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TMHS 639: The Truth About Our Education System & How To Transform Our World From The Inside Out – With Prince Ea
Education can have a multitude of powerful impacts on children and their outcomes. It can even have lasting positive impacts on health by providing better resources, knowledge, and better social skills. While many can benefit from the traditional approach to education, our one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t serve those who have different learning styles and preferences.
Today’s guest, Prince Ea, is passionate about the power of education and transforming our model of schooling into one that is centered around creativity and individuality. He is filmmaker, speaker, creator, and a fellow St. Louis native. His inspirational and thought-provoking content has motivated millions of folks across the world, sharing about topics like self-development, education, living authentically, and finding joy in your life.
In this interview, we’re diving into conversations on the education system in the US, what it means to be intelligent, and what the purpose of schooling should be. You’re going to learn about how to tap into original thoughts, how to find purpose and happiness in work, and so much more. I’m excited and honored to share this conversation with you.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How Prince Ea’s relationship with education transformed.
- The role hip hop played in teaching Prince Ea to love learning.
- What the root of the word educate is.
- The difference between having a learning disability and learning differently.
- What it means to think freely, and how to get in tune with original thoughts.
- A correlation between our education system and our medical system.
- How exposure to information can change your life.
- Why most heart attacks occur on a Monday.
- The problem with work culture in the US.
- Seven categories of health.
- The importance of experiencing joy in your career.
- How to cope with negative thoughts.
- The connection between social media and divisiveness.
- How your language creates your reality.
- The power of taking responsibility for your health.
- How living authentically can change your life.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to the Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. One of the biggest impacts on our health, on our success in life and also our satisfaction in life, that imprint, that template is actually started during our childhood education. So, I'm talking about elementary school, middle school, high school, and of course, moving on into college. We are so impressionable, and our futures are imprinted very deeply during that time span. Now, if you've paid attention to the data, we're now seeing higher rates of depression, of anxiety, of poor life satisfaction from young people coming out of our conventional methods of education.
There's a mismatch taking place that today we're going to zero in on and see if we can shift this paradigm and get better outcomes and we have on a very special guest who has a variety of experiences in education and also being at the forefront of teaching and creating content around empowerment and around education and I'm telling you I think this is going to be very, very powerful game-changing episode for you and something that you're definitely going to want to share with your friends family and even with kids that you know because this is so important, this conversation is so important because we're not just talking about the livelihood of our youth right now. We're talking about the livelihood of our future because indeed our children and the young folks in our society right now are going to be the ones who are running our society and so wouldn't it be of our greatest interest to right now to invest in them and to start to create conditions and structures and systems that supports their well-being, that supports their creativity and their growth and their happiness moving forward. So that's what this is really about. Now, before we get to our special guest, another really important facet of our performance and how we feel about ourselves and even the out picturing of our health has to do with our sleep quality in fact, if we're talking about something that is just seemingly superficial which can create so much mental turmoil for young people is our skin.
We're in school and we're having skin issues and blemishes and acne and those things, it can be so difficult to deal with mentally and emotionally but also this is not just relegated to kids, this happens to adults as well. And in fact, a recent peer-reviewed clinical trial set out to find how sleep deprivation could potentially impact our skin health. The study found that sleeping less than six hours a night for just five nights, so just short-term taking away just a few hours of sleep for folks for a period of five nights. This caused fine lines and wrinkles to increase by 45%. Also blemishes went up by nearly 15% and redness increased by nearly 10%. In other words, we literally wear our lack of sleep on our faces. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that adequate sleep protects our skin against aging and accelerates recovery from even excessive sun exposure. There's a reason why we call it beauty sleep, and this is important no matter what age that we're at. Now one of the most important things and simple things that we can do to improve our sleep quality is to be mindful of something called thermoregulation.
This is our body's natural ability to modulate its temperature to facilitate different processes. And in the evening, we want to facilitate high quality sleep and there's a natural drop in our core body temperature to help to facilitate the release of certain hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymatic reparative processes at night and this is a natural drop, again, drop in our core body temperature that turns on these processes. And a growing body of evidence has shown that people who have warmer core body temperature in the evening are more likely to have chronic sleep issues. And this was according to data published in the American Journal of Physiology. So, what can we do to help to support healthy thermoregulation? Well, one of the things that we can do is not overheat our bodies late into the evening by doing excessive exercise and not giving ourselves a time for our body temperature to come down.
We can turn down the thermostat a little bit or just turn it off and allow the environment to cool down naturally if you're in a place where the environment is a little bit cooler outside which being with that you can just simply open a window and save a little bit on that utility bill, but also our bedding itself can create this insulation and actually help to overheat our bodies while we're sleeping. This is why changing our bedding and our sheets can be so helpful.
A recent three-week clinical trial put standard cotton sheets up against organic bamboo lyocell sheets and found that the participants sleeping on the bamboo lyocell sheets had an improvement in their sleep efficiency of 1.5% which equates to an additional 7.2 minutes per night of restorative sleep which if you add that up, we're talking 43 collective extra hours of restorative sleep per year. Same activity being in the bed, except we're getting more bang for our buck and also subjectively participants who are sleeping on the bamboo lyocell sheets found that their mental alertness during the next day improved by upwards of 25%. I'm talking about the organic bamboo lyocell sheets from Ettitude, go to ettitude.com/model, that's E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.com/model, use the code model 15 at checkout and you get 15% off their incredible organic bamboo lyocell sheets and they are so soft. They're breathable. They're moisture wicking and they're also antimicrobial, self-deodorizing. And again, they're thermo-regulating so that these can help to keep your body temperature regulated year-round.
Again, go to ettitude.com/model use the code model15 at checkout, you'll also get an incredible 30-night sleep trial. So, sleep on it, dream on it, think on it if you don't absolutely love them, you can send them back for a full refund and I guarantee you are not, you're going to love slipping into these sheets at night. Now keep in mind, it's the holiday season and this would be an incredible gift to give somebody that you love. Go to ettitude.com/model, use the code model15 at checkout and now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “rap song reminded me of you” by JW Rhodes. “What's up Shawn? I had 2000 hip-hop radio on Pandora blasting through my speakers while cleaning. A song from Nelly's country grammar album played and mentioned his love for St. Louis. I'm currently in the beginning stages of my online health and wellness community and there is no other person I could be more grateful toward than you. You have truly made an impact on me and many other millions of people that follow you. There is no one that simplifies and conveys health research better than you. You are a St. Louis goat along with Nelly and Mark McGuire. Keep being great.”
SHAWN STEVENSON: I love everything about this. Thank you so much. So many keywords here to jump right out to me Mark McGuire, they even named a highway after him, highway 70 and of course, Nelly hometown representing. Thank you so much, that hit my heart and here's the thing, our special guest is from St. Louis as well. We actually graduated from the same University, the University of Missouri St. Louis and wow, just such a powerful impactful experience having him here today and you'll understand why. But there are so many wonderful things that are coming out of our home city and I'm grateful to be a part of it but really just collectively as a society right now voices like his are helping to change the game and really to usher in more empowerment and education. So, without further ado, our special guest is a filmmaker, speaker, creator. He was featured as one of Oprah's Super Soul 100, Forbes 30 under 30. He has over 25 million followers across his social media platforms billions of views of his videos. And I'm talking about the one and only Prince EA. Again, hometown hero friend of mine and this is a powerful conversation that needs to be had. Let’s jump into this amazing interview with the one and only Prince EA. Alright, we got a full circle moment right now in the studio. My guy who was my very first in studio on camera guests all those years back and obviously a lot of us unfolded since then, but to have you here right now is such an honor man. It's good to see you again.
PRINCE EA: Pleasure's all mine Shawn. So happy to be here. We're back and in full effect and in a new way man, you've upgraded, you've transformed everything. I love it.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Hey, you know what we do man, you know where we come from and also that's what same University, we both graduated from University of Missouri St. Louis, shout out to those guys. I hope they're doing good. Us meeting in that atmosphere, is really interesting and one of the great things that I really admire about you is your discussion around our education system and its flaws and we don't have to look hard at the environment to see the outcomes of how we're being educated as a species and right now we've got a lot of young people who are leaving school, lost, feeling disempowered and deeply unhappy. We have an epidemic of unhappiness and what you've been really talking about on one of your big education pieces has been around really opening up and taking a look at our education system and saying, hey, we've been doing this a certain way, is it antiquated and here's what we can do moving forward. So, what inspired you to start really looking into the education system in of itself?
PRINCE EA: Yeah. Wow, great question. That is the biggest piece I've done to date, I believe, across all platforms. I think it's half a billion views. What does that mean? That means this message resonated with a lot of people. My life and upbringing through education was very shaky. It was not promising. Growing up, I sat in the back of the classroom like a potted plant, just there not really engaging with the teachers, the teachers I think also didn't really care. Miss... I remember in what was it, fifth grade Miss Williams wanted to hold me back a grade, said I wasn't smart enough, but I knew and even be honest, my parents I think thought I had some type of mental disabilities growing up because I think I did get things slower than most other kids and I was also very introverted very to myself. But I knew deep down I had a gift. I knew that I had some genius somewhere inside of me. I didn't think I had any mental health issues. I just didn't have the spark yet, the catalyst, the interest in what I was learning, the chalk and talk method.
It just didn't interest me. So fast forward to my college days where I somehow get turned on through conscious music, through hip-hop, conscious hip-hop really, I think gave me a big spark hearing guys like public enemy and all the way to immortal techniques speak about things like politics, geopolitics, religion. It catalyzed a part of my brain that hadn't been touched before and I started reading, I started spending time in the library reading, my vocabulary improved, that's one thing that I don't think a lot of people understand, if you want to be smarter, improve your vocabulary and listening to guys like Cannabis, Cannabis, one of the best I think hip-hop songs ever made poet Laureate, he's like alone in my room looking through the 32x telescope zoom adjusting the focus of the moon. One should not assume the philosophy of David Hume is nothing more than a subjective conclusion. What is the maximum field rate application the runaway affects a glaciation and I'm listening and it's like what? Who is David Hume?
And I start reading, I'm like, okay, David Hume, David Hume a Scottish philosopher and it's just opening my mind to a new world. And then I start engaging more in the classroom. I start sitting in the front of the classroom. I start questioning the things that my teachers were telling me, combating them. Yeah, I got kicked out a few times for that, but that energy, that thirst, that hunger for learning and understanding the universe around us that became inspired within me. Then I end up getting a full ride to the University of Missouri St. Louis. I didn't have to pay for anything. My grades were there. Ended up studying cultural anthropology, graduating honors, summa cum laude, but had I not discovered the hip-hop, had I not discovered this information in a way that was intriguing to me, I don't know where I would have been. I would have been left behind. And it’s so many kids that just don't get catalyzed in that way that are considered stupid or dumb or slow. I say there are no bad students, only inflexible teachers. It's the teachers, the onus is on the teacher to bring out the gift of the students, the word educate comes from the Greek word educe meaning to draw out. So much of our schooling is about throwing in and then regurgitating up, but to draw out that gift that is already within each unique child, that's what education should be about.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Yeah, and it can be, it can be, and like I said we've seen the outcome and you could have got lost in a shuffle like you said man, that's so powerful and what you're really speaking to is one of these really interesting terms I've been trying to push in the culture too, which is this connective tissue with learning, right? You had something that became a bridge. I hated science, now you know this is what I do. It's my passion. I'm obsessed, but it's because I found the connective tissue, right? And so, I remember it was something that you had shared before and it was learning disability and disability was crossed out and it was learning different. It was something like that. And again, we put these labels and we discount the fact that we're all different. We're all unique and how we learn is different, but we have these systems that have this rote memorization if you're good at this specific system in way of doing things which again is look at the results, is still churning out a lot of unhappy unsuccessful people as well. And there are a few who rise and experience some degree of success, but even that, we're going to talk about this later, success on paper and you got all the things but still not finding happiness as well. So, let's talk a little bit more about this Einstein quote, which you talked about. Let's talk about that a little bit.
PRINCE EA: Yeah, yeah, the quote is, "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live his whole life believing that it's stupid." Oh man, where do we start? What is intelligence? Let's start there. I think our world has historically not valued... Well, first not even understood that there, in fact, are multiple types of intelligences going back to Howard Gardner There's people who have spatial, have kinesthetic intelligence, some people they learn through stories. Some people learn through hearing, through seeing, through touching. So, there's different types of intelligences, there's different types of learning, but when you have a school system that has reduced learning and teaching down to only one type, you dismiss, and I think you don't really... You don't pull the gifts out of the children that are there, the true gifts that they were, I think, inherently born with.
So, let's talk about intelligence. I'd like to... What does that mean? What does it mean to be intelligent? I think the scientific definition is the ability to adapt. I think if you look at the school system and the way that it's being... You look at IQ for instance. Let's talk IQ, the intelligence quotient the tests for IQ and how even these very tests are racially and culturally biased. So, you've got a kid who may not understand the questions on the test because his upbringing and his culture has taught him differently yet they're only judged on this one scale, it's just not fair. It's not fair and it's not going to yield the best results for society. I asked the question all the time, what the heck and along with what is intelligence? What the heck is school for? What is it for?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Its origins.
PRINCE EA: Well, what is school for? Have we agreed upon what is it for?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh! I immediately think about the past decades where it became a system to churn out people who are really good at working in factories.
PRINCE EA: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's the origin. That's the origin and I'm like, okay, do we need to memorize things anymore if we have Google? If we have a search engine. Do we need to know that the war of 1812 that all of these different nuances if we have Google or is the purpose of school or should the purpose of school be to create self-sufficient healthy, happy people who can thrive and be their best selves within the society? Unfortunately, we see much of the same, much of the old like you said the mechanistic, the creation of automaton or not even that, just these machines that were meant to work in factories. That's why the desks are arranged like that. This is how the factories are arranged. And unfortunately, I think today there's so much friction within the system, so many agendas, so many monetary interests that the evolution just hasn't happened on a mass scale as I think it should.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and I was so crazy, with this being the point, like you saying what is school for. And that's just stepping back and thinking about that piece and shifting the definition of it and the purpose of it like if we all just collectively get clear on what it is, which you said is to start to imbue empowerment into children and start to foster intelligence, happiness, growth, creativity all these things we think is what it is about, but it's not. And so when you were speaking, it really got me thinking that learning the Pythagorean theorem is way less important than a child learning about how their mind works and being able to have some sustainability and self-concept and learning about how to process their thinking. That is way more important than these things that we're "supposed to learn" that oftentimes, 99.9999 of the time... I haven't used that great there myself in my work, but we're tested on that. And again, this gets into the whole thing with the Scantron, and even the guy who invented the Scantron learned about from you. He was like, "This is not a good idea."
PRINCE EA: Yeah. That's funny man, that's wow. Yeah, where do we go from here? I think that's the question. Can we all come to an agreement this is what we want, these are the outcomes that we want, and let's create a system that will achieve that. Until we get real and ask these questions, you're not serious, you're not serious. We're just slaves to a system. We don't really want a better world. We talk about it, but until we get real and ask these questions, we're not going to see any change and that's what school should be. School should be there to allow the individual, the child, to think freely. What does that mean to think freely?
I don't know too many people who've had original thoughts. You can only have an original thought when you truly have knowledge of self beyond knowledge. It's not even knowledge, it's an embodiment. And when you can embody freedom then you can have a free thought. Until then you're just looking through a filter of bias, of culture, of desire, until you can always talk about... Ram Dass had a book called The Polished Mirror. You know Ram Dass, you know...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah.
PRINCE EA: The Polished Mirror. What is that? Well, that means if you think about a mirror, a mirror's got smudges on it. It's got dirt, it's got all this stuff and these smudges represent the limitations in yourself, the biases in yourself, the self-criticism, maybe somebody else, maybe you put smudges on there, maybe your parents’ put smudges on there, but it's only until you clean and polish that mirror free of everything every concept, every belief, and this is science, right? This is objective science. Can you truly see the world as it truly is and can you truly see yourself as you truly are? And then you get to a place of silence, right? I love roomie. He said, "Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation." So, it's only until we clean and clear away all of the noise, can we find the signal.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. It's so funny. We have a culture that has virtually eliminated silence. Well, silence is still readily available, but we believe that we're supposed to be inundated with noise, right? Constant distractions like that's what we're being fed. So, it makes it... There's another barrier of revelation there that we're dealing with, and you use these mediums actually to get people to do the thing which is I believe such an ethical use of these mediums, which in many ways it could be neutral. But I love it. You actually gave this analogy when talking about our education system of having a one-size-fits-all medical treatment which is very ironic because that's that is a large portion of what medical treatments are today, but that's not what their origins are supposed to be, it's supposed to be based on you as an individual. Right? And it's really ludicrous to think that one way of doing things is going to work for everybody.
That's so silly. We've got eight billion people on the planet and we're all so unique, but yet we have these very superficial treatments when it comes to how you're supposed to learn, the same thing with how you're supposed to treat your body. And I'm curious being that we have this we just inundated with all of this noise, what drove you, what inspired you to use this medium of video and social media to reach people and to empower people?
PRINCE EA: Yeah, because it empowered me. YouTube, these platforms, they, they changed my life. It wasn't the classroom. It was YouTube. It was my CD, listened into the music. It was media. I know how powerful it is firsthand. And so, I started in music, you mentioned the word ludicrous, I did some stuff with Ludicrous, I got in Vibe magazine, I was on the radio. I had this and that and music was a passion of mine. Music, I always said not only changed my life, it saved my life. And I know hip-hop itself has done more for race relations than I think any legislation has, it's brought people of so many different backgrounds and cultures together under this one energy. So, to answer your question, media changed my life. So, it was me watching YouTube videos, me staying up till 3:00, 4:00 AM watching YouTube videos, watching things like that, man, it just changed everything for me. I know that information can change your situation. Bill Gates, whatever you think about him, he was asked, and I think it was a very apt response, he was asked by this reporter. He's like, "What are you... If you could have any superpower, what would you have? What superpower would you have?"
And I don't know what people think about Bill, but I love his answer. He didn't say if he could have any superpower, he would have super strength like the hawk. He would spin webs like spider-man. He said if he could have any superpower, it would be the ability to read books faster. It's all in the books, it's in the information. Information can change your situation. Now, information without action is, is infertile, it’s impotent, but the information is where it starts. So, YouTube, it was an accessible way for me to get that information and it changed my life.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, that's powerful man. Again, there's these clues, you know what I mean. Even somebody of his stature again, like you said, regardless of what we think about him, being able to have so much influence. What if we tap into the same things? And then use them or ethical means, just again because somebody's going to use this information, somebody's going to gain the information and right now we've never had so much accessibility. Like can you imagine having the access that we have now 20 years ago? It's unbelievable, what we have access to, but it's just same thing. What are you tuned into? And also, are you taking the time... I'm so glad that you brought this up. Are you just becoming a human filing cabinet gathering data or are you taking some time to be still and be silent to process these things and to have original thought.
PRINCE EA: Yeah, wow, one thing you say... Knowledge without love I think turns into destruction and that's why... I don't think there's any difference from anybody listening to this, watching this, there's no difference from you to Elon Musk to Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos, it's just they had a different information than you had. They have more information. I don't believe in talent; I believe in time. The more time you spend with something, the better you're going to get. So, I wanted to make that point that you have to have the information, you got to spend the time, but unless you spend the stillness, the no time space, the silent awareness, that's when I think the real gifts of humanity will unfold when those two worlds can merge because right now everything is so mental, so mind, so ego. One of my favorite definitions of the ego is edging God out. And what is God, God is love, there's no religious thing, God is love, edging love out. And when we can tune in to that love frequency and also take the information, take the skills, that combination, that's what changes the world for the better facts.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, this is speaking to one of the underlying reasons why we have an epidemic of unhappiness. You know edging God out and at its core again, when we were born, as children we are in many ways, I believe that we do come here with some inherent gifts, and I can see this in my children. I could see my youngest son, his personality, was there very, very early on. The person that he is now, he wanted to do what he wanted to do. He wanted to escape, but he was too small to do so.
PRINCE EA: Okay. Oh, wow. Okay.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, he didn't want to sit still and if you pick him up, he's wanting to pull away from you. And not to say that he's not loving, and he has those times of that, absolutely but he wanted to be free to create his day, to do what he wanted to do and him also realizing there's responsibilities in the world, he's a type of human being now that he takes care of responsibilities very quickly. First, he just told me the other day. He's like, "I'm always done with my schoolwork first and I get to listen to music." So, he's getting the thing done for the responsibility of the world stuff so he can do what he wants to do. And my oldest son opposite, he's always been a comfy cozy baby too, but now same thing. He's going to take things more to the to the borderline of when things are supposed to be done and get it get it done, so more procrastination.
PRINCE EA: Interesting.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So, seeing these two perspectives, I believe, we do have some of our personality traits just imbued in us, we can talk about genetics and then we can talk about nature versus nurture, of course, but then going from this infinite world of imagination and possibility to starting to be inundated with this, with constant limitations. That's what one of the things that's doled out in school, unfortunately. And you also share this too. And again, just to put a little sidebar here, it's not the fault of our teachers. They're doing what they're taught to do. Wonderful so many people getting into the field, you're a teacher, I'm a teacher to empower people, but this doesn't mean that we're utilizing the very best tools to do it. And so, with this said, they're going through this system and seeing what's happening with our children these young people where we have accelerated rates of depression and anxiety and suicide and all manner of mental health conditions and emotional instability and couple that with our chronic disease rates skyrocketing in young people as well. Within this, what's happening down the road is this outcome that you addressed in one of your most iconic videos and in the video, you started off by sharing the specific day of the week and time of day that we're most likely to die.
PRINCE EA: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And you talk about the reason why. So, can you break that down a little bit for us?
PRINCE EA: Yeah, Monday morning 8 A.M, you know what happens, we go to work. Go to work, and unfortunately that's the day where the most heart attacks happen. We're going to work, we have to go to work, have to go to work. These jobs, I think, that we work, that we choose are often not in our deepest hearts calling. The work system is not structured in the most healthy way, I think, for productivity and for happiness in the employees. It's just not structured that way for the most part. Some companies are doing cool things, you got nap pods and all these different cool things, free time and it's great, but I think overall as a system the work is just this thing that we dread to go to and I think it comes from the, going back to the educational system, we're kind of bred, we're taught, we're inculcated to choose something safe, to choose something that's going to pay the bills and not really stretch ourselves, not really answer our, our deepest calling of our hearts Joseph Campbell called it the hero's journey.
And I think we don't recognize the one true fact, truly nobody, I ask people all the time who do you work for? And they never give me the right answer. The true right answer's they work for themselves. And we don't recognize that, and I think once we recognize that, that actually we can use our gifts, we can update our knowledge and we can choose a path that is in our best and highest selves, best interests. That's how we can live a more fulfilled life. But I think today, man, we just drag going to work, man, the 9:00 to 5:00 and we go to work, we come home, we don't really have time for much else. We're so tired and we go to sleep, we wake up and do the same thing over and over again. We don't have much time to research, to have any type of free thinking or to question anything we see on the news, we just go to work, go home, watch TV, go to bed. That's been the, the routine for decades now. But I'm interested in another way, I'm interested in a society maybe it's utopian, but I feel like what if we could... What if everybody could do work that they enjoyed?
When I look at health, I break it down into seven categories. For optimum health, you need sleep, you need social support, spiritual belief, exercise, play, mental health, and your diet. We all know this, but I think one thing that might have caught people off guard on that list was the play, the joy, the joy, to have a career where we find joy is important for our mental health. I think is the food that we eat.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely, man, when you were listing those, that's the one that jumped right out to me. That's the one that jumped right out, and you already know my family culture. Play is baked into the system, and I don't remember it being intentional. It just seemed... It just felt right. It felt right. And my kids have that now, it's baked into what they do and how they live their lives and I think they're going to press that forward into their families, the nuclear family that they create. It's so important man, but I got a question for you. What about the folks who are saying that's for those people when you're talking about living a life or doing work that fulfills me. That's for people who have the privilege to be able to do that.
PRINCE EA: Yeah, no, it is. It is for those people, if you don't believe you are that person, it is for them. You're right. It is for them. Until you change that belief, nothing's going to change. Nothing's going to change. This is why I find the personal growth space it's formulaic and I think it's inaccurate. There's this old, I don't know if it's old, but it was a famous saying, start with why. You've heard this start with why. I don't think so. I think you start with who because you got to be before you can do and do before you could have, it starts with being. You got to be that person who thinks that they deserve that life, those things, that peace. It's not just for this, it's for you and until you recognize that you are worthy of that, that that's your birthright, that you are a creator, it ain't for you. It's just going to be something you look at a distance and you say, "Maybe one day or man, that would never happen." Until you can be in that stillness, in that now and recognize that these negative thoughts are just thoughts. They're just clouds going to and for in the sky. You don't have to believe the thought. I tell people we don't have to be loyal to thoughts that are not loyal to us.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Facts.
PRINCE EA: If you have a negative thought ask yourself, where would that negative thought get me if I continue to believe it? Just ask yourself that. And hopefully you will change your way of thinking. I studied CBT. I love CBT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, I like to call it crushing bad thoughts because I think by and large it's the gold standard of therapy and of getting rid of negative thinking patterns. And in cognitive behavioral therapy, they have what's called a list of maybe 10 cognitive distortions. Ways in which we cause our own suffering. There's all or nothing thinking, there's black or white thinking, there's emotional reasoning. One way that I think disturbs most people is called musturbation, right? Another name is shooting yourself. So, musturbation is when you put a must on reality, you put a demand on reality instead of a preference. They must do that. I must do that, or I should do that. He shouldn't have blocked me off in traffic like that.
When you argue with reality you lose and not only do you lose, you get beat up. You get beat down when you argue with reality. And so, when we can eliminate the shoulds and the musts from our thinking, man, that's I think when we can come to our own power, we can step into our own power and purpose and that's when we have a clear mind. They say the mind is a terrible master, but a great servant. And I think for so many of us, the mind is our master. And as time say, it's time for a revolution.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, man, this is a game changer right here. If people really get this, you're tapping into the most important thing, the first domino, it starts with who? It starts with who because your why is going to even be determined by who you think you are. This is a game changer man even for me right now and just my dictation and how I'm perceiving things and also again, just helping people to encourage that work first, then the why even becomes more clear.
PRINCE EA: The me, I see is the me I'll be. There's a story I like to tell and it's about a father and the father is at home. It's a Sunday. He's at home and he's chilling with his with his young son. And mom's away, so the dad he's got to be with little Timmy. And so, the dad however, he really wants to watch the game, Sunday night, you got be big game on. So, he really wants to watch the game, but little Timmy is he's like, "Daddy, daddy, come play with me. Come play with me." And the dad is frustrated, right? He's like, "Daddy, daddy, come play with me." Dad's like, I don't know what to do. I just want to watch the game. So, he notices a magazine on the desk, on the coffee table. So, he picks up the magazine, flips it and he finds a picture. He finds a picture of a world map, a map of the world. So, he cuts out the picture. And he cuts the map in the little pieces. And he says, "Timmy, I got a game for you. If you can put this puzzle together, I'll play with you, but not only will I play with you, I'll buy you your favorite toy and we'll go out and get some ice cream."
Timmy is, "Ah, yes, yes. Okay. Okay." So, Timmy takes the puzzle, he goes to his room, closes the door and the dad is like, "Yes, he'll never figure that out." And the dad is just chilling, he's watching the game, he's chilling, chilling, chilling. And a couple minutes later, little Timmy comes in with a completed puzzle. And the dad is, he's shocked, he's like what the heck are you? Timmy no, no, no, no, no, no, how did you put this together so fast? And Timmy said, he said, "Well, dad, on the back of the map was a man's face and I knew that if I got the man right then the world will come together." And I love this story so much because ain't it when we get the man, the woman right, it starts with who? That's when everything comes together.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow, so powerful man, so powerful. Man, that really hits home. We've got a quick break coming up. We'll be right back. It's no secret that processed food manufacturers have a team of scientists chemically constructing Frankenfoods that are incredibly addictive, but also causative agents of degeneration and disease. It's one thing to tell yourself to stop eating these processed foods. It's another thing to our biology that can actually become addicted to some of these chemical and sweet elements. Well, researchers have recently discovered that there is a natural food element that's able to help our brains and our biology resist the urge to eat hyperpalatable fake processed foods. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Appetite, found that chlorophyll can actually aid in weight loss and reduce the urge to eat hyperpalatable foods. And what's really interesting is that it was also found to increase the release of glucagon like peptide 1 which according to research published in the journal of endocrinology has a potential to trigger body fat redistribution. This means that it's sparking the release of visceral aka belly fat and increasing the ratio of subcutaneous fat which appears to be more protective against metabolic diseases. Pretty cool stuff found in chlorophyll.
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I've had those moments when my kids are wanting to play, to have my attention, and what we tend to do today, of course, is to outsource, slide a device in there, iPad, a phone, that kind of thing and thankfully again just working on myself, I got to see more clearly of the things that I didn't want to... I really started to, again, understand who I am. That's not who I am to do that. And not to say in all conditions, of course, we had 2020, so our exposure to these things is not going anywhere, as a matter of fact, it's probably going to be much more, but we and I'm so grateful for you representing this, we need to have some real world outlets or access to help the counter even this idea of being counterbalanced is not really a thing because a balanced life is still, things are always going to be moving up and down, right?
PRINCE EA: Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But to have that access to again to have time to process, to be human where we're not... We're getting put in front of a screen and we're being told what to do, what to think, we might not be aware that it's happening, but it is deeply affecting our perception and it's also making us stagnant by its very nature doing the thing you're going to be in a really strange awkward disempowering position, your shoulders are going to slump forward heads down, I see this... I was at the airport yesterday just looking around, I could see it and people are very kyphotic their body is expressing a state of depression as they're doing this very strange thing that's brand new to us as a species. And so, I'm bringing all of this up to say that part of the bridge from getting from where we are to where we need to be and starting with who, it becomes exponentially easier when we're not distracted. And that's the thing because of how everything is structured right now I've been there where I'm coming home from working at a casino. I got a full-time workload at the university, I'm going to... I've got two kids; I've got all this stuff and so on my "free time" I don't want to think about who I am.
The last thing I'm concerned about I'm just trying to like unplug and do some vegetative stuff, right? Again, but the thing was I put myself in that position. I might have had conditions that I was born into, but I made choices along the way to put myself in that condition and here's the thing, even in that condition, I could still find joy. Once I become aware that I have access to it. It's not just those people who are entitled to have joy and have potential. When I realize it's me now, I'm bringing a certain energy to the work that I'm doing even though it might not necessarily like that particular job the way I was conducting myself and guess what? Matter of fact, this is so cool man. You were the first on camera guest. After that was Jackie Joyner-Kersee and then a couple after that was Ozzie Smith, obviously iconic in St Louis. I met Ozzie Smith the first time working at that casino, cut two years later, we have a friendship, right? But I might not have been in that moment in that particular place had I not had a different energy, that was guiding me somewhere else.
So, I'm bringing all this up because I want to talk about one of the biggest things that we're seeing right now with the advent of social media and conventional media which is this chronic divisiveness. I don't think anything can be more consuming than that from distracting you from who you are than feeling divided because being divided from yourself not to mention the world around you and I think that if we could, the thing that really jumps to mind in one of your videos that you put together was talking about the need for cooperation to solve some of our biggest challenges as a species. So, let's talk a little bit about that. Let's talk about our state right now of divisiveness. What do you think about that? And how do we get from there to being more in cooperation with each other.
PRINCE EA: Yeah. Wow. Well, I think first, we have to start to... We need an analysis. I think many of our problems are actually symptoms. I think that you're right, I think the foundation, the crux of every war, every fight is divisiveness, every war has been started from us versus them and until we... Every war, every war is always the same us versus them because of the labels. And until we recognize the, the truth that is actually we, hey, we're going to continue to see these issues and I don't know how I almost intuitively get this and maybe it's missed, it's over so many people's heads, but it's so clear to me that when you have labels, when you have that identity, a strong identity, a category that's going to be directly opposed to another. And where there's opposition there's conflict, where there's conflict there's war. I could get into language and how I think it was Ludwig Wittgenstein said that "The limits of my language are the limits of my world." Language is so important. What you call yourself. In anthropology we learned about this theory called the superior war of hypothesis which essentially is your language determines your reality I don't think people know how important that is. There's a tribe, I think, the Himba tribe in South Africa, Namibia basically, they don't have a word for blue. So, they can't see blue.
They can't tell the difference between blue and green. They don't have a word for it. The words. The language creates our reality. So, I think first we recognize this, this is the first step to dissolve the polarization to recognize that these all these labels are artificial all these lines on the map are drawn in sand, we created them. We created them up. So once we recognize they're artificial and have no basis in a scientific reality, then we can start getting closer to living in truth. So, I think that's one big step when you talk about the platforms, the social media, the algorithms, oh, man, I think it is evil, right?
It's really sucking your attention in. There was this old poem from a pastor years ago, it was called, If I was the Devil and if I was the devil, I would certainly create something like what we have with social media to keep people focused and to keep activating the primal parts of the brain and keep people as obsessed and addicted and keep lowering their self-esteem. That's what I would do if I was the devil. So I think first we have to recognize that we're all one, that these labels are artificial, and that everything that we see, both good and bad has come out of the human mind, human consciousness, and as Zig Ziglar used to say, "Who you are is because of everything that's gone into your mind and you could change who you are by changing what's going into your mind." So, honestly, I think everybody needs to stop. I think silence is so important.
The ego has, I think, had its run and I think it's time to shift who's in charge. But that only happens when the individual takes responsibility. Oh, can we curse here?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely.
PRINCE EA: Okay, the responsibility. I know that's a curse word. A lot of people don't like it. When we can really become responsible for who we are and how we show up and focus on those seven pillars to get us right, to get the man right, to get the woman right, that's how everything changes. If not, we're just going to continue to be victims of our greed, our profit, our ambition, our desires, and nobody's happy doing that. I've had the chance to meet millionaires and billionaires and people at Royalty. Also met people with no money in the streets of Delhi in India. And there's a joy on their faces and energy that they vibrate that the billionaire just doesn't... Some of them just don't have.
So, I think many people have become victims of their ambition, striving for this thing generational wealth and what's generational wealth without generational health? You make a bunch of money, and you pass down the money, but you also pass down the energy you use to get the money. You're continuing a toxic pattern. You're trying to do what you think is right, but you haven't stopped. You haven't recognized that this ambitious desire has never made you truly happy. It's only given you temporary pleasure and pleasures differ from happiness. Pleasures differ from joy. So, yeah, I think we... I think stopping is key.
There's this story I love, comes from this Indian sage named Ramana Maharshi, huge fan of him. He was a guru that taught a practice called Self Inquiry and super important to, I think, it's the quickest way to enlightenment. The lazy man's way to enlightenment asking yourself who am I? So, when he read his story from him and this disciple he had, this guy he traveled thousands of miles to come to India and meet this man. And when he met him, he bowed and touched his feet, and he said, "Master, can you tell me who I am." And Ramana he said, "Go back to where you came." And everybody around was like, what? How insensitive? Go back, this man travel all of these thousands of miles to get to here and you tell him to go back to where he came? But what he meant was, go back to where you came, go back to that silence before the beliefs, before the concepts, go back to where you came. And I think if all of us can go back to where we came, what a world?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah, the first step is, like you said, we need to stop and another thing that I admire about you, you practice what you preach, you know what I'm saying? Like you just took a major stop in one sense and unplugged from this day-to-day life and all the social media the consumption, the creation, and you found yourself planted in Portugal and I remember you were telling me that you were thinking about doing it and next thing I know you're there, and you've been just off the radar for a little while. So, let's talk about that experience.
PRINCE EA: Yeah. Oh, wow. Well, yeah, so I stopped. I wanted to just write a new chapter in my life, and I didn't want to have any regrets. So, I wanted to, to live in... I have very well-traveled, I've been to all these different places, but I've only lived in in St. Louis and I was like, why not, why not? And so, I went there and moving was a process, but the spiritual journey that happened was it was a pause from everything, a pause from creating content, the social media playing that game, the views, the followers, that the whole nonsense and I didn't want to get caught into it.
I felt like these platforms are there, it's only natural to have low self-esteem if you use these platforms, it's only... This is the natural reaction. And when you're a creator, you find yourself even if you're creating pure content, you still can find yourself competing and comparing which is the thief of all joy, comparison, and I just wanted to zoom out and ask myself, is this how I really want to live? Is this the life... Is this what life is about? And I think it's so important to stop because this life as we have seen and as we will continue to see is unpredictable and it's very fragile. And these moments are a gift, each moment. They say that the enlightened master not a breath goes by that they are not aware of. That type of awareness of the moment is something I strive to achieve being here now. It's so important, it's so... What else really is there? I think when you strip away the noise and the ego, desires, there's a difference between spirit goals and ego goals. It's like there's a difference between a good idea and a God idea. A lot of people are doing really good things. Are they doing that thing that they need to be doing? Will they get to the end of their life and realize they climbed a ladder that was leaning against the wrong wall? And for me, I wanted to stop and contemplate that for me and it's a process that occurs every moment. Am I living in total true authenticity now?
No compromise. Am I fully here, fully present, right? This is what all the guys talk about, the books, the be here now, the Eckhart Tolle, the power of now. What are they talking about? Well, this is it. This unrepeatable miracle that we call now. Is it and if we can recognize that that's true wealth, that's true richness, that's true. And so, moving to Portugal was a way for me to stop, to create a space, a container that I just used to, to be still and be present and like I said, it's a continuing journey that I'm still on every moment and every moment is so easy to be pulled away from that because that's what this world is, it's a big trap. It's a test. It's the hero's journey. Are you going to take the leap off the cliff and grow your wings on the way down? You got to jump to find out. I think if we jump, we're going to be caught and universe is going to catch us, that's what life is about, that's what this short little moment that we call existence is about, it's just being free being here. I don't know. What else is there? What else... There's nothing else to say other than that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah, here's the good news is that there's no one right way to go about this and like you just said, just for you taking that time to stop we've got to think about the construct of your life and where you come from, the work that you were putting in. So I think that that was fitting for you in that moment, for some folks it might be to stop for a weekend. It might be to stop for a day and I implore people to just make it a practice to stop every single day and start to build that muscle, just stop, sit, just be, start the practice of remembering who you are and like you just said there's all these wonderful pieces of work on being here now being in the present, it's a practice especially when we're so used to this process of thinking about the past, being in the future, all of our power and our life is existing in this moment and so I just a couple weeks ago, for like the first time in forever I decided I'm going to stop this... It was a weekend coming up and we happened to not have a studio date and I remember something.
I remember that I'm working on a new book. I'm working on empowering folks, teaching, giving my gift, creating. And I remember my favorite and most important investment and most important investment besides the one into myself is my wife, she's my favorite part of life. And why would I not invest in her more so than any of this other stuff and I remembered that. So, a couple connections happened, which is funny how that works out to where we had time to just be just her and I. And man, just to think about all the moments of peace. I could see the colors differently in the in the skyline. And things smell different and just like be... All of these things start to turn on, there's no precise way to go about this or time frame, it doesn't matter if you get this in a minute or if it takes you six months, just start the process. Stop and start with who is like one of the biggest takeaways not just of this episode, but of our lifetime, man. So, thank you so much for sharing that and now you've dropped back... You're dabbling back into this world over here and you've got some great stuff coming for us. And of course, we're going to have you back on in a couple of months. So, everybody look forward to that. Which is going to go crazy when that comes out, but you've got some stuff that you're working off everybody.
PRINCE EA: Yes. Well, I've got a few courses that will be launching. One course that I'm launching is called Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living and this will be out probably around March 23, I'm also doing my own course really about life mastery. Showing people, the best practices. What is a life? A life is summed up in three things, the mind, the body, the spirit. What are the best practices for the mind, the body, and the spirit. So, I've created my own formula for this that I think is going to be very helpful for people because I think what's out there now is very incomplete and we are a holistic being and one without the other is zero. When we were in our mother's womb, we didn't grow the leg and then the arm and then the finger, it all happened together, it was a holistic process. And so why do we think life is any different? So, this is why the program that I'm launching teaches the best practices for the mental health, physical and spiritual all in one.
So, I'm super excited. It's really my life's work and I'm super excited to launch it. Also, I have my own podcast that I'm coming out with, Sauna sessions. Super excited. We're going to be interviewing, having good conversations with some great people like yourself in an Infrared Sauna, so we'll put you on the hot seat and we'll sweat out those toxins and those, those juicy details and have fun doing it. I have... What else I've been working on? I've got two great products that I'm launching as well, a gratitude journal that people can go to sleep with and wake up with. I think it's so important to create a practice of gratitude, gratitude as they say is the healthiest human emotion. It's the only emotion.
It doesn't rely on any other emotion; you can be sad and still be grateful and it actually transforms the negative emotions. It's a superpower. I call gratitude the limitless pill, it makes you smarter. It makes you more attractive. [laughter] You're more confident just by being more grateful. So, this is my gratitude journal that I'm going to be launching. And lastly, I have a, a mood journal that I'm putting out to help people when they do face these negative mood states. So, I've integrated a lot of ancient wisdom within that along with the cognitive behavioral therapy so that people can really decipher and go through these negative thoughts and crush these ANTs, these Automatic Negative Thoughts that they often have. So I'm super excited to launch all that and other than that, I'm just going to try to continue to be a student of life and marvel at this existence while I'm still here and smell the flowers and just be here open and ready to serve however I'm called.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, man, listen, again, you know where we come from and to see your growth and your dedication and one of the things that really jumps out about you for me is your congruency. And so even in this time of peace and in contemplation, you're bringing back gifts for everyone, right? So, it was like an incubation period, and we all do this whether we realize it or not, but for you it was intentional. And so, your power of intention is remarkable, your ability to be congruent with your thought, your word, and your action, is pretty damn admirable in today's world and you're bringing about this ancient wisdom for our modern times and you're one of the leaders in that, truly like bar none especially for somebody like myself coming from where I come from. So, I'm so grateful for you man.
PRINCE EA: I appreciate that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We need you right now. Not an accident that Prince EA is on the planet this very time.
PRINCE EA: It's so important and you do it to walk the talk. It's so important to really live it and be authentic, to go to sleep happy not trying to be something else and posture and just to use the gifts and the voice that you've been given and really walk it and be it. That's it. That's how we should all be living our lives. But the sneaky, the little ego always comes in and knocks on the door and just let me in and I want that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Can I borrow some sugar?
PRINCE EA: You should be that. Yeah, but we got to choose... They say it's only two choices in life we'll ever have. It's a fear choice and it's a love choice. Every choice we make is one of those. So, the more we can lean towards love, that's when we truly live and we truly become our best and highest selves.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go. Let's go. Let's stay connected to my guy. Where should everybody follow you?
PRINCE EA: Wherever you choose, pick your flavor. I got obviously Instagram and all these things that I don't have on my phone, but I check it when I can and, yeah, but I think follow... Yeah, the social media platforms are there, so when I'm launching all these cool things, I'm definitely going to launch it out there.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, that's the best way to stay up to date, follow on IG, of course, subscribe to your YouTube channel is epic. It's just... Man, it's one of the best things on that platform for sure. So powerful man. I know what you put into it. And it's just remarkable, remarkable. These are great... You create things that are so great to share with our children and to share with teachers, so these are multicultural, multi-dimensional as well and even how you putting these things together, the multimedia flavor. There's a sonic thing to it, the music, the vibration, how you articulate things and the visuals that go with it and the story, it's crazy.
PRINCE EA: Thank you Shawn.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Of course, man, make sure to subscribe to my guy on YouTube and I appreciate you so many, man. I can't wait to see you again in a couple of months.
PRINCE EA: Yeah, a couple months. Thank you for having me, man. I want to finish by giving you gratitude. I remember when we met, you don't remember, I think, but it was at the gym. I think I saw you training somebody at and got to know you, got to go to some of your events and you've always stayed true, you kept that same energy. And that's very rare and it's an authentic quality about you because it is you and I applaud you. I love what you're doing. What's more important than the health of the world today? Nothing because nothing can be accomplished without health. So, thank you for doing the, I think, the most important work on our planet. And thank you for being you because I think more than what you say, the energy you carry is even more valuable. So, thank you Shawn.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Thank you, man. Thank you for seeing me. And I see you brother. I appreciate you man. Prince EA everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. Make sure to follow Prince EA social media and also of course, subscribe to his YouTube channels. His videos are remarkable. They're great to share with educators. They're great to share with kids and most importantly, ourselves to take those principles and to apply them and we know that we are a multimedia consuming society today. So, the way that he puts things together with the vocalization with the story and really the poetry and the visuals is so remarkable and so special. And just to know what he's up to right now, we've got to stay tuned. So, make sure to stay connected to him. And listen, we're just getting warmed up. We've got some incredible guests and absolutely epic masterclasses coming your way very, very soon.
So, make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes. You can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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