15 Feb, 2022

#193 Hope vs Hopelessness


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“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” – Pablo Neruda

How focused are you on your goals? How committed are you to your future? 

The truth is, everyone can set goals to be better versions of themselves but not a lot of people can follow through on these goals. With our current health, wealth, and relationships, it’s simply impossible to commit to the changes we want to happen in our lives and be confident with our futures if we do not accept who we are right now and what needs to be done.

In this episode, listen as I talk about hope and how to realise your great intentions through fixing your attention.


✅ Hopeful people have GAP.

Elements of Hope:

G – Goals. Get goals that fire you up.

A – Agency. You believe you can do it.

P – Pathways. You are prepared to take multiple pathways to get there.

✅ Nobody can tell you what to do. You are the only one that can define who you want to be. Everything starts with yourself. Be your own hero. 

Some important stories in the episode:

✍🏼 (20:56) Recalling how I was able to observe Albert Bandura’s Theory on Self-Efficacy with athletes that I worked with. 

✍🏼(23:33) Recalling how fascinating Steven Bartlett’s story about how as early as fifteen, he already knew who he needed to be.


Do you feel that you are not in control of your life? Are you ready to live to your fullest potential?

You can take back control of your life. Join the Mi365’s Start One Stop One Challenge now.

You’re going to get seven masterclasses plus a whole load of extras:

1. Who + Why + How = Success

2. Roles and Goals

3. Accountability Mastery

4. Habits 101

5. Maximise Responsibility

6. Thinking Your Way To Success

7. Grit And Resilience

I’m excited to help you be the person you want to become.

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Excited to hear your thoughts about this episode.


I help everyday people achieve their goals & dreams!   Helping and coaching people in my expertise. And it is VERY satisfying to change people’s lives so they improve and change their health, finances, relationships, confidence, and mindset.

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About Pete Cohen: Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people.  Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.

It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.

Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.

Pete Cohen 0:01
Happy beautiful day. It's Pete Cohen. It is the Mi365 Podcast. Today we're talking about Hope or Hopelessness, you decide, and we'll see you after the theme tune.

Pete Cohen 0:52
Ladies and gentlemen Olivia Newton John. She's Hopelessly Devoted to you as I am to you. No, seriously, I am Hopelessly Devoted. I'm Hopelessly Devoted to people that have heard and that's what we're gonna be talking about in the podcast today. You know what actually is hope? What does it mean? Did you know there is a science of hope? I didn't know this until a few years ago, but I am probably one of the most curious human beings you'll ever get to meet if we ever do meet one. Day. And I know I've met many of you. I'll be more curious about you than you will about me.

Pete Cohen 1:46
Okay, everyone knows this is from the song called Greece. I would love to know right now in your life, what are you Hopelessly Devoted to? What are you 100% devoted to? Look, there is no question we find ourselves in a very interesting time in humanity. Personally I don't think in my life I know in my life, there has never been more hopelessness. There's never been more doubt. There's never been more sadness. There's never been more suicide. There's never been more people suffering. There's never been more uncertainty fear, stress, worry, doubt, tension, anger. I mean, it's just there's never been a time like this. Ever. I don't think there's ever been a time where people are sat on one side of the fence and saying, you know, I'm right and you're wrong. I think that's always been there, but I just think it has come to the surface. And I love to ask the question, what's your relationship to the future? Because hope for me was always a bit of a woolly word. I associated it with not particularly positive things. But you can look at the the origin of these words and it's fascinating when you do a deeper dive, and you and you start to see what words mean. And really, it's one of those words, actually, when no one really knows exactly where it comes from. But a lot of people are associated with a virtue and that's one of the things I want to talk about today. Because when you look at people who are hopeful, they're very virtue allistic they, that's not even a word. They have virtues they're very much into things. Like justice, and they're very much into courage and confidence and wisdom. And ultimately, they have a relation a good relationship to the future. What is your relationship to the future because what hope is it's confidence in the future. That's ultimately what it is. And there's, there's three main elements to it. If you look at the science, this isn't me just talking like from my own experience. This is from someone like gratitude. It's like well, everyone talks about it, but I'm really curious what is Wisdom say about it? What is the the ancient say about it? What is what is modern psychology say about it? What does science say about all of these things like willpower, which is another subject a massively into I think it's one of the most important conversations we'll ever have. Willpower wisdom, I think what a great conversation to have about the wisdom that you have learnt the wisdom that has been passed on to you. But hope is, is is a conversation. That is what a great conversation to have to talk about. How hopeful are you of the future? What do you see in the future and let's be let's just be honest here. If you meet two people, one person and you start talking to them about the future and they tell you well, is what they're telling you true, is what they see in the future. Real Well, Einstein said, you know, reality doesn't exist in the outside world. It only exists in our head. It's fascinating, right? So how do you think about the future? What do you see if I could step into your mind and have access to what are your thinking? And I'm going to be honest with all of you the last few weeks have been a big challenge to me as a human being being who I am and seeing what's going on. And now I'm having to ask myself, some big, big questions. Some of the biggest questions I've ever asked myself in my life. I'm giving myself a bit of my own medicine. Because I'm a coach. That's what I am. I'm a speaker, I'm an author. I do lots of different things right. But at the heart of who I am, is I'm a coach. Right. So what are coaches do? Well, coaches basically, they don't just blow a whistle and say coming in guys, which is what I used to do when I was a PE teacher. I was a physical education teacher. They used to call me Oh, look, it's P E to to get it. My name is Peter P E to A doesn't matter. So really, what as a coach, what you do is you ask questions, if someone comes to work with you. Well, what's the question I'm going to ask you know, what do you want?

Pete Cohen 6:17
What do you want? Now, when you ask most people what they want, it's a fascinating F. Honestly, it's so fascinating to me. You know, tomorrow one of my colleagues is coming to see me he employed me in 1989 as a fitness instructor. I couldn't believe he gave me a job because I was so insecure about myself anyway, but he saw that I have boundless energy and enthusiasm and he kind of he gave me a job and it was amazing. But I was very insecure. And I thought, everyone I don't really know if I knew how everyone else was thinking, but I've always had a natural curiosity about people. And I didn't realize this for quite a few years. But when you ask people what they wanted, when they joined a gym and you sat them down, and you did their assessment, and people didn't know what they wanted, and got a clue what they wanted. They absolutely didn't have a clue. They just knew what they didn't want, or they knew how things were in the past. You know, you'd say what do you want while I just I don't want to be fat. I want to get rid of this. Hang on. Is that telling me what you want? You know, what do you what do you actually see? And only when I studied sports psychology and became a very successful sports psychologist, one of probably the most successful that, you know, well, I don't know. But the people I've worked with, there's not too many people that have done what I've done. But I'm not saying that to blow my own trumpet. But if you get results with people, people who win World Championships, people who break world records, people who win Olympic golds teams that go on beaten for a whole season, you start to see clues and you start to see that people have a relationship to the future. And I'm just so curious, what is your relationship to the future? Can we not all decide that now, there's never been a more important time for us to decide what our relationship is to the future. Who do we want to be? None of us necessarily would have asked to be living in this time. I don't know. How do you think it's all gonna play out? Again, the way you think about that is the way you think about it. You don't have to think about it that way. The greatest achievement of any human being is our ability to change what we think or come up with ideas and make things happen. And I know it's extremely difficult for people, but we are living in a very interesting time and what is the most important question we should be asking. There's two probably one is what can I do for you? But more importantly, who do we actually want to become? Who do you actually want to be? What do you want your legacy of this to be? However long this goes on for? You know, the Second World War, the first world war they went on for a long time and this might not seem like a war, but some would say it is there's battles going on. You choose your side, you choose your stance, who do you want to be? Is this not the best time ever for us as human beings to stand up and decide who we're going to become? You know, if Gandhi was here, right now, what would he say? He'd say, Be the change that you want to see in this world. Be that change and if you can't be get out of the way and support the person who can follow us need leaders. Right and you're a leader. Right now. You're a leader. You're leading yourself right? Look, look in the mirror where are you going? Have you made that decision yet? And I can tell you, Napoleon Hill wrote about this in the 1920s. He said 2% of people know where they're going. Everyone else is just drifting. Please, please wake up to the cost of drifting. Please wake up to that cost. I can't make you do it. Please wake up to the fact that you might have lots of good ideas and great intentions, but you don't bring those intentions to life. Everything that we do is in our business and our coaching business. Mi365 is about what's my intentions. What are my intentions? How do I bring those intentions into the world? How do I overcome myself? How do I change who I think I am? How do I create a new identity? How do I do that? Because I want to do that? Who do you want to be? You see hope is such a fascinating word. If you look at the science, I had a conversation with a woman who was basically telling me that, you know, hope is not a great word. Look. If you look at what the word means, it means competence in the future. That's what the word means. But ultimately, what it means to you is what it means to you.

Pete Cohen 10:38
But you can either be hopeful, or you can be and this is where it gets really interesting and this might sound a bit deep and it might sound a little bit too much for some people, but the most important element of becoming more hopeful is to accept yourself as you are right now. And that's a big challenge for a lot of people because we find that difficult. We think we're not enough we think we compare ourselves to people all the time. Right? I'm not that I don't have what that person has. I'm not where I want to be. I'm envious. And it's like if you want to build hope and you don't accept where you are. Honestly, it's like filling up a bucket with holes in it. You know, to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say you know what, this is me. I'm ready. I'm ready for what? Well, I don't know what you want to do. You know, this might not apply to everybody. But what is needed in this world right now. Again, you can decide, but I'm looking, I'm looking. I'm looking for an army of people who want to be an example to everyone. Else, to be the people that people want to follow. But ultimately, if you want people to follow you, why should you follow you? You know, that's why you know this I mean, I don't know why exactly. This piece of music has had I don't have any millions of people have listened to this. When I listen to this, I'm for you to recognize

Unknown Speaker 12:02
your talents, your gifts, the mark, that you want to leave on this as you go to places that maybe you've not been before.

Pete Cohen 12:19
You see leaders know the importance of getting uncomfortable. They know that nothing grows in their comfort zone. You know how many? I don't know 1000s and 1000s of people have used this song my song on tick tock rise up and be the person that you want to be the person that you want to follow. So when we talk about a growth mindset and what that actually means, there is no growth without hope for human beings maybe not for things in nature because nature just does what nature does. Nature doesn't necessarily choose. It just does what is instinctive to it. But human beings we can be instinctive but ultimately, we always have a choice. And the choice that most people make every single day, which is their choice, is they choose to be who they think they are. And they keep recreating that. And this is the question I would love to ask you. Whoever you are, wherever you are. What will be your greatest achievement in your life? What will that achievement be? I'd love to know. I'm not as curious person you'll probably ever meet. Actually, a lot of children tend to be bit more curious than me. But I'm still a child like Peter Pan. genuinely curious, what will be your greatest achievement? Not what you have done. I don't know if you're like me when someone asked you about the stuff that you've done, and you tell them it's like, I've really do we have to talk about this. You know, it's done. Even what I'm doing is great. What we're doing right now is great, but it's all a question of where that is going. How does the future look to you and what sort of future do you want to have? And who is that person in the future that has created the results that you want? So let's dive into this subject a little bit more of what hope is, there's been a few people, Charles, send down as a couple of other people who have been real pioneers. In this field of hope, the psychology of hope. And there's kind of two different models but the one I love the most is if you take the acronym gap gap, hopeful people, they have goals, right? They definitely have goals. There's stuff that they see where when they think about the future, it fires them up. Right, think about this. This is one of the most interesting things I've ever come across in years of researching and looking at philosophy and success, that there is a Sanskrit word and Indian Sanskrit word that means hero in the beginning. That people would start things with heroic effort, only for their enthusiasm to go out the back door. It's fascinating. How many times in our life how many times in all life just please take a moment to think about the times in your life. Have you decided to do something and then you did something else? And you regretted what you did? You joined a gym you decided to write a book you bought a book. I don't know what you did, but you're not alone. Why? Because maybe you just gave into temptation, because let's face it, there's never been more temptation. There's never been more distraction. What's the opposite of distraction? It's traction, traction, traction to walk. If there's no traction towards anything that fires you up.

Pete Cohen 15:55
You'll forget about it. You'll give into temptation. And what's amazing about human behavior is what drives it. What drives human behavior. And the research on this is really fascinating. And again, people don't really want to talk about this because for years people said what drives human behavior is a desire to avoid pain and, and, you know, to move towards pleasure. But the research now says that's not really true. The driver to avoid pain is more than anything other than a driver that human beings know the dissatisfaction of where you are, that we went. We're not in a good we don't like what we're experiencing. For whatever reason with the fear, the doubt the worry, the frustration, the anger, that we will then want to get out of that. Even feeling bored, which is a massive problem. feeling stuck isolated. What do we do we seek solace in something to take us out of that pain, but it never lasts, does it because then we just go back to seeking pain seeking solace from the pain we're experiencing. Look, I'm painting a pretty bleak picture of human beings but when you see that 97.3% of Americans are unhealthy by four basic measures. It's that Hey, guys, go back with going the wrong way. Well, who's to say what is the right and the wrong way? Yep, that's a good point. Pay, you know, be mindful of that. But perhaps you're going down a road that you'll look back and go you know what, how did I get here? This isn't where I want to be. How many people are living a future that they don't want? How many how many people are living a future they don't want? What most people don't have a relationship to their future. They don't identify with themselves in the future. We know this. The studies that have been done on this are unbelievable. You put people in a machine, you wire up their brain fMRI machines where you can see signaling in the brain. You ask them to think of themselves you see a part of the brain lights up you ask them to think of a stranger, another part of the brain lights up you ask them to think of themselves in the future. Which part of the brain do you think lights up for most people most of the time? The stranger, what does that mean? It means we don't actually have a relationship in the future in such a way that fires is up just to keep going. It's amazing, right? Can you just think that it's one of the most fascinating things I don't know about you, but it absolutely fascinates me. I'm so curious about who do you actually want to be and Napoleon Hill was right. He was right. He said he reckon 2% of people. And this is really an I'm gonna say this because maybe some of you haven't heard this before, but look, I've done a lot of things in my life right? I've written 20 books. I'm everything I do is about solutions. I've written a book called habit busting fear busting life DIY sort your life out. Britain books on leadership, losing weight. Everything is about solutions. What's the solution to the problem that you have, but I can't do this solution for you. I can't help you get out of your own way. I can't help you. I can support you in recognizing who you want to be. But what got you here is not going to get you there. And the weird thing about hope is hope. Where is where you really believe that this is what I wrote this down this morning. You can get there from here. But you don't know where there is. You don't know where there is. There is what is what is now for you right in this moment in time. It's fascinating, don't you think the experience of being a human being it's one of the most fascinating things and it's conversations that when the Greeks when they sat down and they start decided to take ownership and not just relying on the gods for all of their answers. They started to work things out and they became aware of the human experience. To be human is great. It's amazing. But please accept yourself as you are. There's nothing wrong with you. You are who you are, where you are. What do you want to do about that? What do you want to do? It's a greatest thing. What is the greatest thing you'll ever do in your life? What will be your greatest achievement not what has been? Do you not think and please tell me to not think that your greatest achievement in your life is going to be who you become. So when we look at the three elements of hope, really its goals right? When you're fired up about the future, right? You literally you have things in front of you that are going to probably take quite a long time to bring into play, but you get a good feeling about it. It's just like a child that they're going to Christmas is coming and they can't wait to open their presents. There's something in front of them are looking forward to. That's the first element the second is agency agency is a wonderful word but basically it just means you believe you can do it. You believe it? You know you can do it.

Pete Cohen 20:50
You know when I studied psychology, the only person I found interesting from studying psychology was a guy called Albert Bandura and his whole work work on self efficacy. Which is where you believe in yourself and when I couldn't believe this when I started working with athletes. Yeah, two athletes one was better physically and with ability. But the other athlete who didn't have those levels, but believed in himself more could outperform the other person. It blew my mind that how you thought about things could actually because no one taught me this stuff in school. And P It's kind of interesting because it's the word gap. Gap. You want to fill the gap. You want to be hopeful. Yeah, get some goals at fire you up. We all know that. Let's get some agency. Let's get some belief can This is so flicking off frickin obvious. And P is pathways. You're prepared to take multiple pathways to get there. But you know, I was hearing people talking about goals the other day. Please, please, please just don't bother, please. Don't bother setting goals. Unless you decide who you want to be. It is a waste of time. Unless you know who the person is that's achieved the goals that you want. And you have a relationship with that person in your future. It's very, very hard.

Pete Cohen 22:13
Human beings are under this illusion that they are who they are and that's who they'll always be. This is who I am. This is my personality. I believe your personality is who you are choosing to be and who are you choosing to be? Who are you choosing to be with your health, your energy, your relationships, your wealth, your work, who is that person? Because if you really choose to be something, someone who's performing better in those areas or has done more, that's not you. It's not I don't think this is just my opinion. You could be that person. Who could you be if you really put your mind to it? And you decided to be hopeful

Pete Cohen 23:04
but it's the little ripples that we create every day with the little things that we do. And as I start to wrap up this, I want to just share a couple of little things which I think are really important because you can be hopeful and now you know the from a science point of view. You know what it is hopeful people have goals. They're fired up about the future. They have agency, they actually believe they can do it. And they're prepared to take multiple pathways to get there. They don't even care I was with Stephen Bartlett recently who's going to be on Dragon's Den what he is already been filmed. And I I introduced him at an event and had the opportunity to speak to him and it was fascinating. This is a guy who sold a company for 290 million in his 20s And you know what he said when he was 15 he knew who he needed to be he was chasing himself in that amazing he was chasing himself he knew what what amazes me about that is that I don't think anyone taught him how to do that. He came from a very humble background, but he knew fascinating, the makings of someone's mind, to be curious about that experience. You know, some of you know maybe no, or have heard, you know, this this. This is off. This is Matthew magalia. Winning his Oscar in 2014. Listen to this.

Unknown Speaker 24:31
Think about that. Give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up says who's your hero? I thought about it. You know who it is. I said it's me in 10 years. So I turned 2510 years later that same person comes bingo so you're a hero and I was like, not even close. No, no. She said why? I said because my heroes me at 35 So you see every day every week every month and every year my life. My heroes always 10 years away. I'm never gonna be my hero. I'm not going to pain that I know I'm not and that's just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on Chase. So if any of us whatever those things are, whatever it is, we look up to whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is we're chasing to that I say amen. to that. I say all right, all right. All right.

Pete Cohen 25:16
So when we think about when you listen to that, when he first started speaking, he people started laughing. You know, why do you think he's such a great actor because he knows who he needs to be. But he also knows who he needs to be as a human being. And that's his choice. Because ultimately, it all comes down to choice, doesn't it? That's what and it's your choice. I'm not here to tell anyone what they should or what they shouldn't do. I hate that personally, if someone tells me I should do Who are you to tell me why I should do? And enough of that growing up I had enough of that going to school. I want to do what I want to do. I want to be who I want to be and I want to become who I want to become. So hopefully, hopefully, that's kind of funny, right? Hopefully this has given you a different take on what hope is. Hope for me is about my relationship to my future, who I want to be and what we do as a business, Mi365 having been in the coaching space for a long time. We're all about helping you work out who you want to be, and what are the intentions that would need to be fulfilled every single day in order for those intentions to become your attention. And you bring about one of the most powerful principles in the history of man. And that's the law of accountability. The law of compounding something over an extended period of time. I don't know how many you've listened to or read the book by Will Smith, and he talks about his dad who made him and his brother, build a brick wall that would have taken most builders just a few days to do but it took him and his brother a year brick after brick building something over time. And on the 10th of January, you know we're launching something that I'm super proud of and it is all about we're building something it's almost built some technology to really allow people to track what they're doing. Because without traction, there's only distraction. The last thing I'm going to say about this you're going to see a lot more people talking about the science of hope. But we are also going to see as a lot more people talking about the power of celebration. And now this is going to be this the neuroscience around this is fascinating that when we celebrate and the word celebrate means to honor when we honor what we're doing and what we say we're gonna do, that's how we build confidence. But when you do something that maybe you didn't want to feel like doing or you stopped doing something, you know isn't good for you. If you celebrate that immediately and intensely. You start to build new neurological pathways in your brain. And that's one of the newest fields in the field of personal development, positive psychology. So I think you should celebrate yourself. Would you reckon?

Pete Cohen 28:30
Would you reckon?

Unknown Speaker 28:32
Let's celebrate.

Pete Cohen 28:40
I celebrate every single one of you

Pete Cohen 28:49
thank you so much. Let's get ready to rumble Let's dance because you want to know something

Pete Cohen 29:09
Celebrate. Celebrate so if you want to set a bright you want to feel hopeful, you know the best way to feel hopeful. It's moved. The science is unequivocal about this as well. And a lot of people don't know about this. It's so freakin obvious. When we move our muscles secrete something that is now known as hope molecules you might not feel like moving because your brain wants you to stick with not your brain. Your body wants you to stay where you are. When you move you feel hopeful, but you might not feel hopeful until you start moving. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. You guys are amazing. Happy, happy, beautiful day. Thanks for listening to the podcast. Look, I'm super excited. We have just launched a brand new 30 Day kickstart challenge. It's absolutely free. And it allows you to get coached by me for 30 days to really start transforming your life look for great life doesn't happen by chance.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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