Do you want to know how to use gratitude and positivity to achieve your goals? Listen as "The Queen of Gratitude," Kim Serafini shares how to harness powerful ways to improve your life through significant, long-lasting, personal and professional...
Listen as "The Queen of Gratitude," Kim Serafini shares how to harness powerful ways to improve your life through significant, long-lasting, personal and professional transformation. In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Use Gratitude and Positivity to Achieve Your Goals" you will discover:
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Susan Friedmann: Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters.
Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is known as the queen of gratitude. Kim Serafini is devoted to helping people improve their lives through significant, long-lasting, personal, and professional transformation. Her career and business pursuits have involved interviews with many of the world's highest-profile business leaders, acclaimed scientists, and famous self-help gurus.
Kim is intensely curious, loves learning, and is driven to help us harness the innate potency of our minds. She's researched, studied, and investigated how our perceptions, experiences, knowledge, and brain function, influence our thoughts, behaviors, habits, and results. And we are going to talk more about that.
All the way from the West Coast of Australia, living our tomorrow. Kim, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show, and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Kim Serafini: Thank you, so much, Susan. I am honored. It's such a privilege and it's exciting. So hello everybody, I really appreciate you giving us the opportunity, and let's hope, let's intend that there'll be an absolutely exquisite nugget for you to apply. I'm actually well known for being the person who helps people to apply what it is that they're actually learning.
Susan Friedmann: Well, that is super because that is what we want from this conversation. We always want people to walk away with at least one nugget that they can put into practice. And in fact, one of the things that I omitted to tell you when we had our little pre-chat, was that we end the program with a golden nugget. So save one of those special golden nuggets for the end where I'm going to ask you to share that with us.
Kim, I love this title, the queen of gratitude. Tell our listeners, how did you get that title?
Kim Serafini: Interestingly enough, it was actually Marci Shimoff who referred to me as the queen of gratitude when introducing me to her other friends. Now she's actually the best-selling author of Chicken Soup For The Women's Soul, Chicken Soup For The Mother's Soul, Happy For No Reason, Love For No Reason, so she has sold tens of millions of copies of books over the last 20 years. She's a long-term collaborator and colleague of Jack Canfield's from the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. And I actually sent her a little copy of my book, which is called I Am Grateful For Life. It's a beautiful little gift book and she got her assistant to actually write me a little note saying, "Thank you very much. Marci thinks that this book is extraordinary, quite phenomenal." And of course, my heart fluttered, I was like, "Wow, Marci Shimoff thinks something, oh, this cute little gift book that I've written," which meant so much to me.
And [inaudible 00:03:17] when someone, I think, gives you a title like that, even if there's a part of your unconscious or your subconscious, that doesn't really believe that you live into the perceptions that others have of you. Usually, if you're the kind of professional who is of integrity, and you actually like the title or the label, right, even though I was committed to this mission or this vision I have around sharing, really the science of gratitude, there's actually a positive psychology kind of component that is around gratitude. The reality is, is that I had to walk my talk as well. I had to literally live and breathe gratitude. It is who I am.
And lots of these kinds of people like Marci have known me now for more than a decade. They'll all agree that I really am very aligned, very congruent. There's absolutely no cognitive dissonance when it comes to is Kim really a queen of gratitude?
Susan Friedmann: Well, I think we should definitely go down that road because I know with your program, Positive Prime, that you've done a lot of research with regard to gratitude, positivity. Talk to us about how that really affects us. Can we be positive all the time? I don't know. I question that with all the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis. How can we turn that off and look to be positive?
Kim Serafini: Great question, Susan. Okay, so as hard as this would have been for me to believe a decade ago, I can confirm that we really can be very positive for 99.9% of the time. Now that does not mean that we don't have life's curveballs literally interrupt or disrupt us. For the listeners, Susan you know this, over the last two years, I had an extremely rare and interesting medical extraordinary journey. What do I mean by that? I literally was driving a car and I went completely unconscious. It had never happened before. I was on my own. And I had a head-on collision with some trees because my car left the road. And of course, there was a big crash. I was so lucky, very blessed. I walked away. So I'm not in a wheelchair, which could have been one of the disastrous outcomes, and I'm alive.
But let me just really quickly fast forward. I now have a pacemaker implanted into my chest for my heart, because my heart was doing something weird. It was literally just stopping. My heart would just stop. And after about 20 seconds, it would start again. It took lots of medical specialists a long time to figure out what was going on because every single test or investigation medically, was showing that I didn't have diabetes, I didn't have some kind of neurological problem. I didn't have any of the factors that may have contributed to cardiac arrest. My heart function and structures? Perfect. It wasn't like I was having a heart attack.
So anyway, what I want to say is, is that I've really had the opportunity to test whether some of what I espouse can work, even when you're diagnosed with something like an autonomic nervous system disorder. Which is a whole heap more serious and complex than say, I hear a lot of people have autoimmune problems these days.
Now let me get back to gratitude. Do you know I live and breathe, I walk and I talk deep, profound appreciation? Like an intense feeling of what you're truly thankful for and the blessings in your life. We would need several hours for me to discuss how it is that I came to the download of my book whilst I was literally meditating in the Himalayas, in Northern India.
But let me just say, there are a couple of things that I learned. And one of these things was from professor Stephen G. Post. A beautiful human being, a truly spectacular scholar. Stephen G. Post. He's actually on Long Island at the moment, at the University at Stony Brook. You can Google him. So John Templeton actually gave him a lot of funding to create the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, which studies altruism and compassion.
Anyway, Stephen actually said to me, Dr. Post said to me, "You know, Kim, when you feel gratitude, you increase the absorption of oxygen and other nutrients out of your bloodstream and it relaxes your muscles." Now, the funny thing was, was that I was actually a qualified sports therapist at the time he said this to me, and I specialized in the rehabilitation of sporting injuries. So I definitely was an expert at muscles and treating muscles.
But muscles, interestingly enough, they need this incredibly... It's like a wonderful saturation of these nutrients from your bloodstream, in order to function perfectly. I could literally spend the next couple of hours telling you about the science of gratitude. Suffice to say it is the healthiest of all emotions you can experience. The more you experience it, the more it literally heals your body. There are lots of biological processes that are involved, but it is beyond compare. Really, beyond compare.
Susan Friedmann: I mean, I've read this and I've experienced that myself. I've gotten to the habit of at night, just writing down three or four gratitudes, things that I've been grateful for the day. Maybe it's a new client. Maybe it's having a wonderful podcast interview or my husband making a delicious meal for dinner. Just simple things. It's just a nice way to end the day. So I can absolutely attest to what you're saying. I've not, thank goodness, not been through anything as dramatic as you have. Probably most of our listeners haven't either, hopefully.
Talk to us about the fact that we get tied up with the worries, the concerns, the stress. How can we use that feeling of gratitude to let that all go?
Kim Serafini: Perfect question, Susan. Here's the interesting thing. Stress, worry, anxiety and fears. I have been that little bunny that has been frazzled almost my whole life. I'm only in my late forties, so I'm very young for the pacemaker and here's the bottom line. I would not have survived six cardiac arrests had it not been for positivity.
Interestingly enough, I have all of these exercises and activities and this technology in my toolkit, that I can access instantly, which gets me back on track. What I'm trying to say is we all have these incredible situations in our life. It could be troubled teenagers in your house. It could be the situation with work. Seriously, there are a million things that can go wrong in each and every single day. But you have an opportunity to right yourself in every one of those moments. So that no matter how deep the dive is, with depression or fear or sadness or worry, you can actually shorten the amount of time you spend there. It's almost like bounce forward up and out, rapidly, and with ease and grace and speed, When you know a lot more about how do you actually command positivity. It is possible, right?
It's not like I wasn't very fearful before I had my heart operation. I was, but I didn't stay there for any longer than perhaps a couple of moments. I had this beautiful vision and I could see effectively this technology playing out in my mind's eye. I had a repertoire in terms of my self-talk that enabled me and that's what I think everybody who's listening has the opportunity to refine. It's not like we're born with necessarily this way to construct our self-talk so that it empowers us. And in fact, our environment and society and mainstream news with its sensationalist headlines and its fear-mongering content, quite frankly, does everything it can to what's called negatively prime us.
We have to be dedicated to the opposite. We really do. All of us have, at the fundamental level, a fear of not being enough. Not good enough, not beautiful enough, not funny enough, not social enough, not rich enough. I mean, all of us go through all of this. And so given that, what can we actually do about that? Can we actually literally weave our own beautiful fabric? Can we be these master painters of our own life where we actually get to choose what it is that we're bringing into reality? The answer's yes, absolutely.
Susan Friedmann: I love that vision of being a master painter of your own life. And what I really liked to what you said, Kim was that idea of yes. If you are down that you can bounce yourself forward. Now I've had those days and I'm sure many of us have, is that we are just feeling so sorry for ourselves, whatever's happened in our life. You're like, "Oh." And you sort of has this pity party. I allow myself a pity party for, a day is already a long time. If I can do it for a few hours, but then I'm like, "Okay, it's enough already. I've had a pity party. It's time to move on." And that whole idea of bouncing forward and being that master painter, I love that as well.
Kim Serafini: And interesting, Susan, there are very healthy ways to do this, and there are also very unhealthy ways to do it. Some people during that pity party will indulge in sugar or alcohol or other, quite frankly, behaviors that make things worse. But when we are practiced in choosing ways to make ourselves feel better, it becomes like muscle memory. It's a bit like the more we practice lifting ourselves up and out, the easier it is when seriously destructive environments are confronting us. Or really rather unusual aspects of our lives that are about grief or trauma.
I like to actually really help everybody to know that you can build resilience. You really truly can. Angela Duckworth, you might want to watch her TED talk on grit. And people describe me as having rather strange amounts of grit. It's not strange. I have just like an Olympic athlete, I have trained myself in terms of resilience and grit. And the foundation is positivity. It's actually the way that I prime myself and Susan, we may as well tell everybody, there are tens of thousands of people who prime themselves with the technology I invented. And you have an invitation to try it out. But regular users, build up this incredible tenacity, this mental fortitude, that allows them to actually deal with anything from the minor to the major with greater ease and grace. Peace and harmony. Blissfulness.
It's not a pipe dream. It's possible. And it's possible for every single one of us. I'm not, quite frankly, the kind of person who was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and I'm not the kind of person who has a spouse who funds my life. None of those are the kinds of factors that people will excuse as the reasons why some people get through really hard times and some people don't, right? There were no other reasons why I should have gotten through my hard times and survived, other than I really truly have a body of physiology that has been trained to survive. It's ironic. Something like several cardiac arrests. And now of course, with the pacemaker, my heart can never stop again. So I don't have to go unconscious and have these dramatic falls and these car crashes or anything else, that really halts me.
Susan Friedmann: I'm pleased to hear that.
Kim Serafini: Absolutely, it's a good place to be.
Susan Friedmann: Yes. I know that my dad had one put in and actually before he passed away they had to actually stop the pacemaker in the hospital.
Building that resilience. I love the idea of it being like a muscle you're training, Olympic trainer for building these muscles of resilience of just being able to fight whatever comes along because we never know what might come and hit us. Everything's going la-di-da, very smoothly, and then all of a sudden, boom. Right out of nowhere, something happens. And it can change your life. Building that muscle of being able to deal with that sooner, I love that idea.
Talk to us more about Positive Prime. It's a program that you created, developed, and you've attracted thousands of people from around the globe to participate in this program. Talk to our listeners more about what it actually is, and why it's so effective?
Kim Serafini: The program is really on a platform. Imagine it's an environment that is really good for you if you're professionally orientated and we all of course have a personal aspect to it as well. One of the exercises that you do inside what we call the Positive Prime platform as a member, is you watch something. I want you to kind of see it as a flashcard, fancy, sophisticated slideshow. It's almost like a slideshow, but some people might refer to it as a video or a session. But here's the interesting thing.
The actual technology is [inaudible 00:17:33], based on neuroscience and the efficacy testing has been done. We had a very interesting opportunity. Several years ago, Shawn Achor was still teaching at Harvard and he had written The Happiness Advantage. It's a phenomenal book. Anyway, he got an opportunity to create a program with the Oprah Winfrey Network, with Oprah and Arianna Huffington and Kobe Bryant, and a few others. And it was called, effectively, The Science of Happiness. Well, he was looking for an intervention or a tool that would be universal and would work inside three minutes, every single day. And it is actually our exercise. We call them a session. There's nothing else like it on the planet because it's not really a movie, it's not really a slideshow, it's not really an audio. It's a lot of things, all mixed and merged into one. It's like there was this alchemy when 17 different ingredients that relate to the formula and the algorithm came together.
I'll give you just one, all right. So imagine you're watching this beautiful slideshow, it's flowing in front of you, and the speed is variable for a reason. Because it bypasses these aspects of your brain that actually usually prevent human beings from taking information. We've got lots of other training that's available if you're really interested in your neuroscience and positive psychology, and I would encourage you to go and watch a couple of the other webinars that I do.
But one of the aspects is, you see lots of photographs of smiles. They're called Duchenne smiles in the science world. It's a very particular type of smile. Now when your eyes, or in particular, the retina in your eyes, processes this particular type of smile when you see a photograph of it, or you see it on a real person in front of you, you actually have the retina in your eyes send messages to your mirror neurons in your brain. And your brain actually thinks that you are smiling or your brain then sends messages to your body. And from the point of your endocrine system of view, so hormonally, you start to produce more of a chemical cocktail that's about happiness, for real.
So you produce more serotonin, and dopamine, and oxytocin, and these other neurotransmitters. There are lots else that's going on, but that's just the surface level. What happens then is that your body informs your brain that you're happier. Now you need to see a certain number of these Duchenne smiles and in every single one of our sessions inside three minutes, we have scientifically proven that we prime your brain.
What's the benefit of that? It has been proven, beautiful research been done. It makes you more productive. It helps you to sell more. It actually makes you more creative. All of this has actually been quantified as well as qualified by prestigious institutions doing rather bleeding edge kinds of studies on the effects of positive emotions.
And how do we actually physically positively prime somebody? They've even got case studies of doctors who are given these really very difficult medical situations to deal with. They time them and doctors that have been positively primed, come to more accurate diagnoses, faster. They of course have done these studies where they negatively prime doctors as well. And the results are alarming.
You might not have a job that is all about people's life or death, but in every single one of our lives, we are worthy and deserving, all of us, of having the ability to make decisions that are better quality, that suit us, that are aligned with our values. We all have the right to actually be positively primed as we approach every situation in our own lives. And so the Duchenne smiles, the photographs of these smiles that appear inside one of these things that we call a session, it's one of 17 aspects that is working for you without you even knowing how or why, unless I explain every single one of those 17 items. [crosstalk 00:21:27].
Susan Friedmann: That just blows me away, that whole idea of the science and how it can affect us in that way. As you know, I've been doing these sessions now for several months. It's true. I mean, when you finish watching the session, if it's for three minutes, five minutes, 15 minutes, then there's just this feeling of, I feel happier. And it's very basic. And I know that the quality of the work that I'm producing is far higher now, as a result of this. I'm a firm believer. So, listeners, there's going to be a link for you to try this out yourself because Kim's been very generous and has allowed people to have, how long is the trial period for using this?
Kim Serafini: The trial is for a week. And that's because, Susan, there's an aspect of the actual software that allows you to personalize each one of these experiences, where you upload a photograph of yourself. And the way that your identity, your ego, then integrates the messages, means that it becomes a lot more effective. And so I really want people to play with that and I want them to feel what it feels like. And of course, back to the subject of gratitude, if you actually insert and they then start to play randomly throughout each one of these sessions, insert photographs of anything or anyone you're grateful for, every single time you see one of your own photographs, it literally triggers this cascade. This chemical reaction happens inside your body. It is so beautiful. It's stunning.
We also have lots of bonuses that we give people for giving it a try, but it's incredibly affordable because one of the big missions that I've had, of course, since I've had my pacemaker inserted, is that I do feel incredibly grateful for my life. And I feel very blessed. I'm very appreciative of this opportunity to now do something that is way beyond a commercial enterprise. This is really about how much change can I make to the planet. Coming back from the other side has given me quite an interesting attitude to life. And so I made sure-
Susan Friedmann: I've heard that from other people. Yes, others who've had a traumatic experience like this, that they're grateful in a whole different way to life and the delicacy of life and just being, yes, really appreciate all of that.
We're just running out of time and I hate that because I feel that we could go on for so long with this great conversation to learn more about because I didn't even know about the photograph thing. So I've just learned something new.
Kim, if you could leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?
Kim Serafini: Drop out of your head and into your heart and don't intellectualize these concepts. Gratitude is something that we all think that we know about, but it's not something we do each and every single moment of each and every single day. Unfortunately, most of us who are smart and living in the Western world, we've made it all heady and we've stopped actually really being very grounded and having these beautiful principles applied in our real lives as real people.
Susan Friedmann: That makes so much sense. I know you were talking to me, personally.
Kim Serafini: Oh, you're a sweetheart.
Susan Friedmann: I know because I tend to be in my head far more than I know that I ought to be. It's very grounding and it was grounding to have you as a guest. It was an honor. I'm extraordinarily grateful that you took the time to do this interview. And we're going to put a link to the Positive Prime in the show notes, Kim, so that all our listeners can experience this because it's your gift, my gift to everybody on this call.
So thank you so much for sharing that wisdom. And thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.