“Life is all about stress and choices,” says investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney. He discovers how humans can wedge control over automatic physiological responses into the breaking point between stress and biology, so we can reclaim our evolutionary destiny.
Today, he’s back on the show to discuss his new book, The Wedge (listen to his first episode here). In his New York Times bestseller, What Doesn’t Kill Us, Carney submerged himself in ice water and learned breathing techniques from daredevil fitness guru Wim Hof. Not only did it give him superhuman levels of endurance, but it quieted a persistent autoimmune illness. At the core of those methods is a technique, called The Wedge, that can give a person an edge in just about any situation.
Wedge is a choice that separates stimulus from response, and this applies to anything. In this show, Carney shares the story of the time he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, shirtless (and in 30 hours!), and then we get into some interesting scientific observations as he explains how you can get access to a whole other part of your biology. He also explores our obsession with food, our overabundance of food, and how it’s destroyed the original purpose of taste, which is to lead us to nutrition and survival. We also touch on the importance of being “open to anything,” and how the lessons that came from his incredible endeavors, as crazy and impossible to accomplish as they sound, can be applied to everyday life, and the importance of pushing the limits and rediscovering our humanity. It’s all really just about developing emotional and sensory resilience. These are the building blocks of human experience. And the coolest thing is Carney is an ordinary guy, not a biohacker or super athlete or guru, and he puts in a plug for chilling and watching Netflix, and to NOT look to gurus, but to instead find your own way. However, he also realizes the importance of pairing the luxuries and comforts of modern life with pushing the limits.
“We evolved with a sensory system,” Carney points out. We feel, we think, we sense things. But why do we even have sensations in the first place? Because all the external sensory input we experience is delivering a choice to us: “It’s coming into our body so our minds can make a choice about what that sensation means, and what we can do with it.” All of our experiences get filed away with our “Limbic Librarian.” Then when they happen again, we build these associations, and we can get into dysfunctional relationship dynamics, or get controlled by fears. And while our sensations do mean things, it’s not always what we assume, because they are so linked: “Emotions and sensations are bonded in a very fundamental level of neurology,” Carney explains.
So what does Carney attribute his incredible resilience to? A huge part of it is his mindset. He views challenges from the perspective of: “I am participating with the environment, and those sensations are part of me…I am connected to the environment through my nervous system, and my brain gets to decide what I’m doing there.” He searches the globe for people who understand the subtle language of how the body responds to its environment. He confronts fear at a cutting-edge neuroscience laboratory at Stanford, and learns about flow states by tossing heavy weights with partners. He meets masters of mental misdirection in the heat of a Latvian sauna, experiments with breathing routines that brings him to the cusp of transcendence, searches his mind in sensory deprivation tanks, and ultimately ends up in the Amazon jungle with a shaman who promises either madness or universal truth. All of this in service of trying to understand what we’re really capable of. What can we accomplish when there are no true human limits? Enjoy listening to this show and be sure to grab a copy of The Wedge!
Scott Carney is an investigative journalist and anthropologist who discovers how humans can wedge control over automatic physiological responses. [02:07]
Life is all about stress and choices and The Wedge is defined as a choice that separates stimulus from response. [06:07]
The ability to sense the world comes from way down inside where our animal instincts are. [09:17]
Emotions and sensations are bonded at a very fundamental level is our neurology. [14:28]
Scott was trying to study his fear neurology. Kettleball Partner Passing can sure be a test. [15:33]
You have to maintain that focus when you are in that flow state. [21:27]
Seek out adventures of this nature to try to build resilience. [24:03]
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Wim Hof was a nearly impossible challenge. [27:37]
Having gone to such extremes of human performance and endurance,
Scott has made a change in attitude. [30:45]
We tend to put people on a pedestal. [33:20]
What is a limbic librarian? It is a way we file different experiences with sensations in our brain. [38:32]
Scott writes about the sensations around the intake of food. [46:20]
The three main building blocks of human existence are time, emotion, and sensation. [56:54]
When you push yourself to do tough things, it balances out the parody between rest and digest in fight or flight. [59:36]
Scott’s next book is looking for a human connection. [01:02:09]
- Brad’s Shopping Page
- The Wedge Book
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- Brad’s Podcast with Carney
- What Doesn’t Kill Us
- Wim Hof
- Kettleball Partner Passing
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Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad (45s): Hey listeners, I’m pleased to welcome Scott Carney returning to the show for a second appearance to talk about his new book, The Wedge, Evolution, Consciousness, Stress, and the Key to Human Resilience. If you didn’t hear our first show about his book, what doesn’t kill us, go back and listen to that. This is the investigative journalist and anthropologist who was assigned many years ago to investigate the Iceman Wim Hoff. Brad (2m 37s): Scott’s an expert in debunking myths and gurus, but instead he got immersed into the amazing world of breath control and cold exposure and perform these amazing magnificent athletic feats as a total novice. He climbed with Wim Hoff to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in a record time of 30 hours, he’s pictured there shirtless in minus 30 Fahrenheit weather overcoming all these perceived limits by using the breath control techniques. So he wrote that great book, What Doesn’t Kill Us, but then discovered in a neuroscientific level, what was going on and how we have the power, the ability to discover this wedge in between stimulus and response. Brad (3m 20s): So this is a pretty heavy duty book, and we get into some scientific observations during the show, but he’s such a fun loving guy, and he’s a great storyteller. So I think you’re going to follow along really nicely. The book starts out with his quote. Life is all about stress and choices. And The Wedge is a choice that separates stimulus from response. We do not have to react in these pattern ways that we’ve learned to throughout our lives. I think you’re going to love it and learn so much and have this practical application of this crazy stuff where you’d never think to jump into a chest freezer filled with cold water or an icy mountain lake and, you know, pass it off as something that’s ridiculous and not your kind of thing. Brad (4m 4s): But Scott does a great job drawing the parallels and the associations with pursuing our physical limits, our endurance limits, and getting through day to day life with more happiness and joy and more emotional and sensory control. So it’s very, very important to push these limits now and then to rediscover what it’s like to be human because today with the luxuries and conveniences, Oh my gosh, we’re just wilting into pathetic creatures that have lost all these evolutionary advantages. Let me read some promo content and set up the show nicely. Brad (4m 37s): And then we get into it quickly. Investigative journalist and anthropologist, Scott Carney discovers how humans can wedge control over automatic physiological responses into the breaking point between stress and biology and doing so. We reclaim our evolutionary destiny and what’s cool about Scott. He’s an ordinary guy. He’s a journalist living in Colorado. He’s not some super athlete or biohacker or guru. And he puts in an appropriate plug for being able to enjoy a normal life and chill and watch Netflix at home. Brad (5m 10s): And especially makes the point of not looking to gurus, but the importance of finding your own way. But he also is standing as this participatory journalist, honoring the importance of pairing these luxuries and comforts that we’re surrounded by with pushing the limits and exploring your outer boundaries and your potential. I think you’re going to love the show. Go grab a copy of the book, The Wedge, get his other book, what doesn’t kill us. And you are often running. Here we go with Scott Carney, Scott Carne international globe trotting bestselling author. Brad (5m 45s): I’m so glad to catch up with you again. We talked about your book. What Doesn’t Kill Us. I want the listeners to go back and listen to that, but now an incredible sequel called The Wedge. So I look forward to, to wedging into this topic with you, man, you’ve had quite an adventure. I’m calling you the George Clinton of 2020 Scott (6m 3s): International man of mystery. Scott Carney comes on the podcast. Brad (6m 7s): Well, I mean, if you, if you want to be a writer, you young listeners out there that aspire to that profession, The best part about your, your, your message is just that you’re up for anything. And you’re up for that adventure and then going to share it with all of us. And I think that’s what, that’s what the beauty of books are, is we’re going into your world. We didn’t have to travel to Lafayette to go get stuck in a, a hotbox until we were about to pass out. But you know, the value of some of these insights I think is so tremendous today because things are getting so much, you know, luxurious, comfortable. Brad (6m 42s): We we’ve lost our connection to, you know, what makes us human and now you’re bringing it all back and the wedge man. Scott (6m 49s): Yeah. And now we’re all stuck in quarantine. So you can’t even get outside anymore without a mask enough in a, in a full body bubble Russ, you’re going to die of COVID various. Yeah. Brad (6m 59s): Yeah. So soon, soon into this book, you, you make this quote that life is all about stress and choices and the, which is defined as a choice that separates stimulus from response. And so therefore it applies to just about everything we’re doing and the cold exposure and jumping in the icy lake and doing Wim Hoff and climbing the mountain. I think a lot of people have like a, a healthy arms length from all that. But I think what I did in this book, as you took it to a whole bunch of different topics, so I’d love to love to get into some of that. Scott (7m 32s): Yeah. Well, here’s the heart of everything. So all of you podcast listeners can, can tune in to this one idea is that we evolved with a sensory system, right? We feel things we think about things and, and, and stuff comes in to our body from the outside world. And that, that, that manifests as a feeling or a sensation, right? Well, here’s the, here’s the big picture? Well, why do we have sensations in the first place? Like the only reason that we even have consciousness and the ability to make decisions about the world is because that sensory input coming from the outside is delivering us a choice. Scott (8m 12s): And it doesn’t even matter what sensation this is. This could be the most pleasurable sensation you’ve ever had. This could be the most horrible sensation you’ve ever had. It’s coming into our body. So our minds can make a choice about what that sensation means and what we can do with it. And, and to that degree sensation is actually sort of neutral in a way. It’s just telling us, it’s saying this is a strong signal coming from the outside world. And then, you know, you talked about ice baths and I I’ve done many, many, an ice bath in my life. And that’s a, that’s a screaming signal coming from the outside world. Scott (8m 46s): Right. And it comes in and you’re covered in cold water. And you’re saying, this is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. Cause that’s what usually we do. And then, and then your body has this automatic response, right? Where you clench everything clenches in your whole body. And, and yet there is a choice in that clenching between the stimulus of the ice water and the response your body makes, where you can decide, Hey, I don’t want to clench. I’m smarter than clenching. I can actually relax. Scott (9m 17s): And when you do that, your whole, your whole relationship with that stimulus changes and you find out, especially with a non like lethal stimulus, like ice water, you know, you could do this in fire, but that’s probably a bad idea. You, you, you can realize that when you relax, your body decides it’s going to heat itself in another way. And then you’ve accessed a whole, another part of your biology. So what The Wedge is, what this whole book was, this whole like experience I’ve been doing for like last 11, 12 years is saying, look, our sensations mean things, and it’s not always what we assume at the first instance, they’re going to die. Scott (9m 55s): You’re going to die or alternately. This is the best experience I’ve ever had. Right. It could be, I’m sitting on the couch, I’m listening, I’m watching Netflix and I never want to leave. And that’s also a stimulus. And, and you know, and both of those are not always right at all times. So, so, you know, when we pay attention to our sensations, when we pay attention to that sort of like limbic system, that lizard brain that’s giving you sort of first impressions of the world, the reason we’re conscious is to make second impressions. Brad (10m 26s): I guess that distinguishes us from the animal kingdom. The less evolved creatures, Scott (10m 33s): Some of them. But although I think that this comes up from right from evolution. I mean, if you look at other mammals, especially, right, they have some level of consciousness, you know, I have a cat who’s very manipulative. Like it knows how to like how to like push all of my buttons. And it is definitely learning about me now. I think I’m smarter than my cat. But to think that, that these don’t come up from lesser places would be a mistake. We are a product of evolution and all of our senses evolved from lower forms and everything on this planet has evolved the same amount of time. Scott (11m 7s): You know, it’s not like humans evolved more like a cat is just as evolved as a human it’s just evolved in a different direction. But the abilities that we have, you know, the ability to sense the world for instance comes up from down below. And if you look at the brain structures of especially mammals, you’ll see that they have got a lot of the same stuff going on. So we have to assume that they can do some of the same things. And if you look at some animals, even like some semblance of language, like, you know, if you look at dolphins and you, you, you dissect, this is something my wife is working on right now. Scott (11m 39s): This is not actually my boat, but we’re just going on a tangent already. So, so there’s something called CIPH laws, CIPH law, where they look at, look, they looked at English and they said, look, how many times does the letter E show up in like in like James Joyce? How many times is letter a show up in James Joyce? And they found that there’s sort of a logarithmic curve with how letters show up. And there’s, there’s like a coefficient you can give to complex language where it’s like, baby’s speech has no coefficient associated with it. If you, if you program that into like whales, speech, dolphins, speech, and then several other animals, speech you, or sounds, you find that they coordinate to a coefficient that has some semblance to language. Scott (12m 20s): We have no idea what it’s saying. You know, it’s probably talking about politics, just like we are, but, but it says something. And that’s really, really interesting, Brad (12m 29s): Right on, and back to the, the, the space between the stimulus and response. And we had that extreme example of doing your magnificent feats as a novice. But if you think about just the routine, having an argument and getting reactive and digging these dysfunctional patterns of relationships and things that we do in day to day life, and, you know, the term wedge has so many different meanings, but it could be that you, you, you know, you build some skills doing crazy stuff like jumping in the cold tub and theoretically, or I’m hoping, cause I’m a big cold punch enthusiast. Brad (13m 6s): Is this going to help me be less reactive and, you know, getting out of this pattern behavior when I have an exchange in the parking lot, cause I parked too close or, you know, getting into a flawed dynamics with people close to you in the workplace or in family circle. Scott (13m 23s): Well, it can, especially if you’re conscious about it. And I think that that consciousness is very important. Like you could do all of the cool biohacking stuff and you’d want in your life, but if, if you’re just biohacking or ice bathing or whatever you want to call it, just for the sake of that to become a better ice bather, then it’s not going to actually affect your relationships. But if do these things and add an emotional component to them, and we can talk about how you can do that. Scott (13m 54s): But if you’re, if you’re doing, you know, I, I, we have ice baths and we had, I did this other thing in the book where I throw kettlebells like these big, heavy weights, and you try to catch them with another person. And what this is trying to do is stoke fear. Like you’re going to hit my foot or I’m going to hit your foot. And, and that creates a, a situation which is a strong stimulus, right? It’s hitting your emotions. I might hurt myself or I might hurt my wife for instance. And that’s a, that’s an emotional response, but it’s also a physical response, like how you’re moving your body. Scott (14m 28s): And when you start doing these things, it’s trying to twinge emotional responses and sensory responses. Then when you get into another situation such as now, let’s say I’m getting an argument with my wife later, and that’s not just in the intellectual realm, right? That’s not just happening in your, in the gray matter. In the top of your head. That’s also happening in sensations in your body. Cause you know, you get angry, your blood pressure changes your, your body temperature, changes, metabolism, all these things change in your body. And we think it’s just an emotion. Scott (14m 59s): But the truth is that emotions and sensations are bonded at a very fundamental level in our neurology. So, so that emotional argument you are in is also a sensory argument that has all of these other associations that you have in your body that you may not. You’re usually not even conscious of. So that now when we do things like ice baths, when we do things like heat training, when we do things like, you know, all these other crazy things that I’ve done in the wedge, when you start doing that and you realize that sensation and emotion are linked, then you become more resilient because you’ve become sensory resilient first, right? Scott (15m 33s): The ice bath first, a sensation, but then there’s the emotion, Oh my God, I’m going to die. I have to get out of here. And then when you have that emotion now you’re, you’re manipulating both your emotional resilience and your physical resilience. And you know, it makes you a better person. It doesn’t make you an angel, but it makes you, it gives you like another tool in your toolkit. Brad (15m 53s): I guess that’s kind of a component of the flow state. You mentioned a check sent me Holly in the book and I’m, I’m thinking, you know, you went to throw those kettlebells because you needed to up the ante yourself from let’s say, going in the cold tub, Scott Carney knows he’s not going to die now. Cause he’s done it a million times. So it doesn’t have that, that fear component. So yeah. Tell me about that, that, that game you played with the kettlebell throwing expert, as, as again, a total novice walking into something that, you know, you, you drop one of those things on your foot. Brad (16m 28s): You’re going to have to write about that and it might not be as pleasant to the, to the whole experience your desired outcome is to overcome your fear. , Scott (16m 36s): The, the interesting thing about how I learned about kettlebells is actually the moments before I even heard about them. I was actually hanging out at this lab in Stanford talking to about fear with this, this somewhat famous neuroscientist named Andrew Huberman. And what he does is, is to really give him a short shrift, right? What he does is he puts people in virtual reality simulations of diving with sharks. And usually this is just stoke the fear response so that then he can study fear in the body. Scott (17m 9s): And, and I was like, cool, you’re going. I can see on my biology of fear works my body. And I, and I, and, and maybe this is a way to work the wedge, right. I can get really scared and then I can control my fear and then I’ll be like fearless or something or something. I don’t know what’s going to happen. And so I got into his virtual shark tank and while he’s described the neurology of fear, very well, virtual sharks has heard of lame, you know, they’re not super scary. They’re like, Ooh, look up a video of a shark coming right at me, look at that video of a shark. Scott (17m 41s): And so I was like, Oh, okay, this doesn’t work. And it does work if you have like a shark phobia. Like if you’re you’re, if you’re, if you’re, you know, so scared of sharks that you can’t do anything, then it does work. But that’s just not me. So I sort of got out of his lab being like, huh, all right, that’s cool. You know, and now I understand something about virtual sharks, but I really wanted the visceral internal experience. And as I’m walking out of the lab, I got a message from my friend, Tony and Tony says, Scott, you have to meet my friend, Michael Castrogiovanni up in San Francisco. Scott (18m 16s): He’s going to throw kettlebells at you and put you in a flow state. And I was like, that’s the douchey best message I’ve ever gotten. I’m like, you know, like, Whoa, but I have this thing as you met three mentioned at the top, I like to, when I’m reporting on, basically say yes to everything, you know, just go in there and just be like, you know, we’ll see what the world offers me. And, and so some of the restorative in that state, I’m like, okay, well, let’s go see what this kettlebell throwing stuff is about. And so let me paint the picture of you for you. Scott (18m 48s): We go to San Francisco, I think it’s a place called Strawberry Hill. And it’s sort of a beautiful park, San Francisco outcropping overlooking some sort of Marina or something. And, and Michael is basically a gorilla, right? So he’s huge. He’s his, his, his, his biceps are like the size of my thighs. He’s been working out intensely his whole life. And me, I’m pretty much an average guy. Like I, I don’t have a six pack. I know that some, some listeners can be like, wait, what? Scott (19m 20s): This guy doesn’t have six pack. He doesn’t know anything, but it’s true. No six pack over here. Michael has like a six pack on his bicep. And, and he’s holding this Cannonball essentially. Like it’s a, it’s a, I think it’s like 25 pounds of iron. So not like crazy. Right. But he is known to throw 300 pound kettlebells. Thankfully he wasn’t doing that with me. And he’s standing across from me and anytime two men are facing each other and one of them is holding a weapon. Scott (19m 50s): There is a natural environment that you create, especially when, when you know that one, guy’s going to throw it at the other person. You know, that there is a fear sensation that it’s just that it’s just part of this. I mean, men are competitive. Like, so there’s this, all this like emotional crap that we have going on. And, and, and the ritual of his kettlebell throwing program, it’s called kettlebell partner passing. If you want to go look it up. Nice name. Yeah. So it’s three swings before you actually let go and it flips around and then you do its thing. Scott (20m 22s): So the first swing he’s looking at, you deeply in the eyes. So this shows you, what you’re trying to do is connect with each other, like where their mind is. You know, you can tell a lot when you look at someone’s eyes and he swings the kettlebell, like a normal kettlebell swing, right. Goes up to like your mid chest, a little higher. And you’re looking at each other’s eyes and then he swings it again. It goes between his legs comes up and now you switch your gaze from the person who’s about to kill you, Michael, to the thing he’s going to kill you with, which is the, the metal. Scott (20m 54s): And I’m like, okay, here it comes. And you know, again, I’ve never actually even touched a kettlebell before in my life. Again, no six pack over here. This is the first time I’ve ever done this. And I’m like, Oh shit, he’s going to throw it out. And then he doesn’t want a third time. And I’m just laser like focused on this kettlebell at this point. And he lets go and it flips through the air. And I am just so focused and my butt puckers so tightly that if I put a piece of coal in there, it would be a diamond. And I grabbed the handles all of a sudden, just through the air and I pass it back to him. Scott (21m 27s): And, and because we are so focused on the actual danger of breaking my foot or breaking his foot, both of us are our movements coordinate automatically. And what’s super interesting about this. They’re according automatically, because not because we’re looking at each other, but because we’re looking at an intermediary between us and all of a sudden, this thing that we’re doing is no longer adversarial. It’s no longer about murdering the other person, right? It becomes a dance where we’re dancing and playing with something which is dangerous. Scott (21m 59s): And that is what an instantaneous flow states all about. Like, you have a sort of the sensation of risk. This is real risk. I mean, it’s not fake this. Isn’t like a fake shark. So the risk is real, has to be the foot. It’s always going to be there cause you’re standing and you know, you do your best not to hurt your foot, but it’s there. And then, because it’s actually, it’s not that hard to throw a kettlebell. It’s just like one half rotation as it goes around and you can do some other moves and stuff like that. But that threat is always there. So if you, the only way that you start fucking up is when you start getting overconfident, you’re like, Oh, there’s no threat, right? Scott (22m 37s): There’s no threat. We’re just doing this other stuff. And so, so it’s sort of, but it sort of forces you to maintain that focus and that flow state. And then this whole thing is about empathy. It’s all the whole thing becomes about trust. And it’s a workout between two people. And like, how often do you get like two guys learning, you know, and Michael will say this to you, right? He’ll like throw the kettlebell with love, you know, putting that emotion into this. And what’s like, super fascinating. If you get couples doing this, you know, cause every, it becomes like a sort of like therapy session in a weird way. Scott (23m 12s): Cause remember how I talked about sensation and emotion are sort of linked, well, every relationship, I don’t care how great it is as a little places, you don’t want to go right little things that undermine trust and you know, it could be different for different people. It could be work. It could be family, it could be kids. It could be pets. I don’t know. There’s stuff that you don’t want to talk about. Right. And so usually when couples are throwing at first, they suck at it because you’re looking at your partner and you’re like, Oh great, Scott’s over there yet. He’s going to throw this on my foot. Cause I don’t trust him because of these other, other things that are undermining. Scott (23m 44s): And then you start to learn to trust physically and without words, and it’s a, you know, Michael, who does this all the time, he’s like, yeah, it’s like, you see the whole relationship play out in motion. And then, you know, then you start to learn to trust each other and it’s a different way to communicate. Brad (24m 3s): So the challenge is of appropriate difficulty and consequences. And that’s what gets you in the folks today, like that caveat about the flow state, that if it’s too difficult, like, Hey, we’re going to take you up to the tallest overpass in North America. And we’re going to do bungee jumping. If that’s not your thing and you have no experience, you’re just going to get scared. So you have to find that place where Michael, the gorilla assessed your physical capabilities and said, yeah, this guy can catch a 20 pound kettlebell. Brad (24m 33s): It wasn’t, it wasn’t out of your league, but it was just stretching you I guess. And so I guess the point is to, to seek out adventures of this nature, to try to try to build that resilience, that emotional and the sensory resilience. Scott (24m 48s): Absolutely. And you know, and everything I write about in the wedge is not confined the 10 techniques that I look at. Right? I mean, the point of this, the point of this is to say, look, this exists in everything that we do from standing around at line and the DMV, right. To road rage, to watching Netflix on your, in your couch. Like there, there’s sort of like sensories and choice things that happen all the time. And, and it’s a different perspective. And, and, and, but the important thing to remember are the sensations that go with it. Scott (25m 19s): You know, we like to numb ourselves. I mean, hell I still like them. That myself, you probably still like numb yourself. It’s not like I’m an enlightened being coming from like the ether I’m telling you how to live. We all have these, you know, and I open What Doesn’t Kill Us, which is the previous book with the line, Hey, my spirit animal is a jellyfish and it’s true. Like we all have this pole towards comfort, but that, that, that is a choice that we’re always making. And sometimes it’s better to push out of that place, right. Scott (25m 51s): To push into new territory and, and that, and you find wedges there cause you know who we are as people like who you are when you think of yourself. Right. And you think about the, you try to define who you are. It’s usually you don’t define it through the events. Like I totally binged the Tire on my couch last weekend.Right? That’s not like the epitome of you. You think about you as the person who overcame certain challenges, right? Whatever those may be. Everyone’s challenges are different. Scott (26m 21s): But I think of myself, like on the azor’s edge of life and death, right. And, and, and, and, and that is how I like to define myself versus Scott, didn’t put on pants today. Like this is where we find the wedge on those places where you’re stretching yourself, where there are stakes and where we hope you’ll overcome them. Right. I mean, you don’t want to die. You choose your challenges wisely. Don’t jump off the highest bridge, no bungee cord and hope you’re going to make it like, be smart about it, but, but also stretch yourself. Brad (26m 53s): Right. And I guess then at least in my case, when we’re numbing ourselves with big bowls of popcorn and binge watching Netflix, it, having those life experiences to balance that out, I think it makes for a richer experience that you had a big day in and overcame some challenges. And so I want you to talk a little bit about this Mount Kilimanjaro achievement that you did. And, you know, as, as an ordinary guy from Colorado, okay. The fittest healthiest state, but still you weren’t coming into this thing with this impressive pedigree of being a bad ass. Brad (27m 26s): And you know, this, this accomplishment, I imagine you’re carrying that forward every day for the rest of your life in some profound way that you know, now, now you define yourself by something like that. Scott (27m 37s): Right? Well, I i, I, Kilimanjaro is one of the things that I, that I look back on, I wouldn’t say it’s the thing that defines me, but it was a very powerful moment. And what it was, this is the last chapter and What Doesn’t Kill Us or where I climb up Kila with Wim Hof is this famous Iceman guy. You probably have heard of him and, and we’re doing it, I’m doing it shirtless. And we’re doing it fast. Right? Cause climbing up Kilimanjaro on its own is actually not that crazy. Scott (28m 7s): It usually people take five to 10 days to get to the top. You do it. You slow act a climatization, it’s not technical. We don’t need ropes and ice axes or anything like that. However, when you do it really fast, you really up your chances of altitude sickness. And when I’d asked the, you know, how fast we were doing, it was 30 hours. It’s supposed to take five days to get to the top. And what I asked the army, you know, what’s going to happen when we go up there, they’re like, you’re all gonna die. You’re just gonna die doing this. And what we did is we is the Wim Hof breathing method. If you’ve ever heard of it, it’s like hyperventilation and then breath, retention, hyperventilation breath retention. Scott (28m 42s): So you can hold your breath for a really, really long period of time. And I can hold my breath like three minutes or something like that after doing this Wim body stuff. But when we’re climbing the mountain, because the oxygen levels are more dispersed. So it’s like, it’s like thinner and thinner air. We just did the Wim Hof breathing without the retention. So just fast breathing, basically the whole way up the mountain. So like, and, and, and I made it up with Wim in 28 hours. We actually beat our goal of what we were trying to do to this place called Gilman’s point. Scott (29m 13s): And which is actually right below the true summit, but for all intents and purposes, it’s the top of the mountain. And, and I did it shirtless and the insight that comes out of this, and it’s like negative 30 out there with, you know, the gusty winds and all that stuff. And the, the insight is that as I’m climbing up this mountain, I’m feeling this like just ridiculously cold wind on my body and I, and I think to myself, look, I am not fighting this mountain, right? Scott (29m 46s): I am not here. It like using grit to just force myself through this like impossible challenge. Instead, I am participating with the environment. Those sensations are part of me. And, and in that sense, I had to eat the cheesiest thought that I’ve ever had in my life, which is, I am not on the mountain. I am the mountain. Right. And, and, and this is like this really sense of oneness because it was a sense of cooperation, a sense of, and then not with other people there, there were some people there with me I’ve made it to the top with Wim. Scott (30m 20s): And one other guy, it was the sense that those sensations are me. And I’m connected to the environment, through my nervous system and my sensory system. And my brain gets to decide what I’m doing there. And it gave me an incredible resilience in, in weather that most people would think would be deadly. And is deadly. I mean, could I, if I could have certainly died, but I didn’t. Brad (30m 45s): Oh man. And it’s, so then when you immerse back into real life, I’m curious if this kind of can serve as an anchor for you to be a less bitchy boy, Scott, when it’s time to argue and bicker, or when you don’t get your order properly at the restaurant, or, you know, things that generally set us off, having gone to the extremes of, you know, human, human performance and endurance, is there, is there a connection there to everyday life? Scott (31m 17s): There is sure. Which is not to say that I am perfect in all situations, right. I have snapped in ways that are not like, even now I’m not perfect go figure. But I do think that what it does is it gives me a moment to take breaths, right? A moment to say, look, my body’s going crazy. And one thing that I’ve noticed that I like, like always works for me. It’s like, I’m 42 as in a week for now, I’ll be 42. And, and the, and the horrible thing about being this great advanced age is that if I drink one beer, I get a hangover the next day, this just happens. Scott (31m 53s): And I don’t know if I’m cursed by biology or just like drinking the wrong beer, but like one beer at like 6:00 PM. And I’m like, the next day is just depressed. And one thing which is so useful from this whole experience is that I know that the next day when someone says something to me, which is what hits me the wrong way, I’m like, look, I’m hung over. Like, it’s not that it’s my fucking hangover. And it’s okay. And I’m able to like, sort of like pay attention to my, the sensations in my body and be like, look, the true cause of my annoyance. Scott (32m 25s): It’s not this external thing. It’s an internal state and I’m just going to give it some time and it’s going to be all right. And you know, maybe I should, you know, drink fewer one beer nights in my life. But nonetheless, I’m more aware of how my body is framing those emotional responses. Brad (32m 40s): Right. That connection between the sensory and the emotions. Scott (32m 46s): My window, my room it’s 400 degrees here. One second, Oh man, that’s like a hundred degrees outside so Brad (32m 55s): You can handle it. Come on. Scott (32m 56s): Now I can handle, but I can also open a window. So the window Brad (33m 1s): See he’s an ordinary guy through and through. I love it, man. He had to pause the podcast to open a window. We’re not even going to edit that out. That was a beautiful move by Scott Carney, every minds. Did you read the way The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman? Scott (33m 18s): I have not, l I’ve seen it as Brad (33m 20s): He’s this new age at, for many years. And he had a spiritual guide and he was showing off some of his gymnastics moves. And then his spiritual teacher who he called Socrates, went to the bathroom and took a leak. And he says, my, my mastery of my body just equaled what you did with your gymnastics moves. Cause I, I felt a sensation and I had to go urinate. It was like a great exchange in the book. So that’s like it flashed into my mind when you went and opened the window after writing about getting stuck in these hot boxes, back and forth. One thing I want you to enumerate is what the limbic librarian is all about. Scott (33m 56s): I will tell you about that, but I actually want to go back to the point, you just for a second opening the window. Brad (34m 0s): All right. Scott (34m 1s): Let’s dig in, man. I want to, I want to go back to opening the window because well, actually w when, when you talked about this guru student relationship and there is a real problem in the world that we have right now, which is putting people on pedestals, right? We look at the person and the person who’s closest to me right now is like Wim Hof. Right? Cause I learned his method. I studied this stuff for like 10 years, blah, blah, blah. But people have now put this man on a pedestal where they’re like, Oh, Wim is perfect. Like he has mastered his body in every way. Scott (34m 31s): And I just want to suck the insight right. From his, you know, podcasts or wherever they’re getting his insight. Right. And they just want to, like, they just want to like absorb it as if Wim has like the secret tool to life. And it’s not just Wim. It is like everybody, Tony Robbins, like David Goggins me, whoever. Right? The truth is, is that a lot of these, a lot of people in this world are very special and they have like amazing insights and they can open the door for some people into a new way to think about their body or their life or their emotions or whatever. Scott (35m 4s): But that does not mean the totality of the person is perfect in every way. And, and, and, and this sort of like worship that goes on, on the individual as super special is frankly ridiculous and very counterproductive because it externalizes your own journey. You know, you look to somebody else and they inevitably failure. I mean, I know him pretty well, and I would never want to be him. Like, that’s like, he likes to talks nonsense half the time. He’s crazy. He smells he’s, you know, at alcohol problems, like, there’s all these things with him, but I still love the man because of what he has shown the world. Scott (35m 40s): But that does not mean I like carte blanche. Okay. Well, he’s figured it out. So I’m just going to do what he does. So like, it’s important to like, like knock people off the pedestals and be like, look, thank you for giving something brilliant, but I don’t need to do everything your way, because everyone’s life is their own path. It’s their own journey. And that’s, that’s the important message. And, and, you know, and they’re on their journey and they’re still learning things and they will always learn. So now, Brad (36m 11s): Yeah, I have, I have also observation where, you know, we do this with celebrities and the, the athletes, the entertainers, the Kardashians enterprise is just so strange, you know, knowing that they rose to fame, basically doing nothing. And, you know, the athletes are a good example because they, a lot of times struggle to immerse into real life and to be complete people and to be a decent and honorable people. And, you know, we, we, we, we made Lance Armstrong into a God and he did so many great things, but, you know, he also did some stupid shit and I don’t want to discount. Brad (36m 48s): Like, I think he’s the, one of the greatest endurance athletes of all time and winning seven, 200 Frances in a row is an extraordinary achievement. And now it’s been diminished because of the other stupid shit he did. And, you know, we’ve, we’ve kind of misinterpreted the entire store, same with Tiger Woods. You know, it’s like, he’s the greatest golfer of all time. What else do you want from him? He’s a, he’s not supposed to be anything beyond that. And in fact, he was trained to be a machine, to be the greatest golfer of all time.. And diminished his personal skills and his life skills in pursuit of that goal. Brad (37m 19s): And that’s, it was part and parcel in a way. So anyway, that’s my rant on that, on that Scott (37m 26s): Ask this man about golfing, like, don’t ask him about the stock market. I mean, unless he has special expertise in that, like Dave Chappelle, I don’t know if you’ve watched a day, Chappelle has these great lines right now, you know, we’re in this political moment, right. Where there’s protests all over America for very good reasons, right? There’s, you know, police violence of whatever. And, and, and Dave Chappelle says, he’s watching the news and they’re like, well, let’s go find out what Ja Rule thinks about this. And he’s like, I don’t give a fuck what Ja Rule thinks about the protests. It’s irrelevant. Brad (37m 56s): A good song about it. I’ll listen to the song. Right, Scott (37m 59s): Right. And, you know, we’re, we, we, we assume that celebrity or fame or, or, or greatness, you know, grease would call it <inaudible> expands to everything. And it just, it doesn’t, we’re, we’re all fallible in certain ways, but we’re also good at certain things. So pay attention to what we’re good at and not what we’re not good at. And this is, and it also, you know, makes us other issue is that you can get people who you admire, who then become, become leaders for the wrong qualities that, that they might need other skill sets. Scott (38m 31s): And then they’re, if they’re just nonsense, I’m not going to about anyone in particular, but they’re out there. And so, so let me come back to your earlier question. Do you want to re ask it about the limbic librarian? Brad (38m 45s): Oh my gosh. I love her. This is going, I mean, you are making the podcast rounds and talking about your book. So to get a little unique and creative here, I’m having a good time. I hope the listeners are enjoying it too. It all started with that opening of the window, man. We opened the window to new topics and insights. Oh yeah. But yes, this concept about the limbic librarian where we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re creating this database of experiences. That’s, you know, making us who we are and also how we’re going to respond to the future. Brad (39m 15s): So I’d love to get into that a little more. Scott (39m 18s): So this is like the fundamental biology of human consciousness. Okay. So this is, this is like, when we talk about, about how you experience the world from birth and how you understand how you make sense of everything you ever experienced. Now we have to go back in time to some degree and think about, well, actually, we’ll go back in time a second. Let’s think about where consciousness sits. Like most, for the most part it’s in the brain, the way we conceive of it is like, you’ve got this like gray matter in your skull. Scott (39m 53s): And that’s where your thoughts happen. That’s where all the, the, the, the, your experience, your thoughts, your emotions. Like if you blow your brains out, you don’t have those anymore. Right. So we know that it’s in the brain. So how does the brain learn about the world? Cause it’s just sitting in your meat sack essentially floating in spinal fluid. So it’s like in a float tank, it cannot sense the world directly. There’s no real nerves. Like you can do you get these videos of people doing brain surgery. People are like poking the brain. And there’s nothing like they can feel the sensations in their body, but not the brain. Scott (40m 26s): So how does that information about the world gets translated into that float tank? And this is the, this is where this concept of neural symbols shows up. So let’s take the, the, the example of, let’s say, this is the first time you’ve ever taken a nice bath, right? I’m an ice bath guy. We’re going to talk about ice baths. And let’s say, somehow you’re tabula rasa, which is the, you’re a blank slate. You’ve never felt anything before, because that’s going to make this discussion easier. Scott (40m 57s): And we take up a human and we dumped, plunk them into an ice bath. And the first thing that happens is it senses on the skin, right? And it’s like, Oh crap, like your nerves fire. And they’re like loud volume. There’s no meaning at this point. I mean, this is, this whole conversation is gonna happen. A mill in a milliseconds, right? It’s, it’s a strong sensation. So rockets up your nerves goes into your spinal cord, this information. And all it has is the quality of that sensation, which has no meaning to it yet. Scott (41m 28s): And the volume of that sensation, which is loud. And so it goes up to your spinal cord and, and, you know, because your brain is hierarchical, it’s got layers. And the bottom of the brain is the limbic system. This is the lizard brain. It at first, this information first arrived there. And you can think of the limbic system as a library, cause in, this is contained every sensation you’ve ever had in your whole life. It’s just, it’s like stored there. Scott (41m 59s): And that’s where it first arrived, I guess. And so it shows up in the limbic system. And I like to think of every library as having a librarian. Okay. And so the librarian pulls this signal, and again, this is tabula rasa. This human has never felt anything before. So she’s got an empty library and she’s like, Oh, finally, my first book. And she looks at it as like, Whoa, this is loud. And she looks at her library and there’s no books there. She’s like, well, I don’t know what it means. So it’s still no quality to it. All we know is loud. Scott (42m 29s): So what she does is she kicks us over to the Paralympic system, which is like a centimeter away. It’s just different structures. And in there there’s a book binder. And what he does is, and the Paralympics system holds emotions, right? That’s what happens in the Paralympic system. So what he does, I don’t know why it’s a, he, but this guy, this book binder happens to be, so he takes this book binder and He, he this, the sensation, yeah. Ice water. And he says, okay, ice water means your current emotional state. Scott (43m 1s): And for neurological reasons that we’re not going to get into too much, you do have an instinctual reaction to ice water, which is fear and panic. It triggers your sympathetic nervous system. So it’s like unmitigated fear. It’s not, it’s not even mediated by anything because again, we’re tabula rasa, right? It comes in and he’s like, okay, ice water to me means unmitigated fear and panic. And he kicks it back down to the librarian and she’s files away. Her very first book, ice water, this sensation of ice water is unmitigated fear and panic. Scott (43m 33s): And then you go around and you have your, and then you experience unmitigated fear and panic. That’s where the experience occurs. Now, the really interesting thing is that the very next time that you feel that same sensation, which actually could be only a second later, cause you’re actually always creating neural symbols. It comes in a rockets through the, the, the system and the limbic librarian says, Oh, I felt this symbol before. And she looks at her library books and she says, okay, this ice water means unmitigated terror and horror. Scott (44m 5s): And what this means is that every time you feel anything, if it’s not the first time is you are living in your emotional past. And if you, if you take all of the neural symbols you’ve experienced now, now we fill up the library with billions of books. Cause it’s really billions. You can think of a neural symbol, just like a bit or a byte in a computer program, like a one or a zero. And when you have enough of them write enough and zeros, you can get very complex things like programs or in the human case, consciousness and consciousness is built on this combination of sensory information and emotional information, which then goes back to what we were talking about before. Scott (44m 44s): Like when you’re in an argument, it’s a sensation and an emotion going on and, and what we, what I’ve learned. And you know, I’m probably not the first person to think of. Actually I know I’m not the first person to think of this. It’s that while you cannot get rid of a neural symbol, those are just there for ever. I mean, maybe Alzheimer’s or something could get rid of it. Neural degeneration can get rid of it, but basically they’re stuck fare these neural symbols while you can’t get rid of them. What you can do is put new neural symbols on that shelf. Scott (45m 15s): So that next let’s say you wanted to say ice water is not that bad. Right? What if you wanted to teach yourself that ice water’s not bad, then what you do is you create a new emotion, usually in advance, right? You try to like create joy and you say this ice water is joy. You tell that ice water, that ice water has joy. You tell your brain that this is joy and that sort of short circuits, this process, and that the librarian has to actually make the book by dress to make a new symbol. And then you start expanding that shelf that she’s got on ice water. So instead of just unmitigated harder and panic, she also has the joy one to choose from. Scott (45m 49s): And if you, and if you load up more and more and more books on that shelf, you create choice for your brain. And then you create resilience. Brad (45m 58s): That’s deep man Scott (46m 1s): and out right to the brainstem . Brad (46m 3s): Again, cause it can apply to everything. And I love how you took it to the, the massive challenge of dieting losing weight. And he did this crazy Scott Carney way with your potato diet. So I’d love to keep conversation thread going into this experiment that you did and what you learned from them. Scott (46m 20s): So with the potatoes, regardless of potatoes regarding the potato. So I don’t really write about diet, right? There’s so many people out there who care about nutrition and like how you could do things to lose weight or get jacked or all of these things. I’m actually fairly skeptical of almost every program out there. Like my general feeling is that if someone has a very restrictive diet, you know, Keto, Whole 30, whatever it is, right? It doesn’t really matter. Scott (46m 53s): Oftentimes people will use this to disguise an eating disorder, right? I can control everything or how many people do you know who are so into wellness that they look frail and fragile and they’re going to die. Like there’s a lot of people out there. So, well, I know that there are people who are great nutritionists and there is probably a way to perfect your body and health and whatever. I’m not into it. That’s not what I write about. What I do write about are the sensations and emotions of food. And when you go to a grocery store and you walk down the aisles and you look at a bag of say Cheetos, but I’m pretty sure that it says something on the bag to the equivalent of it is a party in your mouth, right? Scott (47m 34s): Like, like what does it mean? Like why is there a party in your mouth going on in this, in this thing? Well, the food industry is very, very aware of the connection between emotion and taste, which is a sensation, right? And they’re trying to create a, you know, they’re trying to force a neural symbol on you and they have done it incredibly successfully because our tastes system, believe it or not was not built to detect parties in your mouth. It was built to detect nutrients in the environment that you needed. Scott (48m 7s): And so, so when you walked around your paleolithic past and you saw a berry bush and you put the berry in your mouth and it was sweet, you’re like, Oh my God, these are carbohydrates that can make me survive. Right. And the quality of those tastes had real visceral, meaning that you probably learned over time, right? People told you about stuff. And like, there was ways that information got there, but that tastes was an important way to understand the universe fast forward to now our taste system is just a way to connect parties to mouth, like, you know, go to the Brad (48m 40s): Hijacked, man. It’s been hijacked. Scott (48m 43s): Totally like, you know, I go to like the yogurt. So I was like, Oh, Greek yogurt. Am I going on a trip to Greece? Like, what the fuck is that about? Like, I mean, it’s the really pairing all of these like external, weird things to your brain in order to make you a better consumer. And that’s not really what our taste system was emerged for evolved for. So what I did was there’s this thing called the potato hack, which is like sort of a fad crash diet where I don’t recommend this for like someone’s lifestyle. Scott (49m 14s): This is something I think you should do for like two or three days to see what happens. Then yes, you can lose a lot of weight on it, but that’s not why I was interested in it because what you do is potatoes are the blandest food in the world. And the potato hack is you just eat potatoes for as long as you have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and we’re not talking French fries, there’s no oil. You can put at most a pinch of salt and you’re boiling these things like we just want flavorless, bland, just potatoes. And the reason you do this is because potatoes, in addition to having some, some like something called resistant starch, which supposedly resets your gut bacteria, which is not really what I care about, but it’s there. Scott (49m 53s): What it is is basically a fast without hunger, because potatoes have the quality of being the most satiating food on the planet. If you eat, I think it’s something like 700 calories of potatoes. It’s like, you’re eating 2300 calories of potatoes. So it’s like, you can eat just 700 calories, but you’re fully satiated for the day. And so it’s like, it makes this really interesting way to do a fast without hunger. And that’s why I did potatoes. So I eat them for three days and I’m trying to decouple as much as you can in three days. Scott (50m 28s): And this is not like a whole revolution, but what it does is it changes your relationship with taste, even in a short period where you’re like, you know, I notice myself, for instance, just eating potatoes that I would just like Phantom walk to the refrigerator to grab a yogurt or something. And like, why was I doing, why am I doing this? And like, I eventually caught myself as I’m like opening the lid. I’m like, Oh crap. Like, like my body has been hijacked by some sort of emotional need for that yogurt and whatever nutrient that’s giving me think about the apocryphal story of like a pregnant woman. Scott (50m 59s): And now like when, when you’re you’re a woman and I don’t know. I mean, I guess I remember my mother being pregnant. Right. And, and there’s always a story though, of like, of like a woman thing. Like husband, you must go out, get me pickles and peanut butter right now. Right? There’s like these weird cravings. Well, what are those cravings really? Maybe it’s like your ancient taste system coming in and being like, I need a certain type of nutrient in that pickle. It’s not the taste of the pickle. It’s like the nutrients somehow saying, go get that thing to sort of feed my body in a very deep way. Scott (51m 32s): And in a way, the potato lets you access that you’re eating just potato soup. So, so you’ve turned down that constant availability of flavor and emotion that you have so that you can start to pay attention to your body again. And it’s really this awesome experience to do. Although I will say that some people hate it. Like my wife, who I know my wife is the real hero of the book, Laura, Brad (51m 56s): She got dragged into so many things, man. I couldn’t believe it. And then you’re like talking about your Latvian spa retreat and Laura, this and Laura that I’m like, I can’t believe she got dragged on that trip too. What a, what a superstar. Scott (52m 9s): I know. Totally. She’s definitely a superstar throwing. I mean, come on. Yeah, she’s awesome. And I got very lucky to be with her. She has a podcast called wild thing about her, her year long search for Bigfoot. Go listen to it. So, but yeah, so she’s his partner and, and what’s very useful to think about. So my experience to the paradigm is like, I can do this for like months if I need to do, because I can, I somehow am built to be able to deal with routine pretty well. Scott (52m 39s): If for some reason my, I can just do that. She is someone who like needs change and novelty. And so for three days for me was like, man, all right, for her, it was like torture. She hates you. At the end of the third day of the paleo diet. She was like, I just don’t want to eat anymore. I’m just not going to eat the dog, give up. And, and what’s fascinating about The Wedge and this whole process that I’ve been through is that everything is subjective. Like the only objective fact about human experience and consciousness is that everything is individualized. Scott (53m 13s): Everything is objective. And how you, you, you do take information about the outside world. Oh my God, I’m ringing how you take information from the outside world. And then process it is, is entirely individual, which means that even though I have 10 techniques that I do in The Wedge, it does not mean that it’s like the recipe of 10 super awesome things that you should do to make you super awesome. There are things that are going to work for you and things that are not going to work for you and you need to process it yourself. Scott (53m 45s): And it’s important to try a bunch of stuff. And I give you some examples of things you can try, but if it doesn’t speak to you, if it doesn’t actually nurture you in the way you want it to, then once you’ve tried it, then just do something else. There’s a million things you can try, Brad (54m 0s): Scott, there’s no gimmick there. How how’s that gonna, you know, you don’t have a product behind it to sell everyone like the kettlebell with two handles on it or something. Scott (54m 9s): I need a fucking supplement company or something. I don’t know. Like I had definitely made a big error in my, a worldview is that I can’t sell you a pill to fix yourself. My message is basically, yeah, you’re gonna have to try stuff and do it yourself,And people like this is one potential cause for obesity that I’ve heard about, right. It was just that you would just eat emotionally to sort of fill a void and yourself. And it can certainly be not great for your health, but also it can be great. Scott (54m 41s): Like, like, you know, there’s a, I’m an anthropologist by training and there’s this whole, you stop bringing me whoever you are. The like my ghost ring, Brad (54m 51s): I thought it was a tea kettle boiling up or something, but the I’ve totally lost your anthropologists, your anthropologist by training. Scott (56m 8s): So the anthropologist by training and there’s this whole field of anthropology called commensality, which means people who get together and eat and how eating the act, social active eating creates social networks and creates these bonds that are very important for society. So your grandma’s Apple pie, which you eat and it gives you fond memories of your grandma actually does great things for community. It’s just that Cheetos party in your mouth, making you a better consumer is maybe really good for the Cheetos brand, but maybe not good for you. Scott (56m 43s): Although I love Cheetos on road trips. So, you know, 2 (56m 47s): So Cheeto’s are associated with cool, awesome road trips, right? Scott (56m 52s): Horrible about yourself after ate a whole bag. Brad (56m 54s): Right. But I mean to, to, to pause for a moment to not, not judge anything, I’m kind of pulling that message out here too, where you say, you said the three main building blocks of human existence is time, emotion, and sensation. We’ve talked a lot about that. And so if that’s the case, then if you deem Cheetos on your road trip to be super awesome. My gosh, I mean it’s or, you know, sitting in front of the TV and bingeing on Netflix and never going near a cold plunge, I guess that’s okay too. Brad (57m 30s): But I think, you know, the, the, the summation of your journey is that maybe it’s, maybe we have a hidden sense of restlessness on way, because things are too easy and we don’t pursue these activities and these sensations that, you know, make us human and really light us up and make us appreciate that connection with nature. When you’re one with the mountain, I mean, speaking of Cheetos, you said it’s a cheesy statement, but when you were there and you were one with that mountain, that’s, you know, that that’s hugely significant to your, to your emotions and your sensations, Scott (58m 6s): Right. Well, I mean, here’s the thing is that I generally tell people if they want to live their life with Cheetos and doing Netflix, there’s nothing like fundamentally wrong with that. I mean, if that’s your life choice and you’re cool with it, then I’m cool with it too. However, Brad (58m 22s): Look Scott in the eye when you say that, cause that’s when you can really peer into the person’s soul. Okay. Scott (58m 28s): But when, but, but since we think about ourselves as overcoming challenges, right? This is, I said this earlier is that we think of ourselves, we try to tell the story of ourselves doing, you know, attempting greatness. And, and if you never expand out of a narrow band of comfort, you never actually approach. For the person who just does Cheetos. Then they’re like, well, even just going outside and I’ll walk around the block is their attempt at greatness. But honestly we are as humans capable of so much more than that. Scott (58m 58s): So I do think that we do need variation and we need things to enervate. You know, we have these two types of nervous, nervous system responses there’s called parasympathetic and sympathetic, which is basically sympathetic means fight or flight response. And parasympathetic is, is rest and digest. Well, most of us stay in rest and digest all the time. Like, you know, you, you don’t really feel that fight or flight. You really, you don’t really feel the real fight or flight, right. You know, you, you, you, sometimes that system will get active in the, in the, in the rest of digest environment, which then makes your rest and digest environment seems stressful. Scott (59m 36s): But if you actually go out and you’re, you know, you’re fighting a tiger, for instance, that’s where we all come from, we fight tigers. And that’s where you have to fight the tiger. You have to run from that tiger. There’s no other, I can’t rest and digest your way through that situation where we evolve from, there were always some dangers out there, right? The, the, the, the constant was a, a parody between times when you’re in fight or flight and times where you’re rested by Jasmine in the modern world, where we’re basically always in rest and digest, that active system doesn’t have an outlet. Scott (1h 0m 11s): And it turned and the energy that it provides adrenaline and cortisol. It’s not like you don’t have those hormones anymore, right? They’re still going around you. And they need a physical outlet sometimes. And this is why I think that somebody who sits on their couch and just as, just as she does a Netflix, they’re actually going to start feeling really crummy. They’re gonna start feeling really confined. And they’re going to, anytime they push themselves, it’s going to trigger anxiety. They’re probably going to get auto immune illnesses and other things like that because they’re not giving themselves the dynamism, which was the constant in our evolutionary past. Scott (1h 0m 46s): And so things like ice baths, things like throwing kettlebells, since I keep trading things like, I dunno, whatever you do, that, that pushes yourself. All of that stuff helps balance out the, the, the parody between rest and digest in fight or flight. Brad (1h 1m 1s): That was a pretty powerful, concluding statement, man. I love it. Let’s get out there and let’s get out there and honor our humanity and try stuff. And also, you know, getting into that flow state requires an appropriately difficult challenge. So the Cheeto person who’s walking around the block, they’re not going to experience that because it’s, it’s, it’s nothing, nothing to write home about. Scott (1h 1m 24s): And, you know, and you find that instead of like having an increasingly narrow areas where you’re comfortable by stressing, by putting yourself in stressful situations and then relaxing in those stress situations, you expand the boundaries of where you are comfortable. And that’s the goal. Now your boundaries have expanded instead of comfort, being the sort of like platonic ideal of only I can find the right bed and the right pillow to put me in the perfect state of comfort. Like even those pillows are going to get uncomfortable. Right, right. Instead of what you do, as you become more robust so that everywhere you go, or more places you go are, are comfortable. Scott (1h 1m 59s): And that’s really the, the, the secret is that by putting yourself out there, you know, the world opens up to you. Brad (1h 2m 9s): Love it, man. Thank you so much. I’m I’m wondering what’s next for you? What’s the life of a writer like you now you’re promoting the heck out of this book and where you go from here? Scott (1h 2m 21s): So I’m working on, I have, I’m just finishing up the manuscript for another book. I should be finished this in July at some point. And I have this other book idea that I’m working on, but it has nothing to do with his biohacking stuff now. And I’m interested in the really, you know, one of the things that I talked about we didn’t talk about here is how we’re all humans are connected, right? There’s sort of a consciousness, which is that arises out of the interplay of human activity. So you think of the thing, the word is called superorganism is that there’s a logic to human activity, which is bigger than the individual conscious of you and me, but actually all human activity together. Scott (1h 3m 0s): So I’m looking at a storm that hit Bangladesh. What is now Bangladesh in 1970 and killed half a million people. It was the deadliest storm in human history. And that storm changed the outcome of an election which made one government that was tyrannical. It started genocide, which started a war. We started an invasion, which started, which almost brought the U S and the U S and the USSR into cold war standoff. Like we were, we were heading down the Def con’s right. And, and this event I’m talking about as sort of the weather and like climate change, even how that is a force in, and of its own self, how like these storms land on shores and they not only cause damage, but they changed the political landscape or the emotional landscape and how we should be thinking about that. Scott (1h 3m 52s): So that, that books is just about done. I’m following all these stories of these awesome. Like I met this guy in Bangladesh. Well, it was Pakistan at that time who was in the army, he was actually a soccer star. He was like the Pele of Pakistan. And then he joined the army, the Pakistani army, and then the storm happened and his family all got killed. And then, and then the pockets and I started murdering everybody. And then he actually leads a mutiny and it was so cool to talk with this person. Who’s like, yeah, I was on one in one minute. Scott (1h 4m 23s): I was on this side and I’m standing with all the officers and the next minute I’m on this side and we’re all in the same room and wow. It’s been a, it’s been a blast to write this book. So that’s coming out in 2021. Brad (1h 4m 35s): Okay. Scott Carney go find The Wedge. It’s a beautiful piece of work and What Doesn’t Kill Us, the book before that. Keep up the good work. Thank you so much for joining us. Scott (1h 4m 45s): All right. Thank you for having me. I love coming on your show. Brad (1h 4m 50s): Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org And we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts, I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to thanks for doing it.