KEW Preview Episode 63: The Two Types of Shoulds

This Episode started out examining the different kinds of shoulds. Some shoulds come from extrinsic sources like my dad telling me I needed to get a job and not study philosophy in college, or your church telling you not to be gay. Extrinsic shoulds can be pretty easy to identify because they are often things we rebel against, are mean, or are even evil.

Intrinsic shoulds can be complicated. Some are good. We tell ourselves we *should* eat better and not have two pieces of cake. We *should* call our mother more often. Sometimes these shoulds come 100% from within us, but often they are actually extrinsic shoulds disguised as our own. The world has told us not to eat so much cake and that good sons and daughters call their moms more often. So it’s hard.

But I think, inherently, the more we come to know the are and to live in that space, the easier it is to identify whether your shoulds are intrinsic or extrinsic. In other words, I believe humans fundamentally KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. It’s just that the more time we spend in the shoulds, we forget.

Like I often do, I wander a bit in this episode toward some emerging elements. I began a shift, in real time, toward a more somatic and external assessment of our personal growth path with respect to the Are vs Should Problem. I even go so far as to suggest we take the focus off ourselves for awhile, and focus on the people around us!

I hope you enjoy the tangents and trust that I will continue to develop these ideas in upcoming Episodes.

Full Episode in audio and video formats this Friday, right here at KEW http://www.chrisburcher.com.

FLASHBACK! KEW Curiosity Interview Series 8: Bernhard Kutzler

I was so happy to meet Bernhard Kutzler. I told him we were kindred spirits because we were asking such similar questions. He agreed. He also agreed to interview with me to discuss Curiosity.

My first thoughts about Bernhard were why no one else has heard of him. I still think about why some people become household names and others’ work is lost out in the world of cyberspace. The simple answer is marketing. But that’s not the point of this post. The point I’m trying to make is Bernhard has made several important contributions to the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology, and personal growth. He has published a handful of books. He is an author on Medium and has his own blog.

You can find all of that work at www.bernhardkutzler.com.

To entice you to watch this rather long video in it’s entirety I’ll tell you one thing about Bernhard.

He took a THREE AND A HALF YEAR hiatus to live alone and unencumbered by technology. During this time he asked the basic questions like, ‘why am I here’, ‘what is the purpose of life’, and ‘what does it all mean’. Then he wrote two books about it. One is a comprehensive documentation about everything he did during that time. It (Consciousness. It’s Nature, Purpose, and How to Use it) ‘s a heady read, for sure. And maybe a little ‘out there’ in places. The other is a how-to apply what he learned to live your best life (Being Free: Get out of the Box) and is more approachable for most people.

Though this is a long interview, there is a lot of information, knowledge, wisdom, and experience here that will benefit listeners and viewers. I hope you choose to participate.

Bernhard is currently ‘out of the office’ again, surely exploring some amazing questions. I can’t wait to hear about it when he returns.

Original post here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/05/14/kew-curiosity-interview-series-8-bernhard-kutzler/

KEW Episode 62: Change (cont)

Apparently I didn’t say quite enough about change in last weeks’ Episode 62: Change is Hard, but Resisting Change is WRONG! because when I say down to record this weeks’ Episode I just kept talking about CHANGE.

Change. It’s the one thing we can count on.

Since the Big Bang, the universe has been changing. Changing forms. Changing states. Changing composition.

All around us, change is driving the universe. The Earth. Our behavior. The seasons. . . .

Yet, many of us resist change. We don’t like it. It messes up our scheduling. We OBSESS about predicting the future. The popularity of the Weather Channel is a great example. We believe we can predict the future and CONTROL change. Or even omit it altogether from reality.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder if that’s the state of nature we are shooting for. To have every day be as predictable as the last. The literal Groundhog Day of life. And on the one hand, it’s easy to see how comforting that predictability would be, but also how COMPLETELY BORING life would become.

And I get it. We resist change because it ISN’T predictable. And that makes us feel unsafe. And feeling unsafe is scary and sad. So we are afraid. So we want the fear to go away. So we attempt to CONTROL, and remove change from the world.

But that is literally insane. It is as asinine as removing oxygen from the atmosphere. Not only is it impossible, it would kill us. And I’m afraid the path toward minimal change will similarly cause our demise.

In fact, I believe our resistance to change is somehow related to (or the cause of!) many of our human problems.

In this Episode I continue exploring why change is bad, and further develop my hypothesis about how change is related to the Are vs Should Problem.

Full podcast audio here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9139084-kew-episode-62-change-cont.mp3?download=true

Or please subscribe and get every new episode automatically every Friday via your favorite podcast app (I use Spotify).

Episode also on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/e1DMgsrlfLs

Where you can subscribe to my channel and similarly be reminded each week.

Thank you for your support, comments, likes, and follows.

Preview KEW Episode 62: Change (cont.)

I’ve been talking a lot about how change is a FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT OF LIFE. Biological entities have DNA which builds our bodies and defines our unique abilities and deficiencies. But more than that, DNA is the mechanism that perpetuates and propels species through TIME by allowing adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The universe is always changing and anything wishing to persist needs a way of dealing with those changes. Biological things, like humans, have DNA to do that very job.

So a main assumption of the Are vs. Should Problem is that change is fundamental.

Another key assumption is that DNA is how we navigate that change – as individuals and as a species.

And my point in Episodes 61 and 62 is to point out a HUGE problem currently plaguing the human race:

We are currently RESISTING change, rather than embracing it.

And, I’ll argue, THIS is a major contributor to MOST of human problems.

From world hunger, to climate change, to our obsession with war. . . . it’s all about NOT understanding the need to change. To react. To modify. It’s literally in our nature. And when you fight your nature, you’re going to lose.

Full Episode coming Friday right here at KEW. Please subscribe to the KEW podcast and/or to my YouTube channel, and follow this blog for updates. You can also check out KEW on Medium.com.

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 46: Values

Values, man.

If ever there were an oversimplification in the whole personal growth or self-help category, this is it.

What do you value? What are your values? It sounds sooo simple. But that’s deceptive.

For me, defining my values took WEEKS. And, worse than that, I THOUGHT I knew what they were. I think we all do.

I value family. Safety. Comfort. A good hot dog.

Whatever. We don’t really know what the options are, so how do we know we covered it.

To REALLY nail your values – and you REALLY need to to make quick progress – you have to put in some hard work. And by hard work, I mean repetition. And by repetition, I mean you have to be PERSISTENT.

It’s more simple, really.

Sit down quietly and ask yourself, ‘What do I value and love’, and, ‘What gets me out of bed in the morning’. Make a list. Read the list.

Now.

Take each thing you wrote down and GO DEEPER. Why do you value love? What is love anyway? Is this about a person? Write all that down. Write some more. Instead of a word you’ll have pages. Now ask yourself again. GO DEEPER. AGAIN.

Repeat that for every word on your original list and go through 6-10 iterations of each, going deeper until you can’t go any deeper. Take a few days. Take a few weeks. Take a few months.

Yeah, it sounds crazy. And maybe your final list will look just like your original list, but mine didn’t. It was close, but in the end I fell like the work taught me a lot more than writing that original list. I have now internalized and automated my values. I can now use them as guideposts in my decision-making and growth.

I hope you enjoy the video or audio.

Original post is here,

KEW Episode 46: Values

with links to full audio and video downloads. Please subscribe to my podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, and YouTube if you prefer that format.

KEW News and Updates September, 2021

Hey guys – just wanted to make a note here about a few projects I have coming up that you may be interested in.

First, I’m currently conducting interviews about the “Are vs. Should Problem“. I’ve completed the first two with people I had never met and I’ll say it’s going to be very interesting. I plan to do around ten total interviews and to start releasing them either every other week or as a separate series beginning in October sometime. I’m excited to hear others’ perspectives on this issue and to have candid conversations about what it means to be yourself.

Second, KEW now has a writer’s page on Medium. For those of you who don’t know, Medium is a website for writers. It’s subscription based, and non-members can only read a handful of articles for free. For me, it’s better than reading the news every day – I have made it a habit to spend more time on Medium reading interesting stories and articles instead of reading news. I have only written one article so far, but I have made it a goal to start writing one a week in the near future. Mostly these will mirror what is happening on KEW but we’ll see where that goes. You can find my first article here: https://medium.com/@kpluseiswise/what-we-forgot-6e4b7090d540

This first article, ‘What We Forgot‘, gets at the idea that somewhere along the line we flipped nearly 180 degrees from being people who lived mostly in our ‘ares’ to people who listened more to the voices of the ‘shoulds’. I’m still not sure how and why this happened, but it is becoming clearer every week. In fact, I am starting to develop an even larger project about HOW to address this issue which I will get to in the upcoming weeks.

If you know anyone I should interview for this AvS series please comment or email me at kpluseiswise@cburcher

Thanks, everyone,

Chris

KEW Episode 61: The Are vs Should Problem – Change is Hard, but Resisting Change is WRONG!

In the next few videos I focus on CHANGE. I have covered changing old beliefs, changing the way you think, changing your habits. But it wasn’t until Episode 47: Changing Behavior Changes Beliefs that I actually started to realize how critical CHANGE is.

Change is the key. The main element. The obvious, yet hidden mechanism of life.

One of my chief assumptions is that we we are vehicles for, or at least highly influenced by, our DNA.

And change is what our DNA was designed to do.

In Episode 55: The Bully and your DNA Part 2, I go in to detail about how and why I think DNA is so important, but I’ll reiterate here.

The Universe is constantly changing. It’s been well established by multiple branches of science. I’m going to assume most of us accept that tenet. I will further argue that the fact that things will change is one of the few things we can predict about the future. And we can look to the past and see things were different before. So we know that wherever we are today is likely to change. How it will change is hard to say, but we spend a lot of time trying to figure that out.

An unpredictable future is more dangerous than one that is known. Yet we WANT to know what’s coming up so that we can prepare. Will it rain today? Do I need a jacket? Will the weather be good while we’re at the beach? Will my retirement accounts be worth anything when I need them?

So, in essence, the world/universe/environment in which we live is going to change through time. Ok. Got it. So, in order to live in this world/universe/environment we probably need a mechanism to deal with change.

A crystal ball might seem like the most useful tool, but if you think about it, that only helps the individual. Sure, if we could predict how much Bitcoin would be worth next week we could make a lot of money. Or if we could know how many avalanches would occur in a certain area we would know where NOT to build a ski resort. Those things are helpful, but they only really increase the fitness of single individuals. And in the long run, biology is more interested in the whole than the parts. Because we are all connected, after all.

Enter DNA.

DNA is an ideal molecule to facilitate generational changes in individuals through time by allowing for responses to extrinsic environmental changes. In other words, DNA gives individuals the capacity to REACT to environmental changes at a rate commensurate with the changes themselves. Individuals can react, reproductive success is affected, and the environment selects for fitness in future generations. Species persist.

But I’ve talked a lot about that in other Episodes.

The conundrum I talk about in Episode 61 and 62 is how humans seem to resist change. In the past 200 years or so, it seems that human evolution has entered a period of minimal change. We have established cultural norms and rules that select for ‘sameness’ and predictability in individual behavior. In some ways this makes sense for behavior management as the Earth gets more crowded, but I worry about superficial and short-term changes trickling up to affect our general opinion about change.

Because change isn’t going away. We can never control it all. Control is an illusion, anyway, and we will never control the weather or the economy. We can depart Earth to inhabit Mars, but we will eventually have the same problems we have here.

I am concerned that our resistance to change in our daily lives is going to reduce our ability to evolve and persist as a species in the long term. In the short term, we will lose creativity and diversity of ideas and intellect, which will in turn stifle our ability to navigate the future. In the face of change we need creativity and diversity, not sameness and conformity.

I hope you enjoy this miniseries about change. More next week.

Download podcast audio here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9127831-kew-episode-61-change-is-hard-but-resisting-change-is-wrong.mp3?download=true

Or please subscribe on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.

YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/9k4D2G1HSss

Preview KEW Episode 61: The Are vs Should Problem – Change is Hard, But Resisting Change is WRONG

This week I’ll continue to drive this point home. Change is a NATURAL element in all biological systems. Our very nature is dependent on and affected by constant and continuous change. The abiotic environment of the universe is constantly changing as matter and energy change forms. Luckily for us, we have DNA that facilitates adjustments to respond to these changes and life can persist through time.

Understanding and dealing with the Are vs Should Problem is contingent upon change. To the extend that we RESIST change, we must learn to accept it and deal with it. Luckily, it is a PART of us and has been for millions of years. All we have to do is remember. And I’ll add that it is ESSENTIAL to remember, if we want to succeed as a species.

Seriously. The path we are currently on where we minimize and try to avoid change, reward conformity, and value the continuing status quo is causing many of the problems we face. By embracing change we can solve these problems, improve our lives, and advance the human race. That will be much of what I’ll discuss in upcoming episodes.

Full Episode this Friday, right here on KEW.

FLASHBACK! KEW Curiosity Interview 6: Dan Tassone

Getting to interview Dan Tassone was a real treat. If you listened or watched, you know what an amazing guy he is. This was one of those times where we both benefitted equally from this type of experience.

Dan is a hospital pharmacist and teaches us about Covid vaccines, CRISPR, and dealing with the mask/anti-mask and vacc/anti-vacc debate.

If you haven’t listened or watched, it’s worth an hour of your life. Or less on high speed 🙂

v

Link to original post including podcast audio and YouTube links: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/04/30/kew-curiosity-interview-series-7-dan-tassone/

KEW Episode 60: The Are vs Should Problem – Jobs and Careers

When I was a teenager I realized I would be working for the rest of my life. This hit me like a ton of bricks. This realization LITERALLY left me feeling like I had fallen out of a tree and couldn’t catch my breath. Though I’d experienced physical pain by this point in my life, fully coming to understand that I was going to have to spend a significant part of my life doing things I didn’t want to do was disturbing.

And it wasn’t so much that I had to WORK. I didn’t mind working. I had my first job at 13 and was gainfully employed when I had this epiphany about work. It was more that a big chunk of MY TIME was spoken for.

I felt like I was seeing my future, and part of it was already planned out. It wasn’t so much about the WORK thing, it was the CHOICE thing. My future was, at least in part, not my CHOICE. And I don’t know why this created so much dissonance. But this was a true blindside. I didn’t see it coming. I felt like I lost my whimsy.

And so that is, in huge part, what led me to explore the Are vs. Should Problem. Why do we struggle between the person we ARE and the person we feel like we SHOULD BE? A big part of this SHOULD is related to having to work and to have a career. A huge part of our youth is being on a path that gets us to that point successfully and to a greater extent than our parents or grandparents. From early on we are chugging along a course related to some place we will be in the future that will steal our time.

And the best we can hope for is to love the career so we are not wasting our time. To sort of ‘double up’ and get paid AND find pleasure in our job.

Well, how many of us got there? How many of us arrived at the place where we can’t BELIEVE we’re getting paid to do what we love? How many of us LOVED spending all that time studying, and interviewing, and kissing up, and missing out. . . . How fun was that?

Sure, some people do find a path they enjoy and a career that fulfills them. But most of us don’t. And this investigation intends to figure out why it happened and how we can change it.

Full podcast episode download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9074066-kew-episode-60-the-are-vs-should-problem-jobs-and-careers.mp3?download=true

Or please subscribe and review on your favorite podcast app.

Full Youtube video here: https://youtu.be/fyQyDC7FXUo