Wisdom In Hindsight


Hates guy here and before we start the show quick thing a lot of you ask how you can support the Ted Radio Hour and the best way to do that is to support your local public radio station here at NPR. We're launching our annual end of year fundraising campaign and the clock is ticking to get your contributions in so throughout the month. I hope you'll take a little bit of time time to reflect on what this show has meant to you this year and then if it has been something please go to donate dot. NPR DOT org slash. Ted Radio to support your your local station and thanks. This is the Ted Radio Hour each week around breaking Ted talks technology. Entertainment Design Design. Is that really what ten. I've never known the delivered at Ted Conferences around on the world. If the human imagination we've had to believe an impossible thing. The true nature of reality beckons from just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio from NPR Garros. I'm so happy to hear your voice again. Go as you're saying I've missed you. Talk to this is the writer Pico. Ir I think you're probably now. This is the third time you're going to be on the show. I think so. Yes really glad I can be platform again. He goes known for his travel writing and for part of the year he lives in Kyoto. I'm actually technically. I'm in suburban Norris of twenty miles from Kyoto and Yes for really the last twenty seven years. I've been spending the majority of my time in this little rented two room apartment in Nara Japan. And it's just a place that you Kinda fell all in love with and that you spoke to you. I guess just spoke to me. I my first day in Japan. I was just on an unwanted layover flying back from in Hong Kong to a New York City whereas living in one thousand nine hundred eighty three. And in the course of that layover. I just walked around the airport turn of narrator near Tokyo gear and at the end of my three hour work I had decided to move to Japan. I felt at home there that very first morning and I still do even now and I I guess after you move to Japan you actually Got Into Ping Pong right added. That happen well. My wife is a very keen enthusiast. WHO's yesterday health clubs and we used to have a health club just across the street from us and she saw that I never move? Basically I kind of lump ish unathletic a creature. But she remembered I'd Played Ping Pong a little boy growing up in England so she invited me to come and look in on the Ping Pong. And within three minutes I was Lost Ping Pong for life much. Pico is not exaggerating he plays Ping Pong just about every day and I think what was interesting for me. Initially really was that. I've never really been engaged with Japanese society. But as soon as I was in the Ping Pong Club. I was part of this group of thirty Japanese. I was the only foreigner and suddenly I. I had to learn how to fit in the two Japanese community. You get to this club you start getting the pingpong long and one of the things about this is that I guess is is it an unofficial kind of rule that it's doubles it's not singles Ping Pong exactly exactly and then we choose a partners by lot so every five minutes were changing partners and part of that is so that nobody loses uses along if you happen to lose with one partner six minutes later. You're winning with another. And when we play sets its best of two so that they would often be no winners loses people very happy for it to end in a one one tie every day when I leave the Ping Pong Club after in an hour and a half of furious exertion. If you asked me did I win or lose. I couldn't tell you I'd probably paid seven games. I couldn't keep count of whether I won or lost because nobody keeps track of. Who's winning the Games? But that stands for what the whole Ping Pong Club is about. which is the sense that everybody anybody should leave? In an equal state of delight in Japan. It's been third. They've created a competitive spirit without competition. Here's PICO IR on the Ted Stage. No all of you know that geopolitics is best followed by watching ping pong all the two strongest powers in the world where fiercest enemies until in one thousand nine hundred seventy two ooh. An American Ping Pong team was allowed to visit Communist China and as soon as the former adversaries were gathered around some small green tables each of them could claim victory and the whole world could breathe more easily through ping pong diplomacy clohessy. What I learned though at my regular games in Japan is more what could be called the inner sport of global domination sometimes known as life as a boy growing up in England? I was taught that the point into the game was to win but in Japan I'm encouraged to believe that really the point of the game is to make as many people as possible around. You feel that they are winners. So you're not careening up and down as an individual might but you're part of regular steady chorus in Japan. A game of ping-pong is really like an act of love. Learning how to play with somebody rather than against her win. Occasionally I come back to this country and I play my English archrival. The only thing I notice is whether I've won lost if you ask me. How has your game today? I won't say I had found no. It was a great game or whatever I might say it was a close game but usually I'll just say Oh beat me eight to three. Oh I B nine two four. Yeah and somehow just by saying that I'm taking all the joy out of it. It's much better to say it was a wonderful game. Wait you you have an English ping pong tribal. I'm sad to say yes and we've been prosecuting. This furious rivalry we even Once played in front of six hundred people in San Francisco Not Delight. I didn't think they want to see to aging English guys flail around on a ping pong table but we enjoyed it. But I would say that my friend friend is fiercely competitive and so it brings out the competitive instinct in myself and that really means that after a game with him. I'm very rarely happy because even if I defeat him all I'm thinking about is next time he's going to get revenge or there's only one thing way to go from here and that's down and of course if I lose to him I'm literally really up all night. replaying how did I miss that forehand slam in the game or whatever. It's radically different in Japan because at least in the context of a club or a community community the most important thing is everybody to be working together and feeling and thinking together and unlinked. And there's a sense in which to think about winning. And losing is to impose a binary system on a world and lives not binary and if I were to ask ask you guy. Have you won or lost in your life. You would probably think of certain things you've achieved in certain things you haven't but you couldn't say I've one or I've lost. Life is full of unexpected moments. THAT SHAPE US and change us from a game of ping-pong to life altering events that can change our narrative and our identity. And if we're lucky we might pick up some wisdom along the way so today on the show. So we're GONNA explore wisdom in hindsight how we often learned the most important lessons about life in ways. We never expected and just quick personal personal note after seven years of being your guide on the Ted Radio. Hour this episode will be my last new one and as you might imagine over these past ask seven years interviewing hundreds of incredible Ted Speakers. I have received a lot of wisdom which will get a little bit later but for now back to the Pico Ir and finding meaning in Ping Pong. I mean I I love this idea that that winning and losing are on these Binary things that. It's just. This is so much gray right. Life is a series of. Let's say win the losses and draws And it's the kind of collective experience of those wins losses draws that defines our life. I love that idea to so much I exactly. I think it really liberates you because I think trying very very hard to win is not a winning strategy and is not the way you come upon happiness. I remember when I was a kid. I was determined hanging to conquer the world. I'm going to achieve this and this and this and this As most people in their twenties are and then at some point I notice will this is like Xenos Arrow which never reaches its target in other words. Let's say I won the Nobel Prize tomorrow. I'd be thinking why haven't I won the Pulitzer Prize. Why haven't I got mccown? And it never ends. And of course that's a recipe for disatisfaction. And the other thing I noticed which speaks to what you were saying so wonderfully just now as I get older is that it's really hard to assess what the victory is and what the losses in our lives off. The bad news is rarely as bad as we imagine and good news is not as good as we hope and life is rarely as simple as our ideas of tall playing Ping Pong in Japan reminds me why choirs regularly enjoy a more fun than soloists in acquire. Your only job is to play your small part perfectly to hit your your notes with feeling and by so doing to help to create a beautiful harmony. That's much greater than the sum of its parts. Yes every choir does need a conductor but I think a choir releases you from a child's simple sense of either offers you come to see that the opposite of winning isn't losing failing to see the larger picture. I once lost everything I earn in the world every last thing in a wildfire but in time time I came to see it was that seeming loss that allowed me to live on the earth more gently to write without nodes and actually to move to Japan and the Inner Health Club known as the Ping Pong table. Conversely I want stumbled into the perfect job and I came to see that seeming happiness can stand in the way of joy even more than misery he does. I mean it's such a simple idea. It's this simple game. And like through that prism you were sort of able to to gain this profound insight exactly as I get older I notice. It's the tiny things in life. The Trivia stuff that we overlook that really brings illumination nation. I think when I was in my teens and when I was a college again I thought I have to read this way deeper philosophy and I have to think about the meaning of life and have to grapple with all these existential questions Russians to to bring to the floor to come to terms with it and delight in the fact that is the the most ephemeral silly seeming aspects aspects of life. That are often instructing me. I would say that Ping-pong has has taught me these life lessons more than all the solemn seeming bookstore ideas. I've entertained over the years and I like it because of course it's also experiential when I'm talking to you now about winning and losing in the Ping Pong Club. I'm really talking about how I feel when I go home every day and does no arguing with speculating about that. I know that I come out every day regardless of the school. Radi pretty refreshed and invigorated and eager for the next day and of course applies to everything whether it's being being a radio host or playing tennis or being a parent or this is what content is to be freed from the sense of me against the world that's writer Pico. Ir His most recent book is called a beginner's guide to Japan observations and provocations. You can find all of Pecos talks at Ted Dot Com on the show today wisdom in hindsight stay with us. I'm Guy Rise in you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR. Hey everyone just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who helped make this podcast possible versed to capital one capital. One knows a life doesn't alert you about your credit car. That's why they created you. Know the capital one assistant that catches things that might look wrong with your credit card like over tipping duplicate charges or potential fraud. God and then sends an alert to your phone and helps you fix it. It's another way. Capital one is watching out for your money when you're not capital one. What's in your wallet? Wallet Capital One DOT COM for details. Thanks also to Google fi a phone plan by google. Google fi is made with features that people actually want like unlimited data in the US and abroad. So you don't have to worry about overcharges. Google also works on your favorite phones and switching is as easy as downloading loading the APP learn more at Fi- dot google dot com when allocate city Maryland was hit with a deadly flashfloods. Incredible amounts of rain in the elegant city area. People thought we couldn't happen again. And then the location of this is worse than the last one and the reality of climate change pit neighbor against neighbor doesn't now to embedded from NPR title and your telephone number monitored and recorded it's the Ted Radio hour from NPR. Curtis it's Guy Roz. I'm the host of the show. The guy is a way to talk to you for about a week now Well thank you so much for for doing this. My pleasure my pleasure. Thank you for on the show. Today ideas about the wisdom we gained from sometimes unexpected places. Can you please introduce yourself so my name is Curtis Kiro Arrow. Everybody Calls Me Wall Street For the most part and tell me where you are right now I am in Pelican Bay state imprison. How old were you when you were when you were sentenced to prison? I was seventeen years old. And how old are you now. Forty one forty one. Curtis I mean you were a boy and you were a child when you were sentenced to life in prison. I guess you you're part of a robbery Korea and And somebody was murdered but I have to imagine now at the age of forty one you probably during the recognized that seventeen year old boy so you were A. You probably don't even know who that was if interesting because that's true right along part I can't Hannah Magin me doing things that I've done then but I've never forgotten what life was for me as growing up as a teenager in Oakland California. You know going through the struggle through now. I'm not using it as an excuse but it did play a big role always and you know I never really. Viewed more situation has been helping other than poverty stricken never thought about. You know we'll get the job. Wasn't they have a white picket fence go to college. You know that none of that never even crossed my mind Just just never even thought about it and I never seen before. So far I was concerned life was about you know China make some money you know. Criminal activity was the way to do that. Because I wasn't educated and you could do it the way. Yeah that was my life. Curtis Carol picks up the story at a Ted event that happened at his prison and the reality was that I was growing up in the strongest financial nation in the world. The United States of America while I watched my mother stand in line on at a blood bank to sail her blood for forty dollars this to try to feed her kids. She still has the needle marks on her arms to this day to show for that so I never cared about my community. They didn't care about my life everybody. There was doing what they was doing and take what they wanted. The drug dealers robbers the blood bank. Everybody was taking blow money so I got my by any means necessary. I got mine and I soon learned that finances imprisoned room more than it did on the streets so I wanted in one day. I rushed to grab the sports pays a newspaper so my cell. He can read it to me and accidentally picked up the business section and it's so romance it. Hey youngster you pick stocks and I said was that he said is the place wife over keep all their money and it was the first time that I saw a glimpse of hope a future but it was just a glimpse I mean. How was I supposed to do? I could rewrite or spell so twenty years ago I did the hardest thing I've ever done in my life I picked up a book and it was the most agonizing time on all my life trying to learn how to read the ostracize from my family to homeys. It was rough man. It was a struggle. Little did I know I will receive in the greatest gift I never dreamed of. So so how did you start to sort of learn about stocks because you for ninety nine percent of people outside of prison. It's complicated. It's complicated for me. So how did you sort of start to understand how they were like. How did you figure that out? Oh man it was a puzzle so when I started to read I became a lot more interested in trying to discover what it was and so I see the markets how people watch soap operas storylines so my goal was on everything research everything by stories about piecemeal peace and different articles get full example. I would see an article that says blue chip stocks. So I'll care. The article in the paper said Blue Chip Allah pace that on like vision board like I had made a violent cardboard Dan I'll be reading day later. Whatever I would see? Some this is boots have stopped for companies that have pay dividends or whatever and I will kick out the dividends and so what I was doing was piecing together articles and story. And that's how I learned about route to market particularly just the company's Rust on her first. And you know so. What did you think you would do with it? I mean presumably. You were not able to invest stocks Masumi while you are in prison wall so I have people who invested stock market. Clark put money in and I just told them with the by and went to sail and things like that right okay and and once you started to invest. Did you have a plan like. Did you know what you'd use it for so my plan was if I learned about the stock market I can make money. I can get a lawyer and I could get out of prison. That's what I tell you know. After I had lost my trail and all that I remember my lawyer saying you know man you got road basically you should have been found guilty. She For the case you know in thing if nothing else robbery so that was kind of a my head and I didn't fully leave. I WANNA get out of prison. What I believed stocks could help me get out so that was my belief system? Imagine that there were probably other inmates in maybe even guard. Who are like you know like? Hey Curtis why. Why are you wasting your time with this stuff right right but but to stocks made me feel good it made me feel values also a part of my life which is always? It's about getting in trouble and doing things wrong way and you know when it came to the stop. The stocks was a bus structure was about discipline so the study in the Stock Market Howard all different values that I didn't know that I was learning self worth knowledge. Discipline are now had obligation to meet those on the path in help and it was crazy. 'cause I now cared about my community. Wow imagine imagine that I cared about my community. Financial illiteracy is a disease that has crippled minorities in the lower class nor society for generations generations. And we should be furious about that. Actually this how can fifty percent of the American population be financially illiterate. In the nation driven by financial prosperity our access to justice our social status living conditions transportation in full are all dependent dependent on money that most people can't manage is crazy. It's an epidemic in a bigger danger to public safety than any other issue. Check this out. A typical incarcerated person will answer the California prison system with no financial education. Earn thirty eighty cents an hour over eight hundred dollars a year with no real expensive. This and saved no money upon his parole he will be given two two hundred dollars gave money and told. Hey Good luck out of trouble and come back to prison with no meaningful preparation long-term financial plan. What does he do mhm at sixty? Get a good job. Go back to criminal behavior that led him to prison in the first place. Incarcerated people need need these life skills before we into society you can't half full rehabilitation without these skills. Uh Curtis when you eventually Get out you're going to be prepared to reenter re enter a life that you haven't obviously been able to live for twenty five years It it it sounds like doc this crazy way this experience of kind of having your freedom taken away from you kind of pushed you to think of what a life with freedom can look like and this is what it can look like. I mean you have this body of knowledge now that you can take with you when you leave. Yeah Yeah so let me say this freedom is is a feeling that you feel. It's not something that you have right. 'cause you know as many people in the street side societies Jackie Today Free Katie's mentally you know they got all kinds of drama going on in your dealing with all kinds of problems and issues And I used to perceive she freedom as being physically. My body was in society and I recognize that's not freedom part of it But that's not real freedom. You know the freedom news expression you know freedom to be who you are the yard so no matter what situation you're in and that's hotter place to get to. We did you get my physical freedom back courtesy in your talk you you say that you chose to commit a crime and you take responsibility for that and and the result has been something that's dramatically affected every aspect of your life obviously but Between IT'S I. It seems like you've learned on some really profound lessons. Despite the circumstances that you were born in and the ones you've lived in for the past twenty years so let you say I wanNA say. Prison is not the place for people to come find themselves. Prison is not the place. People can be educated. You can't the only thing that prison provides with people one thing only and that's what you choose to do at that. Time is purely early up to the person that's in prison. I've chosen to use my time. Wisely like some other people a lot of people that are not what I hope that my stories when I hold them my life experiences had will offer young people people. In general particularly young people is that time is something. Anthony learned that you can use anywhere. You don't people often say you know I do not want to prison. You know you might have had a became a person you today possibly so but sad to think that that's the in true that had to happen to me and so I don't want people to who misinterpreted that you know. My Life Story in prison is somehow good to be helping people because it's not not wear these programs programs where we supposed to be helping argues trouble people as part of my goal when I get out of here. I like to think that I've made great use of it the choice People make choices people gonNA have the opportunity to make their choice so I just want to say. They're you know prisoners prisons replacement. Let's Curtis Carol. He's also known as Wall Street. He's Co founder of project feel. It's a nonprofit dedicated to financial and emotional literacy by Curtis will be up for Parole Sim so he could potentially eventually get out of prison. In the next six months you can see Curtis's full talk at Ted Dot Com on the show today. Wisdom in hindsight has some of the most meaningful things we learn can take a really long time to reveal themselves. I've been singing since I was since I can remember i. I remember my first audition. I was probably like six or seven and I found my people so these were singers. Who are really interested in drama? Who are really interested acting operas right from the beginning? When I was eleven I was an altar boy in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Tosca I stay up late? I get to go into this Opera House. They paid my makeup on. They put me in. This cost you to run around while doing something that I absolutely love and then they give me a check. That's how I thought that was really what solidified my love for music. This is injury. biscottis injuries an opera singer and I also worked for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Music. where I helped musicians use the tools of neuroscience to practice more effectively so an opera singer and neuroscientist so in in high school I got much more interested in in science in addition to music and I discovered Oliver Sacks and so when I graduated from high school I had to make a choice between what I was going to do next and in university and my mother is a conductor and a musician and she basically said go get a medical degree. It's it's really hard. It's really hard to make a living as a musician and You know we didn't. I did not come from a wealthy family. We were immigrants and we had no money and so whatever I was going to do and university I had to pay for it myself. So injury went to school to study psychology and then onto graduate school learning about how memory works how brains recover from surgery and she kept practicing music but she did it kind of in secret grit because I felt like all these other things are working really hard you know they never leave the lab and if I like take our everyday like they're just they're not they're not gonNA think I'm I'm serious than so you know. I felt like that was my dirty little secret that that there must have been. That must have been hard to keep up. Yeah I think there comes a time in every Grad students students life when they realized like okay like now I just need to do. I need to just do this until I can get it done. And and and because the competition is so stiff and So when I really immersed myself into the work of being a neuroscientist identify and I got it done but I it was like like the light inside my soul dimmed a little I was like I was selling something and it just didn't I got really angry. I got really irritable and I didn't like who I became so after injury finished her PhD. She enrolled in a Master's program in music. She spent a summer in Italy performed the classics completely dedicated herself to music and honestly she was kind of relieved to step away from hard science. That is until she realized the neuroscience could actually make her a better singer. So I'm going to say something. I shouldn't say that I'm going to say it anyway The person that was teaching vocal pedagogy. I felt really did not know how the brain learns remembers and the things that I was taught in that class made my eyebrows. Stand up in my forehead like absolutely. That's not the right way to teach singing. And so you know that made me think well wait a minute if like these experts in this amazing conservatory. Sorry don't know the basic fundamentals of you know how we learn motor skills like the isn't there a way that neuroscience could really help musicians positions maybe bring in some nurse would make it easier for me to get better faster as a musician and then I stumbled across this one paper Apor by Valerie Sal impor- and her colleagues Robert Satori at McGill. Because you see in the paper. They showed that there are two regions of the brain saying that mediate getting chills from music and they tracked dopamine in these regions. They're the Kadett. And the nucleus accumbens engrave conscious continues on the Ted Stage. Now you can think Advocaat it as your parent tells you that your behavior has consequences it tracks. How the things that you see and hear and observe and do have outcomes? It sets up the expectation of a reward of pleasure and it ensures that in the future you will behave in such a way that you will seek reward and avoid the things that lead to punishment punishment. The KADETT is awash with dopamine. When you're leading up to the special moment that will give you the chills but when you get to the moment that it gives you the chills? There's a dopamine spike in your nucleus accumbens nucleus accumbens your bff. It's your best friend for life because more dopamine in the nucleus accumbens correlates with a bigger high the intensity of the chills. That you feel from music depends on how much dopamine there is in your nucleus accumbens but the a number of times you get the chills or if you get them at all depends on the amount of dopamine in your candidate. That's what I learned. That's what it means to be musical in just a moment. We'll hear more from injury of his contests about how she learned to tap into the brains of her audience to deliver a more powerful awful more emotional performance. Stay with us on the show today. Wisdom in hindsight I'm Guy Roz in you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR support for this podcast and the following message come from from the American Jewish World Service working together for more than thirty years to build a more just and equitable world. Learn more at age. Aws Dot Org not. The Chat Bot on Sheila's phone is supposed to ask her questions but when she starts asking winging it questions it center poetry secret dwelling place mysteries held in the dirt. Time fact other plan. What happens when you treat artificial intelligence with love on the new episode visibility a- from NPR? It's the Ted Radio hour from NPR Garros and on the show today wisdom in hindsight ideas about the lessons sends we learned from sometimes unexpected places and before the break we were talking with injury vs contests a neuroscientist who was training as an opera singer. My a teacher used to say to me and my lessons all the time you need to focus on all the notes leading up to the high note. You can't just think about high note and I'm like no that's wrong because if I missed the high hi no. No one's going to pay me like that's the money that they call it the money note and and so you know I I would listen to her and I tried to do what she said but I never really got it until until I read this paper a research paper that show there was real science to back up what her teacher had been saying. The intensity of the chills that you feel from music it depends on how much dopamine there is nucleus accumbens but the number of times you get the chills or if you get them at all depends on the amount of dopamine in your caught eight and and then it clicked. That's what I learned. That's what it means to be musical and I was like that's exactly right if I don't set it up right the audience first of all not. I'm not GonNa have that pleasurable experience getting chills. And you know. I'm probably not being very musical because I'm just essentially not. I'm not creating this tension attention that eventually will be released and change the way I perform so I used to be like on nerves but the high note got to get to the high note booms up there and now I'm like I'm GonNa take my time time even before I started to sing. I'M GONNA stand here until the silence is uncomfortable because what I'm doing is I'm setting up in the brains of the audience. Audience this desire for me to do my job and it makes my job as a singer so much easier and covered of so much anxiety to that was the interesting the thing I used to have so much anxiety when I was standing in front. You know about to start to saying thinking like are they gonna like me. Are they going to like near the knee and then like now. I just stand there and I'm GonNa like the the longer I stand here. The more you're going to like me So neuroscience helps you become a better performer but may also sounds sesame like music brought more joy to your work neuroscience right. Yeah I mean absolutely goes both ways Not only did music may be better nurse scientist nurse. This is maybe better musician but it it is both and I think that you know. Sometimes we just get caught up in so fixated on on one way a of looking at things and that just limits us and so you know when it comes to trying to think of what to study now as a neuroscientist ientist. I started to really always go back to is whatever I find going to be interesting to people. My friends people I care about like other musicians and if the answer is only going to be interesting to the other cognitive neuroscientists at the conference. It's not I don't WanNa do it. it's not something that I I wanna spend my time doing right now but if it's something that when I finally get the results I can share with my musician friends or you know. I can share with my educator friends or I can share share with lay public. And it's going to be interesting to everyone or at least to a subset of those people that are not also cognitive neuroscientists than I think it's worth doing Injury this contise neuroscientist and soprano seeing a piece from the opera TRAVIATA. And if we wait for I think we'll get a spike of dopamine right On the show today wisdom in hindsight and as I mentioned earlier this is my last new episode and after interviewing hundreds of incredible speakers for this show. I'm going to switch around to the other side of the table. And if you don't mind pass the MIC on to the next host of the Ted Radio Hour Mnuchin Maruti. Hello Oh oh hey. Hey how are you. I'm good. I'm good yeah Are you how do you feel. I feel oddly. Calm right would you should. Yeah that's it's great. I know I think means grownup now guy. Yes I think this this great okay. So you're wrapping up your last episode Assode Guy and I Kinda WanNa turn the tables and ask you what strikes you about the last seven years. What are some some of the ideas the people that you will take with you as you go into the next chapter yeah I mean I think that that throughout the seven years have been the host of the show. Every interview is like it's a a journey and every interview is extremely meaningful right like I interviewed you. You're on the show and I remember our interview and it was so it was so great and you were so kind and and funny and warm and generous with your ideas. Thanks and so every interview is like it's Consolo weird but it's like a a a whirlwind romance. I fall in love with everybody. I interview for that power and yet you you kind of have have to because I am there to to bring the to help that person bring their idea out into the world. Because I think that's an idea worth hearing that hopefully hopefully will give our listeners. Something to take with them. They're so many of these conversations hundreds of these conversations that have been those experiences They're few that I really come back to a lot We had this episode that we did on memory and we are invited Daniel comment on. He'd given Ted talk about memory and When I interviewed him he had just returned from Switzerland and I said how to go and he said it was wonderful it was it was amazing and I said Oh that sounds great He said but we left. We left a day early. I I said Oh no what happened. He said Oh no no. We decided to leave a day early because we were having such a good time and I was confused at that point right without well. Why would you leave advocation a day early and then began this conversation about memory and my wife and I both decided not to so you decided to cut short your vacation? Haitian just to make sure that you wouldn't. You wouldn't mess it up that we wouldn't ruin the memory you know you might have had a great day absolutely. Wow depending how you look at it. This could be a mistake. It really depends how much weight you want to give to the kind of memory you. Why does that happen? I mean why. Why do we remember ember things based on what happened at the end of the peak in the end? Yeah actually I think there is a good evolutionary reason for this if you were to design an animal and you were economizing on how complicated the brain of that animal would be. You might say well. I want the animal to store. The pecan he can to slow the end and how long the episode was really doesn't matter what matters is how bad with a threat and and whether the story ended well. That's the animal needs in order to plan the future to decide whether to have that encounter again to avoid at all cost post and it's the very last memory we take from an experience that shapes how we remember it and so as a result he he lives his life that way but he will leave things when he is enjoying it and almost immediately after that interview it really changed the way I try. Try and experience things like if I'm at a party or an event and it's really great okay. I'm really enjoying it. Elif you say goodbye. I won't and not the last person there you know Singing along with the Karaoke and With drink man like I will leave and go home home and go to sleep and just had have great memories of that evening or that experience and I was thinking about this conversation I had with Dan Economist harmonises in four or five years ago now and it struck me that it is connected to in some ways my decision to move on from Ted Radio. Oh Aw yeah. Because it's been incredible experience to be the host of the show for you know into to be part of this world old and I'm so happy you know it's been so wonderful and I'm so excited to hear you take this show in two different direction shen and that's the that's like the way you kind of want to leave a memory right. Yeah that's pretty poetic. I would say. Okay so Danny Conman who else I mean which interviews do you find yourself just thinking about all the time even after all these years Couple years ago we had Elizabeth Gilbert on the show obviously the writer of eat pray love And she that's something really profound in that conversation. Something that I have never forgotten. I think about all the time which is that. We shouldn't necessarily follow our passion but we should follow our curiosity. You know that that is the thing that is going to lead us down a road Towards the things we feel you know that we feel strongly about that brings joy or pleasure or you know inspire us. We keep telling people to follow their passion and I feel like that can be an intimidating and almost cruel thing to say to people at times because first of all if somebody has one central powerful burning passion. They're probably already following it. Because that's sort of the definition of passion is that you don't have a choice if you don't which is a lot of people have one central Burning Passion and and somebody tells you to follow your passion. I think you have the right to give a finger because it just makes you feel worse and so I always say to people. Forget like if you don't have a an obvious fashion forget about it. Follow your curiosity because passion is sort of a tower of flame that is not always accessible and curiosity is something that anybody can access any day. Your curiosity may lead you to your passion or it may not it may have been for. We're quotes nothing. In which case all you've done your entire life is spend your existence in pursuit of the things that made you feel curious and inspired a national be good enough in a lot of ways. That's sort of been a metaphor for what we do on the show because it's really about watching a lot of Ted talks wchs and and just getting inspired by an idea and then building a show around around that idea Wanting and to know more about what he said. I'm going to assume that there are some people who just think because you have interviewed all these amazing people people and had so many hard conversations about so many topics that you must have internalized a lot of the lessons that they bring you too you too these interviews from their talks and that maybe I don't know maybe you're like a super better person in some way because you can I mean am I going to go through transformation guy I guess is what I want to know I mean yes yes. Of course I think what I've learned even from you talking to people who just so inspiring to me that I have so much admiration for is that we are all flawed and complex right every single one of us right at every single one of us us can be unkind unforgiving But what I I. I love this idea that we also change a lot We had we had Dan Gilbert on his he. He's a professor of psychology at Harvard. And he he did a lot of research into how our personalities really changed profoundly over the course of our lives. We don't think that's the case. But what he has shown is that more or less every ten years who we are our personalities. Our values change a a lot. Most of us can remember who we were ten years ago but we find it hard to imagine who we're going to be and then we mistakenly think that because it's hard to imagine it's it's not likely to happen. Sorry when people say. I can't imagine that they're usually talking about their own lack of imagination and not about the unlikelihood of the event event that they're describing. The bottom line is time is a powerful force. It transforms preferences reshapes our values. It alters is our personalities. We seem to appreciate this fact. But only in retrospect only when we look backwards do we realize how much change happens in the decade. It's as if for most of us the present is a magic time. It's a watershed on the timeline. It's the moment at which we finally become Ourselves human beings are works in progress. That mistakenly think they're finished. The person you are right now is as transient Enzi and as fleeting and temporary as all the people. You've ever been the one constant in our life is changed. I love that because I think that you could argue that. Over the course of our lives we become increasingly sort of better versions of our previous self which I hope is true because I You know like I think most people I am still at work in progress and I hope you know hope you are hope. Most most people listening are to That's lovely so Any words of wisdom for me as I go forth Do's and don'ts yeah I mean. I think I think you already do this. And I'm I'm just GONNA double down on Elizabeth Gilbert's advice but it's follow your curiosity so you have this opportunity to really follow it in any direction to go down any rabbit hole to have conversations with people who have thought really deeply about their ideas. Some of them are simple. Some of them are more complicated but But there's almost no idea that in my view isn't worth at least hearing out and I think you know one of the ways that you've been such a great host. Is that you have modeled for listeners. How to be curious about ideas you've shown them that if you just keep digging ask the next question or keep going or pull a thread? You might find something extraordinary. Certainly unexpected something that may be unlocks a door that you didn't even know was there and I think that that has been the pleasure and joy of listening to this show for the last seven years so thank you. That's very nice. Thank you thank you for saying that. It's been it's been amazing and I can't wait to hear to hear what you do with. I can't wait to go. This is the height of the party. F- cards over. We're having fun. Let's go nice. Good stay memories. Hey thanks for listening to episode on wisdom in Hindsight this week and thank you for being such an amazing community listeners. It's been an absolute honor guide past seven years. I won't be far. You can still hear me on how I built this world world and wisdom from the top and if you WANNA find out more about who is on the show this week go to Ted Dot. NPR Dot Org and to see hundreds more. Ted Talks Checkout Ted DOT COM or the tap production staff at NPR includes Jeff Rodgers Sanaa's Michigan poor. Rachel Faulkner Diba Mohtashami James Delicacy. JC Howard Katie. Montolio Maria Paz Gutierrez and Christina. Kala with help from Daniel Shchukin our journeys Kierra Brown grab our partners at Ted Chris Anderson Colin Helms and the Phelan and Michelle Quinn and a special thanks to Newsom Rhody you can hear new episodes of the show with Manouche rush starting in the spring. Garages and you've been listening to ideas worth spreading right here. I'm Ted Radio Hour from NPR

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