Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom helps people realize their unique importance. Using my knowledge of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, my experience with therapy, coaching, somatic healing, and personal growth I create products to help you discover, develop, and express the elements of your identity critical to your health and your contribution to our world. My goal is to research, develop, and disseminate these materials so that every individual can reconnect with their uniqueness, realize their passion and purpose, and live the life they were born to live.
It literally took me ten years to figure this one out. After nearly a decade of Cognitive Behavioral and psychological therapies, I had figured out my brain, my issues, and what I needed with respect to personal growth and mastering my limiting beliefs. The problem was, I wasn’t seeing the changes I wanted.
Sure, learning about and understanding myself and other people had it’s benefits and made me feel better. But nothing about ME was really changing except for my knowledge. My equation was unbalanced. All K, no E.
So the Experience has to come in somewhere.
And what I’ve learned – over the past ten years but mores recently – is that our minds don’t really change as a result of thinking.
In this episode I continue my larger project of explaining why humans are meant to realize their individual uniqueness. Here I explain what I call UN-natural selection, or the propensity for humans to deny their uniqueness and why this is something we most definitely should NOT be doing.
Natural selection is simply how organisms respond to their environments through time. For the first few billion years or so animals modified their behaviors to suit their environments. More recently, especially in the past 100 years, humans have increasingly modified our environments to suit our behavior. While this may be a natural shift (lotta room for discussion there), the RATE we have introduced this shift is astronomical in comparison to the previous few billion years.
David McRaney is the host of the podcast “You Are Not So Smart”, the author of a book by the same name, a follow up book called “You Are Now Less Dumb”, and is writing his next book about how humans change their minds. His website https://youarenotsosmart.com is so FULL of content that it would be something you’d want to take to a desert island because you’d have a lifetime’s worth of entertainment to make you curious.
With a background in both journalism and psychology, David THOROUGHLY researches his topics and then interviews the experts on those subjects. He’s a better researcher than most of the academics I used to work with, he understands psychology better than some therapists I’ve known, and he has a knack for funneling complex subjects into everyday language so that anyone can understand and appreciate them.
And what a gift for us. Anyone interested in the human condition, general psychology, self-help, science, you name it – or anyone just curious about living a human life – David has addressed and eloquently summarized for your enjoyment.
I was so lucky to have captured an hour or so of his time and to be able to hear him talk about curiosity in the context of his life experience, knowledge, and wisdom. I’m sure you will find something that makes you curious in this interview because it covers a lot in a fairly short time. I hope you enjoy learning about the man behind the research. David McRaney.
A few years ago someone randomly suggested I listen to a cool podcast called “You Are Not So Smart”. I was a bit insulted, thinking they were trying to tell me something, but I felt more curious than anything. I had to know what this was all about. So way before I started KEW I listened to David McRaney and “You Are Not So Smart”. I was immediately impressed by how well researched and knowledgeable he was about his guests and the topics.
Mr. McRaney isn’t out to insult anyone. He’s just being honest. We AREN’T as smart as we think we are. And rather than leave it at a humorous title, he walks us through all the different ways we trip over ourselves or fall short on our path to understanding. From cognitive biases, irrational thinking, and just plain human B.S. David intricately dissects universal issues that complicate the human experience. And he goes straight to the horses mouth by interviewing the very experts who often have coined the phrases or started the movements he discusses. All this because, as David says, “Being a person is incredible”.
David’s website houses all of his materials including two books, his podcast, and the hugely expansive supporting material. I highly recommend you spend some time there.
Figures like the one below have been shared many times from many sources. The point is that we, as humans, are comprised of three key components; Head, Heart, and Gut that interact to make up a whole person. When these parts are out of synch, we experience cognitive dissonance, the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. A simpler explanation is just to say we are ‘out of whack’.
Though I understand this concept intellectually, it is only recently that I have learned to connect with my Heart and Gut. I have turned a corner in my therapy and coaching. I am learning to place my awareness on these other parts, to shift it from my mind, and to ‘check in’ with my intuitive and emotional elements. I naively believed that intellectual understanding would result in connectivity and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Though I can’t yet coach you or explain how to do this, I can say that it is fairly easy to shift your awareness (for example, during meditation) to your Heart and Gut, and that simply doing this will prepare you for action when the situation arises. A big chunk of the battle is simply knowing how to be aware of your parts.
We spend so much time in our heads we create, and live in, a state of cognitive dissonance. I would personally like to change that and maybe this episode will help you get on that path.
Following up the Soul episode (KEW Episode 33) with a discussion of the Self.
What is the self?
I have been doing some work with a coach who is helping me understand the different parts of my psyche. Sound crazy? It isn’t. I am starting to believe that our ‘personalities’ or our ‘selves’ are comprised of myriad little parts. These parts are like characters or roles we play at different times in our lives and during our days. There are funny parts, angry parts, and sad parts. These parts, I think, exist because we give them our attention – or our awareness. And together they are elements of our Self.
Smarter people have written about and researched what the Self is, and I don’t pretend to understand the existing body of work on the subject. But it’s still meaningful to ask the question and to posit an explanation. This week I’ll share my thoughts about what a Self is.
The need to make the ‘correct’ decision in any situation can literally paralyze us into not making any decision at all. It could be ‘needing a minute’ at the restaurant because you can’t decide what to eat, or whether you should quit your job to pursue an acting career. Both decisions are driven by so much pressure, stress, and societal input that it’s hard to find ourselves.
So we analyze. Instead of committing to something we ‘think about it’ too much. Sometimes we even forget what decision we were trying to make in the first place.
Here I share what I’ve learned from my personal suffering. I’m no guru, and don’t profess to have ‘figured it out’, but people smarter than me have shared their knowledge and I’m just passing it on. Add that to my personal experiences and maybe there’s a chunk of wisdom in here:)