Your outlook on life is ultimately what determines how you feel most of the time, what goals you pursue, and how you interact with those around you. In this episode of Beyond the Present Podcast Daniel and Pouya discuss tell two pillars of human behavior and share their thoughts on how through introspection we will be able to know ourselves and even alter our outlook on life.
Hello, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to yet another episode of the BTB podcast, joined as always with Daniel Morgan, how's it going? My man?
What's up, man, buddy, good to be here with you for yet another big podcast as you said yourself pretty cool stuff. I liked it. So overall, I'm glad to be here with you, man, life is wonderful. And we're gradually getting back on track in almost every area of life. And good news, pretty much is starting to pile up after almost a year of nothing but bad news. So life is great. And I'm so glad to be here with you. And to see hopefully if things are also fine on your end. So man, How are things with you and candidate
Pouya LJ 00:51
that is just great to hear and hear things are progressing very well as as well. As you said, we're, we're making, you know, some, some improvements in our quality of life. And things that are, you know, opening up at a large level, but in an unemotional level as well. We're trying our best, you know, moving forward creating fun content, hopefully, very soon for this very podcast as you will
awesome. Very nice man. Glad to hear things are fine and glad things are opening up and over there as well. So I'm very happy to hear things are fine, man.
Pouya LJ 01:32
That's it. That is good to hear. That is good to hear. Exactly. And today we're going to talk about a specific topic that has nothing to do with pandemic Well, you can always relate everything to pandemic, I suppose, but inherently not related to pandemic. Right. Yeah, so so what we're gonna talk about why people have different attitudes towards life and how they're living their lives. As we know, some, some people have more, more of a positive outlook, optimistic outlook, pessimistic outlook, realistic outlook, Outlook, etc. So I see is that what makes people happy? Is it there? So my immediate, you know, hunch was maybe it's their life experience that leads them to adopt a particular outlook towards life. But what what are your perspective on the matter?
Very good question. By the way, PJ. Sam, thanks for choosing another great topic for this show. today. As you pointed out, of course, what you mentioned in the field of psychology is referred to as nurture. But at the same time, as you probably have heard it, when it comes to behavioral therapy, they should, let's say, kind of behavioral therapy, and for example, CBT, it is actually talked about the issue of nature versus nurture, your cpj we cannot necessarily ignore the influence that our biology and genetics and DNA plays in the way we actually feel about everything. For example, something as illegal, something as little as how many dopamine receptors are, by nature in your brain upon birth, is going to literally tilt your entire life to a whole different direction. For instance, let's assume that you were born with a lot of dopamine receptors in your brain, just by nature, just like your mom or your dad, or your cousin, or whatever it is. And then another guy in the same family is born with very little dopamine receptors, these two people are going to have completely different lives, aspirations, dreams, and so on. So when it comes to behavior, and what truly differentiates behavior, we generally focus on two main main types of hormones that the brain like to actually basically be in touch with on a regular basis, based upon, you know, receptors, we call it the dopamine or basically dopaminergic types of personality. And then we have the here and now types of hormone, also called H and n types of hormones. For example, we all know that a person or a family or friends who is always looking to achieve something, maybe he or she tends to be a bit more hyper energetic, likes to play with abstract ideas. He likes to be creative. And unfortunately, in many cases, he or she might be a little bit too promiscuous. Let's just say that, always looking for that next rush, the next achievement The next thing we call such personality types, basically more dopaminergic type personalities. It's really a matter of biology. Because if you want that person to be like normal, and just enjoy life, and just enjoy the moment, then that brain cannot receive as much stimulation and pleasure and the brain is designed to look for more pleasure and less pain, which means that person simply after a while, quits doing all that cool things and goes back to you know, pumping up the dopamine if you will, and that often happens by novelty seeking, achieving goals and so on. On the other hand, we have those whose bodies are usually less Basically energetic in general, they tend to their natural level of basically, metabolism is lower. And they oftentimes tend to enjoy H and n here. And now types of hormones that are released in body thing, for example, oxytocin. Think, for example, let's say I don't know different pleasure hormones that the brain produces, for example, all of these people are going to have a very different lifestyle. So I made you all these, basically a fancy little introduction here, because I wanted you to know that in reality, we have to focus on determining both nature and nurture factors. The second one he actually mentioned yourself earlier was their lifestyles. So if you are born in an environment, riddled with uncertainty, and threat, let's say you were born, for example, in a very difficult, basically, you know, neighborhood, let's say, and in the Bronx, or maybe in a very, perhaps, challenging, basically country in the world, you tend to grow up feeling a great deal of fear. And that fear that you felt growing up at an early age is definitely going to affect your life. If you want to know more about this, I highly recommend the latest book by Oprah Winfrey. And basically, her a number one psycho psycho therapist called what happened to you. You see, in that book, Oprah and the psychiatrists talk about this issue in depth. And they say that what happened to you, especially in the early years of your life, that primitive years up to the age seven, are going to play a major role in your life. one instance, if you grew up in a family, and you received completely emotional support in the village of seven, and then your life went into, you know, basically the dumps and you experience a lot of problems for the entirety of your childhood until you left the family and you're 20, you actually will have a far happier and more mentally stable life than someone who actually had a very turbulent early four to five years, and then had a very normal, great stable life. Can you imagine how those early years are going to affect us, even if you put this little kid and you deprive this child, for example, enough parental care, that person for the first four or five years of his or her life is going to suffer, and then you give the best life, the best education, the most supportive parents to him or her, it's not going to make a huge difference in most research. Actually, of course, if you wanna learn more, I recommend you read the book, to the end, it's a very great book. On the other hand, you have those who had a very good early few years, and their parents die, and you're stuck in a war zone, or whatever it is. And these guys often actually ended up becoming very successful and happy, because the early conditioning emotionally was actually very positive. So both of these factors are important, your nature, your genetics are important. And of course, nurture, the way you were brought up your experiences in life, were you I don't know, heartbroken, at the age of 12, when you were your hormones were, you know, really surging, and then you thought that all men or women are just evils. And you just said, From now on, I'm never gonna date someone, or maybe you had a couple of great first relationships. And from then on, you never felt that you have to call every man or woman, I don't know, it's such an evil person, right? So both factors are important, both are gonna make sure that we find and see the world very, very differently.
Pouya LJ 08:14
Amazing, and I suppose there's not a lot you can do about the inherited genetic aspect of it. But there yet,
and not just with the genetic modification, you know, just wait for 2015 man, we're going to modify all those shitty genes out, literally just like we do a lot of things. Like if you don't like your genes, just change it, man. No problem. Of course, as of now, we have about beyond the present, right? So you're gonna have to wait at least a couple of decades for that to become available and then to be to be made commercially viable, and then to become legal. It's gonna take a while, but hopefully, we'll have that too.
Pouya LJ 08:47
Exactly. And that's the black market is going to be interesting. Yeah. No, but but but good. But currently, as you mentioned, that's, that's your only Avenue, is to tamper with the wild environments, obviously, part of why parents have such an emphasis on, you know, trying to provide positive experiences for their children. And I'm not just saying happy experiences, I'm just saying positive in terms of improving their lifestyle, and, you know, future outlook towards life. So, now let's, let's take it, take it, take it apart, because there's a lot here, but super quickly. So what would you so I'm gonna posit the questions to you. And then you can pick orders in which you want to answer what would you advise a parent due to their for their children growing up to, you know, to to provide a more positive experience for the children. And probably prior to that, I think this would make more sense order of questions, answers, at least, to me, that is, okay. What is the outlook of life that one should choose? Maybe not just not just one, but there's definitely utility differential between the two or various outlooks, in terms of how you're looking at life. If you're too pessimistic, I don't think that has too much utility because you just give up on life. So, so what are you? So first of all, what are the different outlooks like a very few very popular ones that you see good or bad? And maybe to you can compare? And then what can you do at this age, wherever you are in your life? And what can you do for your children growing up with a better experience.
By the way, you said something you know about, for example, pessimists being not useful for anything, I want to say that I want to right now here, just quote one of the major basic assumptions of NLP. And that is, you must respect every basically map of reality, and know that there is no such thing as a superior or inferior map of reality, whether someone is a for example, an ISIS terrorist, a firefighter scientists, for example, an entrepreneur or a politician, it doesn't really matter whether their belief systems, in our opinion, are false or true. All beliefs are just that beliefs, all maps of reality are just that maps of reality, if you're holding the map of New York City in your hand, you're not on the Fifth Avenue, you're not going to basically see the Union Square, you're not going to see any of these things. It's not in your it's not in the real world, it's just in your head, you have the map, right. But the same token, the map is not the reality. And number one, number two, there are no such things as good or bad, you know, outlooks on life, you mentioned a pessimist. If I am going to, for example, if I want to, you know, create and manufacture new types of renewable energy, and I need certain teams of engineer to fully inspect these devices, let's say these new solar panels that are going to generate electricity without generating any co2 emission, I want my engineers who are doing the final test to be hardcore pessimists, I'm not going to put myself if I put someone like me in the position of checking, I don't know, let's say quality control in the company, or in the, let's say, factory, I'm sure that I'm gonna go out of business, because if you give it to me, it's like, man looks fine. by me. It doesn't work, doesn't matter, just push a little bit harder, maybe it's gonna work at first. But right now, I'm an optimist. As an optimist, I will be a horrible quality control manager, because I simply just see the big picture. And I think like, everything's gonna work out like, Dude, this thing does not generate the electricity, like, just come on, man, believe in yourself, it's going to be possible, just just hope, hope that there's going to be for example, electricity download, right? So I'm not going to be as an optimist, good as a quality control. I want to pessimists who finds everything, everything wrong, wrong, and pretty much everything that he or she sees, right. So every outlook on life could have a use, sometimes a use is harmful, sometimes is useful. But in the end, all outlooks, I tend to be you know, one of those, as you probably know, I'm a positivity only type of person. But that's because of my position in life. Because in my life, and because of you know, my position, I need to be an optimist otherwise, not only me, but all those people who rely on me will actually falter because it's my job to keep things pushing forward, whenever he loses hope. For that reason, I have to be an optimist. So if you put a pessimist in the leadership position, the same factory is going to go bankrupt again. Because there's one month of no sales like, Oh, it's all bullshit I knew was a bad idea. I had to get a job it is I'm so terrible weather this and my daddy. So for that reason, all outlooks on life, in my opinion, are useful. Now, sometimes the usages are malignant, let's think of that ISIS terrorist who I don't know, Trump's people's head off on the internet, they should have the right that person in his world, he thinks he's the right thing. But in fact, he's wrong. Because he simply is because, you know, values in life are contradictory, with the very way we live in the modern world. So that person needs to correct it. But so long as the person basically is not harming other people, generally, it could be just very creative. I mean, think about most right, you know, for example, rappers, most of the songs they produce are complete garbage. But to me, they're garbage, maybe for somebody else who actually gives them a hope for the future, right? For that reason, I believe that we should respect all Atlas on life. I personally tend to basically believe in that. Because I believe that if you want us to have you know, a very effective, efficient world, we need people of all backgrounds, including pessimists, including lazy people. Bill Gates said, I always hired lazy people because they find the shortcuts you're saving. I mean, think about the virtue of being hard working. I like to think of myself as hard working, but boy, never ever give that you know your job. And if you want a creative, you know, technology to be animated. Don't give that job to Daniel, give it to a you know, a lazy pessimist. He's going to do a much better job than I do. So, for that reason, we have to know that this is the case there is no such thing as a bad outlook on life. However, what I find is there's we have efficient outlook. on life and inefficient, so if your outlook on life makes you constantly angry and depressed, this is very inefficient because you're harming your body. And for that reason, you should look at your life. Are you happy with the way things are in your life? Are you getting your needs met? Are you helping? And ideally, are you a productive member of the society? Does your life really make other people's lives a little bit better, or at least touches them a little bit? Right? If so, you're good. However, if you feel like your outlook is making you feel depressed, negative, alone, unhappy, then obviously, you need to go through the process of re examining all your beliefs and values and changing it. And only then you can actually change your life. But then again, at the same time, as I mentioned earlier, the nature and the nurture, so part of that it always goes back to your body and your biology. But don't Don't worry, we're not talking about you know, genetic engineering just yet. What we're talking about is taking care of the little things in your life that really matter, for your health for your well being. Once you combine these two things, you realize that you can actually change your life for the better. However, just because you're different than other people, that doesn't mean that you're a bad person. If you feel like you're not happy with it, though. That's a different story altogether.
Pouya LJ 16:10
Yeah, now, that makes a lot of sense. And thank you for clarifying, actually, that that is what I meant, I probably didn't, you know, express it well, in terms of its efficiency, rather than wrong or right. I don't, I don't pretend that wrong or right, there is a thing, but also so. So also, I mean, generally speaking, we have this general mindset and outlook towards life. But there's also, as you mentioned, utility to certain situations dynamically, to a degree, shifting your focus from being perhaps a little bit more pessimists or less optimist, or the other way around to, you know, to account for things that are not accounted for by a different outlook. Now, again, and, again, there is a degree of rigidity built in, but there's also a degree of freedom to shift your, your point of view accordingly to according to the task at hand, now, so and so this is what I'm going to, again, ask you to elaborate on. And also, you know, do you have a preference in terms of youth development, the experiences that they should have for various kinds of outlook that could be beneficial to them? And how can you identify which one will be more beneficial to one person versus the other?
Very well, good point. First of all, I think that at a very young age, I am currently not a father, although I do have the interest in basically parenting and being a father someday. But currently, I am not a father. So my advice might not necessarily be the most reliable advice, because it'll be purely from a theoretical perspective, I do not have the experience firsthand. However, I've done, you know, a slight amount of research in this regard because of, you know, pure, just sheer interest in the in this field. Because I believe that it's very important. And ultimately, I think that the first thing that we should be doing in this regard is knowing that every person who is born in this world is unique. And in some way, I really despise the old fashioned manner of putting all basically students to go through the same educational experience. And that's just extremely extremely basically passe and not the right way to do things in the modern world. For that reason, the first thing I would do, I think someone should know, at a very young age are number one, their inherent talent. You see, every one of us, I believe, firmly that every one of us is a genius at something. Now, the word genius is officially described as having someone somebody an IQ of 140 or more. But then again, that's a very flawed definition of genius, because genius isn't just about IQ. There are many different types of intelligences that are simply not measurable by the IQ tests, right? So what I mean by genius, I mean someone with a very high degree of basically natural aptitude for certain activities. And we have different types, of course, musical being one kinesthetic being the other, visual and spatial being the other one, interpersonal intrapersonal. Obviously, we have the IQ, which is primarily measured by mathematics, as well as linguistic abilities. So these are all different types of intelligences. So I think the first element is the child right a young person should focus on is what are the things I'm a genius at. And I think people should really ask the question, you know, use the word genius here, because if they don't use something else, they will not find a clear answer. And every single one of us is really good at something and have a great sense of the texture of the food, which could probably show a great pathway towards you know, being a chef in the future or maybe you really feel a sense of rhythm in the noise. And the sound around you a great sign, it could be a good musician or an artist or singer. And maybe you really are great. And you're manipulating your body language, a great pathway towards things like acting performance or politics. So these are all things we have to consider when we want to make plans for our lives. After knowing our, you know, talents, we should then focus on values, values with things that are important to you see projects, there are things in your life that are very important that maybe people around you don't really understand. And vice versa. There are things that others say like man I really care about is like, Dude, why? So values are very personal. Maybe somebody really values novelty, while somebody else really values loyalty, maybe somebody values for example, wealth and power, while somebody else values contribution and discovery. So finding your value, through the questions Why? You mentioned they have to ask the question, why three times, for example, I want to create a new technology. Why? Because that technology is going to basically change the world. Why? Because that allows me to contribute. So contribution right now is one of your values, somebody else might ask the same question differently, like, I want to create new technology. Why? Because that's gonna make me a lot of money. Why? Because that's gonna make me feel powerful. Now powerful this person is the value and not contribution as it was for the previous person. So by finding your values in life, of course, these questions probably will take some time, I don't think that a teenager will answer these questions probably well, because at that age, even the brain has been developed. And I heard that until the age of 25. The brain is not yet fully shaped. This means that these questions probably are better asked later in life around the age of 20, to 23. And ideally answered before the age of 30, to allow the person to make the decisions. That's why we see some people, you know, go to college, and they changed major four times, and the parents get upset. Of course, this guy is 21, what do you want, you want to just choose the right major right away now some do it many will tolerate a bat major for their parents, and then later, you know, change their hurries later on. But you can't expect a 19 or 20 year old to make a perfect decision about their future. That is why I think these questions shouldn't be just asked by the younger generation, but from all of us from any ease that we are especially, you know, the the, you know, adults as well, because that allows us to know what are truly our values, I know most of my friends, or I can remember, I think of almost half of my friends to change major, literally three times three times, that's quite normal. Now there are pens like mug, that's going to mean a lot of you know, tuition fee, goddamnit, just make up your mind, Tommy. But in reality, the person is discovering himself and his values or her balance, right. And finally, after knowing basically your talents and your values, the last one is how can I properly use this, to have an efficient life. And again, from my point of view, a good life is a fine by a life that makes you happy. And at the same time allows you to make others happy a little bit as well. So a bit of contribution should be always one of our North Stars, will this make the world a better place? Or will it actually hurt other people? Will this serve others or not? These are no other good questions. But ultimately, these processes are very complex, which is why I don't think that a child or a teenager will be able actually they can definitely ask these questions, but they might not be able to find the answers until much later in life, maybe in their late 20s or even late 30 sometimes. So for that reason, we should not rush through these. But just simply asking these types of questions from you know, from the young generation will probably be a lot more efficient than just, you know, asking, okay, where's the capital of this country will never ever visit? I think that's going to be a lot better if you approach education from this point of view.
Pouya LJ 23:37
As fascinating that actually makes a lot of sense. I think, who, when, and sometimes the The Undiscovered interest in some young person is due to actually the bad education because they grow up thinking. I don't appreciate the field. But the reality is they're not really they don't really know what the field is actually about. Or that that is a true story about my personal experience. So I guess at least there's one, you know, proof of concept here,
which is just, you know, quick preview. I'm actually curious. We don't have of course, time for a full extension, but just very briefly how you went through this?
Pouya LJ 24:17
Yeah, no, I so as you know, my, my majors are physics, astrophysics, and mathematics. And I grew up hating. I always loved physics. That was true, but I always hated maths. And I mean, obviously, we
don't imagine that somebody who hated math is now in math.
Pouya LJ 24:34
Yeah, so that's actually and I couldn't do physics without math. So that kind of pushed me to actually look at it again, and try to wrestle with it. But then then through that, I actually had an opportunity to understand what is mathematics as a not such a superficial level, but at a deeper level, and then, you know, it changed my whole outlook towards this thing. This one talking about looks about things. And not just life. But yeah, so I really never liked math and I wasn't even particularly bad at it. I was okay at it. I was not bad. Not good, but I never liked it. But then again, it just all changed. When I
wish Ah, you finally got it? Yes. Like, I'm good at this, I should focus on this.
Pouya LJ 25:26
I think it was around 25 for not for you, but probably 25 or maybe even 26. I'm not too sure.
So it was not really around your teen years, right at all. Time to figure it out.
Pouya LJ 25:38
That was the height of me hating it.
Yeah, I know, you're gonna hate it, you know, when you were a teen, and then love it when you're 25. And that happens to a lot of people not just in, you know, in your field of math and astrophysics. But like anyone that I know, I know, people who hated, you know, let's say blood. And now there are top surgeons, and I know those who will thought they left science and our top entrepreneurs and business people and they don't even can't stand the side of a university. So it already depends on how your brain fully formed, just like on the nature side, and then your life experience that you go through, all of these are going to play a huge, you know, huge a major role in the way you shape your values and your behavior and your outlook on life.
Pouya LJ 26:19
That is, that actually makes a lot of sense. And I think I think there's a value to revisiting past experience. Now rather past subjects, I suppose, or areas of interest. And with an open mind, that's the important part. Because when you're revisiting it, if it's a with a closed mind, then you're going to judge it based on your past experience, not the new experience. So that's, I think it's a very valid point. Okay, so we're coming to the end of the show here. And I'm going to allow you this time to either, you know, if we didn't mention something that you wanted to talk about, you can elaborate on that or sum up the whole conversation
very well. First of all, great topic is always projects. And today we discussed if you're how do we come to be who we are. And we discussed behavior, outlook on life, as well as value systems. And we talked about the importance of nature versus nurture, we realize that yes, the things we go through in life are very important. But that's not all that matters, even if you go through a very good childhood. But if you have certain certain biology that makes you sensational seeker, you might suffer from, you know, drug abuse later in life, even if you have been, you know, growing up with a family of two PhD parents, and a very, you know, basically safe and loving environment. On the other hand, you could bring somebody else who was, you know, basically raised in the worst of worst situations with, you know, abusive parents, or even absent parents, and he's the same person might actually end up you know, making a major contribution to the world because of their, you know, emotional wiring and their backgrounds. So, we talked about how these two factors are going to play a role. And more importantly, we discussed the importance of self, basically analysis to understand what we are, what we want in life, and how we should actually go get it. And we are discussed the fact that this might not necessarily be done by the time you're 18 years old, even though the world assumes you to be an adult by the age of 18. neuroscience proves that true adults, which really kicks in a lot later, around late 20s, actually, for most people. So now while legally you're an adult, when you're 18, the chances are, you're still mentally growing, and you have to give yourself some time, and avoid making the kind of decisions that might perhaps be regrettable. Having a tattoo included, just be careful, guys, and please stay away from butterflies, or teddy bears just don't do it, man, seriously, come on. And other than that, of course, you have to focus your attention on the future and know that you can gradually in life, change yourself through that's why this podcast is basically, you know, categorises personal development, because we believe in it, because we know that it works. And we've seen it in action. So it doesn't matter. Just like what, Dan, you just just broke my heart out, okay, I had a bad childhood is that means I'm gonna have to suffer the rest of my life? The answer is, of course not. There are ways to get over it. But if you had a tough childhood, you got to work on it, you can't just ignore it, that childhood is going to continue to play a role. If you have been diagnosed as ADHD at a young age, you're gonna have to do something about that, because you can't just ignore it, that ADHD as a child implies a certain biological characteristic that will affect the rest of your life. And then you got to keep you know, cheating on your parents on your basically, let's say on your wife, who's the parent of your child or on I don't know, your basically husband, and then you realize, Oh, my gosh, I'm a terrible parent. Oh, what did I do? I'm ruining my family. So you have to think about those questions early on before you got married. You have to, you know, resolve that issue. Whether it's with your finances, whether it's all the areas of your life, you want to actually focus on knowing yourself. That's what they say Know thyself, as basically is been basically reported. And I believe in that because that process is going to allow us to make far better decisions about our present as well as the future.
Pouya LJ 30:09
Thank you. Thank you as always for my pleasure, man, fun conversation. Appreciate it. And thank you guys for joining in tuning in listening in and leaving comments and reviews on iTunes specifically that helps us we're not trying to be pushy here. We're just trying to help get the word out. If you liked it, you can also help others to, you know, join in on the conversation and until a later episode. Have a good one.
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