The One You Feed Podcast- Happiness|Wisdom|Insight

The One You Feed Podcast- Happiness|Wisdom|Insight

United States

It takes Conscious, Constant and Creative effort to make a life worth living. Interviews with thought leaders, authors, musicians and artists on how they feed their good wolf. Based on the parable of the Two Wolves. Get more happiness, kindness, wisdom, optimism, insight and inspiration in your life.


194: Scott Stabile: How Being Mindful Of Love, Forgiveness and Empathy Can Transform Your Life  


Scott Stabile has lived through some very difficult things in his lifetime, from feeling shame about his sexuality to the murder of his parents when he was just 14 years old. He can verify that life can be very hard. Yet, he has gone on to live a life full of love, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness. Learn some very practical, applicable wisdom in this episode. You will leave the conversation armed with steps to take towards a happier life for yourself.  


This week we talk to Scott Stabile

Scott Stabile’s inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following. His previous works include Just Love, Iris, and the Li’l Pet Hospital series. Scott also wrote the feature film The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, an eye-opening experience he writes about in his new book, Big Love.

A passionate speaker and love advocate, Scott runs day long empowerment workshops nationally and internationally. He lives in his home state of Michigan with his partner.

  In This Interview, Scott Stabile and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His book, Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide Open Heart How shame thrives on secrecy How and when he came out as gay How you help others by being yourself To consider making more and more choices in your life from a place of love That awareness is hard work Asking yourself "what does love invite me to do in this moment?" Love as an energy How his parents were murdered when he was 14 years old That love is an action, more so than it is a feeling Choosing to act from a place of love can be an extraordinarily difficult thing as well as an extraordinarily powerful thing to do in the moment The path of empathy Doing your best to connect with the humanity of others, especially when they have opposing views and they're right in front of you How toxic it is to believe that something is unforgivable and that the pathway to it is empathy and compassion Forgiving because not doing so takes a toll on you as a person How good it feels to be loving The importance of self-care That there is choice in sobriety Depression as a syndrome vs a disease How we are all riding the fine line of addiction all the time The importance of building a more fulfilling life How happiness (and all feelings) is not simply a choice Choosing actions that stand a chance to serve our happiness That action helps assuage fear
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193: Lisa Feldman Barrett: A Conversation about How Our Emotions, Like Depression, Are Constructed in Our Brain  


Have you ever wondered how emotions are made in our brains? This conversation with Lisa Feldman Barrett will explain this and more and as a result, you will be astounded. Full of scientifically backed concepts that you've probably never heard before, your view on how your brain manages how you feel at any given moment will be totally changed after hearing what this author and researcher has to say. 


This week we talk to Lisa Feldman Barrett

Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to the book How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Dr. Barrett has published over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as six academic volumes published by Guilford Press.

Dr. Barrett received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her revolutionary research on emotion in the brain. These highly competitive, multi-million dollar awards are given to scientists of exceptional creativity who are expected to transform biomedical and behavioral research.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Barrett has testified before Congress, presented her research to the FBI, consulted to the National Cancer Institute, appeared on Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and been a featured guest on public television and worldwide radio programs. She is also an elected fellow of Canada’s most prestigious national organization of scholars, the Royal Society of Canada (analogous to the National Academy in the United States).

  In This Interview, Lisa Feldman Barrett and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable Her book, How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain The myth of the lizard brain Emotions don't live anywhere in the brain  Neurons being multi purpose The idea of degeneracy How complex emotions are Multi purpose ingredients in your brain (like in recipes) Our brains predict, rather than react, to the next immediate moment (those are our emotions and subsequent actions)  Confirming or Correcting those guesses (or concepts) based on your past experiences How this process is your brain is trying to make sense of the sensory input of your body in the world How it's more efficient to guess in advance and correct in response than it is to react The importance of keeping your body's energy budget in balance We see the world as we believe it to be, through our concepts Interoception - feedback from your body on how it's systems are working Your brain is trying to anticipate what your body is going to need and then provide what's necessary to meet those needs before they arise Tragic Embodiment Most of the time you don't feel sensations from your body in a very precise way and if you do, you feel them in simple terms - "affect" More intense sensations are used to make emotions whereas less intense ones are used to make thoughts and other things How illness is an imbalance in systems in your body and how we experience it How basic body sensations are the cause of our emotions and how we feel How every waking moment of your life is simultaneously physical and mental When your body budget is out of balance/disrupted, you will feel distressed Reframing the feeling of anxiety as "preparing for something tough" and this is a good sign that your body is preparing for something tough Take care of yourself and your body to feel better (sleep, eat, nutrition) Understanding emotion and being more granular in our description is helpful because we better know what to do or not to do about it When you're depressed or anxious, the distress is not helpful if you personalize it     Please Support The Show with a Donation


192: Sean Carroll  

Think theoretical physics is irrelevant to your everyday life and way over your head? You'll think differently after listening to this interview with Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist, poetic naturalist, and author.The meaning of life, the finitude of life, the choices we make and our experience of happiness and suffering all have a connection back to the scientific realm that will both fascinate and provoke thought in you. 



This week we talk to Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses on fundamental physics and cosmology, especially issues of dark matter, dark energy, spacetime symmetries, and the origin of the universe. Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, and the emergence of complexity. Carroll is the author of The Particle at the End of the Universe and From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time,

He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Sloan Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of London. He has appeared on TV shows such as The Colbert Report, PBS's NOVA, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and frequently serves as a science consultant for film and television.   His latest book is called: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself In This Interview, Sean Carroll and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His book, The Big Picture; On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself That who we become is a combination of the choices we make and what the Universe gives us The philosophy of Poetic Naturalism - 1 world, many ways of talking about it 3 Levels of Stories: Fundamental, Emergent, Comprehensive What it means to be real You can't make "ought" out of "is" That facts and moral values are different things His perspective on life mattering - that it comes from within, that it's not imposed on us from the outside The fact that we care is the origin of things mattering in this life and world Life is a process, it's something that's happening - always moving and changing - and that there's always something else that we want How his book lays out the design for you to decide how to live your life and what kind of person you want to be The mistake of fetishizing happiness How you cannot separate happiness and suffering in life - especially a life well lived That our goal shouldn't be to reach some state of happiness and stay there because life is a dynamic process and it doesn't work like that The finitude of life The average human lives for three billion heartbeats That the difference between right and wrong is up to us to decide and that can be scary That the world - including us - is only really made up of 3 basic particles and 3 basic forces That the big bang isn't necessarily the beginning of the universe but it's as far back as we can go Physics books for the non-science people - look for books by either Brian Greene or Lisa Randall Life's Ratchet by Peter Hoffman is another interesting book for a non-science person   Please Support The Show with a Donation  


191: Spring Washam  


This week we talk to Spring Washam

Spring Washam is a well-known meditation and dharma teacher based in Oakland, California. She is a founding member and core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center located in downtown Oakland. She is the founder of Lotus Vine Journeys an organization that blends indigenous healing practices with Buddhist wisdom. In addition to being a teacher, she is also a healer, facilitator, spiritual activist, and writer. Her upcoming book entitled, A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment, will be available in stores on November 7th, 2017. She has studied numerous meditation practices and Buddhist philosophy since 1997. She has practiced and studied under some of the most preeminent meditation masters in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. She has studied indigenous healing practices and works with students individually from around the world. She has completed a six -year teacher-training program under the guidance of Jack Kornfield and is now on the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness based healing practices into diverse communities and is committed to enriching the lives of disenfranchised people everywhere. She currently travels and teaches workshops, classes, and retreats worldwide.


In This Interview, Spring Washam and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His book, A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment How she became a meditation teacher How self-compassion is at the heart of Buddhist teachings How being with ourselves in difficult times is an act of mercy How a synonym for mindfulness is remembering How we are always trying to change consciousness Her controversial Peru ayahuasca retreats How meditation and mindfulness was not enough to deal with her trauma Her first ayahuasca ceremony What ayahuasca is The risks of using entheogens The debate in the Buddhist community about this approach Whether you need to go to the jungle for this How we often need multiple approaches to healing ourselves How feeling like you are innately good changes the whole path       Please Support The Show with a Donation  


Bonus: Eric Interviewed on Awesome at Your Job Podcast  

Eric is interviewed on Awesome at Your Job podcast.  Lot's of the key ideas from the show are discussed here.

190: Akshay Nanavati  



This week we talk to Akshay Nanavati

After overcoming drug addiction, alcoholism, PTSD from fighting the war in Iraq and recovering from the brink of suicide, Akshay Nanavati has since explored the most hostile environments on the planet and built a business helping people live limitless lifestyles. Combining his life experience with years of research in science and spirituality, he wrote a book called “Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear Into Health, Wealth and Happiness.” Of the book, The Dalai Lama said “Fearvana inspires us to look beyond our own agonizing experiences and find the positive side of our lives.”


In This Interview, Akshay Nanavati and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His book, Fearvana: The revolutionary science of how to turn fear into health, wealth, and happiness How he got the Dali Lama to write the forward for his book That we don't control what first shows up in our brain How if you feel fear and stress is not your fault The second dart/arrow parable Acting your way into right thinking literally restructures the pathways in your brain The ability to develop a positive relationship to suffering Committing yourself to the worthy struggle Reducing life to the simplest next step Dealing with fear - it's ok to be scared Bringing the rational mind into fearful situations The challenge response Fear is a gift if you believe it to be The growth mindset vs The fixed mindset If you want to be great you have to believe that you are How ego can be both helpful and unhelpful The worthy struggle Keeping things automated in your day so that you can save self-discipline or willpower for the times you need it
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189: Eric Barker  



This week we talk to Eric Barker

Eric is a thought leader in the field of success. His humorous but practical blog, Barking up the Wrong Tree, presents science-based answers and expert insight on success in life. Over 270,000 people subscribe to his weekly email update and his content is syndicated by Time, The Week, and Business Insider. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and he was a columnist for Wired. With a writing career spanning over twenty years, Eric is also a sought-after speaker and interview subject and has been invited to speak at MIT, West Point, NPR affiliates, and on morning television.

His first book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong is available now.

In This Interview, Eric Barker and I Discuss... His book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong How he defines success Achievement, Happiness, Significance, Legacy The dangers of only using one metric for happiness How money is a lever to something else that makes you happy rather than the thing that makes you happy in and of itself There's no finish line in the quest of what makes me feel good We must decide what is "enough" New and novel make our brains happy We must decide what really is going to make us happy in the long run Turning what we do in our lives into games can be helpful in increasing our persistence and grit Games have these attributes: Winnable, Novelty, Goals, Instantaneous Feedback A feeling of progress and meaningful work keeps us engaged Challenging yourself in a familiar task True burnout is when you start to feel pessimistic about your job so you withdraw and then you get poor feedback so you finally disengage Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose A change is as good as a rest That we are telling ourselves stories about what's has meaning and what doesn't How telling your children about their lineage will increase the likelihood they stay away from drugs, stay in school etc Therapy as editing the story we're telling about our lives Cognitive reappraisal The role of positive self-talk I can do it vs I can't take this anymore If you break your arm you wouldn't say "I am broken" you'd say "My arm is broken" Listening to our thoughts from a distance and asking "is this useful?" to be more mindful about what thoughts we identify with We don't choose what makes us happy, we choose what's easy The role of a plan How anticipation is happiness
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m is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed 

The Tale of Two Wolves is often attributed to the Cherokee indians but there seems to be no real proof of this. It has also been attributed to evangelical preacher Billy Graham and Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw. It appears no one knows for sure but this does not diminish the power of the parable.

This parable goes by many names including:

The Tale of Two Wolves

The Parable of the Two Wolves

Two Wolves

Which Wolf Do You Feed

Which Wolf are You Feeding

Which Wolf Will You Feed

It also often features different animals, mainly two dogs.

188: Gregg Krech  



This week we talk to Gregg Krech

GREGG KRECH is an author, poet, and one of the leading authorities on Japanese Psychology in North America. His work has been featured in THE SUN magazine, Tricycle, SELF, Utne Reader, Counseling Today, Cosmopolitan and Experience Life. His books include Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness, and  The Art of Taking Action.  His newest book, Question Your Life, will be available soon.

Gregg and his wife, Linda, founded the ToDo Institute (, a non-profit center in Vermont that uses Japanese Psychology as an alternative to traditional Western approaches to psychology. Over the past 25 years, Gregg has introduced Japanese Psychology, particularly Naikan Therapy, Morita Therapy and Kaizen, to thousands of people through his workshops and online courses. His work supports a blend of the psychological, the spiritual and the practical, and helps individuals to clarify purpose, cultivate gratitude, develop compassion and engage in meaningful action. He is a member of the North American Naikan Counsel and Editor in Chief for the quarterly journal "Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living.


In This Interview, Gregg Krech and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His book, The Art of Taking Actions: Lessons from Japanese Psychology How Eastern wisdom is directed towards taking action, as well as contemplation Taking your practice off your cushion The misguided premise that we have to figure things out in our life before we can act The power of momentum in action when small steps are taken Cultivating gratitude Avoidance, resignation, complaining How accepting things as they are isn't necessarily passive That complaining keeps us stuck in focusing on the trouble in our lives The overlap between ACT and Japenese Therapy Feelings and thoughts are uncontrollable by our will Allowing feelings to be what they are but not letting them inhibit our ability to move forward and take action Taking action based on the needs of the situation rather than just on the feelings we have  How essential it is to step back from our lives and reflect and then make choices on how you need to move forward How most of the time we do not feel like doing the things that need to be done Exercise being an example! The maxim: Lead with the body How if you don't feel like something now, you're probably never really going to want to do it so get it done now That the anticipation is often worse than the consummation His next book that focuses on self-reflection       Please Support The Show with a Donation  


187: Matthew Quick 3rd Time  


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This week we talk to Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick is the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, which was made into an Oscar-winning film; The Good Luck of Right Now; Love May Fail; The Reason You Are Alive; and four young adult novels: Sorta Like a Rock Star; Boy21; Forgive Me Leonard Peacock; and Every Exquisite Thing. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention, was an LA Times Book Prize finalist, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a #1 bestseller in Brazil, a Deutscher Jugendliteratur Preis 2016 (German Youth Literature Prize) nominee, and selected by Nancy Pearl as one of Summer’s Best Books for NPR. The Hollywood Reporter has named him one of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors. All of his books have been optioned for film.

In This Interview, Matthew Quick and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His new book, The Reason You're Alive ICATS - what it means and why limiting it in your life is helpful to anxiety How public speaking causes him to have anxiety His calming practices to manage his anxiety Why dismissing whole groups of people is a mistake The importance and benefit of meeting people who are different than you Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comforted Generational tendencies in worldviews The damage that's done when we shame others about their thoughts The relationship between anger and fear How silencing people is un-American and frustrating The transparency of the main character in his new book Humor is experiencing the unexpected Laughing and Crying give relief to tension The major life changes he has made over the past 3 years and their impact Believing he couldn't function without alcohol and Rxs The long-term benefit of passing on some forms of short term relief The power of the past to continue to live on Every experience leaves an impact on you and affects the rest of your life The power of focusing on process and not result       Please Support The Show with a Donation  


186: Russ Harris Part Two  


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This week we talk to Russ Harris

Russ Harris is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, and leading expert in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). His books include ACT with Love, ACT Made Simple, The Confidence Gap, and The Happiness Trap, which has now been translated into twenty-two languages. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, and travels internationally to train mental health professionals in the ACT approach.

In This Interview, Russ Harris and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable The principle of connection in ACT Practicing attention in the shower The exercise of "notice 5 things" How to notice the person you come home to in a new way The physical practices of yoga and tai chi The observing self vs the thinking self The scientific study of spirituality Living a spiritual life even if it's not a religious life Values = desired qualities of action The difference between goals and values Examples of how you can live your values on your way to your goals Committed Action Examining your life to identify areas where your behavior is not reflecting your values The basic ACT formula of "Be Present, Open Up, Do What Matters"       Please Support The Show with a Donation  


185: Russ Harris  

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This week we talk to Russ Harris

Russ Harris is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, and leading expert in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). His books include ACT with Love, ACT Made Simple, The Confidence Gap, and The Happiness Trap, which has now been translated into twenty-two languages. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, and travels internationally to train mental health professionals in the ACT approach.

In This Interview, Russ Harris and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable Getting the wolves to cooperate and not battle Embracing even our most difficult feelings The Reality Slap and the Reality Gap An overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) The Serenity Challenge How we always have a chance to improve our situation  Taking the action that is needed regardless of what we feel What "psychological flexibility" is Cognitive defusion techniques Recognizing that are thoughts are not facts Asking the question "Is this thought useful"? Noticing and Naming our thoughts and feelings "The Greatest Hits" approach The "I'm not good enough" story" "I'm having the thought that" de-fusion method The artificial distinction between thoughts and emotions The Struggle Switch      


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184: Justin Stenstrom  

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This week we talk to Justin Stenstrom

Justin Stenstrom the founder of, the host of the Elite Man Podcast on iTunes, a best-selling author, life coach, and speaker.

He has been featured on major news websites like The Huffington Post, Maxim, The Good Men Project, Lifehack, Elite Daily, and many more.

In This Interview, Justin Stenstrom and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable His podcast, The Elite Man Taking control of the thoughts in your head Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Hypnosis How he has battled anxiety, panic attacks, and depression in his life The powerful, subconscious mind vs the conscious mind The role of positive affirmations and suggestions Reprogramming the subconscious mind to be happier What a successful hypnotic session feels like How some people can be hypnotized and others cannot The key learnings from his podcast The guests from his podcast who stick out to him The power of failure or rejection to propel people forward in their lives and/or careers The supplements that he recommends for depression Fish Oil with DHA and EPA Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio Vitamin D B complex Magnesium Citrate    


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183: Heather Havrilesky  
LA Times- Michael Owen Baker  


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This week we talk to Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky writes the popular advice column Ask Polly for New York Magazine’s The Cut. She is the author of the memoir Disaster Preparedness and the new advice book How to Be a Person in the World. She writes The Best Seller List column for Book Forum and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, NPR's All Things Considered, and many other publications.

In This Interview, Heather Havrilesky and I Discuss... The Wolf Parable Her book, How to Be a Person in the World Coming to peace with your flaws Finding a place within yourself where who you are is enough What a beautiful life is to her How she is constantly checking and rebalancing areas of her life The serenity prayer "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" That touching the same flame can be dangerous to some people Seeing your life as a series of problems instead of a patchwork of things to savor That there isn't an objectively "good way to be" How people are far more complex than we give them credit for The question of "does it serve you" is a good one to ask yourself in relationships Not knowing how to get below the surface with people How she has finally learned to relax around other people That people are trapped in their head To not beat yourself up for falling into the same "pot holes" over and over         Please Support The Show with a Donation  


182: Colin Gawel  


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This week we talk to Colin Gawel

Colin Gawel is the guitarist of the American rock band, Watershed. Colin also has a solo career both with and without his backing band - Colin Gawel and the Lonely  Bones. The album Superior - The Best of Colin Gawel was released in Dec 2016. Colin also lead writer, editor, and founder of the website Pencilstorm and the owner of the legendary Colin's Coffee in Columbus, Ohio.

This conversation was recorded live in Colin's kitchen and is focused on fatherhood in honor of Father's Day this weekend. In This Interview, Colin Gawel and I Discuss... Father's Day His song, Dad Can't Help You Now The challenge of watching your child live life beyond your protection What it feels like as a parent for your child to leave home Talking to your children about addiction in their family history Being on the little league baseball team together as kids How important it is to come back from adversity Doing things for the love of doing them rather than for the anticipated outcome His time in the band, Watershed Keeping things in balance in life That time is precious How we find resilience in life The importance of the people you surround yourself with How he writes about what it's like to be an adult in his music His song, The Words We Say How different people react and interpret his songs differently How unusual it is that as a musician, he prefers to perform sober rather than high on something That he's conscious of how his son sees him consuming alcohol Our mutual love of music His song, Try a Little Faith         Please Support The Show with a Donation  


181: Chris Niebauer  

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This week we talk to Chris Niebauer

Chris Niebauer received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology from the University of Toledo where he specialized in left-right brain differences. He has conducted research on consciousness, handedness, beliefs and the sense of self and is currently an associate professor of cognitive psychology at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. When he is not teaching, Chris likes to play guitar, spend time with his family, and work on new books. His new book is called The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left Brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement

In This Interview, Chris Niebauer and I Discuss... His book, The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left Brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement That your thoughts and behaviors should match and when they don't you look to make it happen - Cognitive Dissonance Confirmation Bias The power of gratitude The mechanics of thoughts themselves The law of opposition Why if you accept a bad mood, it begins to dissipate That the universe is always becoming something that it isn't The good and bad news about the ego The impermanence of "things" The eternal nature of "verbs" The often incorrect storytelling, or pattern finding nature of the left brain The left brain interpreter The ego as a story that we tell ourselves The challenge of finding consciousness in the brain "Doing" rather than "having" consciousness The analogy of jogging to consciousness or ego: if you stop jogging and pat yourself down trying to find the "jogging" in you. It's a verb, not a noun The connection between pattern finding and depression vs anxiety A state of enlightenment and the left, pattern-finding brain How we want the universe to be a mystery         Please Support The Show with a Donation  


180: Thomas Sterner  


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This week we talk to Thomas Sterner

Thomas Sterner is the founder and CEO of The Practicing Mind Institute. He is considered an expert in Present Moment Functioning. He is a popular and in-demand speaker who works with high-performance individuals including, athletes, industry groups and individuals, helping them to operate effectively within high-stress situations so that they can break through to new levels of mastery.

He has been featured in top media outlets such as NPR and Fox News. He is the author of the best seller The Practicing Mind. His latest book is called Fully Engaged: Using the Practicing Mind in Daily Life

In This Interview, Thomas Sterner and I Discuss... His newest book, Fully Engaged: Using the Practicing Mind in Daily Life How you can't change anything that you're not aware of That most of us spend our day as someone in their thoughts as opposed to someone who is having thoughts Meditation being the vehicle for growing in self-awareness Learning to recognize the truth that "I am not my thoughts, I am the one who has thoughts" The strengths of being observer oriented rather than in a state of reactivity That people who think they've had a "bad meditation" have actually had a very good meditation That meditation is never a done task The value of thinking of meditation like you do exercising The innate sense in us that is misinterpreted That the desire to expand is built into our DNA The power of the question, 'And then what?" That real perfection is the ability to expand infinitely It's the interpretation of the experience that makes it feel the way it does Making decisions about how to handle a "road block" beforehand How we can control our emotions and doing so is a skill The difference between a feeling and the truth The importance of setting goals with accurate information How you have to be in a situation to learn how to function in that situation That struggle is a sign that we are expanding and learning and up against our threshold     Please Support The Show with a Donation  


179: Dani Shapiro  
Credit Kwaku Alston  


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This week we talk to Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of three memoirs and 5 novels.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House. The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on NPR's “This American Life”.  Her newest book is Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage


In This Interview, Dani Shapiro and I Discuss... Her newest book, Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage Her book, Devotion: A Memoir How we are all connected Her history with Orthodox Judaism This sense that she had to pray though she didn't know who or what she was praying to Her process of figuring out what she believes in a spiritual realm Living inside the questions, exploring spiritual wisdom How she moved away from an all or nothing mentality That if her only two choices are "all or nothing", she's going with nothing With her book Devotion: A Memoir, she wrote the book so that she could go on the journey, not the other way around "If you want to do something, begin it, because action has magic, grace and power in it." - Goethe The "third thing" that's essential in relationships What it means to walk through life with another person What it is like to be comfortable not knowing things in life The saying "we can make the best out of everything that happens" vs "everything happens for a reason" Her parents terrible accident The death of her father and it's effect on her life     Please Support The Show with a Donation  


178: Peter Singer  

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This week we talk to Peter Singer

Peter Albert David Singer, is an Australian moral philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, utilitarian perspective. He is known in particular for his book Animal Liberation, in which he argues in favor of vegetarianism, and his essay Famine, Affluence, and Morality, in which he argues in favor of donating to help the global poor. For most of his career, he was a preference utilitarian, but he announced in The Point of View of the Universe that he had become a hedonistic utilitarian.

On two occasions, Singer served as chair of the philosophy department at Monash University, where he founded its Centre for Human Bioethics. In 1996 he stood unsuccessfully as a Greens candidate for the Australian Senate. In 2004 Singer was recognized as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in 2006 he was voted one of Australia's ten most influential public intellectuals. Singer is a cofounder of Animals Australia and the founder of The Life You Can Save.

In This Interview, Peter Singer and I Discuss... His book, Ethics and the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter How he's widely considered the most famous living philosopher Utilitarian philosophy The importance of preventing unnecessary suffering How the world is better today than it's ever been The reasons why we don't donate to help save children across the world Where to find highly vetted charity organizations to donate to How we've evolved to respond to help the person right in front of us but not yet to respond to someone who needs help on the other side of the world The science of measuring happiness Which is a better, more important question: asking people if they're satisfied with their lives or enjoying their lives moment to moment Reducing unavoidable suffering vs. making people happier The link between happiness and money at various levels of society The importance of living in accordance with your values The importance of believing that your life has some purpose Personal identity or the idea of self The public good as a value and then individual liberty as another value Physician-assisted suicide His views on animal rights The value of starting new things later in life and taking on things you may not be great at     Please Support The Show with a Donation  

It also often features different animals, mainly two dogs.

177: Kurt Gray  
Photo Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office


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This week we talk to Kurt Gray

Kurt Gray is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received his BSc from the University of Waterloo and his Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University. He studies the mysteries of subjective experience and asks such deep philosophical questions as: Why are humanoid robots creepy? Why do ghosts always have unfinished business? Why do grandma's cookies taste the best? And why do adult film stars seem stupid? His research suggests that these questions—and many more—are rooted in the phenomenon of mind perception. Mind perception also forms the essence of moral cognition.

In science, he likes to wield Occam's razor to defend parsimony, asking whether complex phenomena can be simplified and understood through basic processes. These phenomena include moral judgment, group genesis, and psychopathology. He has been named an APS Rising Star and was awarded the Janet Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Research.  He was also given the SPSP Theoretical Innovation Award for the article "Mind Perception Is the Essence of Morality." His work has been generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation. He recently published the book,  The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why it Matters

In This Interview, Kurt Gray and I Discuss... His book, The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why it Matters People who we perceive as having a mind similar to ours The uncertainty about the minds of others The two fundamentally different factors in how we see minds Agency: the capacity to act and to do Experience: the capacity to feel and to sense The moral responsibility connected to these two things Thinking doers Vulnerable feelers Didactic completion The objectification of women That child abuse often occurs with parents who view their children as having a higher agency than they are capable of having The danger of inferring intention Moral typecasting That we treat our heroes poorly The Just World theory How we rationalize our behavior That we give more sympathy to people who are at a greater distance from us The poorer you are, the more likely you are to believe in God Seeking control as a motivation How to increase self-control The implementation intention study The when and the then and how it takes away self-control entirely What the self is from the perspective of his work The analogy of particle board for the self The way people respond morally is the most essential to our perception of who they are (vs physical traits) That we perceive the world rather than understand it directly  


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176: Sam Weinman  



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This week we talk to Sam Weinman about losing

Sam Weinman is Golf Digest’s digital editor. He previously covered professional golf and the NHL for Gannett Newspapers. His first book is called WIN AT LOSING: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead To Our Greatest Gains

In This Interview, Sam Weinman and I Discuss... His book, Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains The truth that we learn more from losing than we do from winning That you're far better served listening to those who have lost constructively than those who've simply won How you can learn to lose and fail better That sports are a window into everything else in life The difference between losing and failure The '87 Masters lesson How to find the balance between being hard on yourself and beating the sh*t out of yourself The power of talking to yourself like you would a really good friend Shifting the emphasis away from the results and more towards an ongoing process That if you're always the victim, there's nothing you can do about your circumstances The relationship between a growth and a fixed mindset and focusing on the goal vs the results Counterfactual thinking: Focusing on what could have been vs what is The fact that losing teaches you more about who you are than winning teaches you How your past doesn't define you, it prepares you What "not this but that" means Post Traumatic Growth Ways to foster resilience in yourself Cognitive Restructuring How important context and mindset is Please Support The Show with a Donation  


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