Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles What's up, party people? I'm Marie Forleo and for over 20 years I have been obsessed with learning what it takes to turn dreams into reality. You know, I started my company back in the day with no clue, no connections, no money, and over time grew it into something spectacular. I created the award winning show MarieTV, was named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation, and wrote the instant number one New York Times bestseller Everything Is Figureoutable. I've helped millions of people transform their businesses and lives, and guess what? Every week I'm going to help you take action and make the difference you were born to make, but please do not expect anything about this podcast to be traditional. We've got songs, weird sound effects, the occasion F bombs, maybe some fart jokes, if you're lucky, and anything else that makes me laugh. It's all fair game, because this is The Marie Forleo Podcast. If you're finding it hard to feel inspired, or creative, or energized right now, guess what? You are not alone. The emotional toll of this pandemic, man is it real, but there are steps you can take to start feeling better. So, in this episode we're going to talk about why it is vital to opt out of non-stop negative news and what to focus on instead. My case today is backed up by a unique combination of brain science, Milli Vanilli, and good old common sense. You're also going to hear from a special guest who's an expert on the power of good news, Mr. Tank Sinatra. But first a word from today's sponsor. I'm Marie Forleo and I quit writing boring copy after I discovered nobody wants to read that shit. If you have problems writing in a way that's true to your voice and helps convert browsers into buyers, The Copy Cure may be right for you. Check with your health professional and after she says she doesn't care about your writing skills, sign up for our free seven-day writing class at the copycure.com. That's the copycure.com. All right, here we go, people. First of all, thank you so much. We are loving the voicemails that y'all have been sending. If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about just Google “leave Marie Forleo a voicemail” and you will get the entire scoop. So, when we were listening to your voicemails this week we noticed a recurring theme. There's a lot of people not feeling like themselves these days, which makes a whole lot of sense given the fact we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Right? Folks are feeling lethargic and unfocused, and finding it harder and harder to just get things done. So, let's dive straight into today's Hey Marie segment and talk about some steps we can all take to start feeling better now. Hey Marie, this is Susmitha from Bangalore, India and I love your podcast, and your book, and basically everything about you. You are so freaking awesome and inspiring. Especially your energy. My question for you is, during these times of uncertainty it's hard to feel very creative or inspired or productive. So, even though technically we have more time on our hands, it's not very easy to do stuff. Usually we get into the sense of blah. You know? So, can you give me tips on how to get over that? Susmitha, great question. You are not alone, my love, but more importantly these feelings you're having are not your fault. In fact, outside of this global crisis there's another more insidious reason you might be feeling especially blah and low energy these days. And surprisingly Milli Vanilli has our answer. Seriously, though, right now most of us are consuming a lot more news than usual. I mean, we're checking the headlines when we wake up, maybe we're getting news alerts all day long, and then, let's be honest, we're probably watching even more news at night. Make no mistake, there is a direct connection between what you're watching, reading, and listening to all damn day, and how you feel. Your energy levels, your mood, your ambition. Now, to understand how this all fits together, let's look at the nature of both the news media and some simple neuroscience. For example, did you know that there's a long standing adage in the news industry that goes like this, "If it bleeds, it leads." I know it's a horrible statement, but it's true. Now, what does it mean? It means that many newspapers, TV and cable networks use fear and pain to hook our attention and keep us coming back for more. So, that jolt of adrenaline and the negativity, as weird and strange as this is going to sound, it can actually be addictive to our brains. Why is that? Because of something called negativity bias. So, negativity bias is something I've talked about many times before. It is the human tendency to pay more attention and give more weight to negative experiences over positive or neutral ones. This is not just some fancy pants psychological concept. This is real, people. Our brains are literally wired to notice more of the bad stuff and pretty much ignore the good stuff. It's evolutionary. We did, actually a whole MarieTV episode on this if you just Google “Marie Forleo negativity bias,” you will find it. So watching the news isn't just addictive, though, it's also terrible for your health. Non-stop negativity weakens your immune system. Right? Increases anxiety, and guess what? Ding, ding, ding. It reduces your ambition. So, what's the fix? What do we do about it? Two simple steps. Step number one. Reduce your traditional news consumption. And I'm talking no more than one serving per a day. So, here's how this looks in my life. Right now, I'm going to be honest, I am obsessed with watching New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his daily briefings. I love this guy. Every single night I literally get out my popcorn, I sit my ass down on the couch and I watch his updates on YouTube. Why do I do that? Well, he delivers the facts with precision and empathy. He puts the data first, and then he tells us his opinion last. And he always separates fact from his opinion. He's got a whole new PowerPoint slide on it. I love it. He also says cool things like this. Like, "Before you open your mouth why don't you go look in the mirror." I love him. Anyway. Every single time I watch, no matter how bad, or terrible, or painful the facts are, I actually leave feeling informed, and energized, and hopeful. It's so weird. It's like taking a Xanax in the middle of this pandemic, but then getting really inspired and wanting to change the world. It's awesome. I think it's a reflection of his leadership and his communication style, and honestly I appreciate both. Now, look, before anybody wants to come for me on this podcast thinking that I'm suggesting that you ignore the news, or look past the suffering of others, or pretend this all isn't happening, I need you to calm down. I am not suggesting that any of us turn a blind eye to anything negative, nor am I suggesting that we close our hearts and not be aware of the suffering of others. Do you know me? Have you paid attention to my work for any amount of time? If not, you need to get yourself educated, because look, there is a distinction here. There is nuance. There is a limit to how much negative news any human being should be taking in each and every day. So, yes, you got to be aware of the facts, yes, you got to know what's happening so you can help, but no, you should not be watching non-stop negative news all day long and then feeling like crap. I believe we have to take our pain and our hurt, and turn it into hope. And in order to do that you have to have the energy to take productive action. So, back to you, Susmitha. I want you to find a local news source that actually gives you the facts, and leaves you feeling strong. Limit your intake of the facts to maybe, I don't know, five to 10 minutes max and then just be done for the day. And once you do that, we are going to move onto step number two. Increase your good news consumption and use what I call the five-to-one rule. My author friend Rick Hanson taught me this one. Our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones. Again, that is negativity bias at work. So, some studies have shown that in relationships it actually takes five positive interactions to make up for a single negative one. And I think we should apply this five-to-one rule to our consumption of negative news. Don't you think? I think. So, here's how it's going to work. From this moment forward each time you choose to consume one bit of traditional news, seek out five pieces of good news to counterbalance it. That's right. So, for every little bit of negativity you allow into that beautiful mind of yours go find five positive, or inspiring, or funny, or hopeful things that are happening. And here's an example to get you started. So, there's this woman, right? Who lives alone and is completely isolated during this pandemic. She's got no spouse, no kids, no pets, no one to be in quarantine with. So, instead of feeling sorry for herself, or letting fear or negativity take over, guess what? She decided to use what she had in her kitchen to make a difference to others. So, she cooked up this big old tray of eggplant parm and she posted an update on Nextdoor, which is this app here in the states that helps neighbors stay connected to each other. And she said, "Look, I just made a big tray of eggplant parm, if you're hungry, if you don't have food right now come by my front porch and get it." And so, she left these individually wrapped portions on her front porch so people could just safely come and get something to eat. And it was such a hit that she's been making meals for her community every few days. So, check it out. Right? Instead of watching non-stop negative news all day long, or feeling bad, or sorry for herself, she decided to do something productive instead. She's not only serving up eggplant parm, people, she is serving up some good news too. I mean, don't you feel inspired by this? I don't even feel inspired, I actually feel hungry. Anyway. If you're still not convinced on the power of looking for good news, then I think you need to meet my next guest Mr. Tank Sinatra. He's the founder of the popular website and Instagram account @tanksgoodnews. So, Tank, thanks so much for joining me on The Marie Forleo Podcast. Today we are talking about the power of good news, and I was like who better to have on the show to talk about this with me than you? The guy. Yeah. Exactly. The guy. Can you tell us why, and how you started your sites? So, I'm 39 years old. I've been on this planet that long and from as early as I can remember I didn't understand why the news, all they wanted to talk about, I remember being a kid and being like, "The world seems like a scary place." Growing up in New York there was always kidnappings, and robberies, and murders, and what I quickly learned is that none of that stuff was happening around me, and if I didn't get it from an external source I didn't have to feel bad about everything going on bad in the world. Because, if you talked about neuroscience you know that the brain really doesn't know the difference between what it's imagining and what is real. So, if you're watching the news, and your mouth is dry and your heart is pounding, and you're angry and then somebody says something and you're snapping at them, now there's misplaced anger going on, just because you had to watch this thing that you're addicted to. I don't blame the media or us. I think it's just one of those things where somebody who wanted to make a lot of money figured out this weakness that humans have, and it's a weakness for negativity. Yeah. Negativity bias. That's what we just talked about. The brain is hardwired to give more attention to the negative than the positive. It's evolutionary. It's just part of how we're built. Yeah. We want to survive. Yeah. So, if there's a snake on this pathway you got to remember not to go down that pathway. So, I guess I didn't figure it out, I just kind of experimented and I had seen some really beautiful stories go viral over the years. I've been on the internet a long time, and I don't know, I just said, "What the media is doing is they're creating a visceral reaction in people. That reaction happens to be negative. What if I could create a visceral reaction that's positive where, instead of your mouth getting dry or you getting angry, you're crying tears of joy or you're getting a little heart flutter, or you're feeling for the first time in however long that the world is not a scary place, and it's not out to get you.” So, I just try and pollute my brain with positivity as much as possible. I love that. I love that. Yeah. I'm actually just curious about this, personally. How do you find the good news? Where does it come from? Do you have other people that search for it? Is this all you? Do people submit things? How does it come about? No. So, the thing is, it's really not that hard to find. That's the trick. You would think that... I remember when I started the page, Hurricane Harvey was going on and the local news is... I was posting only huge stories. J. J. Watt raising 20 million, the Cajun Navy driving hundreds of miles to rescue people. And I remember I happened to have the news on one day in the house and I saw a video or a story of a little four-year-old boy who had fallen off a deck in the Bronx and died. Right? It wasn't Eric Clapton's son falling out of a window, it wasn't some powerful person's kid, it wasn't extenuating circumstances, it was just some family who lost their child, and that made the news. And what occurred to me was that it doesn't always need to be big news, it could be little news and if I attack it with that attitude I'm never going to run out of good news. Ever. And it's just, it's so easy to find. I mean, at this point... There was one point very early on in the development of the page, maybe like two weeks in where I realized, I almost felt like my work was done with the page, because not only was the page growing, but people were then starting to send me stories and I was like, "That means they're turning around from the Instagram page, going out into the world and finding their own good news." Yes. The ripple effect has begun. So, people send it. I like finding my own. I have a bunch of different sources that I go to. Every big media outlet has a good news page or section, or human interest, it's just buried behind the shootings, and the fires, and the coronavirus and all that. I'll tell you, I live for NBC Nightly News. At the end there's Inspiring America, there's all the segments at the end that are the human interest stories, and it's like, I live for them. And they're amazing. They are so amazing. So, I just want to appreciate on you and thank you for what you do in pulling them all together for us. I don't know if you want to talk into this or not, and if it's not interesting that's cool. I was wondering if you could talk about the difference between toxic positivity and genuine, helpful positivity? This notion of toxic positivity is around that... It's almost this subtle nuance. Right? Where people are like, "Never give up." Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's just going down this one side where it almost feels like there's a lack of empathy or compassion for a whole range of positivity that could also include the fact, "You know what? Sometimes you do have to cut your losses and that's not necessarily negative." Or, "You know what? Things are hard, and it's okay to take a rest, and then you get back up." It's a bit more of a, I would say, holistic version of positivity that most of us can relate to, versus a toxic version, which would make people feel like, "Oh my gosh, if I take a nap I'm just losing at life." So, the reason that I was confused when you brought that up, is because I remember coming across that and landing on the fact that, that's just not positivity to me. That's not even… That's not toxic positivity. There's a couple of people out there on the internet who... I always want to be careful for a few things. One, I try to make sure that my page, the things that I post, the stories that I pick, the captions that I write are never too sappy or preachy, because I never want it to come across like I don't know what's going on in the world. Or I'm somehow unaware of the fact that bad things are going on. I don't have my head buried in the sand. I'm not Pollyanna. I just happen to look at the good news 80%, bad news 20%. And the news is just bad news. Right. Right, right, right. It's not 95/5, it's not 100/0, it's not 50/50. Because like you said, the five-to-one. You got to offset that somehow. Totally. I was doing research too and there's this old adage, right? I've been running my business now for 20 years and I'm just fascinated. I'm fascinated with advertising, I'm fascinated with media, fascinated with commercials, and there's this old adage, "If it bleeds, it leads." Right? Yeah. And that's been around forever. It's been around forever, just speaks into what you're talking about. So, what do you think that we as individuals can do? And we talked about this a little bit already. Someone listening to this right now. Getting on board going, "Yes. I want to get this five-to-one ratio down. I want to start looking for it in my life." And let's say they're in India. Actually, today's question was from one of our viewers in Bangalore India, earlier on in this podcast. Anything that you would say to them to do, to start cultivating this in their own communities, in their own countries, in their own world, wherever they are? Yeah. I mean, it starts internally. It starts with one. It's one of those things where if you try and bite off more than you can chew, you wind up getting frustrated and saying, "Oh, this is fake. This is not real. I can't actually do this." Yeah. I'm trying to think of the best way to put it. I read a page of probably 10 different books a day. Maybe two pages.