcher
Sure. Sure.

Pete Mockaitis
So, I guess those are neutral.

Molly Fletcher
Got it. And what about what are the things that really drain you, that are just exhausting? Like, you just talked about, just to clear stuff on your calendar, it sounds like that might be something that’s in the red, that’s a drainer for you.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah. Well, I think that when it comes to things that resemble, I don’t know, this whole world of, like, this resemble accounting, bookkeeping, compliance, regulatory, insurance, those things. I understand these are necessary for the law and for taxes and for fairness.

Molly Fletcher
Sure. Sure.

Pete Mockaitis
But, boy, just sometimes it feels like the opposite of the new, creative, discovery, innovation. It’s just like making sure you’re not breaking any laws.

Molly Fletcher
Right. Right. And so, accounting book, operational kind of things is what I’m hearing you say, right? Some of those ops tight things that you have to do when you run a business.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, but at the same time I really do get a kick out of sort of identifying a great process and clearly documenting and explaining and training and disseminating that in terms of, it’s like, “Okay, now this is handled by somebody else forever.” That feels great. And, “Oh, that feels good that I have gotten to the bottom of this kind of puzzle.” So, when it comes to operations in like a process formulation and training sense, I kind of can get into it, but in terms of the, “Oh, let’s read the ins and outs of the exclusions on this insurance policy to make sure this is the right thing that I’m buying,” I go, “Ugh.”

Molly Fletcher
Yeah. And what you just said is awesome, and that’s what’s important is to say, “How can I maybe create a system to make this more efficient, these drainers? How can I create a process? Or, maybe, is there a way maybe in which I could delegate that to someone else, that that’s something that gets them excited, that that’s a gift for them? And that’s maybe something that I can hand to them.”

And so, inside of that audit, we identify, “How do we make sure that for Pete, that every day he’s got some prayer in his life, that every day he’s ensured that he’s got enough family time that fills him up, or every week?” Some days, I’m sure, you travel and you’re out, and there may be days when you’re not getting that time with the one- and two-year old, right? But how do you get that back so that maybe by the end of the week you feel whole that you got those things that lift you up in your life? And then what are those things, that discovering stuff, that curiosity, that lifts you up?

And so, what I think is important is to say, “How do you ensure that you take the prayer and the family time and the discovering stuff, and you’re intentional about blocking those off on your calendar in green, and you really protect that time so that it doesn’t get taken with an advent scheduling, a podcast interview with somebody over maybe a moment in which you needed some time to discover stuff?” Or there’s always time that you find yourself works well after the kids wake up from a nap if you can have that little 15 minutes of those things that lift you up with the kids.

So, it’s saying, “Well, how can you be intentional about putting those in your calendar in green, the desk and the email?” You know, one of the things that we know is that we can go from things that are neutral to things that lift us up, and we can go right to things that drain us. This is a fluid system in our lives. We can go right from a red, things that drain us, to a green immediately. We can shift right from one to another. So, what I try to encourage people to do is, “If we know that we’ve got things in our lives that we need to do that are in the red zone, how can we bake a green in front of it so that when we do drain ourselves a smidge when we’re sitting inside of that red zone, that we haven’t taken ourselves to an E where we’re empty, or maybe just half-full because we’ve given ourselves, we’ve lifted ourselves up a little bit in advance of those moments?”

Pete Mockaitis
That’s interesting. When you talk about empty and filling, it kind of is crystallizing it a bit more for me in my brain in that it’s a little bit more than just, “Hey, try to have more things that fill you up and fewer things that drain you.” But, also, kind of strategically considering the timing, the sequencing, the balancing over a day and a week. And so, do you have any pointers there with regard to, I think that was a nice one, in terms of, “Don’t go red, red, red, red, red or you will enter E”? You got me going now, Molly. Just paint a picture, what is E look, sound, feel like for people when you hit empty just so we can trigger some recognition, like, “Oh, yeah, that’s probably what’s going on here.”

Molly Fletcher
You know, I think you’re feeling really drained, you’re maybe really scattered, you’re disconnected, and just, generally, you’re frustrated. Those are the feelings that often go with when we find ourselves in that red space. And in the book, I have a sample calendar, and what I recommend people do is they literally, part of this comes down into anticipating the controllables in your life, and saying, “How can I go out…?” If you look at my calendar, I go way out, 30 days out, and I protect those things that give me energy. So, I would protect, if I was you, that prayer time, that family time, that discovering stuff time, I would actually block that out so that nobody can grab that from me.

And then I’m going to look really hard at the reds, and say, “Can I give these away to somebody else? Or can I be more efficient with them?” And then I’m going to look at the oranges too, and say, “How can I potentially be more efficient in this, in these areas of my life so that I can move through them more efficiently, more quickly, to get myself to a green?” But it’s about being intentional, and it’s about anticipating, and then looking back at the end of a month or the end of a week, and say, “How did I do?” Really evaluating, “How did I do? How do I feel at the end of the week? And how well did I execute against showing up with more green in my life?”

And I think there’s things that are inevitable. Like, if I’ve got to fly home. So, for example, one of the examples I actually used in the book is that my daughter was in a play early in the morning one morning and I really wanted to be there. To me, I want to be that parent that when my child looks out, I’m there. That’s really important to us. And so, I had to take a red-eye home from Vegas to get to the 8:30 a.m. play.

So, I’m in a red to get to a green to be able to be there in a moment that I wanted to be connected to my daughter. But that was a very intentional decision to say, “I’m going to wear it. I’m in a little red here but I’m going to be really intentional about when I’m in Vegas I’m going to get a massage, I’m going to get my workout, I’m going to minimize the number of calls that my team schedules for me during that window so that I can fill myself up so when I land, I’m not an E for this play, that I’m maybe at half-full but, still, I’m there, I’m present, I’m locked in, and I’m excited certainly, and feeling fulfilled to be able to show up in that way.”

So, it’s all about the way we prepare for these red moments so that when we shift, and maybe we’re at that play, we’re not on E but we’re still in a green zone, and we’re half-full, not on E. Does that make sense?

Pete Mockaitis
I hear you, yes. And, Molly, as you sort of kind of let us into your mental process, it’s very helpful. Thank you. I’m wondering if you catch some resistance from folks as you’re teaching this in terms of, “Oh, well, you know, you got to sacrifice and it can’t all just be about me and what feels good.” I’m curious, like if you catch some resistance, what does it sound like, and how do you respond?

Molly Fletcher
Yeah. And it’s interesting that you say that, Pete, because I actually felt that myself. I always felt like, “You know what, to fill your cup, your own cup up, is super selfish, and that isn’t right. It’s not right for me to go take an hour and get a workout in even though that takes me, and is a green for me.” But what I found is that if I can take that time, and I think we’ve all got to be respectful and careful and intentional about…I’m certainly not suggesting that a green is seven days a week, 24/7, if you want to have friends and family.

But what I realized is that if you don’t give yourself the things that give you energy, you can’t give it to anybody else in your life that matters most. So, I’ll give you a real example. I speak about 60 days a year on performance, and I had gone, I had like eight keynotes or something. It was a lot inside of a short window of time. I can’t remember the number, but let’s say it was like eight keynotes inside of like 13 days, which is sort of a lot. And it was Philly to Vegas to California, back to Miami, to Detroit. I mean, it was just a mess of kind of all over the country.

And I’d flown my mom in because our girls, we have three girls, and they were young at the time, and so I had flown her in to kind of help my husband with the girls. And I was sort of like five or six end of the eight, and I was exhausted. I mean, I was just exhausted. And I miss the girls, and I miss my husband, and I felt disconnected, and I felt drained and scattered and disconnected and frustrated and all those things that I referenced. I was in the red. But, yet, I’m paid to show up and be green because that’s my thing.

Pete Mockaitis
No one wants a tired keynoter.

Molly Fletcher
Right. So, I remember so vividly calling my mom, and I looked at my calendar, and I realized, “You know what, there could be a way that I could get home and I could get a little bit of family time and still honor every obligation that I had. If I had a board meeting, and if I left that board meeting just 12 hours or something earlier, I could get home, I could have a little bit of time with my girls. I could feel reconnected a little bit, get back on the plane and go do what I needed to do.

And it was a little bit of fire drill to make that adjustment but I thought, “I need to do this. I need to do this because I need to feel connected to my family in order for me to keep going.” But it was a window, when I came back, so I did. I came home and I pulled my kids out of school and we went and got a picnic, and we got ice cream, we had lunch. I showed up at their lunchroom and they looked at me, and they’re like, “Mommy, what are you doing here?” And I said, “Hey, I talked to your teachers. We’re good to go. We’re going to take the afternoon.” And they were in like third or fourth grade so I could do that, right? They weren’t going to fall significantly behind.

And we did, and then I got on the plane, and I went to the next keynote, crushed the next three, came home, and that’s when I looked at my mom, and I said, “I’ve got to create a system so that that doesn’t happen again.” And so, that was the beginning of a lot of this stuff, and I literally took my keynote calendar and we took weeks, we blocked them out, and we put red lines on the weeks with my team, and now I typically do two, at most three, inside of a five-day window. I’m really careful if I have a week with three that the next week, I only have one. And so, part of that is having the discipline to say no, which is really hard.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, money that does not enter your bank because of your discipline. It is hard.

Molly Fletcher
Right, but the messaging, I think, is when I’m saying no to something, I’m saying yes to the things that matter most. And so, with the clarity around the things that lift you up, it gives you the confidence, the courage, and the discipline, at the end of the day, in order to have the courage to say no to something because you know, “I’ve gotten really clear on this at a time when I wasn’t feeling pressure to make a decision. I’ve gotten clear on what matters most. Now I’m going to have the discipline and the courage to say no inside of these moments.”

And this showed up for me a little bit when I was a sports agent. I had a team of nine agents, I had 300 athletes and coaches, and my strategy then was to try to fill their cups up so much when I could so that between 6:00 and 9:00, when I was home, and my girls were needing me, whether it was homework, or prepping for bed, or a tough conversation that they wanted to have, or stuff going on with their friends, or you name it, I could let those calls go to voicemail because athletes will call you 24/7. But I had gotten clear on, “I’m going to fill their cups up so much when I can so that when I need to honor my kids and my husband, I can do that and I can do it with confidence because I’ve filled them up so much in the other moments that they respect that window of time that I’m honoring my family.”

Pete Mockaitis
Well, this is super handy. And so, I’d love to hear, as you’ve taught this to many folks and they implement it, can you share some of the recurring discoveries in terms of, “Wow, I overlooked this,” or, “It turns out this little thing makes a world of difference for energizing me”?

Molly Fletcher
Yeah. And that’s why I do this work, right? It’s the emails, it’s the notes from LinkedIn, it’s the stuff that people send on Instagram and Twitter, I mean, that is why I do this. It’s so fulfilling. I had somebody the other day that said, “I just did this energy audit with my husband. Both of our calendars are color-coded now. I am so excited to lean in 2020 sort of in this new way.”

And what I think people find is the clarity in itself is incredibly powerful. Even just when we did this with you, the clarity around, “Here’s the things that really, really lift me up. And if I had all those things in my life, one to two, maybe all three of them every day, imagine, would I be a better husband, would I be a better father, would I be a better leader, would I be a better community?” All those things, what we hear from people is, “Yes, here’s the things that…”

I take a gentleman that I’ve renamed in the book, his name is Frank in the book, but it was a real person. But when we took Frank through this, it was incredibly powerful because now he’s clear on the things that lifts him up, he’s been disciplined and intentional about protecting it on his calendar, and now the byproduct of that, inside of usually 20, 21, 30 days, is a person who’s showing up better at work, showing up fulfilled at home, showing up more connected to the people that matter most, more energized for the clients that they serve, the customers, for the team members that they work with. So, those are the stories that we hear.

And what’s really powerful is when people get really clear on the things that drain them, the things that, for you, the ops kind of stuff that you don’t love, my hope and dream and prayer and wish is that you hang up from this podcast, and you go back and you go, “You know what, I’m going to try to find a way to either delegate this or create some better systems so that this shows up a little bit less in my life.” And maybe there’s still a role for it in your life as a business owner, right, we need to be aware of those things, “But how can I maybe dial that back a little bit and then obviously my week looks a little bit better?”

So, I think this is something that works for the whole person not just a business person, and certainly it can work for somebody that works out of the home, as a caregiver in the home. I mean, this is a powerful thing too. And I think it’s incredibly important for men and women that are at home caring for their family are super intentional about that or resentment kicks in in a big way.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, I hear you. Well, so then I’d love to get your notion. So, we talked about some doing the audit and getting particular about your own unique things. Can we hear about a couple common discoveries in terms of, hey, a lot of people seem to have discovered that, I don’t know, it’s a nap, or meditation, or eating apples with peanut butter. Is there any little something that makes a big impact that shows up for a lot of people?

Molly Fletcher
Yeah, that’s an awesome question. One is to create an opportunity with somebody that you trust and that wants nothing from you but for you to be your best self, for them to hold you accountable, for them to have access to your calendar, to have access to being able to connect with you about how this is going. So, somebody that you’re willing, we hear from people that they have shared this with, told them that this is something that’s important to them, that they’re leaning into and that they’re trying to do, and that every 30 days, “Would you ask me how am I doing as it relates to setting my energy clock and keeping my clock set? How am I doing?”

And we have, by the way, if you go to the EnergyClock.com, there’s all kinds of resources for folks when they buy the book both as individuals, as teams, and as leaders, that they can access, that helps them sustain their energy clock, so accountability. And then having monthly check-ins with their accountability partner at least every month where they can check in and assess how they’re tracking on keeping their clocks set, because that’s the most important thing, right? It’s not they read a book and they feel great for a week. We want to change behavior over the long haul. And so, we find that when people have accountability and then a system with that accountability partner that works best for them, that the sustainability is just better.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Lovely. Well, tell me, anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Molly Fletcher
No, it’s just I’m super passionate about this. It’s fun to talk about, so most importantly I hope this conversation helps people.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. Well, now, could you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Molly Fletcher
One that comes up for me right now because I just saw it on the wall of an office for a company that I’m speaking to, is, “Treat every customer like they’re your only customer,” is I think kind of a cool quote. That one comes to mind.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite study, or experiment, or bit of research?

Molly Fletcher
I just interviewed Shawn Achor on my podcast, and he anchors a lot of the work that he does, and he wrote The Happiness Advantage with a lot of research. And I love that conversation because he talks about gratitude and joy. And the research that he’s done over 55 countries on it, which is incredibly powerful, and how I thought this was staggering, Shawn said, “Molly, in the 55 countries and all the work that I’ve done, I found that if people do at least one of these three or four things, the gratitude journal, identifying the things that bring them joy…” if people do one of the three or four things that he mentions, they find themselves happier, and he measures that.

So, I’m super intrigued with the work he does. I’m a big fan of all of the research that Brene Brown does, Adam Grant. I read all of their stuff, everything that they do, and I’m grateful to call them friends. So, they are probably a whole lot smarter than me, right? They’re working inside of a lot of institutions. I’m not a researcher at all so I lean on other people for that, so I’m grateful for their work that I can lean on.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite book?

Molly Fletcher
The Alchemist is one of my favorite books. I just think it is so cool the way that it’s just a powerful read. I’ve read it several times. That book is one of my favorites. Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism I’m a huge fan of, The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr, I love. Those are a couple that come to mind. And, of course, all the work from whether it’s Adam Grant to Shawn Achor to Susan Cain. I’m a big fan of anything they put out, I grab and read.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite tool, something you use to be awesome at your job?

Molly Fletcher
Just because it’s on my mind, obviously some of the stuff that we’ve talked about really helps me show up in the work, that I do better when my clock is set. I feel like I’m a better leader. So, that is a tool that I certainly do use myself personally, that my team uses, that we all use it, that I think helps us certainly. I’m grabbing my phone right now. I would say, probably, another one would be Slack. My team and I use Slack, and that’s a tool that we use, and I find it drives some efficiency which is powerful.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite habit?

Molly Fletcher
A favorite habit would be the gratitude journal or the five-minute journal. I do that whether if I’m travelling, I use my app. If I’m home, I try to write into my book. I like writing it better. But that, to me, is a pretty powerful tool. I love the five-minute journal.

Pete Mockaitis
And is there a particular nugget you share that really seems to connect and resonate with folks; they quote it back to you often?

Molly Fletcher
One would be, “When you ask for the business, you get advice. And when you ask for advice, you get the business.” That one is a big one. People love that one. And I also reframe it for young people that are listening, “When you ask for a job, you get advice. When you ask for advice, you get a job.” That one is powerful too. That would be one that people really connect with. When you ask for the business, you get advice. When you ask for advice, you get the business.

Pete Mockaitis
And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Molly Fletcher
MollyFletcher.com, there’s all kinds of stuff that leads into the book stuff. Of course, our workshop business, our negotiation training programs, all of that comes out of MollyFletcher.com.

Pete Mockaitis
And do you have a final challenge or call to action for folks seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Molly Fletcher
I would challenge them to set their clock, to get really energy clock, to get really clear on the things that lift them up, the neutrals, how to be more efficient, and the drainers, or delegate those, and set it. Find somebody to help hold them accountable every 30 days. And my hope and my prayer, and what we’re seeing with the people that we work with now is somebody that shows up more fulfilled and more connected to the things that matter most. So, that would be my challenge.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. Well, Molly, this has been lots of fun. I wish you much energy in the weeks ahead.

Molly Fletcher
All right. You, too, Pete. Thanks for having me on and thanks for the work that you do.

529: Finding Greater Success and Fulfillment with Dr. Daphne Scott

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Dr. Daphne Scott says: "I'll never have enough time to do the things I don't want to do."

Dr. Daphne Scott debunks harmful myths to explain how to build a healthy relationship with success.

You’ll Learn:

  1. How your ambition is sabotaging your career
  2. How to end the vicious cycle of stress
  3. How to easily fit meditation into your daily routine

About Daphne:
Dr. Daphne Scott brings two decades of real world coaching and corporate development experience to her work with organizations, teams and individuals. She combines strong leadership abilities with highly-trained facilitation skills to bring individuals and teams into greater relationship, creativity, and ultimately, success.

Daphne is a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, a Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), certified Hendricks Coach, a founding member of the Conscious Leadership Group, and a member of the International Coaching Federation. She also holds a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy from Andrews University. Daphne is the Chief Culture Officer at Confluent Health and was previously the Director of Leadership Development at Athletico Physical Therapy.

Resources mentioned in the show:

Daphne Scott Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Daphne, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Daphne Scott
Oh, thanks so much for having me, Pete. It’s my pleasure.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m excited to dig into this conversation as well as learn a bit about your sketch comedy tour in the past. What is the story here?

Daphne Scott
Well, I like to say that’s almost where it all started. It’s not actually the total place where it all started, but I did improvisational theater at the famed Second City in Chicago for quite a while, about three to four years, and then went on to travel with a sketch comedy group that traveled around the United States and we’d do all kinds of festivals and write funny sketches and think we were just hilarious and, yeah, that’s where it all started. And that translated into many of my skills that I have in facilitating groups now.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m curious, was there a particular sketch that just was the hit, it got more laughs than the others, not that you can perform the whole thing for us, but maybe give us a taste, what was the premise?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, there were two that were really big hits. One was called Amish pornography. By the way, I need to give acknowledgement to Nick DeGrazia, who was the founder of the group, The Comic Thread. Amish pornography, which was the theme song to Space Odyssey 2000, so bom, bom, bom, you know, the whole thing, and it was just simply two people, it was him and myself and we’re dressed up as Amish sort of folks, and we’re just simply…he is removing his suspenders very slowly and all I’m doing is lifting up my skirt about a half inch at most while this whole song plays all the way through. So, it’s just literally us standing on stage facing each other in this elaborate, much elaborate sort of setup of this Amish barn and that was always a really big hit because we didn’t say anything. We really weren’t doing anything but it was just this idea that this would be really what Amish pornography kind of would look like, if you could.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, clever. Clever.

Daphne Scott
It’s very clever.

Pete Mockaitis
Risqué.

Daphne Scott
Yeah, yeah, very, very risqué. And then there was another sketch which was based on the movie Braveheart and it was about this grandfather who was very obsessed with the movie so much so that he thought it was real, and it just culminates in this great hijinx of him torturing his grandson, and it was very, very funny. So, those are a couple. Those are a couple, yeah.

Pete Mockaitis
Mercy. Well, I love comedy that’s just a little bit out there and I think Key & Peele, my personal opinion, are the most amazing sketch comedians I’ve bumped into. Netflix has a new series I Think You Should Leave which is a sketch comedy show, and it’s amusing, it gets me some chuckles.

Daphne Scott
I have not watched it yet. I’ll have to check that out.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah. Cool. Well, so let’s talk about your modern-day programming or what you’re up to these days. You got some stuff called Waking Up A Leader. What’s sort of the main thesis or point behind this?

Daphne Scott
Yeah. so, I like to say my latest book, it’s my only book, but it is my latest, so, yeah.

Pete Mockaitis
Your first book.

Daphne Scott
Yeah, it’s my first book, also my latest book. Yeah, so Waking Up A Leader, really, the essence is this combination between the transformational skills that leaders and, by the way, people who want to be great at their jobs, need to have on board as well as the skills, some of the transactional skills, that are really helpful for leaders to have on board. And it’s specifically about looking at how we relate to sort of these five domains of our life, which seems to be these areas, especially in work, that can take over.

So, the five relationships that we’re having are our relationships to time, money, our self, our identity, how we see ourselves, and friendships, and then, of course, the very well-known unknown, in how we relate to the space of the unknown. So, that’s really what the book is about at its root.

Pete Mockaitis
Intriguing. Well, I love a good framework, you know, breaking that into five key ingredients. And so, I understand, in your own story, you had some relationships that seemed a bit out of whack. Can you share your tale?

Daphne Scott
I did. Yeah, so good. That’s a really nice way to say it, out of whack, absolutely. Well, I started, when I wrote the book, really started with in terms of the five relationships, the relationship to time, that’s always a big one for clients at work and with myself. I had much the same experience that all of us have had, which is feeling often as though I never had enough time to do things I really wanted to do and never have enough time playing guitar. I didn’t have enough time to write comedy, these sorts of things that I enjoy doing outside of my working world now. And, of course, I never have enough time getting my work done. That was one in one big relationship that had to change.

If I got, really, to the root though of what was happening, it was really there was this particular way that I was just relating to how I saw myself in the world, who I believed that I was, and also who I believed I needed to be to be successful. And I needed to be a person who had no less than 50 responsibilities at any one time, I needed to be a person who ran from thing to thing, and got more degrees and more certifications, and took on more responsibilities and all these sorts of things that I had created in my mind, by the way, as these marks of being successful.

And ambition took over and so the story progresses, my story progresses, a little bit through the book. And I really had to work to shift that relationship at the root, that really what was happening. And it’s intentional that the relationship to the self and the identities in the middle of the other four, in the book by the way, I discovered that that’s what’s going on the whole time.

Pete Mockaitis
Boy, yeah, so intriguing. So, you felt that you didn’t have the time to do the things you really wanted to do from the guitar to the comedy. And what the holdup there was you had some ambition going on that said that you needed to tackle X, Y, Z. So, can you really zoom in there in terms of sort of what’s going on in the experience of your life and the feelings there in terms of frustration or overwhelm, etc., as well as sort of the internal dialogue that’s kind of propagating that?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, oh, man, so good. You’re getting right at it, Pete.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, thank you.

Daphne Scott
Again, I think, well, I’ll just kind of talk about through, I love what you said, the internal dialogue because this is really what, at the core, is what’s happening for all of us, is if we paid attention long enough, and this is really the beginning of the book, if we pay attention long enough, we start to realize that we’re giving a lot of attention to thought that’s happening, the things that we’re telling ourselves. Really, there’s a whole part in the book around the stories that we tell ourselves, right?

So, when I looked at how I was organizing myself and my life, and by organizing I mean sort of my energy, my time, my thought processes, how I was taking care of my physical body, my emotional, mental, spiritual wellbeing, and I was really wiring that all altogether. It was based on sort of these root sort of experiences or these ideas, one that I had, first of all, let’s just take this, that I have to be an ambitious person to be successful, that I had to take on a lot more work.

And what was starting to happen was, when I really paid attention to my experience, I was really creating sort of this idea that, “One day I would arrive. One day I would finally get there, I’d finally reach the finish line,” which is really at the root, underneath all that, is this idea that things are permanent, that I would finally get the title, or the promotion, or the money, or one day I would finally have all the time that I wanted, then I could be happy, then I could relax.

And the idea that, even once you had those things that they would stay permanent, it’s really the root, if you paid attention, to all of our suffering. It’s really the core that we’re going to finally get this thing, then, and only then, can we finally be happy. And then when we have it, that it’ll last forever. And once I saw the truth of that, that was years and years and years, by the way. I make it sound like, “Oh, it’s one day, it happened.”

But once I started seeing the truth of that, I started unhooking myself and having a different relationship with myself. I started relating to this idea of time differently. I started relating to this idea of money. That was a big one. I don’t know how much you’ve encountered the idea that you can’t leave your current job that you’re making so much money on and go find another job that could pay you just as much. You have to stay in your current job because if you leave, you’ll be broke, so you stay but feel miserable. And I was really working through that relationship.

And so, the more that I kept paying attention to what I was really telling myself, the more that I kept paying attention to my feelings and how, also, transient they were, one minute I could be really feeling great, happy. The next minute I could be not so happy. And I started realizing, “Wow, maybe these things that I’m blaming on the outside of me, maybe there’s more going on in the inside that I need to pay attention to.”

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that’s intriguing. So, then the lie is, “Hey, one day I’ll have X, and then it’ll be all gravy from there on out. I’ll have it, it’ll be there, it’ll be permanent, and happy days are here.” So, that’s sort of the falsehood that you’re entertaining and it’s causing some troubles. And so, how would you articulate the contrary truth in terms of how is it really, and how should we really optimally operate?

Daphne Scott
Yeah. Well, great question. It’s tricky in a way because there’s the inherent reality, inherently things that are true but they’re not inherently true, right? So, it is true on one level that it’s good to have some cash. Like, if you’re going to have a business and we want to have a job, and it is true that that’s good. We need to keep the lights on, probably that’s all true. And there’s some truth to money, right? I’d sound like a complete crackpot if I was on your show right now and be like, “Look, money is not real.” It’s just that it’s not inherently real. It’s not the thing that’s going to ultimately, one day, get you the peace, calm, joy that you ultimately desire, that people are really looking for in their life.

And so, when we really look at the idea of money, yeah, there’s some truth to it. It’s reality. If we look at time, it’d be weird if I was like, “Oh, don’t concern yourself with time. It doesn’t really exist.” There is clock, that we had an appointment today, right? It’s helpful. But if I start to believe that it’s inherently true, that that’s all there is, and I start wiring my life around that, I really start to create a lot of suffering for myself because the clock just does what the clock does, it’s a convention, it’s helpful to a certain degree, but time and space are really, in the inherent reality, they’re not dependent on the clock. So, how I choose how to relate to that clock really actually sets up my experience.

I can be sitting quietly reading my book and feeling really, really great about everything. I can also be quietly reading my book and feel really stressed out and overwhelmed. Same exact thing on the video camera but very different experience, right?

Pete Mockaitis
Intriguing. So, how you choose to relate to these things makes all the difference in terms of how you’re feeling and operating, and your ability to be effective in your job, and more broadly as well.

Daphne Scott
Yeah, exactly.

Pete Mockaitis
So, can we dig in, then, in terms of what are some best practices and worst practices in terms of relating to each of these five key things?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, such a great question. And this is where the transactional part of it, sort of what sounds very transactional, transactional-sounding, fits into this whole thing, so I really, really love the question. So, let’s talk about time. Yeah, totally true, time, we use it, it’s a convention. The clock is a convention. I don’t have to feel at the effect. One o’clock is no different than 3:00 o’clock. It’s not doing anything to me sort of idea. That sounds great, right?

It also helps though if you know how to put stuff on your calendar, it also helps if you do some planning week to week. And what I really like to tell people is when I sit down and I review my calendar two weeks out, for example, review my list, so I work from a list every day, it’s one of the actions in the book, I really see that as a mindfulness practice because I know that when I do that thing, when I review that calendar, when I have my list up-to-date, and I’m keeping track of things, and I know what’s coming, I relax. My mind is clear.

Even if I day full of appointments, when I look at that on Friday, it’s not going to happen until Wednesday, I know these are the things I need to be prepared for, these are the things that I’m planning, that are coming. Even looking back on the calendar, for example, a week can be really helpful. There might be meetings, and I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t grab that one. I told that guy I’d get him that thing, and I didn’t write that down. I need to write it down.” So, we really start to relax.

And so, I think that is one around the experience of time. That is one of the key practices that if people really are willing to just slow down to go fast type of idea, right, it really starts to shift our relationship and how we experience things.

Pete Mockaitis
And the practice is simply maintaining your calendar and a list of things and so that sounds like a prudent thing to do. And so, what would you say many astute professionals do instead of that that’s causing them problems?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, so good. That’s just so great. So, let’s see how this fits together, right? So, imagine this, imagine if believing that you don’t have enough time, I’m sure you’ve had that experience before, you don’t have enough time, and you’re starting to believe that. Now, if you already start to believe that you don’t have enough time, that’s like your operating system, what’s it like to think that you’re going to sit down and review your task list and your calendar? Right, exactly. You’re like, “I don’t have the time to do that. I just have to get things done.”

And so, people are playing whack-a-mole, they’re not grounded in, “What really requires my attention right now? What’s really most important right now?” and they spend an awful lot of time sort of rethinking things because you didn’t have it written down and you’re having to go back and sort of re-plan the thing that you’re going to do next. So, that’s what I want professionals do, and this is where I think where the mindset and the understanding of our attention and how we train ourselves to pay attention and how we work with the mind, where that fits in with the very practical thing that we talk about, which isn’t really rocket science, right? Like, review your calendar.

But when you get these two things working, kind of working against each other, it creates a ton of stress for people. So, yeah, that’s really how this starts to wire, sort of congeal itself into creating a lot of overwhelm and not the best practices for folks.

Pete Mockaitis
I see. So, sort of like a vicious cycle in terms of, “I don’t have time. I need to go ahead and do this thing,” and, thusly, they don’t take the time to plan and setup the calendar and that list, and then things get all the more out of control. And so, is it a similar kind of a pattern with the other four relationships? Can you maybe show us how that plays out with them?

Daphne Scott
Yeah. So, there’s sort of this common myth, this sort of mindsets that we get into, let’s take money, for example. And this is probably one of my favorite ones, honestly, because I work with very successful people, and it’s fascinating to me, and I ask them, “How much money do you need?” It seems like a reasonable question. None of them have an answer.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s fascinating. I want to dig into this a bit just because I know exactly how much money I need.

Daphne Scott
Yeah, me, too.

Pete Mockaitis
And so, I guess, I don’t know, I sort of thought that was something that people who were interested in growing wealth knew. So, tell me a bit more about this. So, you’ve got dozens of clients, and you’ve asked them this question, and zero have told you a number?

Daphne Scott
Yeah. So, they struggle to have a number, and what’s really sort of lurking underneath all of that is, in some instances, they’ve had enough for a really long time. And it really starts to back them in a corner mentally, sort of in a way, because they start to see, like, “Wow, if I have all the money that I say I needed and that I wanted, then why am I not spending more of my time living my life the way that I really like to live it?”

Pete Mockaitis
As opposed to spending time to generate more wealth.

Daphne Scott
Yeah, right.

Pete Mockaitis
Gotcha.

Daphne Scott
Which is fine but that’s not in and of itself a problem but, exactly, it’s sort of the way they relate to it. And so, the common myth that we all start to believe is that we need more. We need more money will ultimately make us happier. More money. And, by the way, when you get as much as you need and want, then you get to play the game of your fear of losing all of it.

Pete Mockaitis
Right, yeah.

Daphne Scott
Right? So, you’re never settled, right? So, we’ll look at that. So, you start getting into this mindset around this, and this starts to drive that quest for more, that quest for greed, which lends itself to everything from people not spending time with their families, people not taking care of themselves, their physical wellbeing because they’re working all the time, to really, really horrific sorts of things, like creating fraud, defrauding people in the company, or stealing, all these sorts of things that we’ve read about in the news.

And so, when we have sort of this relationship with money, that the only way we’ll be happy is we have to have more, we’re not clear. We don’t have clarity around what is enough individually, and then even in our businesses, what does that need to look like. Leaders, really, and people in their lives, really get swept away then with this constant run on this treadmill all the time, and we’re not never going to get there so it creates a lot of stress for people.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, Daphne, can I really put you on the spot here?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, totally.

Pete Mockaitis
Can you talk about what is enough? Can you share, for us, personally, as you thought through these things a lot, what is enough time, money, self, friends, unknown for you? And why?

Daphne Scott
Yeah. Well, enough time for me is me, really, lives in spending my time the way that it’s truly in line with my values and my purpose. And I want to tell you, again, it’s not a straight line. I think, in my experience, and I feel like I live in my genius 95% if not 100% of the time with my work, but it’s not a straight line. People are asking me to do things all the time, different things, things that, by the way, would be great. I wish I had the space to just say yes to everything on some level.

But then there’s the part where I know it’s not mine to do, and I had to really work it through in my life at getting very good at saying the word no. And I know if I go do it, my energy level won’t be that great. It ultimately won’t bring me the fulfillment that I really, really know that I can have. And once you start having that in your work, it becomes pretty palpable when you’re not doing it.

So, not matter what, when it comes to time, what I know is that I’ll never have enough to do the things I don’t want to do. And so, as soon as I start aligning myself with doing a lot of things that I don’t want to do, we just become more and more unhappy. There’s that. So, what’s enough? What’s enough time? I have all the time in the world to do the things that I want to do and never feel constricted around that.

Around money, it really was a matter of looking at, “What’s the wealth that I know I want to have to live a reasonable life and to be able to, obviously, pay my bills?” Now, my lifestyle is a little different. I don’t have children, by the way, so that changes some things for people who have kids, you have more responsibility in that way. But it was really a matter of setting up my life so that, quite frankly, where work wasn’t costing me more money. And I think when we start looking at life in that way, when I understood that the place that I was spending my time, how I was doing my work was really my energy, my life energy, and it was the only energy I had, it’s the most valuable thing that I do have, how do I really want to be “spending” that, and is there cost on the backend that I’m not paying attention to.

And then, on average, they say, the research says that once you hit about 80,000 to 90,000 a year, your positive emotion, access to positive emotion, doesn’t really increase that much, even up against people who are multimillionaires. And so, I really started to look at that, and I‘m like, “What is it for me to live my life in a way that can really allow me to retire ‘early,’ to have some financial independence? And what does it look like for me to set my life up that way so that I have more flexibility around my time and my money? I’m not in debt. I’m not walking around with the most heavily-marketed product outside of crappy food and the United States’ credit. What’s it like to just not be living like that?”

And so, I really started setting up my life that way and realized how much money. When you choose to live on less money, guess what happens to your retirement account? You need less.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, certainly, yeah.

Daphne Scott
You don’t need as much. So, yeah. And then, around my ambition and what that needed to really look like, and where was I out of my integrity with myself, meaning where I wasn’t in wholeness and driving myself in a certain way where I’d gain 30 pounds, my relationships are really falling apart. I even make this comment in the book, like I had all these great degrees and certifications but all my plants were dead, not taking care of things in my life, and not keeping friendships intact both at work and in and out of work.

I think one of the things I really landed on was that I was spending, and still do, a good deal of my energy, my life energy, working, that I love it. And to think you only have acquaintances at this place where you spend 40 or 50 hours or 60 hours a week, that gets pretty dry. And so, what was it to really understand and to live into, really, cultivating friendships and keeping track of people, and not just seeing people as a sort of a means to and end, or, “They’re just going to help get my done and then I’m going to go home”?

Yeah, so that was all of them except the unknown.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, let’s hear it.

Daphne Scott
All right. Well, the unknown, really, the thing that I landed on with the unknown really has a lot to do…are you ready? It almost sounds like the buzzkill of the show, but really has a lot to do with death. I really got in touch with the reality that it’s coming, I just don’t know when, but it is coming. And I had a meditation that I was taught by one of my teachers, Stephen Batchelor, this is in the book. But it really is taking a close look at, and really sitting in this question that, given that is unknown, or given that it is known, that I will, one day, take my last breath, I will one day have taken my last walk, I will have one day pet my dog for the last time, given that that is true, but given that I don’t know when that is, now what should I do?

And that was really the meditation that started to unhook me quite a bit from being sucked into that myth that things were permanent, kind of letting me get outside of myself a little bit to realize that this whole thing that I’m doing and existing isn’t just about me, like other people matter, other people are here.

And so, given that, what should I do? Is it me going to be about me just accumulating more ambition, more degrees, more, more, more, knowing that this is all going to come to an end? Or is there some other way that I might want to be organizing my energy and spending my time, which is finite in that regard? For lack of a better explanation.

So, it was all these things together, how we relate to all these things together. And, interestingly enough, these were the things that I kept watching my clients struggle with. It was the same sort of thing, and I’m getting in these coaching conversations about, “Wow, I get it. I, too, have had these struggles.”

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m intrigued then, so when you do that meditation, so given the fact that I’m going to die, therefore, what shall I do?

Daphne Scott
And given the fact that I don’t know when that is.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah. What sorts of action items tend to pop up over and over again for yourself and others when they engage in this?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, that’s great. One, it’s interesting because I’ve been doing that meditation for years, and one interesting thing, I think you’ll find this very curious because I find it curious, when you sit in it, it’s the ideas to let any answers come to you, and sometimes nothing phenomenal shows up, you’re just kind of doing your meditation. But one thing that does consistently pop up for me is the word rest. And how it lands is not like rest, like, “Go take a vacation.”

It’s more like a resting with what is. It’s more like a call to be with what is, which I think is probably a balance to my personality type, which is the unconscious or a part of my personality type is to want to be in control. It’s wanting to make sure things are going to happen. It’s wanting to have things turn out the way I think they should, right?

And so, there’s more to this theme of rest, be with what is right now, and more of this call for stillness, being still. And even in the midst of activity, having a sense of stillness, in the midst of us having a conversation, having the sense of stillness that there isn’t something that I have to make happen or that has to happen in this moment. So, that is a thing that comes up pretty reliably for me.

And then there’s really simple things like it can be I’ve done the meditation and just a simple thing will pop up, like, “Take care of your car.” Like, there might’ve been something that I was avoiding doing, and it finally just says, “Look, it’s time to go take action on this. Enough dragging your feet to have the thing.” So, it runs the gamut for sure.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, all right. Well, so then we talk about rest, I’d love to get your take on are there some particular self-care practices that really seem to have a lot of bang for your buck in terms of much rejuvenation in not a lot of time?

Daphne Scott
Yeah. Well, again, this comes back to time for sure and how we relate to it, but I will say that, undoubtedly, there are two things that we know really impact people’s physical health. So, if we start to recognize, a few things I want to say about that, leading up to it, that the body, it’s what allows this being over here to move around. It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to nature. It will ultimately do what it’s going to do.

However, if we really start to look at what allows the body to really function well and to be in its best health, hands down, there are two things that have really been shown over and over again. The food that we eat really matters and getting some sleep. And, again, those aren’t really sexy things, right? Like, we are looking for sort of all these sorts of magic bullets, this sort of one-stop shop-type of thing.

And, for sure, in my own experience, when I am eating very healthy, meaning I’m staying away from processed foods, I’m staying away from foods that are laden with sugar, processed stuff, they’ve pulled all the good nutrients out of it, you’re eating out of a box kind of thing, staying away from that stuff, eating as healthy as you can, and getting, for me, it’s about seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Those two things really trump just about everything, anything that I could do.

And the science really has shown us a lot, I think, over this many last, you know, especially this last 10 years or so, although the media will try to grab all these weird sorts of things to try to tell you differently, but there’s just no substitute for that, I think, for the physical body. And this fits into our mental and emotional wellbeing. The body and the mind work together. And so, if we haven’t taken care of the physical being, and we haven’t made sure that we’re well-rested, and made sure that we had plenty of sleep, we act real crabby.

Like, the examples I love to give is, and especially people who have kids really get this. It’s like if you have a baby, let’s say the baby is one and a half, one years old, they’re not really talking, they’re non-verbal, and they’re crying. I’ll ask people in a group, like, “Tell me what your checklist is. Like, what do you go through if your baby is crying? You’re starting to analyze why is the baby crying. You have a checklist in your mind.”

It’s really great because parents will say things like, “Well, are they hungry? Do they need their diaper changed? Do they need to sleep? Do they need a nap? Do they need to move around?” That’s the other one as far as the body is concerned is getting regular movement. And I point out to people, I’m like, “I don’t know why we made this weird jump that just because we had a little body, and then it became a big body, that we don’t still need those same sorts of basic things.” We need to have good food, we need to get good sleep, we need to be well-hydrated as far as taking care of the body.

So, I think that really is something. And I could go on all day about sleeping. But that is really one of, really, a significantly-overlooked part of our health. For all of the emphasis that we can put on exercise and all these other things, I think sleep is what I watch people really skip out on. And all you have to do is pay attention to how you feel after you’ve been sleep-deprived for about one or two days, and we’re just aren’t in our best space. We’re just not going to be. The body is really running on empty so we really have to keep that gas tank full, and I think those are two of the big ones.

And then the third, of course, that I’m a huge fan of is meditation and learning how to pay attention because I think that is really at the root. When we can keep working with the mind, which is kind of the mind is really all we have, when we can keep working with the mind and training the attention in a certain way and teaching it how to pay attention, then we’re more skillful, actually, at noticing when things are getting off for us, we’re more skillful at noticing, “Wow, I am feeling like I need a bit of a break here,” then we can take action on things a little bit more clearly, and we’re aware of how we’re relating to things, too. So, I think those are the big three.

Pete Mockaitis
And when you say meditation, what do you recommend people do to get that practice up and going?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, a few things. I will tell you Headspace is probably one. If you’re going to sort of go through the app route to learn, I am a huge fan of Headspace. Andy Puddicombe is the guy that put that together, and it’s such a great app. You can do 10 free sessions, and then there’s a nominal pay part to it that you can do. People can also access my meditations on InsightTimer. InsightTimer is a free application. And, actually, there are hundreds of meditations on there, and teachers too, and I have sort of an intro, a couple of intro meditations that people can do. But I think any of those are really good places for people to start so that they can sort of be guided through a process.

And then some people really like guided meditations and listen to them consistently. I kind of mix it up. I don’t do as much guided, I do a lot more just silent meditation. And I’d like to say a word, too, about one of the other forms of meditation that we probably need to talk about a little bit more. We talk about being seated and meditating a lot, that’s I think what most people imagine, right? But there’s walking meditations, and you can meditate and walk.

And I’ve even noticed in my own teachings when I work with people, I don’t talk about that probably as much as I could and probably should because learning how to sit, most of us are just not used to being still that long so that can take a little bit longer. Whereas, I find if people learn how to meditate and how to do a walking meditation, that can be just as beneficial. And so, you can use all these different postures, sitting, lying, walking, and be in those different positions, which I think is really good too. So, Headspace, a big fan, and my meditations are also on Insight Timer, too.

Pete Mockaitis
And if we’re doing a walking meditation, how does that go in practice?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, a couple of ways to do it. One, the way that I teach is, and the reason I like this is because it doesn’t take a lot. You don’t have to walk five miles to meditate. You can just do it in a space of about 20 feet long, which means that people can do it sort of in their office building or in their place of work too. But you find a stretch, about 20 feet or so, and the idea, the basic premise is that you’re putting your intention, and this is the basic premise of any meditation, but you’re putting your premise on what it is that’s really happening in that moment. And we really bring the attention to the feet, because you’re walking, and noticing what each step actually is like, and noticing that, like, “Oh, my right heel is touching the ground. My right toe is lifting. The bottom of my foot is touching the ground, and then my left leg is moving.”

And, really, bringing your attention to all of those moment-by-moment nuances as you’re just in this space of going from one side of the room, if you will, to the other side of the room, and then just simply turning and going back the other direction. And so, the idea is just bringing the attention and awareness to, “Oh, this is I’m stepping now, and this is the next step, and I’m doing that.” And so you’re using the walking and the stepping, and literally the foot making contact with the ground, as the anchor just like you might with the breath if you are using seated meditation.

Yeah, give it a shot. I think you’ll like it. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. If you haven’t done it before, it’s pretty cool. It’s a nice way to do it. And I think people really do enjoy it because you’re moving. I think people kind of can feel a little constrained when they’re sitting at first, and then do a combination of them, which is great. Yeah, it works pretty good.

Pete Mockaitis
Cool. Well, Daphne, tell me, anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Daphne Scott
No, I think that’s good. I think we got through the whole point.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. Good. Well, now, could you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Daphne Scott
I love the quote, it comes from Aristotle, but, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” Yeah, I’m a really big fan of that quote, and I think because it brings me back to being mindful, it brings me back to being aware of how I’m organizing myself, how I’m moving through the world. And when I get on autopilot, I’m not paying attention, how I can be unskillful sometimes. So, yeah, I’m a big fan of that quote.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite study, or experiment, or bit of research?

Daphne Scott
Oh, my gosh. I’m going to cite, there’s two. I have two favorite research articles. I’m going to totally nerd out now. By the way, I was a physical therapist and did clinical research in my first career. But one of my favorite articles was an editorial that was written by a pretty popular physical therapist at the time, Tony Delitto. And he wrote this article, and it was basically titled such, “Stop Looking for the Magic Bullet.” And he was writing about treating low back dysfunction in the United States, and how people were just trying to find this one cure-all, like people will just take a pill and they’d be rid of all their back pain.

However, that article really shifted my awareness of life in general, of how much time I was spending trying to find that magic bullet. And it was really what we were just talking about, Pete, around, “I’ll finally be happy when…” “If only…” And that article, I think he wrote that, I mean, I want to say it was like 1998 or something. It might’ve been 2001, but that always stuck with me even though it was very clearly around back pain. It was very clearly around clinical science. The idea, the premise stuck with me for a really long time, even till now.

And then the other study was done by Killingsworth, and it was on looking at how people are relating to what they’re doing in the moment and if that really matters. The idea is that our minds wander all the time and does it really matter? Does it matter if we’re really present? Everybody tells us it matters, but how much does it matter? How much does it really impact our experience day to day?

And so, they did this amazing study where they did experience sampling and they had these over 2,000 subjects, and they give them, it was an app on their phone, and they sort of could interrupt them through the day, and say, “Hey, what are you doing? Are you thinking about what you’re doing? And how much are you enjoying what you’re doing right now?” And so, they just collected all these variables from these people, and what they found was pretty amazing, actually.

First of all, this might not surprise you but, of course, when people are doing something that they enjoyed and they were fully present with it, they really enjoyed it. Interestingly enough though, when they asked people, “Hey, what are you doing right now? Are you liking it?” people are like, “Not so much.” “But how engaged are you with it?” And they’d be like, “Fully engaged.” And they’d say, “How much enjoyment are you getting? People reported just as high of positive engagement as they did when they were doing something that they actually enjoyed.

And what they really found, and this I think really comes back to the premise of my book, is that it’s when people were fully present with what they were doing, it didn’t matter as much. The actual content of what they were doing wasn’t driving how much wellbeing they were having in the moment. It literally was how present they were to what was happening that was really impacting the outcome of their enjoyment, positive emotion, and feeling engaged with what they were doing.

So, I thought that that study was very, very telling about the importance of how present we are in our day-to-day actions and our day-to-day life basically even when we might be having a difficult conversation with someone. The more present we are to it, the more benefit we can get out of it. So, those are two of my favorite studies.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite book?

Daphne Scott
My favorite book, I would have to say, I’m going to cite this one, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Have you heard of this book or read this book?

Pete Mockaitis
I have not read this one, no.

Daphne Scott
Oh, my gosh, okay. So, it is some of the most beautiful writings by Dillard, Annie Dillard. Some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read in a book. She opens up with this description of this tomcat that she’s living in sort of this kind of wooded shack type of thing, and this tomcat that comes into her room, and she just gives this amazing description of what this animal is like.

What I really love about the book is she literally would just go and watch. She’d sit out on this rock or she’d go out into the woods and she’d sit there, and she would just watch the most simplest of things, like a bug crawling across the grass, or the way the light was changing with the sun, and she would just write about. She writes about it.

And, to me, the book is just so representative of what it is to be fully present and what it is to really notice the tiniest of things that we sort of don’t give much attention to in our day-to-day existence. So, it’s one of my favorite books. I’ve read it like four times. Yeah, it’s not a leadership book, right?

Pete Mockaitis
But, in a way, it is. And how about a favorite tool, something you use to be more awesome at your job?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, a favorite tool. I use for my project and task management, I use the app Asana, and I’m a huge fan of their approach. It’s a flexible enough system. I practice quite from a productivity standpoint, tasks management, mindfulness of my stuff, David Allen’s approach in Getting Things Done, and that app works really well because it’s flexible enough and lets you set things up that way. It has great project-sharing tools and they have an app on the phone where I keep track of things with my assistants, so I really, really like it. And that’s pretty much my go-to for sure outside of my fancy pen. So, I do have some fancy pens that I like.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, tell us what brands. What do we get?

Daphne Scott
Well, I have a Mont Blanc pen that I really, really love. It’s a fountain pen but it has a cartridge in it instead of having to old-school put ink in it, and it’s like my favorite. And it’s black and it has a red cap. So, Mont Blanc is if I’m going to use a fancy pen, I will use that pen, yes, yes.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite habit?

Daphne Scott
A favorite habit. Meditation for sure. And reading in the morning. My ritual in the morning is I wake up, I do get a cup of coffee, that’s my favorite thing, and then I read for about 30 minutes, and then I do my meditation for about 30 to 45 minutes every morning. So, that’s my ritual. Those are my favorite habits for sure.

Pete Mockaitis
And is there a particular piece that you share that really seems to connect and resonate with folks; they quote it back to you often?

Daphne Scott
Yes. I think there are two. The biggest one was a statement I said earlier which is you always have all the time that you need to do the things that you want to do. That really lands for people. And you’ll never have enough time to do the things you don’t want to do. So, that one really lands for people. And I think the other thing that really lands for people is when I really allow them the space to discover that nothing is permanent. That’s a game-changer.

And once they realize it, they’re really trying to strive to keep things the same, hold onto the good times, keep away the bad times, which, by the way, isn’t a horrible thing for us to be wired that way. But I think what really lands for people is when I’m really telling them and getting them to understand that they don’t have to worry about the good times staying around or the bad times staying around, that nothing is permanent. So, that seems to really resonate.

Pete Mockaitis
And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Daphne Scott
I would point them to, they can go to my website www.WakingUpALeader.com. That’s where they can find the book. And, of course, the book is also on Amazon. And then they can message me there, and I also have a 10-week online leadership course, too, that they might want to check out if they’re interested in getting some of those really key critical skills to leading and living your life that could be helpful.

Pete Mockaitis
And do you have a final challenge or call to action for folks looking to be awesome at their jobs?

Daphne Scott
Yeah, I think my challenge that I would love to give to folks today to be awesome at their jobs is sit down once a week, clean up that list, and take a look at that calendar. That would be the challenge. Sit down once a week 30 minutes and see what happens. Just give it a shot. Give it a try. Yeah, that’d be my challenge.

Pete Mockaitis
Right. Daphne, it’s been fun. Yeah, I wish you great luck when it comes to all the ways you’re waking up and making it happen.

Daphne Scott
Yeah, thanks, man. This is super fun. I really appreciate the conversation. Thanks for having me on the show.