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Cognizant Incognizance

Author: James Paro

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Welcome to Cognizant Incognizance! This podcast was born out of recognizing the importance of the second stage mastery process; conscious incompetence. Every week I add a new chapter to an anthological discussion on life, taking action, and the value of conscious thought. Join me (and the occasional guest) for a head-in-the-clouds perspective on how to stay grounded and win in all that you do!

**Episode cover art is not mine and can be found on**
45 Episodes
If you're a big Fall person, you have to be excited about the way the season is starting; satisfying stillness is already in the air, and the beating sun and constant rumble of summer parties are both dying down. Life moves slower this time of year as the winds of change begin to blow, and it's the perfect time to re-focus yourself on the task at hand. Let's go!
Humility is the act of tempering your self-importance and modestly acknowledging your talents or knowledge. It's a rare gift that can only be taught; never given or acquired. Humble pie is a dish best served cold, with a side of "slow your role" and a tall glass of "do better." I had a big helping of humble pie this weekend, and my feet are still wishing I hadn't cut such a big slice. What's for dessert in your world?
Let the Season Begin!

Let the Season Begin!


Pessimism, optimism, and realism are the three most common ways of viewing the world. Your outlook on life is generally reflected in the decisions you make; conservative investing might be an indicator of a pessimistic (or less optimistic) thinker, whereas outrageous projections in the stock market might signal that you're an optimist. Tonight, in honor of the beginning of the NFL season, I'm examining the pros and cons of the three worldviews as they relate to life AND to fantasy football! Enjoy!
Successful people share one thing, without question: goals. They're all working towards something. The path to success is lined with distractions, and none are more potent than your mindset. While you're working, others will be out having fun. While you're trying to decompress and refocus, other people are getting ahead of you. This week, I'm joined by my good friend Kyle Crawford, for a solid hour discussion on priorities, the fine line between survival and extravagance, and much, much more. Enjoy!
Take out the garbage. Clean the gutters. Decorate the house for the holidays. Stay late at work so you get the big promotion. What do these things have in common? They're all "small" stuff! We tell ourselves these are our top priority instead of what's truly important; our mental health, our physical health, and our families. Giving the "small" stuff all our attention stresses us out and devalues the "big" stuff, and that's what should truly stress us out.
Tell me if you've been here before: have something important to do, and you're a little anxious about it. Not only do you want things to go as planned, you NEED them to go as planned. Everything has to be perfect and so you spend an obsessive amount of time mapping out the variables and possible outcomes. Then, before you know it, 3 hours have gone by and you haven't even started.   Sound familiar? I thought so! Whether you know it (or acknowledge it) or not, the pursuit of perfection just forced you to procrastinate. And now you're under the gun to get that thing done (or worse). Simple solution to the problem: next time just do the thing
Happiness and joy are peculiar concepts. They seem temporary or elusive in our daily lives. Instead of waiting for happiness to come to us, and falling into despair when it doesn't, why not look for it in all that we do? Countless moments happen in life that aren't smile-worthy, and some might even be downright depressing, but you're alive to experience them! True joy, unbridled and incomparable satisfaction, can be found in almost anything when your perspective is corrected. Fix it today, and persevere! of these things is not like the others, am I right!? ***(Hint hint, they're more related than you might think, and I've got the perfect story to prove it!)*** Tonight I'll also be sharing an update on my progress in The Daily Stoic Challenge (no spoilers), a quick book recommendation, and some exciting news for anyone who fancies themselves an amateur chef like me. P.S. The image is unrelated but it's a frog sitting on a car windshield. You're welcome.
When was the last time you ate something adventurous? Took a different route to work? Changed your problem-solving approach? The answer for most of us is probably, "never," or "I don't know," or "why would I?" Humans are so used to their routines that we often forget how to connect with the world around us. Anything that isn't how we've "always done things" is scary and foreign. Imagine how much of life we're missing! This week I'm serving up a prescription for changing your perspective. Let's get heterodox!   Oh yeah, and you can check out the article I keep referencing here:
Short and sweet this week: hopefully everyone had a great Fourth of July on Thursday and spent some time with their loved ones! Monday is right around the corner, so you know what that means; rise & shine people! There's much to be done, and you can't get ahead of you're laying in bed. Shoutout to my friend Chris Blide for the new artwork, too! You can find him on Instagram @cblidecre8s and he's always posting samples of his work. Anyone looking for professional graphic design work, Chris is your guy!
Comin' in hot after a three-week hiatus, people! I've said it before and I'll say it again: relationships are HARD in all their forms (personal, professional, and otherwise). They all need focus, commitment, and energy to stay healthy and survive. When one or more of those pieces is missing, well...I don't think I need to tell you what's on the horizon. That might sound a bit harsh...BUT WAIT! What if....and bear with me here....what if you could take two proven business management concepts, change the keywords to add a human element, and finally crack the "longevity" code!?
If you go to a nutritionist for help with a diet, the first thing they'll likely do is ask you to record what you're eating now and examine it with you. Any diet that's geared towards weight loss (probably) requires you to cut out "empty" calories i.e. processed food that doesn't actually provide nourishment. Anything that you might eat just for the sake of eating it. The same concept applies to every other aspect of life! Nourish yourself with meaningful work and stimulating conversation, and stop eating emotional PopTarts (no offense intended, Kellogg's)!
The act of introspection can either be a blessing or a curse. Once you dive down the rabbit hole, the outcome depends entirely on what you're doing with the information you gather. What do you do when you uncover something you don't like about yourself? Something regrettable you said? A disgusting habit? You have two choices: embrace reality and be blessed with the chance to change, or turn a blind eye and extend the curse of inaction. The choice is yours and today is the day to make it....what will you choose!?
The Chain Method!? No, I'm not talking about Fleetwood Mac. Human gene editing!? Yes, it's exactly as terrifying as it sounds. The world has an important decision to make: will our future be Utopian or Dystopian? Through "right action" and re-orientation the obvious answer is easily attainable. Make good decisions, build on your momentum, and before you know it you'll be rolling in positivity. Once you create, you should never break the chain!
When you feel yourself moving in the wrong direction, what's the first thing you do? If you're driving on an icy road conventional wisdom says you should "steer into the skid," but what about when it's your life's path that runs off-course? Uncharted territory is always a scary place to be at first, but every second you spend paralyzed is another second lost. So go on, what're you waiting for? Re-orient yourself and get back on track!
New month, new Daily Stoic theme, new focus! Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, you can't break your slump? Stuck in your old ways and not sure how to change? Unable to reconcile your past and present? Yeah, we've all been there...but sometimes the easiest way to move a mountain is to dig deeper!
This week I'm talking about altruism (what it actually is, what people think it is, and why they're wrong) and the importance of having the courage to admit when you've made a mistake. Both hit home for me personally and I'm happy to share a little bit about my experience with you, as always! One more thing: check out my website at for a centralized view at all my content!
Welcome back! This week, is my final announcement, and we're just around the corner from "Cognizant Incognizance-as usual" my friends! I've got some choice words this week about the subjective nature of language, the importance of tone, and the equal (if not greater) importance of controlling your opinions when looking at the world. Word to the wise: more big things on the way so stay tuned!
The Fifth Announcement

The Fifth Announcement


Welcome back! I have update 5/6 for you this week and trust me, this will all be over soon (my "announcement series" that is, I'm not going anywhere). I'm continuing with April's theme of "unbiased thought" and this week the focus is on the harmful distraction of judgment, and why it's important to know the difference between observing and perceiving. Enjoy!
Welcome back for another episode of Cognizant Incognizance! This week I've got another announcement for you and a new Daily Stoic theme to discuss; welcome to April AKA the month of Unbiased Thought. Tune in on your favorite outlet and I'll share some thoughts on Gym Class Heroes (not the band), how you're missing out on opportunities to win and making yourself lose, and one of the areas where I suck at taking my own advice. Enjoy!
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