The HighExistence Podcast

“Here’s the thing. You are not responsible for other people’s feelings. They’re not incompetent children. They’re adults who can handle their own feelings. They can work through disappointment, hurt, anger, sadness, and upset. In fact, doing so will make them stronger and healthier in the long run. You cannot stop others from feeling all discomfort, or all pain. It is an impossible task, a fool’s errand.” 

― Aziz Gazipura, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself

There are four main models of how anxiety is caused.

The first three are fairly obvious:

  1. Exposure — we get anxious about the things we avoid
  2. Cognitive — our irrational thoughts can make us more anxious
  3. Biological — changes in our biochemistry can make us more anxious

The fourth however, is a little harder to grasp:

"The hidden emotion model."

This model stipulates that we can get anxious because there are very obvious things in our life that we are not addressing.

The hidden emotion model, is really just another way of saying "niceness."

When we are "nice" we let things slide, we don't speak up, we suppress our emotions, we make sacrifices we wish we hadn't...

All of this can lead to suppressed feelings, and ultimately anxiety and depression.

This used to be me, until I started consuming information by Dr. Aziz Gazipura.

At its core, being nice is about being liked by others by making everything smooth. No waves, no friction. It’s based on this (woefully inaccurate) theory: If I please others, give them everything they want, keep a low profile, and don’t ruffle feathers or create any discomfort, then others will like me, love me, and shower me with approval and anything else I want. 

― Aziz Gazipura, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself

Dr. Aziz is someone who has all the charisma of someone like Tony Robbins (who he trained with), but has a PhD in clinical psychology.

What does this mean? His work is both entertaining and scientifically sound.

Dr. Aziz has many profound insights about life, psychology, and transformation, but he specialises in social confidence.

In this episode, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Aziz.

Here’s what we discuss in the episode of the HighExistence Podcast:

  • Why he focuses so much on "niceness" in his work.
  • The role of trauma healing vs. self-optimisation.
  • The importance of Shadow work, and how to do it.
  • Finding balance between being assertive and compassionate.
  • Dr. Aziz's transformation out of shyness.
  • How to express yourself unapologetically.
  • And much, much more...


Direct download: Dr_Aziz_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

In today’s episode of the HighExistence podcast I sit down for a wild and wide-ranging discussion with Eric James.

Eric is a serial entrepreneur, award-winning photographer, magician, app developer, and all-around polymath who has discovered principles that help him engineer his own luck.

It just so happens that I met Eric in a stroke of luck 5 years ago at a dinner party.

He walked in and I instantly recognized him but not as a person I had met before.

He looked like a celebrity to me but couldn’t quite place it.

As I started talking to him suddenly it clicked.

Eric had started one of the first online magic shops.

It just so happened was watching his video when I was in 8th grade trying to become a magician myself.

And now here he was standing in front of me 10 years later.

We hit it off so well that we ended up becoming roommates for 2 years.

And this little anecdote is just scratching the surface of Eric’s stories of surfing serendipity (wait until you hear about Elon Musk and Richard Branson).

Here’s what we discuss in the episode of the HighExistence Podcast:

  • White Swans: How positive plot twists and happy curveballs in our lives can change everything (and why it’s important to hold the faith in the face of adversity)
  • How a bed bugs, a breakup, and 200K in tax debt lead to an important encounter with Elon Musk
  • Eric’s path to meeting Richard Branson in an attempt to become a space photographer (see his photography here)
  • The counter-intuitive truth on goal setting: Why big bold goals are easier to accomplish than small ones
  • Living laterally, portal jumping and leaving traditional career paths behind
  • How Red Light Therapy can be used to boost energy

Mentioned in the podcast:

Direct download: Eric_James_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

Mike Gilliland and Euvie Ivanova sort of remind me of a Sagacious Power Couple from another dimension.

Their Future Thinkers Podcast—focused on evolving technology, society, and consciousness—has garnered 3.5 million downloads since its genesis in 2014.

They've interviewed Titans of Insight such as Daniel Schmachtenberger, Ken Wilber, Jordan Peterson, Charles Eisenstein, Jordan Hall, and Nora Bateson.

They've spent years traveling the world, earning a living as digital nomads, and have spoken at myriad events on multiple continents.

I was fortunate to befriend Mike and Euvie some years ago and first met them while traveling in Bulgaria.

From our original meeting, I've been impressed by their humility, groundedness, centeredness, penetrating insight, and no-nonsense approach to life and spirituality.

I think of them as two of the most actualized humans I've had the honor to know in this lifetime.

As such, I was supremely delighted to have the opportunity to interview them for the HighExistence Podcast.

Naturally, I wanted to ask them about all the juiciest stuff:



No Self...

The human shadow...

The future of Earth...

Their relationship...

Their impending parenthood...

And their most profound transformational experiences...

So I did, and we traversed some truly rich and expansive territory.

I hope you enjoy this Kaleidoscopic Journey as much as I did.

Direct download: Future_Thinkers_1_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT