FLASHBACK! KEW Curiosity Interview Series 4: David McRaney of ‘You Are Not So Smart’

Man, that’s the best snippet up there. Watch it if you didn’t. It will tell you all you need to know about the type of guy David McRaney is.

I’m still not sure how this happened, but David McRaney agreed to talk with me about Curiosity, and here’s over an hour of his unique viewpoints. I still refer back to several things he said during this interview. David is the host of an awesomely educational (if not humbling) Podcast called ‘You Are Not So Smart‘, author of several books, and apparently plotting a new video format project. In all of his work, he removes the veils of error that encumber us bumbling humans.

And that’s not to say that David is pretentious or ‘holier than thou’. Quite the contrary. Though Mr. McRaney does point out the many fallacies and errors that humans make every day, he doesn’t blame us for not knowing better. Rather, David is a journalist who insists on helping us become more aware of ourselves. . . and each other.

David’s work, if I can be so bold to say, aims at making us better. By pointing out our faults he is not trying to sting, he is trying to induce growth. And, dare I say it, CURIOSITY.

David is also a really cool (and rare) combination of trained journalist (the old school kind who uses words like ‘beat’) and self educated psychologist. He is THE most thorough researcher I have ever met, and I was a scientist for 20 years.

So, yeah, I believe him when he says he has never been bored.

He also shares how the term ‘angst’ came to be.

This interview is full of wisdom. I hope you enjoy listening to David McRaney.

Link to original post with full audio and video links here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/03/19/kew-curiosity-interview-series-4-david-mcraney-of-you-are-not-so-smart/

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 32: Work/Life Balance.

We only get so much time on Earth, and it seems to be the most limiting resource there is – except when it doesn’t. At times we’re bored and can’t wait to ‘get there’ or for ‘this to be over’ (I’m talking to you, COVID). And other times we just can’t get enough time in the day to do the things we want and need to do.

Work, career, a J. O. B. These things take out HUGE chunks of this limited time, and often fall into the ‘get this over with’ category. The lucky ones love their jobs and benefit from the appearance of having more time, since they enjoy the 40+ hours spent earning a living.

Usually, we don’t have enough time for the things that bring us joy. And that’s a shame. It’s like it’s backwards. We spend MORE time working and LESS time living.

This episode is an attempt to help us figure out how to make sure our lives our balanced in a way that lets us live a little while we spin around the sun.

Original post here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/12/04/kew-episode-32-work-life-balance/

Preview video here: https://fb.watch/5duqidECki/

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 31: Parenting

I was just talking with my good friend, Paul Gadola, who you may know from KEW Curiosity Interview Series 1, about kids. He and his wife have chosen not to have any and are very happy they don’t, whereas I have four kids. It’s usually difficult for me to relate to non-parents to at least some degree, but with Paul it is not hard at all.

The differences reflect life choices, but a foundation of empathy connects us.

The point I want to make is that this episode is not just for people that have kids. It is valuable to understand all points of view in order to feel more connected to each other.

Parenting is the toughest job I have ever had. But that may just be me. After being a stay-at-home parent for several years, and generally speaking the primary caregiver for nearly 20 years, I now look at having a job as having a hobby that pays you money.

Now, some jobs SUCK hard, and that’s a little different. But many people enjoy their work, just like many people really love parenting.

But parenting is harder, again, in my opinion. It has more challenges and fewer rewards. And even though you may find it difficult to talk to your demanding and angry boss, at least he or she can communicate using grown up words.

The point of this episode wasn’t to knock parenting, or not having kids, or any of it. Rather, it is my attempt to balance the playing field so that we all understand one another, and can, like Paul and myself, be more understanding and empathetic to decisions we make.

And maybe that’s a model for everyone to consider about all issues.

Interestingly, and out of pure coincidence, I just did a guest interview on the Impactful Parent Podcast:

www.facebook.com/theimpactfulparent

www.instagram.com/theimpactfulparent

www.linkedin.com/company/theimpactfulparent

https://theimpactfulparent.com/youtube

Here’s a direct link to my interview: https://theimpactfulparent.com/parenting-podcast/

about bullying! One of the elements that certainly makes parenting (and being a kid) challenging. Check out Kristina’s website and what she is doing to help parents.

Episode 31 original blog post with full audio and video links here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/11/27/kew-episode-31-parenting/

Video preview here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3664478870329032

KEW Episode 37: Currency of Life

One of the things I think about most often is how we have to have a job to earn money to buy the time we want to live our lives. It’s like the life we’re born with is secretly conditional upon participating in this loop.

I’m not angry about it anymore, but I used to be. This forced agreement seemed unfair. Not that I didn’t want to work, I just felt violated having my life be conditional upon participation in someone else’s system.

So after I calmed down, I started thinking about how we measure the value in our lives. Which led me to money. We see money as the ultimate indicator of all of the important things. Of all the THINGS in life that can make us happy, we see money as being the most important. But it isn’t just about money. In fact, I was using money to leverage the other things I wanted. Most notably, TIME.

To me, time *should* come before money. It’s part of the universe (or at least we think it is, as we understand what it is). It was here before us. It wasn’t invented by humans. Time asks nothing, is consistent, and fairly equally distributed among species. And when it isn’t equally distributed, awareness of time is enhanced instead of taken for granted. All I can really do with time is try and understand I only have so much of it. Which becomes painfully more and more obvious as I age. . . .

In addition to TIME, I also value LOVE in similar ways. As in, if I had all the time in the world, and no loved ones to share it with, time would have less value. So some measure of love in my life is also important. So it’s also critical to my happiness to have love in my life.

And, sadly, if I had to rank my understanding of, appreciation for, and effort spent in pursuit of, I would have ranked money much higher than time or love for most of my life. It’s only lately that I’ve realized I want to prioritize time and love over money. For the rest of my life (time).

Unfortunately, that deal we make at birth about money doesn’t just go away. We still need a certain amount of money (and therefore lose a certain amount of time) in order to meet our basic human needs. There is a reason we rank money more highly than other things and that’s because it is ESSENTIAL to meeting your basic human needs. There are fewer and fewer ways to meet your basic needs without working and earning money. So life becomes this game of either needing less money or earning more money to hopefully meet your time and love (and other) needs. Personally, I’d rather need less money than lose more time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about these currencies, and others that you may value.

Podcast audio link: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/7175626-kew-episode-37-currency-of-life.mp3?blob_id=31009066&download=true

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/SuSOjGAVFB0

Preview KEW Episode 37: The Currency of Life

Money is important. You need it to get the other things you need. Once you have enough money to meet your basic needs (food, shelter, safety) you can think about other things in life. People use money to measure their success and their ability to have other important things. Money is like the gateway.

But there are other currencies we use and spend every day. For me, two important currencies are Time and Love. Without Time what good is the money? If you were to die tomorrow, how much could you spend? And how much time would you have traded for that money? See, it takes time to make money and to enjoy your time you need money. It’s weird.

And, really, if you have ‘enough’ money and time (whatever ‘enough’ is), what good is it without other people to share them with? Love is another form of currency, but it obeys a different set of rules. In fact, Money, Time, and Love all play by a different rulebook.

I’ll get pretty deep into this in this week’s Episode. Here’s a preview!

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 15: Rat Racer

If you’re part of the Rat Race, you’re a Rat Racer! And maybe you’re doing really well. Winning, even. But even if you win, like Lily Tomlin said, you’re still a Rat.

That’s how I have felt during the 35 years I’ve been working. Even when I got my ‘dream job’ as a professor, I still felt the pressure to win the Rat Race. Even now that I’m trying to do my own thing, and figure out what other options there are besides the Rat Race, I feel the tug.

Though this episode is from summer 2020, I am currently exploring alternatives to the Rat Race. Or, more accurately, alternatives to the money, fame, and power that you can win in the Rat Race. That’s the pull, after all, isn’t it?

What if we valued things above money, fame, and power? Like, loving relationships, intelligence, curiosity . . . money will always be important, but what if there were other things to win that were recognized as meaningful to all?

More on that later this week. For now here’s a look back at why the Rat Race sucks.

Preview video here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/07/31/kew-episode-15-rat-racer/

Full episode links here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/07/31/kew-episode-15-rat-racer/

KEW Episode 32: Work/Life Balance

Have you ever felt like a slave to the 40 hour workweek? I know I never signed up for that, but I learned early on that to do the fun stuff I want to do I have to work for money to do it. Sure, I’ve had some hippie friends who tried a different tactic, and I even tried to pretend I could live on very little if I just didn’t spend much. But, yeah, then I got married and had kids and, well, you know the story. Work is a 4-letter word for many of us, but the j-o-b pays the bills. We end up spending a lot of time working, and if the job sucks, it affects the rest of our life and cuts into our limited ‘me’ time to do all that fun stuff. Hell, a lot of us have so little free time that we kind of give up on the whole ‘life’ thing.

But I BELIEVE we can attain a work/life balance; do the fun stuff we want to do. Exercise. Meditate. Contemplate our naval. That stuff’s important – it’s part of being human. So we gotta learn to deal with the work side, either by tolerance, minimization, but also in learning to take advantage of what little time we have leftover to live our lives.

So here I talk a bit about people I’ve known and different approaches to balance. From maximizing work and making large bank, to combining work and life to ‘live your passion’, and some random ideas I came up with during the recording processes. Hope you enjoy and best of luck doing your own delicate balancing acts!

Podcast audio here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/6660343-kew-episode-32-work-life-balance.mp3?blob_id=27948676&download=true or via your favorite podcast app.

Video here on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/K9J0KWriUr8

Preview KEW Episode 32: Work/Life Balance

Since I was a kid I have been obsessed with how to make room for the things I want in my life and the things I have to do to get them. At thirteen I got a paper route and realized part of my life did not belong to me. I was taught (as most of us are) that I would have to trade some of my time working to earn the time to use for myself. It sounds silly when you say it that way, but most of us made these same agreements whether we realize it or not.

I continue to struggle trying to balance my work with my life. Some have suggested I make my life my work; to follow my passion. That sounds nice. Others have said to learn how to suck it up and concede to losing 40 hours a week of my life to a soul sucking cubicle job. That sounds really crappy (and it is, I’ve done it). Heck, I even tried to follow the ‘American Dream’, got a PhD, and my ‘dream job’ (spoiler alert, that didn’t work, either).

This week I share my perspective, as well as other peoples’ views on work, life, and trying to get just the right amount of each.

Video preview here: https://business.facebook.com/kpluseiswise/videos/190643142729229/

Full episode coming Friday.