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Now Is The Time To Be Happy: Living By Design Part One

Back by popular demand, Dr. Phil revisits how you can move from being right to being happy.

“Your life has a root core that, once understood, unlocks a powerful force to create your life the way it was meant to be, the way you want and need it to be,” says Dr. Phil.

In this episode, he’ll ask the key questions to help you begin your journey to "Living by Design."

Living By Design Playbook 2023



Please help by sharing, rating, reviewing, and adding a comment on: Apple Podcasts or click here for other podcast platforms

What is the difference between authentic and fictional self?

When you're asked, "Who are you?" What is your answer?


Get Connected & Let Dr. Phil Know What You Thought About The Episode:




Podcast Page: DrPhilintheBlanks

Who Are You? (Remember: The part of you "not" defined by your job, function, or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents, and wisdom)

How did you get to be where you are?

What do I want?

What must I do to have it?

How would I feel when I have it?

So, what I "really" want is to feel________________(Phil in the Blank).

Are You Willing To Do The Work?

Listed below are a series of situations. Finish each of the sentences briefly, using as many descriptive terms as you can. Include emotions (sad, angry, hurt, happy, hopeful, scared, tense), physical reactions (tired, shaky, sweaty, hyped-up, weak-kneed, full of pep, headache), and thoughts (“I can’t do this,” “this should be fun,” “he doesn’t like me,” “she’ll probably say no,” “it’s my fault”).

1. When someone compliments my appearance, I . . .

2. When a family member criticizes something I do, I . . .

3. When I make a wrong turn on the road, I . . .

4. When I need to register a complaint with a business associate or vendor, I . . .

5. When a total stranger treats me badly, I . . .

6. When someone close to me successfully gets in shape, I . . .

7. When the service in a shop or restaurant is poor, I . . .

8. When someone does something special for me that they don’t have to do, I . . .

9. When I forget to do something I promised to do, I . . .

10. When my boss asks me to redo something at work, I . . .

What Is The Payoff?

Now that you’ve taken a first look at some of your typical reactions, I want you to go back and give them a second look. Put a star (*) next to every statement you’ve written above that could be categorized, either partially or wholly, as a negative assessment of yourself. In other words, what negative self-talk are you throwing at yourself in these situations? Once you’ve identified the negative internal dialogue, use the spaces below to answer this question about each of the situations in which you put yourself in a negative light: What do you get out of reacting with self-criticism?

This is what the payoff factor is all about. The low self-esteem acted out in your internal dialogue can be a handy excuse for choosing not to change, not to challenge yourself, not to step up to the plate. What’s the payoff for you?











Identify the payoff. Control the currency.

When you control the currency,

then YOU control YOU! -Dr. Phil McGraw

Payoffs can be as simple as money gained by going to work to psychological payoffs of acceptance, approval, praise, love or companionship.

It is possible, you may be feeding off unhealthy, addictive, and imprisoning payoffs, such as self-punishment or distorted self-importance.

Be alert to the possibility that your behavior is controlled by fear of rejection. It's easier not to change. Try something new or put yourself on the line.

Also, consider if your need for immediate gratification creates an appetite for a small payoff now rather than a large payoff later.

"I got a wake-up call that made me be one of those people that ‘gets it’ - that made me stop stumbling through life and pay attention to what's going on so I could seize the moment and live on purpose!” -Dr. Phil McGraw

Internal Dialogue

  • Seize what’s there and live on purpose.

  • Personal Truth- what you believe about yourself when nobody else is looking or listening.

  • Don’t compare your personal truth(s) to another individual’s personal mask.

  • Cognitive Dissonance is an internal conflict that needs to be resolved.

Turn your ear inward:

  • Ask yourself, “What do you say to yourself?”

  • What’s your internal dialogue?

  • How do you label yourself?

Unless you have that internal dialogue, you’ll never get the results that you truly deserve. If a "thought" is rational or not, it has to be grounded in objective fact.

  • It has to be in your best interest

  • It has to protect and prolong your life

  • It has to get you closer to the healthy goals you want in your life

Your internal dialogue powerfully programs and shapes your self-concept. If you believe you are worthy and strong, you will live up to that truth. The following exercises will help to focus your habits and patterns and hopefully set you free of some of your negative internal dialogue:

Exercise 1

Pick a day for doing this exercise, preferably a day when you don't plan to be doing anything dramatic or out of the ordinary. Keep your journal or a small notebook and pen handy throughout the day. Make a series of appointments with yourself. Every two hours, stop what you're doing, take out the notebook, and simply jot down observations about the self-talk you've been having for the past two hours. Each of these eight or ten note-taking sessions need only take a few minutes. Write down what you've been telling yourself about:

  • Your appearance:

  • The work that you've been doing for the past two hours:

  • Your intelligence:

  • Your competence:

  • Your skills and abilities:

  • Your worth:

If you find it easier not to wait for the two-hour mark, but instead to jot things down as you hear yourself saying them, then by all means, do it that way. The point is to develop a thorough understanding of one day's internal dialogue, without completely upsetting your daily schedule.

Exercise 2

Imagine that you are scheduled to make an important presentation at work tomorrow. A number of important customers or clients, as well as several of your coworkers and your boss, will be there watching. It's the night before. You're lying in bed, in the dark, thinking about the presentation. What are you saying to yourself?

Take whatever time you need to consider, honestly and thoroughly, the kinds of messages that would be going through your head. You'd be having a conversation with yourself, so what would you be saying? Write down as much of this conversation as you can.

Exercise 3

Look back at the writing that you did for both Exercises 1 and 2. Do you see common themes or threads running through both sets of writings? If so, what are those common features? Describe them in writing.

Exercise 4

When you look back over your writing for Exercises 1 and 2, how would you describe the overall tone or mood of your internal dialogue? Is it positive, upbeat? Or is it pessimistic, defeatist, self-condemning? If it is positive, is it rational? Or is it just some rah-rah self-con job with no substance? Are there particular areas where what you've written sounds especially harsh or critical? By contrast, does your internal dialogue as to some areas of your life strike you as particularly upbeat and optimistic? Circle any writing that you think illustrates especially positive or especially negative internal dialogue.

Exercise 5

Again, glancing back over your writing for both Exercises 1 and 2: What does your writing tell you about your locus of control? Is your internal dialogue oriented externally, internally, or in accordance with chance? Write down your answer.

Exercise 6

As you look at your writing, answer this question: What kind of a friend are you to yourself throughout the day? If you were a friend whispering in your ear the messages you recorded in Exercises 1 and 2, what kind of friend would you be? You're the one who talks to you, all day, every day. What kind of friend are you? Are you actively creating a toxic environment for yourself, contaminating your experience of the world? Or are the messages that you send yourself characterized by a rational and productive optimism?

Internal Dialogue Exercise

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I was looking for continuation on the topic of the "Formula for a Relationship". In the podcast it talks about teaching your partner what you need and learning what they need. I thought that would be expanded on in the "homework" but it wasn't addressed at all. Did I miss something or are those the only two pertinent actions in moving toward a common goal of intimacy?


Unknown member
Apr 07, 2023

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