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How to be Indistractable with NYT Bestselling Author, Nir Eyal

How to be Indistractable with NYT Bestselling Author, Nir Eyal

Do you get distracted? Do you struggle to stay on task and get taken down the digital rabbit hole more often than you would like? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone.

With all the technology that exists, if you aren’t deliberate about what you allow into your life, you’ll be bombarded. One study showed that the average US smartphone user receives 46 app push notifications per day!

I have experienced the overwhelm and frustration that comes from coming to the end of the day and realizing that I haven’t spent enough time on the things that I valued most. This is what I love about Nir Eyal’s newest book: Indistractable.

In my interview with Nir Eyal, we discuss that the source of our distraction may not be an undiagnosed case of ADHD, but that it is actually discomfort. And the critical factor for me was when he talked about matching our values with our calendars. Why? Because if we actually remember the values that are driving our calendar, it’s easier to do the things we plan. Otherwise, if our calendars do not align with our values, we will constantly be drawn away from them by even the smallest “shiny object” in our view (or our notifications).

This was a game changer for me!

How can you do this? Well, read the book! Also, here is an exercise the book inspired me to create for myself:

  1. Write down the things that you value most in life.
  2. Write down all the activities you actually have in your schedule and see which of those align with the values on your list.
  3. Now write down things that you still highly value, but that are NOT on your schedule in any form.
  4. Practice gratitude for the things on your list of scheduled items that already align with your deepest desires.
  5. Add more items to your calendar that actually align with your values.
  6. Let go of 3 things that DON’T align with your values (cancel, reschedule, reprioritize).

This exercise is life changing. Too many people feel down and get distracted on Monday (or any day) because they haven’t aligned their values with their schedule.

Is this you? Why do you keep doing things that don’t align with your values?


Align with your values and be more happy!

If you don’t take anything else from the interview, remember this quote:

Time management is pain management. If you struggle as I did with not doing what you say you’re going to do every day, this is a problem of emotional regulation. It is an impulse control problem. You’re not broken. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not a bad person. It just means you don’t have the skill set to deal with that discomfort in a healthful manner and that’s really why I wrote my book Indistractable.

Most people tend to fall into two groups when it comes to distraction.We have what we call “the blamers” (the blamers say “it’s this technology. It’s the modern world. It’s my iPhone its Facebook. It’s email doing it to me.” Then we have what’s called “the shamers” – the shamers say “something’s wrong with me. I’m so lazy. I’m not very good at this job.” Ironically when we induce shame we create more of those internal triggers which make us even more likely to seek distraction to take our mind off of those uncomfortable emotional states.

Nir Eyal

Don’t be a blamer or a shamer. Just align with your values and turn your time into values. Make sure you listen to this episode and READ THIS BOOK!

If you want to provide a link in the show notes, it’s:

The schedule maker tool Nir mentioned is here:

Related article:

And distraction guide here:

Habits vs routines article here:

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Learn More about Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal - Indistractable

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. The M.I.T. Technology Review dubbed Nir, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”

Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. He is the author of the bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

In addition to blogging at, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business ReviewTechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include Eventbrite (NYSE:EB), (acquired by LinkedIn), Worklife (acquired by Cisco), Product HuntMarco PoloPresence Learning7 CupsPanaKahoot!Byte FoodsFocusMate, and (acquired by Spotify).

Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.

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How To Meet Your Highest Self with Doug Cartwright, Founder of The Daily Shifts

How To Meet Your Highest Self with Doug Cartwright, Founder of The Daily Shifts

If you feel like you are not enough or that your life needs to change for you to be happier and healthier, Episode 120 is for you. In this episode I interview the founder of The Daily Shifts, Doug Cartwright. The Daily Shifts is an app that encourages you to engage with your mind and body in a way that can turn your day around. In this episode we talk about so many amazing things:

  • The power of loving kindness meditation
  • Breathing: Inhale in for 2, Hold for 2, Exhale for 2
  • The power of Gratitude
  • The importance of knowing how to manage your energy
  • “In less than two minutes you can totally change your energy”
  • The power of transitions to boost or suck our energy
  • “The number one most important decision I’ve made was I surrendered my life to the universal flow of the planet.”
  • Surrender to the universe, AND show up everyday the best you can.
  • A powerful mindset: “Life is happening FOR you and not TO you.”
  • We get back what we put out into the world
  • Transformative journalism with Michelle Gielan (25:15)
  • Unfollow negative news and people who are spreading negativity and replace with positivity
  • How to vote when you don’t follow the news (ask trusted friends and then use to save a year of contention and negativity energy suck.
  • The loneliness epidemic (31:45) is based in the belief of “I’m not enough”
  • We are here on earth to do two things: Create and Connect
  • To have a more happy life create a routine ritual to connect with your intuition and higher self (37:25)

Sign up for The Daily Shifts at and if you sign up for premium membership, you’ll also get The Daily Shifts course that is worth $500. This is an amazing deal exclusive to More Happy Life listeners!

More about Doug:

Doug Cartwright – Founder of The Daily Shifts

Doug Cartwright is the founder of a new app called The Daily Shifts that helps you to ritualize daily physical and mental shifts to improve your health and happiness. Doug has an amazing story of going from being one of the top sales reps at Vivint, selling over 300 accounts per year having made over a million dollars by the time he was 25. Then he came to a point in his life where he realized he wanted something more than just making more money and buying more things. In today’s episode he shares the transformation of how he found his new purpose in creating daily shifts in his own mind and body through connecting to his intuition.

Follow Doug Cartwright:

Other people mentioned in this episode:

Alicia Gettys

Jenna Nascimento

Michelle Gielan

Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app:

More Happy Life on Apple Podcasts.

More Happy Life on Google Play.

More Happy Life on Overcast.

More Happy Life on Pocket Casts.

More Happy Life on Spotify

More Happy Life on Google Podcasts

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6 Powerful Ways to Make New Friends As An Adult

6 Powerful Ways to Make New Friends As An Adult

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When I was a kid, I remember I would make friends almost every day on the street. It was probably because I was really good at popping a wheelie on my bike. 😉 I just turned 35 and though I feel super healthy, have a steady job and have enough savings to buy my first home, it has been hard to make new friends in my 30s. It’s not as easy as just popping wheelies in the street, but it is very important to keep making friends, especially as an adult.

The Cost of Loneliness

Loneliness costs a lot. In fact it costs almost $7 Billion per year just in the US (1). A non-profit in the UK called The Silver Lining has taken the initiative to decrease loneliness with a 24 hour call center for people who have no one to call (2). They claim to take 10,500 calls per week with over 50% of the calls saying that they would literally have no one else to talk to. How many people would you feel comfortable discussing an important personal issue with? In 1985 the average response to that question was 3 and in 2004 that dropped to 2. In that same study 25 percent of the respondents said they had zero people to talk to! (3) That was in 2004 before social media became much more mainstream. With instagram and facebook having over a billion users each, we are more digitally connected, but less tangibly connected than ever.

Why does this matter? Well, loneliness doesn’t just make you feel like an L7 loser, it’s also really bad for your health. One study showed that social isolation and a lack of connection is worse for your health than smoking 15 cigarettes per day (4). And, on the other side of the coin, the healthiest and happiest people on earth spend an average of six hours socializing per day! (5) Seriously?!

Okay so we get it, we need more connection than our phones and our trusty volleyball named Wilson. But how do you make friends as an adult? Well, how did you do it as a kid? Maybe you can reach back into your 7-year-old self and make friends again. Kids basically do a lot of the following tips I suggest below.

Here are six trusty ways to make new friends as an adult.

1. Put Your Phone Down and Talk to People

Okay I’m guilty. I use my phone way too much. I’m kind of embarrassed to show my screen time stats from last week, but here we go.

screen time

This was obviously a high usage week being 20% up from the week before. Also, I use my phone for my day job engaging and creating on social media, but no excuses. I was on my phone a lot!

While I spend almost five hours on my phone, research shows that the happiest healthiest people on earth spend six hours a day socializing. I am happy to say that the day with the lowest usage was when I was spending time, in person, with a dear friend. We sat and talked for almost four hours! It was great!

Other than for taking a quick selfie with our pineapple and newly adopted stuffed elephant (see below), no phones were touched or picked up the whole time we were together! It was amazing.

So even if your reality is a bit like mine and your phone is used a ton, take a least one day a week to put your phone down and connect with someone.

I think I often get nervous to talk to random people in the elevator or on the street and instead of engaging with them or smiling at them, I just pick up my phone as if email or some random text message is more important. Sometimes I do get a really important call or text, but if you’re trying to make new friends, maybe try something new.

Have you ever tried a day without a phone? Like the old school when they were only connected to the wall? I did it for a week once (see episode 73) and it was amazing what I learned about myself and how much I was able to connect with people.

Try it. Or maybe try the light phone and see how it impacts how much you connect with people.

2. Be More Intimate More Often

I’m not talking about sexual intimacy. The great myth is that sex is the only form of intimacy. Human beings desire intimacy above everything else. To be truly known by someone and still loved. Matthew Kelly says this well:

“Our desire for happiness is ultimately a desire for intimacy. If we have intimacy we can go without an awful lot and still be happy. Without intimacy, all the riches of the world cannot satisfy our hungry hearts. Until we experience intimacy, our hearts remain restless, irritable, and discontented.” (6)

It takes courage to make a new friend as an adult because to be intimate, you have to reveal yourself to someone in ways that are very vulnerable. There is a certain amount of risk associated, but if you never risk being known, you’ll never truly feel loved for who you are.

3. Create a Commitment Ritual

Once you have met someone and been a little vulnerable with them, why not take it a little bit further with a commitment ritual?

You have seen in movies where mere friends become blood brothers or when people spit in their hands and shake on it. I’m not saying you should blend your spit with one of your friends like you did as a kid, but why not have a secret handshake? Or share a password that only you know. Exchange a handwritten note to commence your friendship or even create an “established” certificate that says the date and time you became friends and hang it on your wall. I personally have a friendship wall where I hang pictures of me with friends so that I can get them off my phone and somewhere I can see them every day and remember to reach out to them. After you establish a date of your friendship, celebrate your friendiversary by doing something special or going back to where you first met and savoring the bond between you. This is crazy vulnerable for some people (especially a lot of men), but tell me if you don’t feel more connected to this friend after you do this.

In Okinawa Japan, from a very young age, the people are placed into what are called Moai, or committed friendship groups, for life. They help each other and are committed to each others’ happiness and wellbeing no matter what happens. We could all learn from this ritual and practice.

Let me know what ritual you come up with to commit to your new friend.

4. Move Geographically Closer to a Friend

This may seem like a drastic option, but in a longitudinal study that followed best friends over 19 years, researchers found that participants had moved an average of 5.8 times during that period (7). Have you had a best friend who moved away and then faded into a memory? It’s sad, but it happens often. It doesn’t take long for a best friend to fade from BFF status to “somebody that I used to know.” If you are super BFFs, get vulnerable and tell them that you are thinking seriously about moving closer to them and see how this impacts your friendship.

One of my friends and I used to have a running agreement to visit each other every 6 months. Though we lived hundreds of miles from each other, it kept our friendship from fading into memory-only status.

Just remember that the healthiest and happiest people on earth are the ones who are in close contact with the people they love. Not just family, but friends too. And our close relationships are the number one predictor of our health and life satisfaction (8).

5. Reach Across Stages

Skiing with new friends

Me and my retired friend Clint

Too many middle-aged adults find that they could probably still name a lot of people that they are close to, but who recently entered into a new stage of life. You are single, you have a best friend who is everything to you. You hang out often. You even double date together. Then one of those double dates turns into a fiance of your best friend. You are ecstatic for them and are even their bridesmaid or best man. But then the honeymoon comes and they come back and they are now married and you are now single. You are still close, but now are in a different stage of life. Because of social norms, it feels less comfortable to just swing by and hang out because, well, because they are married now. You may not relate as much on everything within your stage. And if you are the married one, it can be just as difficult. Sure, you have your married your true love and hopefully best friend, but what about all your other friends? Especially when you start to face the responsibility that comes with your marriage. It’s not too different than running a business with a partner. And then when you start having kids and your friend is still in single land, you enter a totally different stage. With each new child comes a different stage. It can get really easy to just say in your head: “We just grew apart”. Did you?

It will likely take courage to reach across stages and express interest in your friendship regardless of helping them change diapers or finding time outside of their married life. But why do you have to end a beautiful friendship because they have babies and a spouse and you don’t? It doesn’t have to end but it does take vulnerability and perhaps more effort to keep the friendship alive.

6. Make an Old Friend a New Friend

How many friends can you think about right now that you have made over the years? How many of them are more like memories than close friends? It may be sad to think that a best friend has become a memory to you, but the truth is, at one point in your life, you didn’t know these people and you had to engage in activities that helped you become friends. You had to invest time and energy into making that friendship. You probably experienced some sort of harmony between you. Why not recreate that formula? And then you aren’t just starting from scratch with a new person, but you have even more relationship capital to build on with them.

Just remember one thing: LET THEM BE NEW.

Even though you have a pretty solid idea about what you think about them and what kind of person they are, let them be new.

“Too often we make the monumental mistake of thinking we know a person. This assumption can stop a relationship from growing and can smother the growth of a person. It is impossible to know a person completely. And because we are constantly changing as individuals, there are constantly new facets of our personalities for those who love us to discover. The real tragedy is that once we fool ourselves into believing we know a person, we stop discovering that person. The process of discovering another person in a relationship is endless. You may think you know just about everything there is to know about your (friend), but you will be amazed at what you are missing out on if you open yourself up to taking another look.” (9)

You may think you know everything about your old friend and they may think they know everything about you. The truth is that you are constantly changing and evolving and if you open up, you’ll discover this friend. An old friend can become a new friend because the reality is, they are a new person and so are you.


  3. Cacioppo, J. T., & Patrick, W. (2008). Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social connection. WW Norton & Company.
  4. and Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. PLoS medicine, 7(7), 859.
  5. Buettner, D. (2017). Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From The World’s Happiest People.
  6. Kelly, M, (2015). The Seven Levels of Intimacy. P. 8
  9. Kelly, M, (2015). The Seven Levels of Intimacy. PP. 32-33

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