The Circuit of Success Podcast with Brett Gilliland

The Circuit of Success Podcast with Brett Gilliland

Wendy Swire Says We Need to Double Our Water Intake and Rewire Our Brains

November 14, 2022

Wendy Swire is an author, speaker, professor, and leadership consultant who is best known as the “Brain Geek” Executive Coach to her C-Suite clients. As founder of the DC Neuroleadership Group and Certified Mental Fitness Coach, she has helped thousands better understand their brains to create laser-focused results by moving from their “Saboteur” to the “Sage Brain.”


Brett Gilliland  00:01

Welcome to the Circuit of Success. I’m your host Brett Gilliland and today I’ve got Wendy Sherwin Swire with me, Wendy, how you doing?

Wendy Swire  00:08

Awesome. I’m so glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Brett Gilliland  00:12

Good to be with you. You’re calling in from Bethesda, Maryland. How’s it going out in Bethesda, Maryland today?

Wendy Swire  00:19

Yes, Maryland is doing just fine. It’s, we got a late fall, warm fall going on. I think a lot of parts of the country so, 

Brett Gilliland  00:27

Amazing, isn’t it?

Wendy Swire  00:28

Yeah, it’s pretty wild. So people are in fine spirits.

Brett Gilliland  00:32

So a guy I connected to on Instagram this morning, he was put on there that he was working outside in his back deck in shorts and a T-shirt. He’s like in November in New York, if I’m getting shorts and T-shirt, I’m doing it. 

Wendy Swire  00:44

Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s nice. So thank you for asking.

Brett Gilliland  00:47

Absolutely. Well, you are, everyone knows you as the health benefits. Everybody knows, I should say the health benefits of staying in shape physically, right. But there’s also this little thing here, if you’re watching on point, if you’re listening, I’m pointing to my brain here. There’s a lot that goes on right up in here. And so you are an expert on what I would say all things brain is the way I’m going to word it. But I think it’s gonna be awesome to have a conversation with you today about that stuff. But if you could Wendy, you know, you’ve been a global executive and leadership coach, you’re an author, a speaker, an applied neuroscience consultant, I mean, what’s the backstory? Right, what’s made you the woman you are today?

Wendy Swire  01:24

Yeah, I love that question, as a coach, it’s a wonderful question. And I hope what people ask it of each other. So I think there’s three things, Brett, that I want to emphasize. The first is I’m a really big proponent of the energy, emotional energy and positive contagion really. And I really lucked out, I had a father, who was, you know, rags, and just poor as dirt grew up, but he really had positive energy. He was a successful entrepreneur, and just had a lot of joy in his life. So I want your listeners to really know there is neuroscience behind this, but your positive emotions are contagious, like, like the flu, like COVID. So super important. And I had that growing up. So I had a very much a role model of what that can do. 

Brett Gilliland  02:13


Wendy Swire  02:14

Yield to success. The other thing I would say there’s a couple others. The other is, you know, my story is I really, really wanted to be a diplomat and economic diplomat and work on a lot of issues about poverty. And when I was young, I was in high school and college and I really thought I really thought I was going to solve poverty, like particularly in Latin American poverty and debt, I was really into it. And I actually trained, I did a stint on Wall Street to prepare me and I actually got a master’s degree in, to train as a diplomat as a diplomat in diplomacy. Yeah. And, you know, I’m getting ready. I got a good job in the State Department of the World Bank, and my father, this beloved patriarch that I just spoke of, he got diagnosed with like stage three cancer. And I’m in my mid 20s. And it was a real point, it was a crossroads. I think we all you know, I’m sure you have your listeners have you reach a crossroads? Like, do I do this or don’t I, and a door in my life had to shut down that I wasn’t going to live overseas, I decided my family being close to my sisters, and my, my parents was important to me. Well, let’s fast forward. 15-20 years later, I now work with those diplomats as a coach, trainer. So you just never know in life, you got to pivot. You got to you know, right now we call it where it’s like adaptability, flexibility. But I can’t just tell you a door shuts down, you sort of catch your breath, and just like, “Okay, what’s going to open up?” And the work I’m doing now opened up because I’m not a diplomat. And the last thing is what makes me sort of the woman I am today is obviously my family, faith’s important, values. But I think for me, because, you know, the podcast, Follow Curiosity. I’m insanely curious, and just that there’s a lot of really cool neuroscience on that. But if you’re curious, you know, listeners, if you’re curious about something, listen to that whisper, because that’s what led me to, you know, I left the field of wanting to be a diplomat, I studied hardcore science in economics and finance. It led me to the field more of business management leadership. And now as a coach, it also led me to neuroscience. Someone mentioned something to me and someone gave me a book. And I, yeah, I just got so interested in the brain. So you just never ever know what tidbit, you’re going to pick up in this podcast or a book or if I’m talking to someone on a plane, you just never know. Follow your curiosity, Brett. So I hope.

Brett Gilliland  04:45

 I love that and I think that’s that’s one of the reasons I continue to do a podcast you know, five and a half years later and you’re the 300 and eighth person I’ve interviewed and had the privilege to interview and you’ll learn a lot, right? And but, but you do have to be curious because I find little the little nugget, right, that I can take up from everybody is a big deal. I mean, even as you saying, I know this, your positive energy is contagious. I’ve said that a ton of times, but when you really slow down and look at as contagious as getting COVID or the flu, right, we worry about that stuff. But we don’t worry about our energy do we? We don’t think about that as our negative energy is just as bad as our as spreading the COVID or, or the flu, right?

Wendy Swire  05:26

100%. And there’s really cool science on it and research on it that if you’re negative, even if you think I’m keeping it to myself, I hide my emotions. No one can tell, people can pick it up even on Zoom. People can pick it up, in person. Yeah, it’s pretty wild.

Brett Gilliland  05:40

Yeah, that’s crazy. So you’re also known for techniques to train and rewire the brain to be more positive. So I think in today’s world, right, we’ve got these cell phones that want to give us all the notifications and all the crap that goes on in the world and all the negativity and, and it just, it just gets to be a lot and you turn on the TV, whatever it is. So what are some steps, some real like the meat and potatoes type stuff that our listeners can take from this podcast that can help rewire the brain to be more positive?

Wendy Swire  06:11

Yeah, that’s a great question. Thank you so much for asking. That’s, that’s my favorite thing to talk about. I think there’s a couple really, really practical neuro hacks that anyone, anyone can use. Okay. The first is, I think we’ve all heard it, but gratitude, rewires your brain. Gratitude. So, if you are a person, if something good happens in your day, a tiny little thing, like you get a really nice text from a friend or, you know, your child or friend smiles at you or you know, says something funny, or like today, you look outside and everyone look, look outside your window, is it a nice day Sunny, whatever it is, if you take that positive moment and hold on to it. This is called a fancy term I’ll throw out here self directed positive neuroplasticity. But what that means is, you know, your brain has a built in negativity bias, let me rephrase that you are built in to be negative, that is your wiring that you had that we’ve had for hundreds of 1000s of years. So you have to lay new neuronal tracks. So any little thing you do this, like, hey, you know what I’m talking right now to Brett, and it’s fun, I’m having a good time. Or I just have this really nice cup of coffee. And I’m taking a sip from Starbucks, and I’m just going to take 30 seconds and enjoy the coffee, you are laying tracks to be more positive. The other thing is, and this is another practice, I give almost all of my coach, my executives who are my coaching clients is at night, take a piece of paper, write down the three or four things that you are grateful for. If you can get to do 10, great, I encourage you to write because you’ll use a part of your brain you’ll activate the creative part of your brain that keyboard it. But even if you don’t have time to write it, you don’t have a journal, keep a journal by your bed stand. But if you don’t have time, even think about it. That act itself, the research has shown helps. It just helps in so many different ways. And you’re literally starting to rewire your brain. Try that for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, every day. I call it an appreciation audit. Audit your audit your day, before you go to bed. What would you what do you appreciate? And for my parents, grandparents, family members, try doing that at the dinner table or as you’re taking your kid to a soccer game. Hey, what do we appreciate about today? Excellent practice. So think of that one as a practical.

Brett Gilliland  08:39

I love that. And it’s I use a daily planner that I’ve created. This is 20 years in the making in my career. And I’ve finally got it all in one booklet of things that I do but but it is it’s it says three here today I’m grateful for right and I start dispersing I do when I get in the office, I write down three or four things that I’m grateful for. And it’s hard, right? Because sometimes like well, I mean, it’s as silly as it sounds, but I’m thankful for clean water. Right? 

Wendy Swire  09:06

Right. Yeah. 

Brett Gilliland  09:07

I’m thankful to be able to breathe, take a deep breath, clean air and but like then there’s part of me, it’s like God, am I just like, am I not deep enough to think like, all these things, but I think that stuff matters. But here’s my pushback on that. So one, I’m 100% believer in it. Okay. I also have an exercise I do at the end of every calendar quarter, I look at every single picture I’ve taken on my phone, and I write down exactly what I did and who I experienced it with in a brown journal that I have over here. So I’m again, I’m a big believer in that but what about the times you don’t feel like that? You’re like, I don’t want to write down what I’m thankful for. I’m just pissed off and in a bad mood. I don’t want to do this right. What advice do you have there?

Wendy Swire  09:47

Yeah, so what happens is, this is even more important when you’re feeling crappy. Okay? When you’re tired when you’re fatigued when you are worried about your finances or or politics or whatever it is, right? So or the state of the world. So I think what happens is when you are in a negative place, you’re stressed about work, you’re working hard, you know, this and that’s going on, you never feel you have enough time, you’re producing a very powerful chemical in your brain called cortisol. Very, very powerful. By just taking a moment and doing something positive, you’re actually creating a different neurochemical, okay, it doesn’t override that. You can’t have the cortisol and the norepinephrine, or the dopamine or the serotonin, you can have the feel good chemicals.

Brett Gilliland  10:38

They can’t coexist.

Wendy Swire  10:39

They can’t coexist, they can go one right after each other. So you are literally playing with powerful, powerful chemicals in your brain. So that’s why the practices work. So it’s not just kumbaya, and let’s light candles, and feel gratitude stuff is literally changing chemicals in your brain. So I would encourage people just one thing, you know, and it could be “Yeah, you know what, I got out of bed today,” you know, my favorite quote is from Pitbull, the rapper, you know, “every day above ground is a good day.”

Brett Gilliland  11:07

It’s right.

Wendy Swire  11:08

Could be that it could be you know, the fresh air, or you know what, I had a bed to sleep on or I had a meal tonight. So any little thing doesn’t have to be beat deep, deep, big, you know, I’m grateful it can be the same thing every day. The idea is that you literally are laying new neuronal tracks in your brain, that’s the power of this stuff.

Brett Gilliland  11:28

Wow. So it’s literally like a slow drip. I mean, it’s like a drip of actual chemical that comes out and seeps out of our body or out of our brain into our bodies, and, and so on. So that’s amazing. So gratitude. Okay, so that’s one what’s what’s the second one?

Wendy Swire  11:41

I think another neuro hack is, the brain has multiple different regions, it’s got that primitive, we’ve called it the lizard brain, it’s really not accurately, they know that’s not 100% accurate, but doesn’t matter. It’s a great metaphor, you can use and then you have an emotional brain, which is a little higher up. And then you have your, if all the listeners take your hand and put on your forehead, that right behind your forehead, that’s your executive functioning, I call that your C-suite brain, right? So even by asking yourself a question, you need 30 milliseconds, milliseconds, that’s like 1,000th of a second to move from that reactive, primitive fight or flight brain to more of your executive thinking brain. So when I’m in a really stressful situation, so I had a situation a couple years ago, on a business trip, my  aptop got stolen, I was in a panic. And I just remember sitting down, I was at the hotel when I realized it, and I’m like, “Okay, what part of my brain am I in?” What part of the brain Am I in? Am I in my reptile reactive brain? Or I’m in my thinking, calmer brain? 

Brett Gilliland  12:54


Wendy Swire  12:54

And just ask yourself a question. And the key takeaway is to buy time, you want to buy time from moving from the lizard, to the C-suite.

Brett Gilliland  13:07

So that’s that lizard is tell me more about that.

Wendy Swire  13:11

So your lizard brain. And again, it’s just an analogy, we do share this parts of the brain, the lower the lower deep stuff. So if listeners take your neck and go to that part between your neck where your head is kind of attached to your body, right back there, that’s way deep stuff back there, brainstem, it is the part of your brain that controls all autonomic functions, everything you do, your brain is like breathing and closing your eyes. And you don’t have to worry about your heart beating, do you? 

Brett Gilliland  13:43


Wendy Swire  13:43

That part of your brain takes care of it, all these functions, that and it’s also the part that you know, will kind of take care of the fact that your heart pumps, your blood pumps, you know it, that’s the part of the brain if you’re thirsty, what do you do? 

Brett Gilliland  14:00

Take a drink of water. 

Wendy Swire  14:01

100%, great, perfect answer. If you’re hot, you know, you take your sweater off that kind of stuff. So that’s the part of the brain that when you are totally triggered and stressed out, and like kind of it’s right, it’s linked to the emotional part of your brain, which sits on top of it. But that’s the part of your brain that’s going to react to protect you. So you’ve got a 24-hour ADT alarm system in your brain to protect you. That’s the part. So you just got to kind of move away from it. And to move to your thinking brain and that’s what the question does. What part of the brain am I in? Okay, let me just catch a deep breath. It’s gonna be okay.

Brett Gilliland  14:37

It’s kind of just rewiring, recalibrating, if you will saying, “Okay, I know I’m in the wrong department,” if you will. “Now it’s time to get in the right department.”

Wendy Swire  14:44

Love it! Yep, I’m in the wrong part of the store. I got to get to the right part of the store. That’s right.

Brett Gilliland  14:49

What are some things that we can do, you know, personally at home or at work that to trigger Brain Stuff? I mean, whether that’s reading whether it’s you know, I play Wordle for I find that if I can kind of do the Wordle thing before I go to bed, I don’t know if it’s actually working or not, but seems like I get a pretty decent night’s sleep. And it’s not just because of Wordle. But, you know, so those things if it’s sitting in a sauna for 20 minutes, I mean, what are some things that we can do to help stimulate the brain from a positive standpoint?

Wendy Swire  15:17

Yeah, so I love that. Okay, a couple tips. One is your brain is something like 70% water, maybe even more, drink a ton, a ton, a ton of water. 

Brett Gilliland  15:28


Wendy Swire  15:28

More water than you think. Okay, more water than you think. And I encourage my coaching clients, I’m like, “Are you drinking water?” And they’re like, “I drink a lot.” I’m like, I want you to double listeners, I want you to double the amount of water you’re drinking, that’s gonna––

Brett Gilliland  15:41

to interrupt that. And so I love that. So again, my journal water intake is–– 

Wendy Swire  15:45

100 percent, 100 percent. 

Brett Gilliland  15:47

––drinks. And so what’s funny is I wear this thing called a whoop, if you’ve ever heard of that, but it’s, it’s about the fight or flight type deal on your body, you and you’re stressed, you’re in, water intake to sleep, and anything, everything really your fitness. But I found it’s crazy. I have worse sleep. If I have seven to 12 glasses of water a day, I have better sleep than if I have less than seven. But if I have greater than 12 glasses of water today, my sleep is actually worse.

Wendy Swire  16:13

Yeah. Well, you’re calibrating to your body, probably you may have to get up in the middle of the night and do a little bio break there. But I think I think for me, you want to flush out some of those nasty mean cortisol, those chemicals, those that, that when you’re triggered that, that chemical we just talked about the water will flush it out. And that’s really important. I am a huge, I’m glad you talked about sleep, if you want to increase positivity of the brain, you know, we could do a whole rest of the session on sleep, sleep hygiene. Sleep is a superpower. It’s not it is it is just like it is literally like taking kryptonite or whatever you know, it’s like a super, it’s a super you want to supercharge your emotions, your work performance, your cognitive performance. Sleep is critical. Which means about you know, half an hour, let I love the fact of doing Wordle or you’re reading you’ve got to get off your screens at everyone knows this. We’ve heard this. But there’s science behind it. You got to start to quiet your brain, our brains are so active, they’re so bombarded. So a lot of it is in the third is daydreaming, taking a break looking out the window, taking a walk with the dog on plug it is not a waste of time, you are not being inefficient, you’re actually taking great care of your brain. And letting certain networks in the brain just give you your best thoughts. So where do you do your best thinking, Brett?

Brett Gilliland  17:43

I do mine in the morning, when it’s maybe before everybody’s up and I can just sit in a quiet room and just chill by myself. I’m a big believer now on these saunas just got a sauna. And it’s been incredible and in the time in there, because you don’t there’s nothing to do right, you just sitting there. And so I find that those are my two spots.

Wendy Swire  18:05

And not that a lot of my senior executives do their best thinking in the shower. When your body is relaxed. It is not a coincidence. When your body’s relaxed, your brain can relax, you’ll have your highs, you’ll have creative insights. So the sauna, anything, you can do hot water or cold in a hot bath, anything that you can do just to start to feel more relaxation and your body will allow your brain to make connections and relax. It’s not a coincidence. A lot of people get their energy, you get our best insights sitting in front of a computer doing an email. Well most people I know don’t.

Brett Gilliland  18:41

Yeah, and I call that a strategic thing time. For me it’s stts if you look at my calendar, every Wednesday, it’s gonna be on there from 1-2:30 and it’s me, the black journal, and an ink pen, and no technology. And I’ve even found that it’s hard. I always felt like I was failing early on when I was doing this. I’ve been doing it since July of ’05, so long time but you can still feel like you’re failing because oh, I need to be doing this or I need to doing that. Or I got to make that call. I gotta send that email. But I’m telling you, it’s been the best use of time and the people I coach and then my clients or whoever. I mean, those are the things we always go back to how much alone time are you spending just thinking with an ink pen and a piece of paper?

Wendy Swire  19:20

Yeah, I love that. And if you can’t if that seems hard for you if you need to take a walk, take a walk, nature getting outside fresh air for exhausted and anything where you’re just letting yourself unplug, and allowing yourself that freedom, huge, huge spikes in productivity. So those are great practice best practices. I think just to get back to your question. The other thing is really monitor who you hang out with and the new, your news intake. Because remember, the brain has that prewired negativity bias. So you know what are you consuming? Are you consuming like junk food we know not great for your body? Well junk junk inputs, junk people who are negative, who are bringing it down. Always, you know, are you Doom scrolling? That stuff will take an effect on your brain? You’ve got to be a really, you know, on the listeners of your podcast are, they’re listening for a reason. They’re success-oriented. They’re motivated. They want to get better at their game. Yeah, really monitor what you’re what you’re feeding your brain.

Brett Gilliland  20:21

Yep. So I’m hearing gratitude, water intake, sleep, Daydream monitor who you hang out with in your news intake. These are phenomenal, right? You can stop the podcast right here and say there’s five takeaways and listeners, go do a test and see how you’re doing on that. Right. So speaking of tests, I’m going to give you a test right now. That’s okay. Like, Oh, nobody I love it makes the circuits of success or your attitudes, your belief system, your actions that you take to ultimately get results in your life. So what’s one thing that you would say from an attitude? And maybe it’s everything we’ve just talked about? Can you scale yourself from a scale of one to 10? How you’re doing right now? Currently? How are you doing right now, is Wendy Sherwin Swire doing on your attitude?

Wendy Swire  21:09

I’m really lucky. I don’t want to say a 10. Because I don’t know that I’m in the high nines. Yeah, I have, you know, the things that I’m recommending are things I have personally used. You know, I love my parents at a young age, I wasn’t like this, if you had talked to me 10 or 15 years ago, I have trained myself to have a positive attitude, to rewire my brain to do all of these practices. So I live I live in like a state for me in a state of gratitude. My goal is to live in a state of have to be in service to others and be in a state of joy and gratitude as much of the day as I can. So that’s amazing. I met but I had to go through I had to train myself to do this. I did not it wasn’t like oh, you know, this woman, Castile Pollyanna and she woke up was like this as a child? And the answer is no, I wasn’t.

Brett Gilliland  22:00

I see. I love that. And that’s why I want to peel the onion layer back there. Because I think there are people that believe that right, there’s Oh, Wendy’s just always been positive. Brett’s always been positive? Well, maybe. But I think there’s a lot of training and a lot of work I’ve done to get to that point. And it sounds like you have as well.

Wendy Swire  22:17

Yeah. You know, I really leaned in heavily at the start of the pandemic on this field and mental resiliency, mental fitness. really double down on it. How do you make sure the ratio of are you in positive emotions or negative emotions? Which percentage are you in throughout the day? And really, really up that game? So I would say I’m pretty high in attitude. I don’t want to say 10. That’s a little arrogant, but I’m in the nines, probably.

Brett Gilliland  22:43

You’re feeling good! So the next one is your belief system. And let me let me kind of pre-give you some prework on this one. And so so your belief says, I am convinced that doing the professional world for two plus decades now, I know my belief systems, and I know that I can get into a debate, not an argument but a debate with people on things that I know work, that maybe somebody else doesn’t believe, if I were to ask you one or two things that you believe, to your core that will make you successful, what what are those things?

Wendy Swire  23:13

Okay, my belief system. One is you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed, you can outwork everybody. Yep. And you can, you can, you know, I, I’m really smart. I mean, I work hard, there are people way smarter than I am. But I have a really strong work ethic. So go back to your fundamental skills. And we’re gonna, we know so many of you so many of your guests that you’ve listened to just you just keep at it, and you keep at it. So for me, I think that’s a really big belief. I think the other key belief is really get aligned to your values and what’s most important to you. And you know, what, what are you going after in life? For some people, it’s power money, others, it’s learning, making a difference, impact family, whatever it is, get clarity on that and stick to your True North because everyone else might have a different one, it doesn’t mean that they’re better or worse, they’re just different as when you’ve got your feet on the ground, and you know, your true north and you can get there. But if you’re in a rally, is it this? And I’m agnostic, it can be I as a coach, I have absolutely no value judgment. Yeah, who wants this or that good for them? As long as people know.

Brett Gilliland  24:25

Yeah. So the third one is action. So we got to take action. I’m a big big big believer in that that I can sit here and have the best business plan known to man I can be the best whatever. I can know more about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, investments and anybody in the world but if I don’t take action, it doesn’t freakin matter. Right? It’s like I always say people, you know, hockey people. I’m not a huge hockey guy, but if I had the best slap shot in the world, but I couldn’t ice skate. I’m a terrible hockey player. Right? So if we don’t take action so when you when you hear that word action, one or two things, what comes to mind? And then if I I followed you around every single day. What is again one or two things that I would see day in and day out that Wendy’s doing?

Wendy Swire  25:07

Yeah, well, let’s let’s pick up with your sports metaphor because I’m a big sports fan. I have two kids, two boys and a husband. We do a lot of sports talk here. I think there’s one is not only can you take action, but let’s go to the famous. Not sure. I’m not sure which hockey player said this, but you got to take the shot on goal. 

Brett Gilliland  25:26


Wendy Swire  25:27

Okay, you got to get the shot on goal. So are you taking shots on goal? You got to try.

Brett Gilliland  25:31

Yeah, Wayne Gretzky, right? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Wendy Swire  25:34

100%. So you know, are you taking a shot? And so go back to that quote, which is, are you taking a shot, and if it fails, it fails, you’re going to learn more and failure, I think that’s the first and get uncomfortable. The most successful people fail, and they learn from it and they grow from it. I am not as successful as I am, because of all of my successes is because all the things that I didn’t do, I didn’t learn. So please start taking those shots on goal. And realizing the fear is coming from that limbic reptile brain. So that’s, you know, you’re wired to do that. So you’ve got to overcome that. I think the second what would you see day in day out, I take my morning, my morning rituals really, really seriously. Whether that be morning, you know, meditation, a little bit of prayer, my gratitude, practice working out getting some exercise, I get outside, take the dogs out. So that’s why to do that I gotta go to bed early, which means I really, really prioritize sleep. I sleep a lot more people can’t believe I get a lot done. I’m super productive. And because of those two things.

Brett Gilliland  26:33

What time you go to bed at night?


I’m winding down, I’m trying to wind down by nine and read. Yeah, I lights out at 10. If I want to get up at 5:30-6. And not, I want, I need a lot of sleep because I know the brain science. And I and I am a fanatic about sleep particularly for you know, folks, your listeners who have kids, you know, you gotta get your kids off devices so they can learn the next day. So I might even my kids are in their 20s they know they’re like, “Oh, I sleep more than a lot of our peers.” So––

Brett Gilliland  27:04

Okay, I was gonna ask you that I was gonna ask how old your kids are and how that’s going. So I’ve got I’ve got four boys, I got a 17, 15, 12, and eight. You know, without naming names, some are better than others at sleeping and getting to bed. Right? So how do we do that help us parents right now. They’ve got this device, they want this dang device, right? Other than just obviously being the parent, we just got to take the device and put it away into another room. Other thoughts on that type of stuff? And how do we help our kids sleep more and get off these devices?


Oh, yeah. Well, I’m sure you’ve had guests or experts on this, like from parenting, but my experiences was teach them the brain science early. They’re like, yeah, you want to be good. You’re on the hockey team or the soccer team or you want to be good at school, you don’t get sleepy, you’re dumbed down. Period. Okay, so let them know. I mean, kids are smart and savvy today. The second thing you say you know that that device of yours is addictive. It’s as addictive as any, we don’t want our kids doing bad drugs do we? Or drinking too, no different. So just say, “Hey, you’re addicting your brain,” you know, Tik Tok videos they are designed to be I mean, they’re fun. They’re designed to addict you. So you got to let kids know you are fighting upstream by not you know, texting all night long. And again, I always link into what’s important to you. What’s important, these kids are very sophisticated. Is it and a lot of kids it’s being social. Okay. So again, you know, some of this, I think a parent’s duty to just say, hey, you know, but a lot of it is when you’re with your family. I mean, my best tip is as a parent is we did not have devices when we had mealtime. Even if you’re grabbing a car, even if we’re grabbing something from Starbucks, you got to drop some off to a soccer game was like, No, duh. I mean, there’s certain periods of the day. If and even if all you can do is like a Saturday night family or dinner, and I’m telling you, when eating pizza, no devices, and your kids won’t like it, but they’ll get used to it. And they’re gonna fight you it but it’s like, that’s just our rules. And you have to not do it. Okay, folks, you have to not be well who is that? Like? Who is the hockey player who said that, “you just don’t go on” or what it brought say what’s this about? You know, you don’t get on the screen to check a fact. You just don’t do it.

Brett Gilliland  29:15

Yeah, that’s great. That’s great advice. And it’s hard because you’re right, they are addictive and yeah, you even find yourself I don’t know about you, but like sometimes you do just want to just veg on the brain and scroll and look at some of those funny videos and but it man, it can suck you right it in, can’t it?

Wendy Swire  29:30

Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, the science is real on that. I mean, look, it’s fun, but just put a timer so I got 10 minutes to do it. And I always just say you’ll never get that 10 minutes back in your life. But okay, if you want to do it, I’m not you know, again, don’t judge yourself to say I’m going to let myself enjoy it. But it’s, understand that you are competing. Your little self will is competing against billions of dollars from very, very sophisticated technology firms trying to draw you in. Okay, you’re in competition. Yeah, you’re in competition. And I love by the way, I am not a Luddite. Like, I have social media and I, but I monitor, everything is off my phone note. And I just am really, really conscious. I’m a consumer of how I use it. So when I do Facebook, or I’m going to update LinkedIn, and you know, tell people how much I love, being on the podcast, I just do it in blocks, and I’m intentional. And then I stop. You gotta train your brain, man, you got to train your brain.

Brett Gilliland  30:31

That’s great. So the last one is results. So we’ve got a great attitude, we’ve got a belief system, we’re taking action every single day, now we have results. So when you think about that, how do you think I know the answer this, but might as well ask the question anyways: How do you focus on results for you personally, or for your clients?

Wendy Swire  30:52

Okay, that’s a really, you know, that actually, to me, is a pretty deep question, because we’re all going to define results differently. Absolutely. For some people results is I do a good day at work, I finish a fight, and I’m with my family, others, it’s like, no, I want to achieve this promotion or milestones. So I think it’s getting really clear, what does success look like with your results? What are your benchmarks? What are your measures? What aspect of the result is going to make you feel successful? So for many people, I find that a lot of clients are very successful executives. And they’re starting to wonder. So then I just got to keep chasing, going to the next thing. And I’ll say what, in that result, what is success? Like, what is it? What are you going after? That gets back to your question about I mean, for me know, your values know, what’s, what you’re going after. So I think for results, I will my mind is pretty simple. Because I just want to make a positive impact in the world, I want to I want to ignite positive change in the world, through my clients, you know, in my organization’s for individuals I work with, so I know I’m achieving results. If I know I’m helping people. And I’m in a field where I get to do that. So again, the more that you can tie into at the end of this day, you know, let’s go fat go forward, to go backwards, right. At the end of the day, you know, I wanted the client, it’s a very powerful coaching exercise. And for your listeners, you know, write your obituary now. Yeah. And a lot of coaches may if you if you work, they’ll I don’t deal with everybody. I won’t do with all my clients because they don’t want to think about death or mortality. But write your obituary, like, what do you want to be remembered for? Well, those are the results, then make sure that that’s that you’re doing it. So it’s just really get clarity on what you want to achieve. And once you have clarity, a lot of stuff falls into place.

Brett Gilliland  32:43

Like that. I like it a lot. This is all been great. So a couple fun questions. I don’t know do they have in Maryland? Did they do the Powerball lottery thing?

Wendy Swire  32:50

They do. They do.

Brett Gilliland  32:52

Well I, I have never I’ve never been a lottery person. I’ve never done it. We’re in a gas station. Where can my took my three older boys, we went to the Notre Dame football game this past week. We get to rush the field, which was pretty cool us and our, you know, 2000 closest friends and I thought we’re gonna die when during, you know, everybody’s trying to get off the field. But anyway, we’re on the way home and there’s a sign it says $1.9 billion, right for the Powerball. So I mean, the boys pick some numbers and we’re gonna you know, we’re we keep telling ourselves, we’re going to wake up billionaires tomorrow morning. But anyway, we just–– what’s that?

Wendy Swire  33:25

I’m rooting for you and your boys.

Brett Gilliland  33:27

Thank you. And so I just played the game with my wife this morning. And then some guys at work. We went to lunch today if you win the $1.9 billion lottery tonight. What’s what’s the first two or three things you would do?

Wendy Swire  33:40

Oh, I love that question. I’m gonna give I look I have a really lucky life, what’s the first couple things I’m doing? I’m gonna give a heck of a lot of it away and I’m gonna start a foundation, for sure. What am I going to do? I’m probably going to buy a really nice house on the lake for my husband. Adirondacks. And I’m going to buy him a beautiful sailboat and kayak. I’ll probably do so I’m probably going to do some stuff to like spoil. spoil my loved ones, but I do so my husband is great. I’d probably––

Brett Gilliland  34:06

It’s a lot of fun though, isn’t it? I mean, the thing about okay, I said today a little bit larger. So I think I’m gonna take 100 million and I’m gonna go I’m gonna pay everybody’s house off in the firm. And I’m gonna better be careful this now right I’m gonna hear all this and it’s on record. We’re gonna pay everybody’s house on the firm off pay all my family’s houses off. And, and then, you know, give a ton of it away, go buy a house, the beach house in Watercolored, Florida.

Wendy Swire  34:32

Oh, I’m getting a house for those listeners up in the Adirondacks.

Brett Gilliland  34:36

Like, like, if I steal your cell phone from you, what’s the one thing that I cannot delete the you need to continue the life that you’re living right now?

Wendy Swire  34:46

Oh gosh, my virtual admins. Nation. Shout out to Katie. What do I need? I need my calendar. I do need my emails, I probably well for productivity I need those things, I think for just pure joy and to make sure I get all of that gratitude is old photos.

Brett Gilliland  35:06

Yeah, I’m a big photo person myself. And what is it you wish you had more time to do but right now in the season of life you’re in, there’s just not enough hours in the day?

Wendy Swire  35:16

Oh gosh, I love I love to move. I’d love to to spend a little bit more time I haven’t ever ever worked out but there’s always more you can add if you had more time. And I’m an avid, avid avid reader, and there’s just way too many books. I probably have 10 books. I read multiple books at a time. I probably have 10 there. I would just I spent a lot of time reading so I can never ever not read. I would do more of that.

Brett Gilliland  35:39

I love it. I love it. Well, thank you so much. Wendy Sherwin Swire, we will send people your way. I know you’ve also set up a link. I think I have to get glasses here, but it’s the again. So yeah, put that in the show links. So thanks so much for setting that up. And we’ll send people there. Where else can our listeners find more of you? 

Wendy Swire  36:04

Yeah, well, I would encourage Yeah, this is a special page we created for listeners of Brett show. It’s HTTPS/ So there I have some questions and things just for podcast listeners. But you can always go to and awesome. Thank you so much. Wow, what fun! Felt like two minutes. It was great.

Brett Gilliland  36:28

Great conversation. Appreciate you being on the show, Wendy. And if you have anything in the future, please let us know.

Wendy Swire  36:34

Thank you. Thank you to all the listeners. It was a real privilege.

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