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Doing What Works Profile

Doing What Works

English, Health / Medicine, 1 season, 66 episodes, 1 day, 19 hours, 48 minutes
About
Doing What Works is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show that helps you fix what you don't like about your life.
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Where does your inner child go to play?

Kites, bubbles, even triangles. To find more pockets of joy, we suggest you start with this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Characters at Disney are told never to let go of a hug first.Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness.If you never watched Seinfeld but care what spongeworthy means!Did you hear the one about the homeowner who was told to hide his boat behind a fence?Don’t grow up. It’s a trap.Kinetic sculptures add whimsy to your décor.
6/11/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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Would you like to meet Tour Guide Katie?

The latest version of Tour Guide Katie joins us for this edition of Doing What Works, and we dare you to find a better example of doing what works.Here are your show notes…The 1939 and 1964 New York World’s Fairs captured Katie’s imagination.Jane’s Walk!
6/4/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How are you saving your life?

Your physical possessions. Your financial history. Your digital files of (thousands of?) photos. It’s the spring cleaning edition of Doing What Works, just in time for summer!Here are your show notes…Bob Culbertson plays the Chapman Stick.
5/28/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How can you wrangle outside influences?

The younger the child, the fewer the filters. Great, right? Well, sort of. But you’ve probably been the recipient of some not-filtered observations that really stung. And that’s only the beginning. Hearing critical voices without taking them too much to heart is, as Katie says, part of being human. We try to help with that in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Being Perfect might inspire you to stop carrying around a backpack full of bricks.Dogs aren’t in a walk for the walking; they’re in it for the sniffing.The Untethered Soul might inspire you to tell the voices inside your head to pipe down.Even five minutes of meditation might help you quiet those voices.“Tears are a sign of the presence of God in that moment.” ~ Dick Bolles
5/21/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How do you ingest the world?

Do you believe life is out to get you? Or are you convinced you can have a really fun ride, almost no matter what? It’s a choice worth examining, as you’ll hear in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…“Right now, it’s like this.”“When you’re young, you have no perspective. Everything is happening to you for the first time. You’re the primitive human. The sun goes away, and you don’t know why, or if it will ever come back.”“When you’re single, things happen to you. When you’re married, everything just kind of slows down to a crawl.”
5/13/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How can you sound your best?

When someone I admire started a podcast and admitted how much he had to learn, I guessed he wasn’t alone. We tap our producer, Darrell Anderson, for suggestions in this edition of Doing What Works. Darrell hosts a farm show that airs on 240 radio stations across the country, and he’s known for his impeccable editing. Even if you aren’t in the broadcasting (or podcasting!) business, you want to sound your best -- and we can help.Here are your show notes…Joshua Turek recently started the Turek Books Podcast.The Secret Life of the Unborn Child inspired me to have Darrell read to Katie before she was even born.Why you might have had difficulty hearing what people were saying if you say Oppenheimer in a theater.Rick Rubin suggests riding the wave when inspiration hits; Chris Shea compares it to a dye lot.   Anne Lamott suggests you ask yourself, “Why am I talking?”
5/7/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How do you find peace?

Life is difficult, and life is scary. We’ll give you a break from that in this edition of Doing What Works.  Here are your show notes…A new way to breathe.Raise your hand as high as you can.Jerry Seinfeld practices Transcendental Meditation.A bicep curl for your brain.Will you heal faster with a better view from your hospital room?
4/30/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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Should you open Pandora’s box?

You’re friends with people whose lives, while different, are on par with yours. You drift out of touch. Decades later and after only a few clicks, you learn they’ve eclipsed you in almost every way. Now what? We tackle that juicy proposition in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Comparison is the thief of joy.Jealousy is “hostility toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage,” while envy is “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”
4/23/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How can you be less afraid to die?

If you’re anything like Katie and me you have a low-grade, background anxiety about death. In this edition of Doing What Works we share what helps us in case it helps you. Bonus feature? Never, ever do what Darrell did as a kid. You’ll be sorry!Here are your show notes…Jerry Weintraub said death keeps the rope taut.In Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie suggested asking a little bird on your shoulder if today is the day you will die.Barbara Sher said the passage of time drives you crazy when you know you aren’t using it right.  Elizabeth Gilbert says you can tell who’s living for others by the anguished look on the faces of the others.It might be helpful when you’re struggling to think, “This is the curriculum.”Betty White wasn’t afraid to die.
4/16/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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What do you hang your decisions on?

An alarm I carry to scare off dogs didn’t scare a dog that terrorized me recently, but it accidentally kept me safe in a different way. That’s why I was eager to talk about utility in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…A util is “a hypothetical unit measuring satisfaction.”Nibbles & Bits are worth it!Marginal utility is “the amount of additional utility provided by an additional unit of an economic good or service.”
4/9/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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What’s the upside to sadness?

How would you know what happiness feels like if you never felt the opposite? We’re happy to give sadness its due in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”Make sure you have something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.
4/2/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How does radio really work?

If you’ve ever wondered how radio works but were afraid to ask, you’ll get your answer in this edition of Doing What Works. And that’s not all. You’ll also get some ideas for making peace with the unknowable, if making peace with the unknowable is your thing.Here are your show notes…How radio works!What string theory is!“Convoy” is a song that celebrated citizens band radio.Dr. Nick Morgan introduced us to the term infovore.“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”“It’s the one secret that we don’t know.” ~ What Betty White’s mother said about death.
3/26/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How can you surprise yourself?

“I photosynthesize,” Katie declares to my surprise in this edition of Doing What Works, “and I can’t do that in the dark.” Katie’s the master of being where she is, which is the secret to surprising yourself on a regular basis and staying interested in your life.Here are your show notes…Don’t trust how you feel about your life after nine o’clock in the evening.“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”Unless you become like little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.Television was introduced to “the mass public” at the 1939 World’s Fair.
3/19/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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Are you ready for some football?

Until this year’s Super Bowl, Katie had never watched an entire game of football and cared about the football. Now she’s disappointed that’s it for the season. So what changed? Well, thanks for asking! We have some amusing answers for you in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…   “Why do the Detroit Lions wear Honolulu Blue?”Quarterback is on Netflix. So is Friday Night Lights!Why sports fans are sports fans, by Tim Urban.“I wanted you to see Paris for the first time with a man who will always love you no matter what.”  “Testosterone changes during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events.”
3/12/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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What keeps fear at bay?

What does it take to feel safe, and how do you create what Katie calls the illusion of safety? From a mouse in the house to death at your door, we offer coping mechanisms in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes… Jerry Seinfeld explains why speeding cab drivers don’t scare you. Barbara Sher said the passage of time drives you crazy when you know you’re not using it right. The Car Talk guys knew how to live.
3/5/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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What inspires you to change?

Katie and I are easily bored, so we’re choosy about what we talk about with whom. But what if I’m boring her? Then what? We worked it out, believe it or not, in this edition of Doing What Works -- and that’s just one of the ways we show you how change happens.Here are your show notes…Moneyball is a book about baseball.Jack Canfield says the people who live the most effective lives act as if they’re in the future, and the future is perfect.Do you believe you’re the most successful person in the world?
2/27/202439 minutes, 48 seconds
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What is your relationship to suffering?

We love to read and watch stories about people who suffer, and still prevail. So why do we often become indignant at having to suffer ourselves? It’s a question worth pondering in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Whimsy is the nagging sensation life could be magical if we were willing to take a few risks.A hero, by definition, suffers.Uncertain waits seem longer than known, finite waits.Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.“Language is a spectacularly rudimentary way of trying to communicate what is happening inside, and I think for a lot of us what happens inside is something we’ll never fully be able to put into words.” ~ That’s our very own Katie Anderson!“Failure’s like a muscle. You have to keep it strong. You need to have small failures constantly to keep you in shape for the big ol’ whopper that comes along once in a while.” ~ Sally HogsheadA hack from Dan Harris on making workouts suck a little bit less.
2/20/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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What do you train your attention on?

Tell yourself you’re going to have fun and learn a lot, almost no matter what the experience, and guess what? You likely will. That’s the case we make in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.Jerry Seinfeld is in the business of funny.Whimsy is the nagging sensation life could be magical if we were willing to take a few risks.Find something to be surprised by every day.Do you see the field?
2/13/202439 minutes, 51 seconds
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How can you slow life down?

There’s more to life than speeding it up. So much more! And in this edition of Doing What Works we’ll give you a list of inaction items.Here are your show notes…Humanity isn’t a hack.Silence is the only true religion.Erma Bombeck wrote a lot of clipworthy columns.
2/6/202439 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you choose your rules of thumb?

Katie never hits the snooze button. Ever. It’s one of her rules of thumb, and in this edition of Doing What Works we’ll share some of our other favorites.Here are your show notes…What, exactly, is a rule of thumb?“An embarrassment to paychecks” is from The Family Man.“Choose the bigger life” is from Gretchen Rubin.Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.
1/30/202439 minutes, 50 seconds
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How can you help someone who’s hurting?

Sometimes the way to help people feel better is to encourage them to feel even worse. For a while, at least. They can’t process their sadness, after all, without being sad. This encore edition of Doing What Works is one of our favorites, because we don’t pretend it’s easy -- but we do show our work. Here are your show notes… Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race taught me what it means to be a writer. Donna Mills says aging is not for sissies! Phil Stutz says he doesn’t think about his Parkinson’s so much as all the work he still wants to do.
1/23/202439 minutes, 50 seconds
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Does your ego run the show?

Katie and I fancy ourselves the enlightened sort, who only occasionally let our egos get in the way of doing the right thing. When really, those egos get in the way constantly. Now what? Katie thinks I did a great job of answering that question in this encore edition of Doing What Works, but we’ll let you be the judge! Here are your show notes… We contain multitudes. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. The capacity for joy directly related to capacity for pain.
1/16/202439 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are you feeling lucky?

Does telling yourself you live a charmed life work? Does feeling lucky bring on more of that? Katie doesn’t think it’s useful metric, and in this edition of Doing What Works she explains why.Here are your show notes…We got the idea for a show about luck from George Mack.There’s a podcast about Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”A What Color Is Your Parachute? workshop was a class on making a life transition.The Law of Attraction was the basis for The Secret.Is the Universe hostile or friendly? Albert Einstein thought that’s the most important question.Jordan Ellenberg is the author of How Not to Be Wrong.Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying the harder he works, the luckier he gets.Earl Nightingale is quoted as saying luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity. Alex Lickerman talks about indestructible happiness in his book, The Undefeated Mind.
1/9/202439 minutes, 50 seconds
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How can you be a good cheerleader?

Sometimes it isn’t our job to be the star. Sometimes we’re in a supporting role, and in this edition of Doing What Works we’ll be your cheerleader as you learn how to…be a good cheerleader.Here are your show notes…“The bad stuff is easier to believe.”If you read What Color Is Your Parachute? you’ll learn that, for example, resumes are mostly used to screen you out.Barbara Sher was never a fan of self-help books or motivational speeches. Better, she said, to identify your obstacles as specifically as you can -- and find people to help you scale those hurdles.
1/2/202439 minutes, 50 seconds
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When is confrontation worth it?

Someone tries to shame Katie and me for stepping over her aisle seat in a movie theater to use the bathroom before the previews start. Someone else tries to shame Darrell after he checked for spare change from a coin-cashing machine. It didn’t work in either case, and in this edition of Doing What Works we tell you why we risked those confrontations. We also share many more times we let something go.Here are your show notes…The Good Place examines what it means to be a good person.A commencement address by David Foster Wallace will help you have compassion for strangers.
12/20/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are little things really so little?

Don’t hit the snooze button. Do make the bed. Don’t put off the laundry. Little things? Hardly! They help you build momentum. They help turn you into a person who accepts what she can’t change -- like a date that won’t end in marriage -- and enjoys a lovely evening with someone who might become a good friend. The spotlight’s on little glimmers in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…“Everyone is a storyteller dying for lack of an audience.” That’s Dick Bolles.“If the world was about to end, I’d take notes.” That’s from Sara Davidson. I think!Intermittent fasting is popular in blue zones.Beware of the sunk cost fallacy.
12/19/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you have difficult conversations?

Having a difficult conversation doesn’t guarantee a solution to your problem, but you can put it in the win column if it relieves some pressure. We’ll deconstruct three different kinds of difficult conversations in this edition of Doing What Works in hopes your next one goes a little easier.Here are your show notes…Is it a problem or a situation?“Constant chatter is an attempt at control.” That’s from Dick Bolles.“People are afraid that silence will make them sound stupid,” Taylor Mali says, “So they fill it with something that’s guaranteed to make them sound stupid.”
12/12/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you wrangle your tech?

Your devices are like the air you breathe. It’s easy to take them for granted. Until something goes wrong! We’ll be your tech support in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…There’s a TV show about tech! The IT Crowd.A Casio watch won’t get you a hotel room.The Serenity Prayer might help you weather the latest technical problems.
12/5/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are you setting your sights high enough?

As a cub reporter for a small radio station, I wanted to interview Bobby Knight when he was head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers. He not only agreed, but changed my idea of what’s possible. Katie drew me out about the experience in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…A Season on the Brink chronicles the 1985-86 season of the Hoosiers.Vince Staten, Maureen’s favorite professor, says you can make things happen with a good letter.The waiting is the hardest part!Recess is supposedly a show for kids that Katie promises grownups will enjoy, too.Harvey Mackay suggests you not say no for the other guy.“You must ask for what you really want.” That’s from the Rumi poem, “A Great Wagon.”The Career Clinic: Eight Simple Rules for Finding Work You Love has interviews with humorist Dave Barry and the late editor of Cosmopolitan, Helen Gurley Brown.
11/28/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you put your best face forward?

Katie’s face is her canvas. In this edition of Doing What Works she talks about how it started, why she isn’t a makeup artist by trade, and how it gives her practice accepting compliments. Even before she added rhinestones to the mix, Katie’s look has been a playground for increasing self-confidence.Here are your show notes…Katie’s makeup is a study in positive externality.
11/21/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you show your true colors?

Come on. We dare you. Get through a conversation -- heck, get through a paragraph of conversation -- without using an idiom. In this edition of Doing What Works you’ll not only learn the origin of some of your most-fallen-back-on expressions but might just be inspired to up your game (oops!) conversationally.Here are your show notes…An idiom is a phrase you can’t decipher the meaning of from its individual words, and if overused becomes a cliché.Here are some idioms and their meanings.Here are some more idioms and their meanings.Helen Gurley Brown wrote a book of advice for writers.Name drop alert! Darrell and Katie and I were in the audience of the 2010 National Poetry Slam where Shane Hawley delivered this masterpiece.“I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ’em” is from Taylor Swift. (You didn’t think we could get through a show without quoting her, did you?)
11/14/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you know if you’re in a rut?

The same routine can keep you from having to make the same decisions, but the same routine can also mean you’re in a rut. The examples we cite in this edition of Doing What Works might make you laugh in recognition as you clutter bust your daily grind.Here are your show notes…Dr. Nick Morgan advises public speakers to invite people in the audience to move to the front: “The energy in the room will change.”Have you heard the one about the motivational speaker Jack Canfield and the yellow notebook? Jerry Seinfeld says older men dress in the style of the last good year of their lives.
11/7/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Can you hone your adaptability?

“We’ll figure it out” is our family motto. That’s one reason Katie and I consider ourselves adaptable, because we take that motto so much to heart. In this edition of Doing What Works we hope to inspire a belief that the best is yet to be.Here are your show notes…Have you heard of wu wei?The harder you work, the luckier you get.Mel Robbins suggests you ask yourself, “What if it all works out?”Former marathon champion Dick Beardsley says he still wishes for a different outcome to the 1982 Boston Marathon when he sees video from that race.“When you pick a lost cause, you really commit” is from Robots.
10/31/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Why do you love what you love?

The big city. The bike. The journal and the tablet. These are a few of Katie’s favorite things, and in this edition of Doing What Works she so eloquently describes why she loves them I couldn’t help but be inspired. I think you will be, too!Here are your show notes…In Good Company inspired Katie’s desire to go to college in New York City.New York City’s Summer Streets inspired Katie to start biking.Like Katie, Tim Urban draws stick figures.The Far Side’s Gary Larson started drawing comics again when he got a digital tablet.
10/24/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What do you notice about what you love?

Things that hold other things, and a store that sells them. A store that sells those things but also groceries! Tiny things. And drawing people out about all the things. You can learn a lot about what you value by examining what you love, the way Katie helped me do in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Marie Kondo suggests you keep only what’s beautiful or useful.The Container Store is my favorite!Sarah Susanka is a fan of better, not bigger, spaces.Barbara Sher said horses run because they love it, and suggested you do things for the same reason.
10/17/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you need a proxy for your feelings?

I felt really bad when Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon four plays into the 2023 season, and then I felt bad about that. It isn’t as if I know him personally, after all. That was the week Katie pulled further ahead of me in our Wordle competition than she had in months, and I took the setback with all the composure of a five-year-old. We’ll tell you what’s going on in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes… Testosterone levels rise in fans of winning teams.Have you seen the video of a little kid imitating his father while they’re watching a football game? What does Taylor Swift have in common with the NFL? Her economic impact is not inconsequential, that’s what!Do you behave as if everything is a miracle, or nothing is?Enthusiasm is a form of social courage.
10/10/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What does geography mean to you?

A sneaky sad part of life is returning somewhere that was once important to you, then realizing it isn’t the same because you’re not the same. When Katie shared that observation in this edition of Doing What Works I was sad. At first. Then she taught me a new word, palimpsest, applied it to geography -- and inspired me to be more intentional about how I file my memories.Here are your show notes…George Carlin says an artist has an obligation to be en route.A palimpsest is “a manuscript page, either from a scroll or a book, from which the text has been scraped or washed off in preparation for reuse, in the form of another document.”
10/3/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How can you help someone who’s hurting?

Sometimes the way to help people feel better is to encourage them to feel even worse. For a while, at least. They can’t process their sadness, after all, without being sad. This edition of Doing What Works is one of our favorites, because we don’t pretend it’s easy -- but we do show our work. Here are your show notes… Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race taught me what it means to be a writer. Donna Mills says aging is not for sissies! Phil Stutz says he doesn’t think about his Parkinson’s so much as all the work he still wants to do.
9/26/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Can you accept unearned grace?

If you find it difficult to ask for help, we can help. In this edition of Doing What Works we remind you how good it feels to be needed, and invite you to extend that opportunity to others. Here are your show notes… That feeling when a friend tells you you’re worthy of immediate attention. The most important metric to track is personal energy. In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller explores the idea of unearned grace.
9/19/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are you willing to shift your outlook?

The kind of week you have might depend on whether you ask yourself what you’re dreading, or what you’re looking forward to. This edition of Doing What Works is an invitation to change your mind(set). Here are your show notes… Dr. Daniel Amen suggests you challenge ants. No, not those. These! Automatic negative thoughts. The Untethered Soul’s Michael Singer says the voice inside your head is like an obnoxious roommate who will not shut up. Lollipop moments create ripples forever. Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, a book I read on Katie’s recommendation, is a winner. Promise!
9/12/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What is your motivation for speaking?

Someone stumbles on a word and you jump in with a correction. Are you being helpful or obnoxious? In this edition of Doing What Works we examine boo-boos like “Pacific” when it’s “specific,” and whether corrections are kind or cruel. We also make a case against pointing out an unzipped zipper -- and how, while youth isn’t necessarily wasted on the young, feedback might be! Here are your show notes… “Casually cruel in the name of being honest” is a Taylor Swift lyric.
9/5/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are you up for an experiment?

What do oranges, façades, butterflies, and dolls have in common? You’ll find out if you listen to this edition of Doing What Works. But bring your childlike self, because this is an experiment in random (with a dollop of whimsy).Here are your show notes…What are tapas?What’s the squiggle under the C in façade?What’s the precise definition of façade?We all have a face that we hide away forever.Would you like to see a periwinkle card from Papyrus that features a butterfly?Would you like to hear one of Maureen’s favorite Tom Petty songs?Have you seen Barbie?
8/29/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are you too quick to label things?

Your next job. Your relationship. The apartment you want. Even if it doesn’t bother you to be vague about those plans or circumstances, the people in your orbit might pressure you to label them. Now what? That’s what we tackle in this edition of Doing What Works. Wish us luck!Here are your show notes…Casting director Jane Brody trusts her first impression at least in part because that’s how the audience decides whether to pay attention.Katie was in Business Professionals of America in high school.
8/22/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Does your ego run the show?

Katie and I fancy ourselves the enlightened sort, who only occasionally let our egos get in the way of doing the right thing. When really, those egos get in the way constantly. Now what? Katie thinks I did a great job of answering that question in this edition of Doing What Works, but we’ll let you be the judge!Here are your show notes…We contain multitudes.The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.The capacity for joy directly related to capacity for pain.
8/16/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Can you make your later years your best?

Who’s your role model for aging? Dennis Welch is one of mine. The publicist-turned-musician joins us for a special edition of Doing What Works. Dennis would never dream of getting to a point in life where he says, “Well, I guess this is it. I guess it’s all downhill from here.” Give him an hour and he’ll give you new hope for the next few decades of your life.Here are your show notes…If I Live to Be a Hundred is Dennis Welch’s latest.Steve Martin says turning sixty means your long-term goals are now short-term.Steven Pressfield says the time to start your next project is the day you finish the last one. Storyworthy’s Matthew Dicks suggests you not fret your long-term goals. Just make things.Dan Buettner is an expert on longevity.
8/7/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How does something go from farm to fork?

Quick. What do you think of when you hear about the farm bill? Handouts to farmers, right? That’s what I thought, and I should know better. Our show’s producer, Darrell Anderson, has been hosting a daily farm feature for almost thirty years. In this edition of Doing What Works I learn what I should’ve learned long ago. You might find it enlightening, too!Here are your show notes…Scientist invents lab-grown beef only to realize cows exist.Interested in a book about climate change misconceptions? Here you go! Farm to Fork airs on more than 225 radio stations across the country.
8/1/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you waste energy racing through life?

You see how fast you can get to work, empty your inbox, make it to the meeting, get back from lunch, finish your work, get to the gym, get home, and meal prep so you can have…twenty more minutes than you would have otherwise, to sit on the couch before going to bed. If this sounds familiar, you’ll feel less alone for listening to this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…A wait of indeterminate length will feel longer than a finite wait.Derek Sivers was once struck by how little he gained by going all out on his bike versus riding at a more relaxed pace.
7/25/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you really understand your feelings?

Empathy isn’t walking in someone else’s shoes. It’s listening to people tell their stories, and it’s believing them even when you can’t relate. Human connection is a lot of work, as we talk about in this edition of Doing What Works, and that’s one reason it’s so meaningful.Here are your show notes…Tim Urban has a few thoughts on fatherhood.Atlas of the Heart will help you understand the language of human experience.Doing something narcissistic doesn’t make you a narcissist.
7/18/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What makes a great story?

Something happens, then something else happens, and then still something else. That’s a series of events, but it isn’t a story. A story has stakes, motivation, gaps between what people expect and what they get. This edition of Doing What Works is a primer on story structure that just might help you live a better story.Here are your show notes…Story, by Robert McKee, is a book about screenwriting.Steven Pressfield is famous for, among other things, inspiring writers.A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller, is another book about story that Katie and I both love. The creators of South Park once visited an NYU class to talk about story.
7/11/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What’s your version of date night?

Darrell and I have date night every morning. We chat before the days descend on us, and in this edition of Doing What Works we explain why that beats the more traditional (and expectation-laden) alternative. Katie talks about what makes a great date in general, and encourages you to enjoy the life-changing magic of your own company.Here are your show notes…How to choose a life partner!
7/4/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What’s your happy place?

Are you feeding your soul enough variety? Are you taking regular breaks from your day job to get out in nature and let yourself be awestruck by that wonder? The ideal hobby will capitalize on skills you wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to use, and in this edition of Doing What Works we’ll inspire you to find it.Here are your show notes…Don’t be intimidated by the word “callings,” suggests the man who wrote the book.Do you commit to the bit?
6/27/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you honor your boundaries?

There’s a wonderful expression that goes something like, “We only touch but in spots.” Better to admit there are certain discussion topics best left off the table for now (and maybe forever) than to threaten the relationship by addressing them. Respecting that limitation is strangely freeing, and Katie and I are Exhibit A in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Terri Cole is an expert on boundaries.The bystander effect keeps people from helping sometimes.By following her interests, Katie accidentally built the perfect resume for her dream job.
6/20/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Can you ever go home again?

Your time is finite, and so is the number of friendships you can maintain. So why go back into your past to rekindle a relationship? Because it might be worth the risk of it not going well, that’s why. We’ll help you assess that risk in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Once you open a can of worms, the only way to put them back is to use a larger can.“To forget a friend is sad. Not everyone has had a friend.”Not sure whether to get in touch with someone from your past? You have to be ready for it to not turn out well.
6/13/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you navigate the gray areas?

A banana peel is biodegradable, eventually. And it’s the “eventually” part that’s ripe for discussion in this edition of Doing What Works. Is that banana peel litter? Is the parent who walks away from a grocery cart with a kid inside putting that child’s life in danger? Should you honk or yell or otherwise berate a driver not paying enough attention to cyclists and pedestrians? We don’t have all (or really any) of the answers, but you might be inspired by the questions!Here are your show notes…If you want a copy of the advice column Katie brought up at the start of this show, let me know.You might love Michael Schur’s How to Be Perfect as much as Katie did!
6/6/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What’s so great about waiting in line?

Remember that person who budged in line at the coffee shop? It’s not the kind of thing you’d write to an advice columnist about, granted. But I bet you regaled your sweetheart with quite the tale of indignation! Katie and I think waiting in line is a fascinating study in human behavior, and if you don’t agree you haven’t listened to this encore edition of Doing What Works. Maybe you could partake the next time you’re waiting in line.Here are your show notes…Our Minnesota is showing when we call it budging! So says How Not to Be Wrong author Jordan Ellenberg.There’s a science to this.Are you in heavy traffic that’s merging from two lanes to one? Do the zipper! And, yes. It’s a thing.What kind of stories do you make up about the people who annoy you in line?
5/30/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you match your energy to the task?

You’ll probably never look forward to chores, but you’ll look forward to them even less if you wait until you’re tired. We take a break from the standard fare in this edition of Doing What Works to share life hacks -- don’t you hate that phrase? -- that (you guessed it) work.Here are your show notes…Answering 911, by Caroline Burau, will get you thinking about how many words you have at your disposal as the day wears on.If you haven’t tried compartmentalizing -- Katie’s a fan! -- you might find it as life-changing as she does.Do you make it easy to do the right thing?
5/23/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Have you had a quarter-life crisis yet?

If you feel like you should have X,Y, and Z going by the time you’re a certain age you’re bound to be disappointed. If you’re anything like Katie, you might head off perceived disappointment on the part of others with self-deprecation. In this edition of Doing What Works we give you permission (not that you need it!) to own a transition, even if there’s nothing particularly unique about it.Here are your show notes…Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith hopes you won’t fall prey to the “I’ll be happy when this happens” mindset.“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Katie’s boss, and others!“If you compare yourself with others you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” ~ Desiderata
5/16/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you believe in miracles?

If you didn’t catch it the first time we hope you won’t miss it this time, my interview with Katie about the greatest adventure of her life. Thanks for listening to this encore edition of Doing What Works!No show notes this time!
5/9/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you worry too much or just enough?

“Notice I’m tensing up, decide that can’t be good, tense up even more.” If that describes you as perfectly as it does us, you’ll enjoy the line we walk in this edition of Doing What Works. How do you share something important with a worrier that might worry that person more?Here are your show notes…Dumb Ways to Die!
5/2/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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What’s the finish line?

Have you ever caught yourself racing through one part of your day in order to get to a supposedly better part? I did that only hours ago, eating a salad. Why was I in such a hurry? Was a mastodon going to sneak up from behind and snatch it away? I mean, really. Slow down, as we suggest in this edition of Doing What Works, or you might miss your life.Here are your show notes…Barbara Sher used to say the passage of time drives you crazy when you know you’re not using it right.Elizabeth Perkins played a kindergarten teacher in About Last Night and talked about parallel play.“All money gets you is a nicer place to watch TV.” That’s Maureen’s mom.“Is today the day I die?” A question Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie suggests you get in the habit of asking.
4/24/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you spend enough time doing nothing?

Don’t take your phone into the bathroom with you. Don’t feel like you have to be productive all the time. Make appointments to do nothing and keep them. In this edition of Doing What Works you’ll get more suggestions like these. If you try even one? You may decide doing nothing is a worthwhile way to spend your time.Here are your show notes…The not-so-typical item on Maureen’s bucket list! The Doodle Revolution might inspire you to look at doodling as deep thinking in disguise.
4/18/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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When’s the last time you touched a crab?

When you micromanage your child’s experience at a science fair or museum visit they’ll learn a lot, but probably not what you hoped. It’s much better to step back and watch the thrill of the unfolding, and we encourage you to keep the “fun” in “functions” in this edition of Doing What Works.Here are your show notes…Would you like an entertaining discussion of whether schools kill creativity?Why do you call someone crabby when they’re grumpy?
4/10/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do you celebrate your 500th date?

Just when I thought I knew my daughter, she surprises me -- but not as much as she surprised a recent date. We’re talking party hats, noisemakers, even a certificate that’s signed and dated. Listen to this edition of Doing What Works to find out if there will be date #2 with Date #500.No show notes this time!
4/4/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Want to rate and review the show?

You can hardly do anything these days without being asked to rate the experience. So add us to the list! In this edition of Doing What Works we ask you to consider rating the show and/or reviewing it and/or sharing it with others. But wait. There’s more! We also wrestle with how difficult we sometimes find it to ask for what we need. Maybe you can relate.Here are your show notes…Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race is the memoir of former marathon champion Dick Beardsley.The War of Art is a book of encouragement for creatives.Papyrus is a greeting card company.Profitable Podcasting is, as our producer jokes, science fiction.The Career Clinic: Eight Simple Rules for Finding Work You Love is a collection of stories about happy career changers.Our friend Patricia Rossi is the reason you have show notes for these episodes, because they were her suggestion!If you haven't already, would you like to subscribe to the blog?
3/28/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you experiment with your life?

As a kid, when Katie had difficulty falling asleep, she used to get out from under the covers and move her pillow aside for a few minutes. She found that once she put that bedding back it was easier to revel in the sudden comfort and fall asleep after all. Maureen’s been finishing off her hot showers with blasts of cold water. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, as we suggest in this edition of Doing What Works, and worst case you can be proud of yourself for the reaching.Here are your show notes…Cryotherapy is Maureen’s latest experiment, inspired by someone in the comments section of a recent “Writing Wednesdays” post by Steven Pressfield.
3/21/202339 minutes, 50 seconds
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Do you say yes often enough?

You don’t know what’s going to make you happy until you try it. The job or the relationship that looks good on paper may not feel so great at, say, ten o’clock on a Tuesday. That’s one reason to say yes to more things, so you can get a better feel for more things. Saying yes is a habit and a mindset. If you practice saying yes to smaller things with low stakes, you might find yourself more willing to take bigger risks. That’s what we hope to inspire in this edition of Doing What Works. Here are your show notes…Irresistible author Adam Alter [http://adamalterauthor.com/] was one of Katie’s professors at NYU Stern and “say yes” was his advice.“I wish I might go back and do the little things you asked me to” is from a poem by Alice E. Chase [https://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/860.html] entitled “To My Grown-Up Son.”Saying “yes” (and “yes, and”) is a rule of improv [https://medium.com/the-improv-blog/the-first-rule-of-improv-is-yes-and-30e5954240d6].“If you can’t imagine any other explanation for a set of facts, it might be because you are bad at imagining things.” That’s from Dilbert creator Scott Adams [https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays].“Marriage is a big bet. It’s the only bet of its kind, one in which you say, ‘This feels right; I think I’ll change everything.’” That’s from Jerry Seinfeld [https://www.today.com/popculture/seinfeld-turns-25-read-jerrys-best-real-life-lines-1D79884423].
12/28/202039 minutes, 8 seconds