A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss

Systems Thinking Accelerates Progress with David Edwards

August 01, 2022 David R. Edwards Season 1 Episode 126
A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss
Systems Thinking Accelerates Progress with David Edwards
Show Notes Transcript

Today I will talk with author David Edwards, author of "New You! Who Knew?" In this episode we will talk about the book and David's story of how he came to write it.

David will take us through an exercise for setting goals. First, you have to know where you are before you can make a map to get where you want to be. You have to grow your roots before your branches will create fruit.

From David's website biography:
"Hi, I am David R Edwards, author of “New You! Who Knew?”.  A few years ago I was CEO of a Community Health Center creating the leading integrated, person focused, primary care center in the country.  In my interaction with patients, advocates, professionals from different disciplines, and my own pondering and study I had an epiphany, you know a “WOW” moment. People are missing core skills that if they had would make their lives so much better.  I left my well-paying job and embarked on researching and writing a book to help regular people learn the principles and skills needed to become the captain of their own life."

Connect with David:
https://www.davidredwards.com/
amazon.com/author/davidredwards

Connect with Magic:

A Magical Life Podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amagicallifepodcast/

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wholisticnaturalhealth/

Online: https://wholisticnaturalhealth.com.au

A Subito Media production

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Connect with Magic:
A Magical Life Podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amagicallifepodcast/
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wholisticnaturalhealth/
Online: https://wholisticnaturalhealth.com.au
A Subito Media production

Magic Barclay:

Welcome back to a magic life. I'm your host magic Barclay, and I'm again, joined today by David R. Edwards. Thank you, David, for rejoining with us.

David Edwards:

It's a great pleasure. Thank you magic for having me. Oh,

Magic Barclay:

the pleasure's all mine now in 1 25, we covered a lot of things and we did discuss systems and we'll come back to that. But what we didn't discuss was this amazing book of yours. Can you tell us about it please?

David Edwards:

You bet. I'd love to. Thank you. Thank you for asking, you know, as a independently published author, um, without a big platform, they called it a platform. So like a lot of people will like follow you on Facebook or, or social media or whatever. Um, it's challenging to get noticed. And so, um, I appreciate any little bit of attention that I can get, not for myself per se, but because I feel like, um, the book is important. It's an important addition to the knowledge, you know, of what's out there.

Magic Barclay:

Totally. And as an author, I hear you go for it. This is your stage

David Edwards:

so thank you. And again, it's, it's I sincerely try to, whenever I do something like this, or when I wrote the book, my intent or my desire is always to be of benefit. And I love, you know, people like magic, you know, I feed very strongly from talking with you and, you know, looking at your website and listening to your podcast, that your intent is, is sincere and genuine. And I, and I think that's really important. And I want people to know that my intent is very genuine and sincere. So I'm gonna go back. Um, I've worked in healthcare for 35 years back in. 2018, I was in a rural area in the Western United States. I was the CEO of what we call a community health center. This is a health clinic, if you will. Um, with doctors and dentists and therapists and others, who are tasked with helping a community to be healthier, um, we tend to serve lower income people and people that are more vulnerable. They might be minorities, um, low income people with multiple health challenges, those kinds of things. And so that's really been the focus of my career through well, through much of my career, in fact. and so we were. In this setting, where we'd outgrown this original site, that we had a clinic facility. and we were in the very fortunate circumstance of designing a new one to replace it. And as we did that, we took it very seriously that if we just build another building, that's like all the other ones that have been built, it would just kind of, you know, the knowledge of what we have that we see in other clinics that are built. Then we will have missed a massive opportunity. So if we're gonna do this and spend significant, you know, many millions of dollars to do this, we'd better do it. Right. We'd better try to move the bar. If you want to stretch the balloon or, you know, do something truly D. Our model that we had developed our clinical care model was around a whole person. And the way we looked at it was the individual is the captain of the care team. And every care team has either a dentist or a physician or a nurse practitioner or so a medical provider or a, um, mental health therapist, as one of those three is always on that person's team. Now, depending on their needs, we can flex services to help them in a more holistic way. So if I have oral health disease, if I have some behavioral health challenges and statistical health challenges, then you might have all three of those. Then you might have a community health worker or a nurse educator, or, you know, other people that were a part of the health center that we would flex to serve that individual to meet their needs. And then, you know, I could go beyond, but I don't wanna spend too much time on that. But that was the idea. That was our intent. And as we were studying things like biofilic design, it's one of my favorite words. Um, nobody's ever heard of it, but with this idea of nature and using nature in your facility to create a subconscious relaxation in the individual. Cause when you go to the provider of the medical primary and the clinic, generally stress levels go up. Cause you're not there because you're happy, healthy, and you know, life is going well, you're going there cuz you've got a problem and you're looking for some help to overcome that problem. And so, you know, they call this white coat syndrome. There's this stress that's built into that process. Well, we wanted to try to do everything we could to eliminate it just as a one example. But given our model as we were well along in the design process and hiring people and all that kind of stuff, I've had this epiphany, my wow moment, where I realized with the patient as the captain of the team, if we do nothing to increase the capability of the patient to successfully fulfill that role, then everything else we're doing our own hiring and training and facility design and systems and, uh, technology and all of these elements in the system that we're creating. If we don't do something for that patient, then all of this other stuff is gonna be for. Because if they can't a perform in that role successfully and effectively, um, all that other stuff, we're gonna have to do work arounds in order to get this to work. And, you know, as soon as you're doing work arounds and assistance perspective, you know, you've got a problem that you need to resolve. Cause anyways, that's a whole nother discussion. So that's where we were at. I had this epiphany. And for circumstances that are a whole nother conversation, about six months later, I was fired by my board. I didn't do anything wrong. We just had a, a fundamental disagreement. Um, and I lost the argument. And so I found myself with some time on my hands, and I had such a strong feeling about this epiphany about, you know, creating through this capacity of an individual to be the captain of the healthcare team. But you know, these principles as I dove in and studied this, um, and I studied change models extensively, which is, you know, everything in our life is about change. It's about how is tomorrow gonna be different or better hopefully than today, right? How am I a better person tomorrow? How am I healthier wealthier, wiser tomorrow than I am today? And that's the, the journey of life that we're all on. And I realize that at the core of all change models is personal motivat. And unfortunately, when we hear motivation, we typically think of two things. One is this kind of trite, business oriented motivation, countless books have been written about it. Tons of research, why? Cuz there's a lot of money in it, right? Businesses want to know how to motivate their employees, but it's fairly one sided and still serving. It's all about motivating you to do what they want you to do better, faster, cheaper, so they can make more money, be more effective, whatever. And that's not all, negative or conniving or, you know, I don't wanna put too negative a tilt on that. It just makes sense. You are in a business, you want it to run better. You have people, you need them to be effective. And so you focus on this motivation. But that's not the kind of motivation that causes us to both be in charge of our lives and to improve our lives and to both keep up with, and then lead the change that is in our life, that kind of motivation is called intrinsic or personal. And it can only come from within, it's not a rising speech, not that there's anything wrong with that or bad, but it doesn't last. It's not enduring. And so as I studied this more, I discovered these principles underpinning personal or intrinsic motivation, which was the foundation or key. If you will, to people being able to be the captain of their life. And that really applies in your spiritual life, your physical, your work, your health, you know, any aspect of your life. And that was beautiful to me because I I'm naturally drawn to principles that are broadly applicable. And so I discovered this, I tried to create a business that would reinforce that with employees of community health centers, where the kind of places that I'd worked and the pandemic hit like literally two months later and after a year or so, I realized I wasn't gonna be to make that work, but I had done so much work around it. I thought, you know, I got enough. I could write a book. And wouldn't that be a powerful way to kind of get this message out and help people understand what these foundations are that no matter what's happened in the past or not happened that wherever you are today, you know, whatever point of time, whatever your status is, that you could pick up these principles tomorrow and make a difference, a positive difference in your life to lead you, to be the captain of your life, to directing your life. Then wouldn't that be a beautiful thing. And so I spent the last year writing this book, editing and, you know, designing and all the work. And it was just published in January.

Magic Barclay:

Congratulations on that. And this message listeners is just so important and you know, that we always offer freebies here on this podcast, but I'm not gonna do that for you today. And I didn't do it in the last episode. And the reason is I want you to go to www.amazon.com/author/david, uh, Edwards. And I want you to give yourself a gift and that is get this book and tell us what the book's called.

David Edwards:

It's called new you, who knew

Magic Barclay:

now, listeners, I could told you that, but he says it's so. Now, David, I really love this biophilic design. And it's certainly something that in my practice at holistic natural health Australia, that we try to strive for to teach people. And that holism is the way to treat. And you mentioned the pandemic hitting, and we actually closed all of our physical clinics and won't be reopening them, not through fear, but because we actually found, we could teach people more about being their own captain, their own master, you know, their own guiding light by treating people remotely. So now we treat even more people than we did before and from all around the world. So what do you think people can most positively gain from applying the principles that you'll teach them in the book?

David Edwards:

Well, I will start if you go to my website and you go to my blog, you'll see that the, hopefully the first post that is up there is okay. I bought the book now, what, you know, where do I start? What do I do with this now that I have it. And the book is specifically designed to build on itself. And I like using a natural metaphor if I may, of a tree. do you guys have cherries in Australia?

Magic Barclay:

Yes, we do. It's a summer fruit and absolutely yum.

David Edwards:

They are so good. I love cherries. And so I, I worked in, I mentioned this rural area. We had lots of cherry orchards around us. And so as I talked with orchardists, you know, they plant the seeds and they grow seeds. And as in nature, everything starts small. And I think, so it is for us to be very wise to not say, you know, if I'm a hundred pounds overweight to not say, Hey, I'm gonna lose a hundred pounds next week. Right. That just doesn't work. It never works. Um, and if it did work, it would be so brutal. And so obtrusive that it, you know, would probably have long term negative consequences. So we need to be cautious while we're enthusiastic and energetic. And, you know, we're thinking positively about change that we make, take small steps. Because everything in nature and we're a part of nature starts small. So I think about this as a seedling and in my book, I use this metaphor. So you start as a seed, which starts to put out roots. It's the first thing it does once it germinates. And then from there, it starts to push a stem up. And then eventually as the roots grow, then the stem gets taller and taller. And as the roots grow, the stem gets thicker and thicker. And as the roots grow more, the stem gets bigger and bigger. And then eventually at some point it starts to grow branches and on those branches get bigger and bigger and eventually not right away, not even the first several years. Right. But eventually it starts to bear fruit. But the key here is that all of these things happen in balance, right? We grow our roots, we grow bigger stem and the natural result of focusing on these foundations is that we bear more fruit. And rather than just focusing on the fruit, cuz that's kind of the way, you know, most of the things in the world want us to do is like focus on, you know, this end goal and getting all this stuff. Instead of doing that, we focus on the natural systems that create those results. And by focusing on those systems, the results kind of just happen and they're sustainable, right? They go, they, they kind of reproduce over and over again for the rest of our lives because it's this balanced and sustainable natural process. And so as, as I kinda looked at this metaphor and I wrote the book the very first chapters, in fact talk about the things that are necessary. To plant the seed to grow the roots and start to build the stem. So that by the end of the book, you have all of these systems aligned that create the results that you want, whatever that is being outcome types of goals. Like I want this thing or that thing, or to do this, or do that, or process type goals, which is, I want to be this, I want to be that I want to become something which is equally important, perhaps even more important. And so the first of those foundations is our values. So magic. When I say values, what does that mean to you? What do you think of just your first thought?

Magic Barclay:

Well, as the listeners will know, values is something I discuss a fair bit. So my first thought for values actually has two sides of the coin. So I have golden values, the things that I strive for every day, the things that are my. My latest saying is that's my heel. I'm going to die on, you know, it's the thing I will go for to no end. And then I also have my shadow values and their feelings or awakenings in me that I know pull some strings and they can be counterproductive to my golden values or I can embrace my shadows and know that control is my biggest shadow value. So as long as I take personal control of what happens in my life, I'll reach my golden values. So what happens to spring to mind with values is something that I live my life by, or for, or to that unspoken word. That is unique to me.

David Edwards:

Awesome. I love this thought that you, you talk about values or things that you want to live your life by. And so when I was studying values, I wanna compare some contrasts here really quickly. But for example, one of the benefits of making our values explicit is that it provides meaning to life. And the opposite of having meaning in your life is apathy. You know, apathy is this kind of lack of focus. It's a lack of interest, a lack of interest or desire. And you know, when we're apathetic about something, eh, we don't really care about it, but your life is so important. You know, we can't really afford to be apathetic about our lives. And so we want to be meaningful. And the core, one of the cores of. Meaning in life is your values. So that's a really powerful benefit, um, wellbeing. So the opposite of wellbeing is to languish. And you could probably talk about this, you know, as a holistic practitioner, you know, we don't really wanna be languishing, right? We want to experience and be in a live a life of wellbeing, a sense of I'm okay, I'm moving in the right direction. It adds a clarity versus being fuzzy and it adds focus versus regret. So there's all of these benefits to our values as this foundational concept to our motivations. And so there's two things on here. I think that are really critical first is that we want to make our values explicit. So when I say that, and in the book, I walk you through a very simple process. It doesn't cost anything, um, for you to do it. It might take an hour to two hours of your time. I walk you through a process of understanding what your values are, making them specific. And I try to limit you to five. I'm really sorry. But what I find and what science tells us is having too many things that we think about are focused on leads to in decision and lack of success. So in most areas of life, our values is not exception. We really want to try to understand, like, I would say our five core values, what are they? And then I take you through a process of making them, of ranking them, frankly, and then making them very explicit as in. What does it mean in my life? What does my life look like if I were to apply these and live by them and why would I be better off? Or how would I be better off by doing so this is a process of making your values explicit. And the advantage of doing this is it creates a level of conscious awareness. That's really important as you go through your daily and it builds these, it really unleashes the power of these foundations. We talked about like meaning wellbeing, clarity, and focus. and the opposite of course, is this nagging suspicious kind of feeling that I'm not comfortable with that, but I don't really know why. And you just kind of, you know, vague, languishing and we wanna avoid that as much as possible. And so in a couple of hours, we can have all of these powerful bandaid fits that start this foundation that's enduring for the rest of our life. Um, on our personal motivation. So that drive that energy, that focus. Does that make any sense? Does that resonate with you at all? Magic?

Magic Barclay:

That makes perfect sense.

David Edwards:

The second chapter is on awareness and feedback. Um, and there's a lot of stuff we could talk about, but in interest of time, this is a, theme. I think we talked about it maybe just a little bit the last time, but I think it's worth repeating perhaps. I want you to picture a point. You can picture like a page or a map. You know, this is really good. This is a fun exercise. You could try this at home maybe while they listen to the podcast. So you take a map and in a city that's of some good size that you've never been to before. Doesn't matter what city it is. And I want you to pick a point on the map that you want to go to. Maybe there's a great restaurant or a museum or something, you know, a landmark of some kind that you wanna go see. So that's a goal. So now what I want you to do is to map a course to that goal, without knowing where you are right now, you have no idea on the page where you're at, but that's where you're trying to get there. So how do you get there? It's IM. Literally impossible because if you go north and you're north of it, you know, you're gonna miss it. You're gonna be some place completely different. And if you're to the east or you think you're on the east, but you're actually on the west again, you're gonna end up in completely different place. You've got to have a beginning and you've got to have an end in order to have a goal, right. A starting place and an vending place. And so awareness creates your beginning place unless you're aware of where you're at. So your circumstances is it the internal, it could be external, it could be financial, it could be spiritual, it could be health. It could be, you know, so this awareness of who you are and where you're at without that, the odds of you creating any kind of a goal and actually arriving at it become very, very remote. So awareness becomes this foundational concept. As you develop your, um, personal motivation of successful at getting and achieving goals of any kind and the second principle or concept, I guess that I think is important there, um, is this idea of being intentional in the evening. If you set this up as a daily exercise and you can design this to fit you and your circumstances, I don't really wanna prescribe this for somebody. I want you to think, which is super powerful. Just think a little about, about in the morning, how would I be intentional? What does that mean to me? cuz it's gonna depend on you, your life, your situation, your awareness and your goals. And it's gonna, then you're gonna go through the day and at the end of the day you spend it, doesn't take a long time. It could be five or 10 minutes. So is your life worth five or 10 minutes in a day? I hope so. I know it is. I hope you feel so too, but you, the idea is that you said I was intentional in the morning. This is what I wanted to do. This is how I wanted to behave. Um, you know, however you look at that and then you're accountable to it. You say, how did I do this is not beating yourself up. No flogging allow, this is a no flogging zone. This is no a negative self talk zone. Right? You just, you kind. As if you were an outside person looking at your life, he said, well, how did that go? And then you're accountable. And again, how you do that is totally up to you. It's gotta work for you and your life. Um, but I think that's a powerful concept that if we can make it a regular practice is creates these foundations, right? These two practices values, and this awareness starts to put out the roots and it starts to put up a stem or a trunk that becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. And it grows over time, which stand to result. As we discussed earlier, thinking of this as a system, it produces fruit. It just does because it's natural and it's designed to produce more fruit. And rather than focusing on the young goal, we focus on the means to accomplish that goal. Be it a, uh, achievement thing or a process thing, a becoming thing. So does that make sense, magic

Magic Barclay:

no, that makes perfect sense. Something. I just wanted to say, you're talking about a tree growing and producing fruit. Now listeners, as you know, you know, I'm a bit of an earth mother here and I grow all the veggies for my family and something we've tried to grow this year for the first time is potatoes. And in a world of instant gratification, I can tell you that growing potatoes in your veggie garden is very confusing. So you, you put this old potato from the cupboard and it's got eyes and it's getting sprouts and there's no weight it's useful for anything. And you put it in a dirt, you cover it up and you forget about it for a little while and you water the dirt. And then this. Tree things starts growing out and it, it grows quickly and you have all these beautiful luscious leaves, but you're expecting it to be producing flowers because, you know, that's how you get your fruit new veggies. They end up becoming something from the flower, but the potato tree doesn't do that. And so you have to keep watering it and you have to keep feeding it and you have to keep the bugs off it and you have to mulch it. And you're doing all this work for this tree that seems to reduce nothing. And then, you know, months down the track, I think mine have been in now for five months, the tree starts dying and you know, it starts looking a bit ratty and it starts dying down and you see that leaves break down super quickly. So you think, oh, do I pull this thing out? I've got no potatoes. Oh, hang on there. A root I'll dig under it. And all of a sudden from this one little tree that you looked after, so longingly for so long, you have 10 potatoes and they are perfect and they are ready for you to use, to cook with. And I actually got my first ones yesterday and I ran inside my house and said to my kids, look at these potatoes, they're our potatoes. And they said, but mum, you've had to tend this tree that did nothing else for five months. Now, if I was after instant gratification, I can tell you, I wouldn't have given up so much space in my precious veggie gardens for these potato trees. And I've only pulled one down so far. Guess what? I then got my scissors. I chopped it up and I dug it back into the ground. So one little potato tree has given me 10 beautiful, rather large potatoes. But if I was looking for that instant thing, the flower, the, the fun, the produce, it wouldn't have happened. So no matter how you look at it with your growing a tree for flowers and fruit, and to see the leaves expanding and really enjoy that process, whether you're growing potatoes, patience is the key. That's the end of my rant on that one.

David Edwards:

That's beautiful thought. I love the metaphor In the blog post I mentioned, you know, and I, I, I really encourage people. You know, you are a work in progress and everybody's in a different place. If you don't see results immediately, you know, we all want, you know, you know, I want to. Kind of apply this, this hack or this trick or this tip I learned, and I wanna see result immediately, but for the most part, the things that produce for us continuously through the rest of our life, those don't have those kind of, they just don't have that kind of results. It requires patience. The benefit of it, this, you know, the kind of power of it is that it becomes this cumulative sense of power. I've been, I gave a talk in church a few weeks ago on the power of love. And as I was studying, researching, I found. Kind of the physics, the science of physics definition of power. And I realized that this is a super concept. And as we think about our lives as wanting to be a captain, right, we want to be more powerful, not in order to rule over over other people, but to have more ruling, more self influence over our own lives. And so the more power we have in our life, the better off we are, the more intentional we can be. The more self-reliant we can be, the more effective we will be, the more desirable and interesting a person will become. And so this idea of power has really started to resonate with me. Um, and what these foundations do is they give us power to produce and we follow. And I loved, again, this metaphor of the potato. You've done all these systemic things. With the fruit buried in the ground and hidden. And you just wonder, and you wonder, and, and finally, you know, you have your first harvest and what's beautiful about that from like a human perspective is this gives you confidence. You know, this you've had belief, which is chapter seven of my book. Um, you know, that has sustained you through all of these. Watering and nurturing and all this stuff, hoping something good was gonna happen. And finally, you know, this amazing thing happened, but once you've done it, once you have confidence, now that I can do this again, then get similar results. All your power has increased. You've increased this power anyway. So I just love that idea of personal power. Um, and nature shows us how to do it, how to go about it. And the outcomes then are, you've got that for the rest of your life. It's not like a hack. You try it once and it's done and like, you know, all right, what's the next hack. Right's this endless search for the next hack, as opposed to building foundations that continuously and regularly produce for us.

Magic Barclay:

Exactly. Listeners, if you ever want. A real life lesson in humility and patience grow potatoes because you think this thing is not giving anything to you for so long, it's taking, taking, taking, and it doesn't even, like I said, give you these flowers to look at, and then you get this abundance and you think maybe I'm looking at life from a different perspective, maybe the lens I was using. Wasn't quite right. So definitely if you've done nothing else in your life as a life lesson, grow potatoes.

David Edwards:

It could be a cue for you. You know? I mean, there are trips, tips and tricks that make sense that help us. Right? So one of the things we can do, if we do good things is you set up these cues, um, and it might be something that you plant the potato and you use the cue. You go, and you look at it every day you learn nothing's going on. But the queue of looking at it then maybe prompts you to do something else, you know, whatever. It might be one of your goals, for example. Um, and then you'll, you know, have this, that first little bit pops up above the ground. So you have this visual reinforcement, ah, I'm doing something right? So that strengthens that queue as you go check it, and then it grows and grows and eventually starts to, it looks like it's kind of receding all of a sudden, but then you realize that's when the fulfillment of all that effort has born the fruit and that's your queue again. And that might be an idea.

Magic Barclay:

David. I can hear another book coming on the potato effect. now, listeners, this was your episode 1 26, David and I could talk forever. So hopefully he comes back on and share some more wisdom and insight with us. But for now you can visit www.davidredwards.com. David you're also on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. What can people see on your YouTube?

David Edwards:

Well, I've just started to put a few, interviews and, uh, just a few videos out there. It's just at a very nascent stage, so I'm not ready to produce a lot of fruit with it. But, as I have time, I'm starting to put a few things out there. Um, some people just respond, you know, to something visual. And so I'm trying to provide some things that, um, you know, provide those, uh, visual supports for them in their journey as the captain of their life.

Magic Barclay:

Beautiful. And your book is at www.amazon.com/author/david, uh, Edwards. David, thank you again for your time. This has been a couple of fantastic episodes and I'm sure we will talk again soon and maybe a parting word for the listeners.

David Edwards:

I I'll go back to what I said at the first, no matter where you are at what you've done in the past or not done in the past, whatever your circumstances are, please know that your life matters. Your life is probably very common, cuz almost all of our lives are. But as a common life, you can have fulfillment and success and happiness and all the things you desire. I know that that's true. And the key for us is to align ourselves with enduring principles. The things that were true a thousand years ago, they're true today. They were, they'll be true in a thousand years. And as we align ourselves with those principles, we will over time as we're patient, as we're diligent, as we recognize those reinforcing and, and balancing forces in our systems in our lives, we will see results. It'll bear fruit that will bring us the things that we desire. Most the things that will we value, and it can happen to everybody no matter what your circumstances are. And I wish, well,

Magic Barclay:

thank you listeners. Thank you so much for your time again today in 1 27, we have Ann hints talking to us about how you can recapture your childhood for now. Listeners go forth and create your magical life.