Chronically Human Podcast Ep. 002 : Howard Bloom

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Howard Bloom. He is passionate, intense, and he’s a man driven by the desire to contribute to the betterment of human kind and inspire others to do the same.

When Howard Bloom was young he set out to do three things with his life: become a writer, a genius and a scientist. Personally I think he’s met all of those goals and so much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Fair warning he does talk about Trump and North Korea up till about the eight minute mark. If you’re not interested in politics you can skip that if you choose. Howard has appeared on many podcasts including The Joe Rogan Experience and the Amazing Atheists. He has written seven books including “The Muhammed Code”, “Genius in the Beast: a Radical Revision of Capitalism” and his latest, which is autobiographical,”How I accidentally started the Sixties”.

He is also the founder of paleo psychology and the scientific discipline of omnology and in his late teens and early twenties, accidentally started the psychedelic drug and sexual revolutions. I highly recommend “How I accidentally started the Sixties”. It is a fascinating book which recounts how Howard hitched hiked across the country in search of Zen enlightenment and for the gods within and ended up accidentally starting a cultural revolution that changed everything. During our conversation, Howard talked about what led him to write the book and what he hoped to accomplish by doing so. We also talked a little bit about his time working with musicians.

 

Along with being an author and a scientist he also started and ran one of most successful music PR companies in the world and got to work with the likes of Prince, John Cougar Melloncamp and Bob Marley, just to name a few. We also discussed “saturated intuition”, the story of the searcher bees from his amazing book “Genius in the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism”, and even how everything we think about nature is wrong. I highly recommend his book “Genius in the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism”. This is a fantastic read for anyone interested in how creative capitalism can be a force for good and how it’s actually the only system that humans have yet created, that can safeguard and advance human civilization into the future.

He is an inspiring, intensely passionate and extremely smart dude. I’ve incorporated several of his rules of life into my own including the two rules of science which he found at an early age:

1. The truth at any price, up to and including the price of your life.

2. Look at things right under your nose like you’ve never seen them before.

He has many other rules and “Howardisms” which I think are incredible. I did ask him if he planned to write a book listing them all, but before he can do that he’s got to sell his latest book he just finished, then write two more books and then maybe he’ll get to it. I hope he finds time to do that.

Next time we talk with Howard I hope we’ll spend an entire episode exploring “Genius in the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism”. I do believe that this book is one of the greatest contributions of the last 50 years to freedom, peaceful trading, and the advancement of humankind. He also said that there is a documentary being done about his life. After reading “How I accidentally started the Sixties” I can’t wait to see that when it comes out.

You can find out more about Howard at his website http://howardbloom.net

and you can follow him @HowardxBloom on Twitter.

I also recommend you read on his website “Isolation-the Ultimate Poison”. If you have a loved one that is dealing with chronic disease or chronic pain or you yourself are, I highly recommend this except from his book “The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History”. It explains about “attraction cues” and “repulsion cues” as well as the dehumanizing effects of chronic illness. It really hit home for me.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the conversation, what in particular you took away from it, and what we can do better here at The Chronically Human Podcast: …because in the end we are all in this together.

Thanks for watching.

 

Five Minutes at a Time

Whatever your New Years resolutions are this trick may help you keep them.

I’m terrible at organization. In fact when I was in second grade I can still remember my teacher, Mrs. Rasar, yelling at me in front of the entire class, because I couldn’t find my math homework that was crammed inside my extremely messy desk. I’m not ashamed to admit it that I did cry that day.

Fast forward to today and I still struggle with this issue but I’ve found a way to change this life-long aversion to organization five minutes at a time.

It’s definitely not rocket science and I’m sure I’m not the first to propose this. What I do is set a timer on my phone for five minutes and then I clean and organize whatever space I want to improve in that amount of time. During this time I’m fond of playing some music. Currently I’m playing Hank William III’s “Crazed Country Rebel” as I’m organizing my medical bills and insurance paperwork.

Tackling a big issue like getting organized can feel overwhelming. By setting a timer for only five minutes at a time I free myself of the anticipated dread of spending hours or even days tackling a problem.

What I’ve found is that after the five minutes are up I set the timer again for five more minutes. I keep doing this and before I know it I’ve got a bookshelf organized, or I’ve gone through a stack of old mail or I’ve finally completed a filing system to put my financial, medical and business paperwork in.

Procrastination destroys my initiative, saps my energy and makes me feel even more physically unwell than usual. Taking action even if it’s only for five minutes at a time is better than not taking any action. I feel a lot better when I am moving in the direction of my goals.

When I set a timer for only five minutes, I think to myself that I can do anything for five minutes. Then when I finally do get off the couch the magic of momentum kicks in and before I know it my room and my car are more cleaned and organized then they’ve been in decades.

Currently I’m rewatching the show “Frasier” from the beginning on Amazon Prime. In between each episode I set my phone timer for five minutes and see how much I can get done. Sometimes I just work for the five minutes and then start the next episode but more often then not I reset that five minute timer at least once or twice before I plop back down on the capuchin to watch the next episode

Today most folks are struggling to break old habits and build new ones, tackle great challenges or accomplish new feats. What I’ve found helpful in my quest to become a better human being is to break down whatever I want to accomplish into small increments of action that I can accomplish in five minutes at a time. It’s a non-stressful way for me to get motivated, build momentum and change lifelong habits by simply setting my phone timer for five minutes and getting to work.

Brad Miller

Fellow Human

Life is a lot like riding a bike

“When you are riding a bike you are constantly on the edge of falling. It’s the forward movement that keeps you from falling.”

Eric Olson from the documentary “Wormwood”.

Wormwood is a Netflix docuseries that delves into the true life conspiracy surrounding the death of Frank Olson, Eric Olson’s father.

Frank Olson was a biochemist who worked at Fort Detrick. He died in 1952 by falling or jumping from the window of a New York hotel. That at least was the official story

In 1974 reports exposed the out of control CIA and its atrocities. One of these atrocities was the murder of Frank Olson. Turns out he was dosed without his knowledge with LSD which led to his death. It’s still not clear whether he was pushed out the window or under the influence of a hallucination jumped from the window.

I didn’t expect to get such a profound snippet of wisdom from watching this series. For decades I’ve been interested in the historical struggle between the individual and the state. Constantly probing the veracity of the limitless conspiracy theories on the internet. And this is one always struck me as perfect example of what individuals do when they have unlimited power and unlimited secrecy. They do terrible things in the name of national security and use their power to try and cover it up.

So I went into this to gain knowledge about a specific true life conspiracy and came out with a beautiful metaphor for life.

The quote from Eric Olson is so powerful because I know that I feel the worst emotionally when I’m not moving forward in life. When I’m feeling the most depressed is when I feel like I’ve fallen. Take the term depression. That word illicit a picture of someone laying on the ground incapable of movement.

For Eric this epiphany occurred to him because his father used to ride him around on a bike and after his fathers death he found comfort in riding. For him it took years but he kept moving forward and exposed the truth about his fathers death despite the government’s continually attempts to cover it up.

Keep moving forward is the key to life. You don’t know what tomorrow may bring. For a nine year old boy in 1952 it brought the death of his beloved father and a subsequent lifetime of trying to figure out what truly happened that night. But he succeeded in uncovering the truth despite the efforts against him of the most powerful security state in the world.

Events can knock us off our bike like running into a bush or receiving life altering news, or we can simply stop peddling and fall off because of self doubt. That’s what really derails life. It steals our momentum and causes us to fall. Getting back up can seem impossible and it seems the very universe itself is against us.

Sometimes in those darkest moments if we are unable to get back up on the bike than we can walk the bike to get moving forward again.

It’s slow progress but it’s still progress. Then we get strong enough to mount the bike once aboard it forces us to pedal. When we get into the current of life it forces us to keep moving as well. Our own biological needs do this on the most basic of levels.

No matter how depressed you are your body forces you to move. You have to get up to get water, eat, and go the bathroom. Even when you feel like your not moving forward at all maybe you are more than you think by simply staying alive.

I often don’t know what the next should be and in those moments of indecision I lose forward momentum. If I continue vacillating about my next move I stop peddling all together and fall off the bike of life.

I’ve been knocked down hundreds of times off by the events of life. Since I was eleven I’ve been in and out of hospitals, had twenty abdominal surgeries and suffered over a hundred bowel obstructions. Each time I’m sick I fall hard off the bike of life. And each time I have to get back on it.

During recovery it’s so hard to keep pedaling. I’m physically tired and in chronic pain but if I don’t keep moving forward in the different areas of my life I know it’s always harder to get started moving again then to keep moving once I’ve gained some momentum.

Many times it feels like my actions don’t have the ability to change my life for the better and I want to stop pedaling because I think what the hell is the point?

But I feel emotionally terrible when I stop pedaling. I’ve learned the hard way that Taking some action is better than no action at all. Ill repeat to myself “some is better than none”.

I always feel better when I read or write, cook for someone else or take care of a bill I’ve had lying around for a little too long. I know it doesn’t sound like pedaling very hard but for me at the moment it’s the best I can muster and that’s enough to keep me from falling.

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also watch Wormwood. Do your own research into the Illegal horrible atrocities that the people at the CIA have committed and how they basically got away with it. The State is inherently corrupt and to this day commits atrocities against people in American and abroad.

But don’t allow the corrupt nature of the State to prevent you from moving forward in your own life and pedaling as hard and as fast as you can. And if you fall for whatever reason you can always get back up.

Brad Miller

Fellow Human

Right sized problems 


If you want to change the world change yourself. 

I’ve always had an issue with being unorganized. I can still recall my 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Razor yelling at me in front of the whole class and making me cry because I couldn’t find some work I had jammed into my cluttered desk. 

That was almost 35 years ago and I’ve struggled with organization and keeping my car and my room clean ever since. I just didn’t see the point in expending the energy do it. I’d suffered from several chronic illnesses and chronic pain for decades and I have limited energy to work with. 

That has changed this year. I’m not any better physically in fact this year has been one of my toughest years in a while in just about every aspect of my life. I’ve always been on the search for better ways to live and the advice that kept coming up over and over again was – 

  • when you are feeling overwhelmed or powerless in life the first step is to clean up and organize your immediate surroundings

As I’ve done this I’ve found my mind freed up to contemplate new ideas, have more mental clarity and mental energy.

It’s amazing how small actions like making your bed everyday or keeping your closet organized can help to create positive momentum that prepare you for tackling the bigger issues in life. 

Everyday the news inundates us with situations and problems around the world that 99.9999% of us have zero ability or opportunity to change. This can create a lot of negative emotions of fear, hopelessness, and anger. 

It doesn’t have to be just politics that generate these types of feelings. In the past I’d focus on my chronic intractable health issues andthose negative  feelings generated by inability to change that situation pervaded my whole life. 

This is a formula I’ve come up with – 

Awareness – Capacity = Hopelessness

Now my focus is on the right sized problems in my life that  I can tackle. Each time I do I’m increasing my  capacity to take on more and more complex issues and have the energy to do so as well. 

Awareness + Capacity = Hope

Hope is a powerful force and it gets reinforced every time I solve a problem in my life even though the bigger issues still exist. 

I listened to Professor Jordan Peterson on Stefan Molyneux’s podcast and he explained why it’s important to focus on tackling the right sized problems in your own life before you set out to tackle the problems of the world. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HcEJr8h_yGM 

He spoke of searching out these right sized problems which are problems you have the capacity to fix.  One year he gave an assignment to his students to do just that. 

The example he gave was about a student of his who lived with a bunch family members. The house was chaotic and groceries weren’t being purchased on a regular basis and no one was taking responsibility to cook, this all happened after  his mom passed away.

The student saw this local problem and he did something about it. He took responsibility for shopping, meal planning and cooking. It was difficult but he was able to fix this problem. He solved this issue that improves his life and also increased confidence and capacity to improve other aspects as well. his 

My right sized problem was getting organized and maintaining a system to stay that way. After I did this I began blogging consistently on my four blogs and I began producing video segments as well. 

There were other reasons that I began writing and sharing my ideas again but I firmly believe I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t exercised my capacity to impact my life in a meanigful and positive way by cleaning up my room. 

I’ve been sick and in pain most of my life. Because of this I’ve used it as a reason not to keep my living areas clean and organized. When I’ve felt horrible in the past I would think “what is the point of picking up my room or keeping the inside of my car clean, how could that possibly help me?”.

What I’ve learned is that it does matter. Takin care of seemingly small problems can have amazing and unexpected results. No matter how bad I feel now I always make my bed and make sure where I inhabit is clean and organized. Taking care of these right sized problems helps me to build up my capacity to take on bigger and more complex issues. Everyone can do the same thing. 

How much could people accomplish if they focused less on politics and more on solving their own problems? Once I started  spending less time focused on politics did I began seeing positive results in my life. Unfortunately it’s far easier to complain then it is to change your own behavior. 

A lot of folks want to change the world but haven’t even begun to address the smalll and big problems in their own lives. As you address the small issues you’ll gain confidence, increase your capacity for positive change and reinforce the idea that you truly are the hero of your story. I now think of taking care of the right sized problems in my life as heroic training. 

 The more responsibility I take for of my life the better my life becomes. 

When I become too focused on issues I can’t solve I use the following to go from helpless to hero: 

–  be aware of the right sized problems I have in my own life 

 – utilize my capacity to solve the right sized problems

– learn so that I can increase my awareness of my right sized problems and to increase my capacity to solve them

Brad 
Fellow Human 

Good deeds, knowledge and suffering 

“He who has more learning than good deeds is like a tree with many branches but weak roots; the first great storm will throw it to the ground. He whose good works are greather than his knowledge is like a tree with fewer branches but with strong spreading roots, a tree which all the winds of heaven cannot uproot” The Talmud

I read this quote in the entertaining and enlightening book “I never metaphor I didn’t like”. In the past to my detriment,  my learning far outstripped my good works. Because of this I’ve been uprooted by the winds of heaven far too many times. 

For me this quote crystallized the importance of performing good deeds, which reduces suffering in order to to build relationships to help me during times of distress. 

We are all social creatures that rely on our network of fellow humans to survive. Our good works are what keep and strengthen these connections because all of us want to be around those and to help those who help us suffer less.  

Humans will never be free from suffering. Our only hope is to lessen its sting and its frequency in our life and the lives of those we love. 

These good deeds don’t have to be grandiose to ameliorate some of the suffering our fellow humans feel. It could be as simple as cooking a nutritious meal for them, thanking them for something they’ve done for you in the past or paying them a sincere compliment. 

Learning to understand the world is important. But knowledge alone doesn’t lead to less suffering . Only by performing good deeds for your self and others do you build the foundation needed to whether the storms of life. 
Brad Miller 

Fellow Human 

Inquire, compliment, motivate 


Three steps you can take immediately to improve how you connect and communicate with those around you and make your world a better place to inhabit. 

We all want to heard, valued and encouraged. This is a fundamental aspect of being human. But like everything else in this world we must give in order to receive. 

These techniques are not about manipulation or deception and definitely not designed to make your conversations all one sided affairs.   They are merely tools that if used consistently during conversations  can help you to improve your knowledge of others and the world, clarify what you admire, and strengthen your relationships. 

 1. Inquire 

Ask questions. This seems like such a no-brained but how many conversations have you been a part of that consists of two people spouting declarative sentences at each other? These type of conversations are not the best way to connect with others. 

What can separate you from the masses is to ask relevant follow up questions based on the answer of your conversation partner. The more you are knowledgeable about many different subjects the better questions you can ask. Never stop learning. 

This active listening during the conversation helps to curb our tendency to focus on what we are going to say next without understanding what the other person is really saying. The better we understand others in our life the better our life becomes. 

Take away:

If you want to to be heard you first need to hear others.

 2: Compliment

We all want to be complimented. Unfortunately most of us don’t receive compliments on a regular basis. This can be demoralizing and explains a lot about what people post on social media. You may not be able to illicit compliments on demand but you can pay others compliments without it costing you a dime. 

When you are interacting with another human being, consciously seek out the qualities, actions, successes, attributes, personality traits, and aspects of their style that you find admirable or appealing. 

People are starving for sincere compliments. Don’t lie about liking their dress when you don’t. People can detect this as bullshit. 

Make a point to confidently give your compliments to others.. Look them  in the eye pay them the compliment and then tell them the why behind the compliment. 

Telling a girl her dress is nice is better than nothing. A better option though would be telling her why she looks amazing in that dress. Make it personal and meaniful. 

Takeaway:

Paying a sincere compliment to someone is one one of the best gifts you can give them and it costs you nothing. 

3. Motivate

Everyone needs a consistent intake of vitamin M (motivation). Be that source for the people you spend time with. Feelings of doubt, fear, and inferiority are part of the human condition. Help those that you love and those you encounter receive their daily dose of vitamin M.

Takeaway: When we motivate others we motivate ourselves as well. 

Our relationships are our life. Learning how to better connect and communicate with your fellow human beings is the simplest, cheapest, and most efficient way to improve the quality of your life, the life of those you love and as a result make the world a better place to inhabit. 

Brad Miller

Fellow Human 

Hero wanted

Are you the hero of your story?

We are all storytellers. We cast ourselves as the hero or villain, sidekick, supporting cast or victim in the stories we tell ourselves. Out of those choices who do you want to be? In the past without even being aware of it I wasn’t casting myself as the hero and in fact most of the time I felt as if I was just an extra in the story of my life. Over the last few years I’ve had a mindset shift that has led me to rewrite the story of my life, which includes how I view my past present and how I want to live in the future. Below are some of the ideas and techniques that help you own the story of you and become the hero of your life.

If you only have a minute or so please watch this video.

 

We all act or don’t act by the stories we tell ourselves. Are we going to be defined by our past mistakes or we going to cast ourselves as the hero in the story of our life? Are we going to be propelled by the story of us a hero embarking bravely and boldly toward what we desire? Or are we going to be paralyzed by the story we tell ourselves about how we are only our failures of our past?
Why is it important to take control of the stories you tell yourself?

1. Life is short – we are all on borrowed time – every movie you’ve ever seen or book you’ve read had a run time or a page count. Your story does as well.

2. You have the power to control, edit, change and alter the story you tell yourself about your past, present and future. By doing so you can create a more peaceful, powerful and productive you in the present which is much more capable of created the future reality you’ve written for yourself.

3. Either you are the hero of your story or someone else is. If you are not the hero you are the victim of external forces which you have no hope of overcoming and you are waiting on a hero to save you. This is the danger of politics and toxic relationships. You are a helpless victim and they are here to protect you from the villains and the world you are not prepared to encounter because you are according to their story that you accept, incapable of being the hero of your own life.

4. We love epic movies because we are supposed to be living epic lives. Recast yourself as the hero. Reimagine your origin story. Create a clearer narrative about your future story and right now envious yourself as a king who believes that his destiny is his to write. Each morning set out upon your white horse of ambition in the armor of courage holding the shield of truth and the sword of decision. The crown you wear is your own. You need no one to tell you that you are worthy to where the mantle, it is your birth right, your obligation and your responsibility.

Guy Ritchie does a great job explaining what it means to be the king of your domain. Everyman is a king and should have dominion over his kingdom. He isn’t talking about dominating others he’s talking about taking extreme ownership of yourself. While listening to the podcast he got me so motivated I bought the book Extreme Ownership while I was listening to the podcast. I’ll post a review soon.

This editing of your life’s story is not meant to be a means of ignoring physical reality or the consequences of past or future actions. However I do believe that the narratives we tell ourselves to explain the workings of the world and the role we are cast ourself in our own story are far more powerful than any circumstance we may find ourselves in. Your narrative doesn’t protect you from the fallout from your mistakes or physical reality. Just as the mighty hero of a great sci-fi- epic, you are not immune to slings and arrows of fortune, but just like every great hero, you have decided to go after what you desire no matter the circumstances you currently find yourself in. By casting yourself as the hero king of your story you are creating the powerful image in your mind that you can overcome, learn from, and turn to your advantage any mistake or oversight, or misdeed or misfortune to your benefit. A hero takes his lumps but he doesn’t stop. He gets back up after being knocked down and he continues on toward the promised land.

 

 

You can check out more of Jordan Peterson’s approach to scripting your life story at his website: https://selfauthoring.com

Now as you write your narrative of your life be careful who you cast as the Villain in your story. It’s extremely dangerous to cast a person as the villain of your narrative. The political dissension is a perfect example of two groups of people who have cast polar opposites as their side’s villain. In other words the stories about reality that they are telling themselves is the opposite of what the other group is telling themselves. What both sides are missing is that the people within each faction should cast themselves as the heroes of their lives and begin acting accordingly. Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring program is designed to help you take charge of the narrative of your life and crafting your future reality as well.

You own your past and can tell the story how you see fit which best serves your ability to act with confidence today. Start thinking of your past as your origin story. We all have the most powerful piece of machinery yet known to exist and it resides inside our cranium. Our imagination is the story generating tool that constructs the narratives we live by. The narrative of who you are is not fixed. That is to say within certain parameters. Don’t lie to yourself and don’t lie to others. But that doesn’t mean you have to paint yourself in the worst possible light for your origin story. Those events that occurred and the choices you made in the past got you where you are today. Every great super hero story begins that way. Your origin story is your’s to create.

Along with the powerful origin story every hero wants something. Use your future reality generating machine – your imagination – to craft the story of your future. Tell that story to yourself often. Don’t worry about nailing it all down at once. Focus on the emotional states you want to experience more of and begin creating the scenarios in which you would feel those. The hero wants the girl because of how he thinks he’ll feel when he wins her heart. We all want things or the affections of others, or a vacation or money to feel a certain way. Knowing what emotional states that you want to experience more of will keep you from being disappointed by achieving your goals. Your real goal as the hero is to create a freer, more prosperous, more just, safer, and happier world for yourself and those that you love to inhabit.

You can be the villain, the victim, the supporting cast or even an extra in the story of your life or you can be the hero you were born to be. Claim that today. Claim your dominion over your kingdom. Take full responsibility of your domain. Create your origin story that empowers you to act in the present with confidence and boldness, in order to overcome the internal and external struggles that are necessary to make the story you’ve crafted for your future, becomes a reality.

Brad Miller