April 13, 2022

480: The Universal Rules of Life - 27 Secrets for Managing Time, Stress, and People (with Dr. Nabil Fanous)

Discover the easy and smart answers to the questions that have intrigued you for years.

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On today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, I am joined by Dr. Nabil Fanous to discuss his new book, The Universal Rules of Life - 27 Secrets for Managing Time, Stress, and People:


Developed by Dr Nabil Fanous—a surgeon, university professor and sought-after speaker—The Universal Rules of Life offers valuable insights into effective time management, personal fulfillment, and the path to professional success.

Discover the easy and smart answers to the following questions that have intrigued you for years:

  • What’s the one sentence that will get you what you want 50% of the time?
  • What are the 3 time management secrets of doing what you don’t have time to do?
  • What are the 4 best-kept and indispensable secrets to achieving happiness?
  • How you can create a commanding presence, before you even utter a word?
  • How you can mesmerize anyone you talk to?
  • What are the 9 crucial steps for prevention and early detection of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease?
  • What should you do when you feel torn between several options, and can’t make a decision?
  • How you can break the “I will” habit, and do now what you've always wanted to do, but never did?
  • How can you get people to appreciate you, to relish hearing from you, and compete to get together with you?
  • How you can give criticism and disagree, yet remain liked and respected?
  • How can you solve any worrisome problem in less than 5 minutes?
  • How can you create smart effortless habits that simplify your life?
  • What are the 2 questions you must ask yourself when faced with a life crisis or a serious health problem?
  • What’s the secret recipe for managing the difficult people in your life?
  • What are the 2 questions that will instantly make you feel better when you’re disappointed or depressed?



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Brian Nichols  
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, Happy Wednesday there, folks, Brian, on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on a horse. Another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. And today, all right, we talk about how to be a good sales pro. But before you can be a good sales pro, you have to be a good individual first, you got to make sure to quote Jordan Peterson you got to clean up your own room. Well, we have on the show today, Dr. Nabil a news and he has a brand new book, The universal rules of life 27 secrets for managing time, stress and people Dr. Fun News, welcome to the program. Hi, how are you? Doing? Well, thank you for joining us. And thank you for obviously going out and helping outline Yes, 27 of those steps that one can take to go through and understand those universal rules for life. But before we get there, Dr. For news, if you would be so kind introduce yourself to The Brian Nichols Show audience and what brought you on this path to helping identify these very useful rules for life.

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Okay, so I live in Montreal, I teach Facial Plastic Surgery at McGill University. And in addition to my courses on surgery, I started adding a course and addition, of course, just for fun, on first it was on managing time because the residents were telling me that they don't have time, and it's hard to organize their time and so on. And it was very well received. So I started adding some of my own rules that I follow in life. And again, it was an instant success. So eventually, I decided to go and present it to different medical conferences. And again, it was a big success. But then I said, Well, it's time to put it in a book.

Brian Nichols  
So when you write it down, you put it down onto paper, right all of a sudden, and I see this a lot, too, I'll have a bunch of different thoughts just ping pong around in my head. And then when I sit down, I put them to paper, all of a sudden, everything looks coherent, it looks clear. And that alone I think can sometimes be the best starting off point is helping to clear out your thoughts and to be able to take a step back, sometimes we over whelmed ourselves with ourselves. So let's dig into and you starting off and you're outlining yes, these universal rules for life. Now, there's 27 of them, folks. So we're not going to list every single one today. But Dr. For news, let's walk through some of the ones that you have found to be the most important and impactful in your life.

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Well, remember that I put those myself. So basically, I put them before i i decided to use them, you know, in other words, I used them first and then I found out they're working. So the rules are almost in, in in sick the sequences almost by priority. So I would say the most popular of the rules either rule number one, although that I like them all. But rule number one says, do it now perfected later, stop that I will have it. In other words, we all want to achieve things. We all plan on achieving things. But we we wait and procrastinate. We fail because we never begin. So all you need to do is start and the rest will follow. Just do something, anything, but do it now. And later. You can perfect it. That's number one.

Brian Nichols  
So in Rule number one, do it now perfect it later. So we see this a lot in the world of sales in the world of marketing. And in the world of life. People get stuck in wanting to make things perfect. We call it paralysis by analysis, right. And that can be one of the biggest roadblocks and actually moving things forward. I mean, if I always tell the story of you, I used to be a big boy, I was 385 pounds. And if I had waited until I had the perfect gym, the perfect situation to start losing weight, the perfect day, whatever it may have been, I would have been waiting until quite literally I had a heart attack and died. So it's important, whether it's focusing on that big project that needs to get accomplished at work or that big project in life like losing 100 plus pounds. That might be a situation and I would dare say it is a situation across the board where it yes, you should go ahead and do it now. versus waiting later. I like that.

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Yeah, I give you an example. I usually train twice a week. For bodybuilding and weights. I believe in weight. It's in my book And yesterday, I came home, I was late. So I was left with 10 minutes out of 45 minutes, guess what? I went immediately and did the 10 minutes because I thought better something than nothing. So that's the idea. Just do something, do it now we got is it better than not doing it at all?

Brian Nichols  
What do you see are the main factors that hold people back from doing it now?

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Perfectionism, number one, perfectionism, number one, and the failure to start, it's funny, we fail because we fail because we never begin it just beginning. In other words, if you want to train, just start training, even if you think you will stop in a minute you want. If you want to write something, if you want to write an email, start writing it, just start. And the chances are, you will end up doing something. It's the lack the failure of starting, we fail, because we never begin.

Brian Nichols  
We do fail because we never begin, we fail because we get afraid of I think sometimes not just making it perfect, to your point that perfectionism, but also, what happens if we do win? What happens? If we get to that next step? What challenges are ahead of us then. And I think this was something I learned, I actually just talked about this over on a different podcast talking about addiction, I was addicted to food. And I think one of the main things that I had to overcome and realize was even once you accomplish whatever that next step is, there's still more next steps to be had, just because you've reached that next milestone, doesn't all of a sudden make all the problems in life go away, it doesn't mean that everything is going to be perfect. And I think sometimes we see a lot of people who will paint the picture of, well, if I accomplish x, then I will be happy. But in reality, it's not necessarily that you accomplished X. It's the pursuit of this, and then what you're going to do after you've accomplished X, and I see, I saw this in myself that that was scared. I was I was afraid because I was like I lost all this weight. And I'm still not happy. What's next. So we see this across the board depression, anxiety, it's running rampant across, not just I would say, you have some older generations, but a lot of younger generations now too. So what would you recommend as some useful tips to help people when dealing with depression and anxiety in the likes?

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Well, I have many rules on that. But I'll give you one rule, which is rule number nine, which I think is very powerful. But there are other nice ones, too, that I may call later. So rule number one says, What's the worst case scenario? And what's the most probable one? And he continues saying, I'm, I'm putting it briefly, I'm giving you a nutshell, in a nutshell. Now, when you have a small problem, ask yourself, would you remember it? Six months down the road? If the answer is no, forget it at once. A small problem like a scratch on your car, you dropped some wine on your carpet, you lost your February pen, you missed the flight. If you can't remember, if you want to remember, six months down the road, immediately drop it. So that's little problems. Now, if you are facing a big problem like crisis, financial crisis or personal crisis, ask yourself two questions. The first question is, what's the worst case scenario? What's the worst that can happen? Amazingly, it's often not the end of the world, in addition of being improbable, that's the worst case scenario. The second question you ask yourself is, what's the most probable scenario? That's the important question, what is the most probable scenario you don't usually ask ourselves, we usually think of the worst case, but ask yourself, what is the most probable scenario? Again, you will find that it's not that big a deal at all, usually, and in addition, is the most likely to happen, the most likely to happen tonight. So that's one of the rules that help with with stress and with an anxiety.

Brian Nichols  
So what about now we see this, especially over the past two years, there's been an uptick in rather difficult people in life. And we've seen this in in all ways, shapes or forms. So I think we've seen not just, you know, friendships be a little on edge, but also some families be on edge. So being able to deal with people who maybe you don't want to deal with what would be some useful tips that you'd recommend there.

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
So many, many, many, many, but I'll give you of the of the 27, at least five, six that would cover that. But I'll give you one, I'll give you two quick to rule number 18 says People don't change. And even if they do change, they often change back, because our personalities are encrypted in our genes. So, people is not easy for people to change. So you try once or twice to change difficult people in your life, whether they are difficult to observe that can be dear and difficult to and you try once or twice after that you quit, and you move to rule number 90. Next door. So what's rule number one, it will number 19 says, seed a will give you plenty every single time. If you want a different plant, try a different seed. So in other words, don't keep doing the same thing again and again and again and expecting a different result. Because if you plant seed a, it would go into plant a every single time. And if you use if you take action A with someone, it would give you reaction A every single time. So if you want to change that person reaction, you need to change your action, the the the Solution Start by you changing your action. In other words, if you change your action, you change the other person's reaction. I'll give you an example about that. In other words, the ball is in your court. So an example you your spouse is always late. Okay, so you need to leave at eight, you tell him please be ready for a she or he sell it. And you're you're like you get frustrated you keep complaining. Instead of doing that change, do a different take a different action. The next time you're going out. If it's an eight, you say we have an appointment at seven C it changes your reaction. So she's barely finishing at eight or he barely finishing at eight, you barely arrive on time a little bit late. Now that action be giving you we action b Now we go to action. See you now instead of seven the next time we have an appointment that he say we have an appointment at 630 adulation, you arrive on time and deliver on time. That's an example.

Brian Nichols  
And there's gonna be less fighting. I like that too. Now, let's take a little bit of a turn towards the world of sales. So obviously here in The Brian Nichols Show, we talked to a lot of business owners, sales professionals, sales directors, and one of the things that I noticed when I was looking up your book is that one of the teasers says there's a sentence I can learn that will help me get what I want. 50% of the time. I think every salesperson in business owner who's listening right now their ears instantly perked up. So doctor for news, what's that one sentence that'll help us get what we want 50% of the time.

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Amazing. Okay, so this is rule number two. It says, Ask once for what you want, and you will get it 50% of the time. So whether you need areas, a discount, a favor, a nicer hotel or a date, just ask for it. Because it's simple. If you don't ask you don't get to get if you don't ask you don't get. But listen to this one, which I really like. If you ask for what you want, the worst that people can do to you is not giving you what you asked for. Which is precisely where you were before you asked. In other words, you have nothing to lose.

Brian Nichols  
Yes, you have nothing to lose. I used to say to my sales team, I said so what if and we'd be talking about your booking appointments for example. But what if they say no? Well, what if they say no, you go back where you were exactly nothing has changed in this situation. So I think that is helpful and it also we see this with this a need for people to constantly focus on getting better improving those little things focusing on Yeah, not planting CD and hoping CB will somehow pop out but the constant objection I hear and I'm sure you hear it as well lecture for news is that I simply don't have time I I don't have the energy to go ahead and invest in learning and doing new things. So what would you say to somebody who says I don't have time?

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Okay. That's rule number six. If I, if I continue like that no one will buy the book. So rule number six says, which is very, that's the rule that I started with, by the way in university. Rule number six says, eliminated, delegated or shortcut, the three time management secrets of doing what you don't have time to do. So rule number one, secret number one of time management, the best way to do something that doesn't need to be done is not to do it at all, just eliminated, for example, unnecessary email accounts, unnecessary journal subscriptions, some apps, some social media, just lots of things that are that don't need to be done, and are not necessarily just not cut them down, not try to be efficient, the worst thing to do is to try to be efficient. Now, efficient we start is not that way, efficiency is to remove things out of your way. So eliminate them. So that's rule number one. Rule number two, the best way to do something that you don't have to do personally, is to let someone else do it for you. Delegate, in other words, but if you delegate before you delegate, you have to teach. And after you delegate, you have to check, which is much easier than doing it yourself. Now, the third secret of time management is when you can't eliminate it, and you can't delegate it, shrink it, at least shrink it. By shrinking it, if it means shrink, or shrink any task to its essential. In other words, remove whatever is not important of that task, cut it down, I give you an example. You are invited to a party, either you arrive early and evil, or you're late and leave late. In other words, you cut your remove part of it, you trim the unnecessary part of any test that has to be done. And there are many, many examples. But I don't want to take too much time on one. No,

Brian Nichols  
that's perfect. Because this actually goes right into the next question. Because it's a lot, right. You're trying to sit down, narrow down, what's the most important thing and we see this in the world of sales as well, when you're sitting down with your prospects, and you're helping them not just make a decision, but make the right decision. And there's a good friend of mine, and he's a sales professional trainer of Victor Antonio, and he talks about helping find the why in why people buy. So when you're finding the why and why people buy and you're uncovering the main objections that people face. One of the main objections is information overload, and then decision making overload. So I know that you've gone through and you'd help outline some different suggestions and tips to help when you're facing multiple decisions. What would you recommend there?

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Okay, this is rule number 11. And rule number 12, which are knightstone. Okay, So rule number 11 says, when you don't know what to do, do nothing time will often reveal the solution. Now, in other words, when you have too many options, and you're lost between these options, do nothing and wheat sooner or later time will upgrade the right option. This is basically what this will takes. And the other rule, which is when you don't know what to say, say nothing about the first rule what you don't know what to do, do nothing. Remember, you owe no actions to anyone. So you know you owe no actions to anyone if you don't know what to do, do nothing and don't worry about pressure from people. So the next rule which is rule 12. When you don't know what to say, say nothing. Silence is often the best reply. And again, silence is awkward. So when you feel you don't have an answer, just dive into silence. Remember, you owe no answers to any One and bottom line. Silence is powerful, saying nothing is powerful sometimes.

Brian Nichols  
silence can never be misquoted. I forget who said that quote, but I like that because it's true. Now, unfortunately, we're already getting hard pressed for time. And we could keep going through all 27 of these very, very useful rules for life. But I think right now, doctor for Newsweek, we're at the point where I want you to tell us, what is your favorite rule or favorite tip that you've been outlining here, the 27 that you've put into paper? And how has that helped you impact your life?

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
Well, honestly, I know you want one answer, but I don't have one. I, I follow all these rules as much as I can. Maybe I will say a rule that I find very powerful. Or maybe one or two quickly, that I found very powerful, especially if you're talking about salespeople, and so on, and about stress. Rule number eight says, Put your problems on paper, how to solve any problem in less than five minutes. And, again, when you have a problem, we tend to keep the problem and keep thinking about it and keep allowing it and moving around in our head all day all night. Not you sit down, you get it people, nothing is more focusing to the brain than paper, you protect paper. And you're right, first, you write down the problem. What it is, for example, I don't have time to fix my car. And then second, you write all the options, possible options that come to your mind, even the least unlikely ones. And so you go over all the possibilities of what you can do. And the ones that are unreasonable, you just got them and then one that can can be a possibility you circled them. And the first step is to look at all the circled ones and you choose one. So believe it or not, this is a magic formula, really magic formula. And one last one for your salespeople, which is rule number five, it says Listen, listen, first, talk second. Listen, first, talk second. So listening is a how to mesmerize anyone you talk to. That's the rule. So listen, first talk second how to mesmerize anyone you talk to. Listening is a magnetic force. And that's why, whenever we feel like talking, we should think of listening first. And listening is not just listening. It's more than that. And this is what the one part that I think your salespeople would like. When you listen, listen with your ears, and eyes. Listen, hear, when you listen, listen with your ears and eyes, hear what's not said and see what's not seen. That's very important. When you listen to people, you are analyzing what they have seen and what they they are hiding or what they they have not said. But you still get it. And when you look at them, when you listen with your eyes, you can judge their expressions and their posture and the body language. So listening is a very powerful tool. If you do it right, when you listen with your ears and eyes for a salesperson will try to talk too much. That's the worst thing you could do. You ask and you listen, and you watch while you're listening. You listen.

Brian Nichols  
I'm laughing because I literally just had this conversation last week with one of my co workers. So I hope they're listening. And they're smiling, saying I get it, Brian. Yes, I hear you. But yes, to your point, Dr. For news, it is important for us to listen. And I honestly think I have become a better salesperson over the past four plus years of doing my podcast because when you're doing interviews, I'm doing a lot of listening, I have to make sure I'm asking questions that elicit a thoughtful response. And I've seen far too often you'll have way too many interviewers who will have their list of questions that they want to get out because they have a set a set really a structure that they've put in place versus hearing what the conversation is going to be and where it's going to go, who knows let it be, what it will be in wherever it may go. It may go and when that being said, unfortunately, we are already hard pressed for time and yes, we probably covered about 10 or so of these useful little secrets here. But folks if you want to go ahead and find Yes, all 27 of them. Well, I'll include the link here in the show notes. The universal rules for life. 27. Seven. I'm sorry, yes, I gotta correct myself. Yes, the universal rules of life. There we go. 27 secrets for managing time stress, and people in because I mess up there, I'll make it easy. I'll put the link in our show notes, all you do is click the artwork of your podcast catcher, it'll bring you to Brian Nichols. show.com, where yes, you can find the Amazon link right to the universal rules of life to go ahead and make your purchase. But also, you can go ahead and learn more about Dr. For news. And if you want continue the conversation, we'll make sure to include that option there as well. But for the audio listener, Dr. For news, where can folks go ahead and find you if they want to learn more.

Dr. Nabil Fanous  
I have a an email that they can write to me on, which is very simple. It's amfa News, MD. So n which is my first name, my first my first letter of my name, for news, my name md@gmail.com. They can do that. Or find my website which I have many websites under my name, and they just send a question to them.

Brian Nichols  
Perfect. All right, folks. Well, there you go. There's your call to action, but the main call to action beyond obviously if you enjoyed today's episode will please go ahead and give it a share. And when you do, make sure you give yours truly a tag Ebina goes liberty but number two, the universal rules of life 27 secrets for managing time stress and people please go ahead and pick up your copy today. And if you write a review, please make sure you let them know that Brian Nichols sent you. So with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Dr. Nabil Fun News. We'll see you tomorrow. Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Dr. Nabil FanousProfile Photo

Dr. Nabil Fanous

Author / MD

Dr. Nabil Fanous is a triple board-certified surgeon, university teacher, and renowned speaker at major international medical conferences. After completing an advanced training (Fellowship) in Boston with Harvard teacher and world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr Richard Webster, Dr. Fanous was offered a teaching position at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he is presently chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and associate professor at the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. He is a founding member of the Canadian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.

Dr Fanous is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has authored more than 60 scientific publications, introduced numerous new surgical techniques, and designed multiple surgical instruments. He is married with two children and lives in Montreal, Canada, where he practices as director and senior surgeon at The Canadian Institute of Cosmetic Surgery.