Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. –Buddha
Today I’m very excited to share an interview with my good friend, Joe Wilner of Shake Off The Grind.
Joe has just released an amazing new program called, “Trigger Positive.” This comprehensive program teaches us the steps to making happiness and positivity a daily choice in our lives.
Not everyone is born seeing the glass as “half full.” For those of you who tend to see the glass as “half empty” there is good news! With a little practice and help from Joe, a therapist and practitioner of positive psychology, you can change your happiness set point and become more positive.
1. Tell us about your background and blog, Shake Off The Grind.
Angela thanks so much for the opportunity to meet your readers and be a part of the community here. I have been involved with coaching, education and counseling for about 7 years now and have also been partaking more in public speaking and writing over the past few years.
I have a Masters degree in Psychology as well as a Masters in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Management and Leadership. This educational background led me to discover coaching and I have been working with clients on their journey to greater fulfillment, significance, and well-being ever since.
I started Shake off the Grind in 2010 with the goal of collaborating with others on a mission to find their calling and follow their passion. Around this time I became determined to do what I loved for a living and I thought the blog would provide an outlet to begin exploring this opportunity. It has become a wonderful platform to do just that.
Finding a calling is still a topic of the blog but it has transitioned more into a community to help people enhance emotional well-being, live with purpose and meaning, and overcome self-imposed limitations that hold them back from living a full and thriving life.
2. What led you to study psychology?
Psychology was a subject that I always found interesting and I really connected with it from the first class I took in high school. I have always been a naturally introverted person, asking questions about why myself and others do the things they do. I found other people fascinating and wanted to know what made them tick.
On a more personal note I also struggled with insecurities, low self-esteem, and self-doubt when I was a teenager. Psychology was a field I connected with for this reason, but also because it offered me a chance to help others with these same types of issues. I love having the opportunity to help people see their potential, be happier, and have more confidence in pursuing their dreams.
3. What was the inspiration for the Trigger Positive Program?
As I mentioned early, I was insecure when a teenager and this followed into young adulthood. Many of my self-detesting thinking patterns followed me into college and early professional experiences. I struggled with anxiety, discontentment, and meaninglessness.
I wasn’t satisfied with life, held myself down, and tended to view the world as a negative place that wasn’t on my side. I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally.
However, all of sudden I began making a mental shift about 3 or 4 years ago. I simply got sick and tired and my own negative attitude. I stopped making excuses, stopped playing the victim role, and really began exploring how I could become a happier person. I wanted to take control of my attitude and perspective on life.
At this point I started to dream bigger and expand my vision in regards to who I was and how I could live a life of greater significance.
I learned that I wasn’t destined to be a negative person. I just had to learn how to be happy and gain greater awareness of who I was and what was possible. I started Shake off the Grind, became a voracious reader of self-growth material, began engaging in my passions more often, and became fascinated with the field of positive psychology.
Because of this transition I decided to put together content to help others do the same thing, in their own way and at their own pace.
4. Can you tell us about the audio program?
The audio recording provides an accompaniment to the workbook. The workbook includes all of the worksheet and exercises, and the audio program is provided to enliven the guided meditations and offer a more convenient medium to consume the material. It offers a chance for people to listen to the book on the go, while exercising, or cleaning the house. I am an avid listener to audio programs in my car and prefer this method for sake of time. Hopefully it will offer others this convenience as well.
5. What is the best way for readers to put this program into action?
One of the great things about the program is that is covers a wide range of topics and content. A lot of the topics are just an overview, but it’s enough to understand how they function in our life and how to use them to begin intentionally triggering more positivity.
Each of the topics, whether it be forgiveness, courage, mindfulness, or purpose and meaning, can be explored independently and can be cultivated and practiced at any given time when a person would like to bring this attribute into their life.
If someone is in a hurry and doesn’t have time to read through the whole book, I would recommend that people start with five topics as a crash course to increasing well-being. I would start by taking the strengths assessment and putting your strengths into action on a daily basis. Then use the gratitude exercises to begin cultivating more gratitude. Use the optimism exercises to develop a more positive outlook, and finally practice the mindfulness meditation and savoring techniques to train your attention to be open to positive emotions in the present moment.
These areas have been shown to be particularly useful for enhancing well-being. Read through each section and then use the worksheet or exercises as much as you can.
Of course, each of us is in a different place and may be struggling with a different issue. So look through the table of contents and find what will be most helpful to give you a boost of positivity. It may be cultivating forgiveness, showing kindness to others, uncover your vision and mission for life, or learning to be more hopeful. Go to this section and use the exercises.
6. How has your life and relationships changed as a result of the Trigger Positive program?
Using the concepts in this program has offered a much greater dose of natural positive emotion and personal growth than I ever had before. I just had to incorporate them in my life and be open to the positive feelings that followed.
Much of my contentment and life satisfaction has come from realizing that happiness isn’t something that I will all of a sudden obtain, but that happiness is a lifestyle and philosophy.
For me, I have started to use my character strengths in my daily life, engaging in my passions, and seeking out gratifying experiences as much as possible.
More specifically I have done this by writing songs and recording my own album, using of my love for learning by reading and writing as much as I can, and starting to appreciate and be more mindful of the beauty around me at any given time.
I became more serious about meditation, spending time with friends and family, and focusing on savoring and building these relationships.
I got involved with public speaking, which I was previously terrified of! I decided to take control of my life by first and foremost developing myself.
I simply discovered how I could experience more positive emotions, what gave me a sense of meaning, and what I could achieve for a sense of fulfillment. Anyone can figure out how to “trigger positive” in their life and this program can be a great guide.
7. Are there any special features of the program that make it different from other similar programs you’d like to point out to readers?
I tried to combine as many interventions as possible to help people increase positive emotions and live a lifestyle conducive to more happiness. As much as the ideas are based on empirical research from the field of positive psychology it is put together in an easy to read fashion and from the perspective of my personal experience.
The exercises are made so you can immediately start to implement the interventions into your personal life, relationships, and community, so the content is very applicable. Lastly, the book has a bigger message of how someone can take their personal development to help others and make the world a better place. It starts with you triggering positive in your own life, but ultimately is for benefit of everyone.
Joe, having read the companion book and checked out the Trigger Positive audios you recorded I want to say that I completely recommend the program to anyone who’s ready to take control of their life and live the happy and meaningful life they deserve!
Are you a naturally positive person or more the “glass half-empty” personality? Or, are there areas in your life where you are completely positive and other areas where you have difficulties? Do you think you you could benefit from some “positive psychology?
Joe Wilner is a life coach, speaker, and writer who is dedicated to helping people live a full, meaningful, and thriving life. His blog, Shake off the Grind is dedicated to empowering and motivating people to take leaps of faith and develop confidence to reach their potential.The mission of the blog is to help people develop greater well-being, live with purpose and meaning, and overcome self-imposed limitations to begin living the life they truly desire. Do yourself a favor and check out all the benefits and features the “Trigger Positive” program here.