Stress Management, Dealing With Uncertainty, Following Your Gut | Elevated U Podcast #51

September 25, 2018

Stress is like a volcano; pressure builds up under the surface over a period of time and erupts when the powers holding it in check explode from its overwhelming force. Unlike a volcano, however, we possess the ability to release some of that pressure in controlled ways to avoid catastrophic destruction. This episode focuses on strategies for stress management (which I have not always implemented as quickly or effectively as I should have), dealing with uncertainty, questions about continuing this podcast, and following your gut when it comes to life and decision making.

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Becoming The Person You Want To Be | Elevated U Podcast #50

September 11, 2018

Who is the person you want to be? What do you need to do to become that person? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

This episode challenges the typical static notions of what is required for personal development and success (buzzwords like hustle, motivation, empathy, etc.) and focuses on adaptive strategies for changing behavior and mindset to achieve real-world results. 

We also launched our Patreon page to offer some cool benefits in exchange for your support if you're interested in contributing a small monthly amount to help grow the Elevated U vision/mission and reach more people! There are no commitments and all funds earned directly support the brand.

https://patreon.com/elevatedu

Thank you and have an elevated week!

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Maturity, Morality, & Growing Pains | Elevated U Podcast #49

September 7, 2018

This episode, Michael discusses the metaphysics of maturity (an idea that maturity is not a direct consequence of age, but character and perspective ascending towards truth), morality as a mechanism to promote maturity and favorable growth, and all the growing pains associated with this transitionary process. This episode represents somewhat of a "low" point for me, but so it goes with progress. We do our best to keep it real, no matter the ebb or flow.

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How To Remove Poison Perceptions That Distort Reality | Elevated U Podcast #48

August 27, 2018

We start this episode with a little ASMR action, a quick update, and then dive headfirst into deep philosophical waters to attempt an understanding of consciousness, reality, and how certain poisonous perceptions muddle our ability to seek and attain truth

The argument (which is the first we've attempted on this podcast) goes through a few stages. Stage 1 is defining and understanding consciousness, particularly from a philosophical standpoint. Stage 2 looks at reality and objective truth. Stage 3 discusses the interplay between individual subjective perceptions of reality and fundamental objective reality. Stage 4 assess a few potential subjective interpretations of reality and pinpoints a specific one - self-defeating behavior - as a destructive nontruth. Stage 5 discusses value systems and several ways to eradicate the poisonous perceptive lens of self-defeating behavior from the way you view the world and why it is necessary to do so. There are many other ideas strewn throughout this conversation and I hope the thought tangent is cohesive enough to follow. Please let me know if I missed anything or if there are any gaps in the logic and argument.

We wrap this episode up with a few shoutouts, a call to action for our lovely female listeners, and some positive news. Thank you for all the love and support for our 1-year anniversary episode! #stayelevated

P.S. Not all of the ideas expressed throughout this conversation originated purely organically. I'd like to extend my thanks to the great thinkers who have helped me progress my thought. Jordan Peterson and Ralph Waldo Emerson come particularly to mind as it relates to this discussion.

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Celebrating One Year Of Elevation With Bryan Sichler | Elevated U Podcast #47

August 23, 2018

Elevated U is officially one year old! To celebrate the podcast's first birthday, we are joined by original co-host Bryan Sichler to discuss growth over the last year, maturity, soul-searching, the nature of progress, and chasing your dreams. Thank you to everyone who has shown love and support throughout this podcast adventure; our listeners are the absolute backbone of everything we do. Cheers to cake, confetti, and many future podcast episodes to come! #stayelevated

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Elevated U Podcast #46 - A Starlit Albuquerque Park Philosophy

August 17, 2018

Michael relays his memories of a special park in Albuquerque, New Mexico that had the power to make you feel small in the best of ways, along with other reflections about life and growing up.

View looking east from West Bluff Park, Albuquerque, NM (in the day, color-enhanced).

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Elevated U Podcast #45 - Become A Lifelong Learner, Master The Skill Of Learning

August 13, 2018

August is officially in full swing! School is back in session for many children throughout the U.S., football is back in action, and that pre-fall feeling of invigoration and starting anew is in the air. This episode is all about learning, particularly for those getting back into school-mode and people picking up new skills/disciplines.

It is important to be a lifelong learner and master the skill of learning because knowledge is power: it enables us to better our lives and solve important and meaningful problems. The more efficient/effective we can become as learners, the higher our cap on potential rises, and the more we are able to accomplish and experience throughout our lives. Never stop learning, become adept at the skill and of course, #stayelevated!

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Elevated U Podcast #44 - How To Course-Correct Your Wretched Life!

August 10, 2018

We've been faking the funk for long enough and it's time to get back to our roots and down to business...

This short episode features an introspective talk about course-correction when your life begins to spiral downward. I discuss personal struggles and frustrations with knowing who I am, where I'm going and living up to my potential. We outline a plan for course-correction which involves doing what is RIGHT and REMOVING distractions that keep you from doing what is right. We are reminded of the purpose of this podcast: to provide thoughts, talks, and tips to elevate you to win at life as our 1 year anniversary of podcasting quickly approaches. Most importantly, the fire and purpose are back and there's no more f***ing around. Keep on your grind fellow elevated fam, remember who you are, don't let ANYONE push you off your path. #stayelevated

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Elevated U Podcast #43 - Making Poor Decisions & Setting Strong Boundaries

August 6, 2018

In this episode, we talk about decision-making, moving on from poor decisions and how to make poor decisions "right", how setting boundaries and learning to say "no" can enhance one's ability to achieve potential, personal authenticity and charting one's own course in life, limitations of perspective and people's unwillingness to overly question their situation, ways to wake up to different schools of thought, cultural influence on behavior and value systems, and more! Stay tuned for future episodes and thank you for all of your love and support! #stayelevated

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Elevated U Podcast #42 - The Only Way Out Is Up

August 1, 2018

This episode shows off the brand new production studio setup for the Elevated U Podcast, we discuss the plan for the show moving forward (2 episodes per week, mostly solo for a little while, free-flow discussions), and touch on a variety of topics primarily philosophical in nature such as identity and the difficulty assessing who "you" truly are, the intrinsic evolutionary process of all life forms to strive for improvement, reality vs. self-constructed narratives, moving to a new city and adapting to new environments, challenges with keeping up with technological innovations, the idea that ANY improvement is a fantastic win, love for this new podcasting medium, and more! Stay tuned for new episodes, a more consistent schedule, and as always #stayelevated!

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Pursue Your Purpose Like Your Life Depends On It, With Army Veteran TJ – EU 41

July 24, 2018

This week features army veteran and nursing student TJ to discuss purpose, insights gleaned from 15 years of military service, life and death, evil, culture, mental illness, healing, and much more.

Full episode summary will be published soon!

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Familia Es Todo: Maintaining Happy & Healthy Family Ties with Sherri Blowers – EU 40

July 15, 2018

Familia es todo (translation): Family is everything.

This week we sit down with special ed school teacher, mother, aunt, wife, and advocate Sherri Blowers to discuss the topic of family and how to maintain happy and healthy family ties.

Sherri is the mother of host Michael. We discuss our relationship as mother and son and how it has progressed through various stages over the last 25 years. Topics of interest include a mother's perspective towards her children and family, ways to take care of yourself if your personality disposes you to taking care of others, setting boundaries, letting go, advocating for those who are not as able to stand up for themselves, allowing people (family members in particular) time and space to grow, tips on how to repair damaged family ties, hope, never giving up, and excitement towards the future.

I'd like to give a special thanks and shoutout to Sherri for her contribution to this episode and for her undying support for me, this podcast, and the majority of people she comes into contact with. Without her love, guidance, grace, and strength, I would not be half the person I am today and the world is a better place because of her.

This episode is dedicated in loving memory to Linda Williams Bass - my aunt and a wonderful woman and mother.

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Reflection, Forgiveness, Moving Forward – EU 39

July 10, 2018

It feels as though a heavy weight of negativity, pessimism, and stagnation has been lifted, and the moment feels peaceful and the future seems bright.

This episode, which marks an end to the 30s and a bridge to the 40s (episode-wise), is all about deep reflection of past events, feelings, and self-worth; forgiveness towards oneself and others for all mistakes made and hard lessons learned; and moving forward with love, hope, and only the important teachings from the past with no unnecessary baggage in tow.

It is important to reflect on the past, in all its entirety, because there is gold in experience. The positive sides of a life lived – momentous joys, achievements, triumphs – all add context to who we are today and who we wish to become in the future. They give us confidence and hope that good times are just around the bend because they existed before. The negative sides – trauma, mistakes, pain, regret, unsavory consequences – are equally important because they too add context to who we are and provide us with knowledge, as only pain can, about our limitations as humans, what to avoid, and what to do better next time.

Reflection teaches. But without perspective, we may only understand one side of a lesson without the full scope of wisdom. No amount of mistakes, pain, success, or achievement makes one human inherently better or worse than another. You are not broken just as you are not perfect. We are also the only ones responsible for our lives moving forward despite past circumstances. A healthy level of awareness, introspection, humility, and grace can be useful for keeping us grounded and powerful. Reflection enables this.

Reflection is not enough. We must use those lessons to make better decisions at each subsequent moment we are alive. In order to do that, we must be free to move and to act. Forgiveness is crucial for healing the scars of time. Forgiveness is the practice of love towards ourselves for our wrongs and towards those who have wronged us. When we forgive, we cleanse ourselves of anger, resentment, bitterness, inadequacy, and pain because we make the CHOICE to love when we least wish to. We rise above, let go, open ourselves to love, learning, and higher virtue, and are no longer prisoners of our own making.

After that, the future is wide open and the moment is abundant. What we do now paves the road for what's next. Hopefully, you're as excited as I am :) .

Great new things coming soon to the podcast, stay tuned for updates.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support throughout this journey. I won't let you down.

Stay elevated!

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Four Score & Seven Years Ago… A Salute To Freedom – EU 38

July 2, 2018

"The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in." – General George Washington, January 14, 1776

This patriotic episode of the Elevated U podcast focuses on American freedom in anticipation of Independence Day. Do not forget the men and women that have served and given their lives so that we can live free today. Do not neglect the rich history and contributions of millions of diverse people that built this great nation. Do not take your freedom for granted or squander your gift. Remember that we are all united in our mutual desire to continue preserving and fighting for freedom. I wish each of you a fantastic Fourth of July holiday :) .

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Evolving Paradigms: Progression Without Regression – EU 37

June 24, 2018

Our last few episodes have focused on analyzing your life from 360 degrees. What’s driving you? What is keeping you from moving forward? What does moving forward even mean? In order to move forward, especially in life, we must take a step backward at times. The old ways of acting and being are rarely conducive to reaching the next level.

Learn how to identify and progress through evolving paradigms as you elevate yourself through life. Avoid common pitfalls, remain grounded, keep on going...

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How To Understand & Survive An Identity Crisis – EU 36

June 19, 2018

This episode focuses on the philosophical and psychological implications of identity coupled with Michael's personal journey/challenges through various stages of life and identity. While recording, the phrase "identity crisis" was not mentioned, but upon reviewing the themes of this discussion, it became clear that this conversation was centered on the disconnect between one's sense of self compared to others, groups, personal perception, actions over time or in different environments, etc.

Elevated Idea:

What external pieces of identity have you picked up from society, your friends, family, career, etc. that you believe to be true? Could dropping or reframing any of those characteristics better serve you? What internally cultivated pieces of identity are you proud of?

Thank you for your support on episodes such as this. It is not easy to share deeply personal stories and discuss topics so complex. The goal is to learn and get better. Any constructive feedback is welcome :) .

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Having Vs. Seeking, Self Trust & The Power Of Perspective – EU 35

June 12, 2018

This week's episode shares a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay The Over-soul to set the stage for the concept of having vs. seeking. I discuss suicide after the passing of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, signs to look out for, and the hotline number 1-800-273-8255. This segues into the psychology of "having" and the psychology of "seeking." Those in the "having" frame possess characteristics such as emotional control, acting as a conduit for greater truth and humanistic lessons, speaks from the soul, is inspired, possesses self-love and acceptance, trusts oneself, does not need or ask too much of the world or others, is internally robust, and charts one's own course. Those in the "seeking" frame possess characteristics such as ego and pride, lacks contentment, desires more, relies on persons and resources to find answers, acts to prove something or for validation, speaks and acts from what is popular or effective, depends on the external world for happiness, and is typically less balanced. Most people are a combination of the two and typically fall somewhere on the spectrum. The world needs both havers and seekers and each frame has value to offer and provides a unique perspective for how to navigate life. Self trust is discussed and how we can increase/decrease it and why it is an essential ingredient for each frame in different ways. The Elevated Idea of the week is "why are you waiting to be the person you wish to be? What is stopping you from being that person right now?"

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15 Thoughtful Ways To Improve Your Life – EU 34

June 5, 2018

There is an infinite number of ways to improve your life and what works for one person may or may not work for another. Personal development, self-help, spiritual elevation, all of these are lifelong processes and many situations do not have clearcut answers. The following tips, which are in no particular order, are ideas that have been helpful for me in my journey of personal growth that may translate to your situation. Keep on growing!

1) QUIT DRINKING ALCOHOL

2) DO SOMETHING CREATIVE

3) PRACTICE A HEALTHY LEVEL OF DETACHMENT

4) DO NOT FIGHT THE CURRENT, FLOW WITH IT

5) MAKE YOUR DECISIONS RIGHT

6) THINK FOR YOURSELF

7) CREATE SYSTEMS AND ROUTINES

8) CHALLENGE YOUR EGO AND IDENTITY

9) AUDIT YOUR VALUES AND ASSESS IF YOU’RE LIVING UP TO THEM

10) USE EMOTIONS AS DATA POINTS VS. OBJECTIVES FACTS

11) ALIGN WITH SOMETHING GREATER THAN YOURSELF

12) LAUGH AT YOURSELF

13) STOP VIEWING THINGS IN TERMS OF IMPROVEMENT

14) CHALLENGE YOUR ABILITIES

15) WORK FROM WHERE YOU’RE AT

ELEVATED IDEA: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TODAY TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE?

Please don’t hesitate to share your experience with improvement in the comments! Thank you :D .

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Letting Go To Rise Above – EU 33

May 28, 2018

Letting go is like winning a fight (physical or otherwise); many of us think we’d have the upper hand if the situation were to present itself, but when push comes to shove, most of us would move away from the confrontation and towards any alternative.

There are many forms of letting go. You can let go of a past holding your present and potential-self hostage. You can let go of poor habits and behaviors. You can let go of the stress you feel at work or in your personal life. You can let go of your need for situations and people to work out in your favor. You can let go of all that you think you know and step into the realm of possibility, expansion, and utter unknowability.

This week’s episode features a free thought-flow from host Michael. No topic of focus, no agenda, just a desire to self-express and explore emergent ideas. Some points of interest include the idea of letting go to rise up, meaning that our perception of how things should be can often stifle opportunity and authenticity. I discuss presence, intuition, the many deaths and incarnations of self over time, subtle progression, sobriety, the codifying direction of Elevated U, stoicism, Boethius’ The Consolation Of Philosophy and fortune, entitlement, patience, transcendence of being, problem-solving, and more.

There are two things I would like to particularly leave you with this Memorial Day week as we recognize those who have served this amazing country of ours by honoring their service through our actions and virtues.

1) HOW CAN LETTING GO IMPROVE ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?

I often think that the longer and tighter we hold onto pieces of knowledge, behavior, and identity that no longer serve us, the more we suffer. What are you holding onto that’s holding you back? What are you so attached to that your life would conceivably fall apart in its absence? What would it mean if all that you know about yourself and the world were incorrect? Challenge your assumptions and entertain this idea with curiosity and optimism. If you care to share, please leave a comment or email us. The more stories and perspectives we have, the better we can serve our growing community of truth seekers.

2) WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?

How can I better serve you? How can we make Elevated U and the podcast a more useful experience and resource for you? Are you interested in any particular topics, even ones that may be outside the norm of what we discuss? Are you experiencing any particular challenges or finding unique solutions that could benefit our listenership to know? Let me know what I can do for you, I am deeply interested. Leave a comment or send us an email :) .

Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your patience. It’s been slow-going to get back on a regular content schedule, but good things are looming ahead. Thank you for being a part of this journey and for being so awesome as you continue to progress through your own.

Have an elevated week!

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Pioneering Tech, Business, & Life With Blockchain CEO Joe Snyder – EU 32

May 10, 2018

Joseph Snyder, President & CEO of Lannister Holdings – a publicly traded blockchain development company based out of Phoenix, Arizona (OTC: NBDR) –  joins us this week to share wisdom from 15 years of building, scaling, bootstrapping, acquiring, and merging successful businesses.

Joe walks us through his purpose & soul-driven entrepreneurial journey, the importance of having a momentous WHY, the parallels between passion and artistry, how to infuse artistry into every aspect of daily life, self-knowledge, the value of experience, Blue Ocean thinking, balance, eliminating things that do not serve you and your goals, process-orientation and the journey, the significance and impact of possessing core competency in oneself and their team, why attention to detail matters, how to attract and develop a world-class team, boundaries and commitments, leading by example, and strategies for pioneering a never-been-done-before remote development business in the global emerging technologies market.

Check out Lannister Holding's website, https://lannisterholdings.com, for information on their fantastic company and the exciting world of blockchain tech!

If you're a business interested in inquiring how blockchain can work for you or are already using blockchain technology and would like to get involved in the conversation, please reach out to Joe and his team on his site's contact page.

Visit Lannister Development at https://www.lannisterdevelopment.com to see the excellent work Joe and his team are doing in this exciting and next-gen tech realm!

You can follow Joe on Twitter @LannisterCEO

You can follow Lannister Holdings on Twitter for updates and everything blockchain @LannisterNBDR

I would like to personally thank Joe for the fascinating conversation, for providing new insights and genuine value to myself and our Elevated listeners, and for being exceptionally generous with his time and knowledge. Joe absolutely leads by example and was a joy to chat with :) .

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