The Real Brian Show

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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 25, 2017

Ever wondered how you might create the life you want? We'll be the first to admit that the answer isn't one-size-fits-all, but the conversation in this episode of The Real Brian Show can help refocus the path to that life. When I choose to adopt these methodologies in my own life, I am surprised to find that the life I want while I'm living selflessly is very different from what I want when I'm living for myself. How does living differently change what we want? Perspective.

In this Episode

  • Tired of the negativity...
  • Developing a new morning routine!
  • New Music. Check out Danger Silent
  • Ostrich meat, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cinnamon Cubano
  • Welcome Kate Erickson!
  • Attitude and how it can change the world.

Keep the Bedroom Sacred

I know where your mind went with that header! Reel it back in so that I can expound on this sacredness I speak of. Brian explains his new morning routine in this episode and it involves not keeping his cellphone in his bedroom. No more with the cellphone alarm clock! no more with the social media wake up ritual! What do you think you'd do instead when you wake up in the morning without technology within reach?

If the routine itself isn't appealing to you, maybe science will change your mind. Several years ago, when smart phones really began to explode, we began to see a lot of fundamental aspects of our culture change. In addition to texting while driving, looking at your phone while crossing the street, and Googling (or asking Siri about) everything you don't know, the physical side effects of LCD screens began to emerge.

According to many scientists, LCD screens have a legitimate negative effect on our health. Eye strain (including blinking less and what is called "Near Point Stress Syndrome"), headaches, sleepless nights... they are not just things Mom said to get us to put down our phones. trbs-009-screens-in-the-dark Articles in everyday publications, such as Forbes, brought up the excellent point of LCD being non-existent throughout human history up until the last thirty years. Until the last ten years or so, the human body has never been exposed to the degree of exposure to LCD screens that we force on them now. Some scientists would posit that these screens go so far as to trick our bodies into thinking it's daylight when it may be the middle of the night. Have you ever crawled in bed, tired and exhausted, feeling like you could fall asleep within seconds... but then you pull out your phone, maybe for something as innocent as turning it to silent mode or setting the alarm, only to find a half-hour has passed and you've thoroughly perused Facebook? And at that point you're not even tired anymore?

We have a problem! Bringing that distracting nonsense into the bedroom is not necessary. Try keeping the bedroom sacred, remove LCD screens from the bedroom for a couple weeks and see what changes.

Create the Life You Want

What an incredible conversation with Kate this week. I've heard Kate interviewed many times, not just by Brian too (she was a guest on Profitcast), and I'm always thrilled to hear her articulate aspects of herself that I am unable to put into words about myself. Early in this episode she talks about her behavior when entering a party or a group of people, and her approach deeply resonates with me.

I followed up Brian's discussion of standing up for ourselves last week with a little commentary of my own and basically tried to get across that what finally clicked for me was understanding the connection I had to a group of people that enabled me to do what I was good at confidently. Not unlike Kate's own realization of, "What am I doing?" when carefully evaluating her approach to mingling, I realized, as far as networking and socializing is concerned, that what was missing for me, to be bold in the midst of strangers, was a lack of connection. I didn't know how I connected to all these people. Instead of it being a point of fear, I used it as a challenge. I rose up out of my introverted, I'd-rather-be-home-with-a-good-book nature and created the atmosphere I wanted.

The entire interview with Kate is filled with so much excellent material that I don't even want to approach a recap of it all here. They talk about paying it forward, being nice to people and saying hello, and how that can fundamentally change your own day as well as perfect strangers. They talk about how attitude is the front-runner to perspective, how without a good attitude everything that happens results in a perspective with a murky lens. The picture they paint for us, the conversation as a whole, sets up this model of what it means to create the life you want. The life we want is full of choices; and that's not just, 'What do I want to do for a living?' or 'Should I get married?' But daily asking ourselves, 'What attitude am I going to wear today?' and 'How can I treat those around me with the respect they deserve?'


Jan 18, 2017

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We've got a great lineup for you today, including a discussion with Steven Brandon. Brian and Steven were paired together to cover The Big Bang Theory for TV Talk several years back and have kept in touch ever since.

In This Episode

  • Welcome Steven!
  • Finding love in reality... shows
  • Saying yes. Trying everything.

Hailing from the Land Down Under, Steven brought his talent and prowess to the U.S. where he now works and lives. From an appearance on Wipeout (the blind date edition) in 2010 to Dating Naked in 2014, Steven has stretched his theater muscles in a variety of ways that have now landed him in L.A. with the Canned Laughter entertainment company. Currently, Brandon is working on a musical version of Game of Thrones which will debut in February 2017.

After listening to Steven talk for awhile, it's no surprise that one of his primary super powers is creativity. He's buzzing with energy and has a philosophy well suited for an extrovert: say yes, try everything. It has, undoubtedly, provided some unique experiences for him! Three words: naked ATV ride. To understand what I'm talking about, you're going to have to listen.



Jan 11, 2017

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We'd like to invite you back to our room in this episode to see the view, if you know what we mean. Don't know what we mean? Well, then it's good we brought Martin (aka The Flash) back.

In This Episode

  • Texting & Driving. Really?!
  • The Flash returns!
  • Phone and Social Media Addiction

Come See the View

I'll let Brian and Martin share the full story of where this line became a comedic staple of our friendship, but it falls into the category of not realizing what you've said until after you've said it! Witty banter and friendly jabbing requires a healthy dose of euphemisms and double entendres. If I'm not mistaken, we stumbled into this particular double entendre at DragonCon with the second guest of this episode, Martin (aka The Flash). It was a memorable weekend and lives on through the inside jokes we carefully cultivated.

Over the last several years, many of the best friendship I've developed have been as a result of podcasting. We've had Martin guest host on The Real Brian Show before, but the first time we ever got to chat with him was way back on The Flash podcast Brian and I hosted for a half-season at Golden Spiral Media. Martin, being a pretty big Flash fan himself, was an expert witness in our ramp-up episodes. Prior to that, Martin became a huge part of the TV Talk community by providing regular contributions to the shows he watched and listened to and it's been amazing to see how one thing has led to another.

And before we knew it, Brian was inviting him back to his room to see the view. Or was he inviting me? I can never remember. Ha. Haha.

Phone and Social Media Addiction

Martin and Brian touch on an increasingly popular topic in this episode, that of millennials in the workplace. The discussion was spawned by this Simon Sinek interview on Inside Quest with Tom Bilyeu, in which he highlights the perceived problem of millennial's performance in the workplace and their social media-driven dopamine addiction.

I was born in the late 80s and am technically considered a Millennial, so as much as I often agree with the observations put out there by folks like Simon, I also know that there are exceptions. Interestingly, I was reading an article this past weekend about how I am on the cusp of the Millennial generation. Even though I fall into that era, I still remember what a household without a personal computer was like. I still remember the novelty of using an old Mac to play an 8-bit version of Oregon Trail in the school computer lab. I went through junior high and high school without social media (heck, I didn't even have a cell phone).

My parents raised me in a frugal household, not an entitled one. And for that I am tremendously thankful. I watched my dad's incredible work ethic and strive every day to emulate his example. That said, I really was on the cusp of the Millennial generation and I don't think I am either the exception or the rule; I think it was about my graduation class that began to go either way, until social media helped spur on the de-evolution of our society. My opinion, obviously.

Simon draws attention to some of the inadvertent behaviors Millennials exhibit in the workplace; behaviors that aren't entirely their fault, and yet are invalid excuses in the real world. Parents treating their children with an entitled hand, for example (i.e. participation trophies), are setting kids up for disappointments later in life. It's not entirely the child's fault, other than the fact that they aren't being taught to simultaneously stand up to hand-outs. We've talked about adversity on this show and how even when we're faced with a bad lot in life, it's entirely possible to use adversity to fuel our rise to success. But how do you tell a generation of children who were given participation trophies that the real enemy isn't their employers who expect them to show up to work on time...but an entire childhood worth of "you're special!" commentary? Of course they're special; but they're not so special that they can show up to work 2 hours late every day and expect to keep their job.

One of my favorite aspects to this interview Simon gave is the emphasis he puts on imbalance as the ultimate culprit, not the behavior. The behavior is a result of imbalance; there is nothing inherently wrong with Facebook, but too much time spent on Facebook is wrong. The behavior can be corrected by fixing the imbalance and will never be corrected by criticizing or attacking the behavior itself.

What is your take on the Simon interview? Let us know!


Jan 5, 2017

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The end of the year was chalked up with some interesting events to cap off what can only be labeled an interesting year. To get us back in the groove and start off 2017 on a note of positivity and generosity, Brian catches up with Julie Damschroder, a lawyer-turned-franchise owner, and gets a glimpse into her experiences. Leaving her desk behind, Julie realized her passion for baking could be realized with a bit of elbow grease and a whole lot of love.

In this Episode

  • Social Media: Love it or Lose it?
  • Wind is the devil's breath.
  • Finding lots of good music!
  • Currently watching: new TV/rewatching Rogue One
  • Welcome Julie! Fort Collins Baking Nerd.
  • Giving someone else a chance

Great Harvest Bread

Do you have a Great Harvest Bread near you? We have them here in Minnesota and I never pass up an opportunity to pick up a loaf of Pumpkin Bread. I did not realize, however, that each location is an instantiation of a franchise! After hearing Julie's story, however, it makes a lot of sense. I've never had a loaf of bread from Great Harvest that I haven't loved entirely, and it's because the person who runs the store has an opportunity to express their skill and creativity through a lot of decisions that are often made, in non-franchises, over the head of local shops.

Julie brings her own ideas to the franchise and has an incredible passion for giving back to the community by never letting bread go to waste. From utilizing local markets to grinding their own wheat, from providing generous samples of the bread in-store to providing loaves to hungry children, Julie is in the business of spreading love through rich, healthy bread.

Comfort through bread, that's the vibe I get from Julie in this episode. While she is running a business, it's not all about making money. She wants to give back to the community and is able to do so with a natural passion for baking, a natural, holistic approach to life, and a deep desire to see healthy lives around her.

Give Someone Else a Chance

If you change your mind, I'll be first in line. Honey I'm still free, take a chance on me.

I couldn't help it. I had this song stuck in my head after listening to Brian discuss this idea of giving someone a chance! Then, of course, I was reminded of the scene from The Office when Andy is asking Angela out with his a cappella group and they use this song.

After I crawled out of the black hole of a YouTube rabbit trail, I thought about the song as it relates to the discussion you'll hear in this episode. While Abba's song is clearly talking about a romance, the sentiment still applies. Giving someone a chance, investing in someone, can produce an incredible result. Many of us get to the point where we cannot help every single person who asks for it, but I think the biggest distinction we're trying to draw here is building a spirit of generosity and selflessness within ourselves. Every person has to earn their own way in life. But there are some those who can't, due to physical or mental limitations, or won't, due to despondency.

Brian has some great things to say on this topic, and I wanted to add to the discussion by remembering a subset of people who often get passed over for chances. Sometimes it feels like the younger generations gradually lose their will to work hard or develop a serious work ethic. Whether they're privileged or being raised by a generation of Participation-Trophy winners, it's hard to say. But it is extremely difficult, and almost not even thought of, to take a chance on someone who doesn't seem to want the help or care about the leg up. Without evidence that someone will take our teaching moments and reap a plentiful harvest from it, it's hard to really throw ourselves into it.

Kids hardly ever know what they want, right? Whether they're being raised now or a hundred years ago. Life was much different in my grandparents' childhood. Listening to stories Papa tells about tending to the strawberry patches as a child make me feel lazy, but then I look at how his work ethic translated in the lives of his children and I can see that for each generation a new version of the same work ethic is implemented. In the spirit of not letting that go to waste, it is on my mind this year to start looking for opportunities to give younger people the encouragement they need to work hard and witness the fruit of their labor.

Giving someone a chance doesn't always mean they come to you begging for an opportunity to prove themselves, but it certainly may! With the global sentiment of 2016 being what it is (generally that the year sucked), it would not hurt us all to adopt a heart of generosity and recognize the difference between giving someone a chance and giving out freebies.