• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

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Three-time TED Talk presenter and TV doctor Dr T reveals most effective approach to big life decisions

Doctor Tharaka aka "Dr T" on The Switch

Clinical psychiatrist turned TV doctor Doctor Tharaka (aka “Dr T”) who recently appeared on ITV’s Big Brother: Late and Live Show to talk about group dynamics and how comparison kills, has shared his exclusive insights into how to create the best mindset for navigating big life decisions on The Switch, a podcast series hosted by the St James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy. According to Dr T, mastering your mindset opens the gateway to what is possible – in your career and beyond.  

 On The Switch, presenter and Academy Marketing Manager Gee Foottit speaks to inspirational people about the key turning points, or “lightbulb moments” in their lives, discovering what it was that convinced them to make a significant career or life change.     

In the latest episode, Gee speaks to Dr T, who specialises in “medicine of the mind”, working with organisations such as St James’s Place, KPMG and Canon. Dr T has given three TED Talks across the course of his career, about the importance of managing the mind to manage the bottom line.  

 He tells her, “The bottom lines in life can be manyfold. It can be the financial bottom line, it can be your culture, it can be your relationships, your health, your wellbeing, your mindset. […] there is a real strong argument to say you can root this back to the space between your ears. The way you think, the way you feel, the way you perceive the world.” 

Most humans have an appetite for growth, and by harnessing a growth mindset, Dr T says you can renew your mind to create the space for success. For example, if you believe you can close on an important new deal, that’s a growth mindset. Whether you believe you can or you can’t, Dr T says you’re right.  

Unexpected and extrinsic causes of change, such as bereavement, which Dr T has himself experienced, can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. He speaks about being patient on your change journey, explaining that the word “patient” literally translates to “the one that suffers.” If you are willing to suffer through thick and thin for the thing that you are passionate about, to embrace change and see it through, you will build “Resilience 2.0” – post-traumatic growth, rather than stress.  

Dr T explains that we’re often motivated by both love and fear. He uses the analogy of a mouse who is compelled to move towards what he loves – a block of cheese – but will move just as fast from what he fears – a whiff of the local cat. The combination works together to create the motivation the mouse needs to move. The things we are passionate about – draw us to them. The things that we fear – propel us forward.  

With a clear sense of purpose, you increase the probability of attaining your goals. Dr T mentions the benefit of building “psychological scaffolding” to establish your purpose. That is, the sense that “you matter” based on what you have to offer other people, and considering all the people you are here for. Put simply, Dr T says that “the fact that you exist here creates a tangible outcome.” 

Once you have accepted that you are going to embrace change and everything that comes with it, driven by a clear sense of purpose, you have a responsibility to override any personal doubts that crop up with a “better narrative.” Based on his own approach, Dr T recommends you take any thoughts that are unhelpful and drag them “by the face, over the cobblestones.”  

 Embracing optimism, balanced with critical thinking, is a better way forward. He concludes, “The motivational circuits in our brain are great friends of ours. […] You’re not here to fail, you’re here to bless other people. You’ve not come this far to only come this far.”