SuperPsyched is a podcast dedicated to supercharging your life with Super Psychology Education. Each episode contains fun, fascinating, high-quality psychological content gained from interviewing top experts inside and outside the field of psychology. SuperPsyched will shed a light on fostering ideas and behaviors that you want to have more of in your life as well as gentle warnings to help you avoid those that you don’t. See you there!
I love it when I meet someone who positively changes my view of the world. One of those people is the guest on this episode, Blake Leeper. Blake was born without legs. And he would go on to play sports of all kinds—baseball, basketball, and he would ultimately become one of the world’s fastest runners. How fast? So fast that several of Blake’s 400-meter runs have been among the fastest ever recorded!
Blake has experienced adversity of all types including those far beyond the physical. And he consistently responds to adversity with wisdom, determination, clarity, and positivity. Blake shines brilliantly as a role model of how a person can respond to life’s challenges.
So, listen in, as Blake explains what he means when he says, “My Adversity is My Advantage.”
For many of us, a peculiar aspect of being human is the erroneous belief that we are exempt from certain rules of life. One of those rules is aging. So here’s my confession about how I thought I was exempt: it took me forever to accept the fact that I needed reading glasses. Somehow, I believed my eyes were meant to remain the eyes of a teenager and every time I’d ask to borrow some readers, my wife would lovingly remind me to embrace reality and carry glasses.
My guest, Dr. Jerrold Shapiro (https://jerroldleeshapiro.com/), is a psychologist, author, and professor of psychology at Santa Clara University. He has written extensively about existential psychology, fatherhood, group therapy, and couples therapy. He has been interviewed on multiple media outlets including the Oprah Winfrey Show. And without a question, Jerry is one of the most beloved professors I have ever known and with good reason: he is supremely knowledgeable and relates his knowledge with massive doses of levity, relatability, and kindness as you will hear in this interview. His latest book, Finding Meaning, Facing Fears, explores how to feel empowered around aging and has been described as “a must-read for everyone beyond the age of 45.”
So, listen in as Jerry and I talk about finding meaning as we age.
I’m guessing that, like me, you have a Netflix account. And, like me, you may have wondered, how does it know what I will like? With more than 200 million households and over half a billion viewers in 190 countries, Netflix has become an international phenomenon. Part of the company's success has been its ability to advise us on what we will like by suggesting titles. And in this interview, you’ll hear that the company scraps traditional marketing and demographic information when making its predictions of what we will like. Instead, the company uses sophisticated, objective measures to determine what it will suggest and it doesn’t factor our age, gender or other typically-used data when rendering its recommendations.
And someone who knows how Netflix does what it does is the company’s Vice President of Product, Todd Yellin. Todd has played a significant role in Netflix’s success for the past 15 years and was part of the team that created the original algorithms to predict how we will rate a title we haven’t ever seen. Todd is one of the most compelling people I have known. In addition to being an executive, Todd is a great storyteller and filmmaker. As a cinephile and TV geek who is fascinated by how people make decisions, I found talking with Todd and getting to know how Netflix operates to be a total delight.
So, listen in as Todd and I talk about how Netflix helps us decide.
The month of May was the one-year mark for SuperPsyched! I thought I would honor this anniversary with a short, behind-the-scenes look at SuperPsyched so far. In this 9-minute episode, I talk about how the podcast started, what goes into creating an episode, and other questions I am frequently asked.
Thank you so much for listening, I am positively SuperPsyched to continue making episodes for you.
What is real magic?
My guest’s story starts with Jim, a boy who loved magic tricks. Jim was from a small town and poor. His family life was challenging. One day, he went to a local magic shop in search of new tricks. Upon entering, Jim was greeted by the mother of the owner who offered to teach him real magic in addition to the tricks that were being sold there. This real magic came in the form of various exercises in meditation, self-compassion, and visualizations about a future that he began to imagine.
My guest, Dr. James Doty, has done a lot with his life since he left his small town! He is a highly-regarded neurosurgeon. He is also the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition, he’s the author of a beloved book called, Into the Magic Shop, that describes an extraordinary story featuring his humble past, his relationship with his mentor, Ruth, and the exercises she taught him that played a huge part in catapulting him huge to success.
I loved Jim’s book and I’m not alone. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama said, “This book tells the remarkable story of a neurosurgeon's quest to unravel the mystery of the link between our brains and our hearts.”
So, listen in as Jim and I talk about the real magic of compassion, near death experiences, visualizing, and unraveling the mystery between our brains and hearts.
I'm going to take a guess: you are probably like me and love coffee. This wasn't a huge stretch on my part because you are listening to this episode!
Coffee has been a major industry for hundreds of years. And it has contributed to cultural, philosophical, and technological changes as you will hear in this episode.
I am so delighted to have Dr. Shawn Steiman as a guest. Shawn holds a PhD in horticulture from the University of Hawaii and virtually all of his classes pertained to the cultivation of coffee. So, as verified by Shawn, he basically has a doctorate in coffee. He is also the sole author on three books about coffee and the co-author of a comprehensive book on coffee that is called, Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry.
I learned a lot and you will too, about a favorite hot beverage and how it changed the world. Listen in as Shawn and I geek out on coffee and look at it from every fascinating direction imaginable.
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, at least two out of three Americans either are not engaged or are actively disengaged from their work. This is a big deal—especially because, for many of us, work comprises approximately a third of our waking hours. Imagine feeling disconnected and unfulfilled by something you spend one-third of your waking hours on! In fact, I’m sure it's a reality for a large portion of my listeners, so I believe this episode may be helpful.
This topic is also a very personal issue to me. Many of you know I am a latecomer to my dream job as a psychologist. I spent nearly two decades in jobs that were not my life’s work before engaging in a risky move to change careers. I am so happy I did. It is my hope that this episode will encourage you either to find more meaning in your current work or to consider looking for work you love.
My guest on this episode has spent more than 10,000 hours coaching people; a very large portion of which has been assisting people with their careers. Mary Beth Shewan, MS, MCC (https://wholelifecoaching.com/) is an internationally renowned coach and the creator of a program called Invent Your Own Career. We discuss the common themes and struggles around careers as well as how to increase the likelihood of feeling fulfilled in this important area of life.
So, listen in as Mary Beth and I have a lively and information-packed conversation on Fulfilment at Work.
Failure. I think it's safe to say that virtually all of us hate it. And yet, it appears to be the price of admission to doing just about anything great.
The road from having an idea all the way to having a fantastic result is rarely a smooth one. Ask any super successful person about their failures and struggles along the way and, if they’re forthcoming, I am confident they will have stories for you! The great author who was rejected by dozens of publishers before finding someone to take her on. The singer who’s told he has no talent only to become a music star later in life. I imagine you’ve heard stories like these, but do you let them into your heart to inspire you to tolerate your own frustration and failure?
I'm delighted that Dr. Luke Reynolds (https://lukewreynolds.com/) is joining us for this episode. Luke is a professor of Education at Endicott College. He is also the author of several books including Fantastic Failures: True Stories of People Who Changed the World Falling Down First.
Luke is no stranger to frustration and failure, and he describes many of his own as well as some of the failures of the biggest stars on the planet.
So, put on your seat belt and listen in to this lively and inspiring conversation about befriending frustration and failure!
What does it take for a company to thrive? I know this is a broad question but, up until recently, if you had said increasing safety, compassion, and mindfulness in the workplace, you might have been laughed out of the room.
Fortunately, there has been growing evidence that these are characteristics of great companies that achieve growth, reduced attrition, and increased engagement from their employees.
The guest on this episode knows a lot about how to improve a company’s success through these measures. Scott Shute is an engineer by training who has worked at the executive level at top companies including LinkedIn where he has been employed as both the VP of Global Operations as well as his current role as the Head of Mindfulness and Compassion Programs. Scott has also written a superb new book that will soon hit the market both in print and in audio called The Full Body Yes. I enjoyed it thoroughly! Scott brilliantly combines the science of happiness and achievement with real stories from his work life and his personal life. The wisdom found on the pages of this book can easily improve one’s life at work and at home and I'm grateful to Scott for having written it.
So, listen in as Scott and I have an engaging and user-friendly conversation about LinkedIn, mindfulness and compassion programs, and his great book The Full Body Yes.
As parents we are tasked with many responsibilities: from the basics of making sure our child is fed all the way up to thinking about their distant future. But the linchpin that connects much of our child's future success is the topic of today's interview: being well-organized.
As it turns out, a child's ability to be organized may predict all kinds of good things including future success, self-regulation, confidence, and even generosity. Thankfully, my guest reveals that getting our children more organized is easier than we might believe.
Dr. Damon Korb (www.devminds.com) is a practicing developmental and behavioral pediatrician and founder of the Center for Developing Minds in Los Gatos, CA. Dr. Korb is president of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and an adjunct clinical instructor at Stanford University Medical Center. He
has written an outstanding, user-friendly book called Raising an Organized Child (https://amzn.to/393VQkZ). I loved the book and I am not alone. Publisher’s Weekly notes that it is a “supportive guide that parents and children alike can profit from as they grow together."
If you have children this episode is a must! Please, listen in as Damon and I talk about raising an organized child.
Dr. Edith Eger is one of the most impressive people I have ever met. Edie was born in 1927 in Hungary. In her teens, she was an Olympic-level gymnast but, because she was Jewish, was not allowed to participate on the Olympic team. Shortly after, she and her family were sent by cattle train to the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. In addition to losing her mother and her father there, she endured a version of hell that few of us could ever know.
Nearly 15,000 Jews from her town were killed in the Holocaust; Edie was one of just 70 to survive. Afterward, she made it her mission to live life with an open heart. She moved to the United States with her husband, raised three children, and worked first as a factory worker and later as a teacher. And then, with the encouragement of Dr. Viktor Fankl, a fellow Auschwitz survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, she earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at 50 years of age and became a licensed psychologist.
She is the author of two bestselling books, The Choice and The Gift, and both chronicle her experiences at Auschwitz, her life afterward, and her work as a psychologist. I consider them two of the finest books I have read, and I am hardly alone. The New York Times Book Review writes, “I can’t imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger’s book is a triumph, and should be read by all who care about both their inner freedom and the future of humanity.”
Sadly, the people who survived the Holocaust are dying and their voices become scarcer by the day. This makes this episode all the more precious. It is my sincerest hope that you will be as positively affected by Edie as I have been.
And do you remember how I mentioned that Edie was an Olympic-level gymnast? Neither Auschwitz nor age has been able to take that away from her and, to this day at an age north of 90 years old, she concludes all of her presentations and public talks with a kick.
Each of us is unique; there has never been anyone exactly like us and there never will be again. One of the greatest risks we face in life is living day-to-day without any reflection on who we are, what we've done, where we've been, and what really matters to us.
Enter Guided Autobiography, a brilliant system of capturing who you are. Guided Autobiography was developed by USC Professor James Birren and is described as a system that captures our lives through writing, sharing, and preserving life stories and experiences.
Today’s guest, Dr. Bonnie Bernell, is a psychologist, author, professor, and she is 2019’s Recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology Award from the California Psychological Association. Bonnie is also a seasoned Guided Autobiography facilitator. Through this approach, she has midwived stories and unexpected and unclaimed parts of people’s lives that might have gone undiscovered without this powerful tool. Bonnie’s forthcoming book, co-written with Dr. Cheryl Svensson, is called Treasures that Matter, and it uses the Guided Autobiography protocol and is addressed to the psychologically curious person around aging.
On a personal note, and as you will learn in this interview, Bonnie has been a dear friend and one of my most important mentors. You will be learning from someone I consider a true master.
So, listen in as Bonnie and I have a lively and user-friendly conversation about Guided Autobiography, and I expect it will enrich your lives.
We like to think of ourselves as good people. When we see or hear about injustices, most of us think we would do the right thing whether it would be defying authority in order to help people or by demonstrating courage under challenging circumstances.
And yet, studies and history reveal that we often do nothing, conform with brutality, or comply with authority. It appears that the line between doing good versus doing evil may be thinner than any of us would prefer to imagine. My guest, Dr. Philip Zimbardo has taught psychology at Stanford University for over 50 years and was the author and lead researcher of the internationally famous Stanford Prison Experiment. The results of the study, which is now a landmark in social psychology, suggest that otherwise psychologically healthy people can behave badly under the right circumstances.
Dr. Zimbardo has done deep research into the evil humans can perform and, more recently, he has done a 180 and become an important voice in studying its opposite: heroism. His Heroic Imagination Project (www.heroicimagination.org) uses scientific research to teach us to harness our abilities to act heroically and override any innate biases that might cause us to conform or to be bystanders rather than upstanders. The program has garnered tremendous praise and has been implemented into training programs at police departments, public schools, and other organizations.
So, listen in, as Dr. Zimbardo and I discuss the good and evil that humans are capable of doing and how to call upon our better selves under stress.
We hear a lot about ADHD these days. And yet, there are misconceptions about what it actually is and what a person can do if they are diagnosed with the condition. What may surprise people is that there can be many great gifts that often accompany ADHD.
My guest, Dr. Lara Honos-Webb (www.addisagift.com), is a psychologist in private practice in Walnut Creek, CA, and she specializes in the study and treatment of ADHD in both adults and children. She has written many highly-acclaimed books about ADHD. The School Library Journal said that her work provides a “clear and stimulating guide for teens to sharpen their ability to control their thoughts and actions.”
I am a fan of Lara and I just listened to the audio version of her book called Brain Hacks. I found it to be a superb compendium of easy-to-implement tips on boosting any person's brain whether ADHD is in the mix or not.
In this interview, Lara goes into depth about what a person can do if they or someone they love has an ADHD diagnosis. I am so grateful to Lara for her work and for joining me on this interview, and I am confident you will learn a lot from her as she shares her incredible gems.
All of us live with what could be described as treasure chests of genius just waiting to be discovered. The question is how can you find those treasures?
My guest, Michael Gelb is one of the world’s leading authorities on the application of genius thinking and could be considered the Indiana Jones of finding people’s treasures. And, as you’ll hear, he has done so much in his life! He once taught Mick Jagger to juggle. You’ll also hear how to discover the gifts that can make your life truly vital and full of delight. Michael is the author of 17 books including, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, a book that provides superb prompts to find your genius and ideas for being creative like Da Vinci.
I have been a fan of Michael’s work for well over a decade and have read many of his books. His real-world solutions have helped me immensely. In this episode, you’ll receive great tips from a true master of tapping into your unique treasures.
So, listen in as Michael and I have a user-friendly discussion about finding your hidden genius.
Our decisions are one of the biggest factors determining the quality of our lives. We make as many as 35,000 decisions every day; most are small, like “When will I get out of bed?” and some can be big like “Who will I marry or where will I go to college?” And when you think about it, every decision we make is essentially a bet: it is a bet that we will be happy we made that decision.
And yet, as humans, we have many biases that may inhibit good decision making. For example, shocking as this may sound, we tend to change facts in order to accommodate our beliefs when it should be the opposite: we actually need to be able to change our beliefs in order to accommodate new facts. Making matters worse, we generally don't have good systems in place to analyze our decisions to get better at making similar decisions next time.
My guest on this episode is a true expert when it comes to decision making. Annie Duke has nearly finished her doctorate in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania but it gets way more interesting. She has also made high stakes decisions for many years as one of the most successful professional female poker players of all time. She has also authored several bestselling books including, Thinking in Bets, which has been hailed by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and by luminaries in business like Marc Andreessen.
Annie provides keen and actionable insights into how we are blind to our decision-making processes and real-world solutions to improving this crucial skill.
So, listen in as Annie and I have a conversation about thinking in bets.
What does it take to create success on your own terms? I know that’s a massive question.
We all recognize predictable skills to increase the likelihood of that success like clarity, discipline, habits, mindset, and navigating relationships. Yet, there can be a chasm between what we know intellectually and what we put into regular practice.
I had the pleasure of speaking with, Shellye Archambeau, an exemplar of excellence who has lived the best practices of leadership as a CEO, senior executive, and board member at multiple high profile high-tech companies. Shellye was named the second most influential African American in IT by Business Insider magazine and she is the author of a book that serves as a roadmap to successful leadership. The book is called Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms, and it was named a Best Business Book of 2020 by both Fortune and Bloomberg. Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Ben Horrowitz, said of her book, “If your goal is to be a truly great leader of men and women, you have found your guide."
I agree so much so that I have read this book several times. I find Shellye’s wisdom, humanity, and ability to convey her world-class experience in an actionable fashion, simply phenomenal. Among the elements of success unpacked are the importance of mentorship and finding your cheerleaders. Shellye’s voice is so strong and clear that, as I read her book, I felt her becoming both a mentor and a cheerleader to me!
So, join Shellye and me as we have a lively and informative discussion about how to create success on your own terms.
Our education system provides many incredible resources and yet, there is no class on how to be in a relationship. And, when we think about all of what life has to offer, the quality of our relationships repeatedly shows up as one of the most important. I would like to petition that the class exist and, if there were such a class, I would nominate this episode’s guest to be one of the instructors!
Padma Gordon (www.padmagordon.com) has written an outstanding book that serves as a roadmap of highly implementable skills to improve your chances of having a great relationship. Her book, Being Together: Practical Wisdom for Loving Yourself and Your Partner, is now available in print and on audio. It has a five-star average on Amazon and, New York Times bestselling author, Marci Shimoff whose expertise includes relationships said of Padma’s book, “I’m grateful to gain a new perspective and tools, and to be gently reminded about how to be fully present for myself and my partner.”
I loved my conversation with Padma, I learned a lot, and I'm confident you will too.
So, listen in as Padma and I have a user-friendly and lively talk about the roadmap for a healthy relationship.
To put it mildly, 2020 has been a challenging year. I decided the best way for SuperPsyched to cap it was with the sweetest invention known to humanity: ice cream!
Ice cream could practically be considered a psychoactive substance: it’s been used by the military to soothe soldiers after trauma and, of course, it has been a tried-and-true post-breakup remedy for many broken hearts.
The best person to walk us through the psychological and sociological factors of this frozen treat is Amy Ettinger (http://amyettinger.com/). Amy is a journalist and the author of a book called The Sweet Spot. The Wall Street Journal called her book, “A surprisingly serious, impressively thorough treatment of ice cream’s cultural significance, fabrication, economics and history, not to mention its effect on human brain chemistry.”
As for me, I enjoyed the book so much that I listened to it twice and I loved the conversation I had on this episode with Amy. If you like ice cream, I am confident you will too!
So listen in as Amy and I have a lively and informative talk about your brain on ice cream.
Regardless of our political leanings, I think we can all agree on at least one thing: we are living in polarized times. Many people are avoiding friends and family and even losing those relationships due to political leanings.
Which leaves us with a big question: what can we do?
Enter the great Dr. Tania Israel (http://taniaisrael.com/)! Tania is an exceptionally well-regarded professor of psychology at UC Santa Barbara and the author of a timely book called “Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work.” The book has received huge amounts of praise from the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the American Psychological Association has put it in its LifeTools Series.
Tania provides much needed levity as well as serious structure for this heavy topic throughout the book and our interview. I love her brilliant roadmap for conversation in what she calls The Flowchart That Will End All Political Conflict in Our Country (you can find the link for it at the bottom of the shownotes).
In the meantime, listen in as Tania shares her wisdom and practical tools to help you connect with people who think outside your bubble.
Dr. Tania Israel, who has asked me to call her Tania, welcome to SuperPsyched!
I’m a happiness geek and by that, I mean I’m obsessed with research and lifehacks that help increase happiness. Even the name of my podcast, SuperPsyched, is an outshoot of that obsession.
And that's where today's guest comes in! I am delighted to introduce transformational teacher and happiness expert, Marci Shimoff (https://happyfornoreason.com/about-marci/). Marci is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of multiple books. In fact, at one point, she had three books in the top-5 of the New York Times Bestsellers list. Marci’s books have sold over 13 million copies including a wonderful book called Happy for No Reason.
Marianne Williamson describes Marci as “one of the most compelling people I've ever known,” and I agree. I could have talked with her for hours. Marci is the real deal, and she does the work. Marci has personally tested and implemented habits that have increased her happiness and I believe you can do the same. She shares several of those habits including a new favorite of mine called “The Appreciation Game.”
So, listen in as Marci and I engage in a lively discussion about happiness habits.
Many years ago, I served on a jury. I was transfixed by how smoothly the court operated. Every person involved appeared to be at the top of their game. However, most impressive to me was the judge. As a student of how people think, I couldn't believe how quickly and precisely the judge was able to render complex decisions. I was also awestruck by the incredible presence and attention the job requires for long periods of time. To this day, I consider the cognitive skills required for a judge to be a superpower.
So, dear listener, I felt compelled to interview a judge to learn more about how they think. And you are about to listen to a true great!
The Honorable Judge Julia Alloggiamento has served on the Bench for nearly a decade after she was elected in 2010 and was sworn in to Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2011. She has presided over misdemeanors, drug treatment court, and felony criminal trials.
In addition to being an extremely learned and thoughtful person, Julia strikes me as an exemplar of humility, kindness, and integrity.
So, listen in as Julia and I explore what it takes to be a judge and how a judge thinks.
Have you ever met a true Renaissance person? I mean someone who engages in so many diverse and creative projects that it boggles your mind?
For me, Hershey Felder (https://www.hersheyfelder.net/) is such a person. He is an internationally-acclaimed, pianist, playwright, actor, singer, and director. A 2014 American Theatre profile said Hershey was "in a category all his own."
Hershey specializes in one-person performances where he plays the piano, sings, and transforms himself into the greats of music, including Frederic Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and many other timeless masters!
What’s the secret to his over-the-top excellence? He tells me it’s deep thought about the project. He also cites a profound sense of responsibility to all stakeholders of his productions: the audience, the theater company, and absolutely everyone involved.
Hershey has made his plays available online for purchase online during COVID and, simply put, they are mesmerizing. I’ve never seen anything like his shows—I feel smarter and a sense of deep satisfaction after watching them and I recommend that you check them out.
In addition to being a genius of creativity and performance, Hershey attributes much of his learning to his highly-accomplished wife who was the first female Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell.
So, listen in as Hershey and I talk about his secret ingredient for excellence: responsibility.
Sex and teens. The topic can be super uncomfortable, overwhelming, and even scary to both parents and adolescents.
If you’re a parent or a guardian of a teen, this episode is a must. So much has changed on the sexual landscape. There’s porn, hookup culture, social media, and so many other influencing factors. How do you talk to your adolescent to keep them safe and making good decisions? What do they need to know? What do you need to know?
Fortunately, here to answer these questions and so many more, is one of the top experts in the world, and a woman who has my utmost respect. Shafia Zaloom (www.shafiazaloom.com) is the author of Sex, Teens, & Everything in Between. I loved this book as did my wonderful psychologist wife, and we are not alone. The creators of the hit Netflix series, Big Mouth, Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, do their best to make the show hilarious, but they also consult with Shafia to make the show accurate and instructive. They’ve said that her book, “perfectly encapsulates her mission at the cutting edge of sex education: teaching adolescents how to become people of integrity with regard to sex and relationships.”
So. listen in as Shafia and I have a candid and highly informative discussion about teens and sex.
It takes a lot to be a leader. It takes more to be a great leader. And it takes an incredible commitment to be an outstanding leader.
What is that thing that can make the difference?
While there are many qualities that contribute to being a great leader, possibly the most salient is being incredibly aware or conscious.
And that's where this episode’s guest comes in. Carter Phipps wrote a book called Conscious Leadership with two other authors, one of whom was Steve McIntosh, and the other was John Mackey, the CEO and founder of Whole Foods. I loved the book and I’m not alone. Forbes said it is based on the leadership John Mackey “used to reach the top of the business world—and do plenty of good in the process.”
Conscious Leadership serves as user-friendly text that is easy to implement to improve leadership from the top all the way down. It appears that the intention of this book is not merely to boost those who are at the top but to positively impact all stakeholders within an organization.
Carter has written another book called Evolutionaries and hosts a podcast called “Thinking Ahead.” He has a deep understanding of conscious leadership and Following the ideas he shares may positively influence attrition, morale, external perception, and a host of other important factors of well-being of any organization.
I love stories that blow my mind and this interview contains a few: imagine going to Stanford, playing football there for four years and after graduation, getting recruited to the San Francisco 49ers and, on the same year, entering medical school at Stanford!
Wait, what? Starting with the 49ers and entering medical school at the same time? How is that possible?
My guest, Dr. Milt McColl, played football in the NFL primarily for the 49ers winning two Super Bowl Rings alongside Joe Montana. After practice and during the offseason, he attended classes at Stanford Medical School, earning his MD over the course of several years. After graduating, he opted to work in the corporate sector and he was very successful.
However, when he was 55 years old, he realized had some unfinished business: he had never completed a residency and specialized. Milt took a huge pay cut, began his residency program that year with residents, the majority of whom were young enough to be his children. He completed his residency when he was nearly 60 and now specializes in family medicine and he continues work in medical technology as well.
So, join Milt and me as we discuss the focus and hard work that leads to excellence in three distinctly different worlds.
Dr. Milt McColl, who has asked me to call him Milt, welcome to SuperPsyched!
When you think of great leadership, what qualities come to mind?
Three qualities are consistently at the top of my list: integrity, the ability to think flexibly, and the desire to serve others to the best of one’s ability.
My guest on this episode is the embodiment of all three. Santa Clara County District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, is the elected Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the sixth-largest county in California with a population of 1.8 million people.
He was elected to the position in 2010 and his philosophy of leadership and justice is informed by truly diverse sources that he will unpack during this interview. Jeff also shares his life hacks and habits that allow him to cultivate his mind and to care for his body so that he can give the people the best he has to offer. And, for those of us who don’t serve as high-profile elected officials, we can still apply his best practices to our own lives.
So, listen in as Jeff and I have a lively and informative discussion about leading with an open mind.
Swimming can be meditative and yet, it can also be quite a lonely sport. As my guest says, when we are underwater, we are in a state of sensory deprivation. We cannot hear much, smell much, feel much, taste much, or see much. Instead, we are left to our thoughts, emotions, and sometimes, our pain. It is a sport in which we are up close and deeply personal with our psyches. And, whether we swim or not, we can all learn a lot about life from this episode’s guest.
On this episode, we look at long distance swimming and what it can teach us. And there is hardly anyone more suited to describing the sport than PH Mullen. PH estimates that in his life he has swum over 75,000 miles—that is three times the circumference of the planet! He swam the legendary English Channel and did so in a very fast time. He also swam the world's longest swimming race at about 89 kilometers.
PH is also a best-selling author. He wrote Gold in the Water, which was praised by the New York Times and named one of the Best Sports Books of 2001 by the London Times. The book explores the experiences of two male breaststroke swimmers who trained side-by-side and who ultimately competed against each other in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The book describes virtually every aspect of the sport as well as how much physical and mental preparation it all takes. Again, even if you’re not a swimmer, the life lessons apply to us all.
If that wasn't enough, PH has also survived lung cancer and he had a significant portion of his right lung removed. He had only a 19% chance of survival and, 16 years after his diagnosis, he is thankfully doing very well. These days PH does Ironman triathlons at 7,400 feet to prove to himself that he’s still got it.
So, join PH and me as we learn how he thinks and the life hacks that have made a difference in going the distance.
If you’ve ever gone on a long car trip, you may have seen some cool things. But what’s it like if you do that trip at three miles an hour by foot?
My guest on this episode has actually walked from his home in Northern California all the way to Chicago—a full 2,100 miles and, for the step counters, that’s 4.2 million steps! He has also walked from his home to Mexico and several other extreme distances.
And, no joke, his name is Mr. Walker—or, less formally, Mark Walker (http://walkerwalk.com/). In addition to being a very nice man, Mark is a retired executive who worked in high tech in Silicon Valley. After a successful career and seven patents to his name, he got into walking and fell in love with it. In this interview, he will describe some of the moments along the road that include surprises, delights, fears, and beauty as well as the psychological benefits he has derived from his relationship with this sport that he calls a hobby.
Mark is definitely on to something good and on this episode and the one following it, we’ll look at going the distance with physical activity. Studies show that moving our bodies through cardio, being in the sun, and surrounding ourselves with nature—formally known as biophilia—can reduce anxiety, depression, and increase our well-being on multiple levels. Of course, you don’t need to go to the lengths that Mark has but his story serves as a good reminder that better physical and mental health is just outside our doors.
So, join Mark and me as we have a fun and informative talk about the benefits of going the distance!
SuperWalker, Mark Walker, welcome to SuperPsyched!
Imagine you are on your way to a special occasion at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. It’s a fancy place that required booking months in advance, so you won’t be returning soon. When you arrive and see the menu, there are many items that love to order. Then, the waiter arrives and shares the daily specials. All of them sound incredible!
After careful consideration of the spectacular options, you decide on your order. But, this was not an easy decision and many attractive options had to fall by the wayside. But you enjoy your meal. That is, until you see two of the items you didn't order going to another table and, lo and behold, they look even better than what you ordered!
Afterward, you’re disappointed to realize you remember more about what you didn't eat than what you did.
My guest on this episode is Dr. Barry Schwartz, a New York Times bestselling author of several books including The Paradox of Choice. Barry was a psychology professor at Swarthmore College for decades and he now teaches at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. I have been a big fan of Barry’s work for years and what he describes in The Paradox of Choice are several well-researched but counter-intuitive psychological realities including the fact that when we have too many options, we tend to hate the process of decision making, may make poor decisions, or make no decision at all.
I recently learned that my Grandpa Ben, who owned a dress shop for over 50 years, understood this truth. Although he did not have much conventional education, he was very smart. When a customer entered his shop, he offered only three dresses that he thought would best match the customer. Somehow, my grandpa knew that more options would overwhelm them and would reduce the chances of a sale.
In this episode, Barry will describe a host of fascinating findings that will improve your understanding of the invisible forces that guide our judgment and our decision-making processes. In addition to his books, Barry has had several excellent and well watched TED talks that have garnered millions of views and I recommend those as well.
But for now, join Barry and me as we have a lively, fun, and fascinating discussion about the paradox of choice.
At some point in our lives—perhaps in science class—most of us have run an experiment.
But how many of us have used ourselves as experimental subjects in our own studies?
My guest on this episode, New York Times Bestselling author, AJ Jacobs (www.ajjacobs.com), has conducted experiments with himself as the subject numerous times and he writes about them in hilarious and often profound ways. For example, here are some of the experiments he describes in his outstanding books:
· In a quest for superior knowledge, he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Yes, all 32,000-plus pages!
· In a quest for superior health, he spent a year delving into a large number of health fads to find out if they were helpful.
· In a quest to better understand religion, he spent a full year trying to live by the strict rules of the Bible and to the letter.
· In a quest to better understand gratitude, he ventured out to thank the more than 1,000 people who were responsible for providing his morning cup of coffee. That meant tracking down and thanking the growers of the coffee beans in South America, the makers of the coffee cup, the people who kept rodents out of the coffee itself, and so many otherwise-invisible people who contributed to his morning cup.
· And in a quest to find the interconnectedness of humanity all over the globe, AJ attempted to create the largest family reunion gathering ever by contacting thousands of people distantly related to him through DNA tests.
In this interview, AJ unpacks the many benefits of having an experimental life mindset. It can increase curiosity causing you to think differently and more flexibly. It can keep you physically healthier. And it can certainly give you great ideas to improve your life in unexpected ways.
On a personal note, I have read all of AJ's work and I am a huge fan. As it happens, I am not alone. His work has garnered scores of overwhelmingly positive reviews, and one that really resonates with me comes from People Magazine that stated AJ’s work is, “Both laugh-out-loud funny and enlightening.”
I am thrilled to have AJ as a guest and I'm sure you will find this to be a highly informative and entertaining exchange about the benefits of life as an experiment.
Cults…they’re scary, predatory, and life-sucking. Perhaps you know someone who was in a cult.
These days, with loneliness at an all-time high, our basic human desire to feel connected and belong can make us vulnerable. Pair that with the nefarious and novel ways cults can reach out through the Internet, we are more threatened than ever by their presence.
Truly, anyone can be a victim of a charismatic, malignantly narcissistic, and delusional leader. HBO’s documentary series, The Vow, is one of many shows that go into great depth showing us that smart, well-intentioned people can be manipulated badly.
Knowledge is power and my expert guest on this episode, Daniel Shaw (www.danielshawlcsw.com), is the perfect person to teach us about cults. For many years, he was a member of a cult and, fortunately, he found his way out. Today, Dan is a highly-regarded author, psychoanalyst, clinical supervisor, and teacher. His brilliant book, Traumatic Narcissism, has been described by a colleague at Harvard Medical School as a “must-read for any of us who have worked with victims of traumatizing narcissists or been their victims ourselves.”
So, listen in as Dan and I have a lively and informative discussion about cults and what you need to know.
Have you ever noticed that even though childhood was a long time ago, on some level, it feels like it was yesterday? In some cases, we recall positive experiences. In others, we remember our hurts and, even worse, our traumas.
On this episode, we will be talking about trauma and some ways you can help reduce its harmful effects. Dr. Mark Forman is a psychologist and the author of a book called “The Monster’s Journey” that details both clinical aspects of trauma as well as Mark's own personal experience with it. Mark’s idea to use themes of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and, instead, transpose a monster, is profound and he will explain what that means and how it can be helpful to anyone who has experienced trauma.
On a personal note, I have collaborated with Mark on various projects over the years. I have been impressed with Mark’s clinical skills as well as his ability to articulate useful ideas that people can put into their own lives to improve their healing processes.
So, join Mark and me as we delve into healing trauma through his lens, also known as the Monster’s Journey.
You can find the Monster’s Journey here: https://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Journey-Trauma-Connection-ebook/dp/B08DHPDRGR/ref=pd_sim_351_1/141-9914724-7762615?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B08DHPDRGR&pd_rd_r=581f392b-b979-445c-9d4d-379d47b45e4c&pd_rd_w=iufuq&pd_rd_wg=M9NQk&pf_rd_p=37f7dfa1-8c4e-4106-9502-a190ed3a2f4f&pf_rd_r=7MKNEA35SJ9DN7EYPDD4&psc=1&refRID=7MKNEA35SJ9DN7EYPDD4
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Quiz: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean
Have you ever wondered what a dog was thinking?
I know I have and, amazingly, today's guest has some answers. Dr. Gregory Burns (http://gregoryberns.com/) is a neuroscientist who holds both a doctorate in medicine as well as a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. He is a professor of psychology at Emory University and has found a way to comfortably place dogs in a functional MRI machine to discover what areas of their brains are active in the face of various cues. His book, How Dogs Love Us, is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and it has been heralded by multiple media outlets, including the Boston Globe, which said it “explains why our two species have lived together so long and happily.” As for me, I say it is utterly fascinating and highly recommended to anyone who loves dogs or is curious about their behavior.
So join Greg and me as we have a lively and highly informative conversation about how dogs think.
The expert on this episode is the perfect person to explain how and why pets are so good for us. Carol Novello was CEO of Humane Society Silicon Valley and now serves as CEO and founder of an organization called Mutual Rescue (https://mutualrescue.org/). Simply put, Carol is amazing. She earned a Harvard MBA, worked for years in the corporate sector, and then pivoted to devote her life to addressing the pet-human bond. She is the author of a fantastic book called “Mutual Rescue” and she has studied how the pet-human bond is reciprocal and her book has a huge bibliography corroborating her work. And on her Mutual Rescue website, she shares films that clearly show the measurable impact pets have had in their humans’ lives.
So join Carol and me as we have a lively discussion on how the pets we rescue end up rescuing us right back.
Ok, I’ll admit it—I spent a lot of my youth fantasizing about being a Rockstar. You know, singing with the car stereo and imagining being on stage...it was my dream. I’m guessing I wasn’t alone. I imagine you too have probably fantasized about being a rock or pop star at least once in your life.
But what’s it actually like to be a Rock star? What goes into writing major hit songs? As it happens, today’s guest knows firsthand, and he is super generous and straightforward in sharing his story. Greg Camp is best known as the former lead guitarist and primary songwriter for Smash Mouth. He wrote All Star, Walking on the Sun, Then the Morning Comes, and nearly everything Smash Mouth released leading to sales in the millions and bringing Smash Mouth to gold and platinum status causing them to tour all over the globe.
Although Greg left the band some time ago, music and sound remain front and center in his life. He continues to write brilliant music for himself, other musicians like the Jonas Brothers and Chainsmokers, and for movies. You can find links to some of these in the Shownotes and I highly recommend you give them a listen.
In the meantime, listen in as Greg and I have a lively, fun, and intimate discussion about life as a Rock star.
There are lots of misconceptions about forgiveness. What is it and what is it not? Why is forgiveness an important skill and how do we get good at it? And what if we believe we can’t or don’t want to forgive?
These, and many other questions, will be fielded by one of the world’s leading experts in the study and the science of forgiveness. Dr. Frederic Luskin (https://learningtoforgive.com/about/) is a clinical psychologist and the Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project at Stanford University where he also lectures at its School of Medicine. Fred is also the author of a best-selling book called “Forgive for Good,” which was heralded by Publisher’s Weekly as a “solidly researched and convincing guide,” and he teaches forgiveness all over the world. Fred has taught forgiveness in places as diverse as Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, as well as New York City after the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.
So, join Fred and me as we have a lively and informative conversation about how to forgive and what’s in it for you if you do.
Have you ever done something and then afterwards asked yourself, “Why the heck did I do that?” It can be as if we have an angel and a devil on our shoulders giving us good advice and bad. What if we actually thought of ourselves as having several different parts within us rather than just the two? Some of those parts we like, and some we don’t. For those that we don’t, it can be like a nasty game of whack-a-mole with yourself to try to pat down those parts and even suppress them.
If you can relate, then welcome to the human race—we all do it and we all have various parts within us; parts we like and parts we don’t. The important thing is to get to know these parts, to get curious, and not just pretend they aren’t there by keeping them out of sight and out of mind.
You may ask, how do I get to know these parts? And, exactly why is that important?
Thankfully, we have just the man to answer these questions and to describe the therapy he has created around that idea. Dr. Richard Schwartz (https://ifs-institute.com/about-us/richard-c-schwartz-phd) who goes by the name Dick, is the father of a form of psychotherapy called Internal Family Systems, which is also known as IFS. IFS provides methods for us to know our parts and be more in control of our lives. IFS has gained international recognition for its effectiveness with a host of mental health conditions including, to name just a few: PTSD, depression, anxiety, phobias, and substance abuse. It’s even been shown as effective with various physical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis!
Dick is a luminary in psychology and easily one of the best-known people in the entire field today. He explains how IFS can help us know our parts and why that is such a crucial thing for us all.
So, listen in as Dick and I have a lively and user-friendly exchange about knowing the parts that make you YOU.
What does it take to be a great employee? And if we zoom out, what are practices that companies can use to help employees flourish?
These, and other questions are answered by my expert Human Resources guest who is the ideal person to address them. Lissa Minkin is VP of People and Workplace at Tile (https://www.thetileapp.com/en-us/about-tile). She has played instrumental roles at several companies including eBay and Facebook and has helped the growth of every company she’s touched. Lissa is passionate about her work, a great implementor and sustainer of healthy corporate culture, and fiercely loyal to the people she serves.
Also, full-disclosure, I am a shareholder at Tile where Lissa now works, and that had nothing to do with my selecting her as a guest. I chose her because I have known her work for well over a decade and have been a fan of the healthy practices she promotes in the workplace and I believe listeners will benefit.
So, join Lissa and me as we have a lively and user-friendly conversation about being happier at work.
When you hear the word “hypnosis,” what do you imagine? Perhaps you imagine a well-dressed doctor with a heavy Viennese accent with a pocket watch swinging back and forth. Perhaps you imagine a person on stage entertaining an audience.
But what really is hypnosis? And how can it help us lead healthier and more fulfilling lives?
These questions and more will be answered by my guest, Dr. Jeffrey Zeig (www.jeffreyzeig.com), who is one of the world’s top authorities on hypnosis. Jeff has trained people in clinical hypnosis in over 40 countries, he has practiced hypnosis for thousands of hours over the past 40 years, and he has authored multiple books on the topic. In addition, Jeff was the direct protege of Dr. Milton Erickson who, in my estimation, was the most important person in the advancement of hypnosis. Jeff is the founder and Director of the Milton Erickson Foundation, as well as the architect of one of the most well-attended international conferences of psychotherapy called The Evolution of Psychotherapy, and he works as a psychologist in Phoenix, Arizona.
We will address questions like: what can hypnosis do for me? Who should I see if I want to receive hypnotherapy? And what criteria are important in selecting a professional?
It is my pleasure to bring Jeff to you as we have a lively and user-friendly conversation about hypnosis.
What does it take to survive and ultimately thrive after horrible trauma? Today’s guest, my friend, Dydine Umunyana, was a young child in 1994 during the Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. She is a woman who has faced and dealt with severe trauma. Yet, she found healthy ways to ultimately return to a place of love, trust, and safety. How did she do that? We will find out.
Her book, Embracing Survival, is excellent, and has been described as “an important contribution to our understanding of trauma and healing after unbearable brutality and loss.”
Dydine speaks all over the world about her experiences about how she has come out of the worst experiences imaginable and how she now can bring out the best in herself and in others.
So, join Dydine and me as we have a candid conversation about life after genocide.
Relationships with our significant others are often hard and even scary. What if there was a technology that could change all of that?
The good news is that my guests, Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen Hunt (https://harvilleandhelen.com/) have created that technology and it’s called “Safe Conversations.” (https://safeconversations.com/) I use this technology to help couples in my practice and I do the same in my personal life. Their classic book, “Getting the Love You Want,” which has sold over 4 million copies is one of the finest tools I have ever seen, and their work has made them internationally famous. Harville has been on the Oprah Winfrey Show 17 times and is such a favorite of hers that, upon her retirement, one of his episodes made it to the top-10 list of her all-time favorite shows.
These are the people I believe you will want to learn from. My wife, Aurianne, who is also a psychologist, joined me at a 3-day workshop with Harville and Helen and we think the world of them and their Safe Conversations technology.
So, listen in as Helen, Harville, and I talk about Safe Conversations and ways to supercharge your relationship in ways that can help you get the love you want.
Boundaries—we all have trouble with them at times. And for some of us, we are so unaware of our own role in how people treat us, we may go our entire lives not really living by our own rules or expressing what’s important to us.
Here to shed a light on taking back our lives through boundary setting is Nancy Levin (https://nancylevin.com/), a Master Coach and bestselling author of several books including her latest, Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free. Dr. Christiane Northrup has said, “This book could save your life.” In addition to her writing, Nancy served as the Event Director at Hay House for over a decade, and now runs Levin Life Coach Academy. Nancy offers in-depth coaching and training programs designed to support clients in making themselves a priority and setting boundaries that stick.
So listen in as Nancy and I have an energetic, entertaining, and user-friendly conversation on Reclaiming Your Life through Boundary Setting.
When it comes to sex, how smart are you? Do you know what it takes to create a good sex life?
If you would like to become more erotically intelligent, this episode is for you and my guest has the answers. Dr. Alexandra Katehakis (www.alexkatehakis.com) is a certified sex therapist who serves as the Director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles. She is the author of Erotic Intelligence and many other books on sexuality both for professionals and the general public.
In this episode, Alex shares concrete and practical information that can help people improve their sex lives. I am confident you will glean lots of new and useful information in this user-friendly and informative interview!
First the bad news: grief is inevitable. Now the good news: you can learn skills to grieve well.
David Kessler, who has been described as the world’s foremost expert on the topic, is interviewed and he shares some of his tips on how to deal with this part of life. I am confident you will want to listen to this episode and learn from him. In addition to owning www.grief.com, he has received high praise from sources as diverse as The New York Times and Mother Theresa.
David is blessed with wisdom and levity and he breathes new life into learning what we all need to know about grief.
Why do we need wisdom in our lives? And how can it help us during times of uncertainty?
Dr. Michael Meade can help answer these big questions. He is a renowned author, scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. The New York Times has said he writes “brilliantly” and that “He is a master.” Alice Walker has said he is, “Magical and profound, unlike anyone else one is likely to encounter,” and that he is “one of the greatest living teachers of our time.”
Michael doesn’t just work with his head but he also works with his hands and feet to build a world of justice, understanding, kindness, and connection. He is the founder and director of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation (https://www.mosaicvoices.org/), a nonprofit network of artists, activists, and community builders that encourages greater understanding between diverse peoples.
On a personal note, I have been learning from Michael’s wisdom since the 90’s and his work has helped me immensely both professionally and personally.
So, join Michael and me as we do a deep dive into how wisdom can help us during times of uncertainty.
What psychological skills does it take to play at one’s best in the NBA—even contributing to winning five NBA Finals? What leadership skills does that same person need to go on to coach his team to five NBA Finals—winning three of them? What team building skills are needed? Listen in to this compelling conversation with one of the most successful NBA coaches and players of all time, Golden State Warrior Coach and former NBA star, Steve Kerr. Much of what is discussed transcends sports and applies to success in all aspects of life.
Article on profanity and honesty: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/publications/frankly-we-do-give-damn-relationship-between-profanity-honesty
Link for Strengths (Values in Action) Survey: https://www.viacharacter.org
This is the second part of how storytelling impacts our psyche. Joel ben Izzy the perfect person to share his insights, wisdom, and the travails of his own life that allowed him to write one of the finest books (and one I give to clients regularly), The Beggar King. You can find Joel and learn about his work here: https://www.storypage.com/
Storytelling is a hugely important part of being human. Telling stories and listening to stories can be healing. And the guest of this two-part episode is internationally-renowned storyteller, Joel ben Izzy. Joel is a great storyteller and a total pleasure. Time just flies when I’m with Joel and I think you’ll find it to be the same and very meaningful. You can find Joel and learn about his work here: https://www.storypage.com/
This episode is about the unexpected strengths of autism. My guest, Dr. Temple Grandin (www.templegrandin.com), has written many best-selling books on autism and her life, one of which was made into a film starring Clare Danes as Temple. The film was described by the New York Times as “The best biopic in a very, very long time.” Temple has received multiple major awards and recognitions including Time Magazine’s 2010 annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Often misunderstood, autism is, broadly, a Neurodevelopmental phenomenon that affects the way people experience the world. It affects every aspect of a person’s development, but processes, behaviors and sensory functioning.
Our understanding of autism has improved, and research has revealed underlying strengths of autism. One of the insights I have gleaned from this interview and my preparation for it is that having an autistic person on a team can be a huge advantage. They often notice things that neurotypical people miss. Note, there would be no Star Trek without Spock. Yet, in spite of these advances in research and advantages of autistic people, many of them are not receiving the services and understanding that they need.
Are you in a long-term relationship and longing for greater sexual passion? If so, you’ll want to listen to this episode! Dr. Pat Love is an internationally-recognized expert, best-selling author, and a masterful therapist who has specialized in helping couples rekindle their passion and love. Dr. Harville Hendrix has said of her work, “Every couple wanting to deepen or save their relationship should read it.” With humor, intelligence, and useful tips, Dr. Love delivers big in this episode.
Our vocabulary for describing sexual identity has expanded and today’s guest, Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams, is the perfect person to discuss this important phenomenon. Ritch is Professor Emeritus of Developmental Psychology at Cornell University and he has written ten books on adolescent development, including Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity Among Men. Publishers Weekly has described his work as “An excellent resource.” Please listen in as Ritch helps us to understand sexual fluidity in today’s culture.
Today’s guest, the great Dr. Mario Martinez, is a top expert on how thoughts impact our bodies, our success, and our longevity.
Mario is a clinical neuropsychologist who researches how cultural beliefs affect health and longevity. He has conducted worldwide studies on large numbers healthy centenarians—that is, people who are 100 years or older—and found that only 20 to 25% can be attributed to genetics. The rest is related to how they live and the cultural beliefs they share. Mario is also the author of the bestselling book The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success which, quite simply, is a must-read. Through research, he explains out how to biohack our immune system with our thoughts. In addition, Mario has worked extensively with National Geographic as well as luminaries like Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Christiane Northrup who interviewed him on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
Check out Mario’s fantastic work at https://www.biocognitive.com.
Have you ever noticed that in the scariest movies only part of what’s happening is revealed? The more that’s left to your imagination, the scarier it becomes. The same idea is true with what we hide from ourselves. That can make the process of self-discovery seem scarier than it needs to be. When we expend energy hiding from ourselves, we miss out on the richness of the Unconscious.
And why is that important? Because most of what motivates us is unconscious. And to paraphrase the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung, if we don’t come to know this large part of ourselves, it will drive us, and we will feel as if we have no say in how things turn out.
This episode is near and dear to my heart. Many years ago, I was reading a book by today’s guest and thought, “I feel like I’m listening to Yoda. I’m hearing the words of one of the wisest people I’ve ever come across…it would be a huge gift to have a cup of tea with him.”
And that is exactly what you’ll be getting today, a gift from one of psychology’s deepest thinkers and I recommend you pour yourself a nice cup of tea as you listen in.
Dr. James Hollis received his training at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and he has been a licensed Jungian analyst for almost forty years. He is in private practice in Washington, D.C. and is the author of sixteen truly fantastic books. I like to think of Jim as being an expert detective of the unconscious and this episode reflects his ease at navigating this mysterious area of our lives.
I invite you to view the teaser for his film at: https://www.documentary.org/project/soulheal and to consider making a tax-deductible donation to this important non-profit project.
For this interview on the Science of Happiness, I had the privilege of an in-depth conversation with one of the world authorities on the subject, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar (http://www.talbenshahar.com/). Tal is an author and lecturer and he taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership with over 1,400 students in a class. That was 20% of the entire undergraduate population!
Today, Tal consults and lectures around the world to executives in multi-national corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations. The topics he lectures on include leadership, happiness, education, innovation, ethics, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, and mindfulness. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and have appeared on best-sellers lists around the world.
Tal is a serial entrepreneur, and is the co-founder and chief learning officer of Happiness Studies Academy, Potentialife, Maytiv, and Happier.TV.
An avid sportsman, Tal won the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National squash championships. Today, for exercise, he swims, dances, and practices Yoga. He obtained his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Harvard.
Some other sites relating to our conversation:
Have you recently felt down, anxious, or out of touch with why we are here? If so, you are not alone.
Today’s episode is about a surprisingly easy way to feel happier and more connected to life. And how you do it is tapping into the experience of awe and wonder. Science shows overwhelming evidence that tapping into this feeling is one of the most protective and healthful things we can do for our body and our mind.
But what exactly is awe? And how do we quantify it let alone explain what it is and how it can help?
My guest, Dr. Jonah Paquette, explains it to you in this episode. Jonah is a clinical psychologist, international speaker, and author. He is the author of Real Happiness, a self-help book in which he distills the key findings in the field of happiness research and offers user-friendly tools to achieve lasting well-being. His second book, The Happiness Toolbox is a research-based self-help workbook and it provides easy-to-use handouts and worksheets designed to increase happiness and life satisfaction. His newest book, Awestruck, explores the science of awe, and how moments of wonder benefit our physical and emotional health.
Dr. Paquette is a psychologist at Kaiser Permanente in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he serves as the Assistant Regional Director of Mental Health Training. Spanning 20 medical centers and consisting of nearly 200 mental health trainees, it is the largest non-governmental training program in the United States. In addition to his clinical work and writing, Dr. Paquette offers training and consultation to therapists and organizations on the promotion of happiness and conducts professional workshops around the country and internationally. He is also a frequent media contributor, having been featured regularly in print, online, and radio outlets. Dr. Paquette’s clinical experiences have spanned a broad range of settings, including Veterans hospitals, community mental health clinics, college counseling centers, and his current work at Kaiser Permanente. For more information about Jonah and his work, please visit www.jonahpaquette.com.
Have you ever loved or been loved by a pet? Have you ever lost a pet? If so, it was likely a big loss.
For several years, I served as a pet loss counselor at the Humane Society. I have never seen so many tears before or since. And I’m not surprised: pets give so much to us, especially, the unconditional love we so need.
Right now, we are in the midst of Shelter in Place with COVID and for many of us, everything can be a bit harder, including pet loss. I thought it would be a good time to talk to the best person I know when it comes to pet loss, my mentor, Dr. Betty Carmack. Betty is Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, who has worked with pet loss since 1982. She initiated and led the monthly pet loss support groups at the SF/SPCA from 1982 to 2015. In addition to working with individuals grieving the death of their companion animals, she has worked with the staff of humane societies, veterinary hospitals and animal care organizations. She has authored articles in both the professional and lay literature, presented at numerous professional conferences, and engaged in research related to pet loss. She is the author of the book Grieving the Death of a Pet.
Her work was inspired by the accidental death of her beloved dog, Rocky, in 1979, and her recognition of the need to have support available to those struggling with the loss of their beloved animal companions.
Deciding when to put a pet down can be an incredibly hard and painful decision. In the event that you have an ailing pet and need help in assessing if it is time to consider saying goodbye to your pet, here is the link for the Quality of Life Questionnaire by Dr. Alice Villalobos,: https://www.aplb.org/resources/quality-of-life_scale.html
I have a grim statistic to report: over the past four years, the number of hate groups operating across America has risen to a record high of over 1,000 in total (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/hate-groups-rise.html); this is more than a 30% increase since 2016. Prior to that, the groups’ numbers were rapidly declining.
When you hear about white supremacists, Neo Nazis, or other hate groups, have you ever asked yourself, “How in the world do they think that way?” What could compel people to join a hate group? And, after joining, is there any hope that someone can leave a life of hate?
Today we have a guest who can give us insight into the answers to these questions and more because of his unique experience.
Arno Michaelis is a former Neo Nazi who, in the 80’s and early 90’s, was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization. He was even the lead singer of a hate metal band that sold over 20,000 CD’s. In a 180-degree turn around, Arno now works tirelessly to educate the public about hate and hate groups. and tries to help get people out of hate groups of all kinds. Arno and I have worked together to provide education at both Facebook and Digital Ocean, and I have come to know him well.
He is regularly interviewed by the national media to provide his valuable insight into the activity of hate groups and he assists organizations including Against Violent Extremism (http://www.againstviolentextremism.org/), The Forgiveness Project (https://www.theforgivenessproject.com/), Search For Common Ground (https://www.sfcg.org/), and Parents for Peace (https://www.parents4peace.org/). He is also the author of My Life After Hate (https://medium.com/@arnomichaelisIV) and the co-author of the Gifts of our Wounds (http://giftofourwounds.com/).
On a personal note, Arno has had dinner with my family and has spoken to my book club. I have experienced him as a man of great integrity, transparency, and kindness who has reinvented himself in ways that I find both stunning and inspiring.
So, please listen in as Arno Michaelis and I do a deep dive into the psychology of a former Neo Nazi.
This episode explores music and the psyche with two of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever heard. Ethereal and contemplative, the music of Katie Gray and Kurt Baumann, collectively known as Sea Stars (https://seastars.bandcamp.com/), have been seen nationally on the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and around the globe.
Kurt and Katie are married and work both together and apart in their artistic and musical ventures.
Katie (www.katiegray.com) writes and records her own music and has been a guest vocal with groups such as Band of Horses (live on Jimmy Kimmel) and has worked with numerous artists including Ani Difranco.
Kurt performs and records with his band The Burned (www.theburnedmusic.com), was the founder of the band Kan’Nal and has recorded and toured with electronic super hero Adam Freeland.
Here are some links to listen further:
Live on The Today Show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrorsNKVxIs
Mind over Matter - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oLtL_S3Fng
The Maker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpMvZE07ixM
If you have ever wondered what the word “psychopath” meant, you will find the answer in this episode. Dr. Reid Meloy is someone I respect deeply and he is sharing his knowledge of psychopathy and dark personalities in this episode. Dr. Meloy is a really big deal in my eyes and in the world of psychology and he is one of the tops experts on the subject of psychopathy in the world. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Reid twice, once at Facebook and another time at DigitalOcean, both times I had invited him in to speak to the Safety and Security Teams at each company and he was as compelling as he is in this interview. Please note, for the first 2 and a half minutes, we get pretty thick into weeds of psychological diagnosis and I’m leaving it in! But fear not, the rest of the interview is easily understood.Dr. Meloy is a board-certified forensic psychologist (ABPP) and consults on criminal and civil cases throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and a faculty member of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is past president of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. He has received a number of awards and honors, and was the Yochelson Visiting Scholar at Yale University in March, 2015, and Visiting Scholar at University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich in May, 2018. Dr. Meloy has authored or co-authored over two hundred forty papers published in peer-reviewed psychiatric and psychological journals, and has authored, co-authored or edited twelve books. He has been consulting, researching and writing about personality disorder, psychopathy, stalking, narcissism, criminality, mental disorder, and targeted violence for the past thirty years. His first book, The Psychopathic Mind (Aronson, 1988), was an integration of the biological and psychodynamic understanding of psychopathy. His co-edited book with Drs. Hoffmann and Sheridan, Stalking, Threatening and Attacking Public Figures (Oxford University Press, 2008), led to a commissioned study for the National Academy of Sciences on threats toward public figures published in 2011 (www.nap.edu). His recent book with Dr. Hoffmann is the International Handbook of Threat Assessment (Oxford University Press, 2014). Dr. Stephen White and he created the WAVR-21 V3 (www.wavr21.com), a structured professional judgment instrument for targeted workplace violence. Dr. Meloy has been a consultant to the FBI, Quantico, for the past eighteen years, and is the originator and developer of the TRAP-18 (Terrorist Radicalization Assessment Protocol, www.gifrinc.com). He was a member of the Fixated Research Group for the United Kingdom’s Home Office concerning threats to the Royal Family and British political figures, and is a consulting member of Work Trauma Services, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, Team Psychology and Security in Darmstadt, Germany, L&S Threat Management in South Africa, and the Freeh Group International Solutions. He was also an associate editor of the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management.
Dr. Michael Breus is one of the world's leading experts in sleep medicine. He is a clinical psychologist Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is regularly interviewed on TV and has been widely featured on CNN, Oprah, Dr. Oz, The View, Anderson Cooper, Rachael Ray, The CBS Early Show, and he has been on stage with Tony Robbins. He has written several best-selling books on sleep including, “The Power of When,” which we will discuss on this episode. Feel free to take his test on your chronotype by going to his website: https://thepowerofwhenquiz.com/
In this episode, I interview Dr. Brian McBeth, a hospital executive and physician in San Jose, CA, to learn about his thoughts and experiences during COVID-19. He provides details of how and other medical workers cope in the face of this pandemic.Dr. McBeth also cites having good information as a primary coping strategy. I recommend visiting www.snopes.com to verify information as needed. Here are some resources Brian endorses for receiving up-to-date information pertaining to COVID-19SCC public health dashboard (public and frequently updated data, on cases, testing, hospital resources) https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/dashboard.aspxit's a good source for providers and the public as well. but local data. many of the county PH depts in CA put out similar metrics/dashboards, but not sure if every or most local PH depts do the same across of the country..National and international sources:CDC COVID-19 website: frequently updated and great for national perspectivehttps://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/dashboard.aspxWHO dashboard international epidemiology and broad perspectiveshttps://covid19.who.int/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtqj2BRBYEiwAqfzurx3qrvm_St9Cv0X6nTgOhgd3NXU0DaoIuMDgqkshh4ucUGiZgXXVqhoCMOYQAvD_BwEWHO: at the top of the page one can click "public advice" or "country and technical guidance" which is designed for health care workers and policy makersLastly, if you want to geek out and see high quality emergency medicine information, EMRAP is a subscription emergency medicine CME service, but they've made all their COVID-19 content free to the public. Most of it is technical, but it can be useful.Psychology,Infection,COVID,Emotions,Coping,Patient,Medical,Healthcare,Fear,Disease,ProtectionPPE,Administration,Doctor,Physician,Administrator,Anxiety,Loneliness, Courage ,health
Dr. David B. Feldman is the McCarthy Professor of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University. He has authored three books, most recently including Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering & Success. His research has been published in numerous scientific journals as well as in popular publications, including SELF, 'O': The Oprah Magazine, Time, and the Harvard Business Review. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network, MSNBC, and National Public Radio, among others. In addition, he writes regularly for Psychology Today and is the host of the “Psychology in 10 Minutes” podcast, which can be found at psychologyin10minutes.com or through any podcast app.
This episode is about the importance of taking a true and rejuvenating day off every week. We explore the roots of the Sabbath as well as how to actually take a full day off. Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder of the Webby Awards and author of the best-selling book about her family’s decade long practice of turning off screens one day a week for the past decade 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week. The Museum of Modern Art in New York just premiered her new live Spoken Cinema performance Dear Human, based on her book 24/6. She lectures and performs worldwide on the relationship between technology and humanity. During Covid, Tiffany is has been doing special weekly newsletters and is hosting a weekly #ZoomChallahBake on Fridays with special guests. For information on her book, baking, films, lectures and her quarterly newsletter Breakfast @ Tiffany’s at tiffanyshlain.com and follow Tiffany on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Bronwyn Saglimbeni is a communication coach, writer and speaker devoted to helping people SHINE. Known for her playful, irreverent approach to coaching (and life in general), Bronwyn teaches serious transformation in how we communicate, inspire and connect with those around us.Bronwyn has prepared clients for television appearances on American Idol, Real Time with Bill Maher, Bloomberg TV, CNBC’s Power Lunch, the Oprah Show, the Home Shopping Network, and PBS Newshour. Bronwyn has midwifed over a hundred and twenty TEDx, TED Global, and TED talks.When she’s not writing or in coaching mode, Bronwyn’s goal is to be the “eye of the storm” in a household of three children and a Type A husband in the Bay Area. She spends an alarming amount of time listening to NPR, sings in a cover band, and secretly wishes she could write a novel, pen a decent song, and learn to speak Farsi. Not necessarily in that order
Rick Snyder is the author of Decisive Intuition, a book that I found fascinating and very useful. He is also the Founder and CEO of Invisible Edge, a consulting firm that develops intuitive intelligence for learders at companies of all sizes. He has been featured in Forbes, The Economist, Inc., CNBC, and Fast Company, and live TV.
I saw Alicia Dattner (http://aliciadattner.com/) perform at the Science and Nonduality Conference last fall and she rocked the stage in front of an international audience of over 800 people. Her comedy is deep, psychological, often dark, and ridiculously funny. She has a powerful new voice and it’s always evolving.Alicia did her first standup set at 18 and she graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in standup and filmmaking.She’s been mentored by several talented comedians over the years, including W. Kamau Bell, Eugene Mirman, and Bill Santiago. She’s also been playing clubs like The Improv and Gotham Comedy Club, performing in San Francisco, New York, London, Hollywood, Honolulu, Bali, and Bombay. Alicia was voted Best Comedian in both the SF Weekly and SF Bay Guardian, and she’s won a bunch of other awards. Some of the people with whom she’s performed have included luminaries like Maria Bamford, Ali Wong, Moshe Kasher, Arj Barker, Kate Willett, and many others.She’s about to release her sixth comedy show, entitled “Are You Dressed for the Apocalypse?"
As a psychologist, I have seen many personality typing systems but the one that has impressed me most so far is the Enneagram. A big reason I like it so much is because of its depth and ability to inform people of blind spots in a shockingly efficient manner. I have seen firsthand how the Enneagram can help people improve their careers, their relationships, and even how they relate to themselves. To help us understand the Enneagram better, I called on one of the top experts in the world, Dr. Beatrice Chestnut (https://beatricechestnut.com/). Bea is a psychotherapist, coach, and business consultant based in San Francisco. She holds graduate degrees in communication and clinical psychology and is the author of the books, The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge and The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st century Workplace. She also served as president of the International Enneagram Association in 2006 and 2007. A dedicated student of the Enneagram for over 30 years, she currently offers Enneagram workshops internationally through Chestnut Paes Enneagram Academy, the school she co-founded with Uranio Paes. In their work around the world, Bea and Uranio focus on using the Enneagram as a tool for personal and professional transformation. Listen in as Bea and I go deep and one of the fastest tools to self-knowledge: The Enneagram.
Sex. It’s one of life’s great paradoxes. Few things can bring as much pleasure and connection. And yet, few things can also bring as much pain and vulnerability. There are so many misconceptions about what constitutes good sex as well as who we are as sexual beings. And, even in this day and age, it can be tough for people to talk about sex in a matter-of-fact tone.Today we will be talking about male sexuality in a very matter-of-fact tone with a true expert. Jim Benson (http://www.jimbenson.net/) is a coach who helps men of all ages and backgrounds know themselves more fully as sexual beings. For the past 17 years he has been coaching men to experience what he calls “breakthroughs in the bedroom.” Jim is a certified and experienced Tantra teacher and has worked broadly in the US and Europe.
SuperPsyched is a podcast dedicated to supercharging your life with Super Psychology Education. Each episode contains fun, fascinating, high-quality psychological content gained from interviewing top experts inside and outside the field of psychology. SuperPsyched will shed a light on fostering ideas and behaviors that you want to have more of in your life as well as gentle warnings to help you avoid those that you don’t. See you there!