Ecological philosophy for the curious. Semi unscripted podcast/video episodes about things that should matter more. Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom will inspire your mind and stimulate your journey to enlightenment. Unlike typical follower-hungry influencers, Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom offers a fresh voice for free-thinkers starving for a more intelligent discourse.
DJ Doran is a podcaster, visionary, pilot, sailor, and an all around genuinely good dude. He currently heads and/or manages several multimedia outlets representing the LBGTQ community. He’s a leader, and definitely a mover and a shaker. Yet he seems to have his life well balanced between his family and his work. If you call it work, he seems to enjoy himself too much to call it work:)
DJ invited me to interview on his podcast the DJ Doran show because my podcast made him curious. How cool is that? So I returned the favor and invited him back so he could share his thoughts about Curiosity with us.
Would you rather be RIGHT, or HAPPY? Think about it. How many times have you faced this situation: You disagree with someone. A spouse, a friend, or coworker. And instead of getting curious and trying to understand each other, you end up in a posturing match of who will more strongly defend your position. How often does that end well?
Yet we all do it, and continue to do it. Somehow DEFENDING our positions is more important to us than UNDERSTANDING each other.
I don’t know about you, but when I get defensive I know something is up. Getting defense usually means I’m afraid of something. Sometimes I’m just afraid I’m wrong, and it’s too late to reveal that, so I double down. Other times I’m afraid my beliefs are abnormal, so I try and change my mind or concede to my ‘opponent’. More often than not, I think we get defensive because we really don’t know what we’re talking about – at least we don’t know well enough to defend it.
It’s like they say about teaching. To teach someone something you REALLY have to understand the topic. Same thing with defending your position on an issue when having a disagreement. You probably haven’t really thought enough about whatever it is to defend it properly. And then we panic. And panic often comes out as conflict.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could normalize understanding rather than defending?
Recently I discovered, or I guess RE-discovered, my 13 year old self around the time I moved from Georgia to Ohio. I figured this was an important time in my life and have always wondered how it might have affected me. By exploring my feelings and thoughts, from my heart instead of my mind, I remembered my bedroom and what it represented.
I realized that I had created this spot, at least partly, in response to some experiences with the outside world. See, I was bullied quite a bit as a kid. And I’m not looking for sympathy about that, I’m trying to illustrate how life-changing being bullied can be and hopefully relate to others that have had similar experiences or know people who have.
I had constructed a safe place where I could be me because sometimes being me in the real world was painful. What’s super cool about this, is realizing what a healthy response to bullying this was! Our reactions to negative experiences can be all kinds of things, good and bad, but creating a safe place seems to be at the top of the good list. Instead of changing who I was, I just protected it – and continued to be myself, but in an environment I could control.
The downside is that I never really dealt with being bullied, and I isolated myself from a lot of outside experiences. Because my room was so safe, I spent a lot of time there while my peers were doing social activities. This, of course, isn’t all bad, but i carried some of those fears into adulthood. I also learned to identify myself as a lone wolf and continued to seek safety by isolating myself.
The universal lesson here is how much we need to feel safe, and that when we aren’t we can create actual safe spaces but also the illusion of safety. On the good side there are things like creating a comfortable home and family environment where people we love know who we are and around whom we can be ourselves. The bad side is turning to alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, or whatever to create the illusion of control or safety. I guess I’m pretty lucky that this 13 year old kid made some pretty decent decisions.
One of our basic human needs is to feel safe. I realized recently that I created my own safety as a kid in response to bullying. My thirteen-year-old self built a protective cocoon my bedroom filled with all the things I loved and valued. Maybe all teenagers do this, but looking back at those years I realized how necessary it was. Here’s this kid who’s feeling alone and isolated because he’s being bullied and doesn’t know how to do anything about it. So instead of getting depressed or acting out, he builds a place where he can feel safe, has value, and matters.
And though our lives change as we mature, those longings never go away. As an adult I an no longer bullied but carry the scars of isolation and reduced self-esteem. In some ways I have overcome those issues, yet in other ways I have not. And though i feel safe with my family and friends, I’d really like to feel the safety of my thirteen-year-old bedroom again.
It all makes me wonder, does our need for safety change as we age? Does it ever go away? Should it?
Time. It’s our most valuable resource, yet for half our lives we think we have enough. Hell, we think we’re immortal for a good part of our lives, as if we have all the time in the world. Youth, is wasted on the young; retirement, on the old. But all of that is just to say we’re human. We suffer.
And as I talk about in Episode 37: The Currency of Life, Time is a resource. It’s something we SPEND. We spend our time doing x, y, z. We spend it at work. We spend it in traffic. Hopefully, we spend some doing things we love. We exchange time for money, to buy things to do with our time. Then we don’t have any time to do those things because we want more money. And so on, and so on.
“There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?” The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.” The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.“ I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.” The fisherman continues, “And after that?” The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.” The fisherman asks, “And after that?” The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!” The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
What would you rather be spending your time doing?
Time IS limited, and what you do with yours can make or break how you feel when you die. I often think about how I will feel on my proverbial deathbed (if I’m lucky enough to go out with a minute to ponder such things). What will I think of how I spent my time?
Mandy Napier resides in Australia where she shares her thirteen years of experience as the ‘mindset alchemist’, a high performance mindset and executive coach (and via zoom, obviously). She has represented Australia in the international Iron Man competition in Hawaii. After being forced to give up her sport, she focused on getting herself unstuck. She now shares how she did it directly with clients, via several books including, “Creating Healthy Life Habits“, and in myriad articles and videos. You can find all of that and more on her website Mindset for Success.
I learned about Mandy when I started Googling people who seemed Curious. I stumbled upon an article she wrote “Why Curiosity is the Essential Skill to Build Right Now“, which I thought was a screaming testimonial to the importance of being curious. She appeared to be well versed in coaching, neuroscience, and psychology. Her writing was convincing, and she quoted Einstein. And upon my invitation she agreed to an interview!
The interview stumbled a bit at first due to internet issues on my end, and I had to relocate to my bathroom, of all places, to get a better connection. Mandy waited and remained unphased, which somehow rubbed off on me. Normally I could have let something like that throw me. This was, after all my first interview with someone I didn’t know. Her energy is intoxicating. Her confidence is obvious. And she is enthusiastic to help people change. The interview was, as you’ll see, pretty amazing.
Full disclosure, I enjoyed Mandy so much that I am now a client. In few weeks she has taken me farther than years of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT, talk therapy). Mandy has a system. A well earned, tested, and authentic set of tools to take control of your life and get unstuck. So far, so good.
You will take something away from what Mandy shares here. Mandy is every bit the ‘Iron Woman’ she always was, but now she can help you change YOUR life. Please check out her links, her articles, her videos, and reach out to her if you are looking for help. Especially if you are currently doing therapy or in a program that doesn’t seem to be helping. Enjoy, and thanks for watching or listening.
I am so lucky to have met Mandy Napier. I stumbled upon her when Google searching for Curiosity. She had published an article called “Why Curiosity is the Essential Skill to Build Right Now“. I reached out to her, thinking she could share with us how Curiosity had influenced her life. The results are beyond my expectations.
Mandy is a champion ironman competitor and has represented Australia in international competition. When forced to give up her sport, she turned inward to ‘figure herself out’ and learn how to get unstuck. Now she shares her mastery by helping others unstick themselves. Through the vehicle of curiosity this interview will inspire you to achieve for yourself.
In this Episode I tried to capture the feeling we all have sometimes that we don’t belong. Some of us feel this way most all the time, others just every once in awhile. You may have experienced it as ‘Imposter Syndrome’, when you get a new job or join a team and feel like everyone else is better than you. You may just feel misunderstood, or that the people around you just don’t ‘get you’.
Regardless, this is a terrible feeling and one we can question, or push back on, because if we all feel this way, then aren’t we similar?
It’s true. If we’re all different then we’re all the same because we have that ‘feeling different’ feeling in common! Can’t we somehow come together through this?
The problem is, no one wants to talk about it. Admitting you feel bad, in any way, is hard and not high on the ‘socially acceptable’ list. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a group of friends and coworkers who are elevated enough to realize this. But few of us are.
I think the least we can do is to realize most people feel this way. The next step we can take is to be aware of when someone else might be feeling this way, and to connect with them somehow. Maybe you have a friend who is going through something. This is an opportunity to explore how they feel by listening. Maybe they’ll give you an opportunity to say, ‘you feel isolated and alone, I get that because I often do, too’. Or something. I don’t have all the secrets, I just want to live a better life.
I hope you get something out of this episode, even if it’s just feeling a little less isolated.
Just checking in this week with some observations about KEW. It’s been almost a year and over 40 episodes. I’ve learned a lot and am doing my best to deliver the highest quality content.
-I have shortened the episodes. Though 50 minutes works for my ‘thinking cycle’, I think it’s a bit long for listeners and viewers. While I enjoy listening to long podcasts while I work (because I can, I work alone), I realize listeners prefer shorter episodes. There’s a reason TED talks are 10-20 minutes.
-I have realized my audience is probably not on TikTok. Though I enjoy TikTok, I also don’t think it’s my style. I’m not patient enough to produce high quality, short videos. I’d rather focus on Episode content. It would be awesome to be able to pay someone to develop TikToks for KEW. Speaking of which, have you seen Sustainable Human? OMFG, these folks have mastered the short multi-media message.
-I’ve added a Linkedin profile to try and network with folks there.
-Speaking of networking. . . . I have started releasing episodes for the Curiosity series. My second interview with Mandy Napier was cosmic. I literally randomly selected her from an article she published about Curiosity. Like we all do, I imagined what she would be like (and naively thought my prediction would be accurate) but our interaction, and her person, was far different than I expected. Long story short, I think interviewing is a good way for me to network. I don’t have a natural inclination for social media, but inviting someone to interview and share their stories seems like a great pathway toward making new friends.
-Last, I see an evolution in the topics I share. Recording episodes is therapeutic for me, it helps me focus thoughts into ideas, and after an episode is released they continue to evolve. I see a need for further development of these ideas to focus more finely. I see opportunities to do this in ebook formats. My goal is to take some time to focus on popular episodes and organize those thoughts into ebooks or similar digestible products for release.
What’s staying the same?
-I will continue to do episodes about whatever is inspiring me that week. I will retain the semi-stream-of-consciousness approach, though I will focus more to get the ideas out in 20 minutes or so.
-I will maintain the authenticity of the recording process by editing as little as possible. I still believe ‘not editing’ is a thing. I could be totally wrong here and invite your input.
-I am committed to the release schedule of new episodes every Friday, preview clips Wednesdays, and Flashback releases on Monday. I hope to release a Curiosity episode in place of a regular one about every 3rd or 4th Friday, depending on how quickly I can find new guests.
What ideas didn’t work?
-Like I said, I think the episodes are too long. I’ll aim for 50 minutes or so for Curiosity interviews, but I’m going to focus on making regular releases about 20 minutes long.
-I think I’ve plateaued on my level of social media marketing. I have a natural avoidance of social media and, while I see the need to advertise, I just don’t think I’m going to become an influencer via this route. Perhaps one day I can afford to pay someone to do this, but it just isn’t going to be a skill I will excel at. I will continue with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts and to share links as I have been. Again, your input is welcome here.
-Originally I had planned to organize my thoughts by category, but I think that’s an unnecessary organizational step so while the Episode topics might seem scattered or incongruent, I truly believe the themes will emerge. The Episodes are part of a pathway to more focused products – possibly ebooks.
As always, I welcome your input and involvement in any way you feel compelled to share. Comment here or email me at email@example.com. Thanks for sharing your curiosity!
I figured I’d take a little time to check in about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. A little over a year ago KEW was just an idea. I felt compelled to learn how to podcast and embrace the digital age. I was missing teaching and wanted to share my experience with an audience. I knew nothing about podcasting, websites, or YouTube. In fact, though I have been an avid podcast listener, I sort of shunned YouTube because it seemed to be so ubiquitous with the young and I’m pushing 50. But I decided instead to see what all the fuss was about.
I was pretty unclear about my audience and mission, but it is revealing itself over time. I think 40 Episodes is long enough to realize I am committed and will continue to put out content on a regular basis. I came to understand 50 minutes may be a bit long so I’ve shortened my episodes to 20. I have also added interviews to broaden my reach.
In fact, I now see that part of my original mission, to build a discourse and community, was a bit naive. I have learned that community already exists and doesn’t need to be built. As such, I am not making a concerted effort to network with the existing community of like-minded-thinkers and have added Linkedin and am considering Medium as networking outlets.
My content continues to follow my inspiration, and as I am now receiving healing and training from TWO mindset and somatic healers (call them coaches if you must), I have more material to work with than ever.
I have several Curiosity interviews edited and ready for release. I will likely release an interview episode about once a month or every three weeks, with regular episodes on other weeks.
I hope you are enjoying the content and I am very much open to criticism and feedback, as always feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org any time!