On Ecstasis and Extraordinary States of Consciousness with Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

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Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, authors of the new book Stealing Fire, come on The Psychology Podcast to discuss the life changing power of ecstatic altered states of mind. The authors have worked with extreme sports athletes, Silicon Valley innovators, and maverick scientists to understand how high performing people are using peak experiences (such as flow) to unlock human potential. We talk about the “altered states economy” and how people spend trillions of dollars a year seeking altered states of consciousness, the transformative experiences we get from festivals like Coachella, what we see in the brain when individuals are using substances like LSD, and the “Hyperspace Lexicon.” It’s a high-level discussion of extraordinary states of consciousness, made fun and interesting by three experts in the field. Enjoy!

EASTER EGG: Listen to the very end of the podcast, after the music and outro, to hear a special interview between Steve and Jamie, which occurred while Scott was away!

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STEVEN KOTLER is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and the cofounder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project. His books include TomorrowlandBoldThe Rise ofSupermanAbundanceA Small Furry PrayerWest of Jesus, and The Angle Quickest for Flight. His work has been translated into forty languages and his articles have appeared in more than eighty publications, including the New York Times MagazineAtlantic MonthlyWiredForbes, and Time. Steven is an in-demand speaker and advisor on technology, innovation and peak performance. You can find him online at www.stevenkotler.com.

JAMIE WHEAL is an expert on peak performance and leadership, specializing in the neuroscience and application of Flow states. He has advised everyone from the U.S. Naval War College and Special Operations Command, the athletes of RedBull, and the owners of NFL, NBA, MLB and Premier League teams, to the executives of Google, Deloitte Cisco and Young Presidents’ Organization. He studied historical anthropology under MacArthur Fellow Patricia Nelson Limerick, specializing in utopian social movements and his work has appeared in anthologies and peer-reviewed academic journals. -Blurb taken from amazon.com

Boost Your Focus, Drive, and Micro-Resilience with Bonnie St. John

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Bonnie St. John is a celebrated author, Olympian, leadership consultant, and Rhodes scholar who has overcome some tremendous odds to become one of the five most inspiring women in America.” Needless to say, she’s a fascinating individual with some wonderful stories and advice to convey to listeners. On today’s episode we focus on her latest book, which is full of science backed/immediately effective strategies to help you bring your ‘A game’ no matter what life throws at you. We discuss “micro-resilience” tactics like cultivating optimism, optimizing your metabolism, and using holiday spices and breathing exercises to neutralize stress. Enjoy the show!

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“For over twenty years, Bonnie St. John has circled the globe as a keynote speaker and leadership consultant for over five hundred different companies, non-profits and associations. From Fortune 100 C-suites to front line management, Bonnie’s initiatives (both live and web-based), have inspired leaders at every corporate level to improve their skills, hone their thinking, and expand their horizons to new levels of performance.  Her flexible, individually tailored, highly impactful, yet entertaining presentations are designed to provide insightful and inspirational solutions to the global, ever changing challenges of the 21st Century workplace. Bonnie has been featured extensively in both national and international media including: The Today Show, CNN, CBS Morning News, NBC News, PBS, NPR, and The New York Times, as well as People, “O”, and Essence magazines, to name just a few.  NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.” Blurb taken from bonniestjohn.com

Dr. Daniel Siegel on the Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human

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What a pleasure it was to interview Dr. Dan Siegel, who has a wonderful ability to make complicated scientific concepts understandable and exciting. In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we discuss topics surrounding the human mind – What is it? How does it interact with the environment and with other minds? Are we essentially our thoughts or is there some self that exists beyond cognitions?  We cover mindfulness and awe, elucidating how they can help us to integrate our lives and our mind to become more loving and compassionate citizens of the world. We address a host of other topics as well like Terror Management Theory, ADHD, the “sea of potential” and more! We hope you enjoy the show, and please feel free to leave an iTunes review if you’d like to help us refine our craft!

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Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he also serves as a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions and communities. His books include “Mindsight,” “The Developing Mind,” “The Mindful Brain,” “The Mindful Therapist,” “Parenting From the Inside Out,” and “The Whole-Brain Child.” He is the Founding Editor of the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which includes “Healing Trauma,” “The Power of Emotion,” and “Trauma and the Body.” He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. For more information on Dr. Siegel’s work, please visit DrDanSiegel.com. Blurb taken from amazon.com

Choose Yourself with James Altucher

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Best-selling author James Altucher comes on the show to impart some practical wisdom for how to bounce back from failure. James talks about his own experiences going from multimillionaire to being broke, bankrupt, and divorced. We provide a message of common humanity and discuss how we can rise up and succeed despite the failures that inevitably impede our progress. We talk about some of James’ best anxiety relief techniques, how he only owns 15 items and does not rent or own a home, and the rise of the lifestyle entrepreneur. Come join us as Scott and James share some of their own anxieties and how they deal with life’s stressors.

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James Altucher is a successful entrepreneur, angel investor, chess master and prolific writer. He has started and run more than 20 companies and is currently invested in over 30. He is the author of 17 books, including WSJ best-sellers: ‘The Power of No’ and ‘Choose Yourself’. His writing has appeared in major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer, Techcrunch , The Financial Times, Yahoo Finance and others. His blog, JamesAltucher.com, has attracted more than 20 million readers since its launch in 2010. Blurb taken from Amazon.com

Philosopher David Chalmers Thinks We Might Be Living in a Simulated Reality

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Are we living in a simulated reality? Are our smartphones essentially an extension of our minds? Could we achieve immortality via being uploaded to the internet? These are just a few of the philosophically fascinating questions we cover on this episode of The Psychology Podcast! David Chalmers is a friend of the show and we are psyched to feature his expert opinions on the philosophy of mind. We cover how technology might affect the evolution of the human species, the future of artificial intelligence, and the future existence of “super-intelligence.” We’re talking about some of the most well thought out perspectives on the future of our species and technology – and it is entirely too much fun. Enjoy the show!

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David Chalmers works in the philosophy of mind and in related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. He is especially interested in consciousness, but is also interested in artificial intelligence and computation, in philosophical issues about meaning and possibility, and in the foundations of cognitive science and of physics. David joined the RSSS as a Federation Fellow in August 2004 to establish the Centre for Consciousness – visit his homepage for comprehensive coverage of his work. Blurb taken from researchers.anu.edu.au

Jared Kleinert on How Millennials are Changing the World

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Today on The Psychology Podcast, we discuss how the millennial generation is redefining success, breaking down barriers, and changing the world. Our Executive Producer Taylor Kreiss chats with Jared Kleinert, whose latest book features 75 vignettes from extraordinary millennials looking to impart practical wisdom on how to have a greater impact. We examine how these high performing individuals found their purpose, utilized their character strengths and leveraged exponential technologies to change the world for the better. It’s a fun and interesting episode for listeners looking to optimize their lives!​​

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Check out Jared’s book 3 Billion Under 30 here:  http://bit.ly/2jscFxF

See Jared’s prior appearance on The Psychology Podcast here.

Jared Kleinert is an entrepreneur, TED and keynote speaker, and award-winning author who’s been named USA Today’s “Most Connected Millennial” after spending years identifying and connecting hundreds of the world’s smartest and most talented Millennials. His first book 2 Billion Under 20 was voted the “#1 Entrepreneurship Book of 2015” and his new book 3 Billion Under 30 explores how top-performers in the Millennial generation have achieved exponential success and impact in record time. He’s been featured by almost every major media outlet including Mashable, FOX, ABC, Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, and others, and the United Nations has named him a “Champion For Humanity”.

Specializing in practical philosophy and positive psychology, Taylor Kreiss is a coach/writer on a mission to share the art and science of the good life. You can find his writing and get in contact on his Facebook Taylor Kreiss and at his website http://www.taylorkreiss.com/

The Power of Meaning with Emily Esfahani Smith

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On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, friend of the show Emily Esfahani Smith sheds light on how we can craft a life that truly matters. Finding meaning in life is a crtitical existential good, and with today’s discussion we take a science backed look at how we can achieve this vital purpose. Topics include Sufism, mystical experiences, authenticity, finding purpose, magic mushrooms, mortality, life narratives, transcendence and more. If you would like to hear about how to experience more meaning on a daily basis, give this episode a listen!

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Emily Esfahani Smith writes about culture, psychology, and relationships. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesThe Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is also a columnist for The New Criterion and an editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, a collaboration with the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University to build community and purpose across the country. She studied philosophy at Dartmouth College and has a master’s in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Washington, DC. Blurb taken from amazon.com

Emily’s book, “The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters” is out today!

Michael Gervais on Finding Mastery

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What a great pleasure it was to chat with high performance psychologist, and fellow podcaster, Dr. Michael Gervais! Listen in as we deconstruct excellence as it manifests in sports, creativity, well-being and other domains. Topics include passion, grit, mindfulness, imagination, growth, and becoming comfortable with the unknown. This is a high level discussion about what it takes to flourish in the sports world and in life, how to silence one’s inner critic, and how nature & nurture factor into world class success. A huge thank you to Michael Gervais and we look forward to hearing what you think of the episode!

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Dr. Michael Gervais has followed a central question: Is there a common thread connecting those who change how we understand how the world works? As a high performance psychologist he works in the trenches of high-stakes environments, where there is no luxury for mistakes, hesitation, or failure to respond. While Dr. Gervais’ roster includes an MVP from every major sport, internationally acclaimed artists and musicians and Fortune 100 CEO’s, he is also the Co-Founder of Winforever Consulting, whose mission is to help people become the best they can be. He recognizes that all of us are required to perform daily. We all navigate our own high-stakes environments and can benefit just as much with the right mindset training.

A published, peer-reviewed author and recognized speaker on optimal human performance, Dr. Gervais has been featured by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, NBC, NFL Network, Red Bull TV, Extra, The Huffington Post, Outside Magazine, and others. Dr. Gervais received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University. He completed his PhD while studying under the father of American applied sport psychology, Dr. Bruce Ogilvie, at San Diego University, Integrative Studies.

Ultimately, Dr. Gervais’ goal is to unpack, then decode, how the greatest performers in the world use their minds to pursue the boundaries of human potential. To accelerate that aim, he has curated conversations with those who have dedicated their life toward Finding Mastery.

Applying that passion to explore human performance boundaries to his personal life, Dr. Gervais is an avid surfer who also enjoys skiing Canada’s backcountry. He has come to understand that the answer to his central question lies in the space between hesitation and commitment.

Dr. Dacher Keltner on Love, Power, Morality, and Awe

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Dr. Dachner Keltner is the founding director of the Greater Good Science center, as well as a professor of psychology at the University of California Berkeley, so he’s in a special place to discuss some incredibly interesting positive psychological topics like love, awe, teasing, compassion, empathy, gratitude and much more! It’s a fun and fascinating episode where we take a deep look into the science of the good life. Enjoy the show!

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Oh, and here is Dacher’s impression of Trump:

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** We recognize that the audio quality on this episode is less than ideal (we’re putting a new system in place to optimize audio fidelity), but the content is so wonderful that we would be remiss not to share!

We’re making a real effort to improve the show for our listeners and would hugely appreciate 15 seconds of your time filling out this short survey: http://survey.libsyn.com/psychologypodcast (Email is not required).

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good, and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct. Blurb taken from greatergood.berkeley.edu

Brené Brown on Creativity, Courageous Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living

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We are especially grateful (and giddy) to be sharing this episode with our listeners! Brene Brown’s work really gels with our core interests here on The Psychology Podcast, and the resulting conversation contains some enthusiastic and empirically informed banter that is sure to inform and delight. We geek out over some counter-intuitive findings, like how incredibly compassionate people have a tendency to set the most boundaries and say “no.” We discuss the power of being vulnerable and how the data suggests that it is one of the best predictors of courage. We chat about how trying to be cool is the enemy of truly being cool, how we can enrich future generation’s learning with wholehearted living, and how ignoring our creativity defies our essential nature. It’s ~45 minutes of two experts in the field sharing data, and themselves, and it’s one of our favorite episodes yet.

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Thank you!

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“Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her groundbreaking research has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Brené’s 2010 TEDxHouston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks on TED.com, with approximately 6 million viewers. Additionally, Brené gave the closing talk at the 2012 TED conference where she talked about shame, courage, and innovation. Brené’s newest book is, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Gotham, 2012). She is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), and I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), and Connections (2009); a shame-resilience curriculum being facilitated by helping professionals across the globe.” Blurb taken from amazon.com