Interviews w/ authors, entrepreneurs, athletes and others on resilience, getting on or getting over life’s set ups and setbacks.
If research exists on how people bounce back, he talks about it. If there are physical practices, proven psychologies or philosophies that can help people build personal foundations before the storms come, he digs into it.
EP. 49: TAPPING A HIGHER SELF: LOCH KELLY ON EFFORTLESS MINDFULNESS
“A person can make himself happy or miserable regardless of what is actually happening outside just by changing the contents of consciousness” -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
How you feel about life and living, and your happiness in general - ultimately depends on interpreting everyday experience. Your mind shapes every experience you have and there is a minimal return on happiness effort, trying to exert more control over external forces.
Time should be spent on ordering your inner world. This podcast is about doing just that.
My guest is Loch Kelly.
Loch is an author, meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. Loch has collaborated with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn, and NYU to study how awareness training can enhance compassion and well-being. As a licensed psychotherapist, Loch has been teaching seminars, supervising clinicians and practicing awareness psychotherapy in NYC for 30 years.
He has authored two books on meditation, Shift into Freedom The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness and The Way of Effortless Mindfulness A Revolutionary Guide for Living an Awakened Life, which is the touchstone for our discussion
Drawing from neuroscience, psychology, and ancient wisdom traditions, the book is a practical guide to what he calls the next stage in the ongoing mindfulness movement: effortless mindfulness.
On the show we discuss these topics and more
Defining meditation Defining awareness Suffering and managing emotions Why meditation can be hard Who meditation is for Terminology Explaining Flow states and how it can be elicited in meditation Differences between mindfulness meditation and effortless mindfulness On effort and effortlessness Types / Methods Multiple "selves" and the mini-me Glimpse practices How to start - "here now" meditation There is a lot more here, so give it a listen.
For show notes, resources, and more, visit www.larryweeks.com
EP: 48: THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS: NICHOLAS CHRISTAKIS ON WHAT WENT WRONG, WHAT'S GOING RIGHT, AND OUR POSSIBLE FUTURE
Nicholas Christakis on the impact of Coronavirus, what went wrong, what's going right, and our possible future. More below.
Nicholas is a physician and social scientist at Yale University who conducts research in network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics.
Named by Time magazine to their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Nicholas's current work focuses on how human biology and health affect social interactions and social networks. He directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science.
He is also the author of several books, including Connected: The Amazing Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, and his latest, Apollo's Arrow, The Profound and Enduring impact of Coronavirus On the Way We Live - which is the topic of our conversation.
Nicholas was a font of information; it was a challenge to fit everything into an hour. He was a conversational tour de force crisscrossing history, medicine, social behavior, and disease math.
On the show we covered...
How earlier pandemics were similar in how they played out The frequency of pandemics How COVID-19 compares to other pathogens Disease math and mortality curves Updates on lethality Effective contagion rates What went wrong Trust in government and scientific institutions What's going right Development of vaccines Vaccination rates (percentage of the populace) we need to open the economy The swiss cheese model of personal risk mitigation Post pandemic behavior and the future boom There is a lot more here, so give it a listen.
For show notes, resources, and more, visit www.larryweeks.com
EP: 47: CHATTER: ETHAN KROSS ON UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING THE VOICE IN OUR HEAD
Chatter refers to this negative cycle of thinking and feeling that leads us to get stuck in ways that can be really toxic for our health, for our relationships, and for our ability to think and perform - Ethan Kross
“Hecaton asks, "Do you ask what progress I have made? I have begun to be a friend to myself." Valuable progress indeed: he will never be alone." —Seneca
On this podcast, I delve into what cognitive science is learning about the conversations we have with ourselves - and even better, how to manage them.
My guest is Ethan Kross, Ph.D. An award-winning professor in the University of Michigan’s top ranked Psychology Department and its Ross School of Business, he studies how the conversations people have with themselves impact their health, performance, decisions and relationships. And his research has been published in academic journals and featured in the New York Times, the Economist and the New Yorker, to name just a few.
He is also the author of the just-published book Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, the topic of this episode.
Why do you say what you say, when you talk to yourself?
Ethan explained to me that our brains have an affinity for disconnecting from what's happening around us. This then offers an opportunity for the conversations in our minds.
Ethan says that our inner voice is crucial and helps us evaluate what we do, calibrating our gap-to-goal actions. We have a monitoring default state.
But it can turn on us.
Anxious or negative chatter can tank athletic performance and sabotage your career.
Chatter is often triggered when we interpret a situation as a threat—something we can’t manage.
Ethan tells me uncertain times and uncertainty and a lack of control are agents that fuel (internal) chatter.
if you had asked me when I started this project, for a formula for a mass chatter event, we are living through that right now. And all the ingredients are there; a once in a century uncontrollable and uncertain pandemic - Ethan Kross
These internal conversations also determine our experiences. Your mood is most often defined not by what you did but by what you thought about what you did at the time you were doing it.
On the show, we cover a lot of his research on "chatter" laid out in his new book
Why do we do it? Origins of the voices How chatter can backfire on us Tips (and tools) on improving or quelling negative chatter How to properly coach yourself and the use of pronouns Affirmations and how to talk to yourself And much more It's arguable that some of the most important conversations you will have in your life will are the ones you have with yourself.
So tell yourself to give it a listen.
For show notes, resources, and more, visit www.larryweeks.com
EP: 46: HIGH ON LIFE: TOMMY CHONG ON PRISON, POT AND KARMA
Tommy Chong is a grammy award-winning comedian and is legendary for his invaluable contribution to American counter-culture as part of the iconic comedy duo Cheech & Chong. During their reign, the twosome recorded six gold comedy albums, including the 1973 Grammy winner "Los Cochinos," and starred in eight films, most of which Chong co-wrote and directed. The first, "Up In Smoke," was the highest-grossing comedy of 1978, topping $100 million at the box office. Others were "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie" (1980), "Nice Dreams" (1981), "Things Are Tough All Over" (1982), "Cheech and Chong: Still Smoking" (1983), and "The Corsican Brothers" (1984).
Tommy has acted in several other films, including 1990's "Far Out, Man!" and "National Lampoon's Senior Trip" (1995). He also starred as "Leo" on Fox's "That 70's Show," and guest starred on ABC's "Dharma & Greg" and "The George Lopez Show."
Tommy is also the author of the New York Times Best-Seller The I Chong: Meditations from the Joint and the book, Cheech and Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography.
In 2003 a fully armed SWAT team raided the comedian's home, culminating with Tommy being sentenced to 9 months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute "Chong Glass," a family business specializing in handmade glass water pipes (bongs).
On this episode, Tommy talks about that experience and pretty much his whole life; growing up in Canada, getting his start in rock and roll, finding improv comedy, his time with Cheech and Chong, and getting into the business of CBD and Cannabis.
I interview people, for the most part - to get their perspective as to relates to challenge whether personal or professional sometimes it's corporate and more often than not, the episodes refer to some documented touchstones like a book or research - a catalog of lessons
This one is a bit of an exception.
This episode is not so didactic; the lessons are in the pure experience - the story - and an entertaining one at that.
To see show notes, resources, and more, visit larryweeks.com
EP. 45: SURVIVING SURVIVAL: LAURENCE GONZALES ON TRAUMATIC EVENTS AND NEW NORMALS
What can we learn from survival science about recovering from trauma? What can survivors of extreme events teach us about creating a new normal?
My guest on this episode is Laurence Gonzales.
Laurence Gonzales is the author of numerous books and has won many awards, including two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Laurence also received a Journalism Fellowship from the Santa Fe Institute and where he was also appointed a Miller Scholar.
Laurence wrote the best-selling books Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, its sequel Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience, and Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things.
In these books, Laurence chronicles not only how some endured life-threatening situations and somehow survive them, but also their second acts; the difficulty of moving on from their trauma to the equally challenging return to or re-creation of a "normal" life.
The extreme events that Laurence writes about are helpful to study as it lends perspective; we realize we are one among many who may have it far worse than we. Also helpful are the lessons learned on how the brain and body work during and after traumatic events.
Some of our talking points….
How evolutionary wiring works for us and against us PTSD or PTS Why some survive, and others do not Problems with narrow domain expertise and ego Active coping skills and suggested activities Awareness, behavioral scripts, and accidents Cognitive dissonance The brain's rage pathway Goal seeking behavior and the power of hobbies I've been trying to get Laurence on for over a year - schedules just didn't align, but we finally made it happen happy to say and it was well worth it.
EP. 44: FREEDOM FROM RESULTS : MASSIMO PIGLIUCCI ON A REDEFINING SUCCESS
In this episode, my focus is on how to find peace of mind amidst turmoil and persistent uncertainty. So many things that are directly affecting our lives are also out of our direct control - and it can be maddening.
The Ancient Greeks used the term ataraxia, which means a state of serene calmness. Steven Gambardella writes in the Sophist, "Ataraxia is not a positively-defined state such as "happy" or "excited" It was believed by the Hellenistic philosophies to be a "resting" state of serenity."
To achieve this state, the Stoics taught the need to discern between "things not up to us" vs. "things up to us."
"Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing." - Epictetus in the Enchiridion
Herein lies the key to much of our neurosis, not understanding what's in your control and what's not. Crazy is treating outcomes as objects; to paraphrase psychoanalyst Leslie Farber, where you can directly move an object, you cannot directly will an outcome - and your goals can distort your psyche when confusing the two.
My guest is philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci.
Massimo has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He is currently the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. His research interests include the philosophy of science, the nature of pseudoscience, and the practical philosophy of Stoicism.
He is also the author or editor of 14 books, including the bestselling How to Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life. Other titles include Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk and his just published A Field Guide to a Happy Life.
Some of or talking points on this episode
How his life changed in 2014 Re-discovering Stoic philosophy Thoughts and suffering Stoicism 2.0 How stress is created The dichotomy of control Holding things lightly; loans from the bank of the universe Unhooking happiness from results Ambition, goals and the challenge of process orientation Pandemics, mask-wearing and citizenship Historical perspectives on crazy political seasons and unorthodox leaders On pacifism and civic engagement Massimo was great as usual so - take a break from the insanity out there, put your earphones on, go for a walk and listen.
For show notes, resources and more of my content visit larryweeks.com
It Should Be Illegal To Get This Good at Any 1-Thing!
With so many podcasts on the market today, it is so hard to break through the noise. I was recently turned on to Bounce! by a friend of mine, and after tuning into a couple of episodes, it has made it’s way into my weekly routine! I literally leave 1 un-listened episode in my queue simply because I hate the thought of running out of Larry content! Keep it up!!
Larry, host of the Bounce! Conversations podcast, highlights all aspects of resilience and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!
It’s great to listen to something that is engaging to the layperson yet still scientifically based. This podcast also stands out because it focuses on a specific topic, yet draws from a wide range of people and backgrounds.