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218. Leaning into Discomfort and Doing the Hard Things with Michael Easter
Episode 21825th November 2022 • Be Well by Kelly Leveque • Kelly Leveque
00:00:00 01:03:28

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My guest today is Michael Easter, a leading voice on how humans can integrate modern science and evolutionary wisdom for improved health, meaning, and performance. He travels the globe to embed himself with brilliant thinkers and people living at the extremes. He's the author of the bestselling book, The Comfort Crisis, and a professor of journalism at UNLV.

We spend this one unpacking the comfort crisis and the complex experiences that seeded this concept in Michael’s mind as something more than an observation of his own life. 

He covers his nutrition journey, why learning how much he was eating was the key to understanding his own metabolic equilibrium, highlights a few fascinating teachers and researchers that have inspired him along the way, and applies his crisis lens to another, more surprising, neurological gem under siege – creativity in kids.

His application of learned lessons is a breath of fresh air. Backed in research, but avoidant of the weeds – his POV is heart-filled and psychological, but not out of reach. Big thanks to Michael for sharing his deep wisdom with us today.

We also cover… 

00:01:24 — Unraveling The Comfort Crisis

  • Inspiration for The Comfort Crisis
  • Struggling with drinking and getting sober
  • Learning the reward of walking through discomfort
  • Working with Donnie Vincent
  • How an extreme excursion outlined his book
  • Nutrition work with Trevor Kashey
  • Why you eat vs. what you eat with Trevor Kashey
  • Pitfalls of enforcing rigid eating rules 

00:21:55 — Doing the Work: Lifestyle Changes

  • Choosing foods that are ingredients > foods that have ingredients 
  • Positive effects of spending time in nature 
  • The Nature Pyramid by Rachel Hopman 
  • Working with our  hands vs. our heads

00:36:54 — Growth Through Challenge

  • What exactly is a misogi challenge?
  • Commenting on the sports science work of Marcus Elliot 
  • Inventing a challenge to push past limiting beliefs
  • The developmental significance of rites of passage 
  • Hard things are the ultimate teacher

00:48:27 — Creativity & Happiness Across Cultures

  • Remembering the research of Ellis Paul Torrance
  • IQ vs. creativity testing with regard to life outcomes 
  • The commercialization of ideas and the creativity crisis among kids
  • Happiness research in Buton (not a single stoplight)
  • Life is impermanent: Find joy in experiences over material things
  • America’s false happiness checklist 
  • Get out there and do hard things!
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Be Well By Kelly is produced by Crate Media.

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