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.
I feel like the first 50 Episodes combined with the Curiosity Interview Series have allowed me to get a few things off my chest. I also feel like it is time to condense, focus, and integrate these ‘things’ (ideas, directions, and themes) toward some sort of product or products.
In this Episode I come all the way back to the beginning. What’s the original purpose of KEW? Who is this for? What do I want to accomplish? What question(s) am I trying to answer?
All of that begins with the simplest and most complex question of all: Who Am I? Who Are You?
Marcas Hemmila is on a mission to help you grow, get unstuck, and ignite a fire in your life. His background is super interesting as he has been in the military and was a computer programmer, but is now spreading hope and help across the internet. So he brings with him a cool combination of leadership, a scientific mind, and a genetic predisposition to help people.
He is putting out incredible content daily on tiktok, instagram, an explosive YouTube channel with longer content, and has a website with links to all of his content including a podcast. You can find him by searching for “Discover Ignite” or just go to https://discoverignite.com.
Marcas wants you to Discover Ignite. To learn about your self and to create the life you want. I discovered when I joined Linkedin and HAD to find out more about him. In the 9th installment of my Curiosity interview series you get to meet Marcas, find out what motivated him to discover and ignite his own life, and learn more about his message.
Here’s a preview of the interview:
Full episode with podcast audio (download direct, or subscribe via your favorite podcast app!) and YouTube video coming this Friday at http://www.chrisburcher.com
Many people try to define and argue about what a ‘self’ is, or even whether or not we have one. I’m not too worried about getting it right, but I do think it’s worthwhile to ponder the concept of self.
Basically, it’s a ‘Who Am I’ question, or part of that thought process.
Some people spend a lot of time on that question, others don’t understand why anyone would waste their time asking it.
I think it’s neat to wonder. To be curious. And the ‘Who Am I’ question is stimulating.
And more than that, it’s HELPFUL to ponder such questions – because though the questions might not provide definitive definitions, it does provide INSIGHT. And this insight helps me live my life as well as I can. It helps me understand my wants and needs. Knowing ABOUT my SELF is beneficial to me and those around me.
Moreover, I can’t imagine living a life where I would have questions but not be allowed to pursue answers. Or to have curiosity but not have the wherewithal (is that even a word?) to TRY to answer my questions.
So this episode is a bit about exploring what the self is, and not at all about trying to find a definition:)
Beliefs are things we see as truisms in our lives and regulate the decisions we make. In Episode 9 I talked about Old Beliefs. These are beliefs we learned as kids that protected us in some way, but no longer serve their purpose in our adult lives. The problem is, the old beliefs have been habituated and we continue to implement them.
Many of us become aware of our old or limiting beliefs in adulthood. Things like anxiety, imposter syndrome, feeling not good enough, addictions, relationships – all these things are, at least in part, learned when we were kids.
But I’ve talked at length about beliefs and how they hold us back. This episode is about how we change those old beliefs.
Changing beliefs has been very difficult for me. But that makes sense if you think about it. Limiting beliefs are usually old (hence the terminology), which means they’ve been with us for awhile. And during that time, these beliefs have been reinforced any time a situation comes up requiring you to make a decision. We refer back to a similar situation, remember whatever belief worked then, and simply apply it again. And again. And again. Pretty soon this process is automatic and habituated (See Episode 26: Habits). So these beliefs were acquired over time with much repetition.
So, of course changing them is hard. It’s logical to think that whatever time and energy went into building the belief would be required to change it. And as frustrating as that is, it may be accurate.
I tried to change my old beliefs for a decade, but I didn’t get satisfactory results. I learned about beliefs. I learned what my limiting beliefs are. I even learned where some of them came from. But I thought that the awareness of the beliefs would somehow be enough to change them. But it’s not.
I understood beliefs INTELLECTUALLY, but I wasn’t DOING anything about them. I needed to ACT. And those actions are multifaceted.
My research, therapy, coaching, and learning has led me to a list of actions that anyone can implement to change their thinking. The list is going to look very familiar and maybe even make you roll your eyes. It turns out the changing beliefs is really simple – it just isn’t easy.
Behaviors that can help you change beliefs:
Speaking daily affirmations
You can even add sleeping and eating well to this list, but those aren’t habits or actions I personally struggle with.
The point is, I have finally starting to believe (haha) that the above list, frequently touted by self-help and personal growth folks from all schools of thought, might actually produce the results I am looking for. So I’m on a mission to add them to my life slowly but deliberately and see if it works.
I go in to more detail about how and why in this Episode.
In just about any kind of self help endeavor you will be asked to identify your values. While this sounds pretty easy, the process is far from simple. Turns out we like a lot of stuff. We ‘value’ many things. The trick is determining your top 3-5 values that truly drive you to live your life.
Over the course of ten years of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or talk therapy, I read and heard a lot about values, but it wasn’t until I put some real effort in that I discovered the, well, VALUE, of my values.
Values are things you believe are important in the way you live your life. Values determine your priorities and are a source of motivation.
That’s pretty good, but there are some easy-to-miss key points.
You BELIEVE values are important. Values are subjective and unique to you. YOU decide what they are. Values can be revealed by thinking about what you LIKE, or don’t like.
Values are things you prioritize; either consciously or subconsciously. Values can be identified by thinking about things you DO, or don’t do.
Values motivate you. Values are things that make you feel excited to get out of bed in the morning. Or, things you don’t value or want to do can make you wanna pull the covers up and go back to sleep.
There are TONS of resources on the inter webs that can help you identify your values, but all of these methods are deceptively simple. The KEY is to go through multiple iterations, take breaks, and to do some sort of ranking. I estimate I put in nearly ten hours of writing, thinking, journalling, rearranging, ranking, and repeating to get down to my set of 4 values.
There’s also a tricky side to values. Being humans, we tend to focus on things we consider to be ‘good’ and ‘healthy’ when considering our values. There are also values, many call ‘SHADOW values’ that also motivate you, help you prioritize, and reflect the things you do.
However, shadow values, at least on the surface, might not be something you’d be comfortable sharing with others.
Shadow values can be things like having a lot of money, being powerful, having people obey your word, being the center of attention, or wanting people to behave in ways that make you happy.
But the reason shadow values are beneficial are twofold: 1) They help you understand the darker side of your motivations and can help you achieve your goals and be your best self by embracing ALL of your characteristics, and 2) can almost always be softened to see the non-selfish attributes of seemingly nefarious concepts or intangible ideas.
For example. Being motivated by money doesn’t necessarily mean you are evil or Scrooge-like. Knowing you want to be wealthy can reflect a need for safety or a desire to protect your family. See how we can flip something that seems narcissistic to something that comes from a better part of your self?
The purpose of values and shadow values is to create a list of motivating factors critical to your life. I wrote mine down and keep them in several places to remind myself of why I do what I do. My values have become a tool I use to direct all of my personal growth and spiritual work. Knowing, and truly understanding my values, has enabled me to focus and to think less about things that don’t show up on that list. In short, this has made my life easier.
Much more in this episode, I hope you find this useful.
After reading James Clears’ ‘Atomic Habits’, I wanted to try and add a new habit and get rid of an ‘bad’ one. Reading the book inspired me to apply Clears’ teachings and I knew I needed to choose some easy habits, or low hanging fruit, if you will.
I had been thinking about quitting drinking beer before reading the book, so that seemed like an obvious ‘bad’ habit to change. And although I consider my drinking habit ‘not unhealthy’, I just wanted to see if I could do it. I had been having 2-3 beers pretty much every day for years and decided to try not having any beer for at least two weeks – just to see if I could break the habit.
Similarly, I wanted to try adding a new habit and gratitude seemed like an easy one. Though I easily stopped drinking beer (for the record, I still have maybe one beer once or twice a week now), adding gratitude was harder, but I continue to try. And, really, the experience of struggling to be practice gratitude every day is teaching me more about myself and habits because it’s hard.
So building a gratitude habit is challenging – and why is that?
To me, it’s because 1) it’s hard to notice the immediate results, and 2) I have been trying to practice gratitude during moments of duress, as if to provide a solution to a bad mood.
To address (1), there are immediate results but they may not be what we expect. It is our error to assume what the benefits of gratitude will be. What I have observed is that gratitude is coupled with mindfulness, or ideally, meditation – even briefly. And one small benefit of meditation/mindfulness/gratitude is slowing your heart rate and becoming more calm. But if we are looking for some sort of epiphany, it is easy to miss the fact that practicing gratitude calmed us down!
As for (2), the problem with starting new habits is the belief that there will be some overwhelming immediate result – and this just isn’t true. Additionally, the building of the habit needs to happen from a place of calmness initially. We can’t build habits to solve a problem ‘in the moment’, or at least I can’t. So I realized I had to practice gratitude when I was in a decent mood, or at least not in a bad mood. Once the habit is built from that attitude, THEN it can be used to benefit us during duress or stress. Hopefully that makes sense. It would be like expecting to see weight loss results after running our first mile. The benefits come later.
You have to trust the process. And a process that works for me is to take 2-3 minutes at least once a day, at a time when you are not feeling particularly stressed or distracted, to breathe deeply, appreciate your breath, and pick one thing you are grateful for in that moment.