333 episodes

Curiosity sits at the intersection of creativity, effective human interactions, problem-solving and purposeful change. Unfortunately, the pace of life — at home, work, and school — often sidetracks our natural curiosity. So, let’s see the familiar from a different angle or something new as a possibility to consider.

Getting Unstuck – Cultivating Curiosity Jeff Ikler

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 32 Ratings

Curiosity sits at the intersection of creativity, effective human interactions, problem-solving and purposeful change. Unfortunately, the pace of life — at home, work, and school — often sidetracks our natural curiosity. So, let’s see the familiar from a different angle or something new as a possibility to consider.

    Creating Educational and Healing Spaces for Communities

    Creating Educational and Healing Spaces for Communities

    Guest Ethan Bryson is the Founder of Natural Urban Forests. Natural Urban Forests is an afforestation company focused on addressing the urgent need to restore native forest ecosystems. 
    Based in Seattle, Washington we create forests utilizing the Miyawaki method of forest planting with heightened attention to transforming life in the soil. This innovative method enables forests to grow 10x faster at 30x the density of standard afforestation methods. 
    We work to honor and involve local indigenous communities in the planting and ongoing care of these forests. When possible we begin each planting with a blessing to reset the land, and nurture the plants, animals, and people.
    Powered by a steady dose of locally crafted espresso, Jarie loves nothing more than to figure out how to explain complex things in clear and compelling ways. My goal is to help build a more ethical, inclusive, and resilient world by educating and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs—be they 18 or 80.
      Summary Ethan and his organization are on a mission to restore harmony between nature and urban life through forestation. Their efforts encompass three main aspects:
    Firstly, they focus on designing forests with intentionality, incorporating elements like circular plots and symbolic features to create healing and transformational spaces. This includes projects in New York City and collaborations with Indigenous communities.
    Secondly, they emphasize the importance of community involvement in planting and maintaining urban forests, with volunteers playing a key role in ensuring the long-term survival of these green spaces.
    Lastly, Ethan stresses the educational aspect of their work, highlighting the environmental benefits of urban forests and the potential for experiential learning through a forest-based curriculum. We discussed topics ranging from soil health to the symbiotic relationships within old-growth forests, all aimed at fostering a deeper connection between people and nature.
    In summary, Ethan's organization is dedicated to planting forests as a means of restoring ecological balance, engaging communities, and providing educational opportunities.
      Social Media www.naturalurbanforests.com
    ethan@naturalurbanforest.com
      Referenced Kyle Lybarger: https://www.nativehabitatproject.com/
    Manhattan forest project:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/C5-v1GKMnc4/?igsh=MTg5YzB5dTAxd2M2NQ==
    Miyawaki planting method: https://urban-forests.com/miyawaki-method/
    Sugi Project: https://www.sugiproject.com/
    Ida Nason Aronica Forest: https://www.sugiproject.com/forests/Ida-Nason-Aronica-Forest

    • 43 min
    Facing History: Combating Hate Through Curriculum and Conversation

    Facing History: Combating Hate Through Curriculum and Conversation

    Guest Dimitry Anselme is the Chief Officer of Growth and Engagement with Facing History & Ourselves. In that role, he innovates program design for school and district implementation and facilitates organizational partnerships in the US and internationally. Facing History partners with educators worldwide to help students prepare for civic life and better understand themselves and the world. Summary In this episode, Dimitri and Jeff discuss the persistence of hate and racism despite society's efforts to combat it. They delve into the mission of Facing History and Ourselves to challenge bigotry and hatred through engaging history teaching. The conversation also explores the challenges of teaching sensitive topics like the Holocaust and the increasing need for tolerance education in elementary schools. They underscore the importance of raising ethical children and Facing History's outreach efforts, including partnerships with aligned organizations. The discussion also touches on the intersection of education, curiosity, and professional development, emphasizing the importance of preparing teachers and fostering curiosity for creativity and problem-solving.
    Social Media Website - https://www.facinghistory.org/

    • 39 min
    The Awe Factor: Boosting Curiosity, Creativity, and Empathy

    The Awe Factor: Boosting Curiosity, Creativity, and Empathy

    Summary In this episode, I sit down with four LinkedIn friends/colleagues to discuss Dacher Keltner’s book, Awe the New Science of Wonder and How it Can Transform Your Life. Each of my guests brings an important perspective to the topic. Dr. Keltner defines awe as connecting to something larger that yourself; “the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your current understanding of the world.” He then supports that definition by detailing eight emotional wonders of life:
    Moral beauty: appreciating other people’s courage, kindness, strength, or ability to overcome obstacles.
    Collective effervescence: being part of a larger collective self, e.g., a Taylor Swift concert, a political rally, gathering with others to watch the recent eclipse
    Nature: what I feel when I stand in a trout stream or look out over the Grand Canyon
    Music
    Visual design: attractions in New York City: the Edge, the Little Island, and the High Line
    Spirituality and religion
    Life and death
    Epiphany – understanding of an essential truth, insights, scientific discoveries, sudden disclosures
    After introducing the concept and speaking about it from my guests’ various perspectives, I asked whether the leader can inspire awe in the workplace.
    Guests
    Rich Gassen works as a print shop supervisor at UW-Madison, where he focuses on empowerment, creativity, and process improvements with staff. He also chairs the Campus Supervisors Network (CSN), a community of practice at the UW supporting supervisors in their roles by offering training and networking events, a weekly newsletter, and a website.
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richgassen/
    Melissa Hughes is a neuroscience researcher, educator, keynote speaker, and author of Happier Hour with Einstein — Another Round
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissahughesphd
    https://www.melissahughes.rocks/
    Sarah Elkins is your guide to uncovering the right personal stories for the right audiences so executives, leaders, advocates, public speakers, and job seekers can clearly and effectively demonstrate their character, values, and vision. She guides individuals and teams toward improved communication and reduced friction in the workplace. Sarah is a storyteller, keynote speaker, Gallup-certified StrengthsFinder coach, podcast host, author, and professional musician.
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thesmileisfree/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahlynnelkins/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elkinscommunication
    Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/6Bwk56V5neXxjJXk3tarSE?si=01589bf8438d43c6
    Brooke Erol is a corporate dropout who pursued her dream of having more meaningful work for herself and others. All her life, she has spent writing, speaking, coaching, and consulting on the topic of having a life of fulfilling and purposeful work. She works with individuals—YourBestLife—and organizations—Purposeful Business, Inc.
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/purposefulbusiness
    www.instagram.com/happielliatwork
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ozlemerol
    X: www.twitter.com/boerol1
     
    References The Pause Principle by Kevin Cashman
    How Minds Work by

    • 59 min
    Walking Through History: World War I Battlefields and the Legacy of War

    Walking Through History: World War I Battlefields and the Legacy of War

    Guest Iain McHenry was born in Belfast and, after leaving school, joined the British Army and had a career that took him all over the world. He was stationed in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada, The Falkland Islands, and Belgium, and he has completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Sierra Leone. He has always had a passion for WW1, and after leaving the army, he started his own business in Belgium, working as a WW1 researcher, battlefield guide, and published author.
    Today, he splits his time between his home in Tallahassee, Florida, and the old battlefields of France and Belgium.
    Aside from military history, he loves to fly light aircraft, travel and run.
    Summary Iain’s World War I tours go way beyond dates and statistics. They cater to diverse interests, from general historical context to specific family narratives. By visiting trenches, tunnels, and lesser-known sites, participants gain a unique perspective on the daily routines, living conditions, and struggles faced by the soldiers. The emotional impact of war is a recurring theme, with Iain sharing stories of families searching for the final resting places of loved ones and the poignant inscriptions found on gravestones.
    The episode doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of war. It explores the vast cemeteries holding the remains of thousands, the ongoing process of identifying soldiers through artifacts like ID disks, and the constant threat of unexploded ordnance that lingers in the ground. Yet, amidst the tragedy, there's a sense of connection to the past. Iain and I describe the energy one feels on these historical sites and the stories unearthed through excavations, like the discovery of a soldier's remains and the heartwarming reunion with his granddaughter.
    Overall, the episode is a powerful reminder of the importance of learning about history. By studying World War I battlefields, we not only gain a deeper understanding of the conflict itself but also connect with the human stories of those who lived through it.
    Social Media Bespoke Battlefield Tours
    Referenced
    Menin Gate
    About Jeff Jeff Ikler is the Director of Quetico Leadership and Career Coaching. “Quetico” (KWEH-teh-co). He works with leaders in all aspects of life to identify and overcome obstacles in their desired future. He came to the field of coaching after a 35-year career in educational publishing. Prior to his career in educational publishing, Jeff taught high school U.S. history and government.
    Jeff has hosted the “Getting Unstuck—Cultivating Curiosity” podcast for 5 years. The guests and topics he explores are designed to help listeners think differently about the familiar and welcome the new as something to consider. He is also the co-host of the Cultivating Resilience – A Whole Community Approach to Alleviating Trauma in Schools, which promotes mental health and overall wellness.
    Jeff co-authored Shifting: How School Leaders Can Create a Culture of Change. Shifting integrates leadership development and change mechanics in a three-part change framework to help guide school leaders and their teams toward productive change.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Channeling Self-gratitude to Unlock Confidence and Purpose

    Channeling Self-gratitude to Unlock Confidence and Purpose

    Guest Tara LaFon Gooch, an acclaimed Keynote and TEDx speaker, is known for her expertise in confidence empowerment. As an international best-selling author, Tara's dynamic presence and passion inspire audiences globally. With an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and certifications from Cornell University and The University of Notre Dame, Tara's transformative message has been featured in Forbes, LA Weekly, and Fox News. Her recent TEDx talk, "Gratitude: The Foundation of Confidence," has garnered global acclaim, showcasing her ability to help individuals unlock their full potential and live confidently. Summary Ditch the corporate grind? This episode's guest did just that, leaving behind a toxic job and battling depression and anxiety. Their secret weapon? Gratitude. They found that focusing on what they were thankful for, not just in the world but in themselves too, helped them turn things around.
    But gratitude is just the first step. The conversation digs into how to rewire your brain for positivity. We're talking about taking responsibility for your actions and appreciating yourself, past and present. It's not always sunshine and rainbows though – there's real work involved in changing negative thought patterns. But with some effort, you can silence that inner critic and start feeling good about yourself again.
    Feeling stuck? This episode also tackles how to find the motivation to get moving. Visualization and taking action are your new best friends. Plus, figuring out what truly matters to you – your core values and strengths – can be a game changer. It all adds up to building confidence and a sense of purpose, both in your personal life and your career.
    Speaking of career, our conversation switches gears to how confidence plays a major role in leadership and branding. The key? Authenticity. Turns out, people can see right through a fake. The speaker even opens up about their own struggles with confidence as a leader, proving it's a common hurdle.
    The episode wraps up with a powerful message: stay true to your values, no matter what. It might mean turning down clients or walking away from situations that don't feel right. But in the end, staying aligned with your principles is the recipe for long-term success and personal growth.
    Social Media / Referenced https://www.linkedin.com/in/tara-lafon-gooch
    https://www.facebook.com/tara.lafon
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTXN57YGfMOMJdkphzr2PoQ
    https://www.tiktok.com/@taralafongooch
    https://www.instagram.com/taralafongooch
    About Jeff Jeff Ikler is the Director of Quetico Leadership and Career Coaching. “Quetico” (KWEH-teh-co). He works with leaders in all aspects of life to identify and overcome obstacles in their desired future. He came to the field of coaching after a 35-year career in educational publishing. Prior to his career in educational publishing, Jeff taught high school U.S. history and government.
    Jeff has hosted the “Getting Unstuck—Cultivating Curiosity” podcast for 5 years. The guests and topics he explores are designed to help listeners think differently about the familiar and welcome the new as something to consider. He is also the co-host of the Cultivating Resilience – A Whole Community Approach to Alleviating Trauma in Schools, which promotes mental health and overall wellness.
    Jeff co-authored Shifting: How School Leaders Can Create a Culture of Change. Shifting integrates leadership development and change mechanics in a three-part change framework to help guide school leaders and their teams toward productive change.

    • 45 min
    Unlocking Your Purpose—Overcoming Obstacles and Finding Meaning

    Unlocking Your Purpose—Overcoming Obstacles and Finding Meaning

    Guest Bradley Wright is a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut and the director of the Life Purpose Lab (lifepurpose.lab.uconn.edu). He teaches courses on well-being and research methodology. He is the co-author of The Purpose Journal: Discover Your Destiny and Leave a Legacy.
    His teaching and mentoring have received departmental and university awards. Bradley grew up in California and lives in Connecticut with his wife. They have two sons and a small, fluffy dog. His hobbies include cycling, hiking, and photography.
    Summary In this episode, Bradley tackles the question of finding purpose and meaning in life. He acknowledges the challenges, including a lack of clear systems and the fear of uncertainty that holds many back. Bradley proposes a "purpose portfolio" –– engaging in multiple meaningful activities across various aspects of life –– to maximize overall fulfillment.
    His work at the Life Purpose Lab emphasizes "possibility management," a framework designed to help people intentionally explore and navigate different life paths. Journaling is a key tool, prompting exploration of purpose itself and offering practical steps for discovery.
    The conversation emphasizes taking action over waiting for inspiration to strike. Small, incremental steps can lead to significant change. Bradley highlights the transformative power of purpose, not just for personal happiness but for creating a positive impact on the world. His training program suggests living purposefully can positively affect the lives of others, with a potential reach that can range from a few individuals to hundreds.
    Social Media https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradleywrightphd/
     
    Referenced “Serendipity is not Serendipitous”
    Life Purpose Lab

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

StevenMiletto ,

Awesome podcast!

Jeff has created a wonderful journey into looking at what people do to answer the question- What are you curious about! His podcast Getting Unstuck- Cultivating Curiosity has incredible guests with awesome backgrounds. His most recent episode - 240 - Teaching - The River that Runs Through Life… is so powerful! Enjoy!!!

Suzanne DeMallie ,

Can You Hear Me Now?

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a guest on this podcast, and I appreciate the effort that Jeff put into preparing for the interview. This is the first podcast I've been on where the host had a meeting before the podcast to determine the best angle from which to view the guest's story so that the audience would acquire the most relevant information. Jeff did his research, asked probing questions, and allowed me to give complete uninterrupted answers. The result is a product that I believe the audience will enjoy. Thanks Jeff for your commitment to improving education.

Ben Pendarvis ,

Exciting Work

I fully appreciated the important questions and dialogue Jeff and Kirsten prepared for our interview. They’re educators with true passion for the people and ideas that work for our best student outcomes. This is important and exciting work, and I look forward to hearing more educator’s voices they find and share for the movement, for educators must certainly be the drivers of innovation in our schools.

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