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A Thriving Mind Creates A Thriving Life

We would all love a thriving life, but there are things that stop us from getting there. With her medical background combined with her practical real-life strategies, Jenny empowers us with a belief and a plan to ensure we can improve our energy levels, cognitive ability, resilience and mood.

In this episode with Jenny, I ask her:

  1. What do you see as the biggest obstacles holding people back from leading a thriving life?
  2. How do people harness their natural biology for better energy, resilience and mood?
  3. What are some of the counterproductive short-term solutions and the blame game that hold people back from leading a thriving life?
  4. What is the one thing (in your opinion) that would make the biggest difference right now?
  5. And so much more.

To watch this inspiring episode, click the video link below, or if you would prefer to read the full transcript click the blue button under the video.

#thrivingmind #mentalwellbeing #burnoutprevention

[Music]

well hello

and welcome to the wine and wisdom show

thank you for being here

if you are returning thank you so much

for coming back i

i truly love it when i get to see

returning people with their comments

and um you know either live while we’re

here or afterwards

but if you’re here for the first time

thank you very much for coming along

it’s truly wonderful

to have you this this show even though i

it’s called the wine and wisdom show

it’s actually about connection and what

i know about connection and

i know certainly our guest tonight will

probably talk a little bit about that

is that connection is one of the key

components

for us to have a great life to and i

think

over the last 15 months we have learned

that more than ever

ever that connecting with other humans

who can bring a smile to our faces some

warmth to our hearts

and some wisdom to our brains is one of

the most

precious gifts we can get from other

humans um

so this show is about connecting so i’m

connecting by having a little glass of

wine with you

hello if you are there right now and

the idea is also that you know due to

the fact that i’ve been lucky enough to

surround myself

with really courageous and resilient

self leaders who are making a difference

across the globe in their big ways and

small ways

i wanted this to be a platform that i

could bring them to you and i’m telling

you right now that our guest tonight

is one of those incredible humans who is

making

a monstrous difference to

people across the world and um i’m going

to share her with you tonight when we

get to that but very

first of all before that i what i would

really like to do

is to acknowledge the traditional

custodians and elders

spread across the many lands that we are

all located on

tonight from all our different places

and

i’m personally coming to you from the

lands of the birrabirragal there are

there are birrabirragal people who are on the

balmain

peninsula and i do pay my respects

to these traditional owners who have

nurtured and protected this wonderful

country

that we all get to work live and play in

so thank you so tonight

i have dr jenny bruce coming on

to join us and share her

incredible amount of wisdom and she has

just written

an amazing book um called a thriving

mind we’re going to talk a little bit

about that but

though she’s going to give us really

practical strategies

on how to create a thriving

life because of our thriving minds

and i’m just going to bring her up and

stop talking because she’s going to do a

far better job than me in explaining it

all hello

jenny welcome to the show heidi thank

you so much

it’s wonderful to be have you here and

um

for those who are watching i first got

to act she doesn’t know this

i actually got to see her speak years

ago in brisbane

and have followed her ever since because

oh my gosh you know she comes from a

medicine background which she’s going to

tell you all about

um but has also found this amazing way

to apply it to

you know just like the doofus like me in

the world who need a little bit more

real word explanations not the real

medical way

and that means that people like myself

and i’m sure everybody who gets to share

in

all the incredible work she does gets to

apply these strategies to their life

because they make sense and they’re

realistic and they

actually work so thank you jenny for all

the work

you are doing to not only help

individuals live a thriving life

but of course all the work you’re doing

in workplaces

to allow for leaders to create

spaces and environments and teams

where people can actually work to their

fullest potential

um now that was a bit clunky i think i

think i what i would like to do is ask

you to

introduce yourself better and tell us

all

who you are what you do and all the

positivity you are sprinkling across our

globe

please go ahead okay thanks heidi

and i didn’t know you’d been stalking me

for a while

definitely in those days when i could

travel interstate and go to far-off

places like brisbane how wonderful it

was

i know that was a joy

it was a joy um but i’ve become

um i’m now accepting of my fate

that i’m likely to remain in western

australia

probably for the duration of my natural

life because

the government doesn’t want us to leave

at any time soon

you just stay over there and you know

stay away from it

apparently the port carlos is down

so so yes i i am a medical practitioner

by training

um i’m no longer in clinical practice i

left that long time ago

um i’m i’m also what they call a

lifestyle medicine physician

which sounds a bit sort of pompous

hopefully it’s not um lifestyle medicine

is all about

um a holistic approach to well-being

in that uh it’s very different from the

traditional medical model because when i

was working as a gp

people would come and see me when i was

sick um i would take a history and

examination and try to sort out what was

wrong with them

and often it felt as if i was putting on

a band-aid

and saying take two pills call me in the

morning and it will be right

and i i felt there was something missing

because i felt that i was

really not getting to the nitty-gritty

of what had led them to become unwell in

the first place

and circumstances

led me to leave general practice

and to after a period of wandering in

the wilderness for many

years thinking what the heck am i going

to do now

decided to reinvent what i did but using

my medical skills so i decided that a i

had to learn how to speak in public

which for an introvert is is quite a

challenge

but i managed to do it and

and decided that i also wanted to spend

my time

helping people in the workplace because

many of my clients when i was a gp were

coming to me

stressed to the eyeballs uh

worried sick dealing with all sorts of

crap

basically and a lot of it was emanating

from this place we call work and i’m

thinking

what is going on it’s terrible so i

wanted to

move into workplace well-being

to help people to understand a that it

is possible to actually enjoy what you

do

feel fulfilled and look forward to going

to work every day

you know what a mentioning is that i

don’t know exactly

that’s what i do yeah well you do it

very well

let me just say that from you going from

yeah i suppose

you know as a gp with a a just a small

room really where

one person is coming in and i mean that

the skill of being able to

extract what you need to know from them

to be able to diagnose

is very different standing on a stage

with

hundreds of people and

as an introvert and being able to know

exactly what the right message is that

they need to know

right then and there so i mean what it

what a

massive change that is i mean and from

someone who’s been in that audience

i i have experience of the the way you

do it so warmly and genuinely and

generously

so and of course of course

with science behind you so that it’s not

that’s this is what i think is right

it’s actually

looking at the data on the research and

the stats which of course is absolutely

crucial especially

in this health and well-being space

where a lot of

leaders and organisations still think

it’s this kind of

woo-woo thing that they perhaps have to

tick off

but in fact i think we would you and i

of course would agree we’re speaking to

the converted

but um this is the key to have a

thriving workplace

this is the key to have thriving teams

who perform at their very best

and if organisations want profit

and they want to retain attract and

retain the very best people within their

industry

this is the key

i think things are moving in the right

direction uh

you know it’s not that long ago where it

was all about profit

and it was all about real success about

how quickly you can climb up that

corporate ladder and i think

gradually the penny has dropped that if

you want to get the most

out of your staff and you know

how often do do they people have this

untapped potential because they haven’t

looked into

who they’ve already got there and

there’s so many

so much opportunity there and i think

the pandemic has actually helped

business leaders now have a better

appreciation that health and well-being

is more than fruit bowls in the staff

kitchen

discounted gym memberships and

organising fun run once a year

you know this improvement and i think

they’re starting to get that it’s not

just about the physical health we’ve

really got to get

much better at mental well-being and of

course

cognitive health as well you know how

well we use this thing up here

absolutely and they i mean your work

around mental well-being

about brain fitness about um

psychological safety

is you know you’re truly doing such a

great work and can i just say that

for everybody watching either now or

later but jenny and i are both

enjoying a wine because it is all about

balance isn’t that right jenny

totally and it wouldn’t be balanced if

only one of us was drinking

correct that’s why i actually

instinctive that jenny leave the

platform and go

and pour herself a glass of wine just so

you know i’m i’m gonna

call myself out on that one but we’d

love to know what you’re having tonight

at home are you having a red or white

and bubbles or what would it be

let us know jenny you talked about this

moment when you left gp land

um what i’d love to know is it’s up to

you whether you talk about how you got

to become a gp in the very first place

like was that

some kind of really um you know one of

those big moments in life you went

right this is what i have to do or

was it something that you wanted from a

little girl

and it just kind of had evolved and

that’s where you ended up

like how did you get there into general

practice that’s a very good question

because i

when i left school i had absolutely no

idea what i wanted to do

my careers advisor who was actually my

history teacher

told me that i should be studying

agriculture and the only place that

offered a degree in agriculture

at that time in the uk was in

aberystwyth in wales

and i’m thinking it’s cold it’s wet it’s

muddy

wow

what if i interrupt your story because

like on reflection now

do you think he got it wrong or did you

get her wrong like seriously

agriculture admit like that’s like quite

bizarre

i know i think it was because my dad was

a vet

and they thought that maybe that was i

could be affiliated

i don’t know what they were thinking but

it was totally not me

um so i actually decided that i wanted

to go into nursing

because i didn’t know what else to do

but i i’ve always been somebody who

loves working with people to

help them in some way and my i remember

my dad saying

my daughter can do better than that my

dad was a bit

authoritarian and he said well if you’re

going to do nursing you have to do a

degree

so i actually signed up it was a

five-year degree

in nursing health visiting and you got a

sociology degree as well it was a it was

a unique

course and it was run between london and

southampton which was which was great

except i discovered that i really didn’t

like sociology

very much and um i didn’t want to be a

health visitor

and i was when i was nursing which was

at st thomas’s in london

fabulous place and i had a nurse’s flat

which overlooked the houses of

parliament and big ben

get your heart out

would drive me mad um i was i moved out

of there into a flat share in brixton

with some medical students and i would

sort of fly in and out on my bicycle in

my

my red cape and all this sort of stuff

and i looked at these people thinking

they don’t seem to work terribly hard

these medical students and they seem to

be out partying all night long

why am i doing what i’m doing i could be

having a much better time

so i actually looked at what what it

would take to get into medical school

and to my amazement when i applied

i was accepted by bristol uni and i had

to go off and do

horrible things like physics and

chemistry for a year because i hadn’t

done the right a levels

and then went into that but i think i

knew then that i’d never wanted to work

in a hospital situation it was always

going to be general practice for me

because i love the idea of community

and so um the the bonus was

that having qualified and started my gp

training my husband was then head hunted

by

uh an australian company and so

we arrived in perth and i thought oh

okay well i better get on with it finish

my training and was able to open up my

own general practice something that

would never have happened in the uk

i was able to move into a custom built

new practice

built it up from scratch with the most

wonderful staff

some associate doctors who were just

brilliant and of course the most

marvelous

clients to look after so

that was the dream and i was able to

fulfill it and that is

absolutely fantastic it is

wow that’s a great story thank you for

sharing it and

you know it’s so interesting how you

know life just takes us

on these different tangents at times

with

no it doesn’t have to i mean i like when

i talk to kids you know it’s like

you don’t have to have this big

compelling

i need to do this i want to do this

because

along the way things just evolve don’t

they and we change our idea on it and

we get moved in various ways that

send us down a different path i think

yeah i think

it’s it’s a very i love hearing people’s

back stories for that reason on how the

hell did you get to here

that’s really that’s really interesting

so

thank you for sharing it you have

you i have read your amazing book called

brain fit i absolutely loved that book

it was

just so much gold

uh but you have written a new book and

i’m just going to bring it up here a

thriving mind yeah i’m going to get

mine yeah a thriving mind

and we’re going to talk about that

throughout this show

but i’d love for you to start with

telling us about

what do you think are the biggest

obstacles that people have

with living a thriving life what are

they

i think there are a number of things

going on

um and these things were going on well

before the pandemic hit us

and i think one of the things was we had

bought into the idea

of um success could only be achieved by

working ridiculously long hours um

foregoing everything else you know at

the sacrifice of you know to

sacrifice at the altar of work um

forgetting that we’re human forgetting

that you know there are other things

that are actually important to our lives

as well

um and i think that that’s the big thing

um

i think there’s a huge level of

expectation

that we put on ourselves and then

sometimes other people put on us as well

so we’re always trying to meet

expectations which can sometimes be

totally unrealistic

and stresses too much i think um

we we forget that we need to make sure

that we

we are are fit and well and healthy and

you can’t do that when your

daily schedule is jam-packed full of

everything else to do with everybody

else except yourself

we’ve got to remind ourselves that we’re

human we’re not machine we’re human

we have basic physiological and

psychological needs and if we can

remember to include those life feels so

much better

i think that’s the biggest obstacle

we’re just going to give ourselves

permission

and um get get started on it

and i know i mean certainly when i’m uh

doing work that i do like p you know i’m

seeing that a lot of people don’t

have choice around many things in their

workplace right so

it you know in their minds it’s very

difficult for them to put those things

in place that we both would talk about

because there are all these other things

they can’t control

and they don’t have any choice in them

happening

and i think that feeling of being out of

control and not having control of

what you really want to do is one of

these big things that holds us all back

because i suppose you know when we are

angelina jolie and we’ve got you know

babysitters and nutritionists and hair

stylists and

everybody to outsource

absolutely gosh where do you get those

i’d like to know yeah

please send through uh you know when you

get to have all that then you can just

focus on what’s important but

not all of us have that right and

therefore that

really hard to prioritise and i

and i know you talk a lot about how you

find

those moments where you can prioritise

yourself they’re not

they don’t have to be those big things

that everyone you know

thinks that you’ve got to do meditation

every day

yoga every day strength training get

your food from

10 kilometers from paddock to plate you

know

like there’s all these people out there

that tell us we’ve got to do all of that

if we really want to have a thriving

life but that’s not your belief is it

yada yada no it’s not

i think we just get real i mean in an

ideal world maybe

but really yeah um i think it’s it’s

about realising

what’s what’s most important to us what

juices

us up why do we do what we do is it just

because we need the paint

or is it actually because we believe in

the work that we’re contributing to

um i think one of my biggest

frustrations is

when i get asked to work with an

organisation where the leadership

has no buy-in to what i’ve been asked to

talk to

the employees about and i’m thinking

you’re wasting everybody’s time and

you’re actually making it worse

because if you’re sharing ideas well you

could do this you could try that

but you know that they’re not going to

be supported

they’re not going to be given the

resources in which to even give it a try

um it’s it’s not helpful to anybody so i

think we have to start by

recognising we need buy-in from the

leaders and

unless they’ve got the insight as to why

it matters so much

to their business and their bottom line

um then then we’ve got some somewhere to

move

from and start to get everybody

thriving and and feeling better about

what they do why they do

and how they do it yeah and of course

that’s that whole

idea of you know it’s got to be top down

bottom up as well

that um for it to work properly and the

thing is top down we don’t have a lot of

control over but as

individuals we can do things

right we can harness what you talk about

our

natural biology to improve our our mood

our energy and our resilience

talk to me about that how do we harness

that natural biology that we all do have

that we all do have control over to

ensure that our

our mood is better our mindsets better

our energy levels are better

i think it’s about tapping into what’s

particularly relevant to you because

it’s not a one size fits all

and this is about recognising what are

your non-negotiables

first because yours will be different

than mine

and from everybody else’s so it’s about

writing down

i think a list of what are those things

that make me feel

good what puts a smile on my face

what makes me or what actually is the

opposite what do what drains me what

makes me feel terrible

i mean you might not be able to get rid

of terrible stuff but if you can boost

up that makes you feel better and do it

more often

then then you then you’ve got a chance

to actually sort of make a change

and like you suggested before it’s not

about sort of

being a vegan or

running a triathlon every weekend or

something like that it’s about putting

in place those small things that we can

do on a daily basis

that just make us feel a bit better in

ourselves so

um i don’t know what you do heidi but

for me

my morning routine is pretty much the

same every morning

i like to get up at the same time i like

to have a

a hot drink before i do anything else

sometimes it’s tea sometimes it’s lemon

and hot water

depends um but then the dog always gets

a walk

and it’s that going outside being

around in a parkland space that sets me

up for my day

if i can get that done first then i know

whatever else happens in my day

i’m going to be managing it far better

and it’s as simple as that

have to be anything humongous and i’m

all for meditation

and things like that if they work for

you and i think

one of the issues i have with

mindfulness mindfulness meditation and

i teach mindfulness meditation don’t get

me wrong and i love it when

when i need it and when i can share it

with others

but it’s not for everybody uh and so

recognising well if if it works for you

that’s fine

if it doesn’t do it for you do something

else

find some music or or whatever it is

um so i think we just have to realise is

slightly medicine’s moving into

personalised medicine we need to move

into personalised

self-care um say well you know is it

homemade bread or is it

you know having a nice cup of coffee i

don’t know just depends

and i’d love to hear from everyone who’s

watching either now or later

uh what do you do that you know

is one of those things that helps your

mood that helps your energy levels

that helps you cope with the day i’d

love you to put it in the comments

um so we can all actually learn from

each other

i mean i know certainly my i’ve got a

really

anal retentive morning routine i would

say um

i actually have i know return to things

all day long that hold me together

physically and mentally

um but right you know what yeah i just i

acknowledge what i need to do now

and it’s not because some

you know guru experts told me that i

need to fit all these things in but

i know now that these are the things

that are important to me

as you just said it’s got to be

personalised

it’s got to be realistic for what i can

actually fit into my life

it’s got to be realistic to what my

other responsibilities

are personally and professionally and

what i like and dislike because

for a long time the thought of

meditation

oh my god like that was to me it was

actually a great opportunity to

multitask that i could tick off

meditation but i could actually sit

there and do my to-do list in my mind it

was like

this is brilliant multitasking

so really a complete failure at

meditation

i framed it that i was a good

multitasker anyway

[Laughter]

what are you doing in the comments i

think the thing that we overlook

is the need to have fun no fun and play

is so overlooked because we’re grown-ups

right and grown-ups don’t do that sort

of thing rubbish of course they do

um why wouldn’t we um

and it was it was actually about this

time last year

i was having a chat with somebody and

she said johnny

what are you doing for fun at the moment

and i’m thinking

fun we’re in the middle of a global

pandemic business

ah fun fun fun how does that compute you

know and i was busy sort of trying to

put everything online and doing this and

running around like a

headless chuck and i thought you know

what i’m not

doing anything for fun i thought oh

that’s terrible

so i i went home and i jumped on a

computer and i was like what what what

are the fun things you can do in perth

and after a little while i found

something and i thought aha

this is perfect so i signed up

and i had to sign up my husband as well

and then i shared with him the good news

when he came in that night and i said

darling

guess what we we’re signed up to do

swing dance classes

i can’t tell you the look on his face

said it all about his level of

enthusiasm

and happiness we were going to be doing

these classes

but we have been doing them ever since

then

every week we go and we go to the social

glance

dances as well there’s a fantastic place

in perth it’s it’s 1940s

and it’s just the most amazing vibe and

you go in there and there’s everybody

doing all this swing dancing and you

think

oh yeah bringing it on and bands are

playing

it’s just brilliant and you come out

exhausted

dripping but in such a good frame of

mind

it’s my love that we can do together

and uh

it was fun involved exercise

and yeah i could do with my my nearest

and dearest my darling husband

i know i thought jenny do you think

you’re going to

get him to come on for a cameo

appearance right now and like give us a

little demo

what are the options what’s the chance

of him saying wait for that

i think a big fat zero

point of joy like mandy is by sitting

down and watching netflix right now

and that’s preferable but thank you

amanda yes that is perfect to do as well

if that’s

you know everyone’s got their different

things right and that’s okay

yeah and that’s really okay yeah

[Music]

and jenny in your book you talked about

these kind of counterproductive

short term solutions that we often use

or do you want to explain a little bit

more about what that means

and how they impact us

some of the self-soothing things that we

do to get a spine

yeah do you even like buttery chardonnay

is that what you mean

yeah i i’m actually a losing girl myself

hmm yeah

the other ones that actually mean

something not those ones

they did say that um the amount of

alcohol

um consumed in the first three months of

the pandemic

was equivalent to what was normally

consumed over nine months

and the women consume the vast majority

of that

yes you know

one of my clients is a uh they part of

their business is distributing

to the independent uh

alcohol places that are not woolly’s

kind of bws

types yeah and they were telling june

last year that

every single week they were having was

like the week before christmas

wow every single day

with their grief yeah yeah yeah anyway

about those other productive ones what

other people

do yes yeah and the other one that i

think has been a big issue for quite

a few people is the fact that we’ve been

buying our clothes

at least two sizes too small and not

only that they’re shrinking in the wash

because i don’t know about you

but these these unwanted covered kilos

snuck on

uninvited i’m thinking oh they did come

uninvited

and and can i can i share i have always

been fairly slim

i have never had an issue with weight

until last year and all of a sudden i

was thinking

gosh you know don’t fit in and

getting the trousers done up around the

waist belt was getting really quite

challenging some days and then um the

day came when i actually stood on the

scale so

and um yeah

so five months do you lose the five

kilos of

covered weight they’re naughty naughty

pillows those extra ones

naughty kilos i know what it was as well

corn chips and connoisseur ice cream

yeah it gets us it gets us past

things in the short term but of course

it’s when it becomes

an ingrained habit but it’s not so

helpful

and we’re there i think one of the other

issues that i’ve i’ve seen

in terms of short-term strategies is

especially with people working from home

is there working more hours

because they want to show that they’re

diligent they’re putting in the time

they want to show their parcel their

supervisor whoever

that they are getting on with stuff

because i hear terrible stories of

people being

watched you know with these apps and

things like that people

put their computers on i mean oh what

are we doing to ourselves talk about

reach yeah

but uh the the incidence of burnout

from people working from home is is

continuing to rise

because the average amount of time extra

time people are putting in is

nearly two hours a day i mean it’s just

not sustainable

um i mean okay we’ve all had those times

where there’s a

big project to be delivered or the

tender’s gonna be written

up and we do it but when we when it

starts to become this long-term strategy

well i’ve just got to demonstrate i need

to prove

that i’m worthy of having this job

that’s not healthy at all

not at all not at all no and and that’s

the big thing i mean people have been in

fear

haven’t they of of their job so they’re

willing to do anything

to make sure that they can keep them and

of course that has just created this

whole new version of what is acceptable

at the workflow and you know we

we’re going to we we are seeing and

we’re going to continue to see the

ripple effects of that which is

really concerning yes right

with that in mind jenny what is the one

thing in your opinion that you believe

we should all be doing right now

to live a three word in a word

less we should be doing less uh

less is great yeah it’s i’ve been

practicing it

recently because um i’m

i’m the first to admit i’m a recovering

workaholic

and i love my work so i justify

why i do what i do because i love it so

much and i i don’t mind spending more

time on it

but it’s it’s it’s counterproductive and

it’s harmful

to to me my health and my relationships

and it makes me very boring as well

because all i’m thinking about or

talking about

is my work no that has to stop so

less is more and

to your piece that i think you put out

on linkedin today or yesterday

about just letting go and pressing pause

for that five

ten minutes makes such a difference

um choosing not to do the overtime

choosing not to spend all weekend

playing catch up because you think you

ought to

no no yeah it’s too much it’s it’s

it’s not human to be operating in that

way so

less is so much more and it’s

interesting that

by actually we bring ourselves back into

that

less space we get more done in a shorter

period of time

with lower less stress levels and we

feel good about it

yeah and fewer mistakes

and fewer mistakes as well for your

mistakes exactly

yeah exactly yeah i love that and i you

know

and i know you know many people feel

like they they’re not in that uh

situation where they can do less because

they are

they’re in fear they’re in fear

it’s a terrible place to be there’s no

doubt about that

but i think we all have the opportunity

even though we think we don’t uh to do

less

we can say no because when we i think we

think like when we

we consciously say yes to uh yes i’ll be

on that committee or i’ll i’ll

be part of the pmc or yes i’m going to

i’m going to up skill with this or i’m

going to say yes to that committee

meeting or whatever it might be

we’re actually unconsciously saying no

to the things that are really important

to us right by

we’re unconsciously saying no to being

having the time to cook our dinner

properly rather than getting takeaway or

to take the dog for a walk after work or

to play you know kick a ball down the

park on the weekends with the kids or

do something that fills our mind with

really

great things that give us purpose in

this world so

that’s that choice decision all the time

i think it’s it’s about challenging that

fear

yeah because sometimes the fear is

something that we’ve created for

ourselves

because we’re fearful that others will

judge us

or tell us that we’re slapping or

whatever

yeah but unless we test that and

challenge it we’re not gonna know

because i shall never get one particular

woman who came to see me when i was

working as a gp

who was basically doing the work of two

people she’d been doing it for 18 months

she hadn’t had

any time off in that whole time frame

she was working every evening she was

working every weekend

she her friends had given up on her they

stopped asking her out because they knew

she would say no

she was miserable she was lonely she was

on the verge of complete

burnout and i said well have you told

your boss

how you feel oh i couldn’t possibly do

that why not

oh because he’ll think less of me

because he might sack me

and i’m thinking well do you want to

continue

like this until you fall over in a heap

and you have to take time off

or it does fire you because you make a

silly mistake or something

and i think you know it’s it it can be

very difficult to have that conversation

but unless we are willing

to challenge what has become our status

quo

we’re not going to bring about any

change and i think if if you get the

response where

the person that you’re you’re asking

seems to lack any insight or any empathy

um i know jobs are scarce

but sometimes it means it’s an

indication that maybe you’re not in the

right

right role in the right job and

while it’s not always possible to shift

there will be a time when you can move i

think it’s about

having that knowledge that when the time

is right you will be going

because it’s just not worth it and

stuff is killing us it’s it’s literally

killing us and we we need to

um wake businesses up to the fact

that you know having people drop dead

from a heart attack or a stroke or

committing suicide

is not the way that uh

people you know need to be managed in

the workplace

not at all and i think we can both or

all of us will agree like our emerging

talent that is coming through

they’re not putting up with that at all

and

if organisations want to attract the

best talent

they have to do it differently because

this emerging talent

will not put up with that at

all no and i and i think

that’s important because they’re the

ones they are the generation who would

say

you want me to do what you have to be

kidding me yeah and

and it just will help it to sort of

change

it’s it’s it’s difficult because when

we’re used to things

operating in a certain mode um

that’s the way we do things around here

then everybody is expected to

poop in and conform but i think that

time is long gone

and the the forward thinking

organisations

the ones that i love to hear about where

people say you know what

i love working for x y or z because

and they tell you about all the great

things that their job provides them

and it’s the security it’s the respect

it’s feeling it knowledge for their

effort

it’s being called out when they do

something great for the team or

something like that

and just being treated as a human being

yeah absolutely but with the

responsibility as well

i think it’s you know some some business

leaders i’ve spoken to say well you know

if i give everything that uh our staff

want you know they’re going to be

a bunch of sort of narcissistic people

who aren’t so

willing to step up to the challenge and

i’m thinking you know you’re missing the

point

people have a challenge but but support

them in the challenge

to so they know that if they fail it’s

about well okay

tell me what didn’t work what could be

done differently what did you learn et

cetera et cetera so it’s a completely

different approach

it sure is and jenny i mean you talked

about what um you know that we need to

do

less like what to take away for us to

live a thriving life

you know by doing less what what is your

one recommendation of what people should

put

in to live a thriving life what should

you know

on the flip side of that i suppose yeah

i think it’s greater self-awareness um

because i think we’re often running

around on autopilot

busy looking at everything else that

we’re meant to be doing and we sometimes

forget

to just stop and look inwards to see

what’s the impact of what i’m doing

on myself and other people around me so

i think the self-awareness piece

yeah if we spend just a little bit of

time

just to be more mindful

about how we come across to other people

minding our language um

then it can have a huge positive impact

on our relationships with others and i

think the one thing that we can all

do better at is wondering how we can

strengthen our interpersonal

relationships with each other

with mutual respect and trust start this

as starting points

as that connection piece right that

connecting with others

and i mean i was reading just recently

that a third

third of australians don’t consider

themselves to be within

a group a group of friends that they

don’t have

a group of friends to connect with

and i mean that’s yeah that’s really

looking good it is shocking

yeah and and and we know that loneliness

is a growing problem

and unless we are prepared to take steps

to

counteract that it’s only going to get

worse because

it seems that the more connected we are

via our technology the less connected we

are with each other

yeah and it’s not such a paradox but it

seems to be the way it’s playing out so

i think

um when i heard recently

this week one one of our local

universities

um as i think of next year you will no

longer be required to attend

a university lecture at that particular

university it’s all going to be online

i don’t think what are we doing to

ourselves

i mean for one thing the quality of

learning is going to be changed and not

all for the good

and the whole thing about going to a

university

is the people that you meet the others

on your course and it’s

not the same interaction when you’re

never physically with them when you’re

just

online and looking at a screen i’m

thinking

they’re doing it as a cost cutting

measure and i think

we’re cutting more than money here we’re

cutting

our ability to socially interact at a

deeper level with each other

and i think it’s a real problem which it

truly is

oh it breaks my heart to hear that

yeah and you know there’s a there’s a

study by psychology week

saying that one in four australians feel

lonely and you know it’s

yeah again back to that learn you know

you

are now putting students

not being able to have the connection

within their degrees

you’ve got people at work working from

home

so they’re not having the interaction

with their colleagues

it just keeps feeding this problem where

you know this connection piece is such a

great such an important foundation for

us to live that thriving life

uh i i would imagine i think i mean

personally for me i mean i know you know

the data and the science behind it so

yeah

is that the truth it is the truth and

and um it’s now recognised from the

research that loneliness

is as bad for us as if we were smoking

15 cigarettes a day

and we know how bad smoking is for us

but smoking

um smoking loneliness shortens our lives

because we are more it reduces the

strength of our immune system we’re more

likely to get sick

physically we’re more likely to have

mental mood disorders such as anxiety or

depression

um and the more and it’s interesting the

more lonely

we feel the more we we inwardly we

withdraw from the rest of society so

it’s like the lonelier we become the

more we push

the rest of the world away yeah which

compound problems

so there are many gps now in the uk

and i think they’re starting to do it a

little bit here where

um they’ll prescribe a social

prescription

because to help people with uh anxiety

or depression or loneliness

they will be prescribed um a community

project

where they can go along and volunteer a

couple of hours a week or something like

that

basically to get them out of the house

to get them into all the people they

don’t they don’t know these people

and they’re just there to do their own

thing

but it works so beautifully because

when you’re out and about and you’re

doing something especially when you’re

doing something for somebody else

because these projects tend to be about

community gardens or something along

those lines

yeah doing something for somebody else

it lifts your mood and it puts you in a

more positive space

and that then has that ripple effect on

everybody else around you

and listening to the stories of people

who’ve actually

taken part in this it’s it’s

it’s really great to hear because it it

changes their lives it puts them back on

track

to know that you know they’ve got some

purpose and meaning

they can put some joy back into what

they’re doing and

yeah it’s good it’s good but we need

more of it

oh i love that so much it’s incredible

oh i’d like to give i’d like to be a gp

to give me a social project

you know i’m happy to admit that you

know but being in covert for last year

and working from

i’ve always worked from home but um i’ve

not been able to go to conference you

know speaking at conferences like

yourself

and and going into places to do training

and development

that i found that very very tough i felt

very unconnected to the world

and so what in the last i think i’ve

done it now for four weeks in a row

once a week a beautiful company of my

friends nina and nikki from beaumont

people

um they’ve given me a desk at their

place and i go in and i catch the ferry

and i

put my heels on and my lippy on and i go

in

and i’ve got my desk and i do my work

when i have interactions when i go and

make my cup of tea

and i have lunch and i see people i know

on the ferry going

in and i cannot tell you

that connection with humans that i’m

getting

that one day a week is enough for me now

it’s just beautiful made such a

difference jenny

such a different i can believe it i can

believe it

um my husband bought me a bicycle not

that long

ago and we’ve started cycling we’re

getting very proactive you know dancing

and um i’d heard about cycling around

the swan river here and it was a great

thing to do but i’d never done it but

now i have

and i’ve done it quite a few times and

it’s exactly that same thing

you’re out and about and you feel part

of

the community and there’s greater

societal because all of a sudden you see

the city

and it’s alive and there are people in

it and they’re doing their own thing

so there are groups of in the parks or

doing tai chi and yoga and all that sort

of stuff and

other people walking their dogs and

people on the river and their kayaks and

stuff and you just think

yeah this is what it’s all about this is

what

and this is what it’s this is life this

is life

this is what helps thrive it sure does

so my last question for tonight jenny is

i’d love to know this i mean we’ve had a

few sips of our wine but it is the wine

and

wisdom dough so i would like to know

what is the greatest piece of wisdom

that has been

given to you and what impact has it made

on your life

it was a doctor he was an obstetrician

and i had just finished my six months

rotation

working for him and some of the others

and

he knew i was intending to become a gp

yes and i remember him having the

conversation saying jenny um

what will bring people to your door

won’t

be what you know they want you to be

credible of course but they know you’re

a doctor because otherwise you wouldn’t

have your name playing

with the little kid yeah

um but what they will come for

is that sense that they are being cared

for

and it’s not just you it’s the people on

the front desk

and it’s the other staff in your

business because you are the

you know the eyes and the indians and

everything and

that stayed with me forever and i

thought yeah

you’re so right um

i don’t care how much you know but i do

care

if you care for me and i know from

personal experience if i’ve been to see

a doctor

or a specialist or something like that

yeah i want to be treated as a human i

want to be spoken as an individual

you know face to

on face forms and it just it just makes

the difference so i’ve always

held that and it reminds me of the maya

angelou quote

which is um people will forget what you

said

or did but they never ever forget how

you made them feel

correct and that i think that that to me

goes with what

dr gage said to me all those years ago

absolutely i i think everyone probably

would agree with that that feeling

that someone cares for you whether you

are just looking for something little in

you know health or work or friend or

partnership or whatever it is

or if it’s you know those big moments in

life to know

that there is somebody there who cares

oh my gosh

changes everything absolutely yep

jenny thank you so much for being on the

call tonight

for everyone who’s listening now or

later what i’m going to do straight

afterwards is i’m going to

put in a url of jenny’s

that you will be able to go on to one of

her online courses because she’s

you know she’s locked in western

australia like she’s not getting out for

a while

i know you all want to get access to her

amazing brain

and do that because she has incredible

courses online so i will put that

in the comments for you to click on

including again her social media links

so you can follow her because

she really does gift us all with

this incredible wise science

science fact but um care from the heart

wisdom and i think we we this is what we

need more in the world so i will

definitely

be doing that so thank you to everybody

who’s um

listening in thank you to jenny for your

time and your wisdom tonight

thank you for sharing a little tipple

with me

midweek i love it i know you’ve broken a

bit of your rules

this week by doing that midway and i

appreciate that

but for everybody yeah looking forward

to seeing you again

um on our next wine and wisdom show have

a lovely night have a wonderful

week and finally

last but not least get a look at this

book

unreal book and um maybe booktopla

maybe booktopia now i’m not sure i’m

just trying to get off comments sorry

that i

can uh stop having this up here and you

can see the book

right now i’ve got it get a copy of this

book

it will blow your mind because it’s all

about having a thriving mind

so um i will put a link to that so you

can get access to that but thank you

jenny thank you everybody else

good night to you all and see you again

soon

good night thanks so much bye

About Jenny Brockis:

Dr Jenny Brockis is a curious humanist. As a doctor, lifestyle medicine physician, speaker, author and chief wellbeing officer of her company Brain Fit, she seeks to reimagine a new world of work. One that operates with a new vision of wellbeing that unlocks human potential while improving workplace health and safety.

As a kid, her favourite tale was Kipling’s story of ‘How The Elephant Got His Trunk’. Like the elephant, she was insatiably curious. It got her into a bit of trouble, like the time she set the kitchen on fire during a chemistry experiment. It also led to a career in medicine; first as Principal of a group medical practice and today as a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician and independent workplace-based health consultant specialising in brain health, mental wellbeing and psychological safety.

Her latest book Thriving Mind sets out to answer “what makes for a good life?” so we can all be happier, healthier and feel more fulfilled.

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