- “Sometimes to experience a more extraordinary quality of life, we have to go beyond our own styles and our own strengths and put ourselves in novel situations that challenge us to learn and grow and interact.”
- Are you looking to strengthen the bonds you have with your friends? In this episode, discover ways you can add novelty and rejuvenate those relationships in your life to their fullest potential.
- “When people are in novelty or novelty situations, their self-awareness goes up, their mindfulness goes up.”
- Are you an introvert who feels stuck? Are you in a rut with your friendships? Then this episode is for you! Gain some insight into the different ways you can start to reignite your relationships and be the best version of yourself to those closest to you.
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- Already have the High Performance Planner and CRUSHING each and every day? Let’s celebrate you! Take a photo with your planner and use #GrowthDay so we can find you on social media!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
What creates an immediate bond with somebody and deepens relationships and makes friendships or your intimate relationships come back to life is novelty. Novelty. That’s the first thing I want to talk about today, novelty, doing new things with people. No duh Brendon, earth shattering. But actually when you read any book on neuroscience, you see that novelty is always something that is so incredibly stressed, that we need to create in our lives to keep things fresh because when they go stale, they die. To keep them fresh is how we grow them. So I’m bringing this one.
I like to begin with this one because listen, as the world opens up, whether you feel like you can move on or you can’t, or as we feel like we’re venturing out into the world again, ’cause some people have been locked down, I want to reference to you the importance of immediately thinking of any friends you have who you need to reconnect with and you need to create a new experience with them.
1. Create a New Experience
So write this down, create a new experience. I want you to go through your top 10 friend list or the top five people you like at work who you do want to develop a relationship with. How do you create a new experience with them? What’s something new that you can do? Whether that is hey, let’s go out to a new restaurant together. You know how magical that can be in a relationship when you go out with your partner, your spouse, your intimate other or someone, you go to a new place, it’s higher energy, it’s a different level of awareness.
When people are in novelty or novelty situations, their self-awareness goes up, their mindfulness goes up. Biologically, we are literally built to be more attentive in new situations.
And so if you actually think about some of your best friends, there were probably some new situations you went out and did. Maybe your best friends came from when you were a teenager or in your 20s. Well you’re experiencing life anew, there was a lot of change, right? Some of your first time experiences, doing this, going out, your new friends of adventure, your new drinking buddies, your new friends at school, those new years. Everything that was new, there was a vibrancy and there was a pop there. And I really believe a lot of people right now in their life, they feel like they’re slogging through. We need to introduce novelty. What is something new? What’s a new experience you could create?
2. Schedule the Newness
Now let’s talk about, how do you take that to a high performance level? You schedule the newness. See some people never have any novelty with their friends in five years. And they’re like, “I don’t know, I don’t feel connected.” I’m like, “You haven’t done anything new in 10 years together.” That’s why their friendship is dying. You want to do something new on a regular basis. So I highly recommend, some of the closest friendship networks I’ve ever seen are groups of people who go on a trip, a camping trip, a hiking trip, a biking trip, they’re outdoors, they go do something once or twice a year. They get together for July 4th, they get together for new years, but there’s a recurrence of them getting together, but they do something new each time. Those are some of the great deep relationships.
Now I know some people go, “But no Brendon, my best friends, we just get together and we talk. We don’t care if it’s new or anything.” I’m like, “I bet you’re talking about new things as you age.”
There’s a novelty in conversation. When you have friends with whom you don’t do anything new together and most of importantly, you don’t talk about anything new together, that friendship doesn’t deepen.
3. Introduce Novel Topics
So I learned that and I thought, oh, you know what I’m going to be? I’m going to be that guy that introduces new topics to my friends and asks them to talk about it.
I introduce novelty in my communication pattern with friends just to see where it goes.
Instead of talking about what’s the weather today, I’ll ask about something specific. I’ll share, “Hey, you know what I’ve been learning about? What do you know about this?” Or, “Hey, you know what? I’ve been hearing about that. Have you ever thought about that?” Or I’ll bring up a topic with a friend, four or five people, and they’re all talking about the salsa and the guacamole and I’ll be like, wow, what’s the next level of conversation here? What’s something new we could talk about that we haven’t talked about as friends? And I’ll literally, if we ever hang out, we’ll sit at a table and you’ll hear me say, “Hey you guys, I noticed we’ve never talked about X.” And I’ll just throw it out, I’m like, “What do you guys think about that?” And I’ll just throw out a topic. I’ll be like, “Hey guys, I noticed you’re all parents here. What are three things needed to be a great parent?” I’ll get the conversation going. I’ll think, what have we not talked about before? And I’ll just throw it in the mix, right? It’s just like a communication hand grenade. I’m just going to throw it in there and see where we go.
4. Ask Friends to Bring Their Friends
I know this is so simple, but do you do that? Do you do that consistently? Are you scheduling time with friends to do new things? Do you ask them to bring new people into your mix? Most people live like this, no new people. And I’m like, “New people, come on in!” I just like it. And it’s not because I’m an extrovert. It’s because I wanted the quality of life where novelty was at play. My brain is always sparking. I get a diversity of thought when meeting new people. I’m put in new situations so I have to adapt and gain more self-awareness and social acuity. By putting myself in novel situations, by inviting new people, going to new networking events, going to conferences.
Now I know this is where I lose everybody, “But you don’t understand Brendon, I’m an introvert.” Yes, amazingly after 20 years in personal development, I’ve actually met some introverts. On the Myers-Briggs, I’m right down the line between introvert and extrovert. You can’t write six books without being a little bit of an introvert!
So if you are blaming your style here, this is where we have to talk about personal development. When people only do their style and don’t reach for the lifestyle and the goals they want, they begin to suffer. “Well, I’m not like that.” I know, but what you are probably like is going to be stuck.
And sometimes to experience a more extraordinary quality of life, we have to go beyond our own styles and our own strengths and put ourselves in novel situations that challenge us to learn and grow and interact.
We got so used to as a culture, assessing the Western, well these are my strengths and this is my style that we use those as justifications not to try new things. And that’s why many people when they have a new goal or a new dream sabotage themselves. “Well, I’m not like that.”
I, as you know, I wanted to be a writer and I noticed the best-selling authors, they were going on media and doing appearances and they had videos and things like that. And I didn’t like this, like talking to a camera like this, insanely uncomfortable for me, crazy. I had to learn to do it. I didn’t go, “Well, I’m not like those writers that can talk in the media.” I’m like, “You know what? That’s not a skill yet. I’m going to get good at that. I’m going to put myself in that situation. It’ll be new, it’ll be challenging and I’m going to have to rise up and learn how to do that.” I didn’t say, “I’m like this kid that can’t do these things.” I said, “Do I want to experience that? Then let me become more. Let me grow into that.” I was very uncomfortable with people when I was younger and so I had to put myself in situations that stretched me.
Now if you are introverted, like I was especially back then, you do those things and then what do you do? You take time to recover. You can go out in the world and then come home and live inside and recover and then go out again when you’re ready. That was me. I had a lot of, I’m a guy, if I go to a party, I’m exhausted afterwards because at that party, I’m just like, I’m vibing, I’m trying, you know? And then when I get home, I’m tired, I’m wiped out. But it doesn’t mean I never do it because it’s not my style.
So it’s important for yourself, right now I really believe, some of you guys know I did a course with The Oprah Winfrey Network, and Oprah named the course because we were talking about what we were going to do, and she named the course, it was called “Reignite Your Life”. If you are in a place and you want to reignite your life right now, write in all cap letters, NOVELTY, and don’t hope novelty lands on you, schedule it, go do it, invite it in and I promise things will get better.