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Anil Gupta, author of “Immediate Happiness”, interview with Dr Avi

Dr Avi Ratnanesanan:          Anil and welcome to our interview today. It’s really great to have you. Anil Gupta, best-selling author, international speaker, even spoke at Harvard University and happiness expert and also all around good guy. Anil, thanks very much for joining us today.

Anil Gupta:                  No, it’s my pleasure, Avi. At last we connected.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yes, yes absolutely, absolutely, and I’ve been so looking forward to having this time with you Anil, and just getting your download, getting your insights on happiness and what happiness is all about. You know, Anil you’ve been this author of this amazing book, Immediate Happiness, but Anil I just wanted to know before we get into the book, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came about creating this book.

Anil Gupta:                  Why it was a severe adversity six years ago I was on the verge of suicide. I’d lost everything, and I wouldn’t eat with a knife just in case I stabbed myself. I wouldn’t walk in the street just in case I had one second of madness, and that’s all it takes. It’s just one second of madness. You know, you … It’s a very painful time for me, and I had to have some very major interventions. I’m sure you’ve heard of Anthony Robbins.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Mmhmm.

Anil Gupta:                  He did an intervention, his wife did one, his wife’s brother did one, and then my wife did one, so you can see, I’m a real stubborn guy, and I was really …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  Very stubborn, but I realized then that the focus on what I’d lost, and it was on the meanings I put behind it, and I thought, oh, this is interesting because I knew what to do, but I couldn’t do it. Then I realized that knowledge is not power unless you implement, and the problem with me was the implementation wasn’t easy, and I thought there has to be a better way because people are going through what I’m going through, and they have to find a way. There has to be a way, and then …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Hmm.

Anil Gupta:                  Someone said, why don’t you write a book. I said, you must be crazy, I can’t write a book, but it just came, all the content, all of a sudden it came, and then I put it down. The book was done in like two days , but …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Wow.

Anil Gupta:                  It took me like 18 months to have the courage, you know, all those thoughts are going in my head, why would people want to read this? You know, the English is pretty good, but then people say, Look, Anil it’s not about the English, it’s about the feelings, the content that’s what people will be getting, and really it’s a manual, so I teach people practical methodologies that they can immediately apply.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     That’s what I love about your story Anil is because you’ve actually had this adverse experience, you know, very serious adverse experience, contemplating suicide, obviously depressed, and a lot of us that are in healthcare, you know, the audience that is listening today, a lot of them are either involved in healthcare or in the wellness industry, and we got into it because at some point in our lives, we were also sort of faced with some degree of adversity from a health perspective, and we got saved as it were, or perhaps we saved ourselves, and then we’re on this mission to help others.

You yourself, you’ve come from this place of I suppose great pain in order to speak about immediate happiness and done a book in two days, so what is the book all about Anil?

Anil Gupta:                  It’s really, it’s a manual. See, imagine that you buy a brand new car, and you knew nothing about cars and it broke down. You’d be pretty hopeless in getting it fixed, correct?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Mmhmm.

Anil Gupta:                  If you know a little bit about how the car works, you’d have more power over the car, but if you knew a lot, you wouldn’t have to worry about, oh, if it breaks down, what am I going to do, because you know what to do. This is what happens. We’re never told as human beings how we work, how we function, so I teach you that. I teach you why we sabotage our relationships, why we keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over again, why we’re not happy, why we’re upset and why we get upset, how to break down an upset.

Really, there’s 39 chapters of pure content and practical methodologies that really make you think and once you start thinking, your level of awareness comes up. The number one discipline I teach is awareness.   Awareness brings clarity. Clarity brings focus. Focus brings action. Action brings results. Really, focus is only possible through awareness.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     You know, Anil, when we talk about this, even in healthcare we talk a lot about depression. We spend a lot of time learning how to diagnose depression, learning how to treat depression and what medications work for depression [inaudible 00:04:54] in healthcare we don’t know a lot about happiness. We don’t know a lot about how to prescribe happiness and how to bring happiness to our patients or consumers in healthcare, so can you talk a bit about the how? You know, how do we do this? Because you’ve got 39 chapters there, share with us some of these sort of secrets that some of us in healthcare would probably want to know about.

Anil Gupta:                  Okay, so imagine that you have a patient that’ s depressed. What do you talk about? Things that are not working, so change the focus. What you focus on is what you get, so a simple, very simple, very simple tool that you can use right now is if you’ve got someone depressed, make them look up, and ask them to be unhappy. It’s not possible, so the first thing you can do is change their physiology.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yes.

Anil Gupta:                  By changing their physiology, they will feel differently. You get more oxygen into the body, your muscles start moving, so the depressed is this, but just open up the shoulders, look up and force a smile, because these little things make a difference, and it’s not the big things, it’s the combination of the little things.   Now, if you had someone who’s depressed, and you took them out for two hours, and you took them to a homeless shelter, and you made them serve other people, they don’t have time to be depressed because they’re not thinking about the depression, they’re thinking about serving, and this is what I learned. I was focusing on me, and the moment I changed from focusing on me to serving other people, it completely changed.

It’s about the difference I make. It’s about the difference I can make to other people. That’s very powerful. It’s very important to know that. If you only talk about depression, you’re only going to get that. There are many things you can do. Another thing is ask the patient, what do you make it mean? As human beings, we’re meaning-making machines. For example, if I call my wife and she doesn’t call me back, I make it mean something. I make it mean she doesn’t love me, she doesn’t care for me, she doesn’t respect me, but all that happened was she didn’t call me back.

People get depressed about all sorts of things that happen in their lives, but if you actually ask them what actually happened, they don’t know because they’ll tell you, oh, she stabbed me in the back, he did that to me. Whereas if you break it down, all that happened was she left, and then you can say, well, it’s not so bad after all. Obviously, you have different types of depressions, but these little things can help.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     It’s interesting what you’re saying because you’re actually saying number one, you can turn around someone who’s depressed or sad, you know, someone that walks in the door that’s having these … Just by changing their physicality, as you said, looking up, getting them to smile, all that automatically changes some of the thought patterns within our nervous system, and the brain automatically goes back to this sort of happiness state but obviously changing the thought patterns as well, re-framing how they look at life.

Now, that’s not an easy thing is it? Because, you know, obviously when people come to this sort of level of depression, that’s something that has been sort of ingrained and embedded and reinforced for some period of time, so how can we just you know change that, but obviously, you know, a lot of psychologists do this. What’s your take on that? You know, how do you sort of get that message reinforced?

Anil Gupta:                  Well, the important thing is awareness. From awareness, we need that clarity. For example, if I had a ball here right now, and I threw it to you and you caught it, would you have been depressed in those few seconds that you were catching the ball?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Probably not. I would be trying to focus on trying to catch the ball.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, so what you do you increase those moments of not being depressed so instead of one second, five seconds, ten seconds, and then you have more of them during the day, and then all of a sudden you’ll get a tipping point because what we focus on is what we get, so keep people occupied, serve other people, do some exercises where you increase the awareness, where you increase the gift that you give to other people. Ask them questions like what is your gift? What is it you like to do? What is it you like to serve?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Mmhmm. I know lots of people …

Anil Gupta:                  It’s a muscle.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  It’s a muscle.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yes, yes. I know a lot of people can certainly benefit from that advice, and you know, and just sort of very simple things is what you’re talking about really. You know a few practical things. It’s almost a distraction technique over and over again, but in a way that sort of I suppose provides some [inaudible 00:10:00] stimulation if possible as well.

Anil Gupta:                  That’s right, and you see, the thing is the depression muscle is very well developed, so we need to develop the happiness muscle, the joyous muscle, the serving muscle, the gratitude muscle, the growing muscle.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     You know, what’s really interesting in looking at the broader picture of healthcare and the healthcare system, studies have shown that in some areas, even in the UK for example, up to 45% of doctors and healthcare, particularly doctors, are either depressed or dissatisfied in their work. You know, even in Australia we’ve got very , very high rates of medical professionals depressed or dissatisfied. What do you think is the reason for that? I’ve got an opinion on why that’s the case, but I’d like to hear why you think people in a profession that’s sort of caring and should be rewarded and should be looked after, but you, in whatever aspect of healthcare having these sort of high rates of sadness, depression, dissatisfaction. What are your thoughts?

Anil Gupta:                  Well, you know I think there’s a fundamental flaw in the way medicine is taught because medical students are taught disease. They should be taught health. What the medical profession focuses on is the things that are wrong. If you focus on the things that are right. For example, I went to a preventative medical assessment yesterday where we did all the bloods, the heart, the physicals, everything, and the lady said, look, I love this as a doctor, as a doctor I love this because it’s preventative, rather than someone coming in with diabetes and neuropathy and all sorts of ailments. It is depressing because you feel the pain.

If that same patient had come to you five years earlier or ten years earlier, and you go, say look, you’re on the way to a lot of pain and anguish. This is what we need to do. Let’s work as a team. Let’s prevent diabetes. Let’s prevent the hypertension. Let’s prevent the obesity. That’s really fulfilling because you can see you’re making a difference. How cool would it be that you have no patients.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah, you know, I think that some doctors certainly wish that on some of their patients. I know that certainly when I was seeing about 50 patients a day, you know, there really wasn’t time to really talk to any of them. It was really just get through people and do what needs to be done, and especially when you have a few people who just had a cardiac arrest and a few more that are [inaudible 00:12:48] sick and then there’s a few more that require a discharge, and you’ve got to discharge, in some ways it was tough, you know, to pay the attention to everyone. I think it’s just … I guess what you’re saying there is that we’ve just got to change the frame of how we look at patients and look at sickness, but isn’t that our job?

Anil, you know in healthcare, we see people when they’re sick. Most people come to us when they’re sick, so how do we, even when we see the people that are sick and treat the people that are sick, how do we actually manage that? How do you inject that happiness drug into what we do and into ourselves as well?

Anil Gupta:                  For example, in the old days someone would come in and say look, you know, I’m stressed, I’ve got high blood pressure, and the doctor would say, okay, good, what’s causing that? What part of your life is not working? What’s going on in your life? You know, I’m having an issue with my wife. Oh, that’s why you have blood pressure. See I can give you medications. That will resolve the elevated BP, but the issue is still going to be there. The issue at work is still going to be there, so what is it we need to do to work together to resolve the issue, so that you don’t have the symptoms, you don’t have the signs. That’s the important thing is working together so that we’re on a common goal.

You know, medications always have side effects and our mentality has changed so much that the norm has changed, so it’s normal to be stressed. It’s normal to have blood pressure. It’s normal to be diabetic. It’s normal to be obese, because we compare to other people, say, well I’m not as fat as him or I’m not as obese as him or I don’t have coronary heart disease, but the standards have changed.

It’s normal now to have a bypass. It’s not … In my world, it’s not normal. It’s absolutely not normal, so we have to change the mindset of the patients and of the doctors. We need to focus on health. How can we do preventative healthcare? How can we … You know, like we do with cars. We maintain our cars. We never, ever put the wrong gas in the car, ever, ever, but we put the wrong gas in our bodies all the time.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     That’s such an interesting analogy. You know, we’d never put the wrong gas in the car, but we’re putting the wrong gas in our body. We do have to treat our bodies like temples don’t we?

Anil Gupta:                  Yep.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     We don’t do that. We’re constantly eating all sorts of things, drinking all sorts of things and then just that alone has such a bearing on our health. It’s such a powerful thing to say preventative and obviously it’s a lot of about what governments are doing, what practitioners are doing where we’re trying to spend more time on public health education, preventative health, trying to get patients or consumers or just the general population more aware of health. You being a happiness expert, obviously you talk about stress, but how do we on a, I suppose on a day to day basis, what are the things that we can do to prevent us getting … You know, you talked about blood pressure, here’s how we fix that, but how on a day to day basis, what activities can we do to prevent us getting to that space.

Anil Gupta:                  The first thing is we need to have awareness. The second question is how do we gain awareness? This is the secret. How do we gain awareness? Let me give you some examples. If you have a handkerchief and you tie a knot in it and you leave it in your pocket, every time you feel that, oh yeah, I have to be aware. You can have a post-it on your computer saying, hey, Avi, time to be aware. Anil, time to be aware. You can have your phone make a reminder every two hours. What happens is your level of awareness rises, then you become aware of being aware, then you start taking action because it’s really a matter of action, putting systems in place, so that you do take action, you do make those steps, and you make it a must.

For example, walking. If you walk ten minutes a day, three times a day, it’s better than walking 30 minutes. I learned that yesterday. People will say, well I can’t walk for 30 minutes, but can you walk for ten minutes a day? Can you walk for five minutes a day? It starts the ball rolling because before you climb a mountain, you have to take the first step. You have to take that first step, and then you take the next step, then you take the next step, then you have some encouragement, but it has to be action. You have to take action.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Some of the things that you are sort of suggesting or prescribing there is really, okay, so it’s small amounts of exercise and then building that up so that’s one thing that we can do. What else can we do to … Because you also talk about immediate happiness in your book.

Anil Gupta:                  Okay.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     What is that concept about? Immediate.

Anil Gupta:                  Okay, so I want to give you immediate happiness right now. Close your eyes. Okay? Think of ten things you can be grateful for. Tell me what they are.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     I’m grateful for my family. I’m thinking of different members of my family. I’m thinking of previous holiday destinations, so I’m very grateful for some of those. I’m grateful … I’m grateful for you actually.   You just popped into my head. That’s a scary thing. I’m grateful for having this conversation, you know, we’ve obviously had a good friendship in the past, and it’s good to have your knowledge out.

What else am I grateful for? I’m thinking of books. I’m really … I love learning, and so when I see books I actually get excited. I like to read books, so all of a sudden I’m grateful for books. I’m just thinking of some of my friends as well at the moment that I have, and I’ve got a great network of friends, great support, so yeah, very grateful for them as well.   Is five enough?

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, so tell me how you feel right now.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     How do I feel right now? I feel … Yeah, I feel pretty good. I have to say. I feel pretty good.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  That’s just a muscle that we haven’t developed. I normally ask people to write down a hundred things, and they don’t have to be big things. I’m grateful for nails, fingers, eyes, teeth and nose, hair, legs, feet. Once you … There are three pathways to living a fulfilled life. One is you have to be grateful. Grateful for what you have. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. This is a secret because people focus when a relationship breaks down, oh they focus on, oh I don’t have that relationship. I don’t have that person in my life. I don’t have that. The thing is, focus on what you have left.   Say, look, you know, I had magical moments. I have great memories. See, that would make you feel differently.

The second G is to give. Give your time, your energy, your love, your commitment, your joy, your happiness, your forgiveness give it away without wanting anything in return. Right now, can you remember a time when you gave.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Can I remember a time when I gave? Yes. Do you mean give money, give time, give advice? What do you mean?

Anil Gupta:                  Anything. You know, anything at all. Gave anything.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yesterday, I coached a friend of mine who is starting a business and obviously gave him a good amount of time to help him get through some of the challenges that he’s facing right now, and yeah, I felt like that was a time that I gave.

Anil Gupta:                  Did you get anything back from that?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     I always feel satisfied when I coach good people.

Anil Gupta:                  There you go. You gave but you got.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Mmhmm.

Anil Gupta:                  That’s the second G. The third G is you have to grow emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. If you do those three things, you will be filled. You will be joyous. You will be so happy. Anytime you’re not feeling happy, anytime you’re not feeling fulfilled, one of those three Gs is missing.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Right, so it’s give …

Anil Gupta:                  Grow and …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Grow.

Anil Gupta:                  Gratitude. The three Gs.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Gratitude.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     The three Gs, give, grow and gratitude.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Right. Fantastic. That’s a … That’s a nice and easy one to learn. If we were to look at the sort of the, you know obviously I would like to see more happiness in the whole healthcare system. I’d like to see that straight across the board, so how would we, what do we need to do, if we’re leaders in healthcare, what do we need to do to bring more happiness within the broader healthcare system as well? Obviously, I think one of the things you’re going to say is first you’ve we’ve got to change ourselves, so, you know, be the change you want to see in the world, as Gandhi said. What else can we do?

Anil Gupta:                  See, before you can be the change, you have to have the awareness. Let me ask you, and you know, it’s about the quality questions we ask, so let me ask you a question. What business are you in?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     For me personally?

Anil Gupta:                  Not for you because you have a very high level of awareness. Say if you asked a doctor what business is he in, what would he say?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     He’s a doctor or he would say he is in the medical business I suppose.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, see that has no power to me. What I would say, if you asked me as a doctor, what business am I in, I’d say, you know what, I’m in the magical moments business because I allow people to have more magical moments with the people that they love. They can live longer, they can live happier, they can live a beautiful life. That’s the gift I give people. Can you see the difference?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Absolutely, yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  That’s the reason you joined the profession to make a difference, but we forget why we are there. We forget the reason we’re there. It’s about making a difference. It’s about creating magical moments. When a father comes to you and says, oh my God, thank you for saving my life, I just saw my daughter got married. Oh my God, that would have never happened without you. It will make you feel immense.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  Just start from there.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     How do we do that? What’s the process that would help a practitioner in all this. What do you need to be aware of I suppose in that …

Anil Gupta:                  Well, find out what … What it is that they’re here for. What is it that they joined the profession for and what it is they need to change because they have to change something. Is it the attitude? Is it leadership? What is it? They have to change something? Then they start putting systems in place. How can I make this happen? How can I change? What is it I need to do? Who do I need to employ? What systems can I be placed in?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     It’s a combination of as you say self-reflection and also combination of seeking help from others isn’t it? Really …

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     I mean, yeah, yeah, and that help, you know in some of the sort of the practitioners or the CEOs that I coach, certainly there’s a component there around that the business side of their healthcare and the practice and the organization, but a large part of it is also where they are in themselves at that point in time and how they’re feeling about their business because when the mindset is not right, the business is not right.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Coming back to this, is that something that you see as well. Talking about leadership and talking also about business, because obviously, you know, the whole healthcare system but also healthcare practitioners, they’re running their own businesses, they’re running their own practices, so do you see that similar connection for the mind and the business?

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah. See what happens where people start working on their business. You know, it’s not a business. If you serve the patients, if you look after them, the business will take care of itself always. For example, there was a dentist I was coaching, and he just sold his practice to another dentist, and the first thing the new dentist did was to offer discounts, and I said, look, you know that’s not the best thing to do. The previous dentist has brought up so much good will, people always come back, so if you spend time nurturing each patient, they will bring you more, they will stay with you longer. You don’t have to discount.

You don’t have to do what all the other people are doing. He didn’t realize that because we wanted to get the money in, but the long term value is immense if you look after one person really well, they will tell other people, but the level of satisfaction is like when you coached your friend, the level of satisfaction has increased tremendously, and that’s what’s missing because if you don’t feel you’re making a difference, if you don’t feel that your satisfied in what you’re doing, it’s going to be a big painful experience for you.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah. I so agree with that Anil because you know we’re in this game for the long term.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     We’re in these careers, these professions for a long, long time, and it is about longevity of life, and it’s about longevity of serving the people that we want to serve, and when we’re unfortunately in some situations put under pressure to try and churn through patients in order to meet certain targets in order to meet certain waiting times that we need to cut down, we’re forced to not have that relationship anymore. We’re forced to really cut through and through and really aren’t … You know, one of my doctor associates, she was actually crying, she was actually in tears, telling me about how she was trying to change the practice. Within her group of practitioners, she was one of the more junior ones, and she was trying to spend more time with the patients to try and get to the bottom of things, but she couldn’t. She was under pressure from the others to get through as many patients, because there was a huge amount of queues …

Anil Gupta:                  Yep.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     In the waiting room, and so she was really dissatisfied with them all and very, very sad not to be able to connect and create that sort of long term relationship.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     It’s a difficult situation isn’t it to try and have to cope with the pressures of the system and then also try and get to the root cause and develop that long term relationship.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, and you know, again, we’re in the same field. I used to be a doctor of optometry. I was coaching some other medical professionals and what they’re doing now is they’re putting their pharmacy in house, and they said one of the reasons that they have so many patients coming back is patient noncompliance. They’re taking their medications and they’re not taking the right dose at the right time in the right way.   By spending a few more minutes with the patient with the medications and explaining, look it’s important, if you don’t take this, this will happen, when this happens, that’s going to happen and then there’s nothing we can do.

Then the patient will realize, Oh my God, it is important, because they may be symptomless. If you’ve got diabetic retinopathy, it’s symptomless until something really bad happens. That’s made a difference to their practice because they spend more time, but they get less patient visits, so the best way to look at it, it’s not the amount of time you spend, it’s the quality time. If you have less patient visits or visits per person per year, instead of me coming to the doctor six times a year, I come twice a year, I get to spend more time with the doctor, my patient compliance is increased and I feel happier that I’m looked after, more confident and then I’ll heal better. All of these things are interrelated.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah, absolutely. You know, I should have mentioned earlier on, and I do apologize that you have been a medical health practitioner yourself being a doctor of optometry, and part of what you say is there are some exercises and some techniques that we can use ourselves, there are some exercises and techniques that we can use on our patients or teach our patients, but then there are also some structural things we can do within our business and within our organizations to improve that relationship and that long term connection with our patients because if we do right by them, you actually do right by yourself as well for your own career, and then you get better health outcomes and better patient outcomes.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, and you know, a very important part of my coaching is you have to teach the receptionist to smile, to be caring, to be empathetic not to be rude, to be generous with kindness. I’ve been to many practices where I’m faced with a dragon. Immediately I feel, really, I feel very uncomfortable immediately.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah, yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  There’s no need for that. Say, Oh, Mr. Avi, welcome to the health and wellness clinic.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yes.

Anil Gupta:                  You know, we’re here to serve you. We’re so grateful that you trust us. I promise you the best treatment possible. We’re so glad you’re here, and I know we will look after you.   Thirty seconds.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  Another thing that annoys me the practices where they shout out patients’ names.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  You know, Smith, Smith!

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  What’s that about? Imagine I’m Mr. Smith. You know, it’s an easy thing. Look what Apple Store does. When you come in, they write down your name, what you’re wearing. Okay, so Mr. Smith is wearing a blue shirt with brown pants. Write that down, so then you go up to him, Mr. Smith, welcome. Would you like to come through with me? What difference would that make?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Absolutely, absolutely.

Anil Gupta:                  Huge.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Both those things. I don’t think I’ve ever had a receptionist say, tell me what you, what you just told me there, and you know that Apple Store technique, I think so powerful and you’re absolutely right. That would just make such a big difference to your experience going to a doctor.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, and if …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Or any health professional.

Anil Gupta:                  Absolutely, and if you have this mentality, how can I serve my patients more, what is it I need to do, how can I change? If that’s constantly in your mind, and you go to an Apple Store or you go to a Microsoft Store, say why is Microsoft empty, why is Apple full? If you go to a place that gives fantastic service, see what they do? What can you borrow from them?

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Yeah, and you know, it’s such a great concept to say that if you deliver better service to your patients, it will actually serve you better.

Anil Gupta:                  Absolutely.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     As a medical practitioner, health practitioner, whatever, as a CEO, if you serve your employees better, it’s going to serve you better.

Anil Gupta:                  Absolutely.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     For your happiness.

Anil Gupta:                  Yeah, your retention levels are maintained, your productivity increases, your sickness goes down. Everyone’s happy. They want to go to the office. They want to be associated with a doctor that cares. Another thing I coach on is be careful what you say behind the patient’s back. Always be professional. Always be kind, and if you get one of your receptionists saying anything bad about your patients, have a quiet word with them, say, ma’am, he’s a patient, he’s a valued patient, we never, ever say anything bad about our patients ever. You know, because all it takes is one or two people to start talking, and then the whole practice changes.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     You know Anil, you shared with us some very powerful things around, as you said, and in particularly this last few minutes, some very sort of structural techniques around how we can sort of change our practice, improve our service to bring happiness as well, so you’re a man of many talents and talked about personal happiness, and you talked about techniques for practitioners to be happy but also how to improve the practice which will ultimately help the business side and the revenue side of that as well. It’s something that we need for the whole healthcare system I suppose, because, you know, if we can do this in pockets or we can do that on a larger scale, then we’re going to see, I believe we will see improvements in the healthcare system because we’ll get better patient outcomes and we’ll find all those things that help reduce cost and so on.

Anil, are there any sort of final thoughts that you want to share around. I know you’ve got a program as well, the Happiness sort of program and online program. What else would you like to share with the people that are listening and watching today?

Anil Gupta:                  Well, okay, can I share my book? It’s called Immediate Happiness.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     That’s it.

Anil Gupta:                  It’s a manual for success. It’s available at Amazon dot com.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Can you hold it up a little higher there.

Anil Gupta:                  Oh yeah, sure.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Because we only saw the top end. Yeah.

Anil Gupta:                  Can you see.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Beautiful. I love the color. I love the color. It’s fantastic.

Anil Gupta:                  Yes, it’s my family.   Really, you know, you need hope. If you feel that there’s a way out of a situation, you can get it, but you have to take action. Knowledge is not power unless you implement. We talked about gratitude. We talked about giving. We talked about growing, and we talked about meaning making change. When something bad happens, ask yourself what do I make this mean? Ask yourself better quality questions. The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of the questions you ask?

One very important part we always talk about in my book, is a manual which takes you through to the end which is a forgiveness exercise, so it’s very important to forgive. Forgive yourself. Forgive others, because if you don’t forgive, it’s like you taking poison hoping someone else will die. We teach you how to forgive because we don’t know how to forgive. Just raising your level of awareness will make a difference to you. Simple techniques, very powerful, and I want to offer a free gift to all of your members, if you go on my website Immediate Happiness doc com …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Okay.

Anil Gupta:                  There are some free videos and a free download of the book that you can get. Really, I’m here to pass on the message, so …

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Fantastic.

Anil Gupta:                  Really please, when you download the book, read it, take action. There are three very beautiful videos, they’re all free, go and have a look at them. Immediate Happiness dot com. Everything is on there.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Great. Look, that’s such a generous offer, Anil, thank you so much. I’m sure a lot of people that are watching this are going to go to that website, that’s www Immediate Happiness dot com?

Anil Gupta:                  Yes.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     They’re going to get some free videos on happiness and how to bring that, and a free download of the book as well which is absolutely amazing, you know, I think that’s … I wish you’d told me before I went out and … I think this is so, it’s so profound and especially people in healthcare and even patients. This is something that all of us can read and latch onto and wouldn’t it be a greater healthcare system and a greater world if we could all sort of implement this on a regular basis?

Anil Gupta:                  Absolutely, yeah, and you know, we can start a movement and really make things happen. We just need the conviction and being unstoppable.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Absolutely, absolutely. Anil Gupta, thank you very much for your time, author, best-selling author, international speaking expert, happiness guru and all around good guy. Anil, thanks so much. It’s great to see you.

Anil Gupta:                  Okay, thank you Avi. Much, much appreciated. Take care.

Dr Avi Ratnanesan:     Bye bye.

Anil Gupta:                  Bye bye.


About the Author: Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan

Dr Avi is a medical doctor with broad healthcare sector experience including hospitals, biotech, pharmaceuticals and the wellness industry. He is a leading expert who coaches and consults to senior executives, entrepreneurs, practitioners, organisations and governments.