A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss

Your Unique Brain with Collin Jewett

September 07, 2022 Collin Jewett Season 1 Episode 137
A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss
Your Unique Brain with Collin Jewett
Show Notes Transcript

Today's guest is Collin Jewett, industrial engineer, author, coach, adventurer, and founder of Curiosity Jump LLC.  We'll chat about how to rediscover a childlike sense of adventure in everyday life.  We'll talk about the different parts of the brain and how to make your brain your greatest ally, instead of your worst enemy.

Connect with Collin and get your copy of how to unlock the 3 critical brain states:
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https://curiosityjump.com/

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Connect with Magic:
A Magical Life Podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amagicallifepodcast/
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wholisticnaturalhealth/
Online: https://wholisticnaturalhealth.com.au
A Subito Media production

Magic Barclay:

Welcome back to a magical life. I'm your host magic Barclay today I'm joined by Colin Stewart. Colin is an industrial engineer, author, coach, and adventurer. He loves helping others rediscover the joy of learning and partner with their brains to unlock limitless memory, boundless creativity and unshakeable focus. Welcome colon.

Colin Jewett:

Hey magic. Thank you so much for having me

Magic Barclay:

absolute pleasure. Tell us what is an adventure?

Colin Jewett:

I, I think it's kind of a, a state of mind. So one of my, one of my favorite quotes is, and I'm probably gonna butcher it. So it's kind of sad that it's my favorite quote but, something along the lines of, an adventure is just an inconvenience rightly considered, and an inconvenience is just an adventure wrongly considered. And I think that was, that was a paraphrase version of something from GK Chester or 10, but that's how I remember it. and that's how I think about it in my.

Magic Barclay:

I would like to see myself as an adventurer, but I think I'm a bit too precious, to be honest. Do you adventure into everything in life? Like travel learning because you know, I guess there might be a lot of listeners out there that go, you know, a bit like me. Yeah. I'd like to be adventurous. But I like the comfort of home or so can it be applied to any part of life?

Colin Jewett:

Oh yeah, for sure. So a big thing that I, I do as a coach is help people to, kind of unlock that adventure in the daily life, in the mundane and, uh, rediscover the world again, because something that happens and you can see this, if you watch babies and children, The way that they, they see the world is completely different and they're kind of amazed by everything and they wanna do things over and over again. And, and, and they're startled and excited by things in a way that adults really aren't. And, and part of that is just adapting to the world around you, uh, automating different processes in your brain over time. And that's a really good thing. It's really important for, uh, being effective in your daily life, but it also kind of takes some of. The brightness and the color out of it. And so what I help people do is how do you maintain the positive adaptions that we, we all kind of develop as adults, and yet rediscover that childlike sense of wonder about the world and get to enjoy that too. So it's, it's trying to get the best of both worlds.

Magic Barclay:

I think as adults, we kind of learn not to stand out, not to rock the boat, you know, not to be adventurous. It's it's instilled in us. At school. And then, you know, as adults, it's like, no, don't, don't do that. That's kind of not accepted. So I think we actually do need to create a new wave of adventure and just go well, who said that's not accepted and who said, I can't make fun of everything in life and really enjoy myself. What do you think?

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think people naturally think, you know, that it's hard when you've got like psychological filters kind of, causing you to see the world in a certain gray way. Uh, but it's actually not that difficult to, uh, get at least some of that. That excitement and the adventure and the ability to kind of just, I mean, laugh at yourself and appreciate the absurdity of, of the world a little bit. And, you know, one, one way to do that is, you know, I, I might be using this term slightly improperly, but like, I don't know if you've ever heard of a dopamine detox before. Are you familiar with that term? Yes. Okay. Yeah. so like a really basic thing that you can do, like you could do right now if you're listening to this podcast and, uh, assuming you're not like driving or something like that is just sit for like five minutes and stare at the wall and don't think about anything. I know that sounds really silly. But one thing that does is it, it kind of resets the dopamine circuits in your brain, and it's not like a crazy hard reset or anything. It's just five minutes. But if you're somebody who's been sitting in looking at your computer screen or scrolling through your phone for hours on end, or you're just used to every time you feel even slightly bored immediately, uh, doing something to, you know, stop that board feeling. try not doing that. just for a little bit, and you might be surprised to find that things become suddenly a little brighter and more interesting. so that's like a, a really small tidbit, but it's a little thing that you can do to make your days, uh, a little more interesting than perhaps they've been recently. If they've been feeling mundane.

Magic Barclay:

And that certainly does work. I've done it a few times. In fact, I do it outside of stare at the fence. and I don't know if you have wooden fences over there in the us, but here in Australia we have, uh, I guess they're almost six foot wooden fences, petitioning each property, and they're as boring as blinkers, anything, but they're great for doing a dope detox on.

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, exactly. And, um, another thing that's, it's kind of the other end of the spectrum that you can do is, is rediscovering the intrigue. The depth of, of things that you've kind of learned to ignore. And so one thing I often recommend that people do is, is just go outside kind of like you just described except, uh, look at something that you've maybe ignored a thousand times. Maybe it's a Bush right outside of your house, or, a crack in the sidewalk or something like that. And just look at it much closer. I think this is kind of silly, but I think as we become adults, we literally grow taller. Right. We get farther away from the ground. We stop looking at things as closely as we did when we were children. If you, if you watch kids outside, they might hyperfocus on something. They might bend down and stare at a bug for like five minutes. That's something that you don't really see adults doing. And I think partially that's because of, we don't wanna seem weird but the other part is that we've just kind of learned to ignore things. You'll find that if you, if you don't ignore them, if you look at things that you've maybe grown to ignore, that you've kind of seen in your peripheral vision a million times, they're actually much more complex, uh, than you might remember. Uh, and there's a lot to see there. And so there's kind of an, an infinite world inside of every little object. And I think discovering that for me, It was really special. I think it made things much more exciting. Again, I found myself, you know, I don't get bored very easily because I can just, I find interest and intrigue in just about anything around me.

Magic Barclay:

And if you ever wanna know something deep about yourself, go and watch an ant colony marching, because you'll see politics. You'll see friendship. You'll see tasks and chores. You'll see community roles all in the line. And it's that whole thing about getting down on the ground, you know, as adults we walk past and ant colony on the move and we just go, it's a bunch of. It's just a line of little black ants, but they really do communicate and you can really see their hierarchy, their social hierarchy, their friendships, the whole thing. And it's actually quite amazing to see how well they work with each other.

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, that's absolutely true. And this applies to learning as well. I think it's a. very exciting idea. When it comes to learning is the idea that all complex things are made up of simple things. And I learned that at one point and it really, you know, helped me to kind of think of breaking things down. But then I learned the opposite is also true. That all simple things are infinitely complex. And I think that's where you find a lot of the mystery of the world. And you can kind of open that up.

Magic Barclay:

Definitely now on this podcast, colon, I ask all my guests the same three questions and the answers that I get are so amazingly different. So here comes your first one. What can your expertise do to accelerate health? Be it physical, emotional, spiritual. What have you see health as.

Colin Jewett:

Sure. I work with people specifically on learning and memory and rediscovering the joy of learning specifically. And, I also work with a lot of psychologists, which is cool. So I, I get a lot of brain stuff in my life which is cool. And one thing that's been really. Special to me, uh, that I've learned about the brain and that I help other people kind of understand is, is like the brain can be your greatest, all. And it can also be your worst enemy and it's, it's very rare that it really falls anywhere in between. It's kind of one or the other. You're either fighting against it or you're working with it and you're understanding it as something that is in a sense. It's part of you obviously, but also it's kind of a separate entity. It's, there's a lot of different ways of thinking about your brain, but you know, there's lots of different personalities in there. It's not just like kind of one unified being and there's lots of reasons why that's, that's kind of important. I don't know if we have time to dig into that too much, but, but one thing that I, I help people with is, is partnering with your brain. How do you make it your greatest ally instead of your worst? And I think that's something that a lot of people don't really think about because I don't think they think about themselves as, being multifaceted or distinct different parts. They think of themselves as kind of being a unified hole. And yet they find that they can't, they find themselves doing things that they don't want to do all the time. And that's a really odd idea. Like how, how do you do things that you don't want to. Like, why would that ever happen? If you were a single unified being in which everything was well aligned like that, that shouldn't really happen there shouldn't really be in fighting with one person. Right. so understanding yourself as, uh, more of a collective, I think there's a lot of advantages to that. as soon as you realize that you can actually partner with those different pieces and. Once you do that, I think it has drastic effects in all aspects of your life, because if you've ever tried to work out before and you haven't been successful, you know, why was that? Well, you weren't partnering with some aspect of your brain. Some aspect of your brain was wanting to do something very different from working out and you didn't know how to negotiate and, and get on the same page. And I think that's true with anything. Any, anytime you find your. Doing something you don't wanna do or not doing something you do wanna do. That means there is a failure in the communication between the different parts of who you are and you haven't learned how to negotiate that yet.

Magic Barclay:

Yeah, totally. That constant give and take that constant struggle that we find ourselves in can leave your health up in the air and it's totally partnering with your brain. You know, if you're going to say to yourself, I feel sick. I feel sick. Then you're going to feel sick because your brain's going to hear that and try and find evidence for that. But if you say I am well, I feel great. Again, it will find evidence to support that and make that your reality.

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, that's true. That's kind of a, an example of how you can use confirmation bias in a positive way. yeah, that's absolutely true. And this is another thing about, about learning that I think is really interesting. Like people often think that you, you have beliefs and you have ideas and on those, you. Use to inform your behavior. And it's kind of like that one way street, when it really goes. it's really more circular. You watch yourself constantly. You watch yourself to learn who you are. And this is what you were just saying. It's like you watch your behavior and that informs what you think about yourself and that informs your behavior, which informs what you think about yourself. And it's kind of a, a cycle like that. And, and you can kind of insert into that cycle and you can change it, but most people don't even realize that cycle's really there. And until you recognize something, you can't really address it or improve it.

Magic Barclay:

Now we talk about wealth here as well. So not just the financial, but also the spiritual and emotional wealth of a person. So what are your top three tips to creating wealth?

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, I love this question. And, I'm gonna give kind of a cheater answer here because I'm just gonna kind of make one statement. That's gonna be a, a blanket across I think all of those topics, personal financial, emotional, and I'm stealing this from the psychologist, Carl Young, if you're familiar with him, he, he once said, uh, until you make the unconscious conscious. It will control your life and you will call it fate. So I think there's, there's a lot of depth to that quote, um, that you might not see on the surface, but I think at least one aspect of that is it's actually a deep understanding of. Of how the brain works. So there are some deep, literally like deep, far back, low close to your spinal cord or on your spinal cord and in the brain stem parts of your brain that we would consider part of that unconscious. It's not things that you necessarily consciously control. but it's, responsible for executing a lot of your behaviors and driving a lot of your behaviors. and if you don't know what's going on back there or how that works, or, you know, what's kind of floating under the surface, then it will run your life. It, it will essentially possess you and it will take action through you. And you might feel like a, a bystander sometimes watching yourself do things that you don't really know why you're doing. And if you're in that position until you've made that unconscious level of conscious you can't consciously change it. If you're not aware of it, how can you consciously change something you're not aware of? Right. So, so that to me is really kind of the underlying mechanism that we have to understand. And we have to spend some time thinking about if we wanna make progress, conscious progress and intentional progress, not just accidental progress in any area of our life, whether it's personal financial, emotional, How do you make that unconscious conscious? And then how do you make conscious changes to those things and send it back into the, the parts of your brain that are more responsible for, executing.

Magic Barclay:

That's actually a great answer. I haven't had anything like that before. People will often be asking themselves, okay, well there's conscious and there's unconscious. How do I know the difference? So many people are thinking that their conscious thought comes because they thought of it. You know, there's, there's no distinction. So what can you tell the listeners about the distinction? Sure.

Colin Jewett:

So there's a couple things I'll give like a very. Basic reduction. I mean, the brain is so complex. It's the most complex thing in the entire universe as far as we know. And so I think explaining it, perfectly is impossible. I don't think anyone has the knowledge to do that, but there are some, I think basic things that I feel like everyone should really know. And these aren't things that I learned until, you know, within the past few years that have really changed the way I see myself, I see the world, I see people, and this is really useful. So, so I'll share some, some really basic. Brain anatomy and ideas here. So, you have, what's called a cerebral cortex and that's kind of the outer layer of your brain. And, and if you think of a brain right now, if you think what it looks like, most people, they see this pink squishy thing. Right? so all that pink squishy stuff on the outside for the most part. Yeah. That's gonna be your cerebral cortex. Um, and, and it's, it's covering the other parts of your brain. Now you'll also see close to spinal cord and at the back of your brain, there's kinda like this big bump. That is your cerebellum. It's a, it's a separate part. So it's not part of the cerebral cortex. It looks like it could be, if you, if you're not, um, familiar with brain anatomy, but. Anyway. So these ideas of conscious and unconscious can be at least partially understood through thinking about the anatomy of the brain. So, so we've got that cerebral cortex on the outside, which is, you know, by far more developed in humans than in any other creature, which is, you know, I think one of the things that makes us who we are, and that is responsible for, in a lot of ways, inhibiting some of the lower function. So that's kind of interesting, right. You've got these lower functions that are, uh, responsible for mostly just like really keeping us alive. And a lot of those basic drives like, like hunger and like reproductive drives and those things that are, you know, exist in all animals, really. Uh, if they, if they successfully reproduce long enough for us to know about them and. So those, those drives, if nothing's inhibiting them, they will just act themselves out. And that's essentially what animals do they have those drives that are uninhibited mostly. And so they just act upon them and, and that's it. And we would consider that to be unconscious behavior. Like they're not, they're not thinking in the same way that we do. You know, typically when we think you might think in like audible language in your head, you might hear words in your head that you're kind of stringing together. Uh, you might even think of consciously putting pictures together, that kind of thing, animals, for the most part, probably aren't doing that very much. Now there might be some of that. Uh, there are some animals with. More developed cerebral cortex, but, not nearly to the degree to which ours are. So that cerebral cortex, that's where a lot of that, what you consider to be conscious thought is happening. And so when you think of yourself, most people think of that, that person who talks in their head, the one who has the voice, and that is really. It's just part of your brain. It's not all of it. In fact, there have been studies if you've ever heard of the, the decorticate cat studies, that's super fascinating. Anyway, they took a cat and they removed pretty much all of it, cerebral cortex and left it with just kind of, uh, the basic parts of the brain that are close to the spinal cord. And if you didn't know any better, you would have no idea that there was anything wrong with that. Cat it behave. Pretty much like cats behave uh, it could groom itself. It could eat, uh, it could even engage in reproductive behavior. Like it could respond to novel situations. Uh, it could fight like all these things were still there, which is kind of amazing to people. I think it's like, wow, like, How does the brain work? I thought if you took out like 85% of it, you'd just die. Well, it's like, no, it's, it depends on which, which percentage. So I think having that understanding of, okay, you've got this part of your brain that is responsible for more of what we consider be conscious thought. And a lot of what it does is really just inhibit those lower functions. And so when you think of consciousness, at least part of consciousness, like from a biological perspective is just having. Element of choice with what we execute and what we don't execute, what are the things that we're gonna inhibit that we would otherwise do to a large degree? That's what conscious thinking can be. And so I think that's different than what most people think. I think, um, I think we, we think of ourselves as. The thing that does, when in fact we are the thing that inhibits action in a lot of ways, and that is where the differences in our choices and behaviors really come from to a, you know, that's a reductionist idea, but I think it's helpful to think about it that way.

Magic Barclay:

Thanks for explaining that poor kitty that's awful. yes. That is just about the only thing I got from that. No, not really. um, so look, we talk about weight here. We know that stress is a key issue in weight gain or severe weight loss. So, this is quite a personal question. Have you ever battled your weight? If so, what was the trigger to lose it? And the second part of the question, how can you help listeners reduce their stress?

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, that's a really good question. So for me personally, I have never been severely overweight or anything like that. I have consciously made a lot of changes to my weight over time. Uh, so at one point I was, I was pretty consistent with, uh, I wouldn't call it like body building, but it was very intentional changes to my body of, of cutting and bulking. I'm sure your audience is probably familiar with those ideas. very consciously. Dropping weight and trying to drop body fat and increase muscle and, and do all those things in a cyclical weight. And, and that's hard to do. I mean, you, you have, I think one of the biggest challenges that arises, uh, specific, I mean, weight loss, but really, really anything is if, if you don't have the, the self knowledge to know how to manage and use your conscious mind to inhibit lower functions. You know, who's gonna win right. I, I like to think of the brain as being kind of. You've got like a tiger and you've got a tiger Tamer or a lion trainer or something like that. And the lower functions would be more of that, that tiger or that lion. And I'm sure anyone who's struggled with weight loss or anything like that before has had that experience of feeling like there's an animal inside them. That's overpowering their will. It's like they have this, will they really want to, to lose weight or get healthier. And they feel like there's something that's stronger inside of them that is preventing them from doing that, taking destructive courses of action and they feel kind of like their hands are tied. And I think it's useful to, to think of the brain in that way, to some extent, because you know, when it really comes to it, who's stronger, the, the tiger Tamer or the tiger you know, the Tiger's gonna eat his face off if it wants to. And so unless you really understand that, that is the scenario that you are in, that is what you are dealing with, unless you treat it accordingly, you're gonna. You have to be smart. You have to really understand yourself. You have to understand what's going on in there at least to some degree, uh, before you can really have any success with, with taming the tiger, so to speak. I think one of the biggest issues, and I'll kind of rant a little bit here if that's okay. And like the, the fitness and health industry is, is the fact that there. Pretty much everything out there will work for somebody like, for example, my, my mother-in-law, she eats a lot of sugar. She's super healthy. Uh, she feels great. She goes on long runs. She's fit. She can run way farther than me. But if I ate her diet, I would feel horrible all the time. so it's like, if, if there. If everything works for somebody out there, like you could go propose like the all twinky diet and some people would swear by it and it would change their life. And they'd feel amazing somehow. Like it's, it's bizarre, but it would probably work. And that, that presents a real difficulty for people because you're in this position where the things that are marketed to you. They're always going to have those star testimonials behind them. And if it doesn't work for you, that's no sweat off the person who's selling its back because you're just gonna buy the next thing that they propose. And the next thing that they propose until you finally are the person that happens to work for. And so if you don't want to be on that train where you're, you're constantly just. Trying things that don't work and trying things because it worked for somebody else. Then you really have to invest a lot of time in understanding who you are. You have to understand your body, you have to understand your brain. And that is, that is difficult. Um, but most people are not in the habit of really doing. Self experimentation in any sort of scientific way. It's kind of just random and they don't reflect on what happened and why it happened. And so if there's really anything I can recommend to someone who's struggling, uh, whether it's with weight or other health problems, you really need to, take the time to. Make a hypothesis. Here's what I think is going to happen, to try something and then reflect upon it. Why didn't it happen? What was different about me that could have caused this to go this different way. And you can, over time, you can develop a lot of self knowledge that way, rather than starting from zero every time

Magic Barclay:

you made some great points there and definitely. With my practice. So my job outside this podcast is holistic health and there is no one size fits all when you are using holism rather than reductionism as a treatment course or treatment method or methodology actually. In holism, you're looking at the root cause you're looking at why each system of the body is doing what it's doing. And just as you said, you know, with these fad diets that come out, look even things that aren't fads like fasting, it doesn't work for everyone because it can trigger an immune response. Now, if your body feels under threat and sees something as a pathogen or something as a danger, It will have a response and that response could be severe weight loss. It could be weight gain, it could be anything. And, you know, things like the, the all sugar diet, the no sugar diet, the cookie diet, the, the Twinki diet, whatever it is, will stir up a threat response. and you know, the celebrity that's spooking it, as you said, might not have that threat response, but you might. So it's really, as you said, partnering with your brain and knowing what works and what doesn't. So by all means try these things. But if you don't feel a hundred percent in the first 24 hours, it's not for you, it's really not for you because you're actually starting a stress response. So just my 2 cents on what

Colin Jewett:

you just. Yeah, I, I think that's true. And that reminds me of some of the, um, psychological concepts when it comes to, to, you know, treating things like anxiety or phobias. You've probably heard of this idea of like exposure therapy, if you're familiar with that. So one thing about that is it works really, really well. If it's engaged in voluntarily. And the reason I bring that up is because it matters how you approach something and your mindset when you approach something. And it's not just like the fluffy mindset, but it's really like, whether you are willing to, or whether you're prepared to, or whether you make the conscious choice to pursue something. That makes a huge difference to your biological response to that thing, which is, which is pretty wild. If you like that was, that kind of blew my mind when I first learned that. But like exposure therapy, let's say somebody's just terrified of Heights or something like that. You say, well, okay. The research shows that if you, uh, take somebody, uh, who's terrified of Heights and you take them up somewhere high and you leave them there for six hours, that's probably gonna help them. If they don't do it voluntarily, like if you tie them up and you bring them up somewhere high and then you just leave them there, they're gonna have, um, some pretty extreme trauma. It's not gonna help them. It's just gonna make things way worse. However, if they say, yeah, you know what? That sounds terrifying to me, but I really want to make this change. I'm gonna consciously choose. I'm gonna commit to doing that. It will completely change their body's response to that experience. It'll still be terrifying, but it will actually help them overcome the trauma rather than increase the trauma. And I think the same kind of thing happens with anything in life. Like if you are choosing it voluntarily, you've made the conscious decision to do it. You're going to respond to it differently. There's literally going to be biological differences in the way that your body responds to it than if you feel like you're just kind of being coerced into it, or you're just kind of walking into it blindly. Uh, it's gonna be different. So I don't know that that's, uh, that's my extra 2 cents. we're up to 4 cents now. Perfect.

Magic Barclay:

We could get going. Now, Colin people can find you on LinkedIn at Colin Stewart. So that C O double L I N J E w E double T. And you have a cohort based course. Can you tell us a little bit more about that course?

Colin Jewett:

Yeah. So I lead a cohort based course on maven.com and essentially what that is. It's a lot of the things we talked about in this short episode, it's just, uh, expanded on and we go way, way, way deeper into understanding yourself, understanding the brain, understanding your brain and how to partner with it more effectively. And that's what that's all about.

Magic Barclay:

Terrific. And we do love freebies here. So you can offer a freebie how to unlock the three critical brain states. Can people just contact you on LinkedIn to get that freebie?

Colin Jewett:

Yeah, absolutely. If that's something you're interested in that series just talks about, uh, there. There are lots of different brain states, but there are three, especially that are really important for, for learning faster, gaining focus, that kind of thing. So if you're interested in that, yeah, you can reach out to me on LinkedIn or, um, if you go to curiosity, jump.com, uh, you can also reach out to me there. Terrific

Magic Barclay:

listeners. This was your episode, 1 37 in 1 38. Collin will again, join us and talk about how we can be super learners. So that's something to look forward to in our next episode. Again, thank you listeners for your time. We really do appreciate it. Colin. Thank you for joining me.

Colin Jewett:

Thank you. Magic. It's been a.

Magic Barclay:

Listeners. This was episode 1 37, go forth and create your magical life.