Episode 35: Doc Parsley on How Sleep Makes Everything Better [The Amiel Show]

Sleep helps you perform better at everything.

Everything.

At work. At home. And all the places in between.

Now, what if you’re less interested in doing more than in being the best version of yourself?

Sleeps helps there, too.

This is the message of Doctor Kirk Parsley, known widely as Doc Parsley. He is a medical doctor, sleep and hormonal modulation expert, consultant to corporations and professional teams, and former Sleep Medicine expert for Navy Special Warfare.

One other distinction: Doc Parsley is physically strong. Who better to disabuse us of the notion that “sleep is for the weak” than a former Navy SEAL and competitive athlete?

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Highlights

  • 5:00 What persuades people to pay attention to their sleep
  • 22:00 How our ancestors maximized slow wave sleep
  • 26:30 How REM sleep cements everything you learned that day
  • 33:30 How sleep can help you when starting a new leadership role
  • 39:30 Doc Parsley’s journey from competitive athlete to Navy SEAL to physician to sleep expert
  • 44:00 Navy SEALs with blood panels you’d expect in an out-of-shape 65-year-old man
  • 57:00 The great results you can get from one week of great sleep
  • 59:00 Sleep hygiene
  • 1:02:30 How catching up on sleep is like paying off credit card debt
  • 1:08:30 The ideal length of a nap
  • 1:12:30 Perimenopausal and menopausal women and their hormonal and sleep challenges

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The time you get better at everything is while you sleep

–Doc Parsley  Tweet this quote

If I gave you $1M to make sleep your #1 priority for a week, could you do it?

–Doc Parsley Tweet this quote

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In My Mailbox–January 28, 2016

Hearing your thoughts, whether in the comments section or via email, makes my day. Here is a mix–some recent, some from a while back.

We used Practice Greatness today for the kick off session of year 2 of a leadership program – well received – good engagement. —Y.D.

Y.D., I’m thrilled to hear that you used the book and that it supported the important work you do in education.

Yeah!   you’re rockin it.  Great posts.  I sense a catching of your stride with social media and blogging. —M.D

M.D., thanks for reading and the kind comment!

You say on the podcast [Turn Toward Others, A Jedi Leadership Trick] at 6:00:

  • turning away increases conflict by producing hurt feelings and causes relationships to end relatively quickly….
  • turning against leads to conflict avoidance by suppressing feelings and causes relationships to end more slowly….

I would think that the exact opposite is true.  Try reversing the words “away” and “against” above.  Here it is:

  • turning against increases conflict by producing hurt feelings and causes relationships to end relatively quickly….
  • turning away leads to conflict avoidance by suppressing feelings and causes relationships to end more slowly….

That makes as much or more sense, right? Especially how turning away leads to conflict avoidance…–S.L.

S.L. thank you for persisting, because you totally nailed it. I did commit a reversal – and fortunately reversible – error.

Folks, keep the questions, comments, and corrections coming!

Episode 34: Disown Others’ Emotions, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

Just as other people are not responsible for your emotions, you are not responsible for theirs.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that you likely act as though you are.

It happens every day. Someone on your team is angry they were passed over for a promotion. Your peer glares at you when you don’t have their back in a meeting. Your spouse gives you that “look” because you’re late for dinner again.

About one tenth of a second later, you feel the impact in your body. “Oh crap,” you think to yourself. “I just pissed her off.”

Nice thought. But you’re wrong.

You can’t piss someone off. It’s not in your power. The person who is angry generated that emotion herself. She is responsible for the emotion. Not you.

And once you embody this understanding, your life will never be the same again.

So it’s time to stop taking responsibility for what is not rightly yours. It’s time to disown others’ emotions.

That’s the name of this Jedi Leadership Trick and the theme of this 10-minute. Listen in.

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Episode 33: Own Your Own Emotions, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

In this 15 minute episode, you will learn one of the keys to emotional mastery: taking responsibility for your own emotions.

Why is it unhelpful to you and others to blame them for how you are feeling?

What changes when you start taking responsibility for your emotions?

Listen in as I answer these questions and describe the five levels of competence of owning your own emotions.

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Episode 32: Turn Toward Others, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

In this 7 minute episode, I describe a simple and powerful method for increasing trust with others.

Learn how to improve relationships even while disagreeing with others.

And how to turn microscopic interactions into positive changes in your public identity.

Listen to the Podcast

Subscribe to the Show on iTunes (It’s Easy!)

  1. Sign into iTunes using your ID and password
  2. Search the iTunes store for “Amiel Show”
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READ: Episode 26: Help Me Understand, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

What to do when you stand someone up

It happens to the best of us.

Amiel looks at watch

You make a commitment to meet someone. Then an interruption happens in your world–a lengthy meeting, calendar mishap, traffic, or a mental mistake–so you don’t make it. And–now here is the key point–you don’t or can’t contact them in advance to say that you won’t be there.

We call this “standing someone up.”

If people were dogs, the person stood up would wait a few minutes, then look for a new bone to chew. If people were turtles, they’d withdraw their neck back into the shell. If we were bonobos, they’d find some nearby genitals to rub.

But people are human beings.

So the person you stood up is likely to have a very human and very predictable response. They’ll feel surprised (unless you always do this to them, which is another story entirely) and upset (unless they didn’t want to see you right now, which is still another tale). Then, depending on how they tend to interpret their experiences–which differs by gender, cultural background, and Enneagram type– they will experience some combination of anger, frustration, and hurt.

In short, most people who get stood up are not happy campers.

Like all broken promises, this moment can go one of several ways. If you flub it, the relationship can take a dip south. If you handle it skillfully, you can maintain or even build trust.

So what do you do?

  1. Calm and center yourself. It happens rarely, but when I stand someone up, I tend to feel shame because keeping promises is very important to me. It’s an instantaneous and habitual reaction. So I’ve learned it’s important for me to calm and center myself before I do anything else. Two Feet, Five Breaths or a similar practice works well.
  2. Get clear on what happened. What is the true reason why you weren’t able to make it? What is the real story behind why you didn’t give them a heads up? Get clear on what kept you from keeping your promise, because you’ll need this in a moment.
  3. Decide how you will contact them. The classic advice is to pick up the phone because this makes it personal and live. So this is a good default. However, we now have many ways of contacting people, so ask yourself: what medium will this person most appreciate? Also, if the goal now is to mend the relationship, maybe it’s time to question the conventional wisdom of calling someone when they’re upset. Does this really serve them and the relationship? Only if you are capable of staying cool when they express their upset. Otherwise, a text, email, or handwritten note that you can drop off that day might produce better results. What if you get their voice mail? This can be a blessing because you can can be real and personal without the other person having to respond right away.
  4. Apologize. A short and direct apology often works better than a long and indirect one. Here’s why: the reason you stood them up is rarely complicated. And if it is, there should be a simple way to sum it up. The longer you blather on, the more likely the other person is to question whether you (a) understood what happened and (b) are taking responsibility for it.
  5. Listen and acknowledge. Mending a broken promise isn’t a one-way act. The goal isn’t to speak until you’ve dissolved your guilt and then move on. The goal is to mend the broken promise. So if the other person expresses upset or tells you the impact on them, acknowledge their words. For this, repeating the words “I’m sorry” is less important than paraphrasing what you hear and telling them it makes total sense. For example, two decades ago I was helping run a gubernatorial race in Michigan. One day the candidate cancelled a meet-and-greet with thirty sharp young lawyers, veritable rising stars, at the top two law firms in the state. I was able to reach the three organizers by phone so they could cancel an hour in advance. So it wasn’t a pure example of standing someone up. Still, when I met the organizers for tea, they were furious. One explained that she had carefully reached out one-on-one to a dozen colleagues from both political parties to get them to come. She also put her reputation on the line by saying, “This guy’s for real.” So, when she had to look each person in the eye and say, “The event is cancelled,” she felt embarrassed. So she really let me have it. (The fact that I was also angry at the candidate for cancelling was irrelevant, and I don’t believe I mentioned it). The others were less angry but equally vocal. I spent over an hour listening, paraphrasing what I heard, and acknowledging that their experience was totally understandable. Boy, was that a challenge for me! This was two years before I started meditating, so it took every ounce of patience to stay grounded and centered. And the upshot? I never heard from the most angry lawyer again. However, one of the others became a regular volunteer for the campaign and the third invited me to a couple social gatherings.
  6. Make a new offer. This step is really important. You’ve broken a commitment, so it’s important to make a new one. An offer is a commitment to bring about a particular result by a specific time frame if the other person accepts. The offer could be as simple as rescheduling to a different date. In some cases, this is enough. However, you may want to offer something extra to further acknowledge the impact you have caused and “make it up” to the other person. If the meeting you missed was at your office or a neutral location, offer to go to them. If you were going to each pay your own way, offer to treat them. Or think of something else you could offer that they would value. And if you don’t know, ask. In fact, regardless of what you offer, you will be asking if they’d like to accept it. (“Will this work for you” or “How about it?”) So you might as well include an extra phrase that lets them tell you what they would value most. You say, “Would this work for you, or is there a better way I can make this up to you?” You don’t have to accept their counteroffer, but it’s nice to invite it.
  7. Fulfill the new promise. Do what you say you are going to do. To ensure this happens, remind yourself of the conditions that caused you to break the original promise, and change the conditions.

That’s my take. Anything you want to add that has worked (or bombed) for you? Shoot me an email at amiel at amielhandelsman.com.