Dr. Lynda Ulrich of Ever Widening Circles Takes You through the four shifts needed to see an entirely different world on media platforms. She lays out principles of changing how you interact with the internet to get a different response from the algorithm, and plug into a greater worldview.
Dr. Lynda started the media platform, Ever Widening Circles and the Conspiracy of Goodness Network. Both initiatives use media and connections to showcase people doing all the good in the world, and to change the negative dialogue about our times. She also hosts a podcast of the same name, the Conspiracy of Goodness Network podcast. Her journey begins as a story of possibility. Similar to my path of having an established career before diving into social enterprise, Dr. Lynda was a dentist for over two decades feeling that she had something unique to contribute.
We agreed that most social innovators have a part of their journey of looking out at the world and seeing something to change before actually taking action. That period of time can be days or years, but overall it’s a relatively common experience. Dr. Lynda expressed how her outlook changed as she talked to more and more thought leaders in the social good space. Being exposed to others who also valued social impact, and actively pursuing the work, creates a boost in our chance of actively engaging the world of social good. Exposure leads to revealing new possibilities.
One point Dr. Lynda chose to emphasize is that “possibility”, and our access to possibility, changes every day. Things that weren’t possible years ago, are possible today to the point we wouldn’t even question their practicality. On that same path, things we don’t understand as possible now can drastically change as we move forward. Dr. Lynda compared “possibility” to the very real example of society’s view on “jobs suitable for women” expanding as more possibilities were proven and shown.
Taking a moment, Dr. Lynda shared the power of a pause being able to create change with what we’re facing. She starts by explaining the neuroscience related to why negative news gains attention from society. From this, we can imagine the challenge of who rises to the top between negative news and social good. Dr. Lynda pointed out that once we realize the cognitive games being played on our attention, we can be empowered to make our own choices about our attention. She shared her thoughts on the influence in choosing which social content to engage: “Your click is a vote.” Then, our conversation builds on four simple shifts that people can make to see an entirely different world in their lives.
Dr. Lynda Ulrich began talking about the Conspiracy of Goodness Network in detail, and the atmosphere that the platform cultivates. Through the network, people interested in doing good can connect with each other. Dr. Lynda shared that the network is also useful for professionals sharing tips and resources around business in social impact. Ever-widening Circles is continuing to deliver positive news to open our eyes to the positive happenings in the world.
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Adam: [00:00:00] Welcome to People Helping People, the podcast to inspire greater social change and give you ideas on how to take action. I'm your host, Adam Morris. Turning back the clock about 15 years ago, I was working in a big financial institution in finance IT. And the essence of investment banking really bothered me as if I knew I wasn't in the right place.
For a decade, I struggled with my own view of this world as a consumption-driven place that felt like it missed the point of humanity. Today, I'm super inspired by social entrepreneurs who are challenging this model, but the question keeps coming up of how to connect with this hidden world of beautiful change makers.
So I am super excited to introduce Dr. Lynda on the podcast. She started the media platform, Ever Widening Circles and the Conspiracy of Goodness Network to bring together a new world of possibility by connecting co-conspirators and goodness. She also hosts Conspiracy of Goodness, a fantastic podcast where she shares the stories of thought leaders that are magnifying this wave of goodness and progress that often easily goes unnoticed.
So without further ado, Lynda welcome on the podcast.
Lynda: [00:01:07] Oh, I'm so excited to talk to you. And I had a conversation recently, and I think we were both just recognizing that we were both seeing the same wave and talking to people that means there's multiples of great people that are out there. You've discovered some I've discovered some, the guys I just talked to on a different podcast have discovered. It's the future is okay, we got this.
Adam: [00:01:30] It blows me away. I was really excited discovering your podcast. And I think your account on Ever-widening Circles is over 1400 articles. But I would love to start off. Can you just tell us a little bit about how Ever Widening Circles came into being and what it stands for?
Lynda: [00:01:47] Yeah.
So I like to frame up my story as a story of possibility for everyone. I always had this feeling that I had a calling, that there was something I was supposed to do. And yet I was doing really good things. There are so many of us who find professional lives and various industries. I was a dentist for 22 years.
And gosh, I was fixing teeth with computers in 2003. That's like the top 1% of dentists and using micro-cameras, , ease with technology. And so I had a really good professional life going. I don't think anybody in their right mind. Geared from that track. My husband's a dentist. We have a decent, I don't have some story of sorrow.
Our 40th wedding anniversary is next Sunday. Yeah.
It's not all been peaches and cream where there's perseverance there and that, that gets you through the hard times. But but here's how I come to talk to you, Adam. I all my life, I felt like I was built to contribute. To contribute something unique.
And I now have talked to so many thought leaders, people doing what you do. People that are multipliers for the goodness of others, that I'm starting to think we're all built to contribute something unique. Some of us are more aware of that than others. Some of us find that calling sooner in life than others.
I come from a generation of women who couldn't be doctors. My dad was a physician. Our neighbor was a dentist. And I remember the day my dad, and he was an open thinker, sat me down. He said, Lynda, you're going to be a pharmacist.
Adam: [00:03:26] Okay.
Lynda: [00:03:28] He thought that was like a really Zoe well for me, but you can only be a secretary, a teacher, a. Flight attendant. I don't know there was a nurse, that's it? That's what women were. Sad, but that's how far possibility is opening up. And that's one of the things that's really important that I talk about is how possibility changes, changes daily now. So whatever you thought was impossible yesterday might be totally possible today. And that's a viewpoint that we can all share. So what happened was I was a dentist for 23 years. And I started noticing I have a very relationship-oriented practice. I have spent my entire life finding something to celebrate with every single patient.
And people really don't want to be treated like a number in healthcare. husband. Yeah.
How about that? And so I was going to be a physician and my dad saw where we were going with healthcare and knew that it would someday be a time when physicians were told they only had 10 minutes with each patient, but he looked next door and he kept seeing Dr. Doolan who had this autonomous life who was also. In service to others and Dr.
Dylan was the dentist. So my husband and I both, he came dentists and we had this professional life very tuned in to relationships. And what I started noticing over that last 10 years after nine 11, was that people's sense of the future was going down hill. People, I call it a kind of future fatalism was settling in like people who I'd known as always cheerful.
Something cool to say we're easily swept into these downward spiral conversations about how the world's gone to hell in a hand basket. And that was 2012, 13. That was before we were where we are now we couldn't even begin to imagine back then. Okay.
So I kept saying, as people do, as I'm absolutely sure most of your guests have done, you say yourself, God, that's a terrible problem.
Somebody's got to do something right. That's what social innovators do for awhile. There's a course of that. That can be years or days, but most of us have that in common.
Adam: [00:05:48] Looking out at the world and seeing something that you want to change
Lynda: [00:05:52] yeah.
Adam: [00:05:53] almost waiting for that
Lynda: [00:05:56] else. I did. I noticed how dreadful people were feeling about the future. And I would say, gosh, I'm not a news person, another journalist, it never occurred to me to be the one to fix it. And then one day I got an email from a young patient who I'd known since he was a toddler.
And he was riding me from a very bleak place in the world where he'd landed after signing up for the army a way he thought it can make the world a better place. And I knew he'd had a difficult upbringing and I'd always found something to celebrate with this kid. And he thought of me in his darkest moment, he wrote me this female that was full of things that we're all saying now, like it's hopeless.
Nothing I do can make a difference. It was really a level of hopelessness that I just suddenly went and took all the oxygen out of the air because all the other comments like that, that I've been hearing from patients. And when I was out to dinner with my friends, the downward spiral conversations you could get in, it all just came to.
To a supernova in that minute. And I said, somebody's got to do something about this, that somebody is going to be me.
Adam: [00:07:13] I love that. So before we dive into ever-widening circles, like what are some of the things that are magnifying this hopelessness especially around the internet
Lynda: [00:07:24] Yeah.
Adam: [00:07:25] how we interact.
Lynda: [00:07:27] Okay. So the way I, the way my 10,000 foot. Sees it, and everybody has a different view, but I've done quite a, I've had quite a journey. And in eight years I went from ordinary web user to the last Ted talk. I was in build me as a global positive media mogul.
Adam: [00:07:48] Like that title.
Lynda: [00:07:50] Whoa. I can order a pair of boots and 2013 work boots. And now I'm a global plastic meeting. My goal. I accepted that role when they, when that flyer came by and I went, yeah, I've started five platforms, all different, all aimed at changing the negative dialogue about times I've done two Ted talks.
Things that I've observed that could open a new era for us all. And we just recently launched a social media network for all the people doing good in the world. It's called the conspiracy of goodness network, So I keep seeing a problem. And creating a platform. We have an education website that takes everything that's on every wedding circles and and picks up on the wonder that could be connected to education.
So we have this firstname.lastname@example.org where people can just turn their kids loose and they're going to come out of that experience, knowing why we need to learn math and how it's connected to what astronauts dream about.
Adam: [00:08:54] It into the dreams, here's just something you need to do.
Lynda: [00:08:57] Yes, no. People that we feature on PWC ad are the kind of things that change kids' lives. It's if you remember the fireman who came to visit one day in third grade, and then, every patient, I know every one of my patients who's a fireman had that who had, that had that kind of experience.
They had a fireman come in to the school and they were changed forever. So that's the way we envision exposure to goodness. And. Is that it can change us at any age it's transformational. I'm sure that's what you find on your podcast all the time.
Adam: [00:09:28] Yeah. And it's exactly why I started my podcast because I felt disconnected from that. And I wanted to, tap into that and I didn't know how.
Lynda: [00:09:38] Yes. Okay. So Cameron writes me this email, I say. Somebody's got to do something about this, I guess is going to be me. And I went on a search of a local, I found a local kid who was quite tech savvy. You could build me up a passion project website. And on March 15th, 2014, I began writing one article every day on anything under the sun that could prove it was still an amazing world
Adam: [00:10:07] Wow.
Lynda: [00:10:08] with three promises, no ads, no politics.
And no outward bound links that would take you to somewhere crazy that had either of those two things as a priority, 92% of our links on ever-widening circles are internal. And if we do send you outside the website, it's going to be to like the Smithsonian website or NASA website, which are crazy good places to learn about beautiful world et cetera.
So that's however widening circles started. I, I. Segue in here that the reason, the why. So here's the why. So my husband and I grew up on a, in a farming town in Illinois. We did not know about the wider world, the most I knew, and I knew a lot about it from national geographic. My parents were great national geographic, every single surface in our house horizontal was covered with yellow, national geo. Yeah, they taught us that my parents were very big about that. The world is a beautiful place and human beings are basically kind and all that stuff. Smart, brilliant ingenious. So when my husband became one of the top basketball players in the world, he was one of the top 20 basketball players in the world.
He was became captain at Kentucky and was drafted by the bulls that launched us out into the wider world. We went. Farming kids who didn't know about the world at all to we have Irish passports. We've lived in Europe twice. My kids have slept on plywood, into vet and gotten lost in the Andes.
We almost slept under our car one night. And that part of the journey, the story combines with the dentist story in. In my dental life, I was with people at one of the hardest moments of our lives. Everybody hits.
Adam: [00:11:53] Okay.
Lynda: [00:11:53] Everybody comes to me in a state of fear, every single one. So 30 times a day, I had to meet people where they were at and find a place where we could trust each other and do work together in a very interesting, fearful, and.
Significant moment. And I got good at that. I got good at connecting with people and understanding the humanity and what I was doing. And then when I went out in the wider world and drag my kids all over the place to crazy places, I said, whoa, we're all the same. What people in the Andes who were, we were.
Super happy to help. And they were poor and, they offered to do what they could for us. People are incredibly ingenious and generous in the world. And that's what I saw in my practice. And that's when I saw in my small town upbringing. And that's what I saw in the world.
Adam: [00:12:50] I'll come with. That's how, what we see when we open up the internet.
Lynda: [00:12:53] Exactly. This is at the heart of the problem. You've nailed it. Or I went on this journey with ever-widening circles. You don't have to say it was probably a pretty narcissistic journey. I was half comforting myself, Right.
Will I have enough to write about every day? I remember asking you that myself.
Boy, if when I commit to this, will I be able to pull it? So not much good happening in the world. And guess what? Within about a year we had a backed up library of articles we could be writing of more than 600
Adam: [00:13:28] Wow.
Lynda: [00:13:29] and we had 170,000 Facebook fans. I, at that, at one point I had 11,000 Facebook fans in Afghanistan. Yeah. 42,000 in. 8,000 in Mongolia, 18,000 in Pakistan. It turns out yes, what, we're all the same. We want to hear that our kids are going to have a right or future. We'd want to know that we can go to bed at night and sleep safely. We want to know where our next meal is coming from. That's not unique.
That's The same across all humanity. And what we hear on the news and the internet. Now this is the big takeaway. They're the outliers, but they are not the norm. They are the craziest person on the day. Who do we hear about on the news all day long,
Adam: [00:14:23] The worst thing that happened.
Lynda: [00:14:26] very worst craziest person who did something incredibly mean terrifying, whatever. But and there's a reason for that. I'll talk about in a minute because I don't want to hate. But we got to go there so I can give people some tools about how I watched this. But anyway, this is the gist of what I'm doing.
And how I got here is that I just happened to have a particular set of life experiences that led me to this moment. It was my next climb. I thought I was meant to be a dentist all my life. And then I figured out I was built to do this. And that's something I'm really run a share with your listeners is that there is something that you are uniquely built to do, and it might be something that changes just one person's life, or it may be something that changes millions and it's worth doing it's, you're built to do it.
And everything that came before is not a waste of time. It's everything you needed for the next climb.
Adam: [00:15:30] I love that. It's like acknowledging that the work that you did as a dentist was really profound in terms of teaching you how to connect with people and the biggest moment of fear. And that experience led into what came next.
Lynda: [00:15:47] And who would know that we were all going to live in such fear for the last year, and then it's ongoing everywhere in the world. We Americans. I just interviewed a woman from Toronto. Who's a thought leader in the world of organizational development and it was for my podcast. Cause I I record the video too.
It was the first time she'd had a haircut since November
Adam: [00:16:15] Wow.
Lynda: [00:16:17] dressers lawn, because they're still in lockdown, total lockdown in Toronto.
Adam: [00:16:22] Wow.
Lynda: [00:16:22] She had to get her haircut for the podcast on her hair hairdressers.
Adam: [00:16:28] Crazy.
Lynda: [00:16:28] This is fear, but this is what fear looks like, what we've all been through together. And yet I, think that there are lots and lots of people don't use see Adam, that there are so many people who are seeing an opportunity in this disease.
Adam: [00:16:43] I think that's one thing that's blown me away of how, even when. Faced with what's portrayed as a global pandemic that there's so much good of people coming together and realizing, Hey, we can come together and make a difference here or here,
Lynda: [00:16:59] W.
Adam: [00:16:59] even when the situation is so different from what we're used to.
Lynda: [00:17:03] Yeah. And maybe it's because the situation is so different than what we're used to, that we were able to. To find these new places to connect and having patterns. I'll share with you a funny little analogy that I've come to think about the pandemic in these terms. I don't know how your garage is. But my garage, the garage I grew up with, it seems to be something that we all were do. It's just a catch all for everything. And there's no organization. My brother has his automotive section has gardening section separate, but not mine. My garage. And everything gets just shoved on top of everything else.
So here's what I think the pandemic, I think the pandemic was like some big, giant that came and let's say our lives are like our garage full of stuff. We use a little stuff to use 50 years ago that we couldn't quite throw away full of stuff that we need every single day. And we can't find it.
I literally have probably 11 snacks. I live in Vermont. And what happens is you go out and you shovel and the shovel gets left, and then you get another foot of snow and you can't see the shovel your head. So you have to, and by the spring, the LUN is littered with chef got married. So anyway, imagine the pandemic did this.
Our lives were like a garage and the pandemic called uprooted the garage and shook it. Everything in our lives and our history, everything that we cared about and we bought that, we thought we absolutely needed, and we didn't, and it wound up on a shelf. Everything is spread all over our driveway and we can see it in the light of day for what it is. Half broken, how many things are half broken in most people's garage. And so you didn't quite want to throw it away. So you put it with. We've got stuff in our lives like that. We've got mental baggage, we've got notions about others. We've got so many things in our garage that we now had the opportunity during the pause.
Cause that's what the pendant has been for. Lots of us to really look at these things in the light of day that our life was filled up with and that we were prioritizing and hanging out. And now I think as it loses its grip at different paces all over the world, we've got that side. What goes on the curb? Let go of it, just let it go. And what we put back in the garage,
If we're going to put it on that very top shelf, do we even need to keep it? I don't know. I think our notions about each other and what's possible. And old things that used to trigger us, trigger our ire or trigger our sadness. Do we need to put those back in the garage? Can we let a few of those things go?
If they're really important, maybe we ought to tap into doing something about it.
If it's So important to put back in the garage and drag along with us, keep track of, and I think we ought to find some way.
Adam: [00:20:19] So being able to acknowledge that all this stuff takes energy to maintain it. And we have a choice now of where we put that energy.
Lynda: [00:20:28] Absolutely.
Adam: [00:20:29] I love this analogy of the pandemic being a kind of a global pause. Cause one of the things that you talk about a lot is the power of a pause and how that can create change with what you're facing and all this kind of badness, that's always going on, where we're hopping from one thing to the next.
Lynda: [00:20:48] Yeah, I have a Ted talk. I was asked to do a Ted talk about the power of the pause. That's actually what it's called. For a Ted ex producer in India. And it came out just about week before the pandemic really hit India bat. So it hasn't been promoted at all. And but they challenged me to really think about the power of the pause because that's a culture that has a history of whiz.
That goes back thousands and thousands of years. Yeah. I don't take that lightly if you're going to add something to the public dialogue in a country like that, or it is always in culture, you got to be thoughtful. And I found that that when I really paused to think about the power of the pause for that podcast I really had to think about the way we're wired. And can we go in that direction for just a second? I don't talk a little bit about
Adam: [00:21:46] let's dive into that.
Lynda: [00:21:47] Okay. So one of the questions I just got on a podcast, I was being interviewed was like, how do you deal with the volume of the negativity on the news? So this is a good place to talk about how we have a choice to pause because what's happening is the news.
Is being created because we will give it our attention. So it's a chicken and egg thing. We shouldn't roast the the creators of the news. Unless we're able to resist that impulse to dive into things that.
are pointing to danger and disorder, because that's the way our brains work content creators, whether it's the news or what have you, they are, they're using neuroscience very deliberately these days to create content that captures and holds our attention.
All that matters. Now on the internet is an attention economy. The only thing that rises to the top is what will capture and hold our attention. And there's this part of our brain. That's on autopilot all the time called the amygdala and how bad news works. How the craziness of social media works is if we are our brains.
Is constantly scanning the world for signs of dangerous disorder. It's been doing that for hundreds of thousands of years. That's what kept us safe during the sun age. If we heard it tweaks.
Adam: [00:23:25] No.
Lynda: [00:23:26] Knew there might be a saber tooth tiger in the witches. And we paid attention to it's snap, but what we are living in now is a world that doesn't have saber tooth tigers, and we have the exact same impulses carrying us along through our day, unless we come out of autopilot.
So the way I explain the brain science of negativity and the negative news is this. Even when you sleep, there's this part of your brain called the mind that is constantly scanning for danger and disorder, and it will wake you up. Have you ever, Adam smelled just a whiff of smoke while you were sleeping and you sit right up.
That's your amygdala. The width of smoke is always a sign of danger and disorder and it makes you sit right up, out of sleep. We created the internet come with any owner's manual, no rules. And what content creators found very quickly was that since there were no rules and and there was No.
order something had to arise to be the order to bring order to the internet.
And it became what we would give our teams.
Originally, it was even thought of as, Hey, someone gets a lot of people's attention. It must be important. It must have merit, but of course content creators figured out that if they can use dangerous disorder or outrage or scarcity to get our attention,
Adam: [00:24:54] Okay.
Lynda: [00:24:56] now we have an internet where goodness does not matter.
Know Aaron's hard work, nothing like that matters. And in fact, I would argue that we are losing a lot of human potential by the fact that I know and and the guys I just finished a podcast interview with, we all know about thousands of people with incredible attention, incredible intention, good intention, but they're struggling because they can't rise to the top.
They can't, people don't know they exist.
Adam: [00:25:29] And I love how you framed this, that, this is our natural impulse to be, to put our attention on things which might be a risk or a danger. And the internet has just naturally evolved to, to rise this to the top because that's what we are choosing to, to react to,
Lynda: [00:25:49] Okay.
Adam: [00:25:51] or not choosing if subconscious.
Lynda: [00:25:54] Yes. Yes. it's the autopilot thing, but that sword cuts both ways. And this is a turning point. And even this interview is that once we realize that's the game being played with our emotions, then we realize we've got all the power. We actually are not victims of the internet we have. Now. We are the creators of it.
Content creators are not creating any content that we want. Here's the big news. Someone is counting. Every click we make, either an algorithm or an actual entity is counting every click we make and we get more of what we click on. So if we're going like this.
at our lunch hour, bite of sandwich grills froze real quick.
We are literally. We giving a yes, vote, a thumbs up, vote to all those things we stopped at for just a millisecond. And if we're on autopilot, they're going to be signs of danger and disorder. Okay. So we can flip that. We can flip that if people remember nothing I said today, remember these five words, your click is a vote. Oh, someone is counting every click you make and what you click on, you will get more of, even if it's left, you horrified sad or, or whatever, and you will get more what you click on. So that's the way the algorithms work
Adam: [00:27:35] Yes.
Lynda: [00:27:36] and that sort of cuts both ways. So if we go to the internet with intention, not on autopilot, we can still scroll at our lunch over lunch.
But before we go to click on that thing, say, wait, do we need more of that? Because if it's someone just traveling on, on social media about some angry thing or purposely being mean, or some product that, That is not real. Or if it's the, how about the snake with the human form in it? The Anaconda that looks like it's followed.
Nope. Don't click on that. Not the blog pitch, not the headline that says death, ships chips in Miami. We don't need any of that. That's the question I asked when I first started really noticing that I had the power to control what I see in my online life. I would ask myself one question. Do we need more of this?
Adam: [00:28:35] Okay. So you're pausing before you click on something and just asking yourself, do we need more of that?
Lynda: [00:28:41] Yes. Okay. That's the most important word in there is we add them because especially in the turmoil that?
we've gone through politically, and I usually don't even mention anything about politics, but I will go there just far enough to demonstrate it. It was a lot of triggering going on, purposeful triggering, and that's not helpful.
It's not thoughtful and it's not helpful. And no matter which side you're on, it's not getting us to a better future together. So
Adam: [00:29:16] And it, it ties exactly back to what you said before of if that's triggering us and we're paying attention to it, then we're getting more of that. People are saying, yes, people want more of this and they're giving it to us.
Lynda: [00:29:29] That no content creators, not one is creating content that people won't click on, but if they see, they can say something outrageous and we'll click on it because we're angry or maybe it's our team. Maybe it's the people that we think have it. And we're clicking on it to go. Yeah, you're right. We can't do that.
If you want a better world, you have to recognize the people who are building the case. And what I think is that we're at a tipping point. Most of us, no matter which side of the politics you're on, I don't hear too many people saying, oh, this is a great time to be alive. I love all this acrimony and chatting and division.
No, not very many people are saying that. And so if you don't want any part of. If you don't want to see it, if you don't want to add to it, if you don't want to keep building that way or be any part of it, the best thing to do this is just remember that your clinic is a vote. Every single thing you click on is giving what I call linked juice to whatever that thing is.
And we can look at even comments from our team and say, do we need more of this? We might think they're right, but if they're hateful they're mean. If they're just creating more chaos, we can say, do we need more of this? And you can just opt out, just don't click on it. And by click, I just want to be clear that's any kind of engagement at all.
The internet is built. So crazily to track our, even our eyeballs really, they can tell if our eyes have sat somewhere for less than a second.
Adam: [00:31:14] Wow.
Lynda: [00:31:15] No. When I say your click as a vote it's a click that swipe a Leica share even as pause on something, demonstrates that they've got your attention.
And just so people know that's what gets rewarded on the internet. Nothing else matters but I'm constantly asked constantly constant, constantly. What are your page views? Page views are what count for everything on the internet now. Your page is I can get a hundred thousand page views on an article, but ever-widening circles.
We, we count how long people stay.
We know exactly how long it takes to see it, to read and finish a never winding circles articles. So we have our Monday morning meetings. We talk about that. We say this article did really well. It was nine minutes and people stayed in average of 11. Or seven minutes or something like that.
So we don't celebrate how many page views we got. You can do that with clickbait or a great photo or whatever, but if people are absorbing your content and our content will leave people transformed. That's what we want to celebrate is how long they stayed, because that means they, they got the full benefit of the piece.
Adam: [00:32:27] So after you've ignored all the bad stuff that you don't want to see more of, it sounds like pay more attention to the things that you want to see more of and be there more deliberately and more intentionally.
Lynda: [00:32:40] So I'm very well known for talking about these four simple shifts that people can make to see an entirely different world in their lives.
Like I literally don't see the craziness that people tells me is happening because I never ever click on anything that isn't making the world a better place. Never. I'm just as curious about that, Anaconda with the snake, with a human for a minute, but I will not. So my algorithm thinks and serves me only good stuff.
Cause that's the only thing I give my attention to. So there are four shifts you can make to make that same transition in your online life. It'll take some time because your algorithm, your algorithms are set. If you've been just randomly scrolling and clicking on stuff that is just getting your attention.
Your algorithm's going to think for a while, but that's still what you want to see, but after you get deliberate about it, here are the four shifts you could make to see an entirely different world in your life. And by the way, there's a We want these to get out into the world so badly. We created a whole website just for the four shifts.
if it's a 10 minute read, that's it. You can share it with whoever you want. It takes exactly 10 minutes and 10 seconds to just read it and you'll get the four shifts. So you don't have to scramble for a pen right now. The first one is pause. Pause before you click on anything, because someone is counting.
Every click you make and your click is a vote. The second one is. Ignore more. Okay.
Here's the practical tip in that one?
Adam: [00:34:13] Okay.
Lynda: [00:34:14] Never ever click out of anger, boredom or curiosity like that kind of morbid curiosity. So I tell people, never click in a, B, C mode, anger, boredom, or morbid curiosity. So if you're scrolling like this at the lunch hour. Okay. Hang on don't click out of anger, boredom, or cure morbid curiosity. I'm as curious as anyone and give me the NASA channel and I can find the damn this stuff there,
Adam: [00:34:44] Marker.
Lynda: [00:34:45] but it's the morbid curiosity that is plain old.
If we all use that little rule, never click out of anger, boredom, or curiosity, rent, morbid curiosity, we would reduce about 80% of what we used to do.
Adam: [00:35:01] Wow.
Lynda: [00:35:02] Okay. So what that does is it fundamentally changes your algorithms and you are, if you're consistent about that I can't even tell you the times where I maybe the other day, my team was wanting me to check out something on the internet that was horrifying. And then they said, no, Dr. Lyndon don't do it because they knew I would screw up my algorithm. So they screen shared with me instead. That's how precious. And they. They need me to be able to see all this progress in the world. So ignore. Okay. Pause, ignore more. The third one is just what you said a few minutes ago. Seek signs of goodness and progress. It's not going to come to you.
Adam: [00:35:45] so be deliberate about it.
Lynda: [00:35:47] Yes.
The internet is not built to bring us there.
I want to just do a little TV history on the internet for you so people can understand how we got here. And this is super 10,000 foot look so excuse that, but just to do it in one minute in 1993, there were 300 websites, all totals. And in 2003, there were 40 million.
So in 10 years we went for 300 to 40 million. And we have to remember that in that those 300 days those engineers were running into work every day and they were so excited about what they were discovering and the goal of the internet was originally. I've talked to two of the people who would be considered their founders of the internet.
The goal of the internet was to connect people to each other and information. That was the goal in one sense already in the beginning, that was the gist. And so then we went from a 300 websites to the 40 million and an organizing principle. Had to bubble up and it became this, what we give our attention to must be important.
So the way it organized itself was that's the only thing we see is what we give our attention to. And because of the neuroscience, I've explained, what we give our attention to is usually pretty frightening. So that's how we usually see what we see in the screens, in our lives, unless we go to the internet with purpose.
So on autopilot, you're there, you're going to get the dangerous disorder. But if you go with purpose and you seek signs of goodness and progress, you're going to start seeing the world that I see in the Adam privacy's. Cause I'm pretty sure you're seeking signs of goodness every day, too.
Adam: [00:37:37] Yeah,
I still click on the fear. Laden links. Take me down the wrong hole.
Lynda: [00:37:45] You can stop. Now that the game being played with your emotions, you'll go. I was curious about some childhood star now. Here's what she looks like, all see this crap, but. You don't have to play the game. So if we seek signs of goodness and progress, we'll start to see it more. And then you get to the fourth shift.
And this is the most important when you find signs of wonder order and progress and goodness share it
Because content creators watching very carefully.
Doesn't mean anything anymore. I've learned that over the course of my journey, all these secrets to the internet. But they are paying attention to what we will share and they and so if we started sharing podcast episodes, like the one I just listened to like your last podcast. Oh, I listened to that in the car today.
And I got to talk to this guy tomorrow, but everyone should listen to that podcast. It'll break every notion that people have about China and what's possible, and who's on the case and the progress they're making and what corporations are doing. It's breaks so many molds. So you
Adam: [00:39:03] I was blown away by rich Brewbaker he's phenomenal at just describing it what was going on and
Lynda: [00:39:10] yeah, Yeah.
Adam: [00:39:11] but that's a great example of
Lynda: [00:39:13] It's a great example. So when somebody hears your podcasts, like,
I'm going to share it all over the place everywhere I can. I'm going to share we can't just be passive about
Adam: [00:39:22] Hmm.
Lynda: [00:39:22] when we, I always use the example, one day on Facebook this is a perfect example. I remember it was one time.
I was scrolling through Facebook. And before I knew about this girl and I saw this great little posted Y neighbor kid, two doors down from the office. He was 10 and he raised $470 for the local humane society. All on his own. Just some sad story about some sad dog. And it just inspired me to get out there and do something about it.
Now on Facebook, you have this choice. If you can press or you can move your finger over about an inch and a half,
and you start a wave of goodness and progress that will go out to thousands, tens of thousands sometimes. But the point is. We don't know, we don't know the secret of the internet that like just goes out to your best buds, 20, 30 people at most, but a share can start a wave of its own and sharing that a 10 year old had the where with all and interest to raise $470 for the humane society is such a beautiful multiplier for all the goodness. What other ten-year-olds will see it? How many moms will say, look, your classmates did this. What can you do? And then maybe I'll volunteer to be on a board member for the humane society, or maybe it'll inspire me to have a food drive at my dental practice.
It. Once we see that a ten-year-old has this much love for the world and this sense of possibility that he can matter. You need to share it
Adam: [00:41:02] And then that pulls the rest of us in and gives us more ideas of here's what we can do. And it's not that hard. And we don't need 10 years in a degree in, human sociology to make a difference with people.
Lynda: [00:41:15] Yeah. Yeah. So there's the four shifts, pause, ignore more seek signs of goodness from progress and share it. And if you do that consistency, I had a really neat thought leader, lay one on me the other day. That's pretty simple and I love it. This is it. Consistency is more important than excellence when you're trying to make change. So when you're trying to make change, many of us say I couldn't do it fully. It's not even worth my effort. I, I don't have enough money to start that thing. So it's not worth my effort and just, we can give ourselves all kinds of excuses about the limitations of why can't we can't do it a thousand percent.
But this guy said, no, I think it's better to just do what you can do.
Adam: [00:42:03] So keep that consistency, just even if it's a small little effort that you do, once on a repeatable basis.
Lynda: [00:42:12] Where change is involved, consistency is better than excellence.
Adam: [00:42:18] I love all these principles of, changing how you interact with the internet, so that you get a different response and that you can actually plug into this greater world that's going on. I would love to just touch on the conspiracy of goodness network a bit, because it seems like here's a platform for people to connect and even a more powerful way in a very intentional way.
If they're looking at Hey, where can I actually go to get some of this stuff?
Lynda: [00:42:44] So here's what happened to me was that I thought I was supposed to do this. And then that I realized I had another climb I started a second climb but there's people that are coming right out of college and they don't ever want to work for the man. They just want to make a difference right from day one. And then there's people.
..Who have worked for 10 years. And I'm just saying for the man, I don't know what that means, but. You probably remember, I don't want to be work for the men. It's just like work for some other person's dream or work for some place that doesn't share your values and all that stuff.
That's what I mean by that. But there are plenty of people that have done 10 years in that kind of life and they're going, oh, I have so much more to contribute. I'm going to try to call that the next. Whether you're coming right out of college and you're, and you're ready for your, the next climb, which is actually making a difference in the world, a college, or whether you've been in the working world for a while. And you just don't feel like you're able to contribute your best stuff to the universe, or whether you're like me, you thought you were contributing your best stuff to the universe. And then one day
Adam: [00:43:54] Okay.
Lynda: [00:43:55] something happens. I just takes you off your feet and you've got something more to do.
And then you really climbing. And no matter how that works, we need to find others who are on that same kind of path. It can be a lonely path. It can be a lonely path. Maybe maybe your family doesn't support this kind of decision. That happens a lot to young people. No, you've got to go out and get a job and you need to make six figures.
I didn't pay 200,000 for that education. Rita go.
Adam: [00:44:27] Yeah.
Lynda: [00:44:28] Okay. Or my family wasn't too delighted with all this. I had an eighth grader, a freshman in high school and a freshman in college. So the people around us really want the best for us and people that love us. And they want us to have security safety. That's the, that is the impulse for everyone giving us advice in our life that loves us and deciding to do something for the greater good to start. That next climb looks scary to others because they aren't committed to the same thing that we are.
They don't feel that calling the same calling that we do in their hearts. So it looks like a bad decision. So however it works out, you will need others.
Adam: [00:45:11] I just, I got to say, I love the parallel between how you approach the internet and for people who want to approach this part of their life going and working for the man. Is almost appealing to that instinctive fear of will I have enough, will I have that security? And it sounds like you can almost pause and share something different without having to go into.
Lynda: [00:45:34] And you can make a us, you can make the next time a at your side hustle. This is what a lot of the millennials are doing. They're still working in that job that they don't feel very connected to. But they're starting a side hustle to make the world a better place. So there's all kinds of permutations on this, but where are the conspiracy of goodness network comes in?
Is that what we realized? If you're writing thousands of articles and linking to thousands of people who are doing good in the world, is that Adam, we're all just. Points of light in this vast darkness. And there are some days, I'm sure you feel like this. I'm just shouting into this vast chasm and my voice sometimes feels like it doesn't matter or that I can't, I couldn't ever out shout the darkness. And then we started realizing everyone in circles that there was that we needed a place for people who want a better future, whether they're learning. Just want to learn about it or helpers, those people that just want to get in there and help me pitch or you or Damien Mander, who's figured out that single mothers are the best game wardens in Africa.
That's a crazy story, a wonderful story. Learners, helpers, or the doers, the people that just say that's it, I'm pulling up myself by my bootstraps and I'm gonna take care of homeless children in my little town, whatever. We need each other. Cause we gotta ideas. We gotta have somebody who knows how he gets, what gets us out of bed in the morning and we got to connect.
So we created the conspiracy of goodness network to be a, like a social media network different from the big four. No mean people there,
Adam: [00:47:11] Okay.
Lynda: [00:47:12] we create just enough of a threshold of her participation to join this network so that that people who just want to be chaos. They will, they won't all be there and we're providing all this professional growth and development because that's the other very cool thing is that a lot of the people who are doing good in the world want to just do good and teach us how do you get a trademark?
When should you worry about a trademark? Oh, you don't have a copier. Here's this whole group over here that is making sure old technologies are transformed and given to non-profits. Oh, my God, there's this world. I was on the social innovation summit last week. It was a three-day summit of people who are changing the world.
And then there were these hour long networking times when you could jump in with somebody for four minutes, a stranger, four minutes, four minutes, four minutes, and exchange ideas and connect over on LinkedIn and stuff. And I met so many people who are doing the most extraordinary things in the world, right now. Every school in America could apply to get this government grant to just completely redo their computer systems. It's incredible. And no one knows about it.
Adam: [00:48:22] Wow.
Lynda: [00:48:22] there's two different companies that are nonprofits, that refurbish technology for Microsoft and apple and other big corporations and give it to non-profits.
For free. this is just a world of people doing it out there. So the conspiracy of goodness network, this built to connect all those disparate points of light into one big point of light that can actually make a difference.
Adam: [00:48:46] Cool. And that's Conspiracy of Goodness Network.
Lynda: [00:48:49] Yeah, no, it's conspiracy of goodness network.com and there we have once a month, we have a speaker. We do what we call the happiness hour and the speakers. Oh, my gosh. So they get a little talk and then for 40 minutes. So just answer questions while people are having having a beverage.
And we're making workshops from people who need to teach startups, how to make a simple inexpensive website on let's say Squarespace or whatever. We're just bringing in all kinds of people who who can help us all combine our talents and our ideas into something that makes a difference in the world together.
Adam: [00:49:28] I feel like we've covered so much ground over the last hour. I could keep talking for five hours, six hours,
Lynda: [00:49:34] you know what? I come back at him sometime. If you'll have me, I want to talk about the gratitude economy, because you know how I've talked about the attempt, the attention economy a few times.
Adam: [00:49:46] Let's totally do a follow-up podcast on that.
Lynda: [00:49:48] That attention economy is in our rear view mirror and what we're moving to, I'm calling the gratitude economy and all of your guests, every one of them are in that economy. And they may not even know it, but but let's continue this journey.
Adam: [00:50:04] Be part two, the gratitude economy. How cool. I can't wait to record that. But thank you so much for jumping on today and going through everything. What's the website where people can find the four principles that you discussed.
Lynda: [00:50:19] You go to four shifts.com. You can use the number four, therefore, and there'll be this 10 minute read that you can get a real grasp of the four shifts and share it with others. Please share it with others. So we only need 25% of the people on the planet to understand the four shifts. And we would fundamentally. Change the internet almost overnight. And there was a reason for that 25%, which I'll talk to you about on the gratitude economy.
Adam: [00:50:46] I love it.
And for anyone who's listening, go to ever widening circles.com for, all this great news.
Lynda: [00:50:55] Yeah.
Adam: [00:50:56] you'll see the conspiracy of goodness podcast there.
Lynda: [00:50:58] Yeah, I do have to plug the app. The app is the only thing that's supporting us is that we don't have ads. That's that was a promise I made when I started this whole thing. And that's still a promise we keep and the way the Ever-widening Circles, if you want to support media that matters download the app, it's a dollar a month and it can make all the difference in the world and bringing this content to people here and then good people in Pakistan and all the people I've talked to.
Adam: [00:51:24] I love that. And what's the name of the app?
Lynda: [00:51:26] Ever widening circles. It's just the writing circles app?
People in Mongolia, Nepal, South Africa, everyone's celebrating the kinds of things that we're pointing to. There's no like gray area there. We're pointing to things that almost everyone would celebrate as goodness and progress. So we can do this together.
We can open a new.
Adam: [00:51:48] Thank you so much for joining me today and covering everything and I'm looking forward to two.
Lynda: [00:51:54] Okay.
Adam: [00:51:55] And if you're listening, thank you for tuning in and sticking with this great discussion. Go and visit everwideningcircles.com. And if you need more of the resources, you can find them on our show notes at people helping people in that world.
But Lynda, you so much.
Lynda: [00:52:10] All right. Have a great day, Adam.