Happiness Begins With Gratitude

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Marketing Podcast with Dr. Sophia Godkin

Headshot of Sophia GodkinIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Sophia Godkin. She’s a Health Psychologist, Happyologist, and Happiness, Relationship & Transformational Coach. She’s also the author of The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal: Give Thanks, Practice Positivity, Find Joy.

Key Takeaway:

During her Ph.D. journey, Dr. Sophia Godkin found herself under an incredible amount of stress that led her to an internal realization that life could be lived in a more harmonious internal state. There is so much truth in the statement: “All you have to do is decide to be happy.” But how many people actually have the tools, resources, and mental mindset to be able to decide to be happy? There are many things that actually prevent us from the decision to be happy. In this episode, Dr. Sophia Godkin dives into the simple truths about finding happiness.

Questions I Ask Dr. Sophia Godkin:

  • [2:23] Will you give us a sense of your journey to becoming a happyologist?
  • [3:43] Why is it so simple yet so hard to decide to be happy?
  • [6:35] Does calling yourself a happyologist ever feel like you have a target on your back and you’re not allowed to have bad days?
  • [8:11] Can you make the connection between gratitude and happiness?
  • [9:57] Can you describe the 5-Minute Gratitude Journal and how it’s structured? And how do you suggest people use it?
  • [13:38] Do you attribute anything to the success of your book?
  • [15:02] What do you think about the relationship between work and happiness?
  • [18:03] What are a couple of things that you commonly tell people that they can start doing now to make a ‘happiness’ difference in their life?
  • [21:16] How do you begin your day?
  • [22:06] Where can people find out more about you and your work?

More About Dr. Sophia Godkin:

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John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the MarTech podcast, hosted by my friend, Ben Shapiro brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network with episodes you can listen to in under 30 minutes, the MarTech podcast shares stories from world class marketers who use technology to generate growth and E business and career success. Recent episode, one of my favorite extending the lifetime value of your customer. You know, I love to talk about that. Listen to the MarTech podcast, wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:43): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Dr. Sophia Godkin. She's a health psychologist, happy and happiness relationship and transf a lot. There's a lot of title in there. Transformational coach. She's also the author of the five minute gratitude journal. Give thanks, practice positivity. Fine joy. So Sophia, thanks for joining me.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (01:12): Thank you so much for having me, John and I take full responsibility for you fumbling there in the introduction, but just all of those titles, it's hard to leave one out that they're all really meaningful to me. So so for that introduction,

John Jantsch (01:24): Well, my longtime listeners know that I just roll with it. I don't, I don't do redos so that's wonderful. The, the, I, I can say though, that I'm absolutely certain, you're the first happy I've had on the show. I'm positive of that. I'm

Dr. Sophia Godkin (01:39): Also positive of that. Yes, because I made up the term. So ,

John Jantsch (01:44): But, but to tell you the truth, I really, I kind of wanted to do this for personal reasons. I've got a couple issues to work through today. Is that all right with you? oh my

Dr. Sophia Godkin (01:52): Gosh. No, totally. You, you might be being sarcastic, but I'm, I think sometimes that vulnerability and that sort of in the moment support is, is yeah, can be really helpful to others. So I'll let you decide how we spend our time. All right.

John Jantsch (02:05): Well, I, I would be lying if I didn't say I have a lot of guests on here because I really want to chat with them and hear what they have to say. Not only to record it, but I get, I get as much outta doing these interviews as any listeners that's for sure. So tell me a little bit about, uh, we're gonna get into the five minute gratitude journal, um, and your work in general, but give me a, give us a sense of kind of your journey to becoming a pathologist. And as we were talking before we got started in Boise, Idaho right now.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (02:33): Yeah. Thanks so much for that, that question, John, I often joke that I had to get, get a PhD in stress management in order to learn how to manage my own stress. And it's, it's not a joke. That was my journey, but that was the very beginning of my journey of understanding that life could be lived better. Life could be lived in a more harmonious internal state. And it took me being a lot of under a lot of stress and sort of having that internal realization that, oh my gosh, this isn't working out for me and, and what can I do to make it better? So, yeah, that, that was all going on during my, my PhD journey and life really did provide me with the tools and teachers I needed at the time and that continues to happen. And I'm so grateful for it. And, and I'm a natural teacher. I'm a natural share. I'm a natural writer, I'm a natural coach. So it's only fitting that I, everything I learn and just wanna share with others. So yeah, it took a, a lot of challenges along the way, the challenges don't end, we just learn how to relate to them differently. And so, yeah. Uh, that's a little bit of my journey. I hope that's, that's

John Jantsch (03:33): That? That's great. It's so simple to talk about this idea of, of just deciding to be happy, a big cuz that's really what it ends up being quite frankly, to some degree. So why is it so hard for you? It seems so simple. Yeah. And yet it's so hard.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (03:47): Absolutely. John. Yeah, it does seem simple and it is hard and let's, let's use what you said there as, as a sort of entry point into that. The answer to that, all you have to do is decide to be happy and there's so, so much truth in that you just have to just to decide to be happy, but how many people actually have the tools and resources and mental mindset to be able to decide to be happy? So there are many things that prevent us from that decision to be happy, right? Some of us don't think that we can be happy, right. Based on the experiences we've had in our lives, based on the sorts of things that we have lived through. We don't know that life number one can be happy. And number two, that we can make a decision to be happy that there is choice involved there. Right? So until we, until either life shows us or we again have have some, some, some experiences that invite us into that, that realization and provide us with the tools to, to exercise that choice and that decision to be happy. We can't make that. We can't make that choice. There is no choice to be made. Yeah.

John Jantsch (04:48): And I think that you, you hit on a point. I think a lot of people have spent a lot of years sort of going the other direction or having people tell them to go the other direction. I, I work with so many entrepreneurs and, and there's so much, there's not only stress and that there's just a lot of self-doubt. And a lot of people telling, you know, I, I had somebody on last week. I, I, I, I think, and, and he was supposed to be, his parents said, oh, growing up, he was supposed to be a doctor. He didn't wanna be a doctor. And felt like for so many years that he had let his parents down, even though on paper, terribly, terribly successful. So I think a lot of people really, uh, struggle. That's like the key, one of the keys down unlocking I'm sure. And people that you work with.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (05:29): Absolutely. Yeah. And that's a great example, John, because sometimes people think that it's trauma or these, these really big traumatic experiences that prevents us from being who we really are, but there are so many smaller versions of that, that, that prevent us from stepping into our full potential and what you, what you described as just a belief structure, right. A belief structure that exists in our society that exists in our family and culture and all of us have that in some way. Right. Depending on the culture that we came from, um, and the society and the specific city and place that, that we grow up in, right. We all have some beliefs that we've been trained to adopt. Right. And we, until we choose differently, those are the beliefs and the structures that we live with. So yeah, I'm not surprised to hear that the experience that, that this person had, because we all have them in some way, and there is hope is hope, right? That's the great part about it. There, there is hope. There are things that you can do to, to help lead yourself in, in the direction of, of being more of the decision maker in your own life. Uh, and being more of that active agent of change.

John Jantsch (06:30): So I wanna get into a little bit of that, but I, I have to ask this, calling yourself a happy O does, does it ever feel like you have a, to target on your back? Like if you have a bad day, you're not allowed

Dr. Sophia Godkin (06:42): Oh, another great question, John. I used to feel that way. I used to feel a lot of pressure, but one of the things I say is that happiness is very little about being happy all the time. Actually, if you're trying to be happy all the time, you can't really be happy. , that's

John Jantsch (06:57): Like, it's stress, right?

Dr. Sophia Godkin (06:59): Yeah. It's so much stress. And so what, what I really encourage people to adopt is, is very genuine and, and authentic perception of what happiness really is. Right. There's a version of happiness that actually doesn't require us to do so much and to be so much and to try so hard. So actually being a pathologist these days to be is a relief. Right. Cause it means all it means is that I, I have the tools and resources to relate to life in a different way that allows me to be content no matter what's happening. And, and that's yeah, yeah. Even though the title is so, so strong and fierce, it's a lot about changing the definition of happiness. Yeah.

John Jantsch (07:35): Yeah. And I would agree with that. I think, well, it's always, uh, something to work on to me I'm, I'm, I'm most joyful and happy when I'm consciously mindful, which is pretty simple thing to do really . So I think that that's, uh, I, I think a lot of the folks I work with, it's worrying about what happened yesterday and worry about what's gonna happen tomorrow. That causes the greatest deal of unhappiness.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (07:59): Yeah. Yeah. And I'm glad, I'm glad to hear that you found, you found that that recipe of happiness that works for you. And it's very much about that understanding who we are and, and what that little golden nugget is for us.

John Jantsch (08:13): So your book, the five minute gratitude journal make the connection between gratitude and happiness

Dr. Sophia Godkin (08:19): well, you just made it, John, you, you know, you mentioned the power of, uh, mindfulness and being in the present moment. And there's nothing like gratitude that can drop us into that present moment. And that realization that what I have right now and where I am right now is enough. It is perfect actually. And it is quite good, right? Our mind is drawn to focus on the negative. It's just the inherent bias that our mind has. And so gratitude helps us to sort of, what's the word I'm looking for to contrast, right. Or negate that, that bias that we naturally have. And that's the connection between gratitude and happiness once you're in that moment, once you're noticing things to appreciate that are always there, right? It's just, again, a decision or a choice. Do I focus on those things or do I focus on other things that are there that are maybe not so good? And when we focus on, on what's there, some of it being good, right. That's when we're grateful and inherently happy.

John Jantsch (09:13): Yeah. It's amazing how often you can have an amazing day, all kinds of great things happen. Life's great. And then like one really bad thing happens and that like spoils it all does it cause I choose to focus on

Dr. Sophia Godkin (09:25): Yeah. You know, it does, if we think that, and this is, this is the normative sort of sort of thought process is that when bad things happen, it's bad. Yeah. But bad things happening doesn't have to be bad. Actually it, it could just be part of the normal flow of life, which it is. So it's, it's again, more about changing how we perceive and respond to those, those various situations in our lives. Some will be happy. Some will be sad. Some will cause anger, some will cause frustration. Right. And it's it's how do I, how do I feel about that and how, how do I respond to that?

John Jantsch (09:57): So describe the book and, and how it's structured and then, and kind of how you suggest people use it.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (10:02): Thank you for asking John. So the book is, is the, the, the primary focus of the book is on prompts that encourage gratitude. And I was really actually mindful about the, the creation of these prompts. They're really meant to put you in a state of gratitude, um, not just asking you to list five things that you're grateful for, for, but really to get into that feeling of gratitude. Cuz gratitude is an emotion. It's an experience, right? In order for it to be effective, it really has to be that experience. So each of these prompts is designed to really invite you to step into that feeling of gratitude. That experience of gratitude and book also contains quotes because folks find them to be really inspiring. And there's nothing better than being inspired by the wisdom of, of leaders who came before us. And we also have affirmations.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (10:46): Now affirmations are an invitation to again, notice the positive in your life. Sometimes affirmations are taken out of context and used as a way to sort of sugar coat situations and, and put rose colored glasses on. And I always encourage people that if an affirmation doesn't feel natural to you do not use it right. Switch it up so that it, it really invites you to be who you are and start where you are. Affirmations are really powerful when they acknowledge and validate where you are now and then invite you to maybe step forward or, or, or step into a goal that you have.

John Jantsch (11:22): So, so I should stop saying I love sits, and just let that go. Okay.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (11:26): Probably if you don't love sits probably yes. I would encourage you to stop saying that. But you, what you can say is I don't mind sit ups and I'm curious to see what, what doing sits will feel like tomorrow morning, right? That feels a little better.

John Jantsch (11:40): My wife and I actually go through the pages together and discuss the prompts. So I think that's, that's a, a legitimate way to use the book. I suggest

Dr. Sophia Godkin (11:49): I love that. I love hearing that, Don, thank you so much. There have been at least a handful of people before you who've let me know that that's what they're doing. And it just brings so much joy to my heart because again, the very, the very same things that allow us to be more content within ourselves, allow us and encourage us to be content in our relationships. Right. And sharing that ability to notice what's going well with ourselves, with our relationship, with our partner in the world, in the community, right? All of that just contributes to a relationship satisfaction. So I'm so glad to hear that you're using the book that

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John Jantsch (13:23): Switching to the lovely that the book is bringing joy in helping lives, but let's switch. Let's put the author hat on the book is also selling extremely well. And do you is your first time author. So I'm, I'm guessing that you were like, here we go, let's see if this thing sells. What do you attribute to, do you attribute anything to the success?

Dr. Sophia Godkin (13:45): Thanks for asking that question, John. I think so. The way I look at sales or, or purchases is that people are being receptive. I , and people are receptive when they feel that there is something, um, being offered that they need. And so that's what I attribute the success to. It's it's creating something that I think offers practical skill, a practical tool for something that people need help with in their lives, which is of course a greater sense of happiness, of greater sense of being able to enjoy life no matter whether we're in the middle of a, a global pandemic or something else. So yeah, when I think of success, I think of the right tool at the right time.

John Jantsch (14:24): Yeah. I wonder if not to downplay the success in any shape, but I wonder if the, if there's a Sur sort of a, uh, a renewed searching for this idea of what to be grateful for. That's going on little bit right now.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (14:38): Yeah. That's a great, a great point, John, and, and it's a curiosity that I have as well, crises tend to inspire that, that search in us. And if anything, I think this, this latest global crisis that we've, that we've had in in many ways and in individual crisis as well, it wouldn't be unlikely to, to fathom that, that it inspired this, this new search for happiness, this new search for maintaining pleasure and maintaining a sense of meaning in life.

John Jantsch (15:03): Let's talk a little bit about the relationship between work and happiness. Um, there's so many people that I don't know what the percentage is. Let's say 50% of their life , you know, in some, some, uh, cases is, is spent in work, doing work that either makes 'em happy or doesn't make 'em happy or, uh, allows 'em to do something that makes 'em happy. You work with a lot of individuals that probably come to you as people , but some of their baggages packed up in their work.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (15:36): Absolutely. Yes. When, when we work with, with people as, as you and I both do the, the employee, the colleague, the entrepreneur is the human being, right. There's no separation between the work that I do and who I am in most cases. Right. Right. As much as we would try to leave work at work, whether we're an entrepreneur or, or we work for a corporation, it's rarely how it works. Right. We are in an ideal sense, a whole person. Right. And we bring that whole person wherever we go. So yes, it's, it's really important to find pleasure in, in our work or to choose work, that that, that can bring us pleasure. And a sense of meaning, because as you mentioned, a work is such a big part of our life. And it's, it's interesting. I think that our entymology or the way we use words, leads us to think about work and life sort of separately. But again, it really isn't. So any decision we make in work affects our life and should, should be made together.

John Jantsch (16:28): Mm-hmm I think it's also the duality. Like, am I going to find work that makes me happy be, or am I happy in the work I'm doing? That's I think that a lot of people struggle with this, oh, I have to find this thing that just lights me on fire. And I've seen a lot of people where it has to find you . So I, I think that's a, I think that's a real challenge, cuz I think a lot of people have been sold on this idea that I have to define my purpose and I have to go find this. I have to sit in a room until I decide what I wanna be when I grow up. And I, I think that causes as much stress as, as anything.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (17:00): Yeah. Yeah. I, I love how you phrased that, John. I think why not let people off the hook, there are people like me who will, who can't, uh, live, unless they are doing the very thing that they love and you know, again, that passion is that passion at home at work it's all the same, but that's only one personality type one way of being, and there are so many others, so there are plenty of people I work with. Yeah. For whom it's not that important. Right. They love numbers. And as long as they're doing numbers, they're happy at work. Right. And so let's let everybody off the hook and just say, as long as your job is using some of your strengths, as long as, so you're, you're enjoying the people you're working with or getting along with the people you're working with. Right. Cause that's, that's incredibly important. And then, then yeah, we don't have to talk about purpose and fulfillment, even though some of us love to do that. Right. It's not, it's not the goal for everybody. Everybody's different. And, and it's important to acknowledge that. Yeah.

John Jantsch (17:49): So when you see, or, or may, maybe this doesn't have to be in the context of seeing patients, what are, what are two, three things that you commonly tell people to get started on this? Some people might call them hacks or, you know, but what are, what are kind of some of the things that you look at almost everybody and say, I, well, here are a couple things you can

Dr. Sophia Godkin (18:09): Do. Ooh. Very good question, John. I'm gonna have to think about that one for just a second. Everybody. There are common themes. Definitely. And there are common challenges that we experience and we all kind of start in these challenges at a different place or, or at least people come see me at a different place in that journey. That being said. Yeah. I think, I think a few things that we can really to take away from having worked with people is the first would be don't ignore your emotions, do not ignore your emotions. Oftentimes people stay in those transition spaces or spaces of, I don't know what to do when they're ignoring their emotions. I don't know what to do usually comes from. Mm. I kind of know what to do, but I'm, I'm afraid to face what that is and that's okay. It's totally okay to hang out there for a while, but just know that your emotions are trying to tell you something and that's where journaling your journal, my journal, that's where those sorts of things can really be supportive tools to getting to know what's really going on for you in your inner world.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (19:04): What are your thoughts and your emotions trying to tell you. So that would be one hack. Uh, and it's not a, a quick hack, right? It's, it's something that you learn more with practice and that becomes more natural over time. But it's definitely a hack. When I think of the long term, like if there was one skill that I wish everybody would know, it would be how to tend to your emotions, right. And how to, how to integrate your emotions into your life. So that would be one another would be to trust your gut, to really trust your instincts, trust your intuition. And that's again, where, where we're all so different, right? Some for some people it's really that connection with their heart. Right? My heart is telling me this. I can't ignore it for other people. It, it can be kind of, kind of logical, right?

Dr. Sophia Godkin (19:41): As long as it's, it's not that overwhelming logic, it can come, come from our system of logic. Right. So really understanding how it is that your inner system, your inner guidance speaks to you and not shoving that away. A lot of those belief systems that we talked about earlier that we grew up with and that we have trouble, trouble sort of integrating into our life, they are what sort of impedes our ability to listen to our, to our intuition and inner guidance. And that's why it's so important to become familiar with, with what that looks like for us as individuals.

John Jantsch (20:09): Well, I suspect as you've done this, uh, for, or a number of years, you, you realize there's no recipe, right? It's everybody is unique and , and like telling somebody how to be happy is probably hard to do. Isn't it?

Dr. Sophia Godkin (20:20): Thank you for that. Yes, John. Yes. And I, I struggle with that on, on these, these public platforms and, and social media, all, all I wanna do is talk to everybody one by one. And that's my favorite thing to do, because then I know you and I, I know what you need and I can tell what you need pretty quickly, but speaking to thousands or millions of people at a time. Yes. It, it presents challenges because we are different. Uh, we need different things. We need to hear different things at different times. So yes. How to be happy is the question I wake up with every day. And it's, it's the question behind my articles, my books, every speaking, engagement, everything. And yeah, I just hope that the, the right seeds are planted for people that the next thing they hear from somebody else like yourself or, or another author that they read from can sort of help them on that journey. So

John Jantsch (21:03): You've written a book that obviously fits very well into more rituals. You mentioned journaling already do. Are, are you a practicer of, of kind of getting your day started in a certain way?

Dr. Sophia Godkin (21:15): Yes. Big time. One of my favorite ways to start the day is by moving my body without some form of exercise in the morning, I, I just, I don't feel like my, myself, I don't feel like myself and I used to try to meditate first thing in, but I, I am one of those really sort of embodied people. I do need to move. I need to tune into my body. And so my body let me know that, Hey, like we don't wanna sit here and meditate first. We wanna go and move . So I start my day with movement and then I do some sort of attending to my emotions and, and reflection of what I need that day.

John Jantsch (21:47): Now, my, when, when I had young children, we were lucky to sneak, uh, any of me time in, it seemed like in, in the morning, my morning rituals grown about two hours. Now. I , I think because, well, first off I get up really early, but I, I just keep adding things more and more to it. So I love it.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (22:04): You're making up for lost time. Right.

John Jantsch (22:06): I, so Sophia tell people where they can find, uh, out more about your work and obviously the five minute gratitude journal.

Dr. Sophia Godkin (22:16): Yeah. So if you'd like to, uh, learn more about me and my work, just visit www.thehappinessdoctor.com and the five minute gratitude journal you can find on Amazon, or just click on a link on my, uh, webpage.

John Jantsch (22:28): Awesome. Well, I appreciate you, uh, stopping by the duct tape marketing podcast and who knows. I may end up in, uh, Boise, Idaho, when, when airplanes start flying for me again,

Dr. Sophia Godkin (22:39): Thank you so much for having me, John, and yes, if you're ever in Boise, um, I would love to connect in person. Thank you so much.

John Jantsch (22:44): All right. That wraps up another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. I wanna thank you so much for tuning in, feel free to share this show. Feel free to give us reviews. You know, we love those things. Also, did you know that we had created training, marketing training for your team? If you've got employees, if you've got a staff member that wants to learn a marketing system, how to install that marketing system in your business, check it out. It's called certified marketing manager program from duct tape marketing. You could find it at ducttapemarketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that tab that says training for your team.

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