Transform Your Consciousness with Jason Silva
Hey everybody, how's it goin'? I'm Chase Jarvis. It's my job today to welcome you to another episode of the Chase Jarvis Live show here on Creative Live. You know the show. This is where I sit down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders and do everything in my power to unpack actionable and valuable insights with the main goal of helping you live your dreams and career and hobby and in life. My guest today, he's a story teller, he's a philosopher of both art and science and you'll know his face and his name as the host of one of the most successful shows that National Geographic has ever done called, Brain Games, and most recently, Origins. My guest, Mr. Jason Silva.
What's up, man? (upbeat music) Yes.
Thank you for that intro.
How 'bout it, right.
Made me feel good and smooth, man.
We, this has been a long time comin', months I think, like six or seven months.
Yeah man, awesome.
Thank you for makin' time. We're happy to have you on the show.
am thrilled that this is finally happening. It's such a cool, quiet space isn't it.
Inside joke there. We'll get to it later. So, I'm gonna take us and the cameras here and you and I back seven years ago, we first met at a dinner party in Washington DC. And, I'm kinda the same circle ever since then. I've watched your career just absolutely take off in the meantime as a host of those shows, but I'm deeply inspired by your deeply philosophical brain. How did you get there? Go back. What was childhood like?
Yeah, give me the Origin story.
I grew up in South America actually, in Venezuela which not everybody knows. So, (speaking in foreign language), fully bilingual and went to an international school in Venezuela and from there went to college in the U.S. where I double majored in Philosophy and Film. And I know that you studied Philosophy as well, right.
Yeah, yeah, studied Philosophy formally and then informally, film as here we are.
Well, there you go, man. So, we have that in common, a love of wisdom. And, you know, most philosophy classes were not even that good, but occasionally you had a kooky professor who was like, philosophy of art, philosophy of space and time, philosophy of the weird, and I always kind of enjoyed like deep dives into heady ideas. And, cinema was just an art form that I always loved just as a passive consumer, as a watcher. I thought that nothing affected me the way cinema did and so I wanted to find, exactly, I wanted to find some way of in turn expressing myself cinematically the way that I had been and to impact others the way that I had been affected. And so, again the love of philosophy and film and a hippie mother who was an educator who was like, study what you love, don't be practical, just do your thing. And so, that was my double major in film school and from there I got a gig working for Al Gore's station. Most people don't know that, but Al Gore co-founded a cable channel in 2005 called Current.
I remember. Can I philosophize on that? I remember seeing that. I was A, super inspired, B, wildly curious 'cause I knew Gore was involved and I think Gore might sort of as a human, overshadow the concept, so if we take Al out of it for a second. I found that it was interesting that he was involved, but more than that was the formatting, the unabashed focus on younger millennial, a completely different mindset from all other TV programming, and just a. It was short form. It was, there was a lotta UGC. So, what was it like to be a part of something like that, so seminal for culture or whatever.
It was amazing. Imagine as a film student/aspiring thinker, philosopher guy, this network provided a real outlet that kind of embodied what I wanted to be, the backpack journalist, the story teller with the digital camera that was gonna change the world. I mean, Current was called by the New York Times a network of young people who think, and pioneered user generated content.
Right, we invited the audience to make the content and submit it pre-YouTube. Now granted, it was a cable channel. It had a website back end for the submissions. They were more focused on the cable channel business model which I think was shortsighted because again, we were pre-YouTube. If they would've focused on the web we would have been the user generated revolution network which we never quite go to be, but it was a nice place to get my feet wet. I got to move to L.A. The head of programming became my mentor and it wasn't like I had to move out there without a job and go through like auditions or castings or send a resume out. It was like, come work for Current, meet Al Gore, participate in the media revolution and maybe a false start at the beginning, you know.
But, I love, and for the folks at home to take away from that is there was no giving permission, there was no like, we're looking for this and you're like, oh, I have experience as a host. Yeah, you just did it and I think there's some overlap with your background, but it was mostly like this kid can do this. He's a you know, articulate guy and you on the other side of that, like if you're not the network looking at you, you're looking at the network like, shit, like I'm gonna give it a go.
Yeah, well I think that what was happening was that the circumstances of technology, story telling technology, media technology increasingly shrinking in size and in price was lowering the bar of entry. You know, so as aspiring film maker realized there was a hybridization happening behind the camera, in front of the camera, a digital content, are you the writer, are you the host, are you the producer, are you also the editor? You could kind of do all of it a little bit and because I'd been playing with video cameras since I was a little kid, I eventually realized that I wanted to do stories that were relatively short and I wanted to kinda be the narrator, but I also kinda wanted to be the director. All these things fit into my submission for Current. I made a film with my former host, former co-host, that was about Hedonism and spirituality. So, it was still an aspiring philosophical dock about reconciling the search for transcendants and the search for pleasure and that's how I got the gig. So, it was very much like, throw all caution to the wind. This is who I am. And, you know, now we see a lot of vloggers and digital film makers doing their thing on YouTube, but I think at the time it was like, took a gamble and it worked out.
That's exactly what I was inspired by. It's the same thing. The cultural like gravity that you feel right now when you identify with someone internet personality. This was sort of the beginning of internet personality and giving people the stage when they used to be controlled by big networks. So, this is, this is, I'm not gonna put words into your mouth, so this is your vehicle. You go from you know, Venezuelan film student, philosopher to now, a television host and what do you look at that platform and say, okay, what do I do with this. So, how did you use that as a lever or, did you maximize that, miss out on some things? Give us some context.
What was amazing is they paid crap, but it was enough to move to LA and rent an apartment fresh outta film school at 23, 24 years old.
That's a huge win, right.
Yeah, because it was like, who gets to be in LA and actually be like, yeah, I'm working for Al Gore for this new network and like, it's you know, you go to parties and start meeting people. Everybody's like an aspiring actor or aspiring screenwriter, which is awesome all these artists, but they're like waiting tables on the side. And so, it was like, it was I think for me nice that I actually had a legitimate thing going and it opened a lotta doors, I got to meet a lotta people. I got to kinda build that network and I started meeting people, adding them on Facebook, finding friends in common. I was just hungry and I didn't know where it was going, but I wanted to add value. You know, I had this intuition about this. Now it's obvious, the personal brand, but at the time I was like I just wanna build a resume in this space because I have an interesting story. The more I could publicize it the more the story becomes real, you know.
It's so true. That was the beginning of the personal brand. It was early.
Yeah, I'm thinking, I'm putting the timeline on my own life and that was like blogger was really coming up, pre-YouTube, Google Video. I also was putting videos on the internet and was shocked at how, wait a minute. There's actually people on the other end of this that care. You had this crazy advantage of actual television. I think there was still a focus on that being more validated than you know, these other platforms that we're wildly aware of today, but Current didn't work out.
Yeah, so what happened is again, because they were focused on TV that was an existing business model. They had distribution agreements with cable and satellite providers and all the execs were makin' money. They didn't care about ratings at first. Eventually though those distribution agreements would be up for renewal and then ratings would matter and Current never broke through because it was an obscure cable channel, instead of focusing on the internet. So, I was there for five years. It was great. I had job security.
Five years, man, yeah and it was around 2011 you know, and people got, people came and went, people got fired, but our mentor, the head of programming he was there. It's only when he left 2010, 2011, and we heard rumors the network might sell, sell itself to Al Jezeera eventually that I knew it was time to get out. Now, what had been happening is that already had already become kind of auto pilot for me. Go to the studio, do the show, chill. Think of like you know, MTV VJs, but instead of tossin' to music videos we were tossing to citizen journalists. On the side though, on weekends, the film maker in me was becoming agitated and I was starting to experiment with a lot of web video particularly like in Vimeo and stuff like that. And, you know, I was goin' out with the camera guy and we would go out on these hikes in LA and I'd be like, I just wanna talk about like, disruptive innovation. I wanna talk about singularity. I wanna talk about anything I was geeking out on. I was goin' to the tech conference at the time. I'd become a Ray Kurzweil fan and I was like, into transhumanism and I wanted to kinda like make my own videos on the topic and that coincided with Current's kind of ending and so, eventually I left Current. So, here I was, five years in, the guy that used to be on Current with no real savings 'cause they didn't pay that well. So then it was like, what were my prospects? I never went to an audition before. How do I, what's next? And, I took a kind of a year, dove into a relationship and kinda traveled the world and kind of just assumed things would work out somehow and what would happen is, because I had more free time I got to keep out of pocket, starting to make these short videos. The term I came up with was, Philosophical Espresso Shots. I was like, a short form digital video, my love of philosophy, let's you know. What is the philosophical take on transhumanism? What is the philosophical take on romantic love? What is the philosophical take on the human condition? Anything I was interested in from my own hunger for knowledge and existential agitation. I started doing them out of pocket, sitting with an editor, but I got to really express the film maker in me. Like, I wanted to have this music and I wanted to have these visuals and I wanted to put the audience in an altered state when they watched it and the videos slowly but surely started to resonate. I leveraged whatever networks I had, Twitter, this and that, but still it was early. But then a lotta things just, you know this is when they say that things just aligned, so I was on like my third or fourth video out of pocket, dipping into my savings, where several things happened at once. The Atlantic wrote an article about my videos. This guy, Ross Anderson, a science writer for the Atlantic was a fan. He contacted me and he wrote a profile piece where they called me the Timothy Leary of the viral video age 'cause a couple of the videos were manic in some ways.
You get paid for that.
You get paid for that, yeah. Right, and that's what I told him. I said, I'm inspired by Timothy Leary's counter cultural ideas but eventually he went from counter cultural to cybernetic culture and he said that, well, technology is the new LSD, technology is the new psychedelic because technology allows us to extend our minds beyond all limitations and so, I told him how inspired I was by these ideas and then he kinda, just kinda called me that in the article. So that happened and then a show runner from National Geographic contacted me about the show, Brain Games. They were like extending this three part special into a full series. They were looking for a host and he's the guy I had met serendipitously through my ex-girlfriend at a screening, you know, timing right. And I was like, he was like, what are you doin' right now? And I was like, well you know I used to be at Current last year, but I've been workin' on these videos. Sent him the videos, sent him the Atlantic article and they were like, oh my God, this is awesome. You'll be perfect. So again, timing meets opportunity. All that hustle to meet the right moment, seized it and I got hired to host Brain Games and then Brain Games blew up, Emmy nomination for the show, Emmy nomination for me, highest new show launch ratings in the history for Nat Geo at the time. All that was happening and you know it's like, that was the moment.
That's it's the moment as you work at Current for five years, you hustle for a year, you went outta pocket. That's the message that I want like if you're watching or listening right now, internalize that just for a second. That is the classics in this case of a seven year overnight success. You go from zero to 100 miles an hour. Yeah, after working your ass off for a long time and the, to me the myth of you're just gonna get your one break and then you're off to the races. I think this show aims to A, debunk that; B, inspire people because that's how it happens. It happens, you gotta be in the game to win, right. If you're sittin' on the sidelines or you're not fully invested, so fast forward to now. You've just completed the how many, five seasons of Brain Games or something like that. That's crazy long.
That was crazy. Brain Games went on for five seasons and Nat Geo has footprints all over the world, so 171 countries were airing the show. And, it was one of those shows that just, it crossed the lines and across cultures, like it has a huge following in Mexico. It has a huge following in The Netherlands. It was a huge hit in Italy. It's not often that a show just transcends boundaries like that and it's a show that people like to watch with their kids. I get a lot of adults that are like, we watch it with our kids you know. Again, Nat Geo is such a brand associated with exploration, science and neuroscience and so the philosopher in me really got off on the neuroscience because it was like here's the neuroscience of perception and skewed perception and you know, all these ideas like you don't see the world as it is, you see the world as you are. Philosophical wisdom, guess what? Neuroscience agrees with that, you know. And so, the whole idea that reality is coupled to perception is something that's often spoken by psychedelic intellectuals, you know, the doors of perception. Well, it turns out neuroscience agrees with that perception. And so, what Brain Games did, is it took the philosophical intuition, the love of bumper sticker lingo, like we live inside of cultural reality tunnels and those cultural realities have this warp our world view. Well, guess what? The neuroscience agrees. Brain Games gave this scientific authority to my own philosophical musings which then informed my continuing digital videos theories because I did Brain Games for five seasons, but I continued to work on the philosophical shorts. I eventually partnered with Discovery Digital Network to do Shots of Awe as a formal YouTube channel and we did over 186 videos in the last three and a half years. If you add up across all platforms, all videos, a hundred million views, just on digital in addition to the success of Brain Games and I think it was important for me to keep doing those videos is because Brain Games was a coup, it was awesome, but I'm just the host, right. In my videos, I'm the director, I'm the narrator, I'm the supervising editor telling the editor what to do. I'm choosing the music. The cinema creator in me gets off, right. And so, finished five seasons of Brain Games and continued to build digital videos and have found myself on this speaking circuit, which I know you're very familiar with because I guess now we're living in an age where if you develop a following it must mean that you have some kind of credibility or a point of view or something to say that's worth listening to. So then, people want you at events. Come tell us your story. Come talk to us about innovation. Come talk to us about story telling, because a lotta my videos were about tech and transhumanism 'cause I love geeking out on it. Silicon Valley embraced me and then it's like, hey, Sysco, Microsoft, Oracle, Electronic Arts, come keynote at our events, Jason, and they got a coup with me because there was like oh, we have a TV personality from Brain Games and everybody knew which was great. But then, I happen to have content and a flair for talking about tech and transhumanism which is Silicon Valley lingo. So, it was like it was like a sweet spot. So, that gets us to now. Brain Games finished and then I did this new show called, Origins.
Crazy, high level production.
You saw the commercial, yeah.
Yeah, crazy high level production. I am shocked at how much they poured into that and it's a huge nod to you, to put you associated with somethin' that's so highly produced.
Yeah, I mean, what was nice about that is you know, Nat Geo is tryin' to move towards more premium content because there's so many signals competing for our attention. Everything's getting diluted. If you wanna make noise in the content space you gotta innovate. And so, what they did with Origins was they did a mash up format. So, it's definitely traditional story telling, scripted, cinematic story telling, at key transformative moments in human history. The origin of language, the origin of transportation, the origin of war, the origin of money, but those segments, those historical reproductions or recreations would be stitched together with my host the things which we called, symphonies in the show, but the basically look like the shot's evolve, but a little bit more edited. So then, I got to experience this interesting mash up of formats. Like, here was a TV show that was influenced by my web content, so in a way it was like, too good to be true. So, we just launched that actually recently and hopefully it's done pretty well.
It's beautiful. You should be super proud of it. It's gorgeous and if you haven't checked it out, I think the fact that it wrestles with big ideas and it does so in a very simple narrative like a simple arc. It's both, it feels cinematic. It feels despite being on television it feels digitally native. It's inspired by that mash up culture that we all know and love today. So, in that little, that little rant there you said like five or six things that I love and I wanna try and track back to them. One of the things is that you mentioned being a writer, a producer, a director, a host, the music supervisor, the, all of these things and to me that's another thing that as I'm putting myself in the shoes of the listener today, that that's, it both is a little bit daunting, but I'm hoping it can be more empowering, like, that you, we're all hyphens today. This idea that you're gonna go to work, you're gonna grow up, go to school, get a good job, you know, work there for 40 years, get the gold watch, that's just, that just doesn't exist anymore and the fact that, I mean people ask me how to describe myself and I'm like, ahhh.
Slashy, well it used to be model/actor. Like Zoolander we're talkin' about. No, but it is a slashy culture increasingly.
But you are living that. Is that something that you love, hate, fear? Is it an opportunity or is it a road block?
I think the only part that I don't like is the idea of using that for purposes of self-aggrandizement. Well, I'm a philosopher and a film maker and a host. I mean, I just think it sound ridiculous. I prefer saying, look, I'm a story teller and we live in a world of mixed media tools. I'm quite inspired by a lot of these single musicians now that using looping pedals and technology. Yeah, there you go. I saw this guy perform attitudearts, this 22 year old kid, British guy. I don't remember his name, but like literally, so he goes and he plays a thing on the piano and then he starts to loop and then he goes and he plays something on the drum and then starts to loop and then he goes and he plays something on the guitar and starts to loop and he starts adding some vocals and now it's like a whole band all generated by him. And then there's an algorithm that generates visuals on the screen synchronized with the music, so the guy's putting on a multi media psychedelic performance like, one guy. So, that's not to say that there isn't still a possibility of a band, of several people working together, an orchestra, great. But, for those of us that are tinkerers, you know, for like somebody like me, I love watchin' movies, but then I have a point of view and I wanna say shit and my favorite part is sitting in the editing room and picking music because I like music. So, it's like, we get to do that and I think it's great, but I think at the end of the day, what are we doing? We're making stuff. We're telling stories and I think sums up.
Simply, I think that's a beautiful bow to put on that. So, to me that's a, that's a view into lifelong learning, that the fact that we all have access to stuff we used to not have access to. Our parents had one job. We're gonna have five and/or if you're a part of the next generation you're gonna have five at the same time which is what you just described. And, to me that's inspiring and there's opportunity there and there's, the fact that there's no one path, you know, if you used to wanna be a director, you did. You grew up, you made a bunch of films and you got outta USC Film School and you did that for a buncha years and then you worked your way up the ladder, and now, you can come in, there's like 50 doors. There's the side door, you can parachute from the roof, you can dig a tunnel, you can end up doing that thing. So, one of the things that you said in addition to, as we go back to track that last arc that you were on, we've got the hyphen part. But, you also have the inspirational, the philosophical part of you, yeah, that's a big part of it and so, I was hoping that we could track a little bit of neuroscience, a little bit of your personal opinion about sort of the value and the science of creativity. That's a huge part of the show. It's the underpinning of Creative Live. Creativity is in every person, but give us a little, give us some context about your view on how to cultivate it, where it comes from, you know. Maybe you can mix opinion and neuroscience for us.
I'm an existentialist, so I'm of the opinion that the fire in the belly that existential anxiety is also what fuels our creativity. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray Love, who I kind of adore. She just published a blog, the TED blog. She was saying that creativity is like a Border Collie and it has all this energy and wants to run around and if you don't give it something to do then it's gonna do something on its own and it's not something you're gonna like. So, that same fire in the belly can turn in on itself if you don't give it an outlet. One of my favorite books, by Earnest Becker, if you've never read it I recommend it, The Denial of Death, 1974 Pulitzer Prize winning book about the human condition and it basically says that the collective anxiety, the human neurosis, the source of our despair comes this unique awareness in the animal kingdom of death, not imminent death, not immediate danger, but just the fact that one day this thing will happen, you know. So, it's like with our minds we can ponder the infinite, yet simultaneously we're housed in heart pumping and breath gasping decaying bodies. So, we're gods and worms at the same time. And, this is something and the book breaks it down. It says if you look at human history, human culture, human culture is a construct to deal with the paralysis of this unique mortality awareness. So, whether it's the first solution to the death problem, religion, oh that solves it because you don't die, you pass on and you continue to live in the kingdom of God, blah. Great, if you believe, great. The second solution to the death problem is the romantic solution. She's like the wind, she's my salvation, she's the sun. You know, the pop songs, the movies, you know, the girl and by the way, I've flirted with that one, I like that one, but that's a lotta pressure to put on a human being. Make a human into a god and no relationship can bear the burden of godhood. That's why they say don't idealize a person. You're gonna crash in the end. I don't know how I feel about that 'cause I'm a romantic, but still.
Venezuela, your Venezuelan roots.
It's built into me. But, the final one, which I think is really interesting he calls the creative solution to the problem of death. And so, that perhaps is the healthiest outlet is to become a cosmic hero, to say I'm going to do something of significance in the world. I'm gonna make a dent. I'm gonna make a mark. I'm gonna carve my name on the tree and whether that's a cathedral or a skyscraper or a jet engine that you design, or a Creative Live, I mean, it's ultimately what suffuses our lives with meaning is us deciding that we are the arbiters of meaning. We are the creators of our own meaning. We are the paint brush, but also the canvas, the whole thing. And when we do that it seems to resolve the tension inherent in being a human being and the last thought that I would leave there is, the difference between the neurotic and the artist, because they both are extremely sensitive, they both take in the world and are overwhelmed by the world, but the neurotic cannot respond and so he chokes on his introversions. Whereas, the artist takes in the world, reworks it into his art and then puts it back out again in the form of the work. And so, this to me explains it all in terms of it just makes sense, but also I can, I can relate to that as somebody that struggles with the meaning of life.
Yeah, all those things, paralysis, fear.
Fear, anxiety, all of it.
Let's talk about those things for a second. I think that's good. We got together yesterday and just sort of pre cursor to the show and I feel like the anxiety, well let's separate first of all that art and anxiety are tied. I think there's plenty of things to suggest that you just walked us down a path, but I wanna get tactical for a second because anxiety is a very real thing and it's growing in our culture. It's not getting smaller. It's either growing or the documentation around it is growing, probably both. As information is moving faster, there are more things competing for our attention, which increases the sort of yeah, the anxiety.
Multi tasking, also.
Yeah, multi tasking, these things that we were told were you know, neat and we're gonna advance our culture, I think there is an erosion of some very simple human states into anxiety. So, again there's a little bit of a hard departure from that creative line of thinking, but they're related. Tell me, what do you do? You know, we talk about we're both like running around with a lotta anxiety and what do you do? Like, let's get tactical for a second.
I always feel, I feel like the dose makes the poison. So, a little bit of anxiety I think is good. I mean, in a way we are all the descendants of the most anxious humans, the ones that were sitting around without paying attention to predators, got eaten. So, anxiety keeps us alive and a little of it acts, a little of it actually can fuel us to get outta bed in the morning. We don't wanna get to the appointment late. Like, get a move on, get things done. A little bit of hustle I think is good. I think it makes us more creative. You know, when I get on stage to give a talk I wouldn't say I get nervous anymore, but I wanna feel something. If I feel nothing that's a problem and by the way, a little bit of anxiety I think boosts performance also.
There's no question about it, science is clear.
Yeah, but I think that what happens is too much anxiety, when it becomes overactive and this could be messed up with you know, if you don't get enough sleep, if you're over stimulated, if you have too many signals competing for our attention you start to get abandoned with anxiety, if you're not getting enough time to rest. All these things make you less resourceful and if your brain is less resourceful, then it's gonna be more overwhelmed and I think that in some ways society is arranged in ways that exacerbates anxiety and we don't have best practices to implement to deal with it.
We're not trained to deal with anxiety. We're trained in so many things. We're trained in math and science and school and language and, but the fundamental ability to take care of yourself, not just the eating, sleeping, we're not really talkin' about, but specifically how to process anxiety. We don't have a culture that pays attention to meditation really. There's all these things that I feel like are, there's a ground swell and I think we might be understanding a little bit more than we have in the past.
Now people are talkin' about anxiety, about mindfulness and meditation for anxiety, but imagine you know, I think it was David Lynch, has talked about like all the experiments in schools where you teach kids how to meditate and the collective effect that it can have on their well being. I mean, I think for sure we need these tools and best practices just to kinda put into motion because I think that what happens is both exacerbated anxiety eventually re-wires the way the brain processes fear, so when you're just really anxious all the time eventually your brain gets wired for that down to be your baseline. So then you have an overactive amygdala, the fear center of the brain, and then you're just on edge all the time and then you've got, getting more cortisol in your system which makes you even more on edge and then you're not sleeping well 'cause your brain's full of cortisol. It becomes a feedback loop negatively spiraling down.
But, what do you do to deal with that? Because, no that's good. I wanna, I think it's good to talk about the neurochemistry. I think it's good to talk about the cultural. But, let's get tactical, like, how does Jason Silva deal with it?
Yeah, so you're friends with a good friend of mine, Steven Kotler, who you've had on the show and Steven Kotler, for those that don't know him and Jamie Wheeler, the co-founders of the Flow gnome project and look, yes, I've come across ideas related to meditation, ideas related to yoga. What has served me and helped me the most is any activity that puts me into a Flow state, more than a meditative state, more than a yoga state of relaxation, Flow can be anything. I mean, meditation and yoga are two Flow triggers potentially, but a Flow is a state of consciousness in which you feel your best and you perform your best. So, kind of magically you feel great and you're doing and performing in a great way.
We all know those feelings.
Athlete, chess player, a surfer, you know you. Like, you know that space.
You've felt that in your body before.
Precisely, and the acronym that these guys used to describe what happens when you're in a Flow is STEIR, selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness and informational richness. So, I would say that my art, making videos, even right now having this conversation with you, today I'm in the zone. So, the ideas are flowin'. Sometimes ourself disappears. If I started out kinda like nervous or awkward, now that I'm in the zone, my sense of self vanishes. So, I'm no longer self conscious, so that goes away, the inner critic gets quiet. The sense of time disappears. I'm no longer worried about how long, how much time am I gonna be able to say some interesting tidbits All that goes away, sense of time disappears. There's effortlessness, like the ideas just flow to mind. Comes through you but not from you, though it is with you, it belongs not to you, right. And then, that's paraphrasing Kahil Gibran, but then finally and then finally richness. I feel like I'm getting a download. I feel like my pattern recognition is increasing, my associational thinking is increasing. And so, all of these things are the hallmark of a Flow state. For me, it happens when I make my videos. Focuses me, heightens me into the zone, giving the talks puts me into a flow. But also, novel experiences, travel, when I'm riding bikes through Amsterdam I get in a Flow. When I'm on a date with a beautiful girl, eventually when I get over my nerves I get into a flow. That is the only solution that I have found that resolves the anxiety or absolves me from it, temporarily. It's an ongoing practice that you have.
What about the 3 a.m. anxiety? Because, is it very difficult to put yourself in a Flow state to get out of anxiety at 3 a.m.? It is for me. I guess I'm projecting on you, but I'm gonna assume because I don't know anybody who's like 3 a.m..
Xanax. Yeah, that's the hard part.
That crocodile brain that goes back to survival mode because that's our, what we come from. How do you manage that?
Jamie Wheal says that that's, he calls it the cul de sacs and error messages. Like, your brain, it's been for whatever reason, some thought triggers the hijacking and then you get into like OCDSesk, obsessive looping thinking that you have to break it like a hiccup. How do you fix a hiccup? With a scare. That usually is what it takes to fix it. Like, try to get outta bed and do an activity because even last night I had it. I knew it had to get up this morning. I was on west coast time so I couldn't fall asleep last night, so I'm kind of in bed and I'm like, ahhh, I wish I could fall asleep. Then, I'm anticipating being tired the next day.
When you're on a panel this morning, on a show today.
Right, the whole thing. And so, I'm in bed and I could feel my physiology was not in a restful, not resourceful state. Like, I'm in bed, I'm not feeling relaxed. I'm feeling anxious. And you can tell because you're then like, you find yourself doing those kinds of sighs, like those deep breaths and it's like, oh, shit, like this is turning into anxiety now. So, I've learned to try to ignore it in those moments, be like, don't engage, acknowledge it and then like try to go to sleep. But, in retrospect, that's when you maybe get outta bed, take a shower, take a bath, open a book and read it. What you have to do is break the loop by getting distracted for several minutes. All you really need, to be distracted for enough time that you forgot what you were thinking about and you teleport to ten minutes later and you're like, I don't know why I was so worried. I don't even remember anymore. And then, it's like, it's passed, you know. So, that's my.
No, that's great and I think and to summarize I would say that there are a number of techniques that we can all have, whether it's meditation or taking a shower, all those things, and the 3 a.m., I call 'em gremlins, those are not your friends. I think some people, they're a bunch of folks that have been on the show before, friends of mine, Tim Ferris, we talk about like that, how do you break that loop. And then, if you're a hard charging person and you've attributed that sort of neuroses in some way, shape or form, to success because it's drive, it's edge, it's all these things and then if you are able to master that, I've put years into doing it, ten minutes of meditating and when you realize that you don't have to, that it isn't the thing that gave you your edge and it was really an anchor, that to me was a big breakthrough. If I could control that 3 a.m. voice and say, wait a minute, I recognize you, I just don't need you right now. Thank you very much. Whatever the thing is so it's great to hear that you have some ways of dealing with it and Flow states for those who don't know about it and you wanna find out more you rent you the Steven Kotler and Jamie and there's other shows here, this show, you can find out about that stuff. So, dealing with anxiety, we got there from our sort of creative arc, so when we are uniquely creative relative to other species on the planet you framed it as a way to find, to sort of identify, to ground us, to create meaning. Talk to me about the creativity that exists in every person and yet, there are people who deny that and there are there's a cultural framework that suppresses creativity from a very early age. So, what are your thoughts on that?
I think that anybody has the capacity to be creative. I just think that context matters. I think that we are contextual beings. You become what you behold. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Everything we design in the world designs us in turn. Marshall McLuhan, the technology philosopher used to say we build the tools, the tools build us. So, I think for human beings if they are in an environment that doesn't stimulate creativity, that doesn't awaken a hunger or a curiosity or if you're not thrust into some radicle you might get comfortable with being in a space where you just don't feel connected to that part of yourself and eventually you just learn to suppress it. But, I think that, I think we all have a creative capacity, you know, talked about Elizabeth Gilbert again. Her whole thing is start with curiosity, right. If you don't feel like you're creative start with making a list of things that you're curious about and chase that. And, Steven Kotler has talked about like finding your passion, how people can't find your passion. He has a very simple Venn diagram and he says make a list of ten or 15 things you're curious about, at the very least. Like okay, space time, quantum physics, the metaphysics of orgasms and MDMA and then see where those things you're curious about where the overlap. Like the Venn diagram, so there must be a place where they kind of overlap thematically and where they overlap he says that's the sweet spot because there's obviously neuroscience there. There's like brain activity because multiple things you're curious about overlapping. Like, shit, dopamine's now flowing. I'm in the zone, I'm engaged, optimal arousal zone and then, he says chase that and that's probably where your passion lies, where multiple curiosities overlap. I'm sure that that which awakens passion is gonna agitate that creative drive and then he continues. He says, then find some need that can be served in the world by this newly identified passion. So then it turns passion into purpose. So, it's like a really simple little formula, but I think it's something that anybody at home can do and it's quite applicable.
I think that's the tactic that I love. Mark Cuban talks about the same thing. If you're looking at your areas of interest, follow your effort, like what are you internally motivated to apply effort towards as opposed to this like the idea of a passion and knowing what you love and there's a lot of pressure and so if you look at a list of things and you're, you feel some sort of internal pull toward those things, you start to apply effort and if you feel joy and then you follow that effort you can sort of back into the passion of it. Yeah, it's a nice little exercise. So, you also jumped ahead two or three spots in my mental map of where this conversation's going, but I'm gonna go there. The use of psychedelics to transcend the day to day, to break into some of these Flow states that we're talking about, to understand our position in the universe. You used the word, context. There's been a ton of science that's come out recently, MDMA, ecstasy, mollie, whatever you wanna, is now in stage three clinical trials to reduce, as a very effective reduction in PTSDs, not just soldiers, but in all of us. So, talk to me about your view on it, the taboo, but also the opportunity.
Well, I think it comes from an interest in peak experiences. As somebody who's not traditionally religious, I grew up in a secular household. My mom's Jewish, my dad doesn't really practice anything. But, there was a celebration of art and there was a celebration of the human spirit and there was a celebration of aesthetic experience. So, the healing capacity of art, the healing capacity of ideas, and so this generated an interest in the highest echelons of that, the north of happiness, you know, whether it's Flow states or peak experience, transcendental moments when the traditional narrative goes, you connect with something larger than yourself. It's a very real experience. I don't care how you mediate it.
For sure. If you were in a crowd of people, you're in a march.
Whatever, maybe music and I think that where mind altering compounds come into play is that they are shortcuts to an altered state of perception and sometimes that's the first thing that one needs is to be jolted out of your cognitive comfort zone, the been there's and done that's of the adult mind. Michael Pollan has written about a sense of for sight unencumbered by knowingness, like seeing the world through the eyes of a child. It's not what you know. It's not your jadedness. It's not your, seen it all before. It's like, it's that gawking astonishment, you know. And it has to do with actually hijacking attention. Like, Darwin had a great quote and I've talked about this in my videos, he said, attention if sudden and close graduates into surprise, and then that graduates into astonishment and then that graduates into stupefied amazement. But, how rare is it for your attention to be fully hijacked? You know, maybe an amazing movie when you're in an IMAX theater or oh my God, the Hubble Space Telescope, whatever it may be. But, I think that where psychodelics come in is you know, if you're suffering from anxiety and depression and your excessive rumination and self consciousness is not even letting you experience anything intensely, you're stuck in your own head, and psychodelics can break that by disrupting something called the default mode network, which is the autobiographical mind. The autobiographical mind is a way of keeping yourself separated from everything. If you disrupt that all of a sudden you can be cracked open by the world. And you know, whether it's cannibis, which can as David Lenson has written, italicized experience or aestheticized experience. Everybody knows about the pothead who smokes a joint before going to the Guggenheim Museum. I mean, it's like you want to alter perception just enough so that whatever you're exposed to. It's like hitting the sustain pedal on the piano. You know, it's the same chord, it's just now there's a sustain pedal, time dilation so it's more, it's experienced more intensely. That's just cannabis, but then things like MDMA, well, the neuroscience is astonishing. It quiets the amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain while increasing activity in the frontal cortex, which is the rational part of the brain. So, you can look at your own traumas, fears and anxieties without actually generating anxiety within your brain. It also stimulates you to increase engagement while paradoxically relaxing you. So, it puts you in the optimal arousal zone. Sasha Shulgin, who cultivated MDMA said it's perhaps the most perfect drug in the world. But, of course in raves it's adulterated with other chemicals, drug war propaganda, so there's this other idea of its danger. And then, the classic psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD, well these things induce potentially mystical experiences where you actually experience like the death of the ego and something akin to a religious revelation. Oneness, paradoxicality where multiple truths are held in mind at once, ineffability, you know something so magnificent you can't put it into language, a sense of the knowetic, that what you're seeing is like ultimate truth, a sense of transcendence of time and space. I mean, this is where you get into the realm of the sacred and but of course, there's also psychological precautions because you know that magnificent trip could go into a bad trip and I don't even wanna imagine a psychedelically adult panic attack. So, I'm not advocating like a full recreational thing. I'm saying like, highly controlled environments, highly curated spaces, trained therapists, doses to guide us, but definitely you know, I think we're seeing an acceptance of an exploration of consciousness we've never seen before. With increasing legalization.
Even weed, yeah.
Legalization of marijuana, which is a very strong mind altering substance depending on the dose. MDMA being in phase three which is the work of Rick Doblin and MAPS and that's the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies and then of course, the classic psychedelic psilocybin is being used to help people dealing with end of life anxiety. People who have cancer, have lost all hope, you know they have a chemically induced mystical experience and it cures them of their anxiety completely. That's a miracle. That's the telescope of psychiatry right there. But again, responsible, judicious, more trials, more funding and I have a passion for this you know, obviously I'm interested in mental health, but I'm also somebody who's quite familiar with anxiety. So, I think a little anxiety's good, but I've had a couple panic attacks in my life. I'm kind of a nervous guy by default and certain triggers can make me spiral. You only have to have like three or four panic attacks in your life to spend years trying to, worried about having another one, you know what I mean? And then, I've read that depression is now the world's most widespread illness. So, I think our own mind, 800,000 suicides a year, according to the United Nations.
I heard that stat the other day. It's crazy.
So, you know, stewardship of internal life is the ultimate engineering project and I think that these tools along with multiple other ones are the way forward. I've done some videos in this space lately. It's my first move towards like actual advocacy.
It's a big deal.
Yeah, man, I'm stoked.
Congratulations on leanin' into that. I love the reconciliation of, of culture, of the law structure, specifically the United States I'm talking about. There are other cultures that are more open to it, the science and the individual experience. When those things all start reconciling with one another it's, I think it's an advancement of culture. It's an advancement. Yeah, it's a game changer. So, you mentioned mental health. We've talked a little bit about anxiety. Is there any other messages or thoughts that you have about mental health that you feel like you know, it'd be worth you know just it's such a, it's so predominant in culture and yet it's still not talked about enough? So, I'd like to give it a little bit of air space here.
Well, I have a big interest in transhumanism as well.
You use different words, for just a second, to point at transhumanism. What is transhumanism?
So, transhumanism is basically a philosophy that believes that through the use of technological intervention and innovation we can transcend our limitations. We can transcend the boundaries of what it means to be human. So, the condition of what we are can be broadened.
And, I believe by the way, that meditation is a transhumanistic technology just as much as the iPhone is.
Go into that for a second. Are they using that as a tool toward mitigating mental illness?
And broadening the definition of what humans are capable of. So again, interventions like psychedelic intervention, MDMA psychotherapy, psilocybin for end of life anxiety, cannibis sometimes for people dealing with PTSD. Like, technologies of inner space are just as important as technologies of the external environment. And, there's a host of treatments and I think we should embrace all of them because I think there's really a revolution in mental health happening. But, that is the idea of taking somebody who's living with a pathological condition, a diagnosable, clinical level of anxiety or neurosis and bringing them up to baseline. But, what about the concept of making well people better? This is something that I'm also really interested in because not all of us are diagnosed with the clinical anxiety and depression. Not all of us are medicated, but that doesn't mean that we couldn't all benefit from an MDMA session with a therapist because it is my belief that all of us, even the most well adjusted, still have PTSD. I think birth probably is traumatic. It's still stored in there somewhere. I think heartbreak is traumatic. I think, you know, the death of a parent is traumatic. We learn to cope with these things, but yeah. So, even if we're "well adjusted" I still think all of us could use an intervention in there and this is where I think that mind altering substances become the blueprint of a true transhumanistic technology that essentially allows us to tweak ourselves. You know, Kotler has talked about advances in psychology, technology, neurobiology and pharmacology to again, upgrade the game for ourselves. Nootropics are part of this now and make cognitive upgrades. There's a company called Neurohacker Collective that makes amazing product called qualia. There's a philosopher called David Pearce. He wrote a thing, a treaties on the internet called the Hedonistic imperative where he talks about paradise engineering and the moral responsibility that we have to tweak our very brains to eliminate human suffering, as like the default. He wants to basically transcend our Darwinian brains and make ourselves something more exquisite. And so, I'm all about like probing and exploring that.
I think that in many ways that's part of what Buddhism is trying to end the suffering and you can get there, drugs are one way, practice is another way and suffering is optional. I think its, what is it, we will experience it, but it's sort of at what level, what depth. When you, so, you've just dropped a bunch of good names and we've mentioned a couple of great books. So, let's try and like just do a brief little touch base, or read that one, some of the stuff that you've, you like. Some books, some films, some names.
Definitely. Okay, so books. If you're interested in technology and its relation to the human condition Erik Davis, Erik with a K, wrote a book called, Technosis, Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information. This is a book about how underneath these supposedly scientific rational techno sphere the human existential anxieties and yearnings and wishes are underneath. We want technology to save us. We want technology to fix everything. Like, there's the spirit and the techno sphere are intimately related and he talks about that and he's a beautiful writer. So, Erik Davis' Technosis. Ray Kurzweil's Singularity is Near is just kind of a Silicon Valley Bible of humans transcending biology.
He's been very, very accurate in his predictions. If you know anything about Ray, I've talked to Ray about creativity, it's stuff is really, really so smart. The short version on that, why don't you just explain the similarity.
Yeah, basically the Singularity is a metaphor borrowed from physics to describe what happens when you go through a black hole, the laws of physics no longer apply. They've taken that metaphor and used it to describe the rise of information technology in our lives. So, artificial intelligence, biotech and reprogrammable biology and then, nanotechnology which is like programmable matter of the level of the atoms.
Atoms can go into your body. You know, you send an atom in your blood stream, it goes around and eats the cancer. These things are not far away.
Well, they're all advancing exponentially, these three fields and they're kind of overlapping. And so, the idea is in the next 25 years we can't really conceive of what's to come. It's like trying to explain to a chimp the nuances of Shakespeare. Like, a chimp is bright, but when you start talking about poetry to it, it's just gonna look at you like you're crazy and we're kind of in that position now, 'cause we don't have the wetware to conceive of what's to come when we're augmented a billionfold by AI, for example.
Yeah, and maybe one simple example was the human gnome product where Kurzweil is saying we're gonna map this and they started on this endeavor to map our DNA and then they said we're gonna do it in the next seven years and after the first year they're less than one percent of the way through, second year they're at one percent of the way through. All the critics say you guys are never gonna get there. Third year, and what happens is there's an accelerating rate of return as you go up the curve and then six years in they're half way there and sure as shit, they figure it out by year seven. So, there's this curve that you can't actually know what's going to happen until it happens, but the curve, it turns out, is mappable. You can look backwards and say, there's so many sorts of technologies to the bell on this curve and we need to start thinking about our application of that curve to the future. So, what's it gonna be like in 20 years? It's gonna be something we can't even imagine.
Well yeah, I mean, Kurzweil will say something like, if you take 30 steps like linearly, like one two three four five, you get to 30. But, if you take those same 30 steps exponentially, like two four sixteen and then 27, 30, like up to a billion. So, in the same amount of steps, the difference between exponential growth and linear growth. Either 30 steps gets you to 30 or 30 steps gets you to a billion. When you start thinking like that, then you come to understand how a super computer that was half a building in size and $16 million 40 years ago, shrank down to a device in your pocket. A million times cheaper, a million times smaller, a thousand times more powerful, that's exponential growth. So, apply that to everything.
To everything, to me that's a beautiful metaphor. So, you got Kurzweil, Singularity, the second book. Another one?
And then, yeah I always tell people, The Denial of Death, by Earnest Becker, if they kinda wanna really understand the human condition in all its naked glory. Those three books are powerful. Oh, there's a book I read recently called, Therapy With Substance. It's kind of a play on words there. It's about psychedelic therapies with substances, Therapy With Substance, really good book about a lotta the science of psycholeptic therapy.
Wow, I've heard some big words in this session here. What's next, what are you thinkin' about?
What's next? So, having finished Origins and having a little bit of a break in speaking for a few weeks this summer.
A break, a few weeks. I'm talking about the last 15 years.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think I'm excited for the unknown unknown and it's because I can think of, the things that I can think about they're pretty easy. Like, I wanna make more videos on these topics and I wanna raise the production value on these videos and maybe I wanna align with a brand to do some cool branded content story telling that I can still own the creative on. All these like practical things, but the unknown unknown is I'm excited to be surprised by the eruption of some vision of what I wanna do that I can't imagine yet.
Wow, that's heavy. So, what's the day to day lookin' like for you? I think this is, I wanna get tactical again for a second. I can see where you're goin', you're in a good spot and I think there's a lotta folks who would say, okay I don't know what I want for myself, but I know it's out there and so, are there some habits, I'm a big habit guy and I learned this in a sense to deal with my own anxiety and fuel, or desire for performance. Looking back, I figured out that, you know it took me a couple years, that's there's basically 10 habits. If I do these 10 habits there isn't a way such that I can't be my best self. It's meditation, eating and sleeping and you know, there's a whole list of things. So, it's a very tactical, I can't experience, I don't have an experience of doing these things and not being stoked. What are your daily habits?
The most important one is sleep and Tim Ferriss told me like 80% of anxiety management is sleep and exercise, cardiovascular exercise, I think he also said. And so, I think that like a healthy lifestyle that allows you to like sweat, like get your heart pumping like every day and you know, even for 20 minutes is already gonna dissipate anxiety inducing chemicals and flood you with pleasure chemicals. So yeah, exercise and sleep. Sleep is huge for me because if I don't get enough rest I actually feel like I can't function. I don't wanna say I get depressed, but I get like frustrated and angry and moody and pissed off all around. So, sleep is huge.
So, what is a sleep trick for you? Like, do you have some sleep tricks?
Yeah, so I need a couple hours to unwind, especially because my world requires me to be on and engaged and I kinda like being on and engaged, but that needs to end by a certain time of the day and I need like dinner. I need a couple hours to unwind and you know, dinner, shower, get into bed with a book or watch a movie, like no more phone, like a few hours for the nervous system to fully calm down so it's not like busy makin' moves any more, lose myself in the story. Films relax me a lot. And, it makes it a little hard when I have evening activities because if I go to dinner with you it's gonna be harder to fall asleep because we're gonna be talkin' the whole dinner. I'm gonna be like, buzzing, you know. So, I, sometimes it requires I think a little bit of a circumscribed life, kinda like an athlete. Like, I really have to compartmentalize. Okay, I'm gonna go on a date with a girl. We're gonna go on a date at seven, so we're done by nine. I always have to incorporate my sleep into it.
But, that's knowing thyself, right? It's a very powerful tool.
Yeah, at the expense of comin' across like a weirdo that overthinks these things 'cause not everybody thinks about these things. There's a lotta people that just seemingly go through their lives without taking into account that how they feel is probably mediated by their sleep.
Like, they're in control.
Yeah. I do like coffee in the morning. I think it's a great performance enhancing drug. I usually have a double or a triple espresso in the mornings, every morning, but not nothing past 12. That's it. I try to build novelty into my life so, I like to have days where I'm gonna go somewhere I've never been, go to a park with a friend, go to see a film, go to a museum exhibit, just something where I can have the unknown unknown. I want to collide against an unexpected idea or unexpected reference, something that will trigger a host of associations in my head like a domino effect, then may turn into a book obsession, or turns into something that I can Google for five hours. You have to put yourself in situations outside of your typical routine for that to happen.
Intentionally, yeah. So, like intentional, intentionally putting myself in an unfamiliar space like that is very important to me. The other routine I guess is, I do a lotta Facebook Live as a kind of exercise in free association. You probably get a lotta that with this show where it's like you probably think a little bit about what you're gonna talk about, you're in the zone.
Yeah, very focused.
You're trusting improvisation, right. Improvisation's a great tool to mitigate anxiety because anxiety comes from over thinking and when you're in the zone and you just gotta perform, you all of a sudden find yourself free of that inner critic. And, if I don't have this context or speech or show, like if I'm just doin' my own thing, Facebook Live has been fantastic because your immediate button with your audience, immediate feedback from all the activities that they're sending you and you're, you don't really know where you're going and it just kinda forces you like hosting a radio show, yeah. And, just doing that you typically feel better afterwards because it's a creative act that doesn't require a lotta planning, but I was just creative for 15 minutes. That's another one of my typical routines. Yeah, I keep a note pad, a digital note pad on my phone. It was inspired by, did you ever read Steven Johnson's book, Where Good Ideas Come From?
Fantastic book, about innovation and he talks about how British gentlemen learning back in the day used to keep what's called a commonplace book. So, a commonplace book was like a journal where they had quotes and they transcribed passages from books and they wrote down little ideas and musings and hunches and then, it becomes like a paper trail of where your mind's been and each of those things spirals into a million associations.
Is that a daily habit?
To review and go through it, yeah. To go through different texts and subjects. I have like several notes to myself and I'll go through them and I'll add stuff and I'll have lists.
Is there a particular software you use to do that or just do it with notes?
Notes apps, okay.
But, people use like Evernote. Yeah, I would say that those are the ones I can come up with right off the bat. I need meditation. I don't have a meditation practice, like a traditional one.
If, well we talked about Tim and his last book, Tools for Titans, of the 200 interviews it was the most common thread of all the guests is that there was some sort of mindfulness or awareness practice and it was a game changer for me as I said earlier. I use that as a, for a long time if I'm so chilled out, it's like my agro, like God of Perfectionist hard driving self is what created all, you know any of the success that I had and I was reluctant to approach it. I tried several different types. Feel like, oh it's not just me. I had had some experience with meditation and visualization in particular around sports of enhancing performance. I was on the Olympic Development Soccer Team and we had some coaching around that. That was, that was my first like, wait a minute. I had some very powerful experiences doing that and that clued me on to the, some work on the mental side, would be a huge advantage. For me, I realized once I found TM, I don't wanna be prescriptive about meditation, but once I found TM it was so easy that a fool could do it because it's just saying a word over and over. Imagine David Lynch during this conversation. I'm a huge proponent of it and I realized that that anxiety or that edge that I thought was the driver was actually an anchor and when I was able to let go of that, it was transcended to me, so this is.
That's wonderful to hear you say that. It makes me wanna learn that. When you said creative visualization, I think that that's something that I think I do, but when I do it I don't think of it as a meditation. Maybe it is because my mom, she's a teacher, she always used to do creative visualization in the classroom with her students and a lot of times I don't script my speeches, but I get up on the stage and talk for 30, 40 minutes. Usually what I'll do I'll go over the first five to ten minutes of things I wanna talk about in my head. But not like reciting a memorized thing, just going, I see myself up on stage going through the story. Usually will do it like once and doing that, then when I get to the stage it's almost like I have a teleprompter in my mind in a weird way. So, maybe that's some form of it.
Yeah, I'm sure it is. To me, the more senses also that I was able to incorporate. So, I'll visualize, I'll just use the soccer example. You see the same thing, like see yourself on the field performing at a really high level. I started incorporating the smell of the grass, the feel of bumping into other people, sweat running down your brow, like these little details and it was next level. And so, I started using the power of the mind to unlock these other aspects of performance whether, in that case it was physical, but here in mental or creative or even in entrepreneurial. I can tell you what I think the outcomes around creative lives X and Y, these different issues because I've spent a lotta time thinking about them in my own head in blissful, positive ways. It's different than TM. That's visualization. I use TM to be that quiet sort of centering practice.
Maybe that's the one I need to unwind with.
Yeah, it's very, I do it in the morning and the evening. I don't wanna be prescriptive. I just recommend some sorta practice. For me, this was drop dead simple. Everything else had some like, level of complication that I became ultimately uncomfortable with. This is crazy simple.
How many minutes?
They ask or they recommend to do 20, morning and evening. But yeah, you say oof, exactly but I won't leave the house, it's like brushing my teeth now. It's like, I'll call in, you know, sorry I'm gonna be 15 minutes late and I'll go give 10 to 15 minutes. So, I think the shortcut is 10 minutes.
But, you have to be, you have to do only, like, it's not like when you wake up in the morning before getting outta bed and you just stay with your eyes closed for 20 minutes.
I like to get up and then you know, get some water and then meditate. I do like to do it in the morning before there's any inbound stimulus. The afternoon one is also really hard. I would say I probably bat 600, so six outta 10 days I'm able to get the afternoon one in and it's rarely 20 minutes, but it's sorta like do what you can with what you have. Today I was thinkin' like where am I gonna get my meditation? Oh great, I'll get it on the flight from New York to Seattle. It's easy to get 20 minutes on a flight that's five hours long. So, give it a shot.
I will, thank you.
Yeah, it's powerful medicine. We covered a really broad range. I love that. To me that's part of what makes a great successful show. It's really important to me that we leave every show, this is something I try and cultivate sometimes exclusively like I'm about to do with you, sometimes more implicitly, but something that you haven't shared out there before that is unique to our experience here on this show, something that you have, people would be surprised to know about you. Can you think for just a second on that 'cause I know you're a very public person. But, maybe people didn't know. Like how you're this wildly successful television host, but you work really hard at dealing with your anxiety. That's, I feel like that qualifies, but is there anything else that's you know, both wildly, you know wildly scary and vulnerable or totally you know cool and crazy that they didn't know that you gotta gold medal in jujitsu or something like that. Anything like that that you could share? Not really.
I mean, I feel like I'm really open in a lotta my videos, but I think that most people probably don't know that I'm very introverted. I get a lot of attention fatigue from being in a social situation which means it's a finite amount of time that I can do it before I feel really, really drained and when I'm drained and I'm still forced to be in the situations I start getting really anxious because I don't always know how to get out of those situations. So, having to learn to say no. I'm extremely empathetic. I can feel the pull of people, I can feel the longing of somebody in a discussion when somebody wants your attention and it causes me sometimes stress and anxiety. So, that's a thing. I'm also shy. My disposition is actually timid and I think that a lot of artists are and we, everything I've done has been subverting an obstacle, from overcoming shyness to be able to be social, to overcoming you know, getting on stage in front of thousands of people when I'm, my default is self conscious. My default is I think too much sometimes about the wrong things. And, I have been a worrier my whole life which is a problem. I'm kind of a hypochondriac, you know. I'm like, I don't wanna like get an injury, you know. Like, my brother sky dives all the time and I worry about the one percent chance that the parachute doesn't open instead of assuming, oh my God, it's so safe. I'm like yeah, but what if.
It's like air flight. It's like I know people that have fear of flying.
I don't like turbulence. I worry about the maintenance workers' attitude that morning when he was fixing the thing. I worry if the pilot drank the night before. Anytime I'm not in control and I have to depend on others I need to be rested so that I can harness the resources to calm myself down.
Thank you for sharing, man. That's super impressive and you took us on a tour of the body, the mind, of psychology, neurology and thank you for leaving so many. The paper trail is long, I've got a lotta work to do.
Lotta cool references. Yeah, thank you, thank you for having me, dude. What a pleasure.
Thank you, thank you.
All right, that's it. I'll probably see you again next week. In the meantime, oh, how do people track you down?
Oh yeah, at Jason Silva on Twitter and then my public Facebook page is just probably the rest. You just search Jason Silva. It's the one with the little check mark. Hit follow or like or whatever. That's where I'm getting the most community building right now. The video, the engagement, the Facebook Live, Instagram I'm @jasonlsilva, and the YouTube channel is Shots of Awe, but definitely Facebook. I'll see you guys.
See you next week.