Happy Superhero Friday! We are thrilled to welcome Kevin Bachelder to the show, a podcaster with whom both Brian and I go way back with (Brian longer than I). We met Kevin during our time at TV Talk, where he and Brian started an Arrow podcast, which they brought over to Golden Spiral Media and added me to the fray. Kevin's adventures in podcasting have led him around the sci-fi/fantasy world, from his long-standing podcast Tuning into Sci Fi to his newer podcast for Wynonna Earp.
Every conversation with Kevin really is tuning into sci fi (cue drum beats). In all seriousness, this guy knows his science fiction and fantasy, both TV and film, and is a wealth of knowledge, making him a huge asset in his many circles. From his heavy involvement in DragonCon to his passion for rallying fans around new and exciting television adventures, he has found an amazing niche in the podcasting world.
In continuing the discussion of mindset and attitude, we're here today encouraging you to choose a positive, healthy approach to your life. The first step to dominating your circumstances is to not let them rule over you, don't let them win!
Dominate... to exercise control over or have a commanding influence. We use the word to describe competitions in which one person or team won decisively over another, in which case it is either positive or negative depending on which side you're rooting for. But the Latin root of dominate, dominus, literally means lord or master, ruler or governor, and as such can be purported in contexts that denote a more master/slave connotation.
Set aside preconceived notions about domination for a moment and think objectively about what the implications are of being dominate over another person, team or nation. To dominate means to command, to run the table. Winning decisively is not the end of the mission, it is only the beginning. Dominating our circumstances requires constant vigilance to attitude and mindset, seeking positivity and contentment as the fuel for healthy living.
Develop a good habit this week! Go for a twenty minute walk everyday; appreciate something new over your morning cup of coffee.
Happy Superhero Friday! This week Jess joins Brian for another epic, anything-goes discussion. Jess is often better known by her alter-ego, Harley Quinn. We had the amazing opportunity to meet Jess in Atlanta for Dragon Con a couple years ago and have enjoyed an awesome podcast relationship with her. When you're through listening to this episode of The Real Brian Show, go check out her Legends of Tomorrow podcast (link below).
Whether the struggle and pain we face manifests itself in a visible physical ailment, or it is something less obvious, simply not talking about it doesn't make it not real or not prevalent. The topic brought forward for discussion in this installment of the Real Brian Show addresses the idea that in order to be a genuine leader, you must be willing to be vulnerable with weakness. In other words, you must walk with a limp.
Never trust a leader who doesn't walk with a limp.
Dr. J. Robert Clinton
The most populate teaching method is using illustrations. Political leaders do it, religious leaders do it, motivational leaders do it. It's the easiest way to relate complex idealisms in an accessible way. So by default, people are primed and ready to be taught through illustrations. Sometimes it is most impactful to tell stories about people you've encountered who overcame incredible obstacles or accomplished impossible feats because it describes something far outside what you'd ever experience. But pain and struggle is unique and relative to each person.
In leadership, this becomes particularly important because a leader is someone who commands or moves someone else (or a group of people) forward. Being in that position, then, requires trust from the people you are taking charge of. Whether you are leading a troupe of soldiers, leading a horse by his reigns, or leading a discussion about a sensitive topic, the people (or horse) who are looking to you must be able to trust you in order for the outcome to yield positive results. It seems kinda straightforward, right?
Many times it seems that we don't want people to see our limps because it'll too greatly expose our weaknesses. Being honest about our limp(s) requires a great deal of vulnerability and confidence, but talking about it and being up front with it doesn't make us weak... it makes us trust worthy because it reveals the genuineness of human nature. Nobody is perfect, so pretending like we are doesn't make us perfect, it makes us a fraud.
So don't be a fraud! Look to the leaders you respect most and do a little inventory of what it is they do best and how they are able to influence (or make an impact) your life. How is their vulnerability, humility and transparency inspiring to you?
Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!
Happy Superhero Friday! You may want to be well-fed before listening to this podcast, because we will make your mouth water. This week we welcome Mark Des Cotes to the fold (sometimes known as The Wraith). You can hear Mark talk about The Expanse, Orphan Black, Killjoys and other awesome sci-fi shows over at Solo Talk Media. In this episode we talk a lot about gaming, including Diablo II, World of Warcraft and Zelda; we talk about some of our highlight food and drinks from the week; and as the title of this episode might suggest, we discuss the situation in Canada where a Star Trek fan was forced to change his license plate or else have his insurance cut off (a link to the article can be found below).
Do you get offended easily? If not, get a mental picture of someone you know who does get offended easily and let's go on a little thought exercise.
In the legal system, an offense is, literally, a breach of a law. That law is something concrete, measurable, with parameters, warnings and stipulations. A law was made and someone blatantly breached the parameters of that law. There is a secondary definition for offense, though, and it's this:
annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles
On the one hand we have something objective, and on the other we have something subjective. With the legal system, there are parameters around what gives the law a reason to be reactive to an individual's or entity's actions (and that person had knowledge of the system they lived within, which they will be held accountable for). However, in the social system, the subjectivity of offense has no boundaries. The potential for it to occur is unpredictable.
How does a person keep from offending no one? It seems impossible. Even by being bland, generic and using no overt characterizations in language, it is possible to offend because it is based on perception.
It would be remiss to react to reasoning like this with, "Well, if offense is subjective then I don't have to care about what I say or what I do." If you've never listened to an episode of The Real Brian Show, the first thing you need to know about us is that we're all about respect. We find it of the highest importance to treat one another with respect because it permeates all of our actions and behaviors. Making exceptions in order to spare someone's feelings is a never ending cycle, but there is a core similarity to every instance in which someone declares offense: they feel like they are being disrespected.
If you disagree, that's fine. I think it's important, however, to draw out the fact that not every instance of taking offense is selfish, nor is it necessarily a cry for attention; however, at the same time, it can easily be one or both of those things. And that's just part of what makes dealing with perceived offense so challenging in a social system.
Every time someone takes offense to something, the legal system tries to put more laws into place in order to protect a smaller subset of people. I think this is fundamentally flawed and not sustainable in any way. The solution, at least in my mind, has more to do with a careful education and training system of teaching people how to simply be kind and respectful. But it seems like we've adopted this mentality as a society that it's impossible to change people, and that we shouldn't change people, and so a social etiquette solution for a social issue is just discarded outright.
What are your thoughts on political correctness? Where does it have its merits? Let us know in the comments below!
Decisions. There is a continuum that represents a decision maker. On one extreme we have the impulsive, in-the-moment decision maker who takes little time for contemplation or reflection; on the other extreme we have the overly-cautious, analytical type who is paralyzed by the contemplation of an impending decision. As with everything in life, here at The Real Brian Show we hope to help you think about finding a balance between these extremes because sometimes situations call for us to lean toward one or another side of this spectrum without going overboard.
The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.
Just last month, NPR released a TED Talk on decision making. It reminded me of a very important factor in decision making that hasn't always been around, and that is the sheer number of choices we are all faced with on a daily basis. The effect of living in a society that provides many choices has had a ripple effect on the way we approach other decisions that perhaps don't have that same degree of choices (at least, when it doesn't appear so on the surface).
As Brian says, part of where we each fall on the decision-making spectrum has to do with our personalities. But when we go around contributing the decisions we make to reasons like, "That's just how I do things..." or "I can't help it..." we're inhibiting ourselves -- and often those immediately around us.
Altering a tendency that seems inherently characteristic is no small task, but it is entirely possible. Making decisions is a discipline of aligning the mind with the heart. The quote I inserted at the top of this section, from Blaise Pascal, is a shining reminder of just how enigmatic the human spirit is. Our incredibly complex physiology enables our bodies to learn faster than we become aware of its lessons. Our brains absorb an incredible amount of sensory information every second and we use that information to make decisions without even realizing it at times. Am I cold? I should bring a sweater to work. Does it smell like fire? I should run out of the house.
Lately, I've been noticing that when I'm dragging my heels on making a decision it's often because my heart has made a decision before than my brain did (or vice versa). In my heart I know a truth, but it takes a while for that truth to be articulated in a way I can understand and to which my brain can finally sign off on.
In Brian's advice to us about making decisions, his first point is evaluating whether or not a decision is a heck yes! If that conclusion can be drawn immediately, TAKE IT! Take that decision and own it. Sometimes, no matter how much clarity we look for in a situation, it will never present itself as a heck yes. And in those cases, it is my encouragement to you to build confidence in aligning the reason of your heart with the reason of your mind. How do you build that confidence? By setting aside any fear that comes with admitting your heart or your reason is leaning one way or another.
Please give a proper Superhero Friday welcome to this week's guest, The Nightfox (aka Camron)! He jumps right in with Brian and they chat about the new format of The Real Brian Show, about gaming, and about how Starbuck's unicorn frap sold out the first day. With a new host comes a new slew of favorites-of-the-week, including a couple videos which you will find links to at the bottom of this blog post.
It was a fantastic treat to have The Nightfox on The Real Brian Show for Star Wars week! As this show continuously attempts to be more interactive, talking with you guys as well as any special guests we have on the show, we want to make sure you know this communication goes two ways. If you're looking for a way to start talking with us, maybe you can provide the first hack of the week!
What's a hack of the week? You know, like a lifehack or a carhack or a shoehack... something you unlock in a way no one else has unlocked it before. Or maybe it's just an incredible thing you learned about the right way to do something (instead of the hard way).
In fact, don't stop at just hacks. We like to know what is unique about this week, so whatever is most at the forefront of your mind, whatever you've been hooked on this week, be it food or drink or a YouTube video, we want to know! Email us, or leave a comment in the blog!
It's Star Wars Week! While Brian and The Nightfox geek out about Star Wars and video games, I'm going to take you on a guided YouTube rabbit trail. I still find it fascinating how YouTube can suck me in. It draws me into this completely separate world. In a bizarre six-degrees of separation, I find myself nowhere near where I started. Or perhaps relatively near, but in a dark corner of the YouTube world I never realized existed. There are sub communities within sub communities.
It started with a simple YouTube search. I wanted to watch the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer because my brother-in-law told me about a line that Luke speaks which I totally missed. So I click on the trailer that has 37 million+ views, right? I hear the line, and then see the title of a video that will break down all of the Easter Eggs in the trailer. The trailer is 2.5 minutes long and this Easter Egg video? It's like 18 minutes long. But I watch it anyway.
First of all, wow. That easter egg video was incredibly interesting. Second, I love nerds. I love these kinds of videos people make about breaking things down or explaining things that are comic book or fantasy related because they talk fast. They don't waste time, they talk as fast as they can and still be coherent. They don't wait to make sure you're absorbing information or insert unnecessary process. They just go. I love that. Which is why I clicked on the easter egg/trailer breakdown of Thor: Ragnarok. After that even longer breakdown video, I clicked on a comedic trailer for Thor (seriously, skip to :40 and watch like 20 seconds).
From there I went to Captain America: Civil War bloopers (videos which I firmly believe are more interesting to those involved with shooting than anyone else). Then to Top 10 Actors Who Quit their jobs at the worst possible times. And THIS video answered my questions about why no Keanu Reeves in Speed 2. After learning some facts I have nowhere to file, I clicked on a video with a picture of Chris Evans, which turned out to be 10 movie effects so good, you couldn't tell they were fake. (Star Wars, who?)
After about 3 more "10 things you never knew" sort of videos, I landed on this one: San Andreas without the special effects looks ridiculous. And this is where my story ends because it was finally at this point when I realized just how hollow and empty all these things were I'd been watching for like two hours. From easter eggs to how realistic CGI is, it took all this time for me to remember that it is all just a production. None of this is real! Like any proverbial piece of art, I'm spending my time watching things that are crafted in order to provoke a response. If you're looking for anything to buzzkill your YouTube rabbit trail, keep this last video about San Andreas handy. I landed firmly back on solid ground, shut my computer, and went to sleep.
Do you make time to rest? Intentional, unadulterated rest? Between professional responsibilities and home life, it's easy to get swept away and forget to return to a basic fundamental like resting. It's more than sleeping, it's taking a break, both body and mind, from the strenuous activities that otherwise occupy our time. The idea behind rest is to recover and there are some things as human beings we cannot do to recover, sometimes it requires not doing.
Brian's experience with rest comes at a very coincidental time in my own life. I've been playing catch-up at work and in my personal life for the last year. For a long time, for over a year, it felt as though I kept drawing breath, inhaling over and over, and only once in a while getting to let a little of it out. This past week, I've finally been able to exhale.
There are a couple things I've learned from the past year, in which it felt like I had a severely skewed ratio of work to rest.
1) No one is going to give me rest. People can tell me to take rest, but it is something I have to take and seek out myself. This may be anything from setting boundaries to giving myself permission to just take a step back from my work, but as Brian says... it has to be intentional.
2) The less you rest, the harder it is to find enough of it. Have you ever been really dehydrated? Not just thirsty, but severely low on fluids? (Maybe when you had the flu?) The basic cause of dehydration is when the body uses or loses more fluids than it takes in. Symptoms of dehydration are one thing (dizziness, thirst), but complications arising from it are another (we're talking kidney problems, seizures). Replenishing fluids in the body is the only way to prevent dehydration and, likewise, rest is the way to prevent a number of symptoms that lead to intense complications.
Taking rest while I'm consumed with stress about work is really difficult for me. I have a deep sense of responsibility toward my work, which is usually a strength... but it becomes a weakness when I start underperforming because I'm overcommitting. I am slowly learning how to take a day of rest for myself, to step away from computers and work and do something else (I've been painting, lately). It's not easy to convince my mind to let go, but it's an exercise that feels more and more essential the longer the pressure endures.