Author Lucy Broadbent shares the inspiration behind her latest book release What Would Ted Lasso Do? How Ted’s Positive Approach Can Help You.
This week sees the release of the motivational book What Would Ted Lasso Do? How Ted’s Positive Approach Can Help You, by the author and journalist Lucy Broadbent. Here she talks about how a silly comedy TV show changed her worldview.
Why did you write this book?
Not long after I’d been watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV+, a car accidentally hit the side of my Subaru. Rude words and expletives would be my usual choice in such situations. But instead, I found myself thinking ‘Well, what would Ted Lasso do if this had happened to him?’
I knew he’d be kind to the other driver because that’s what the show’s all about. So I took a deep breath and surprised myself at how nice I was about a dent in the side of my car. Even more surprising though was how good I felt about it. Not angry but pleased that I hadn’t been horrible to the other driver who turned out to be a terrified old lady. Saintly, right?
It occurred to me then that Ted Lasso, a comedy about an American soccer coach in London had really got to me. And I don’t even like soccer.
I began to do a bit of research – I’m a journalist. It’s what I do. I found that many of the ideas which are woven into Ted Lasso come from what’s called the Positive Psychology Movement. All those messages of self-belief which Ted uses to encourage his soccer team, stem from well researched psychology ideas which have been proven can help all of us.
How would you describe the book?
It’s self-help meets TV fandom. You might even call it the Tao of Ted. It looks deeper into some of the show’s scenes and explores the ideas which are hidden there, like self-efficacy, toxic masculinity, learned optimism, empathy, and self-love.
Do you think Jason Sudeikis who was the co-creator of the show, intended to give the show so much psychological depth?
I believe it was 100% intentional. In several interviews, he’s said: “Anything that you can do to help yourself helps those around you… we were trying to explore that and personify it in a way and kind of trojan horse that there’s bigger issues in this fun, silly little comedy show.”
Can you give us an example of how Ted Lasso can help any one of us?
Ted’s core belief is that all people are worthy, even the ones who are out to trip him up. “You know what you do with tough cookies,” Ted tells his boss, Rebecca. “You dip them in milk.”
It turns out that dozens of papers have been published by The American Psychological Association on how performing acts of generosity and seeing others as worthy can boost our own happiness. Being curious, forgiving and kind have all been scientifically proven to have the same effect.
In the first season, Ted has a wife who wants to divorce him, his soccer team keeps losing, and there is a stadium of fans calling him offensive names, but Ted is an optimist, a beacon of positivity, a champion of refusing to let circumstances drag him down. Slowly, we see how by repeatedly reacting positively, Ted not only improves his own life, but he also improves the lives of the people around him. There are many books which have been written around this subject including Viktor E Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking and Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism.
Do you know when the third season of Ted Lasso will be out?
I don’t know. I’m excited to see it like everyone else. Spring of 2023 seems likely.
Tell us a bit about you?
I’m British which means I drink a lot of what Ted calls ‘garbage water’ and I’ve been a journalist all my working life, writing for The London Times, Los Angeles Times and Australian Marie Claire. I’ve had a couple of novels published, and I live in Los Angeles.
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