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.
In this Episode I tried to get at what our ‘soul’ is. I’m not sure I succeeded, but I think we all can agree that there’s a part of us that can’t really be identified. The soul is not our mind, it’s not our brain, it’s not our ‘self’ (whatever that is, see Episode 34 for my attempt at defining Self), it’s . . . something else.
Sometimes I think the soul is real, other times I doubt it’s existence. Most of the time I know there is SOMETHING going on inside us that defines us. Our, personality? or something? It’s beyond our appearance, or attitude, or how we refer to a group of people (I use y’all and you guys interchangeably because I was born in the south but grew up in the midwest). It’s . . . . much more than any of those things.
So the concept of soul probably lies in the unknowable. It might be something we just don’t have words for or something we can’t quite define.
And none of this even addresses whether the soul is immortal, which many religions suggest. My point in this episode is really just to explore the idea of soul – that which we can speak about but not truly understand. It’s ok with me if the soul is something we’ll never define or truly know about. But most of the time, I feel like I do:)
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for sharing your curiosity!
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.
After my divorce I did some serious soul searching (and therapy) to figure out what happened. I accepted that both parties played a part in the divorce and wanted to understand what happened. Multiple lines of evidence support that my ex-wife became narcissistic and I became codependent. Now, I’m not saying ‘she is narcissistic’ or ‘I am codependent’, but our relationship brought out these personality traits and made them pretty severe. I think many people are affected by narcissistic and/or codependent tendencies, and the combination of the two in a relationship can be detrimental to both parties.
Narcissism is said to be an expression of selfishness, but self care is an important skill. Codependency has been described as prioritizing others’ needs over one’s own, but boundaries are important. While making this Episode I realized that a ‘healthy’ person probably has a little of both characteristics. In other words, a healthy person can practice self care and get their needs met, but also be empathetic towards others and accommodate their needs.
We tend to say or think things like, “He’s a narcissist” or “They’re a codependent’, but it’s probably pretty rare to encounter someone who is entirely one or the other. Sure, there are exceptions out there and I think we’d all agree that an extreme expression toward either condition is not good. At the very least extreme cases of narcissism or codependency we usually don’t want to be around or deal with.
My extreme codependency ended up with me being a door mat. And my ex-wife did end up being pretty narcissistic and self-serving (she had an affair and gaslighted me). But I think it was the combination of personality types in a struggling relationship that brought out the worst in each of us. I don’t really know if she is a narcissist, and I am not a ‘natural codependent’.
Since I can only really speak for myself, I will say I have codependent tendencies. I think this comes from how I grew up, some beliefs I formed as a child, but it’s also a result of my empathetic nature. I tend to have pretty weak boundaries and am very aware of how other people feel. This often leads me to feel like I need to take care of people (and that’s not really a good thing).
I don’t really know what it’s like for narcissistic people, but I can say that I am a bit jealous of people who know how to get their needs met – because I struggle to do that for myself.
I hope you enjoy the episode and get something out of my stories, my experiences, and observations.
If you’ve watched a few KEW Episodes you’ll know I have codependent, people-pleasing tendencies. This week I share what I’ve learned about codependency and narcissism. I’ve spent a decade working on my personal issues, and these two personality ‘situations’ seem to be incredibly common. Maybe some of my stories will help. Here’s a preview: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2500346136935365