Andy Cope | 5 minutes to Change Your Life

Avatar Sam Dynamou | 01/10/2018


Hello. Hello. Hello. Oh, hello. Hello. Fantastic. My name is Dr. Andy Cope, the UK’s first ever doctor of Happiness. Yeah I know to get over that, all right. Here are five minutes of science that will change your life. Okay back in the day many many years ago I studied a subject called psychology at University. It was really interesting but it was about ill people. So I spent three years at Uni studying phobias, disorders, anxiety, depression and all that kind of stuff, really interesting, but the assumption of traditional strands of Psychology was it was about what would go wrong with you. So we do than cure people with medication or therapy, very good stuff, right? I knew there was something missing. I didn’t know what until Loughborough University I did a PhD and basically, this is how it goes.

All right. So what essentially, this is the headline news? Okay, so I’m simplifying it hugely. But this is you know, in terms of five minutes to change if this will do the trick, so if I gave you a diary this week and you kept a diary of how you feel it work then everybody listening to this, and I plotted your feelings on a graph, everybody would have an upper level of positive and the lower level of negative. Okay, so everybody this week something will happen that makes you feel amazing. So this is you feeling 10 foot tall and bulletproof. This is you with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, and an enthusiasm, bring their problem there and it’s not a problem, I can take on the world. And also if I analyze your feelings in the workplace and we plotted everybody on a graph you and your work colleagues, everybody including me will have this week this lower level of negative.

This is the where you get up and goes got up and go has got up and gone and this is you when lots of signs and touching and a bit meh, rolling your eyes. If I can just survive today, maybe tomorrow will be better. So we all oscillate between feeling great and feeling lousy. You already know that well, this is essentially what I found if you study the population then what you will find for various reasons is that far too many people are spending far too much of their time in the bottom third of that diagram. So actually as a nation, we’re a little bit negative, quite pessimistic a little bit downbeat. If I say it in the other way, you’ll get it straight away. What I’m suggesting is this is that the vast majority of people are a million miles away from feeling as great as they could. Now that’s interesting. If you want to be like everybody else then you fit into there, it’s beautiful. It’s not depression. Depression is below the line. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about what I call the curse of mediocrity.

The average black and white insipid version of you that is looking forward to being happy at the weekend, or on holiday, or when you retire, fine. Here’s your game changer. What I found many years ago and where my PhD kicks him is that not everybody’s doing the same thing. So there’s a small percentage of the population that is nicknamed the two percenters. As you can see from the diagram there living much closer towards the top end of their well-being Spectrum. So these people have got statistically significantly more energy and more happiness on a long-term basis, not just for a day long-term basis. They tend to say yes to things they create opportunities. They create strong relationships, which is really powerful as well. They tend to do more in their life. So what I decided to go back in 2005, many years ago now was Britain’s first ever proper academically driven study of the two percenters because here’s your game changer.

The difference between you at the bottom of the arrow and the top of the arrow will fundamentally change your life. Okay. So the problem these people down here the mood hoover’s I’m not going to spend time there but these are the people who are stuck. They’re not horrible people. They’re not depressed people. They’re just stuck in default can’t do. Lots of rolling of eyes tutting and they suck the happiness out of you as well. So sometimes being a two-percenter is against the odds. Now I’m not going to give you solutions today. We haven’t got time for Solutions, but I want to leave you with a metaphor and I think it’s a powerful metaphor. Is that if you imagine, so I’m older, right?

So back in the day, I used to watch black and white cowboy movies, fantastic and there was always a shootout at the end. So 20 paces the good guy the bad guy 20 paces eyeballing each other trigger fingers are itching, who’s gonna blink first. Now if you translate that scenario and let’s imagine it’s you instead of the Cowboys it’s you and life. So you are there, life’s 20 Paces away staring each other out who’s gonna blink first you or life. Well, let me tell you the absolute truth. It isn’t going to be life, life isn’t going to Blink.

Life’s going to keep coming at you relentlessly day after day. So what being a two-percenter does, it doesn’t change the external World. It doesn’t make the sunshine doesn’t make the emails go away. What it does it changes your internal World here. It puts you in a much better place to deal with life as it is not a life as you want it to be if you’re waiting for that you’ll die waiting. Life as it currently is, and so what it does it puts you in a better place. Okay, life Bring It On Give Me Your Best Shot.

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