In this day and age, technology has become one of the most important must-haves in our daily lives. Technology helps us to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. In this episode, innovative expert and the CEO and Founder of Movement Interactive, Dr. Eric Luster, introduces his book entitled How to Move Without the Ball where he gives the metaphor for learning how to position yourself within the game even though you don’t have the ball. He also talks about his work with Movement Interactive where they develop wearable technology solutions for detecting and reporting on traumatic brain injury in youths.
Having been in the food industry for several years, empowerment and awareness coach Sam Chein came to a certain level of frustration with his health being around food so much around his energy not being where he needed it to be for his family and friends and to make a bigger impact at work. After hitting rock bottom with the frustration, he realized he had to hold himself accountable for his own nutrition and wellness. Today, he shares how he was able to go from frustration to inspiration to tackle his goals.
I’m glad you joined us because we have Dr. Eric Luster and Sam Chein. Eric is a CEO and Founder of Movement Interactive. He is an innovative expert. He’s got a lot of different things he’s working on. Sam is an empowerment and awareness coach, who helps people with their eating habits, life habits and awareness in general. This is going to be an interesting show.
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Developing Wearable Technology Solutions With Dr. Eric Luster
I am here with Dr. Eric Luster who is the CEO and Founder of Movement Interactive. He’s a highly respected innovator. He worked as a nuclear biology, chemicals specialists, a research scientist, engineer and senior roles with the Department of Defense. He did a pioneering work in person-centered design of healthcare technologies. He has such an interesting past with inventing a device that can detect and report on traumatic brain injury in youths. He’s come out with a book though and I’d like to talk to him about that. It’s called How to Move without the Ball. He’s here in Arizona, which is great. It’s so nice to have you here, Doctor.
Thank you. I appreciate it. I look forward to the dialogue.
You’re welcome. We have a lot of things in common other than being in Arizona. We have a background in technology, education and a lot of things. I was looking at your awards and I’m looking at a picture of you standing next to Bill Clinton. You won quite some impressive awards. Can you give a little bit of background on how you reached that level of success?
It started since my childhood. I have a twin and growing up, I often wondered. I’m always half a second slower than my twin brother and he was always stronger, but I would always win. We would create this competitive nature growing up. That has followed me since my childhood. I was so eager to exceed and excel. When we made it to freshman year in high school, my brother and I played varsity football, but I was always eager to get more. I joined the marching band. I was one of the first players that had to change out of their football uniform to go ahead and do the halftime show. That type of mentality has chaired me through many years here.
Is that in Arizona? Was that ASU or was that a high school?
We grew up in a Midwestern town on Alton, Illinois.
Your story reminds me of the movie, Eagle Eye, where the twins were competitive. There’s this competitive nature that some of us continue to have in adulthood, but I see a lot of people who let it fade away and you have done some amazing things. The most book you’ve written is How to Move Without the Ball. What led to you writing that book? Can you give a little overview about what the book is about?
That book explained going back to my childhood. My brother and I grew up in a single mother household. We did have much growing up, but we always wanted to do more. We wanted to be involved. We were pretty good in sports. We had to learn at a very young age how to move with limited resources. The title of the book describes how do you move, continue to move forward and create this new mindset without those resources as you’re trying to obtain the resources. It’s a metaphor to a football or basketball game. You are on a team. You have four quarters to play. You’re playing with teammates. Some are good, some are bad. You have to learn how to position yourself within the game even though you don’t have the ball.
There are many people that don’t have the resources. You hear so much, “It takes money to make money,” but you’re saying the opposite. You don’t necessarily have to have that. A lot of people become frustrated thinking that they can’t move. It does help if you have the resources, but you’ve reached such a level. I was looking at a picture of you with Bill Clinton. How did that come to be?
That was during my time at Arizona State. I was studying for the PhD in Computer Science. I started to do my research on concussion detection. When I got to the university, I found out the hard way that it does not work like I thought it did. I thought that all of the researchers would be interested in doing my research, but instead I had to work on my mentor’s research, which I didn’t understand at the time, but it was very vital to my success to take and as the same test stand on the shoulder of giants. Needless to say, I started to do that research and I always continued to work on my research in my spare time. It was very attractive when I submitted this research to the Clinton Global Initiative. Two things happened there. I got to meet with the Clintons, but also I got to be on the Stephen Colbert report.
That is what’s interesting about the Doctoral journey. A lot of people don’t realize I used to work as a Doctoral chair and people pick what they want to write their dissertations about. You’re saying you had to do the research that your chair was working on. Is that pretty typical of what you saw with most of the chairs there?
Yes, if you had a solid foundation on the research entering into the PhD program. I was not a researcher. Throughout the four years at ASU, I learned how to conduct research. That was very important that I build a foundation in this research area.You have to learn how to position yourself within the game even though you don't have the ball. Click To Tweet
Your background is your strong education and technology. I don’t know if you go to DesTechAZ here. They have a pretty cool event. I’ve met Steve Wozniak there. Pitbull was there too. They do a lot of focus on what they have for technology here. Arizona is getting to be pretty impressive on their innovation and ASU is getting quite a name. You do a lot with tech startups. You have a lot of experience with that. Do you help people? Do you advise people? What is your job right now?
I’m full-time leading the effort for Movement Interactive deploying the technology. In addition, I also teach. I’m an adjunct at Arizona State and also Gateway Community College. Based on my background, I do have that interest in business but also information technology. I teach in those areas. I did not think I was going to teach. I was asked while participating at a local incubator called CEI. They asked me to teach an intro to business course and the fact that I had technology for the students to touch and to describe the ins and outs of me going through the process. It made me establish a passion for teaching.
I relate to that. You would be great at the University of Advancing Technology here in Arizona. I worked for them as part time. As well as a lot of other ones like Grand Canyon. Because you have technology background, UAT comes to mind. What do you do with Movement Interactive exactly? What does that company do?
Movement Interactive, we develop wearable technology solutions for detecting movement. One of our key areas is detecting head movement based on impact. We’ve developed a wearable sensor that tracks acceleration and uses biomechanics to predict and identify the risk of a concussion.
Is that like if you were playing football or something, would that go on your helmet? Where would you wear this?
That is a big part where I teach about because we’ve done over 700 customer interviews and I was a very stubborn founder at the time. I played football. I was in the military. I originally wanted to put the sensor inside of a helmet. After talking to actual customers, studying and observing them. We had to develop a solution that would cover both helmeted and non-helmeted sports.
How does that work then?
It uses the bio mechanical sciences. The user wears the sensor. While they wearing the sensor, if they received a head impact, we’re able to tell you the G-force of that impact. The science behind and the technologies, we’ve developed algorithms that will take that G force based on speed, location, the intensity of the impact we can classify, what type of impact the player has received. It’s very similar to the way airbags work.
Why do we need to know that? I had Dr. Trevor Berry. He’s been on my show who is a neurological chiropractor. He does more the neurological aspects of treatment. He talked about a traumatic brain injury. He does a lot of work and he’s here in Arizona. I’m trying to figure out what advantage is there to know how hard you were hit. I’m trying to think of what he was telling me on the show.
Oddly enough, we thought we create this data for medical personnel, coaches and the league. During our customer discovery effort, we found out that the true customer and the person that needs this information right away are moms. Mom ages 24 to 42, has three to four kids and she is adamant about the safety of her kids that are playing sports.
You find out that your kid has been hit in the head, but it’s already happened. What does that tell you? Does that tell you that you’d better get to the doctor, when you’ve gone, if it’s bad enough already? I’m trying to figure out where this intervention helps.
That prompts action right away. Based on the severity of each impact, the parents could take action. We basically depend on eyewitness account on these head impacts. One of the used cases we did early on when developing the technology. We worked with a gentleman by the name of Steven Threet, who was the starting quarterback at Arizona State. He was forced to retire because of a concussion. During the process of interviewing Mr. Threet, we quickly identify that it probably was the impacts that he received as a child because he was always a star player. He was always pushed to keep playing. They never did take him out the game. That’s the use case that we built the technology around. We definitely want parents to be aware of the hazards. We don’t want to end the sport. We want student athletes to get the appropriate risks and get treated, which is not happening now.People want to get rid of things fast and go cold turkey. It's doesn't work because so much of the way we eat is societal conditioning. Click To Tweet
You may hear a lot of people getting hurt skiing. You fall in different things that can impact your brain and you get the swelling. By the time you figure it out, sometimes it’s too late. I could see that would be such a huge factor to get people realizing this is something serious that just happen. That’s amazing. You don’t work in that area. You build and design smart senior living facilities. How did that come into it or do you consult in that respect?
One of the things I’ve been in a quest for the last several years now is combining my academic, my professional and some of my personal endeavors. That means I was in a process of relocating my mother from Denver, Colorado to Arizona. I wanted to get involved. I joined a board for a senior living community. I got on the board. I was eager. Within two years, I became the president of that board as we were planning to do a major renovation, but also build a new community. Based on my talent and my background, I’ve taken the effort to build some of the unique technologies that we see being implemented now.
Oddly enough, these things start to come together because we continued to do customer discovery. We find out that that moms age 24 to 42 is still at the center of what we’re doing to senior living community. For example, when my mother has a medical appointment, she almost falls, or something in that nature, she will call my wife. If she needs help with our cable bill or anything like that, she calls me. Moms around the world are interfacing with three to four seniors in their life. They’re the point of contact in the essential flow of information.
You said you reached out to be on the board of directors. Is that your first board of directors’ position that you’ve held?
No, most of my boards have been more in the technical area. I was the president of the International Council on Systems Engineering here. That was more or less my background with DOD, with systems engineering. I wanted to get up to speed. I cared for my mother. She raised us and I wanted to make sure that she could transition well. I was equipped to handle the transition.
You’ve won so many awards. I was looking at the awards you’ve won. You’ve won the Arizona Republic Top 35 Entrepreneurs under 35. You’re a Top Owner Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2014 Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal Elite Honor awarded by the Army for Technical Expertise and Performance. You were named a Top 50 Technology Visionaries by Intercon in 2019. What got you those recognitions? What got you on the radar do you think?
The full body of work. I believe it’s when I tied in the research for the seniors and building the smart facilities for the senior that brought me full circle. It’s not focusing on one area of concussion. The same sensors we build for the concussions, we can repurpose those sensors in different applications such as fall detection and tracking movement. We had a townhall with the seniors at Waymark Gardens where I reside as the president. That was the number one concern. Number two concern was the population of cats. Some of the fingers continue to feed the cats. What caught my interest is how many of the seniors nearly fell. Some of them have walkers and things of that nature. One of the big things I pride myself is very interdisciplinary work and thinking. We’ve started to talk to the senior and we’ve realized that we wanted to start to look and do something about falls because they were experiencing some challenges. I reached out to a professor over at ASU who’s an expert at fall detection, Dr. Thurmon Lockhart. We are establishing a collaboration to do a large fall detection assessment with seniors.
I’m curious with your background in technology. Were you tempted to leave Arizona and go to Silicon Valley? What kept you here?
Originally, what kept me here was DOD. I was out of Arizona. That was a major hub and a lot of people don’t know about it because it’s mostly military intelligence. As the process of me getting into industry, getting industry certifications, I rose to the top as a senior systems engineer at NETCOM. That’s the enterprise of the Army. I got involved with government contracting. That’s kept me here in Arizona. When I finally transitioned to Phoenix, I would definitely say it’s been Arizona State that’s been the hub. I’ve been able to get around researchers and other startup founders that embrace this interdisciplinary style of thinking.
It’s fun to watch the progress that ASU has made. I graduated 100 years ago, but when we look at what they’re doing, I engrossed on some amazing work there. I heard he speaks about every day for the year he’s never around. What you’ve done is you’ve caught a lot of attention for all the work. As you said, it’s interdisciplinary. You don’t just focus on one area. I know my daughters went to ASU and they had a lot of interdisciplinary study combination degrees that they offer at ASU. Do you think that we should have combination degrees and not necessarily one thing that we study?
I would say one of my best experiences in education has been during my Associate’s Degree. I did an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. It was a great blend of lecture and some. When you create those environments where the students can touch the technology and work with other disciplines, that’s very vital. For example, I learned a lot about reaching out to other colleges. In my journey of developing and figuring out solutions, as we were developing the wearable technologies, we worked with artists and designers who make holding. I wouldn’t have went into the military. I wouldn’t have known how to sew. I was the only one in the lab that knew how to sew. We were able to collaborate with someone who was very artsy and thought totally different than the technologist. That was an interesting combination for every time.
The wearables are very fascinating. My son-in-law works at Apple. He can’t tell me anything Apple. They don’t let everybody tell them anything. I’m so excited to find out what he works on, then I can’t find out. There’s a lot being done with sensors for health reasons. Do you think that’s going to be the big thing in the next decade or we’re going to see some big changes in that field?Accountability is a skill you need to learn. Click To Tweet
As individuals, with the amount of data that’s being created, we’re going to be able to take that data into our own hands. That is going to be key and vital here. One of the initiatives that I’m doing is I’m working with local urgent care clinics to provide some type of resources at the senior living facility. I’ve identified that one of the challenges is transportation getting back in to the medical providers. I’m working on bringing that information and putting the health information back into the hands of seniors because my mother checks her blood pressure every day. Why not capitalize on the technology and leverage it so that we could support them that?
There’s some amazing technology out there that I could see how you could tie into for the treatments once you discover what it is they need. I don’t know if you’ve dealt with any of these laser devices or anything that they’re dealing with trauma and injury. I’m fascinated by technology in general. What you’re doing is amazing work. I was so excited to have you on the show to share what you’re doing. A lot of people might be interested in finding out more about how to reach you and get your sensors and that type of things you’re working on. How can they follow you or reach you?
The best way to reach me is to visit our website at www.HijiBand.com.
Thank you so much for being on the show. This was so much fun.
Thank you for inviting me. I’m ecstatic about your background and was enthused to meet you.
We have a lot that we could chat about and I’m sure we will. Thank you again.
From Frustration To Inspiration With Sam Chein
I am here with Sam Chein who is an empowerment and awareness coach. He says he converts frustration to inspiration. I’m very excited to have you here. Welcome, Sam.
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure.
I’m interested in what you do. Your description on your sites, it’s hard to tell. I know you’re a coach and I know that you’re very interested in engagement. When somebody was interviewing you, you talked about the word curiosity a lot. You like to pose questions. I’m going to start with a question for you. Can you give a little background on you and how we can know a little bit more about you than that you’re an empowerment and awareness coach?
I’d been in the food industry several years. I came to a certain level of frustration with my health being around food so much that my energy was not where I needed it to be for my family, for my friends, to make a bigger impact at work. I went through a little health and wellness transformation. I learned a lot about myself. I learned the curiosity I had towards myself, towards my own journey for growth and advancement in personal health and wellness. That gave me confidence. My particular breakthrough for self-awareness gave me a lot of awareness so much about who I am. I decided to enroll in a course with coaching. I’ got certified as a coach. Since then I’ve been coaching one-on-ones. I love the group dynamic a lot more. I utilize curiosity to help people be more curious about themselves. How they could expand their awareness and how to allow themselves to integrate their awareness into a practical, actionable progression towards personal development and overall growth.
That’s an interesting background. The food thing interests me because I have a lot of foodies in my family but I’m not a big foodie. I’m more of a re-fueler person because I don’t have time to eat, but I’m pretty healthy. I wouldn’t say I’m paleo or any one of thing, but I try to eat as healthy as possible. My husband is very obsessed with the more reading about the foods and the different things because he’s a doctor. It’s hard for a lot of people because food is a tough thing. If it’s addictive, it’s not like you can do without it like alcohol. You can’t cut it out of your daily intake. What’s the biggest thing you’ve got to deal with when people hold onto that need for the foods they love and they say, “I need exercise” or they blame it on something else.
It’s fascinating you asked me this question because it would also go into the psychology of habits, how to disarm unwanted habits or how to work on any skills that we need in any area of life. It would begin with accountability. You can’t change anything that you’re not realistically aware about. Let me give you an example. When I started, I’m around all the pastries, sushi and pizza, all the best foods everybody eats out at night. I’ve been around that between 50 to 65 hours a week for several years of my life.There's no one-size-fits-all diet. A lot of it is genetic. Click To Tweet
When I hit rock bottom with the frustration, I realized I have to be honest with myself about what I’m eating, how much I’m sleeping, how much I’m drinking, about exercise that I’m not doing. It was all about holding myself accountable. Eventually, I realized that I love cheesecake, for example. I used to eat cheesecake. I was like, “This is not going to fit in my diet. It has too much cheese. It has too much sugar.” I started telling myself, “Instead of eating the whole bowl, I’ll eat half a bowl.” Over time, it became three spoons, one spoon and all of a sudden I was like, “Do I need this?” Limiting it in the beginning and eliminating it eventually.
People want to get rid of things so fast and go cold turkey. It’s not going to work because so much of the way we eat is societal conditioning. We’re at parties all day long. We’re outing and there’s food everywhere. If we don’t make an honest assessment about are things healthy for us or not really what’s wrong about it, but what’s right about it? What is it putting into our bodies? What’s going into our body? How much energy are you going to give to digest that food? It’s being realistically honest about if you don’t limit it and eventually eliminate it, if there’s no plan, we’re basically planning to fail. We’re planning for unpredictable behavior, unpredictable responses and unpredictable results.
It’s so important. I’ve done the same thing with chocolate. I never imagine not having chocolate in my life. I did the same thing you’re saying. I backed it off and eventually I don’t eat chocolate anymore. That makes it a lot easier at least for me because psychologically we’ve told ourselves “We need this.” Anybody who’s seen the movie, Super Size Me, he didn’t even like hamburgers until he started eating hamburgers and he started to crave them. You could see your body gets used to this. Many people hold onto it because psychologically it’s an addiction, but they don’t want to look at it that way because it’s making them feel good. Food doesn’t seem like an addictive thing especially if they’re not a super overweight or anything where it seems like it’s impacting them on the outside. When people come to you, are they aware that they need to change of their food habits or are they coming to you for other reasons?
It’s a mixture of both. I’ll give you an example. Somebody came to me and she asked me to coach her. She was able to keep up in touch with me through social media and my email. She was like, “I want to stop smoking.” I told her straight out, “Shoot me a message or email me, tell me how many times do you smoke.” She’s like, “I don’t know.” I knew right away that accountability was an issue. After accountability was an issue, I was like, “Just send me how many times you smoke.” She said ballpark twenty times a day. I was like, “I’ll help you to hold yourself accountable.” After a while, I realized that she wasn’t accountable not only because she wasn’t accountable, but it was also because the skill of accountability she didn’t necessarily have in other areas of her life. I told her, “If you want to help yourself limit and eventually eliminate the habit of smoking, accountability is a skill you need to learn.” I’m not only tackling food as a habit or to reverse certain eating habits or pattern, but to go into skill that people have that will allow them to tackle goals.
Now we can get into the whole conversations of goals. Everybody’s talking about crush your goals, topple your goals and all these exceed your goal. If we don’t have tools that we need to scale our goals and progress in our goals, it’s like a bird wanting to fly, but not picking up their wings. We need skills to hit our goals, achieve our goals and exceed our goals. I won’t only look at what they’re doing, but I’m going to look into the awareness that they have about what they’re doing altogether. I’ll ask the questions and I’ll make them realize that they’re not being aware about stuff, the thing you’d be worried about. People think it’s the food that they’re eating that’s not helping them, where it could be a lack of sleep, a lack of hydration, a lack of exercise, a lack of mobility throughout the day.
It’s always a system. It’s always a variable of different factors and components that will make up an entire definition of lifestyle, of what health is. I’ll ask different people different stuff and I’ll notice patterns if people have emotional eating or do eating because there’s food around them. I myself know from experience that even if I’m not hungry, a lot of times I would want to eat just because there’s food around me. I told myself a long time ago, I have to work on the discipline of holding myself accountable like being around all these junk foods or foods that are not necessarily healthy for us or foods that should be more snacks than meals. We tend to confuse snacks from meals. People make snacks out of their meals and they make meals out of the snacks.
I don’t think doctors are helping things sometimes. From being a pharmaceutical rep, I have a certified medical rep certification. I remember in the training that I went through with that years and years ago. The doctors are behind on what they have a chance to study in terms of what’s good and what’s not good. You still hear a lot of high carb diets being recommended because they’ll say, “Eat a lot of fruits. It’s good for you.” We hear fruits are not good for you because it’s a lot of sugar. Do you buy into like Paleo? Do you buy into high-carbs being bad? Where do you draw the line?
It’s a very interesting question because I would have to look into and microscopically analyze the person’s day. If somebody is running an hour a day, they can have a serving of the food to them because their body movements, their activity levels are justifying carb consumption at least from fruits or from complex carbohydrates. I have friends of mine that are in the medical field. They look at me and they’re like, “How do you transform your body, your life and all that stuff?” They told me themselves that there’s not a lot of nutritional education in the medical system when we went through school and stuff. It tells me a lot about the bias out there. There’s no one-size-fits-all. A lot of it is genetic.
A lot of people are sitting in offices all day long. For person like that, they need calories but not necessarily foods that are carbohydrate dense. Everybody needs to look at that their life. Somebody that’s a salesman in a car dealership, he’s running around a lot. He’ll need a little more complex carbohydrates and maybe some brown rice or brown rice pasta or some sweet potatoes and things like that. Other people that don’t run around a lot, they can get away with being some steamed vegetables, protein and maybe once in a while some starch. Everybody needs to get into details about what fits their life with their genetics, with the time that they had throughout the day. Lunch now have become so much more of a convenience. They’re buying meals on the go. We don’t know what are in the meal that other people are preparing. It’s very tricky.
It’s hard, especially when you travel. I travel a lot and I’m a picky, horrible eater. I don’t like almost any food. I’m always looking for the plainest thing ever. I want a turkey sandwich without the bread thing. That makes your head explode when you asked for that. In the airports, I’ve noticed you can’t even find turkey and cheese, that simple things anymore. Now, everything is ethnic interesting foods but they seem heavy, saucy or they’re salami-heavy packed with fat and different types of things. Do you recommend that people travel with their own foods? It’s hard to do if you’re on the road.
One of the reasons why I love this question is because it hits on a very old medical advice that was given by medical experts over millennium ago. That is food in moderation is not healthy and that food is healthier in excess. That would mean if there’s something in front of you that you shouldn’t eat because you don’t have all the foods that are available, just don’t eat a lot of it. You can get away with it because your body needing the energy is going to put it to use if we’re over eat. Traveling itself is stressful and the micro nutrients that our body will assimilate if we’re in a stressful environment is a fraction of what it was if we’re eating while we talk on the phone and watching TV or reading a book. There’s so much that’s at play that we could consider if we’re traveling to eat less of whatever is in front of us or to offer options like simple food or vegetables that are basic stuff that you can get anywhere.
I know that for me, I bring a lot of food when I travel. You’re talking about awareness. It’s important to be aware of what you’re doing when you’re traveling in general, because a lot of people aren’t paying attention to what they do. It creeps up on them and suddenly what they should be. Do you recommend that people weigh themselves? Is that a bad thing to be doing a lot if you do it too often or not at all? What do you suggest? I know a lot of people say, “My clothes fit.” Everybody’s wearing Lululemon now which is stretchy so everything is stretch.Your goal shouldn’t be to lose weight as much as it is to get healthier. Click To Tweet
I weigh myself only to tell myself about how accountable I should be. I also have an activity tracker that tracks my footsteps. It’s interesting because I got my activity tracker. I feel I lost loads of weight. I didn’t want to think that would inspire me to lose weight or to get healthier because my goal wasn’t to lose weight as much as it was to get healthier because it might be different. If you want to just lose weight, you could lose weight by fasting. If you’re not going to lose the weight, you can go back to eating stuff that are going to bring lethargy sooner or later.
It depends if you have somebody that’s holding you accountable or some acts that are holding you accountable, you don’t have to go yourself. My question is always to people, what is your goal? Where do you want to go? What skills do you have to go for the goals you want? Who or what is your accountability factor? What’s keeping you accountable? Who’s going to call you out and be like, “You’re not staying consistent about the resolution you took upon yourself in this regard and this life?” My scale was my accountability that I’m putting it in my face, “Today wasn’t good enough.” What did you do wrong? What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do better?
Having a range for me is important. If I find I’m getting to the higher end, I back off. If I get in the lower end, I start to eat more. A lot of people don’t track it and they get to the point where it’s so much harder to get to the range where they should be. You talked about a lot of self-awareness, which is you deal with food obviously. Self-awareness is a big part of emotional intelligence, which is what I wrote my dissertation about. I was fascinated that you focus so much on that and curiosity. Have you always been a curious person?
On the Zodiac element, I am curious but forget curiosity. It’s so tricky because there’s such a smorgasbord, such a spectrum of curiosity. There could be curiosity that’s toxic. The famous age-old statement or aphorism of, “Curiosity killed the cat.” I did some research in that aphorism that basically said the cat being curious about what’s in its neighbors and its neighbor’s backyard. That curiosity is toxic because it’s a curiosity more for competitiveness and comparison. It’s not a curiosity that leads to creativity or it’s not a curiosity for curiosity’s sake. One of the best statements I like is, “Curiosity is for the soul, what water is to the body, food is to the body or what nutrition is to the body.”
A lot of people know that it’s good to be curious. In the workplace, we get a lot of leaders who are keeping people from feeling like they can ask questions. It seems like it gets them off track if they’re asking questions where they have a time commitment to get certain things done and so they almost reward status quo thinking. I love that you’re asking people to be more curious because it’s going to cause us to have a lot more of the companies that have folded because of everybody’s sticking with that status quo thinking. It could only help you to not only be more innovative and creative at work, but in your life to focus on. What am I doing that’s unhealthy? What am I doing that could make me more interested in what my job is or be healthier? All the questions that we aren’t asking sometimes when we just exist instead of live. You help people to convert frustration to inspiration. How do you do that?
It’s exactly that. Curiosity is going into realizing that frustration itself is the most right backdrop for inspiration. How? Because obstacles, challenges and everything we go through is there to help us build skills. Everything we go through is there to bring us to a certain level of awareness that is unprecedented in a way. But the question is, how are we willing to admit it? How are we being curious enough to realize that every single day brings a new set of circumstances to make us dig into a new level of curiosity? A big part of curiosity is context. I’m a very few words guy in the right context, creativity, complacency, curiosity, chemistry, catapults. Context is important for curiosity. I’ll always ask my kids open-ended questions to get curiosity out of them.
If they’re asking you questions at the wrong time of day because it’s time to go to sleep and all of a sudden, they want to start the conversation that we should have on a therapy couch. I’ll tell them it’s not the right time to a question, but in general, I love when they ask me questions. I love asking them questions. I always encouraged them to answer their questions in paragraphs, not one word or a sentence. I always answer them in the full, that equips them with a lifelong sentiment to always ask questions because they’re curious. Sometimes they’d be like, “I have to Google it,” or sometimes I tell them, “Google doesn’t even know that answer.” That way they don’t take technology for granted.
Our curriculum is conditioning us out of curiosity. It’s educating us out of curiosity. That is a very big issue because. If we don’t have curiosity for the frustration, how are we going to turn that frustration into motivation? The curiosity that comes from frustration is what brings inspiration. It creates a want, a desire, a will for us to want to take action. That happens when people are frustrated. It’s like when we have to qualify clients.
We have to disqualify them. If somebody is not hungry enough for change, they are not frustrated enough. It’s the frustration that carves out of them, that allows them to explore a new level of awareness that says, “I have a new level of awareness that’s going to give me a new attitude and it’s going to help me take more action or altogether stop.” If somebody wants to come to me and he wants to lose weight because he wants to fit into a clothing. I don’t know if that frustration is enough to help the person long-term to sustain the social illusions for a lifestyle transformation. I don’t know. I would have to do some serious digging because it’s all about the frustration level.
I know that people are wired differently. Some gravitate more towards what they love and others shy away from what they hate. Some are running towards positivity. Others are running away from negativity. You see these things from different people. I’m not going to take it away from that. The frustration, when somebody realizes something is wrong and the frustration itself carves out a hunger and a craving in them, that curiosity, that craving is literally going to make them curious enough to find the answers and those new answers, that new level of awareness is usually enough to help them to be more consistent about the change that they want.
You brought up a lot of points because when I was doing my research for curiosity, what’s fascinating to me was everything kept coming back to it, whether you wanted to be creative or consistent or any of the words that you were mentioning. A lot of it comes back to whether you’re curious or not. Some of it is culturally instilled based on people around you or your family. Do you think that culture has a big impact?
Yes, I do. The technology is making it easier to be curious for curiosity sake. We could be curious for to be academically satisfied and academically fulfilled. The issue with that is that it’s more about a personal achievement rather than a lifelong thirst to consistently be curious. I always say this is so much more who we are and the aspirations that we have towards growth than in the pride that’s a result of our past achievements. The thing about it is as much as we can feel pride of everything we did until now, there’s so much more that can always be done that’s ahead of us.Our most powerful tool as a human being is our vulnerability of being curious. Click To Tweet
Who are we kidding by taking curiosity out of the equation, that’s the foundation for that growth, for that hunger, for that craving of always wanting to learn to how to do more, always asking of how can we make a bigger impact, how could we help more people, how could we build more, what could we do to improve? Our culture does not inspire curiosity. Our culture is inspiring a fixed curriculum and curiosity is putting yourself on the side and curiosity is inviting on certainty. It’s saying, “Everything that’s not possible, let me consider how it could be possible by putting myself on the top.”
It’s actually putting all our preconceived notions on the top. That’s the power of curiosity. We’re saying let me put myself on the top. That is the most powerful tool as a human being is our vulnerability of being curious. It’s so simple because the culture that we’re in were conditioned to be wired in a way we’re right. You had somebody on that said we’re living so much from the ego. The issue with that is that what we hold on to who we think we are. The issue with that is curiosity is not you. Whatever you don’t know is not you. I say it’s the opposite. Everything you don’t know, it’s so much more who you are or who you could become that everything you do know.
It’s an important thing that people don’t recognize. I’m glad there are people out there that are working on empowering people and bringing to light the importance of awareness. A lot of people would probably want to know how they could reach you if they wanted to hire you as a coach or self-empowerment coach or whatever they need help with. Is there a website or some social networking sites you like to share?
My website is SamChein.com. My email is SamChein@Gmail.com. I’m very active on Instagram @Sam___Chein and LinkedIn. I’m very active on those two platforms engaging. They can reach me out. I’m all over. I’m a very social. I love people. The level of energy and frequencies that I generate within myself by being around people is extraordinary. I love being around people. I love talking to people and growing with people.
Thank you, Sam. This has been an interesting to talk to you. I know we’ve had some great chats through LinkedIn, so I was looking forward to having you on the show. I appreciate it.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it likewise. It’s my pleasure.
I’d like to thank both Dr. Eric Luster and Sam Chein for being my guests. We get so many great and interesting guests on the show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, you can find them at DrDianeHamilton.com. If you go to the site, if you go to the top, you can find the curiosity information for Cracking The Curiosity Code book or the Curiosity Code Index Indicator. You could also find out about speaking, media and everything that I do on that site. I hope you take some time to explore it. Please tweet some of the moments. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Movement Interactive
- Clinton Global Initiative
- Steve Wozniak
- Dr. Trevor Berry – previous episode
- Sam Chein
- @Sam___Chein on Instagram
- Sam Chein on LinkedIn
- Cracking The Curiosity Code
- Curiosity Code Index Indicator
About Dr. Eric Luster
Dr. Eric Luster is the CEO & Founder of Movement Interactive Inc. and a highly-respected Innovator.
After 14 years working as a nuclear, biology, chemical specialist, research scientist and engineer in senior roles with the Department of Defense, Eric begun his pioneering work in person-centered design of healthcare technologies in 2012, ultimately inventing Hiji™Band, a device created to detect and report on Traumatic Brain Injury in youth sports. He is the author of How to Move Without the Ball.
About Sam Chein
Sam Chein is an empowerment and awareness coach.
He converts frustration into inspiration.
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