Monthly Archives: March 2022

EP 538 The Practice of Meditation Growing in America



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Meditation is certainly trending in America. Perhaps, it’s growth can be attributed to the stress of the pandemic or the quieting of the American mind while spending more time at home. Whatever the reason, it’s benefits can be profound according to research. It can help with stress, burnout insomnia and anxiety, while also demonstrating positive impacts on conditions ranging from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to increasing an enzyme needed to delay the onset of diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Schools are now including mindfulness activities into their daily routine as are many businesses with great results in productivity increases. Joining us to discuss meditation is Dr. Krishna Bhatta, the founder of Relaxx, an app that helps people achieve their meditation goals.


EP 537 The Entrepreneurial Spirit Awakening in a ‘Tiny’ Way in America



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Small business is the engine of America’s private sector and in a moment when many people are abandoning their jobs, often they are looking for the opportunity to replace their paycheck income with a successful small business that gives them more freedom and self determination.  And while it is not for those who lack the courage to fail, it’s a great moment to take a hold of the efficiencies that technology affords to a small business to outsource and automate your way to success with the right idea.  Most important is finding your niche in sectors that are emerging before others find a path there.  Elaine Pofeldt, a business journalist, is the author of the new book ‘Tiny Business Big Money: Strategies for Creating a High Revenue Microbusiness’.  She offers very practical advice on this podcast as to the process you should undertake if you are considering such a major move in your life. As she demonstrates, bigger is not always better, but smarter and more targeted can be.  This podcast is clearly worth your time.

 


EP 536 Lincoln Re-Wrote the Constitution: Who Knew?



 

 

Abraham Lincoln is often called the Great Emancipator. Yet perhaps his equally valuable contribution to the rights of American citizens was to rip up the Constitution of 1787 and replace it with the one we have today. The original Constitution, nowhere included a stated commitment to equality for each of us. It was a document built on compromise, which accepted the enslavement of those who came to our shores from Africa and held back rights to many others, including women and those who were not white, male property owners. Lincoln took extra-Constitutional measures to replace pre Civil War America with one that aspires to become a more moral country. Where we are in the process of ‘becoming’ remains an open question, but certainly is a far cry from 19th century America. In his compelling book, ‘The Broken Constitution’, Harvard Law Professor, Noah Feldman portrays the struggles Lincoln went through to make the war one more about emancipation than his initial goal of preservation of the Union. As a podcast dedicated to the future, we ask this great scholar to weigh in on the challenges the Union faces today.


EP 535 Do Sanctions Work?



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America and its allies in NATO have just applied the most onerous sanctions yet on Vladimir Putin, his fellow kleptocrats and the people of Russia. The question is how effective will they be? In many ways that depends on what the objective was in putting them in place. If it was to stop his invasion of Ukraine, obviously it did not work. Since it came after Russia invaded a sovereign country, as of this moment, it has not stopped the conflict. It clearly is affecting the Russian economy and the daily lives of its citizens. Ben Coates, a Wake Forest University professor, is investigating the history of economic sanctions in the 20th century. While these measures taken against Russia are unprecedented, such pressure on a country usually effective thirty percent of the time. There are so many angles to the sanctions question and so many derivations from embargoes to export controls to trade sanctions to asset freezes. While Putin calls it an economic act of war, he is looking for ways around it. Like many of the topics we deal with on this podcast, it’s complicated. Listen carefully and gain new insights into a term that has many meanings.


EP 534 The Great Resignation aka Take This Job and Shove It



 

 

Americans have been leaving their jobs in record numbers as the pandemic has rolled on. While this fact in and of itself is interesting, perhaps more intriguing is ‘why’. Our guest Kristin Schuchman, a certified business coach and author of the book ‘Jump Start: How to redirect a career that has stalled, lost direction or reached a crossroads’ has seen too much in her career consulting practice to ascribe any one factor as the key reason. Some people felt overworked and vulnerable in their front line positions at restaurants and in hospitality during the surges of the pandemic, while others gained new insights into how they defined ‘work-life balance’ given what they had been through. Still others were dissatisfied with their workplace before the pandemic and the company response hastened their decision. Little discussed reasons are touched upon in this podcast, including the record number of baby boomers who were on the verge of retirement who took this opportunity to take the plunge, given rising housing values and stock market gains. It’s clearly a trend and an interesting one which we explore in depth on this podcast.


EP 533 Global Enduring Disorder Exists: What’s the Cure?



 

For centuries, the downfall of one global empire has been followed by the rise of another.  America was top dog when the Soviet Union fell apart, but our guest argues that is no longer its position.  We are now in what he terms ‘The Enduring Disorder’.  Yes, the institutions we established after World War to keep order around the globe are still in place, but our willingness, and that of our Allies, to act in concert to enforce these rules has waned.  That fact, according to Jason Pack, a senior analyst at the NATO Foundation, played itself out on the world stage in microcosm in post-Qadhafi Libya, thus the title of his book ‘Libya and the Global Enduring Disorder’.  As I write this description of our conversation, while President Biden has worked hard to get the old band back together, it was too late to convince Vladimir Putin of the West’s resolve to protect an international system built on the notion that sovereign borders could not be changed by force.  Mr. Pack shares much original thinking about how we have reached this point and the dangers inherent in its continuation.  Be attentive, as I say, Mr. Pack unpacks a lot of political theory and practical examples of the unstable world which we now inhabit.


EP 532 Americans Desire for Medical Free Will



 

 

Throughout our history, state and federal legislators have limited the scope of medical treatments available to us. In the spirit of our prized individualism, Americans have often opposed this and pursued their own therapies, which may fall outside the bounds of that which the medical establishment might prescribe. During the pandemic that demand to go our own way has found people rejecting clear and indisputable evidence of the life savings capabilities of vaccines. It’s all part of an American tradition. In his book, ‘Choose Your Medicine’, American University Professor of History and Law, Lewis Grossman, presents a compelling look at how persistent notions of the right to therapeutic choice play out in modern day debates about cannabis, abortion and physician assisted suicide, among other hot button medical topics.


EP 531 What Steps Are Needed to Save Our Democracy?



 

Mourning in America might better describe the mood of the American people in early 2022 than what Ronald Reagan had in mind in the 1980’s.  President Biden just held a summit on democracy trying to encourage those countries that still fly that banner to hang in there and that this form of government can still work.  Who would have imagined?  Our guest, Thomas Geoghegan, author of ‘The History of Democracy Has Yet To Be Written’, actually thinks democracies around the world are doing all right, yet he has concerns which he enumerates in the book about the state of democracy here in America.  His concerns primarily center on the failings of Congress, the Article One branch of our government, for a host of good reasons which he describes.  He espouses some bold initiatives around the filibuster, gerrymandering and the role of the citizen in our democracy.  You’ll want to hear them on this podcast.


EP 530 How to Become a True Influencer



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How many people do you engage with every day?  If you don’t count your ‘friends’ on Facebook, it’s likely to be a small number of real and direct human interactions.  As a result most of us are not ‘socially integrated’.  Having done a number of podcasts about the effects iof social isolation, in this podcast we turn the equation around and look for the positive effects of developing deep, meaningful relationships and loose associations.  This can mean spending time with friends, going to local shops and exchanging ideas with others in your community.  In combination, this all adds up to living a long and enjoyable life. Jon Levy is many things but chief among them for our purposes he is a behavioral scientist who has written the book, ‘You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence’.  In our conversation we will introduce you to the IKEA Effect in which taking on a project with an acquaintance allows for a vulnerability loop and that expression of vulnerability provides the opportunity to establish trust.  Many interesting concepts like that are explored in this podcast.