The Polymath: Unlocking the Power of Human Versatility with author Waqās Ahmed

Do you feel restricted by your career, by your workplace identity?

Do you feel you are not doing what you would really like to do?

Are you good at many things, but feel you cannot do them for fear of appearing odd or going against the grain?

You may just be a polymath and that is a major gift!

Every human is born with multifarious potential.

Why, then, do parents, schools and employers insist that we restrict our many talents and interests; that we ‘specialise’ in just one?

We’ve been sold a myth, that to ‘specialise’ is the only way to pursue truth, identity, or even a livelihood. Yet specialisation is nothing but an outdated system that fosters ignorance, exploitation and disillusionment and thwarts creativity, opportunity and progress.

Following a series of exchanges with the world’s greatest historians, futurists, philosophers and scientists, Waqas Ahmed has weaved together a narrative of history and a vision for the future that seeks to disrupt this prevailing system of unwarranted ‘hyper-specialisation.’

In The Polymath, Waqas shows us that there is another way of thinking and being. Through an approach that is both philosophical and practical, he sets out a cognitive journey towards reclaiming your innate polymathic state. Going further, he proposes nothing less than a cultural revolution in our education and professional structures, whereby everyone is encouraged to express themselves in multiple ways and fulfil their many-sided potential. Not only does this enhance individual fulfilment, but in doing so, facilitates a conscious and creative society that is both highly motivated and well equipped to address the complexity of 21st-century challenges

We discuss:

  • What is a Polymath?
  • How did we get to this age of specialisation?
  • Polymaths through time
  • Polymathy as a gift
  • Polymaths in an age of Artificial Intelligence
  • Educational Reform
  • Workplace Reform
  • Social Reform
  • A cognitive Revolution?

More about Waqās here:

DMT: The Spirit Molecule with Dr Rick Strassman

From 1990 to 1995 our guest conducted DEA-approved clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical that is also manufactured by the human brain, consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many volunteers reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences. Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives.

Our guests’ research connects DMT with the pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by René Descartes to be the seat of the soul.

His book “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” makes the bold case that DMT, naturally released by the pineal gland, facilitates the soul’s movement in and out of the body and is an integral part of the birth and death experiences, as well as the highest states of meditation and even sexual transcendence. Our guest also believes that alien abduction experiences are brought on by accidental releases of DMT. If used wisely, DMT could trigger a period of remarkable progress in the scientific exploration of the most mystical regions of the human mind and soul.

We welcome:

Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and author of  “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” Dr Rick Strassman welcome to the show.

The Little Black Book of Innovation with Scott D. Anthony

“The new normal is perpetual change” –

Scott D. Anthony

Innovation may be the hottest discipline around today – in business circles and beyond. And for good reason. Innovation transforms companies and markets. It’s the key to solving vexing social problems. And it makes or breaks professional careers. For all the enthusiasm the topic inspires, however, the practice of innovation remains stubbornly impenetrable. 

In The Little Black Book of Innovation, long-time innovation expert Scott D. Anthony draws on stories from his research and field work with companies like P&G to demystify innovation. In his trademark conversational and lively style, Anthony presents a simple definition of innovation, breaks down the essential differences between types of innovation, and illuminates innovation’s vital role in organisational success and personal growth.

We talk:

  • Why Innovation is so hard
  • The definition of Innovation
  • Innovation in the eye of the beholder
  • Living at the Intersections
  • Heroes of Innovation
  • Innovation Mindsets
  • Customer-First Mindset
  • The 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation
  • Sustaining Innovation
  • Psychological Safety
  • Bridging the gap between the established business and the emergent concept 
  • The language innovators should use
  • The  Innovators Pledge

More about Scott here:

Fear Hack: How What Scares Us, Makes Us with Hilary Gallo

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.”—Mark Twain

For the past few years todays guest  has been talking to people about what scares them and helping them to work through their fears.

His book brings together what he has found. Maybe it is about time that we looked at fear differently and asked why it is still such a problem for us.

Hacking fear involves looking at fear from another angle.

Rather than being afraid of our fears, our guest shows us a way of befriending our fears. our fears. Hilary shows us how.

Fear Hacking is a way of turning our experience from a monster story into a love story.

We welcome author of “Fear Hack”, Hilary Gallo to the show

We talk:

  • How we develop fear
  • The formative years
  • How fear can be reframed
  • How we can embrace fear
  • How hierarchy controls us
  • How we can play the victim
  • How we justify our position
  • Strategies to break free

More about Hilary here:

Last Tango in Cyberspace with Steven Kotler

The world created in Last Tango is based very closely on our world about five years from now, and all technology in the book either exists in labs or is rumoured to exist. 

With its electrifying sentences, subtle humour, and an intriguing main character, readers are sure to find something that resonates with them in this groundbreaking cyberpunk science fiction thriller.

We welcome award-winning journalist, executive director of the flow research collective, world-leading expert on high performance, multiple New York Times bestselling author, and author of “Last Tango in Cyberspace” Steven Kotler

We talk:

  • The future of our culture
  • The fracturing of society
  • Innovation 
  • Flow
  • Peak Performance
  • Purpose and Vision
  • Habits and Attention
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • The origins of Empathy
  • Autism
  • Reinvention and regeneration
  • Walking logic bombs with hyper logical minds, the Mentat
  • Species die-off rates

More about Steven here:

Steven mentioned this Forbes article during the show: