UJ Ramdas is the Co-Creator of The Five Minute Journal and Co-Founder at Intelligent Change, a company that takes leading psychology research and real-world tested self-improvement advice and distills it into actionable tools that help people make lasting positive change.
In this interview, UJ begins by discussing what inspired him to get into self-improvement. He talks about moving from India to Canada alone at age 17, and what he learned from this experience. UJ then goes into some of the self-improvement concepts that most resonated with him. He also references Tony Robbins, and explains how journaling and reading books helped him crystallize ideas and gave him the confidence to go after what he wanted.
UJ expands on the idea of having to grow up when he moved to Canada. He talks about not wasting time, making decisions, and learning to survive on his own. He also explains why and how he was emotionally closed off for a long time, and how this affected various aspects of his life. We then ask UJ to describe his process for expanding his emotional vocabulary and reconnecting with his feelings. He discusses the importance of learning to process and heal emotional trauma.
Next, UJ goes in depth on his process for releasing trauma. He provides a detailed definition of trauma, gives examples of possible causes, and explains how trauma works and affects us. He also gives examples of addictive behaviors that we might use to numb emotional pain, and programs or statements that get locked into the pain. UJ then discusses the benefits of expanding our range of emotions. He talks about how to unnumb pain and reprogram ourselves by removing addictions and getting in touch with our feelings.
UJ goes on to discuss the importance of journaling and how it has impacted his life. He walks us through the five questions that he developed for the Five Minute Journal. He also shares some of the benefits of consistent journaling, and offers advice for developing a consistent journaling practice. Finally, UJ recommends a few books around trauma, including “The Drama of the Gifted Child,” “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts,” and “The Artist’s Way.” He leaves us with a simple tip: to make someone smile today.
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