In this episode, we sit down with famed stage magician, infamous instructor of the school of scams, Brian Brushwood, whose new podcast explores the world’s greatest con artists and con jobs from World War II to modern game shows. 

It’s February. It’s that time of year when we start to wonder if we might not follow through with our New Year’s resolutions. It’s that time of the year when procrastination becomes a centerpiece of our psychological concerns.

If you only just now started working and answering emails and eating properly, that this just means you are a normal human living in really weird times, and everyone else is also slowly, and begrudgingly, starting to accept the fact that it is 2023 as well

Our guest in this episode is professor, author, therapist, and speaker Britt Frank, a trauma specialist who treats people with a unique and powerful set of techniques and approaches which, taken together, help clients to get out of the feeling of being STUCK. Author of The Science of Stuck, she says, “Procrastination is not a character flaw. Nor is it a sign of weakness. Nor is it a sign of laziness.⁣ Procrastination is an indicator that internal consent has not been given. When our inner parts are distressed, afraid, sad, angry, grief-stricken or anxious, it is important to listen to their concerns, not to shame them or coerce them into action.⁣”

In the show you’ll learn about the physiological origins of procrastination – the inner brake pedal and gas pedal – and what to do to escape the two different versions of this universal challenge to getting unstuck and getting things done.

Nick Sonnenberg doesn’t believe there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

That’s because when his business was in crisis mode, he developed a framework for eliminating inefficiencies and preventing the sort of metawork – working on working – that leads to scavenger hunts and meetings that could be emails, and for that matter, email runarounds that get everyone ever farther from inbox zero. He turned that framework into a consultancy business, and put it all together in a new book for people who feel underwater titled Come up For Air.

In this episode we sit down with psychologist Dacher Keltner, one of the world’s leading experts on the science of emotion, the man Pixar hired to help them write Inside Out. In his new book – Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life – he outlines his years of work in this field, the health benefits of awe, the evolutionary origins and likely functions, and how to better pursue more awe and wonder in your own life.

In this episode, Micheal Rousell, author of The Power of Surprise, explains the science of surprise at the level of neurons and brain structures, and then talk about how surprises often lead to the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, the different personal narratives that guide our behaviors and motivations and goals, and, perhaps most importantly, our willingness to be surprised again so that we can change and grow.

In the show, you will how we can use the current understanding of how surprise leads to learning, and how learning depends on interpretation, to improve our lives, and the lives of others

Temple Grandin was born at a time when words like neurodivergent and neurotypical had yet to enter the lexicon and autism was not well understood. Since she didn’t develop speech until much later than most children, she might have led a much different life if it hadn’t been for people around her who worked very hard to open up a space for her to thrive and explore her talents and abilities. In this episode we discuss all that as well as her latest book, Visual Thinking, all about three distinct ways that human brains create human minds to make sense of the world outside of their skulls.