Welcome back, to a BONUS Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning episode that I want to dedicate to YOU, the listener. It took this podcast a bit over 2 years to hit the 100k download milestone, and like any goal we have (whether a sales goal or something you want to do, it might seem so far off, you wonder how you’ll ever get there).
In February of this year, when we hit the 50k mark, it wasn’t hard to project the download numbers and guess when we would hit this milestone, but it still seemed like a moonshot goal, difficult to imagine, and August (when we projected, we would hit this goal) seemed so far away. Do you know what I mean? Do you have something you are working on where the gap from you are now and where you are going seems like an impossible goal?
Even when you have the belief? Even when the evidence is there? I could hear how the episodes were helping people around the world thanks to the messages you sent me, but a part of me had just an ounce of disbelief, and I thought “is this really happening?” wondering if the momentum would continue to build. But the numbers never lie. They kept going up, and each month, we would surpass our monthly goal target.
This weekend, while away with the family in Long Beach, CA, I look out of the window and can see the Legendary Queen Mary Ship[i] in the port as I watch our statistics graph project upwards (see image in the show notes) as we break records with our monthly downloads since launching, and surpass the 100k download mark, with the next milestone on our list to hit 1 million downloads which seems much more difficult but yet not impossible as we break this down into smaller targets.
The Queen Mary ship is a symbolic metaphor to look at this weekend as “This iconic ship is now a floating museum, and tourist attraction.”[ii] Sadly, the hotel is currently closed but my husband had an opportunity to stay on the ship on one of his work trips, and he took me on a tour on FaceTime, where I asked him to show me all of the rooms that had mystery and intrigue surrounding them. If you are like me, and love a good ghost story, look up the history of The Queen Mary that was named one of the “Top 10 most haunted places on earth”[iii] and look up the story of Stateroom 340B. The scariest thing we noticed was that there was no room 340B. Where it should have been, it was boarded up and no longer accessible for the public, unless things have changed, but we might not ever know this, as we mentioned this spooky hotel is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.
The Queen Mary's Stateroom 340B was boarded up.
The Queen Mary Hotel Rooms, just no 340B Stateroom.
Andrea Samadi standing in front of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.
This retired British ocean liner sailed on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 from Southampton, a port city on England’s south coast, just 2 hours from where I lived in England before my parents immigrated to Canada.
On the Queen Mary Ship’s website, I saw a quote written by King George V that made me think about anything new that goes out into the world. When you’re create something out of nothing, like The Queen Mary before it was named, was known only as “Hull #534”[iv] which was the yard number where it was being built. Whatever it is that you are creating, the hope is that it makes an impact within your local community, rippling that impact throughout your state, country, nation, and eventually throughout the world. Listen to this quote and think about whatever it is that you are creating and I hope it energizes you, like it did for me.
"Today we come to the happy task of sending on her way the stateliest ship now in being. It has been the nation’s will that she should be completed, and today we can send her forth no longer a number on the books, but a ship with a name in the world, alive with beauty, energy and strength! May her life among great waters spread friendship among the nations!"[v]
– King George V on the Queen Mary launch
The Queen Mary Heritage Foundation is now developing a museum and educational facility to preserve and enhance the ship’s remarkable story” and is an incredible reminder for all of us building our own Queen Mary Vision. This weekend, as I was walking around Long Beach, where we were staying for our daughter’s gymnastics training, I was speaking with Julianne, another gymnastics Mom, who shared with me that Winston Churchill was on board the Queen Mary, 3 times, and along with this new knowledge that I just love learning, I also thought about how the Queen Mary spread “friendships” across the nations, and as I walked with my new friend in Long Beach, thought about how new ideas really do bring people together, and make the world a smaller place.
My vision for this podcast has always been to make some sort of lasting shift with education (with the implementation of simple neuroscience connected to social and emotional learning) and the history of The Queen Mary Ship reminds me that nothing happens overnight, without hard work and dedication. Looking out of the window at the ship was nothing compared to standing right next to it. I’ll post the images in the show notes but had to include this metaphor to show you that whatever you are working on can have a global impact, and it just takes one person (like you) to begin and create something. As long as the numbers continue to trend upwards on this podcast, I’ll keep putting in the effort behind each episode and really am grateful for the opportunity to host this show and share everything I’m learning in this new field of educational neuroscience with you.
So, this 100,000th download episode is dedicated to you, the listener. I want to thank you for tuning in and sharing with me how you are using this understanding of simple neuroscience in your schools, workplaces, and personal lives. It does help when you send me messages on social media or tag me when an episode is useful. Also, a sincere thank you to all the incredible guests who gave up their time to share their knowledge, ideas, and strategies with us, giving back in such a generous manner.
Sleep scientist Antonio Zadra from episode #104[vi] said it best as he mentioned “of course it’s the listeners who decide such things” when we hit the 90k mark, and that’s when I realized that the key to long-term success in anything is to “find a need and fill it” as Norman Vincent Peale quoted and I think of the entrepreneurs I’ve met over the years who have used this motto to guide them.
Here’s The Top 4 Lessons Learned from Launching This Podcast to See if These Ideas Can Help You With Your Goals
“Where There is No Vision, The People Will Perish”[vii] (Proverbs 29:18)
Even if your vision is shaky in the beginning, keep going! When we launched the podcast in June 2019, with a need in mind, I wasn’t sure if this idea would take off. With any goal, being able to see where you are going is important and following the tips of those who’ve already achieved what you want to do is important. On our 50k milestone episode[viii] I talk about Lewis Howes from the School of Greatness Podcast[ix] who said ‘I built up my podcast through consistently providing quality valuable content and constantly being open to my own growth without being attached to the end result.” So we use this model of providing quality valuable content, keeping an eye on the downloads, remembering to not be “attached to the end result” but to just keep moving forward and applying what we are learning.
There Will Be Problems and Challenges
I remind myself with other great stories, not to forget that with any worthwhile goal, there will be challenges. Presidential historian Doug Wead[x] said it often. “When you get up and do something, there will be problems” and this comes with the territory of taking action with big goals. The history of the Queen Mary reinforced this idea as although the Queen Mary attracted elite passengers, it was the government that kept her afloat.
“With the onset of the worldwide Great Depression, construction on the Queen Mary came to an abrupt halt. Eager to spur on the sluggish economy, the British government agreed to give a loan that would allow construction on ship #534 to continue, but only if Cunard and White Star would merge. (Like Cunard, White Star—famous as the owner of the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic—had fallen on hard times.) In 1934, the new Cunard-White Star Line was born, and construction on the ship immediately resumed.”[xi]
Nothing worthwhile comes without problems.
Anticipate problems and challenges. I remember my first interview for the podcast with Ron Hall[xii] from Valley Day school where for some reason we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t hear each other. After trying every possible setting on his end, we found the problem on my end, and thank goodness we didn’t give up on that interview. It was a powerful one connecting me to many other speakers in the future.
Problems will be unexpected, and they will keep coming---I think to see how dedicated you are to your vision. Will you give up at the slightest challenge, or find a way forward?
Be Consistent and Relevant to Your Listeners.
I’ve mentioned that as long as the interest in these episodes continues, I’ll continue to research, learn new ideas in this field, and produce content, with the hopes that it can help you to sharpen your saw with the understanding of how our brain impacts our learning, results and productivity, with this understanding of neuroscience made simple. I watch the numbers for each episode and know what parts of the world are listening. Thank you for keeping me in the top 100 iTunes Charts in the US, Great Britain, Canada, Finland, Australia, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Ireland and many others where we come in and out of the charts.
Being Transparent with My Own Learning
This year, I noticed that as I’m diving deeper into this content, that the more I’m learning, the more I realize just how little I know. But with each interview, each strategy can be gleaned and applied for an improved life. I know that the topic of neuroscience could seem intimidating especially when most of us have not studied this at school, but I hope that by being open with places it overwhelmed me, helps you to be patient with your own learning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and some ideas and concepts might take a few listens to sink in. I still go back and listen to some episodes on topics I’m struggling with and learn something new, and I hope this transparency reassures you that we can all learn anything, I really believe that, if we take the time to learn and apply it. Life really is about pushing ourselves to grow and learn from the lessons we experience along the way.
If you look in the show notes, I have a METACOGNITION graphic that I created (adapted Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman’s Spectrum of Human Consciousness Model) that shows how learning takes place in the brain, and we will dive deeper into How Learning Works[xiii] this week with Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Almarode’s new book but understanding how our brain adapts to learning something new, until we hit those Aha! Moments is important.
When we learn something new, we go through different stages on the way to metacognition, where we are aware and in control of our knowledge. It begins with Instinctive Learning, where we study and learn with curiosity and desire. We experience positive emotions when we attain success. Next, we move to Habitual Learning, where we form study habits. It is very important we develop proper study habits or else we will only get by until the work becomes challenging. Intentional Learning is where we will spend most of our logic, reason, and attention when solving mental problems. The challenge here is that we are working with our short-term working memory, which contains limited information. It is easy to get distracted at this level of awareness. Worries, fears, and doubts also operate at this level and can interfere with decision-making strategies. We must learn strategies to move forward in spite of fear and focus on the positive side of situations, taking a proactive approach to learning, instead of giving up at the first signs of a challenge. Finally, we arrive at Creative Learning, where all of the magic happens for decision making and goal setting. This process is strenuous on the brain and requires frequent brain breaks to reset our neurochemistry. We must have strategies for practice, study, and learning and be able to find a way to relax their brain and body. During these resting states, remarkable activity takes place, allowing the brain to creatively solve problems. When creativity is integrated with logic and reason, research shows we can solve conflicts and improve academic success. Metacognition occurs when we are aware and in control of the knowledge we are learning. When we reach this level, we begin to have “Aha!” experiences, where we gain insight what we are learning. This is the true magic of the learning process and proves that with the right strategy in place, but eliminating all distractions, we can all learn anything.
Thank you again and stay tuned for our new episodes this week. We have Chrissy Barth on High Performance Fuel for Athletes and as I mentioned, 2 returning guests, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher, with John Almarode on their new book How Learning Works, that explains the science behind how we learn.
Next month we are looking forward to diving deeper with American psychologist and Chief of Stanford’s Addiction and Medicine Clinic, Dr. Anna Lembke on her new book Dopamine Nation, and the following month, will finally get to speak with Dr. Bruce Perry on his new book with Oprah, What Happened to You that discusses conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.
Stay tuned and thank you for helping us to achieve this milestone!